Monthly Archives: December 2011

a blessed birthday

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yesterday, i swam in a swirl of happy wishes, kind words and an overwhelming abundance of love. i got to spend the day with kevin and to call the shots on everything we did. with the first day i’d had off work in a long, long time, i enjoyed some at the spa and some more at the salon where i welcomed my inner girly-girl out to play! my stylist gifted me the owner’s manual for my new (i’ve never had length like this in my life!) long hair; lessons in how to care for it and all kinds of cool new tricks i can do.  for the traditional birthday supper, i pulled rank and added a tiny twist. instead of sticking to the reservations at a venue carefully chosen by kevin (he was okay with it – i checked,) we barbecued at my folks’ place. hot dogs for the boys and veggie dogs for the girls. my favourite!

the celebrations ended like this…

and, in reverse order, here are all the things that came before that… (see bottom of post for a glimpse of the fantastic card my mom made me! ❤ )

perfume and jewelry
my mom has an amazing talent for a lot of things, one of them being the selection of unique gifts
that necklace is actually a $3 coin from the canadian mint and features my birthstone

at river market with my love
tea from great wall tea & lunch at crêpe des amis


frozen pineapple & berries + vega whole health powder + banana + coconut yogurt + coconut water

this may have been the first time my feet touched turf – i understand the appeal!

a stop at the flashy new field at queen’s park

an sunny and crisp early morning run was the best way to kick off a new year

my mom makes amazing cards. maybe it’s a girl thing or because i’ve just always been a card creator and/or mail obsessed, but one thing i look forward to at every occasion is seeing what kind of beauty she’s orchestrated. this birthday card might just be my favourite ever!

cupcakes!

front

back

inside

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a few things that should be mentioned…darling and sweet tributes to yours truly featured on blogs by my pdx family amy & evey (and chris.) and this whimsical portrayal of me and my bike by my amazingly talented friend, howie. i did get to go for a bike ride on my birthday. yay! (my new and yet unnamed mode of transport is still stuck at my folks’ place.)

thank you, thank you, everyone!

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birthday wishes

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now that it’s my birthday, i can let loose the couple of things i’ve had in mind to celebrate. what i was waiting for, i have no idea and my inadvertent secret keeping was particularly counterproductive since it just never gave me (or anybody else) the time to organize a darn thing. that’s typical of me. accuse me of being a planner, but then ask my esthetician or my hairdresser how often i make an appointment in a non-frantic tone and does not include begging them to fit me in. (never) i’m cool with it. celebrations can be stretched and i’m going to take my time with this one.

y’all know i’ve been ruminating on my one little word for 2012. here’s what i’ve learned: nourish, to me, is strongly linked to indulgence. not indulgence in an ice cream sundae kind of way, but in a do what feels good kind of way. what i’ve also learned is what feels good is moving my body in new ways. i’m feeling extremely drawn to trying different experiences and activities. sadly, my partner in life can not be my partner in crime at the moment since his injuries still have him sitting on the sidelines. no matter, it gives me the chance to scope out some new and fun focus for future adventure. 🙂

here are the two things for which i feel a strong desire:

  • a good, solid yoga class ~ i don’t mean a kick my ass sweaty workout class, i mean a challenging exercise in movement with a strong spiritual link; something to break my routine and shake me up a little
  • snowshoeing ~ i’ve never done it, but all i envision is the sun and the snow and the walk and, well, it sounds blissful!

realistically, i spent 14 hours in the office yesterday all to ensure i didn’t have to go in there at all today. i’ll settle for that as reward and use my time to make that other stuff happen some other day. for now, i definitely have a little spa time cued up and i do believe dinner plans are in existence. the people i love and some time to enjoy them. that, more than anything else, makes for a very happy birthday.

i’ll gladly take your advice on how/where to make my winter wonderland fantasy a reality and i have my arms wide open to suggestions on where to treat myself to a yoga class. please speak up!

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for me, i’m kicking off the year when i eatsleepbreathe nourish a couple of days early. that means this birthday girl is taking her cup of tea (i’ve re-adopted a terrible coffee habit lately – i think they come back even stronger!) back to bed his morning and will luxuriate in the time and freedom to relax, a heating pad and a very good book or maybe some blogs (know any good ones?) but, first, please know that my day began like this…

thank you, sweet amy and jonathon!

words are sometimes the best and biggest gift we can give someone we love

then my heart stopped…
friends forever facing whatever indeed xo

and now my gift to myself is rest…at least until my prince arrives. 😉

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i just had to edit to share my new mug and tea combo, a gift from my lovely mother who has a little something to celebrate as well. she began a journey of her own on this date all those years ago.
xoxo

i could totally do that

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a couple of things on my mind the very busy morning of this very busy day. mostly, tackling my to do list is to my advantage today because if i’m successful, that will free me up to face the very fun task of birthday celebrating tomorrow… if not, then i’ll be forced to cave and do something i have always refused to do on that sacred day – work. ick!

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if you were following along on twitter last night, you may have read mention of the plans constance and i had to check out a little seminar for making vision boards. all day, i as super stoked about the event. we even made a special trip to ikea to scout frames for our as yet unfinished (unstarted!) motivational masterpieces.

i know it seems hokey to some, but i totally believe in that kind of thing. i know all the principles of the law of attraction and i (try to) abide them. as you can probably tell sometimes, i’ve always tended to that line of thinking and have been exposed to a lot of new agey-type peeps in my life.

we started the class by talking about loa and expanded to using images and words and everything else to manifest the life you really want to live. pretty straight-forward stuff. i wasn’t there to learn, to be honest, i was just there to get the job done. put another way: i knew that attending would make me sit down and actually act instead of just thinking about it. (in theory, i needed to make a vision board for making my real vision board.)

at some point during the two hour session, my friend looked at me and said what i had been denying myself to think for the duration:

you could totally teach this

i knew that. and it kind of made me wonder why i’m not.

it’s by no means a criticism of the teacher. she was nice and sweet and presented the process without a hitch. there was this one thing, however, that just stuck in my craw. we talked a lot about the process and the belief behind it and we also talked about how sometimes when you go after things and don’t succeed, you need to take a different angle and try again. this led to the conscious practice of learning from our mistakes/frustrations/setbacks. she mentioned her vision board and how she’d thought about bringing it, but then decided not to because, for her, it just isn’t something she is comfortable sharing with everyone. i totally get that – until, that is, she expanded by saying “because if i show you what i wanted to do and then totally fail, people are going to think (mumbles about botched credibility…) huh? if we learn from every challenge and we either adapt our desired outcome or we take a different approach, how does a word like failure even exist? as far as i’m concerned, it shouldn’t. not in any of our vocabularies and certainly not in hers while presenting.

i feel a little guilty about airing that criticism, but i just found it so counterproductive. we were able to carry on and keep moving toward our end goal, but we did share a knowing look and a rehash after we left.

and, me, i’m on the fence about whether i will share my vision board when it’s done. i’m focusing on 2012 in its entirely and on the one little word i’ve chosen for it, but the piece is still in its infant stages of creation. i have a little way to go until its completion. hopefully, that can happen before the ball drops on sunday.

grady has mastered the law of attraction: she envisioned a life of relaxation and food aplenty and now she lives it!

nourish

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sometimes something very teeny tiny appears to be the greatest gift of all. while, in this case, it’s something as simple as a tweeted link, it shows thoughtfulness, caring and an interest in sharing.

it wasn’t much, but it meant a lot to me. while he may have got it wrong with my height, he got it right with this link. and knowing that no matter how my style it is, it’s totally not nathan‘s makes it even more touching that he’d pass it on.

ali edwards talks about her one little word for 2012

to make a long story short: choose a word for the new year.

as i read through her post, even before i was prompted to think about my own word, it had already popped in my head. interestingly, it isn’t a word i use often or much, but this was the second time it had risen to the surface before my eyes.

nourish

for 2012, i envision a life in which i can nourish all parts of me. this includes the part that is a girlfriend and the part that is a friend; the part daughter and part sister; the worker, the blogger, the knitter and the yogi; the cook, the cleaner and the crafter. the cyclist, too!

nourish, to me, means to feed, the care for and to nurture. this is the opposite of rigid schedules, drastic mandates and stringent rules. it’s slowing down, taking things as they come and letting it all play out. it’s also a major change to how i live and will provide a big challenge. i will nourish with good and healthy food, sleep, books, films and other entertainment, using my hands to make things i love and my body to move me in beautiful ways. i will finally learn to not take everything so darn seriously and to find the joy in every moment.

this summer wasn’t easy. when we needed people, some really disappointed us. others stepped forward and gave us the care and support we needed. for two of the latter, two who came forward in a way we never expected, i felt the desire to do something special this christmas. this is where my word for 2012 first made its appearance.

i’ve written about my love for kristen, my naturopath. i am so thankful to have that kind of treatment at all, and i am especially blessed to have the brand of care that only she can give. for her role in our experience this summer, she is my angel.

carol is a friend from work with whom i think i always shared a special bond, but i honestly didn’t expect that she’d be a person i confided in, but when the situation arose, it just felt far more right than it did with many others. i spilled and she did an amazing job of mopping up around me and making me feel understood.

if i can be half as strong, caring and beautiful as each of these women were to me, then i will walk the earth very proud. i’m not sure how i’d have survived without them.

as a token of my affection and appreciation, i made them each a bowl. one is seen in the photo above, the other is very similar. upon opening, tears sprung in the eyes of each of us because there was just so much more than the gift in the room. these two, among others, taught me nourishment this summer and i am determined to continue that growth through 2012.

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a friend joining me on this journey knew her word before she finished reading the post as well. kevin picked his word quite quickly after i outlined the exercise. my mom is currently in deliberation on hers.

what will be your one little word for 2012?

an empty inbox: not just an urban legend

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there was this one time i really did have an empty inbox. and, no, it wasn’t when i opened my gmail account. a few years ago, in the days when i could actually get time off of work, i spent the vacation between christmas and new years whittling away at my email. i took a screen shot of the amazing results, but i’m sure it’s been lost somewhere along the way.

i’ve heard that some people live that way. it comes mostly from amy when she squeals in terror if she catches a glimpse of my mail screen. (these screen shots might kill her.)

you see, i believe that my inbox is packed with inspiration and opportunity. truth be told, it is! i have a hard time deleting emails that i haven’t gotten around to reading for fear of missing something great in one of them. however… i saw on a tv show recently (consumed, i think it might have been) that even though something is bought and paid for, it may still be costing you in productivity if it gets in the way of you doing your work efficiently. bell: ringing. message received.

this runs along the same lines as my usual end of the year goals and is what i am focusing on at home as well. over the next few days, i’m going to work on decluttering, ridding myself of excess and of the things i’ve outgrown and tidying up in general. if you soon get a reply to an email you sent months ago, this may explain it! 😉

one in a million

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like a million kids around the globe, i was lucky to find a shiny red bike under the tree yesterday. i’ve been thrilled with it since the moment i laid eyes on it. it’s funky and cool and is bound to be the centerpiece for some super fun times in the future. i already have a million adventures and riding dates planned. i also have a few little details such as how to get it from my folks’ to my place (kevin clearly needs a new car…or just a bike rack, i suppose) and how/where to store it in my building. minor stuff. we also need to get his back healed up and get him one of his own.

kevin really knocked one out of the park this christmas. i feel so special and so blessed to not only be in a relationship with the most amazing man i’ve ever known, but to be absolutely spoiled by him, too. i hadn’t asked for a bike, but i have to give him props for coming up with such a great gift idea and finding one that is absolutely perfect for me. i hadn’t been on a bike in well over a decade – not one that moves at least! – but i got the chance to ride it around last night on the street where i first learned to ride and around the cul-de-sac where we played chips as kids. turns out there’s a reason they say it’s like riding a bike. it’s easy!

now i can ride my bike to the store to pick up a few groceries or take it across town to yoga class. and the basket would be perfect for a little dog. 😉

the gift came complete with basket, bell, helmet, lights and a new seat

the only thing missing is one of those miniature license plates with my name on it. my birthday is in a few days so anyone who’d like to step in here is welcome…the more exotic the license plate the better. think you can find one for me?

“you’re gonna wear it, right??” ~ my christmas sweater

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while everyone on the continent, from east coast to west, already knows what i’m getting for christmas, i am still in the dark. well, so to speak. kevin let me open one box he’d stashed under the tree.

two birds with one stone: i can cross book light off my wish list this year, too!

merry christmas, everyone!!