Moments That Make Me Smile

Life is no big deal, it’s a lot of little daily ones.

The more we can fill our lives with joyous moments, the happier our lives will be.

The following come in no particular order other than as they came to me as I sat at my desk and pecked away at my laptop.

  • Sitting at home with my family gathered around, eating good food and talking or playing a game or just goofing off.
  • Hearing my daughter laugh and giggle. She has a beautiful smile and one of those contagious laughs that puts smiles on everyone else’s face when she laughs.
  • Swimming. Hiking. Escaping to nature. There is something soothing and invigorating and refreshing about water and nature.
  • Gratitude. I find the trait of gratitude in others to be an extremely attractive quality. I love when people give that standard open-palm hand acknowledgement when you let them merge into your lane. That simple gesture of gratitude goes a long way and makes me smile.
  • Sitting down with a well-written, thoughtful or inspiring book. Anything from Martin Seligman, a good biography or autobiography, such as Gandhi’s. I love reading history, current events, self-help, sociology and psychology. I find joy in books on productivity and leadership, the great wisdom literature and works from the likes of Plato and Aristotle, the Buddha, Lao Tse, and in scripture.
  • Simple Human Decency. People doing good to strangers inspires me and fills me with hope and joy. Simply put, it feels good to see others do good. It makes me smile and want to be better, more thoughtful and compassionate and loving and kind.
  • Writing…usually! I love thinking through a post idea, studying the issue, doing whatever research may be necessary and then crafting the sentences and arranging the ideas in some kind of sequence that makes sense to me. I love the process I go through. It’s a growing experience for me. As I write about becoming better and happier, I become better and happier!
  • Inspiration and Epiphanies. From others. From above. Insight. The “a-ha” moments in life. I just deeply enjoy those light bulb, sudden realization moments.
  • Hearing my daughter play instruments or sing, especially when she’s performing. She’s amazing! I especially love her original stuff that she wrote and arranged and performs. Just a huge slice of heaven!
  • Reading wonderful comments from wonderful people with wonderful insights or helpful suggestions or kind thoughts. You are all so amazing. Thank you.
  • Playing piano…sometimes. I can’t read a lick of music, but usually enjoy improvising. But I have to be in the right mood for it.
  • Children. I love to watch my daughter and her little 7-year-old friends play. They are so adventurous, so in the moment and spontaneous. If something seems funny or silly they say it, simply, without thought or adornment or self-censure, simply because it was fun or silly to say. I love to hear them laugh and giggle and hold simple conversations about Pokemon and what their favourite food is. I love when they make up knock-knock jokes that don’t make sense, and they laugh hysterically as though they did. The purity and innocents is refreshing, to say the least.
  • Rain. Perhaps oddly, I love the rain. It’s cool. It’s refreshing. It smells good. It brings with it a contemplative mood. And I love contemplating! And I grew up in Prince Rupert which says it all.
  • Simple and (usually) healthy food. I don’t need the caviar, the fancy restaurant, the high-priced menu. Give me a delicious meal of chicken breast on white rice with loads of olive-oil sautéed veggies, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a super greasy slice or two of pizza, or blueberries or corn chips and I’m a happy camper!
  • Seeing progress toward my goals. It always feels good to see progress, to know that due to a lot of persistent hard work, I’m moving, developing as a person, improving, growing as a blogger or as an entrepreneur or as a parent. It motivates me to set new goals and accomplish greater possibilities.
Orange Couch

Summer Reading Picks

So many of us are looking for book recommendations — especially during the summer months when reading may be the only break we get. One of the most common questions (not kid-related) that I hear among Moms is “What book should I read next?” Reading is something we want to do when we can find the time, but being “kid focused” 100% of the time, it’s hard to know what books to grab! We have limited time, so we don’t want to waste any with a book we don’t enjoy.

I put together a list of book suggestions for this summer. Some encourage Mommas while others tell stories that take you away from that role for a bit.

  1. The Broken Way – Ann Voskamp is a beautiful writer who wears her authentic and sincere heart on her sleeve. This book is described on Amazon as being “…for the lovers and the sufferers. For those whose hopes and dreams and love grew so large, it broke their willing hearts. This one’s for the busted ones who are ready to bust free, the ones ready to break molds, break chains, break measuring sticks, and break all this bad brokenness with an unlikely good brokenness. You could be one of the Beloveds who is broken and still, lets yourself be loved. “ Brokenness doesn’t have to mean it’s over for you. Read this book to find encouragement and healing after a shattered heart. The Broken Way
  2. The Magnolia Story – I have never met anyone who doesn’t love Chip and Joanna. I’m sure these types of people exist, but they are in the minority! I was so excited to see that this couple came out with a book about their story. They are a couple that holds strongly to commitment and faith within their marriage and have used their fame for good. I guarantee that this book will bring a smile to your face in between episodes of Fixer Upper. The Magnolia Story
  3.  Long Days Of Small Things – All Mamas can relate to the mundane, everyday tasks we have to do to stay afloat. Each day we are in survival mode — another meal prepared, dish cleaned, and nose wiped. We have a lot of long days of small things. This book is so relatable and changes a Mother’s perspective on her role. ” God sees you. He designed this parenting journey, after all. He understands the chaos of motherhood. And he joins you in everything – whether you’re scrubbing the floor, nursing a fussy newborn, or driving to soccer practice. Catherine McNiel invites you to connect with God right here, in the sacred mundane of every mothering moment.” Long Days Of Small Things
  4. And Still She Laughs – I first heard about this book through a podcast. Kate Merrick was telling the story of losing her daughter to cancer. It’s one of those stories you can’t imagine and you never forget. There isn’t much worse you could go through in life than losing a child. But through her faith, Kate has found a way to continue living with joy even among her brokenness. And Still She Laughs
  5. Present Over Perfect – Shauna Niequist was burned out and sick and tired of the busy, perfectionist lifestyle she was leading. She decided to dive into a life of being intentional and present. The author shares vulnerable stories within her writing that challenges the reader to a simpler life. “ Present Over Perfect is a hand reaching out, pulling you free from the constant pressure to perform faster, push harder, and produce more, all while maintaining an exhausting image of perfection. ”Present Over Perfect
  6. I Let You Go – I read this book on a vacation and can barely tell you about the vacation as I was so captivated by the story! I love the suspense and mystery found in this book. Oh, and be prepared for the twist at the end — I’ll stop now so I don’t give it away! I Let You Go
Oh Canada

Happy Canada Day

Oh Canada

This year’s Canada Day celebrations will certainly be a once in a generation event. We mark 150 years since Confederation and this landmark birthday is being celebrated all over the country with feasts, fireworks shows, parades and red and white flags.

In 1867 the Dominion of Canada was created as per the British North America Act. This brought together the colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Province of Canada into one country merging together English and French speaking Canada. The new Dominion of Canada was composed of four provinces, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Ontario and New Brunswick.

No matter how you measure it, these days the modern nation of Canada is a cultural melting pot that celebrates diversity and is home to a mosaic of different ethnicities and traditions. What does it mean to be Canadian? It’s more than just beaver and maple syrup and snow shovels and hockey: it’s our identity of kindness, politeness, inclusion, acceptance and understanding…which is certainly something to celebrate.

Oh Canada

You Know You’re Canadian If…

You know what a toque is. 

You can do all the hand actions to Sharon, Lois and Bram’s “Sin-a-ma-rinky-dinky-doo” opus.

You know what a mickey and a 2-4 mean. 

You design your Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.

You know that the last letter of the English alphabet is always pronounced “Zed”.

Your local newspaper covers the national news on 2 pages, but requires 6 pages for hockey.

You know that when it’s 25 degrees outside, it’s a warm day.

You know that the 4 seasons mean: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction.

“Eh?” is a very important part of your vocabulary, and is more polite than, “Huh?”

You know where to get good poutine.

You’ve rolled up the rim to win.

Happy 150th Birthday Canada! I’m so proud to be a Canadian!

Oh Canada