Sunday, December 4, 2011

Shirley Temple

Dave is really good at winning things. He wins games. He wins at jeopardy when we watch it. He wins whenever we play 21... in fact one time he told me that he hasn't lost that game since like 1995 or something like that. He's also good at winning things on the radio. He won tickets for Bedouin Soundclash a few weeks ago, and we got to go to their show on Friday night.

I had a great time. It was weird to be in a club... has never been, and will never be my scene. I found people to be so crude and just nasty in there. At one point I went to the washroom, and as I was washing my hands a girl came in, dropped her pants with the stall door open and continued her (very loud and crude) conversation with her friends. They told her to close the door, to which she responded, "Why? You can't see my vagina, can you?" Eew. Just close the door. And your mouth. 
Any ways, once I was back out in the club with my homies... ie: Dave, and he had his arm around me, and we were surrounded by people who were actually watching the band, I felt more comfortable, and less disgusted. The band was great. Jay Malinowski's voice is just so scratchy and smooth and delightful.
I've never had a sip of alcohol. It's not even a temptation for me, and never has been. I'm grateful for that, because I feel like it would be hard to resist if I did want it. On Friday night I was, however, thirsty. 

I turned to Dave and asked, "Can you get me a Shirley Temple?" 
He replied "No." 
"Why not?" I asked, surprised by his response.
"I'll give you money if you want to get one yourself," he said. And that's when I realized he was too embarrassed to order a Shirley Temple in a bar. Then he asked "I don't even know what's in a Shirley Temple."
I told him, "Sprite, grenadine & a maraschino cherry."
His eyes went really wide and he replied "I love Shirley Temples!"
But he still wouldn't get one for me. Brat. I guess he didn't want to wreck winner rap. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Movin on up.

When I married Dave he was a partial owner of a great big house. He and his sister in law and brother had gone in on it together. We've worked really hard to make our basement suite into a home over the past couple of years. It's a cozy little place with big windows, lots of light, warm floors, and bursts of colour. 
There are certain details that I will readily admit I am not a fan of:
  • The garage door in my living room for example! It's been a sore spot in our marriage since... well... before we were married. It's funny to see people's reactions to it. Some sympathize with me about what a strange little situation we have going on, while others thinks it's a swell idea to have a garage door in your living room. I have insisted to Dave on several occasions that people just say that to his face... but I'm starting to think that some people might actually like it. 
  • The lack of a dishwasher
  • How impossible it is to hear the door bell or knock at the door when you are anywhere past the kitchen. 
  • The funny little cupboard that swings out to reveal the fuse box. It's just a strange little detail. 
 But there are also things that I LOVE about this suite:
  • The heated floors in the living room! They make a roll around on the floor with Roly even more delightful than a regular roll. I also love it when Dave turns up the heat without telling me, and my frozen feet get a nice little surprise when I step into the room. 
  • The huge windows in the kitchen. I've realized that actually enjoy doing dishes in that kitchen, when I can look out at our beautiful backyard. It's just a lovely experience
  • The counter in the bathroom. Dave custom designed/built it for me: added a magnifying mirror and extra lighting. It's just perfect. I love it.
  • The fireplace in our bedroom. It really heats things up...?
  • The red walls in the kitchen.
Well, we are packing up and moving out this week. Yup. That's right. We are leaving our little love nest behind, and making the trek- all the way... upstairs. We found a renter for the basement. Although we can technically make more mula monthly by renting out the 3 bedrooms upstairs separately, it has proven to be very difficult to fill 3 bedrooms consistently, and so, we must leave our home!
I haven't really thought about the details of it all, until our renter insisted that the only time she could get help with moving was on Sunday, which is November 27th, not at all December 1st. Dave agreed that she could move (atleast her stuff) in then. Now the work of a move is hitting me. I remember now that I HATE MOVING! The packing, the cleaning, the sorting. One of the things we appreciated about this situation was that we recognized we could do things little by little. The problem is that we haven't been doing anything little by little. And then it hit us that she's bringing all her stuff over tomorrow, and the living room needs to be empty. Well I busted my butt this evening, getting 'er done. And I even got the downstairs kitchen mostly cleaned out and Roly's room upstairs kind of half put together as well. It's hard to finish projects when working around/with/in spite of a darling curious little beggar like Roly. He really does get into everything
It hit me though, tonight, as I was rearranging furniture that this basement is our first home together. I KNOW we are just moving upstairs- and the basement is still in our possession, but I get a little teary eyed when I look around and I think of all the work we've put into this place. It's our first home together. It's where we started our family. I'm amazed when I think of what it looked like before we were married. I can't help but see this place as a metaphor for our relationship. We've worked hard - sometimes a coat of paint was all it took, and sometimes it took major demolition, but we've worked together, with a common goal, and we've got our marriage to a place that we are happy with. Of course it takes maintenance, but every day we are in a place that we can look around and like what we see. 
I love this place, from the walls to the floors- It's not perfect, and on certain days the imperfections drive me up the wall. But in general, I am so satisfied with it. Likewise, my relationship with Dave isn't perfect. There is always work to be done. But I am so proud of how far we have progressed in the last two and a half years; our ability to communicate, our desire to make eachother happy, our ability to make eachother laugh, our understanding of what respect to the other entails, and our willingness to forgive/overlook imperfections in eachother have all grown by degrees.
I'm grateful for my cozy little suite! And my cozy little marriage. I don't know what the move upstairs symbolizes... especially since I'm moving there with Dave, but we'll just overlook that part of the metaphor. I guess it's just a new challenge; a new direction in life, with the same man by my side!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Spelling Test

One time, and only one time, I cheated on a test. It was a spelling test in grade 2. I had the words cut out and lined up in my desk. I don't remember if I passed or aced the test - I just remember sweating and shaking a lot throughout it. I was in french immersion until grade 3, and it is upon that fact that I blame my inability to spell. I really didn't know how bad I was at spelling until I got married... to someone who isn't afraid to let me know when I've done something wrong.
Along with my french background (which I think from now on I will just refer to as my "learning disability," considering I don't actually remember ANY french, but I still can't spell English words) I am a creative person; I love to write, cut, glue, paint, sew, crochet. I just love to make things. I especially love it when I have a good idea, and I can carry it out. I'm not very good at following directions sometimes, which is why I'm not a great sewer - you have to do things the right way, in the right order if you want it to look right. There are rules. There are also rules in spelling, and I'm not very good at following those either. 
There are a few words that I memorized:

  • there, their & they're
  • your, you're 
  • our, are
  • then, than
Finally, along with the french disability, and the creativity - I am a proud Canadian, and I appreciate that we spell things differently from our American counterparts. That being said- sometimes I get a little overzealous with with my patriotism by adding 'u' to words where they don't actually belong. 

You get the point. There are a few words though, that regardless of all the red pen and spell check I've come across I can NEVER spell them properly.
  • favourite. I know, I know- favorite
  • truley - Truly
  • deap - Deep
  • wierd - Weird
  • speghetti - spaghetti
  • vaccum - vacuum
The point of all this? None really. I'm just glad for the little red line that pops up (way to often every time I plunk myself in front of this screen) and allows me to correct myself before I post embarassing blunders...embarrassing. Dangit.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


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Friendship is one of those things in life; one of those don't-know-what-we've-got-'till-it's-gone things. Within my social circle there is a strange phenomenon that occurs when someone gets married - they lose all their friends. That is unless they were one of the last of the friends to get married, in which case they gain the friends back which they lost before. I assumed it was a common thing, but I've realized that it's not; this is a characteristic of the flakey female mormon social circle. It's sad really. 
When I got married I really felt isolated. I loved being married. I loved Dave. I loved spending time with him - and we had a lot of fun together. BUT, I still needed friends. I needed girls to talk to, and be with. I found that no matter what effort I put forward to be with the friends that I had before I got married, they just weren't interested in being there for me. I hadn't been in Victoria long, before I met Dave, and we got serious pretty quickly, so I discovered that none of the friendships that I valued, and that I thought ran deep meant much to them. They had their own lives to deal with, the pursuit of their own educations, careers, adventures... and men. Friendships with guys became different as well... they just didn't work anymore, unless they were one of Dave's friends too. And Dave's friends didn't change. In fact- after we got married I saw way more of Dave's friends. One of his friends was over for dinner at least once / week. Nothing changed for him. He had the best of both worlds, and really didn't understand my sorrow in missing my friends.  
I've heard people say that finding "couple" friends after you get married is like dating all over again. You make your attempts to find compatible friends that you both get along with. Where the husbands can talk about similar things, the wives get along, and no one annoys anyone too badly. It works best if the friendships work out within and without the couple situation. You put out feelers, send out invites, hang out a few times, and see what kind of friends you can be. Are they "game" friends, "dinner" friends, "favor" friends, "movie" friends? Does the wife come over too when the husband gets an invite to watch sports with Dave? When I invite the wife to something does Dave have to invite the husband to hang out?
At one point one of Dave's closest friends married one of my closest friends... which was a match made in heaven (although I'm sure their marriage is fantastic, I'm referring here to the match of Dave and I to them. Truly heavenly). Unfortunately they moved away, and after months of having the perfect couple friends we were left again to fend for ourselves. 
And that's what got me thinking about this whole friendship business. When we got married we were called right away to teach the sunbeams. This meant that although we were moving into Dave's home ward, where everyone had known him, since he was born, no one knew me, and no one (except the lovely 3 year olds) got to know me. We also happened to move into a ward that contained 3 other Sister Wights. This made things difficult for the members of the ward that didn't bother to get to know us, and confused us all the time. 2 of those Sister Wights were named Shannon. My name is not Shannon, but I think people just thought it was a safe bet to call any Wight a Shannon. That happened too many times to count. I really struggled when we first moved in, with finding a place in the ward. I felt isolated and useless. I finally felt like I found a place within the ward when I let go of the hurt and pride that I felt and really made an effort. I did my visiting teaching. I attended Relief Society activities when ever I could, and I really tried to serve the people around me. In doing so I felt like I found a place, and I made connections. 
Recently I've sunk back into my slump of feeling lonely again within the ward. I guess it's been since Laura and Chris moved away. We went to Nanaimo last month and saw them, and Laura and I just sat and talked for so long. I forgot that feeling - it had been so long since I'd been able to sit and talk to someone without effort... without guarding my words, or filtering my thoughts.
I've loved living in Victoria since the moment I stepped foot on this beautiful little island, but there are moments - like these- where I wish I could be back in Alberta. Close to family. Close to old friends. It's so hard to be far away sometimes. And it's so hard to feel isolated when surrounded by people that I know. There are so many members of our ward that I knew in YSA. So many people that I thought I was friends with then, and yet now I struggle to carry on a conversation with them. There are moments where I feel like a little girl that's being shunned on the playground... and all I want to do is run home to my mom. 
I hate feeling like this. I know there are things that I can do to break out of this- and I know the biggest thing is about my own choices: inviting the spirit in greater measure into my heart and home, making an effort to call, invite, talk to, etc. It's just difficult when every conversation takes effort. I don't want to be the one that complains. I don't want to have a pitty party every time I see pictures on facebook of  "friends" parties we weren't invited to. I know that takes a friend to be a friend... or whatever the saying is. I just never pictured myself having to work so hard at it, at this stage in my life. 
I guess the pursuit never ends. I witnessed my mom find her dearest friends when we moved to Taber, and that was when she was in her mid40's. So there is time. I do have great friends. My dear friend Kathryn has been there for me since I met her the summer before grade 4. She sends me birthday cards and facebook messages like no one else I know. She is a good friends. Stefanie is a dedicated caller. No matter how many times she gets my voicemail she always calls back. She is a good friend. Laura is so easy to talk to, and is always checking in and filling me in. She is a good friend. Amie is an entertaining phone call no matter what time of the day or night. It usually ends with one of her children screaming, and having to hang up, but we talk often enough that we can fill in the blanks in between. She is a good friend. 

I have amazing friends in my life. I just need to remember that... and figure out how to be one in return. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Sometimes I feel like my life revolves around inanimate objects. Recently, it's been socks. 

When we first got married I would often come home to Dave relaxing on the couch with one sock off and one sock on.  I think it started with rockband. He would take his one sock off because his foot would slip on the drum pedal if he was wearing it. Somehow it became a habit, and it seemed no matter what, on a warm day, at least ONE of his socks would find it's way onto the floor, or into the couch as he sat there. Throughout the past 2 years of our blissful married existence finding those socks on the floor, under the couch, in the couch, on chairs, and on the window ledge has really been a bone of contention. It drives me crazy. I am married to a wonderful man... but his dirty socks sitting next to me on the couch make me want to yell crude words and burn things. 
Last month we went out of town, and a few members of Dave's family stayed here while we were gone. When we got home there was a dirty pair of socks on the mantle of the fireplace. I swear - only a Wight man.
Sometimes at night, when I crawl into bed, and I cuddle up to Dave I'm disgusted to feel that his woolly little socks have joined us in bed. He may be stripped down to his underwear, but his socks remain on his feet. It creeps me out every time. I think at this point he just does it because he knows how weird I think it is, but I hate feeling his sock feet in bed. I can't even explain why. 
Another frequent occurrence when I cuddle up to dear Dave in bed, is that I try to warm up my frozen little toes. I always have cold feet, especially at the end of the day. Sometimes, when he's feeling extra generous he'll let me warm up my feet on his legs, but the other night he'd had enough. My feet were particularly icicle-like that evening, and he insisted I put socks on. I refused, but when he denied the warmth of his own body to warm up my poor little toesies I had to comply. And the truth is- I've worn socks to bed every night since. I couldn't believe the change it made in my own body temperature and comfort throughout the night. 
Ok, so it's safe to say we have issues with socks. I'm saying we, but it might just be me... but then again? 
Last week I kept catching Roly taking one of his socks off. Yup. ONE. Today I witnessed my son insist his father put socks on his feet before anything else. That's right- socks. Before the diaper. Before the shirt. Socks. We hope our children don't inherit our idiosyncrasies... but I think we are too late on this one. Poor kid. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tell tale signs... of something or other.

Today I wore socks with Sandals into A&W, where I was picking up supper. Dave was in the drive thru, picking up the other half of our order, because the coupons said only 1 per customer... Yup. That was the kind of day I had. I'm not sure which detail I should be most embarrassed about here, but as I've reflected back on my day I've realized that some moments are experienced for sharing. 

Some days I feel the need to elaborate. Today? Not one of those days. Peace Out.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Since when is Garland in November a crime?

I love Christmas. So much in fact that I've already started decorating. The garland, the nativity, and the cute "wise-men" tile my mom gave me are already up in the living room. Little by little this place will be a winter wonderland. Dave thinks I'm being ridiculous. He kept reminding me it was November, while I was struggling to get the box out from under the stairs, then unpacking the carefully boxed decorations. I just can't help it. I'm never sure when it will bite, but when it does- the Christmas bug gets me and puts me into delightful Christmas Delirium until January.
Last year my family started what we hoped would become a yearly tradition. We call it (drumroll please...) 
the 12 Weeks of Christmas.

It entails a challenge, extended from one of the sub-families, within our extended family, starting with the youngest (that would be me), and working it's way up through the family, week by week. 
Dave & Ali -->  Jon & Lauren -->Amie & Fraser--> Joel & Laura--> Hugh & Janet--> Repeat! 
The challenges are extended in hopes of drawing closer to Christ as families and individuals. They are generally challenges involving Christ-like acts of service to other people, as well as doing things or making changes that will make us better people, more worthy of the spirit, and more capable instruments in the hands of God. 
Last year was amazing. It was a beautiful way to prepare for Christmas, and it was an unforgettable experience. I think we felt closer as a family than we've ever felt before, and closer to our Savior, Jesus Christ. It was my favorite Christmas of all time. I loved it. Not only did I feel connected to my family, and Savior, but lasting friendships were forged through acts of service- friendships that have ultimately become very important to me personally over the last year.
That all being said - we've started again... well... sort of. I think we are on to week 4, and still working on week 2's challenge... but the Harding family's ability to procrastinate is completely beside the point! The point is we have been extended a challenge, by my dear brother, Jon Ross & his lovely wife, Lauren. And we, as a family, all over this country of ours, are working on it. That's the beauty of it. And eventually we will update each other on how things went - our struggles, our success, our faith, our trials. It's a lovely thing, and I am once again looking forward to Christmas!

You can stop reading here if you'd like. But I suppose you can stop reading ANYWHERE if you'd like. This year the Hardings got together for Thanksgiving, and we started the first of the 12 weeks of Christmas challenges. The Wights extended the challenge to write a letter to Mom. For Christmas all she really wants is a letter summarizing our year. Last year none of us. Not one. Gave her what she asked for. (What an ungrateful group of no-good-hooligan-children she has). So the first challenge, on Thanksgiving Day, was to write mom a letter, outlining what we were grateful for over the past year. Here was ours:

For dear Nana, from the Wight family. Our  year: 2011
A letter of Gratitude.
Dear Mother,

We’ve been so blessed this year. We’ve had a challenge or two along the way, but overall it’s been a year of learning lots, growing together, and working hard.
The year started off with Dave’s birthday on January 4th. I made Dave a turkey dinner at his request. It was my first (and possibly last???) turkey. I was grateful for the experience, and Dave- for the turkey. I also made a Nacho Libre cake to celebrate with friends.  What better way to honour a man with courage, strength, flexibility & stretchy pants (Dave, that is), than to eat Nachos, watch Nacho Libre & eat a cake that looks like Nacho Libre’s face?

Possibly the turkey experience, and maybe the encouragement from Jon to read the China Study, but somehow along the way we decided to try an animal protein free (ie: Vegan) diet for a month. We chose the month of April, which included Esther’s Birthday dinner of dry ribs, as well as Easter Dinner. Dave exercised some amazing will power, considering he worked at a Mexican Pizzeria every day during that month, as well as went on a scout camp, and didn’t cheat! He lost 19 pounds that month! I cheated more often. I really like chocolate. I lost less weight, but felt great about the experience. We ended the month with gratitude for beans… and meat. Really though, it left us… me atleast… with gratitude for health, the knowledge that we have that helps us to become healthier versions of our selves, as well as the revelation that we can receive, when we seek out knowledge about what is right for us as individuals and families.
Dave, Roly & some sicko with a stash at the park. This was the first week of April pre-weight loss)

Near the beginning of the year we were called into Nursery. We both feel a great love for the sweet little souls in the class, and are grateful for the chance to serve there each Sunday. Dave has been in Scouts for a couple years, and he is kept busy throughout the week, and on several weekends with camps. I was called as Secretary in the Stake Young Womens in March, and was thrown into the thick of things with Youth Conference, a Youth production of the play “Esther”, and Young Women’s Camp, all within a few months of receiving the call. I have loved being a part of it all- being able to serve the youth, and get to know the amazing women in our stake. We remain in nursery. They’ve been promising to release us since March. Although there are days where I roll my eyes and wonder why we are still there- we love it. One day as we walked out the door on our way to church Dave put on his shoes and said “I’m wearing moccasins, and I can, because I’m a nursery leader.” Dave has quite a faithful following of 2 year old boys. They think he’s hilarious, and just love him. Some of the kids, the girls especially, loved having Roly in there at first. They would pet him and love him. They were constantly shoving his soother in his mouth, like he needed it every minute of the day. Now that the soother is gone, he’s steady and tall enough to push, and his scream can be heard from a mile away they are less aggressive in their attempts to mother him. We are grateful for the opportunities that we have to serve, within the church. I think the only way we can learn to love people as Christ loves them is to serve them. Stake dances & singing time in Nursery have both taught me that I need to serve more. 

This spring Roly & I enjoyed our quality time with you, Nana & Grandpa, going to Edmonton twice, and receiving a visit in Victoria once. We were so grateful for your help in planting the garden. The corn, tomatoes, beans, peas, zucchini & potatoes have brought us lots of nutrients and joy over the summer. It was so exciting to see it all grow. We were also blessed with a large apple & pear harvest. I experienced my first independent canning session, which went fairly well if I do say so myself. It was an amazing experience to be able to pick, process & share the fruit. Such a blessing to have it all at our finger tips. 

Dave was busy throughout June & July with baseball. He kept Roly & I entertained on warm summer evenings… and left us home alone on rainy ones. He was happy to be a part of a team, and to be able to make friends and share his example. He’s also added a few more people to his “I know a guy” list.

Roland had his first birthday on August 4th, which we were thrilled to celebrate. We invited a bunch of people over, and had a big pool party and BBQ, with lots of young families from the ward. It was hilarious to watch Roly eat his cake with amazing concentration & determination.  We are so grateful for this little boy. He is a light in our lives- so full of smiles and giggles. The dimples on his cheeks could crack the hardest of hearts. He started walking right around his birthday, and he’s been going in fast forward ever since. He’s a good communicator, and has started to say a few words now. He says things like “Mama, Dada, More & Ball.” He gives high fives and fists (he finally caught on to that one this morning), he blows kisses, and LOVES to wave. You’d think he was the queen the way he acts whenever we enter the bank, or a store. He looks people in the eye, and waves at them until they acknowledge him. It’s pretty cute.

Throughout this year we were taught lessons in paying our tithing. As we did it we were blessed. Opportunities for work presented themselves to Dave when we were feeling desperate and stretched passed capacity. The Lord is so willing to help us when we are obedient to his commandments. We’ve truly felt the Holy Ghost in this home, as we’ve dedicated more time to prayer and scripture study. We’ve been blessed with peace and joy as we’ve made effort to attend the temple. 

I feel so much gratitude in my heart for the things which the Lord has blessed us with over the past year. I’ve seen his hand, and felt his love.

We love you Mom/Nana/Janet. We hope to see more of you next year.

Ali, Dave & Roly Wight.

Longest Post EVER? I think so. Enough is enough. Peace out. 

Friday, September 30, 2011

Thanks. I think.

For years people have been feeding me "compliments." They make statements that feel like they are almost kind, but could just be cruel, then look at me expecting me to show some gratitude for their words, when all I am really thinking is,  "Are you kidding me?" 
When I was a teenager I had really bad acne on my cheeks. I was a pretty confident girl, but I was always embarrassed by it. After arguing with a friend about who was prettier, or some ridiculous conversation that 14 year old girls have from time to (all the) time, she looked at me and said "Yeah, but you look good with zits." I look good with zits? What does that even mean? Thank you?

I seriously can't remember who I was talking to, but within the last few months (since the baby weight has come... and stayed for a longer visit than I expected) someone told me that I don't look bad when I put on weight- because I put it on everywhere, and I still look normal. What? I look good fat? Then why does it hurt my feelings every time I see a picture of my pre-preggo bod? Sure the waistline has extended and the chins have doubled, and the calves no longer fit into the boots I long for, but I wear it all over- so the fat looks good, right?  Thanks?
Great with Child. Plump from head to toe. 
One time a friend had this car. This friend would eventually become my husband, but that's beside the point. This car was hideous. It was a rusty maroon colour. The plush velvet seats extended in 2 long rows, and the velvety ceiling sagged a bit in the middle. It died a few times before it's ultimate demise, which was delivered by a mini van in reverse. It's licence plate was a series of numbers followed by the letters HMP... and so the name it was known by forever and always was... ahem... is:  "The Hump." Gross. There was a BBQ one night at the church, and Dave had hauled some stuff over in his work van, and needed someone to follow him home in the The Hump. I volunteered. I drove out of the parking lot, waving like the queen and telling people to check out my sweet wheels. My roommates later told me, in all seriousness, that I looked good in it, and that it suited me. What? This thing is gross and old and sounds like a dying cow... and it suits me? Uh huh. Well, I... appreciate that?
The Hump. You could count on it to let all weary travelers down. 
Me, sleeping soundly on the Humps plush velvet seats. Suiting it? 
For YEARS people have commented on my choice of attire by saying "you can pull that off." I can pull it off? What does that mean? Are you saying I shouldn't be wearing this, but I'm making it work in spite of it's outdated-ugly-unflattering-strange-ness. Is it that you would never wear this? Why say anything at all? Why not just think to yourself, "Is she seriously wearing that?" and get on with your day. But since you chose to say something, the only choice I have to say in reply is "Thanks."
Rocking the Bridesmaid dress I probably never should have squeezed into. 
Ultimately these thoughts were brought on by something Dave said to me the other day. He looked at me with a smile and said "I'm grateful you're not one of those wives that are crazy in public." Huh. I'm not crazy in public. So... does that mean I'm crazy- just not outside of these walls? Does that mean that I'm not really myself when other people are around? Or is he implying that most women are crazy in public? Because if he understood what we as women go through on an average day - the worry, the planning, the hoping, the wishing, the comparison, the demons that we fight, the emotions that we bury... I didn't even know how to react to that- except to wait a few seconds, look at him with furrowed brow and reply "Hmm?" All Dave could say as he reconsidered what had just come out of his mouth was "I'm grateful." and nod, with a wide eyed smile- like he had just said something which I would agree with, and appreciate, and thank him for. 

Well- Thanks! 
I think. 
Showing Dave just how CRAZY I can be- in public- and while peeking into the window of the Hump. May she R.I.P.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Pinteresing... very pinteresting.

When we were in Seattle last week Shannon showed me the following website :
Little did she know, it would quickly become an OBSESSION. 
The fact that Roland and Dave have been sick all week, and that Dave is too nauseous/ light headed to do anything but move from the couch to the bathroom, and that Roly is too grouchy to stay with Dave, and that Roly is too sick to leave the house... those facts all in mind- I haven't done much in the last few days. I'll spare you the details, but let's just say I've done more laundry in the last 4 days than I usually do in a month, and that Roland has had about the same amount of baths in the last week than he usually gets in a month... not to mention the amount of toilet paper we've gone through. 
Although my reminiscing in the last post was sincere, the novelty has worn off.
These things in mind, I've felt a bit cooped up, and I've spent way too much time staring at the computer screen, in my attempt to escape. Pinterest is just full of so many cute ideas! I got super antsy because I had all these ideas, and none of the things I needed to make them. I snuck out yesterday and went in search of a thrift store. I ended up at one on Government St.  I think it was called Bibles for Missions... or maybe Missions for Bibles? One or the other. Regardless- new favorite store! I had fun. The old man that worked there, who was playing the organ when there were no customers at the till, insisted that Roland must be a smart boy. He just kept telling me how bright and intelligent he was. The man just lit up when I told him his name is Roland. I can't help but enjoy being around people who love my child, so the kind gentleman, the hymns being banged out at the organ, and a few great finds made this outing very enjoyable! I found a dozen picture frames and a few books, all for about $10. And boy oh boy, did I put them to good use! 
I have been looking at these amazing crafts online, and if I have to be a shut-in, then I really just wanted to be a shut-in that made cute things. 
Here's what I came up with today, and I LOVE it!

The first thing Dave did, when he saw it, was tell me how crooked the "i" was, then put his finger right through it. I never get the feedback I'm looking for when I share my arts & crafts with him. No matter how much I love a project he always seems to let me know what's wrong with it. So I've decided to post it here, to get some feedback I might actually enjoy hearing. I really loved making this, and I'm excited to work on something new. If Roly wakes up tomorrow, with the pukey dukeys & the runs, I might actually be happy to stay home and whip up some more D.I.Y. home decor... but being able to leave the house would be nice too. Either one. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I think I'm going to...

Be-Sick.Barf.Up-Chuck.Vomit.Spew.Call-out-for-Hughey.Hurl.Ralph.Puke.Toss-my-Cookies.Lose-my-Lunch.Greet-my-guts.Technicolour-Yawn.Blow-chunks. etc

We walked into church a few minutes late today. We made it through the opening song, and prayer, which was followed by a beautiful baby girl being blessed. I looked down at Roland, who had crawled quietly into my lap, and he was making the strangest face. His mouth kept opening and closing. I wasn't sure why, when all of the sudden he let loose, and he... well... see the line above... 

I caught the first bit in my hand, because I didn't know what else to do. Dave was quick to grab a baby wipe to catch any run off (he had cat-like reflexes in that moment- I swear). But then it happened again. And again. Meanwhile this beautiful child is in her father's arms, while he softly gives her a name and a blessing, and her poor mother is RIGHT in front of Roly, who is Hurling his guts out. Dave caught the rest in a blanket. My fight or flight instinct had kicked in by then, and I was ready to boot it out of that chapel, barfy baby in arms. BUT I chose to wear heals this morning, so instead of sprinting out of there, like my instinct told me to, I was forced to walk slowly, and calmly to the door. I did this, while trying to keep Roly facing forward, so as not to smear vomit all over my brand new dress, and with Dave following close behind, up-chuck filled blanket, and diaper bag in hand.

This may seem like a strange post, but this experience really got me reminiscing.
  • I threw up when I was pregnant. That was gross, but I learned how to deal. 
  • I threw up once when I was probably 19, and got the flu really bad for a couple of days. 
Other than that, I haven't really thrown up in my adult life, or even as a teenager. But when I was a kid- Oh when I was a kid! I would barf All the Time! 

I don't know what was wrong with me. Maybe I had allergies that I didn't acknowledge. Maybe I was starved for attention, and it was one way I knew all eyes would be on me. The truth is I don't actually remember the experience of getting sick, just some of the situations, and the results. 
  • One time it was Glosset raisins, while driving in the van with my mom. I've never been able to enjoy chocolate covered raisins again. 
  • Another time it was at the mall. In the food court. My mom sent my sister to the bathroom for some paper towel, then we all moved to a different table. By the time we were settled at the new table, and before we'd found any one to really clean the old one someone had already sat down at it.
  • One time I didn't have any extra clothes, so my mom bought me a new sweatshirt. It was pink, with purple flowers. The kind that is so fluffy and soft on the inside it almost hurts. We called it my "throw-up sweater." Not only because of the circumstance in which it was purchased, but because of the resulting cookies that were tossed every time I wore it after that. 
  • I remember once, while laying in bed, waking up and seeing my mom. I was sick, and she was checking in on me. I couldn't stop it. She got it right in the face.
  • Then there was the bell & the barf bucket. When we were sick my sweet mama would leave a bucket and a bell by our bedside. The bell to call her if we needed anything. The bucket... well... you know. 
What is it that is so significant to me about all my up-chuck memories? I guess the truth is that they are memories of my mom. And the strange thing is that I remember them all fondly. 
Who would catch vomit in her bare hands, wipe it off of food court tables, and come at the ring of a bell to clean it up? 
And why? 
Moms! Because moms remember. We know the embarrassment, and the horrible sting in the nose. We know the relief that you feel when you throw-up, along with the panic of how to deal with it when it's done. We know that a back rub will help keep the tears away when its all over. We know that making sure you are ok is the first priority, that getting things cleaned up is 2nd... a quick 2nd, and that no drink tastes as sweet as some luke-warm ginger ale, after calling out to Hughey.

Ok, so maybe this isn't the best forum, or topic to pay tribute to my mother over. But regardless, Thanks mom!

Monday, August 15, 2011


Our family vacations are some of my fondest and most distinct memories. I loved going on trips. I loved packing into our astro-van, and hitting the road. The anticipation of going on a trip would hit me days, even weeks before we left. I would make lists of what I needed to pack, then make sure not to wear any of it for a week before I left, just to make sure it was clean for the trip. I would pack my bag days before, and pester my mom for an Estimated Time of Departure, so that I knew what time to set on my alarm. 

The night before we left I would have dreams all night that I slept through my alarm. I would become a wide-eyed-blurr-of-anticipation,  jumping out of bed to add things to my bag I was sure to need on the trip. 

Sure I packed my pink tam with the purple bow, but what about my white hat with the white flower? What would I do without that? 

My sticker collection! I can't forget that. What if someone wanted to see it!

Inevitably, the morning of departure we would get going later than planned. I would sit with my huge pink duffle bag packed to the point of explosion, as well as a separate bag full of things to occupy me in the van (usually just food, markers & paper... 3 of my favorite things!). It would frustrate me to no end to see my mom wiping down bathroom mirrors, and vacuuming (Always with the vacuum!) an hour after we were supposed to be out the door. I would whine and complain, and probably never offer to help, so that we could get out the door faster. I just didn't get it! We will be gone! Who cares if the floor has been vacuumed!

After a quick prayer and a reminder to use the washroom we would hit the road. We would sometimes make it passed the neighbour's, sometimes to then end of the block, and occasionally to the outskirts of town before something was announced:

"I forgot to lock the door."  
"I forgot my tooth brush."
"We forgot the dog." 

Then the turn around, the park in the driveway, and the rush inside. If we missed the bathroom or the prayer on the first round, we would hit it on the 2nd... and sometimes the 3rd. 

Well, we are going to Seattle tomorrow. And yet again I have become a wide-eyed-blurr. It's 2:13 am, and we are planning on catching the 7 am ferry. That means that I need to be awake in less than 3 hours... and yet here I am! Wet finger nails, wet hair, and a house, I might add, in order. I get it now- the vacuuming. To get home from a trip- even a day trip- to a messy house is one of the
I hate walking in the door to smell a stenchy garbage, or see dishes in the sink. 
I know it seems crazy (especially to my husband) to stay up way too late to fold laundry, do dishes, and vacuum the floor. But to walk in to a clean house, after a long drive is such a great feeling. It's like a fresh-out-of-the-dryer-hug... I just really love it. 

I'm still me- I saved this weeks laundry until today because I wanted to make sure my favorites of Roland's clothes would be clean. I packed way too many clothes for a 3 day trip. I have my car bag ready- snacks, books & all.  And I can't sleep. 

So in reality, not much has changed. I still love going on trips. I just appreciate a vacuumed floor before I leave. 


Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Do you remember that feeling, when you were young; the day summer holidays started? Do you remember the rush of throwing away (or as I got older- burning) all your handouts & assignments & papers from the entire year? How about the song? Did you ever sing it?

No more reading
No more books
No more teacher's dirty looks

And then summer would start. I would sleep in. I would walk around barefoot until the calluses on the bottom of my feet grew so strong that I could pick raspberries in the back alley without a limp or a wince. I would sleep outside, under the stars. And I would feel the mosquitoes bite my sunburned skin. I wouldn't read a word or write a letter for the entire 2 months. And even though it was only 2 months, those 2 months felt like an eternity... a blissful barefoot-scraped kneed-dirty fingernailed- eternity. I loved summer. And I still do. 

As I've gotten older I just don't feel the same excitement about things like I used to. Even the things that I care for, or look forward to passionately, I can't muster up that same last-day-of-school-feeling. But luckily, there are moments that remind me. There are smells and tastes, and feelings that are purely summer, and when I experience them I can't help but feel that joyful-freedom-filled-bliss that summer used to be. Here are a few things that throw me back into my mushroom cut-jean short -barefoot self.

  • The smell of freshly cut grass, mingled with the charcoaly smell of a burger on a barbie
  • Stubbing/scraping my toe on the concrete
  • The taste of fresh raspberries
  • The taste of rootbeer popsicles
  • The taste of carrots, fresh out of the garden... wiped off on my pants, or maybe rinse a little with the hose (preferably the top cut off by my dad's old hunting knife)
  • Peas, right out of the pod
  • The hot sun on my shoulders, and cold water on my feet
  • Heavy summer night air, breathed from the comfort of a sleeping bag
I always felt cliche admitting that my favorite season was summer... but who cares about cliches- I LOVE SUMMER. As a prairie girl I got hot dry summers, with crazy rain storms, and insane mosquitoes. I cooled off in freezing mountain lakes, and built sand castles for frogs in sandy dunes at the edge of lakes that were dug out by men. I know my kids won't have the same summers that I did, but luckily there are a few things that I can still share with them. In fact, Roly and I sat and enjoyed some summer for quite a while yesterday. 

 Ro-Ro enjoying some fresh (Galley Farms) Raspberries. Our bushes this year are kind of pitiful.One day they will grow, and I won't have to PAY to taste summer. 

A great big pea pod from our garden! So delicious. 
Roly loved them. We sat and ate peas for like half an hour. 

I thought it was cute that Roland was clutching a pea pod and a dandelion in his little fist. 

Cheers to Summer. 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Girls & Dolls

So, as usual, I started my day by listening to CBC radio. "Q the Summer" had a woman on, talking about a doll that is just coming to North America (it's been in Europe for years). It's called "Bebe Gloton," and it is a doll that needs to be breast fed.

The little girl puts on a little halter top, with flowers for "nursing" the baby. The baby cries, and makes sucking noises when held up to the flowers.

So, the concept is weird. The flowers are a little creepy, and any sentence containing "halter top" and "little girl" makes me cringe. BUT the feedback I heard on the radio this morning REALLY made me cringe. I heard men & women give reaction about this doll, saying it is "sexualizing children," or that it's encouraging them to grow up too fast. One individual even stated that it would encourage teen pregnancy. These comments made me angry. The woman that was actually being interviewed expressed exactly how I felt in many ways, but the topic and the reactions shared made me feel tense, and agitated, and I just feel like there's more to be said on the topic. So, this is where I'm going to say it!

Why is it that dolls, like bratz & barbie are promoted to young girls? When I look at those dolls I see make up, sleezy clothing, vanity, and sexuality. Their lips, their poses, their clothes are all communicating a message to girls; not a message that would promote what I believe a woman should be. Barbie's motto, as far as I can remember, and google has semi-confirmed it is "Be Who You Want to Be." The emphasis seems to be on being an independent, strong woman. A woman who can take care of herself, and get what she wants. 

My experience in working with youth has taught me the huge impact that attachment, positive regard, and most importantly LOVE,  can have on a person. Children that have solid relationships with their parents don't go looking outside that to feel validated. Teen pregnancies come along when girls go in search of acceptance and validation because they don't feel the unconditional love of someone that they respect and love. Barbie saying "be who you want to be" does not teach girls to seek out their best selves. It teaches girls to demand things of others: attention, acceptance, recognition... when in reality, loving relationships (ie: parents that also model healthy relationships) teach girls to accept themselves first and to become who they want to be from that.

I started writing this around 10:30 this morning, and now I'm back at it, past midnight. I've read over a few talks, which I think describe womanhood in a beautiful way. 

I think that in our pursuit to be recognized, to be noticed, and to be acknowledged, we, as women, have forgotten the true significance of our very natures. We are capable of so much. We have a beautiful and honorable opportunity, as women, to be the back bone of our families, to raise children, to nurture, to love, to teach. Why is it, that we seek for recognition outside of this amazing calling? Why do we degrade ourselves further, by exposing our bodies, and defiling our purity? Again- is it all to for recognition? To be noticed? To be acknowledged?  

When my little boy looks at me, and grins- like there's nothing else in the world that matters more than me- there is no recognition, no award, no promotion, nothing, that could motivate me further. I know that there is no other task, no other career, no other pursuit in which I can make an impact, like I can by embracing my own perception of femininity, and striving to be the best (most loving-nurturing-patient-kind-humorous-gentle-active-nourishing-knowledge imparting) mama I can be.

So, I know, I know- What a rant stemming from the breast feeding doll, but I suppose, for me, it all comes down to this: If I have a choice (for my future daughters, or my nieces, or for the girls of the world in general) between barbies and brats, that ooze sexuality with a mask of "independence," OR a doll designed to imitate a nursing baby, then I choose the nursing baby!  And I choose it because I want girls to know that they can be whatever they want to be, and that the best thing they can be, is themselves! By embracing their nature, as a woman- they can make an eternity of a difference. 

Margaret N. Nadauld said the following, about women, and I really love it:

Women of God can never be like women of the world. 
The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. 
There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. 
There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. 
We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. 
We have enough greed; we need more goodness. 
We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. 
We have enough popularity; we need more purity.

I really love being a mother, and I am so grateful that my Heavenly Father has entrusted Roland Marlow into my care. I love him so much, and I look forward to meet any other sweet spirits the Lord sees fit to bless me with. I hope that I can be all that they need in a Mother.