Thursday, May 12, 2016

down that road for good

Well I have done this a few and then here.

Blogging. I love it but I feel as much as I love it I find myself wanting to finally put an end to it.

There is an element of simplicity I am working towards in life and to blog takes away from time doing other things. I don't blog a lot but I feel like I am done publicly sharing. I plan on working over the next while to print out what I have written over the years and have it put together into a book for a bit of a keepsake.  Once that is all done I will delete my words here.

I think as well there is a part of media of any kind really, where we only post good things and in doing so people end up with unreal expectations of how life really can be ugly and messy but not very often do we share that side of our lives blogging or posting on Facebook and the likes. I have fallen victim to that over the years.....reading blogs that are just far too perfect or looking through a Facebook fed of a friend that really isn't a friend but rather an acquaintance that given the opportunity I would never in a million years choose to hang out with them in real life thinking, what was I doing wrong not to have the sort of life they do. The bottom line is that those perfect type blogs, Facebook feds etc. are bullsh*t.  I am kinda over bullsh*t. I think as much as I hate to admit, there is an element of narcissism that a blogger submits to and I guess I am done falling prey to my inner narcissist. 

As I have blogged over the years, I know there are times that I have sugar coated stuff.......posting the good and not the bad.....I think as far as blogs go I am way more honest and authentic then most and I am glad for that.  I think at the end of the day I just want to live in the moment and not worry about sharing anymore.

Cheers to 10 amazing years writing about my life and thank you for reading.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

i borderline like it

I finished my sweater but here's the thing, I don't love it.  To be honest, I borderline like it.
I guess I had an expectation for this sweater. That it would be that sweater I grabbed as I walked out the door to run to the store quick....or to walk the dog.  That it would be that comfy go with jeans kinda sweater that can pass as a jacket on those warmer days that can't see you with bare arms quite yet. Well, it will be none of those. It will be an around the house.....curled up watching a favorite show kinda sweater or a by the fire on a Saturday night doing s'mores kinda sweater.  Why you ask?  Because it is hang off my shoulders huge. I tried wearing it out one afternoon. I felt like I was swimming in it and it looked sloppy which made me feel sloppy and essentially annoyed. A little disappointing to say the least. I made a size large......I considered making an x-large because my measurements were on the higher end of the allotment for the size large and I worried the large would be too small.

Well I could have easily done a medium. Thankfully I didn't do the x-large or it wouldn't even have been a wear anytime sweater. It did come out beautiful and it will be used but I am not sure I would do this pattern again. I think some of the sloppiness is the design and sizing. The girls all liked this and were hitting me up to make them each one but I honestly think I will try a different pattern. Maybe something like this.

Not all was lost on the knitting front. These duck booties come out perfect every time!

This is what triplet duck booties looks like.  My sweet friend Alisha is only a week and a bit away from three new bundles of "no sleep".....errr I mean joy!  She is a friggin' rockstar let me tell you!  She has done so awesome with those babies!!!  Into her 32nd week and going strong toward the 34 week finish line.  I am so proud of her.  Well those babies had to have duck booties! Those duck booties are were my love affair with knitting began.

 I also made these cute little simple slouch hats.  I love these and can't wait for a photo of the babies in them.  The only reason it all works because she is having three girls!

I finished up this set of daddy, mommy and baby slouch hats for someone else who had a baby not so long ago.  She received them today and messaged me.  I guess her day was a little tough on the baby front and coming home to these she said...made her day.  I feel such incredible joy knowing that a small act of kindness made someone's day a bit better. 

For about 24 hours I had nothing on my needles.  For the first time in like 10 years.  Nothing knitting on the go.  I am gonna be honest....felt kind of good....I considered taking a break from knitting.  Considered giving away what stash of yarn I have and just be void of knitting for a while.  I am not sure how long...I just felt like it was time to take a hiatus.  I can't even say why I felt that way.  I think some of it is my desire to create white space in my life.  Time were I have no obligations.  Time that is void of any expectations.  Time where nothing beckons for my time.  Time were I am idle and okay with it.  That goal of simplicity in my life.

I won't lie.  I am still considering a knitting hiatus but for now I cast on some old yarn that use to be this.  I am not sure I like the is complicated, requires charting and keeping track and my helper glasses because my eyes need a boost with that darker yarn and cables.  I am not even sure I have enough yarn to make the vest this will be but I thought what the heck.....maybe this will send me into that hiatus....who knows!  I know that even if I did take a break I would be back because I have my eye this and this.

Amber has her provincial basketball tournament this weekend.  I am thinking of not knitting while there.....I will bring something in case like a crazed crack addict I can't get through the weekend without it but I am gonna try it on for size.  I think some of the lure of not knitting is just being....just being present without one bit of distraction.  It is kind of have to admit.  I am looking forward to a little break away from routine and my sister is joining us which makes me very happy.  Gives me someone to chill with while John does his coaching thing.  Plus it is in Ottawa and man I love that city!!!  So many amazing memories as a child visiting my grandfather every summer.

Consider making yourself more idle this weekend.  Take the challenge of doing this.  In a world that expects us to constantly be on the go, running around chasing our tails idle is seen as a bad thing.  I am realizing more and more that the opposite is in fact true!   

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

giving less f*cks

How many times do you give a f*ck what people think???   Maybe you are one of those lucky f*ckers that have never given a f*ck.  You have lived your life on your terms doing what makes you thrive and happy. Spending time with the people who truly matter and bring you joy.  Never replaying a scenario in your head wishing you had of reacted better....came out with a witty response or just not given a f*ck.  Awhile back I wrote about reading this book.  It was a book that without a doubt set me on a very different thought process.  Less is best and all that jazz.   

Well I recently came across a parody of that original book and let me just say it was an amazingly hilarious eye opening read.  I can't tell you how many times as I read it that I thought.....oh that would be a f*ck.

The author writes what many of us think but are too afraid to admit to or apply to our lives.  And it isn't about being a total dick.  Obviously there are people who don't give a f*ck often and they are as the author puts it...assh*oles.  One can clearly not give a f*ck and be polite about it.  It is like clearing clutter from the inside.  Think of how often we do things because we worry what others might often we spend money we don't have or don't want to spend for fear of what others might often we stretch ourselves so thin because of what others might think.

It takes practice to shift your thinking.  This past weekend I enjoyed being able to attend all of Amber's basketball games.....a new found freedom for me with Shelby's move.  Normally I would let certain things annoy bad referring for example and I would fall into complaining along with other parents about bad calls and what it isn't that clearly at times during the games the refs were awful.....they were and there was some talk of it but instead of focusing on that I made a conscious effort guessed it.....not give a f*ck.  And what did that open me up to??  Well focusing my energy on watching Amber play when she was on the court and being void of the negativity complaining creates. 

I watched a game of the other team John has coached this year.  It was a game against a team that is wrapped in some not so positive history.  This time around I watched it with the attitude guessed it.....not giving a f*ck.  That allowed me to just enjoy the game....marvel at a few really awesome players and a game well played.....not some negative history that just does not matter in the grand scheme of things.  Totally not worth the f*ck that could be that f*ck for something else the author tells us.  Great advice!

I am no where near perfect.  I did allow myself to give a f*ck when someone made a comment that could be taken in a negative way...even somewhat insulting.  In her defense......she maybe didn't see it that way.....but I did my best to re-group and respond with as little f*ck giving as possible.  Reminding myself of where that comment is coming from....and remembering that particular person isn't someone who is give a f*ck worthy.  It takes practice but already I feel lighter having been "enlightened" by this book.  Kudos to the author.  It is absolutely about time we all started giving less f*cks!  

Saturday, March 19, 2016

a place to call her own

Okay bloggers......have you ever had it happen were a post disappears.....or rather a draft post duplicates itself and eliminates a post?  I have no clue what I did.....I noticed a grammatical error and went to correct it and poof the post was gone and in its place was a duplicate of a draft post I have in que. Oh my lanta. So I will attempt to re-write *insert forehead smack here* the original post.

The post was about Shelby and the huge step she has made.  She got her own apartment. The last week and a half have been a bit of a whirlwind. It was a bittersweet day when she signed her lease and officially got her apartment. She was still mourning the loss of someone so special to her (and all of us) and although she was so pleased with this next chapter in life it was hard with that sadness resting on her heart. I snapped this photo the day she got her keys. She loves the window.

We hung out and cleaned.  She had sushi for lunch in her new place and we made cookies. Someone said she is her mother's daughter making cookies right off the hop.  Absolutely. Nothing makes home better then something delicious baking in the oven!

We are so proud of Shelby and how well she has embraced this opportunity. We are so grateful that this project exists that allows her the 24 hour care she needs but allows her to live as independently as possible.

Brandon's funeral was difficult. It was so hard to see people I care for hurting. To see strong grown men brought to tears. Some of the stories told had us laughing. Brooke, Brandon's sister, spoke such beautiful words about their relationship. Afterward I was waiting with Shelby for her ride home.  John was leaving with Porscha and Amber. Porscha gave Shelby a hug. She told me after that Shelby said, "I don't ever want to take you for granted".  I mentioned to Shelby that Porscha had told me this and how sweet it was that she said it. She said how with Amber being so much younger she feels more like a motherly figure but that because her and Porscha are so close in age it is different. They grew up together....she said Porscha is her Brandon.  That warmed my heart.

The other night Porscha was sharing some wedding ideas her and Joel have kicked around. It is nice to see her excitement in this all. It is such an exciting chapter in her life. So the next day I get a text from Porscha. She is worried having the ceremony at Joel's church would mean Shel could not go because it is on the outskirts of the city we live in. She said she could get Joel to have it at a church in the city. I told her not to worry. That it is a few years away. That Joel's faith is important to him and it should be at his church.....and that come hell or high water we would get Shelby there.  She said she just didn't want Shel to miss any of it. Another warm my momma heart moment.

There are times as a mother you wonder if your doing all this shiz right. I have wrote about the girls before and the sister bond they have.  I am so grateful that they are compassionate.  That they care for and love one another with a fierceness.  At the end of the day....your sister is always there for you and I am so glad they get that. These last few weeks have reminded me how short life can be and to live a fantastic life you need to be compassionate and loving. There are no exceptions to that.

Friday, March 4, 2016

what brandon's memory deserves

A few years ago I wrote about a sweet young man I have had the pleasure of knowing. Brandon.

I met his mom Barb 15 years ago when her daughter Brooke invited Porscha to her birthday tea party. Porscha never wanted to go to parties when she was little unless I could attend. This particular party was at Brooke's house so the invite had me calling and speaking with Barb explaining my daughter's need for me to tag along and was it possible I joined her.  That was the beginning of my learning over the years what a great person Barb was......she never blinked an eye at my tagging along. Welcomed me into her home where I met her sister in law, who like myself, was quite pregnant and had been someone I actually knew years prior working at a store called Bargain Harolds as a teen. Her husband (then boyfriend) use to hang outside the store after closing waiting for her along with all our boyfriends.....John being mine.....her husband would eventually teach Amber for a year in middle school. What a small world.

Barb and I became great friends. For many years while our husbands worked afternoons we met each week for dinner at my place....where her son Brandon and Brooke would hang out and play. That was a hard time for both of us. We walked parallel roads dealing with special needs. Her Brandon dealing with the disease cystic fibrosis and Shelby navigating the world of cerebral palsy.  We both had little supports.  We came together on those evenings sitting on my front porch as the kids played and for those few hours we could almost pretend that our lives were normal.

We had many fun times over the years.  Brandon would walk Porscha home from school for me when Amber was little.  We camped one year together....more dinners as the kids got older. Porscha and Brooke played basketball together for years. I always felt such ease around Barb......she always got the special needs thing.  Not everyone understands what special needs does to your life.

Brandon always slowed down for Shelby. When we went for BBQ's at their old house he would hang out with Shel in his dad's man cave garage and play video games. Shelby fondly remembers a few summers ago when she went to dinner at their place while we were away and Brandon had her snort lemonade out her nose and practically choke because of something he said that made her laugh mid mouthful.  He always played so well with Amber.  He was always joking.  He would make you laugh till your cheeks hurt.....that was Brandon.

Last Saturday Brandon, after fighting for years, lost his battle against C.F.  Brandon was 24 years old. He was witty and funny. You laughed anytime you were around him.  He was loving and kind and his family and friends where so important to him.

Photo courtesy of Ian Pettigrew.

Brandon was a part of this amazing project.  This photo embodies Brandon so completely.  His joking manner and charm.  I imagine that the photographer was laughing after whatever it was Brandon was in the middle of saying here. 

I came across this video on Facebook. I sobbed because I just wish for Barb things could rewind.  That her sweet son could be back with her farting and joking and calling her Barbara.   I know it is good that Brandon is no longer in pain stuggling for breath but it does not make this loss easier.

If your reading this I encourage you to consider organ donation. Brandon was so fortunate to have more time because of the generous gift from others of organ donation.

I also encourage you to live your life well. Eliminate the petty bullsh#t from your life. Learn to love others even the people that are not your most favorite. Don't speak ill of other people. Don't be mean to other people. Don't hold grudges. Brandon's memory deserves this. Brandon and so many others that are taken from the world too soon....they deserve our best effort to live life with love and compassion. To not take anything for granted and to be grateful for everything.

Brandon, Thank you for humbling me on so many occasions.  Thank you for being an inspiration to so many. Thank you for the laughter. Thank you for living your life well despite your disease. Keep everyone in heaven laughing. Cheers to you. xo

Photo courtesy of Ian Pettigrew.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

margins of life

I read this blog post.  Worth the read for sure.  With the margins of life simplified you can focus on others.  Doing for the ones you love for example. 

Like some muffins for your sweet daughter to take back to school with her or breakfast for everyone before they head out the door on a Saturday morning.

Clearing your margins allows you to live the life that works for you.  For me it allows me to continue to work toward achieving minimalism in my life and work toward focusing on what matters.