[M.M.23] patriotism and paternity.

Welcome back to Monday Mamalogues,
'linking up to share the beauty and breakdowns of motherhood'.

"Not only am I cute, I'm Canadian too"
 It's Canada Day on Monday... a holiday for all, to celebrate who we are as a nation.
None of us get to request which country we are born in... but I do feel privileged to live in this country (most days).  We're a funny lot, us Canadians... and I think the notion of 'patriotism' is probably lost on most of us around here.  If you cut us, we won't bleed 'red + white'... but we may just ooze out maple syrup and Tim Horton's coffee.
Now, I'm not a fan of hockey or hunting,
nor do I like Molson beer or deep fried 'beaver tails'.
But I love that our nation is growing more multi-cultural each year.
And most of us can trace back just a few generations to discover our descendants came from various lands across the pond.  I'm Scottish-based myself. ;o)

Now, I've always been more partial to people from other cultures... and feel more 'at home' amongst them.
I hope our kids are also raised to see people from all walks of life and feel a sense of brotherhood with them.
No matter what corner of the globe we hail from.
Or the colour of our eyes, skin, hair.
Regardless of the way we speak, or language we use.
We all share the same Maker.
We are one.

So to you fellow Canadians.. I wish you all a safe and happy holiday monday!
The rest of you lovelies... stay well out there.

mama Mel ;o)

*Do you ever wish you could raise you kids in different culture?  If so, where?
*What's your background?
P.S..  today is the FINAL day for google reader to work... if you follow through that format you'll likely want to hop over to my BlogLovin' account or add my Facebook to stay tuned!  Thanks. 


A.musing.mama! 1.9

Seriously, this girl could have the Ebola virus and she would still want to visit somebody, anybody.

In fact, every.single.morning (and after every nap) she'll stumble out of bed and before the fog of sleep has even fully lifted she'll blurt: "Who are we going to visit today?".
It's a bit ridiculous, monotonous hilarious.

Now, I always have to be guarded in my response to her, too.
IF I know we're seeing her top choice (Grandparents)... I can't tell her too early, for fear of having the incessant "are they here yet?!!" peppering my ear canals for hours.

But if I haven't planned an outing, play date or visit for the day.. that also causes a torturous whine of desperation from this girl, saying "but Mom, we NEEEEED to visit somebody!!".

She refuses to let me be introverted for even a day.  Ha.

In light of today's comic, I'm also curious - which camp do you parent from:
1) If the kids are sick do you keep them locked away for everyone elses' benefit?
2) Or do you share the 'love' with any/all who are around to help build their immune systems?

I fall more on the 'quarantine' side of things, myself.

But here's hoping laughter is still the best medicine!

Happy (long) weekend friends!

Mel ;o)

You can catch the previous series of mama comics here.


berry sweet...

Oh, the sweet satisfying sip and slurp of strawberry summer!

Do you go berry picking at this time of year?

merry berry mama,
Mel ;o)


here + there.

birds of a feather.
beach baby.
day-dreamer daughter.
laundry + leaf holder.
splashing toes.
picking a painting.
summer solstice
So here's another week, another peek at the moments that filled our nest.
Yes, the summer solstice ushered in a sticky humid heatwave to these parts.
Many a hissy fit has been had (even by the kids too)!  Did you know that one of the first places to start sweating on me is my nose..?!  If that place is a-glistening, my temper gets a-bristling.
Yeah, I'm not a real *heat* lover.

So, it's been lots of hiding in the shade, or kiddie pools, or beaches around here.

In other news, the cafe art show ended up being a fun success, so wooo!  I told Azriel she could pick out a favourite from the 'leftovers' for the kids room.  She grabbed the one right under her nose saying "pink and brown is my favourite, so I want this one".  Cutie.

Oh, and guess what?  Today after work yesterdat... I got to see our big boy take his first real steps!!
He's been free-standing a lot lately - with much applause.  Now he's a junkie for the ovations.. so he waddled across the room last night and delighted us all!  It only took him 16 months to get off his cute bottom!
Oh, he also loves to haul himself up into the brown chair there.. and sit like a king surveying his domain.  The cats have some cute competition for the throne now.

What's happening in your corner of the world this week?

Have a beauty day,
mel ;o)


confessions [of a Mel] part.15.

Sometimes I just want to give my head a shake.
You know, to look at things from a new perspective.
It's easy to get in to a pattern of thinking... like a well worn path that keeps taking you to the same part of the pond.
Or... swamp, in this analogy.

Because lately I've been battling that all-too-natural state of mind that wants to criticise others.
I'm convicted by this knee-jerk impulse to instantly look for the worst in others.
Complete strangers even.
Now, before you think I'm a total jerk (hey, stop judging me! ha.)... let's role play:

We're out driving, come to a red light, some people are walking by, we look, we comment:
"wow, look at that ridiculous outfit!"
"could that skirt get any shorter?!"
"take your time there buddy, we have alllll day to wait for you".

Those are the tame examples, right?

 mmmmm-hmmm.  We can spit out even more venomous thoughts that don't get uttered.
A mind marinated in malice.

This issue is deep-rooted I fear.
Born from our impulses to separate ourselves from others we don't 'understand'
The safety zone of 'us' vs. 'them'.
Cultivated in a culture that bases so much of it's *entertainment* on who is richer, smarter, prettier, cooler, and thinner.  Just look at our media.
Compounded by the all-too-common form of 'conversation' amongst friends/co-workers:
called gossip.
 It gets so easy to judge, doesn't it?
We can slap a label on anyone just to stroke our own ego.

Which, is really gross.
Which is why I want this area of my heart to become more sensitive in the right way again.
Sensitive to hateful, hurtful assumptions and judgements of others.
Convicted by participation in any gossip.
 I want to be more kind to human.kind.

I want to live out LOVE to friend and stranger.
I've been catching myself more often lately.
When I would naturally see someone and start to make a judgement.. I check myself.
"Wait, they're a person. a soul. a story.  a subject..  I wonder what it is?"
They are not just an object, or one dimensional caricature to be mocked.

 Maybe we could all challenge our hearts to get a fresh perspective.
So, next time you're out people watching.. see where your thoughts go.
Let's see others through a filter of love.
It's not always easy, but most good things worth striving for aren't.

"Every time you speak, your mind is on parade" - unknown.

 "Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks" Luke 6:45


heart matters,
Mel ;o)


[M.M.22] double blessing.

Welcome back to Monday Mamalogues:
'linking up to share the beauty and breakdowns of motherhood'.

Our computer has been running slower than molasses lately,
my husband thinks it may have something to do with the 8 gazillion photos/videos I have crammed in here...  hmmm..  maybe so smarty-pants.

So in an effort to sort/shuffle/ween the pile I went perusing down memory lane.
Instead of a cleaner computer 'picture file'... I made a collage

It's always so bittersweet looking back.
Seeing these two and how they are growing.
I really hope they savour the unique bond they have as they grow up.

Sure they'll wrestle, tease and taunt.
But they'll also comfort, support and embrace each other.

This week I had my first glimpse of that sweet moment... when the older sister was having a dramatic *meltdown* about her toy being stolen by little brother, he pushed the toy aside, crawled over to her and stroked (then whacked) her hair and clapped to make her stop crying.
She snuffled, looked up at him, heaved a sigh, and then dragged him in for a big hug (choker hold style).
Sure, it's like watching a miniature Of Mice and Men: where even in their attempts to show affection, they abuse each other... but it's still adorable.

Maybe that's why I'm always so eager to capture a picture of these two... a double exposure of blessing to look back on.
A full computer of memory overload.
A full heart of memories too!

Maybe I should get my act together and create another one of those online scrapbooks!

How do you organize your memories?!

mama Mel ;o)


A.musing.mama! 1.8

Yes, true stories.

So, to the neighbour washing his car,
and the girls in their short shorts,
and the lovely lady with beautiful freckles..
...I'm sorry!

Seriously, my blood pressure rises every time this little *out-loud* observer lifts her pointy finger!
 I know kids say the 'darndest things'...but when it's your kid, well, then you're in a pickle.

Did you ever blurt something out as a kid,
or did your own offspring shout a wild one lately?

blushing mama,
Mel ;o)
You can catch up on previous comics right here!


here + there.

Well hey there friends,
this isn't much of a 'here + there' slideshow.. since there wasn't much energy to spare around here this week.
This is one of those weeks, you know... the ones you wish were over already.

The ones that remind you to not take your health for granted.
Our whole nest here has now been hit hard with that pesky head cold bug.
(Right on the heels of me saying "wow, the kids have been healthy for months!" yeah.)

So we all look - and feel - pretty crummy.
It's quite draining to feel so exhausted, and then have little ones hanging off you all day too.
(Especially when the sickly boy wants to forget weening and just nurse 24/7!).
But I'll stop whining...

Our gal Azriel still keeps us laughing around here despite our blues.
(As some friends have already seen of Facebook)
Recently she's said:

"baby Hudson belongs to Daddy, and I belong to you Mommy.. because we match".

"Mommy, ask me: do you love me"
Me: "Ok, do you love me?"
Azriel: "NO. I love Grandma and Grandpa"


Seeing daughter playing with her toy cat:

Me: "Is kitty sleeping?"
Azriel: "No, kitty is dead."
Me: "Ohhhh, poor kitty did you not look before you crossed the street?"
Azi: "Mom, she can't talk. Her mouth is dead too."


And tonight after she was already put to bed:
"I need a drink. a snuggle. a song"
Me: "What song..?"
Azi: "Blueberry pie."

(Yeah, that's not a song).

Anyways.. the laundry is clattering with the loose change I always seem to miss, and the boy has finally stopped wailing his protest for being put down.
I'm sipping down an orange juice/ginger ale elixir..  and trying to comprehend the mystery of how one's nose can be so stuffed - yet running constantly.  Sorry, gross but true.
So I bid you all goodnight.

Yes, bedtime has been around 8pm here... I call it the mom version of 'sleeping in'!

Hoping for a healthier weekend ahead,
how's the week treating you, sweet souls?

Mel ;o)


D.I.Y: embroidery hoop wall art.

Pretty simple right?
Just take a group of various sized embroidery hoops and stretch a colourful collection of fabrics over them all.
(As you can see.. I still have to glue the raw edges around the backs of the hoops.. oops!)
Then lay the hoops on the floor first to get a pleasing arrangement... or just keep filling the wall with nail holes, whatever your style is!

A fun punch of colour and pattern to any space.
Here's a couple other inspirations too... this and this

For those of you wondering, we just created this play nook for the kids in the corner of our Living Room.  Yes, where the massive T.V stand used to be... what a great purge.
No more T.V, stereo, clutter, junk, stuff, etc!

Upon seeing this blank wall space I said to the hubs:
"I should fill that with fabric hoops"
To which he replied:
"Of course you should, heaven forbid there's an empty space for more than five minutes around here"!
 Oh, the dry wit... but really, he's a very patient 'minimalist' in light of my decor style.

Hoop you have fun creating your own colourful corner!

Mel ;o)


[M.M.21] mama's mode/mood:

Welcome back to Monday Mamalogues, friends!
'Linking up to share the beauty and breakdowns of motherhood'. 
I'm not proud of every moment as a mama.
Sometimes I'm just a hot mess.
I lose my patience, I fuss, I fume.
And as that crazy old saying goes: "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy".

Because parenting doesn't come easy.
There are moments that will strain and stretch you.
And if you're already battling sleep-deprived exhaustion, you'll feel ready to snap.
For me.. it's that cry-whine my kids have mastered.
You know, when they don't get their slice of life cut exactly to their liking.
The squeals that are unleashed... like fifty knives scratching down a chalkboard.
My eye starts twitching, my blood starts boiling.
I want to throw something very, very far.

Now, as of yet, I'm not a yeller.
But I can seethe the words out through my gritted teeth with such a snarl somedays.
"That's ENOUGH whining... I don't understand you when you WHINE... STOP it!!" I'll spit.
(If you're not a mama, you'll likely think me impatient... but if you have a kid, you know these graceless moments checker our day-to-day parenting).
 These are the scary moments that reveal our true heart condition.

Whether you're a parent or not, we all have sponge-like hearts.
 The stresses, angers and frustrations of life squeeze out our true attitude.
That statement kind of scares me... because I don't like what I see in my own heart.
I don't like how easy it is for me to start seething inside.
Or how quickly I give in to a bad mood or pity party.
Especially on Sunday mornings!
The day we're (trying) to get ready to meet with our church family and praise God... is the morning I feel most frustrated, exasperated, rushed, angry and exhausted.
My heart is like a rumpled heap of dirty laundry... and I get overwhelmed by the thought of tucking it all in and pretending it's pretty with the crowds.

Yesterday was no exception.
Despite coming home encouraged by a great message, the dam quickly broke in my heart, spilling out all sorts of frustration and anger... when the kids wouldn't go down for their naps according to my *schedule... my plan* (especially since I really wanted to nap myself!).
Exasperated I sat at the table, fuming.
All the while wondering why my heart is so fickle to love and rage like this.
Then I saw this raw post packed with truths (worth the read!), 
and then I hear this:
"A comforting theme throughout the Bible is that God is not near the sufficient, but the broken and desperate heart that has come to an end in itself".

And I am reminded afresh that this is not just about me.
Striving, straining, stressing to be the Mom that can 'handle' it.
  I'm reminded that we mamas are the 'mood setters' for our home.
Is my nest charged with exasperation of celebration?

So, in my mess, in my brokenness.. I can be encouraged.
I am in the perfect place to let Christ's love and strength work through me.
When the squeezes of life grip my heart...
...may those Living waters flow out.

Day by day I keep learning the lesson afresh,
mama Mel ;o)

What mood do you set for your home?


A.musing.mama! 1.7

Yep, I'm guilty of this all too often.
Spinning around the house like a Tasmanian devil.
Whirling through the loads of laundry, 
Splashing through the dirty dishes,
Reading various books, er.. blogs.
Holding one kid, then cuddling another....

Yes, that sweet wonder of a man can get lost in the daily chaos.
Do we even remember what eye colour our husband has?

It's a pretty crazy irony to stand at the altar and commit our life to someone, 
only to ignore them in the daily clutter of life.
And how often do we expend our energy on every other little thing in the day... and then give the depleted sag of a leftover lump to our man?
That just ain't right.
Let's make the time to sit across from each other and have some intentional 'eye contact' time.
To hear how each other are doing, for reals.
To drink our afternoon tea together.
To read, and pray together.
To laugh, to tease..
..and, stuff

For us, this time is only available in the afternoon.
When the baker man is *awake*.
While the kids nap.
Undistracted attention.
I savour this time of day.

So this one goes out to the one I love.
I'm looking at you Ben.. with those big gray-green eyes...like the colour of fog over a marsh.

Now, go stare at your man (but not in a creepy deranged way)!

Mel ;o)
Want to catch up on previous 'true to life/motherhood' comics?  Click here!


hair razing.

Sooooo.. I just can't hack this whole 'grow your hair out' torture.
It was like trying to watch astroturf grow.

So, I decided to do a quick trim... and now it's all Pulp Fiction style again.
So, I decided to slap some leftover red dye... and here we are.

Let's just buzz it off and try again, shall we?
Samson and I are polar opposites... hair is my *weakness*.

the red head,
Mel ;o)


a list of happy things:

+ paint palettes.

+ summer skirts.

+ new leather sandals.

+ pretty pink peonies.
+ snuggling children.

+ dinner ready.

+ quiet times reading/praying.

+ friends who 'get' me.

+ family.

+ chocolate cake.

+ colourful fabric.

+ new wedding band!

Just a few of the highlights of my week so far, and how goes yours?

Oh, and yes.. I ordered a new wedding band since I seem to have lost misplaced my chunky big amber one (for the past year)!  I love these stacking, spinner, 'meditation' rings I've seen lately.  Opted to get a frugal version of it from Etsy... and it's a beauty.
Three spinning rings within it (silver and copper).

"A cord of three strands is not quickly broken"
Ecclesiastes 4:12

 You may have guessed I'm not a 'diamond' type gal.
Keep it chunky, keep it weird... much like myself, thank you.

What's making you happy this week?

Mel ;o)


more summer sewing:

Hello again lovelies!
Recently I've been working on a few more little sewing projects, and thought I would show you the random assortment today.
The last post I showed you had some fun summer skirts... and I'm still at it:
Navy + white striped jersey cotton.
Extra material run through the waistline as the belt ties.
Of course it's hard to see the shape of the skirt when you pose if front of a growing garden... duh.
 So yeah, here you can see better.. I did that beloved 'mullet' skirt style that I love seeing every where right now (short at the front, party at the back, right?).  Fun!
(Not so fun.. Mr.Hudson going for the power sockets and answering machine buttons behind me.. again).

 I whipped this cute 'flapper' hat up for our daughter since they seem to have already lost the previous ones I made for them last summer.
I followed a pattern, but extended the brim.. (doubled it really) so she'd have a lot of sun protection, and look like a cute pirate with the flap way up there. 

 My sis-in-law has her birthday the week before mine.. so I sewed her a fun crafting bag/purse.
It's made with upholstery canvas.  And while I tried to follow a pattern, I am convinced the instructions were wrong... and after trying to re-read them frontwards and back.. I just decided to 'wing' it and use my own favourite bag as inspiration!

 Leopard sparkle print infinity scarf.
Saw this material and totally thought of my blogger bud... since it's jersey cotton I opted to make a quick scarf.  Um, for the record I attempted a new approach... sewing up the opposite ends before the length, and ended up with this mutation:

 A super long tube sock instead of an infinity scarf?!!
It's all good.. I can still wear it... and hide when I need to as well.. raaawwwwwr.
Sew there you have it.
Any creations you've been working on out there?

Happy tuesday, I'm off to work at my paint store!

Mel ;o)


[M.M.20] imperfect parenting.

Welcome back to Monday Mamalogues:
'linking up to share the beauty and breakdowns of motherhood'.

Do you ever wonder if you have what it takes to be a good parent?
You know, to not screw up your kids completely?!
Sometimes it feels like we're navigating ourselves through a gauntlet (read: guilt.let!).
We wonder if we are engaging our kids effectively enough.
Are they playful and social  - or are they the first one to bite the other kids?
We worry that we are getting enough nutrition in them.
Whether it's all organic - or macaroni and cheese!
Whether they use cloth diapers or disposable.
Attachment parenting or hyper scheduled.
Formual or breastfeed.
Homeschool, unschool, or pre-school
...the list goes on.. and on.. and on.
At every step and stage of child rearing there are a thousand (differing) voices hollering:
"are you a good enough parent for your child??!"
And there's an ocean of books and opinions out there telling us how to 'best' parent, too.
We can find ourselves drowning in the choices and voices.
It's good to be reminded right about now, that kids are resilient!
No matter how we succeed (or fail) throughout this parenting journey.. our kids are growing up into their own little personalities...
And you know what?  Your best is enough for them.
Perfection is not required of you.

(Granted, that 'coming-of-age' moment when you first realize that your own parents don't have ALL the answers in the world.. is a bit shocking).

But now, as I look back, it seems that the best impact a parent can have is through a role of loving availability to their child.
(For me - that love is the outflow of holding to the God of love).
Not perfection, not all the answers.
Just being there.
In all our mess, in all our weakness.
Living out love.
One day at a time.

You're doing a good job mamas.

*What's one of the best lessons your childhood taught you?*

mama Mel ;o)


A.musing.mama! 1.6

The magnitude of chaos that occurs in the nano-second that you're on the phone for...
...is a fact proven daily, here.

It's a wonder that I ever *risk* answering the phone at all.

a musing mama,
Mel ;o)
You can catch up on previous comics here!



Ok guys, here's the post I was referring to yesterday.   I'm super excited to bring you this new Pair//Spective *series* with my friend/photographer Kiki!

A couple weeks ago we went on a photo-shoot adventure to an abandoned barn.
The drive took longer than I envisioned.. and though the country road seemed to stretch on for an eternity.. we finally came upon the dilapidated barn, in that perfect 'golden hour' of evening.

We quickly started snapping shots,
Kiki was weighed down with a multitude of various manual/polaroid cameras..
I just had my digital Canon PowerShot (and of course my battery died while we're there.. gah!).

We still managed some happy results, and decided this could be the perfect start to a 'diptych' styled collaboration we had been discussing in the past.

Here's the fusion of our two perspectives:
Distant view of the barn.
My Canon digital on the left  ~ Kiki's polaroid 104 land camera on the right.
 I love how illuminated my shot is in contrast to the striking silhouette that Kiki captured.
Long grasses. My digital on left ~ Kiki's Pentax SP1000 on right.

I think I only caught one blade of grass in focus, but I love the soft diffused light in Kiki's shot.
Close up of barn. My shot on the left (bones on the window sill) ~ Kiki's shot on the right.
There was a large (cow?) bone on the sill, and a remnant of a jaw bone.. after cautiously approaching it like a scaredy-cat (fearing some squatter would jump out at me) I summoned my inner Indiana Jones and snatched them as souvenirs.
Poor Kiki still has them in her car, as I keep forgetting to get them.
Captured portraits.  My shot of Kiki on left ~ her shot of me on the right.
It's fun that neither of us knew the other was taking a picture here, we're so sneaky.
Let's all agree that Kiki's commitment to 'old school' manual cameras and 'real' film show a depth of crispness and creamy light that digital cameras fail at conveying.
I really am glad she's got that perspective to share here.
You can also hop over to her blog today to see her side of the story...(oh, and the pictures are beautifully BIGGER there too)!

So there you have it, the first edition of our new pair//spective posts.
Hope you enjoyed it!

Mel ;o)