the gifts that keep on giving

Don't get me wrong.
I love me a good gift! or lots O gifts.
And I think we've missed the point with kids...dramatically.
Tis the season to buy the most and spend the most?
To add to the already heaping mound that most have.
Spoiling kids most definitely fulfills what they want...and are they getting what they need?
Affection...just to name a few.
Experience...are some options.
Time to talk.
More time to laugh.
To be deeply heard.
The truth is.
I don't think we're paying enough attention.
And how can we?
Our faces spend more time looking at screens than they do human beings.

I remember listening to a story on the OWN network, about a biker dude who's wife wanted the "Best Of Oprah" DVD Collection as a gift. So he bought it, not thinking that he'd EVER be caught watching it, until one day...His wife was out and there was nothing else on. So he threw in the DVD  and the episode was an interview, author Toni Morrison of The Bluest Eye asking this profound question: "When a child (or anyone you love) walks into a room, do your eyes light up?"
This question got him thinking...tired from a long days at work, HE knew how much he loved is family and of course he knew that they knew, he was their father!
And yet...
It's as simple as, "Let your face speak what's in your heart."
Often we might know how we feel and what's being expressed is something entirely different.

When I attended my yoga training in Bali a couple of years back, one of my favourite teachers stood out, precisely for that reason. Anytime he was talking to you, he was completely present. Making you feel as if you were the most important person in the world...the only person in the world.
And no you don't have to be an enlightened being chanting om while on your head for 8 hours to achieve this! Although for some reason, I think it helps!
It's available to us all. At any moment.
And yet why is this so seemingly difficult?

We can say this life and society makes it very challenging to be present.
We can't however, always let excuses keep us from doing what truly matters.
The gifts that keep on giving will never amount to much under the Christmas tree however they'll come back 100 fold in a world that is desperately in need of one another.

Look at the Quinn Family story, unfolding in the photos above, you'll see...
A family that thrives because they play together.
Down the road the kids get to see this...
A mom who doesn't pretend to have it together (this is why I love you Amanda!)
Because what's real is beautiful even if it's a lil fckn chaotic most days.
Brush it off with some humour and a glass of wine (when the kids go to bed of course)!!!!
Dad comes home from work in time to catch the end of road hockey, dress shoes ready to get a little dirty, as he grabs for his baseball mitt and away we go!
Interestingly enough, they didn't have to change a thing to produce what you see above.
It's the Quinn's just being themselves.
And really it's easier than we make it seem.

So less of the stuff that doesn't matter: Other people's facebook walls, celebrity gossip magazines, messenger, text and emails (that can wait or better yet, pick up the phone?)
When our focus is 'out there''s not 'in here'.
And our families need all of the focus, love and attention we can give them...and then some.
These are the best gifts we could possibly ever give.

And don't forget! At every possible moment: Let your face speak what's in your heart.
jodi renée

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something to believe in.


I never use to like the word God. Much less believe in one.
Any book with the Word written in it more than say 3 times, didn't stand a chance.
Oh yes. Ye of little faith I was.
And strangely enough...that's all that's required.
In something...anyone. Not even necessarily some ONE.
God can be your Furby for all I care...IF, you believe that IT has the powers that make this life so mystical, so magical.
In Furby we trust.
Whatever floats your bloat.
Reactive God faze was then...

Opening my eyes I stare down at the the 108 Mala beads laced through my fingers.
9 minutes have passed.
A somewhat lotus beside the bed, on the carpet, mid-day...Blackberry Torch as my witness...and timer.
Nothing's wrong.
In the grand scheme of the world there is so much to be thankful for.
So I pray. My version anyways...
For less of the stuff that keeps me small and more of the stuff that connects me to what's really important.
I ask for more patience...(like an overstock please.)
More space in my head to think clearly...
More importantly, more space in my heart to love freely.
My biggest request though?
Always love.
To see more, feel more, experience more...give more.
A whole slew of other requests. A tall order, sure.
Remember it was a total of 9 minutes.
That's a long ass time when you're talking one, hoping that some one is listening!!!
My intentions, rooted in something so much greater than I (possibly the Great Furbmister), reminding me that the only thing standing in my way to anything,
So perhaps before we fall to our knees. Or get pushed there.
We invite ourselves there daily instead.
It's in the asking that we receive...
NOT waiting...and begging, crying, bargaining and pleading.

I believe in God, only I spell it Nature. - Frank Lloyd Wright

Walking in a winter wonderland.
Fingers frozen.
I take a deep breath.
Nature's all I need.
To reconnect.
And the almighty Fur duo avec their red-coated walker (who I'm convinced believes in me more than I believe in myself sometimes...)
Okay, and maybe a glass of wine and a foot rub on my arrival home.

I remember the quote by Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat Pray Love:
"God dwells within you, as You."
That, which most of us are seeking, and most want to believe in?
And it's as easy as, looking around, taking a deep breath...

jodi renée

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Karen and John // Kitchener-Waterloo I do.



Karen and John // Kitchener-Waterloo I do.

A little concerned after a week of downpour, seemed like answered prayers when the weather for Saturday November 3rd showed......sun!
Man on was freaking cold.
The best way to keep the bride and groom warm?Lots O schnugglin...
And more schnugglin.
Annnnnd a little dancing.
Maybe sips of mudslide and cider?
Cue sun to part from clouds just as we get into the groove of photos for some amazing, what seems like Disney lighting in the forest. (I try to cue the animated animals of the forest. I got nothin.)

Let's go non-traditional and see one another before the ceremony. Perfect.
Especially closer to the end of the year, it makes such a big difference with light.
And, getting right to the party once the nuptials are done!

Thank you Karen and entourage.
For the laughs and such an awesome day.
all the best! xo
jodi renée

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