Quiet at the Car Wash

Sometimes moments of quiet appear in the oddest places.

car wash entrance

I’d been staring at my horribly dirty car for a few weeks, feeling like finding the time to get it washed was one more thing I couldn’t fit in. Maybe even the one thing that would put me over the top from managing to it’s-all-too-much.

You know how sometimes it’s the silly, stupid, small things that do that?

I decided not to let my dirty car do that.

Last weekend I had a window of time on Sunday afternoon. I had some other errands to do that would take me in the neighbourhood of the car wash and decided I’d run through while I was out. But instead of just tacking it on to the end of a series of errands I decided to use it to my advantage.

I took a magazine with me, turned off the radio, and sat in the quiet. I waited in line at a time when I would normally have felt rushed and I just…sat.

Self-care at the car wash. Who knew?

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Join Greta from Gfunkified and I for #iPPP (iPhone Photo Phun), a weekly link-up that requires nothing more than a blog post with a photo from a phone camera (any phone camera, not just iPhones). We want to see your funny, your yummy, your heartfelt, your favourite phone photos of the week. 

This One Doesn’t Eat Books

You know that Friends episode where Monica fills in for a food critic and gives the restaurant a scathing review? Then when the owner challenges her description of the food she backs up her opinion with this line:

“I couldn’t eat it. I have five friends who couldn’t eat it. And one of them eats books.” 

I think of that line every time I’m reading to Ethan and I pick up one of the books I read to Connor when he was a baby. They’re all missing pieces around the edges, particularly at the corners, and in some cases sections of the covers are completely eaten away. Yes, eaten away.

I could barely get through a book with Connor when he was small. Before he was even six months old he had devoured some of the classics – Goodnight Moon, The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. (He always has been quite literal, if not literary.)

These days Connor loves stories at bedtime, and occasionally at other times too. But he has never been a kid who will sit quietly and look at books. One night when he was about 3 1/2 we realized he was still awake after bedtime. We peeked in his room and he had taken most of the books off his bookshelf and had made tents with them – open and upside down, each one formed an inverse V on his bed. He had systematically lined them up, row upon row of books turned into a tent city, completely covering his double bed. It was hilarious and perfect and so very him.

Ethan, on the other hand, loves to read. He will sit and flip through books for ages. He’s mostly quite gentle, and the other night when I saw him reading some paperback Christmas stories I’ve had since I was little I wasn’t terribly worried that he would tear them apart. He just flipped through, looking at all the pictures in one book before putting it down and picking up the next.

I love that he already has a love of reading. And I love that he doesn’t eat books.

Ethan-books

 

At least not yet.

 

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Join Greta from Gfunkified and I for #iPPP (iPhone Photo Phun), a weekly link-up that requires nothing more than a blog post with a photo from a phone camera (any phone camera, not just iPhones). We want to see your funny, your yummy, your heartfelt, your favourite phone photos of the week. 

 

A Thousand Years

Ethan ready for sledding

You know how sometimes you look at a picture of your child and your heart does that thing where it tries to burst out of your chest? This photo does that for me.

I’m not sure what it is—maybe it’s that he looks like a Gerber baby in this photo or perhaps because he was so willing to let us put him in his new sled without knowing quite what it was all about—but I look at this photo and I think, “My god I love this kid.”

This morning Ethan sat with me while I had a late breakfast (three cheers for weekend sleep-ins) and we sang.

“I have died every day waiting for you
Darling, don’t be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more”

I often sang this song to him while we danced around the living room when he was really small because I like it and it made him smile. I had forgotten about it until I heard it in a mall yesterday and I thought it was time we listened to it again.

“And all along I believed I would find you
Time has brought your heart to me
I have loved you for a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more”

I looked at him while we sang and thought, How could I have ever thought you’d never come to me? I’m just still so very grateful for him – my small, blond Gerber baby with the big laugh. I’ve loved him for so long.

(And PS: He loved the sled.)

 

I’ve joined Greta from Gfunkified as co-host of #iPPP (iPhone Photo Phun), a weekly link-up that requires nothing more than a blog post with a photo from a phone camera (any phone camera, not just iPhones). We want to see your funny, your yummy, your heartfelt, your favourite phone photos of the week. Link up below!

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Explore: Summer in Pictures (Vol. 5)

We had rain last week, cool after what seems like endless hot summer days. The water park in our community closed has closed. Fall is here.

But, oh, the summer was good.

Through no actual intent or forethought on my part, I planned my maternity leave perfectly. Going back to work in October (one more week! Already! How can that be?) is a beautiful thing. I had the summer to explore, play, and travel with my family. I think we made the most of it, and now I’ve had September to help with the transition to Kindergarten.

(And speaking of exploring, I’ve given up my Yummy Mummy Club blog. I just decided it’s time to focus elsewhere.)

In any case, I realized it’s been a while since my last one-word update and what I’ve been exploring, so this is a bit of a photo dump to share some parts of our summer.

We did a few different trips over the last few months.

rocky-mountain-lake

We went to the mountains. We looked way up at them, and we looked down at the world from their peaks.

Jasper-mountain

Finally, after much anticipation, we went to San Diego. We dipped our toes in the water.

san-diego-ocean

We played in the sand. (This is his “beach face.”)

Connor-beach-Coronado

Oh yes, we went there.

Legoland

And it was a hit.

Lego-car

San Diego is such a beautiful place.

lifeguard-station

One night after Ethan was asleep Connor and I went for a walk along the boardwalk. Well, I walked. He wanted to go in the stroller, which he very much does not fit in anymore, but we managed to get him all tucked in there. He hunched beneath the canopy, so quiet I hardly knew he was there. We walked, all along the boardwalk and out to the end of the pier. We got ice cream. It was lovely. The perfect evening.

san-diego-pier-sunset

Below is the view from our room on our last night. I wasn’t awake nearly late enough to fully appreciate it. (I love marinas.)

Yes, San Diego was great. (We even got to visit Tonya.)

san-diego-marina

We also visited our best friends.

best-buds

And got in touch with dinosaurs.

dinosaur-hand

We went Stampeding.

stampede-barrel-race

And even dressed the part.

stampede-with-Ethan

We camped. (This is his “hi!” face.)

Ethan-camping

And we went to farmers’ markets.

Fruit1

Lots of ‘em.

fruit2

Yes, it was good.

baby-sunglasses

How was your summer?

Linked up with iPPP.

Gratitude Day and 50 Ways

I did a bunch of thinking in my sort-of writing-hiatus recently. I pondered how I want to spend my time and what kinds of things I want to write. And I spent a lot of time thinking about my place in this World of Blogs and what I want that to look like.

As a result of all that thinking, I’m scaling back the sponsored and promo-y stuff I’m covering on this blog because (a) I want to actually write more and (b) I’d like to focus on things that matter.

Having said that, I want to tell you about something I’ve been lucky enough to get an early look at, because it’s the kind of thing I love and I think stuff like this matters.

By way of introduction: Remember the hope notes I left in a library book? I love the idea of someone finding them and pausing for a moment. “Your dreams are worth pursuing,” they would read, and maybe trust that it was true.

Whether it’s a note left for a stranger or for someone you know, spreading love and gratitude is a beautiful thing. That’s the idea behind a new book called 50 Ways to Say You’re Awesome by Alexandra Franzen.

50_ways_cover_400

The book is full of personality. See?

sweet-potato-chips

mind-moves

sagacity

Each of these (and 47 others) is a tear-out page with some more stuff and a place to write on the back. Some of them are sweet. Others are funny, sassy, or punny.

I love it.

I’m going to use each one. I’ll put them on desks for colleagues and in the mail to friends. I’ll stick them on mirrors and under windshield wipers. I’ll leave them somewhere for people to find and smile thinking of the moment of discovery.

Isn’t that just so good?

Speaking of good, to celebrate World Gratitude Day on September 21 (tomorrow!), author Alexandra Franzen is sponsoring a pretty awesome giveaway. If you share your story about a creative way you said “thank you,” you’ll be entered to win a $500 donation to your favourite charity. You can find details on her website.

Plus, if you share an ecard through the Sourcebooks Pinterest app you could win another $100 donation to your favourite charity, plus 10 copies of the book to give to anyone who makes your life a little more awesome.

Lots of good here, people.

Intrigued by this book? Of course you are. You should get one.*

If you want one of these books and want to test your karma before buying one, you can enter to win one below.

Just promise me one thing: You will embrace gratitude and spread a little bit of love today.

*Affiliate link. Because honesty is awesome.

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