An Open Letter to… My Chapstick(s).

As my alarm goes off, I struggle to find my phone on the night table. I reach with my eyes closed and manage to press “snooze”. Next, I gently search for you . . . my chapstick.
With the lights off and my brain still recovering from a deep sleep I find you. You’re there, standing straight up and ready to start your day.
Good morning chapstick.
You make getting up easier, my lips are now soft, unlike when I woke up; all dry and sad.
I lift you up and I carry you to my bathroom. You stand tall there like a warrior, ready to start your day with me. I lift you up at least 6 times while I get ready for the day; your presence brings a smile to my heart.

Time to go downstairs. Do not worry my precious lip warrior. I will not forget you. Into my pocket you go. As I get the kids ready, my lunch packed and my coffee brewed, I turn to you in these stressful times. At least ten more times you soothe me in my morning of hurry.

Everyone is ready, it is time to go to work. I put you back in my pocket and another one of your kind in my purse – to be reunited with your chapstick friend that lives in my car.
Off we go to take on the day. Thank you chapstick(s), for the pleasant ride to work. A ride where I don’t have to worry about dry lips. You are my companion.

We get to work. I’m sorry we have to leave your friend in the car; don’t worry. He will be safe … and don’t forget, there is another of your kind in the classroom, in my desk drawer. You will see each other soon.

Throughout the day, I pick you up and you never disappoint. Sometimes gloss comes before, and sometimes after, but you, my precious warrior, will never be forgotten.

Finally the bell rings, and I know I need to make sure you will not be left behind. It’s okay, you will see your drawer chapstick friend tomorrow. Say ” see you soon “, not
“goodbye”; for tomorrow we will all be together again.

The rest of the night is lovely. I get to hold you in my pocket wherever I may go. Don’t worry, I will always choose the pyjama pants that have a pocket so you never stray far from me. Thank you for wetting my whistle after a nice dinner or a glass of wine. Thank you for soothing me when the kids are cranky. It’s you and me, my precious warrior.

As night falls and I am ready to get into bed. I look at you. I put you on. Then, I take a long sip of water from my nightstand. OH NO! The water has washed some of you away. Don’t worry, I re-apply. Then, I softly set you down to stand tall like a warrior for the night.

Goodnight my dear friend. You did well today; and of course, I will see you tomorrow.

Ten “Quirks” I Carry Daily.

  1. If the laundry is done drying it NEEDS to be folded right then and there.
  2. My fridge has to be cleaned every Sunday… (at least).
  3. Hair before makeup. Always.
  4. Dishwasher unloaded as follows: (NO EXCEPTIONS)
    – cutlery
    -wine glasses / beer glasses
    – regular cups
    – coffee cups
    -sippy cups
  5. Before I leave for a trip, the house needs a deep clean.
  6. The dishwasher filter needs to be cleaned / rinsed before every use.
  7. A chapstick must be carried with me at all times – including a trip to the bathroom.
  8. There. Is . A. Bucket. Or. Basket. For. Anything. And. Everything.
  9. If I haven’t had at least 3 cups of coffee, I’m not a human being.
  10. The simplest decision (such as which drawer should the scissors go in) – takes at least a couple of hours.

My Baby Who Never Came Home.

Isn’t it exciting (most of the time) buying that precious little stick. Yes, that stick; the one that will determine whether or not you will be able to have that precious glass of wine for the next 40 (ish) weeks.

You get home, make sure you’ve got a full bladder – then you take that very important little test.

You’re pregnant. Yay!

Okay, so now everything changes. You start looking up all kinds of information. What brand of prenatal vitamins do you buy? May as well start making a list of names too…

You tell your partner, then some family & close friends.

Finally, you hit the second trimester – everything is going to be okay. You announce your news to the world & you count your weeks, taking pictures and noting the size of your baby. This week baby is the size of a raspberry, then a fig, now an apple….and so on.

My baby was about the size of a banana. That is the biggest she ever was and will ever be. I gave birth to her in the presence of my husband, sister & mom. She was just shy of 20 weeks and I called her Matty.

What happened? Incompetent Cervix they say. I did everything I was supposed to. I became pregnant two months after my wedding day. This was everything I EVER wanted, seriously. I hid the news from my students and colleagues at work… but as soon as it was “okay” to share the news, I did! Everyday I took my prenatal vitamins, I rested, I didn’t lift heavy things, stayed away from foods and drinks I wasn’t supposed to eat, etc.

I remember the day before Christmas Holidays I had an appointment. I was 17. 5 weeks pregnant. During the ultrasound my baby was “so active & healthy” and “the heartbeat was strong”. My DR. (who I LOVE dearly) literally said to me “I have no concerns everything looks perfect. WAHOO!!

On December 28th I was laying on the couch reading a book and started having some pains. They really hurt. I was nervous …. so we went to the hospital. Not the hospital I would have delivered at, but a smaller community hospital which didn’t have an OBGYN at that time of night.. They did an ultrasound and all was good.. phew. It was deemed that I was having pains because of a bladder infection – so I took the antibiotics and I started to feel better.

Then on New Year’s Eve the “pains” started happening again; this is when I got a really bad feeling. We were at my brother in law’s house playing cards (I was the DD). I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, so I pushed through the pain and didn’t mention it to anyone. Then we went home. I spent that night laying first in bed, then in the bath in the worst pain I have ever felt. I didn’t sleep a wink & I didn’t wake Rob. In the morning I told him we had to go in. So we drove to my birthing hospital. Because I wasn’t yet 20 weeks pregnant I couldn’t go directly to Labour & Delivery so we sat for HOURS in Emergency. Of course my mom was called & came immediately.

After nothing short of 8 hours of shuffling around and waiting, I was taken in for an ultrasound. Baby was great. Then they did an internal ultrasound. The tech left and came back with a wheelchair (which I didn’t need before). I was scared. Soon after my OBGYN came to see me (the same DR. I had visited throughout my entire pregnancy so far). He explained to me that I was in labour. I was almost completely dilated and I was being admitted.

We got set up upstairs. There were tears everywhere. I was given some medicine to try & stop the labour. I was feeling much better and happy to report that the contractions had stopped. We slept – I woke up and was still feeling great. I had a few family members come and visit me. Then I took an afternoon nap. The contractions started again. I knew this was it; the baby was coming. We called in the nurse and my mom and Rob came in the room. There were about 3 Doctors in there explaining what an incompetent cervix is,  how it was not my fault and it could not have been prevented. Then I was told what to expect after delivery.

Then my sister came up.

I laid on the bed (NOT in labour and delivery) … just in a private room on the surgery floor in full on labour for the first time in my life and I KNEW that my baby would not live. With Rob, mom and Mandy there I finally delivered my baby girl on January 2nd 2015.

She was so tiny …. she fit in the palm of my hand. I was overtaken by the strongest emotions of love and hurt at the same time; we all were. We named her Matty and she was baptized in the hospital bed in my arms shortly after. My girl was healthy and happy inside of me but my body failed me and brought that sweet baby too soon.

She was not sick, her heart did not stop beating inside of me. She was alive when she was born, and died seconds after. Just shy of 20 weeks. My little banana.

She may not be here in my arms but she is in my heart forever.
My Matty. xo.

Don’t tell me to CALM DOWN. A Sarcastic Reply.

Anxiety has always been a part of who I am. Although for the last eight years it has really creeped in hard. It’s so hard to explain to others what I am feeling and WHY I am feeling it. To be completely honest I actually get anxiety thinking about explaining it to people. So instead here are the four statements/questions I get most & what I’m usually thinking when I hear them.

“Don’t worry about it”. 
Ohhhhhhhhh really? Don’t worry about it?  If only I thought of that. I’m obviously worrying about it because I just FEEL like it. Thinking about things that may or may not happen is suuuuuuuuuper fun for me.

“Take a deep breath”.
This one is two-fold. Yes – deep breathing helps me but you telling me to just stop and take a deep breath isn’t really productive. I actually have to go to a dark, quiet and calming space before the deep breathing will actually work – so just don’t tell me how to breath k?

“Have you taken your meds?”
First of all – thanks for reminding me that I’m medicated as if I didn’t know. Second of all – yes I’ve taken them. Every morning for the last 8 years – thanks so much!

“Calm Down”

Wait, what? This is an option? If only I knew that 8 years ago…I would have never allowed myself to get worked up about anything in the first place.  Switch flipped, I’m okay now – absolutely nothing to worry about. 

The Ten Most Basic Things About Me.

  1. I am a wife. It took a while to find someone to deal with my level of craziness. Twenty- Eight years in fact; but it was worth it. His name is Rob and he is fourteen years older than me

     Our Day. July 19th, 2014 .                                                                                              Photo by Ryan + Beth Photographers
  2. I am in my thirties. Not much to be said here except I am a thirty-two year gemini who is true to her sign. 😉
  3. I am a stepmother. With Rob, came two beautiful girls: Delaney & Brynn. They were 12 and 10 when I met them (now 17 and 15). They are growing into beautiful young women and are lovely big sisters!
    Brynn  + Delaney
  4. I am a teacher. This September will conclude my second maternity leave. I will be going back to work teaching Grade 3. I previously taught Grades 1 and 2.
  5. I am a mother. Three pregnancies & two babies later I have myself two little boys: Sullivan (2) and Charlie (nearly 9 months). They are two tiny little blessings that I have waited my whole life for.

    Sullivan + Charlie
  6. I am addicted to chapstick. It’s a problem. There’s a car chapstick, a bathroom chapstick, a purse, pocket and most likely a bra chapstick.
  7. I love wine. Enough said.

8.I have 32 nieces and nephews. This should be no surprise if you read my first blog post. Being an auntie was “who I was” for so long! It is one of the most rewarding jobs in the world

9. I love to be barefoot. Shoes Shmoos.

Barefoot on our Wedding Day – Photo by Ryan + Beth Photographers

10. I am strong. I may be an emotional wreck sometimes and a *little* on the sensitive side… but I learn something new about myself every single day.

One Of Eight


One of Eight.

That’s me… I am one child of eight. Yep – seven brothers and sisters, that’s 4 boys & 4 girls; six people older than me and one younger. Strangers usually ask me where “i fit in the mix” and I usually say “I’m the second youngest“. It’s my little niche within my family. A very comfortable spot that I happily call my “home”.

Having a big family is actually pretty awesome. I grew up with someone to talk to, hang out with, fight with and sympathize with – all. the. time. STILL TODAY! Despite the differences in ages and personalities – all 8 of us get along wonderfully.

Obviously we know how to push each other’s buttons – which we all like to do in some way or another – but thankfully we all have a pretty good sense of humour that the button pushing and teasing doesn’t result in too much hurt. ( And if anyone is gonna be sensitive and cry about the teasing – it is almost always going to be me ).

Each one of my brothers and sisters are incredible in their own way. There’s a million reasons what I love about the whole lot of em SO to give you a glimpse of the beauties I call family I will give you a little synopsis of the awesomeness they all bring to the world (mine, especially).
*To make this more fun & a bit of a challenge they will be unnamed in an effort to get them to guess their descriptions! So: Lana, Ryan, Mandy, Jennifer (Bobbie), Moraldo, Davy and Josh – here’s to you. XO .

**disclaimer – these are randomly ordered – you are all my favourite.

Sibling #1: Being around you brings out a saucy / jokester side of myself. Sometimes I say inappropriate jokes or take things to far, but I can USUALLY get a laugh out of you. You love a good debate and I think I’ve learned to just agree with your opinions or I might start crying – haha. I enjoy chatting with you about every day things and people. We aren’t the closest in age but it doesn’t even matter. You are a hard working, very loving, husband & dad and I admire you for all that you are. There are a lot of things we have in common – VEGAS being one of them and I personally think we have a silent bond when it comes to humour and that my pal, is what I love most about you.

Sibling #2 – You are as silly as they come. MY GOODNESS you used to drive me crazy when we were younger but it made me love you 1000 percent more. My friends were scared to come over to the house because of the little trickster that lived there . When you stop by my house I am grateful that you thought of me ( and Rob & the kids). You bring a sense of happiness to everyone around you. I am forever grateful to be your sister & love giving you my advice whether it is solicited or not. You make life fun and full of laughter and that is what I love most about you.

Sibling #3 – Oh, you. Still to this day you drive me crazy (in a good way). Is it possible for you to NOT give me a noogie and make fun of me every time you see me? I hope not, because that is what makes you YOU. Your sense of humour is debatable (haha), but your love for the people and the world around you is not. You truly are one of the most authentic people there is. You make life real and make me think about the deeper and greater things that this world has to offer and that is what I love most about you.

Sibling #4 – Many of the things I am today (or strive to be) come from you. It is with great admiration that I call myself your sister- and I am very proud announcing that to everyone we encounter together. Half of the things that I consider “my favourite” are not necessarily even my own – I copied you… When I am feeling down – you know the exact words to lift me up. Thanks for letting me vent to you – and for always being available to share a glass of wine when I need it. So much of who I am today is because of you. Sweetness and realness radiates from you and that is what I love most about you.

Sibling #5 – Oh you… Every family event is more fun (for everyone) when you are there. Your dry humour is definitley my favourite thing about you – along with the fact that I usually always have another wine drinking partner at family gatherings. Tons of my childhood memories include you in them – especially because my best friend was obsessed with you I like to think of you as one of my best buddies – we have always had a lot in common including our very lovely trip to France (your chaperoning skills are questionable though ). Anyways, no matter what, I know that every time I see you I leave happier and that is what I love most about you.

Sibling #6 – From you, I have learned many things about life. When I think of the word “joy” your bubbly self pops into my head. Love pours out of you & I am grateful to have you. There will NEVER be anyone in this world that is “YOU’er than YOU”. We have had some pretty awesome memories and we always had high hopes for being on “Star Search” together. You inspire me in more ways than you know and I am forever grateful for that. I am proud of you – my love, xo. You make this world brighter with your smile and that is what I love most about you.

Sibling #7 – Okay – well if anyone knows you, they can expect laughs FOR SURE. There is something about your presence that makes me feel safe and at home. Even though you are such a freaking wild card (and I mean that in a good way); Whoever is near you knows that they are getting THE REAL YOU. You make life honest and exciting. My memories of you include lots of sleepovers and you ALWAYS being willing to drive me and my girlfriends to the mall when we were younger. I don’t remember a time that you have EVER let me down and you always, always, always bring a smile to my heart and that is what I love most about you.

That’s that. A little glimpse into my own personal happy place.