Taya

Tomorrow is Max’s 15th birthday. My eldest baby is fifteen years old tomorrow! Surely I’m not old enough to be the mother of a kid that grown up!!!!

download (13)Our family birthday tradition is to go out to a restaurant to celebrate. The birthday boy (or girl, in my case) gets to pick the restaurant, and it is always a raucous event full of laughter, teasing, jokes and family fun!

Usually the birthday dinners are Katie and her four boys. Tonight, however, we had Max’s girlfriend, Taya, along with us. And, I have to say, it was absolutely delightful!

I have said it many times, and I will say it many more times to come…I LOVE being a boy mom! Sometimes, however, it is just so nice to have some female energy around me to round out the heavy testosterone. And tonight it was particularly lovely.

Taya is one of the most laid-back young women I have ever known. She is mature, funny, beautiful, and adorable. And, she just loves the crazy antics of my beloved Max.

My heart felt very full as I looked around the dinner table tonight. And Taya added a dimension that just had my heart perilously close to bursting!using-intuiton-ezine4-001

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Calling in Sick

sick (1)Well, the nurse has become the patient.

I awakened this morning with Zach’s cold and have been feeling miserable all day.

I have neither energy nor inspiration for writing so my Radical Act for today is to call in sick!

Epiphany

I have been self-employed for six years and, in the past three weeks, it has finally dawned on me that I am my own boss! And what facilitated this epiphany, you ask? Joining my local women-only gym three weeks ago.

download (11)I used to be an early morning gym visitor. I would set my alarm for 4:30am, spend a half hour or so meditating and then be in the gym by 5:30. And every morning, especially in the winter, I had to dig deep to encourage myself to venture out into the cold, dark morning.

I never loved it, but I did it.

I worked out in the early morning because, subscribing fully to the Protestant Work Ethic, the hours between 9:00 and 5:00 were for work, only work, and nothing but work, so help me God. Not for exercise, not for play, not for rest, not for writing.

And certainly not for fun.

My exercise epiphany started on Day One of my new gym membership. I had decided that the Monday morning class that was most appealing was the 9:00am class (not the 6:00am class…not even the 8:00am class). I got up very early that morning to get a couple of hours of work done so that I could justify taking time out of my work day. When I mentioned this to Simon he laughed and said; ‘you know that you are your own boss, right?’

download (12)I am my own boss. And yet I have been driving myself as if I punch a time clock.

Well, all that has changed Radically.

I have felt wonderfully rebellious these past three weeks. I have completely changed my work life. I work out at 9:00am three mornings a week. I come home and have an Epsom salts bath followed by a shower. Then I make myself a yummy brunch and get to my desk sometime around noon.

And guess what? I have had more energy and been more productive in the past three weeks than I ever have. After a visit to the gym I am energized, my creative juices are flowing and I am relaxed. Work that usually takes me ages to sit down to now gets done efficiently and gets done well. I am motivated, I am jazzed. And I am absolutely on fire!

Nothing like a Radical internal shake-up to bust the January blahs!

And to make my epiphany complete? Max and I are going skiing tomorrow.

Skiing on a Thursday?!?! Oh the shame…!images (13)

Chicken Soup

If you are a meat-eater. If you have chicken bones in your freezer. If you have carrots, onions, celery, fresh thyme and a few bay leaves. If you have a kick-ass stock pot. If your youngest is home sick with a nasty cold. And, if the thermometer in your neck-of-the-woods has dropped below minus 20 degrees Celsius.

French_country_chicken_soup-1-lWhat do you do?

You make a great big, yummy-smelling pot of homemade chicken soup!

It feels like a task of endurance to be outside today. The wind chill is hovering below minus thirty. Every person who walks by my window is bundled up and hunkered down as deep as they can get into their winter woollies. And every single person who has walked through my door today has responded to the smell of chicken stock bubbling on the stove.

It just feels like being wrapped up in a warm hug. It feels like coming home.

And tomorrow, the magic of my rich chicken broth will morph into delicious, nurturing chicken soup to warm tummies and hearts, chase away the sneezing and sniffling, and make this January deep freeze just a little bit easier.  chicken_doctor_people_soup_1172985

Snow Day!

Snow Day!

What kid does not light up at the sound of those two words?! There is just something so delicious about waking up for a day of school and discovering that Mother Nature has generously orchestrated a day off to stay at home and play.

images (11)I awakened at 5:00 this morning to meditate quietly and get an hour of work done before the morning routine kicked into high gear. It was a very windy and blustery morning and I was distracted by the whiteouts whipping by my window.

The phone rang moments before I was going to head upstairs to begin the arduous process of getting three reluctant kids out of bed on a cold winter Monday morning. It was our school board with a recorded announcement that, due to inclement weather, schools were closed for the day.

Snow Day!

As a parent, there is really nothing more fun than telling your kids it is a Snow Day. I kind of felt like Santa Claus as I delivered the news all three times.

My Radical Act for today was to lean into the Snow Day and not try to work. There is really nothing more frustrating than being half at work and half at home. And particularly tricky with a home office. And so, my Radical Act for today was to give myself over to my kids and to the Snow Day.

My Snow Day consisted mostly of chauffeuring around five boys. Up to Pro Hockey Life to have four pairs of skates sharpened, followed by delivery and then pick up at the park for two hours of shinny, a Tim Horton’s run on the way home for hot chocolate and, finally, a stop at the variety store for chips to munch on during their afternoon movie.

It is now 5:00pm and I am finally sitting down to enjoy the cold wintry day outside my window.

Is it just me, or were Snow Days more fun as a kid…?!?!snow_day

Jiggety-Jig

House2“…home again, home again, jiggety-jig…”

I am home again and it feels wonderful! I am all unpacked and sitting in my favourite spot with a cup of tea, a slice of pumpkin bread and a beeswax candle burning.

I love going away for a weekend or a holiday. The change of pace is soul food and I always feel recharged. And the coming home is so sweet it feels like being wrapped in the loving arms of the delightfully familiar.

And even though it is only 5:00pm, I am already looking forward to climbing into my own cozy flannel bed tonight knowing that my beloved family is all under the same roof again.

All is right with the world! 🙂

The Yin and the Yang

1507897_10201540670701768_346337992_nMichael and I are up north in Thornbury at my Mom & Dad’s place for a long weekend. My sister-in-law, Janine, is here with her three adorable young kids and we are having a fabulous time together.

I took Michael and my niece, Grace, into the Blue Mountain Village this morning for a skate on the enormous pond and then out for a Starbucks hot chocolate. After lunch the three of us headed off to the local library for a quiet afternoon of book browsing and reading while the little ones slept the afternoon away.

Now it is my turn for some quiet time. Michael is off with Janine and the kids at a friend’s place for a pizza and dance party and I am enjoying tea time by the fire with my parents.

As I sat down to blog a few minutes ago it occurred to me how completely relaxed I am feeling. As I tapped into the feeling, I realized that I have shifted into a lower gear this weekend. I not only feel the freedom of only one child to parent but also the change of pace from my enormous male-dominated family system.

Don’t get me wrong…I adore all my boys and their boundless collective energy. Sometimes, however, I just need a little energetic infusion of a quieter female energy. Our little weekend party is giving me just that. Snuggling with my nieces, playing with my baby nephew and connecting with my beloved parents is knitting up the ravelled sleeve, so to speak.

As I slip into the quiet of the afternoon, it occurs to me how deeply I appreciate the full range of this amazing journey and the intricate dance within the yin and the yang of my spectacular life!yin-yang-sign-21589289