Monthly Archives: July 2011

When I grow-up.

There are a lot of little things that I’m good at; I’m not excellent at them, I’m just good at them. They are things that I enjoy doing like baking, acting, crafting, sewing, writing, listening, photography, cooking, being a mom, painting, decorating and gardening just to name a few. When I think about what I want to be when I grow-up I usually run through this list and see if something stands out. Different things standout at different times for different reasons.

 I love baking and I think it would be awesome to learn how to be a better baker. I want to move past cookies and muffins and breads and tackle more challenging cakes and desserts and pastries. I think that I would be a great baker.

I love acting and for that reason I think that I would make a good high school theatre teacher. I tend to work well with youth and I know that theatre attracts a certain type of teenager…one that I can relate to. It would also love to have the summers off to spend time with my kids.

 One thing that I wanted to be when I was younger was a photographer. I wanted to attend the Emily Carr University of Art + Design and become a photographer for National Geographic. I still think that photojournalism would be awesome. I could definitely see myself doing that.

And then there’s Horticulture. Oh boy, how I love horticulture (although you wouldn’t really know it to see my backyard right now…ugh). It’s something that has only grabbed my interest in the past few years. I’m not surprised that I’ve fallen in love with horticulture because I come from a line of successful gardeners. You will often find my sister and I talking plants and backyards and crops. It’s something that is exciting and, I’ve realized, takes a certain skill set to be good at. Working with plants and digging around in the dirt all day is something that I can totally see myself doing – and LOVING.

When I think about my dreams and what I will end-up doing with my life I need to strip all of the superficial motives away: the money, the title, the recognition. I need to dig deep and find what will make me happy, what I can be content doing. When I stop and think about what I actually want it’s easy; to live simply. I remember this and I return to my underlying dream – own a hobby farm.

I remember going on a field trip to a hobby farm in grade 2. That’s when I fell in love with having land and animals and a huge garden and a big farm-house. I decided to repost this blog (below) that I wrote way-back in 2009 about my hobby farm heartache because it describes it perfectly.

 Hobby Farm Heartache

 I anticipate the arrival of a few magazines every month; Style At Home, What’s Cooking, Canadian Gardener, and last but NOT least, Hobby Farms. I know that I’ve blogged about homesteading before, but since receiving my last Hobby Farms magazine in the mail this past week I feel as though I’ve been going through some ol’ hobby farm heartache. Bizarre, I know. When I open up the mailbox and see my nicely packaged brand-spankin’ new magazine sitting there I get excited…possibly a bit too excited (I did a happy dance last time). I love everything about this magazine because I get to read about people who are actually doing what I dream of doing. I get to read about sheep, goats, ducks, chickens, donkeys, alpacas…all things that I want to have on my farm one day. One particularly good read in this months issue was all about Blossom-end Rot, which all of my lovely tomatoes suffered from during our last growing season. I learnt what the rot was, what the cause was, and how it could be treated and fixed. Very beneficial if you ask me. After I finished reading this months issue of Hobby Farms I curled up on my bed and felt like crying…I felt as though my heart actually hurt. When James came upstairs he noticed something was wrong and I began (again) explaining my dream and how I would love for our family to live on a homestead. I want my children to grow up taking care of animals and working the earth. I want them to understand what hard work is. I don’t want them growing up like cushy suburban kids who get a Blackberry for their fifth birthday and experience ‘life’ through their Wii. I feel like my dream is so counter-cultural that I often lose touch of it…or I just push it so far back into my mind because it feels so far away. When I read through the pages of my magazine all of what I hope and dream comes flooding out…oi. So I’m left with hobby farm heartache and I have no idea what to do about it.



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Ammie is 4!

{Ammie at her party in the pretty pillowcase dress I made!}

“Little girls are the nicest things that happen to people. They are born with a little bit of angel-shine about them and though it wears thin sometimes, there is always enough left to lasso your heart-even when they are sitting in the mud, or crying temperamental tears, or parading up the street in mother’s best clothes…There are millions of little girls, but each is as precious as rubies. God borrows from many creatures to make a little girl. He uses the song of a bird, the squeal of a pig, the stubbornness of a mule, the antics of a monkey, the spryness of a grasshopper, the curiosity of a cat, the speed of a gazelle, the slyness of a fox, the softness of a kitten, and to top it all off He adds the mysterious mind of a woman. Who else can cause you more grief, joy, irritation, satisfaction, embarrassment, and genuine delight than this combination of Eve, Salome, and Florence Nightingale? She can muss up your home, your hair, and your dignity-spend your money, your time, and your temper-then just when your patience is ready to crack, her sunshine peeks through and you’ve lost again.” -Alan Beck

Happy Birthday Amelia Kate. I love you SO much!


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After the Storm.

Thought I’d share one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite bands, After the Storm by Mumford & Sons.

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What I learned about myself…

{…from attending my high school reunion.}

I’m glad that I went to my 10 year reunion. It was interesting and, at times, awkward to see people (a whole room full) that you hadn’t seen for a decade. Some people looked exactly the same. It was like it was the day after graduation. Others, well, let’s just say that I had to do a few double-takes. Some people were still telling the same jokes and talking about the same things. Most of them were amazed that my kids were so huge, which is understandable considering there were, what seemed like, a million toddlers and babies. A few individuals that I had hoped to chat with didn’t show-up but I had a number of good reconnecting conversations with some lovely classmates.

What I learnt about myself was this:

  1. When I looked around the room and saw where other people were at in life I surprised myself with being happy with where I’m at.
  2. I often take for granted the fact that I’m a young mom and was told, by a few people, that it would be nice to already have older kids. I’m out of the baby years and toddler stage and I dealt with them when I had they energy to do so. I loved those years and miss my babies, but our family is growing-up and moving-on and I’m happy for that.
  3. I’m proud of the fact that James and I have been together for so long and gone through so much and are falling more and more in love with each other each day.
  4. I can now officially say that I’m happy marriage and children came before a degree/schooling and a career!
  5. I put too much stock in what other people think! And I need to grab ahold of my new motto of “Screw everyone else and do what you want”. I know that sounds juvenile and harsh but think of it in the context of me living my life to please others and trying to live up to their idea of success. It’s something that I have a hard time with. It’s just a silly way of telling myself that I need to stop looking to others to find my worth.
  6. I opened-up my 10 year letter and had a good laugh and then almost a good cry. Oddly enough, I’m right where I wanted to be! In my letter I said that I wanted to be following God, married to James, seeing the world (Haiti, Australia and New Zealand…not too bad),  and a mom (I actually said that I wanted a girl named Amelia!).

So those are the things, off the top of my head, that I realized about myself while walking away from my 10 Year Reunion. I’m glad I went. I’m glad it’s behind me. I’m glad that I got to talk with some genuinely caring people and meet their kids/babies.

At the bottom of my letter I wrote something that left a huge impression on me.

It said, “Whatever has happened in your life Bria, you are Wonderful!”



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Why it’s a good idea to have children.

{I started writing ‘Reasons for why it’s a good idea to have children’ as little statuses on facebook. I thought that I’d add them onto my blog for all of you non-fber’s to enjoy.}

Reason #1 for why it’s a good idea to have children: If you don’t have kids, who’s gonna draw an obscure picture of a soldier then take the crazy bird magnet on your fridge and morph it into a creepy hybrid Thoth that haunts you in your sleep??

Reason #2 for why it’s a good idea to have children – When else are you going to have the opportunity to hear a little voice coming from the washroom (doing their business) singing O Canada? “O Canada, we stand on dart hor leeeeeee!”

Reason #3 for why it’s a good idea to have children: Who else is going to will their nose to run when they see that you have tissues with pretty hearts on them? I swear she went around the corner and stood there for 5 minutes with her head bent over waiting for a big drip of snot to roll out of her nose just to prove to me that, yes, she DID need a tissue!

Reason #4 for why it’s a good idea to have children: You will wake-up to a little face crying beside your bed because their sibling won’t play kitty cats with them. When you open your arms and invite them up, you get to experience one of the best things ever…early morning snuggles with your child and their blankie.

Reason # 5 for why it’s a good idea to have children: They’ll put to use your pile of neglected Starbucks sampler cards by turning them into trading cards!


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It’s been 10 years.

  It’s been 10 years since James and I were in high school. There are moments when I feel as though the time has flown by at record speeds and it seems like just yesterday that I was rushing off to my next class or stressing about tests and getting papers done. I can still smell the greasy cafeteria chicken strips and fries beckoning my best friend and I, causing us to mooch change off of any lucky passerby. I can still conjure up those sensations of butterflies in my stomach as James and I fell in love while skipping classes and passing notes. It feels like just yesterday I was staring life in the eye and with my idealistic worldviews was off to tackle new frontiers and exciting horizons. What would I do? Who would I be? Was I truly made for greatness?

  Then there are moments where it’s as though I’ve lived a lifetime over since walking across that stage and receiving my diploma, so much so that I feel like an entirely different person. I can’t quite remember everyone’s name that I graduated with and I’ve lost so much of the ‘important’ information they taught me, the information that I always swore to retain. I’m pretty sure I said something about wanting to start a theatre company when they paraded us across our graduation stage. Oh yeah, I used to like theatre. Wait…do I still like theatre? Between bills and babies I can’t remember the last time that I did anything with acting. Something, so many things that were once so important to me, things that I felt so convicted about were left on the corner during one of my many relocations in the past 10 years. That little girl with the wide eyes and excitement for life looks kinda, vaguely familiar – I’m sure I know her from somewhere…

I had been stressed about our high school reunion for a long time and for a few reasons. When I look at other people, with their education and degrees and business ventures, it’s hard for me to feel “successful”. I don’t have an education; one year at university and one year at college don’t amount to very much. I don’t have much money; being a stay-at-home mom doesn’t pay all that well in case you hadn’t heard. I don’t have a car. I’m not currently in school and all that I can say that I’m working towards is…well, still figuring out what I want to be when I grow up. To be totally honest, it can be hard when the conversation dies because you tell someone you stay at home with your kids or when you get that ‘ohyou’rejustamom’ look (and I know this because it happens fairly regularly). I’ve been worried about what I haven’t yet accomplished.

I also don’t really like small talk because I start to feel awkward and then I don’t stop talking…which just makes it more awkward.

A few months ago I decided to not worry about the reunion and, instead of losing sleep over the thing, I’d help plan it. I thought that if I was in the group planning the event then it wouldn’t be such an unknown to me. I decided to (try to) not care about people’s opinions. I don’t have to be everyone’s friend and I don’t have to live up to their version of success. I have a wonderful husband and two beautiful kids and I’m good at what I do. I don’t have to have the perfect body or look exactly the same as I did when I graduated. People change. That’s life.

I don’t know that I’ve fully changed my outlook. I’ve come a long way in the past little while but I still have quite a way to go. For the most part it feels as though time has completely flown by and it leaves me wondering what this next 10 years will be like?

In grade 12 we were asked to write letters to our 28 year-old selves. I have absolutely no recollection of what is in my letter…should be interesting. I’ll keep you posted.


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you know he’s a good daddy when…


he picks her up and dances around the house while wearing the ladybug wings (just as she requested).


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