Thursday, September 30, 2010

Who Are The Adults, Here?

Today is our moving day and along with that comes a lot of different stresses. Obviously, the one at the forefront involves signing away large chunks of cash and meeting with lawyers and movers and everyone in between.

As I was leaving yet another appointment, I felt a little overwhelmed by my....adulthood? I mean, when the heck did THIS happen?

Seriously, sometimes I look at Facebook and see all of these faces of "kids" I went to school with and I'm a little freaked out!!! Some of them are doing really BIG jobs (like the ones raising kids!!) and are CEO's of companies or are responsible for things, well, that I'd never want to be in charge of making decisions about! Even the thought that some of these folks are shaping young minds scares me a little, given how I knew them back when. Oh...they shaped minds alright!!!

It's honestly boggling to me that time has passed so quickly and here we all are with kids, careers, bills and plans for retirement. In my mind, and I say this with the caveat that I'm an ultra responsible type, I'm still about twenty years old. It seems, in some ways, like going through the motions of what it means to be an adult and the decisions and responsibilities that entails, when inside I feel no different despite some 15+ odd years.

I can picture us all still, with our tapered Levi's cords and Tretorn runners, bangs hairsprayed within an inch of our lives. In my minds eye, it seems like yesterday we were hanging out and having drinks and talking about our dreams and hopes for the future. Hopefully, for most of us, many of those came true.

It makes me a bit sad to think that time moves so swiftly, often without us even noticing it's passage. I totally understand now when my Mom says that she looks in the mirror at 65 and wonders who the heck it is staring back at her because she, too, feels in her 20's on the inside.

Maybe today I'll bust out some old skool tunes and crank the volume real loud. I can still do a mean Running Man, and why not? You're only as old as you feel!!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Return Of The Skirt

My eldest daughter has always had a flair for fashion. Even as a toddler, she was aware of what she wanted to wear and of putting together "cute" outfits. I believe in letting kids have some freedom in their clothing choices, within reason dependent on weather, so I was fine with letting her experiment. I figure it's a way for them to assert some independence while also expressing who they are as people.

Anyhoo.....She would put things together that made me raise my eyebrow, until I saw it in it's entirety. Things that seemingly "shouldn't go" would look really great on her. She also loved wearing skirts, dresses and anything stereotypically girly.

When we moved 3 years ago to our new small town, slowly, that seemed to change. I chalked it up partly to age and wanting to assimilate to what everyone else was wearing, but I also sensed a reluctance in her to "be herself."

My once arty and girly girl traded in her skirts and funky matches for a uniform of leggings and oversize hoodies day in and day out. I sat back and watched as all of her rows and drawers of clothing sat neglected, in favour of the same 'ol, same 'ol. When I asked her what was up, or why she wasn't wearing anything but 5 articles in rotation, she just shrugged and said, "No one here dresses like that, Mom." Of course, you can guess, that this led to the standard Mom lecture about being yourself and not conforming to what everyone else was doing and "if they all jumped off of a bridge, would you?" yada yada. Even I was tuning myself out.

When pressed, she would admit that if she dared wear something funky, or girly, she got such a razzing that it just wasn't worth the headache. The easier solution was to just wear what let her blend in to a new school and a new environment, and make new friendships. As a Mom though, it broke my heart because she'd always been so strong in who she was and what she liked, and I didn't want to see her let that go.

So, here we are again having moved once more. She's at a new school with new friends. On the first day, she decided to wear a skirt and set a precedent and a message. Since that day, she's worn skirts weekly, at least. She pairs them with leggings and colourful tights and boots or runners. She's back to enjoying clothing and all of the various pairings that are out there that she can make.

I asked her how the kids here dress, and if they wear skirts too. She said they dress "normal" (she's a preteen so that's about as much of an answer as I can expect these days) and don't really wear skirts or dresses. I commented that she seemed to be back to wearing them with regularity again. She said she felt much more like she could just be herself here, and that even though others weren't wearing them, they weren't catty when SHE did. My heart skipped a little in my chest hearing those words.

It was painful to watch her essence, as it were, slip away for a few years. I could see the sadness and discomfort in her eyes as she held back both in clothing choice and in other ways as well. I can't tell you how exciting and encouraging it has been to see that all come alive again.

It's the return of the skirt, but that skirt represents so much more. Clothing isn't just about fashion. Sometimes, it's about spirit too-and I'm loving seeing that girly flag fly.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

If You Want Barbie, You Better Be Ken

Shows like "The Real Housewives of Orange County" give us a frightening glimpse into the world of money, excess, vacuity and The Trophy Wife.

I've seen it over and over again, even in conversations with "everyday" dudes (albeit shallow ones) and really, it's laughable. Here you have a guy either wanting a wife that is "hot" and looks a certain way and "maintains herself," or you have a guy lamenting that his wife doesn't "make that effort" anymore.

While watching the Housewives, I was struck once again by the idiocy and irony of that desire. The wives tend to be as plastic as they come. They spend tons of cash on the upkeep of their nails, hair, Botox, plastic surgery, not to mention the gym, clothes and whatever trifles will keep them looking like Barbie dolls and keep their husbands happy. Then, they show the husbands. Seriously?

Why is it that these guys that demand a certain look, or complain about their wives, can look like the troll that lived under the bridge themselves? There's one husband on the Housewives, and this is just so stereotypical to me, that has a paunch, is balding and in general is no hottie. He looks like a nerdy, average, middle aged man. Yet, his wife is this fake, top heavy blonde that caters to his every whim and wish. Please don't tell me these women don't marry these guys for their money. If you say it's true love I may spit my coffee all over the laptop screen. Through my nose. It's THAT silly of a notion.

Come off the television screen, and there are guys out there in the "real" world saying the same thing. They want their wives to look like Supermodels and sex it up, and yet they themselves can sit watching football, beer in hand, scratching themselves and ageing right before our eyes.

To these ignorant cavemen I say, get over yourselves.

Listen, we all want to feel proud of our spouses. We want to feel attracted to them. I get that. We married them (usually anyways) at their "best" and we want to keep that version of them. Well, weight and sexiness aside, we are all going to age. We are all going to sag and wrinkle and slacken. It's called getting older, folks. We can't keep our spouses in some time capsule where they are free from the ravages of time. If your relationship's health revolves around your spouse staying "hot," you are going to be in BIG TROUBLE come Viagra and Menopause time. It's just not realistic.

And here's the other thing. If you want your wife to look like a Barbie doll, guys, then you better sure as heck look like Ken. You want her fit and buff with long, flowing locks? Then you better get your butt to the gym WITH her and get some plugs while you are at it! Don't sit there with your beer gut, ogling 20 year olds, complaining with your male cronies about your wives, looking like Homer Simpson. The double standard is staggering. If we have to pick up your dirty underwear and socks, make your meals and stroke your fragile egos, you can very well keep YOURSELVES to the same expectations.

Now, I'm generalizing here. There are men and women both who, shockingly, didn't marry their spouse based on their looks alone. I know, WHAT? There are actually people out there who love the grey creeping around their spouses temples. They embrace the laugh lines around their spouses' eyes. They gently kiss the forehead creases that have gathered on their loves brow. They know that these changes are inevitable, but also beautiful. Why? They know that they've grown together, that a face shows a lifetime, that the person has evolved year by year into something better, wiser.

Yes, we want our partners healthy and strong. We want them to take care of themselves. We want them vital and attractive. A partnership is so much more than that, though. If the outer physical manifestations are all that you can see, you may as well sign those divorce papers now.

I wish every neanderthal out there with a Barbie fantasy luck. I'd hate to be married to someone who loved me for my pocketbook and not my true soul. Then again, I would hate to be married to someone who only loved me for my looks and my ability to kiss their butt. Eventually, those Barbie women will be traded in for Skipper. I guess that's okay when you get a big divorce settlement.

I'll take someone real yesterday, today and tomorrow. Life has so many obstacles and challenges, just being here and making it through together is gift enough for me. There is something to be said about ageing gracefully, and accepting it with dignity every step of the way.

Even 12 year old girls trade in their Barbie Dream Houses at some point. Grow up and take a cue.

We aren't Barbies, you aren't Ken-convertible and fancy mansion included.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Where's MY Employee Of The Month Award?

I've lamented this topic many times, both in the blog and just in my head. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. It's something that irks me and as I'm an analytical, detail person, it bothers me that there is no real solution. I mean, I can keep talking about it here, there and everywhere, but it's not changin' a thing.

When you work outside of the home, whether it be a big corporation or McD's, you get recognition. For some companies, that may come as a plaque on the wall saying that you are the Employee Of The Month. For others, it may mean a free trip on them to Mexico. Heck, maybe it's just some free fries with that!

When you stay home, well, not so much. I've written before about being a "Stay At Home Mom." I've written about the real human need for appreciation, for feeling needed. I guess this is an off shoot of all of that. Unfortunately, those topics and needs can't be rolled up in a tiny, perfect bundle and just swept under the rug. It's a problem, 'yo!

In the workforce, depending on your personality, you work towards a goal. Most individuals like to hear how they are doing on that path. Let's call it a performance review. If you do well, you get some dandy take home prizes. Maybe you get a raise! Maybe you get stock shares! Maybe you get the respect of your peers or a promotion even! Maybe you get something smaller but more tangible-like a gift certificate to a fancy restaurant. Usually, included in all of this are also the words of praise that you are doing great, or improving, or that you are an asset to the team.

As a stay at home mom, you get none of that. Okay, okay. You get the satisfaction of seeing your children grow up to be wonderful human beings. You get to see them do well socially and in school. I would argue that these are even bigger "prizes" and in the long run are more important to society as a whole. It DOES feel great to know that a HUGE part of that is because of little 'ol YOU. I appreciate that.

But, some part of me always feels a little taken for granted. It's just assumed that laundry will always be done and that clean clothes are always available. My family doesn't know what it's like to have a messy house with stuff everywhere, or unmade, unclean beds. They are used to things flowing in a certain routine, consistent pattern. They assume that's just how the days go. They don't see me, behind the curtain, pulling the strings and cuing them for the next act!

I don't need hearts and flowers and rainbows and smoke up my.......I don't want that either. It would occasionally be nice, however, to get a great performance review. I'd love to be given the respect of my peers and the honour of being recognized as a vital, daily part of what makes this corporation run smoothly, efficiently and happily.

That doesn't need to be a trip to Mexico or a gift certificate to a fine dining establishment. An imaginary plaque on the wall that is kept at the forefront of my family's minds though? I wouldn't turn that down.

I'll take a daily good review, some praise, and maybe a side of fries with that shake.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Don't Be So Smug!

As is typical of me, I always learn things the hard way. I don't know what it is about life this go around, but apparently somebody up there is having a great laugh at my foibles. I've had the fortune(misfortune?) of learning that being smug always comes back to kick you in the butt.

Throughout the years, there have been various things that I've felt rather smugly about. For instance, when I was a kid, I could eat like a man. I kid you not. Basically I could pretty much eat whatever and not really change size or get chubby. It felt pretty darn good to eat like that and not have to really worry. Unfortunately, that then created a lumberjack's appetite and that ability to not gain didn't really hold. Darn it. So much for thinking I would be blessed with a great metabolism! I don't really know WHAT I was thinking getting into that habit, because no one in my family is small and delicate looking with that long, lanky build that stays waifish. Thanks for nothing ancestors!!

Next smug issue came in my teens. Though I'd get a few pimples here and there depending on hormone fluctuations, I never had big breakouts all over my face. I was always a bit smug that my skin was pretty nice for the most part, and that I didn't have to worry about acne. I used to get compliments all of the time on my "porcelain complexion" and I got kind of a big head about it. Well, jokes on me apparently, because now in my late 30's I have more breakouts then I ever did as a teen. What's THAT about? They need an industry for the anti-aging stuff combined with breaking out at the same time! I know it's partly because I sleep like 5 hours a night and probably don't drink enough water.....but I lived on rye and coke(and whatever else I could get my hands on) and no sleep back in the day!!! Youth is soooo wasted on the young.

I've also been smug about my parenting at times. I've talked about it before on here, trying to apologize for my smug ways, hoping to have this curse lifted with my penance! My eldest daughter was a dream come true child. Pleasant, kind, polite. We could take her anywhere and beam with pride at her charm and grace. We were pretty sure we were the world's greatest parents to have guided this child in obviously such a great direction. WRONG!! I should have kept my big yap closed cause my youngest has MORE than kicked me back to reality. She's had huge meltdowns in public, she's fought me tooth and nail, and she's stubbornly and adamantly refused my pleas to "talk about this later." When will I learn this lesson? Clearly, I'm not the brightest bulb.

I could literally regale you with my pitiful tales of woe of smug tables being turned, from the small and inconvenient trial, to the huge, difficult and painful smug struggles. However, I won't. It may have taken a gut, acne and a screaming child to get the point across, but I got it.

YOU HEAR ME??? I GOT IT!!! Let me be smug about that, at least!!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Manner Mess Up

My Mom was verrrrry big on us having, and using, "proper" manners as children. She believed in taking us out, even at very young ages, to fancy restaurants so that we would need to use our manners. If we had a family dinner and you didn't act accordingly, well, it wouldn't have been pretty. My mom's philosophy came from her father, who would often say, "How you act in public and the world is a reflection of not only yourself, but your family and background." In our home, manners weren't saved for special outings or occasions either, it was a part of daily life. I continue that belief with my own children.

My husband, on the other hand, calls my manners "crazy" and "extreme." We literally get into petty arguments about the mere words "thank you." Here's an example of a situation-when we go through Tim Horton's drive through, they tell us how much it will cost. When we get up to the window, my husband will take his coffee from the clerk and give them the money. Inevitably, most of the them will then say, "thank you." At this point, my husband drives away, with me shouting back "thank you!!!!" It drives him nuts. His thinking is that THEY need to thank us for our patronage, where as we don't need to thank them for handing a coffee out a window because "it's their job." I totally disagree. We could go on and on here about how his argument is flawed. There are many "jobs" where you would still thank the person for their time, effort, prompt service, whatever the case may be.

That's not the only instance. When we go out as a family, I'm particular about my children's eating, proper linen napkin placement on their laps, using their cutlery properly, not getting up from the table, asking to be excused and all of what I call the "basics." My husband, sometimes, thinks they should just be allowed to be "kids." My thinking is that if you practice when they are young (really from the moment you start taking them out!) then as they get older it will be second nature and not a struggle. We've had many people, including strangers, comment on our children's manners. I don't think it's a punishment or penance to be taught how to act in social settings. If anything, it's to their betterment and ease in such situations.

When we took the girls to their new school to register, the principal came out and started chatting to my daughters. She said her name to my eldest daughter. My eldest, without prompting of any sort, stuck out her hand and said her name was A. and it was nice to meet the principal. Then, my youngest said, "And I'm B" and also stuck out her hand to shake hands. The principal looked shocked. Actually shocked. She looked at me and said, "what wonderful manners your children have! It's rare nowadays that I ever see that!" I have to be honest, even "I' was a bit shocked because usually I've had to prompt that exchange. I was also supremely proud.

My kids are by no means perfect. It's not perfection I'm expecting though. I do expect kindness to others, being helpful, and knowing how to act according to the requirements of the social settings in which they may find themselves.

The downfall of being so "mannered" however, is that I'm always conscious of when I've flubbed in that department. I will go over and over the occasion where I messed up in my mind and beat myself up for it. I can, off the top of my head, think of two instances that happened recently. Why can I pull such little scenarios up so readily? It's because I beat myself up for days, in my head, over my mistakes.

The first happened when my husband and I went to pick up my youngest from school. We were waiting outside and she came out in a long line of kids with an adult in the front. I said "hello" to the adult, whom I guessed was a teacher and potentially MY child's teacher, and then gathered my daughter. After dropping her line at the bus stops, the teacher came by again and chatted a bit to my daughter while my husband and I sat on the bench nearby. When we left, I realized that I should have stood up and introduced myself properly. I just wasn't thinking at all because the exchange was quick and casual. Do you think I just shrugged it off though? Nope. It lingered in my mind for days afterwards and what she must think of my horrific faux-pas. My husband laughs at that kind of thing and says that he doubts anyone but me even notices or cares.

The second happened when I was out walking my dog. As often happens, I was stopped by a man out walking with his dog. He was commenting on my dog being so cute and asking various questions about her age and name, as well as telling me what he knew about the breed and the temperament. I thanked him for his compliments and time, and walked on. I was about 3 minutes in when I again sank with the realization that I never asked any questions about his dog or made any compliments his way. Sigh. My mind kept going over and over that moment, off and on throughout the day.

While my husband says that I'm "hoity toity" with my manners, I disagree. To me, having manners is about showing appreciation and being kind. It's about being grateful and making others feel comfortable and accepted. Yes, it's also about being elegant and refined. I think that manners are one small way that human beings can be kind to one another and make the world a little less ugly.

I don't think one would ever regret having manners that were "too good" as opposed to being put on the spot by not having any. You can't go wrong with being polite. You may regret being rude, or may be embarassed by not knowing what fork to start with when eating, but you'll never be ashamed to act overly conscientious.

Thank you for listening. It was very polite of you to do so!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Reigning It In

I feel like my life as of late, okay as of forever, is a constant tug of war battle of "health" vs "caution to the wind." I feel like I go through these spurts of being on a super healthy track and then suddenly, for weeks on end, I'm a sloth that guzzles Party Mix and sleeps five hours(if that) a night.

Oh, I'm no idiot. (contrary to popular belief!) I know that my eating habits are tied to my emotional habits. When I'm either in a very good place, or when I'm trying to "prove something," my eating and sleeping and lifestyle habits are exemplary. When I'm in a down place, I hover at the bottom of the food chain. Literally.

When we found out that we were moving, I spent long days cleaning and painting and fixing. I would get up and grab a coffee and start working. I'd often forget about meals or just grab something little or fast, on the go. I'd collapse into bed at a reasonable time and sleep like the dead. Food was the last thing on my priority list.

Then, when the move date arrived, we started our road trip. For some odd reason, that opened up indulging in whatever was fastest, easiest, and not necessarily healthiest. I sleep horribly away from home, so that was an issue as well. I found myself in new surroundings with two kids and a dog all day, and the munchies left a permanent butt dent in my sofa. My waistline and my skin have paid the price.

I make deals with myself, the latest being that I'll "get back on track" once we are in our new home. So, 10 days and counting. I know I'll be busy with painting and cleaning and fixing and arranging and unpacking, so chances are good that food, again, will be an afterthought. I somehow need to put this emotional eating or boredom eating out of my life for good, though. I haven't quite figured out how to do that, yet.

My friend suggested "Women, Food, and God" by Geneen Roth. I guess it was on Oprah and it's been a "life changing book" for many women who cry into their almond m&m's. (or something) I might check it out. I just know that I need to do something to get off of this roller coaster, and I know that my health, skin and emotional well-being will all thank me.

For now, wine and Party Mix are my current best friends, however will power and I seem to have parted ways.

I need an intervention, stat.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Daycare Haterade

My children have started going to a before and after school program for the time being. It's just for three weeks while we are homeless (okay, temp digs) but if you talked to them about it, it's a lifetime of pure, rotten, evil stank.

They hate it. How COULD we DARE do this to them?

Since we are currently living nowhere near the school district, my husband drives them to school and picks them up each day. Their new school is actually like five minutes from his work so in that way, it's peachy. The problem which necessitated a school age program is two fold. One problem was that he was arriving later than he needed to each morning. The second problem was that there are two different dismissal times for their grades, a half hour apart, and pretty early in the afternoon. This meant my husband had to leave work pretty much after his lunch, pick up one, sit around, pick up the other. He was working half days at best.

We checked into the school and they had a before and after program with space. Excellent news! They also were willing to take us for just the short time period. Better still! They told me about activities they do, healthy snacks, outdoor play. As an ECE myself, it was pretty familiar stuff to me and sounded good.

My daughters, however, are not feelin' the love.

Even though I've owned and run a home daycare for 10 years, my daughters have always had the luxury of being at home. They've never had to attend a program anywhere else. They would get off the bus after school and hang out in their own home with some down time. They are finding the day very long right now.

I've told them that some kids have gone to daycare (horror of horrors!) their entire lives! That for some kids, EVERY day is "that long" including all summer! They said they don't care about other kids. Nice that I've raised such compassionate human beings.

The program itself is fun. They see their friends for even longer, they colour and do crafts, they run around outside like crazy people. The issues we are having are getting out of the door on time (ie before the sun is even awake!) in the morning, and having motivation to do homework in a swift and efficient manner at night. It's taking forever to get the work done, and then coupled with dinner later and baths means it's also a late bedtime. See the cycle I'm drawing out for you here? Yep, earlier, crankier mornings on less sleep. It's fun times in my house! Or..whatever.

I hope, actually, that this is a wake up call for them to realize how good they've had it, always having a Mom at home. That message has two more weeks to sink in so I kind of DO hope the days are long for them and they are thankful and appreciative once their hellish daycare days come to an end.

A girl can dream, can't she?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Acting Dumb Is Kind?

This may be controversial, or anti-feminist, or stepping on SOMEONE's toes out there (cause there is always a someone that has a something to say about a nothing) but here goes: sometimes, I pretend I'm clueless.

Don't get me wrong, there are times when I don't NEED to pretend. I just don't get "it," whatever that "it" at that time may be. There is truly nothing that frustrates me more, either. On top of being a huge, nerdy perfectionist, I'm also competitive and hate being wrong. If I can't understand a topic or instruction, I get flustered and tend to shut down. I find this happens a lot when it's my husband trying to explain something to me. Riddle me that.

Yet, other times, and please don't say you don't do this, I just kind of act.......well, dumb. I'm not sure why that is because I loathe stupidity in others. If I'm talking to someone who is kindly and trying to explain something to me, (that I already clearly understand) I'll act like it's the most fascinating instructions EVER and like they are imparting some great wisdom. I do a lot of head nodding and "OH mmm hmmmm's" as well. It doesn't have to be a man talking down to a "little lady" either. It could be the school secretary telling me how the buses work for that school, even though I researched it online 5x and have it written down already at home, and I'll act like it's brand spanking new information. I swear that's just an EXAMPLE.

There's just some part of me that feels badly for shutting someone down with a "ya, I know." I feel like it gives them a sense of purpose or importance to act like the several minutes of imparted tidbits are needed. I'm just THAT nice, I guess.

Or, maybe I'm just really THAT dumb, after all.

Mmmmm Hmmmm.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Found My Way Back Out Of The Hole!

Well, I've finally clawed my way back out of the debris left by "pack up your life and change everything in two months!" Ya, it's been fun. This blog post, also, may not be fun. It's been almost a month, a huge month, so I'll catch you up on this ride I've been taking to "Insanity Junction."

Shortly after my last blog post, which was my youngest's birthday post, our house was sold and we packed up some meager belongings (okay, enough to fit like 6 suitcases but in the grand scheme of day to day living and back to school going-that ain't a lot!) and hit the road. It took us three days, two hotel nights and much yelling, pulling over at rest stops, and eating crappy food, but we made it to our new home, several provinces away.

We are living in temporary accommodations, but these are no crappy digs! There's a pool, a hot tub, swanky restaurants and pubs all around, and it's ocean side. You can't really complain. The bad part is, it's not a "home." We don't have any of our "stuff" (except the suitcases of "must haves" that is) and to take the dog out is annoying with an elevator ride and tons of people stopping to pet her. It's got most of the amenities of a home, but just not the comfort or the smells and colours and textures that make up our life.

My girls started school, which is going well. It's a bit of a tightrope act trying to figure out curriculum and where they are at compared to what they did at their old school. They've made friends, been invited to birthdays already, joined clubs and groups, and have had field trips planned. Next week will start the crazy planning for their other activities-dancing and swimming and theatre classes. Once we get into a groove of a daily routine, then get into our new home, I think we'll all feel a bit more settled.

As to me? It's all a bit strange. We're all taken with the city, it's culture, it's beauty, it's amenities. I feel like we're on vacation though. An extended vacation of sorts. While everyone else has new jobs and new schools to keep them busy-I'm just sort of here. I don't have a house to clean and keep up-there is someone that does that for me. I walk the dog several times a day, but that gets old and is kind of lonely. I'm someone that likes the company of others, but also has a tendency to isolate if I'm allowed to do so, or wary of change. I could go shopping and check out stores, but I did that a few days and really-I'm not a huge shopper. It's only a few weeks away til our move in date, and I'm looking forward to that because I'll also be busy setting up a new home, finding new places for old things, buying new things, painting and organizing. As you've heard before, nothing makes me happier than organizing!

We've gone on tour groups here, checked out farmer's markets, looked in shops, eaten at many "signature" restaurants, gorged on seafood, gorged on sweets, gorged on wine. Did I mention my expanding waistline? Ya, that's got to start disappearing in a workout routine too! We've hiked historic forts, threw rocks in the ocean, discovered starfish.

I feel like this move has changed so much in our lives. I'm not really decided yet in what ways or how it will manifest itself, but like the move before, it's paramount that we start making this home and making a life here. The sooner we get involved and socially active, the sooner we'll feel like we can't imagine leaving. Our families and friends are farther away, so hopefully we also have amazing visits to boost our spirits and keep us moving steadily forward. That's all we can do-keep moving one foot in front of the other forward. My legs are swinging those steps, but my arms are behind my back with my fingers crossed tightly. I'm wishing on happiness, health, energy, acceptance, contentment and peace.

It's a new province, a new home, a new job, and a new "us."

The adventure is just beginning.......