Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Goodbye "Home" Magazine Subscriptions - you are so "early-millenium"!

I am employed, I have a loving husband, 2 beautiful children and a beautiful home.....and I love reading home decor magazines.  But lately I started to realize that I feel "bad" about my life every time I open up one of the home magazines I subscribe to - and they make me lose perspective. I live in one of the greatest countries in the world, where I am free from unjust persecution, I have personal safety, a strong education and social security network for my family.  We do not suffer from natural disasters, we do not go hungry and we do not suffer from an extreme corrupt government or religious fanaticism - we live in utopia.  But every time I open up a home magazine, I forget all that - and I focus on what I don't my sofa colours aren't quite the right neutral, my accent colours are so last year......

Hubby and I built my dream kitchen back in 2006, so our kitchen is almost 6 years old.... relatively new - and I loved it until...... Imagine my shock and horror when I opened up one of those home magazines and saw a kitchen that looked very much like mine.... and it was the BEFORE picture!  The caption under it read that the client wanted to remodel their "dated early-millennium kitchen".   Are you #$%^&!#! kidding me? Early millennium???!!!?? So now, whenever I walk into the kitchen I once loved, I now see a dated early-millennium kitchen. That's insane. That's it, I'm done, this is not healthy.  No more home magazines for me. House and Home - Goodbye.  Style at Home - Goodbye.  I will miss the eye candy, but I am not going to let you make me feel bad about my home.... which isn't perfect, but it's mine and filled with love, family and friends......I am extremely fortunate even if my paint colour sucks.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The gift I got 8 years ago......

My first-born turns 8 today.  When I was writing her birthday message - I realized how much of it was about me, not her.  So I wrote another one focusing on her - but I thought I would publish what I originally wrote - which was what I have gotten out of the journey that started 8 years ago.  Being a mom is the hardest job I have ever done - but also one of the greatest gifts - she made me more human, and I now realize that knew nothing before I had her....and that I still probably know nothing.....I hope I have a full lifetime to learn.......

I never knew my heart could break and fill with pride all at the same time - and it does, every time I watch her try something physically challenging, like skating - where her muscles can't do what she needs them to do, but she keeps on trying.....and never complains about how often she falls. 

I never knew how helpless I could feel when the world seems to be more than she can handle and process - where every unkind word and deed is stored in her memory.  When she realizes that other kids are faster than stronger than her, and quicker to learn. That things she works so hard at doing, come so easily to others.  Her pain builds up and explodes in such a big way, and I am helpless to protect her from it.

I never knew how frustrating it could be dealing with a child who has challenges learning.  How I would have to reach deep down within myself to look for the patience to deal with her unwillingness to try at times.  (**I have learned that enjoying a glass of wine during reading time helps**)

I love how she surprises me with her bravery.  Her love of roller coasters and horseback riding - such a thrill seeking nature behind such a quiet, shy and tentative front. 

I never knew I would walk around for the rest of my life feeling so vulnerable - worried that I can't give her all the tools she needs to survive and thrive in this world.

I never knew the joy I could feel doing simple things together, like "saving worms" after a big storm (placing them gently back in the grass so they don't dry up and die on the pavement).  Taking walks in the woods, going out "just the girls" for ice cream. 

I never knew how disappointed I could feel in myself, whenever I lose my temper with her (and it happens more often than I care to admit). How ashamed I am at myself for getting frustrated with her chronic shyness.

I never knew how hurt I would be when she acts like a typical 8 year old.  Rolling her eyes at me, questioning my motives, saying she "hates" me.  I know she doesn't mean it, but it still hurts. 

I never thought a child would be the one to make me question all the beliefs and definitions I have about success.  Cs in school are ok, as long as you are trying your best.  And it's ok if you want to work in an ice cream shop when you grow up - not everyone has to go to University or aim to be a CEO. Maybe success isn't external, but internal.  If you're happy, you win - who cares what your paycheque or title are. 

I never knew the peace I could feel when we sit quietly together.....just being.  I could sit like that forever.

Happy Birthday beautiful girl, you are perfect, just the way you are.

Happy 8th Birthday Beautiful Girl.

Today my little girl turns 8.  She's not so little any more, and I love watching her grow into the person she is becoming.....and I am always suprised by the things I have learned over the last 8 years......

Still waters run deep.  She is shy and quiet, but very observant.  She isn't as physically strong as other kids, but she tries - making my heart fill with pride and break all at the same time.  She loves to dance (but only when nobody is watching).  She loves to shut herself up in her room and play music and sing into her microphone.  She has quite a temper - which may come as a surprise to the rest of the world (she usually saves it for us lucky people at home!).  She's daddy's little girl - and knows it.  She has an unexpected thrill-seeking nature - she loves roller coasters and horseback riding.  She loves her friends - a day without a friend coming over is like a day without sunshine.  She isn't very organized - AT ALL (I keep hoping that her organization genes will kick in sometime soon).   She doesn't like to read - but I am still hopeful! She loves to swim.  Everyone thinks she doesn't talk much - until they get her on her own.  She doesn't like large groups and tends to go into herself or escape with a friend or two - if you want to get to know her, spend some time alone with her.  She doesn't like chocolate - simply vanilla please.  She loves watching movies (but scary ones give her nightmares for days).  She likes to watch me play online Srabble on my ipad.  She has an incredible palate - she will eat just about anything (just not very much of it!).  She loves skating - even though it is something that is very physically challenging for her to do, and she falls down - a lot.  She loves to help out in the vegetable garden, and takes great pride in our annual harvest.  She is an introvert - but she loves people - and often doesn't realize she needs to spend some time on her own to recharge, until it's too late.  She's very petite girl with a tiny voice - until you get her mad.  She is loyal, and sticks up for her friends.  She is learning to like babies and small children (this didn't come naturally) - they aren't all gross, even though they do drool.  She loves playing with her Barbies.  She doesn't like shopping.  She doesn't photograph well when you ask her to pose so we rarely buy her annual school photo (ever see that Friend's episode when Chandler and Monica are taking their engagement photos??).  She is definitely starting to develop an attitude, and it's pissing me off. She is learning to be kinder to her brother.  She loves drawing and designing clothes.  She is responsible and follows the rules.  She is devastated when she gets in trouble at school (which has only happened once).  She makes a mess of her room every day when she gets dressed.  She wants to work in an ice-cream store when she grows up.  Her eyes change colour - sometimes they are brown, sometimes they are green.  She doesn't like wearing socks, and I often find them randomly scattered throughout the house.  She has just recently developed a fear of the dark (seriously, now? She's 8!). She likes putting signs up on her door (the current one reads "no little boys alawd").  She's an atrocious speller - and she doesn't care.  She doesn't like tights or leggings that are actually tight.....this causes lots of problems in the morning.  She loves using the camera to take pictures, and she's surprisingly good at it!  She thinks that "strangers" are just friends we haven't met yet.....and I hope she goes through life with that perspective (paired with a little healthy caution). 

Happy 8th Birthday my beautiful girl.