Saturday, 25 April 2015

Love Birds

I am babysitting for my friend tonight. We exchange childcare. It is the best. My kids love her, and I love her little guy. Most of the time the kids are asleep and I watch Netflix. It really is a night off whether I am going out or whether I am babysitting.

On tonight's agenda while little guy sleeps upstairs, decorate my phone case. I took this mirror selfie to illustrate that my dress matched my mug yesterday (as you do) and noticed that my phone case was sad and boring. Obviously, this must be remedied.

I have some Paint Markers, my imagination, and Moonstruck on Netflix. This will be fun!

Love birds
Justin and me
Mr. K
Mr. L & Mr. G

I love it. Boring phone case no more!
Saturday win!

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Reflections on Gilbert Blythe

I will always love you Gilbert Blythe.

Yesterday, I found out that Jonathan Crombie, the actor that played Gilbert Blythe in the fantastic TV movie adaptations of Anne of Green Gables, passed away far too early at the age of 48.  He was a beautiful man and actor. The news nearly threw me into "the depths of despair." Gilbert is my absolute favourite romantic character from my absolute favourite series of books by L.M. Montgomery. Gilbert is sweet, funny, smart, and so patient in his love for Anne. Swoon. I am forcing Mr. K to watch Anne with me while I reflect on how much these characters have influenced my life choices and ignore the mess in my kitchen.

Top 5 things that Anne has taught me.

1. Anne taught me to be myself. No one is perfect, but staying true to your hopes, dreams, and personality will make your life interesting and rich. I don't recall one instance when Anne changed to please others.

2. To overcome adversity. A little imagination goes a long way. Anne had a difficult start in life but did not let it dampen her spirits or weigh her down. She actually became stronger through each difficulty.

3. The maritimes (the East coast of Canada) is the best place in the world. When I was 20 years old, and had been married for only a year, my love and I drove across the country (57 hours) with not much in our bank account and no jobs lined up. Living in the maritimes for 8 years absolutely shaped me as a person. The kindest people live there. I learned how to live in New Brunswick.

4. Take risks. Follow your heart. Live in new places, try new things, and collect friends wherever you go. Kindred spirits are everywhere.

5. There is no substitute for your first love. If your first love is also your best friend, you are among the luckiest people in the world. Anne took much longer to realize this than I did, and I didn't need my love to be near death to discover my feelings. Anne does have a flair for the dramatic. That's why we love her! Oh Gilbert... sigh.

Well loved books. Old friends.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

"And she loved a little boy very, very much-- even more than she loved herself."

Shel Silverstein, The Giving Tree

Only in my case there are three little boys. 

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Music Therapy

I do not know what I would do without music. Throughout my day, I use it to stabilize my moods. I have learned that my kids and I have the best days when we listen to classical music, and also get the chance to dance to something fun. There have been evenings when I think, "why is everyone so crabby?" and then I realize that we have not listened to music that day. So I crank up the tunes, we dance, and suddenly everyone is laughing and smiling. Instant energy and mood boost!

Playing the piano and singing are a couple of my favourite ways to feel things. I tend to be a very controlled and calm person. Internally, I feel things very deeply. I think that because I don't naturally express my feelings, music can become a way of emoting and dealing with emotions. Especially pain. 

No one has a perfect life. This I know for sure. Life can be very hard and sometimes feel unfair. This was a difficult week. Sometimes being the parent of a special needs child can feel very lonely and heavy. It is something that is hard to explain to anyone who has not had the experience first hand. I also think that being the parent of a special needs child can be extremely joyful. Every successful proud moment is magnified times a million. Amazing. I am grateful for everything that I get to experience. I feel alive.

Since I was having a particularly emotional time, I decided to record myself playing one of my favourite pieces. No one composed feelings to page quite like Chopin (except maybe Puccini). I adore playing Chopin. The recording was done in one take, and is not perfect. When listening back I heard a couple wrong notes, but I also heard pain, joy, peace, love, acceptance, and hope. A very wise younger sister of mine has taught me that art does not have to be perfect. Just go for it. Play, sing, paint, dance, draw, and live your life to the fullest. 


Monday, 6 April 2015

Love Letter to Instagram

Dear Instagram,

I am in love with you.

You helped me stay sane and gave me a creative outlet when my twins were tiny, all I did was feed babies, and I didn't even have time to write down a To Do list (those who know me, know that this is a very big deal, I am obsessed with lists).  For the first few months after my twins were born, there was no piano practice, I mainly sang lullabies (okay, show tunes and Beatles tunes, these are the lullabies we prefer), and I definitely was not hauling out my paints and easel. Taking and editing pictures on my phone could be done with one hand, while breastfeeding. Amazing.

You help me meet like minded people all over the world, people with twins, people with Autism, tired moms (this is all moms), creative people looking for the beauty in every day, minimalists, people with beautiful houses that I love to snoop in, professional photographers that completely inspire me, chefs that create amazing food and definitely feed my food obsession, people who are able travel and take me with them through their photos, I could go on and on. I have made friends online that I have not met in real life. People that I enjoy talking with and learning from. My friend from Singapore makes me laugh and makes me think. I have a few Mom friends from Maine and Minnesota that understand my love/hate relationship with winter. I have friends from Sweden and Austria that give me a glimpse into a part of the world and a way of living that I greatly admire. I have friends in Australia that remind me of what a beautiful part of the world that is, filled with friendly lovely people, and remind me that I need to go back.

You help me to keep in touch with family that lives far away, and want to be able to see snipets of my boys growing up and what we are up to in our corner of the world. Children grow fast, and constantly do hilarious things. I do have a lovely DSLR Camera that Santa was so kind to give me last year. I use it a few times a week, and it takes gorgeous crisp shots. The reality is, I cannot lug my expensive camera with me everywhere. I have tried. Once, when visiting with family at West Edmonton Mall, my camera took a spill and I had to have a lens replaced. Sad times. My smart phone, I always have with me. Easy Peasy. Pictures everywhere. Sorry Husband (not a picture fan).

You help me keep in touch with friends that live far away, which since we have moved a few times, are more than I would like. I absolutely love when friends post pictures of their day, their food, their trips, their kids, their pets, their clothes... anything. It helps me miss them less. Oh, and I love SELFIES! That is right, I think that selfies are not evil, but wonderful. I would much rather see pictures of the beautiful faces of my friends than airbrushed photoshopped models that we get to see in advertisements (less fake more real please).

You help me keep a visual and written record of my life. Do I have time to write in a journal? Certainly not. Remember that I didn't have time to write To Do lists? I love looking back at the hilarious stuff that my kids get up to, pretty places we have visited, special people who have visited us. I do print my pictures in books as well, so I can look at them that way. The kids love it. Want to distract a toddler? Show him pictures of himself. Works every time!

You help me to look for something positive and beautiful every day. It is always there. Taking photos with my phone has really helped me to become a more mindful and grateful person, because I am always searching for humour and beauty in ordinary circumstance. The best part about this, I have learned that it is easy to find! The world is amazing. I find it impossible to be bored. There is always something to see or do or learn.

Most importantly, you help me live my dream of being a food stylist and food photographer. I have always thought that beautiful food tastes better. I don't even care if people judge me for taking pictures of my food.  I love food. All food. It is my blessing and my curse. I love to cook and bake and take pictures of the things that I cook and bake and force people to look at them on Instagram. You are welcome world.

Thank you Instagram.


Feel free to have a look at my Instagram account. Follow me @danofish.