Tuesday, December 30

To My Ex Husband On Our Oldest Childs 13th Birthday.

Our oldest is 13 today, and I have spent most of the morning Driving and thinking of all the things I wanted to say to him on his special day, but the only things that keep coming to my mind are things I want to say to you.

I just want to say thank you. Thank you for him and for the other three fabulous creatures we created together. Thank you for working so hard to allow me to stay home with him/them. Thank you! We didn't do everything right, but we did four things very right.

I can't believe our baby is 13, he is becoming such a wonderful young man. He is brilliant like you and sometimes he does things and I see you in his face. I am not sure why I needed to say this, but I did. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! for giving me the gift of motherhood and for giving me this beautiful and sensational (now teenage) boy.


Happy Birthday Ethan. 


Today:

I am grateful.

J

Monday, December 29

Off To See The Parentals I Go!

Half of my vacation is done, spending time with the kids and Jason has been fantastic. I have loved every moment of it. Christmas was everything I hoped for.

Now, for the second half of my holiday, I am headed West and am going to spend some time with my parents and my brother. I can hear the lake calling me and I need to get back to zero, recharge my batteries and remind myself what it's all for.  Big changes are ahead and I need to be with my bucket fillers for a few days.

I am going alone, so I am stocking up on some good music right now. I haven't driven this road in the winter, should be exciting! J is letting me use the truck, so I am safer...I am thrilled, his stereo in Sierra (His Truck) is WAY better than mine in Vanjoleena (the name of my van).

It will be fun, and I need to go sleep, cause I leave in a few hours.


Today:

I am grateful for lemon water. If you squeeze the juice of 4 lemons into 2 litters of water and drink it in a day...SHOCKING what it does to your body!

I am grateful for travel agents and how much easier they make the process.

I am grateful for leftovers.




Here is some new tunes I found and am loving.

Found This song mash up I Love.


I love these songs right now too.

Sunday, December 28

Christmas 2014 In The Books.

Another Christmas down. It was a lovely success.

I say success because no one got food poisoning, there was no fighting and no one had to make any emergency trips to the hospital.

I appreciate my standards of success are a little odd, but to me, it was a success.

I did put the turkey in too soon, so our Christmas dinner was more of a fabulous Christmas lunch. Not a huge big deal.
This poor little house was completely busting at the seams and I had to use the deck as a fridge for drinks and some food, but in the next little bit, I will be remedying that as well.

All in all it was nice, very nice.









One of the days we had off we had to do some running around. I am taking the kids on a trip in a few weeks so one of the days we had to go get vaccinations. We are all pretty excited about our upcoming trip, so when we arrived at the travel clinic I was in good spirits. After sitting in the woman's  office listening to her tell me of all the hazards and things that could go wrong, the possible diseases we could get, and the fear of this diarrhea from bad food and water or (my personal favorite) the illness from their mosquito bites that feels like your bones are breaking, my spirits began to contemplate priorities and are not sure this is ideal. 

Yup, that little trip to the travel clinic made me happy to NEVER leave Canada EVER!!
The kids could have cared less, I am not feeling as confident though. We are all needled up with every possible danger and I have a list of things I get to worry about on a daily basis while away. Sunscreen for skin cancer, deet to avoid bug death, hand sanitizer to avoid the titanic shits..

Yahoo...ugh.

All in all though, our time was relaxing, fun and just what we needed. I hope your was too.











Today:

I am grateful for movie days with the kids, where we can bunker down and spend our last day together just hanging out.

I am grateful for dear friends who know me so well and are so supportive.


I am grateful.

J




Tuesday, December 23

Heartbroken And Short

I am completely devastated.

While filling out passport applications tonight for the kids and myself I had to fill in Ethan's height.

Ethan is on the brink of teenage hood...he will be 13 in 6 days.

When I was filling out the paperwork for height, I stood beside him to gauge his height. Jason said it looks awfully close. On further inspection there is actually no difference at all. We are officially the same height.




I can't even begin to tell you how heartbroken I am. My little boy is going to look down on me from here on in. I have been called shorty for the rest of the night, teased relentlessly and the boys are making stubby jokes.

Where did the time go?? If I close my eyes and concentrate I remember what it felt like the first time he kicked me when I was pregnant with him.

Is someone cutting onions around here? The screen is getting harder to see...

My baby is becoming a man.

I am sitting here bawling and Ethan just told me it's okay that I am so short....Jerk.

Today:

I am grateful for days off together and getting to spend time together. I am seeing more clearly how precious this time actually is and how little time I have left before my beautiful babies leave home.






I am grateful for how beautiful the weather has been these last few days.

I am grateful I have the number of children I do. It was such hard work then and there was so many days I cried in frustration...but now, when they are all grown up and we all play together, It was worth every exhausted moment!

J

Monday, December 22

Christmas Week Has Begun

This small house is full, to the absolute max, with people. The Children are back home now and Jason and his daughter are here. The kids hated dinner (we went for Chinese food with friends) and I think I was the only one who actually watched the live nativity play we went to after. Everyone else was running around screaming. It was less than reverent and not exactly how I am sure the Nativity is to be experienced.

But that doesn't really matter. It's how we celebrated it. 5 kids and 2 adults now, there needs to be a few compromises made from here on in.

I am excited about the week. I am excited to spend every day together and see how everyone gets along. We have only spent 3 days together in a row, so we will see if we can survive longer....we will either do great or there will be a lot of tears.

I am 2 glasses in to the red wine (FYI) so right now I am doing great.

Just so you have an idea of what it looks like here, my oldest and Jason are playing PS3 soccer right now. Talking smack to each other and jumping and screaming when they score. Their reactions are what I would expect Olympic soccer to be, not the response of an electronic success.

Nora and Seth are sitting on either side of the coffee table playing checkers. Seth is destroying Nora and she is getting annoyed when Seth doesn't make the move she wants.

Jason's Daughter and Gabe are playing Chess right beside Seth and Nora.

...Ethan just jumped up and screamed MOOOOOMMMMM and wanted me to watch the replay of his latest goal.

My house is alive again. The living room is full with everyone and I am at the table just enjoying it all.

We were a very happy house here before these two came, but the house feels different now.

This week will be interesting,  I am really excited to see how we all do.

Today:

I am grateful for my dear friend Ken (in a tractor) who told me this was going to happen years ago. ;)

I am grateful for tradition and dear friends.

I am grateful, yet again, for Tinder.

J







Saturday, December 20

The Complexities of Christmas Gifts.

For the last few years I have been buying my own gifts for special days like Birthdays and Christmas. Of course my friends got me things, but even before I was divorced I would buy my own gifts and wrap them for Christmas. I am not slagging on anyone, I was just always under the impression I was a challenge to buy for. I didn't think I was that difficult, but clearly, for some, I was. The things I liked were weird and it was complicated finding anything that was good. 

After the divorce I just bought what I needed when I wanted to. The kids, bless them, made me fun things from school. Gifts just change after divorce. 

Well, Jason and I went shopping last night. I am done with Christmas stuff, just a few stocking stuffers remain. While we walked around the mall  I noticed a sale sign in one of my favorite stores. I went in and saw the most beautiful necklace. With out much thought, I just picked it up and went to the till. 

Jason was pacing a little. 

I bought it and walked over to him. He looked concerned. 

"What did you get?' he asked. 
I said, the beautiful silver necklace right there (pointing to the one on the mannequin in the window) 
Jason says to me, "umm what happened to the rule of no buying yourself anything before the holidays?"
Laughingly I responded, yes..it's a great rule but I liked it. 

He just stared at me straight faced. 

Ooh shit! Jason...did you get the necklace for me already?

He continues to stare at me. 

I turned around and returned the necklace. 

HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE??!!!! How can a man that has known me for such a short time,  comparatively speaking, know me and what I would like so well that not only did he get me something nice..but the EXACT NECKLACE I WANTED??!! 

Sigh...he's a good one. 

Annnd I know what I got for Christmas!


Today:

I am grateful for days off to clear my head and sleep in. I slept until after 9 am today!! Nice change from 3 am for the last 2 weeks. 

I am grateful for having friends to laugh with and confide in. I have great friends who I love dearly!

I am grateful for sex. 

J

Wednesday, December 17

The Elusive Christmas Spirit

It's only a few more days until Christmas and I am still struggling to feel that warm happiness I remember so vividly as a child. I remember my moms Christmas baking and singing carols at night before bed always made me feel so good.

I remember my aunt always decorated so beautifully and the excitement and anticipation of Santa was intoxicating.

Where does it go as we get older? Why is it so difficult to feel the older we get?

All I feel now is tired, stressed and frustrated. I am counting down the seconds until I get time off and can let my brain and body rest. I just want the return of the excitement one more time. I want to be around happy people who don't yell and I want to have christmas baking on the counter. Lots of Christmas baking...and chocolate.


Growing up is over rated.

Today:

I am grateful for small things that make me smile. Like pain meds that will tide me over until my root canal.

I am grateful for date nights.

I am grateful coffee.

J



Monday, December 15

Music Monday


Another week closer to Christmas. It's another week of mornings for me...so good music that keeps me moving is a MUST.



Flawless By Beyonce


Up Town Funk Bruno Mars


If you haven't gotten into the Christmas spirit yet, this video is for you!

Today:

I am grateful for my job and the lives we get to touch and things we get to be a part of here. As humble and as simple as they are sometimes, they mean a lot to the people involved, and for that I am truly grateful.

I am grateful for fresh clean sheets.

I am grateful for the smell of coffee in the morning.

J





Friday, December 12

Finding Mr. Perfect, No More Outtakes...

Ingrid Michaelson is playing in the back ground, I have a glass of red beside me and I just ate. I made salad rolls with peanut sauce. They have become my favourite thing to eat and I have just recently learned to make them myself now.

The laundry is drying and I am in comfortable pants, ready to tell you of my stories.

Dating has been interesting to say the least. Self discovery and trying to find time to go out has proven tricky. Not to mention trying to do it while parenting and keeping my children as far away from the process as possible became too much, so I quit.

But I didn't just quit, I kind of gave up. The last guy I went out with left me feeling so empty, so awful about myself, so angry and hostile regarding the likelihood of ever finding someone, even the mention of his name makes my blood pressure go through the roof.  After him telling me not only did I need to improve but how kind he was by doing things to improve me, I reached my actual and proverbial limit. I told him to shove it and I quit. I have not come this far to be told I am not good enough.  SCREW YOU BRIAN!!!

God bless my friends who listen to me and have talked me through all of this. Who are there when i cried and who knew from day one which ones were trash..but still let me come to that conclusion on my own, every time.

So while on a little break this summer the kids and I got to bolt out to BC to spend a week with my parents. The sun and water always heal my soul. My parents have changed so much since they moved out to BC. They have became much calmer. Their pace is still busy, but a different busy. Mostly because their busy now involves more service towards my grandparents. Time with them seems less rushed and we talk more.

One night when my uncle and his wife/partner were over for dinner we started chatting about my dating. I laughingly said I have given up, then rather convincingly (so I thought) said that I felt my time for companionship had passed. I explained how I have resolved myself to raise the kids alone and that maybe when I get older I will find someone. Because, lets be serious, it's rather unlikely.

When the dinner was over and the guests all left, mom was inside sorting something leaving my dad and I out on the deck finishing off the red wine. My dad is a quiet man, he doesn't get mad and he never really says much in regards to any opinions (especially strong ones). I don't remember him ever arguing flippantly about anything in all the years I have known him, he is pretty agreeable and doesn't get involved in others business.

So when he said to me that night, "That stuff you were saying earlier is bullshit" He had my attention.
"What?  What do you mean bullshit?"
He simply said, "it's bullshit. You don't quit, you go try again."

If you know my dad, you're a lucky person. For those of you who don't know him, that was the equivalent of your favorite speech given by the coach of your favorite sports movie right before the team goes out and wins the big game. My dad telling me he wouldn't accept my resignation made me feel so safe. Like maybe..just maybe..

When I got home from my trip to BC, I did some thinking. Maybe I could try again. Any date I go on couldn't be worse than the ones I had gone on so far. So what did I have to lose. I thought things over for a while.

Then one night after work and 2 glasses of red wine, I pulled up my big girl panties and made myself a Tinder profile.

Tinder is the newest dating sight. The idea is simple, you sign up through Facebook and it's very carnal. You see pictures of people in the age range you set and you either swipe right on the screen if you are interested and left if you are not. Once you swipe left, indicating you are not interested they will never pop up for you to see again. Its based completely on animal magnetism and looks.

If you are interested and swipe right, you can only contact them (and them you ) if you both swipe right. There must be a mutual interest before any messages can be sent.
Its nice because you are not bombarded with messages from people you are not interested in and wouldn't normally talk to.

If there is a match, you are both informed of it and then you can chat from there.
Simple right? Hahaha....not exactly.

It took me a while to get use to the idea of my judgment being so final. What if I swiped incorrectly? What if that person was nice and I couldn't tell from their picture? What if I liked what I saw and then after talking to them I wanted to poke my eyeballs out? It was hard to get use to, but after seeing a few guys I had gone on VERY BAD dates with in the past pop up, swiping left became much easier.

After hours that first night and the next morning,  I had a list of matches and had made small talk and pending coffee dates with three guys. Not a bad start!

The first guy was named Brian. He had no kids, just moved to Alberta and seemed nice. Nothing bad to say about him. He smelled nice enough and I enjoyed his conversation during coffee. I was not overly attracted but he seemed ok.

The second guy named Brian was shorter than me, but I wasn't going to let that bother me..he had a son and overall seemed nice. We never did have coffee, but he seemed ok.

Then there was the third guy, well the third guy was the one I was most looking forward to meeting. The third guy was called Jason. (yes, that is his real name, i'll no longer be needing the name Brian)

Jason has dark hair and a beard. He is really tall and had a fantastic smile. We chatted over text and we set up a time to meet for coffee. I was excited and nervous. I knew it would probably end terribly, so I wasn't holding out much hope. I had learned from MANY times before that our first meeting should be a quick one, just over coffee, that way it's easy to get out of if its not going well.

The time and date was set, which was exactly the day after we matched on Tinder.

The morning of our coffee date Jason texted me to say hello and to let me know he was looking forward to meeting for coffee. I was blushing and quite excited about the date too. What a nice guy!

He then texted me to say that he and some of his friends were going boating and wanted to invite me along.... excuse me?? That's when I knew he was a freak!

No you creep! I don't want to go in a boat with you and all your guy friends in the middle of the water so you can have your way with me and chop me up into pieces...seriously?? (I may have overreacted here..thank gawd I didn't actually text that back)

I made up some excuse and said no, that wouldn't work. Clearly this guy is up to no good.

I was seriously re-thinking my decision to met him at all, when he texted back and said "I guess that kind of sounds bad, sorry." See you for coffee at 12.

I arrived at the coffee shop first. It was nice and sunny out so I got my drink and sat outside on the patio chairs. There was another woman out there too, but still no Jason. I sat facing the parking lot, that way I could see when he arrived. There were a few guys who parked and walked up to the coffee shop and I remember thinking...ooh please don't be him!
3 years of online dating has taught me that just because there is a picture does NOT mean that is what they look like in real life.

Then a handsome man parked his car and walked over and that is when I learned a HUGE lesson about myself...when I like someone and find them attractive...I am awkward as SHIT!

Jason walked over he saw me right away, he smiled and waved. My chest was pounding and I couldn't even formulate a sentence. I could feel my face going red and I smiled back.
I think I said something about the weather and attempted to be funny. He walked in to the shop to get a drink..I went and sat at my table to gather my thoughts.

"PULL YOUR SHIT TOGETHER WOMAN"  is all I could think.

The other woman that was also sitting out on the patio was texting away giggling to herself. But I felt very self conscious, it felt like she was giggling at me and i felt she was watching my disastrous beginning.

Jason came back outside with his coffee and sat down. Then my brain went on the fritz again. I was so nervous and smitten. He has a great smile and beautiful eyes.  I was making jokes and he would laugh easily and sincerely, and again i noticed the woman  I would catch her laughing in time with my jokes and out of my peripheral I would see her stop texting when I would talk.

Jason was engaging and easy to talk to. He was sarcastic and we had a lot in common. He told me what he did for a living and when I told him what I did he confessed he had no idea about the radio station cause he listened to another station. (as a side note, I really liked that..there was no pressure)

Our time together went fast and soon I had to go to work. I told him I had a nice time and thanked him for meeting me. We stood up to leave and that's when it happened...

The woman who had been siting outside on the patio with us stood up too. She walked over to Jason and I and was digging in her purse. I was confused as to what was going on, but she looked up at me and said how sorry she was for interrupting our date.

She pulled out a handful of small papers and handed them to me and said, "I am a huge fan of yours. I listen to you and Rob all the time"
I was stunned and Jason just stood there staring at us. The woman was named Alison and handed me the papers, she went on to say "I own a BP's and would love to give you these for your children!" With a shaking outstretched arm she handed me a bunch of free pizza coupons. She went on to say how she had been texting her daughter, who was also a fan of mine, and that the daughter told her to ask for a picture with me. She confessed that she was eavesdropping on our conversation and laughing along. She recognized my voice and waited until we were done to come say hi.

I was completely and utterly stunned. (This is NOT a regular occurrence)

I mouthed to Jason how sorry I was, then handed him her phone so he could take a picture of us together. She was shaking and her chest was pounding (I know because when I put my arm around her to take the picture I could feel it.)

After the picture she apologized profusely for interrupting our date. I just awkwardly laughed, "Lady, you are making me look REALLY REALLY good here, no need to say sorry!"

She left and then Jason and I walked over to my car. As we walked over I instantly felt self-conscious and worried he might think I had arranged that whole thing. What if he thought I was trying to impress him..What if he didn't have a nice time..OR WORSE what if he enjoyed himself and wanted me to hug him good bye..ooh shit!! Awkward Joelle was freaking out, I am going to end up giving him a high five ... WHY AM I SO AWKWARD??!! I was pretty sure I was either going to barf or pee my pants right then. But to my delight when he came in for a hug, I didn't freak out, it didn't feel weird. It was actually kind of nice.
He smelled really nice too.

I got into my van and just smiled.....and so begins my next chapter.


Today:

I am grateful for FaceTime. I love chatting with my children and listening to their stories. It's such an amazing thing what we can do now a days.

I am grateful for pretty nail polish and good pillows.

I am grateful for the wisdom of my parents. I appreciate it more the older I get. I really am a very lucky girl.

J








Thursday, December 11

Singing For Smiles.

Rob and I have been covering a lot of holidays these last few weeks. With the sale of the station almost complete everyone needs to chew up some extra vacs/holidays. It's fun getting to cover day time shows, I enjoy it and provides a new challenge.

One of the things that has become a regular thing (only once a week or so) is an accidental "bit" we now call Joelle-eokie.

It started from Rob catching me singing in the studio and recording it. Which turned into me singing alone karaoke style (terribly I might add) to a song for a laugh and has now triple sow cowed into something people actually tolerate.. I don't get it and fully expect the hate texts that follow every *cough* performance *cough*.

I don't get embarrassed by things like this, well I didn't in the beginning. When we first started doing Joelle-eokie I laughed along with it not thinking it would amount to much. Funny, the more I do it the more embarrassed I get now because I actually think I am getting worse as a singer.

Some of my attempts at song have been to:

Rammsteins Du Hast
99 Red Balloons (in German)
I Dreamed a Dream
Call Me Maybe
Queen
Michael Jackson
Sara Bareilles



There have been lots and some have been better than others. Annnnd by better I mean just sucked less.

I have really been confused as to why I still do this week in and week out. I often think about businesses that have our station on, who are innocently going about their days and the poor customers who have to listen/endure it.

Yesterday we did it again. Like always Rob surprises me with the intro (I never know when it's coming) which makes it fun for him, torture for me. I have an anxiety attack waiting to find out what it is I will end up singing moments before I  have to begin.

Today, when Rob flipped his screen towards me and I saw in big bold type WHITNEY HOUSTON and I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU, I died a little inside.

One of the most Iconic songs of my childhood and I am about to murder it for all to hear.

The second it was all over I became insanely aware at how awful that must have been and I got red faced and sweaty. I hesitated to check the texts regarding the feedback from listeners, having a pretty good idea what to expect.

 Lots of hate, lots of laughing, but then I received one of the most humbling texts ever it reminded me why I love what I do and why I will happily embarrass myself every day until the end of time, for texts like this...

(The text regarding the "Cross" that is meaning the Cross Cancer Institution here in Edmonton)


Our job is to make people smile. To help them get through their days a little lighter then they started it. If anyone who's day involves the Cancer Center, in any capacity, is smiling because of something we do. I'll do it again and again and again...happily.


I also got this text and it made me giggle... if this is true, you need help!


Today:

I am grateful for such a fun place to work and wonderful co workers who brighten my days.

I am grateful for the warm weather. It is making the Christmas prep way easier not having to wear loads of winter entire.

I am grateful for sleep. Any and all sleep I get over these two weeks is cherished more than gold. I HATE DOING MORNINGS!!!

J

Tuesday, December 9

Seth and Caine's Arcade.


Seth had been working on this Arcade game at home. He made it out of cardboard and was asking me to go pick up prizes for it. I had no idea what in the world he was talking about or why he was cutting up my recycling and making such a mess, but it was for school, so I didn't argue.

Then, one night Seth sat down and showed me this video of a little boy named Caine and it melted my heart. Seth's teacher at school got the kids to make up their own Arcade to raise money for a local charity.

We went over to see the finished product and to play. It was busy, but Seth and his little buddy were so very very proud.


 The story of Cains arcade.









Today:

I am grateful for teachers that help inspire a childs imagination.

I am grateful for this brilliant creature that came to my life. He teaches me so much!

I am grateful for the gift motherhood has been, I am not always great at it, but I love it!

J




Monday, December 8

Music & Gratitude ...A Perfect Monday


What a Beautiful, but horribly early, Morning it was today! I was up exceptionally early this morning, getting to cover the morning show for Crash & Mars for the next two weeks. I can't wait for all that coffee!!

Its' always a good idea to start the day with music. So here is what I was listening to on my drive in today, enjoy.


Try by Colbie Caillat





Paper Planes by East Coast Avenue


Today:

I am grateful for the Christmas feeling starting to creep in.

I am grateful for healthy children and their laughter.

I am grateful for properly fitted bras and what a difference they make to an outfit!

Tuesday, October 28

Ooh Music And Laughter.

This morning I woke up feeling just the same as I did when I went to sleep last night. So, to try and make a emotion/attitude correction for a new day,  I went to the gym.

On the way back from the gym I was blasting some music and singing along. Funny how much better I felt singing a song at the top of my lungs completely off key vs lifting weights or running. Maybe it was a mix of the two things that made me actually feel better. I'd rather give the credit to the music though.

This time of year is always hard, the weather changes, kids getting sick, days feelings painfully long. limited sunshine...sigh...it's time to bunker down...Winter's Coming.






The other amazing thing that happened in the last week is this new album came out. Pink and Dallas Green. It's completely wonderful.






Many glorious things to catch up on via my blog. It has been a good few months, and i can't wait to share it all.

Today:

I am grateful for Mondays when the kids come home.

I am grateful for vanilla coffee.

I am grateful for laughing with friends who understand how hard children and life are. But there is strength in laughter and I love people who choose to laugh. I want to spend the rest of my life laughing.

Friday, July 11

I Am Glad I Came In For The Early Meeting.

Wednesday afternoon we all got an e-mail around 5 pm. I didn't even notice it and probably wouldn't have until the next day, but thankfully Rob noticed it and mentioned it while we were doing the drive show.

Sigh... "It says to be here by 9am, why would they have a meeting so early?" Nothing about the request seemed out or the norm, simply inconvenient for me who lives so far out of town, and to be honest, I almost took Rob up on his offer to go as representation for our show so I could sleep in.

I am really glad I didn't.

Yesterday morning a group of us were all standing in a meeting room when the owner or Rawlco Radio told us he had sold his Edmonton stations (and a few more in Sask) to a man named Jim Pattison.

The room was silent.

I wasn't exactly sure what to think or feel. What exactly does this mean? Gord (the owner) opened up the meeting to questions as he always does and people started asking questions I didn't even think of, things I probably should want to know the answers to, but I didn't even know to ask. So all I could do was say it has been a pleasure to work for him, and congrats on your retirement in the least shaky voice I could muster.

The panic set in,  I don't even know what to ask. I have a resume in radio that consists of winning a contest & baking a cake...That's when the wave of nausea hit me, I felt light headed and my hands began to shake.

We were all in meetings throughout the day asking questions and listening to what this means to us, how will this look, what exactly will come of this change. For a happy place that has always felt like family, it was a rather somber environment. I had a crying headache by noon and Rob and I still hadn't discussed what we were going to do on the show yet in a few hours.

I am not exactly sure what all of this will look like, and I don't know what it all means, but I know a lot of the people I have come to know and trust will not be going anywhere, so I feel confident that maybe this wont be as scary as it first did if we are all doing it together.

Yet I still feel sad for some reason.

Today:

I am grateful for vacation days that start today. Although I have a pit in the bottom of my stomach, time away with my family and loved ones is exactly what I need. A reminder from the people I love most to not be scared of hard things.

I am grateful for a company that plucked me from obscurity and gave me the opportunity to earn a  living talking and making others laugh.

I am grateful for new adventures.

J






Sale details here







Wednesday, July 9

Hi Ho Hi Ho, It's Off To Jasper We Go

We got up at "Way Too Early AM" on Monday (around 3) and drove out to Jasper. It was the arranged meeting place my parents and I agreed on where we could swap the kids. My parents wanted to have the children out to their place for a week or so before I come out so they could have time with them without me. I arrive Friday so until then, they get to party with Grandma & Grandpa along with Uncle Dawson and Adele.

Waking up that early is a chore when I am doing it alone, but trying to wake up four kids at 3 am was even more difficult. They knew we had to get up, I had only been prepping them for the last week and yet, when I went into their rooms to help them get up they all started pleading and begging with me, "No mom...PUULEASE....let me sleep in more, while becoming as limp as a cooked noodle" as if I was torturing them for my own enjoyment.

We finally made it out to the car around 3:45am and our journey of a billion miles in a day began. I really enjoy traveling with my children now, the older they get, the more pleasant trips like this are. They all packed a pillow and blanket to make little forts in their spots, and talked and told me stories the entire drive.

One of the traditions my children have come to love over the years is listening to Stuart McLeans Vinyl Cafe stories while we travel. Actually, my kids listen to them at night before they go to bed all year round. Every Christmas I try to pick up a few more of his stories on CD, so by the time summer finally roles around the children have their favorites memorized and they recite them while it's playing in the car.

"It was inevitable that the chocolates came from Mary Turlington......"

And my kids all squeal in anticipation of the hilarity that is moments away.






I love that they, with the exception of Seth, enjoy chatting the entire drive too. Something magical happens on a long drive and late at night to preteens. For some reason this is when they will begin opening up the doors to their little lives and secrets. Late at night can be tricky, I am often tired and want to just say good night, but when I fight through the temptation of that big comfy bed after a long day and give them my attention, my older two will allow me brief glimpses into their lives and share with me details and feelings. Road trips, I have learned, are very similar. I just stay quiet and let them talk. Funny, I wonder where they got their ability to blabber so much?

Like I said, except for Seth,  Seth is quiet and only makes a peep to let me know when he has to pee. But he is the only one that took a few private moments to enjoy the scenery around him when we stopped.




Mondays drive to Jasper was a good one. It felt much faster going there with everyone chatting and listening to stories, then it did on the turn around trip I did alone.

When we arrived in Jasper, we got there before my parents so we had time to kill. So the kids found things to keep them busy and I sat back and watched as their creative minds came up with things to try.

So Mom, we found a stick and a rock and we want to launch things. You cool with that?











Sticks were fun to launch, but then they found a full package of cream cheese and, well, clearly we had to try.











It made a pretty dramatic splash when it hit the ground. The kids cheered like it had won the Olympics.

 They also launched a puck that almost hit a truck, and that's when the fun game came to a sudden end. We walked around Jasper until my parents arrived and we said Good Bye.

The drive home was boring and dull alone. I committed the time to memorizing songs I like and that helped pass the time. Listening to a song on repeat for over an hour is enough to make anyone go crazy. Here is the song I sang for 2 solid hours

Sara Bareilles-King Of Anything


I miss them already.

Today:
I am grateful the drive to jasper was uneventful. Friday when I drove into work my tire blew on the highway and I ended up having to  get 2 new tires..I can't help but be so thankful it happened Friday near the city and not Monday with the kids at 3 am.

I am grateful it's only 2 more days until I get to be out at the lake and playing with everyone too.

I am grateful for family and how magical they make my kids summer.

J



Tuesday, July 8

Happy 11th Birthday Gabe

My Dear Gabe,

Happy Birthday my young man. I know I always say it, but you are such a delightful child. You light up every room when you enter.

You, dear Gabe, are one of the 4 small (rapidly growing) reasons I get up in the morning. You are a constant breath of fresh air. Your willingness to always help and be there for everyone is something I envy, when I grow up I want to be as loving as you are. You always laugh and have something fun and kind to say. There is a beauty in your smile and a warmth when I am around you. I feel calm when you are near me.

I hope you have the happiest of days. Swimming and playing on the sandy beaches in BC with your uncle and Grandparents. I miss you fiercely today, but I trust the other people who love you will be sure to make your special day wonderful.

Happy Birthday my lovely son.

Mom








Look at you now!


















Today:

I am grateful for everyday I get to be this kids mother.