Wednesday 26 September 2018

Mommy Diaries: My Journey to Perspective

This is Lindsay's second of three (or maybe more) installments in her journey as a mom of two girls, one who was not long ago diagnosed with Rhett syndrome.  These are her stories as she navigates through motherhood.  Read  Lindsay's first installment, Coming to Terms with a Diagnosis, here.  

Have you ever been feeling shitty and low, and then someone offers advice or empathy with something like, “at least…blah blah blah”.  My mom uses this all the time; through the trials and tribulations of childhood, adolescence, young adulthood and heck even adulthood.  And I would think, FUCK OFF MOM!  It’s just NOT what you want to hear when you are feeling down, especially when you are feeling worse than you've ever felt before.

I understand now, she was trying to teach me the valuable lesson of perspective.  Unfortunately, people generally need to get there on their own, but having this as a default setting in your brain when you’re feeling down proves to be quite helpful! When we first got the diagnosis, I felt down.  I’d see people complain about their kids doing kid things and I’d think, “fuck you, at least they have legs that work!” (or something similar).  Comparison can be the thief of joy, but I have come to understand it can also be an advantage. Thinking about Isla’s future, I would think, “how could this be any worse?!”  Then I remembered the time Isla was in acute pediatrics at RUH where some kids were LIVING in the hospital!!  Some of the children were there all by themselves, others were fighting for their lives!  So, when I feel sorry for myself, I remember the days we spent in the hospital with Isla while she fought an infection.  I remember how scary the days were, but I also remember that it could have been so much worse.  As time passes, I see all the warrior mamas out there dealing with shit that is way worse than what we are dealing with.  Now I reminded to always look on the bright side, to be grateful for what we are given, and to enjoy each day as they come.  This is one of the greatest gifts Isla has given me. I think this kid has a lot to teach me and the world…

Friday 14 September 2018

Pretty in Pink & Purple With Some New Friends

Transitions seem to be the theme of my posts this week, see here.  Fall has descended upon us and as sad as I am to put away my shorts, tank tops and bare legs for another season, I do love restyling favorite pieces for the season ahead.  Duster cardigans have quickly become a favorite of mine over the last year, and have replaced all of my shorter cardigans from a few years ago. This gorgeous cardigan was a Nordstrom purchase this past spring while I was in Portland and it was worth the price tag.  It’s not only my favorite color but the thread is shimmery, almost sparkly, adding a very sophisticated, feminine and elegant feel to the piece.  It’s truly stunning  all on it’s own, so I  often chose to keep the rest of my outfit extremely simple, like this one.  I paired it with a simple white tee, gray pants (theses are my favorite brand and they carry them in multiple colors that rotate depending on the season), and nude heels.  A simple, long and elegant necklace to finish the outfit off is all that was needed. Duster cardigans are a piece that can stay in your closet year round but what you layer them over changes based on the season.

Now lets talk about how this came to life.  To be honest it baffles me even now, several weeks after the fact, and brings a huge smile to my face.  Just when I was  feeling  a little unsure of continuing with the blog and wrestling with the idea of whether the time that I was putting into it was fulfilling me, I was invited by Deena, from Shoes to Shiraz, to join her and another fellow blogger Lana,  My New Happy, for a few days of getting to know each other.  I see this time we spent together as such a gift.  Not only because I had an absolute blast exploring my own city, or this photo shoot by the amazing Lovely Roots Photography, but because I got to meet two women that I respected, admired and looked up to.  I made a connection.  That connection would have never been a possibility had I not read their blogs, then been inspired to begin my own.  I’ve met women from across the world via blogging and many I will never meet in real life.  They are creative.   They are supportive.  They lift, rather than tear each other down.  It’s pretty special to be a part of that and I hope that someone sees me as their cheerleader as many have been mine.  So thank you ladies for stepping into my life at this particular time and thank you all for stopping by my blog. 

 Also, I want to highlight Lovely Roots Photography for these beautiful photos and for the two hours she spent with us.  If you are a Saskatchewan resident, make sure to check her FB page out and book your next session, you will not regret it!  

Shop This Post:  

Topshop Cardigan (Sold Out)  Options:  Nordstrom Rack#1; Nordstrom Rack #2

Banana Republic T-shirt

Design Lab Pants 

Hillberg & Berk Ellis Pendant Long Necklace

Wednesday 12 September 2018

Transitions: What's Up For 2018-19 School Year

Transitions.  A period of change.  We are in a state of transitions this year.  A new school year is like New Years for teachers and students alike.   A fresh start.  A new beginning.  Goal setting.  Full of hope and possibilities.  It’s like the summer allows us to restart, reevaluate and potentially reinvent ourselves.  School start up has always been one of my favorite seasons and this year is no different.  As much as I love summer, oh, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE summer, I am happy to reconnect with colleagues, kids are happy to see their friends, we get a fresh batch of activities to try out and life begins to go around and around once again.

This school start-up is different for all of us because we are all going through some specific transition.  I’ll start with the youngest, probably the most difficult transition, and move on upward.

 Anya (New school)

We had been talking about switching schools for a couple of years but this past spring Anya actually became interested.  We all love her old school, it’s where our hearts is, but as parents we began wrestling with a few things.  Anya is a social kid, probably would be classified as a social butterfly.  She loves kids and being around them.  At school this was mainly happening but after school we couldn’t really foster the friendships for several reasons.  People are busy, they are surviving life, or playdates/birthday parties are not a part of their culture.  This is okay, except when your child is craving it.  Yes, we have activities and some neighbors, but A. wanted more.  She started asking for sleepovers, playdates and a stream of birthday parties, etc.  In the end we decided to switch to our neighborhood school in hopes to make these opportunities more readily available.  Are we doing the right thing?  Who knows.  We do what we think is right in the moment.  We consider many perspectives.   We ask our children.  But ultimately the burden of the decision is upon us as parents, so we make it.  So far week one has gone okay, a few little mishaps, but she is holding strong and being extremely mature and optimistic.  I’ll keep you posted. 

Halie (New/Old School, New Program)
In early spring Halie came to us and stated that she wanted to apply for the iGen grade 6 program (intergenerational program).  It’s a one-year program based out of Sherbrook Community Center which houses elderly people that may have some disabilities and/or health concerns.  The students are immersed in daily life with the residence, the diversity of their classmates, in citizenship education, and an integrated curriculum approach to learning. The center is close to Halie’s elementary school and the students spend approximately 30% of their time at the elementary school for gym, band, and school activities, and the rest of their time either at Sherbrook or in the community.  When Halie first approached us with this idea,  we were unsure if she would be a good fit but upon discussing it at length with her we were shocked by the maturity of her answers and the reasons behind her decision.  We were also surprised that she was willing to leave her girl tribe to apply for a program like this.  Once again, we were pleasantly surprised by her mature outlook as we well as her desired to expand her mind and soul in such a way.  At the supper table they other day she said, “in iGen we are all just instantly friends.  The girls and the boys.  There is just no groups, we all work and play together.  It’s very different but so great.”  I am so excited not just for here but for our whole family to learn and grow our understanding this year.  How lucky are we?!?

Me (New boss & last year as Early Learning Consultant)  
Eek.  One of my bosses, a mentor, retired and is pursuing another path in the education world.  I am happy beyond words for her, but my initial reaction was pure sadness for myself.  I was devastated.  Speechless.  Shocked.  I thought I would finish off my four-year term as an Early Learning and Literacy consultant with her by my side.  After the shock wore off, I was happy for her and I know her guidance over the years has built my knowledge and experience  and I am truly grateful for that.  I have the best colleagues and other mentors in my environment and I know that they are there to support me.  I will be challenged in new ways and that’s kind of exciting too.  When new people come into a role they bring fresh perspectives and you can choose to be open to them and grow alongside them, or you can choose to have a fixed mindset and isolate yourself.   I choose the collaborative, the open, the learning disposition, and so I begin this year with great expectations and a desire to learn to the very end.  I have no idea what will happen after this, and I would be lying if I said that I don’t think about/worry about it, but a year is a long time and there is so much learning, growing and work to be done.  I am excited and ready for it all!!!!

And so, we all begin a new school year with our own set of expectations, hopes, goals and some anxiety.  I choose to see change as a positive. As an opportunity.  As a learning journey that will make me a better person.  I pass that same message and mentality to my girls.  I lead by example because that’s the best way to lead. 

Friday 7 September 2018

Fall Teacher Style on a Budget

For a teacher starting a new school year is much like New Years is to everyone else in the world.  It's a fresh start!  A clean slate.  The year ahead is full of promise.  We set goals for ourselves both professionally and personally.  It's also a time when we feel extremely broke :) (again much like after Christmas and New Years).  Many of us get paid over 10 months and even though we save and plan to cover our expenses, school start-up is always a little hard and the end of September and our first paycheck can't come soon enough.  

I don't always shop at Old Navy but I do find that they often have trendy items that have a great price point.  I did a little "window shopping" and then real shopping, in  ON the other evening, kid free, and found myself pairing work appropriate outfits all over the place.  I purchased everything for $200 and honestly can remix all the times multiple times, making these picks a staple in my world.  Let's see what I placed in my cart.

#1 Plaid Pants

Plaid is everywhere this year, especially pants and blazers.  A plaid blazer, such as this one, is on my wish list but it's $$$ and needs to wait until payday.  When I saw these plaid pants I knew that I could recreate so many different looks with the tops I already had in my closet (light pink, black turtleneck, white blazer, etc).  These pants are a keeper for me. Let's look at the three ways I styled them.

First, I styled them with the items in my closet.  Blush pink and gray always go so well togther and I love how this outfit turned out.  Perfect now as we are transitioning from summer to fall, or in spring.

This knit top is super comfy from ON and pairs really well with the pants but I feel that I just wouldn't get enough wear out of it at this time of the year so it's going back.   NOTE:  This top would also go really well with the burgundy, corduroy skirt.

Unexpected pairing!!!!  Bold, rich, burgundy floral with plaid for the win!  I absolutely love this outfit and the blazer is the perfect laying top for chillier days and for a more polish office look. 

#2 Swing Dress

Okay, a girl can never had too many of these dresses and they are often on sale for like $20!!!  They currently have them in forest green, charcoal, burgundy & yellow.  I really, really, really wanted to love the yellow dress but I just don't on me.  I think it's just too much yellow in one item.  I absolutely adore the burgundy but as my husband pointed out, I seem to have too much of that color in my wardrobe.  I think I'll keep the burgundy one regardless and trade the yellow in for a green one.  These dresses are perfect with bare legs and  flats now, or pair them up with  tights and booties later, or with leggings and boots!  So many ways to wear a swing dress.

#3 Corduroy Skirt & The Cardigan that you NEED!

A long, duster cardigan is a must have and honestly, can you really have too many?  They wear out and pill over time but at this price, you really can't go wrong.  This cardigan is super soft, lightweight but will keep you warm as the weather changes and layers are needed throughout the day.  I picked it up in this camel brown color because it's nuteral,plus it's all over the place this fall season.  Wear it with a skirt, jeans, dress pants, dress, etc.  

The corduroy skirt is much like the suede skirt was a couple of seasons ago, a must have.  What is the best part of this skirt, well it's the BUTTONS.  Big, chunky buttons are very popular this season and add fun detailing to blazers, skirts, sweaters, etc.  I also love that this skirt didn't seem to collect static and stick between my legs when I walked.  I can also see it being worn with a black turtleneck, tights and black booties for the winter.

There you guys have it!  ON always has sales so even if you don't buy these items all at once you can just watch and wait for them to go down in price.  Let me know if you want to see some other pieces styled multiple ways!

Shop This Post:
Corduroy Skirt (in blue too) $34.99
Brunch Crew Sweatshirt Swing Dress (in multiple colors) $34.94
Floral Print Swing Blouse (3 colors, green, burgundy & black) $34.94
Ruffle Tank Top (several colors) $24.94
Long Open Sweater (several colors) $34.99
Plaid Pixie Pants $44.99 - several colors but plaid are on trend

Thursday 6 September 2018

Sentence A Day: August Addition

And that's a wrap to summer.  It's back to reality for all of us next week, but this week the adults got to practice getting back into the routine, while the girls still had a week off.  I am linking up with some ladies that introduced me to this project, Jodie's Touch of Style and Once Upon A Time& Happily Ever After, along with other, to reflect on the month of August in a sentence a day.  Whether you are a blogger or someone who enjoys journaling, this is a wonderful way to reflect on something good from each day.  It's easy to get bogged down and just go through the motions of the day and forget to stop and be thankful for the simple and good in our lives.  Here is August for the Krienke's.

1st.  City bound after 3 weeks.  Blogged, did a rental walk through and got caught up on laundry.

2nd. Did someone say zip-lining?!?  The kids were great but it was my 60+ year old dad that rocked it!

3rd Golfing with kids.  A completely different experience.

4th Started up with a 10km run around the lake.  

5th. Tried something new thanks to the encouragement of my nephew, skimboarding, called wake skimming, behind the boat.  Totally addicted.  Sad part of the day came after supper when we had to say goodbye to our nephew for another summer season.

6th Friends galore at the lake.  We beached, boated, ran after kids, caught up between chasing kids and had some great times.

7th Had a sweet hour long paddle with a mommy, colleague and friend.  Baked with my baby girl and enjoyed an outdoor concert with people I adore.

8th waiting anxiously for our friends to arrive for our annual Roffey/Krienke family jam.

9th Boating success!  Halie got up on the wakeboard and we were so extremely proud of her.

10th Couples night golfing with my BFF, oh and the husbands too.  :)  

11th We did some family photos at the beach.  I can't wait to see them.  

12th Quite day to recover from all the fun we had with friends.  Cleaned the cabin and got ready for Nana and Papa to come for a  visit.

13th New and exiting challenge!  I will be working be working with a couple of awesome ECE to write a language arts course (teaching literacy in the early years) the for undergraduate education students. 

14th   My in-laws came to visit us at the lake.  Raspberry picking in nature.

15th Wakeboarding for brunch!

16th Carrie Underwood here we come! 

17th Epic day on the water.  The entire day was glass and we stayed out off/on for 6 hours.  Got new friends up wakeboarding, tubing and kneeboarding. A fantastic way to end our boating days for 2018!

18th So sore from all the wakeboarding and falling.  Hahahah.

19th Sadness all around.  Time to leave the cabin for the summer. 

20th Cleaning, unpacking, planning.

21at Halie got her new instrument for grade 6 band!

22nd Took Halie and her friend to the pool while I read from the sidelines. 

23rd Back to school shopping.  Not my favorite thing.

24th Anya had her drama performance after spending a week at drama camp.  What a wonderful experience.  

25th Met up with Lana from My New Happy and Deena from Shoes to Shiraz for brunch, some sightseeing and a photo shoot.  These ladies were so welcoming.  I had just met them and they never once made me feel like an outsider.  Definitely made my weekend.

26th  Eek! Tomorrow is the first day of work.  

27th  First day of work, here I come!

28th  My girls are the luckiest to have the best extended family around. My parents and sister have taken them on a trip to Washington DC for a family wedding. Thanks so much for giving them this opportunity to travel and be with family when we couldn't be there.

29th Logan and I are embracing our adult free week by taking the dog to the dog park and enjoying the natural beauty right here in our city.

30th Happy 15th anniversary to my husband.  He embodies everything that a one would hope for in a husband.  More about the anniversary plans to come.

31st Biked to work on my sweet new ride.

  Hope you all had a lovely summer!