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10 Things About Me…

Well if you were ever curious to learn 10 new things about me…here you go!

1) I strongly dislike cooked fruit!  Even in this….2) I was never allergic to anything as a kid, but now that I am “old” I am allergic to cats!!

3) If I knew I could carry a baby to full term I would have a whole bunch more!!  Well, except that my hubby thinks he is old!!

4) I love to read!! 

5) I hate water….not swimming in it…I hate drinking it!!  I am a diet pepsi junkie!

6) I love to travel.  Hence the title of the blog!

7) I’m a texter!  Guilty!  I would rather text than talk on the phone most days!

8 ) I am a flu phobic…when someone in the house is sick I break out the lysol wipes!!  I lysol everything!  I love lysol wipes!

9) I am a completely disorganized person…and I do wish I was a tiny bit organized!

10) I have a hard time thinking of 10 things about myself!!  I just discovered this!!

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Second Place

I remember when I was in elementary school.  Every year around my birthday my school would host a track and field day.  I was shorter…yes, shorter than I am now!  And any short people know that we also have extremely short legs.  Track and field day was not my friend.  But every year I would get up early, eat a good breakfast and wait patiently for the school bus.  I would climb on and pray the whole way there for just one first place ribbon…just one. 

I have decided that step-parenting is a lot like those days of track and field.  There is always a wish to be in first place.  To be the parent that is the first one the kids go to whenever there is a need for something.  Most mothers would read this and wonder what in the world I was talking about…for them, there is never a feeling of competition.  And I would think that every step-mother is sitting there shaking her head up and down knowing exactly what I am talking about. 

Let me tell you the difference between step-parenting and track and field.  During parenting when you come to a day when you realize that you just came in second, you find that your mom is not there to hug you and tell you she is proud of you.  You are the parent now and you realize that it still hurts to be in second place.

Oh Happy Day…

Today I went to Cody’s school for a play.  Every year they have a group of actors come in that work with the kids for a week to put on an amazing display of artistic talent and imagination.  Cody has been talking about it all week…how excited he was. 

As Cody’s mother, I don’t expect that Cody will ever get a speaking part.  Because of all his airway trauma, Cody has a paralyzed vocal cord and speaks in a loud whisper.  To many people, he is near impossible to understand.  To us, it is fine because we hear it everyday, but if you get him in a room with lots of background noise, it can be very tricky.  So you can imagine my surprise when I heard that my son had gotten chosen for a speaking part.  A small one, but who cares.  The whole program was based on diversity and accepting the differences within one another. 

As I pulled out my video camera in time for his group to come on stage, I had a hard time holding back tears.  This was monumental!!  I was nervous for him, nervous if the other kids and parents would wonder what was wrong with him.  I could feel myself holding my breath as he got up and went to the mike and then….just as plain as day, he spoke his part.    I let out a sigh, he looked at me in the crowd and gave me a thumbs up.  It couldn’t have been better.  I was so proud and I know that moment will be with him for a very long time!!

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Continued on…

Ok, so that night, I convinced a friend from work to go with me.  A big group date…innocent enough!  I didn’t know until years later that between work and going out that night, Richard had called his youngest brother who graduated with me.  He wanted to check out if I was sane I think…luckily his brother told him that I was “normal”!  Whew!  That night we just ended up talking the night away…about my schooling, his job and family, but mostly about the girls and how he felt guilt over what was going on in their lives.  Richard is a die hard romantic…he only ever wanted to get married once, he wanted his two kids and to live happily ever after.  I love that about him. 

We decided that there was a definite connection but we were both nervous.  He was in the middle of a divorce and the father of two kids, I was 19 and still in college…it seemed impossible that our two very different lives could be meshed into one.  We decided to wait for me to meet the girls, the last thing they needed was someone else to come into and then leave their lives.  At the time I met Richard, the girls were with Richard every weekend from Friday to Monday and during the week they were with their grandparents just over an hour away.  They were amazing Grandparents and Richard always knew that they were loved and happy while they were there.  Richard also went there every Wednesday night after work to bath the girls, read them a story and tuck them into bed.  I doubt very much that the girls remember the all the hours he drove to be with them as much as he could. 

And while he dealt with the divorce and work and squeezing in as many hours with the girls that he could, I went back to school.  The only thing I dealt with was friends asking “are you crazy?”, and “you’re joking right?”.  It was hard to explain to people.  We were only weeks into a relationship and I already knew.  People may say it’s corny, but I already knew that I would marry him…that I was meant to marry him. 

About a month or so into our relationship, I got to meet the girls.  Ahhh they were so adorable!  Taylor was 2.5 and Daniele had just turned 1.  There isn’t one person who could have met them and not fallen in love with them.  Daniele and I instantly bonded, she was still a baby and didn’t really even remember much of her birth mother.  Taylor was 2.5….she remembered and she wasn’t always easy.  I would be lying if I told you that joining into a ready made family was always easy.  Any step-parents out there know exactly what I am talking about.  The great thing I had was that the girls were still very young and much easier to bond with then teenagers!  Taylor didn’t like to share her “daddy”, she was so used to having him all to herself.  Completely understandable and that was never hard for me…we always agreed that the girls would always come first.  I may not have been a parent yet, but I knew how sacred that position was.  And in a divorce situation, I knew that making it easy for the kids was the way to go.

To be continued…again 🙂

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“Step”ping into Parenting…

I turned 19 on June 8, 1995.  I had my life set out.  I had finished my first year of college and was headed home to my parent’s house to work for the summer and save up some money.  I took a full time job waitressing in the small hotel that was near our house and planned to work as many hours as possible.  I had zero intention of meeting anyone, I knew I was moving 2 hours away at the end of summer. 

A month into summer holidays, a family friend approached me about taking over her secretarial position for 2 weeks so she could go on vacation.  I jumped at the chance and quickly gave my notice at the hotel.  Answering phones and typing seemed much more pleasant to me than serving breakfast at 6 a.m.  I soon started work at the nearby oil and gas plant doing whatever secretarial stuff she had left for me.  I was the only female in a completely male dominated office.  Luckily it was a small town and I knew most of the guys who worked there.  I remember being excited on my last day there…finally back to school for me.  I had about 4 days and then I was moving to get started back on my college courses. 

And that was the day I met Richard.  He worked as an operator at the plant.  Now if we want to discuss how some things are meant to be….here is one.  Richard had 2 weeks of holidays but because he had used one day earlier, he only had 1 week and 6 days…which ended him right back to work on the last day of my work.  I knew exactly who he was when I saw him…I had gone to school with two of his brothers.  Luckily I knew how to turn on the magic cause by the end of the day, I had a plan for a small group of us to go out that night.   The nice thing for him was that I already knew all about him…news travels fast in small towns!  I was drawn to him instantly and truthfully was not thinking at all into the future.  Can you imagine at 19 thinking about getting together with a 24 year old on his way to divorce with 2 babies at home?  I guess maybe my age was a good thing…I was naive enough not to worry about stepping into the world of parenting.

To Be Continued…..

Best Friends

The one thing I have discovered as I have aged is how important it is to have good friends.  After you graduate and move on, sometimes these friendships fade away.  I met my husband when I was 19, he had two daughters already.  So while I moved in and started to “parent”, my best friends went to university for years, got jobs, and moved in totally different directions.  I still try to see them and I am glad that when I do, it is like nothing ever changed.  There is still lots of conversation, lots of laughs and I always leave feeling like there was a reason that we were all friends.  I always find myself going too long between visits….people are busy, kids have a ton of activities and sometimes we truly forget to take care of some very important relationships. 

I had a little surprise 40th birthday party for Richard this weekend.  On a long shot, I called up his college roommate who we haven’t seen for at least 6 years.  You want to know that true sign of friendship??  He calls me back the day of the party, after just getting my message, and says no matter what….he will be there.  He got his girlfriend and her daughter and they drove 2 hours to spend the night with Richard.  And when he got there…it was like they had never spent any time apart. 

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas….again

This is Cancun, Mexico yesterday….

And this is us here in Alberta…..