Friday, September 30, 2011

three wheel announcements

okay, i am seriously excited about today's announcements.  i am sure they matter to no one but me, but hey! it's my blog :)

1. SAM CRAWLED!  he actually did.  he is the most amazing baby ever, and now he can finally get to all the toys he throws out of reach.  yay!

2. today, i am the friday fig!  i was sooo pumped to be interviewed by the amazing and talented Anande Sjoden.  (check out her work.  you won't be disappointed.)

3. i rearranged our living room.  (i know, it seems like a wimpy announcement ... but it's pretty exciting, and definitely adds a taste of freshness and new perspective to my teensy tiny apartment, so i'm really happy about it.)

and there you have it!  friday's announcements, by yours truly.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

sour apples


everyone is blogging and facebooking about their awesome fall activities.  i keep trying to ignore it but it is everywhere.

when i realized i'm actually not opening up my friends' blogs because they have something autumnal in the title, i had to take a minute to assess what was going on with me.

fall has always been my favourite season.  i love the vivid reds and oranges of the leaves with an adoration bordering on the psychotic.  i adore making warm soups (pumpkin!  butternut squash!) and soft breads, fragrant pies and carmel sauce.  i love the smell of woodsmoke and the sight of pretty scarves and warm sweaters.  i love autumn.  

 (see?  i really love autumn.)

so why the sour apples?  what's up with me this year?

i think i'm homesick. :S  i miss the blue sky and sea of nova scotia in october.  i miss popping out to see my sister selling cupcakes at the farmers' market.  i miss my nephew & nieces' excitement about their hallowe'en costumes.  (i even miss my dad making sure we all have something with hunter's orange on us in case we go too close to the woods.)  i miss the long, lovely autumn of the east coast. 

p, in my beautiful nova scotia, nov. 2009

i need someone to kick me in the pants and help me see all of the awesome fall things here in thunder bay, before the snow sets in and i die.  seriously. 

maybe i'll throw an autumn party.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"the pornification of society" and a longing for purity

a friend of mine posted a link to this article, titled fighting a pornified society
after reading it, i couldn't stop thinking about it, and decided to write my response here in my blog.  (if you pop over and check it out, this will make a lot more sense.)

i agree with the author about the hypersexualization of women (and now, unfortunately, children) in our society. 
i think that part of it stems from a deep longing for something good - something pure, even.  (i'm so NOT saying that hypersexualization is good and pure!  read on.) 

i find myself grossed out at the extreme vulgarity and degradation of my generation - and i grew up in it.  for example, people on tv and in movies mention porn as if it's an acceptable pastime, as if it's the norm, for people to fill their eyes and minds with the grossest of garbage.  our society is soaked in filth. 

some friends from school laughed at the idea that patrick and i saved ourselves for each other for marriage, and even implied that patrick must be lying.  as if purity in relationship is impossible.  and while the guys joked and teased, the girls seemed to think it would be really nice to have someone love you that much that they'd wait for you.  underneath the laughter was a deeper longing for something that good, that pure.

and i think that's partly why advertisers and fashion magazines are turning to younger and younger models to sell their products.  children are associated with innocence, and in our creepy society, innocence is as close to purity as we can get.  so when we look at ads with kids, there's a little echo of something good, something unattainable, something unbearably beautiful.  something lost, even.

in sunday school lately, i've been talking with my kids about God's character.  and He is pure.  He is holy.  it's really amazing and comforting to know that the God we worship is not smutty or defiled.  He is perfect, spotless, glorious.

and the amazing thing about Him is that He will transform us into His likeness.
and the purity and the goodness and the loveliness that our society longs for is ours, in Him.  He is altogether lovely.

when i think about everything that's wrong with our society, i get all knotted up and sick to my stomach.  but when i think about Jesus - i am at rest.  He is holy.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

my miracle sam

more things i love about being a mom ...

no matter where he is, sam will search for me with his big brown eyes, and then light up when he sees me.

yesterday he was playing on the floor while i was having some quiet time, and i looked up and saw him staring at me.  i smiled, and suddenly he burst into the biggest snorty laugh, with his two little teeth chopping away at his gums.  ahh.  i died.

i love discovering new things about sam - his personality, his likes & dislikes, etc.

sam loves music.  i have one particular ringtone on my phone that he adores, and sometimes when he's fussy i play it to calm him down.  last night, patrick and i sang to him as we were getting him ready for bed - just a goofy, made-up song - and he snorty-laughed at it the whole time.  then he grabbed patrick's face and gave him a big goobery kiss.

he lights up when he sees patrick.  usually he's sleeping when patrick leaves for work, but sometimes he wakes up early, and then is overjoyed to see papa still home :D. 

he loves kids.  at church on sunday, most of the kids sit behind us.  i let sam stand up on the chair beside me, holding on to the back of it, and he just laughs and grins so hard.  he loves kids.

he loves being outside.  this morning i popped him into a hoodie to take our garbage to the shed across the parking lot.  he was just captivated by the birds, the twittery grey dawn, and the light streaking across the sky.

i love watching him discover the world.

he's going to be an early crawler/walker.  he just has to be on the move.  he gets up on his hands and knees (or hands and feet) and tries SO hard.  sometimes he moves forward a tiny bit, but mostly he moves backwards.  whatever happens, he does not give up.  he tires himself out trying to get going.

he's so amazing.  a true gift from God.

samjam, i love you!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


sam has recently started getting up on his hands and knees.  he can't really crawl yet (well, he can go backwards, shakily, but he gets all upset when he's moving farther & farther away from the toys he's trying to reach), but he gets up on all fours whenever he can.

i was up in the middle of the night, and peeked into his crib.  he wasn't making any noise, but he was up on all fours, just perched there, swaying.  i thought he was awake, and i picked him up to cuddle him back to sleep, but he was already asleep.

yep.  6 months old and he's sleepwalking.  he wants to crawl so bad!

my heart melts when i see him trying so hard to crawl.  he just wants to be on the move, but every day when he tries and tries and tries - he's stuck.

 not going anywhere

this morning, God showed me that i am a lot like my small somnambulist.  (and maybe, like him, it's just something i have to go through to get to the next stage?)

i've been struggling with some medical stuff lately that has me completely stressed out.  like, bawling into my soup stressed out.  it's not something i can change.  i've got an appointment to see a specialist in january, but i can't do anything about it until then.
still, though, i worry about it and think about it and can't let it go.  it's like a loose tooth, and i just keep playing with it even when it hurts.

so maybe, when i'm stuck on all fours and not going anywhere, i just need to appreciate the fact that i'm on my knees already and pray.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


it was -3*C when i woke up yesterday morning.  yup.  minus.

there is a lot about tbay that i love.  it is beautiful, in a wild, big way.  it has really unpretentious people who are easy to love.  we met some of our dearest friends here, and this is where God gave us our incredible son.  i wouldn't trade in our past year for the world.

the weather, though (especially in winter), kills me.  i know: you probably want to say "suck it up, princess, it's canada!"  - but canada is a big hunk of land and i am from a much warmer part of it!

to put it in perspective, let me use ratios.  tbay's winter is twice as cold (-30 avg temp here, instead of -15), and almost twice as long (close to 8 months here, instead of 4 and a half).  for someone who has always hated winter, that adds up to a whole lot of adjusting.  so before you start rolling your eyes at my complaint, let me help you think of it like this.

if you were from tbay, and you made the same kind of move i did, you would be living in a place where the average winter temperature is -60, and it lasts for 15 months of the year.  oh yes.  always.  (and that's how long 8 months of winter feels to me ... eternal.)

so ... i'm not complaining because i think thunder bay sucks, or because i hate it here.  i really and truly don't.  if God wants us to stay here forever, i will not fight Him about it.  in fact, i might tell Him i think it's a pretty nice idea.  but it might take me a couple of years to adjust to the cold.

minus 3 in september. 


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

new project

i'm working on a little project, but i want to keep at it for a week or so before i let anyone in on it.  however, if i manage to get it nicely started, i'll tell you all about it, share updates, and post my project journal. 

woot woot!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

just rambling

it's a chilly 11*C here this morning, which i'm not going to complain about, because (weirdly) sam sleeps longer when the temperature dips. 
it's been almost 2 hours since he plunged into a nap, and he hasn't surfaced yet.

bored? look up cushing's syndrome, a little beauty of an endocrine disorder with a magical element called a Buffalo Hump.  i'm completely not kidding.  what kind of cruel medico came up with that?

i made gingerbread zucchini muffins yesterday - yum!  it's nice to sneak vegetables into our diet, because i'm not such a huge fan and if they're well hidden, i enjoy the nutritional benefits without the tasting-them unbenefits.  um, drawbacks.

sweet hereafter is opening in halifax this week.  so wish i was there.  if you're in the city, pop over this weekend and eat a slice of cheesecake for me :).

going to walk to the post office today!  one of my fave bloggers (danielle over at my small tornado) sent sam an awesome present :D.  looking forward to his reaction.

ah.  my small gem is awake.  over & out.  happy tuesday, y'all.

Monday, September 12, 2011

happy monday

i've got some fun plans on tap today!

a friend is coming to take sam on a date this afternoon, and i'm going to take full advantage of the unexpected freedom!  i hope to:

  • take out the garbage (appreciate the small things, folks!)
  • make zucchini gingerbread (gotta get my veggies in)
  • make a batch of spaghetti sauce
  • make some quesadillas to send home with my friend :)
  • vacuum (since we have a small apartment, this is surprisingly difficult to get done when sam is home and patrick isn't here to cuddle him!  if sam's awake, he's usually on the carpet ... if he's asleep, he's not on the carpet, but i don't want to interrupt him with the vacuum.  so a samless afternoon means a clean carpet for me!)
and i just might squeeze in a little workout.  but in typical janelle fashion, it's lower on the priority list than the food ;).

happy ears: i'm listening to this today :) woot!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

back to school blues

i keep tearing up tonight.  i keep seeing little status updates as my friends send their kids back to school.  some are sending their kids for the last time - hello grade 12 - and some are sending them for the first time - sweet little primary!  i think every single mom feels the twinge.

there's something about the first day of a new school year that marks time passing like nothing else in the world.  more than birthdays, more than milestones, more than notches on the height chart.

there's something sweet but aching in the relentless march of time.  it's that smell of indoor sneakers, markers, and new lunchboxes.  it's that look - the one over the shoulder as they climb on the bus.  it's the excitement of moms set free from the tyranny of summer, and the lump-in-the-throat goodbye for six whole hours.

life is a big funny agony, isn't it?

sometimes i get tired of wearing the big-girl clothes, and want to slip back into my feetie pyjamas and curl up beside the wood stove.  i'd like to be in the perfect moment: dad snoozing on the couch, my mom doing my hair, my brother vroom-vrooming toy cars on the carpet, and my sisters giggling on the phone with their friends.

tomorrow i'm going to snuggle with sam on the floor and adore him every minute.  and i'm going to close my eyes and thank God that the first day of school is still a long, long, long, way away.

oh, don't grow up too fast, l'il samjam!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

small town breakfast

we decided to take advantage of our long weekend before patrick starts his new job.  because of his parents' kindness and the use of their car, we were able to make the seven-hour trip to kap for a visit. 

they knew we were coming - but we let them think we were coming on friday.  instead, we showed up on thursday, just in time for patrick's cousin's baptism (yay!) and spent an awesome day with them yesterday, playing games and hanging out.

this morning, we met up with patrick's aunts & uncles at a little breakfast diner.  it's turning into a tradition - i think this is the fourth breakfast in as many visits.

there's something magic and happy about going out for breakfast in a small town.  first off, everyone knows everyone, and people stop by to say hello and coo at the baby (who was missing his nap and subsequently kinda cranky ... but that's another post).  then, there's the overworked waitress who apparently never has a day off, as she has been our waitress for every. single. breakfast.      ever.

there's a comfortable atmosphere of being at home - moving chairs and tables around to accommodate everyone - patrick's awesome aunt brings her favourite real maple syrup from home (and shares it! - because, after all, what are pancakes without real maple syrup?) - and passing the baby around the table so everyone can get their glasses tugged off and their cheeks drooled on a hug.

random strangers people you see all around town stop to chat, or to discuss the crazy stuff on the news, or to kiss your baby and hold him until you start wondering if you have enough wipes to ungermify him and make him smile.  and after a while you realize that everyone has eaten (yummiest omelets in the world, by the way!), finished their coffee, and one of the family members has sneaked to the cash to pay.  for everyone.  because they love us.

and then it's time to say goodbye, which involves standing in the road and hugging a few times, taking pictures, and making plans to do this again.  this is also a good time to wave down passersby and chat, pass the baby around for more kisses, and pray he doesn't have a meltdown.

and then it's over.
doesn't it sound nice?  it's a happy, loving, yummy way to spend a saturday morning.  patrick comes from such a kind family, in one of the nicest small towns ever.

if you ever visit kap, pop in to tyler's for breakfast.  (it's either that or tim hortons.  and you can get tim's anywhere.)