The Uncommon Good

I came across The Uncommon Good totally by accident. I was procrastinating on Facebook and a friend posted about a piece she'd recently purchased. I followed the link and fell in love with their story. They go into character homes that are being gutted or torn down to make room for new construction, and reclaim and reuse the wood for beautiful decorative pieces and furniture. Much of the wood they salvage is first growth Douglas Fir, Cedar, and Hemlock from trees that would have been 300 - 1,000+ years old when they were cut down for these homes in the early 1900s.

I couldn't help but buy a piece of Vancouver history, in the shape of beautiful British Columbia, for my wall. I love how the light catches the grain of the wood and I love that I get to feel like a fancy grownup who does stuff like buy art. 


Review: Vonbon Triangle Leggings

Vonbon is a Vancouver-based purveyor of stylish, eco-friendly, organic cotton goods for babies and small kids. 

Grady and I were recently given the opportunity to review a pair of leggings. Vonbon generously supplied a complimentary pair of leggings in Grady's size but I am not obligated to post any opinion or statement that is not my own. 

Right! So right off the bat, my first impression of Vonbon was positive. The packaging Grady's leggings arrived in was absolutely adorable (I'm a sucker for cute packaging.) 

Vonbon doesn't separate into boys' and girls' sections; everything on the site is unisex. Grady received the Triangle Leggings. I ordered the 3T for Grady and lengthwise, the fit is perfect. I love companies that make ordering easy. Grady is three years old so I ordered the 3T. THIS MAKES SENSE TO ME. Grady is still wearing a sweater from another kidswear company in size 18-24 months. THIS DOES NOT MAKE SENSE TO ME. Sorry. I get yelly when I get confused. 

I will say that there isn't a lot of diaper room so we do end up scooching the leggings up in the back a lot. This may just be because he's a three-year old still in diapers, though, because the leggings fit perfectly without a diaper. I feel like 3T is the size where clothes companies start to phase out the diaper room so I'm not faulting Vonbon for this at all, just saying that if you have a stubbornly-attached-to-diapers kid like I do, you might want to take it into consideration. 

Grady absolutely loves his leggings. He calls them his "vikings" (I have no idea why) and says they make him "run faster." Toddler logic. I love it. 

I love that the cotton is thick and holds up to his strenuous toddler play. I've washed them a few times now and the cotton is getting softer and even more comfortable. So comfortable, one might be unable to stop himself from breaking into the robot dance during his photo shoot. 

Living Extraordinary

Living Extraordinary Live is hitting Vancouver October 21st, 2014.

What is Living Extraordinary Live? Living Extraordinary is an event presented by Conscious Divas, featuring ten local luminaries (a mix of authors, business people, healthcare providers, speakers, and community leaders) sharing their consciousness-raising experiences and insights. Topics will range from health, happiness, mindfulness, spirituality, relationships, sexuality, sustainability, social entrepreneurship, charity, and abundance. 

Living Extraordinary speaks to me as the last few years have been particularly challenging and I've struggled to find a way to live a happy, fulfilled life. I worked at an intense, extremely stressful job for eight years. I went back to work when Grady was six months old and I was miserable. I felt stuck in a job I absolutely hated because it paid a lot of money and money equals success (or so I thought.) I'm so happy I had the strength and support to quit that horrible job when Grady turned one. 

But quitting my job didn't make me happy. I felt adrift. And then I was diagnosed with cancer. My life went from being kind of directionless (just quit my job, what am I going to do with my life?) to being focused in a very specific and not enjoyable direction (get through cancer treatment.) 

And now here I am: cancer-free, working at two jobs where I am respected and valued, and trying to live a happy life every day. 

I'm excited to attend Living Extraordinary because I'm interested in hearing how others have been inspired to live an extraordinary life. I feel like I've made steps in the right direction but I'm lacking that last bit of oomph I need to live a bold, soulful, creative life full of joy. 

If Living Extraordinary sounds like something that could benefit you, use code MYFRIEND for a 25% discount and join me for an inspiring night on October 21st from 6:30 - 9:30 at the Imperial Theatre in Vancouver. 

Be Happy

Today I was lucky enough to see Tamara Taggart speak at Leading Moms. The entire event was wonderfully inspirational and interesting but I was particularly interested in hearing Tamara speak about issues surrounding her health and motherhood. 

I really enjoyed Tamara's talk, especially when she spoke of enjoying the present and not waiting for happiness, and deglamorizing "busy". I didn't have the guts to ask my question after her talk (and I didn't trust myself to get through it without sobbing) so I want to ask it here: how do you mother after trauma?

Tamara started her talk by saying that she's a worrier, something I relate to wholeheartedly. Having a little tornado of love / joy / feeeelings has certainly helped me to be more present and get out of my own head (it's damn near impossible to get caught up in my own worry spiral around Grady because I'm too busy trying to keep him from painting the dog or dropping Lego down the heating vent.) But I struggle with being able to mother him without piling all of my fear / anxiety / baggage on him. (I say this knowing that a certain amount of worry is normal. I don't expect to be responsible for a small human without a certain degree of concern. I'm talking about the deep and twisty place I go when I start to think about Grady having half of my genes and my cancer being somewhat genetic. The place I go when I'm emailing my sister the night before my surgery to ask her to talk to Grady about me because he was too young when I had my surgeries to have any memory of me.) 

Grady was too young when I was diagnosed to have any memory of life before cancer. There is only life after cancer. When I leave him with a sitter, he asks if I'm going to the doctor because when I leave him with a sitter I'm always going to the doctor. I took him with me to get my eyebrows waxed and when he saw the treatment table he asked if I was getting a blood test. Grady is three. I don't want him to see me as his sick mom. I want to be tickle fights and adventure walks and superheroes. I don't want to be doctor's appointments and blood tests.

I'm curious to know how you move forward so maybe I can learn how to too. How do you mother your child after trauma, whether it be medical or emotional or financial or whatever? How do you mother without overwhelming worry?