Tag Archives: recommendations

Friday Favourites 38

Tonight the girls watched part of “Yours, Mine and Ours” about two huge families who become one Mega family. Four kids is hardly a mega family, but the lovely chaos on-screen definitely feels familiar. And fun. And exhausting.

Life with 1.6 children is not historically the norm, so maybe we’re not the weird ones after all. And I don’t think it’s just about numbers. Maybe this is just how family life is supposed to be. Not neat and orderly. Not easily manageable. Not picture perfect. Just real and sticky and loud and bumpy and strangely sweet.

Quote

I’d be hard pressed to find anyone in the modern world who has heard that classic AA staple: the “Serenity Prayer.” But I wonder how many, like me, had never heard the whole thing. You know, the parts that don’t fit on a mug or bumper sticker. The extended version has been a huge help to me this week:

God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Amen.

~ Reinhold Niebuhr

Documentary

The best thing about Netflix (other than reruns of favourite tv series from my teen years) is all the documentaries. I’m not the kind of person who often chooses to rent or go to a documentary when there are perfectly shallow, predictable sci-fi/action/dramas out there, but with all these options I find myself watching films made for grown ups, by grown ups. And actually enjoying it.

This week I watched Precious Life, made by an Israeli journalist about the family of a Palestinian baby who needs a bone marrow transplant to survive and is transferred to a Jewish hospital. My favourite part is when the Dr. explains the process of transplant to the family, how the body and the new marrow may fight one another, but they must learn to coexist if he is to survive.

monkeyappPreschool App

Who wants angry birds, when you can have a happy monkey?

Monkey Preschool Lunchbox has cute games of matching, colours and simple puzzles. Enough of a challenge to help them learn, but enough change and rewards to keep it fun. Definitely the best preschool app we’ve got right now.

Big Kid App

iPod art by C
iPod art by C

For older kids (and immature adults like me) this Art of Glow app is pretty fun. Not only can you make pretty, shiny pictures, but you can animate them. Eat your heart out Lite Brite!

Blog

I’ve been enjoying the blog Laments & Lullabies lately. The author wrestles with serious stuff: mental illness, step-parenting, marriage and raising a toddler. She has the two elements I love most: she’s uncomfortably (for some) honest and she’s hilarious. I especially enjoyed Evidence my Toddler is Smarter than Me. So true.

Preview

Fellow dorks: a new Star Trek movie! Yay!

Music Video

It IS December, though I find it hard to believe… so here’s a little Christmas cheer. Love the song. Love Jimmy Fallon. Love the preschool instruments.

So here’s me, off to visit the farm with my city kids today. I wonder if they’ll still be keen to eat bacon after spending some time with it In Real Life?


Friday Favourites 36

Birthday celebrations continue. Several times a day B looks at me, as if it has just occurred to her, “Happy Bir-day Mummy! I luv YOU!”

It never gets old. Apparently, Glen doesn’t feel his McCain Deep ‘n Delicious chocolate cake quite made the grade, so rumor has it the girls will be making me a cake this weekend. I’m hoping to milk this thing right into December.

Quote

The world is full of people looking for spectacular happiness while they snub contentment.

~Doug Larson

Randomly Generated Compliments

Feeling down? Depressed? Wondering if anyone cares about all your hard work? emergencycompliment.com offers a steady supply of Emergency Compliments to be used at times of great insecurity.

It told me: “Rumor is Disney is basing its next cartoon on you.” and I clicked the I-still-feel-crappy button over and over again until I hit “Your blog is the best blog.”

Thanks. I DO feel better!

Video

I had Brene Brown’s Power of Vulnerability on my “To Watch Someday When I Have Time” list for over a month. Guess what? I never have time, but I finally watched it anyway.

It was BRILLIANT! Funny and inspiring, and I have found time to watch/listen to it 2 more times since.

I want to be this person. Someone who lives wholeheartedly. Someone who is “willing to let go of who I ‘should be’ in order to be who I am.” A person of Compassion, Courage and Connection. Someone who knows that what makes me vulnerable is what makes me beautiful.

I’m convinced that vulnerability is the first step to being WHO God meant me to be.

Blog

One of my favourite ways to avoid vulnerability is to explain it all away. I slap a clever title on it and make it into bullet points and post it on my blog. Idelette McVicker knocked me upside the head this week when I read She Rises While it is Yet Night.

“I can’t be in my story, if I am constantly trying to make sense of it first.” Ouch. Right.

This article and many like it are the reason I enjoy SheLoves Magazine. I’ve hardly scratched the surface, but there are brilliant writers here, all driven by the same engine: “Let us be women who Love.” They manage to pull it off without being sugary or churchy or insipid.

So here’s me, learning to be a woman who loves, who is vulnerable, who is content.. who is Disney cartoon material.


Friday Favourites 35

Life has been steadily improving. Despite a lingering cough we’ve overcome the worst of the flu and are eagerly (and by eagerly, I mean with denial, bargaining and depression) awaiting our flu shots next week.

Halloween was a success. The boy could NOT understand why we wouldn’t let him go INTO the houses we were visiting. He held onto the doorframe and tried to angle his foot in the door, then screamed when I pulled him away. By house #3 we gave up. But Grandma made him the most amazing crab costume, so he looked adorable. Like I said, success.

The girls collected more candy than any one person/family/small nation need consume and we are quietly smuggling buckets of it to Glen’s work. They are allowed to keep whatever fits in a large ziploc. I keep whatever I can stuff into my mouth when they are not looking. Everyone wins.

Hurricane Sandy Photo

You never know what to believe these days. It seems like most of the photos floating around the internet from Hurricane Sandy were photoshopped or of another time or place. But I think this is my very favourite one:

A close runner up is this REAL photo of my family waiting out the storm in Boston. My Dad and Brother-in-law had to put my one-year-old nephew in the playpen, so he wouldn’t mess up their toys. Boys!

Awareness Week

When we brought our daughter home from the hospital and word spread around that she had Down Syndrome people were very supportive. I remember thinking: what a great day and age to be born in, when so many people understand and accept this syndrome. Then my neighbour brought over a plate of muffins, patted my hand and told me she was “sure she’d outgrow it.”

Turns out, there are a lot of people out there who don’t know much about Down Syndrome or what it means in the lives of those who have it. I saw this video a few years ago and I loved it. Despite all the challenges my daughter will face, she has a bright future. Because we’re more alike than different!

Here in Canada it is National Down Syndrome Awareness Week. Now you know.

Way to Build a Family

As you all know, we adopted a child locally from foster care. It is not the easiest route to adoption (though probably the cheapest), and we are huge supporters of it. Reece’s Rainbow works to put children with Down Syndrome in families who will love them forever.

Christmas Gift Idea

I don’t usually sell things on this blog. But for this I will make an exception. It’s one thing I never knew I always wanted. Until now. Maybe it’s because I’m a writer, but I’m a sucker for anything with meaningful words. Not only is it a beautiful bracelet, but it ALSO raises money for Spectrum Mothers Support Society.

This organisation is VERY near and dear to us. It was founded by Sally, the Foster Mom who has held our hand and won our hearts as we walked through adoption. She is the real deal, not only helping children, but Moms too. She and her team help and encourage young mothers, single moms, women in crisis and the like, in hundreds of practical ways. “Shining light into the lives of mothers when they need it most.”

The bracelet is made by her sister (Naturally Heartfelt) and on sale at etsy here.

Quote

“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

~ T. E. Lawrence

So here’s me, and my heart has a thousand dreams. One of them involves halloween candy that helps me LOSE weight. I’ll put it in the “unlikely” pile.


Friday Favourites 33

My online persona is a real whiner (my offline one is too, but you don’t know that, so I can pretend that she’s nobly stoic or tenaciously cheerful or at least less of a drama queen). I like to think that my tendency to struggle is offset by my deep joy and gratitude for this life we find ourselves living.

I’d write more, but the boy is climbing on the table and trying to grab this computer for the 837th time in the past hour. I think this means he’s feeling better.

Quote

A two-year-old is kind of like having a blender, but you don’t have a top for it.

~ Jerry Seinfeld


Video which most closely resembles my life:

To follow up yesterday’s post, and of course to spread the word about the dangers of heart disease – love this one!

Video which reminds me how absurd most of my “problems” are:

Without a doubt #FirstWorldProblem is one of the best hashtag threads on twitter (Mom: that means that people on the internet write little sentences about one topic and label them so that everyone can read them). Helps keep things in perspective and makes us laugh at ourselves – this presentation of it is brilliant!

Video which made me think, but enjoy doing it:

We watched a clip from The Truth About Dishonesty at our care group as part of a discussion about the moral path. The animation is entertaining (RSA Animate can make almost any lecture amusing) and I’m always interested in the perspective non-religious people have on the church. What struck me most is our insulation from consequences, ability to rationalize almost anything, and above all, the power of a fresh start.

App

For the first time I’m bringing you an app I haven’t actually used. I love the idea of it. Not another app with 7 different fart sounds or a bizarre game to waste my time, but something to help improve mental health. If you’re convinced that your life and the lives of people you love are not affected by mental illness, you’re probably in denial. Maybe you should see someone about that.

The recommendation from Comments from the Couch with psychologist and therapist, the Ducklows:

“At the core, the Optimism applications are mood charts, designed to help with managing mental and emotional health. They are used as self-help or self-improvement tools for depression, bipolar disorder, and other real life health concerns…

The Optimism apps help you to be more in charge and less dependent on your biology and your emotions. A continual feedback loop, in the form of charts and reports, improves your understanding of who you are, what you are going through and the things that are helping or hindering you.”

So here’s a word from the boy, (I thought I should give him a “turn” after all): 0-o[451536

lklkjagkjkdfaiccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccc

jklds4154444444444444444444444444412


Friday Favourites 31

I am finishing up this blog in the van as we wing our way up the picturesque Sea-to-Sky Highway on our way to Whistler for the weekend.

Or I would be if we weren’t stuck in Vancouver traffic. We have passed 3, count them 3, car accidents in 6 blocks. White PT cruiser meets grey junker. Black hatchback meets black nondescript mid-sized. Red car meets pole.

So glad we can all slow down and take a good long look. Pole girl looks so embarrassed. Trying to act nonchalant, “whatever, no biggie, I do this all the time… we’ll all laugh about it someday… please Lord let the earth open up and swallow me whole… my dad is going to kill me.”

Been there.

Quote

“The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances.”
~ Aristotle
I’m totally pulling this quote out for my husband the next time a concrete post in an overcrowded parking garage jumps out in front of the van. It’s obviously the post’s fault, but we can be gracious about it.

Russian Dashcam Video

In honour of pole girl… it could be worse, so much worse.

And the runner up is…

Makes me glad to be alive. And not on the road with any of these people.

Blog

The friend who forwarded those last videos also encouraged me to check out the Bohemian Bowmans. Let’s call him… ummm…. Mr. McDreamy Hair. I quickly realized that I had read her work already and enjoyed it, especially her Chick-Fil-A piece. Jessica’s approach to parenting, faith and fitting into a new pair of jeans is funny and, above all, authentic.

She recently wrote a series about returning to church that was both shocking and encouraging. That’s MY church! Not metaphorically, for real. And these are my people (they may not be aware of my ownership, but nevertheless MINE)! I appreciate her guts in posting something both deeply personal and self aware.

And the nicknames. I really appreciate the nicknames.

Movie

I’m not exactly on the cutting edge these days. I still can’t bring myself to watch Blue’s Clues without Steve at the helm. This week I finally watched a movie that several people have recommended to me, many times. So you’ve probably all seen it already. If not, I’m adding my “Like” to the mix. A quirky take on the holocaust. Strange, but intriguing.

For a good time, do NOT watch this movie…

Hot Topic to Ponder and Discuss

This interview with Brian McLaren was a good follow up to the movie about a “perfectly nice” family’s participation in genocide. A discussion about Religious Hostility. What is Christianity to do?

Sappy Song

It’s kind of embarrassing crying the ugly cry while folding the laundry, but it reminded me so much of my grandpa. He wasn’t a perfect man, but he loved my grandma fiercely. He was lost without her those last 7 years.

So here’s me, in Squamish B.C. regretting this morning’s abbreviated nap time. The boy’s not a fan of road trips and he’s not afraid to show it. A crowded hotel room never sounded so good. Anything to get us all out of this van!


Friday Favourites 30

Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Yesterday was a day of Great Importance for my husband. He explained to me that aside from the Life Changing Events: such as marriage to myself, obviously, and meeting each of our children for the first time, and I suspect the arrival of his iPad, though he didn’t mention it at the time… aside from these few things THIS was a day he had been waiting for all his life.

You have to understand, my husband is a man with few loves. He’s fairly lukewarm in his regard for almost everything on the planet. But those few things he loves, he loves intensely, devotedly, deeply… He is a super fan (I’m just glad the kids and I make the short list).

Yesterday he had the opportunity to see his favourite band in concert, with a full orchestra, at Red Rocks (which is some famous outdoor theater in Denver that has great significance to concert dorks… blah, blah… something about U2… blah, blah) and he got it all at some killer deal so we can actually afford it (sort of). I don’t have to understand all that to realize that this was an epic pilgrimage for my man.

AND THEN he got a backstage pass!

He’s over the moon! And I’m wife-of-the-year for enabling him!

Did I mention he’s in Colorado? And our 4 children are not. At 4:30 this morning, as I rocked the fussy boy, I briefly questioned the wisdom of this decision (and made a mental not to feed the boy more prunes)… but not for long. You see, he would have given this up in a second if I had made the slightest complaint (see note above RE: intense devotion). Which makes me want it for him even more; he really deserves it!

It’s funny how the happiness of someone we love can taste even sweeter than our own.

Quote

How simple it is to see that we can only be happy now, and there will never be a time when it is not now.

~Gerald Jampolsky

Band

Today, for the sake of my husband, I have to choose The Airborne Toxic Event as one of my favourites too. They are storytellers, poets and the kind of real musicians that so many bands pretend to be.

Movie

Maybe it’s the adoption angle. Or the fumbling through parenting. Or the fact that this is one of the rare films you can take your kids to without wanting to stab your own eyes out (Alvin and the Chipmunks “Chipwrecked” comes to mind). Or that it was a rare chance for me to do something without kidlets in tow. But I really enjoyed this sweet quirky movie.

Perfectly Timed Photo

Silly, juvenile, cute, twisted… there are all kinds on perfectlytimedphotos.com and let’s face it, it’s kind of a waste of time. But it made me laugh.

So here’s me, half a dozen text messages (with just as many exclamation points) hardly tell the story, but I have a feeling we will be reliving every minute of the Very Important Concert all weekend.


Friday Favourites 29

I have started, and deleted, this opening sentence a dozen times. It’s not that I can’t think of anything to say (let’s face it, that is a rare, rare thing). It’s been a busy week and there are so many topics to write about, I can scarcely begin. So I’ll touch on them all. Brace yourself, it’s a rollercoaster.

Today my son Simon would be 9. And maybe he still is. Maybe they have chocolate cake and streamers in heaven. But as much as I dream about the boy he would have become, my only memories are of the tiny infant born so early and so silently. I haven’t found time to think of him until just now. I don’t know if that is good or bad. But I still miss him. I wish he could have met his little brother, he would desperately love someone to wrestle with after school.

Last night we threw a birthday party. I lost count after 43, but I’m pretty sure it was more like 50 sweaty-faced, laughing children darting in and out of climbers and slides; stuffing bits of food into their mouths before jumping back into the current. The walls shook with each body check in the hockey game next door. The noise was tremendous. It sounds crazy, but it worked! B isn’t able to tell us which 8 friends will make the cut for her party. And all the kids at school are wonderful to her. So, we picked them all. We rented out the play centre and handed invitations out to the whole of grade 3 (and their siblings, because I’m all about getting my money’s worth). With the help of our 2 favourite babysitters, it was far less work than any of the other parties we’ve thrown this year. And so much fun!

Yesterday afternoon, we finally got our van back from the dealership. Our blue Kia has a personality. She likes to give us a hard time: engine light and spontaneous downshifting et cetera, almost always when I’m driving. But she is on her bestest behaviour for the mechanics. She hates me. I was actually thankful when she acted up for Glen too (see, I’m not making it up!). Despite her erratic behaviour, she got us where we needed to go this week and FINALLY the experts figured out her problem. She’s getting needy in her old age and perhaps she feels we haven’t been spending enough money on her. The $450 repair should keep her happy for a while. Hag.

This week has been sad, thrilling, exhausting (always), frustrating and fun… it’s a messy life. I’m still a fan.

Quote

Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.

~ Henry David Thoreau

Oh, I hope so! Because I am definitely on the right track then.

Piece of Planet Earth

I tell myself that I should get rid of it every time I see it. But I can’t bring myself too. Even when I almost walk right into it. Even when the neighbour girl shrieks and runs away. We have the most awesome spider web at our front door. It glistens with dew drops each morning. And at night the fat stripey spider scuttles around renovating and expanding her domain. I can almost hear David Attenborough in my head as Glen and I watch her take down a giant horsefly. We called the big girls and stood and watched for a long time. Not much makes us pause anymore. So I’m grateful to her.

I tried to get a good pic of our spider, but she’s shy. This is very close to what it looks like at our front door.

I call her Charlotte in my head and imagine she’s very intelligent, but if she tries to lay eggs in my house, there will be no mercy.

Video

Becca doesn’t do well with opening presents. It is too quick, too much new, too much pressure, just too much all around. So we decided to emulate friends and asked for donations instead of gifts. It’s handy that her Dad happens to work for the Down Syndrome Research Foundation.

In a special, sneak peek showing here’s a video about the work they do. YOU are the first to see it!

They told Edison’s Mom and Dad that he would probably never speak, may never walk… He showed them!

This video was made by my brilliant brother & sister-in-law!

Book

Somebody’s Child is a collection of stories told from every viewpoint on adoption that you can imagine – birth parent, adoptee, adoptive parent, sibling of a foster child… I would recommend it to everyone, not just those interested in “adoption stories.” Because these are essentially human stories, full of love and brokeness and angst and growth. Each one is compelling in its own way. Each one is so different. Which is kind of the point.

Disgusting Article

30 Canned Foods You Never Knew Existed and frankly, NEVER should have. Gross!

Here is Number 1 on the list: Whole Canned Chicken

So here’s me, chicken for dinner suddenly seems less appealing.


Friday Favourites 27

There is a lot to celebrate at our house! The smallest girl has managed to keep her panties on and clean for one day; not today, but it happened. So we have hope that it will happen again someday. If only that were how all of us measured success; wouldn’t life be happier? Clean underwear for the win, and everything else is icing.

The big girls are each having their birthday parties this weekend. At first glance this seems masochistic, but it means we only decorate once AND the leftovers from the first party are served at the next, so it’s actually kind of brilliant (and exhausting).

The man of the house just turned almost 40. Okay, 37, but since he reminds me often that our lives are nearly half over, I round up. What? He started it.

But the real party is for the boy. All because he now has many new vocational options open to him, such as: piano tuner, safe cracker and music critic. It’s not that these are our lifelong ambitions for him (although, now Glen is hankering after unlimited back stage passes); the thing is, we simply want him to have every opportunity.

When we adopted S it was with the understanding that his hearing loss (moderate-mild) was quite likely permanent. He has many risk factors for sensorineural hearing loss. One of the reasons the social worker first looked at our profile was our experience using sign language and dealing with a significant speech delay. We were prepared for it. I had the ASL app loaded on my iPhone and we had bounced around a few ideas for adjusting our life to compensate. We would be fine.

BUT they put tubes in his ears shortly before we brought him home. And there was a lot of fluid. And we had hope that this would help and maybe even clear it up altogether.

AND IT DID! On Tuesday afternoon we squeezed into a claustraphobic audiology booth at children’s hospital and he tested “Normal.” Gold Stars all around!

Quote

“Music is perpetual, and only the hearing is intermittent.”
~Henry David Thoreau

App

Most of the time iPhone/Pod/Pad apps lead to solitary play. It’s a treat to find one that not only encourages family interaction, but teaches proper grammatical terms. It takes a team effort to create silly stories with this app. Not only does Mad Libs have us all talking and laughing, but we clarified adjective vs adverb and discussed the meaning of “plural”… in the summer… for fun. You’re welcome, future English teachers.

Video

Julie Tennant is incredibly wise. And she loves her life. And she has Down Syndrome. And I kinda love her.

“I’d rather be slow to learn, than slow to love.”

Religious Joke

My fellow Christians, one of the best things about us is the ability to laugh at our own cheesiness. Those who can’t usually fall into the Pharisee camp. Or they’re just really dull. Or they actually do think it’s funny, but are too full of fear/guilt/angst-masquerading-as-reverance to show it.

The penultimate example of Christian cheesiness – Footprints in the Sand poem. That’s not to say it isn’t profound. And meaningful. And true. But oh, so very overdone.

Dorky Joke

Yes, this is my favourite kind of joke. This one was on George Takei’s FaceBook page… not always appropriate, but ever so funny.

Thank you http://i.imgur.com/4wwhM.jpg

So here’s me, with two, count them, two birthday parties this weekend. One is a spa-themed slumber party for 12 year olds. The other involves a kiddie pool full of jello, volleyball with a fish and hamburger shaped cupcakes. At least one of my children is normal.


Friday Favourites 26: Farewell Olympics

After Canada won Gold in Hockey at the 2010 Games, B led the parade down the street waving her little flag for all she was worth!

I lived in Calgary during the ’88 Olympics. And again near Vancouver for the 2010 Olympics. When the 2010 Games first appeared on the horizon, I remember friends complaining about the crowds, the traffic, the shameless waste of resources… all legitimate concerns. What they couldn’t understand was the feeling the Olympics brings with it.

I’ll admit, I spouted a few “I told you so’s” as most of them got swept up in the largesse of the Games. It’s a kind of magic. Even for those of us who couldn’t care less about sports.

This is the only time I find myself voluntarily turning to a sports channel on t.v. Our favourite was the trampoline where Canada has made a real impact. I’m sure it also something to do with the fact that this year’s birthday present to all the kids was our very own trampoline. Of course they are full of complaints about mom’s many rules; no flips, no back drops… I’m not looking to raise Olympians, just trying to avoid neck injuries.

Quote

“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.”
~Pierre de Coubertin (founder of modern Olympic Games)

Shameless Emotional Blackmail

If you have children, or a mother, or a beating heart, you can’t help but get a little misty eyed at these P&G ads. I kind of wish they would let those little ones sleep in, but the ending makes me all goopy inside.

Infographic

Because I’m a nerd. And I love trivia. And it’s pretty amazing how big the Paralympics are!

Less Meaningful, but Still Interesting Olympic Infographic

Because, if I’m honest, the sports aren’t really the fun part of the Olympics for me. It’s the drama. The stories. And the outifts. Cause I’m shallow like that.

App

But not all our life revolves around the Olympics. We have other, very important things to do with our time to. For instance…

Thank you Uncle Ben for introducing us to this great app! Move over Guitar Hero, the Ocarina2 turns any iPhone/Pod into a musical instrument. We can play everything from Bach to Beiber by blowing into the end of the phone, and following the fingering on the screen.

Music Video

We’re big fans of a as-of-yet-little-known children’s band The Reluctant Minors. Because my littles enjoy the music and Mommy’s crazy dancing (I have a strong suspicion Daddy does too; talk about sitting in the seat of the mockers). Because my big girls deeply appreciate all things weird and random. And because Matt and his family are very good friends of ours from back in the day (he will always be a quirky teenager to us and it’s strange to see him all grown up, with a very cute wife to boot).

So here’s me, startled that both the Olympics and the summer are almost over. How did that happen?


Isn’t That Just Lovely?

So, a while back I posted a very snarky, angry post (You Can’t Make Me).

But I’m Canadian. And I grew up in a very conservative Christian culture. And it’s quite important to me to be, well, nice.

So it was actually very polite, with only a slight edge.

But I made it clear that I am in no way a fan of chain letters or the like. I hate the pressure. And I’m one of those uptight, super-conscientious types who has a hard time “letting people down”, so even something silly like this hangs over my head and stirs up all kinds of impolite feelings. Which is hard for me. As a nice, Brethren, Canadian gal.

BUT last week I received an “award” for having a lovely blog. And it’s very much like a chain letter, circulating amongst the bloggers. Except that it’s an award. For me.

Turns out that kind of thing totally trumps all my icky, unCanadian resentment of the genre. I’m thrilled. And honoured to be chosen.

Take that, all you gym class captains who didn’t pick me year after year! Ha!

The best part is, I was nominated by a blogger I really respect. Mrs G at With Wit, Not Leisure is an adoptive parent of teenagers. She blogs about loving children who have been seriously damaged by RAD and FASD; the real behind the scenes story that you won’t see in Dave Thomas’ adoption ad campaign. She writes with honesty and hope and faith. AND she’s funny.

So here it is, the Lovely Blog Award:

THE RULES

Thank the person/people who nominated you and link back to them in your post.

Share seven possibly unknown things about yourself.

Nominate fifteen or so bloggers you admire.

Contact the chosen bloggers to let them know and link back to them.

Seven Possibly Unknown Things About Me

I’m not sure these are things anyone ever wanted to know about me, but no one is making you read this, so suck it up.

  1. I have an outie belly button. Like a cabbage patch doll. If you don’t know what that is, you are too young to read this blog. Go play webkinz or something.
  2. I have had 7 operations in my lifetime. And spent significant time in the hospital over the years. But I’m okay now. Mostly.
  3. I only have 1 kidney (see previous point and note that I had one of my kidneys removed).
  4. I never believed in Santa Clause. Don’t even remember hearing about him until I went to school.
  5. I HATE answering the phone. I have been known to run walk with dignity to the other room when it rings, then yell calmly request that someone else pick it up. But mostly I just let it go to the machine. I look forward to a world that operates entirely via email/text.
  6. I am a dork (this is known). Possibly unknown, I have been known to read fan fiction online. I love reading the continuing adventures of a series that has been cancelled or more background about my favourite character in a novel series. Granted, some of it is terrible, barely readable stuff and some of it is worse than that (I mean come on, if you want to write creepy porn, fine, but don’t pervert my favourite characters to do it!). But some of it is excellent.
  7. I cannot stand whipped cream, cheese cake, pudding, marshmellows… basically anything with a phlegm-like consistency. Blech.

Bloggers Whom I Admire

In choosing some Lovely Blogs to nominate for this award, I am struck by the generic nature of the word (like nice or competent) – hardly narrowing down the field, so I’m including the reason these bloggers are lovely to me.

  • Honest – Maybe it’s cheating, but I pick With Wit, Not Leisure even though she picked me first.
  • InspiringSober Boots often surprises me with lessons about addiction and grace which apply to my everyday life.
  • SweetVita Familiae cost me an entire evening as I read through their entire adoption story. This beautiful family brightens my day.
  • EloquentLast Mom on Earth is an amazing writer. I come away from every post feeling like I was right there with her, in the middle of her memory, her truimph, her despair…
  • FunnyBecoming Cliche makes me laugh. Enough said.
  • PracticalModern Mrs Darcy gives advice, encouragement AND she wrote a whole series of “Lessons from Green Gables” that I love.
  • FascinatingA Portia Adams adventure is one of the few blogs I follow by people I know. My very good friend from High School is writing a novel series. On her blog we can follow the process and her research along the way.
  • Creative – So I don’t actually scrapbook anymore. But I still love to see what my bestie Marjolaine has come up with at Twelve Stones Scrapbooking. I love looking at the beautiful things, but don’t intend to do anything about it. A lot like Pintrest.
  • Also creative – Along the same lines, but in a whole other way, A Turtle’s Life For Me is full of home-making tips and recipes that I thoroughly enjoy, but rarely do anything about. I consider her my pintrest guru.
  • KindredLove That Max is a great blog for special needs parents, not shying away from the hard realities, but celebrating our wonderful children just the same.

So, I realize I owe more recommendations, and certainly I have read many other lovely blogs, BUT life is crazy right now and I’m out of time…

So here’s me, the WINNER!


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