a portrait of my girls, once a week, every week in 2014 

A new bike for my big girl, complete with pedals and princesses. A whole new adventure of learning to ride a bike- one of the hardest and yet fundamental lessons to learn. How to get up again after falling. How to try something scary even though all your instincts say no.

New shades for my little girl who loves her balance bike  and loves sharing a bike adventure with her big sister. Her only limit is as fast as her legs can take her. She is always ready to smile for a picture, stopping and giving her biggest grin.

Spring, you are a welcome gift.

joining up with Jodi for Project 52

Every Mum Needs a Getaway (how and why I did mine)

I kissed my babies goodbye, hugged my man, and headed out the door with a little swing in my step. My overnight bag was on my shoulder and my purse was stocked with journals, books and chocolate.

I was out for 24 hours of rest, refreshment and deep breaths. It’s been a long, hard season not just with the winter weather but just in our personal lives. Not stuff that I blog about but heavy and hard situations to navigate and unknown future plans. Going to school for a career in music is not for the faint of heart but it’s one of the best decisions we have made and one we don’t regret. This winter has brought more travel time for my husband and more work with the local symphony which is all fantastic but it means a lot more solo parent hours logged for me.

I was ready for this getaway on so many levels. 

First stop- the coffee shop. Thanks to the university in our town, we have three coffee shops to choose from and I chose the one without wi-fi. It also tends to have the least amount of students which at this time of year crowd the coffee shops for study sessions. I ordered my latte and a piece of cake and settled in. I flipped through a magazine, read, and watched people (in the most subtle way possible, of course). One of my favourite things to do when out and about.


The bed and breakfast I chose was just down the street and I’ve walked past it hundreds of times, pushing my girls in the Bob. But this time I got to go in and experience the delight of a century and a half house turned B&B.

The purpose of this getaway was to rest. To sleep and to recharge. And even though I was staying at a B&B and had stacks of books to read and time to just ponder, I had to keep reminding myself to rest. The bed was luxurious with soft white duvet and pillows perfect for stacking behind me as I read and ate chocolate.

There was no to-do list, no meals to make or stories to read. Just time to be.

I purposely left my laptop at home and cleaned off the apps on my phone so that I wouldn’t be distracted. Another time, I may bring all of that stuff so that I can get a ton of writing done or draft out an ebook.

I did write but all offline and in private journals. I used to be a daily journal-er but now I’m every so often journal-er and I’m okay with it. I took along the journals I have for my girls, I try to write in them once a month or so. It’s a love letter to them at the age they’re at and I love doing it when I’m away from them, it gives me new perspective on ways to mother them.


As mums, most of our time is spent serving. Glasses of water, kissing owies all better, fixing snacks, meals and the world. It’s a high calling. But for those 24 hours, I was served. I asked for a cup of tea and it was brought to me on a tray. Breakfast was made for me with my coffee cup filled up before I could even ask for me. Dinner was delivered to my table and I kept reading my book while eating. It’s one of my favourite things to do- read in a cozy corner with good food.

It’s not how I would want to live every day, but for a brief time, it’s absolutely wonderful! 

As mums, we are the primary care-givers to our loves. We know how they like the blanket tucked around them at night and their preference for the blue plate over the orange for lunchtime. But for those 24 hours, my husband looked after our girls completely. He took them on outings, fed them and tucked them into bed at night. It gives him a chance to bond with the girls and to reset his family focus, not that he doesn’t bond when I’m home but it’s a different kind of bonding.  He gives me a chance to rest, read and recharge and giving always increases personal happiness. A getaway for the mama benefits the whole family.


I’ve been a mum for four years and its only in the last two years that I’ve gone away overnight. It’s hard to get away when the babies are little and more dependent on the mama for food and care.

Last time I went away, I was burnt out and exhausted. In the year since, I’ve made a lot of effort to avoid burnout and build margin in my life. Next week I’ll share some ways to build margin into our lives and how to have some of the benefits of a getaway while still staying at home.

But now I want to know, if you could get away for 24 hours- what would you do and where would you go? 



Twitterature: April 2014 Edition

Linking with Anne of Modern Mrs. Darcy for Twitterature, where we share short reviews of what we’ve been reading lately. Here are my books and then head over to Modern Mrs. Darcy to read many more titles! 


Steady Days: A Journey Toward Intentional, Professional Motherhood by Jamie Martin

This book belongs to my local library and I’ve checked it out a number of times. It’s a quieting voice that gives hope and structure for these busy, crazy years of mothering little ones with intention and not losing one’s mind. There’s a ton of helpful printouts and lots of examples of schedules and resources which as a visual learner, I really appreciate. I also love visiting Jamie’s blogs (www.simplehomeschool.net and www.steadymom.com) to see where she is now with her children who are older and that gets me excited about the future.

Princess Elizabeth’s Spy: A Maggie Hope Mystery
and His Majesty’s Hope: A Maggie Hope Mystery
by Susan E. MacNeal

These books continue the story of Maggie Hope, an American with British parents who ends up working for the British Secret Service. The historian in me is fascinated by the glimpses into what it would have been like for the princesss during WW2 and then some of the appalling tragedies carried out in the name of purity under the Nazi regime. The good story lover in me couldn’t put these books down.

One-Woman Farm: My Life Shared with Sheep, Pigs, Chickens, Goats, and a Fine Fiddle by Jenna Woginrich

Jenna ditched her normal corporate job, bought a farm in Vermont and started writing to support herself. She lives mostly off what the farm can give her and what she can get by bartering. She writes through the year, the highlights of each month and its enough to make me almost want to buy a farm. But then I remember just how much I dislike milking cows in the winter and I prefer to just read about farm life on that scale. The gutsy adventure, the dream of buying a horse and the slow life of living by the reasons- that I can experience in my life.


Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy, Social World by Gary Vaynerchuck

A phenomenal book for basically anyone who is involved with social media on any level. Gary breaks down the major media platforms, explains what their point is and how to maximize your usage. There’s a ton of examples both of the media used well and not well which I found super helpful. As a blogger, I found this book extremely helpful to know more about the platforms I use. And as a social media user, I found the book very helpful to define what the platforms are and why I’m okay with not having a Twitter account.


Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

A story about two friends during World War II- one a pilot, the other a spy. Beyond the brilliant story-telling, I loved reading about the women who flew and who worked undercover and endured horrible conditions as spies. I found myself crying, laughing and being inspired to find beauty even in the hardest things.

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

With characters from Code Name Verity, this book tells the story of another woman pilot who flew to France, captured and imprisoned in a concentration camp. The subtitle is ‘I will Tell the World’ and it tells the story of some of the hidden, appalling experiments the Nazis performed on the prisoners. It’s a heavy story but one that is good to be read because those horrible conditions did exist and there are similar circumstances in our generation. It is our job to know and then to act.

Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times by Jennifer Worth

After watching the first two seasons of Call the Midwife, I decided to give the books another try. I was delighted by the storytelling and even more inspired by Jennifer Worth who in her seventies wrote these books to tell the stories of the midwives.

Left Neglected by Lisa Genova

The story of a mom of three, working full-time and trying to balance everything. She’s involved in a car accident that leaves her with Left Neglect, a condition where your brain doesn’t recognize your left side. She learns how to live and how to slow down and focus on what is really important. It’s a good wake up call and inspiring perservance as she learns how to navigate her life again.

Lots of novels, lots of good history and reminders to slow down- a pretty good indication of my life lately. What have you been reading recently?


::this post contains affiliate links, thanks for supporting TVM!::