Friday, January 29, 2010

Ski Pants

Just over two years ago Kurt and I went up to Elk Ridge with Kiley, Jessica and our friends Graham and Chelsea for a couples retreat through their church.

It was a good weekend - but very emotional. We talked a lot about our recent loss and the acuteness of Autumn's death was severe having only buried her 2 months before.

There are only so many things to do in northern Saskatchewan in January: sledding, skating, and hot-tubing, being pretty much the limit. (I do not cross-country ski.) So we packed up the appropriate clothes for the outing when we left for the weekend.

The day we were going to go sledding, I pulled out my ski pants and tried to get them on without much thought. To my dismay, they didn't even go past my thighs.

It wasn't so much the fact that they didn't fit - as much as why they didn't fit. The weight gain, the discomfort, the agony of missing Autumn, and the seeming uselessness of it was more than I could handle. I locked myself in the bathroom and bawled my eyes out. I hated it - my situation, my body which had betrayed me, my weight... Everything was wrong. And there was no escape.

I walked that valley. The memory makes me kinda shiver... I hope I never feel such despair ever again. For this, I tell the Lord my fears, and leave it with Him. That's enough for me today.

But two years have passed, and my husband decided he wanted to go skiing for his 30th birthday (only a week later). He arranged for his parents to come babysit, and he and I are going to go for the day to a local ski hill and just be together. Like a couple. Imagine that! ;)

But skiing requires ski pants. And I haven't tried those suckers on since that day over 2 years ago. I know I've lost a lot of weight - but that feeling of shock and dismay was still pretty clear in my memory - not an easy thing to shake when it's so tied to the emotions of the time period.

So I took a deep breath and pulled them on. They not only fit, but they were lose enough to squat in comfortably. Yay! :)

It's funny how little things can bring it all back, though. I have a feeling the rest of my life will be filled with little nuances like that. A little PTSD of my own, I suppose...

I told someone the other day that the grief has faded from a hurricane - violent and all consuming - to a sun shower. It's still there persistently - but it's gentle - and the sun shines through. Some days the effects of the rain are more obvious - but my sense of joy has become more consistent.

I have peace.
Wow God.

That's even better than the ski pants fitting again.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I have to say that reading Julie's updates help make me a little-less queasy about the looooong plane ride we're going to be taking in... um... counting quickly.... 25 days.
I'm not going to Mexico - but all the "warm" shots are making me somewhat excited about going to visit the sun.
Thanks Julie! :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Dance

My blog-world-friend, Heather, posted this on her blog a few weeks back.
She was contemplating the strange existence of rejoicing while grieving when she wrote it - having had a newborn son after the death of her twin daughters. I was blown away by how well her story describes it, and asked permission to reprint it here.
She granted it. :)
I entered the auditorium, eager and ready. My hair was just so, my dress beautiful, my make-up perfect. Anticipation filled me as I walked through the door.

I spotted him across the floor. He was breathtakingly handsome. His suit fit perfectly, his smile was amazing, and although I was too far away to be sure … I just knew his smell would be heavenly. We hadn’t been introduced, but I knew his name, everyone did. He was Happiness – and I was about to dance with him.

As I took my first step onto the floor, a hand grabbed my arm. Alarmed I turned, only to find a complete stranger staring down at me. Not attractive in the least, this man wore soiled clothes and was frightening in his overbearing ways. He forced my hand in his, hissed out his name, and before I could speak, Loss and I were dancing – an awful, macabre version of what I had originally planned.

Loss swung me round and round. At each turn, I frantically looked for Happiness, hoping he would save me from this horrible mistake. I saw him in the distance, always with a multitude of new dance partners … I tried to call out, but found my voice was missing.

Over time, the dance became less frightening. Our moves were more coordinated, and I found that there was a certain familiarity to Loss that I couldn’t discount. I still longed to dance with Happiness, but he seemed unaware of my presence, and Loss, well, at least he was comfortable.
I watched as other girls entered the dance, eyes only for Happiness. Some managed to catch his eye, but others were caught up by others like Loss – Grief and Death among them. Although I knew they didn’t want to dance with their partners any more than me, I found I was able to teach them a few steps, show them how to make the most of this new and unfamiliar dance. Most of all, we were comforted to know that not every girl got Happiness, and were able to share in that together.

Resigned to my dance partner Loss, I was stunned when I felt a touch on my shoulder. I turned, nearly giddy with excitement to see Happiness offer me his hand. Without a look back, I left Loss alone on the floor.

To my surprise, I found dancing with Happiness was not exactly as I expected. He was wonderful no doubt, but the moves were new, the unfamiliar unsettling. Despite the awkwardness, I nestled into Happiness’s shoulder, drank in his smell, and let him lead me in this new dance. He was everything I had anticipated, and so much more. He overwhelmed me with his mere presence.

Before long, I felt as though Happiness and I had been dancing forever, Loss soundly put in his place. But as we rounded a bend in the dance floor, a familiar face loomed at me from the dark. With no time to resist, Loss claimed me for another dance.

Ever the gentleman, Happiness stepped to the side, unwilling to claim what Loss thought was rightfully his. He whispered in my ear that he wasn’t leaving forever, only gone for a short time. I clung to this as Loss and I again took to the floor.

As Loss led me across the room, I kept my eyes peeled for Happiness, longing for his return. Although familiar, Loss wasn’t any less appealing than when we first met. And I got the sinking feeling that he had been following Happiness and I around, waiting for his chance to reappear.
Thankfully, within minutes, Happiness reappeared. I gratefully let go of Loss, and while his grip was strong, Happiness’s was stronger. Again wrapped in his arms, I let all thoughts of Loss disappear. Happiness whispered, “you’re mine” in my ear.

As I snuggled in, I was dismayed to see a familiar figure lurking behind my hero. A deep sigh escaped me as I realized that while Happiness had claimed me as his own, Loss would never disappear. And as a gentleman, Happiness would let him have a dance – occasionally yes, but a dance none the less.

And I then knew, us three – myself, Loss and Happiness – we would forever be locked in our strange, three-way dance.


I think what struck me most was the part about loss becoming familiar - not appealing at all - but almost comfortable.

I have learned - and am continuing to learn - to live with the permanent loss of my firstborn child. I no longer try to escape the grief when it comes... but settle in and dance until Happiness finds me again.

I know there are a lot of other women out there who can relate to this story as well. I hope it blesses you like it did for me.

Thank you so, so much Heather. :)

Computer Screens and Snow (in that order)

So our old computer screen died - literally - and all my pictures on this screen (on loan from my mom) are horribly dark. :-O
Surprise! According to my pictures, Peyton is still jaundiced at 15 months!
We're hoping to pick up the new flatscreen we've been coveting for a year looking at sometime this week.
But in the meanwhile, NO PICTURE EDITING!
Our back alley is all snowed it. Thus making our parking area inaccessible. But they're gonna have to plow it soon because tomorrow is garbage day. I'm sure you care - but this excites me because it means a little less shoveling for us. Eeerrrr.... okay.
A little less shoveling for Kurt. :)
Speaking of snow:
Enjoy it all you snowmobiles! Just not near my house at midnight, okay?
I'm going downhill skiing on Saturday with my sweetie - so I'm pretty jazzed for the most part.My fashionably attired daughter feels the same way. :)
Okay - coffee cup is empty so I'm gonna post this and get more. :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

It's been 30 Years...

... Since God created this perfect man for me. :)
I wanted to do a list as has become my tradition for the past few years - corresponding with his age - the 30 things I love about him.
Alas, I have a child who is about to wake up from a nap and I'd rather just give one of my favorite memories from this year than be interrupted for the next week. :)
Allow me to paint the scene:

We were driving around Langley BC in a pounding rainstorm trying to find our hotel. The radio was playing pretty loud because, oddly enough, it seems to help Peyton stay asleep.

As the opening beats of a song came on, Kurt gasped and cranked the radio - even louder than it had been.

After looking in the backseat to make sure our sleeping child was still doing just that, (she was) I turned my eyes upon my husband who was now moving his head back and forth and tapping the steering wheel. It also registered that I didn't recognize the tune at all.
And so, I waited.

I have to say that although I knew Kurt went through a rap phase in high-school and first year of university - I had never been exposed to it.
Imagine my shock as my husband - perfectly in-sinc with the radio - proceeded to recite every world of Tupac Shakur's "California". With attitude.

When he saw my jaw drop, he only winked and proceeded to do the west-side hands while he spun his rhyme. (Is that the term?)

Oh. My.
It was super-duper cute, and still makes me smile almost 3 months later.
Who knew rap could be so sexy? I sure didn't! :)

So happy 30th birthday to my very-own 50-cent.
I love you, Kurt, 'cuz you just brighten my world. :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010


And one more for the day. Why not, right?

Anyway, this is her "wink" - which she does a lot.

The funny thing is that she feels she is hiding if she can't see us. Thus the "boo" when she opens her eyes.

She really is our sunshine. :)

A Dolly!

-- So I have been (obviously) going through video and uploading it. Thought this one would be enjoyable for everyone. :)

We got Peyton a little doll for Christmas (now named "LuLu").

Her gasp is priceless!!! Hope you enjoy at least half as much as we did. Make sure you turn up the volume (and the music is paused) before you watch. :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Dancing Queen

*Pause the music before you hit play*

She learned that hand/arm-pump thing from me. ;-D

This song always gets her going... she loves to dance around and kinda 'bounce' off of things - as you'll see. And this time, the video camera was in the right place to capture our little interpretive dancer.

- I was closer than the camera angle indicates. The treadmill didn't pose any real danger - in case anyone is concerned. :)


I'm shocked at the images I'm seeing on the television. It brings back memories of the tsunami... the total loss is heartbreaking.

When the tsunami hit, I was at a different stage in my life. A student. Poor. No kids. Debt up to my yazoo and still a couple of years away from my degree and paychecks.

And let's face it: I was 6 years less-sanctified. It was a tragedy, yes - but our government would help, right? That's why we pay taxes, after all. :) There was the realization that Saskatchewan is probably the safest place in the world to live - but the intense thankfulness for that fact was missing.

But this time? I look at those little children on the news and tears come to my eyes. I'm a mommy now. And the thought of something like that happening my my precious little girl has opened me up to real compassion. If my daughter were left an orphan, with death and disease and starvation all around her - would someone help?

I am thankful to my core that the floor doesn't shake. It's cold here, I know. But I have a coat! No oceans, no hurricanes, no volcanos - we don't even have poisionous snakes or bugs!

And God has been kind to me in other ways, too. I don't worry about feeding my daughter. We get irritated when all we have left in the pantry is Kraft Dinner. (chuckle) But good grief! It's food - and there is more at the store just down the street!

And don't get me wrong: I'm not feeling guilty that we have peace and safety. I don't think we should feel guilty about gifts - just thank the Giver! But what I do feel is a intense desire to help. To give with the mind that I have been given much... and it's a joy to do.

Abraham Piper linked this site on his blog: I encourage you to not only read but feel.

Donate. Feed babies. Clothe children who have no one else to care for them. And pray for the people whose jobs just got a lot harder.

I am.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I saw the Olympic torch on Tuesday: SUPER-COOL even for my somewhat cynical nature. The runner went right up to the windows of the nursing home, waved at the residents and lit the flame then ran by us while we screamed and waved little Canadian flags.
I always like the winter Olympics so much more (the danger element, I think) but I am so freakin' pumped to watch them now!!! Own the podium, Canada!! :)
Work is busy. Super-busy. But otherwise, pretty satisfying. I have great coworkers, I have shift flexibility, and I'm paid well for what I do. Overall: no major complaints.
I've worked off 3 of the extra 5 lbs I gained from all that yummy Christmas food. (I'm not a real scale-watcher... but sometimes it's a good indication.) I'm also getting back into a little resistance training alongside my cardio... so far, so good.
I'm a little worried about going to Hawaii in a month-and-a-half. With all this security stuff... and the possibility of no carry-ons? It could be a looooong flight. I'm not worried about being scanned (it's preferable to being patted down, I think), because I'd rather that than have someone trying to lite their underwear on fire while we're over the deep/dark ocean.

Kurt got a bread-maker for Christmas which he loves. (thanks mom and dad M!) The house smells pretty good right now - and in the past 2 weeks alone we've probably already saved 15 bucks. We eat a lot of bread. :)
(In the arm-chair she got from us for Christmas)
I am daily amazed at my daughter. She is now climbing onto the footstool, placing her hands in the air (like a gymnast presenting) and saying, "Ta-daaahhh!" She's such a little show-off. However, she very rarely cries when she falls down or bumps her body into anything unless she's super-tired. She looks at the falls as almost as much of an adventure as the climb.
I'm also working on teaching her to say, "I'm a TODDLER." To which she replies, "ah-la-LAA-la-la". (she's loving the 'l' sounds these days) Close enough. She's also learned to cock her head to the side and say, "Cheeeese!" which is making for some funny sideways-ish pictures.
Okay - must run for now! Thanks for reading!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

In My Kitchen Window

The Willowtree figurine was a gift from my parents for Autumn's 2nd birthday. I have it sitting with a little picture of her on my windowsill so that every day I can say good-morning to both my girls.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

I really want to post something!!

*see title*

Happy 2010 everyone!

I'll get on this thing one of these days: although January filled up pretty quickly with work-related stuff... so I may have to use my days off for non-blogging type-stuff...

Like cuddling my adorable 14 month old who I can hear squirming around at this very moment. :)

Talk to you soon, everyone!