Birthday Love

Part of my new goal of putting myself first meant that I chose to spend my birthday weekend in Victoria without my kids. I don’t like to be away from them on special occassions but it was the right decision for me.

And really it was a bonus for me in the end because I got to milk an extra day of brithday celebrations out of them.

We took an early ferry home and that messed up their plans for me. So i spent a couple of hours sequestered in the bedroom as they prepared a special treat for me…

And it was special indeed…truly made with love. I heard it!


Happy 27th (again!) to me!

Nanny turns 92

Today the family all got together to celebrate my Nanny’s 92nd birthday. 

Over the past few years we have seen a significant decline in her. Both pysically and mentally.  We have prepared ourselves for the possibilty that this could be our last Christmas/Easter/Birthday.  I have even had tough talks with my girls to try and prepare them for that eventuality.

But she keeps hanging on and oh how we love her for it.


 The girls both made her cards that they proudly gave and read to her.

Happy Birthday Nanny!  We all love you so much.


Raising Girls: Building a solid foundation

When I was pregnant the first time I was desperate to have a girl. I tried convincing myself that it didn’t matter. That I would love a boy just as much as a girl. But oh how I longed for a daughter…and for so many reasons.

I wanted the same relationship with my daughter that I had with my own mother. I wanted to do all the girly things with her. I wanted to be her best friend. I wanted to see her have her own babies.

So cue my overjoyed enthusiasm when my little girl arrived. And it was double the joy when my second lovely daughter was born 3 years later.

And now…as the mother of a 6 and 9 year old girl…I’m in a bit of a panic really.  Because I realize that I have to guide them – carefully and lovingly – into womanhood.  And that means we have to go through the teenage years first. What if my girls turned into “mean girls”?  Or what if they fell victim to the “mean girl”?  I know I can’t keep them from getting their heart broken – and wouldn’t want to – but how do I help brace them for when it does?

I’m honestly not sure I’m prepared for that. Not that I was a terror of a teenager – on the contrary really. I was the 12 year old that spent Saturday’s clearing up her room and packing up old clothes to donate.  At 13 I got my first job and worked steadily ever since. I got good grades, stayed away from the “wrong” crowd and generally made my mother proud.

But the world that my girls will have to live in is so very different than the one I did. I don’t understand today’s youth. I find the majority of them to be lazy and entitled and just plain rude.

I know that’s a terrible generalization but I just can’t seem to prove it wrong. And so I know that I have some work to do in preparing my girls to be strong and independent and successful women but also kind and loving and caring to those around them.
So I’m starting with instilling these basic principles now:
  • Be kind 
  • Keep your promises 
  • Clean up after yourself
  • Be polite and respectful of others
  • Say you’re sorry and accept sincere apologies
  • Do your best 
  • Never give up

I look at that list and I feel pretty good about it. Confident that I am giving my girls a good start in the world. Building the foundation for them to be respectful and kind. But I know it’s not enough.

Because this is list could just as easily apply to boys. I need some girl specific tips. Some golden nuggets of advice just for them.

These are the things I want to teach them.  What I want to make sure they know… 

Love yourself.

You are unique and beautiful from the day you are born.  Don’t let society change that about you. Don’t base your self-worth on a dress size. And don’t base it on what anyone else says to you. Be healthy. Be happy. Be active. Be yourself. 

Love deeply.

Doing this means you will get your heart broken. You will think you have nothing to live for without “him” in your life. But you do have something for live for. You have the next ‘great love’ to meet. Judy Blume had the perfect quote for this:  “You can’t deny they ever happened. You can’t deny you ever loved them – love them still – even if loving them causes you pain.”  You said it sister. 

Don’t be a sheep (but try not to be the black sheep either)

I feel like I got through high school relatively un-traumatized because I existed on the fringes of all the “cliques” I wasn’t a princess or an athlete or a stoner or a brain or a weirdo (my kids will totally not get the Breakfast Club analogy…) but I had friends that were all of those things. I hope my girls do the same. That they befriend others for the person they are not the company they keep. 

Listen to your parents.

I know this might come across as a little self serving but I want my girls to know that not only am I capable of giving good advice but I also have their best interest at heart. Even if they don’t always like what I have to say.

Trust your instincts.

I expect this bit of advice to be tough for them to follow through on because I am only just now learning how to do this myself. But it’s important that we understand that sometimes the best advice comes from within. There is no one that knows us better than we know our own self.

This list will evolve and change over the years I am sure. Because as I see my girls grow I will (hopefully) see what areas need more work and which ones are working out fine. 
For now…I’m going to let these stand as my guiding principles. And hope that I can help my daughters grow up to be young women that I am proud of. Based on these early years I have high hopes that will be the case.



Nine Years Ago….

Almost exactly 9 years ago I was 33 weeks pregnant with my first baby and lying in a hospital bed at BC Women’s Hospital. And I was scared.

My husband had gone home earlier that night thinking we were facing a long hospital stay for me as I battled pre-eclampsia and tried to get to 36 weeks before having our baby.

But how quickly things can change…because I had just been told that I would likely need to have to have an emergency c-section the next day and that my baby would be born 7 weeks prematurely.

I decided to let him sleep at least a few hours before calling with the news that would change our lives. And so I faced the next few hours alone with my own thoughts and fears.

I felt like a failure. Like I had already failed as a mother because I couldn’t even keep my baby safe in my own belly.

The only reason my baby had to come early was because it would help ME get better.  Delivering the baby was the only way to halt the effects of the pre-eclampsia that were damaging MY body.

And it made me feel selfish. Like I was somehow putting myself before my baby and wasn’t one of the most important parts of being a mother that you put your children first no matter what?

I worried the baby would be too small to survive. That there would be long term affects from the early delivery.

I worried my husband would resent me for my failure to keep our baby secure and maybe never forgive me.

I worried I would never forgive myself.

I worried about everything.  Until finally around 4am my mind finally allowed me to sleep for a few worry-less hours.

The morning was a whirlwind…of doctors and nurses and surgery preparation and scary thoughts…and then it was time.

And at 12:04pm my beautiful firstborn daughter arrived.

Tiny but strong. Weak but strong-willed. She amazed me with her strength from the very beginning and she is still amazing me every day.

Nine years….and I still remember those few hours like it was yesterday.

And it reminds me that I never want to feel like I failed my children like that again.

Happy birthday to the girl that made me a mama for the first time. And changed my life forever.


Today my littlest girl turned 6.

And I swear she grew 2 inches over night. I really need to find a giant brick to put on her head.

I love her to pieces…even when she’s giving me grief. She is funny and loving and sweet and tender and crazy all rolled into a ball of energy.

I wouldn’t change a single thing about my little T. She brings light and joy to my life and I am so very happy to be her mama.

We celebrated the occasion with dinner at the Cactus Club. It was her choice. She wanted to “dress up and go somewhere fancy.”

 We took a few silly selfies while waiting for dessert…

How did I ever wonder if my heart would be big enough to love her as much as her big sister? 

Enjoying it. While it lasts…

My girls are almost exactly 3 years apart in age. And at times that age difference has felt like a monumental divide that would never be crossed.

Until now…

This is the time we have been waiting for. Because – stop the presses – they actually enjoy each other’s company! They play together for hours without any (major) arguments. They laugh together and make up stories together.  They respect each others ideas.

It is a truly glorious time. A time I know may not last long and so I am determined to soak up every last minute of it.

When we moved into this house a few years back I was concerned about the size difference of the bedrooms. I felt bad that my youngest daughter was getting a room that was less than half the size of her big sisters. But she didn’t care. She loved her little room and gave no sign that she felt slighted.

When I started working from home we toyed with the idea of bunking the girls together in one room and converting the other to an office. But ultimately decided that it was important they have their own spaces and we left things as they were.

And then…over the past few days…both girls have started asking if they can move in together and share a room. When they first brought it up I figured it was a fleeting idea that would only be mentioned once and then forgotten the next time they argued.

But that was several days ago and they keep asking. In fact, they have bunked together in the queen size bed for the past 4 nights and have loved every minute of it.

They fall asleep faster. My youngest doesn’t get out of bed 45 times. And I think they sleep more soundly.

So – we’re going to give it a whirl. We won’t be turning little one’s room into a man cave just yet (sorry hubby) but I think this just might be an idea that sticks.

And I really am loving how much they love each other right now. I hope it lasts for a while.

Because the laughter I hear and the joy I see in their faces as they play together makes me think we just might have gotten some of his parenting thing done right.

{pats self on back}
{sits down with a cup of tea and a book}
{silently prays for continued peace & quiet}

A Random Act of Universal Love

Today a package arrived in the mail. I love getting mail. And this package was the best thing I have received in a very long time.

It was addressed to me. And the return address had my name with the words “Universal Love” underneath it.

I was intrigued to say the least.

When I opened it up I found a brand new copy of “The Alchemist” with a note.


The note said:

“Hello Kelly.
When I learned of this book on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday show a couple of months back I instantly thought of you and your journey to write a novel. In my own efforts to spread more love, compassion and kindness in this world I have decided to gift this book to you anonymously.
Kelly, your smile is contagious and lights up the room. Your beauty and strength are to be admired and is so evident in your two daughter’s spirits. you are doing such an amazing job as a mother, provider and career woman.
Many blessing to you and your family.
Take care, you are never alone.”

I cried. This wonderful act of kindness could not have come at a better time.

I have been feeling torn lately. Like I am trying to do too many things and I’m not doing any of them well. I had lost my focus…again.

This has helped me get it back. And showed me that I am not alone in believing in the power of positivity.

So thank you whoever you are for giving me that gift of focus.

By the way, not knowing who this came from is seriously killing me!  I have my suspicions as I figure it must be from someone that knows me well. Well enough to know my home address at the very least.

But I am going to leave this mystery alone…and take the gesture how it was intended.

Thank you friend. xoxo