Friday, December 18, 2009

To Do List

This is my list of things to do in 2010 (I'm not going to call them resolutions because I don't really believe in them):
* run 21km in a row (you know, like a half marathon - I'll shoot for the QCM);
* finish my MPA (this is a stretch goal because it means I'll have to take two classes at once, which I really don't like);
* figure out how to do a bulleted list in blogger (I'm sure there is a way);
* start blogging more frequently (I'm surprised I even remember my password); and,
* get my passport (yes, I really don't have one).

Hmm, I wonder if the fact that I'm writing out what could arguably be called resolutions on the 18th of December and getting started on them right away is a sign that I should add live in the moment to the list. Meh, there's always next year.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Things that are Making me Smile Today

Julia's dimpled and nose-crinkling smile.
Hunter's deep-seated desire to wear ties (oh, the irony!).

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Things heard in the car

C: blah blah blah blah blah, damn it (fist raise)!
Julia: damn it, damn it, damn it.
Hunter: Mum, Julia's saying damn it.
J: Hunter don't say damn it.
Julia: damn it damn it damn it.
Hunter: way to go Mom.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Julia, Julia, Julia

Q: How can you tell Julia is my daughter?

A: She grabbed the remote and changed the channel from the Backyardigans to the Simpsons.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Slow Down, You're Moving Too Fast

Dear Hunter:

Last week you turned six. There are some days where it feels like you are six going on sixteen (like the days when you tch me, or roll your eyes, or tell me I'm uncool). Other days it feels like you are six going on sixty (like when you say things that are wise beyond your years - being unwise a good example doesn't come to mind as I write this). But most of all it just feels like you are growing up too fast and the time is escaping us. I'm not going to tell you about all the ways you've changed and grown in the last year so I'll just tell you about the last week.

Last week we went to Saskatoon as I had to go to a conference and thought it would seem better if you guys were there with me. You, Julia and Dad spent the days water sliding and swimming, colouring, hanging out, and riding the elevator (where Dad tells me you guys discussed what other things could start with M other than main and you surprised him by saying migration). When we drove home you only asked two times if we were there yet (which, believe me, is a big improvement).

The very next Dad had knee surgery so you and Julia spent the day with Grandma. You guys love spending time with Grandma so it was a real treat for you. Being home also meant being back at school but that was okay because you love school. You especially love spending time with your friends there so to share your birthday celebration we sent a pile of cupcakes. Grandma tells us the container came back covered in chocolate so I'm not sure you carried it as diligently as we discussed but I am sure that you enjoyed yourself anyway.

Since Dad got home from the hospital you have been an extremely helpful boy (which isn't a surprise because mostly you are very helpful). You've been helping Mummy a lot with Julia (playing, organizing, translating, etc.), helping to set the table and helping when Dad isn't as able to move around (like crutches and carrying a glass of water don't go together as well as you might think).

Hunter, you are such a sweet, considerate, and caring boy and I love this about you. It does make me worry, but as you are getting older I'm discovering that the worrying never really goes away it just changes over time. I'm also discovering that while you are sensitive you are also very strong.

Being off work to help Daddy while he recovers has been a real gift because it has meant that you and I get afternoons as our special time. This time with you has meant the world to me. Hunter James, I love you to the edge of the universe and back. You are the most special little guy and I am blessed to have you in my life. Happy 6th birthday to all of us.

Love Mum

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Two Two Two!!

Dear Julia,

You are two! Two! But I don't have to tell you that, you already know as evidenced by your holding up two fingers and saying two. It really doesn't feel possible to me that you could be two because it wasn't that long ago that I was holding that tiny new baby in my arms, or carrying you around in your car seat, or propping you up way too early in your bumbo, or taking you to Mom and baby yoga, or attempting Mom and Baby Yoga as you escaped. And now you are holding up two fingers and saying two. Or loading your dishes into the dishwasher, or wiping the floor, or brushing your teeth obsessively, or playing dolls, or reading stories, or watching Barney! Elmo! or Dooa! The TV watching is new but you definitely want your 'mote when the TV is on so you can watch one of your shows. My favourite thing that you are doing right now, though has to be this:
J: Mummy?
M: What?
J: Lau la (love you).
J: Daddy?
J: Julia?
J: Lau la.
And repeat. At least five times. And sometimes, for good measure, you throw in a Hunter? lau la too. You give great kisses and the most wonderful hugs (squeeze hugs with a grunt for good measure).

Oh, and another thing I love right now - you've discovered me. Meaning you. You look in the mirror and say me. Yes, there you are you wonderful you.

Ooh, ohh and crazy. You've discovered crazy, which is crazy awesome. You take your finger and circle it near your temple and go woo woo and point at whichever one of us is apparently acting crazy.

Oh, and you are obsessed with butts, which is bordering on the embarrassing. I can only blame it on your love of your brother and all that time you spend with him because really, where else could it come from?

You are getting more independent all the time - you walk from the gym to the edge of the sidewalk all by yourself. You get your coat and boots ready (and off, usually two seconds after being strapped in the car). You know when it's time to go potty even if sometimes we don't.

Julia, my sweet crazy mazy - We love you forever, like you for always, as long as we're living our baby you'll be. Lau la.

Love Mum, Dad, and Hunter
P.S. One day I'll actually read you that story and make it to the end instead of choking up and getting Daddy to finish it.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Truth of the Matter is

I can't blog when my heart hurts. My heart has hurt a lot lately. The last six months of 2008 were not great. Don't get me wrong, they had some great moments - Hunter had his first day of kindergarten, Julia explored the potty (something she has decidely become less interested in recently)and there were just some lovely and funny moments that I should have shared to preserve the memory (like you wouldn't believe some of the stuff Hunter picks up at school!). Overall, I have been feeling like I'm mostly hanging on by my nails and pushing, pushing, pushing through. And, I don't really want to write about that stuff. I want to write about things that make people smile - things that will make me smile in a few months when I decide to read over my blog entries. And so I wait. And hope that I'm not getting way too rusty.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Why I Wish Weekends Were Longer

Snowmen, Snowshoing, Sunday dinner, baking, snuggling, running, movies, etc., etc., you get the idea.

Friday, January 16, 2009

What Exactly is it that You Do Here?

A former colleague is a speechwriter and a blogger. One of his blog entries takes you through exactly what being a speachwriter entails (I would link it if I could find it but unfortunately I can't at the moment). Anyway, that entry made me want to capture what exactly it is that I do.

It was a while ago and it had slipped from my mind until I came across this. This is a view of a Premiers' conference (well this one is of a First Ministers' Conference but it sounds about the same) from someone in the media. She captures well the sense of hurry up and wait that takes place at these conferences. It captures well what it feels like to be beyond the barricade (and closer to the magical door) because it's really not that different.

They wait for texts that the Premiers are coming out and ready to scrum. We wait for emails seeking information or briefing notes. We wait for emails that give some sense of what exactly is going on in that room so we can begin to write (or more accurately) edit the communiqué that intends to frame the outcomes for the media and public servants. For both of us comfortable shoes are important because along with the waiting there is a lot of running. For us it's running to bring notes and materials, and to make sure information makes it where it needs to be. For them, it's apparently because they may need to run across snowy areas to get a good quote/picture (the observations, however, seem to be about the same).

I'm sure it differs significantly in the preparation, though. For us, there are weeks or months (if we're lucky) examining the province's interests, building coalitions with other governments to advance or defend those interests, and working internally to get information from the technical experts so that we can boil it down into a note that someone who doesn't spend their days worrying entirely about highways or employment insurance or building codes can easily understand and articulate.

When the meetings are well-executed, we have many conference calls and documents shared among the jurisdictions and come to a common understanding of the issues (or at least one we can all agree to). We come up with agreed-to outcomes to put before the Premiers (we defend our jurisdiction's interests and try to negotiate common understandings). We wait while they meet and tell us what to change about the agreed-to outcomes (because they always change even if only a bit). Wait, wait, wait.

This year, we are hosting one of these meetings so my next few months will be consumed with supporting negotiations on the agenda, then it will be back to the outcomes and so on and so on. And then, when that's done, I'm going to take a nice long vacation.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


One of my favourite bloggers shut her blog down on New Year's eve. I was sad to see it go, but I definitely appreciated her ability to let it go with dignity. I've been thinking about my final blog entry for probably a year now - I'm going to call it jumping off. While I don't feel like a blogger anymore, I'm not quite ready to let it go. I'd like it to go out on a high note, but for that to happen I'm going to have to start writing again. That means taking some time and thinking about a decent post to write or else not being afraid to write down the mundane until I feel inspired. Either way this is my restart post. And if I find I don't write a reasonable number of posts over the next month (a number I've yet to define), I'm going to write my Jumping off post.

Now, onto the mundane...
- today was day one of the weekly cafeteriapalooza (lunch on a tray) date with my work colleagues - we picked the Sears cafeteria. They had liver and onions, turkey dinners (with the ice cream scoops of potatoes and stuffing), jello with cool whip and various other cafeteria goodies. I had a burger and it was delicious (yes this is my nobody cares what you had for lunch post).
- my New Years resolution was consume less do more and we've already purchased a new couch and chair. I'm not saying we didn't need them, just that it seems a bit like we're starting off on the wrong foot. On the other hand - we went snow shoeing and sliding as a family last weekend so maybe it's a tiny bit balanced (or maybe I'm a tiny bit rationalizing).
- tomorrow it's going to be warm and that means we can have a fabulous outdoor weekend (starting Saturday at noon because I'm taking another graduate class on Saturday mornings like a sucker).
- I started doing yoga again, I had forgotten how much I loved it. I'm determined that starting yoga again will not mean that running and swimming go. Not that running hasn't been on a pretty serious hiatus for a while now (with the exception of a couple of short runs over the Christmas break)
- I'm bored with the internet and I. didn't. even. know. that. was. possible.
- And, I'm so in love with my family right now I really feel like work is intruding (even though I'm pretty content with my job at the moment). I think both are related to having a nice, long Christmas vacation.

Anyway, I will write again soon in a more coherent-type manner (maybe).

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Holiday Pictures

Outside Lights

Gingerbread House

Holiday Train

Tree Decorating

Christmas Concert

Checking Out the Lights


Loot (up to and including Christmas Day)