Monday, July 30

Music Monday To Sing To.

I have arrived in BC. The children and I had a wonderful trip and made "good time". "Made good time" is not a term I would ever use normally, but once arriving and talking to my dad and cousin Chris, my uncles and the male neighbour I have become accustomed to using this term and answering in the affirmative when asked about my long drive. To men this is clearly a sigh of a successful trip. "making good time" is some how a measurement of ones manhood, abilities and overall worth in this life? As a woman, I based the success on the fact I did not get lost, no one was left (by accident or on purpose) at any of the 10 stops we made along the way, the van did not break down and of course, at no point did I get frazzled and drive off a cliff. But as I am learning time and time again, men and women are ooh so different.

My family sleeping arrangement are quite different this year too. Instead of the lavish trailer Nora and I are sleeping in the back of the van and the boys are in the tent... I have not slept this well in months!

Everyone is having a wonderful time. I feel fantastic. This place is magical.

Here are a few songs that kept me company during the drive. Enjoy!






And of course no trip of mine is complete without Ingrid.
Today:

I am grateful for water. Water to drink, play in and watch early in the morning before boats upset it. When it is glass like and still, it is hypnotising.

I am grateful I have been able to listen to music, not prep to talk after, not figure out what to say about each song, just listen and sing to.

I am grateful just as I am finishing typing this the hot sun has emerged from behind a cloud and is calling us down to the lake.

Ciao
J

Saturday, July 28

6am

It is 6am and I am about to wake the children to head off on our big adventure. I did not sleep very well last night, I was far too excited. I think I have everything we will need, and if I don't we will do without. My lake is calling me and if everything goes well, my feet will be in said lake by dinner.

J

Today:

I do not have enough room on this entire page to express how grateful I am to Sam for letting me use her mini van for this trip. I actually thought yesterday, "the car will be fine" PFT...I packed just the kids things in the car and did not have enough room, let alone my stuff too.
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

I am grateful for the peaceful morning I had getting ready.

I am grateful for my family, I can't wait to see everyone.


Friday, July 27

24 hours

In less then 24 hours the children and I will be headed west. I can't wait. I can hear my special spot on the end of the bright red dock calling me. I can hear the huge willow trees beckoning me to walk under them or read a book and rest while the wind plays soft sweet songs through the leaves. I can't wait to breath in the thick humid air. My happy and safe place is waiting for me and I am doing my best to hurry and get there. I know I will find my smile again there. I know when I arrive everything will slow down and make more sense. I know when I get there the last bits of me that still hurt once in a while will heal more. There is something inside of me that feels at home in the valley of mountains with a huge lake and fruit trees that I can't explain.
Stress is an uninvited guest there, and is not welcome on the boat. I have no idea why sitting on the boat with the wind wiping my hair around makes me so happy, or why the complete terror of watching my children get tossed around like dolls on a inflated tube brings total bliss. But it does.

Everyone should have a happy place. Everyone should have somewhere in the word that gently calls them back time and time again. My special place has her work cut out for her this time, there is a lot I need her to fix, but I know she can handle it. We have an understanding.
I do my part by sharing her with my children so they will know where to find peace and calm in this world, and she dries my tears, fixes me when I am broken, fills up my bucket and sends me home able to carry on until I return again next year.

I can't wait!

J

Today:

I am grateful for time off.

I am grateful the children are home tonight! I have missed them so badly.

I am grateful.


Tuesday, July 24

With A Little Help From My Friends

I have had the same group of girlfriends since I was in grade 4. We have been through almost everything together, and still after all these years we keep in touch. We don't talk every day or every week, heck most of our communication is via email now a days but we do stay in touch. We can even go for months without talking and pick right back up without feeling like any time has passed.
I guess that's the beauty of time. We have all been friends for so long we all know that we are still and always will be there for each other. It's a good feeling.

This weekend my girls came up to spend some time with me. I really needed it and I think they knew that. With very little planning they all piled into their cars and headed north. I hope one day our girl weekend will involve Hawaii, but for now I am happy to see them at all.

We spent our time together laughing and catching up on kids and work, husbands and heartbreaks. There is not much in this life that is a guarantee, except for death and taxes, but when this group of women are together there is without fail hysterical laughter and more often than not someone peeing their pants from too much!









I need to thank you ladies. I am and always will be a firm believer in saying what you need to say. I think you should always tell people what they mean to you because if you pass up your chance, you might not get another.

My dearest and oldest friends in this world,

Thank you for the gift of your time. I believe every woman in the world deserves three things: a good therapist, a boob job after she has kids, and friends like you. I feel so loved and cared for. I was running on empty for the last few weeks and I feel better now. Time and laughing replenishes me. When we are not together I forget how much I miss you guys, then you leave and my heart hurts a little. I hope you all know how much I love and adore you. I hope you know how much strength I gain from each of you. I love that months goes by and we all just pick up right where we left off. I love you guys so much!

Today

I am grateful for good friends.

I am grateful for how much better I feel having gotten to spend time with friends.

I am grateful I don't feel I need to explain to you. I appreciate that you listen when I talk, but thank you for never making me feel like I have to.

I am grateful you are all still as wonderful after all these years.

J




Monday, July 23

Rental Cars and Music Monday

I just returned from picking up my rental car. It's cute and a little sporty. It should be fun for the next few days.

 I would have liked a mustang...he did tell me I could go to the airport and trade it in for one if I wanted. I'm seriously thinking it over.

This weekend my girlfriends from Strathmore and Calgary came up and we had a wonderful time. I'll write more about our weekend tomorrow, but I wanted to share the music part of our weekend today.

Friday after work I went to capital Ex with  friends and we saw USS and Awolnation.




 They were pretty good. I enjoyed the energy of the place and people watching is always a favorite past time of mine.

 Amy shared this singing group with me this weekend and I LOVE them. I could listen to them for hours.



On Saturday when all us girls went out we happened on a garage sale and I found an old Women and Song CD. I remember having one years ago but it had been stolen. I painted two more walls in my house last night and I listened to it over and over again. Here are two of my favorites from it.

 



When my painting was finished for the night I went and saw the new Batman movie. I loved it, it was fantastic and I think I have a new favorite superhero.

J

Today:

 I am grateful for rental cars.

I am grateful for things to do all week.

I am grateful for how it makes me feel about myself when I do a project myself.

Thursday, July 19

Just A Regular Thursday

What a crazy week it has been here. I have been running all day every day from the moment I wake up in the morning until I crash every night at around midnight. The craziest part is I am totally exhausted at night and yet I don't sleep at all and always get up around 6am. I am almost to the point that if a small animal needs to be sacrificed so I can get a decent sleep, I would suggest locking up your kittens or puppies.

 I only crossed one thing off my list this week, but I accomplished so  much more that I would have never thought to even put on my list in the first place. The biggest one being I bought my house! I know it sounds silly, I have actually owned this house for 8 years already, but now I own it in its entirety. I bought Drew out and now there is just one name on the paperwork...mine!  I am a home owner. Now listen, my house is rather small and kind of old. I like to call it humble, in need of some love, but I don't care. I painted it this week. I needed the wall that has my motto on it to be finished and now it is. I find myself sitting in my rocking chair some nights just staring at it. It's still hard to take it all in. This place belongs to moi!

Other things I did this week included getting my car fixed because (remember when it was broken into, and then hit all in the matter of a few days?) Well a few days after all that happened I received a notice in the mail that my new car had been recalled. For a car that was suppose to make my life easier it has been a hug pain in the ass. It still needs to get the part that was hit fixed, but now at least it wont catch fire from the oil pan.

Work has been going really well too, Rob and I got to interview an artist you might know...Perhaps you have heard of him?? We got to interview Gotye! He asked to be called Wally. I kind of expected that I would be a total loser and not play it cool , which seems to be the norm when I get to do anything remotely cool when it comes to artists. But funny enough I was totally normal and just fine. It felt like I was talking to a friend. (So I am going to guess my subconscious doesn't really think he is that big of a deal.)

 I am really looking forward to holidays next week. Some time away on a beach with my mom cooking dinner is exactly what I need right now. The part I am looking forward to the  most I think (other than getting a tan) is getting to see Maclean again. She is going to be at the lake at some point when the kids and I are there. I can't wait to catch up with her. Laugh and cry with her. I have missed her terribly! I am so looking forward to seeing her and my other cousins and going for coffee at the quaint bakery early in the morning and telling each other all of our stories! 


BC is my happy place, and I can't wait to go. I can't wait to breath in the thick hot humid air. I can't wait to get out on the boat and swim. I can't wait to just relax. I hope to find a lot of the things I seem to have misplaced or lost. BC has a way of working its quiet magic on my busied and stressed body. It is a small little town that my whole family goes to and the simplicity of it is where its beauty is found. It makes me smile. My family from BC comes to visit and we all reconnect. I can not wait!  


Until then. Some of my oldest and dearest friends are going to be coming up this weekend for a visit. I have known these girls for yikes..29 years (Mel) 20 years (JD) 25? years (Karie) 23 years (Amy). Holy crap ladies! Sigh, I can't wait! It will be so nice to talk and laugh, visit and eat! We fully intend on finding some trouble to get into as well. I don't recall a time when I feel I have needed all my friends more than right now, so for then to do this, it means so very much !


J


Today;


I am grateful for Sam and all her help with the stuff on my list, and for everything. 


I am grateful for how good my hair cut made me feel today, and I am especially grateful for the intern at work who told me it looked nice today. Even if the intern was just sucking up, it felt nice to be told by a boy that I looked nice. I miss that.


I am grateful for Rob. We have been learning to work together and sometimes that forced friendship can take a while, but he has been really great the last few weeks. He makes me laugh when I need it most! And more importantly he handles it well when I cry. 







Monday, July 16

Music Monday And I'm Just As Surprised As You

Dear Katy,

I went and saw your movie this weekend. I really only went for work reasons and because I was bored. But I have to say, the moment in the movie when you were in Brazil and had clearly just been told your relationship was over and you were crying on that chair. My heart sank. But I didn't find that the most incredible part. The part where I saw the kind of person you really are was when you pulled yourself together amidst your personal heartache and put on a smile and entertained thousands when all you wanted to do was clearly sit back down in that same chair and cry for your loss. That is the moment I became a fan. There needs to be more strong women like you in the world.

You rock lady! 








Today:

I am grateful my house is cooled off now.

I am grateful for a good breakfast.

I am grateful for things to do this week.

J


Sunday, July 15

Sunday Thoughts

I bought a bathing suit yesterday. As every woman can attest to, that is a blood chilling and terrifying endeavor that often ends in anger, tears, an increase or decrease of food intake for the remainder of the day and in some extreme cases all of this at once. But this time it didn't, I just tried a few on and picked the one that was the nicest. I picked the one that made the body I have look nicest. I did not get annoyed because of the body I wish I had.I was not upset having to buy a suit that had a number (size) attached to it that I wished was smaller. I just found one that fit. The entire process took 20 minutes and I walked out of the store feeling just fine.
The reason I bring this up is I didn't even realize until I got home that I felt just fine about myself and that I was not torturing myself like I normally would have about what I look like. It took almost 2 hours after I got back before it dawned on me that I had just bought a bating suit and was still smiling.

I am no blond-haired woman, I never will be. I have short dark hair. I am not super skinny and there are a few extra pounds on these hips that are okay with me. I like my curves.
My name is Joelle and I bought a bating suit this weekend and I feel great about it.

For some of you men, you might never understand what this actually means. But I know you women will.

I spent a lot of time alone this weekend, my kids have been gone for 10 days and I have found the silence more torturous then enjoyable. I have hated being stuck in my own head over thinking everything, but this weekend the madness in my mind has slowed. The over thinking took a rest and I have felt so peaceful in the quiet of my home. I have done things that I want to do because I wanted to do them. I watched 3 movies, baked cookies, wrote and read. This weekend I stopped trying to figure out "why". 'Cause it doesn't matter "why", what matters is "what's next?"

And the answer to that in this exact moment is lunch!

J

Today:

I am grateful for how these pants make my bum look really great!

I am grateful for a bathing suit that I like and makes me feel pretty.

I am grateful for a strong and adventurous spirit.




Thursday, July 12

Stage 2..Acceptance

Alright, everything is clear now and I feel better. Maybe not better, but I feel like I can move forward without glancing back over my shoulder anymore wondering. Wondering if there was hope and still the possibility for my story to end in together. But it's not going to, and I feel better. I feel better because I think the worst place for me to ever be is stuck inside of my own head. I think and rethink and hope and "what if", and "maybe someday"....nope. All done. It's so done I can change my status on Facebook. THAT is how done it is.

That thunder storm last night was fantastic. I just laid in bed watching it out my window and thinking what happens next for me. Where do I go now? What do I really want?

It was a good night for me. Big girl panties are pulled up. I have taken a few big breaths and I am headed out. I am going to work and I am doing it today with a smile. 'Cause who knows, today just might be the day something really wonderful happens to me. Or even better, today might be the day I get to help someone else feel better.  And because I am no longer feeling so self absorbed, I wont miss my opportunity if someone needs me. 

Today:

I am grateful for all of this. 

I am grateful for feeling strong and in control again. 

I am hopeful that one day it will be my turn. 

J


Wednesday, July 11

Sedate me PLEASE!

I rented two funny movies last night. I was told they were funny by a few people, I was assured they were funny by the lady who I rented them from and the really tall boyfriend of said lady swore to me on his life that it was HILARIOUS and that I would laugh all night long. So then why did I cry through the entire show of 21 Jump Street? I didn't even laugh when the penis was shot off! WTH??!!

Ooh ya, because I am losing my mind and I need to be sedated. I even made myself a beautiful dinner and that did not help. What the HELL is wrong with me?? 

Ugh.

Today:

I am grateful for my friend Matty at work who assures me I am normal and this is what normal people feel.

I am grateful I got to sleep in today.

I am grateful for the sunshine.

J

Monday, July 9

Music Monday With A Burn

What a sensational weekend! It has been 30+ for two days now and the weather man says its gonna keep going all week. I can not wait! I am a sun baby. I come from a long line of women who use olive oil instead of SPF...I know I know. But I have become smarter with the increased awareness of skin cancer. No longer would I be silly and use baby or olive oil, now I take a proactive approach to my skin care and use this.


See! I am much more responsible now! Except yesterday, yesterday I forgot to use even this little amount of protection and now I look like a lobster. I am burnt bad, and have a humming, glowing heat exuding from my shoulders and nose. It should make getting dressed today super fun.

For Music Monday today I have a handful of songs I want to share. These songs have helped get me through the last two weeks. I listen to them and sing along on my drive in to work everyday. I hope you like them and have a fantastic SPF filled week!














Today:

I am grateful I get to pick up my rental car in 30 minutes and my car is going to get fixed. I hope I get a nice car.

I am grateful I got to visit with a few friends from Strathmore this weekend who came up to watch their kids play baseball. It has been years since I cheered at a baseball game played by these families. It was such a nice time and great way to spend the day.

I am grateful for Tim Hortons iced caps.

J


Sunday, July 8

Happy Birthday Gabe

My Dear Gabe,

You are looking really great for nine! If I had not given birth to you myself I would have guessed you were 10, 11 tops! Gabe, you are the most delightful human I have had the pleasure to know on this earth in my entire 33 years. You have such a kind heart with a loving and warm smile, no matter what kind of bad things happen in my day, just seeing you and hearing you laugh fixes it all. You are peaceful and those who know you, love you. Your happiness and joy is very contagious, I hope you always keep that. One day my little man you will have a full grasp on what is actually out there in the world and I hope when that day comes it does not change you. I want you to always remember that even though there are bad things in the world, and there are people who might not see things like you do or are as happy, please hold on so tight to your joy and your outlook on life. In a world of turmoil many will find you a comfort and your presence a safe haven from trials along there journey. I hope you always allow others to find rest in your company, see people for who they are not for what they do (because the two are not always the same). No matter what anyone tells you, no one is better than another, we are all the same. So treat everyone accordingly! 


At your very young age, you my son are capable of mercy and already understand love better than many adults I associate with. Never lose that, or at least try your best not to. You will find that people who need to heal will be drawn to you, don't be scared to comfort them, it's a gift not everyone has and I know it can be draining, so always do things for yourself so your bucket is full first. 


Laugh and laugh and laugh some more! You got that laugh of yours from me, and I know it works the same way mine does. Laughing heals the soul, do not be cheep with that! Laugh often and much! Share it with everyone. I cherish our time together at night, at the end of a long day when you and I giggle and tell stories. Even I find it hypnotizing! 


Remember you can always use me and your dad as an excuse for anything, especially if you don't want to do something and are not sure how to say no. If people are making a choice you are not comfortable with, blame us. When you are asked to do things and go places and if you are not ready, blame us. I will never be angry and will happily be the "bad guy" when needed!


Soon the time is going to come when girls are not so gross and you spend your free time chatting with them more than me. I look forward to meeting young girls that have caught your attention, you are such a magnificent boy, I am quite confident the girls you will attract will be nothing less then amazing! Treat girls with respect. I expect nothing but! 


Always stay in touch with your brothers and sister. They are your best friends, and one day when I am no longer around, they will be all you have. Forgive them when they upset you, that is what brothers and sisters do. 


And lastly my sweet yellow haired boy, practice listening to your inner voice. The sooner you recognize it and pay attention the better off you will be. I am not sure how it will sound to you, no two inner voices are the same. I know for myself it comes in the form of a feeling. When I know something is right I feel resolved and calm, happy and I feel love. When something is not right I feel confused and scared. You can never go wrong if you follow what your inner voice tells you, even if the way it is directing is not what others what for you. Stand firm in what you feel to be true. No one has any right to tell you how to think and how to feel (that includes me). Their opinions do not matter when you feel sure about something. 
Learn this as soon as possible and you will be ahead in this life.


Serve others, but take care of family first! 


I love you my boy, I wish you all the joy a nine year old heart can handle on your very special day!! 






Love always and forever, 


Mom


Today:

I am grateful for Gabe and all he brings to my life.







Friday, July 6

Today I am Grateful

I slept in a little this morning which is a huge thing. I have had a few late nights in a row and my body was desperate to catch up a little. I am so thankful it was today! The sun was out in full force when I woke and it made it easier to get out of bed.

Because of all the crap that has been going on the last two weeks and with the cherry on top being my car, I found myself a tad edgy yesterday. I was more sarcastic than normal, and was feeling a bit sorry for myself. I figured today was a good day to regroup, refocus and be grateful.

Today:

I am grateful for a healthy body that works. I remember all too well what the opposite is like and I am really grateful I am better.

I am grateful for my home.

I am grateful for good food.

I am grateful for a job that I love.

I am grateful that my car was hit with no one in it and no one was hurt.

I am grateful  for learning so much about myself these last few weeks.

 I am grateful for the moments in the morning when I first wake up and stare at my vision board before getting out of bed. That time I have in the morning to rethink my goals and what I want in life is a sacred time that I really appreciate.

I am grateful for music that can touch me.

I am grateful for getting to laugh a little. It resets my insides and stills the calm, laughing is like breath to me.

J

Thursday, July 5

Just A BIG Shout Out!

I would love to give a big shout out to whoever hit my car and just drove away this morning without leaving a note, trying to contact me or just being a basic decent person!
I appreciate that you probably thought, "I think Joelle could use something to do this Thursday morning, she seems bored". I could see how you thought  a trip to the RCMP station to fill out a hit and run report would do the trick!
Thank you! You were right, I was silly enough to think a work out, good breakfast and chat with my friend in the states was what would start my day off right, but no, you were way more accurate! Thank you for adding just that little bit of extra "kick to the face" I needed to begin my work day!









And lastly these daily memos that God hates me are always welcome, it's good to be reminded where you stand with the big guy, it keeps me humble. And I especially appreciate the universe continually solidifying it's stand that I am incapable and not allowed to have anything nice, new or not somehow broken in this life!   

Cheers! Happy Thursday to you too!

J

Today:

I am grateful for kind insurance agents who made me laugh when I called.

I am grateful for the unbelievably kind police officer who helped me fill everything out today, she was exactly what I needed.

I am grateful that is sunny out today.

I am grateful for K for taking me out last night to see Magic Mike, sista, that was a great way to spend the evening, thank you!!






Tuesday, July 3

Steps Done and Scared Shitless In A Storm

Project one off my list-Steps to the deck, done!


These are the steps and the rotten deck that goes with them. The children were playing a few weeks ago and someone walked up them and the rotten wood gave way and the steps crumbled off.




After a few hours sorting wood, finding screws at Home Depo with Sam and fixing the bent drain pipe we were ready to go. Everything was laying out organized and set... so of course the rain would come. It just added to my resolve to do this anyway, so suck it mother nature, It's gonna happen no matter what. 


I am proud to report we assembled the whole thing all by ourselves. I put every single screw in that set of steps! And I think it looks pretty damn good!




Hopefully one day I will get to fix the deck too.







Later after the kids went to bed my friend Charity agreed to come watch a scary movie with me. I am not exactly sure what the hell I was thinking, or why I thought it would be a good idea to do this, but I decided and so it was going to be done. We watched The Descent and it was a perfect choice with the weather all dark and scary already. It was about a group of friends who decided to go spelunking and they stumbled on freaky creepy slimy people who ate them one by one. It was quite possibly the worst decision I have made in weeks! But I did it... we did it! And Charity survived the evening with only a few scratch marks.  (Thanks Charity). 


I guess maybe I thought if I watched something scary it be like an electric shock treatment on my insides. Perhaps that is what I need.. EUREKA, I figured it out!! All I need is for someone to defibrillate my brain! After I watched the movie my heart was pounding so hard it took me a little bit to fall asleep, but I am still glad I did it. So that's two things off my list:


1- Paint my house.
2-Learn to use my BBQ.
3-Scare myself stiff. (I am going to watch a horror movie all by myself)
4-I am going to throw a dinner party in the next few weeks. 
5-I am going to fix my steps.
6-I am going to figure out how to smile again for real. 
7-I am going to ride my bike. 
8-I am going to read The Help that Melanie gave me months ago. 

I will add,
9-I am going to fix my washing machine. 


All in all it was a successful weekend, the children had fun and I..well, I am still kicking! 


Today:


I am grateful for the sweet letters of encouragement I have been receiving from friends and total strangers. Thank you. 


I am grateful for my friends who are supportive and willing to help. 


I am grateful for feeling a little more normal today. 


J







Monday, July 2

I Am Getting Sick Of Myself, I Need A Shower.

I am so sick of my own damn self I can't stand it! This could possibly be the mopiest most pathetic, self absorbed and saddest I have felt in years. Not to mention that I actually smell, I mean I literally smell and need a shower. I have cried for 7 days straight and have partied with self pity every second of this past week too. And ya know what? I'M DONE!

I have absolutely no idea how to change my heart or to sooth it and reassure it that one day it wont ache as much as it does right now, but there are a few things I can do. I can shower and shave my legs. I can wear proper clothes and do my hair. Those things always make me feel better.


So off I go to pick up shaving cream and a new razor blade and I am going to scrub every inch of my self with nice smelling soap. I will sing in the shower too. I'll be back...


Sigh... That feels a little better. 


Now, for things I can do and things I have control of. I have made a list for myself of things I want to do over the next few weeks while the children are away. This will be my attempt to refocus and build myself up. I can do this! 


1- Paint my house.
2-Learn to use my BBQ.
3-Scare myself stiff. (I am going to watch a horror movie all by myself)
4-I am going to throw a dinner party in the next few weeks. 
5-I am going to fix my steps.
6-I am going to figure out how to smile again for real. 
7-I am going to ride my bike. 
8-I am going to read The Help that Melanie gave me months ago. 


Also, today, I am not sure what came over me but I made another vision board. I don't really understand why this works so well for me but they do, and so, I did. 




Today:

I am grateful for new razors and clean skin. 

I am grateful for friends who check up on me. 

I am grateful for whatever going through, this is going to teach me. I look forward to seeing the woman who comes out the other side, because as I have learned for "Queen Annoying" Jillian Michaels change only occurs after there is pressure. So with my limited math and physics skills, the way I see it, is after all this I will be 6'1 and Mother F#$%ing Teresa. Clearly I am not there yet. 

J


Sunday, July 1

Canada Day And Rocky

It's Canada Day today. The day of the year I purposefully take time to reflect on the things that we often take for granted here in the True North, but today I rolled over and tried to go back to sleep. I am not feeling overly grateful right now and my inability to sleep is making me grumpy.

When I finally did drag my sorry ass out of bed it was to a fresh cup of Starbucks Chai that Sam had brought over for me. She has been really great the last few days, helping with my laundry and working on fixing my washer and repairing my broken step. She is also monitoring my cell phone use like all good girlfriends do and not allowing me to act on my late night impulses to call or text even when I cry.

When I did pull myself together enough and came down stairs the children asked if they could stay in all day (because of the rain and cold weather) and watch all the Rocky movies. I think that might be exactly what we need to do today! Movies and food.

J