Friday, July 30, 2010


Last week, we attended the funeral of an 18 year old man that was tragically killed in a car accident. This young man was the son of Chris' parent's oldest friends.

It was a really tough funeral. He was so young, taken way too soon. I can't even begin to imagine how one would deal with such a tragic loss.

On the way home from the funeral, Chris and I were discussing the horrors of losing a child or a spouse. I didn't cry during the funeral, but I did cry on the way home, when it was just the two of us. I think that while talking about it with Chris and about our wishes for our own funerals, it just hit me how fragile life is. How your entire world can change in an instant.

The thought of something happening to Chris or the boys or my sisters or parents just paralyzes me with fear. I know that some day I will have to deal with death in my immediate family, but I just can't even imagine how I will cope with that kind of heartache. I guess you just do it when you are faced with it, and I don't think it is something that you can prepare for.

With me staring down my imminent air travel and the fears I have about that, in the back of my mind is this issue of mortality. (Note: I know that the likelihood of anything happening during my trip is so slim it isn't even worth thinking about, but this is what I do- think the worst.)

I know it is morbid, and I know that I always think of the worst case scenario, but this last week I've been thinking about what I would want my loved ones to remember about me if something were to happen.

I would want my boys to know that I love them unconditionally and with a fierceness I didn't know I posessed before I had kids. I delight in seeing them grow and learn new things every day. I wish I could bottle up their curiosity, the feeling of their soft little bodies, their sloppy kisses and their laughter to enjoy for the rest of my life. I would want them to know that even when there were days that it seemed I was always getting mad at them, that I loved them and would do anything for them.

I would want Chris to know that he is the love of my life, the shining star in my nights, the blazing sun of my days, my best friend. I can't even begin to imagine a life that we weren't at eachother's side.

I can't even continue this post because I know that it is crazy and also because I have now made myself cry. Time to keep calm and carry on, to take a deep breath and put my trust in God and focus on the wedding that we are getting ready to attend.

I just needed to let my anxiety come through my fingers onto the keyboard, to get these pent up feelings out. You may think that I am a raving lunatic, which is probably a little bit true. ;-)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Flurry of activity

This past week has been busy. There has been so much going on, with playdates, appointments, Luca's library program, picking up a custom wedding gift (pretty awesome, I might add!), packing and making arrangements for travel and lodging for this weekend.

We are heading to Edmonton tomorrow early afternoon to take part in the wedding of a very good, longtime (childhood) friend of Chris. The boys are going to stay with his Aunties and Donny (and Gramma too, I think) for the weekend while Chris and I are busy with the wedding and enjoy a weekend child free.

Chris is a groomsman, so he is busy with the wedding party and all that entails. He will be spending Friday night at the hotel with his friend Blake so I will be staying at my brother and sister-in law's place in Edmonton. Then Saturday night we will be in a hotel near the wedding reception. We also have a brunch to attend Sunday morning that the Bride and Groom are hosting as well. It will be a busy, fun and exciting weekend.

We will arrive home Sunday night and spend 2 days at home before I leave for Orlando for the MOPS convention. I will be leaving my house at 4:30am Wednesday morning to be at the airport and ready for my 7am flight. We fly to Houston and then have a very tight connection to Orlando from there.

If you know me at all, you know that I am a nervous flyer. My wonderful doctor did prescribe me some anti-anxiety medication which I plan on taking but I have never flown without Chris as my "hand-holder" and the tight connection is making me nervous as well. I try not to think about the "getting there" and just focus on the "being there". I know people fly every day...our next door neighbor is a pilot for West will be just fine. It will be just fine. It will be just fine...

I'm so excited about the convention, though. It will be great to be with thousands of other mothers of preschoolers, listening to speakers, getting ideas on how to make our MOPS group here better than it already is, and having a little vacation with a friend whom I hope to come back with in a deeper friendship. Plus, the shopping and the trip to Disney World while we are there doesn't hurt, either!

Chris has taken his holidays to begin tomorrow and go until the 9th of August so he will be home with the boys while I am gone. Its too bad that his holidays aren't being spent together as a family, but I also think it will be really good for all 3 of them to spend a few days without me. I know that there are already plans for activities that week, so I think they will have lots of fun.

Once I get back home, I have 2 births that I may or may not be attending (depending if they go early; while I'm in Orlando) and then Chris' brother's wedding on the 21st of August, also in Edmonton.

Before we know it, summer will be over and September will be upon us. I am hoping that the weather stays nice through September so that those of us that are Stay At Home Moms can make the picnics and trips to the splash park last just a bit longer.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Control Freak

This is an update to my post yesterday.

Yesterday I had a tough day. It seemed like one thing after another was going wrong and I was losing control.

Yes, that's right. Control.

After talking to a friend about my feelings and then getting a comment on yesterday's post from my aunt, I sat and really thought through why I always feel a need to "fix" things.

I'm a control freak. My sisters, parents, husband, and friends will all likely agree. I am the oldest child, I'm bossy, I like to have things my way. Even when it comes to small things such as cleaning, it has to be my way.

When our oldest son was a baby, I had a hard time relinquishing control to Chris. I preferred to bath, change, dress and feed Luca because no one could do it as well as I could. No one else did it "just so". I did get better at letting him do things, it just took time.

I'm anal about many other things. Things that don't bother other people. My kids MUST eat and drink at the table - not anywhere else in the house. Toys belong in the toy room, not the kitchen.

I'm a book lover and spines must not be cracked, pages can not be bent or dog eared. My most loved books still look brand new. Many people won't borrow books from me because it is too much hassle to ensure that they stay in their pristine state. That's fine by me.

I don't like amusment rides, boats or airplanes because I am not in control. It has taken me many years to not freak out when Chris was driving, because, you guessed it- I am not in control.

I realized yesterday that my need to always fix things puts me in control of the situation. Not being in control is frightening and foreign to me. I don't know what to do when I am not in charge. I have a hard time letting someone else make decisions and leaving the "ball in someone else's court".

Its not a bad thing that I like everyone to be happy and do my best to make it that way, but as my aunt said in her post, its bad when I'm doing it to control the situation.

(I just have to point out here that my aunt is the oldest of 4 children, and a teacher like me. We have a lot in common, perhaps that's why we both struggle with letting go of control?)

Being aware of an issue is the first step to making a change. I'm trying to not panic when I'm not in control. Is not going to be easy, but I'm going to *try* to step back out of the spotlight and let someone else stand there for a bit.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

People Pleaser

One of my personality traits is that I am a people pleaser. I try to fix things. I hate it when there is discord or tension.

I will often try to "fix" the problem, even at the expense of my own happiness. When someone is upset, I swoop in, and bend over backwards to relieve any tension.

Its really tough for me to realize and remember that I can't always fix things. And that I shouldn't always have to be the one to make things better.

I lose sleep over things that I have no control over. I mull it over all day, thinking up various solutions or even trying to come up with reasons for why there is unhappiness in the first place.

I'm trying to keep reminding myself that I can't always make everyone happy and that I shouldn't have to take the weight of it all upon my shoulders.

Sometimes other people's issues just can't be my issues.

I'm learning, but trying to shut off a part of my personality is like trying to remove a limb. I can't seperate myself from this trait just like I can't just remove an arm or a leg.

I can't do it all. I wish I could, but I know I can't be the one to carry the burden for everyone.

I've done what I can for now. The rest isn't up to me.

Monday, July 05, 2010

The Nature of Friendship

Growing up I didn't have many friends. I'm not really sure why this was the case - likely a combination of my nerdiness, shyness (something I am not anymore) and maybe clinginess. I wasn't comfortable with who I was growing up and found that I often tried to be something that I wasn't.

During college, I decided to just be who I was and if people didn't like that, so be it. I'd like to say that this transformation happened quickly and that I was suddenly this self-confident, outgoing, popular girl. That's not exactly the case.

I did make friends, and some of those friends I still count as my nearest and dearest. Others were friends for the duration of college and then we drifted apart.

I've been thinking a lot lately about friendships. I am so fortunate to have a handful of great friends- people I can count on to cry with, laugh with, vent to and just be "me" with.

When we picked up and moved 3 years ago, I didn't want to leave my friends. Those friends that I didn't want to leave, I have realized, were probably only in my life for a season. They aren't really in my life as friends anymore. Aquaintances, yes, but friends, no.

I was moving to a place where I knew only 1 person -one of the college friends that have been close to my heart ever since, my Dee. It took me a full year and then some to really make any friends. I met people that I could pass the time with and did enjoy hanging out with, but no one that I knew I could call on if I needed a friend.

We have been in Crossfield for 3 years now and I am sometimes astonished at how this shy, nerdy, clingy girl has somehow morphed into the outgoing, self-confident woman that I am now. A woman that is so fortunate to have a number of people in my life that I know I can call on if I needed something, whether it be a good chat, a cry, a laugh or a cup of sugar.

I have come to really realize that it is rare to have a friend for life. Perhaps we have 1, or if we are uber lucky, a few, that we can call a lifetime friend. But I think that some friends come and go in our lives when the time is right. Some friends are only for a season. That doesn't make them any less valuable or meaningful to my life when they are in it. Lives change. People grow apart. Commonalities change as priorities change. It happens. That's life. Its neither good or bad, it is what it is. I'm going to try to appreciate each of my friends every day that I have them because over time, they might drift away.

Each of my friends fills a different space in my heart- I have those that I don't need to talk to all the time to just pick up where we left off like there was no time gone. I have those that I know I can call at anytime, day or night, to lend a hand. I have friends that I know will always cheer me up if I'm feeling down. Others are always willing to talk out an issue with me and help me see both sides of the story. I have a very special friend that I can share anything and everything with and I never have a fear of her judging or criticizing me. I have new friends that I am looking forward to getting to know more. I have sisters that are among my closest and best friends and even if we weren't bound by blood, I'd still chose them to be my friends.

I know I am lucky to have all these wonderful ladies in my life. I really am blessed. I hope that I have filled one or more of those spaces for one of my friends.

To my friends- I love you and cherish you. Thank you for being the type of person and friend that you are to me. May our season of friendship last many years and create many happy memories.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

O Canada!

Happy Canada Day!

We have a busy weekend planned. Chris worked today and gets tomorrow off in lieu, so the boys and I are heading to see the Airdrie parade with friends then its off to Ponoka tonight for the Ponoka Stampede!

We'll see the parade tomorrow morning with my family and my aunt, then we are going to the afternoon rodeo with Chris' sister and her kids and my mother in law. After the rodeo, the boys are going to have a sleepover at my sister's house so Chris and I can go out with good friends to the chuckwagons and likely some beer gardens as well!

The weather for Stampede is notoriously rainy, but I'm hoping that we'll get some nice, hot sun this weekend!