Spring flowers, garden sproutings, and a little surprise

My sister and a few friends have started a blog centered around their love of gardening. My sister wrote the post I’ve linked below.

With spring only a couple of days away, I can feel my soul starting to come to life much like the plants outside. It’s been a long hard winter for me. I’ve struggled hard with depression, with loss, with grief and sorrow. I’m starting to feel better now though – I’m now on medication and it’s helping me. I’m sleeping better. I’m functioning better. Most importantly I’m feeling hopeful again. I have a little way to go yet but I’ll get there.

Spring is about growth. Hope. New life. Tomorrow I’m going to go in search of that in my own yard. And begin the process of figuring out just where I want to begin to cultivate new growth and beauty in my yard and my life.

Enjoy the blog linked below. I know I will be! 🙂

Spring flowers, garden sproutings, and a little surprise.


Who knew?!

For several months now I have been beating myself up because I have an office full of awesome fun things with which to create beautiful things – cards, gifts, home decor, whatever. It’s crafty heaven for me. And yet I have avoided that space like the plague.

I’ve walked into my office every few days thinking “I really need to make something” and then would just look around before walking back out again. I had no idea where to begin or what to do. I’d sit down to make a card and I would get bogged down with all the options and would end up not making anything. I’d see pictures of things my friends were making and think “I really ought to get creating stuff again!” But I’d do nothing.

I spent the last few weeks thinking long and hard about why I was feeling this way, why I was avoiding this space. It didn’t make sense to me really. I love to make things. I have a need to be creative every day. I have missed doing it. So what was stopping me?

Expectations and lack of purpose.

I have realized two things about myself in the last few weeks.

1. I was setting expectations for myself that were impossible for me to achieve, based on past circumstances rather than on present conditions.

2. I need a reason to create something, a purpose. I can’t just sit down and make something for the sake of making something.

Who knew?!

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A baby card I made for friends

So I’ve made some changes in my head and it’s affected everything!! I changed my expectations – I’m out of practice and I can’t expect that I’ll be churning out beautiful things quickly and easily like I once did. I’m going to have to labor over them like I did when I first began to make pretty things and I need to relearn the skills I had before. And that’s okay. I’ve also changed how I approach things – I’m looking for reasons to make things, to create things and I am finding them everywhere! And with that change, I’ve made several things in the last couple of days and I have ideas for more!

I’m no longer looking in the door of my office and feeling guilty about not using it. I’m not feeling the pressure that I was before. Who knew a simple change of perspective would change everything?

Family Times!

I’ve been quiet for the last week or so because we have been away having family time! 🙂 The kids and I drove to Edmonton last Tuesday to spend time with Grandma. Tim flew up on Friday morning to join us and we drove back yesterday. We hung out with friends, with family, made connections with each other and really enjoyed our time away. Here are some pictures capturing the fun we had! Enjoy!

Edmonton Trip June 2014

Clearwater – stretching our legs and meeting the Moose!

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BIG MOOSE little man! (Clearwater – June 2014)

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Liam’s First Carousel Ride (our horse didn’t move up and down which I was a little disappointed with but probably a good thing for his first time!) (FORT EDMONTON PARK)

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Grandma went with us! We had lots of fun! (Picture credit for these goes to Isaac)

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Grandma & Isaac – great friends! (FORT EDMONTON PARK)

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FERRIS WHEEL!! At the midway at Fort Edmonton Park

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Looking down at the the world from the top of the ferris wheel! Isaac, Grandma & Liam opted to wait for us at the picnic table rather than ride the wheel!

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Harley Davidson motorbike with sidecar….pretty cool but I’ll take an updated version less the sidecar! (FORT EDMONTON PARK)

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Babywearing at the Fort! Photobombed by Isaac! We were the only people there that were babywearing….I can count on one hand how many people I saw during our entire visit. I was pretty shocked by that!

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Babycarrying! 😀 Liam loves being up on Isaac’s shoulders! (FORT EDMONTON PARK)

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Getting in some Grandma snuggles! (FORT EDMONTON PARK)

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CHICKENS!!! Liam loves Chickens! These were found in the area of the park depicting life during the 1800’s in Edmonton.

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Chasing the chicken – Liam kept calling the chicken to come to him but it ignored him! 🙂

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BAAAAA!!! Sheep at the Edmonton Valley Zoo (Thursday, June 19)

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“Neigh! Hi Horsey!” Liam loved the ponies, the sheep, the goats at the Zoo… he’s a regular little farm boy! 😀 (EDMONTON VALLEY ZOO)

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The sheep again!

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Liam thought it was funny that Isaac was petting the sheep and then wanted back in on the action! EDMONTON VALLEY ZOO

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More shoulder rides! Liam and Isaac sure do love each other!

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After the zoo, Liam was a little tired – pausing in the kitchen for a brief little lay down before carrying on with the business at hand….

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“Hey Grandma! Whatcha got there??”

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“Cheese? Oh can I PLEASE have some?? PLEASE???!!!”

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“THANKS GRANDMA! Your cheese tastes so much better than mom’s does!” Never mind the cheese Grandma buys is the same as the cheese I buy, he apparently likes it better at Grandma’s house!!

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Out at the Sweetnam family farm….this tree is actually an offshoot of the original tree long gone.

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Even though it isn’t the original part of the tree, this is part of the same tree that Tim played in when he was a kid! I LOVE the history/continuity/roots that come with that.

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Chattering at Isaac!

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Emily and Liam

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Auntie Shirley has butterflies hanging from the tree and Liam LOVED them!! You can’t hear him but he was SQUEALING with delight!!

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Hanging out in the front yard of the farmhouse Daddy grew up in and that Grandpa Sweetnam (Alan Sweetnam) lived in for a time before heading to fight in WW2.

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The house that Tim lived in when he was little. It remains in the family and is currently inhabited by his older brother, Don, & his wife, Shirley.

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A little bit of history about the house….

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Heading home! (Liam is in the car but behind my seat!)

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Lunchtime in Jasper! Liam clearly wasn’t impressed that Isaac was leaning so close to me!

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Sticking spoons on our noses to pass the time while we waited for our food!

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Leg stretching stop. Rearguard Falls are pretty cool!

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Family pic attempt #1 – we’re all a little goofy!

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That’s a little better!! 😀

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First glimpse of the falls…

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This road trip home is taking forever…we’re going crazy!

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Liam’s first look at the falls – he wasn’t sure what to make of them!

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“WATER!!” He thought they were pretty cool!

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So much power in that water.

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My two big kids – love these two!

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My girl and I – she’s one of my best friends and I am so privileged to be her mom!

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Little man. Big staircase. He eventually climbed to the top by himself!

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Checking out that water again!

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Chattering away about the water…not understanding why we can’t go swimming!!

Beautiful Things from Dust

Browsing through my Feedly today I came across a new post by a favorite blogger, fellow mom, Sister-in-Christ, and I was moved to tears of joy and left feeling a sense of wonder at the incredibly awesome God I follow. I have no idea if anyone I know needs to read her words and to hear her story but I want to share it because whether or not the place we have come from, or the place we are in right now, is dark or seemingly unredeemable, GOD MAKES BEAUTIFUL THINGS FROM BROKEN! Take heart! He’s done it for me, He’s done it for Kelly and He continues to do so in both of our lives and will in yours! Let him redeem those broken moments, the darkness that haunts you…and then share your story with others so they too can know the power of redemption.


As I read Kelly’s post, I thought of the song “Beautiful Things” by Gungor. It’s so fitting here! So I’m sharing it as well!! Check it out here

I’ve been looking at Peter, Jesus’ disciple that denied Jesus three times, and I am encouraged by the fact that he walked in the presence of Jesus, LITERALLY, and yet he still stumbled, he still failed. YET GOD REDEEMED HIS STORY! God brought him out of the broken and dark place he found himself after denying Jesus’ and He used him to do good things. Peter didn’t just fail once. He failed, stumbled and fell, numerous times that we get to know about. God forgave him every time, picked him up and dusted him off, and kept on loving him. He’s doing the same for us whether we can see it or not. He is making beautiful things out of the dust and ashes of our failures, out of the failures of others that directly impact our lives, out of the dark moments that we find ourselves in. Tonight I am going to bed thankful for redemption. For unmerited grace. For love that makes no sense and that gave itself for me.