Friday, January 30, 2009


I keep getting emails on how to leave comments on the blog. I so want to have the feedback and let's me know I am not just writing to an audience of 4 people. You start by clicking on the word comment at the end of the post. It will say how many comments there already are. For those of you who don't want to open a google account you can leave your comment and sign your name so I know who wrote it and then click on the anonymous button before clicking on submit. It's really easy...and I can't wait to have you write back! Hope that helps.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Kiss, Kiss...

Have you ever noticed that a lot of people stop kissing? You don't realize this occurs as often as it does until you are at a 25th anniversary or a wedding. People start tinkling the glasses and calling people out to kiss each other in front of 175 people. The couple (victims) look nervously at each other and at that point everyone should get a clue that they are thinking oh man...haven't done this in nine years and now we get to in front of all these friends and family, lucky us! And as soon as they do, everyone claps politely, giggles nervously and thinks to themselves "note to self...go home and kiss husband repeatedly so that is never us". Because that just looked as natural/comfortable as arriving to this event, being handed a leotard and asked to do the gymnastics routine that I haven't performed since I was eight years old!
Kissing keeps us young. Keeps our relationships young. I love that my whole family is "huggy and kissy". I'm not suggesting this has to be done in a public forum. I just think that it's one of those things that couples can do to keep love alive and intimacy in the relationship. So don't become a casualty of K.K.S (kept kisses cheesy I know) lay one on your sweety tonight!

Idea #7
I so wish I had my computer. Soon I will, and then I will post some pics. Complete with kissy shots (from my birthday). I think a romantic idea would be to take kissing pics whenever you travel new places, or have date nights or even just one on each anniversary (even that will help you not become that couple). If you think people don't do on Ross and Taya's facebook page asking for pictures to be posted and I'm sure they will oblige since they have 10 years of kissy face pics to prove they do!! Mom reminded me the other night of a good idea. Put on some lipstick and kiss the bathroom mirror and write a "good morning message" in lipstick. So cute mom!


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Little Things...

All day I was thinking...I sure hope that just because I am currently blogging on love and romance that I haven't given people the impression I feel I am the authority on either. I don't feel like that at all. Our marriage has been the farthest thing from perfect or easy on any scale. While we are doing very good, in my opinion the best we ever have...we are not a "poster couple" for a job well done. We have failed each other in huge ways, broken vows, filed divorce papers, hurt our children deeply and broke each others hearts. I think when I write on these topics it's more like thinking out loud. These are just my thoughts, my hopes, my vision for what I want our marriage to be. One thing I am realizing is that marriage needs attention. Our marriage desparately needed attention. The thing that saved us was love...we never stopped loving each other. We have always had a very passionate relationship. We rarely had a friendship. The breakdown of "us" started by not doing the little things, and led to much bigger things. If I was to offer anything of what I have learned it would be that it is never to late. You can start today. You can pull it out of the gutter. You can find your way back. You can forgive one more time. You can be the one to be selfless. You can be the one to say I am sorry. You can rip up divorce papers together...we did. Besides the love that remained, and the grace of God, we also had an amazing counselor. Linda loved us, supported us, gave us truth, got in our faces, walked us through, let us go our own way, always took us back and met us in our darkest hour. She once said to me, "If you went through all of this and would have just divorced than all this was just a bunch of garbage, but if you went through all of this and there was a purpose then God can use it all". I did not go through all that to not have learned what I needed to learn. I learned that I needed to be as good of a friend to Erik that I was to my girlfriends. I learned that I don't always have to be right. I learned that there were so many little things I could have been doing. I learned that being a good person doesn't equal being a good wife. So, on that note I offer this...

Idea #6
Do the little things. If it's taking up something he enjoys, making an effort to make dinner (this was something I had definitely had to work on), giving a back massage, getting dressed up for him, finding something you both like to watch on tv together. Then do those things. It's a place to start if things are strained in the relationship. If things are good it will just make it better. I promise you's a long road back to heal from the big things when we could've just paid attention to the little things. Since I was a little girl I have always loved this song (is your volume turned up?). I think it is by far one of the most romantic songs of all time. It reminds me of us.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

25 things...

All this past week, facebook has been going strong with the "25 things" note. At first, I honestly thought I probably couldn't think of that many little things. But, last night at 3:00 am I was still thinking of quirky little things. And, since I sat up half the night (on a school night!) I thought I would post mine on here.

1. My feet are cold 95% of the ice cubes!
2. I know I have the best parents in the world.
3. I music!! I tell Erik I know every song.
4. With each of my pregnancies I developed a liking for a food I hated previously.
5. I had a cleaning OCD for 2 years.
6. I miss Kim...every day.
7. I am an amazing mom to Demi. I have not had one moment of frustration ever with her...probably should've waited until I was 30 to have all of them!
8. I think my grandparents are the most incredible people in the's more than just loving them...they really are the two most amazing people.
9. Erik is the only person in the world that knows my deepest hurt...yes people I have one thing I haven't told anyone else but him!!
10. I didn't start trying new foods until I was 30.
11. I have a wild side that I keep very stifled!
12. The first thing I notice on a person is their nose.
13. My brother Ross has the most goodness out of anyone I know.
14. I eat chocolate 363 days a year. If it were not for that I would be so thin!
15. My ring finger is a size 4. I so wish that were my jean size.
16. I have always wanted to be a hair stylist.
17. I love lemon bars and insist they be served at my funeral, but I never make them at home.
18. I don't know how to sew...Lanie and Kim are dying laughing at this one!!
19. I hope to go to Australia at least one more time.
20. I think Brielle will do something big with her life...I am very proud to be her mom.
21. I need a lot of verbal affirmation. I have spent the bulk of my life feeling like I was disappointing someone.
22. I think I am witty and funny.
23. I hate seeing someone uncomfortable in group settings. That is the person I usually hone in on.
24. I always have polish on my toes but haven't on my fingernail for at least 2 years.
25. I fold laundry more beautifully than anyone I know.

Ok...I have a few more!

26. I feel like I am going to have a heart attack when I get I rarely do.
27. Taya is the most loving and touchy of my kids.
28. I am an extremely fast reader.
29. I love my eyes. I love that my girls all have different eye color. Brielle has dark brown, Taya has green, Demi has blue.
30. My kitchen sink always has soapy water in it.
31. I miss our church.
32. I love people...I love being with people.
33. When I was 22 I had a dream about heaven and coming face to face with God that changed my life.
34. I am blessed to have children and was told I may not ever have them.
35. I couldn't imagine my life without Lanie she is the most loving, generous and funny person...this is how I know God loves me...he gave me her for a best friend.
36. I am the last person on a dance floor and if I had enough confidence I would dance when no one else was!
37. My first massage by a professional was when I was 30...silly, silly girl!
38. A person can never have too many candles.
39. I have watched Young and the Restless for 20 years.
40. I love living in a big city.
41. I wish I had enough money to give some away everyday.
42. There has not been one day I have not thought of Robyn since she went to heaven.
43. I love both of my sister-in-laws!
44. If I am quiet...something is wrong.
45. I love household cleaners, bleach, and stain removal.
46. I have used the polestar daytimer for 9 years and make endless lists.
47. When I have too much on my mind I stop talking mid sentence and Erik finishes what I was saying.
48. I buy cereal like there will never be another box sold.
49. I don't like cats.
50. I eat icecream with a fork.

Ok, I went over by double and probably could have kept going but that might have seemed a little self absorbed. This made me think though...I love that Erik knows all of these little things about me. Which leads me to...

Idea #5
Make a list of 25 or more things that are unique about the one you love maybe write it in their Valentine's card. It's good to know what makes each other tick. It's good to be reminded of the little things that made us fall in love with each other. And good to know that we're loved even if we can make a list of 25 things about us that could potentially make us look like a fruitcake to someone else. LOL! Happy Loving!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Livin' on a Prayer...

Let me hear a big shout out from all the kids of the 80's!! This was THE era of the "mix tape". If you are a child of the 80's you know that those homemade, heartfelt, had to wait for the top ten at ten on the radio to catch that song, expression of love was the rage! Even as an adult thoughts of the infamous mix tapes created by my own hands stirs as much emotion as looking at pictures of the babies I have personally brought into the world!! Oh you laugh...but one of my best friends (who shall remain nameless to protect her from public mockery) can still be moved to tears during girl pow-wow's when thoughts of recording the same song 17 times front and back (both sides of the tape...duh!) held the same song. Sent out to the one she loved on the eve of their breakup! Basically that equates to 437 hours of solid crying time. This was a cheap yet meaningful way to scream "I love you". I gave Erik the first of only a few (cuz cd's came out and wrecked the whole thing) mix tapes on our 2 month anniversary. I am almost positive it was on that night the first I love you's were exchanged! If you weren't a teen at that time you probably don't know the thought and skill that would go into making the perfect mix. First, you had to be almost psychic to press record and play at the exact moment the radio was possibly going to play the song you were waiting for. One could wait in anticipation for up to 3 hours with fingers on high alert just to capture the song. In addition, at that same moment be able to coordinate no one in the whole house moving, breathing, opening doors, answering phones, etc. because that would wreck the whole thing and you would have to start a six hour process all over again. The same amount of intuition was crucial for the ending of the song. The whole thing was a wash if the radio personality would start talking before the song completely ended! All that drama could only be avoided if you had were fortunate enough to have so much babysitting money you could afford to buy every single tape you wanted and have a dual tape deck to perform tape to tape recording. So, for every girl who ever ever shed a tear to Richard Marx, "Right here waiting for you" or really believed you were going to marry that guy because you were 15 years old, knew it all, and Bon Jovi had you convinced you were "half way there and livin on a prayer"...this one's for you!!!

Idea #4
Make a compilation of love songs and upload it...or just sing it at the top of your lungs to your sweety. Or better yet...make a mix tape!! Happy Loving!!

PS. The first 5 songs on my playlist are dedicated to those memories...and to Erik!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

McDonalds and rose petals....remember when...

This morning I laid in my bed, tears slipped down my cheeks as my mind flooded with old memories...sweet memories. It's funny how this little "love project" I have taken on has reminded me of so many moments in time between Erik and I.
It was Valentine's Day eight years ago...I worked an evening shift at Dutch Mother's. Erik stopped by to say he was taking the girls to McDonald's for dinner and would have them tucked in bed when I got home. I remember feeling exhausted and hoping not a lot would be "expected" of me when I got home. I opened the door and smiled...rose petals sprinkled all down the hallway, all over the bed, a hundred floated in the bubble bath that awaited me. Music was playing softly, there was a pretty "something" hanging on the towel rack for me to slip into after my bath. A glass of wine sat by the tub and every candle in my house was lit and leading the path to each of those romantic destinations. Anyone who knows me well, knows that's a lot of candles! It was such a sweet night. All the ladies reading this go, sweet. But, my favorite part of the story is when one of the "sleeping" children (Taya, who was just about 3 at the time) snuck into the bathroom while I trying to savour every second of peace and quiet. She said, "Daddy took us to Donalds for Balentine's dinner". I said, "I know he is such a sweet daddy". She told me that first they had to stop and buy flowers so they could help daddy break them all. Break them all? I suddenly realized the moment I was enjoying had just become one I would always cherish. Erik had spent 3 hours in the McDonald's playland plucking rose petals with our girls. I didn't have the heart to tell him that the florist will do that for you for half the price of buying 2 dozen roses and "doing it yourself" or that you could buy a package of 200 faux petals at Michaels for $3.99. I just sat in that tub with all those bubbles and petals and felt so very loved. Taya sat by the tub, swishing her little fingers back and forth in the water whispering (so she didn't get caught by dad and sent back to bed), "do you just love these broken flowers mama?" I did. I loved every one of them. The story got cuter when she told me that all the mommys in the play area started to help her daddy for the big surprise and they think that I got to marry the "Bery Best Balentine!" Even now, there are so many parts of that Valentine's day that I loved. I loved that he shared that moment with our kids and they were so excited helping with the big surprise. I loved that he personally "broke" each one of those flowers for me. I loved that it mattered so much that I remembered it again this morning!

Idea #3
I think I am going to write a "remember when" journal. We have exchanged morning notes back and forth almost every day since we were first married so I can probably convince him to participate. I think it would be so much fun to look back and be reminded of precious moments we gave each other. I doubt he knows how much that day really meant to me. I'm sure there are things I could be reminded of that made him feel really loved as well. I think I will drag out some dating photos and tuck them in there too. Just a book that can go back and forth between him and me. I think I will love "remembering when"...Happy Loving!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Where you've never gone before...

Idea #2
It's time to get out of the rut of going the same places and eating the same things! This might be easier for me to accomplish because I'm in a new city with many choices. But, I could have taken the time when I was in Lynden. With a little time and research given to date planning I am sure I could have dug up some little gem of a place in Whatcom county. I remember about 10 years ago, our friends (Rick and Michelle) got on a "hot wing kick" which we quickly embraced because we loved them too. What began was a year long marathon between the two couples to find places that had the best wings. Those were some of our best dates!! Sometimes alone and sometimes with them. Everytime we went out that's what we ordered...sometimes as an appetizer and sometimes we ordered just the wings and water (probably depended on how much money we had). It was something silly that didn't matter at all at the time, but looking back I realize those were some of our "hottest" dates. It took us to new places...and it was something we didn't do or share with the kids! I think the easiest way to start this date idea is to identify what you are going out for. It might be peach cobbler found somewhere between here and Seattle, it might be a great coffee place downtown Bellingham where you most certainly won't run into other people you know, or maybe it's finding the best Italian in all of Canada, for other's it could be a night of dancing at Big Lake Bar and Grill that they stumbled upon (you know who you are...and now everyone is looking up where that is on the plan to see them there...LOL)!! What I love about it is this is a date that can be done on $10 or less. Until we moved, it was always Black Forest or Pad Thai...both my faves...both are awesome. But, I am of the mindset that being adventurous is sexy. Finding someplace new that you love that makes you feel like only the two of you know about it is romantic! Happy loving!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Rated "R" for Romance!

Valentine's Day is not my favorite holiday. I prefer carnations or daffodils on a random Tuesday in October over a dozen roses that cost way to much on Feb. 14th. I prefer days that matter to just us and not the rest of the world...unless they are celebrating with us, like birthdays or our anniversary. The only exception to that rule is Mother's day, that is one holiday that needs to be celebrated and done up right!!! LOL! However, I do love romance. When I was little my mom used to say every bone in my body is romantic! I love crying at super romantic movies. I love giving and receiving thoughtful little gifts and notes. I love romantic exchanges that only Erik and I know about (private nicknames, inside jokes that only we'd laugh at, little moments we will never forget, etc.) and love that other couples share those same little things that make their marriages unique. In that spirit, I thought it would be fun to celebrate love, romance, marriage from now until Valentine's Day. I will try to post (daily) a little idea that I have done or will do between now and then. I would love it if you would do the same (by leaving a comment). Let me know if you have done something romantic worth passing along and letting another gal take the glory for...or you are super shy your post could read something like this, "I have never tried this for my husband...but, a friend of a friend's cousin's co-worker once tried_______....or so I have heard". In which case your idea will be out there and I will totally feel at liberty to claim the idea as my own and get many brownie points from Erik....Happy Loving!!!

Idea #1
This is something that I will do on random days and is a great idea for people who's sweetheart travels for work. Write a little love note and fold it up and then tuck it in his/her favorite jean pocket (in our case work jeans) or coat pocket...something you know they will wear soon. It's easiest to do during laundry or packing and just a sweet little gesture that doesn't cost a dime...and it has a bit more sweetness factor then the traditional note on the counter that reads, "please take out garbage, pick up milk and have so much fun at the job you can't stand going to!"

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Letting Go and Hanging On...

I think I have cried more in the last few days than all the tears combined since we moved. I knew I would cry when my family left...I always do. Last night when I was fb (facebooking) Amber I said it's not missing Lynden... it's missing people. Because I love it here and I love the people I am here with. Having Erik and Lanie in the same place doesn't get much sweeter than that for me! The day mom and dad left was the day the girls started school. Taya was so excited she could hardly contain herself. Brielle was so anxious and nervous we were having to watch all the exits for fear she would bolt! And I felt like in the matter of 2 hours my emotions were all over the map and back again and I had let everyone go. I was such a wreck that the school secretary was bawling too as she walked Erik and I to the door. She assured me that I had done well for the girls, in that when she moved to Calgary and her children started school she didn't wait to walk away before sobbing! I cried all the way home...had a 2 hour nap...and woke up to cry some more. I called mom and to tell her, "I'm having a huge day of separation". Kim was headed to the hospital to be induced. And where was I...not there...I have always been there. Between Tuesday and today all I seem to think about is how do I let go and hang on at the same time? I don't want to just be a memory or forgotten, I don't want to be selfish or jealous. I want my best friend to have other best friends and to not be lonely. But, I want to be there when she has her baby...because she was there holding my legs up when I had mine. I want to be among the very first to hold that sweet baby girl and know that she will know me and know how much I love her, I want to know she will love coming with Aunty Cher on girl dates, that she and Demi will be best friends. I want Kim to know that this kills me to not be there. I want Erik to know I am so thankful to be here with him...and so thankful that he even offered to put me on a plane because he could see how hard it was to go through that moment. And, I would love any advice on how to let go and how to hang on. I think I do a much better job hanging on....

Thanks for going in my place mom and dad!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Birthdays, Bff's and Baking....

This week was the best!! Aunty Penny and "Aunty Lorelei" (my cousin) came to Calgary for a girl getaway. I have always loved my time with them...but this time, although short was just so special. We laughed, we cried, we vegged, we baked, we solved the world's problems in our pj's, we shopped, and we stayed up way too late!! We celebrated my birthday...they spoiled me. The thing I love about my Aunty Pen is that she has this knack for making me feel celebrated always...not just on my birthday. I always enjoy Lor. She is easy going, fun, gentle and smothers our girls with attention and affection and they adore her! Our home got busier and bubblier once Nana and Papa arrived with one of Brielle's bff's (best friend forever) Maddy. After a loooooooong drive, (due to the pass being closed) they had arrived and our home felt like Christmas!! We made a bunch of appetizers, special k bars and played vanishing whist. Dad and Erik took the kids sledding and we were able to share the parts of our life that we are so enjoying about living in Calgary with people that mean so much to us. For my birthday, mom and dad took us all out to Chili's...nummy food and lots of laughs. Then, mom and Lan and I chatted into the wee hours. Then came the goodbye, which doesn't ever seem to get easier. I just want to tell our family how grateful we are for their support, for the visit and for being such wonderful friends to us. Thank you for being here to share my birthday. Thank you for making the trip. We are so blessed. We missed you before you left...we can't wait for the next time.
PS. We have great pics that I will add once we get our computer fixed...check back!

You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them. ~Desmond Tutu

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

You either love it or hate it....

Rice pudding...and I absolutely love it! It reminds me of my childhood. It is creamy and comforting and cheap to make. Does anyone have a good recipe?? I would love one that goes in the crockpot, but will take any versions that are your family favorites and are tried and true recipes. Will only write a review if you want to hear about it. Otherwise I will make it and eat quietly on my own (probably while watching the biggest!)

A New Year...

If ever there was a year I was happy to leave behind at first thought it would have been 2008. In many ways, it was by far my hardest so far. And then upon reflection, I think back with my rose colored glasses (I'm known to wear them more often than not) and find much more good than where my first thoughts took me. 2008, was a year that changed me. I was sad, hurting, and broken...but I was also strong, deep and courageous. I traveled, I worked, I mothered, I laughed, I loved and was loved, I cried, I moved, I forgave and was forgiven. There were many days when it felt like "it only hurts when I breath" and other days where something (most often my children) took my breath away. My year started with me leaving Erik and ended with me finding that there isn't anyone else in the world I would ever want to love. If I had to take one thought with me into a New Year (any new year really) it would be to forgive. I have always felt maybe it came eaiser to me than to others...but maybe because I have always felt that when I needed forgiveness how horrible it would be to be denied it. One of my favorite verses from the last year was Lamentations 3:22,23 “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; 23.they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

Some other quotes I thought were good...

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. ~Martin Luther King, Jr

We read that we ought to forgive our enemies; but we do not read that we ought to forgive our friends. ~Sir. Francis Bacon

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. ~Mahatma Gandhi

Most of us can forgive and forget; we just don’t want the other person to forget that we forgave. ~Ivern Ball

"If we really want to love we must learn how to forgive"
“People ask me what advice I have for a married couple struggling in their relationship. I always answer: pray and forgive. And to young people from violent homes, I say pray and forgive. And again even to the single mother with no family support: pray and forgive”. ~ Mother Teresa