The State of the Ellie: October 2019

Of more delays, a mental break (and repair), and arting outside the box.

Colorful fairies string power lines in the clouds over a stormy sky with lightning - Lightnings by vladstudio via DeviantArt
The State of the Ellie is my monthly update on what's been happening this side of the screen for the last 30-ish days. It usually drops at the start of the new month, but I'm moving it to the end because it makes more sense and I don't know why I didn't always do it like this.

Immigration, Florida, and another Canadian winter

Welp. Here we are, staring down the barrel of November (seriously, how did that happen already), and despite our rosiest projections, there’s nothing to report here, except that, because there’s nothing to report, we are officially into next year for our big move. Between paperwork delays, the impending holidays, and the idea of driving a 20ft U-Haul through the Appalachian Mountains in winter, Lino and I (and our pastors) have re-re-re-calibrated our plans and are now looking at*giant sad sigh* April. Which means we’re woefully unprepared for the coming winter because this past spring all we could see in December were palm trees and beaches, so why would we need snow boots and gloves?

On the positive side, though, I had a breakthrough with my disappointment about the delays we’ve endured. I realized that Lino and I are on some kind of accelerated spiritual training track that’s growing our ability, capacity, and maturity in the Kingdom; God is stretching and growing us in ways we didn’t know we could (or thought we wanted) during this season. So I’m choosing to be content. I don’t want to miss anything by being impatient or distracted by jealousy or striving. Be here now, eh?

I accidentally facilitated a women’s workshop at our church.

Related to that accelerated training track, I was given an opportunity to lead a small group through the culminating event of this year’s series on dreams in our women’s ministry.

I sort of stumbled into it, honestly (which is how you know it’s God). Some folks couldn’t make it to the weekend retreat, myself included, so I offered to host dinner for those of us staying home. I got the green light, but because I’m me, rather than planning a simple night with friends, I wanted to tie our decor and conversation into the retreat material so everyone could feel included. Before I knew it, I was being handed official booklets and teasing out the story of Joseph with our pastor. I ended up presenting a full-blown six-hour workshop for eight women, including message, dinner, prayer, and declarations of the dreams we’ve hidden in our hearts.

And you know what? I LOVED IT.

It’s become clear to me that my path includes speaking, teaching, facilitating—roles that involve holding space and being the one everyone’s staring at (roles that give me nervous poops)—in addition to writing. Running this workshop was 100% a confirmation of that calling. It combined things I know I’m good at with things I’m just starting to wade into, and it felt like everything clicked. I’m not sure where it’s all going, but I do know that I am fully strapped in for the ride.

I had a serious mental health problem, but I got better.

I don’t want to get into a lot of detail about this here because I wrote an in-depth post about it last week, but it was a major deal, so I do want to touch on it.

The TL;DR of that post is that I suffered obsessive, graphic, intrusive thoughts after seeing an Instagram post in which a four-and-a-half year old died in an accident. It got more intense and frequent until I was worried I needed to seek help, but I couldn’t seem to tell anyone about it, either. Thankfully, I was able to scrape together enough resistance to use a visualization technique I learned in counselling to remove the damaging thought and get relief.

If this happens to you, don’t wait around like I did. Find someone to talk to and/or call a crisis hotline (here, in Canada). Please.

Drawing isn’t my forte, but Inktober has been a blast.

I’ve known about Inktober for years but never participated because I’m, you know, not a visual artist. But it turned out to be the perfect thing for my sister-in-law and I to do together as mothers with small children who know they’re still creatives despite evidence to the contrary in this stage of their lives. We decided that rather than bemoaning the loss of artistic expression, we’d art for fun instead of the serious business we’ve become accustomed to. And it’s been hella cool!

I’ve gotten behind a few times (and am still behind today), and my quirk of adding a story to each drawing has made it unnecessarily difficult, but it’s letting me play where I used to only see work and has shown me that there are stories in here yet. 10/10: Will do again.

You can see all my drawings on my Instagram for now. I’ll put up a site page here when they’re all done.

I can’t do NaNoWriMo this year, so I’m doing my own thing instead.

Speaking of challenges! I’ve participated in National Novel Writing Month twice before, but I’ve struggled with novels since finishing Mirror of Ashes. As much as I’d love to dive into Apple of Chaos using NaNo as a container, with Mack nipping at my heels all day, it ain’t gonna happen.

But! About a week into Inktober, I realized that daily art is actually possible. (You’d think I would’ve figured that out after all the Noticing posts I’ve done, but I digress.) What if I did the same thing but with tiny stories? I asked a few people and got good feedback, so I ran with it, tweaking the concept to fit my writing needs and to be fun/challenging so other people could play, too. I even made a Facebook group. That’s how you know I’m serious.

Thus, No Novel November was born! We’re starting on Friday (omg tomorrow) writing microfiction from daily prompts, and I am super hype to properly stretch my writing legs after the great warmup from Inktober. I also have this tingle in the back of my mind that this Something Important, but I’m ignoring it so I don’t accidentally smother it with attention like a toddler with a kitten.

I’d love it if you’d join us! Click/tap/focus intently on this link for more info.

Miscellaneous

  • Lino and I are second-generation gamers, and as such, when the Enthusiast Live Gaming Expo came to Toronto, his mom took us as our Christmas gift. It was rad! We got to test so many cool indie games, see some truly incredible art, and I ate half a large pizza. A good time was had by all.
  • Mackenzie was in and out of casts again for toe-walking. We’re doing physio with her at home because money and are hopeful this is the last time.
  • I do not know how to Halloween as a parent. I seriously thought trick-or-treating was the Saturday nearest Halloween if it fell on a weekday, but nooooooo. WHY NOT. It’s supposed to rain like heck here, though, so I might be able to get out of it. This year.

How did October treat you?
(Do I need to have a stern talk with it?)

What are you looking forward to in November?

The State of the Ellie: October 2019

Waiting on immigration (still), the Long Walk, werewolf toddler, body squish, and the lightning round.

The top-of-my-head update was awesome last time, so I’m doing it again. I admit this one is a bit janky, though. September was overflowing with busyness; October is shaping up to be more so; and I have eleventy-billion things clamoring for my attention right now. It makes it tough to focus. Also, 400 words died in a tragic misclicking accident, but this is already late, so apologies for the clunkiness. Onward!


Nope. Still don’t know when we’re leaving.

Immigration and the Florida Move (which sounds like a terrible island-rock band) are ongoing but without updates. A piece of paper here, a list of forms there. But no matter how many times people ask me when we’re going (or if we’re still going at all), my answer doesn’t change. I don’t know because it’s not up to me. Arabic has a great word for this that runs through my brain whenever the question comes up: inshallah, meaning “if God wills it.” I’m thinking of having it tattooed on my forehead.

In practical terms, we’re waiting for a letter with a special number that unlocks the online application process, which should speed things up. Math tells us we’re still looking at 6-14 weeks before we have the visa in hand, though. Woof.

And it was the best long walk ever.

Lino and his band of ruffians did their incredible Road to Recovery event a couple of weeks ago, and it was far and away the most successful year ever. New people marched the 148-kilometer distance, new Legion branches supported, there were tanks(!), and at current, the total raised for Operation: Leave the Streets Behind is over $60,000 and climbing—every cent of which goes to veterans facing homelessness.

I’m so wildly proud of my husband for the work he does with this organization. For the past six years, he’s put in countless hours of work to ensure that veterans and first responders are taken care of the way they should be. He never falters in his kindness, never fails to be cheerful despite blisters and sunburn and exhausted limbs. It’s his passion, a godly calling, and it shows.

If you’d like to donate to the cause, the page is up until November when the team presents a big ol’ cheque to the Legion. Click here to contribute!

Mackenzie is in a season of transition, not unlike that of a werewolf.

All month long, Mackenzie’s been riding some sort of emotional rollercoaster, the design of which is a secret even after she’s passed through the loops and dives. She’s alternately intensely clingy and intensely independent; she’s napping again but fighting bedtime; she’s more kind than ever and more manipulative, too; she’s creating extensive stories in her imagination that are sometimes delightful, sometimes horrific.

It’s a lot. For her and for me. There’s been a lot of snuggles and quiet talks and tears and discipline. Not saying who got what, but we’re navigating it together, one day at a time.

And every once in a while, she says or does something big kids do, and it reminds me that she’s only little for a little while. That, for better or worse, we’ll only be here once. It helps me to be patient; it makes her a bit concerned about why mommy is crying. It’s bittersweet, the quintessence of parenting.

On the upside, we’re watching Hilda together, and she loves it. Sharing things you love with your kid is the best.

My body is squishy again, and I’m not sure how I feel about it.

Between an ever-busier schedule and the carb-heavy diet our budget allows, my body isn’t gaining back its muscle and tone the way I’d hoped. The scale hasn’t shifted beyond normal fluctuations, and my clothes fit fine, but when I’m sitting on the couch, walking around without pants (don’t judge me, you do it, too), and getting ready in the morning, I notice softness where things were firm not long ago. And it makes me feel weird.

Last August, God asked me to trust that I wouldn’t fall back into disordered eating if worked out and tracked food to take care of my body. And I did. And it went great! (I should write a thing about this.) But after a break and this returning squish, I’m wondering if the challenge in my healing was not last year when I began, but now when I think I’ve arrived, that I’m “over it.” It may be.

Fortunately, my spiritual muscles haven’t softened, and I’m confident in Him to hold my worries for me so I don’t have to sweat it. (Well, beyond actual sweat. Still gotta get those gains.) I’m also actively choosing to embrace my body, no matter how squishy, for the bizarrely wonderful creation it is. I love my little godpod.

The lightning round

  • I learned so much about myself with the podcasting fast early in the month. The reset what super good for my brain. More about that in this giant post.
  • I decided to do Inktober this year for reasons I don’t understand. It’s way out of my area of expertise, and I’m bending the rules a bit, but it’s fun. Join me?
  • I made my first tres leches cake with a friend, and it came out pretty good! We definitely learned a lot about milk.
  • Lino went off coffee last month due to tummy issues and switched to tea, but I cannot for the life of me remember to make it for him. I hate tea. But I hate not being able to get in the bathroom more, so I shall persevere.
  • I volunteered to organize a staycation version of our church‘s women’s retreat this weekend! I am super excited! I have no idea what I’m doing! It’s going to be great!
  • I’m taking a class about the biblical concept of renewing your mind, through a neuropsychology lens, and it is blowing my mind. Definitely more on this later.

Now you! Tell me what’s been going on in your world this past month? What’s been good? Not so good? Let’s chat in the comments.

The State of the Ellie: September 2019

Delays, immigration, getting swole, the next novel, and 10kg of flour.

Gonna try something a little different, folks. I usually approach these as a comprehensive walkthrough of the previous month, but to be honest, it’s exhausting trying to remember all the tiny details.

So this time, we’re going off the top of the ol’ noggin. If you and me sat down over coffee and said, “So, how are you?” this is what I’d say.


Florida keeps changing and it’s making me insane.

The second part is a slight exaggeration, but the first part is 100% true.

We signed up for this adventure in January, aimed to leave for August 1, listened to wisdom and bumped to November 1, then Lino’s visa paperwork got accepted last week (way faster than we thought—woo!) and now, because of the way we filed, we’re here until question marks. Could be before Thanksgiving; could be after New Year’s. We just. don’t. know. *retching sounds of a control freak trying to get a hold of herself*

And while we’re happy that we’re not rushing around in a panic to sell/pack/move stuff and that we do get to say our goodbyes (unlike some of our fellow adventurers), it’s hard being left behind. Every delay, every change of plans, there’s another twinge of doubt about whether or not we’re actually supposed to go. I don’t want to live in the meantime.

But it’s not up to me. I meant it when I said that even if we are driving away in the moving van and that’s when God says to stop, we’re not going, then I’m okay with it. I might be angry and broken down for a while, but in the end, I know that I’ll be grateful for the process once I get to the other side of disappointment. I always am.

I am not grateful, however, to be staring down the barrel of another Canadian winter. Why, Lord?

American immigration is complicated.

Having gone through the Canadian system for myself and the citizenship-claiming process for Mack this year, I can confidently say that the US process is the most arcane of the three. There are so many grey areas and straight-up contradictory statements in the documentation that’s supposed to help you. I’ve shed more tears over this application than I have over Artax in the Swamp of Sadness.

There’s a reason for it, though. Every single family that’s going to the States has ended up taking a different route to residency—that’s not a coincidence. Neither is the fact that literally every adult on the team is now an immigrant, whether US–>CA or vice versa (or both). It’s become evident that God is using this process to tenderize our hearts with compassion for the people we’ll meet in Florida. While our exact situations may not be the same, we’ll get it in a way that a lot of other folks won’t.

Legal and political stances aside, I just keep thinking about someone’s 80-year-old abuela who needs cancer treatment trying to figure out all this crap. No wonder people sneak in. Desperation is a powerful motivator.

I signed back up at the gym!

I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER, YOU GUYS. There’s still a little stiffness and physical crabbiness going on, but like 90% less. I’m so glad I listened to my body telling me to move and didn’t get (too) caught up in guilt for spending money when things are so tight.

I also discovered that despite not working out for four months and being super not attentive to my eating, I barely gained any weight AND after only three weeks back at it, I’m nearly back to my previous lifts. *flexes mightily*

I confess that I’m in a bit of a transition phase, though. When I originally signed on, my goal was to shed extra weight. That’s almost taboo to say that these days, but it’s true. I felt sluggish and uncomfortable in my body, and between working out and changing how I ate, the weight came off. But then my surgery happened. Going back now, I have to change my goals—trying to lose weight would be dipping back into the pool of dysfunction. So for now, I’m gently shifting my focus to endurance (run a mile without stopping) and strength (move from machines to deadlifts). It sounds small, but it’s huge for me as someone who’s struggled with body dysmorphia, anorexia, and bulemia for the better part of twenty years.

Gonna get swole.

Is that still what we say? Swole?

Provision.

I already knew this but had forgotten, and now God is using this lean financial time to remind me: Need expands to your resources. While we’re living on 30% of what we had this time last year (or four months ago), somehow, there’s always enough. I do our books, and I do not understand how we’re not defaulting, bouncing, and overdrafting constantly. We just…aren’t. There’s always enough. It truly is miraculous. It’s also made us pissed at ourselves that we’re still drowning in debt after living so high for so many years and somehow barely making it. Shameful.

Even if we don’t end up in Florida and the only thing God is doing with this whole thing is teaching us to steward our finances better, then so be it.

Freelance work is stretching me, and I want more.

That being said, I am still looking for new, cool people to work with. My best work is done when I’m helping other writers accomplish their book-creating goals, and I’m dying to grow this wing of my business.

If you (or anyone you know) wants a battle buddy for a creative project, please do drop me a line, m’kay?

I’ve also been working with Rebilly as a Real Copywriter, which is so far out of my comfort zone that it seems to have looped all the way around to become doable. I’m deeply grateful my handler/boss gave me a chance despite my utter newbieness and for all their grace, patience, and teaching. It’s giving me new skills with which to build both the Kingdom and my family’s foundation for the future. Bless.

Forgotten Relics is on my mind.

(If you have no idea what Forgotten Relics is, don't feel bad. Short version: I used to write urban fantasy novels, and I quit just before getting pregnant and haven't been able to finish the last book of the series since. I promise to write about this someday.)

I re-read Mirror of Ashes last month, and you know, guys, that book is actually pretty good. I know writers aren’t supposed to say that about their own work, but it just IS. When it came out, a reader told me it’s the best book I’ve ever written—I didn’t believe them until last week. I wrote it at the height of my career, when I was the most engaged and fluid with my work than ever before, but I was also totally burnt out from the sheer pace I’d been operating at for three years. I didn’t want to quit; I had to quit. It was eating my soul alive. I shudder to think how wretched I’d be now if I hadn’t stopped when I did, especially given how much internal work I had to do to prepare for parenthood shortly after.

But Cora and Jack and Sofi and Manny are still with me. Even Wex and Samir and Eris. The world lives on. And I’ve carried this burden of needing to tell the rest of the story and finally closing that door with honor for the past four years.

And yet, something’s in the way besides the obvious barriers of time, energy, and braincycles natural to the SAHM with a toddler. A staticky heaviness that materializes any time I open the Apple of Chaos notebook or scratch out a paragraph in the file. Anxiety of some kind. I don’t know if it’s a warning (“it’s not time yet”) or a challenge (“rise above”), but I’m still pushing, still testing, still wanting. We shall see.

Miscellaneous: Not everything is a neat sentence.

  • I am feeling Fall this year. Usually, it makes me sad—my heart is a heart of spring—but there’s a loveliness in the air this go-round that’s got me smiling and thinking all things are possible. You, too?
  • Did you see the massive bag of flour I bought? I’ve been baking all our bread, plus being the dessert person for any dinners we have/go to, and I was going through those normal-human-sized bags every other week. This was quadruple the amount for half the price. I think this officially makes me a Real Baker? Anyone need a cake?
  • I can’t with this Murakami book. I heard “The Second Bakery Attack” a while back, then got the collection as a gift, but for whatever reason, his “wild, imaginative genius” is not clicking for me. What am I missing?!
  • I do not PSL. Just in case you were wondering.

That’s it for me! Now it’s your turn.

Take a nice, long sip of that beverage and tell me how you are doing lately. What’s been going on in your world these last few weeks?

State of the Ellie: August 2019

A (not so) brief summary of my July. Featuring a nagging case of FOMO, professional maturity, toddler attitude, and being bored with my health updates.

Another Way by Justin Peters - A man in a black leather jacket holds an umbrella with a road and landscape on top

The State of the Ellie is a monthly reflection on what’s been going on in my world for the last 30ish days.

Since the last one was late, this month’s update is of the quick ‘n’ dirty variety to avoid belaboring past points. Also, while July wasn’t calendar-busy, it was internally busy, so buckle up.

Florida

The news here is the same as last time: we’re shooting for November. As we get closer to Thanksgiving, I’m sure things will get nuts again, but for now, we’re back in hurry-up-and-wait mode. Which has given me existential whiplash. It took me a while to figure out why I’ve been feeling so tender, distracted, and lost after the timeline shift, but it’s so obvious now. We were running full tilt getting ready to go for August, then had a concrete wall slam down in front of us. Of course I’m discombobulated—going from 100 to 0 hurts.

I’m also coping with a nagging case of FOMO (as inadvertently evidenced by the story I wrote last week). Most of our team is heading south this month, and frankly, I’m jealous. The delay in our departure makes sense (for more than just immigration purposes—see “Family” below), but there is a huge part of me that just wants to go. To be there, to be starting. There’s another, crappier part of me that’s sulking about feeling left out. I know God’s using this to root out pride and abandonment issues, which is good, but uggggghhhhh. Unpleasant. Right now, I’m choosing to be excited for everyone else and to be as patient as possible until our number is called. It’s not how long you wait but your attitude while waiting that counts, right?

Work

There’s a serious leveling up happening here right now. While I don’t have a full slate of clients (yet), the work I’m doing with them, the way I handle my schedule, and even the rates I charge are morphing from wobbly-legged amateur to sort-of-confident professional person. I’m taking on challenges that make me uncomfortable but not uneasy. I’m valuing my time and skills more. I’m finding new ways, places, and times to work that seemed impossible five years ago.

I’m growing, you guys.

There’s still a fair amount of chaos, and I’m still looking for clients, but there’s a new undercurrent of competency I’ve never felt in my business life before. And I kinda like it.

Also: I wrote my first fiction last week for the first time in two years. I had to double check the dates because that doesn’t seem real. I miss it so much. I have tons of story ideas, and I want so badly to finish Forgotten Relics. But I can’t seem to pull my mental/creative/temporal shit together. Then I fall into the comparison trap—“XYZ author person writes all their novels while working 40 hours a week and homeschooling their five kids and…”—you know. Anyway. The desire is there. I can’t make any promises, but I will say there’ve been inklings in my prayer time that full-blown fiction is returning. Someday.

Family

Less than a week after we had to delay Florida, we found out why we needed to: Lino’s mom was rushed to the hospital in the middle of the night with heart issues that resulted in her getting a pacemaker. I’ll spare the long story, but the upshot is that we’re really glad we decided to stay. She’s facing a lot of changes in her life that we need (want!) to be present for and to support. On top of that, my sister-in-law is expecting her second baby mid-August, so we get to be present for and to support her through that newborn season, too. So it turned out that what we’d been angsting about as a setback to building the Kingdom was actually a green light (reminder) to be doing it here, now.

Parenting

I always feel like I should have so much more to write here. How do those mommybloggers do it?!

Each month that goes by intensifies Mackenzie’s toddlerness. The last couple of weeks, her attitude has ratcheted up to teenage Valley Girl levels, including once telling her daddy “don’t worry about what I’m doing and mind your own business.” I….what. We’re at a bit of a loss as to how to discipline that, but are doing our best to be consistent with what we know to do. We also suspect that, after six months of not needing a nap, she might need one again. The couple of times we made her lay down due to a late night, her attitude was markedly improved. Hrm….*strokes beard*

Also (TMI ALERT): Mack’s big accomplishment this month is that she all the sudden decided to start pooping on the little potty in the morning and then get right back in bed to wait for her wakeup call. WHAT. She’s been daytime trained since May, but we’ve purposely not started night training because we don’t want to deal with any stress-based regressions in the mattress department due to moving. But, hey, if she wants to poop on the potty, I’m all for it.

Health

Guys, I’m so bored with this category. It’s one of the regulars, but honestly, it’s the same stuff all the time. Cold symptoms, aching joints, weird stuff doctors don’t care much about because it isn’t bad enough. Blah, blah, blah. You guys deserve better than this. Suffice to say, I’m on sinus infection #2 of the year. Two more and the ENT will give a crap about what I say. Hooray?

Miscellaneous

  • My reading life is picking up! I wrestled that Tolkien to the ground, finally, and rewarded myself with Redshirts and a few YA graphic novels I randomly grabbed at the library. Going on to Murakami shorts next. Gotta retrain my flabby brain after four years of basically just reading nutritional labels.
  • Our local libraries show movies for free in the afternoon, and we’re taking Mack to train her up to go to the Real Theatre. Moana tomorrow. Let’s see if she can sit still for the whole thing.
  • It’s starting to be too dark at 5:30am for me to safely walk our neighborhood. This makes me sad because a) I need to exercise, and b) it reminds me that winter is coming. Argh. I might have to find some room in the budget to get back to the gym.

That’s it for me this month! Now it’s your turn.

Jump in the comments to tell me how YOUR July went and what you’ve got planned for August.

State of the Ellie: July 2019

The (not so) brief summary of my June. Featuring a revised timeline, freelancing joy, receiving help with grace, and nothing being wrong with my hearing apparently.

A grey short hair cat with a takeout box on its head that says "supreme"

The State of the Ellie is a monthly reflection on what’s been going on in my world for the last 30ish days (a bit delayed this month because life).

I don’t know about you, but my June was IN-SANE. Just looking back at my day planner is stressing me out, and it’s stuff I’ve already done.

Let’s see if I can break down the madness into bite-sized chunks.

Florida

Honestly, not a lot happened with this in June. Which is sort of the refrain of this year’s song. We continued to prune our house and make arrangements with doctors, etc, but aside from the plan finally going public, we had to pause everything for the vow renewal (see below). I’ve certainly grown a lot in terms of being able to spin more plates than ever, but handling an international move and a (re)wedding at the same time is too much for one human.

BUT! We spoke with our pastors and an immigration lawyer this week, and yada yada yada we’re staying in Hamilton at least until November 1–together. (And this could get changed again, depending on processing times.)

Which, I realized after having a meltdown about more delays, is actually a relief. Now we don’t have to DO ALL THE THINGS in the next three weeks, plus we’ll be here when my new niece arrives. And, you know, not splitting up the family for an indefinite amount of time is certainly a bonus.

Work

Is it unprofessional to say I’m shocked at how well this is going? Because I am a bit. Since going freelance in May, I’ve started working with a handful of clients who have super interesting, fun projects on the go, and I love that I get to help them bring their writing babies into the world! I even made each one their own themed Trello board. And now that Lino is home, he and I split the childcare week, meaning I get three whole days to do whatever I want (read: work like I’m on fire), so although I’m busy, I’m also more productive and more peaceful than I have been in my working life for a long time.

There’s room to grow, though! I’m always looking for editing and writing gigs, and there are only 3 consultation spots available. If you or someone you know needs a boost on their writing project, let’s talk!

Money

This part is…less good. While I’m bringing more to the table these days, June saw Lino’s last official paycheck after being laid off. He’s applied for employment insurance, but it hasn’t started yet, and our savings are dwindling. We’re cobbling together a best-case scenario for both of us to work, pay the bills, have Mack taken care of, and also prepare for the eventual exodus. It’s a lot. And we’re scared. But. Some embarrassingly-kind people have stepped in to help us out: two gave us unsolicited grocery cards, one threw huge bags of frozen meat at us and ran away, many are inviting us over for dinner. God is taking care of us. We might be living way closer to the edge of disaster than we’re comfortable with, but that’s where He does His best work.

Parenting

Mackenzie continues to be three. The fact that I can’t think of much in the way of wins and losses tells me that either I’m getting acclimatized to toddler life or I’ve lost my mind. Our day to day is a whirlwind of activities, meltdowns, laughter, half-eaten food, and wondering if I can get away without bathing her for another day because it’s already so late and she doesn’t smell like pee so it should be fine right. I will say she’s loving having Daddy home on the regular, although it’s been quite a mental adjustment for Lino. He’s gone from a high-stress corporate management job handling hundreds of employees and millions of dollars to a high-stress small human management job with one employee and no dollars. He loves it, though. They’re so stinkin’ cute together.

Love

Of everything that happened in June, our 10-year anniversary and vow renewal was far and away the best. There was a fair amount of drama leading up to it–mostly because I panicked and bought a totally different dress, then had the tailoring adventure of a lifetime and didn’t get it until the day before the ceremony–but! like all major events you plan yourself, once the day rolled around, everything went perfectly. Keep your eyes peeled for an awww-inducing post as soon as the photos are ready.

My favourite part, though, wasn’t the ceremony or the party. It was the next day when my husband turned to me after a long silence and said, “I know it’s stupid because it’s not actually different, but it just feels different today, you know?” Nothing could have made me happier. Because it is different. That’s the whole point.

Health

On one hand, I’m happily exercising sans gym by doing physio stretches and walking around the stadium weekday mornings (thank you, 5am Club). On the other hand, the ENT appointment I waited four months for to diagnose my constant low-grade cold symptoms and a slow but appreciable hearing loss turned up exactly nothing. I managed to hold it together afterward just long enough to make it to the bathroom where I burst into tears that didn’t stop until I got back to my car. I have a history of being “too early” with things happening to/in my body; I report illnesses and wonkiness long before it’s of concern to doctors. And this is no exception, it seems. I was given a prescription for FloNase and welcomed to being middle aged. It broke my heart. For now, I suppose I’ll keep going to the doc too early and asking people to talk louder until the day it’s bad enough to get help.


That’s it for me this month! Tune in the first week of August to hear how July went.

Now it’s your turn!
Share your June thoughts and July plans in the comments.