Monday, 17 January 2011

Love Makes us Real (or Lessons from a Velveteen Rabbit)

The kids and I sat down to watch "The Velveteen Rabbit" tonight. I read the book as a child, and I'm pretty sure I watched the movie as well.

But I didn't really expect to have such a deep emotional response to a kids movie.

And I didn't really expect my seven, five and almost-four year old to have such a deep emotional response either.

It struck me, as all four of us were crying on the couch watching the moving together, that I don't really give my kids enough credit. They are very deep. They think about things that are important. They struggle with much the same things we do as adults, just differently. They philosophize. They ask questions of things that seem so ordinary.

They feel it deeply when Toby looks like he might die.

They feel it deeply when the bunny gives up his life for Toby.

They feel it deeply when Toby feels abandoned by his father.

They feel it deeply when the rabbit comes to life.

They feel it deeply when they realize that even though Rabbit is alive in the end, it means that Tory won't have his stuffie any more.

And they realized that True Love means giving up your life and letting people go.

In the end, Swan and Horse figure out that it isn't love that made Rabbit real, it was actually loving that made him real. It isn't enough to keep love as a noun - in order to be real, and truly live, we all have to turn love into loving.

Sometimes the simplest concepts are the most difficult to really understand. And what's cool is that my kids kind of got it tonight.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

The Birthday Girl

In and amongst moving and taking down Christmas decorations and trying to stay warm and shoveling ALOT of snow, a little girl in this house turned six years old.

We began the day with an extra-early, yummy breakfast of waffles. Aaralyn had asked me the night before if I was going to have a surprise for her in the morning - she remembered last year's banner and balloons that we always put up for birthdays. Even though she was expecting it, she still loved the attention!!

Of course, the waffles had to wait as she ripped open the presents from us.

She then decided that there wasn't enough anticipation, so she started opening her presents with her eyes closed. That is such an Aaralyn thing to do and we pretty much had to move everything out of the way.

The girls headed off to school, and at the end of the day, Ephraim and I brought some cupcakes to share with her school friends.

For dinner, she choose pizza and then we finished the day off with some very special 6-year old birthday cake and a stellar rendition of 'happy birthday' (and then Ephraim and Eden sang it over and over and over again after the cake was done).

Next on the agenda is her birthday party. She is choosing to have a rainbow balloon party this year, and I came across this great idea for balloon invitations, and decided to create my own.

And just yesterday, we put them all together and Aaralyn is handing them out at school today. Next Saturday is the big day, and we are really looking forward to having some balloon party fun!!

So it seems that, just under my nose, my little girl is growing up. Before I know it, she is going to be 16...crazy how quickly time seems to be flying.

This is the face of a beautiful girl. The face of a girl who feels things so strongly. Who can’t sit still if her life depended on it. Who laughs and laughs and laughs until her stomach aches. This is the face of a girl who cares deeply for the people around her. Who will give up what she wants for someone who wants it more. Who is creative beyond measure. And this is the face of a girl who is totally and completely loved by everyone around her. You are an amazing person, Aaralyn and we love, love, love you!!

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

I'm in!!

It's done. We've cleaned out the craft room from upstairs and moved everything in to the 'she-cave'(as we've started to call it around here) in the basement.

This is what it looked like before everything was moved:

This is what it looked like after everything was moved: (the filling of all the holes will be a rather large job for another day...)

And this is where I am spending my time now:

As you can see, there is alot to do yet, but I am officially in. And I love it!!

More pics to follow once I'm all set up and everything has found a home.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Wordless Wednesday

There are moments that are captured on film where nothing else needs to be said. This photo is one of those moments...a moment that I don't ever want to forget.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Hello 2011!!

Goodbye year of 'home'. Last year at this time, I choose a word that was to guide and shape my year, and it seemed to me that the word "home" was calling my name. Ironically, it was a year of travelling away from home, and it felt like I spent more time running errands and volunteering and being away from home than being home.

But, when I reflect on all that we have done this past year, the word "home" is pretty much where this year took me. And throughout the year, I would have a little niggle in the back of my mind about this particular choice of word, and it would help me refocus on what I have chosen my priorities to be.

So, this year, I have decided to once again embark on this journey of choosing a word for 2011. Some years it comes easily and sometimes it comes with some sweat and tears. (I have a feeling this time around, it is going to be a sweat and tears kind of process). I will also be doing monthly journalling and exploring (via this class) to help make the committment (and the word) a bit more tangible and documented.

So this year is the year of trust. It looks to be like a crazy year - full of chaos and insecurity and not alot of clear direction. I was reflecting on this and a number of words came to mind, but 'trust' seemed to sticking up it's hand and just begging me to choose it. And so, in 2011, my word will be trust.

Trust in myself. Trust in the process of life. Trust in God. Trust in others around me. Trust in allowing things to happen without me having to control every little detail. Trust that I am where I need to be.

I am also, once again embarking on creating a picture of the day album called Project Life. My album for 2011 is still in the box (we are in the throws of renovations and half my supplies are upstairs and half my supplies are downstairs - what was that I was just saying about chaos?), but I am happy to be completing my album for 2010 and embarking on a new year.

In 2009, I used the Becky Higgins binder (and the goodies that went along with it) and in 2010, I created my own album. I found page protectors and bought my own paper and created my own journalling templates. I enjoyed the creative process, but I found it didn't help with getting the photos (and especially) the documenting done. And now in 2011, I am back to BH's binder - just to simplify life.

One of the things I did do last year is include 12X12 and 8 1/2X11 layouts throughout the album, which I am definitely going to do again. And I'm not sure if they will fit, but I love the American Crafts 6X12 page protectors that are in this shot. And I am also hoping to include more paper and 'stuff' from life in this year's album.

Let me just say one more thing - if you have ever thought of doing this type of thing, the time to start is now. Yes, it is a bit intimidating. Yes, it can be a bit laborious at times. Yes, I have wanted to quit. Yes, time needs to be carved out of an already busy life for something like this to take flight. But, the payoff is worth it. It is so, so, so amazing to have a photo + words from each day of our lives - so amazing!! And you may be surprised with how many things there are to photograph in your life.

It isn't the big events that make up life - it is the details, the everyday. The afternoons at the playground. The books we read. The work we do. The things that make us smile. The people we share our lives with. The lists we make. The food we eat. The bills we pay. The groceries we buy. The things we fix. This is life!!

Hello 2011!