The Space Between

For those that have been following me from the beginning of this blog, you’ll probably know that I previously mentioned being an auntie to two kiddos, a wonderfully brave, precocious 10-year-old girl Nevada, and an equally precocious and sweet 6-year-old boy Cohen.

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Photo credit goes to their mom and my sister 🙂 – how cute are they!?
Nevada has always been a performer and loves to sing, she recently auditioned for a talent show and was one of the 12 kids selected to perform. She will be singing Fight Song by Rachel Platten in front of her entire school….is this kid brave or what?! Now I realize that I may sound biased because I am her aunt, but she is AMAZING! She is so full of artistic and musical talent for a girl her age and never ceases to leave me in total awe. I really admire her courage because it’s something that I definitely struggled with when I was her age…public speaking – no thank you!! So needless to say, I am a pretty proud auntie right now.

As adults we could learn a great deal from kids, their ability to not take life too seriously and how they are so capable of living in the moment without looking so far into the future. Yes, with age comes added responsibility and our outlook on life changes when we’re more in touch with reality, but as we get older it seems like we forget about what we need right now. There is this need to focus so much on a destination, and reach for something in order to feel whole only to be disappointed and let down if we don’t get it. It’s difficult to be truly happy if you’re constantly looking ahead for something that you don’t have rather than enjoying where you currently are in your life.

It’s easy to look at the big picture and see this life that you envision for yourself. As a little girl I knew that one day I would want a family of my own – ideally my 4-year-old self planned on marrying Jordan Knight from New Kids On The Block or Johnny Depp but that didn’t pan out 😉 … I am really working on trusting the “journey” (I’ve watched way too many Bachelor episodes!), enjoying today and focusing on the blessings that have come my way recently. I used to get myself stuck in this space between where I currently was and where I wanted to be, but everything happens for a reason…maybe in order to discover that reason we have to just be. 🙂

-Amy

In the end, she became more than what she expected.
She became the journey,
and like all journeys, she did not end..
She just simply changed directions and kept going.

– R.M. Drake

TGIF!

This week was a short one with Family Day cutting into it on Monday – thank youuuu Canada! And thank you to this magnificent weather we’ve had throughout the week! The snow is melting and it’s starting to look and feel more and more like spring which is an absolute delight👌🏼I spent Family Day with my sister and her dog Piper, and the glorious weather we had warranted a walk along a dyke nearby. Sometimes it takes days like this to really make me appreciate where I live, and this was SUCH a beautiful day.


On another note, I don’t know about you guys, but most of my deepest thoughts occur at night – this excludes my moments of googling a symptom I have at the time and self diagnosing myself with some terrible disease that I clearly don’t have(a real problem!!). The other night I was laying in bed wide awake and got to thinking, mostly about my life and how far I have come in the last little while. I have been discovering new and older passions of mine while embracing my true self, but I also thought about some of the things I am lacking. Comparison is truly the thief of happiness and I think it’s easy to say to yourself “why not me?” but this is the quickest way to get yourself into a negative place…and I’m telling you, if you find you are falling into this pattern, do yourself a favour and dig yourself out of this hole. Choose to flourish and let your experiences shape you and consider them stepping-stones to becoming a better you. 9 times out of 10, whatever is causing you to feel this way probably won’t matter so much a year from now. Be proud of the progress and while it may be easier said than done, try to trust that everything happens for a reason and look for that silver-lining 🙂

This is somewhat of a cliché overused phrase but one that always reigns true..the grass is never greener on the other side, it’s greener where you water it. Manblog-pics-1200x675-greener-grassy of us search for an ideal life that is usually pretty unrealistic, rather than embracing what we have and allowing it to grow. I think one of the reasons for this is because we live in a world that is so consumed by social media and it can quickly cause a lot of self-doubt and comparison. But what’s important to know is that what is portrayed on social media isn’t often a true depiction of a person’s life even if we perceive it that way. We tend to be very selective in what we share with the world, and rightfully so, but each and every one of us struggle, there’s no denying that, even if the struggles aren’t what we advertise.

I decided to make a list of some things that I am currently grateful for, and I am going to make a point to do this more often. I recommend you guys do the same if you feel up to it 😀

1. My family, whom I may not get to spend as much time with as I’d like, but don’t love any less because of it
2. My health
3. My friends who have become family
4. Grandma’s shortbread
5. Yoga and the little studio I’ve found that I absolutely love
6. All the bunnies and puppies of the world
7. And last, but certainly not least, discovering this outlet to spill my thoughts into, which I may still be a little rusty with, but love none-the-less! 🙂

Till next time 🙂

-Amy

Thursday Thoughts.

So we have this one life, and it can change so quickly and drastically from circumstances you experience. It really puts things into perspective when you witness someone you love suffer without being able to offer anything but your unconditional love and support. My stepfather George, is currently fighting a battle with stage 4 cancer…and as expected it hasn’t been an easy road. He has undergone several complicated procedures, and has been fighting so incredibly hard the last year and a half. He continues to fight through the bouts of chemo and radiation treatments that prove to be both mentally and physically exhausting along with debilitating surgeries. One thing that is so inspiring about George though, is that despite the crippling effects cancer has had on him, he has not lost his sense of humour, nor his will to face this battle head on as best as he can. At the beginning of it all, he decided to start writing a blog dedicated to his journey with this very difficult disease in hopes to reach out to others who are suffering or for those that want to simply follow along and learn more about it. And what better outlet for him to have as George is truly one of the best storytellers I know…just ask him about the “hamburger” he had from a rural town in Australia 😉

George has yet to face his obstacles alone and has the support of his family and friends to give him all the positive energy and strength they possibly can. For those of you that are interested in reading his blog, feel free to take a look. I can guarantee you will find it inspiring even if you have yet to be affected by cancer in one way or another.

https://colontosemicolon.com

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I snagged this shot of an unsuspecting George 🙂
Sometimes as humans we take things for granted or sweat the small stuff far too often. I am still battling with this one and try to work at it a bit more everyday. Each of us struggle with our own personal woes but when do we learn that sometimes it is simply not worth the mental anguish that all too often consumes our minds? When do we decide to stop putting negative energy into moments we’ll never get to do over. We need to remember to be grateful, and honour this life of ours and not take anything for granted. Life can’t always be peachy but it can also be pretty great once we understand how powerful our thoughts and outlook on life can be on our existence. I think we are at our best and happiest when we realize that everything we need is what we already have. Happiness isn’t tangible, it’s a mindset, and that is something each and every one of us have the potential to hold.

-Amy

There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be. – The Beatles

 

Snowed In.

Hello again friends! Well, it’s February 6, 2017, and I never thought I’d be spending my evening watching an unstoppable blizzard take place outside but here we are! Typically weather like this is extremely unusual at this time of the year in Vancouver, despite it still currently being winter – I have a bone to pick with you Groundhog..*shakes fist*

The snow has measured up to an unsightly 80cm since the weekend *shudder* and will not let up…. for those that have to commute, it’s a Vancouverite’s nightmare…and for those without snow tires or four-wheel drive it can be their own personal hell, but I can’t deny the magical appearance it has despite the nightmarish driving conditions. All complaining aside! I am happy to be able to stare at it through my window in my warm home while curling up with a blanket, because there are some others that aren’t so fortunate. Plus, 80cm isn’t much at all relative to the amount people get elsewhere. I think some of us have a tendency to complain because we are usually spoiled with our somewhat mild winters!

Funny thing about the some 80cm of snow we currently have though..is that when you’re dog sitting for your sister and brother-in-law and they have a miniature dachshund, good luck finding places to walk her – Meet Piper:

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“Hi!!”

Initially I figured those legs never stood a chance..but with her level of spunk and determination, short legs be damned! You can’t get between Piper and a snow bank – even if she repeatedly sinks and needs rescuing. I don’t think I can bribe her back into the house with all the balls and treats the world has to offer. This little girl has given me true puppy fever…and I sure will miss her company and cuddles when she goes back to her home at the other end of the city on Saturday. I can’t say I mind the coziness this weather offers but with or without the snow – happiness is a warm puppy, I know this to be true!

Now before I sign off to tend to my guilty pleasure by watching what is likely to be the most DRAMATIC episode of The Bachelor – Bachelor fans unite! 😉 there is something on my playlist tonight that I MUST share…a favourite of mine and something for those who want to listen to a little bit of beauty ❤

-Amy

Do What Makes Your Soul Happy!

Lately I’ve been rediscovering some passions of mine that I used to hold near and dear but that dwindled as time went on. I’ve always been more musically and artistically inclined. Playing guitar and sketching were my ultimate loves growing up! My mother is an amazing artist and so I guess you could say I inherited her creative gene – though I’m not nearly as gifted as her! One day when I get her permission, I will share with you some of her amazing masterpieces.

I remember getting my first real sketch book when I was 12 and this is what really made me realize my affinity for art. I would spend hours sketching without realizing how much time would pass. I think that’s a clear sign that you’re doing something meant for you, when you’re not watching the clock every second and step of the way and can just BE in the moment and fully enjoy it. We are usually our own worst critic and that was ultimately what led to me trying new things and leaving art behind. Of course in retrospect I wish I had stuck with it, but as a person practicing a “create your own path” kinda mentality, what better time than now to give it another go! I attempted this little number on Sunday eve and while I am somewhat critical of it, as I think most of us naturally are when it comes to our own creations, I decided to just have fun with painting and not take it too seriously.

16427641_10155676836481102_2963052438176537293_nThe answer is yes, the wine certainly helped with this finicky watercolour project 😉 Dr. Loosen Riesling for the win!! (Thank you for this super useful and fabulous birthday gift Robin! 😀 ) but in all seriousness, hobbies should be something that you look forward to doing rather than consider a chore and I think that’s where I went wrong years ago, along with comparison and self-doubt. So! I’m going to press on and continue to paint, even if I’m not the greatest at it, because it downright feeds my soul.

I’m adopting this mindset and I think any of you struggling should too, and that is to banish the insecurities you have deep down within yourself and the thoughts or feelings that you’re just not good enough. Instead, decide that you’re going to put forth the time and effort to achieve your goals if you want them bad enough. Simply put, take the bull by the horns and create your own damn happiness! 😀

-Amy

May all your vibes say, 
“I GOT THIS.”

Follow Your Arrow

I’ve recently come to a point in my life where my give-a-damn is undoubtedly busted, and to be honest I couldn’t be happier…there’s something to be said for proudly being who you are, with zero exceptions. The feeling of the weight being lifted off your shoulders is almost instantaneous when you allow yourself to just live your truth. I am a people pleaser and always have been but in the past I allowed it to be a detriment to the person I truly was. I tried to fit myself into a mould that I thought would be accepted by my peers, and what I didn’t realize at the time was that I was creating a life not for myself, but for others. I continued to fall into this pattern until one day I decided to stop. I decided to be authentically myself in all it’s silly and ridiculous glory because seriously, we have one shot at this life…why base it around the opinions and judgments of others. Yes, judgment will always be a constant in life, it’s inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be something we project our energy into. I firmly believe that when you can accept that you may not be everyone’s cup of tea, nor can you please everyone, life becomes loads more peaceful.

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Well this is just adorable..

It is never too late to change the trajectory of your life if you aren’t content with where it’s headed. Do not succumb to excuses that can only hold you back such as age, feelings of inadequacy or fear. I no longer want to dread getting older, or feel afraid to fail, because it does not serve me and only creates toxic thoughts to potentially lose sleep over…ain’t nobody got time for that! Positivity is a mindset I’ve chosen to keep because there are things in life that we simply have no power over and cannot change, and I don’t see a purpose in fighting it.

Be proud of the person you are that you have worked so hard to become, flaws and all – because who would we be without em! I am proud of my strong-willed but soft heart, because it is a result of experiences I have endured throughout my life. Some may have seemed impossibly difficult to cope with at the time, but I think I knew in these moments that one day I would understand why they happened. Quite often I hear people say everything happens for a reason, I used to hear this statement and shake my head thinking how easy it is to utter these words but how much truth could there really be to it?? But now I can honestly say that it makes so much sense to me. With every hardship your strength is put to the test, and each time I’m tested I realize how much more resilient I become. We need hiccups every once in a while to remind ourselves that life can’t always be ideal and to keep on swimming. 🙂

“The things that excite you are not random, they are connected to your purpose. Follow them.”

-Amy

Birthday Wishes :)

Every once in a while my sappymeter sky rockets and this is one of those instances – but for good reason might I add! Today is a special day, and a day that I can devote to celebrating one specific person. A person that unconditionally loves me and whom I will unconditionally love forever and for always. A person that is bulletproof and has a kind of strength that is incomparable. She shares this strength with those in her life that are struggling to find it within themselves mentally and physically and would never expect anything in return. She impacts the hearts of people she loves and has no doubt made differences in people’s lives even if she could only be there for a short time. It’s for all these reasons and countless more that I can say how incredibly lucky I am to call this person my mom ❤ she is a true real life superhero and has shown me that having a kind but strong heart to stay true to is the greatest power you can have.

Story time!!
I have this memory from quite some time ago..I was maybe around 6 years old. It was summertime and I had decided to go for a bike ride. One thing to know about me when I was little was my fixation on needing to wave to my mom if I was ever leaving her sights or if she ever left mine. And so, I rode my bike to the end of the driveway and waited for her to appear at the window in the living room where I was sure to wave to her, and off I went riding my bike down what was seemingly the steepest hill of all time – at least when you’re 6. Preoccupied with waving to her and not paying attention to my surroundings, I rode full speed down the steepest hill of all time straight into a PARKED car along the side of the road. The next thing I know I am laying on the road winded beside my banged up bike and within seconds my mom was there, in typical superhero mom fashion, making everything ok again with her presence alone – despite my temporary laboured breathing! Dusted myself off and of course I turned out to be A-OK, only walked away with some cuts and bruises and a slightly damaged bike. It’s fun to look back on memories like this and relive them and see how each situation shaped you in some way. I owe so much of who I have become and hope to be to my mom. My amazing, beautiful inside and out mom. Thank you for being you. Happy Birthday❤️

-Amy

“I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, my mommy you’ll be❤️”

Always Take The Scenic Route

A couple of months ago I craved a getaway, an adventure of sorts. I began to research destinations with one of my sisters. We knew we would only be gone for a short time, and needed to take into account that wherever we decided on would certainly be a road trip! We came up with many feasible options but none that we were completely sold on. It was then that we stumbled upon Oregon – it was perfect! Beautiful, serene, relaxing and about an 8 hour drive from Vancouver, BC, where we live, which by our standards was doable. Our online quest for accommodation led us to a lovely little condo directly across the street from the ocean in Cannon Beach…SOLD! I packed a weekend’s worth of clothes, adult colouring books, a good camera and off we went!

My sister ditched her usual road trip Glee soundtrack mix (forever grateful heh heh) and agreed to listen to my Serial Podcast suggestion (which I highly recommend), but not before making me sit through Jenny McCarthy’s talk show on satellite radio – but if I’m being honest, I didn’t hate it. Couple of pit stops and some stale whopper chocolates later(they barely made it out of Walmart before I was seeking out the nearest trash can) and we were nearing Astoria. Considering I am a HUGE Goonies fan this excited me greatly, because for those that don’t know, Astoria is the birthplace of The Goonies. We were only passing through but managed to scope out some areas where the movie was filmed, including the iconic house – though from afar. Understandably, the owner doesn’t appreciate trespassing fans so if you’re interested in checking it out, it has to be from a distance!

We of course opted to take the scenic route from there and I’m sure glad we did because if we hadn’t, we never would have encountered the porcupine along the side of the highway – yes, my sister and I are an excitable pair and there was no chance we weren’t going to seize this opportunity and risk getting quilled for a couple photos. So we made a sharp u-turn, parked just close enough and treaded lightly to get a photo, which was also from afar – porcupines don’t appreciate trespassing in their territory either and we respect that. The scenic route tacked on more time to our drive but we didn’t mind, it was nice to be unplugged and not feel like we needed to rush. Life is busy enough, to be able to take our time and enjoy the drive was so necessary.

When we finally reached Oregon and I saw the ocean that I so vividly remembered from a trip I took with my parents over 15 years ago, I was overwhelmed with emotion because I just knew this was exactly where I needed to be, I needed this trip. Of course having one of my sisters by my side made it that much more meaningful. Oregon was like a dream..it was so surreal and even my camera couldn’t capture it’s true beauty – though I tried my hardest! My sister and I explored each day to the fullest getting our boots wet in the ocean, carving images in the sand with sticks that had washed up on the shore, eating glorious food and getting bitten by the same little a-hole dachshund (though he be but little, he was fierce – we had the puncture wounds and bruises to prove it!!). We spent the evenings colouring like the true adult children we are, watched Pete’s Dragon and ate some of the best pizza we’ve ever had. Oregon, you were good to me, and I can’t wait for the day that I can return! It was truly a trip for the books, or for a blog in my case 🙂

-Amy

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Personality Test?

Holy smokes! So I recently took a personality test…and no, this is not like one of the basic quizzes you find being shared on social media that tells you which celebrity you’re most similar to; this one is the real deal. A friend of mine recommended I take it and I was a skeptic because I thought that it would be a basic answer a, b or c type of quiz which seems all too simple, but truly he wouldn’t recommend something that predictable so I gave it a shot! Well let me tell ya…when my results loaded and I read through it, I was sitting here on my couch with my jaw dropped…it is SO bang on that it was as if the creator of this personality test was inside my brain the entire time..alright so I have a tendency to be a little dramatic…but take a look for yourself and try it out! I think you’ll be in awe as I was…and if not then it only takes about 5 minutes of your time to do, so why not at the very least try it out of curiosity! One thing to keep in mind if you do give this a try is to be completely honest with yourself when answering each question, even if the right answer isn’t one that you’re proud of.

https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test

My result as I said didn’t come as a surprise to me, but it is shocking how accurate it was. I am an Advocate INFJ (Introversion Intuition Feeling Judging), which falls under the Diplomats category. They describe Advocate as quiet and mystical, yet very inspiring and tireless idealists. That alone fit me pretty well, but as I read on there were many more points mentioned that resonated with me. What I find interesting about these tests is that sometimes you discover something new about yourself that you maybe didn’t know before or just couldn’t make sense of until seeing it put into words. I’ve always considered myself an introverted extrovert…happy to be in a social setting but also more than happy to recharge by being by myself reading a book, or netflix and chillin with a glass of wine on a Friday night…it’s all simply dependant on my mood! I didn’t look any further past that and just figured that’s all there was to it..this test truly broke it all down and explained so much.

There might always be room for improvement but at the same time your normal might not be the same as someone else’s and that’s ok, because it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. I guess it all comes down to owning who you are..we all have faults but each of us also have strengths, why not embrace them and use them to your advantage! Afterall, being different from each other is what makes life interesting 🙂

-Amy

“You know how every once in a while you do something and the little voice inside says, ‘There. That’s it. That’s why you’re here.’
…and you get a warm glow in your heart because you know it’s true? Do more of that.”

– Jacob Nordby

Collecting All The Moments!

Well, I have been hopeful that 2017 would bring new experiences and it sure hasn’t disappointed so far! Today I ventured into Seattle for a Seahawks game along with my sister and brother-in-law(big thanks again for the ticket! 😄🙌🏼). As this was my first Seahawks game, I was told by my brother-in-law that I’d likely be deaf by the end of it and he wasn’t lying… Seahawks fans are unlike any I’ve ever come across. The volume of the crowd cheering is SO loud that it actually causes seismic activity in the stadium – crazy!! It’s pretty amazing to be in a venue like that and experience that kind of literal edge of your seat excitement.

Today’s experience brought something to mind for me…it’s so important in my opinion to collect moments and not things. How often are we spending money…sooo much money on material items that give such a temporary feeling of happiness until we must move onto the next item that can curb our need for more. I know I’m guilty of this sometimes..and we probably all are to a degree – we’re only human after all. And sure football tickets aren’t free, but for an evening such as this, I think in this case it’s worth every penny because you’re getting an unforgettable experience out of it.

So now as I sit in the backseat of my sister’s truck with ringing ears and rosy windburned cheeks, I realize that having moments like I had today that will leave lasting memories, being with my family, and having a freakin blast at an amazing sporting event is pretty unbeatable. 😊

-Amy