that perfect hand…

In Ocean's 11, Danny said that "the house always wins. If you play long enough, never change the stakes, then the house takes you. Unless, when that perfect hand comes along, you bet big… and then, you take the house." Here's the hand I've been dealt, sometimes it's risky and sometimes it's safe, but all the time… it's perfect. It's mine.


in storms

Please keep my very dear, funny, sweet, kind and old soul of an Uncle Dave in your thoughts and prayers as liver cancer seems to cast a shadow over his body right now. We don’t know what this means (when do we ever), but keep him, his family, and our family close to your hearts over the next few days. God is bigger than all of this and all of us, so here’s to both the peace and trust we’re determined to find.


Be blessed.



this face


Did you know she turned 12 today? My sweetest, littlest, spunkiest sister is officially old. No, really.

This face is the face of a miracle. Jayme got hit by a car on Monday, did you hear? She was walking across the cross walk after getting the mail and a lady didn’t see her, hit her, and sent her tumbling across the ground. Her road rash is extensive, her thigh is throbbing, her heart is scared, but she is alive. I asked her how she was doing, after the painkillers/Tylenol seemed to have kicked in, and she said “when I think about what could’ve happened, it scares me but then I think about how none of my friends can say they got hit by a car today, can they?” :). In other words, this is the face of a miracle but also a tough little lady who gave us quite the scare. We’re blessed, she’s blessed, and thankful doesn’t even start to cover the deep truth of what this accident could have been.

This is the face of the kindest, gentlest, funniest, most modern, fashionable, entertaining, independent, friendly, honest, loved girl I know who constantly reminds me that the best way to see the world is through her kind of eyes — ones hoping for the very best and expecting even better. I admire her and adore her soul… I didn’t know kids that size came with hearts that big.

Happy Birthday Peanut, you are the perfect sister for me — keep being you and the rest of us will try and keep up!



look up ‘idiots’ in the dictionary

Here’s an example of something that would get you shot in Penticton, Victoria, and BC as a whole. As part of my job at the Regional District I have to advocate for the environment. Not even close, actually, that’s not in my job description but after working with some of the most environementally conscious people in the entire polluted atmosphere and living in the most green, recyclable city in that said atmosphere, it starts rubbing off.

When a certain pair of pesky human beings mentioned that they still burn their garbage, I had a conniption fit/rage black out. I could hardly see straight so my weak attempt at advocating for the environment, I sent them each a magnet that said “1-2-3 Turn your key, be idle free, and SPARE OUR AIR” (because the second indication of idiocy in certain people is a love of free stuff). ANYWAYS.

They found the perfect spot for their new magnets… and sent me these two clips to prove it (see if you can find them).

The subjects of the following two videos are not named in effort to protect the not-so-innocent… but I would say that the quality of filming, the heinous background cackling by the videographer, and the shorts/hiking boot/sock/white leg combo of the star actor make them easily identifiable. Please watch the first vid first.


10 reasons a trip-to-smithers makes me smile large

…and laugh out loud.

10. Nana double-fisting red wine. She’s not actually drinking it, but she is a firecracker.DSC00647

9. Going for lunch with Shirley and Linda at Javas and then not leaving until 3 or 4 hours later because of table hopping after they left between Matt, Sue, Alana, Megan, Melissa, Cole, Janelle, and Kristin. It took a little while getting used to being in a town where you’re bound to run into people you know no matter how hard you try to avoid it.

8. Meeting some of the most beautiful “I’ve only ever heard about or seen pictures of” children: Gabriella, Riley John, Amya Annabelle, Grace Willow, Malia Ann, and Dayton Karl. It was so fun to meet and cuddle these kids. Here’s Riley making no secret who he’s supporting in the playoffs:DSC00626

And the new babies:


And Miss Amya, posing away:


7. Visits with my aunts. And cousins. And Uncles. 5 years changes people… and it was super cool to get to know my aunts as adults or fit into the life of my cousins, like Morgan (I stayed with the Marshalls), if only for a breath. Same with the Pedersons, it was awesome to spend time with them all as well, it had been forever since I had seen most of them.

6. Hiking. I wanted to get out and do more but being a visitor in your hometown is difficult and I find a whole week can pass just sitting on my butt visiting. It’s NOT a bad thing, but the day that Darcy and I went on a walk near the Silvern Lakes trail was the best.

5. Derek and Billy. I never knew how close (bordering awkward) those two are and they made me laugh the whole week I was there with their crib tournament, efforts to find Billy a job, and all around ridiculousness. On my last night they recorded themselves rapping a myriad of videos and they rapped one about Darcy, Auntie Carolene, Mallory, and I (who were eating ice cream downstairs). I wish they would let me have/post the video but they didn’t like that idea. Anyways, the line about me went something like this:

“Kate Stam, why are you even here?
You’re how old, still no career?

Your Civic blows,
I can go faster than it on my tippy toes”

And Mallory’s:

“We don’t have much time to talk about Mallory
Go to the gym, BURN SOME CALORIES!”

Hilarious. Ask them to see it.

4. Old friends. Period. Like Michael or Eric.. It takes a little bit sometimes but you find your way, some little way, to connect with eachother again. And new friends too.

3. Getting my car cleaned. Period. 😉 They treated Bella like the princess she is.


2. Going out to the farm. The farm always feels like my home away from home and I missed it. And I even got to go TWICE. Seems like a tease though, I don’t think I can ever get enough of my Uncle Orv’s wisdom and encouragement. Among all the other fun things about being there.

1. That no matter how stupid and frustrating it is to have BOTH front tires pop in Williams Lake and be delayed almost three hours of my drive home, a week in Smithers is exhausting, overwhelming, awesome, and busy… in the best way possible. Hopefully it won’t be another 2.5 years til I am back? 🙂 Fun, I recommend it.

Here’s some more:



And just because they might be new readers:


(Sorry, I am no Lucy when it comes to pictures so I have about 45 of Riley and Amya at lunch, and then never took anymore… I am not used to having a camera so I am a disappointment, I realize that now looking at these pictures. OH WELL)

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Just wanted to give a shout out to my older brother — I was blasting the Barenaked Ladies yesterday afternoon on my iPod before going to MEC to buy a coat. Needless to say, MEC and Barenaked Ladies has Adrian written all over it…I felt ALMOST like he was there with me.

I went to Beacon Hill Park today for the first time in ten years. There were ducks that we threw pinecones at and then like last Sunday, I fell down again on our way to the ocean. I need to stop moving.

First final exam tomorrow. Awesome.

On a diff. note, here’s a good song — it’s so good. It’s Coldplay’s “Lost” remix with Jay-Z.


my nana

"Love, and say it with your life."

"Love, and say it with your life."

Life comes at you so fast sometimes, it’s hard to catch your breath when it is all said and done. A number of weeks ago, Nana had an open heart surgery here in Victoria and her recovery period has made me learn things and appreciate more about her.

A couple weeks ago, I spent the whole day with her and she was the best that day than I had seen her since the surgery and it was amazing. From heated discussions (and I mean really, really heated) about President Obama and all things politics, God and trust, family, heart aches for home, my future, and just the occasional flip to ‘Price is Right’ on the TV, I’ve felt like I truly have gotten to know her over the last few weeks, connect with her…particularly that day, and it was a total God-thing.

For example, did you know that Nana’s dream to have a large family (9 kids!) started during the WW2 era when she was working in a orphaned children’s home? The home was atop a large hill and when storms hit, the children would gather into her bed in her room of this house and they would wait out the crashes of thunder and lightning together. It was with this piled of children in her bed that she started to dream of having some of her own. And it was so neat to hear her explain it and to see her eyes as she remembered those days for me.

When I asked her which one of her grandkids she thought would have the most kids of their own, she kind of blushed and said ‘I don’t know’… yet those of us in the room settled on Stef. hehe 🙂

Nana is a superhero because she delivered my mom on her own in the little old cabin they lived in. She’s also a superhero because she’s the greatest prayer warrior I know and ever will know. She can name all of us grandkids, greatgrandkids, in-laws, and others by name and prays for each of us all of the time, everyday, with no question that Jesus hears her.

One of Nana’s closest friends is one of my closest friend’s mom. Somehow that gives us something to talk about when there’s not really much to say. It makes me wish sometimes that the four of us could hang out together, drinking espresso and hearing more stories. Or that I could just hang out with Nana and have nothing to say at all.

I watched a movie recently that strongly portrayed life and love. I left the theatre coming undone at the power of both of those things. For life is meant to be lived, literally, yet what is it without love? Any kind of love. Of lovers or friends or children or sunsets or passions or desires or whatever. Each cord of life has tremendous beauty and intricacy that love has to find its way there. Otherwise, what is the point?

Nana, with her stubbornness and age, sense of humour and quiet calm, reverent faith, experience and bravery, gentleness and mercifulness, grace and perserverance… somehow recaptured my heart in the moments of transferred care: I got to look after her. And in some small way, God was whispering that life has come full circle and He is to be truly and miraculously celebrated in this. I know that it was hard for her to be dependent on us for awhile, but I wouldn’t trade those moments for anything. I am sure I could talk myself in circles over this, but I just learnt a pretty valuable lesson through spending time, and remembering, with my Nana… she has the connected life and love way of doing things figured out. I hope that I inherited some of that in myself. And I sure don’t mind being her prayer warrior for a change; it’s really too bad that she got better and had to go back to Smithers! 🙂