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photo by Frederico Stevanin

Teehee! Yup, that’s my kind of humour. Sorry.

But that’s why you love me, right? Aww, shucks… that’s so sweet.

But on to business…

This blog is outta here. I got myself a fancy-pants new domain name and a sexy new look!

Now you can find me over at the new Red and Honey site. Ain’t that the coolest? I have my own little corner on the world wide web, and you’re invited. Yeehaw!

Now, don’t get too excited, because I haven’t totally settled on the look – I’m still playing around with it. For now, it’s up and running, and looking fairly nifty.

Don’t forget to change your feed readers, bookmarks, and other assorted techie doodads and gizmos so that you don’t miss out on the next poop story or sleep-deprived mama rant. Oh and the recipes. Mmmmm… food…

See you over there!

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I absolutely love springtime. I like the latter half of spring better however, when it’s nice and warm. But the anticipation and excitement that comes once you know spring is on its way is almost equally as delicious.

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I love the miracle of new life popping up through the ground. It’s really quite amazing. The dead of winter melts away, and the birth of new life pushes up through the ground. Thanks to my Sunday School upbringing, I can’t think of spring without being reminded of the death and resurrection of my beautiful Saviour, Jesus Christ.

I can’t count the number of Easter and springtime crafts I made as a grade-schooler with sparkles and glue and paint, with the words “Jesus is alive!”. That seed was well-sown in my little mind, that’s for sure!

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When I was growing up my Mom would always have a garden filled with flowers and lots of yummy vegetables. I remember seeing the first flowers of spring coming up and wondering where they came from.

Now that I’m old and married, with my own little garden in my backyard, I found myself with the realization that I would have to do my own garden tending… planting my own bulbs, seeds, etc. So I did. Then I waited. And waited…

Winter came. ‘Twas cold. And miserable. And sometimes pretty and sparkly. But mostly just cold. And miserable. And did I mention miserable?

Finally… spring. Mmm, oh springtime, how I love thee!

And lo and behold, look what soon came to adorn the backyard garden in all their richness and colorful glory!

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I’m not always a lover of old poetry. But oh how I love these words by Emily Dickinson…

A little madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King,
But God be with the Clown —
Who ponders this tremendous scene —
This whole Experiment of Green —
As if it were his own!

And to that I give a hearty chuckle, and say indeed! To God be the glory! For both springtime blossoms and the resurrection of Christ, I give thee praise! Thanks is due the One who made me, the One who saved me, and the One who makes the flowers grow. Thank-you Lord! To you alone is all the glory!

(For more Gratituesday, click over to Heavenly Homemakers. Thanks HH for hosting!)

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” -William Morris

I love this quote that I found on Simple Mom’s site. I’ve been trying to incorporate this philosophy into my own life lately. I’ve been sorting and purging like crazy lately (as much as I can while also taking care of Bouncy McHyperpants).

I am loving the feeling of getting rid of stuff that I no longer want or need. It gives me a feeling of power over my stuff, rather than the other way around, which is all too common in our consumeristic society (and I include myself in that – I am affected by my culture, whether I like it or not).

Stuff is like that. Sometimes I think it has a mind of its own. It calls out to me when I’m in a store, or reading a magazine, or seeings commercials on TV. It’s quite amazing, really.

The other night Honey and I were in Ikea (LOVE that place. But dang, it’s dangerous!). We were buying a new entertainment unit because the one we had was not sturdy enough to be childproof for the previously mentioned bouncy child (it was a $30 utility shelf originally, and pretty wobbly). We also decided to get a couple of new cushion covers, which are simply beeyoutiful!

On our way to the check-out (the place is so huge, it’s practically an epic journey just to get to the cashier), I found myself in a really great mood. It was nice to be out with Honey and all (a friend was sitting in our house while the little guy slept), but I think there was perhaps more to it. I think that buying things actually contributed to my good mood.

It was not totally surprising to me. A little disturbing, maybe, but not a complete surprise.

And that is why that quote is so great. I remember it when I’m tempted to buy things, when I’m tempted to accumulate stuff. There are times when stuff can be great. When it’s useful… or beautiful. But beyond that… it tends to just become clutter.

I think I’m going to frame it and put it up somewhere prominent in my house. For real. I want to try to be a little bit counter-cultural when it comes to stuff. Maybe try some of the things listed in this article on a life of less.

A year ago I took a Seminary class called “Gospel, Church, and Culture”. The professor had us watch this short animated video documentary on the origins of “stuff”. I loved it immediately. It was so convicting. It is an excellent visualization of the big picture of stuff, especially for those visual learners like myself. Watch at your own risk!

Have you thought about our culture’s obsession with consumption? Have you ever tried to consume less? What’s your personal philosophy of stuff?

I just read an excellent post on being real from This is My Life.

I was very inspired, and convicted, and torn. Oh, so many emotions surround this topic.

I am the only one of my close circle of friends that has kids. It is sorta isolating, in a way. My friends are absolutely amazing, but as any mother knows – motherhood is something that has to be experienced first-hand in order to “know”. Ya know?

So anyway, I find it difficult sometimes to be totally real and honest about how the whole motherhood thing is going, because to be honest, sometimes it’s not so pretty. And I’m afraid of putting that out there. I don’t want to be judged. I don’t want to offend. I don’t want to alienate. We women are sorta funny that way, aren’t we?

But I want to be real. And honest.

About things like how in the few months after my son was born, I sometimes wondered in the sleep-deprived far reaches of my mind if maybe I had made a mistake… maybe we should have waited longer before deciding to have children. Or how I felt relieved when we decided to let him cry it out to go to sleep because it meant I could sit down on the couch, and not have to jump up the second he whimpered. Or sitting on the couch watching my recorded episodes of Friends while trying desperately not to watch the clock and count the seconds until Daddy came home. Or the moments where I prayed and pleaded with God to please make him sleep a really long time so that I can have more time to myself. Or how I swore up and down that I would not be the kind of mom that lets her kids watch TV, and here we are at not even 7 months old and he’s totally loving the baby DVD’s I got from the church library. Or how I chose to use cloth diapers and am glad we’re saving money, the environment, blah blah blah, but really I wish I’d just done disposables because they’re easier. Oh, or how about the guilt that I feel every time I read articles about not trying to be supermom, and think about the fact that I just spent all morning on the internet with the TV on and the kid in the exersaucer, and how being supermom is not exactly my problem right now. Oh, and the kicker… I currently hate breastfeeding. It’s difficult, it’s not going well at all, and I’m mentally exhausted over it.

Sigh.

My brain feels all muddled up with sleep schedules and boob issues, sour-milk smelling mis-matching sweats and the guilty conscience that knows I could be a better mom if I chose to do something constructive rather than sitting on the couch.

I will chew on this for awhile, and perhaps write a follow-up that is a little more positive in nature. I love being a mom, really. It just doesn’t always feel warm and cozy.

And I think that’s ok.

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I’m grateful today for the fact that I live close to my extended family. My parents, siblings, and in-laws all live within 30 minutes of us, and we get to see them usually a couple times a month at least. That’s been an especially huge blessing as we became parents almost 7 months ago.

I am especially appreciative of this fact now, with the thought of moving across the country in the not-s0-far-off future for Honey’s further pilot training. I know that not everyone has family (or even friends) close by, and I am so very grateful for this blessing!

What are you grateful for? To see more Gratituesday, check out Heavenly Homemakers.

Today it snowed. Grrrr.

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OK, actually, this photo is from January 2007… but it did snow today. In April. Only a couple centimeters, but STILL! I live in Toronto for pete’s sake! I know it’s Canada, but it was 14 degrees on the weekend! (That’s 57 for those who speak Fehrenheit).

So, in my own personal protest (or wishful thinking), I give you the following photo:

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This is Isaac’s first time in a swimming pool (when we went to Florida this past February). He loved it. For about 2.4 minutes, at which point he wanted to get out. It was pretty darn cute anyway.

Looking forward to a sunny summer,

Love,

Red

Which is your fave season?Are you one of those weirdos that actually loves winter in all its cold and slushy glory? Or are you as excited as I am for the warm weather that’s coming our way (eventually)?

I recently read an article on my fave blog, Simple Mom, about Facebook. I found it very interesting, and was inspired to write my own thoughts on this social networking phenomenon.

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I remember the first time I had heard of Facebook. Honey and I had run into an old high school acquaintance in the grocery store, and stopped to make small talk (I loathe small talk).

She asked if we were on “Facebook”. We said no.

A few weeks later I was trying to remember the name of that site she had mentioned, and googled it. I found it, signed up, and the rest is history.

Until a few months ago, I was totally hooked. I found it served two main purposes:

  1. Being connected to my current social circle. It is really convenient to have the messaging feature where you can have a conversation between multiple people all at once. Also, many of my friends check their facebook more than their email, so it’s easier to get replies. And then there’s all the extras, like sharing photos, seeing statuses, commenting on them, etc. It’s like being involved in their daily lives even when you don’t necessarily see them all the time.
  2. Connecting to people I knew in my past. This is the part that I am embarrassed to admit… I got a kick out seeing where people from my past ended up. People who intimidated me, people around whom I felt loser-ish, people I thought were snobs, people I thought were cool, etc. All those feelings of inadequacy and negativity tended to come flooding back as soon as I became “friends” with one of those types of people (“Hey, I knew her in grade 9 and we were in a play together. I always felt like such a loser around her”). Why did I do this to myself? I have no idea. I also connected with people from my past who I had been friends with (my elementary school best friend, etc). However, there are actually a few cases where I re-connected in a genuine way with some good friends that I had lost touch with.

I would log-on maybe half a dozen times a day (I’m embarrassed to admit it!). I would usually just check out the homepage to see if anything interesting had come up, and if not, log off immediately. But sometimes I would meander my way around, checking out people’s pages, looking at their photos, etc. I felt like a kid again, always on the outside of the cool circle… but this time having an “in” to knowing what was going on.

The vast majority of people on my list (I had around 240 on my friend list) I had little to no relationship with in real life. I never had total strangers on my list, yet I wouldn’t say I had actual genuine relationships with them all either.

So why were we on eachother’s lists?

I think that FB provides us the ability to feel connected without making us actually go to the effort of building relationships with real people.

So a month ago, I decided to go on a facebook fast for one week. I had my husband change my password so I wouldn’t be tempted to log-in.

It was not as difficult as I thought it would be actually. When the week was over, I logged back in, and found I hadn’t really missed much at all.

Now, I log-on to FB maybe once a day, if I’m already online. I tend to check my email and google reader first, and forget all about FB! I also decided to chop some people off my list – I deleted anyone with whom I don’t have a relationship in the present, or had a significant relationship in the past and want to keep in touch. I kept anyone current social circles, like at church. I kept those who I felt I would stop and say “hi” to if I saw them on the street (and remember, I HATE small talk!).

In the end, I deleted about 100 people. It was so nice and felt so freeing!

I guess in the end, I think FB is a valuable tool in some ways, but it’s also got it’s quirks. I want to handle it carefully, as it’s super-easy to get sucked in and waste hours of your life away.

What do you think? How do you use FB? Do you think it’s helpful, or harmful?

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I know. He’s ridiculously cute. Cuteness like that should be outlawed. No one in my family gets anything done when they’re over. They just sit around playing with him and looking at him with goofy smiles on their faces.

Anyway, back to the task at hand. Your challenge for the day is to caption this photo. I have a few ideas, but I’ll keep them to myself until I see your answers.

And….

GO!

(For more Wordless Wednesday check out 5 Minutes for Mom!)

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Since having a baby 6 and a half months ago, there seems to be conspicuously less time available for Red and Honey to go on romantic and adventurous dates.

Clearly, this is a tragedy.

Though not so much as one might think. Despite the ridiculously crazy foray into parenthood that has become our lives… we’ve more or less not minded that we’ve stayed home more.

Less spending money we don’t have on dates that are forgettable anyway, more sitting on the couch sipping tea and talking with one another or watching a favorite show together… has been quite nice, really.

Nonetheless, it is still nice to get away every once in a while. To dress up pretty, and eat fancy food. To have him open my car door for me. To eat filet mignon that’s perfectly tasty and completely free

Tonight we’re going to a fancy dinner for Honey’s work. Because my Honey does the audio and technical directing of the evening, I always get to tag along, and we have a free date.

This year, though, with the noticeable decline of fancy dinners and dates as of late, I am especially grateful that we get to go again this year. So today’s Gratituesday is this: I am grateful for (free!) dates with my amazing hubby!

I’ll hopefully show you a picture of us all spit-shined and fancied up on our big date. Stay tuned!

What are you grateful for? Write about it, or leave a comment below. Don’t forget to link up to Heavenly Homemakers too!

I’m apparently supposed to be finding mine.

All the blog advice floating around the world wide web says that all good blogs have a niche. Something you write about… something you know well and can write with some modicum of authority.

Um, excuse me, but if all good blogs have a niche, then what does that make me? Chopped liver? (P.S. I don’t even want to know where that saying came from!) Seriously, what am I supposed to write? I don’t really want to write about only one thing. I want to write about random stuff that tumbles around in my head. Does that mean my blog’s going to be unappealing?

It’s true, most of the blogs I subscribe to seem to have their own little “thang” going. Like Simple Mom, for example (my ultimate favorite blog). She writes about “life hacks for home managers”, and dang is she good at it! Or Keeper of the Home, who writes about “Naturally Inspired Living for Christian Homemakers”.

But I don’t really have a niche to blog about. Nope, I can’t even decide on a style of writing. Sometimes I think I’m funny (Yep, I laugh at my own jokes, cuz I’m hilarious like that), sometimes serious (um, really?), and sometimes I even feel reflective (as in all that mushy emotional stuff. Not as in the shiny tape that crossing guards wear).

But you know what?

I think I’m going to give myself permission to just be without a niche for awhile.

Niche-less-ness.

I like it.

Do you have a niche? Do you consider a niche a vital part of a successful blog (ie. blog you wanna read)? Do you agree with me that niche is really quite a strange word? How do you even pronounce it??

I'm Red, he's Honey. I'm the writer of this blog and the source of your entertainment and/or boredom. We're parents of an exceptionally adorable child, and we have no idea what we're doing! This blog is the outlet for my thoughts along the way - welcome! Pull up a couch, grab a cup of tea, and stay a while! Or back away slowly. Whatever works.




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love this shot. Twilight at Lake Victoria

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