Thursday, May 31

I Am Always So Humbled

When something is bothering me I like to talk about it. I prefer to talk immediately if I am upset about something, it allows me to clear my head and it often resolves the issue right away. I do not like holding onto things, I do not keep grudges and I absolutely hate having things "stew".

It is a normal thing for me to share, I find it easy and I find it very comforting. I remember being a young mother  new to the terrifying world of parenthood and feeling like I had to show everyone I could do this and do it really well. There were no standards or lists of things that told you what being a "good mom" was but somehow in my head this is what that meant;

1-My baby was breastfed even when it was so painful I would cry and sweat and throw up.
2-My baby was always dressed well.
3-I was always showered with hair done and makeup on.
4-My home was as clean as it was before having my world turned on its head with a child.
5-Only ever saying (when asked) "I love being home with this new baby ALL THE TIME" when some days I would have given my arm to go back to work just for a day off.
6-I never let anyone know how difficult this was and how horrifically terrified I was to now be caring for another human.

I would go out with the other mommies and we would do lunch. I would be completely exhausted from a night of getting up with a fussy baby, get ready and still go when what I really wanted to do was sleep all day and sell this child on ebay. But I got ready, put makeup on, and smiled the whole time cause LIKE HELL I was going to admit to anyone I was struggling. What would these people think of me? I used to be an EMT I should be able to care for one mini person right? A "good mom" can do it all.  ...PFT!!! (with HUGE eye roll)

So began years of suppressing how I was really feeling. At this same time is when I began comparing myself to other women I knew. Women who had more on their plates then I did but seemed to be keeping it together. Women who would talk about how happy they were, and how wonderful everything was. No one ever said anything real. Now, to clarify I love being a mother. It is the hardest thing I have ever done. I have learned more about myself through my children then in any other job I have ever tried. All I am saying is it would have been nice to have more honesty from other women, instead of feeling like it was a competition of sorts. the mind set of "I had to go through it without help, now so do you" is an awful thing and I think is one of many reasons depression is so widespread.

One day I will get into everything and I will tell you the day I came to the realization that everyone struggles, but no one talks about it.When I understood that, I mean REALLY understood how silence can be damaging my heart broke and I decided to change the way I viewed women helping women. This was around the time I became a doula.

I vowed when I started writing this blog that I would always be honest. Now, that does not mean I will always go into detail about every aspect of my life (like my date last night) but I will be as honest as I can because as a woman I think my life would have been a lot different had other women I was around been more honest with themselves and others.
That is all I want to do with this blog. All I want to do is have honesty so one day when Nora is older and crying and feeling bad about herself thinking "I can't do this" she has record of her mother feeling the exact same way. I want my boys to be able to look back and see why I was the way I was. I want the stranger who is reading this to think, dreams really can come true.

I write for myself and my babies. So when I receive beautiful letters from total strangers telling me they have read my blog, MY ENTIRE BLOG I am blown away. Thank you. I am forever humbled with the compliment of peoples time. You have thousands of other things you could be doing, yet you picked this, to read about me... thank you! It means more than I can say. Thank you for the letters and the well wishes. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU!

I find renewed strength in your encouraging words. it fills my bucket, so thank you!


I went on a date last night. I went on a date with Ryan. We have been seeing each other for a while now, and last week we broke up. It was a difficult week. I had so many thing going on at once I actually thought, if ever there was a time when my head might literally blow off my shoulders, it would have been last week. But it didn't. There were a lot of tears from us both, but after a few days apart and time to think we decided to give it another try. There is something very special about Ryan and this weekend I will tell you the full story about him and I.
Last night he took me out for shawarma and shisha then a show. It was a lovely evening and we both had a really nice time. He makes me smile.

I am grateful for feeling like I still have something to offer someone.

I am grateful for good shoes.

I am grateful for having a voice.


Wednesday, May 30

I Wish I Was As Strong As I Pretend To Be

I woke up early this morning, actually I have been waking up early for weeks now. I just can't seem to sleep in past 4 am. I try, I really want to, it just doesn't happen. I think the problem is I have too much on my mind so the second I wake my mind starts going crazy making it impossible to fall back asleep. This morning I decided to blog instead of lay there.
Yesterday was a crazy day I received a phone call out of the blue from one of the real estate agents I had asked to come over months ago to do an appraisal on the house. At the time I was thinking about selling, but because of everything that was going on I decided against it. I had never committed to an agent and did not list the house, so it was s huge shock when one called to say, "I have a possible buyer for your house".

I got the call on my way to work, she said they really need a place and are wondering if they can come see it tonight after you get home from work?

So, I handled it the way I have been handling everything else that is overwhelming and stressful this week.
 I cried! I went into work a little earlier and sat in my bosses office and bawled! I wish I was as strong as I pretend to be.

Rob told me during our show last night that the three most stressful things a person can do is 1-sell a house 2-buy a car and 3-get divorced. I told him it's my overachieving nature that made me decided to do all three things at the same time. I am just competitive that way... ugh!

After work I hustled home to an already clean house thanks to Maclean, spoke to the children about what everyone thought about the idea of moving and waited for the people to arrive.

I am not too sure what they thought yet, I guess I will find out soon. Fingers crossed!


I am grateful for Maclean. I love her. She is the youngest of my cousins and all our lives we lived so far apart we have never really gotten to know each other. We would spend a week together in the summer but because I was married or having children we never seemed to really connect much. But let me tell you, she has been such a support and strength to me this last month, I do not have any idea how I would have survived this all without her. She is beautiful and funny, intelligent and tender. She never complains and never gets mad. She is perceptive and attentive and has become such a dear friend. I am so thankful for her love. I can't believe I only have one more month with her. I will miss her terribly!

I am grateful for the group of people I work with. I go to work frazzled and beaten from life, and they unknowingly fill my emotional bucket. They laugh and joke, smile and tease. They tell me they like my hair or my shoes and help when they can. Work is my shelter and I don't know what I would do without it right now.

I am grateful for loving and caring friends.

I am grateful for life and learning. It is sometimes painful and hard but in the morning there is the smell of lilacs and the sound of birds to make it just a little bit easier to keep going.


Ooh and I have a date tonight after work! :)

Tuesday, May 29

Just Great!!

When I first heard/saw lulu lemon clothes I will admit I didn't get the big deal. I thought it was just another brand of over priced clothes or yuppies and did not believe for one second it made any difference when it came to working out.
Then my brother Dawson bought me a few things when he started working there.
The clothes are so light. I find the shirts comfortable and when you sweat in them it allows you to still be comfortable with no chafing. The are structured well and they do not shrink or fade.
So in a nut shell I am sold! I am a huge fan and own a few pieces I use ALL THE TIME. One Item in particular is my trusted head band. I have very short hair so its hard to find anything that does a good job keeping my hair back when I work out. I wear my stuff every time I work out.

Yesterday I put on my lulu lemon t-shirt and shorts. got ready to start our workout just like every other day. But before I started I thought it would be a good idea to run outside and water the plants quickly. Wile I was outside my neighbor was out working on his yard too. I watered the plants then walked over to say hello.
He was shaking a jar of something as we spoke and caught up. I asked what the jar was for and he said "it's used to clean the bottom of the truck" and I kid you not, at the very second he said that, the jar lid flung off mid shake and this toxic smelling crap flung out of the jar and splashed on to the side of my face. It got in my hair and on my lulu head band, my lulu shirt and shorts and went on my foot. I just stood there stunned. I could smell it and knew this stuff must be really strong so I ran back to my house and took everything off and started trying to wash it off of everything. It took me all of 39 seconds to run from where I was standing outside to my bathroom and in that short amount of time that cleaning agent.

-Ate two holes in my t-shirt and bleached out the other parts.
-changed the colour of my headband on the spot it landed on.
-stained my shorts.

A quick calculation of damages totaled
MY HAIR-$200
(the shirt and short were gifts from Dawson)

It was an expensive visit with my neighbor. Next time I will probably just wave from the window.


I am grateful for summer weather.

I am grateful for a good pair of tweezers.

I am grateful for how funny my kids are.


Monday, May 28

And The Growing Continues

This week has been so jam packed with growth I am getting stretch marks. Today might be the biggest day so far. Today my family of 5 plus Maclean (so 6) will go from driving this.. driving this!

"How is that going to work?" you ask.
Excellent question! To be frank, it's not. If we have to go anywhere all together for the next month we are going to need to borrow my friends truck. But for how much I am now driving into the city every week (7-10 times) it was the best choice available. I was spending around $200-$300 a week on gas with Beth. The new car (named Lois) should cost me me about $50 a week . When I brought Lois home to test drive with all the kids, they were not really impressed but after explaining "we all make sacrifices as a family" and telling them what it all means, they took it well. We all agreed we can do this, so once again I took a big breath and did it. I have traded in style, comfort and ease for practicality. At least it's a standard, that makes it more fun.

For Music Monday I have picked out a few that sum up the week I have had. It's been up and down but when the smoke cleared my feet are still planted firmly on the ground and I am still pointed forward walking with the people who I should be.


I am grateful for phone calls and apologies, understanding and second chances.

I am grateful for finally waking up without a headache once this week.

I am grateful for money saved and less spent on gas!!!!!!!!!


Saturday, May 26

I'm Blaming It All On My Dad

I'm going to blame my father for why I am so completely unprepared for this stage of my life. The stage were I am single and will have to do everything by myself.
It's not because he never hugged me, or told me that I was a beautiful princess who could do anything she wanted. It's not because he did not paint my toe nails, brush my hair or because he did not have tea parties with me. Although I imagine, that would have been nice. Nor do I  blame him for forgetting to give me a heads up that I was going to be a total failure at any sort of male/female relationship. I could blame him,  he did live with me the longest. He probably had a pretty good idea that I would be rubbish and NEED to know practical life skills for WHEN I became a single mother of 4 at age 33. He could have said something like, "J, I'm just saying..don't be surprised" That would have been nice. You know what else would have been nice? Being taught how to fix a leaking tap, paint a wall...hell, mow the lawn. He could have at least taught me how to mow a lawn. THANKS DAD!

This morning Maclean and I woke up late. It is nice having a weekend when the children are with their dad, it allows us both to sleep in and start the day slowly. I have not been sleeping well but it was still nice to lay in bed, listening to the birds outside and smell the lilacs in the breeze that came through my window.

We did our workout this morning first thing and, like always, swore at Jillian Michaels the entire time. It's very therapeutic to yell at someone and not have them do anything back - I highly encourage it! When that was all done, I decided that today I needed to mow the lawn. It's one of those jobs that has been a "blue" job all my life. When I was growing up our lawn was always perfectly manicured. My father would spend HOURS trimming, spraying, watering, and tending to our front lawn so it was (and I am being very serious) equal to any golf course I have ever seen or played on. We were never allowed to use the mower because he took such pride in his yard and he knew that Dawson and I would just screw it up. I remember at dinner some nights we would be eating and he would comment, "Did you see so-and-so's yard? What a mess." It was like a silent competition among the home owners on our street as to who had the nicer lawn. Saturday mornings they would all be out early mowing and tending their lawns and smiling at each other and waving, saying, "Good morning" and other fake pleasantries. 

One time, a few years ago, I thought it would be a good idea to get a push/manual lawn mower. It ended up being useless and did not even cut the grass.  I returned it the store next day, bought a high powered gas guzzling beast, and allowed the job to return to being a "blue job"and have not touched a mower since. Until this morning, that is as much as I have ever done. 

At first, it seemed rather easy. I pulled the mower from the shed and parked it in front of the house. Maclean and I figured that it couldn't be THAT hard, could it? My first accomplishment in this task was figuring out how to lock the handle so it would not bend when I pushed it. Premature satisfaction set in and I thought, "Pft...who needs a man? I can do this." 

Then we both just sat there and stared at it.

"How does it turn on?"
"We just pull that thing." 
"Ooh okay, does it have gas?" 
I unscrew the thing, "Yup gas is in!"
"Okay lets do this!"
So begins the pulling... 

Now, Maclean and I are rather strong women. We have been working out every day, we can now both do real push ups and no longer have to do the modified version. But even with our new found biceps, neither of us could pull that damn thing hard enough to get it started. 

This lasted almost 30 full minutes. A truck with two men in it were parked across the street watching us and laughing. I had a fleeting thought to go and ask them for help, but my female pride instantly throat-chopped that idea and stepped on it's head. YOU CAN DO THIS, YOU DO NOT NEED A MAN!

After our 100th tug on the cord, still nothing happened (that's what she said) we decided to take a break and go get a Starbucks. 

Sigh...Starbucks fixes everything. 

Once we returned, we resumed staring at the lawn mower. The longer we stared the more confusing it got. The thing is covered with pictures that may as well be in Latin.

 I did, however, understand the picture that informed me of limb loss if I were to stick my fingers or toes under the blade when the machine was on! Other than that, I was stumped. 
Twitter became an unexpected source of help at this point, with people offering some advice. After trying a few things, pushing a few things, and really just getting mad, the mower finally started. Maclean and I roared with cheers! We were giving high fives and jumping up and down.  I noticed the two older men across the street, who had been watching the events of the past hour while building a fence, started to chuckle. It was a glorious moment. Now that we had gotten this pig started, we could cut the lawn! So I pushed it annnd...NOTHING??!! 

The blade was not cutting the grass. It took almost a full hour to start the damn thing and now we needed to figure out how to make the blade lower? So began another 20 minutes of staring at the mower, which, I have now renamed, "Joelle hater" and trying to figure out how to lower the blade so that it could actually cut! I was getting really angry now, I even caught myself threatening it.

I decided that in order to avoid looking like a complete pyscho to my neighbors I should walk away from the mower. I wanted so badly to beat it with a baseball bat, but fearing judgment, possible gossip, and a visit from the 5-0 for disturbing the peace I picked up the weed whacker instead. At least I could get something accomplished for the time that I had invested thus far. The weed whacker helped calm me down a little - it was nice not be completely inept at everything yard related. After my brief timeout from the "Joelle Hater", I tried, once again, to see if I could make it work. That's when the universe took pitty on me and showed me what needed to be done. One little switch and VOILA, a functional lawn mower!
Other then the burned parts from salt in the winter, not too bad.

It felt good to finally have everything done. I don't think it looks great, but I didn't cut off any fingers or toes, I didn't ask a boy for help, and I didn't cry or feel sorry for myself! So, as far as I am concerned, a complete and total success all around! 


I am so grateful Maclean is here with me. We are becoming so very close and I really appreciate the support and love right now. 

I am grateful for trying new and hard things. 

I am grateful for hard work and sweating. I prefer the water come out of my pours and not my eyes. 

**I am grateful for my Dad. I tease and make jokes but his example is why I am still standing when it would be so easy to just crumble. My dad taught me about music, how to change the oil in my car and how to speak my mind. My dad is a really great guy!!


Thursday, May 24

The Wisdom Of Jillian Michaels

Maclean (my cousin who is here to be my nanny for 2 months) and I have been doing the workout video "The 30 Day Shred" by Jillian Michaels from TV's The Biggest Loser. This time last year I did it and lost almost 40 pounds. I subsequently put back on that 40 pounds and am once again trying to take it off. We are on day 16 and I have noticed a change already. My pants fit better and my bras are not overloaded with boobs anymore, my shirts lay nicer and overall I just feel stronger.

When we are about halfway through the video Jillian always begins her annoying monologue about how "the only way to make something change (your body) is to put pressure on it" and "by putting stress and pressure on things is the only way to make things stronger and to cause change".

 I am normally swearing at her by this part of the video, but the last few days she seems to know what she is talking about, I HAVE already noticed changes...bitch!

Then I started thinking maybe she is actually smarter than I first thought, perhaps her logic could be transferred to regular everyday life too. Stress and pressure (weights and exercise) cause change to my physical body, then why wouldn't stress and pressure (emotional ) cause change and growth on the inside as well? And even though sometimes that stress and pressure takes the form of heartbreak and pain, it will, inevitably cause the same growth on the inside as cardio and squats does on the outside.


So my emotional workout has just moved to level two. I am no longer seeing anyone, my dance card is now empty, I am  flying solo.. what other strange and stupid sayings can I add to this part?

I feel like a huge elephant has planted his over sized non Jillian-ized ass on my chest. I have been crying for days and have a constant headache. There are no hard feelings of course, just the constant, repeated questions of "what the hell is wrong with me?" keeps playing in my head.

But I guess those are the emotional equivalent to the lunges/high knees/sit ups/biceps curls and other physical tortures I willingly subject myself to. Change is important, growth is vital and I always look forward to seeing who comes out the other side of situations I go through. This time, I hope my "emotional ass" comes out a little nicer and looks better in jeans.


I am sad really really sad, but I am grateful for closure.

I am grateful for a strong will and a inner voice that reminds me that "what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger"

(Even though it is super gross) I am grateful for the accelerated weight loss that comes from being so upset I can't keep food down.


Tuesday, May 22

My Favorite Flower.

Nora has been busy picking weeds. She loves it. It's her favorite thing to do all morning. She will even make an easy and relatively short walk into a two hour process because she needs to stop off at EVERY dandelion to pick it and admire its beauty.

There is actually something really adorable and sweet with her being completely fascinated with their beauty. My counter houses all of her most recent finds.

Today was my first day back to work after my 10 day vacation, it felt so wonderful to be working again. I always feel good in the studio. It's a happy place. When I am feeling low and defeated it is such an escape walking into a place that has the power to lift me, even if it is only for the few hours I am in there.


I am grateful for good sleeps that make me feel like I can carry on.

I am grateful for the rain, it makes my flowers and lawn nice and pretty.

I am grateful for simple joys that make me smile.


Monday, May 21

After A Nice Long Rest

I just spent most of the morning relaxing. I have just had 10 days off and tomorrow I go back to work. It was a nice time off, I enjoyed spending time with the children, Maclean and my family.

We all loaded into the truck this long weekend and headed down to Strathmore for a few days of laughing, food and catching up with my brother who just returned for traveling in Bali. We came back yesterday and today has been full of lounging and personal time. Maclean and I did our workout and the rest of the day has been spent getting prepared for this upcoming week with Rob (we are doing the morning show) which means very early mornings!

I even painted my nails. It has been an okay day.

The new website is up now at work, it's kind of surreal seeing myself on it.

I feel like I have had a nice break for the blog, and like always I really appreciate everyone's patience with my rest times.


I am grateful for down time.

I am grateful for music that soothes my soul.

I am grateful for my family.


Sunday, May 6

What An Exciting Week!!!!!

This is a pretty exciting week at work, we launced this thing called Living With Crash and Mars. There are cameras set up all around their house and you can watch them 24/7 for a week. Today Rob and I will do our show live from their house from 3-7pm. I think it is such a cool idea, and am amazed at how open Mars is to allow this. I don't think I would be okay with something like this.

If you are interested in watching, here is the link!

As for Music Monday, I found this song while at Starbucks this week, it's a nice one. Calm and gentle, I have been listening to it all morning.

Also for this Music Monday I needed to add a song by the Beastie Boys. This past week member Adam Yauch Died at age 47. For a reason I have no explanation for I was really upset when I heard this. I listened to the BB growing up, playing basketball. It makes me think of Curtis, a friend who I played ball with. It was a sad week, maybe it is because it makes me think of my own mortality. Scary to think about. 

 I am grateful for relaxing days

 I am grateful for warm showers and sharp razors to shave with.

 I am grateful for more time.


Tuesday, May 1

I Got Shot At Today

Well, maybe not exactly "shot" but it definitely sounded like a gun shot. When I was driving to the airport to pick up my cousin Maclean (who is going to stay with me to help with the kids until school is over) I was on the back road from Devon and a semi truck passed me and BANG!! my windshield blew up and sprayed glass all over the inside of my truck.

Stupid rock!! I have not even payed for my other truck repair. Grrr...just my luck!

But in fairness, It doesn't ruin the fact that MACLEAN is here!!!


I am so grateful for my cousin who is here. I could cry, now that she is here I feel relaxed about working and feel like I can focus completely on the job I have to do. Its ice knowing my children are well cared for.

I am grateful for peace of mind. Its a wonderful thing.

I am grateful no one was in the passenger seat when this rock hit.