I Want to Smell like my Husband


Is your sense of smell a strong sense for you? Mine is linked so closely with my memories, add in my visual mind and I can be right back to anywhere I want to be – just from one sniff. The smell of Nasi cooking will bring me back to my mother’s kitchen, the smell of a freshly cleaned floor brings me back to my summer camp days, my old perfume takes me to that sense of freedom of my early twenties – but my favourite is the scent of my husband, that smell makes me feel safe.

My husband travels for work quite often, not always overnight, but he’s away for a least one evening, if not two per week. Those are the long days. (Who can relate to this?!) There was one trip a couple of weeks ago where he was away for multiple nights. By the end of the second evening, I was so lonely. For those who know me, you know that I am a talkative person – I LOVE conversation, interactions, and social gatherings – I thrive on these – but I wither away when I am alone. I feel weak, trapped and desolate. (Hence why this time of postpartum has given me a run for my money.) It was a Tuesday night, my husband Face-Timed me as he got settled back into his hotel room. He could tell by my face (and the fact that I was in bed at 7:30pm) that I was not doing so well. I asked him how his day was, he walked me through it then he kindly asked me how my day was, I broke down and blurted out “I’m wearing your deodorant”. He burst out laughing. “WHAT?! Why are you wearing that?!” “It’s so that when I roll over, I get a whiff of you.” I said through the tears. He couldn’t keep a straight face for the rest of the conversation. But the truth of the matter is, sometimes all I need is that little tiny reminder that I am loved, safe, protected and most importantly not alone – even when I am lonely.

In Isaiah 43:1-2, the Lord promises to be with us, through thick and thin, though loneliness and abundance.

Now this is what the Lord says—
the one who created you, Jacob,
and the one who formed you, Israel—
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name; you are mine.
I will be with you
when you pass through the waters,
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not overwhelm you.
You will not be scorched
when you walk through the fire,
and the flame will not burn you.

Isaiah 43:1-2

Although the smell of my husband gives me the physical sense of home, the Lord gives me a permanent affirmation of home. “I will be with you” – a statement of true love.

Now excuse me while I go and take a shower with my husbands body wash.

What’s the date again?

blog“What’s the date again?” I ask myself as I reach for my phone. I have to return some calls from yesterday – or wait – was that yesterday? Nope. They are from Monday and Tuesday – today is Thursday. Great, I just woke up and I’m already behind.

It all started Saturday night (back when I still knew what day it was) at 11pm. Elsie woke up screaming. This probably doesn’t seem to strange to you – she’s a baby isn’t she? YES! Elsie is a baby, but she is a baby who, just like her mama, LOVES her sleep. After a difficult pregnancy and a challenging delivery/postpartum, I was blessed with a baby who sleeps. Praise the Lord. I knew that this was coming, all of the baby books and blogs told me to be prepared, but how can you really prepare for her 9 month sleep regression AND a tooth coming in all at once?!

Monday morning I woke up with the head cold that has been going around. My husband had it Friday-Saturday, although like most husbands, he recovered quickly. He swears it’s not the same cold, I promise him that it is – I just also have a child feeding off my immune system on top of trying fighting off the virus. He lovingly gives me a hug, acknowledging my feeling of defeat.

On days, excuse me, weeks like this, I think of my Oma. 11 kids. She raised 11 kids – through colds, teething and sleep regression. I’m slowly falling in love with one of her favourite Psalms:


The Lord is my shepherd;
I have what I need.
He lets me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside quiet waters.
He renews my life;
he leads me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even when I go through the darkest valley,
I fear no danger,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff—they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
as long as I live.

Psalm 23 (CSB)

I can imagine her sitting beside the wood stove, praying herself through days like this, finding comfort in her Heavenly Father.

Who is someone in your life who inspires you to keep going?


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The Queen of Patience – A Journey through Esther


I have been reading through the story of Esther in my daily devotional. The only way that I’ve ever really heard the story of Esther is through the VeggieTales version – which, for what it is worth is a great learning tool for children – but as a 27-year-old woman, I figured I should probably have a better understanding of this prominent woman of the Bible.

As I wrote this, I finished about a page of writing, when I went to save the document, Microsoft Word shut down without saving anything that I had just written. I did all of the restore options that I could to retrieve it. I walked away from my computer feeling frustrated and defeated – like I had just wasted an abundance of precious time in my day. That’s when it hit me. The main lesson that I’d learned in Esther so far was patience – and yet given the opportunity, I completely failed in having any. Its like God was asking me to take a read through the first couple of chapters all over again to remind me to implement what he is trying to teach me.

For those of you who don’t know the story of Esther, I encourage you to read through it, slowly. Esther is a unique book of the Bible because there is no actual “response” from God throughout it – but Esther and Mordecai’s faithfulness to Him is what we learn from.

During King Ahasuerus’ 3rd year of reign, Queen Vashti refuses to comply with the King’s request when she is asked to appear at one of his celebrations. This decision embarrasses the King in front of his people. King Ahaseurus and his nobles decide that she will be removed as Queen to make an example out of her – lest she encourage others wives to also disobey their husbands. She would be replaced with a new virgin Queen who would be more worthy of the name.

Some time later, they finally got around to starting the search. Enter Esther, niece of Mordecai (a Jew whose family heritage has a long and violent history with the Amalekites, the family in which Haman – the King’s right hand man – belongs to. You can follow up with the history throughout the Old Testament: Exodus 17, Numbers 14, Deuteronomy 25, 1 Samuel 15, 30, 2 Samuel 8, 1 Chronicles 18 just to name a few.) Esther was well liked throughout the beautifying process and “fast tracked”, if you will, in to see the King. Esther followed Mordecai’s instruction to not reveal her ethnicity, as he knew that it could stand in her way. She won the favour of the King and became Queen during his 7th year of reign.

Mordecai soon overheard a plot to kill the King. He relayed it to Esther for her to warn the King, which she did on Mordecai’s behalf. The plotters were then hanged and the King remained safe.

After this, Haman was honoured by the King and promoted above all officials – with this promotion came the expectation that he would also be bowed too by the King’s subjects. Mordecai refused. Word got back to Haman that Mordecai was a Jew and he was filled with rage. He approached the King and told him that there was an ethnic group causing a whole world of trouble. He convinced the King that it would be in his best interest to just do away with the ethnic group as a whole – an opinion that was solely based on his hatred for Mordecai and their family history. This was in King Ahusaerus’ 12th year of reign.

Are you following this?! We started way back in his 3rd year and we are now full speed ahead into his 12th year. When you’re a kid, even as an adult, it’s easy to read these stories and think that one thing happened after another – bam, bam, bam – movie over. But that’s not accurate at all. This story is currently in its 9th year. Can you think about the last 9 years of your life and all that has happened?

Okay, back to it. Haman orders a decree that on one particular day, the King’s subjects to are purge the world of the Jews – men, women and children – and loot their property. A little harsh eh?! This order caused panic amongst the city of Susa and all other regions- right under the King’s nose. Mordecai tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, went into the middle of the city and cried out. Not cried, not wept – but wailing loudly and bitterly. Esther’s servants told her about the decree and Mordecai’s response, she was distressed. Mordecai then persuades Esther to go before the King – unannounced, I might add, which had the chance to carry the death penalty depending on the King’s mood.

And here come the biggest lesson from this book, “ If you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Es. 4:14 NIV)

BAM. Just like that – PERHAPS you were MADE for this moment – right here. Mordecai had faith that no matter what Esther’s decision would be, that His Sovereign God, would deliver the Jews regardless but that he was giving the opportunity to Esther. All she had to do was step out in faith, trusting that God was in control. Let’s also quickly look back, Esther was made Queen in the King’s 7th year – we are now in his 12th year – therefore Esther had already been Queen for 5 YEARS. She has been sitting in this royal position, which I can only assume that she felt not worthy of, having no idea why she is there or what God is doing with her.

Have you ever felt like this? Stuck in a rut, day in and day out – maybe feeling that if God was going to use you for something, it would have happened by now? How often do you think that Esther felt this way over these 5 years? I can only imagine her confusion, but I also feel like I can relate to this on such a personal level. Being a Christian in the workplace, a wife, a mother and a friend I’ve often doubted the steps that I’ve taken to get to where I am – feeling useless at times – thinking to myself, what on earth could God be doing with this area of my life that just feels stagnant. Our God is a God of purpose. When we are serving the Lord, nothing happens in our life without it working for his glory and giving us the opportunity to voluntarily GIVE him the glory. It sure does make these long days of being a stay at home mother seem to be a little more purpose filled than I once thought (which when I typed this line, speaking out loud as I go, I peered over my shoulder at my sweet Elsie playing on the bed – she gave me her famous smile and a little giggle – I can’t wait to see what God has in store for this beauty.)

To finish off the original story of Esther, she invites the King and Haman to multiple private banquets before she has the nerve to tell the King that if he follows through with this plan – orchestrated by the evil Haman – that he will then need to kill his trusted Queen because she herself is a Jew. The king is appalled that this decree has happened but tells her that unfortunately, he cannot take back a decree with a royal seal. Instead, he sentences Haman to death for his part in this, and allows Mordecai (whom he did end up honouring for saving his life from the assassination plot, much to Haman’s dismay) to be promoted to his right hand man and issue another royal decree – calling the Jews to take up arms against those who come to hurt them. When the day came the Jew’s claimed victory in the name of God over those who threatened them.

Because of Esther’s faith in her Heavenly Father, God was able to use to her to further his Kingdom. Where in your life is God giving YOU the opportunity to step out in faith and take your place as a pivotal part in serving and furthering His Kingdom?

“A bath tub and fried chicken” – A Pregnancy and Birth Story.

Now that I’ve had time to process our pregnancy and birth with Elsie, it’s easier for me to put into words.

It was an emotional and physical roller coaster. We started with severe pregnancy sickness – I refuse to say morning sickness, as that’s not even close to an accurate description – unless morning means all day. We were prescribed some medicine and we were on a roll back to health! 

I lived 40 mins from my work and had long days, which means I was up at 5am and returned home between 7:30-8pm most evenings. At about 4.5 months long, we lost my Oma and Aunt within hours of each other. You can likely imagine what that experience as a hormonal, pregnant woman looked like. 

The week of the funerals, my left arm became very sensitive and tingly. After a couple of days, a strange bubbled rash appeared and I was feeling really under the weather. Something wasn’t right. We called the Dr. on the way home and booked an appointment for the next morning. 

Friday morning he took one look at the rash and said Shingles. Shingles is a version of the chicken pox that lays dormant in your nervous system – it strikes when your immune system has been comprised. Having not been well during pregnancy so far and the events of the previous weeks had made me a perfect candidate. By Saturday morning, I’d lost any practical use of my left arm. My dear Patrick wrapped and rewrapped my arm countless times over the next 3 weeks. 

This pregnancy was giving me a run for my money. 

After the shingles, we realized the danger of the stress that I was under and that if I was going to continue with a healthy pregnancy, I needed to take a step back. We decided to take an early Maternity leave, starting 2 months before my due date.

Once I had a chance to sleep/nap when my body needed it and had the opportunity to eat proper meals, I quickly gained back my health and some extra energy! It was such a blessing not only for me, but for everyone around us. Patrick and I were able to enjoy the last 2 months of pregnancy together in such a positive and excited environment. 

Shortly into my maternity leave, another Aunt of mine had passed away. Our beautiful pregnancy was an abundant amount of joy, surrounded by a large amount of sorrow. Throughout it we learned what it meant to truly praise God in every circumstance. Shortly after that, on a not so positive day, I was suffering from constant Braxton hicks and what they call “lightening pain” – which I will describe as a knife ripping through your cervix – I could barely make it through my grocery trip to Wal-Mart. I quickly left my cart and shuffled out to the car with tears streaming down my face. I came home, warmed up some left over fried chicken and got in the tub. That’s when I realized I was experiencing the epitome of pregnancy – you are bound to have at least one day, where all you need to do is to sit in a warm bath, eating your fried chicken while crying out of control.  

Our hospital due date was April 22nd, but by my own personal calculations, my due date was April 26th. My sister’s birthday is April 25th and it was the running joke that she would have to share her birthday with this new addition! I even had it marked in my calendar as “the day Tiny Turvey would most likely arrive”.

Labour started on April 23rd. While we were puttering around the house, I noticed a huge change in the appearance of my belly in the mirror on our stairs. It all the sudden looked as if it was about of drop to the ground! It was so different then when I had taken a photo just two days before.


I had been having Braxton hicks since 6 1/2 months, so I didn’t think anything different about the cramping going on. We went to my in laws house and while speaking to my mother in law, I was describing these Braxton hicks and she gave me a funny look and said “you know those are early labour contractions right?” And I thought, well ya, isn’t that similar to what Braxton hicks are? 

We went and picked up some Hot and Spicy sausages – an old wives tale. I didn’t have high hopes. I knew that this baby would come when it was ready. 


That evening, I begged Patrick to rub my lower back for what felt like hours – it was just aching so bad. I was sitting on the birthing ball while he massaged out the ache, I saw a book given to me by my doula sitting on our coffee table. I started perusing through it and got to the section about “signs of early labour”. As I read through the chapter I started checking each sign off in my head, thinking, “hmm, I have that, oh and that, annddd thaaatttt, but I haven’t had any blood yet, so it must not be it.” Alas, 10 mins later I went to the bathroom and there was blood. I went back downstairs and looked at Patrick and said, “I think it may be happening soon. I’m going to go and have a bath and then head to bed – maybe you should think about coming to bed early tonight too.” He said “yep, okay, sounds great.” I don’t think that he even processed what I was saying.

After I had climbed into bed, the contractions started to get progressively worse. After about an hour I texted Patrick who was down in his office asking if he was coming to bed soon. He replied with “yep, I’ll likely be up in the next half hour.” It was another 2 hours before he finally came to bed. He walked in to find me sitting on my birthing ball breathing through a contraction. He said “what are you doing on your ball?” And I said “I’m in labour, I said you should come to bed!” And he said “BUT YOU DIDN’T SAY YOU WERE ACTUALLY IN LABOUR!” as he quickly shuffled into bed realizing that he might not get any sleep tonight. By 3 am we were on route to my parents house (where we had planned on labouring because of our house’s distance to the hospital). When we got there we made a comment about the baby not coming on my sister’s birthday after all. I followed it by saying, “Well, with my luck this baby still won’t be born until tomorrow.” Sometimes your gut knows more than you do.


(Carlie Pitka from Well Rounded Doula’s was an amazing support for both myself as well as for Patrick – if you’re expecting, I highly recommend that you contact her here: https://www.wellroundeddoulas.com) 

It was a long day of early labour with slow progression. Tiny Turvey was half “sunny side up” so we did a very painful routine to help her turn around. At about 7:30pm the contractions were every 2 mins apart and were very intense. The midwife came to check my dilation but couldn’t tell if my water had broken or not – so we packed up and headed to the hospital. When we got there, I was still only 3-4 centimetres dilated. The contractions stayed just as intense and grew as the night went on. They broke my water around 10pm to try to help Tiny Turvey along. The baby seemed to be stuck on my right hip and wasn’t entering the birth cannel correctly. Only half of my cervix was dilating. By 1am I was still only 4-5cm. I was in the shower for what felt like hours to help with pain and use gravity to the best of my ability. Finally, at 3am still sitting at 5cm, 28 hours into labour and after much deliberation, we decided to get the epidural. Thank goodness for Patrick, as he had the weight of the world on his shoulders as he weeded through these decisions alongside me and for me. I remember looking at my doula saying “I need the medicine, I cannot do this on my own anymore.” She and midwives agreed that in the middle of my second night with no sleep, I needed assistance to continue. I remember the midwives saying, “The Dr will be on the floor in 15 mins, we’ll have him come and assess you.” And I remember responding with, “I understand that the Dr. will be on the floor to assess me, but he’d better be coming to assess me with some pain medication in his hand, not going to get it after he is done and then have me wait an additional 15 minutes.” At that point, they decided to page the Doctor instead. I was so done. 

After receiving the epidural and pitocin around 4am, I finally fell asleep for a couple of hours. When I woke up, this wonderful nurse was siting beside me. She talked to me about everything under the sun. It was so good to feel like a human being, even just for a  moment. Once 7am hit, I was fully dilated. Patrick woke up to me spread eagle, being assessed by the nurse. We were ready to push. 

It was 45 mins of pushing when the Dr. came in to see how things were going. After one look into the birth canal, he, in the most kind way, let Patrick and I know that our Tiny Turvey was stuck, that the baby will not come out naturally without assistance. He told us that he would be prepping the room for a double set up in the OR – which means that he’d try to use forceps first, but would be prepared to do a c-section if that wasn’t possible. Once he left, the midwives jumped into action! They were determined to allow Tiny Turvey to move down just a little more to help me have the vaginal delivery like I wanted. About an hour and a half after we started pushing, we were moved into the Operating Room. There must have been 15 people in there, between the team for me, team for baby, team for the Dr, plus my midwives. I was quickly given some more epidural and strapped down to the table. The Dr. decided that he would be able to reach her with forceps and told us to be prepared as she would likely have a bad cone head from being stuck for so long. It felt like forever but it was only a few minutes, the room fell silent at the request of the Doctor. As Tiny Turvey was born, he held her up and Patrick exclaimed loudly, “IT’S A GIRL!” He looked at me, with tears streaming down his face as they placed her on my chest, “We have a daughter” he said, in the most sincere and joyful tone of voice. I struggled as I was strapped down on the table and couldn’t reach for her, it felt so amazing once the midwives freed me and I could wrap my shaking hands around our perfect little girl, with a perfectly shaped head full of hair. 36 hours after labour had begun, our little Elsie Jayne was born at 9:13am on April 25th, sharing a birthday with her lovely Aunt after all. 



I had quite a bit of damage down below, with an episiotomy accompanied by a 3rd degree tear – we knew that it would be a long road of recovery ahead. I am so thankful that God blessed me with such a serving Husband, who cared for me and Elsie, day in and day out post birth. I had yet to understand the depth of his love for me before this, not because of a lack of him showing it, but just in the sudden new love for Elsie that we both shared and in turn, shared more love with each other. I fully believe that the birth of a child is one of the few times in life where the earthly realm and the Heavenly realm come so close that you can almost reach out and touch through them.  The name Elsie means “God is bountiful” and the name Jayne means “God has been gracious”, throughout this whole process we have felt God’s love ever so plenty and his grace ever so near. We thank for Lord everyday for our sweet little Elsie and for our team that supported us through it all. To our midwives, doula, nurses, doctors and our families, some of who were in the waiting room, praying and showing their support in the ways that we needed it most. 

They said there’d be a glow.

They said there’d be a glow. The only glow I had, I paid $15.95 for at the local drugstore and came in the form of a bentonite clay mask – which I was using to control this outburst of adult acne that accompanied my first trimester. No one tells you that part about pregnancy. The down, the dirty, the reality of the toll growing a human takes on your body. No ones tells you how early the “mom-guilt” starts from not only those around you but even in your own subconscious. 

“Are you sure you want to eat that?”

“Everything you eat goes directly to that baby.”

“I haven’t kept my prenatals down in days, I’m failing my child.”

“Sickness is a good sign, you should be happy about it.”

“Don’t take the nausea medicine, you can handle this, women have been doing it for centuries.”

Guilt. No one told us that this was pregnancy.

During our first ER trip after a couple of days of throwing up – 7 weeks in – I laid on the bed with my eyes closed. Thinking of my husband who I know is exhausted, sitting beside me in the middle of the night, holding my hand while they change the IVs. The one thing that I’ve wanted, dreamed of, imagined my whole life – was the joy and blessing that it would be to carry a child. 

Under the incandescent hospital lights, no one told us that this was pregnancy. 

In this time in a women’s life when I expected to feel the most loved, the most surrounded by God’s grace and the most enlightened as a woman – even through the support of my loving, serving husband, our awesome families and encouraging text messages – I have never felt more alone in my life. I could barely stand the idea of being hugged, let alone snuggled or kissed because I was feeling smothered, not by anything physically around me, but by the pressure of the broken expectations. 

The idea of a social life went something like this: 

“Ya, sure lets get together on Saturday, it’ll be so awesome to catch up!”

Saturday morning: “ya, I’m on day 4 of throwing up, we’re probably not going to make it…”

So I stopped making plans. Soon after, they stopped checking on me too, as if I was contagious. I wasn’t, I was just defeated. 

Defeat. No one told us this was pregnancy.

People would ask how I was doing while at work, church or out and about – my response went from “I’m great, so excited” to “I’m here.” Because getting there was now the best and probably the only thing that I would accomplish on that day. I would pray throughout my whole day “God, do this for me. Be my strength, nourish this child because I’m failing you.” Patrick was praying throughout his days “God, help me support her because I don’t know how anymore. Get her through this because I can’t take this suffering from her.” 

Suffering. No one told us that this was pregnancy.

During our second ER visit – 15 weeks in – after 5 straight days of crippling sickness we finally decided to get the prescription and take the medicine. I cried. I have never felt like I’d failed as much at anything as I did at pregnancy – the one thing that I felt I was made for.

I was one of the lucky ones. At 5 months pregnant and a few weeks into the diclectin, I’m on the mend. Sick days are fewer and far between. I still take my mornings slow and my evenings short, but I am finally feeling a sense of comfort in carrying a child. A comfort that I believed didn’t exist. Everyday I am in disbelief that God continued to nourish our child through days I could not – that after a month of very little food, Tiny continues to grow.

The lessons I’ve learned throughout this time seem endless. I am greatful for the ability to carry this particular child for as long as I have and hopefully as long as needed, when others often miss this experience. I pray everyday that God’s will be done in our lives, as much as others. I can’t wait for the day that I will get to hold Tiny in my arms and share with them how loved they are.

I decided to write this brutally honest piece about my experience, not to depress you or discourage you, but to instead share that even the most wonderful blessings aren’t without their own trials. 

Leaning not on our own understanding is one of the most terrifying yet comforting calls that we could have on our lives.

Proverbs 3:5-6

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

God’s Promise

God works in mysterious ways. He shows himself in the places that we’d least expect him, on days that we’d least be looking for him and surrounding moments where he knows that we’ll doubt his plans.

God’s promises are bigger than my own plans, even when they feel smaller. Mine will never compare in greatness. Whatever I believe my worth to be, whether in experience, success or money, or family. I know that my worth to him is much more than any earthly measure.

 My disappointments and failures are part of what He often uses for his glory.

On my drive home from work, I pulled to the side of the road to take in God ‘s reminder of his promises – to love me, to provide for me, to give me hope and a future.

Today, I am disappointed but I am not defeated because He was already there. 

Now The Lord is the spirit, and where the spirit of The Lord is, there is freedom.

– 2 Corinthians 3:17 

Confessions of a creative-minded wife.


If you’re anything like me, God gave you a creative mind. Which is such an exciting adventure. Everyday is different, the building excitement of possibilities are endless, and anxiety is an everyday battle.

If you’re anything like my husband, you had no idea what kind of highs and lows you were going to experience throughout your marriage.

When walking through a store, I literally take hours to just look at details of items – I have to pick them up and feel them to get an understanding of what I might use it for, even if I don’t want it. When you see a frame, you don’t just see one, you see of collection of what they could be together, your imagination goes wild with what you could put in them and how they would make a room feel. There is no simple answer and most times I leave a store empty-handed, more confused than when I walked in, especially because I went in for socks.

Sleeping is a challenging part of your day. When you finally walk through your brain shutting each section down and creating a to-do list that will take years to complete, your dreams take over. They are almost like a second reality where you have to wake yourself up multiple times to convince yourself that it isn’t really happening. My poor husband has been woken up more times than not from me trying to get myself out of a dream. But when he wraps my arms around me and says “I’m here, you’re okay”, I drift right back into the next dream. Often times waking up more exhausted than if I hadn’t slept at all. They’re rarely even scary, they’re just real.

Having a creative mind makes things like watching TV insanely challenging. For me personally, I’m constantly looking at the lighting, camera angles and the camera’s focus. In order for me to pay attention to a TV show, I’m almost always doing something else at the same time – I crave multi-tasking. Whether it’s perusing an article, scrolling through instagram, doodling on a piece of paper, or note taking for a blog. My husband always tries to catch me not paying attention but is always taken aback when I can recite the entire conversation we just watched word for word. If I wasn’t doodling – I could not have done that.

Every story that you tell isn’t about the ending of the story – it’s about the journey of how you got there.

Wife: How was your day?

Husband: Great, busy. How was your day?

Wife: Well, I got up, tripped over my charging cord, had a shower, made a smoothie and some coffee, was running sooo late for work I practically jumped in a moving car. At work, this patient said this, and I responded with this, it was so funny. Then on lunch, we couldn’t decide to do… etc.

You get the point. Sometimes, for husband, it’s a bit exhausting. I don’t blame him. Most days I’ll start a story in the morning, forget that I was telling it because it tapered off into another story – and then finish the original one when he crawls into bed at night.

Music has an impressive amount of say in my mood – if it’s too busy when my mind is busy – it can send me into a panic. If it’s too loud when my surroundings are super colourful or overstimulating, I get overwhelmed. My husband’s metal music collection and I aren’t the best of friends.

When anxiety takes over and I can’t talk myself down anymore, I feel like I’m suffocating. I have to clear everything on or around me that’s loose fabric and assume the fetal position. When I am in that place, I feel embarrassed that I let it get that far. That I didn’t lean on God when in the depths of my struggles. God comforts me in more ways than one — especially through my husband, who gets down on the floor with me and talks me back to him.

I constantly live on the edge of sheer joy and depression, teetering back and forth. Everyday is a balancing act. I am my own worst critic. I hold myself back because I’m so worried about who I am not, that I forget to take joy in who God created me to be.

Creative, unique, cheerful, compassionate, humorous, joyful, energetic, loving, and most importantly, to serve Him.

Will you let me pray for you

Dear Heavenly Father,

I pray for all of the creative-minded women out there. You created us all so similar yet so different. I pray that we will seek you in the joys and the struggles. That we will feel your presence in our day-to-day lives. I pray that you will bless each of our relationships so that they will grow deeper with you. I pray for our husbands who meet us where we need them too, in the middle of our sunshine or the middle of our storm. Thank you Father, for loving us unconditionally.  

In your name,


Let go, fear less, trust more,


The Darth Vader to your Audrey Hepburn

Amanda Arch Photography

Amanda Arch Photography

Last week, we had our good friend Zach over, who asked my husband and I a simple question:

“What do you wish that you knew about each other before getting married?”

Our question was specifically about each other, but it got me to thinking. We just passed our first wedding anniversary, what would I tell to newly married or engaged women that I have learned within our marriage as well as from those around us. I am choosing not to title this a “what I wish I knew…” post, because I don’t want it to have a negative connotation. None of these things would ever have changed my mind about marrying my dear Patrick, but have been building blocks to our relationship. This blog is a very honest blog post, a little window right into our hearts.

Upon making my list, I also asked Patrick to make one for newly married or soon to be husbands. I thought this might be an interesting comparison.

To the soon-to-be married women:
  1. Thinking about two people, all the time, is exhausting. Every decision that you make, all the sudden has another person’s desires and opinions attached to it – it takes work to find a balance. Lord, help me when we multiply.
  2.  Don’t be afraid of sex. This might seem like an unexpected one to some people. But sex, when outside of marriage carries a heavy guilt and burden on a struggling heart, it’s hard to come to the understanding that God has created you, as husband and wife to KNOW each other, intimately and otherwise. Everything that you learned in the much more conservative church upbringing about being a sin to “want” for, is all the sudden encouraged and expected (in a positive way). It’s challenging to wrap your head around the switch in mindset, but trust in the Lord, because he knows your heart and your husbands.
  3. The first fight will likely be a big one. If it’s anything like ours, pillows will be thrown, doors will be slammed, tears will be cried (and probably all of those by you). Don’t doubt your strengths as a couple. It is not the be all and end all of fights – and it was likely caused by something as simple as a dirty dish.
  4. In a world of social media and quick text messages at your finger tips – trust, transparency and honesty are key – and by key, I mean, non-optional. We’ve been very open with each other since day one, and it has saved us while we’ve watched other couples without these crumble.
  5.  Your fridge will constantly be in disarray since you both put the milk in a different spot.
  6.  However open you thought that you were with your spouse before, there is a whole new level when it comes to marriage. There will be days when you think that you spouse is the grossest human being – and vice-versa. Mostly the other way around though, as girls poop doesn’t actually smell like roses.
  7. As a wife you must be fearlessly prepared to call anyone at anytime. As your husband, once signing the marriage license, may experience selective amnesia on how book any sort of appointment. I remember one time, he asked me to book a hair appointment for him… while he was holding his phone in his hand – that was the last time that he ever asked me to book a hair appointment for him.
  8. Pray more than you fight. If you have a day where you bicker all day long, pray just same, and then all the next day.
  9. The fruits of the spirit are challenging to live by. I always seem to forget about the self-control one… Don’t forget about self-control.
  10. Kiss him as much as he desires, and then a little more.
  11.  One day, you’ll wake up next to your deep sleep breathing, snoring husband – and realize that you’ve found the perfect Darth Vader to your Audrey Hepburn.

Patrick’s list is a little shorter than mine and straight to the point – which fits perfectly into who we are as a couple. He starts out with some sweet words of wisdom (“He’s so dreamy” I think to myself, as I blush and fan my face.)

Don’t get caught up in the media’s perspective on marriage, it’s important to separate yourselves from that. Take a step back to evaluate marriage through God’s perspective, your perspective and your wife’s perspective – then come together with a marriage that is unique to you as a couple. A strong marriage is 100% from each spouse, not 50/50.

  1. Cleaning the house is both your responsibilities.
  2. Bobby pin infestations. They are everywhere.
  3. You don’t have a side of the bed that is yours anymore.
  4. Collecting China is a thing and cabinets are required to store it.
  5. Blackened bananas shouldn’t be thrown out, they should be frozen for banana bread.
  6. Anything you wish to purchase must pass the “but do you need it?” question. Anything she wishes to purchase should not be questioned.
  7. There are several ways to do things. Your way isn’t the only way.
  8. She will have a stash of candy somewhere in the house. Leave it alone, she knows the exact quantity of each item.
  9. She does not have to like your sports team, and will quite often cheer for whatever colour she’s “feeling” that day.
  10. You’re no longer deciding for one, but for two. Always take her thoughts and feelings into consideration when trying to make any decision, serious or otherwise.

Right away you can see the difference in our perspectives as husband and wife. Mine is very much a list about dealing with emotions and all of the “feels”, where his is more of a “dude, this is how it is” list. Our first year of marriage has been relatively easy in comparison to some other stories that we’ve heard, but that doesn’t mean that it didn’t take a lot of work to get to where we are today. The Lord has worked heavily in both of our lives in the past year while adjusting to life as a team. It is a journey of 100/100 and we’ve just begun!

Dear Heavenly Father,
I life up each and every one of these new marriages to you. I pray that they will fall deeply in love with you Father, to seek you in the joys and the hardships in their marriage. I pray that you will cover them with your grace in abundance and bless them in the years ahead.
In Jesus’ name,

Jeremiah 29:11 says:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”


Mom Jeans.

Mom Jeans.

I walk by a popular clothing store and they are taunting me with their “low as can be rise and skinny as chopsticks” fit and fashionable jeans.

They’re saying, “Awwww, hey girl, you know you’ll look good in these jeans, you’ve still got your youthful figure.” I think for a moment to myself, take a glance at my behind in their large reflective windows and decide that I would, in fact, look fantastic in those jeans.
I waltz in, select a variety of sizes because let’s be honest, each store is different.
I am led to the change rooms by a fashionista with a large smile on her face who says “I love the fit of these jeans, so flexible…” I nervously smirk in return.
I am alone. I start to slither into the size I was the last time I shopped here, maybe 6 years ago?
This is my thought process.
  • Are these real pants? – as I unroll the skin-tight jean up the calves
  • They weren’t kidding when they said chopsticks
  • The size must be numbered wrong
  • Did my knees gain weight? Is that even possible?
  • These are supposed to fit human legs right?
  • Onto the next size
  • How am I a different size than I was 6 years ago when I am currently still wearing the last pair of pants I bought here…
  • Whew, up to the thighs this time – take that knees!
  • They should offer yoga here
  • Breathe in, breathe out, downward dog, breathe in, button up annnddddd relax.
  • These are clearly not getting past these thunder thighs
  • Maybe if I tuck them into the jeans while I jump?
  • Uhmm, no. Never mind.
  • Did I just hear a rip?
  • Next size, last ones
  • Is that the cost of the jeans or the item number?
  • Up the calves, these are waaaay too long.
  • Over the thighs and…
  • ….
  • Wow, when they said lowest of rise, they really meant it
  • Do people’s bottoms actually fit these?
  • How are these remotely flexible?
  • My underwear is covering more of my behind than the jeans
  • People will start using me as a piggy bank
  • These aren’t even real pockets – where am I suppose to keep my snacks?
  • I give up
  • It’s no wonder girls are so confused, they’re being squeezed into these suction tubes that they call jeans
  • Oh goodness, they’ll have to call in the jaws of life to get me out of these
  • Hello?! Help?! Anybody?!


I drive home, go into my jean drawer and grab my “mom” jeans. They slide right up  – no tucking, no jumping, no yoga poses, no jaws of life, and my lunch that I just ate isn’t hanging over the edge.

Hello, my name is B, I’m 24 years young and I wear mom jeans
…and I’m a lot more comfortable than you are.
#embracechildbearinghips #embracejeanfreedom #freethemomjean #jeanequality

Dear 16 year old me – A letter I wish I had.

Dear 16 year old me,

B, young
I wish I could go back and make your decisions for you – take that weight off your indecisive shoulders. You’ve always thought of yourself as mediocre, but you’re not. You’re so much better than that. You are beautiful and brave. You are little but fierce (so says Shakespeare).
  • Your relationship with God is the most important. Even though it feels strong right now, you’re going to hit some bumpy passages – keep investing into him. He is your rock, your solid ground, when everything else falls apart – he’s still there.
  • Stop second-guessing yourself. Go and sit beside that guy in stairwell eating lunch alone.
  •  Thick black eyeliner does nothing for your eyes, except make them look smaller and a wee bit Chinese. And for goodness sake, spend time finding a foundation that matches perfectly with your skin tone – you’ll thank me.
  • Thigh gaps don’t exist for girls with thighs and bottoms like us, embrace your body for how God created you – your husband will love it.
  • The friends that you make in high school – despite what everyone says – will be life long friendships. Feed into them more than whoever your monthly crush is. Much to our dismay, we learn the hard way that friendships are way more important than any boy you’ll take interest in or think you need acceptance from. Even your marriage began from a friendship.
  • No guy will ever give you the acceptance that you think that you need. You are perfect in God’s eyes. Remember that, repeat it over and over again – it will save you heartache. When someone makes you feel less than perfect, take a deep breath and walk away.
  • The company that you keep has a huge affect on your happiness. If you hang out with negative people, you will be a negative person – which we know that we are not. So just don’t do it.
  • Don’t chase happiness as your main goal – if you can’t be happy now, you’ll never catch it. So sit down, look at everyone around you, write down the things that you are thankful for, and find contentment (with some adventure of course.)
  •  No, means no. Don’t ever be afraid to say it.
  • Your gut feeling is right. Love everyone, but you’ll know when to be cautious. If you feel anxious (that tummy flipping, gut wrenching panic) about anyone or anything, walk away.
  • Counselling is one of the biggest, most positive steps you can take in your life.
  • A wise man once told me, “If you start to feel stuck in a relationship, that’s your sign to get out.” (NJ) I wish I heard this sooner. If the guy you’re seeing prevents you from investing into your loving Saviour and awesome friends, he’s not worth it. Your husband will bring out the best in you, and fit like a glove in your friendships – as if he’s always been there.
  • DD’ing is always more entertaining then the hangover the next day. Keep it that way.
  • Don’t worry so much, you’ll travel the world.
  • Try not to let the people who tell you that “you must give up your creativity for a future” get into your head – obviously they have no creativity. Just remember that it might take you a couple extra part-time jobs to get you to where you want to go.
  • Lastly, just remember that everything will be okay. High school isn’t forever, although some people have a hard time moving out of that stage – be the one who does. You will be more respected sticking to who you are – your positive, mostly conservative, non-swearing self than you ever will be by conforming to the world’s way.  You can make a difference, even just with one person or one photograph. You’ll learn to communicate almost better through photography than through chatter – let God use the gift that he has given you and give it back to him.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” – Proverbs 4:23
You can do this. And for goodness sake, PLEASE use a planner and stick to it.
Love always,
Your 24 year old self