You’re Going To Have The Best Dad

Your dad tying my shoes because you’ve made it a bit of a challenge for me.


Dear baby girl,

You might not know it yet, but you’re a pretty lucky lady. As you and I spend all of our time together there is someone else who is anxiously awaiting your arrival, and he’s pretty awesome. (You might remember him from that time he tried to listen to your heartbeat and you kicked him in the head.) By the time you get to know him better, he’ll probably be driving you crazy with curfews and dad jokes but right now he’s just a proud papa to be who can’t wait to meet you.

Together we talk about you and wonder what you are going to be like. We muse about which traits we hope you don’t get from us and which ones we hope you do. We suspect that you have a substantial dose of stubborn and sassy coming, courtesy of me. I’m hoping you get some good traits courtesy of your dad, to balance it all out… 

Your dad is one of the most kind hearted people I know. He thinks about other people’s feelings and rarely has a bad thing to say about anyone, even when I try to egg him on! Your dad is intelligent and analytical. He works hard and takes opportunities to continue to learn and grow. Your dad is a man who loves his family deeply. He makes an effort to spend time with them and help them out whenever they need it.

Your dad is already thinking about you. He’s wanted you since before I even knew I was ready for you. He thinks about everything from how he is going to teach you to snowboard, all the way to how he is going to help mend your first broken heart. He’s going to be there cheering you on and there picking you up when you fall down. He’s going to be the best dad, and I know because I picked him out just for you.

Now sit tight for another 10 weeks knowing that at this time next year, you’ll be here to celebrate your dear old dad in person. Until then, think aerodynamic thoughts, we’ve got quite the journey ahead of us!

Love,

Mom

Pregnant in real life.

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I found out I was pregnant on a Sunday afternoon, by Wednesday night I was certain that I wasn’t anymore. For the last four months I have gone back and forth a million times about whether or not I should write about this experience. It’s nice to live in a world where being pregnant is just a cute baby announcement, ice cream and pickles, but that’s not real life. Behind every baby announcement there’s a story, and this is a little piece of mine.

After a day of being violently ill with what I assumed was food poisoning, I convinced my husband to go grab some pregnancy tests, “just in case”. I headed into the washroom and before I knew it the little pink plus sign appeared. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I came out of the washroom stunned, “I’m pregnant” I said, followed by an absurd amount of “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god”s and one “what have we done?!” I was excited and happy… but with a strong dose of petrified in the mix.

My husband, who was quite simply ecstatic, calmed me down and we decided that instead of thinking about worst case scenarios we would assume everything was going to be ok. We looked up how far along I was online and found out our baby was the size of a sesame seed. “Sesame” – the perfect nickname for our new addition.

Over the next couple of days I was still quite ill and navigating my way through a mixture of emotions. Sometimes excited, sometimes scared, and sometimes mad that this little sesame seed was making me so sick. I cursed pregnancy and couldn’t imagine spending 9 months in that state. And then everything changed.

It was Wednesday afternoon and I was in a meeting at work, I started to feel really unwell. I went to the washroom and to spare you the details, let’s just say I had all the classic symptoms of a miscarriage. Trust me, I googled them all on my phone in a panic trying to convince myself it wasn’t happening. I went home heartbroken and surprised at how connected I already felt to Sesame. “We shouldn’t have nicknamed it” I sobbed to my husband, “why the fuck did we do that?”

Thursday morning I went to the doctor, “it happens all the time,” he said, “and at this stage, it definitely sounds like you’ve had a miscarriage.” I cried in his office and back in my car as I headed to get my blood work done. Even though I knew miscarriages were very common, I felt so alone. I was mad at myself for getting attached and feeling guilty about how upset I was, after all I had only known I was pregnant for four days.

I took the blood test on Thursday afternoon and found out on Friday that there was still human growth hormone in my blood. I would have to get another blood test and “act like I was pregnant” over the weekend just in case. I had zero hope, in my heart I had accepted the idea that this whole thing was over.

That weekend I thought a lot about my friends who had confided in me, telling me about their miscarriages over the years and I wondered if I was compassionate enough in my response, I doubted it now. I wondered if they too felt like they shouldn’t be sad because “it happens all the time”. I thought long and hard about these women, these strong amazing women who have become incredible mothers. And I thought about other women too, whom I haven’t met but were brave enough to share their storiesAs I waited for my second test results, I felt like I had absorbed some strength from these ladies and I felt so appreciative that they had shared their stories with me. 

On my way to work Monday morning, my doctor called me. “I have your test results, and I have some good news, the human growth hormone in your blood has more than doubled, it looks like you definitely have a viable pregnancy.” And once again I was stunned, only this time I felt a whole lot more grateful. 

Coming back, when you’ve let yourself go.

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Oh hey old friends!

I’m writing to you from a place I have been before. I’m writing to you because maybe, just maybe you’ve been here too. I’m writing to you because quite frankly, I need a bit of a kick in the ass. Here we go…

I had the best summer. A little bit stressful, a little bit busy, but in the end, a great time was had. I travelled, I partied, I enjoyed the hell out of my new backyard. But what I didn’t do… was yoga, spin or barre. Like… at all. 

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but before summer hit I was seriously killing it (toot-toot). I was going to spin or barre at lunch and finishing the night off with some yoga. I felt A-M-A-Z-I-N-G and began to view my body more by what it could do and less by what it looked like. I felt strong and it was empowering. I was doing poses in yoga I didn’t even think were physically possible!

It was a great place to be, but one day I just… stopped. I let the lure of sunshine, Netflix and wine on the deck carry me away. Four months of bliss but now I am here: ready to get back at it and absolutely terrified. It’s easy to workout when you are already fit. It’s hard to face the music and realize your body isn’t capable of what it once was and know that it’s your own damn fault.

Anyone who has been here before knows that the hardest part is getting up, driving there and walking through those doors. It’s nerve-racking. Like first date, nerve-racking. You know it’s either going to be great or terrible, there’s rarely an in-between. If you’re competitive with yourself like I am, the whole time you’re going to be comparing your current self to the fit, ass kicking version of you from before.

You’ll be frustrated when poses that used to be restful are now a shocking amount of work. You’ll be embarrassed when the weights you pick up are much lighter than before and still seem like torture. You’ll be annoyed when the instructor pushes you harder and counts out those last thirty seconds in the slowest.countdown.ever. “That was WAY more than thirty seconds you bastard, we know how to count,” you’ll think in a fit of blind rage. And then the hour will be up and you’ll realize that you did it, you survived. It might not have been pretty but you did it.

On Friday, I dragged my nervous self back to spin and I survived. Yes, I was way worse than before, yes I contemplated cancelling the class about 100 times before I actually went, and yes I felt discouraged while I was doing it. But when it was done? I felt A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

I’m not telling you this to dig for compliments, I’m telling you this because I’m going to need this reminder and you might to. It’s easy to feel good when you are doing all the right things, it’s harder when you’re clawing your way back. Working out, spin, yoga, barre, running, whatever your thing is: getting it back won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. That incredible feeling once you’ve accomplished even just that first class back, is your glimmer of hope.

Keep going, don’t stop. We don’t want to be back here again! And if you reeeeeally need to, hit up DQ afterwards, to remind yourself that after all, you do need balance. 😉

Oh my god I’m getting married!

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I’ve been meaning to write this post for awhile, actually I have been meaning to write A LOT of posts for awhile, but let’s ignore my severe procrastination and focus on this post for now. I don’t mean to be rude but this post… this post isn’t for you. It’s for me. It’s for when I am old and grey, crusty and senile, and my kids look at me and say, “Mom, tell us how dad proposed to you again!” and I say, “Who the hell are you?” With every glass of wine, every open bar wedding, I can feel pieces of this story slipping away. This might be a long one so get out now, or hang on for the ride – you decide.

The Backstory
At the end of May, Mike and I had a trip planned to Maui aka, the best place on Earth. Since we hadn’t talked too specifically about getting engaged I wasn’t feeling suspicious at all. Exactly one week before our departure date, Mike told me that the ladies at his work were giving him a hard time, asking him if he was going to propose to me in Maui. Thinking that meant obviously he was not going to, I wasn’t at all fazed when he declared, “Even if I wanted to, I would have no idea what kind of ring to get you.” Casually I responded that I liked simple rings – which apparently in ring speak means “solitaires” – I should have been tipped off that Mike knew this lingo and I didn’t, perhaps I am not as smart as I think I am.

The day we left for Maui, I went into work where a few of my colleagues started asking me about whether I thought Mike would propose on the trip – one girl had even gotten engaged at the very part of the island we were staying at! I said I would be completely surprised – I had a feeling he was going to ask me on our trip to Kelowna later on in the summer. As I was about to leave, our graphic designer told me the story about her proposal and how her husband INSISTED that they go on a hike when she wasn’t particularly interested in hiking. The hike… it stuck with me.

Maui Time
Ok, now I was feeling a little curious – after all, Maui would be an incredible place to kick off this journey. As we got to security I watched Mike carefully, he didn’t seem overly nervous. I grabbed his carry-on bag and tried to take note of any odd behaviour… nothing. I even rooted through the damn thing, just to see if I would get a reaction… business as usual. Feeling a bit like a crazy person, I let it go – Kelowna was more likely.

Once we got to Maui Mike said something that made my heart jump… he wanted to go on a hike! No, he INSISTED we go on a hike. DING DING DING “I’ve heard this before!” I thought but given my prior carry-on bag research, I dismissed it. Since I am as stubborn as a mule (to put it mildly) I told Mike that I didn’t want to go on a hike yet – I wanted to laze on the beach for a few days first. Clearly agitated, Mike was relentless on getting his way. “Stop being so weird” I told him, “we can go on a hike later.”

Unfortunately I was wrong. As luck would have it (bad luck, very bad luck), Mike ended up hurting himself extremely badly while boogie boarding at the beach. A note to anyone who wants to go boogie boarding in Maui – if all the tourists run out of the water, and all of the Hawaiin kids run into the water… GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WATER! This unplanned event 1.) Scared the shit out of me and 2.) Really put a damper on any hiking.

Dream Killer
A few days had passed since the accident and Mike was starting to feel a bit better. And by a bit better I mean still pretty shitty. But none the less, he decided it was time to try again for that hike he had requested. Due to Mike’s injury, I was the only one that could drive us around so when Mike suggested we go on a little hike we had been on before I believe my exact words were, “No chance in hell, I will literally kill us on that road.”

The Main Event
After crushing Mike’s dreams (which I was unaware of!) I decided to sit outside on the patio and read my book. I told Mike he should come out and join me and he said ok. I got lost in my book and realized that Mike had vanished. Assuming he had decided to take a nap, I continued reading. Shortly after, Mike appeared at the sliding glass door looking off. Thinking he hurt himself some more, I instantly freaked out – that’s when I noticed an odd shape bulging out of his pocket. No, not an “I’m so happy to see you” shape. Being an idiot naive, I said “What the hell is in your pocket?” to which Mike responded, “nothing.”

He then went on to say, “You know I love you right?” Which made me freak out even more. As someone who watches way too much “reality” TV I naturally assumed that Mike was about to A.) Dump me B.) Tell me he just found out he had a love child C.) Inform me that something awful had happened back home. He asked me to come over to him, which I did – scared out of my mind I might add (yes I know, the bulging pocket should have tipped me off but I think I was in shock!).

As he sherpa-ed me over to the grass I started to realize what was happening. “You know I love you, right? You know I want to spend the rest of my life with you, right? You know I want to have a family with you.” Mike then got down on one knee and pulled out the most beautiful ring I have ever seen. Standing in my lululemons with soaking wet hair and no make up on, I was stunned! After stuttering a few times “is this actually happening?!” I bent down and gave Mike a big hug to which he said, “you know you haven’t actually said yes yet.” “Yes, of course!!” I said and he slipped the best present I have ever received on my finger.

I have to say, growing up I always thought I would feel scared, terrified, or unsure when I finally got proposed to but on May 21, 2013 – all I felt was overwhelming love and excitement. I can’t wait to share my life with you Mike, it’s going to be amazing!

Immediately after the big proposal – I ran and changed, threw a little make-up on and nerdily made Mike re-enact the big moment so I could have the keepsake you see at the top of this post forever. That’s right… it’s a fake! 

Uh oh – I think I might be an adult.

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A few months ago I had my twenty-sixth birthday. TWENTY-SIX. Now I know in the grand scheme of things this is still pretty young but I have to admit, it did hurt a little when I had to update my WordPress bio. Often I feel like I stuck at twenty-two, like I am still just a university student preparing to navigate the “real world” for the first time. And even though I don’t feel old, I am beginning to notice a few things in my life that seem to point to the fact that I am officially an adult. Here are a few of those things:

  • I now have to tick the middle age box on a form or survey (it’s SO sad)
  • I was really excited to get a free sample of Vichy Liftactiv face cream
  • The highlight of my week was getting 20 bonus Air Miles
  • I make my bed regularly (well, semi-regularly… I am on a bit of a hiatus right now.)
  • I dressed up as a red Crayon for Halloween, and not a slutty red Crayon, just a plain old adorable red Crayon
  • My friends are having “on purpose” babies
  • My Facebook news feed is littered with pictures of said “on purpose” babies
  • I was ecstatic to receive my Blue Cross card in the mail
  • My mom collects books to read to her grandkids one day (I am neither pregnant, nor trying to be)
  • I actually have to pay for banking (I miss my Leo young saver’s account)
  • My boyfriend jokes that it might be time to trade me in for a younger model (at least I hope he’s joking…)
  • I struggle to pull a double header (drinking hard two nights in a row)
  • I make a mean chocolate chip banana bread
  • I wish I owned every single product Spanx makes (this might have something to do with the aforementioned banana bread…)
  • I own a tankini (I really need to stop making banana bread)
  • I no longer eat cereal for dinner
  • My Visa limit is more than $500
  • Eating pancakes for a week to save money for drinking seems like a bad idea
  • I don’t get ID-ed when I order wine at dinner anymore (thanks A LOT Mike for pointing that one out…)
  • I’m starting to think open bar events are both a blessing and a curse
  • I’m sitting at home on a Thursday making a list of all of the reasons I think I might be an adult instead of drinking 25 cent high balls at Palamino’s

So there you have it, I think I just might be an adult! What are some things you’ve noticed that have made you stop and think, “holy shit… I might just be an adult”?

Dear sixteen year old me

I can be a bit of a hoarder. While I don’t keep mountains of instant noodles or families of cats… I do keep letters, cards, notes, and journals. Over the last few weeks, as I take what’s left of my memory boxes out of my mom’s house, I have been blessed (and cursed) with the unique ability to time travel. As I cringe at my embarrassing Dear Diary entries and scandalous high school notes, I can’t help but think… what would I say to my sixteen year old self if I could? Well… here I go.

Dear sixteen year old me,

First of all, congratulations on getting your license, and on your first try I might add, pretty impressive! I know you were really freaking out about that one so it’s certainly quite a relief. A piece of advice: just buy the first Cavalier you look at, you’re going to fight it for awhile before you realize it’s the only thing you can afford.

I would ask how things are going with you but based on all of the notes you kept from your friends and the very sparse and random journaling that you did, I am pretty much up to speed. I thought I would send you a letter and let you in on a few things that I think might help you out in the future.

Now I need you to believe me when I say this, you are skinny. I don’t know where you’re getting this notion that you are anything but. Just because your size ZERO (how is that even a size??) summer clothes from last year don’t fit anymore does NOT mean that you are now fat. Keep playing sports and doing what you’re doing – get rid of the negative self talk, there’s really no need for it. And as a side note, just because you are in fact slim doesn’t mean that you should wear that pleated Abercrombie & Fitch skirt you love so much. Dad was right, it is WAY too short.

Keep trying your best to stay out of any drama, especially when it has nothing to do with you in the first place. I know you are really counting on the fact that when you get older girls will become more civilized towards each other and I hate to burst your bubble but it’s just not the case. Drama exists everywhere, it is inescapable. Sometimes you’ll get sucked into it, sometimes you might even cause it, just stay true to who you are and what you believe in.

Don’t worry about not having a clue in regards to what you are going to do after high school. It’s not a bad thing to like too many things and have too many choices. Taking a year off is a good idea but I am warning you… when you do get into school you are going to have a major meltdown and realize that you picked the wrong program. Relax, you’ll figure it out (it’s communications, if you don’t). Also, listen to your gut instinct; apply to universities outside of where you grew up. Going to one of these schools will be the best decision you ever make.

Well sixteen year old me, there are an infinite number of other things I could tell you, like stop drinking Smirnoff Ice (ick) or definitely don’t take chem (you won’t EVER use it), but I think I will let you figure the rest out on your own.

Good luck, from the future!

Your turn: If you could tell your sixteen year old self something, what would it be?

Better late than never, go ahead make Jen’s day!

My Food Bank donation for #MakeJensDay

I love Twitter. Every once in awhile I hear people talking about how they think Twitter is dumb or that they just don’t see the point of tweeting. My guess is that they must be following the wrong people.

Twitter for me, is about community. It’s about building relationships with people who share common interests with you, even if you may never meet them in real life. It’s about learning and listening, it’s about engaging and communicating. And last week it was also about giving, actual giving, not just share this, re-tweet that.

I came across a tweet from @JenBanksYEG that said, “Twitter I need your help. bit.ly/MKuSuK  #makejensday For her birthday, Jen (whom I have never met) had just one request:

“Sunday, July 22nd is my birthday and I have only one wish:
I wish that all of my friends, family, Twitter followers, FB friends, blog readers and even people in my Google + circles take a moment this weekend to give something to charity.”

Well happy birthday Jen, (belated albeit) yesterday while grocery shopping I loaded up a bag of food specifically for the Edmonton Food Bank (who have a really rad website I might add). I have been a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters for over two years now and I have seen first hand the difference taking a small amount of time from a busy schedule can make to someone who really needs it. I love the spirit of your message and your commitment to keep these acts of kindness going, good luck!

To any of my friends, family, Twitter followers, Facebook friends, and blog readers… I challenge YOU to #MakeJensDay, you won’t regret it. (See Jen’s thank you message here.)