Wednesday, August 20, 2014


It's been over 2 months since I've last blogged. That sounds like the beginning of a confessional - but the truth is, I've felt guilty about my neglect. Every time I've sat down to write I've felt rushed, uninspired or just plain tired. You deserve more than that! The last 2 months have been a bit of a whirlwind, marked by highs and lows and filled with surprises.

In the beginning of June, Ty and I went to Chicago with Ty's company. I stayed at my parent's place with Everett and hung out with my mom, dad, my sister Allison and my niece and nephew, Trent and Whitney. I was lucky enough to take the train into downtown Chicago and spend the night with Ty while my parents watched Everett. That evening alone deserves it's own blog - our first night without Ev! We visited the House of Blues and bar hopped along the Chicago River. So fun!

On June 26th my family lost a beloved member: a cherished father, husband, brother, uncle and friend. My Uncle Jim passed away surrounded by family and embraced by his faith. He was taken too soon. Our family was fortunate to be able to remember Uncle Jim and celebrate his life together at my Aunt's home in Southern California. I still haven't quite wrapped my head around this loss and what it means to our tight-knit family. I was once again reminded of the uncertainty of life and all of the incredible people I've been blessed to be connected to.

Shortly after returning from California, my best and oldest friend, Jennie came to visit Calgary. We had a blast riding bikes around the city, visiting the mountains and taking in the sights and tastes of the Calgary Stampede. What did I do to deserve a friend so great? The last 2 times we had been together were our weddings - we were eager to reconnect and have some downtime to laugh and hang out without the stress of impending vows!

My mom and my 4 1/2 year old niece Whitney came for a visit the following week. Having Whitney in the house was tons of fun and made me feel excited for the day that we add another child to our family. We visited Heritage Park, Riley Park, had a BBQ with family and searched for souvenirs!

We were invited to our friends Josh and Tasha's family home in Panorama, BC for the August long weekend. It was gorgeous!! The house was amazing, right on the shores of Toby Creek, which was really more like a rushing river. We spent mornings drinking coffee and hanging on the porch while Everett and his friends Kingston and Hudson played. We visited the local pools, went to a petting zoo and sat around the fire. It was so refreshing to get out of the city and have some fun with friends.

Throughout all of this I have been building a business with my friend Amanda. Kindred, our company, will offer couples workshops for expecting parents. We are excited to begin this journey together! Also,  my agency asked me to run my Equine Facilitated Wellness program again - dream come true!

I'm looking forward to September as a time to re-focus and re-energize (read: blog more!). See you soon!

Friday, June 13, 2014

One Year

Our lovely photographer, Shannon Yau captured yet another beautiful moment in our lives - Everett's first birthday. Of course, Everett was far from interested in being an obedient subject that day, but Shannon always comes through! If you're interested in checking out more of Shannon's work, check out her website.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Little Dream Come True

About 2 years ago, I had to let go of a few of the things that made me 'me' to make room for a new self-definition. I love my identity as a mom, it's changed me in many ways and unleashed a new level of love, commitment and passion within me. Over the last few months I've felt a bit of an awakening - I'm beginning to carve out a new place for myself - a space where the 'old me' meets the 'new me'. So - when Dan (my farrier and Lola's caretaker) called and asked if I'd like to take Lola on a trail ride into the mountains, my first instinct was 'yes. Yes, YES, YES!'. However, an emphatic 'No!' came out of my mouth, almost automatically. I quickly replaced the 'no' with a 'yes'. Although, I wasn't convinced I was ready. At all. I hadn't ridden in a year and a half! I had only ever taken Lola on one trail ride - it was short and basic. I was embarrassed by my hesitancy and fear. These are not common feelings for me - but as a mom, they are becoming more familiar. I dug deep and found Erin, the one I told you about in my first post about Lola. The 10 year old me. I committed to the trail ride, and subsequently began to freak out. The night before the ride I barely slept (this time, no thanks to Everett). The forecast called for steady rain, thunder and lightning. It's spring, bears are coming out of hibernation and are foraging for food. Lola has never crossed a stream before, how will she handle the 4 we need to pass? I somehow quieted these worries and slept for a couple hours. I met Dan out at the barn and in no time we loaded the Lola and Dan's horse Ripper into the trailer and arrived at our starting point in Kananaskis Country. Lola was cool as a cucumber as she exited the trailer. She was dozing off as I groomed her and saddled her. I couldn't believe how relaxed she was. I needed to some of that! I mounted - and within an instant all of my apprehension disappeared. Both Lola and I released a deep breath, and began our beautiful journey. The ride was incredible. The weather was beautiful. Lola was confident, strong and smart. Horses will amaze you, she knew to step in and take care of me. I love her. We crossed fast flowing streams, climbed mountainsides, witnessed bear tracks, deer, owls and hawks. We lunched in a meadow as a dark cloud came and began to hail on us. Thankfully, it only lasted a few minutes - just enough to add some colour to the day.
It was just what I needed - time with my sweet Lola and time with my old self. The whole day was packed with new 're-experiences' and moments of mindful bliss! I can't wait to do it again!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Great Cloth Diaper Change

Ty, Everett and I spent Earth Day participating in the Great Cloth Diaper Change in Canmore. It turned put to be such a fun day! The GCDC is an event aimed to raise awareness about the benefits of using cloth diapers. In Canmore, 54 babies were changed into cloth diapers - contributing to a grand total of 8,459 reusable diaper changes worldwide in a 24 hour period! 188 locations in 18 different countries helped this event achieve a Guinness World Record! The event was solely run by volunteers and their kids. Local vendors showed support by donating generous door prizes and selling goods at reduced prices. Almost everyone who attended won a raffle prize! Everett won multi-coloured 'deconstruction blocks' from aroundsquare and we received a Squishy Snak Pak in our goodie bag. We all know how I love to discover new, local products! Of course, I couldn't resist buying a new cloth diaper and hanging wet bag from Nature's Baby Basket! It's an addiction, I swear! We unexpectedly ran into our good friends at the event and shared lunch together at the Grizzly Paw Brewery. Everett was asleep before we could buckle him into his car seat. Any excuse to visit Canmore is a great one - we will definitely be attending this event again next year!
*this post is not sponsored - I'm just feeling very 'link-happy today!*

Monday, May 12, 2014

Lessons from Mom

I'm grateful for my mom every day. She is such a presence in my life that not a day goes by that I don't consider all that she does for me and the beautiful things she's taught me. I'm not going to lie - I do believe Mother's Day is a 'Hallmark holiday', but that won't stop me from sharing some of the things that make my mom the best! My mom has always been there for me, but as I've become a wife and a mother in the past few years, I realize now that I need her more than ever. Here are some of the lessons I've learned from my mom, and continue to learn:
Be kind to everyone, no matter who they are
Some of my youngest memories are of my mom chatting and laughing with the mailman, the clerk at the bank and bagger at the grocery store. She is always cheerful, always friendly and always smiling.
Don't judge, you may never know someone's real story
I remember coming home from school and making a rude comment about one of my classmate's clothing choices. My mom gently reminded me that those clothes may be all that that person could afford. It's not always easy, but my mom instilled in me the importance of empathy and an open heart.
My mom is incredibly thoughtful. She has the ability to remember what's important to specific people and knows how to give the perfect gift. She amazes me with her caring and giving nature. I'm working on this definitely doesn't come naturally to me!
My mom taught me to ask questions. Whether for information, knowledge or just for the fun of it, my mom is a curious person and doesn't make apologies for it.
Take chances
I know my mom would not describe herself as a risk-taker or a rule-breaker, but she is very brave. Growing up we moved often, sometimes every year or so. My mom single-handedly navigated (before Google!) around our new towns and quickly developed a social system for my sister and I. My mom always encourages me to jump in feet first!
Have fun!
My mom knows the importance of having fun. Her sense of humour is great and she's always up for a good time! I learn from her to enjoy simple things and to find humour whenever and wherever I can.

Wow - I could go on forever, but I'll stop here. I love taking a moment to reflect on these lessons. I'm reminded of all of the values I look forward to passing on to Everett. Here's to Mother's Day! I love you, Judy!

Monday, April 28, 2014

I'll break it down for you.

Attachment Parenting. Gasp! This is one simple concept that, in my opinion, has been blown way out of proportion. Over the past year it's been made apparent to me that when I utter the word "attachment parenting' it comes out as a whisper, a mumble or a rushed acronym. Often I avoid eye contact, because for some reason, using the term 'attachment parenting' can be considered controversial or even confrontational. It's ridiculous, and I'll tell you why: attachment parenting is nothing to be afraid of. It's kind and it's gentle, by nature. So, I'm holding my head up high, I'm making eye contact and I'm announcing it - I believe in attachment parenting.

What is attachment parenting?
Attachment parenting is the basic belief that the relationship between child and parent is the most important facet of parenting (of life!). According to Attachment Parenting International, there are 8 principals that provide the foundation for attachment parenting:

1. Prepare for pregnancy, birth and parenting
2. Feed with love and respect
3. Respond with sensitivity
4. Use nurturing touch
5. Ensure safe sleep, physically and emotionally
6. Provide consistent and loving care
7. Practice positive discipline
8. Strive for balance in your personal and family life.

Sounds terrifying, doesn't it? I joke, but AP has developed quite a stigma. Due to the misconceptions surrounding AP, many people have written it off, or are only aware of highly publicized AP parents and their personal parenting choices.

These 8 principals are far from groundbreaking. They may even come off as no-brainers, something all parents do without a second thought. Unfortunately, many of these principals are challenged by mainstream parenting beliefs that run the risk of stifling or damaging the connection between parent and child. Most of this is intuition, precious intuition that's been lost. AP parents use baby wearing, breastfeeding and co-sleeping to address many of the principals and to develop a strong bond in the early days of baby's life. As their child grows, AP parents strengthen their relationship through positive discipline practices. I could go further into detail, but I won't!

The funny thing about attachment parenting is that it is nothing new. Past civilizations and present cultures have been practicing AP for thousands of years. AP is rooted in legitimate research and historical truths as well as biological and evolutionary data. In other words, it's the way child-rearing used to be...the way it should be. I look at some of the front page concerns for modern day youth and I can't help but wonder if attachment parenting could save the world. Crazy? Maybe, but one can dream.

As a counselor, I've always been fascinated by the study of attachment. As a parent, I have been forever changed by the power of attachment. If any of this information struck a chord with you, let me know!

Interested? Here are a few more links:

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


We had 2 consecutive days of beautiful weather last weekend, so we decided to take the leap and transfer our seedlings to the greenhouse. I can't take much credit, Ty has done all of the work - he's attended gardening classes, read books, draws maps and keeps a journal of his progress. I felt proud of myself for planting some herbs and flowers and for breaking a sweat while digging up our rhubarb plant. I swear I heard it say "Feed me, Seymour!" Everett ate more handfuls of dirt than I'm willing to admit, and Junior lounged around the yard, chasing the sunny spots. Last year was a crash course in gardening for us, and we were surprised when our raised boxes yielded a summers worth of lettuce, zucchini and broccoli. This year we're hoping to harvest beans, peppers, tomatoes and corn. I'm sure there's lots more, but I have limited access to Ty's master plan. Of course, Ty and I have been taking advantage of the satisfying ritual of enjoying a post-gardening beer...or three!