Saturday, September 28

Motor Cycle Lessons

I am sitting here with a nice cold beer, a shit eating grin on my face (as my dad would call it) and the most incredible feeling of accomplishment mixed with longing in my chest.

 I just got home from my motorcycle lesson!



I have dreamed about this day for years. I grew up with my dad Steve having a bike. All his friends had bikes, I guess it's only natural that my brother Dawson and I would one day ride too.  I remember riding on my dads with him. He had a Honda Gold wing. I remember listening to stories he would tell us about going on rides to BC and how beautiful the roads were. I remember him telling Dawson and I about how him and his buddies would want to meet for coffee, so they would all get on their bikes and ride from Calgary to Banff for a simple cup of coffee. I remember wanting both, friends like that, and a bike to do that on. Even after all these years, my dads friends will still come visit us when we are all in BC during the summer for a night on their bikes while they ride through on their own vacations.

I love bikes.When I was in college I had a friend named Jeff who had a bike. I would sometimes go to work with him cleaning windows and he would pick me up on his bike. I loved coming home at the end of a long day, sitting behind him with my arms wrapped around him. I loved swaying between the cars and feeling the warm summer air on my skin. I loved how alive it feels to be on a bike.

The other day Sam texted me to tell me I was not to make any plans Saturday after work. I didn't think much of it, we often hang out on weekends I don't have the kids. My suspicions heightened when she texted a few days ago to say I will need to wear jeans, boots and my leather jacket too.
That's when I just knew! Sam had mentioned last year she wanted to do this for me for my birthday, but I wasn't ready. This year I was ready.


After work today Sam met me at the station and  we took off the second I was done. The lesson was at a huge parking lot on the outskirts of the city. I was so nervous when we pulled up. Darryl from TNT Motorcycling Rider Training was the name of the instructor. He was an older man with silver hair. He had a very warm smile and a bike with a helmet waiting for me.

He shook my hand and said, okay...get on.

He talked for a bit, explained the parts and what they did. Then before I knew it he said, "lets start it up."
Then he said, "okay, slowly let go of the clutch"

Um, "NO"

He laughed, "you need to let the clutch out a little to feel the bike."

"NOPE"

I said, "That was a great lesson, I don't need to do any more. I'm good."

He laughed again. When you're ready, slowly let go...

I took a few deep breaths and decided shitting my pants was not an ideal thing to do right then.
So I just said to myself...try...

So I did.

Oh my good heavens..I am in love. What a complete rush! I love the wind against my face and the feeling of control. Darryl said I was a natural and that I picked it up very quickly. I only stalled it a few times. After what felt like 5 minutes the lesson was over. I was shocked how sore my hands were, but I guess that will come with practice and not being so tense.

I could not be more proud of myself. I did it! I know how to ride a motorcycle, and now I want one!
The very first person I texted after it was all over was my brother and my dad. I was so happy I had to tell him. He said, " Looks like next year we can go for a ride... all you need is a bike."
Then he texted me back about 40 minutes later while I was writing this and said "well done, proud of you."

I am almost 35 years old and my dad texting me that he's proud of me brought me to tears.

So..Learn to ride a motorcycle is officially scratched off my bucket list!

I am having a dance party in my kitchen right now while I clean it because I am feeling so happy!

I did it! I was scared, but I did it! And I did it...like a boss!












J

Today:

I am grateful for Sam. Thank you.

I am grateful my children love to read.




I am grateful for the woman down the street who plants flowers on the other side of her fence (where the mailboxes are)  facing the back ally so when I walk its pretty behind her house. Even though she cant see it, its a wonderful thing to do because its truly a gift for everyone else.

I am grateful for doing things that scare me, but that remind me I am alive!
Dreams matter, no matter your age. Doing things for ourselves matters! Taking care of ourselves matters!  I want my children to know that they should never stop bettering themselves, never stop learning, never stop having dreams and goals. Have fun, dream big, be brave and try new things!  Take a big breath and try!

Yes Journey is playing in my head as I write this!






Thursday, September 26

I Am Grateful.

I am grateful for my house. It's small, but it's mine.

I am grateful  for my dear friends and family. I have good people in my life and they deserve to be told it more.

I am grateful for music.

I am grateful for a job I love and good people to work with. I love walking down the hallways and hearing people singing along with a good song that is being played over the speakers throughout the building. I especially love seeing people dance too. Even the owner.

I am grateful for laughter.

I am grateful for my health and a strong capable body.

I am grateful for my beautiful children.

I am grateful for the change of season and how beautiful it is outside with all the colours.

I am grateful for how GD good coke zero is.

I am grateful for hot showers, warm towels and nice smelling soap.

I am grateful for the smell after it rains.

I am grateful for a comfortable bed, good pillows and sleep. How everything is better after a sleep.

I am grateful for places I have been and things I have seen with my own eyes.

I am grateful for memories. Good and bad.

I am grateful for disappointments. They make me try harder and work more for things I want.

I am grateful for red wine.

I am grateful for knowing I am the boss of me.

I am grateful for knowing who I am.

I am grateful for a mother who taught me I can change my mind, how to make adjustments when things are not as they should be, and showing me it can be better.

I am grateful for chocolate and other simple pleasures.

I am grateful for sex.  I really miss it when it's not around. I am grateful for chocolate...REALLY grateful!

I am grateful for the freedom I have as a woman in Canada and the voice I have.

I am grateful for learning and the documentary section on Netflix.

I am grateful for art, in all its forms.

I am grateful for the power of gratitude and how it can change my mood almost instantly.

I am grateful for working appliances and running water.

I am grateful strong comfortable chairs.

I am grateful for food and culinary pleasures.

I am grateful for another year.

I am grateful.

So very grateful.

J




Tuesday, September 24

My Little Ponies Graffiti And Explicit Pizza Delivery

I was in Costco yesterday and I saw a few carts that had these in them.



I giggled to myself. I bought one of those riding horses that make noise for Nora a few years ago and it looked pretty once too. Until she started watching My Little Ponies, now it looks like this.









Another funny moment this past week with the kids was when we ordered pizza one night. We have started watching New Girl with Zooey Deschanel on Netflix, it's HILARIOUS! We were watching an episode and the doorbell rang. Just as I answered the door the main character Jess (Zooey) started a rather funny yet explicit explanation of some rather adult metaphors...(Yes judgy McJudgers I don't think that is appropriate for children to hear) but my arms were full of pizza and wings and I was trying to get my bank card.

The T.V. was rather loud too and the pizza delivery guy was older and CLEARLY not impressed with what he was hearing. It was so awkward. When I was just about finished the exchange someone on the show yells, "go climb that snow capped mountain girl".

I could feel my face get flush and the delivery guy didn't even look me in the eyes, he just turned and left.

I closed the door and Ethan was staring at me with a blank look on his face and says, "gawd THAT was awkward". To which I responded, slightly annoyed, "yeah thanks...you do know you could have turned the TV off or at least down"!!!

He threw his head back and started laughing, "yeah I guess I could have".

Little turd!

We all laughed for the rest of the night.

Today:

I am grateful for how a clean house smells.

I am grateful for the beautiful colours of fall.

I am grateful for this stage of life with kids. They can be exhausting and man do they eat a lot, but the laughter that fills this house heals my soul. I actually wish I would have had more. (no I am not drunk)




J

Monday, September 23

Fashion Show

The Fashion Show on Saturday was great. I had a load of fun and everyone was wonderful.

I was a little nervous, I have never really done much with other media people, but everyone was delightful and seemed to have fun. Last year when Sam and I went I was just another creeper watching, this year (I was still a creep) but I had better seats.




The stage was the same as last year, but the addition of huge balls was awesome. 



The change room for the girls. 


My hair nemesis Carole Ann Devaney. She is actually a really cool woman. We chatted throughout the evening about everything from her make up to her decision to give Oprah truck nuts when she got to introduce her. I also showed her how I put a 4 year old in the dress she was wearing for the fashion show.


Jon!! Fashion man extraordinaire! He did such a great job of making sure I felt pretty and he even helped with taping my shoes.


Post hair and make up!




Last time I photo creeped Ryder like the freak I am. This year I met him and got an actual picture.


Robert looked pretty damn awesome that night too.


Carly Kincaid from 99.3 UP (our sister station) and the organizer for the event, with her daughter Abby. Next time I think I'll have my crew in it. They would enjoy it.


The pictures of everyone are here.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/westerncanadafashionweek/with/9875473065/

It was a good time and I can't wait to do it again.

J

Today:

I am grateful I had a good time.

I am grateful for remembering to bring my own makeup (makeup people didn't show)

I am grateful my mother taught me how to walk in high heel shoes and I don't look like a new born calf when wearing them.

I am grateful for people who don't take themselves too seriously.


Friday, September 20

Crisis Averted

Rob and I get to be in a fashion show tomorrow. La-Ti-Da I know!

I think it will be fun. I have been a little nervous, but nothing too bad. I did freak out a little when I go the e-mail last week saying, "just email us your sizes and height and we will pick outfits for you".

Umm nope.
Not that I don't trust this personal shopper I have never met..but I have 34 years experience shopping for this body and it often takes me a few trips and at least a dozen try on's until I find something I am happy with. So the idea of just sending wonky numbers via e-mail, showing up and HOPING something works and fits right, then having to walk in front of strangers (other media people) wearing it...that's like my worst nightmare, second only to getting pregnant at 45.

So after a few loving and understanding emails from the sweet young stylist named Jon, a fitting was arranged and we all picked out something we were happy with. You will get to see the actual dress I picked in my next blog about the fashion show. Today you get to see the disaster that ALMOST was!


We went upstairs into a really beautiful and quiet part of the store. I have never had a personal shopper and it was kind of exciting. We (myself, Sam, Jon and two other women) talked for a bit and they kind of got an idea of my personality and then they went and picked a few things. It was kind of fun. I guess this is how the other half shops. I personally enjoy looking around and picking fun things. But when you are super busy and have huge demands on your time, I could see how this would be helpful.



When I got into the room a few things had already been picked. I was feeling a little sick to be honest, some of it was pretty out there and REALLY small.


Sam prepping me to do this!


One of the first dresses that was waiting for me was not even big enough to go around my leg...So Sam and I put Lara in it!


She is 4 and has not grown since birth. Just to give you an idea.


This dress Sam and I called swan lake.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis...

...give or take a few pounds.

Seriously...WTF?


Pretty sure Nora has this exact dress.


I actually liked this one but it was not fancy enough for the show.


Umm....No!

All-in-all it was a fun way to shop and I am so very thankful Jon was so kind and understanding.

I am confidant tomorrow night will not be a complete disaster!

Now...any idea how to loose 40 pounds in one night?


Today:

I am grateful for Sams help picking out clothes. You are a good friend to laugh at me in ugly outfits and keep my spirits up when things don't fit.

I am grateful for a career that I love that allows me to have fun doing things like this!

I am grateful for good friends who love me and watch over me.

J




Thursday, September 19

3 Times A Charm

I am feeling a little off this morning. Emotional is probably more accurate, being an adult blows sometimes.


After getting breakfast and lunches ready for everyone we all piled into the van to head to school (which from my house is a 5 minutes drive). I pulled into my regular parking spot and started my ritual of morning advice to the children while they all get out of the van. "hugs not drugs",  "hit the books, they don't hit back",  "make good choices", "be kind to others"...you get the idea. When Seth says to me, "mom I forgot my backpack".
So the older two boys get out and Nora, Seth and I head home.

Backpack acquired and headed back to school. Just as I am about to turn into the school Seth sees a buddy of his walking on the sidewalk and unrolls his window to say hi. Seth is not overly social, so when I saw this I decided to pull over to let him walk the rest of the way with his little friend. He got out, said good bye and headed towards the school.

I signal and turn around and head home.

Again, still a little distracted from the events of the last 24 hours I pull in front of my house, ready to just go lay down and sleep off this crying headache..

"Mom...You forgot to drop me off at school"

Ugh, I am an idiot... Nora was still in her seat.

And the tears begin again...I give up on this day already and it's only 8:33 am.

J

Today:

I am grateful for having the option of skim, 1%, 2% or Homogenized milk. Choices are a beautiful thing and I never want to take the freedom to choose for granted.

I am grateful for Kleenex with lotion.

I am grateful for Karie, she sent me a new song and I really dig it. Thanks




Tuesday, September 17

Best Way to Spend A Lunch Hour

My girlfriends and I have been wanting to support our community's more. We have been wracking our brains trying to find something to do and have been wanting to get involved more in events around the city to show our support. So clearly, when we heard about the fire fighter games we jumped at the chance. Being such giving woman as we are, we arranged our VERY busy schedules of doing nothing and drove into the city, bought a lunch and went to cheer on local fire fighters as they competed against other FF teams from around the world. Obvious pick. They really needed our attendance and support.

We all feel we learned more about public service and it was a very educational experience.

We did discuss possibly volunteering at a soup kitchen, even helping at the food bank but we all feel our time was best spent here...on a hot sweaty afternoon...watching this...












I can neither confirm nor deny whether we are comparing photos from the afternoon.  



Humanitarians we are! Sometimes I even shock myself at how selfless we can be.

Today:

I am grateful for Girlfriends and the fun/trouble we find to get into. Ladies...you are good for my soul.

I am grateful for my new sidewalk.

I am grateful for new music, it always makes me happy.

J

John Newman-Cheating


Sara Bareilles-Brave


LORDE-Royals


Hey Ocean-Make a New Dance Up




Sunday, September 8

Back To Who I Once Was..Kinda

I went and changed my name the other day.

It's an interesting process this divorce stuff. It takes what feels like forever to get through all the legal stuff. It is uncomfortable and painful learning to adjust to being alone and starting over. It feels like the fighting and hard feelings will never end.

But then it's over. One day you no longer feel hurt or angry, and you have come out the other side. Mildly cracked and slightly bruised. But for the most part, in one piece. Stronger and better.

The last of my transformation happened this past week. I returned to my maiden name.
I did briefly consider making up a new last name, Butler was a front runner but I worry Gerard might not have liked it much. Reynolds was clearly a contender, and I danced on the idea Beckham but I think that tiny spice girl looks like a bit of a scrapper. I even thought going with Grant just to piss off Rob (the guy I work with)..but in the end I went back to my good old German roots.

The awkward part was after I paid my 22$ (the least expensive part of getting divorced) you have to sign your new name right then for your license. It felt weird writing that name again, but good at the same time.

It feels better to me. The next time I have to sign papers at work, they will be signed by me. Entirely and completely me.

Today:

I am grateful the three of us (Drew (my ex and his girlfriend R and baby Emmett) and I  can go to meet the teacher night and do it comfortably and with a few laughs.



I am grateful for men who do what they say, and say what they mean.

I am grateful for good teachers and an exciting new year.

J

Friday, September 6

Music Music Everywhere!

Too many days have passed since the discovery of anything worthy of sharing... But after being introduced to a music app not too long ago and it has been fantastic hearing new stuff ALL THE TIME!

*cough* I mean...I only listen to the radio..*cough* 24 hours a day 7 days a week...*cough*

Sigh..enjoy!

Brandi Carlile- Hard Way Home



Tia Brazda- Cabin Fever



Today:

I am grateful for the Ginger Man who has shown me so much new music lately.

I am grateful for how hot it has been the last few days.

I am grateful for nice smelling laundry soap.

J

Thursday, September 5

5K Or Death. Whatever comes first.

Sam and I have decided we are going to train for a 5k this October.

I am about to turn 35 in a few weeks and I thought it would be as good a time as any to push myself to try something that I would not normally try. We have been training for a few weeks now and on the  "How much do you love running " scale of 1-10 I would put this at a solid 2.

This might actually win as the stupidest thing we have ever tried. And I assure you that list is pretty damn long already, but we are doing it. We run every day and only whine and complain for the first few minutes. Then when it's over, we both feel better for having done it.





We are up to running a few minutes straight without stopping now and only walking a minute at a time. It's slow, but it's coming.

I have also started going to a palates coach/trainer. I was skeptical at first but when she showed me a apparatus called a Cadillac that helps me become stronger, more toned and has leather straps..I knew I was in the right place.

So in a few short months I am hoping to have more success to report, and a pink participation ribbon from another crazy thing tried.

Yeah us!

Today:

I am grateful for good shoes that my mom bought me.

I am grateful for a healthy body and for boobs. I am really grateful I was lucky enough to get them. They can be a royal pain in the ass sometimes, but I am thankful.

I am grateful for Italian wine brought back for me by Sam from her trip to Italy this past summer. It's a nice way to wind down, and reminds me of a distance place that I will return to one day.

J


Tuesday, September 3

And Just Like That..They Are All In School

The furry of the morning has settled, the kitchen is cleaned and I am now planted in front of the computer with a tea. This morning went way better then I imagined. The children were ridiculously exhausted last night when I picked them up from Drew and R place, they could hardly stay awake during dinner and were all in bed by 7pm. I was worried this morning was going to be grumpsville but everyone slept well, so It was good.

We decided on our family cheer (it was actually pretty easy this year) we settled on the cheer from pitch perfect when you sing on 3. It had us all in hysterical laughter all morning. I tried to record it but Seth was less they thrilled with the idea of that being documented forever.

This day just feels so normal, but it's not. I have been thinking about this day for years. The day all of my children are in school full time. I have now hit that next stage of life. I no longer have babies, no toddlers and I am as far away from infants as possible. I am going to be 35 in a few short weeks and I am very comfortable with this stage of life. I knew having kids young (ish) would pay off one day!

The only thing I am surprised with is what I plan to do with my day. When I was knee deep in breastfeeding and sleepless nights, mindlessly going through the day watching Disney and teaching babies how to walk and sign the word milk  I always dreamed I would go back to school during this time. I dreamed I would fill my days with stuff for me and service. All the things I missed doing when I was devoted to raising humans..

Now that I am here, I think I am going to go have a nap, and a beer with lunch.











Ethan -11 Grade 6 

Nora-5 Grade 1


Seth-9 Grade 3

Gabe-10 Grade 5




All of us on the first day of school. What a fantastic feeling this is. Okay 35...I am ready for ya! 

Today:

I am grateful for funny and happy children. I am so thankful they have fun personalities and laugh easily. 

I am grateful that this little town all joined in today to keep the kids safe on their first day. The Ambulance was parked with lights on reminding drivers to go slow. Also that Peace officer who is less then pleasant was out, ticket book at the ready...but I am glad she was out helping too. 

I am grateful for teachers.

I am grateful for my days being mine again. I am so thankful I had children when I did, it was a crazy time in life and gawd I often think how the hell did I do it, but I am on the other side now... and it is a great place to be. 

J