Happy New Year!
Many of things have happened this last year... many leading to our greatest adventure.
The say change is hard... and I never got scared of change. Actually many will say I am heartless because rarely am I affected by change. But here I stand perplexed by the feelings bombarding my psyche as we speak.
I appreciate the confused feelings I am having... they are the reality that change is hard. The other day I shared a Facebook Status describing investing in one's self. But the truth is... how can you invest or do anything different if you aren't willing to change?
We are in embarking in a career and family adventure... it will take us out of the country and we will seek sun and sand while just being more in tune with growing ourselves spiritually, mentally, physically and personally. Many have told us we are insane to take our 4 kids away from family and friends... we've also been told how insane it is to leave Canada during financial instability while the Canadian Dollar isn't worth much.
Many years ago I followed along on the adventures of Heather Greenwood Davis as she took her 2 kids on a whirlwind trip around the world. And I always pondered at the thought, could I, would I??? And then I sat with my Real Estate agent and told her I always assumed my kids would live parallel teen years like I did. And I had a pretty awesome life right here so why rock the boat... to which she responded so perfectly in that moment that it resonated deep in my core: "but what if they have an even better experience there?" How could I deny them what could be better.
While I wish you a Happy New Year, I want to remind you that change really hurts but I do believe that you have to climb the mountain to reach the peaks. So may you all soar to your personal peaks, may you also embrace change and emotionally grow. Invest in you and your dreams... because while I am petrified over here, I am about to hit the ground hard trying.
People always ask how it is to be a parent of many children... while I usually feel like saying it is just what it is; I understand that our lifestyle/household isn't the norm.
So most people don't have 4 kids. So most people who have 4 kids don't live in a home in a downtown core with limited space. But I don't deem my life any different than those with 1 kid or 2. The only truth I know is I relish my deep breaths.
I know my moments of quiet are limited and I have documented that sleep is something I tend to sacrifice for sanity or work. And many will say better sleep equals more sanity but it doesn't feel that way much lately. There are many moments in the last year when sanity seemed fleeting but when I could sneak in a pause, a deep breath... I enjoyed every millisecond in it.
Life is short, it isn't an understatement. You need to look, take a deep look, and appreciate your kids at the age they are, the clean counter while it's clean, the smell of baby skin, the sound of that cackling giggle coming out of your child. Just let it seep in with your breath, feel it in your pores, absorb it in with all 5 senses.
And I promise for that moment, that breath you are exactly the same as the girl without a care in the world but your life is slightly more full. Filled with people, filled with noise, filled with love.
It's an interesting day when you walk into your local Starbucks and one of your favorite barista starts her greeting with your kids are the best.
The last time we were in there my daughters followed her around the store talking to her about themselves and learning about how the coffee shop runs itself. That day in particular my daughter was beaming from ear to ear because she had beat her fellow classmate, who happens to be the fastest girl in her class, in a race.
I encourage these moments of pride because they balance out a world where a child is down on themselves for lack capabilities in other areas.
But then barrista turns to me and says she was telling me about her race and I say to her it must feel good to beat someone and my daughter without a beat turns to her and says:
"No, I was fast because I believed in myself."
Now here is the barrista in front of me gushing about my daughter, I'm trying to stay beyond humble... but inside I'm wanting to high five my girl.
The world is full of constant reminders that girls have a chance of self esteem issues. That we need to foster their strengths. Ohhh and having 4 girls makes those messages 4x more valid.
But today I get to have the pride. I get to relish on the good moment, I get to balance my own mother moments with a check mark of a win moment.
Our house has been in a chaos that hasn't quit since May. Almost every detail has been painted, renovated and primped.
This is the first time since having babies that Thanksgiving is being put aside. We are prepping our house and it's just almost done but not enough to be up for sale. Yes, I just wrote that down SALE.
Can't pull off a large dinner and prepare to give our house to the real estate agent to be listed.
I know we've been toying with you all about a large adventure in our midst but it is slowly about to unfold, but I have to give thanks. Thanks to my husband who has worked tirelessly to make our home a beautiful living masterpiece, my brother in law who has dedicated to help my husband finish and my children who have coped and are extremely excited about our future adventure ahead of them. Also my mom who has helped out with being a second mom to my girls while I am running around like a chicken with her head cut off.
The loving people who have made this a reality is huge, yet I am just thankful of how wonderful things have fallen into place. It's so easy to expect things to fall into place, to be entitled... but what I am is extremely grateful for how all the hardwork has payed off. How soon I will be able to join another adventure.
I am thankful to future doors opening.
Today I stared at my kitchen almost in disbelief... not because it's so awesome (though it totally is) but because I got a lot of backlash for some of design decisions I was going to make when putting the whole thing together yet all together it seems to fit together perfectly.
I am a true girl at heart... I've envisioned a pink kitchen and one day will get it but I had seen a beautiful bathroom with a pink ceiling and new I needed to get that feeling. Now when you are the only female with a bunch of men workers, a very dark and cold design choices husband the backlash about a pink ceiling happens. I played the wife card, I'm also the one who cooks in our house so my kitchen. So pink ceilings it was and surprisingly all the men who weren't sure have come around and even compliment how well it works in the space.
It has never been done. I couldn't find anything even close anywhere online. But when you live and breathe brass daily because we design brass jewelry... there had to be something that represented us. After talking with our metal supplier and being informed that stainless steel sheets are put on walls we knew we just had to. And it couldn't be more awesome.
We don't live in a huge house. Actually we live in our well loved 105 year old Toronto standard 3 bedroom, being told that 9 ft of island is too much. That we almost took up our whole slab of quartz to cover it, 4 people to lift it into our house. But when people are over, my kids are colouring it couldn't be a better decisions.
Brass details and monster chandeliers
How do you pitch crystal chandeliers and brass details without scaring people off. We actually went into Home Depot to pick up brass vent covers and as my daughter ran over to the brass one a lady standing near them said: "Ohhh no no honey no one puts brass in their house anymore." I responded with, "...we have brass in our house."
We knew we'd do brass fixtures actually we planned on designing our own but we couldn't decided what we wanted to make. Next kitchen for sure. Also we knew we were going to do brass even before the wall. It made our decision to go brass backsplash easy which then confirmed our chandeliers needed to be brass as well. We planned on creating a modern light fixture on our own but our kitchen no longer felt remotely modern so classic monster crystal chandeliers read far more the elegance our kitchen was starting to become.
I really love how different our kitchen turned out, how gorgeously sparkling it is. So many fun details that all tie in. Gold/Brass being so fresh and not remotely outdated. My handmade hooded vent cover that my father made me. The tiny desk under the window that my 3 year old loves to colour at. It has provided more to my heart strings than anything and it was mine and my husband's collaborative spirit that made it so.
Where does one start about the maniacal adventures of a home reno, but through the kitchen!?!?
We knew we needed to update our old and tired kitchen and it just never seemed to fit us. After the cruel winter, the burst water pipes, the decision to make a coffered ceiling in the space... we went looking for advice and was told that what we had on our hands was the ultimate space for a kitchen.
Doing a kitchen with kids in the house is an utter nightmare and if I never have to see take out again I'd be beyond happy. So many little details make the kitchen the most grand part of our reno and I plan to share it in multiple posts.
But our kitchen is the feature room of our house; I like to call it the jewel of our home and my prized possession.
Being a mom has a lot of blessed moments... being a mom has it's bad moments but no one ever prepares you for all the hair loss you experience either after birth or after weaning from breast feeding.
The struggle is real my friends. Every pregnancy was a hair story for me. My first was a hair nightmare. I could barely brush my hair my head was constantly sore just touching it with a brush. I ended up cutting it off into the famed bob that every celebrity started doing.
I always seem to have good hair while I am breastfeeding... its the weaning that is so hard to ingest. Just clumps and clumps.
This pregnancy I had such impeccably lush hair even my hairdresser said no way you are having a girl your hair is so incredible it has to be a boy. Alas hair doesn't dictate sex... so my 4th girl arrived and then the lush hair just start to drop in clumps. Clumps like I was suffering some irreparable disease
It's just hair they'll tell you. And the truth it is just hair. But when you are attempting to morph back into your new self hair loss can get the best of your emotions.
Now to decide what to do with this new version of my hair.
We decided to renovate our house... we decided to take the leap to renovate while living in the house pregnant or with a newborn. 3 othe kids 7 years old or under and a million items to deal with.
The start and catalyst of our renos was our old living room which we wanted it to become our new kitchen. Meaning figuring out Gas and water even electrical.
We took on this project as a full time job. We put a lot to the side. We had to balance family and renos. We had to stay married. You make joke but Huffington post published an article stating that 12% of couples doing home renos get divorced or separate. And this isn't the only source of such stories. Type into Google: Divorce and Renovations... and you'll get things to avoid to save your marriage to numbers and figures about divorce and house renos.
We are slowly coming to end our renos and I can attest it's not easy. I know I'm fairly one of the most laid back easy going person I know... and if home renos can set me off a few times; well a lesser patience person probably would snap.
Living in the reno means:
•Dust everywhere humanly possible. Ohhh did you just wash that basket of clean clothing, its now covered in plaster dust, wood dust.
•Ohhh did you want to eat on this surface, its become a makeshift bench for the rest of the day.
• Everything is packed in boxes either in storage or not in the room in needs to be.
While I am relishing the renos and how much I currently love my home. It has taken a toll on my impeccable patience and my poor husband has way more grey hairs than he did last year. And I can happily report we are still very much in love and married.
I started Mommy Doings years ago as a young mom who wanted to write about what a mom is doing... that you can be a relevant person without being pigeonholed a mom. Like some how that connotation was frowned upon.
Many things have changed since I started the blog... I never appreciated the platform I had because I didn't enjoy the term Mom blogger. I didn't enjoy the label because I was more than that and wanted to describe that but couldn't find the voice I wanted to in a time where Mom blogging was actually huge.
I started my jewelry line, my passion in life and my blog took a back seat. It didn't deserve the back seat. I started the blog with the intention of being the voice of moms who are more than moms. Who push their own personal boundaries, who prevail at their job/family balance and who are out there getting it all done.
I had another emotional transformative year this last year, a huge wake up call of what I expect for myself and what kind of path I can forge for my children as a role model.
In the next upcoming weeks many things for me will change and many won't seem fathomable. I can't share my secret, my fun adventure yet... I'm excited to revisit my blog. Who knows maybe it will also get an update, a change, an uplift.
All I know is I am literally reaching for the stars and asking you to join me on my journey and share your journey with me too.