Saturday, December 30, 2017

Reads of 2017

Anyone who knows me at all, knows that I love to read. A lot. Immersing myself in a good book, rates a lot higher in my world than a lot of other (more social) things. (Why yes, I am an introvert; thanks for asking).
I remember my love of books being cultivated by my elementary school librarian. Mrs Linke was a pudgy, older lady with short gray hair, who pulled her pants up to her armpits; I kid you not. But she was a lovely woman and she introduced me to many new series. I spent countless hours in that school library. Anyway, I am always excited to discover a new author and I made one of my greatest "finds" this year when I happened upon Louise Penny. I picked up her latest book at the library and loved it. What a thrill to discover that it was part of a series of thirteen! To discover not only a good book, but a book that is part of a larger series is a goldmine, a reader's dream. So...I have read all of her books this year, besides the latest one. Did I mention that she's Canadian and writes about a quaint little town in Quebec? 
I also discovered two other authors that I really enjoyed this year and I have read 23 books and counting, so it was been a great year for this bibliophile.
Here's my list of books for 2017:

-Liturgy of the Ordinary
-Grace Not Perfection
-Two Steps Forward
-Sensible Shoes
-An Altar in the World
-A Great Reckoning
-You are Free
-Still Life
-Chasing Slow
-A Brutal Telling
-If Not For You
-Bury Your Dead
-A Fatal Grace
-Murder stone
-The Beautiful Mystery
-A Trick of the Light
-The Cruellest Month
-How the Light Gets In
-Of Mess and Moxie
-Long Way Home
-Braving the Wilderness
-Nature of the Beast
-The Life She Was Given

Thursday, December 14, 2017


Some people have an amazing sense of direction. My 5 yr old daughter often knows where we are when I am driving, commenting that we are passing grandpa's, or the church etc even if we are just passing by and no one else has mentioned where we are or where we're going. Others do not.  I do not have a good sense of direction, but neither does my friend Shelle. We recently attended a concert and missed the same turn off twice (or was it three times). Of course, we were busy talking, so it wasn't totally a lack of direction, but still. Yesterday, we found ourselves searching for our rides on the wrong floor of the parkade. Need I tell you that it's challenging to find a car that is one level above you? Luckily our friendship is not based on our "excellent" navigating skills, unless navigating away from people counts, lol. I met Shelle through the choir. She seemed nice enough, but hard to really know based on shallow convos during practice breaks. But then I sat next to her at dinner on our retreat and she seemed to want to run away as badly as I did. The introvert in me who was having anxiety over socializing all weekend with 50+ people I barely knew rejoiced. It's so rare to come across people who really get me, so to find someone who wasn't in her glory being a social butterfly all weekend was a relief. Yay, rejoice, all ye people, but separately, in your own corners please.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Courage over comfort

I across the above Rumi quote earlier this year. It encapsulates so well how I'm weighing things in my life right now. Generally, I don't like change and I'm shy and introverted. But, I don't want those things to hold me back. So, I'm chosing courage over comfort.
Last year and this past spring I went to a couple concerts put on by the Good Noise Gospel choir. I loved them! They excited and inspired me! So... I thought about joining, but my first instinct was no way! I finally bit the bullet and auditioned and got in. But then came the long summer and I REALLY wanted to quit before I even started. New people, like 85 of them, plus challenging song arrangements...what was I thinking? I couldn't do it. But in light of this new motto of courage and doing things that excite me, I made a deal with myself that I'd stay until Christmas. So, starting in September, I showed up every week. I met lovely people. I practiced the songs. I even signed up for the retreat in Whistler!
Well, I just got back from the retreat and it was awesome! I'm not gonna lie, I still had a bit of a meltdown on Saturday from feeling overwhelmed with so much music to learn, so many people to meet, rooming with 5 virtual strangers etc. But there was also beautiful music made, some fantastic conversations, so many "me too" moments and just plain old fun and laughter. Needless to say, I'm not quitting at Christmas!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Fall 2017 has started and I am still waiting for things to settle down into some kind of routine. So far things have been a little chaotic, but I am sure it'll get better once we have an idea of what our full schedule looks like. So far, the transitions for Emmi starting kindergarten and Matias starting high school have gone remarkably well. Emmi really likes her teacher, which is great. She has complained a few times that the days are too long and I fully agree, but that's the way the system is set up here. Matias has bussed to Carver every day and there have been no problems there.
I have worked a little more as I am subbing some days on top of my own job on Wednesdays. It's neat to see other schools and what other teachers are doing. I have found great ideas that I can use with my own class.
Our evenings are pretty full, in fact we don't have a single evening free during the week between football, piano, jr youth, community group, and my choir. But, there's nothing on the list that I am willing to give up, so that's just the way it is this year. I joined the Good Noise Gospel choir and I really enjoy singing in it. We have our first concert in a couple weeks, so I am off to practice my songs... but first a couple pictures from the first day of school. Can  you tell who the preteen is?? LOL

Monday, September 4, 2017

Summer 2017

We have had a fabulous summer and I am really sorry to see it come to an end. We decided to stay in BC for various reasons this summer and it was great to explore our own province. We went to Hope a couple of times which was great. But we also wanted to do something new, so I looked and looked at online rentals in different parts of BC. I finally ended up renting a cabin on the water in Powell River. Pentti was a little reluctant and required some convincing, but that was nothing new, ha. We took two ferries to get to Powell River and arrived at our cabin on a Sunday afternoon. The cabin was newly renovated and very spacious. The location on the water was perfect for the kids. Along the northern end of the beach there were lots of big rocks and boulders to climb and the boys loved exploring. I really try to let them wander off and explore because I think it's invaluable, but it's pretty hard to do in the big city. In Powell River they were able to do a lot of unsupervised roaming.
I have to say that I fell in love with Powell River. We ate at some really good restaurants and saw some spectacular sunsets and really enjoyed our time there. A couple from our church happened to be camping at Willingdon Beach, so we met up with them a few times, playing mini golf, eating ice cream etc. When our 4 nights were up, we weren't ready to head home so we took a ferry and drove to Madeira Park. I had found a luxury trailer online to rent and it happened to be available for the next 2 nights. Wow. I had no idea that a trailer could be so cool. It was located near the water as well and kayaks were provided with the rental. I was a little terrified having never kayaked, but I did it anyway. It was great to be in the ocean and my difficulty in getting out of the kayak provided great comic relief for the whole family. The boys really enjoyed kayaking and again, were able to explore on their own. A family of deer lived nearby and we were able to see them multiple times eating from the bushes. We also went on a hike that opened up a spectacular view from the mountaintop. All in all, it was such a great end to our summer!
But, alas, school starts on Tuesday. In some ways getting back to a routine will be nice, but there will be big changes as I am moving schools, Emmi is starting kindergarten and Matias is starting high school. Stay tuned.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016 Book list

Here's the list of books I read in 2016. I feel like there are some missing because I wasn't so diligent in keeping track this year. My favourite was probably The Lake House by Kate Morton. I've read all her books and she continues to be one of my favourite authors.

Bread and Wine
The Storied Life of AJ Fikry
The Lake House
Beach House Memories
The Butterfly's Daughter
Swimming Lessons
Sweet Tomorrows
Sensible Shoes
Two Steps Forward
The Forgetful Bride
419 (still in progress)

I sure don't read as much as I used to. Maybe 2017 will be the year that I get back to reading more than one book a month.