2015, a love letter

Dear 2015,

Phew. What a ride! This is meant to be a love letter, so I’ll be nice.

Thank you for teaching me that I am strong, that I can get knocked down and rise wiser and kinder. I bow to the lessons. Thank you for giving me the strength to keep going and for showing me that I am not alone.

And thank you for reminding me of how truly blessed I am! This life – wow.

Thank you for helping me to see that I am a good mom and that I have a great kid. He is my guru, my sage, and the littlest love of my life. Thank you for giving me the strength to wake up at all hours of the night, for being patient during his tantrums (sometimes), and for the magic he’s showing me in the world. Thank you for answering all of my prayers with that kid!

Thank you for the original love of my life – the kid’s dad and my partner in crime. I’m still not sure how I got to be so darn lucky… thank you!

Thank you for this home! When I was a little girl, I dreamt of a home like this – beautiful and serene, somewhere to live forever and always, a fireplace with stockings, and lots of rooms to fill with memories. Now I live here and I am in awe.

Thank you for the adventures and travels, for friends near and far, for chocolate and wine and lattes, for morning snuggles in bed and five seasons of Scandal.

Thank you for showing me that there is still so much to come. Thank you.

2016, hi.

With love,
mxo

soakuplove

:: inspired by a Note of Gratitude by my dearest, Nikki Belcher and Love Letter by the ever-awesome, Elena Brower.

 

life list…

Inspired by one of my new favourite blogs (little miss momma), I made a life list. It took awhile but it was fun!

In no particular order:

  1. Be a momma.
  2. Bake cookies with my babies on Sunday mornings.
  3. Learn to make pancakes.
  4. Drive stick shift.
  5. Master parallel parking.
  6. Figure out how to walk in heels.
  7. Surf.
  8. Travel to California…
  9. … and all over B.C.
  10. Eat croissants in Paris.
  11. Visit my old stomping grounds in Greece.
  12. Backpack through South America.
  13. Drink tea in London.
  14. Eat pasta in Italy.
  15. Share my story.
  16. Have monthly dinner parties.
  17. Have baby-free brunches with the girls.
  18. Define my style.
  19. Find a lipgloss that’s the right shade and not too sticky.
  20. Get regular manis.
  21. Practice pilates often.
  22. And yoga.
  23. Go on a silent retreat.
  24. Take the kids camping.
  25. Read 1,000 new books.
  26. Live by the ocean.
  27. Know how to pair wines with meals.
  28. Paint paintings.
  29. Make someone a birthday cake.
  30. Scuba dive.
  31. Do a pull-up.
  32. Do 50 push-ups without resting.
  33. Make friends with navasana.
  34. Have a penpal.
  35. Make my own greeting cards.
  36. Have a logo…
  37. … and personal business cards.
  38. Learn Illustrator and Photoshop.
  39. Stay in B&Bs.
  40. Attend a play in Stratford.
  41. Hike up a mountain.
  42. Make something from scratch.
  43. Take my kids to a farm.
  44. Buy less, spend more.
  45. Buy someone a coffee every week.
  46. Learn to change a tire.
  47. Make photo books.
  48. Drink a green juice every day for a month.
  49. Run a race.
  50. Wear something colourful everyday.
  51. Wear short-shorts.
  52. Take a road trip.
  53. Have a garden. Grow my own veggies.
  54. Host a big family holiday meal.
  55. Make my own jam.
  56. Play piano with my babies.
  57. Cook every recipe from a cookbook.
  58. Take a train ride across Canada…
  59. … and across Europe.
  60. Have a massage a month for an entire year.
  61. Get a body scrub.
  62. Own a stock portfolio and understanding it.
  63. Ride my bike 50km.
  64. Have picnics with my babies.
  65. Display all of my tea cups.
  66. Collect random bowls and plates.
  67. Make a gallery of family photos.
  68. Take the hubz to Pebble Beach.
  69. Make my own natural perfume.
  70. Sleep through the night (again).
  71. Read 10 biographies.
  72. Learn to use a DSLR.
  73. Develop a product.
  74. Volunteer at a retirement home.
  75. Volunteer at a hospice.
  76. Sit in those green seats behind the plate at a Blue Jays game.
  77. Spend an entire day in bed watching movies with the fam.
  78. Start a birthday tradition for my babies.
  79. Go back to school for something fun.
  80. Teach another yoga class.
  81. Have my own business.
  82. Take the kids on a trip around the world.
  83. See the Scarborough Bluffs.
  84. Go to Cherry Beach.
  85. Touch up the star tattoo on my foot.
  86. Buy each of my parents a house.
  87. Learn to curl my hair with a flat iron.
  88. Spend a birthday at the beach.
  89. Sew a quilt.
  90. Go ice skating…
  91. … and snowboarding.
  92. Document my family history.
  93. Write a thank you letter each day for a whole year.
  94. Attend a TRX class.
  95. Play in a sandbox with my grandbabies.
  96. Have a chalkboard wall at home.
  97. Own a ridiculously expensive pair of shoes… or a purse… or both.
  98. Institute wine and cheese Wednesdays.
  99. Do a yoga handstand.
  100. Tell someone I love them every single day.

What’s on your life list?
mxo

mulling and rolling…

Ryan’s “napping” in the room next to me. This roughly translates to flipping onto his tummy, shimmying around, getting upset, crying loudly, and me flipping him over. Repeat.

I’m having a bad hair day (damn you, humidity!). Yup, it’s one of those days… but we’ll power through.

Steven Pressfield was on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday last week and I’ve been mulling over something they talked about:

“Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution,

the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”

(from his book, The War of Art)

Essentially: the more you need it, the harder it’ll be to do. Well, Mr. Pressfield, I’ll give you that one for sure.

When it comes to parenting life, what I resist the most is letting go and rolling with the punches. I want to embrace the ebb and flow of Ryan’s naps, the weather, and life in general. I know it’s (probably) a more enjoyable way to live. But somehow I always end up meticulously counting the minutes between his naps and planning the next day, week, year of my life.

But like Pressfield, kids are pretty awesome teachers of lessons that are hard to learn. There’s very little chance my five-month-old will do things my way, on my schedule. He’s got his own rhythm and so does life.

So as Ryan sleeps (finally), I’ll continue mulling until one day, hopefully soon, rolling will become easier.

mxo

 

108 days…

A friend of mine just completed a 100 day challenge of exercising, eating well, and generally being great to himself.

It has inspired me to do the same.

My diet is pretty good and I don’t want to mess with it right now as I’m nursing my little peanut… BUT I could certainly use more exercise in my life!

So here’s my 108-day challenge:

  1. 10 jumping jacks
  2. 10 high knees
  3. 10 burpies (ugg!)
  4. 10 push-up arm raise things (see this awesome video of my friend, Chris)
  5. 10 leg lifts
  6. 10 bicycle crunches
  7. 10 bridge lifts
  8. 10 russian twists
  9. 10 cobras with chest extension (again, see Chris here)
  10. 10 superman lifts
  • and 8 deep breathes

These are all moves that can be done anywhere with no equipment and don’t take very long – this last point is especially important when you have a fussy baby that likes to be held constantly and only naps in 30-minute chunks. 🙂

Why 108 days? 108 is a very auspicious number and I like the idea of a day for every bead in my beautiful mala. 108 days brings me to August 3rd… Let’s do this!

august108

What can you do for yourself in 108 days?

mxo

2013…

It’s the last day of 2013. For this gal, it feels like the last day of a much longer chapter. Today feels rather monumental.

At some point in the next month, I’ll become a mom. Just a few days ago, I said a temporary, year-long goodbye to the job I’ve held and molded for 10 years. And this is the last new years I’ll ring in as a twenty-something-year-old. See? Monumental.

As I look back on the last decade, I do so with awe. Life gave me so much more than I could have dreamed of. I married my best friend. We bought a house and adopted a crazy cat. I finished my degree and then my yoga teacher cert. We travelled the world and found our home away from home (Nica). I met new friends and held on to old friends – the very best kind (core!). It was a decade filled with adventure.

decade

My goals for 2014 and the next decade of my life (my thirties… woot!):

to be much more open to all of the amazing things life has to offer…

to live my days more deliberately, taking advantage of the breaths I’m afforded…

and to savour each and every croissant.

Wishing you and yours the most magical of years!
mxo

(un)settled

One of my friends recently celebrated a rather big birthday – the kind with a 0 at the end of it.

When we asked her how it feels to be her particular age, she paused and replied, “I thought it would be different. I thought I would be more… well, settled“. Settled in this case meant a house, a husband, a couple of kids, a car and white picket fence… that whole thing.

I still can’t shake that conversation and here’s why: I think settled is overrated. Settled seems to imply that we’re done, we’ve achieved what we want to achieve, checked off the boxes, etc. But then what’s next? Waiting for the end…?

settle

End. Final.

This past spring, I asked my 84-year-old grandpa about his longevity secrets. His one piece of advice, above all else, was to “never settle, never get too comfortable and never think you’re too old for x, y, or z”.  It’s really being slightly unsettled that keeps us alive.

three generations
three generations

There are other words I prefer to settled – calm, content, grateful. I don’t ever want to feel settled. I want new adventures, new goals and dreams, and new breath in each day.

Happy Saturday!

mxo

oh uh…

Umm… Houston? We have a wee problem. 

It seems I did my math wrong. Or rather, I trusted the first site I found on the internet… big mistake.

You see, today I walked and walked… and walked. 

I walked around at lunch.

I walked to the dentist, and up and down Roncies before the dentist.

I walked to the store, and passed this thing:

I walked to get a tea and then I walked home.

Every few blocks, I’d check the pedometre and think, “uh oh, either this thing is broken or else I have just publicly committed to walking A LOT each and every single day.”

Turns out it’s the latter. 10,000 steps is not 3km. No siree! It’s actually closer to 5 miles or 8km. EIGHT! 

This challenge just got a whole lot more interesting… 🙂

mxo