Bliss.

Everything is better when you’re on vacation. obviously.

The sun shines brighter.
Food tastes yummier.
Even the dreariest days are just an invitation to curl up and breathe in some stolen moments.

I’m heading back to work in the morning after 10 extraordinary days filled with intimate acoustic shows in coffee shops, fits of giggles on my deck with lifetime friends, piles of books, bike ride dates, dreamy afternoon naps, kayaks, heart pressing hugs, a meditation retreat, family reunions and so much love.

I am currently so blissed out that nothing can faze me nor prepare me for my return to reality in the morning (mere hours away).

I’m wearing a special blend of denial and a sweet conviction that I can keep this feeling alive in a world of alarm clocks, deadlines, meetings and meal-planning.

A close friend and I used to describe this feeling as a vacation high and when we would return to work (typically after exotic getaways), we would rally together to help each other keep it as long as possible. #VacationHighForever

This time, I’m lucky. I only have to keep the high for 2.5 days at work and then I’m off again on a first ever blended-family camping trip for a week!! (Now there’s an adventure – stay tuned!)

But really, aside from the obvious… what is stopping us from keeping (at least a portion of) vacation bliss all the time?

This break in routine has really shaken something loose in me. Or rather, it’s confirmed and emphasized the importance of leading with my heart.

No matter what is happening around me, I need to take time to pause and listen. If the vibration is out of synch with my natural rhythm, it’s best to move on to option B (or C, or D, or T).

Life is not a competition. It’s not about who can win more, earn more or do more. It’s also not about being able to do whatever I want and have everything work out perfectly (because trust me, that did not happen on vacation either).

It’s about knowing that there is an abundance of love and beauty for everyone. And accepting it with an open heart.
It’s about keeping my actions in line with my priorities.
It’s about holding space for others, without the ownership of being responsible for them.
It’s about waking up every morning with a heart full of gratitude.

Because at the end of the day (work day, vacation day, retirement day, Saturday..) it just keeps coming back to love.

So, find love. Find beauty. Find bliss. Accept them into your heart and express your gratitude daily. Keep your high as long as you possibly can.

But don’t forget to set your alarm clock!

xo,
e

#TeamAdventurers

Twitter: @pixiepaperdoll7
Instagram: @pixiepaperdoll

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Team Adventurers: Pre-Christmas Edition

About a month ago, my wanderlust kicked into full gear and I started dreaming about taking the kids on a mini getaway.  I decided on NYC (perhaps induced by Home Alone2) because

  1. I love NYC, and
  2. Christmas in the (big) city sounded so romantic .. and fun!

Then I remembered… we live 20 minutes from downtown Toronto.. (hmm… same thrills, WAY cheaper…)

So Toronto was now the destination.  Sure it seems a little silly to pay for a hotel room in a city 20 minutes from your house but adventure doesn’t count kilometres and we were thirsty for an adventure!

I’ll keep my word count to a minimum and just share some highlights:

  • Just as we were packing up the car, the postal worker delivered letters to Rain and Moxie – FROM SANTA!!!!!!!  This was beyond exciting.  Canada Post – YOU ROCK!!
  • Of course the first thing we did after check-in was go for a swim!  The kids reminded me of our game where I would shout out various animals and they would have to swim lengths pretending to be such animal… (This game should be listed under: Ways to tire your kid out while lounging on a plastic lawn chair.)
  • Then a subway ride to Nathan Phillips Square..stopping only once for street meat (or in my case, street schmeat) mmm….dirty dogs……..
  • Nathan Phillips Square skating (or skate running as Moxie has perfected) for almost 2 hours!  I am so incredibly unstable on skates and Rain amazes me.  I never usually get to see what a fantastic skater he is (goalies don’t tend to skate very much during games)
  • Then a stroll past the Hudson Bay Christmas window displays.  My pictures do not do them justice.  They are magical.  Thank-you for keeping the tradition, Hudson Bay.
  • Next Stop – Starbucks! because cappuccinos help to warm up my cold toes. The kids each tackled a hot chocolate and double chocolate brownie.  (Later Moxie asked, Do you think Santa knows not to leave me chocolate since i don’t really like it?…. um what?)
  • Then back for another (especially long) swim!  This time I joined them and I tread water (have I ever mentioned how much I love to tread water??) while giving them themes on how to jump into the water (Pretend you’re Rudolph!, Pretend your popcorn popping!)
  • As tired as we now were, we dragged our soggy asses across the street and picked up take-out sushi and chinese food.
  • Back in the room and in our jammies, we watched A Christmas Story while eating our take-out on the bed (yes, we are indeed the partiest of animals).  The kids were enthralled by the commercials – seriously.  We haven’t had cable in about a year and they hence the commercials were quite entertaining!  Fa-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra!
  • We slept in, got ready, checked out and took the subway to China Town.  We love China Town.  We bought some replacement cups that we had bought the last time we there and which are now chipped (probably from over-use).  I also let them each pick a trinket that can be used as a new Christmas Tree ornament (although I think they were created to hang from cell phones…)
  • Back home we discovered a Christmas Gift hanging on our front door.  It was to me.  From a parent of one of Rain’s friends who I had driven to school for the first two months until he got bussing privileges.  Her words on the card touched me, “We Appreciate You.” Could anything be better than being appreciated?  thank-you random acts of kindness. this was amazing.
  • And finally, Moxie wrote a Christmas wish list for her dolls, Jack and Lily.  They are actually the same doll.  They just have different gender identities.  I love her.  Here is a link to the original Jack story: https://teamadventurers.wordpress.com/2014/08/15/big-babys-big-week-throwbackthursday/

And in conclusion (because every good story needs a conclusion) we are continuing to  build new traditions, new memories and make life a constant adventure.

xoxo Team Adventurers (@pixiepaperdoll7)

Help , I'm Stuck in the Shower!

Help , I’m Stuck in the Shower!

Happy Habs Fan at College Subway station

Happy Habs Fan at College Subway station

Street meat & a Nativity Scene - poetry in motion.

Street meat & a Nativity Scene – poetry in motion.

1st (but not last) time skating at Nathan Phillips Square

1st (but not last) time skating at Nathan Phillips Square

Family skate at Nathan Phillips Square

Family skate at Nathan Phillips Square

Biiiiiiggggg (and real!!) Christmas Tree at City Hall #Toronto

Biiiiiiggggg (and real!!) Christmas Tree at City Hall #Toronto

Hudson Bay Christmas Displays

Hudson Bay Christmas Displays

Hudson Bay Christmas Displays

Hudson Bay Christmas Displays

Take-out Chinese Food and Sushi in hotel room watching The Christmas Story (& commercials)

Take-out Chinese Food and Sushi in hotel room watching The Christmas Story (& commercials)

leftover (cold) chicken balls for breakfast? why not!?

leftover (cold) chicken balls for breakfast? why not!?

China Town loot

China Town loot

Jack and Lily's Christmas List. Same Doll. Different gender identities.

Jack and Lily’s Christmas List. Same Doll. Different gender identities.