Monday, December 13, 2010


Christmas is quickly approaching, and I'm finding that this year I'm less focused on the event, and more focused on gratitude for what I have, and realizing how lucky we all are.

First of all, if you're reading this, you have internet access. You have a computer. You have electricity. In short, you're pretty darn lucky.

I'm trying to make a point to realize how much I have, and be grateful for every small thing. Running water. I not only have running water, but I have hot water. I have hot water that has it's very own room, that comes out of a shower head. That I can use to wash my hair. I wash my hair with shampoo and conditioner ... almost every day.


I have a house to live in. Everyone in my house has their own bed. Everyone has enough clothes to last several weeks without having to wash them. We have enough food that we wouldn't starve for a long time. The kids have more toys than they play with, and we have more books and movies than we could ever need.

I have a job. I have a car. I have money to buy food and clothes. I have money to go out for coffee. To have ice cream for dessert. To go bowling with the family.

I'm so very lucky. I've started with Easton to ask him to tell me 'the good things about his day' to give him a heart filled with gratitude as well. When I took him to our doctor's office a couple weeks ago, I pointed out that it's good we have a doctor to go to. It's good that she knows what to do. It's good that we have a car to get there. It's good that he has a mom. A dad. A sister. A house. A bed. Clothes. Toys.

Gratitude. It's amazing what focusing on gratitude will do for your state of mind and your outlook on life.

What are you grateful for?

Monday, October 25, 2010

I'm a Little Bit Country .... I'm a Little Bit Rock 'n Roll!

Alright. Time for a confession.

Anyone who knows me very well knows that I'm not a country-music-loving girl! Ask me what my favourite type of music is and I'll answer 'everything but country'. I'd prefer a little AC/DC over Shania any day!

Well ....

Times are a-changing!

My new job is at a rock radio station, and a country radio station. Part of my job is to obviously know what I'm selling, so I have to listen to both stations.

Well ....

I now find myself switching over to the country station with more regularity than I do to the rock station! WOW! Either my horizons are broadening, or I'm becoming older. I am, after all, well into the 25-54 demographic as opposed to 18-34. For all my media/advertising friends, you know how shocking of a revelation this can be!

So ... for now, I'm a little bit country. A little big rock 'n roll. And a bit of everything in between!


Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Dull Roar

Phew. It's been a busy month!!

Ryan and his dad arrived safe and sound with all of our stuff on October 6th. My boss VERY nicely gave me the rest of the afternoon off so I could head home and help get things organized. We were fortunate to have one of my cousins come to help unload the truck (thanks Ben!)

Mom brought Easton and Audrey and the rest of her crew down to see Ryan and check the place out (there was MUCH excitement). We were also VERY thankful that she saved us from an otherwise inevitable pizza dinner, and brought a crockpot with chili AND homemade buns and cookies!!

The next few days were full of work, and unpacking as quickly as we could! By Saturday, things were somewhat where they needed to be. Ryan's dad flew out on Saturday (also Miss Audrey's 1st birthday!), and that night Audrey became a big girl ... no more breast feeding, and no more being rescued at night!! We sleep with a fan on in our room, so I didn't really even hear her if/when she was up!

One week after Ryan arrived, I left him and the kids for a sales conference at a GORGEOUS resort just outside of Vernon, BC. I left the Thursday morning and came home the Sunday evening, and am happy to report that everyone lived. It was great to get away and meet other people in the company, and SO nice to live in luxury (and I DO mean luxury!!) for a few nights. The resort is Sparkling Hill ... check it out ( AH-MAY-ZING!!!

This weekend has been more relaxing ... unpacked a couple more boxes and organized things a little bit better. Slowly, but surely, we're settling into HOME!

The leaves are mostly gone from the trees now, and soon we will be having our first snow fall - I know it! And I can't wait!!!

Away I go ... settling deeper into a dull roar ....

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Pretty In Pink ... Or Not .....

Week One at work is now under my belt ... kind of. I have an event to attend tonight, so although I'm officially done work for the week, my work is never done.

Should be a good opportunity to meet a ton of people ... that I'll never remember their names and what they do. But, I suppose the more I get out there, the more people I'll remember who the heck they are ... and maybe they'll even remember me at some point!

Tonight's event is a Breast Cancer event. Which means pink. Pink, pink, pink. Do I own pink? Not really (and Audrey's just not big enough to share clothes with her mama yet ...). Do I own pink that's semi-formal? Definitely not.

So off to shopping I go. Last night. 24 hours before the event. Nothing like last-minute shopping in a town of 80,000 people, and less than perfect shopping selection.

Pink. Semi-formal. Pink. In the fall.

Oh. Did I mention that it's even harder when you're trying to fit a body into a pink, semi-formal outfit after you've had two babies and are still nursing?

Yup. Recipe for failure.

So, 30 minutes before mall closing, I decided tonight will be a black dress, accessorized with pink. Pink wrap. Pink bracelet. Pink ring. Pink clutch. Couldn't manage to find pink shoes, but this will all have to do.

Is it wrong that at one point I thought that they should've made the breast cancer 'colour' black? Then I thought about it ... maybe not the message they're trying to portray.

But still ... couldn't they have decided to make it plum? Green?

Bets that all I'll see in the stores from now until next fall is pink?

And then the event will come up again, and finally, I'll be pretty in pink.

Or not.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are!!

I've very much enjoyed putting thoughts to 'paper' (screen) the last week or so. My numbers brain is also liking the fact that blogspot provides some simple metrics. Here are a few:

442 total views
349 views from Canada
69 views from the US
14 views from the UK
7 from Ireland (hi Aunt Lynette!)
1 from South Africa (VERY random)

69% view using Internet Explorer
85% view using a Windows operated machine

38 people viewed using smartphones
25 people viewed using Mac computers

So I have all of this information at my fingertips. But I wish I knew who all of you are!!

Would love to have you comment and let me know who you are!!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Back To The Grind




That about sums up my day!

Audrey woke up at 6 this morning with no intention of going back to sleep. Managed to get us all up and out the door on time this morning! Dropped the kids at the babysitter's (thank you Tara from highschool who is watching the kids a couple days a week!!!), and got to work on time!

So far so good at work - got the tour of the station, and met everyone. I think I remember everyone's name that sits close to me, so I'm considering that a success for now!

Got through the day, got most of the paperwork filled out, although there is confusion with BC medical as Ryan is arriving at a later date. (Not a good idea. Causes paperwork drama. No fun. Oh well. Don't plan on doing it again, so I guess this will be the only time we have this paperwork drama.)

Got the kids picked up ... Easton didn't want to leave Tara's. Audrey was apparently good. Yay!

Fast forward to bedtime. Audrey had a good freak out. Normally I can put her in bed and walk out and she puts herself to sleep. Tonight took me laying on the bed with one arm tight around her for her to go to sleep. I think we're dealing with some separation anxiety.

Should be a fun week!

Tomorrow is our sales meeting and I think I'm getting the green light to visit clients tomorrow as well. Should be another tiring day, I'm sure!!!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Last Day of Freedom!!

Well, it's official. My last day of the freedom of maternity leave is now over. Tomorrow I return to the working world. No more wearing pajamas until 3pm. No more lazily eating breakfast in the living room. No more wearing flip flops.

My clothes are ironed. The kids clothes are ready to go. The diaper bag is packed. The new carseat is installed (THANK YOU to Miranda for lending your van for this week!!).

I'm tired already, thinking about work. Meeting new people. Learning a new job, and the systems and processes that come with it. Meeting new clients. Wearing heels ...

Today dad, Easton and I also went to look at potential rental houses. Two of them were complete disasters. I won't even get into the particulars, but as I put it tonight at the supper table: "Imagine if Ryan found out that's where we were living!? I guess at least we'd fit in to the neighbourhood when he beat me!"

Erin M -- these places were almost as bad as your apartment in 2nd year college ... and THAT was BAD!!! (I used to make Erin call me to say she got into her apartment without being killed. It was GHETTO).

Yup, it wasn't a good situation. Who knew that rentals were either SO crappy or overpriced?

Not me, that's for sure!

This week's adventure will continue with a call to a mortgage broker to see what we can do about getting into a real house sooner than later, I think!!

I'm sure there will be much more to share tomorrow... when I'm not as tired, I'm sure. (haha)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Where Were You When ...

Today is 9-11. One of those events in our lives that we'll always remember where we were at the time the planes hit the towers, Pentagon and the downed plane in Pennsylvania.

I was in my second year of college in Belleville, Ontario. We were between classes and a small group had formed around one of the TV screens in the hallway. It was a strange feeling ... seeing that first plane in the tower and thinking about what a strange accident it was. And then watching the second plane hit and knowing it was no accident and that the world was about to change.

That week was a blur. Our next class didn't last very long and we all returned to huddle around the TV. I remember going to the library to chat on MSN with mom about what was going on. The next couple weeks were ones filled with watching CNN in every spare moment. We also watched many military planes in the coming weeks, as Belleville is right next to Trenton

It was a moment of extreme loneliness. A realization that I lived 'too' far away. If things had really gone south, I couldn't drive home. It wasn't like I lived a province or a town away. I lived half a country away!

Of course, the world has changed since that day. Air travel will never be the same. Politics in several countries will never be the same. Families and children affected by the 9-11 and the wars that followed will never be the same.

It's a moment none of us will ever forget. Where were you and what were you thinking when all this happened? How will you tell your kids as they grow and wonder what the significance of this date is?

At the very least, remember how incredibly lucky we are to live in a country that is relatively free of conflict and terror. What a wonderful country we have!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Back To My Roots...

Well, we've been back in BC for two full days now. My suitcases still aren't unpacked, and our sleep schedules are still out of whack, but I'm already settling into the familiarity of everything I love about this part of the world. Some of these things will be obvious, and some may be surprising ... enjoy!

 - Family and friends. The most obvious, of course!

 - Pick-up trucks. There's something great about a good pick-up truck. (Except when they can't park it straight in a parking lot. Then they are ridiculous).

 - Hockey. Yay for hockey. I don't think any seasons have even started yet, but Easton's registered for skating lessons already ... so I think that kinda counts.

 - Home province of the Canucks. YAY for no more lame white-and-blue blood of the failing Maple Leafs!!!

 - Hockey hair. Yup. It's true. There's something about it that I love. Ryan has threatened the last couple years to grow a head of hockey hair, and so far I've talked him out of it. Now he can grow the best head of hockey hair he can ... and fit right in.

 - HILLS. YES, HILLS!!!!! I call them hills ... Easterners would call them mountains. Drove around some of the neighbourhoods with mom today and there are some of the most beautiful views in the world in this town. I hope to be lucky enough to have one of them when we find a house to buy. Rolling green hills filled with lush trees during the winter; beautiful colours as the trees turn in the fall; a white blanket of crisp white snow in the winter, and ... well ... dirty muddy landscape in the spring. (Spring is not the most beautiful time in Northern BC ...)

 - Trees. Love trees. Easton asked this afternoon why there's so many trees in BC. I told him it's one of the things I love best about BC. He said his favourite thing about BC is that Grandma lives there. (awww)

 - Wood. Driving past sawmills and wood yards is therapeutic to me. That smell does to me what the smell of the ocean does to other people. Weird, but true.

 - The smell of truck grease, and a good dirty shop. Brings me back to going on trips with dad when he was driving truck, and playing in the shop on the farm when the uncles or papa or dad were working in it. Again, same response as the smell as wood. Brings my heart home.

Basically, I could've skipped all the bullet points and just told you that deep down, in my heart of hearts, I'm a hick. A pick-up driving, grease-covered, hockey-loving, tree-hugging hick.

And I'm proud of it.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

We Made It (And We're All Alive ... And Somewhat Sane ... )!!!

Phew. To say I was too tired last night to post, is an understatement! I've been trying to keep my posts short and quick to read so they don't take up much of everyone's precious time, but this'll be a biggie!

First, a few stats:

10 - The number of items packed to make the trip ... 4 checked suitcases, 1 diaper bag, one carry on suitcase, 1 toy suitcase for Easton, 1 carseat, 1 stroller and 1 playpen. Phew!
2 - The number of trips it took to get all 10 items to the airport

2 again - The number of flights we had to take

3 - The number of steps Audrey took in the Toronto airport after I told a lady there that Audrey's not walking yet (Lesson: never tell people that your kids can't do something) ... since then I've been saying she's officially walking, and of course she hasn't taken another step.

3 again - The number of people who said that the kids were so well behaved (they're slightly well practiced)

4 - The number of Westjet employees that helped me get the kids and our 'stuff' on and off the planes. (THANK YOU!!!!)

11 - The number of plane rides Audrey has now been on, and also the number of months old Audrey is today!

1 - The number of naps Audrey took in our 9 hour trip

30 - The number of minutes Audrey slept in that one nap (ARGH)

8 - The size of my parent's family that we're joining for the next four weeks

11 - The new size of my parent's family for the next four weeks (Oy!!!)

85 - The approximate number of decibels at any given time in a household with 11 people ......

And now for lessons to travelling with kids ... some are old lessons and some are new!

1. Forget about germs. Let your kids crawl around the floor and don't worry about who's been there and done what there beforehand. It's just easier that way.

2. Pack a travel suitcase for each kid. I have a suitcase that is Easton's 'travel suitcase'. He gets it ONLY when we travel. It has toys that he ONLY gets when we travel, so it's like they're always new. Melissa and Doug toys are the BEST! The have magnetic toys that are awesome ... magnets are good on airplanes. So are the colour wonder colouring books ... crayons are too tricky because they need a hard backing. Colour wonder has the versatility of a marker, without the worry that they're going to draw all over the airplane!

3. Elastic-waist pants. No jeans... this goes for kids and parents. The only thing more fun than using an airplane bathroom is using it with two kids. Picture this: 4 year old wearing jeans that he doesn't know how to work the snap and zipper. Me holding just-awoken 11 month old on my hip. How does this work? Not very well ... Also picture this: Mom needing to undo jeans to go to bathroom while holding baby, etc. Not easy. Just go elastic. They're comfy and you can pull them up and down with one hand!

4. If you have two parents travelling, have one board the plane first with all the luggage and stuff. The other parent can run the kids silly outside and board at the last minute - that way the kids aren't in a confined place for an additional 30-60 minutes! :)

5. Lollypops/Suckers are the BEST! Give them to your kids for take-off/landing to help with ears popping, and they take so long to eat that you can guarantee yourself a good 20-30+ minutes of kid happiness.

6. When in doubt, portable DVD players are fantastic.

7. Don't be afraid to walk the aisles. Everyone else on the plane is bored too and a happy kid/baby face makes everyone smile. Also don't be afraid to let your kid/baby play in the aisle while there is no service happening. Audrey had a blast crawling up and down yesterday, saying hello to everyone, and for the most part, other passengers enjoy the break and a baby's smiling face too! (Just make sure you keep them out of people's way).

8. Easton once spent half of a flight from Calgary to Toronto 'washing' the inside of the plane with diaper wipes. He was so happy to wipe down the walls, seats, etc. Simple is good. If it works, go for it!

9. When you get on the plane, ask where the bathroom with the change table is AND THEN CHECK! I spent a flight getting peed on while waiting for the WRONG bathroom. It was not a fun flight to Mexico. Don't take the flight attendant's word about the bathroom with change table, check before you need it and find out it's the wrong one! (Also pack a light pair of extra clothes for said accidents).

10. Have a puke bag readily available. fold down the top about an inch so that it will stand easily on it's own. (On the way to Cuba, Easton was sick ... as he was puking with his hand in FRONT of his face - puke spewing everywhere - I was reaching for the puke bag. This is too late.)

11. Take an empty sippy cup if your kids drink from cups. Easton drinks fine from a cup now, but a sippy for a few years is a good idea ... one poor man sitting next to us accidentally had a drink spilled over him one unfortunate flight. Thank goodness it was only water!

12. I recently read that you should take ear plugs with you when travelling with kids ... if your kids cry the whole time, your neighbours will be happy for them, and it might even make them smile that you can have some fun with a horrible situation!

13. When prebooking your seats, I try to book an aisle and a window when it's the three of us. Let's face it ... no one asks for a middle seat. If you book an aisle and middle seat, someone will ask for the window. So far, I've had no one put in that middle seat, which gives you some extra wiggle room. Especially when you have an infant on your lap!

14. Don't stress, people have been there before, and they'll be there again. Hang in there, and hope for the best! At the end of the day, you'll get where you're going.

That's all I have for today! Time to get out and apply for my new driver's license and health card. Yeehaw.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Coffee Makes the (my) World Go 'Round

Ahhhhhhhh .... coffee.

I'm having my first of the day.

It's 11am.

Usually I'm pushing the buttons on the coffee maker before my eyes are fully awake, feeling around for the right place to put my mug under the spout of my Keurig coffee maker. (If any of you are coffee lovers, and you don't have a Keurig, it MUST be on the top of this year's Christmas list! They are AMAZING. Fresh brewed coffee in your hand in less than one minute. Yum!)

Days like this are those busy days that you hop out of bed, start getting things done, and finally realize you haven't had coffee! (Oh, the horror...)

Oh, how a coffee makes a day so much better. One of my favourite things is settling at my desk at work with a big cup of coffee. There's something about curling your fingers around that warm cup that somehow makes checking your e-mail and compiling your to-do list that much better ... kind of like the feeling you get working from home in your pajamas!

Today I'm packing.We leave in exactly three hours for the airport to begin our new lives in BC. I'm not a horribly excitable person, so I can't say that I'm necessarily excited, but I'm not particularly nervous either. I guess a better way to say it is that I'm eagerly flying (thanks to Westjet!) into the next chapter of our lives.

Coffee's almost gone now, so I guess that means it's time to get busy again! I have 4 suitcases packed, our lunches made, diaper bag ready and Easton's game-suitcase filled!! Phew! Almost done!

Next step: getting it all to the airport, and managing the cross-country flight with two tired kids.

Hope you'll come back tomorrow morning to find out how the rest of our adventurous day will unfold! And don't forget to have a nice, full cup of strong coffee.

I know I'll have mine!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Removing the Heart from the Home and Leaving a House

Yup, this is pretty much as mushy as you would imagine it to be.

Driving home from friends' house tonight (a last dinner to say good-bye before the big move), my husband mentioned that he hoped the weather tomorrow would allow us to have a family picture in front of the house.

The house that we moved into after we got married.

The house that we made a home.

The house that we brought our two babies home to.

I couldn't believe that it made me as emotional as it did (I like to think I'm pretty tough), but there I was, wiping tears from my face so I could see Highway 401 driving home.

It made me start thinking: We're leaving our home in two days. And then I thought: No! WE are our home, and we're just leaving behind the house that we once made our home.

No matter where we go, and where we live, as long as we have love for one another, we will always have a home.

I hope tonight that you look around yourself ... see all the things that you've accumulated over the years. And then I hope you look at your companions and your heart fills with warmth in gratitude that you are a family.

(Mushiness over ... for now ...)

Good night, friends!

It's Labour Day. I'm Labouring ...

Now that I have your attention, no, I haven't managed to hide a baby in my 11 months post-partum baby body (although I suspect it might not have been horribly hard to do...). I'm labouring packing boxes. And throwing things out. And finding things I've stashed/hidden over the years. And finding things I haven't used in years ... and packing those things in case I need them ...

Packing is not for the faint of heart. At the start of packing up our entire household I was excited with the prospect of a new start. A new place. A fresh box. A fresh roll of packing tape.

Well, a few weeks later, the fresh scent of permanent markers has overwhelmed me and sent me to a place that I have no idea what to do next! My beautifully packed boxes from the start of my 'packing journey', labelled with all contents have now become haphazardly packed items that have been collecting in piles, not belonging to any category. My labelling has now become a quickly scrawled 'miscellaneous'.

I suspect that this may have been a lot more fun had I had something stronger than coffee this morning. But I didn't ... so off I go. To get a box. And an almost-used roll of packing tape. And a horribly strong permanent marker.

Oh, and just for the record, my Easton is playing Wii (since it's a rain day), and the baby is sleeping peacefully.

As is her dad.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

One Mom. One Family. And Everything Else...

So 'they' say that life changes happen at the same time.

In 2000 I graduated from highschool and moved away from my childhood home in BC to go to College in Ontario. In 2003 I got married and moved into our first family home. In 2006 I had my son and started a new job. In 2009 I had my daughter and somehow didn't manage to get anything else done (I blame it on the fact that I haven't slept in almost a year, and we have been basically 'joined at the boob' since her birth).

Bring on 2010. A year of exhaustion and enormous life changes. In three days, I will officially be leaving Ontario and moving back to BC to start a new job and a new life for the family. I've spent the last few weeks packing up 10 years' accumulations. Needless to say one girl with two suitcases and a box became one man and one woman and a few boxes and a bit of furniture. One man and one woman eventually became one man, one woman, two kids, one dog and a heck of a lot of boxes!!

So obviously I don't have enough on my plate. I obviously have tons of time on my hands. I'm obviously not packing frantically, trying to figure out who needs to be notified of the move, and very definitely not trying to see all of my friends before I leave.

Oh, and did I mention that Miss Audrey is currently working on punching out a couple top teeth?

I obviously have enough time to start a blog.

Am I driven? Maybe.

Am I crazy? Probably.

Should I be packing more boxes? Definitely!!

Stay tuned for more ramblings as I try to juggle work and family ... and a cross-country move!