Paninis & Writing

There is one thing you need to know before you carry on reading this little thing of mine. One thing that may or may not change your thoughts on whether this relationship of ours is going to go any further. One thing that might indeed change EVERYTHING.

Well this is awkward, it seems I’ve amped it up so much that I can never make it sound as awesome as it needs to.

So here it is: right now at this point in my life I have exactly three things on my brain. My kids well-being, the panini palace and writing.

A while ago Sophie told me she wasn’t exactly fond of me writing all of these, she says “embarrassing” I say “adorable” stories about her. So I will respect her wishes and the tales of the children will have to be kept to a minimal. Which leaves us with paninis and writing.

Hence, if you choose to continue frequenting this account you will probably be reading about a whole shit-ton of misadventures which Jamie and I find ourselves getting into daily at the shop. That and my ridiculous obsession with pop culture, I will probably throw that in here somewhere too. Example, Vampires. Another example: my love for Mindy Kaling…She’s so fucking cool.

Ahem, allow me to paint you a little picture here.

It was lunch-rush and busier than we’ve ever been before. INSANITY to be exact. But good insanity. Exciting insanity. We were running into each other like chickens tend to when their heads get cut off except babbling back and forth so perhaps more like a pair of challenged baboons. I was panting for the love of God! Panting! I’m so out of shape.

Then everything froze.

Now everything did not actually freeze to be literal, it’s not like there was some kind of super natural force which actually stopped time or anything. This was more of an emotional freezing moment where I looked at my husband and this sandwich kingdom we have assembled and I couldn’t be more honoured to be in this thing with him. Like, how did I become so lucky to have found a partner who I can raise a family with but build a business alongside too? It is nothing short of a miracle.

Time jumps back to reality and Jamie runs past me clutching his hand. He returns to the line a few minutes later with his index finger wrapped up like a mummy and two clear plastic gloves on over top.

“Did you cut if off? Do you need stitches?” I ask with not a hint of yarn in my voice because my husband has literally cut off the tips of his fingers several times before in his career and had to get them sewn back on. So this was a serious and vital question at the time.

“No I just sliced it down the middle.” He said. Then we disinfected what needed disinfecting (becasue a restaurant is nothing without clean and proper health standards) and continued on with the lunch-rush because stopping just isn’t an option these days.

I’m not going to lie, it’s been a tough go of it lately. We are feeling the debt that we created when setting up the shop and it’s proved to be a lot more difficult than we anticipated to begin paying it down.

Of course, it’s all part of it. This is the big shebang of starting a business. Them’s the ropes, as they say. We get it. But if you’ve ever had debt hanging over you, if you’ve ever felt that suffocating fear of relying utterly and completely on your next day’s sales, your next week’s paycheque, I’m sure you can feel where we are coming from.

So today, this fantastic day that we were not expecting but eagerly hoped for had finally come! At one point as I slid in beside my husband on the line and poured a bowl of soup we caught each other’s eyes. He looked at me and smiled this smile that just said, “I may have just sliced my finger open but that’s okay because we’re doing it! We are making this happen!” and it gave me a stomach full of butterflies.

It was a long day, twelve hours to be exact with even more paper work and planning to be done once I arrived home that evening. When they say starting a small business ain’t for the faint of heart, believe them, they wouldn’t lie to you. **I don’t know who “they” are but they sure know their shit.

When Jamie got home we cracked a couple of beers and talked about the day. It was in fact the busiest one we’ve had yet and despite our aching feet and weary brains it was our day! We had done it. Sure there were a few mishaps but we recovered. We moved forward and now are ready for another day, and that my friends, feels fabulous!

 

 

 

Wednesday Rambles

 

The house has a muggy calm about it this morning. Today is supposed to be devastatingly hot and I’m not entirely sure I am ready for it. I’m not entirely sure I am ready for anything anymore. For someone who used to be chronically prepared for just about everything, I’ve sort of dropped the ball lately.

Maybe it’s the heat. Or maybe it’s my brain being overloaded with menial tasks. Perhaps it’s my brain being overloaded with all of the non-menial tasks that’s getting me down. The worries and what-ifs about the future. I find myself daydreaming all of the time about what’s to come.

Like, I wonder when that multi-billionaire is going to stroll through the doors of The Hot Wire and give us an offer right then and there that we can’t refuse. He will say something along the lines of, “Boy Howdy I do declare this is the best éclair I’ve ever eaten!” or “Well, I tell you what, I’ve never seen a more original and downright delightful sandwich shop in my whole dang life.” I am imagining this person to be from the Deep South with an accent reminiscent to Foghorn J. Leghorn.

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However right here and now I am reminded that none of this has actually happened yet. A wall of heat is currently pressing up against my back and I feel as though I may be slowly melting away into oblivion. I do hope it’s not so hot there.

Usually I don’t mind the heat. I like to bask or whatever. But working in a kitchen when it is 30 above, I’ve come to discover, is most likely the closest impression of Hell that any human being will ever know.

I literally just turned around to see if I could physically see what the “heat” looks like. I am assuming that because it is so god-damn hot in here (at 6 am) that surely I would be able to spot its wrath. I’m really considering stripping down to the buff and going to sit in the cool garage for a few before I head off to work.

Okay by now I’m sure you guys are asking yourselves where in the good and glorious name of Jeebus am I going with this blog post?

Well, to put it right out there; I’ve been a bit of an asshole lately. I’ve pretty much been the assholiest asshole in the history of assholes (but not the literal kind…because that would be shitty. Ha!)

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In these last few weeks I’ve pulled away. I’ve withdrawn because let’s face it, things got scary and things got hard. We were struggling to get the business where we needed it and doubt plus many misgivings were running rampant. I stopped calling my friends and family because I just didn’t have anything positive to say. I didn’t text, and when they texted me I shot back with insincere one word answers.

Assholery I tell you, pure assholery.

Now, it is time for an apology! I’m sorry dear loved ones…I love you all. Love, love, love, love and some more love. Yes, this is in fact my idea of an apology. They’ll get it.

The smouldering and fiery facts—that accompany my current state of sweltering alive—are that I was a little depressed for a brief moment there, and it scared the holy molies out of me.

But then one day not too long ago something happened and although it doesn’t solve all of our “starting a business stresses” it gave me that little bit of oomph I was in need of to get up and get on.

A dude sitting in the shop so very nonchalantly muttered to his Panini one random day, “I love you. I never want you to end.” And in that moment our suspicions about failure vanquished. We realized that we have something here, something good. It was about at that time when grandiose delusions of talking roosters paying us millions to franchise our panini palace came into play.

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Maybe that’s a little much, I don’t know.

What I do know is that I cannot allow the down days to affect the relationships in my life. Our humans, the ones who get us through the everyday, are our everything. There are going to be bad days. Days when the bread doesn’t rise and the cakes all fall. There will be days when the equipment brakes. When the kids act up and lash out. There will be days when we want to tell the whole entire world to just fuck right off.

And then, there will be days when we find a grown ass man telling his panini that he loves it. There will be days when we feel invincible. Some days we will find that we have the ability to do just about anything.

These are the days we must hold tightly to. The days that remind us that we are doing something wonderful and fulfilling.

Some may even go as far to say; these, are the days of our lives.

*mic drop.*

Lindsay Out.

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A Christmas Gift

As my baby brother sits in the hospital with his love, supporting her through this monumental time in their life I wonder what thoughts race through his head?

Labour is the most agonizing, exciting and beautiful thing that a couple will endure together- All wrapped up into a not so neat package. I cannot stop thinking of these two very important people, one of whom I’ve always known and the other I have come to love as the sister I never had.

I couldn’t be happier for them. I have no doubt in my mind that they will be the best of parents to this wondrous new addition.

But what engrosses my mind most today is how much my brother has matured in these last nine months. I look at him from one year ago, and see the man he has evolved into and pride swells within me.

Although Dustin and I have always been close, I could not feel any closer with him at this moment…Any happier for the amazing experience he will soon endure with his beautiful partner,  Ashley. And the notion that he will soon  look into his son’s eyes, brings on gushing tears each time I think of it.

I wrote this poem several years ago for my poetry book, A Fervour of Truth. It is how I have always seen my brother Dustin, but now it somehow means so much more. Today I would like to share this poem with you…

Comrade

A comrade whose alliance has

Served me through my years.

The one in which knows my life

Of laughter and of tears.

A comrade whose young memories

Are much the same as mine.

And always stood beside me

Throughout the tests of time.

This comrade could find faults

Of mine, and tell me in a whim,

Sore feelings would be shared at times

After that, accepting them.

A comrade who works hard

Deserving all he takes,

This comrade finds his way in life

Despite the trialed stakes.

Comrade I have learnt from you,

As I hope that you can see

Thank you to our parents

Who  brought you here to me.

 

The anticipation of what is to come continues to distract me from my day to day duties, because I know that soon I will be given the allowance to see the same things I deeply love about Dustin, in his son…And that is by far the best Christmas present I will receive this year.

Why I still Believe in Santa Claus

As a child my life was filled with magical things. My mom being a very theatrical lady, made the most of her talents by making each special occasion one of enchantment. Our Easter egg hunts were to die for, our Halloweens were spooktacular, she even went as far to set out little pots of gold on our front door step for my brother and I on St. Patty’s day.

And on the days in-between these monumental junctures we would sing and dance in the living room. We made up plays to perform for nobody at all and went on wild adventures in our own backyard- each time experiencing a new-fangled voyage.

Every night would end in a story told by the greatest story teller I have ever known, Mom.

So with all of this wonder happening everyday in our home, I’m sure you can imagine what the festive time of Christmas was like in the Sawyer household. To this day I still get giddy when walking into my Mom’s home and finding her decorations have been set out in their perfect fashion.

Each trinket telling a story of our life that now seems so long ago. Every piece of Christmas paraphernalia seeming so natural, so ordinary, so…Just like home.

Mom really talked up Ol’ Saint Nick when we were youngsters. She told us all about his workshop in the North Pole and the elves and Rudolf too. Christmas Eve we would always try to stay busy. Baking cookies for Santa’s arrival was a must. Assuring we had enough milk to wash down those sugary delights was of great importance too. We then would sing carols in the front room of our doublewide (thankfully it was located in the middle of nowhere so nobody was subjected to our off tune singing) and lastly she would recite The Night Before Christmas to us.

This was always what I looked forward to. Her mannerisms when performing that poem were amazing, and my brother and I would be captivated through the entire narration.

Finally it would be time to sleep. To be clear, there would be no sleeping…Or very little that is. Dustin and I would camp out in my room, desperately listening for hoofs upon our tin roof. Every now and then Mom would pop her head in and let us know that the newscaster on the TV just reported that Santa was in Hong Kong, or Australia…The United States! These updates made it even harder to get to sleep.

And the rest is history. We would wake from a groggy 2 and a half hour snooze to find our stockings were full and an unwrapped present from Santa sat there lovingly.

It just felt so real. Never in my younger years did I doubt that a jolly fat man flew around the world delivering presents to every child on the Nice List. It was simply the way it was.

I believed so much that it wasn’t until I was 11 that I got the news broken to me. It was a balmy June day. Why the topic of Santa had came up I’m not quite sure, Christmas should have been the last thing on our minds so close to summer vacation.

I don’t remember who told me, I pretty sure I’ve mentally blocked out this traumatizing moment in my life. I do remember though that it was unbelievable to the other ‘kids’ that I still believed in Santa.

I cried my way home on the bus that day, but as hard as my younger brother Dustin tried to ask me what was wrong I would not tell him. I couldn’t be the bearer of this sort of bad news to him.

After I got over the initial shock of losing Santa- a friend I had known for as long as I could remember, I still had an inkling in the back of my mind. It was as though I just could not bring myself to not believe.

But because children want to be accepted and yearn for the approval of their peers these thoughts were kept just for me. Like a magnificent secret that only I knew about.

As each Christmas passed, the thought of Santa Claus stayed firm in my mind. I never truly let him go.

Today at almost 28 years old, I still have not let him go. And around this time of year, this magical time of year, I am reminded of my childhood days and believing in the wonder that is Christmas. I am filled with a feeling of hope and rejuvenation, and I love watching as my children are given the allowance to feel this as well.

It was never about the presents when we were young, we were never showered in gifts a-plenty but sure as the angel atop my Christmas tree, that gift from Santa in which we asked for would always be there waiting for us.

Maybe I don’t believe in a physical Santa Claus anymore, because time and age has jaded me. But I do believe in the magic. I believe in the spirit of Christmas, the spirit of St. Nicolas, and the beautiful feeling this time can bring when it is stripped down to its origin.

On that balmy June day, when my 11 year old world has been ripped apart, my unparalleled Mother said these words to me, “Lindsay, you can believe in anything you want to believe in. The spirit of Christmas will always be in your heart, and that is what Santa Claus truly is.”

That day, my mom gave me the greatest Christmas present I could have ever asked for without even knowing it.

 

Thank you Mom, for always allowing us to believe.

Thoughts For You

Rocky Horror Picture Show

The wonder of collective glow

Mystic things and Stephen King

And of course the sexy Sting

 

Always coursing through this life

With a blaze that burned in stride

You gave us knowledge that we could not know

Would later sow, and onwards grow.

 

Two years it’s been since you have left

Leaving us with hearts bereft.

I know that’s not what you’d like us feeling

Although our minds are always reeling.

 

I see you in your daughters eyes

Looking down on us from azure skies

I hear your words in angelic voice

“This life is yours, so make your choice.”

 

And once again you are right,

Once again you’ve showed your light.

So sadness I will put aside

And celebrate your wild ride.

 

Today Janet, you’re in our view

Your life, your wisdom- through and through.

A Birthday Wish For Dustin…

Dear Brother,
Remember that time I locked you in the outhouse with the stench of poo wafting into your 7 year old nostrils? For like 2 consecutive hours…I’m sorry.
Do you recall all those times I would feign crying so you would hang out with me and let me play your Pokémon stadium game on the Nintendo 64…Yes, I was faking it to make you feel bad for me, if you hadn’t already figured that out.
Bro, do you recollect the moments late at night where my friends and I would sneak into your room and draw penises on your face and ask you in your sleep what I was getting for Christmas? We did this because we knew you would tell, since you’re a strange sleep talker like that. Well you probably don’t remember that one…As you were sleeping and all.
Oh brother, how many odd and unusual memories we have together. There were moments when we nearly killed each other out of some deep seeded rage about who would get rule over the remote control that Saturday morning.
There were moments that we “hated” each other, and those were the times I would seek vengeance and do things like locking you in outhouses and rolling you down steep hills in a rain barrel. Those were also the times in which you would do things like peeing in water guns and taking me by surprise with a stealthy piss fight attack…Me being none the wiser until it was too late and I was soaked with a pungent smell of cheap plastic and urine.
But then after all of the memories of retaliation and fighting fade away as they always do, I think of the more sullen times. The times when late at night you would get scared and meander your way into my room because sleeping alone that night was simply an impossibility.
I remember moving out, and in the off times I thought to call you to see how things were going at home, I could hear the disappointment in your voice. I could imagine the way I made you feel, just up and leaving without a trace. And in those moments, my teenage rebellion would subside and a tangible feeling of sadness would come to head. In those few seconds I would miss our sibling rivalry direly.
After that, it would be several years until we became close again. Whether that was because of hard times on my part or your busy high school schedule I can’t be sure…maybe it was a mixture of both. As sappy as it is coming from me in these present days, I want to tell you I did think of you often in those younger years.
I then got pregnant with my son. You needed a place to live and moved in with Jamie and I and we lived together happily for a few years. Despite my annoyance with your drunken belligerence at times, I was so appreciative to have you in our home. We grew and nurtured that sibling bond that had went missing in those previous years. And with that bond a new aspect of our relationship developed.
Respect.
In times of childhood you were always my little brother, and in most instances I treated you as such. But the more I get to know you as an adult, the respect I have for you grows infinitely. I am so grateful to have you in my life. I am thankful I’ve got to stand witness to the amazing things you’ve accomplished in your adult life thus far. You are truly a wonderful human being Dustin, and I am proud to call you my brother, my family, my friend.
So before I get rambling on too much and start blubbering like a baby, I would like to give you a birthday wish on this day of November 28th.
I wish for you happiness in your next exciting chapter of life. I wish for you confidence in those first few moments of holding your son- you will be a wonderful father. I wish for you to know no matter what, you can always come to your sister for advice (despite how wacky that advice may be). I wish for you to have a sibling for Jackson in the future so he will know the love that a sister or brother can bring…That it is truly like no other.
But mostly, I wish you bliss. Because Dustin, you deserve it.
Happy Birthday Brother, may all these wishes plus more come true.

P.S. I didn’t get you anything for your birthday.

For more awesome bro posts check these out;

The Double Edged Coin

Siblings

And how could I leave out…

Down on the Freeway of Cowboy Trail

An Open Letter To My Readers

In many of my posts, I get comments stating that you admire my honesty about the stories I write. That I am so brave to be able to scroll down these embarrassing tales of leaking bodily fluids and unordinary tales of parenting, without the blink of an eye.

I so appreciate these comments and all of your involvement in The Blogging Mama.  It sort of makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside…(Not in a weird way, l promise.)

The thing is, I would like to give you all a little glimpse at the woman behind the blogger. The woman that toils with thoughts of not adding up, and struggles with body image, and searches for that niche in this big scary place we call life.

Yes, I love to write. I assume you have all come that conclusion thus far. I am a dedicated Wifey and the children are my absolute everything. These are the facts I give out readily on The Blogging Mama.

What you don’t see, is that each time I post, fears of inadequacy rise up within me. I think of my lack of training and cannot imagine why anyone would want to read something written by…Well, me.

Each time someone captures a photo of me, I quietly obsess about the thought of whether or not that  sordid double chin was in the shot…Did I look fat?

I worry about other parents judging me, and my somewhat unorthodox look at all things parental.

“Look at her, spending so much time on the computer and ignoring her children.” Is what I imagine the other parents; the better parents, saying.

 

I have always been a very self-conscious person, wishing fervently that I could simply toss away these insecurities and carry on oblivious to my quandaries of others judgments. I have although, gotten better with this as time has aged me.

Yet still hide behind the humor in words as a shield for my own self-doubts.

And I implore with strident force I do not pass these idiosyncrasies on to my children.

 

Even now, as I think of a way to end this draft, I imagine that you will take this as a pity post.

Feel sorry for me, like me, love me.

This is not my intention.

 

I have recently acquired a considerable amount of new readers on The Blogging Mama, new readers who do not know me on a personal level. I want to be able to connect with you, allow you into my world. The world beyond ‘The Mama’.

We as Mothers and Fathers obviously have our first priorities as parents. The children we are raising are the future generations, and this is not something to take lightly.

But, with that said, we are still human beings. People with dreams.

Writing has always been a deep passion for me; to write something, anything that compels even one person to read it.

The Blogging Mama has been a wish of mine before it was even a composed idea in the deep crevice of my psyche.

So today, I would like to thank you.

Thank you for reading and enjoying and without truly knowing it, helping me conquer so many insecurities that are buried strongly within these writings.

 And in return to your beautiful interest in this blog, I will continue ardently to bind the parental condition together.

 

For you dear readers have helped me, more than you could ever know.  

The Enlightenment of Photography

In my life there always comes these pivotal moments of clarity. I should count myself lucky because often I am in great need of them…And as time has shown me, in these ‘often’ instances I am almost always given this gift of enlightenment.

As of recently I had been  stressed. The kids have been acting up (more so than usual) and in general, life somehow seemed to be spiraling out of my control.

I had scheduled to do a photo shoot for The Blogging Mama, in an attempt to draw in some more readers with fancy new pictures. My very good friend Jen at Imagine the Image Photography graciously decided to help with this idea, and the pictures we captured gave me an entirely new outlook on this existence and my beautiful family.

I don’t think I can ever thank Jen enough, for she had inadvertently picked me out of my slump and helped me once again realize the beautiful people Jamie and I created.

So here are some of the things I have discovered though the spectacular art of photography…

You know your husbands a good one when he cleans up your drunkenly  chucked wine bottles from the night before.

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As much as siblings fight…And drive you to drink with their incessant feuding and bickering; When a little sis needs a tow on her tricycle, big bro will always come to the rescue.

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 Wrestling your children into submission very rarely works as a calming tool in parenthood.

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Sometimes that first leap, is just as hard on us as it is on them!

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 To a child;  A dying weed, is just as beautiful as a bouquet of red roses.

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No matter what the obstacle, the TV will be found…And most definitely will be watched!

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And finally, everyone has always said the Lars looks identical to Jamie. There is absolutely no resemblance to me whatsoever…Well, I think that just might be a changing.

What do you think?

Lars and a Stach to match Mummy 11-039AC6BF-173648-960

 

Again I would like to thank my photographer Jen for capturing these moments in our life. How wonderful it is to be able to look back with these visual reminders of the life that we have and currently are living!

Here’s to the people!

Here’s to the Mama’s! The bakers of fetuses, the creators of life. The wipers of snot and makers of The Best Lunches Ever!

Here’s to the woman who put their lives on hold, to give their family the best of the best. Here’s to  midnight feedings, and nap-less days. To the women who struggle to fit in at PTA but do it anyways for their babes.

Here’s to the Daddies! The men who work 10 hour days to support the family they love. Here’s to the men who take parental leave.  To the guys who change diapers and give bottles.  Here’s to the Daddies that play Peek-a-Boo despite how silly they look.

Here here to the men who would do anything for their family and display that mentality on a daily basis.

 

Cheers to the people who struggle with money, but make it work. To the parents who have divorced, but still stay civil for the sake of the children.

Here’s to single parents everywhere, doing the job of two people. Sacrificing so much for the children they love. You are doing a wonderful job!

Here’s to our children’s grandparents who tell us ‘it will all work out in the end.”

A shout out to the doctors and nurses who work so hard to keep our families safe and healthy. To the teachers who help mold our children into the individuals they will one day grow up to be.

The police officers who protect and serve.

To the cooks, the librarians, the accountants and the cashers. To all of the employee’s who play an important role in our community.

 

Today, I give a high five to ALL!

Today I will say No;  NO to uppity-ness, and NO self involvement.

Today I will give a big ol’ cheers to NO JUDGMENT.

 

We all have our story, our individual triumphs and our secret failings.

Today I ask you to own your legend.  Appreciate the people you never think twice about. Leave out the critical stares and the arbitrary comments.

Give a helping hand to someone in need.

Tell someone…Anyone, that they are doing a good job; that they are appreciated!

For a small, yet gracious gesture may go a long way for someone who truly requires it today.

Here’s to the people everywhere!

You saved my LIFE lady! You saved my LIFE.

The Purse. The one accessory I own that will leave me lost and helpless if its location is unknown. So what happens when you add one stressed out mother trying to get her kids in the car, about a hundred things spinning through her mind and a complete and utter lack of observation to her surroundings?

Me; sprawled on the kitchen floor, a dead cordless phone in one hand tears streaming down my mascara ridden face and slowing chanting ‘No, Nooo, NOOOOOOOO’ between hyperventilating gasps of air.

Perhaps it would be wise to start from the beginning rather than the end, so here my friends, is my story.

The woman held her two children’s hands while walking briskly through the grocery store. The to-do list in her mind was quickly building and the stress had snuck up on her.

She retrieved the 2-3 size pull-ups for the girl child, paid the cost of them to the cashier and left, again setting into her brisk walk, almost dragging her children behind her.

“Ok Sophie, get in the car baby. Lars you can go get in on the other side, the door is unlocked.”

The children were testing the woman. They thought it was some sort of game to ride in the small green Toyota Tercel, their family van was once again in the shop getting fixed for some problem or another.

The woman’s anxiety levels were rising, she was tired from her first day of work and concerned about finding stable childcare for the future. Again the To-Do list was ticking away in her mind.

“GET IN THE CAR!”

The children obliged.

As the woman drove out of the No Frills parking lot, she did not see the throng of concerned citizens flagging her down with flailing arms and yelling mouths. The woman was to engrossed in her mental To-Do list.

As she got home and unloaded the children, she realized one vital piece of hand-baggery was not in her midst. Her purse…Her life, was nowhere to be found. The woman again packed the children into the little green car to backtrack the whereabouts of the missing article.

She drove slowly though the streets in which drivers behind her honked and yelled furiously for her ridiculous plight of creeping down the loaded road.

She didn’t care, she needed to find that purse.

She went back to the store and asked them if it had been turned in. No luck. Shit!

Again the woman packed her children into the car that resembled a can of sardines when all was burdened in it.

As she made her way home, the tears began to flow. What was she to do? How does she even go about beginning to replace everything that resides in the thing.

Again she searched the house, the car, everywhere it could have possible fallen between the 4 block radius from the grocery store to her home.

Nothing.

She begins phoning people to cry her woes to family and friends. maybe someone will come over to help her search she thinks with a distant fleeting hope.

The woman is in mid dial of her husband’s cell phone number when the cordless phone she holds dies. All of the cordless landlines in their home are now dead. Her cell phone? Somewhere in her purse; somewhere.

And this, is the pivotal ‘no hope’ moment.

The woman collapses to the kitchen floor, tears overflowing her already bagged and bloodshot eyes. She is saying ‘No, this can’t be happening’ over and over to herself…But probably loud enough for bystanders outside to hear through her open windows.  The woman knows she has to pull herself together but she cannot. The dramatic scenery of the circumstances and her reaction almost feels natural to her, like home. And she takes comfort in the theatrical production she is putting on for the walls and few insects that venture near her vicinity.

The woman’s production is cut short when she hears a phone ringing….A PHONE RINGING?!

This means there must be another phone in the home that is not dead. Yes of course! The ancient phone that her parents had given her a few months ago, because her cordless phones were always dying.

She runs to it.

Misses the call by half a ring, but checks the message that has been left.

“Hi this message is for Lindsay. This is Joy from No Frills, someone has turned in your purse. Your welcome to come and grab it anytime, we close at 9 today. Thanks.” Click.

When the woman retrieved the purse from the grocer, she was told that the Lady who had turned it in watched as she placed the thing on the roof of the car…Buckled the kids and without thinking drove away. The lady tried to wave the woman down, but to no avail.

Today I would like to thank the anonymous woman who returned my purse. You lady, seriously saved my life!

As well, just a few morals to the story;

  • Never, I mean never, become so stressed out you do not pay attention to your surroundings. Devastation can strike anytime, anywhere…And usually when you are not expecting it.
  • Don’t drive a vehicle that is small enough to place things atop it.
  • And finally, when things get tough, don’t feel bad about throwing some dramatic efforts into your pleas…It really does make for a more satisfying tantrum!

A Simple Thought For The Day

Currently there is an unforgivable smell of urine lingering in my living room. As hard as I may, the smell will not scrub away. I look at the home that I toil with daily to keep clean, and presently it rests in a state of upheaval.

Thoughts of financial stress have currently burdened my mind, forcing me to make some tough decisions.

I think of some of my unhealthy, bad habits, and the knowledge that I must give these things up is flagrant. Yet not even remotely on my list of things to do.

I have managed to gain ten pounds this fine summer, despite my moving more- in accordance with this busy schedule. Stress can do some amazingly horrid things to one’s body.

Writing has become a very, very secondary task in my life as of late. Between the heat, the schedule, the family visits and the house; there is simply no time to write. When I do type up a blog post, it comes to surface as superficial, stereotypical almost.

And to top everything off, I have been living the last few years with kidney issues. And unfortunately are, and always will be living on and off of antibiotics for infections that are inevitable….This though, is another story which I will write about- Sometime…If ever I am given the allowance to conjure up the words to write this story.

This morning I woke, with my husband on one side of me, my daughter snuggled closely on the other and my son atop the lower half of my legs (it still amazes me that he finds this a comfortable position to sleep in).

Instead of feeling perturbed by the sudden cramped sleeping quarters, I reveled in the condition. I woke up happy to be so close with my kids and husband and laid there for a few moments watching my sleeping family amidst me.

Like every other day of wakening, the thoughts which burden my mind came to head quickly, but I was able to push them aside this morning. And instead of rising frantically with lists of the tasks I must complete, I thought of the things that have already been achieved.

I thought of my kids, and that they are happy, healthy and well adjusted children. I thought about my husband and I, not of all of our short fallings but of our triumphs in these last 5 years together.

This morning I realized that life will pass by us regardless of our victories, regardless of our failings. And instead of keeping track to gage  our success in this lifetime, merely participating is achievement enough.

Today as I madly try to rid the carpet of its pungent pee smell and take my antibiotics, and clean up for my in-laws upcoming visit, and vamp up my resume for job searching, I will not dwell.

Today I realize that this is all part of life, of growing up. Because growing up never truly ends.

Today I would like to call my morning thoughts of happiness and bliss an epiphany of sorts, although I don’t think it is. Again maybe a little to surfaced and stereotypical, but meaningful to me non-the-less.

Today, I will not worry about tomorrow. I will be with my kids, do what I can, and choose happiness over tension.  Today I will make a change not only for my family, but for myself.

The Big Man Upstairs

I believe in a god. I believe that there is some kind of higher power out there. I don’t know if this entity has a sex, what it should look like or where it resides, and to me those thing don’t matter. I just know it is there, and this is what gives me comfort.

Although I was never raised with organized religion, my parents very much tried to instil in my brother and I, that there are greater things at work in the world. A ‘more than what meets the eye’ sort of mentality.

I’m not sure what beliefs are right and what are wrong (that is if any) and I have never much thought about the answers to the ambiguous query’s of life – No, that’s a lie, of course I have, who hasn’t? But these questions do not eat me up inside, or keep me awake at night, because somewhere deep within me, I know that there is something else who will assist us in the hard decisions.

I do know that having this one thing, this one belief  that I have had since I was younger than I can remember, has got me through some pretty tough times. And every once in a while I will stop and remember that I am not alone, despite how rigid life can sometimes be.

I would like my children to be able to find solace in something bigger, something beyond the physical. And I will gently steer them in that direction, but in the end, the choice to believe will completely be theirs.

Something happened yesterday, something that was beautiful and grand.

For today’s post, I would like to share this experience with you.

My Dad and I were sitting in his nice cool shop, as the weather was blistering outside. Lars was playing in the background with the dog, but I could tell he had one ear on our conversation.

Dad was explaining that he really needed some rain since he had just fertilized the crops and the fertilizer needs to be dissolved by the rain before it will begin to take its effect.

Lars comes running up to where we sat,

“Papa, why do you want it to rain?”

“Well, we need rain so Papa’s crops will grow.”

The boy stood there with a puzzled look on his face, as though not quite knowing what to say or do next.

“Why don’t you go ask The Big Man upstairs to give Papa some rain.” My dad said in his most grandfatherly tone.

I looked towards my 4 year old boy, wondering but more so doubting that he would understand what his Grandfather was asking him to do. We have talked briefly with Lars about God or as I have put it, A Higher Power, but have never referred to it as ‘The Big Man Upstairs’ so I wasn’t sure Lars would click in to what was being said.

It was only seconds later that the boy was running towards the large bay doors of the shop that were propped open and once under the blue skies he thrust his head up towards the clouds and screamed with all of the OOMPH he could muster,

“HEY BIG MAN! WE NEED SOME RAIN DOWN HERE FOR PAPA’S FIELDS…THINK YOU COULD GET US SOME?….AT THE FARM PLEASE!”

Both my Father and I were wearing the goofiest smiles upon the young boys return, and we congratulated him on a job well done.

of course when the rain didn’t start falling immediately Lars was shattered, thinking that The Big Man upstairs did not hear him.

Papa explained it may take a while for The Big Man to arrange for the rainfall.

It seemed to suffice.

The following morning while I was still sleeping and had the incident in the outermost portion of my brain, I heard a faint delightful cry of glee from the upstairs floor of my parents home.

As I made my way upstairs, Lars was joyfully reiterating his ploy to receive rain. He spotted me as i stood and watched him in the kitchen and bolted towards me,

“Mama! The Big Man heard me!!!! He gave Papa rain for the fields!” He was so overjoyed that I too became filled with a feeling of awe and wonder, not so much because of the rain, but because of the spirit behind it.

What a magnificent and glorious thing, to be able to speak to the sky and get nature’s gift in return. And for a child to be so jubilant about it, was certainly the topping on the cake.

Something so ordinary and maybe even mundane as rainfall, can elate a child, his mother and her parents to the extent of euphoria; this is what I call a miracle.

And the best part…These things happen every day.

The Boozy Tea Party

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The empty champagne bottles are in the bin, the decorations have been tucked away into their designated spots and I am feeling fine. If someone would have asked me how I was doing 24 hour ago, I may have likely dropped, curled up into the fetal position and began chanting nonsensical jibber-jabber until all there was left to do was cry…But now that all is said and done, I am feeling extraordinary.

The sensation of doing well has taken me over and I am so happy I was able to create this celebration in honoring motherhood, for the Mama’s in my life.

Because let’s face it, these Mothers…They are pretty damn wonderful.

The Drunken Tea Party was the name, and sweat and toil was the game. You may wonder why I decided to name it this, well for several reasons in fact… 1. I enjoy the idea of an elegant tea party. 2. I really really like champagne. 3. I thought it was rather clever to combine the two.

I had devised the idea, only a few days before the event was to take place. Jamie would be working all day and night, so I was left to my own devices to create this festival of sorts, to thank mine and his mom for everything they do for us.

I didn’t want it to be like any other family get-together, because it was not any old get-together. This is a time where we can really show our appreciation to the women who shaped us into the awesomeness we are today…And that calls for a grand occasion.

The biggest issue I faced on the day was the weather. And boy oh boy did it test me. The wind blew fierce and I with my incessant need to do things early added to my rapidly growing list of issues. I set the table about 7 hours too soon, and gusts of wind took several of my glass bowls to the ground, smashing them to smithereens.

The kids both were fighting off colds, I’m sure I have never witnessed them in such terrible spirits. When they were not crying, they were fighting, when they were not fighting, they were shitting themselves, and when they were not shitting themselves, they were telling me in not so many words that they were pissed right off because I was being such a neglectful mother to them on this day of matronly commemoration. But once the guest started arriving they magically turned their frowns upside down, and became the little angels I’ve been working so hard to raise.

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Thankfully, and I really mean THANKFULLY my sister-in-law Ashley came over to assist in the preparations and whole heartedly helped me deal with the kids, calmed me when I’d hear the sound of breaking glass and showered me with praise in the aftermath.

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Once the Mom’s arrived and got to see the décor, the food, the flowers and the blood and guts, I put into the party I calmed down a little. Although, for the rest of the evening I was getting guff from my party guests as to how ‘crazy’ I had become over this thing.

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I literally was telling people how to dish up their food, in fear they would miss a step, consequently missing out on something or another that simply could not be missed out on.

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I had officially stepped right over the edge into lunacy. And in my neurotic haste I sort of forgot the point of the day. To celebrate the Mothers.

So, rather than gifts a plenty and lovey dovey greeting cards, I have a blog and a keyboard and words to try to get across how much I appreciate these women in my life.

 

Sheila, it has been over 5 years since you welcomed me into your family.  And although my becoming part of your nearest and dearest was quick and unexpected, you still took me in with love and poise. From the first day I found out I was expecting, you supported Jamie and I in more ways than one, and for that we will always be appreciative.

I certainly could not have asked for a more wonderful mother-in-law. And you quickly become more than a mother-in-law to me Sheila, you are now simply another mom and I love you dearly.

P.S. Thank you for taking all of these wonderful pictures I used for today’s blog!

 

Gemma, although you aren’t a mother figure to me, I wanted to write about how proud I am of you. You are such an amazing Mama to baby Hannah and the job suits you perfectly. I feel like we have become so much closer since you brought that little girl into our lives. Keep doing what you’re doing, because you do it wonderfully!

 

Ashley, I just wanted to throw you in here for good measure and say thank you again for all of your help with this event, you talked me off the ledge a few times!

 

And finally to my Mom, Colleen; there are few words I can say to you that haven’t been said before. You know how grateful I am to have you in my life and I am so glad I was able to give you this celebration to show my gratitude even more.

Our relationship has had its ups and downs Mom, but we always come out of it stronger and wiser. Seldom has a day gone by without me thinking to call you for advice or just to talk, because I know that when anything is bothering me, I can dial your number and you will help me out with just saying a few truthful, simple words.

You have supported me in my many crazy endeavors, never telling me I ‘can’t’ but always letting me know of the trials I may face because of my choices. I appreciate your honesty and patience with me Mom.

I love you Mama.

 

So all in all, The Boozy Tea Party was a success! And although I may be able to credit the day to a few extra gray hairs and stress wrinkles, I think I may have to make it an annual event, because it was a damn good time!

Cheers to the Mothers!

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Gratitude

The canary yellow hospital gown hung limply off her body. It  felt like hours since the doctor had last left to discuss with another professional about the ‘mass’ in question. Leaving the woman with only her thoughts. The small office she sat in was well lit, yet had an ominous looming sort of ambiance. Although she desperately tried to keep her thinking light, she continued to go back to the day she had first found it.

The woman, the wife, the mother of two, had found a lump on her chest. It was not a lump that could be disregarded with a movement of mind, or overlooked with an adjustment of hand. It was a lump. A lump that tainted her psyche from the first  time her slight fingers ran over it. In a vain attempt to discredit the thing she  chalked it up to a pimple, because in some cruel turn of fate she was at her age creating blemishes and wrinkles simultaneously.  But after several weeks of pretending it was something it wasn’t, involuntary reaching for it and feeling its girth she knew it was not something that would just disappear.

Now as the woman sat, she thought about her life. She thought about the man she had loved since she was a ripe nineteen years old. The man she went on to marry and have two beautiful children with, the man who loved her and their family more than life itself, she was so lucky to have this man. She thought about her children and how just before she had left the house her son asked why she was going to see the doctor, she had replied with a smile, “The doctor is just going to check and make sure Mama is healthy.” What would she tell her son when she arrived home today?

The girl, who was not so much feeling like a woman anymore but a frightened child, had her thoughts cut short by a knock on the rooms door, which now felt much larger than before.

“Come in.”

“Sorry that took so long,” the doctor began, “because of the precarious nature of the masses location, we do feel that it warrants further investigation. I’ve booked you in for an ultrasound and a mammography.”

“So should I be worried?” It was all she could gather herself  to say in the moment, “because if it is…you know…cancer, it is good that the lump is so small right?” ‘Grasping at straws’ was her initial thought as the words escaped her mouth.

“I’m not going to say whether anything is good or bad, for now we just need to get some more information on the mass. Don’t let yourself go straight to ‘cancer’ it could be anything.”

The doctor was right, she thought, he is a doctor after all. The idea did not give way to her spinning imagination. She quickly took the requisition form from his hand and made way for her escape vehicle. She could feel that oh so familiar feeling in her throat as it began to close up, hyperventilation was starting, but the tears would not come. It is too soon to cry, she thought, there are no facts, no  evidence to give way to fraught.  All she had was the paranoia of what could be. How could one small disfigurement cause this sort of upheaval? The woman sat in her car for some time, not wanting to go home, not knowing what to say once there.

As she walked in the front door, she was bombarded by her mother who had been watching the kids.

“So what happened?”

“They’re not sure what it is, I’m going in for an ultra sound next Wednesday to get it checked out.” Stick to the facts, do not let your emotions interfere. Do not scare the people you love, for no reason other than your own anxiety. Her thoughts were choppy and she didn’t want to talk about it anymore. Her son approached her

“Mama, the doctor said you healthy?”

The question was so simple, and yet it was all the woman could do to not grab the child and just hold him and cry out of apprehension, because she truly didn’t know the answer. She could not find a good way to respond to the boy, but knew he wouldn’t really understand an overly layered response either. She could feel her mother’s eyes on her, and knew she was interested in how her daughter would reply to such a delicate query.

“Mama, is going back to the doctors for another check.”  The answer seemed to suffice in the young boys mind and he gave the woman a hug and continued on with his train play. The woman and her mother spoke quietly for a few more minutes, and then parted their separate ways.

This morning the woman woke, with the innate urge to write down how she was feeling. She wanted to write about her fear of the future, her anxieties of this threatening upcoming appointment. She wanted to write about her children and her husband. She wanted to write about herself. Once starting to type these lines, the woman realized she could write about all of these things but one. She could not write about it as though happening to her,  because for right now it still seemed as though it could simply be a story. A tale about an imaginary  woman, who one day  found a lump.

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The warm gelatin lay heavily on her chest. The ultrasound technician had left her waiting with breath that was baited, to go confer with the on-site doctor about the images just captured.  The woman could not think about what would be said when the professional entered back into the small room. She waited. She counted the tiles on the roof. 35. She desperately looked around for something to distract her mind, nothing. No posters, wall hangings or anything to gaze at from her compromising position as she lay on the cold hard examination table.

The door opened suddenly, it was not the pretty girl who had been performing the procedure, but an old man who called himself the ‘Doctor So-and-so’. He asked the woman where exactly the lump was, then felt it for himself and took a few strokes with the ultrasound wand.

The woman’s mind reeled, why would the doctor have to come in? Surely this must mean devastation, it was the only place for her mind to go. Then with words so lightly spoken the man said, “From what we can see here, the mass isn’t in the breast tissue, more than likely it’s just a cyst. You will want to get it removed, but I can’t see any indication that it would be cancerous. I will contact your doctor’s office for a follow up appointment.”

With that being said the man left the room abruptly. Leaving the woman to sigh relief in private.  As she dressed her upper half back to its clothed state, she thought about how lucky she was. Walking out of this place she would get to tell her friends and family, who had been so worried, that it was only a mere cyst.

It made her think of those who do not get out so easily, those who have to be told that yes, it is Cancer.  These people have strength that this woman can’t even imagine. Although she had only got a distant image of how her life would have changed in such circumstances, she could see a bit more clearly of how strong and brave these patients really are.  In that small room with 35 roof tiles, the woman gave a silent prayer for all of the people who haven’t got off as easily as her.

On the drive home, again the woman contemplated of her life. Only this time it was gratitude that guided the her thoughts. She was thankful for her parents, who provided love and security in her young years.  Her brother who had always been an open ear and a wide shoulder when life felt lost.  She thought about the friendships which had endured over her years, and gave her strength to conquer in times of strife.   She gave thanks that she was blessed with such a loving husband, who had provided her with the two most important entities she would ever be given. Her children.

It is not often in our bustling schedules that we can take a moment to stop and think about our life. A life that is magnetic and beautiful. A life that is sometimes taken for granted.  I was recently given the allowance to do so, and as fate would have it, with little repercussions.

When I arrived home that day I thanked my mom for being with me.  I hugged my kids. I kissed my husband and I called my best friend. I spent the rest of the day with Jamie and the kids, we built train tracks and played ‘My Little Pony’. We laughed at Lars’ funny and sometimes strange outbursts and reveled in Sophie’s belly laugh.  And for these small rewards, this woman will always be grateful.