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NOT the Blissful follow up you were expecting

Okay, before you get your big girl panties in a frenzy, yes, Blissdom Canada 2013 was fill of bliss.

Yes, I came home feeling spoiled, inspired and loved.

The wine was great,  the food was excellent (as was confirmed by my scale this morning), the sponsors were terrific, the speakers were phenomenal. Tears of every kind were shed.

I learned a little, felt a lot and above all was reconnected with my dreams and for all of that, I do want to give a few shout outs…

First off, all you Blissdom Girls (& couple boys) you’re fabulous in every sense of the word. You ROCKED this challenge and proved that Canadians have all it takes to be the success we dream of. You are inspirations and I’m honoured to be able to call at least some of you my friends!

Sleep Country Canada – Although I didn’t win your Tempur-Pedic bed, “Bliss” is a welcome addition to our family. Thank you.

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19 Crimes – Thanks for delicious wine, the cool t-shirt and for allowing me to wrap myself in your silky Australian accent. (Yes, ladies I was enraptured by the man, please don’t pretend that you weren’t!)
Good luck on your big launch this new year. I’m sure your “preferred location” will be absolutely fabulous! (And, just so you’re not lying awake worrying about me, my husband did let me in the house even though I didn’t win one of your gorgeous baskets.) 😉 Image

Cottonelle – If I could make a  suggestion for next year, KLEENEX! Blissdom Canada likes to bring out our tears and we can never find KLEENEX. Please, next year, could you bring that in your arsenal of awesomeness? That being said, #LetsTalkBums… Thank you for saving us from the standard 1-ply hotel TP! My bum is feeling very loved. 🙂

The BeautyTeam – You took a 40-year-old tired, and very sick mom and made her feel like there was still some beauty to be found! Thank you for that. Image

Tim Hortons – I’m not going to thank you for the donuts that made my scale jump to crazy heights this morning but I am truly grateful of the #timspiration and the peppermint tea I lived on this weekend as I fought a cold while attending Blissdom. Thank you. Your staff was tremendous and I loved having to the chance to connect with them.

philosophy – THANK YOU! Tiffany introduced me to “keep the Peace” and she has officially changed my world. #Fact

UNICEF – Always nice to get a chance to catch up with all that you do and are striving for. Image Plumpy Nut was an experience, I now truly appreciate my running water but, even more importantly, I’ve been challenged to make bigger changes in my world and I’m hoping that you will be a big part of it. #StayTuned

McDonald’s – Thanks for not bringing fries and Big Macs – my scale thanks you too. 😉

Canadian Lentils – All I want to say is “YUM!” ….Delicious, delicious, delicious!Image

Maple Leaf Foods – You’re right! Bacon makes everything better!

Chevrolet – Although I was EXTREMELY disappointed to miss your test driving session on Thursday, I was happy to see you’re pretty faces at Blissdom again. corvetteThank you for the power station and for introducing us to the Chevrolet Hockey Helmet Program & “Chevy” – that kid’s got some moves!”

And since I could go on all day with specific mentions of sponsors, I’ll just leave it at this…. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

 

 

Now on to the good part and why this is NOT a “Blissful” follow-up…

I am shutting down this blog.

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Yes, after spending three days at the best blogging conference in the county, this post and one more (to let you know my plan) will be my last.
I will no longer be blogging on “A bear, A ladybug and A peanut”.

Thanks Blissdom Canada for giving me the courage & support to bring this to an end. I love you all!

Stay tuned, I promise you’ll all want to see where this weekend has led me, I just have to fill my husband in first. 😉

Lots of Blissful Love,
Jen 

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Got the Shoes

So, I’m ready.
I’ve found a pair of “too cool” shoes.
I have my costume made …and it turned out ok, I think.
My bags are mostly packed with just a few toiletries to add in the morning.
I have a #GirlsRoadTrip set up with some awesome tweeps thanks to #BlissDomCanada sponsor #GMCanada and their loan of a new Equinox.
I have a healthy breakfast waiting for me thanks to #Kellogg’s another #BlissDomCanada sponsor who, along with #MabelsLabels, sent each participant an awesome box of swag last week.
I’ve left my fridge full for my family and the laundry is clean (although I did not manage to get it folded and put away). #BasketDiggingWillBeRequired.

So I’m ready…. Right?!?!

So why do I feel like I’m going to burst into tears?!?
Why do I want to crawl under my covers and forget to come out in the morning?
Why am I so scared?

There are tons of people, who I talked to daily going to this conference.
These are people who I really enjoy. They are nice, kind, helpful, smart, funny, successful, wonderful people…. so why, when I have the chance of a lifetime to go and spend three full days with them, do I want to run the other way?

I’ve struggled my whole life with confidence issues.
I know why I have these issues. I know the people that perpetuated these feelings in me are idiots but yet the damage they caused is there. I fight it everyday. I was told I wasn’t good enough. I was told I was fat. I was told I would never be successful because I made/make bad decisions. I was made to feel on a regular basis that I wasn’t good enough and I was letting people down.

Years later, I am a grown up. I recognize the destructive nature of parts of my childhood yet it still effects me everyday. It’s like music in the back of my head that I can’t turn off no matter how hard I try. Unfortunately, people don’t realize this about me. They think I’m confident and secure but that’s a skill I’ve learned to fake. If I didn’t pretend to be that, I’d be told I was being ridiculous and to grow up and not be a baby. I was an embarrassment.

And that’s it I think. Going to #BlissDomCanada. Meeting all these successful people, these fabulous people and having all of them realized I shouldn’t be there. I’m nothing special.

Ultimately, not being good enough and letting everybody down.

OK. Now that all that’s been said…

I am going to try to get some sleep. I’m going to take three deep cleansing breaths. Imagine myself enjoying every moment of this exciting adventure.

I am ready. I will do this. I am good enough

What holds you back? Have others created fears in you that are unfounded? Tell me about it!

Dear Blog,

Purple Hyacinth "Please Forgive Me"

I’m sorry. I haven’t meant to neglect you. I didn’t mean to leave you unattended for so long.

The real world became very overwhelming during the summer and, as hurtful as it is to hear, you weren’t my first priority. Oh, who am I kidding, you weren’t a priority at all!

In my defense, I thought of you often. I had stories to share, titles to entice, subjects to dive into all swirling around in my head.

To prove my intention to do right by you, I have a list of headlines & activities that I’m sure you would approve but alas, the articles were never shared. The sagas never revealed. The adventures never told.  I beg your understanding.

My kids were home for the summer. My calendar was full to the brim. There were trips to the pool and journeys to far off lands. There were traumatizing acts of nature. Food to be processed and stored. Ultimately, there were people who I love dearly who needed me. Priorities.

But I’m here now! My family members are back into their routines.

My case load has lifted (as lifted as it gets).

I still have my list and I’m ready to share.

I do care passionately about you and your well-being.

Please forgive my absence.

Jen

 
Here is just part of my “LIST TO WRITE” that accumulated over the summer.
I get so many ideas in a day, I’d love to hear what you’d be interested in reading about.
• Our trip to an Egg Farm.
• Down Syndrome as a derogatory comment ?!?!
• My husband – my biggest supporter and critic all in one.
• Miss May
• The disappearance of the Value of Community
• Music Therapy, Brain Gym, Body Talk – the other therapies
• Three Kids, One Husband, A Van and Two VERY DIFFERENT Trips.
• Kentucky State Fair
• AGCHAT – Nashville will never be the same….or is that WE’LL never be the same.
• Stress and Irrational Fears
• FUF3 – Our home town is getting destroyed and we’re living it online, 1,100km away with Twitter
• Farmers Feed Families
• Chili Sauce, Tomato Sauce, Apple Sauce and Salsa!
• #140 Conference Ontario – Don’t Think, Dream Big & Do it!
• You’re only a big deal if you’re a big deal at home first!

A fresh more customized look…

When I started this blogging thing, my focus was just to start writing but being that I’m a designer at heart, using a “template” was hard. However, since I have yet to learn html, I continue to be restricted in my options.
So, today I’ve updated things a bit and although I’m still using a “template”, I’ve made it a little more “mine”. Luckily I have a very talented & generous friend who provide the illustration to aid in this personalization.

a bear, a ladybug & a peanut... ?!

Thanks Heather! You ROCK!

Feedback’s always welcome. Let me know what you think of the new look!

Testing the waters…

I was approached almost a year ago about starting a blog but I really had no idea where to begin. “I don’t know the first thing about writing, blogging, making a website. I’m just a mom. A photographer. A designer…. definitely NOT a writer!” was my reply. “Who would want to hear what I have to say?!?!?

“Don’t worry, you’ll figure it out. Just jump right in.” was the advice I got.

Well, I’m the first to admit, I do have opinions. I do have a lot to say. There are BIG topics that are always on the forefront of my brain….but really?! Put them out there for all to read… in black & white… forever…. ??  That’s just not me.

And then I looked at my life. What am I doing? I mean, what am I REALLY doing?!

• I’m a mom. (BEST and most important job in the world! )

• I’m a wife and supporter to my “AGvocating” husband.  (@waynekblack)

• I’m a part time photographer. (no pay, for the most part, but makes me happy and allows my creative juices to flow)

• I’m the founder of our local Down Syndrome Support Group ~ Club 21 (great – but I know I have a lot more to offer than planning easter egg hunts :S )

So, what’s my passion? What’s my purpose? What’s my living truth?!?! (for more on this idea visit http://elizabethpottsweinstein.com/)

And then it hit me!   Awareness.   Opening people’s eyes.

Asking the world to open their eyes to the world around them. To step outside their comfort zones and see that there is so much we can offer each other IF we can see outside ourselves.

Down Syndrome, Local Food, Green Energy, ….pick a topic. any topic. Common sense needs to make a come back in our society and I’d like to help.

I know, big ideals, a little lofty, …one blog isn’t going to change the world.  I don’t think my voice is going to move mountains but I do think, if I pick the topics that are a part of my everyday life that I know society doesn’t understand, I can help educate. And if I start with my topics, and others follow through on theirs, the world can be changed. I want to be a part of that. So, I will try to blog!

Next question….How do I start? Where do I go? What do I call it? What would my focus be?…Help!

As the year passed, I did my research. Read a lot of blogs. Started accessing my twitter account on a more regular basis and found a huge source of inspiration. I “met” people I can relate to. I stepped out of my comfort zone and put my opinions “out there”. Found a world full of people who actually might agree with my thoughts, can relate to my concerns and who share similar ideas.

So here I am. Rough. Ignorant. Completely at a loss but trying never the less.

I want to tell you about my family. My son who is too smart for his age and can’t relate to his peers. My daughter who has Down Syndrome but who has never in her 5 years of life been defined by that diagnosis. My youngest who believes she can conquer any task you put before her and does through sheer spite. My husband who is a farmer through and through but uses his talents to fight for an industry no longer understood by society…..

I want to tell you all so much…. but for now, I’m going to use this first post to “test the waters” and see if this blogging thing is me.

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