Sunday, July 24, 2016

Exploring Signal Hill

This afternoon, Andrew and I did a little exploring around the trails on Signal Hill. We have done the popular North Head Trail many times, but we haven't really explored the other trails in the area and we've been meaning to do so. It was a warm and humid day, so we welcomed the wind (even though I had to cut the tangles out of my hair when we got home!).

The views from the top of the hill are truly spectacular, as you overlook the Narrows of St. John's Harbour, and the colourful city itself. We went inside Cabot Tower, climbed the winding staircase and stood out on the rooftop looking over the North Atlantic. So beautiful.

We never get tired of this beautiful province, and we just love living here. We love breathing in the salt sea air and discovering more and more of our island's natural beauty. This place really is spectacular.

Here are some photos from our day:

After our walk, we stopped at the Newfoundland Chocolate Café for a sandwich and gelato... to die for! 
The café is located inside the Signal Hill Visitor Information Centre, and is the perfect stop for hikers on days like today!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! If you have any favourite hiking trails, I'd love to hear about them!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Celebrating the Child I Have

I love him so much. Every inch, and every detail. Sometimes I can't believe that he belongs to me. I am so fortunate. Contemplating how he has changed my life, how he needs me, and how I need him - it overwhelms me. Brennen, you are amazing, and I am so proud to be your Mom.

Motherhood is about raising and celebrating the child you have, not the child you thought you would have. It's about understanding that he is exactly the person he is supposed to be. And that, if you're lucky, he just might be the teacher who turns you into the person you are supposed to be.” - Joan Ryan, The Water Giver

photos by Nate Gates

Saturday, July 16, 2016

A Picnic in the Park

Stella's Circle is a leading social services agency here in St. John's that offers programs for adults who have barriers to full participation in the community, including poverty, homelessness, and health issues. Stella's Circle offers help through counseling and support programs, emergency shelter and affordable housing, as well as education, training, and employment opportunities.

The Hungry Heart Café is an initiative of Stella's Circle that helps vulnerable adults access careers in the food service industry so that they can achieve independence and meaningful employment. All revenue generated by the Hungry Heart Café goes right back into the operation to fund employment training.

This Summer, the Hungry Heart Café is offering 'Loop Bag' picnic lunches (inspired by the new skating surface, 'The Loop'), and we were so excited to try them! Andrew and Brennen and I enjoyed a lovely picnic this afternoon in Bannerman Park, breathing in the sweet Summer air and just appreciating our gorgeous surroundings. Seriously, how beautiful is this park right now?

Andrew had the Ham, Gruyere & Avocado on Ciabatta with a chick pea salad, a brownie, and iced tea. I had the Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad with Mint and Cilantro Dressing, topped with a Cinnamon Pork Paté and a cream cheese square. So delicious!!

I love that Stella's Circle helps individuals by combining education with natural supports, providing a fully inclusive experience aimed at preparing individuals for employment and independent living. They ask questions like, "What is it that you want to do?" and "How can we help you get there?"

I am so thankful for the questions that they are asking, and the great work they are doing to respond to the needs of our community.

People are capable of having a very full life, if you let them, and give them guidance. It starts with accepting others and ourselves as we are, and learning to thrive as unique individuals.

Stella's Circle and the Hungry Heart Café are opening hearts and minds, encouraging people to be tolerant, compassionate and empowered. They acknowledge the fact that everyone has the right to be who they are without judgement and without shame. Everyone matters. Everyone's uniqueness contributes to our community, and that's exactly the type of community I want to live in.

Click HERE to reserve your Loop Bag Picnic!


After our picnic, we took a walk around the grounds of nearby Government House, including a visit with the horses of the RNC Mounted Unit!

Such a fun day! Brennen was exhausted by the end of it, but we were so happy to be able to get out and enjoy the sunshine! 
The forecast is calling for continued warm temperatures, and we will be making the most of it. Happy Summer!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

This boy..

“... and she loved a boy very, very much - even more than she loved herself.
― Shel Silverstein, The Giving Tree

There has been a lot of sadness lately - with the passing of a dear friend, the many tragedies that are happening in our world these days, the general stresses that come with raising a child with a disability, and thoughts of the future and what it might hold for us. It can be hard to put a positive spin on it, and to find a silver lining. There are no magic words to make the world a better place. I have to remember, though, that this is my life, and I am grateful for it. All of it. The beauty and the pain, and the ever-expanding definition of what motherhood truly is.

This boy. He reminds me that true joy is experienced most often in the regular old every day moments - the hard moments, the beautiful ones, and the moments in between where I sometimes forget to notice it. There is a lot of good out there, we just have to keep it in focus. I have to work really hard at that, but this boy shows me every day how much good is in our lives, and just how good that good is. 

Thanks so much to Melissa Pelley for these beautiful photos!