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Posts Tagged ‘family’

I’ve come to write on you again.

Man, it has been a really long time since my last update. I don’t know how this will go or how consistent I will be about it, or even if anyone will read it, but since I am up and thinking about it, I figured it is worth a shot.

So . . . to update my last update . . . the job situation got worked out. It was this whole mental scenario where the company I was working for was shutting down but our book of business was potentially going to be sold to another company which meant I would be transitioned over into a new gig at the new place IF the sale went through. Holy God, was that stressful. Every day I was left to wonder “Will this actually happen? Will I have a job tomorrow or will I be unemployed?” And honestly, it felt like it was changing every day. Plus, I had to interview for my own job again after about five years of doing it which was okay because the interviews went well, but nerve-wracking because I found myself worrying about whether or not people liked me.  But the sale happened and I transferred over and so far, it has actually been pretty good. I make more money and I actually have a support team to help me as opposed to being the only one left in my department because they’ve laid off everyone else. So yay me and yay new job like a year and a half later!

In terms of traveling, Boy and I went to Paris a year ago today (I told you I was behind!). I had never been to Europe before, so it was kind of daunting the first couple days, but then we got in the groove and things were good. I saw many beautiful things and Boy and I got to have the honeymoon we always dreamed we would have but couldn’t afford/didn’t have time for when we actually got married four years ago. While in Paris, we also had the big discussion that many married couples have – is it time for kids? We were renting an apartment in this district of Paris right by a school and every day, we would end up trotting through this entire group of adorable Parisian children wearing peacoats and eating croissants and it was like uterine catnip, I have got to say. So we decided we were ready and some months later, this happened . . .

Yep! That’s my baby! We have a couple of names picked out, but so far, we have been calling him “Ripley” after the Alien movies because we are classy like that.
(And if you are wondering if I wore my Alien ultrasound shirt to my ultrasound? Yes. Yes, I did.)

To answer the most basic questions for you:
1) I am due in January.
2) It is a boy.

The pregnancy so far has had its ups and downs. The first trimester was hard on me as I was pretty sick and felt kind of socially isolated because I couldn’t leave the house much for fear of vomiting/falling asleep in a public place. Also, while most people were thrilled for us and incredibly supportive of our new addition, some were kind of  . . . not . . . which sucked a little bit. However, this second trimester, I have been feeling a lot stronger and healthier and just generally better, so I’ve been able to enjoy myself and feel more like a normal person again. A normal person who has a smaller person inside them who kicks them and insists on 5AM pee breaks, but a normal person nonetheless.

Anyway, I have more things to say about the pregnancy stuff later, but as of right now, I have to toddle back to bed for a bit so Ripley and I can be well-rested to meet his new cousin Nora today. Yes, my lovely in-laws and adorable niece Abby have a new addition to their family who arrived about a month ago, so the cousins will be about five months apart which I think is pretty cool since my closest cousin in age is 10 years younger than me.

So, yes, hope this blog post finds my readers well – however many of you there are after almost a year and a half’s absence – and I will hopefully check in again soon.

XOXOXO,
Girl

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It doesn’t seem very long ago that I wrote my last post, but when I checked the date on it, I saw it had been over a month. A lot has happened in that time.

1) There was a major shakeup at my job. I am still in the process of dealing with it, but at this point, suffice it to say that I think things are about to change, hopefully in a good way, rather than bad. I have experienced so much upheaval workwise the past couple of years, I just want to be in a place in my life where I have a job to go to that I enjoy but that I can leave behind at the end of the day. My life is more than work and I want to be able to focus on that more than the stuff that happens during my 9-5 day.

2) I went to New York and met three of my blogging friends. I spent an entire day shopping and eating with my good friend Nie Nie from Chateau de Lau and I had a lovely brunch with my friend Jenny from Geek in Heels and my friend Ms. Zhu from The Zhukeepers. I “met” all of them when I was still technically single and it was funny, four years later, to meet them in actual physical person. We are all married now and two of the ladies have children which was kind of mind-blowing to see (Mr. Sam – you are selling me more on the idea of having a little boy!), but more than that, it was so fantastic to actually be able to actually talk to these ladies who had been a huge support to me from afar for so long.

3) Almost as soon as I got back from New York, we moved. It had been a long time coming, as we had put in an application on our new place at the end of February. Leaving our old place was weird because so much had happened there. We moved in just after we got engaged and it was our first martial home, so I had that attachment to it, but . . . it had problems. Our neighbours were loons, it was rapidly getting too small for us and the rent . . . the rent was ridiculously high for what we were getting for it. It just wasn’t working for us any more, so I started looking and found a place that was not only bigger, but significantly cheaper. The idea that we could have more space to sprawl out and pay $300 less a month was too good to pass up so we took it and even though it’s only been a month, we’re both really loving the new space. Boy has his own art studio, I have plenty of space for my books and DVDs and we’re right in the heart of a cute little neighbourhood that we love. Perfect!

4) The day we moved was also the day Boy celebrated his 28th birthday (damn whippersnapper!) Since we had to move (which we were lucky enough to be able to do thanks to the help of many of our awesome friends), he got a little bit shafted during the day, but our awesome friends Bella and Baax trucked out from the East End late on a Sunday night to help us down a glass to celebrate. They also convinced the two of us to sing karaoke, so after they belted out “Where Does My Heart Beat Now?” by Celine Dion and “Mama Said Knock You Out” by LL Cool J respectively, Boy and I both grabbed the mic for a song each. Our choices? “The Philosopher’s Drinking Song” by Monty Python and “Number One” by Goldfrapp. I will leave you to picture who sang what. 😉

5) Also, celebrating a birthday this month was my niece little Miss Abigail who turned one! We attended her birthday last weekend and she was adorable as always. Sometimes, I can’t believe how much she’s grown over a year! I can still remember seeing her the first day she came home from the hospital! If at all possible, I love her even more now than I did then.

It’s strange. I think about my life last year compared to how it is now and so many things are different. There are so many people in my life now that I either didn’t know or wasn’t as close to, and it’s kind of amazing to see my world expand like that after a long period of contraction and loss. Not only is this fruitful period of my life really great, but I think I am finally letting myself relax and enjoy it. I can get really pessimistic sometimes to the point where I feel overwhelmed by the sad stuff, but lately, I’ve been doing my best to just chill out and embrace the change and I’ve really been having a good time.

So that’s where things stand right now. Life is in transition for me, but it’s the positive kind and that’s awesome.

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Judd Nelson - He was harsh.

This is probably what my blog would say to me if my blog had a voice. Don’t you forget about me. Remember the good times? The posting multiple times a day with general randomness? Can’t we have that again?

And the truth is, we could, I am just lazy when it comes to updating.

So what has happened since October? Many, many things. One of the biggest things was that Boy’s grandmother passed away at the end of October.

We had known it was coming, but it still really sucked for everyone since she was the Matriarch of the family and it was a loss that resonanted through his family. Boy’s grandmother had been having mental issues since before we got together – Alzhemeir’s – so by the time we were a couple, she would spend large stretches of time not particularly lucid. In fact, there were only a handful of times I can recall that we spoke and she seemed aware of what was happening. Happily enough, one of those lucid times was an occasion where I got to show her our wedding album and that was good. She had been too sick to come to our wedding, but regailing her with stories and hearing her talk about her life was pretty cool. 

Anyway, her passing struck a strange cord with me because I realized that I had never really gotten to know her that well and now that she was gone, I never really would. It’s a weird feeling when you lose someone like that – of course you miss them, but you also miss the potential of them – all the great stories and experiences you could have had with them. 

Grandma holding Abbey. Could she have looked any prouder? 🙂

Her passing also hit me pretty hard because the day of her funeral was the 1 year anniversary of my cousin Tassy’s death, which I still sometimes feel emotional about. Our friends Jack and Sally finally finished editing our wedding video a little while ago, and when I watched it and saw Tassy hugging me and us talking together, I had to make Boy stop the DVD so I could erupt in tears. Even sitting here, typing this, I feel misty about it all over again. Four people lost in one year. Definitely not an ideal 12 months, let me tell you.

On the social front, the last few months of the year were pretty good. Over the last year, Boy and I made a decision to start making more of an effort to meet people, so we ended up making a lot of really good friends. It’s funny, I think as you get older, you oftentimes develop this attitude that you can’t just be friendly and extend hang out invitations to people. But you totally can! In fact, doing so led me to:

1. Try fondue.
2. Have Mexican Thanksgiving.
3. Get superdrunk on gin martinis.
4. Attend a giant bonfire on Toronto Island.
5. See a fire show.
6. Attend my first cabaret/burlesque show.
7. Build a giant birdcage.
8. Attend multiple Christmas parties.
9. Throw crazy theme parties.
10. Play D&D for the first time. (Yes, I know this is supremely nerdy, but some new friends of ours who host a nerd podcast convinced us to as an experiment and it was pretty funny.)

And how can you not love that? Making a bunch of new friends and trying a bunch of new stuff is only ever awesome. It’s what keeps life from being monotonous in the face of boring things like work.

Speaking of work, the bosses decided that my department was overpopulated with two people, so they didn’t renew my awesome co-worker’s contract and now, my department is just me. I’m not really sure why this became an issue now, considering that when I started, our department had three people in it, but they made some weird Highlander-eqse decision and now there can be only one! coordinator. I’m going to see how it goes for the next little while, but truth be told, I am starting to think about my options and looking into another position somewhere else. Considering I am now expected to fill the void of two coworkers, I’m not particularly impressed with the situation and in spite of the glowing praise I received in my last evaluation, I don’t think kind words are enough to make up for the fact that I’m poorly paid. I mean, I know it’s not all about money, but I have friends that are administrative assistants that make more than I do as a supervisor so that kind of sucks. If only I could find a job that allowed me to snark on movies all day, I would be set!

And ’cause this post is rapidly turning into a hodgepodge of information, here is a bunch of other random stuff – punctuated with exclaimation marks!

1) My childhood best friend Snuffy is getting married! He and his girlfriend are planning a June wedding in Edmonton so we will be flying out and celebrating with them. I am excited for them and so happy that he’s found someone that makes him happy and sees him for the terrific person he is.

Snuffy and his fiancee. Aren't they adorable?

2) I got a brand new DSLR camera for Christmas! Not only did I get a great deal on the camera, I got an additional lens the normally retails for $280 for $50! I am a kickass shopper sometimes! Anyway, I am just learning to use it so I’m still working things out, but I’ve taken a few pictures already that I am really happy with, so things can only get better.

One of the pictures I took my first trip out with the new camera. I kind of wish that was my dog. He was so cute.

3) I am going to New York in April! I absolutely love New York and my parents were nice enough to offer to bring me with them free of charge (Boy is staying at home and working). Not only am I psyched about the fact that I get to rock it up in The Big Apple again (the last time I went was 2007), but it will be an awesome visit for me. For those of you who don’t know, back when I was engaged/newly married, I wrote for a website called Weddingbee which was awesome because I made some great girlfriends through it. I ended up leaving the site*, but have kept in touch with many of the girls since, and so while I am there, I am hopefully going to get to meet many of my close online friends for the first time in person! Hooray!

4) I am going to Paris in October! I have never been to Europe, so this is kind of huge. Again, through the kindness of Boy’s father and stepmother who are springing for our plane tickets, we are getting to have a romantic week for two in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Not only can I not wait to hit the road again (I have been so desperate to travel these past few tripless years), but doing a trip like this with Boy will be amazing. I love him so much and after everything we went through last year (we had actually been talking about a trip to Paris the week before he got laid off), being able to walk down the Champs Elysees holding his hand will pretty much be the best thing ever.

5) I am going to be babysitting my niece Abbey in June! My in-laws have a weird month stretch of my sister-in-law’s maternity leave being over and my brother-in-law not quite being done school yet, so I am going to take a couple of vacation days to go hang out with and look after her. As she is incredibly awesome and adorable (and pretty much always makes my uterus skip a beat), I am sure we are going to have a great time.

Yeah, so my niece is adorable. If my kids are half as cute, I am totally on board.

Anyway, I think that is everything important I can think of. I will try to stay on this blogging bandwagon a little more during this month and the months to come.

Hope everyone is enjoying 2011 so far!

Love,
Girl

 *Just after I got married, the site was taken over by eHarmony and I decided I didn’t feel comfortable writing for a website that had ties to the Christian Right/Anti-Gay groups. My man of honour was gay as were about 10 per cent of our guests, so it seemed kind of like a slap in the face to them and I quit. Funnily enough, some years later, after eHarmony was sued for discrimination against the LGBT community and forced to create a gay-friendly sister site, my man of honour signed up for it and met a man who later became his husband. Go figure!

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My late Grandmother, my mother’s mother, was a very awesome lady.  She lived through 2 world wars. She was one of the first women drivers in Quebec. She had breast cancer in the 1950s, but worked her ass off to survive it*. She had a child in her mid-forties and effectively raised her by herself, and she helped raise me until her death in 1989. Though I don’t remember her that well (I was in the first grade when she passed away), I like to think that she still kind of lives on in me in the small ways she influenced my life. She taught me to like pink Smarties, she taught me how to appreciate Night Court and she taught me to love Charles Bronson.

The Charles Bronson thing is probably one of the things I find funniest about my grandmother. You see, Grandma was a very quiet tiny woman. She was tender and sweet with everyone and she was a big giver of hugs. But under her soft exterior was an avid Death Wish fan. Now if you haven’t seen the series, let me just give you a quick rundown:

Charles Bronson plays Paul Kersey, a solid mustache rocking dude who served in the Korean war but who now lives in New York and works as an architect. He has a nice wife and daughter and lives a happy life until some hooligans break into his apartment. They sexually assault his daughter, beat his poor wife and leave them both for dead. Paul’s wife later succumbs to her injuries and his daughter is left catatonic from the trauma of it all. So of course Paul is very upset by this and doesn’t know what to do, especially when he is told by police that the chances of catching the horrible men who did this are slim to none. So to keep from feeling helpless, Paul decides that the best thing to do would be to hit the streets and dispatch his own brand of justice.

Bronson: The man, the myth, the legend (and I believe my grandmother's secret movie boyfriend.)

Now you might think that a petite senior citizen and an angry mustachioed vigilante don’t exact seem like a match made in heaven, but Grandma loved these movies with a passion. She rooted for Charles and displayed a disturbing bloodlust while watching that only grew with each installment. She wanted Charles to get ’em, and she wanted him to get ’em good.

And in this way, I kind of feel like Grandma and I have something in common. Not only do we both love ridiculous action movies, but we also have an serious sense of right and wrong, a feeling that justice always needs to be served. Yeah, it’s kind of bananas and old testament of us, but seriously how satisfying is it to see a jackass get smited? 

Anyway, I got to thinking about this this summer when Boy and I were going through some particularly hard times. We were in the worst of it when someone we both knew and trusted did something kind of crappy to Boy and it got my hackles up.

I’m not going to get into the specifics of who it was or what exactly happened, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t picture this person being ground into a fine dust and released on the wind, never to be seen again. So yes, I was ferociously grumping around the apartment cursing this person’s name until Boy managed to calm me down and . . . I realized I am kind of the Charles Bronson in our relationship. It’s not rational and it’s probably not the best use of my energy, but if you’re an active part of my life, that means I love you, and if someone wrongs someone I love, well that PISSES ME OFF and I want justice.

Thankfully enough, eventually everything worked itself out and my anger did fade, but I still have that initial Charles Bronson reaction to things that I don’t think will ever fully go away. Truth be told, I’m not sure I ever want it to because I’ve come to see there’s some value in that emotion. I’m never going to off someone Bronson-style, but to feel such love and loyalty for a person that you want to defend them, to help them, to root for them, to make things right for them after something goes wrong is kind of a good instinct. At the very least, it’s a lot better than everyone just walking around doing self-serving $h!t all the time. 

I like to think Grandma would approve.

A family snapshot. Death Wish loving Grandma is the one in the rose coloured dress.

*Seriously, the lady went for radiation treatments on her lunch break and headed back to work afterwords. Grandma was hardcore.

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In spite of the many hours I spent working as a babysitter or volunteering at a daycare as a teenager, I would not naturally describe myself as a kid person. There are some people that are just built to adore the smaller members of our species, however I am not one of those people. Don’t get me wrong, I like some children. If you’ve been reading this blog, you know I’m pretty much obsessed with Abbey and I like the offspring of our friends, but I don’t really go around fawning over random babies or tykes and I find a lot of them poorly behaved and kind of annoying.

Basically, I think my problem is that I’m not good with dealing with beings that operate without reason and I find their tinyness unnerving. In fact my husband and in-laws will vouch for the fact that when I held Abbey for the first time, I was incredibly uncomfortable because I felt as though the slightest wrong move would bring about a tragic Lenny-esqe disaster Ie. ” I don’t know why her head fell off, I was just stroking her hair!”

Judgemental baby judges my infant decapitation joke to be in poor taste. For shame, Girl! For shame!

I have never been quite sure how I would deal with this fear when I had my own children, but I guess I figured that my smitteness would ensure I would intrinsically know what to do with them when the time came. And the time hasn’t come yet, which is good . . . but I still wonder what it will be like . . .

Last year around Christmastime, I had a moment of uncertainty. I didn’t really think I was pregnant . . . In fact I was 98 per cent sure I wasn’t pregnant . . . but I was feeling unwell and I had yet to have my time of the month so . . . that two per cent made me wonder. That two per cent was enough to instill a little doubt in me, and that evening, when we hit a crappy Toronto bar for my friends’ birthday party, the idea of having a kid tossed over and over in my head.

Could I be pregnant? Should I not be drinking just in case? What the hell would we do if I were pregnant?

While at the bar, we ran into a woman who was pregnant and it was like my fears were staring me in the face. Especially when she started pounding back booze and telling us her doctor said it was okay. That pretty much set my brain into alarm bell territory.

Oh geez, what if I am pregnant? What if I am a horrible mother? What if everyone realizes that I am a horrible mother and then doesn’t tell me? What if I ruined my child with my carelessness? Or what if I ruined them with my neurosis and overthinking? I really do think too much, don’t I? Why do I keep thinking about all of this anyway when I am probably not actually pregnant? I mean wouldn’t I feel that? Wouldn’t I intrinsically know that I was pregnant? What kind of person doesn’t know they’re pregnant, aside from those women on that TLC show? Am I really that dumb that I wouldn’t realize I was pregnant? What if I didn’t know I was pregnant and then had my kid in a Wendy’s bathroom? Oh my God, that would be the saddest thing ever, wouldn’t it? What the hell am I doing worrying about all of this?

As it was, I didn’t drink that evening, but I decided to stop freaking out and take a more logical approach to the situation. I would wait until the date I thought my period should come and if it didn’t come, then I would go to Shoppers Drug Mart and get the big test. And in the meantime, I made myself think about the more awesome aspects of actually being knocked up. Boy and I would be good parents. Judging from our baby pictures, the kid would be pretty cute. I had enough of a support system of pregnant friends that I could get good advice from them. My sister-in-law and I would have kids about the same age. Also, I had always talked about wanting kids. When I was younger, I had in fact been more convinced that I wanted children than I was that I wanted to get married. It had all been very abstract then, but the idea that I could actually be doing it and parenting with a partner I really loved would be amazing.

So over the course of the week, I kind of came to terms with it. It wasn’t something we had planned, but if that two per cent doubt I felt was right and I was pregnant, I could handle it and things would be okay. But almost as soon as I had reconciled those feelings within myself, I realized that I wasn’t knocked up . . . and while 98 per cent of me was relieved, about two per cent of me felt a bit disappointed.

This weekend while we were visiting my in-laws and Abbey, I had a dream that the two per cent doubt I had was on the money and that Boy and I had actually had a kid after all. I wasn’t sure what to make of it but later that morning, I held my niece before we left to go back to the city and when she buried her little shy smiling face against my chest, I realized two things:
1) I wasn’t afraid of breaking her anymore;
2) I actually felt a tiny bit wistful about our non-baby.

I still don’t feel fully ready to have a kid. I’m really enjoying my life in the city with my husband, I am just getting settled into a new job and we’re coming out of a period of financial instability that we still haven’t full recovered from. But I can feel the tides starting to change and I am starting to look at the concept of parenthood with new eyes. I still think I’ve got a little while to go yet before I want to embark on the kid thing, it’s slowly starting to seem like less of a pipe dream and more of a feasible option.

Who knows? Maybe there’s a kid person in me just waiting to be discovered.

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By MIA, I mean "Missing In Action," not MIA the music star. However, if I could be brave enough to dress like that when I get knocked up, that would be kind of cool.

Wow, I didn’t even realize until now that it had been as long as it’s been. Granted, I am not particularly surprised. With the way things work with my job, the later half of the summer always gets eaten up by work craziness . . . plus, this year our summer was incredibly busy and I kind of have this rule that if it comes down to writing about my life or going out and living my life, living always wins.

So yeah, I guess this calls for a cliff notes kind of update:

Boy’s job stuff:

Boy got a new job! And it’s only an hour or so away from our place! This is the most awesome thing by far. He’d been unemployed since April and with summer almost over, it was making us both a little anxious about what we would do in the months ahead. However, the third week of August, he got a call about an application, went in for an interview and bam! New job! It was funny, we went out for dinner a while ago with some friends of ours who had gone through a similar situation and they said to us “Sometimes, it doesn’t feel like it will ever get better and then suddenly it does and you don’t know what the problem was,” and it was definitely like that for us. Not having to worry about money or the possibility of living apart was such a relief.

My job stuff:

I interviewed for a pretty awesome gig a few months ago and according to an inside line, I was in a shoo-in for the job. That is until the department I interviewed with was downsized and the position eliminated. This was a major bummer since I REALLY wanted that job, but I reasoned that at least they didn’t hire me and then downsize the position. Anyway, I was holding on in my job and feeling frustrated when someone in my department announced they were quitting. At this point, my department was already understaffed so I felt anxious, but this person’s departure left a spot open for me to slip in and gain some managerial control . . . which is what happened as of September 1st when I became head of my department. So yeah, I am still here slugging away, but this time it’s with a pay raise and some actual say as to how my job works. Granted, it hasn’t been that long yet, but I’m feeling much happier about what is happening now that I am not reliant on other people. I still have goals and plans for the future, but this is at least a good step forward.

Family stuff:

The last time I updated, things were a little rough on this front, but they’ve gotten better. I’ve written a lot about the problems I’ve had with my parents, but I wanted to definitely take a moment to say that as hard as things have been with them sometimes, they do actually care about me and they are supportive when I really need them to be. With all my job frustrations, they sat down and told me if things at work got too bad, they would jump in and be willing to help me out for a few months if I really needed to quit and look for something else. Although I would never take them up on something like that unless I was in a completely dire situation, it allowed me to feel like I had a little breathing room in a very stressful situation which I really, really needed. Anyway, we’ve had a couple of lunches over the past month or so (one for my mom’s birthday and one for mine) and we’ve talked and things have felt right again, which puts my heart at ease.

Friend Stuff:

We had some people distance themselves from us when we were going through these hard times. I even had one person say to me when I was explaining our situation (at this point we were still thinking Ben might have to move) “That’s depressing. I don’t want to talk about that.” While I know that these people didn’t mean to be mean, it still really sucked. Just going through something stressful like that already makes you feel like you’re alone and having people you consider to be your friends bail on you just heightens that feeling of isolation. So, to those of you who haven’t been through this with friends, here is my advice to you: It’s not all about having to say the right thing. Sometimes it’s about admitting you have no f*cking clue what to say and just checking in once in a while. Drop a line via e-mail. Swing by with some beer. Invite them over for dinner. We had some people do these incredibly simple things for us and they made a world of difference and made us that much more aware how kick ass some of our friends truly are. Thanks guys!

Miscellaneous Fun Stuff:

I was just updating my summer vacation photo album on Facebook and I realized that I have actually done a lot of stuff including:
1. Going to see Band of Horses, Broken Social Scene and Pavement live on Toronto Island. We thought it was going to rain but we had great weather for this. Unfortunately, maybe a little too great since I got pretty burned. Whoops!
2. Meeting one of my blog friends in person. Looking back on it now, it feels like a lifetime ago I was bloggin’ for the ‘Bee, but I am grateful I did it since it introduced me to a bunch of awesome people.
3. Going to see Patton Oswalt live at Just for Laughs. He was just as good as I was hoping he’d be.
4. Going to my art class’ art show. Boy helped set it up and had two pieces in it. As for me, I didn’t submit this time, but maybe next year if I am feeling braver.
5. Visiting my niece Abbey and her awesome parents. Seriously, a huge part of this summer would have been unbearable without these three people.
6.  Visiting with my Godmother who came in from Montreal. She is one of the nicest people ever but anytime I see her, it’s kind of funny because she is incredibly short and I am almost two feet taller than her.
7. Throwing a “dramatic reenactment” party with a bunch of my friends. Some people bailed last minute, but the people who did come were awesome reenactors.
8. Going to see Arcade Fire live. One of the best, if not the best, concert I have ever seen.
9. Hosting some lovely friends of ours and their three kids for a swim and dinner the August long weekend. Their kids are awesome and our friends are such good parents, it was a really nice afternoon.
10. Going to Boy’s extended family reunion. We didn’t know half the people, but we got to drink and hang out with Boy’s immediate family, so that was cool.
11. Celebrating my mom’s 59 birthday and my 28th birthday. I have a distinct feeling that 28 is going to be my year.
12.  Throwing an art show opening for Boy. He was a little bummed about the turnout, but people really liked his stuff and he sold some prints which is good.
13. Attending the 10th wedding anniversary party of two of our good friends. This might have possibly inspired us to throw an anniversary party next year, but we have to wait and see how that plays out.
14. Enjoying a fondue party with friends new and old. Melted cheese and groovy ’70s rock make everything all right.
15. Going to Fort York for the first time ever. Way to go History!

Not all of those things are in sequence and I am sure there is other stuff I am missing, but those are the biggies and they kind of help explain why I’ve been AWOL.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for now. I’m hoping once the craziness at work subsides, I’ll be able to blog more. To that end, I’ve even been in touch with a couple of people about guest blogging to kick my butt into gear, so I’ll update when that happens. But, in the meantime, here is a picture of my adorable niece. There is pretty much nothing cuter than this little bean.

Hope this blog post finds you all well and that you had an excellent summer!

Love,

Girl

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It is weird how a bunch of stuff can change quickly. Sometimes it’s over the course of a week. Sometimes it’s over the course of a day.

Today, for me, it was over the course of an hour.

First, a bunch of work stuff went down. I was awarded a generous bonus by management as part of a profit sharing program that had been set up. It was double that I got last year, which in these hard financial times is actually a major relief. I have already earmarked a chunk of it to pay for our yearly tenants insurance. I think that is a horrible sign that I am now an adult, but what are you going to do?

Anyway, I was psyched about that and I went back down to the office after the meeting where my boss was waiting . . . to tell me that he is quitting his job. As of right now, there are only the two of us in the department, so if he leaves, that leaves . . . me. He said that he would recommend me for his replacement and that he would train me up on all of his managerial duties if I decided to take the job, so I am thinking about it and will probably decide tomorrow and then talk to the big brass upstairs about logistics.

The idea of being a manager kind of freaks me out a little bit, but in a good way. One of the issues I have had with my job has been that I have felt very much like a grunt that no one listened to. If I could run things my way and hire a contract person and teach them to do things my way, I would feel better about being there. Plus, there is the whole money issue. We are paid very poorly where I work, but if they were willing to upgrade me to the salary my boss is currently making if I took over his job, I would be happy. It wouldn’t be fabulous, but it would be okay and I can live with that.

Then about half an hour after the big boss quitting revelation, I got an e-mail from my mom telling me that her sister had died. My mom and the sister in question were not particularly close. She was a child from my grandfather’s first family which he had when he was a younger man (he was born in 1899). By the time, my grandmother got pregnant with my mother, the man was 53 years old and my aunts (there were two girls from his first marriage) were all grown up. As I have mentioned before, my grandfather was kind of a douche. He really was not happy about my grandmother being knocked up (she was 43 at the time so the pregnancy was a bit of a surprise) and he even went so far as to drive my grandmother to a back alley doctor to “get rid of it.” My grandmother went ahead with the pregnancy and gave birth to my mom, who she raised alone, on August 15, 1951. Because of the dramatic age difference between the siblings and because their only connecting thread was their asshole of a father, my mom and her sisters did not often see each other when she was young and I barely saw them at all.

The older of my mother’s two sisters, Shirley, passed away several years ago. She lived a tumultuous life and was married more than once. She also, like my grandfather, suffered from alcoholism. From what I understand, she drank so much that she severely damaged her brain with booze before being committed to the sanitarium in which she died alone and penniless.

The younger of the sisters, Joyce, led a quieter, simpler life. She married a nice man who she stayed married to for 58 years, had children and retired quietly to a small town in Alberta. It was only as adults that she and my mother developed any sort of relationship, exchanging regular letters and pictures.

My aunt Joyce was kind of a phantom to me. I remember being told that I met her as a small child and as a young adult, she phoned me once after my accident to make sure I was okay (we talked for about an hour), but her existence was more of a notion than a fact to me. Most of the things I knew about her were from the things my mother would relay to me – little glimpses into a part of a family I didn’t know. But this morning when my mom e-mailed me in the middle of our family drama to tell me that she’d passed away, it did still feel like a loss.

It felt even weirder when I actually phoned my mom to check in. While I waited for the phone to ring, I still felt a bit miffed about what had happened between us and uncomfortable about what our conversation might be like, but the second we started talking again and I heard how sad she sounded, I couldn’t keep the anger going. My grandmother had passed away in 1989 and so Joyce was the last link to my mother as a little girl. Now with her gone, my mom was truly alone and as an only child myself, I could imagine the scariness of that feeling.

So we talked. Not about what was going on with us, but about her sister and how she (my mom) was doing. Joyce had really loved to read, so my mom talked about donating some books to a school library in her memory. As I consider myself fairly knowledgeable in children’s lit, I offered to help her come up with a list of books that might be good for grade schoolers and she seemed thankful and happy at the idea.

At the end of our phone conversation, she mentioned meeting up next week for drinks with her and my Godmother who will be in town from Montreal and I said okay.

And that was that. We didn’t talk about our problems or our feelings, we just both kind of accepted that death was bigger than our personal $h!t and decided to move on.

I don’t know what any of this will mean in the long run. Maybe we’re secretly doing ourselves a disservice by pretending like nothing is wrong anymore, but as for right now, with everything that’s going on, I just couldn’t keep it going.

I’m still working it out, but I think part of being a grown up sometimes, in addition to paying your insurance, is knowing when to start and when to stop a fight. I’m not saying never say you’re unhappy or call people on their $h!t, but sometimes keeping something going past the point of logic is just petty. My mom found this out the hard way when my grandmother died in the middle of a stupid argument they were having, and while I don’t think my mom is going to be shuffling off her mortal coil any time soon (the woman will outlive us all!), I didn’t want to leave our relationship on the note it was on, especially during such a sucky time.

So we’ll see what the next week brings. Considering what the last little while has been like, I’m going to take the optimistic tact and say that even if things don’t necessarily get better, that they will hopefully get easier.

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