Peaches & Beaches

Art of the Everyday

It’s Time to Move

cropped-vveen-family-photo-167.jpgThe hockey skates are put away and with my knees bent low, I have decided to post again.  Oh how I hate the sting of self-awareness.  If I may, tell my story of what’s going on in my little life.

Some 4 years ago, I decided to write online as a creative outlet.  A voice in many voices.  I remained in internet obscurity and together with my wordpress account I could spill prayers on the page and publish images that were worthy.  I picked me.  I didn’t wait for permission.

Then I read other bloggers telling me to do things in certain ways.  Build a tribe.  Be specific. Don’t talk religion or politics. Do this, do that.  And I lost my fit.  My reason why.  I believed ‘them.’

And somewhere along in my blogging life, I started to wait for others permission.  I sought comments.  I waited for likes.  And this need for approval plagued my freedom.    

We want many to like us and only then we feel we have the right to be heard.

Seth Godin or any TED talk will adamantly disagree about this.  Choose yourself.  Pick yourself.

For it is in that self-acceptance there you are.  There you are in all your God glory goodness.

You have the right to be heard and the right to be wrong.  


I’m back.

My new website is now just peaches and beaches.  A little bit updated.  And it’s there I’ll play with my words and pictures and be gloriously right or wrong.  Liked or unliked.  Do I hear an AMEN!  I’ll also  learn how to use plugins and do cool things with the pages that were a wee bit limited at the other website.

If you read me on facebook nothing will change but any of you email readers will be moved shortly.  The rss feed will be changed as well.  If I can’t figure the rss out it may require a new feed update on your part.  (If you were like me for many years, you don’t even know what that is.  Give me email or give me none!!)

I sincerely thank you for reading my words.  May they bring encouragement to you that you are not alone.  That there is much grace in the mundane.  I truly believe that in the dishes and the driving is exactly where the Divine meets you.

Much love






A story about waiting and orchids

feb4-001It has officially been over a month that I’ve been making space.  Making space in my life for big dreams and consolidation of ideas.  I walk through my home, room by room with my camera.  There is not a single room in perfect order.  The laundry is piled high in corners and each bed carries the imprint of the sleeper.

However, with the sun shining and the day at mid I wish to see my life as it is.

I want to see it all.  The whole big goodness.

I’ve exercised this morning, eaten 2 flax eggs, hung up my parka and ignored the sandy entrance.  My giant DSLR sits in the drawer with my many full memory cards.  The shiny black piano in the living room waits for a song.  SO MUCH GOODNESS.

This cluttered up full life has me brimming and spilling.

Tension between loving my stuff and life and fullness, to the desire of that which has no image.  That which is only felt with the soul.

feb4-002I have had success with an orchid re-blooming only once in my life.  Usually when I get them from the store I get one flower out of the plant, it lasts for a month, and then I chuck the whole dang thing away because it just looks so ugly without the dainty slippers or the white butterflies.

The last time an orchid bloomed for me we lived in Saskatchewan on a ‘temporary’ farm while we were waiting for our forever farm.  I loved the acreage.  It had gardens galore and barns to run through.  Our cat had her kitties on 3 year old Waverly’s bed.  The orchid sat in the large dining room facing south west and the white butterflies kept blooming out of the green stem.

We had moved 2 provinces, 2000 km to the prairies like modern day pioneers, praying that a farm would come available for us to buy and move our young family on.  Daily I would look out my bedroom window and remind God that we were here.  Waiting.  A year went by, I got pregnant again and Wes now had to work up north.

I continued to look out my window, casting my prayer past the hawthorn trees and through the lilac sky that our farm would appear.

Finally our farm did come.  It didn’t look at all like what I expected.  It was ugly and barren.  The soil was sandy, the gardens overrun and the house with only half windows.  I cried to leave the home I loved.

It wasn’t what I expected. AT. ALL.

My first farmhouse built into the earth.
The earth farmhouse

I had our fourth baby there and the orchid gave up its flowers.  It stopped instantly after the move. The sunlight couldn’t reach inside far enough to coax the buds.

Turned out that farm was more than we imagined.  Gave us more memories than my scrapbooks could contain.

Pike Lake Farm House, SK
Pike Lake Farm House, SK

The fruit tree

So here I am again in that moment of waiting.  This time looking out at the valley of peach trees and the land of the lakes.  I cast my prayer from my home that holds different dreams. The home I’ve called a safe place.  What if God will give me again what I don’t expect?  What if it doesn’t look anything like my imagination?

feb4-004My orchid is going to bloom soon.  It’s been a year since I brought this one home.  I can’t even remember what the color of the flowers were.

15 years go by and I find myself in the same place of my soul.  Peace and tension of surrender.  It does not come easy.  I wrestle each day with flying the coup and taking matters into my own hands.

But still I wait. Anticipating the bloom.

Peace in the Ordinary

januaryshots-072This past weekend was spent driving through the prairies. Sky and sunrises that caused us to stop outside the rink and just breathe in the beauty.  God is everywhere.  Even at the sports centre.  I’m sure He was cheering on Wynter’s ringette team.  Ok, I’m being facetious but sports can bury you deep in emotion and make you forget that the world is big and you can’t control it as much as you try.  Thank God for his reminders.

That weekend tournament has left me home this monday seriously exhausted after driving for 7 hours, which we were supposed to fly – a whole other story – and drained.  It was a gift to not have to go to work or pack up to the gym.  Just crawl out of bed, be still in my quiet space, and recoup.

I guess you could say that my world has been revolving around serious contemplation.  Thinking through personal mission statements and analyzing what I value.  A check up of sorts.  I’ve been daring to dream a bit.  Still hesitant on letting my imagination go.

januaryshots-064The gift of time has been given to me and I recognize it here.   Give thanks for it.  Wes and I head out together grocery shopping at the Superstore this morning, examining yogurt and wicker baskets and arguing about how much snack food we need.  Why do we have to have so much on hand?  

Little bits of together that tie us close and somehow offer me so much comfort in it’s ordinary.

The days roll on like snowballs down a hill and I want them to stop yet speed up.  My one daughter is away far in another country and I see her in prayer, trusting in God to watch over her and her team of friends.  I search through her facebook and instagram pictures so I can imagine rubbing her arms and listening to her talk.  The things we do when we miss someone.  For her return I wish for quick time.  For my selfish pleasure I’d like it to slow down.

That is my monday.  A little bit of glory sneaking in the space.  May you experience the same gift of peace in the ordinary.


My New Year’s jet lag and some thoughts on the quotidian

micah68It is taking great effort to write about anything that isn’t a peer reviewed essay.  So much so, that I’m craving an essay topic.  A dreaded essay at-the-time topic that will haunt my sleep, and remind me when I wake that there is research to be done and words to be analyzed.  Deadlines will loom.

I look outside at the falling snow for minutes, and soon 2 cm has fallen and not even an iota of thought flickers in my brain.  It’s as if the lights are out.  All is dark.

christmas pre-072I guess you could say this is a writers block.  A writers fear.  A dry and wandering place.

And this blog has been on my mind.  What should I do with it?  Should I give it a new look?  Is what I’m writing worth it?  Who am I writing for? What’s to become of peaches and beaches?

This is my New Year’s jet lag.

But on a more uplifting note, thanks to some sound counsel from my spiritual friends I’m making space.  Making space for the next few months to sort out my path and purpose.  This means no knee jerk choice or guilt motivated ones.  And for a controller and solution driven women this is a very uncomfortable place to be.

At least I thought it would be.

But somehow making space has been less passive than I expected and instead rather assertive. I have to choose the best and allow my Creator to speak while I listen.  I’m one of those prayers who like to tell God what’s going on and never really stop to be Still.

I’m leaning into the verses on being still and knowing that He is God and respecting the elders teaching on asking for mercy.  

I will get up tomorrow and wish my kids a good day, see them off to the bus and come back to my thin place downstairs to seek the divine.  Thursday means its vacuum day and washing sheets day.  Perhaps I’ll go for coffee later with my friend.  Everything so quotidian, yet the mystical can happen in the present work.  Watch and pray.



A post before the New Year

october 13-053It’s been a couple of months since I’ve written here and the memories are piling up like books on my bedside.  All disordered and about ready to topple.  I wish I could explain why I stayed away. Madeline L’Engle argues that its hard to be creative in two domains at the same time, and that is probably why.

November and December were spent creating my final 3 research papers and going deep into a learning well.

December13-151Out of all my last 3 years of classes, this past semester was the most personal and therefor the most interesting.  I was filling up on my required history courses and my psychology classes were practical which took theory and tested it or should I say tested me.

I did research on feminism and science and imperialism and colonizing.  I discussed interpersonal relationships and how our attachment in childhood matters.

My attachment system in childhood has mattered.  

So this full circle of defining who I am, where I come from and what that looks like today was being synthesized these past months.  This wasn’t completed but is a continual process of consolidating my life. 

*   *    *    *

And I turned 40.  


Pre-Party fun with my girls
Pre-Party fun with my girls
Friends for life.  Here we are posing by the poster of the 1994 version of us.  Have we changed?
Friends for life. Here we are posing by the 1994 version of us. Have we changed?

December13-090I always imagined a 40 year old as a beige underpants wearing, high rise poly slacks, denim vest sporting woman who feathers her hair and drives a mini-van.

Someone stuck in thier twenties, definitely not sexy, and a slave to thier children.

Some days I feel like her.  But most days I do not.  

*   *   *   *   *

Now that my degree and my goal is done I feel a void.  A void in my space.  When you work hard on a dream that required not only drive and will power but a sense of person, completing it is empowering but you’re left anti-climatic.  Kind of like Christmas no?

I get questions now like: What are you going to do now?  Where do you want to work?


*    *    *    *    *

This blog has always been a space for me to digest, record and create.  I have been thinking of changing the name and the theme for it’s really wide.  But then, I keep coming back to a similar theme of my writings.

Beauty exists in my everyday life. As it does everyone.

We just have to look for it.  I need to believe it’s there.

*    *    *    *

This morning I sent off my 16 year old daughter to a third world country for 5 weeks to go be changed.  She’ll be holding hands with orphans, tasting lots of brown food, and sleeping outside on the ground.  Yep, I’m a bit worried but I’m also so happy that she is grabbing life and doing it.

untitled shoot-075 untitled shoot-076How are you going to grab 2014?  Maybe a word for the New Year?  



Subject to time and chance

0c3a3ed020c411e2914322000a1f984e_6October was full of trying to find the wit and wisdom I didn’t have.  In comes November with me raging at the system and still finding no wit and definitely no wisdom.

Daily I lay my burden down and for that I get enough clarity to do my school work, brush my hair and cook dinner for the family.  But in the quiet of the drive or in the wee hours of the morning I hear the words of Solomon,

We are all subject to time and chance.  

Even the wise do not completely understand why the righteous get punished and the foolish get rewarded.  

We are all subject to time and chance.  

I was the little blond girl with the plastic butterfly barrettes putting up her hand in class and asking why.  There was never enough answers for all my questions.  There still isn’t enough.

I’ve swept up the early November pieces and have given them to the Lord to mend.  My foolishness, life’s injustices, misplaced values.

Thankful for new mercies every morning.   

The 31st day of Teenager posts

Day 31~ Music, Sex, and feet washing for teenagers

familyfallshots12-012It takes a community to raise a child and here on the technological super highway there are so many fantastic people writing and sharing their truths about teenagers.

If you’re wondering what to say about sex with your teen, I’d definitely read this blogger.  She speaks truth.

Regret free parenting?  Check out Tim Challis.  

This writer is so good I had a hard time picking which post.  They. Are. Authentic. Words.  I washed my 2 boys feet this summer, (not on purpose) but it was a moment of grace.  Check out the Life Artist.

What a beautiful celebration of how the youth can set an example for everyone.  Take time for this video.

This is the final post for my 31 days of teenager postsI’ve compiled all the posts in this series on a page in case you missed any.  There are good things coming from this next generation.  It’s been my pleasure to document some of them, including my messy mistakes.  

To stay connected to my writing feel free to follow by reader, email or like my facebook page.  


A parenting manifesto is a great start

Day 30~ What teens really want to see.

october 13-088I was going to be all faithful in blogging everyday but you know I embrace the ‘slow blogging’ movement which is organic lazy but certainly more real for my life.  This blog isn’t a money maker for me.  It’s a platform to work out my passions, art and writing, and trust that my words will find a home to whomever needs to hear them.

With that said, I totally intended to lay out a topic for each day with parenting and tips.  Obviously that didn’t happen; how many days did I skip?   I value the journes so I have learned something along the way as I intentionally thought about life with TEENAGERS.

To add to that thought, I am in 4th year psychology classes and seminars which somehow takes in-depth psychological knowledge into the everyday.  Maybe it’s just the teachers this year, but for whatever reason, the everyday is overlapping into the studies in such good ways.

With the electric guitar blaring in the bedroom and ‘how it’s made’ still on TV with NOBODY watching, I will share with you what I learned today that I instinctively knew but appreciate the reminder.

I am going to be straight up that what I say now is generalizations that only a blogger could do and somewhat simplified. If you want the full meal deal on these psychological theories and disorders you have to sign up for psyo 442 and show them the money and do your time.  

Attachment theory posits that most of our social life and how we interpret and now act was formed in our youth with the attachment to our caregivers/ parents.  We tend to see things in life in two ways, by what we hear and say; the content of life. Go to bed and I love you, type of sayings. The second way we learn is at the relational level or how we do things; the deeper unintentional message.  This is modelling. Most of us know that our children are seeing what we do, absorbing it and making decisions from that.

But what we don’t often realize is that most levels of thinking will go so much deeper into our psyche that only the grace of God could ever touch with much counselling and hard emotional work.  I posted a poem a few days ago that was a clear representation of that.  See it here.

The question is, what can a parent do to help their intentions of being good – (very vague term), and to translate those into becoming a real purposeful parent of love and grace and truth?

I believe that having an intentional parenting manifesto is one key to success in parenting for all ages.  Not just teenagers. 

We tell the kids on my ringette team to sign a code of conduct before the season’s begun.  The parents have to do the same.  This commitment means you’re on the hook for your behaviour while on the ice or in the stands.  Without committing to positive role modelling, stupid things like yelling at 13 year old refs occur.  Cause they really like that.   Really?

If you have a few minutes in your day, take some time to write out what you value.  Do you value respect? Honesty? Gratitude? independence? family life?  Then decide how that looks.  Chances are some event will trigger your memory as you think about why these are your values.  It could even be a negative experience that you wished played out differently.  This is what you aspire to be.  This is what you commit to be.

Or you could print one off that I think is an amazing summary of what I believe.  Brené Brown has created a realistic and honest manifesto, which she has put on her blog.  I’m posting it here and putting the link below.

ParentingManifesto-brene brown

image source click on the blue.  This image is for display.  Use the link to download a free one of your own!

Wes and I have reassessed our values periodically for the kids and us as they’ve matured and we’ve grown too.  I’m definitely not perfect and make many mistakes as you’ve read about here.   

Have you written a manifesto?  Maybe thought about one?  Would you add anything to this? 

This post is part of my 31 days of Teenagers.  


When they are too far away to rescue

winterevents-090Day 28~ Teenagers on a student exchange

She wheels her luggage bag with her red OBEY sweater and little leather coat down the arrival gate.  I grab my girl who’s been on the student exchange this week and hug her tight.  The airport is crowded and full of mama tears as we all hug the kids who, for many of us, was for the first time they were too far away for us to rescue.

Panama is going to be another story.  But that’s in January and for now I’ll clean her room and and put out fresh linens to welcome home the sleepy girl with love.


My older two are spreading their wings and a deep rustle inside me is giving permission to let them fly.  I hold their life out to the creator who loves them even more than I do and trust.  Trust in God’s love.  Trust in the characters they have become.

And maybe the truth is they don’t need me to rescue them.

When they were six years old this life seemed so far away. The days, they go by slow, repetitive and oh so very ordinary. The years, they fill up quick.  There are Memory book pages and collections of event buttons that overfill the cups.  Our full life of ‘remember whens’ gives me peace. 

Wishing you peace this monday morning.



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