Father’s Day – 100 Day Blog Challenge – Day 76

Happy Father’s Day

Today is Father’s Day; the day we celebrate Dads and father figures who are out there doing their thing.  For me, today was a crazy emotional day.  I couldn’t put my finger on it originally, but I’d say around mid-afternoon, I snapped.  I’m not even sure what triggered it, but I was an emotional wreck and unfortunately, my kids got the brunt of it.  Oh, man, talk about a downward spiral.  I mean, this is supposed to be a celebration of Dads everywhere who really don’t get the recognition they deserve.  What do I do?  Have a nervous breakdown.

As I was reading through all the Father’s Day posts on Facebook, I was very surprised by how many were tributes.  I had no idea so many have lost their Dads either recently or for quite some time.  The parallels are all the same – there’s that void, a missing piece that’s hard to explain unless you’ve been through it.  I’m not sure if the “time heals all wounds” bit really works in this case.  I know it’s still fairly new for me, but some of my friends whom I’ve spoken with tell me it hasn’t healed.  Once again, it’s quite an experience.

The boys spoke with their Dad on Skype this morning, and Isaac, tonight’s night owl, go to say goodnight to him.  I’m thankful for these little ways to keep connected even though we’re miles apart.


My Mom called today and we chatted for a bit.  She tells me that every night she has dreams about Dad and they’re pretty much full-on conversations.  It’s as if he’s right there.  It’s a lot different for my Mom, and she seems to be okay.  But she sees him every night.  I still really haven’t seen him.  I’ve got my memories, but I haven’t had that vison from the other side or the conversation from the beyond.  I’m not sure if I will and for a while I thought maybe I was weird for not “seeing” him.

Some days are good; some days aren’t so great.  Those days that challenge you really put you to the test.  At least tney have for me.

I hope you all got the chance to celebrate Father’s Day with your Dads and/or father figures today; told him how much you love him and recognize that he’s one of the grat ones.  To those who share memories of their Dads because he’s no longer with us, I’m sending lots of love and hugs your way, and hope you were surrounded by lots of loved ones.

Take care, all, and be well.

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Celebration and Reflection – 100 Day Blog Challenge – Day 73

Celebration and Reflection

Today is a special day.  It’s hard to believe it’s already been 11 years.  On this day 11 years ago, we arrived on Prince Edward Island in Canada.  The journey actually started the day before on the 10th; actually it really culminated at the beginning of the year and finally came to fruition on the 10th and 11th.  Wow, moving from the biggest state in the United States to the smallest province in Canada.  What the heck was I thinking?!?!?

I remember the whole trip like it was yesterday.  Leaving Anchorage on a wet, rainiy day from our crappy apartment on Lake Otis Parkway.  There was construction going on and traffic was a mess. We called 2 cabs trying to figure out which one would get us to the airport in time for our 6:30pm flight.  One said it would take 45 minutes, the other said 40 minutes.  Well, in themidst of all the craziness, I forgot to cancel one of them.  I can’t remember which cab showed, but when we got to the airport, I got a call on my cell from the other cab.  Oops – my bad.

We get to the airport with minutes to spare, need to check our bags and we’re told we have to pay for extra bags.  I thought we were going to miss our flight, but thankfully, they accepted checks and we made it just in time.  There’s something about traveling and cutting it close that seems to follow me wherever I go.  Our first leg went from Anchorage to Atlanta, and when we landed that morning, I understood why the city is dubbed “Hotlanta.”  Goodness gracious, as soon as we stepped off the plane, my hair went “POOF,” instant afro.  From there, we headed to Boston and from Boston to Halifax.  

We landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, just after 4pm and had to go through customs.  That was the longest, most grueling event that whole trip.  Add to the fact, our bags were “randomly picked” for search and they cut the locks on the suitcases.  I was NOT a happy camper.  I think there were still some high alert post 9/11 and I think there was a level Orange during that time, too.  Anyhow, we went through customs, finally got the green light and were the LAST ones to be released from the flight.

I met Jean for the first time, and she looked just like she sounded.  She was all smiles, inviting and exactly how I pictured her.  I think I told her she looked younger than her age (she still does.)  The 4 hour drive to PEI was scenic and it was slowly sinking in that I’ve made another transistion in my life.  I really wasn’t sure what was in store, but I was looking forward to it.

Fast forward 11 years later, and my goodness, what a life we’ve created since being here.  We went from a 1.5 room cottage to a trailer to a 2-bedroom home.  We got engaged, found out we were pregnant, got the process going to get me a Health Card, got married, had a few pregnancy scares, almost lost our first born, had to leave the country (that’s a whole other story); moved into our new home, had 2 more babies, adjusted to life as a part-time Mom while hubby works out West (dubbed Alberta widow); endured a few hardships, experienced some deaths; have been tested time and time again and wondered if we wpuld come out fine on the other side.

I went and looked at my 3 boys while they’re sleeping (which I do every night), and I cannot believe how blessed I am and what we’ve accomplished.  I’ve learned a lot about myself as well.  I realize that I CAN handle more than I give myself credit.  I’m a pretty strong gal packed in a bite-sized chunk.  I’m very determined and when I set my mind on something, you better believe I’m going to accomplish it.  I’ve still got a lot of growing to do and I’ve met some amazing people along the way.  I am a wife, mom, daughter, sister, entrepreneur, sister, friend and much more in between.  

July 2011

We’ve still got a lot of unfished business, but we’re just getting started.  Everything that we’ve seen, heard and lived through is preparing us for greatness ahead.

I can’t wait to see what lies ahead.

It’s Not the Destination, It’s the Journey that Counts – 100 Day Blog Challenge – Day 67

Life is a Journey

“Get ready to
take the picture, Mom.”

My kids never cease to amaze me and today was no different.  Today, Isaac, Precious and I went for a walk.  Along the way, we made a few stops.  For me, I would be in “go” mode – getting my miles in and getting home.  Today, was different.  We stopped and spoke with one of our neighbors, we took our time and on the way back, Isaac picked dandelions and made wishes on them.  As I watched him do this, I realized that those moments are what makes life so enjoyable.  The look on his face was priceless.

Making his wish

We continued on our walk and we came upon an apple tree in bloom.  We stopped again and took pictures and once again, I watched as Isaac reveled in all the beauty that was around us.  Once again, I realized that sometimes I just need to slow down and appreciate what is around me.

Yeah, the bills need to be paid, the dishes need to be done, same story every day.  But in those moments this afternoon, they will be in my memories forever and I have to thank my little guy for that.

Making a wish on
a dandelion
Smile

He’s a kid of
many expressions
Love that face

Top 10 Momisms – 100 Day Blog Challenge – Day 63

Momisms (A Little Sunday Humor)

The other day, I came across this image, and I couldn’t help but laugh.  OK, right before I saw this image, I’m pretty sure I said most, if not ALL of these to my boys that day.  So, I wanted to talk about some of these Momisms that all Moms have said or will say at some point in their parenting career.

As a Mom, we want to be the best Mom to our kids and instill values, morals and raise them to be their best.  Then, they start talking, and it all goes to hell in an instant.

Here’s my take on these Momisms based on my experience with my 3 boys:

1.  “Why?  Because I said so, that’s why!” – Face it, this response is practically programmed in our brains the second we find out we’re pregnant.  If I had a PENNY for each time I uttered these words, I’d be a billionaire right now.  “But, WHHHHHYYYYYYYY, MOM?”  Seriously, don’t question me.  I told you to do something…DO IT!!!  End of discussion!!  Next.

2.  “I’m going to give you until the count of three!” – Let’s be honest, let’s be real.  When it comes to this saying, we don’t go to three.  It’s one; two; two and half; two and three quarters; two and…don’t make me say it…two and…I’m serious…don’t make me say…In the back ouf our minds, we are HOPING they get the hint that getting to three is doomsday.  But, they know we’re NOT going to three and even if we do, it’ll go something like, “OK, three…now…” We love using this just to feel like we’re in control.

3.  “It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt.” – My version is, “Now, didn’t I tell you NOT to do that?  Didn’t I tell you someone was gonna get hurt?  Didn’t I?  Didn’t I?”  Insert smoke coming out of ears for an even more dramatic effect.

4.  “I don’t know is NOT an answer.” –  And it NEVER will be!!!  Yes, you DO know, so spill it!!!

5.  “I would never have talked to my mother like that.” – Or my grandmother, for that matter.  Sometimes they push the envelope and make a snide remark or two that causes me to give that double take eye-popping stare, “Oh no you didn’t” – look.  But, yes, I have said this to them a time or two, followed by smack to remind them who’s in charge.  Excuse me?!?!?!

6.  “I’m not running a taxi service.” – Or the maid, either.  Now that the boys are getting older and involved in more sports, I have become that Sports Mom.  They’re still fairly young and heaven help me once they reach the teen years.  I’m pretty sure I’ll have a full head of white hair by the time Isaac’s a teen.

7.  “If everyone jumped off a cliff would you do it too?” – I’m already starting to hear, “But so and so is going HERE!!!” or “But, so and so is doing THAT!!!”  My favorite is, “But, WHY can’t I do this?  So and so’s parents let THEM!!!”  My response, “So and so is not MY resposibility…YOU are!!!”  “And as long as you live under MY roof, you live by MY rules!!!” – oh, this is another one to add to the Momsims list!!!

8.  “Someday your face will freeze like that.” – No, it won’t.  There’s never been any scientific proof that turning your lips into a crazy get-up pose or crossing your eyes will all of a sudden go, “POP,” and freeze.  Although, that would be comical if it ever did happen to a kid.  I’d pay good money to see that.

9.  “It hurts me more than it hurts you.” – No it’s not!!!  Not in the slightest.  Maybe AFTER the fact, but at the time, oh no, it’s not hurting me.  It’s not even in the same time zone, because I told you already NOT to do that, or NOT to speak to me that way, and didn’t I tell you NOT to let me get to three?  They had more than enough warning.

10.  “Bob. Sue. Joe. Fido. whatever your name is.” – I remember when I first moved to PEI and my mother-in-law would get my hubby and brother in law mixed up a lot.  I’d say to her, “My goodness, they’re so many years apart.  How could you get their names wrong?”  She told me one day that when I had kids, I’d do the same.  Fast forward to my life now, and she is sooooo right.  Boy, did those words come back to bite me in the butt!!!  There have been times I’ve called all 3 names (“Stephen Eli, Jus, Isa..”) and then topped it off with, “Just all of you get over here!!!”  After a while, they all seem to blend in because they’re all doing something they shouldn’t be doing anyway.  So, at some point, they’re ALL gonna get in trouble.

Oh, the life of a Mom.  It’s always an adventure.  


Rising to the Blog Challenge – 100 Day Blog Challenge

Day 1 – Another Day, Another Challenge


Challenges seem to bring out the best in me, and so I’ve decided to challenge myself once again so I can hone my blogging skills.  Hone?  How about FIND my blogging skills?!?!?!  My blogs have been very sporadic and all over the place.  I’ve got lots to say and just not sure how to say it.  So, yesterday, it hit me – if I am going to get better at blogging, I’m going to have to be consistent with blogging.


I’m not sure how this will pan out, but I am nervous, excited and looking forward to this challenge.  What will happen?  My hope is that over the next 100 days, I will develop a great desire to blog more often.  Some will be planned (i.e. reviews, essays, etc.), most will be on the fly, based on my emotions.  Some will be quick little posts, others novels.  But, I will always be honest and try to be as real as possible.

Thank you, in advance, to those who decide to follow me on this journey.  I welcome any and all feedback and hope these next 100 days will be a growing process for you and me alike.  Take care, be well, and thanks for reading.

Living on Borrowed Time

On Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 12:46am, my Dad passed away.  He was 63 years old.  First, my brother called and left a message (I fell asleep and didn’t hear the phone,) then at 4:07am (my time,) I heard the news from my Mom.  I felt numb when I heard the news.  I thought maybe I heard wrong, because there’s no way my Dad could be dead  Growing up, you have this belief, or at least I did, that our parents were immortal.  They were the ONLY people on Earth who would live forever.  Am I the only one who thought this as a kid?  As an adult?  It just didn’t make sense. 

I guess I should start from the beginning.  On May 24, 2012, our lives changed forever.  My Dad was working, tried to take a drink of water and couldn’t swallow.  He pulled over, called 911 and was taken to the hospital.  What turned out to be a small concern ended up being a stroke.  He was in the hospital for about 6 weeks and it was a whirlwind of events.   My parents and brother live in NY, I live in Canada with my family and I wasn’t able to be there to help.  You can’t imagine the level of guilt that I felt every day.  I realize that it’s not my fault, but, I wanted to be there and couldn’t.  Nothing that anyone will say will take away that guilt.  Anyhow, despite a few setbacks, he was improving and getting back to his normal self.  Just 5 days prior, the boys and I saw him on Skype and he looked really good.  There’s got to be more to all this, because it really doesn’t make sense.  Hopefully we’ll get some answers very soon.

I went home to NY to be with my Mom and brother and we have been going through his affairs.  It’s quite the toll, let me tell you.  This was an experience that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.  The entire ordeal of the whole thing is a lot of work.  Be sure you are prepared mentally, emotionally, financially, etc.  It’s really important to make sure all your “i”s are dotted and “t”s are crossed.

I saw my Dad and said my goodbyes.  I had my closure and told him what I needed to say.  Hopefully he is at peace and perhaps he heard what I said.  I really do hope that he is at peace.  I think the stroke and being immobilized was too much for him, especially since he was such a vibrant, active, hard-working man.  This pretty much stopped him in his tracks.  But, I’m not sure.  He looked good, almost restful.

Aside from my maternal and paternal grandmother’s passing, this is the third death I’ve experienced and it’s given me a huge wake up call that we are all living on borrowed time.  Tomorrow isn’t promised to us; nothing is promised to us really, except life and death.  It’s what we do in between the two that really matters.

These past 2 weeks have been an emotional roller coaster, to say the least.  Some things were revealed that I thought only happened in the movies and has really opened my eyes to how I live my life and how I will live my life from now on.  I’ve often heard that you go through a metamorphosis when someone close to you dies, and I believe that to be true.  I do know this…no one is perfect, we all have our flaws and we are not going to make everyone happy.  That’s not why we are here.  If you’re living your life trying to make everyone else happy, you’re going to be miserable.  If you’re living your life as if you are invincible, you’re in for a huge reality check.  If you’re living your life as if you are God’s gift to the world, let me be the one to burst your bubble and tell you, “No, you’re not!!!  Get that chip off your shoulder and be decent.  You put your pants on the same as everyone else, you bleed just like everyone else.  Get over yourself.” 

It was great seeing my Mom, Brother, family and some of my friends that I was able to see while I was back in NY for the week.  Right now, I’m sitting at the gate in Toronto waiting on my last leg home to PEI.  My Mom is worried that I might breakdown when I get back.  I don’t think I will, but the reality hasn’t set in for me yet.  I haven’t cried much, but did get emotional last week.  Does it mean I don’t miss him?  Who knows.  Am I in denial?  I don’t think so – I saw him and he’s really dead.  I’ll be home soon, and I can’t wait to see my boys and give them all great big hugs and kisses – all 4 of them!!!

I’m not one to give advice, but, here’s what I do know – if you’ve been meaning to contact someone, pick up the phone and call them.  If you’ve done someone wrong, apologize.  If you’re hurt, tell someone.  Do right by others; do right by yourself and don’t be a know-it-all.  Be decent; be genuine; be yourself.  Tomorrow isn’t promised to us.  We really are on borrowed time.

Diary of a Busy Mom

I am a Mom.  I am a Mom of 3 boys.  I am a Mom of 3 very active boys.  They are great kids, and I am proud to be their Mom.  I face many challenges every day to ensure I am doing the best to raise them to be amazing gentlemen.  Some days are better than others, and there are days when I am ready to pull my hair out.

Being a Mom is a thankless job; the most under appreciated job known to man.  We wear many hats as Moms – chauffeur, cook, doctor, nurse, lawyer, judge, jury, executioner, referee, psychiatrist, psychologist, cheerleader…the list is endless, and we’re almost EXPECTED to perform these tasks perfectly every time.  Fellow Moms, do you feel that way?  But, on those days when you are doing so much and no one seems to appreciate what you do, that’s when you feel like saying, “What’s the point?”  “Why the heck am I doing this?”  “Is this REALLY what I signed up for?”  “It’s GOT to get BETTER!!!”

Let’s just say, this weekend was the weekend where no one really appreciated Mom (at least that’s how it felt.)  It’s not a great feeling, because as a Mom, you put your heart and soul into EVERYTHING.  Many times, you don’t get the thank-you’s but, it’s nice when you are noticed for the things you do.

As a Mom, as a parent, as a person, you hope that you are making an impact on someone’s life; that you are making a difference; that you MATTER.  The rewards don’t come in bushel baskets, heck, there are times when it doesn’t show up right away.  I know in the back of my mind that my kids get it and when they get older, they will appreciate all I’ve done for them.  The thank-you’s will come then, I’m sure of it…but it would be nice to get them now, every once in a while.

So, that’s my rant for the day.  Take care, and be well.