Christmas 2008

Well...Christmas was fantastic.

After six years in Manitoba without my family around (luckily for a couple we were fortunate enough to have Dave's parents with us) we had the chance to spend the holidays with my parents and my sister.

As is typical, us girls sure had some great laughs. We overdid the stockings to a huge degree which led to some almost hysteric laughter at 1:30 in the morning on Christmas day as we saw the fruits of our shopping...(We all decided to get "a couple things" for each stocking) I really wish I had a picture but its on my mom's camera, but you can bet I will post it here when I get my hands on it.

Mom, Lisa and I went to see "4 Christmas's" as a celebration of the Holidays and my birthday and it was a really fun Holiday movie. It is so nice to be able to enjoy stuff like that with them. Many times throughout the Christmas season I closed my eyes and said Thank you for the opportunity to be together.

Although, all my gushing wouldn't be accurate if I didn't mention that my first holidays in quite some time without my friends was also very noticeable. I hope my Manitoban friends know that they are missed always...

I received lots of fantastic gifts this year, but of course the one that made me cry was the camera my sister and husband got for me. My sister gave me a card encouraging me to follow my new passions...I got a Nikon D60, and while I am thoroughly enjoying playing with it, I must say I am quickly humbled. Sure made me appreciate the talents of my friend and mentor Tasha who is an incredibly gifted photographer. Apparently retouching photos is much easier than taking them! But, all joking aside, I am very excited to learn and spend more time than I really should reading up about photography online. I have already started a "piggy bank" to save up for a new lens (it is a fantastic digital counting one from my mom for Christmas, the readout says I have 6.35 saved up already!! WOOOHHHOOO...hehehe)

Other gifts that I totally love are my Cuisinart griddle/grill and mandolin. (that's two separate things) Helps me with my other passion- cooking!

My boys both got me beautiful gifts, a crystal angel with a beautiful poem about mothers from Drew, and a gorgeous bag from Wesley. He has some great taste!!

I am hoping to start a new blog this year. I have been hemming and hawing, because I have been with blogger forever and I would hate to lose it, but I kind of want something a bit more customizable. I want to post photos as I am learning, and be more involved in writing and sharing recipes etc. So we will see!

So, on the dawn of 2009 I am feeling better than I have in a while. I have a job I love, living close to family, a new hobby, drew is now old enough to babysit...Aaaahhhh, so many possibilities!

To top off all the ooey goeey awesomeness, Michelle is coming for a visit in Feb, and I am just so excited to see her!

Anyway, here are a few shots from over the holidays. The boys games for there DS, which was pretty much there favorite gift, although, they are pretty excited about the hockey sticks from papa too :) Anyway, if you click on the pics it will lead to my flickr site and there will be more there as well. Comments are always welcomed :)

Much love to all of you for 2009. I think its gonna be a great one!!






Winter Collage

Christmas post to follow after I get myself a cup of coffee...



If you click on it, you can view it bigger I think...

Another year...

It was my birthday yesterday. I turned 32. The first part of the day I sort of sat around and hrrumphed about all the things I didn't do last year - but then you know what I started to think about all I HAD done, and it became a very nice reflection.

I spent half last year in Manitoba, continuing to grow very important friendships, work at a job I loved, build up a huge stockpile of "coupon deals" just in time to give it all away, and most of all, I spent some time alone with my kids when we were preparing for a move...That was a biggie for me. It wasn't easy but I got through it "with a little help from my friends"

Our family moved back "home" to Northern Ontario. I have since developed some new habits that I can say are a vast improvement from my time in Manitoba. I have made some new friends and found a new church home. My boys are happily adjusted and best of all, I have mom and dad around the corner so to speak!

I also started a new job, which I love, that has enabled me to tap into a peice of myself I didn't really know existed. Those of you who have known me awhile tend to know that I am a certain kind of personality. I tend to latch onto an idea and get all excited and throw myself into it with everything I have and love it for about a month. Then I get bored and throw in the towel. I have always been this way, until....well, now I guess! It is so exciting to me to find something that I feel passionate about. (I do photo retouching in case people are thinking what the heck is she yammering on about) It isn't necessarily the retouching that I love so much, but the idea of taking something and making it "extra special". I love learning more about it, and trying different techniques and fun processing of photos. I am sure that sometime in the future I would like to take a Photography course and start heading down that path too. It makes me smile every single day...I also get to talk almost daily to a great friend that I miss so much as she is my boss, and someone I admire so much for her talent and dedication.

So, in essence, new job, new house, new city, new province, new friends, new church....etc. Not bad for a year ;)

I think that when I look at my 32nd year there is one thing I want to improve. I always make this big long list for myself and never manage it. So, this year, I want to improve just this one thing...

I want to be less lazy. Now, I know that there are SO many things under that heading but basically I want to be able to go to bed and say to myself "I was less lazy today!" Simple to many, but something I always struggle with.

for example:
-I was less lazy when I decided to make a healthy meal for the family instead of going out.
-I was less lazy when I stopped procrastinating and got all my work done quickly (ahem, boss lady, you need to pretend you didn't read that)
-I was less lazy when I made sure I spent 30 minutes in the sun.
-I was less lazy when I walked on the treadmill instead of eating chips with my shows last night

You get the idea. So that is the goal for my 32nd year. I have a great feeling that its going to be a wonderful one.

My BFF is coming to visit in February and I am sooooo excited! Look out world, Julie and Michelle are on the loose!

Well, I have rambled enough for today!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

So I suppose I should update

Since my last post was kind of depressing and out there.
In the interest of being positive I will tell you what I have managed to accomplish in the week since my last post.

I am getting up earlier. I get up, and see my husband off to work. We pray together and it has been good. I prepare my kids lunches either the night before or in the morning and make sure they get a nice healthy breakfast.

I have made dinner more often than not, and we have started doing an hour afterschool for "free time" that has nothing to do with a screen...this is a big accomplishment.

I have been working hard to try to catch up with my work, but I think I am just going to have to get used to the fact that I might not *ever* catch up totally and just do the best I can.

I have been listening to some new music and find that inspiring....I am very much enjoying the new church and looking forward to some great new relationships there. I am looking forward to hopefully feeling a little less like visitors one day, I tend to have trouble with feeling awkward and out of place sometimes. My better half on the other hand has never had a problem with socializing with strangers. I feel lame sometimes feeling like I need him beside me or everyone will be able to tell how uncomfortable I am. I try to remember if I was always like this, I don't think so. I don't know when I became so introverted in social settings because I feel like I am more of an extrovert so the whole thing is a bit of a conundrum. Well, I won't try to figure me out today...

I loved Thanksgiving and Halloween being in the same place as my parents. It has been SO long since we had family to share with. Even Dave's parents were away for stuff like that more often than they were around when we lived in Manitoba (which was a shame) so I loved being able to share that with family!

Let me see if I can drum up some pics for ya ;) My boys went for the gory this year, but wanted to make sure I knew they were "friendly" ghouls...

* picture made using - elements from two great freebies bld_sassept_el10, and shandyvogt. Which, I am a goof for not writing down the actual creators because this is my first time so I hope they forgive me.


I find myself sitting up late again tonight. Too much on my mind I guess.
Do you ever get the urge to make a real change in your life? I do, all the time. Sometimes I even do it, like moving across the country a couple times. Those are kind of the drastic kinds of change, but is there something in your life, that you KNOW you need to change, and yet, try as you might, you never seem to be able to grasp it?

I try not to be too hard on myself in life, but I always feel like I am coming up short. The dreaded "What if" monster is always banging at my door and I seem to be so afraid all the time. It is always the same things I seem to run away from, and I can't ever seem to get a handle on it.

I am a believer in God. I have been since I was a teenager. God tells me not to fear. I should be secure in him, and yet...I still walk my life in fear. Fear of failure mostly. Fear of what I don't necessary understand, or fear of rejection.

I need to lose weight. Not just because my clothes don't fit, or because I feel fat (which I am) but because I am not healthy...I am so sick, all the time. I can't play with my kids the way they want, and I die inside at the thought of how ashamed my son is. He jokes around a lot, but I know how he really feels. Its heartbreaking...and yet, WHY OH WHY, can't I seem to get it right? Why is that damn chocolate covered granola bar, or those stupid chips, or the greasy fries more important to me than getting healthy? Why can't I keep up with myself when I get doing well?

I know that laziness is a biggie for me. I am honestly probably the most lazy person I know. However in some defense, you try carrying around an extra 120 pounds and see how easy it is to do day to day tasks. It kinda sucks. But really, its the choices you need to make everyday that should carry me through this. Apparently I am just not making the right ones.

I still don't have my drivers license, I can give you approx a million excuses why (trust me I have counted) but when the day is done and its late and here I sit in front of my computer and I get really honest, its just me...Just me and my fears. Just the humiliation of not passing over and over and the nagging anxiety of not wanting to do the work to get me there.

I typed up this new schedule tonight, about how I can suddenly manage my time well, and get up at 5:45 am and read my bible. How I can make time to do all the things I so know I need to do, like be a good mom to my kids and make sure they are doing their homework or, actually sitting down to a meal together everyday. Yep, typed it all out pretty and it sure looks nice on paper. Showed it to the hubby and he smiled and said how nice it was, but I know what he is thinking. Another one of Julie's little plans to make things better that will work for about a week...

He's probably right. 10 years together and I am pretty sure he hasn't seen me finish much of anything.

They say that Change has to begin somewhere...and I know where it has to start, I never have trouble with that part, its the making it last part I stink at. The follow through...

Someday's I wonder why I bother. Why oh Why do I keep trying?? Why do I care so much about trying to be better, get healthier, be cleaner, more organized? I mean I know I have my strengths, I am not completely down on myself, but I feel, no, I KNOW there is more to me. I see it sometimes, and I am not sure if its those glimpses of me that make me want to do it, or if its what makes me want to run away? Could I really be that afraid of succeeding? I mean wouldn't that be silly?

Wow, you poor souls who came here for a nice cheery update...I feel better though. I guess just getting real with you helps me get real with me.

So...I guess when it comes down to it - I never really quit until I stop trying. So, here is to trying again, and again, and probably again...until hopefully one day, I get it right.

My little navy leaguers

Don't mind the pics, taken with a crappy camera and desperately tried to jazz em up a bit ;)


Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a.....

Uh oops, forgot myself a minute...Princess Bride, one of the best movies ever...

Dave and I just celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary. A couple years ago, I wanted to do something extravagant to celebrate it, but with the move and all that has been going on, we just aren't going to have the finances or time to take a trip this year. So, alas that will go on the back burner.

I decided to mark our 10 years together I would write about 10 of my favorite memories from my wedding day and honeymoon.

My wedding day
I have various memories that stand out about that day, but here are a couple that were on my mind recently:
* the breakfast before the service in which my mother, my sister, and my bridesmaid laura insisted that since nerves were at an all time high we should have fruit and cereal (we were at a restaurant) to which me and Cherie (another bridesmaid and my high school best friend) looked at each other, shrugged and ordered bacon and eggs and the whole schabang...
* Cherie telling a joke during photos about a peanut that came out sounding an awful lot like another name for men's genitals and having to retrack and tell it all over again while we all killed ourselves laughing, and my sister using that same joke at dinner during speeches to stop herself from crying.
* Walking down the aisle and trying to get a good look at my groom to be which was incredibly difficult because I was crying too hard
* Dancing with my dad to Butterfly Kisses (before the song was done to death)

and last but not least:

*Going to the beautiful chalet for my first night of married bliss in which my husband spent hours doing wonderful things to me (uh huh, by wonderful I mean picking out 5 million bobby pins out of my hair while I cried and had mascara all over my face making me look like a raccoon)

The honeymoon

* The first couple nights we spent at a chalet drinking the Maneshevitz from our wedding communion and playing bridge. Which by the way I learned to please my sweet new husband and I am pretty sure we haven't played since then ;)

* Niagara falls there are a few great memories from that trip! Most prominent HAS to be my husband deciding to eat shrimp and getting food poisoning ending up at the hospital on IV's and generally puking and all that good stuff in our beautiful room while I sat in the heart shaped jacuzzi alone.

* Alien Encounters - ok some kitschy little tourist trap, you go in, an alien "gets loose" and you run through this little haunted house kinda thing. I was soooooo scared, really...honest. Poor Dave, he had to calm me down. I mean it was NOT scary, but you all know me...

* Losing 3 of my fake nails playing whomp it! We must have spent like 50 dollars on that stupid game in order to win Drew a little souvenir that we than lost.

* Singing Karaoke and having a lady from Fox Broadcasting give me her card (that I lost :()

*Seeing the falls at night all lit up and feeling the cool mist on our faces

and absolute favorite memory from my wedding/honeymoon...

Dancing with my new husband to our wedding song and knowing that this was the beginning of something wonderful...

And even though there have been tough times, I would still do it again today.

I love you David!
Here is to 10 more....

Note: this is the song we danced to; the video is from the movie "love's enduring promise" so not related to me at all ;)
Great movies though! I reccomend.

Day 5 of no sleep

And I am beyond exhausted. Worst part is, my spirit is down. I think I have had a combined total of maybe 8 hours in the past 5 nights, and I am just not cutting it. My kids need me, my house is a total mess, and I am feeling awfully run down.

I am supposed to be going away this weekend, and am hoping that this clears up soon.


Thanksgiving 2008

I thought as my first new blog post in a million years, it would be appropriate to post about the things that make me thankful...

We just moved across the country recently, so I am enjoying being home in the North ;)

I am thankful to be close enough to my parents to have impromptu sleepovers, coffee dates, movie nights, campfires, and shopping trips! To be able to cultivate and enjoy a new found relationship with both of my parents...

I am thankful that my boys are glad to go to school everyday, and neither has any trouble with bullies this year.

that the boys have friends that live down the street and call our house constantly and are always stopping in.

I am thankful that I live in a house I love, take pride in, and isn't falling apart every week.

I am thankful for my new job that not only keeps some money coming in, but also gives me the opportunity to be creative, learn new skills, and keep in daily contact with a good friend!
I am also thankful it allows me to be at home and do the things I want to do, when I want to do them.

I am thankful for my new church and the relationships that are forming there. I am excited to feel so part of something so quickly and be blessed so richly by all of the wonderful things God provides for me.

I am thankful for new friends, crazy and funny and tons of fun to be with....and old ones that I miss everyday and wish I could spend more time with.

I am thankful for my doggie Snoops, who keeps me on my toes. He has come out of his shell to a huge degree, and is happy and energetic and has free reign of our yard.

I am thankful that I live on a street where I can commune with the birds, walk among nature, and enjoy a campfire in the yard.

I am thankful for my husband's job that doesn't leave him so stressed out at the end of the day, and that he can finally say he is enjoying life...

I am thankful for my marriage, despite its difficulties, twists and turns...Where it has been, and where it is going, I am so very thankful....

Why I blog (or why I don't)

Read the blog yesterday. Start to finish. Crazy how much has happened in the past few years. It made me sad that I have stopped blogging, almost like there in no longer something for me to reflect back on in a few years from now.

Seems a waste to throw it all away, so stay tuned for some new stuff coming to a blog near you ;)

fun photos



Volunteer Firefighters Rodeo



Back when I was still in Selkirk, I started making this video. It has taken me a loooong time to finish, and I apologize profusley that it is so blurry! I tried for days literally to shrink it enough to put it on the net, and will see if there is anyway I can figure out a better way of compressing it. I just wanted to share.


Home sweet home

Well, it has been a long time coming, but we are finally in our new home. This is probably the first time I have sat down to think in about a month. Everything seemed to happen so fast, and I am finally coming out of vacation mode I think. (as in, this felt so much like I was here visiting until now)

That has brought some wonderful feelings of contentment, and also the odd twinge of sadness missing those I love in Selkirk. I suppose that is normal.

But, I have to gush a bit. I get to have coffee with the finches every morning. I sit in my bright living room looking out at all the trees and watching the birds come to visit my feeder.  I love it.

The other day a horse drawn carriage went by my kitchen window. I love the country feel of my home, and aside from the gargantuan mosquitoes that I have had the pleasure of encountering in the past week, I am totally in awe of the beauty surrounding me.

My parents came for Sunday dinner a couple nights ago. I cannot tell you what that means to me, to be able to watch my sons interact with them, and enjoy there company again. I feel very blessed.

I have promised some pictures, so even though we are far from done yet, I will take a couple teasers ;)    





Technorati Tags:

5 days

5 days till the big move.
Its kind of surreal somehow.

Its been almost six years since that fateful day we set foot on Manitoban ground. Which in itself is a funny story. On our trip, I asked why there was no customs at the Ontario/Manitoba border. Ya, goes to show the state of my naiveity. Poor Dave. Apparantly there is more to Canada than Ontario.

I remember the effect the prairies had on me at first. I felt the vertigo from the contrast of tall buildings and flat lands. The musky smell of the earth and the constant quiet that seemed to surround us all the time. I really did fall in love with this beautiful place.

I was so fortunate over the years to make some amazing friends that I am sure will be part of my heart and soul forever. They will be missed every day. I have no doubt of that.

My heart is somewhat sad to leave. Saying Goodbye has never been easy for me. I have always had to work hard to protect my heart and it has affected me greatly when people have moved away, so it feels somewhat odd to be the one leaving this time.

I am excited to go home. It feels very much that way for me. Back to the hilly, lush, and northern towns of my childhood. Back to my family and old friendships that I have missed and hopefully back to a peice of myself I seem to have left behind.

I have learned so much in the time here, I would not change it for the world. Although there was some painful times, there was so many miracles that happened too. I have grown so much, and have come into myself in a lot of ways, and I cannot wait to begin another chapter.

So, I suppose I should get back to work. That's one thing that hasn't changed, lol, still a procrastinator.

At war with the washer

I am not a very hands on kinda gal. In fact, when I think back to all the moves I have had in the past, they were mostly done for me - by friends, my husband, family...

I have come to the conclusion that this past six weeks has been one heck of a reason for me to change certain aspects of my personality.

I nearly had a mental breakdown today. I got so upset that I literally threw something across my lawn, screaming at the top of my lungs, all while my poor boys watched there mom having a tissy fit.

You see, my dear sweet husband who seems to have more faith in me than I have in myself- never told me that you are required to shut off the water when you disconnect a washing machine. YES, this should be common sense. Apparently I am lacking. So imagine my surprise and displeasure when water starts gushing out of my washing machine, WHILE my dryer is still running.

So, panic to unplug dryer, get a bowl under the water...see the valve, shut it off....Water STILL gushing...All over my kitchen floor at this point.

A few expletives later and I am downstairs shutting of the main water, that will fix it! Cept it doesnt...more water. What the HECK?!?!?

So, I finally get it to stop, or so I think and go turn the main water on....I can hear my sons SCREAMING from upstairs. Water is everywhere. Shut off main water again.

Truck pulls up. Ok, great, people are here to buy washer and dryer, hold it together. I walk out there, soaking wet, can't look them in the eye and start to explain the situation.

After I give them the whole speil, the woman pipes up, well Ill look at it in a second, but I would like a hug first....that got my attention. A couple of my friends I hadn't seen in a couple years stopped in on there way to a wedding. Well, that set me off alright. I started to bawl. Told them everything that happened, and luckily they were able to help me figure it out.

Turns out there are TWO valves, one for hot, one for cold. Only the handle was missing from one which was why I didn't see it.

So, there that is my rant. A rant at myself for not being able to handle things, and a vow to change the way I let others do everything for me.

What a day....

Oh forgot to add, in all the chaos I totally forgot that all my dress clothes were still in the dryer which is now on its way to the new owners in another city.