Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Saturday

Yesterday was a success, much in contrast to how we thought it would go when the day began. After a late night, followed by not being able to fall asleep till 1:30, followed by a crying Kaiya crawling into our bed at 2:30, followed by a 6:30am Kaiya wake-up call, we thought we were doomed. Tempers were very, very short, and all three of us were very, very tired. Did I mention I was sick, too? Ya, my hopes for the day were not high.

But we did it! And we were even blessed with sunshine and warm weather, which made the day even better.

It's true, folks. I can feed 13 people. And well. Okay, so Scotty couldn't make it, but there would have been more than enough, I swear! And beer, too!

Here are my favourites from the day:

Kaiya has decided she's a bit of a hairdresser. Here she is, doing Jasmine's hair. She totally gets the concept (probably cause she's seen me do it a million times...) Flip it, twist it, put the hair clip in. But she could definitely use a bit of help in the area of gentleness. I know from experience. Ouch!
Thanks Jasmine, for being a good sport. :)

Granny with two of her grandkids, 20 (or so) years apart.

Kaiya whacking around a stick while Dustin throws her a ball. Cuz that's how we roll here on George Street.

Kaiya trying on Uncle Dave's glasses.

There's nothing better than a 3-year old wearing bifocals and riding her tricycle around in a small house full with 11 other people. Seriously.

Her cousins "hid" chocolate eggs for her all over the backyard. I swear, this girl is going to have (already has?) a huge ego. Eleven adults were applauding her every move. Slightly intimidating?

Kaiya agreed to having Auntie Dagmar give her French braids. These braids are famous, I tell you. I still remember the crowns of braids Candice and Jasmine used to have when they were little. Amazing! I may know how to write, but my dexterity is ... somewhat non-existent. I'm in awe of your creative abilities, Dagmar. And I'm not being sarcastic! (We Urbancoks have to qualify statements like that, yes we do.)

The final product: beautiful!

My only regret of the evening is not getting a picture of Candice riding Kaiya's tricycle through the house with Kaiya standing on the back and hanging on. You'll just have to use your imaginations. It was quite a sight!

Well I'm still on the mend, so off to bed I go. I hope everyone had a great Easter.

Love to you all...

Monday, April 18, 2011

It's been a little while...

Hi folks,
The journey has gone inward. Together with Jeff, I've been trying not to get overwhelmed by all that is going on these days. And I'm trying to make sense of it all, too. Trying to open my heart when it wants to close. Trying to remain still when my insides want to run.

Much of my writing has turned private. This being a very public space, I don't always feel safe in my vulnerability to share what is truly on my heart. I hope that with time and the embracing of courage, this will change. But for now, I remain afraid of judgement, and of cynical attitudes, and that is why you always just get the bits and pieces, not the full story.

For now, I'd like to share this beautiful song and accompanying life story I found on Brene Brown's blog. Brene Brown is a fantastic researcher/storyteller who writes about "Wholehearted Living." She is just one of the many influences I have benefited from these last few months. I recommend her book, "The Gifts of Imperfection."


Have a good week, everyone.

Monday, April 04, 2011

My Latest Favourite

I have been listening to this song over and over again this past week. "Turn to Stone" by Ingrid Michaelson. Take a listen. It's worth it.

Let's take a better look
Beyond a storybook
And learn our souls are all we own
Before we turn to stone

Let's go to sleep with clearer heads
And hearts too big to fit our beds
And maybe we won't feel so alone
Before we turn to stone

And if you wait for someone else's hand
You will surely fall down
And if you wait for someone else's hand
You'll fall, you'll fall

I know that I am nothing new
There's so much more than me and you
But brother, how we must atone
Before we turn to stone

And brother, how we must atone
Before we turn to stone
Before we turn to stone

I wish I could express to you all that this song has meant to me this week. I wish I could take you inside my head and heart to feel the swelling of emotion I experience every time I hear this song.

I have struggled for the past day or so to put into words what this song is about for me. And if I don't publish this post soon, I fear it will be banished to the unpublished "mental block" section of my blog. A sad and lonely place indeed.

When I listen to this song, I go to this strange space in my soul where I process things, but not with words. Highly unusual for me, being a very word-oriented person. I think that's why I'm struggling to write this down. Let's just say that's it's more like flashes of pictures, memories, hopes, regrets, dreams, and losses. You could say, really, that it's a place of prayer.

And I drink deeply from that place and allow it to heal me and to help me keep moving forward... through the sadness I feel at someone dear slipping through our fingers, through our continued hopes for new life, through hurtful circumstances, and difficult decisions... through the continued cycles of life.

And each time, I come out cleaner on the other side. Recharged and full of hope and the celebration of life, all over again.


I discovered Ingrid Michaelson about a month before my trip to Qatar last June. In just enough time to fall in love with her and download a few of her albums onto my ipod. I have very good memories of getting to know her on that long flight to Doha, letting her music lull me, relax me, soothe me into a deep sleep. I remember, specifically, dipping in and out of sleep while listening to her song, "The Chain," which left me with this incredible feeling of being sung to sleep with an unending lullaby. (Listen to it; you'll understand)

I also remember how each night, when I missed Jeff and Kaiya the most, her songs would bring me right back to them, to the warm circle of love that we share. And I could fall asleep.

I think one day, when I look back, I'll strongly associate Ingrid with the good changes that have been happening in my life this past year. And I'll associate her with our decision to move to Qatar, and all of the joys and heartaches that this entails.

I know my words haven't done justice here, but that's okay. Just listen to the song, and let it wash over you. And maybe you too will feel a bit of what I'm talking about.