16 February 2015

Love Is In the Air

As Valentine's Day rolls around this year, I challenged myself to make the perfect cheese fondue and list the most irresistible things about my babies.

I love the way Sebastian runs on his tippy toes. He has been doing this ever since he first started walking. Sometimes he'll wag his head from side to side as he shuffles his feel, and his sweet grin just makes me chuckle every time.

Livia has the sweetest fingers. Maybe it's because they are tiny. But when she's eating or looking at something intently, she points her finger as straight as she can. I always wonder what she's discovering.

The first time Sebastian walked around on snow and ice this year, he was cautious but excited. He, as usual, had cars in his hands. Although I thought it was pretty cute how he would try to step on the ice, it was when he fell down flat on his back that I couldn't handle. He lay there for a second or two, then rolled over and immediately started rolling his car on the ice. Falling never phases this boy.

Livia is generally a life-loving gal, but when Sebastian goes to sleep, she knows. It's her absolute favorite time of day. She is awake and smiling and wiggling and kicking around so much that Curtis and I can't help but give her all our attention. That's probably the reason she loves it so much.

Sebastian's language skills are sky-rocketing these days. He's picking up on words that we don't even try to teach him. He's still getting used to pronouns, however, and I take it as a great sign of learning when he mixes them up. His favorites these days are "hold you" when he wants to be held and "sit me" when he also wants to be held.

I never thought I would love any other babies legs more than I loved Sebastian's until I saw Livia's. Her chunky little legs just kill me every time I look at them! When we stretch on the floor, sometimes she'll straighten them out as much as she can, and every little roll squeezes together. Delicious! My favorite, though, has to be when she froggy kicks her legs. She does it when she's excited—or randomly—and I love it every time.

08 February 2015

No Bras in the Trash

As the boxes were carried up the stairs when we were moving in a few weeks ago, I nearly sobbed at the sight of all our stuff. It has been sitting, locked up in storage for the past eight months . . . and now what am I supposed to do with it? I've been living without it for this long, and now . . . now what? While we were living out of exactly four suitcases, we made the decision to cut down our wardrobe. But the cutting is painful sometimes. I'll fold one of my old jackets, and Curtis is all, "But I thought you liked that jacket." Well, I do. But I have to draw the line somewhere. I made a spreadsheet of the numbers of each type of clothing I could keep, and I can keep only three jackets.

We have a plan to getting rid of many of our clothes.

First, we can sell what we can. We've got a nice consignment shop near our apartment that I've given a few lesser-worn items to. It gives those items a second chance at being loved, and I like that. What doesn't sell after sixty days is donated. I like that too.

Second, we can swap what we can. Our church women's organization has an awesome Share Table that they set up when we have monthly activities. You can set what you want on the table, and let someone else have the chance to reuse it. Whatever is left on the table at the end of the night is donated. I really like that.

Third, we can donate what we can. What I don't think will resell or get snatched from the Share Table will go straight to Arc. Arc is similar to Goodwill: it accepts donations of clothing and household items, but the donations help serve and fund programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I love that.

But, there are still some things that I can't sell, swap, or donate. Bras? Underwear? Many donation sites won't accept items like that. So I did some research, and I want to tell you about my findings:

Source: usagain.com
Did you know that over 13 million tons of textiles are trashed each year? Many of the items that we throw away are perfectly reusable, including bras and underwear. Bras, in fact, are one of the most requested items in women's shelters and transitional programs around the world (The Bra Recyclers).

So what do we do with bras that don't fit or that we don't wear? I found a couple neat places that you can donate bras:

The Bra Recyclers. The Bra Recyclers save bras in good condition from adding to piles of wasted textiles and gives them to girls and women who are in need. Women in transition don't always have the means to shop for or afford a bra. Of those women, 8 out of 10 are wearing a bra that is the wrong size. A bra is one of those garments that we don't often think of as a self-esteem booster, but it is. Having a bra gives a woman confidence and comfort, and The Bra Recyclers can give women that confidence when they need it most.

Bras for a Cause. For those bras that may not be in tip-top shape, Bras for a Cause accepts bras, lingerie, swimsuits, and underwear (even the sexy stuff!) in all conditions (but they accept items in good shape too!). They take these items and sort them: What is reusable, they donate. What is not, they turn into art and sell to raise money to support breast cancer survivors and research. It is hard to find someone who hasn't been affected by breast cancer. My own Lola passed away from breast cancer nearly a decade ago, so donating your old bras can help this cause.

02 February 2015

Moving Back to Vancouver

Well, it's finally here. We are here. We are settled. We are back. Let's hang some pictures on the wall and stay a while. To think the last time we were here, sweet Livia was just born . . . it's a little strange that she's now standing on her own and at least twice her size. Our adventure has gone by fast, but we're ready for the next one.

The last time we were in Vancouver, we liked it, but we didn't love it. We picked our apartment sight unseen, and were less than thrilled when the sight was seen. I was stuck, very pregnant, in a part of town where nothing else was. No parks, no stores, nothing to do. We were sharing a car, and Curtis drove that car to work every day for almost an hour each way. It was hard to make friends because we were just the people who were leaving in a few months. I lived for Friday playgroup, which never seemed to come fast enough. When I did get the car, it was only because Curtis was on a week- or two-week-long business trip. The worst! We had our shining moments (visiting the coast, seeing family, having Livia), but they were few and far between. I spent almost the entire time looking for a new place to live. For some reason, I remember the sun shining only once.

As we were driving back on Saturday, it couldn't have been a more beautiful, sunny day. We already felt different and hopeful about our new home. We unlocked our apartment door to find a sweet welcome basket from our apartment manager! Who does that? That little basket was so much more than just a roll of toilet paper or bottle of hand soap; it was a beacon of hope!

We had a few people lined up to help us move our lives from the storage unit into our apartment. Well, we showed up and saw only one friend ready to help! (We love you Reidheads!) We were just a little worried until the sweet sister missionaries showed up. By this point, Curtis had already loaded the truck. Eeek! The sisters called a few other missionaries, and within minutes, six other missionaries arrived to help! What luck! They were bringing up box after box to my overwhelmed self, when suddenly a few other friends showed up. It was like pressing the fast forward button on the VCR. Those Heasley boys sure know how to move boxes! (And there is nothing like moving to make you realize how much stuff you have . . . especially after a year like ours.)

This time around, things are much different. We love where we live. After living in Germany and walking everywhere we went, we love walking to all the nearby shops and parks. Sebastian rides his bicycle along side me to our favorite produce market (they give him free ice creams!), to the library (we love story time!), and to a few different parks (with friends, even!). We are even on the same block as our church building. Curtis has even started carpooling with a coworker who lives in our neighborhood, which makes his commute much shorter (hello, HOV lane!) and my travel radius much larger (hello, zoo!). And for some reason, the sun is shining all the time.