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my family story.


Things aren’t always what they seem. part 1.

If someone were to see my Instagram account, they might think that I’m a big family person.  She must be so close with her family. She’s making a family wall hanging. She’s writing a family book for her kids. Family seems really important to her.  

And for a long time, I would have said the opposite.  

I chose to live 20 hours away from my family.  

My mom, dad, aunts, uncles, cousins… are all 20 hours away. I’m the only one living in Southern Ontario (or as we say, “down east”). To see my family, we need to fly to Thunder Bay and then get into a car to drive for 4.5 + hours west.

I grew up in a small town of 1,200 people.  It’s a place where you wave at vehicles passing by because you actually know who it is.  A place where you can say that Eila lives in the blue house and the Reid’s are across the street.   Weekends are spent in arenas, curling clubs, or at the lake. It’s a community where people look out for each other.  

It’s also small in more ways than one. 

Emo is a little bubble. You’re surrounded by the same people you’ve known since you were a kid.  The closest bookstore is 2-3 hours away. The newest thing to happen… there was an accident, a new baby was born, someone got a new boat or truck, or someone new moved into town (in 9 years, I got two new classmates).

When I call home, I often ask Mom: “What’s new?  What’s new in town?” Which is another way of saying, what’s going on with everyone? I get updates about people’s health and family.  Local gossip is what’s “new.”

And there is an ease to that lifestyle. 

I love going home.  There’s no rushing around.  People don’t talk about work; they talk with each other.  They ask, How are you?  They just sit down and visit.  They enjoy each other’s company and laugh.  They don’t need to go anywhere in particular.  Being is enough. 

And yet I know that living back home is not for me.

I wanted to live somewhere with bookstores, museums, and new things to do.  I wanted to go away to university and experience something different. I wanted to meet new people.

I love my family and I also value learning and growing.

Sometimes I question whether I’m a selfish person because I should make family my number one priority.  If I did, my parents wouldn’t be forced to see their grandchildren only when one of us makes the flight from one place to the other. 

It’s a weird pull between loving where I am (in Toronto) and being so far away from my family.  It’s like being stuck between two places.

Thankful. Part 2.

I love my parents.  They are very supportive and have given me the space to be myself.  

I was in grade 8 when I got on a flight to Chicago by myself.  I wanted to visit my friend, Kim, for New Years Eve. I was 12 years old and navigating the Chicago O’Hare airport on my own.

I chose to attend a university 20 hours away from home with no one close by to help me.  My parents made the long drive through Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and back into Ontario to get to St. Catharines.  They helped me set up my room in residence.

I chose to live in Southern Ontario.  They have made many trips to Toronto to help us move into various homes and to help with renos.  I will never forget the number of boxes my mom moved around (filled with my books) and the work my dad did in tearing down walls, installing flooring, and doing electrical.  They did so much.

They are not parents with a lot of advice to give.  Well, Dad tries and then Mom usually steps in to remind him that it’s our decision to make.  That’s for them to decide.  She’s big on that and I’m so thankful.  She gave us the gift of freedom and choice. It’s probably why I value freedom so much.

Families can be complicated.  Part 3.

Our family feels volatile. 
liable to change rapidly and unpredictably, especially for the worse.

We never know what will happen when we’re together.  

We love each other and always hope for a good visit.  A visit where there are no fights or blow outs. Where everyone gets along and there are no hard feelings.  Those visits are starting to happen more often.

my family.

Mom bottles things up. She doesn’t talk much about how she’s feeling unless it’s related to work. I can remember Gram saying, she never says anything.  She could be going through something and never say anything to anyone about it.  Mom can take a lot until she blows.

Dad is very moody. One moment he seems fine and the next he is pissed off about something. The littlest of things can set him off.  Drinking makes things worse; then he’s either angry or crying about the past. 

And I’m a combination of them both.  I can keep a lot inside too and then eventually blow.  My mood is also up and down. I often think about how difficult it must be for Eric to live with me.  He never knows what he will be coming home to. I’m working on it though.

And my brother, for those who know me, might not even know I have one.  And it makes sense why – I never talk about him. I felt like an only child for 20+ years.  

So an emotional family all under one roof made for an interesting childhood.  I’m not trying to make anyone look bad or to place blame. I was a part of it too.

We are highly emotional.  We feel deeply – which can be a good thing. We are quick to help others and are very empathetic.  We care about people. It’s just challenging as we navigate one another. 

Gram.

Gram was the family member I felt the closest to (besides my parents).  She was steady and always the same. I knew what I was getting with Gram.  She was quick to say how proud she was of me. She was affectionate. I can remember her running her fingers through my long hair.  She knew my love language.

She was our glue.  She didn’t try pushing my brother and I together.  She recognized that we were different and I so appreciated that.  My mom, on the other hand, was the one who tried to get involved (which is likely what most moms would do). 

Gram was an example of freedom to me.  She encouraged me to pursue what I wanted to despite the opinions or concerns of others.  I know a lot of who I am is because of her. And yet her and Dad didn’t always get along. 

Like I said, families can be complicated.

New Beginnings

I do believe that kids bring people back together, especially families.

For the sake of our kids, I’m now doing the hard work of mending relationships and having uncomfortable conversations for the purpose of starting again and moving forward in a new way.

I find myself interested in family for the first time in a long time.  I admire those families that get together for Sunday dinners every week.  I admire families where the siblings are actually close friends. 

Family is a concept that is feeling less foreign to me.  It feels like something I get to create anew. 

I am excited and hopeful for the family my kids will experience.

I want our kids to grow up celebrating the holidays with as many family members as possible (from both Eric and my family).  I want us to have silly family traditions: of waking up to early morning surprises of balloons and presents on birthday mornings.  To make pizza and have movie nights on Fridays. I want us to create a family mantra – for how we care for each other and others. I want to teach our kids that you treat your family like gold.  They aren’t the ones to take your crap. I want to be very intentional in how we nurture and support family in our home. It will impact their lives.

my love story.

part 1: Childhood and Love

When I was younger, I was in love with the idea of love.

I loved playing with my Barbies and creating love scenes. There was always a love triangle where two of my Barbies fought over a man.  

I loved romantic comedies. 

Mad Love.
Romeo and Juliet with Leonardo Dicaprio.
Serendipity – where the only way for two people to find each other is through a dollar bill with her phone number scribbled across it.  
Fate brings them together. 

And yet I wasn’t one to be boy crazy. I stayed clear of girls who spent all their time talking about boys or flirting with them.

Instead I dreamt of the boy I would meet. I didn’t picture our wedding. I never thought about wedding dresses or bridesmaids.  But I thought about meeting my person. And now I have him, I still question everything.

I don’t think I understand what love is, which may sound ridiculous.  I think I’ve wrapped a big, idealistic blanket of perfection around it.

Love is something that comes only once in a lifetime.
There’s only one true love for each person.
Love is magical.
Love doesn’t take work. It should feel easy if it’s right.
Love is affection.

I’m a sucker for love stories where older couples find each other again after a lifetime of being apart. They might have married someone else and lived a completely different life.  In some series of events, they reconnect. The love is as strong as ever. It makes me believe in one love. A magical kind of love that spans a lifetime even when apart.

part 2: Love is hurtful.

I grew up admiring two relationships:

1. My Auntie Carolyn and Uncle Bill.
2. My Uncle Kel and Aunt Lyd.

My Auntie Carolyn and Uncle Bill were very affectionate with each other. He would pinch and grab her bum. She would sit in his lap. They kissed.

This was very unusual to me.

I don’t know if I’ve ever seen my parents kiss. Like an actual kiss, not a peck. I’ve never seen affection like that in my parents.

My Uncle Kel and Aunt Lyd – I loved their love story. She had been married to a not so nice guy (was the story). Auntie Lyd and Uncle Kel would secretly meet up to see each other.  They married and had two kids of their own.

And both relationships ended.

My Auntie Carolyn died.
My Auntie Lyd too. 

And I saw what happened.

20+ years later, I think my Uncle Bill is still struggling. He once told us how he looks up at the stars at night and talks to Auntie Carolyn. It’s devastating to me. He lost his one love.

Uncle Kel remarried. He still wears his wedding ring from Aunt Lyd.

Love can destroy people.
It can leave them lost and hollow.
There’s drinking,
and other marriages
to fill the void.
Families fall apart.

I think I need to mend my relationship with love.

I don’t love myself.  I say the most hurtful and mean things to myself.
I’m afraid to love others.  I’m afraid of how I’ll feel when they are gone.  
It feels safer to keep a distance.  If something bad happens, I’ve tried to prepare myself for it.  

I’ll be fine without them.
I’m in control of that.

part 3: Mending my Relationship with Love

I think I idealized the relationships around me. I saw what adolescent me wanted to see.

With my Auntie Carolyn and Uncle Bill, I bet they had their share of fights. I bet it wasn’t all rainbows. Auntie Lyd and Uncle Kel, I have no idea what their relationship was like either.

I don’t think I understood what love was.  I think I wrapped a big, idealistic blanket of perfection around it.

Love is something that comes only once in a lifetime.
There’s only one true love for each person.
Love is magical.
Love doesn’t take work. It should feel easy if it’s right.
Love is affection.

I decided to do a 30 day love project.  I read articles and books about love. I watched videos and talks on the subject.  And where was I at the end of 30 days? Humbled and relieved.

There are different kinds of love:
the love we feel for our children,
the love we feel for a partner,
the love we feel for our parents, family, friends…
and there is no shortage.

Everyone is worthy of love.
It’s not reserved just for the deserving or for a select lucky few.
It’s something to nurture. It’s something to appreciate.
It’s something to share with others.

Love always felt like something I needed to find. 
It was something outside of myself.
Coveted and precious.

What a realization that it actually starts with me.  It’s already in me.

my love story is starting again.

my death story.

my death story.  part 1.



Death isn’t the hard part. 

Death is science.

A person can rationalize how the human body works and functions.   Death is a body no longer breathing. A heart no longer pumping blood. Organs no longer functioning.   We are not immortal beings. Death will happen for us all (spoiler alert). 

Loss is different.  Loss is the hard part.

Loss marks the end of a life.   It’s knowing that you will never see their face again.  Never hear that laugh, feel that hug, or hold that hand.  

Loss feels unfair.  It’s painful. It’s counting the number of days. weeks. and months. that they have been gone.   It’s when a week without them feels like an eternity, and a year feels unbearable. You can’t imagine what the rest of your life will feel like.  They are gone.

Forever.

We try to hold onto them in our own ways.  We keep mementos. letters. a piece of jewelry.  a business card. a pin. We think about the moments they are going to miss.  And we wonder if they are watching over us.

It was loss that consumed me.  Loss and trauma.


my death story. part 2.

My experiences with death and loss changed my life.
How I dealt with death and loss changed my life.

I spent a lot of time living in fear.

Fear of being Happy.  
If you’re happy and things are going well for you, that’s when something bad happens. 

Fear of Love.
When someone you love dies, it destroys you.  Why leave yourself open like that?

Fear of Losing People you care about.
Fear of Dying at a Young Age.
Fear of Being Vulnerable.
Fear of… so much.

Death and Loss.  
Baggage I carried for far too long. 

After having the kids, I knew that I needed to deal with it. I wanted to be in a good place to teach the kids about it.  I wanted the kids to see death as a part of life. I wanted them to know that it’s okay for loss to hurt and there are ways to work through it instead of avoid it.  And for myself, I want to see death as something more natural and beautiful – if that’s even possible. It’s been hard but I’m getting there.

This is my story of death.

my death story. Part 3.

1990 – 1999 (9 years)

Grandma Beatrice (1990)

My Grandma Beatrice passed away when I was in grade 6.  Although I remember feeling sad, it felt natural and normal to me.  She was in her 60’s and I knew that older people passed away. I remember my brother and I standing outside on the deck of our house.  Mom told us, Grandma is gone. 

There was a funeral at the Knox United Church in Emo.  She was buried in a casket. I remember crying only when they carried her past me as I sat in a pew.  It felt like they were taking her away. 

My Aunt Bev came back.  I had never met her before.  She lived out West. She seemed drunk sitting on Grandma’s kitchen counter, wearing bright pink lipstick and a fur hat.


Auntie Lyd, Jessica, Seth, Dustin, and Dillon (1993)

Losing Auntie Lyd and my cousins impacted me more than I thought. 

I was in grade 8.   It was Easter weekend.  My Auntie Carolyn and Uncle Bill were visiting from Dryden.  I don’t remember the phone call in the middle of the night. I don’t remember the next day. 

I went to LaVerendrye Hospital with my mom.  I only remember black. His face looked like a black swollen basketball.  Uncle Kel was unrecognizable.

He wore a blue silk shirt stained with dark spots.  Salve or vaseline making contact with the thin silk shirt.  The only thing he could possibly put against his skin. He wore it to Jess and Seth’s funeral.

Vague recollections of a funeral for my cousins, Jess and Seth.  They chose to play, I will always love you by Whitney Houston, in the service.  A popular song at the time which meant it played in every store and unexpectedly in the car when you were driving somewhere.  A constant reminder.

A memorial service was held at Jess and Seth’s school.  I wandered the hallways and looked into classrooms. Which desk did they sit at.  Were their shoes lined up in the hallway with the others. The Rose.  Auntie Lyd’s favourite song.  Grandma said that she liked to sing it.

One weekend we were at their house for a birthday party.  A few weekends later, they were gone.

They died in a tragic house fire.  Somehow I gathered really graphic details of what had happened.  I carried them. It wasn’t until I talked to my mom 20+ years later, that I was finally able to let them go. 

Jennifer Carlson (1994) 

There was a bus accident on our way home from school one day.  We were in high school. 

We never saw what happened.  We heard about it afterwards.  The bus carrying my brother and I was ahead of the accident scene.

A truck had driven over a set of train tracks.  A steel signpost became dislodged from its’ back.  It smashed through the front window of the school bus.  It travelled to the back of the bus, hitting kids along the way.

It hit Andrea, a girl who went to our elementary school.  It hit two boys, Tyler and Jason. It killed Jennifer Carlson.  She was a few years older than me. We grew up in the same small town and skated in the same figure skating club.

It could have been our bus.

Ross (1999)

One of my dad’s close friends ended his life.  We called him Uncle Ross. He taught us how to water ski.  Our height measurements are still etched on a wall in his cabin.  When I think of happy moments from my childhood, they often include him.

I never knew anyone who had committed suicide before.  I tried to understand why he might have done it. 

Uncle Ross.

Auntie Carolyn (1999)

Losing Auntie Carolyn was devastating to our family. 

It was unexpected. We didn’t understand how someone who was so active and busy, could get a random virus that shut down the organs in her body.  Doctors didn’t understand it.

I was away for my first year of university.  I had no idea what was going on. Within 24 hours of flying home for Christmas, she died.  My aunt died on Christmas Eve. My dad fell apart. My uncle was lost without her. My cousins no longer had their mom.  

We have felt her loss for the last 20 years.

Grandpa Pud (2001)

My grandpa passed away when I was in my third year of university.  He went to sleep under a star-filled sky and didn’t wake up. Grandma lost her partner, lying at her side.  Mom found out in a Canada Customs building. A message was left for her to call family. They were driving back from dropping Eric and I off at the airport.  We had just been home for reading week.

From my teens to university, I experienced a lot of death.  It felt like I was just waiting to see who we might lose next. And yet, my biggest worry of all – was losing my Gram.  

Grandma Lainie (2014)

Saying goodbye to Gram always involved a hug where I had a hard time letting go.  I just held her and cried – whether we were holding each other in the middle of the The Circle D Restaurant parking lot, at the doorway of her little house, or standing outside in her driveway at Flanders. She always said that we had a hard time saying goodbye.

When Gram passed away in 2014, 3 months before Tate was born, my fear of death felt over.  There was nothing left to worry about. My biggest fear in life had happened. She was gone.   

But now I worry about losing those closest to me.  Those times when Eric has taken the kids up to see his mom for the weekend, I think about how my entire family could be wiped out in one fatal accident. 

I worry about losing my mom.

And now I worry about my own death. I have tried to prepare for it. I write books to leave behind for the kids. The control freak in me has drafted my obituary, because if anyone is going to tell my life story – it’s me.  I have left notes for Eric saying what I want the funeral to be like. Pieces have been written for him to read aloud to those who come. Seriously. I know it’s a little disturbing, I get that. 

I want to create my death box.  I learned about the idea in a talk I watched online.  I want to have everything done and ready in there. My obituary written.  My funeral planned – it’s going to be like an art gallery with music and booze and pieces of my life on display.  I hope it sparks lots of storytelling. I want my wishes in that box. I want to write a list of who is getting what – nothing of value, more of sentiment.  And then I want to fucking live my life.  

I want to take that box and shove it in the bottom of some dark closet.  I want to believe that it won’t be found or needed for decades. I want to plan trips, enjoy my life, and know that I’ve done everything I’ve wanted.  The rest is out of my hands. I have to live before I die. That’s the whole point.

my death story is over.

becoming a parent.

Parenting unlocks something in you.

I don’t think you could anticipate it
or prepare for it.
It’s a feeling of wanting to give
your absolute personal best
to someone
and you don’t know how.

It’s thinking about their life.

The impact that you want to have.
How you hope for them to be in the world
and then realizing
the role you play in that.

How much learning and unlearning
you will need to do
in order to make it happen.

Being open to looking at
your own flaws
your own challenges
your own tendencies
your past.

Because you know
that they will become a part
of your child’s story.
And you want better for them.

So you have to figure out your shit.
You have to be the person
you want your child to see every day.

Because sure, you made life,
but now you have the huge responsibility
of possibly shaping it –
for the better or
for the worst.
And there’s no pressure like it.

my 2019 Christmas Wish List.

yep, I’m a starting early.

where some might think it’s too materialistic to list things you’d like for Christmas, to me it’s just fun.

With a mom and grandma who did everything possible to make Christmas a magical time of year, it’s no surprise why I’m still making wishes at 39 years old.

so without further ado, here’s the beginning of my 2019 Christmas Wish List. I’ll keep coming in to add to it at different times 🙂

  1. Bath Bombs from Lush.
  2. a paper cutter. it could be anything like this. (update! a sweet friend surprised me with a Christmas present in October ❤️ after seeing this list – it was a paper cutter!)
  3. My Perfectly Imperfect Life. cute little book from FLOW.
  4. small little rose gold ball stud earrings. something like this.
  5. $ towards being able to work at The Workaround
  6. new moccasins. like these or these.
  7. a new planner to help me stay organized and set goals. have been looking at this one for a few years now: The Get To Work Workbook.

To my son, the day before Senior Kindergarten.

Hi honey,

You haven’t been yourself the last week.  You seem angry and upset.  The other day I finally picked you up and brought you upstairs so we could be alone.  We cuddled in bed and as I hugged you close, I said that we needed to talk.  I would ask you questions and you could answer just by shaking your head either yes or no.  You haven’t been talking lately so this was my attempt to get you communicating with me.

Are you upset about not being up at the cabin anymore? Head nods no.
Are you upset about going back to school soon? Head nods no.
Are you upset about not seeing mom as much when you go back to school? Head nods yes.

You began to tear up, and rubbed your eyes discretely as though you didn’t want me to see.  Your back was facing me so you couldn’t see me cry either.

I asked if you’d like to have lunch at home some days (my way of spending more time with you during the week). You seemed happy about that and I felt relieved. Relieved because you let me into that little head of yours just enough to understand how you’re feeling right now.

Tate Tate, I love you so much.  There are days where I think you should be home with us. And I know the first week, I will keep looking in the back seat for you – as we drive to the beach or out to run an errand. I will miss you. I will miss your questions and our chats.

And I know that you learn so much at school. You are now able to write your first and last name so legibly. You even want to include your middle name now. You can add things in your head and your drawings are becoming quite detailed. You are very observant.

You have a great little mind. You’re the first to ask why the cement truck driving in front of us has a hook on the chute and the one at the window watching the house across the street get their metal roofing installed. You also tried to convince me the other day that we could turn the bunk bed into a three person bed by suspending a bed for your sister in between you and your brother. You had a whole plan worked out for how to secure it to the underside of your mattress. I love how you think.

And I’m worried about you going to school. I remember what it was like last September – watching your bottom lip quiver while you stood in line with your classmates. You wouldn’t take your eyes off of me. You were trying so hard to hold it together and not cry. And the day you burst into a loud sob and held desperately onto my legs (so not your usual behaviour) – it took everything for me to not cry along with you. I waited until you went into the school and we rounded the corner of the building on our way home. I could have worn sunglasses the first month of school to hide my red and watery eyes.

I’m also worried about how the Henry’s will treat you (Henry B pinches you and Henry K says unkind things to you).  I hope that I will teach you to communicate with them and with your teacher.  I want you to love school and to stay curious.  School should be a place you are excited to go.

So tonight we will pack your bag and talk about the morning. We will take your first day of school photo and I will do my best to smile and encourage you. And I’ll probably still be teary as I leave the schoolyard without you. Maybe we’ll have lunch together tomorrow.

I love you so much, Tate. I’ll miss you.

Mama


Last year’s letter to Tate: First Day of JK.

the Lainie List.

after three weeks at the cabin, we all are adjusting to life back in the city.
  1. fees associated with running an Etsy shop.
  2. be a part of 5 Postcards, 5 Days! (I made some really cute postcards…)
  3. read this book and loved it. borrowed it from the library.
  4. an online email course I just signed up for – In Cahoots.
  5. IKEA Ideas: online design inspiration
  6. bought this t-shirt. “Making it Up as I Go” – perfect fit for me 😉
  7. About to read this. audience is retirees… I think it’s applicable to anyone making changes in their lives.

I hope you have a chance to check out the cute postcards I made. If you are a paper lover and appreciate postcards, I think you might like them…

Hope you’ve been enjoying your summer!!

The Lainie List

This week Tate learned to ride a two-wheel bike on his own for the very first time.
  1. just ordered this t-shirt for myself.
  2. this looks like a really fun water park / splash pad in Scarborough.
  3. my printmaking on fabric online course is 30% off right now (until August 2nd)
  4. Toronto Stationary Show in August. I wanna go.
  5. Modern Loss
  6. The Quiet Ego
  7. The Ultimate Toronto Neighbourhood Rankings – 2019.
  8. What people talk about before they die.
  9. how trauma seeps across generations. fascinating read.
  10. enjoying midsummer the Finnish way.
  11. origami bag tutorial
  12. Steve Jobs demonstrated the perfect way to respond to an insult.
  13. love this interview with Maurice Sendak.
  14. don’t forget to have fun.
  15. reusable snack bags.
  16. a must read for parents. an article filled with summer tips from a drown investigator and mother.
  17. the letter every parent should write. try reading this one with a dry eye.
  18. 5 lessons most people learn way to late in life.
  19. 8 talks on cultivating self love.

My last Lainie List for a bit! Getting ready to go to the cabin soon!

the Lainie List.

Last day of school photo.
Summer has officially started for The Holmes’
  1. Chocolate fudge brownies. this recipe was delicious. instead of chocolate chips (we didn’t have any), I swapped in small Lindor chocolates.
  2. LOVED this interview with Elizabeth Gilbert about her new book, City of Girls.
  3. cute outdoors sweatshirt.
  4. An interesting story about Agatha Christie and how she disappeared…
  5. to all the great dads out there (a great piece from Todays Parent)
  6. feel like getting crafty this summer? try my new Printmaking on Fabric online class! it’s lots of fun and easy to do.
  7. there are only 4 times you should agree to work for free.
  8. free is not appreciated. an interesting read.
  9. where to find free online photos online.
  10. the death of the family secret. implications of 23andme and ancestry.com. (Huffington Post)
  11. I want to go to this conference someday. Creative at Heart.
  12. LOVE the personality test from 16personalities.com (it’s creepy accurate)
  13. STORY. another conference I’d love to go to.
  14. 8 talks on cultivating self love.
  15. My Top Picks for an Entrepreneur Summer Reading List – Jenna Kutcher
  16. Crowns for the People. Fun fabric crowns for grown ups (who are kids at heart).
  17. Old-Fashioned Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp Recipe – Rollie Wesen | Food & Wine
  18. Great places to go hiking this summer (without a vehicle to get there) | CBC

Can you tell I haven’t written a list lately!? this is a long one 🙂 Hope you find something interesting in here for you.

I also want to share that I’ve been thinking about no longer writing my Lainie Lists. will let you know before I wrap them up.

hope you’re enjoying your summer!

Lainie

planning for the ultimate adventure.

it’s time.

I’m about to go somewhere
I need to go
but I’ve been avoiding.

I’m great at finding
random projects
to keep me busy
and away from the place
that’s been calling me.

What is it?

A place with scary shit.

A place with
anger,
sadness,
fear,
and hurt.

A place I try to move beyond
but end up back where I started.
I’m lost
and going in endless
circles.

But I know
it’s on the way
to this amazing place
I want to go.

A place that is bright
and beautiful,
full of inspiration
and pure joy.

A place where I feel
at ease,
playful,
and grounded.

I’m going to pack my bags.

What will I need?

Hiking shoes,
my turquoise ones.
The ones I wore in Iceland.
A bright splash of colour on my feet
as I trudge through this rough terrain.

I’ll bring my notebook and pen.
I will record and observe
what I see and feel.
I don’t want to forget these things,
they will be important.

I’ll pack a camera.
I want to document everything.
I want to remember what I came across
so I can write about it later.

I will pack layers of clothing.
A light coat.
My bright pink fleece.
Depending on how I’m feeling,
I can either shed some heaviness
or add a layer for warmth.
I’ll see what I need
as I go.

And I want to go alone.

I don’t want to be distracted.
I don’t want to worry about others
and their experience.

Are they okay?
What do they need?
Would they like to do something different?

I need to focus
and take it all in.

I need to see
that I can do this
on my own.

What’s Ahead?

I might come across
things that scare me.
I’m going to be unsure at times,
but I’m going to trust
my gut.

I will want to push myself
to go
as far as I can
in a day.

Instead,
I will tell myself
to soak it up.
I’m only going through this
once.
I need to make the most of it.

And in the end,
I’ll come out the other side
with the most unbelievable story
and a sense of accomplishment.

I did it.
I’m better for it.

I’m ready to get started.


I wrote this over a year ago.

It has definitely been an adventure – the last 12+ months. Through writing and making, I continue to work my way through the scary shit and I’m starting to see the beginning glimpses of that amazing place where I want to be.

So I’m ready to begin my next adventure.

In the fall of 2019, I will begin writing a book for our kids. The kind of book that every mom should write for their children – the story of their life. I’ve decided to create a space where others can join me as I tell my story. My hope is that others might feel inspired to write for their kids or for themselves. coming soon!

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