Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Great Scuffle Epiphany of 2013

Scuffles are something my mom has made for Christmas since I can remember. My aunt also makes them. If you are not familiar with them, they are irresistible little cinnamon roll ups of sweet devilish goodness. I started making them a few years ago and because there are one of Jack's favourites I keep trying. You see, my mom and aunt are experts. Their scuffles are always so much moister and more uniformly shaped than my sad little experiments. People, what I am saying is I got big shoes to fill. I haven't even attempted perogies yet. Hold me.

Last year when I lamented at how dry my scuffles were, my mom suggested I bake them at a lower temperature. Guess how I remembered that this year? Not with my spidey senses, oh no, it's because I wrote it on the recipe card. I am magic like that.

I went to yoga after supper and while lying in final resting pose (savasana)I had an epiphany on how to make the shape more uniform. Don't try this at home folks. The last thing you are supposed to be doing in savasana is thinking about what you are going to do later. I am a rebel at yoga. Leah (aka my yoga instructor), don't read that part. Oops, probably should have mentioned that sooner, eh?

Edited - Leah said the following:  "That is what is SUPPOSED to happen.  Clear the crap and clutter in your mind through the postures and conscious breathing. And then a better and more concise thought process occurs. My work here is done."  

Here is what came to me:


So because I can't roll out a uniform circle to save my soul, my epiphany was to make a uniform circle using a plate.  Huzzah!! That way, when I cut the circle into slices like pizza (the prop department failed to take a picture of that part - they are so fired), they are all the same size.  More or less.

It totally worked!  They are much closer to the same size and they are so much moister.

Now if I just hadn't made them with real milk and butter, I could actually eat them.

(Why I did that is a whole other post that involves Jay and I in Jamaica in less than 2 months and wanting to not look like someone spread cottage cheese on the back of my legs.  Stay tuned, I know you can't wait for that.)

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Momma Smack Down


See that?  That is music to my eyes.

The boys received their report cards this past Tuesday. I won't get into details but someone, not mentioning any names, hasn't cracked a book all year.

He still squeaked onto the honour roll.  I have no idea how.  Horseshoes maybe?
And he also failed to meet his reading goal.

He is normally a straight A student.  He hasn't had to work very hard thus far but he's now in grade 7.  Things are getting more challenging and rather than adjusting his study habits (which right now are nil nada none) he is coasting.

This momma laid down the law.

You might think I am being harsh but here's the thing.  This type of work ethic will get you no where fast in life never mind high school and post-secondary education.

Not to mention on my watch, everyone will give full effort.  If you try your best, you are successful. Period. End of story.

You get the picture.

Here is where I have to confess our part in this.  You see this is not all his doing.  Oh no. We are the adults in the household and these adults got lazy.

The hours of screen time had reached an all time high here at Chez Lahti. 

I kept justifying it with the fact that they were doing well in school, were reasonably active and still have friends. No one wants their kids to end up loners who play videos games alone in the basement all day and night.

And it's a constant battle.  The battle of screen time.  Kids today (and adults) are glued to a screen. It doesn't matter which's all the same. We are turning into screen zombies

So the smack down happened. Our boys both have earn screen time now.  They can earn it by reading a book (remember those?), doing homework, physical activity, yard work, practicing piano.

At first they were appalled.  We were the meanest parents ever (we are for the record, and I am cool with that).

However, after almost a week, I am amazed at the change. They are proud of the reading and practicing they have done to earn their screen time and they are self policing their screen time.

And we have had more conversations, more laughs, more time together than we have for a long time.

I was a wonderful wake up call.  It was needed both for us and for the boys.

So we are planning sticking to it.  I hope we do.

Friday, October 25, 2013

In My Head....

I am uneasy and feeling blah for a couple of weeks.   Hormones are likely to blame. I also had a lovely tension headache for about 3 days off and on last week.  Nothing makes you more full of life and happy than a tension headache.

I chose to look on the bright side posting this to FB:

Looking on the bright side is hard when you are on day 3 of a tension headache. But I am. Three things I am thankful for: the wonderful friend who made a massage work for me in her busy schedule (love visiting with you as much as the massage), the GNO with another friend that was FUN and took away the headache temporarily (also the wine, good food and laughs) and the amazing friends my boys have. We are blessed in so many ways. Go ahead and hurt head, you cannot break me.

After some pondering, because that's what I do, I have come to conclude that I need to do some re-evaluating of my goals and aspirations related to fitness but more importantly body image.

I have been inundated with pictures of perfect bodies in barely there bikinis of late and regardless of my own self body image, good or bad, this has been affecting me more than I thought.

I know people who post those pictures do so because they are really proud of what they have achieved, and rightly so, and also because they might inspire others.


When that is what I see, day in and day out and then I look at myself in the mirror, there are two possible outcomes (okay maybe more but I go back and forth between these particular two), I get inspired and work hard to be like them (guess what, I never get there, unattainable much?!).  Or I think for the love of Pete, I look like crap compared to them. I am worthless and hopeless and  I will now eat a tub of ice cream (and you know how bad it is when I will knowingly eat dairy!).

Let me explain.

You all know me and what I look like.

I am a healthy weight and body fat percentage. I am overall a healthy person. I rarely get sick, I get enough sleep and I eat pretty reasonably.

I do not wear bikinis.  I have cellulite. My belly button has been influenced largely (HA!) by the miracle of birthing my two of my three favourite boys in the entire universe.

I have body fat. And here is where I am going to lay it out there.  I am actually supposed to have body fat. And way more than these people in barely there bikinis.

So for my own sanity and healthy body image, I do not need to look like those girls.  And consequently I don't want to see those pictures because it's a vicious cycle of self-loathing.

(Facebook settings are very helpful here.  I like the people, they are awesome. This is about me. And my needs.)

What it comes down to is that I don't need to look amazing in a bikini. Because oh my word are there more important things for me to focus on and my worth is not based (in any amount whatsoever) on how I look in or out of a bikini.

Now if my heart and mind could get together on this, that would be all kinds of perfect.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Running Season - Over and Out

This year, I tried something new for running. I actually trained.

You would think that would be a no brainer.  And I guess I should clarify. I have always "trained" however, what I did was make it up as I went along.  Not the most effective, although it worked to some extent. I finished all my races and I mostly, continually improved.

But this year, I wanted to break through, really put my all into it.  So when a friend mentioned the sub-55 min 10k training plan (by Jeff Gaudette) in the running app I had, I thought, hmmmmmm.  That is a lofty goal.  My personal best (PB) is a good almost 4 min slower than that.  But I could do the plan and shoot to break 58 min.

I mentioned it to my trainer, Dan, and he told me heck yes I could do it.  At that point, I tried to believe but well, I am a healthy pessimist at heart.

In May I had raced to a time of 59:45 or so and that was good, really good for me.  I hadn't worked too hard yet and I already was close to last year's PB.  And I felt good during the race.  It was one of the good ones, where quitting isn't even something that passes through your mind.

Sometime at the end of May I began the training plan.

And as the workouts were completed and I was meeting the pace requirements, I started to believe that yes, I could actually shoot for a 55 min 10k.

Fast forward to early September and we ran our relay race for the Queen City Marathon.  My leg was supposed to be 11k.  I ran and felt amazing the whole way and according to my timing device I was at 54:58 at the 10k mark.  I finished my leg in 60:36.  I was beyond happy.  On a high for a week or so.

Until I talked to a friend who ran the same leg.  Her phone said it was only 10.7k.  I know that my timing device (quit putting stupid random links in my post Blogger!)  tends to overestimate the distance (it said 11.06k), but really?  By almost 400m?!

That deflated me a wee bit because I didn't quite achieve the pace as I had thought.  Time to get back to work and finish the training for Oct 5 10k race.  That one the distance was fixed. The time is published.  This was the goal race.  And I still had work to do.

The other huge piece to my training plan has been nutrition.  My trainer has been working with me on macronutrients.  He gives me set amounts of carbs, protein and fat (the good kind) to eat each day.  I have been following his guidance since early in the summer and what a difference. As soon as I got serious about it, the runs became so much easier.  Less sucking wind and swearing in my head, more you are doing it, just keep pushing, it's hard but you got this.

Yesterday was the day.  The one I had been working so hard for all summer long.  I logged between 20 and 30 km a week running 2-3 times a week. Speed work , tempo runs and long slower runs with increased speed at the end. I was more ready for this race than any other race I have ever entered.

I am foreshadowing here.  Do you see where I am going?

I believed. I could do this.  I felt like I held myself back a bit during the QCM race. This time, I was going for it.  I was all in.

Jen came in the night before to run the 5k and we had dinner together and visited.  It was great, I haven't seen her in too long.


In the morning, we headed out. I was a bundle of nerves (did I put enough pressure on myself or what?) but we arrived and jogged to the bathroom.  Jen commented that she was just getting nervous and noted I was probably calm. I said yes, as soon as I get here and start warming up, I calm considerably.

I said good luck to Jen and lined up at the start.  As I was waiting, I see friends, Leah (friend, massage therapist and yoga instructor) and her partner. They were shooting for sub 60 min so when the gun went off, I took off.  I felt good, I was running fast.  It was great. I was breathing well and I felt good. (Guess what my trainer told me to do? start slow and build.  He's usually right. But did I listen? Oh no.)

Then I hit 3k and I started thinking, shit.  What is up?

I started sucking wind.  Bad.  My problem has never been that my legs get tired, it's that I can't bloody breathe.

I slowed slightly, trying to get myself together.  Somewhere just before 4 k I see this girl in pink beside me and she glances at me a couple of times. I thinking what is your issue chick, pass me and leave me be.

Then I hear her say, "She must be in the zone"

I finally look and guess who it is?  The friends I left at the start (she was in red but I saw pink, I think that says a lot about how in my head I was).  Uh huh.  Apparently I was very gracious and welcoming and was all like, "Oh. Hi."

She asked me how I was feeling.  She knew.  She noted later that she didn't think it was a good thing that they had caught up to me.

Not good was my reply.  So what does she do?  She goes into yoga instructor mode and coaches me the entire rest of the race.  Her and Ahren could have taken off and in fact I told them to more than once, I felt like a complete butt head. Here I trained and shot my mouth off about this goal and I was the one who needs their help.  They had to slow down for me. Later Ahren commented that you never leave a man behind. But it was a race I said, leaving a man behind is so fair game!

I am very grateful for Leah because she pushed me harder than I had it in me yesterday to push myself.  I had to walk multiple times to catch my breath and get my breathing back...she egged me on. Each time I slowed, she pumped me up.  I didn't always want to hear it. I wanted to quit. I know I wouldn't have even if she hadn't been there but I would have slowed down way  more. She didn't let me, she made me do it even though it hurt like hell.

At about the 8k mark we almost got in a fight.  She egged me up a hill (there were more hills on that route than San Francisco, I swear.  I don't care if we live in the flattest place on earth.  Yesterday the hills were 5x magnified, the bastards) and tried to tell me it was the last one.

I didn't talk much during the race. I just listened but at that point I had to call her bluff.   It SO wasn't the last hill and I knew it. There is another one, just before the entrance to the track we finish on.  It was funny then and it cracks me up now. I was like a four year old child.  It's not the last hill,  I yelled.  Then I walked.  Again.  Because I had used up all my air yelling.  Like a four year old.  I am so mature, it physically pains me.

She nearly kicked me in the butt at that point.

Then I got it in gear.  I thought to myself, you are not going to let this one bad run ruin all the work you did this summer.  It's not going to ruin how far you know you have come.  Suck it up princess and get it done.

By this point, we were close. I could finally see the light at the end of the pain.  When I got to the finish the pain would stop.  And my goal?  It wasn't completely gone. I looked down just as we finished that last bastardo of a hill and my watch said 53min and some seconds.  I was close. I had to do about 400 more meters and I know from training if I kick into high gear, I can do that in just over 2 min. So I could still break 56 min.  That was just what I needed to pull that last bit from deep within me (see Leah, I was listening!). 

We were on the track. That track, for the record, might only be about 300 meters from when we re-enter it and finish (we also start on the track so we do the first 100 meters at the beginning of the race) but it feels like 8 effing miles. I have run  this exact race 2 times before, I know this.

But the finish.  It was. right. there. The pain would stop.

Then Leah decides I need to pass a girl about 15 meters in front of us.  So we do.  God knows where I got that energy from.  Apparently we passed her. I have no recollection of this after I looked up and saw her in front of me. I sprinted (as fast as I could go at this point anyway) and Leah is still cheering me on.  Does she not have to breathe I think?  And also how do I get me some of that because air, it was a deficit for me yesterday for about 40 some minutes of that damn race.

We neared the finish and I hear Jen cheering me on - friends rule the world y'all.

We crossed the finish I stopped my watch and the time read 55:53.

Then I bent over and tried not to die.

My previous personal best was in this exact race last year.  58:43.  I was almost 3 min faster.

That is HUGE.

I am happy. But.  My goal was 55 min and I hate runs that hurt that much. They are mentally exhausting.  I was fighting a cold all week.  Maybe that was it.  Maybe it was how fast I stared out. I don't know what it was and I can analyse it till the cows come home (and I will, don't you worry) but the moral of the story is I had a terrible run. Horrid.  I was at my worst. The pathetic noises I know that came out of me mortify me.  Having a friend there makes my patheticness (what? it's a word, it describes Kami during a terrible run) come out. Alone, I would never make those noises out loud. Terry Lyn will know all about this as she pushed me to a personal best a few years again the same manner. Except that time, I hadn't trained properly.

I had a personal best.  A horrid run that resulted in a personal best.

I have to be proud.  I am working on it.  I'll get there as soon as I stop feeling like a truck ran over me.

The moral of this story is that I am not a natural runner. I have to work four times as hard as say, someone like Leah who could have easily broke 55 min yesterday had she not been an amazing friend and instead helped me. 

It was all worth it.  Reaching a goal is rewarding and the only reason I run.  I may not have quite gotten exactly to the goal I wanted but I did reach a goal. I ran faster because I trained hard (and Leah didn't let me quit on myself - maybe I am self-destructive Jen, I lied).

Mission accomplished.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Kamden takes up Running

*alternate title: this blog has not (yet) shut down for good

Hi! Remember me?  That's okay, I have been been neglecting my blogging hobby something fierce lately both on the writing side and on the reading side.

This used to come so easily to me, this over sharing for more people than I likely should have been sharing with.   For whatever reason, it doesn't anymore.

Anywho, a bit of an update on us, for two of you that might stumble by.

Kamden is in grade 4 this year and it's the first year he is eligible to participate in extracurricular sports.  The first one that came up was Cross Country running. I was pleasantly surprised when he signed up. He has never had any interest in running and the last 5km walk we signed up for resulted in him throwing a tantrum and walking slower than a snail for the entire distance. So he was 5 years old, that's not the point.  Okay maybe that's the point. Whatever.


I went to watch the first race because I wasn't so sure it wouldn't be the last.  It was smoking hot that day and he managed to finish about 36th place or something.  Out of over a hundred kids.  I couldn't have been more proud. He said to me after it was done, "Mom, that was hard. But it will be easier next time, right?"

I didn't have the heart to tell him that no, it would never be easier because you always try to go faster.  Welcome to running, son, you will never be satisfied and will always strive for more.

He has since raced 2 more times and has managed to improve each time. He hasn't mentioned whether it got easier though. I am going to assume, no.

Jay and I were signed up for a night run this past Friday and when I mentioned it, he wanted to do it too. What the hay, I said, it's 5km.  He can do it.

We managed to fit a couple 3.25 km runs in before the race (he was training for Cross Country too).  Race day came and we met up with another couple, Terry-Lyn and Kent, to run.  It was a fun run with no timing chips and it involved "glowing".  We hit the dollar store and were definitely under-glowed compared to others.


I know his eyes are closed but it cracks me up.  This is sooooo him.

Jay stuck with him since the rest of us got separated in the mass of people at the start.  Once we finished (in about 27:22 or so - fastest 5k ever for me - it's been a busy running year, post sometime soon on that) I looked at my phone and Jay had texted an update as to where they were on the course. They were not far from the finish so I started walking back along the course and before I knew it, there they were.

As we neared the finish, the rest of us couldn't keep up to him. He was all about being done already and sprinted in to the finish.

He ran it in about 31 min. Turns out they took a short cut accidentally so the distance was not quite 5k but it was a least 4.5.  Not to mention he only took one walk break (I am in awe!) 26 min into the race.

So so proud of you, Kamden!

Next year, he'll no doubt pass me and I'll eat his dust. I am okay with that though.

To finish, some photos of the cousins on Jay's side. I might be bias but we make ridiculously good looking kids, no? 


The idea for this pose was all Dana's.

And pumpkins because, well, why not?


Till next time, keep fit and have fun!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Meme of Five

I haven't been tagged in a meme in years! But Elaine tagged me and since we just met in person for the first time last weekend, well, I gotta do it.  Elaine lives in Louisiana but came up to Edmonton to visit a cousin. I happened to be in Edmonton for work since that is about 800 km from where I live.  Amazing how that worked out.

(Picture stolen (borrowed?) from her blog. The cute dimpled guy is her son, G.)

List of Fives Meme

Five Things I Have a Passion For

1. Food.  All kinds of it, all the time.  Hence why I workout like a crazy woman. I have to say that I eat far less dessert than I once did though - dairy intolerance takes the joy out of that. I struggle with the balance between eating reasonably clean for health and tying to look like I could be in Oxygen magazine.  One is realistic and the other is not for me. And let's be real, I don't have the will power for the Oxygen magazine ideal.

2. Exercise. Pilates, Yoga, running, weight training.  Any and all.  I love to push myself. I also enjoy helping others in my part time gig as a personal trainer.

3. Photography, though I don't indulge this passion nearly as much as I should lately.

 4. Jay and my kiddos.  They amaze me and give me so much joy every single day and I wouldn't have it any other way.

5. My family and friends. My parents and bro and family rule, my in-laws are pure awesomeness and I have the most supportive and caring friends a girl could ask for.  Time with them is priceless.

Five Things I Would Like to do Before I Die
1. Do something crazy and completely unexpected.  Like move to Bora Bora. Not by myself though, with my family.  Just had to clarify in case Jay thought I was crazy.
2. See my boys grow up to be amazing men.
3. Grow old with Jay by my side.  Maybe in Bora Bora.
4. Move out of our bungalow starter home into a bigger one with a garage. And an office for me that isn't in the basement doubling as a store all the crap that we have no other spot to store.

5. Master the art of public speaking. I have come a long way in two and half years.  My job requires me to lead training sessions of groups of 30-40 people. And I do it.  And no one falls asleep or cringes at my awkwardness more than a couple times through the day.  This is huge. I still hate it with the fire of a thousand burning suns and dread it up until the moment I start.  But maybe that part will never go away.  Either way, I am pretty proud that I have overcome part of the phobia.
Five Things I Say A Lot

1. DUDE!

2. Crap.

3. Shit.

4. I love you.

5. Like.  As in, I, like, oh ma gawd, totally sucked at that.

Related: I am working on my potty mouth.

Five Books and/or Magazines I Have Read Lately
1. Beautiful Creatures Series - second time I loved it so much
2. Life of Pi
3. Our Canada Magazine
4.  um?
5.  random books from the library that I never remember the name of

Five Favorite Movies (maybe you’ve seen them Five times...)
1. Home Alone - the first two

2. A League of Their Own
3. Despicable Me
4. Cocktail - I still want to see a waterfall like the one in the movie.  Maybe when we go to Jamaica in February next year?
5. Cars - I love Owen Wilson and particularly as Lightening McQueen. Oh and Mater, he just plain cracks me up.

Five Places I Would Love to Travel

1. Atlantic Canada - I have been as a kid a couple times but not with Jay and the boys.  We will do this someday.  Soon. 

2. New Zealand and Australia  

3. Jamaica - hopefully Feb 2014

4. Italy - see food above.  And wine.  Mmmmmm

5. Europe though the jet lag scares me. I get it from going to Vancouver!  I am a sleep princess.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Gratitude Squared

Remember when I was waiting a biopsy on my thyroid.  Yeah that was a long time ago, wasn't it?

As I waited for the biopsy, I went through some stuff.  The grouchies would be a mild adjective to describe it.  I offended a few people with a FB post in the process.  Not my best moment but hey, those who have taken the time to get to know me realize that wasn't me and it was a mistake.  Last I checked, we all make mistakes.

The biopsy involved six or seven needles to the throat.  Jay came with me and as usual, was my rock.

It was uncomfortable and sore and all the things you would think but by the next morning, it was all gone.

Then we waited and I kind of forgot that I was waiting to find out if I had the C-word.  For some weird reason, I had more trouble with the time before the biopsy.  I can't explain it other than work has been very busy and it occupied me.  I had no time to think and dwell  and that was a good thing I guess.
Until the day before I was to find out the results. Then I started getting a bit stressed.
Jay again came with me to get the results.  You know for everyone's safety.  As we sat there waiting I could barely breathe.  I had tried to tell myself it wouldn't be a big deal either way.  We'll deal with it. In a strange method to calm myself, I was actually looking forward to a day or two off work to accommodate the surgery.
I know.
You do weird things in these situations. 
The doctor walked in and checked his computer and said those two wonderful words that I wasn't sure I could hear, "It's negative."
And then I stopped holding my breath.
I made it all the way out of the building before I collapsed into Jay's arms in a puddle of tears.
Then I called my mom and we started all over again.


I do not know why I was one of the lucky ones who dodges the C-bullet.  I shake my head still. 
What I do know is that I have so much to be grateful for far beyond this one blip on the radar.  I won't always be this lucky but I will always be grateful for what I have.
Jay.  He brings out the best in me and loves me despite my million and one faults.  I thank my lucky stars every day for that day in June twenty years ago when we met.  
My boys.  They do not know much about any of this other than there was something in my throat being checked.   We didn't want them to worry until there was something to worry about.  I am so glad to be their mom.
My parents.  They are always there when I need them. I couldn't ask for more.
My friends.  You cannot pick your family but you sure can pick your friends and I have some of the best around.
Life is busy and good and I am beyond grateful for every single moment.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Kamden Is Nine

Two days ago, this little blondie turned nine.

(better late than never, right?)


How he went so quickly from that little boy to the cheese ball below, I don't know. That smirk above?  Cute.  And now?

Well let's just say you could never accuse him of not having a personality.

He is funny and smart and full of energy.

Exhibit A:

An end of school drawing brought home on the last day of school noted that "Summer Rocks".  Then he put "Ow, my feet." 

You know, because of the rocks.

Yuk, yuk yuk.  Or hardy har har.

(I didn't get it at first, I must admit)

Smart, Exhibit B, his grade 3 report card. 

And Exhibit C, full of energy.


This kid would play sports all day long every single day.  Not only does he love it but one of his football coaches noted that he was so fun to coach because he takes direction well.  As a parent, that makes me super proud. 

I just wish he would listen to my direction a little better sometimes but we can't have everything now, can we?

(the next paragraph is for the annual photo book - feel free to skip and ignore my blatant bragging!)

He scored multiple touch downs in the flag football season that just ended (parenting fail as there are no photos or video) and as a defender in soccer managed to score a goal in the tournament they played in.  It was a gorgeous goal - he raised to the top right corner.  His coach took off his hat and bowed. Kamden, cool as the cucumber he is acted like he did this on a daily basis. This only served to crack us up.  After we finished screaming with glee.  (We cheer loudly whenever his team scores but because he plays defence 99% of the time, we may have cheered extra loud this time).

Happy Birthday to the kid who never fails to make me smile and make me proud as a Mom!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Happy 12th Birthday Jack!

It's hard to believe that this little guy is now twelve. Twelve.

I kind of miss those glasses but I know he doesn't. 

One more.  He's changed so much yet he still looks like this guy, just an older version.
Dear Jack,
Happy birthday buddy! I know you no longer like to have a huge deal made out of this day but like I told you many times last week, it's a special day and because we love you, we are going to make somewhat of a deal of it. 

I think the cake I made where I accidentally used baking soda instead of baking powder (a whole tablespoon of it) really shows you how much I love you, no? Or maybe it was more when I threw that horrid tasting cake out and made a new one?

Thanks for helping me with the second one to make sure I got it right.

You are growing up to be a really great person.  You are kind and loyal and quick to hug your mom.  I like that, you know.

This year brought you new challenges.  Your first reaction to something new is usually that you would rather not try it, thankyouverymuch.

I know this is part of who you are and you can't change it any more than you could change the size of your nose. I get that.

I also know, from my considerable years of experience (cough, cough) that as your mom, I can't let you sit everything out because of this gut reaction.

You and I came to heads on this a couple of times this year.  One resulted in this:


That's you at the ski hill having the time of your life. The reason? Because you tried it, even though you didn't really want to and because you tried it, you found out you love it.
No, I don't get tired of being right, why do you ask?
And then yesterday, there was an outdoor ed trip with school. Again, you didn't want to go but mean old mom made you. I knew parts of it would not necessarily be your thing but I also knew you would have fun most of the day.
So yeah, sorry about that getting swamped in the canoe thing first thing in the morning, I didn't foresee that, I promise.  You handled it very well and Dad and I are so proud of you.  You could have thrown your hands up and said, "See Mom, I told you this would suck!".  Instead you changed into your swim trucks and had fun.
Growing up
It's been a great year, dude.  Academically you continue to excel.  You work hard at school and while most things come easy, you still put in a full effort and do all your work on time. 
You have a great group of friends. You chose well there, kiddo. Good friends are a gift to be treasured. As you know, not everyone is as kind, fun and generous as your group of guys.
Your Dad and I couldn't be prouder of who you are.  We love you and are privileged to walk by your side as you grown into the man you will become.
Love Mom and Dad

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Insert Curse Word Here



It's been an interesting few days, can I start there?

I opened this page to start writing this hours ago.  This is kind of hard.

I'll start at the beginning.

I was born.

Oops, that might be a bit too far back.

About a year ago, at a regular appointment, my doctor found a lump on my thyroid.  My thyroid is next in line for my body to attack since it has already annihilated my ovaries. So he's been watching it's function for probably two years now.

I was a bit concerned but discussed with a friend and she said she had one too.  I was scheduled for an ultrasound 6 months from that date so I forgot about it and moved on with life.

6 months later, I go for the results of the ultrasound and received confirmation that yes, there is a growth.  Tears form in my eyes at this point.

He went on to tell me that it's very small, 1 cm (or maybe he just told me it was 1cm and I inferred small?!) and that the chance of, gulp, cancer, is only 5%.  At that point, there would be no biopsy and we would do another ultrasound in 6 months. If it grew, it was biopsy city.

I went out to our brand new Pilot (we had only had it for about a month at that point) called Jay to tell him the news. I thought I was okay. I still swear I was fine. 

It's called denial or shock, people, trust me you don't even know  you are doing it.
I guess denial is the right word then....

I hung up with Jay and backed up to head home.  And backed into a parking divider that was about 3 ft high.  Shit.

Good thing the Pilot is equipped with a back up camera, no?  Apparently it only works if you actually look at the display screen.  Who knew?

I didn't even stop to assess the damage, I drove home cursing in my head the whole way at already wrecking the new vehicle.

I got home and checked.  I only broke the plastic cover over the hitch. WHEW.

I was upset for a day or two and then just sort of put it out of my mind.  Again, denial.  From the outside, you are all thinking, how? Why? What is wrong with you?

Trust me, I would think the same thing. Turns out when it's you, you deal with things in strange, not necessarily rational, ways.

I told only a few people, maybe 3, and then never talked about it again.  This is weird for Kami who has taken over sharing to new levels in various other aspects of her life.

And now she's talking in the third person.  God help her now!

Fast forward to last week and I had the second ultrasound follow up appointment.  The day before I read this post by Angella about her friend recently diagnosed with, you guessed it, thyroid cancer. 

No, I didn't freak out at all.  (bold faced lie)

The week before, during the ultrasound, I had a bad feeling.  Then this post was like a sign.  I arranged for Jay to meet me at the appointment.  You know for the safety of the Pilot and everyone in a 50 feet radius of me behind the wheel.

The first thing the doctor checked was the results of the blood work and he remarkeds that my thyroid function is completely back to normal (it had been mildly low previously) and that I didn't need him anymore (Endocrinologist).

Say what?

"WHAT ABOUT THE LUMP?" I asked politely.

Did you have an ultrasound he asks?

(And doctors wonder why we question their abilities. Seriously, do you not have my file right there? Do you not review said file before you come in to talk to me?)

"YES." I reply politely. Last week.

(Do people with cancer or those who might potentially have cancer still have to be polite?  What? It's a valid question, isn't it?)

"Oh, yes, and they, and I, recommend a biopsy."


"Oh, did it grow?" I ask.

"No, but they, and I recommend a biopsy."

By they, I assume he means the radiologist that would have reviewed the ultrasound. And I kind of love how he had to add his own little shout out there each time too.

(he's fine, I am just being snarky)

This is where shock sets in. I had no reaction other than confusion that we now had to have a biopsy even though there was no growth in the growth (say that five times fast).

(is it really evident that I use humour to deal?)

We leave, Jay ensures I don't run over anything on the way out of the parking lot after hugging me and just being overall awesome as usual and I head home.

I try to work. 

Text my mom.  Text Jay ongoing as he keeps me from losing my shit all over the place.

I won't lie.  I had a couple of really really rough days. Tears were common place.  The whole feeling of I can't believe this is happening to me alternating between relax, this is a minor thing, it's treatable and you don't even know if you have it yet.

It was exhausting.

I found it hard to break the news and actually still have only told a handful of people, and those that I told, I did over text.

It was easier.  We all deal in different ways and I am taking the approach that this is what works for me.

I wanted to blog about it Friday but I think it's good that I waited. I was too raw, too emotional then.

I have come a long way since then thanks to the amazing people in my life.  I have to admit that being the one receiving the words of encouragement was hard for me. It's much easier being on the other end.

Thank you, I love each and every one of you and am so thankful you are in my life.

By Saturday morning I was feeling much better.  As I ran up the hill during boot camp, I came to the conclusion that my body is strong and it can do this.  If I have to fight cancer, I'll take this kind and I'll fight with all I have.

Now I coast waiting to hear when the biopsy will be. In the meantime, I will be living life, working out and eating clean (ish)  and loving on all the amazing people in my life.


Wednesday, May 08, 2013

14 Years!!!

Fourteen short years ago today, I finally got to walk up the aisle and make it official with this guy.

14 years baby!!!
I love the pure joy on my face.  No cold feet here! And also it may have felt like a short fourteen years but damn if we don' look like young 'uns here. Not that we look old now, just older, more refined, like fine wine.  Or something.
Jay, the time has flown by and I couldn't ask for a better best friend, husband and father to our boys.  You exceed my expectations daily.  I have to constantly check myself so that I don't take you for granted.  I know how lucky I am, truly.

If I am half of what you are to me, to you, I call that success. 
Anniversary Dinner
I wish for another 50 years just like the last fourteen. With you by my side, life is not just good, it's amazing.
Birthday family
Kamden and the cheesy smile, oh how I love it.  And I should really dust off the real camera because these phone pictures are sub par at best and yet, still better than no pictures at all.
Happy Anniversary my love, you are truly my one and only forever and ever amen.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Do Bullies Know They Are Bullies?

Wednesday April 10th is Anti-Bullying Day or some such thing. The intent, I think, is to raise awareness of an issue that is as old as humans. Because humans can be real jerks, you know?

The kids were talking about it at breakfast today since Jack's class is participating in a flash mob this afternoon. I am also currently reading, for the second time, "Nineteen Minutes" by Jodi Picoult and said out loud,

"I wonder if bullies know that they are bullies?"

Both boys looked at me like deer in the headlights.  Oh dear, here she goes on another one of her rants....

In the book, a 17 year old boy, does the unthinkable and goes on a shooting rampage in his school.  He was also the object of much torment on a daily basis (from his older brother among many others).  I don't condone what he did but I do think a lot about what nobody else did before this happened.

No one stopped or even tried to stop the humiliation that went on daily for this poor kid.

This is a fictional book, but let's be honest, we all know of or were someone who was treated the same way. In grade 11, I moved to a small town and saw this first hand.  And saw teachers who either didn't see it, ignored it, or basically participated in it.

It made me sick, and still does.  But I did what every coward does, I ignored it. I hope I never laughed, I certainly never found it funny.  I wish I would have had the courage to stand up and say what I really thought. I can say it now, but it is way too little, way too late.

"Stop, you jerk.  You are not funny and it's actually quite sad how little you think of  yourself.  Only people who have no self esteem themselves need to belittle others to make themselves feel better."

I am also very certain that I exhibited some pretty mean behaviour over the years and pretty sure that at the time, I didn't much care if I was being mean or not. Hopefully I learned from my mistakes but I am still in the learning process so....

My point, and I do have one, I think, is that Anti-Bullying day is great and wonderful but does it serve any purpose?  Do kids or adults who exhibit bully-like behaviour recognize that about themselves? Do they know they are a bully?

I sincerely doubt it.  And if they do, do they really care? I think by definition, a bully is someone who lacks compassion for others or they wouldn't be a bully in the first place, would they?

I wonder if wearing pink. making posters and dancing in a flash mob with your class will really has any impact at all on reducing this kind of behaviour.

My theory is that the fault lies in what we are teaching our children.  Justifying their behaviour with comments like, "Oh he's just being a boy" or "They are just having a little fun" are likely the real problem.

I am big believer in ensuring our boys see the consequences to their actions.  Hurting someone else is never okay especially where that was the intention.

The story, "Nineteen Minutes", is told from the perspective of the kids and parents of those who were shot as well as the boy who did the shooting and his parents.

I don't want to be the parent of either of those kids because both are equally heartbreaking.

During the trial, the boy who did the shooting makes an astute observation after hearing one of the boys who tormented him for years claim under oath, after being shot and seeing his friends die, that he was just having fun when he did all those horrid things to the shooter. 

He observed how little things had changed despite how much things had changed.

How poignant.  And I think it proves my point.  Yes, I know the book is fiction but I happen to think it's pretty dead on reality.  If getting shot isn't enough to make a bully recognize he's a bully, then a little pink and some posters sure as hell ain't gonna.

Don't get me wrong, awareness is a good thing,  I just don't think it's enough.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The one where Kamden threw snow at me....

Sport Mart closing out sale. All this for $178!

Yes, another post on skiing. It's exciting for this family, what can I say. We have been slowly accumulating our own equipment on sale. A sporting store was closing out and we scored all of the below at 70% off. A steal of a deal.

Jay and I still need skis and a local ski shop was going to be at a hill in MB with their demo skis this past weekend so we took a trip.

Russell Inn
It's a three hour drive so we drove up the night before and stayed in the adorably adorned hotel that screams Prairie alpine village.  What?  I'll let you figure that out.
We swam and slided and then had treats before bed.  It was a fun night.
In the morning we headed to the hill.  A hill with more than three runs we could do! We were excited.
We did a few runs and then headed to grab some skis to demo.  We strapped them on and headed to the chair.
That's where things went a bit awry.  It's a quad chair so all four of us were able to ride together.  This was not the first kick at the can as we had done a few runs already but something didn't go as planned and just after our skis left the ground I realized Kamden was not sitting on the chair but rather being pushed by it.  I grabbed his coat with one hand and decided there was no way I could pull him up.
Snow Plow
Rather than hanging on to him longer and potentially meaning he would fall further, I let  go.  Don't ask why I didn't try to, you know, use two hands. I can't even remember my thought process beyond this.
The lift operators took him into the little hut and let us know they would keep him there till we returned.  So we rode up and skied our butts down as fast as we could. I am sure it was an eternity for him.
I knew he would be upset.  I had a similar incident as a kid only my dad fell off too. On top of me.  Apparently I was less that pleased by this and naturally blamed it all on my dad.
I expected no less from Kamden.
on the slopes
First he hugged me and cried.  Then he fell onto the snow and ....
not so much of a snow plow now

Threw snow at me.

Yes, he threw snow at me.  I think he beat my reaction..  Pretty sure I just yelled or gave the look 'o death. 

I can't stop laughing about it.  I totally get why he was so upset.  And I couldn't be prouder that he got back on that lift and skied the rest of the day with a smile on his face.

Of course I was holding onto him with a vice grip the next eight times we loaded onto the chair, just in case.

And then, just because that wasn't enough fun, I accidentally took Jack on a black diamond run.  In my defense, it was not that difficult and in my opinion more of a blue run.  Jack hated it.  It was like he knew it wasn't the blue run I thought it was.  Later we figured out we turned left one run too soon.  Oops.  I guess he can cross that off his bucket list, you know, the one he wouldn't make in a million years because he's not the adventurous type.

Amazing family memories that have to be documented for future laughs.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

It's Official, Skiing is our Sport

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that we took the boys for their first downhill skiing experience.

It was all in preparation for a school trip Jack was making.  He was anxious about it and in usual fashion for a kid who is not keen to try new things, he didn't even want to go.

In an attempt to forgo the lifelong commitment to this adage (because are you kidding me? Life is too short not to try new things!), we were making him go.  To ease his fears, we took both boys a couple weeks before the school trip so he would have some experience under his belt. We had a semi-private lesson for an hour and within that hour, both boys were turning nicely.  We skied the rest of the afternoon in the bitter cold and called it a success.

A few weeks later, Jack wanted to go again so we loaded up and headed out. This time we brought one of Jack's friends too.  He had tried snowboarding on the first school trip and wanted to try skiing.  We had about a half hour before the lesson so I took him through the basics and by the time the instructor arrived, all three boys were ready to head up the chair for more of a challenge.

Jack and his friend were good to go, no issues.  Kamden gets very nervous when we add a bit of a steeper incline.  He was not impressed with the whole situation.  I believe the words, "I HATE this" were uttered on more than one occasion.  A sport he doesn't like, who knew?
So we sent Jack and his friend for one more run with the instructor and Kamden went in for a break.  Then we tried again and it was no better.  And finally he had had enough and Jay took him back to the bunny hill while I skied with the older boys off the chair.  We even did a blue run and they both rocked it.
Kamden, "hates skiing."  Reminds me if me when I learned as a kid. I owe my parents big time.
I am not worried.  He'll get there.  I was the same when I started.  Ornery and mouthy and angry.  I was also five and missing my two front teeth.  My parents laugh about it now (and probably then too - picture a toothless five year old yelling!) but I guess I'll add that to the tab of a million things I owe them for.
You know that Joe Pesci Snickers commercial?  That pretty much sums it up, just replace hungry with skiing.
A blue run
On Wednesday he went skiing again with the school and came home asking when he could go again.
On Saturday we checked out our local ski shop and scored helmets at a steal of a deal.  Jack (and maybe me too) were so excited about the new helmets, we had to head out to the hill Sunday to try them out.  Kamden had soccer and was more than relieved he didn't have to go.  Jack and I headed out for the day.
Me and Jack
We had a great day together.  He tried to pull his stuck in a rut routine (he is by nature, extremly habitual) by doing the one and only green run (it's a small resort) over and over but I wasn't having any of that.  And after one mild protest, he agreed that we would mix it up with a blue run every now and then.  It helped that it was easier to get to the lodge from the blue run than the green run.  
He had a smile on the whole day.  My heart was nearly bursting.
A sport he likes? That he is already talking about doing again this weekend?
We hit the jack pot (pun not originally intended but ha....).
I am equally excited.  I am not sure if it's because I have always loved skiing (true story) or because he is so excited about it. I think it's a combination of the two.
I was teasing him by asking if I looked like some of the pros we would see from the lift and he was polite but firm, "Mom, you are good, but not that good."
Naturally I made him video me so I could see for myself.  He's right.  I am not bad but I am no professional. And my stop made me laugh out loud.  Videos of both myself and Jack are here if you are so inclined.
We are scoping out equipment and have booked a hotel near Panorama, BC over New Year's next year. Grams and Pop may even come, it's been years since they skied and it's about time.
We are going to be a skiing family! Kamden is overjoyed.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Valentines

I have three very important men in my life. This post is for them because I don't think it's possible to tell those that you love how important they are to you often enough.

My oldest son, the one who first made me a mother.

Growing up

He's now 11 years old. Technically 11 and half. His teachers have always raved about his behaviour at school. He has been awarded student of the month every year since Kindergarten. This couldn't make his Dad and I more proud.

He is smart. He can do math in his head at a rate that surpasses my ability by about 100 times. He can also remember just about everything he has read and is full of interesting facts. He amazes me daily with this ability.

He is also very responsible and ensures he gets his school work done at school on time. Almost always. When he forgot last week, we couldn't even be upset. It was literally the first time ever. At home, he gets his chores done, almost always without complaining (he's not perfect after all) and helps out where he can.

He loves his brother fiercely. So fiercely that we have to sometimes remind him that Kamden is his own person and doesn't want to spend 24-7 with him. Their interests are diverging more and more as they grow and it's been hard to watch that struggle. They want to spend time together but agreeing on what they will do is not always easy.

I tell him I love him more than once a day and he always responds, "I love you too." I will never, ever, get tired of hearing that.


He is growing up pretty damn nicely despite my feelings of inadequacy as a mother. I am so lucky he is my son. He has taught me a lot and I have grown as a person because of him.

and then he went and did this on Valentine's Day:

After our family supper out, he went down and made this. I may have had something in my eye when he gave it to us.

This was after our family dinner out and the cards Jay pickted out for each of them.  He disappeared downstairs to my office and made this on the computer.

I cried.  Clearly we are doing something right.  Or despite what we are not doing right, he's turning out right.  Either way?  Score.

And then there is this guy. Who came along and showed us just how different two boys that come from the same gene pool could be.


He is easy going, silly, and loud. Case in point, the following video.

He specifically asked me to video him doing this and to post in on Facebook. How could I not?

He is all about soccer, football and mini sticks and would play any combination of them all day, everyday, if his brother had any interest in playing with him.

His antics have us laughing daily.  It's really hard not to love this kid.

He is also doing very well in school.  Math is his thing, he loves it and is very good at it.  He has also been awarded student of the month each year since Kindergarten.  Again, how could we be more proud?  It's one thing to have kids who do well in school.  It's quite another to have them recognized for their behaviour.  Now if they could save some of that behaviour for home, we'd be golden.

 I tell this guy I love him just as often as Jack but he only responds when he is very tired and forgets that the mushy stuff just isn't for him.  It's okay dude, I know you do.

And then there is Jay.  The one who walks beside me in this life.  This wonderful life we have the privilege of having together.

My Man
This summer, it will 20 years since we first met and became inseparable.  A little over half my life.  Thank you isn't adequate. 
He is my strength, my balance and ever present support.  I can only hope I am the same for him.
To borrow from one of our wedding songs (and his email to me this  morning):
I couldn't find another man
Who loves me like you do
I couldn't hold another hand
Who holds me quite like you do
Such a love was heaven-blessed
Couldn't find another man

Every day, I love him just a little bit more and cannot fathom how I got so damn lucky.

Happy Valentine's Day!  May each of you have love, hugs and a little chocolate today and every day of the year.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Taking Winter by Storm

We've been busy. Kamden developed a new dance, patent is pending.

And don't worry, neither the floor nor Kamden were injured in the making of this video. Also, this kid, I just can't imagine our family without him.

My parents (and their dog, Mika) joined us a couple weekends ago to watch Kamden play in a soccer tournament.  They met the same team in the final as the last tournament but this time, Kamden's team won.  It was, to say the least, very exciting. The parents were, ahem, a little bit excited during all of the games.  The boys played so well and it was a proud moment when they won.
And life around here is pretty entertaining on a daily basis (related: I love that I get to work from home and be here for these moments).  This is a snap of the boys antics as they head off to school after lunch one day.

School antics
Pretty much a normal day around here.  Again, I assure you, no one was injured (this time) in the making of the above photos.
This past weekend was very exciting for me.  I have hoped for a long time that I could get the boys to strap on the boards and careen down a hill.  Wait, that didn't come out right.  Let me start again.  My parents made me strap them on when I was the ripe old age of 5.
Ahem.  That was no better was it?
Anyway.  I skied all through my childhood, starting when I was 5.  Living on the Prairies, we had to travel to the Rockies to ski but we did, annually.  I loved it.
I have put it off because Jack, well, let's just say trying new things is not an exciting experience.  But he has to go with school in a couple of weeks so... this past weekend, we braved the minus 35 degree Celsius (that is not a typo) temperatures and headed to a hill about 45 min away. It's no mountain but about perfect for beginners.

I had arranged for the boys to take a lesson as soon as we arrived. I might know how to ski but I was five when I started, I don't remember much about how I learned to ski.  I do remember skiing between my dad's legs and him drawing S's in the snow in the futile effort to get me to turn rather than going straight down (now you see why my dad caged me in!).
ack, they are on skiis
They both caught on very quickly in and in about 5 runs down the bunny hill had mastered the snow plow and were sort of turning.
getting the feel of things
And can I just say, T-bars, thank be to heavens they are obsolete.  This magic carpet system is the cats ass.  I cannot tell you how many times I fell off the T-bar making my brother have to also get off because he couldn't leave me behind.  I still owe him for that and about 10,000 other things.
Going up

And Jack, the one who was a bit frighted to try skiing took to it like a fish to water.  He loved it! Being the good mom that I am, I reminded him that I was right about that.  I am mature like that.
 Kamden liked it too but the poor kid takes after me and was frozen within a half hour.  We took lots and lots of warm up breaks and after I put those Hot Shot thingys in his ski boots to keep his toes from becoming ice cubes, he was having a blast too.
We even went up the chair once but um, that didn't go too well so we stuck to the bunny hill for the rest of the afternoon.
I was soooo proud of both of them for trying so hard and braving the ridiculous cold.

Happy Skiing
I can't wait to go again and maybe old man winter's fury will be a bit less next time.