Finding and creating adventures in everyday life.


Words on Wednesday – Unexpected Friendships

I’m an introvert. It’s not particularly easy for me to socialize and make small talk and get to know people. I am also reserved and a bit guarded when it comes to people. There is a lot to say about introvertedness – it’s not shyness, it’s not about not liking people, it’s not about thinking that you are better than other people – all common misconceptions. I have lots to say about being an introvert, but that is for another time. This is about friendship and I am talking about it from my perspective.

I believe, and for me it was true, that it was so much easier to make friends when I was younger. I was in school or youth group, later in college and YWAM, as a single person sharing accommodation with other single people – I was with people a lot and relationships naturally formed out of those shared experiences, the tremendous amount of time that was spent together, our common schedules and to be honest, our more carefree lifestyles. Then, something happened, I got married, we moved (a lot), we started to have more responsibility. Then, the unthinkable happened (at least for us!), we had a child, then we had another one! Our priorities shifted, our schedule become much less flexible and we were just so tired all the time.

I believe that regardless of marital status or whether you have kids, as you mature, you become more focused through employment, education, ministry or interests. You have less free time to spend developing relationships. You and your friends, or your would-be friends, have different schedules, you get busy and that’s ok. Still relationships are important and as adults, it simply takes more intentionality and effort.

My husband and I would often get frustrated and still do, that it does seem to take so much work to develop and maintain friendships. We try to have dinner with another family and it’s a month out before we can find a time when all our schedules match up for a few hours. There are definitely ways to nurture those relationships along the way though – phone calls, texts, email, Facebook, or gasp, a hand-written note!

I digress, though. I want to talk about unexpected friendships. Having kids, while it has limited our time and energy in some ways, has opened up the doors to relationships with people I wouldn’t have gotten to know otherwise. I would highly recommend joining a parent’s of preschoolers group if you have little kids – it was a lifeline for me. A place to connect with people who were experiencing the same things I was experiencing. It also connected me to friends who have become so dear to me.

There have been people in my life who I thought I would connect with – they were similar to me, or who just seemed like we would hit it off. Many of those people aren’t my friends – they might be acquaintances now, but they aren’t my deep connections.

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There was a girl in my moms group who intimidated me. Long blonde hair, beautiful, always impeccably dressed, and I didn’t think she liked me at all. I didn’t have much of a basis for this assumption, other than we seemed so different and we had never talked. One day, we were making pizzas in an assembly line type situation – I cracked a joke, she laughed. My perception of her shifted a bit. A couple of weeks later, we were at a leadership dinner and happened to be sitting across from each other. We talked. That was it, we talked and my life was changed. We discovered so much that we had in common. We both had sons starting kindergarten soon – we shared our hopes and fears. She is funny and spiritual without being weird. She is wise and thinks deeply and extensively about issues. We spent the morning commiserating at the park, the day our sons started kindergarten. We also spent the morning together when our second children started kindergarten – though, this time we threw in breakfast and  “mourning” drinks. She also throws great parties! Our friendship has grown over the years and it is a treasure to me.


Tracy has inspired me in so many ways. Easter Brunch at a friend’s house with all our families this last year resulted in me joining a Pole, Pedal, Paddle team – an experience that was scary and exhilarating and amazing. She encourages me, she listens when I am frustrated, she cries with me and doesn’t judge my easy tears. She challenges me to do better, to be a better friend, parent, person. And I came so close to missing that relationship. That’s a scary thought!


While we share a lot of passions and interests, we are still quite different. I love that I have friends who challenge my worldview, my sometimes narrow ways of doing and seeing. That, too, is a gift of friendship.

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So, as I look around my world, I am more open to people. Not everyone is going to be a close friend, but I sure don’t want to miss out on a relationship because it comes wrapped in a package of unfamiliarity or difference.


I am eternally thankful for my friendship with a beautiful, blonde lady who shared a joke, then a conversation and now a journey with me. I love you Tracy! (Tracy is also an amazing writer – check her out over at Dripping Orange)



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Make it Monday – Photo to Canvas Transfer

My friend A’Leah over at A Chic Twist, recently hosted a Pinterest Party. It was so fun. She offered two crafts and provided all the supplies and instruction, attendees just paid for however many of each craft they wanted to make. The two options were a mason jar pump dispenser and a photo to canvas transfer. I opted to do two of the photo to canvas transfers.January 2014 144 January 2014 143

Our fearless leader, A'Leah, guiding us through the process and being silly so that I could take a photo.

Our fearless leader, A’Leah, guiding us through the process and being silly so that I could take a photo.

Before the party I copied two photos onto paper using my ink jet printer. The canvases were 8×10. The first step was to trim the photos down to the appropriate size – I did a rough tear because I didn’t want to have a smooth edge.January 2014 155

The next step was to put a generous coat of gel medium onto the canvas as evenly as possible and then lay the photo face-side down onto the gel medium. Then you start from the middle and, with your fingers, smooth outward, pressing the photo into the canvas to ensure that there are no bubbles. January 2014 154

January 2014 157 January 2014 159After that it was a matter of waiting for the gel medium to dry which of course meant lovely drinks and treats and chatting. It still took a bit longer than we wanted for it to dry so we used a blow dryer to speed up the process. Once the gel medium is completely dry, you take a paint brush dipped in water and brush it over the paper – you can either do a small bit at a time or coat the whole canvas. I chose to do a small section at a time. Then you start rubbing gently at the paper with your fingers. It was like magic! So much fun as the top layer of the paper started to come away and reveal the brighter colors of the lower layer.January 2014 160 January 2014 162 January 2014 164 January 2014 163 January 2014 166

After you have taken away all the paper that you want to and the canvas has dried once again, you can add another layer of gel medium to seal the deal.

I was so pleased with the results. I chose to do one photo with lots of color and one photo that was mostly black and white. You get a lovely rustic, aged feel to the canvas and photo.

Additional points:
If you choose to do text, make sure that you print a mirror image as the photo will transfer as a mirror image onto the canvas.
Different types of paper and different types of ink will give you different results. It’s fun to experiment.
It’s good to share crafting time with friends. Lots of time to talk and catch up while feeling super productive and creative at the same time. Thanks A’Leah!

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There's No Friends Like Old Friends

I had the honour & joy to attend a reunion of people from the church we went to until I was almost 9 years old. We met in a park, in the town I was born in – Richland, Washington. It was amazing to see these people who had influenced my early life. It was also a bit overhwhelming – trying to put names to faces, trying to get round to talk to everyone (I failed miserably at this) & running around after my boys. It was so good though.

The highlight for me was spending almost 4 hours with my sister, my best friend from those days & her sister sitting in a Shari’s restaurant – talking & laughing. Catching up on so many years apart, remembering events, telling stories. We laughed so much. The stories! I can’t relate them here – I must protect the guilty. There is something about a shared history that creates a bond.

My family travelled & moved alot over the years so we have friends around the world & I love that. We sacrificed security & some life-long relationships to move & travel as we did. That’s tough sometimes. Spending time with those three amazing women felt like a gift & I am so grateful to have had that time together. I certainly pray that there will be more times like it despite the distance that seperates us.

Here’s a picture of me & my best friend as children.
Note the hand holding & the lovely kool-aid face that I am sporting.