Saturday, May 17, 2014

Birthday Girl


Lisa, Teresa, Jim, and me - I think there are 6 candles, so this was 38 years ago!  (Thanks for the picture, Lisa!)
 
Today (well, technically yesterday) was the second year in a row that Teresa missed her birthday party.  Her sisters put on a party for family and friends at the local park; we talked about her and ate delicious birthday cake and sent her some balloons.  It was a beautiful country evening and it was so good to talk to others who love and miss Teresa too.  The kids played and laughed and ran around - Teresa would have loved that so much. She may not have been there physically, but her spirit definitely was. 
 
Happy birthday, Teresa. I hope it was amazing ... love you and miss you! 
 
 




Friday, May 16, 2014

Checking in

I realize it's been a week and a half since my last update, so here's a quick one.

Occupying most of my head and heart this week is my sister-in-law Joan, who is in the hospital while the doctors try to figure out how to get her pain under control. Some days are better than others, but I’m always impressed by her positive attitude and humour. She’s so tough and amazing, but it’s no fun seeing her in a hospital bed. If you feel like saying a prayer for her and my brother and their kids, it couldn’t hurt.

On a happier note, Mother’s Day was nice.  Dale and the children always work hard to make it a special day, but somehow some years are nicer than others.  It probably depends on my mood and attitude, which I have no control over.  It was a good one this year – my favourite part was going on a lovely bike ride in the afternoon and found a play structure to play Grounders on.  In the morning, I got breakfast in bed (crepes), and cute cards and gifts.  Neve made me a picture at school, Chloe gave me earrings and a Starbucks gift card, and Spencer gave me earrings (bought with Chloe’s help).  They’re good kids.  Dale bought me some cute little chairs for the front porch, which I had strongly hinted at.  But they didn’t look quite right with the porch table, so I was debating about exchanging or returning them.

And then I dropped my phone on the bathroom ceramic tile floor and shattered the screen, so I returned the chairs and put the money towards replacing the screen instead.  Happy Mother’s Day to me. That sucked. Dale encouraged me to keep or exchange the chairs as well, but I felt like I deserved to make a sacrifice for my irresponsibility. If anyone wants the name of the cell phone repair shop I went to, let me know.  The guy was awesome.  I won’t say it was cheap because it’s basically highway robbery, but this place was considerably cheaper than another place I checked.  And luckily for iPhone 5 droppers, they had a sale on those specific screens this week.  I picked a good week to break it. Ironically, Chloe dropped her phone about two weeks ago and cracked her screen as well.  We’ve both had cell phones for many years and neither of us has ever broken one before.  Dale better hang on tight to his phone in case this is one of those things that happen in threes.  At least in Chloe’s case, the crack isn’t too deep so she can continue using it until her plan ends in a few months.  First world problems.

I’d been thinking about getting my hair cut short for a while, and the day I got my drivers licence in the mail with the new photo was the day I knew it was time.  I thought it had been a good hair day, but in hindsight it was hideous.  So I got it all chopped off and dyed it black.  I’m still getting used to it, but I think it’s a big improvement. Neve wasn’t so sure; she told me I looked like a man and called me Daddy 2 for a couple of days. I’m back to “Mom” now, so I guess she’s coming around. I promise I will post a picture soon, but right now it’s late and I’m tired.

Monday, May 05, 2014

The snow finally melts and other stories

Let me begin today by addressing Siobhan’s comment in the last post.  She found it hilarious that I thought someone might have broken into the house and stolen only my phone.  Well, Siobhan, I’ve got a story for you!  As ridiculous as it sounds, that actually DID happen to my sister’s friend in Fort Garry.  One morning she couldn’t find her phone, so she used the “find my iphone” app from another device.  To make a long story short, with some investigating and police assistance, the phone was found in a van parked a few streets away. The good news is she got her phone back, but the bad news is that it was found down the van driver’s underwear. I guess they forgot to lock their doors that night and a guy came around, checking for open doors and items that were easy to steal.

In my case, I didn’t really believe it was stolen since I knew the doors had been locked and the alarm was on and my purse was still sitting there in plain sight. But because of the story above, it did enter my mind.  Also because when our house was broken into years ago, so many odd random items were stolen that whenever we couldn’t find something instantly, we automatically concluded it must be stolen.  Can’t find the other striped sock? Must have been stolen.  The can opener?  Obviously stolen.  95% of the time, the item would turn up, but there are some things (Dale’s old running shoes, a wool comforter, and baby formula, to name a few) that are still missing.  I know it’s irrational but after all these years, whenever an item is missing, my first thought is still “someone must have stolen it.” I probably need to move on.


***

I try to talk about the weather as little as possible.  This winter was horrible and spring has been slow in coming.  But if past experience has taught me anything (and it so rarely does), it’s that complaining about the weather doesn’t help.  Instead, let me share my photo collection of the snow melting from my yard.  I feel shy to admit that after forty-four years of watching winter turn to spring, it’s still exhilarating enough to make me take a special trip to the front sidewalk at random intervals to document the melting process.


March 21


March 28

April 5

April 9

April 19

April 22

There is a pile of snow still visible in the last picture, but all traces of it are now gone.  Check back here tomorrow for a look at our back yard. I'm not even kidding. 

***

I’m a fair weather runner, so because of the cold weather and the late, slow melt, my training got off to a late start.  I shouldn’t completely blame it on the weather since other people seemed to overcome that obstacle. Lack of motivation and sheer laziness must take some responsibility as well. Running isn’t really my thing; I’m just doing it until I discover what my thing is. So yesterday was the police half marathon, which I only signed up for because of my neighbour’s encouragement/nagging. This was by far the least I’ve ever trained for a half marathon so my expectations were low.  Like I always say, low expectations are the secret to happiness, and this was no exception. 

Dale and I have different running styles that don’t mesh well so we never go for a run together unless we’re on vacation in an unfamiliar city. We didn’t plan to run this race together, but I guess since we both knew we wouldn’t get a personal best anyway, we were less individual about it and ended up running the whole thing basically side-by-side. It worked out much better than we thought it would.  Apparently once you’re married 25 years, you do everything together.  My goal was 2:10 but I ended up with a time of 2:02, so I’m satisfied.

My friend Lori snapped these as we ran by.  Apparently I appear to enjoy running much more than I actually do. I look like a crazy person.  My goal is to frown more.


Happy

Happier

Happiest

More happiest


***

Last night, we went to Jim and Sabrina’s for a birthday party BBQ for my three-year-old niece Lexie.  It was nice having the whole family there (except for the Vancouver ones) and a good time was had by all.

The birthday girl

There are always lots of vehicles of all shapes and sizes at Jim & Sabrina's

I love how Nixi has her hand on Cruz's back and Bella riding her bike in her tutu

Opening presents





***

I also did a cleaning/organizing project in the playroom this weekend.  I got rid of garbage bags full of stuff and it feels so good. It’s not quite ready for the big reveal, but stay tuned. Remind me in a week or two if I still haven’t posted it; I’ll probably need the accountability to push me along.

***

Spencer recently told me he spends every single noon hour in the school library. All that time I spent in his early childhood encouraging a love of reading has come back to bite me. Now I have to come up with incentives to get him to stop.  I told him he had to go outside at least a couple of times a week, so today he told me that he had spent his lunch hour in the school yard. I was pleased and asked him what he did. 

"I talked with my friends for the first part, but then they went to play basketball.  Basketball is a waste of time, so I swung around on the basketball pole and recited the English monarchy in my head." 

Oh boy. It could be argued that memorizing the history of the British monarchy isn't the greatest use of time either, but at least he got fresh air and vitamin D.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Student Teacher Crush

Neve always gets very attached to her student teachers.  Today was the last day for this year's student teacher (Miss L) and Neve was a wreck this morning, wondering how she will be able to go on. She made Miss L a card, which I secretly snapped a photo of and am sharing with the entire internet.  I did cross off the student teacher's name - first, middle, and last - since I'm already kind of worried the teacher will feel a bit overwhelmed by the card itself.







(The last line says "Good luck with your last year of university.")


Neve gave me strict instructions to bring my camera to school at the end of the day so I can take a picture of Neve and Miss L.  Dale accidentally took my phone to work with him* this morning, so I have to bring my big Nikon and do a photo shoot.  Miss L is either going to feel very flattered or very creeped out by all of this.



*I thought my phone had been stolen in the night but after a frantic search, I discovered Dale had inadvertently taken it to work.  I have no idea how that could happen, but I'm planning to do the same to him one day so he understands how traumatic it is.