Monday, May 31, 2010

Benjamin Bunny Blues

The good news is I now have 12 of the 23 Beatrix Potter books I've been collecting. The bad news is there is very little news at all. I had 5 million (ok, maybe more like 5) blog ideas for Monday, but I'm stuck with a case of the blues. Perhaps more accurately the 'mean reds' as Holly Golightly would say.

Things seem frozen at the moment which is a rough pill to swallow. My sleep has once again been compromised. Even worse than waking up constantly from nightmares, are the wonderful dreams that end. Last night I dreamt I gave birth to twins. It was very bitter sweet upon waking. I clearly remember thinking 'I'm finally a Mom'. It was the most beautiful feeling. I often wonder if others in this crazy journey have dreams like this? A few weeks ago I dreamt I was home from Ethiopia with our son. When I realized it was a dream I felt numb. I felt betrayed by my subconscious.

On the bright side I have finally chosen the toile for our baby bumper as seen above. It's more than I wanted to spend, but impossible to resist. I also discovered these fabulous cast iron bird knobs on Etsy. I've ordered four in 'ice cream' (the pale yellow/cream) for the previously purchased dresser. So happy to have found these!!

Time moves slowly and I feel somewhat like Alice in Wonderland trying to get a grasp on the reality of everything. Will this ever happen? Am I playing a very foolish game of decorate the empty nursery?

As I carry on with my afternoon I am hauling out my yoga matt for some impromptu relaxation. I feel the need to release as much tension and stress as I possibly can. Here's one of my favourite discoveries on youtube She talks in this soft, angelic voice and uses phrases like 'blossoming like a flower'. She's terribly delicate in her manner, and I find it very charming. It feels like Beatrix Potter Yoga.

Some days even one minute of closing your eyes and breathing deeply is enough to make it through. J xx

Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday's Frosting!

The world owes you nothing. How's that for some light hearted Friday thoughts? It's true though. The world does not owe you a nice boss, or a good job, or a beautiful affordable home. The world does not owe you good health, or relief from emotional pain.The world does not even owe me a child. There is nothing this world owes any of us, and we've already been spoiled by the abundance this planet does provide.

As I prepare for the weekend I remind myself again that there is nothing in our life that can not be taken from us. Our homes, our safety, our loved ones. None of us has been promised a rose garden. There is however good news. The wonderful thing we have all been provided with is freewill. We are all free to find tranquility. We are free to find our centre. We are free to find our bliss.

Is life simply cupcakes and picnics? No, of course not. My friends, life is extraordinarily hard and deeply amazing. It is blood and tears, ashes and rain storms. It's not though how dark it gets that matters, it's whether you are looking up at the stars.
We are blessed. Jxx

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Not So Mellow Yellow

I've never been described as mellow, but I love the colour yellow. I prefer smaller doses, but with the grey perpetually surrounding Vancouver, I find myself craving yellow. My eyes are longing to feast on a lavish meal of all things yellow, a feeling generally reserved for Friday night pizza.

In the world of colour therapy yellow represents animation. It can lift us out of melancholy, and thrust us back to the land of the living. It has long been regarded as a joyful colour full of childhood merriment. It is also associated with intellectual and mental stimulation.

The colour of sunshine and daffodils, a little bit of yellow goes a long way to turning a grey day into pure gold. j xx

Dress by Anthropologie
Photo's 1 & 7 by Polly Wreford
Cake by Mark Joseph

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Grandma Wallpapered Her Fridge

It's true. I even have the home movies to prove it. Between you and me I think she was onto something. I have a love of wallpaper, even though it terrifies me like haircuts with bangs. While sometimes amazing, when they look bad, they look really really bad. I'm not looking to support bangs any time soon, but I am toying with wallpaper. These were some fantastically designed wall papered rooms. They are all classic and refreshing. I tend to work my way up to design ideas and I need to continuously study all possibilities before I'll commit. These are among my favourites and they definitely further my desire for at least one wallpapered room. Giving my reluctance, I'm thinking bathroom or hallway. Either way I'm looking forward to carrying on the family legacy of wallpaper addiction. For the time being though, my fridge is safe. Jxx

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Inspiring Ideas!

I discovered this website a while ago called It has thousands upon thousands of stunning homes. People share their design ideas which are bound to leave you inspired. I have two design philosophies. The first is you never know unless you try. It's ok to have ideas that result in something less than attractive. Being fearless is a design must. My second philosophy is like in life, natural talent only takes you so far. I'm not a designer, but I find my own home has benefited from me constantly exploring and researching beautifully designed homes. As someone not planning to attend design school in this life time, I can thank magazines like Elle Decor for giving me an instruction manual. I don't like cookie cutter. I'm not a fan of 'Bed in a bag', and thankfully I think we live in era where if you look hard enough you will find inspiration. These are some of my favourites from my idea book. They are unique, timeless, and a little quirky.

Enjoy!! J xx

Images form

Friday, May 21, 2010

Adoption 101- Letter to Beginners

Inspired by a comment I read today, I've been contemplating the long journey of adoption. I've been thinking of those starting out, and all those earlier in the process than we are. Seeing as our referral number is now in the 40's I'm beginning to feel like a veteran. You can call me Colonel. So what have I learned? What pearls of wisdom would I share? I suppose my first thought is always have prozac and vodka near by. It's jokes like this that will probably get me sued one day.

Dear Junior,

In my perfect world I would begin this letter by announcing there will be no difficulties in this process. There will be no pain, no tears, no incapacitating sadness. It will seem like a short dream, and when you wake you will be holding the children you longed for. I wish that for all of you. I wish I could promise rainbows and lollipops. I wish not one unhappy tear would touch your cheeks.

Reality though is upon us, so I'll begin with what I think is the most important part, grieving. There are so many things during this process that you will grieve, and I believe it's imperative to do so. I'm not terribly emotional which in ways has made it more important for me to really grieve. I'd love to make a list of things you'll grieve but we're all different. I've grieved loss of pregnancy, loss of privacy, and loss of sanity. Thankfully sanity never really suited me to begin with.

You'll hit rock bottom and you'll climb your way back up. When you fall again, you'll discover there is still a darker place. This will get harder. I know it seems impossible to imagine but it does. It's probably a good thing I'm not Tony Robbins doing feel good inspirational talks. I'm thinking I'd be egged right about now. Last night when I broke down with my husband (I have a big emotional upset every four to five months), I sobbed 'why does this never get easier? ' The answer is, it just doesn't. In fact with the new rules in place for our adoption there will be a fresh new hell upon us. I've learned you can't prepare for pain. You can put supports in place and organize relief, but you can't prepare for the pain itself. As more hurdles present themselves, you will undoubtedly find yourself distraught at times. The good news is you'll live through it. I can't tell you how, but when the chaos has cleared and you're taking deep breaths, you'll find you once more survived. Stranger still you'll look outside and realize that while your life is upside down the world very much keeps turning. At times this will unnerve you, and other times it's consistency will be a relief.

Depending on how you got to this place and how many years have passed, there is a chance you'll not remember who you were before. It will seem like a shadow you once knew. When I look at our wedding photos I'm struck by the naiveté of that young bride. She had no idea life would take her to this moment. No idea her world would get so much harder, and bigger, and more amazing than she'd dreamed. She had no idea her new husband and her would endure so much and still fall in love further amongst the turmoil.

You'll think you're losing your mind, and you will many many times. You'll lose little pieces of the puzzle that is you, and find new ones to take their place. You'll create new visions. Some days you will look in the mirror and be amazed at the strength of the person looking back at you. You'll be amazed at the life you have built. Other days you'll see defeat. Life will feel like a battle. You must remember it's not how hard you're knocked down, but that you keep standing back up that matters.

I'd like to promise happy endings for everyone, but that would be irresponsible. I can't tell you how your story will end, but I can tell you this one will. One day, however you make it through, you'll survive. I haven't reached the ending of my journey, but I have hit the wall many times. Amazingly I'm still standing, still smiling (most of the time), and still dreaming of my ending. This to shall pass, as they say. When it does I plan on having a big glass of wine to toast the places I've been, and the hard times I've seen, and the hope that never lets go.

Much love and strength to you on your travels.

J xx

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cleanliness is the new Godliness

I've been a little blue lately. When the usual tricks such as a new Elle Decor, milkshakes, flowers, and baking don't do the trick, I'm left with compulsive cleaning. This is different from the everyday cleaning. This involves some sort of purging of old crap, and possibly ironing socks and underwear.

Here's my top ten random cleaning tips, from years of compulsive cleaning.

1. If you don't already own a steam mop, buy one. They are a necessity. If you do have one, I recommend a few drop of essential oil on the cloth before beginning. It will diffuse an amazing fresh smell while you mop away. Favourites are Lemon, Orange, Grapefruit and Unwind from Saje.

2. Stainless steel is sparkling with baby oil. This also smells good. It was a random tip I discovered on line and it works like a charm!!

3. Time yourself. I found this via It's a great idea if you are de cluttering. I don't really have much clutter, but I use the timer for resorting closets. It makes it short, sweet, and bearable.

4. The bedroom should always be dust free. Since we spend 8-10hours a night breathing in there, it's important that it's clean. I dust mine a few times a week, especially if you have a wood framed bed!! Old socks are great for hard to dust places. Just throw one on like a mitt and start dusting away.

5. The sink is the dirtiest place in the Kitchen. It should be disinfected every night.

6. An easy cleaning tip for the bathroom is simply to keep the toilet lid down. When you flush little pieces of urine and faeces fly up and get on the floor, counters, towels. Truly disgusting. If you keep the lid down you never need to worry if the towel you've wrapped yourself in is covered with yesterdays deposits.

7. Toothbrushes can also be run through the dishwasher once a week for a good cleaning, or disinfected in a glass of mouth wash for a day.

8. Baking soda and vinegar clean almost anything!

9. Vinegar and old news paper do an amazing job on windows!!

10. For scuff marks on linoleum use toothpaste.

There you have it! My cleaning tips extraordinaire. Amazingly after scrubbing my house from top to bottom, I feel a bit better. There's nothing like chilling out in a sparkling condo that smells like jasmine and roses. Om....

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Big Ugly Feelings

Nothing is cheering me up this week, so rather than attempt something entertaining I'm going to write everything I'm feeling. I'm not even going to bother organizing my thoughts, I can't muster up the energy today.

I'm lonely. Yes, I have friends and family, but I feel lonely. I feel like I'm out in a boat, and while I can see people waving from the shore, for the most part I'm floating along by myself.

I'm frustrated. My life is being dictated by processes I don't understand, and never ending bureaucracy that I can't escape.

I'm tired. I'm tired of being hopeful. I'm tired of turning my frown upside down. I'm tired of being patient.

I hurt. Sometimes it hurts just sitting here. It hurts knowing I can't escape this chaos. It hurts knowing my husband hurts like me.

I'm frightened. I'm scared this may not happen and despite the protest to the contrary, there are people this doesn't happen for. There are scenarios that you're never prepared to handle. I know how that feels. I know what it's like to believe you have lost everything. I'm not sure I'd have the strength to endure that pain again.

I'm jealous. I'm jealous of those who have babies in a a small nine month window. I'm jealous of those who never experience the years and years of this dream eroding at the crevices of their spirits. I can not fathom a nine month pregnancy. It is so beyond my realm of reality.

I'm angry. I'm angry at everything we've been through. I'm angry it happened to us. I'm angry we have to work so hard at this. I'm angry evil has a face. I'm angry that no matter where we turn, or what we do, we are dealing with the consequences of someone else's corruption.

I'm helpless. Perhaps the worst feeling of all. I can't make this any better, I feel so damn small and insignificant in this world.

I feel guilty. I sometimes think I must have done something terrible to deserve this. In my darkest moments I think I brought this on myself.

I feel so defeated. I don't always have the fight and fire, and on occasion I just need to rest my soul.

I feel desperate. I want to make this better for my husband and all the other waiting parents. I am so sorry I can't. So sorry for my empty hands. So sorry for your pain, I know it well. I would give anything to ease it for you all. I would give anything for no one to have to feel the way we do, it's unbearable.

I feel silenced. Despite my self expression here, I feel my voice has little left to say, and talking doesn't seem to change a thing. The minutes fade to hours, and the days keep passing by and I'm still sitting in an empty nursery, as though waiting for Godot to finally come. I hope he does.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Supercalafragalisticexpialodosious! (may contain course language)

Mary Poppins and Bert have let me down. I've sang the damn song twice and I still feel uninspired. Only one referral this month so far. Hang on a second while I grab my violin. read: old guitar I never learned to play.

It's true I'm a musician wannabe. I'm all that and a bag of crazy. Ah, time. You senile old bat. Why must you move so slow? Why must you drag us along, our backsides scraped and bruised? It is a sad day when not even a chocolate peanutbutter milkshake can ease my wounded soul. I've tried to curb my writing to not allow for swear words. I'm not Polly Anna, but I don't throw around a lot of curse words either. Desperate times though, desperate times. Fuckity, fuck, fuck, fuck. That was mildly liberating. I apologize for any eyes that may have been offended. I know, this isn't a pretty side of me.

We've passed 18months since our dossier went to Ethiopia. Not much to say on that. I'm so sad for those adopting siblings for the news they received this week. My heart goes out to each and every one of you. You are always in my prayers. Visa's are slow, slow, slow... Everything is slow, slow, slow. I am so excited for my amazing friend Marcia! That is one very dear bright spot in my world.

It's just so frustrating... I'm not sure how any one makes it through this alive and with marbles in tact.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A & J's Big Adventure!

Pee Wee has nothing on us! Except some really cool inventions. He also made more money off his adventures than Adrian and I. In fact our adventure cost us money. It may have been a mistake to go down the whole Pee Wee's adventure comparison after all.

Adrian was nice enough to indulge my wishes to explore VanDusen Botanical Garden. There is something so soothing about this little gem situated off Oak and 37th. It's not the large and commercial Buchard Gardens, which in many ways makes it more endearing. It's rarely crowded, and parts of it are remarkably reminiscent of The Secret Garden.

There are many lovely walks to explore, a waterfall, and large robust trees lining many pathways. If you're obsessed with The Labyrinth , it also contains a small maze. Adrian is 6'7 which offers him a distinct advantage in mazes. The perfect partner if you're lost somewhere with high hedges. I should forewarn you if you're expecting David Bowie to pop out in tights and announce he is the Goblin King this isn't likely to happen. Trust me, I feel your disappointment.To make up for it though there is a bull statue near the entrance made entirely of springs. The bull is also anatomically correct. This is sure to keep you giggling for the majority of your time there.

So if you're looking for a relatively cheap excursion, pack a picnic and head to VanDusen's. I recommend GPS in the maze.