That friend.

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mommy friendsThroughout today, in situations that can only be described as mortifying, my best friend proved once again why she really is the best and why I'm so thankful I'm journeying through motherhood with her by my side.

If you've raised little ones, you know the awkward moments that almost unavoidably come with potty training. To some degree, most of us have been there. I'm currently in the eye of the storm with our two year old, Mairi. I can deal with the accidents and mishaps in the privacy of my own home; where no-one misses a beat when Miss M comes bombing through the kitchen sans pants, but in public, not so much. Twice today Mairi proved while toddlerhood is not for the faint at heart. The first incident happened in McDonalds when she just decided to forgo her diaper right in the middle of a very busy lunch hour. There was a full audience of onlookers watching Mairi hands deep in her jeans trying to remedy whatever was bothering her, when Carla swiftly jumped into action and dealt with the situation (while I awkwardly avoided eye contact and started packing up). The second situation wasn't quite so subtle. After hightailing it out of McDonald's, we moved on to the library. The kids were happily playing and Carla and I were into a nice and relaxing conversation when I spotted it... Mairi, in the middle of the library, making her way up the stairs of the slide, with nothing but her shirt on. While parents gawked and all the kids pointed and yelled "Ewwww!", I grabbed my mini nudist and ran to the bathroom. Carla, naturally, came to my rescue. She ran around the library found Mairi's clothing and brought them to me. We had a good laugh and carried on with the rest of the day (which thankfully was uneventful). Now, with six children between us, most outings never go unscathed and today was really no better or worse than most. There is always at least one injury, meltdown, hitting/biting incident and usually it's a combination of all those things. Today was embarrassing and equally hilarious. It will make for a good story to share when the kids are older and we're reminiscing about all the antics that use to come up when their mothers ventured out together. I can confidently say that this conversation will happen because I undoubtedly know our friendship is a lifelong one.

I know this because there is no competition in our friendship, we simply want the very best for the other. Between us, laughing comes as easily as openly sharing our struggles. We nurture each other's children to the point where people sometimes aren't sure which child belongs to which mother; and while I've never taken our friendship for granted, today I realized how truly grateful I am for it.

Motherhood is hard on the best of days, and on the days when it is as trying as I've ever experienced, I'm thankful to know that I have someone like her who will always run around a crowded library for me, laugh off the awkwardness, take my chid's hand as quickly as her own and be there for me through it all.

Here's to the friends that have our backs and equally, our hearts.

Life Update

winter holly Hello, friends! As I'm sure you can relate, sometimes despite our best intentions, life becomes unpredictable and causes us to have to readjust, reevaluate, and simply take a step back. Such was the case for me recently. I shared on my YouTube channel a very candid video in which I spoke about what has been going on and the reasons for why I haven't been posting as frequently as usual and as much as I had planned (specifically in my Christmas series). I know I have readers of my blog who don't necessary watch my videos, or catch all of them, so I felt it was only appropriate to keep you guys in the loop and bring my blog up to speed too.

December has proven to be as busy and hectic as I've ever known, but not for the predictable reasons I've become accustom to during this time of the year. Mairi, our youngest child, was going through an epic teething spell that started at the beginning of the month. You guys, it was like nothing I've ever experienced before... constant crying/screeching, unconsolable discontent, and an overall miserable mood (which is not our Mairi). After about a week, my Mum instincts kicked in and I felt a visit to the doctor was required, so off we went, only to discover that she was dealing with a raging ear-infection. You can imagine how truly terrible and ill-equipped I felt as a parent. Since the diagnosis, it felt like a never ending issue - first 10-day round of antibiotics did very little, follow-up appointment confirmed this, second round of meds finally remedied her symptoms and after more than two weeks, she was herself again - hurrah! Unfortunately this also coincided with the death of three close family members on my side, passing away within six days of each other. During this time our washing machine broke and we had family visit and stay with us from Australia. All around busy, mentally draining, and tiring.

I'm sure based on the above, you can appreciate why I simply couldn't manage everything on the home front while also trying to keep up with posting both on my YouTube channel and blog. I had a lot planned that I was excited to share, and simply couldn't. Such is life, less than ideal, but a very common occurrence... or so I'm learning.

With Christmas in two days, I'm still aiming to share with you as much as I can, but it will posted on my blog instead of both in video and written form. I want to make sure that in the least, I share with you the recipes I had planned, because even if you're unable to whip them up in the next couple of days - you'll be able to save them for the future.

On a very personal note, I want to thank each of you who have offered support and understanding during this trying time. Your encouragement has meant more to me than I can convey. You guys are the very best!

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Your Truth and Passion.

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Family Fall photos Blogger Headshot Last evening was an exercise in owning my truth and passion, and it was huge for me. Let me fill you in. On a whim, I reached out to a friend who is an entrepreneur and owns her own business to see if she wanted to attend a local women's networking event with a very known speaker who works in the field of promoting and encouraging women's leadership. Based on the event write-up, it seemed like something I would benefit from on a business level. If my friend wasn't up for joining me, I would have given into my insecurities and more than likely not have attended (personal fail number one). Thankfully, she had also heard of the event and was game. So, we showed up, chatted with one another, and waited for the talk to begin. After the guest speaker's introduction was given, it was announced that we would each stand up and give a 30 second "pitch" on who we are and what we do. Regardless of knowing how insightful the presentation would be, or really anything else about the evening, had I of been privy to this activity in public speaking, I wouldn't have attended (personal fail number two). I don't like speaking in a group; I'm neither comfortable nor confident when all eyes are on me, but that's not the reason I was scared (truthfully almost petrified). The real reason is that I knew I would have to stand in front of this group of successful, skilled, professional women and tell them my pitch, "I'm in the infantile stages of being a YouTuber with a coordinating blog" and the idea of that had my heart beating so fast I could physically feel and hear it. Sitting there waiting for my turn, I felt awkward, intimated, and beyond insecure. I wanted to leave, but I didn't.

Half the group had their turn and then it was mine. I don't really remember what words quivered out of my mouth, but I was honest in sharing my short summary of who I am and what I do. I wanted to cry, because while I feel more fulfilled than ever by what I do, owning it still isn't easy. I continually stumble over a job title and the little voice in my head, which isn't exactly quiet, always questions "will people chuckle when I tell them?", "what do people really think behind my back?", "what will be thought of and said about me if this endeavour doesn't work?". I've reinvented myself so many times already in my life, I've started and walked away from just a few business pursuits and I think that's in part the reason for my unsettlement, my insecurity. I think another, and perhaps the main reason, is that I'm putting myself out there in such a vulnerable way, and despite how "natural" some have thought this to be for me, I assure you it is not.

Okay, back to the evening... So, I said my pitch and sat quietly mortified until we were welcomed to mingle again. I turned to my friend, expecting we'd just continue our conversation, when several women came over to ask about what I do. Some knew about me (um, what?) while others wanted to be filled in. They were intrigued, excited, and supportive. I wasn't prepared for this. It's not that I haven't received support from family and friends, quite the opposite, but in a room full of established women with big titles and amazing success stories, I didn't expect such reception towards my "unique" job. That encouragement alone made showing up for the event well worth it; but then during the talk this revelation was expanded upon and really affirmed for me my calling and moreover, working towards confidentally owning it.

So, this is the take away, this is what I want to convey to you. Self evaluate whatever is holding you back from really claiming your own title and following your passion; both confidentially and without apology. Is the fear of failure and worrying what others may think worth the cost of not being true to you and honouring your passion and truth?  It's easy to live in the quiet of your inner voice, it's safe there, but it's not honest nor productive. When you force yourself to stand, even if you find your legs shaking, and own your title/passion/opinion it's incredible the shift in your sense of self. You're also likely to find that the reasons for doubt have no substance and live merely in the insecurity of your own mind. Being brave and stepping outside of your own comfort is the only way things really happen. When you take the leap of faith, when you step outside of what feels safe and (cliche as it may sound) believe in yourself, you establish the foundation for growth and allow possibility. Like last night for me, this is not easy. I would have been fine to have said any of the other women's titles as my own, but that's not who I am. Who I am is a work in progress; I'm being brave in trying something unconventional and there's a lot of potential in that (how exciting and liberating)!

I share, because it's cathartic for me to express myself. Sometimes it's lighthearted and other times my musings are likely more suited for a personal diary; but either way, should my  sentiment be meaningful to you, I hope you find encouragement in my story. If you're one of the lucky ones that live a fully-balanced life of following your passions and callings, please offer your support to those following behind - we need it!