Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas!

All is wrapped, the stockings are filled, the fridge is finally stocked with the turkey and all the fixings.

My husband and I spent all Christmas eve running those last minute errands that should have only taken a few hours but as we are finally climbing into I realize those errands and chores took almost 8 hours! Every year I tell myself I will be much more organized... much more on top of the festivities, no more of this last minute hustle and bustle and running around. More like I was before I had kids! Or Fibro... Or R/A... "

My Christmas cards (with letter) were written and mailed by Dec. 1, decorations were up the first week and baking was done all month as needed for different school or church activities. Shopping was finished before the snow flew! (it was almost a dare between me & mother nature! Ha!) sigh... What happened to that me?

Now after the presents have been opened, all the food has been cooked and eaten and the kids have scattered around to their friends to compare loot, I now have a chance to take 'stock' of the past month. How well did we do even though there weren't cookies made(Yikes! Store bought!), or no cards mailed (sorry if you got an email or I call you personally this week instead!). Even the crazy Christmas eve shopping was fun. I enjoyed spending the time with my hubby with the challenges of those last minute ideas.

I am so grateful for everyone in my house. Over time our family has grown and we now have an 'adopted' son who has moved in with us(a friend of our middle son) and there are girlfriends and of course the furry family members. Every one in my house gets into the spirit of the season and helps out.

From decorating, cooking, cleaning and of course....

EATING! Yummmmm!

So, at the end of the end of this wonderful Christmas day, after all the hustle and bustle and running around. After realizing that I am definitely not the organized woman I was in years past I have come to the conclusion that I love my family very much, and I love my husband even more. He is a very remarkable guy! I am extremely glad to know that my family loves just being together and that the other stuff that I was stressing about just isn't that important. And I guess that means I have some super awesome boys under my roof.

My Boys, Alex, Matt, Will & Jeff
Merry Christmas to all my friends & family! Hope you are enjoying the season with all your heart's desires and may love & laughter fill your homes!

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Count Down Is On!

Wow! Hard to believe a month today is Christmas day! Where I live we are definitely having a white one as we have had several large snow falls and I am very grateful I have strong, generous young men who push the snow blower and shovels for me.

It's been a crazy month while my husband (and the rest of us!) have been adjusting to his new job and schedule. Going from a 9-5 job to a hmmm... gone 2 days? Maybe 10? has definitely been a different way of life for all of us.

It seems like 2013 has definitely been a year of huge changes for our family. Medical ones, jobs, family & friends moving, additions to our family (furry & people). All of them have shaped and changed our little world into a different entity than it was 11 months ago, that's for sure!

I know that this time of year is hectic for everyone. My American friends are bustling around getting ready for their Thanksgiving weekend, and on top of that we are all shopping & baking and decorating for next month.

I'm very grateful for the Internet when it comes to doing my shopping! Never knowing how my cranky body is going to behave it is a relief to be able to click and order. Ha! Also, with all the snow we have received it's really nice not to worry about trying to park at the Mall or stand in busy lines.

Well hopefully most of you are more organized than I am and have at least started your shopping and baking. Like I said before, it's a month away people! I can't believe I haven't even started! But with all the craziness this past month time seems to have slipped through my fingers.

But now that I have a week to myself while my hubby is working, and I have realized how little time I have until Christmas, I plan on using this time to get caught up on some of my holiday 'jobs'.

Hope your count down is exciting and stress free!

Saturday, 9 November 2013

I'm Still Alive!

Good morning everyone! I can only imagine your thoughts of where I have disappeared to this past while. I can assure you all that while there were many days I struggled through, I am still here kicking and screaming (OK... kicking maybe slightly exaggerated? Haha!) and ready to share my wit and wisdom once more to all who wish to listen! So my dear friends, grab a steaming mug of tea(or coffee... or hot chocolate! Yum) and let's get reacquainted.

Summer was crazy busy for us even though we stayed home. And when I say 'we' I mean my husband & myself. The kids have all reached that magical age where they are just 'gone'. The oldest 2 would have plans on the weekends and be 'gone'. Camping with friends, parties, or suddenly they are all at our home and the house is over run with young men & women eating our food and taking over our house and backyard (because they always need to use the firepit for the party! Duh mom!) and just as suddenly as they all show up they all leave and the house is quiet again because they are all 'gone'.

The youngest was at Air Cadet camp for 6 weeks so during the week when the 2 older ones and my husband were working the house was very quiet. And now this new transition of 'gone' on the weekends to work through... Hmmm.

Now I know my mother is reading this and thinking "Oh good grief! Enjoy! You're free!". And she's right! But I keep thinking wow... how did this happen? And how did it happen without any warning? Wasn't it just last month I was chasing little boys around?

Well, as I sat around contemplating the quietness I realized I was definitely suffering from a case of 'empty nest syndrome'. (oh dear.. my poor mom is just shaking her head and thinking, silly girl!) So... instead of gracefully adjusting to this next stage of life, I did the next most brilliant thing I could think of... I got a puppy!

Seems logical! Right? Ha! Well... this little guy has brought a whole lot of crazy back into our lives. At almost 5 months old he is a solid 25lbs of clumsy puppy love. He bowls straight into you like an enthusiastic furry tank with a wet tongue and making happy little 'oinking' sounds.

So now it seems I have staved off the empty nest syndrome for a while longer... I may not be chasing my little boys anymore who are growing in to wonderful young men, but I am definitely chasing boys (and a girl) again! I just traded in for some furry barking children! And I'm enjoying every minute of it!

Thursday, 22 August 2013

He Must Be Family...

Good afternoon everyone! It's a beautiful Alberta summer day with an endless blue sky, light breeze and not a cloud in the sky! These are wonderful days to be a puppy...

Our little guy just turned 9 weeks old on Sunday and like most puppies he has woven his way into our hearts with his silly antics and seemingly boundless energy. His awkward leaps and bounds, sloppy kisses and boyish charm.

Well, Monday night our little guy just did not have a great night. He has been sleeping through the nights pretty regularly so when he was up every hour and half and running for water it was definitely odd. But we chalked it up to an off night and my husband went to work.

Later that morning when I got up with him, he was not hungry and just laying around. Hmmm.. Okkkk this is not our Koda! He eats EVERYTHING! He's always busy til he drops for a nap. What's up with our little man?

So a few calls later, and off to the vet we go. Things like Parvo (a very bad thing for a puppy to catch) are thrown at me. Once that test ruled that out I was so relieved. For a few minutes...

Then the other shoe fell... More tests.. which tests can we afford? Which are most helpful? And then Brian rock... my sensible partner, he decided to grow a heart that day. He is always so practical & draws the line where I always go with my heart.

But Mr Practical has apparently bonded with another furry beast in this house and no line was drawn. Next thing I knew I was getting puppy kisses and handing my Koda over for emergency surgery to remove something that was blocking his intestines.

What a long evening waiting for the vet to call. Constantly checking my cell wondering how he was doing. How in the world can this little guy have become so important to all of us in such a short time?

Well.... 2 days later I am very happy to announce that our little guy is home recuperating. Apparently eating lots of dirt was very bad for him! Silly puppy! So besides the horror of the 'cone of shame', which I would think would slow him down a bit but hasn't, he seems to be pretty much his same old self.

So Koda... I just wanted to let you know, you are the first pet ever that Brian has ever okayed a vet bill of that 'magnitude'! Some how.. you managed to become family in a really short amount of time. Welcome little guy.

Now stop eating everything! Especially dirt!!

Friday, 16 August 2013

Hey Summer! Waittttt!

Good afternoon everyone. Hope you are enjoying the warmth and sunshine and maybe even a wonderful drink with a little umbrella in it!

Seems like just yesterday I was getting ready for my middle son's high school graduation and then getting the youngest boy packed and out the door for 6 weeks of cadet camp.

I remember thinking wow... 6 weeks... that's FOREVER! I'll clean his room, and we would get the backyard fence finished, maybe my husband and I would get a weekend away... get some yard work done. Sigh... 6 weeks is not that long apparently.

First off... I must openly admit I suffered a horrible case of empty nest syndrome. My house has never seemed so empty before. All I had was 2 not to bright dogs following me around and I was missing my kids and my old dog I put down last year. So... midway through this summer my husband let me get a puppy!

Well.... Life has gone from empty nest to 'holy crap! What have we done!' and the last 3 weeks have just flown by. It seems like every day my little fuzzy boy is learning something new or getting into something he shouldn't! Ha! It feels like having a new baby again and I am so grateful for all the help everyone at home has been giving me. But I must admit, I am sure enjoying having a sweet smart dog to watch and play with.

And now today marks the end of the 6 weeks. As I write this my husband is on his way down to pick my boy up from camp and they should be home tonight before bed. So many new things await him when he gets home!

Both his big brothers are working full time now so he will be the only one getting ready for 'back to school'. There is a new fence going up in the backyard he can help finish.. Ha! And of course... a new puppy!

It's so hard to believe how fast this summer has gone. It hasn't been an earth shattering exciting vacation packed 6 weeks, but it sure has been an enjoyable time. I don't remember the last summer I was able to spend so much time just gardening and working in my yard. The fact that I was brave enough to adopt a puppy speaks volumes. I am so proud of how hard my older 2 boys have worked with their jobs and I am excited to see my youngest tonight and hear all about his summer.

So summer... hold on a few more weeks... I'm not quite ready to let go of the warm weather! I'm not ready for back to school and only have one boy going back. Hold on summer... just a few more weeks, let me hold on to these stolen moments before my young men grow up some more and I have to step in to the next stage.

For now, let's sit back and enjoy those umbrella drinks! But I better not put it to near to the ground ... that silly puppy will grab the umbrella and take off with it! Enjoy those last few weeks everyone!

Wednesday, 31 July 2013


Good morning friends. I hope you are all enjoying the warm days and long, lazy evenings.

I can not believe how quickly this summer has slid through the hour glass of time. Seems like yesterday that my husband & I dropped off my youngest to go to Cadet Camp for the summer, but it's already been 3 weeks.

Then this past weekend we drove down to visit him & to celebrate his 16th birthday. It's so beautiful in the mountains where these kids are! We had a great time canoeing, shopping & eating!

But July has been a seemingly endless stream of life changes for me and for a lot of people I love & care about.

My 'baby' sister started a new job recently, moved & announced that they are expecting their 3rd little rug rat! I am so excited to being an auntie again!

This Spring seemed to be a big deciding season for both my mom & my in-laws as they both decided to sell their homes. This has been huge changes for everyone. My in-laws have been in that home for over 27 years and my mom has been in her home for over 14 years. A lot of memories & love fill those homes, and it's a difficult decision to make. Both ironically put their homes up for sale within days of eachother and this month they all moved within a couple weeks of eachother.

Also putting a 'For Sale' sign up and moving this month is my bestie. We have been neighbors and friends for over 13years & while I am so very excited for them (wow! They have a beautiful new home! I'm hiding in one of the boxes and moving with them!) I am going to miss them very much. From spying on neighbors (Wooo... Did you see the new furniture so & so got delivered?), complaining about barking dogs (never mine of course! Ha!), impromptu bbq's, borrowed kidney beans & teasing our kids and spouses, I am going to miss that all very much. We have shared a very special time in our lives that only neighbors/friends can and I am so glad I shared it with you Bestie! I will miss seeing all of you but I am very glad you won't be that far away!

And last but not least... after much soul searching and debating. Lots of should we... Nooo.... Maybe?.... Yaaaaa?.. I dunno.... To finally YUP!!!!! I am happy to introduce our newest member to the family... Koda! He is a 6.5 week old blue heeler /labradoodle and just a bundle of love. Potty training is going well but my hubby and I miss our sleep. Ha! And the other 2 dogs aren't all that thrilled with baby brother yet. It will come... Right? Ha! But I welcome any hints or tips for training him. It's been a while since I have had a puppy so I am always open to new suggestions. Just leave a comment below! Or email me:-)

Changes... When we are young we are so anxious to for things to change. As parents we often catch ourselves wishing that they would just grow up. We fight change.. dread change, anticipate it... And at the end of the day, change happens.

2013 has been such a year of changes for me and for those around me. Graduation, moves, baby, new jobs... And it's only the end of July folks! So I say let's grab a nice cold margarita, pull up a lawn chair, and just be glad I'm not moving today! Heehee! Love you Bestie! (wonder who's going to be spying on your stuff going in today?)

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Thank You For Being You!!

Wow!! Its June!! Switching those warm mugs to cool lemonade or ice tea and cool evenings by fire pits and star gazing. Kids are getting ansy to finish those last few weeks of 'torture' and be released to ride bikes, swim in pools and enjoy the outdoor freedom that only those warm carefree summer days seem to allow us.

I myself LOVE summer!! I hate schedules! (much to my husband's chagrin...) Lucky for me I guess that its rare I have to be anywhere or do anything for a certain time. This past weekend was a great testament to that. My wonderful Aunt flew in to help celebrate my birthday. My husband was out of town visiting his family, my kids are all self it was just the 2 of us!!

First off, you have to understand, we do not have a 'typical' aunt/niece relationship. I call her Auntie when I want her to feel really OLDDDDDDDD...heeeheee!!!!! She and I have a very special friendship for which I am eternally grateful for. Its a rare jewel indeed to have someone who you can ask advice from, have just stupid fun with, and is also related to you!! 

I remember when I was a kid and asking my mom how come she didn't have lots of friends. I thought kids we always had a big group of friends, why wouldn't parents also have the same thing?? Mom said its hard to have a family and maintain friendships when you get older. I thought way...not going to happen to me!!

My Oldest son Alex with a gang of his friends! I'm'older' and have a family of my own. I was diagnosed 6 years ago with my rheumatoid arthritis and since then I have noticed a big change in our family and friendships. Its been definitely harder to maintain relationships the way we used to, and many have just fallen to the way side. One sad  truth I've noticed is that many people don't know how to deal with illness, especially when its invisible.

That's one of the greatest thing about my aunt. She has obviously known me all my life, so she knew me before I was sick and since I have been sick. We have been friends through it all. No games, no pretenses. We have laughed and cried together. Been honest when it hurt. Shopped til we dropped, and drank til we should have stopped way earlier...(thanks

So to the younger me I say...enjoy the group of teenage friends! Some will keep in touch over the
years, help reminisce and remind you of all the stupid things you did and make you wonder how you made it to adulthood!! And some days I struggle and wonder where all those friends went, I realize what my mom said was true. It is hard to maintain both family and friendships at the best of times.

So thank you  Berta!!! I had such an AWESOME weekend!! No schedules...lots of shopping...lots of laughter...lots of honest talking....and margaritas!!!Weeeeeee!!!! Thank you for letting me just be me. For letting my boys just be themselves and loving us anyways! Thanks for coming for my birthday!

But most of all...thank you for those rocking sandals!! 

Friday, 3 May 2013

Enjoy The Journey!

Hi Everyone! The sun is finally fighting a stronger grip on this small spot I call home and has melted the snow! Hurrah! I have some brave crocuses booming and buds on my trees. At last! And best of body feels the relief from the cold and dampness our long 7 months of winter we had. Bring on the sunshine!!!

Next week is an exciting week for our family. Gramma ( my mom ) is flying in to come celebrate my middle son's high school graduation. I must admit I have been feeling a bit nostalgic these past few months and its culminating with this grad party next Thursday. This whole year especially has seemed like a bit of a life changer in our family. Not in a bad way, just in a 'hey they are a grown up' kind of way. 

My oldest is 21, has a steady girlfriend, works full time, and basically comes home to sleep or eat or change clothes. Ha! He's such a pleasant young man, involved in so many wonderful things and we are very proud of him. Now...if we could get him to clean his room....

My 'baby' is going to be 16 this summer while he is gone to Air Cadet camp. He started High School this year and just loves it! He is involved with 3 bands, 2 with his bagpipes and one with his trombone. Everyone I talk to tells me how hard working and polite he is. I'm going to miss him while he's gone for those 6 weeks! 

Jeff Grade 12 Grad 2013
But the nostalgia I've been feeling has been really coming on with my middle son this year. Seems like so many milestones. He turned 18, just got his drivers license, finished his 'career' in high school football. And its not just his milestones, its all of his buddies extended group of kids. I have watched this bunch of kids grow up since grade 5.

 These young men and women now finishing a milestone that just a few years ago seemed so far away. Picking grad dresses and suits now....discussing limos...parties...and then after, college, university? 

I have chatted with my son and some of his friends,and while they are all excited there is that bitter sweet knowledge that things will never be the same, that they can feel things are already changing. And while there is a little bit of sadness in saying goodbye to the comfort of your childhood, there is a whole life time of opportunity and excitement ahead of them all!! 

So to my young man...Congrats to my Grad!!and your dad and I are very proud of you!! and to the crazy bunch that call me 'mom'...I luvs y'all!! and I am so very proud of each and every one of you!! Just listen for the crazy lady at grad cheering for each one of you crossing that stage!!

Enjoy the journey Grads of 2013!!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013


Good afternoon everyone! And happy April....which means Spring, right? I know the calendar says Spring....I know the confused Canadian Geese I recently heard flying over my house last week are a sign of Spring. And I know the poor little red robin bob bob bobbin' along in the snow during my walk with my son is a very messed up sign of Spring! But alas...this is Spring in Alberta...but REALLY????

We had our first snow fall in in late October and here we are still watching the snow fly in April! I for one am DONE! Cabin fever over here!!! And Mother Nature has been a real tease here. Some days have been super warm and sunny and the wonderful sound of drip drip can be heard from my open windows. Then the next day I wake to the blustery winds and fresh layer of snow. REALLY????

Inflatable Cone of Shame
Well, when we start getting the cabin fever itch and I'm feeling like having my pity party, my girlfriend is just golden! One morning she sent me a picture of her daughter's kitten (which I will share with you). At first glance, it's just a silly kitty picture. It all started with getting the kitty fixed. Her daughter posted the token picture on Facebook of the 'cone of shame'. Her little baby looking humiliated with her satellite dish around her regal neck. I had my giggle and moved on to my next victim of ridicule of the day, not giving the kitty and her humiliation another thought. 

 Then to my surprise and delite! Another picture of kitty humiliation  Apparently the Cone of Shame was taken off too early and kitty licked her stitches out, so my brilliant girlfriend came up with this very entertaining idea. Kitty was dressed up in a baby onsie to cover the stitches. And if that isn't enough to tickle your funny bone, apparently said onsie has 'super powers'!!
Super Power Onsie!

 Ohhhhh!!! Super Powers!! Now you're paying attention! Yes folks!! This onsie, once strapped on the to its helpless kitty victim, renders the kitty immobile, like it contains a form of kitty kryptonite  Apparently, kitty just lay where she was put like a lump, until the obvious moving of the bowels. My girlfriend said she only missed that once....but ewwww!!! Kitty poop in a onsie!! 

Hehehehe!! The stupid things we do for our critters! Though this has been a realllly long winter and no sign of spring really showing up soon...I'm grateful for my goofy friend and our silly pets. We entertain and love each other and our pets keep our sanity and sense of humor! Thank you to my girlfriend for those awesome pictures! Without them, this installment would not be....


Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Hearts of Gold

Long time no post! Hope that 2013 has been good to you and your families so far. I have was looking at the calendar this morning and could hardly believe I had let 3 months go by without any posts. Well... this will be rectified today! Ha!

Part of the reason I haven't posted was that I have been at a loss for subject matter. My fibromyalgia has taken a toll on me and my family this winter and so there is only so much you can write about when you don't leave your bedroom.

This January I was able to visit out East to Ontario and see some of my cute nephews and one for my nieces. I had the rare opportunity to have some great sister time! (no hubbies! Just us girls and mom!) It's a very special thing to have such an understanding and supportive family.

One of my nephews figured out this visit that auntie is 'for real' sick. Not just tired... Not sick with a cold... But bigger than normal sick. He sat down with me one day while the two of us watched TV and he asked me it's like to be sick like me.

Wow.... how do you answer that? So, I paused, then said that most days I'm me just super tired. Then some days I'm me, super tired but also have hands that won't hold things really well like he can and sometimes they hurt, but not to worry because auntie has a good doctor that checks on her lots and let's me have medicine that helps take the pain away and I feel way better!

I could see the gears cranking in his brain as he processed this information. Then he snuggled up to me and said, "we can still do this though, right auntie?" Oh Yes! Wild horses won't stop me from snuggling with my nieces and nephews! "and auntie! I'm here... so if you need help, I can do it for you!" And for the rest of my trip that young man checked on me, opened bottles, grabbed things for me... but best of all... we snuggled Lots!

It's funny how my young nephews figured out in a short period of time that I had an issue but instead of shutting me out like so many people tend to do, these little guys all asked specific questions about my illness and then all 3 of them asked how could they help. It was amazing to me how genuine their hearts were. Even the 4 year old asked me if he sat with me if it helps (always!)

So thank you boys!! And my sweetie niece with all her dancing and singing.  I was spoiled rotten by mom (yeah moms!!!!) And it was so awesome to just be with my sisters. I am so blessed by the wonderful family that I have and I am going to finish this post with some action shots of some of the most special people in my world!! (And ya...I have some pretty smoking great brother in laws for letting my sisters come out and play while I was there visiting!! Thanks guys!!)