Thoughts and struggle concerning time

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You may have noticed that I’m still not very active on my blog these days. Honestly, I can’t blame my arm anymore. Although there is still some healing to do, it’s feeling much better and I’ve recovered a wide range of movement I had struggled with the last few months.

No.

If I was to blame something (although, I’m never big on blaming), I would have to point the finger at time : fleeting, escaping, running away with it time.

Ever since I became a stay-at-home mom, I’ve been trying to find the right balance in my life : Between kids and home, cleaning and playing, me time and family time, outdoor and indoor… The process of introspection I’ve been on about my schedule has been constant, if not a bit overwhelming at times. How to best spend my time, how to best use my time, how to insure I’m giving all the different parts of my life the appropriate amount of time and most importantly, what am I DOING with my time that I feel I have so little of it?

I think that last question rings the closest right now because of this nagging feeling I have that I’m always over scheduled and running. You know that feeling you have that you are forgetting something? That is me 23 hours out of 24 and I never thought I would feel this way after stopping working.

I’ve recently come to understand that a lot of the pain in my elbow, arm and shoulder, although truly physical, may have an emotional catalyst. Yes, I’m actually putting this out there for the world to see : I think part of my pain is in my head!

This past Sunday, my husband and I were blessed to get together with a group of Tao practitioners like ourselves and participate in a day of learning about Chinese energetics in Traditional Chinese Medecine (TCM). We learned all about the 5 elements and how they are associated with everything in our lives from seasons to food to major organs in our bodies. But what especially rang true was the negative emotions associated with these elements and how they affect us physically. I wouldn’t feel knowledgeable enough to give the information here, but lets just say I saw a lot of links between the way I’ve been feeling and parts of my body that have been feeling less than “up to par”. And at the base of it all, stress was a major factor.

So how do I solve this? How do I take better care of myself while addressing the REAL problem (my level of stress) instead of the symptom of the problem (the pain in my arm)? Quite frankly, I’m not sure. Little things I guess :

  • Learning to say NO. That is a HUGE one for me. I love to make people happy. I mean, who doesn’t right? But along with loving to make people happy, I have a sometimes unhealthy attachment to my fear of making people unhappy. And if that wasn’t enough, when I do muster up the courage to say “no”, I usually end up feeling guilty about it, which negates the whole effort anyway. So this, evidently, is a huge one for me.
  • Start creating more. That is a given. I need to not only carve out time for creation, but not feel like it should be last on my list all the time. Everything always ends up coming first, that comes with being a mom and I’m sure many of you can relate. But I need to stop brushing it off as “non important”.
  • Continuing with our decluttering efforts. As I feel winter approaching and the indoors calling us in, I’m starting to feel claustrophobic again. We’ve made very huge progress in our home organization, but with us starting to board up windows and fully shutting closed doors, I feel the urge to clean and organize all the time. This means we still have too much stuff. We have become stagnant again. It seems no matter what we donate or get rid of, there is still too much. The more I feel the need to clean, the less I feel like I’m using my time properly. Vicious circle right? So the way I see it, the less we have, the less we have to clean, the less I’ll feel like I’m wasting time.
  • Getting back in shape. I’m tired of feeling tired. Something needs to change. It’s easy to feel like you are getting exercise when you are running after a little 2 legged tornado all day long. But that is NOT exercising and I need to stop relying on it to keep me healthy.

Okay, now that I’ve actually said these things out loud, they don’t seem so small. But I think they need to happen. So I’m starting today. Baby steps right? A drawer here, a sit-up there, a quilt square and a plan-free week-end is in the air. Didn’t mean to rhyme. LOL! Wish me luck and thanks for listening. xo

Posted in Cultivation, Family Life, Life, Simplicity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

{ This moment }

{ This moment } – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

 If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see. Inspired by SouleMama.

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Posted in Crafting, Quilting, Sewing, { This moment } | Tagged , , , , | 45 Comments

Learning a new stitch – a beginner’s dilemma

So, knitting is something I love to do, but honestly, I never really put any real effort into it. The poor friend that thought me how had to re-teach me how to purl about 5 times before it stuck. I love knitting mostly because it is the most portable of my crafts. Although I did pick up some EPP (English Paper Piecing) skills, even that requires papers, thread, needle, scissors, fabric… But with knitting, the whole thing fits in my diaper bag. I’m a happy camper.

Wash cloths and dish towels are my thing. I always make the joke that if it’s square  or rectangle and mostly made with the knit stitch, I’m good to go. But this year, I wanted to try something new. Not that I was going to make much more than wash cloths and scarves, but I wanted to try new stitches.

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I found one that I adore : The Horizontal Weave. A quick little you tube video to watch and I was on my way. The fluidity, the ease, it spoke to me. I thought it would be a nice change for a neck warmer I’m making as a Christmas gift. Only here is the thing… The more I knit, the more I like the WRONG SIDE BETTER! Maybe it’s the chunky yarn I used,  but those heavy warm dense ribs, I’m just in love…

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Is that weird? I’m seriously asking because I’ll be putting buttons and button holes in this thing and I wouldn’t want to make a major knitter’s faux-pas here.

I’d love to hear from all my amazing knitting readers and friends…

Thanks in advance for your feedback and have a lovely night. xo

Posted in Crafting, Knitting | Tagged , , | 19 Comments

Crafty Q & A Blog Hop

So last week, the wonderful Kim from Mothering with Mindfulness tagged me in a Blog Hop Q & A that I’ve been itching to respond to. If you don’t know her blog, you really should! Took me a few days to get some projects started to actually make this fun, so here it goes!

What am I working on?

For the last few months, my “crafts” have been gardening, baking and cooking, food preservation and just enjoying summer and fall as much as I can.  Although we did not get the yield we hoped for in our gardens, we did manage to can and preserve a decent amount of food for the winter months. I’ve also managed to cast on a few knitting projects and started making salves as my oils have been ready. As for quilting, much of my patterns and fabrics have been chosen, I’ve even managed to start sewing a baby quilt and the start of a table runner, but cutting is an issue and I still have to show my husband how to use the rotary cutter. I’ll be trying my hand at little peg people for my daughter for Christmas this year. I have everything I need, just need a few more weeks to get full mobility in my right arm and I’ll be good to go!

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How does my work differ from others?

I would say it doesn’t really. I’m not trying to put my work down, I’m just very new at all the homemade-handmade thing so I’m blessed with very inspirational people who amaze me and guide my creative hand. I guess the only thing would be that my work is very freestyle. I’ve always had a bit of trouble following a “recipe”. So whether it be a pattern, some instructions, unless it is going to completely ruin it or make it unsafe (like with canning food), I tend to get inspired, but then improvise.

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Why do I create what I do?

Mostly because I like to own things with soul. I love handling the raw material in my hand, I love knowing the work that went in it. It is also the reason why I love places like farmer’s markets, fairs, online shops like Etsy. I love having a relationship with the people who give to us through their passions, their life’s work. And that to me is important for my children to learn as well. I make food from scratch because I want to be in control of what goes into my family’s bodies. But I also want my kids to see, smell, feel the ingredients one by one, telling them where they come from, why we use them. It is also about being mindful of the precious nature of handmade-homemade goods. My children watch me knit, watch me sew. They might ask me one day why I spend so much time on a quilt when I could just buy a blanket at the store. And that day I will tell them no matter how much I spend on a blanket in the store, it would never be as filled with my love as the one I made. I don’t want my children thinking it’s okay to break a toy because it came from the store and we can just go get another one. I want them to look at every piece they own and think : Someone made this, someone gave me this, it is worth respect.

How does my creative process work?

I’m ashamed to say that I don’t really have one. I get inspired by just about anything : Something I see, something I hear, something I taste or smell. So many amazing resources out there, it is easy to just get inspired in a few seconds. I am very unorganized because I get so little time to myself that when I do have some time, I need to have something ready to go. Which means, I usually have a million projects started because if I only have 15 minutes, I’ll knit a few rows, but if I have a few hours, I’ll sew a few blocks. When crunch time comes around, I will resort to lists. But I try to steer clear of them in general. But with starting our homestead this year, I’m seeing a lot of my crafting becoming “practical”. Not that it is less fun, but they have become less of a luxury. Time cooking won’t be spent on a single meal, but creating a range of yummy foods for the week for example.

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Thank you so much Kim! This put me in such a great mood and kicked my behind into gear for my fall projects. resting is important, but creating heals the soul!

Now my turn! I would like to invite the following lovely ladies to hop on in :

If you have never visited their spaces, please do. Three amazing ladies, so talented.

Hope everyone had a wonderful week-end!

Posted in Blog Hop, Crafting | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Slowly but surely

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I’ve been away and I’m sorry. Trying to do it half way was impossible. I rest my arm while the kiddos nap, but then any progress I make gets undone once they get up. I naively thought for a while that being on the computer wasn’t doing any damage, but it is. Seems my entire radial nerve has been impacted and well, fingers typing away kinda play a large roll in irritating it.

But I missed you all so decided to write a quick hello.

I am getting better. The week has been a slow one filled with snuggles on the couch, Disney movies, quiet play and slow walks when the weather has permitted it. I have been able to knit a bit. Funny enough, reminding myself to NOT tense my fingers around the needles has been a great tension reliever in my wrist and forearm, but I can’t do it for long.

I’ve been making lists (which I never do) because of being so late in my projects. It’s a bit overwhelming, but I’m trying to not let it get to me. One thing I will try out this week-end is to teach my husband how to cut fabric for my quilting. The irony of the situation is that sewing doesn’t hurt, but cutting does… but if I can’t cut my fabric, I can’t sew!  The list that has me the most worried is of course my Christmas presents list. This is the first year that we are making all our presents. That being said, if I don’t start soon, Christmas will come and go. This has been another great motivator for staying quiet and spending the least amount of time on the computer as possible.

So here it is, a short little progress report. I’ll be back this week-end with a post (graciously typed by my wonder-hubby) that I’m excited about : I’ve been invited by Kim from Mothering with mindfulness to participate in a Q&A blog hop and I can’t wait to chime in… just need a few projects actually started if I want to have any kind of pictures to show you. LOL!

Wishing you all a wonderful day and a wonderful week-end. For all my fellow Canadians, happy Thanksgiving week-end. May your lives be filled with gratitude.

Posted in Family Life, Healing | Tagged , , , | 30 Comments

The time I like the most – (Guest post by my super hubby)

Hello All, this is the other half that Yanic mentions from time to time on her blog. As you all know if you have read the post here, Yanic is suffering more than just a bit right now.  I have been helping by helping where I can : cleaning here, cooking there, making her sit down and asking her to not feel bad about it, sometimes with a grumble and grump as she walks away, but none the less doing it eventually. Since she started the blog, she had mentioned that maybe I could post something at some point, a DIY or something similar. Which I will do one day ;) but for today, I figured I would share a bit of an interesting story that got me to thinking about how our family is growing.

So a simple break down of the story is that I was chatting with a co-worker (literally “chatting” as she is in Romania and our paths cross in our chat program at work) and we often ask about one another’s plans for the weekend. Well this weekend is a special one for us, since we are taking some time for mama and papa, with the grace of my wonderful in-laws, and having a little date night. We are heading to a spa for a few hours and will probably stop after to grab a dessert and maybe tea somewhere. Well when I shared this piece of information with my co-worker, she had asked a question I wasn’t expecting : She was curious to know if in the course of our relationship, I could say that I liked our time together as a couple more as none parents than as parents.

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As my brain churned through all the wonderful memories that Yanic and I have built over the years that we have been together, up to and including the birth of our beautiful children, I realized that it was impossible to say that I prefer one to the other. My answer honestly was that through the time of finding one another, going through the cliché honey moon period and getting and passing the classic 7 year itch in our marriage still scratching only one another’s back (me a bit more due to the ever-present itch that your lady garments provide), I realized that just like our environment, our children, our friends and family are ever-changing, so too is our relationship with the one we love. There will always be hills and valleys in any relationship, but it is my belief that it is how the couple adapts to those situations and one another that build that relationship. I have found that in the time of the children arriving, it is very true that we have less just “us” time. Most of our date nights and wedding anniversaries recently have included getting some massive grocery shopping done or completing some arduous task that we knew the kids would not be patient through. But that doesn’t make me any less happy with my partner. If anything our kids complete what was missing for us, they are some of our greatest teachers and believe me, ask Yanic, they teach dad a thing or two every day, usually relating to relaxing or smiling or appreciating the smaller things… and my honey throws in on these lessons as well to make sure they sink in. Often times what we experienced during the day with the kiddos leaves Yanic and I reflecting at night, knowing we made the right choices in life. Loving where our adventure has taken us so far, and waiting patiently (sometimes impatiently … the kids get it from somewhere you know and it is not the neighbor) for where this adventure called life is going to take us.

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So sorry for the long-winded post, but with my love and her arm needing rest, I was hoping to hold this blogosphere of hers, as well as hoping that she relaxes her arm for another day. Not the easiest thing to do with the active little man we have. So with this post, I’m just hoping to inspire all of you out there that are now a family to not forget the foundation. Sometimes it is important for those parent times, even if they are few and far between. As well, hopefully this will conjure up some memories to share with the kiddos as they are growing. Making them feel how much they help to complete this relationship that we thought couldn’t get more perfect.

Posted in Family Life, Guest post | Tagged , , , , , | 22 Comments

{ This moment }

{ This moment } – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

 If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see. Inspired by SouleMama.

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Posted in Family Life, { This moment } | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments