Sunday, December 30

Ethan Is 11 Years Old Today.

Happy Birthday Ethan!

It is so cliche to say, but I really feel like it was just yesterday that you were born. I remember it very clearly and it was such a hard and exhausting day, but the prize at the end was worth everything I went through.

Today you turn 11! Crazy how fast that time went, but I love this age! You are so much fun. You have such am amazing sense of humor and the stories you tell are full of personality and life. You are brave and logical, kind and spirited. You have a spicy side that I like to see once in a while. I like that you take a stand (sometimes). I love when you sit in the passenger seat when we travel and you talk to me and tell me things that are important to you. I absolutely love that you sing with me too. It fills my heart when we sing along to music and that you know music. I am so glad you have that.

I have heard horror stories from other parents that these next few years are often rough ones between parents and young preteen children. You will be testing me and trying to push boundaries, figuring out your position in life and what you believe. I will be needing to remain your parent and not fall into the trap of wanting to be your friend. I will need to remind you often who is in charge by setting an maintaining rules that you will inevitably break. It could get ugly, but I will do my best to stay clear headed. I will remember what I felt like and how much I just wanted my mother to trust me. You need to know though that you were cursed/blessed with a mother who just knows things, everything! I just know when you are lying, I just know when things happen, I just know stuff. It is a gift mothers are given so the sooner you accept that the easier things will be for you... but I promise I will let you get away with a few things once in a while.

Girls have started to make more of an appearance around here and I could not be more proud with how you have been handling yourself in this area. You are a kind and respectful boy. Keep this up. I am dating now too and I swear you could teach some lessons on how to treat a girl to a few guys I have had the misfortune of knowing. You are doing great little man and I am so proud of you.


Don't try to be perfect, ever! Perfection is not something you can achieve and the pursuit of it only brings unhappiness. Be grateful for what you have and where you are (good or bad) and you will find joy. Remember to make good mistakes once in a wile. This life is for learning and you can only learn when you stumble. But when you do, make them count. Say sorry when you are in the wrong and floss your teeth every night.

I love you my little man. Happy Birthday!







xx
Mom

Today:

I am grateful for the health of my children.

I am grateful for this role as a mother and for what it has made me and taught me.

I am grateful for the joy that comes from this labour of love called parenthood.







Friday, December 21

A Very Different Christmas

Three days until Christmas and I still don't have everything done. Once upon a time I use to be one of those "over prepared" women who has everything finished by the second week of December. Gifts were purchased (or hand made), house was decorated beautifully and the baking was never ending. Teacher gifts were carefully selected and family pictures (that attempted to convey some make believe happy family)  accompanied the Christmas cards (that were hand written) to everyone in our circle of friends and expended family.

But I was unhappy. So very, very unhappy.

This year is quite a bit different then previous ones. This year I am exhausted and am completely uninterested in setting one foot into a busy mall. There is no family picture this year and you can forget about Christmas cards pfft!  I can't even be bothered to do e-cards. Teachers this year will have to be content with a verbal Merry Christmas, and the baking in this house consists of a box of Pot of Gold chocolates I picked up from Walmart and a plate of cookies dropped off by an old friend.

But this year I am a very happy woman. This year I feel alive and like myself, my true self.


I actually had a lengthy conversation with my ex husband the other night. We don't "chat" often, unless it's about things directly related to the children, so this conversation was not considered normal. It was nice to have a conversation, he shared with me how he is doing and how happy he is. He told me about his currant relationship and how fantastic it is going. I genuinely felt happy for him.We both marveled and agreed at what a difference a few years makes. We also laughed at how much this divorce needed to happen years before it actually did, but better late then never.

This Christmas is very different then the Christmas's from past years. This year the tree is fake and really small. There is nothing fancy planned for dinner and, truth be told, the children will be lucky if I wrap any presents with at least garbage bags this year(I am only joking). They have a mom that they have never really had before, they have a happy mommy.

It is going to be a great Christmas.


Today:

I am grateful for finally seeing my needs as important and seeing value in myself.

I am grateful for children who don't seem to miss all the hullabaloo that is absent this year.

I am grateful for warm boots, jackets and mittens.

J








Tuesday, December 18

Thoughts

I am not sure what to say after last Fridays events in Newton, Connecticut in the Sandy Hook school.

I have no idea how to comprehend that horrific tragedy. I do not try to understand why. I don't understand how parents go on after something like that. How a community heals?

To me the only universal law that should exist is that parents do not ever outlive their children. Ever!

This morning I took Nora to school like I always do. The boys like to leave earlier and play with their friends so normally I end up driving Nora. I was not weepy,  I didn't think "what if". I didn't do anything any different this morning when I dropped her off then I normally do. It was like every other day. Until I started writing this then I noticed a few things.

 I noticed I hadn't turned on the radio during our short drive to school, I talked with her the whole way. I told her how much I love her and that she is so beautiful on the inside and outside. When we got to the school I walked her all the way to her classroom and helped her change her boots to her indoor shoes. A job that she prefers to do alone because she is in fact a big girl and can do it by herself. I made sure to say hi to her little friends and told her teacher good morning. Maybe I was different this morning.

I want to sit with the families in Newton Connecticut and just cry with them. I want them to not feel alone and to feel like others understand. But no one can understand, and more than likely they feel the most alone they have ever felt in their lives. People often say after a loss of a loved one in an attempt to comfort that "they are in a better place"  to that statement I scoff, there is no better place for a child then in the arms of its loving mother and father.

To be honest I am not sure where I stand in a personal belief in a God. I use to know or at least I thought I did. For years I was certain, but over the years that belief and knowledge has faded. Events and heartbreaks, loss and hurt in my life make me not so sure anymore. Things like this school shooting make me ask questions and further weaken an already fragile belief that someone bigger is watching over us. Maybe he only watches over some?

But I still believe in people. Sure there are awful and sick people, but I do still believe there are good people in the world. Lots of them. Helpers and builders, healers and friends. I still believe in love and that it can cure and heal almost anything. I believe that we are all capable of finding peace in ourselves. For some finding it takes longer, but it's there. There is still beauty and goodness in this world, happiness and joy. I don't know much anymore, but I do know that.

J

Today:

I am humbled and shaken but grateful.







Monday, December 17

Music Monday Is BAAACK!!!

It has been forever since I have felt excited to share music with everyone. Of all the things I have missed about blogging this last month, this is by far the thing I missed most!

My friend Natasha sent me this song a few weeks ago. It is a song that her and her new love share. I fell in love with it immediately and have played it on the radio a few times. It was also one of the songs I gave my friend for Christmas.



I have not heard a song this fun in months!!!

 

I am not a huge Avril fan, but I tell you, I LOVE this cover of her mans song! She has gone up a few pegs on the coolness ladder.

 

This song was shared with me one night while I was wrapping Christmas presents.I love the mix of styles and the lyrics break my heart a little

 .

Today:

I am grateful for sleeping in.

I am grateful for Hairspray that really works.

I am grateful feeling like I belong!

J

Friday, December 14

No Beer For The Tooth Fairy

This past week Nora lost not one, but two teeth. It's a wonderful time for children. I remember being so excited when I would lose a tooth. I would carry it around all night in anticipation of putting it under my pillow, praying for the fastest night possible so I could see what the tooth fairy left me in the morning. It's a right of passage for children. A magical time.

The tooth fairy role is also a right of passage for the parents. I remember when Ethan lost his first tooth I was so excited all night waiting in anxious anticipation to sneak in to his room, slip the money and hand written letter from the fairy herself under his pillow making sure not to disturb his beautiful head with either my hand or my fresh and irrational tears that suddenly appeared (courtesy of years of undiagnosed  postpartum depression).  in that moment realizing how fast he is growing up and how in no time, he will be off to college and soon after that a father himself.

It is a lovely thing for everyone.

But after four children the novelty wears off for one of the two people involved, and I'll give you a hint, it's not the child. The night Nora lost her first tooth I helped her put it in a plastic bag and even put it under her pillow. Almost as soon as I walked out of her room I completely forgot what I still needed to do that night before I went to bed myself. I am surprised I could even remember her name by the time I walked down to the fridge and got a beer, and the fact I even had children was completely wiped from my mind when I sat on the couch to watch a movie.

I say it was wiped from my mind, actually that is not completely correct. I clearly had it somewhere in my memory, because when I was woken at 6 am by the crying screams of a small child calling for mommy  I instantly knew what the horrifically disappointed sound was caused by. I jumped out of bed, ran down to my purse, grabbed a toonie and shoved it in a sandwich bag and took the stairs 3 at a time to get to her room to tell her everything was okay and that the tooth fairy did not forget.
I threw the bag of money under her bed and told her sometimes it falls on the ground. She looked under her bed and found the money! The moment was saved!! She even got to keep her tooth which I explained the fairy does so she could show her dad!
You would think seeing my only daughter devastated by my incompetence would be scaring enough to help remind me two days later when she lost tooth number two....nope. I completely forgot AGAIN and had to do the exact same thing yesterday morning. *facepalm*

Being a parent sucks sometimes!




Today:

I am grateful for warm tea on cold mornings.

I am grateful for older children that can run and make it to the toilet when they have to throw up!

I am grateful for feeling creative again.

J















Thursday, December 13

I Could If You Wanted To

Yawn... Stretch...

I feel like I have had a month long sleep. I am learning when I don't feel like writing it is just better to walk away and say nothing then to allow junk to be posted. So, from now on, I am allowing myself to write when I need to and not to feel pressured when I don't.

I have been doing the online dating thing for a while (my second try at it) but took my profiles down about a month ago. When I put up the profiles, I went into it feeling strong and confident. I thought I would like chatting with people on a casual basis and I would tell myself that I won't care what happens. When in reality I care very much. I care when no one seems interested, I care when I write a letter and get a snotty response back because of my humor or the fact I have children. I care when I go on a coffee date and it's a disaster.  I  feel guilty that I wasted time that I could have spent with the kids. Then if I find someone who is interesting, trying to maneuver a dating life that meets both schedules and in the end, liking someone more then they like you and going your separate ways.

Sigh..what a gong show!

I have learned a lot about myself in this last year from all this online dating. I have learned that I really enjoy beer, I am too nice, and that when you have a busy work and family life, dating is not really an option.

One of my last dates was with a homosexual man (I had no idea before meeting him) who wanted to "see if he could" and after looking me up and down and shrugging his shoulders in a very blase manner said to me,"I think I could if you wanted to?"

Seriously, what girl WOULDN'T find an offer like that appealing?

Needless to say, I think the dating thing and I need a break from each other for a while. I need to reestablish my confidence and just spend time with the kids. Focus on work and fill my bucket for a while. I seem to keep finding the same men ( this statement is unbelievably more literal then figurative).

So, with the holidays just around the corner, I am going to slow down, enjoy my time off from work, drink the beer in my fridge and remind myself all the reasons I still like men and should not just become a lesbian.


Today:

I am grateful for soup.

I am grateful for warm clothes and jeans that fit well.

I am grateful for having people who can make me laugh on demand when I need it.

J








Tuesday, November 27

A Giggle To Start Your Day

If you know anything about me, you know how much I LOVE a good prank! This is brilliant!

Enjoy!





Today:

I am grateful for laughter.

I am grateful for caring friends who love me.

I am grateful for a warm fireplace on cold days.

J

Friday, November 23

Happy Birthday Seth

I am sitting at the computer and the house is quiet now. All of the party quests have left and the kids are with their dad for the weekend. It is a huge contrast to how this house sounded only an hour ago. A home filled with 8 year old boys here to celebrate Seth turning another year older.

Happy Birthday my dear little boy!

Seth you are such an amazing child. I am the luckiest mom in the world. Today when you turned 8 I could not help but think about the day you came into this world. All 12 pounds of you was delightful then, and still is today. Seth, you are such a happy and curious boy, I love you. I love your smile that now has a retainer helping straighten it. I love how your eyes light up when you have something funny to say. Your glasses make your eyes ever brighter and look very handsome on your face. I love listening to you read me stories and tell me jokes. I love that you can out eat everyone in the house. I love listening to your teacher tell me how kind you are to others and how helpful you are in her class. I love listening to you play with your brothers and sister. I love that you are competitive and want to do your best every time. I love your laugh and how it makes me feel when I hear it throughout our home.

I love being your mom.

Happy Birthday!!



Today:

I am grateful for you and all you bring to my life.

Mom
xx

Tuesday, November 13

I've Started Telling My Daughters I'm Beautiful

I found this at work tonight and with very little hesitation I decided to share it with you .

I've Started Telling My Daughter I'm Beautiful.

Enjoy.

J

Today:

I am grateful I for women all over the world who uplift me in ways they will never know.

I am grateful daughters who will grow up knowing they are wonderful at every age.

I am grateful for leftovers.


Thursday, November 8

Blue Jay In The Snow

Yesterday was Snowagedon (as my friend Rachael called it). Everything came to a halt yesterday with the white stuff. My drive into the office was relatively easy, but as the day progressed and with more snow, it made my regular 34 minute drive almost triple in length. At one point on the way home I was doing 40 and that still felt really fast.

While I drove home I remembered I needed to pick up groceries. A task that is not ideal at the best of times, let alone when you have to push the full cart through wet slippery snow.  When I got to Safeway I decided to make the best of it. I got a tea, took my jacket off and began crossing off my list.

When I was all done, I picked one of two checkout lines and began unloading. There was a woman in front of me who had a nice but strained smile when we made eye contact and I began unloading my stuff. She was older then me, but not by that many years. She walked with a cane and I noticed her hands shook when she was trying to give the cashier her bank card. When she did finally hand her the card, I noticed her fingers were cramped, bent and swollen from arthritis. I could see that the simple task of pushing the buttons on the pin pad was a challenge for her. She was just finishing up her transaction when she said to me, "I love the blue in your hair".
She smiled at me and I said thank you. Then she said, speaking slowly like she had to really concentrate on her word formation, "It reminds me of a Blue Jay and they are my favorite birds, they make me so happy".
She just smiled at me when her husband started making comments abut how Blue Jays are such a pretty bird.

It was a nice moment. It made me feel warm inside.

Today:

I am grateful for conversations with strangers. I love that I live in a place where talking with anyone is acceptable.

I am grateful for a warm house and good food. For a strong shovel and a beautiful and peaceful morning to clear the snow.



I am grateful for feeling less anger towards my treadmill this morning.

J

Tuesday, November 6

Grateful Day

I have turned on my kettle three times already this morning to make tea and I still have not poured myself a cup. I am feeling quiet today, pensive even. I am not sure why, maybe it is just because I had a great sleep, but I feel calm this morning. My house feels peaceful and comforting.

This morning I woke up happy. That is not rare or anything, just today I really noticed. So today, I will just carry on my good mood and be grateful.

Today:

I am grateful that when I receive emails from men on the dating site I am on  that say, "you're pretty but you have kids...sorry". It does not upset me for too long because I know that one day someone will see us as the best things ever.

I am grateful for getting what I need, and not always what I want. I do enjoy getting what I want too, but I see how good it is for someone like me (with my personality) to have to wait for things.

I am grateful for friends who understand me.

I am grateful for how well I know my children. For the individual relationships I have with each of them, I value the time I get to spend with them now more then I did when I sent all day with them.

I am grateful for my intuition.

I am grateful for Molly (the dog) being in our lives. She is such a pain, but she brings so much to our house.

I am grateful for Jenna (the nanny) the peace of mind she gives me is worth more to me then gold.

I am grateful for this tea I finally made today.

I am grateful for new deodorant and nice smelling body oil.

I am grateful for everything I have learned about myself, even the things that are not great.

J




Monday, November 5

Music Monday, With No Music

 I vote every election, I always have. When I turned 18 I was more excited to get to vote for the first time then I was to get my drivers licence or drink. Voting is a right that was won for women after years and years of struggle. I see it as a gift to have my voice heard, in every and all venues. It is not something that I will ever take for granted or take lightly. I am so thankful for the brave women and men who have made it possible for me to have a voice in politics, the work place, in my community and however else I feel like expressing myself.

I hope every single American votes tomorrow. I hope they see how lucky they are to have a say, and to be heard. I hope they all understand how important this election is. I will be watching the entire evening while I am at work, anxious to see the results.






Today:

I am grateful for intelligent people in my life who make me laugh and are supportive.

I am grateful for how beautiful it is today.

I am grateful for my rights as a women in 2012.

J

Monday, October 29

Foul Mood Monday

I don't think there is much hope for this day. I woke up in the foulest of moods and it is only 8:08am. I am beyond annoyed, grumpy and short tempered. It is going to be a very long day. My entire body feels angry and I did not sleep well.

I feel it is only fair that I let people know there is a very real possibility I could, upon being approached, either burst into tears and cry for an hour straight or rip your head off with my bare hands.

I do have music to share. I am going to send the kids to school and go work out. Hopefully that, along with loud angry music, will fix my mood.  





Today:

As pissy as I am, I am still grateful for my neighbor, and his landscaping company, who mowed my lawn all summer and is going to do snow removal all winter.

I am grateful for self realization and for getting what I need and not always what I want. Especially when there is a blurry hazy line between the two.

I am grateful for being old enough to see myself the way I really am and not what I wish I was.

J


Friday, October 26

Vegetarian Cooking Class

I went to another cooking class last night with Kathryn Joel, she is amazing! This class was on how to cook vegetarian. I am not vegetarian, but I think it's important and very handy to know how to prepare different dishes, especially vegetables. The class had nine of us (I went alone) and there was only one guy. It was a wonderful evening of wine, amazing food and meeting fun new people. It is, quite possibly, my most favorite thing to do on a night out alone.

Roasted Pepper Crostini


Mesclun Salad with Roasted Beetroots & Sherry Vinaigrette


Learning to make crepes


Our class. 


Buttercup Pumpkin Soup with Garlic & Chilies


Crepes with Ricotta, Spinach & Fresh Herbs


Orecchiette with Walnuts & Wild Mushrooms


Sticky Toffee Pudding. (The absolute highlight of the evening!) It's humble looking, but this beast was to die for! 

By the end of the night I felt like I not only understood food a little bit better then I had when I arrived, I also felt like I might actually blow up. 
I love learning to cook, I think everyone should know (by memory) at least 3 recipes. I feel so happy when I am cooking. When I make something out of a few ingredients and people love it..nothing beats that accomplishment. Going to this cooking class makes me want to throw another dinner party. 
Maybe that's what I will do in November. Yes, that is a great idea, I will have another dinner party! 


J

Today:

I am grateful for warm socks. 

I am grateful for hot showers. 

I am grateful for wonderful people who teach me new things. 




Thursday, October 25

Whistling And Singing Makes Me Happy.

The building that I work in actually has two radio stations in it. The one I work for 102.3 NOW radio, and our sister station 99.3 UP. I am sure it is common in radio to constantly be playing the actual station throughout the building, but here what is played flips from one stations to the other. I love getting to hear every one's shows and conversations they are having. One of my favorite things about working where I do is that at any time of the day I will be walking through the halls and I will hear people singing along to the song that is playing. I will often catch someone whistling or dancing, tapping humming or head bobbing. It is very a happy place for me and to be surrounded by other people who genuinely love music makes it such a comfortable environment.

The weather is getting really cold. We have not had snow yet, thank goodness, but you can feel it is not far off. My house is an older one, so the windows and door allows a slight breeze I find it charming in the summer but this time of year I swear at it under my breath.

Molly is doing well and adjusting wonderfully to our family and home. She has completely stopped having accidents in the house. She is a exceptionally fast learner and I can see the little bonds and relationships she is building with each of the kids. She is proving to be an excellent fit and match for us.

I have taken a break for the dating stuff. I can see that this level of torture needs to have substantial spaces of time in between sessions. I am not sure who this is more challenging for, me,  going through it and experiencing it or for my poor friends having to listen to it all and remind me that it wont always be like this.

So, like always I am just trudging along just laughing through it all.

Today:

I am grateful for nail polish. It makes me feel pretty.

I am grateful for hot showers.

I am grateful for TD reward points.

Tuesday, October 23

The Joelle Show!

Christmas came early for Joelle yesterday!

When Rob and I started our show last night there was a small present waiting for me on our ID page from producer Johnny.



I have my very own ID for the Joelle Show...with Rob! I was laughing so hard all night every time Rob would play it. (Just to be clear, I will still always be with Rob doing the Rob and Joelle Show, this is just a fun thing that was made for me when I get to run the board).

This past weekend was my first attempt at learning the board. The Boss gave me permission and feels the best way for me to learn is to just jump right in and do it. Sunday I ran the board for 30 full minutes and almost threw up the entire time. There is quite a lot to do and it really allows me to see and understand more of Robs role in everything. Something simple like remembering to turn off the mics after we are done talking gave me a stomach ache, so I am so grateful this will be a slow process and I can learn it at my own pace.

When Rob decided it was time for me to trade spots with him, it shocked me how gentle he became when talking to me. Rob and I have a very brother sister, sarcastic and playful relationship. I was expecting him to laugh and constantly make fun of me, which is pretty normal for us. To my surprise, when the song was playing down and it was getting closer to my turn, he ran through everything I will need to do to exit the song, and then he said to me with a slightly serious look on his face, "you will only ever push that button for the first time once in your life, so enjoy it." Then he smiled. I could tell he was remembering his first time too.

It was fun, and horrifying all wrapped up into 30 small minutes. I loved it!






I even got a little bit of love after my time. 



I feel very blessed. The shear awesomeness of this situation and opportunity is not lost on me. I feel it every time I sit in that chair across from Rob, even more when I stand behind the board. I am a lucky girl, I have no idea why this all happened to me, but I tell ya. I am and forever will be grateful for it!

Today:

I am grateful for wonderful co workers (Johnny) who made my very own ID's. Thank you.

I am grateful for Rob and his endless support through all this.

I am grateful Melanie heard me the first time I was running the board! Thanks for texting me your support, it meant a lot!

I am grateful, so unbelievably grateful!

J



Monday, October 22

Frosty Music Monday

Once again it has been a full week since I last blogged. Sigh..This week will be better, this week I will have way more to write about and things I am excited to share. I have been really tired these last few weeks. I don't know why, I don't think I am sick. I am just exhausted by the end of the day. I do though, have music to share. Not a week goes by when I don't find some little gem to share that moved me is some way. my offering this week is:






Natasha came for the weekend and showed me this song Sunday night before her kids left.
It is not for everyone, so only listen if you want, but you have been warned.




I need to go do my work out now, but I'll be back. I promise.

Today:

I am grateful for sleeping in.

I am grateful for a good pillow.

I am grateful for modern technology and texting.

J

Tuesday, October 16

Just To Catch Up

I received a tweet last night asking if everything was okay because I had not blogged in a week. Funny how fast the time goes and before I even notice, a full week has gone by.

Things are well. Work is good and I think Rob and I have settled back into the weekend routine nicely. I have been given the thumbs up to learn the board now, which will help me understand more of what Robs roll is and allows me to help out here and there when needed. I am very excited to learn it. It scares me to death and I am sure I will humiliate myself more than once when I make huge mistakes, but I always appreciate learning and growth.

The children are doing well. we are very comfortable in our school routines and the year is going well so far. Jenna is a huge help and completely invaluable to me and my peace of mind. Jenna has been working for me now for a few months and she fits in nicely here. Jenna is currently training as a distance runner (she has been training for all her life) but is presently trying to qualify for the Boston marathon with hopes of making the Canadian Olympic team. So her days include running and running and running some more, then working out, and watching my kids. It's a sweet set up for us both!
Jenna and I have become good friends too. Even though I am 10 years her senior we get along very well.

hmmm...what else is new? Ooh I started on line dating. That has been, for the most part, a huge nightmare. I went on one where the guy was so offensive right form the moment I sat down I was completely speechless. I introduced myself and the first thing he said was some horrific suggestions about the elimination of homosexuals off the earth. The worst part was I was so stunned I didn't know what to do except stare at him in disgust. He then followed it up with a reference to the food I was about to eat as my "pre F feast". I left shocked and angry and have never spoken to him again. I wish I would have thrown something at him

Sigh... I can't help but laugh awkwardly at how absurd some of these men are.
It has not been entirely unsuccessful  though, there has been one diamond in the rough found, but we shall see if anything comes of it.
Dating when you are a mother and in your 30's is interesting to say the least. I feel like I know myself the best, better then I ever have my whole life. I understand what I want and what I don't want and I am more sure of myself then I was in my 20's. You would think this would be fun...it is really hard. Insecurities and self doubt are constant and vicious. But, like everything, it's a process.

I am working out, and reading. Playing with my dog and laughing with my children. My pants fit big and my pretty clothes are looking better on me. I am treating myself better and learning what is good and helpful in my life vs what is damaging and harmful. I am healing and growing and putting things back in order.

I have been working on my bucket list again. I have plans this spring to cross one more big-ish thing off my list. The plans are in the works, and I can't wait to share when it become more certain.

All is well here,

J

Today:

I am grateful for feeling cared for.

I am grateful for laughing, it is the medicine that heals every ill in my life.

I am grateful for how beautiful it is outside. I love fall.








Monday, October 8

Turkey and Music, A Perfect Mix

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! It has been a nice long weekend, even though  I have had to work everyday of it, enjoyable none the less.
For music this week I have a few new picks that have recently crossed my path that I hope you like.








Today:

I am thankful for good food.

I am thankful for good and reliable babysitters. JENNA IS HOME!!!!

I am thankful for colder weather.

I am thankful for good conversation.

I am thankful for a working keyboard.

I am thankful for funny children and the freedom they feel to ask questions concerning anything they want to know about.

J




Friday, October 5

She Is Completely My Child!

For Nora's birthday I took her to the mall. It is what she wanted to do, and to be honest I really enjoyed that all she wanted was to spend time together with me. When we got to the mall she knew exactly where she wanted to go and what she wanted as a gift...the Disney store and a new princess dress. 

She took about 30 minutes to pick everything out that she wanted. It was almost as much fun for me as it was for her. 
 
After we got her the dress we walked around and just looked at things and talked. We saw Stingrays and penguins and shopped for shoes, it was a wonderful afternoon. While we were walking around the shops Nora saw a little photo booth and asked if she could get her picture taken. The closer we got to the booth I noticed it was not a standard one that just took pictures, it was one that sketches the picture after it's taken. I had no problem with that request, Nora looked so beautiful that I totally understood her wanting to remember this birthday with a special picture. I read the instructions and and had her position herself just right for the pictures and when I counted to three, I pushed the button to take the picture. The photo booth took three pictures and then she could pick from the thee which one was drawn. Lovely and elegant Nora chose this to be the one shot that is immortalized...

  
When it came out of the printer I was laughing so hard I had to sit down. She is such a funny kid!!! I kept thinking about the Goonies every time I looked at it! "Heeey youuuu guyyys"! 




There is no doubt that this child is mine! She would walk up to people and they would say, "ooh you look so pretty" and then she would show them the picture, I was laughing watching their faces! She is something! 

Today:

I am grateful for how much this little girl makes me smile and laugh. 

I am grateful for sweaters. 

I am grateful for how much she understands humor. 

J

Thursday, October 4

Another Day, Another Colour

I have changed my hair yet again. I started with red and kept that for over a year. Purple was next on the list and, although I liked it, it was short lived. Today, Today I am sporting this awesome Blue and I completely love it! I think it's my favorite of the three so far.


I would like to just say thank you to the ladies of Fusion, I love you! You do such a fantastic job of making me feel beautiful every time I come. Even (and especially) when I I come in feeling like crap!

Today:

I am grateful for my friends who babysat Molly for me these last 2 days. Chelaine even sent me pictures of the play date.

I am grateful that my cheekbones are returning!

I am grateful for getting to meet the parents of the children Nora goes to school with.

J



Tuesday, October 2

Happy 5th Birthday Nora

Happy birthday my dear girl. You are growing up so fast. I sometimes look at you and I can't believe I lived so long without you in my life. Regardless, I am so thankful to have you now.

On this special day, I want you to remember how loved you are and that I am so grateful to get to watch you develop into the woman you will one day become. I know you will bring happiness and sunshine to others.


Today:

I am grateful for your surprised look this morning when you saw your balloons.

I am grateful for your happy disposition.

I am grateful I get to spend the day with you and celebrate you.

Love Mom

Monday, October 1

Happy Birthday Mom, From My Kids


Happy Birthday Mom!
Since this blog was started Joelle has written a special message to each of her kids on their birthdays. This year the kids wrote a message for her. They answered some questions about their mom and I have to say their responses are very entertaining! They are good, funny kids and quick witted like their mom. Over the last few years that I’ve had the pleasure of knowing them, they have become more caring, funny and mature. I love them more each day. They are growing into pretty decent people thanks to a pretty decent mom. Happy Birthday Joelle!
S

1.       What do you want to say to mom on her Birthday?
Ethan – Thank you for giving me life!
Gabe – “How old is she turning?”………  Happy 30 something Birthday!
Seth – Happy Birthday! Then I’ll give her a card and some money.
Nora – Happy Birthday mom!

2.       If you could buy her any gift what would it be?
Ethan – Mansion with a Jacuzzi and an Olympic size swimming pool. Then give her enough money to keep the house as long as she likes.
Gabe – Diamond jewellery
Seth – A diamond
Nora – An England t-shirt, and some boots, and a pizza, and the biggest pack of yoghurt tubes.

3.       What is your favourite thing mom cooks/bakes?
Ethan – Got be her lemon meringue pie.
Gabe – Mint chocolate chip cookies, the hard ones if you want to get specific.
Seth – Salmon Tikka!
Nora – The chocolate pie she made me today. I like grapes!
4.       What is your favourite game she plays with you?
Ethan – Nerf guns
Gabe – Nerf guns. She is really fun.
Seth – Nerf guns
Nora – Hide and seek.
(Apparently you are very good at shooting!)

5.       What do you like doing together?
Ethan – Watching deadliest warrior at night.
Gabe – Baking!!!
Seth – Cooking with her.
Nora –Playing with her and the dog.

6.       What does she do well?
Ethan – Gets us ready for school and bake!
Gabe – She does a lot of things really well, but the best thing is making bacon.
Seth – She does the radio really well!
Nora – She has fake apples   (?!?!? LOL, she is so random)

7.       What do you help her with?
Ethan – How to operate her Nerf gun and ………. patients (?apparently you need to learn more)
Gabe – Take care of Molly
Seth – To clean up downstairs and make it all different.
Nora – I help her sweep!

8.       What reminds you of mom?
Ethan – Awesome, perfect, kittens, good shot, deadly and playful.
Gabe – Nerf guns, TV, and dogs.
Seth – Money, actually that speeding ticket (there are actually 2 speeding tickets!)
Nora –I don’t know, ask mom. (she is so funny!)

9.       What do you love about mom?
Ethan – That she can cook amazing things!
Gabe – She always has food ready for us. She is a great cook!
Seth – Everything!
Nora – That when she puts me to bed she reads me a story first.
Nora – Can you get to the part where you say you like my boots again?
 Me - You do have great boots. Do you have a boot fetish like mom?
Nora – I used to, but my brothers destroyed it.
(Me – now crying with laughter)

1   Is there anything else you want to say to mom?
Ethan – Thank you for getting Molly. Oh and if you cannot bring the horse to the water, bring the water to the horse.
Gabe – She is the best mom in the world!
Seth – Happy Birthday! I love you!
Nora –Thank you!

Today:
Ethan – I am grateful that I have a house, a good house to live in.
Gabe – I am grateful for my mom being my mom.
Seth – I am grateful for everything!
Nora –I am grateful for my castle and my doll house.

Thursday, September 27

Maury Povich, Doggie Style

I bought a DNA test for Molly today. I figured it was about time I know what kind of dog she actually is. I always feel like a horrible pet owner when people ask "what kind of dog is she?" and I just shrug my shoulders and say," I don't know".


Depending on the mood I am in, and how disgusted they look at me that I don't know such things, I might also throw in there...if I know what kind she is will it change how much she enjoys spending all day locked in the bathroom?

I followed the instructions carefully and filled everything out, so in about 3 weeks I will know what exactly Molly is. Fingers crossed she is a Dalmatian, I always wanted one of those. I can't wait for the "Who's your daddy reveal" It's so Maury Povich!



Today:

I am grateful for helpful people.

I am grateful for days off.

I am grateful for how good I feel when I run.

J

Wednesday, September 26

A Car Bomb Of Dog Poop.

When I got home last night from my 7-12am show I could smell something nasty the second I walked in the door. I am familiar with this smell, I find it every once in a while when Molly has been left in a room alone too long. Jenna (my nanny) had already taken Molly for a walk a few hours before so there should not have been a problem. But as I walked closer to her crate last night/early this morning the smell was getting so bad it was making my eyes water.
Molly was whimpering a little too, so I knew it was going to be rough. When I opened her crate molly came bolting out and it looked like a car bomb of dog poop had gone off. The poor thing clearly had diarrhea and could not hold it any longer. It took me an hour to clean everything well enough that she could go back in to sleep for a few hours before I had to get up and go to work in the morning.

I will be singing "I am a happy dog owner" all day trying to convince myself.

Today:

I am grateful for caffeine today.

I am grateful for comfortable shoes.

I am grateful for all the beautiful fall colours and the fallen leaves. This mornings walk was crisp and beautiful this morning when I went for a walk with molly.

J






Tuesday, September 25

Best Bed Head Winner Is...

We are a very competitive family. We like to compete at a number of things ranging from who can shoot a Nerf dart furthest, to who can eat the most pizza. Family games are fun and everyone enjoys the spirit of sport that we feel.

We will even compete with our hair. Ridiculous as it is, it's fun seeing who has the worst bed head in the morning. I have short hair so for the longest time I have been the undefeated champion. Now, since the boys have grown out their hair I finally have some decent competition.



Today:

I am grateful for warm tea first thing in the morning.

I am grateful Molly did not whine once last night. I put a blanket in her crate with her and turned on 1023 NOW radio and let her listen all night. I am sure my boss will be thrilled to hear how effective our station is in helping stop annoying dog whining. I think it could be a decent jingle.

I am grateful for surprise gifts from friends last night.

J


Monday, September 24

On Line Dating Rule And Music Monday


I have decided to come up with a few rules for myself now that I am attempting online dating again. These rules are now in place because of the dates I went on this past weekend.

Rule #1: I will not go out with the father of my sons best friend in school, especially when they are in the same class. It makes things very awkward and throws a bit of a wrench in the date right off the hop.
And to clarify, I had not idea he was the dad before the date.

Go ahead, laugh it up.
*facepalm*

Pinks new album came out this week! I LOVE it!! The entire thing is amazing!











 I also found this and fell in love!

 

 Today:

I am grateful for chocolate pie.

I am grateful for Molly. She has changed the dynamic of the house a little and she is really growing on us all. The kids are doing a great job of all sharing the responsibilities that come with a dog.

I am grateful for comfortable shoes.

J


Friday, September 21

A Full Sleeve and Dog Poop

Seth came home from school yesterday and was sporting a little ink.


He also had a few things drawn on his other arm and he had a picture of a guy on his left calf. After dinner we went for a walk to get ice cream and he kept rolling up his shirt to show off his arm. I asked him what it was and why, he simply said "because I like it."

When we got home from our walk he was pretty upset that most of it washed off in the shower. So because I am the loving mother I am, I reapplied his tattoo with a red marker I found in the drawer. I see this as foreshadowing for whats to come. To be honest, I don't mind. The picture on Seth's arm is nicer then a few peoples actual tattoos I have seen.

In Other News.

Things with Molly are going well. Thanks to the delicious treats Wild Bites, I have not had another escaping incident. I am pretty sure the key ingredient in those little sausage-ie delights is dog crack. She goes absolutely insane for them. Knowing she loves them helps me feel more confidant that she will listen to me. Now we are working on the house training. It has gotten better, I think we made huge progress yesterday, fingers crossed, we shall see. I am really tired of dog poop and pee on my floor.

Today:

I am grateful for how good cooked onions and mushrooms smells.

I am grateful for happy laughing children.

I am grateful for the beautiful fall colours.

J




Wednesday, September 19

"Mr. September"

It has been 4 years since my dads accident.  I still remember the night I received the phone call telling me he had been flown to Edmonton. I am not too sure you ever forget things like that, no matter how much time passes. But I am thrilled he has recovered so well. This year STARS air ambulance put him in their fundraising calendar. It's not exactly the sort of calendar you want to be "Mr. September" in, but hey, we will take it.




Today:

I am grateful this is all done and all this time has passed,. That was a horrible time that I do not care to relive.

I am grateful for the game dogs play of "chase their own tails". I find it very amusing.

I am grateful for sleep.

J

Tuesday, September 18

Hair Dye And Attractive Men.

I think the dogs name is Molly. Alex was a quick pick and the more time I spend with her, I believe Molly is a better fit. I am trying to help her figure out her name quickly so we don't have another repeat of yesterday, EVER!

I have a purple streak in my hair, and with most things cosmetic in my life, it requires upkeep. Upkeep for this purple in my hair means that once a week I need to reapply purple and let it sit for about 30 minutes to freshen up the vibrant colour. Yesterday I decided to recolour my hair, no big deal I do it all the time. After I separate the sections of my hair with clips into the colour and non colour parts, I put the colour in my hair. It ends up being a blob of colour on top of my head. Not really pretty and I normally don't go out of the house when I am doing it. But of course, while I was colouring my hair yesterday, Molly needed to go outside for a pee. No big deal, we go to the back yard and she does her thing. When we finished and went to return to the living room she, instead of turning left into the house, turns right and bolts for the front yard. I run after her but once she sees the open space she is gone!There I am in my junk clothes, with my hair in clips and a blob of hair dye in my hair and I am calling to a very disobedient and playful puppy who could not give one ounce of sh%t to what I am saying.

She will come just close enough that I can not grab her, then dart off in the other direction. I am getting really frustrated but I am still trying. Then it happens. Right when I look like a pile of poo, standing in the middle of the road, calling to a dog who does not give a crap about what I am saying, an unbelievably attractive man comes jogging by with his beautiful doberman pinscher and Molly goes chasing after them. The guy is clearly annoyed and starts yelling at Molly to go away, and of course she does not listen. His dog is also clearly annoyed with her playful bounding in their running path. I am trying to grab her but she is now very interested in the two of them. The guy keeps saying to her,, "go away" and I just want to cry.
So I just said, would you mind grabbing her for me, she is only been here for 2 days and she is still learning. He reaches down and grabs her collar and then I scoop her up. I don't even make eye contact with the guy cause seriously, "WHY NOT COME FOR A JOG DOWN MY STREET WHEN I LOOK GOOD?"

I carry her into the house and into her crate she goes for a nap! I head upstairs to calm my bruised pride and continue reading the dog whisperer book. ugh...thanks dog, I really needed this today!

Today:

I am grateful for Chai Tea.

I am grateful for the ability to laugh at myself when I could have cried.

I am grateful for pretty underwear.

J


Monday, September 17

Dogs And Music..Yes, It Says Dog!

I have been talking to the kids for the last few weeks about a cat. I figured they are ready for a bigger more "hands on" pet and to be honest, I think I am too. We have looked at cats, talked about cats, even thought of names for cats but for some reason I just could not do it.

I decided it was time to go look at the humane society for a pet. I had been talking to Mars at work about the humane society and I knew that was where we should start. What's the harm? We are only going to look.
Friday after school we all piled into the car and headed off to the city. After a 100 guesses as to where exactly we were going this afternoon (I didn't tell them at first) they finally guessed correctly and we began a very frank discussion about how to act and what to expect when we are there, because remember, we are only going to LOOK!

The Humane Society in Edmonton is a beautiful building. When we walked in the first thing I noticed was the soft peaceful music that was played throughout the building. I also noticed how many people were there working/volunteering. There were people everywhere dressed in scrubs willing to answer our questions. Everyone was friendly and kind and ridiculously patient. It was a very nice place.

The children and I walked around the first section and looked at all the cats. The rooms they were in were beautiful and filled with lots of toys and scratching posts for them to play with. I looked at all of the cats just lounging around and happily waked past every single cat. I felt no attachment or draw to any of them, and neither did the kids.
As far as I was concerned, we came we saw we could now, all leave. Then Seth walked around the corner and called back to all of us, "hey, I found the dogs!"

Now, this is when, as the adult, I should have had a better handle on the situation. Before we all took one step around the corner I should have said to myself, "No, do not go over there!Unless you have sedation do not go look at any of those animals because remember you are not strong enough to walk away...." but I forgot to remind myself of that.

We all walked around the corner and in that very second what was tranquil and fun, turned to pressure and longing. I saw the first dog and it was a beautiful, huge brown and white dog with fantastic blue eyes.
 I walked past and it just stared up at me. My internal voice decided that just looking at the dog was not torturous enough, it needed to add dialog to the experience too. So as I was walking past this beautiful creature my mind started narrating for the animal..."Hi, I would love to come to your house and be loved, I am a really good boy and if you get me out of here I'll be loyal and kind and loving forever. Just PLEASE get me out of here"
My heart started beating faster. I could feel my body temp going up too. I was crumbling.
I walked past the second dog room. It was worse. This little white bog was staring up at me through the glass with its droopy eyes. But that physical feature just added to my merciless dialog. "Look at that adorable puppy, its crying wanting to go home with you so bad."

I needed to go sit down. I left the dog viewing area and sat by the water fall sculpture. Took a few deep breaths and was able to collect myself enough to have the fleeting thought, you should just run Joelle! Run for the doors, and go back to the car. The kids will find you eventually. But right when I thought my legs might actually obey me, the kids were excitedly running over with a sheet of paper in Gabes hand.
"Mom, each dog has a write up about them and we found one we like!"
Ooh dammit!

The once tranquil music had now turned to Sarah McLachlan on repeat singing about hungry, starving orphaned pets.

While I walked over to meet my doom, I read the paper the children handed me. It is an adorable write up that each animal has by the door to its room. It starts off by saying, "Hi, I am (insert name of animal) I am a loving and kind and fun 5 month old puppy. I would love to live with you and share a loving family, but here are a few things you should know about me..blah blah blah" My last chance to turn and run, but then I saw her..

And the rest, as they say, is history.




When I saw her, I have no idea what happened, I just knew she was meant to be with our family. No one at the HS knows what kind of dog she is so I have been calling her an "Alberta special". Her name is Alex, but to be honest it's not flowing so I think that might get changed.

For the last few days I have been cramming in dog information. I am not too sure exactly what the hell I was thinking, but it feels right. Scary, but right.


Along with my new puppy, I wanted to share some new music too.

This one from Weeds. (my new favorite show)




All of these were courtesy of Shazam while I was out and about this weekend.









Today:

I am grateful for this new puppy. I have been feeling really lonely lately and I have enjoyed the company this weekend. I pathetically bought a mens XL sweatshirt the other day and wore it on the couch while I watched TV. Shameful I know, but for those few hours it made me feel less alone.

I am grateful for nice soap.

I am grateful for fall.

J









Friday, September 14

Jackassery At My Work.

I have thought often about how little I actually talk about the radio station I work for. I seldom explain the deep hard hitting broadcasting I am a part of. The interviews with bands, the discussions about music, concerts I get to see, I guess I have been waiting for some way of showing what really goes on day to day at the station. This morning some coworkers finally did a video that so perfectly explains what goes on at 1023 NOW radio that I had to share, so you get a small taste of what my job entails.

enjoy!

An example of what goes on at 1023 NOW Radio Edmonton!


Today:

I am grateful I was able to find another magnet key for my treadmill.

I am grateful for the weekend.

I am grateful for how beautiful it is today!






Tuesday, September 11

It Is That Time Of Year Again.

I love this time of year. I love warm sweaters and nice boots to go with my jeans. Soon the bright greens will be replaced with beautiful splashes of yellow, orange and vibrant red. Warm and beautiful colours are my favorite.But there is one thing I hate about this time of year, one thing that makes me completely crazy, one thing I totally loath and dread...and I had to do today.

This morning I had to turn my furnace back on. Sigh, and so begins the increase of bills.

It is also this time of year...



Now our sacred waffle breakfasts will remain as wonderful as they always are, all year round!

This morning when I was getting the kids ready for school Seth showed me a picture he drew of himself camping.

It made me smile to see him draw himself with a vest and his chest showing in the picture. I asked him why?, he simply said, "it looks cooler." How do you argue with that?

Today:

I am grateful for warm socks.

I am grateful for the creativity of kids.

I am grateful for peaches and for all the help Jenna gave me with them. (Jenna is the lady helping me now with the kids when I work...I CANT WAIT TO TELL YOU ABOUT HER!!)

J

Monday, September 10

Sunday Funday/Music Monday!

Sunday Funday was introduced to us by Maclean when she stayed here earlier this year, it is a tradition of family time together. Working now and finding time that we can designate as "together time" is getting trickier. I am a firm believer in time together, I think it should be valuable time spent bonding and growing as a family unit. I think it should be time spent learning important life lessons and practical tasks that will one day come in handy for everybody. Quality education and life skills ....so this Sunday we learned how to use  blow dart guns! I even taught them how to run and shoot them! We even did an advanced class on dive rolls before shooting!

It was, as you I am sure you can imagine, a huge success! Next week, throwing stars!


For Music Monday

Rob shared this one with me at work, I fell in love with it the second it started. I even cried. I hope you all love it as much as I did and do! If I could, I would just play this over and over and over for you all day. THAT is how much I love it!


Shazamed these in the car.





And another gem from the Black Keys!



Today:

I am grateful for the beautiful weather we had this weekend.

I am grateful for how much fun my kids are.

I am grateful for beautiful music that makes me feel alive and stirs my soul.

J







Wednesday, September 5

And We Were Late On The First Day.

School just started on Tuesday, and I thought I was ready. I was pretty sure I was ready, but it wasn't until the morning of the first day I realized I was not as prepared as I had though.

The alarm went off at 6am and I started to get ready, my plan was if I got ready first I could help the boys with what they needed. I did not think for one second that along with regular morning duties I was going to have to contend with a "first zit" which meant the total and complete end of the world.
(Name withheld of blemish child for obvious reasons)

Being the mom, I could not help but laugh a little, cause of course he would get a zit on his first day.. Murphys law right? But this was no laughing matter! This was a serious situation that needed immediate attention. He even said, "thank goodness you were an EMT once!" Because clearly medical knowledge on how to keep a heart pumping and lungs filling with air is the equivalent of pimple disposal to a preteen boy.

I did everything shy of makeup and in the end I think it was okay. I even helped him make up a fabricated account of how, while on his hiking trip this past weekend he was hit in the face by a low hanging branch. It seemed to calm his bruised ego and I think he felt it was a decent cover story.

After we dealt with the villainous acne, I was flat ironing all the boys hair. *facepalm*

Now, I am sure this should not have come a surprise, my boys are getting to be that age where they are caring more and more about their appearances, but I was shocked at how long it took the three of them collectively to get their hair "just right" that first morning! Good Heavens! I don't take that long to get ready! By the time we finally got everyone dressed, fed, groomed and out the door it was already 10 minutes past the start time for school. We still had to find classrooms and get everyone settled.



By the time everyone was dropped off, organized and seated in their respective rooms I was sweating and out of breath! Because of course all three boys had classrooms one opposite ends of the school.

When I was finished  and felt like everyone was okay Nora and I walked back to the car (She doesn't start until Friday) I passed a few parents crying. I was not crying, but I once had. One time I was that mom. When I was so scared that my baby was going into a place where I no longer had total control. I once cried when the realization hit me that my voice would no longer be the only voice they cared about, and viewed as valid. I cried when I thought they would be exposed to people who might not care for them as much as I did.

But on Monday morning when I was walking past those parents I couldn't help but smile, because I know how they are feeling, but I also know how they will feel in the not to distant future, and I am happy for them to experience that too!  The complete joy and total elation when they realize they can now go have a nap and eat food without being interrupted or having to share. They can have coffee with friends, or if they want, they can go to work. The first day of school is not a day to cry, it is the day parents should be leaving the school elated and overjoyed! Kicking their heals and singing songs of freedom and praise. "It takes a village to raise a child, and now form 9 am until 3pm  Mrs.Harrison is in charge of that village and not me!"


Today:

I am grateful for teachers. I joke, but I respect them immensely. Teachers mold and shape, inspire and cultivate. So to you teachers, my promise at the beginning of this new school year is: I will always make sure you can do your job properly by me doing mine. I promise to always makes sure they are well rested before I send them your way. I will always send them on time and I will never send them to your class sick either.
I will always make sure they are fed well, and sent with enough to eat all day. I promise I will do my best to respect you by making sure they do the work you send home, and I will try really really hard to not loose any library books this year. Thank you for what you do.

J