I Used To Dream Of Paris

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Years ago while living in London, I got bit by the travel bug. While working and pursuing a degree, I booked flights to places like Greece, Spain, Italy, Turkey and Sweden to name a few. I loved experiencing their food, the textures of the land, their skies and the sounds on the streets whether it was quiet or busy or just the sound of the sea. My bucket list of places I wanted to visit was a long one.

When I met my husband, he also wanted to see the world. I imagined us going to the same places I had already been to, and then we would explore new countries together. Our dreams were big, ambitious and I was excited! We chose Paris as our first destination. We looked at hotels, things to do, and train tickets. But we never booked anything.

With marriage and family life, we knew we may have to hold off for a little while. And that was okay. We were happy to be blessed with our two little boys. When our second son was born, my husband was diagnosed with a rare neurological condition. And sometimes life does that to us. We make plans, dream, achieve some goals, and then we get thrown a curveball. We never made it to Paris.

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I recently had a conversation with a friend who said:

“YOU WILL DREAM NEW DREAMS”

She was right. The travel bug got buried. My dreams no longer contain stamped passports and foreign cheese. Living on the other side of the world now, my bucket list has changed. Every country has delicious food to be savoured. No matter where we are, every sunset on the horizon is beautiful. It’s not where we are, it is who we are sharing it with.

The other day as I walked down the picture frame aisle, I saw a lovely picture of the Eiffel Tower. The image of my husband and I sitting at a table eating bread and cheese al fresco at candlelight crossed my mind. I picked up the picture. $6. Cheaper than a flight! I added it to the cart. I went next door to the grocery store and picked up a few items for dinner. That night I fed the kids early so my husband and I could eat alone. I propped up the picture of the Eiffel Tower on our dining room table. I also placed a small vase of greenery as part of the centrepiece and lit some candles. Candlesticks that looked similar to the ones we had for our wedding. I had a bread basket with cut up baguettes, and a serving tray of different cheeses including Brie. I even put on some makeup and my jeans. Would our conversations have been so different if we were actually in Paris? Would the bread and cheese taste that much better? I’m sure our dinner would not have been interrupted with the children running back and forth to get their noses wiped, or to stop them from hitting each other or to suddenly run one to the potty. What I am sure of is that, whatever candlelit dinner I am having, I am sharing it with the best company: my husband!

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I used to dream of Paris. But before my dream of Paris, I dreamed of love and children. And here I am with them. They are my dream come true. And if the travel bug bites again, I am glad to now realise that adventure doesn’t have to be so far away. Sometimes just a short drive away. I just need to appreciate what is already around me.

(Photo credit- paris) 

(Photo credit- bread)

Heart Everything You Love

I titled this “everyTHING” and not “everyONE” because it is so obvious to me that we love and are grateful for our near and dear. There are times I need to remind myself there is so much MORE in this world that gets easily overlooked and forgotten that has contributed to my heart.

My heart flies farther than the end of my road.

On sunless days our hearts may feel shadowed by the frustrations of the current circumstances we find ourselves in. I think its great to seek, find and make our hearts in our everyday life. Personally, I do struggle during the dark winter so these reminders simply help. A bit like my ‘Beating Depression’ series that I tried to start and ironically never finished because winter knocked the motivation right out of me!

Hearts are Love.

I love books, libraries, reading, writing and just words!

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I love to cook, eat and watch others enjoy it too.

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I love to sew and create.

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I love the many adventures marriage brings.

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I love to travel and discover all the different beauties this world has.

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I love how music can often find the words you can’t.

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There is so much more I could add my heart to. Flowers and gardens. Going for long walks in nature. Maps for road trips. Art galleries in old cities. Walking along a sandy beach barefoot. Going to the zoo with my kids!

There is a quote I found that said, “If you want to know where your heart is, look to where your mind goes when it wanders.”  I imagine our minds wander very far from our address.

In my continued efforts to stay positive, I am currently surrounding myself with hearts to remind myself of what is in mine. The more love I feel for the world around me, the more I can feel love within myself and be a happier person for those I already treasure in my heart the most.

Fun on photo booth

x

Fighting Contention with Positivity

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Contention is like fire. It starts small. A bunch of small fires, or arguments, will burn into each other and grow into a huge fire. Fires destroy homes. So does contention. Fires can kill. Contention kills relationships.

Contention is a tricky subject that can be divided and sub divided and then categorised into a hundred different sub categories with a million opinions on every line.

My only purpose is to share what happened one night between my husband and I. We started arguing about something very small. We both had our opinions and were not standing down! It escalated. And the whole time I was getting more angry because I knew how stupid the whole thing was and I was angry that I had gotten so angry! I wanted the tension to simmer down but how? How do we invite positivity into such a heated furnace of contention? As my husband and I finally sat in awkward silence fed up, a thought popped into my head:

“See this as an opportunity to learn and apply the principle of forgiveness.”

Oh good! A fight! Now I can learn about forgiving others! (I can actually see eyes rolling.) However, it’s true. Forgiving feels good and the heavy burden of tension almost immediately gets lifted. It doesn’t matter who was right about the initial argument itself. We were both wrong in being so contentious and allowing it to get out of hand.

So I can be sorry for the unintended hurt that was caused by my words without being the weak link. I can forgive even if the other person isn’t sorry. (Although I am blessed with a husband who is quick to apologise and quick to forgive.) I can go to sleep with more peace choosing forgiveness and being sorry than “winning” the argument at hand. And often these arguments where neither of us are willing to stand down, we do agree to just drop it and that works. Forfeit the argument and walk away with good feelings.

How we live is our choice.

Our attitude is our choice.

We can’t stop things from happening to us but we do choose how we react to it all.

Be positive every time. x

Be Positive Every Time

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Every year I make new years resolutions and every year I forget to look at what I had written down! So this year I am making it incredibly simple for myself. ONE GOAL. Surely I can’t forget one right? 😉 And to make it even easier on my ever-aging brain, I’m keeping it to FOUR words:

Be Positive Every Time.

Maybe that sounds like a life motto instead of a goal.

When I sit at my sewing machine and mess up, I want to stay positive instead of feeling frustrated.

When I stand on the scale and realise how much we don’t get along, I want to stay positive and keep trying.

When things aren’t going my way with the kids, I want to stay positive.

Staying positive might help me find solutions so that I can finally achieve all those other quiet resolutions I did not write down.

I chose “every TIME” instead of every day for good reason. I’ll state the obvious here: There are more moments than there are days. In my lil opinion, we need to focus on the decisions we make in the moment. If we say, “I’ll try again tomorrow” then there are too many opportunities missed. We need to try again next TIME.

In a few days I hope to post more on this and share a personal experience on how I found something positive during a moment of contention. I also plan on starting a new series where I will post a positive quote each week (day to be decided but look for it!) to help keep us battling against the negative darts the world throws our way.

Hoping you have a lovely start to the New Year and good luck with your resolutions! x