Monday, 31 December 2012

It's a new year, it's a new life...and I'm feeling good!

Can you even believe it for two seconds that 2012 is a mere handful of hours away from being done? I mean seriously, wasn't it just a few weeks ago that we were nervously heading into 2012? The end of the world year? Wow!

I've been MIA this month bi know it and simply put, I suck.

It's been crazytown around my house this month, but that doesn't mean that I couldn't find 10 minutes here or there to maybe post quickly wishing you, my awesome-sauce readers a Merry Christmas. I just didn't have words to write here.

I delayed doing my Christmas baking this year as long as I could. For two reasons really. The first is that I hate stale baking. If its not fresh, I'm not interested! Secondly, I knew that as soon as I made it, I'd start the slippery slope down towards I-don't-cares-ville-population-me! And I'd start shoving stuff in my mouth like nobodies business!

Sadly, I did really well. Ok wait. Lets be honest here because this is my blog so if I candy coat it (oh yummy, fibs covered in candy? Delish!) then I'm only really lying to myself, right? I was eating like crap, but because I wasn't eating very much I was totally staying within my calorie goals. As a matter of fact, on Christmas Eve morning, I stepped on the scale and I was 150.1. Just a mere .2 away from a new decade. And then I missed logging into MFP on Christmas Day and it spiralled from there.

I ate cookies, chocolate, cake, stollen (German Christmas bread with fruit and marzipan...mmmm!) So many things that I haven't touched in so long and I just stopped thinking about it.

I can't tell you the last time non-butter or cream laden veggies have entered my mouth. Oh wait, yes I can! December 23rd!!

So, I'm not going to promise that those spirals aren't going to happen ever again, but I can tell you this! I didn't enjoy seeing 155 staring back at me this morning. If I was in that Last Loser Standing contest, I'd be d.e.a.d. To them right now. Out. Game over. Plug pulled! I'm going to get back into my own game though because this girl doesn't want to slide any further down the hill than she already has!

So, for 2013 I'm going to pledge to do my best every day. To make the best choices I can to keep me moving towards my ultimate goal of being healthy. I'm going to find at least 30 minutes every day doing something with each of my little boys one on one and then one big thing of their choosing each week. I blink and they've grown a little more. I don't want to waste the few years I have left of them being sweet and innocent and all mine! I'm also going to strive to work with the Husband to get us into an even better place financially. We are not poor or destitute by any stretch of the imagination, but I know that we could both be more financially responsible.

So, those are my goals. I don't call them resolutions because I think it's easier to give up on resolutions. Goals, I think, are things that you keep working towards. When you hit a brick wall, you take a few steps back, brush yourself off and then set out on a new path towards that goal!

So, as I sit in the midst of the Christmas chaos that has still devoured my house, I'd like to wish you the happiest and healthiest of New Years! I hope that 2913 is a wonderful year for you and I honestly can't wait to see what comes our way!

Bring it 2013, this chick is ready!!

Monday, 10 December 2012

Things my mama taught me...

I'm going to lay it out for you all right now.  This post that you're about to read is not going to be like what you'd usually find here.  I'm honestly not sure exactly what shape it's going to take, but I can tell you that it's going to be heavier than most of the things I post on here.

And here's why.

8 years ago today, I rolled my ginormously large, 9-month pregnant body from bed and got myself ready for work.  I went through the motions, even though I probably should have been somewhere else.  8 years ago today, I sat in my cubicle at work and starred at my phone as it rang with the phone number at my parent's house showing on the call display screen.  I listened to my Dad's voice on the other end and I knew in my heart, that my unborn baby was never going to meet his Grandmother.

8 years ago today, my husband rushed to my office and picked me up, because a) I couldn't have been trusted behind the wheel even if I did fit and b) my license had been suspended for not paying a speeding ticket.  Ooops!  8 years ago today, my sister and I drove in silence to the hospital where my mom had been admitted two days before, where we'd been waiting to get her admitted to long term care because we knew her battle with cancer was in it's final stages, although none of us had come to terms with it.

8 years ago today, I stood in a hospital room and watched, helplessly, as my mom took her last breath and slipped away from us.

In that one, horrible, life-altering moment I wasn't thinking about all the amazing things my Mom had taught me over the years.  No, I definitely wasn't.  I was thinking about how angry I was that my mom wasn't going to ever get to meet her grandchild.  How she wouldn't get to hold him the day he was born or watch him smear ice cream all over his face on his first birthday, take his first steps or hear him speak his first words.  I was thinking about what I'd just lost, in that one, horrible, life-altering moment.

I think it's only fair at this point that I tell you, my mom and I didn't have the best relationship when I was growing up.  I mean, I didn't want to inflict pain on her (well, not on most days anyway), but we were never besties or BFFs or anything.  She was my mom.  She drove me NUTS!  She was always signing me up for crap, trying to get me to sing at things I didn't want to do.  Trying to involve us in things within the community that in my eyes were lame and when I finally got to a stage in High School when I actually had friends to hang out with on the weekend, she would very rarely let me go out let alone drive myself anywhere.

It always felt to me like she was controlling.  Like it was her way, or no way at all.  Like she was there to tell me what to do, but not listen.

It's a funny thing, though, this thing called parenthood.  It gives you perspective.  It makes you look back at some of the things your parents did with you, and look at it in a new light.  Some things, you realize weren't nearly as awful and as meddlesome as you maybe thought they were, before becoming a parent.

So, on this, the 8th anniversary of losing my mom, I have come to realize that although she's no longer here with me in spirit, she taught me so much more than I ever knew.

She taught me that if there is anyone in this world to advocate for, it's your kids.  She taught me that a parent doesn't have to be their kids' best friend, but they do have to be their number one cheerleader.  She taught me that sometimes in life, you'll find great disappointment,  It's what you do with that disappointment though that will define who you ultimately are as a person.  You can either chose to sit and be angry about the hand life deals you, or you can wake up in the morning and be happy that you've gotten to see a new day.
She taught me that just because you're old enough to do something, it doesn't necessarily mean that you're emotionally ready to do it.
She taught me that even when you feel like you don't have even one more ounce to give, that there's always just a little more in there.
She taught me that Christmas is a time for miracles and that even if all you can offer is a song, you should sing it as loud and as often as you can.
She taught me that even though you may be fighting a losing battle, there is always a reason to fight back.  You don't give up.  EVEN when the fat lady is singing.
She taught me that there is nothing more important in this life than to love your kids and your family with the fiercest of all loves.  That even when you don't like someone, you STILL love them.
She taught me that if someone has hurt you, it's OK to be mad at them and to distance yourself while you heal, but that eventually, forgiveness is how you move forward.
She taught me that sometimes in life we have to make choices that we won't like.  Sometimes those choices will be easy and sometimes, they'll be heartbreaking.  When we're ready though, if we look and listen hard enough, the answers always seem to have a funny way of presenting themselves in one way or another.

Not a day goes by that I don't miss my mom.  That I don't wish she had gotten the chance to know her two amazing grandsons.  I know she would have loved them both to bits.  She would have been amazed by the big boy's amazing artistic skills and his passion for reading and learning.  She would have been won over in a second by the little man's sparkling eyes, warm hugs and infectious giggle.  Most of all though, I like to think that she would have been so proud that she raised a strong, confident and loving woman who will hopefully pass on some of the same lessons to her own sons.

I only wish my mom had lived long enough for me to truly appreciate the sacrifices she made for me, for my brothers and my sister.  I have to believe, that she watches over me, the Husband and our boys every day and knows that she taught me well.

Every year, I've searched for a way that I could recognize her on this day.  I mean, other than just thinking about her, missing her and getting together with whichever family members want to gather to remember.  But I'm talking about finding a way to honour her.

Last month, on a whim, I asked the principal of the boys' school if they had families within our school community whom they would be helping out at Christmas.  He told me they did indeed and would welcome any kind of support that we could offer.  So, today, in loving memory of my most amazing mother, I'm going shopping.  I'm shopping for a 13-year old girl, a 9-year old and a 5-year old boys.  I am going to make sure, just as my mom did every year, regardless of our financial situation, that those kids wake up on Christmas morning, and feel the magic of Christmas.

I'm pretty sure she'd be proud.