A holiday recap, and 2017 challenge!

Christmas!!!!! I love you, and you make me more tired than a newborn, so I kind of resent you sometimes too! However,  Thank you for a crazy exhausting, grey hair inducing few days. While it’s been a wild ride, I must admit, I am pretty sure I’ve felt the least into the Christmas spirit EVER in my life. You would think now with two kids, and my 3.5 yr old totally into the concept of Christmas this year, I’d be feeling much more excited. For some reason that’s not the case. As a result, I’ve done some thinking, and it turns out I’ve discovered there’s probably 3 main reasons I’m feeling seriously BLAH about the holidays this year.

1. I’ve totally fallen off the wagon with my clean eating.

I approached the holidays with an attitude towards my eating habits as just “letting go”. No rules, no limits.. Just enjoy! Turns out that’s an awful strategy when you’ve been doing so well at eating clean and healthy for months! The body makes you pay the consequences, and I’ve realized that it’s just not worth it. When we fill our bodies with unnecessary carbs, sugar and dairy it becomes very inefficient. Our digestive system has to work so much harder to process the heavy food so of course, we end up feeling sluggish. Makes sense… When we put clean food in our bodies, it digests more efficiently and turns into energy. We sleep better, feel better both physically and mentally. The effects of a two week sweets binge and massive Christmas meals are wreaking havoc on me – all around. I really think it’s contributed to my weakened mental state which leads me to my next point;

2. Lack of Gratitude – one of mindset changes I’ve focused on significantly this past year is gratitude. It became clear to me that we are pretty darn lucky to have the life we have. After realizing just how dire life is for many other countries and families around the world it became abundantly obvious to me that the little things we think are a problem, pale in comparison to what struggles exist abroad.  I was putting my dishes away the other night, feeling agitated and tired from a hectic day. When I reflected on what I was really frustrated about, it seemed incredibly petty. I had a full belly, cupboards of clean dishes, a warm house and a Christmas tree that was displaying beautiful ornaments representing cherished memories. Each year going forward we’d collect even more – God willing. This realization was a great wake up call to focus on what we do have, instead of what we don’t….and as long as I have my family and friends, I have everything I need.

3. Indecisiveness

Plain and simple – we need to make some decisions. Life is just far too complicated these days and it’s taking a toll on everyone. I’m positive that we are in control of our own destiny, and sitting around complaining about our current situation does nothing to change it. This past year has been an incredible time of learning, being inspired, and feeling hopeful. I’ve never been happier and it has everything to do with the life we’ve been able to create for ourselves. Does this mean we can close the book and call it a day? Nope! We have much more to do, learn and I want to start giving more back. Time is our most valuable commodity and I’m really looking to find a way to optimize the limited resource of time, that we have. Some decisions have to be made, and once that happens I truly feel that we can begin to move forward even more. The lingering indecisiveness is a tough pill to swallow every day, so 2017 should come with it some definitive answers to our many questions of “what’s next?”.

 

Speaking of next, instead of having a New Years resolution for 2017 I have decided to challenge myself to READ MORE BOOKS!! 1 book a month! I’ll blog about this book challenge soon and probably finalize my list! Stay tuned! image.jpeg

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How to get rid of 465 THINGS in 30 Days (and how I made $147 cash doing so)

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HELLO and SEASONS GREETINGS everyone! I know it’s been a while since I’ve shown my face around the blog, and I’ll be honest, I just haven’t felt inspired much to write about #momlife lately. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like there isn’t a boat load of content, but  truthfully, I’ve just been focused on being present and living in the moment with my littles. In addition, Ive also been focused on improving my self. Heading back to work after mat leave with B, kind of rocked me to the core. I don’t think I anticipated how much I personally would change, and just how much more I would want to focus on being a better and more intentional Mom.

Fingers crossed that you will see more from me in 2017! This is the PLAN. Perhaps with just a different spin on content. Stay tuned!

Anyways, back to what this post is actually about! DECLUTTERING!!! A few months ago, I was listening to one of my favourite podcasts – The School of Greatness by Lewis Howes, and he had a guest on his show, Joshua Fields Millburn from “The Minimalists”. As a result of listening to this show (click here to listen), I felt absolutely inspired by the Minimalist message. Continue reading

What I’ve realized from the US Presidential Election: A Canadian Mom’s account.

I went to bed last night, with a gut wrenching pit in my stomach. Hillary was ahead, but Trump was inching frighteningly close. I knew – the writing had been on the wall this whole time. When I woke up in the morning, the first thing I did was open my computer and type in CNN.com – “IT’S TRUMP”. *heart sinks & tears well up* As much as we all knew this was becoming a very real possibility, it was like our brains wouldn’t allow us to accept it. Yet somehow, the unthinkable became a reality, and we all wondered “is this a nightmare”?

I won’t reiterate what we all already know about who Trump is… the manner in which he conducted himself was vile and incredibly potent. We shouldn’t be surprised by this…he’s not new to the American people. Did we all forget about “The Apprentice”? The hugely successful show in which Trump publicly humiliates people, shames them and then fires them for “failing” at a task?  His behaviour as “the boss” goes against everything that modern day business is trying to change. When we look at how new CEO’s see the world, treat their employees, and value positive social development, this is NOT who Trump is… but people watched, and raved, and loved. Why? Well, love him or hate him, he’s honest about who he is, and what he stands for. This is fundamentally why the American people elected him as their leader. It’s a message that the political landscape is flawed, and people are sick of lies, deceit and mistrust. Does this justify the outcome? Absolutely not – but above all else, it should undoubtedly create a movement for changing this system.

This election was not about right and wrong today – it was about what has been wrong for decades, even centuries. People have been far too accepting of hatred for far too long and frankly, it’s repulsive. Perhaps I’m just naive, and I look at the world through rose coloured glasses…but I feel like we have options here. We can carve a new path, one that leads us to a new hope and a better future for our children. We do not have to accept this anymore! It’s not about “legacy”. Just because it’s been tolerated before, does not mean we have to tolerate it today. Hillary showed us that women can run for president and be successful in receiving the popular vote. Trump even proved that no matter how much experience you have, or how many friends you make along the way, anything is possible. For me, today’s election results have proven that humanity has a long way to go before we can live in harmony – but the good news is that God has a plan. Whenever bad things happen, we learn. It’s not failure, it’s opportunity for improvement… that’s what’s happening now.

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I believe that Hillary would have been the right voice for America, and for the world. There’s been so much hate in the past several years, that I truly believe a Mother’s voice, is what we needed. Someone who showed resilience throughout every set back she’s faced over the years, who every single time she got knocked down, stood up and pushed forward stronger than ever before. Hillary is a symbol of hope for women, young and old, and for men, that they too can show love and kindness, express emotion, empathy and rejoice in knowing that together we are stronger. She may not have succeeded in becoming President, but I truly believe it’s because her purpose is much bigger. This is not the last of Hillary, she’ll be back with more determination than ever.

As a Canadian, I am beyond grateful today, not because this election won’t effect us, because IT WILL…but because in the last year our leader, Justin Trudeau, has shown incredible hope, and has taken monumental steps towards reforming what is so wrong in the political landscape. A 50/50 gender representation in the house, electoral reform progress (eliminating the first past the post), advocating for women, children, lower and middle class, mothers and fathers alike, sexuality, race, and religion. His politics are completely contrary to Trump’s and I’m incredibly interested to see how their relationship unfolds.

As a final thought, I will take from today’s outcome that this fight for equality is not over, nowhere near it. It’s more evident today that I have to do my part in educating my children on fairness and equality, on respect and love, and show them that we must be fearless in the face of adversity, rise above with resilience, and never stop fighting for what we believe in. In our house, we do all things with Love. This is my mantra – and it will ring true today, and every day going forward.

The end of the “wonder weeks”

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First and foremost, I’m going to apologize profusely for not providing an update sooner on how the wonder weeks turned out. I realize that I posted about how the 10th week began over a month ago and have yet to provide any follow-up. Click here for my last post on this topic.

Truth be told, this wonder week was a bit of a doozy. I don’t know if it’s the timing with teething as well but honestly, B has been MISERABLE for weeks. I won’t say that it’s been unbearable, but the clinginess is next level.. like if he could glue himself to my leg at all times, he would. His whining has been pretty extreme too, and boy does he know how to just make a noise that digs into your brain like chinese water torture. For reals, it’s not been cool.

Continue reading

8 Reasons Why Every Dad should take Parental Leave

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HAPPY mid-SEPTEMBER EVERYONE!  Are we all adjusted back to regular programming, daycare/school/work?? Not so much around here… does it ever get easier?? WAHH.

Well, despite our difficult adjustment so far (I’ve been SPOILED with hubby home) I wanted to provide a bit of a recap as to why every Dad should take parental leave. If you’ve been following along up to this point you will know that my amazing hubby took this past summer off to stay home with our two munchkins (aged 1&3) after I returned to work from 12 months of mat leave. We learned early last year that in Canada, DAD’s also have the opportunity to take parental leave…and not just within the first 12 months, thus forcing Mom back to work. While most people know that the parental leave (35 or 37 weeks) can be split between both parents, and the government provides us a financial benefit, what most people are unfamiliar with, is the additional 9 months BEYOND the original 52 weeks that can be extended to the opposite parent who took the first 35 (or 37) weeks. The one caveat to this policy is that the government will only provide a financial benefit for a combined total (maternity & parental leave) of 52 weeks (Well, actually 50 weeks because the first two weeks is unpaid.. I still don’t understand that!). So YES, hubby stayed home for the summer (4.5 months), and did NOT get paid. Since his income is more than mine, this was painful…not gonna lie. HOWEVER, I would do it again 1000x over.. except I won’t have 1000 more kids so it’s more just a metaphor to say IT WAS THE BEST DECISION EVER, and here’s 8 reasons why: Continue reading