Miss you more than ever…

Late last night I arrived in Toronto after 10 days away in Prince George, BC for Canada Winter Games. While driving home, I got this feeling…one I haven’t had in a long time. I got this super creepy, but super welcomed feeling that my dad was with me keeping my eyes open and my focus on getting home safe. After over 14 hours of travel already and a snow storm to boot, I knew I needed to be home today and chose to drive instead of staying another night away. Weird that today marks 6 years since we lost him and here I was driving home from Toronto again reliving that awful day. Weird that I felt his presence all of a sudden. Weird that I didn’t feel weird about it. Weird that I didn’t want it to go away.

This trip is just what I needed to reconnect with everything I loved about my dad. His pride in me, his sense of humor, his love of sport, his sincere interest in my adventures and his relentless support of everything I did. I found myself this morning wanting to call him and tell him all about my latest adventure to my first multi-sport games with an amazing group of young elite women and what have become 3 of my closest friends (9 nights in bunk beds will do that!) whose bench staff I was privileged to be a part of. The games we played, the different sports we got to see, the city, the new friendships I have formed, the wins, the losses, the medal, the pranks, the fun, the exhaustion, the Games. I could have talked to him for hours this morning.

I am very fortunate to have the opportunities I do to travel the country and experience these types of events. Without his pressure to play, his advice to get an education in something I love and his advice to do what I love, I probably would never have taken this opportunity. I spent the week with the excited, eager, beyond supportive parents of 18 young athletes and couldn’t help but remember some of the amazing trips and memories I have with my own. This would have been one that we would have remembered forever and I hope they will too.

I miss you dad, and not a day goes by where I don’t want to send you a note, a picture or drop in for a visit. Thanks for all you have instilled in me and I hope that I can have even an ounce of that impact on my own boys.

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Taking Stock – 2014 Finale

Ok, so I’ve neglected my blog lately – purposefully – but I’m ready to get back into it!

Making : to-do/grocery lists for the holidays
Drinking : tea
Reading: Other blogs and spurring jealousy that they all find time to update
Wanting : sunshine
Looking : for the perfect gifts
Playing : with need guns
Wasting : food at every meal trying to guess what my kids will eat
Wishing : We could see everyone we sent to over the holidays
Enjoying : Having my husband home on a Saturday night
Waiting : for the dishes to do themselves
Wondering :
Loving : That I am a hockey mom now!
Hoping : The boys are always such good friends
Marveling : how much Drew learns every day
Needing : sleep
Smelling : Freshly made nuts and bolts
Wearing : Roots sweats, bare feet, long sleeved t
Following : Leafs, WJHC
Noticing: how much the boys change every.single.day
Thinking : “I wish my dad were here….” a lot lately
Bookmarking: Office ideas
Opening : Pinterest
Giggling : always
Feeling: excited to be surrounded by family, friends and the magic of Christmas this week

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We have a Kindergartener!!

September 2, 2014 – Drew’s first day of school! That’s right, we have a kindergartener 🙂   I have waited until now to post so I could fully capture my thoughts, his reaction to the change and how it has shown me that we must be doing something right.

First Day: I had no idea what to expect. I knew there would be crying moms, happy moms, crying kids and kids who just wanted to run right in to class and get started. I knew he was excited (he has been since he was 2 1/2) but could tell there were nerves. I knew my emotions probably were dependent on his.  He was a rockstar. We drove him to school and waited for the bell so he could line up at the door.  It was like he had been there forever and knew exactly what to do. There was no sadness, just pure excitement. There was no sadness for me – I was so excited with how excited he was to be there.  We have had 7/9 days just like this! Yesterday and today were tough – but I think it may have to do with being a little over tired 🙂

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First Day of School! September 2, 2014

Since his first day we have seen growth and change and an eagerness to learn.  He comes home having learned something new: a song, a process, how to draw/write, rhyming words and even just a new found love for everything in his lunch bag.  He wants to show us what he did, tell us how his day was and all about how gym is awesome.  His teacher called to check in and let us know that he is an amazing kid (like we didn’t know) and that he is adapting so well to this huge change in his life/schedule.  She is amazed that he just turned 4 in April and says he is great at sharing, listening, waiting his turn and taking care of his things.  Our first reaction: seriously, does she have the right Andrew? But after thinking about it, she’s right – he is such an awesome kid and even though he can be crazy and destructive, he’s 4.

Listen, I am not judging moms who are sad to see their babies go to school. There of course was a sense of “sad” going through me to see this child, who not so long ago was a helpless tiny infant, walk through these big doors into the unchartered waters of school.  But here’s where I need to remind you mama’s (and dads!): we have done good.  I think that deep down, ultimately they are tears of pride. Whether your kid runs to line up every morning or has some tears and hesitation, we have spent the last 4 years ultimately preparing them for this and they are ready.   They run to the line up because they know you will be there to pick them up after a fun-filled day at school.  They have tears because they just want to hang out with you a little longer.  Our job as parents is to prepare our kids for the rest of their lives. Starting school is such an important milestone – for parents and kids alike.  We have made this milestone by forming our child into one that loves to learn, respects their peers and teachers, and is ready to thrive outside the walls of our home.   This Kindergarten milestone is truly one where we can measure our work as parents (forget the growth charts, development questions, etc) It’s not about how many letters they can write, if they can read, that they know all of the colours or that they can count past 20.  It’s that they understand that school is safe, they can trust their teachers, and that we wouldn’t send them there if wew didn’t believe that it was the best place for them to learn and grow as little humans.  They will learn to open their yogurt by themselves, ask to go to the washroom before they NEED to go, choose their friends, ask someone for help, not to interrupt others and to stand up for themselves.  They will be great, because we have instilled it into them that they are.

I hope all of you parents take some time to pat yourself on the back. When I got the call from school the other day, my mind immediately went to “what happened?” and “what’s wrong?”  only to find out the teacher was simply calling to tell me that Rob & I have done something right and Drew  is a reflection of that.  That’s pretty cool.

I am already looking forward to picking him up this afternoon just to hear about his day 🙂

A friend on Facebook posted a link to this poem I think a lot of us first-time school moms can relate to.

Dear Teacher
I know you’re rather busy
First day back, there’s just no time
A whole new class of little ones
And this one here is mine
I’m sure you have things covered
And have done this lots before
But my boy is very little
He hasn’t long turned four
In his uniform this morning
He looked so tall and steady
But now beside your great big school
I’m not quite sure he’s ready
Do you help them eat their lunch?
Are you quick to soothe their fears?
And if he falls and hurts his knee
Will someone dry his tears?
And what if no-one plays with him?
What if someone’s mean?
What if two kids have a fight
And he’s caught in between?
You’re right, I have to leave now
It’s time for him to go
I’m sure he’ll learn so much from you
Things that I don’t know
Yes, I’m sure they settle quickly
That he’s fine now without me
I know he has to go to school
It’s just so fast, you see
It seems like just a blink ago
I first held him in my arms
It’s been my job to love, to teach
To keep him safe from harm
So, when I wave goodbye in a moment
And he turns to walk inside
Forgive me if I crumple
Into tears of loss and pride
I know as I give him one more kiss
And watch him walk away,
That he’ll never again be wholly mine
As he was before today.

Dear Parent,
I understand that you are scared
to wave your child goodbye
and leave him in a teacher’s hands
don’t worry if you cry!
I’m used to weeping parents
It’s hard to leave I know.
But it’s time to share him (just a bit)
To help him learn and grow.
Let me reassure you
That I’ll give your child my best
I’ll wipe his tears, soothe his fears
And change his dirty vest!
If your darling child is full of cold
I’ll blow their nose all day
Just like you, I’ll care for them
In a special way.
I’ll treat him like I would my own
I’ll catch him from a fall and
If there is ANY problem
I’ll be sure to tell you all.
It’s true he’ll grow to love us
They’ll talk of school a lot
It doesn’t mean they hate you
And that you should lose the plot!
I’ll tell you a secret..
That when your child is here
They talk to me as much of you
Of this please have no fear.
You’ll always be their mother
Whilst teachers come and go
To them you are their number one
This I truly know.
Soon you’ll see some changes
In your little girl or boy
They’ll become more independent
And to see this, it’s a joy!
I’ll teach them all I have to give
To share, climb and to write
But to you they safely will return
To tuck them in at night.

With love from a teacher…

Taking Stock of August

Making : lunches.
Drinking : water
Reading: School handouts & communication book
Wanting : to remember everything
Looking : to get away with my famjam…still
Playing : with bubbles
Wasting : time playing Candy Crush
Wishing : I had an unlimited home decorating budget
Enjoying : The quiet, rainy evening
Waiting : for new shows to start!
Wondering : what’s next?
Loving : That our basement reno is nearing completion
Hoping : Drew is truly enjoying Kindergarten
Marveling : that my baby is now a school kid
Needing : a nap
Smelling : Fresh baked cookies & banana oat muffins
Wearing : messy hair & comfy pjs
Following : US Open, the Ebola crisis, Toronto mayoral race
Noticing: how my husband is an amazing, kind, gentle and patient father
Thinking : of an old friend who suffered incredible loss last week.
Bookmarking: Fall crockpot recipes
Opening : a new box of tea
Giggling : at my babies’ love for life
Feeling: happy 🙂

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Taking Stock of July

Well, I’ve had an extra week to think about it…crap! I will get better 🙂

Making : training camp schedules
Drinking : water
Reading: Canada Winter Games uniform/commercialization policy…fun!
Wanting : a cleaning fairy
Looking : to get away with my famjam
Playing : superheroes
Wasting : water…so many dishes to do!
Wishing : I could live to work, not work to live lol
Enjoying : Being an Auntie for real this time!
Waiting : For the real summer weather!
Wondering : Why time goes so fast?
Loving : That my boys are best friends right now
Hoping : ^ it stays that way
Marveling : in how my four year old seems to have a teenager’s attitude
Needing : a massage…again
Smelling : Chinese food…mmm dinner
Wearing : comfies
Following : Rogers Cup & Jays
Noticing: the amount of clutter that seems to have accumulated with our basement reno
Thinking : of fun things to keep us busy this weekend!
Bookmarking: new vehicle possibilities (and dreams)
Opening : and closing the cupboards seems to be a hilarious game!
Giggling : at Blake “fighting” with Drew
Feeling: love.
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Taking Stock of June

I realize I am three days late, but man it was a busy week!

Making : to-do lists for work & home
Drinking : water
Reading: Manuals on sport development programs
Wanting : my office to be finished
Looking : for a cake idea for Saturday
Playing : Songza
Wasting : peels on fruit, crusts on bread
Wishing : it was easier to drop the boys off at daycare
Enjoying : quiet
Waiting : for the world to change
Wondering : where the last year went
Loving : watching the boys grow up as best friends (most of the time)
Hoping : for a nice weekend!
Marveling : at how happy our home feels
Needing : a massage
Smelling : fresh rain
Wearing : shorts, l/s shirt
Following : Wimbledon & World Cup
Noticing: the little changes everyday
Thinking : of all the things I need to do for the weekend
Bookmarking: 1st birthday ideas
Opening : new documents I have to read for work
Giggling : all.the.time.
Feeling: overwhelmed, but excited for this new career adventure!

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Happy Father’s Day!

A quick post to pay homage to the amazing men in my life, who also happen to be fathers.

First, my husband.  The father of our amazing, silly, crazy, funny boys. A man who works so hard to give us a life that we are proud of but also finds time to shower us with love, attention and devotion. It takes a certain kind of guy to balance so many things and be great at all of them. We appreciate how hard he works to maintain the balance and still is an amazing daddy 🙂

Rob, Andrew & Blake when Blake was born.

Rob, Andrew & Blake when Blake was born.

Next, my Dad. Yep, it’s a tough day.  But you know, it’s getting easier and easier as I can share my memories with Drew.  It makes me sad that the boys will never know him in person. I know he would have done anything for them and would’ve loved to have been part of their lives.  He was an amazing man and father – lessons I will never forget and carry with me as I raise my own family.

Me and my dad :) Summer 1984

Me and my dad 🙂 Summer 1984

I am also lucky enough to have a wonderful father-in-law.  Norm, thank you for being a part of my life and caring for me as if I was your own. Our boys sure love Grandpa and we wish we lived closer so that we could see you more often. 

Grandpa with Andrew & Blake

Grandpa with Andrew & Blake

And finally, a shout out to my little brother who is going to be a daddy in a few short weeks. Al, or known in our house as “Uncle”, is going to be an awesome father — if you ask Drew, he is a super wicked Uncle. 

 

Uncle & Andrew - Summer 2012

Uncle & Andrew – Summer 2012

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there. The ones we have, the ones we had, the soon to be dads and the men waiting for their chance.