The annual year end post

I have had thoughts and reflections of the past year and hopes and dreams for the next, swirling around in my head for days. I have experienced moments of true clarity when thinking about what I want to accomplish this next year, and honest recognition of the things I have not managed to square away this past year.

I had great hopes for real change this year, and as I reflect, I am not so sure I was overly successful. Although, I have such a feeling of overwhelming joy and excitement for 2010, that maybe I was far more successful than I give myself credit for.

I have felt for years that underneath my exterior and the person that I allow people to see is the real me. I have never really been able to put this into words, except maybe to say that I have spent my whole life hiding. Those who know me may laugh at this and not be able to reconcile the thought of the exuberant and passionate side of me as someone who hides, but the truth is those who know me the most, know that I spend the majority of my life controlled by fear.

I have spent some serious time thinking about why that is, what EXACTLY it is I am afraid of, and while I feel I am making some progress, I also know that I have a lot to learn about who I am, and why I am this way.

I know that I allow other people's thoughts about me, and my life, and my choices affect my decision making on a daily basis. I will purposely not pursue things I am interested in because I am afraid it will cause conflict in my life.

So, one of my new years resolutions, or whatever you would choose to call them, is to trust ME. To Believe in myself, to know that I am strong enough, smart enough, whatever, to make the decisions that are best for me. To stop hiding, to allow myself to shine despite how it may affect others around me.

I think the reality that in order for me to love myself, I have to be true to who I am is finally setting in. How can I possibly believe others when they tell me they love me, when I cannot say the same for myself. What kind of relationships can I really have with people if they do not really see ME.

2010 is my brand new start. I know that I often come out with these sentiments of grandure and cannot possibly measure up...but this time, I am not going to shove it all into a sentence like I will lose weight, or I will get my drivers license finally, or I will work on becoming more financially responsible, keep a cleaner home, be more organized, but this year, I will simply say, I will work on me, and those other things will fall into place if they are meant to.

I feel excited today. Hopeful for a fantastic new year.

CBC radio blurb

for those, like me, who are barely up at 7 am, let alone listening to the radio ;)

if you can't hear it there, go here and scroll down to features on the side bar.


A Blog worthy story

As usual, my poor blog is abandoned for a time...

But yesterday was the kind of day that warranted me taking the time to post about it.
I don't know about you, but I am an avid movie/tv show watcher, and I am not always proud to admit the amount of time I spend absorbed in the wonderful stories and heroic antics of other people's manufactured false lives.

But in the movies, things always go a certain way. For the most part anyway, the typical and cherished formula of A+B=C leads to many wonderful feelings, and sappy stories that warm our hearts.

What happens however, when in real life, something right out of a movie happens and you can barely breathe from the shock that something so awesome and terrifying at the same time could happen right under your nose? What happens when you reach out for help and there is no one willing to step up, rush in and save the day? Would you take it upon yourself to be the hero, or would you shamefully walk away and do nothing and deem it "not your problem".

Yesterday, we were presented with a situation just like that. My whole family is together right now, for the first time since Christmas, and we were enjoying a beautiful sunny spring day. We heard a dog barking behind my parents house, in fact, my mother had mentioned it the day before that she thought maybe there was a dog in trouble back there. The rest of us brushed it off that it was probably another new yappy dog in the neighborhood. As the barking continued, we decided that my mom and sister and I would take a walk behind the house just to check it out. There is a huge cliff-face behind my parents house so we don't go back often, but it is beautiful for walking. So, off we went and were about to turn around to come home after not hearing anything else, when my mother spotted the dogs. Two of them. Stuck. On a cliff. For two days. In the pouring rain.

The site of those dogs is not something I will forget in my life time. I am an animal lover, and so my heart absolutely broke knowing they were stuck and couldn't get down. This was not a small cliff, this was certainly not going to be an easy situation to fix. To give you an idea, here is a photo of the dogs on the cliff, I have highlighted them.


As far as we could tell, the second dog had followed the first when it got injured falling part way down the cliff, and couldn't reach the other dog. So, The next forty minutes consisted of calling all the various avenues (police, vet, animal control) NONE of which offered any kind of assistance. So, our options were, either turn a blind eye and let these dogs die, or attempt to save these poor dogs ourselves.

With the help of the owners of the property and another neighbour these ordinary people became extraordinary heroes. And thankfully, despite the many things stacked against us (no help, a shaky rockface, very basic equipment (ya, we had a rope), and two tired and very afraid dogs) we found our happy movie ending. My husband was the one who climbed up the cliff to save them, and though I was incredibley afraid for him (did I ever mention he fell off a 50 foot cliff when he was a kid) I was so very proud of him for his big heart and willingness to not accept that nothing could be done. It was not easy by any means, and could have ended much differently, but the teamwork of all involved brought the dogs safely to the ground. It was nothing short of a miracle.

I couldn't believe that these institutions that are supposed to be in place to make sure that we are safe and cared for all failed us yesterday. I understand that these were just dogs, but they still deserve the common courtesy of our love and care. If we cannot help the helpless what is the point? Without having seen it yourself, there is no way to know just how heartbreaking and hopeless this scene was, and though pictures will never do it justice. here is a storyboard I did up with pictures of the rescue.


Um, trying my hand at artwork?

I was trying to make my own scrap booking paper for fun, and it ended up like this. More an easter screensaver I guess?? Anyway, I like it :)

The cross I got from a free stock photo site.

I call it Amazing Grace.


I know it has been a really long time since my fingers have graced the keys in order to share with you the goings on of my life.

I get distracted. I suppose that happens to all of us to a degree.

You can imagine my surprise this early morning when I heard a still small voice breath into my ear and remind me that I am too distracted. 

I found faith at the age of fifteen in an anglican church. I have since changed denominations many times, and my faith has always remained the same, and yet, traditions have changed. God to me is not about what we do, or how we worship in service to Him, but its all about the personal relationship. But...

I can remember the beauty of the cross in that little Anglican church. I remember the reverence I felt when I would drink from the silver chalice during communion. The pride I felt when I would robe up as a server of my Christ.  I remember the feeling of standing together with fellow believers and speaking the common prayers that were traditional for a service. I remember the beautiful rich fabrics that we would change on the altar and the gorgeous banners we hung from the various ends of the church. I remember how the sun came through the beautiful stained glass windows and gave me a sense of the divine.

I used to clean that church on the weekends, and had plenty of time there alone. I found Jesus everywhere within that tiny church sanctuary and loved the safety I felt within its walls.

One of the traditions we observed in the Anglican denomination was Lent. I have since been in some churches that do, and some that don't, but it has been years since I gave it a second thought.

So again, in the early hours of my morning, I felt God tell me that Lent was upon me and that he wanted me to surrender something to him. Seeing as I haven't been really hearing much at all lately, this was a start and so I gave it my full attention. So I started rhyming off all of the standards....

Ok God, um, junk food?? Chocolate specifically? How about laundry? hehe, ok so maybe not. Well...I started to sweat a little bit at this point, computer God, is that it?? 

I paused. Reminding myself to breath. Gah. Nothing....Uh, my computer AND my TV? No. Phew....ok, so THATS good. 

and then I heard it....clear as day (and thats saying something) your lazy my daughter. Its not that I mind the computer, or the tv, or the junk food, or the chocolate, or any of it. What I mind is that you put it all before the other things you should be doing.  

Now, this is not my any means a new idea. I have known it forever. And, I have tried a million times to get it under control.  I think all my struggles seem to stem from it. an odd and bizarre offering to God for lent, I am giving up laziness. Ok, so this one is going to be tough. But since when do I do anything that is remotely normal anyway.

Thankfully, I have this still small voice that whispers to me when I know I am purposely being lazy and I am counting on him (and my husband and kids) to remind me when I am in fact being lazy.

So, I am signing OFF the computer now, and going to go help my boys get ready for school. 

snapped this today...

My little man wasn't feelin so great. Down, and sniffly, and he was sitting there talkin with his nanook. So I snapped this.

How quickly they grow...

You know, as part of this trying to figure out my camera business, I have been using my sons as subjects a lot. I snapped this pic of Drew playing the guitar (or trying to anyway) and while technically it is a terrible picture, I absolutely love it. It is one where I see a glimpse into the man that he will be one day soon. Like the blink of an eye perhaps?

My first manual shots ever..not too bad, I don't think??