Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Seek and You Will Find

I felt like a kid today.

I think while I've been becoming an adult I've managed to keep my childlike wonder mostly intact, but today it came rushing back in full force.

I went on a treasure hunt.

An honest-to-goodness

kind of treasure hunt
and I found my prize

Okay, maybe it was full of buttons and trinkets instead of rubies and diamonds, but it didn't matter. I'd gone on the hunt and found exactly what I'd been looking for; a geocache.

Such a thrill over finding such a simple thing....
geocaches can be hidden by anyone, and found by anyone - anywhere in the world.

There's probably one closer to you than you think.

I researched a couple close to me that I thought I could try
and sure enough
on my first geocaching adventure
I found the jackpot

Tucked inside with all the trinkets was a
little log book of all the times this one has been found.
It was first hidden on January 23, 2011
and has been found by other treasure hunters
55 times since then.

So. I plopped myself down in the grass and dirt,
beside a couple of trees,
with a bit of nature's debris stuck in my hair,
and added my name to the list.

I added a trinket, closed up the box, and hid it exactly where I found it.
It's there for you to find, and when you do, I guarantee you'll feel
the same rush of simple joy
that kept me floating for the rest of the day.

Monday, June 27, 2011

In Life & In Song

I've been singing this song a lot these past few weeks. Whenever the sun decides to show it's face through the rain clouds the first line "Sunshine won't you be my mother?" always comes to mind.

I have always been a huge supporter of the rain. Still am. When I wake up and it is raining I am a very happy person. But I do enjoy the sun. The warmth and comfort it brings, how you can feel it prickling your skin when you've been in it too long ;)

But the song is clear in stating that you can not fully appreciate one without the other...

Thanks Switchfoot. Alright my fellow Albertans, let's "Hold fast" for summer, and know that when you can see your shadow, you can see the sun as well.

Friday, June 24, 2011

With a Little Practice

I've found it!
A new hobby for everyone to take on this summer

Forget driving, imagine impressing all your colleagues with your new found transport skills.

Hello Spiderman!

Although I'm sure any of my own parkour attempts will only end up looking like this

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


The Swedes are here!


That means being outside, eating good food, and enjoying good company. It also means that everyone becomes a little bit more Swedish... even if they are just pretending.

In Sweden they celebrate Midsummer, the longest day of the year, and that was on Monday! So in honor of our cousin's wonderful presence we celebrated as well! First things first, we dance around a Maypole which is ornately decorated with ribbons and flowers!

Right... then all the young maidens run around and find seven different kinds of flowers, jump over seven different fences, and put these flowers under their pillows so that they dream of the man that they will marry!

So... not all of us found seven different KINDS of flowers...

And yes we did substitute BENCHES for FENCES... although we did find this one fence...

AH! Ok so we didn't follow the rules, and I didn't have ANY dreams Monday night, but life is good. Family is good. Enjoying the time you spend together is good...

...and summer is good.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Music Monday - This One's for You

I'm pretty sure it was love at first sight - or at least love at first listen.
It took no time at all for me to fall for

forget "sweetest eyes'
I think hers is the sweetest voice I've heard in a long time.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tom's ;D

I am in love. In love with a man named TOMS. He sells shoes... wonderful shoes. And then, he gives the same amount of shoes that he has sold, to people in the world who can't afford to buy shoes.

It was inspired, like a lot things, by travel. A trip to Argentina to be exact. After then all it took was dedication to keep the inspiration going until it became reality.

Take a look...

These are my favorite.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Music Monday: One For The Kids

So we had the kidlets over this weekend. Theo and Zaeli were a blast! We ate candy, went to the park, saw Kung Fu Panda 2, made new friends, wrote some stories, ate ice cream, played some hockey, coloured, played dress-up! All the wonderful things that bring joy like nothing else.

It is because of these two crazy cats that today's song is Despicable Me! From the movie! They both love the song, and the movie, so Theodore Philip, and Zaeli Francis, this one is for you :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Don't Try This Alone

The other day, a group of us went out climbing, and for the first time in my life I "lead" an outdoor route.

After climbing 20 meters up, I got stuck, and spent 20 minutes in the same spot, trembling.

Six of my friends - all of which had their feet firmly planted on solid ground - took turns yelling instructions at me:

"You've got a foot hold for later by your right knee."
"Reach left - I found some good holds there."

"Keep your arms straight - if they're bent you'll get tired faster."

Their constant chatter just made me feel rushed and more nervous than I already was.

The challenge with lead climbing is that there are sections of the route where the consequences of falling are greater (the risk of falling is always a constant, no matter what type of climbing you're doing) but this time, knowing that I was "safe" or "in danger" was mentally punishing especially during the moments of greatest consequence - where taking a fall would feel more the Drop of Doom.

The part where I got stuck was during an important part of the climb where I had to push myself through a long dangerous section while maneuvering around a ledge and challenging my climbing technique, trusting my gear, before I could get to a "safe" place again.

I was having an inner dialogue of
"I can't do this. I just can't do this...."
"But it'll be so satisfying when you do! The triumph is greater if you over come it - don't let this beat you!"

Not a word of a lie, I was quaking. The elements seemed to be punishing me with the scorching sun and whipping wind. My heart was pounding, my limbs shaking.

I finally looked at Laura, my belayer, cousin and friend, and shook my head as if to say "no. i can't do it"

The chorus of voices behind her started up again...but were stopped with a swift "Nope." that escaped my mouth.
They shut up pretty quickly.

And I finally found my voice.

With everyone now quiet I was able to explain to Laura that I was afraid of the distance between where I was and how much rope would be in the line before I could make it to the next safe place.

She told me "Trust your climbing. Don't worry about the rope. If your feet feel good and your hands feel good, you'll climb. You won't fall."

It was as if she spoke my faith into existence.

I did exactly what she said, I got over the fear of a long fall, found places where my feet and fingers felt secure and I just went for it.

I trusted.
I climbed.
And I didn't fall.

I completed the climb, turned around and soaked in the view from the top of the rock face. Staring down at the entire valley with it's mountain peaks, luxurious forest carpeting and teal blue lakes all underneath my feet felt

So scary, so satisfying. So worth the risk.

Climbing is not a solo sport. Though I thought I was alone on the climb, I underestimated the power of Laura's wise encouragement as a companion.

It is in my nature to try to do things on my own, but I'm trying to remember that
"Ailen doesn't have to be an Island"

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Crazy Days

Monday and Tuesday were both crazy days for me. Here's to hoping that Wednesday will be clear cut, as they say. Well... not really as they say, because I think I just made that up. Still, the sentiment remains the same.

Now when the going gets tough, as it inevitably does in everyone's lives, I've found the best solution is friendship. I happen to be blessed with a lot of that these days, and living with my sister means that I get double the dose of friendship per square foot ;)

So here's a shout out to some friends who helped calm and lift my spirits through their acts of bravery and courage, laughter and well placed comedic timing!

Thanks you guys. I know that you probably had you're own stuff going on, and you were generous enough to spend time and energy on my troubles. I cannot thank you enough.

I hope to be able to be that person for you. All of you... This is now going out to my friend who is reading this right now, yes I mean YOU! Never hesitate to lean on me when you need it. We all take turns forgetting our own stuff and helping each other out. That is the only way to get through this crazy life.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Music Monday - For West Coast Travellers

Some songs are the west coast.

I've been pining over songs that represent that wild rocky oceanside
these song are

like the rain

yet the images that are conjured

tuck in around me like a blanket and make me feel

like a rock

*and apparently their videos are shot in black and white...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Featuring Aimee

A looooooooooooong time ago I asked my friend Aimee if she would mind being featured on our blog.
She's been included in posts before, but this week
is celebrating a very special birthday
so it only seems fitting that she finally get a post all to her fabulous self.

For this very special occasion, I've written a poem, just for my friend:

A is for Amazing Aimee who
Instantly became my OOUF*. She has
Mighty laughter and a mighty right hook
Everyone wishes they could dance like her or at least catch a glimpse of that
Extra bling on her ring ;)

Okay, it's not a flashmob, but it's close.
Happy Birthday, Aimee!

*outside of work friend!