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An Announcement. Of Sorts.

Dear friends,

I’ve been looking forward to this month for a little while now. I couldn’t wait to share some really good news, news that we were crafting just the right way to tell you.

Would it be five pairs of shoes lined up on our favourite beach? Or would it be a little video of our girls? We finally nailed it- it would have been five cups of deliciousness from our favourite coffee shop?

But then, there was a visit to emergency and way too many hours waiting, and super kind hospital staff who had to deliver the worst sort of news.

I miscarried. Again. Right at that magical 12 week mark.

I am gutted. We are all broken-hearted. There have been many tears. 

I have no words.


I feel a deep need to circle our wagons, and snuggle in close with my loves. There is a stack of books on my night table, all the good comfort ones- bibliotherapy at its best. There will be endless cups of tea drunk and afternoon movies and trips to the beach where the ocean waves will soothe as it always does. 

I don’t know when I’ll be back in this space, when I’ll have more words to share with you. I will be on instagram, fiercely fighting to see the beauty in all of life and I’ll still be pinning the pretty things.

Thanks for sharing all of this with me – let’s all fight to see the good, even if it is just one tiny light at a time. 




For miscarriage and motherhood from my husband’s perspective, head here.

And for all the words I had last time, head here. 


Noticing the Beauty (44/52)


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

I love routines and schedules and we are slowly building them back into our life after a crazy summer and our move. But last week, we ditched the routine and normal schedule. My husband had an extra day off in the middle of the week and we enjoyed it to the fullest. We visited the waterfront, normally teeming with tourists and regulars, but it was quiet except for the odd tourists from a cruise ship.

We bundled up against the cold wind and I reveled in a non-rainy, grey day. We took some pictures to remember this day and we stopped to talk about all the ships that were docked along the wharves.


The girls sang and danced their hearts out, thanks to Frozen and their favourite musical, Annie.

I love my routines but sometimes a little day off is good for all of us to stop and notice the beauty that surrounds us.

Here’s to a new week of routines and schedules and margin room to notice the good stuff in each day!

linking up with Jodi for Project 52


Making new routines (43/52)




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

One of the very first things I noticed about our new place was the light- big windows with gorgeous light. And it’s still one of my favourite things. It’s helping me love this place and it gives light to my girls faces when they put on concerts for me.

Snow White has hardly gotten out of her dress since we got it and she happily played the recorder since she has a ‘real’ violin and gets to play it nearly every day under the tutelage of her Daddy.

The little sister had a few strict lessons on how to hold the bow and the foamalin. She even made string like sounds and I was not allowed to clap until all the movements of their pieces were done. 

We’re slowly finding new routines in our days and one of them is music education. It’s simple videos from youtube, chosen and explained by Jared. Quite honestly, it’s what he’s done with the girls since birth, we just call it school now. 

It gives me time to do a little puttering in the morning and it’s a special ritual with Daddy. 

How do you make new routines in your household? 


Living Small without Building a Cabin in the Woods

I have long been intrigued by the idea of living small. Last spring I read multiple books on houses under 1000 sq feet and DIY cabins with a small footprint. They sported fold out bunks and storage areas under couches. Some were in the middle of cities and others were custom built and designed in the middle of the forest with a quiet stream nearby. And some are just straight up eye candy, like these ones.

As much as I love the idea of building a little hobbit hole, eco-friendly and with a huge garden, it’s not realistic for this season.

But we are living small. In a home that is under 1000 sq feet.

We have carted bags and bags of excess stuff to the thrift store and dump. There will many more trips before we’re done the decluttering and cleansing process.


We are living within our means and we are not spending time just managing our stuff. Instead of growing our own vegetables, we have access to a fabulous farmer’s market where we can stock up on seasonal vegetables, grass-fed meat, milk and bread.

Instead of living by a quiet stream (and let’s be honest, open bodies of water right by our back door would be very stressful in this season of little children), we are within five minutes of three lakes all of which provide the natural respite I crave. The ocean is only twenty minutes away with many beaches to be explored.

It’s not a cabin or a unique structure downtown in a major city. It’s an apartment and for us, in this season, it is perfect.

Would you live in a small cabin?


On Saying Yes (42/52)


We had a family date afternoon on the weekend. It’s been on our list of traditions to start for most of this year and like all good habits, they become real when you just start. 

Jared took Kilmeny to her very first symphony concert, she’s started playing the violin this fall and she told the conductor that she was going to start playing in his orchestra when she turned six. She has a gutsy confidence and it is thrilling to watch her develop  her own loves and opinions.


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

Khaira and I went to the coffee shop after a ride across the harbour. She posed for me after I asked if I could take some pictures and didn’t stop talking for nearly two hours. We sipped our latte and apple juice and had the most delightful conversation over a giant chocolate chip cookie.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the daily rituals – the meals, the snacks, the tidying of the room and the washing of the clothes. The stories, the routines and the bedtimes. Some days there’s a lot of saying no or just a minute. This day wasn’t like that. It was a yes day and we were both reminded of the beauty of parenting. The fun in opening up worlds to these little people and indulging their desires to ride the elevator again and again. Of saying yes and giving them our undivided attention. Of listening and sharing moments together. 

linking up with Jodie for Project 52  


3 Simple Ways to Make a House a Home

The night after we moved in, my husband and I stayed up late unpacking boxes and making the place feel a little more like home. We put books on the bookshelf in the living room, plants in their places and got the kitchen operational.

It was the best thing we could have done.

There’s still boxes to unpack, that third bedroom is very handy for storing the stuff we have yet to deal with. We have more bookcases to organize, a bunkbed to acquire and a coffee nook to set up. But at the end of the day, we have this cozy spot to curl up in and it feels like home.

Even if you haven’t recently moved, you can still make your house more homey, more of a haven. Here are three of my quick go-tos to make it more homey, even if you’re serving frozen pizza for supper.


1. Make a cozy spot to land at the end of the day.

Your bedroom, your living room, a chair in the corner of the hallway- keep somewhere sane. Our living room is my favourite place to be right now, there’s a huge window that lets in tons of light (we have yet to get window coverings), there’s a wooden tray filled with pumpkin and gourds and a basket full of books from the library. I’ve cozied the space up for fall with afghans and cushions and I’ve cleared off all the surfaces. There’s no overhead light which suits my lamp-loving self just fine. I can’t really see the pile of boxes to be taken to the recycling and there’s plenty of surfaces to place a mug of tea.


2. Make a vignette.

I hardly used this term before October and the Nester started her 31 Days of Vignettes, but now I use it both in my conversation and in my home. When life feels crazy and there’s a million things on the to-do list, taking five minutes to create a pretty little spot is refreshing and like a deep breath for the home. I scattered acorns, glitter pinecones and leaves on the table, added a candle and it makes all our meals feel pretty and special. I filled a glass bowl with more pinecones, placed in a wooden drawer, added a candle and it finishes that one corner.

3. Adapt and change your rhythm.

Over the last couple weeks, I’ve tried to keep things the same as they used to be in our old home. And it’s not working that well. My husband is a great adaptor and now I’m trying to follow his lead- adapt to our new home. Everything is different which is both exhilarating and overwhelming. I’m still figuring out the anchors in our day and week but the more flexible I am, the more I remind myself to adapt, the easier it becomes.

What are your go-tos to make your home more homey in a busy season?


Travel, Food and a Good Fiction (Twitterature October 2014)

On the Noodle Road: From Beijing to Rome, with Love and Pasta
by Jen Liu-Lin

What if the noodle came to China from Italy  along the Silk Road? Jenn explores this question in a six month journey along the Silk Road, travelling overland to Italy through Central Asia. It’s a fascinating tale of the importance of food in a culture and how much we really do share in common. It also made me want to travel through Central Asia although I could pass on the dried sour milk.

The Husband’s Secret
by Liane Moriaty

I picked this up on a whim at the ‘rapid read’ section of our new library, and it was a great fictional read. A secret letter discovered when it shouldn’t have started an unraveling of people’s lives and shows just how much our actions affect those around us.


The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World

by Eric Weiner

I don’t call myself a super happy person (I am happy just not like Tigger) so I’m always intrigued by books that explore the concept of happiness. This one did not disappoint. Traveling to a number of countries around the globe from Denmark to Dubai to Bhutan, the author investigates just what makes that nation happy or not and can we be happy in our own native country? It’s a great read and the answer is given in the first couple chapters.

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
by Deb Perlman

I’ve wanted to read this cookbook ever since I saw it was out so I was delighted to see it available at my library. It’s the same friendly voice as her blog (by the same name) with real recipes and I wanted to head to the kitchen and start cooking immediately. It’s a great book to read before bed, with bookmarks handy to mark all the recipes you’ll want to try.

Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat Well & Feel Great
by Danielle Walker

We just started a Whole30 and this book made me realize that switching up our diet wouldn’t be that hard and the food would still be really good. It’s dairy, sugar and grain free and I can’t wait to be done the Whole 30 to try out some of the cookie recipes. The photography is stellar. This is one cookbook I want to buy and I’m a picky cookbook buyer.

Do you read cookbooks before bed? What books have you been reading lately?


Joining up with Anne for Twitterature, head to Modern Mrs Darcy for many more titles and reviews!

::affiliate links included, thanks for supporting TVM!::


Savouring Autumn (41/52)




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

A quick trip to a new favourite park was the perfect outing on Sunday. The girls woke up coughing and we promptly decided we wouldn’t be going anywhere. But we all needed a little fresh air and worked up an appetite taking in the fall beauty.

We headed back there after our dinner of roast chicken, stuffing and all the veges. The late afternoon light was gorgeous and these autumn days are fleeting. The leaves go from green to crimson to gone in a matter of days. 

Autumn teaches me to savour. To seize these days even when it means going to the same park twice in a day and bundling up against the wind.

October is half over and the leaves outside my window are slowly falling.

We’ll be outside every chance we get.

How do you savour Autumn’s beauty?

linking up with Jodi for Project 52 


The Don’t Do List (keep it simple)

Life is full right now.

We just moved. My husband started a new job. And there’s all the new things that come with any of those big life transitions. All good things but all mostly new things. I feel like I have a few too many tabs open in my brain; there are so many directions I could be going, and I don’t seem to have the energy or time to do them all (and I know that some of you can probably relate!)

So, when this happens, I like to make a don’t do list. Sometimes I write it down. Sometimes I just remind myself that I don’t have to do it all right now. I also like to stay in bed and binge watch whatever show I’m currently into but that doesn’t really go anywhere good. So I make a list. I’m all about keeping it simple, streamlined and maintaining my sanity so that I can care for my family in the best way possible.

the don't do list (keep it simple)

Here’s some of what I put on my don’t do list:

– don’t start homeschool program until November or December

– don’t do all the autumn-y things. I don’t have a mantel here to switch things up for each new season. And at this point all those pretty things are still in a box. We’ll get a pumpkin and some squash this weekend and restock our apple bowl. And that’ll be it and it will be good.

– don’t fret the lack of routine and ‘normalcy’, it will return

– don’t worry about the laundry

– don’t think too deeply about anything. Why, yes, I am an over-thinker especially if I am tired, and if life feels crazy.


And because I like contrast, I made a to-do list as well:

– do make time for playground visits and library time

– do make time each time to cuddle up with my loves to read stories and be cozy together

– do take a bath with lavender oil, read a novel and go to bed early

– stay away from the computer except to engage in life-giving activities

– make time to remind myself that this is a season, it will pass. Also my husband and I are together through it all.

What’s on your don’t do list? What do you do when life feels crazy?



Embracing the Season (even when you don’t feel like it)

embracing the season


We promised the girls a pumpkin patch day. September was crazy town with getting ready to move, a new job that required an hour commute and recouping (as best as we could) after our five months away. The autumn displays are all so wonderful, the pumpkin patches and the corn mazes and the u-picks all opened. 

And the girls would ask to go and choose a pumpkin. We picked apples one sunny Sunday and we had a few squash enter our meals but I have been in slight denial about Fall being here.

It’s not that I don’t like Fall. I love Fall. The colourful leaves, the roadside stands with honour systems for produce, the knits and scarves and hearty soups. I love it all. But I was having a hard time getting embracing the season this year.


embracing the season

Pinterest is awash with lovely recipes and everyone is agog over their first pumpkin spice latte and I was not. A week after we moved into our house, we made plans to go the pumpkin patch. We left the boxes and mess everywhere, cozied up in our knits and headed to the farm. 

embracing the season


I wandered around the u-pick flower patch while we waited for the wagon to take us to the apple orchard. Jared and I played ‘who can identify the most flowers’ and the girls played hide and seek amongst the giant sunflowers.  I could feel my love for Autumn coming back.

The girls picked out two pumpkins- one to carve and one to roast for pie and other delicious creations. We bought decorative corn and gourds and butternut squash. 

embracing the season

We might not make caramel apples or jump in leaf piles. But we will take long walks in the crisp air and make soup. I won’t make a pumpkin spice latte because I don’t like the drink but I will savour every other pumpkin spice creation. I won’t always feel like embracing the season but I will make time for my little family. We will take pictures and remember how beautiful it all is. 

embracing the season

And then we’ll unpack some more boxes and make this place a home. 

What is your favourite Autumn experience?