Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Snippets of Our Long Weekend

My girls had a really long weekend and I thought it would be fun to document our adventures together. I find these times go by way too quickly and I am so happy that we filled our days with reading, food, crochet, and lots (and I mean lots) of trains. :)
I settled in for some morning reading. I was behind on our book club read of "The Thursday Murder Club." 
Girls and their trains. 
Sewed in the ends of the last crocheted heart! I am so proud of all the work I've done over the last few days. 
The first Christmas Starbucks cup of the season and the first Christmas tree spotting. 
The pink salad dressing on a very yummy salad with a tree in the backyard - felt very Christmasey. I spent a chunk of time figuring out how to put the twine on the ornaments while watching Morgan Long's newest video.
Replanted some pots and they are looking better!
Still reading. Book club was the next day! The girls wanted to play this goosebumps themed game... 
And they giggled when I said the game was too scary. I opted out for more hearts and a video by Randi Lynn Reed. (The girls told me the game wasn't scary at all and I should play next time.)
Late night popcorn and reading. I finished the book by 11:30pm and it was so good. I highly recommend it!
Book club play dough and these cute hearts in a basket. Officially done!! :) 
It was super fun listening to this podcast while I walked around trying to get my heart rate up and my steps in. I even laughed at my cat eared shadow - I forgot I was wearing a headband.
More trains and a quiet moment with my youngest.
Piano fingers!
Got new Christmas lights for the outdoors and we managed to listen to several chapters of "The Wild Robot Escapes." So good so far!
We spent the afternoon outside. Meet Tyson, our Cyclops friend.
We also built a fort! 
I am currently in the process of changing my mindset and focusing in on some of my dreams. So fun and so scary. Spent the rest of my evening staring at these crocheted bits and pieces. Much to do.
Thank you so much for reading. Happy Wednesday. xo

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Currently // What Life Looks Like These Days

Hello, my dear friends. How are you? 

We are already into the second week of November. Wow! It snowed for so many days at the beginning of the month and my inner child was absolutely tickled with delight. Now, when that sun hits the snow, and I see all those sparkles, I get excited. I find this season filled with the promise of Him, of magical lanterns and Turkish delight, and of all the cozy childhood memories of coming indoors after being outside for a little too long. Of hot chocolate and cozy blankets, and oddly reading Jane Eyre. This must have been around the time I first read it because I crave it every November.

I also recently discovered that I really like shovelling snow. I like seeing the progress I make as I slide the shovel across the driveway. I love hearing the crunch of it, feeling the weight of it, and seeing the powder fly in the air as the wind takes it where it wills. During the early days of the month, I heard geese pass overhead as I was out. I stopped shovelling and watch them fly south. That felt like such a blessing to me.  

Truthfully, there are many reasons why this season is a hard one, but I don't think I will delve into those. I have been ignoring my inner child lately, so I need to let her win this one. We will be cozying up with knitting podcasts, cups of tea, and books. Lots and lots of books We'll be out trying to catch snowflakes on our tongues and watch as the flurries storm around us. Perhaps we'll even take a dive into Jane Eyre. :) 

Lovely quotes : 

"If you don't like the road you're walking, start paving another one." - Dolly Parton 

"November : the last month of autumn, but the beginning of a new adventure; time to take risks and do the unexpected." - Unknown. 

"Isn't it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive - it's such an interesting world. It wouldn't be half so interesting if we know all about everything, would it?" - L. M. Montgomery 

A few things I've been : 

thankful for // my family. I hurt my neck yesterday (probably from shovelling the snow, heehee) and everyone has been so helpful; aiding me in chores, handing me new skeins of yarn, and cuddling softly on the couch. I am so so so thankful. 

excited about // an advent jam calendar! Last weekend we explored the Italian Centre and I found the advent calendar of my dreams. Last year, I saw that Ciara from Ciara's Corner had a jam advent calendar and I thought that it was a brilliant invention. I did not expect to find one in my corner of the world, and when I did, I snatched it up with glee. I cannot wait to see the cute little jam jars!  

crocheting // cute, little heart ornaments. I found a wonderful pattern that I changed up slightly to create these really cute hearts! With twine to hang them, I think they will look wonderful on a Christmas tree. I'll be posting more photos of them soon.  

reading // 'The Thursday's Murder Club' by Richard Osman and am really loving it. The first couple of chapters I was a little hesitant, but now that I am deeper into the novel (30%) I'm really enjoying it. I am also listening to the audiobook of 'Hamnet' by Maggie O'Farrell and it is wonderful. I am really enjoying how she is telling the story through the many perspectives we read from. Each observe different things that are important to them, and as a whole, we get to see this incredible world expand and form with such dimension. At the beginning of the novel, I was listening to the perspective of Hamnet, who was described as someone who gets distracted easily. He was meant to be looking for his mother, but ended up in the workshop, and because of his distraction, described the place with such rich detail. The description did not feel ill-timed or forced. It was natural from a boy who was curious about the world and I loved it. O'Farrell continues to do this with her characters and every time I am awed by how smooth it all feels. Lastly, the girls and I are hoping to get to 'The Wild Robot Escapes' by Peter Brown this weekend. We loved the first one and started the second one right when the audiobook was due back at the library. We have it in our possession again and we cannot wait to dive into it. Highly recommend the first one.  
        Hoping to read : the last two books in the Camulod Chronicles by Jack Whyte before the year ends. I have 'The Fort at River's Bend' and 'Metamorphosis' left. Such a good series, and so much happens. I recommend looking up trigger warnings before diving in. It's historical fiction after all. 

watching // 'Enola Homes 2'. I loved it! I honestly think I enjoyed this more than the first one, but it has been so long since I've watched the first one that I need to have a rewatch before I can honestly declare my upmost love for its sequel. The sequel was so cute though! I also just finished watching the fifth season of 'The Great Canadian Baking Show' with my youngest. She once told me that she wanted to be a chef/baker, and even though her dream job has changed (she's only five), my heart still hangs onto the baker idea. Regardless, she has been the one to eagerly watch these types of shows with me. She loved the challenge aspect and we even had favourite bakers. We cheered for them together and held each others hand in anticipation as we waited for them to announce star baker and who would go home at the end of each week. It's a sweet memory I'll forever treasure. 
More often than not, I am watching something on YouTube. I have cultivated a lovely little playlist of people who really make me happy and I will list a couple here (if you are interested in a list of everyone who I admire, please let me know and I'll write up one) : Penrose Knits, Alexandra Roselyn, and Morgan Long. I also want to add this video by Darlin Desi, literally called 'How to Enjoy November'
        Hoping to watch soon : 'The Nutcracker'. I watched it last November and thought the timing of it was perfect. So, naturally, I want to make it a tradition. I am also going to add this one to my to-watch list. I still haven't seen it and it feels perfect for this time of year. 'The Only Murders in the Building' is another one on my list which I cannot wait to get to!

listening to  // the Skyrim soundtrack on repeat. Hearing the crunch of the snow, seeing our breath in the air, pulling ourselves through massive snowbanks to get to our mission (school, grocery store, etc) - it all just feels like an adventure story to me and Skyrim is the playlist on my brain. If only there was a campfire nearby! There are a few playlists I found on YouTube, but recently we've been listening to the album on Apple Music!! 

researching // all the books my girls and I need to read. I recently discovered a wonderful blog 'Dad Suggests' and love it. A lot of the books we've read and love, he also loved, which makes me very eager to read anything he recommends. He also features a lot of kid-friendly board games, some which, again, we have played and loved. I highly recommend visiting his site for awesome ideas. 

learning // and reminding myself to slow down. Find the slow moments and soft corners, listen to the echo and the beat of every day life with an appreciation rather than frustration. To approach life with a smooth ease rather than a fast, rushed approach. I constantly need to be reminded of this. To slow down. To breathe. To relax into this moment and onto the next.

Monday, November 07, 2022

Falling into Autumn : Documenting A Year by Its Seasons

I thought it would be very fun to document a year by its seasons. 

Last October, I was very inspired by all the colours that I saw in our old neighbourhood. We had this beautiful maple tree in our backyard that carried such large leaves, and when the weather grew colder, they transformed into the prettiest of reds. My family and I went on many walks and I was simply awed by the world. Right then and there, I decided to create another photograph challenge; one that would help me appreciate the beauty of the winter, slip by the messiness of spring, the heat of summer, and back into the clutches of my favourite season. Autumn. 

So many changes in one year, and as I type this now, I can even compare a little bit of this November with last November. The snow didn't come until later and here in 2022 we are already buried under it. I was able to witness more of the decay of the garden, of bare branches, or appreciate the slight coating of the first snowfall. In 2022, everything is white. Already so many changes.  

When the snow finally did come in 2021, I hibernated indoors; only coming out to reflect on ice and make footprints in the fresh powder. And to pick up kids from school. I fell in love with icicles and with my daughters garden discovery of a trapped leaf.

Spring surprised me and I begun searching out for the sound, the drip, drip, drip, of melting snow. I loved watching the blooms stretch out their curled fingers and of the new colour, suddenly everywhere. I was not expecting to fall in love with this colour palette, but I did. I've always liked Spring, I was born in Spring after all, but something about this one captured my heart. The fragrance of the trees wafted in the air for so long, the puddles were oceans, and the pitter-patter of the rain sung a song full of hope. I fell in love with Spring! 

Summer then came. Adventures started and ended so soon, the excitement of fall, of September, of school; it took over our thoughts and I started looking forward instead of staying present. The rest of holidays rushed by and our new schedules sucked us in. 

The change into fall started slowly, then loudly, and before I fully started appreciating it, winter came. And now here we are. I think my busyness distracted me from the outdoors. I walked less than last year and I kept my camera off, thinking I'd simply capture "it" later. Rushing. I think I accidentally stumbled into the habit of rushing - hurrying off into the "next" without much thought of looking around me. That's the reason why I did not take very many photos this fall. I was too distracted. 

What I've learned from this project : 
- Taking photos of nature, and seeing them afterwards, really makes me happy. When I was putting everything together for this blog post, I was reminded of so many wonderful outdoor adventures we had over these twelve months.  
- I like seeing things that may have gone unnoticed. I really like staring at leaves caught in ice with my girls. 
- Spring and Fall are both favourites of mine. 

Moving forward: 
- I want to take more time to slow down and stop, to capture the small moments of every day. Not write them off. Too much rushing happened at the end of this project. 
- I want to find more reasons why Winter and Summer are just as awesome as Fall and Spring.

It was so much fun seeing the world in such ranging shades of colour, from many different vantage points as the year turned. I've gathered all the photos here and I hope you enjoy taking a seasonal look into my year.