Our Journey Through Infertility…Conclusion

Hi there!  If you are joining us for the first time today, you may want to go back to the beginning of the story part one is here , part two is here , part three is herepart 4 is here. and part 5 is here. As promised …here is the conclusion…

This time, we didn’t wait to tell our friends and family. I figured, most of them have walked most of this journey with us, might as well have them pray and walk along this stage with us too. So my younger sisters helped me a prepare a dinner for some good friends and we surprised them with the news…it was so. much. fun.

I don’t remember when we settled on the name Lucas, but I do remember speaking to him long before I could feel him moving around…I had minimal morning sickness and because I was still on Sabbatical I wasn’t overly tired because I could sleep whenever I wanted. But soon my sabbatical would be over and I would be returning to ministry and the school in the midst of a lot of upheaval…but I knew it would be short term for me because of mat leave, so the stress of it didn’t really effect me thankfully. The summer weeks flew by.

We had been invited to the wedding of some former students and now very good friends and had made plans to travel to Florida at the end of the summer…it would be just past the 12 week mark.

I was at work the day I was supposed to begin packing and I noticed some spotting…there was a moment when I felt all the fear and torment from the past 5 years rush up and try to overwhelm me…I rushed home without telling Chris, and ran around the house tearing open drawers and cupboards.

I had to find it…please don’t laugh, or roll your eyes, or get overly analytical.  I was looking for oil. It was this “anointing oil” a guest speaker had given out at a church meeting…I had scoffed at the time, thinking that if it’s in the bible, it doesn’t matter if you use olive oil, or coconut oil to pray with… I had not been convinced it was “special” , but “just in case I’m wrong” I hadn’t thrown it away…(BTW, I’m Still not sure it was special) but “just in case” I had dumped it all over myself and started thanking God that my joy would be full. FULL. FULL.

I was sitting on the floor in the room with the crib, covered in oil, when Chris got home later that evening.  BUT the spotting had stopped.  (I’ll leave it up to you what to believe, I’m just relaying my desperation in that moment to try anything…and I do give God credit for his grace throughout the journey, and for my children, and do believe I was healed that day, or earlier).

We called off the trip just to be safe…but after that day, there were no other problems in the pregnancy. The fall and winter came and went, I got bigger and bigger and happier and happier.

I started Mat leave about a month before my due date, and the next day my friends threw us a gigantic shower. Everything we needed and more was provided…we put everything away that night and I packed my hospital bag – well most of it…and the next day…He, the baby that is, decided to arrive early. Lucas would be our only baby to arrive 3 weeks early, the only one to be early period. I can’t begin to convey the joy in the hospital room…in fact the waiting room was full of people who had to be there when he arrived. Thankfully, it was in the afternoon. It was like a party hit the hospital. (Remember the friend who had called me while I was driving in Alberta? Her baby had been born the day before, in the same hospital, she was surprised to see us, because we were so early, but she just joined in the party) It was so much fun – after the grueling work of delivery that is!


After Lucas, 2 more boys arrived within four years…and I wasn’t sure if God thought he was just being funny – I mean 3 boys? I have 4 sisters, no brothers…”what does one do with boys?”… and then 6 years later our baby girl. Each of the rest of the babies took. their. blessed. time in arriving. Believe you me. But after each one, I knew, my joy was full. My cup ran over in fact. His grace is sufficient, and his love indescribable. But His joy, His joy is complete.

151017_Heaslip_048 (2)An interesting little note… in 2014 we were blessed to have Isabelle join our family. She is from China  and she is staying with us for all of high school. We love her parents like family, and she is definitely family, she fits right in, you’d never know she was an only child. She was born the year we lost Maggie. Isabelle makes every day more joyful for me, and our family. I had always said that I hoped to adopt a little girl from Asia someday, and maybe we will still…but maybe not. But I do know, that Isabelle was destined to be a part of our family from that day, and our hearts were being prepared to share life with her today, way back then. I thank God for her (and her family) everyday. Truly, our joy is full.

151017_Heaslip_024 (2)Thank you for sharing in this journey with me. Thank you for your encouragement and kind words. Someone had asked me why I decided to share now, and honestly, because I was finally ready. I want to keep writing, and I know writing through the hard stuff  is part of the process. I hope you’ll come back, I hope you’ll share some of your stories with me. I love hearing from you and thank you for your friendship and love,

xoxo

Tammara

 

 

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It takes a Village…Yes, But first you need to find the village.

When I became a mom for the first time…11 years ago, what?! Yes Tammara, 11 years ago, I remember how daunting it was. How wonderful and utterly terrifying it felt to be holding this small bundle of lif e. A bundle that I did not know yet, even though I had spoken to him for months as he grew within me. In fact, he was the only one of my four children who had a name throughout my pregnancy…and still, I didn’t know him at all. What he liked or didn’t, what he needed. I desperately clung to the schedule the nurses gave me, as the only “known” – the cycle of feeding, sleeping and changing kept me going for about 5 months.

Because it took us so much longer than most of our friends to start a family – most of them were not new parents. Even those who had managed to be pregnant around the same time as us, were welcoming their last children, not their first. They were already accustomed to having a new life in their homes, they were already occupied with older children, or even dealing with teenagers. Everyone had stories that identified with ours, but they were all past tense, spoken not with condescension, but with that knowledge that only experience gives – and only experience truly identifies with. Knowledge and experience that we were just gaining. No one we knew well, was walking through this new season, as new parents, together with us. And though, we knew we could and would learn much from them, we needed more…

There were new parents in our lives, just not people we knew well, yet. They became the people I felt drawn to. People who were just as newly sleep deprived, bewildered and as excited as us, over every small thing that annoys all non new parents the world over. One newer friend, Alex. had sort of pushed me into organizing a new moms group. (Most people know this – I love to organize things and people, but they don’t know that I usually need a really good push, from God or other people – usually both, to get started, it’s this mental thing about not wanting to be bossy by choice) – anyways, Alex, she pushed me and I contacted all the other new moms I could think of and word spread, and before we new it, a group of 8-15 moms was meeting regularly. It varied over time, usually copious amounts of coffee and tea were consumed, usually lunch and snacks were shared. Various living rooms were littered with car seat carriers, receiving blankets and baby paraphernalia.

Oh the idyllic days  of not having a schedule. In Canada we have a whole year of maternity leave so we’d talk for hours, holding our own or each others babies, nursing or bottle feeding, changing diapers and sharing hearts. Fears, frustrations, hopes, victories – 4 or 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep was always met with cheers and envious congratulations. As the months passed, the group evolved. We’d go for long walks with the strollers, have lunches, share hobbies and recipes, photography tips, flower arranging…sharing all the firsts, first smiles, steps, teeth…

mommy and me2Some moms went back to work, some moved away. Then as some second babies arrived, we morphed again… we would plan play dates – with the larger group and sometimes smaller ones. We’d go to the zoo together, or to the park. Always sharing, life and hearts.

Then, as we approached the school years, things started to change. Life got busier, we were tethered to our respective neighbourhoods and the schools therein. There were other parents to get to know and teachers, and our little group met together less and less, but more than that, the sharing changed. Maybe I changed, maybe we all did. It was harder to share our fears, our frustrations with parenting, with school and with life. It was little harder to identify with it was harder not to judge and not to feel judged for differences. It was harder to admit we still hadn’t figured things out.

So slowly, and then for us, quickly with the onset of outside circumstances, financial stress, a church split, relocation of good friends and family, schooling stresses…our circle, our village, got smaller. We withdrew, but what we really wanted and needed was to hold on.  For us, the circle, the village got really really small, at a time when we really needed something more. We needed the village to help hold us together when we were falling apart…

but then this wonderful thing happened…

We pulled out of everything…we started to reconnect as a family, then with friends from before, and friends during and most importantly…

We started homeschooling.

Once again, I found myself in a small group of moms, each of us terrified and overwhelmed. Each of us only armed with the knowledge that this was right for each of us, for our families, for right now. That first year, when we were bleary eyed with frustration…only to laugh in a wild hysteria when we realized that we all had “one of those weeks”…at the same time. … when no one is getting along, no one seems to be learning a thing, mom feels like a shrew losing her cool every half hour and dad gets to put out fires when he gets home kind of weeks…and we had all felt too alone and afraid to pick up the phone and share the vulnerable feeling of not having it all figured out, until we saw ourselves, in each other…

Only to find out that, in the month of February, EVERY homeschooler (new and veteran) it seems has one of those weeks.

This group of moms quickly grew to include not just new homeschoolers, but of all different shades – some with or two kids, some with 5 or 8. Some with kids in school as well as home schooled.All different styles of schooling, all different faiths and leanings. Drawn together usually consuming copious amounts of coffee and tea, packing our own snacks and lunches in various kitchens, parks and yards… sounds oddly similar doesn’t it. Though now our shared transparency is concern for our families, our children’s educations and the world around us.

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We have found a village again. Reconnected, found new and rebuilt by the Lord.

Case in point, last Friday, while at Gym Day – snack time arrived and the boys pounced on me with ravenous hunger – as if they hadn’t eaten for days, and not just an hour earlier. For a moment I couldn’t see our 2 year old, Elaina, though she was only 3 feet away. The next minute, the loud smack of skull on concrete resounded through the gym. The room grew silent as we waited for the cry to tell us what kind of hurt it was, and which child it came from. Someone yelled her name and I instantly knew it was bad. Elaina was scooped up off the floor and carried to me through the fray…she was limp but looking at me and trying to catch her breath or cry, I couldn’t tell… and then she started to black out. That scary eye roll and almost seizure like movement…and wanting to sleep on my shoulder. I started to pray the only way I knew how, thanking the Lord for His promise, His protection, His healing…while asking for someone to call 911, while my boys started to panic. One of the moms grabbed my bag, one of them started to figure out rides and care for the boys if needed. Several drew near to pray, another called for prayer, laid hands on us and spoke the Life of Jesus into the situation…all the while I prayed and kept her awake, even as the firetruck pulled up to the door…when she suddenly started talking, lucidly to me. After they checked her out and gave her the all clear, she was back to her jumping, happy self within hours. It took a bit longer for the boys and I to work through the stress, but I was again reminded of God’s faithfulness and the love of community. The following days we had numerous inquiries about Elaina, how she was doing, how the boys and I were, lot’s of well wishes and love and blessings… and I’m almost brought to tears to be loved so well, but such a beautiful village.

In reflection, even when our village seemed small, it was still there. The thing that was absent, was the freedom and safety to be vulnerable, and it very well may have been our weakness at the time, but I am so very thankful that we again find ourselves in such a rich and beautiful place where vulnerability is welcomed, respected and shared.

My Favourite Blogs

If you’ve been reading my posts, you know that I’m an avid reader. I will rip through scores of books on various topics. There is nothing quite like the experience of reading a great book. For me it’s like going on a new adventure, literally like I’ve taken a trip and come back to share about the journey.

Though I love actual books, I love to read blogs too. I’ve included a list of blogs that I would categorize as reading on a regular basis. I hope you’ll check them out and that you find something interesting, inspiring or encouraging, as I have.

For Reflection

A Holy Experience – Ann VosKamp… what can I say? She’s Canadian, she’s authentic in her delivery.Her books are great.  I appreciate her lifestyle. She lives on a farm, loves her family, embraces the rustic, has a huge world view, she homeschools… though I don’t embrace all of her theology, her thoughts on grace and gratitude (Eucharistia) are hands down paradigm shifting. If she’s got a new post, I take the time and read it.

Beyond Evangelical – Frank Viola… his writings on the New Testament church and God’s Eternal Purpose rocked my world. Literally, I think I systematically read everything he wrote on that subject. (maybe 15 books? I don’t remember specifics, but now when I refer in mind to one thing, I can’t remember which book it came from, they are all like one giant book mushed up in my brain. Good thing I own most of them so I can go back for reference) – I must note at this point that I also read through almost everything Gene Edwards wrote on the same subject, though his were written in semi-fictitious form. Good for left-right brain development. Anyways, back to the blog, I love that he is not afraid to ask many questions, but unlike Rob Bell, he at least points you to where to find the answers, if not attempting to share his own thoughts first. He’s also not afraid to take heat and to be controversial. I read his blog because it makes me think.

Disrupting Culture – The husband and I have only discovered Jonathon Welton recently, but we’ve been gobbling up his stuff on the blog and youtube and his books. As students of the New Covenant it’s refreshing to find resources that embrace a) sound doctrine  b) the supernatural  c) the grace of God and walking in our identity in Christ d) putting the great commission in action. Often you can find some of these things, but less often do you find them all in one.

Life In Grace – I don’t remember how I got connected to Edie’s blog. But shortly after following this blog, she and her family lost everything in a house fire a couple days before Christmas. I was moved by the outpouring of support from the internet and ultimately the depth of her writing following such devastation…I’ve been hooked ever since. She’s got a great style, posts awesome recipes (many I’ve tried and added to my repertoire), she’s a Lutheran and classical reader, former homeschooler and has that southern charm that draws you back again and again.

Shauna Niequist – My sister turned me on to Shauna. Love her blog, though it’s sporadic, her books are awesome and after you’ve read one of her books, you feel like she’s a friend, so you read her blog because it’s like catching up with a friend.

Homefries – I must clarify that this is not a blog, though you can link to blogs from this site. I love this site because it features several podcasts on a variety of subjects from a variety of people. I particularly love the interviews with Tsh Oxenreider. Podcasts are great for listening to while working in the kitchen.

For Fun

Pioneer Woman – Started reading Ree Drummond’s posts years ago after a friend recommended her. I guess  a lot of people like her food posts (which I admit are pretty awesome) – I do own one of her cookbooks and love it, but I honestly love her Confessions blog. It just makes me laugh. She’s got some great stories about her life on a ranch in Oklahoma. She’s had so many embarassing things happen to her, it seems impossible…but oh it’s funny.

Home with Boys – Honestly I just started reading her blogs because she has 3 boys and started homeschooling around the same time as me. I’ve since come to find her simple approach to life refreshing.

Martha Stewart – I honestly just read Martha’s blog to see how “the other side lives” – you know, the fabulously rich… Plus I get great tips on gardening, etc from her posts.

For the Heart & Home

AKA Design – this husband and wife team are Canadian. They live not far away, so they have the same harsh Canadian winters, the same weird summers, celebrate Thanksgiving at the same time, etc. etc.  They do a lot of DIY projects that are totally do-able for people like me, she’s got great style and is super organized. Plus she homeschools… that’s inspiring to me. There’s also a personal connection as I’m very good friends with her sister, so even though I don’t think I’ve ever met them in person, I feel like I know them.

Nesting Place – I’d followed this blog for a few years. I loved her philosophy and style…but then sort of drifted off for a bit. Then about a year and a bit ago they bought this run down old house on a great property with an even more run down barn. They shared their vision for it all, and slowly have been making it happen and I’m hooked with renewed interest.

The Inspired Room – to be honest, I just started following her because she seemed to love fall as much as me, and then I got hooked. I love her style and decorating philsophy. She’s has tremendous success in the world of home decor, and though I don’t aspire to have her home, I do appreciate the love she has for her home, and would like to continue to grow in that same kind of appreciation for my own.

New House New Home – Another Canadian not far from here. I love her gardening posts especially, but she shares some really great home projects too.

Living Well Spending Less – As the title implies, it has a plethora of tips on saving money while living well. The organizational resources are pretty awesome too.

For Food – I primarily go to pinterest for food recipes, but once in awhile I’ll find a blogger who I love to read their thoughts on food…as well as the recipes.

 Six Sisters – I was drawn to the name. They have very frequent posts and are adaptable.

Simple Bites – Another Canadian. I love her lifestyle, her passion is evident. The recipes are delish but not so crazy that you don’t want to try them. She’s got a great philosophy for bringing kids into the kitchen and they totally embrace the urban homesteading concept. Love!

Homeschooling – I peruse many other blogs on homeschooling, but most of them are very sporadic and don’t necessarily apply to what we’re doing at home. There are many many sites that I use often, but these are the top 3 for now. I will probably do a post on these resources and more on the Heaslip Homestead Academy soon.

Half a Hundred Acre Wood – I love this blog. She’s a classical homeschooler, and though we aspire to incorporate classical elements, we are not. I still find it inspiring and love their philosophy. Her organization is pretty great too.

 The Canadian Homeschooler – lot’s of great resources for homeschoolers in Canada. Frequent posts and current content.

The Unlikely Homeschool – for those who don’t homeschool. It’s super easy and at the same time the most difficult thing I’ve ever tackled. So I will find as many support resources as I can. For me, this site is one of them.

Sooo…I turned 40…awhile ago…

Disclaimer~~~ I’m late in posting this. My birthday was February 14th. That’s right, February. I’m not posting now because I have a problem with turning 40 ~ but rather because today I finished writing my thank you cards. Yes, it’s taken me that long. I’m a terrible person. But I read somewhere that you have up to 3 months and I’m holding to that as truth. They go in the mail on Monday. So finally, I can share how I was celebrated, with you.

First things first,

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do to celebrate turning 40. After a turbulent bunch of years in my early to mid 30’s (there were even a few years I didn’t celebrate my birthday…because I just didn’t want to), however, I felt like I turned a corner in my late 30’s in many areas of my life so I’ve come to feel like life is good, it’s beautiful, right now…and therefore 40 is beautiful and good too. Totally worth celebrating. Still, I didn’t know what I wanted. Small and intimate or a big rip roaring party? The problem small and intimate was, where do I cut off the guest list? Impossible… The idea was, since my hubby turns 40 this year too, we talked about celebrating both of our birthdays in the summer… Jodi, decided however that a girls night was in order. I still feel like I want that big party, so maybe we’ll still make it happen…at least for him maybe?

Anyways, back to my party. So Jodi told me she wanted to host a soiree, and asked for me for names, and I was thinking small. I knew I was going out for sushi with my mom and sisters in the beginning of the month, so I thought I’d keep it to non-family and keep it small since I wasn’t hosting, I didn’t want o presume to invite a truckload of people. Jodi then took my list and added to it herself, family and etc… I also knew that I had no need to worry about the details. This lady has a gift for details, and shines in it. She recruited Laura, who knows how to throw a party, and how to really bless someone best, and…

The result was a beautiful night with a lovely group of ladies that really just touched my heart. There were friends I’d made in the last couple years, and also friends who’ve been around for more than 20. How richly blessed I am.

How stylish and beautiful the decor. The Audrey Hepburn-esque, black, white and pink details….delicious food, a signature cocktail, the perfect gift, great memories, being able to tell each friends in person how much they mean to me…yep. A Perfect Night.

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Even the vase was detailed…the signature drink Laura made up. Yum.

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Thank you Jodi, and Laura and all the rest of the ladies for celebrating this  milestone with me. I am truly blessed. Relationships are so vitally important to me and I will always have this night as a lovely memory, reminding me that I am blessed, so very very blessed.

Lead me to the Cross… how we observed Lent and Holy Week

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Easter has become a truly heart favourite holiday of mine. It’s one of the last happy memories I have of my dad before he passed away. My heart remembers him putting on goofy bunny ears and doing the egg hunt with Lucas and Max when they were toddlers and Carter was just a baby.

Dad loved holidays, and he loved the family all getting together. For meals, but even just for drinks on a Sunday afternoon…”family should always get together on holidays” was his mantra, and the older I get and the faster time seems to go by, the more I agree with him.

Growing up, my family did not practise Lent. Even though my dad was raised Orthodox, he did not impose it’s practises on us, and didn’t follow them himself. Mom, according to dad, was a devout “Evangelical” – not in the way the Western Hemisphere knows it, but in the way the Eastern world does – essentially, in Greece, an “evangelikal” is someone to whom the religious experience was real and had become a way of life, not just a culture. It’s what guided their decisions and interactions with the world around them. I’d say he called it right about mom. In my dad’s eyes, I think, and hope he’d think the same of me.

As an adult and particularly as a mom, the season of Lent leading up to Easter, has become as meaningful to me as Advent which leads up to Christmas. It really is helpful in turning our busy and distracted minds and hearts to the season at hand. In a sense, it infuses new meaning to the celebration and remembrances. I chose to use these weeks as a time to add to my personal study and reading time, reflections on Lent and studying the Liturgical year. Kind of a full circle moment after spending full two years studying the validity of the organic church and almost becoming ‘anti-institutional Church”. As a family, we had a candle we kept on the table in a bowl with sand. We lit it each day reminding ourselves of the path Jesus walked to the cross, through the sandy “holy land”. We had a seperate bowl of small rocks that we would add from time to time as we each remembered some personal shortfall or sin that we were thankful that Christ on the cross had taken care of. It was neat to see the boys really understand this aspect of our faith. We were reminded how the cross brokers harmony between man and God, man and man, and man and himself.

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Through my studies of the early church, the significance of Holy Week and all the events it held, has taken on new meaning. It’s been a powerful experience to take time alone and with the family to reflect on Christs journey to the cross, the significance of the events of that week to his disciples then and now, and to let the gratitude overwhelm us and remain with us.

This year, we spent the days of Holy Week having Family Worship each day, usually after dinner. We read scripture, talked about it, sang songs and had some shared activities relating to the day of the week. We filled in a Holy Week Calendar (thank you Pinterest), which was great for the smaller kids, but the visual cues were great for the rest of us too.

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Some of the most meaningful moments of the week for me, were sharing in the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday together after dinner, and talking about the Old and New Covenant that Jesus was ushering in that night…and then talking about the night in the Garden and how the disciples would have felt, why prayer is important to God’s eternal purpose and Christs willingness to suffer for us. On Good Friday, my mom and sisters and nephews were visiting so we did our activity with all the children which included reading about the crucifixion and pounding nails into a piece of wood followed by saying “thank you Jesus for Dying for me”, I tell you it was powerful… though scary holding the nails while handing the hammer to a toddler…

My personal favourite day was Holy Saturday – the quiet day, when the Christ has been put in the grave, the disciples are scattered and confused and in grief… not knowing what we know was to come. Knowing we will never have to experience what they did, that bewildering sense of loss and despair. Remembering we are not alone, even in the darkest of days…

Chris’ mom joined us for a delicious Lamb Dinner…

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Followed by making Resurrection Rolls with crescent rolls and marshmallows. (again thank you Pinterest)…

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While waiting for them to bake in the “tomb” (oven) we read an Easter Story…

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The kids thought it was a pretty powerful picture of putting Jesus into the tomb, and then when the tomb was empty, the linen clothes were empty too (the pastry) – pretty cool object lesson.

Of course it all culminated in a beautiful celebration on Easter Sunday…. but that’s for the next post.

Mama T

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by, some things have changed, primarily my blog host. I had been running into some technical hitches that actually hindered me from blogging, so it was time to move. Since it’s a new year, I figured, it was as good a time as any.

I’ve moved all my posts from the Whisper of Grace page, but as you can see, I’ve changed the name. I have a couple other blogs linked with this one. Whisper of Grace will still have more reflective content. The Heaslip Homestead Academy, our homeschooling journey and Life with Mama T – everything else in my life. I’ve got another one related to this in the draft stages, I’ll let you in on it as soon as I can.

Anyways, why the name change? Well, I needed something to do with Life – since it’s all the life stuff – and this works. Also, I think I’m finally coming to terms with my “search for significance” and that’s what the rest of this post is about…

5f3ab3b212b26f487f54786efb2806f7When I think about it, I’ve always been a mom…

long before I gave birth.

The oldest of 5 girls in a Greek-Canadian home of mixed faith and culture,

I don’t remember life without being responsible for someone else…

“mothering” my younger sisters even when it perhaps wasn’t appreciated

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In my teens I “mothered” as a camp counsellor for several happy, glorious summers.

For most of my 20’s and some of my 30’s I worked in a ministry with many young adults who were away from home for the first time, often needing lot’s of  love and nurture.

This is when I earned the nickname “Mama T” ironically, while struggling with unexplained infertility.

A sometimes smartass young guitar player from Prince Edward Island, saw the “mother” in me, long before I did.

You see, he gave me the nickname, not realizing, that my husband and I had been trying for years to get pregnant, and then, had a couple miscarriages… Mama T?!

Would I ever be a mama? Really?

But the nickname stuck…

For awhile, it silently hurt me to hear it…

But over time it built faith.

And then JOY!

Finally, after years of waiting and disappointments,

Our children began arriving in quick order…

3 boys in 4 years!

Then I became a children’s pastor for a bit.

Mama T, Mama T! It was such a sweet wonderful season…

We were done, or we thought so anyways.

Life outside our family had gotten HARD.

Compounded losses…and the ensuing chaos,

Almost tore us apart.

Then the storms ended, and the waters receded,

Unlikely direction came that turned our hearts home…

And while our lives were being rebuilt…

Our lovely baby girl came in, as if on angels wings…

A breath of grace from heaven…

And still, there were more “kids” who needed “mothering”…

We began hosting international students for various lengths of time

Chinese, Korean, Colombian, Danish…

My heart, and home

Are open and willing to pour out love…

I guess, I’ve just realized my “calling”, if I ever needed to have a name for it…

xoxo – Tammara

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I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post and I look forward to any comments or questions and will see you here again very soon….T

Oh, ya! please follow me here, I couldn’t switch some PTP, function-blah blah blah – so if you want emails, etc… I think you need to follow me on this site now, since I’ll no longer be posting on Blogger. Have a great night!

Harvest Round Up

Always a lover of Autumn, we celebrated the season in very natural stages, and we are well into our holiday preparations, so I thought I’d include this post on a tiny bit of our Harvest Home Decor, and finish up with our Thanksgiving Table for the sake of the record. I’m in an inward thinking season right now, so blogging hasn’t been high on my radar as I know I’m needing to work through my thoughts and life, eventually they’ll make it onto print somewhere, somehow…
In September, after the summer clean up and getting our home school and student rooms ready, then getting the schedule happening, and finally the baby girls party finished (with post), in Canada, we were READY to embrace all things fall. I’ve been embracing my functional country chalet home, and letting the decor and seasonal decor reflect that, it’s working for me.

 This was my portable table centerpiece. Very eclectic but festive and cheap as I used all things I already had.

Again, re-locating older items, I created this “mantel” with items from around the house.

 putting out “harvesty” plates and bowls on the open shelves made for some “functional decor”.

 A thrift store basket filled with canning rings.

The vignette at the top of the stairs to the family room…

A cosy space to enjoy the final weeks of warmth and sunshine outdoors.

 Front entrance…

Formal Livingroom. There were other touches of fall throughout the house, these were my favs this year.
Thanksgiving 2014
In honour of the American Thanksgiving yesterday, here are the pics from our Canadian thanksgiving almost 6 weeks ago – lol!

 Table set for 12.

 Centerpiece from my flowerbeds this year.

Each place setting had a reading to share at the dinner.

Thrifty Turkey always finds a place on the table 🙂

 Conversation Starters from pinterest worked really well.

 When you’re feeding 20, there is no shame in plastics – loved my place cards though.

 I love guests who bring good wine 🙂

 The kids table…

My kinda sad attempt at a garland.

 Goodie Bags.

 Bountiful Dinner…

 My attempt at decorating the hideous light fixture.

 

 Setting up the tripod for the group pic.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Tea for "Two"

After 10 years of Lego and Superhero birthday parties (all in the winter, mind you), yes I am so excited to host little girlie birthday parties in the fall (the most wonderful time of the year!) This year for E’s birthday we had a little tea party for her little friends, their moms and few big sisters, her brothers and aunties…

We put on our party dress…
 We decided to host the party in the back yard. The weather held and the sunroom and yard was still presentable enough to be enjoyed before the great fall clean up begins next week.
It was a perfect day, not too hot, not too cold…and some flowers were still in bloom.

The little girls’ table

We pulled out the heirloom teacups – this one was Great Aunt Fern’s – we found out we were expecting Elaina shortly after she passed away, but they shared the same birthday month.
The big girls table.

We mixed a bunch of heirloom stuff with paper plates, etc for ease of setting up, cleaning up and also to not get stressed over possible breakage outside.

I converted our old TV cabinet to a “dress up” center for the girlies. It added to over all pretty decor.

Red velvet with Cream cheese icing.

Our menu was simple, crab salad on croissants and vegetable cream cheese roll ups. We had veggies, fruit and cheese trays and of course coffee and tea. For dessert we had a variety of mini cakes and cookies, candies of course chocolates.

The “take home treats” were personalized dress up fairy outfits.

Bling for the littles… I figured this was nicer than sending them home with more candy. There were enough sweets to enjoy at the party, I hoped the moms appreciated not having more candy later at home.
 


The girlies! So so cute!

After lunch, the littles decorated tea party hats from the dollar store with silk flowers.

Yaya helping the birthday girl decorate her hat. 


One of the big sisters helping with hat decoration.

 Then we released them into the dress up cupboard.

DRESS UP TIME!!!


After much play time, we gathered for the present opening and cake.

Opening Presents…so thankful!

After all the birthday celebrating, she finally got the hang of “blowing out the candles”
Our cheeky two year old!

I hope you enjoyed this post, we certainly enjoyed our day, and love every day with our little princess.


The Heaslip Herald 2013

 Just a friendly reminder… there are days til Christmas!
I must preface this post with a disclaimer… The reason we are posting the newsletter online this year is simply to save money (printing and mailing costs). If we get enough complaints that you don’t like this format, we hopefully will have it in the budget to print next year if the majority of you wish for that. 
Second, I apologize that I am not tech savvy enough to post this on here differently (ie – so it’s bigger). The hubby has promised to figure out a way to create a link for you to be able to access this in a couple other formats – so you can read it easier (esp. if you also are not tech savvy enough to know how to enlarge the view) and also so you can print it out if you are so inclined (without having to print the whole blogger page. So if you are too annoyed with this format, just wait a wee bit longer, and you’ll have other options.  

Without further ado…I give you the 7th edition of the Heaslip Herald! Grab a coffee and enjoy. 
Much Love and Happy Holidays,
Tammara
                  (aka Mama T aka Tammaymay aka Mimi, etc.)

Together

Today’s Five Minute Friday topic was…
TOGETHER

I love to get together with people. To really “be with” people, in a real and authentic way. Ever since high school (maybe even before), I had this innate ability to steer clear of relationships that I felt would honestly be a waste of time.  If I sensed they were superficial with me or that they weren’t being honest with me (or themselves), I mean, not everyone is going to like/ trust/ open up to me, right? I’m OK with that. I’ve always tried to be the kind of friend that I would want for a friend. It’s hard to convey this without sounding like I’m full of myself…
I’m just confident that I’m a good person to have in your life because of the One who lives in me.
I believe that God’s design was for us to be together with others. He said it was not good for man to be alone. He also says that he puts the solitary into families…that it’s better to have a friend who is close by than a brother who is far away…that two are better than one…He depicts the church as His bride and as a family of brothers and sisters…and to let brotherly love continue… I think He doesn’t want us to be alone. That He designed us to be together.

 
I’ve got some really great friends. There’s that old adage that if you can count your good friends on one hand you are a lucky “man”. I would say then, that I am among the luckiest.
I’ve chosen to see my life as a garden, and all the people in it are the living things that have been planted there. When I gave my life to Christ, I recognized that He is the Gardener of my life, not me. So I don’t really have a say as to who/what is done with the plants in my garden…how long they bloom or produce or even when they need to be removed. Every plant in my garden have seasons, some are long term, some are short. Some are ever blooming, some I’m still waiting for the first bloom, years later.

Some of them are people I see every week (or more), some of them because of different seasons of life or distance, I see only rarely…but we have one thing in common, we are real with each other. We pick up where we left off, there’s no worry or fear that one or the other of us is hurt or offended by our lack of time together, no insecurity…there’s a common thread that I do my best to convey that I care about them and want to spend time with them (as do they). Some are friends that we laugh together – a lot. Some are friends who together we lament over and solve all the worlds problems together. Some are people I immediately call when I need someone to pray. Some are the ones you have tea with, others a glass of wine, some both. Some have kids, some have no kids, some are grandparents and a few are still in high school or college. Some share the same blood as me, most don’t. Some live in other countries, some live a few hours away, others live on my road…most share a relationship with Christ, but some don’t. Many I’ve known for almost 20 or more.
 
 

Being together takes work, it takes effort. I requires dying to myself, often. I try to consciously not be overbearing or bossy or a know it all or any other traits that I know are my own weaknesses, and trust that my friends are well aware of their own and do my best to give them the benefit of the doubt, and not judge or draw attention to their weaknesses, rather to Christ and to the blessings we already have.
 
I want to be an encouragement. Someone who, when I’ve been with them and after we’ve parted, they feel better, uplifted, helped and loved. I hope to learn from others much more than I can teach, though I will share any wisdom that has been passed on to me, since it’s not my own…it’s not mine to keep 🙂 I try to be a light, a messenger of hope and someone who brings peace wherever I go. I love to get together with people. I love the people in my life, the flowers in my garden. I’m very very blessed indeed.

 

Linking up HERE