Little Home, Big World

…what would Ma do?

Taking My Own Advice June 20, 2011

Filed under: Blahging,Thoughts — bethanyjoy @ 8:40 am
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Irony is posting about rolling with life’s challenges, and then having a couple big ones wallop you good a few days later.

I find myself taking my own advice, or rather, trying to  – there’s a fine line at times between acceptance and denial. One will help you move on; the other just prolongs the battle. If you’re anything like me, you spend a few days bouncing from one to the other.

I’m also spending a lot of time breathing deep. Looking outside at the trees and the lake, and when I can’t sleep, the moon and stars. Did I mention breathing? Lots and lots of that. In with Mr. Good Air, out with Mr. Bad Air…

And looking at the good stuff. There’s always good stuff. Even when jobs are in the air and housing in flux, there is good stuff. Healthy kids. A somewhat chaotic and wacky family, but one that loves intensely. Sunshine. Summer breezes. The joy of a good book. The feeling of sand beneath your bare feet. A favourite song on the radio, right when you need to hear it. Imagination. Creativity. Pink hair. Yummy-smelling bodywash. Beautiful yarn. Chocolate-peanut-butter-cup-ice-cream.

If you open your mind and think about it, there’s always more good stuff. Hold onto it with both hands. The sun sets on good days and bad days, but we’ll only see the beauty of it if we take the time to look.


if you’ll only look June 5, 2011

Filed under: Blahging,Writing — bethanyjoy @ 9:25 am
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I’d pick beach stones over diamonds any day. Diamonds are obvious and flashy, beautiful in a cold and untouchable way, but the stones nestled in the sand? They feel incredible in your hand, smooth and touchable. Diamonds may be unbreakable, but beach stones? They’re adaptable. Caught between powerful waves and abrasive sand, they grow smoother and more consistent. Diamonds catch the light and make it fly, but when you reach through the lapping water and pick up a stone, it literally glows in your hand. Then the breeze starts to dry the stone, and you watch the colours fade until there is only pale texture against your skin. Diamonds demand the admiration of everyone, but the beauty of a stone nestled in the sand and half-hidden by the water can only be enjoyed by those who are willing to search. True beauty is like that, I think. Born in humility, polished by difficult circumstances, and all around us – if you’ll only look.


My Cathedral April 24, 2011

Filed under: Blahging,Simplicity — bethanyjoy @ 2:40 pm
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‘Cause out here in the stillness, I find my house of worship

With column trees and canopy of stars, here in my cathedral.

– Chris Rice

One could do worse than to be a swinger of birches.

– Robert Frost

Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.

– Henry David Thoreau

Just a few reasons why I love living where I do. This place feeds my soul…

Happy (belated) Earth Day!


Things I’ll Miss April 5, 2011

Filed under: Blahging,Kids — bethanyjoy @ 4:10 pm
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Marbles in the washer,
Toothpaste on the mirror,
Legos stabbing feet as I chase away bad dreams.

Endless cries of “Moooommy!”
Snacktime every hour,
Water spilled across the table, half of dinner on the floor.

My opinion being gospel,
My stories being loved,
“I need a Mommy snuggle!” whenever I cease to move.

Hugs that end with giggles,
Rubbing kisses into my cheeks,
That moment of blissful silence when they’re finally asleep.


Making Time: A Pep Talk In Pictures March 30, 2011

Filed under: Blahging,Kids,Simplicity,Writing — bethanyjoy @ 9:48 am
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Some days, I feel like this:

Other days, I feel like this:


What makes the difference?

What lights you up inside?

Find out, and make it happen every day, even if only for a minute or two.

Trust me, it’s not being selfish. It’s being smart. Charge your light, and let it shine…

because everyone in your world will feel it if you don’t. 😉


Ten Things I Smiled About Today August 17, 2010

Filed under: Blahging,Simplicity — bethanyjoy @ 9:27 pm
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1. Sand between my toes

2. A frosty cold root beer and vanilla ice cream float – with a bendy straw, of course

3. One room free of boxes!

4. Printing and hanging a bunch of new pictures…I have the world’s cutest kids. Sorry, but I do! 😉

5. The fact that we NEVER remember to put the kids in swimsuits before walking down to the beach in the evening. Seriously, you’d think we’d learn…kids + water = an irresistible attraction. A force of nature that cannot and will not be held back. There is just no such thing as a “walk at the beach” that does not involve getting wet…nor should there be.

6. A vase of sunflowers on the table

7. “Perfect” by Hedley…anybody who’s been in a relationship long enough to ride out some ups and downs, you know how amazingly true this song is.

8. Finally having room to set up “mom’s headquarters” (pics and a post coming soon)

9. My husband. He makes me smile every day, laugh out loud just as often, and the most annoying wonderful part of it is, he can make me laugh when I’m mad. So I don’t stay mad often. 🙂

10. Waves, water, sunshine…realizing yet again how incredibly blessed I am to live in a place that feeds my soul.


Using the Good Stuff February 6, 2009

Filed under: Penny Saved — bethanyjoy @ 4:28 pm
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A spirit of frugality is a wonderful thing. Most of the frugal who I am lucky to know are creative, resourceful, thoughtful souls.

There does seem to be a hidden danger to frugality, though; a subtle trap that many of us seem to give in to. Come closer and I’ll whisper it in your ear.


Perhaps it’s because we truly appreciate the value of our dollar. Maybe we’ve had a few too many years of a few too few of those dollars to ever be loose and careless with them. Or perhaps it’s a simple matter of our being so good at saving and waiting that we simply forget that it’s good to use…in fact, it’s good to enjoy the things we have so carefully earned, saved and treasure.

One example of this is the concept of having “everyday dishes” and “Good China”…I’m guessing you know what I mean. There are the simple, indestructible, sturdy dishes that we use three meals a day, 364 days a year — and there are the lovely, beautiful, delicate dishes that we bring out on holidays.

Isn’t it ironic that it’s the bland, everyday dishes that our families will really remember? What messages do we send when we rarely bring out the “special” dishes? Isn’t the fact that we’re sitting down to eat together special?

Life is short. My kids will be grown and gone before I’ve managed to figure out a meal that they’ll all actually eat.

So I’m going to use the good dishes. In fact, I’ve repurposed a dish-drainer and put out a family-sized place setting of the good china on top of the dining room cabinet. Instead of being hidden away safely (and forgotten), we are going to use the good stuff.

When I’m gone and the kids are sorting through my “treasures”, I want them to say, “Remember these? They were the dishes we used at supper time. Remember when we…” and not, “Hey, aren’t those the dishes mom wouldn’t let us touch?”

That’s mine. What’s yours? Are you knitting though the bland yarn in your stash, refusing to touch the “good” stuff? Are your most luxurious sheets hiding in the linen closet? The best wine never opened?

Go for it. Use the good stuff.

It’s just stuff.


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