Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Recommitted

Okay...that sound you heard....that was me falling off my "get healthy" program with a resounding thud.

I haven't run more than once per week since before I injured my hip flexor more than 6 weeks ago.  Sure I was rehabbing and going to physio, etc, etc. But the truth is that I have had the green light for 2 weeks now and have only run twice.

Tsk, tsk...

And today I realized that I will be registering for my first 5K event in less than 2 weeks. The flights are booked and the hotel reservation has been made. We are going to Disneyland and I am running that Never Land 5K whether I am prepared or not.

So it's time to get prepared.

My hip is healed.  My shoulder is feeling much better. Sure I've had a few other things on my mind but other than that I have no excuses.

Time to get back in the groove.

The countdown is on...


Gulp.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Kids are Not Always in the Picture (Monday Listicles)

What would I do without my iPhone and Instagram?  I mean really...these are two innovations that have had a serious impact on my life.

I love how many spontaneous and beautiful moments I have captured using them.  As well as a few pictures of my food as well of course...

So when I saw that this week's Monday Listicles was your top 10 favourite photos I knew to head straight to Instagram...

My first thought was whether or not I could find 10 interesting photos that did NOT feature my children. I was pretty sure that they were featured in 99% of all my snaps...

Surprisingly Instagram tells me I have uploaded 373 pictures and by my count 101 of them do not feature my children. Hmmm...interesting.

So here - in no particular order as always - are my top 10 favourite Instagram photos that chronicle my life outside of motherhood...

It is what it is
My favourite mug...with words to live by.


Hooker Heels
This is what you get when you ask your 3 year old to help you pick shoes "for work".



Love. Period.
This Mother's Day I got my first ink...a reminder of what's most important to me.

No More of This.
Friday night...11:30pm...work parking lot.  This is NOT work life balance.


Rainy Day Bridge
I still love this city...even in the rain.


Motivation
Written on the mirror at my gym. I still look at this one often.


We Heart San Francisco...
...and after 18 years together we still heart each other.


Running Partners
Taken at the end of one of my first runs.  When 60 seconds had me winded. No more.

Me time
 Lounging poolside on a girls weekend in Whistler.  Rejuvenation...



Don't Judge Me
Because sometimes a bowl is not necessary.


I love posts where I get to take a trip down memory lane...

Until next week Listicle-lovers.




Sunday, June 23, 2013

An Honour to be Nominated

When I started this blog just a year ago I did it purely for me. I wanted an outlet for my writing and a diary of my kids lives. I pretty much figured no one but my friends and family would read it.

Boy was I wrong.  Blogging has done so much more for me. It has introduced me to other writers - amazing women who are funny and brave and poignant and sassy.

It has inspired me to face truths about myself and make long overdue changes. It has given me a place to write about emotional topics and work through them.

And people I have never met - from all over the world - have found me and read my posts. And they have left comments with advice, kudos and commiserations.

As of today I have had nearly 13,000 people visit Writing Down the Bones. And they can't all be my mother.

The whole process has been a major eye-opener for me. And the cherry on top of the sundae came last month when I found out I had been selected by VancouverMom.ca as one of the Top 30 Vancouver Mom Bloggers. I was truly touched.

my badge of honour...
After the nominations were announced a two-week voting period opened and I politely asked my friends and family to please cast their vote for me. But only if they it wasn't an inconvenience. I think I posted twice on facebook and twitter and left it at that.  I just personally felt awkward asking anymore than that.

And so I was not surprised when the results were announced to discover that I was not the winner.  But I was a little disappointed.

Because let's call a spade a spade here...I'm a pretty competitive person. As such I always figured that if I was ever nominated for anything and lost my reaction would be similar to Joey on Friends when he lost the Soapie award:


And let's be clear - there would be nothing "gracious" about my reaction.

Surprisingly...while I was disappointed...I was also feeling that it truly was just an honour to be nominated.

I have heard this phrase so often - uttered by celebrities during red carpet interviews - and I have always thought it was a bit of a hollow statement. Something that you feel you have to say because it's the equivalent of taking the high road.

But it's not hollow at all - when I looked at the blogs of my fellow nominees - I felt really humbled to be included. And I was really looking forward to meeting them all in person at the GLAM event that VancouverMom.ca was putting on.

What a party. It was held at the Secret Location in Gastown and they went all out. There was a photographer taking professional head shots, makeup touch ups, fancy cocktails and - the most important booth of all in my humble opinion - Purdy's.

I made fast friends with those lovely ladies...

 

Each nominated top blogger had an ambassador for the evening - a past nominee that knew how we were feeling.  I was very fortunate to get paired up with the lovely Jen from Mama.Papa.Bubba.


Chatting with her over the course of the evening I knew we shared similar thoughts on what our blog meant to us and even some of the same concerns about how being nominated for this award could impact it. She was proof to me that being nominated didn't mean the focus or tone or feeling of Writing Down the Bones had to change.  What it meant was new opportunities to have my voice heard.  To possibly have an impact on other people.  To even have a say in important matters.

It was very reassuring.

After getting my make up touched up (hello smoky eyes), downing a signature cocktail with a cucumber slice in it (how fancy!) and visiting the Purdy's table a few too many times - it was time for the speeches.

Several past nominees (including Jen) got up and made heartfelt speeches about what blogging meant to them and how amazing being part of this community really is. There was a lot of tear wiping going on after those let me tell you.

And then we honoured the winner of the 2013 Top Vancouver Mom Blogger - Mitzi of East Van Baby. She was showered in aforementioned prizes (so jealous!) and then gave a amazing speech of her own.

Look out world...Moms have internet access and we aren't afraid to use it!

The evening wrapped up with a group photo:



And then all the nominees were given swag bags of our own. The bags were loaded to the max and it's taken me several days to go through it all - thanks VancouverMom.ca for spoiling us rotten!

And with that the 2013 nomination, voting, winner and party phases were complete. Now I look forward to a year ahead of getting to know my fellow bloggers even better and writing more.

I want my voice to matter...and this feels like the first step on my journey to make that happen.

Thanks again to VancouverMom.ca for all your support of us bloggers.  And to all the sponsors that have partnered with them to make it all possible.

I can truly say it really was just an honour to be nominated.

Check out my fellow nominees here:
1-6 | | 7-12 | 13-18 | 19-2425-30 |



Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Father's Day

Father's Day is always somewhat bittersweet for me. I love that on this day I can celebrate the man that I married and what a wonderful father he is to our two lovely girls. But I also hate the day a little bit because it a reminder of what I don't have.

The truth is that I haven't spoken to my own father in almost a decade. We are estranged.  And I am not going to go into the reasons why or all the history and details. This is simply a fact of my life.  To quote my favourite quote - It Is What It Is.

For most of the year it is something that I don't think about often.  On a day like Father's Day however I feel the weight of the separation more profoundly. My social media feeds are full of pictures of friends with their dads and comments like "to the best daddy ever." and "I am so lucky to have you as my father."  and I feel a little cheated.

But instead of focusing on how it makes me feel to read and see all of those posts instead I think about my girls.  And how much they love their daddy and how I know - beyond a shadow of a doubt - that they will never feel the same way as I on this day.

This year hubby's birthday fell just 2 days before Father's Day so we had a weekend full of celebrating.

We started by getting all fancied up for a birthday dinner at a restaurant that the girls had never been too...The Keg.  They took wardrobe selection very seriously - including sparkly shoes and stick on earrings:


And can I just say that The Keg is really kid-friendly.  I mean it might not be a place I'd want to take my toddler that has just learned to walk...but for kids 4 and up its great.  Yes...they do have a kids menu. Yes...they do have crayons and colouring sheets.  They even bring the kids a little appetizer plate with carrot and celery sticks, strawberries and crackers.

 
 

After devouring our food - including oldest daugther's first ever Keg steak (she loved it BTW) - the girls gave hubby the cards they had filled out.

The 'cards' were actually questionnaires and I love that the way they filled them out fit their personalities (and ages) perfectly:
 
 

Little one can't write yet but she dictated her answers without hesitation - she KNEW the answers:

 


After dinner it was back to our house where all of our family was coming over for cupcakes and tea. 16 people all together - ooh lord we drank a lot of tea.

 
Father's Day morning we were up early for brunch in Ladner with hubby's family. Little T gave him his gift she had made at daycare...so awesome:


I had let the girls pick him up a gift at the dollar store as well.  Littlest picked a mini-tabletop hockey set.  And oldest picked a stick on mustache. We had some fun with that - even Lambie got a little classier...


Then it was off for a walk on the dyke in Ladner. It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed every minute.

 
 
 

By the end of the day I was wondering why I had let myself feel "cheated" earlier in the day. Watching hubby with our girls was enough to remind me that my life is not lacking a father's love...in fact it is overflowing with it.

Happy Father's Day to all the Daddy's...remember to always be your child's champion.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Things I Wish I Wrote - "Mommy Wars: You Are Not Cherishing Correctly"

Can we take a minute and talk about how many laugh out loud, pee your pants funny bloggers there are in the world?  I mean the sheer volume of humourous content out there to be consumed is staggering, overwhelming and wonderful.

And some of the funniest of the bunch are mommy bloggers. Obviously I am slightly biased in this regard because I can relate to almost everything they are talking about but man these ladies do make me laugh.

One of my favourite blogs is "Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms" which is a joint effort of two best friends Ellen and Erin. And their post today was one of those that made me literally laugh out loud at my desk...and nearly spit coffee all over my computer screen.

The topic today was the Mommy Wars. Now the Mommy Wars consist of many different battles - Working Mom vs. Stay at Home Mom, Breast vs Bottle, Cloth vs Disposable, Co-Sleep vs Cry it Out, My Opinion vs Your Opinion, I'm Right vs You Suck.

Because while mommy bloggers are funny they can also be just as equally judgmental.  Now I have no problem with being passionate about how you feel but there is a fine line between passion and telling someone else they are doing it wrong.

Which is the exact topic that the Sisterhood tackled this morning. I pretty much nodded to myself the entire time I was reading it and maybe (just maybe) said Amen Sister at the end.  But there is no proof of that.

Enjoy!

------


Mommy Wars: You Are Not Cherishing Correctly
By Ellen

And here we go again folks. The Mommy Wars never seem to go away. They just keep popping up on different battlefields. Just when you thought Stay-at-Home Moms vs. Working Mothers was finally relegated to the history books and the Bottle vs. Breast treaty was signed, we have You’re Not Cherishing Motherhood Correctly with side skirmishes breaking out over You’re Not Blogging About It Right.

Judging women’s adequate appreciation of motherhood happens on a daily basis, but around Mother’s Day, the blog chatter often reaches fever pitch. This year, writers and commenters alike were stirred up by the idea that true bliss was getting away from your kids on this holiest of card store  holidays. There were the posts that humorously extolled this thought, often to the tune of viral page hits, and there were those who condemned the notion or at the very least tsk–tsked with the vehemence of a gaggle of old-school librarians.


Now I’m not saying you should find this idea amusing. I in no way think that every brand of humor tickles every funny bone and I feel that every blogger is entitled to write about things they don’t like. If you ponder deeply, the “I don’t like it” list could include aspects of Motherhood AND genres of humor. See what I did there? Supported freedom of speech and brought us all on common ground.

What is irritating me with the power of a thousand sand fleas is the thinking that if you sardonically poke fun at Motherhood, you hate it, if you are snarky you are promoting negativity, and . . .  what about the children!?! What a. bout. the. chil. dren? You are blogging about Motherhood incorrectly!


Madonna Motherhood — let’s call her Mitsy so we don’t get her confused with the yoga master rocker or The Blessed Virgin – must be working out because she is trying to climb back up on that Perfect Mother Pedestal with all her might. Surely, I cannot be the only one who remembers that a mere generation ago it was blasphemous to admit that motherhood wasn’t all sunshine and buttercups? Women suffered in silent isolation and they kept their ovens clean while they did it, dammit.


And it was unhealthy as hell because you know what? Kids can be narcissistic Napoleonic assholes. The wrong way to pop your cork is by screaming at them, beating them or drinking your way to oblivion. I embrace the blessedly benign in vogue way to deal with it  – write a damn funny post for the whole internet to commiserate with and enjoy on their electronic devices of choice.


These posts go viral not because we are a doomed society feeding off of negativity, but because they are release valves for all the pressures of Motherhood. This gig brings high stakes. You are responsible for the development – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual – of other human beings. I worked some time in one of the premier trauma centers in the country and only Motherhood crumpled me to the floor sobbing in the fetal position. Mitsy is a bitch with a baseball bat she is not afraid to use.


Trench humor naturally develops to deal with pressure. It can be gritty, it can be harsh, but it can be oh so cathartic. It’s honesty peels back the sanctimonious sheen and allows you to process and let go. The first time I had to pronounce a death as a medical student, my more senior resident tapped on the side of the body to simulate a heartbeat as I laid my stethoscope on the gentleman’s chest. Was it crass and tasteless? Yes. Did it convert my angst to outrage and then to laughter? Yes. Most importantly, it allowed me to go out to that man’s family and be what they needed me to be.


Is it really so different for Motherhood? Can we agree that it’s okay to release the pressure with a guffaw and then move on to be the persons we need to be for the little ones in our care? Motherhood is one of the toughest jobs you are supposed to adore 24/7. “Can I just go to the bathroom alone?” has become the universal battle cry because it’s just so ludicrous that a vocation consumes you so completely that you can’t even take care of your bodily functions in peace.


So, please don’t shame the humor that gets me though my day. You know what? I don’t need help cherishing the preciousness of it all. I get it. I got it. It makes it all worthwhile and I embrace it with a Hallmark-worthy hug. What I need is help getting Mitsy to chill out in the corner with a beverage and a magazine so she can stop tripping me up. And in regards to the trauma to my kids from reading my snarky humor? My gift to my daughters is that Motherhood doesn’t have to be perfection and that their momma has been there and done that and will be ready to throw them a life preserver when their time comes. No clawing onto a pedestal required.




Monday, June 10, 2013

Fashion, Freedom & Friends (Weekend in Pictures)

A friend asked me the other day how often I write in my blog. I told her that I aim for 2-3 times a week but sometimes I just don’t feel like writing. I’m either too tired or busy or have writers block.

And occasionally its simply a case of the “I don’t wanna’s”…

Such is the case today.  It’s Monday and I am still recovering from lack of sleep after a very busy weekend. In fact I was so tired this morning I slept through my very loud alarm clock for 40 minutes resulting in a hectic, panicked and rushed morning.

All that said…it was a great weekend that has been moving slowly and my brain firing only intermittently today.  It was filled with great friends and much laughter and date night and kids’ stuff and good karma. 

So I don’t feel so bad about not feeling like writing all about it.  I will let the pictures tell the story instead.
 
Post-Gymnastics ice cream fix...to be eaten with your finger apparently...
Showing me their dismounts...just a little bit different.
Tree climbing at their grandparents house...
The girls spent the night at their aunt's house on Saturday night.  So while we went to a movie and had sushi...they were busy reenacting a Barbie movie and playing "Fashion" (which pretty much consists of them emptying out her make up and jewelry drawers).

These photos were "borrowed" off her Facebook page...complete with captions:

Early Sunday morning salon appointment
Popstar "Keira" is resting before she goes on stage for the big concert. She does not want to be disturbed.
Back-up singer "Lana" just put her lipstick [and heels] on and thinks she looks smashing! (I couldn't agree more!)
Darn. The concert is delayed.
While the girls were off having a great time without us we were doing just the same. And while there is no photo evidence of the Saturday night we spent at our good friends house (which is probably a good thing) let's just say we didn't get home until 3am and woke up in the morning with sore abs from laughing so much. It was a very good night indeed...

On Sunday morning the whole family participated in the JDRF Walk for a Cure in support of our good friends.  Their daughter has Type 1 diabetes and there was no place we would have been other than walking by their side.

Luckily for all of us the clouds that had been threatening cleared off and the sun came out just as we set off. A good time was had by all:

Go Team Markella!

We remembered to get a family shot...hooray!
Pre-walk...
...during walk.
All the kids...oh and hubby too!
awww...young love. ;)

Me and my oldest.
love these girls...
What's this? 2 family pictures in one day? A miracle...
And that's a wrap. 

You know I have to say that looking at these pictures is a great reminder of what a fantastic weekend we hadSometimes they go by so fast you can forget that you actually had fun...

And that we did.


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