Wednesday, December 31, 2014

leaving it up to you

so are you listening to george ezra yet?  WHY THE HECK NOT??  ha!  budapest is his breakout hit this fall, but the whole album is pretty rock solid.  it's in the lumineers or of mice and men kind of vein of music.  LOVE.

it's new years eve day.  my belly hurts.

we got to go out last night, to one of my favourite places, with some of my favourite people.  I ate fritters - deep fried dough of loveliness.  hence the sore belly.  alas, an evening out on whyte ave...I'm not going to complain.  instead, it's a breakfast of eggs, ham and guac.  and coffee.  lots of coffee.

so on this lovely new years eve day, I took a look at some of the pictures I took in this last year.

{oilers meet and greet - love those smiles!}

 {this.  I need to learn this.}

 {I was introduced to Boston this year.  LOVE.}

{time spent with friends.}

{smiles on a difficult day.  this is my grandmother's legacy.  these faces.}

{birthday gifts...}

{...and money saved!}

{he's a good kid.}


{new job titles.}


{new car.}

{playing with cousins and uncles.}


{...and pools!}



{foy vance...and folk fest.}

{these ones.}


{life at a rink.}

{long, lazy, warm autumns...almost unheard of, but so good for the soul!}

{bestie birthday parties in ottawa!}

{a relaxing Christmas.}

{we hope you have an amazing 2015!}

Monday, December 29, 2014

blame it on me

hello old friend.  it's been a while.

I suppose to say it's been a busy fall would be an understatement.  I suppose it's been no more or less busy than every other fall.  hockey.  soccer.  school.  a husband that works nights.  that's the busy on the surface.

scratch beneath the surface and the cavern below starts to rear it's ugly head.  mixed metaphors.  fun times.  ha!

1.  the lovely kid that doesn't like to sleep.  we suspect that he has some anxiety issues.  to discount this as a major source of time and energy would be wrong.  it's sucking me dry.  arrggg!

2.  the other lovely kid that is in grade six this year.  we are feeling the need to be more plugged into his life.  don't ask me if I feel like I'm doing a decent job of this, but spending time with my almost-twelve-year-old is pretty important right now.

3.  I've been gone.  A LOT.  hockey tournament in Calgary.  retreat in Banff.  birthday party in Ottawa.  pd in Boston.  I've been gone more in the last four months than I ever have been in the fall.  don't mistake it for complaining.  I'm grateful that I've been able to go and do the things I've done this fall; it just adds to the stress level.  just a wee bit.

and at the end of the day, I have forgotten about the things that keep my stress in check.  music.  writing.  solitude.  and maybe most importantly, gratitude.  I think maybe I've lost my way a bit.  busy is never my excuse, it really is my reality.  however, I've been using it as an excuse not to take care of myself.  and I have been paying the price.  I feel like my relationships are strained.  my health is sucky {don't ask me how many pounds I've added to my ass over the last year}.  my joy is eroded.  I'm not loving the person that is exiting 2014.

time to change that.  I wear a tattoo on my arm that says "choose joy".  it's in honour of a legacy that I don't always honour.  it's time to change that too.  if joy is a choice, then I haven't been choosing wisely.  I've been wallowing in self-loathing and stress.  and as a result, I'm tired.  as 2014 so quickly comes to a close, I actually want to finish strong.  I want it to go out with a bang, not a mere whimper that is all about me.  'cause it's not.

I've not been a fan of new years resolutions.  I think they set us up for failure.  I am a fan of change though.  and radical change.  so it starts now.  why wait until thursday?  so, right here, right now, I am pledging my intention: 

my word for 2014 was awake.  it's taken me until today to figure out what that means.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

every breaking wave

it's late.
alone again.
echoing sounds waft in.


this word, the cry of my heart.
unsettling every part of me.


it resonates with in me, it needs to move me.
inaction is my refrain.
resistance is the cry from my pain.

trying to wriggle out of the hold.
fighting off the sleep that has kept my mind captive.


bound by my shame.
my guilt.
done to me.
done by me.
grace is only a word.

but my heart longs.
forgiveness begins here.

awake my soul.

Monday, September 01, 2014

guiding light

happy long weekend!

today, it's just a few of my favourite things.  I can't be serious all the time, can I?

1.  I got to see foy vance at the edmonton folk music festival a couple of weeks ago.  it was one of those magical moments when the bands on stage had a moment.  more than once.  foy vance.  bear's den.  parker millsap.  they're still doing a dance in my playlist.  this is my favourite [and more so because it's the 10 minute version!]:

2.  the bridge.  have I talked about this show before?  summer tv is sometimes my favourite because all the strange and wonderful feels it's way to the top without the same pressure of ratings and competing for a spot in the line up.  the bridge is a show based on a danish television show.  I've not watched the danish version {reading subtitles wears me out!}, but the f/x version is pretty solid.  the characters are flawed and memorable.  and it's a cop show - my favourite kind of tv!  creepy.  dark.  and intolerable at times, it's worth adding to your viewing if you like a good drama.

3. coffee.  oh common, it's a given in my world.  but in seattle, I had to have some of my and mugs.  since I have a keurig, it required buying  a contraption so that I can still drink my good coffee!  anyways, if you're in seattle, go visit seattle coffee works.  it's worth your time!

4.  the neon museum in vegas.  metal.  neon.  lights.  broken and rusted.  

5.  pike place market with the boys.  Ty loved gum alley; Nate was repulsed!  and that sums up our seattle experience.  one happy kid, one miserable kid.  and this lone picture of both of them smiling!

6.  and osoyoos.  our sweet place of bliss.  wineries, pools, sunshine and time spent together.  I'm missing the heat just looking at these pictures!  the first picture is taken from the balcony of our room and the next two at a vineyard called tinhorn creek.  it seriously has the best views of the valley.  then going to rustico was a total experience.  the boys got badges from the sheriff!  and maverick.  one of my up and coming favourites.  it's new and the wine is LOVELY.

7.  and this may be my most favourite thing of all.  the boys, liking each other, dipping their feet in the lake, that turned into an impromptu swim!  I am SOOOOO ready for them to be back at school, but I am very grateful for a summer where we could spend time together and build memories.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

walking on broken glass

so last night, my all-time favourite drinking glass flew out of my hand and shattered all over the floor.    it was a 16 oz tumbler of happiness.  I use to have two, now I have none.

as I was cleaning up the shards and small pieces, I got to thinking about what a great mom I am.  ha!  let's be honest.  if you follow me on social media, you know that I'm probably not the person you want dishing out parenting advice.  there are many days when I feel like there isn't an adult in charge and that my 9 year old is the boss of all of us.

broken glass and parenting.

parenting really brings out the absolute best and worst in me.  my kids strip me bare and poke sticks at the most vulnerable parts.  and they don't do it because they hate me, but because I am a fallible human being, attempting to raise other fallible human beings.  most days, I do my best.  some days are quite awful.  I try.  oh, do I try.  but we wound each other.  with our words.  our inaction.  with our expectations.  our pleasing.  and quite often, I ask my sons to navigate around the broken, shattered glass laying all over the place.  my hurts.  my brokenness.  my poor self-image.  my disappointments.

as I was on my hands and knees picking up the big shards, I thought: these are the easy ones.  jagged, easy to see, easy to pick up with care, easy to discard.  but then came the rest.  the small pieces.  the ones that get stuck in the cracks of my floor.  the ones that wound deeply when they're not avoided.  as their mother, of course I am going to do everything possible to pick up, sweep, vacuum the heck out they don't literally cut their feet when they walk through the living room.  and it was at that point that I realized that I don't always do that with the metaphorical glass in my life.  I'm not always protecting my kids from all of the baggage I walked into motherhood with.

I often make them walk on my broken glass.

I don't like to jump on the trampoline with them because things jiggle.  I yell.  a lot.  I don't follow through with consequences.  I feel guilty that I don't feel guilty.  I compare myself.  I make them walk on my broken glass.

it would be unrealistic to believe that I will never wound them.  but I am going to pull out the broom and once again, begin the clean-up process.  take care of those broken pieces.  I've done a good job with the big ones, but those little pieces.  they cut deeply.  they leave lasting scars.  they need to be gently and thoroughly cleaned up.

because I know without a doubt that when I start to care for myself, it can only be good for those little human beings that call me mom.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


it's going down, I'm yelling timber
you better move, you better dance
let's make a night you won't remember
I'll be the one you won't forget

this song has been stuck in my head for weeks, along side all the other things that are having issues exiting my really full brain.  two weeks in, on summer vacation and finally I feel just a bit ready to have conversations with adults and not stumble all over my words.  that said, it's been WAY TOO LONG since I last blogged and I've missed it.  that said, since my business is all over the social media world, I'm pretty sure some of you get a ton of over kill from me.  and if you're not following me on instagram or twitter or the old book of faces, seriously, add me.  I like new friends!!

since my last blog post was from the beginning of May and it's now mid-July, I think this post is going to be a catch-up list.  ten weeks is a long time to be gone.  and thinking back on it, a lot has happened in that time.

1.  both hockey and soccer wrapped up.  HAHAHA!  yeah, in my wildest dreams!  apparently I have a second home at the rink and on the field.  I'm pretty sure we get a week off of all sports sometime really soon.  Ty's regular season wrapped up near the end of April, and then he did almost eight weeks of three on three and in there he played in a street hockey tournament.  right now he's in a once-a-week camp.  I'm pretty sure that we'll have a week off before tryouts start again.  soccer is almost the same, but we might actually get close to three weeks off between end of season play and tryouts for indoor.

2.  I bought a new car in June.  meet Barty.  he's a lovely new member of our family and I'm grateful that it all worked out the way we needed it to.  my old car was in some need of repair {pretty sure the entire cooling system needed an overhaul}, and after almost 8 years, I was kinda tired of shoving the hockey bag in my front seat and never trusting if it would overheat if I was stuck on the henday!  that said, he's a basic air {but there is heat...a bigger concern in this climate!}, nothing automatic about this bad boy.  all manual!  but I think I'm in love...

3.  we celebrated Ty's 9th birthday.  of course I had to birth a child in the middle of June.  poor kid has to compete with all the end-of-school-year stress and report cards and just generally, a cranky mother.  that said, we pulled of the easiest birthday party ever, and just had a bunch of kids hang out and play street hockey for a couple of hours.  Ty loved it and it was no work.  the best.  and most importantly, this one turned 9.  I don't want to speak too soon, because it's not even been a month, but we may have turned a bit of a corner with his attitude.  

4.  right after school let out, I went to vegas for a couple of days.  I know that vegas isn't your typical relaxing vacation, but it was for me.  I slept a ton.  read a ton.  and just hung out.  it was lovely!  plus, there was a first-time-evah trip to in-n-out.  it was worth the 40ish year wait.

5.  and then I came home to chaos.  swim lessons.  groceries.  laundry.  kids fighting.  hot weather.  an even hotter house.  all the things I love about summer.  I celebrated my birthday and have had lunch and coffee with a whole lot of people I don't see between spring break and summer break.  summer break is good for my mental health!

6.  on friday we leave for BC.  I'm so excited to get away and that John has a couple of weeks off work.  we need this time away as a family and being stuck in the car for 13 hours or so, will totally do the trick!  eeekkk.  that said, once we get there, it'll be two weeks of sun, heat, pools, lakes and lots of wine.  yippie!

I think I'm going to stop there for this morning.  I started this a couple of cups of coffee ago.  apparently I need to leave to get my roots filled in, in about an hour!! 

Saturday, May 03, 2014

lonely no more

I sat last night in a dark movie theatre with nate and his buddy, and it took everything in me not to have a full-on ugly cry.  and not because the movie was sad.  okay, well it's sad when tris' mom dies.  but divergent hadn't really started yet.  we were only on the trailers!

I've been having a crisis in parenting as of late.  it's not been my usual "I feel guilty for not feeling everyone else's mom guilt", but something that's been resounding just a wee bit deeper.  I've talked about it a bit around these parts, but those of you that follow me on facebook know more of the in-depth trials of parenting my second born.  he gives me a run for my money.  although he is a lot like his mama, he sees the world in black and white with no shade of grey {I'd like to think I am okay with the grey spaces in my world, but perhaps my perspective is slightly skewed!}.  he cares about justice and sees in justice in his own world.  "that's not fair!" is a resounding theme song in his life.  he his hard to parent on so many levels, but because I know he has a feisty, DON'T TOUCH ME kind of approach to life, I don't really worry about him.  I worry that he won't make it to his 9th birthday with me as his mother, but I don't worry that he'll walk away with a stranger.

and then there's my first born.

I have joked for years that I am the queen or the president of the bad mom's club.  I have never done a first day of school with either kid.  I let them quit things, especially if it's something I don't like.  I swear.  I drink.  I let them play outside instead of doing homework.  I feed them mcdonalds.  I buy fruit loops.  a lot.  I cave to their wants.  I forget to remind them to brush their teeth.  I forget our bedtime routine.  I've driven half way to school, only to realize that one of them wasn't buckled into the car correctly.  we yell.  we fight and disagree with each other.  there are tears.  a lot of mine.  more of theirs.  I don't ever feel like I'm doing an excellent job at parenting.  so I'm normal.  I'm not saying all of this because I am trying to play the martyr or to feel bad about myself, it's just the straight up, bare truth.  I am a flawed human who is trying really hard at bringing up other flawed humans.

I've been having some serious regret as of late.  I'm not even sure if regret is the correct word.  worry maybe?  I worry that my bad parenting has started to outweigh the good.  that maybe I'm at the end of the impressionable years.  that at 10 years old, I am more than half way through my years of influence and perhaps I haven't taken my responsibilities as seriously as I should have.  that it's too late.  when I look at the amount of damage in the world and the things that kids have to face, I worry.  a lot.  I worry that I haven't prepared my boys for the onslaught of social media and sexuality that is in the big, bad world.   I've seen a lot of stuff.  I'm not sure that I've prepared them for the harsh reality that being a teenager is really going to be all about.

the finality of it all perhaps struck me in the last few weeks as my family has dealt with the sudden illness and death of my grandmother.  it was my kids first real exposure to death, at an age where  they'll remember.  then at work, I've been dealing with some pretty big kid issues.  cyber bullying with some grade 5s.  kids living away from their parents, trying to cope.  big stuff.

and then there's my first born.

nate will be 11 this summer.  we're heading into the super-special pre-teen years.  one more school year until jr high.  he's my sweet hearted, loyal, kind boy.  he still loves his mama, and is clueless about the world.  he likes playing pranks and teasing, but isn't great having others tease him.  he likes me to pray with him every night before bed.  he's not a perfect kid by any stretch, but I like him.  he's fun to hang out with and we are able to have some great talks.

last night, I realized that perhaps all my misplaced fear is just that.  misplaced.  if I am, at 10, seeing a glimpse of what kind of man he'll become, then the good is outweighing the bad.  one of his best friends is a boy from korea.  watching the two boys interact reminds me of nate's good heart.  his friend talks in broken english, so nate just joined right in.  but nate never makes him feel bad because of his lack of language.  we realized when we got to the theatre that it was andy's very first movie theatre experience in canada, and only his second ever.  so we did the whole big thing with him...sodas, popcorn, candy.  and we had a ton of fun.  as we sat in that theatre, waiting for the movie to start, I started thinking of how grateful I am.  that letting my boys eat mcdonalds when I'm having a tough week at school isn't really having a huge affect on their character.  that when we fight loudly, that we also laugh loudly and demonstrate forgiveness.  that nate's ability to care for others who could be on the outside, has not been negated by my lack of showing up for the first day of school.  that staying up late on a friday night to go to a movie is about relationship building and moment making and not about bedtimes.

maybe what occurred to me even more so, is that I am so grateful that we've had almost 11 years of parenting.  that those years have been loud, happy, angry, frustrating, loving, boring, exciting and really the hardest 11 years of my life.  but I wouldn't trade it for anything, because in spite of my short comings, my kids do reflect all the good.  all the forgiveness.  all the kindness.  all the mercy.  all the passion.  and maybe most importantly, all the grace.  all the things I could possibly hope for from the young men I've been called to raise.

I know that I am blessed.  but this weekend, I've been reminded of how perfection is not a requirement of parenting.  but grace for my own imperfections, is completely required.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

go on

so I took a little trip to boston last week.  I was there for a conference, but totally fell in love with the city.  LOVE.  so some people are ocean/beach people.  I'm an urban person.  cities fascinate me.  the people.  the buildings.  the vibe.  the culture.  they renew my soul.  well turns out, boston is the perfect place for that.  when people say it's a walking city, they're totally correct.  I logged some serious kilometres on my feet.  that and a couple of hundred of pictures on the good camera and I was in heaven!

{okay, so I'm NOT that into american history, but this is cool.  ben franklin is also buried in this cemetery.}

{the old state house.  I really love the contrast between the old and the new.}

{ahhhhh.  and all the irish pubs.  I went to one, but not this one...wish I had!}

{I wish I remember the name of this church.  it's off boylston, in the alphabets.  it may be old south church.  or trinity church.  it's OLD.  1600s, I think.}

{I walked most of the freedom trail...this is the sight of the boston massacre.  I know very little about this time in history; time for some research!!}

{and then we took a ride on the T to fenway.  I don't love baseball, but I sure love the feel of this place.  we were a bit late to go for a tour, so we sat and had dinner with the green monster in sight.}

{our hotel was in east boston, so on our last day we took a cold, cold, windy walk to the harbour and the view of the city was breathtaking and grey.  but beautiful.}

there are a lot of times when people ask me how I do it.  I know what they mean by that question.  how do I work full time, parent full time-ish, have a husband that works 5 nights a week, maintain a bit of a friendship with a couple of peeps, do a couple of other things and generally be happy?  I get the question a lot.  I have a couple of answers though.  first, parenting is a two person gig in my house.  when I'm not around, john isn't just babysitting.  and it's the same when he's not around.  is our current reality perfect?  heck no.  but I can leave the house or leave the country and not worry about my kids.  well, especially now that they're old enough to feed themselves!!!  second, I work hard and play hard and when I take a break, I break at a full stop.  I try to carve out a couple of weekends a month where the kids go to grandma's for a night and I can literally sit on my ass, drink wine and watch tv.  third, I am married to a pretty amazing guy who understands all of this about me.  he gets that I need to pull a full stop every once in a while and he totally supports my need to reboot.  

and maybe most importantly, I really love my life.  I love my job.  love my kids.  love my life.  I am so incredibly blessed and have no reason to complain.  perfection is not what I'm striving for.  messy.  loud.  fierce.  passionate.  spontaneous.  but never perfect.  I am grateful.  for all of it.  especially the mess.