Protected: The Forest and The Trees.

January 30, 2013

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48 Questions.

January 27, 2013

Yeah. I stole this from someone. I feel the urge to blog but I don’t know where to start so I’m going to start with this. Maybe it’ll help open the lines of communication. If there’s any answer you’d like for me to expand on, just let me know.

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
No I wasn’t, but funny story, my parents had a different name picked out for me until right before, and I mean, right before I was born.
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
Today. Some changes happened with my career and I’m transferring to an alternate location. I had to say goodbye to my work family.
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
With pen? not at all. But I have some pretty awesome cake handwriting.
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
Mesquite or peppercorn turkey. Mmm.
5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS?
Two darlings. James is 5 (already) and Lu is 2!
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
Yes I probably would. We would eat lots of candy and watch Doctor Who and argue about whether ten or eleven is more awesome.
7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT?
No, No I really don’t. Not in the least.
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?
Yes I do. Don’t ask about this answer. There’s nothing left to say. Dear Diary. I never had my tonsils removed. The end.
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
It’s highly unlikely I will ever agree to bungee jump. It’s not the height, it’s the falling. The jumping. You’d have to push me, and if you pushed me I would hate you forever.
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
I’m not that crazy about cereal to be perfectly honest but when I was a kid, I used to eat something called Rice Krispie Treats cereal. It was like broken up Rice Krispie squares. It was awesome.
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
Never. Usually I tie them loose enough that I can slip them on or off without untying, but every now and then I forget and then I have to pull apart the triple (yes, triple) knot.
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG?
 It would depend on what aspect of strength to which you are referring, but I open the pickle jars in this house. Cake decorating leads to an absurd amount of hand strength…before the carpal tunnel destroys it.
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?
ALL THE ICE CREAMS ARE MY FAVORITE. No but really it would probably be cookies and cream.
14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?
Those pants are in questionable taste.
15. RED OR PINK?
Definitely pink. Red is too….red.
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF?
My tendency to invade my own head and just start moving things around. Just to mess with myself.
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?
I’m not answering on this nor am I expanding on it. Next?
18. WHAT IS THE TECHNIQUE THAT YOU NEED TO WORK ON THE MOST?
 Keeping calm and carrying on.
19. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
Barefoot. I am almost always barefoot in my house.
20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?
A beautiful dessert from the bakery down the street called a “no-no” bar. It’s so wrong but it feels so right.
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
Band Of Horses. It’s my wibbley music.
22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?
The brightest one in the box, naturally.
23. FAVORITE SMELLS?
The smell before the rain. I know it has a word, but I can’t remember what it is. Cinnamon. Garlic butter in the oven. Braised short ribs. My husband. My children.
24. HOW IMPORTANT ARE YOUR POLITICAL VIEWS TO YOU?
I don’t like to talk about politics.
25. MOUNTAIN HIDEAWAY OR BEACH HOUSE?
Mountains. Definitely.
26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?
Football. The Olympics.
27. HAIR COLOUR?
Kind of a deep chestnut brown. I actually really like the brown of my hair.
28. EYE COLOR?
It depends on my mood. If my eyes look green? I’ve probably been crying. Just fyi.
29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?
No but I feel like it’s coming.
30. FAVORITE FOOD?
Yes.
31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?
Happy all the way. I’m too sensitive for scary movies. I’m a soft widdle kitty cat.
32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
It was probably either The Lorax or Cinderella. I watch a lot of kids movies. Not always because my kids want to, either.
33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?
It’s a purple pajama top with sheep and stars on it. You know it’s adorable, right?
34. SUMMER OR WINTER?
Winter, even though I live in Texas and winter does not exist. But summer is awful. If I was still in Canada I’d probably say summer even though the one I REALLY like is Autumn.
35. FAVORITE DESSERT?
YES!
36. STRENGTH TRAINING OR CARDIO?
No. Wait. Cardio? I guess.
37. COMPUTER OR TELEVISION?
Computer…I can watch TV on it while I check my facebook. It’s a win-win.
38. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?
Water for Elephants. I anticipate lots of tears in my future.
39. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Stuff about a certain shipping company that drives around in big brown trucks.
40. FAVORITE SOUND?
The way my kids say Mommy. There is no sound like it. None in the world.
41. FAVORITE GENRE OF MUSIC?
I don’t even know how you would describe it. Indie folksy alternative rock? What’s that weird crap you’re listening to Ashleigh? Please turn it off.
42. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?
Where I am now. Also possibly New York City.
43. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?
I remember an absurd amount of useless trivia and numbers but never could translate it to educational prowess. Also apparently I have an eye for design. But you’d never know it to look at my house. Maybe it only applies to baked goods. I wouldn’t be surprised.
44. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
45. WHERE ARE YOU LIVING NOW?
South Texas Gulf Coast.
46. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR HOUSE?
kind of….beige? It’s boring. I want to paint it Tardis Blue.
47. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR CAR?
Dark Red. And it’s a mini-van. Get it right.
48. DO YOU LIKE ANSWERING 48 QUESTIONS?
It’s tolerable and it passes as a blog post. Maybe. Probably not. I’m sorry for wasting your time.

Memories from another life.

August 30, 2012

I woke up one morning recently with “Somebody that I used to know” already stuck in my head. I got ready for work while humming a few bars. In between cake orders I would sing a few lines. I would think of various memes on the internet with Gotye’s face on it and chuckle. And then I started to think about all the somebodies that I used to know. And I realized there are a lot more of them than I’d thought. Myself included.

Sometimes I’ll talk about things that happened when I was a teenager or younger and it always feels like I’m talking about somebody else. I’m not sure if this is a common feeling. I used to be so haunted and now I can’t even remember what my ghosts look like. You’re going to have to bear with me here, I have a point and I’m trying to make it but lately when I try to tie my various selves together, I don’t get the paper doll chain that I’d like to have. I usually end up with a pretty jumbled mess. I can’t decide what this means. Maybe it means that I just no longer know the person that I used to be. I feel so far removed from incidents, encounters, and occurrences of the past that most of the time I wonder if they ever really happened or if it was all a dream.

I remember a girl secretly holding hands with a boy in the back of a van. I remember a kiss that changed everything. It was late, in the girls living room, I’m pretty sure she was wearing pajamas. I remember a girl being secretly in love with a boy. I remember a girl being afraid to sleep in her own home. I remember a girl who stood in front of her mother to protect her from her stepfather. But I don’t remember being this girl. And it’s so strange. Some days this girl found it hard to even get out of bed for fear of what the day could bring. Some days that girl would go home from school early because she just couldn’t. On at least one occasion, the girl didn’t go to her after-school job because for whatever reason she just couldn’t stop crying. I remember a girl having a full blown panic attack while in the company of her friends. But I don’t remember being this girl. This girl? this frail pigeon of a person? She’s somebody that I used to know.

I don’t think about her very much anymore. She’s fading into nothing but words, photos, and memories. I’m sure I should be scared to lose her. She’s as much a part of me as anything else. But oh, how she reminds me of all that I wish I could forget. I look at her pictures, I remember her thoughts, I read her words, and I find it hard to believe that they were all once my own. I keep certain artifacts around for the sake of posterity. The Livejournal account, for one. I went back some time ago and read the remaining entries. So many had been deleted for various reasons. I realized it then, that I didn’t know the person who had written these words anymore. I felt such a disconnect, because I remember feeling the things I was writing about at the time, but I still couldn’t make a linear path.

I’m slowly realizing that I can’t keep trying to reopen closed chapters of my life. These chapters are centered around people who were once so important but are now strangers to me. The boy I held hands with in the van. The other boy that kissed me when I was in my pajamas. The man that kept me awake and the same man I protected my mother from. High school. Anxiety. Pain. Tears. I might still talk about these things, these people, these chapters, but I’m not that girl anymore. That girl is someone I used to know.

This entry has been surprisingly hard to write. I’ve been tossing around the general idea of it for a couple of weeks, but I’m finding it increasingly difficult to translate into comprehensive text. I guess sometimes it’s hard to put your ghosts to rest. And I suppose not everything has changed.

But I look at my life now, and everything is so vivid. So clear. So certain. I know which direction I’m going. I look toward the future and I know that it exists. I don’t dwell on the small things anymore. I know what it means to be happy. I’m not going through the motions. I’m the perfect counter to the girl I used to know. In fact, I now often forget that the girl and I are the very same person. She lives in the back of my mind, and in the small chambers of my heart. And I’m sure that who I am now and who I was then will meet in the chambers of the heart of the person I have yet to become.

Good News.

August 23, 2012

I was having a particularly boring day at work today. Ignoring my phone most of the afternoon because let’s face it, nobody ever texts me while I’m at work. Except for today. I decided to check my phone and I had a message from my dear friend Angela. She was texting to let me know that she’d found a great deal on airfare and she’d decided to come and visit me again. I admit that I made absolutely no attempt to talk her out of it. I also admit that when she finally declared that she bought the tickets, I may or may not have done a little happy dance in the bakery. Okay, so I totally did.

It’s only going to be for a couple of days, but I’m beyond thrilled.

Here are some photos from our family vacation to Eureka Springs last month.

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That’s all for now. I’ll write again soon. Maybe.

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

August 16, 2012

I often struggle with the idea of blogging about my life because the things I’m willing to talk about are probably not all that interesting. It’s not that my life is dull or boring, it’s just, well, normal? I struggle with the idea of normality. It’s not a concept I’ve ever been all that familiar with. But to those of you who may know me, this is simply not news. I can be completely addle-brained or completely serious at any given moment. My kids are doomed to die of confusion and embarrassment.

Take the other night. It was a late night and we were driving home. Lucinda started to fuss because it was past her bedtime and she is one of those weird children who won’t sleep anywhere but her own bed unless she merely passes out from exhaustion. (Side-note: trying to get her to sleep in a hotel room was an exercise in futility) I decided the easiest way to entertain her and make her happy was to sing to her. So Rob and I took turns singing various kiddie songs to her but her clear favourite was Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. In this way, she is just like her big brother.

I used to sing to James at bedtime, in this order, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Jesus Loves Me, Mary Had a Little Lamb (all 6 verses that I knew) and then he would look up at me and ask for Twinkle Twinkle Little Star one more time, please? Every night, without fail. I would kneel down beside his bed, stroke his tummy, and happily oblige. He would pull his favourite blanket up over his tummy and turn on his side when I was finished. Then I would kiss his forehead, ruffle his hair, and say goodnight. He would say back to me, in almost a sing-song voice “I’ll see you in the morrrrning!”. Lucinda is still not too interested in being sung to before bedtime, She’d much rather you read Goodnight Moon, turn out her light, and leave. But in the car when it’s past bedtime, singing is pretty boss. So we started to sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star all together, James, Daddy, and me. We went a few rounds before James started suggesting “styles” for his parents to sing the song. Loud, quiet, fast, slow. Pretty standard requests. It was when James requested that we sing it “Cool” that we were briefly stumped.

Now, I don’t know if it’s because at that point I’d been awake for 21 hours, or if I’m just significantly weirder than I think I am. But I instructed Rob to start singing it sort of like a rap song, so he did his best. And I beat-boxed the whole way through. Much to the delight of my children. At the very end of the song, my husband looked over at me and said “I had no idea you could beatbox like that.” Neither did I. So you see? you learn something new every day.

I’m a little sad tonight. We had such a great summer together while Rob was on summer vacation. It’s always hard when he starts going back to work, but for some reason, it just seems so much worse this year. I think I’d gotten used to having the silly ol’ hubs around when I was off of work on a Tuesday. Tomorrow is his first day back and I know all of us are going to take it to heart. We did our best today to make a good day for the kids. We went to Sea Center Texas, and then followed that with Chuck E. Cheese. Both kids came home and napped despite James insisting he just wasn’t tired. He was so not tired that he fell asleep on the sofa while playing Storm in a Teacup.


(photo by Angela Galli Photography)

My children are growing. I wish they could stay this age but their physical and emotional growth are inevitable. James is going to be 5 years old soon, and Lucinda will be 2 years old even sooner. Baby photos of her are only one page back on this blog. Which not only is a testament to how fast she’s grown, but also to how little I write. They are both becoming more independent in their own way, and someday the idea of Goodnight Moon before bed will seem old hat. I’m not excited about those routines being thrown away. But I have hope. Because every once in a while, James still requests his songs before bed. And he still almost always wants Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, just one more time.

Sometimes just …

July 30, 2012

Sometimes just watching my kids play and interact with each other is enough to remind me that I’ve made good choices in life.

 

 

Wordless Wednesday.

July 12, 2012

self-portrait.

Wordless Wednesday (Big Dreams)

March 7, 2012

Big DreamsIt’s always you in my big dreams.

Protected: Operation Eleanor.

November 15, 2011

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Wordless Wednesday: Supermodel in training.

August 24, 2011

DSC_0445

I’m ready for my close-up!


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