Warm Plates

The kids and I spent some time today sitting in the kitchen, Grandma’s kitchen, and visiting while I folded laundry. I talked about how the room used to be set up when I was a kid and we would come over for a visit. I love that my childhood memories and their childhood memories, and the childhood memories of my uncle and aunt are all held in that room.

I loved it when we would have supper at my grandparents’ house – always roast beef, mashed potatoes, and whatever vegetable. Then something yummy for dessert – homemade canned cherries, or pie, or ice cream – always so good.

But the best part of the suppers was always that when we sat down Grandma would open the oven and set out warm plates for each of us.

It took me years to fully understand why it was the warm plates that I loved so much. I mean, sure they keep your food the right temperature, but more importantly it was one extra act of love.

It takes a great deal of thought and love to cook a whole meal for a family, so to take the extra step and put plates in the oven for us so we could have a little extra bit of comfort? That was an extra dose of love put right into our meal.

The outside world can be hard, home should always be your soft place to land. That is what that kitchen holds for me. I am very grateful for that.


Let’s do that 81 more times

Today was another one of those days filled with joy and sadness. After having such a great day yesterday I woke up feeling fine (and then I giggled thinking of laughing about feeling fine with my relative the night before. Fine we use as an acronym: F*ckedup, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional).

I realized today marked 2 months since Mom died. I think I am more in denial about that than I was 2 months ago.

But that same relative has said to me life goes on and it truly does. It’s ok to be sad, but life goes on and I don’t want to miss it all.

Today also marked the birthday of my uncle. He and my aunt have always been like extra parents to my sister and I – and today I really needed to be with my tribe. So I was extremely thankful we were included in on the celebration and I could get out of my head (or my heart)  and really put myself in the present moment.

My connection to my tribe grounds me and keeps me sane. I depend on that feeling of knowing there is a soft place to land – I think we all do.




It’s what makes me happy

Today was one of those days that was just so good. We need more days that bring peace to our hearts and smiles to our faces.

We spent the day in Olds at 4H multi-judging – it’s something so far out of my comfort zone and experience – yet the more my kids get involved in 4H the more I love it. I’m so happy they get to have these experiences, and we have such an awesome club. The adults get along, the kids get along, and the fact that most of us are related is a huge bonus. One thing about coming from such a large family is we have lots of extended cousins that we don’t know very well and things like this allows us to deepen those relationships. I love it.

The girl had softball evaluations after that – and softball is what makes her heart sing. I loved watching her hit the ball and run bases and do the other exercises they laid out for the kids. When she got in the car after she said it’s what makes me the happiest of all – playing ball – and we all need that thing that makes our spirit feel free.

We finished the day with a family birthday party at the Hall. I love the family, the community and our Hall and I love that we get to be part of people coming together to share and celebrate.

There are always ups and downs and bumps in the road- but when the sunshines in my heart on days like this it outshines any darkness that may be lurking. Life is good.

AND it was a year ago today I met my heart horse – I love him to the depths of my soul.


Chin Chopper

One of my favourite games that Dad used to play with us was the Chin Chopper Game. No idea where it came from – I assume maybe it was one he learned as a child – I should have asked him. But it was guaranteed to give my sister and I (and whatever cousins were around) many many giggles. Then we we went on to have kids of our own Grandpa did Chin Chopper with them. Dad really loved his family and playing with us kids (or our kids) was something he did really well.

I was sorting out some photos on my computer today and came across a couple of old Chin Chopper videos from 2013 – two years before he died. Sometimes I feel our technology gets in the way of our relationships, but sometimes it gives us gem memories like these ones.

I miss both Mom and Dad so much – but we have so many good memories, and most importantly the memory of being loved unconditionally. That is a real gift. It is true happiness.


A regular day

Today was a regular day. Coming from years of living in chaos and stress, I appreciate regular days more than you could imagine. I was productive and got a lot of work done, the boy made the soccer team and was busy at practice, and the girl has made a new best friend. All very regular things, very small things, but also very authentic and genuine. And happiness is found in the little moments.


Cranberry juice

I was in the grocery store this afternoon thinking what a fabulous day I was having. I actually stopped walking and said to myself that it was the first time in a long time that I genuinely felt happy and at peace in my soul.

I went front that thought to uncontrollable tears in about a half a second.

I reached out and grabbed some cranberry juice from the shelf to put in my cart thinking mom probably needs some of this, it’s been a long time since I bought her any.

Oh right.

She’s gone.

You know, it’s hard to recover from a mass of tears in the juice aisle of Save On.

Joy and sadness seem to go hand in hand. And I ended up just standing there by the juice crying and feeling the feelings. Then I texted my sister and told her about it and she gave me a long distance hug.

My tribe is by far the most important thing in my life. I love my people. And mom and dad instilled in my sister and I that we needed to love each other and have each other’s backs no matter what.

I miss both my parents terribly, but their legacy is one of unconditional love and support. And my tribe is full of that – and that is soul happiness.


Expect less, accept more

One of my favorite sayings is when someone shows you who they really are, believe them. As someone who generally tries to see the best in someone it can be really be tempting to overlook the obvious and only see what I want.

But this week, I’ve had to expand on that idea. Sometimes someone can be exactly who you want them to be and it’s still not enough. I think this is where the issue of expectations come in. Either I’ll have unrealistic expectations or they will – sometimes it even falls somewhere in between in a weird area of poor communication and lack of understanding of what each other wants. All good friendships need lots of trust and good communication.

It’s confusing when people get upset with me for not behaving or feeling the way they want or expect me to. Especially when it’s a good friend and you feel there’s a certain level of trust where you should be free to be your true self. This happened to me this week, and as I was reflecting on this feeling, I realized I’ve done this to close friends myself. I too have wanted someone to be one way and when they ended up not being able to be that person I’ve been upset. Being on the receiving end of that didn’t feel very good, and I’ve actually apologized to someone that I’ve behaved that way to since. Fortunately my friend was very gracious and forgiving – another lesson to learn.

I think for me it’s a protective thing – I didn’t want to get hurt so I want to lash out first. I have no idea the intention of the person who got upset with me, and it doesn’t really matter. It did make me realize I need to expect less and accept more. I need to be more loving and accepting of the people in my lives and drop my expectations of who I think they should be. I don’t like it when people try and make me someone who I’m not – so why should I do it to them?

Personal growth – it’s no where near the rainbows and unicorns I was hoping for, it’s got a lot of tears and heartbreak mixed in that’s for sure. But it’s growth. Always moving forward, feet on the ground and face to the sun.