puzzle pieces

Monday, August 31, 2009

First Day Back

i have always dreaded the first day back to school. ever since i can remember. there was always such a dilema about what to wear, what to take for supplies and when, who would want to be my friend that year, and more importantly...who wouldn't. as i got older it never got any better. sad to say...my last 3 years (high school) were spent trying to get people to like me just so i wouldn't get shoved up against lockers and called names i couldn't repeat on this blog. trying to fit in to the cool group was an everyday chore.....and academics???? that wasn't even why i was there.
i wish i could go back.
i would stand up....and not try to stand out.
i would learn.....and want to learn.
i wouldn't care.....about not being invited out on weekends.
my clothes and hair...would have been less priority.
i would have respected......teachers and peers to a higher degree.
i would have reached out....to those seeming as lost as i.
being liked.....would not have been my number one goal.

but i'm not going back. so i live today with those same wishes in my everyday life as a mom, sister, daughter, friend, and average person in this world.
have a good day "back to school"!

Friday, August 28, 2009

What 40 Looks Like...







Thursday, August 27, 2009

Things That Make Me Smile

Things that make me smile:
Once I saw a family of ducks waddling across an intersection. Everyone in vehicles or on foot had to wait while the family bravely and very proudly, crossed in a row...even knowing enough to use the crosswalk.

When my oldest was only 2...my grandpa passed away. It was a hard time of grieving for me, and I never could quit crying it seemed. My sweet 2 year old climbed up on the counter, pulled a kleenex from the box, came over and wiped my tears and commented, "Raindrops are falling from mommys' eyes".....and then he wiped my tears. I did have to quit with the tears and smile after that.

Last year...hiking up to Siffleur Falls with all the kids....we managed to finally reach the magestic fall of water. It crashed along beside us as we ate our lunch...when Ben finally had to ask, "How does God shut this thing off at night?"

When I come home from working really late, and on my pillow is a note from one of my kids....sharing something that is close to their heart....and telling me they love me.

And on a slightly different note....
Driving out of town today from an errand, I turned long enough to see some sort of "car" waiting at the stop light. It was low to the ground, had an open top, it was bright orange in color, and shaped....LIKE A CARROT!!!! What was THAT????? And the man driving had his head back, was wearing earphones, and had his eyes closed while he waited. I had to laugh....another one of lifes' "smiley" moments:

Does ANYONE out there know what this is? I want one:))

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Personality Pix

I just realized that I haven't taken "real" school pictures of my kids for quite a few years now. I used to be so particular in getting the pictures done at the same time every year, at each age/grade.

Just wanted to share my most favorites with you...(whoever is out there)......

My sister took these in her kitchen. We wanted to match up food with each of their personalities or something that stood out to each one individually:

this was the summer we would send Ben out to pick raspberries and he would come back with an empty bucket....but he really had picked them all. he really didn't need a bucket, his mouth was good enough

there always seems to be a correlation between the monkey, a banana, and corben

my considerate, quiet, thoughtful molly who was reading at age 3 and hasn't stopped

his love of food has not waned over the past few years. and i have to say he IS the best pancake maker in our house

Maybe this is the year I should update their school pictures. Funny thing is....the pictures would all be the same, they would just look older. Aren't people interesting in all their quirks, personalities, likes, dislikes? It takes all kinds in this world......

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

After the Hike....

I started driving home after we got off the mountain...and just couldn't keep my eyes open. Nights of laying awake being cold didn't let me get too much sleep..AND, because I forgot a meal I had to ration the food I did bring...which meant I ate a little less than I "wanted" to.:)
So...being hungry, tired, and all in need of a shower, we drove by Canmore and I made a very quick decision to stop at one of our favorite waterslide hotels with a huge free breakfast. As much as we loved the hike....we like fluffy pillows, real pizza, and warm water!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

I'm Back.....

Well...we're back from a beautiful trip out to Yoho. It's always hard to come back from there.

As usual...Adam was the main Chef while out there. He was also the "bear-pole" hanger...hanging up all the backpacks that smelled like food in the Bear Tower each night.
We actually base camped this time...which meant we only had to haul our 30-40 pound packs for 2 hours...instead of the entire 30km trekking of trail. We put our tents up right beside the river. The sound put us to sleep at night..... Our tent site...Adam and Ben squished in one tent, Molly and I in the other. The nights were FREEZING.....we would wake up to ice. Poor Molly...I think I kept her up all night while I shivered!
Every day we hiked we saw perfect-ness. It made me want a better camera....but my phone-camera and I tried our best:)
This was where are campsite overlooked...and where we got our drinking water. Best glacier water there is. Honest. And very Cold!

Hiking the Iceline has to be the best hike out of all the hikes you can do in Yoho. It's my ultimate favorite. The view is spectacular.

And it kind of feels like an obstacle course at times!

Me and a Very good friend. She and her family drove all the way out from Saskatchewan to hike with me and 3 of my kids. They're amazing.
When we weren't hiking or cooking our wonderful meals-in-a-bag.....we even had games to play.
We're already thinking of when we should go back.......

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hello YOHO

On a run last week early in the morning, I had an urge to go hike my most favorite of all spots that I've been to- which I guess I have to say... I haven't been to too many places in my life....outside of my own country anyhow!!

I decided to call up some very good friends who I did the hike with last year. And lucky me...they were planning to drive out from Saskatchewan to do the very same hike this coming weekend. So- permits are in order, my hiking gear has been pulled out, all that wonderful packaged, lightweight food has been organized into piles, and now I need to begin to try to fill my pack without making it weigh more than I do.

There's something about the mountains that makes me feel alive. For some reason I can catch my breath climbing up to the top of a mountain. It allows me to think clearly. I love it. Out of all the things in my life that I DO love....hikin' in them mountains has to pretty much top my list.

There are parts of it that I could probably do without:
The bathrooms...if you come across any...and I wouldn't call them "Bathrooms" AT ALL.
The food isn't splendid.
Blisters from hiking boots do happen on occasion and duct tape wrapped around your feet isn't comfy.
Sometimes you have to be creative in how you take the trail on....bridges can be washed out.
If it rains the one day, you may end up colder and still wet the next day.
And those packs do get heavy when you consider you're traveling with your shelter, bedding, extra clothes, food, and stove, hanging by 2 straps on your shoulders.

But what adventure!
Around every curve in the trail....every new type of plant or tree that pops out from the ground your walking on....every peak I top....every new hidden lake I happen upon- takes my breath away! And there isn't anything like it.

It's amazing.

Everyone's Best Friend

Last week I went out to a wonderful friends' place for the afternoon. Her daughter and mine have a thing for horses....it seems alot of girls that age do! We came up with a riding schedule for both of them, and come September they'll hopefully be riding weekly together.

When I walked into their home, I was somewhat astounded. There were 2 litters of puppies playing in the entrance. Now, I am not a HUGE animal lover, but there was something about these that made me want one...or two!

These puppies do not shed! And the moms' of the litters didn't jump on me as I walked in! (2 HUGE bonuses with me:) And all of them were perfectly cute.....and they stay that way even when they grow up!

They just recently created a website for their puppies...you should check it out! : http://haveneseparkerpuppypets.com/contact.html


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tick Tock

Another great weekend moment....
My mom had a family dinner on Sunday. I love those. It feels like the Brady Bunch. Or the Beverly Hillbillies....haha. It is just so nice to get together as a big family and feel like there are people in the world who do love you in spite of your quirks and failures...
ANYWAY. This dinner was to celebrate my brothers' birthday. So pictures were taken.....
After getting home and looking at them all....it shocked me to realize- that my son is pretty much the same age my brother was when I got married! Wow.
This weekend had alot of those moments for me.....My oldest son got his license. Our 16 year old van had to be replaced. My youngest niece is already almost 2. I had to check off an "older box" on a survey. I used a saying- again- with my kids that my mom used on me.
I know people say time flies, and there are tons of sayings out there for enjoying each moment because time passes too quickly....but it truly does. And that isn't always a negative thing.

How I live each day makes it positive/negative- NOT that time flies.

I have a song on my ipod by Nickelback that I run to...and parts do sound cliche....but it's quite true. Some of the lines I like from the song:

My best friend gave me the best advice, He said each day's a gift and not a given right . Leave no stone unturned, leave your fears behind. And try to take the path less traveled by . That first step you take is the longest stride. Against the grain should be a way of life. What's worth the price is always worth the fight. Every second counts'cause there's no second try. So live like you're never living twice. Don't take the free ride in your own life. And would you call those friends you never see? Reminisce old memories? Would you forgive your enemies? If today was your last day, would you make your mark by mending a broken heart? You know it's never too late, to shoot for the stars. Regardless of who you are. So do whatever it takes- 'cause you can't rewind- a moment in this life. Let nothing stand in your way, 'cause the hands of time are never on your side.
If today was your last day, and tomorrow was too late, Could you say goodbye to yesterday? Would you live each moment like your last? Leave old pictures in the past? Donate every dime you had?
If today was your last day.

Time changes things.

I'm trying to accept that time ticking isn't such a bad thing....sometimes it makes things better, or encourages me to embrace things differently. And actually LIKE the different.

Embrace your day and all that happens. Like it was your last!

Monday, August 17, 2009


Of course....as usual, there were many favorite weekend moments, but cannot choose one. Instead of making you a list....I want to just show you one of them today.

The following was taken on Friday night. Beware: it will bring back alot of Youth Group or Camp Memories. I did this when I was a kid. Did you?

(Features my wonderfully silly niece and nephew)

the video may not be too professional:)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Drizzle Dance

Well...it's rainy. Again.
Time to pull up the things I need to dance in the rain for - instead of waiting for the drizzle to pass.

A few of the things I really think were great this week...in spite of the weather:
  1. Instead of paying $$$ to go pick saskatoons from a U-pick up the road- Corben offered to take a bucket and see if there were any in our trees. He picked enough for a huge pie!
  2. The hail we got........ left the fields and my flowers standing!
  3. I phoned several people this week I haven't talked to for months....so good to catch up!
  4. I've decided to work on ....Not having expectations. For situations OR people!
  5. I DID get to see a few meteors in the "shower". And Yes....one DID take my breath away!
  6. I "invented" a new green tea drink with NO sugar....but it's still delicious!
  7. I spent an entire day with my kids hanging out in the city...shopping, Quizno Subs, movie theatre, and we all had a perfect, laughing time! (except when I had to go and cry in the movie...:)
  8. Mike left a bag of my favorite candy on the truck seat....which I found right before an hour long drive I had to make!
  9. I got to chat with my brother on the phone twice this week....first time in months!
  10. I took Molly and her horse out to a friends' place for a "trail ride"....they rode and I got to visit with an encouraging, wonderful friend.
  11. We found a vehicle we REALLY like ....for $12,000 less than we wanted to spend!
  12. I said "I'm Sorry" for something I did...and a relationship turned around!

Have a happy day and weekend......whether it's drizzly or sunshiney!


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dear Lucy

Dear Lucy,
I remember when I met you 11 years ago. You were already 6 years old. But you were perfect. Exactly what I needed.
What we all needed.
When we brought you home we were astounded at just how perfect you were. You gave us our space, you gave us a choice of 5 CD's at one time. You gave us cool air in the hot summers and heat in the dead of winter. You took us anywhere we wanted to go. And go we did. You took us almost 350,000 km over the years.
Ahhh. the Good times we've had.
Remember all the trips to the mountains? There were city trips, country trips, Okanagan Trips. Trips north, south, east, and west.
There have been unforgettable moments...like when we saw that moose a little too close for our liking. Or remember the time I tried to introduce you to the mailbox? Or the time when we both thought you'd make the turn in the middle of the country road but were mistaken and we slid into the ditch...more than once. All the times where we've sat in parking lots with you just content to sit and not make a sound while I turn your key...
Which leads me to the purpose of this letter.
You're changing. You don't sing like you used to. Your CD player quit working long ago. You're missing your antenna. Your radio is silent, yet the sliding door dings consistently as we drive. Your wheels are flat every other morning and need to be filled before we take you out. You no longer cool us so much in the heat...and this winter? Well...you're heater doesn't keep us warm anymore. At all.
I get worried when you stall as I try to cross the highway. And those times when you're silent in the parking lot? Well...they scare me. Especially when I'm out at night alone with you. And lately when I try to step on the pedal to make you run- you hesitate....for 4 too many seconds than you should. You're winking with just one front light now, and you shudder at funny times during trips to the city.

Now normally I don't write letters like this. In fact- I try to see the best in everyone. But I need you. A reliable version of you. And I think you're tired of trips and getaways.So for your own safety as much as ours...you need to slow down. Actually- you need to stop.
I thank you for seeing us from place to place and for all the good travels we've had. You will be missed, Lucy.

Dawn and family

P.S. Maybe one day...in about a year from now...we'll let a certain 16 year old try to fix you up. And we'll help him. And he'll be as eager to drive you - as I was to drive MY parents olive green station wagon at his age.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


expectations are a funny thing.

This week 2 occurences have stood out in my mind of ways I have been let down. Just silly little things. One is actually happening as I type.
This Perseid Meteor Shower. I stayed up late to watch and then set my alarm for 3am, then 3:30am...now it's after 4am and I'm just Up....and waiting. As soon as I finish this I'll be back outside again. Hoping to catch glimpses of "beautiful meteors shooting thru the atmosphere".

"EXPECTED to put on a good show".....
"Skywatchers around the globe will have a good CHANCE"....
"Meteors SHOULD be visible in the pre-dawn hours".....
"You COULD see dozens of meteors per hour".....
"You MIGHT see 2 in a row"......
And all I "expect" is a beautiful sky filled with trailing meteors and flashing spunky lights.
Hmmmm...where are they?

For one....the moon is so bright it fills the sky with extra light and fades out other light.
Another....we had a tremendous storm last night and some of the trailing clouds are still covering the view of the SHOULD-be star and meteor-filled sky. (This is one moment where I DO wish the storm would pass.....)
This all leads me to wonder.....Do I set expectations to high? Do I want too much from experiences and from others in my life? Where DO I set expectations. Or am I just supposed to HOPE for things and jump for joy when they happen?

I think the trick may be in how I RESPOND to dashed expectations and hopes.
And how I even TRY to appreciate what DOES happen...albeit small in "stature" or "occurence". (Boy this life stuff gets to be hard work for me at times!)

Funny thing....after I sat through and thought about all these things on Expectations.....I read the rest of the article on the Perseid Meteor Shower I hoped to catch amazing views of. At the end was a perfect sentence for me to grasp:

"......but seeing even ONE can make the whole night worthwhile."

Guess I better get back outside. And hold on to what I DO happen to see out in that sky.
I'll keep you posted:)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Flora Serenity

my mom just recently opened a "Spa" and runs it herself. She gives the most amazing pedicures/manicures and soon will offer "sugaring". How lucky am I? It's like having a Spa in my own backyard:)
She also makes all-natural products: lotions, salves, body scrubs- they smell so good you could eat them! (I bought the CREAMSICLE Hemp and Avocado Body Lotion....mmmmm).

(You can get Gift Certificates too)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Favorite Weekend Moment...

What a great weekend! There was pizza with a very great friend, a bonfire here with some super friends and family, a couple of BBQ's with family, a day at the lake with more terrific friends.....Just a wonderful couple days of fun.

(And for those of you who say my life always seems to be soooo much fun allllll the time...I also cleaned my oven and oven racks, defrosted my freezer, cleaned a few bathrooms, washed out the fridge, and did about 6 loads of laundry:)

But to choose a wonderful weekend moment is a little tricky. So I'll say it was all good. Even the cleaning parts!

(I just noticed that everything spectacular this weekend had something to do with people....who I love in my life. Let the wonderful times happen with those around you this week....even if you have to scrub oven racks or wash dirty socks)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Pocket Slippers


my daughter...thanks to my wonderful mother...loves to sew! (i honestly believe the love of sewing and the ability must skip a generation!)
thought i'd show-off one of my favorite-ist of all things she has made...that i wear constantly and which she has made me more than one pair of.....

my favorite pair of pocket slippers

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Reasons I Run....

- I run, because it does give me energy...after I'm finished.
- I run because it makes me feel like I'm accomplishing something, even if I have done nothing noteworthy during the day.
- I run because I then can say I "worked out" during the day...(although is that REALLY important??)
- I run because after it's over I get a nice hot shower.
- I run because I like being outside better than in.
- I run because it gives me time to think.
- I run because it gives me time alone.....not that I don't LIKE being surrounded by 4 beautiful kids 24/7.....it's just- I DO need Me-time sometimes.
- I run because then I can enter races with a very good Calgarian friend of mine who also runs.
- I run so that I have an excuse to get a new pair of good-quality running shoes at least once (or twice...or more)a year.
- I run because that's the only time I get to listen to music I like.
- I run because I get to see deer, moose, coyotes, yellow fields, and the wide open sky.



Are those good enough reasons for me to head out the door....

I think so.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Today I got 2 very sweet, thoughtful e-mails from 2 very sweet, thoughtful cousins. It made me think of how much we need relationship with one another- even though there may be distance between us. I am so very blessed to have family, and even more importantly- a family that never gives up on me/us even with all of my "issues"!

This post is in honor of cousins, family, friends....who I am so very grateful for and to. We need to constantly remind eachother how important relationships are...and cultivate them...and don't let them idle.

To all the cousins out there....old, young, in-between...1st, 2nd,even 3rd cousins...Have a Happy Day. I'm thinking of you all:)