Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Forecast (Wordless Wednesday)

It is a dreary, wet day here in Vancouver.  The worst kind of west coast day. 

Luckily in just 6 sleeps we will be heading to this:

And I will be doing this:

Earning my first one of these:

And achieving the goal I set for myself way back in March.

So when I look at it that way...go ahead and rain ain't going to dampen my spirits.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Being Present

My name is Kelly and I'm addicted to trying to do it all.

Who's with me? I know I'm not the only one. I've seen you out there...

Standing in line at the grocery store at 10:37pm with a full cart of groceries, wearing your sweaty workout gear, checking emails on your phone.

Rushing out of breath into work, gripping your venti Starbucks like a life line, glitter on your face and hands after spending all night finishing your kid's Halloween costume and getting them to school in one piece.

Sitting on the sidelines of the soccer game/ballet class/music lesson trying to focus on your child while simultaneously trying to set up a play date, book a dentist appointment and Instagramming photos.

Why do we do it to ourselves? At the end of the day I find myself too exhausted to even sit down and get reacquainted with my PVR - which is constantly reminding me it's at 87% full - as if I didn't know I was 3 weeks behind on my favourite shows.

I know I am my own worst enemy in a lot of this. I am a working mother but I still want to believe I can be just as involved in my child's daily life as a stay at home one. That's just not possible...and I know it's not possible. But I still try.

The result is that I am never fully present in any one particular moment.

I can't fully absorb the joy that my kids are feeling when I am watching them sing through the screen of my iphone as I record the 'moment for posterity'. Because I am not fully there. Sure...I love having the video to look back at but at what price?

My family and I are about to head to Disneyland for the second time. The last time we went I didn't take my phone because it was a work phone without a travel package. I thought it would be hard to be without it...but it was liberating. I was unemcumbered. Even my girls talked about how nice it was that I wasn't looking at my phone all the time.

This year, however, I want to take it so I can document every moment of my first runDisney experience. And as we are travelling with extended family this time my phone will be the only way of getting in contact if we get separated.

And I'm already a little nervous about having it with me. Because I know that if leaving it at the hotel isn't an option it will be up to me to police my own phone use.

It will be up to me to use it just for taking pictures of really important moments and not feeling the need to check in to every ride on foursquare.

It will be up to me to be present in the moment as my youngest daugther boards Space Mountain for the first time or runs willingly into her favourite princesses arms rather than instagramming it.

I think I'm up for the challenge. I will look at this as another way of making 2014 the year of the better me.

If I accomplish this it will be just a minor win. The pull of social media and being "connected" is strong.

Hopefully I am stronger...

Friday, January 3, 2014

2013 - A year in review

2013 is a year I am not sorry to see the end of.  It started with very high hopes and positive life changes. But sadly it has ended being one of the most challenging and depressing years of my life.

That said, it wasn't all bad. And the benefit of keeping a blog and participating in social media like twitter and Instagram is that it is quite easy to look back and  have a barometer for the I thought I would use that to my advantage and make a few "best of" and "worst of" lists for this year.

These are not top 10's or top 5's or any fixed number.  They are a true sampling of the positive and negative moments from my past year...

Blog Posts
Best of 2013:

March 6: San Francisco

March 13: Keeping It Real (aka Raisins & Spice)

April 8: 3 Minutes & 4 Years

April 15: Dear Daughter...

May 12: Love. Period.

October 30: To Friendship

December 16: Thirty

Worst of 2013:

May 9: Setbacks

May 17: Reality Check

September 24: Coming Up for Air

November 18: Character Flaws


Best of 2013:

Worst of 2013:

Little did I could get worse, much much worse. :(

Best of 2013:
My running partners...
My badge of honour. Top 30 Blogger Nominee.

Nanny turns 90. My lovely little family...

Vegas with my girls. Love them.

My first 5K run...done.

Finally breaking the news to the kids...

Worst of 2013:
The beginning of the end of our real estate investment.
bittersweet...leaving the first home that all of us lived in.

my mantra every never listened.

big bonk...first scar

That's a wrap on this year...phew.  Here's hoping for a 2014 that is filled with happy and joyous moments.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

My Top 5 Parenting Resolutions for 2014

Confession...I don't have a great track record with my New Year's resolutions. But I think that might be because they were always things I was doing for myself.

And let's just be honest here...most mother's I know don't have a great track record of following through on anything that is just for themselves. That may sound generous and giving but it's actually really stupid. When we put ourselves last every one suffers...I know that first hand now.

Anwho...I digress. Based on my history I thought that by making my resolutions about parenting - and therefore about my kids - I might actually have a chance of following through on them this time.

(It's worth a try anyway.)

Here - in no particular order - are my Parenting Resolutions for 2014:

1. Yell Less: 

I have a four year old. She regularly forgets to put in her listening ears. She drives me nuts. As a result I yell a lot as it seems to be the only way to get her to hear me. But then she cries, I feel like crap and we all lose. So...instead of yelling I resolve to take a deep breath, remind myself that she is only four and this stage too shall pass, get down to her level and talk to her in an even tone. Hugs and distractions also seem to work well with her.

2. Be More Patient & Listen More:

To be honest I am actually amazed at how patient I am sometimes. When I was first thinking about having kids this aspect worried me...I really didn't think I had it in me. But even with that said I know I can do better. Especially with listening more before I react and respond. This resolution is definitely focused more on my oldest daughter. I know how frustrated I get when I feel like people aren't listening to me so I understand her reaction when I assume I know what's she's going to say before she has finished. I need to give them my full attention every time...which leads me to my next resolution...

3. Be More Present:

This resolution could also be labeled "put my damn phone down." I'm getting better at this. A lot better since I changed jobs and am no longer chained to my email 24/7. Now when I'm on my phone I'm usually uploading a picture of my kids to Instagram or quoting them on twitter. But even that isn't acceptable. I want to be more present in every moment. Okay...almost every moment.  At the very least I would like them to not have to say "Mummy...look at this." more than once (twice?) before I actually respond.

4. Follow Through More:

As much as it pains me to admit it I make a lot of empty threats.  And I count to three a lot and then am at a loss of what to do. Following through is one of the hardest things to do as a parent. It sometimes means missing out on something you really want to do. Or leaving a restaurant early when you were really craving that sushi. But in the end it simply must be done. With all of the ups and downs I have been through in the last year I simply have not had the strength to be consistent with discipline and this is something I know my kids need.  Especially my little one. So from now on when I say "if you do that again you will lose TV for a week." I have to realize that has consequences for me too...and be willing to deal with them.

5. Make more time for me: this might be cheating but I stick to what I said before. Clearly when I put myself last it's not good for my family. I am on a positive track with this resolution. The weight I have lost this year has only motivated me to keep losing. And after I run my first 5k in a few weeks I will start training for the 8k at the BMO Vancouver Marathon. These types of goals are what I need. A date or event to focus on.

So that's my physical well being sorted now what about my mental well being? That one isn't as easy.  2013 was a very rough year for me personally and 2014 - while being a fresh start - is also sure to be filled with ups and downs. All of these resolutions will help my mental well being I'm sure.  And I also resolve to write more. On this blog and other wise...for me writing is therapy.

There you have it - my goals for this year. None of them are particularly new or earth shattering but I'm hoping they help to make 2014 a whole lot better than it's predecessor.  Wish me luck...

Happy New Year!