• Simple Living

    A Reintroduction: An Update on My Break-Up with Social Media

    This was the first week in almost two months where I intentionally chose to log into my social media accounts. For the past two months, my life has been much quieter, and I have been much more content with literally everything. Taking a break from social media has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and it’s one I hope I chose to implement each year. Initially, denying myself social media made me a bit edgy. I didn’t realize just how often I would pull out my phone during mundane moments, hoping to be entertained. Waiting for the kids in the bathroom? Let’s check Facebook. Waiting for my…

  • Family

    My 5 Favourite Free Activities to do with Kids in Kitchener-Waterloo

    Now that Zoe is back in school (part-time, so only 2-3 days a week), Elsie and I are in the throes of finding our rhythm again. Elsie is by far my extroverted, social butterfly who is happiest when Big Sis is around. On the days that Zoe is in school, she is a little bit lost without her – more clingy, more demanding and much harder to entertain.  Last year, in order to keep both Elsie and I sane, I ended up scoping out some local kid-friendly places that I kept in constant rotation for the days that Zoe was at school. (The added bonus is that they are ALL…

  • Family

    The Big Question: On Thinking Ahead and Savouring My Last Year Being a Full-Time Stay-at-Home Mom

    For the past five years, I’ve blithely answered, “Oh, I’ll go back to work once both of our kids are in school.” Figuring that that answer bought me oodles of time to figure out my career trajectory before both girls were attending said school. Yet, suddenly, here I am, in the last year before my Baby will trot off to school with Big Sis. In the past week  since school started, I’ve been asked countless times what my plans are for a year from now when Elsie will join Zoe at school. That precarious, uncertain time when those of us who have been full-time, stay-at-home moms are suddenly left adrift,…

  • Family

    Back to School Blues

    How is it that we’re already standing on the threshold of a brand new school year? Somehow I’ve been thrown back into schedules, early mornings, packing lunches, rushing out the door. When I feel like I had just closed the chapter on that routine mere days ago. How did two whole months of summer bliss dissolve in thin air? Summer holidays, as a kid seemed like an endless stretch of hot, hazy sunshiny moments. Summer holidays, as a mom, flew by in a mere blink. It seems like just yesterday that I was fretting about Zoe being finished her first year of school. I was worried about how to keep…

  • Family

    Blood, Sweat and Tears: A Story in which Elsie Bled, I Sweat, and Zoe Cried

    *Just a word of caution – if blood isn’t your thing, this blog post may not be for you. Consider yourself warned.* Last night was the typical after dinner gong show, except that I was doing it alone after a day of looking after four kids. Jeff was working late and wouldn’t be home until long after the girls had gone to bed. As I tiredly washed up the last of the dishes, I heard the typical end-of-the-day-running-out-of-steam bickering between the girls coming from the living room. Zoe was lying innocently enough on the couch, while Elsie made it her personal vendetta to provoke Zoe as much as possible. Amidst…

  • Faith

    Coffee Break Women’s Ministry: On the Blessings of Being Involved in a Community of Women

    For the past year and a half, I have had the privilege of being a co-leader of Coffee Break, our inter-generational women’s ministry at our church. Our group consists of about forty or so ladies and their kids. We meet women in every stage of their lives, but predominantly, our group is composed of younger moms, with a smattering of vital, mature women who provide us with much wisdom and experience. This past Wednesday was our last meeting for the season. I’m going to miss the weekly routine of setting up, leading and meeting women in their ordinary spaces of motherhood, marriage and faith. Being a leader of Coffee Break…

  • Family

    Dear Future Self: A Mother’s Prayer

    Dear Future Self, Please tell me that we get through this – this messy, sticky, sleep-deprived, ordinary chaos. Tell me that someday, I will drink coffee again for pleasure, not survival. Reassure me that I will go to bed someday at 10 pm and not wake up until my alarm goes off in the morning. Prove to me that my patience during the terrible twos was worth it in the end. And promise me that when I’m not patient – when I’m yelling and drowning in mom guilt, that I haven’t ruined my children. Tell me that someday, when the girls have mastered independence, that Jeff and I will still…

  • Family

    An End of an Era: Mourning the Loss of Nap Time

    It is an end of an era. We are officially swimming in uncharted waters. Elsie has said “so-long” to nap time. Abruptly. Whole-heartedly. Exuberantly. Like everything else she does in life. I say these are “uncharted waters” because Zoe, at four-and-a-half, has yet to give up her nap. The girl loves to sleep. Each afternoon, she usually does quiet time from 12pm-1ish. Usually, by 1pm, she’s coming down the stairs, asking (yes, asking) to be tucked in for nap because she’s tired. She’ll then sleep for a solid two hours. And then turn around and go to bed at 7:30 and not wake up until 7:30 the next morning (minus…

  • Family

    The Pre-Baby Dress: Body Image, Raising Daughters and Being Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

    Last week I wore a dress that had been languishing in the back of my closet. This particular dress had made the cut after my closet purge. I’m not sure why I kept it, besides the fact that it’s a pretty dress. Perhaps because it represents my pre-baby body. Probably because I have been hoping it would someday fit me like the first time I put it on. And while it didn’t look horrible when I wore it, I had to go around uncomfortably sucking in my stomach all day. And even though I have managed to lose most of my post-baby weight, my body has changed. My hips are…

  • Family

    Solo Parenting When Your Spouse Travels for Work: 5 Tips to Survive

    It’s no secret that Jeff travels quite a bit for work. It was one of the requirements for his job position. From day one, we always knew that work travel would be part of our lives.  When asked in his interview if he would be willing to travel for work, the answer was an emphatic “YES!” Let it be known that there is a difference between the decisions made when you’re twenty-three and starting out and when you’re thirty and you’re parenting two kids. At twenty-three, the idea of work travel across the world sounded adventurous, exciting, even glamorous. Fast forward seven years and this momma and her two kiddos…