Slave Lake

Just over a week ago the lives of people in the small northern town of Slave Lake changed forever.  A wildfire spread through the town and destroyed almost 1/2 of the buildings and homes.  Honestly, I'm not sure how one moves on from this but they have vowed they will.  I found this video a few days ago and it brought me to tears.

Most of these people where left with nothing because of being evacuated with only a few moments notice but I'm so pleased to see Canadians and particularly Albertans coming to their aid.  We definitely look after our own in times of need.

Mother Nature certainly has not been kind this year.  My prayers and thoughts are also with the people in Joplin, MO after a devastating tornado hit their city yesterday.

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Big Changes

A few months ago I wrote a post about what our future plans might possibly be and where we would be living.  Well in a matter of 3 weeks that has completely changed and I can say for the better.

A little background info might help...Faruq has worked for the same Oil & Gas company for the last 20 years and for the first 13 had great success with them.  He was given roles that challenged him and he was happy.  Once Hayden arrived we realized that Fort McMurray was not the place we wanted to raise our children and we knew a move was required but what I didn't realize was that to do that Faruq was about to  sacrifice to his future career with Suncor.  Almost from the time he arrived in Calgary it was not a good.  He preserved and continued to provide the same exceptional service he always did but the organization was not a good one and honestly it was a bit of a circus show.  He had a boss that was one of the worse he has ever had and personalities clashed.  Faurq eventually moved on and thought it was just a bad memory but unfortunately their paths would cross again and he proceed to prevent almost any type of move Faruq tried to make.

While people always told him he was valued and respected there was not a lot of formal recognition given in the form of promotions for the last 4-5 years.  You can only do so much to a person before they decide that a change is needed and they do something about it.  Literally just a few weeks ago Faruq polished up his resume and put it out to a few of the big O&G companies in Calgary.  Within a few days he had interviews with 3 of them for really good jobs.  I have always been my husband's biggest supporter but it was nice to see these companies aggressively seeking  him for potential employment.

He went for interviews and felt good about them all but one company stood out for him as a leader and that's who he really wanted to work for.    They are respected in the community as a leading company and just seemed to have a first class operation.  He went for the first interview with them,  then was called for a second, references were checked and and the offer letter presented in under two weeks.  It was a complete world wind experience for us both.  It wasn't the highest paying offer he got but it held the most interest for him so I know the monetary gains will come.

They have treated him with dignity and respect while expressing how extremely happy they are that he is joining their company.   What I hope for him is he finally gets the recognition he deserves for all the hard work he does.  What I find completely unbelievable is that his current employer were looking for him to try to counter his offer letter with a better offer from them.  Does that really work ?  For Faruq to actually look for a new job meant a fore sure end to his current career.  He doesn't threaten he just acts and changes what's not working.

So as of June 14th he will start the 2nd part of his working career with a new O&G company and I know he will do amazing things for them.  Sadly, that also pretty much secures my future in Calgary for quite a few more years as well.  But I can honestly thing of far worse places we could be so I'm content with the decisions we have made.

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Wordless Wednesday (May 19th) (A little late)

Beware:  This is what your leg could look like when you fall down a flight of hardwood stairs with a baby in your arms.  This was taken on the weekend and the bruising has really come in now but I will spare you those pictures.  My doctor is amazed I didn't break anything but he wants an x-ray just to make sure.

Thankfully, Sophie was unhurt in it all as it could have been so much worse for her.

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Positive Changes (1st Update)

I'm going to try writing a "Positive Changes" post monthly but there still might be days when I want to share something awesome that just can't wait.

Exercise :
We have been working out for 3 weeks now with our awesome trainer and I honestly can't believe how far I have come in that short time.  I see my body changing and I'm definitely getting stronger.  I look forward to the workouts each week and can't wait to see what's coming next.  I can not stress how important our trainer is to us and I know I would not have the results I'm getting without her.  I suffered an injury this month that without her I would probably have chosen to give up the workouts but instead she is helping me work through it.

You can find Stevie's blog here and on Twitter here.

I enjoy eating that should be no surprise to anyone but for the last month I have been very conscience of what actually goes in my mouth and the specific quantity.   It's no secret that when you eat well you can eat a lot a lot of food.  If you chose high calorie/high fat you don't get a lot of bang for your buck.

Even though I know what I should be doing I have had my struggles with food not just this month but pretty much all my adult life.  I have always turned to food for comfort when I'm feeling down or PMSing.  But its such a double edge sword because while it gives a temporary high the lasting effects are so much worse.

I'm learning to accept when I falter and not let it define my overall success.  I'm letting myself have the occasional treat but always counting it in my daily calorie allotment.

One of the biggest keys is to track your food intake.  I have in the past been a member of Weight Watchers on-line but gave it up when I stopped tracking my food.  I'm now using Loset It and it's a lot like WW's online.  The program is free and very simple to use.    It can be very scary how many "mindless" calories one can consume without even realizing it.

As I said at the beginning I did not register a starting weight and I have honestly not even had the urge to get on the scale.  I know how I feel and I can see my clothes fitting better.   Stevie measured me when we first started and I'm probably due to be measured in the near future.  I'm still not 100% sure I want to know the results when she does it.  I'm very determined to not let numbers be the focus of this journey.

There is so much more I want to talk about but will save it for another time. All in all it has been an incredible month with more successes then setbacks.  This is a life-long journey that I'm on and I know each month will only get better and better.

Blessings !!

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Mama's Weekly Wrap-up (May 15th)

Lots of good stuff going on around the Suleman's household...

  • Sophie has been teething like a little fool.  She went from having only a few teeth to now having almost a mouthful.  She has been a trooper for sure and has only be mildly upset by it all.  My secret "go-to" weapon for teething are these.  With three kids I have tried almost everything and by far these teething drops are the best hands down.   I have recommended them to countless parents and they have had the same results.
  • Laila is growing like a weed literally.  I have needed to go buy her a few more things for summer as the stuff I just bought a month ago is almost too small.  I'm not sure what is making her grow as she is still is being so fussy when it comes to eating.  I know it's a phase and I'm really trying not to sweat it but it can be challenging at times.
  • Hayden is almost finished another year of school and we are all looking forward to the break.  It has been a long year and the two months off will be lovely.  Last week he wrote the placement tests for the school he will be attending next year so the only thing left is to get his uniforms.  I think he is actually pretty excited to get go back now as he knows he will be able to do more after school activities.
  • We found a great gardener to look after our yard this summer.  He is totally reasonable on pricing and does everything with organic products.  He is going to look after the lawn and the flower beds so we won't have to spend our Saturday's doing it. 
  • I bought the best cereal last week and if you can find it I would suggest you buy it.  It is produced by a company on the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia called Hapi Foods and its called Holy Crap.  I usually have plain oatmeal every morning and have been adding the cereal to it.  I honestly can't say enough good things about it.  This couple appeared on the Canadian show Dragon's Den and I have attached their pitch video.
  • As for Faruq and I life has been very good but I want to update with a separate post as I have lots of stuff to talk about.
  • How could I forget to update on the party supplies.  I called the company and they wanted the supplies back.  Unfortunately, I had to pay the shipping but they will reimburse me when they received them.  Well I finally managed to take it the post office the other day and it cost a whopping $47 dollars (cheapest rate) to send back to them.  In the end it hardly seemed worth it but for me it was the  principle of it all and I still feel I made the right choice.
Chow for now !!

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Positive Changes

Since having Sophie it would be save to say I have been enjoying a very extended break from eating healthy and exercising.  When I first had her I said I was committed to getting back in shape within a year.  Well let's do the math Sophie will be 17 months on the 28th of May nd I am still carrying way too much weight.   Everyone knows when you have kids your own personal needs always seem to come secondary to your kids but for the next year both Faruq and I are putting ourselves first when it comes to exercise and getting healthy.

The first change we have made was to go back to "whole" food eating.  Lots of salad and veggies plus eating only chicken and fish so no red meat but honestly that doesn't bother me.  I have personally cut out "white" starches and sugar which are the tough ones as I love bread and chocolate.  But with everything now a days there are always other alternatives.  As we go through this journey I will definitely share any good finds that I come across.

We hired a trainer and she is  coming three nights a week so any free time in the evenings seems to be consumed by that now.  I know it's not rocket science when it comes to exercise but we definitely get a very effective workout for the hour we each spend with her.  I'm not a "gym" person and doubt I ever will be so while it seems like big bucks we are spending I would say in the end it's probably no more then the gym memberships I have bought and never used.

I have for most of my life been driven by a number.  I was a slave to the scale and I would feel the ups and downs of gaining/losing a pound.  This time around I made the decision not to use a scale.  I have no idea what my starting weight was and honestly I don't much care.  Our trainer measured me when we started and that is the way I plan on continuing.   Because it is the end number that is the most important to me.

I know I'm feeling better, my body is getting smaller and my mental attitude is improving greatly.  I would love to here any tips you might have that would help in this journey.

Here's to a more healthy me !!

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Question:  Do you believe in Karma ?  Read here for a better understanding of what it actually is.

My belief is we are continually tested through our daily lives and most time we probably don't even realize it.  I live by a few basic principles with one being "Don't mess with Karma".  I try to always do what is right whether it be big or small.

Our family has had some amazing things happen in the last two weeks and we are finally seeing some long overdue positive rewards come our way.  To put it  simply "Life is very good right now".  But yesterday I feel I was presented with a temptation to mess with Karma.

A few weeks back I placed an order with an on-line party supply company in the States for decorations for Hayden's upcoming birthday party.  It was expensive and I remember griping about the exorbitant duty and shipping charges.  But because I couldn't find the stuff in Canada I went ahead and ordered it. Fast forward to Tuesday I receive not one but two slips in the mail for parcels.  Automatically I thought hubby had ordered something for Mother's Day but he said no when I asked him.  The girls and I went yesterday to pick up the parcels.  Sure enough it was two boxes from the same company.

Honestly, I still just figured they couldn't get it all in one box so sent two but last night when I opened them I found that they had duplicate the order and sent two complete orders.

I have a couple of options...

  • I checked my CC statement and I was in fact only charged once for the order so I could keep the 2nd order and sell it.  It's a very popular theme so I'm sure I would not have any trouble doing that.
  • I could call the company and tell them what happen.  a) they will either tell me to send it back or b) tell me to keep it. (I have had that happen before.)
When I was telling Faurq about it last night he immediately said you MUST call the company and give it back.  I guess he is a big believer in Karma as well.  I had actually already tried to call them but they were closed for the night so I will try again this morning.

 So back to my original question ... Do you believe in Karma ?  What would you do?  I'm always curious what other people believe.

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Wordless Wednesday (May 4 th)

Having lunch with one of my favorite guys !
(This was taken with my iPhone using the Camera+ app - if you don't have it you need to download it now.)

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