Get Moving

This post is part of a series, sharing my favourite products and discoveries from this last year. (You can find the first post here.) If you have any favourite ideas to contribute, please feel free to comment. Anyone who comments during this series over the next two weeks will have their name entered in a draw for an Amazon gift card. Let us know what you’re loving!

This was the year I stopped sitting so much. For anyone who’s been reading my blog for awhile, you are probably aware  that I’ve dealt with a lot of pain in my back and hips over the years, and although I’ve made significant progress recently, it just wasn’t enough. I was still experiencing more pain than I wanted to, and just when I felt as though I was gaining ground, little things would set it off again – sitting too long in the car when we’d drive to the lake for the weekend, or a really bad chair at a restaurant.

When I would express my frustration to my muscle therapist, he would say things like “Bring your own chair!” or “Don’t sit down!” He always had an answer for everything, but it didn’t always feel very practical or doable – how was I going to bring my own chair everywhere?! We finally came up with a solution that’s worked well – I never sit longer than 20 minutes, and when I do sit, I use an Obus Forme cushion. (I have a seat cushion and a back rest – affiliate links) These things are amazing – the first time I sat on one, it felt like my whole body breathed this huge sigh of relief. I was finally comfortable! I can take it with me wherever I need to go. People give me strange looks and wonder what I’m carrying around, but I’m learning to get over that. No back pain is worth suffering on a bad chair, so people can stare all they want. I use it for driving, and around the house as well. My kids are always choosing to sit on it when I’m not, so I’m not the only one who finds it comfy! It’s a great solution for anyone who regularly needs to sit somewhere uncomfortable, or anyone who is wanted to sit with better posture.

Whenever I do sit down, I’ve gotten in the habit of looking at a clock to time myself, and I change position every 20 minutes. I found it interesting to learn that the standing desk craze is not actually the answer to problems with sitting – my muscle therapist explained to me that no position is great indefinitely. We need to change between standing and sitting, and it’s even better if we can stretch and move around. Standing desks are only a good idea if you have a high stool so you can regularly change your position.

The long car rides to the lake in the summer are still tough for me, but if I stretch before we leave, halfway there, and once we arrive, I can keep it under control. So if you’re ever driving to the Whiteshell, and you see someone doing yoga in the ditch, it will be me. Ben takes the kids exploring in the bush, and I work out my stiff muscles on my yoga mat.

exploring/yoga break on the side of the road

Here’s the thing – I’m not the only one who needs to be taking extreme measures. Have you heard the expression “Sitting is the new smoking”? My muscle therapist says everyone needs to get up and move every 20 minutes. Now that my body has gotten used to this habit, it feels horrible to me when I sit for long periods of time. I can’t believe how quickly my muscles tighten up. We weren’t made to sit around for hours at a time, and yet that’s what our culture does. Our world has been built for sitting – restaurants, movie theatres, church, work, school, everything. People just sit, all day long.

Trying to work against this has proven to be really hard for me this last year! It has to always be on my mind, and I need to get creative about it. In the beginning, I used an app on my phone as a reminder. I’ll always choose a seat in the back row so I can switch back and forth between sitting and standing. Ben and I even went to see a movie recently, using the same strategy! Constantly changing position in a movie theatre was a bit of an inconvenience, though – I prefer Netflix at home so I can freely move about as needed! Restaurants are also tough, because there’s not really room for standing, but when there’s a bar stool option (The Keg’s outdoor patio, for example!), the table is the perfect height for sitting or standing! The waitress thought I was weird, and asked if I was alright, but once again, my personal comfort has to come before being “socially acceptable”. And really, what’s it going to take for this to be the socially acceptable way? I like to imagine what life would be like if everyone was making the same effort to stand and move. Maybe someday, public places will- be more standing-friendly, who knows?! Ben is curious if we’ll have standing cars in the future.:)

In the meantime, Ben’s creative problem-solving skills have been very useful in helping me figure out how to take uncomfortable sitting scenarios, and come up with ways to get me moving.

And of course, going for daily walks, yoga before bed in the evenings, and stretching throughout the day are all important habits which greatly increase my comfort, and get me moving.

What are your favourite ways to get active? Does it come naturally to you, or do you need to work at it?

Around Here Right Now

So if I were being completely honest, I would write that around here, I’m not sleeping well, my back hurts, and five weeks never felt so long before. But since nobody needs to hear about that, I’m going to write about the stuff that’s awesome enough to bring joy in the midst of the waiting…:)

1) Coconut Whipped Cream

You guys, this stuff is amazing! Particularly for anyone avoiding dairy. If you stick a can of coconut milk in the fridge for a few hours, and scoop out the solid part (save the thin liquid for smoothies), you can make dairy-free whipped cream. Soooo delicious. I’ve asked Ben to bring me cans of coconut milk instead of flowers, whenever he feels a romantic urge.:)

coconut milk

2) Family Yoga


This is new, but completely awesome. I’ve done yoga every single night for a year straight, and cannot put into words how much it has improved my life. Still going strong at 35 weeks pregnant, and couldn’t survive without it.

Recently, I asked my massage therapist for tips on keeping Anika in good shape, now that she’s started taking violin lessons. After having dealt with a musician’s injury for so many years, I want to keep her back, neck, and arm muscles strong and healthy. His advice? Yoga, with me!

I also asked him about Ben’s knees – he’s had knee surgery already, and commented the other day that most likely, his knees will be the first thing to go. Guess what – yoga for him, too!!

And of course, Kaylia just joined in, because everybody else was doing it, but her comments were so hilarious, it was hard for any of us to take anything seriously.

My evening yoga routine used to be very relaxed and focused, so the atmosphere has changed drastically, but it brings such joy to my heart to see my whole family doing Downward Facing Dog poses in the living room!! I’m hoping this is something that will stick…

3) Getting Ready for Baby

Almost there – I have a few things to cross off my list, and then I can relax at night, because we will be READY!! Kaylia arrived at 36 weeks, so my doctor has told me to be ready! But she’s also told me we could be waiting until 40 weeks, there’s really no way to know. It will just feel better when everything is all set to go….

baby room

4) Invitation to Solitude and Silence

Invitation to Solitude and Silence

This is what I get up and read at night when I can’t sleep – loving it so much! Focusing on quiet rest is exactly what my frantic mind is craving right now. It’s an interesting exercise to spend focused time with God, but not speaking to Him – just being.

What have you been enjoying lately? Please share – I need new ideas!!

34 Days of Favorites: Morning Routine

For many, many years, I was one of those people who slept in as long as I possibly could.

Fortunately for me, we’ve been blessed with children who don’t wake up before 8:00 in the morning, so I could usually get away with staying in bed until then. When I’d hear them making noise, I’d finally roll out of bed, and my day would start at exactly the same time as theirs did.

Although this kind of worked, way back in a deep, dark corner of my mind, I knew it wasn’t the best plan.

For one thing, I was always a bit cranky in the morning, because I hadn’t really had time to fully wake up.

Another problem was that I really like to have a bit of alone time first thing in the morning, but it could never happen when I woke up at the same time as the girls.

The most annoying part were all those women who kept talking about their “quiet time” in the morning, starting the day with devotions. I immediately felt defensive when I’d hear about early morning quiet times, because my conscience bothered me. I tried to justify everything by telling myself that prayer can happen any time of day, but really, I knew my day would go better if I would have the self-discipline to start it right.

I stuffed down these problems for as long as I could, and found other times of day for doing what I needed to do. Kaylia was still taking long afternoon naps, so I had time for reading with Anika, exercising, doing my devotions, and taking a quick nap each afternoon.

But one fateful day, Kaylia decided she was done with naps. At the ripe old age of two. I had been expecting a few more years of naps out of her, but it was not to be.

Suddenly, I had no time for exercising or devotions, and I knew something had to change.

I started waking up 15 minutes early. Not much time, but it was a start.

Before long, I changed it to half an hour earlier, and stayed there for quite some time. I got my exercising done, but that was about it.

After a few months, I decided to wake up 45 minutes earlier than the girls, so that I could exercise and do my devotions.

And I’m still going strong. Some mornings I wake up an hour early, if I need some extra time for working on the computer.

The weird part in all of this is that the very thing I most dreaded for many years has become one of the best parts of my day. Now I will sound like all those annoying women when I say how much I love a quiet house on an early, fresh morning.

I spend a little bit of time praying, and then I do yoga. I love that time.

If I’ve ever gotten to bed exceptionally late, wanted a bit of extra sleep, and gone back to waking up at 8 am, I feel completely disgusting.

I don’t know if it’s because my body is so used to waking up at 7:15 am, or if I just really need that quiet time alone before I’m ready to jump into the day, but if I sleep later, I am grumpy.

Finding what works for my morning routine has made a huge difference for how I feel about the rest of the day.

My new goal for this next year is getting to bed earlier! Oh my goodness, is that ever a hard one for me! But maybe by next year, I’ll love going to bed earlier as much as I love waking up earlier!

We’ll see…

What’s your morning routine? And do you have any tips for how I can get my evening routine working a little better?

Favorite Things Right Now Part 3

…And here’s the last batch!

13) Green Ginger Tea

I’ve never like tea, and anyone who knows me knows that I drink water. Water. Nothing else. But this last year, Ben convinced me to try tea. I am in need of new ways to treat myself, since I can no longer eat most of the things I used to love, so it was time to find new loves. So I drank tea every day until I made myself like it. And now, I really, really love sitting down to relax and enjoy my tea! Weird. That still doesn’t sound right to me… Proof that you can get used to anything!


I love it because it combines my love of writing and photography. I’ve always wanted to write a book, but today I read an interview of one of my favorite bloggers, who has written books, and she said that her blog is her greatest book yet. So, maybe these days I am writing a book!

15) Smart Set

Most of my clothes come from Smart Set. I try to buy stuff elsewhere, just to have some variety, but when I just can’t find what I’m looking for, I always end up back at Smart Set.

16) Yoga and Pilates

I’ve been doing yoga for a long time, and love, love, love it. It is so incredibly relaxing, and makes you feel good from head to toe. But recently, I was encouraged to try pilates because of my hips, and it’s been really great, as well. (That’s a picture of my yoga mat, by the way. I don’t have a picture of me doing yoga!)


I am loving my girls. Anika can be wild and crazy, and stretch my parenting abilities, and Kaylia can eat most of the sand on the beach, and keep me running, but I still really love being a mom. And I love this stage of my life – I love being content, and not carrying around that weight any longer of wanting a baby and not being able to have one. I love just feeling happy and content. I love seeing how much our girls love each other.

18) Times Together

I love any time I get to spend with Ben. One of my favorite times is when we have to drive into the city, and we have almost 4 hours of driving time just to talk. I am so very thankful to have such a wonderful husband!