Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Thunder Bay Christmas III

  I think my favourite part of Christmas is the preparation for it. It's the days leading up to the big day. People are shopping and baking, leaving for holidays, arriving in hometowns to visit family and friends. It's the hustle and bustle that I love the most.

 We arrived in Rob's hometown, Thunder Bay, Ontario over the weekend. We were greeted by Uncle Peter, Grandma Marlene, Nonna and Papa. We let Alina go around the corner on her own and we heard a very excited Nonna yelling "Hiii Alina! Merry Christmas!" She was wearing a Santa hat with a tiara on it. It was the cutest thing I've seen in a long time. From that moment on Alina was whisked away, checking out Christmas lights, the snow, the decorations on the houses leading up to Nonna and Papa's. Once we got to the house, she was taken upstairs to her very own bedroom, that was decorated and completed with a colouring table and chairs, Frozen bedding, stuffies and enough toys to keep her busy until next year. Oh and her very own Christmas tree that her and Nonna decorated together that night. It was pretty incredible. To say that Alina is loved would be an understatement. It definitely warms my heart coming here.

  I've known Robert for over ten years now. I've been to Thunder Bay five times and this will be my third Christmas spent here. I was explaining to Rob that I appreciate this trip the most. I appreciate coming 'home' to a home, whether it be mine or Rob's. I appreciate being able to go out and leave Alina without worrying about her. I appreciate the family and the friends I have been adopted by since I met Rob. It's just nice to be apart of his bigger picture.

 We've only been here for a few days and we've already finished our Christmas shopping. We went skating outside last night and today, after Alina's nap we're going to plunk Alina in a sled and take her for a skate. I've been appreciating the evenings, when Alina is tucked in bed. I sit on the couch in the living room upstairs, surrounded by the glow of the Christmas tree and decorations all around me. I sit and relax with a drink and some company. It's been great.

What part of Christmas do you like the best? 


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Evolution Of Alina &Santa

Year One- 

  As you can see, Alina's first experience with Santa didn't go so well. She was less than impressed at nine months old. That year, we went to Thunder Bay for Christmas and Alina was thrust into many laps and she got used to seeing new people by the time our trip was over. She even sat on Thunder Bay Santa's lap, with her folks and she didn't cry that time.

Year 2 

 Last year, Alina brought her baby with her to see Santa and let dad hold her, while she attempted to be brave. Unfortunately I tried to sit her on Santa's knee and she lost her cool pretty quick. So we took some photos of her on the stool by Mrs. Claus' leg. She did high five him which we took as a small victory. She talked a lot about Santa that year but couldn't quite make the trip to his lap.

Year 3 

 This year, Alina has been rehearsing what she was going to ask Santa. Every Santa hat or bearded man was pointed at and named Santa. Let's just say that she's a big fan of the guy. There was a wait list to see him so by the time it was our turn she was pretty excited to talk to him. She told him exactly what she rehearsed; ponies (purple and a pink one), more peoples (Little People princesses) and a unicorn. Santa also convinced her that she wanted some new things for colouring. Now that's been added to her wish list. She was very quiet and still but in the end she was totally thrilled that she was brave and asked him for everything she wanted.

 Christmas was pretty damn brilliant before but now that we have a kidlet, it is so fantastic. Every moment is memorable and she appreciates everything!! Before she understood that she could have presents for Christmas she told Nonna that she wanted a Christmas orange for Christmas. I mean, how cute... and simple. 



Saturday, December 05, 2015

He Won't Bite My Hands ...

 Visions of sugar plums are dancing through my head and it's barely December! It was probably two weekends ago that I found myself watching Christmas With The Kranks on t.v. Normally I would hold off watching any Christmas movies until December. But for some reason, I am eager to get right into it!
 Earlier in November Alina, Rob and I were at the mall. Alina saw her first Christmas tree of the year and ran over to it to inspect the snow and see if it was real. We saw that Santa was already there taking Christmas wishes. She watched in awe and wonder for a moment, staring as he talked to a little girl. She broke her Santa trance to say, "He won't bite my hands.." Kids are so funny. I reassured her that no, Santa wouldn't bite her hands and that I would like to hope that no person would ever bite her hands. What a goof.
Rob's infamous light display that is our house!
  Even my staff Christmas party was in November. We always get a great meal, fun presents and a kooky gift exchange. We have our party at an oceanfront beach resort so it's a great excuse to dress up too. We had a photo booth this year which was also a very nice touch to the night. Another reason for me to have those Christmas tunes forever playing in my head. That's another thing, I am so ready to listen to Christmas tunes every time I'm in the Jeep. I don't normally feel this warm and fuzzy about Christmas, but this year is different. I have a feeling it's going to be a good one!

The only photo of us all dressed up at my party.

We're headed to Thunder Bay mid December for Christmas. I imagine my mom in law is just vibrating with excitement at the thought of having all of her kids and her grand baby under the same roof at the best time of the year. I'm looking forward to all of the goodies she bakes and cooks in preparation for the holiday. She's probably going to have the house the most decorated it's ever been in anticipation for Alina's arrival. Rob's parents are definitely the best grandparents I've ever seen. Obviously they love her but it's shown in their adoration for her, their attention and commitment to making every minute with her a fun and memorable one. We Facetime with them all of the time and they were showing us that it snowed. Andrea was in her pajamas and rubber boots and had Rodney record her outside, building a little snowman for Alina. Now that is love. Best. Grandparents. Ever.

Eating supper, watching her grandparents build her a snowman in Thunder Bay.
   My excitement for Christmas started early this year and now every weekend leading up to Christmas is an exceptional one, filled with Christmas traditions. This weekend we got our Christmas tree and will be decorating it tonight. Alina and I went to the family swim this morning and Olaf and Elsa were there with fun pool games for the kids to play. I hope everyone else is getting into the spirit because there's nothing like this time of year. Everyone is a little more cheery and generous.

What is one Christmas tradition you can't live without!? I have a lot but one food tradition I have to keep up with is Mom's Crab Dip! 


Thursday, November 19, 2015

"I Okay Mom"

 It was Monday evening. I knew that there was a chance my results would be posted that night. The Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada is based in Toronto. (3 hours ahead.) People were posting on the Bridging Friends Facebook page all day the different times that the results would be posted based on passed exams. I was reloading the page on my phone, anxiously looking for a new column to pop up. Monday night came and went and I felt deflated by Tuesday morning. Rob and I have been getting up to work out in our gym in the mornings. I went on the elliptical and the tread mill, taking only one peek. Our workout ended, still no news. Rob decided to shower before me, so I was hanging in bed with Alina. Then, one reload later a new column appeared; Recent Exam Results. My heart began to pound in my chest. Alina was watching a morning cartoon and I found myself in my closet fumbling to hit the link to my fate... I searched through hundreds of numbers, knowing mine by heart; 312118. As I neared similar numbers I slowed down and my heart picked up its pace. 312116... 312117... 312120. Wait... My number wasn't there. Just as I realized that my number wasn't among the newly licensed pharmacy technicians', Rob entered the closet. I whispered, "I didn't pass." I'm surprised he heard me I said it so quiet. 

 This is not the post I wanted to write, this was never part of the plan. But, this is my reality. Bad things happen and what I've learned from those bad experiences is that you always have to take something out of it. I needed something to remind me that it was worth it. My co-worker J. was also going through the same anxious waiting as I was, so I figured I should text her to let her know that the results were in. I showered in hot water and tears, feeling sorry for myself. Alina came into the bedroom as I was getting dressed and asked me why I was sad. I told her that I didn't pass that big test I had been studying so long for. She simply said; "Aww.. I okay Mom." She crawled up my legs and hugged me. She hugged me for a long time, patting my back. The best part about that was that she actually consoled me and I let her. It felt really good to be held by her. And she was right. She was going to be okay, no matter what the results and I would be too. J. replied with happy,crying emojis and the word YES. She had passed. My friend J. has had a tough year and to be honest, if anyone deserved damn good news it was her. I was happy for her even if it made my wound sting a little more.

 Rob told me that this licensing exam was my Super Bowl. He said that it was really hard to even get to it and that winning the Super Bowl ring wasn't for everyone. Right again. (It would have been so much cooler if I had though.) Later, I packed my make-up knowing that I would need to reapply at some point in the day and headed out to face it. I got to work and J. gave me a long hug. I had e-mailed my bosses, wanting them to hear it from me but also not wanting to have to say the words to them. The phone rang and I was summoned over, it was one of them. I was touched that she had phoned me so quickly. She reassured me that I was still important and she lifted me up and genuinely made me feel better. It wasn't just the words she was saying, but it was the act in her phoning me. I was really touched. 

 The people I work for have been encouraging me not to give up. They think that there still is a way for me to get certified. I have looked into other options; taking the OSPE again in April and then going to another province that is still offering the bridging program and registering there. That would include more fees, money to travel, finding a place to stay, finding a store to work at that would offer me a short stay to get my 500 prescriptions checked and of course, writing the Jurisprudence in their province. (Learning the other province's laws, etc.) Rob and I decided that that would be too much. After the year I had, I don't think I have it in me to do all of that. But I'm making peace with it.

 So the big question is; what have I taken from this experience? I'm more valued than I ever realized. People care about me and it is a surprising and pleasant feeling. I wasn't meant to be a registered technician, so I won't be. Simple. I was recently inspired by Michael Strahan's book "Wake Up Happy". In it he mentions waking up inspired and excited to start the day. So I'm exploring the idea of my first attempt at writing a book. I don't know what it would be about yet. But I took one entire year to educate myself in pharmacy and it was really, really challenging. I took on doing something that interests me but is most definitely not something that I'm passionate about. It was an opportunity. But imagine what I could do with something I love? I imagine that if I just tried and dedicated some time into writing something I might just come up with something. I think I would wake up very happy and very excited about my days if I knew it included writing...

 And I can't help but listen and believe the wisest words that came from one 2 and half year old;
" I Okay..." 


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Inside Out - Spoiler Alert

 Inside Out is an animated movie by Pixar that showcases an eleven year old girl name Riley. The movie is primarily from Riley's mind or the workings of her mind. From day one she was simply influenced by Joy or Sadness. Shortly after, Disgust, Anger and Fear join forces. Each emotion that Riley has is depicted by a character. Each character takes a turn at running Riley's reaction for each situation she comes across. She forms memories which are later stored into short term and then long term memory banks. She has five core memories that fuel her major personality traits. There's Goofball Island, Family Island, Trust Island, Friendship Island and Hockey Island.
 The movie itself is cute and entertaining for sure. But it goes so much deeper than cute and entertaining too. Riley represents every single kid out there. She starts out with simple emotions but then life starts to throw her twists and turns. She can't simply feel one thing.. As the movie goes along, Joy who runs things in 'headquarters' begins to realize that Riley needs more than happiness in her life to get by.
I can't help but think of kids today, dealing with grown up situations and not totally knowing how to deal with them. The movie really spoke to me maybe because I grew up in a divorced home, but maybe more because of a young lady I know. She struggles with her emotions, much like most kids but I think more so because she is going through some adult, tough experiences at eleven.
 I loved the message Inside Out sends. Life isn't always easy but bottling up strong emotions like sadness doesn't make it any easier. It's okay to be sad. I have always felt compelled to reach out and help people, kids especially when advice is needed. If I could go back in time, I would have loved to study psychology to learn how the mind works.
 Another interesting part of the film was when Riley's personality traits (or islands) start to fall apart because she isn't happy and she doesn't have the chance to express her sadness she so strongly feels. It's true that as you grow up, those parts of you fade away. Her silly, good nature is shadowed by sarcasm and anger. We all go from innocent kids to awkward pre-teens to complicated, emotional teens.

 The relationship between Riley and her parents slowly gets tainted by Riley's unhappiness, her father's distance from his new job and her mother's pressure to stay positive. As viewers it is maddening watching Riley's dad disappoint her or react in the wrong way at the wrong time.
 I loved this movie because not only was it entertaining for my little buddy Alina who is pushing three, it was also really enjoyable for me. I feel like parents should watch this movie with their children of Riley's age and soak it all in. I bet everyone would learn a little something or at least be reminded of how life can get for kiddos out there, struggling with being a kid and coming into their own at the same time. It reminded me that Alina is currently in her simple emotions stage but that there will come a time when she will struggle within herself and I can only hope that we are there to do the right things and be aware of how much of an impact we have on who she becomes.. (Wow, that's deep and terrifying.)
 I love when a movie does it for me. I have thought about this movie after seeing it and I've spoken to people about how cute it is. I figured I made such a big deal about it, I had better write a post dedicated to my new favourite Pixar movie.

I wouldn't mind if she stayed this sweet forever............


Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Tick Tick

 Currently I live my life as normal. This week I started running and using our elliptical machine first thing in the morning. I get Alina and myself ready for the day as I always do. I drop her off and head towards the pharmacy in my ordinary way. But the difference is that there is this tick, tick ticking faintly in my head. It was hardly there in September, in October it was faint but today, this month, this pressure is beginning to weigh me down. Two weeks until I get the results from PEBC, releasing my fate. Do I get to burst into tears with relief and excitement and a true sense of accomplishment for doing what I set out to do over a year ago? Or will I simply search and search for my PEBC number only to be left with nothing.. Like Jeff Probst from Survivor says to the losing tribe; "I've got nothing for you.." I imagine both scenarios in my head often. One makes me feel elated, too giddy and excited to let my mind go there. It's too good to be true. The other makes my heart beat quickly and I have to squash the sick feelings I get.

 Work is getting more interesting too. Meetings are being set up to discuss my possible new role as a regulated pharmacy technician. Yet, the meetings are set up for one week before I find out my results. The pressure builds as my role expands, as plans for the store are set into motion. The tick, tick goes from an irritating unknown, to a pounding, deliberate, taunting drum.

 TICK (Did) TICK (I) TICK (Pass?)

TICK (Was) TICK (It) TICK (Enough?)

TICK (Can) TICK (I) TICK (Pull) TICK (This)TICK (Off?) 

TICK (What) TICK (If) TICK (I) TICK (Didn't...) 

I am being patient because I have two weeks until I find out. I am not getting too worked up but check back with me next week and it could be a different story. 
 On a lighter note, Alina started at a public daycare this week. She's doing well, getting along with the ladies and engaging with the kids. I'm proud of her and feel that tear in my eye when I think of how big she's getting. I love my girl and even though I'm feeling the pressures of my results, all I have to do is think of her little face and I feel better, no matter what my fate.. I'll have her either way and that's pretty cool. 

We got her hair cut!

Taken last night, keeping baby warm in her shirt and pretty proud of herself.



Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Dream Team

  I have been wanting to write a post about the beloved Blue Jays but didn't know how to go about it. I loved playing baseball as a kid and I still get the itch to play every spring. We played on a slo-pitch team for three years and then the team sort of fell apart and we had Alina and that was the end of that.


 In 1993, the last time the Blue Jays won the World Series I was eight. I remember playing Legos and my parents were jumping up and down whooping and hollering and I just joined the party. I had no idea why everyone was freaking out but it was fun. The series us Canadians just finished watching was so intense, so fun.

 I believe that if you're a baseball fan in Canada, you are also likely a Jays' fan. Canada has one team and it is the Toronto Blue Jays. This summer Rob and I watched the Blue Jays play the Mariners in Seattle. July 26th was their last game and it was their second loss out of a three game series. On July 28th big changes occurred within the franchise. The Blue Jays acquired Troy Tulowitzki and LaTroy Hawkins from the Colorado Rockies for Toronto's Jose Reyes and three other minor league pitchers. Days later on July 30th, another trade was made for the Detroit Tigers' pitcher, David Price. Another few minor league prospects were sacrificed. On July 31st, the last day of the trade deadline the Blue Jays made another gutsy trade with the Philadelphia Phillies' outfielder, Ben Reveres. This basically decimated the team's minor league system. It was quite the trio of deals that had Rob's twitter feed buzzing. Soon after the trades they had an eleven game winning streak and deemed themselves a force to be reckoned with.

 The sports world is vibrating with talk of this Blue Jays team. The batting line up is something to be feared if you're the opposing team and celebrated time and time again if you're a fan. I know a lot of my readers aren't necessarily baseball fans but believe me when I say; we have a killer team. From the all star outfielders, infielders, pitchers and batters.. It's a true dream team to cheer for.

 Today, was the fifth game in the American League Division series against the Texas Rangers. Game 1 and 2 were in Toronto and the Jays lost both games. Rob was sure that it was all over. All of that time watching these boys win again and again and then... this. Two back to back losses. Games 3 and 4 were in Texas and the Jays came back giving the fans that glimmer of hope. Today, the game was at 1:00 and of course I was working. I streamed the game while I 'worked' and that's when the game got intense. From Pillar's all star dive in center field to Texas' stolen third run to the three major back to back errors made by the Rangers. Once the bases were loaded with none out hope really started to flutter in our hearts. One out and two runners and Joey Bats was up to save the frickin' day. Crack goes the bat and we had ourselves a 6-3 lead in the 7th inning. Roberto Osuna, the youngest pitcher at 20 closes the game with ease and grace. The sports world is talking non stop about this game and to be fair, it's 9 pm and Rob and I are still watching replays on Sportsnet.

The Toronto Blue Jays are scheduled to play the Kansas City Royals on Friday for the Championship series. The winner of this series battle for the Commissioner's Trophy in the 2015 World Series.

 The baseball Gods were surely shining down on our Jays today and we can only hope for more love from the big guys.


Saturday, October 10, 2015

Fighting Old

 I'm thirty.. I know some people have a difficult time turning different ages, whether it be 30, 40, etc. I didn't have a hard time turning thirty but it meant something. It was a pivotal moment in my life, where I suddenly became more aware of little things. Little indications that I am starting to - dare I write the words- .... get old.

 Wrinkles. Yes, it's a thing. I remember my sister in law mentioned that she was getting them maybe a year or more ago and I thought- pfft, who cares about wrinkles? Then, I started to notice when I was applying my concealer (the one that hides the dark circles under my eyes) that the skin under my eyes wasn't the way it used to be... It was getting more difficult to apply that makeup, I had to blend it in more or it would cake to the lines under my.. wait. Those lines, are the wrinkles! I have wrinkles. Okay, that's fine. But even those dark circles are getting more and more difficult to hide. I used to wear that concealer because it brightened me up but it wasn't something I had to have. Now, I don't feel comfortable without it and mid-day, I'll go to the bathroom and feel like I need to reapply.

   Solution: I've been looking for the right make up to cover up my dark circles and feel hopeful that I found the right stuff at Wal Mart of all places.

Embarrassing Temptations. So the other day, I was at Costco and I saw a three pack of ladies underwear. For a split second I thought how nice it would be to have a three pack that I could buy instead of sorting through tiny La Senza underwear that is intended for sixteen year old butts.. However- I'm not there yet. I can't do it. The day I begin buying three packs of women's underwear from Costco is the day I can officially say that I am old. (Sorry for any offended birds out there that jump at a Costco three pack. I envy your uncomplicated panty shopping.)

 Solution: I will actually put some time and effort into buying a decent few pair of underwear from La Senza and I will continue to keep an eye out for those sales of the Costco three packs....Just in case.

Strange Shopping Goals. Rob and I were talking the other day and he may have mentioned that we need to update our lounging around the house clothes. As he was telling me I was shamelessly sporting a red waffle shirt with a pair of blue, plaid pajama pants. Now I justified my outfit because my pj pants that match the red top were ripped.. Normally I would never wear something that completely didn't match. He said we should shop for nicer looking lazy clothes so that we could throw out the ugly stuff. I don't know.. His lounging clothes aren't all that bad. I have a feeling he didn't really think he was the problem. I told Rob that what I really wanted, was a pair of black joggers with pockets. But the most important thing was that the joggers had to have pockets. If they didn't, it was a total deal breaker. Sweat pants with pockets. That's what my clothes shopping priorities have turned into.

(Insert a picture of a black pair of sweat pants that have visible pockets here.) 
I took way too long trying to find a picture of sweat pants... Just use your imagination.
Solution: Consider it done. Wearing my black joggers WITH pockets, as I type these very words. Nailed it!
Varicose Veins. I was at the mall and thought I'd sneak a look at some sexy bedtime wear. So I found a couple of nice ideas and took them to the change room. The moment I dropped my pants, I gasped. I don't know if it was the unflattering lighting, or the three way mirror but I was horrified to see that my one leg was completely overtaken by my unsightly varicose veins. To my already established horror, I discovered that a long, thick, corded vein has invaded my other leg, the good leg I used to call it. So sad. I didn't even finish trying on the outfits. I abandoned my shopping and left the store deflated. What a total bummer. I never want to wear shorts, skirts, bathing suits or short dresses ever again.

 Solution: This issue is the one that makes me the most nervous. I have to go to my doctor and get a referral to a specialist and have them collapsed. Once I've collapsed them perhaps it's compression stockings for me! (Another reason I'm getting old, to add to the list!)

Tired, even for me. I am one of those anomalies. I can stay up really late, get up really early, feel tired but never complain. I almost always get away with little sleep and I never usually have a problem with it. I don't know if it's because Alina gets up so early every morning, or the fact that I stay up late reading, but lately I have been feeling pretty tuckered. I used to be able to stay up quite late, going out and having a good time then get up four hours later and work for eight, without much of a problem. The very thought of doing that is enough to make me want to take a nap.

  Solution: I think my solution to being tired is to let in every once in awhile and make sure it's with someone worth napping with...

Sometimes it's okay to order off the senior's menu...it's cheaper because there's less food! 

Complaining about Justin Bieber and the nonsense he keeps coming out with is fine because his songs are actually terrible to young ears too, right?

I don't know why the air is so cold during a movie at the theater, I think next time I should just bring a small blanket in my purse to avoid the shivers... 

It's okay that I looked EVERYWHERE for our coupon book this morning so I could save $4 on the second breakfast item at ABC Restaurant... 

Ahh crap... I'm old.  


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Back On Track

 It's been 19 days since my very last exam.. I finally feel like I have my life back on track again. Alina caught a cold over the weekend and I got an extra two days off with her after the weekend. So I had a four day weekend, which is like a small holiday. I will admit that it gave me some extra time in my house, with my girl and to myself. I definitely feel very fortunate to have been able to have this time... I was walking with Alina today around 10:30 and it was the first time I felt like I was fully a mom. I know that sounds dumb. Of course I am a full mom but because I had the extra two days off, I felt like I did when I was on maternity leave. Like I had all the time on my side, to do whatever I wanted with it. It's truly a very freeing feeling.

 I already feel like I've achieved so much since I finished school...

1.  I've cleaned my house! Well to be fair, I haven't completely cleaned it the way that it should be cleaned. I find with Alina around, I don't get to get too into the house work. She does require some supervision and she tends to get in the way. But, my friend just visited from back home and I had a chance to clean some things I really wanted to!

2.  I'm reading for fun again! I can pull out a book after Alina goes to bed, while Rob is watching baseball. I'm still currently finishing up the Grey Series...

3.  I'm making decent suppers again. I find all of my meals on Pinterest. I need to start a series of me trying out different recipes...

These are all recipes from Pinterest!
 4.  I am catching up with the people I've neglected all year! I had a chance to message my sister and we both agreed that we need to write once a week, just to inform the other on how life is going.... I convinced my mom to get an Iphone just for Facetime so she can see her grandkids. I also had a chance to talk to my best friend from back home for a bit and my other good friend introduced me to her little addition via Facetime too!

Nice to meet you little man!
 5.  Alina is starting to ease up on me whenever I leave a room. She still likes to know where I'm going but she's not my my shadow like she was before. Every time I'd get up she would ask me if I was going to go study. It was kind of sad.

6.  My husband is free! He can go outside and mow the lawn, wire up a light, putz around the camper as long as he likes anytime he wants to. 

Hey! It's our camper..!
 7. I can blog again!!! I am so excited to be sitting on my couch by a crackling fire, tap tapping my thoughts on the computer keys. Nothing has sounded so right in a long time.

I get my family back all to myself and I'm pretty happy about it.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Mommy Porn

Everyone has heard of the term mommy porn but I think it varies for everyone.. Personally mommy porn could mean a few things, it could just depend on my mood at the time.

 For instance, the other morning I opened the dishwasher and to my utter surprise and delight it was empty. Rob had time and put all of the dishes away. I instantly texted him to say that I never need flowers but that surprising me with an empty dishwasher was more than enough. He wouldn't have to be romantic if he just did those simple gestures all of the time.

 A couple of friends have told me about the love language. How a person in the relationship can be rewarded in different ways. I know that my rewards would come in everyday household chores. I love a man that can clean up after himself and knows how to finish an everyday chore around the house. Sure, my man knows how to wire a house or built an addition on a house but somehow he doesn't grasp that idea that once you put the leftovers into tupperware they do require the matching lids to go on top AND they somehow need to end up in the refrigerator overnight.

 Life gets hectic and romance fizzles. We aren't romantic at the best of times, but sometimes I just want a bit of affection. I do realize that I am like an ice cube to approach or cuddle up to in bed sometimes. I'm guarded and for some reason I build a wall between myself and those I love, to a certain extent. Don't ask me why- that's a whole other post. But, I have been reading the Fifty Shades Trilogy and whew... it has been doing wonders for my "romantic side." I will often ignore Rob before bed, read for an hour and suddenly I'm all mush beside him willing him awake so that we can make out. These books are kind of gaggy because they're a touch corny but they certainly do something for me! So I would definitely say that this series of books would fit under my category of "mommy porn."


 It's funny, I suck at feelings but am a total sap for a love story or a romantic comedy. It's difficult for me to open up but I love watching everybody else do it. (I'm sure a psychiatrist would love to get a hold of that and analyze the shit out of it!)

   Coming to the end of my 'mommy porn' rant... I bring you gorgeous men. We all have our own preferences. I'm surprised Chris made it into my trio of eye candy but for some reason, even though he is a blondie- I can't keep my eyes off of the screen when he's on it. As E.L. James would describe it, "I pant" at the sight of him.. Tim and Milo have been my onscreen eye candy for many, many years. Tim in GO and more recently "Catch and Release".. Watching him kiss is just something else... Milo will always be "Jess" in my mind and I will sometimes think of him and wonder what would have happened if he had just stayed in Star's Hollow with Luke.

 Mommy Porn; we all need it, most of us have it and if you don't, you must find it!
Please share your favourite eye candy, your fav 'romantic' books and if you have any extras like musicians, etc... don't hesitate to share. This mama is always looking for more mommy porn to add to her collection. 

I'm like Ariel in my trove of mommy porn treasures...

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

My Flurry of Thoughts Have Been Evicted

 Is this for real?! Can it be!? Is it so!?

 Yes, that's right.. I'm back! It has been a really long time and I am so happy to be back at what I truly love; writing! So many things have happened and there are so many things that I want to share. So I've decided to post a completely random jumble of thoughts and pictures that come to mind.. It's an inside look at what is going on inside of my head... !

 First of all, we fulfilled a dream of mine this summer and that was going to a Major League Baseball game in Seattle. Our All Star Toronto Blue Jays won one out of the three games they played that weekend and we so happened to be at the two they lost. However- it was still an incredible experience and I would definitely recommend a good ol' baseball game if you ever get the chance!

 I was aimlessly wandering around Facebook today and I came across one of the cutest ideas ever.. Disney Princess cooking aprons FOR ADULTS! My inner kiddo squealed with delight and instantly bellowed the words; I WANT ONE! I looked through all of the classics and decided at first sight it's Cinderella all the way. I originally loved Cinderella the most until Belle entered the Disney scene. (Brunette, loved books- come on, it was a Disney Princess made for me..!)

Click HERE to the Etsy Shop responsible for these gems...
   Alina's Papa won her a toy over the summer. Alina later referred to that toy as "Auntie Kyli".. My sister has a doppelganger and it is a fictitious character named Sam Sparks from Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2...

  A list I've been putting together in my Iphone Notes for over a year of things that I dislike... Which one do you agree with the most...?

1.  Fruit flies!
2.  Sneezing after putting on mascara.
3. Taking a primary key off of your key ring.
4. Paying for tampons.
5. Packing tape dispensers.
6. Leaving the windshield wipers on even though it has stopped raining.
7. People that walk sloooowly across the street that don't use the crosswalk.
8. The smell of a dirty dishwasher.

 We sold our Westy and bought a camper!!! Whoop whoop! Helloooo camping!

  Alina is potty trained and yapping up a storm everyday. She's my best friend and we are both very happy about getting to spend more time together, now that I'm finished studying. She loves Frozen, like every other 2 year old. But she also loves "Punzel" and Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty and every Disney Princess out there. She says, "Can I want some..!?" whenever she wants something I am eating. We threaten with time out on the daily but it works, so she's turning out to be a pretty good kiddo. She loves, loves, loooooves singing and dancing in my arms to Wagon Wheel and Chicken Fried. She loves babies and her favourite toy right now is "Chincha". She is goofy and smart and I love her.. can you tell??

 I'm looking forward to catching up on my fav blogs again.. and I'm sorry I've been gone for so long! I missed this place!!


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

It's Happening!

  The time has finally come ...

 Rob and I are going on a week vacation !!! Can you believe that I've never owned a passport in my entire 30 years!?! When I went to Louisiana those two times, it was before Canadians needed passports to enter the U.S.

 So it was in the fall that Rob brought up the idea of getting our passports and going on a trip to celebrate our 10 years of moving to the island on the same day/our 5 year wedding anniversary/my 30th birthday. We played with the idea of Las Vegas, even somewhere super hot like Mexico, etc. But we kept returning to our neighbours just below us on the old map; Washington State! I have always loved playing baseball. We grew up loving the Blue Jays and when we found out that they will be playing in Seattle the weekend after we wanted to take a trip, we decided it was meant to be. So, we're headed to the Evergreen State!

  We seriously have never taken a trip that didn't include family.. We are actually going somewhere, just the two of us, for the first time out of the country. I'm excited! We're going to two games; a night and day game. We have some serious shopping planned, along with a ghost tour, drive in movies (there aren't any near us!), Pike Place Market, the Space Needle and an evening ride on a lit up ferris wheel. After our adventures in Seattle we might take a tiny drive up the Oregon Coast because we can! OR-- we'll see how far we can get before we should turn around and head home. We're both very excited about our trip.

  Alina will be safe with her Auntie. She will be well taken care of but the thought of leaving her for a week makes my heart ache. It's the first time she will be away from me for more than 48 hours and I feel like she'll need me in that week and I won't be able to be there for her. But, everyone will be fine and I'm just being a mom.

Alina and her Auntie will have a blast while we're away.
So- the point of my post is .. to be excited! But also, to my American blog friends out there; what would you suggest we do while in the U.S. of A!? I know Seattle is very close to where we live so the differences in landscape won't be crazy. Buuut, if there are any places you've been to before or heard of that I haven't mentioned please share! I'd love to go anywhere that is suggested and of course, I'll be blogging about my experience when I return!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

My Top 30

 Holy crap where has the time gone! I'm 30 today! It's definitely one of those ages that I have been very aware of turning. I think it's because it's the first 'Yikes' age to turn. Every ten years, it's that much closer to old. I know I'm not old old yet. But it's definitely a milestone.

 The other day Rob and Alina went to the mall right after work and I had the house to myself when I got home. It doesn't happen very often and I enjoyed it so much. As soon as I got home I didn't have to fix Alina a snack, I went straight to my room and changed out of my work clothes. (Best feeling ever.) Then I started supper but I had iTunes blaring out of our UE Boom speaker. I wish I could make dinner without interruption everyday! It's easier to concentrate on new recipes when I can focus all of my attention on the task. It was just awesome fading into the music. I even danced! It's just incredible how much has changed in the last ten years. If you had asked me ten years ago if getting home from work, making supper and listening to music alone was the best part of my day I would have asked why..

 So in honour of my 30th year I will share my Top 30 Moments in life. The good and the bad because after all that is what life is all about.. The ups and downs;


  Being born. Instead of going to bingo on Monday evening, my mom went into labour. I was born at 7:06 in the morning on July the 16th, 1985. I'm not going to lie, I was a pretty big deal. My brother and sister were elated about my arrival, probably until I opened my mouth to scream. BUT- I still had my shining moment.

My 15 minutes of fame...

  My parents divorce. I was around Alina's age, in my 2's for sure when my parents decided to go their separate ways. Sad for the family, yes. To be fair, I was too little to know any better. So it was the easiest on me for sure.


 Meeting Rudi. My mom went on a blind date with her sister's boyfriend's older brother. We were staying in Edmonton at my grandparent's house. He came up to the apartment and it was love at first sight... for me, apparently. I was a super painfully shy child and the moment my mom opened the door to this bald, body builder stranger I walked right up to him and wanted up. My family was completely shocked.

Reading me German comics.

 The wedding. Three months after meeting, my mom and Rudi were married. We moved to Hinton, Alberta to begin our new lives. Again, it was more of an adjustment for my siblings, not so much for me.


  Quitting kindergarten and waiting a year to start school.. I make this a 'moment' in my life because I remember it well. I cried for a whole week at school and I remember quitting being my idea but it was obviously already determined and discussed by my parents. My mom had me tell Rudi that I quit school and I remember him being really sweet about it when I told him.

My second attempt at Kindergarten. See, I'm much happier..

  Meeting Katelyn in 1992.  This is a moment because Katie and I are still friends. We're both moms with husbands and mortgages.. We're all grown up but we did a lot of our important growing together. We were there for each other in pretty rough times. We've been friends for 23 years!


  Grade 3.  I think a good teacher goes a really, really long way because this grade stands out for me. I think it was because of my third grade teacher, Mrs. Grobel. I still remember watching her slides (yeah, I'm old...) from her trip to Australia. She left an impression and I'll always remember her.


  Meeting my step mom. My dad finally met a really nice, sweet woman. I wasn't sure what to expect but when I met her for the first time, I was instantly 'home'. She is by far, still the kindest, gentlest and sweetest person I've encountered. She had three children of her own and each visit to their home I felt more like part of the family. My siblings weren't into visiting my dad at that point in their lives but I still was. So going away with him was different because I had three other siblings waiting to spend time with me. I cherish those moments with those guys because I don't see them anymore.


  Mom's back. Oh the struggle that was mom's back. Her back went all wonky when I was maybe 13. One day she was counting pennies on the living room floor and the next day she complained about her back hurting. She eventually had to quit her job and had a total of three major operations. Battling with her emotions and pain medications was a struggle we all took on, sadly. Unfortunately she still can't work and deals with her pain regularly.

A rare photo of my Mom when she worked.

  Mom went away for a bit. Pain management is quite an obstacle that a lot of people struggle to manage. She had to go through different combinations to help her, that failed her. It was the morphine that did her in. At one point she had a bad reaction and had to go to Edmonton to get off of the medications that were making her more uncomfortable than the pain. She was away for six months getting the right help with her specialist in the city. I remember that being a real struggle for our family. I was a mama's girl and I needed her. 


  Grade 7 - Kyle R. who I had a huge crush on caught my attention in class and signaled down at his pants. To my alarm and shock he showed me the outline of his boner through his jeans. Wha!?! That was a pivotal moment for me.. I feel like a big sense of my innocence vanished in that moment. Ha! We never dated but he was definitely my first crush.


  Louisiana Part I. By far the best vacation of my life. My sister and I went to Lafayette, LA to visit family members that were living there at the time. They had a swimming pool, incredible Southern neighbours that were like family and insanely delicious eats. I had the time of my life. We also took a road trip to Florida to Disney World. It was amazing and just another reason why I didn't want to go back home.


  Moving to a HOUSE! It was such a huge moment in our lives. We lived in a trailer at Sunset Trailer Court for ten years before my parents bought a split level house right by my elementary school. I was so excited to have my very own bedroom with a door. (My sister and I shared a room in the old place and my playroom didn't have a door.) It was so amazing living in a nice neighbourhood in a big house. It really did change all of our lives.


  Louisiana Part II. A few years after the first trip to LA I ended up going again, this time on my own. I was under 15 so I was considered an Unaccompanied Minor. By far the easiest way to travel because the airlines just escorted me to private play rooms with kids that were also flying on their own. I remember getting so much attention that I wasn't used to but absolutely devoured. The boys were nice to me, my cousin's friends were amazing and I bawled my face off when that summer ended. I fell for the boy next door and totally botched kissing him because I was too afraid to initiate it. I still regret that one..! I spent the very last of my money on getting my nose pierced. I think my parents' jaws dropped when I got off the plane. I went to LA as a pip-squeak and returned a big breasted, curvy 15 year old with a shit attitude because I wanted to live in the states.


  Getting a job at Safeway, when I was 15. I was completely terrified to get a job but knew it was something I should do. My first day was unexpected. I was called in early in the morning because someone didn't show up for work. My first customer was someone buying bagels in bulk and I couldn't remember the code and I burst into tears. It was my first experience with being so incredibly afraid and uncomfortable but having to stick with it, because hey- that's life.

The ONLY picture of me in my uniform.. but it's funny.


   In high school a girlfriend of mine told me that a boy in an older grade said that I had a nice butt. I remember asking which one asked and then replying that I thought he was hot. He learned that I thought he was cute and that Friday night, us girls were visited by him and his friends at my friend's house. My childhood friend was leaving at a certain time and I was supposed to go with her to make my curfew. I remember that moment when I said, "Go without me, I'm going to stay..." I ended up sitting on his lap packed in a car going to a little party. I got home hours and hours after I was supposed to and no one was up waiting for me. I completely disobeyed and got away with it. It was a huge moment in my adolescence where I think the last shred of my innocence disappeared. 


  That boy, I thought was hot was Kirk B. The first guy to steal my heart and keep a piece of it. He was my first love and we were a completely dysfunctional teen couple. It got pretty ugly at times but my relationship with Kirk taught me a lot. I do wonder how he's doing in life. I wish him well.


  Prom/Graduation. Prom and Grad were separate occasions but I lump them together because they made me feel the same. I was proud of myself for graduating and I had a really fun time at my prom with my girlfriends. We got all gussied up and danced and drank at our prom and it was a blast. Graduation was a big day for me because I finally did it; I graduated! It was a big deal within both families (mom's and dad's) because I was the first and I could tell they were very proud of me.


  January, 2005.

  It was my mom's birthday and we all went out for dinner. Rudi had been dropping his coffee mug in the mornings and was feeling off. He was diagnosed with an ear infection and was off of work for a bit because it was unsafe for him to be driving his big truck. The following day, I was at work at the hotel and had to whip home to take him to the hospital. His whole one side was paralyzed. We later found out that he was diagnosed with stage four brain cancer.

Right before going out to dinner for my mom's birthday. It was literally the last outing Rudi ever had.

  March 2005.  Rudi passed away on the 7th and his memorial was soon after. Seeing my dad like that was definitely gut wrenching and unforgettable. There was a true sense of calm that took over the day that he passed but it was still tremendously sad. His celebration of life was nice. I stood up and spoke and it felt good to. The town closed the mill for his service and all of the flags were half mast in honour of his passing.

This is how little I still feel when I think about him..

  We moved to Vancouver Island on July 26, 2005. It was a huge moment in my life because little did I know, I was moving towards my future husband and future life.


  It was September of 2005 that I met Rob for the first time. My cousin and her friends were going to fix me up on a blind date and I kept telling them to make it Rob. I still remember meeting him and thinking he was gorgeous, that he had incredible blue eyes and that he was obviously not available. I was wrong. He was available and to me exclusively. We were dating by October and I was living with him full time by the end of that month. The memories and special moments of us would take up another Top 30...

I found these photos of us making supper and goofing around from our early days. We look pretty in love.

  I met Rob's dad early on in our relationship when he came out with a bunch of Rob's belongings. I met the rest of Rob's family over the course of a few  years of knowing each other. His family has and still is so welcoming and accepting. No matter what, they accept and love me no questions asked.


  My mom liked to drink beer. It wasn't a big issue but during the last few years that Rudi was alive it started to become a bit of one. She didn't like to go out and she liked having a few drinks at night. She was in a pretty bad way then and I think the drinking was one of the only things that made her feel like she was 'doing' something. Not long after we moved to the island my mom decided to go to a recovery center on Bowen Island. I was shocked that she felt like she needed to go but we respected it. It was probably the best thing she could have done for herself. She lost tons of weight and adopted a whole new attitude. We tried to visit her every weekend that we could and those weeks visiting definitely stands out in my memory. She is still sober and we are all very proud of her for it.


  My sister Kyli's wedding and the days before and after. It was such a big event because we had a lot of my brother in law Joe's family from the east coast come to our house to see each other. We hosted the rehearsal dinner and were both part of their special day. We had a total blast.


  Quinn's arrival! Quinn was our first baby and Rob and I were over the moon in love with this little guy. We were in the waiting room when Joe came in to announce that it was a BOY! We were so excited and visited Quinn as much as we could.


  Early in 2010 Kyli phoned to tell me that her, Joe and Quinn were moving to the east coast. I remember being completely devastated. I told her I had to go and went into my room and lost my mind crying on the floor like a little baby. Ky and Joe were our lives. They were what we thought all that we had here on the island, with our immediate family living elsewhere. I remember that we both took the following day off of work. We just escaped into the forest to hike and get away. It cleared our heads and we accepted the news a bit better.

Photo right before my little buddy moved..

  Our wedding. What a day! Our wedding was really classy. I wanted it to be sort of old fashioned, from my look to the black and white wedding photos of our guests on all of the dinner tables at the reception. The music and food and every little detail was planned by us and it was totally worth all of the time and effort it took to plan. It was the perfect day and the day we became a family, I became a Junkala.


  Sadly 16 days after our wedding day, my dad passed away from cancer. We knew the day was fast approaching. He traveled to our town for the wedding but never once left his hotel room because he was so sick. He came all that way to be there for our wedding and had to miss it. Very sad. We were traveling to him when we got the call that he had passed. It was nice to get to see that side of my family again after so, so, so many years.

Picture of him doing what he loved..

  Finding out we were pregnant and Alina's birth! Getting pregnant with Alina was definitely something we intended. I remember agreeing that we were officially trying and very soon after we were pregnant with her! It was amazing and terrifying all at once finding out. Alina was born on March 8, 2013 at 7:39 am. The sun filled my hospital room with a golden glow moments before she came into the world. That whole experience was unreal, like a dream. Her arrival was amazing.

 Many moments since Alina's birth have happened but I'm out of numbers! I'm not sure how I feel about turning 30 but what I do know is that I'm incredibly lucky to have made it this far. I'm even more blessed to have all that I do in this world.

 So to all of those people and moments I've mentioned; thank you, for being a part of this crazy girl's crazy journey!