Santa Cruz, California, October 28th, 2014

Santa Cruz, California, October 28th, 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

All I want for Christmas is already here.

It's  December 23rd, and there's a short lived lull in my house right now. Sigh...hello cuppa Earl Grey!

And instead of writing some pithy Christmas post, into which I totally would have poured my heart, I want to share with you my favourite blog post of 2014.

I wrote it in April, after a very quiet season in my life.

Enjoy...and Merry Christmas!

What does Ray Charles have to do with it?

Remember how I said I'd lost my voice?

I fell in January and landed on my chin, and snapped my head back. And from that moment on, I couldn't sing.

At first, it was I could barely open my mouth. It took a month or more for the swelling in my jaw to go down enough to speak properly.

Even my teeth hurt. I'm amazed they didn't crack into pieces.

So, about a month ago, I was singing in church, but very few of my "I can do this in my sleep" notes were there. Well, I did have a wicked head cold. 


But wasn't I over that?

So, one day, when I was out doing my momming, I tried doing what I ALWAYS do when I'm alone in my van. I sing.

Well, I couldn't. I couldn't hit a single note with ANY amount of control or volume. I was devastated. I've been singing since I was a kid. I've sung in choirs, in small groups, I've done solos, you name it. 

And yeah, I might sound a bit vain, but the ONE thing I knew I could do sort of okay? I could hit those ridiculously high notes that only one other person at our church could hit.  Almost every choir I've been in, I was the go-to girl for the ultra high notes. 

And yes, I knew it, too. But one is always humbled when one blows one of those notes in rehearsal. Because when you sing that high and you blow it?

You fall really far.


Suffice it to say, I grieved the loss of my voice. It broke my heart to be completely unable to sing. I couldn't even stand to be IN church when they were singing. I actually walked out yesterday because it was so heartbreaking to be in a place where hundreds of voices were raised in song and praise, and I couldn't do it.

Yesterday at church, we had a guest.

Her name is Sheila Charles.

Sheila Raye Charles. 

And this is her daddy.

Her voice?

Her mike was barely on. She didn't even need it!! WHAT a VOICE!! Serious POWER!!!!

And after church, I NEEDED to speak with her. I needed to tell her how deeply she blessed me. 

So I waited, and waited, and finally did the unCanadian thing of interrupting someone because John and the kids were waiting...

I told her she'd blessed me and I'd lost my voice and hers blew me away. She hugged me and said "D'you mind if I touch you?"

I am Canadian. A Baptist by birth. A Wesleyan by membership. 


The next thing I knew, she gently pulled away my scarf and had her hand ON MY THROAT.

She prayed for healing, and that my doubt would disappear.

And Redheads? That girl is NOT shy.

So, after she was done bringing down the sky with her prayers, I thanked her, hugged her and walked out to the van and poof, back into mom mode.

Last night, I went to a "Bolivian coffeehouse" at a neighbouring church to hear a team speak about their recent trip to Bolivia. I told a few friends about my loss, but as I was doing so? I felt a leading to shut up.

On the drive home, I thought, "Okay Lord...did You?"

I put in a CD and...


I let it rip!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Getting real.

I just wrote, posted, shared, and then deleted, a silly and very fake Christmas letter.

Why do all that?


Because I'm tired. This last six months has been wonderful, exciting, fantastic and LONG. And I am zonked.

How zonked?

Too tired to talk on the phone. THAT is how tired I am.

But it's a good tired. Just so's ya know.

Very good.

But now, it's a week before Christmas and I have to do a few things. Like bake and decorate and anticipate and all the festive stuff that needs doing.

And what else? Oh, yeah, SLOW DOWN.

Slow down.

Intentionally do not work on my book.

Turn off Facebook. 

Ignore Twitter ( I do most of the time anyway), the news, email and just about anything that isn't tangible.

Watch cheesy movies and play Christmas music. Bake again, because the kids ate the "I'm going to get ahead of things and bake 3 weeks before Christmas" baking.

Oh, and count my blessings. 

Why? Because, like the old song says ....

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Shirts!!!

Hello Redheads, do you know what today is??
Today is "We Went Shopping Last Night and are Still Speaking To Each Other " Day.


(c) Getty Images

Is so not us.




So, here's the thing, our eldest son is graduating next Monday. It is a HUGE deal. 
And, it's a NO jeans affair. And since Hubs has a really nice weird kind of houndstooth/tweed patterned jacket that looks awesome, and awesome on him, "we" decided to go with new shirts, a tie and some pants that did not have pleats.


"Why not? They're fine!"

"No. See? They're on fire."

So we went to a NICE men's store, as opposed to the clothing racks at Bass Pro Shops, and found him some clothes that...


I'll post photos next week, but for now, just imagine Mr. I Live In Jeans in a jacket and tie, with his wife walking around in shock, and their son begging to know who that complete stranger is standing next to her.