Thursday, December 17, 2009

happy birthday mama!

to one who gave us life, loved us in an exclusive way...the way only a mom can. all day i have been observing the celebration of you. the friend, the wife, the sister, the boss, the daughter. all those people conveying you have filled those roles well. but i know for ross and i, there is more. it's something that only the two of us understand, that little extra love and affection that only ever belongs to our mom. happy birthday, mom!!! i love are the very best!

i loved these quotes~

My mother is a poem
I'll never be able to write,
though everything I write
is a poem to my mother.
~Sharon Doubiago

A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts. ~Washington Irving

Lyrics A Song For Mama Boyz II Men
You taught me everything
And everything you've given me
I always keep it inside
You're the driving force in my life, yeah

There isn't anything
Or anyone I can be
And it just wouldn't feel right
If I didn't have you by my side

You were there for me to love and care for me
When skies were grey
Whenever I was down
You were always there to comfort me
And no one else can be what you have been to me
You'll always be you always will be the girl
In my life for all times

Mama, mama you know I love you
Oh you know I love you
Mama, mama you're the queen of my heart
Your love is like
Tears from the stars
Mama, I just want you to know
Lovin' you is like food to my soul

You're always down for me
Have always been around for me even when I was bad
You showed me right from my wrong
Yes you did

And you took up for me
When everyone was downin' me
You always did understand
You gave me strength to go on

There was so many times
Looking back when I was so afraid
And then you come to me
And say to me I can face anything
And no one else can do
What you have done for me
You'll always be
You will always be the girl in my life

Mama, mama you know I love you
Oh you know I love you
Mama, mama you're the queen of my heart
Your love is like
Tears from the stars
Mama, I just want you to know
Lovin' you is like food to my soul

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

a merry little christmas...

coming off of our wonderful trip to lynden i had to throw myself into the whirlwind of christmas preparations. so in the last 3 days i have unpacked, done laundry, cleaned, gone through bills, and finally removed the fall decor. we landed to calgary looking like a winter wonderland covered in the "white stuff", which did wonders to motivate this tired mama. however, in the last 72 hours i found my mind crowded, i felt restless and overwhelmed, agonizing over christmas photos not taken, things to be done, shopping to finish, baking to be done, and the list goes on and on...UNTIL last night. when i STOPPED, set it all to the side, and soaked in the precious moment of decorating our tree. i looked at our sweet toddler who's eyes were filled with curiosity and delight. i looked at our precious, taya who's eyes reflect a full and happy heart as they always do during family moments. i looked at our teenager as my eyes quickly filled with tears as she hung her "baby's first christmas" ornament, and i looked at my husband's beaming smile, and i said, "thank you God...these are my gifts".

Sunday, November 8, 2009

one year...

a year ago today:

i drove a moving truck with all our worldly possessions across the u.s. border into canada. realizing that i would have walked across the border with our kids to get to him.

i hugged my mom as she sobbed and held on so tight but then...for the first time let me go.

i could see the huge concern in my dad's eyes but i also saw the pride he had for me mixed in with his tears.

my children cried with joy and smothered their dad, something that would continue for 3 months.

all the other things i ached for just didn't compare to the ache i had without him.

we held each other so tight. we cried...and cried...and cried.

we chose each other.

“In true love the smallest distance is too great, and the greatest distance can be bridged.” ~Hans Nouwens

1 Corinthians 13 (The Message Bible)

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Love never dies.

Friday, November 6, 2009

I don't even know you...

but i am praying for you. i need to be honest and tell you this isn't really typical of me. i just KNOW that i'm supposed to. you are a friend of a friend. i know very little of your situation just that it needs prayer and a miracle. i have known with all certainty that something connects us. i wouldn't classify myself as a person that "prays without ceasing"...i just wanted you to know that since last night and all today, each and every time you crossed my mind i did. it was often. and i knew that God didn't care that i knew you or knew details. i sense the urgency, the desperation and the heartbreak that your family is going through...and i just want you to know that every prayer that i offered up today was on your behalf. i hope you are surrounded by support and love and trustworthy people that make you feel protected. i am praying for your broken heart...i am believing for YOUR miracle.

Moments in time...

20 years ago:
1. i became a teenager...the 80's totally rocked!
2. i traveled the world with my parents and my little brother.
3. lived in prince george, played in the "by force" youth group band, loved life.

10 years ago:
1. i was newly married and mother to 2 beautiful, busy toddlers.
2. i had hair that went almost to my butt...yup, THAT and big bangs (it took a while to let it go)!
3. i was a "people pleaser".

5 years ago:
1. my whole world began to unravel.
2. we owned a gorgeous home.
3. i was in denial.

3 years ago:
1. we celebrated our 10 year anniversary...a cruise with our friends, a beautiful ring.
2. i was pregnant. wow, a decade after thinking that was all wrapped up!
3. i didn't realize life would get harder...that it would all fall apart.

1 year ago:
1. i made the biggest decision of my life...all by myself. it was a good decision, the right decision.
2. i moved for the first time in my life to a place my parents didn't live.
3. i left my best friend. one of the very hardest things i have ever had to do.

So far this year:
1. i have realized that at the end of the day the only relationship i can be sure of is one with God.
2. i have cherished a TON of wonderful and amazing memories with my husband and children...i am so GRATEFUL.
3. i have done a lot of soul searching, praying, pity-partying, whining, laughing, changing, growing, grieving, letting go, hanging on, forgiving, accepting, loving.

Yesterday I:
1. i went on a wonderful walk with "my lanie" and our was absolutely perfect and so much fun!
2. experienced my first "chinook" since moving to calgary.
3. made tonight's dinner so i could have a "playday" today.

Today I:
1. walked with girlfriends and our "babies" to coffee and mcdonalds and thought how awesome it is to get my second cup coffee 2 days in a row!
2. had my daily chat with mairi on the of the best parts of my day.
3. thought how proud i am of myself that i was active 5 times this week.

Tomorrow I:
1. will sleep in...yay! it's saturday!
2. am going to my first christmas craft fair/bizarre of the season.
3. will search the internet again hoping for walmart and target's black friday ads to be leaked.

In the next year I:
1. pray i see a babies in the arms some people that are very special to me and so ready to be parents.
2. hope i continue to pursue a "healthier" cher.
3. want to cherish every day, make them count and matter and always be thankful.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Super Snazzy Spectacles...

The long and the short of it is this: Taya getting trampled while playing at school equals two hundred dollars. While she likes the look of being without glasses, the poor child is blind as a bat without them!

She is this endearing, loveable, easy going, funny girl. I love that she wears glasses. I found shopping for them with her to be a total hoot. She has this snazzy personality and is totally fine to express it optically. So, while she would have been thrilled to have the ultra trendy, current and totally hip frames that came in bold colors such as fire engine red and fushia or a vibrant (screaming loud) purple...I was able to guide her to a pair that was less dramatic but with a little flair to them still.

We took some pics of us shopping for that perfect look. In the end, she was pleased with the pair she ultimately chose. While not alarming in color, the arms of the glasses really said, "fun".

The Grand Prize Winner...something both mom and daughter agreed on:

While we had no choice but to bring Demi along with us, I was fully and completely giving Taya my undivided attention. Until, Taya glanced over and saw Demi had gotten into mommy's purse and was found doing this:

It's easy to see how much fun it is to be their mom!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

When I get where I'm going....

This week my parents are in Australia. They are attending the wedding of Ashleah Allana Taylor, daughter of their/our dear friends Kari and Al. In our brief time living in the same place (Prince George), their lives, their friendship touched our lives in a profound way and left a mark that lasts a lifetime. They died together on August 18, 2009. For the last 2 months there have been at least a dozen times I have attempted to write some appropriate tribute, but each attempt seems so trivial, not enough, or i can't see the screen for the tears in my eyes and the lump in my throat stops me from moving forward. I am one among thousands of lives that they touched. I am so beyond happy that my parents are there. As I sit on the other side of the world I ache with them as they grieve, and rejoice with them as they celebrate Ashleah's wedding day. There are many stunning tributes on you tube that convey how big and beautiful they lived their lives. I am so thankful to have known and loved them and to have been known and loved by them.

October 10th, Erik and I attended 2 funerals for his friends from high school one of which was his roommate when he was 19. I had a couple of interactions over the last 15 years with each guy. We sat near the back for both services. Both had many who loved them. I cried, not because I really knew them, but because I could hear their mother's sobs from the front echo all the way to the back of the church. Jeff and Gordy died together. Their deaths were also very published.

After Jeff and Gordy's funerals I told Erik that at some point we should have at least one conversation about our funerals, what our wishes would be, etc. All he said was that he knows he for sure wants this Brad Paisley song played. As I listen to it today, I think it's perfect for him.

I know if she is still alive my mom would be heard sobbing, but I am left to wonder and really ponder...what will people say of me? Write of me? Will I have made a difference?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rants and Raves

When I lived in Lynden one of the things I enjoyed on occasion was reading the "rants and raves" section of craigslist. Some of them were rude and crude, some of them were over the top, but in the mix was always some things of merit. I started thinking today is the kind of day when my home is quiet but my thoughts are busy. Which led me to thinking I will make my own list of rants and raves.


A two year old that still has a 2-3 hour nap. This is needed to keep the pace with her. Thank you, Lord.

Ok, so this is the absolute coolest. Perhaps I have been living under a rock and am the last to know about these. But, this week I was told that there is such a thing as crockpot liners!!! That's right girls, no more breaking your back scrubbing a dish that is as heavy as your toddler. Talk about making the crockpot meal even more enticing. When it offers effort time of 5 minutes and cleanup time of 5 minutes and it's not dropping $50 bucks at a restaurant...then it deserves a rave (technically, it deserves it's own post).

Husbands...mine deserves a raving for standing in the freezing cold, snow and other nasty weather conditions allowing me to sit in this lovely home with the fireplace burning so I can play with the baby, be home for the older girls, and write this post. I look at him and think right now, more than ever, he is the jack of all trades. His current roles include: the new toddler bed, chauffeur (he does all the driving when we are on vacation or it snows), best friend, prep cook some nights, balancer of girl hormone levels, and these are all besides his day job. Thank you, honey. which is probably my new fave. I love that I can look in the fridge, type in 4 ingredients, and find a great recipe complete with lots of reviews.

The condo. The most wonderful purchase my parents ever made. One of my most favorite places in the world. It offers family time, rest, time to play games, read books, watch movies, scenic beauty, and quickly sets my mind and heart to rest.

I want to hunt down and hug the creator of the portable dvd. While I have some guilt that we didn't spend all 12 hours on the road playing find 3 things, or name that license plate with our children and maximize the "family time". I will suck it up and say my parents were much better parents than us and send my verbal hug to the creator of "peace in a vehicle".

Cheesy Songs that just make you feel good. The song you are listening to is among my all time favorite cheesy songs. Yup, right up there with "You're so Vain". The saddest part of finding this song to add to my playlist was that I couldn't find it performed by Anne Murray. The best version EVER!


My own lack of computer knowledge. This would be why i haven't blogged or posted. Something's up with the usb port and apparently I am not smart enough to fix it/figure it out. It will annoy me badly enough to resolve soon enough. Unlike past experiences with say scrapbooking I have carried on and taken pictures. That's progress.

Snow before December 22. If this was on my kids lists it would be on raves and so while I will enjoy observing them enjoy it...I could totally live without it.

Facebook chat...starting to get on my nerves. On the rare occasion it works and doesn't say "sending" repeatedly the rest of the time I'm usually getting booted off.

The metric system...guess I should do a refresher course. Can't we all just use inches and feet? Another suggestion would be to tell the temperature in just Fahrenheit. I've had to resort to having to say I am going for a long walk in the cold and it doesn't sound nearly as horrific as walking 13 kilometers in -27. *just an example...not an actual experience.*

Battery Thieves. They keep breaking into our house and stealing them from Demi's toys and all the remotes. Lucky for me I think I should be able to bribe the bandit. Since she used all the "juice" and left evidence. I would so love to post the 300+ photos with friends, 100 of which are probably self portraits. Pics that will never be Brielle's facebook profile picture but will have been the reason I can't turn the channel even when it is Demi's nap time.

Like I said, just ramblings today. Hope your day is filled with more raves than rants!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Demi Chenelle...

Sweet baby girl,
It's just moments away from your big #2 birthday. Just saying it makes me want to cry. Each and every time I try to write this I cry...that hard cry that overcomes me, that says the emotions are almost overwhelming when I think of you, or that every square inch of my heart loves you so big. You arrived into our lives at a time I would have said was "inconvenient". But, God knew that he was giving us such a gift and you were part of His perfect plan. From the moment I knew of you, I was completely enamoured, taken, in love with you. The first time I heard your heart beat was the moment I couldn't imagined life before you. But, the first time ever I saw your face...I was forever changed. I don't believe there has been a day in the last 2 years where I didn't quietly thank God specifically for you. You gave me a reason to smile each and every day during one of the hardest years of my life. You gave me direction and purpose because you needed me. You have brought laughter and love, giggles and pride, calmness and peace, and such a sweetness to our family.

Things you love:

your blanket "saucy"
max and ruby dvd
singing (it's the sweetest sound in my day...and you sing ALL day) are his princess buttercup
your sisters (brielle helps you and taya plays with you and you light up each time you see them come into the room)
molly and the big comfy couch
playing outside
toe nail polish
being naked
mini marshmellows
doing "morning" with mommy (our snuggle time)
doing "ny-ny" (bedtime) with mama and daddy (review of the day, 2 songs, prayer, "i wub you's" and kisses
peas and green beans

I have often said since your birth that savoring each moment has not slowed it down...if I could have I would have. You are so precious to us, Demi. Happy 2nd Birthday, baby.

Love, Mama

Monday, September 7, 2009


it's upon FAVORITE season! welcome fall. the things i most appreciate about autumn range from the perfect scented candle, ALL the decor, the colors, baking and feeling it's warmth in my home all day, the schedule and routine, the "quieting" of me. we had such a fun and crazy summer and i can easily say of it, the kids loved every minute. but, fall...fall is my time. it's like there is room in the day just for me. for a long bubble bath at night, moments to reflect and journal, time for a walking schedule, or to read a good book, time for my thoughts.

yesterday, i made my first batch of fireside coffee...awww fall has arrived! it's a coffee recipe i got several years from one of my girlfriends (who is a fabulous cook). it's a perfect companion to a slice of "candy bread" (that's what my daughters call banana bread and pumpkin loaves). for me, fireside is to autumn what the tree is to christmas. here is the recipe:

2 cups instant hot cocoa (hot chocolate for canadians)
2 cups dry coffee creamer (coffeemate)
1 cup instant coffee (erik likes it when i double this amount)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 cup cups sugar (i use less...about half that much)

mix well and then store in container of your choice.
add 2-3 tbsp. to hot water...enjoy! it makes such a great gift.

i would love to know what your favorite fall recipes are. whether they be something for the crockpot or a favorite loaf, a comforting casserole or a fabulous cookie...please share!

Monday, August 24, 2009

It's all but over...

Summer 2009 has been FABULOUS! Some of the highlights were:

2 trips to the condo totalling 20 days spent there...AWESOME!
2 trips to Lynden which means I got to be with my Kimmy and Kestin =)
Brielle is officially a teenager as of August 1st (not just acting like one)
Taya turned 11 and likes to be refered to as a pre-teen
Erik got a new job complete with a $6.50 per hour raise...YAY us!!
Taya went camping with Mara to their family's seasonal lot
Demi can count to 10 with a few made up numbers in between
Demi's ability to count facilitated the ability to play hide and seek, it's so cute
We got to the Lynden fair and Calaway park
We saw Erik's family, watched our nephew play in a ball hockey championship.
Our friends Stef and Shane joined us at the condo
We now drive a Suburban (no need to draw imaginary lines where each child is allowed to breath/move)
Celebrating my Grandparents 60th wedding anniversary was a gift
Brielle had her first real job and spent a month with my parents...a wish of hers for years
Erik was able to determine he would rather drive the boat than be on the tube (after he sustained injuries...go figure!)
Larissa (our favorite child) vacationed to the condo with us and now Brielle is vacationing with their family in Coeur D' Alene, Idaho
I got much time with my besties
I had Thai more than once
Lots of overnight guests
Aunty Penny and Aunty Lorelei made a beautiful birthday brunch/party for Taya
I had coffee on my mom's deck many sunny mornings
At long last I got a precious block of time with my dear friend, Traci (I'm now officially on the list of drop-in friends)
I had the most perfect sunset walk with my dad
I read more than one book
Demi had her first plate of poffertjes and first ice cream cone
I only got sunburned 2 times
Erik and I had multiple movie dates
We shared many sunsets

I am beyond thankful for such a beautiful season. I have been blessed.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Best Vacation EVER...

Don't you just love it when the family all agrees that you have just had the best vacation EVER??? We just did. It was amazing. We were gone for two and a half blissful, perfect, relaxing fun-filled weeks. I am not going to get real "wordy" since we took a ton of fabulous pics that clearly reflect the great time had by all. The best parts of our vacation were:

the best surprise ever...Larissa (our favorite child)joined us!!!
wonderful, hOt, HOT!!!
we had a few days of "just us" family time
the honor of celebrating my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary! AMAZING!!
bought a suburban (travelling just got a whole lot nicer)
we were surprised by J and Em (the boys finally got some "bromance" time)
we had a whole day of boating with our friends Tyler and Lana...good times!
we watched a ton of movies
fun get-togethers with our favorite aunts and uncles!
we played hard with our children
watched beautiful sunsets on the deck and felt so blessed to be sharing that moment!
we bbq'd almost every ARE the grill master, my love!
we got time with mom and dad...the BEST people in the world to vacation with...way to much fun (seriously, they really are)!!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

"Happy Daddy's Day"

Things I have overheard my dad say repeatedly through my life:

1. "Steak and Beans" diet. Eat beans so that sometimes you can have steak. He has taught me great money management tips!

2. "You will hit the wall, but you can still finish the race". I have seen him do this in many areas of his life.

3. Almost every day life is "fabulous".

4. "Everyone should have "happy feet". Thanks for every pair of shoes you put on my feet, dad!

5. "We weren't looking for perfect kids...just well adjusted adults". (Thank goodness!)

6. "Take a picture with your heart" seems as though each time he said it we didn't have a camera along. I remember those moments well.

7. "Life is what happens while we were busy making other plans".

8. "The happy Black family rides again"! Every time we all got in the vehicle. It didn't matter if we were going a block or across the country.

9. "I quite like having colorful speech".

10. "Aren't grandkids just the best"!?! and "It just doesn't get any better than this" -when holding the grandbabies.

What a gift you are to me. Your personality, sunny disposition, gentleness, kindness made for a wonderful childhood. Growing up, we were always secure in your love. The fact that you were not a yeller, that you made time for us every day, openly adored our mom in front of us, and started each day on such a positive note was such a gift to us. There have been countless times in my life when I have disappointed you. But, when I see you look at me all I ever notice is the pride in your eyes and a smile that beams. I hear it in your voice every time you say "my girl, my girl Cher". You are among one of the most generous people I know and always have been. You stop and enjoy life. You hit the deck running when needed. You are a visionary. You don't cuss. You make everyone you speak to feel important. You care about orphans. You support all the we want to do in our lives. You have given us fabulous vacations. You have lived and modeled your "faith" in a real and sincere way and I always wanted to know God the way I felt you knew Him. I love you very much dad. Thank you for being "fabulous", "spectacular", thank you for being you. It is with that same love and pride that I dedicate this post to "my dad, my dad Dave".

When I watch you watch the girls I see that same look in your eyes I always saw in my dad's towards me. Maybe, it's just a daddy/daughter thing. Each day I watch you give all to our girls. I love that you take time to hold each one of them...but have room on your lap for all 3 of them. I love the way you protect them and care that they grow up to be lovely women. I love that you take them on dates. I love watching you teach them life lessons. I love watching you play with them. I love that you embraced being surrounded with girls and quite like it that way! Thank you for being the dad you are to our children. I love you so very much!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

When you love someone...

Someday I think I might like to be a DJ. I really should. I love music and really enjoy some from all genres. I feel like life should be put to music. In many ways, blogging does that for me.

I was sitting here listening to this song and decided this is the one I would use if Erik and I ever renewed our vows. I feel like it explains me/us. I know everyone has opinions, feelings and thoughts on Erik and I staying married. As I listened to the words I thought to myself...this is exactly how I feel...and that's why we are still married. Just thought I'd share.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Midnight Special... time of day. All is clean and besides that...all is quiet in our home. It's Midnight. My time of day. As much as I wish I was a morning gal, then I would have to give up my nights. Once again, some of last week's loneliness spilled into this weeks comings and goings. I knew this was inevitable...part of a big move. While I had some teary moments and 2 big cries, I really did have a good week with a bit more activity than other weeks I have had so far.

Since this is the hour when I come to life I thought it might be fun to share some of what I do or look at during the wee hours (besides endless loads of laundry).

Favorite Pics of the Week:

1. The girl's sleepover guests and bbq (i especially like the one of Demi stealing Lucy's chips while Lucy smiles for the pic.
2. Our new deck
3. Demi into all sorts of naughtiness...we are in a really "busy" time of life.
4. A picture of Erik and I on our way out to "date night".
5. Demi doing her morning routine. Putting on her "outfit" a bra and brushing her teeth.

Favorite Websites of the Week:
They have so many really fun ideas and great recipes.

Picking out Demi's "big girl bed" and ordering super cute!

(Sorry I don't know how to do a link. I will have to ask one of my fellow bloggers to share how to do that. But, if you want to take a look you can copy and paste.)

Favorite Purchase of the Week:

A great chicken Marinade...mmmm I will definitely buy it again and post a pic.

Favorite Thought/Quote of the Week:

Courtesy of one of the best kids I know. Larissa posted this on her facebook and I loved it!

"God determines who walks into your's up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go."

Sleep well friends...would love to hear what have been the highlights of your week...count on me to there to listen if you ever want to chat about Midnight!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

8 things...

tagged again!

8 things I am looking forward to:

1. going to the condo...ten days of bliss on the lake!
2. school being done. we are not used to going until the end of the month.
3. slurpees
4. grass. they are laying sod next week. yay!!!
5. 2 months of not waking up to an alarm.
6. my grandparents 60th wedding cool is that.
7. meeting my cousin's baby. they leave in less than 2 weeks to columbia to pick up their first baby...a son.
8. my next hair appointment with sadie. boy, do i need it!

8 things I did yesterday:

1. got groceries
2. hosted a sleepover(never sure how the word sleep makes it into that statement).
3. bbq'd
4. contemplated writing geoff bode a personal email to inquire how he got the phenomenal bejeweled score (336,500) crazy!!!!
5. sat on our new deck with erik.
6. went to walmart.
7. cleaned the kitchen 18 times.
8. bathed demi twice.

8 things I wish I could do:

1. be in two places at once.
2. protect my kids from undue hurt.
3. clean my house and have it stay that way for the entire weekend.
4. go on a vacation with my husband.
5. find the time and creativity to scrapbook or sell off all my stuff.
6. win the lottery...should buy a ticket at some point i guess.
7. have more self-discipline.
8. do something that makes a difference...just not sure what that it yet.

8 shows I watch:

1. brothers and it!
2. young and the restless...they still are both after 20 years of watching.
3. grey's anatomy
4. private practice
5. big comfy couch (gladly i might add...half an hour of free babysitting)
6. big brother!!!
7. amazing race
8. bachelor/'s going to be the most dramatic rose ceremony ever this week! i have to watch!

I don't have a ton of people to tag. but i'd love to see yours on facebook or email!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Yay Mr. Postman!!!

GOD BLESS MY MAMA AND DADDY!!!! Yesterday was a fantastic "mail day". The only things in our box were a care package from my parents, a check from revenue canada with a small tax return and the Michael's 50% off coupon. We were pumped! I don't ever remember a day were our mail was quite that fabulous!

Our package included:
peach crystal light (my from the u.s.)
bunn coffee filters
3 pairs of shorts for demi and a cute little shirt
2 pairs of jeans for me
$20 cash for brielle and taya
4 tubs my favorite instant coffee
erik's father's day gift (cold hard cash to do whatever he want with)

Some of our favorites! Thanks so much mom and dad. We all felt so loved and thought of. You are the best!

Monday, June 8, 2009

There goes my life...

It may seem as though you never see much of Taya. We don't either these days. Taya is an amazingly undemanding, easy going, fun loving, on the go, with her girlfriends, chronic sleep over, webkinz playing, bathing suit wearing kind of gal. So, for the last month she has BUSY. Makes it difficult to post a ton of pics of her. I have told her that mommy and daddy really miss her and so we are going to have "Taya Day" in the next couple of weeks. I love her role in our family. I have said often of her that God always knew Taya would be a middle child. She so fits the role. Her personality is simply lovely. I can't wait to write all about her.

This post is about Brielle aka. "Birdelle", "laylee" (Demi's version of Brielly). Over the last month I feel like every morning I wake up and she has changed. I'm not joking. I will take a picture of her and a week later I will take another and she looks more grown up. It reminds me of baby growth spurts. You put a pair of pants on them and then the following week you put on those same pair of pants and in a weeks time they have become "high waters". I'm watching this happen in every area of her life. I feel like I am not ready in so many ways.

Yesterday Erik and I took her to the mall. A brief reprieve from her grounding that she is currently on. With only a week of grounding to go, an massive attitude improvement and $80 of babysitting money in hand...she was thrilled. We picked a meeting spot and drilled every parental rule into her head in 5 minute lecture form. You know the ones like, "you don't need to spend every dime. In fact save half of your money" and "even if they are a mall employeees you aren't allowed to speak to any males between the ages of 8 and 80" or "if you step one foot outside of this mall your new grounding will be for 60 days which translates to your whole life in teenager". Once Erik felt we had all bases covered we parted ways so we could go to our movie. As she walked away Erik said this and I could have bawled instantly. "There goes my life".

When Brielle was little Kenny Chesney came out with that song and I always thought of us when I heard it and thought it would be a good fit for a wedding dance for her and her dad. All of the sudden 13 years flashed in front of my face and I realized how fast this is all going. It seems like we are in the thick of parenting her and I stay so focused on what is on my heart to teach her. But that little moment has reminded me to slow it down as much as possible and enjoy all the moments I can over the next few years.

Things we remind Brielle:
1. Honor God
2. Honor your parents
3. Honor yourself
4. Honor your body

Things I remind myself:

1. Hold your ground on things that matter
2. Hold your tongue on things that don't
3. Hold onto the moments because they pass so quickly
4. Hold her often because she is always your baby

Brielle, I wish I could bundle up all the love that daddy and I have for you so that you could feel it every moment of every day. I promise you this is the some of the hardest times of life. Keep growing...I'll hold on.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Thursday with Cher...

So, due to writer's, severe. And perhaps the "lack of an interesting life", and maybe a little bit of depression. I have decided to follow Tiffiny's lead and do a Thursday post. Even if it's just for this week. But, I have no choice. Even I am sick of hearing Wham sing "wake me up before you go-go" and I picked the song! It's an awesome idea and the best part about Tiff is she encourages every one else to follow suit. So here we go:

I am thankful for:
The sun. If it were not for the sun and the warm weather this week would have been a hard one. I think this stands out as "the loneliest week thus far". Erik says he can see it on my face. I am thankful that Brielle's one month grounding has turned out to be a good thing and not horrific punishment for Erik and I. I am most thankful for Erik. He is becoming my best friend. I am thankful we have this time in our lives to build that friendship. I am thankful we live in Calgary for all the above listed reasons.

I am listening to:
The Wiggles...annoying. Demi singing...precious. Listening to her sing is enough to make every day happy around here!

I am looking forward to:
We are having friends over this weekend. Erik's friend Tyler (he was in our wedding) and his girlfriend, Lana are coming over for a BBQ. Yay for me!!! Friends!!! I didn't realize how full our lives were with people until we moved and our life got very quiet. We also have plans to go to a movie. Last weekend we went to a movie for the first time in well over a year. It was so much fun we are going to go to another.

What's for dinner tonight:
Chicken soft tacos and tater tots. It's cheap and easy. Brielle and I usually have taco salads when I make that meal...nummy!

What I am missing: I miss Kim. Everyday I miss her. I miss Lynden. I miss sitting outside at Tiff's on hot days and watching the kids play in Olivia's wading pool. I miss taking the kids for a late afternoon swim at beachwood. I miss buying the kids summer clothes at Target. I miss going through Cruisin Coffee for a "cool coffee cloud". I miss my nephews, especially when I see the pics on Ross and Taya's blog. They are growing and changing so fast and I have always wished I could see them every week. I miss my parents. That's usually magnified right after I see them. If you are reading probably fall on the list of people I am missing this just seems to be the theme.

Pic of the week:
I thought this would be a fun thing to add. I think you should do it too Tiff. Demi basically stalks Brielle upon her arrival home from school. She is willing to do whatever Brielle wants to do. Really, anything to be in her presence. She calls her "Birdelle" and really rolls her r's when she says it. It is so cute!

I hope this weekend finds you thankful, stopping to listen, enjoying good meals, that you have something to look forward to, that you miss and are missed. And don't forget to take a few pictures along the way. For all this will mean you have lived and loved.

"Copying is the highest form of flattery" ~UNKNOWN

Monday, May 25, 2009


I just got back from a great week in Lynden. I had my pint-sized travel buddy along which alway makes for a different travel experience than previous times in my life. Demi requires packing like we are moving to wherever we headed. I never know if she will be loving being a frequent flyer or if the hour long flight will make me wish we had walked to Lynden! The flight there was rough since she doesn't do mornings and we left our house at 6 am. Our return flight was fabulous and the business man we sat next to started off looking quite perturbed at the seating arrangements and ended our flight blowing kisses to his new little friend. It was a go, go, go type of vacation. Here are some of the highlights:

1. My grandparents were in town at the same time and every little bit of time we get with them is so special.
2. I got a girl's night out with my besties..martini's and Thai food and a whole bunch of good for the soul!
3. I was able to see Kim's gorgeous new house.
4. I had a pedicure with some of my favorite girls.
5. Demi tried fries and ketchup (she calls dip-dip) for the first time in her life and had her first lollipop, and got candy from the candy machines in Dutch Mothers!
6. I had a fabulous sleepover and shopping day with my niece Lynea...much needed and really one of the best parts of my whole trip.
7. I got to smother baby Kestin with kisses and have a lunch date with Larissa and Montana.
8. Had a hot tub with Stef. I always say I'm going to and never do.
9. Watched Survivor with Michelle and Stef, talked about weight and went on a late night run for blizzards from Dairy Queen! =)
10. Enjoyed lots of moments with my Mom and Dad. I love staying at their house!
11. Got to see Corey and quickly get caught up...have so much fun in Mexico friend!
12. Came home with full suitcases of "prizes"...I miss shopping there!!!
13. Demi got lots of one on one play time with Nana and Papa and the puppies of the neighborhood.
14. Crawling into bed with Nana and Papa.
15. The rain was gone and it was sun shiny everyday!

We had such a nice time. It's never long enough to fit it all in and I never get to see everyone I would have wanted to. So much of who and what I love is still living there. But, like any great vacation it's always wonderful to be so happy to get home. What is here...I love the most!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

12 years...

Today is our anniversary. Twelve years ago on this day we were thrilled it was a beautiful sunny day, I felt like a princess, and thought he looked like the most handsome man in the world. We were surrounded with people we loved, and we started on this uncharted territory called marriage feeling very confident (and my literary audience chuckles...don't worry I am too). Oh, we were so young and foolish and so in love. We had a beautiful wedding and a beautiful day.

Twelve years has brought us beautiful babies, exotic vacations, addictions, diets, births and deaths of family members, houses bought and sold, surrounded with friends, having no friends, financial freedoms and financial devastation, the accumulation of stuff, garage sales, hospital stays, 2 separations, heartache and tears, marriage conferences, marriage counseling, precious moments I would hope to never forget and our lowest, moment most devastating ugly moments I wish I could erase from my mind.

This is where you find us twelve years later...STILL TOGETHER! It is by the grace of God, it is amazing, it is a miracle, it was so hard, it was everything we said we wanted and promised each other we would do twelve years ago on this day. We didn't have a clue!

Erik, it is easy for me to say with all are the love of my life. I would go to the ends of the world (and feel like we have) to find us here. I'm so thankful because I absolutely know you would too. I'm so glad we didn't "quit" each other. Happy Anniversary, Love.

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. - Mignon Mclaughlin

Saturday, May 16, 2009


You will need to turn off my music down on the right hand side of the screen for this one. I just had to share this. Right now Demi and I are in Lynden. Yesterday morning, mom and I woke up and put on shows for Demi and the singing started. We marveled at how she is too little to say the words but already has an amazing little voice. I just had to share. She melts our hearts.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mama's Day

There are certain days in one's life you hope that a corner of your heart and mind will never forget. Something about each of my girls captured my attention today. Brielle is seeming so grown up. I watch her scoop up Demi and take charge, she is very nuturing and so good with babies. How I would love to stop the hands of time, and hold her on my lap (which she would never allow in public). I feel like I will blink and she will be a mother...she will be a great mom. Taya's gentle and easy going nature...pure loveable that kid! She is the first of my children to say Happy Mother's Day and the one to give me the most hugs, hoping each one is better than the last. Demi's curls and the way they look in the sunlight, her chubby cheeks and baby giggles. Her big wet kisses and little hands that hold my face while she gives mama "loves". Of all of the things I have been so far in my life...being their mom has been the best of me.

This is an emotional day for me. This is the first Mother's Day I have not been with my mom in my whole life. There is this ache to be with her. To give her a hug in person, on this day and say how much I love her. Thank you for teaching me how to be a mom. Thank you for loving me every day of 33 years, even when I didn't deserve it. Thanks for being the one to recognize, "the naughty one is the one who really needs your attention" thanks for spending all that extra time with me mom! Thanks for being the person who was by my side when I brought each one of my girls into the world...Mom, there is no one in this world like you.

Today was a special day. I felt so loved and appreciated by Erik and the girls. We went to church, got KFC, had a was so much fun. I got a beautiful homemade card (my favorite) and a coffee gift certificate (also my fave). I was showered with compliments, hugs and kisses. This is one I will remember. I am so thankful for these little lives that God entrusted to me (us) to raise. What a huge honor and priveledge. I hope they grow into amazing women. I think they will. I pray their faith is big, their pride is small, that their inward beauty outshines the outward, and that they are always secure in who they are, and that they always know just how much I love them...just as they are. And I pray that they will know with all clarity...for all their life...God's unfailing love for them that so surpasses mine! Today was precious to I will never forget!

I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life. ~Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Desk!

So this is where all the magic happens!!! This was the desk that I have wanted since my friend Tiffiny got hers years ago (I offered to buy hers at least 10 times). Mom and Dad got it for my birthday gift (that was in January), then I had to wait until this month to find someone who was coming out to Calgary to deliver it. Then my sweet hubby had the 7 hour assembly task. I should mention Erik did so with no naughty words...I was so impressed! So, thank you dad and mom, Mark for delivering it, and Erik for putting it together!

I love, lOvE, LOVE it...every little thing about it! It is exactly my taste and was soooo worth the wait. For the last 5 years we have used any table like item to be a make shift desk. Even if I saw something else that I liked, I would still like mine more. My favorite part is the hutch and that it can be decorated for the seasons. I can't wait to buy baskets, I can't wait to be organized and get all my filing done. I am hoping to add an overstuffed chair and ottoman to the room and maybe a bookshelf in the next couple months. I already have the cutest little wrought iron side table picked out. This is the room that people walk into when entering our house from the front door. I am so thankful to have this space a whole lot cuter. It's a room that is quickly becoming my favorite in the house! This will be where I am sitting when I kick all your butts at bejeweled!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mother's Day Memories...

Mother's Day is fast approaching and I was thinking ahead to one of my favorite days of the year. I was thinking how strange it will be to not be near my mom. I hope that we can make her feel loved and celebrated from a distance. I am wracking my brain for good gift ideas that we don't need to take a loan out for shipping!

Then I was thinking about one of my most favorite Mother's Day memories. Brielle was three and had spent the night at my parents the night before. Nana let me have a sleep in as part of my Mother's Day gift. When Brielle walked in she was holding a gift bag and was beyond proud and excited. She hopped onto the bed and said, "Happy Mama's Day, I shopped at Nana's house for you"! It was all she could do to not rip the entire gift apart for me.

One by one I lifted out each item and with each one I oohed and awed and her face beamed with pride. Here is what was in the bag:

a travel size perfume (a sample from avon)
bubble bath
baby powder (travel size)
travel wipes
and a tampon

We sat on the bed chatting with my mom and Erik and she said, "mommy, I need to give this medicine to Daddy cuz he gets headaches at his work" to which I replied, "ok, honey that is so nice of you". Not two minutes later she tells me that baby Taya needs the wipes. "Sure honey, no problem"! She decided that she would keep the bubble bath for herself and give nana back the perfume. Leaving me with? Yup, the tampon!!

The funniest part was when she had realized that she had re-gifted all my gifts she dug in the bag one last time, pulled out the tampon and said, "mama I saved this one for you and it is very special because I don't even know what it is and it is still wrapped"!

My mom and Erik laughed so hard they had tears streaming down their faces and all I could say was how appropriate!

Here we are 10 years later and it is one of my funniest memories. Being their mom has been my greatest honor, my biggest challenge. The moments I am most proud of revolve around parenting them. The things I carry the most remorse and shame for are for "bad days or moments" parenting them. And my best laughs and biggest smiles have always come from my children. I look at Brielle today and think where did the time go? I will savor this time I have left with my girls, even on the days it feels like all I am left with is a tampon!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


That's how old my hubby turned last week. It's hard to believe I have loved him 14 of those years. We may not have been together every one of those days, but I loved him...all 5,110 of them. Erik is not a big "birthday bash" kind of guy. Not at all like me. I love my birthday. I love other people's birthdays. Surprise parties, kids parties. It's the celebration of you, that you matter, that somehow the world is better for having you in it. The new year and all that it will bring. The ways a person changes, grows, matures. The newness and excitement of what lies ahead.

Since it was his birthday we celebrated it low key, the way he likes it. Just a nice family dinner. He picked the menu cuz that's what the birthday kid gets to do!

Later, we checked facebook and he had some really nice messages from friends, his stepmom, his sister in law (Kelly...whom I love), my family. Some were on my page and some on his. He is not a facebook junkie like me (he is barely ever on there) so I thought it was impressive given how few "facebook friends" he has, just how many b-day wishes he got.

If you were to ask, he would say he is not nearly "successful" as he was once upon a time in regards to his career, but he has a decent job and he works hard everyday. One of his best qualities. I look at him laying on the couch with 3 little girls sprawled out all over him and I could just melt...he is a good dad. I see that life (his, ours) has aged him, but I can't help but think how handsome he is.

I watch my children love on and celebrate their dad on his special day. I am proud. Proud to be in this moment, with him, proud of our children for the sweet and caring girls they are. I think to myself, "right now he looks like a success to me".

What a year it has been. I am happy, thankful, amazed for where we are today. But I am tired and I think he is too.

We crawl into bed and I whisper, "happy birthday, love". I hope this year is a good year...a really good year.