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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Organize Now! – Week 2

Okay, week 1 is finished! Yay! How did I do? Hmmm… overall, not bad, I’d say.

I answered most of the questions on the previous post, so now I’m going to quickly fill you all in on the rest: It advises getting at least 7 hours of sleep per night. There was only one night I didn’t accomplish this, which is a massive improvement in my life. I’m starting to feel better, at the end of my days I want to sleep. This is really a good thing. I used to go to bed at about 2, wake up at 7, feel dead in the afternoon, nap if at all possible, and then go to bed at 2. This schedule just wasn’t working out anymore. I really had to sit down and have a chat with the boy, because honestly he was a huge part of why my sleep schedule had been so skewed. I suck at going to bed without him there, and he stays up playing video games or whatever until that time. Now he gets off at 10, and we’re in bed by 11. I feel tired at nighttime, not during the day, and therefore my days are much more productive again… even with two children running around!

Although I don’t specifically write out a to-do list every morning, I usually do it the night before, and if there’s nothing specific, I have my regular daily to-do list made up for each day of the week. Most of them are pretty simple, but on the days when I know I’ll have a bit more time to accomplish a bit extra (like cleaning the bathroom or putting away the laundry) I stick it on to one of those days.

I have yet to get my exercise time scheduled in, but don’t worry! It’s coming, I promise.

I have begun doing more and more organizing, although it is a long, slow, tedious process. This week I organized the top of the bookcase in the back of my living room. I hadn’t touched it in about 6 years. I went through everything, and now there are only 4 small decorative vases, a lamp, an old picture of my property, and one extra vase that has some glass roses. The books underneath are also organized, although I want to do something a little more special to it.

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So, now on to Week 2:

There are some more general questions I’ll answer to the best of my ability for you all :). This week it’s all about priorities.
I most value my children. Out of the entire world, my children come first. I love them to death, even though every once in a while we don’t see eye to eye. I’m not going to lie and say I’m the perfect super-mom. But at the end of the day, I love my children with everything in me.
The things that are most important to me would have to be my children, my relationship, my health and my life in general. That is so odd to say, I know. But I can’t be specific as right now, it’s the whole thing. I’m trying to figure out what I want to become, how my life will work out, etc.
I’m here because this is where I chose to be. I’m unsure of where I’m going. I just recently began looking into getting back into school and completing a college or university degree geared towards counselling.
My purpose is to provide a better life for my children, and to become someone I am proud of. I want to really be proud of myself.
My top ten priorities for life are:
1. Getting my children ahead in their lives.
2. Figuring out exactly what I want to become, and the best route to take to get there.
3. Organizing my house.
4. Organizing my life.
5. Becoming a healthier person/family.
I guess I just don’t have 10 priorities right at the moment. My life is simple, and although shortly enough I feel like I will add to the list, that’s it for right this moment.

Tomorrow I’ll schedule down the important stuff in my life :).

Like I said, this is a simple week, so I’m pretty much already done! However, I do need to go to bed so that I can get those 7 hours of sleep ;).

Goodnight everyone!
Make sure you all keep being hot bosses in your lives!
xoxo
-Barb

Two Week HEALTHY Meal Plan (Includes Grocery List)

My life can get hectic, just like anyone else’s can too. Believe me, I will be the first to sympathize with those of you who end up going through a drive-thru because you realized that you didn’t take that roast out of the freezer last night, or the fact that it’s already 6 p.m. and you haven’t got anything cooking yet.
SO, do you know what I’ve done for you? (And… you know… myself!) I sat down and made a two week meal plan. It includes a breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, and supper. The general rule is to simply skip the mid-morning snack if you aren’t hungry. I took the meat out of the freezer three days in advance to make sure it was thawed, and did whatever prep I could the night I bought the food (cut up a chef salad, made a spinach salad, boiled some eggs, etc.) I’m not 100% paleo, but this meal plan was inspired by the two week paleo plan you can find here: http://cavemanstrong.com/mealplans/CavemanStrong-2WeekPaleo-MealPlan.pdf If you’re really looking into going paleo right off the bat, I recommend it. However, I’m not willing to make that commitment yet. I prefer eating more fruits than I do beef jerky, and so do my children. If you don’t like something, feel free to sub it, I promise, I won’t get mad! The only thing I ask is that you don’t crop out my mark. If this inspired your new list, please let others know :). I really need the extra traffic on the site, hahaha!

This is what I came up with: (P.S. Really sorry for spelling Pomello wrong on the weekly lists.)

Meal Plan Template

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Grocery List Template

Let me know what you guys think. Like it? Hate it? How did it work out for you and your family?

Hope this helps get you guys on track!
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

Wine – the beginning

Okay, not the TRUE beginning of wine, because that would be out in a field of grapes… and we’re still using kits. But it is the beginning of a kit.

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We began making wine in october of last year and it was a success. We loved it, but it turns out that we loved it so much we ran out! So we went back to the wine store and picked up a couple of new gadgets as well as a couple of kits.
We are currently making a red wine called “Vieux Chateau du Roi”, which my father instead translated to “The King’s Old Castle” since he can remember it that way.
It was so much easier this time, add a little warm water, a little packet, dump in the grape juice, sprinkle in the oak and sprinkle the yeast on top… wait.
My daughters are at the age where they love helping in the kitchen, so we encourage it as often as possible a.k.a. whenever it’s safe to let them. So grampy helped them both and they each had a turn helping us get this started. It’s just a shame they won’t be able to drink what they’ve helped create this time! Oh well, I’m sure they will some day. At least this way, if we can maintain their interest throughoit the years, they’ll be well more than capable of making their own wine.

Anyway, I’ll let you guys know how this batch is going as we move on to the next step!

Let me know if you have any questions!

Barb