Monday, March 19, 2012

Guess who's ONE ... already!!!

I don't think I ever got around to blogging about one of the coolest events of my life (because I was being a terrible blogger at that point). Anyway, I'll try to cath you up now. A year ago, I got to watch this little guy be born. His Mom and Dad were awesome enough to allow me to be in the delivery room. It. Was. Fascinating! That's honestly the best word I can use to describe it. If they would've let me, I would've pulled him out myself. When I was up beside my best friend rubbing her head and trying to be somewhat supportive, it was super hard to watch her be in so much pain, but when the baby got stuck and Daddy came to stand beside her and be her support, I wasn't sure exactly where to stand. Well, I ended up having a front row seat to watching his entry into the world. I'll be honest ... I kinda forgot that I was watching my BFF go through this. I was so enthralled by what was going on that I just took it all in ... and captured it all on film. I know, some of you are mortified at the thought and don't worry, I won't subject you to any of the pics, but that's what I was told I was asked to be there for ... to take pictures ... and I fulfilled my duty. No, I don't look at Jennie in a different way now. Well, that's not to say that I don't think she's the most courageous, strong, amazing woman. Some people have asked if we look at each other weirdly now that I've seen that side of her. You'll have to ask her how she feels, but I only feel more love for her after I've seen what she's been through. She's awesome and I'm SO glad I got to be a part of it.

Anyway, I can't believe a whole year has gone by already! Seriously, where did this year go?

I got some pics of him yesterday at his party. He doesn't sit still for long! Closer, closer ... let me have that picture taking thingy!

And then it was cake time.

His first time having sweets.

Let me try this spongy thing ...

Wow! This is amazing! I need more of this RIGHT NOW!

Yup, I'm going in again. I think we have a winner, people!

I couldn't resist the cute, little, striped cardigan, sweater and shoes that I saw in the store. I knew they MUST be his! :)
Nathanael, I can't believe that you went from this ...

and this ...

to this ...

so quickly. Happy birthday and I love you, buddy!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Words of Wisdom from Janet ... Miss Jackson if you're nasty!

I'm still attracted to control, but I also know that an attraction can turn into an addiction. The more I have, the more I want. Just as there is no drink that will set the alcholic free, no drug to liberate the junkie, there is no amount of control that will satisfy that kind of freak. Only God is in total control. Not me, not you, not anyone.

Literally, the velvet rope is the barrier that keeps partygoers outside a nightclub from getting to where they want to be. You can look at these partygoers in many ways, however. It's those people who simply want to have fun but are unable to gain admission to the fun room. It can also be those people who are seeking relief from the weight of their problems, and people looking to belong. To get beyond that rope - at least the rope that exists in my imagination - requires, in the words of the songs, not putting people down, but rather freeing ourselves from feelings of hatred and oppression.

I believe we're either moving forward or moving backward. "That applies almost to everything," my friend explained. "We can change cities, countries, and hair colors, but nothing changes until we figure out how to change our attitude and belief system. We move backward when we keep doing the same things and expect a different result. We get discouraged and fall into despair. Superficial external moves - like a new wardrobe or a new apartment - just have us moving from side to side. Different scenery, some sensibility. Be careful, because all of that may be just smoke and mirrors, because it's not going to cure your pain. But to move up, to gain a higher consciousness and a more effective way to deal with our problems - that requires faith. Faith in something bigger than yourself."

My growth depends on faith, as it must for everyone else as well. My spirit of generosity and selflessness also depend on faith. I'm grateful for the comfort that my work provides. I'm grateful for the privileged life that I lead. But I realize that it's the spiritual life that sustains, that nourishes us. In the early morning hours, when I read my Bible, when I pray, when I talk to Jesus, I'm no longer haunted by remorse. I know that the mistakes I've made are in the past; they're gone, forgiven, and no longer cause for guilt or shame. I'm looking forward, not behind.

These words have reminded me yet again that everyone's relationship with God is different and their own. You may not agree with how they live it out, but that doesn't mean they don't know God in their own way. I'm finding the same thing as I read Kris Jenner's book and learn that she went to Bible Study at Pat Boone's place in the 80s and became a born again Christian. It always urks me when I tell people that I've read/heard that Bono's a Christian and they say, "No he's not." How do you know? You may think I'm naive when I read these things and believe that these people are Christians, but who am I to judge them? If they're saying it but they really aren't, God will convict them of that and deal with it Himself. I think I've talked about how much I loved the book Blue Like Jazz. It blew the little box I was living in apart and opened my eyes up to the fact that everyone's journey is different and you have no idea where they've come from, so let go of the judgment. These two books were a great reminder of that. I think we may be surprised by who we meet in Heaven. :)

Monday, March 05, 2012


Unless you live under a rock (make that 30 Rock - hardy har har), you will most likely have heard of Tina Fey. Funny, funny lady. I first grew to love her when she did Weekend Update with Jimmy Falon on SNL. Their chemistry was SO hilarious together! I was actually quite sad when she left SNL. I've watched a few episodes of 30 Rock and they are definitely funny, but I've got so many other shows that I watch, I haven't yet put it into full repitoire in my TV schedule. I know ... I'm lame. When she came back to SNL to parody Sarah Palin, she was an instant hit. No matter your thoughts on Sarah Palin, love her or hate her, Tina nailed it!

When I heard about Bossypants, all I heard was how funny it is ... so naturally, when I needed a break after all the trauma/drama of The Hunger Games, I picked it up. Here are a few of my favorite parts:

The 70s were a small-eyed, thin-lipped blond woman's paradise. I remember watching Three's Company as a little brown-haired kid thinking, "Really? This is what we get? Joyce DeWitt is our brunet representative? She's got that greasy-looking bowl cut and they make her wear suntan pantyhose under her football jersey nightshirt." I may have only been seven or eight, but I knew that this sucked ... (in the middle here she goes on a long, funny rant about being different and in the end how that's a good thing) ... And if I ever meet Joyce DeWitt, I will first apologize to her for having immediately punched her in the face, and then I will thank her. For while she looked like a Liza Minnelli doll that had been damaged in a fire, at least she didn't look like everybody else on TV.

Ah, babies! They're more than just adorable little creatures on whom you can blame your farts.

When people say, "You really, really must" do something, it means you don't really have to. No one ever says, "You really, really must deliver the baby during labour." When it's true, it doesn't need to be said. (this came about after a funny part about women who tell you that you must breast feed)

And then her prayer for her daughter is quite hilarious ... but too long to put all here, so click HERE and you can read it. Now that I'm skimming back through the book, there are so many parts I'd like for you to read, but to just pick a couple of lines doesn't do the whole chapter justice, so I'd recommend you do what I do and go to your local library and pick it up.

For some reason I'm on a biography kick right now. I'm currently reading Janet Jackson's True You, my library just emailed me to let me know that Kris Jenner's and All Things Kardashian is in (don't judge me) and I've still got Ellen DeGeneres' Seriously, I'm Kidding on my hold list (I'm #97 on the hold list, so I'm sure I'll get to read that one sometime in 2015) and next I'm going to ask for Rob Lowe's Stories I Only Tell My Friends. With all the old 80s clothes coming back in style (which I'm having a hard time with) and starting to celebrate my friends 40th birthdays while reminiscing about old times and dancing to 80s music, I'm reminded of The Outsiders and how all those cute boys were "nobody's" back then and I want to read about what Rob's got to say about that era ... which is probably also why I'm reading Janet Jackson's book right now. Her albums Control and Rhythm Nation were playing constantly on my tape deck in the 80s. Aaaaahhhh, good times.

Anyway, all that to say, go pick up Tina Fey's Bossypants. You won't regret it.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

V-day cupcakes

When Danielle told me she needed 48 cupcakes for her class for Valentine's Day, I thought that sounded like a lot, but I told her we'd give it a try. I'd seen a great idea on Pinterest to make cupcakes into heart shapes ... I couldn't find a marble like they suggested, but their 2nd suggestion was to crumple up tin foil and put it between the tray and the paper liner.

We separated the batter into 3 bowls, left one bowl white, poured a little bit of red food colouring into another one to make pink and the last one we poured double the amount of food colouring in to make red. Then we started drizzling away in all the liners to make multi coloured cupcakes. I thought it would be fun to have a dab of colour in the middle and by accident, one looked like a heart, so from then on, I purposely drizzled a heart in the middle. Here's to hoping it would work!

Well, it took us quite some time, but we managed to make 48 cupcakes. We had just enough time to clean up while ...

the last batch was in the oven.

We were VERY pleased with how they turned out. I haven't seen her since she took them to class on Tuesday, but I'm hoping they were a hit.

My Valentine's gift this year was quite heavenly. While out for a walk that night, I saw this:

That was definitely gift enough for me. Stunning.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Show of hands, please

Hypothetically speaking, who thinks it would be weird to date your cousins widower?

I mean, hypothetically speaking, I'm sure someone's parents are well intentioned, but seriously? Come on ... am I the only one that thinks that would be weird? Please, help me out, here. I'm trying to prove a point .... hypothetically speaking, of course.

Monday, February 06, 2012


After feeling like I was going a little mental for the last couple of months, I went to my doc to have a chat and tell him what's been going on. The thing I love about my doc is that he doesn't make me feel stupid or tell me that it's all in my head. He takes me seriously and sends me for tests. Today I got those results. I'm perfectly healthy. "So, I'm just going crazy?" I asked him. "Looks like it," he said, then laughed. No thyroid problem. Hormone levels are "really quite good" he said. I don't have asthma (I've been having a cough that reminded me of the 100 day cough I had a couple of years ago). So, what now?

Well, he's going to test me for sleep apnea. I told him that I sleep quite well, actually and it makes me wonder why I'm so tired all the time. He said he's going to check if I'm breathing properly while I'm sleeping. He said it can seem like a person gets a full nights sleep, but if you're not breathing properly while sleeping, it can make you tired when you wake up. So, that's next.

I've been having something weird happen with my eyes. He sent me to an Ophthalmologist and he prescribed glasses. I've been wearing the glasses for 2 months now and it's mostly the same, but a few times it's gotten worse. Now I have 2 appointments downtown with another specialist. Aaaaah, ain't getting older grand?

Part of me feels like I'm falling apart and the other part of me knows it could be must worse. I'll just bide my time and do what the doc says for now and stay positive ... and get out for more exercise now that the sun's been shining!

Friday, February 03, 2012

I'll take what I can get!

So, my parents are in town for a few days and although it's not unusual for my Dad to call me, most of the time it's my Mom. I heard my phone ring and saw that it said, "Dad's Cell." I figured it was my Mom letting me know that they'd gotten here safely and to set up a time to see me ... yes, I have to schedule time with my parents when they come here. They used to live here for many years plus they have a lot of family here, so I'm lucky if I get to see them twice while they're here. I'm not complaining ... I'm glad they've got friends ... it might just be a tad embarrassing that my parents are busier than me! haha! JK

Anyway, when I answer the phone, I'm a little surprised to hear Dad's voice on the other end. We chit chat about their drive out here for a bit and then he says, "What are you doing on Sunday around 4:00?" My mind quickly peruses my schedule but before I say anything, I had this fleeting thought ... "Is there a Canucks game on Sunday? Does he want to take me to a Canucks game? Sweet!" I calmly say, "Nothing. Why?" to which he answers, "Well, there's a certain football game on that I want to watch" and then it hits me ... he wants to use me for my TV! (they're staying at my Uncle and Aunt's place who have a very old, small TV) haha! Well, I was right about it having something to do with a sporting event! :) I said, "Are you wanting to watch it on my TV, Dad?" "I need a nice, big screen to watch it on!" he says in a whiny tone. "Of course, Dad. Come on over."

I hope this doesn't sound like I'm offended, because I'm totally not. My Mom will, of course, come with him and her and I will chat and catch up ... maybe play some Banagrams while Dad's watching the game. We'll swap seats when the half time show comes on and I'll wonder what Madge will come up with and he'll think it's "garbage" but it'll be fun. Mom said she's got buns and cold cuts (did she bring them all the way from Alberta? Doesn't she realize we have those things here, too? - they crack me up!). I told her that's great, but we have to have pizza while watching the Superbowl, so I'm sure we'll order in as well. I'm sure Dad will fall asleep at some point, but don't worry, I'll wake him up to see the end.

You see, my parents have come out here for a funeral of a long time friend. I know the kids of this man and it really makes me think, "What if that was me?" So, I'm going to cherish this time of watching the 2012 Superbowl with my Dad and playing games with my Mom.

What are your plans for the Superbowl?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Balanced Life

The 2nd thing that I believe has helped me have a brighter outlook on life again is getting back a balanced life.

I believe that one of the reasons why I was feeling hopeless is because I hadn't been to church in quite awhile. When I came back from Malaysisa in June, summer kicked in and with it, many weekend getaways. Church was put on the back burner. When summer ended, I started feeling like I wasn't supposed to go back to the church where I'd been attending for almost 30 years. This was a very weird feeling for me. Although I had a peace about not going back, what now? I told myself that next Sunday I'll go check out a new church. Sunday came, I woke up to my alarm, but I couldn't get myself to go. That was odd for me. I'd never had a problem going to my old church by myself and I'm not a shy person, so what was the problem? I guess it really was more daunting than I led myself to believe. I found a friend who was also ready to seek out a new church and our search has begun (I'll go into that in another post).

It felt good to be back in a community setting ... even if we didn't know many people and it didn't yet feel like "home." At least I was going somewhere and getting fed.

In my last session with my awesome counselor, she told me to remember the 4 things that help keep a life balanced: Social, Physical, Intellectual and Spiritual. She said to remain healthy, you should do 2 - 3 of these activities per week. That totally makes sense because I feel I've been doing that lately ... leading to a more positive outlook and a more balanced life. I love when my counselor and I are on the same page. :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Joy ... something I was lacking

Continuing on with #1 from my last post, here's some more of what I've learned from One Thousand Gifts. Since she says it best, this is all a direct quote from her book. It was such an eye opening moment for me. I hope you like it, too.

Luke 22:19 And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it ...

In the original language, "He gave thanks" reads "eucharisteo."
Eucharisteo = thanksgiving
root word - charis = grace
derivative - chara = joy

Joy. Ah ... yes. I might be needing me some of that. That might be what the quest for more is all about. That has always been the goal of the fullest life - joy. And my life knew exactly how elusive that slippery three letter word, joy, can be. I think of it then again ... the lunge for more. More what? And this was it; I could tell how my whole being responded to that one word. I longed for more life, for more holy joy. But where can I seize this holy grail of joy? Deep chara joy is found only at the table of euCHARisteo - the table of thanksgiving. Is it that simple? Is the height of my chara joy dependant on the depths of my eucharisteo thanks? As long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible. The holy grail of joy is not in some exotic location or some emotional mountain peak experience. The joy wonder could be here! Here, in the messy, piercing ache of now, joy might be - unbelievably - possible! The only place we need see before we die is this place of seeing God, here and now.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Continuing on my weird journey

The question in my last post started creeping into my brain back in late October. I'm glad I didn't post about it then because I think I would've sounded quite hopeless if I had. At first I felt quite void and lifeless when I was asking it. After wrestling with it for a few months, while I'm still asking the same question, "What's the point to my life?" I have hope again. I believe that my friends asking me what's going on was the first step in me being honest with myself that something, in fact, was going on. Then I could start dealing with it. There are 2 things that I believe have helped me have a brighter outlook again.

1) I started reading One Thousand Gifts
I know that there's controversy around this book and I get it. I really do. However, I'm trying to look past that and really get to the meat of what she's saying. I'm only a few chapters in and here are some of my journal notes:

She starts off the book talking about how when her little sister died, her family became closed to "any notion of grace." She started believing "the Serpent's hissing lie" that God isn't good, that He "withholds good from His children, that God does not genuinely, fully love us." I know I haven't had a hard life so some people may say that it's easy for me to not have turned from God, but even now when I'm questioning my point in life, I'm SO glad that I still believe God is a loving, caring God. I'm not mad at Him at all. She goes on to say, "Satan's sin becomes the first sin of all humanity; the sin of ingratitude. Our fall was, has always been and always will be, that we aren't satisfied in God and what He gives." Lord help me NOT to be ungrateful! That was a good wake up call as to why I was really asking myself, "What's the point to life?" Am I unsatisfied with where I'm at? I believe that my answer to that question is no, but then why am I asking what the point is? I'm confused. Maybe I am a little unsatisfied. I'll be honest with God about that and ask Him to really unveil my heart ... since He knows it better than I do!

Like I said, I'm only a couple of chapters in on the book, but I've heard that this book talks about keeping a gratitude journal, so even though I haven't gotten to that part of the book yet, I've started one. I don't want to become a spoiled brat that thinks, "God owes me more than this!" I want to live daily and to not live in the future. I find that I really start thinking, "What's the point?" when I start looking too far into the future. I want to live in the moment and to know that God has me exactly where I'm at, at that moment, for a reason. God does nothing without a purpose. I want to choose to live a life of gratitude.

I've had a few friends lose a parent over the last year ... 2 within the last month alone. Just before Christmas. As I read the next Chapter of One Thousand Gifts, it talks about living life to the fullest NOW. "How to live the fullest life here that delivers into the full life ever after. Thinking on the beginning of this year, who does He call to come home? Is it me, Lord? May I be ready." Wow ... may I be ready ... those are powerful words. "Will I have lived fully - or just empty? How do we live fully so we are fully ready to die?"

I know that death isn't the most uplifting topic to think or talk about, but it's going to happen to all of us sooner or later. I want to be ready and to have truly lived every day to it's potential.

I'll write what I've learned about joy tomorrow ...

Monday, January 09, 2012

What's the Point to Life? Riddle me this ...

It's kind of odd that my last post is about death and then I went silent. Did anyone think I'd died? haha - ok, maybe I shouldn't joke about that, but it is kind of ironic, isn't it?

Almost right after I posted that, I started going through something internally. A change, if you will. I don't think it's necessarily a bad change, but a change none the less. It's been confusing at times and scary at times. I'd like to fill you in on a bit of it, just to give you a little insight as to why I went silent. Not that I can fully explain it and hopefully you won't be more confused after I'm done, but here it goes.

I've been asking God, "What's the point to life?"

You may be thinking, "Ooooh, she's turning 40 soon. She's having a mid-life crisis!" and you wouldn't be thinking anything that I haven't already thought myself. Thing is, I'm really not scared of turning 40. I'm really not. I'm already starting to plan my celebration! Anyway, I may very well be going through a mid-life crisis, but I still need to get myself through it and come out happy on the other side. There's so much going on in my head right now that I may have to try to explain this in more than one post.

Let me just say off the top that I'm not depressed or angry at God. I completely still believe He's got a plan for my life and that it's the best plan there could be. Him and I are simply just discussing it and working through it together. I'm not one to buy into what society says is "the norm" but yet I've been thinking a lot lately about not being married and not having kids. What's been the point to my life if those things haven't happened to me? As I've started sharing these thoughts with people, I've been surprised to find out that even married people go through this and have asked this same question. To me, it feels like since they HAVE the spouse and the kids, how can they ask it, but they have their own reason for asking it, I guess. It makes me feel a little better, I guess.

I do also feel that I'm changing. Not necessarily in a bad way, though. I feel that I've become more of a homebody lately. I'm really enjoying staying home. Some of my friends have started noticing, so I've had to have the "it's not you, it's me" talk with them. Seriously! I know, it sounds like I'm breaking up with them, but I really do want them to know that it's nothing they've done. I still love my friends dearly and I don't want to jeopardize my relationships with any of them. I'm not the worrying type, but there's a small part of me that's scared that when I come out on the other side of whatever it is that I'm going through, they may not like the new me. I know what you're going to say ... "if they're true friends, they'll still be your friend after you come through this" and I get that, but do you see why I worry a little?

I think it's helped tremendously that those of you who've noticed my absence have questioned me on it. I want to publicly thank you for doing so in such a loving way that helped me open up and start a dialogue about it. I don't expect anyone to have the magic phrase/answer/do this jig 3 times and stand on your head while doing it solution that will solve the answer to my riddle, but I do enjoy hearing others opinions and takes on things. It helps me process.

Like I said, I've got a lot more to say about this, but for today, I'll leave it at this. Thank you for your patience with me.