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Since last summer a lot has happened and, though I can’t see all the things that have been growing and changing in my own heart, I know there have been all sorts of things germinating and taking root. A quick re-cap of the last twelve months includes:

  • moving out of our apartment into the basement of some great friends while looking for a house
  • finally finding and getting the perfect house after 5 bids and losses on other houses we thought perfect at the time (thank God he let us get the one we have)
  • renovating the whole entire house before we moved in; this meant painting every surface that holds paint, ripping out the nasty carpet and refinishing the hardwood underneath, knocking a hole in the wall between the kitchen and living/dining room, and so many other small projects that it took us a month of work before we could even move in. Big thanks to the many people who helped us out with this, especially my parents who basically lived here for a few weeks and provided lots of moral support in addition to the many hours of labour they also contributed
  • we’ve been given amazing neighbours on both sides of our home who also both have boys within a year of Bubby so there are built in friends for our whole family. The moms and boys have been getting together once a week to visit and let the boys play or we have been going for long walks together. It has been such a gift for me. Our neighbours also watch out for us, which is really nice to know that I have someone to go to if there is a problem when B’s at work, from coming to light the pilot light in the furnace when B was gone to scaring off someone rifling through my car at 3 am we are looked after
  • in October we welcomed a baby boy into our family, making us the perfect-for-right-now family of three and turning the whole world on it’s head. There are so many things added to life now that our little Bubby is around, things we never thought important before take on new importance and other things fade into a past life
  • since I don’t work and B works for the government who tops up parental leave, he was able to take six months off to be with us and get to know our son, saving us the difficult adjustment of doing shift work with a brand new baby we were just getting to know
  • Christmas and Easter fall in there somewhere, don’t they? Our family headed out to visit B’s family for a special Christmas with the whole extended family around. I was apprehensive of travelling with an almost three month old and being in a different space for a while but B’s family welcomed us and made us feel as comfortable as possible next to being at home and it was great to share  our little Bubby with B’s grandma
  • B’s grandma was sick, hence everyone coming home for Christmas, and passed away a few months ago. We would have all liked to be there but B went out for a few days to be with his family as a representative for all of us and out little Bubby and I spend our first few days just the two of us. We survived, that’s all I’ll say about that, and we were glad B was able to have lots of time with his family
  • we’ve found a great church in our neighbourhood that we enjoy a lot and is within easy biking or walking distance. We have been enjoying meeting and getting to know the people in this church, and it’s a Mennonite church (if you know anything about me you will know I am passionately theologically an Anabaptist and have grown up in a Mennonite church so this is going back to my roots) and they sing from Hymn books! in four part harmony! It makes me smile and I want Bubby to grow up to know how to sing in parts from a Hymn book.
  • on top of all that, in the past few weeks, we decided to move the whole house around so that we’ve been working on making the new rooms comfortable and free of clutter so we can spend a few weeks in a put together house before B goes back to work

So there you have it. Consider yourself caught up. Now we’re half done rearranging the house and have spent many happy times dreaming of our next project; trying to decide which ones are most important and which ones would be the first ones that need to get finished. Should we replace windows, a practically wise choice, or put in a two piece bathroom upstairs where our bedrooms now are, a choice of convenience (especially with a baby in cloth diapers) or do we spray foam the basement or or or…

We’re also planning on selling both our cars and paring down to a one larger car family to save some money (for all our house dreams) and have room for all of Bubby’s stuff when we travel, so if you know anyone who would be interested in a 2008 Mazda 3 in great condition or a 1992 Honda Accord in great condition for her age let them know and let us know.

So there you have it. We’ve been busy and growing and learning and adjusting and rejoicing and exploring and celebrating and mourning and praying and planning and moving and sharing and so much more. What have you been up to?

This past weekend has been filled with friends and fun adventures. The one that stands out the most was an evening we planned to go out for dessert with friends. We met at our place and had decided to try a little pub on a nearby corner since I had heard good things about their food. We were hoping for a particular dessert which we had heard they carried from another friend so we were quite surprised when the waitress didn’t mention cheesecake in her list of desserts for the evening. We were surprised and a little confused as to what to do next. She gave us a moment and, as we deliberated, we decided to make a break for it. Silly, I’m sure, but as we walked/ran out of that restaurant there was a delicious giddiness that overtook me. The joy that comes from sharing adventures with good friends. It’s a feeling that I believe happens often as a child but as one grows up we seem to forget about it and it lies dormant, buried under responsibilities and duty until, in a moment it is again in the air in all its anxious and excited glory.

It was just a small thing. We decided that the restaurant didn’t have what we wanted so we left to try somewhere else. But in that action we found ourselves back in the car giggling and high on adrenaline and excitement. In the same way I have been trying to live my whole life as an adventure. Sure, not all of it is as dramatic as talking to strangers or even running out of a restaurant (which is a big deal for me because I don’t want to hurt the waitress shrug) but there are so many bits of excitement and joy to be found. Whether that means making a new meal for my wonderful husband or chatting with agood friend. I am once again excited to learn from the people around me and look forward to growing from it.

This is something that I feel my brother and sister do well, especially my brother. He seems to find adventures under every rock and lives like there are new things to discover when things don’t go as planned. My brother is the guy that everyone wants to hang out with since they know that he will find something fun to do, even climbing grain elevators (which is probably illegal so I don’t recommend it). But when I have hung out with him I have had all sorts of good times and adventures I wouldn’t have had alone, including the rail bridge incident pictured to the right. This is partially due to his outlook of exploration but also due to the thought he puts into hanging out with people, planning ahead of time what would be fun to do with that particular person. And even though there are times I am a bit afraid for him I still admire his adventurous spirit and the care and thoughtfulness he puts into his time with people.

What are the ways that you find joy and excitement and adventure in your own life? Are there certain people that bring those experiences into your life?

It seems that there has been a lot happening in our lives over the past few weeks. In mid September my parents rented a cabin in the Manitoba Whiteshell Provincial Park and invited all of us to spend the weekend together. Everyone was available and we had a great weekend together, with a few adventures thrown in.   

We did a little hiking, some geocaching and B shaved on the dock while my sister jumped in the freezing cold lake to wash her hair. I even have a picture to prove it. All in all we were able to spend a lovely time exploring the area, canoeing across the lake and taking some time to enjoy a slower pace of life.

When we returned home I began to really think about where I am right now and what I am doing. I know that questioning one’s place in the world is something to be expected when transitioning and I sure have experienced transitions over the past year, including getting married (!!) and completing my Master of Counselling degree. All this has left me asking “where to now?”

I have spent a lot of time thinking about my place as well as what the future may hold for our family as well as for me personally. I have thought about this as I have spent time working to create a wonderful home for B and I have thought about this at times of loneliness and loss and I think I have finally come to an answer, for now.

I think that right now my job is to be available. Now I know that may seem strange or just plain lazy (just being at home and waiting to help?) but I really feel that right now it is important that I am present in the moment and available, not only for my husband and my family but also for whomever needs our help. I have found that in the face of the recent tragedy in our family I have been able to help out a bit making food and talking with people and generally just being there in the midst of it. The freedom that I have has enabled me to reach out to people in ways I couldn’t have if I were working too.

This idea only came to me the other day, as I was responding to an email from a friend, but I feel that in some ways it is my calling from God. I am to be here, living my life and enjoying it, cooking, baking, having fun, but with eyes open to the needs around me, ready and willing to lend a hand wherever needed. And in this way, though perhaps unconventional, I have a place in the world. I belong wherever I’m needed.

So if you’re around here and need a little help, you know who to call.

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