Category Archives: General

No School Today…

I used to dread the days when the kids didn’t have school.  Having all four of them home on the same day did not always translate into fun times.  Now that my kids are in different schools, they have different days off.  Today, I was home with my youngest who is in grade 7.  After many failed attempts at planning things with her friends, she ended up with me.

To make it fun, we headed to the mall.  While we were sitting in East Side Mario’s for lunch (that was a huge disappointment) my phone alerted me that I should write a blog post.  Naturally she wanted to know what the noise was about, so I told her.  “Let me write it,” she said.  I passed my phone across the table.  This is what she came up with:

“Today I went to the mall with my mom because we had the day off of school. I was originally going to go with some friends but then I decided not to go with them because it is not very often that I get to hang out with mom alone while my siblings have school. Usually when we go to the mall both of my sisters then we don’t have alot of time to go in the stores that I like to shop in. So when I have a chance to spend time alone with mom I will take it. Today was great, we went out to lunch and to Starbucks and I gota few things. I hope I have more time with her in the future.”

Thanks Adrianna, I LOVE being your Mom!


Posted by on November 18, 2011 in Family, General


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I started running in January, 2010. That first winter I was just starting out and I was very happy on my treadmill. I never thought I would run outside. I was going to be strictly an inside runner.

Then the first nice day in March came and I went for a run with my husband, outside. That was wonderful, I was definitely doing that again!

All was great, until October and November came, as they always do, cold and rainy.  I was training for a half-marathon, I had to keep running. I even did one of my long runs on the treadmill. I had learned to detest the treadmill.

I made it through the half-marathon in Florida in January, came home and had no pressing reason to run, so I didn’t run.  That was a problem, I missed it.

That's me at about the 3.5k mark of the 10k. There was no smile left by the 8k mark but it came back once I crossed the finish line!!

So here I am once again, the cold rainy weather has returned. Somehow I need to keep running.  In August I signed up for a 10k race in the beginning of November. That got me running. Gave me a reason to continue to train.

Now I stand in front of my running hurdle, cold weather. I don’t like to be cold. I like to sit in front of the fire with a wool blanket. So how am I going to handle this obstacle.

I need to schedule my runs and I have to run regardless of the weather. This means I either have to brave the weather or learn to enjoy my treadmill again. I don’t think it has to be one or the other. If my scheduled run falls on a sunny day, I will enjoy the outdoors; if the weather is bad, I will take advantage of running indoors.  I will remember why I run and will take it any way I can get it.

I just signed up for a 5k race on March 4th.  That should be some good incentive.  Do you need a goal, join me

I am determined to run through this winter and I will succeed.


Posted by on November 14, 2011 in General, Running


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Today was a day to run, but another need was just more important.  About a month ago I promised my kids that I would not purchase cookies for them this year.  They would only eat homemade ones.  So to keep up with this promise, I baked.  On Labour Day weekend I baked about 25 dozen cookies.  Sure that seems like a lot, but I have 4 kids in my house and 3 of them are teenagers.  I also have a husband with a crazy fast metabolism who absolutely loves my homemade cookies.

On Sunday, we ran out of cookies.  Monday, I choose to run, Tuesday was too busy.  So today, I had a choice to make after my errands were done.  Run or bake.  One meant keeping a promise to myself, the other meant keeping a promise to my kids.

My afternoon looked like this:

Getting the job started. (Okay these are the last 6 to go in the oven, but the first I thought about photographing!)

The finished product. I grew up eating these, I've just tweaked the recipe a bit.

I really love baking!


Posted by on September 28, 2011 in Family, General, Running


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Learning something new…

Every winter I tell myself I should learn how to knit. This winter I’m going to do it! My mother-in-law is helping me.

Here is what I’ve learned so far:


I’m still working on figuring out how to control my tension and make my stitches even. It is a work in progress, who knows what I can accomplish if I put my mind to and put some time into it. I guess we shall see.


Posted by on September 24, 2011 in General


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A new school year bring new changes…

Today feels strange.  I’ve always loved the first day of school but today feels so different.

I remember this day, four years ago. I was a little sad that day. Not for the reasons most moms are sad, neither my first nor my last child was entering kindergarten. My first was heading to high school. I thought where has the time gone? He can’t be ready for this now?  I was too young to have a high school student.

Well, now it is four years later. Ben, my oldest is heading off to university. I have two kids in high school.  My youngest is in grade seven.  I still feel too young.  I sit here this morning thinking about those years when they were small. It was busy and it seemed that time stood still. They were so dependent, I needed to do everything for them.  While I was in the midst of it it seemed like I would always be changing diapers and tying shoe laces, but here I sit on the other side of that fence and I am thankful.

I’m thankful for the great schools my kids can go to.  I’m thankful for the wonderful teenagers they have been.  I’m thankful for the adults they are turning into.  I’m thankful for their independence.

Do I mourn their growing up?  Rarely.  I choose to celebrate the exciting changes that continue to occur.

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Posted by on September 6, 2011 in General


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The things I learned helping at Ironman Canada…

I have come to learn some very important lessons this past Sunday.

On Sunday, August 28, 2011 my husband competed in Ironman Canada in Penticton, BC.  For anyone who has never heard of an Ironman, it is a triathlon where the athletes swim 4km, bike 180km and then run 42km. It is a grueling day for him. I have watched him train for years, but the lessons I learned were not from him.

To help pass the long day, I volunteered in the Women’s Change Tent.  There, I helped the athletes get ready for the next leg of the race.  I would organize the items in their gear bag, help them get their shirts down over their backs and then pack what they didn’t need back in their bag and move it to where they would pick it up at the end of the day.  It was a lot of work, yet very rewarding.  I spent roughly 5 minutes with each woman I helped.

What did I learn?

  1. These women know perseverance. They just pushed through the pain and the heat and finished the race.
  2. They know how to set goals. One woman I spoke with decided one year ago to register for this Ironman. She did some biking and running but pretty much had to learn to swim!
  3. They know how to gracefully accept defeat. Each leg of the race has a cut off time. If you do not make it to the transition area before that time, you may not continue. They cry, then they hold their head high and accept it as experience, “I will learn from this and do things differently the next time”.
  4. They need encouragement. Some of them came off their bike not sure if they could carry on. I would need to help them prepare for the run while gently telling them that they can do it.
  5. They understand that it’s okay to take a break now and again.  The best story of the day was about an athlete that was really feeling the heat. He got off his bike, laid down in the grass and asked a spectator to wake him in half an hour!  Many of the women took the time to rest in the change tent even if it was just for 2 minutes.
  6. They can laugh at themselves and circumstances beyond their control.  Another great story was from a woman who went to use the port-a-potty after gearing up for the bike.  She was carrying her helmet with her bike gloves inside.  She slipped going in, her hand landed in the urinal and one of her gloves flew into the toilet.  The only thing she could do was pick it out, she needed them for the ride!  She said all day her hand smelled like crap and it just made her laugh.

How does this translate into real life?

  1. If they can persevere on a day like that I can certainly do it in the small things.  I can get up and put in 5k.  I can eat healthy on a daily basis.  I can get through the laundry and housecleaning.  I know that it doesn’t seem like Ironman and housecleaning go together, but I must persevere in the things that are part of my life!
  2. We can all set goals.  They don’t have to be big.  Maybe it is just a goal to get out for a walk three times a week.  Maybe it is to plan each week’s meals on a Sunday night.  Whatever it is, we all need goals and then we need to head back to number one and persevere so that we can meet those goals.  I need goals to keep running, so I sign up for local 5k and 10k races, they keep me motivated.
  3. I have learned that when I fall down from my goals, that I just have to refocus and move on.  If healthy eating is my goal, then one bad day should not turn into a bad week.  I just need to pick myself up, refocus and remember what my goals are.  I will not let defeat get the better of me, each day and each hour I can start fresh.
  4. I do need encouragement.  That comes in many forms.  I’m encouraged when I step on the scale and it goes down.  I’m encouraged when my clothes fit just a little better.  I’m encouraged when I finish my run in the time that I expect.  I feel great when I feel the sweat just pour off my face after a great workout.  I’m totally encouraged by my husband.  He treads that lightly because he doesn’t want to accidentally discourage me, but he is really awesome.  My friends encourage me.  It is important to surround yourself with the type of friends who will help you achieve your goals.
  5. No one can go 100km/hour forever.  Give yourself permission to enjoy life.
  6. Laughter is good for the soul.  Thankfully, my kids are really good at helping me with this one.  It kind of goes hand in hand with defeat.  Learn to laugh at your mistakes, learn from them and move on.

I learned some good lessons and I hope to implement them for a long time to come.


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This weekend I will see true determination…

Today my husband and I leave for Penticton, B.C. On Sunday he will participate in Ironman Canada. For those who do not know what that entails, he will first swim 4km, then bike 180km and then finish with a 42km run. This is the second time he will race in an event like this. The first time was in Arizona in 2008.

It is amazing to watch him train or at least to know what he does for training. He has really come to love the training and that is quite a mystery to me. I mean, I love to run, but it is not so much a part of me that I must run, I wish it was.

I guess that I need to remember that the training starts small. He started with just liking to ride his bicycle. He would ride it work and ride with the kids. Then someone suggested that he race in a duathlon (run, bike, run). He really enjoyed that and then wondered what it would be like to do a triathlon. That is how it all got started. The distances got longer and longer and now here he is getting ready to race in his second Ironman.

I wish I had that kind of determination when it came to fitness. Maybe someday I will.

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Posted by on August 25, 2011 in General, Travel


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