10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Me...

I hate and fear thunderstorms. I have cleared a queen size bed when an unexpected bolt lit up the bedroom window and scared the tears right out of me. They cause me massive anxiety, especially the nighttime ones. Bad things happen in the dark and combined with thunder and lightning, it’s just plain nasty. I’m a total wreck when one wakes me up in the middle of the night.

I love my McD’s coffee. Probably makes me less of a Canadian to not covet the iconic Tim Horton’s – but seriously, I find their coffee disgusting. To each their own, right? If I meet someone there (at Timmy’s) I’ll have an ice cap or a French vanilla, or a tea, but never the coffee.  

I always wanted three children. Growing up, I had fantasies of three kids, a boy and then two girls—because a girl needs a sister, and the sisters need a big brother. Yep, too many teenage novels influenced that thought I’m sure. Although I never had my three kids, and I never had a daughter, I could never imagine my life without my two sons. Now I get to be Queen of the household and I don’t have to share the spotlight.

I hate the spotlight. Ironic, given my last statement. But I really do. I don’t share my birthday at work (and am grateful when they respect that!) and I don’t post about it on social media. I don’t like talking about myself in general as I find I’m not that exciting. But I have zero issue chatting you up about your life, and taking in all the juicy details. Where do you think I get my story ideas from? Just kidding. Or am I? LOL.

I read a lot of kids books. I have to in my job. Kids want recommendations, and although word of mouth works wonders, so does actually having read the book because then I can pick their brains and ask what they liked or didn’t like about a character or about a character’s decision. I love getting kids to talk about books. And I love getting them excited to want to read a book. Kids who read lots tend to be less troublesome. 😉 

I’m not a morning person. Like at all. I need to mentally prepare myself for waking up. My alarm goes off every nine minutes a few times each morning in hopes of rousing me to full awake. The weekend? Better be a damn good reason to wake me up, otherwise I’ll be sleeping in until about 8:30 or 9.

My favourite colours are blue and yellow. The blue I adore borders on the edges between blue and purple, a royal kind of colour. Majestic and loyal. The yellow that interests me is a bright and bold ray of sunshine. It’s happy and vivid, much like me when the sun’s out. 

I’m a sucker for a feel good romantic comedy. Something like The Princess Bride or While You Were Sleeping and I’m all in. If it makes me cry the ugly cry (thank you very much August and Hazel), then it’s a definite favourite. The Empire Strikes Back may not be considered a romance film, but there are a lot of romantic elements at play and the witty banter between Han and Leia – classic. 😊 

In my before children life, I was a nanny. Over the course of a few years, I nannied for three separate families, and one family captured my heart completely. Those three children are now grown up, but I think of them and refer to them as my ‘first kids’. We keep in touch (and just recently, the oldest announced her pregnancy - does that make me a grandma?), meet for lunches and they come for visits. Who knew when I landed that job, that they’d have such a wonderful impact on my life. Recently, I took a photo my first kids and my biological kids all posing together. It’s priceless to me.

Star Wars is better than Star Trek. There I said it and now I will run. LOL. Don’t get me wrong, ST:TNG was the best, and Captain Picard can kick Captain Kirk’s ass any day of the week, but Han Solo is wayyy better, IMHO. And only the original series of Star Wars (Episodes 4 - 6)... don't get me started on the new groupings, so many things were wrong if they followed canon, which they (Rian Johnson) most certainly did NOT! 

Did you learn anything new about me?

Half My Life Ago

Today -- October 5, 2017 -- marks a halfway point in my life - a line divided into the Before Hubs, and After Hubs. It's a tipping point for one day only.

As of today, I have been with my husband for half my life.


Who knew when I asked that cowboy, after a night of dancing at Esmeralda's to come to my birthday party at my parents, that it would turn into something more? If he never came to the bar that night, would the future have turned out the way it did? Would we ever have gotten together? It's fun to think about, although I'm glad it worked out the way it did.

Half my life ago, I was someone completely different. I was single, and working at the Science Centre, where my hourly earnings were $8 ish per hour (and I thought that was HUGE money). I lived on my own in a basement suite where rent was $300 a month. What?? I know right??

A few things have changed since that point.
I've had many jobs in many different fields (Customer Service Rep, nanny, teacher, doula, librarian, author)
I've lived in seven different residences, all within Edmonton.
I've had five different vehicles.
I've put on some weight (lol! we'll go with 'some')
We became parents six years after our wedding, and added to that 33 months later.
We've travelled to Mexico, Cuba, Vegas and Toronto, along with many trips to BC and within AB.

Looking back, we had a few tough spots. Job loss can test the strongest marriage, and infertility can strain it even more. But we survived. For now. ;) We have an almost teenage son and one waiting in the wings. Some say that's the truest test of a marriage, but we'll see.

I'm very interested in the next doubling of my life, when I'm a frail old grandma. It's interesting to me to think about how much my life will change in those years. I can't even imagine, just like when I was twenty-one. Who knew what that doubling of my life would bring.

Happy dating anniversay, Hubs!

Writing is therapy... I still remember...

It's funny how six years ago on this day -- Friday September 30 -- I can recall without fail exactly what happened. I'll save you the details, and give you the Cole's notes version.

I dropped my youngest off at preschool, and went to visit my BFF who was ill in the hospital. She and I had been friends for the better part of twenty-five years. I can still hear the rasp in her voice when she struggled to say hi, and can still remember her less than stellar colouring - she looked and sounded very sick. We visited for a bit and when I left, I told her how much I loved her and that I'll see her tomorrow.

As I left and stood at the entrance to the Grey Nuns Hospital, a horrible feeling settled over me that I could not shake. I prayed for my friend. I prayed for her family. I prayed for healing, although it felt like a tall request.

I picked up my youngest, and prayed some more. That feeling--that one like something isn't right in the universe--refused to leave. It was only later, I discovered (via FB, no less which I won't get into because that opens a whole other can of worms) that she had died not long after I left. There would be no tomorrow.

My best friend had died.

I still remember how we went out for dinner that night with my in-laws, as I didn't want to cancel or be the reason for canceling and have to explain to them how my world has unexpectedly shattered. She was gone and there was no warning, no lead up, nothing.

Did you know you can actually run out of tears? I found out that weekend. And the heartbreak... I hope none of you readers ever have to experience that.

She was my best friend. I didn't hang out with her husband, and rarely with her kids, it was always just us. Once a month, we'd have supper together, and commiserate and/or cheer the other on, like BFF do. We had always joked we'd be old bitties sitting in our rocking chair, yelling at kids to get off our lawn. But that changed. Everything changed that day. The one person who knew everything about me (good, bad and in between) was gone. I cried constantly, without warning or reason, and did for a few years.

It wasn't until I finally saw a therapist, after another nearly-as-upsetting event occurred, when she strongly suggested that I'd never dealt with Wendy's death. Crying everyday wasn't dealing with it. People saying "well at least you got to tell her you loved her" didn't help. I know in my heart they meant well, but it still stung. Burying my best friend on my birthday probably didn't help either. 

My therapist suggested I write about it. In all the detail I could handle.
My beautiful bestie Wendy
My beautiful bestie Wendy
So that's what I did. I channeled her essence into one of my favourite characters, and wrote and wrote, pouring out my heart and soul. And something amazing happened. The tears that came daily, stopped showing up. My heart felt a little lighter, and I could recall things without the need of nearby tissues. The writing had helped.

And when people who know me read that character, I think they knew. She was an amazing being - so bubbly, and her star shone so brightly, it's a crime she's not here anymore. There was just something about her that made others smile and feel comfortable in her presence, for I was not her only best friend. She had many.

So if you're in a funk, I suggest you write about whatever is bugging you. Of course, you don't have to turn it into a character and write a book (something my therapist was a little surprised I did.) But writing is therapy. It's healing. And it allows you to pour out all your fears, frustrations and moments into a safe place. My only regret is that I had done it sooner, but then, maybe that's just how it was supposed to be.

Thanks for reading.