Wednesday, 17 September 2014

You Can Never Have Too Many Friends

I am so blessed to have some of the best friends!  My girlfriends mean something special to me and each relationship is unique.  The older I get the more value I find in these relationships and the more I understand that friendships require work similar to a marriage.  They require time and effort from both people involved and as we grow up and go in various directions, we need to learn to still find common ground. 

Common ground can't just be our past either, it needs to be in the present as well, I don't believe a friendship can sustain time just because we were friends when we were kids.

I believe my friendships are important not only because they bring me happiness but also because each one makes me better for the other relationships in my life, whether that be with my husband, as a mom, as an employee or co-worker, they enhance me. I learn different things from each friendship and hopefully they each feel like I bring something unique to the table as well.

I don't think you can ever have too many friends.  One thing I would like to work on as a friend myself, is being more fearless when it comes to building new friendships and strengthening my current relationships.  Friendships take work and are a two way street, what would you like to improve about being a good friend?

I have loved all the visitors I have had since we brought Luke home and am especially grateful right now for the company and support of all our friends.


Thursday, 11 September 2014

Our First Week With Luke

Luke is one week old today, and wow, has our worlds changed in such a short period of time, in the coolest way possible.  I wanted to share the last week on my blog because I have really enjoyed chatting with some of my mom friends about their experiences of becoming parents, sharing with others and listening to their stories makes me feel like I have a greater connection with them.  I also wanted to get my thoughts down so I would have a record of our first week as a family of four (I am including Charlie), I know things are going to move quickly and I want to be sure to capture as much as possible.  So while Luke sleeps, I thought I would jot down some thoughts from our first week as a family.  (And yes, I know I am suppose to sleep while he sleeps, I just woke up from a nap and he is still sleeping, so bonus for me.)

My birth experience was intense, after about 12 hours of labour we decided to do a cesarean section because I suddenly got a fever and Luke's heart rate started to rise.  Even though labour didn't go like we had planned, we know things went the way they were supposed to because now Luke is here, happy and healthy.

Recovery was overwhelming because I had no idea what to expect from the surgery.  Just a week after, I am beginning to feel more like myself each day, my staples have been removed and almost all of my swelling from the IV has gone down.

Because Luke was delivered by cesarean section, we were required to stay in the hospital for 4 days.  I am grateful for that time in the tiny hospital room with Tyler, Luke and the nurses, for those four days the world outside really did stop and all Tyler and I cared about was figuring out this little man we had been blessed with.  We spent so much time talking, being excited about what the future would hold for us as a family and asking lots of questions.  Our nurses took amazing care of us, answering our questions, ensuring we were getting rest and helping us figure out how to breastfeed.  I was so excited to get out of the hospital but I have to say, I will always have a special place in my heart for room 089 on the maternity floor because thats were this whole adventure started.

When we came home with Luke, I was overwhelmed with emotion and still am.  I can honestly say I have never cried so much in one week.  They are tears of joy of course, I feel like my whole being is overflowing with love and gratitude for my husband, the healthy boy we have been blessed with and the love and support of our family and friends as we adjust to our new role as parents.  I think it is safe to say, I am going to be one of those moms that cries about everything.

I love my son to the moon and back.  Waking up in the middle of the night is hard for me because I love my sleep but I am enjoying his snuggles, his big blue eyes staring at me, his little smiles and faces and simply being with him.  Most of all though, I am blown away by the big new love I have for Tyler, he continues to impress me daily with his daddy skills, pride for his son and how he has been taking care of me.

Its been one of the craziest, happiest, emotional weeks of my life.  I am so excited that this new chapter has started and I can't wait to see what else parenthood has in store for Tyler and I.

Here are some photos from our first week, Tyler and I have also never been so snap happy.  Tyler ran out of storage on his phone already so we had to do a big download.  Here are some of our favourites.

Just a few minutes old.

Meeting aunt Ashley and cousin Blaine. 

The next generation of Lapier boys, everyone better watch out. 

Father son snuggles. 

Bringing Luke home for the first time. 

Nap buddies. 

Our first family walk. 

Big smiles. 

A little rest in his crib.

Luke's first car ride, he didn't love it. 

Charlie and Luke meet for the first time. 

Me and Luke during our first family photo shoot. 

Father sone bonding time. 


Wednesday, 3 September 2014

My First Baby, My Fur Baby

I always grew up having a dog so when Tyler and I bought our house 7 years ago, I started talking about getting a puppy.  To me, a house just didn't feel like a home until we had a dog.  Tyler finally caved and we went to the pet store to pick out a dog.  I was looking at some pure bread pugs and then Tyler picked Charlie out of the cage, handed him to me and said, "this guy is our dog".  The woman at the store said he looked like a Charlie and we had already been thinking about that name, so we took it as a sign and named him Charlie on the spot. 

Charlie was a very small puppy, just a few pounds when we brought him home so for the first couple weeks we could literally take him everywhere in my purse.  We felt so bad when we had to leave this little thing in a big crate while we were at work all day, we just wanted him with us the rest of the time.  Needless to say, he had us wrapped around his little paw from day one. 

Charlie is spoiled but having him as our first baby taught us a few lessons about discipline that we intend to not let slide with our first born child.  I know that having a puppy and baby is not the same thing but I feel like I have gained some real perspective on parenting from my years with Charlie.

Through my pregnancy he really has been a best friend and a huge support.  There where days where I was exhausted and all I wanted to do was lay on the couch and he was right there with me.  He has walked with me, gained weight with me and as we get closer to delivery, he has become very protective.  I have no doubt he knows something big is coming and he has been ready, each day for the last month. 

I do think bringing home the baby will be an adjustment for our fur baby but I think he is going to do great.  I am grateful to have him around the house with me during this time and I am so excited to take him and baby for walks together.  Charlie is also my running partner and I am really looking forward to getting our pace back once this baby arrives, I figure by Christmas we will both have our running stride and post pregnancy weight in check.  I loved Charlie so much before I got pregnant but I have a whole new appreciation for him after we have been through this time together.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Gratitude Monday - Grateful For The Low Days

Sunday was a hard day, I felt emotionally mixed up, somewhere in between emotionless, anxious, tired and sad. I have had a few days like this throughout my pregnancy, the emotional ups and downs have been the most uncomfortable part of this journey for me.  I have done my best to simply ride these waves and not fighting how I feel, trusting in God that this is just a temporary feeling and if needed, having a good cry.

The low days are not fun but even in those days, I know there is a reason for my feelings.  Maybe I need to have the low days to truly appreciate the high days and its possible that learning how to move through these bad days, makes me stronger in general.

I know that as I get older, I cope with these types of days better than I have in the past.  Learning to lean on God has given me some healthy tools for dealing with emotional pain.  A few years ago I would have maybe turned to some unhealthy options which normally magnifies the discomfort in the end but even in some darkness I am learning to find comfort.

On this Monday, I am grateful for the low days, the lessons I have learned here and the perspective they give me on all the other beautiful sunny days that fill the majority of my life.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

My First Year Of Practicing Yoga

I have been practicing yoga for a year now, I started my yoga journey while on vacation last summer in Muskoka with my friend Randi.  Our cottage, and that vacation was the perfect place to be reminded of the importance of taking time to reflect, meditate, pray and take care of my body.

When I got home from vacation I started practicing yoga regularly, on my own with some yoga teachers I found on YouTube.  I would set up my mat outside on the back deck or in a our spare bedroom and practice.  Below are some of the best yoga channels I have come across and I am excited to try their new videos when I am no longer pregnant.

Ali Kamenova

Yogi Nora

Ekhart Yoga

After practicing on my own via YouTube and reading a book a friend had given me, I started to feel like I needed more.  I wanted to be challenged and taught so I signed up for some classes at Inner Dawn Yoga.  I was hooked right away, the quality of yoga class far exceeded any class I had taken previously.  Lisa (owner and teacher) was welcoming and passionate about her work.  Lisa's yoga classes were not just about the physical movements, she was also teaching us the meaning of yoga and to understand the connections between the movements of our bodies and the effects of our practice on our minds, and beyond the mat.

For the next few months I practiced, studied, could feel my body become stronger and was experiencing the many positive benefits that yoga can have on an individuals life.  I was less stressed, more grateful, made more time for prayer, and just generally more at ease.  I was feeling great physically and mentally.

And then, I found out I was pregnant.  I continued my yoga practice and other fitness activities and did my best to maintain my activity level as much as possible.  Inevitably though, I started to slow down, at first because of how tired I felt and secondly because of my changing body.

While I could feel myself actively regressing in yoga, I still found practice beneficial.  During this time, more than the previous six months, is when I truly started to understand the purpose and benefits of practicing yoga.  Because I knew there were limitations to what my body could do physically, I started to focus on the mindfulness of my practice, my regression in strength was where I learned my greatest yoga lesson yet.

I couldn't move, sweat and stand on my head as I did before, but I could train my mind to meditate and connect deeper with my body while it moved.  It has been a very humbling journey, the yoga class room is definitely not the place for competition and I would even say there really is no room for competition anywhere in yoga at all, not even with yourself.  Its a practice and lifestyle that enhances you, makes you better for the people around you and allows you to evolve.  I have learned you need to be present with your body each day and wherever it is at that moment, you need to be accepting and grateful for its current ability and the lessons its trying to teach you.

I am so excited to get back on my mat post labour and begin physically challenging my body once more with my yoga practice but I will attack these challenges with a new level of understanding of what my mind and body connected, is really capable of.  I am so glad that I discovered yoga before  pregnancy and continued my practice through this phase of my life, I know it has made me more capable during this journey.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Make Yourself Happy

Its my second week at home and it is a little bit of an adjustment from my regular schedule.  I am enjoying some aspects of my time off but there has also been some emotional lows.  Most of all, I don't want to get lazy and unproductive which would make me feel bad about myself.  So, today I decided I wasn't going to let that happen and that I am in control of how I feel each day.

I did a few errands in the morning and then showered up and did my makeup and hair.  I have no where to go today except to take care of some work from home and take Charlie to the vet but darn it, a fresh face of makeup makes me feel good about myself.

What are some simple things you like to do, to make yourself happy?

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Maternity Fashion 30 to 36 Weeks

I am officially on maternity leave now and while I am still tying up a few loose ends for work from home, I am really enjoying making my own hours and mixing in a little nesting, yoga, napping and walks with Charlie. 

At 37 weeks pregnant I am still feeling good, just a little more tired than usual so I have been taking naps, which I love, I have always been a napper (fingers crossed our babe is a napper too). 

Below are some of my favourite looks from the last few weeks.  At this point in my pregnancy I am not sure how much more fashion I have left, I am feeling a little limited at this point as some of my shorter dresses are now too short and my non maternity tops are just barely covering the bump.  I have also been spending a lot of time doing work around the house and those outfits consist of workout clothes that still fit. 

Dressing my bump has been fun and as I get closer to the end of my pregnancy I am filled with mixed emotions about this phase of my life being over.  I am so excited to meet our baby, find out if it is a boy or girl and what this new littler person looks like.  At the same time, I am little scared about labour and am a full blender of emotions about becoming a mom.  

I have enjoyed recording the growth of my bump with my fashion photos and am happy that I have these memories.  Thanks for sharing this fashion phase with me.