Tuesday, July 31, 2007


My Dad died when I was small.
I don't really have much that belonged to him. Mostly my memories.
The one thing I did inherit (besides his wonderful eyes) was a piece of property. His mother had left a share of the land to him, and because of his premature death, his share became the share that my siblings and I now own.
It's funny, but this one-fourth that I own connects me to the two people I miss daily: my father and my grandmother.It's this tiny thread that keeps me linked to the sunny days of when they were here on earth.
This piece of land is my most favourite place on earth.
Ninety percent of the memories that I hold of my father are at our camp.
When I swim in the water, I can hear him saying, "Kids, let's swim the 'English Channel'."
Whenever I open the door, I remember the special way he use to jimmy the handle to get it open.
When I walk the paths and pick up the fallen birch twigs, I feel that I could look over at any moment and see him lazily throwing a twig at me.
When I sit at the end of the dock, I remember the times he would race me and my siblings to the end of the dock to see who would get in first.
I hear his voice when I am there.
I remember his face clearest when I am there.
And I remember the one day I treasure the most out of all my memories within my childhood.
It was a hot summer day, and my Dad took my younger sister and brother and I to the camp. My older sister was out with friends and my Mom desperately needed a day without kids.
My Dad taught me to canoe that day. He held the paddle and showed me how to stroke. He taught my siblings and I voyageur songs and had us paddle all around the lake shouting out commands of "Starboard", "Allie, on the rudder" and "watch out for the rocks." I am not sure why that day stands out more than the others, but that day for me brings such a strong memory of being so loved by my father. I felt as though just being with him that day was the same as being hugged by him all day long.
And it happened at the camp.
The camp-the dainty thread that connects me to my past, my most cherished childhood memories and to the moment that has forever embedded itself into my heart. The moment where I became unexplicably aware of how much my father loved me.

Monday, July 30, 2007

We'll have omelettes for dinner tonight...obviously

In my haste to get my groceries into the house, I dropped a container of eggs.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Sometimes you just gotta stick your head out the window and yell "Help!" to anyone who will listen.

Last straw...
The straw that broke the camel's back...
I'm approaching it with rapid speed.
Today, my youngest hasn't let me go two feet from her without yelling "Mom" and wanting to be held. Tried to talk on the phone with my uncle. I think he was well, at least that's what I sorta discerned in between talking with him and Brie yelling "Mom" every two seconds.
It all becomes a comedy as my oldest decides that copying Brie would be fun. So, now I hear "Mom" being yelled every second. First by Brie and then echoed by Anne.
Utter gong show.
So, Uncle Dan if you get to read this: I love you and I hope that you are having a great summer day.
If you'll all excuse me, I'm going to open a window and yell for help from any person who thinks they can possibly help me regain my patience and sanity.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The rodeo's in town! Yeehaw!

I love Stampede time. There are cowboys and horses everywhere (decorations and the real thing). The locals who really get into it are wearing everything from plaid shirts and cowboy hats to dangling earrings of buckin' broncos. And, most importantly, there is beef on a bun just about everywhere. Ahhh...Stampede Days!

Today was Parade Day (which happens to be an item on my summer list), and I haven't been to a parade since I was fifteen as it was held at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World, Florida. So, I knew it wasn't go to be as elaborate, but I've been looking forward to this community event.

Sometimes you just gotta bite the bullet and ride local transit

I am sans automobile currently.
I used to ride the bus all the time in my old city and as I stepped onto the bus in my new town I immediately re-entered what I had completely forgotten about: bus culture.

Riding the bus is the best place to observe people. There's the cranky old lady who keeps clutching her purse and staring at the college guy who's Ipod is loud enough for everyone to hear the lyrics to Lily Allen's song "Smile". There's the two young girls who are embarrassed at the idea of taking public transit (probably forced to by parents who refused to drive them) yet excited at the prospect of going to the mall to, inevitably, meet with their friends. There's the mother with her newborn who gives the tight lipped smile as everyone tries to peek their head into the stroller. And then there's friendly guy. The guy who doesn't know what it means when the person he's sitting next to completely turns their back to him and stares out the window and starts humming the melody of Lily Allen's tune "Smile". Gotta love it.

So, the girls and I take the bus...

Sometimes you just gotta pay attention
The bus driver was making happy comments about the Stampede and this morning's parade.

"Everyone's going to get an early seat, I see?" Kathy, the bus driver, observed out loud. (Kathy and Anne met officially after Anne asked her name and then asked her, politely, if she could quickly finish her granola bar even though there is a rarely enforced sign that says "No eating". I nearly drop over in a dead faint as Anne did this of her own volition, I never prompted her. Sign of a good day ahead.)
Kathy was a keen observer. As was I. Everyone got on the bus with lawn chairs. A foreboding feeling came to me. In my excitement to get to the parade early so that we could get a good seat, I had forgotten that part of that idea was to...in fact, have a seat. This did not bode well.

Sometimes you just gotta suck it up and steal another person's seat
I decided to go without a stroller today. Brie loves to walk and she's a 20 month old that loves to hold my hand. Of course, I had prepared myself that she'd be a little more curious (obviously, since she wasn't strapped into a chair on wheels), but one is never quite prepared for the going-ons inside a toddler's mind.

We found two rows of chairs pristinely set up in front of the bank. Obviously for bank employees. My thought: just stick my two little kids in one chair until employees start coming out and then I'll take 'em out of the seats.

Pointless. Toddler wonder is out and about.

Seats start filling up...or rather I should say, people with lawn chairs start showing up and plunking down. To distract my girls, we play eye spy.

"I spy a lady with an umbrella on her chair."
"I spy a woman wearing lime green shorts"
"I spy the line to get into Tim Horton's is now a block long."
"I spy a lady next to us who isn't in need of her lawn chair."

We ask. She gives it to us. It's all dandy. Until Anne and Brie play the "up and down" game. You know, the game where you go on the chair then off the chair and then on the chair and then off again, taking great pains to climb up into the chair only to, moments later, slide down the chair. This does not bode well.

Sometimes you just gotta recognize that not every person thinks your kids are cute...and they want their chair back.

The lady wasn't obvious about it, but I could tell that she didn't think the up and down/on and off game was fun. Especially when it consisted of the girls almost knocking into her and making shrieking sounds of happiness while she tried to talk on her cell phone.
I return the chair to the stranger. Thank her for her patience and then silently in my mind wish that I was home so that I could assume the position of mother's with toddlers everywhere: my head buried under the pillows in complete and utter embarrassment.
They are kids. They are having fun...but it's just so different when you're in public and the lady on the cell phone's body language is screaming, "why did these people sit next to me?"
I need to lighten up. And there's only one thing that can do that...

Sometimes you just gotta be the person wearing the ridiculous balloon hat
The parade is in full force now. My daughter's are elated with the horses, awed by the Rodeo Queen in her sequnced shirt, clapping with the marching band, and laughing at the clowns. It's all very exciting.
There's also some buskers or balloon artists who come around. And while he's talking to the crowd about the wonders of life he creates a rocking horse out of two balloons for Anne. She is excited, she is thrilled...she is annoyed by how it feels on her head and gives it to me to wear.
"You should wear it Mom."
And I do. Partly because I have no where to put it, and well...who doesn't love a balloon hat?
At one point, I have people in the parade shouting to me, "I love your hat!"
I love it, too. I think the lady who borrowed us the chair and then wanted it back was impressed too. Although, people wearing sunglasses sometimes are a hard read.

Sometimes you just gotta realize that right now will one day be the 'good ol' days' you tell your grandkids about
I loved the parade. Not just for the hat, although that alone...anyways, I loved the parade. It was great to watch my kids wave and clap and ooh and ahh at all the wonders of summer living in Stampede country. Brie was so excited by the miniature horses that all throughout the day she said,"po-knees" (ponies). Anne kept referring back to all the neat things she witnessed while pretending to march like the bagpipe regiment band.
These are the moments I love about summer--childlike wonder being captured at ordinary moments.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Jesus is a rockstar!

Jesus is a rockstar! Seriously. He is just the coolest King ever. Ever.
Today I was just spending time praying and praising Him. Earlier, I felt so defeated and ready to throw in the towel. I've been trusting Him and believing Him for something for three years and today it just feel like it's all been a waste. And while my flesh would love to throw in the towel, I know the truth:
I have too much history with God. I am ruined from the ordinary. I know that He is good. I know that He is good. I'm beyond convinced-it's reality. He's good. Period.
So, I can't quit trusting Him. Today, when I felt like I had no fight left in me, I just started to praise Him. Just started to tell Him how much I love Him and even reminding Him of the words that Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nago said, "We know that our God is able to deliver us. But if He does not, we will never bow to a false god."
And that's it. I know that God is able to deliver what I am believing Him for, and if it doesn't happen today I will not give in to worry, fear and doubt. I will trust Him. I will praise. Because He is good.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Sometimes life feels like a Jack Johnson song

Well I was sitting, waiting wishing....

Today, and actaully this last month, feels as though I've been sitting and waiting for something to happen--which is a feeling I don't enjoy.
I know it's one of those times of hiddeness with God. It's a place where He develops the fruits of the Spirit and the attributes of His Son within my heart and life. Every motive is questioned--why am I doing this, saying this, thinking this? Is love motivating me or a sense of guilt, pride or a desperate need to have my ego stroked?
I love these times because I know God is doing a defining work in my life. He's answering the prayer I prayed during a time of refreshment. And yet, the feeling of waiting and wishing is something that I'm still not patient with. I don't like wishing. I like doing, action, moving forward. And yet, I know that I'm not to move forward but just to be still and know that He is God. If I'm still-I'll be refreshed by His glorious and rich presence. If I keep wishing I will get very frustrated and aggravated by the process in which He is working in me.
Sometimes I'm grumbling (old habit we meet again!) and sometimes it sounds like the chorus of a Jack Johnson song:
Must I always be waiting waiting on you?
But it's just a matter of perspective, right? Sometimes we grumble because it seems like we're always waiting on God. But if we actually waited on God (served Him, ministered to Him with all of our love) then we wouldn't feel like we were always waiting around...we'd realize that waiting on God is the most awesome opportunity we get. To serve the King with all our love, to be a lavishful worshipper of the one who made us: what a concept!
So that's where I am today. I feel like the Jack Johnson song Sitting, Wishing, Waiting and I'm transitioning to waiting on God with joy and fresh perspective.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Finish what you started

Almost daily, I feel as though I spew out the mantra: "SuperGirl, come back here please and finish what you started." Day in. Day out. Same song, same audience. Every time I walk into the room and see a heap of stuff on the floor, bed, bathroom sink, entryway I start my familiar aria.

My house has gone to pot...but this time it is my own doing.
I am a walking contradiction to my daily tune.

I blame the heat...because if I couldn't blame the heat I'd have to admit that I am not a tidy person and the A type personality inside me would never let me say such things out loud, so, it's the heat's fault.

I have proof:
Can't sleep at night.
I have no air conditioning and last night it was a balmy 17 degrees at 1 am! 1 am! I may have the fans going and every window in this apartment open but I'm still wide awake at 2am because the place won't cool down! There I am listening to the whirring sound of the fan and wondering about the person who said that white noise will help you sleep (Complete load of bullocks in my situation).
So, lack of sleep.
A complete and total point against me. That's one.

When I did get to sleep, I woke up at 5 am to the birds singing and my bedroom/living room/kitchen (I live in a one bedroom apartment) blazing with the glorious light of dawn.
Of course, all of this was courtesy to the open windows.
Windows that had to be open, may I remind you, so that I could sleep at night.
So, I wake up exhausted and unable to think straight. That's two points against me. And this is how this whole "house going to pot" got started.

Started putting away the dishes as the girls ate breakfast, suddenly realized that I was starving and knew that I couldn't face my day without...hanging my laundry out on the line. Came back downstairs and checked the weather. 8:25 am and it is 25 degrees out and heading towards 37 degrees!
I start putting the dishes away (again) and realize that this is the best time to change plans and go to the lake and sit in the water.
Start packing up to go and remember that my children's fingernails need clipping.
I get the nailclippers and immediately understand this to be the perfect moment to blow bubbles outside while I empty out the van to clean it.
It would seem that these two particular activities don't mix all that well.

I bring in screaming, pouting children who are wounded over the fresh loss of bubble juice to the heat scorched grass. I'm scratched and reminded that I need to clip their nails. I set them down and realize that I have not called my friend who has just had a surgery. But ten minutes later, I'm back to the realization that my wildcat children need their fingernails clipped as I am literally clawed off the phone.

With new, short nails, my children purr and play as I frantically stuff the necessities of beachware into my bag (take 5 minutes to reconcile whether rubber boats and a raincoat would be overpreparing. Settle on not taking them but leaving them on the growing pile of things I'll do later tonight once the kids are sleeping).

We go to the beach.
It's great.
It's sand.
It's sun.
It's summer fun.
Yay Beach Parties!

I reminisce about my fave day last summer spent on a beach in Arkansas with my sister's family, a close friend, my girls and my mom. Ahhh, this is summer.
Then I return home, I open the door and a bomb has gone off in my house...almost literally.

There are signs of every place I've been today:
dishes not put away and put away in peculiar places (cups in the cereal storage bin, huh?)
nail clippers on the kitchen table
At least 4 glasses of water that are half full (or empty) evidence that at some point I thought that if I hydrated myself I may think clearer
a spilled over laundry basket with clothes on the bed. A clever little reminder I set up for myself so that the moment I got home I would remember to take my hanging underwear off the clothesline
left out condiments used to make the beach picnic
a growing pile of things I imagine I will do once:
a) I regain my sanity
b) make the decision to refuse to add anything more to the pile and
c) realize that somewhere deep inside the pile is my frying pan that I put away absent-mindedly this morning somewhere between hanging laundry and being starving

This is ridiculous.
I haven't finished anything today.
It's a miracle I've made a complete sentence come together and end in a conclusive way.
What kind of role model is this?
How can I be an example if this is my thought process?
How can I survive this heat if I have to wade knee-deep through my house?
How can I --oh, is that a chip? I would really like a chip right now.
Several, in fact.
But before I do, it would seem like now is the perfect moment to work on that scrapbook I started in 2001.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Expletives! *$%!

I am not joining Facebook.
I don't care if everyone and their dog (Sunny D) is on it!
I don't want to reconnect with people from high school (does anyone remember high school?) I am having a tough enough time connecting with new people, I don't need or want to hear about how that fat girl we all used to make fun of now lives in Idaho and, yes, is still fat.
Has anyone been reading my blog--can they not see how easily addicted I get to things: ahem, youtube. Need I say more?
I did myspace. I get it. It's thrilling to write public messages to everyone. Whhheeee....whoopdedoo.
I'm happy for all you computer freakish people who want to sit online all day and graffiti walls or whatever it is you do. Here's what I ask:
Stop sending me invitation emails.
Stop dropping your jaw and freaking out when I say "I'm not on Facebook" (I don't like to do what everyone else is doing on any given day, why would I start now)
Stop telling me how great it is to connect with the guy who was two lockers down from you who was your best friend's cousin's boyfriend in high school. I don't care.
Seriously, it's enough to make me swear using common vernicular used in Britain. $%!@
Expect major spam to come your way if you write a responding comment praising the beauty and ingenuity of Facebook.

On a completely different note, didn't Harry and William do a great job with the Diana tribute concert?!