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My Sister came to visit and brought my nephew, Ben and Mikey picked up right where they left off and had a great few days together.   My sister and I tried to get in as much as we could and yet we also just want to be still and enjoy being with each other.  We usually don’t find the balance because by the end of the trip, we still feel like we need more of a fix or a fill.   It’s really hard.

The boys both finished their Lacrosse tryouts.  Benjamin made the Bantam team and will share his goalie spot with another goalie.  I’m thrilled that he has backup because when he was the only goalie last year he had to play while he was sick and we had to postpone family trips because he was the only goalie.   At the same time, I’m not thrilled that we will make many long distance trips for him to sit on the bench while the other goalie plays.  

Cody is playing up this year,  Instead of being AP’d to the Jr. C team he tried out and made it as a full time rostered player.   He’s the youngest on the team but already he’s proving his worth.  It amazes me how far he’s come in this sport in just 4 short years.  Playing up will be a great learning experience for him.
Cody tried out last night for an Evolve elite Field team.  This team is coached by NLL players and enters tournaments all across the United States giving these kids visibility at scouting levels.   I really hope he makes it,  he’s a fantastic player and it would be a great experience for him.   We should find out today.
Cody has also started playing Rugby.  I begged him not to play.  Have you seen this sport?   It’s essentially football (including tackling) with no helmet’s or padding.   Not even a jock my friends.  One day (not soon)  I would like to have little Cody grand kids and sports like this make me fearful that it won’t happen.  I will say though, there are some great photo opportunities in Rugby.


Ken went back to work!  Yippeeeeeeeee!   It was a long winter and while I love having him around I’m not fond of the interruption of flow him being around has on our house.   I probably sound like a freak but I like doing everything, at least then things get done because there are no other expectations.  Really, I know that sounds bad but it’s not, it’s a good thing to have that order, I feel better for it.     Speaking of feeling better, Ken also got his first paycheck since being back to work…. Can you say Fan Freaking Tastic????????

Benjamin is getting ready for his 7th grade school trip.  I”m not nearly as excited as he is.   He had 5 minutes left this morning before he had to go for the school bus…. Did he spend them watching cartoons?  NO,   he spent them packing.  He will be gone for 3 days… That’s 2 nights he will sleep away from home.  My heart hurts!  

Besides everything that’s going on with my Gentlemen, Probably one of the most notable things that is going on with me is that I have started a new business.   It’s a side business as I will keep my full time job but hopefully it will generate enough to help with Cody’s college which is coming up sooner then I can fully comprehend, it will be easier for Ben if I haven’t already had to re mortgage the house by the time he’s ready for University!   The business is called Sweet Soda Frames.   I have a company in Brampton who was able to draw out the frames for me and is cutting them this very moment.  They will be ready to pick up on Monday and once I have a few finished, I’ll take the pictures and put them up in my Etsy shop.  Very exciting times!
 
Last but not least,  It’s the WEEEKEND!  We have a busy one ahead.   Lacrosse, lacrosse and more lacrosse!   Cody  has both field and Jr. C.   I am also watching Malcom for the weekend and while I’m looking forward to squishing him constantly, I’m not looking forward to the lack of sleep.   Can’t wait to see him though, it’s going to be fun.

Have a great week!

What does spring mean to me?  It means walking out my front door and not rushing to get into the car, taking time to look at the garden and see what Spring has Sprung.   The Tulips are coming… slowly but surely.

It means a reunion with my Lacrosse friends.  Weekends are full of Lacrosse tournaments which means a LOT of fresh air… Something we are not used to so we fall into our beds and sleep like a rock at the end of the day.

We spend a lot of time in the truck driving to different fields for Lacrosse, Spring is a time to open the car windows and play our music a little louder than normal.  As with every Spring a new mix is always in order, this year it’s a classic Rock CD complete with songs like China Girl, Hooked on a Feeling,  Light my fire and Mississippi Queen.
(no persons were lost in the making of this picture – he was just looking at the map book, honestly)

Hope you are enjoying your Spring time rituals as much as we are!

Cheers!

I really don’t want to leave my blog hanging as I get busier so I’m sneaking in an entry while I eat my lunch…. Regardless of how short my updates are, I am committed to keeping this going for the boys (and my mom 🙂 )

It’s been a busy week already and it’s only Wednesday.  Cody started Field lacrosse practices this week with a neighboring lacrosse center that is a 45-50 minute drive from our house, he also started Jr. tryouts in the same city, there have been many late nights already and there are plenty more to come.  I can’t even begin to tell you how crazy our Spring is looking, between tryouts and practices then games and tournaments, we will be driving more then sleeping over the next few months.  Sounds awful right?
It’s actually not.  For me there is nothing better then watching the boys play and I’d go to the ends of the earth to do it, I do think we will have to start car pooling though with the price of gas lately, I believe it’s up now to 128.8 per litre.

Little bits of spring have sprung.  It’s so nice to have the snow all melted from the lawns and to see the Tulip buds pop up through the soil. I’m so looking forward to full days of sunshine and open windows.  I started to decorate with little bits of spring throughout the house where I can,  I planted some herbs on the window sill this weekend, I’m still waiting for the herbs to poke through but love the splash of color the pots have added to the kitchen. 

I really don’t have a green thumb but think that anyone can grow Herbs, what I am surprised with is the tree that Ken got me for Valentines day… That sucker is still growing and it actually looks healthy!  I’m sure it’s ready for a bigger pot which I should probably tackle sooner rather than later.

Since I ran around taking pictures for the blog, I though I’d share with you a picture of my favorite snack (I’m eating lunch, remember?)    Does it get better then this????

He was the one I went to because he was more likely to say yes.
When he was a parent helper for field trips all the kids in my class fought to be in my group.
He let me tongue dip in his beer when I was little.
He taught me how to drive and never flinched once.
He has always put my needs and his families needs ahead of his.
He taught me about Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, the Blues Brothers and Louis Armstrong.
He showed me that helping people is better than talking about helping people.                                                                                             
He was the one that encouraged me to be independent but was there to help pick up the pieces when I fell.
He makes the BEST cup of tea you have ever had.
He’s donated blood over 130 times.
He saved countless lives as a full-time firefighter for over 30 years.
He served his community as a volunteer firefighter for 20 years.


She was the one who taught me unconditional love.
She is one that taught us what family loyalty is and that Blood is always thicker then water.
She took my side when I told her the teacher was picking on me.
She let me lay my head on the shoulder of her fur coat and gave me a finger massage so I’d sit still during mass.
She always tells me I’m beautiful and talented.
She taught me about work ethic and how you have to work hard to get noticed and getting noticed will lead to its own rewards.
She stayed up worrying when I didn’t come home at curfew.
She sent my dad to follow me around and protect me when she suspected I was up to no good.
She compliments my parenting skills and encourages me to keep doing the right thing no matter how hard it can be sometimes.
She comes over and spoils my kids with French Toast breakfasts whenever I’m working out of town.
She is the happiest when she’s with family…. She loves her Grandkids to the moon and back and then to the moon and back again.
She worked full time, made dinners, drove us to Figure Skating and Hockey games in the dead of winter and never complained once.


I’m not sure how I got so lucky or blessed to have these people as my parents.

So yesterday I was told by my child that I’m too strict.

I knew this day was coming…., how did I know you ask?  Simply because we are strict, plain and simple.

I love that we live on a lake and that it’s a small beautiful town….. I don’t love that most of the people who live here have lived here all their lives and don’t seem to discourage their 14 and 15 year old children from acting like a 20 year old.    I don’t want to sound like a snob but really, tell me honestly, should 14 and 15 year old kids be having parties where they crown beer pong champions, drink vodka straight from the bottle, take drunk pictures of their friends on the toilet and make out with each other in front of a room full of other kids?   I won’t get into all the details but thanks to Social Media sites, these are the images that flash into my mind every time he asks me to go out with his friends.

Looking back, I did some stupid and immature things but my parents had no clue (Now they do…. Hi Mom!!!) and I’m left to wonder if as a parent knowing so much information is good or bad.   Kids of the 90’s have no idea what real privacy is or how important it is.  I wonder if the day will come when they regret posting their every movement on Twitter or posting the picture of their best friend giving the camera a Rock out hand sign while squinting through a Vex haze sitting on the toilet.

I’m struggling to find middle ground.

I’m trying to figure out how much I can trust him.

And, I’m a little bit freaked out at how grown up these 15 and 16 year old boys and girls want to be!

So, it’s my job to walk the dogs during my lunch hour break.  I call it a job but really it’s not.  It’s one of the few things that get me out of the house during the workday that I enjoy.   My dog’s are not trained, they pull me in all directions like a Saturday Wal-Mart shopper and often I wonder if my shoulder has been dislocated.   They are not well-mannered when they meet other dogs and although they look intimidating, they really just want to play.

Usually I walk them  in the forest at the end of our street.  There is a path that runs right through and when the snow covers the ground we walk off the path and explore.  I let them off the leash and they run around sniffing under trees and bushes for squirrels and Bunnies; I love watching them.   This is by far one fo the highlights of my day so with the fresh snowfall last night, how could I not take my camera.   (Again,  all manual mode :))

I don’t think there is much in this world I dislike more than taking a self-portrait.  When I started this blog I didn’t have one picture of myself without my kids or husband in it too.  I love to be behind the camera and don’t much care to be in front of it.  This week on You Capture the topic was “Happy”.  Although I hate having my picture taken, I’m so incredibly happy with where I am in my life.  I’m moving past the nit-picking about my body and I’m moving into a sense of self acceptance and respect for who I am as a Woman, Mom, Wife, Daughter, Sister and Friend.  This picture was taken in Manual mode… More on that below….

So, This is me and I’m redonkulously HAPPY to be shooting in Manual Mode!

Recently a couple of blog friends posted a link to a forum called “Clickin’ Mom’s”    I had visited the site before but couldn’t really understand what it was all about.  Without a membership you couldn’t see past the gates and  ken I wasn’t  up for spending money on the unknown.    I have been trying to improve my photography and the class I took at the local College wasn’t cutting it.  I tried to read articles here and there but as expansive as the world-wide web is, it’s difficult to find articles that link and relate to each other on the subject of photography.  I was honestly close to moving back to auto settings when these friends posted their experience with the site as well as a code for 20% off membership costs.   Did someone say SALE??? I’m in!

I have been a member for just over a week now and I’m absolutely amazed with how much I have learned.   Every day I log in, read a couple of  articles and start practicing.   My camera has gotten a total workout and I have moved from shooting in pre determined settings to Manual!   Manual Baby!  I did not get a degree in rocket science, I did not eat brain food, I did not copy anyone elses paper, I’m rocking Manual mode all by myself and the results aren’t bad!  It feels so amazing to find solutions to the  issues that almost drove me back to Auto.

6:20 – In my cozy bed
“Seriously, why is this alarm going off so early”

6:45 – At my desk with a STRONG cup of coffee.
“I’m so thankful that I don’t live on site in Arizona where it’s only 4:45 –  This early conference call would have been even worse.”

7:50 – Still on Conference call…Rejoining from cell phone while driving Cody to his exam.
” I hope the boy studied – Civics would be a  pretty pathetic class to fail”.
“Why is my blackberry speaker so low… I wonder if I can make it louder?”
“These roads are slippery… Please let me get  home safely because I’m wearing PJ’s and getting stuck somewhere would suck worse than failing civics.”

8:10 – Home again
“Oh my god , this call is still going!”
“The dogs better cross their legs, at the rate this call is progressing (or not) we are not going to make it out for a while”
“I wish Kenny was home”
“Look at me multi task… I’m on a conference call and making my son his lunch – Dude, I’m super mom”

8:30 – Still on conference call
“I wonder if the dogs will pee on the floor – Please no!”

8:50 – Yup,  call’s still going – 2 hours now
“My 13-year-old has better social skills then some of the adults on this call”

8:55 – Phone’s ringing
“Yup, this sister can multitask, I can answer that while these guys argue about who owns the problem”
“Oh my god”
“Please just tell me your OK”
“Please stay out of harms way till I get there!”

Ken was in a car accident on the highway.  He hit Black ice and ended up sliding across 3 lanes of the highway into the guard rail and then back across the lanes again and into the ditch.

8:56 – rushing around the house
“This is my worst nightmare”
“Oh my God, this can’t be happening”
“I have to get there quickly so I can see for myself that he’s OK”
“The dogs are going to have to wait….. ARGH, I can’t make them wait!”
“I LOVE that my parents live next door – Dad can walk the dogs for me”
“Oh man,  I’m leaving the house in my PJ’s again today – I hope Ken is not embarrassed when I get out of the car”

9:30 – In the parking lot where all the cars involved were parked – Police, Tow trucks, Fire trucks…You name it, they were there
“I see him! – He’s standing, he’s talking, he’s really OK”
“I just need to hug him”

9:31 – Hugging Ken
“Don’t Cry – I can’t help it – Don’t cry – I have to – DON’T CRY!!!!!”
“Oh my god….. I”m wearing PJ’s!”

The only thoughts for the rest of the day go like this:
“He’s ok,  that’s all that matters”
“How did he not get hurt?”
“Oh my god, I LOVE this man,  Thank you for not taking him!”

Today I’m holding all of my family a little tighter, especially Ken.   When he left for work last night it could have been the last time he would hug me…. This thought puts tears in my eyes quicker then he hit the guard rail.    I’m lucky though,  I can honestly say that for the past few years I have made it a priority to tell my family how much I love them everyday, this has simply reinforced how important that is.

Thank you Kenny’s Angel, for making sure he came home safely today.

So today was a good day…. not a good day, a GREAT day.   We do things together all the time  but today we went out for our annual Ice Fishing trip… Just us 4 and our  dogs.  We sat together in a  10X10 hut warmed by the heat of a propane stove waiting for bites on the line.  I used to think that conversation was necessary to build bonds and to make connections but when we are ice fishing as a family I realize that this is not true.  Just sitting together is all we need.    I remember the days when the boys couldn’t sit still for longer then 5 minutes so enjoying these trips for the past couple years is bittersweet.  They are growing up… Gone are the days where we need to constantly keep them occupied or engaged and here are the days when we can just be together and enjoy each others company.

(By the way, that’s my hot husband – Not a bad looking guy to be stuck in an ice hut with right??)

 This trip also tied well into this week’s challenge over at You Capture.  The theme this week is circles and while we were out there, I found a few.

 His (or her?) eyes were pretty large circles in comparison with his body… Poor little fella… Dont’ worry, he was realeased with a full belly. 

I love winter,  I also love Cinnamon hearts, My 2 boys, My husband, and all things pink; This said, I have more than one reason to love Valentines day.   Imagine my excitement when the blogs I read started posting pictures of their valentines decorating!  I had a few things on hand from last year but was definitely ready for some new ideas.  Since taking down the Christmas decorations the house has been looking a little blah, I was ready for a change.  I have to admit though, I stole almost all of my mantle decorating ideas from Kerri-Lynn over at  My Decorating Addiction I hope she knows that copying is the most sincere form of flattery!   After a quick trip to the dollar store and Michael’s, I heated up the glue gun and got started.    

I made this wreath using 240 felt circles.  All cut, folded and individually pinned into the styrofoam wreath.   A day later I still have the scissor indents in my hands to prove it.  Totally worth it though right?

 These are Mason Jars found at Michael’s and filled with wedding ribbon.  The pink ribbon on the outside was actually from the Christmas bin so it was 80% off…. I love that they introduced pinks and purples to christmas decor! 

These branches were a part of my Christmas / Winter decoration but by adding foam hearts on Ribbon and a little bling, it’s now Cupids forest.  I love the way the colours pop off the withe branches.

Well, there it is!

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