Gigi Blog » The life and loveliness of Gigi's World

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  • Welcome to the Gigi Blog!

    Blessed to be a mother to half a dozen girls. Wife of an undertaker.
    Photographer. Homeschooler. Daughter of the King. 
    Lover of life, coffee and all things pink and vintage. ♥

a chubby {Delight}

 

In the middle of a busy, snowy afternoon {yes, it’s beginning to look at a lot like Christmas around here!}, the girls helped take a few photos of our sweet baby Lavender … one girl held up the comforter, the other made sure she didn’t fall over while she sat like a big bag of sweet baby-pink sugar – all smiles and baby screeching {that’s her new thing – it’s as if she wants to join in the noisy conversations of our busy home} …

Lavender is by far our chubbiest, rolly-polly baby – we love it! The girls have fun counting her rolls …. I’m sure Lavender will not appreciate such stories when she’s older, though.;)
Oh, how delightful raising a family is! I say this because we would have stopped at three children as that felt normal … but the Lord changed our hearts and now we have six blessings from the Lord …  we are so grateful … we know the world says half a dozen children is a lot – yes, I guess it is …  a lot of  tight-knit love and solid memories, and bedtime stories to be told to eager ears, flawed character to be fine tuned (myself included), healthy but humble food to be cooked, loads of homemade stockings to hang at Christmas, special birthday parties in every season … yes, buckets of fabulous love to go around …

 

Thank you, Lavender, for bringing even more fun into this crazy family! I cannot imagine our family without you. xx

{Lavender Kate Delight – 7 months}

 

November 23, 2014 - 10:15 am

Teresa - What a dolly, she is such a cutie

November 22, 2014 - 11:49 pm

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - Sweet sweet Lavender xoxo

Lovely {Lotion Bars}

A little easy make-yourself-gift for new mothers, dear friends, old friends and new ones …
something to simple to make in the comforts of your own cozy kitchen during a cold Autumn or winter morning …

{Moisturizing Lotion Bars}

The original recipe can be found here at Bambi’s Nursery of the Nation blog.  {This is a great blog to read!}

For the sake of my own memory (because I often come back to read the recipes), here it is written in simple form:

You will need equal parts beeswax, cocoa butter and coconut oil.

Melt beeswax in a double boiler.
When fully melted, mix in cocoa butter, coconut oil and an essential oil, if desired.
I used a bit of my homemade lavender oil for one batch and rose essential oil for another.

{Lavender Infused Oil – in the making}

Pour liquid into a mold – I used cookie sheets and muffin tins, along with silicon muffin tins (they were the easiest to use as the lotion bars literally just popped out).
Allow to fully cool.

When the bars are cooled, pop out of mold.
Find a pretty way to package your bars and use as gifts for various occasions – a new mother, teacher gifts, bless a neighbour or the pastor’s wife …

To use, just rub on your skin lightly and the warmth of your skin will melt the oils. It will be fantastic for those cold, bitter winter months that are so hard on our skin.

Enjoy. xo

Looms for Love {Arrived!}

“Not all of us can do great things.
But we can do small things with great love.”
-Mother Teresa

 

 

This morning, the sweetest email arrived in my inbox that made a heart burst with joy!

 

Do you remember our Looms for Love project? Perhaps you or your child helped take part in creating the bracelets? If so, you will truly love these images that were delivered to my inbox  …

Get ready to smile.:)

 

{Ohhh, these children are just so precious!}

Months earlier, my girls and several friends from near and far, spent beautiful hours making Rainbow Loom bracelets for the children in Heather & Rick’s Orphan care program …. the girls started up a project – called Looms of Love  to send their bracelets overseas to bless children in Africa.

It was a simple gesture. Nothing fancy, but fueled by the desire to show God’s love in a childlike way … the girls asked as many friends as they could to help create brightly colored bracelets for these sweet children in Mozambique … in no time at all,  we received packages of completed loom bracelets, bracelet supplies, the rubber bands and letters of encouragement from so many wonderful adults and children.  After a few months, all the bracelets were collected and we shipped them off to Africa.

Now,  these fantastic, delightful bracelets have been handed out to hundreds of {beautiful} children in Mozambique through Rick & Heather’s Orphan Care program …. how exciting it was for my daughters to see these images of the children across the ocean wearing the bracelets we had sent months ago! We were so excited to share them with the other children who helped make the bracelets now worn on the wrists of hundreds of children in a small remote village …

A simple little act of love from across the Globe … to tell these precious children we think of them and we pray for them. That they are precious in God’s sight.

 

With joy, the girls, Abby and I poured over these beautiful images that were sent from our missionary friends…. the photos brought tears to my eyes and as I watched my girls’ reactions to the images, I knew their hearts were touched immensely.

 

 

Thank you to ALL the amazing children here in Canada who helped out by making bracelets and sending them along in the package! We appreciate your help so very much!

 

 

 

Thank you, Heather, for sending through the photos so we can share them with the children who helped out – we can’t wait to do more!

 

P.S.
Children and parents, would you be interested in doing another Looms of Love project together in the future? I’ll be praying to God and seeking His will for this!

November 14, 2014 - 8:03 pm

Heather - What did you do to these pictures?? I am positive you have made them look amazing! I just sent you some snapshots and these look awesome! :) Thank you so much to all who participated- these little bracelets brought an awful lot of smiles to literally HUNDREDS of kids. Well over 300 children received bracelets, and as you can see, a few grannies as well. (the grannies loved them just as much as the kids) :)

November 3, 2014 - 8:38 pm

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - Blessed my heart and brought tears to my eyes! xo

November 1, 2014 - 2:11 pm

Jen Heemskerk - Most definitely on board to get on Looms of Love again!! Would you mind sending a few of these photos to me through email so I can pass them along to some friends that created with our girlies? My email is derjen@hotmail.com. Thanks!!

{Joy}

There’s a little sign on my kitchen counter that says “Be Filled with Joy!”
It serves as an amazing reminder to choose to be joyful when, perhaps, my natural inclination of the day is to go the other way …

After all, let’s be honest, not all days feel full of joy.

But the truth of it is, it is not about a feeling – rather about a choice in how you deal with what the day holds.
Ironically, my devotion recently was about being joyful – joyful in everything

 

 

 

 

Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Do not put out the Spirit’s fire, do not treat prophecies with contempt.
Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.”

1 Thessalonians 5:16-22

I want my children to remember their mother as a joyful mommy … not a grouchy, stressed out mom. Even in the mundane, in the ordinary, I want to choose to see the joy …

So today, I began smiling – just a small smile – while serving the lunch around the table. My eight year old  noticed and looked at me oddly.

“Why are you smiling?” she asked.

I explained my reasoning -  I was choosing JOY – and I smiled at her ….

She stared back at me … I could see the wheels in her mind turning … then, slowly she started to crack a smile on her cute little face … for you see, JOY is contagious!

Mothers, let us fill our homes and the lives around us with JOY! Amidst the correcting, teaching,  meal making, day-to-day agenda, let there be laughter, singing, smiles and giggles!

 

 

           A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
proverbs 17:22

 

 

 

I’m challenging myself to find the joy, to wake the children up with a smile, to serve my family with gladness and to allow that infectious joy to spread …

 

November 4, 2014 - 11:09 am

Sherri Smith - I love this sentiment…. I Choose Joy! Just thinking of smiling makes me grin, just faking a grin makes me happier, funny how that works. :-D

October 31, 2014 - 4:31 am

Mara - Beautifully worded and thank you for the reminder. I just love your blog and your beautiful photography!

October 30, 2014 - 6:17 pm

Donna - Hi Gillian, did you knit the pink sweater for Lavender in your last post?

October 30, 2014 - 1:15 pm

Erin Lynn - Love this reminder! I totally agree that joy is a choice. Love the beautiful pics of you and baby!

October 30, 2014 - 9:27 am

Reena - I’ve never commented before, but I just wanted to thank you for this wonderful reminder. I really needed to read this this morning…for so often we can be overwhelmed by the mundane and also the busyness. And you’re so right, JOY is contagious. And we have every reason for JOY! Thank you!

God is my Employer.

 

I remember this moment all too clearly. It was over eight years ago, my second daughter was just recently born and I was carrying her proudly in my arms. My mom was introducing me to a group of friends while attending a social event …

“This is Gillian, my daughter – she’s a stay at home mom,” she said.

In my selfishness, I all to clearly remember adding, and have a photography business.”

Just like that. Here I was, holding my sweet baby girl, and yet it was as if my role as a mother to my two girls was not enough. Was I afraid it didn’t compare to the business titles of those around me? Did I fear that those in the conversation would think of me as less than those with a high paying job or a fancy label in their career?

 

 

{Lavender  – 6 months old – oh, how I love this precious chubby baby!}


Yes, I was a photographer,  sure, I was running a small business on the side. Previous to photography, I had attended college to study journalism and spent a few years being a reporter. I had loved every minute of my newspaper job but knew that having children would mean putting a career aside – for a while, for a long time … I understood the value of a stay at home mom, as I had myself benefited from a loving mother in my own childhood. I had been raised to appreciate, love and admire the role of a mother. And yet, here I was, a young 20-something mom and already feeling as if I needed to boast of my worldly accomplishments in order to be respected in a social circle.

 

This journey of motherhood has had many changes for me – the biggest being a change in how I, personally, viewed my role as a mother – I have learned to view it with an eternal perspective… that being a mom to the children God has given me was ENOUGH – more than enough!

 

Mothers, let us not be ashamed of this God-ordained role of raising children. It is a high calling and while the world may view it as less, we know that God does not. To have this amazing and incredible opportunity to be the ones to lead our children through life – it’s spectacular and humbling, all in the same thought!

Do not be ashamed to say you are a stay at home mom!  Be proud of your beautiful role as a mother to your children. Do not think you need to add a title or a fancy job description to what you already do.  The world may never place value on motherhood but God sees what you do day in and day out.

 

“When you go out with your children, lift your head high, put a smile on your face, and be proud to be a mother.
You have one of the most important careers in the nation.
God Himself is your employer and you are helping to determine the future of this nation.

 

 

Be a light in the midst of a society that does not embrace children. Do not be intimidated.
Show your love for your children as you speak sweetly to them and are patient with them.
If God has blessed you with a number of children, be proud to display your “blessings” from the Lord.
You reveal to the world what God is like for He loves children.
Jesus did not reject children. He welcomed the children to come to Him…

– Nancy Campbell

 

 

November 3, 2014 - 9:06 pm

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - Thank you Gillian, for those kind words! I am so proud of my “stay at home mom” daughter <3

October 21, 2014 - 10:22 pm

Jen Heemskerk - Gillian, your baby is so so beautiful.

October 21, 2014 - 6:25 pm

Christine - Simply… thank you. In my heart I know that with my babies is where I am meant to be at the moment. And yet, I struggle… I also went to university, had career dreams, wanted to make a name. But, once I held my baby I just knew all of that would sort itself out later. Being his mom would always be my first and most important “title”.

October 20, 2014 - 11:48 pm

Melissa Mullinax - Ohhhhh, my goodness! Look at that face! <3