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Dear dad….


Dear Dad,

Tomorrow will be 3 years since God made you an angel…not a day goes by that I do not think of you. I think of you whenever I walk by our piano and hear the beautiful music your grandson plays us almost nightly…I see your smiling face in Isaiah’s eyes, and hear you whenever he tells a joke, very reminiscent to ones you would tell.  I see you in the shape of Kaeden’s hands, feet and face, and in his spirit. I miss you so much, it still hurts so deeply in my very soul…

I miss how wise you are, how calm you made me feel inside, the warmth of your kindness. I miss our heated religious debates, and your view of the world. Mostly, I miss how your hugs would automatically make everything better.

Whenever Kai plays the piano, I remind him how special his gift is, his legacy from you….when I see how silly Isaiah is, I often comment how much he is like you…and when I put Kaeden to bed at night, I tell him stories of his angel grandpa. He has started to really ask about you dad…I wish you could see how wonderful your grandsons are…but I know you peek in on us from time to time, and keep us safe, and feeling loved.

I haven’t painted much this year, because when I do, it makes me cry, but I will keep trying. Missing you is really hard, but I feel that is a blessing your suffering has ended.

I love you daddy. You are forever in my heart, and always a blessing. Though my thoughts of you today make me cry, they are tears of happiness for you truly are the best dad a girl could ever have.

Lizzy

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Cancer….BUST A MOVE!


…about 3 years ago, the word ‘cancer’ took on a very different meaning to me.

It was about 3 years ago, when I received a call from my mom saying that my dad was very ill in Trinidad…they moved to Trinidad for the winters, and would live here in the summer months…

…as I write this post, tears are streaming down my face…I love, and miss my dad every waking minute. We got a call from my mom saying that my dad was very ill, and if we wanted to say our goodbyes, we would have to travel immediately to do so. This is one visit that changed my view of the world, of life, of everything. I see the world differently through my experience of having had cancer touch my family so deeply.

The visits to the hospital were sometimes sad, and sometimes happy. Those last days were tough, but God gave my dad enough energy to see, and say goodbye to all of his 5 children. I feel blessed that I had my dad to see me through graduation, marriage, the birth of all 3 of my children…for this I am truly grateful…my dad lost his battle with cancer a few days after we returned home to Canada.

On this same visit, my oldest brother learned that he would just begin his battle with cancer. Thankfully, he is in remission. So, when the opportunity of BUST A MOVE presented itself, I thought I would do my little part in helping raise funds to help find a cure for a disease that has touched us all in some way or another….

Please take a minute to click on the link, and to donate. Every penny counts! I’ll even wear a pink tutu 😉

http://ottawacancer.akaraisin.com/bustamove/dac0028b01344631b8dd2fa97fa07af3

Wife, mommy, Liz?


Which comes first?

It’s never the same…balance..

There’s that word again. I write and talk about balance a lot, in every aspect of life. It’s sometimes a real challenge.

Once upon a time, there was a girl. She was carefree, lived and loved life to the fullest, or so she thought. Life was full of shopping, travel, eating in fine restaurants, partying with girlfriends, discovering herself.

Then, one day, this girl found her prince charming, fell in love, and thought that this was the most wonderful life of all. This girl and her prince charming continued growing together, exploring the world, and building a life together. They enjoyed quiet meals together in fancy restaurants, they enjoyed working out together, traveling the world together, and all kinds of leisurely activities..

Some time passed, and this girl’s heart grew beyond belief at the birth of their first son. This girl thought her heart was as full as it could get, till she met her second son, and finally her third.

Hmm…she thought. Now, how do I juggle all of these wonderful pieces in life?

I find myself in the exact same place as the above princess (who shall remain un named) :)…

I still struggle with giving equal time to different parts of my life, and find myself compartmentalizing different areas of time.

But what I am learning is that it is important to put yourself first. This is really difficult, but I am learning that it’s ok.

The years fly by, and I do not want to be filled with ‘shouldda, woulda, coulda…’

So, though life is admittedly crazy in our thirties…it’s okay. Things will slow down….kids will grow up…and instead of thinking ‘I shoulda…’ I hope I’ll be saying ‘I’m glad I did’ all the while, walking hand in hand with my awesome husband and beautiful boys…afterall…is there any other reason?

Me 1 – Mini – 0


Sometimes, parenting is pretty challenging. Stick-to-it-ness is what keeps me sane on the best of days.  Over the summer, my little dude, being in a house full of big people, got a wee bit spoiled…we dressed him, fed him, and did all sorts of extra’s for him…now that we are well in the swing of our regular routine, I guess my little guy thinks that he should be spoon fed….

This morning, he cried for TWO.HOURS.AND.FOURTY.FIVE. minutes. Talk about the need for patience. Usually, way before this point, someone would give in and feed him…but, today was the day it had to be done. A lot of tough love for a little determined, strong-willed dude…and of course, a lot of snuggles and encouragement….guess what? We did it. I didn’t leave the house screaming, and Kaeden ate breakfast on his own….

I know there will be tough mornings from here on out, but I am determined to stick to our routine. As moms, we want our kids to grow with confidence and independence. Sometimes, it’s a hard road getting there….but we love them, so we help them along…

…seems like a small thing, but small things encourage bigger things…I know some of you moms out there know exactly what I’m talking about…

We did it!

My little angel…


We are not a hugely religious family, but we do have God in our lives…daily…one night, before dinner, last week, Kaeden looked very concerned as he looked at us all very concerned as we were about to eat our dinner… “Dear Jesus?”

We had neglected to give thanks for our dinner. What a simple lesson of giving thanks. My children teach me something new every day, and I am thankful for them.

Our time away…


My gorgeous husband and I recently returned from a week-long trip down south. While the circumstances were initially sad, as we went to bury Jeff’s grandmother, it was a wonderful and positive trip.

Life is always so busy, trying to fit in the time with family, cultivate friendships, and to keep marriages fresh and new….you know what I mean. Being away definitely gave me time to reconnect with my best friend, meet some of my extended family, and believe it or not, gave me the chance to miss my 3 babies…if you’re a mom who works from home with young children, I am sure you understand where I’m coming from….

…anyways, being away helped me appreciate so many different things. It helped me appreciate how much I really love my Jeff. Sometimes days go by and we have only had time to talk about the logistics of our lives. It helped me appreciate how as much as I enjoyed my time away, I would not trade having my 3 gorgeous boys for all the alone time in the world. And yes, it made me remember how much I love a full night of uninterrupted sleep, hot coffee, and eating a meal and actually tasting every delicious bite. I sometimes forget how much I love the taste of food.

Time away, every once in a while is really wonderful.

Jam!


I’m not a huge baker, but I love to cook. I am also VERY conscious of what my family and I put in our mouths…all that being said, the season of pancakes is forever at our house, and we often eat pancakes with preserves, and everything with a little bit of jam….

So, I did some research, called on my friends who are expert jam makers, and decided to try my hand at jam making. I won’t lie, I felt VERY intimidated….especially not being the ‘Martha Stewart’ type.

Get ready. This jam is SO complicated!!! HA!

Strawberries

Sugar

Lemon Juice.

Yup. Those are the ingredients…..I did not measure anything at all.

Method

Cut tops of strawberries

Blend strawberries, pour puree into a pot

Add sugar to taste

Juice of 1 lemon

Bring to a rolling boil. Pour into sterilized jam jars (I understand you can sterilize bottles in the oven at 250 for 20 minutes) then just boil the lids. Pour jam into bottles (wide mouth funnel helps with this) Seal jars…voila!

So…to all my non Martha Stewart friends who are intimidated by the jam making process…don’t be!!

Tasted my jam – very yummy. Could have been a wee bit thicker, so I may add some pectin to batch #2. Stay tuned!!!

A little bit of heaven in every bite!

First attempt!

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