We are those guys

Yesterday when we were walking around Banff we kept getting behind the funniest two guys who were having the strangest conversations. The first time I heard well, I was doing fine until I sat on me ass for a year eating nothing but shit food, that made me fat and miserable. Later we ended up behind them again and I heard  well, I have to argue with you – you always think you’re right about everything and I have to prove you’re not. Lastly the boy heard them arguing over whether a giraffe or koala was the better animal. They were so funny I couldn’t keep a straight face.

Tonight after the girl had ball we went out for milkshakes and we were having one of our usual insane conversations. We noticed the people in the booth behind us snickering and poking at each other and listening to our conversation.

The boy looked at me and started to laugh and said we are those guys from yesterday – thats us today having this conversation. 

I am so grateful for the relationship I have with my kids. It’s a lot of work for all of us to be this close and work together, but I don’t know how we would do it any other way.


Ginger chews

The boy and I tackled the sad job of returning some of mom’s things today – I keep thinking I can’t take these things back she needs them – but then I remember she’s gone. I was grateful he came along with me so at least I wasn’t crying alone.

When we were done we went to the grocery store (because I have teens and they eat all the time) when I paid the cashier gave us each a ginger chew to try. We got to the car, opened them up, and popped them in our mouths. They were so good, but so chewy and they made the grossest mouth chewing noises imaginable. Both of us hate the sound of loud chewing anyway, so we took the opportunity to try and see who could be the most disgusting. I can’t imagine how we must have looked sitting in the car, mouths wide open, laughing so hard.

Thank God for that kid and his weird sense of humour. It feels good to laugh – it was an actual happiness moment. Thank goodness.


That’s who I used to be

I stopped at Planet Organic tonight to get a few items – giant jug of maple syrup among them. 

At the till the man asked for my name, but when I gave it to him it didn’t bring up my customer number. I fished out the card, he turned the screen as he swiped so we could see what name came up. 

When I saw the name I said oh that’s who I used to be. He laughed and asked if I wanted him to change it (I did). Then he said that’s who I used to be – I like that. I wish I could change myself sometimes too. 

And I told him it’s possible to change yourself without needing a name change. You just have to do it. 

Then he told me how to make candied nuts with the ton of maple syrup I had bought. He said I could add nut lady onto my list of changed names. 

I like it. Weird conversations that make me laugh. It’s happiness. 


Old time fun at the Hall

We celebrated the 90th anniversary of the Jumping Pound Community Hall today. It’s a building that has held generations of people from this community – we’ve had showers, dances, receptions, parties, birthdays, New Years celebrations, Santa has come to Christmas parties – we have laughed, cried, and loved in this building. It holds lots of good memories for lots of people out here. 

I’m so blessed to be part of this huge tribe. Stuff like this – it’s happiness. 


The memory keeper 

My dad was the family photographer, in effect he was our memory keeper. Everything that we did that was recorded was thanks to his passion for photography. I appreciate it even more now that he’s gone and we no longer have someone snapping shots of the good moments in our lives.

Jenna needs a new computer for school this year and my mom said that she could use dad’s old laptop. For the first time in 2+ years it got turned on and we took a look at what dad left behind (as an aside – when I die I need someone I trust to go through my things and delete, delete, delete).

Here are some photos from their trip to Virginia in 2013 to visit us. Our lives took a HUGE turn sideways within a day of my parents going back home, and it was good to look back and see some really happy memories from a time I’ve tried to wipe out.

So, here’s a little trip down our memory lane. I’ve found it hard to look at Dad’s photos – they bring back such bittersweet memories. But today we looked at them and it was Jenna’s turn to laugh until she cried. There were a lot of good times. A lot of happiness.

This was Easter 2013


Neither Jenna nor I have any idea what this is. She says I look so proud of it, but it looks like poop. So there you have it.

Swimming was always a huge part of any grandparent visit. My kids inherited dad’s love of the water.

Day trip to Monticello – one of our favourite spots – I loved Charlottesville.

Jenna rode this scooter everywhere. Interesting that I made her wear a helmet here, but there’s no helmet on the toboggans at home.

Those of you who know me understand how emotionally scarring this was for me. Freaking mascots.

These girls love doing this still.


And these from 2010


These kids and these cats – good buddies. We lost Tawny last year in an accident 😦

I grew up being super close with my cousins – I love that this tribe of cousins has kept their close bonds even when we had thousands of miles between us.


Slow it down 

One of the best things about life back at home is how we have been able to slow our pace and learn to appreciate the small things in life. That’s something we started to put in practice in Virginia, but it’s so much more enjoyable here at home. 

I was remembering today how before we left Rhode Island we went to walk around Walden Pond and see Thoreau’s cabin. Simplify simplify simplify. Our life back then seemed to be complicate complicate complicate. Slowly but surely we are learning to relax into stillness more and appreciate the small things in life. It’s part of why I love our house so much. It’s so simple, but there’s so much attached to it as well – our heritage, but it’s been our safe place. It’s full of love. 

The boy and I went to church today where they reminded us that when we are broken, instead of trying to fix ourselves (yep) that it’s essential to ask for help. I hate asking for help – but things happen every once in a while that put me in the position where I have to. It’s important to know how to both give and receive help. I needed that reminder. 

The boy made me laugh so hard this morning I was crying. I thought I’d rebroken my arm it hurt so much but I couldn’t stop laughing. We all need someone in our lives who is like that. He cracks me up and I feel so grateful that God put him in my life. He’s happiness 

I’m also grateful for this dude. He is teaching me a lot this year as well. Reminding me of who I used to be, and to keep working for the things I really want. 


Bubbles and giggles

My kids sat outside today with their little cousins and blew the biggest bubbles ever. One of the best things about bubble blowing is that you’re never too old to do it. That and it’s just really a lot of fun. 

I’m so happy with cousins are growing up getting to know each other. The cousin bond is a special one, and I know I feel it with all of my cousins. 

It was so great to hear them giggling and having fun with each other. Happiness. 


The House

Today I got some things done around our house – still clearing clutter here. Then I went to the house of my cousin-in-law for lunch. We share the same insane sense of humour so it’s always a guaranteed laugh fest. We also always break it down into really serious “what’s going on with life” stuff – then back to crazy laughing. This is a valued friendship. 

The day ended by seeing The House with my boy. It was hilarious and we laughed ourselves silly. There were only 3 other people in the theatre which made it almost ideal. 

Happiness in many forms today. Life is good and I am grateful. 


Fondue with friends 

One of my lifelong friends rolled into Alberta today and the kids and I got to join her and her family for some fondue and laughs at the Grizzly House in Banff. 

I love and am so grateful for this friendship. We live a long ways apart, but when we get together it’s like no time has passed. I’ve been lucky enough to get to see her twice this year – once where she lives and today. 

Good friendships carry me through the good and the hard times. They’re some of my most important relationships. And that is happiness 


Tea and talk

I met a girlfriend for tea and a visit this afternoon. When I get together with a good friend I always think of these two older ladies I saw one day when we were in Italy for my cousin’s wedding. Two ladies in their 80s were walking down the street arm in arm with their heads thrown back in laughter, and it was so easy to see that they were enjoying a great moment with each other. As I passed them I thought I need to make sure that as I get older I have girlfriends like this in my life. I’ve always valued my friends, but the older I get the more I understand just how important it is to have that close girl-tribe.

We laughed and shared stories today over our tea/coffee that made the man at the table behind us visible cringe – which of course made it that much funnier. If he ever really wanted some insight as to how two middle aged ladies talk he really got an earful today! I love these friends that you can just be so raw with, we were all over the place in our conversation – everything from divorce to death to children to dating to God – nothing is off limits and everything can be laughed about and put into perspective.

Thank God for my friends – this is happiness.