Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Fresh Start...

Two weekends ago - after what was to be a "brief" separation turned into 7 months of living apart - my husband moved back home.

It has been a long and bumpy road to get us a place where we were both ready to be married to each other again. To a place where we have both agreed to put in the work needed to try to fix what was broken.

And so far I am very happy to report that this reconciliation has been very positive. Our girls are over the moon to have their daddy back home and we have made family time a top priority - spending lots of time playing board games and reading stories all together.

We have also made spending time as a couple a priority. This was something I know we didn't do enough of before. This is one of the big lessons we needed to learn.

I have always said that marriage is hard and communication is the key to success. Turns out I was talking the talk and not walking the walk. Because we weren't communicating...we were co-existing.

I had convinced myself that we didn't have to spend every second together and that having time apart made us stronger. And while to some degree I still think that is true...I also know now that it's a fine balance. And that spending time just being with each other - even if we are just watching TV - is just as important as regular date nights.

The past 7 months on my own has given me (and I think I can safely say him as well) a huge dose of perspective. I have thought long and hard about our life together - how it began when we were so young and how I was so sure this was the right path for me that I never even considered it could go wrong.

I realize now that we never really had a chance to figure out who we were without each other. We were just 17 when we started dating and that from the beginning we were always a "we".

It's a dangerous thing to not have a strong sense of self as you grow up and change. As the world changes around you and life takes you on it's crazy journey. Because by the time we realized the problem it was almost too late to change it.

And it's tempting to consider starting all over again. I think for both of us this has been true. The lure of "what could have been" or what "could still be". But it is the true unknown...and we have built a life and a family together. To throw that away for an unknown future...well...for me it wasn't worth it.

While our relationship may never be shiny and new is rich and deep with history and memories and love.

And so I approach this take 2 on my marriage with my eyes wide open and my head leading my heart. I love my husband. Have always loved him and will always love him. But I know now that love is not enough. It is mandatory and amazing but it cannot be the sole foundation upon which a relationship is built.

We are still a work in progress. We have 20 years of bad communication habits to overcome. 20 years of thinking "I know what that look means" or assuming that we know what the other is going to say or how they will react. it is key for both of us to never assume but to ask the questions and express what we are feeling. 

I am grateful for this second chance. This opportunity to really learn from our mistakes, to realize where we went wrong and - hopefully - do it better this time.

Time will tell...wish us luck.


Friday, October 10, 2014

First Kindergarten Field Trip - Richmond Nature Park

My youngest daughter started kindergarten this year and that milestone was one of the main reasons I decided to start my own business. I knew that being self employed would give me the flexibility I needed to be more involved with her first year in school.

When my oldest daughter started school I missed most of her field trips because I couldn't get time off work and I only saw her teachers at special events and parent teacher conferences which made me feel completely disconnected.

Only a few weeks into the school year and I am already reaping the rewards of my decision. My girls teachers know who I am because I see them everyday and I have been able to help out in the classrooms and volunteer for field trips.

And the first field trip was to the Richmond Nature Park with my little kindergarten and her classmates. She was so excited and so was I. I hadn't been to the Nature Park since I was a kid and I couldn't wait to experience it again with her.

I was very impressed by the Park. They have done some major improvement over the past few decades and it is a truly cool place to visit and learn about nature.

The best part of the day was my little one saying "I'm so glad you came with us today Mummy." as we drove back to the school.

Me too.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Family Time

Some quality family time was spent this weekend at an old favourite and a new favourite place.

First it was breakfast and a stroll along the docks in Steveston:

And then after hearing so much about the new million dollar playground in our 'hood we decided to check it out for ourselves. On the walk to the new park we were treated to a rare sight...daytime fog rolling in over the ocean. So pretty...

And now...the park:

Showing her "scared" face just before taking on the giant zipline.
Love this little face...fake terrified or otherwise
 Turns out they both had reason to Daddy pushed them so hard on the zipline they almost went flying off. Luckily they had a tight grip and managed to stay on.


Family consensus is that the million dollars was money well spent. We will be back at a hopefully less busy time and with a little less "oomph" on the zipline push...

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

I can't sleep...I'm too inspired!

It's 12:25 in the morning. I should be in bed. But I can't sleep. My brain is mind is racing...I am full of thoughts and ideas and...since I can't do anything with them right now...I'm blogging instead.

Tonight I had the great pleasure of hearing a truly amazing woman speak on a very important topic - body image. As someone that has never had a very positive body image and also as a mother of two young daughters it was a topic that is always top of mind.

But Taryn Brumfitt truly blew my mind tonight and made me shift the way I think about myself completely. She opened my eyes and inspired me. She was funny and real and down to earth and her talk was poignant and touching.

I could try to sum up what she talked about in my own words but she says is best here:

The first minute of video could have been me. I have stood in front of the mirror so many times and said those exact words to myself.  And so have so many other woman I'm sure. It's such a sad reflection on our society that so many woman think so poorly of themselves solely because of body image.

I am happy to report that Taryn reached her Kickstarter goal and has started production on her documentary "Embrace". I can 't wait to watch it.

And in the meantime I will continue to work on changing my "one word" to something positive in the hopes that my girls will follow my example. I hope they never stand in front of the mirror and hate what they see.

It's an unrealistic expectation...but that doesn't mean I can't work as hard as I can to make it a reality.

Thanks for the inspiration Taryn!

Oh...and my evening was a lot more enjoyable with the company of these two lovely ladies: