Be Your Own Adventure

Creating Everyday Adventures


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Mawwiage…That Dream Within a Dream

“Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togethew today. Mawwiage, that bwessed awwangement, that dweam within a dweam. And wove, twue wove, wiww fowwow you fowevah and evah… So tweasuwe youw wove.” The Impressive Clergyman, Princess Bride

My husband & I just celebrated 13 years of marriage a few weeks ago.  I can hardly believe it’s been that long and at the same time, it seems like we’ve always been together. It’s been a wonderful thing sharing life with my Colin. However, being married ain’t all gum drops and slow dancing! Especially being married to me. There are times when marriage is hard work, there are times when it is boring, there are times when it’s not much fun at all. Nothing has challenged me to grow like being married & I was kicking and screaming a bunch of that time.

My husband and I were friends before we started going out. We had both had previous relationship experiences that made us want to enter into our own relationship with honesty and openness. We have a lot in common, but plenty of differences to keep things interesting. I believe we had a great start to our marriage, but that doesn’t mean it has been easy. We have had some incredible disagreements, arguments, and fights. There have been slammed doors, unkind words, painful silences and I can tell, you the sun has definitely gone down on our anger!

I just said "Yes"! Near Tower Bridge, London

There is also this amazing shared story. The private jokes, the pain that no one knows but us, the secrets we keep for each other, the respect that we have for each other, the love that no one else can match for our sons. There is no doubt that we have seen each other at our worst and we have shared one another’s joys and triumphs.

Lake Victoria, Uganda

In recent years, I have actually felt our relationship deepening and maturing. The greatest contributing factor in that has been learning to communicate. There will always be things that come up that need to be worked through, but I believe that if you learn how to communicate, the battle is mostly won. Styles of communication are unique to every couple, but when you know your own hang ups and your spouse’s quirks, it makes things so much easier.

A few days before our wedding, London

We disagree regularly, but we resolve things so much quicker than we used to. We are able to laugh at ourselves mid-argument (randomly laughing or making fun of each other doesn’t always work, but it will occasionally do the trick!)

My parents have always said that if you are committed to staying married (and we are, for better or for worse, the D word isn’t a part of our vocabulary) then you might as well enjoy it. Be nice, be kind, be polite. Nurture your relationship. The boys see us disagree, but they see us resolve those disagreements. They see us laugh (a lot), they see us play, they see us love each other.

We said "I Do"!

I count it a joy and honour to be married to Colin. I’m thankful that we found one another, each thousands of miles from our own countries. Someday soon, I’ll write down our love story – I think it’s a good one.

The Blacketts

I’m looking forward to more adventures, more of everyday life, more growth and more laughter together. I believe that a healthy marriage is the greatest gift we can give to our sons and to ourselves!


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Words on Wednesday – It’s a Mom’s Life

There are things that you expect when you become a Mom, things people tell you about. The love, the worry, the tiredness (though nothing really prepares you for the sheer exhaustion that is your constant companion for the first few months, or years!)

People talk about mothering as being a great calling. So vital and important and world-changing. When I step back from my life, I can sort of see that, but in the day-to-day, in the nitty-gritty, it’s easy to lose sight of. Being a mom is hard.

As a stay at home mom, I struggle almost daily with feeling like I’m not doing anything of great import. I clean up messes, make meals, do laundry, answer lots of questions, do a lot of child negotiation, clean up messes, get frustrated with my boys, play games, feel guilty about the amount of television that they watch, clean up messes.

Worth It

As with many things and as a self-centered human being, I tend to think that I am the only one who feels this way. I was talking to a friend the other day, a woman I respect and who I see as being very involved – in the lives of her children, in the church, in a mom’s group. You know what, she feels the same way! She had recently spent time with some people who seemed to have these exciting, full lives. People who had so much to talk about. As moms, when people ask us what is happening in our lives, we feel like we don’t have a lot to say. Take the kids to swim class, have a play date, tidy the house, read a book. We often get glimpses into the lives of others and think that they must have it more together than we do – they have more going on, they have more focus, more energy, more exciting activities.

We moms are all different. Some work, some minister, some have more energy, some are older, some are younger, some stay at home, some seem to have twenty things going on and are doing them all well, some do less.

I know in a philosophical way that “the hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world”, but as I look around my messy house, unable to pick all the messes up one more time today, I don’t feel like I’m ruling anything.

I am so grateful that I get to be at home with my boys, so grateful. I know that these years will fly by and I wouldn’t trade them, but it’s hard sometimes.

Worth It

I miss being involved in leadership, in the church, in grown up endeavors. I wonder if and when I will be involved in missions again. Want to hear a true confession? I know you do. I avoid meetings, talks, and groups where I know they will talk about missions and passion and getting involved. It is heartbreaking to listen to people talk about things that you are passionate about and feel impotent to get involved, to wonder if you’ll ever go to Africa again, to wonder if your potential has passed you by and now your dreams reside in your children (which is a really bad idea, both for them and for you.) Besides, I really dislike crying in public.

I do try to make sure that I am doing grown up things – this blog (though there is a lot of kid-talk), personal creativity (making things, writing). Still it’s hard, at times, not to feel like I lack purpose, focus and respect. And to be quite honest, the day-to-day stuff feels just plain boring sometimes.

Then it hits me, this too shall pass. It will pass too quickly, my children won’t always be dependent on me and then what? Then there will be something else. I will have more energy, more strength, more time and I will invest those things somewhere else. I pray that I will be ready. In the meantime, I must encourage myself daily that this life, this time I have with my boys is a worthy calling, it’s a tough gig, it’s a mission.

Worth It

I don’t want to rule the world, but I do pray that I am making a difference.


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Words on Wednesday – Questions, Questions, Questions

My status update on Facebook recently went like this:

Jude: Why isn’t God a million, or a google, or a googolplex (in age)? Are the clouds above the sky or under the sky? When everyone dies, will there still be a heaven and an earth? What makes the bubbles in pop? This boy keeps me on my toes & running to Google, God, Daddy & Grandpa for answers! (Not necessarily in that order.)

These were questions that came up during a short car ride.  Jude is four years old. He is working hard at figuring out the universe.  My husband and I are, for the moment, the ones that he asks these questions to the most. He wants answers. So do I. I still have so many questions, there are so many things that I don’t understand. I try to answer him as honestly as I can, to say “I don’t know” when I don’t know, to say let’s Google it, to say let’s ask Daddy or Grandpa or Grandma. But I know that some of the questions he asks simply don’t have clear answers. Questions about the nature of God and of Man.

I think about my own journey of faith. I look back on how I viewed things as a teenager, as a young adult – I could be so rigid, everything was black and white and it was safe and it was comfortable. I don’t see things that way anymore, life is much more grey than I once thought. This grey landscape can be scary and uncomfortable, there are many more unanswered and unanswerable questions than I ever thought there could be. It’s also a place of great love and freedom. I’ve found a God of grace and forgiveness. I’ve found fellow pilgrims disguised as vagabonds. I’ve found truth in rated R movies.  I’ve found love where I thought there was only judgement.

I want my sons to discover that love for themselves. I will be part of their journey, I hope that I can impart wisdom, and that they can avoid some of the mistakes that I made. I also know that they have to find their own way. They will make mistakes, they will judge, they will be blinded to things. Their questions will probably scare me and I will fear for the roads they might take, but I pray that they keep asking the questions because there are often, but not always, answers. Sometimes the answers aren’t what we expected, but there is always love.

Then there are those questions I love, the ones that have easy answers that I can Google! What sound does a rhinoceros make? (It sounds like a donkey.) How many people are there in the whole world? (Seven billion.) How many kinds of animals are there in the world? (There are an estimated three million different kinds of animals.)

My favourite thing is when Jude or Zane reminds me of the truth that we know, but sometimes forget. That we can pray and God hears. That God heals us. That Jesus loves everyone. Jude’s memory verse for Awana this week was, “Jesus came into the world to save sinners”. He accidentally said “scissors” instead of “sinners” the first time he said it, so that has been his joke all week. I have a picture in my head now of Jesus gathering up all the scissors in the world and rescuing them from certain doom. Anyway, on our way to Awana tonight, Jude was saying the scripture, but he was saying, “Jesus came into the world to save all sinners.” I was about to correct him, when he told me that he knows it just says “sinners”, but he knows that Jesus wants to save “all sinners.” I wasn’t about to argue with that because it’s the truth.

Keeping asking, keep seeking, find truth, find love. That’s the best thing I can wish for my boys.


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Winter Bucket List 2011/12

Although it is not officially Winter yet, I am going ahead with our Winter Bucket List because there are quite a lot of Christmas activities on the list as well. We did nearly all the things on our Fall Bucket List & I really enjoyed having the list when we were looking for things to do. It also helped us to not forget things that we wanted to do.

So here’s our Winter Bucket List 2011/12:

What are your Winter plans if you are in the Northern hemisphere? Summer plans if you are in the Southern hemisphere?


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Tasty Tuesday – A British Thanksgiving

Because Thanksgiving & Christmas are only a month a part, our family decided to switch things up for our Thanksgiving meal so that we don’t have two overly similar meals at the two holidays. Each year we pick a different country & prepare our Thanksgiving meal with an international slant. We’ve been doing this for years – we’ve done Jamaican, German, French, Cajun, Mexican, Italian, and Southern (we consider the Southern United States to be a foreign country although we’ve all lived there!)

This year we went for British. We always have turkey & will often have traditional sides, but with an international twist. Here is this year’s menu:

Turkey
Stuffing
Brussels Sprouts
Smashed Roast Potatoes
Spinach Salad
Yorkshire Pudding
Bread Sauce
Homemade Cranberry Sauce

For dessert:

Spotted Dick with Warm Custard Sauce
Pumpkin Cobbler

It was a yummy meal. I was in charge of the Brussels sprouts & the potatoes. A couple of people hadn’t had Brussels sprouts for years & didn’t have good memories of them. I converted one with this recipe, but not the other. I also had no idea that they are actually called Brussels sprouts & not brussel sprouts until I was researchign recipes – you learn something new… This was the second time I made the smashed roast potatoes – the first time I wrote about here. They were still super good.

All the elements of the meal were so tasty. The spotted dick was very good – haven’t had it for years – the custard sauce is always a great addition.

Whether you are an American or not, there’s never a wrong time to be thankful! I am overwhelmed by all the blessings in my life & I want to be thankful everyday.


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Thankful Thursday – Stephanie Edition

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States. It’s also my sister’s birthday. While her birthday is not always on Thanksgiving, she was born on Thanksgiving Day on an army base not long before my Dad was sent to Vietnam.

There are five years between us. When we were younger, we weren’t always best friends, in fact there were incidents of being chased around with a butcher knife & maybe even some fist fights.

There were also nights when I was scared & she allowed me to crawl into bed with her underneath her poster of Tom Selleck. There was the time when she had just broken up with a boyfriend, she had some friends at our house & despite being completely embarrassed, she allowed my best friend & I to dance our way through the entirety of Michael Jackson’s Thriller album – “to cheer her up.”

The older we got, the closer we got. We travelled with our parents to Jamaica to live for a few years. We did the laundry by hand together in big tin buckets. We sang songs at the piano together. We explored that amazing country together. She started a school for special needs kids while I went to high school, she was 18 years old.

Then we moved to the States together while our parents stayed in Jamaica. We worked, served & had so many amazing times together. By now, we were well & truly best friends. It was a fun time & a really tough time. I wouldn’t have wanted to go through that time with anyone else.

Then she got married, I moved overseas, but the bond was forever and she’s still my best friend. Through cross-country and international moves. Marriage and children. Children, there’s a thing. I am so thankful that we get to raise our children together. It’s an amazing, miraculous story that our two oldest boys are only four weeks apart to the day & that we get to share mommyhood together. And despite the fact that she lives six hours away by car (it used to be about 5 hours, but we have kids now!), she’s still my best friend. Always a phone call, text or email away. She’s the one I call when I see a funny bumper sticker or when I am having a frustrating day & just need to vent.

Today, on this day of thanksgiving, I am especially thankful for Stephanie. She’s kind, faithful, loyal, fun, creative, funny, beautiful, smart, strong and I couldn’t ask for a better best bud.

I love you, Stephanie! Happy Birthday.