New Year’s Resolutions to Make the World a Better Place

Did you make New Year’s Resolutions for 2017? How are they coming along?

If you’re like most people, even if you’re doing awesome with your New Year’s Resolutions, you’ll fall off the wagon as soon as March (if not sooner). And it’s not surprising, really.

If you follow the blog, you know it’s no secret that I don’t like New Year’s Resolutions. Not just because they’re the most ineffective way to reach a goal, but also because they tend to be too near-sighted and belly-button focused. The majority of people who make New Year’s Resolutions are thinking only of themselves when they make them. Case in point: the top New Year’s Resolutions are “losing weight” and working on self-improvement.

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Sunday Treats & Family Time

Our church has a lovely fellowship hour after mass. When we left Kingston temporarily between 2006-2008, one of the reasons we really yearned to come back was our church community. It was hard to find that back in Ottawa.

Not only do we get to spend some time chatting with our Sunday family and just hanging out, we also get some lovely treats, too. Thoughtful folks bring lovely treats each Sunday, and the kids really enjoy them. The kids they run around in the back of the hall and burn off their energy before we go home and put them down for rest time.

Today’s nice thing is being free to attend church, hang out, and have yummy treats.

The other nice thing is to be able to spend time as a family, watching our kids quickly acquire new skills by using the indoor playground daddy built. We’ve got some pretty cool monkey bars and a trapeze in our basement now. My hubby is awesome. In so many ways.

Those are my nice things for Sunday. What nice things happened for you today?

Thank you to Dream Big Printables for this post’s great image. Check out their awesome art!

Husbands Who Cook

Today’s nice thing was that we had some more folks over for dinner. Dan decided that this year he’d like to have people over for dinner on most weekends. We had found we were getting a little too socially isolated, and we wanted to re-connect with friends and re-establish a social life. After all, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” as they say.

So today’s nice thing is that we had a lovely family over for dinner. I met Chris when I performed in my very first play last spring – an adaptation of the Princess Bride. I like to joke that I was in a play with Johnny Depp, because it’s uncanny how much this dude looks like the actor. Anyway, after doing the play, we became friends with Chris and his lovely family. So we invited them over a couple of times, one of which was for yesterday’s dinner. Their kids and ours get along well, so they played and we actually got to have a fairly uninterrupted conversation, which was nice.

But the other nice thing is that the entire meal was cooked by Dan. Dan really enjoys cooking, so he takes pride in making the meals when he invites people over. And sorry, family, but he also makes the best “pudim de leite condensado” I’ve ever had. I don’t even make the stuff (I refuse to, ’cause there’s no way it can compare). When we first got married, Dan was a better cook than me. Now I think we’re pretty much on par. It’s nice to have a dinner cooked for me though 🙂

Today I’m grateful for an involved husband and father who can cook, dance, fold laundry, change diapers and clean toilets, and who enjoys entertaining guests. Looks like I hit the jackpot (but I already knew that).

What nice thing happened to you today?

Thank you to Dream Big Printables for this post’s lovely image. Check out their awesome art.

Mighty Fingers and Good Movies

Today I went to hand clinic for the third time. Back in October, I broke my left pinky finger playing basketball. To make a long story short, I was given some exercises to do, and the nice thing for today is that the exercises seem to be working. My range of motion has improved greatly from when I first landed at the hand clinic. I don’t have full extension yet, but I should get back to almost full if not full extension if I continue doing the exercises. My flexion is almost normal, though it still needs a little work. I’ll always have a “fat knuckle” (doctor’s words, not mine), but I don’t mind.

The other nice thing is that Dan went to the library and surprised me with some movies for us to watch. Yesterday we finally finished Saving Mr. Banks, which I’d been meaning to watch since it came out in 2013. It was a pretty good movie, but, as expected, was very loosely based on the true story (just as Mary Poppins was very loosely based on the original books).

But the nice thing about watching that movie is that now I’m very curious to learn more about P.L. Travers, so I decided to read her biography – and it’s available at my library. Yay! Can’t wait to learn more about this really interesting (if very odd) author.

What nice thing happened for you today?

Thanks to Dream Big Printables for this post’s great image. Check out their awesome art!

Skipping School

This post is part of a daily series to notice “all the nice things” in 2017. I encourage you to also keep a journal of all the nice things that happen this year. At the end of December, you’ll have great memories to look back on. Thanks to Cesar Abeid for the idea.

Today’s nice thing: skipping school.

Yesterday was a rough day with the kiddos. I love them and I love homeschooling, but it’s not always easy. Some days are really hard. Yesterday was one of those days. Today, in order to re-set, I decided to go with the flow of the day. I wasn’t going to nag the kids to get their chores done (or to do anything, really). So I just kept to myself for most of the day, attending to them as needed, but not asking much of them. They ended up still getting all their chores done (albeit it took them 3 hours), playing really well together, and I ended up being able to clean up my inbox while they played. And we still managed to make it outside to play in the snow.

Sometimes we skip school. We’ve been judged for this, but we don’t care. We’re living life on our terms. We don’t need to explain why skipping school is OK, but I’ll write a post about it later on, because I’m tired of people talking about stuff they know nothing about. Skipping homeschool lessons is perfectly fine, not only because we still get all our work done by the end of the year, but also because life experiences, even (and especially) at a young age are much more valuable than structured lessons. There was no time when our kids learned better than during our bike trip this summer. During that time, we did not do structured lessons at all. Yet, my son’s speech skyrocketed (he has a speech delay), my oldest daughter finally got the concept of how a story is told (beginning, middle, end, characters, conflict, resolution – she’s still working on setting), and my youngest girl learned from her siblings at a pace much faster than what she does at home.

Today I’m thankful for the flexibility of homeschooling.

Another nice thing about today is that because yesterday was so rough, hubby gave me the night “off” tonight, which means I get to sit down and do one my favourite things – write. I also got to go to the gym and do a quick workout and have an uninterrupted shower afterwards.

Today I’m thankful for showering at the gym.

What nice thing happened for you today?

Thanks to Dream Big Printables for this post’s great image. Check our their awesome art!

Singing Glory

Today’s nice thing is that we had a “new” Gloria at church, and I really enjoyed singing it. I say “new” because it’s not really new – just different than the one we’ve been singing during advent. We sing this one every year too, but it’d been a year since we last sang it, so it felt new.

I sang it well and felt uplifted singing it. When I was thinking about it after church, I thought about how much I enjoy singing, and I was reminded of a great group I participated in last year. It’s called Rabble Singing Kingston, and they call themselves the “one night stand of choir singing.” It’s a lot of fun, you just show up once a month, learn a song, and then all sing together. No commitment, no signing up, no strings attached. I looked them up, but it turns out they’ve been put on hold for a while. It was nice to remember the fun times singing with them though. I only went a couple of times, but they were both really great.

Another nice thing for today was helping K-girl to learn about the mass and continue to get her ready for first communion. I got this book for her last year – it’s called Let’s Celebrate the Mass!and it helps kids to follow along with the service. It’s great to help her go through the book as mass happens, and she gets more interested in what’s going on that way. I think she’ll be ready for her first communion soon.

And finally, another nice thing that happened today was playing tag with the kids in the basement. It’s always so nice to drop everything and just have fun playing with them. Parenting is definitely challenging and it’s often not easy, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

What nice thing happened for you today?

Thanks to Dream Big Printables for this post’s great image. Check out their awesome art.


Good Food and Good Friends

This post is part of a daily series to help me notice “all the nice things” that happen in 2017. I encourage you to keep a similar journal – you’ll have lots of wonderful memories to look back on at the end of the year 🙂

Yesterday, we had two of Dan’s co-workers and their girlfriends (Dave, Kaitlyn, Graham, and Becky) over for dinner. Hubby cooked pulled pork and served some raw veggies, and fried up some of the almond-crusted fish I had made the day before. The friends brought some pretty delicious wine, a great salad, and some very nice flowers. Dan also made “pudim de leite condensado” (condensed milk pudding), which I have to say, is the best one I’ve ever had (sorry relatives!). I don’t even make the stuff, and I’m from Brazil, where it comes from. Dan has mastered the art of the “pudim” and frequently makes it for guests, who always enjoy it. We also had some caipirinha after dinner.

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Cursive Writing Mad Skills

Today’s nice thing: my 6-year-old daughter read a card that was written in cursive today. She’s a great reader and reads above grade level; however, she has never been taught to read or write cursive. I was impressed at her mad skills. This kid is smart.

Another nice thing: my 2-year-old in her comfy PJ’s that her nana made. She looks so super adorable in them. Love, love, love it.

Another nice thing? I recorded the voice-over for the first two modules of my writing course today. Things are looking great 🙂

What nice thing happened for you today?

Amazing hosts – and finally, a playmate

After leaving Newcastle, we made our way to Oshawa. Although Dan’s sister lives there, her house is a bit too far up from the route we were taking, so we found a host through Couchsurfing. Our host was a seasoned traveller and you can tell he loves hosting people. He spoiled us rotten with delicious home cooking, and even was kind enough to help us get some more much needed gear – I have him to thank for finally getting proper bike shorts.

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Happy crowds make me happy


Today’s nice things is New Year Resolutionists. Although sadly, most of them will be gone from the gym by the end of February, I love seeing a bunch of happy people all together in one place. I was finally able to make it to the gym today, and it was nice to see it packed full of people getting their sweat on. Everyone was smiling and making conversation, and I love being in a place full of positive energy.

I’m also thankful that it looks like I didn’t break anything and my elbow and wrist will feel better really soon. I’m also making good progress with my pinky finger, which I broke playing basketball way back in October. It’s taken a while for the range of motion to come back, and it’s not all the way there yet, but it’s much better than it was two weeks ago.

What nice thing happened for you today?