Wednesday, April 24

My Very First Show...And I Almost Died.

It finally happened. I finally ran the board all by myself.

Go on...take a listen.

None of this was scripted. I had no idea he was going to leave. Looking back on it now, I should have thought about it, but I figured he knew how little I clearly knew, there would be no way he would leave me...

ooh, maybe he would.

All I kept thinking was, just breath, you can do anything if you had to. My hands were shaking so bad I had to rub them and my heart was pounding out of my chest. I was breathing to a four count like I make my Doula clients and I was trying to not throw up.

I was getting some support via text from listeners, which helped a lot.

After it was all done and Rob walked back into the studio it was like all the emotions I had felt and held back just came bursting out in relief and I just started crying! My heart was beating so fast from adrenaline it felt like I was doing an emerg call again. Like I had just worked a code and we were all just wired.

I never want Rob to leave again, but man does it ever feel good to know I can do it if I had to. That's how I learn best...just plug my nose and dive right in.


I am grateful for the support of my dear friends.

I am grateful for Rob.

I am grateful that nothing blew up.


Tuesday, April 23

Busy Weekend Part 2

Sunday after work I had been asked to emcee for a Black tie Gala for an organization that means a lot to me.

A woman named Rita had emailed me months ago asking if I would help with the ASAC  fundraiser she was putting on.  ASAC is the Association for Safe Alternatives in Childbirth, and I have deep personal ties to them. They helped me find a midwife and Doula when we moved to Stony Plain and was about to have Gabe.
I wrote Gabe’s birthday story and published in Birth Issues, I am still a Doula and I teach Child Birth education classes. So of course I said yes I would help. It was a fun night. 

It was a long day but I loved it. I even ran into the Doula who taught me my class 10 years ago. A few women even came up to me to tell me they have been reading my blog for years. 

Two funny things happened that night, one was when a man came up to me and introduced himself to me...his name was Joelle too. I have never met a man with my name. The second funny thing was when a couple came up to me after dinner and said, hi Joelle, or should we call you Garlic Queen Joelle...they were at the stomp too from the night before. What a small world. 

At the end of the day (around 10pm) I collapsed into my favorite chair and had a glass of red wine. I could sleep for months. 



I am grateful the weekend is over. 

I am grateful for comfortable shoes. 

I am grateful the kids have chicken pox..that means I get to spend sick days with them.  

Monday, April 22

Busy Weekend Part 1

I just finished the busiest weekend I have had in a very long time. I find that I will go long stretches with not much to do or to look forward to. Then, when things start to pick up and a fun activity or event is planned, BAM! out of nowhere there is 5 things all at the exact same time to do and be at. 

A few weeks ago Rob and I were crowned Sorrentino’s Garlic King and Queen and this weekend was their big fundraising dinner. It was held at the Shaw conference center and holy smokes I have never been to anything this fancy in my life.

After our regular show on Saturday I raced to Fusion to get my hair done and then home to get dressed. I arrived at the conference center and was spoiled rotten the entire evening. The food was great, everyone was so nice and really all we did was walk around the room smiling at people and talking to them about the Sorrentino’s Compassion House. I don’t think I will ever get use to the feeling of complete humility when a total stranger comes up to me to say hi and tells me they love listening to our show, how much it made them laugh or how much they enjoy reading my blog and then tell me why it meant something to them personally.  At least I hope that feeling never goes away.  

The tables were beautifully decorated and the room was warm and all the details were sharp and perfect.  Crash and Mars were the king and queen last year so we got to sit with them at our lovely table and visit all night.

The money raised at the Garlic Stomp was for the expansion project for the Sorrentino’s Compassion House (where women stay who live out of town while they undergo breast cancer treatment). The money still needed to finish the expansion came to about $250K. The emcee for the evening made a reference to this and said, “lets do something we have never done before, lets raise that money in under a minute.”
He went on to say, “All I need is 25 of you to stand up and donate $10K each…so, who is gonna help me with that?”
He gave everyone a few minutes and then said, “alright, who is with me?”
Then one by one 35 people stood up with a committed to donate 10 thousand dollars each.  I realize this might not seem like something normal people cry over but I tell you, my throat got so tight and I could not see from all the tears. It was completely overwhelming seeing that type of support for something and without much in the way of hesitation either.

The live auction began right after that and the first prize up for grabs was a 5 day Ferrari tour of Italy that went for 20K.
I chocked on my own breath! I felt like a poor bum peeking through the window of the rich families house on a cold winter night. Who’s life has this in it? Who does tours of Italy in a bloody Ferrari and hasn't spent the last 12 years of their life saving and planning for it? I giggled to myself that I bought the dress I was wearing from a consignment store and that was a big deal for me…pft..this guy just dropped 20K in 3 biggie.

What different words we live in.

One of my favorite parts of the night was the balloons. One of the companies that donated things for the evening was a jeweler   So balloons were sold for 100$ each, and in each balloon was a gift certificate for 100$ to that jewelry store, but there were a few balloons with special prizes in them. There were three balloons with % thousand dollar necklaces in them and one balloon had an all expense paid trip for two to Mexico.  So I walked up and down the tables with one of the event organizers Brandy selling these balloons to people. I thought it was so romantic when I would walk past a table and a man would gesture to me he wanted a balloon and when I walked up to the table the woman he was with face just lit up when she realized she was getting to pick a balloon.

Silly I know, but I couldn't help but think, one day I hope I find someone who would buy a balloon for me.  Then when all the balloons were sold the emcee counted down and everyone popped the balloons at once and you could hear the squeals from the women who won big prizes.  It made my heart happy and ache at the same time.

The evening ended with a dance and a silent auction. Some of the most incredible prizes I have ever seen were there. A signed guitar from the Rolling Stones was just one of the items. It was pretty fantastic!

I danced with Rob’s wife Steph for a few songs then I needed to take my sore feet home to bed so I could get up in the morning for work.
It was such a wonderful evening and I enjoyed every minute of it. I felt like Cinderella getting to step into a beautiful and slightly magical world for one night.



I am grateful Amanda was my date for the night, thank you! I really appreciate not going to things like this alone.

I am grateful I have Jenna to help me with the children. The extra fun part of this weekend I have not mentioned yet is all the kids have Chicken it rains it pours.

I am grateful for good shoes and a good bra. A girls best friends!

Tuesday, April 16

Romeo Romeo Wherefore Art Thou...

I have shared this dating journey thus far and to say it has been interesting would be a huge understatement. I have met a few nice guys and I even have a second dating coming up that I am looking forward to.

I have also had some not so great experiences and conversations with some guys that, had this been a year ago, would have devastated me and I would have given up. Thankfully now I can just roll my eyes and move on. I wanted to share a conversation I had with a man just last night who I was chatting with for ONE WEEK and we were planning to meet for coffee this week. I had just told him I had children and this was his very next question.

It took me a minute to figure out why he was asking if they were "natural births" for a brief second I thought he might have been asking because I was a Doula....then I remember I had not told him I was a Doual yet.

Working out is not always easy. I do not like my treadmill at the best of times, I really do not enjoy lunges and sit ups are not super I have to add keegals to my list of things to do during my workout. Sigh...

You are welcome ladies for this blog married ladies, be thankful that you are no longer dating...and you other single women, I seem to be a magnet for turds so you should be semi safe.

And the journey continues...


I am grateful for the opportunity to mother 3 boys who will go into the world to see woman as they should be seen, and to have a daughter who will know her worth from the beginning. My boys will value women and my daughter will respect men. I am ever so thankful I will have left these beautiful little people to help make the world a better place when my time here is done.

I am grateful I can laugh and see humor in all situations.

I am grateful.


Thursday, April 11

Improv to Improve Class

When I was an EMT we had to be registered with the province and to maintain that registration every year we had to do some continuing education. We would be sent some thing to read pertaining to our field and then we had to do a test. At the time we all found it redundant and bothersome to have to do it, but now, now there is a part of me that appreciates growth and learning and wishes there was an equivalent in radio.

I didn't go to school for radio and I have been trying to think of something I could do, a class I could take that might help in the same way our con-ed helped in EMS. After thinking it over for a few weeks, I found something I think will help. I found an improv class offered by a group of actors that I think will be exactly what I need. I want to be better at what I do. I want to feel more comfortable with my abilities and I want to learn new things. I want to be able to feel silly and not care.

I never participated in theater when I was in high school. I have no idea why, I think it was a mix of being scared of the drama teacher and I just wasn't a fan of being on stage. I would pay the .25 cents at lunch to watch Freddy and Everett compete with others in theater sports. They were some of the funniest guys I knew and their ability to preform in front of people was something I always admired. The days theater sports were on were my favorite. Even back then I understood myself enough to know that when I was having a bad day, just 30 minutes of watching two people play tennis in theater sports with a comb was all I needed. I would be laughing until there were tears and I could carry on with my day.

Last night was my first Improv class. I had to do a movie premier in the south first. Welcome ticket winners and chat with people then introduce the movie with Rob. I actually just stood there while he did it, weird how someday's I can talk to anyone, and other days that many people staring at me makes me want to throw up and lay on the ground. I am so glad I have Rob there to help buffer the bad days. When the movie started I raced out to my van and drove downtown to make it to my class.
When I finally got to the right place (I walked into another class and interrupted it) there was about 9  people and they were all sitting in chairs in a circle. The teacher was warm and welcoming, not what I expected at all. I was worried that she would be completely irritated with me being late and be over dramatic with how it effected the feel of the stage (something along the lines of how over the top I remember our high school drama teacher being) but she wasn't. She just smiled and put me in a group for our first improv game.

At first I didn't really like it. I just wanted to sit back and watch, but the more we played the games the more comfortable I felt. It was a strange sense of relaxation. No one cared if you made a mistake, they actually said a few times, "mistakes are just new opportunities" This class is actually a level 2 class. I was not able to go to the level 1 because it is always held on days I work, but after speaking to the director she allowed me to go in. So there were things I didn't understand but Joleen would give a quick explanation and away we went.

By the end of the night when the class was winding down I was so sad. I wanted to stay and play longer. I really think I made a good choice with this class. I can't wait until next week, and we can play freeze again. I think I might teach the kids how to play and goof around with them today as practice.


I am grateful for the day off I decided the kids get. I have not seen them much lately and I miss them, so they are staying home with me today to play and laugh and visit.

I am grateful the sun is out today.

I am grateful for getting to try new things and meeting new people.


Wednesday, April 10

Garlic King & Queen

 Rob and I were crowned Sorrentino's Garlic King & Queen Sunday night at the garlic festival.

 Ooh my word what a fun night. Crash & Mars were the King and Queen last year so they handed over their crowns and robes to us in front of a room full of people all there to eat, drink and  support a fundraising effort for the Compassion House. It is a house where women from outside of Edmonton undergoing breast cancer treatment can stay free of charge with other women. It's is a fantastic organization and now Rob and I get to help with it.

The evening was fun and the food was sensational! I met tons of new people and laughed the night away. I am going to really enjoy this royal life. We get to eat at Sorrentino's all month as often as we wish, and get to help with the main fundraising dinner in a few weeks.

I was tickled when the owners told me I looked very Italian... Clearly they are intelligent people!

I told the kids they had to start calling me Your Majesty, which, as I am sure you can imagine, went over like a lead balloon...and after about five minutes of it Nora says to me, "when can I stop this nonsense and call you mom again?"  Little stinker...

It was a wonderful night. On my way home I stopped at Walmart to pick up a few crowns for the kids. I knew once Nora saw my crown, she would want one of her own. She had reminded me once I was a queen, that did of course mean she was an actual princess.

us in the Edmonton Sun

Dinner that night was amazing!! 

Crash & Mars, Franca, Amanda and Rob

A man in a gigantic Garlic costume. 


Me, Amanda and Steph

Ooh did I mention we were on page two of the Edmonton Sun;)


I am grateful I get to be a part of things like this.

I am grateful I made it through this last week of work, I am exhausted.

I am grateful my sweet boy Gabe came and visited with me this morning before we got going for the day and talked with me.


Monday, April 8

The Weird Non Apology Apology I Got...

I received a face book message the other night from a woman I have not spoken to more then 5 times in my entire life and the last time was years ago. I have no context for receiving this random letter either.
I have thought it over long and hard and I have decided to share it will everyone along with my feelings concerning it.

I am happy. I work hard at a job that I love and find fulfillment in. I have good people in my life and I enjoy my time with them. When I received this it really upset me, it shouldn't have, but it did. I felt sick to my stomach that there are a group of women in the world who once were friends of mine that are now sitting around with nothing better to do then gossip and say hurtful things about me and my children, and about my life that none of them know (or have cared to ask) about.  I do not know why this was sent to me, it was hurtful and manipulative and mean. But now I will learn from it. I will also teach my children form this as well. So I do thank you for that.

May I suggest, for the future, reading a book, learning to paint, possibly even starting a hobby. Watch the news or read a news paper, heck even learn a joke or two so you will have some sort of educated content for the next gathering you attend. Doing that will help you have meaningful things to discuss instead of just gossiping about others.

As my grandmother use to say, "Strong minds discuss world events and ideas, feeble minds discuss people."

Why as women do we error on the side of such passive aggressive behavior, just to make ourselves feel better?



I am grateful for the people who are in my life. Strong and intelligent and kind people.

First Few Dates Down

I am completely finished with this horrific weather. I am so finished I am not even going to address it on my blog..sigh

So this week has been fun, I have had the opportunity to go on a few dates and it has been good.  In true Joelle style I of course can't just go on a normal date, no, I cant just go out and have a nice relaxed time. Nope, not I. I find and go out with a guy who's currant profession is legally questionable, so much so that half way through the date (and 3 beers in) when he tells me what he does I have to go into the washroom to phone my police friend to come pick me up because I didn't want to stay and possibly be involved with anything.

Then on date number two after dinner (which I'll have you know I only drank Pepsi with) as I was walking out of the restaurant I missed the step and fell completely flat on my face. I put a hole in my jeans and cut my knee. Thankfully I don't get embarrassed and just started to laugh. sigh..I am such a knob!

But I have had some neat conversations with these guys. The one I would really like to share was my date this past weekend with a handsome Fire Fighter.  We met for a beer and talked about some common ground we share. During our conversation he made a innocent and beautiful comment about a coworker of mine. He simply said how beautiful she was, and how she was even more beautiful when she was pregnant.

Rachel is a dear friend of mine and when he said this I couldn't help but smile. These small moments when I see there are really great guys out there that see real women as beautiful in all our stages of life and not require them/us to be super model non eating skinny all the time made me so happy.
It's nice to have this dating thing sprinkled with moments like these that keep me believing someone great is out there for me.

Dating is not easy, but it's going okay.


I am grateful for Jenna. Anyone who knows me knows I love pranks!! On Aprils fools day she went to a lot of trouble and got me not once, not twice, but three times! Her end prank was when she hid in my van early in the morning and as I went outside to get into the van to go to work, I opened the door and she sent off an air horn. Scared me so bad I dropped my purse and slammed the door closed. I started to laugh and then opened the van door again slowly waiting for the air horn to go off again, it didn't and I went to put my stuff in the van, that's when she came crawling out the back of my van. Scared me so bad again I think I peed!! It was awesome!!!

I am grateful for blog comments. You guys are awesome and I always appreciate hearing your thoughts and feeling your support.

I am grateful for new flavors of tea to try.


Tuesday, April 2

Rob's Dating Pep Talk And Speed Dating.

Everyone should have a Rob in their life. 
I can honestly say that sentence is not something I would have written a year ago. To say we didn't really hit it off in the beginning would be a bit of an understatement. It's an unusual situation being thrown together with someone you don't know,who also has a strong personality, learn about each other all the while trying to be entertaining while you figure out how to maneuver and mesh the personalities. We have come a long way Rob and I, from fighting over chips (still the best story of all time) to now looking forward to catching up after days off. 

Rob has observed a lot that has gone on in my life over this last year. Spending over 40 hours a week together he sees and hears almost everything, and because of how good of friends we have become I appreciate his opinions on the things he sees. I even ask his advice sometimes. I don't always take it, but I listen to him and let me tell you, everyone should have a Rob in their life. 

 Rob has watched me go through a few challenges in our time together and has seen what it has done to me and in the last month or so has become a bit of a rock for me. Rob has been giving me some huge pep talks about what I deserve in this life and what I should and should not accept. Rob reminds me often that I am worth so much more then I am getting and  give myself credit for. He has even given me a hug when it got really bad and all I wanted was to cry.  

Everyone should have a Rob in their life. Rob sometimes gets mad when I allow myself to be treated badly by a guy and will make me laugh when I need it. Rob has become a huge self esteem booster for me. Who would have ever guessed?

So with Robs encouragement  I decided to give this dating thing another try, but this time go into it with a different outlook and with no expectations. "Have fun" he says, " go out for coffee and see if he deserves your time before going out again." 

He even gave me this car analogy the other day that I am like a Porsche, and "would you let some bum ride in a Porsche?" (not intended to be as dirty as it might come across) "No!" Rob says, "you only let those who are good enough and will take care of that kind of car drive it. (again don't be dirty) 

(I am not saying I think I am a Porsche...but I think you all get what he was trying to say.) 

So, with my ego padded and feeling like I could try this again and maybe even have a little fun doing it I signed up for speed dating. 

I was nervous but it was a lot of fun. There was only 3 guys that showed up (there was suppose to be 12) and I really liked how easy it was to chat for 5 minutes and it shocked me how fast I could tell if this had potential of going further or not. When it was over and I was headed home I felt like I had just overcame this huge confidence obstacle.  I was brave and I put myself out there and men seemed to have been interested. It was a nice way to ease into it again. I met a doctor an engineer and a man in sales for oil stuff. 
Nice guys who seemed like quality men. Not matches for me, but I was starting to see what Rob was talking about and even more importantly I was feeling it too. 

It has been fun chatting with guys again, and I look forward to a few dates that are coming up, and I can't wait to tell Rob all about them. 


I am grateful to have such an amazing support system in my life. 

I am grateful for feeling strong enough to brave this dating thing again. 

I am grateful for Jenna, who allows me to opportunities to date and know my children are well cared for and loved.