Saturday, March 18, 2017

Anticipation: London and Paris

Next week at this time I'll be waking up... in Paris!!

I have said something along these lines to the boys and Darryl and yoga instructors and my mother and about anyone who will listen.  I'm so excited.  This is one of my favourite parts, the anticipation of what is coming up.  It's like at a concert.  I love the few minutes before hand when you don't know what the first song will be.  When the lights go down and you know it's coming, it hasn't started yet, but there is such excitement in your chest.

I'm excited to see what the boys think, the Eiffel Tower is incredible.  And to be immersed in french. To see architecture that is so different then what we have here.  To eat delicious food.  To have little sandwich shops and bakeries all around.

I'm excited for them to see London, where people speak english, but it takes a bit to understand.  To be in a big city and see shows.  To go on the London Eye, see Big Ben, walk up St. Paul's Cathedral. To see things older then they have ever seen.  To go to museums (although only one in each city) and churches (again only one in each city)  But such beautiful things.

If there is something you highly recommend please let us know.

And this is it till April now!!  When I'll be able to post pictures and stories from our amazing adventure.

Jenn

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Struggling

These last few months have been pretty challenging for me.  While I mostly post happy and funny things, and if we are being realistic I live a very sweet life, but in reality of my happy and sweet life the last 6 months have been really challenging.  I think last week in frustration I said I'm failing at all aspects in life.  

But struggling with work, struggling with where I fit in and belong.

Struggling with balance.  Working full time is a lot. When do I have time to get things done.

Struggling with what marriage looks like after 2 kids and 15 years of being together.

Struggling with boys who love to do what their dad does, but I'm not always sure how to fit in with them.

Struggling with finding time for myself at the expense of others feelings.

Struggling that in so many environments I don't get to be me.  I'm focused on making a good impression, learning, not stepping on toes.  I miss being me.

Struggling with closing doors on jobs that I have been doing for many years.

Now I know very few people read this, and I don't say this for your pity or comments.  But to record it. Too look back and know life is not all roses and trips and ponies.   Life is the good times and the bad times.  Learning to live with being uncomfortable. Knowing its a period of growth, at least I hope.   Blogging it knowing I can look back in the good times and remember the hard times that made the good times feel so good.

Jenn

Monday, February 27, 2017

We Were in Mexico

Last week at this time I was talking to my best friend.  Which may seem like nothing,  I talk to her all the time.  But were we sitting in Mexico, maybe at dinner, maybe in our room after dinner.  And we had spent the last 4 days talking and eating, swimming and drinking.  But the highlight of it all was the music.  Music that we both love so much and it makes us so happy.

Thursday we headed from Calgary off to Mexico.   On the flight down we didn't get to sit together cause I forgot to my passport to check in at work the day before.  Somehow though I managed to secure a great seat, the exit row, with no seat in front of me.  That may have been a problem, as my tv was very far away, but as I just had laser eye surgery in October, it was no problem at all.

When we got off the flight, we were ushered on a bus and it left right away!  There were 5 or 6 buses lined up, but the bus we were on left as soon as we got on it.  It's like they were waiting for us.  When we got on they were playing the Avetts too.

The resort check in was easy, although Tammy missed a soccer goal and 'lost a BMW'.  Our room was very 'centrally located'.  Which was the selling point, but also very loud.  We had the concerts in our room if we didn't want to go outside.  Generally it was lovely, though, roomy and all the amenities.  That night we got to eat steak, drink mojitos and listen to our favourite band.  We sat is awe of it all.  Lucky that we were there.


The rest of the weekend shaped up pretty much the same.  Beautiful sunshine, more drinks, reading and talking.  There was a waterslide, yoga class, hibachi grill, tequila and concerts.  Many amazing concerts.  Brandi Carlisle was fantastic!  She is a great singer live, you appreciate it more then on her albums.  As Tammy, or Crystal would say "Stop it'.  It was all just so so good.

What a great trip.  Nice to reconnect with my best friend.  Nice to relax and have fun.  Dance and jump till my feet hurt.  Sing my heart out till I almost lost my voice.  Cry when it was almost over.  Cry to hear songs live that mean so much in my regular life.

Thanks to Darryl for giving his blessing for me to go and for having a great weekend with our boys.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Classic Auntie Karen

On Friday Auntie Karen was hanging out with the boys while I was a work.

I texted that I was on my way home.  

Her response

"OK Do you know where the balloons are?"

=)  I knew they must be doing something fun.  Something that would require balloons.

Jenn


Saturday, January 28, 2017

January 2017

Well the resolution was to try and post twice a month, so as January is coming to a close I thought it would be a good opportunity to reflect on the month.   This month has becoming a lot of intentional reconnecting.  I had some great dinners with my family and friends who I only get to see once a year. Finished a course, put work into starting a new one,



I finished one of my Athabasca courses, which I was happy about completing.  It taught me about some of the buzz words around management and leadership as that is where I find myself immersed in now.  I also submitted my application for my masters graduate program, which is both exciting and scary.   This year moving to working full time has been a large transition for me as I work to find some balance in my life.  But I'm slowly getting there.  Work has been a month of learning, which I am grateful for.  I have been struggling with my new role, but I see some real positives with the new boss we have.  He is different then any other boss I've had a really visionary and leader, rather then a manager and while that is a transition for me I feel like I have a lot to learn from it.   Learning about who to trust and when, how to make people feel important and heard and how to look at the big picture, rather then day to day.

Home here has been pretty fun as well.  We had a week with no devices, which was quite successful. Darryl suggested it one Thursday night and most of us jumped right in.  Nathan wasn't sure about it, but he did really well too.  It was fun to have a week of play and togetherness and hopefully it will help to balance the rest of the month with learning there are things other then screens.  Generally I feel like we are pretty good as a family with the balance, but it's good to experiment.



My dad retired this month and it was his birthday.  I'm really happy and proud of him.  I have been leaning on him more over the last month with the kids and editing my writing and grateful for his help in both of those cases.  Nice when space opens up for different things.

Darryl and I also spent lots of time this month talking and supporting each other.  I'm grateful for his support as I learn to navigate this job as well as finding a balance in my life with the increasing demands.


Till next time

Jenn



 

Sunday, January 01, 2017

2016 and 17 Resolutions



Well its the yearly blog post to see how I did at last years resolutions and make some new ones for this year. 2016 was not my favourite. Although I did some fun things, overall in the world and in my world it was not the greatest.



Update for 2016 Resolutions



Be more present with my kids. To make this goal a little easier to qualify and see if I accomplish it my plan is to take the family to a non chain restaurant where we get to try new food once a month.

This goal I did pretty well with this year. Although not a total check mark, but all in all we did some really fun things together as a family and I feel like we connected more as a family too. I did better at engaging with the kids for activities, but also stopped feeling bad about not being engaged with them all the time. All in all I think family was my highlight of a more difficult year. I feel like I'm doing a good job as a mom and day to day having Darryl and the kids around keep me happy and sane and feeling loved.
With Darryl I would like to plan more date nights. I have a great husband and person to spend my life with. He's a great dad and partner, but it's easy to get caught in the mundane of everyday life. I would like to make more effort to do reconnect and do things together.

I would say this is a no for me and something I need to keep working on for 2017. More fun with Darryl! As the kids are getting older they can be by themselves for a bit while Darryl and I reconnect. As I said last year we often get caught up in the mundane of everyday life or we have spent years dividing and conquering parenting that we need to remember what it is to spend time together and not divided.
I have been doing a regular yoga practice for a couple of years now so I want to continue with that. Maybe work on doing more practicing at home. Although I do love my studio.

Continue to love and practice yoga. Doing it at home a bit more, but love to practice anywhere. I practiced at Soul 192 times last year, so I want to keep that up. 
 
We have a trip to Hawaii planned for this year and I'm heading to Halifax for a work conference, probably going to Kelowna this year too and maybe something else in the summer. Plus it's Darryl's 40th birthday and our 15 year anniversary, so hopefully something fun for that.

Trips this year went pretty well, there just was not enough of them. And Darryl's birthday was probably the most memorable with the new car. We had a great day on his birthday and like I said earlier my family continues to keep me happy and sane


Resolutions for 2017

  1. Focus on the positive.  I am so grateful for the life I lead and I found this year I thought about what I was missing rather then what I had.   Generally I think of myself as a really positive person, but it slipped away a bit on me this year.  I'd like to get back to that mindset this year.  I think there is a balance between being content with where you are at and striving to get better.  Still looking to find that balance.  
  2. Blog more. 2 times a month. 
  3. We have some pretty great trips planned this year, it's going to be a good year for creating those memories. Looking forward to that!
  4. Stop being so hard on myself, especially when it comes to work. Give myself time to learn. It's hard having come from being excellent at a job to having to learn everything again, but give myself time to get there. 
  5. In yoga I'd like to get better at wheel and handstand.
  6. Continue to cultivate all of the good practices in my life. Continue to embrace opportunities. Embrace fun times with my kids and my family. Continue to do awesome stuff with Darryl. Keep practicing yoga. Drinking tea with Tammy. Smiling at strangers. Having good conversations with my mother. Overall I think I'm pretty good at this, I love life and love to do fun things. I want to keep embracing all of those opportunities that come my way. I'm hoping to start working on my masters this year. Which will be a lot of work, but again what a great opportunity to complete it.
Till next time

Jenn

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Reflections on 2016

Ahh... the last day of 2016.  As I sit here on my couch drinking tea, having had an awesome last week and a half of Christmas break I take time to reflect on 2016 and what it has brought into my life. Mostly 2016 has brought challenges into my life.  It's interesting as I read through a lot of social media and articles people overall were not happy to 2016.  It was a tough year for the world.

But what a lot of these challenges this year have also taught me about it growth and the importance of focussing on what you have.  I think this year I focused too much on the negative things in my life. What I was missing or was wrong with something, instead of focussing on what is right.

So lets focus on what was right!  Here are the highlights of 2016:

Hazel and Harvey

This summer we adopted two super cute and fun kittens.  Harvey has personality coming out of everywhere and Hazel is calm and cuddly (especially with Lucas)  Of course this helped us to heal and be happy again after loosing Emma.  But those two are certainly my favourite part of 2016.

New Job

Anyone who has talked to me in the last 6 months has heard about the struggles I've had transitioning to my new job.  But you know what:  I got the job!  That is something to celebrate.  I remember when they called to ask to call my references I was with Lucas at Chinook and we had just bought Orange Julius.   I say the number on my phone and took a deep breath, knowing that the phone call would change things for me.  And it did.  I remember I couldn't pick up my drink after because my hand was shaking so much.   Lucas thought my physical reaction to something mental was pretty funny.   Really the job has been a hard transition, but I'm getting there and I'm learning.  I'm trying to look at it as an opportunity to learn and to improve the environment.

Trips:

Hawaii:  Beautiful and lots of fun learning to boogie board.  I know Hawaii is one of most people's favourite places, but I learned it's not mine.

Halifax: Tammy and I went and presented at a conference and had oodles of fun.  Driving to Peggy's Cove, eating seafood, being awesome, hiking up and down the hill, meeting East Coasters on airplanes, taking one of my favourite pictures of the year, reconnecting with colleagues from around the country.

Kelowna with Tammy and the Kids: Learned what a funny accent Shaun can have, glad a kangaroo didn't squeeze Nathan to death, kids can fish in the rain, Matthew had an awesome swan song, Nathan laying on Matt's boat and it blew up.

Kelowna with Darryl: The kids having a great time on the boat, mountain biking through the train tracks, mountain biking in Panorama, eating great food in Panorama.

Winnipeg: Seeing John K Samson and most of the Weakerthans, feeling a work sense of belonging again, meeting new colleagues and them becoming friends, eating delicious food, lots of laughs and smiles, working really hard.

Yoga

Continues to be a wonderful constant in my life.  Helps me to stay calm and level headed.  192 classes this year, which is good considering my balance has been off since working full time.   Continued to grow friendships and have many new great teachers there as well.

As usually here is the video highlights of a lot of those fun highlights.
Till Tomorrow and the resolutions for 2017!

Jenn


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Summer Wrap Up

We are coming up to the end of the summer and it's always a good time to look back and see how things went.  It certainly wasn't as eventful as last summer, but still filled with lots of good things. 

The summer started with some changes.  As I blogged about I took a new job, which meant I worked more over the summer then I was use to.  But the kids finished up their sports, Nathan did great with soccer and really enjoyed it.  He scored lots, ran lots and had fun with his team mates.  Lucas also did great in baseball.  He was a great fielder and made lots of good plays.  He got walked alot, and by the end of the season had a couple of hits.  One was a funny bunt where the ball was over his head but he lifted the bat and hit the ball and got on base. 



In July we started with a couple of weeks to chill at home.  Enjoy tea on the couch, rather then a travel mug, play with friends and breathe a sigh of relaxation.  Then we headed to Kelowna with Tammy, Matt and Shaun.  As usually it was a great time.  Lots of laughs and swimming and fishing and beach time.  Tammy and I have great road trips where we talk and talk.  Its nice cause our boys are really the same way too.  They can all talk and talk.  Oma was struggling a bit with her leg, but I think she was happy to see us. 

Lucas and Nathan also had a great time at their respective camps.  Lucas went to COP camp and did a lot of cool things.  It's definitly something we will do again.  I was proud of him as he really embraced it.  He also didn't know anyone, but made friends quickly and by the end of the week he was sad it was over.  Nathan did his camp here in the community with his friend Matthew, so also really enjoyed himself. 

Myself and the boys then headed to Panorama for a couple of days then off to Kelowna.  Both were a great time and I loved the mountain air and being away from home.   In Panorama Darryl and Lucas biked, while Nathan and I swam.  We went out for nice dinners and made food in our room.  Kelowna was also lovely, lots of swimming, visiting with Oma and Opa and we did some bike riding there too. 






Lynda and Brian then came to visit and it was great to see them.  Darryl always loves when his mom comes and I love it too.  They take really good care of us.  We watched lots of Olympics, went to Banff and had a fun baseball game for Lucas's birthday party. 



The last few weeks are ending like the summer started.  Soaking up the lack of schedule.  Lots of reading, watching baseball and relaxing.  Sleeping in and going to late night movies.   We also made a weekend trip to Fernie for more hiking, biking and swimming.  We also ate EXCELLENT food there!



Lucas had a great birthday and continues to be an awesome kid.  He takes time to make a decision, but always does what I ask him.  He doesn't love a lot of vegetables, but is willing to try and likes spicy food.   He has lots of good friends.  Bought a BMX bike with his birthday money.  Has been doing lots of mountain biking with his dad.  He likes to make jokes and knows when to do it.  He is loving, but not in your face.  He doesn't like it when he can't fall asleep or when people swear, but tolerates both.  Like Darryl he's good at pretty much anything he tries and really does like to try new things. 





Till Next Time

Jenn

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Ode to the Black Scrubs

Well today was my last days of wearing the same uniform I have been wearing for the last 10 years.  I have been at SAIT for 13 years and 10 years ago started the majority of my teaching in the clinical environment.  We make the students wear black scrubs as it looks very professional and allows for the students to be easily identified.  We've always thought since we make the students do this, we as instructors should as well, again to easily identify us as we go to so many sites. 

Two weeks ago I accepted a promotion, and my role will be at SAIT everyday rather then out in practicum.  I find this very exciting, but also quite uncomfortable.  It feels like my black scrubs are kind of like a metaphor.  Scrubs are easy, common and comfortable.  The job I have been doing for the last 13 years has become like my black scrubs, very easy and comfortable, I am very good at it.  Like black scrubs I don't have to spend any time thinking or planning, they are just there to put on, my job was like that too, no need to think or plan.  I could do it really easily.  I knew it really well.

But now I'm going to have to get uncomfortable, make harder decisions and learn and grow.  While it's a big step and feels out of my comfort zone, I think it's time.   I'm hanging up my comfortable black scrubs for dresses and heels, dress pants and blouses.  Something new and something different and maybe more uncomfortable.   

Wish me luck!

Jenn

Friday, April 08, 2016

Emma

Last week we said goodbye to our wonderful, awesome dog.  We've known for the last couple of months that she is palliative.  She had an aggresive oral tumor that was diagnosed in Feburary.  For the last couple of months we did lots of great things with her, took some beautiful family photos, fed her lots of delicious meat, took her to off leash parks and lots of walks.  We gave all the people who love her a chance to say goodbye and then we said our final goodbyes to her. 

Emma was such a great dog, of course she had tons and tons of adventures.  Running across deerfoot, running home from Strathmore, get the foxtails stuck in her throat or the wicker stuck in the roof of her mouth.  All of her escapes, whether from the second story of our house, from Tammy and Pat's yard or trying to dig her way out of Oma and Opa's house.   One of my favourite Emma stories is when she jumped off the dock after a ball and went right under the water, head and everything.  She got to the surface and couldn't care less about the ball or stick.  Swan straight to shore, nothing was going to stop her.   She loved Kelowna.  Maybe not Opa, but all the swimming!  It was always a good vacation for her too. 

I miss having her around.  Whether it be sitting by the front door, or walking to get the kids.  It might be sitting in the front seat or laying on our bedroom floor sleeping at night.  I just miss having her around. 

She was our first born, taught us how to parent, taught us how to put others first, how to not give up on things and follow through.  She taught us how to be consistent and on the same page.  How when you put the work in the rewards are tremendous and life long. 

My constant companion will be missed. 

Till Next Time

Jenn