Sunday, November 25, 2012

A genuine BFF

Speaking of friends.....this year our little Belle conjured up a magnificent plan to celebrate turning seven. Instead of a party, she chose one very special friend to join her for a day of girl fun & pampering.

And having a November birthday can leave one with few options for a plethora of outdoor activities to choose from - especially in Winnipeg! But to make matters worse, some anonymous little germ gifted her with a bad case of the stomach flu the day before her birthday this year. Our poor Belly, woke up with a sickened belly on her seventh birthday which meant postponing all birthday activities for a later date.

But we did honour the postponement and Isla and her new BFF tore up the mall the following Saturday afternoon. I didn't realize how much fun it was going to be to witness two little girls 'experience' a mall date with such giggles and glee.

They did it all: took in a movie, got their nails done, decorated cookies and (window) shopped till they dropped! I think the most fun was had in the change room, although I felt bad for the retail clerk that had to put away all their try-ons.

But boy, did they have fun. And what a special way to make a birthday memorable with a new special friend. Thanks little Eden!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Let's be friends!

Moving around presents both challenges and opportunities I have learned. And with a family in tow and two sets of little eyes interpreting my every move, I try my best to focus on the opportunities. But let's face it, whether you are 3 or 35, moving away from a support network of loved ones and familiarity means having to put yourself out there whether you want to or not.

I am acutely aware of the 'temporary friend syndrome', where making friends feels like running in an election where your platform states you'll be resigning shortly after being elected to office. Dear potential friends, please consider my circumstances, although I am here for such a short time, I promise to make it a grand time! We'll laugh, we'll cry, we'll make memories and then we'll pack up and move, again!

Funny thing is, this move to Winnipeg has been different. I feel like there was a Friendship box all wrapped up and ready for us to unpack the moment we arrived. No campaign drive necessary. I am so grateful for the friends that have enveloped us into their lives here.

And feeling super grateful for all the folks along the way that have made us feel so loved. Happy Thanksgiving to all our American friends this weekend. We miss you!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Twirl on Belle, Twirl on

I don't remember being seven. I can say though with some degree of certainty that as a seven year old I likely crimped my hair, collected jelly bracelets, yearned to be some version of the 'Material Girl', and still played with my cabbage patch doll.

And now my daughter is seven. She has already figured out her own 'style', speaks with authority and confidence in all things concerning her little brother, and takes on each day systematically and with intention.

Although, I do relish in the fact that she still believes in fairies, adores her doll 'Maggie', randomly and often breaks into song and dance - twirling herself around the living room and is able to so earnestly and truthfully express herself in whatever emotion she may be feeling at any moment.

She is the sunshine in my day and I cherish her old soul. Happy Birthday Belle. Twirl on!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Winter Wallop that Wasn't, then Was

Winter has arrived in Winnipeg! All the hype that has been building since even last spring when we made the decision to spend a winter in the 'Peg'! I feel like I have been preparing for the arrival of the first snow for months! 

Friday evening I joined the masses of Winnipegers in the grocery lines, picking up supplies in anticipation of not wanting to leave the house this weekend. Transit shut downs, slow plowing services,   stores remaining closed.....this is what the news reported would happen. We went to bed that night expecting the worst  and woke up to......1 cm? 

Life seemed to continue on as normal, all that fear mongering for nothing. The winter wallop they promised did arrive though, only a day late!

What can happen overnight!

Friday, November 9, 2012

We are one

I took the time this morning to attend the Remembrance Day assembly at the school today. It took me back to my own primary school memories, the songs and poems haven't changed and the 'Last Post' bugle call drew the same sorrowful tightening in my throat.

But I realized something important at this particular assembly, as I looked around at the mass of children singing earnestly and joyfully - they were singing about peace, not war.

I am grateful that my children attend a school here in Winnipeg that has a very diverse and authentically multicultural student population. I've watched over the last couple of months how the school works hard to create a 'community' and honours the many ethnic differences.

My hope is that if we can continue to teach our children about peace and acceptance, that one day there will be a generation without war.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

What a treat!

Family traditions don't always play out exactly as expected or remembered from our own childhoods, but there is something about the anticipation and preparation that reminds me why it is important to create them for my children.

However harebrained the thought of sending your kids running up to strangers homes in want of bags and bags of candy.....!?!....I admit I willingly participate in the fun of it all.

I love seeing my kids get into the thrill of dreaming up and becoming a character, planning the costume details and stepping into that role. And their creative little brains and fingers working hard at wall decorations, pumpkin carving and even in the kitchen.

And however absurd it is to see them sitting atop a mountain of candy at the end of the night, it delighted me to see their goofy grins and willingness to share with each other and their parents, as I fondly remembered the game of candy trade and barter from my own trick or treating days with my own siblings.

Now a few days later, they've nearly all but forgotten about the massive bag of candy and we're getting ready for the next holiday celebrations.