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!

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?

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?

Super Long Wait Times = Lots of Work Done (I love silver linings)

Today I am hyper-excited about super long waiting times at the after-hours clinic. Whereas normally this might be a source of frustration for many, I’ve made a commitment to write every single day. 500 words is my minimum, but I intend on writing a lot more each day. I’ve got about 3 hours with absolutely nothing to do but wait. Good thing I thought of bringing my laptop! I’m making some awesome progress on my blog and on other writing endeavours.
I’m also at the clinic more as a precaution than anything, and as I result, I don’t feel anxious about being here – another nice thing.

I’m here because yesterday I took a tumble on the ice and hurt my elbow. Whereas I still have full ROM, there’s a sizeable bump on my ulna, and I’m pretty sore pretty much from my shoulder down to my pinky finger. I’m pretty sure there’s nothing wrong, but considering how often I ignore pain and how much damage that has done in the past, I figured I’d rather be safe than sorry. I’m pretty sure I’ll have another nice thing to write about, ‘cause I’m sure my elbow is fine.

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A wonderful year indeed


This post is one in a daily series to capture “all the nice things” that happen in 2017. Thank you to Cesar Abeid for the suggestion.

There’s a lot of people saying “good riddance” to 2016. These fine folks are convinced that 2016 was one of the worst years yet. But as a matter of fact, 2016 was actually an awesome year. Not just for me, but for a lot of other folks as well. There is only one difference between the folks who had an awful year and the ones who had an amazing one: perspective. My siblings and I are such different people, but there is one thing we all agree on: your year (and your life) is what you make it. 2016  saw the departure of many celebrities, and we also lost loved ones in our friend and family circle. But there were also babies born, friends made, adventures taken, and love felt all through the year. The people who left this world – we miss them, we love them, and we grieve their loss. But they are gone now, and we cannot change this. What we can do is feel the feelings that need to be felt during our grieving process, but also notice all the nice things that happen all around us every day. That’s where these posts come in – to put a smile on my face (and hopefully yours, too), and to remind me that no matter how bad a day gets, there’s still something to be celebrated within it. In that spirit, here are some nice tings that happened in my life this past year:

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Friends, word games, and the start of an awesome year

This post is part of a daily series to record all the nice things that happen in 2017. It’s a great way to record good memories, and also to hit my daily writing goal.

We had a wonderful New Year’s Eve celebration with some friends here at home. It was super nice to host here, since we didn’t have to find babysitting. We started the celebrations late (9:30 p.m.) so that the kids would be asleep when the party started. We had a mini-party just with the kids after dinner. We enjoyed some treats, did a fake count down, and popped some sparkling juice for them. They enjoyed themselves and didn’t feel left out of the adult party.

We had a friend from swing dancing, an old friend of my hubby’s from middle school and his sister, and two friends from sports night. We hung out, had some drinks, and played some super-fun word games. I totally have to get Heads Up for my phone now. We also played Bananagrams, which is one of my favourites.

It was a lot of fun to just hang out with friends, and introduce some of them to pão de queijo, beijinhos de coco, and capirinha. I love cooking for parties, and this time around was no different.

We did our countdown and shared some sparkling wine or sparkling juice before everyone said their goodbyes at around 12:30 and headed home. I’m happy to say everyone drank responsibly.

I’m so happy and thankful for friends, social time, and celebrating the start of a brand new year. I can’t wait to notice all the nice things in 2017.  I encourage you to also start writing down your good memories. At the end of the year, you’ll have some great things to look back on.

I’m not that bad at math!

While I was growing up, math wasn’t my best subject. Well… that’s putting it lightly. I sucked at math. In middle school, I just didn’t “get it,” and in high school, I managed to pass, but math and I still weren’t very good friends. If it weren’t for that pesky “C” in math, I’d have had a 4.0 average – and I’m not exaggerating, either. I made straight A’s in everything else. I got an A in Junior English after learning English 2 years prior (man, could I BS my way through an essay). But math just wasn’t my strong suit.

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Deep Cleaning and Finding Long-Lost Items


You know when you put something away in a very specific spot so you’ll be able to find it later… and then you can’t remember where you put it? Yep, I’ve done that a million times. I used to be hyper-organized, and then I had kids. I’ve been living in chaos since, but it’s so worth it. Having said that, I’m kind of done with living in a mess. I can only stand it for so long. So I’m working super hard and trying to purge and organize my house before the new year hits.

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Remembering loved ones

Today marks 3 years since a friend was killed by a distracted driver. Although this may not seem like a good way to start a “things to be thankful for post,” there’s a reason I’m mentioning this.

Firstly, because I won’t allow society’s misguided view of grief to dictate my actions. I firmly believe that there’s no time limit on grief, and that it’s good to remember our loved ones who have passed away, no matter how long ago they left us.

My “nice thing” for today is the memory of Tim that encourages me to keep pushing through hard times. About a year before he passed away, he had had colon cancer and gone through chemotherapy. I remember seeing him at the gym, and asking him how he was doing. He seemed utterly disappointed in himself when he said “I feel fine, but I’m so weak.” The thing is, you could tell he was working really hard at his workout. But he wanted to do more. I remember this encounter when I feel like things are getting too hard. I remember that I once knew someone who wouldn’t let things knock him down.

Today, I’m thankful for friends who inspire me to be a better person. Rest in peace, Tim. We miss you.