We Will Grieve Not, Rather Find...

Strength in What Remains Behind

Five Beautiful Things About Me(&You).
I got this idea from another blog today and with it being anti bullying day I think it's the perfect theme. @RageMichelle posted a blog(which can be found here http://www.rageyourwaythin.com/) telling 5 things she likes about her body and asked her readers to post the same in the comments. I think this is great positive self talk and responded as well as jumped on board with the whole post.

In a world where us women(and some men) constantly assault ourselves with negative self talk this is the perfect thing to practice and start doing for ourselves on regular basis to help boost our self esteem.

I know as a preteen and teenager I had less self confidence than I do today. In fact I had next to nil. Now I am pretty self confident, but still would have no problem picking out about a dozen physical flaws and a dozen personality flaws in 30 seconds or less.

While I was typing up my response to @RageMichelle my daughter chimed in because I was a little stuck coming up with a 5th features I like. She said to me, "I would have no problem with that. In fact I have so many things I like about myself that I couldn't just stick with five." Wow! I wish I had the self esteem she has when I was her age. Makes me happy that she's knows who she is and is perfectly happy in her own skin.

Here was my response to @RageMichelle's blog:

Five things I love about my looks.

1. I love my legs. They’re long and lean and no matter how much weight I gain they stay thinner and look great in skirt!

2. My blue eyes. While they are a little on the smaller side I love them and they have aged well(no crows feet and I’m 38!!). I like the blue/green colour that they are.

3. My hair. I’ve finally grown it out for the first time in 38 years and it looks great! It’s kinda thin but nice and shiny. I love it! I dye it black so it goes well the 9 or so tattoos. )

4. My bone structure. I am tall so most people assume I am big boned(especially when I'm more over weight). I always got, “It’s ok.. you’re just big boned.” Actually, no, I’m not. I have teeny tiny wrists and ankles. I love my frame very much. Once I get these last 25 lbs off Imma be rocking super model stature.

5. My lips. I like my lips. They’re not too pouty and not too thin. I think they are perfect and kissable!

Now tell me... what are 5 features you love about yourself? These are physical features and not personality ones such as being friendly or outgoing, but like the examples I gave above.


Happy 5th Birthday Corgan!!!
Wishing my good friend Leah luck in her delivery(c~section) and welcoming LJ to the world in a few hours. My thoughts and prayers with them both. I'll be scouring FB tomorrow awaiting word that they both are ok. Poor LJ is coming into this world with a huge fight on his hands.. one similar to Cannen's and I know what a roller coaster him, Leah and their family face. Love to them all. xoxo

Today my youngest son, Corgan, turns 5. Five!! I know I say this every year on each of my kids birthdays, but wow... where has the time gone? He's grown into quite the little man. SO much fun. I love him so so so much!

I'm baking him a Canucks cake. Fun! I'm kind of excited about it. My parents are up from BC for his birthday. He wants hot dogs and KD for his birthday dinner. I love doing little kids birthday parties... so simple!


This Day Never Gets Easier.
It's Nicholas's birthday. Again. Another year has passed. He's 23 now. Wow! 23 years I have not known him. 23 years I have not seen or touched him. 23 years I have loved him as if he were my own. 23 years with a piece of me missing.

In between the year I've celebrated 5 other kids birthdays that mean just as much to me as him, but this day... this day I never really celebrate. I always take some time to myself and I cry. Yes, after 23 years I still cry. I cry and tell myself I made the right choice 23 years ago. I cry and pray he had a good life. I cry because I have not yet found him and nor has he found us. As I type this I have tears streaming down my face. Maybe I'm just emotional(seems to be the theme this week), but I doubt that.

Does he even want to find me? Was he even told he was adopted? I know his family said they would tell him, but that doesn't mean they did. I've started searching, but very basic searches. I got his real name and found out a rough location. I did the facebook search and do it every few months, but there are so many guys with the same name. Would I even know him from a picture if I saw him? I've also called all the numbers in the area he was adopted too with the same last names. I've googled him. No luck so far. I guess if it's meant to be it will happen. Hopefully someday... before all the years are gone.


The Long Over Due Los Angeles Post.
I went to Los Angeles October 27 to 31st and had such a great trip. I went down there to run the Los Angeles Rock n Roll half marathon and enjoyed the city so much! I can easily say it was as much fun as Las Vegas.

I went down with my friend Kylie and we had a blast. I learned one lesson... to much absinthe is never a good thing and there is no such thing as a measured ounce in LA. Singles are doubles and doubles are triples. Oi.

We hit up some great places such as the Edison, La Cita, Bottega Louie's, Santa Monica pier, Beverly Hills, Hollywood Blvd, Mel's Drive In and so much more! We ate great food and enjoyed ourselves.

We actually had no trouble finding our way around LA. For the size of it... it's pretty straight forward. For a couple days we saw the city via tourist bus. Seemed to be our best way around to see and get everywhere we wanted. We both loved Hollywood. I'd heard it's so dirty and crappy, but I honestly loved it and figured that maybe they cleaned it up for halloween, speaking of which, is huge down there. They go all out. People were dressed up in great costumes for the entire weekend.

Our first evening there we went to The Edison which was an old light bulb factory turned night club. You entered it through an alley and went downstairs into a 1920s themed party. I was in my element. We had a few businessmen join us that made our night more interesting. All 4 of us being married made for a relaxed friends kind of scenario. We ordered some food(I had the Mac n Cheese.... best ever!) and the rest of them got a platter. We had many drinks and many laughs. After a while our developer friends had to leave and they got the bill for us. It was a nice surprise! Great guys!

The next day we ordered room service for breakfast and headed out to catch a bus to Hollywood! We spent the afternoon/evening in Hollywood, ate at Mel's Drive in and returned back to downtown LA once all the sketchy peeps started coming out of the woodwork. Our entertainment for that night was La Cita... this awesome punk dive bar. We saw so many cool costumes(my top 3 being Edward Scissorhands, Hunter S Thompson and Clockwork Orange). After the bar closed at 1:45 am we trekked back to our hotel passing this very cool art gallery where we met some nice guys that gave us a run down of the city. We were invited back the following evening to smoke some cigars and do byob drinks, but we had to miss out due to a freaking early run the next morning.

Saturday we went from Hollywood via tourist bus, through Beverly Hills and out to the Santa Monica Pier. I was so happy out there by the ocean. It was amazing and everything I expected the pier to be. Kylie and I ate our pre run supper at Mariasol's and enjoyed the sunset on the pier while dining. Amazing experience. It was quite funny because the group at the table next to us were also from Calgary. Small world.

After supper we cabbed it back to the hotel and settled to bed early.

SO, that brings us to Sunday and the half marathon. I already wrote a blog about it at http://fitdiegirl.wordpress.com/.

After the race I felt amazing and like I could do anything... until we got back to the hotel and then I was ready to sleep the day away. I did not. We had lunch in the hotel restaurant and relaxed in the room after. We managed to get dressed up for the evening and headed out to Bottega Louie's for a final supper in LA. It was a nice, fun place with a dessert counter! I purchased my one and only dessert while there on our way out.

The next morning(Halloween) we were up ridiculously early to begin out trek home.


Who's Leading You Now?
Doing everything blind
Always need a guide
Someone to make your excuse
Needing someone
To hold your hand
It's always easier when you don't
Need to take the blame
Admitting to something you did,
Just ain't in your capacity
Nothing is easy
But you're telling lies
To place to blame
On someone else

Naive, blind, dumb and totally gone
I'm lost for words, describing how
You're wrong

Who's leading you now....

Sucking everyone dry
You don't how to stop
Leaving me tired and confused
Emotional vampire, attacking all
And leaving emptiness behind
Do you feel wrongly accused
Reading this,
You know it must be you
Demanding, commanding
Is all you do
What makes you above the rest?

Who's leaving you now

Naive, blind and dumb and totally gone
I'm lost for word describing
Just how gone you are
And i'm tired of explaining just how
Wrong you are
Naive, blind, wrong and totally gone



@that_angela on Twitter asked, "Has your life changed since 9/11? I sure hope so. Otherwise, you're doing it wrong."

I asked myself that question. My answer... hell yeah it's changed!

It's been 10 years since that tragic day the twin towers fell in NYC. 10 years. Caprice is almost 12 and Chance is 10. Caprice was almost 2 and Chance was 8 months old. My babies have grown up, I've added 3 more to the brood, I'm married now and out of an abusive relationship, with a career. A lot has changed for me since 9/11 as it should in a decade. I'm in a happy place now.

I remember September 11, 2001 clear as a bell like I am sure everyone else that was above the age of 5 or 6 does. I woke up and turned on the news to see the one tower down and the second one falling. I was stunned and shocked. I also remember feeling so alone as I had split with my ex recently, my parents were on the road travelling and I couldn't call them. Being in an abusive relationship I was alienated and had no friends to call and discuss it with, so I watched the news and the images replay all day long. It was a terrible day for me as it was for everyone, but on top of the tragic news and reports of mass death I sat alone with two little babies in a shitty low income moldy petri~dish of an apartment in a deep depression. My heart ached for everyone involved and affected by the horrific event... still does.

I was not in a happy place that day or with my life in general.

September marked the last month of that life for me. October I began upgrading at Bow Valley College and headed into my nursing career from there on. I regained my self confidence, eventually ended that abusive relationship for good(but not before getting pregnant with one more child) and got myself into a happy place taking three little ones in tow. I have great friends now and thee most wonderful, loving, handsome husband a girl could ask for. We live in a great house in a neighbourhood I love(except when there is construction on 128th). My kids are happy and healthy now and so am I.

Yes, in the last 10 years a lot has changed for me.


The Kids' 1st Pride.
On Sunday my kids embraced their community and their community embraced them.

Caprice and Chance went to their first pride accompanied by me(Shaun, Corgan & Poet watched the parade and joined us later). I found it fantastic and so much bigger than I expected. It was estimated that about 15 000 people came out to the parade and 20 000 for the festival. I know it's not anywhere near as big as Vancouver's, but it was still so much more fun than I expected!

The pride weekend sucked for me because I had to work all weekend and I was sick on top of it, but come hell or high water I was taking the kids to their first pride!

The kids spent the last month or so planning and preparing for pride.. they were so excited. They made T~shirts, dyed their hair, made signs and got all dolled up the day of pride in their shirts and glitter. Caprice's shirt said 'Rice Cake' which is the nickname her youth group has lovingly given her and Chance's said 'Hyper' which is what he was the night of making the shirt after consuming far too much sugar.

I slept in the morning of pride because I was still not well. Hubby was kind and let me, but once I did wake it was rush rush rush and away we went. I wasn't sure what to expect. We found parking, paid and walked to Olympic Plaza where all the floats and groups were lined up. I was a little overwhelmed at how many people were lined up to be in the parade. We walked about 3 blocks before we found our group up near the front of the parade. It was great to see so many out for the event!

We joined our group and took some pics. Not far in front of us was the mayor and he went around talking to people. We lined up and got our pics taken with him. Him and his people were so nice and extremely accommodating. They took a photo of Caprice, Chance and myself with the mayor.

The parade began on time and we started marching. The support and people lining the streets was so wonderful to see! I saw so many people that I knew and recognized! It was fantastic to see so much support! We walked slowly along the parade route shouting and cheering the entire time. I think Chance found it all over whelming, but he said he had fun and Caprice was right in her glory.

After the parade was over we went to the festival for a bit where Corgan jumped in a bouncy house and the kids got to throw balls at a dunk tank where they facilitators were perched on top. They had rainbow cupcakes, stayed hydrated and played. We stayed with the youth group for most of it. Our friends Melinda and Tanya joined us for most of the afternoon. It was so great to see them!

After the festival we went to Fab Bar and saw Ryan, Colin and a few others. Got the kids some food and headed home. After a long day in the sun I was done. I was on such a high from the support of the community and amazed by how much fun Calgary pride was, but I was still under the weather and felt so run down. Somehow I made it to work and survived the night.

Here's a link to some our our pics from the day on facebook(you might have to be a friend or a friend of a friend to see it):



Bittersweet August.
There are lots of things I like about August. It's usually cooler than July. I'm not a fan of anything above 25 C and the temps are often near this. It's still summer so the kids are off from school and every other sport or activity, which gives us a lot more family time. My daughter, Poet, was born at the beginning of August. Also my Mom, brother, Barry, auntie Lynne, cousins, Adam & Tamara, and niece, Rachael, were all born in August. I have many great childhood memories related to August. We often went to Vancouver or Salmo in August to visit the grandparents which was always happy times as kids. Tons of good memories and lots of reasons to celebrate and be happy.


August is also the sad part in the movie I call my life. The part that feels like there will be no more heros.(Paraphrased from Amy Wood on twitter)

When I was 14 my dog died(oh boy, here comes a country song). She actually had to be euthanized on August 3rd, which was my mom's birthday, due to breast cancer. Tuffy was our first pet that we had die, aside from a bird and fish. It was tough for my siblings and I to lose her. She had been a loving pet and loyal companion since we'd 'found' her under the Christmas tree 10 years earlier. She was the only dog I've ever owned and her death marked the start of more sad Augusts to come. RIP Tuffy.

A year later when I was 15 my Ba(paternal grandfather) died on August 23rd. Before his passing I'd really never suffered loss(aside from my pet). I'd had friends lose grandparents, but always felt like mine were immortal. I couldn't imagine not having all 4 of them in my life. Ba's passing caused reality and mortality to set in. RIP Herbert Kirkhope.

Now we mourn Jack Layton who succumbed to cancer on the 22nd. I woke up to this news and was devastated. He was such an inspirational, compassionate and honourable man. Canada has lost one of it's greatest men. I feel like his death is my JFK. I know some people might find this comparison laughable, but for me this was the first politician's death to really affect me and bring me to tears. I was born NDP. It was just assumed I'd vote NDP. I had the same beliefs as the NDP because I was raised with many of their beliefs instilled in me, but it wasn't until Jack Layton that I actually started to pay attention to politics. He sincerely cared about Canadians and their well being... especially the little guy. Back in 2003 I was that single mother struggling through school raising 2 kids on my own and he wanted a better Canada for me and my children. He got me passionate about politics.. well at least passionate enough to pay attention and vote from knowledge rather than because it was how my parents voted. RIP Jack Layton... you will be missed hugely. My thoughts and prayers are sent out to Olivia Chow, his children and loved ones.

And finally, one of the worst days of my August is here.. if it's not thee worst day ever. August 24th marks the 4th anniversary of my brother Barry's death. Caprice just said to me, "I remember that day like it was yesterday." This statement is so true. I'll never forget it. It was so surreal. I'd never even lost an uncle and to lose my brother seemed like some kind of wrong. It was wrong. He was only 30. He had two very young kids. A wife. He had so much to live for, but he was gone in an instant. I miss so much about him. I miss his smile. I miss his teasing me. I miss the sibling rivalry. I miss his support. I miss his kids. I miss and love him so much. It doesn't seem to get easier either. I thought it had. Normally I go home to Cranbrook and spend this time with my family, but this year I felt I could manage and didn't request the time off work. Tonight is going to be one tough shift. It seems the tears flow easier now than they did when he passed. RIP Barry.

Someone on Twitter mused that is must be so hard for Olivia Chow and family to stand there and shake the hands of all those wishing condolences. I'd imagine, aside from the volume of people, that it would be not more difficult than it is for anyone who has lost a loved one. Jack is no more loved by his family than the rest of us love ours. The pain, hurt, anger, grief... is the same for all of us as some point. When we lose someone we love dearly we have to put on a brave face for those that come to support us and show us their love. However, I would think that all of the support and well wishes help to hold Olivia and family up and give them the strength they need to get through this difficult and heart breaking time.


X-Fest 2011.
Went to X92.9's(local radio station here in Calgary) X~Fest yesterday with a great bunch of people and had a blast!

As soon as the concert was announced we jumped on tickets with Yan, Tracey & Becky. We went with VIP as that's what our friends were doing. It got you shorter line ups(supposedly) and beer gardens. It's also where the X92.9 crew hung out. You could meet them(I met Newsboy) and watch them interview the bands. It was also where they were broadcasting live from. Bonus!

We arrived around 2:30. I was hoping to make it for Rural Alberta Advantage, but that didn't happen. I think we maybe caught the tail end of them, but not sure. We got through the initial entrance and bag search super fast. No one in line for VIP at all. That was nice. We quickly got our VIP lanyard and wristband and away we went. Grabbed a bevvie. Grabbed some shade while listening to The Dudes. They sounded great live! I actually really enjoy their music... more than I realized.

After a drink and a snack(the beef on a bun for $5 was pretty darned good to me) we made our way to the stage area. Watched a little wrestling on the way and then picked our chunk of green to watch House of Pain from. They were awesome to see! Sucked that Danny Boy and half their crew got stopped at the border and were not allowed into Canada, but they still put on a wicked show! They covered Johnny Cash and labeled him as the oldest known rapper. Cool!

House of Pain.

After House of Pain we went back to the VIP area to grab drinks. The line ups were pretty bad, but we must have picked a quicker one than our friends because they remained in line for about 45 mins after us. We sat in the shade and listened to the music. We watched the super long bathroom line up turn into guys skipping the line up and sneaking around behind the port~a~potties to pee and then eventually girls following suit. I had thankfully gone before the line ups and before House of Pain and had no need. By the time I had to go, the line ups were moving much quicker. I waited maybe 10 mins in one with Becky who is entertaining as hell so that made the time pass quickly. After the initial shock of line ups I figured out how to work them and make sure I got what I needed when a band was on and the line ups were nice and short. I never waited in a drink line for more than 2 minutes after that and the bathroom situation got way better when they brought in a bunch more port~a~potties. I really have no complaints. The worst line up for me was the food line up. It felt like it was never moving and we must have waited at least 45 mins in it, but still it was all good as friends delivered mini donuts to us while we waited. Thanks Erin & James!

We enjoyed our dinner while Social Distortion played. I went over to the fence to watch them for a bit and they were indeed awesome! Social Distortion is one band I have always enjoyed the music of and to which I seem to know all the lyrics although I wouldn't exactly call myself a fan, but I dig 'em. After Social D was Weezer. We finished up our drinks and headed over to the stage as a group part way through their set. We managed to snake our way up quite close and caught at least half of their set. They put on a wicked show and covered Foster The People's 'Pumped Up Kicks.' They did a fantastic job and if I didn't know it was Weezer I would have thought I was listening to the radio or something. They also covered Radiohead, but I'm not a huge fan of theirs so it did nothing for me. Lots of others were raving about it though and they sounded fabulous.


Finally it was the moment I was waiting for... Jane's Addiction. A lot of the crowd cleared out after Weezer so we high tailed it to the front. We were maybe 5 or 6 people back from the stage. I was in heaven. It felt like it took forever for them to set up and start and all the standing started to make my back and neck hurt. I'm getting old I guess. Jane's Addiction finally came on and it was wicked!!! I was mesmerized. Not sure if it was inhaling too much of the "smoke" in air or what but I felt hypnotized by Perry Farrell and Dave Navarro. Reminded me of how the Doors were described back in their day. My personal favorite was 'Nothings Shocking' but all the songs were great! I loved the entire set so much. Perry Farrell is a wicked front man that interacted well with crowd and kept us entertained. I was so happy to finally see them live! Perfect end to an absolutely fantastic and fun filled day. It was so nice to get out to something like this with Shaun. The friends we went with were the icing on the cake!

Jane's Addiction.

As we were leaving I bought an X~Fest T~shirt. I always try to get a shirt from every concert I attend, but this one will more than likely be a night gown. Don't know what I was thinking getting XL. Once we were out of the gates and walking to our ride we had a CD given to us. It was Black Phoenix Orchestra. We missed them perform earlier that day and I realized I do like one of their songs. Was kinda bummed we missed them, but I got a free CD! Great day!


Poet Turned 2!
I never got around to posting about Poet's 2nd birthday as it was in the crazy week of eight straight 12 hour nights in a row, so here goes.

We had a small little gathering of a few wonderful friends. We did the usual visit, food, cake & ice cream. The she opened presents. Which was the best part of course. She opened the first gift from Kylie which was a fun toy so that was it for present opening. All she wanted to do was play with the Little People Treehouse. She got spoiled... as do most kids on their birthdays. She was, of course, her usual diva self. Did not want pics taken... just wanted things her way. Typical Poet.

It was a nice short little 2.5 hour party and then I went to work.


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