Quote of the Week

It isn’t so much what we have in this life that matters, it’s what we do with what we have. The alphabet is fine, but it’s what we do with it that matters most. Making words like “friend” and “love”. That’s what really matters!

– Fred Rogers

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on the edge

Sorry for the lack of blogging. I’ve been doing a lot (and I mean a LOT) of thinking lately. And lots of talking. Lots of good, deep, thoughtful and thought-provoking conversations with good friends. Also, a few disappointing ones.

Mostly I feel on the edge. On the edge of an adventure – a beautiful opportunity. On the edge of today and tomorrow.

Of yearning and contentedness.

Of living and life.

But not yet able to step off.

I leave you with a story: The Mexican Fisherman and the Investment Banker.

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Early to rise

Gil wakes up early.

5:15 – 5:30 early. Probably 3 days a week.

Three more days, he’s up between 6:30 & 7, and one day, if we’re lucky, he sleep past 7.

It has not been easy for us. Although I am a morning person in that I’m not generally grumpy in the morning, I have never been an EARLY riser. In fact, before Gwen was born, Brad and I would often sleep in until 10:30! Gwen didn’t push it – for most of her first year, she awoke sometime after 7:30 – normally around 8:30 – although she did go to bed late. Gil, however, is an EXTREME morning person!

Gil falls asleep around 8:00 for the night – and I think he’s trying to push it back earlier now that the sun is down around 6:30 or 7.

I’m trying to come to terms with it … having a super-early riser isn’t the end of the world, and it will only be a few years until Gwen & Gil can fix their own breakfast and I can keep sleeping – although by then, I’ll probably be so used to waking up early that I won’t be able to sleep in!

Mostly, I’m just terrified of waking up at 4 or 4:30AM after the time change.

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Education: is it really working?

I love this youtube clip of a Sir Ken Robinson talk! Leave a comment and let my know what you think!

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Yard sale update!

After spending a beautiful Saturday morning and some of the afternoon outside enjoying each other’s company and selling our stuff, we made $150 dollars!  And, yay for us, we only bought one $10 item from our neighbour’s sale and it was an awesome antique mirror of which I have yet to take pictures.

This weekend, we actually managed to get some our pictures and art on the wall. With a bunch of crap gone and a whack of decorating done, I’m feeling so much better about our house!

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The big purge.

When Brad and I bought our house three years ago, we had just found out I was pregnant, Brad was in his last semester of college, and I was in my last year of university. We moved at the end of January and things that weren’t unpacked and needed immediately made their way to our “finished” loft.

Which was slowly and steadily filled up.

We’ve (well, okay, mostly Brad!) been going through our boxes and deciding what to keep, what to sell, what to give away, and what to store. It’s taken a looooong time, but we’re finally nearing the end of the first stage!

We’re having a yard sale on Saturday and hoping to have enough people that we can say we gave it a good effort and pack the rest of it up for a thrift store.

It’s been humbling to see the amount of stuff we have collected in a short time. And since our priorities have been slowly shifting, we are selling things that we thought mattered to us in the past but we’ve now realized have no use.

Goodbye, things. Hello, freedom!

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World Breastfeeding Week 2010!

Oh my goodness! I can’t believe it’s World Breastfeeding Week already!

This year’s theme is Breastfeeding: Just 10 Steps!

What did I do to support breastfeeding this year? Well, one major thing was that I volunteered as a model.

Check out La Leche League Canada’s article about this year’s theme!

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Sweet Potato & Bean Burritos

This is one of our favourite vegetarian (and easily vegan) dinners based on this recipe – and one Gwen gobbles up faster than I can! I love that these burritos (or nachos) are filled with vegetables and legumes … often the one meal out of many offers in which Gwen will consume the veggies. This recipe is a little on the spicy side, so you may want to take out some filling for burritos for the little kids before adding all the spices – the last time I made these, they were too hot for Gwen, but I don’t generally measure the spices …

Sweet Potato and Bean Burritos

Ingredients:

  • 6 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • one can (or one cup) of any beans, drained and pureed – we use pinto beans most often
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp each cumin, turmeric, and chili powder
  • 1 package tortillas
  • salsa
  • grated cheddar cheese
  • sour cream or unsweetened yogurt

Directions:

  1. Boil sweet potatoes until fork tender, drain
  2. Add milk, garlic to sweet potatoes and mash
  3. Combine pureed beans, spices, and sweet potatoes, stirring well
  4. Add big globs of filling to wraps and place seam down on a cookie sheet
  5. Smother burritos with salsa and grated cheese
  6. Broil burritos until cheese is melted

Serve with big dollops of sour cream or yogurt. Can also be made as nachos – just place the filling, salsa, and cheese on tortilla chips and broil until melted.

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Why, Gil?

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, he slept until 7:30. Saturday and Sunday? 6:30.

Today is Monday. Today it’s 5:30.

WHY?!?

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Who, if not a consumer, am I?

I had a slight revelation today.

Lately, I have been feeling out of sorts. Disjointed, unfulfilled, confused, misdirected … the list goes on. While driving home from the New Hope Bike Co-op, where Brad’s bike was fixed up over the last few weeks, I hit a small nail on the head.

We’ve been making a concerted effort over the last while to purge unnecessary stuff from the house, shop for stuff less often, eat local, and be content with less. While it’s taking a long time to purge (um, hi! 7 month old and a toddler?), we are definitely bringing less stuff into the house and trying to be intentional about purchases. I thought today about The Story of Stuff and the explanation that we are bred, by media, to consume. Our culture values those who consume over those who don’t.

And seriously, if I’m not a consumer, who am I anyways?

I don’t know.

I’m realizing, maybe for the very first time, that these waters are not well charted. It’s all well and good to give up on consumerism, but what then? How do you begin to define yourself? And who will understand your new definition? If I’m not buying stuff, what will make me happy? What will my life mean? How can I be content with less? How can I rely less on things to define myself? Can I still enjoy nice things or is that cheating?

Someone please hand me the chocolate.

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