{FDF}: Toddlers & Tantrums

So this week’s Full Disclosure Moment is brought to you by Toddlers and Costco.  I really have to wake up on the right side of the bed in order to brave a trip into the mammoth sized grocery store that we all know and love…and with a toddler in tow…trust me…it’s not for the faint of heart.

I probably should have turned and tucked tail at the first sign of trouble (which may or may not have been when my toddler refused to get into the cart…in the parking lot); however, being as it takes us a little over 45 minutes to get to the closest Costco from our house, and (likely this is the larger reason) being that I’m somewhat (ahem) stubborn (only paralleled by two of my three children), I chose to dig my heels in and head into battle…armed with snacks, juice, toys, books, my secret weapon, (the soother)…and conveniently arrived in time for the free sample buffet.

One could say things didn’t exactly go swimmingly….however between the free samples, my weapons of choice, and some strategic distraction maneuvers of rehearsing nursery rhymes, counting, and some extremely kindhearted employees…we somehow managed to survive.

The truth is, that some day’s parenting isn’t all sunshine and roses…some day’s…it just plain sucks.  Sometimes the tantrums outweigh the patience we can muster up and we find ourselves torn within trying to maintain every shred of peace we can so that the captain doesn’t go down with the ship.  Sometimes we question our ability as a parent, and even our desire to do this parenting business at all…and in all honesty…that was where I was on more than one occasion during this trip.  Seriously, never in my life have I ever experienced the wild emotions that parenting can bring…one minute I can be furiously frustrated, overwhelmed with anger…and the thoughts…oh the thought’s…”why did I ever become a mom?”, “this job is too demanding for me…I want out”, “how can I possibly love anyone else when I’m struggling to love my own child right now?!”….and then the next minute when the matter has settled and I’m looking into that sweet little face saying “I Sow-wy ” the just-as furious love that floods over…fierce and wild makes me a force to be reckoned with for any fool that would dare pose a threat to that little one.  If one didn’t know the reality of those emotions or the frequency of them, they could be led to believe that there was something wrong with me….but I’m almost positive that I’m not alone in this and that it’s something that all of us, as parents to children – young or old – experience.

Here’s the thing…in those moments when the anger, the frustration, and the hopelessness seem more than we can bear…we need to remember that eventually it will melt away, the moment will pass, and life will go on.  Take a moment, breathe, get out of the room if you need to, and don’t bite the lie that you’re a horrible parent for feeling/thinking that way!  Accept that frustration is normal (because you’re a human being!!), and look up to receive God’s grace and love so that you can extend it outward to the little one (or older one) needing it so much.  Love is not an emotion…otherwise our children would be doomed…ha hah…Love is a choice, love is commitment…and friends…love is a miracle….That’s how it was intended to be…so that when our strength becomes limited and our love supply runs dry, we can go to our Heavenly Father, the very source of love  Himself, to be filled up in order to let it flow out.

It’s not easy this parenting thing…but it’s so worth it for those moments of joy and bliss (over a $1.60 hot dog and pop).

Until next week…keep walking in grace and love one to another…and keep it real.

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Full Disclosure Friday

Hello there Friends!

So with the start of a new year I’m excited to announce the start of something new that I’ll be beginning this year right here on my little ol’ Blog.  May I present you with:

This has always been in the back of my mind from the beginning of my blogging process, but it wasn’t something that I was ready to jump right into at the launching point as I needed more time to let the idea brew and cultivate within.

So what exactly is Full Disclosure Friday (which henceforth I’ll refer to as {FDF})?  Well, really it’s just an extension of a branch of The Candid Life…as you know, this blog is all about encouraging us to to embrace who we are by being real with ourselves and those around us…so I thought, ‘what better way to celebrate that than by highlighting aspects of my life once a week?’…not just the parts that look shiny and instaworthy (although I will likely post some of those as everything needs balance) but also those days when nothing seems to go right and the laundry load is stacked up a mile high.  We’ve all been there guys…but the funny thing is…when we’re there life has a way of convincing us that we’re alone in it…and then of course comparison, self-pity, and shame comes in when we compare our weak moments to others’ glory moments on Facebook, Instagram, or whatever your outlet may be.

These posts are not intended to be lengthy and deep…(although that’s not to say that inspiration won’t hit sometime and I end up in the depths of soul-baring honesty…ahem…moving on…), rather they will be light, fun full-disclosure snippets of my real-life…simply to encourage you that you’re not alone in your realities and to remind you that we can’t all be stellar photographers, cooks, bakers, fashionistas, or interior designers…but we sure as heck can be the best version of ourselves…and that’s what really matters!

Enjoy, have fun, and stay tuned every Friday for Full Disclosure Friday.

PS: Guys, feel free to use the tag #FullDisclosureFriday for all of your full disclosure moments and be sure to tag me at #thecandidlifeblog

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When Light Breaks Through

So I was going to make this blog post rather short and sweet as a simple “Merry Christmas from my Family to Yours” – type post, but as I was reflecting upon a few verses that we tend to hear around Christmas time it began to stir up something within me that I just had to get out…so here it is…after all…what would a simple “Merry Christmas” post be from me without leaving you with some form of encouragement…so consider this my gift to you. 😉

So I was thinking about this verse here:

“…there the people who sat in darkness have seen a great Light; they sat in the land of death, and the Light broke through upon them.” ~ Matthew 4:15-16

and this one:

“I have come as a Light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer wander in the darkness.” ~ John 12:46

These verses were referring to the birth and arrival of Jesus on the scene as a wee babe.  And here’s what I was thinking about…the Light of Christmas…which is Christ…but…I was thinking about the relevancy of that in our lives.  How many times do we find ourselves wandering around in darkness, stumbling and searching for answers, for light, for hope, yet we neglect to turn to the One Person who is Light and who came to end our aimless wandering?  The answer, would be far too often.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the darkness that is prevalent in our society…just take one look at the media…at the heartbreaking atrocities taking place right now in Syria…it would seem that the darkness is winning.

Perhaps in your personal life, or the lives of those you love you can see nothing but darkness…what about in your own heart…when you look within yourself….sometimes…speaking for myself at least…it can feel as though there’s nothing good within my heart…selfishness, arrogance, pride, judgement, jealousy…the darkness can creep in so slowly until it feels as though it’s swallowing me whole.  And when that happens when we get to that point…what do we do?  What do I do?  Well…we hide….we hide our situations, our problems, our issues…we turn a blind eye to the darkness we see on a large scale…because really…we’re ashamed…and looking at that kind of darkness isn’t something that brings us warm fuzzy feelings…we don’t like to admit the truth…maybe because it’s inconvenient, maybe because it hurts…but I think mostly because we’re afraid…we’re afraid of what might happen if we bring it into the light…we’re afraid of rejection, of being a disappointment, of not measuring up, of the responsibility that will be expected of us.

There is good news though, and here it is:

“His life is the light that shines through the darkness—and the darkness can never extinguish it.”~ John 1:5

You see, no matter how deep the darkness, the bottom line is that darkness never extinguishes light…no, rather it is the light that extinguishes the dark.  So what does this mean to us?  Here it is friends: If the very purpose of the Light of Christ coming to the earth was to end our wandering in the dark…that tells me that He’s not afraid of the dark.  He’s not afraid of the darkness around us or the darkness within us…He’s not afraid of the dark, ugly spots on our souls…He’s not afraid of the mess that we can find ourselves in, of the mess that our family might be in…of the mess that our world is in.  In fact…His purpose has never changed…He still comes to us today to end our wandering, to light our path, and to bring us hope for newness.

The Light of Christ came for darkness, which means He's not afraid of the dark. Click To Tweet

So be encouraged today, that though it may look and feel as though the darkness is winning…the truth is that it never will have the final word…it will never extinguish the light…and although it may seem like the night is long…in this world, in your family, in your life, in your heart…the truth…is that the night will end and a new day will dawn….and the Light will break through upon us once again. My challenge to you this Christmas, and for this New Year…is to step into it…though your darkness may tremble at the Light, the Light of Christ never trembles at your darkness…rather it runs full force…searching out the darkness…to envelope it in love, in light, in hope, and in life.

May the Light of Christ be yours this season and always.  Merry Christmas & All the Best for the New Year, from my Family to Yours.

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When Christmas Doesn’t Feel like Christmas

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Well Friends, it’s finally here…the most wonderful time of the year…I’ve been waiting and ready for it in my heart since the last week of October…patiently restraining myself as the anticipation built, and exercising moderate self-control as the deals began rolling in.  And now it’s here…it’s finally here…(well December…and as far as I’m concerned…that means Christmas with a booked-solid calendar and endless eating affairs)…the stocking’s are hung, the gifts are in hiding (for the most part), I fear my husband is already border-line sick of my Christmas playlist, and the tree adorned with lights and balls, shining in all her glory.  So why, I’m asking myself, am I left with this empty feeling of “blah” in the pit of my soul?

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Lest We Forget – The Way of Love

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Well friends, I had something entirely different planned and written for today, but in light of recent events and the ridiculous amount of hatred floating around, I felt it was necessary to stop and reflect on Remembrance Day – lest we forget.

As I was reflecting on Remembrance Day this week, the scripture in John 15:13 came to mind, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”  As I think about the character traits of the men and women who have served this Great Nation both in the past and still today, love is usually not at the forefront of my mind.  Courage, sacrifice, honor, respect, dignity – all of these readily fill my thoughts, but love…not so much.

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The Illusion of Strength

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Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip… Yay…last week’s Thursday adventure!  Not really.  So here’s the lowdown; last week my son came running in to the house crying, as young adventurous boy’s often do, however this time, it was more than the typical trampoline bump or bicycle crash.  My son had unfortunately been on the receiving end of a rather nasty dog bite.  After a quick examination at home we could tell that he would need to see a Dr. and would likely need stitches, and seeing as my husband was unable to take him…and of course because I was in full swing Supermom mode… I volunteered to take him to the Hospital.

Now I had been handling it rather well, all things considered, and was even able to keep the waterworks at bay on the drive there as he asked fearful questions through tear-filled eyes.  During our time in the emergency waiting room I continued to check on the wound and calm his fears (and mine) as we chatted with the other questioning patients as best we could.  And then the time came to finally see the Dr.  I anticipated the typical discussion about stitches, but what I didn’t anticipate was my reaction to said discussion.

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What Can’t Be Found on Google

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Guys, this question may seem ridiculous, but I’m going to ask it anyways.  Have you ever been in a situation where there was literally nothing you could do to fix it?  (If you answer no to that then please feel free to contact me and solve all of my problems)  Well, that’s where I found myself over the last few weeks/month.

Remember back at Thanksgiving when I mentioned about our little health dilemma?  If you’re out of the loop, long story short, one of my beautiful, happy, healthy kids happened to pick up a not-so-beautiful, not-so-happy little “friend” from the cesspool of germs that we like to call “school”.  Honestly guys, before having children I thought the worst possible things for kids to bring home were head lice (and, thank you Jesus we haven’t had to deal with that one…yet…or hopefully ever), and puking…and while I’d rather go through labor again than have to clean up from either of those messes…believe it or not, there are others out there that are just as bad.

So, all of that to say, that it was one of those types of things that required thorough cleaning on an every-other-day basis of floors, bedding, towels, and clothing for two weeks, along with the proper medication for all of course.  I should mention before I send all of the parents out there into panic-mode that this wasn’t anything serious to our health by any means…rather one that was a huge nuisance and treatable.  Anyways, after following the proper two-week course of action, and a second dosage of follow-up treatment to take care of anything that was missed the first time, (followed by 2 more weeks of strict cleaning – just to be safe), I found myself last week feeling very paranoid, and anxiety ridden, wondering if this was finally behind us (after nearly a month), or if I should still be concerned and go for a third treatment for everyone (even though all symptoms were pointing to “no”…even after a call to Telehealth)

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You Are Not Enough

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So how about that weather?  (I know…a title like that and I’m talking about the weather…risky business indeed but yeah I went there and you’ll see why soon enough)  It’s Fall here in Canada, but this week it felt like a touch of Summer; and it would seem that the change of seasons has thrown not only the temperature gauge into confusion, but also my skin.  Between the acne breakout and the dark bags under my eyes, my body isn’t sure whether it’s a teenager or a tired grown woman…and after all of the Thanksgiving indulges and the Pre-Halloween candy lying around, let’s not even discuss my waistline…or lack thereof.  And then there’s the matter of my hair which is in serious need of a change but the jury’s still out on “to chop or not to chop”…feel free to cast a vote…I made an appointment for next week in blind faith.

So needless to say, it was a top-bun, avoid-the-mirror-at-all-costs kind of day.  I’m sure you can relate…that struggle of…”enough”.  Not young enough, pretty enough, smart enough, tall enough, muscular enough, short enough, thin enough, stylish enough, rich enough, kind enough, patient enough, loving enough, enough of a mother/father, husband/wife, brother/sister, friend, son/daughter and the list goes on and on and on…but the bottom line…spoken or not…hidden in over-achievement, or silently hushed in defeat…is that old familiar voice that says “you are not enough”.

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Give Thanks in … All things?

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Hey hey!!  First off, a great big Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours this weekend!!!  I’ll be straight with you right now…this post is not near as deep as the last one…but I promise you I’ll (try) to bring it home with a power punch at the end regardless.

So you know how I mentioned that last week was a difficult week…weeeeell….the heart things got worked out but man oh man did life just keep on pulling out the stops.  I’ll give you the inside scoop.

Almost two weeks ago we discovered that two of our children picked up a nasty little case of ….ummm…let’s say a parasitic type bug….yes  yes…I know I’m supposed to be candid but I’ve gotta maintain some bit of dignity! Ha hah.  Anyways, this little “bug” was one of those lovely one’s that requires laundering almost every stinking item in the house every other day for the duration of at least two weeks…(and because I get border line paranoid/OCD when it comes to sickness…I’ll probably continue in this manner for two more weeks…just to be safe)…anyways…on with the story.  So along with laundering, mad-cleaning, and taking appropriate medication we ended up having yet another challenge in the house amidst all of the bug fun.

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You Oughta {Not} Be Ashamed of Yourself

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Ever had one of those days that just turned into one of those weeks?  That was pretty much my week last week…fortunately so far so good this week. 😉  It was one of those weeks that was full of migraines and bad news which consequently resulted in non-stop housecleaning, mental exhaustion, and overall weariness.

Anyways, part way through the week amidst all of those other good things I had an encounter with a good friend regarding how my behavior had affected her…around here we like to call those times KYLO moments (“Keep Your Love On”…in reference to the book by Danny Silk, which if you haven’t read it yet…I would highly recommend).  Although she handled everything with complete honesty, grace, forgiveness, love and in no way was trying to cause me to feel bad, my initial reaction to this encounter was guilt and shame over my unintentional behavior that had hurt her.

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