Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Wednesday Woes!

I'm having a day filled with 'working mother's guilt'. I try to not let it sneak in, but there are days when it's hard! It all began at 6:00 this morning. I woke the kids up to get them ready for school. Caleb loves getting a bath every morning so I had the water running to fill the tub. I brought him into the bathroom so that he could get his bath. Right away, he said he wasn't feeling very well. I thought maybe he was just tired, so I told him to jump in and he would feel better. I started getting everyone else organized for the day. Caleb got out of the bath, got dressed and layed down on the couch. I went to check on him, and once again, he said he was sick. I felt his head and he didn't have a fever. I knew that work was going to be crazy busy today and didn't have anyone to stay home with him. I just said that once he got to school, he would feel much bettter! As I thought he was just extremely tired, I assumed that once he got to school, and was with his friends, he would be fine. I was out the door by 6:55 to have the kids on the bus and never really thought much more about it. I went to work for the day and was preparing myself for our busy evening ahead. Anna had a basketball game, a soccer game, we had to pick up our international student and Matt had to go out with my brother. With that, dinner had to be made and homework completed. I walked in the door at  a quarter to five. Caleb was fast asleep on the couch and he was sooooo sick. Poor boy!!!! I gave him a hug and a kiss. I felt so guilty that I had sent him to school this morning feeling this way. I still had a ton to do tonight so I left Adam at home with Caleb so that I could run Anna to her soccer game. I stayed at soccer with Anna and watched her play. Once the game was over, I rushed home to check on the boys. Caleb was still asleep. I woke him up and gave him a cuddle. I wrapped him in his favourite 'comfy' blanket and sat with him for a while.
While I had a few minutes to reflect on the day, I thought about how much I had missed. I missed staying home with my sick boy, I missed Adam saying a speech and a reading in the speech arts competition at school and getting two sliver medals, I missed Anna playing in her basketball tournament. I hate days when I can't think past the things that made the day hard. As I am trying to focus on the good things that happen on difficult days, I realize that there were many wonderful things about the day. I got to give my kids hugs and kisses today. I got to send them off to school with smiles on their faces. I was able to stand in the rain and cheer my daughter on in her game. I got to come home and listen to my excited son tell me all about his speech arts and how proud he was of himself. I got to snuggle with my sick boy and have some special mom and son time. As a working mom, it can be hard to miss some of these special moments, but I am trying hard to erase the guilt. I go to work each day in order to help the family and support the family. I am a mom first, but sometimes, I have to go to work even though I would love to be doing something with them. I am doing my best to be the best mom I can be!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Birthday Time!

It's Matt's birthday today! 35 years old! Unbelievable! Happy Birthday to you!

It's crazy to me that he's 35 years old today. We met when he was 18 and I was 16. I can't believe how fast time flies. I remember when we first started dating, many people thought it was just young love and just another teenage relationship. So many years later, and here we are! We've celebrated 17 birthdays together...can we really be that old?
Looking back, I remember celebrating birthdays by going camping with a bunch of friends, then birthdays at the bar to celebrate turning 19, and now birthdays with kids running around and a birthday cake. It's so funny the different stages that life brings and how life evolves. I feel so fortunate that we have had the opportunity to celebrate these things together and to experience the different stages of life as a couple. Happy Birthday, Matt!!!!

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Thursday thoughts!

I love Thursdays! Whenever I'm at work, I get so excited when it's Thursday. People sometimes think I'm crazy as I get so excited over a day of the week that's not a weekend day. Thursdays are the best day of the work week, though. I love the anticipation that Thursday's hold. Everyone is excited because it's almost Friday. The end of the week is near. Everyone is looking forward to their weekend plans and activities. You know that you only have one more day of work before the fun can begin!
This weekend should be pretty good! Friday night Anna has dance. Other than that, we'll have a pretty chill evening. On Saturday, we're supposed to go to a fundraiser at our kids school. It's called Monte Carlo Night and we always have a blast when we go. It's actually a pretty amazing set up! A company comes in and sets up a mini casino! You play with play money and can win some awesome prizes!We haven't yet decided though, if we're going to go this year. We're feeling pretty tired and feel like it's just one more thing that we have to go to. Hmmm, I know once we get there, we'll have a blast. Unfortunately, sometimes the work it takes to get there, seems to be too much. We'll have to wait and see what Saturday brings!
Sunday, Matt has to take the van to a friend's house to have some work done on it. I'll stay home with the kids and hang out. We'll all be anxiously waiting for the evening so that we can watch the Canucks game! I can't wait to watch the game!!! So exciting!!!

Sunday, 15 April 2012


We're planning a trip to Disneyland this summer and we're all getting super excited for it! We're pretty fortunate as we've been to Disneyland quite a few times. This year, we're changing it up, by doing a road trip there! Can't wait! As usual, we're going with pretty much the whole family! My parents and my brother will be in one car, my sister and her family in another, and then us. My other brother and his family, as well as my cousin and her family, will be flying and will meet us in Anaheim.
As we get prepared for our holiday, I began thinking of past trips to Disneyland. We always have such a blast when we go. It's tradition for us to all go in together the first day and we all go on Pirate's of the Caribean first. So much fun. We have done one road trip previously, when Adam was four months old. Every other time we've flown. One of our flights was extremely terrifying!!
The terrifying flight began when we were flying home out of LAX. We had had a wonderful holiday and were anxious to get home. Matt and I and the kids were on an earlier flight home than the rest of my family. We were happy that we were leaving early in the morning and would be back home with plenty of time left in the day. We boarded our flight with the three kids. At the time, Adam was 6, Anna was 5 and Caleb was 3. As this trip was the first time that the kids had flown, we had explained to them about turbulence etc. We had explained that sometimes, when you're in the air, it can feel a bit 'bumpy'. The flight there was fine and smooth and the kids truly loved flying!
Anyways, back to the flight home. We were all in our seats. I was sitting with Anna and Caleb  and Matt was sitting across the aisle with Adam. We got comfy as the plane prepared for take-off. The kids loved the feeling of the plane excellerating and lifting off into the air. We were on the incline, maybe about 10 or 15 minutes into our flight, when there was a huge explosion! The plane went sideways and all the power went out on the plane! I was terrifed all the while trying to remain calm for the kids. The right engine, exactly where Matt and Adam were sitting, had blown. There was a horrifying grinding noise coming from under the plane, but other than that, just silence. The passengers weren't saying a word; it was almost eery. The stewardesses came over to where we were sitting and asked Matt if he had seen any smoke or flames. I began praying out loud. I was holding my children's hands just wanting this all to be over. Anna asked me what was wrong. I was trying not to let her know how truly scared I was. I said that there was just a bit of turbelence. She looked at me and said, 'but mom, there aren't any bumps'. It just about broke my heart. Of course there weren't any bumps or turbulence, because at this point, the plane was just a glider. I told her that everything was fine and would be ok. The pilot came on a few minutes later. I'll never forget it. He came over the loud speaker and said, 'we FINALLY have control over the airplane. We'll be turning around and making an emergency landing back at LAX'. I couldn't get off this airplane fast enough. I think this was the closest feeling I've ever had to coming to death. The worst part was sitting with my kids and telling them that everything would be fine, although I really didn't know if it would be. It was heart wrenching to think that this possibly could be it. The plane landed safely back at the airport. There were ambulances and fire trucks waiting on the tarmac. Everyone clapped as the plane came to a stop. As we exited the plane, we shook hands with the pilot who's face seemed white as a ghost. As I walked into the airport, I cried. I was ecstatic to be on the ground again and was so happy that everything turned out well. We ended up staying the day in the airport. We met some wonderful people who were on the same flight as us.  One man brought cookies and drinks for our kids and spent some time talking with us. One person said the only thing that would have made this flight worse for him would have been if he would have had his kids with him. We were able to finally board a flight again later that evening to get home. I was ready to rent a car instead of getting on a plane again. I was a nervous wreck getting on that plane. I'm glad I did though, and am glad that I've flown since. I still have a huge fear of flying, but don't want my kids to have the same fear.


                                          Sitting in the airport after
                                          our scary flight!

I have to say, though, that I'm excited that this time,we're doing a road trip. I can't wait for some new memories to make with the kids! Bring on the holidays!

Monday, 9 April 2012

Just an Average Family

Easter dinner was wonderful and delicious last night. Every holiday, we all get together as a family to join in on the celebration. This Easter was no different. We went to my parents house. By we, I mean me and Matt and our three kids, my sister and her husband and four kids, my brother and his wife and their baby, my other brother and my grandmother. There's always a full house! As I looked around the table and saw us all, I thought about what other people's families were doing and what their conversations entailed. At our dinners, you can guarantee laughter and joking, playing and discussions. One thing for sure is, you're guaranteed some sort of debate. It's sort of like a long standing joke that my brother and I will always get in some heated discussion involving any topic that we feel very passionate about! We don't fight, just debate! I'm sure many families do the same as they sit around the dinner table.
We're very lucky as our family is very close and we do a lot together. It's funny though, because we're all so different! I think maybe that's what makes it so fun to get together!
Looking in at our Easter dinner, you would think that we were just an average family. You'd see my mom and dad, sitting together and talking. You'd see my grandma taking it all in enjoying the time with everyone. You'd see a bunch of children running around laughing and playing, and maybe a fight here and there between the little ones. You'd see husbands and wives, brothers and sisters. A picture of an average family. But what you wouldn't see, by looking in, would be the little quirks that make our family different. You wouldn't know that one of my brothers is adopted. You wouldn't know that one of the people missing at the family dinner, was my other adopted brother. You wouldn't know that one of my brothers has special needs. You wouldn't know the trials, fears, accomplishments  and achievements that our family has gone through that has made us who we are today.
Adoption has been a huge part of our family and I strongly believe that it has played an integral role in the person that I am today. My parents raised foster children in our home as we grew up. Two of those foster children became my brothers! They have been with our family since they were one and two and I couldn't imagine a life without them. They have brought so much to our family. They have taught me how to be empathetic and sympathetic. They have taught me to be patient and understanding. They have taught me the power of love and prayer. They have shown me what it means to struggle and conquer and they have shown me the meaning of excelling in situations where it may seem impossible. I won't get into the details of their childhood before they became a part of our lives, but every day that I see them, they amaze me. My one brother, who was missing at our dinner, would maybe not seem successful or lovable or special, to the outside world. He may look haggard, dirty, unkempt.  But looking beyond that, he is an individual who has been making it on his own for a very long time. He is someone who has survived living on the streets, has held down jobs to pay his rent once he found a place to live. A person who is kind to his nieces and nephews. A person who has beaten the odds and has made it. It may not be the vision of success that modern society expects of someone but he is definitely a success in my eyes.
My other adopted brother, lives at home with my parents. He contributes to the family and is wonderful with my kids. He too, has beaten the odds and made it! His passion in life is swimming and he has done so well with it! Last year, he was chosen to go to Athens, Greece to participate in the World Championships for the Special Olympics! Amazing!!! What an amazing accomplishment. He worked so hard and was rewarded with the incredible opportunity to compete in Athens. Our family was thrilled to say the least. What was even more incredible though, was that he competed and won! He came home from Greece with two gold medals and a silver!!

Wating at the airport to pick him up!
The kids made signs to welcome him home from Greece!

Showing off his medals when he got off the plane!
Proud family!

Growing up, there were many tough situations that involved trying to teach them right from wrong. My parents worked tirelessly to raise them to be contributing members of society. There were many bumps along the way; for all of us. As you look through the window of any family, try and look beyond the four walls and try and see what the family is really like. Get to know their stories, as every family has one. Every family is just an average family, with a few tales of their own.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Late nights!

What a wonderful weekend it's been so far! The sun has been shining and we've been able to get outside to enjoy it!
Thursday evening I got to spend time with a great friend of mine. We've known each other since we were about 4 years old. He came over around 8 or so and stayed till about 2 in the morning...I'm getting to be way too old for those late nights, but it was so awesome! I love when we get together!!! We always have so much to talk and laugh about. We also have a lot to debate about, which I thoroughly enjoy! We have gone through so much together over the years; good and bad.We have so many memories that we get to share together. Memories of the Vega and the Pheonix; the cars we drove in high school. Memories of being little kids and hanging out together at our brother's hockey games. Ski trips, biology class, Math 11 and computer science class. Whenever we talk about the events that happened, it is hilarious!  I remember when Matt and I got married, my friend told me he wouldn't be able to come to our wedding as he goes away each summer to work. I was devastated as he was my best friend and was such a huge part of our lives. I couldn't believe that he was going to miss one of the greatest moments of my life. I remember standing up at the Altar, looking out into the congregation, and there he was! I was so shocked! I remember when we made eye contact, and we both just about started laughing! What a wonderful surprise on our wedding day!!! I don't know if he realizes how special that was and how much it meant to me! I hope that everyone is as fortunate as me, to have such amazing people in their lives!
Happy Easter to all!!!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Just a quick note!

I just have a few moments so thought I'd write a quick post as someone informed me that I've stopped writing!!! Sorry!!! Just have been super busy this week! It's the weekend now... thank goodness for that! It's been a very long week and I'm looking forward to four days off!

Last night Anna had her first game for Spring Soccer. She was very excited to get out and play again and I was excited to watch her play! We all went to the game and she scored the first goal! So awesome! I love how she gets right into the game and fights so hard for the ball. I love watching the competitiveness come out in her. Her team won the game 2-1!

The kids are outside, the sun is shining, dinner is done, laundry is folded....what a great way to start the weekend! I'll get on here tonight or tomorrow to write some more! Thanks so much to everyone that is reading my blog! Love it!!!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Life lessons

There are so many lessons in life that, as a parent, we are responsible for teaching our kids. Some of them are as simple as brushing your teeth, how to do laundry and how to make a basic meal. Many lessons though, are lessons that will help guide them to be the adults that they will grow into. The lessons that we teach them, hopefully, will help them grow into happy, self-sufficient adults with the skills needed to be content with who they are. I decided to make a list of some of the lessons that I hope I will be able to teach my children.

1) Family is Forever-  Family includes the people that you can turn to and trust when you feel like there's no where to go.  Family is a place where there is always forgiveness and understanding. Your family loves you the most and is the place where you don't have to explain yourself. Family will love you when you fail and when you succeed.

2) Honesty and Integrity- Always be honest and tell the truth.  Honour and integrity should be used in any decision that you make in your life, whether big or small. When all is said and done, all you have is your word.

3) Treat people the way you want to be treated- Make sure that you're not so self-centered that you forget to see what's around you. Make sure to think about others and ask others how they are. Remember to treat others with respect and kindness, and you in turn, will receive the same. The world is a big place and you need to be involved. Find passion in something and run with it. Be conscious of people who have less than you.

4) Faith- Always have Faith in God. Faith can help you through situations that may seem impossible. Faith gives you strength and a solid foundation in which to live your life.

5) Have fun- Skateboard, scooter, play basketball, soccer, dance; whatever you enjoy doing, do it! Take advantage of every opportunity you have to enjoy life! As you get older, life can get extremely busy and it is so important to stop and smell the roses! When you have kids of your own, do these activities with them! Get outside and play!

6) Don't be greedy- Please don't be fooled by consumerism and fall into the trap of wanting what's bigger, better, best. Be happy and content with what you have!

7) Be who you are- To my daughter, please don't play stupid or dumb to get attention. Be who you are. Show the world your intelligence, and be proud of it! To all of my children, please don't follow the crowd. It's good to be different and unique and to have thoughts that are your own. Be confident in who you are and have respect for yourself.

8) Modesty- To my daughter, modesty is much more attractive than showing off everything that is yours. Don't be fooled into thinking that in order to get attention, you have to dress provocatively or act inappropriately. You are beautiful inside and out!

9) Etiquette- To my sons, please be respectful to women. Open the doors for them and take your hat off when you enter a room. To all my children, be polite and show your manners. It's amazing how far a simple thank you will go.

10) Beautiful- You are all beautiful children. Anna, you are beautiful just the way you are. You may be told at some point in your life either through advertisements, magazines or the T.V. that you are not thin enough, tall enough or good enough. That is not true. Believe in yourself and be strong in who you are. Adam and Caleb, be good, honest boys and men. Treat everyone well and stick up for the underdogs. Treat your girlfriends well and if you get get married, treat your wife the way your dad treats me.

I am so very lucky to be a mom and I truly hope that I will be able to teach my children these lessons and values! The world is a crazy, wonderful place and I want to ensure that I have provided them with the tools necessary to be happy, successful members of society!