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Showing posts from April, 2011

Mommy diaries: Renée

Meet Renée: my cousin, my friend.  I love that I get to share my experiences with her as our children grow up, side by side, just like we did.  Willis asks about Jarek usually once a week, which reminds me of the importance of continuing our traveling play-dates (which we should do soon, cousin!)I love spending time with Renée and I love the mom that she has become.  She is talented, creative and has such a warm heart that anyone would be lucky to call her a friend.
I admire her ability to maintain a balance in her life with working out, going to Church and remaining educated. Her children will definitely benefit from seeing that.
I enjoy spending time with her, especially when we're taking in a NKOTB concert, or two...or three....
I am thankful for her homecooked meals. I always want to steal her recipes after.  So good!
I think other moms would benefit fromher friendliness and ability to make you feel at ease. She's very welcoming.
This is Renée:

Mommy diaries: Colleen

Meet Colleen:  a friend from high school, from a time when life was simple and all we worried about was what Russels we'd wear to school that day and how quickly we could get a slush in.  Colleen is also sister to my beautiful friend, Kelly, whom we lost 10 years ago.  A friend who is never forgotten and who's name I say daily when I call on my daughter, Lucia Kelly.Oh, how it thrills me to hear her name roll off my son's tongue.  Just looking at this picture of Colleen warms my heart as I see so much of Kelly in her, especially in her smile.  
But this post is not about Kelly, even though I find it necessary to say that I think of Kelly every time I think of Colleen, and it's impossible not to wonder what kind of mom Kelly would have been.  I would like to think she would be just like Colleen and this post is about the caring, beautiful mom that Colleen has become.  
I should say that Colleen has always been caring and beautiful, always with a smile on her face, and tha…

{this moment}

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Ever since Lucia started "walking" a couple weeks ago, she has wanted to go EVERYWHERE and touch EVERYTHING.  This is the girl who refuses to crawl.  Nope, she'll go straight to walking, thankyouverymuch.  Now she can maneuver herself from one object to another with the cutest, "I'm so very proud of myself" grin on her face.  This week she discovered the mirror and man, did she LOVE the little girl she met.

Mommy diaries: Carmen

Meet Carmen:  a stunning friend who is the retainer of all our memories of being crazy girls. One call to Carm and she'll hash out all the details about anything we may have forgotten.  Carmen also has a generous heart, often stretching herself further than she can go: she's the type of friend who'd drop anything to help you out.  
She is always on the go, whether she's bringing Koen somewhere or doing something for this committee or that friend or this family member.  100% all the time, that's Carm.  
On top of managing her life, Carmen is a dedicated mom.  She is very educated and researches any parenting strategy to ensure it'll be just right for her busy little man.  Doing all of this while her husband works away is not easy on her, but you'll rarely hear her complain.  To me, Carmen is the master puppeteer, carefully managing all the strings in her life, rarely missing a beat.
I admire her willingness to share, whether it's books, clothes, food, memor…

Mommy diaries: Heidi and Kerri, Ganza edition continued.

Meet Heidi:  Hairstylist extraordinaire, fun-loving teammate and a beautiful friend.Heidi is one of the most thoughtful and considerate people I know.  I value her friendship more than I think she realizes and am grateful for all the time we get to spend together whether it's dealing with colours or fly balls. 
Heidi and Landon had a fast-tracked start to parenthood when Fin was born at 30 weeks.  Small world, previous mom, Erin, and Heidi met up in the NICU at the same time.
I love Heidi's energy, she is always bursting at the seams with ideas and honestly, I don't know how she gets it all done, but she does.  Good thing she has a disciplined secretary.
I admire Heidi's ability to do 82 things at once and still genuinely ask you how your day was.
I enjoy our time spent as families over supper, especially now that there are kids in the mix and they can start to playreek havoc together.
I am thankful for her skills as a hairstylist.  Seriously love my hair every single tim…

Mommy diaries: Tales from the shale. Lisa and Tanya

Meet Lisa:  There's something about playing a sport with someone that brings you to a different level.  It's almost like a marriage: where cooperation, communication and teamwork is key.  I met Lisa while playing fastball in Shellbrook.  She is hell of a ball player and recently has been introduced to mommyhood, making her, I'm sure, a hell of a mom.  Lisa has this drive and confidence about her that radiates and gets the job done.  I wish I lived closer to her so I could catch up, play some ball and share some motherhood secrets with her.  She's a great friend.
I admire her ability to wear her heart on her sleeve.
I enjoy her presence.  She's quiet and she's easy to get along with.
I am thankful for her monthly videos.  It makes me feel closer to her.
I think other moms would benefit from her ears.  She's a good listener and an even more fun person to vent with.
This is Lisa:

Meet Tanya, a.k.a Rocket:  I met her also in the Brook, playing ball with the Shellbro…

Mommy diaries: Jyl

Meet Jyl:  Another friend from my past who is back in my life.  At one point, Jyl and I were inseparable, playing ringette together and plotting to take over the world, one crush at a time.  Jyl is one of the neatest people I know and I can't help but smile whenever I think of her.  She amazes me in many ways:  I love her writing style, in fact she was one of the main bloggers who got me inspired to blog.  She has a beautiful daughter, Katelyn and is not ashamed/afraid to talk openly about her battles with Post- partum.  She also took on one of her passions in life and opened Sweet Baby K, an online baby boutique filled with adorable things for baby girls.  There is so much that I admire in Jyl, I could go on forever.
I mostly admire her honesty.  She speaks of topics many people would be too scared to tackle and I believe she's saved many lives because of this.
I enjoy her rants.  She makes me laugh and leaves me wanting to be able to write like her.
I am thankful for having her…

Mommy Diaries: Jenn

Meet Jenn:  Through elementary and high school, Jenn was one of my closest friends.  We lost touch after high school, but then were brought back together months before we both had our first baby.  Jenn amazes me with her non stop life of busy-ness, add 3 kids to that mix and Jenn is a bonafide supermom, if you ask me.It is great to have her back in my life, I really enjoy Jenn's company, she has a no nonsense outlook on life that I enjoy and I think I could learn a lot from her.
I admire her ability to juggle 3 kids and not let it stop her from living her life.
I enjoy spending time with an old friend who knows a side of me that I'd love to forget. Ugh. Gotta love grade 7 bangs.
I am thankful for her organizational skills, without her, playdates wouldn't exist.
I think other moms would benefit from her dedication to her children and to her friendships.  I always feel that Jenn is one who would drop anything to help someone out.
This is Jenn: 

Mommy diaries: Jody

Meet Jody:  She came into my life via this really hot computer nerd I was dating.  Obviously since then our relationships have evolved to marriage and babies, but it's great having a friendcouple who can communicate with my husband, granted I never understand a word that's being said, but whatever, Jody and her husband, Jon are great company.  Jody is also very gifted and talented musician.  Who has a recording studio in their basement? Who performs in a musical minutes before she goes into labour? Who sings me down the aisle at our wedding?  Yup, that's Jody.  I think what I like the most about her is that she gets so much out of life.  There's no stopping her.  
I admire her ability to instill music into Rylie's pushes me to want to do more for my kids when I see how much music surrounds them.
I enjoy our monthly meals together.  It's been great seeing us grow from just dating couples, to married DINK couples, to couples dining with kids.
I am thankful…

Mommy diaries: Erin

Meet Erin:  She's probably my 'newest' friend of all my mommy friends that you are meeting and I feel so fortunate to have been introduced to her through music, jazz hands and all.  We've worked together directing musicals and found an instant friendship and shared love of red heels. 
Erin and James welcomed their first son, Oliver, into the world 6 (I may be off a week or two...) weeks early.  He spent time in NICU and had a major surgery, all in his first month of life.  Obviouslynot exactly what new parents envision.  Through it all, Erin and James kept on such brave, calm faces that I couldn't help but be moved by their strength, love and faith.  Seriously a wonderful couple and a beautiful little boy!
I admire Erin's faith.  She is so strong in her beliefs, which in turn are clearly reflected in her values and choices in life.  
I enjoy every minute I get with her.  She has such a cheery disposition, she's friendly and she has a wonderfully positive outl…

Mommy diaries: Celine

Meet Celine: A treasured friend from high school.  I'm very happy that we've stayed close as I feel a special bond with her.  Not too sure if it's the shared loved of NKOTB or the fact that she has pretty much the same relationship as I do with my family, but regardless she has been a friend that I have loved growing up with.
I admire her tight knit relationship with her family- it makes me want to work harder at teaching my children the importance of cousins and how they can be just like siblings too.
I enjoy spending time with her. She makes me laugh.
I am thankful for her easy going nature.  I don't think I've ever seen her mad.
I think other moms would enjoy her love for life and great parties that her and her husband throw.  Celine and Jaret remind me of Dan and myself in many ways.
This is Celine:

Mommy diaries: Melissa

Meet Melissa:  A caring friend in high school and later a funtastic roommate while we were both beginning our teaching careers in the P of A.  Mel is a very easy person to get along with:  she's gentle, kind, organized and motivating.  I see her as a Mary Poppins type of teacher:  firm, yet kind and  I believe that any child would be blessed to call her teacher.  Mel and I don't see each other often, but that doesn't seem to matter as we can quickly pick up where we left off.  She was a great person to lean on when I first had Willis and gave fantastic advice, advice that I still use in my parenting.
I admire Melissa's ability to balance her own needs with those of her family.  It motivates me seeing her juggling teaching, her family and a gym regime.
I enjoy our get togethers though few and far between.    
I am thankful for the yearish I spent living with her.  She was a very congenial person to live with.
I think other moms would benefit from her caring and concern.  I …

{this moment}

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

I've decided to adapt this Friday ritual and make it a little more up my alley.  I love photography, but definitely love capturing video even more. I managed to capture a very special moment this week on video, I just wish I would have taken more footage.  Ah well.  It was a perfect Sunday afternoon.  Music (Adele) was playing in the background as we shared some family time together.  Dan was teaching Willis to read on the couch, while Lucia and I sat on the floor and practiced Lucia's walking.  Shortly after that, I had lost track of Dan and Lucia and when I came across them, I found this:

{this moment} from Dee on Vimeo.

Second favourite moment was on my birthday, Tuesday.  Dan organized a supper out with my favourite girls. It was a perfect night.

Mommy diaries: Jordan

Meet Jordan:  a mom of phenomenal strength and grace.  She has been in my life for almost 10 yearsand I can definitely say my world has been enriched and enlivened because of her.  I have seen our relationship change through our different stages of life:  We've been acquaintances,  teammates, coworkers, and now I have the privilege to be a mom right beside my dear friend.
Recently, Jordan  and her husband, Hugh experienced a loss no parent ever wishes to endure.  She said goodbye to her sweet baby boy, Tripp and has done so publicly, living out her emotions on her blog.  It is a heart wrenching story, but her words provide strength and comfort to anyone who follows her.  
I admire her ability to recognize situations as they are and put everything out on a plate.  Emotions are never hidden with Jordan.
I enjoy her company. I can chat with her but can also easily fall into solitude with her and not feel like I need to talk.
I am thankful for her willingness to share her journey with us …

Mommy diaries: Annick

Meet Annick:  We were sistered/twinned together in a Québec/Saskatchewan exchange back in 1995.  Who knew that almost 20 years later we'd have a lasting relationship and children just months apart.  We obviously don't see each other often (the last time was when Dan and I visited her on our honeymoon) but that doesn't matter to me.  We shared an awesome experience together and will always have that bond.  
I admire her sense of style.  I've seen pictures of her new home and adore her decorating.
I enjoy our random emails.  It makes me feel closer to her.
I am thankful for an experience 15 years ago that introduced me to not only a great family, Les Richard, but also to a beautiful province and culture that has shaped a huge part of who I've become. In fact, when I started blogging, one of my first topics was Annick.  See here.
I think other moms would appreciate the love that emulates from her.  She is very caring about everything and everyone.

Mommy diaries: Marlene

Meet Marlene:  My mom.  What better way to start off my birthday then with a post by the one who raised me.  I find it so interesting to read her point of view on parenting, I guess you never really understand/appreciate the choices and decisions that parents make until you are actually parents yourself.  So hats off to my mom, I think she did a wonderful job with the little what she had to work with ;) (Clearly I'm talking about Rob here)
I admire her constant quest for knowledge and learning.  Maybe that's why I became a teacher?
I enjoy her ability to manage a house-full when we're all home and not to get stressed out or all begiggity on us. Even when SOMEONE throws bread at another SOMEONE during a meal, spilling wine everywhere.
I am thankful for the lessons she has taught me and continues to teach me.
I think other moms would benefit from her wisdom gained from being SOOO old.  Bahahah. 
This is my mom:

Mommy diaries: Liz

Meet Liz:  My friendship with Liz began when I was interning at Feehan and she was just starting teaching.  She was an excellent person to talk to and to go to for help.  As years went by we lost contact but then found ourselves right next to each other again when I moved back to Saskatoon.  
Our lives are so similar.  Not only do we teach at the same school, but we were married 10 days apart, our sons are 6 days apart and our girls are one month apart.  Crazy.
I admire Liz's honesty and ability to ask for advice or help.
I enjoy having someone at work who is on the exact same page as me in life; someone who understands my random vents over lunch. 
I am thankful for her organizational skills.  Sometimes I find it hard to keep up with play dates, but she is great at making sure we get the boys some play time in !
I think other moms would appreciate her tidbits of information.  I would say that Liz is a researched and educated parent, which is always nice to have around because we all kn…

Mommy diaries: Alison

Meet Alison:  
I admire her ability to always seem to be in a great mood.  I rarely see her grumpy.
I enjoy our catch up sessions whenever I've back in P.A.
I am thankful for the blessing her children have had in my life.
I think other moms would benefit from her cheery disposition and sense of style.  You should also see her interior decorating skills. Top notch!

Alison is one of my oldest friends and I share a very close bond with her that never can really be broken, regardless the distance between us, or how often we talk.  We both lost a best friend together.  You learn not to take friendships for granted when someone special is taken from your lives.  Kelly brings us closer.  That's one of the many gifts I've gotten from her life in her passing.  I could go on about the hidden gifts in terrible times, but that'll have to be another post for another day.

Shortly after Kelly passed away, Alison was blessed with a pregnancy. Only one month after her wedding!  She always sa…

Mommy diaries: Jodee

Meet Jodee:  She is a high school friend whom I've had the chance to reconnect with through our kids.  I'm very happy to have her back in my life because she brings an entirely different perspective to my mothering philosophy, and I love that.  You should read some of her thoughts on natural childbirth and her experiences birthing her babies at home on her blogJodee is also one of my few friends who has ventured into the realm of three children and therefore has earned superstar status in my books.
I admire her calm demeanor.
I enjoy reading about how she copes with three, wondering if I could do it too.
I am thankful that we've reconnected and think we should have a playdate soon. Hint, hint.
I think other moms will benefit from the feeling you get when you're around her. I never feel judged by her, she is such a good person.

Mommy diaries: Rae and Monique, the University Edition.

Meet Rae:  I was fortunate to have the occasion to get to know Rae in university where we both studied to be French teachers.  I also lived with her my year in Quebec City.  Rae is the sweetest, kindest, most docile person I have ever met.  You would be lucky to have her teach your children.  Granted we live in different cities and rarely see each other, she has had a huge impact on my life.  I always strive to be a kinder person after being in her presence, so I can just imagine the great mom she has become.
I admire the sense of calm I get from her, even through emails.
I enjoy her monthly updates, that keep me feeling close to her.
I am thankful for her living with us in Quebec- she kept us balanced and was a great cereal eating partner late at night.
I think other moms would appreciate the genuine answers you get from Rae.  She is so thoughtful and sweet.
This is Rae:

Meet Monique:  We studied side by side to become high school french teachers, except Monique had the guts to do all thin…

{this moment}

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

A couple moments this week have been the type that I just want to keep forever and relive over and over.  
1-Willis is taking some big steps in growing up including learning to swim and riding a bike.  We spent most of our week outside practicing. I love seeing him be so proud of his accomplishments.
2-Moment two is from our weekend in Edmonton.  Although I found it to be tiring (weaning a baby and travels don't always mix), it was a great time to spend with our family and create lasting memories.

Mommy diaries: Sara

Meet Sara:  an adoption worker by day, loving mom by night.  Sara is one of those people whose kindness and genuine compassion for people don't go unnoticed.  I find her refreshing to be around because she is so real, if that makes any sense. 
I admire her honesty and ability to ask for help when needed.
I enjoy living blocks from her and meeting her at the park to play, well for the kids to play. We reminisce, gossip and laugh.
I am thankful for years of friendship that have easily transformed into a shared love for parenting, designer jeans and getaways with the girls.
I think other moms would also enjoy her wholehearted ability to make you feel like you've known her for ages.  When you talk, there is no doubt Sara is listening.
This is Sara:

Mommy diaries: Lisa

Meet Lisa:  a gifted teacher and amazing mom.  She has the most zest and enthusiasm for life that I have ever seen present in a person.  She radiates love, compassion and a goofy girlishness that will have you in stitches laughing so hard.  What is even more compelling about this woman is her story about how she and her husband bravely faced their reality and came out of it the most beautiful children I have ever seen.  All three of her children were adopted from Haïti, the two boys having experienced the earthquake last year and arrived safely in Lisa and Laurier's arms shortly after.  If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you will remember the posts I did about their story: here, hereand here.
I admire her strength of spirit and faith in a loving, giving God.
I enjoy Lisa's way of wording things.  Her Christmas letter had me laughing for days.   If anyone should start blogging, it should be her. Hint, hint.
I am thankful for her friendship; having made me feel instantl…

Mommy diaries: Kyla

Meet Kyla:  I've known her as my darling sister all our life, and only recently has she transformed into a momfriend, giving me a beautiful niece to love!  I guess I've known ever since Willis was born that she was a natural at this job so it doesn't really surprise me to see her excel at motherhood.    She loves my children as much as she loves her own.
I admire her devotion to modeling good behaviour for Kinsey.  She is mindful of the earth and pushes healthy eating.  Of course, she is a nutritionist after all.
I enjoy our daily playdates and living a block away from her.
I am thankful that she also shares my love of solitude and can share a quiet space with me, even while minding the kids together.
I think other moms would appreciate her knowledge in her field of nutrition and her ability to motivate others (me) to be healthier.

Mommy diaries: Christy

Meet Christy.  We met the first day of Kindergarten some 27 years ago.  It has been a blessing to have her as a friend and a privilege to grow as moms together.  Our journey is life long and she is often referred to the "true blue" friend.  
Christy is an energetic mom, devoted to her workout regime and park visiting schedule.  
I admire her determined ability to just go for anything.  Nothing can stop Chrr once her mind is set.
I enjoy our sometimes daily chats about our kids, lives and loves.
I am thankful for long distance telephone plans and the ability to remain close through her blog
I think other moms would benefit from her heartfelt, thoughtful advice and ability to keep secrets.
This is Christy.

The Mommy diaries

"There is universal truth I have found in my work. Everybody longs to be loved. And the greatest thing we can do is let somebody know that they are loved and capable of loving." - mister Rogers

There is nothing about Motherhood that is easy and sadly it's not all naps, coffee, afternoon strolls and baking that I want it to be. Often, we are harder on ourselves then we should be. This has been made even more evident to me in a conversation I had with the BFF about a mom who had made a comment regarding a common parenting technique she used that she felt ashamed to admit: the dreaded cry-out.
This made me think.
How many other parents also experience the guilt, doubt and shame that is associated with, well everything we do? Aren't we always questioning our methods and comparing ourselves to others?
I wish that didn't have to be the case. I wish we could all feel pride in the efforts we put in 24/7, parenting our beautiful children. We are trying to raise our chil…

{this moment}

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

A group of friends gathering for morning coffee, cake and colour.   Having my friends share a same friend hair stylist has its benefit, especially when we're all off work and can gather for random coffee dates while one of us (Kyla and I in this case) get our hair beautified. Heidi is amazing and a great hostess and this week's playdate was just what I needed.  

Making of traditions.

The Annual Park Family Oiler Shopping Weekend in Edmonton comes again tomorrow as we pack our bags and head west.
I look forward to time spent with a wonderful family,  time spent strolling the mall, swimming at the waterpark, being a kid at galaxyland and time not spent going to the Oiler game on Friday.  Dan and I aren't the big hockey fans, so we stay home with the kids.  Willis will be staying home again this year, but I think next year will be the year we take him to his first NHL game.

Here are some pics of years past:

November 2008: The inaugural year.  The trip Willis woke up ridiculously early at and had us strolling the mall at ungodly hours in the morning.  Good thing we stayed at the Fantasyland that year.

November 2009: Year 2.  The year we watched a bunny sit in the parking lot for hours during a snow storm.
This was also the year Dan grew a mustache. Yikes.

2010:  We decided not to go in November like we had previously, due to the uncertainties of Dad's cancer tr…

Lucia: independance.

I'm a lean mean weaning machine.

Because of the Scotland trip coming up in a month, I'm being gradually transitioned into weaning my baby.  But the problem is that I'm not ready to.  Lucia, unlike Willis, is still totally attached to me.   Willis weaned himself off of breastmilk at 8.5 months:  he was more interested in playing.  But Lucia, au contraire, is all about the momma.  She's a great eater and I've honestly, truthfully, wholeheartedly enjoy my time bfeeding her.   In fact her 6:00 bedtime feed is my favourite time of the day when I can finally put my feet up and relax, knowing that I'm the only one in the world who can share that closeness and bond with her.
I know that it's the only thing I can do that no one else can.  It is guaranteed quiet time with cuddles (unless in an airport, themepark or airplane) and really, I feel grateful that bfeeding for both kids has come naturally as I have seen many friends struggle with it.
  There is so much more…


In a month from now, after a looong flight from Calgary to Glasgow, I will be waking up in Scotland.
I feel I have a lot left to accomplish before I go (weaning la Lucia), and I think that is kinda keeping me from getting into my normal state of excited zeal. But then when trying to go to bed early last night I started thinking about the trip and really got excited about what this journey means for me.

One week with my siblings. I'm not concerned about how we'll travel together, we get along just fine and if they start to annoy me I'll likely just push them into a moat or a babbling brook of some sort.

One week of me time. After 10 months of interrupted sleep, I am guaranteed to have at least 7 blissful nights of sleep. I'm a sleeper and I normally need to clock 8-10 hours to function. I'll be glad to be able to give my body that standard again.

This trip will also be the longest I've been away from Lucia. The most I've been away from her is maybe 3 hours,…

{this moment}

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo  capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

This week's moment was a simple moment, but those are the memories that make me smile the most.
Warming sun shining on us as Lucia, Willis and I eat a scrumptious meal of Delissio cheese pizza (my fave) and Edamame beans ("Edamommy" beans, according to Will).  It's the first inning of what would be a fantastic Jays season opener and I couldn't be happier with my life right now, right here in this moment.
*inspired by/stolen from blogger SMHS friend, Christa.