Sometimes I hear voices. Yes. Voices. My voices, in my head, telling me stories. I think it’s akin to composers hearing music. Sometimes these moments come out of the blue, sometimes because of a smell, a sight, a feeling. Tonight it comes because of another writer (though I do not think of myself as a writer, being anywhere near this writer’s level), Stuart McLean.
Tonight, as I was listening to The Vinyl Cafe podcast, I was inspired by one short sentence: “There is abundance in scarcity”. Then, while trying to find future Vinyl Cafe concerts, I came across the motto, which hangs in Dave’s record store, “We may not be big, but we’re small.” Then came the voices, and I just had to write. If I don’t, the inspiration leaves and who knows when it will come again.
“We may not be big, but we’re small”. I needed that tonight. I often daydream about our future home with it’s multiple floors, extra bedrooms, double vanities and dedicated library. I think about one day when we have all of our kids running around and I get to fulfill my lifelong dream of being a soccer mom who makes cupcakes and casseroles every day. While I know that those days will come, I tend to get lost in the one days and forget about the today.
Today, we’re not big. We live in our cozy basement (which, yes is an upgrade from our first home), with one bedroom, and one bathroom with one sink. Our “library” also contains a lot of storage, and Christopher’s office. But, we’re small. We can talk to each other when we’re in different rooms (though I apparently have a very quiet voice that doesn’t carry well. We may not have everything we have ever wanted, but we have an abundance of blessings, one of the biggest being our love. I like to think that when we have that big house with all those kids, and soccer balls, and cupcakes, I’ll miss the “small” and “scarce” days. I might miss not having to go up or down stairs to do the laundry, or use the washroom, or get a cookie from the kitchen. I might miss only having one storage room, or one closet (not sure about that one, actually). So, today, I will be grateful for the small. I will look for the abundance in our scarcity. And I will remind myself that I am living today, not someday.


Today, my parents celebrate their thirty-second anniversary. In the twenty-plus years that I have been observing their marriage, I have learned a lot.

1. It’s okay to be different.
My mom and dad have things in common, but they don’t share all of their interests. From their example, I learned that it’s important to have separate interests, because it is those differences that can make your marriage stronger.

2. You are a team.
Whenever a decision was to made, they made it together. They live their lives together. They do stuff together. And in those decisions and events in their life, they support each other.

3. Make sure your children know you love each other.
When I was younger (and still today, actually), my dad liked to tease us by kissing mom in front of us. We thought it was gross. But, looking back I think of how lucky I was to grow up with parents who loved each other and showed that love. Because of that example, I had high expectations of what my marriage would look like.

4. Put the Lord first.
In the thirty two years that my parents have been through a lot. And from my experience, in all of that, they put the Lord first, and they have been blessed.

Happy anniversary, mom and dad. There is no way I would be the wife I am today, or the wife I am working toward becoming, without your amazing example.



Dance Inside

Remember at the beginning of Saturday’s Warrior, when Pam can dance, then she comes to earth and because she is in a wheelchair, she can’t dance, but she knows that one day she will? That’s how I feel tonight. Every time that I watch So You Think You Can Dance, I am often left breathless, sometimes in tears, and always wishing I could do what they do. But my body can’t do that. But, then I had a thought. My spirit can dance. I feel it.

Running — Sort of.

Tonight, I went for a run. Actually it was more like a jog for thirty seconds, gasp for breath while trying to walk fast for the next five minutes. Maybe not quite that bad. But close.
I really do love to run. Last year, I was running quite a bit in the spring, a bit in the summer, and mostly stopped in the fall. Trying to schedule time, snow, and overall laziness stopped me from doing much for the last eight months. But, knowing that my body needed it, I decided just to do it(I also might have been procrastinating a bit, since I have a talk to finish for tomorrow in church).
Even though the short jog was not great, I did have some time to reflect on my life, and gain some insight.
Sometimes, life is hard. Like really hard. Things happen, like turning the corner and realizing the further you go that you accidentally turned down a street with a steep hill. But when these things happen, you just have to keep going. You keep going, but you don’t have to run your hardest. You can walk as slow as you need to. Because sometimes just getting through that moment is what matters, not how.
And once again, I was reminded that I need to stop comparing myself to others. I am a really slow runner, I need to be okay with that, even if my fastest sprint is slower than Usain Bolt’s slowest walk.

Thank You for the Music

Last night, as my husband and I were driving home from babysitting our nephew, I was changing radio stations, trying to get away from yet another Miley Cyrus song (I feel like she is infecting this planet). I landed by chance on CBC Radio 2 which was playing the program Tonic, a Jazz program (because jazz makes you cooler, right?). My husband complained that the music was putting him to sleep, but I felt the opposite. My soul felt alive. The trumpets. The saxophone. The bass line. I love it. I then began to tell my husband about how much I love having diverse taste in music.

When I was younger, around thirteen or fourteen, music was truly my lifeline. I got through many a heartbreak (because being a fourteen girl means you get your heart broken daily) from the acoustic guitar of Dashboard Confessional. I loved anything with a pop-punk kind flair, and even tried a screamo phase, which didn’t last very long. Besides my eternal love for The Beatles, my circle of  musical interest did not extend far.

But in later years with some exposure to different genres, I came to appreciate music for being music. I love that tonight as I was cleaning I had a varied playlist that ranged from The Beach Boys to The Shins to Lady Antebellum to songs from my favourite musicals like West Side Story and Funny Face.

Music is still my very much lifeline. Even though my life isn’t as tragic as I thought it was when I was fourteen, it still gives me breath when I feel breathless. Music adds joy to my best days and gives me comfort on my worst.  As ABBA sings, “without a song or a dance, what are we?”. I find immense truth in that. Music inspires me, motivates me, and gives me a home, no matter where I am.

The Beatles

I was twelve years old when I discovered a very sad truth — there are people out there who have never heard of or listened to The Beatles. It was a sad day for me. I was sad for them. Didn’t everyone’s parents listen to The Beatles? Apparently not.
When I was in grade 7, the greatest hits compilation, 1, had come out a couple of years earlier, and my Humanities teacher played it in the background while we worked. I was at home with those songs. But, I found out from many of the other students (not just those who came from immigrant families) that it was not mandatory for parents to pass down a love of John, Paul, George and Ringo to their children. I think it should be.
This morning as I listened to “Hey Jude” (one of my all time favourites), I was reminded how lucky I am to have been given such a great foundation for my taste in music. Thank you, dad.
I promise the next generation will know the songs of The Beatles — the originals, not the ones from Glee.


{photo by Harry Benson}

Hello, September!

August is gone, and September is here. It is strange to think that we are 3/4 of the way through 2013. And yet, here we are. I have always loved the fall and all that it brings. It’s a new beginning of sorts, a time to start over. I have always loved the freshness of the autumn season. Though the month of September always brings with it new schedules, with a new school year, or getting back to a normal pace at work, to me it has always seemed calm, like things getting back to normal.
This September also marks a new chapter in my life. For the past twenty years, I have started a new school year every September, but this year I decided to take some time off and will just be working. It’s weird not buying school supplies, or memorizing a syllabus, or buying crazy-expensive textbooks. I’m sad and excited all at once.

Speaking of the newness of fall, I was reminded of a quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

fallIsn’t that exactly how it is? I could not have said it any better.