Real happiness…

be more with less

be more with less


Dear Beautiful Daughters

Dear Beautiful Daughters

Dear my Beautiful Daughters,

When Kyla had just turned 4 and Kailey was 19 months, Mommy was told some very unfortunate news.  You both were too young to fully understand how significant this was for our family, but one day we will share with you how much love and support we received and how this changed our lives forever.

 The Story

In 2005, I received chemotherapy and radiation for a type of cancer called Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.   Unfortunately, on August 13, 2013, 7 ½ years after finishing my treatment, I was told that my cancer had relapsed.  That day I was at work caring for other cancer patients finding it hard to look into their faces and support them dreading the news that I feared was coming.  At 4:15 pm, I was paged by my Hematologist, and at that moment my life shattered.  In a split second, I went from being a…

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I feel like in the last 1 week …or 2 or 3 weeks. I have taken a hiatus from all of the “extras” in my life. I have halted all projects …lefthalf-finished DIY projects sitting around waiting to be tackled…stopped responding to my personal e-mails…and stopped writing. One of my upcoming projects is to tidy up our master bedroom (and this includes a writing desk as a night stand – a place for me)!

I think the picture of my beloved eleven month old twins sums up the reason for my hiatus from all things extra.  They travel together sometimes but quite often they are headed in different directions only to meet up at the play place of their big brother.  They giggle with delight while chasing one another or playing in the kitchen curtains.  It is chaos.  They literally suck the energy right out of you.  As my husband said to me yesterday “at least they make us live each day to the fullest from 6 am on”.

The baby gates are fully in use as both twins can climb the stairs with EASE.  They are quick too.  Look away for a minute and you can bet your bottom that they will be half way up those stairs.  If I want to come downstairs (and all the kids are upstairs). I have to ask Isaac to hurry down the stairs and then pick up one baby and quickly shut the gate to block the “other one” from falling down the stairs. *SIGH*!

I look forward to taking some time in the near future to write, to think of something other than the dishes and finish some of those outstanding projects!

Maybe tomorrow…but for now I am going to bed!

Thanks for visiting.


Kitchen Fireplace – Part One –

Ever wish you had a fireplace in the kitchen? I do.

I would love a fireplace in every room of my home.

To me, a fireplace is a sign of comfort, family and home. It reminds me of happy days in my childhood arriving home in a snow storm and having my mom and dad together with a roaring fire all ready for us to sit beside. I guess you could say it is nostalgic for me.  So…

While shopping at our local thrift shop…I spotted in the corner a basic, white fireplace mantel. I ran over…ripped the sticker off the mantel…and rushed to the cash register. I purchased the mantel for $40.  I had no idea where I was going to place this mantel but you have to act first and think later (sometimes).  I had to make arrangements to leave the mantel at the store because I had walked there & could not possibly have carried it home with the triple stroller.

Some inspiration photos below…

faux fireplace

A faux fireplace transformation

The “bare” mantel placed in our kitchen…

I will have to move the mirror now because the scale is off. I am already planning a sunburst mirror that I would like to make to hang over the fireplace. I am ahead of myself. Step 1: design the fireplace!  Any suggestions on how to make this the mantel of my dreams?

Stay Tuned for the finished product!

Thanks for visiting.


“There are two”…2 what? 2 babies? Are you talking about me? “Yes, you are having TWINS”

December 24, 2010 – The day that changed my life, our lives, the dream of what I thought tomorrow would be.

“Yes, you are having TWINS”. Time slowed down. I could not hear. I could not think. So what did I do? I laughed. Not a quiet, gentle laugh. But a hysterical, gut-wrenching, cheek hurting laugh on the ultrasound table in a doctor’s office. I was alone.

The ultrasound tech said “Is there anyone here with you?”.

I said “Yes, my husband”.

She said ” Ok I will get him so you can tell him”.

I said “No way. You can tell him”. How do you tell your husband something like that? I could not hear anything or feel my body. I was beside myself.  I must admit it was not all happy thoughts in the first 5 minutes (or maybe even first few days). What would we do? How could we afford two more children? Where would they sleep? How big would my belly be? What would I be like after I gave birth? My body? Then the fear started to creep in…will they be okay? How do I keep them healthy? Oh my god. The pressure of it all….

Back to the doctor’s office. Andrew walks in. I can hardly look at him. He is not expecting anything. He looks so …unaware of the bombshell that just hit me.  I wish I could prepare him. My body is still shaking and I think I may be smiling.

The ultrasound tech says “here are the heartbeats”. Andrew looks at me. He looks at her.

I said “there are two babies”.

He said. Nothing. He walked over to a chair in the corner and sat down. He still said nothing. Andrew say something?! He said “How did this happen? What are we going to do?!”. My thoughts exactly!

As we leave the room we take our picture of our two, little babies. My hands are still shaking. I think I am still laughing as I walk into the waiting room.  Then the receptionist said we have to book your next ultrasound APPOINTMENTS since you have a high-risk pregnancy. This is the moment where I realize. I have no idea what I am in for…I am so oblivious at this point to what I am facing.  It is laughable (good thing I am still laughing).

The date is December 24, 2010. The day that will forever be emblazoned in my mind.  Both families were to arrive at our house the next morning to celebrate Christmas. We couldn’t possibly hide this news.

We did not speak as we made the short drive home from the office. We did not know what to say. We prepared lunch for our little baby Isaac (What will this be like for him? I was planning on spending my next mat leave with him? Will I have time to spend with him?). Ok mind. STOP TALKING. Have you ever had to tell yourself to be QUIET?

Our parents, our siblings all did not believe us at first. This must be a joke. No it is not April Fool’s Day. It is Christmas. Look at our faces! We are NOT making this up. We could not have even dreamed this one?

It is our reality now. We immediately start worrying…Andrew about renovating our kitchen to make space for our new children. And I, I worried about keeping them safe. I worried about my health. I just worried for the next 9 months.

The thing about news like this…once you know you have 2 babies. You want 2 babies. I instantly loved them. I would have done anything to make sure Baby A and Baby B were okay.

The next 9 months….STAY TUNED….


Grocery Challenge


I created a challenge for myself.  Do not grocery shop for 2 weeks (1 cheat allowed – fresh fruit).

In a previous post, I wrote about our new membership to a farm share.  We have been enjoying our delivered meat, vegetables and eggs on a bi-weekly basis.  However there is still a need for grocery shopping.  I have also shared a couple of my experiences shopping with my children (I love shopping. I love my children. Shopping + Children = not my favourite)!

My challenge was to grocery shop for 2 weeks worth of food. Our typical pattern is to shop once per week. I make a meal plan and loosely stick to it.  But 2 weeks? Could I do it? From the beginning of the challenge I decided that at the end of the first week I could go to No Frills for 2 items: bananas and apples. We eat tons of them with little kids!

April 13 – Grocery Trip for 2 weeks worth of groceries = $126

April 20 – Grocery Trip (Bananas and Apples) $5.98! Woot Woot!

April 27 – We are allowed to grocery shop again. TODAY! Phew. The fridge is looking bare and we are out of milk and cheese. Isaac resorted to having rice milk in his cereal this morning.  We all have to make sacrifices!

The result:  

Successful. We had plenty of food to eat, entertained a few visitors and still have food leftover in the fridge. I am going to try it again. I felt liberated last week when I knew that I did not have to make a big, grocery trip.  Granted the farm share delivery helped us achieve this goal when fresh eggs and veggies were delivered ($18 (veg) + 2 dozen eggs ($9) should be added to the total).

Thanks for visiting.


ps. The babies are eating lots of solids now. They are starting to eat finger foods like bread (GF for Max), little pieces of banana and even had French Toast today!  We may have to increase the food budget to accommodate a family of FIVE eaters now.

Don’t Forget to Stop and Smell the Roses…Oh wait…I can’t!

I have no sense of smell.

Really, I have no sense of smell. If you have ever asked me to smell something and I answered you …I lied when I answered you! I am sorry.  It is sometimes easier to pretend that I can smell then to answer the usual questions that follow…

Have you ever had a sense of smell? Not that I can remember.

Can you taste? Not like you.

Can you smell flowers? No. I cannot smell.

Can you smell cookies? No. I cannot smell.

Can you smell bad smells? No. Seriously I cannot smell. There are perks.  I cannot smell dirty diapers.

Do you miss your sense of smell? Yes. I am curious to know what it is like to smell cookies baking, freshly bathed children and so on. I am envious of those who have such fond smell-related memories such as, the smell of a person or a place.

When did you realize? When I was a teenager, I told my parents that I could not smell. They took awhile to actually believe me!  They eventually took me to a specialist who determined that I do, in fact, have nerve damage.  It cannot be fixed. Darn!

While researching I found this part particularly interesting “Often people who have congenital anosmia report that they pretended to be able to smell as children because they thought that smelling was something that older/mature people could do, or did not understand the concept of smelling but did not want to appear different from others. When children get older, they often realize and report to their parents that they do not actually possess a sense of smell, often to the surprise of their parents (”.  I distinctly remember trying to pretend that I could smell as a child. I really had no idea what people where talking about! ha!

No sense of smell? Is that even possible??? Anosmia (pronounced /ænˈɒzmiə/) is a lack of functioning olfaction, or in other words, an inability to perceive odors (

How many people have Anosmia?

The true incidence of anosmia is difficult to determine, although the National Institutes of Health have estimated that more than 2 million persons in the United States have a smell dysfunction.
– Ear, Nose and Throat Journal December 1, 2001

Aside from the inconvenience of it (having to visually check for dirty diapers) (not being able to detect what is for dinner until I actually see it…not such a problem anymore since I usually am cooking dinner)! 😛

There is a dangerous side to Anosmia in my inability to detect things like gas leaks (the irony is not lost on me considering my place of employment), spoiled foods and fire.  It is important to take extra precautions.  I am always leery of foods that I am not sure how long they have been in the fridge.

I think my mom is the one person who is most in denial or disbelief about my “disability”.  She is constantly asking me to smell this or that. To which I exclaim “MOM I CAN’T SMELL”!!! I don’t blame her. She means no offence. But it would be like asking a person who is blind to look over there! Not possible.

Dear Mom: There is even an Anosmia Foundation (

I often compare my lack of smell to someone who is blind. I am blind to warning signs or precursors to events.  Our toaster has recently been malfunctioning.  I NEVER catch it because I cannot smell the burning toast. It comes out charred, black (as a side note: it is extremely frustrating when it is my LAST piece of GF bread). I almost cry.

All in all..I live a full life without my sense of smell.  It has been a missing piece of me for as long as I can remember.  I do wish that I could smell my kids, my husband (although sometimes I am glad that I can’t JK! love you! and my favourite foods.  But I am thankful for the senses that I do have. I am lucky.

Moral of the story…next time you take in a big whiff of your favourite food…be thankful for your sense of smell. Don’t take it for granted!!

Thanks for visiting & letting me share.