Thursday, April 30, 2009

Books & Libraries

Queen’s College Library Oxford

A home without books is like a room without windows.
- Henry Ward Beecher

I adore books. When I was a child I used to devour them, at times reading 1-2 a day. Every minute I had to myself was spent reading. Some of my favorites included Louisa May Alcott, Laura Ingalls Wilder, L.M Montgomery, C. S. Lewis, Charles Dickens and Tolkien. The sound of the page turning, the words that seemed to read themselves, the stories that transported me into different eras, times, places; it was magic.

When I was little, my mother used to take us to a local library about 20 minutes from our home. I remember the excitement as she pulled into the parking lot and the immense irritation I felt, waiting for her to help my younger siblings out of our van. Upon entering the building, I would first scan the shelf of "New arrivals and recently released" books, to see if there were any goodies waiting for me. They were usually picked over by the time we arrived but sometimes I got lucky. Then I would wander through all the isles, inhaling the scent of old and new books and relishing the silence.

Libraries have so much life, history, knowledge and heart to them. Generations upon generations have walked through those same doors, read the same books, wandered through those very isles looking for information, instruction or just an escape.

When I came across these photos, I was awestruck.

Biblioteca Geral University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal

Abbey Library St. Gallen, Switzerland

Strahov Philosophical Hall

Strahov Theological Hall - Original Baroque Cabinet

Real Gabinete Portugues De Leitura Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Library of the Benedictine Monastery of Admont, Austria

Curious Expeditions did a fantastic job gathering dozens of pictures of the world's most beautiful and incredible libraries. Please take a look, you won't be disappointed I promise!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Eight things

Paige from Baby Dust Diaries tagged me in one of those memes? Is that what they call them? So here it goes...

Eight Things I'm Looking Forward To:

1. Going to visit friends in June.
2. Losing my baby weight
3. Sewing summer dresses for my daughters
4. The end of our renovations....for a little while anyways ;)
5. Watching "The Changeling"
6. Our new computer
7. Teaching our daughter how to ride a bike
8. Summer!

Eight Things I Did Yesterday:

1. Went out for lunch with my husband and girls
2. Came to a sad realization
3. Danced with my girls
4. Organized some cookbooks
5. Spoke to one of my best friends
6. Called my grandmother
7. Spent quality time with my husband
8. Found a couple of new blogs which make my heart sing

Eight Things I Wish I Could Do:

1. Speak 2 different languages fluently
2. Make a difference in people's lives
3. Visit France
4. Go to Italy
5. Travel to many other places that would take up this entire list
6. Adopt a child
7. Crochet
8. Garden

Eight Shows I Watch:

1. Medium
2. Desperate Housewives
3. Biggest Loser
4. Days of Our Lives
5. Highway to Heaven
6. Oprah
7. I Love Lucy
8. The Ghost Whisperer

Eight People I Tag:

1. Karenjane @bare feet and a free spirit because she is lovely
2. Amber @ Nutrients of Life because she inspires me with her beautiful words and photos
3. Jodi @ Che & Fidel ditto above!
4. Beck @ Frog and Toad are still friends for her witty and melancholy posts
5. Emily @ Thoughts in Biro Sketches for her gorgeous sketches and lovely blog
6. Roselie @ My Adventures Abroad because I've known her since I was a wee one and am curious to see how she answers these questions
7. Stephanie @ Adventure in Baby-wearing because I just think shes fab :)
8. Desiree @ So fawned for her beautiful baby girl and so fawned Fridays

Monday, April 27, 2009

My Love

There is a love that is rare and hard to find. The one that doesn't depend on anything to exist. It just is. The love that isn't based on money, occupation, experience, age, color, race or history. The love that fills every pore of your body and every inch of your soul; that only grows stronger as the years go by.

I don't know what I did to deserve this love but I am fortunate to call myself the holder of this precious gift.

He thinks with a calm, clear head. There is no anger, no frustration just pure sense. When you look into his eyes all you see is his soul. He is pure goodness. There are some people who inspire you to do better, fix your faults, become a better human being just by knowing them. He is one of those people. I admire, love and adore him all at the same time.

Nothing comes free in this world. We've been through many hardships over the years and have had to fight for this relationship. There was never a question of giving up or letting go. Can you give up your breath? Your oxygen?

If there are angels in this world or in this universe, I believe one came down from heaven the year he was born.

"True love is eternal, infinite, and always like itself. It is equal and pure, without violent demonstrations: it is seen with white hairs and is always young in the heart."
--Honore de Balzac

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Yesterday was FULL. Raymond was busy with the most infuriating case of wiring you could ever imagine. Thank goodness he is the genius he is otherwise we would have paid a fortune for an electrician. (I'm not bragging he truly is a genius).

Went through a bunch of papers on my desk, replied to emails, left messages, took some bookings while balancing a baby on my hip. Washed and dried 3 loads of laundry (no I didn't put it all away, have to save something for tomorrow). Managed to sneak in an ENTIRE yoga session from start to finish which is truly a miracle with two little ones! (Thank you Brian Kest for my aching muscles I am beginning to feel the affects).

Made pita pizzas for lunch. Put the kids down for a nap.

Baked and frosted some chocolate cupcakes for a birthday party.

The weather was beautiful, sunny and warm enough to leave our coats behind, so we went for a stroll to our local provincial park.

There was still traces of snow and C happened to get stuck in some.

After introducing C to the chipmunk, I learned that she, #1 thinks they are funny and #2 is scared of these furry creatures. Who knew?

The water was raging

Then we saw a rainbow.

Walked around the ENTIRE park

After coming home, I realized I forgot to pick something up from the store, went back out, came home, made dinner, put C to bed and then spent the rest of the evening relaxing with my husband and a much needed glass of Pinot Grigio.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wordless Wednesday & Earth day post

What are you doing for Earth day? Check out 15 simple ways to make a difference.

Her many expressions....

Monday, April 20, 2009

Oh how quick we judge :)

I've written about it before and watching this just proved my point (and brought a huge smile to my face).

Please watch this video from start to finish.
This morning while A was sleeping, C and I ran out to get some errands done. It had just begun to drizzle so I introduced her to Mr. Umbrella. The poor child insisted upon holding this monstrous contraption above her head while walking even though it kept tumbling out of her little grasp. I think I'll have to buy her a child's version. She sang, "Rain, rain, go away, come again, next week... please" all the way there and all the way back :-).

We made a beautiful "Meatless Chicken" pot pie for dinner tonight. Rainy days like these call for comfort food. 

Speaking of comfort food, I've started up bread baking by hand again. I make most of our bread in the bread maker but sometimes a crusty round loaf is in order and that kind of loaf is something which must be done by hand. Although you don't need to use a starter every time you make bread it does result in a terrific loaf, so I've started one. Tomorrow every nook of this home will be filled with the scent of freshly baked bread. Yum!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The weather has finally turned. Cold and bitter no longer; spring has finally arrived. You can actually smell the freshness of spring in the air and almost taste it. So clean and sweet; I adore spring. Everything coming to life again. It brings joy to my soul.

We went for a walk today, C, A and I. As we walked by some blue recycling bins, I explained to C what they were for, going into detail about recycling, the environment, bottles, cans etc. At the end of my explanation, with a serious look on her face, she says to me, "Wow thats pretty cool mama." It took me everything I had not to burst out laughing!

Shortly after this exchange we passed by a house with three decorative butterflies on the outside, near the front door. After spotting them C said to me, " Oh Mama, look at the butterflies! C loves butterflies, they are beautiful." It was so sweet. This little girl with her curly locks of spun gold blowing in the wind, the big sister, my first born. She takes my breath away all the time.

A has such a quiet personality. It might be too early to tell of course but she seems to be more observant than her sister. She looks at everything in thoughtful silence and loves to watch C, smiling at her silly faces. She just always seems so peaceful, so content. When I'm nursing her and she looks up at me with those big innocent eyes. When she smiles, when she sleeps, every time I look at her I feel my heart growing. Its feels as if it would burst at times.

Motherhood is full of challenges and frustrations but there are so many precious moments. Moments that can only be described as magical bits of heaven. Its easy to miss them if you let the everyday hustle and bustle engulf you. I think its like that with everything really. Hanging on to the past; it makes life unpleasant and you miss so much of the beauty and happiness around you.

Wordless Wednesday

She sees the slide..

Up she goes! She climbed up all be herself. About fifteen times to be exact.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Remembering Maddie

My heart is breaking for little Maddie and her parents Heather & Mike. I can't even begin to imagine the pain they must be going through. For those of you who haven't read about this beautiful little girl please visit March for Maddie. Her parents have written a beautiful speech and put together the video below. Please make sure you have a box of Kleenex handy.

A tribute to Maddie.

The Tribute to Our Madeline from Mike and Heather on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Our house has always been full of music. Lately though, there are a couple of songs which are sure to be heard more often then others. The first one has given me a bad case of ear worms thanks to C singing it morning, noon and night. She goes through phases.
Day O was the pick for the months of January, February and the first half of March. This has been the favorite since then.

The second is one which my husband and I sing most days. C has been joining in as well. Her favorite lines are "Why oh why, oh why??" and "Dreams come true, RIGHT NOW!" Adorable? Oh yes.

Now let me just set the record straight, I am NOT by any means a good singer! I love to sing, just as long as no one is listening :). My dear husband on the other hand is a great singer. By great I mean amazing. Truly the man has a voice that can melt hearts and bring tears to your eyes.

The lyrics to this beautiful song are filled with so much hope and meaning and one of my all time favorites.

The third is one has been one of my husband's favorites for years now.

And now, for the song that pretty much sums it all up for me. Love this one.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The year of the baby!

A couple of weeks ago, one of my childhood friends gave birth to a beautiful baby girl! So very excited and happy for them. Our daughters are three months apart; it is just too bad we live so far apart. Hoping to visit them sometime next month when we go down south.

Speaking of babies, is it just me or does it seem as though everyone is either pregnant or just had a baby recently? Everywhere I look there is a stroller being pushed or a mama with a baby belly. Its the year or the baby!

Just finished a post on baby-wearing, also holding a giveaway for breastfeeding mamas!

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Last week I attended a large playgroup with C and A in a nearby town. I was surprised to see how rude and obnoxious some of the kids were. Now although I think it is important for my kids to be social with other children and to attend various activities and playgroups, I don't want them to pick up bad behavior at the same time.

C doesn't understand the whole "mine" aspect. When we arrived, C picked up a little plate and some plastic grapes out of the toy box and a little girl came up to her and snatched the grapes out of her hands. C in turn smiled, handed her the plate and went to look at the other toys. This happened a few times with different children and different toys. It wasn't only with C, they were behaving this way with each other. There was another little girl there (around three years old), playing with a toy car at one end of the room and at the other end, a little boy was riding around on a little tricycle. As soon as the three year old caught sight of the boy on the bike, she started to cry and scream at the top of her lungs. Her mother comforted her and asked the boy if she could play with the bike!

Another example: C wanted to climb up the ladder to go down one of the plastic slides they had set up. As we walked up towards the ladder, one of the children pushed C out of the way and went down the slide. C smiled and waved at her as she slid down. This happened 2 more times with the same child and another little boy. After the third time, C didn't want to try anymore and walked away. There were many more instances like this throughout the hour we were there. Now am I wrong for wanting to shield my daughter from these influences? I do understand that she will have to go through this at some point or another but isn't 2 1/2 years old a little young to be experiencing this behavior?

The mothers were too busy gossiping to tend to their children; bad mouthing teachers, parents and their husbands. One of my biggest pet peeves are couples who bad mouth each other in public. I can't stand it!

Now, I've been to a couple of playgroups before which were lovely. I don't expect children to be perfectly behaved at all times, how could anyone? Children will be children, but that kind of behavior is not something I wish my daughter to be subject to. My husband and I work hard enough at trying to teach her values and good behavior; I don't want our efforts to be undone within an hour!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wordless Wednesdays

I asked the Mennonites permission before taking these photos. C is in LOVE with the horses :).