IF WE HAVE NO PEACE

A heavy heart & so much sadness…

Oh how today has broken my heart.  The news of the terrorist attack in Nice really shook me to my core.

I saw pictures of terrified people running away from a madmen. Parents cradling their screaming children as they ran…determined to find safety for their little ones. So much terror. So much uncertainty.

Then I saw pictures of bodies in the street. The ones that couldn’t outrun the madman. The small body of a child, covered in a blanket, a doll resting next to it.

I can do nothing but think of all the people in pain today. Mothers & fathers who have lost their children. Children who lost their parents. Friends lost. So much suffering and pain and loss.

And then the news that the Amber Alert for little Taliyah Marsman had been called off and for the briefest of moments I allowed myself to hope for the best. But no. It was more sadness and grief as I read that her body had been found and murder charges were pending.

I can only imagine the pain her father is feeling right now. And I find some solace in the fact that her mother is with her so neither of them is alone.

This world is a scary one. I am afraid for my children. I am afraid for my loved ones. I am afraid for all of us.

There is such a lack of humanity. Of empathy and love. There is so much hate and fear it is overwhelming to comprehend.

What must have happened to your soul to drive a truck through a crowd of men, women and children watching a fireworks display?  I cannot comprehend and I hope I never do because we should all be shocked and outraged.

We could just as easily be those people in Nice that are tonight mourning the loss of their loved ones. We must find a way to stop the violence. End the killing and hatred and anger.

We must find a way to remember that we all belong to this same world.  We all belong to each other.

I send my love and strength to all those that are in pain tonight. Tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow we carry on and ~ hopefully ~ we find a way to make the world a better place.

IF WE HAVE NO PEACE

saying no to status quo

Saying no to the Status Quo

Status Quo by definition means “the current situation : the way things are now.”  In many areas of our day to day life “status quo” is comforting, familiar. It’s easy.

I believe this is especially true in marriage, and even more so for couples that have children and experienced first hand the changes that children bring to their lives.

After a new baby arrives there is a new status quo that couples often fall into. My husband and I certainly did.  It’s the status quo of “kids come first” and we quickly forget who we were as a couple before we became a family.

before and after

Add to this massive life change the twin pillars of sleep deprivation and financial stress – not to mention the fact that you are now responsible for the survival of another human being! – and it’s easy to fall into a routine where our needs as individuals become secondary.

Instead of Kelly I became Mummy. And the truth is I loved my new role. I picked up that motherhood mantle with both hands and freakin’ ran with it.  Ran so fast I kind of forgot that there was another adult living this life with me…the man now known as Daddy.

As we navigated through the first few months of parenthood it became hard for both of us to see the people we were in our relationship before we had kids. There were attempts at reclaiming the “couple” we were before we were a “family”. Trips and date nights and the like but everything was just a little different.

We both became comfortable with the ‘status quo’ and it almost led to disaster.

The problems in our marriage and our relationship are so clear to me now – with the advantage of 20-20 hindsight – but we were both blind to them at the time. And the problems we were aware often felt so overwhelming that it was much easier to pretend they weren’t there and carry on with life as if nothing were amiss.

As we found out – you can only avoid these problems for so long. Until they literally burst out of the box you are trying to shove them in and demand your attention.

The past 3 years have taught me a lot about how I got to this place in my life. In the process I have been forced to face a lot of not so great truths about myself. And while that has been a very difficult and sobering process it has also allowed me to find a side of myself I didn’t even know was there.  A strong, determined, creative self that was dying to get out.

Letting that side of me out has done so much good for me and – by extension – those around me. And it has also made me more determined to never settle for status quo again.

I made get a little comfy once in a while and let myself relax into some familiar patterns and roles but I now know that there is much more in my life than that.

And even if Mummy might be the most important title I will ever wear – I also know there is much more to me than just that.

saying no to status quo

 

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time for {minor} rebrand

A few years ago I decided to rebrand my blog  (and attempting to rebrand myself in the same process) and it was a big mistake. The new brand didn’t last long – it felt inauthentic from the start and I reverted back to my original moniker.

But the truth is that my original brand – Writing Down the Bones – has never felt truly right either. The meaning behind it was good but the title was confusing to people who had never read the book.  And also – I had stolen the title of a best selling book as the title of my blog which is never a good idea.

Coming up with a personal brand, an overarching, all-encompassing phrase that sums up everything you are and everything you want to share in a few short words is a daunting process.

And as I learned the hard way the first time around – your brand name should not be based on what twitter and Instagram handles are also still available.

Which brings me here – to another minor overhaul to my brand.  This time the shift is in blog name only – Writing Down the Bones now becomes this write life…

In all my other social media channels I remain @kelsey_bar because that feels right and authentic. And I like that it reminds me of my Poppa…

So welcome to {this write life…} I’m pretty excited about the change. Feels like this one is here to stay.

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Copy of Kid Speak

Kid Speak: Life as a video game.

Sometimes the deepest thoughts come out of my children’s mouths. It might not be that often…but these are usually the comments that make me stop in my tracks and say “whoa…”

This was one of those moments that my 7 year old hit me with recently.

Context: totally out of the blue and not on topic with anything we had been talking about before this.

“When people get old and pass away it’s like a video game. Like you pass one level and that’s your life..and then you go on to the next level and it’s like…way harder…”

Think about it…and then say it with me…

“whoaaaa…”

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Did somebody say jump?

Most of my life I have lived in apartments and/or townhouses with postage stamp sized backyards. And so it is no big surprise that I never had a trampoline.

I know I jumped on trampolines as a child – so don’t feel too sorry for me – but I can’t remember who these wonderful contraptions even belonged to.  What I do remember is that every time someone got hurt. Usually by falling through the springs or bouncing right off the edge.

Battle scars from a trampoline were common. Worn with pride. Really because we had no other choice. Trampolines were dangerous but like with so many other situations at that time we children simply faced the dangers while our parents were forced to take a somewhat blind eye.

My own experiences with trampoline mishaps could very well be the reason I had never thought about getting one for my own girls. Not seriously at least.  Until we moved in this house from our apartment. And finally had a yard.

I remember thinking that a trampoline would be a nice addition in a few years when the girls were older. Well…it’s been 3 years since we moved in and I just started thinking that now would be the perfect time to seriously start the search.

The name Springfree had been on my mind because of their sponsorship of last years Leading Mom events. I was seriously impressed by their design and the fact that it eliminated the need for a trampoline injury rite of passage.  Also – they looked cool.

When the girls and I were invited to attend a private Springfree event with a group of Vancouver Mommy bloggers it was the perfect opportunity for us to try them out in person.

The event was great. Lots of wonderful people. Lots of delicious food. And lots of bouncing.  We had a great time – as you can see from these photos:

Springfree has introduced an awesome new interactive, digital gaming system called tgoma that you can use on the trampoline. The girls loved it and I loved the idea of screen time that was also active time.

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And I also learned a lot about Springfree, tgoma and trampolines in general.

I could also tell you how much fun the girls had but I thought I’d give them the chance to do that temselves:


Reflections from a 10 year old:

Me and my sister went to the Springfree trampoline event. I had so much fun. There were so many kids there. My favourite trampolines were the basketball hoop trampolines and the normal one. I also liked the tgoma trampolines too. My favourite game was Fruitants. I liked the kids corner.

I took these pictures when we were there:

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I told my mummy I really want us to get a trampoline because we could stay outside and have so much fun for the whole day.”

M.



Reflections from a 7 year old:

T: “Mummy what should I write about?”

Me: “Whatever you want but really I want to know what you liked best about the trampolines.”

T: “Okay. I’m going to tell you 10 favourite things then.”

Me: “Great…go for it.”

  1. The trampolines – because they were so bouncy & fun.
  2. That there were no springs on the trampolines because I have fallen through the springs before at my friends house and it hurt my leg. I didn’t get hurt this time and that was very good.
  3. Video games (tgoma) – because they were fun. My favourite was the food one.
  4. The food – because it was delicious.
  5. The Outside Trampoline – because it was fun to bounce in the rain.
  6. The Basketball Hoop Trampoline – because I like throwing balls.
  7. I “super super loved” the face painting – because they are really good artists that did the face painting and I’m glad I got the flowers and the butterfly. IMG_6096
  8. The Building Where all the Trampolines were – because it was big enough to hold so many trampolines for every one to jump on.
  9. I’m “super super super happy” for the people that work there – because they are nice and they made sure we were safe on the bouncy trampolines. IMG_6097
  10. Hmmm…maybe it should just be a top 9 list.

And so it is…


The trampolines are pretty much all they can talk about since the event. They are both desperate to get one and make their feelings known on a regular basis.

Time to bring hubby back to the store with us next time. Once he’s had a ‘bounce’ I think we will be all sold on the idea and can finally make it happen.

See you soon Springfree!

 

 

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May 2016 in Photos

It’s amazing to me how much we cram into every month.  How many special events we are lucky enough to attend.  How many school assemblies and soccer games we go to that cry out to be photographed. And that’s not including the little moments that we try to capture.

I can’t possibly write blog posts on every single one – although I wish I could – but I can (usually) manage to at least take a few pictures.  And so I have decided to do a monthly post where I can include images from all the special moments from the past month.


Works Yard Open House:

Every year the City of Richmond invites residents to come and tour the city works yard. Employees are on hand to answer questions and explain what their department does. There are tons of fun activities for kids and my girls just like the idea of hanging out at Daddy’s work for the day…


A Night at the Beach:

One night we found ourselves with nothing on the calendar – how rare is that? – and an itching to get out and just “do something”.  So we packed up a blanket and the beach toys and drove to Garry Point Park to do some digging in the sand. Great way to spend an {almost} summer evening…


Jumping Ditches:

As a kid I remember Richmond having ditches everywhere.  It was a right of passage to learn how to jump over them – especially the really wide ones! – without {almost} falling in. Most of the ditches have been filled in now but there are still a few.  We found ourselves near one and the girls showed me they have earned their ditch jumping badge. Bonus: they had a zipline swing too.


Plane Watching:

Coming home from a birthday party one Sunday night the girls begged for me to stop at the “world park”. It’s actually called Flight Path Park because it’s right under one of the main runways at YVR. We stopped and watched the planes…and little one did some meditation because…well…because that’s what she does.


Billy Elliot:

I was given four tickets to see the Arts Club production of Billy Elliot and I had the idea that we would go as a family.  When I called to book the seats I mentioned bringing my 7 year old and the lady paused and said “you know there is a lot of bad language in this right?” Clearly I didn’t – nor did I realize the movie was actually rated R (!) – and so I had to leave the youngest at home with daddy and take my 10 year old and my mum and aunt in their place.  There was some questionable language but that was easy to overlook with how good the production was. So much fun.


Random Awesome Moments:

Giant camping chairs & hot dogs for dinner at Costco. Novel writing on the front lawn. Being silly at the dinner table. Figuring out how a cordless phone works. Showing off your monkey bar skills.

These are the moments…

May was pretty awesome. You got some big shoes to fill June…

 

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A fancy bridal tea

Today the girls and I got all dressed up in our Sunday best – hats included – and attended a lovely afternoon bridal tea shower for my lovely cousin who is getting hitched in July.

I love bridal showers, I love afternoon tea…and it turns out…I love fancy hats too. So this was a perfect afternoon.

I was in charge of the games.  And I have been to enough showers to know what games NOT to play. So I googled “bridal shower games that don’t suck” and came up with a few  that I loved.

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Advice for the bride & groom…

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How many kisses in the bowl? (answer: 121)

We had 9 kids at the shower so I wanted a game just for them. They loved “Put a Ring on It” where you had to put a chopstick in your mouth and pick peach rings out of a bowl. (Note to all adults: don’t eat the peach rings after. When kids laugh & they have something in their mouths they tend to blow out of their noses. Ugh…)

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Let the littlest ones use their hands…

We also had a who knows the bride best game – that was the most fun. No matter how well you know someone it’s hard to answer questions like: dreamer or realist? creamy or crunchy? diamonds or pearls?

The afternoon tea spread was delicious…

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It was an absolutely lovely way to celebrate an absolutely lovely lady.  I can’t wait to see her married to her forever love.