Wednesday, June 30

O Canada!

Tomorrow is Canada Day.  As I type, I can see some fireworks shooting up from a backyard nearby.  Some like to celebrate early, I guess.  
We're pretty blessed to live in Canada.  I am so thankful for universal healthcare, maternity benefits for a full year, and the relative peace that we are able to live in, to name just a few.  

Did you know that there are more verses to our national anthem than the one we usually sing?  They're pretty beautiful.  I thought I'd share:

the formatting is a little wonky...I wasn't feeling like messing with it.

O Canada!
Our home and native land! True patriot love in all thy sons command. With glowing hearts we see thee rise, The True North strong and free! From far and wide, O Canada, we stand on guard for thee. God keep our land glorious and free!  O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.  O Canada, we stand on guard for thee. Lord of the lands, beneath Thy bending skies, On field and flood, where’er our banner flies, Thy people lift their hearts to Thee, Their grateful voices raise: May our dominion ever be A temple to Thy praise. Thy will alone let all enthrone:
Lord of the lands, make Canada Thine own:
Lord of the lands, make Canada Thine own! Almighty Love, by Thy mysterious power,
In wisdom guide, with faith and freedom dower;
Be ours a nation evermore
That no oppression blights,
Where justice rules from shore to shore,
From lakes to northern lights.
May love alone for wrong atone;
Lord of the worlds, with strong eternal hand,
Hold us in honor, truth and self-command;
The loyal heart, the constant mind,
The courage to be true,
Our wide extending empire bind,
And all the earth renew.
Thy Name be known through every zone;

tick, tick, tick...

I met with a wonderful woman on Monday to pick her brain about writing, and mom-ing, and "the future."  It's good to have access to people who are good examples, and who ask good questions.  I was expressing my difficulty with getting things done at home, and she suggested the Pomodoro Technique.  Basically, you set a timer, work at a task for 25 minutes, take a 5 minute break, then get back to it.  You don't work at something 'till it's done, don't stop for a break when you get something done, just work for 25 minutes.  After four chunks of time, take a longer break.
I tried it this afternoon.  You'd be amazed how much you get done in 25 minutes!  And, if you're anything like me, ashamed to know how much more you could be getting done.
Thanks for the suggestion Susan!

Monday, June 21


I just spent WAY TOO LONG typing a ridiculously long post that I managed to delete right before I was about to post it.


The gist was, my last week was crazy busy, despite the fact that I did a hundred-and-one fun and exciting things (like book club, park with friend and babies, niece's dance recital, sew re-usable sanitary pads for girls in Africa, get a haircut, shop with Mom, visit Port Dover and have dinner with Dad's fam for father's day, take hubby out for breakfast for Father's day, get together for BBQ with Mom's fam for father's day...), me and my house are feeling chaotic and unorganized as a result.

So, this week:
I will make a point of being at home more.  I seriously don't know if I spent much more than 2 hours in a row in my house in the past week.  Definitely not in the past 4 days.  That's ridiculous.
I will make 3 suppers.  And eat them in my house, at my dining table.  And do all the dishes and clean up afterward.
And I will attempt to daily memorize some scripture.  I've decided to try to memorize the Psalms.  I started last week with Psalm 1, and, so far, so good.  This week is Psalm 2.

And now, I am going to go upstairs and sit with that guy who worked long and hard at the Sound of Music Festival and steal some of his apple beer.

Thursday, June 17


I read these words today, and they resonated with me in light of my recent comparison hang-up. 

Conversion is going on all the time within us and within the world.  The radical change of Christian conversion is also going on within us at all times.  While the change of turning toward God may seem like a once-in-a-lifetime experience, it is in reality a continual process.  We may think that we have turned fully toward God; then we discover another dimension of God, and we know immediately that more conversion is possible and necessary if we are to move Godward in all of life.
Conversion is a lifelong process of turning more and more fully toward God in all that we are, possess, and do.  There may be earthshaking moments when we are being formed in the image of Christ at incredible speed and in remarkable ways.  But such moments are not the end; there is more to come as we give ourselves to the transforming power of God.
While conversion requires our decision and action, the grace and strength to be changed - to become more than we are - is the gift of God.  Conversion is a partnership project.  We cannot transform ourselves, and God does not transform us against our wishes.  However, once we invite God's transforming presence into our lives, the necessary power to change comes with the transforming presence.
It is wise not to try to dictate what our conversion will be like.  We cannot know what God has in store for us until we begin to live in harmony and companionship with God.  As our understanding of and relationship to God grow, we may begin to see where God is leading us in our conversion.  On the other hand, we may experience surprises throughout our lives as God seeks to shape us.  It is also wise not to assume that our conversion will look like, feel like, or keep pace with any other person's conversion.  Since we are unique and God is infinite, our conversion experiences will be unique as well.  The important thing is inviting God to be the master potter in our lives.  We may not know what the end product will be, but we do know that it will be good when we permit God to be the potter and we agree to be the malleable clay.

- Reuben P. Job, A Guide to Prayer for All Who Seek God, 249-50

Wednesday, June 16

Mediocre and Mundane

So, I have a couple of friends who are pretty fabulous people.  They are strong, single women, who have really neat jobs, are involved in really neat and worthwhile causes, take care of themselves really well, and are each incredibly beautiful to boot.  I don't see either one of them very often, but have run into both of them in the past month.

And after I see them, I feel like crap.

Next to their exciting and interesting lives, I feel like I am living the most mediocre and mundane life ever.  I feel like getting married super young was the safe comfortable thing to do and that I am somehow "less" than them.  I feel like I am a messy, unsophisticated crayon drawing next to beautifully crafted watercolours.

I know that this is ridiculous.  I know that my mother-and-wife life can contribute to the world and that I, too, can be rounded and interesting and beautiful.  I know that I shouldn't compare myself with these women and instead should be inspired by them to be my best, which is all they're doing.

But I can't seem to shake it.

Monday, June 14


So, there's a huge bunch of books for sale at Assembly.  I told myself going into it that James and I could each buy one book.

And then they had a sale on that was buy four get the fifth free.

And then there was a sixth that James really wanted and wasn't too expensive so we bought it too.  But separately from our 5 'cause then we wouldn't get one of the more expensive ones free.

And then there was the book that I really wanted but restrained myself not to get and James bought for me later when I wasn't there and gave to me when we got home.

So, basically, we need to get reading around here, 'cause if we're gonna spend that much crazy money on books, we'd better become smarter better people.

Here's what we got:

How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth, Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart

The Great Omission, Dallas Willard

Knowing Christ Today: Why We Can Trust Spiritual Knowledge, Dallas Willard

A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That are Transforming the Faith, Brian McLaren

Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense, N.T. Wright

Gathering for Worship: Patterns and Prayers for the Community of Disciples, The Baptist Union of Great Britain

and one other one that was something about The Church of Facebook or something about social network culture and church or something.  James took it with him on the cow caper. 

Sunday, June 13

Catchin' of consciousness style

My house is a mess!
And I have little desire to do anything about it. 

We spent the last half of last week at the Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec annual assembly.  I know, sounds like a blast.  It was actually really fun.  We drove down late Wednesday night, and checked into our hotel.  And king-sized beds are awesome and fun.  I may be convinced to actually have Haydon sleep with us all the time if we had one.  Seriously, I couldn't even find James in that sea of comfy duvet when I crawled in.  Anyway.  Assembly. 

There is just something really great about a bunch of people who love God and want to partner in making his kingdom reality gathering together.  Add to that the fact that there is something really great about having 3 days of having my family, including my parents, all in the same place, and you get a pretty good time. 

We left on Saturday afternoon, and drove straight to my parents' house, to see my sister who had been holding down the fort and caring for their geriatric dog.  Then came home, and crawled into bed.  Then crawled out of bed too early to lead worship at church this morning. 

So we haven't been here much.  And it's messy. That we-rushed-out-too-quick-and-didn't-tidy-up-first kind of messy, and that we-just-got-home-and-dropped-piles-of-stuff-everywhere kind of messy,  and I don't want to do anything about it.  But I do want it to be clean.  I also want to read my book so that I have it done for book club on Tuesday.  And I want a babysitter so I can go to book club on Tuesday.

Um, so, about that mess.  The one that I'm avoiding.  I don't know why I do this.  Part of it is about a lack of system and routine, I think.  If there was a place for things, and a system to get them to their places, it probably wouldn't seem like such a big deal to put stuff away. 

But that's just a small part.  Basically...I'm lazy.

In other news, my father-in-law had a heart attack yesterday afternoon.  He's ok, but will spend a couple of days in hospital being monitored and all that jazz.  And it's just a big bummer.  James' parents were supposed to be heading to Ireland and Scotland, leaving next Sunday, and can't go now, which stinks. 

James' parents were also supposed to go pick up a cow this afternoon.

So James is doing that now.

James' Mom grew up on a family farm, and there was a herd of Jersey cows (I love Jersey cows...which I should stop thinking about right now...but those eyes!  So pretty!).  The cousin who owned the herd sold them a few years ago, but gets one or two each year for slaughter.  So as a family we decided we would share a cow.

So James and his brother headed down to Harrow (near Windsor) this afternoon to bring home a cow in the morning.  Which means that I won't find him in my bed again tonight, and not becuase it's so big.  Darn!

Wednesday, June 9

What's with today, today...?

hehehe...that quote has been in my head for a couple of days.  I need to watch that movie.

Today is great, actually.  The rest of the week has been kind of crummy.  Well, I've been feeling kind of crummy, the week itself has been good.  Mood is a funny thing.  I have no reason to be feeling "down."  Life is good, we are so blessed, the circumstances are great.  But I have been feeling like junk.  And then I feel guilty...I know that I have no "reason" to feel crummy.  I feel like I should "mind over matter" it and get off my butt and get things done...but I still spent most of yesterday watching TV with my content little dude playing on the bed beside me.  Why are we so afraid of the 'D' word?...and where is the line between baby blues and depression?  Who knows.  I'm feeling much better today, thankfully.

And how could I not?  I spent a good morning with good mama friends, my wee one went down for a nap easily as soon as we walked in the door, and then I made myself bacon and eggs and yummy coffee for lunch.  It's one of those comfy rainy days.

Anyway, I'm supposed to be packing for us to head off to our denomination's annual convention, which I'm really looking forward to.  Good worship, good workshops, a chance to connect with people, and my parents will be there too, which is nice.  A nice little mini business-vacay.  And full days with my James.  Hooray!

I leave you with a link to Mothering Magazine's Top 25 Articles  If you're sick of hearing about breastfeeding and cloth diapers, don't bother.  If, like me, you can't get enough, head on over.  Or if you want something to think about and stretch your mind a bit, check out the one on medical marijuana for nausea during pregnancy.

And have a good rest of the week!

Monday, June 7

Good Writing is a Good Thing!

I've just started reading Little Bee by Chris Cleave.  And I had to share this quote with you:

...I ask you right here please to agree with me that a scar is never ugly.  That is what the scar makers want us to think.  But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them.  We must see all scars as beauty.  Okay?  This will be our secret.  Because take it form me, a scar does not form on the dying.  A scar means, I survived.
In a few breaths' time I will speak some sad words to you.  But you must hear them the same way we have agreed to see scars now.  Sad words are just another beauty.  A sad story means, this story teller is alive.  The next thing you know, something fine will happen to her, something  marvelous, and then she will turn around and smile. (9)

Marvelous indeed!

Friday, June 4

Swimming, swimming in the swimming pool...

I need to start exercising.

I go through these spurts.  If I look back on it, June is usually a good time for me and exercise, and this year is no different.

So, I decided I need to hit the pool at least three times a week.  If I do, I get some sort of mini reward, which is yet to be determined (suggestions are welcome - not food).  If I do that for four weeks, at that point I get a bigger reward, which I've decided will be a lovely mug from a local potter.  My coffee tastes better already.

Anyway, getting to the pool is often a little tricky for me.  Most of this has to do with the fact that I'm lazy and somewhat sleep deprived, so getting up early has little appeal, and I tell myself that sleep is very important for me to be a happy and functional mama.  Then I roll over and hit the snooze.  It also has something to do with the fact that James and I share a car, so I don't have wheels.  And I have a baby, and he doesn't swim on his own, so someone needs to care for him.

But, apparently I actually have a car 3 days a week most weeks, and the Y I have a membership at has child minding for a reasonable price.

So I went.  On Wednesday.  And put my baby boy who I have never left with a stranger into the arms of some young bright-eyed thing who had 3 toddlers to look after as well and trusted that there were more staff that would appear shortly and took off into the changeroom.  I whipped my clothes off as fast as I could and made a bee-line for the pool, 'cause like, I'm paying for child care so I'm not wasting my sweet time.  I hop in, and away I go.

About 3 lengths in, I realize there is something very weird going on in my swimsuit.  There are things bobbing around in there (not those things...)  Then I remember that I breast feed.  And that because I breastfeed I have leaky boobs.  And because I have leaky boobs I wear breast pads.  And because I didn't want milk all over my suit and the clothes I was planning on wearing home from the pool I had slipped my breast pads into my suit, planning on taking them out before I got in the pool.  Apparently in my haste to get in the pool I had overlooked that...

And so I had these sopping wet over-absorbed tennis ball sized breast pads with the absorbent gel gunk leaking out of them bopping around inside my suit as I swam.  And I'm sure I swam at least two lengths on my back before I realized this.  The male lifeguards I'm sure were quite entertained by my ample quadruple bosom.

Oy vey.  Anyway, I took them out, placed them at the end of my lane next to my water bottle, and swam away.

And Haydon did fine.

Speaking of Breastfeeding...

This was on the front page of the Hamilton Spectator today.

 Can you believe it?!

I frequent that McDonald's...

I know you're shocked, I frequent a McDonald's.  I know it's gross.  I just can't help it.  The coffee is good, and it's between me and a couple of my friends' houses, so, when I'm walking and it starts to rain or I am running behind and need breakfast or it just smells like salty deliciousness I stop in.  Which is too often. 

But this isn't about me and McDonald's.  This is about McDonald's employees asking a woman to stop breastfeeding her baby in the play area of the restaurant. 


I think I'll nurse next time I'm there.  In fact, I think I'll invite the mum's that I meet with every week to go and we'll all nurse.

Wednesday, June 2

Breastfeeding Article

I love breastfeeding.

It was a rough go at first.  A long, rough go.  Poor latch, cracked, bleeding nipples, engorgement, thrush, mastitis...not really a walk in the park.  When Haydon was 2 weeks old, I remember putting him down and dreading the fact that he would wake up in two hours and we'd have to do it all over again.  My mom looked at us one day and said to me "Ah, isn't nursing just the best!?"  And I wanted to hurt her.  Best for my baby, sure, I knew that, and I wasn't about to quit, but there was nothing enjoyable about it.

After 6 weeks we got it sorted out.  With the help of lactation consultants and breastfeeding friends, we worked out the latch, and suddenly it wasn't painful anymore.  And now?  Now I enjoy it.  It's a precious time I get to spend with my boy.  I knew that something had "clicked" when I crawled back into bed one night after feeding Haydon and thinking "James just missed that," and thinking how lucky I was to have spent that time with him.

Anyway, there's a great article at called Taking Down the Bottle.  It discusses how despite the fact that health professionals all agree that "breast is best," culturally, bottle feeding is still the norm, and this colours how we think, talk and act with respect to feeding our children.
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