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a father’s choice

I had an amazing father.  I am incredibly lucky to have amazing parents. The best.

My dad taught me, among other things, about the importance of having fun, the power of passion, and the desire to give it all I have.   Going the ‘extra mile’ was in his DNA: whether it was flying an airplane, saving lives, cheering us on at sports, throwing a party, or showing up at my school when i had a project on Costa Rica with a crate full of fruit from Costa Rica for the class (how? no idea…) – he just embodied “all in” as a Dad to me.  He encouraged us, and believed in us.  He pushed us, and expected a lot from us.  And most of all, I felt that his capacity for loving me, and being proud of who I was – whatever that was – gave me the confidence to try hard, to believe in myself, and to find my own passion.  It also contributed to me being a very happy person.  I always felt very lucky and blessed.

dad and cam

I remember the day as a kid, when I realized that mothers and fathers are just people.  They make mistakes, make bad choices, have bad days, feel worry and stress and sadness.  It was mind blowing to think of my parents as actual entities separate from who they were to me.  But that reality eventually became central to my respect for my parents and the choices they made for me – it also became crucial to my understanding of parenthood and my growing curiosity around how a person flips that switch one day and just … becomes a Mom or Dad.

dada and mom and matt

I was asked recently to provide my perspective on a story through my blog, about another father and his daughter.  I agreed to do it, because I believe Fathers are such important people.  They play a role in our lives as little people that shapes who we become.  Through their choices, in their presence and their absence, they help create ‘normal’ for their children.  The world is not an easy place.  I know that I am incredibly lucky to have grown up in the country I did, with the means we had, and the love we felt.  It becomes so easy to sit and judge… The Dad who isn’t able to work, or who doesn’t play with his kids, or who walks away.  But it’s only in choosing to read stories like this one that I continue to recognize that I have no idea what their world consists of, and no right to judge another person for choices that I can’t possibly understand.  We do have a an obligation though, or at least I feel like I do, to start to understand the world a little bit more.  To dig deeper into the situations that result in impossible choices.  If you take away the means, and the social liberties, and the endless possibilities – you are still left with a father and his daughter, and the choices that are made that shape her world.


The story that was shared with me by imagine1day takes place in the town of Guangua, Ethiopia.  There lives a Father, Mezgebe.  He has seven children, and few resources, and a difficult life.  Four years ago he decided to marry off his eleven-year old daughter, Mebrhit hoping that the gifts and support from her husband would help his family.  Choices that seem impossible to me, a world away.  When his daughter discovered the marriage that was planned, she turned to her trusted teachers for help and support and they intervened.  They housed her in the school and went to speak with her parents on many occasions.  Eventually, Mezgebe returned the gifts, and called off the wedding and his daughter returned home and continued to get an education.  Through this choice, in a world far from my own, a father showed his daughter how much he valued her, and believed in her.  Now a high school student who can help the family because she has the support and confidence to learn, Mebrhit sees options in living a life she would not have otherwise known.  And her family is reaping the rewards of her confidence and education.

And as much as I struggle with it, I am learning daily that not only do I have no right to judge other people for their choices, but I have a responsibility to seek to understand their world and to help if and where it’s wanted.  It’s hard.  It’s so much easier to just not pay attention.  But my mom taught us that we’re given gifts so that we’ll share them – and this story reminds me of this in the purest form.  Please visit imagine1day to learn more.

My Dad made the choice to greet most days with a new (loud) song from the Lion King sounds track or by Rod Stewart, and a big breakfast, and a big grin.  The possibilities for each day were endless when they started with that much joy.  There is not a day that goes by that I don’t wonder what my Dad would think about a situation, how he would chose to respond to a challenge, or what he would look like playing with our three wonderful kids.  I miss him more than I could ever express and I’m grateful every day for who he was to me.  Because of the choices he made in raising me, I am who I am today.


growing … peas and broccoli and strawberries and more!

A little while ago (on May first) I posted about “growing”.

Every time I turn around those little toes and fingers are getting longer, thinner, and more able… to pick up things, tie things, open things, pour things …. we here so many more “I do it!” and “watch me!” yells now then just a few months ago when it was the constant “help!” yelp.  It’s wonderful, and amazing, and a little heart breaking too … everyone says they grow up so fast.  I just had no idea how fast.


Back at the beginning of May we made a planter and planted our own little veggie garden.  I have a pinterest account, and though I’ve posted 30+ images of things I’ve made – the one picture of Cam’s DIY garden box is the project that gets downloaded the most.  It’s a running joke in our house now… every time I get a ping that one of my pictures has been liked/pinned we look down and it’s cam’s creation. sigh.  I’ll keep trying 😉

I said back then that I’d post an update on how our garden grows.  Here’s that update…  At least one thing is growing faster than our kids – Our veggies are going crazy!

garden grow

We have fresh peas daily, broccoli by the bushel, and even our strawberries are already ripening.  I can’t believe how fast everything has grown and how much fun it’s been to water with the kids and explore the new buds and flowers and vines every couple of days.  They each take their little jobs verrry seriously… and love finding a munching on new ripe veggies daily.

brocoli peas

I planted a herb planter last month as well and it’s done really well also.  I find basil only lives for me for a month or two and then it slowly declines to a scraggly mess (if you have tips I’m all ears!) but we’ve had a lot of luck with dill, cilantro, parsley, oregano and rosemary.  I just planted two of each in this planter with good drainage and fertilized with a mix of miracle grow and water.  It’s in a sunny spot and it’s doing really well so far!


We all can’t wait for the carrots and tomatoes to start to be ready.  I’ll post more picks when they do!  Happy sunny saturday.



sunshine and little smiles

I got home from the conference I went to a week ago.  On my plane ride home I wrote 3 blog posts thanks to the incredible inspiration on that trip, and I do look forward to sharing them.  But since I’ve been home I haven’t been able to get online to finish them off an hit ‘publish’.  It’s been busy at work, yes – I got the inevitable airplane cold, yes – but more than that I haven’t been ready to give up time with Cam or the kids to think about and finish those posts.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not Mary Poppins, nor am I spending every waking hour gazing at my family … it’s pretty much the opposite actually.  Since work is so full on, and since I need to head to bed earlier because I’m sick, I find I only have about 3 hours a day right now with those people I adore the most, I’m so grateful that this week has been a gorgeous one and that we’ve spent almost 100% of that time outside enjoying.

So this, my first post back isn’t about the art of storytelling, or the predictions of the super cool futurist, or the role of business in the community – this is just a sappy post about my family.  Because that’s how I found the inspiration to come back to the “fun” keyboard (I only write blogs on our mac at home – work laptop = not-so-fun-keyboard).  A little context setting – I’ve just downloaded the pictures from this week, I’ve finally given Cam the cold so he’s snoring asleep upstairs, and I’ve finally stored up the energy to start baking and making again so I’m feeling crafty (posts to come) and so happy to have this little outlet.

Cam chronicled the time he and the kids had together for the 4 days I was away through fun pics he texted me along the way. It was super fun, and this one made my heart melt a little – it was the second night I was gone – our facetime connection wasn’t that great and the kids were waiting to say good night to me… just made me want to give all four of them a huge hug.

talking to mom


This week we’ve eaten outside every night; on the deck, on the grass, at the beach, at the table, walking, sitting in a wagon … you name it.  It’s so fun to see m&c&k enjoying outside as much as i do. sometimes by force or Popsicle bribe but hey… whatever works.  Each night after dinner we hit the beach for ice cream, or walk around the neighbourhood noticing bugs and animals, racing to light posts and imagining the forest paths are enchanted.

pop pop walk

Sometimes I’ll catch one of them mid-imagination – and that’s my favorite.  I have no idea what Charlie was thinking but as she slurped her favorite purple Popsicle after dinner one night she started talking about “puppy gogs” and dragged the wagon to the grass and then got in and sat there for a good 5 minutes telling herself a story.  Love their little brains.

pop pop wagon

Another day I came home to the girls running through the mister and sprinkler with our nanny.  I don’t know how summer hit us this week – but we are so lucky it did and we are loving every watery, warm minute of it.

mister fun

So whether it’s lawn-chair lego while the girls nap, or water gun showers with a glint of defiance and a hint of ‘come and get me’ … this week has been about this: work, sleep, family and sunshine.

lawnchair lego water gun kate


Hope you have a wonderful weekend and I can’t wait to share some fun crafts and recipes this week.