Saturday, 26 July 2014

I Can't Do It Alone

The last six weeks have been extremely busy, productive and fun.  I have been trying to stay focused at work so that I can begin maternity leave knowing that all of my clients, projects and efforts are left at the perfect spot.  My weekends have been filled with family time and work on our home as we celebrate and prepare for our baby.  In the midst of ploughing through my daily to do list, I have forgotten a few things, I haven't been making very much time for myself and I definitely have not been spending as much time with God, reflecting and in prayer.

Today I hit a wall and officially accepted the fact that I am overwhelmed and I can't do everything I am trying to do on my own.  I have been so focused on just trying to get everything done, I have not been concerned about how I feel or enjoying this phase of my life.  When I bowed my head for a moment after feeling a little like I had nothing left in the tank today, all I could think was, "I need Your help", and then the tears came, and a sense of relief washed over me.

I believe there will always be times in my life where I need to put my head down and work a little harder or turn up the speed but when I go into these phases of life, I can't forget to still take them in stride with God by my side.  I want all of my efforts to be work God wants me to do and I want to always work and play in a way that honours Him but I am finding that living this way requires me to step into the armour he has provided me with, each day.

I am learning everyday how to live a more purposeful life, today I received a lesson when I least expected it, at my desk after a work conflict so I know the Lord is always with me.  I just need to make sure I lean on Him daily, acknowledge His presence and make Him part of all my work, decisions, actions and thoughts.

I know I can do anything when I put my life in His hands, I just need to remember to do that and stop trying to do everything on my own.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

CCI Studios Blog Post - Reflecting

I have an opportunity every few weeks to contribute to the CCI Studios Blog, this is a place where our entire team shares their thoughts and ideas on life, work, the marketing industry and good times.  This week I shared my thoughts on preparing for maternity leave while training our newest Account Manager.  Hop on over to our company blog, check out my post - Reflecting and while your there, get to know some of the other awesome people that make up the CCI Studios team!

Thank you for stopping by!

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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Three Bumps And A Wedding

Last weekend I was a bridesmaid in my friend Rachel's wedding.  Rachel is my oldest friends, we have known each other for over 25 years and I was truly honoured when she asked me to be a part of her wedding party.  I find that during big life moments like this, I am very reflective on my relationships, my current place in life and my blessings.  

As you can see from the picture above, myself and two other bridesmaids are pregnant, this coincidence and all of us becoming wives within the last few years, made me think about how great this phase of our lives really is.  We have so many things to celebrate right now, babies, marriages, new homes, new careers and growing families, it made me think that we are in the midst of the "good old days".

I did my best to soak up all the joy of the day.  I hope Rachel and Brian felt all the love that was coming their way, because it was visible to me that they were surrounded by some pretty amazing friends and family that were so happy that they had found each other.

The food was delicious, the speeches made me laugh and cry, and the dance floor was bumping until the wee hours of the morning.  It was one of the best weddings I have been to and Rachel definitely brought her old hollywood theme to life, with every detail. 

I woke up on Sunday exhausted and with sore feet but it was totally worth it, I will definitely look back on this night as one of the good old days!

Monday, 7 July 2014

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint - My First Attempt

Pregnancy has really made me feel the need to get crafty.  We had some older pieces of furniture in the house; a dresser, night stand and chair, that I decided I wanted to paint a cool colour.  The dresser and night stand are pieces for the baby's room and the chair will go with a desk in the basement when it is finished (stay tuned for the basement reno post).


This is the first time I have attempted a refinishing project like so I started out sanding the chair because it was not an item that was going in the baby's room and I really wanted those pieces to be perfect.  I was so excited to sand, paint and for the entire process, thinking it would be relaxing and enjoyable.  Well, I learned very quickly that sanding furniture, especially furniture with any sort of detail, is not fun and it is extremely meticulous.


Lucky for me, my mother in law told me about Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan and that we have a store in Sarnia, Painted Treasures that sells this paint and offers classes.  The magic thing about chalk paint is that you can paint it over any finish on wood without having to sand it, bonus!  I didn't even have to finish sanding the chair I started to sand, I just slapped the paint right on.


Once you complete the paint step, with two or three coats, you need to do a wax step, which seals the paint.  I am no expert on this as I have only done these first three pieces of furniture and I completed them in the most basic way.  There are tons of options with the paint colours and two wax finishes to create really unique and antique looking furniture.  I am very excited about this product though and I can not wait to try some different techniques with my next piece of furniture.


Before I got started I did watch a few tutorials as the wax step does require a little technique.  The best videos I found were from Christen of Blue Egg Brown Nest, she explained things very well and I simply found her enjoyable to watch.  If you are into interior design and furniture projects of any sort, you should definitely check out her blog, she knows what she's doing.  Here are the links to her YouTube videos that I found very helpful.

Tutorial Step 1

Tutorial Step 2

Tutorial Step 3

Tutorial Step 4

Have fun with your craft projects, support the awesome specialty stores you have in your community and see what other inspiration you can find in your very own home.  With a little paint and TLC you are sure to create something new and exciting!


Monday, 30 June 2014

A Letter To Our Baby About Pethernation

Baby, you are already so loved by so many people.  We are so lucky to have an amazing family surrounding us as we prepare for your arrival.  You are going to have lots of people around you to play with you, teach you things and take care of you.  I specifically want to share some details with you about the Pether's.

The Pether's are a special breed of characters, we have even been told this by those who have married into our family, they call us Pethernation.  We take this name and use it with pride, knowing we are  part of a group of people that are unique and only being a part of our family, truly allows you to understand what we are all about.  Adding you to our family grows Pethernation even bigger and you can find comfort in the fact that these Pether's are not just family, they are also great friends.  I want to let you know some things about this side of our family that will help you get to know them better.

Great Grandpa is the head of the family, don't ever try to tell him he's wrong or put him in his place because he's bigger than you, which always makes him right.  He has a soft side and shows it once and awhile, but you have to keep your eyes open for it.  When we visit Great Grandma and Great Grandpa's house, if you need anything, ask Grandma and remember she's the fun one.

We are a little tough on the outside but we all have our soft sides.  Your Grandma is the exception to this rule, she is a big softy.

Don't expect anyone to let you win at cards or any other games because you are young.  That's not how we roll and it wouldn't help you get better at those game anyways.

There are some family members that you will never get to meet, Grandma Glena and Uncle Terry.  They were special pieces of the family and we remember them in the everyday and at moments when we are all together.  They would have thought you were pretty great and they now watch over us all. 

Your Great Aunts and Uncles might be kinda old, but I know for a fact they were young and cool once.  Make sure you spend some time getting to know them.  Aunt Tanya even had purple hair at one point!

My cousins and my sisters are some of my best friends! They will love you like Aunts and Uncles and will always be there for you.  Kenneth is the biggest softy of this group, be prepared that he will try to protect you and keep you safe. 

We are an imperfect bunch but we love each other and always know how to make our own fun so I can promise you, you have some exciting times ahead as part of Pethernation.  Tell people you are part of this group with pride.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Maternity Fashion 25 to 30 Weeks

I am now 30 weeks pregnant and it feels good to say there are only 10 weeks left (hopefully).  Somehow this seems like a milestone, I am almost there.  I am feeling very blessed these days for how well my pregnancy has gone and how my belly/baby continues to grow.  While part of me does not love getting bigger, I know my baby is growing well and I am reminded often of its growing strength, as I feel its movements everyday.

While I am still enjoying getting dressed in the morning, I am beginning to gravitate towards more comfortable clothing options - thank goodness for leggings, dresses and cute flats!  My shoe of choice for casual dressing are my Toms, they are so comfy and go with so much.  When choosing a shoe with height, I have been going for wedges.

I am really enjoying sharing some of my favourite pregnancy looks but its not all glamorous.  When I am home for the day I really like to be comfy and often change into sweats, with limited items that fit, I have been steeling some of Tyler's clothes too.  These few outfits are some of my favourite from the last few weeks.  Thanks again for coming along on this journey with me. 

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Lessons Learned From Our Niece

Last weekend Tyler and I took Marley to the beach for the day, I cherish the times we have with her, just the three of us.  As we get closer to the arrival of our own child, I have thought about how things will change in our relationship with Marley.  My hope is that we can always have special time with just her.

Marley will always have a special place in mine and Tyler's hearts and we are so grateful to be her Aunt and Uncle.  Marley has taught Tyler and I some great lessons, she allowed us to have a little taste of what it would be like to have a child (even though I am perfectly aware that it is not the same as having your own because you can't send them home at the end of the day).  She taught us about patience, that children are like sponges and we need to be more aware of ourselves around them and most of all, she is always reminding us to have fun and not take life too seriously.

Of all the lessons we have learned from our little niece, I think remembering to just have fun sometimes is the most valuable. I hope that we remember to always have fun with our own child.  That we are always willing to get buried in the sand, go for a bear hunt in the back field and just play pretend.

We of course have to also thank Marley's awesome mom and dad for trusting us to take Marley on adventures without them.  I can see how their ability to allow Marley to spend time with her family members without them being present, has helped her to become independent and comfortable in different situations.  I hope that I can apply this parenting skill with our child as well.

Being an Aunt is one of my life's greatest experiences so far and I am excited to continue to grow my relationship with Marley and any other nieces and nephews that may come along.