No Need to Sparkle

Last week, Katie Holmes posted a photo of herself and her daughter to Instagram with the following quote by Virginia Woolf:

No need to sparkle.
No need to hurry.
No need to be anything but oneself.
-Virginia Woolf

Now, I am rarely "in the loop" when it comes to the lives of celebrities (Katie Holmes included) but her IG post went viral and I thought it was so so lovely.

When I was pregnant with Rudy, I just knew she was going to be exceptional. When she was born, with all the hubris of a new mom I marveled at all the amazing things she did and I assumed she'd speed her way through all her milestones. And she did... until she didn't. It shook my world the first time I heard the phrase "severe language delay" and I was plagued with guilt and even a little shame. "Where had we gone wrong?" "How had I missed this?" When we realized that she's Autistic I remember feeling afraid that she wouldn't be able to keep up with her peers. I think there's a lot of pressure on parents for their children to somehow "measure up" and I think it's making us crazy! It took a long time for me to realize how silly it is to expect people to learn at the same pace when we're all so different.

As most first time parents do, we eventually learned the peace and relief that come when you finally toss away the invisible measuring stick. Instead of wondering why she didn't know fifty words, we celebrated when she knew twenty. Once we stopped worrying about what her peers were doing, we were able to enjoy watching her learn at her own pace. As soon as I stopped comparing and competing, I was able to see how beautiful and amazing it is to watch a little brain absorb and apply knowledge.

Even now, Rudy communicates well but we have learned that she learns language very differently than most other children. Most of Rudy's speech comes from a vast repertoire of scripts that she modifies to suit different scenarios. It's incredible to watch and so different from the way Maude learns.

While Maude was an infant, I worried terribly that I would compare the girls and I was terrified that I'd resent one of the girls if she were more advanced than her sister. As it turns out, I don't feel that way at all. The girls are so different and they each have their own talents and challenges. My job is to keep them safe and help them to become the best versions of themselves. I think that having a child that doesn't fit inside the box has allowed me to open my own mind.

I think the beauty is that when you stop searching for the sparkle, you realize it's there. Just maybe not in the obvious ways you expected to see it. It may not be as showy, but it's incredibly beautiful.


Do You Celebrate Valentine's Day

I couldn't resist sharing this photo of Maude from last year!

Do you love Valentine's Day? Although I love romance, I've never been a huge celebrator of the annual love-fest. Sure, I loved giving and receiving cards to friends and crushes in elementary school... which evolved into candygrams in high school. But so much of the magic seems to have left the day for me now that I'm an adult.

Maybe it's because this is the start of my busy season and I usually end up working most evenings or perhaps it has more to do with the fact that this is usually a time of year when we restrict our spending in preparation for (gulp) taxes. Either way, I find that I'd forget the holiday entirely if it weren't all over social media and if my fingers weren't still sore from tying teeny tiny bows on the cards for the girls' classmates. 

Before I start sounding like a Valentine's Day Scrooge, I'll get to the real point of my post:

I need to remind myself that not everyone is having a great Valentine's Day. Many people are alone or have lost loved ones, are having marital trouble or are just generally having a hard time. Instead of Valentine's Day, I wish this were "Be Kind to a Stranger Day" or "Self Care Day" because people who are in love pretty much have every other day! 

While I love Corey to pieces, we have more significant days to celebrate than this one so here's what I've been doing to "celebrate" the day:

  • I've found two new volunteer ventures in February, both of which I'm excited to start. 
  • I'm carrying around tiny Galentine's Day treats for any amazing ladies I happen to see this week.
  • I made plans to see a friend's delicious new baby next week... (squeee!!!)
  • I am having a drink with a friend after work.
  • I'm totally treating myself to a sheet mask before bed.
  • I'm making an extra effort to be supportive, helpful and kind to both friends and strangers.

I find that putting some positivity out into the world really lifts my mood and eases the mid-winter blues. Do you celebrate Valentine's Day? Galentine's? I'd love to hear what you're doing.

Here are some fun links (You'll notice a theme!) in case you feel like browsing the internet this afternoon:

These earrings are on my wish list.

Santa gave me this hilarious face mask for Christmas!

Wouldn't this make the perfect Valentine's dinner?

I've always wanted to make these cards for the girls' classmates.

This ring is heartbreakingly beautiful and the story behind it brought me to tears. *trigger alert

If I were to marry Corey again, I'd want to do it here

So Happy Valentine's/ Galentine's/ Palentine's Day and remember to take care of yourself and those you love!



I bet you thought I'd totally abandoned this blog, didn't you? Well, you'd be right. I think the chaos of having two young kids while building my business meant sacrificing my writing time for bedtime stories or precious sleep. I recently got a good kick in the pants from an old friend to start back up and that's exactly what I'm trying to do.

I'm having some trouble though. I've changed so much in the past couple of years that I barely recognize the carefree, crafty girl who started this blog many years ago. Back then, I was new to real estate, we didn't have kids and were living in a two bedroom condo. We had zero responsibilities! As Madonna says, "experience has made me richer" and that's very true, but it's also made me more contemplative and perhaps a tad more serious. Don't get me wrong: I have had an incredible couple of years and I feel very fortunate but I also feel a little more adult and a lot less self-absorbed than my younger self. I guess what I'm saying is that I'm hoping my blog is still entertaining enough for you to read, but my post topics may change a little and I think I'll need some help deciding what to write about. I must say that it feels good to be taking a step toward blogging again. I think I've been using my Instagram account to share and write a little but it's not quite as satisfying!

While I didn't officially stop blogging until a year ago, I know my post frequency has been tapering off for a couple of years. Here's a recap of the past year:

It was early in 2018 that I started to notice that the anxiety and depression I had experienced during pregnancy, was creeping back postpartum. I loved my sweet Maude but I wasn't bonding with her the way I knew I should be and it was heartbreaking. I wrote an Instagram post on it for Bell Let's Talk Day and I'm happy to say that medication has helped immensely and I feel better than I have in years!

At around the same time I was being diagnosed with postpartum depression, Rudy was diagnosed with Autism. We had known Rudy was Autistic for several months but the diagnosis was a shock nonetheless and I spent a long time researching everything I could on Autism and speaking with Autistic adults before I was comfortable discussing it. Now, we are a proud, Neurodiverse family (Corey and I even got tattoos!) and Rudy knows she is Autistic and likes to tell people about her special Autistic brain!

As my real estate business has grown over the years, I have invested so much in my staging inventory that I now have my own warehouse filled with furniture, art and accessories. It is definitely fun to be able to post colourful photos of my staged listings and I love sharing and hearing decorating tips. In other real estate news: I decided last summer that an innovative, marketing-focused brokerage would be a better fit for me and the best place for me to learn from like-minded professionals, so I joined Sage Real Estate. Finally, Corey obtained his real estate license last summer and is now helping me and my clients in an official capacity!

Last summer, we introduced Maude to camping and went on FIVE short camping trips. We also bought an OLD tent trailer, which Corey has been fixing up!

Last spring, we adopted another feisty barn cat and now the two cats are thick as thieves! It was nice for them to have companionship when we lost our beloved Barkley in the fall. We missed having a dog so much that we adopted a senior beagle (Lola) who was found nearly dead on the streets of Mexico last year.

This past year has been filled with changes for our family! Now, we're finally in a groove and have found a good routine which allows me quality time with the girls even during my busiest times at work. Rudy and Maude are becoming so close and the two crack us up all the time. Rudy in particular says the most hilarious (sometimes unintentionally insulting) things to us... Like last week when she told me my hair looked like a yak, or when she asked me if the large, white blob person (photo below) was me and I almost threw out my oversized white sweater!

So now I need your help! What do you want to hear about? I think I'll still write a little bit of everything but I need a place to start! Are you interested in:

Real Estate market or staging posts?

What about home decorating tips, tricks and trends? Cool vintage finds?

REAL parenting and family posts? Posts about raising an Autistic child? Fun activities and crafts for young kids? Ideas for fun family outings?

What about adult crafts and hobbies?

Home reno posts? (Corey's about to gut our upstairs powder room!)

Help me out! In case you're curious, I'll link below to some of my most popular posts of all time:

My Condo Survival Series

Kitchen Reveal

Our Home Tour

DIY Climbing Wall

Ikea Hack: Toy Storage and Desk

How to Take Good Photos of your Kids Using Your Phone

Growing Baby Succulents

On Miscarriage

A Poem for My First Child

My Crazy Cat Story

Our Week in the Rockies

Thanks so much for reading guys and please please please let me know what you'd like to read. It'll be the kick in the a$$ that I need to resume blogging again!

Related Posts by Zemanta