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!