Cheese, UNO, and the Simpsons

We have a tradition of having fondue on Christmas Eve, so a few weeks ago I picked up some ready to go packages for our supper. However….. we discovered a new bakery in town (omg the doughnuts are to die for) and had some good bread that needed to be eaten. So we broke down and had fondue.

I love meals where you can play with your food. It’s part of why I love meals like fondue, sushi, and charcuterie boards (I’m not sure if you’re supposed to play with your sushi, but I do). We’ve all been stressed out, feeling COVID fatigue, and ready for all of our classes to take a break for Christmas. So a pause in the regular routine for some fun was necessary.

While we were getting ready, we stopped for a quick round of UNO which is our official family game (even though the girl kicks our ass all the time).

One thing this year has reminded me is how grateful I am that I deeply love the people I live with, and I’m so thankful we all get along. Honestly as a teenager I can’t think of anything much worse than having to spend 10 months locked in a house with my mom (sorry mom) and I’m feeling pretty lucky that these two are doing it with grace.


It stays the same 

We went to a silent auction for handicapped riding tonight at the Ranchmans. 

I was given tickets from a lady I used to ride with ages ago. It was fun to see that even though a lifetime has passed, all the horse stuff is the same. I am loving getting reconnected with these people. I lost such a huge part of my soul when I quit riding. I’m getting back the pieces slowly but surely. And that is happiness 


Waterton wellness day

The girl and I drove down to Waterton for the day. This is one of my happiness places, and even if the visit is short like today it does amazing things for my soul. 

The beauty and peace of the place is really something that must be felt, but here’s a little sample of what it is like 

If I ever doubt God’s existence all I need to do is see the beauty He created in the world around us. I can feel His presence strongly in places like this. And that was good – I’ve needed to be rebalanced and regrounded. 

That is happiness. 


Bad boy boot camp 

Drishti is being a total turd lately. So much so that he’s been put in bad boy boot camp – and he’s not a fan of this at all. 

It’s interesting this work we are doing – I need to command his respect, and also his trust. So I have to make him listen to me, and also build a relationship with him based on trust and respect. 

It’s a work in progress. Slowly but surely we are making progress. 

He forces me to keep working at it when I get scared or frustrated and want to give up because I want to have this relationship. It helps me find the determination to keep moving forward – a good skill for the rest of my life. 

Timely too as I’m feeling really overwhelmed. This whole financial black hole that Mr. X has thrown at us is exhausting. It’s made me remember that at the end of the day I have to learn to count on myself to look after the kids in every way – and that is overwhelming, scary, and t seems the next necessary step ahead. 

Things keep changing and I’m grateful that I’m getting stronger so I can keep on walking. Drishti helps me figure out the steps – and that is happiness. 


Freedom – the release from fear

Behind every weak-ass man stands a broken woman. Today I am stepping out of that broken shadow and claiming my freedom.

I spent part of the morning talking with my lawyer. Mr. X isn’t paying, isn’t going to pay, and the state of Virginia could take a few months to force him to pay the court ordered support I fought so hard to get. If you know this man and he has told you any differently, I would be more than happy to show proof that although he did tell me he was sending payment he has not since March, and until he is forced to he will not. He won’t pay Alberta, he won’t pay Virginia, and he won’t pay me.

This is what scorched earth divorce looks like. In the process of attempting to destroy me, he is leaving his children destitute. This is how a narcissist rolls.

I sat with this information for a while this morning. I prayed, I cried, I lay down and did some energy work, and I read. Here is what I realized:

Over and over in my journals I talk about how as long as we are financially dependent on him he uses that power to keep us his victims. This is why the healing process is so long and painful, because the wounds get ripped open again as soon as they start to close up. We, and in particular my son, keep hoping and wanting him to be someone he clearly is not. He has shown us exactly who he is and it’s time to believe him. The fact is that although he has left us without any financial support at all, we are finally free from him. The kids don’t want to see or have contact with him (and haven’t for a long time), I have blocked contact and anything that needs to be discussed must go through the lawyers, and now I don’t expect him to fulfill his financial obligations. I am free from wanting anything from him. I have no more expectations, he no longer has the power to hurt me -besides following through on threats to hurt us, he has done his worst – there’s nothing left to scare me with. I have been afraid of this man for so long, afraid of his rage and his anger. I let him lie about me, cheat on me, and steal from me. There’s nothing left.

I looked around at my life and where we are living. We are in a house that has held generations of my family. It is filled with love and peace, the feeling in this house is so safe and welcoming. We couldn’t be in a better place to heal. I look outside and I see the barn, I see my horse – my spirit horse that I prayed so hard for and who is helping me heal so much – and I smile. My mom is here, my family is here, my lifelong friends are here. There is so much love surrounding us it is humbling. I would not be able to keep going if my mom wasn’t here to help me out, she shows me every single day what unconditional love is and I am so incredibly grateful.

I don’t know what the next steps look like on this path, but I know we will be ok. God has kept us safe every step so far and I have faith that He will continue to do so. I had to have a chat with the kids tonight and tell them what was going on. The boy hurts – he said so now we know… he’s never going to change. I give up. And the girl said this is why I walked away years ago. I’ve learned from him to walk away from a bad situation and never look back. Wise words from that little one. They are brave souls and they will work through this like we have worked through everything else.

Days like this are when I am grateful I started this happiness blog – it has taught me that in every moment there can be happiness. I believe that this one is a gift. It may not be happening the way I would have chosen, but we are getting our freedom. Fully and truly.

There’s nothing left, and in this empty space of nothing I’m discovering that it’s filled with love and faith. I’ve read a few times that the absence of love is fear – so I guess the reverse is true too. My greatest fear has been realized and in walking through the fear of being left with nothing I’m discovering a huge space filled with love and faith. It’s God happiness – that’s big stuff.




The value in the gifts

It seems as though the past couple of months have really been about spending time paying attention to the gifts I’ve been given, figuring out my personal power, and then learning how to own and walk into all of that. I remember weeks ago talking with Asrael and saying that I felt like I was on the edge of another big shift, but that for the life of me I couldn’t figure out what it was. I had already had so many huge life changes, I was really wanting some stability.

But, I jumped off that cliff into the unknown yet again and it’s been pretty amazing. I find it interesting how it took hearing someone whom I loved and trusted tell me how little they valued me to discover how much I had learned to value myself. Once I really could acknowledge that and own it it started to change everything for me. It didn’t matter what someone else thought about me because I know who I am and I know that I have great things to offer. Life changing.

I love how God brings me things just as I need them, and right as I was sitting in this discovery was when I was brought into this amazing group at church. I don’t think it was just coincidence that I was pulled into a group whose focus was on discovering the gifts that God gave us right at a time when I was finally ready to embrace my own.

One of the ladies in our group today gave a really inspiring talk about how she had come to the end of her rope and turned to God saying she needed help right then, and how suddenly things shifted and fell into place for her. It’s that surrender thing, if I can get to the point where I can just surrender then everything comes together. Once I allow that I’m not in charge and just doing what I’m guided to do things work. We went into service and it was the exact same message in the sermon. Ending with him yelling what is it you’re holding onto? What can’t you let go of that is getting in the way of you sharing your gifts?

It’s made me really crave some quiet time to sit and think about that. I’m at a really unique place in my life. For the first time in 20 years I don’t have to think of the dreams of anyone else (except for my kids – but I will always support whatever their dreams are anyway). I don’t have to worry about helping someone else build their career, find their dreams, meld my life plans with theirs. Right now in this space in time I can build my own dreams without having to worry about how they fit in with anyone else. It seems like the perfect time to really make those great inspirations soar doesn’t it? Right now, in this space there should be nothing that is getting in the way of me sharing my gifts. Everything is old baggage that I am happy to drop and leave behind.

Our group had a celebration this morning. Everyone brought something that represented some form of the gifts they had been given to share. It was a fantastic way to learn about who some of these women are. I love when strong, kind women come into my life. They’re the kind that I want to bring into my tribe.

Here’s a small sample of some of the gifts brought in. So much love and talent and support. I’ve needed this kind of group in my life – the fact that I’ve been guided to it is a happiness moment that will keep on giving.


House of rain

I have been in a really crappy mood the last couple of days. I don’t know why – nothing specific has happened, I just am not smiling. Sometimes things just get a little overwhelming and I think I maybe just need a few days of recharging – I’m not sure. I know I’ve been sitting in this huge energy shift the last few weeks, and while it’s full of good things it’s also new and tiring. So, I’m trying really hard to honour this feeling – knowing that it is something that is just passing through and not a permanent state.

This happiness journey has led me to understand that while I’m always seeking happiness, I’m not always happy. And that’s ok. All those other emotions are real too. I’m allowed to have them.

But, it does not mean that I don’t keep looking for a moment of happiness each and every day. In fact, I live a very blessed life and I have so much that I am grateful for that I can list off happiness bursts all the time. We are here, we are home, we have our tribe, I can see the mountains, I love our home, I have my friends around me,  I kissed a horse, I hang with Derek… it goes on.

My happiness moment today was picking the girl up from school today and listening to her chat away about how much fun she had with her friends at school.


Secret life of pets 

I had a girl night with my girl this evening. I spend a lot of time with my kids but the one on one time is a bit more rare, so those moments are extra precious. 

We went shoe shopping for her (holy cow, she grows and grows) and then went and saw The Secret Life Of Pets. It was cute, silly, and fun. Exactly what we needed on a rainy night. 

There’s so much that goes on inside that little girl and I feel so blessed for evenings like this when we have the time and can really focus on her and her life. I feel honored that she shares so freely with me. 

Solo time with my girl, my happiness moment. 

A bonus happiness moment was an hour of tea and chatting with him this afternoon. I count my blessings that I have someone in my life who I can talk to so easily and feel so content with. 


Tipping point 

I fee like I’m at this really weird point in my life. It’s like I’m in the air in the jump between running away and running towards. There’s some weird stuff in this space. What do I want to take with me as I run away? What do I want to grab hold of as I run towards? 

Everything I was supposed to do over the last few days has gone undone. Not by choice, but because of more important things changing my plans. It has made things both clearer and more confusing. 

I spent the afternoon with some unexpected one on one time with my boy. I love that time with him and appreciate that he will spend it with me. Tea and visits with the boy- happiness moment of the day. 

And we both agreed that we are looking forward to relaxed summer happiness moments like this one was 


Water balloons and Sunday afternoons. 

Jenna and I finally got the rest of our flowers in (not that we are finished, just that the rest of what we had bought is in the ground). When we were done we put the hose to a Rubbermaid and made water balloons. It seemed like a good idea at the time…. not so much when they ganged up on me when it was done. 

And then it was ON! I threw the container full of water on the boy and he spent the next hour trying to get me back. Finally he cracked one over my head and he considered that a victory. It was a silly, crazy happiness moment. 

I realized today as Jenna and I were gardening that I am finally starting to see results showing up of dreams I planted in my soul a few years ago. Instead of running from pain and fear I now am running towards joy and freedom. It changes everything.