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Purpose

Have you ever been stuck on what your purpose in life is?

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If so, you are not alone.

I am striving to become more transparent in my life’s journey and with that comes sharing my heart even more.

I was stuck in an unhealthy mindset for sometime.

I watch so many individuals in my immediate life struggle and to be honest for the last year or so I was there as well.

I go to a place in mind where I feel as though once I’ve accomplished, completed or gotten through something everything will be better.

I will be on top of the world and no one can touch me… this is a mindset and not reality.

Life always slaps you in the face, it’s just how you decide to deal with it.

Awhile ago I was untouchable.
I had the job, the husband, the ranch, the lifestyle but still no baby and then I was fired. One bad thing after another happened to us and I watched people laugh at our trials and tribulations.
Life always does this funny thing of testing you to find out exactly what your purpose here is.

& then a shift happened.

I found out I was finally pregnant with our first baby and I knew that everything that happened, was meant to be.

I am a procrastinator by nature, I grew up in a family where our Dad worked shift when we were little and we obtained a schedule of staying up late and sleeping throughout the morning.
In my adult life, this is still true to me.

I do my best work at night, always.

My focus for this year was to to be more purposeful, to procrastinate less and live with more intention.

I have to be honest… as I usually am. I’ve been doing really well. Our house is becoming more minimal, we are living more on purpose but I’m still procrastinating.

The taxes are still not turned in, my lecture for a seminar that I’m speaking at in 3 weeks is still not complete, I have yet to obtain my dress for a very prestigious event I have next weekend and my house is in sub-par conditions.

Because it seems my reality on time is conflicted. I take on far too much for the mere 24 hours I have in the day.

But do you know what… That’s okay.

Life goes on and I’m human as are we all.

Lately life has looked completely different for us and I thought I would share it with you.

I always thought I would be a stay-at-home mama for Oaks entire life, but I was handed an opportunity.

An opportunity to live out one of my passions and that passion is working with teens. I recently accepted a position working at our local teen center and I couldn’t be more grateful. Working on days when Chad is home, so Oak is still raised entirely by her parents…it’s incredible. It’s giving this mama a part of herself back. It’s making me want to be better and do better for my family and giving me my sense of purpose back outside the home.

As everything happens in my life far beyond the time frame that I had laid out for myself this is no different,  just like finally being blessed with our first baby.

Life is unexplained and I find that just like the excruciating pain that all mothers go through in childbirth, such is life. You have to live out the shittiest and most trying of times to finally get the prize at the end. We need to stop focusing on the negatives of each circumstance and instead focus on the prize yet to come.

And the prize my friends, is finding your purpose.

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My purpose right now in this moment is: wife, mama, ranch, wellness warrior, teen facilitator.

Focus on what matters.

You’re not stuck, what can you do to pull yourself out of this circumstance?

The positive and not the negative, your mindset is everything.
Set yourself up for success, you’re the only one that can.

You’ve got this.

Purpose.

xox

Laur

I’m not from here.

Moving to a new community is one thing. Moving to a new province away from everything you’ve ever known is something entirely different. You integrate. You become a part of a new family and circle of friends. You adapt.

Its years down the road when you get out of your teenage mentality that you  realize that everything you left behind was and is so precious.

I had this mentality before but it really hit home for me this year. After spending years coping and telling myself that I was entirely happy, and don’t get me wrong I am… I realized how much I was really missing out on.

I had the opportunity to go home this year for a longer period of time than I have in ages. I got to experience my niece and nephew for three solid weeks as they grew and changed. I made besties with my soon to be three year old niece and also had the chance to discipline her for the first time ever… as she hammered her parents brand new dry wall. She hated me for a few hours and then we rekindled our bosom relationship. My parents are beautiful people, some of the good ones. They change and grow each and every time I see them and coming from a child’s perspective who doesn’t have the opportunity to be around everyday it’s remarkable. My older sister and her husband are building a beautiful life for their family.  Their life is something to look up too. Living minimally and full of purpose, it’s what everyone should strive for.

I had the opportunity to watch my very own baby girl meet all of the people that influenced my life in significant ways. I watched her build a relationship with her grandparents and her aunts and uncles. I watched her grow out of an entire clothing size and learn to roll the opposite way.

Its literally remarkable what can happen in three weeks.

The most surreal moment of my entire trip involved my little sister. She’s beautiful. She’s working a job and working towards an amazing future for herself. She’s passionate and real. She brought so many things back to me. One night as we were going through her bedroom and making boxes to donate, I was in her closet and I could tell she was on edge. When I pulled out a self portrait of myself that I had painted in high school off the top of her closet I realized her upheaval. She quickly responded “when you moved away, I took a bunch of stuff from your room so I could feel closer to you.”

In that moment I laughed it off, but then I went to bed and cried, because at the time I didn’t realize how badly I affected everyone around me by moving away. Seeing the child that I left behind in that beautiful woman’s face was a newsflash. She’s changed and so I have I.

Being away from my family and everything I ever knew is hard. And it’s equally as hard adapting to a new life and community.  Trying to make and build relationships is a daily struggle. But this is a choice I made.

Just know in your heart if you’re struggling that it will be okay. Growth and change are crucial in life.

I’m not from here, but I’m trying. 14212797_1033781863403379_2456946400405501180_n

Xox

Laur

 

 

 

Guarded.

There was a millennial living in a world where people have lost so many skills and the lack of needing to learn and pass on information is evident.

This millennial is me.

I too, went through a faze where the knowledge that I possessed was like a sacred territory to me and I felt as if I kept  it within my being that it somehow made me better or smarter than others… but really that frame of mind was only inhibiting me from building relationships and growing community.

I was naive.

I kept stacks of books that I had already read and would not and will not read again upon my shelves because I thought they would show people “just how much knowledge I really had.”

I was guarded. I had put up walls and felt a sense of security in the need to be the expert within my chosen interests.

I know that I possess a multitude of different knowledge and interests many other folks may not have,  but they too have sacred thoughts, knowledge and ideations that I wish encompassed my being.

I have come to a revelation lately that even as worldly or cultured that I may be at my age, I need to keep learning and growing through others.

This is where all millenials fail.

You DO NOT know it all.

Yes, you are very worldly in your 20 something years because of the multitude of experiences you have already withheld; living through the techniclogical advancements and the 90’s, but you do not possess the world.

I have found,  as of recent that learning and growing through others of all ages is the best thing that a person can do for their well-being and sense of self.

Letting down my walls is a revelation.

I am thankful for the knowledge bestowed upon me; the homesteading, sustainability and child raising skills I am learning on the daily. I am thankful for individuals that are duplicatable and open to sharing their life’s work.

I am no longer guarded.

I am open and ready for what the universe has in store for me and I hope you are as well.

There is and only will be, one you.

Let down those walls, open your mind, share your thoughts and become unguarded.

Xox

Laur.

ps. Thankful

 

Life is a Curious thing.

IMG_0772Life is a beautiful, curious thing.

Some things always stay the same no matter what may be happening in ones life. The sun always rises and seasons always come and go but people change.

A year and a few months ago our world had crashed, we went through a trying time of job loss, oilfield recession and yet the one thing that we had been working towards for years still hadn’t happened.

And then through the heartache and pain something changed and we found out that we were finally expecting our very own tiny miracle.

The test finally read positive and our lives were changed forever.

The aching hearts and the missing piece to our life on the ranch was finally filled.

We started focusing on improving our health and living each day as though it was filled with promise for a better future.

Fast forward a few months and we found out that, that tiny glimpse of something better was-a girl. Although I could tell Chad had his hopes set on a boy, I knew a little girl was just what he and I both needed.

Watching your family evolve through the hardest of times into a life filled with promise and hope is the most surreal thing.

I watched my husband grow from a boy into a man destined to provide for his family through love, support and the willingness to succeed and educate himself through whatever fell across his path.

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Fast forward and we are in a hospital room, 36 hours after my water had broke with Chad by my side and our moms waiting for the news.  I was determined that this little girl was coming into this world naturally and even on the verge of giving up, I still had my fight because life is a beautiful, curious thing.

I used every ounce of strength in my being to make sure I provided her with a healthy existence in my body and wanted the same for her as she took her first breath.

She finally came and was set on my chest and I cried, not because I was sad but because the thing I wanted most in life was finally here.

 

Her name is Oakley.

 

The nurses took her from me as the labour and delivery room turned to chaos. They handed my tiny bundle to her Daddy as shouts rang out of needing help. I was hemorrhaging and the blood loss was severe.

I had tears in my eyes and the only thing I could think was “my family is finally complete, with every other loss this year please do not take this from me.”

I looked over at Chad as I was surrounded by a medical team and saw fear in eyes that said “don’t leave me I cannot do this alone.” All I could think was “we’ve come this far and worked so hard, I’m not leaving you now my love.”

I was stabilized.

I am here.

And through the chaos, fear and undeniable love, we knew everything would be okay.

Days later my mom told me that as the grandmas were patiently waiting for the arrival of our tiny miracle, there was another family on our ward.

They were sisters, who kept occupying the white bleached halls of the hospital as well. They were tired and had tear stricken faces as everyone in our anxious party did. They were waiting for something to happen just like us, but it was different. They were waiting for their mom to finally let go.

They stayed in that bright lit atmosphere waiting, holding her hand,  scared and inconsolable just as mine and Chads mama’s did.

Upon hearing this story I broke down and cried because I knew as this woman took her last breath, our baby girl took her first.

There is an old saying that’s states as one life comes into this world  one must leave to make room for the next.

I am thankful every single day for the pain and emotion this family went through because I know their mama’s life made room for our little girl.

We got to leave the hospital with our new tiny miracle in tow and those sisters left with promises to do well in their lives on their lips.

We are now living our lives through their story because as struggle arises we still have one another.

We know that our baby girl is now living her journey through someone who she doesn’t and will not ever get the opportunity to meet footsteps’.

She is beautiful and her name is Oakley.

Live each day with passion, forgiveness and the willingness to succeed.

Because my friends, life is a curious thing.

This is us, this is BackwoodsIMG_0770

Backwoods Sustainability

We are currently living within April 2017.

I am labeled “a millennial”, although my soul is quite the opposite.

Our family has been on a journey of sorts throughout the last few years. It’s been good and it’s been really bad. We are still here, we have woken everyday, worked through many challenges and have grown through a multitude of people and situations.

We don’t claim to be experts by any means but have learned lots and believe in sharing knowledge.

I came to a realization the other day, when cooking dinner, that everything I was preparing was homegrown. This is HUGE, because a mere few years ago… this was our goal. To be self sustainable. To grow, raise and eat only things we have raised.

At a mere 22 and 23 years old it was a dream, at 26 and nearly 27 this is our reality.

It’s absolutely unbelievable and something we are so very proud of.

We are still learning new skills everyday and adding more to our agenda but at the end of the day, sitting down to that home cooked meal is 100% worth it.

Today I thought I would share a couple of our sustainability, health & wellness tricks with you!

1. Tower Garden- this year we invested in a tower garden. It’s an aeroponic growing system that self waters, self feeds and has zero soil or weeds. Where we live in northern Alberta we don’t have the luxury of fresh garden produce year round and we all know there is nothing like a fresh garden salad. This has been a saving grace for our family and has saved us multitudes of money and has gifted us the opportunity to have nutrient dense produce throughout our Alberta winter.

2. Homemade Kefir and Kombucha- we are strong believers that a humans health starts in the gut. Kombucha is something I personally have enjoyed for years and without a scoby would purchase in a bottle as needed. We were gifted a new scoby recently as my last one died and have found that the time investment is beneficial to both our health and our pocketbook. Kefir is somewhat new to our family but has been a hit so far and we take pride in knowing our gut is happy and the substance is homegrown. 

3. Dehydrated- We purchase fruit in bulk when it’s on sale at our local grocer to make homemade snacks. We firmly believe in eating whole foods and have seen many benefits to our physical and mental health through this mindset. We were gifted a dehydrator for an anniversary gift last year and often create apple chips, dried herbs, dried spices, etc. It has been a great sustainable resource in the sense of saving produce that’s on the verge of spoiling and  making healthful snacks with minimal ingredients.

 4. Chickens- we raise a multitude of laying hens and take pride in the bounty of eggs we collect each day. We have come to a point where we have more than enough to feed our own family and sell the extras, which in turn pays for their feed.  I personally have a love for birds and make sure that our producers are well cared for, respected and happy.

5. Bees- my beautiful friend has a love and appreciation for pollinators and well… her love for them spilled over onto me. Last year we received two of our own hives and now produce our own honey and polinate our garden with these amazing workers.

 6. Garden- we have had a garden since we moved to backwoods but we are taking it more seriously this year. It’s April and we are still feeding our family with garden potatoes from last year. With the increase of our sustainable practices we hope to not only feed our family with potatoes but many other garden veggies this winter. We have already started seedlings and are giving them our utmost care and attention this 2017 spring season.

7. Meat- we raise our own meat. This may sound like a given for the fact that we are a bison ranch but it’s not always that easy. For the last few years any bison that we have had come up for slaughter have all been spoken for meaning:  we have made the sale and not had the opportunity to keep large portions for ourselves. This past winter we invested in butcher pigs and are currently making meals with home grown pork and loving it!

 8. Baked- I am not a baker. I do not enjoy sweets or pride myself in producing scrumptious treats for my family, but I have been trying my hand at making homemade bread and have been thoroughly impressed with how easy, fresh and cost effective the process can be.

 9. Reusing- in a world where we produce multitudes more waste then we should be, I have taken pride in becoming more conscious in reusing things we already have and minimizing the things we own and generate. I have learned many tips and tricks in being more purposeful in my daily activities and have taken great joy in continuing my essentialism journey.

 10. Make it- making my own cleaning products with the help of essential oils, carrier oils, general kitchen supplies and reused materials has been a crucial part of my recent journey. Not only do these products smell great but they motivate you to get your job done with the acknowledgement that you created the substance and it’s not only good for your nostrils but your environment as well.

I could ramble on about whipping out the sewing machine, cloth diapering, feeding animals kitchen scraps, having a zero waste mentality and creating a healthy home environment with the use of healthful plants, nutrition and more sustainability practicies but I think I will leave it here for now.

If you have any sworn by tips, tricks or helpful hints I would be more than thrilled to learn from you.

I hope you have a healthful Monday and an enjoyable week.

From our ranch to yours,

Laur

xox