Capilano Suspension Bridge

I mentioned in my last post that we traveled to Vancouver as a family for a week. My husband had a conference and I though that it would be a great time to take the kids and spend some time playing tourist. We went to the Capilano Suspension Bridge on the last day of our trip after spending three nights in a hotel as a family of four. It was just what I needed after spending most of the week inside hiding from the rain.

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Vancouver Aquarium

My “Making A Life” philosophy to living includes creating a homemade life but it also embraces making memories. When my husband announced that he had a conference in Vancouver I took the opportunity to invite myself and the kids along for the week. I firmly believe that learning happens everywhere, so I have no qualms about pulling the kids out of school for a few days for educational field trips of my own design.

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Remembrance Day

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As I was making Christmas Sock monkeys (on a Saturday night after most of a bottle of wine) I got to thinking that if the socks had meaning the monkey would be more than just a decoration. My mind went on a bit of a spiral and I ended up thinking about the family from my son’s class that lost their dad & husband. The father was a member of the Canadian military and died on leave on the way home to see his family.

Before I sound like a complete nutter, we see this family everywhere, our kids are the same age, they go to school together, our youngest go to a play group together and our kids have swimming lessons together. So in the school yard bright and early Monday morning I approached the mom.  I told her that I was thinking about them on the weekend and I explained my idea about turning her late husbands socks into sock monkeys for her kids.  It was a slightly awkward conversation  because I was asking for her late husbands socks and I have no idea how that conversation can be anything but awkward, but she brought me the socks a couple of days later.

When I started working on the sock monkeys I was in tears because one of the socks had pink paint on the toe and heel which I later confirmed came from painting their daughter’s room.  As I worked on these monkeys I thought about my own family and how I can’t imagine the pain of this family and the strength of the mom. It’s my hope that these monkeys bring them comfort. I know that she was going to save them and give them to the kids for Christmas which made me very happy.

In addition to my own Grandfather who we affectionately called Poppy, I will be thinking about this family and all of the others that serve and have served our country on Remembrance Day.

Soc-tober

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October is the month that the wool socks come out. I don’t like wearing socks, I am convinced that it’s genetic. My dad has gone so far as buying a place in Florida so that he doesn’t have to wear socks year round. I don’t blame him. My youngest doesn’t like socks either, he wears them only when leaving the house and even that varies. We got to preschool the other day and he was wearing one lonely sock. His version of a compromise I am sure.

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6 Years for Better or Worse

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Historically October has been a big month for my husband and I. We met 10 years ago in October, 9 years ago in October I moved across the country to live with him, and 6 years ago we got married not once but twice in October. October is our month. We got married legally in Victoria on 10/10/10, which is a very convenient date to remember. We then got married in Mexico on October 28 surrounded by friends and family.

I have become a celebrator, I celebrate everything post brain tumour. But a wedding anniversary that is a super big deal. Being married is hard, which is why I think that there is so much divorce. It’s hard to stick through the “for better, for worse”times and still love each other. We have had our challenges but we are still making the choice to show up and that deserves a celebration!

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Spider Web Cookies

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I love Pinterest, I pin lots of projects and even make some. BUT it’s very misleading. That whole perfect pinterest thing is a bit much, even for a devout maker like me. Most of my projects look decent, but that is often after many tries, 20 years of crafting experience, and photography skills. I have been hooked on watching the Sweet Ambs Cookie baker on Facebook, and her videos make cookie decorating look so calming. Just a little wiggle here, and a jiggle there and the cookie masterpiece is complete.

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A Light in the Storm

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Packing up this piece today, to send it to the “Inner Workings” art show at The Gerry & Nancy Pencer Brain Tumor Centre in the Princess Margaret in Toronto. Last year I participated in the “Brain Cancer Got Me Thinking” art show in Vancouver with this quilling piece which kept me busy during recovery from brain surgery.

On March 18, 2015, I was diagnosed with a brain tumour while standing in the hallway of the emergency department. It was an emotional journey while I battled with what it meant to have a brain tumour and the decisions that I had to make as a result. On August 7th, 2015, I had surgery to remove the tumour.

Learning that you have a brain tumour is a dark experience. Having a brain tumour is not something that we patients do alone, we need life guards and beacons of light in the storm. One of the people that brought me light was my neurosurgeon. He was patient, kind and gave me hope. I also see him as a life guard who protected me through surgery. I dedicate this photo to him, and as I no longer need his services there is no longer a life guard on duty.

“A Light in the Storm” is my entry to the “Inner Workings” show.

Pumpkin Patch

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On the first day of Preschool the teachers announced that we would be going to the Pumpkin Patch. Each and every day for a month and a half, upon waking my 4 year old has asked if it’s Pumpkin Patch day, and each day I said no. Until last Thursday when I could finally say yes.

That lasted for about an hour until Preschool called and said that the Pumpkin Patch was cancelled because of the weather. Instead my son asked if I could go to preschool with him, because as it turns out he wasn’t excited about the Pumpkin Patch rather he was excited about spending time with me while he was at Preschool.

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Carrot & Lentil Soup

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Full disclosure I made carrot soup with homemade bread for dinner, but fed my kids McDonald’s for lunch. In my world that is balance. I don’t like to cook, but it has become my job Monday to Friday. Sometimes I come up with healthy and delicious meals which everyone will eat. This soup is one of those meals and pairs well with Crock Pot Bread.

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Crock Pot Bread

crock-pot-bread-_-making-a-life-4Making my own bread was something that I did years ago before having kids, when I had a smidge more time and no one holding onto my legs while I was cooking. Back then I used a bread maker which simplified the process, but now I have discovered crock pot bread which is just as easy.

I don’t enjoy cooking, I do it out of necessity. I like fancy bread but fancy bread is expensive. I need to save money so that I can get my hair done every 6 weeks, so home made bread it is.

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