Monday, December 30, 2013

52 Lists - Week 1 (again): Words That Touch My Soul

Last year I had planned to start doing weekly lists that I'd found on THIS website. I really loved the concept and her ideas for lists were great. Well, like many of my projects, I never stuck with it, but I still really love the idea. So we're giving it another go for this year. I make no promises though! Ha!

A lot changes over a single year and I'm curious to know if this list will change. I haven't looked at last years list, but I will link to it at the end and it will be interesting to see if and how it changes.

Here we go, a list of words that touch my soul:





















My old list is HERE and it's interesting to see which words have changed and which have remained constant over the past year.

What words touch your soul?

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Something Old, Something New...And Something Habit-Forming!

I wanted to spend a little time reflecting on the last year, but not too much. A lot changed and I said goodbye to a period in our lives that I'm very happy to be putting behind us. This year has been about moving forward, growth and change for me and I don't want to spend much time looking back.

But there have been some great times that deserve to be remembered and cherished. Damien turned 6 and started Grade 1, Julia turned 5 and started Kindergarten. They're both doing amazing and we've been so blessed by their new school. Their old school wasn't bad, but I feel as though their new school is just a cut above, you know? I've certainly been impressed.

We spent time together as a family, taking trips to the petting zoo, parades and parks, not to mention BBQ's at Grandma's with friends and family. We have much to be grateful for.

But the single thing that stands out most this year is my mother-in-law opening her house to our family and letting us move in when we couldn't stay in our rental. While it was difficult for all involved, it's been a blessing. The kids have more space and freedom and we are able to start fresh. We'll be moving into our own place this spring and Nathan will be starting a new career. This is why we look forward and not back. The old place was depressing and small. We had some dark times there. I experienced bouts of depression and sadness, our marriage suffered. Was it all doom and gloom? Of course not. But as the children grew older and our tiny 1 bedroom house grew more and more cramped and small, we knew something had to change. I don't think it's a coincidence that when we left it behind, our marriage suddenly became the best it's been in years. I don't think it's a coincidence that I've never been happier, even though we're probably in the "worst" place we've been (in terms of finances. You know, with the whole "homeless", living with mom thing). I honestly feel so blessed to have this opportunity to start fresh. I feel like this is a time of rest and recovery, a time to rebuild our spirits and our relationships before we start out on the next phase of our lives. Does that sound weird? Maybe it is, but I don't mind. It's just how it is.

I spend a lot of time looking forward, dreaming and hoping. But things don't just happen. Well, sometimes they do, but not often. People get lucky because they are prepared for opportunity when it comes calling. You have to put work and effort in if you want things to go your way. So, I'm going to be developing a new habit every month. Basically, habits take about four weeks to develop. If you do one thing consistently for a month, you're well on your way to making that thing a life-long habit. So for each month of the year, choose one thing, just one, that you want to focus on. It's so much easier to change one thing at a time and build on them little by little than to try and change your entire life at once. One step at a time and by the end of the year, you'll have 12 brand new habits. That's twelve areas of your life transformed. If you think about your New Year's Resolutions, you probably don't even have a list of 12 things you want to change, but even if you do, doesn't it seem daunting? Most people give up on those lists by mid January. I know I do!

So I'm going to take it one step at a time, one month at a time, one habit at a time. I actually have a list of habits I want to work on and it was really hard to pick out the most important one, but I did. I've had a gym membership for a year, but I quit going a long time ago, even though we were locked in a contract. Talk about a waste of money! Just thinking about it gives me a headache. Not only that, but I had made some really good progress and then I quit. Now, I had a good reason at the time. My sciatica kicked into high gear and I was bed-ridden for over a week in agony. It took weeks to fully recover. There was definitely no way I was going to work out. Good excuse, right? Well, that was six months ago. Maybe even more! Ugh! That excuse dried up long ago. All I have left is laziness.

So this month my habit is this: Go to the gym 5 days a week. I've carved out some time in between Nate's classes and his job where the kids are in school and he's not using the car. I have no excuse! It's time to just get up and MOVE!

What about you? Will you start a new habit in January? Leave and comment and let me know!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Bittersweet December

I didn't really get many pictures from Thanksgiving (for some reason my camera doesn't take very good indoor candid shots) but we had a wonderful day. We ended up having our feast on Friday instead of Thursday so we spent Thursday relaxing and prepping some of the dishes we were going to have on Friday.

On Friday we enjoyed the fruits of our labor. The meal was great and it was so nice to spend time with family and friends. We played games till nearly midnight. I know it shouldn't take a special holiday to remind me of how blessed I am, but Thanksgiving just really emphasizes to me how much we truly have. I'm so grateful for my family, especially my husband and children, and our awesome friends.

One of my favorite days of the year isn't Thanksgiving though. It's right after. Not Black Friday (you'll never find me in a store on Black Friday, ha!) Just the fact that Thanksgiving is over makes me feel like it's finally ok to break out the Christmas music and decor. I force myself to wait, but now...freedom!

I love Christmas. It really is the most wonderful time of the year, at least for me. I've always loved it, but each year there's a little sadness mixed in with the joy. A little loneliness to remind me to cherish the days and the moments I have with those I love most. Fifteen years ago on December 4, my dad left us to be with God. My life completely changed. We had been writing a script for the children's Christmas play at my church together and then he was just gone. Christmas was spent without him for the very first time. A new year began for us, but not for him. My heart broke in a way that I don't think will ever really heal. Does it help to remind myself that he's with Jesus? Sometimes. It might be selfish, but I'd rather he was with me. I'd rather he was spending Christmas with his grandchildren.

So in between the gratitude of Thanksgiving and the joy of Christmas, I indulge in a little self-pity and sadness. Just for a moment, I yearn for something long gone, never to return. Because when I do, it makes the joy and gratitude just a little more poignant. I cling a little tighter to my husband and my children. I love a little bit harder. And I thank God for every moment I get with them, because the next could be the last.

My dad, Bill Stock, with my two brothers, Dave and Mark, about 1996 I think.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Girls Night In and Rag Wreaths

So I haven't written anything in FOREVER. But that's ok. I was busy. Busy making wreaths. Or something...

Two friends and I decided it would be fun to have a crafting night. Like many people, we have tons of craft ideas pinned to Pinterest, but haven't really gotten around to doing them. Well, last night was the night. We gathered our supplies, headed over to Nicole's house, ate pizza and crafted!

Our first project actually turned out really well. We made rag wreaths and I think we were all pleasantly surprised at how good they looked. You can find my pin to the original tutorial HERE, but I'm going to share our step by step as well.

You'll need:

A wreath form, any size
Several yards of fabric, depending on the size of your wreath form and the bulk of the fabric.
Ribbons, bows, flowers, etc, to embellish your wreath.

In preparation for the big night, I went to Joann's to pick out my fabric and wreath form. I knew I wanted my wreath to be Christmas-y, but I was a little daunted by all the different types and patterns of fabrics. I had picked out a nice green and a red/white polka dot fabric when I found the Christmas section. So I put those two back and picked an awesome Christmas plaid. However, when I got to the cutting station, the girl asked me what it was for. When I told her we were making rag wreaths, she said she'd made them before and I might have trouble with the knots holding because the fabric was so slippery. She suggested burlap, so off we went to look at the burlap. Ultimately, I decided on a pricey burlap with a silver sheen. I loved it but man, I definitely was not thrilled at the price ($12/yard). Luckily, I only needed 3/4 yard, but still...I was realllllly hoping this wreath turned out!

The first thing we did was cut our fabric into strips. With the burlap, the girl at Joann's suggested pulling out a string and then cutting along the empty space in order to prevent the burlap from fraying. After about 10 minutes and a few broken strings, I decided I really didn't care if it frayed and I was just going to cut it normally.

The tutorial suggested cutting it into 2 inch strips, but with how bulky the burlap was, there was just no way that was going to work, so I cut mine into 1 inch strips, and then I cut the strips into quarters. At this point, I began to realize the second downside of working with burlap, besides the price. It shed. A LOT. Not just frayed strings, but tiny particles that created a fine dust over the entire work surface. Burlap looks great and I'd use it again, but I would definitely be more prepared for the mess!

Nicole used a really nice off-white cotton fabric and Chrissy went with tulle and a green fabric.

Once all our strips were cut, it was time to start assembling the wreath. It's really easy, but time consuming. You basically tie all the strips onto the wreath form until the entire form is covered. Just fold the strip in half, loop it around one of the wires on the wreath form and pull the ends through the looped fabric. It's hard to explain, but easy to do.

If you're using one of those roller cutters, (which I highly recommend; they cut through even the burlap like butter!) be very careful. They're extremely sharp and I have the war wounds to prove it!

Part way done:

Nicole decided to add a pop of color to her wreath, but she didn't have the fabric on hand so she wasn't able to finish, but it's going to look amazing when she does! Chrissy isn't quite finished with hers either, but it's definitely coming together really nicely as well! I love the tulle!

Here is my finished product:

So after a great night of crafting, conversation and...consuming food...I got home. And then this happened...

I definitely recommend this project to anyone who wants something reasonably quick and easy. I think they look great and I'm definitely planning on making more. I really want to use the heart form like Chrissy did and maybe do some tulle with pink and red fabric for Valentine's Day. In the meantime, I'm already looking forward to our next crafting night. I'm probably going to be making a grapevine Christmas wreath and a calendar.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Edited: I've added the cost breakdown for the wreath for anyone interested.

Burlap: 1/2 yard @ 11.99/yrd @ Joann's
Cotton: 1/2 yard @ $2/yrd
Ribbon: 1/3 roll @ $1.49/roll @ Joann's
Pointsetta: $1.49 @ Joann's
Wreath Form: $1.49 @ Joann's

Total: $10.43

Saturday, August 10, 2013


I read an interesting article today about what Jesus meant when he said, "Judge not, lest ye be judged." It was written by Jimmy Akin from the National Catholic Register. You can read the entire article HERE.

The reason I found it interesting is because I used to belong to a forum for moms. You might think that sounds lovely and helpful, but it wasn't. If I based my opinion of women in general and mothers in particular on that single forum, I'd be convinced that women and mothers were the worst people on the planet. I found myself drawn to the drama, but it wasn't long before the negativity and hatred made me realize what a cesspool those forums were. One of the most common past-times on those forums was "judging" others. No matter what someone said, there was someone else right there to tell them how wrong, awful, evil or just plain stupid they were. I'm ashamed to admit that I was a member far longer than I should have been. Even if I didn't participate, even if I came to people's defense, I was still condoning it, standing by and watching it.

Another issue that brings the question of judgement to the front of my mind is gay marriage. It's a hot topic both in and out of the church, and it's one that I've drastically altered my opinion on over the last number of years. For a long time I believed that I should be against gay marriage because the Bible said homosexuality is wrong. At the same time, we're told by the world not to judge the sexual practices of others because if we do, that's hypocritical. After all, don't Christians sin too? Doesn't the Bible tell us not to judge? Doesn't it say "Let him who is without sin, cast the first stone?"

I think this article articulates very well what I've thought for a while now. I believe that many Christians, myself included, tend to look at issues from the wrong perspective. We look at the sin in others lives and we think it's our job to point it out and isolate the person based on the "degree" of their sin. Some things are ok to let go. We don't often hear about people being ostracized from the church for gossiping. Other things are more serious and we want to go to great lengths to inform these "sinners" just how evil they are, even to the point that we try to make their lives as difficult as we can.

And yet, does God differentiate between degrees of sinfulness? Am I not just as guilty and unworthy of redemption as anyone else? I don't think so. God commanded us to love each other. As this article states:

The right approach is to ask: Given that you will be judged for what you have done, what kind of judgement do you want? If we are in our right minds, we want a judgement done with mercy, compassion, and forgiveness. And that's the way Jesus wants us to treat others: He wants us to be merciful, compassionate, and forgiving to them."

I'm not the most patient or compassionate person in the world, but I think this life is hard enough as it is without us making it harder for each other. How can we show God's love and mercy when the conversation is about condemnation and judgement? God will judge. That's one thing we can be certain of. I only hope that when He comes to me, I have a little bit of love and mercy to show for my life.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


After a long hiatus (4 months), the nudging of friends has brought me back to my blog. Why did I stop posting? I don't really know. I got busy. I forgot. I couldn't keep the schedule I imposed upon myself. And then I felt guilty. I didn't want to be reminded of how I'd failed. Just another blog I couldn't keep up.

And then yesterday, two dear friends told me they missed my blog. And I realized that I did too! As I thought about why I had stopped and why I felt like I had failed, the only reason I could come up with was my own pride. This blog wasn't an obligation, or a job. It was an extension of my life, an outlet for my thoughts, a podium to display my children and family. There are no rules, no schedules, no failures. It's just a tool.

I wanted to emulate the great blogs I read. I wanted to be "successful." I wanted to be predictable and reliable, and when things didn't go my way, I gave up.

I can't say what my blog will be like. But I can say it will be about me and my life. Will there be daily posts? Probably not. But I hope there won't be any more four month gaps.

In other news, we're in the midst of moving. I've wanted to move out of this place so long that I can only feel excitement, even though the circumstances of our move aren't exactly ideal. We recently realized that we would have to make a choice between Nathan finishing school and being able to get through the coming months financially. It was no longer an option to do both. But Nate is only 2 semesters away from his degree. After everything we've gone through and worked towards, the thought of being unable to finish was heartbreaking.

With much trepidation, I called my mother in law. We need a place to stay for the next two school semesters. We can't afford our house anymore. We chose education over financial security. I was scared we were making the wrong decision. After all, I'd been called a fool for prioritizing education over short term financial stability. And maybe we are fools. I just knew that if my husband could finish his degree, then a year from now we'd be in a much better situation than if he quit school in order to provide for our immediate needs.

My mother in law, without hesitation, agreed to let us move in with her. Nate will be able to finish school and we'll be able to help her with childcare and around the house, as she is a single working mom. Even further, we'll be able to save money over the coming months so that when he's done school, we'll be able to move into a home that is bigger and better than the one we're currently living in.

In the end, I think we've made the best choice for our family and I'm excited. I know it will be difficult to have two families living together under one somewhat small roof, but we'll make it happen. My kids will have room to run around outside, they'll be able to play with their aunt whenever they want, they'll be going to the same school as her and they'll be able to form deeper bonds with their grandma and aunt.

So now I'm in the midst of packing and cleaning. Moving day is August 17! A lot of things are changing, but I think our lives are only going to get better!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Coming along...

The house that is! It's really coming along! I knows had said I would be back asking for opinions, but I all honesty I was REALLY overwhelmed with just having mine and Shawn's differing opinions! But we managed to pick out our flooring, backsplash and counter tops. I'm so glad we didn't have to pick everything!! I don't know how people do it. It is STRESSFUL! I am lucky that I liked what the builder had picked already so for the most part we are just going with that! Today Shawn and I went to take a peek and check out the progress! We now have countertops in the bathrooms and half of the kitchen, as well as the flooring in the bathrooms, kitchen, living room and dining room! It is starting to sort of look like a real house!

Pic 1: My favorite part of the whole house!
Pic 2: view from the master bedroom (which is the only room on the top floor)
Pic 3: better pic of the floor we picked. It is a bit darker in real life
Pic 4: my shower with 3 massaging back jets!
Pic 5: a picture of the granite we picked

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Our New House!

After renting a house in Saskatoon for the past 5 months we finally are going to move into our own house! This weekend we put an offer in on a house and our offer was accepted! So on May 25 we will be getting the keys to our (brand) new house!

Look for future blog posts where I will be asking for opinions! We were lucky enough that the flooring was not yet put in! The hardwood was there in boxes ready to be laid, but we asked the builder if we could pick our own flooring/countertops and he was willing to return the hardwood and Let us choose our own! So now comes the task of choosing colors for those as well as what kind of appliances we want.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Current and Future Goals and Dreams - 52 Lists Week 4

It's the fourth week of the 52 Lists in 52 Weeks series and I'm excited with the lists I've come up with so far. Have you considered writing your own lists? If you want to follow along this series, check out the original series at Moorea Seal and my past posts HERE. This weeks project is to list current and future goals and dreams. What a great way to start the week. Talk about motivation!

Current and Future Goals and Dreams

1. One of my biggest life-long dreams is to go back to school and earn my teaching degree. I would love the opportunity to teach music to young children.

2. My biggest current goal is to get my house fully spring-cleaned and organized. 

3. Save up enough money to move next year, after Nate graduates.

4. Work really hard to become healthy and strong.

5. Buy a piano so I can play again.

6. Join a band.

7. Join a choir!

8. Teach my children how to be loving and considerate people.

9. Paint my house. 

10. Organize my pictures and put them up on the walls.

11. Visit my hometown and my family, most of whom I haven't seen in almost a decade. 

12. Go on the honeymoon we never had. 

13. Renew my vows in a big, traditional wedding.

14. Let my husband know every day how important he is to me, how proud I am of him and how much I love him.

15. Let my children know that they can do anything they set their minds to and that they will always have my support and love.

16. Hike up to the top of Saddlerock.

17. Learn to play the guitar. 

18. Buy a dslr camera and learn all about photography and taking great shots.

19. Stick to my menu plan for a week.

20. Go a whole month without eating fast food or drinking soda. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Silly Saturday

Everyone respects the 5 second rule.

Source: Pinterest.

Friday, March 8, 2013


A lot of my inspiration comes from song lyrics. I often listen to music at night after the kids go to bed and, unfortunately for my husband, I do it with headphones on. Why unfortunately? Because I can't help but sing along and if you've ever heard someone sing along to a song you can't hear...well, I'm sure you know what I mean. It's not the funnest thing to listen to!

Moving on! Last night an old favorite came on that I hadn't heard in a while:

"Who I Am" - Casting Crowns

It sort of tied in to another song, of course an old one, that is one of my all time favorite hymns:

"How Deep The Father's Love For Us" - Phillips, Craig and Dean

The key phrases?

 "Not because of what I've done, but because of who You are. Not because of who I am, but because of what You've done." 


"Why should I gain from His reward? I cannot give an answer, but this I know with all my heart: His wounds have paid my ransom."

What do these two songs have in common? Grace. Similar, but not quite, to mercy. I've heard the difference explained like this: Mercy is not getting what we deserve. Grace is getting what we don't deserve. We deserve death. A harsh, but true reality. We are sinful creatures, no matter how hard we try to be good. We're just not. It's human nature. We're selfish at best, downright evil at worst. But God is in love with us. Have you ever looked at a couple and thought, "Man, what do they see in each other?" That's God's relationship with us. He loves us, but why? It doesn't make sense. We don't deserve it. We're not good enough for Him. We have absolutely nothing of value to offer Him. And yet, He yearns for us. He moves heaven and earth to be with us. He sacrificed everything for us. That's grace. We do not deserve His love and His devotion. We do not deserve His attention or His blessings. We deserve death.

This should not make you feel guilty or bad! I won't lie, it moves me to tears when I think about it, but I get an overwhelming sense of relief. There is NOTHING I can do to earn God's love. Nothing I say or do will cause God to stop loving me, or love me more. No ritual or good deeds or failures or mistakes will make it easier or harder to get into heaven. Whether I'm a "good" or "bad" Christian doesn't matter. There's pretty much nothing I can do to earn God's grace.

Except trust. That's all I can do. Trust God. And thank Him every single day, with every single breath that He loved me enough to give me what I don't deserve.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

My Little Man

Today I become the mom to a 2 year old boy. My little Ryan has been a part of our lives for two years now :0. Amazing how fast time flies when you are grown up! Remember when in school, September - June used to seem like 300 years! Now you blink and the days are gone. It seems just yesterday we found out we were expecting our third little bundle. I had just finished nursing school 3 months prior, and we had just moved into our first home 3 weeks earlier. New house, new baby! I thought for sure I would be digging out those pink clothes that had overtaken our house, what a shock when we found out in fact we could finally get rid of those boxes and boxes of pink clothes! We were having a boy! Shawn wouldn't be alone in having to deal with all the estrogen in the house!!

On March 5, 2011 at 1:53 AM in room 2019 at Northern Lights Regional Health Center, our little man was born! All 9lbs 2oz of him! A whole pound bigger then his big sister was!! And a whole newborn bigger than Brooke! He was such an easy baby! All of mine were. How I lucked out I don't know! I won't complain though ;). Everyone told me I was in for it. Boys were SO much busier than girls. As Ryan reached 1 I came to see this for myself. Oh my! Not only is he busy, he is STUBBORN! Definitely not like his mother ;). If he has it in his head he wants something, it's game over until he gets it. The girls were so easy to redirect; not Ryan. He knows what he wants and goes for it. Right now this makes me want to scream, but I hope this is something he doesn't lose. I hope he realizes the world is his for the taking and he goes for his dreams no matter what it takes.

Happy birthday Ryan Alexander Meeres. Thank you for making me smile everyday. You are my favorite little man in the ENTIRE world!!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Things You Should Be Proud Of - 52 Lists Week 3

Wow! Yesterday, with the addition of Mel, my sister, to the blog, we saw an all time high of viewers, triple what the blog normally sees! You guys love you some Mel, that's for sure!

Last week didn't see much action on the blog. I don't really have a good reason other than I was distracted with other things, such as my pictures. But that shouldn't really happen again, now that there's two of us. Hopefully one can pick up the others slack!

This is week 3 of the 52 Lists in 52 weeks series and I have a feeling this might be a toughie for me. I tend to be down on myself much more than I ought to be and this weeks list is to name things I should be proud of. Well, here goes!

Things I Should Be Proud Of

1. I am a kind and compassionate woman. Maybe not always and maybe not enough, but I am.

2. I am teaching my children to be strong, independent and compassionate.

3. I believe in the value of the arts and that learning music is as important as learning language. 

4. I believe that love is not a feeling and that a marriage is not convenient nor easy.

5. I'm a stand-by-your-man kind of girl and a momma bear kind of mom. Don't mess with my family.

6. Singing brings me immense joy and peace. There is truly no feeling more incredible than belting out the climax of a song and nailing it. 

7. I've never fulfilled my dream of singing the national anthems (yes, both of them) at a sporting event, but I HAVE gotten a dream come true to sing at my sisters wedding, even though I couldn't be there in person. 

8. I have friends that I love like brothers. I truly know what it means that family is more than blood. 

9. I have gone to the gym for two months in a row and have seen my strength increase greatly. Sometimes I have slacked off, but my resolve to get in shape and lose weight has never wavered and I always get back to it and push myself a bit harder.

10. I believe that a person is not defined by their political or religious affiliation and that there is good to be found in everyone, but not everyone is worth the effort to search for it.

11. I'm proud of the relationship I have with my husband. We often clash and we're both stubborn and proud, but underneath it all, we have a bond that I believe will endure.

12. I'm proud of my pictures. I believe that I have a little skill, at least with editing, and I'm hoping to turn my little hobby into an actual skill and talent some day. 

13. I believe in the value of education. I've caught myself acting like a "tiger-mom" when poor Damien is doing his kindergarten homework and I realized I didn't care. I believe that the most important thing a person learns in school is how to learn and I will happily shove that down my kids' throats for the next 12 years.

14. I've grown a thicker skin over the last decade. Maybe it comes with age, maybe with experience, but it's there now and for the most part, I'm happy with it. I've learned that there will always be someone who doesn't like you, has something mean to say or thinks you're a bad wife/mother/person/whatever. I've learned to let it go and not take everything personally.

15. I'm proud that I've actually gotten to number 15! I know, I know, that's cheating, but I think I'm learning to love myself more and that's something I'm proud of.

16. I think this list is supposed to be about things I'm proud of in myself, but I can't talk about pride without talking about the two most important people in my life (well, besides my kids which really goes without saying.) I'm insanely proud of my husband and my sister. Both of them inspire me to be a better person and to push forward through adversity to achieve my goals. I'm proud that I get to be a part of their lives. 

17. I'm proud of the relationship I have with my mother-in-law. We haven't always seen eye to eye and have had rough patches, but I can truly say that I love her and consider her a friend and I'm proud of that.

18. I'm proud of my faith. It's been shaken over the years and questioned, but it's still there and I want to pass it down to my children. Perhaps not in the same form, but I believe in the importance of having faith and believing in something larger than yourself. 

19. Oh goodness, two more! I'm proud of my writing. I believe I have a unique conversational tone and descriptive ability. I'm proud of my ability to communicate and I think I have a solid grasp on the English language. 

20. I'm proud of my resilience. I've been through more storms in my life than I care to count, but I have survived and thrived and I know that no matter what life throws my way, I will survive. I will not give up.

So, what are you proud of?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

I'm here!

This evening Elaine and I were having a little chat on Facebook messenger and out of nowhere she asks me to join her blog! *gasp*!! Ok it wasn't quite as dramatic, but she did, ask me to join her blog. Of course I hesitated being that I suck at doing things like this, and tend to start things and then forget all about them. But I decided why not, ill do my best and give it a go!

So here I am. On a list of things I am good at, expressing myself in writing is waaaayyyyyy down there on the bottom. But that's ok, I'm here :)

For those who don't know me I am Melissa :) I have a wonderful (most of the time) husband Shawn and 3 amazing kiddos. Brooke (6), Katie (4) and Ryan (1). Well for now Ryan is 1. For another day and a half :( (sniffle, sniffle) but that's another post for another day. I am also a registered nurse working on a very busy labor and delivery floor in Saskatchewan.

So that's me in a (very small) nutshell! Talk again soon!

I also have to add in a picture (my favorite!) of my family. It's a year old now, but I just love it. I look at it and it just makes me LOL.... Literally! I see all the craziness that having 3 kids brings, but I also see the amazing love and closeness we share as a family.

A New Name

Well, you might have noticed that the blog has a new name. It also has a new address: That's a mouthful, isn't it? If you don't want to remember it, you can subscribe to get all the new posts easily with no fuss!

So why the change? Because I'm extremely excited to announce that my sister, Melissa Meeres, will be joining the blog to share her experiences as a wife, mother and nurse in Canada! And since her family isn't Fox's, the title just didn't make sense anymore.

So keep an eye out for her first post coming this week. I'm seriously excited to have my sister working with me on the blog!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Your Greatest Comforts - 52 Lists Week 2

Last week, I started a new series called 52 Lists. I found the idea on a blog called Moorea Seal, which I discovered through Pinterest. If you didn't see last weeks list, called Words That Touch Your Soul, you can check it out HERE. Each Monday, I'll be writing a new list and this weeks challenge is to list your greatest comforts so here are mine!

My Greatest Comforts

1. When Nate holds me and tells me we'll be together forever, no matter what.
2. When my kids give me great big hugs and tell me they love me the mostest of all.
3. Putting on music and singing my heart out.
4. Game night with my best friends.
5. A really cozy blanket on a chilly day.
6. Hot chocolate.
7. Cold chocolate.
8. A beautiful landscape.
9. Watching TV with Nate.
10. Walking around with my camera taking random pictures.
11. Laying in bed listening to an audio book.
12. Downton Abbey.
13. Also, Grey's Anatomy.
14. Chicken and mashed potatoes.
15. When my sister comes to town and I get to spend time with her and her family.
16. When my sister isn't in town, but I still get to talk to her on Facebook.
17. When an old hymn comes on Pandora and I get all nostalgic and teary.
18. When Nate and I get a rare night alone and we just get to hang out and talk.
19. Contact lenses.
20. The angel picture my mom cross stitched for me.

Friday, February 22, 2013


I don't know why, but this week has felt sooooo long. But it's Friday! Do you have any great plans for the weekend? I do! Once a month or so, we get together with friends and play games. Ah, but not just any ol' games. THE game. The Game of Thrones. It's a board game based on the book series by George R. R. Martin and it. is. amazing. It's kind of like Risk, only so much more complicated. There's lots of battles, scheming and betrayal. There's only 10 rounds in the game, so you'd think it would be a short game, but it's not. It generally takes about 4-6 hours to play through. 6 glorious hours. To top it all off, we got a new expansion for the game that changes it somewhat, so tonight we're heading over to my mother in law's house to try it out. I can't wait!

On Saturday, we're heading to the bowling alley for another birthday party. Nate's little sister, Mikallie, is turning 9 and what better place to have a party? Since we just had Damien's birthday party there, we know how fun it is! The kids get to bowl, eat pizza and cake and play in the arcade and the parents get to relax and let someone else plan the party. Oh wait, did I say relax? Ha! The place is a zoo! When we were there, they had about a dozen other parties going on. It's fun though. Loud, crowded fun.

What about you? What are your weekend plans?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Never Alone

Do you ever feel alone, even when you're not? I do. I could be at home surrounded by my family and feel lonely. Sometimes I feel like no one understands me and no one wants to. I feel as though it's me against the world. Do you ever get in a funk like that?

I was listening to Pandora last night and an old hymn came on, one of my favorites.

        What a friend we have in Jesus, 
	all our sins and griefs to bear! 
	What a privilege to carry 
	everything to God in prayer! 
	O what peace we often forfeit,
	O what needless pain we bear, 
	all because we do not carry 
	everything to God in prayer.
I'm a worrier. If you know me, you probably know this about me. I think it's because I've never had much stability in my life and so I'm always trying to imagine the worst and trying to figure out what I'll do if it happens. I like to have a plan. It makes me feel secure if I know how I'll deal with something should it happen. Unfortunately, it means I'm constantly thinking of negative things and worrying. Sometimes I get anxious and afraid. The worst part? Most times there's nothing to be anxious or afraid of!

But oh, how much easier it would be if I simply remembered these words. "What a friend we have in Jesus." I have amazing friends and a great husband. But at some point, every single person in my life will let me down, just as I'll let others down. But Jesus will never let me down. Jesus will never scoff at my fears or get angry at my worries. Jesus will never think I'm ridiculous. In fact, not only will He listen, not only will He help carry the load, He'll take the burden from us entirely! 1 Peter 5: 6-7 says "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you."

Isn't that a relief? We can cast ALL our cares up on Him. Everything. Every worry, every fret, every annoyance. We can give them all to Him. I think it's one of those things that comes with practice, or "fake it till you make it." It should be second nature to turn to God, but it's not. Not yet, anyway, I often lay in bed worrying when I should be praying. How many sleepless nights have there been, when I could have handed it over to God and slept in peace?

What a privilege we have. Prayer is a privilege. Talking to God is a privilege. It's not a duty that we as a Christians have, it's not something we do for God because He asks us to, it's not a tradition or sacrament. It's a privilege, a blessing, a gift. I don't know about you, but I don't pray nearly enough. I think if I did, I wouldn't feel so alone or worried sometimes.

My challenge is to get out of my own head and lean on Jesus more. Maybe you've already learned how to trust and depend on Him. Maybe you're still struggling, like I am. Do you have words of encouragement? Do you want prayer? I'd love it if you left a note below.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Where I grew up, we didn't even start thinking about spring until late April, early May. No one planted their gardens until May because there was still the chance of frost. Winters lasted 7-8 months of the year.

Yeah, I don't miss that very much. Wenatchee is amazing. The snow falls in December and it's gone by February. The sun shines and it feels like spring at Valentine's Day, not Mother's Day. A "cold" snap in Wenatchee is 25 degrees (that's -4 for my fellow Canadians.)

Don't get me wrong here. I don't love winter. I can't wait till it's gone, but I can live with a few short months of cold. Wenatchee has another downside, those dreaded months I like to call summer. Here is where Edmonton has a leg up. While Edmonton had gorgeous, mild summers with the occasional wild summer thunderstorm, Wenatchee has a dry, insanely hot summer. I'm talking 113 degrees hot (again, for my fellow Canadians, that's FORTY FIVE DEGREES. I couldn't even type the numbers. It wasn't enough emphasis for the insanity of the heat.) Luckily this only lasts for about two months. So if you do the math, that's about 5 months of annoying weather, which also means 7 months of glorious weather!

Spring and fall are the best seasons in Wenatchee. Things are getting green, or red and yellow, the breeze is fresh and comfortable, the sun shines brightly. Yeah, I could live like that forever. Those days are coming, my friends! It's just around the corner! SPRING IS ALMOST HERE!!

There's still some snow up on the mountain tops, but there's none down here in town. It's all gone. It hasn't dipped below freezing in a while and I keep having to force my kids to wear coats because they're convinced that it's warm enough to go out in shorts and t-shirt. And guess what else? Easter is NEXT month.  Yup. March. Easter. Spring. It's coming. Get ready for it. We're about to enter heaven on earth.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Words That Touch Your Soul - 52 Lists Week 1

I recently came across a blog that shared a wonderful idea: 52 weeks of lists. I'll be participating in this endeavor every Monday. I'm excited to see what comes of this! I'm starting late, so I'm just going with Week 1, rather than the actual list for this week, so here we go!

Words That Touch My Soul:

1. Grace
2. Mercy
3. Compassion
4. Hope
5. Forward
6. Joy
7. Integrity
8. Music
9. Faith
10. Forever
11. Breathe
12. Together
13. Home
14. Friendship
15. Family
16. Inspire
17. Peace
18. Forgive
19. Remember
20. Teach

What words touch your soul?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ten Things I Love About You

1. Your eyes.

The shape of them. The color. The way they look when they're filled with love for me. The way they shine when you laugh. The way they see the world for what it really is, good and bad. The way they see me for what I truly am, good and bad.

2. Your smile.

The way it's so elusive. It's like the sun on a cloudy day. Sometimes it's hard to see, but when it finally comes out, the world just seems that much brighter and alive.

3. Your heart.

The way your tough exterior hides a heart of compassion. The way you always give to those in need when you see it. The way you believe in protecting the innocent, whether it be a child or an animal or an icky spider.

4. Your integrity.

The way you keep your word. Your work ethic. Your sense of justice and morality. Your loyalty. You are the man I would want to be if I were a man.

5. Your dedication to relationships.

The effort you put into maintaining relationships with the people you love. The work you've put into our marriage, the constant dedication to the relationships with your best friends. It speaks so well of you that your best friends are also strong men of integrity.

6. Your dedication as a father.

You have worked endlessly and tirelessly to provide for your family, doing things many would not in order to make sure your family has what they need. You are constantly striving to be a better man, a better role model for our children. Beyond that, you hold them with such tenderness and love. You joke and play with them and it makes me so proud that you are the father of my children. We are so blessed.

7. Your sense of humor.

You sometimes say I don't get it. And sometimes I don't, but I do get you. You are funny and charismatic. People enjoy being around you. You make people laugh and you make people think. Even when I don't get the joke or think it's funny, I do get that you are an amazingly witty person and I love that about you.

8. Your intelligence.

There's no question about how smart you are. What I love most about you is your dedication to lifelong learning. You constantly seek out information. If you don't know something about a subject, you make sure to educate yourself on it. You want to know what's going on in the world. You want to be able to speak intelligibly on any subject. This goes beyond school and I believe that it will continue to be a strong part of your life long after you've graduated.

9. Your self-discipline.

I often envy how easy it seems for you to stick to something, though I know it's not truly easy. Not many could have gone to the gym for 100 days in a row and I admire you for that and much more. I know that you can do anything you set your mind to. No, not just can. You will do anything you set your mind to. You have incredible potential and the self-discipline to back it up. I'm extremely proud of you.

10. The way you love me.

No one in my life has loved me as unconditionally as you. Through the worst times in our relationship and the best. Through pain and suffering and joy and happiness, you have been there for me. What's more, even in our darkest days, I've never truly felt like I would lose you. This speaks to your commitment to me and our marriage, that we'll always find a way to work it out. The security this gives me means more to me that I can ever express to you. Because of this, I also believe that we'll always find a way. You give me strength and hope. You make me want to be a better person. You make me want to be like you. Most of all, you make me want to spend the rest of my life with you.

I love you.

Monday, February 11, 2013


I have a pretty decent camera. It's not one of those fancy ones where you can swap out the lens or anything, but it's pretty good for a point and click camera. I really like taking pictures and then editing them. When I compare my pictures to someone who's really good at photography, I can see I'm lacking, but when I'm just looking at my own pictures, I feel pretty proud of them. There's something beautiful about an image I've captured and made my own. I hope to someday have a better camera and the skills to actually use it.

Here are some pictures I took last week.