Friday, September 23, 2016

Crockpot Queen

It is hard to be a queen around cooking for this household because 

A) I generally hate cooking ( not  in my heart  who thinks there is a chance I like it ..but in actual reality )

B) my husband is incredible at it so very very hard to compete 

C) the things I would be open to or like cooking are not good for us 

Over the years I have had this hidden passion for cooking ( so hidden in fact I have rarely even made a box of Kraft dinner )
I make  very yummy and creative sandwiches and salads a lot but that isn't really cooking 

That being said I rip out hundreds of recipes to cook . And they sit in a file or my husband eventually makes them . But deep inside I know the urge is there and waiting to come out . Cooking two meals a week has made it onto my to do lists and New Years resolution lists more times than I wish to admit

Never happened .

I wanted to " specialize "'in sandwiches at one point and kinda so in some ways I guess 

I really really want to specialize in pastas and baking but I know that would just lead to a bigger butt for me so I don't dare too 

So the other day it hit me !! Crock pot specialization !! We have been using it at cottage here and there and Always looks so simple and easy when my husband does it . Plus only one pot to clean ! And can be done in morning when I have more energy and nothing needs to be reheated in microwave . Winning formula !

This week I was truly inspired when my husband made a 5 mins crockpot recipe and everyone adored it . So today I was excited for my turn today 

I mixed sausages ( frozen ) some leftover homade pasta sauce we made on weekend , chickpeas , peas and carrots and fresh basil and am letting it cook all day . Smells very delicious . I can't wait for my family to say " yum what dad made " and me to say "'it was mommy !!! "
Ps they all loved it and all begged for the leftovers for their lunches ! Felt so good for me 

It's odd to make time to put together a quick meal on morning like that even if less than 10 mins as after excercising .. Showering ... And cooking .. I feel like shouldn't I be working by 10am ?
But hell I guess this is one of the benefits of being and entrepreneur 
And if my food is good-  my family will think so too 

I think I can get really into crockpot easy cooking . I actually don't love meat much in a daily basis so won't be as tempted to eat lots of it myself either .  I am a big lunch eater and am very content at dinner during the week to eat a few bites of the meal with some fruit or veggies and a few almonds . Good big portions too as all three teens are foodies now and eat us out of house and home . All healthy expensive stuff too ! ( aka salmon and avocado with but butter and capers for breakfast with a protein shake with eggs and bananas avocados and veggies )

The nerve of those healthy kids eh ???

I will let you know how the crockpot queen is turning out in a few weeks .
I am hoping to integrate cooking as ( finally ) part of my identity . Right up there with loving yoga

What is happening to me? I am finally getting some hobbies and getting really good at life!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

I Wish I had Discovered it Sooner!

Yoga .
 I love it 

Over the last 5 yrs have dabbed in and out of it with mild to moderate passion . Here and there get a teacher I like a lot and then get into it but in most days just like any other exercise routine - I do it for health but not for passion 

That is until I realized that there are two very different types of yoga ! Flow yoga which is the more traditional a hard cardio tough one ( yuck !! ) and yin yoga which is a mind and body restorative type ( bring it on Bebe !! )

So now I religiously do two classes a week . One restorative which is like having a massage but you are doing the work and one yin which is some of the best stretching I have ever done on my life 
It's to the point that I actually plan my work and social activities around these two classes . I never thought this could happen . Ever 

Yesterday we did our power workout in the morning and I did my yoga class at 8:30pm . A lot for a day but I found myself all day craving the time to come that I could escape to
Yoga . Me craving exercise ??? Is this possible ?

I am hard on myself as the last year have been a big trooper and hubby too as should not say I am not committed to fitness . consistent cross fit training and walking and yoga and kayaking on weekend . And he is training for his Machu pitchu Peru trek in 2 weeks ! But I have not integrated this new me yet into my overall image of my self 

And lovingly  yoga is just over the top .  I do though . I really do .  

I let my mind wander often and solve lots of the word issues but also take the beginning and end  on the Mat in a blank mental state . It is doing wonders for me and I can't say enough about restorstive yoga ( flow is not for me )

My dad would be proud that after years of making me and my brother take our family vacations at yoga camps where he played violin .. That his daughter is a  bit of a yogi

Who ever knew ?

And it is a spiritual experience for me too ( who would have known that either ) it connects me to the good and peace in the universe . My mom recently joined the Unitarian church and this is my church in a way going to yoga ( as let's get serious I don't like church enough to go on a Sunday :)) yoga is a mental practice for me and makes me feel very peaceful and better and connected 

Ps now if only this passion could extend to the interval kettle ball training we do twice a week . Both hubby and I feel anxiety and sometimes almost mild panic attacks when we know the class is the next day ( Mondays and Wednesdays) so until Thursday we don't really like our weeks which is a bit of a pity 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Absolutely Hard and Totally Beautiful Stage

I have described the later teen years ( age 16. 5 and older ) as very similar in my opinion to the newborn through the terrible twos .

It is such a rough stage to raise at this age ( older teen and young adult ) an so annoying and frustrating many days of the week when you literally feel you may pull your hair our from the nonsense and watching them make decisions that you know will cost them so much later on 

That being said on my opinion it is by far the most beautiful too . It is an honor and a privilege. Its is in so many ways seeing every seed you planted ( and the ones you did not ! ) come to full fruition. They keep the parts of you and how you brought them up that they agree with close to their hearts and throw the rest of it out like yesterday's trash

As parents we learn a lot about ourselves and our methods through this process! Nothing like a mirror up to your face with reality like an older teen to show you where you messed up royally . I hear myself saying so often " hope you make the right decision for yourself ! All the best of luck !! " ( and then go throw up in bathroom )

Or like the other night where you realize  your parenting was fabulous :)

Chase and i had a big date an Assante conference with hundreds of other clients . They are our valued financial investors for more than 20
Yrs now and chase as of 18 their client too . So he and i went and had the best nignt ever . The financial speech was ok ( chase liked it more than me ) but the keynote was so inspirational about the one of two québécois who made it to the top of everest among many other massive lifetimes adventures and hard obstacles. 
We listened with tears in our eyes and admiration  

We had jokes between us ( pesto and ceasear salad kits on grocery lists on boring financial speech anyone ? ) or chairs from the dollar store that felt like we would collapse at any moment ! Lol 

I adore sharing life with him . With  all my teens . He made this ordinary event extraordinary  for me . And it helped him saying he thought i was the best dressed woman in the room ! A rare compliment ( vs usual critic) as he likes when i wear my two more expensive power suits 

He loved the newness of it all and the crowd and gifts and networking. I take it all for granted as my daily business life . He appreciates it  through new eyes 

And i offered him a glass of wine and he said no and he insisted to drive both ways and let me take a selfie of us together on our date . He made my day 

So often we think his dad and i , how much easier it would be to have him live away as of next year university .. In so many ways would be easier as not a piece of cake living with a young adult at all 

But we would all be missing out too. on watching him grow and mature and reject us as he grows into his own and embrace us when he needs us . There is a lot more growing up to do all of us together in this family and a lot more fun to be had 

I hope he chooses to stay home for 1-4 more years... I really do .
I know we will make it work if he is 3-5 hrs away i know we will . But i also know the benefits of proximity and sharing daily life as i did and still do
With my mom which has always been the biggest gift of mine and my children's lives having her so close by 

I don't  want just the holidays and smiles . I want it all . The dirty dishes even and the laundry they do on their own and not do for a month . And i know skype exists but for me not at all the same . Its all smiles and happy  or too busy to even bother 

To me its the daily that i want to still be part of . The good the bad and the ugly . All of it - for a little bit longer . After university undergraduate it is time to move out but i hope he enjoys this all enough to chose to live at home  even for 1-2 extra years . But as we know healthy young adults and healthy family dynamics are hardly about what the parents want or what they feel is best  for the young adult - but what the person chooses for themselves that is best for their life or their unique learning process 

The best parenting skill we have is the ability to let go 
And we may  have to as of less than a year from now 

I love you chase from deep deep within my heart 
Whenever you choose to have life take you i will respect and support you and we will make it all Work out 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Lots going on in my Head and Heart!

It's always shocking to me in life to be able to experience such a vast amount of feelings all at once . All so different and opposite in many ways but all intertwined at the same time .

Pride- in my husband and love for him and such admiration . Is it possible to love someone more deeply after 20 yrs of marriage than when you first met ? He is climbing Machu Pichu  Peru in less than 4 weeks for 10 days and this is BIG for him . Mentally , physically and socially . Big . And way way out of his comfort zone . And he had been preparing for months and today in the USA with the team a huge hike and I have never seen his this stressed 
And he did amazing . I really love watching him grow into this new him . And us into a new us 
I love the example he is setting for our children . I love watching love in action . I love watching him unfold 

Sadness and worry : for my mom . Always always my mom . Surgery after surgery and diagnosis after diagnosis . All separate and horrible things . Never a break . Never never never . On her own . So beautiful and wonderful but so broken from all of this too . I love her so much my heart could break but I feel helplessness too . I don't know how to make it all better 
I have never been able to love more than my love for her . I am starting to be broken too and not know what to do anymore 

Love - love love love for our three kids who are becoming amazing young adults all on their own ways . Some moments are hard and annoying but most are just beautiful . I love the process of watching them grow into their own . It is such an honour 

Concern -about two big contracts that got cancelled of mine for work that are out of the client control . Stressful especially as two full weeks of work down the drain and no compensation . They wanted the work but very crazy circumstances made it all be cancelled . Worrisome 

Awe - in my daughter . What she is capable of . What I am capable of . Our slow but sure growth together . Awe of what might lie ahead that at various points I never thought possible . Awe in my tenacity . Awe in what I am uncovering in her . I feel like I am falling in love all over again wit that little baby girl they put in my arms 

Uncertainly - what does the future hold ? What is my place in it ? How come I feel ok with not knowing ? Where will I be next year ? Tomorrow ? 

Joy-from talks and texts from my Bffs. From b-day events upcoming including and adult weekend at cottage ! and 5 days in Turks! and a brother-sister miami weekend! this will be best b-day ever (bday is just an excuse to do all these things I love). Just happiness that i am so surrounded by good good people who I love and who love me. I feel adored many days by some pretty special people and that feels so so sweet to me

Missing - missing people in my life I love and who I miss . Who are busy . Who are broken . Who are preoccupied . Who are not there . Missing 

Gratitude - I practice it daily now and it has changed my life and my perspective and outlook . Grateful for the little things and the big things too . Grateful for others and their peace and happiness . Grateful to get to be living life and my ability to feel it all so vividly good or bad . To be in touch with myself so much more than before 
Grateful for the life I am carving out 
And for who I am becoming in the process 
Grateful for second chances 

Irritability - that it is sept and summer is finished . I feel like I have been robbed in so many ways and on so many levels . I have always loved the working part but it is all the domestic preparing and rushing and cooking and cleaning and nagging and directing and homework and earlier bedtimes and lunches and getting up early that I resent . Summer makes me realize how crazy our lives are the rest of the year . I am great at discipline and routine and structure and do it well but I do still resent it . Such a lack of quality family time  or any time for conversations or living life One week after school starts kids need to study hours at night and hours and hours on weekend . Yuck 

Peace - never ever thought I would say it and mean it but my heart is peaceful . It is 
With one child with scoliosis .. And one with new heart arithmia ... Some attention stuff and learning disabilities for two ... And a mom that I love to the core with every arthritis inflammation possible and a continued brain injury for three years now and  neck surgery upcoming . With having left a career I love and building another one .
Without champagne  for any of us at special occasions .
 I feel peace . 

When you give up something that was very very important to you .. You begin to discover the full landscape of your life . It's truly interesting what the last few years have been bringing us - despite so many daily obstacles around it all 

We are here 
Hand in hand . United 

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Putting Trust to the Test

This has been a really teen issue week,

First off our daughter is leaving for the weekend to a good friend of hers cottage and 17 girls are going and 7 boys. To sleepover in tents. This was not an easy decision for us. I had many many conversations with the hosting Mother about it and expressed my concerns and got total reasurrance.This is all new. We are trusting our girl. This scares me.

Secondly after dinner tonight both boys put their phones away and ask Beauty to put hers away and take her down to basement and closed the doors for more than half an hour and I can hear them engaged in deep and serous conversations. I wanted so much to listen with my ear to the door, but I chose not to. I could hear their tones and disappointment but I also heard my daughter listening and speaking.

I was dying to know but I did not ask. When the boys came up they both hugged me and said "having a teen girl is so hard!"

I am so grateful that the three of them share something so special. And I am so happy that she has the boys and that they have a little sister. I am grateful that she has lots of older people looking out for her. I was happy that the boys chose not to tattle on her as they usually do and deal with her directly. It made my heart swell with pride.

I won’t ever know what was said tonight in those 30 minutes but I totally trust that whatever it was it was good for all of them.

This week I have completely trusted in the capability of our three children

And doing this? Feels right and good no matter the outcome

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Silly and Special

We don't go that many places with our kids or do that many activities . Travel yes we do travel with them every second year and alone trips are a priority - but rare we go to an amusement park or a movie or an activity 
 Because we are always at the cottage in our free time . Always . And doing outside sports there . Or relaxing . Or making meals . Out life is at the cottage .

Labor Day we decided to get off of our asses and do something super fun . We had Bear and Beauty ,as Chase and his buddy had gone home the night before after a 24 hr fun visit with lots of boating and sleeping .

We woke the kids up at 7:45am and had an early car breakfast at Tim Horton's . Then shuffled all us grumpies ( none are morning people in this family ) to the kayak expedition hubby and I did alone a few weeks ago . The kids resisted but ended up loving it ( did I say they admitted that ? )
It was so amazing this 4 hr kayak and harder this time as lower water levels and less current .
Stopped twice for great cool lake swims and a lovely picnic . I love seeing kids in nature - it is one of my all time highs in life . Simple things like catching minoes and splashing around in water ( ok ok and posing for pictures doing cartwheels and sending snapchats of his mom dabbing which seemed to go viral by now !! )

We ended the day with the silly parts and wasted cash ( we don't do this kind of stuff usually ) on an outdoor go karting track on the way home for a 10 minute spin . And then stopped for a snack that we assumed would cost 2 dollars each and was 7 dollars each for a tiny little poutine?? 
It was really a Quebec day with poutine and go karting as the finale .
And the beauty of that kayak ride is fairly inexplicable .

Hubby and I played our " funeral " songs for the kids to make sure they remember for the big day and they loved hubby's choice . Mine however became a huge laugh fest - nobody could stop laughing their heads off for some odd reason ! Even me !
( not so sure I can choose that one anymore and bring the whole church down in laughter to their knees . Especially my own kids  and husband cracking up may not give the greatest impression of their loss ?)

Let's not kid ourselves  either . Don't even begin to think we are all peachy over here . Kids didn't even want to go on this day and acted like spoiled brats when we told them our surprise . They were total losers when they woke up until they got on the kayak and then they were even rude at go karting as wasn't as nice as another place . Jerks !!! But .... Most of the time it was amazing . And we are smart enough to know as parents that with teens unless you push them ( force them ! ) you might sit on your asses all day for the rest of their lives as they will never do anything on their own accord 

Silly fun and special special day . So much closer to my daughter lately too . Just many moments . God knows I have worked hard for these few in between moments and I deserve it . I have been reading so much on the teenage girl brain and the seven stages of females into adulthood . Specifically when one has a big health issue in early adolescence . All making more sense to me more now - not so sure it is coincidence that as the day brace came off there seems to be a little more space in her heart for her mama 
Feels damn good 

Moments really has defined 2016 so far for me . It's what I wanted this year -and what I am getting 

Monday, August 29, 2016

It's More About Us Lately

My Protector and i made a point over a year ago to sit down and write a list of all the things we want to do as a couple together now that we are in a very different stage than a couple of years ago and alone a lot more often . It was hard and the list didn’t flow at first but when we got going was easier

Many of the bigger things like living abroad in various countries for 3 months at a time we knew were still 5 years away minimum. And even things that made it to the list like social dance are years away as for now we each have our own weekly evening activity as well as all the kids activities ( and our careers of course ) 

There is a time and place for everything. To me preparation is everything.

So we are starting with the simple things like walks under the moon and kayak expeditions that have not fallen under our radar before with raising three kids, busy careers and almost all our free time spent at the cottage.

Our kayak day was incredible and something we wished we had discovered sooner as not too far from cottage. A 4.5 hr expedition with a nice current that made it not too hard but still some great exercise and an incredibly beautiful day (minus me half choking on a carrot and us thinking our daughter was kidnapped in a taxi!!)
 This is something we will repeat again for sure with our kids and our bffs who referred the activity (and who came back another 2 hrs upstream!!) 

Also..can you believe that we live by the beautiful Pte Claire village for 17 yrs. and rarely walk to the village? Or drive there for that matter. Of course we walk and run for exercise in the mornings or have business lunches here and there walk for ice-cream etc ... But not once have we taken an evening and walked there and back for dinner. Not once. For us it is a day place in many ways and not a night place. We are away every weekend at cottage so never those opportunities 
 Set on a beautiful waterfront with amazing quaint restaurants that is hard to believe 

Well last night we yet again found ourselves with no kids and no dinner to make. A gorgeous night so we set out for a pub dinner on foot (20 mins there and 20 mins back only) and it was such a lovely evening.
 On our way we say 4 different people we know and had great conversations with them all . Also met a waitress who is studying on the program where Chase wants to go so hooked them up on LinkedIn. 

And we set back under the moon and stars.

We were peaceful and happy and our friend we bumped into said we looked so great she wanted to snap a picture. I personally hate our aesthetic look in this pic but love the feeling of the night so posting it anyways.

Shows also how often we think we look horrible and others see something else. Maybe peace? Fulfillment? Relief ?

 I often am in awe of the simplicity of life. A walk under the moon was just what I needed last night 

Life.. Is good.
Feels amazing for me (and somewhat confusing too) that i feel like for the first time i am actually getting to enjoy summer somewhat. I can’t believe i am able as an entrepreneur to make more money, have more time off and be ok. I keep thinking the first year and a half were luck but maybe i am onto something?

All i know…

Life is good 

I am thoroughly enjoying the moments both personally and professionally of this brand new world.