When blissful moments find you

Today was one of those days. Happy just because. Little bits of bliss here and there.

I’ve been sick and whiny lately, so it was a nice change to have some moments that made me smile.

There was my new dress, which is so fabulous, it deserves it’s own post. (Soon!)

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All the classes at school put on plays around this time. My class’ play was a couple of weeks ago (a musical circus, adorable!). Tonight, I helped out with another group. We don’t have a stage at school, so we go to the church across the street. They have a huge basement with a great stage. While I was setting up chairs, I noticed a bookshelf. Obviously, I had to check it out. They were for sale. For 25 cents! Seriously! A quarter for a book! There was a piggy bank to put your coins in.

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And then coming home after a long, long day to find these beautiful lilacs my cousin Annie left for me and a card her daughter made me. Such a thoughtful gesture and it made me crazy happy! When someone goes out of their way to do something nice, just because, it’s a wonderful feeling.

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I had one of these moments today. They don’t happen every day, so I sat back for a few minutes and enjoyed watching the kids work.

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Also, I went to the library after school and ran into one of my first graders. Her reaction is a perfect example of how kids act when they see their teacher out of school.

You’re at the library?

You’re getting books?!

For our class?! Wow.

I hope your day had some bliss in it!

The dream I didn’t know I had

When I tell people I don’t like public speaking, they’re usually surprised. I get it. I talk a lot. Also, I’m a teacher. It’s my job to speak to a group all the time.

The thing is, I work with children. They are beautiful, non-judgemental, loving, tiny people. They are curious and believe everything that you tell them, because they don’t expect you to lie. They are, quite often, what adults should be.

I try to live my life the same way I teach: Expect people to listen without judgement, laugh as often as possible and be patient. It’s not always easy, because we all know that some people didn’t get the memo about being nice and all that stuff.

I’m going somewhere with this, I promise. But first, let me change the subject.

My first contact with yoga was when I was in college, 12 years ago. (Wow, I’m old.) I didn’t particularly care for it. It was ok, and that was it. Then, I started practicing about six years ago. This time, I was much more interested, but it was still a very sporadic practice. A couple of years ago is when I discovered how much I love it. I can’t imagine my life without yoga now.

If you put public speaking and yoga together you get….teaching yoga!

I have officially signed up for yoga teacher training! I never would have imagined this is where my life would take me. I’m not even sure I want to teach, all I know is that I want more yoga. I don’t just want to know how to do a pose, I want to know why to do it. The asanas are just the tip of the iceberg and I am ready to dive in with every part of myself.

I’m so excited, I don’t know how I’ll wait until July!

These are some of the pictures I posted last summer in an effort to counter all the negative “thinspo” pictures out there. I feel like they represent my feelings toward teacher training: joy, fear, excitement, determination, happiness. Also, let’s not forget to have fun!

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Cake is happiness

A few years ago, I decided I wanted to make a huge cake for my sister’s birthday. I had been experimenting with fondant, but only to decorate cookies. I could have started with a small cake, but instead went for a two-tired cake with zebra print and red icing. I do like a challenge! I lost track of how many hours I put into that cake, but it turned out great!

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After that, I was hooked and started making all kinds of cake!

This one was for a friend’s daughter’s birthday.

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For a collegue’s birthday. I used ganache and it made the cake all slidey and crooked, but it tasted blissful.

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I made this one for my cousins birthday.

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This one was a special order from a friend for her boyfriend’s birthday. I complied, but this is not my team!

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And then there was the castle cake for another little cousin.

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My little sister saw all the cakes I was making and asked for something special for her fifteenth birthday.

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This one was for a circus themed baby shower. The tent is leaning a little and the elephant looks like he’s wearing sunglasses, but this is still one of my favourites!

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When my cousin got married, she asked me to make her cake. I had never made a cake this big before, but it came out looking pretty great, if I do say so myself!

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My friend Caroline’s daughter wanted a princess cake for her third birthday.

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When my friend Julie got married, I offered to make her cake. It was not perfectly level, but in no way did it look as crooked as it does in this picture!

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When my friend Dominique got married, she planned a small wine and cheese, but her daughter really wanted her to have a ckae, so we devised a secret plan to surprise her with one!

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And, most recently, I made a baby shower cake for my friend Suzanne. Baby Stella was supposed to arrive eight weeks after the shower, but instead, she showed up a few days later! She’s small, but healthy and happy.

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Making a cake takes a while, but it’s worth it to see the looks on people’s faces when they see their cake! However, I think I’m going on a little cake hiatus. I’m still going to eat cake, just maybe not decorate any for a while!

Dream a little dream

The girl looked to her left and to her right, but there was nothing. All she could see were the three doors in front of her. One was icy blue, with white, lacy-looking frost covering it from top to bottom. One was red, with a gold handle that seemed to glow. The last door looked quite ordinary. It was made of wood and iron, and it had no decorations.

The girl knew she had to open one door to see what was behind it. How she knew this, she had no clue. She had to chose a door. The weight of this decision hung heavily over her head, like a little black raincloud. She reached for the blue door, but pulled her hand away quickly when she felt the heat behind it. She went slowly to the red door and placed her hand gently on the golden handle. The cold was so intense, it felt like a burn. Feeling like Goldilocks, she went to the boring door, turned the door knob and pushed open the door.

What she saw took her breath away. The rainbow was more beautiful than anything she had ever seen. It arched through the sky like one of Saturn’s rings and ended just above her head. “Where’s the pot of gold?” she asked. She didn’t expect an answer, for she imagined herself to be all alone. “That pot of gold stuff is just for fairy tales” she heard a voice respond. “It makes no sense, why would there be gold at the end of a rainbow?”

“Who said that?” she asked.

“I did!” said the voice. “Down here” it added, when the girl looked around but could not see anyone.

“Oh! You’re a frog.”

“Yes, I am. And no more of that gold nonsense. Everybody knows that rainbows end in ribbons.”

The girl did not know this, but she didn’t want to tell the talking frog that. She looked up and indeed, the rainbow ended in a cascade of silky ribbons of every colour imaginable. She reached up to touch them, then looked at the frog to see if this was allowed. The frog smiled (yes, frogs can smile) and nodded.

The girl wrapped her hands around the ribbons and felt herself being pulled up. She held on tight, then let her head fall back. Suddenly, her world was turned upside down. Nothing was the way she thought it was. She played around with the ribbons for a while, enjoying the way her view of the world changed with every twist and turn.

Eventually, she let go of the ribbons and slowly, the rainbow disappeared. The frog told her it had served it’s purpose and would return when it was needed. The girl did not understand what that purpose was, but she had enjoyed herself, so she was happy.

She and the frog walked together until they came to a fork in the road. One path was straight, going as far as the eye could see. It had soft grass and big trees on either side, offering shade and the pleasent scent of apple blossoms. The other path was a zig-zag through a field of wildflowers and big rocks. It disappered into the horizon, so the girl could only see the begining. She could make out a puddle in the middle of the sandy path, and what looked like a tree with purple flowers.

Like when she stood before the doors, she know she must chose a path. The first path was beautiful and safe. The second path looked like it might be filled with surprises. Good or bad, she did not know. The girl looked down at the frog and asked for advice.

“The choice is yours,” said the frog. “But remember, our choices define who we are. Who are you? Or, more important, who do you wish to be?”

The girl looked at the paths again and realized she could be someone who chose the safe option. It was pretty and she was sure to enjoy herself, although she thought she might get bored. When she looked at the second path, she saw adventures waiting to happen, challenges to overcome and discoveries to make. She wanted to be the person who embraced the unexpected, not accept the expected.

She walked along the crooked path with the frog for a while, until they came to a moutain made of glass. It rose from the ground before them and seemed to go all the way up into the sky.

“What now?” she asked the frog.

“That’s up to you, isn’t it.” replied to frog.

The girl thought the frog was beginging to sound a little too much like Yoda, but before she could reply, the frog sneezed.

“Bless you.” said the girl.

“Thank you. But it is you who is blessed. You have everything you need to overcome any obstacle, you need me no longer. This is a magical place, and we do not let everybody in. You passed the tests. You are ready.”

“What tests? What am I ready for?” asked the girl, unaware that she was being tested.

“Life is the test. The rainbow is happiness. You embraced it, you enjoyed it. You didn’t question it or doubt it. The choice between the paths represents the choices you make every day. You chose excitement and adventure. You are ready to face the glass mountain. Knowing how to be happy and trying new things makes you prepared to overcome the obstacles in your path. Life is a series of rainbows, paths and glass mountains. You are strong. You are ready.”

And the frog hopped off into the sunset.

The girl sat up in her bed. She looked around, but didn’t see a frog or a rainbow. She laughed softly. Of course she didn’t. It had all been a dream. Or had it?

I started writing this post a while ago, when I saw the daily prompt “You’re having a nightmare, and have to choose between three doors. Pick one, and tell us about what you find on the other side.” I was intrigued, and I thought about it for a while before I started writing. I knew I didn’t want it to be a nightmare, and I wanted to include the aerial silks workshop I did last February. It’s a prompt from December 20th, so I got the “daily” part wrong, but I’m happy with the way it turned out. It’s very different from what I normally write, and it was a lot harder to get out!

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