Thursday, October 7, 2010

Married in todays terms A LONG TIME

 If you're married and have been for over 5 years you have most likely had a few moments that made you want to walk away, give up, start over.  You have probably had many conversations with friends who told you not to put up with it, that your worth more than that, you listened and part of you agreed, but if you're like me something inside you just couldn't give up.  Perhaps I am slow or stubborn but I just couldn't walk away, and I'm glad I didn't.

My husband and I have been together for almost 9 years and for the most part we have had a good partnership.  As you can tell from above we have had our moments, there was a time that I felt betrayed, hurt beyond belief, anger, and so scared.  Through many hours of counselling, and scheduled date nights somehow we made it through the "dark" times.   The hardest part of the coming out of the dark times is the effect it leaves on the people around you.  The people you talk to, the people who become external influences in your marriage only hear about the good stuff and rarely about the amazing things that happen after.   Facing those people as a couple or as an individual is excruciating if your me.  Why do I have this incessant need to feel judged and then worry about it until it turns to debilitating anxiety?  On Tuesday I vowed to let it go. Be free of the anxiety, the worry, move past it.  Just simply.. Let it go.  Take responsibility for my actions, for our actions, state that it happened.. I can not change that..but I can continue my life happy, free and full of love.

Part of letting go came because I had a want and a need to feel in love again.  After reading an article recently on a blog that was quoting an article from the New York times I became energized at the thought that that "in love" feeling is with in my reach and my control. If you click on New York Times it will take you to the article, it is a good read and some great ideas on how to re-connect. If you are in a relationship that is 2 days or 50 years I think everyone can learn from it,  I personally found it fascinating.

Through this article and my secret addiction for the bachelor I decided it was time to set up a new way to date as married folks.  Creating "Secret Dates".
How would this work?  Each couple (Or single.. they would be set up on blind date) puts there name in a hat and one by one we all draw a couples name.  You would be responsible for setting up the couple you drew a fantastic date night.  You would babysit their kids, plan and organize their date (to be under $75 to keep it real).
For example:  Darren and I draw Ashley and Brad's name
We would plan some kind of fun adventure/date for Ashley and Brad, they would pay for their date but would not expect to spend more than $75 that evening (unless they choose to).  We would show up with a "Date card" that gave them their first destination and either Darren or I would babysit their kids that evening. 

Everyone I have mentioned this secret date to seems excited about the idea.  I do wonder.. is it the thrill of organizing for someone else, the idea of having a date,  perhaps the free babysitter, or is it the thrill of it all? Will it be like a cookie exchange, you know.. some will put in effort and some will not?  Not sure and it doesn't matter, what matters is we are trying to keep it fresh, keep it real, and live life with adventure, love and a dose of creativity. 



Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Diaries of a Mad Woman

She sat there feeling very alone and scared, frightened, not from the angry women that surrounded her or what she was about to hear. She knew the truth, she knew what had brought her to this moment.  What she was most afraid of was change, fear of the unknown, fear of once again looking in the mirror, digging deep and remembering.  Remembering the many things she witnessed, learned, became and imitated, and most of all she feared she had damaged and taught the two things in this world that meant the most to her.  What if what she learned sitting with these 15 women was that she had done irreparable damage to her children.  What if she learned she was damaged beyond repair and that change wouldn't happen.

As I sat down in the comfortable black leather couch this evening, week two of five, I looked around the room and took note of the women that surrounded me.  They did not look angry, they did not look crazed and not one foamed from the mouth.  When I heard each one of their short stories of what brought them to this place, I realized that I am far from alone and the company I keep is of moms, grandmothers, sisters, lovers, store clerks, teachers, lawyers, they are all of us, the difference is... each one of us for what ever reason is there to change. Each one of us wants to learn, we recognize a need to change.

The first week I sat with these women I was full of emotion, I was ashamed to be there, ashamed to be seen, scared to share. And now this week, a week after learning a few small skills I entered the room excited to share, to learn, to be open and willing to go deeper and further into my soul, into my being.   I am excited to change, the possibilities of learning skills to keep me from saying and doing out of anger, things I can never take back.  I want to live my life with no regrets, but I also want to live my life full of kindness and love. 

As she got in her car to drive home she reflected on the last two weeks and what she learned in these classes,  change would not be easy, if it were everyone would do it, and it would be no big deal. But by being present, being conscious of her feelings and practising QTIP she may just be able to do this.  And then she imagined a life where she never lost her cool, a life where her children heard praise ten times more than they heard her yell.  For the first time in her life she felt as though she was ready to be herself, to be person she was born to be, to act as she wants to act not as she'd been taught.    She was ready to be the Mom, wife, friend she imagined.  Not imitating her parents, but parenting as Alyson would parent. 

I am not saying my parents did not do an excellent job, they did, rather there are things I would like to change about myself.  Things I would like to re-learn as an adult, as a parent, as a wife, as a friend.

Until next time, 
(QTIP = Quit taking it personal)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

On Being a Mom

On the bookshelf I glimpsed the corner of a journal I started writing the day I found out I was expecting. It had been awhile and I love reading my account of being a mom. The book has pictures, drawings, songs and on every page, various degrees of emotion expressed such as excitement, fear and love. Of course this was not the time to read it. The dishwasher needed to be loaded, I had brought home work to do and the lunches still needed to be made.  Maybe I could read just a page or two; it had been a long day. 

Right away I opened to a photo of me looking like I swallowed a watermelon whole. It always makes me smile to think I carried that 10 + pound child and there was no getting him out. I remember trying to sleep, rolling over, tossing, turning, numb from the hips down. I would walk for hours thinking this would help the process. It didn’t. My sister teased that my child would be born on her birthday which was two weeks past the due date. I vehemently swore there was no way he was staying in there that long. He did, she was ecstatic. I wasn’t.

I fast forwarded to toddler Tyler and was reminded of how busy he was – virtually into everything. I was amazed at how quickly he learned despite the fact that he was always so sick. I cannot differentiate whether the empathy I feel for the then single mother was because I could feel it through her writing or, because I lived it. Surgeries came and went and we got through it. He kept growing and learning and growing. My daughter joined our family when she was 14 and Ty was 3. I remember the connection I felt between the three of us and reflected on how important that would be in the years to come. As all 14 year olds, she had her struggles and she got through them. I watched her in the same way I watched Ty. She was always learning and growing. Ty is now eight and Tash is 19 and we have all travelled far, physically and emotionally since those early journal days.

I put the book down and smiled while doing the menial tasks I wanted to avoid in the first place. The work I brought home had lost it's urgency. I reflected; despite the uncertainty involved in being a parent, (children don’t come with manuals) the thing that never fails to amaze me is the bond and connection that is always present through every stage of their development. Becoming a parent means that a million times over you will watch your heart walk around the room and in return you silently commit to being the best parent you can be. For me, this magic is undoubtedly the most endearing benefit of being called Mom.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Community is best for all

I am a strong believer that life is better when you live in your community, and when I got an environmental reason it just got better...Here is a smidgen of my experi'mental' leanings:

A few years ago on a road trip to Vancouver Island I was listening to CBC radio while driving the beautiful coastline highway.  You'll have to excuse me as I have a terrible memory for details but do remember what interested me.  First being David Suzuki (who I adore and love to listen or watch when ever I get the chance), as soon as I heard his voice we stopped scanning for a station to listen to.  He was talking about the environment and what we are able to do to help the downward spiral that consumption has taken us.   He spoke about Walmart and how he believes that Walmart is one of the best companies going forward for environmental reasons, that they are set to a goal of being a zero waste company.  That was fascinating (I still rarely shop there as they are not there yet, and I disagree with some fundamental business practices, instead I prefer to spend my money in the smaller more local mom n pop shops or Canadian chains when I can).  But the part of the program that most peaked my interest was an environmentalist from California (I wish I could remember her name she was fantastic) that when asked if buying "environmentally friendly" products was making a difference she said no.  She said the absolute best thing the average person can do to have the largest impact on the environment is to live with in their community.

That statement got me thinking, and for the past 2 years I have been doing my best to do exactly that.
Here are a few ways that my community has helped the environment:
We have a great hand-me down program at R-Town, kids clothes, toys, sports equipment, baby furniture all get passed from home to home sometimes having 5 or 6 kids getting use from a single item. 

By getting to know our neighbours we spend more time eating together as a community, consuming less, driving less, and with less waste.

I have made a conscience effort to do  my shopping as close to home as I can when I can.  We drive much less than we did by discovering great shops closer to home, and the added bonus, most are mom and pop shops that need our support and in doing so we help create jobs with-in our community. 

As it turned out living with in our community had other great perks that go beyond the environment and consumption.   Because we got to know our neighbours we now spend a lot of time together and with that comes this peaceful feeling of security, there is always someone around to watch the kids if need be, and spending time with girlfriends has helped me more with anxiety and depression, than any councillor ever did (not hating on councillors just saying)... Which in turn did help the environment and my consumption, after all going and talking with a friend has saved me thousand of dollars in counselling bills and hundreds of tanks of gas getting there...

R-Town is about to have the Grand Opening of our much anticipated Common Room.  It is a general, multi-purpose room for residents of R-Town to use.  In my mind I saw great community events that bring neighbours together and turn them into friends, that had people coming together to do social activities to brighten their spirits, to bring that secure feeling I have to anyone willing to put themselves out there. My fear is that fear itself will not allow these things to happen.  The fear of the room getting wrecked, the fear of it costing money to run, the fear that people are evil and of course the one that no one can control, the fear of something new.
I believe if people show up, they will have fun, and given the opportunity every ones lives can be enriched by spending time with one another.  And building a stronger community is in every ones best interest.. even the environments.

- Aly

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Looking in the Mirror is not always pretty

I often find solace in writing about things that scare me, things that many people would find private and something that shouldn't be shared with the world. Today I am sharing one of those things. I know that one day it could come round and bite me in the rear but I am ok with that. The good, the bad, the beautiful, the ugly, it is all me. The authentic me. Liver disease, laugh lines, jelly belly, and perfect stretch marks that remind me of the miracles I named Maaren and Leif. 

almost 3 years ago I attended a parenting course put on by SFU Information Children just after Leif was born (they offered free child care with the course and I figured a couple hours a week to better myself for free... sign me up! Did I mention my children are 18 months apart.. I needed the break and this was an incredible guilt free break). One of the best things I learned is we are not born knowing how to behave.  It is something that is taught. At the time I took this advice with my children in mind, trying to teach my children the best I knew how. 

Since having children my marriage has had it's share of ups and downs, and with good reason.  In the last 4 years there has been a serious lack of sleep, lack of self worth, with little to no time for romance or simply time for one another.  We stopped making caring for one another or ourselves a priority.  We have tried having set date nights but with lack of income those get harder to do, and life starts to take over and it gets lost in daily activity.  Each time we stop making "us" a priority, "things" start mount up.  Life's expectations start to wear on each of us, and our behaviour starts to change. 

This idea of  "we are not born knowing how to behave" has just started to sink in on a deeper level, three years later.  It does not only apply to my raising my children into kind, confident, loving adults, but it applies to myself.

This year, year 33 of my hopefully 105 years on earth is the year of taking a good long and hard look in the mirror.  Discovering who I am, the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful.  I first blogged about not recognizing the face in the mirror followed up with it's official, I'm what I used to consider old when I learned of health problems. So today I blog of growing up mentally and taking responsibility and being ok with changing to improve myself. I warn you what I am about to write is something I am not proud of, and very few people know about me, but it is me, it is my honest me.

I recently had a wake up call, that I am not always the person I think I am. That my behaviour when I get heated is not pleasant, and it's also not acceptable.  Somewhere along the way I learned that it was ok to say stupid things when left feeling vulnerable, scared, panicked, or simply angry.  I never realized the hurt I could cause by words, I am not a violent person but I am a cruel person when I am backed into a corner. And until a few days ago, I thought it was ok to be like that, that my emotions, that my feelings were ok to express in a hurtful manner,  never once stopping to think about how my actions, my words affected others.  Others more specifically being my best friend, my husband.   It's as though I thought that no matter how terrible I treated him, he loved me and accepted me for who I am and would always be there for me.   Lucky for me, he does love me enough to tell me the truth when it is most needed.

Taking a look in the mirror is not easy, when I stopped and listened to words that have come out of my mouth, and saw the pain I caused someone I love very deeply my whole being cried.  I have never cried so hard in my life, I cried so hard I couldn't stop throwing up.  I have cried for loss, and I have cried for physical pain, but I have never cried when looking in the mirror.  It was one of the hardest things I have ever done, and I mean that sincerely.

I look back now to that parenting class I took so many years ago, the class I took for a guilt free break to better myself as a parent.  Who would have guessed that line that has stuck with me through theses years would give me solice and hope for myself.  My behaviour is learned, which by my calculations means I can also un-learn, and re learn.

Perhaps by looking in the mirror I can learn to be the woman I have been striving to raise my children to be, to become the women I thought I was for 33 years.

Until next time,

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Almost Famous

William locks the door. He reaches under his bed. It's a black leatherette travel bag, with tartan design. He unzips the bag -- it's filled with albums. He flips through the amazing, subversive cache of music. Cream's Wheels of Fire...the seminal Bob Dylan bootleg Great White Wonder... the Rolling Stones' Get Yer Ya Ya's Out... The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds...Abraxas by Santana... Jethro Tull's Stand Up... The Mother's of Invention's We're Only In It For The Money... Led Zeppelin...Crosby, Stills and Nash... Miles Davis' Bitches Brew... and The Who's Tommy... with a note taped to it. "Listen to Tommy with a candle burning
and you will see your entire future..."

When Almost Famous came out in 2000, I thought, I am soooo William...but the chick version. I was lucky, I had the best cousins who had a phenomenal amount of LP's...yes I just referred to those black plastic things you put on a turntable. I remember watching a Meatloaf video, Bat Out of Hell, and yes getting turned on at 8. It was hot!

My passion at that age was KISS, don't know why, to this day, but I loved, loved them. I had the red t-shirt, with the sparkly press-on that was ironed on with the 3000 degree iron, Detroit Rock City!!. Loved that shirt. But seriously, what is music to me today?

EVERYTHING! I did that, I listened to music in my room with candles and funny...I am actually doing that right now, but with different technology. I remember when I was a teenage girl, confused and lost, I would sit and listen to Led Zeppelin, Depeche Mode and Crosby, Stills and Nash on my sister's Fisher Price record player and know I would be okay because "momma said that's the way it outta be."

Music has been my saviour and it has expressed how I feel when I could not. Music is such a huge part of who I am as a person. And the older I get, my musical preferences change...I can't stand listening to Guns and Roses anymore, probably 'cause all the work Axel had just turned me the fuck off. And it's funny, I walked around with friends who blared that shit on their boom boxes down Younge Street...thinking I was such hot shit!

I know I'm older and I don't think I will ever stop burning a candle to see my entire future while I have my Ipod playing...but U2 now considered "an oldy but a goody"?

But, one thing I know for sure is; if I ever get lonely, I can just go to the record store and visit all my friends (sic).


*Sorry no proper citations, too freaking lazy to do it, busy listening to music...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A letter to my daughters....

Dear Naomi and Madelyn,

When I was little, Grandma used to say to me "how do I love thee, let me count the ways..." I never really understood that..."you love me, me?" As a Mother now, to you Naomi and Madelyn, how do I count the ways that I love you both?

Naomi, my love, I think you are beautiful, inside and out. I think you have a strong and independent spirit that will take you far in life. I see beauty in the smile you give your sister when you are teasing her and I see joy when you are helping others, building birdhouses. I love your laugh. You are my first born child Naomi, and although I will make many mistakes parenting you, please know that I only want the best for you and know, I will always be your Momma.

Madelyn, my pussycat, you are a toad! You know how to laugh like a child should, never loose that. You have eyes that sparkle like Naomi, never let them go dull. You have big dreams and enjoy your quiet space. I am watching you grow, into a person, and that is so exciting for me.

My girls, how do I love so many ways. I work to provide for you, so I can never say no, to Karate or to Sparks camp or to the shoes that everyone else is wearing. I stay up, so I can drive you home from the youth centre and leave work early so I can go to a Mother's day tea. We are a patchwork of lessons, and parties and activities...and I wouldn't have it any other way. You are my children, and I am truly blessed you have picked me as your Mom.

Naomi, Madelyn. I am not perfect. I do the best I can everyday, I try to achieve the best I can everyday because I know you depend on me to do so, and I do it without hesitation. My love for you both overwhelms me at times, that I cry when I know your heart is breaking, when your friends let you down, when you scrap your knee and when you are sobbing in pain. You both are a part of me and I am a part of you.

God speed, my children. When you have children of your own ( after University and after finishing your Masters Degrees!!) you can look down upon your sleeping babes and ask yourselves "how do I love thee."

Mom xoxo

Friday, August 20, 2010

"El Gallito" Tough Guys .avi

You've met us.. now meet two of our better? halves..
Meet Darren and Brad, claim to fame (other than being El Gallito's Tough Guys) they are the Baby Daddies of Maaren & Leif and Jayden & Ethan:

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Is it Thursday AGAIN?

Not much to say this week, so I thought I'd share the lyrics to one of my favorite songs that has been on my mind a lot this week. It's an oldie but a goodie :)

by Charlie Chaplin

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through for you

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile

If you just smile
That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile

If you're not familiar with this song look it up on u tube. I think Nat King Cole does a beautiful version of it. I would post a link, but I don't know how :)

This song is inspirational for me, not sad. This has been a tough week but I have a lot to be grateful for and even more to smile about. It's all about perspective.



Ashley's blog:

So I'm headed to Mexico in 2 sleeps!!! I've never been. I haven't been to a lot of places, but I'm trying. I'm racked with all these posing questions in my head before we go... What should I bring? What will I wear? Will the weather be nice? Should I get minutes for my phone so I could can phone home?. Mind you I'm only there for one week.
The thought of being so far away from Jayden and Ethan kind of makes me nervous. I know they are in more than capable hands, but I guess in every Mothers thought process there is a little panic and uncertainty. I also know once I hit that hot humid air of Peurto Vallarta, I'll put my worries aside.
So, any tips for the Meheco virgin? So far I have:
1.) Take a 16oz mug with a wide bottom to keep those cold beverages cold.
2.) Have a lot of $1 bills to tip
3.) Have a blast!
I'm always up for an adventure! So if you have any tricks up your sleeves let me know.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

How do you blog?

I am so impressed with those who sit down and figure out what they are doing before they do it.  I sometimes wonder if I am alone in the world of "just start and see what happens"... 

I have these amazing ideas of things to write about and then when I sit down my mind goes blank. So instead I just write. 

I am pretty excited on a personal and professional note, my first ad on came out yesterday, the ad is not on the website but on their facebook page (in case you're interested) you can find it by clicking on:  Contests and Coupons you have to scroll down, I am the one listed as Silver Fingerprints although the company name is Aly Dahl Designs.  

As I was blogging about that for my work blog and posting on twitter, I came across a list by Portabello West that lists me with 10 other local designers to watch.  Seeing that was the best feeling ever.  And then I stopped to wonder, do you think Ralph Lauren or Tom Ford remembers the first "designer to watch" list they made?  I hope I remember this feeling for the rest of my career.. It's a goody.

When I sat down to write I didn't know what it would be about, and just like most favourite jewellery designs .. they started with a shape and ended a masterpiece.  (Although I am not saying this blog is a masterpiece.. just that I did it and I feel great for doing it!)

My goal for my next post is to write down some ideas to write about and then do that!
So my question to you is.. When you blog, do you have an idea before hand or do you do like I do and sit down and write?

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I hate change. Not the stuff that fills the bottom of your purse, the type where things become different. My family received a phone call yesterday that will make everything different. I don't like that. I don't have to, and you can't make me.

My dear Joe was laid off from the job he loves last December. Yes, it was the sterotypical  "laid off right before Christmas" thing. At the time, we knew it would take some adjustment, but I was still on Mat. leave and he would collect EI. We wouldn't starve and we could pay the mortgage. Besides, he would have the chance to spend more time with Ben who was only 7 months old at the time.

Eventually my Mat. leave ran out and we needed to make another adjustment. I wound up going back to work part time. Between that and EI, we could manage. At the time, it was the perfect solution. Finally Joe would understand what it's like to be a stay at home parent. HARD! Once I was back at work I joked with co-workers and customers that I had it easy, Joe had the tough job! But it's so true.

So, here we are in the middle of August. We're enjoying the summer. My shop is about be thrown into the chaos of "Back to School" and I'm a bit stressed about that, we're starting to think about what we're going to do before Joe's EI runs out....and the phone rings.

Long story short...Joe is offered a job with a different local of his EDMONTON. They want his answer by 9am the next day and they want him to start Monday. The call came on a Wednesday. Are you fucking kidding me? All I can think at first is what about ME?!!! How am I going to do this without you? We've been together almost 20 years, we have a 16 month old baby and he's LEAVING????? I did NOT sign up for this.

And then I gave my head a shake. He is making a sacrifice for me. For me and our son. He gets nothing out of it besides the satisfaction of being able to support his family. I get to keep much of my normal life, in my home with my friends and family close by as his is turned upside down and he has to do it without us, in a new city.

In my head I know accepting the position is the right thing to do, and that we all make sacrifices for our families, but my heart is so sad that we won't all be together every day. I can rationalize it, but I don't have to like it.


It's not just wrinkles.. it's official.. I'm what I used to consider Old

I am just back from the Doctors office, I went to get test results on blood work for being tested for hemochromatosis. When a doctors office calls and says you need to come in.. it's never a good thing.  Ang was sweet enough to drive me (we are a one car family and Darren was out today) and Ashley was kind enough to watch my kiddlets..
When I got in to see the Dr I received what I thought was great news, no hemochromatosis ...   And then there was a but.  I recently blogged about not recognizing myself in the mirror that somewhere along the way I got the wrinkles I thought I would never get.
I also used to (until 1:45 today)  think diseases like liver damage were strictly for "old" people who had been drinking heavily for years. Guess I'm old. I have elevated liver enzymes... Could be caused by recent herbs I took or drinking.  I am being re-tested in a few weeks to see where things are at after stopping herbs and drinking as much.
I know deep down the truth. I am not invincible. I am not taking care of my body like I should, I have not been properly appreciating the gift of my life.  And the truth is I have been drinking for years, I am not an alcoholic (although I hear if I was I wouldn't admit it anyhow...but I am pretty confident that I am not) but I enjoy a few bevy's socially. (Problem is I am VERY social!)
All these years I felt that I was somehow blessed and that I was somehow invincible to disease, to aging, to health related death. Instead being cautious of tragedy and living with a certain fear, not jumping off bridges, being weary of dangerous situations, taking cabs if I didn't think the person driving was actually sober.  I have played it safe in most situations. 
Where I have failed is my health.  I don't know why I have taken my health for granted for so many of my precious years here, my best guess is the invincible to disease feeling I have always had (until 3 hours ago). But it's time to change.  It's my wake up call.  This is it, this is my shot, it is my choice to live a long, happy, healthy life and I think those around me want the same thing.

Liver disease at 33?  Yah.. that's not ok.  Being on the obese side of the scale.. also not good.  And both those things I am responsible for.  No one put a gun to my head and said... drink this, eat that.. 

I'm awake. I'm listening. I get it. I was blessed to be born.  I was blessed to be born in Canada.  I was blessed to be born into a wonderful family. I was blessed when I met my husband. I was never so blessed as the day each of my children chose me to be their mom, I am blessed to have amazing friends.  I owe it all the people in my life to take care of myself, to be healthy, to live long and well so I can enjoy them and they can enjoy me.

Until next time.. I will eat better, drink less, and love more.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

At Last......

Yes, I am finally posting! I know, can you believe it...oh well, better late than never I guess.

A little about me and my family. My name is Angela, or Ang or "Angie..." and Mom. I have two beautiful girls, Naomi who is 14 and Miss Madelyn who is 6. This past year has been a little nutz, to say the least and things seem to be settling down to a manageable pace....I hope...till the next time I get a frantic call from camp 'cause one kid broke their arm or another has an infestation of lice. It's those moments, that make you wonder why you ever considered having children and I often thought I now know why tiger's eat their young. However, when you share a particular moment of profound love with your child, I often wonder, can this get any better?

After 7 years in a relationship and 2 years of marriage, I left my husband. I am now in the land of single parentdom and I really think I sometimes need a bigger paddle. My girls and I are adjusting to a life of, "it's Dad's night," "I have to work, so go watch cartoons," "what do you mean, you need $25 for the field trip that's tomorrow and what do you mean the permission's slips in your locker" moments.

I would not have my life any other way, I love the fact that I am discovering once again, who I am and who I want to be. Although my children may not understand, and may not for a very long time why I left their Dad, I just hope that by example they will grow to be strong, independent women, who can look in the mirror and truly love themselves for the freckles on their noses and the pigeon toed feet and the sparkle in their brown eyes. That is my wish.

I have also been a fortunate woman, over the last year, I have become friends with some of the best women I have ever met. Believe it or not, this August, me and the kids have lived in R-town for 7 years. We've always just "lived" here, and now, this is our home. Thank you Tracy, Aly, Ashley, Aeryon, Dana, Sue, Laura and Nickie for encouraging me to "come over," and thank you for being my friends.

Till next time....

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Who is that in the mirror?

My family and I were just on our annual excursion to Vancouver Island, a little longer than normal (being your own boss does have it's advantages).... However, light of day in your rear view mirror does not.. Waiting for the ferry I got a good look at my skin, when the heck did I get old?
I remember being a teenager and hearing women talk of age marks, wrinkles, crows feet... thinking I would never get old.
I hate to alarm any teenagers reading this.. IT HAPPENED. I got a good look at a stranger in the mirror.
When I look at pictures of myself 7 years ago on the day I got married, not a line, not a mark.. perfect skin. So what has happened in the last 7 years to make these brown spots, these wrinkles, the dark circles? Marriage, careers, children.. Perhaps the year of smoking I stupidly took up again after my son was born? I'll blame the kids.. after all, I blame them for the stretch marks and jelly belly.. why not the wrinkles ;)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

So I'm a little slow.....

The pressure has finally mounted to a point where I can no longer ignore it. I apparently have to write an effing blog before someone in this complex explodes.

I'll start by saying that this is one of the best things about meeting this crazy bunch of women. Not only do we have a lot of fun even if we're just hangin' and having coffee, I am finding myself being challenged to do things I wouldn't normally do. Blogging being one of those things. I'm not sure why it wouldn't have occured to me.... as a teenager I loved to write. Short stories, essays, and I had a diary I was quite devoted to. Funny how you can lose the things you love to do somewhere along the road to being a grown-up. Sometimes it takes a little shove to find it again. (Or some sarcastic texts in my case.)

I've lived here for 6 years and I'm quite convinced I would never have met any of these women if I hadn't had a baby. The only person I had ever seen before was Tracy, and that was only because she parks next to me! When she invited me to Mom's Group a couple weeks after Ben was born, I was hesitant to go for a number of reasons. Do I REALLY wanna hang out with my neighbours? What if I don't like them? What if I don't like their kids? Do I really need new friends? Am I going to be the oldest Mommy with the youngest baby? Well, I can honestly say that when I finally screwed up the courage to go (and could drag my ass and Ben's little bum out of bed before 10am) I like them, I like their kids, one can ALWAYS use new friends, and I don't even mind hosting. In fact in ensures I clean my house at least once a month. Most of all, I DO wanna hang out with them. The first year of being a Mommy would've been very different without them. Even though I am the oldest Mommy with the youngest baby, I felt like I fit in. The instance that solidified my initial decision to go, was when both Ben and I got a really bad flu when he was only 4 months old. I had been going to Mom's group for only about 5 weeks, but I knew that if I was in trouble and needed help I could quite literally yell out my door R-TOWN MOMMIES!!!! HEEEEELP! and chances were someone would come running, or at least yell back! You can't buy that kind of emotional security.

It's never easy to put yourself out there and make new friends. I like to think of myself as outgoing and laid-back enough to make friends fairly easily, until I realized how long it had been since I had made a new friend. Let alone a gaggle of new friends. - yes, I said gaggle. My warning to you all is this... I have had most of my closest friends for over 20 years. When I make friends, I love HARD and I will be loyal to you forever. You will never, EVER be rid of me.
Dana :)

I love being me with the friends I have

So more on the story of me........

I think I got what I wanted when we moved into a "townhouse" complex. Coming out of my comfort zone I decided that the best way to meet people would be to go to the "Mom's Goup" that was posted on the bulletin board in September of 2008. My son was 2 months old and it was perfect timing to go to something with other moms during the day. That day has and forever will be one of the best days of my life. Not because it was the first time I ever saw little girls trying to pee like little boys or because my Daughter was sooooo happy to have other little kids to finally play with but because it has grown into the best friendships I have ever had. Yes, I have a very few friends that have continued through the best years of my life but, this is different. These people don't judge the way other people judge. They make you come out of your shell. You know the one that you want to break free from but are too afraid to show who you truely are. I love that I can be me and not be afraid that they are going to sit there and give me stink eye or in their minds judge me and think "Who the heck does she think she is". Yes I can be complicated with all my opinions and stink eyes (there are many) but they accept that and make fun of it in a way that makes me feel loved rather than ridiculed. Could you ask for anything more. And the best part of it is they are all super close. When you need to a shoulder to cry on they are only a few doorsteps away. With all our different personalities we ALL COMPLIMENT EACH OTHER, and I LOVE IT. Too Deep? Sorry! Actually I am not sorry. It is who I am and I will not apologize for it! Thats right I will not. Thats because I don't have to. Anyway, I love my new friends and my old friends. One day I hope the 2 shall meet so that they can get to know ALL of me. The old and the new.

Till next time my peeps..........


well la dee da!

Hello computer... It's Ashley again. Just a usual Sat night with Ang Tracy Nisha and Ashley. Few pitchers of Margarita's in, with fresh Okanagan fruit. Somehow camel toe's got popular... go figure. Cranking some tunes and dancing to some oldies (sublime btw). Kids on Mayne with my hubby... Mommy's time to play? Can't think of a time (beside's with my click in early teen's) that I have found a group of girls to have so much fun with! Just to let you know... if it isn't a secret... My "mom's" group is the best! Nisha... YOUR IN!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Jibber Jabber

While sitting at my computer blankly I ponder about what I should write. It's a lot harder than you think for me, my thoughts are scattered and I can never stay on task. I have diagnosed myself with ADD (which are my initials as well!). My mind floods of what I should be doing and what I am actually doing, and what I am doing is usually not what I should be doing.
As the other mom's I have 2 kidlettes, Jayden (5), Ethan (4) and 1 half husband (the ring is on the finger, we just haven't said "I do" yet). I am a partial stay at home mom, only working a couple nights a week. My days consist of puttering around, taking the kids to the pool and eating. I'd like to say I have the life of Riley.
I'm new at this blogging stuff (I'm pretty sure you can tell) but I might get used to it. I'm only going to write what I feel, really not caring about what other people think, because I feel I'm only telling a computer.
ta ta for now computer ;)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My life....................

So here I am at 11:42 at night writing a blog that I should have done 4 days ago. Last night after some discussion I was informed that I don't need to overthink it and to just write whatever comes to mind. Those people obviously forgot who I am or don't know me very well because I OVERTHINK EVERYTHING. Anyway here is my blog about whatever comes to my mind.

6 years and 8 days ago my life changed forever. I gave birth to a healthy 8lbs 12oz 21inch baby girl at 8:10pm at BC Womens hospital. For those of you who don't know, this in of itself was a miracle concidering this precious baby's father from the moment I met him in 1994 always said "My bloodline stops here!" I guess he changed his mind. Thank god for that.

Cheyenne Jade as she is known was a wonderful baby. She slept well, even sleeping through the night by 6 weeks old. Who does that? My baby, thats who. She ate well. Was crawling by 4 & 1/2 months and was full on walking at 9 & 1/2 months. At this point we were in a 1 bedroom and den condo in Burnaby. It was getting awfully small concidering when a child starts to get bigger so do their toys. It was getting cramped, and we needed to start looking at bigger alternatives. This was a long drawn out process. And then at last we found a beautiful townhouse that was double the space and was still close to my mom for when we needed her. It was perfect. I always wanted to live in a townhouse complex when I had kids because when I was a teenager I lived in one and I always saw the kids playing together and the adults talking and having fun as well. It was going to be awesome. We were going to move to a bigger place and meet new people. Yay! Well that didn't happen right away. Working full time saw to that. I was never home and when I was it was the usual, get Cheyenne fed, bathed, teeth brushed , bed, then it was laundry, dishes, and all that other "Adult" stuff you need to do. Life went on like this for 2 & 1/2 years.


2 years 15 days ago I gave birth to a healty 8lbs 6oz 21inch baby boy at 12:45pm at BC Womens Hospital. Wow another miracle! This was a very exciting and extremely exhausting time. Zackary Thomas as he is known was not as easy as Cheyenne. He slept well when he slept and ate every 2 hours. I knew a second child is never the same as your first and I had heard having a boy was a very different experience also. I was excited to have a baby longer because don't you know boys do everything sooooo much later than girls. YAH RIGHT! Zackary was crawling at 5 months and full out walking at 10. Yah WAY longer to get to that level. Those LIARS!

Anyway, now we are at 6 and 2 and I am enjoying it so much more. They are so fun to watch. For the most part they play together nicely. Zackary loves his big sister and wants to do everything she does. Its very cute to see. I wish I could keep them this age forever. This is my favorite so far.

So now I hope I didn't bore you with my mind flowing freely. I think I could write and write and write but it is now 12:32 and I must go to bed.

Till next time.


Thursday, July 22, 2010



I used to relish the days on the road. Just me on my way, map in my hand, hotel rooms booked, visiting my stores. A chance to get a mini vacation yet I was still technically working. A break from picking up toys, washing and folding clothes, dishes, making meals...well you get the picture I'm sure.

Lately this has changed, the night before I am consumed with worry. What if something happens, to Me? Or God forbid to Mekaella? I can't sleep, my mind races, maybe I should not go? What if I don't listen to this voice and I should have. I know I have to work and I have to trust that we are always taken care of but sometimes that is hard...

As I stand in her room watching her sleep in the morning before I leave. She is pure perfection, that was the first thing I said when I saw her "She's Perfect", and I still think that (most days). I once could never imagine my life with children and now I could never imagine my life without her. Funny how these little beings come into your world and take over. Your world that consisted of your own "Important" wants and needs....humm what will I wear today?....hummm where are we going Friday night?...hummm should I do two cardio sessions today?

Then you meet your baby and all that changes forever, PJ's to Walmart are new fashion choice, hair thrown in the bun (lucky to be washed) is the new look, mascara IF you are lucky becomes all your make up, exercise is taken over by no sleep and breast feeding and don't even get me started on getting your hair highlighted cause that becomes a thing in the past at least for awhile.

These were all things I never considered losing when I had Mekaella, but one that has remained is the terrifying thought of losing this little person that means the world to me. I don't think that will ever go away, I guess that is the patch I wear on my heart "Mom". I just have to have faith and trust that we will be taken care of.

Thank you Universe for blessing me with her...Please keep us safe while we are apart...

Aeryon xoxo

A little about me, maybe a little too much about me...

I am a wife to 1, but have 3 part-time"hubby's" (my legal one prefers it that way, he figures all the help he can get is a good thing. No not in "that" way, I just am a bit of a princess).  I have 2 beautiful children but my house is normally filled with 4 or more. My oldest is my daughter Maaren who is 4, and my youngest is Leif who is turning 3 very soon. Yes I am "that mom" the one that went back to work 3 months pregnant after her first maternity leave.

This is the my family, (charity photo shoot in  2008)

We share our living quarters with Charlie (Sweet Charlotte) the pink tailed Havanese. (Why she has a pink tail is a whole other story and will be saved for another blog) and "Tiger the greatest cat to ever live" Johnson.

Charlie our Girl Dog (you can tell by the pink tail)
Tiger the Fiercest feline in town (with newbie Maaren)

I am a corporate world run-away and now much prefer my life of raising children and running my empire of designing and making jewellery, I am a true "Mompreneur".  I started my company, Aly Dahl Designs last year and have only ever regretted my decision to leave my well paid, high-heeled, suit wearing life twice.  Once when I started getting my monthly BC Med bills in the mail (free health care my a**), and the other  when I got really sick and couldn't take a day off.. I miss paid sick days.  So all in all, I have no "real" regrets of leaving corporate world behind.

Since I was little I knew I wanted to be a mom and own my own business. I am currently living my dream,  my business is still in the start up stages and way more money has gone out than has come in, but I have never been happier, ever.   If I described to you 15 years ago what my perfect life would look like, I would have described it as "Having a loving husband, a couple of kids, owning my own business, having great friends, doing something creative, travelling the world shopping for beautiful things, and not having to worry about money". 

So far I have a wonderful husband who is not only loving but helpful, courteous, funny, handsome,but he is also my best friend.  I have 2 beautiful children who are a constant source of entertainment and joy (with a side of hair-pulling frustration and heart break). I am lucky enough to have a full roster of amazing friends most of which I am able to stumble home from.  I create pieces of jewellery with my hands, run and own my own business, I get to shop for amazing stones and metals, and although I have only travelled to Las Vegas this year the plans are in the works to travel more for the business.   The only thing I am missing is the not having to worry about money.
Late last year my husband was laid off along with a hundred other elevator mechanic's in training.  So not only am I a stay at home mompreneur, our family is a stay at home household with pre-school aged kids.  We spend  A LOT of time together.  Sometimes, too much.. but to be totally honest,  I will really be sad when he goes back to work.  He is a really good stay at home dad and I am not sure I can go back to doing it all... he has WAY more patience than I do!

Well that's a bit about me and mine.... Until next time,  Aly
My business:

Sunday, July 18, 2010


A mother is a biological and/or social female parent of an offspring. Because of the complexity and differences of a mothers' social, cultural, and religious definitions and roles, it is challenging to define a mother to suit a universally accepted definition.

It was this new definition of myself that brought me into this group. As a woman who always was focused on career and not creating a family, I had become a “Mother” and a “Step Mother”. I had so many questions about my new baby and upon joining Moms group I now had an endless supply of advice. We are all different mothers with different mothering techniques however the goal is the same, to raise happy, healthy, socially conscious, kind, wonderful children. Hopefully with our wits still in tack at the end.

Every person has a different relationship with their Mother, some good some bad, some indifferent. I am blessed to have a wonderful relationship with mine. Although I did cause her a fair share of heartache and despair she loved me all the same. Watching me fumble through my mistakes and bad choices yet never giving up on me.  She is the person who has always been there and never turned me away. EVER…that would be my definition of a mom….Dale Rudd my mom.

Grandma and Mekaella
So when I look at what kind of mom I want to be to my children I don’t have to look far. I have 7 sources of inspiration that live heartbeats away and 1 that is off in Australia.

Aeryon Ashlie

Small gifts keep the liver guessing

I am sitting outside in my colourful backyard alone. My house is quiet.  I can count the number of times my house has been quiet on one hand since my oldest child was born back in 2006. 
This is Maaren arriving into the world

That was the moment my life changed. 
Since then I have accomplished the following:
Peed by myself: 17 times
Woken up to my body saying "that's enough sleep, time to get up": 12 times
Taken a face plant tripping over toys: 68 times
Gone out to grab a coffee by myself: 2 times
read 1/2 a book.. no wait...: 1 1/2 books 
(combining the chapters I have started must count for at least 1 book)
Sat in my backyard during daylight hours and my house was quiet: 1 time.. 

This is it right now.. My house is quiet.  How come I am so lucky you ask?  Well, friends of ours got married yesterday and my sister was kind enough to not only take my kids for a couple hours but she has had them for the past 2 days. At this moment my husband is driving the newlyweds to the airport and here I sit.. in peace.. Blogging about it seemed the best way to celebrate this treat.
This is Darren and I at the wedding yesterday
As for last night.. you may ask, "what does a mom of 2 young kids do when she has no responsibility the next day?"
I'll tell you,  I drank a little too much, change that.. a lot too much.. I mean we had the house to ourselves, just me and my Darren. So we celebrated last night, small gifts are often over looked in life, and a house to ourselves, no wiping bums, no middle of the night cries, no getting up and feeding munchkins was a great gift.. We were 25 again, staying up late, having cocktails, making love and not worrying about waking anybody up but the neighbours.  It was so fun... until this morning.  Although I felt 25 last night, I felt everyone of my 33 years this morning.. Apparently my liver is aging faster than I am and it is not impressed with my behaviour last night.
"Dear Liver, please accept my deepest sympathy for your luck in getting stuck in me"

Although the thought of rolling up in balls and hiding under our covers all day seemed like a great option, we felt by not doing something, anything we would be wasting a rare opportunity to be adults.  So instead we went for lunch on a lovely patio and did our best to keep lunch down and then wandered around the mall and looked at items we wanted to look at.... and where did we end up?  That's right, the toy isle, I mean Leif's 3rd birthday is in October... we should start planning now... 

So in the end.. we missed the kids,  but if someone offered to take the kids for a couple days again... I would jump at the opportunity,  I may just not drink quite as much next time.   Well.. I would try not to drink as much next time!
- Aly

Friday, July 16, 2010

Welcome To "R" Town - How we began

September 2008 Rossmoor Mom's Group was started.  A good friend of ours Alicia posted a sign at the Rossmoor billboards calling for all stay at home moms to come for a coffee and a play.
2 weeks later 10 Mom's of all shapes and sizes, some strangers, some acquaintances showed up on Alicia's front door bearing sweets and savories to share.  We were all nervous of this first encounter, who are these "Moms" and what if their kids are brat's?

2 years later Mom's Group has continued,  women and children have come and gone from the group but the spirit is still alive.  Every Thursday morning we continue to meet at one of our homes for a good laugh and sometimes a cry.

Last summer Mom's Group transformed by adding a much needed Mom's night.. The ladies started to gather every Friday night for a cocktail or 6. This is when the bonds started to strengthen, the ability for us all to let loose.  Not be mom, not to be wife, but to be Ashley, Aeryon, Alicia, Angela, Aly, Dana, Laura, Nickie and Tracy.  We had the odd non-mom's come join us but they never seemed to return.  Perhaps we are not as hilarious as we thought, or our chapped nipple stories and boobs after surgery/nursing show and tell were a bit much.  Regardless there was a core group of ladies that started to yearn for Friday night.   Friday night ladies night has since dwindled with busy lives and jealous husbands.. instead we chose any night of the week for a few drinks and a lot of laughs and sometimes it is more like 3 or 4 nights a week... and often it involves the entire family for a potluck or BBQ.  We are no longer a Mom's Group, or ladies group, we are a community that is held together by Moms.

It has been months now that I have had this idea of writing a book with these women, each writing a chapter on life in "R-Town", their experiences being a mother, friend, spouse, employee, business owner, momprenuer... Since our lives all inter-twine the characters were sure to stay the same and the book I felt would have an incredible flow.   So instead of a book, I have decided on the more immediate (and free).. A blog.   I have asked each of the women to pick a day of the week to blog.  It can be on anything, about themselves, their kids, our drunken escapades, funny picture, dreams, love, anything.. there are no rules, we can switch days, blog on different days, more than once a week, when ever as long as we do our best to keep our once a week commitment to keeping this blog alive. It is a virtual scrapbook of our lives together living in ..  "R-town".  Perhaps one day we will publish our wisdom (or stupidity on some accounts). 

- Aly