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30 Days of Self Discovery

NOTE: this would have been recent had not the Thanksgiving and Christmas season kicked my crafting butt! Anyway, now those who missed my time on Facebook and Instagram can finally get a peek at my month of introspection. 

I recently finished a 30 day journey I suddenly decided to take in the beginning days of October (2018). See, I realized that I really am being hard on myself for the sake of an ideal I am not sure is relevant or even the real me. This started me on the thought that maybe each day I should stop and listen just a little more closely to myself and my needs.  In response to this I started actually responding to those needs with actions that I decided should NOT be mired in guilt or embarrassment.

How best to do this? Why, share on my social media platforms (Facebook and Instagram), of course. So for many people this is a rehash or at the very least, a consolidation of something they have followed along with for 30 days. So sit back and enjoy my collection of introspective posts and the photos I included with them. Well, the first 15 days (half of it).

Day 1IMG_20181005_124153_475

Day 2 of being kinder to myself… Took Sink Kitty’s example and ran a bath, told the kids they could have an ice cream if they let me forget about parenting for 30 min. Breaks are important. How can my kids learn how to take one if I penalize myself for self care moments?IMG_20181005_124223_648

Day 3 of listening more closely to my entire being without harsh judgement. After running errands I made a pillow nest… Turned on background tv on the iPad to cancel out the kids’ gaming, and took a nap. We really punish our entire self with lack of sleep.

What about you?? Did you do something you normally would have felt guilt over but is a good thing today?IMG_20181006_202700_977

Day 4 of sensitivity to self training… I made my mom’s dip, went to R.I.P.P.E.D class and celebrated Thanksgiving. The day was good!20181007_182803

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Day 6 of contemplating need… Slightly ill kid so I set an example. 3pm afterschool nap together. I am seeing a trend. I need to release the guilt I feel when I take an afternoon nap. One hour does not make my day a failure. You??IMG_20181009_223715_463

Day 7 of being better to myself for the betterment of myself… I went to one of my favourite places, did one of my favourite activities and then surrounded myself with some of my favourite things.

For those of curious minds…

YMCA (duh)
Worked out (surprised myself how much I have grown to love and need this nearly daily)
And now for the hidden picture/can you spot list: Cheezies, crochet, good book, documentary, tall glass of water and even a few friends (not pictured)

How about you???IMG_20181010_195454_365

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Day 8 of self examination I examined deeply how truly privileged my position in life is even by my location of birth. It is not an easy watch… It really shouldn’t be… And not for young kids but City of Joy is an amazing documentary about the plight of women in Congo.

Have you watched this? Would you watch this? Want to talk about it with me?IMG_20181011_191141_885

Day 9 of listening to myself actually required ignoring myself (well a noisy portion).

With no license getting to things is work. Tonight I ignored that part of me that whined about cold and dark and effort and geared up 3 of my kids for the 2 mile walk to the YMCA.

We walked there in light and home in dusk. We didn’t miss dance class and I threw myself whole heartedly into R.I.P.P.E.D class.

We succeeded because I ignored my feeling of can’t to acknowledge that I truly don’t know what I can do until I try… And wear the appropriate warm gear to do so.

How about you? Do you have to silence that voice of inability sometimes? Do you stretch your limits and learn more about what you CAN instead of accept you maybe can’t?IMG_20181012_200412_235

Day 10 of looking within had me making a different kind of nest.

There is nothing so renewing than surrounding yourself in your favourite hobby. Especially when it includes soft fluffy yarn. Throw in a virtual tour of a bff’s new digs (love you Karyn, so happy for you) and a furry companion and my soul is both less homesick and feeling warm and fuzzy. I even assembled 3 amigurumi and am well on my way to finishing the main portion of a hat.

How about you? What activity brings you joy? Are you at peace in place or an active hobbyist???IMG_20181013_182411_957

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Day 11 of making time to really realize what I need and I actually continued a pattern I set in place well over a year ago.

I am a huge advocate for working towards a healthy mind AND body. It isn’t easy, results are not instant or even visually obvious but the effects ripple out like a stone dropped in a still pond.

This is the face of a post R.I.P.P.E.D class sweaty and exhausted me. My instructors at my local YMCA are inspiring and the people in my class a joy.

Have you found an activity that gets you moving? Tests your limits? Makes you work? Wanna join me Friday or Sunday at 5pm or Monday at 7pm? I have guest passes!!!IMG_20181014_210649_167

Day 12 of my challenge to listen better to myself actually required me to listen to a very intelligent friend. (Love you Karyn) She reminded me that while it is all fine and good to save things it is actually often better to savour them properly now.

How many things do I save for the perfect time? Agonize over when I should open this treat or use that special paper? Is it not more of a proper thank you to someone when they gift me something special (see image below) to enjoy the moment of use more than worry about its perfection?

How much of my life gets tied up in the hunt for the perfect moment to do or use xyz? Life is full of opportunity. Time for me to take the opportunity to enjoy the gifts and love I am given. After all that enjoyment is rather perfect in and of itself!

How about you? A candle you never burn gathering dust? A snack uneaten risking expiration? Want to join me and take a moment to enjoy them properly?IMG_20181015_144959_405

Day 13 of listening to myself has been a day of acknowledgement.

How many times a day do you take a feeling or a thought and shove it aside? Push it away or refuse to actually take the time to examine, accept and acknowledge it?

Today I sat down and thought about how I do often feel like I am out of the loop with things. One of the natural consequences to not living in the thick of friends and family. This time I made time to actually ruminate. (Not wallow, mind you) I bet there are people in my life who feel that way about me… I had to accept that I am also responsible for that emotional distance (2 way street right?).

Today I gave myself a moment to be a little sad that I am not back home helping a dear friend move. To realize that someday in the future I will be at her door with a housewarming gift and a hug.

I acknowledged the good too, we dropped everything and took in fall in Minnesota with a walk and some leaf raking. I made time to balance out my acknowledgments of feelings and thoughts that may not be the most uplifting with a moment of sunshine and colour.

I didn’t change anything but my way of thinking. It always amazes me how in some cases that is enough to lift my spirits and give me some perspective.

What about you??IMG_20181016_150105_137

Day 14 of listening closer to myself… Today I remember and appreciate.

Today – October 17th, marks 3 yrs since the passing of a fellow twin mom. 3 years of life where her kids are being raised by others. Her babies will have to depend on pictures and videos and stories told by others to supplement their memories of their mom.

So today I appreciate… I appreciate that I am privileged to raise my 5 children. I appreciate that I am given the opportunity to receive the hugs and kisses as well as discipline and challenge my babies.

I think I lose that appreciation sometimes in daily life. When I am exhausted from playing referee or frustrated after a day of slogging through difficult schooling I forget. I forget how amazing the fact that I have these 5 beings to help mold and to love can be.

So today I remember and appreciate. This house is full and I wouldn’t have it any other way.IMG_20181017_165627_877

Day 15 of looking within to improve the whole and today I created.

And to make it all sweeter I created and completed for others. I special 4 piece commission had the final end tied today. Last night a prayer shawl for the Catholic church had its ends woven in.

The ability to give back and to help others. To make someone smile by simply using a skill I learned and honed. That reads success to me.

Tonight I move onto other projects… Christmas is coming and I really should start some gifts.

Do you have a hobby that brings you a sense of fulfilment and joy?? I would love to hear about it!IMG_20181018_155044_459

 Check back soon for the second half of my journey! I promise NOT to take a month to post it!

When Trinity Turned 10

Well this should have been posted ages ago!! Oops! Happy WAY belated birthday to my double digits girl. I know I shared this on Instagram and Facebook but the blog must share as well!

On April 26th Trinity turned 10! Where has the time gone? We got her a rather funky and fun cup cake and cake Hello Kitty cake.IMG_20180426_222110_255

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It matched perfectly with many of her Hello Kitty themed presents. Including some rather sweet doll furniture from her Aunty Holly, Uncle James and Cousin Jimmie. Don’t forget the grandparent phone calls. Lucky girl.20180426_121915

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She chose her own outfit. Pink, pink and more pink!20180426_090829

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Though she later changed into her new (Hello Kitty themed) sweater and we walked down the street for some fun 5 kid pictures. Boy are they growing up!

Youngest to oldest

Youngest to oldest

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Trinity was over the moon. This year her birthday fell on a Thursday so she also got to go to karate for her birthday!

For dinner we take the birthday kid (or kids if it is the twins) to a mom and dad only dinner. This year Trinity went big with a fancy burger at the Tavern!

Good food takes time, so we brought her DS and her new game!

Good food takes time, so we brought her DS and her new game!

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The next day Renee and I took the two girls on a girls only adventure. 5 Guys for lunch.20180427_123227

Then off to an accessory store for some serious browsing and shopping, all finished up at a rather fancy cupcake store.20180427_134842

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Trinity told me it was a pretty amazing birthday. Double digits sure looks good on this girl! She is growing up so fast! Happy Birthday revisited darling girl!20180427_151105

First Week of Honest Photos

Remember my proposed experiment using photography that I blogged about HERE? Well we have already reached the conclusion of the first week of images which I have posted to my Facebook and Instagram accounts. So now it is time to share the first 7 posts here on my blog. Enjoy!

DAY 1IMG_20170901_132846_372

“I wish I had a sound recording of the arguing and the directing of the stroller through the garbage containers. Last day of summer program, 5th day in a row of mornings at the YMCA… Careful carry to avoid potential tire puncture… Welcome to September.”

DAY 220170902_124205

“Once a year Ken and I go out for a day to cut loose at the Renaissance Festival. I usually take most of the photos and am critical of what is taken of me. Here is a quick one Ken took. This is the only time other than the pool that I bare my midriff post babies.”

DAY 320170903_104941

“Remember all those perfect little girl rooms out there? Yah… not my house. This was deemed ‘clean’ after church by the residents. I struggle with the idea of a super tidy room and the reality of 2 girls who are comfortable in the room as is. No magazine spreads here… Unless we are the ‘before’ picture lol.”

DAY 420170904_103252

“Anyone who follows me on Instagram is probably aware that I have committed myself to a minimum of 4 days of working out a week at the YMCA. I post my elliptical times to keep myself honest. But what you don’t see is my often day glow self booking along. Ken took this one for me today. It isn’t pretty but the results have been fantastic. And honestly I think I look ridiculously awkward and gawky.”

DAY 520170905_092202

“Day 5 photo comes early today… ‘Look up here and say cheese kids.” *click*… Among the smiles was coughs and yawns. We are not tidy or early morning learners. There always seems to be unfinished assignments and at least one ongoing argument between scholars at any given time. But… it is our room and our chaos. And tomorrow you may get to see the teacher 🙂 messy hair and all.

DAY 620170906_085157

“Day 6 photo is my most ‘naked’ too date I think… Meet the teacher. No make up, glasses, messy hair, sweater from my old university, yoga pants (you can’t see the Totoro on my socks). I roll out of bed and make myself some tea and the day begins. No glamour, no magic, just… me.

Photo credit goes to Trinity with her exquisite point and click skills (Zander tried and got fuzzy images but he had just woken up.”

DAY 7IMG_20170907_090852_050

“Day 7 and the last family member in our classroom. Every morning I clean out Neko-Chan’s cage. Scrape the dirty papers out, add hay, check food and water. On a perky morning I also spend half my time stopping her from eating my spoon and climbing out her door. To some she is just a rodent. To me she is a joy. I have not had a true pet in over 10 yrs. I didn’t even realize the true magnitude of the void until she came along fill it. Plus… SHE’S SO FLUFFY!!!!”

And there you have it, week one of my photo project up for all to see! I hope everyone is enjoying this candid peek into my life. Any suggestions of things you would like to see, moments, events… do share! And check back in 7 days for the next batch!!!