A place to appreciate the many things in my life that I am thankful for

Archive for January, 2012


Today was the deadline for the City of Ottawa’s Arts Funding Grants. Chris and I have been working like crazy on the Evolution Theatre application and needless to say I’m grateful that it’s done!

As frustrating, time-consuming, and difficult these applications may be, I really am grateful that granting agencies exist at each level of government. I really don’t see how we would be able to produce the work that we do without them. I don’t believe that the various levels of government invest enough money in the Arts, but that’s a whole other can of worms. Right now I’m just going to be grateful that these programs are in place.

Now excuse me, I have some writing to do for the OAC Application due on Wednesday…



Today I went to an event for an organization for girls that I volunteer for and is very close to my heart. I am grateful for it for many reasons and I will write a post about it someday soon.

This group is a service organization and twice a year a girl selects a charity to fundraise and volunteer for for the next six months. The one that was selected for the coming months is called KatieBears. I encourage you to go to their website and read their full story. In short, they give away new stuffed animals to “anyone who looks like they could use a hug” – it is called KatieBears in memory of Katie, a 22 year old girl who passed away suddenly in 2009. She started giving away teddybears at a Christmas parade in 2008 and after she passed away her parents carried on the tradition, attaching a note that read “Katie believed that everyone deserved a special Christmas. We hope this makes your Christmas special” The stuffed animals they give away now have a purple button attached to their ear to identify them.

The KatieBears button

Katie’s parents were at the event today, and as soon as her mother saw Nathan she came over to say hello and give him an adorable lion that is also a hand puppet! He absolutely loves it and so do I. What they’re doing is wonderful and I’m grateful for such a special reminder to share love and spread as much joy as you can.

Nathan checking out his lion


To borrow a term from a friend, I felt like an ubermom today. Nathan slept well last night, it’s getting easier to feed him solids, he had a good afternoon nap, we played together and though he was having a rough time with his teething, he was pretty happy today. AND he went to sleep at a decent (and starting to become consistent) bedtime.
I’m very grateful for having such a smooth day. I know I’m a good mother, but having those ubermom moments feels pretty awesome! 🙂


I know I’ve been slacking over the past few days. Things have been getting on top of me and I’ve found it difficult to write. We’ve had showing requests for our house (yep, it’s up for sale), we have 2 grant applications due next week for Evolution Theatre, I had my first CBT session Monday, a doctor’s appointment yesterday and my last IPT Group session today. Toss into the mix a teething infant and I am physically and emotionally drained!

Anyhow, I do have things to be thankful for over the past few days, so here goes:

January 24th: We had multiple showing requests for our house! It’s nice that things are picking up again after fizzling off so much through December and the early part of this month. I’m grateful for the requests, but I am also grateful that Chris’ parents welcome us with open arms when we need to get out of the house for a couple hours.

January 25th: After all the snow and freezing rain we’ve had, we ended up with a nice icy mound around our parking space. Normally this wouldn’t be an issue at all, since our car would be gone when they’re plowing the parking lot, but since I’m at home with Nathan this winter, the car is often there when the plow comes by. I am therefore EXTREMELY grateful that Chris spent a chunk of time outside breaking up the ice and clearing it all away to make it nice and safe for Nathan and I.

January 26th: Tonight I gave Nathan a bath in the big tub, since he’s starting to get too big for the infant tub we have for him. I climbed in with him so it wouldn’t be so scary for him (and so I could support him better – he’s not quite sitting up on his own yet) and he had a blast! He was kicking and splashing like crazy. He kept looking up at me and smiling. I’m so glad that he enjoys being in the water and I hope he’ll love swimming as much as I do. It’s time to sign up for some Mommy/Baby swim classes I think! 🙂

He's only 2 weeks old in this picture, but I love how cute he is in his little ducky bathrobe!


Support, Part 2

Earlier this month I posted about a post-partum group that I have been a part of at the Ottawa Hospital. This Thursday will be my final session with this group, which is bittersweet. I feel that I have gained a lot from this group and am so glad to have shared a portion of my journey with these wonderful women. I am happy to know that my finishing opens up a spot for another struggling mother to hopefully get as much out of the group as I have. Although I am taking a step forward, I do feel as though I am leaving a security blanket behind.

Today, however, I started a new group. This one is Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which is a more systematic, goal-oriented approach. It will hopefully help me break some patterns and deal with the anxiety that I am feeling post-partum. I am thankful that I was able to get a place in this group and left today’s session feeling very hopeful. I also had a good chat with one of the other moms after the session, which was great. It’s really wonderful to be able to openly talk to someone else who I know is in a similar situation to mine and not feel inhibited by the stigma that is often attached to depression. I am very grateful for that too.

I am also grateful for you, dear reader. Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings and join me on my journey.

Wonderful Ladies Doing Wonderful Things

My father was a Shriner, which is described on their website as “a fraternity based on fun, fellowship and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief and truth.”  My father was a very active member in his temple, and eventually became Potentate (A position I always likened to the Grand Poobah of the Water Buffaloes in the Flintstones). One of the Shriner’s prime functions is to support the Shriners Hospitals for Children, which is “a health system of 22 hospitals dedicated to providing pediatric medical care, world-class research and educational opportunities for medical professionals.”  I’ve seen the work that these men do to raise funds and I’ve seen the system of hospitals at work. I’ve met patients who have been treated by these hospitals and their families, I’ve been to the orthopaedic hospital in Montreal. These hospitals are an amazing thing.

But the title of this post is “Wonderful Ladies Doing Wonderful Things”, so where do the women come in? Well, the wives, sisters and daughters of these Shriners decided to found their own organization and call themselves The Daughters of the Nile (keeping with the Arabic theme the Shriners already had). These women devote themselves to helping the hospitals. They raise money, they sew, they donate items, and the list goes on. When I was 21 I became a member of the local temple in Ottawa, called Sakina, of which my mother was already a member. We meet once a month and hold regular fundraisers, such a a bazaar in the fall, a Christmas auction in December (where the money raised goes towards a Christmas party for the children in the Montreal Hospital), murder mystery dinners, brunches and more. Today there was a brunch. I’m not able to contribute much time these days as Nathan keeps my hands pretty full, but I bought a ticket ($10 for LOTS of yummy food), and had brunch with my mother and some of the other members. The work that the members put into these events always impresses me. They donate a lot of the food to be served, they work in the kitchen preparing everything, they serve the guests, they clear the tables, they do all the dishes, clean everything up and more. And they do it all for free. Some of the money raised today will go towards covering expenses (which I’m sure were minimal), some will go to cover the temple’s general expenses, but the bulk will end up going to the hospital. I am in awe of what these ladies do and am glad to be a part of it and contribute what I can.

On top of being so amazing at raising funds for a wonderful cause, these ladies are extremely supportive of one another. Last April they even held a baby shower for me and another member, Sarah, who was also pregnant and due 2 weeks after me.

I am grateful to be a part of this organization. More importantly I am grateful for the amazing work they do. Thank you ladies!

The baby shower thrown for Sarah & I, April 2011

New life

I found out today that a friend is pregnant. It was a big surprise and I’m so happy for her and her partner! This baby wasn’t planned, but it is still very much loved and wanted. She already has a child from a previous relationship, so I already know that these two will be amazing parents.

Today I am grateful for the creation of new life and the joy it brings.

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