Sunday, January 01, 2017

2016 and 17 Resolutions



Well its the yearly blog post to see how I did at last years resolutions and make some new ones for this year. 2016 was not my favourite. Although I did some fun things, overall in the world and in my world it was not the greatest.



Update for 2016 Resolutions



Be more present with my kids. To make this goal a little easier to qualify and see if I accomplish it my plan is to take the family to a non chain restaurant where we get to try new food once a month.

This goal I did pretty well with this year. Although not a total check mark, but all in all we did some really fun things together as a family and I feel like we connected more as a family too. I did better at engaging with the kids for activities, but also stopped feeling bad about not being engaged with them all the time. All in all I think family was my highlight of a more difficult year. I feel like I'm doing a good job as a mom and day to day having Darryl and the kids around keep me happy and sane and feeling loved.
With Darryl I would like to plan more date nights. I have a great husband and person to spend my life with. He's a great dad and partner, but it's easy to get caught in the mundane of everyday life. I would like to make more effort to do reconnect and do things together.

I would say this is a no for me and something I need to keep working on for 2017. More fun with Darryl! As the kids are getting older they can be by themselves for a bit while Darryl and I reconnect. As I said last year we often get caught up in the mundane of everyday life or we have spent years dividing and conquering parenting that we need to remember what it is to spend time together and not divided.
I have been doing a regular yoga practice for a couple of years now so I want to continue with that. Maybe work on doing more practicing at home. Although I do love my studio.

Continue to love and practice yoga. Doing it at home a bit more, but love to practice anywhere. I practiced at Soul 192 times last year, so I want to keep that up. 
 
We have a trip to Hawaii planned for this year and I'm heading to Halifax for a work conference, probably going to Kelowna this year too and maybe something else in the summer. Plus it's Darryl's 40th birthday and our 15 year anniversary, so hopefully something fun for that.

Trips this year went pretty well, there just was not enough of them. And Darryl's birthday was probably the most memorable with the new car. We had a great day on his birthday and like I said earlier my family continues to keep me happy and sane


Resolutions for 2017

  1. Focus on the positive.  I am so grateful for the life I lead and I found this year I thought about what I was missing rather then what I had.   Generally I think of myself as a really positive person, but it slipped away a bit on me this year.  I'd like to get back to that mindset this year.  I think there is a balance between being content with where you are at and striving to get better.  Still looking to find that balance.  
  2. Blog more. 2 times a month. 
  3. We have some pretty great trips planned this year, it's going to be a good year for creating those memories. Looking forward to that!
  4. Stop being so hard on myself, especially when it comes to work. Give myself time to learn. It's hard having come from being excellent at a job to having to learn everything again, but give myself time to get there. 
  5. In yoga I'd like to get better at wheel and handstand.
  6. Continue to cultivate all of the good practices in my life. Continue to embrace opportunities. Embrace fun times with my kids and my family. Continue to do awesome stuff with Darryl. Keep practicing yoga. Drinking tea with Tammy. Smiling at strangers. Having good conversations with my mother. Overall I think I'm pretty good at this, I love life and love to do fun things. I want to keep embracing all of those opportunities that come my way. I'm hoping to start working on my masters this year. Which will be a lot of work, but again what a great opportunity to complete it.
Till next time

Jenn

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Reflections on 2016

Ahh... the last day of 2016.  As I sit here on my couch drinking tea, having had an awesome last week and a half of Christmas break I take time to reflect on 2016 and what it has brought into my life. Mostly 2016 has brought challenges into my life.  It's interesting as I read through a lot of social media and articles people overall were not happy to 2016.  It was a tough year for the world.

But what a lot of these challenges this year have also taught me about it growth and the importance of focussing on what you have.  I think this year I focused too much on the negative things in my life. What I was missing or was wrong with something, instead of focussing on what is right.

So lets focus on what was right!  Here are the highlights of 2016:

Hazel and Harvey

This summer we adopted two super cute and fun kittens.  Harvey has personality coming out of everywhere and Hazel is calm and cuddly (especially with Lucas)  Of course this helped us to heal and be happy again after loosing Emma.  But those two are certainly my favourite part of 2016.

New Job

Anyone who has talked to me in the last 6 months has heard about the struggles I've had transitioning to my new job.  But you know what:  I got the job!  That is something to celebrate.  I remember when they called to ask to call my references I was with Lucas at Chinook and we had just bought Orange Julius.   I say the number on my phone and took a deep breath, knowing that the phone call would change things for me.  And it did.  I remember I couldn't pick up my drink after because my hand was shaking so much.   Lucas thought my physical reaction to something mental was pretty funny.   Really the job has been a hard transition, but I'm getting there and I'm learning.  I'm trying to look at it as an opportunity to learn and to improve the environment.

Trips:

Hawaii:  Beautiful and lots of fun learning to boogie board.  I know Hawaii is one of most people's favourite places, but I learned it's not mine.

Halifax: Tammy and I went and presented at a conference and had oodles of fun.  Driving to Peggy's Cove, eating seafood, being awesome, hiking up and down the hill, meeting East Coasters on airplanes, taking one of my favourite pictures of the year, reconnecting with colleagues from around the country.

Kelowna with Tammy and the Kids: Learned what a funny accent Shaun can have, glad a kangaroo didn't squeeze Nathan to death, kids can fish in the rain, Matthew had an awesome swan song, Nathan laying on Matt's boat and it blew up.

Kelowna with Darryl: The kids having a great time on the boat, mountain biking through the train tracks, mountain biking in Panorama, eating great food in Panorama.

Winnipeg: Seeing John K Samson and most of the Weakerthans, feeling a work sense of belonging again, meeting new colleagues and them becoming friends, eating delicious food, lots of laughs and smiles, working really hard.

Yoga

Continues to be a wonderful constant in my life.  Helps me to stay calm and level headed.  192 classes this year, which is good considering my balance has been off since working full time.   Continued to grow friendships and have many new great teachers there as well.

As usually here is the video highlights of a lot of those fun highlights.
Till Tomorrow and the resolutions for 2017!

Jenn


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Summer Wrap Up

We are coming up to the end of the summer and it's always a good time to look back and see how things went.  It certainly wasn't as eventful as last summer, but still filled with lots of good things. 

The summer started with some changes.  As I blogged about I took a new job, which meant I worked more over the summer then I was use to.  But the kids finished up their sports, Nathan did great with soccer and really enjoyed it.  He scored lots, ran lots and had fun with his team mates.  Lucas also did great in baseball.  He was a great fielder and made lots of good plays.  He got walked alot, and by the end of the season had a couple of hits.  One was a funny bunt where the ball was over his head but he lifted the bat and hit the ball and got on base. 



In July we started with a couple of weeks to chill at home.  Enjoy tea on the couch, rather then a travel mug, play with friends and breathe a sigh of relaxation.  Then we headed to Kelowna with Tammy, Matt and Shaun.  As usually it was a great time.  Lots of laughs and swimming and fishing and beach time.  Tammy and I have great road trips where we talk and talk.  Its nice cause our boys are really the same way too.  They can all talk and talk.  Oma was struggling a bit with her leg, but I think she was happy to see us. 

Lucas and Nathan also had a great time at their respective camps.  Lucas went to COP camp and did a lot of cool things.  It's definitly something we will do again.  I was proud of him as he really embraced it.  He also didn't know anyone, but made friends quickly and by the end of the week he was sad it was over.  Nathan did his camp here in the community with his friend Matthew, so also really enjoyed himself. 

Myself and the boys then headed to Panorama for a couple of days then off to Kelowna.  Both were a great time and I loved the mountain air and being away from home.   In Panorama Darryl and Lucas biked, while Nathan and I swam.  We went out for nice dinners and made food in our room.  Kelowna was also lovely, lots of swimming, visiting with Oma and Opa and we did some bike riding there too. 






Lynda and Brian then came to visit and it was great to see them.  Darryl always loves when his mom comes and I love it too.  They take really good care of us.  We watched lots of Olympics, went to Banff and had a fun baseball game for Lucas's birthday party. 



The last few weeks are ending like the summer started.  Soaking up the lack of schedule.  Lots of reading, watching baseball and relaxing.  Sleeping in and going to late night movies.   We also made a weekend trip to Fernie for more hiking, biking and swimming.  We also ate EXCELLENT food there!



Lucas had a great birthday and continues to be an awesome kid.  He takes time to make a decision, but always does what I ask him.  He doesn't love a lot of vegetables, but is willing to try and likes spicy food.   He has lots of good friends.  Bought a BMX bike with his birthday money.  Has been doing lots of mountain biking with his dad.  He likes to make jokes and knows when to do it.  He is loving, but not in your face.  He doesn't like it when he can't fall asleep or when people swear, but tolerates both.  Like Darryl he's good at pretty much anything he tries and really does like to try new things. 





Till Next Time

Jenn

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Ode to the Black Scrubs

Well today was my last days of wearing the same uniform I have been wearing for the last 10 years.  I have been at SAIT for 13 years and 10 years ago started the majority of my teaching in the clinical environment.  We make the students wear black scrubs as it looks very professional and allows for the students to be easily identified.  We've always thought since we make the students do this, we as instructors should as well, again to easily identify us as we go to so many sites. 

Two weeks ago I accepted a promotion, and my role will be at SAIT everyday rather then out in practicum.  I find this very exciting, but also quite uncomfortable.  It feels like my black scrubs are kind of like a metaphor.  Scrubs are easy, common and comfortable.  The job I have been doing for the last 13 years has become like my black scrubs, very easy and comfortable, I am very good at it.  Like black scrubs I don't have to spend any time thinking or planning, they are just there to put on, my job was like that too, no need to think or plan.  I could do it really easily.  I knew it really well.

But now I'm going to have to get uncomfortable, make harder decisions and learn and grow.  While it's a big step and feels out of my comfort zone, I think it's time.   I'm hanging up my comfortable black scrubs for dresses and heels, dress pants and blouses.  Something new and something different and maybe more uncomfortable.   

Wish me luck!

Jenn

Friday, April 08, 2016

Emma

Last week we said goodbye to our wonderful, awesome dog.  We've known for the last couple of months that she is palliative.  She had an aggresive oral tumor that was diagnosed in Feburary.  For the last couple of months we did lots of great things with her, took some beautiful family photos, fed her lots of delicious meat, took her to off leash parks and lots of walks.  We gave all the people who love her a chance to say goodbye and then we said our final goodbyes to her. 

Emma was such a great dog, of course she had tons and tons of adventures.  Running across deerfoot, running home from Strathmore, get the foxtails stuck in her throat or the wicker stuck in the roof of her mouth.  All of her escapes, whether from the second story of our house, from Tammy and Pat's yard or trying to dig her way out of Oma and Opa's house.   One of my favourite Emma stories is when she jumped off the dock after a ball and went right under the water, head and everything.  She got to the surface and couldn't care less about the ball or stick.  Swan straight to shore, nothing was going to stop her.   She loved Kelowna.  Maybe not Opa, but all the swimming!  It was always a good vacation for her too. 

I miss having her around.  Whether it be sitting by the front door, or walking to get the kids.  It might be sitting in the front seat or laying on our bedroom floor sleeping at night.  I just miss having her around. 

She was our first born, taught us how to parent, taught us how to put others first, how to not give up on things and follow through.  She taught us how to be consistent and on the same page.  How when you put the work in the rewards are tremendous and life long. 

My constant companion will be missed. 

Till Next Time

Jenn





Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Proud Mom

We are on March Break this week, so I took the boys to do groceries with me so they could pick out some healthy snacks and some treats. I usually do groceries when they are at school, but thought this would be a good opportunity for me to learn about what they like and spend some time together.  I have taken the boys grocery shopping a lot throughout their lives and they both enjoy it, not as much as video games, but as much as you can enjoy a chore.

Nathan still has the habit of hanging onto the cart, which is something we have to break, cause on a Sunday at superstore, it's important to be narrow through the ailse and the people.  But Lucas likes to 'help' by going and picking things out that are on the list.  It's super helpful!  If I forgot naan bread, he will go back to the bakery and get it.  Then he asked what else he could get.  I was just working on the ailses and Lucas asked if we needed milk.  I said yes and so he went over to the dairy section to pick it out.  When he came back he was carrying two cartons instead of the jug.  I asked why 2 cartons as we usually get the jug.  He replied, becuase it was cheaper.  The cartons were on sale.  I doubt this as milk is almost never on sale. But he said it was and he double checked that it was the same amount, so the cartons were 2L and the jug was 4L.  The cartons were on sale for 1.99 and the jug was 4.59.  We walked over he was correct, the cartons of milk were on sale.

I was so proud.  I love to get a good deal, I love it when things are on sale!  Nathan figured out it saved us .61 cents.

Lucas is often so much like Darryl, but it's always nice to see when he's like me too.  Although as I sit here and listen to the boys playing downstairs and him telling everyone what to do, maybe he's more like me then I thought....



Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Friday, March 18, 2016

When do you push and when is it personality and when is that a reason?

Last night was parent teacher interviews.  I was working for Nathan's but wanted to talk to Lucas's teacher about her marking scheme so I scheduled that one for when I was done.   We had a good time in his classroom and I got to remember how fun grade 5 is.   When we had our chat with his teacher she asked us about giving him feedback and that she's worried he takes it too personally.  We chatted about if he's ever tried out for sports team or other ways he might get feedback. 

Lucas is a super awesome kid.  Of course I'm his mother so of course I believe that, but even his teacher says it too.  He has a heart of gold.  Today we were at the park and a kid hurt themselves.  He was the first to ask if the kid was okay.  Or at the same park one kid called his brother fat, Lucas was the first to say, Hey you shouldn't call them that.  When I ask him to do something he always does, he's great academically, he's really good at pretty much sport and is a great friend.   We are really proud of him at school too, as he is showing himself as a leader by helping with getting kindergarten kids on the bus and doing crossing guard. 

So with all these great things does it matter if he's not very participatory, or that it can be difficult to give him feedback without feeling that you are hurting his self esteem?  Is there something we should do to help him with those skills or is it just his personality?  And when you say it's just someone's personality is that making an excuse?    All questions I'm pondering...

I think generally it's his personality... Darryl is also an introvert.  In life you can't have everyone be really participatory or things may never get decided.  Different people make the world go around and make the world interesting.  But at the same time if we can cultivate some of those traits that don't come naturally to him that is a good idea.  At the same time I don't want to put him in situations that he really doesn't like.  I don't want to make him into someone that he isn't. 

Ahh parenting, always keeping things interesting.

Jenn

Friday, March 11, 2016

Winter... so far

I really should try to post more.   Looking at old posts is one of my favourite things to do, plus I love that I can keep a record of my life.   This week Auntie Karen's best friend, her daughter died.  She was 17.  It's so sad.  So so sad.   So I love reading about my life, but it's also a great legacy to leave, someday when I leave. 

Winter has been pretty darn good to us, the weather has been remarkable for a winter.  When there was snow we were lucky enough to go to Hawaii and had a great trip there.  I have never been there so I wasn't really sure what to expect, and really didn't have a lot of expectations going into it.  We were going with a big group, so I didn't feel the same need to research and investigate like I do other times I go on vacation with a smaller group.  

It was a good vacation, fun to see a new place.  Fun to hike and snorkel and boogie board.  Hanalei Bay ended up being my favourite beach in the whole wide world.  It was great to see my whole family interacting and enjoying each others company.  It was great to see everyone trying something new and different.  Funny how kids bring that out in us.  

I'm feeling so grateful this winter for the wonderful relationship my parents and kids have.  There is a different kind of satisfaction to be the link between the two and the happiness you see the relationship has on both parties.   Dad has really enjoyed skiing with the boys this winter.  We have been a fair bit and it's been lots of fun.  It's great to see his pride when the boys accomplish something.  Nathan is a really good student, both in school and on the ski hill.  He will really listen and do what is asked of him.  He commits.  Unlike his mother... and Lucas is a bit more like me too.  So when Nathan really pays attention to my Dad and his skiing improves it's like my dad is glowing. 

What an awesome life I live.  I'm lucky to have lots of great things in my life.  Although I think lots of it is my own decision making.  I'm not sure I always believe in luck. 

Plan on doing more of this recording of my life. 

Jenn

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

New Year's Resolutions

I had some trouble coming up with good resolutions for the year.  There have been some things floating around in my head, but sometimes it's difficult to quantify.  Mostly this year I would like to work on relationships.  Of course I know this is the a huge resolution.  But it is something I want to work on.  Mostly with my kids.  But also with my husband and my family and my friends. 

I had a conversation with a hygienist last time I was at the dentist, which means it was mostly her talking and me listening, but she was talking about how she'd only ever want one child so that she would involved in their lives all the time.  She would be their playmate and adviser, she would be very active in their lives.  I mentioned how having two is great because they entertain each other.  While I still agree with my theory, it did make me think about how often I disengage with them while they play with each other.  It's funny cause when they are little you pray and hope for these days of self sufficiency and then when they get there you have to make the effort to spend the time with them.  So that is something I'm going to try to focus on more this year.  I find it more challenging as many of their interests are not things I enjoy doing, but maybe even being the room or encouraging them to do things I am interested in.   To make this goal a little easier to qualify and see if I accomplish it my plan is to take the family to a non chain restaurant where we get to try new food once a month. 

With Darryl I would like to plan more date nights.   I have a great husband and person to spend my life with.  He's a great dad and partner, but it's easy to get caught in the mundane of everyday life.  I would like to make more effort to do reconnect and do things together. 

We will see as the year goes on if I have more things I would like to work on, but reflecting over Christmas this is what I've been thinking about and would like to focus on.

I have been doing a regular yoga practice for a couple of years now so I want to continue with that.  Maybe work on doing more practicing at home.  Although I do love my studio.

We have a trip to Hawaii planned for this year and I'm heading to Halifax for a work conference, probably going to Kelowna this year too and maybe something else in the summer.  Plus it's Darryl's 40th birthday and our 15 year anniversary, so hopefully something fun for that.

What about the readers, any inspiring resolutions? Goals? Intents?

Jenn 

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Resolutions

As I've said lots of times on the blog I enjoy resolutions.  I like making goals and trying to be a better person.  I liked last year and set different goals for each month.  Some of them I totally rocked and others.... not so much.

Here's a synopsis.


Jan: Practice piano for 15 minutes each day

This went okay... on and off for the month.  On the days where I felt like I had time, things went really well.  But on the busy days this quickly feel off the to do list.
Feb: Only check social media once per day
This one went great.  Only checked it in the evening.   That being said I didn't feel like it made a huge difference.  In conclusion I'm not too addicted to social media.  It's the thing that falls off my to do list when I'm busy. 
Mar: Meditate every day

Did pretty awesome with this one too....although I count going to yoga and sitting in peace at the start and end of class.  And most days I go to yoga, so it wasn't too hard of a resolution to keep. 
April: Eat at Home Challenge
I can't really remember this one... so my guess is it didn't go very well....
May: Ab challenge
This one started off great, but as the month went on it got too hard!
June: Yoga challenge
This month I doubled up and also did June dresses. Totally rocked out on both of them!
July: Take picture with big camera everyday
This one I did not do great on... started with high hopes but didn't follow through in the month.  Partly cause I travelled a lot and didn't bring it with me  =(
August:
September: Blog everyday


Did awesome!  See all those posts in September. 
October:
November: Plank Challenge


My coworkers came up with a great challenge of doing plank for 30 secs a day and then increasing by 5 seconds each day.  Again with this one started out awesome, till it got hard.  Then it was harder to follow through.  That being said I can do a 3 minute low plank.  Although I have been practicing for a long time.
December:

It was a pretty darn good year of getting better physically.  I feel pretty darn strong.  I went on 8 trips last year! 8!  That's pretty lucky and incredible.  3 of them were work related.  And 2 to Ontario for Lori's celebrations and 3 just for fun ones!  My goal is not to top that in 2016, as that would be pretty difficult.

Now to contemplate 2016....

Jenn