Archive for ◊ December, 2014 ◊

• Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

Well, 2014 was quite the year…filled with great successes as well as great losses. And here we are, on the verge of 2015, not knowing what the year ahead will hold but sure that it will hold change and with change comes great successes and great losses.

Last year I wished you a year of making mistakes because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something. (thank you Neil Gaiman for those words of wisdom).

This year I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you’ll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you’ll make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.


• Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Christmas So Far…And a Journey Back

I Love these girls!!! I”m so proud of each of them and their amazing little personalities (Grandma’s comments)

It’s my favorite time of the year! And also the time of year where I feel the most disorganized and NOT on top of things. Ididn’t get Christmas cards done again this year….and even if I had, I lost my address book in our move last year, so I have the process of re-collecting addresses ahead of me. We didn’t get lights up outside because of reno’s, and the inside is only partially decorated. I’ve done no Christmas crafts with the girls yet, and no baking for ourselves or to share with the neighbors. Needless to say, my decorating skills leave lots to be desired.
All of that aside, the Christmas season is alive and well in our home. The girls are good at making sure that Christmas music is pretty much always on, and that sets the mood well!

This year we bought our tree in town. I let Danica pick it out, and I think it’s probably the most perfect tree we’ve ever had. Seriously. That girl has a good eye!

And since this season is all about the “spirit of Christmas” anyways, I think we’ve nailed it 🙂 besides, my favorite part of Christmas is the people.

We’ve also done gingerbread decorating…so I suppose that could count as a “craft” lol.

I wrote a small article for the paper from the town I grew up in, Tumbler Ridge. I’d like to share the article here….it covers my favorite memories of Christmas.
All I want for Christmas is for our girls to lock some of their own precious moments into their hearts, so they can share them with their children!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

“In 1986, our family moved from Faro, Yukon to the brand new town of Tumbler Ridge so my dad could work at the mine. I was only 3 years old, but there are some things that I remember so vividly. I can still remember my first day of kindergarten at TRE, going for picnics at flatbed, and eating burgers with my family at D&G Burgers.
Now that I’ve grown up, I didn’t go very far. I married a man from Carstairs, Alberta, and we live on a quarter section of land on the Tumbler Highway outside of Dawson Creek with our five daughters.
One of my favorite things about living here is that I’m still close to Tumbler. My mom still lives there, and we get to come visit her lots. On any given drive to Tumbler, I can be seen turning down the radio and telling my girls stories of what it was like to grow up there. “When I was a little girl here, it was so quiet that we could ride our bikes down the streets and not see more than one or two cars!” Or “if you take this trail, you can walk up the mountain to the bald spot. My friends and I used to go often when we were teenagers.” They love when I tell them about Grizzly Valley Days, and the parades we used to have.
And at this time of year, I tell them about the Christmas Eve Service growing up, and how we always had an open house at my mom’s after.
I have always appreciated that my mom is a warm, kind person, but it’s because of that, combined with her extreme hospitality, that my childhood memories are as cheerful as they are.
Our home was open to everyone. We had a small, cozy house, but the size didn’t stop mom. I remember years where we were all standing shoulder to shoulder visiting, laughing, and eating….and those memories are some of the happiest! We always had such a family-like closeness with our friends there, and I’ll never forget those relationships.
Christmas looks different now, but I cherish the years that Daniel and I can bring our girls to Tumbler for Christmas. I love being able to recreate some of that Christmas magic I felt as a girl there.
Merry Christmas to my mom, and all of the other extraordinary residents who make Tumbler Ridge what it is!”

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• Thursday, December 11th, 2014

This song by Jason Mraz says it so well….

“3 Things”

There are three things I do when my life falls apart
Number one I cry my eyes out and dry up my heart
Not until I do this will my new life start
So that’s the first thing that I do when my life falls apart.

Oh, the second thing I do is I close both of my eyes
And say my thank-yous to each and every moment of my life.
I go where I know the love is and let it fill me up inside
Gathering new strength from sorrow,
I’m glad to be alive.

Things are looking up
I know above the clouds the sun is shining
Things are looking up
Love is still the answer I’m relying
Three little things
Things are looking up

The third thing that I do now when my world caves in,
is I pause, I take a breath, and bow and I let that chapter end.
I design my future bright not by where my life has been.
And I try, try, try, try, try again.
Yes I try, try, try, try, try again.

Things are looking up
I know beyond the dark the sun is rising
Things are looking up
And I know above the clouds the sun is shining
Things are looking
Love is still the answer I’m relying
Three little things
Three little things




• Thursday, December 11th, 2014

I want to tell you about something that happened today, something that shattered me, not in a bad way but in a way that will allow me to move forward. While I’m doing that I will tell you a little about where I’ve been this last month

November was a tough month for me.  I ran in an election, I was the incumbent and I lost, it was close, but I lost.  To understand what this loss meant, you should  know that I am passionate about what I do. I am one of those people who gives it all when I do something.  I believed that it is an great honour and a huge responsibility to be elected. I gave it my all. I grew to love the people and their straightforward, no nonsense way of letting me know what they wanted and what they didn’t want.  When I ran for this position initially I knew I wanted to do the best job I could at representing the people so I chose to make this my career.  I put myself out there and ended up serving on regional, provincial and federal committees and organizations, doing this because it gave the region a voice at various levels of government, this was a win/win for the area. Like I said, it was my passion, it was who I was and the loss hit me like a sledgehammer to the gut or more like a sledgehammer to the heart. It has left me reeling. Being a single mom of a teenager in a small community that has 1200 people out of work makes it feel even more harsh.

What do I do now? How will I afford to raise a teenager? Advocating for people is my life and when you are voted off the Island, there doesn’t seem to be any other land in sight. People keep telling me “When one door closes, another door opens” but there is this period of time when all the doors are shut and it is very dark and that is where I am now, looking for dry land in a very dark place.

Now, it may seem that I’m taking this opportunity to tell you about what is  wrong in my life, but please bare with me…I’m simply laying the foundation for what happened today.

On Sunday, I left for Saskatchewan to pick up my mom (who had knee surgery), she wanted to come stay with me and she wanted to come right now.  It is a bad time of the year to be travelling but sometimes you drop everything and go. I knew that I could also visit my dad who is in a long term care facility just outside of Saskatoon but it had to be a super quick trip.  I had to take my daughter out of school so she would get the chance to see her Grandpa and my second youngest daughter also decided to come so she could see Grandpa.  Like I said, bad time of year, rushed trip, 28 hours of driving in three days, and in case you haven’t figured it out yet, a person who really doesn’t want to make the trip.

I admit that I have been feeling a little sorry for myself about the state of my life…no job, a child to support, a father who has gone downhill very quickly and a mom who needs taking care of. By the way…Local Government representatives, Mayors, Councillors, Directors, can’t collect EI if they are not re-elected, so that has added to the panic of not having a job.

So we drove the 14  hours to Saskatchewan, The next day I visited my Dad, shopped for things he needed, had a birthday party for him and then headed to the hotel so we could be up by 5 AM to pick up mom, cram another body and luggage into the Jetta, and drive the 15 hours home.  On the way home we decided to spend the night with my daughter in Grande Prairie so my mom could have a break from sitting in one position.

The next day, before leaving for home we decided to splurge and have breakfast/lunch at Cora’s in Grande Prairie. Now this is the part I wanted to tell you about.

We had a lovely meal and when we went to pay for our food the waitress said, “it’s been taken care of”.

I said, “I’m sorry, I don’t understand”

and she said,  “Santa took care of it”.

I, the master of words, looked at her and said, ” I don’t get it”.

She looked at me patiently, smiled and said, ” There was a gentleman in here who paid for  your meals.”

I, again not grasping what had happened said “why?”

She explained that she didn’t know why, he just did.

I don’t know why this hit me so hard but something inside of me shattered and as I stood there, the tears started flowing….I was a mess.

I said, “Please, if you ever see him again. Tell him thank you, this meant more to me than he will ever know”.

I have to admit, it was uncomfortable being on the receiving end of such an amazing act of generosity.  It humbled me and made me realize so many things about myself, things I won’t bore you with.  It keeps going through my heart and my head, “how did this person know that I was having such a rough go of it?” “Why us in a restaurant full of people?” I guess I will never know.  What is important though is something shattered inside of me because of this.  I’m not sure what it is but every time I think about what this complete stranger did, those things that were blocking my joy and making me focus on myself rather than others seem to be breaking off.

What I am left with, once the feeling sorry for myself is scraped away by a stranger’s act of kindness, is a rawness that will heal eventually.The quote below says it better than I can…
So, stranger, if you are out there and happen to read this….Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your random act of kindness made a big change in my life.









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