Health

I’m so very thankful for the continued opportunity to work towards my health goals.

I’ve spent a lot of years focused on losing weight. Not that I don’t need to lose weight, because I do. But over the past year my focus has shifted from wanting to lose weight so I could be a below certain number; to wanting to be healthier so I can live my best life.

I’m not out training for a marathon, or taking all the exercise classes but I have made a shift towards more movement, better eating and balance.

I have a tendency to be an all or nothing kind of person and trying to find the balance is often difficult for me.

In looking at goals, for myself, this year…..I came across a very wise woman who shared her goal of wanting to exercise more days in a month than she didn’t. That was something that just seemed to click with me.

So that’s been a goal and for the most part it’s been working. If nothing else, I’m trying to get a walk in daily.

So today, I’m thankful that I have a new opportunity every day to work towards my personal health goals. I’m definitely a “work in progress” but I’m so thankful that I’m progressing.

What are you thankful for today?

Eric the Treadmill

I’m tired and not really feeling the whole gratitude thing this morning. I do have a million things I could be thankful for but today’s lucky winner is Eric.

Meet Eric! He’s my treadmill.

Okay, it’s actually an Epic View 550 treadmill but I do a lot of pondering and musing while walking and one day I was laughing to myself (Do you do this……laugh at your own jokes because you are just SO hilarious…..or is that just me?) because I had a date with my trainer Eric…….so I found a piece of chalk and changed it from Epic to Eric. Now I walk/run with Eric.

I know. You’re probably shaking your head or laughing at me and that’s okay. Cause I laugh at me, too!

This treadmill, though, it was a great investment…..because even when I can’t leave the kids…..I can still walk or run. I could use it more regularly but I’m trying, it’s available and convenient. So it’s a win, in my books!

So today, I’m thankful for Eric and now I’m going to go for a walk.

What are you thankful for?

#microblogmonday 8

So I had this bright idea that I could get up early and go for a run before I would normally even get up…….I’m not entirely certain whether it was a genius idea or the stupidest thing ever.

I hate mornings…..with a passion.

My little boys need to be at school at 8:35am. I consider it a win if I crawl out of bed before 8am.

I try my hardest to do EVERYTHING the evening before: lunches packed, backpacks packed, outfit picked out, coats and shoes ready to go…..

That way….we get up, get dressed, brush teeth, eat breakfast and head out the door.

When I run, I typically do so after I drop the kids off at school, but I find that “the morning” is taken up by eating breakfast, checking social media, dawdling around….and then there is the post run shower and by the time that’s over, it’s almost noon.

I figured that if I didn’t think about it too hard and got my running gear ready to go…..I could POP out of bed at 6am and run for half an hour and then still have time to shower and be available to help the kids by 7am.

That’s a whole extra hour than I normally have…….it’s got be to a good idea, right?

I went to bed at a decent time and managed to sleep for 7 hours – Yay me! The alarm went off at 6am and I’ll be honest…..I did not just jump out of bed. I really contemplated not doing it but finally jumped out of bed at 6:18am.

I threw my gear on and was good to go for 6:26am. Yay me. It wasn’t as bad as I anticipated but it wasn’t the same as running during the day or in the evening when I’m more warmed up and limber. I’m still running really slow and taking it really easy since the whole “shin splint” episode. Things are slowly getting better and I’ll be back at it in no time, I’m sure.

I was excited to finish at 7:01am and ran up to take a shower…..I was a little later than I originally planned but still WAY earlier than usual.

During my run I had a thought flash through my mind……as awesome as it is to be done the run and to have extra hours in the day – what that really means is more hours to clean the house. While that’s awesome as far as actually taking care of my home, I hate house cleaning.

I was also a little nervous about being hungry all day or the dreaded 3pm crash.

I really wasn’t too hungry, but man!!!! By 3pm, I was BAGGED! I’ve managed to make it through the evening, and I’ve gotten a TON done today but I’ll be heading off to bed sooner rather than later.

I’m still trying to decide if I’m gonna try another early morning run on Wednesday.

Oh and I managed to freak the crap out of Jon and the kids…..NO ONE is used to seeing me up that early and it really threw them all for a loop. Throughout the day, I had different ones asking me what was wrong? What was up? And what was I thinking?

From that standpoint, it’s nice to shake them all up once in a while. Gotta keep them guessing!

My Journey with Food Addiction (part 1)

It’s said that knowledge is power and when it comes to food addiction and me, that saying is so true.

Here is a decent explanation of Food Addiction and how it relates to me…….(just click on the underlined words)

I’ve struggled with my weight for a really long time…..I’ve had issue with food for even longer. I remember sitting down as a child/preteen/teenager and pounding back cookies or chocolate bars or candy or to a lesser degree chips…..any kind of junk food specifically those with sugar and/or flour.

I’ve never really understood people who could take “just one”. As far back as I can remember, it was kind of an all or nothing deal. If I had a bag of M&M’s….I’d eat until they were gone…..and it was never the small bag – always the BIG ONES. I’d never just buy 1 chocolate bar…it was 3 or 4. I’d grab a handful of cookies and most likely head back for a second or third handful.

While I was a teenager, it never seemed that big of a deal because I was a tall, big framed person and weight wasn’t ever an issue for me.

I was 170lbs when I got married and definitely was not overweight by visual standards.

I still struggle because according to different standards like the BMI or other weight calculators, I was overweight based on my height vs weight ratio….but in no way was I overweight back then……I was thin, I modeled. I firmly believe those standards are flawed…

As far as my weight goes, I did ok until after I had my second child and then things started changing……I didn’t lose the weight as fast as I did after having Angelica. Literally, 10 days after having Geli, I was back in my pre-pregancy clothes and I could see my hip bones and everything. It was not the same after having Alexandra and from then on I began to actually “struggle” with my weight.

But this whole issue is about SO MUCH MORE than weight……and that’s where the “knowledge is power” aspect really comes into play for me.

I remember my sister telling me about a friend of hers who was eating a certain way and she briefly mentioned “food addiction” when she was telling me about this “way of eating”. I briefly looked into it but mostly because I was desperate to lose weight. I didn’t particularly “like” the food eating plan and so I dismissed it…..after all, I wasn’t an addict and I most certainly wasn’t addicted to food…I only had 10 pounds to lose and then I’d be happy……

I’ve spent a huge portion of the last 20 years dieting or eating according to a “food program”. I’ve eaten low carb, sugar free, fast metabolism, 3 day diet, and so many more gimmicky eating plans to try and lose weight. And while some of them worked for a bit, in the end……I’ve gained the weight back and felt more miserable and like a HUGE failure on top of it all.

I think that there have been 2 periods of time over the last almost 20 years where I’ve been close to a healthy weight. Neither lasted very long and between the different traumas and stresses in our lives, its been a brutal battle.

2014 has been an extremely difficult year for me and yet……..it’s been an amazing year.

We are exhausted.

And that’s putting it mildly.

Over the past 10 years, we’ve had numerous job changes and losses, a stillbirth, 2 second trimester losses, an early miscarriage, the long desired arrival of Josiah, a crazy long, difficult and exhausting journey to an Autism Diagnosis, children with special needs, cancer and the birth of our sweet Judah in the middle of it, serious Mental Health Issues, and 2 BIG house moves…..there is more that I’ve not accounted for, but that’s enough….it’s just too much. We are tapped out.

I feel like I’ve been fighting a battle for a long time. I have been…….. but what’s worse is that I really didn’t understand what or who I was fighting.

Earlier this year, I committed to 100 days of investing in myself. When I look back, I see that I was searching for answers and that I was close to finding them but just not quite there….

See, in the past, my focus has been for the quick fix….

– If I lose 10 pounds, I’ll be happier and then I can go back to doing whatever I want.

– Ok, realistically, I should lose 20 pounds, but that’s a lot and so difficult so if I eat no/low carb for a few weeks, I should loose a ton of weight, and then I’ll be happy and be able to do whatever I want.

– OK!!!! So I should probably be REALLY SERIOUS and just go for an entire month and hopefully lose more than 20 lbs and then I’ll be happy and can do whatever I want……….

It was all about losing the weight as fast as possible – which for me typically meant no sugar, no fruit, no carbs……just veggies and protein….and then something would happen and I’d “cheat”………. cause everyone deserves a cheat now and then, especially when you’re being SO GOOD. That cheat would typically turn into more than just a little treat and BAM…….soon I’d be stuffing my face with whatever I could find.

The “100 Days” challenge was difficult for me and yet amazing, when I look back on it. I’d decided that it needed to be more than a quick fix. I needed something longer term, because the quick fixes were not working. I needed a shift from “short term/quick fix” thinking to something that was more a “lifestyle/long term” plan.

So I started back in February….on Valentines Day to be exact…. my plan was no sugar, no gluten, low carb, only natural foods that I could eat in whole form or combine to make something. I’d started running in 2013 and planned on combining that exercise with my food eating plan to be able to lose weight and really get control of my life which felt so chaotic and out of control.

It started out pretty good. I started 2014 at 230 lbs…..

Towards the end of March, I was doing pretty good. I was down to 208 lbs. I’d run over 100 km in the month of March….and then I stalled.

March-April-May…nothing shifted and I was getting frustrated. I started eating things that were outside of my chosen allowable foods and my running slowed down and by the start of summer….I crashed. it probably didn’t help that I was anemic over the summer.

Summer of 2014 was an absolute out-of-control, gong show. I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I didn’t exercise. I felt lousy. I was trying to just survive. It was so bad, that even walking upstairs to my bedroom was a colossal effort and so once I came down stairs, I avoided going back up until I had too. Lotta couch time over the summer and anything I did do, came at a huge price as I’d crash the next day.

Every time I walk upstairs now, I flash back to how bad it was over the summer and I’m amazed at the difference from then till now. It’s pretty drastic. I went up on my anxiety meds and even added another one into the mix. There were days that I contemplated hospitalizing myself because I could not get the anxious thought under control and I’d spend the entire day fighting thoughts….crying…..it was pretty bad.

September’s are always like a new year for me….a new start……so I kept looking forward to September and the kids going back to school and routine and…….when it came…..everything was still brutally difficult and nothing changed except that I didn’t have the kids home all day…..I didn’t do anything. I couldn’t. I was so exhausted. Just existing was difficult….it was bad!

I went to give blood in September. I’ve been donating blood since I was 18 and while it’s not been as regular as I’d like and been broken up by pregnancy, breastfeeding, and different meds that I’ve been on….I could finally give and so I did….only to be denied because my hemoglobin was too low. While at the time I felt pretty embarrassed to be denied, that was the start of something amazing…….like the catalyst that kick started this next phase in my life.

I went to my dr and asked for some blood work. I started taking iron…..went and saw my naturopath, got a few supplements…… Finally towards the end of October, I started to feel a bit better.

I honestly cant remember why or how the whole concept of food addiction came to me but right at that same time, I started doing some serious research and reading about food addiction.

It was like my whole world exploded into tiny shards of hope and shame, exhilaration and denial…….

Day 15 – February 28

Today feels like a good day. I woke up at 6:15…..stayed in bed until 7:15am, BUT….I made the choice to do that because the older kids are home today; and except for breakfast and getting dressed….Siah was all ready and packed to go to school (Yay for evening prep). So, I had time……

It’s been 2 weeks since I started this “journey” and it’s been filled with ups and downs. There have been a lot of downs, but I keep attempting to focus on the ups.

I’ve seen a pattern that I hope to break. I managed to make it out of my “fat” jeans and into my “regular” jeans…..this was a fabulous feeling, BUT…….I noticed that as soon as I reached that milestone, I wanted to quit.

Yup!

I have no idea what my weight is right now, but I know that I’m no where near an optimal weight/size/shape/fitness level. And so I choose to carry on.

I know that this has happened in the past….I’ve reached this place and figured that it was good enough and that it gave me a reason to give up. I say give up, because while I am comfortable eating this way (closer to Whole30 than paleo), it’s not easy. It requires effort and discipline. It requires not inhaling a bowl (or 3) of Frosted Flakes or Lucky Charms. It requires planning ahead to have lunch and snacks. It requires making dinner instead of eating out. It requires going out for a walk/run even when I don’t want to because I’m tired or it’s snowy or it’s raining…..or I really just don’t want to. It requires a recognition that all my choices have consequences, when a part of me just wants to “do/eat whatever I want” without having to deal with the consequences.

That’s really what it comes down to……one of the things I talk the most to my kids about…..

CHOICES and CONSEQUENCES

Now, I did make a choice. It was actually a conscious choice. I chose to not monitor my food choices for a while because I was exhausted and so worn out. I knew that the consequences would be weight gain and a general feeling of physical, mental and emotional “blergh”. I needed to not feel like I was trying (and failing) to control every aspect of my life. And so I just ignored that area of my life….until I felt pretty horrid and was at the point where I could no longer fit into my “biggest” clothes.

And here I am…..wanting change.

When I was on my walk/run last night, that word was on a loop in my head.

CHANGE

I’m typically resistant to change. I like safe. I like routine. I like knowing what to expect.

Basically it all comes down to fear and control.

Again with the fear and control. ARG!

But………… I feel like this is a year of change for me.

I’m not out to force change onto myself, but I’m willing to allow change to happen and to do what I can and what I need to do to encourage that “change” to happen.

The last 2 weeks have been interesting for me. It’s eye opening to see that I do things to sabotage myself so that I can stay in a “comfortable” place. And yet that’s part of the lie….that the place I am in is comfortable….cause it’s not. And who said that life is supposed to be comfortable, anyway?

One of the “downs” of the past 2 weeks have been anxiety.

I haven’t been walking around in a 24/7 panic attack, and in fact, I’ve felt pretty stable most of the time.

I have noticed that I must be feeling worse than I realize because the desire to “escape” has been intense at times. I’ve wanted something to “take the edge off”. I’ve noticed that there have been a few more times than I’d like where I’ve wanted a glass (or 3) of wine; or to take a few Ativan just so I could escape from the pressure. I’ve noticed this particularly at the end of the day, and definitely on weekends. I’ve also noticed that when confronted with certain situations, my anxiety goes from what has seemed like “non-existent” to full on panic.

For example, Jon called me the other day when I was picking the girls up from school. My initial thought, when I heard that he was not at work but on his way home (it was earlier than his quitting time – but I had forgotten that he had a dental appt), was that something terrible had happened. He couldn’t explain himself fast enough and I could feel “worse-case-scenario-girl” kicking into overdrive.

And, Geli messaged me the other day from school…..I totally forget about what….I just remember “the forbidding feeling of doom“. I quickly cut her off to clarify that everything was ok and that she wasn’t about to “drop a bomb” on me.

I hate that aspect of my brain. I have a Dr’s Appt on March 13 and I’ll be talking with him about meds and whether or not we need to tweak things. I feel pretty good most of the time but those “flare ups” and the “desire to escape” bother me.

On a positive note….I feel a lot stronger, in regards to walking/running, than I did 2 weeks ago. I don’t feel like I’m going to die before I finish, HA!. Which is a good thing, right? I’m going further, faster than I did two weeks ago. I’m definitely not where I was when I stopped running last year, but I have the memory, both physical and mental, of what I am capable of and that has me excited for both attaining and surpassing where I was. I’ve restarted the C25K program because I figure that it can’t hurt…..and even with that…..I see differences from where I was to where I am.

Last night, I just turned the running app on and hit play without looking at exactly what the walk/run info was….I just followed the prompts, instead of anticipating them. It felt a lot easier. Just going with it. Instead of anticipating the “tough” times and counting down every second…….I just let go of all that “control” and trusted that I could do it.

I let go of the control and put aside fear and……..it felt great. Even better, I was over a minute faster per km than my previous run/walk.

I’m excited for where I’m going and trying even harder to be content with where I am at.

It’s a process. I’m in process. It’s ok. I’m ok. I’ll be ok.

How are you doing? I’d love to hear what’s happening in your life….the good, the bad, the ugly…..it’s all ok.

Day 5 – February 18

I was disappointed that yesterday morning didn’t feel as peaceful or calm as the day before. I’m not sure what alternate reality I was living in…… It’s not like peaceful and calm mornings have ever been “normal” around here. I’m also not sure how much of the peacefulness had to do with my own personal sense of calm as opposed to the reality of what the morning was…..regardless, I managed to get up before 7am AGAIN…..and get everyone off to school with a minimum amount of chaos.

The Therapy brushes that I had ordered from School Specialty arrived and the boys each got brushed a few times. Dinner time actually went pretty smoothly. Again, I’m unsure if the brushing had anything to do with that or not, but I’m not going to complain about it. I had meant to brush the boys again before they went to bed, but after dinner……I ran upstairs and changed into running gear and headed out while Jon took the boys through the bedtime routine. So, that didn’t happen….and I didn’t ask Jon how bedtime went…..so really nothing to report on that front….not even sure why I mentioned it……….. oh well.

Yesterday was a MUCH better day for me in regards to anxiety….in the fact that I really didn’t feel anxious about anything. Yay for small victories….It was also a WAY better walk/run than my Sunday night one. My pace was faster. I ran more….and it felt pretty good overall. YAY ME!

I find this whole process to be intriguing. I am questioning why I do things and how my thoughts are affecting me both positively and negatively. I’m so aware of negative behaviours and becoming more aware of what the positive behaviours feel like.

For example, the whole “weighing” issue. I’ve been so focused on weight, particularly weight loss. And I’ve allowed the number on the scale to influence my overall happiness and sense of being. Don’t get me wrong, I catch myself wanting to know the number, too many times throughout the day. BUT……not knowing it and choosing to not weigh myself is actually quite freeing. I’ve read about others doing this and thought to myself that if I didn’t weigh myself then I wouldn’t have the motiviation to keep going. That it was nice that others could just put away the scale, but that would NEVER work for me. I think it all comes back to fear. Fear of failure. Fear that if I just gave up the “control(of the numbers dictating my efforts)” that I would spiral out of control.

Fear and control….I hate those two things. So much of my life has been consumed and run by fear and control….and really, the control is all about fear….so the root of it all……is fear.

fearlessly

Jon gave me this sign almost a year ago and I really loved it, but just being aware of how much fear has been an issue for me…….it makes it so much more important and special to me.

I came home from my walk/run yesterday and briefly thought about the scale. I quickly dismissed the thought, and realized that the dread and panic (that I typically feel right before I step on the scale) just kind of dissolved. It was very bizarre. I realized how much negativity that act has on my life. I really like NOT feeling like that……and so I carry on. One foot in the front of the other. Making choices. Being aware. Attempting to focus on the good and allowing the negative to just float on past me. It’s not easy, but I feel good.

A record setting pace

When I was 20 years old (seems like half a lifetime ago) I ran in the Vancouver Sun Run 10K and had a time of about 42 minutes.  I’m told that’s pretty good.  My new employer has been entering a yearly corporate team to the Sun Run and I signed up to go.

PandJRunning

When I signed up I had the idea in my head that I would try and beat my previous time which would require a significant amount of training from where I was(am).  Regardless, when you sign up you are supposed to put in the time that you predict you will finish in, and I conservatively put in 46 minutes or something like that.  This time effects your bib number, starting position and so on, as faster runners get to go first to prevent bottle-necking on the race course.

So I started running a few times a week.  I had a goal, a date to aim for, and I was excited about getting back into running.

Then Patti decided to start an 8 week “Couch to 5K” program but didn’t want to run alone and asked if I would join her.  I can’t put into words how quickly my goals changed.  Before she even got the full question out of her mouth, I no longer cared at all about the Sun Run or my time.  I immediately had a new goal; to be Patti’s running partner.

There are challenges that go along with this.  For starters, I might be turning 40 this year, but I can still run at a decent speed without training and I can definitely run a full 10K without stopping, even if the time is a bit high.  So my first challenge is to make Patti feel that she is not holding me back or cramping my style by getting me to run/walk/run through a fairly light 3k over 30 minutes.  Also, I’m still signed up for the Sun Run and I still have a low bib number coming so I need to not be a total mess out there, so I need to fit in the occasional 10K as well, but the goal is now completely different.

Why?  Why would I change my goal so fast?  Typically ADHD people don’t like to change goals once they are set on something.  On top of that I have wanted to beat my 42 minutes for 19 years and this is my first crack at it.

Because, Patti and I are better together.  Patti is an amazing person.  I don’t think I’m that bad of a person myself.  Both of us have accomplished a decent amount on our own, we both have skills that are unique to us and we both have imperfections and problems.  But when we do things together we rock!  I’m not just saying that; we’re amazing…. Really!!!

OK, so in all honesty our weaknesses match our spouse’s strengths in an uncanny way and when we rely on each other’s strengths we are just… better.

Patti and I were talking about this the other night while we were running (actually I talked and Patti concentrated on breathing and managed a “yea” once in a while.  She’s a good listener when she’s running….) We were BOTH talking about this the other night while out running and it came up that she feels that her blog only represents a half of her. Certainly there are things that we don’t share on a blog, this is after all a public forum and we share a lot, but we do choose to share some stuff and not other stuff.  What she meant is that the readers of this blog only get her side of things, and you don’t get mine.  Not that my opinions are all the different, but that sometimes my perspective is.

So we have decided that I will start contributing to the blog and not just as a guest blogger, but under my own name.  Just to warn you, sometimes I’m all surface level, geeky, odd humor, and sometimes I’m deep and philosophical.  Patti is generally somewhere in the middle all the time…. See we complement each other even there.

So as the title says, I’m running for a record setting pace.  I’m not aiming to beat 42 minutes on a 10K; I am aiming at running more, farther, faster with Patti on whichever trail we happen to be on, as long as we are doing it together.

See you soon…

SunRunBib

BTW: As you can see from the picture, my bib number for the run is 2955 which puts me in the yellow zone which is way too close to the front… but if I beat 50 minutes I’ll be thrilled (and a little surprised).

The Countdown is On…

This past Monday we were in at BC Children’s for another monthly chemo appointment. As of today, Angelica has 4 more monthly chemo appointments left until she is finished taking chemo and only 1 of those appointments will have a sedation procedure. This is SO exciting.

There is not that much that is new or interesting about the actual chemo appointment itself! Angelica goes in. They admit her and draw her blood. They give her the chemotherapy and then we see a Dr. and go home. At this point, as long as I don’t think too closely about the poison that they are giving her, it’s all very routine. I know that it’s a necessary evil and I’m so thankful that we are here and can get the medical help, but it’s still tough…..and that’s never changed from the day that she was diagnosed until now….

What’s been different about the last few appointments has been the issues regarding the bones. The news of Avascular Necrosis/Osteonecrosis has been tough. Dealing with how much constant pain Geli was in was so hard. She had a hard time walking, moving, dressing, doing her hair, bathing……Life was pretty tough and every report we were getting was pretty much preparing us that life would pretty much be like this and possible worse…..

Things started to change after our appointment with Dr. Brown the Pediatric Surgeon at BC Children’s. He gave us news that we received as god news….as positive news and in the middle of all the crap…it’s what we needed to hear.

Angelica is doing so much better. It’s not all butterflies and roses, but she is in less pain. She’s tired and her muscles are sore, but she is working SO HARD!

Geli is doing about an hour and half of physio a day…….on her own…..or mostly on her own…

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It’s pretty incredible. She is doing exercises 3 times a day – morning, after school and before bed. It’s making a HUGE difference. Instead of walking around like someone who is 90 years old, she is walking and standing more like a teenager. She is standing straighter and walking straighter. While there is still a bit of a wobble in her step, she looks AMAZING!

It’s exciting to see how far she’s come. Sometimes, it’s hard because she can’t see the change, but to us, looking at her and seeing what she can do now that she couldn’t do a month ago….the changes are astounding. For example, she couldn’t stand up in the kitchen to help with dinner or dishes for 15 minutes without being in pain and so tired. Now, she can do at least an hour. On Monday, she had the sedation procedure with the chemo into her spinal fluid (a Lumbar Puncture) and there has not been one day in the past 2 years that she has done anything other than lay around on an LP day. On Monday, she wanted to walk up to the store a few blocks away from our house to get something that she really wanted for dinner. It blew me away. So SO much different than a month ago……she also has SO MUCH MORE range of motion in her shoulder and elbow and it’s making a difference in the daily living things that she is able to do, like reaching for things up on shelves in the kitchen and doing her own hair.

She still requires help, but all of this change…..it’s only after ONE MONTH of exercise…..The physiotherapist at the hospital said she was doing incredible and our nurse COULD NOT BELIEVE how amazing she looked even all groggy after having the LP. She looked healthy and happy….in fact, more than a few nurses mentioned how great she looked.

It’s so great to see positive change and forward movement in this situation. We have our next appointment with the Orthopedic Surgeon on Tuesday June 14th….I’m looking forward to Geli going in and being in better shape than she was the last time.

One other AMAZING bit of news, is that the Physiotherapist at BC Children’s suggested that Angelica go THERAPEUTIC RIDING…..as in HORSE RIDING. Any of you who know Geli, know that she has been in love with horses for as long as we can remember. I have lost count of the number of horse calenders, horse bedding and other horse paraphernalia that Angelica has collected or wanted to collect over the years. To say that she was a horse fanatic is putting it mildly. Unfortunately, horseback riding has not been something that we’ve been able to do, but it has been something that Geli has wanted to do forever.

To have the Physio suggest that as another form of physio that Geli could go riding…..well, it’s pretty huge. Just talk to Geli about it and see the smile on her face when she talks about it….she has this amazing smile that just lights up her WHOLE ENTIRE FACE. She is SO excited! We’ve contacted the stable that does Therapeutic riding out here in Langley and have sent out referral forms to her Dr.s to get them filled out and as of last night we received them back so now we forward them to the stable and then set up a time and …………she starts riding.

What an amazing opportunity that is so perfectly picked just for her. What a blessing! We can see God’s hand in this.

There are other emotional side effects from this whole journey that we are working through and it can be tough at times, but there are a lot of things that are going so well. We keep praying and believing for miracles for Angelica’s physical body. It is so encouraging to be at a place where she rarely feels pain as opposed to the constant pain that she was in.

Thank you for your prayers, your encouragement, for your love, for your support. We couldn’t have done this or carry on without your support. We are so grateful to all of you.

Escaping it All

About a month ago, right in the middle of a whole bunch of really bad appointments regarding Geli’s bones….I decided that I needed a break from everything.

Jeremy had just been doing a section in his Social Studies on the Watershed and the rain cycle and I figured that a trip the Lynn Canyon was EXACTLY what we needed.

I didn’t tell Jeremy that we were “going on a field trip” until it was time to start school. He was SO EXCITED!

We packed up and headed out to North Vancouver. We started our adventure at the Ecology Center.

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The large majority of my pictures are blurry because the boys were having SO MUCH FUN and moving so fast that it was tough to get a good (clear) shot in.

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They LOVED the hands on exhibits and Jeremy loved how so much of it had to do with what he was learning. While homeschooling is not EASY by any stretch of the imagination, I love that I’m involved with him and his learning. It’s so cool because we were able to pull in aspects of Language Arts, Science and Social Studies into this one field trip. I love that. And he was excited to show me what he knew and how it tied in…..I especially LOVE that HE IS EXCITED about what he is learning. That just about makes up for all the frustrations that we go through.

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Siah LOVED the bones. He was enthralled by them.

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After we left the Ecology Centre, we walked down to the Suspension Bridge. It had been WAY too long since I had been to the Canyon and it was so good to just escape from everything and to get lost in the beauty of the forest.

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Jeremy helped Siah walk across the Suspension Bridge while Judah CLUNG to me for dear life. He really wasn’t sure that he liked the moving, swinging bridge.

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We took our time meandering down the trail. We stopped to check out the stumps and to count the rings on a recently falled tree. Jeremy thinks this one had 120+ rings? I didn’t count.

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Judah was desperate to get down to the water on the other side of this fence. He was pretty adamant that he should be in the water and not upon the trail.

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It was so much fun to have no time frame, nothing pushing us, no schedules to make….we just WERE….

I’m very much a driven person. I try so hard to stay present and in the moment, but so often I am thinking of what needs to happen or what should be happening and I’m so aware of what we aren’t doing and on this day, I was so very aware of us and where we were at mentally and emotionally and I tried so hard to just “BE”….to just be with my boys. To not worry about how long it took us or how many detours we took or what we stopped to look at. The boys were enjoying exploring and running and climbing and I was enjoying them just enjoying everything. There was really nothing that they could do wrong and so we just WERE….

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I remember us as kids (my brother’s and sister’s) climbing this rock and it’s fun that my kids now get to experience that as well. I remember how HUGE it seemed to me then and when I look at it now it’s still pretty big….

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It was nice to see the boys playing “together” instead of fighting against each other.

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We finally made it down to the 30 foot pool. Beautiful, isn’t it? And this picture does nothing to represent the actual beauty of the place. It’s incredible. I grew up doors away from the Canyon…I was so blessed.

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We climbed down the rocks and sat by the water and ate our lunch. I love the look on Judah’s face….mine – not so much, but man, is he cute!

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Josiah and his celery stick give it two thumbs up…

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We hung out for a while, threw some rocks, climbed on the rocks and then slowly started making our way back to the van.

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Josiah was much braver, crossing the bridge for the second time……

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It was such a nice and so needed escape from everything. We came home feeling slightly recharged and in the middle of all the craziness….that is such a good thing. We are looking forward to our next escape to Lynn Canyon.