Cherish The Moments (Family Time)

Recently, there have been a string of premature deaths in my area. I can easily come up with 10 people in their 20s who have recently passed away, and this has been affecting me, even if it’s not really manifesting itself in grief. It’s just come to show me how valuable life itself really is.

Three years after becoming a mother for the first time, I can honestly say that I truly love the special family moments we’ve been working on. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with staying at home and making some homemade playdough, but I really enjoy the outings we’ve been having as a family lately. Aldric and I bring the kids out for a walk on a trail, or around in an area they’ve never been before. It gives the kids some time to explore as we let them run a few steps ahead of us. I know it sounds crazy, but these times together have really made me understand just how much my children have grown! Also, it has begun to put my mind at ease about having both children out in public, haha. It’s taught me that they listen way more than I ever thought they would, it’s shown me how much they love being outdoors, and it really allows me to see the vivid reactions on their faces when we explore a new area. Sometimes we keep it more low-key, and have a campfire before bed with the kiddos. The way the kids light up when we bring out the marshmallow roasting sticks is simply adorable.

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I want my children to have memories, not only day to day average activities. I want them to really have fun times that they can look back on, filled with love and devoted attention. Not only that, but it really brings Aldric and I closer together as well. It’s nice to actually see him actively parenting the children and interacting with them. I strongly believe that a strong bond between father and child is special. It’s one thing that I missed out on when I was younger, which I realize is probably why I find myself making sure that Aldric is a really actively-involved parent. It’s one thing for a parent to be around, it’s another thing entirely for a parent to be actively-involved (and no, I’m not referring to helicopter-parenting).

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I think it would be unrealistic for me to believe that every moment of every day is special. So much of it is filled with the mundane, cleaning, organizing, getting ready, working, and all that jazz. As soon as I made it clear to myself that this was what I wanted in our lives, and that this was important to me, I was able to find the time for it. I’ve changed my attitude to take one solid day a week, not just an hour once in a while, to put aside any major projects, I just do light cleaning, and we just “make a day of it”. We do whatever we would like, but we do it together. It’s really our own, personalized version of stopping to smell the roses.To cherish the time we have together, because I do realize that before I know it my children won’t be babies anymore. True family time is something that Aldric and I missed out on when we were growing up, and instead of bringing up another generation like we were, we decided to put an emphasis on memories, telling our children (and each other) “I love you”, and really solidifying the bond that holds us all together as a family.

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I totally understand that sometimes due to scheduling, or where you’re at in your own journey can make devoting an entire day somewhat tough. Up until the past few months, I would’ve thought that this was nearly impossible! So make sure you’re really cherishing the moments that you DO have together. Tell your children, and those around you that you LOVE them. Spend at least 20 minutes a day on your child’s level. Play with them, colour with them, converse with them. In time, if it’s truly important to you, you’ll find more and more time to spend with your loved ones.

I feel like I could go on all day about this topic, and I’m not going to. You know your own personal scheduling, I’m just hoping that maybe this post will sway you to spend a little more time as quality time… you never know how much you have left.

Until next time,
Barb

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10 things you should do now!

Really life is simple. At the end of the day, if you’re happy, you’ve got it made. With that in mind I just wanted to post a small list of ten things you should do for yourself, so at the end of the day (or week), you can feel happier. The happier you are, the better off you’ll be. When people are happy, they accomplish more… and this list is a good one to get you well on your way!

1) Tell yourself how awesome you are. Everyone is awesome at something and it’s time you appreciated what you’re awesome at. Admitting you’re super at certain things is an amazing confidence booster, and confidence (not cockiness) is sure to bring you a long way in this world.
2) Make a list of goals. Make sure that some are long-term, like going back to school or getting that raise/promotion at work. Or maybe for you it’ll be saving up for that kitchen renovation. Whatever it is, make sure you write it down. Then take the time to break it down into smaller, more achievable steps. Include some short-term goals as well, maybe try drinking more water each day, or get in a few minutes a day to work out. This will make sure you have something to work towards, and give you a sense of accomplishment when you’ve completed it.
3) Organize a corner of your room. Spend no more than 30 minutes at a time trying to clean and organize whatever section of your home you’re working on. Then once it’s done, make sure you keep it that way. Every time you see or use the area, you’ll feel better about yourself and it’ll help give you the motivation to work harder and get something else done too.
4) Find the time to exercise. Everyone should be able to take 15 minutes a day to work out. http://www.youtube.com/blogilates has a good number of quick workout videos that you can do in the comfort of your own home without any additional equipement. No more excuses! You’ll feel better, and over time you’ll learn to live the burn and enjoy the extra energy you’ll have in your day to day life.
5) Organize your finances. Whether you’re in good financial standing, or maybe you just have a few bills to take care of, figure out the easiest way to get it done, and pay your bills on time. If you’re going through a tough time, break it down and work it out slowly. You’ll feel better and sleep easier knowing that you’re working on getting yourself to a better financial standing.
6) Take a moment for yourself. Maybe this means getting up a few minutes earlier to enjoy your cup of coffee before your kids wake up to get ready for school, or maybe just before bed just sit down and spend a moment by yourself to collect your thoughts. If you think of anything you need to do, or any ideas you have, jot them down in a notebook so you don’t have to worry about forgetting them later on.
7) Teach your children how to do some chores. Usually the homes of parents are sorely in need of some extra helping hands, your children are usually the biggest mess-makers, and they should be learning how to take care of their living area. This will give you an extra set of hands to help out, while giving your children more self-confidence and teaching them important lessons.
8) Treat yourself. Every once in a while, make time to do something special for yourself. It doesn’t have to be expensive, it could be as simple as staying home and painting your nails or trying out a new hairstyle. Take this time to rejuvinate yourself whenever you can, if you give yourself more time to relax you’ll feel much less stressed and able to focus on the task at hand more often.
9) Stay connected. No, I’m not talking about Facebook. Clicking “like” on someone’s status simply does not equate to spending time with another person. Make sure you have actual conversations with your friends and family to keep yourself connected. Make a lunch date, or take a coffee break with friends once in a while. Also, make sure you have time for your other half. Spend time together bonding and solidifying your relationship. Make sure you’re both on the same track and have an open line of communication. The best way to do this is to set time aside to just be together and talk. Sitting next to one another watching t.v. every night isn’t truly keeping yourselves connected.
10) Take yourself out of your comfort zone. Do something you don’t do often, or have never done before. Sign yourself up for some classes, belly dancing, rock climbing, canoeing. It doesn’t have to be high risk either, go check out that new restaurant you’ve been dying to see. Whatever it is, doing new things, going to new places and meeting new people are always good things to do for yourself.

So seriously, get on this! These are things that will really help you feel better, and start living your life as a 10!

Barb

Party and Vacation

Well, all in all we had seven people over, and I’m pretty sure we all had a good time. The party was supposed to start around 9, with the exception of two friends showing up around 7:30 instead. Any guesses on when the first guest popped in? 6:30. We were still washing dishes! Hahah, the next guests showed up at about 7:30, and another shortly afterwards. So we told the last guy that he might as well come.

The night was fun in general, even though I never did have any time to really get ready! We all had a blast, we played the game of things, and one of the girls had to leave. So afterwards we all moved into the living room and played some Taboo. Of course this all happened while we ate and drank. The evening ended around 2 in the morning, and everyone made it home safe, sound and legally since we had designated drivers.

So, what did this mean for day one of the boyfriend’s week off? It was pretty much wrote off. I went to a boudoir shoot with two of the girls from the party, we had a lovely model! Spectacular to work with. I also got to take a few pictures of a local musician, he has an amazing voice. I actually got picked up and brought to the location of the shoot by a girl who I know, but not well. Remember, it’s tough for me to make friends! Haha, but she’s really sweet and nice. After the shoot, she brought me back and we just sat in her car and talked for a while. It was nice, and she said that next time she came to a party, she would probably spend the night so that she could drink a little more with us. Also, she said she wanted to hang out again sometime. Good news! We did this before, but we never ended up talking until our mutual friend brought us together again, so I guess we’ll see what happens. I really would enjoy a female friend to have around (closer than the three hour drive that I currently have between myself and my only female friend!).

Then I came home and slept! I never ended up sick or anything, just tired. Really, really tired. This meant that there was no cleaning today. I do feel a little guilty, but I guess I’ll have to make up for that tomorrow. I may actually go over and organize the desk/office area tonight if I get ambitious. Luckily, we tidied the whole place up pre-party, so it’s not like there’s a lot to make up in the living quarters.

Off I go! Time to do… something at least.
Barb

The thing I call my job :)

This is really what keeps me happy and easy-going. I love my job. I love photography. I wish that I could afford some better equipment, but… I am getting there! Slowly, but surely. You know, just last night I got a small shock when I realized just how easy people seem to think a photographer’s job is. It’s not. Chances are, if your photographer is doing your photoshoot for anything less than $100, they aren’t able to make a full living off of it. Which means they’re more than likely doing it because they simply enjoy using cameras. I decided to add these pictures on this blog as well as my photography blog because it is a large part of bettering my life. I hope that one day I will be able to earn at least a decent income from this, but until then, I’m still going to have fun and enjoy what I’m doing.

It is really relaxing. Most of the clients I deal with are carefree and patient. Great people to be around, and I’m glad that I get to be involved in their lives… even if it is only for a short time. The next thing that I’m going to do within the next short while is bring my camera out for some landscape shots. I’ve been pretty busy with my clients, but sometimes it’s just nice to take a step back and just grab some stills of a sunset. You don’t have to worry about ideas, or posing, or prep. These are things that just come to you, and you’re not usually on a time limit.

Here are a few of my more recent shots from this season:

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I was so lucky to have found a job that I love. The number one thing you can do for yourself is make YOU happy. Do you love your profession? Is it time to go back to school? Time to upgrade? Or maybe even just ask for that hard-earned raise! Do something for yourself, especially professionally, and a lot of the rest of your life will follow.

Talk to you all soon!
Barb

Estelle’s room

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Currently cleaning up my oldest daughter’s room to make space for her “big girl” bed. Have to go through everything too since she’s turning three shortly and doesn’t have many toys for her age. Also, going to put a bit more organization into it so that she can help clean up from now on. Stay tuned and follow along for the updates on today’s project!