The Teenager.

Dec 12, 2017

Yes, it is true. I have a teenager now. Nate turned 13 yesterday. It really just blows my mind, but truthfully I am glad he is my guinea pig. He's a really good kid. He's helpful, smart, kind, plus he's pretty darn handsome. He's creative, loves to write and draw, loves basketball and really likes to be at home. A Mother's dream when it comes to having teenagers. He has been babysitting a ton for me and I love that I can go out and feel confidant that he is holding down the fort at home. I think his independent siblings make it pretty easy for him but still, it feels good. We had the Malacko clan over for lunch on Sunday to celebrate. His choice of pizza, and cake. everything went great. We had a good afternoon. My favourite was surprising him with an xbox one.

To watch the video click HERE

You may have seen it on my other social media sites, but watch it again, It is that good! We've been telling him the last two years that if he saved for half we would pitch in the other half, but he's not one to do extra work, so it never happened. We had no intention of buying it this year but black Friday rolled around and Ryan found it for pretty much half off so we decided to do it (I had already purchased other things for his birthday). He really does babysit a lot and I don't pay him so I thought he definitely deserved it. We were pretty sneaky about the whole thing and I love how the video captured everything. He had a lot of us holding back the tears. He was so kind after my "mess up" and still showed gratitude. Man I love him. Sometimes you just don't know if anything your teaching actually sticks and then you get moments like this, and you see that it does. Warms my heart. Anyway, we are pretty darn proud of him.

Love you Nate!

I didn't take one stinkin picture. I haven't been feeling well so dropped the ball on that one. But here's a picture of Hayley's favourite hiding spot.

9 more days until Christmas holidays! Oh yes I am counting down. I am ready for a break.

'Tis the Season.

Dec 9, 2017

But the season for what? Stressing about decorating, getting cards out, baking, giving gifts, spending way more money then we can afford, and pressure, pressure, and more pressure. This is what Christmas has become for me. I use to love Christmas but now, I honestly don't. I mean there are still things I love about it but mostly I just feel anxious. This isn't right. I don't want to feel this way about such a beautiful, merry holiday. I sort of feel like Cindy Lou Who in the Grinch. Something with Christmas has gone missing, changed somehow for me over the years and I need to figure out how to get the magic back. It may take awhile but I'm hopeful that it will be fully restored. One thing I've figured out over the years is that I'm the happiest when my life is simple so we are going very simple this year. I got my big beautiful tree but the thought of decorating it overwhelms me. I even went to buy ornaments and just couldn't do it. I was just going to leave it this year but my Mother in-law had all these poinsettia flowers she brought over so I just placed those throughout and I think it looks fantastic. Simple, but beautiful.We put the kids tree up and decorated it over the weekend. Nate wasn't interested in helping at all and just sat there watching the rest of us and the kids argued and fought the whole time. Seriously, it wasn't even fun.

This is before I added the flowers. Haven't taken a pic of that yet.

 Something I have really been enjoying lately in the evenings is getting into my new festive-ish p.j's, having a cup of seasonal tea (in a Christmas mug of course), turning the fireplace on and cuddling/chatting with Ryan (and sometimes a kid or two) on the couch. The tree is on and it just feels so good and comforting. This has pretty much been happening every night and I have been loving it. So if this is what Christmas is going to be for me and how I start getting the magic back. I'll take it.

In other news, Nate has started basketball season. They had an opening tournament last weekend. It went good. We have a pretty decent team of all grade 7's which is almost unheard of in Coalhurst, but I think his favourite part is that his Dad is coaching him. We'll see if he feels the same way when the season is over. They played hard and got second place in the tournament. I am excited because I love watching basketball. I think its my favorite team sport to watch.

We got to watch my nephew on a new Christmas Hallmark movie. Its called "Switched for Christmas" starring Candace Cameron Bure and is really cute and fun so you should definitely go watch it. You can find it on You tube. It was really fun to see Ben. He did such a good job.

14 Years with this one.

Ty loved this little girl so much when she joined our family. He definitely paid the most attention to her, but this is a rare moment now a days.

Sometimes she ask's me to lay with her at night.
So, anyone else out there struggling with Christmas? What do you find joy in over the holidays?

A million Oreo's.

Nov 26, 2017

This past weekend Ryan and I took a day trip down to Great Falls to do some shopping. We haven't gone down to the State's in awhile because we don't like their president (ha ha. Just joking) it's really because the dollar has been so terrible. It still isn't great but its gone up a bit atleast. We thought it would be fun to do some Christmas shopping. Just a change of scenery. I love road trip music and chatting. We went to Cafe Rio for lunch which was delicious as usual, then we hit up Target, Scheel's, and Walmart. We got some fun stuff and had a fun day together. I was worried we would be hit with paying duty at the border because we were only gone for the day but luckily we passed through with flying colors. I was looking back at the pics I took and they are all food pics. Ha ha.

I love the mint lemonade from Cafe Rio but this time it was a bit too sweet for me. Didn't even drink half of it

This was an amazing flavored water. 

I love Larabar's. They had 10 more flavours down there then they have here. Had to try a few. These lemon one's were delicious.

As soon as I saw these I was taken back to my childhood and they made me think of my Mom. These were big in the 80's but then discontinued. I guess they've just recently brought them back. They're as delicious as I remember. The rootbeer flavor is my fave.

Then there was this...

We had actually purchased two more at Target as well. That's 7 package's of Oreo's people. I would totally judge someone if they had that many oreo's in their cart. We had a purpose in mind for these though. We have about 2-3 flavor's here and they have about 10-15 in the States, so we thought it would be fun for the kids to do an oreo tasting challenge with all these fun flavours. We already did the video and posted it. Click HERE if you'd like to check it out. After the challenge the kids all took the Oreo's to their classes and shared them. I mean, we did keep a few. (wink face emoji)

McKenna's tap costume came in. We rent a lot of our costume's but this year we bought 3 of them. Here is her tap trio costume.

I love them. They're dancing to "Put on a Happy Face" originally written for the Broadway musical Bye Bye Birdie. Its an instrumental version and I love it. Its classic and I really envisioned something with feather's for some reason (maybe because of Ginger Roger's famous feather dress). Anyway I love the look of these for their trio.

Here are two candid shots one of the dance Dad's at the studio took while the girls were practicing. I love them.

Photo cred: Bleu Baker.

Life and Death part 2.

Nov 22, 2017

Man I have so many amazing people in my life. When I open my heart and share personal things I love knowing that people have read it. I love hearing your thoughts, experiences, and desire's. It's so amazing that we can learn and grow from one another. After reading over my post again there were just a few things I wanted to add.

It kind of sounded like I was maybe still searching for peace or searching to know what happens after we die, but that was just a small moment I had, which I think we all have sometimes. I actually have found peace with my Mom's death. It did take me a long time to find it though. It was a long, hard journey but I'm happy to say I did find what I was looking for: peace and comfort. The thing is, I didn't find it from the things I thought I knew. I was sad and depressed for years afterwards and just couldn't find peace with what I was taught to believe, what I did believe. I actually found it when I admitted that I didn't really know, and I actually find beauty in not knowing and don't feel like I need to know for sure. I didn't mean to offend anyone by saying no one really "knows." In my mind "knowing" means that there is fact or proof in that thing. I just feel saying "I believe" or "I feel" are better ways to express idea's that can't necessarily be proven. You of course can completely disagree with me, but I think that saying I believe instead of I know doesn't diminish the things you are saying. There is power in our beliefs. They are what drive us. I love how my friend said she "chooses to believe because it motivates her to be better, gives her hope, and helps her find joy". I think that is amazing and any belief that makes you feel that way is worth holding on to.

But I don't think there is one way to find peace, or one religion, culture, or belief that is the best, or only way to bring happiness and joy to everybody. We all find what resonate's with us, what moves us, and sometimes we change or mind, sometimes a few times, but the important thing is that we find it. That is all I want for anybody. Life can be hard so when you find that one thing that just makes sense to you and brings you peace, then hold on to it, share it, but don't expect its going to be the same for everybody. Just because it brings peace and joy to you, doesn't necessarily mean it will for others. We are all so different. That is one of the beautiful things about being human. Celebrating our differences with love and acceptance. Some of my most cherished relationships are with people who have very different thoughts and idea's about things. Don't be afraid of that. When someone believe's or say's something that might seem like its challenging your beliefs because it's the opposite, its actually not. Its just showing that there are many beautiful and wonderful idea's out there. If you believe it, then there is power in that no matter what anybody else says. Seriously though, I find peace and strength from all of you and I hope we can always share the things that are in our hearts with each other even if they are different. Thanks for stopping by, always.

Oh, and blogging is so awesome and therapeutic. If any of you ever decide to give it a go, I would love to follow and support you.

She's gone Christmas.

Nov 19, 2017

Just a little update. November is half way over which is crazy but at the same time I feel like the last two weeks have turtled by (gone by so slowly.) Its funny how that can happen. Thanks for all the comments and love from my last post. I actually sat down and wrote more the other day, like a part two or a continuation that I will post at some point. So what have we been up to the last couple weeks?

This might shock the pants off some people but we put our Christmas tree up. Anyone who knows me well knows I don't do Christmas until December 1st, but we've had the teeniest tree the last 10 years so I wanted to get a nice big one for our tall ceiling, so we bought a 12' tree at the end of last year because it was half off. Well let me tell ya, its huge. I wanted to put it up so we could get an idea of the size and start decorating it here and there. Its probably going to take me a few years to get that thing fully decorated, but its beautiful and I love it.

The before shot

It took us forever to decide where to put it and how to configure the rest of the furniture with it, but we got it done and are loving it. I'll probably put this baby up early every year just because it is such a process and will take me a couple weeks to get it all decorated. I even bought Toffifee the other day which is the chocolate we'd have under our tree growing up. It would sit under the tree until Christmas Eve and then we'd get to open it and eat some. I didn't make my kids wait though, we ate that thing right away. The best was hearing them try to pronounce it, and yes those are my teeth marks.

We had a big snowfall. I'm never ready for it. I feel the same way about the snow as I do about decorating for Christmas. It shouldn't snow before December but Mother Nature never seems to agree with me on this one.

At least somebody appreciates the snow. I'm sure appreciating my garage. Its also been cold. I'll fully admit I'm a huge wuss when it comes to the cold. I HATE it. Thank goodness Ry and I are headed to Hawaii in just a few short months. I will just keep thinking about that to get me through this cold.

The boys went to the farm to go snowmobiling last weekend but the girls had dance and had to stay home. It never bothers McKenna, but H was a little disappointed. We had a Costco lunch date and girls movie night to make up for it. She was happy with that.

Hayley is like me in Movies. If there is a sad part her little heart feels it and she has already cried in some movies. She usually just needs some extra cuddles. I won't complain.

Proud of her puzzle

And her splits
Nate starts basketball next week and he is beyond excited. Especially because his Dad is coaching his team. Ryan kind of got his arm twisted into it. Its so out of his comfort zone but I think he'll do great.

Well there you have it. Its cold, but life is good my friends. Life is good. Stay warm.

Life and Death.

Nov 14, 2017

If you're human I'm sure you've thought about this topic on and off throughout your life, and I'm sure it won't be the last time. After losing my Mom it is something I tend to think about more often then I use to (growing older might have something to do with it too). Every once in awhile something will set me off thinking about it and I usually have a good cry because I miss my Mom so much. A couple weeks ago it was the series finale of the Vampire Diaries of all things. In that moment I wrote what I was feeling in my journal and want to share it here on my blog so my children will always have access to it.

Nov 5, 2017

"I'm feeling so overwhelmed with emotion and thoughts right now. I don't always know how to sort them out, but writing always helps. I just finished binge watching the last season of the Vampire Diaries. Gosh I love that show. Anyways, it got me thinking about life and death. Of course it ended tragically beautiful like any good show does, but it also ended with everyone finding peace. And this is my dilemma, the one that I think about sometimes. Is Heaven and being with our loved one's forever something humans have created to survive losing people and a fear of dying? Or is it real? Will I ever see my Mom again or will I just be dead. Blank. Blackness? The problem is there is no way to know for sure. We can believe something strong enough that we think we "know", but we don't know for sure. Whenever I start to get overwhelmed by these thoughts I always come back to this realization- it just doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is the here and now. What I do with my life everyday. That is what I can control. Deciding what I want out of this life and going for it. Putting everything I have into what I do know. I think that is how I'll find my peace. By being able to look back on my life and think "wow. I really lived. I loved, I hurt, I grew, I had fun and adventure, and got to experience so much." That's how I'll find peace no matter what happens after I die. At the end of the episode Elena is writing in her journal. Here is what she says:

"Dear Diary. Today will be different. Today I will smile. It will be genuine because today is the day I get to live again. This life will be good and beautiful, but not without heartbreak. In death, there is peace. Pain is the cost of living. Like love, its how we know we're alive. That's life, weird, messy, complicated, sad, wonderful, amazing, and above all, epic. I'm going to live it as best as I can, for as long as I can. Peace exists. It lives in everything we hold dear."

And so that is how I will find peace, forever and always in the things that I hold dear. The beauty and energy of the Earth, the smiles of my children, the love and comfort I get from Ryan, the connections I have with family and friends, and especially the value and joy I find in myself. My body, heart, and mind drive me, and I'm grateful each and every day I get to use them to make the most out of this messy and sometimes painful, but amazing and beautiful life.

So to you, my children, family, and friends, find peace in the things you hold dear. Live your life to the fullest everyday. Be your genuine self because you are awesome. You control today, the here and now, make it yours and make it good. And if you make mistakes, which you will, you always have tomorrow to make it right again. Find joy in your journey, and above all, make it epic!"

My after a good cry selfie. Doesn't it always feel so good to get it all out

Here are a few things that are making me happy at the moment.

A garage we can finally park in.

We seriously have the most beautiful skies

Hayley cuddles.