Sunday, March 17, 2019

March 2019 -End of Week 12

Roots and Wings.

What do you think of when you see those two words together like that?
This, right?

Unless you're the mom of Okids.
It's not that.

On Wednesday morning, the first two stories on my Instafeed were Clint (at work) and Dani (at work) posting pics of their current projects.

Clint was doing a food shoot,

and Dani was doing a colour:

Their progress:

Colour is in bowl and painted onto the wings with a brush

Colour is mixed in a bowl and added to the roots with a brush

It does not surprise me to see my boy with a lighter in one hand and a can of aerosol in the other. I'm just relieved he isn't using a can of gasoline and a propane torch, to be honest.

I wasn't able to capture the final products for either of them, but LOVE that they're so very creative and capable.


Twas International Woman's Day on Friday.
I have feelings about this.

It seems the quality we are tossing around these days as Most Desirable in a woman is STRONG.
We admire Women of Strength. Women who do hard things. Women who do solo things. Women who don't need men. Women who stand up for some things and defend other things and have muscles and big voices and tiny waists and make important decisions and say inspiring words into microphones.

I am proud of these women.
I love hearing their stories.
I am in awe of what they've accomplished.

Coincidentally, it's been a 'women filled' week for me...
On Wednesday night, I figured out how to add an external DVD player to my laptop, (YAY me) so I could watch a presentation made by Lysa TerKeurst. She shared her story: in the last few years, she (the founder of the women's ministry called Proverbs 31) went through colon surgery, breast cancer and her husband's marital infidelity. She is a strong woman. 

And on Friday, at work, my team and I watched Angela Ahrendts' GLS presentation. This is who Angela is
Angela Ahrendts may not have taken a typical path into the tech world. But she has been one of the most important and highest-paid executives at Apple up until the company announced on Tuesday that she would be leaving in April.  
Apple did not say where or why Ahrendts was leaving, other than to note that she was embarking on "new personal and professional pursuits." Ahrendts joined Apple in 2014 as its head of retail, filling a position that had been vacant for more than a year. At the time, the tech world was surprised — Ahrendts didn't have a background in tech and previously had been her own boss; she joined Apple from British fashion house Burberry, where she had served as CEO for eight years. 
But Apple has obviously appreciated her. Ahrendts has gotten almost double the compensation of Apple CEO Tim Cook. She's also been the only female senior executive at the iPhone maker.
The thing they didn't mention?
She's a Christian. With mid-western values.
And whoa, yes, she is STRONG. And inspiring. And smart as a whip.

AND in keeping with the whole STRONG women theme going on this week, the kids and I saw Captain Marvel on Sunday.

She's a bad ass who'll save the world.


But. There is something beautiful and admirable in a woman who is also soft, yes? Gentle? Kind? Loving? Quiet? Someone who doesn't use volume or force to express her ideas/ideals? Someone who is faithful and loyal and committed and dependable and creative and supportive and smart as a whip? Someone who battles cancer and boogeymen, babysits her grands, bakes bread, balances budgets and beats the blues by carrying on, courageously, one minute at a time?

Not all of us have been created, or all called, to be Angela Ahrendts. Some of us bloom gloriously, just as was intended, in the small backyard gardens we were purposefully planted in. And our quiet inner strength, is seen, in full colour, by those who are lucky enough to live next door.

So while I applaud those women who are doing amazingly brave, bold things, I want to be more like the other women who are tirelessly making pots of pasta for the hungry and homeless, fostering children who desperately need love, or looking after family members who are needy, elderly or infirm. Our world is a better place because of women who love with their hands and well as their hearts.

ANYWAY, on Saturday, Sue and I went to the Chris Tomlin concert.
Floor seats.
14th row.
Which meant we were RIGHT THERE.

It was, as expected, totally awesome and I'm so glad we went.
(Except for the  6'4", 275 lb guy beside me. I guess he had a stiff neck or something? He didn't want to sit with back against the backrest of his chair, (and turn his head slightly to see the extended stage)... he sat kinda sideways in his seat, which meant half his ass bubbled over onto my seat. And his massive back became a wall blocking my view. SIGH. I guess if these are the worst things to happen to me on a Saturday night, I'm a pretty lucky person.)

This was Chris's Holy Roar tour, and accompanying him on the road, was his pastor, Darren Whitehead, originally from Australia. OH MY GOODNESS, what a fun, vibrant, confident, gifted, educated speaker. He shared his knowledge on the 7 Greek meanings of the word Praise. Ahhh.

At one point of the evening, probably during How Great is Our God or possibly during Amazing Grace, and definitely during Great Are You God, I realized I was singing along AS LOUD AS I COULD. Haha. This is so not my usual volume. (I felt safe, my mouth was pointed away from Sue's ears, and into the wall of a back in front of me, so I was in my own little private worship booth. :)

During the half-way point, Chris shared a story of when he was first starting out (he was 18) and he tied that in with this thing he's doing on this tour...
He contacts the churches in each city he'll be performing in, in advance, asking them if they know of any extra-ordinary teen worship leader in their congregation. They're to encourage that young musician to write a letter to Chris. Who reads them all, and selects one. Then he calls that young (teen-aged) worship leader to come on stage, while he reads that letter to us, then asks the young'in to join him in leading us all in a song of worship. AND THEN HE GIVES THE LUCKY TEEN A GUITAR, and words of encouragement and I couldn't stop the tears from streaming down my face oh my goodness it was something else.

So many emotions. Such good music. So much singing.

For the first time ever, there was no encore. Instead, when Chris had finished his last song? He came out to shake hands.

And then we sat in the parking lot for an hour waiting for the traffic to move an inch. Which was totally OK because we had a lot to talk about.
Like heaven, for instance.
What will it be like? Besides all sparkly and colourful?
Will we sing the whole time? I'm not opposed to that, but I wonder.

I had this idea, a couple years ago, that heaven will be as diverse and as beautiful (OK, more so) than all of earth's best bucket-list-travel-destinations. Like the beaches of Malta or the blue waters of the Caribbean or the waterfalls in Africa or the lush jungles in the Amazon (or a million other breathtaking sites) and our gasps of awe, when we visit them all, is a form of worship that absolutely delights God. Sometimes He just shows off in nature. All the textures and colours and smells and temperatures and animals He created? Where to show us just how great an imagination He has. And He made earth so heartbreakingly beautiful FOR US, so we could get a glimpse of His character and His grandness. So I think heaven will be like earth x 1,000.  And for those us who love travelling and exploring? WE WILL HAVE ALL OF ETERNITY TO DO SO.

But for some, singing in a choir for all eternity, is their idea of heaven. So I'm sure that'll be an option too.


On Sunday, my kids and I went to Sleep Country.
To buy new beds for the place at Cultus.

(The original beds are 20 years old and had been used for years as wrestling mats and indoor trampolines. Plus, they very inexpensive display beds, for retailers who sold bedding and bedroom accessories. What I'm saying, is, it was time they were replaced.)

It took an hour, but we chose 4 mattresses 1 minute before closing. Next? For another time? Is to pick/buy bed frames for them all. And then bedding. And setting them up. And getting rid of the old ones...

Haha. Everything takes so much effort. And beds are heavy, yo.

We met my mom for supper at The Spaghetti Factory. It'll be 4 years since dad died on Tuesday, but trying to get us all together AGAIN on March 12 was a feat I would not be able to accomplish. So we went to his favorite restaurant with his favorite girl and had some salad with thousand island dressing in his memory. :)

He really was the best.

And then, because I need to cram as much family time as I can into a day, (and because its a bit of a tradition to see Marvel/DC/Star Wars movies together), we went over to Colossus to see Captain Marvel.

Her and I have similar hair cuts.
Just sayin

And thus ends week 11.

But I never got around to finishing this blog post in time, so carrying on into week 12 ...

I started listening to a pod cast on Monday night at the gym. (Which is the only place I'll allow myself to listen to podcasts. Helps me to look forward to an hour on the elliptical.) By the way, I've been doing this since early December and I haven't lost a pound or an inch. And I'm still out of breath walking up 3 flights of stairs at work. So. I need to do something more. Walking and gymming is a good after-work activity. But it isn't impacting my appearance. Or self esteem. It better be doing something to my blood sugars...)

Anyways, back to that podcast I started listening to.
It was fascinating.
I was listening to Armchair Expert (Dax Shepherd) chatting with John Gottman (of the Gottman Institue) about marriage and relationships. And statistics. And how, he can tell with 90% accuracy, after having a conversation with married couple for 15 minutes, whether their marriage will last or not. CRAZY! Dax said he'd heard/read about Gottman years ago, right when he and Kristen Bell first started being a couple. Malcom Gladwell referenced him in his book, Blink, or more specifically, referenced his Four Horsemen theory:
"The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is a metaphor depicting the end of times in the New Testament. They describe conquest, war, hunger, and death respectively. We use this metaphor to describe communication styles that, according to our research, can predict the end of a relationship."
... and he (Dax) was determined, right then and there, not to fall into the trap, of using those 4 communication styles. (Which are criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling.) You totally should click on that link ^. (Go ahead. This can wait.)

Other tidbits of their conversation that I found fascinating were:

  • Kind, attentive men have an easier time adjusting to life with a baby.
  • 66% of all marriages suffer (feel less satisfied in their relationship) during the first months of early parenthood.
  • Gottman can predict what a baby will be like (fussy, relaxed, etc) based on the way it's parents communicated to each other during the final trimester. If a conflict is not handled in a respectful kind manner, the baby is the recipient of a cortisol dump that will impact it's development. 
  • It's very important, for the development of a baby, for the mom to feel safe, loved and cherished. 
  • It's vital that dads play with their kids. 

I listened to that podcast over a few nights. Now I want to get married again so I can try all this new knowledge out. :)

On Tuesday night, Kim and I went to see a movie, randomly chosen, purely because it got a high Rotten Tomatoes score.

What a delight.
The first 5 minutes were iffy, and we wondered what we'd gotten ourselves into, but then.
Then it was story-telling at it's finest. I laughed. I cried. I loved it. And I cried again.
(Psssst. It's about wrestling. And families. And wrestling families. Based on a true story.)

On Wednesday after work Sandra and I walked the seawall. And it wasn't dark! Because Daylight Savings. Which is fast becoming my most favorite thing. It's still light out after work.

We walked from Science World to Granville Island and back again. I hadn't walked that far in awhile, so my bare feet? inside my two year old shoes? rebelled by forming blisters. Four of them. Sighhhh.

Totally worth it tho.

I accomplished SO much on Friday.
My million deadlines (all self-imposed, natch) came due this week. Which meant I was very focused on Getting Things Done. Including uploading files and files and files to print vendors, reviewing job applications that had been received for our Sr Designer position, making the official switch over from Basecamp 2 to Basecamp 3, requesting quotes for upcoming projects, planning a leadership lunch with my Creative team, planning a couple bagged lunches with the greater Focus team, being part of the team who welcomed our new Web Guy as he took his turn in a hot seat meeting, AND after work, picking up a king-size bed frame and taking it up to the lake.

It's now the weekend.
The end of Week 12.

I'm at the lake, it's 8 pm. Clint just left.
He and Max arrived on Saturday night at midnight and spent today clearing out the bedrooms and cleaning the carpets. While the carpets dry, everything is out in the hallway, in the stair well and in the family room.

The new mattresses were delivered today.

And they took away our 20 year old boxsprings...

... and a 1 million pound weight has been lifted off my back.

"Buying new beds" has been on my To Do list for 5 years. I am SO glad this got done.

It's been a beautiful weekend. The last one of winter. And I couldn't be happier.

Well, yeah. Ok. I could be happier. But this'll do.

Three things I'm thankful for:

1. Men and their muscles. From the Sleep Country guys to my guys, all using their muscles to get things done.

2. My sliver of sunshine on the deck this afternoon. I pulled out my lawn chair and my Bible and read fer a spell. It was lovely x 1000.

3. Washing machines and dryers. I've been cleaning bedding all afternoon, and am so thankful I don't have to do it by hand, in a creek.


  • Proudest moment this week: Watching C + M clean out bedrooms, shampoo carpets, deal with crap so very capably. 
  • Most embarrassing moment of the week:
  • Funniest moment of the week: Watching this:
  • Biggest achievement of the week: After researching all my options, and digging a little deeper, I found that FOR LESS THAN WE'RE PAYING NOW, I can get 1 tetrabyte of storage space! (An increase from the current 60 GB's we've used up.) By the way, if you have ANY project to manage, I highly recommend Basecamp. I'd be happy to help you get it set up for your situation. 

  • Best moment of the week: Saturday morning when the alarm didn't wake me up. My whole body smiled. 
  • Best holiday memory of the week: Sadly, another week with no holidays. Unless you count St. Patrick's Day. Which is kinda a non-event for me of Dutch/Russian descent. 
  • Best advice I heard this week:
  • Most grateful for this week: The sunshine this weekend. We had SNOW this week, and I have friends in Hawaii, Mexico, California, Arizona... Comparison is the thief of joy, and yes, I was comparing my sorry ass in BC to others who were in not-BC. So, the sunshine. Yes. Very grateful.
  • Favorite family memory of the week: Last Sunday at Sleep Country was pretty sweet. When all 4 kids were stretched out on beds at Sleep Country, I was completely at peace. It was a lovely thing. 
  • Biggest regret of this week: I've eaten waaaay too much. I need to stop. 
  • Best thing I learned this week:
From John Gottman (you're gonna be so tired of me quoting him):
 I’ve identified 13 things all couples do who have an amazing sex life.
  1. They say “I love you” every day and mean it
  2. They kiss one another passionately for no reason
  3. They give surprise romantic gifts
  4. They know what turns their partners on and off erotically
  5. They are physically affectionate, even in public
  6. They keep playing and having fun together
  7. They cuddle
  8. They make sex a priority, not the last item of a long to-do list
  9. They stay good friends
  10. They can talk comfortably about their sex life
  11. They have weekly dates
  12. They take romantic vacations
  13. They are mindful about turning toward
  • Biggest change I made this week: I started going to bed an hour later. Because of Daylight Savings. 
  • Best gift I received this week: Max gave me a thingy so that I can listen to any music that I have on my phone (currently none) through the speakers in my truck. 
  • New friend this week:
  • Most inspiring person this week: Angela Ahrendts
  • Word to describe this week: Satisfying. (Things got done.)
  • Unexpected obstacles I faced this week: This weather is an obstacle to my enjoyment of the outdoors. Especially in MARCH. 

  • Unexpected surprise this week:  I thought we'd only be cleaning the bedroom carpets (at the lake) this weekend. But Clint also dealt with the tree that came down in December's windstorm. (Also, it was 22 degrees today. We were wearing t-shirts! The snow is gone.)

  • Best place I visited this week: Homesense. And Chapters. I wandered through both stores, by myself, last Monday evening and it was perfect. Books and pretty things. I bought more Thank You cards. If I haven't thanked you for supporting me on the Coldest Night Walk yet, my sorries. I ran out of cards. 
  • New skill I learned this week: 
  • Biggest obsession this week:
  • Best food I ate this week: Kathy left some yummy meals for me in the fridge at work. Like a fairygodmothercook. 
  • Best TV I watched this week: Afterlife on Netflix. Ricky Gervais isn't my favorite comedian/actor, and the language is foul. (Because, British. Every offensive 'bad' word is used.) BUT if you can overlook some of the dialogue, it is a hope-filled story about a grieving widower and how he adjusts to life on his own.
  • Best viral video I watched this week:
  • Best meme I saw this week:
  • Best movie I watched this week: Fighting with My Family, because there were no special effects; just story. Captain Marvel was good as well, but ... you know. I like lots of words in my movies. :) (My favorite part was when Carol (Capn Marvel)'s best friend, Maria, reminds Carol of who she is. "You are Carol Danvers. You were the woman on that black box risking her life to do the right thing. My best friend. Who supported me as a mother and a pilot when no one else did. You were smart, and funny, and a huge pain in the ass. And you were the most powerful person I knew, way before you could shoot fire through your fists." I may have teared up during that part. 
  • Best song heard this week:
In my truck, on the way home from the Chris Tomlin concert, Sue introduced me to this song:

... and then she played this one. (Almost the same, but with the added opera bit in the middle...) I have been cultured.

  • Most excited about this for NEXT YEAR:
  • New skill I want to learn NEXT YEAR:
  • Place I want to visit NEXT YEAR:
  • Something to try NEXT YEAR:
  • One thing to work harder on NEXT YEAR:

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