May 30, 2013

Dream house: Found

A drizzly day, calling for a few more baking ingredients, and a drive down to the center of our historic town turned into much more than I could have ever imagined. Our car wound down quiet tree lined streets, fresh and clean after a new spring rain. We stopped to peek at a new listing in the area, and continued on down towards the river under a canopy of bright green branches, hanging high from round trunked trees standing as sentinels on the pavement's edge. Rounding a bend, we came upon a small cobblestone path, neat and tidy, leading past the end of the road. My eye followed naturally and I caught my breath. 

There, screened safely from view by thick river-bank woods, stood a darling two story historic red-brick home. Flowers lined the path and two lions topped old, red brick posts; guarding the entrance to this marvel, history and nature woven together. I was instantly and hopelessly in love. This gem looks like grew up off the page of an L.M. Montgomery novel. I made Neal drive by twice. Unfortunately, though I wanted to will a 'for sale' sign onto the front path, this picturesque home is already well-loved by someone else. But maybe... by the summer... they might feel like listing it? Ah, a girl can dream...

Being rather sentimental by nature, I find myself drawn to the history here. I have fallen in love with the town we have called home for the past year, as it provides much character, nature and historical scope for the imagination. I feel drawn here, like I just want to dig roots deep and be wholly present. I am excited to see where our God will lead and long to honor Him in the telling of our story. Home is much more than just a place, yet what a gift it is to love your own little pieces of home.

May 26, 2013

I took a leap and braved one giant chop. Ten inches of hair is now on it's way to Ontario, where it will be used to make wigs for kids with cancer.

As I sat, a little nervous yet resolute, my trusted hairdresser combed out the mane one last time. I thought of the people in my life who have battled cancer; Oma, a colleague at work, the nephew of a good friend. Each one has undergone, or is undergoing, chemo and radiation and has had to deal with the side-effects. You are all heroes!

"Are you ready" she grins, scissors in hand. 

"I'm ready, chop it off!"

And just like that; one pigtail, then two, neatly cut and ready to go fall into her hands. My head feels ten pounds lighter. 

Change is good!


May 20, 2013

Little Cabin In The Woods

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Oh dears. My heart is about bursting with longing for a little cabin in the woods. This woodland trifecta came about quite accidentally; a book I was reading, a random search on Pinterest, a new blog discovery. And now, now I cannot go back to searching through five bedroom subdivision houses with postage stamp yards and neighbours too close. Woodland love is so very strong you see.

The book which threw me into woodland bliss: 'The Blue Castle' by L.M. Montogomery. 

L. M. writes of a woman who whole-heartedly rejects societal limitations and lives in a cozy cabin on Mistawis Lake (possibly inspired by Lake Muskoka in Ontario) with a nature-writer husband and two cats. Here is a little excerpt: "After the meal was over they would sit there and talk for hours–or sit and say nothing, in all the languages of the world, Barney pulling away at his pipe, Valancy dreaming idly and deliciously, gazing at the far-off hills beyond Mistawis where the spires of firs came out against the sunset." (pg 151). 

The Pinterest search: industrial inspired interior design

Which, by the way, does not seem to naturally mesh at all with the woodland, yet there it was. That chair. Call me crazy, but I would put it in my home in a second. What a conversation piece it would be! I can see it now; you enter the door and exclaim in horror "What is that??" and I respond "That is the throne of the Woodland Queen" which happens to be me... 

After finding picture #2 at My Scandanavian Home, I discovered my personal design sweet spot: clean lined spaces, industrial accents (old fans, painted filing cabinets) lots of white and brightness, and bits of life and curiosity: plants, antlers, magnifying glasses lying over nature sketches and the like. Ah, heaven.

A new blog discovery: Assortment, On Living Less. Here, Carmella Rayone will enchant you with her example of simple living. Simple as in, a family of five (yes five) living in a 665 sq. ft cabin. And this place is gorgeous. If it were not for our terrible winter climate, you could find me in a cabin such as this. In my dreams anyway... Stop on by her blog and check out her home tour. I did. And just about died of bliss overload.

Simple living is an idea I value, could we live it out? Our house in Slave Lake is almost finished. We will soon find somewhere to settle our little family of 2. Will I find our cabin in the woods? Can we continue to remain pared-down, focused on what is truly necessary and avoid excess? My closet right now says "no". Hmmm.... Will I look out my window and see a blanket of trees? I dream of it. And search expectantly.

May 6, 2013

Spring fever anyone?

It's here! I am finally sitting in the sun, wearing shorts and a t-shirt, glowering at my winter boots in the closet. I would pack them away, but being an Albertan, and being quite jaded by our last blizzard, I think they'll stay where they are for a little while at least. Scratch that... they are going away, with authority, away with all the bulky sweaters of winter. 

See you in that month when winter returns, the month which shall not be named...

Bring in florals! Bring in bright colours and sunshine! 

1. Cheery aqua cabinet found here 
2. Pretty floral pillow from Society 6 
3. 'Love is spoken here' floral print from The Painted Arrow ($5 for a digital copy, and all proceeds go to a sweet girl battling leukemia) 
4. Anthro dishtowel (to me it looks more like flowers than that word that shall not be said which begins with an 's') 
5. Farmer's Market ceramic baskets, also from Anthro 
6. Bright gallery wall seen here

Have a warm and wonderful week!

May 1, 2013


This sweetness makes me smile. It reminds me what a gift it is to work with kids each day. Nothing is as simultaneously wonderful and exhausting! April was a hard month. This past week has been better, and I am so thankful for prayers and encouraging words. A fast pace can so quickly choke out the most important things, and I am still seeking to align my priorities properly. Life is like that, and God is still God and He is good.

Lifting my heart lately:
- so many chuckles marking writing assignments, my student's creativity and imaginations are endlessly entertaining
- a visit to Calgary, an afternoon to explore antique and vintage shops on my own 
- coffee with someone I admire very much
- realizing the gift that is my 30's, increased independence, confidence, it's good
- geese waddling around the school playground
- bright blue sky and long sunshine days
- celebrating the gift of an adopted child to a most amazing couple
- melting snow (dare I say we have seen the last of it?)
- book reports in costume
- The Great Snowman Takedown of 2013 (students attacking the snowpeople they made after our most recent blizzard, running and toppling the great heaps to the ground, laughing non stop)
- reading through a newly discovered LM book (thanks Laura!)
- my husband and best friend, whose existence reminds me daily how lavishly God loves

Blessings on your week friends, may your hearts be lifted by all that is good,