Living With Essential Oils: Family Travel Tips

Living With Essential Oils: Family Travel Tips ~ By Bubblegum Sass

We recently took a trip to London, Ontario to visit family. It was the first official vacation we’ve had in over a year and a half! Needless to say, it was nice to have a break from the regular grind. My oil-loving friends all reminded me to pack some of our essential oils for the trip {which I had already written down on the packing list}. The oils certainly don’t take up that much room & they are so worth it to bring along. So here’s my personal suggestions for travel:

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Seeking Self-Care When It Really Matters

Seeking Self-Care When It Really Matters ~ Blog post by Bubblegum Sass

So, I just went through the most difficult time of my life. Really, I’m still journeying through it. The loss of my mom is a fresh, raw hurt that no one can actually heal. And yet, I’m still expected to get out of bed every day, make meals, take care of our son, do laundry and perform the whole “mom/wife/daughter/sister” bit. Oh yeah, and there’s that running-a-part-time-craft-business and assisting-my-husband-with-his-business role too.

What happens when I can’t?

Because to be honest with all of you, I can NOT do it ALL.

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Still Here

DIY Thread Savers by Bubblegum Sass

Just popping by to let you know that I am indeed alive. I think of my poor blog often and there is a long list of posts I would love to write & share with you. But it’s taking a lot of effort to get up each day. To face my sweet, but demanding three year old (and even more effort to face him when he’s miserable). To attempt a normal daily routine. To try and keep making things for customers. To maintain our household garden.

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Mourning Mamahood

I blinked and he was suddenly three.

 

Mourning Mamahood ~ thoughts on motherhood ~ blog post by Bubblegum Sass
Sam a few weeks old (2012)

This has been a big week. Between bathroom renovations, our washing machine officially dying and rearranging bedrooms to accommodate Sam’s new big boy bed {all in a five day period} I feel like our home was turned upside down and inside out. Or at least, that’s how these changes are making my tummy feel. A little queasy and uneasy. I’m not necessarily a fearless person when it comes to change. I hesitate, I deliberate, I ponder and I get a bit grumpy.

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When Life Keeps Giving You Lemons

You either get sick of drinking lemonade or

choose to stop seeing things as lemons to begin with.

Small Upcycled Love Catcher by Bubblegum Sass
On the outside, I live a fairly average life. Married. One child. A cat. A house. Stay-at-home-mom. Introvert. Passion for all things crafty & creative. Learning to be a green-thumb. Dive one layer deeper and you discover that I have a very close relationship with my family, keep a small, but tight group of friends, and struggle with all the insecurities & worries that come with being a parent.

Keep going deeper… you learn that both my hubby & I balance our own small businesses, along with that close knit relationship with our family. We’re working on making our big, long-term dream of living on a farm a reality. We have a passion for happy, healthy, locally produced food and a desire to share that with everyone we meet.

Dig deeper… I’ve struggled with the health complications of massive uterine fibroid growths since 2009. Had one, highly invasive, major surgery to remove them. Except they grew back and are now bigger than before.

Keep going deeper… I started my crafty business in 2011 after being laid off from my job in Calgary’s creative tech sector. That same year I finally found myself pregnant for the first time, but sadly miscarried. A couple months later my mom was diagnosed with cancer. A week later I was pregnant again. Five months after that, my oldest brother died.

Even deeper… I witnessed & experienced the heartache of watching my oldest brother struggle with the ugly disease of alcoholism for over a decade. More heartbreaking as each year passed. I’ve gone through the uncertainty of being able to have children (going through it again as we try for baby number 2). I’ve watched my parents suffer the terrible loss of a son (it’s burned into my eyes & heart). I’ve also been watching my mom courageously battle cancer for almost four years now. The joyous birth of our own son in 2012 was seen as a huge beacon of light in my family, after much darkness.

Deeper still… my mom isn’t winning her battle with cancer. This past year her physical & mental health has declined greatly. No more chemo treatments now. Doctors just want to make her as comfortable as possible, for however long she has left. And so, after well over a decade of “lemons” being dealt our way, we go into 2015 with this very real possibility, that it will be the last year I spend with my sweet mom.

Small Upcycled Love Catcher by Bubblegum Sass ~ Vintage Buttons Shabby Chic Home

Maybe not quite such an average life after all.

A lot of people will read everything above (and even below) and question our sanity. Some might be able to relate to a few of the life challenges we’ve walked through. And I’m hoping, that others will see it the way I struggle to see it every day; a blessed life.

Dig deep to my core… you will find my belief in God, in Jesus, in the Holy Spirit. THIS is what keeps telling me to stop seeing things as “lemons”. I truly live a very blessed life. If there is one thing that I can walk into the future with, it is an appreciation for God’s timing, right down to every heartbreaking moment. I will trust in Him. Oh, how I WILL trust in him.

But you caught that part about it being

a struggle every day, right?

Every. Day.

I am by no means running through each day with the wind blowing in my hair, a smile plastered to my face, while I belt out praises and love with grace. I’m just a woman balancing her roles of mama, wife, daughter, sister, and now auntie; wanting to hold my family so close, but knowing I will have to let go one day. I love as best I can. I’m learning to forgive and ask forgiveness. But the greatest challenge of all, is learning to be thankful even in the darkest hours.

It’s how I’m starting to see things, not as lemons, but as part of His blessings. I can’t worry about what tomorrow or next month will bring, but only hope that I come right back to reading this post if I begin to see those “lemons” rolling my way. It’s mostly a reminder for me. I would love if it were a reminder for you too.

Small Love Catcher by Bubblegum Sass ~ Shabby Chic Country Kitchen Decor

Celebrating 500!

Hello there! Welcome to the NEW blog. My sweet hubby breathed some fresh air into my logo and the site design. Whaddaya think? I was feeling like things not only needed a little sprucing up, but that they deserved some sprucing up.

Ummm… not sure how it happened, but suddenly realized this month that I was edging close to 500 posts on this here little blog of mine. This post officially makes 500!! Wowzaa! That feels like a lot of writing. Of course, it’s been spread over the past 4 1/2 years, but still this is a milestone to take note of.

The last time we did a bit of celebrating on the blog, was when I wrote the 200th post. At the time, I shared my top ten fave posts. This time around, I thought I would do something similar, but also include the most popular blog posts. Thanks for walking down memory lane with me. Here we go:

Most Popular Post:

Purses Grow On Trees, April 2011

DIY Purse Display with Buttons by Bubblegum Sass

 

Second Most Popular Post:


Button-spiration, December 2012

DIY Salt Dough Button Ornaments by Bubblegum Sass

 

My favorite posts (in no particular order):

And Then There Was You, March 2012

Baby Samuel Moments After Birth

 

Sad Goodbyes and Anxious Hellos, January 2012

Sarah_Marcus


Little Hands Making Rainbows
, December 2012

Non-messy finger painting tutorial by Bubblegum Sass


Sweetheart Treats, February 2014


Chocolate Dipped Wafer Treats by Bubblegum Sass


A Shirt Story
, November 2013

Upcycled Cuff Bracelet by Bubblegum Sass


Busiest Little Helper, August 2014

Sam_mowing

 

Into The Ground, June 2014

Happiness By the Acre Tree Planting


DIY Candy Cane Ornaments, December 2013


DIY Candy Cane Ornaments Tutorial by Bubblegum Sass

And Then He Turned Three

Three years ago today, we welcomed this cute bundle of warm cries & bright eyes into our life.

Sam as Newborn ~ Bubblegum Sass

The days were long, but the weeks flew by as we kept our Sammy safe, happy, and loved.

Sam at One Year Old ~ Bubblegum Sass

We rediscovered the world around us through the eyes and mind of a toddler;
frustrating at times, but also fascinating.

Sam at Two Years Old ~ Bubblegum Sass

We’ve tried to keep up with this boy of ours, who is always changing and challenging us. This parenthood journey has been the greatest learning curve I have ever found myself on. His smiles still make it worth it though.

Sam at Three Years Old ~ Bubblegum Sass

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SAMMY!!

Best Intentions

Green and Yellow Love Catcher by Bubblegum Sass

It’s funny how quickly the best intentions can go awry. I dedicated a full day and several more hours (that’s a lot of time to a mama) to business brainstorming and planning for the New Year, including a production schedule, goals for social media, and areas to re-vamp & improve. I was feeling excited and energized for 2015, with big goals & even lofty dreams.

And then it hit me this past weekend. I was doing it again; falling into the same trap I have stumbled into each year. Not the trap of “too many expectations” or even “too few”.

I was planning MY year, as though it were my OWN. Here was page upon page of brainstorming & notes, even some of the tactics I would employ to make these goals a reality. It NEVER crossed my mind that the first step should be to turn to the Lord, the source of life & light. He didn’t even have a foot note in all these grand plans. I was completely missing the point. Again.

Here it is January 6th and I haven’t picked up my Bible since Christmas or come up with a reading plan or been praying regularly & intentionally. And yet, “I have made plans for 2015.” How absurd & impossible that seems now.

Blue & Yellow Love Catcher by Bubblegum Sass

Realistically, I’m not throwing all *my plans* out the window, but I’m asking for a re-do to the beginning of the year. Shifting priorities, and mindsets so that the first thing I do is put HIM first.

What would you have me (& us) do, Lord?
My life is not my own.
Mostly, I long to be useful to you.
Show me how to do that each & every day.
Thank you for being patient with me, yet again,
and for your gentle reminders.
Help me to pull back, slow down,
and walk alongside you, instead of racing ahead.
You first. All else will follow.

I wish you all much clarity and patience along your own paths this year.

Commit your way to the Lord ~ Pslam 37:5 ~ Bubblegum Sass Blog