Waiting For Pretty

It’s that ugly but exciting time of spring – when everything is brown, but we’re just so happy because the snow is gone, and we know the green growing things are coming soon. I was looking out the window the other day, thinking about how there is so often an ugly aspect to growth and change – the discomfort of shedding the old and reaching toward the new. But it’s the hope, anticipation, and excitement of something fresh and different which carries us through the discomfort, and keeps us going.

So we watch spring creeping in, and we squeeze out every bit of joy from the ordinary little moments. Lately, we’re enjoying:

Early morning snuggles.

Saturday morning pancakes.

Smooth, bare skin.

The eager anticipation of good food.

Creating.

The best seat in the house.

More creating.

More anticipation.

Learning to share and play together.

And I realize once again that when I take the time to grab my camera, there is so much worth capturing, even if we’re still waiting for things to pretty up a bit outside.

Save

Save

May, So Far

I keep starting blog posts, and not finishing them, because it’s not what I want to say, so we’ll stick with pictures today! Here are my favorite May moments so far:

Flowers from Ben:

tulipDaydreaming while she looks out the window with the breeze blowing in:

KStories in the play structure:

play structurereadingCuddling on the couch:

E & APlaying in the sunshine:

KWhat’s your favorite about May?

Blossoms and a Birthday

This week, it was time for our annual visit to my parents’ house to see the apple blossoms, and take some pictures for Kaylia’s birthday. Last year went so perfectly, I think I arrived with fairly high expectations – always a risky thing!;)

Kaylia wasn’t really in the mood for a photo shoot, so we did the best we could, and it was still a beautiful day!

KayliablossomsKaylialilacKayliaKayliablossomsThe blossoms are on their way out – so glad we could enjoy them for an afternoon! Have a beautiful weekend!

Weekend Favorites

Alright, now it feels like spring is on it’s way! Such a beautiful weekend of melting and sunshine!

We spent the weekend relaxing. 🙂

Ben and KayliaWhile Anika was at a friend’s house on Saturday, Ben worked on Kaylia’s reading skills. She now knows how to tell the difference between the words “big” and little”!:)

KayliaShe also took advantage of Anika’s absence by using the time to make a necklace for her big sister.

We celebrated the return of the geese…

geese

…and the melt of the snowman.

meltingAnd we enjoyed BBQ food three times in one weekend! Nothing makes it feel like summer is on the way like a BBQ!

supperWhat did you do with your weekend?

5 Ways to Survive Until Spring

This one’s for all my poor, cold readers here in southern Manitoba. I have something to say in response to all of the complaints I’ve heard about snow and winter and ice and cold:

It is almost spring!!!

For real. Go look at your calendar if you don’t believe me. I know it feels as though this will never end, but we have never, EVER had snow last all through summer. It’s true.

So although I can’t say when spring is coming, I can say with utmost certainty that it IS coming, and you ARE going to make it.

And here are a few things to encourage you in the meantime:

1) You live here for a reason. 

As much as you might ask yourself, “WHY would anyone choose to live here in this horrible land of almost perpetual winter???!”, the fact of the matter is that you DO live here. You HAVEN’T moved.

Why not?

Family? Friends? This is just home for you? You like your job? Moving is hard and huge and not actually something you want to do?

Ben and I seriously considered moving away a few years ago, and thank God, He prevented us from doing it. I’ve never complained about Manitoba since, because as we actually began to look at what life might be like somewhere else, I realized that I don’t actually want to be far away from the people I love.

When winter drags on, and balmy temperatures start to look pretty good, I make myself remember why we CHOOSE to live here. Nobody’s forcing us to. So I have no reason to complain.

2) Summer is going to feel sooooo good.

I truly believe we appreciate summer more than people who have warm temperatures all year round. That is just how hardship works. It makes you appreciate things more. When summer finally arrives, we will most definitely know how good we’ve got it, because we’re reminded every single year.

3) Snow is prettier when you’re smiling.:)

There is a ton of snow outside whether we are happy about it or not! I see two choices here: I can complain about the cold to every person I meet, which will make me and them feel negative about it, OR I can choose to be positive. And if there’s nothing positive to say about the weather, then maybe I just won’t talk about the weather!

4) Let’s be realistic.

Everyone living in Manitoba KNOWS there will be snow for all of February. Most likely, for all of March as well. Yet everyone seemed to be super surprised about how much snow we’ve gotten recently. Expect snow for now, keep smiling, and look at your calendar regularly. Better things are just around the corner!! But don’t be surprised if there’s a snowstorm in March. It’s Manitoba. And you’re here for a reason! See #1.

5) Things can only get better.

This is apparently the coldest winter we’ve had in 50 years, or something like that. Chances are pretty good that next winter will be better. And maybe… we’ll have the BEST summer we’ve had in 50 years! Who knows! Let’s hope for the best. As the saying goes, “When you’re lying flat on your back, the only direction to look is up.” We are moving on to bigger and better things, everybody.

See this?

boots

That was me last April. That will be me again this April. I will frolic in the mud and puddles, and there will be much joy and gladness in my heart.

It’s coming, people. Just hang in there a little bit longer…

Stop and Take Note

Everyone in Manitoba seemed happy this weekend. It’s amazing what sunshine and some warm temperatures can do for people.

I was sitting in our backyard on Sunday afternoon, my bare toes in the dirt and the hot sun on my face, reading one of my favorite books ever, Slowing Down to the Speed of Life.

I came across this quote:

A mind that is fully in the moment is able to see, hear, and experience life’s moments in a whole new way, with heightened awareness. Aspects of life that you used to take for granted you can now see with a keener, more respectful eye. You become able to appreciate the magic and incredible miracle of life, perhaps for the first time. (Slowing Down to the Speed of Life, Richard Carlson and Joseph Bailey)

After I read this, I put my book down, and I just sat there. I tried to notice everything around me, soaking it in while I was just still.

trees

I listened to the birds, and I realized that it smelled like summer. I watched the girls playing in the sandbox, and thought about how warm the dirt felt to my feet.

sandbox

dirt

It’s still pretty barren out there – not much beauty, when you first start looking for it.

But when I took the time to be still and notice the beauty with all of my senses, there was so much there to enjoy. I love the idea of “heightened awareness.”

I don’t want to miss a moment of what’s going on around me.

Tap into the beauty and uniqueness of this moment instead of anticipating how wonderful the next one is going to be or remembering how special a past moment was.

Each moment is new and unique. You’ve never had this moment before, and you never will again. (Richard Carlson and Joseph Bailey)

Kaylia

Here’s to a week of enjoying every moment!