Author Archives: Court

About Court

I am a wife to a lovable geek. A mom of two amazing boys, aged 7 and 3, who bring my world to life. A work from home Hair stylist. I Love food. Cooking food, eating food, buying food. I absolutely enjoy styling photo shoots, acting, doing hair and makeup in the theater, posting my work and cute kid photos on social media, and supporting other parents on line and in person. I have taken on my own mission this year of completing a different challenge each month. This is my way of sharing my journey and being accountable.

Oh The Shame..

“…thought of changin my name! Got down hearted…” ok, I’m done. I have not written in FOREVER! I removed my last post after some complaints, then I was too upset to write for a while, then I felt ashamed for not writing, ashamed for not meeting any of my June goals and ashamed for eating chocolate and drinking beer almost every day this week.  I feel ashamed for not sleeping enough, not eating well, not working out. I am in a slump! I feel unmotivated, but also super dissatisfied. I simultaneously want to be the best at the life I have, but also trade in this life for a different one.
How do you deal with shame and dissatisfaction? I usually write lists, I start trying harder, I clean my house, I watch more tv and try to stop thinking. I also wrestle with my own reasons for feeling shame or guilt. Why is it hard to accept me for me in these moments? Why do I need to believe the Instagram version of me? Ever notice I don’t post my chicken McNuggets and iced coffees on instagram? Ever notice I don’t post my excellent nights of binge eating and watching Netflix until 2am? I post my sneakers after a run, I post my homemade food, I post my kids roasting marshmallows, but I never think to post that moment where we are screaming at each other about not being allowed to eat iced cream for breakfast.
I am running out of steam guys. I can’t do it all. I hate that!!!  I can’t guarantee my kids are always going to be safe and healthy no matter what, I can’t guarantee they grow up into civilized humans, I cannot control the weather, other people or even my own emotions. I HATE that!  But I also prefer not controlling the world, I’d suck at it.
Now I’m tired, my hands hurt and I think I shall cut this short.
Oh the shame. Let it go…
Disney. HA!

Cheers Court

Jumping Jehoshaphat! It’s June!

Hey look! Three posts in a week! What is up with this!? I’m in the blogging zone again. How apt at the marker month of almost halfway through the year. It’s June! 

With it being a new month this brings me to a new challenge. I believe originally I had decided this to be Jumping in June. Which I had described as focusing on growing a garden, and hiking in at least one national park. I’d like to keep those goals present. I need to see what national Park is nearby and doable. I may need to visit my aunts and uncles on the Bruce if I can’t organize another option with my barely open weekends this month. But I’d like to research that more. My new challenge idea has to do with food. “What!?!” You say, sarcastically aghast, “Food!? Who knew you would want a FOOD focused challenge!?” Lol. I make myself laugh. I’m so hilarious. (Add in sardonic smirk.) I really find food challenges interesting and it’s something I stick to better I feel. So, this month I want to bake/make my way through this book:

My mom gave it to me as a mother’s day gift and I’m intrigued. She seems funny and realistic, but also reaches for a healthier place. I would like to aim to achieve a recipe a day, but I think realistically (as this is a mostly desserts book) three recipes a week may make more sense.  I will post my thoughts on each recipe, but since they are directly from the book, I won’t share all of them because I don’t want to give her work away for free. I think that adding this food aspect may help my consistency in blogging as well. 

This past month was a corker. It was busy, successful in so many ways, and I loved the Good Food Real Results challenge. My garden…didn’t happen. That’s why I don’t mind it being continued this month…

Here are some of my latest food choices:

Muffin and green smoothie

Asian beef lettuce wraps with veggies.

Peaches and cream

Chocolate cherry fruit plate

Food court fare on our mini vacation today.

Dessert from dinner. Yum. But four bites and I was done. So good, but so sweet. I also had a Caesar and ribs for dinner!

As you can gather from the food today, we are not at home. We have made a mini escape out of what was originally only a necessary appointment for the Hub’s in London. We decided to whisk the boys away to the Lamplighter Inn for two days and some family time. It’s glorious. I didn’t realize how little we’ve traveled in the last four years until Boy#2 went absolutely nutso over the hotel room having a sink and the treehouse channel on the television.

Car rides are the best…

That’s better, no sun in the eyes anymore.

These are the moments when I fall in love all over again. I mean, c’mon, a tall guy with a beard snuggling an adorable preschooler!? Who wouldn’t!?

We stopped at Build a Bear and made some new friends for our first family day away in a hotel. Boy#2 choose Sonic and Boy#1 chose a dragon. They loved it! The staff there always impress with their kindness and patience.

The view from our room. So relaxing as I sit out on the balcony as kidlets snooze. This is a vacation.

These small moments of joy and togetherness mean so much to me. They really glue us. I need to just slow down and breathe them in a bit longer. Today I found myself snapping at the boys over their excited behavior instead of reveling in their joy and life living ability. Tomorrow I choose better. 

Welcome June. Bring in a fresh breath of love and life. Bring some perspective and growth, and please don’t bring temperatures higher than 25…
Cheers

Court

Discipline (Some form of it)

Learning discipline is hard!  Learning to discipline myself enough to choose healthy, balanced meals instead of crappy sugar filled ones is hard. Choosing to go for a walk,  run, or to garden instead of sit on my butt and watch television all day is hard. Choosing my words, biting my tongue and listening instead of reacting is hard. Choosing to apologize for those times I do not control my tongue or temper is hard. Choosing to work on my attachment and communication with children instead of reacting immediately with my emotions is hard. Choosing to go to bed on time and not stay up writing a blog all night is hard! (As I post this at 2:30 a.m.)

Teaching discipline is hard! Discipline sounds like a rough word when you talk about it pertaining to children and parenting. I’m not talking about discipline like “punishment inflicted by way of correction and training”, but about discipline: “activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill;training” and “behavior in accord with rules of conduct; behavior and order maintained by training and control”. Now, I’m also not saying “It’s hard to discipline my kids”, that can be difficult to do, but quick and relatively easy compared to teaching our children self discipline and to choose discipline.  It’s easy to give in and let them have what they want, treat me like I don’t matter, or leave them alone when they don’t listen. It’s easy to lose my cool and yell when they don’t listen, to threaten extreme consequences when they misbehave. It is not easy to calmly explain natural consequences, to follow through on them, to sit through the natural storm of emotions and remain a safe harbour when they need comforting. It is not easy to continually reinforce the need for them to do their chores when they are needed to be done, to not give them their allowance when they do not complete things they know they are expected to.

This evening Boy#1 put up a very dramatic fight over going to bed at his known, and agreed upon bedtime. I told him it was bedtime, Hubs told him it was bedtime, he said no twice. He then proceeded to argue with us about why it could not be his bedtime. Finally, after almost five minutes and him kicking a table, I gave him a warning and then took away television privileges for tomorrow. I was not as calm as I would like, I had become a bit irritated with his behaviour.  Boy#1 did not stop here, he then cried and begged for tv back. I stayed in the living room as Hubs moved both boys along to bed. I breathed. Boy#1 re-entered the room teary. I snapped at him. I did not use my own discipline. He left more teary. I breathed. I went to the bedroom and asked him for forgiveness and an apology. I asked him to apologize for his behaviour. I re-enforced that the consequence would not be changed for tomorrow, but that there would not be any further consequences for this past behaviour. However, if the behaviour persisted or started up again there would be new consequences. We hugged and he became quite content and happy.
That was hard. It was painful for both of us, it was messy and emotional and human. But he is learning discipline just as I am. Learning something is never easy, it never ends, and it tends to be messy to begin. I am proud of us tonight. I am proud we made it through that bit of struggle. I love my kids. I want them to grow into strong, kind, honest men of character who know what it is to be disciplined in action and thought. I will screw up again. I have screwed up a lot in the past. Screwing up happens, but through talking it out and acknowledging my own mistakes to them, I hope to teach them that mistakes happen and that we can always accept them, make amends, and move forward. I hope they learn that even adults make mistakes and have to learn from them.

Love these weirdos and their wonderful dear hearts. I am so blessed to be their mom and love on them. The lessons are hard, but the rewards are amazing.

Cheers
Court

 

Mayawidge (11 years of it)

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Eleven years ago I married a guy. Eleven years later I now realize I had no idea what that really meant. I thought it meant life was set. I found Prince Charming, we’d be in love all our lives, have children, raise them, live happily ever after. HA!!! I was so young, so naive and so very idealistic. Not once did I really consider the selflessness, hard work and determination it takes to make and keep a marriage. Now, after eleven years, I am finally learning that any relationship takes love, time and work, but a marriage also takes study, selfless service, communication and humility.
Eleven years has brought so much our way. We have learned how to rally, how to fight, how not to fight, when to be soft, when to stand firm and when to ask for help. We have bought a house, sold a house, moved eight times, had two wonderful children together, supported each other through job changes, re-education, mental illness, physical illness, loss, and crisis of faith. We have dealt with miscommunication, deception, temptation, distracted living, bankruptcy, being on the brink of separation and divorce multiple times and fights that have left us both wondering why we are here. Our friends and family have supported us through it all, they have given us the strength and perception to make choices needed to be made.  We have continued to choose each other. To choose the work of marriage. It’s hard. It’s important, and each time we choose us again I feel we have “leveled up” in our marriage game. (Can you tell I married a video game geek?)

Through our eleven years he has learned to live with many things: my bad habit of not checking in about where I am, my crunchy hippie ways (read family cloth, composting and openly breastfeeding our children), my lack of fear of basically anything, my choosing to volunteer my time liberally without always discussing it first, my eccentricities (they number in the thousands), and my proclivity for moving things around the house without explanation and then being exasperated when no one knows where they are.  I have learned to live with his eccentricities, his love of video games, his need to know where I am (I’m learning to check in more), his fear of most “non-dangerous” (in my opinion) things, his love of eating pizza for as many meals as possible;)

Marriage is more than a wedding, it’s more than two people loving each other, it’s more than combined incomes and debt, more than a piece of paper and a “simple” vow. Marriage is a home you build piece by piece, brick by brick, sometimes the foundation is faulty, you have to shore it up, or dig it all away and feel as though you start from nothing but a big hole. Marriage is a growing, changing development. Some days you wake up realizing it has morphed into some place you don’t recognize, and you have to shake yourself and decide whether you want to stay there in it’s present state, renovate, or move.

Mine has been renovated several times now, intentionally and out of necessity.  We have brought in “contractors” to help renovate and rebuild our “home” with a stronger foundation. They have equipped us with better tools, new techniques and knowledge.  We also have some wonderful help with maintenance. Friends have given us manuals, advice, help with plastering, roofing and cleaning the windows.  Marriages take more than the two people in them to survive and thrive. We have had a crew similar to that in “Extreme Home Makeover” to secure ours.

This year we took a weekend to celebrate a Marriage we have worked very hard at this year. The Hubs mum watched the boys this weekend and we just stayed home and took a stay-cation. It was a wonderful gift.


We had a fantastic weekend with beautiful weather and wonderful friends. Finished off with some quality kiddo time. This is the gift. I am in love with my home.

Now to update on my efforts in pursuing health and wellness. Gardening: nope. I watered my tomato plant and my herbs yesterday! yay! (Heavy sarcasm)
I have been sticking to my plan, not too loosely, for the Good Food Real Results. This week is my first without the pre-planned meal plan. I just need to make sure I measure my portions. Here are a few photos of what I’ve been enjoying on the plan so far:

I have been indulging in the odd snack and drink, but I’ve felt so much better this month.

Anyway, I’m off to bed. Napped today and it threw off my entire sleep pattern, it’s 4:18. Stupid nap!

Cheers!
Court

 

Honesty, a policy, a principle, or a problem

Today I woke up sick and pantless. I remained pantless most of the morning, simply because I didn’t want to have to wash an extra pair of them and wasn’t ready to shower. Honest, right? Too much? Too bad. This is the world we live in. You are bombarded with honesty every day. Honesty that may be a brand you do not desire. Either that or we are peddled a beautiful version of the truth, that is only half. Like my own blog, where I love to post my healthy choices and ambitions:

I’m loving my time with the Good Food Real Results program from Epicure. It’s been really great for my family. Now back to reality:
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Last night was Hubs birthday. This was not on the plan. It was delicious! Not in the plan.
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Not on the plan. Oh, and pantless cheesecake eating is the best. Just saying. It is freaking hot up in here! 30 degrees outside! Pantless cheesecake time. This is honesty. Or is it?  Am I actually being honest or just telling people what I think they want to hear so I am more approachable and real? Am I just selling myself or am I truly practicing honesty? You’ll never know;) I have this internal struggle about social media, blogging, mom groups. How often are we being truly REAL? Real for the sake of reality. Not too often. It’s easier to say “I’m fine.” Instead of “Life’s shitty. I am continually questioning every decision I make, my kids are awesome but I still get angry at them, my husband is wonderful but I still battle resentment over the most inconsequential thing. my stomach is bloated and my period is not reliable.  How are you?” Let’s get real. Are you really going to do that? Go to mom group without make up, tell someone when we are upset, uncomfortable or hurt. Be warned: being real is uncomfortable sometimes, for us and for the people near us. Like my pantless confession; it sometimes leaves you a bit skeevy feeling.  Being real is supposed to be easy, but it’s also scary. We all have our realness limit. How deep can you be before you are just a walking raw nerve of emotion and overexposure? Balance in all things. For me it’s running a five K and then eating cheesecake for three days…ok two days, but tomorrow may be three.

About the Five K: I finished with a time of 38 minutes and 24 seconds, and almost barfed. More training and sleep needed.
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My whole family came out to support me, it was a great experience and I’m planning on running another in August. Once I kill this cold off it’s back to work. I need to stop eating sugar again too…

As far as my May challenge of gardening goes…nothing…nada, not even a weed pulled. I’ve been working on running and cooking and normal life and have not been in my garden at all. Hopefully this weekend. Also this weekend: putting the TV away! No TV all summer. Well, not unsupervised, so it’s moving into the office and will be used for family movie nights and only when parents deem it healthy. That’s a good challenge: TV free for the Summer.

Well, it is now midnight and I’m exhausted and hot, heading to bed, sleeping this awful cold away.

Cheers

Court

May I Meet You Here

Oh, Hello. I’ve missed you friends. I’ve thought of you and my blog every day, but writing seemed to fall to the wayside. I was focusing on getting to bed before midnight, running and exercising at least thrice a week, and beginning Monday May 1st I started the Real Food Real Results program through Epicure.

This week I was also enjoying helping out at my beloved Livery, applying makeup to some lovely actors in a spectacular play.  I was able to take in the opening night performance of said spectacular play: “The 39 Steps”, last night. I was excited to see this production; touted “Hitchcock meets hilarious”,  I love being with my theatre friends while watching my theatre friends. I have worked with almost this entire cast and crew of this ahow previously. However, this is my first time working with the talented new blood on the Livery stage: Rob Ionescu. I have known Rob outside the theatre for a few years now. A former co-worker of my Hubs, and my brother’s good friend; I’ve known Rob as more of a sweet mannered techie who loves fitness, and never knew he was an actor, a rather talented one at that! Seeing Rob onstage last night with my other three wonderfully talented friends, I was very impressed by his performance and his ability to more than hold his own in this cast of seasoned performers. Rob’s portrayal of Richard Hannay in this Hitchcock inspired parody, was brilliant, solid, and presented the perfect “straight man” for his castmates to play off of.
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I sincerely enjoyed the pleasure of seeing my dear friends, and fellow cast mates from our last play in the Livery, “The Odd Couple”. Cara Stephenson and Jordan Henry are wonderfully talented thespians and truly a joy to work with and observe. Cara plays the Femme Fatal, and two other characters, imbuing them with beguiling personality, she does so with aplomb and tremendous talent. Jordan, and another of my lovely theatre pals: Ron Plasschaert, round out the cast of four. Jordan and Ron play every other character in the play and they are fascinating, hilarious, quick, have perfect comedic timing, and are adept at accents.  These two men have the exact talent needed to make this play work. They astound me with their wit and speed.


During my stint as Make-up artist I get to share the brushes with my talented mentor Val, who taught me about hair and makeup at the Livery when I began volunteering six years ago. Val and I have the best of times prettying up our wonderful cast and tossing around the odd dirty joke to get everyone loosened up before a performance. I also get to visit with the radiant Director Nina, and my dear theatre Girl, turned star stage hand, Leigh Anne. Up in the booth I get to see in passing the ever prepared and in charge Maureen Penn, the young technical wizard Liam Morley; who bears a strong resemblance to Harry Potter, and  Keith King who has brilliantly designed some proper lighting.  Front of house my talented and ever purposed friend Jenna U. has taken on the mantel of producer as well as part time house manager. It’s a fabulous team made up of many wonderful people and I’m so privileged to be a part of it. If you are in the Goderich area and free this weekend or next, make an effort to come see this intriguing comedy, you will not be disappointed!!
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Update on my running challenge: I did not run every day. I am still running intervals, only about a minute on then two walking. That’s what I can do. And I’m doing it about three times a week with weight training and recovery days worked in. Shin splints are something I’ve always dealt with and they are back again, so I try to give extra time to weights and stretching and if they get very bad I take an extra day from running to bike or use the elliptical instead. I signed up for the Mother’s Day 5K “Run Around The Square”. I don’t think I will run the entire thing, but I will try.  This week I need to up my running game.

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This month I have down that I am to do a Gardening challenge. I want to work in my garden a half hour each day and maybe get a veggie bed going. I also want to move my composter and weed EVERYTHING!

This week I FINALLY sewed some family cloth:

I put the cloth in this lovely basket I found at the Hart store. I’ve been using it instead of toilet paper for four days now. I much prefer it. The Bidet is also in more use now and the boys are learning how to use it. Boy#2 was actually very interested in helping to sew the cloth edges. It was a great feeling as a mother, to pass on a few tips on a skill I remember beginning to learn at my own mother’s knee at a young age.

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We had a great time sewing together. He takes such an interest in small things that require dexterity.

The other thing I have been focusing on, besides sleep and reading more, is following the Good Food Real Results program from Epicure. I signed up to do a 31 day challenge while at an Epicure product launch event. My favourite Epicure consultant invited me out and I heard her speak about the program challenge and though “Why not?” I am so glad I did! I didn’t really think about what I was signing, i just did it. The first few days I was unprepared, but then I received my book and got into it. Now I am cooking three meals a day for my whole family out of the book and finding it enjoyable and simple.
Here are the meals I’ve made so far:

Day #1


Day #2


Day #3


Day #4

Day #5 (Today)


It’s been delicious so far and easy to cook for three. Boy#2 eats bread and cucumbers right now…as evidenced in pics above. I love this program and the book because it gives me an easy layout of how the week can go. I’ve really enjoyed it so far. No snacking in between meals is HARD!

Well, with this I bring this rather extensive catch up post to a close.  I’ll leave you with two starting perspective pictures from this Good Food challenge and a pretty sweet pic of Boy #2 and G-ma from this morning, and Boy#1 heading to school dressed as his favourite teacher. Two adorable these guys!!


That’s almost worse than January 1st!

Not quite,..but almost.

Here are the cute pictures I promised:


Cheers!

Court

Updates and Holidays

Happy Easter Monday! Today was a day to drive up to the Bruce Penn and visit my mother’s side of the family. My mom and I took the boys up together and had a wonderful time. After a fabulous dinner we all went for a wonderful hike through the trail near my Uncle’s home. My Fitbit tells me it was 85 minutes! It was such a fun time I didn’t realize we had hiked for over an hour. This is exercise I can really get into. Because of the hike this afternoon I decided not to run this evening since it was late and I worked until 10:39.

However, I did eat some of this today:


After ham, mashed potatoes, veggies and lovely rolls I consumed this and chocolate cake. That hike was desperately needed for sure!!

I definitely feel I could move up to the Bruce Penn and hike everyday and be fairly happy. Both my uncle’s live very close to opening points to the Bruce trail and I truly enjoy hiking from these spots when we visit. Taking my boys along this year was so much easier then the last few. They can both hike and enjoy challenging themselves to go faster, higher, or climb more. It’s pretty fabulous watching them enjoy nature and be children unfettered. 


 One of the best bits of long hikes is the quiet ride home! Sleepy bunnies!

After such a wonderful weekend of celebration I am ready for some sleep and some time to clean again tomorrow. I have enjoyed this time of spiritual reflection, personal soul searching, family visiting, and baking up treats, time to get into routine again.

My challenge tomorrow afternoon: run intervals for twenty minutes and fold laundry.

Wish me luck!

Cheers!

Court