It's December already!?!

My sweet baby girl is napping, I'm sipping on my gingerbread latter (decaf, half sweet, soy, with no whip, of course), the fireplace is going & all the thoughts rolling around in my head have finally screamed loud enough that I'm jotting them down.

This past year has flown by. It was just one year ago that we made the move to our new home near Calgary (Chestermere if you want to get technical), Alberta. So much has happened since then! My other half was on the road quite a bit for work, while I set up our house before Christmas.We found out we were expecting our first baby just before celebrating Christmas with my beloved inlaws. I took a contract position in the Alberta Cancer Foundation Event Office for a few months in the spring. We bought & sold a few vehicles, trailers, boats. I had the opportunity to speak a handful of times. We took some holidays. Before we knew it August arrived with the birth of our firstborn. Since then we've found our groove as a family of three. A few short trips have been made. We've had a babysitter. We've introduced our sweet girl to some nearest & dearest, including her three great grandparents, two of which passed away shortly after meeting her.

This past year has turned out to be an exceptional one, not without its own trials & triumphs. As I've been enjoying everyday with my baby girl the nagging desire to write just won't go away. "Write a book" has forever been on my bucket list. What that looks like, I have yet to know.

Motherhood is the greatest thing I've ever done. The smiles, coos, giggles & cuddles make me feel like the most important person on the planet. Milestones are being met & at nearly four months it's impossible to imagine my life without the beautiful soul I get to call daughter.

Our house is decorated for Christmas, though I must admit its a modified version. My meters upon meters of garland are still tucked away this year. It was as if December totally snuck up on us& before we knew it our annual decorating day had passed & our bins full of winters decor were still being stored. In fact, I must admit, we toyed with the idea of not decorating at all this year, considering our families are out of town. I'm happy we changed our minds though, even if it took me three evenings to make it happen.

I'm excited for my baby girl's first Christmas season! I realize the chances of her remembering much are slim, but I can't help but be overjoyed by the season of wonder she currently finds herself in. She could careless about the decorations, the beautiful sparkly tree or any presents, but this, this is when lifelong memories & deep traditions are birthed. For the first time ever Christmas will be hosted in my home, rather then my parents or inlaws & for that I'm ecstatic! What will Christmas look like under my roof? A gorgeous mix of Dempsey & Furukawa traditions, mixed with a few new rituals which will become familiar & comfortable for our family of three & any guests who join us in glorious celebration.

This advent season I've been preparing myself by working through "She Reads Truth: Emmanuel." I love my times of solitude (which sometimes include holding a sleeping baby). Although this time of year is often described as busy & stressful, I'm experiencing something so sacred in the preparation. In the past I've found myself helping a congregation prepare for this blessed season & have overlooked doing an adequate job of preparing myself. I'm feeling so refreshed as opposed to worn out as December 25 draws near; my soul cries out, "oh come Emmanuel."

Yes, oh come Emmanuel.


What Now?

Life seems to be just passing me by lately. Hours turn to day, which turn to weeks, which turn to months. Finding myself a week into March I can help but question, "how in the world did I end up here?"

Never before in my life have I had such feelings of uselessness. My resignation the end of September, 2012, brought a welcome break. For the first time in my life, this planner has had absolutely no plans.  Never did I anticipate I'd be unemployed for so long & yet here I am. My whole life I've known what my next step is & now I'm stuck wondering "I'm here, now what?"

Last week I had the privilege of speaking at the Christian Camping International (CCI) Retreat for Alberta in Gull Lake, AB. My mom & I did some tag-teaming in a couple of workshops & I have to say that together we work quite well. It was so refreshing to do something that I feel competent at. I love preparing & delivering messages. Public speaking has always been something that I've felt totally comfortable & dare I say, called to do. Being surrounded by camp people renewed my excitement for this summer as I'll be spending two weeks doing on of my favourite things, camp ministry. In April once again I'll get to do some tag-teaming with my mom at a women's retreat. In the midst of this wilderness of wondering what's next I love experiencing moments of refreshing, doing what I love.

I'm ready to start a new career chapter, although it could potentially be short lived. If nothing else then for the sake of my sanity I need something meaningful to do, even if it looks like making coffees or stocking shelves, or perhaps something will come of the networking done at the CCI Retreat.

As I wait & trust my greatest planning to the ultimate Planner, it's hard to imagine what's next. With the bump now forming around my tummy I'm continually reminded that regardless of what I end up doing, come August, "mother" will be added to my list of job titles.


Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

Yikes, it's been far too long since I've found myself with a blank page before myself with the opportunity to create & communicate. I have to admit, although I took a very welcome break, it's good to be back. Not only am I back to writing & blogging, but coming up in four weeks I'll be speaking again too!

This autumn/fall has proven to be full of change & in turn exhausting. The beginning of November the conditions were lifted on our offer to purchase a new home in a new community. The two weeks that followed the whirlwind began as I packed every earthly possessions we own & cleaned our first home for a new family to inhabit. This time of transition was incredibly emotional as I essentially prepared for our move on my own.

Three trailers, three Jeep's, two sets of parents & a few amazing strong hands later we were moved into our new home. It was time to settle & begin a normal life together again. Unpacking is much more fun then packing! I found that I made sacrifices in our new home as I found places for all of our possessions & yet in other areas I seemed to have room to spare. All in all, our home was starting to feel just like that, home.

Before I knew it the first of December had rolled around & it was time to prepare for Christmas. Decorations, parties, dinners, friends, family & gifts were in abundance! Oh & I was coughing & had congested sinus'.

New Years came & went with family & treasured life long friends & my cold got worse. Which brings me to today, it's nearly the end of January & I can finally say I'm feeling better...for the most part.

As always, God has been so incredibly faithful to Matt & I. We're now totally settled in a beautiful home, located in a lovely neighbourhood. We've met our new neighbours, all of which are friendly & kind. I've had the opportunity to give my body the rest it's needed as I've fought this awful virus. We've had family & friends to visit us in our new home. After spending three months apart this autumn, we've had plenty of time together to laugh, dream & cry.

Life is exceptionally beautiful & although I currently find myself in a new place, with no job, no friends (although I do have plenty of family around) & no real plan, I'm incredibly content.

With all my excuses out of the way I can say, I'm back! Time to write, dream & create.