Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Little Dream Come True

About 2 years ago, I had to let go of a few of the things that made me 'me' to make room for a new self-definition. I love my identity as a mom, it's changed me in many ways and unleashed a new level of love, commitment and passion within me. Over the last few months I've felt a bit of an awakening - I'm beginning to carve out a new place for myself - a space where the 'old me' meets the 'new me'. So - when Dan (my farrier and Lola's caretaker) called and asked if I'd like to take Lola on a trail ride into the mountains, my first instinct was 'yes. Yes, YES, YES!'. However, an emphatic 'No!' came out of my mouth, almost automatically. I quickly replaced the 'no' with a 'yes'. Although, I wasn't convinced I was ready. At all. I hadn't ridden in a year and a half! I had only ever taken Lola on one trail ride - it was short and basic. I was embarrassed by my hesitancy and fear. These are not common feelings for me - but as a mom, they are becoming more familiar. I dug deep and found Erin, the one I told you about in my first post about Lola. The 10 year old me. I committed to the trail ride, and subsequently began to freak out. The night before the ride I barely slept (this time, no thanks to Everett). The forecast called for steady rain, thunder and lightning. It's spring, bears are coming out of hibernation and are foraging for food. Lola has never crossed a stream before, how will she handle the 4 we need to pass? I somehow quieted these worries and slept for a couple hours. I met Dan out at the barn and in no time we loaded the Lola and Dan's horse Ripper into the trailer and arrived at our starting point in Kananaskis Country. Lola was cool as a cucumber as she exited the trailer. She was dozing off as I groomed her and saddled her. I couldn't believe how relaxed she was. I needed to some of that! I mounted - and within an instant all of my apprehension disappeared. Both Lola and I released a deep breath, and began our beautiful journey. The ride was incredible. The weather was beautiful. Lola was confident, strong and smart. Horses will amaze you, she knew to step in and take care of me. I love her. We crossed fast flowing streams, climbed mountainsides, witnessed bear tracks, deer, owls and hawks. We lunched in a meadow as a dark cloud came and began to hail on us. Thankfully, it only lasted a few minutes - just enough to add some colour to the day.
It was just what I needed - time with my sweet Lola and time with my old self. The whole day was packed with new 're-experiences' and moments of mindful bliss! I can't wait to do it again!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Great Cloth Diaper Change

Ty, Everett and I spent Earth Day participating in the Great Cloth Diaper Change in Canmore. It turned put to be such a fun day! The GCDC is an event aimed to raise awareness about the benefits of using cloth diapers. In Canmore, 54 babies were changed into cloth diapers - contributing to a grand total of 8,459 reusable diaper changes worldwide in a 24 hour period! 188 locations in 18 different countries helped this event achieve a Guinness World Record! The event was solely run by volunteers and their kids. Local vendors showed support by donating generous door prizes and selling goods at reduced prices. Almost everyone who attended won a raffle prize! Everett won multi-coloured 'deconstruction blocks' from aroundsquare and we received a Squishy Snak Pak in our goodie bag. We all know how I love to discover new, local products! Of course, I couldn't resist buying a new cloth diaper and hanging wet bag from Nature's Baby Basket! It's an addiction, I swear! We unexpectedly ran into our good friends at the event and shared lunch together at the Grizzly Paw Brewery. Everett was asleep before we could buckle him into his car seat. Any excuse to visit Canmore is a great one - we will definitely be attending this event again next year!
*this post is not sponsored - I'm just feeling very 'link-happy today!*

Monday, May 12, 2014

Lessons from Mom

I'm grateful for my mom every day. She is such a presence in my life that not a day goes by that I don't consider all that she does for me and the beautiful things she's taught me. I'm not going to lie - I do believe Mother's Day is a 'Hallmark holiday', but that won't stop me from sharing some of the things that make my mom the best! My mom has always been there for me, but as I've become a wife and a mother in the past few years, I realize now that I need her more than ever. Here are some of the lessons I've learned from my mom, and continue to learn:
Be kind to everyone, no matter who they are
Some of my youngest memories are of my mom chatting and laughing with the mailman, the clerk at the bank and bagger at the grocery store. She is always cheerful, always friendly and always smiling.
Don't judge, you may never know someone's real story
I remember coming home from school and making a rude comment about one of my classmate's clothing choices. My mom gently reminded me that those clothes may be all that that person could afford. It's not always easy, but my mom instilled in me the importance of empathy and an open heart.
My mom is incredibly thoughtful. She has the ability to remember what's important to specific people and knows how to give the perfect gift. She amazes me with her caring and giving nature. I'm working on this definitely doesn't come naturally to me!
My mom taught me to ask questions. Whether for information, knowledge or just for the fun of it, my mom is a curious person and doesn't make apologies for it.
Take chances
I know my mom would not describe herself as a risk-taker or a rule-breaker, but she is very brave. Growing up we moved often, sometimes every year or so. My mom single-handedly navigated (before Google!) around our new towns and quickly developed a social system for my sister and I. My mom always encourages me to jump in feet first!
Have fun!
My mom knows the importance of having fun. Her sense of humour is great and she's always up for a good time! I learn from her to enjoy simple things and to find humour whenever and wherever I can.

Wow - I could go on forever, but I'll stop here. I love taking a moment to reflect on these lessons. I'm reminded of all of the values I look forward to passing on to Everett. Here's to Mother's Day! I love you, Judy!