Baby Button Needs You To Stop Praying For Him Now

8 weeks ago, I wrote a story about the journey our baby was taking us on, and how we were praying that my body would survive being pregnant just 7 more weeks to give him the best chance. So many of you responded in love and prayers and genuine care.

I truly believe it worked because my body proceeded to need a total of 3 amniotic fluid drains, plus a dramatic 3 night stay in the hospital because I was having very real contractions every 5 minutes…and then suddenly everything stopped. I went home. Life has resumed at an almost-usual routine for the last 4 weeks. Baby Button has grown big and strong, we have a safety-approved place for him to sleep and travel, and my mom made it here without complication.

So now? I need y’all to stop praying. I turned the corner on 38 weeks yesterday, and I am done.

I know every third-trimester mother says that, but I don’t think you understand.

I am “answering questionnaires for concerned psychiatrists/sense of humor completely gone/collapsing into tears for no reason at least once a day” done.

I have survived the Apocalypse. I have lived in fear of the government and deportation. I have moved houses at least as many times as I’ve had birthdays. I’ve seen a childhood friend die right in front of me. I have endured losing a relationship with my father 2 months after it began. I have gotten lost in Europe, lost a baby, lost jobs, and been one paycheck ahead of financial disaster for years.

But 9 months of pregnancy, one of life’s greatest mysteries that I was looking forward to the most, is the straw that broke this camel’s back.

I feel sad. I feel angry. I feel needy. I feel weak.

And so I feel lost. My identity is shifting. I’m the girl who writes about all the crazy shit that happens to her, and still manages to make people smile. I’m the Chandler Bing, I’m the Spartan who keeps on trucking, I’m the one who has heard time and again, “Wow. Looking at you, listening to you, I would never have guessed that you survived all THAT. You’re amazing, and you should probably write a book.”

My shit has always been a little messy, but it was my mess, and it made me stronger.

Now? After being pregnant and sick and worried and unprepared for 267 days in a row (including being displaced from home for 60+ days in a cramped house with 4 animals and 4 in-laws out of that)?

All I want is to go to sleep, and wake up in my own bed with a fresh mani/pedi, a killer haircut, a multi-ethnic buffet, and an impossibly adorable baby who never cries longer than 5 minutes or makes me question whether I am mentally and emotionally capable of becoming a mother in the first place.

I feel gross for even admitting it. Because I can see all you ladies who have been moms for years, who are laughing at my innocence and thinking, “Just you wait, honey, it gets worse.” I can see all you ladies who have been thinking they’d like to get pregnant, and now I’ve just ruined it for you. I can see all you ladies who had magical unicorn pregnancies with babies made from Jesus’ eyelashes, and are secretly judging me for being so dramatic and non-sacrificial.

And honestly, I’m going to play the Pregnant Bitch card and say up front: I don’t need to hear from you right now.

The only thing that keeps me typing so vulnerably is the off-chance that maybe some lady will read this and think, Thank GOD I’m not alone. Maybe I’ll wait one more day before checking myself in to the closest institution. Hi, Carly. I’m your new messy mama friend. Let’s keep talking.

13 days or less…

 

This New Year

On this day in 1999, I was fearing for my life.

Before The Walking Dead or Katniss Everdeen had even been thought of, I was preparing for my world to become apocalyptic. I was 12.

15 years later, Y2K still hasn’t happened. The Mayan calendar didn’t really mean much either. However, we face our own little apocalypses each year, don’t we? They have nothing to do with ancient prophecy or computer malfunction. They just happen without warning, and change us forever. But if you’re reading this, you’re still here. You’re a God-blessed survivor even if you don’t feel like one.

I’ll be honest, 2014 was a rough one. Misunderstandings, loneliness, lost jobs and a lost babe, confusion and clarity alternating like a roller coaster ride.

Occasionally, the darkness cracked and some light peered in. It’s why I’m still here too.

Can I tell you about them? Can I give you some hope? Will my thoughts mean anything to you?

Tell you what. Keep reading, and when you get to the bottom, you’ll see a link to my best friend’s site, where she’ll also be reminiscing about the positive things that happened in her life this year.  I am so thankful for her. Best friends for at least 20 years now – the kind of friends that drop everything and get on a plane to go be with each other when there’s a crisis.
We are women forged by fire, but rather than sacrificing ourselves to be burned up, we’re going to allow our hearts and minds to flow and curve like water, quenching the heat, refreshing our souls, going forward.

Don’t let your hearts remain stagnant or burnt. Winter is here, but Spring is coming. Join us. Tell us your stories of 2014, and what your dreams are for 2015. Alone we are enough, but together we are stronger.

~

This year, I witnessed another precious little girl-soul come into this world. She took her first breath in the glowing light of an early July morning, in her own nursery at her parents house. A holy moment.

2014-07-16 20.35.39

Soon, my goal will be accomplished through a little piece of paper that says “Carly Hutton, Certified Birth Doula” so that I can keep drinking in those holy moments, keep helping those other women forged by fire become mothers – even if I never become one myself.

~

In September, I was a bridesmaid for the first time. It was easier than I thought it would be. I put on a purple dress, did my makeup, and ripped only 2 pairs of panty hose while someone else far more capable did my hair.
My former roommate and bride of the day gave me a pearl necklace and earrings that she made herself. Treasure, only gained by letting a granule of sand itch the shit out of you until you’re pure.

joanna wedding 3

I witnessed 2 of my best friends commit their lives to each other. They sang their vows and yet they still wanted ME to sing a song for them. So I did. It was called “Dancing in the Minefields” because that’s not only what marriage is, but life itself.

joanna wedding

That day was the most I’ve smiled since I lost our baby. I mean, I kinda legally had to for photogenic reasons, but it was the first time I WANTED to.

joanna wedding 2~

I passed my 4-year anniversary of blogging, and at least half of my 200 followers are real people.

IMG_9420

And finally, we moved back to the town where I grew up. I did enjoy most of the Vancouver experience, but home it was not. Too much water; my fire almost went out.

home

Here in Smithers, I am known. By the people, by the snow-capped mountain, by the back roads and the river wild.

And? My new house has a bathtub.

~

It’s New Year’s Eve. It’s only a matter of one day’s difference, and yet, it holds so much shiny promise. All the shit we’ve gone through recently, we can finally say, “That happened last year.”

I used to be the kind to make resolutions. Not anymore. But for the sake of being traditional:

In 2015, I resolve to lose weight.

The weight of condemnation and shame and guilt of decisions past. The weight of trying to be liked by all and keep everyone happy. The weight of perfection. I want to lose it. And if, in doing so, it prompts me to live a healthier life that actually affects scale, then so be it.

And in 2015, I resolve to be the 7-11 in Smithers on Christmas Eve.

It was the only place open and serving food past 6pm when my husband, my mom and I were starving. Hot dogs never tasted so good.

No matter what store it is, though, I always feel a spark of hope rise whenever I see a glowing red OPEN sign. Knowing that I’ll be able to get what I came for, what I need, today.

That’s how I want others to feel when they see me. Open. Mind, heart and arms, ready to do messy, beautiful business at any given time. Never turned away.

As this year ends, I have high hopes for 2015.

Hopes that suddenly, everyone will have an a-ha moment. An a-ha that realizes we need something else. Something different. An a-ha that knows we are meant for more than what we have been content with living.

Hopes that, this new year, shooting up schools and shooting up veins will no longer be the go-to solution for long unanswered cries for help and understanding.

Hopes that, this new year, the Battle of the Sexes will run out of ammunition.

Hopes that, this new year, we will see through skin colours, to the hearts and minds that brew underneath. Every culture and race has its heroes and assholes; let’s stand up and recognize. I repeat: PEOPLE ARE MORE THAN THEIR SKIN AND REPUTATION AND STEREOTYPE. CHECK. YOURSELF.

Hopes that, this new year, toddlers and teenagers on the brink of dreams and inspiration – adults burned low on chips and bills – elderly melting on the ice floes of their last lives – will all be valued and held accountable and loved for who they are.

Hopes that, this new year, the corrupt will be exposed and the honourable will be exalted.

Hopes that, this new year, these words will ring true:

“And in despair, I hung my head
‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said.
‘For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men….’
Then rang the bells more loud and deep,
God is not dead nor doth he sleep!
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

Let it be so.

:: A Year in my BFF’s Life ::

How I Conquered the Ghosts of Assbutts Past (Without Opening a Hell Portal or Losing My Ever-Loving Mind)

Every once in a while, during winter, Steve and I do this thing where we find a show on Netflix and just go nuts with it. We did this with Breaking Bad a couple of months ago – we had our time of recounting its best moments and grieving its departure, and now we’re super-late-to-the-party-but-making-up-for-lost-time-and-lost-feels with Supernatural. I mean, it’s only been around 9 years now. It was bound to happen eventually.

We’ve never been people who enjoy seeing horror or gore or just general stuff of nightmares on our TV. However (so far), SPN has brilliantly managed to blend suspense, humour, intrigue, folklore, urban legend, campfire-style ghost stories, a heart-wrenching brother relationship, classic rock music and vintage cars into one glorious pile. Out of 8 available seasons online, we’re on #4, and they’ve started exploring the Book of Revelations, the Apocalypse, God and Angels and Demons, redemption – and of course, pie.
Image

So yeah, this show was pretty much made for us?

Anyhow, as with any TV show and my gets-attached-easily heart/brain, I am always needing to check in with myself to make sure I know that this is not reality. I think it’s a little easier to make that distinction here because ghosts. Which I don’t really believe in, in the supernatural sense, anyways. I do, however, believe in the ghosts of memories. I can attest to the fact of feeling “haunted” by someone’s words or actions towards me, or mine towards them. I don’t hold grudges, but I’m oh so good at holding onto what if and what could have been and maybe if I’d just done that instead, everything would be different. Regret and re-calling follows me like a Hellhound, and I’m only just now realizing it. Some nights, sleep eludes me because my brain just. won’t. stop. And these people I’m obsessing about? Probably haven’t given their possibly-negative encounters with me a second thought. To them, I’m a chapter in their history book now closed, while they’ve started another book. Why would I keep reading the old books, with an eraser in hand, looking for any sign of a pencil mark I can eradicate when everything is clearly written in pen? Why am I not okay with this?

Anyway, as crazy as it sounds, I’m slowly waking up to the fact that life is too short to do this anymore. I’m no longer okay with waking up feeling like crap after having a dream that involved a ghost of my past. If I manage to live a long, healthy, outrageous life, I’m probably going to make a few more ghosts, and pretty soon, I’ll have a closetful. And I’ve got better things to do with my time than waste another decade (DECADE?! Oof da.) wishing I could start over. As my boy Eminem says, “You don’t get another chance, life is no Nintendo game.”

Image

So I’m gonna take a lead from the Winchester boys: face the ghost, find its bones, apply salt (the purest mineral on earth, apparently – which I’ll call “telling the truth” here), burn it up and say goodbye. Complete with Dean and Sam and the angel Castiel to help me tell the story. And then, I might eat some pie.

The Ghooooosts of Asssssbutttttssss Paaaaaasssst

I may have briefly mentioned here before that, from ages 8-12, I was sexually abused in some form or fashion, by both genders, peers and strangers, young and old. I tried to tell my mom what was going on a few different times, but with my peers, I think she thought it was just a weird  phase or game that all kids do. And as for the pervy old man, well, let’s just avoid him and hope he goes away. Either way, I didn’t feel quite believed or validated or worthy of the RIGHT kind of attention, for a long time. It’s taken some therapy, a real Jesus and a good husband to reclaim and reassure me of my worth, my rights and my believability.

But it was a long road to get there, and I met plenty of Assbutts along the way, including myself. I am about to reveal to you Hurricane Carly and the trail of guys (maybe a gal too?) she left in her wake from 1999 to 2011.

Image

The year was 1999. I was 12, on the brink of puberty and insanity as I waited for the approaching doom of Y2K. And that summer, at camp, I met someone who I’ll call Mr. McDonald’s. He was a short little cutie with tanned skin, brown hair that had blonde highlights, and when he smiled – ooh them dimples! We spent our days reading Calvin & Hobbes to each other, driving quads through the woods, praying…it was a match made in Heaven.

Until one day, I realized this cute little shit is lazy as f***.

I was accustomed to the farm life, lifting hay bales and gathering water, chopping wood and chopping chickens, while Mr. McDonald’s could barely be bothered to lift a finger. I tell you what, when the Apocalypse drops, ain’t nobody got time for that!
The fateful day came when his mom asked us to weed a bit of her garden for her, and while I was enjoying the chore together, he was grumbling about how unfair everything was, and he just wanted to go see the new James Bond movie. Trying to be persuasive in a friendly manner, I said, “Well, it’s good practice…for some day…when you have your own family to take care of…”

And he goes, “Nah. I think it would be a pretty sweet set-up for my wife to work all the time, and I’ll take the kids to McDonald’s all day. Or she can cook for us, whatever.”

And that’s when I dropped him like a hot potato. (To be fair, I sort of didn’t help matters by calling him a shithead and an asshole in the days to come, without explaining why I was actually angry, but I’m a better person now.)

Not long after that, I got acquainted with another boy I’ll call the Swiss Mister. He was beautiful. Like, related-to-Elizabeth-Taylor beautiful. Jet black hair, eyes like pure chocolate, surrounded by eyelashes longer than mine. Also on the shorter side. (I think that was part of my problem. They distracted me from their real selves because I just wanted to put them in my pocket and take them home with me.) We played card games, watched movies at his house, had sleepovers (Uhh yeah! But NOT in the same bed, okay? Jeez.), baked bread and drove snowmobiles and found excuses to hug each other, like, all the time.

And then, one day without warning, he stopped talking to me. Just completely turned off the tap that made him the lovable Swiss Mister, and I was mystified. It took me a couple weeks to hear from one of his sisters that he was now hanging out with another girl because he randomly decided he wanted to give blondes a try.

I’mma get you, Swiss Mister!

To this day, we have not spoken. (Not for my lack of trying…believe me…if there’s anything I know how to do, it’s try.)

The next one was a little weirder. I was 13, going on 14, and Y2K’s arrival date had come and gone with a big, fat nothing. Mom and I were just hanging out in the wilderness, waiting for the ball to drop, surviving each of the challenges that living on a farm in the middle of nowhere with no electricity brings.

And then one day, we got neighbours. A family actually moved in as caretakers for a tourist ranch about 10 minutes away from us. Previously, there hadn’t really been anyone there, so this changed our world quite a bit. It was even more of a surprise and delight to discover that they were ALSO waiting out the End of All the Things AND they had a 16-year-old son.

Could it be? Had I finally found my Prince who would protect and provide and love me through the Apocalypse?

Eh. Turns out that I actually found Mr. Touchy-Feely. Which, I mean, he WAS a 16-year-old boy, so I don’t know what I was expecting. But after a couple of months, I started feeling guilty – not just because I let him be touchy-feely with me, but because I was starting to want to be touchy-feely back. And I was pretty sure that a 13 year old and 16 year old shouldn’t be getting to know each other that well, quite yet.

So I told him I wanted to take a step back in our relationship. And he, like the candy-bereaved baby, refused to be my friend or talk to me again.

Image

Which is great when he’s the only neighbour you have in the middle of nowhere, and your parents are still dreaming up scenarios like Braveheart-themed secret weddings and Apocalypse-survivor babies.

Ahhh, age 15. I am now out of the wilderness and ready to re-join civilization in the worst way. Unfortunately, it was 2002, and some things had changed without my knowledge or permission.

So when I joined the youth group at my local church, I was eager to make friends, but had no idea how to do it – and yet had no clue that I had no idea how to do it. I was completely oblivious to my awkward and companionship-leeching ways. So when I met Michael W. Smith Jr., I was all over that.

Image

Because, hello!!? My childhood Christian music heartthrob?

Again, he was littler. (I was steadily becoming aware that, at my age, there was a good chance that I was going to be taller than most of the boys I came into contact with.) But he had the fiercest blue eyes I’d ever seen (at that point in time) and an already deep, gentle voice. Best of all, he was nice to me. My poor little starved heart took it and ran wild.

And by “ran wild”, I do mean that I started a xanga blog. Oh Lord, XANGA. Does anyone even do that anymore? So yeah, I took non-existent social skills and a monstrous crush to the interwebs. I poured out my heart. How I felt about him, how much he meant to me, how nice he and his family were, and how badly I wished I could just be a part of it.

Image

It went on for a fairly long time. I don’t remember exactly. I do know that I wasn’t quite stupid enough to make my xanga public, but that I was stupid enough to log onto it while I was at Michael W. Smith Jr’s house one night.

Now what happened next and how it did so was never made quite clear to me. Which is the worst.

One entire month later, I got an upset email from his parents saying that they’d found the blog and they were not okay with it and could I please delete it. They’d always been warm and friendly with me, but somehow, even through written text, I could tell that their tone had completely changed. I was beyond mortified when I learned that MWSJr. had read every single word of that damn xanga.

So, maybe I was an assbutt and forgot to log out (which I always double-checked out of paranoia) and his parents found it on their once-a-month History search cleanse later. But an entire month later? It would be locked down again, for certain. So either they discovered it right away but didn’t tell me immediately OR Michael W. Smith Jr. did some assbutt hacking and and read it for an entire month before his parents found it. Either way, I’m pretty sure it took us all at least 4 years to feel comfortable with each other again. Or maybe that was me. Yeah, probably just me.
Honestly, out of everything I’ve shared so far, I think this is the ghost I regret the most. (lolz) But now, 10 years later, I can say that I am actually STILL friends with this fine fellow, and I totally helped him find the girl of his dreams. His family is my family. So there’s that.

A few years went by and I remained pretty unscathed by the traps of cutie pie boys.  The whole xanga fiasco really put me in my place until around 2007. That summer, I started traveling to Burns Lake to be a counselor at a kid’s camp for a couple weeks at a time. It was a good change, and I still have people in my life that I consider friends who came from that camp. There was, however, one embarrassing lesson that I learned my second summer counseling there.
Coming back for a second time was great because I was reunited with all of the former people I’d gotten to know the summer before. Including the camp director, Mr. Flag-Capturer. (What? He was really good at it.)
I mention Mr. Flag-Capturer not so much because I think he’s an assbutt (he’s not), but mostly because what happened is kind of too good not to share.

So, after hanging out for two summers together, I took the plunge the following Spring and sent him an email. After all, he lived a good two hours away and I missed talking to him. So, I started the conversation and it continued throughout the summer until we saw each other at camp again. Now, we had already established that we liked each other, that we were getting to know each other better “with the possibility of more than friendship in the future”, and that after camp was over, we were going to drive back to Smithers together in his truck so that he could meet some of my friends and family. They were even planning a big “Meet Mr. Flag Capturer BBQ.” This was the first time something had ever felt real and grown-up to me. I was 21, never been on a date in my life – I was pumped.

And then we actually hung out at camp again…and it was really awkward…and we couldn’t get past it…and I couldn’t figure out why? So finally, the night before camp ended, he started the conversation, saying that he believed we were better off as friends and he was sorry he’d gotten my hopes up. It was a little devastating, but here’s the best part:

“But don’t worry, I’ll still give you a ride back home tomorrow like I said I would.”

So, the day after I had my hopes dashed, I had to sit in a truck for 3 hours with the hope-dasher. Alone. Pretending like I didn’t want to just curl up into the fetal position all day. You better believe the AC/DC was blasting the whole way. And then he dropped me off at home, and I had to explain to the awaiting group why  I was alone.

The following summer (2010) was probably one of the worst times of my life. Through a series of unfortunate events that included hacking, snacking and tears, I was blissfully reunited and then jerkingly torn apart from my dad in a matter of 9 weeks. (Fear not, really good things can happen in 9 weeks as well.) One week after this episode of Jerry Springer, I went on a hike/camping trip with a group of friends.

I was not okay with anything in my life at all.

At this point, Michael W. Smith Jr. was going to university in Prince George, but he came back to Smithers for the hike, bringing two friends, one named Mr. Missionary and one named Mr. Confused.

I was friends with Mr. Confused and the GIRLFRIEND of Mr. Missionary within a week of that trip. Somehow, we both just connected really well and were attracted to each other on some…level. He was my first rebound-and-eff-you-to-my-dad boyfriend, I was his first girlfriend – it was pandemonium, folks. But he was also going back to university in Prince George when the summer ended.

What’s a girl to do?

Follow the boy, of course.

Our 5-month relationship was nothing short of a gong show. He was completely head-over-heels for me (yeah, sounds terrible, right?) and I thought that I loved him back. I thought it was normal to never “go out” with him, or feel nothing when he kissed me, or to decide overnight that – yes, dropping my life and marrying a guy who’s calling is to go to Africa as a missionary for life was a great way to deal with all of my familial problems.

Hint: I was numb and depressed and I used Mr. Missionary most abhorrently, to stall my path and band-aid a giant knife-shaped hole in my back. In the end, I knew it had to be me that broke his heart; I could not let him propose, could not keep up the pretense of being in love when it had only been a crush, could not keep lying by omission. It was a gray, cold November day when I told him, and I remember walking home feeling crushed but also…like the hard thing had been the right thing, and despite all the layers of dirt I would still need to dig through in the coming months, I had been strong enough to do that one right thing. And it was through this experience that I reached full closure with Mr. Flag-Capturer, since I had now traded places with him and walked in his shoes. I later thanked him for being so kind to me in his rejection, and he received this gratefully.

Six months later, I found myself flitting and fluttering around Mr. Confused. One way to describe him is: that’s one year I’ll never get back. It was like riding a roller coaster of emotions and I felt like screaming more than once, never from exhilaration. He was my “texting till midnight, catching long stares across the room, introducing me to his family and having them say, ‘Oh, so THIS is Carly. You look even prettier in person!’, going for walks and sharing life struggles no one else knew about”, and then “I don’t know how I made you think this, but I don’t like you like that.” boy.

We had somehow created a fantasy of intimacy that only existed to myself and my imagination. So, in an attempt to break the fantasy, I gave him some distance. After a couple of months, we were friends again. And then the roller coaster ride was back in service, ending with another declaration of “I think we’re better off as friends, somehow you keep misunderstanding me.” So that time, I asked for a lot of space. He wasn’t very good at giving it.

Finally, one day, I got my Sassy Pants on, and played a game of Apples to Apples with him, and a bunch of other people. We played the version where whoever’s turn it is, you give them a card that YOU think describes them. It can be serious or joking, they just have to pick the one they like the most and if they pick yours, you win the point.
So, whenever it was Mr. Confused’s turn, I didn’t hold back. I gave him cards like “hypocrite,” and “self-involved” and “two-faced”. So when he read them all out loud, of course having no idea who gave each card, he ALWAYS CHOSE MINE because everyone else’s were “so nice” and “not realistic” and “too flattering”, according to him. That’s called a self-therapy win.

 

And while that did feel awesome, true closure didn’t actually come until over a year later, when I re-visited Prince George with my brand new husband. Mr. Confused met him, shook his hand, said he was a lucky guy, and then hugged me, saying “I’m really happy that you’ve found such a good guy. You deserve it.”

And now, for my final ghost.

She is someone who has been there, in the background of all these stories, who has faded significantly in the past two years. Her name is Pretty Pretty Princess. Growing up, she was my closest in-person bestie. (L’oreal, you know you’ve always been my far-away bestie!) I’m pretty sure we re-defined the term “sleepover”, as we had them practically every weekend, all weekend long. We choreographed dances to our favourite songs, we played the Game of Life, naming our husbands according to our current crushes, and children according to our favourite names. We’ve laughed together, cried together, prayed together. We did buckets of things, together.

But somewhere along the way, Life intervened. We’ve misunderstood each other, been angry and hurt, said things we regretted but couldn’t admit it. Lost touch and made choices that took us further and further apart.

We were going to be in each other’s weddings. In reality, we didn’t even attend each other’s weddings.

We vowed we were going to jog together pushing strollers so we could regain our tight figures. In reality, she’s having a baby this summer, and my tight figure has already been vacationing down south for awhile now.

Maybe things would have ended up this way anyway, regardless of geography and time. I don’t know. But I do know that I dream about her at least once a week. I dream that either we are hanging out together laughing like we always used to, or that she hates my guts and isn’t afraid to tell me so. Either way, I wake up mourning and regretful, all the while knowing that she’s probably carrying on just fine, not missing me at all.

But I have hope. Hope that someday, the air will be clear and the fellowship will roll on into sweet intimacy again. We’ve had these seasons before; it could just be another one, or it could be time to let go. That scares me a little. I am such a golden retriever of loyalty when it comes to my relationships. And deep down, I have this feeling that when push really comes to shove, we’ll find each other again because there is so much history we can fall back on and be safe within. I just can’t stop hoping that things will change.
Image

And…that’s it. It’s 1:45 in the morning, and I’ve been telling my ghost stories for roughly 12 hours now. A blogging record, for sure. Maybe nobody will actually care, or maybe someone will only read this for the Supernatural commentary, but you know what? I don’t mind. I feel so free right now. Secret-telling has always been incredibly liberating to me, and now I’m ready to burn these bones and walk away. Every time I’m tempted to beat myself up again for the eighty-two-thousandth time, I’m going to tell myself, “Now now, girl. That’s over. It’s out in the world,  you are a forgiven and attempted peace-maker, and it’s okay. This is a new day.”

Image

Because it’s true. Those demons no longer have any say. I’ve ganked them good.

Today, I win.

Hoping your yoke is easy and your burden is light,

Carly xo

On the 5th day of LUSHmas….

…my LUSHIE gave to me…

THE CHRISTMAS PENGUIN!!!!!

**I am incredibly excited and proud to present this guest blog post by my best friend Laurie, who blogs over at http://hengilasinn.wordpress.com/   **

When your best friend works at a Lush store, it’s amazing how you are magically inundated with Lush paraphernalia. Constantly. It’s also incredible how often you hear the word “Lush” or “product” or “OMG REVOLUTIONARY”. It’s approximately 356,983 times.

Sooner or later, this inundation of information becomes something else.

JEDI MIND TRICKS.

And slowly you begin to think you truly cannot LIVE without Lush products.

One day, about 2 weeks before your college graduation, you find yourself and your cracked-out-from-studying-brain walking into a place filled with infinite goodness, light, and warmth. Yes. A Lush store with all its magical beauty. Your best friend has been programming your mind with suggestions of bergamot oil for the last few days. So the first thing you find yourself saying to the sales person is, “I NEED SOMETHING WITH BERGAMOT IN IT!!! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD I NEED TO RELAXXXXXXX!!!!! SAVE ME!!!!!!!”

Oh wait. I mean… “Um… what bath bombs have bergamot oil in them??”

After a thorough tour of bath bombs, something else attracts your eye. Something with a shiny orange beak that is like a flame in the night.

THE CHRISTMAS PENGUIN.

Image

This is not a bath bomb, ladies and gentlemen. No. It is far more… refined… than that. This is an animal filled with bubbly bliss that will transform your bathtub to a serene float above the clouds.

Image

I’m not kidding.

Soon after my visit to the magical store, I decide it’s time for the penguin to show me its lovely Christmas tricks. The Lush website promises it will deliver relaxation after a long, stressful day.

Boy, did it ever.

Image

The scent of bergamot oil and orange flower is not overwhelming. In looking at the lovely blue water and fluffy white bubbles, I felt as if I was sitting in the middle of a cloud, and that’s exactly how it smelled. Light, sweet, and divine. Like I was going to float right up to heaven.

Technically, The Christmas Penguin is a bubble bar, so unlike bath bombs, it creates bubbles. But it also contains sodium bicarbonate, which means it still softens your bath water. My skin felt like Cupid’s bottom afterwards, if that tells you anything about how effective THAT was.

In order to use it, you hold it under the flowing water…

Image

Bye bye, penguin. 😦

HELLO AWESOME!!!

This thing created mounds of bubbles that had some great staying power. They were still sticking around 20 minutes later.
Also, I warn you… don’t put the penguin down on the side of your tub, or you will cry from seeing this…

Image

Poor baby penguin! 😦 THANK YOU FOR SACRIFICING YOUR LIFE FOR MY RELAXATION!!!!!! 😦 😦 😦

Needless to say, after I gathered up the melted remains of the penguin, scattered them in my bath, then sank into the soft blue water…well, I was on cloud 9. Almost literally. All my stress and worry melted away. School? What did school matter in this heavenly realm? I was above that. I was ENLIGHTENED. I was… a GODDESS. Which is exactly how I always feel after I get out of a Lush bath. Like a goddess. My body feels absolutely beautiful.

All joking aside, this is why I have to recommend Lush.

Every woman deserves to feel completely happy about her body.

Every woman deserves to look at her body and feel like a goddess.

That’s why I am telling you all to go out and invest in this, in yourself. With a Christmas Penguin or otherwise.  So that you, too, can forget for a moment all the things you hate about your body and remember what you love.

We are guided by imagery, so I leave you with this last picture:

Image

Everyone deserves to be this blissed out. And I promise you, being Jedi Mind Tricked into this beauty madness was totally worth it.

CARLY’S TURN!!!!!

I don’t know about ya’ll, but that guest post totally just transported me into…desperately wanting a soak in the tubbie! 🙂

I’m not here to steal Laurie’s thunder – I just have a couple of notes to add!

#1: Unfortunately, since Christmastime is now past, the Christmas Penguin is sold out until next year. But now since you’ve read this blog, you’re totally gonna save up your moolah so you can Speedy Gonzales your butt over to the nearest LUSH store next Christmas, aren’t ya? AREN’T YA?!?!

#2: Laurie was desperate for bergamot oil. Whether or not you realize it, you are probably desperate for bergamot oil too. FOR GOOD REASON. Bergamot is this fantastic essential oil derived from an orange fruit of the same name. It’s also God’s way of reminding you that he loves you and wants you to be happy. BECAUSE. When your sniffer takes in that bergamot essential oil, it travels all the way up to your brain and RELEASES THE SERATONIN! Otherwise known as your body’s depression fighter. Remember that movie Happy Feet, featuring the happiest little damn penguin in the entire world? That’s how YOU’RE going to feel, and all because of a penguin.

#3: The Christmas Penguin is even more wonderful when paired up with the bath bomb Sakura. I felt surrounded by cherry blossoms and happiness.

#4: These bubbles DO have a crazy staying power. I cheated a little, in the best way possible. When the water started getting colder, I was not ready to leave. So I emptied the bath out a bit, and turned on the hot water again. That hot action brought forth even MOAR BUBBLES.

Things that my family did while I bathed:

My husband built an entire lego set.

My mother-in-law knitted an entire baby hat for a doll.

My sister-in-law made almost an entire gingerbread house village.

And my father-in-law watched all of Die Hard 4.

Yeah.

Thank you, Christmas Penguin. You will not soon be forgotten.

xo Carly & Laurie xo

A Crapload Can Change In One Year

Yes, crapload. Stayin’ classy.

This time last year, I was the pretty harried receptionist/office manager/flak receiver at a dance studio that collapsed in on itself as soon as I left. Well, maybe not quite that dramatic, but it kind of seemed like it? I was also writing this.

Well, it’s that time of year again, folks. Summer is dying while managing to squeeze a few beautiful moments left out of her system, and Autumn (yes, Autumn, with a capital A. Still stayin’ classy.) is starting to show her true colours.

I’m a little bit excited.

Because while I love summer and its sunshiney grace on my poor soul needy Mexican skin, I miss scarves. And big sweaters, and crunchy leaves, and hot chocolate, and not having to shave my legs every other day. I am fruit-smoothie and sundressed out. Fall is my time to shine; layers are my friends, friends.

But unlike last year, we (Steven and I) are going to try really, really hard not to couch this one all away. Granted, we were recovering from a honeymoon chock full of puke, diarrhea and infected internal organs, on top of getting used to living with another human being who was actually not as picture perfect as we both imagined.

However, I think we love each other more now than we did on our wedding day, and it’s because of those very things. Taking care of one another up close while sick (or *ahem* unemployed or depressed or lonely…who, me?) creates a very special intimacy that gives you the freedom to be yourself – the good, the bad and the ugly version of yourself. And that in turn lets you start over and re-build what you thought was true love from the ground up, so, if you’re lucky, now you have a relationship that is more honest and gaining in grace. Without real truth, there cannot be real love.

So I personally am reveling in the fact that the first year of marriage is almost complete. It has been hard, but good. There have been more gains than losses. It is brutiful.

And it is moving forward!

For our anniversary –which is in 11.5 days YIKES–, we plan to travel. And not to camp either.

Now hold up. Camping is GREAT. But it is also how we spent our honeymoon, and most of the summer, so for our Honeymoon 2.0, we’re just gonna get in the truck with a couple bags for survival and drive somewhere nice. Somewhere we can breathe a sigh of relief, pamper ourselves a bit, and recharge for the winter. I’m thinking mountains and trees and fresh air and water and candlelit dinners and hot tubs and business time and walks and naps and drinks and laughter and pictures. Lots of pictures.

And as for what I call the Sunless Blues, well, this girl is prepared.

Vitamin D’s in gummy form because I am a child and won’t remember to take them otherwise.

Some flowers and tomatoes and basil and peppermint that grows out of little tin cans.

Auditioning to be a part of Trinity Western’s University choir tonight. If I’m accepted, that’ll get me through quite a few Tuesdays.

Promoting my doula business to the next level with cards and such. I’ve got a guy.

Having friends and neighbours over for homemade dinner regularly, instead of just saying that one day we’ll invite them and then ordering take-out for two. #followthrough

Which is also the perfect segue to better cooking and better eating. It is so easy to pack on the pounds during the cold months, but we’re determined to at least stay where we are, if not drop a bit. I mean, we bought a soccer ball, so it’s pretty for real.

A search for the perfect Halloween costume for my cat. Did you know that they have a Buzz Lightyear now? Every time I walk in the pet store, it’s like I have my own personal little Angel on one shoulder reminding me that I love my kitteh, and a Devil on the other snickering that Walter would look so cute as an Eeyore and he would hate it and I should get it.
Image  Image
And when they look like that….well, you can see why I’m having such a hard time making the right choice.

And of course with winter comes more down time. More down time means more music making. And that means our friend Jason is in luck.
The other day, he said to us, “If you guys don’t make another Agent Button video soon, I’m going…to flip…my lid. So now you know.”
Oh, we know. And so does Sean Bean.
Image

And knowing is half the battle.

a letter to me

Dearest C ~

Hey, baby girl. How you doing? I sense something different about you.  You’re…lighter. The smile comes a little easier, the heart believes the truth a little more.

You’re so free. Not completely, but remember 10 years ago, when you were so weak you could barely dance at all? I think you know at least 3 hard-core moves now. This is good.

I know, I know. You don’t like to remember the 10-years-ago days, the barely-danceable days, those relentless wilderness days. But you know what? You are so brave. To the point that you not only thought about the past, but you actually drove the road that takes you back to the memories. You willingly got into a vehicle, and this time you didn’t dread every minute that passed by, taking you further away from what you wanted. Instead, you anticipated it, because deep down you knew it didn’t matter anymore. This place held no fear for you now. So you faced it, and you won.

Image

Image

Image

Driving away from the wreck of the day, and I’m thinkin’ ’bout callin’ on Jesus
Cause love doesn’t hurt, so I know I’m not fallin’ in love, I’m just fallin’ to pieces.

Do you remember?

Do you remember being so afraid that you could barely appreciate the raw beauty of the world around you? Do you remember not being able to tell anyone why you were there, yet you so desperately wished that someone would hear you screaming it out from the inside?

Image

Do you remember becoming a teenager and this was all you knew? And you believed that this was ALL you would ever know? You ran all over these grasses and bushes, singing and dancing to your own little beat. You were prepared for your life to be over, before it really began. You dreamt about your first kiss, feeling a tiny hand grasp your pinkie in trust, living a true blessed existence in a world of purpose. But they were only dreams to you, because you had already accepted that life as we knew it was ending soon. The new millennium was going to usher in economic collapse, war, famine, disease, death. All the worst things you could think of, this was your future. After all, God had told your family it was coming, so it must be true, right? He was always right and true, and he had had enough of this dirty world. Judgment was coming. And all you could do was hide, here in this wilderness, and wait. Hope, pray, that you would counted worthy to escape, or at least be killed quickly.

Image

Do you remember how you would play in these places, the friends you brought to life with your mind? The stories you would make up, not knowing yet that you were meant to create them?

Image

Where you would swim in your underwear because literally no one else was around except your mom. The long float, winding through the fields, all the way down to Willow Lake. No life jacket, just you and the water and the mosquitos.

Image

Do you remember trying to go to sleep on the couch that faced this view, on December 31st, 1999? You clutched your blanket in fear as the clock ticked closer to midnight, waiting for the cosmic boom that would announce the end of the world. Do you remember waking up the next morning, facing this, wondering if all the people you knew in town were now dead?

How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes
I struggle to find any truth in your lies
And now my heart stumbles on things I don’t know
My weakness I feel I must finally show.

Image

Do you remember how time went on and nothing changed? And even though you were afraid of what the next day might hold, you were still determined to possess something you could call your own. One window sill. That’s all you needed. It still lives, it’s still yours. Good job, baby girl.

Do you remember when the day finally came and you were 15 and you were told that yes, it was time to leave. To go to the town. To have a chance at living, at growing, maybe even falling in love. After 4 years of wilderness, animals farmed and definitely un-farmed. Snow taller than your waist. Trekking every which way for survival whether by quad or snowmobile or foot. Storing up food that was never eaten except by kleptomaniac squirrels. Watching your mother break down and cry after the windmill for electricity died, and again when the pipes froze so you had to melt buckets of snow-water, and again when your favourite dog got into the anti-freeze and seizured her way into a yellow-tongued death. Four years of wanting to cry and ask, “Why are we doing this? Why is this happening to us?” but never doing it, because in the big picture, none of this mattered. All you could do was let go of anything that felt like emotional attachment; it was too painful. Too risky. And yet, even after all that practice at letting go, you still couldn’t quite shake this place after you left. It had become a part of you, burrowed into your bones, and even though you were free, you still weren’t. Fear still had a stranglehold, the wilderness still possessed your dreams. And you didn’t realize it because, for a little while, you had another battle to fight. The war you’d been waiting for never came, but as it turns out, the government of your country cares about those who disappear into the woods, without any legal papers or intentions. So you gathered up your intentions, paid and struggled and told and re-told the story for those papers. 3 years, and now they’re sitting in your file cabinet. You now possess more than a window sill bookshelf, that’s for sure, darlin’.

One week ago, you went back. You captured these memories on a phone that you used to think only rich people could afford. Ten years since this was your home, and 3 years in a row celebrating Canada Day with a genuine rush of patriotism in your heart. A double-anniversary, metaphors deep. You returned, and guess who you brought with you?

Image

That’s right. A freakin’ husband. (And lovely friend Heather who was sweet enough to snap this!)

Hello world, how you been?
Good to see you, my old friend

Sometimes I feel as cold as steel
And broken like I’m never gonna heal
I see a light, a little grace, a little faith unfurl
Hello world.

You are so loved by this man, and by so many others. Some know your story, lots of others don’t, but when they meet you, they can tell you’re different somehow. They can’t quite put their finger on it, but they know you’re special. You’re strong. You’re unbelievably goofy, but you’re not helpless.

Look at you. What a journey! You have remembered so much, let go of so much, learning to hold on even more. But you’re not done yet. You grew up thinking you would never reach your 20s, and now, HECK YOU MIGHT EVEN MAKE IT TO 26. And you’re still singing.

Sing it for the boys…sing it for the girls
Every time you lose it, sing it for the world
Sing it from the heart, sing it ’til you’re nuts
Sing it out for the ones that’ll hate your guts
Sing it for the deaf, sing it for the blind
Sing about everyone that you left behind
Sing it for the world, sing it for the world

So be free, little butterfly. This cocoon has disintegrated, and it’s your time to shine with all the colours that have, at times, been painfully swirled into your patterns. Go, go, fly! See where it takes you. But always remember where you came from, not because it inhibits you, but because it brought you to where you are now. Your Father smiles because now you know that He isn’t your enemy, just waiting to bring His wrath upon your life; He is your friend, He was there all along. People may fail, you may fail but He and His love never does. Your life is pure proof.

Image

I know they say you can’t go home again,
I just had to come back one last time…
I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
This brokenness inside me might start healing.
Out here, it’s like I’m someone else
I thought that maybe I could find myself.
If I could walk around, I swear I’ll leave
Won’t take nothing but a memory,
From the house that built me.

So when the bad days come, mornings where you wake up from a dream that felt so real, just remember this day. Remember these pictures. They are the truth and you are the story-teller.
Get out there and keep telling it.
Love,
 ~ C
PS: The portions of music listed are what played on my iPhone on the trip up to the property. NOTHING is an accident! Oh, except for the last one by Miranda Lambert. I thought of that one all on my own. 😉

when life isn’t good enough

“Write hard and clear about what hurts.” – Ernest Hemingway

Thanks, Ernest. I needed that little push.

Sometimes, being a self-proclaimed writer is a hard thing. I find that I have a zillion +1 thoughts every day about every little thing, and I’m constantly wanting to tell a story about all of it. It is almost a discipline to keep myself to writing a blog every once in awhile rather than every day. Same goes for Facebook or Instagram or any of the technological fancies we have at our fingertips for communicating. Without any arrogance, I can say that I know I am a deep well of thoughts and feelings and emotions – some real and some not. So what I have to ask myself, every time I prepare to SAY SOMETHING, is “Will they care? Is it real? Is what I want to say worth reading, worth writing?” Sometimes it is, but most of the time, no.

I’m hoping that what I say today IS worth it. Because it’s going to be hard to write.

For me, the past 3 years have kinda sucked. And I’m tired of sucking it up.

Yes, I DO know that in the past 3 years I have gained true friends and lost icky ones, gained my freedom of Canadian immigration status, gone to Europe, fallen in love, gotten married and have been living in wedded bliss for the past almost-9-months. I’m not a bitch. I’m so grateful for all of these things. But in the classic words of Coldplay, “Nobody said it was easy, no one ever said it would be this hard.” And for the first time in my life, I’m willing to ditch the positivity for a minute and be honest about how the past 3 years have made me feel.

Allow me to make a timeline.

April 2010 – “met” my dad for the first time + started relationship with him + everything was wonderful.

June 2010 – learned it was all a lie + fallout with both dad AND mom + “i’m not good enough” + made myself believe I’d fallen in love with a boy but really it was just an escape.

August 2010 – moved away from home because I’m a grown-up now with a REAL boyfriend ran away to PG + kept leading boy on because I’m a jerk + learned about the real world ie: “what? rent is something i have to pay every month even if i’m poor? what?”

November 2010 – could not keep up lying to boy + break-up + finally got work permit + first job ever, hooray!

lalalalala get permanent residence and all legaled up April 2011 life is good lalalalalala

August 2011 – get fired from first-ever job over a technicality i wasn’t aware of + first stab of self-doubt + second stab of “I’m not good enough.”

April 2012 – second-ever job disintegrates as the company goes out of business + screwed over by boss who does not give Record of Employment or T4 tax forms upon request, even to this day.

July 2012 – move away again + not running away, just running towards fiance + WTF this is a big city.

August 2012 – third-ever job is sketchy and weird + desperate + getting to know new family + new church + no connections.

lalalalala get married make a little home life is good lalalalalalala

September 2012 – day after wedding (some people might call it a honeymoon) + my new husband + food poisoning + camping + 2 days of violent sickness + freaking out cause i’m brand new at this shit + poor husband

October 2012 – day after my 25th birthday + not feeling too good + go to ER + kidney infection + brand new at this shit too

November & December 2012 – rain rain rain rain rain + quit third-ever job for being too sketchy and unfair and awful + more rain rain rain rain until

April 2012 – gained 20 pounds + whoops + how did that happen + depression + multiple interviews and job applications + no work + husband works all the time to support us + no connections or close friends + no Record of Employment to get Employment Insurance + no tax check returns because of no work + “still not good enough”

May 2012 – the story I haven’t told.

I was driving home from a desperately-needed babysitting job on 200 St. at 4:30 in the afternoon. My first two mistakes. Anyone who has been in Langley longer than I have KNOWS that 200 St. is the busiest street on the planet and that 4:30pm is the WORST time possible to be driving it.

So there we were, Lola (my car) and I minding our own business, when suddenly, unexpectedly, a green light changed to a red light. Without a thought, I pushed the clutch in and tried to brake without stalling. CRUNCH.

Actually, CRUNCH is an overstatement. More of a TAP, really. I debated whether the SUV in front of me even noticed my contact with her.

She stops everything, gets out of her car on the busiest street ever that now has a green light to get my information and now there are cars zooming by everywhere, honking and swearing at us for not going anywhere and can we pull off somewhere? no because this is the busiest effing street ever and we’re stuck.

I started shaking. I had never hit anyone before in my life and now I might have damaged someone else’s car or worse, hurt someone else.

But thankfully, no one was hurt. She took my information, and I was too rattled to even think about getting out and looking at the vehicles and asking for her info in return. She said that if she needed to file a damage claim, she would call me and let me know.

But she never did. I figured we were in the clear. Crisis averted.

Two weeks later, I got an ICBC file claim in the mail. I phoned in and made my own report, but they still needed to see my car. By now, we were mystified because there wasn’t a scratch on it – not even the plastic casing around my license plate holder was cracked. And the car I hit was substantially larger than mine, so what was the problem?

The problem was *ahem* 2 miniscule little paint chips on the back bumper from the screws in my license plate holder. That was it. The cost to get it repaired? Between $700-$1200, to be owed by yours truly. Or I can choose to have my insurance go up an extra $1700 a year for the next 4 years, and that price will get doubled if something like this happens again. All because I only have my N. I’ve known how to drive since I was 11 years old, but 2 paint chips and a not-quite-graduated driver’s license have flushed me down the toilet.

As soon as we left the ICBC building, my last brick of self-esteem that was holding me together crumbled. I cried and cried and cried. I can’t hold a good job, I can’t find a job, I can’t make friends, I can’t figure out where I am in this city and now I’m definitely not qualified to drive it. Not good enough not good enough not good enough. Stunted. Sick. Failure. Loser. Trapped. Incapable. Unqualified. A burden to everyone. Gotta keep trying but might as well not.

Of course I haven’t forgotten that now I’m trained to be a doula and I have my first client at the end of the summer. I’m so thankful to my friends who helped me pursue this dream. This is a good thing, and I’m happy about it. But now I’m also terrified. I’m going to be working with real people, with real babies, with real life. They’ll have their trust in my hands. Am I capable? Am I worthy? Am I good enough to do this? Because right now it feels like working, driving and making true connections with people are insurmountable feats – these things that have always come easily to me, that I thought would always come easily.

I don’t write for pity or help or comments about how this is not really a hardship compared to what some other people have to go through. I know all of that and it doesn’t make these things hurt any less. I write because I needed to. At the heart of this, I am just a broken kid who was raised to never owe anyone anything, to never be any kind of imposition at all – trying to figure out where I belong and what I’m meant to do. I always knew that the first year of marriage would be an adjustment and a struggle at times. But I forgot that Life doesn’t look at you and say, “Aww, these kids just got hitched. Let’s give them a little break so that they can get used to that first.”

I am learning this + learning that it’s okay to acknowledge the bad things sometimes. So don’t worry that I’ve suddenly turned into a Dark Mexican. When you block out the pain, you block out the joy equally. Maybe you have learned that as well, or you’re just about to. Maybe I can be the one to give you a heads-up, or maybe you can be the one to reassure me that this isn’t the end of the world. Deep down, I know that. I know that I’m going to be okay, that we’re going to be okay. I’m not there yet, but I will be.

Image

In the meantime, Grumpy Cat will be my spirit animal and sustain me with laughter.

Stayin’ alive,

C. xo

Spring!

It is officially April 3rd, and I am so excited. Why?

Because, as far as the lower mainland is concerned, the damn winter is over.

I know, I know. What am I complaining about? No snow, short winters, ocean, shopping therapy opportunities everywhere. I come from the North – I know what ya’ll are dealing with right meow and April doesn’t always mean anything.

But for a tough young lady who has battled many a snowy long winter in her lifetime, this year nearly broke me. Constant rain, constant grey billowing clouds overhead, constant staying inside. The only winter I can think of that was worse was the one of ’03-’04 when I was in Bella Coola. Imagine everything I just said, but now you’ve got snow AND a claustrophobic canyon to add to the mix. NOT. FUN.

Image
This, is Fun.

Image

This, is not.

For awhile, I thought, “Maybe I just don’t belong here. Maybe I will never have happy feelings again. Maybe I’m gonna go all Jack Torrants on my poor family and be on the news for Cabin Fever Disorder. ‘She was such a nice girl; I just don’t understand,’ they all would say.”

But this is simply not the truth. The truth is, that as much as I can work a couch marathon with the best of ’em (Currently just finished season 6 out of 7 on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and we only started it, oh…less than 2 months ago? Yeah.) , I need the outside. I crave it. It fills my soul, makes my blood pump faster, my smile get bigger.
Now I’m not saying that I’m one of those amazing people who goes for hikes and bike rides and runs for pure enjoyment. Heh, noooooo. But give me an hour a day in the sunlight, and I’ll be the happiest little frolicker you ever did see.

Did you know that I love the very smell of spring? The leaves, the flowers, the new asphalt, right down to the very whiff of gasoline off the BBQ.

Did you know that I love the very sound of spring? Water trickling, leaves blowing, crunching footsteps, lawn mowers, the pounding thunder of 100 ducks taking off in flight at once.

Did you know that I love the very feel of spring? All things are new. Started over. Hope, joy, excitement, dreaming has returned. For me, it’s the feel of my doula course starting in 9 1/2 days, and knowing that I already have a dear friend who wants me to accompany her in her time of need. Drinking only water or juice every weekday for the past 2 1/2 weeks and already dropping 7 pounds. Two out-of-town weddings of favourite people to travel to, and new music to accompany the road. And the countdown to my bestie Laurie coming to see me just keeps whizzing by at incredible speed. I swear, yesterday, we were at 100 days and now it’s 58. I can’t wait to show her everything in my world,  the world Steve and I have created and enjoyed.

This, now, is a holding time. A calm wait before the beautiful take-off. There will be many things to see and say and discover here before this year is over.

But for now, welcome to my backyard.

Image

Image

Image

ImageImageImage

ImageImage

ImageImageImageImage

“And everything in time, and under heaven, finally falls asleep.
Wrapped in blankets white, all creation shivers underneath.

And still I notice You when branches crack,
And in my breath on frosted glass.
Even now in death, You open doors for life to enter –
You are Winter.

And everything that’s new has bravely surfaced,
Teaching us to breathe.
And what was frozen through is newly purposed,
Turning all things green.

So it is with You, and how You make me new
With every season’s change.
And so it will be, as You are recreating me –
Summer, Autumn, Winter….Spring.

(Every Season, Nichole Nordeman)