Tail End of Winter 2019

By now if you have a friend living in a snow-covered city, you would have heard of how tired they are by now. Of the cold. Of the sun-less days. Of the dull winters. But I won’t repeat the same because even though this was one of my coldest winters EVER it was also the coziest, reflective time to enjoy the indoors. I enjoyed being indoors with books, tea, heated blanket. I can’t wait for the snow to melt and see little spuds peeking out. The coldest in Edmonton this year has been -46C!! With days starting to get longer and brighter in the mornings and time change just around the corner – spring is just around!

Here are a few pictures. Enjoy.

This Year

Hey there! It has been a month and a half since I stopped by to share my life. I wish I could say I have months of content planned or that I have thrilling tales to share but we have had the coldest spell here in Edmonton and let’s just say I have been hibernating with cozy blankets and binge watching Friends the second time.

I have had plenty of time to look back at the last year and make some goals for this year. Let me lay it out here so I can look back and cross off the items. (who doesn’t like crossing off todo items?!? you don’t? WEIRDO)

Read and complete New Testament: Husband & I have been studying a chapter every day so my goal is to complete NT this year.

Books to read: Every year I aim to read up a number of books primarily fiction…but this year I have a higher goal not just a number but a specific list. The main reason these books are on this list is that I own them already either in digital format or paperback. So this goal is intertwined with my goal of not buying any books this year.

No book buying: This includes cookbooks, fiction or non-fiction book. I’ve already read 5 books this year and 4 of them were borrowed from the library. And truth is that I rarely read non-fiction books in paperback but somehow want to own them. So this goal is to remind myself how blessed I am already. Moreover, I am on a mission this year to purge ~60% of the stuff in the entire home!

Purge and then Purge Again: We got basement renovated last year and it reminded me how much I love clear and uncluttered spaces. The calm that it brings and oh the joy of not shoving stuff in drawers or thinking what would fall if I open this cabinet. Yeah. That. Kind. Of. Stress. I. Don’t. Want. So slowly I have been going through nooks and corners and drawers and mind you I am not even 20% done but hey it’s a start.

Practice gratitude every day: Last year on Christmas, my sister gifted me the day designer and it has a little section for writing daily Gratitude. Sometimes I have to force myself to think of something that I am grateful for, it’s surprising how I cannot think of even one thing but then forcing myself space runs out. It’s like opening a flood gate: hot water, heating, blanket, socks…you see where I am going with this (you can tell this woman likes to be warm)

Make something with my hands: Other than meals! I like knitting and it has been a year since I created anything so I am hoping to knit something this year.

Scrapbook 2019: Every year at the end of every month I compile, sort and print pictures of events of us. Doesn’t have to be outgoing events sometimes we take goofy selfies so that goes in the pile too. I believe that as much as digital imaging has made “capturing moments” easy it has also become harder to preserve and then look back at the time when “we went there”. So, I channel all my creative energy to create yearly (divided into months) Scrapbook. It is my third year of doing this and truly it THE thing that my husband loves to tell people and is often the topic and browsing through when we have guests over.

Trips/Hikes: We have three confirmed trips this year (Banff, Niagra Falls, and Victoria, BC) and one still in the talks but no tickets yet for visiting my sister over for Christmas to California. We also want to explore more of the national parks here in Alberta.

These are my big 7. I haven’t set a goal for health or weight. We have been hitting the boot camp 4 days/week so I trust the process and with time it should show some results.

That’s all for now – I’ll pop in again to share a few podcasts, blog posts, TED talks that I enjoyed and think are worth your time.

 

8 Things I learned in 2018

blank journal

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” ― Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

2018 was one of the most eventful years so stay with me as I summarize all our endeavors and then my take away from the experiences.

Early in the year we experimented with our diet and gave try to keto so anywhere we’d go I looked for high-fat items. Then a month and a half into it I was diagnosed with gallbladder stones. My parents advised me to change my arrival in India a week prior to our planned date so that I can get Cholecystectomy. Post surgery we celebrated our late-reception with my mom’s family in India.

In June, we celebrate little Monkey’s 5th birthday and then early July I took a 4-day trip with my sister to Vancouver. We also kicked off our basement renovation which wrapped up in November. We had my in-laws visit us for 4 months (jun-sep) and we went to see Pandas at the Calgary Zoo.

In October, I tagged along with Husband on his CITT conference (again..in Vancouver) and we went to Seattle for a day trip. My sister and her husband visited us for Christmas and we had a blast surrounded with loved ones.

Lessons

  1. What others think – I KNOW that this is easier said than done but it took me a very long time to learn and internalize that it doesn’t really matter what xyz thinks about me or if my IG feed has to be perfect. What I share is based on my experience and if it resonates with somebody they will understand and connect with me.
  2. Treasure experiences over stuff– if you’d notice in my summary above, I didn’t mention any handbag or books I bought but only experiences. This year (with health on the front focus) my viewpoint has shifted to all about places we explore, games we play and things we do and it’s amazing!
  3. Schedule Rest – like any important appointment I learned to schedule some quiet time to rest and rejuvenate for people and things that needed my attention.
  4. Treat my body right – Same as scheduling rest, working out and eating right (most of the time) is a work in progress.
  5. Write it down – We met many new people at church so I started writing their names and things they’d share about bit by bit I now know and remember more about them than if a relied on my memory. Journaling is another thing that has literally helped me straighten my big huge messed up ball-of-thoughts.
  6. Choose grace over perfection – Forgiving myself and choosing grace is the most important thing. I am hard on myself for mistakes I do and not just at work but at home while cooking or raising a toddler or forgetting to mail a birthday card etc. It didn’t take long for me to go down the path of beating myself up for screwing anything and then staying there. But now I just acknowledge, make a note of the mistake and if there is anything to learn and forget about it. Still not perfect but something again work in progress.
  7. Prayer develops faith – If you had told me to pray out loud, I’d run away far away as if someone threatened me with a gun. In all my years of supposedly faith I hadn’t prayed out loud (ever) and only until I met my husband that he slowly encouraged me to pray out loud. And i still can’t pray publicly but we pray during family prayer time and that has given me so much peace.
  8. Giving is the ultimate joy – It doesn’t have to be money or stuff but sometimes just a smile or kind words make a world of a difference. And little things are all that matter!

That’s what this year taught me. To love and forgive myself the same way I would anyone else and to take care of my body and soul so that I can pour into others.

Wish you a very blessed 2019!

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