Our gift to the girls

Thank you everyone for the wonderful birthday messages for the twins!.
The girls had their birthday. It was marvelous!
They ate way to much junk food for a child and loved all the attention.
They were very full of life this weekend and though they didn’t seem to grasp it was their birthday, they did seem to grasp it was a special weekend.
They were spoiled with presents from family. Which you are allowed to be when you are turning one!

Court and I had a hard time trying to figure out what to get them. I mean, they have so many toys and so many clothes. they are still too young to really care for presents, but we didn’t want to not get them anything.
We finally decided on getting a local artist , Kate Rykman, to create a piece of art for them. It incorporated their favorite things (colors chloe: pink and Charlotte: yellow and toys Chloe: her stuffed bear-bear and Charlotte: her stuffed duckie) as well as a poem for each of them that I wrote. Kate did a fantastic job! Her work is exceptional! I though about hanging the picture in the girls room but they are so fantastic, I want everyone to see them so they are in the hallway. The pictures are mementos that we will treasure forever, and though the girls could care less about them right now, I know they will cherish them in the future. (I will post pictures of them but I can’t find my camera. I can’t seem to find it. I used it alot this weekend!)

Well I woke up little later then usual and don’t have much more time to write. I hear baby cries and giggles 🙂

Hope you all have a wonderful day!

Much Love,

Jessica

Happy Birthday Chloe and Charlotte!

Today is my sweet little girls 1st birthday.

Chloe and Charlotte are one year old today. I still can’t believe it! My little ladies are growing up right before my eyes.

Last year at this time I was lying in a hospital bed, waiting to be brought to the O.R. I was reading “Can you keep a secret?” and letting Court sleep on the chair beside me. This was all in a attempt to try to keep my mind off the anticipation of seeing my babies for the first time and worry about what my life was going to be like in just a few hours. The months of preparation while I was pregnant could not have prepared me for this last year.

This last year was life-altering. Truly life-changing.  Chloe and Charlotte emerged into this world turned everything upside down. We immediately knew that they were special. They were special to us. They completed us.
I am not going to lie and say that transitioning into a new family was not hard, because all dramatic change is hard. It was tough. The first 6 months are a blur of diapers, bottles and exhaustion. I mourned the loss of of old life and my total sense of selfish freedom. The dynamic between Court and I had changed. We were parents.We had to work as a full powering team. It was difficult to do that. My old style of dealing with him was to yell at him, tell him I was right and leave to cool down. Not a good communication method when you have two babies you both are responsible for.

Nothing was the same once I met Chloe and Charlotte, because once they were in my life, they were my life. They were my reason for existence.

I had let my old selfish being melt away to make room for the new ‘mommy’ being. I realized that this is where I am suppose to be. The dynamics in my relationships and life had changed but I couldn’t imagine going back to the way they were before.

My reason for existence, my precious girls, have changed everything for me. A year ago they came to be, and brought with them intensity to emotions that I had never felt before.

I will never forget the joy I felt the first time I held them, so small and delicate.
Or the fear and adrenaline that over came me when Chloe choked on her bottle for the first time. Nothing had ever scared me so much as the though of her not being able to breath.
Or the confidence as a mom I felt when I realized that I could cuddle both of them at the same time.
Or the happiness when they said “mama” for the first time
Or the love I feel when I see Court playing with our girls and the look of unconditional love that they have for him, and knowing they have the same look for me.
Or the pure joy I feel everyday when they smile at me.
Or the pride I feel when they learn a new skill. How the look over at me with their beautiful big blue eyes and a huge smile. It is like they are saying “I did it! Look at me mommy, I did it!”

Chloe and Charlotte are the reason I want to be a better person. They make me believe that I can be. For two wee little things, they are very powerful.

They are two very special girls. They have filled this year with amazing memories, and I can’t wait to make more special memories with them.

Happy Birthday Chloe and Charlotte.

I love you forever,
I’ll like you for always
as long as I am living
my babies you’ll be!

-Robert Munsch

Much love,

Jessica

We are beautiful (a post for all the women)

“When men go gray they look distinguished, when women go grey they just look old”

Yesterday I had a conversation with a women on this statement. She is in the process of letting her dyed hair grow out to it’s natural white, and it looks great.

I really believe that we all look older when we go grey, but isn’t that is the point? We are getting older. But when was it decided that only men are allowed to hold the title of ‘distinguished’ when they age and not women? Why, as we age, are we striving to look younger? Why is not normal to embrace your age and look beautiful there, the place in which you should be proud that you have come to?

This thought got me thinking of women and our expected appearance.
(I am going to apologize in advance, I am on a slight feminist rant this morning. Sometimes I think in a past life I was a Suffragette, or a feminist from the 1960’s. 🙂 

I am all for dying and styling your hair, wearing fancy clothes, waxing, and wearing makeup. That is one of the best parts of being a girl. We are able to use our bodies as a art display. Showing the world who we are and what we want in life. We have the power to create how we feel about ourselves. Making our faces and bodies appear the way we want is part of that journey. Looking ‘pretty’ can be an empowering thing.

I just don’t believe that everyone embraces that feeling of looking ‘pretty’ as an empowering quality. I fear that it has become a burden and an expectation for most women to wear makeup, to do their hair, to have no hair on their bodies, or to not look old. We try so hard most days to look perfect, that the failure in that goal can bring us crumbling down. We let bad hair day ruin our day, sometimes week. Some women feel vulnerable and naked with out makeup on and won’t even leave there house with out it.

Is that want we want for women?
Is that what we want to teach to our girls?

We need to embrace our true being. Take care of your body. Take care of your spirit. We need to let go of these obsessions on what we have decided beauty is. Embrace the feeling of taking care of yourself, allowing yourself to indulge in beauty, and making it fun and uplifting. We need less obligation and less judgments to our women.

We are all beautiful. All of us. We encompass beauty in our existence. That is part of our awesome qualities as Women. We are grace, love, tenderness and beauty.

That sounds like such a cliche, but it is true. Being a good person, being kind and loving, being true and honest to yourself, these qualities project beauty.

Have you ever met someone who doesn’t look ‘conventionally beautiful’ but as you indulge in conversation with them they start to appear more and more enchanting to you? 
this speaks true to the fact that our presence and our attitude speaks much more loudly then our outer appearance.

I want my girls to grow up knowing that they are beautiful. I want them to know that they are beauty to the core, that their true being is beautiful, not just their outer appearance. Being honest to themselves is what makes them beautiful.
I know that they will learn this from me. It is very important to me that they feel empowered as women. But it would be much easier if the rest of the world followed suit. It would be less of an up hill battle to teach all of our precious children that they are the beauty that the world exists to. They define what is beauty, and if we let the strict parameters of beauty disappear, the wouldn’t we all feel a little more free?
Beauty exists in everyone.

I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Much love,

Jessica

A blip in my joyful day.

To start, I want to thank everyone who seemed genuinely concerned about my mental space/bad day on Tuesday. Thank you!
It such an amazing feeling to realize that there are so many people who love you and want to help you through your bad days. I truly feel blessed to have the friends and family I have.

I also come bearing good news. Yesterday was a great day. I felt so much better. I got a great sleep, woke up to a super happy husband (Court is about to start a new job that he has waited for a while and I think the idea of the change is making him extremely happy), had time to blog and get ready for the morning. It started of fantastic. Once the girls got up, we were able to have a calm enough breakfast and then head out. We went for a long walk and then headed up to the early years center playgroup. It was so nice. The girls got fresh air and got to play with new toys and other children. They loved it. I also got some much needed fresh air, watched my children have a ball and got to interact with some pretty cool parents at the playgroup. The morning was fantastic.

Since playgroup tuckered the ladies out, their nap was an epic 3 hours. It gave me lots of time to cross of some tasks from my to do list, do a yoga blog post and even downloaded some beautiful music.  It was nice. I even got to go for a nice long walk with a great friend in the evening. The day was shaping up to be a day that fills me with joy.

I did however have one slip up. I was kind of thinking about leaving it out since the rest of the day was a perfect day for the ‘happiness project’ but that would not be cool. I need to honest!

So here it is, my blip:

Once Court gets home, it is always nice. The babies are excited. He is excited. They play for a while, it is great! This usually gives me like 20 minutes to get organized and ready for the chaos of the night. I need to use that time wisely to feel organized to deal with my little ladies at there worst time of their day.

I however decided to watch ‘Oprah’ instead. I really was setting myself up for disaster.

She was having a special on happiness. I was to excited to see it!

So for whatever reason, I decided that because I wanted to watch Oprah right then, that my children would be calm and quiet and dinner would magically get ready on its own. I can tell you that plan was a epic failure. The ladies were chaotic, they were over excited daddy was home and getting hungry. Court was trying so hard to keep them calm as he could see I really wanted to see this special, but it wasn’t really working. I got internally frustrated and paused/taped the show for after dinner.

“OK”  I said to myself as I got dinner ready  “You handled that well. You didn’t project an angry or frustrated attitude on to your family. good on you!”

Well I felt good, I didn’t get to angry at Court for not doing a better job at ‘containing’ the babies, which I know that really nobody could have done. I didn’t get to frustrated at the fact that I had two extra demanding girls that day. I just dealt with it. This was a step in the right direction.

We had dinner, went up for bath time and came back down for a little bit of play before bed. The little ladies were much happier and were playing independently on the floor, so I decided to finally watch Oprah.

Well I started to watch it, and Court kept trying to talk to me. He kept wanting to show me stuff on the Internet. I got mad at him. I wanted to be left alone to watch my show. I know it is awful. I acted like a terrible wife and friend. He just wanted to engage with me after a long day and I got frustrated with him. Then to make it even worse, the PVR messed up and didn’t tape the end of the show. I got very mad and took it out on him. I acted like it was his fault. It was immature behaviour. It was an awful 10 minutes of the night.

Luckily, he was in a great mood last night so he just brushed off my behaviour as a ‘blip’ in the day and didn’t seem to take any of it personally. I am glad for that.

It didn’t take long for me become ‘me’ again. I think Court noticed how bad I felt for my momentary craziness and he put on “Just the way you are” by Bruno Mars (we sing that to the girls, it is a really cute song, the girls giggle every time) and we danced around with the babies. (I am sure Courts masculinity would not appreciate me telling you that he danced and sang to Bruno Mars, but I think this is an important part of the story. )

I felt better. It was a surprise to me to see my family happy to want to be around me after I acted the a Class A grump! I guess that is the true meaning unconditional love.

Now the irony of this story is that the special was on Happiness. I created so much drama for a special on HAPPINESS.

I made me think that maybe we spend so much time reading and trying to understand things like happiness, that we forget to notice the moments that make us happy. If I wasn’t so concerned with the Oprah special, I would have noticed  more moments of simple pure joy in my own home last night. Simple moments in the night with my family that would have made me much happier, definitely happier then  then seeing Oprah talk about who is the happiest city in America.

So today, if a moment arises that I am getting frustrated about not being able to get something done, I am going to remember that the moments around me are much better and fulfilling then the task I need/want to get done.

I hope you hall have a fulfilling day!

Much Love,

Jessica

Sleep, my beloved!

Yesterday was a bad day.

I tried to think of a way to start this blog without being to negative, but I just couldn’t.

The day started off OK, a normal day but it slowly went downhill. It wasn’t a catastrophic events that sets the day into a downward spiral (like the babies are sick or the car breaks down) the day just slowly disintegrated to dust, a big pile of crappy dust.

In hindsight, a couple factors played into the demise of my day. First being the fact that the babies and I have been mostly house bound for the last week and a half. Courtney is now back at work, so he takes the car (we are a one car family). This means the babies and I are footing it if we want to go anywhere. I actually don’t mind this. My children are outdoor babies so walks are amazing for all of us, but it is just not good mothering to takes them out for a walk in -30 degree weather. Their poor little faces would freeze, no matter how much I bundled them up. We have tried our best to keep each day exciting  but yesterday I was just exhausted of trying. All I wanted to do was not talk to anyone and curl up in my bed. We all have those days right? Where the mere though of trying to converse with someone just seem to exhausting to tackle. Well I discovered yesterday that you are not allowed to indulge in that feeling when you have children. They want you to talk to them, sing to them and read to them even if you are too tired to do so.
And the babies were not to happy either. They were crawling around the house like little lost puppies. Going from one thing to the next. It was like they wanted something specific and just couldn’t find it. They could not be pleased.
 All three of us were inflicted with cabin fever and not afraid to show it.

And secondly I have been lacking on taking care of my body. I have been quite caught up in the mental aspects of my life, that I have put my physical well being on the back burner. I have been OK (could be better) with trying to eat more naturally. I am still active in my yoga practice but with out our daily walks or my cardio workouts (which I have been kinda skimping on since I had that flu) my activity level could be better. But the main component that I have been neglectful to in my sleep.

I am going to bed way to late for the time I wake up at. Most nights I work on the computer for a bit, hangout with court, then watch some TV. Usually after I am done watching TV, I have pushed my body way to far past exhaustion that it takes everything out of me to climb the stairs to bed. Most night I just fall into bed, without even washing my face and brushing my teeth (I know it is gross!).
Well that has to stop.
It makes me feel like crap, I don’t sleep soundly when I let myself get that tired. When I don’t sleep as soundly I am much more tired the next day and there for elicit even more ‘bad’ behaviours (overeating, grumpiness, whinyness etc.)

I am glad I acknowledged this as a negative trait of mine and decided to change it.

I had to work yesterday and was drained at work. I decided to come straight home (sorry Linds, I missed your class 😦 ) and eat some dinner with Courtney, and head up stairs to begin my ‘bedtime routine’.
As adults we can really takes some ques from babies. I know my babies sleep so much better when we are consistent with their bedtime routine (dinner, play, bath, massage, story, and bed.)

So I changed me clothes, washed my face, brushed my teeth, used my awesome lavendar lotion, and was going to read for a bit but by the time I finished I was actually falling asleep.
It made a huge difference. I fell asleep quickly and it was a deeper sleep. Today I feel awesome. Much more rested.
I feel ready to conquer my day with energy!
I even checked the weather network and it looks like today might be a nice day. Much more bearable temperatures. It is quite possible that we will get outside today.

I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Much Love,

Jessica

My love for yoga.

I love yoga. I love the physical asanas and mostly I love the spiritual connection is allows me to feel.

I have started teaching again (I took a long break when I was pregnant and recovering from my c-section), but I have started teaching again. Lindsay and I have actually started up a yoga studio together, Namaste Yoga Studio. It is doing well! I am so excited. It is getting busier, slowly but surely!
You should come check out a class, the first one is always free of charge!

It is so exciting to build that part of my life up again. I didn’t realize how much I missed teaching till I started back up again.

I teach on Monday nights. It’s a goodnight class. It is a mixed class of hatha and yin poses with a focus on meditation, philosophy discussion and relaxation. It a great way to wind down a Monday night. I love teaching the goodnight class. I allows me to not only help people relax, which is really my ‘bread and butter’ but it also allows for discussion on topics that usually I don’t get to talk about much (except on this blog 🙂

Last night the theme of our class was ‘surrender’.
Surrendering your ego to a greater good. Let your ego give way to the divine ego- of grace, peace, unconditional love, clarity and freedom. Find the Divinity in every moment.  Embrace and discover your own intimate connection to the universe.

“Through surrender the aspirants ego is effaced and grace pours down him like torrential rains” 
B.K Iyengar

I enjoy this concept. But what does it mean?

When reading and incorporating yogic concepts into our western lives, it can be hard to determine how to do this.
How can we find divinity in every moment, when it all moves so fast? 
Can we really find divinity in our lives?
How can grace pour down on us?

I find when I am reading articles and quotes on yogic traditions and concepts I tend to think “Well that is awesome, I wish I could feel that way, but I don’t know where to start. Maybe if I lived on a Ashram in India that would be easier to incorporate in to my life.” But I have come to realize I am thinking about it all wrong.

True, these concepts were established in Eastern philosophies and don’t always fit right in with our western society, but the idea is what we want. It is like any spiritual practice, the literal explanation or description may not fit to your life exactly but the idea and belief behind is what we want to embrace.

 Take ‘Surrendar’ for example,
Through surrender the aspirants ego is effaced and grace pours down him like torrential rains”
is daunting concept.

but allow yourself to look at differently.
This is what it means to me:

As you let your self ‘chill out’ and let the world around you move it’s own pace happiness and love is follow. If you have trust in the universe, good things will come. Enjoy the beauty in all things. Surrender your control.

It seems easier to understand when I break it down to ‘how it makes me feel’. When it is easier to understand, it is easier to incorporate into my life.

Try doing this. To what ever spiritual venue to take in your life. When the concepts seem above what you can do, break it down to how it makes you feel.
I promise you, it will be much easier to incorporate the idea into your life.

I hope you all have a wonderful day.

Much Love,

Jessica

Truths

My happiness project is moving along quite smoothly. I am shocked at how open I have been to changing my attitude. I though there would be more of an inner battle about the change, but not so much.
Even with the few slip ups each day (the nag her and there, the bout of yelling, the whining, gossiping etc. ) I still feel like I am making progress. The major difference now is that most of the time I feel like I am happier and acting that way, and when I do relapse a little, I recognize the behaviour much sooner. It is nice to see the change. Also I am much more connected to the reaction of my loved ones, and by the behaviour of those close to me, they seem to enjoy the change in me as well.
One thing that I haven’t really done yet is declare me ‘life truths’ .

I did set up a list of things would contribute to my happiness in an earlier post, but I have not fully declared my truths to follow to create sustainable happiness. I am going to take this opportunity declare my new truths.

Jessica’s truths:

  1. be kind
  2. Show love
  3. act to feel (act how I want to feel)
  4. be true (to myself)
  5. indulge more (on my hobbies/passion)
  6. judge less
  7. meditate often
  8. stay mindful
  9. be natural
  10. create the change
  11. be involved (as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, and friend)

 These are my truths. The shape who I am but unfortunately I have lost my way to my truths over the last few years.

But I am here now. Ready to reconnect.

Truths
by: Jess

we drift
we fly
we fall
we cry
We lose our way
our drifting souls
through
the deep unknown
how?
why?
rejoin the life
to its soul
to find our truth
and free our hearts

I wish you all a marvellous day.

Much Love,

Jessica