Wednesday, November 23, 2016


This blog post comes with a disclaimer:
These are my thoughts.
I am opening a very small door that leads to a greater part of me.
I am letting you into the most vulnerable parts of me.
I do not want to hear your ranting and ravings and overzealous preachings.
Regardless if you are for or against what I have written.
These are MY writings. MY feelings. 

If I ever had to determine what my biggest flaw was it would be that I love too much-that I feel too deeply.

As I sit here in a stoic silence -inside my head I'm screaming.
I listen to the outside world.
The hate, the destruction of humanity and I want nothing more than to close my door. 
To surround myself with the peacefulness of my home.
The peace I have created.
The peace I do not want ruptured.

I spent years living a hell I was forever trying to escape.

I have been broken, shattered, and exploited yet each time I have been able to piece myself together again.

My favorite animal when I was two or three was an albatross.
My mother said "why an albatross it's kind of an ugly bird."
I looked at her with shock on my face and blurted out: "I think it's Beautiful!"
I loved it because nobody ever chooses it. I felt badly because it's never been a favorite.
My favorite color is brown because nobody ever picks brown and I wanted it know that somebody loved it.

I am rooter for the underdog. I love the broken, the fallen, the scarred, and the misfits.  Because I couldn't imagine living life and not knowing someone needed to be loved. 
I couldn't live bearing the thought that I wasn't loved. 
If I feel that need doesn't everyone?

The curse that goes a long with that is that I subject myself to being used and abused over and over again. To the point wherein I let only a few select people into my life. 
I don't trust people. 
I am still willing to go at the drop of a hat to help some one in need
But I am content to return to my home by myself because it means I am safe.

And so here I sit looking at my little world and I'm shaking inside.  
I'm enraged. 
 I am screaming and yelling inside my head. 
And the peace of my world has been smashed.

I am supposed to forgive. 

In this instance I cannot.

When someone who has hurt my child is allowed to go on as though life is normal. 
That is not okay with me.
When your actions leave the rest of us to pick up the pieces, to justify your behavior on behalf of you.
That is disgusting.
When the church rallies around you and puts aside the concerns of other parishioners that is wrong.
When they ask the victims to pardon you for what you have done so that you can feel better about yourself. 
That is disgusting.
I am angry.
I am upset.
I am still not ready to forgive.
If the church feels the feelings and soul of a child predator is worth more than the feelings and souls of his victims. 
I cannot be a part of this.
I've overcome every obstacle proving to me that within the church it is very much a Man's world. 
 I've still pushed through.  
Hung onto that thread of hope. 
That there is truth to all I've been trying so hard to center myself around.
I am sorry.
This is it for me.
I cannot anymore.
I have a testimony of God and Christ. 
That there is something more to the life we have before us. 
But I cannot believe that what is happening right now is right.
My life has been blessed and I do not deny that God has blessed it.
But when you've put everything you have in to something and been screwed around at every turn by the people who are supposed to advise you.
I can't.
I believe the gospel is true. 
I think the people are ruining it.
If that makes me a bad Christian.
Then so be it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

"I Can't Go Back To Yesterday Because I Was A Different Person Then." -Lewis Caroll

Lewis Caroll is great isn't he?
I mean for a hallucinating rambling author he had quite a way with words.
His writings always give me cause to pause and view life through a broader scope.

I sit and think a lot sometimes about the past twenty years of my life. 
Knowing what I know now, would I have made different choices?

Would I have pursued my goal of becoming a Marine Biologist?
Would I have pursued my passion for the Stage?
Would I have pushed myself harder and become an Olympic Swimmer?
Or Would I have ended up walking the catwalk in Milan, my face splashing the cover of Vogue?
All of those things were within my grasp.
All of those things I so easily gave up on. 

It's funny, as a Swim Coach I spent my time teaching kids to not limit themselves. 
To push through the barriers and limitations set upon them by their own insecurities and by the world.
I routinely taught them that "There was no such thing as "Can't." 
That the word simply didn't exist.

I watched children who could barely put their face in the water excel and grow into superb athletes. 
I shared in their enthusiasm and praised their accomplishments whenever a new skill was learned.

I often wondered why I set such harsh limitations on myself.
Why was I so eager for everyone else to succeed and so content with mediocrity for myself.

With my own children, I encourage them to pursue their dreams, goals, passions. Whatever drives them is where I want them to succeed. 
I want them to look back on their life in twenty years and be exactly where they wanted to be. 
Doing exactly what they wanted to be doing.

I wouldn't say that I regret my life by any means.
The choices I've made have allowed me to raise three beautiful and incredibly gifted and talented children.

As my children are growing up, almost ready to leave the nest, I'm starting to think more and more about my future.
Am I satisfied continuing life the way I have been?
I know that I am not.
So what do I change?
How do I do things differently?
How do I make it so that in twenty years from now I can look back and be content with the way the rest of my life played out?

I don't really know. 
But I think I'll start with removing some of those limitations I've set for myself.

"In the end... we only regret the chances we didn't take, the relationships we were afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make," - Lewis Caroll

Sunday, November 13, 2016

”The methods of madness, the pathos, the sadness. God help you all, the insane and the wise”

I think November is the hardest month out of the year.
Sandy Denny nails it in her song Late November:
"The methods of madness, the pathos, the sadness. God help you all, the insane and the wise."

It's like November is the Time Out month.
I hold it all together the rest of the months and then
November happens.
And I'm tired.
I'm tired of all the hate.
I'm tired of all the political madness.
I'm tired of trying to please everybody and pleasing nobody.
I'm tired of working so hard and getting absolutely nowhere.
I go to bed exhausted.
I wake up exhausted.
The world is crazy and draining.
It is full of madness.
Too many Pathos.
Too much Sadness.

Even November is like
Daylight is shorter, the days grow colder, the skies turn grayer it's as though the World shuts off.
November hits and it's time to take a knee,
Sit out for a moment,

I look at November as a month of reflection.
Did I do my best throughout the year?
Could I have helped more people?
Could I have been a nicer person?
Could I have taught my children differently - better?
Could I have worked harder on my yearly goals?

There is always only one answer, and it is always the same.
And that depresses me.
Drives me insane.
Makes me feel worthless.
Like I don't try hard enough.
The last couple of years, I've decided I didn't like this way of feeling.
I wanted to get out of the slump of November Sadness.
I had to come up with a way to distract me from falling into this insane madness.

So as the days grow colder, the sunlight hours shorter, as I move through the month in a grayscale stupor I look for simple reasons to be thankful.
I believe that when I feel as though the daily grind is closing in, when the madness of the world comes crushing down, when November feels cold and dark if I look for reasons to be thankful the beauty of the world shines through the cracks.
The more I find to be thankful for, the brighter the days become.

I'm not saying that it's easy.
Or that I'm a super happy cheery person everyday because let's face it, I can be pretty disconsolate.
But when I'm looking for the good, I don't have as much time for all the crazy sadness.
There is Beauty All Around
Even in November
If you take the time to look for it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Home is where the Heart is, and my Heart has just been broken.

My whole life, I've dreamed of one day living in the United States again.
I've felt somewhat displaced although the majority of my years have been spent in Canada.
America has always has it's flaws as any country does.
I never thought life there would be glorious or perfect.
I just always wanted to go home.

Circumstances in my life have not made this possible.

In recent events, I'm feeling even more displaced.
Disheartened for a Country who more than their self, their country loved and whom confirmed their souls in self control touting liberty in law.
Embarrassed for a Country who has always Boasted that they would crown their good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea.

This election has been a gross monstrosity of mockery to what everything America has stood for.
For everything I remember America being.
Both the Democrat and Republican parties should be ashamed of themselves.
Neither side has proven that they have the best interests of their citizens at heart.
Neither candidate was a great choice for America.
There was lying and bigotry on both sides, gross misconduct regarding women on both sides.
One candidate who was unashamed to voice his political and personal views no matter how demeaning and offensive they were.
Another candidate who flip flopped on values and views so many times I wasn't sure what her opinions in the end really were.

Where was the fight for Citizens in all of this?
Where were the promises that the candidates would fight for our rights?
That all citizens of the United States would be protected and valued - where was that promise in all of this?

America is supposed to be the land of the free, and the home of the brave.
I feel as though this has been a selfish narcissistic  battle for self touted glory.

For someone like me, this makes the world a very lonely place.
I feel as though I truly don't belong anywhere.
And that is a scary thought for someone in my position.

As a landed immigrant I am not a citizen of Canada.
I don't have the same rights as a citizen of Canada.
My solace of being able to live peacefully in Canada is based on the direct relationship Canada has with the United States.

I am concerned for the well being of my family and friends in the United States.
I am concerned for the well being of my family and friends in Canada.
I am concerned for the impact this election has for the relationship between two sister countries.

I do not think that this is a trivial time.
That we can blink and four years will have passed peacefully.
I think that it is a pivotal moment for the United States, for Canada, for the World.
I don't like to tout impending gloom and doom but I fear for the state of the world as we knew it.

Trump will not go Gently into the Night.
He will fight,

Today I cry for the America I remember.

Oh Say can you See
By the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed
At the twilights last gleaming
Who's broad stripes and bright stars
Through the perilous fight
O'er the ramparts we watched
Were so gallantly streaming
And the rocket's red glare!
The bombs bursting in air!
Gave proof through the night
That our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free
And the home of the brave.

I just wanted to go home.

Monday, July 11, 2016

"So Long And Thanks For All The Fish!"

I am so super excited. 

When I moved to Taber I had no idea why I did so. 
I do know, if I hadn't moved here, I wouldn't have this opportunity presented to me.
I'd still be floating through life.
Over the course of the year, I've come to realize that I needed time to heal and improve on myself, I have been able to make so many new friends and connections. I am so thankful for all of the people who have come into my life this past year. 
An offer was extended to me in High River and I have accepted it. I am looking forward to this new adventure. It's going to be a lot of hard work, but also extremely beneficial. 
I am hoping this is the last time I move in a long while!

This week I had a chance to reflect over my experiences with cooking.
When I started, I had no experience whatsoever.
There are times that I've cried, almost been fired for being too slow, been yelled at, have been the yeller, I've worked early mornings and long nights.
 I've had some amazing mentors and cherish their instruction and guidance. 
I've been thrown to the wolves, been tempted to walk off the line, and been pushed and pulled to what I thought were my limits and then pushed more.
Nothing is more satisfying then producing something that people makes people happy and excited to consume it. Nothing makes me feel more fulfilled than when those people come back again and again.

The only thing for me that would trump that feeling is when I watch my children participate and succeed in their talents.

Being in Taber has made me aware of a talent I had so readily discarded. It has awakened my love for food and cooking and I am so proud to look back over the years and be able to say to myself, "This is what I've worked so hard for." 

I am thankful for this opportunity and I know that it is the right choice for our family.

Thank you to all who have influenced my path to this point.
Thank you to my Mother, Father, and Brothers and Sisters who never gave up on me.

Thank you to my kids who have endured my long hours.

Monday, July 4, 2016

"Two Roads Diverged In A Wood And I-"

I am stuck standing in a yellow wood.
I am standing, staring down two paths,
wishing I could take both.
How torn I feel as I weigh pros and cons
Neither path appears better or worse than the other
They both look just as fair.
Neither path will be effortless
Neither path will be easy.
They both will reap me rewards of sorts.
Really, they're both the same
except for the fact that they're not.
I'd love to put a choice on hold and revisit it again
Unfortunately, life doesn't play that way
Once I choose, I won't be coming back
In a year from now, I'll re read this blog
And I'll probably let out a sigh.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I'm going to take the one less traveled by.
And I'm hoping it will make all the difference!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Letter

I was so angry this afternoon after I received an email from one of Piper's teachers indicating that she needed to attend school and finish her assignments.
We had already had a discussion about how many classes she had missed this year, most of them due to the fact that she has suffered from extreme migraines and had trouble acclimatizing to Southern Alberta's strong winds.
With the last few days of school looming, I stressed to her the importance of attending her classes.
It's really hard for me to monitor her going to school as I am at work between 5:00 am and 6:30 am depending on the day.
I go on blind faith in her that she is being responsible and going to school.
Apparently, that's not good enough!
After receiving the email from her teacher asking me to encourage Piper to attend her classes, I felt so embarrassed.
I felt like I was a terrible parent who just let her child do whatever and didn't care one way or another.
I felt ashamed and like I was a failure as a parent.
If only I didn't work so early. 
But then, if I didn't work early, I'd work late and wouldn't be home for her or able to attend her sports games or band concerts, or attend anything the boys did either.
By the time I got home, I was angry and resentful.
I thought of all the ways I could punish Piper.
I even googled for ideas because I'm terrible at punishments.
As I sat down at the computer, I felt the need to write her a letter instead.
In less than five minutes, I wrote her the following letter:

Dear Piper,

I don't know what else to do or say to emphasize what a huge importance Education is.

School isn't an option.

You Have To Attend.

Let's talk about attendance.

Aside from the physical aspect (which I've been hounding at since the middle of your first semester) simply showing up isn't good enough.

In elementary school, you may have been able to skate by doing the bare minimum work because let's face it, learning the rudimentary basics is a lot easier than learning the specifics.

These last years in high school are so important.

Not in the “These are going to be the BEST DAYS of your life” sense but in the,
“Dude, outside of these walls is REAL LIFE and you're going to have to face it soon.” sense.

Simply showing up isn't good enough anymore although, in your case it would be a great start!

You need to participate, ask questions, answer questions, do your homework, bring home your homework, study said homework, and be physically, AND mentally tuned in.

I had a grade 8 teacher that would always say: “Silent and Attentive, Grade 8's Tune In.” and he'd draw his pointer fingers together as he said it.

It was annoying.

So Super Annoying.

But I get it now.

I wish I had gotten it then.


You don't want to be me.

I don't want to be me a lot of the time.

I listen to you talk and you have all these AMAZING goals and dreams for yourself. 

And I so badly want them to happen.

I sacrifice so much time, money, and myself for you and your brothers but let's face it, mostly you. 

I WANT you to succeed.

I WANT you to be continue to be awesome.

I WANT all of the things you dream for yourself to become a reality – probably more than you want them to become a reality.

You are so Beautiful, Amazing, and Talented.

You are Charismatic, Approachable, and Loveable.

You are EVERYTHING a successful person is.

Don't waste your life floating by.

I don't want you to see your hopes and dreams and goals stay just out of reach.

You need to keep climbing.

I get it, School is hard.

School. Is. Hard.

Not everyone learns the same way.

Not every teacher teaches the same way.

Don't be stubborn, you're old enough to know that the world doesn't always work the way we want it to.

The beauty about being human is we're able to adapt and we learn to adapt.


We decide we want to adapt.

Don't set limitations on yourself.

Don't let others set limitations on you.

Become calculating.

Become plotting.

Decide who you want to be and design your life accordingly.

Become someone of Self Worth.

Know your worth and own it.

Choose your life.

Don't let your life choose you.

I love you.

I love you the same as I did yesterday and I'll love you the same tomorrow.

I'm not really angry anymore. 
I'll probably still take away her phone and tablet.
But I do love her.
I love all three of my kids.
I'm sharing this letter because one day, they might read this blog and I want them to know that this letter isn't just for her. It's for them too.

I never chose to be a single parent.
But I did choose to be the best parent that I can be.
Some days, it's easier to do than others.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Getting Out of The Dark

A measurement of how much I have changed over the last 10 months can be surmised in one short midnight chat session on Facebook Messenger.
It started with a concerned inquiry of my well being.
To which I replied all was well on the home front.
Some niceties were exchanged and then came the question:
So are you going back to the church now?
This kind of took me aback.
I'm not a confrontational type person, and this particular kind of confrontation has always made me feel uncomfortable.
I believe that everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and values. As long as you're a person of integrity then I welcome you into my life. I don't care that our belief systems may differ as long as it makes you happy and I'm happy then we can all be happy together.

If the aforementioned question had been asked of me ten months ago, eight months ago -or lets face it, even six months ago I would have either ignored the question, laughed it off, or backpedaled with explanations of my actions.

This time, I didn't do any of those things.
Yes, I go to church.
No, I'm not perfect which is why I'm going to church.

The trouble with changing ones course in life is that sometimes, you end up doing things that people who are familiar with your old patterns aren't used to.

For many personal reasons, I quit going to church.
I felt betrayed and didn't trust the people whom I should have been able to trust.
But that's just it:
The People were the ones I didn't feel right about.
The Church principles that I believe in haven't changed.
It took a really long time (almost 12 years) for me to understand that people are just people.
They're not perfect either and sometimes, they'll make mistakes.

I need this in my life. I lived so many years wandering aimlessly existing but not really living.
I'm not trying to be a hero or anything like that, I just need something to keep me moving.

I'm still learning, and my faith is still growing and some days are a lot easier than other days but it sure is nice to have something to believe in.
As many times as I fail, I'll keep trying again and again because I want to know what it's like...

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

O Wad Some Pow'r The Giftie Gie Us To See Oursels As Ithers See Us -Robbie Burns

Life is funny. 
I tell myself that a lot even though I don't actually believe that life is as hilarious as I declare it to be.
Increasingly I find life happens exactly the way it needs to be happening at that precise time.
Sometimes that means I fail in areas in which I think I deserve to succeed.
Sometimes I succeed where I think surely I deserve to fail.
Sometimes I try to force success where success shouldn't happen.
Self Analysis has taught me that I do this mostly because I hate to lose.

Losing Sucks.

I think we can all agree on that point.

Unless you're my mom.
My mom doesn't really care whether she wins or loses as long as she's having fun playing the game and no one is fighting.

This Mother's Day, I was on the pleasant end of a few beautifully written messages to me that ironically weren't from my kids 
(cough, cough)
Regardless, the individuals who wrote to me knew nothing of each other yet independently wrote praising me on a quality I wasn't really aware I possess.
In me, each person has recognized an inner strength.
I don't regard myself as a person of strength. 

(Unless we're talking about lifting heavy objects and putting them back down in repetitious sets.)

Case in point: a week ago I embarrassed myself in front of a group of women I have secretly been envious and in admiration of for their endless abundance of talents.

Mortified I wished I could run out of the room, straight home, and bury myself under a pile of blankets only coming up for air on the promise that I never had to set foot out of the house again.

Of course, that wasn't a suitable social grace I could exercise at the time.

Instead, I got to sit whilst it was announced to the room that I had a secret fear of the outside world.

How's that for irony?

That was one of those times where I truly thought I deserved to succeed.
It didn't happen.
I have thought many times over the course of the weekend what deems me worthy of such praise from my friends and family?
What I don't think any of them knew is that they gave me a message I needed to hear this weekend.

Oliver Goldsmith popped into my head with the infamous quote:
"Success consists of getting up one more time than you fall."
I think that goes for the strength of an individual also.

I am so grateful for this reminder from my friends and family.
Thank you for pointing out something that I hadn't really known was there.
I guess if you can believe in me, the least I can do is dust off my jeans and grit my teeth.