Monday, May 31, 2010

In Which the Secret is Revealed

We're not having a baby.
We're not moving.
We're not switching toilet paper.
I'm not cutting my hair (I have very little left to cut at the moment anyway).

I am, however, getting a real job (again). Kind of. SIGH. I'm going to explaining things a lot, I can tell already :)

You are looking at the newest member of the Blacksheep Strategy team. I am officially coming on board as their Communications Specialist. I signed the papers this past weekend.

I'm more excited than I thought I would be about having a real job again (probably because this new job is half time, entirely flexible, and working mostly from home). I'm not totally abandoning my freelance business - though I have had to say goodbye to a couple of clients who would have presented a conflict of interest. I'm also keeping a couple of them and will continue to accept projects for clients I like who are doing things I am passionate about. Or clients who are willing to write LARGE CHEQUES (hehe).

Freelance wasn't about needing to be my own boss or being a lone wolf. In fact, I didn't love either of those aspects of freelance. I feel like I've learned the most about what I do and how I can do it better through collaboration. But this past year of working 100% freelance was a means to a very important end: getting to work around Geoff's crazy work schedule and spend as much time as possible with the non-writing-related loves of my life. This job still accomplishes that end goal. It just does it with a twice-monthly direct deposited paycheque :)

I'm getting to continue to build my career with the kind of flexibility that moms drool and weep over. And I am NOT taking that for granted. It's a combination of absurd luckiness and hideous amounts of hard work. I've been laying the foundation for this over the past decade. It's just nice when the universe takes all that hard work and hands it back to you, gift wrapped, at some point well before you're lying in your grave.

So that's what's new. And we're all pretty excited about it here. And with that, I am going to return to my triple grande nonfat vanilla latte with cinnamon dolce sprinkles. And some invoicing. With a foggy view of the mountains outside the window here at Starbucks. I know, I know... IT'S ROUGH.

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Friday Smile (Belated)

If this video doesn't make you smile, your heart is three sizes too small. Yep. That's my official diagnosis.

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The One Where You Can Call Me Crazy

So I'm going to do the Walk to Fight Arthritis here in Vancouver tomorrow. With my stupid pain and fatigue and everything. Crazy? Absolutely. But as I've already pointed out to my mom, it's not NEARLY as crazy as fundraising $10,000 and walking an entire marathon... And I've done some variation of that stupid idea three times already ;)

If you'd like to support me in this endeavor, I have another $75 to raise by tomorrow morning and I'd love for you to sponsor me! All money raised goes to support The Arthritis Society - a worthy cause that is obviously very close to my heart. All donations of $20 or more are eligible for a tax receipt.

Thanks in advance! I'll let you know how it goes.

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The One With Aaron + Cait (and The Big Flare too)

I am currently working through all kinds of feelings of frustration and disappointment over the fact that I'm fighting through a pretty big flare right now. Fortunately, Geoff and Marilyn are both being fabulous about helping out with Briony and keeping her busy enough that I don't think she knows that I'm sick at all. I've been able to go back to bed the last two mornings, and that has been amazing. YAY for support people and teamwork. I just wish I could be busier and feel more like myself right now.

My slower pace didn't keep us from having a great day with Aaron + Caitlin yesterday. Aaron surprised us by letting us know he had Friday off work this week, and they came out to Abbotsford for the day to spend time with us. We went out for lunch and then played at and walked around Mill Lake, then they came back 'home' for tea while Briony napped. It was so much fun to see them - and so much fun to watch how Briony warmed up to them again so quickly, especially Auntie Cait. She *loves* Auntie Cait. I was sad to say goodbye at dinner time, but I also knew that I needed to guard my energy. We'll see them again.

After Briony was in bed, I spent the rest of the evening curled up in bed with a book. Not the worst thing in the world, but I had hoped it might 'cure' my flare. It didn't really work out like that, but it was a good book :)

I'm marginally better today than I was yesterday, and I would say the same thing about the previous day. My progress is just SLOW. Today, I'm exhausted and in pain, but it's not that pain and exhaustion that has me constantly fighting off tears like it was at times during the last two days. I'm hoping to get some client work done today - and then some homework tomorrow - and hopefully save a little bit of energy for fun.

Oh, and Briony's doing okay with the time change. She's actually staying up until her normal bedtime but still getting up earlier and having two naps again instead of her usual one. And she's HAPPY and going down for naps and bedtimes very easily. Not a bad start for two days in!

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

The One Where I Push The BIG RED BUTTON


Travel with a toddler is always a total crapshoot. You can plan everything perfectly and it can still go horribly, horribly wrong. Fortunately, today was not one of those days. In fact, I'm sitting here listening to the deep sleepy breathing coming out of the baby monitor and wondering what the catch is going to be. When I woke up Briony around 05.20 this morning, she giggled and thought it was a fabulous adventure to be quickly changed into some clothes and then shuttled to the airport by taxi. She didn't sleep at all until we were driving from Vancouver to Abbotsford - and it wasn't a particularly good nap. And then she stayed up until 19.00 tonight (her normal bedtime at home, but really two hours past her bedtime because of the time change). And she was HAPPY all day. Crazy kid. I know the time change can't be this easy, so we shall see what tomorrow holds.

The other big unknown is my health, and maybe that's the big catch. I woke up feeling icky, and icky became bad on our flight, which in turn became awful by late this afternoon when I pushed the big red button. I cried myself to sleep because of the pain, shaking uncontrollably, and woke up 90 minutes later feeling bad again. Which on a day like today is kind of a minor victory. I'm hoping it was just a bad night coupled with the altitude during the flight and a quick transition to cool, rainy weather here - and that I'll be feeling significantly better in the morning. In the meantime, though, it's probably an ideal place for me to crash because Briony is drinking up all the attention from her dada and her grandma.

I have already been working on client stuff here and I have a conference call first thing tomorrow morning followed by a couple of quick deadlines and some homework. There is truly no rest for the wicked... But I'll be jealously guarding the next two weekends as family time, and I'm expecting things to slow down significantly after the middle of next week. FAMOUS LAST WORDS.

Other than that, it's green and lovely here, and they've redone the Mill Lake playground area - complete with a wicked new splash park - and I'm hoping it will get nice enough here in the next couple of weeks for Briony to get a chance to check it out. She's already personally approved the swings and the slide, of course :)

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Or, at the very least, powering down my laptop and contemplating bedtime because morning is going to come painfully early tomorrow.

See you on the coast! Save some rain for us... hehe. I'll start working on my Friends-inspired blog post titles ;)

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Going... Going...

The day before we travel always feels *slightly* like I'm losing my mind.

Next time, I take this pre-travel day OFF instead of mentioning to clients that I would be partially available. Everything else was pretty genius, though. We had our house cleaned yesterday and Katie's here to play with Briony today while I hammer through some epic laundry piles and pack. Oh, and go to a couples massage with my husband this afternoon (our life is ROUGH, I told you). Katie just helped me clean the fridge and pre-emptively toss everything that will be icky in three weeks. Just one more laundry transfer to go before I can throw myself full force into packing for two and a half (the half being Geoff, who packs his own stuff but packs like a boy).

I'm doing okay... Definitely flared up today, but nothing too crazy. I know that taking a time out for myself with Emily this past weekend was a very good decision. Same with getting Josy and Katie to help around here this week. And Geoff's been off since Friday night and helping like crazy. I could write a book on travelling with chronic illness (and, as a friend pointed out to me recently, maybe I should).

I know it will all be worth it when we're sitting on a plane tomorrow, taxiing in the general direction of NOT WINNIPEG. I'm getting super excited to see all our west coast peeps. I know it's only been a few months, but it always feels like forever.

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Mmm... Girls Night!

Last night after work, I met up with the lovely Erin and Nicole to talk, laugh, and fill my body with carbs at Kawaii Crepe. Awesomeness. I had The Uptown followed later by It's-A-Smore. Sooo good. We will definitely be making a return trip. And we will definitely be planning another Girls Night this summer. I've known Erin almost forever and Nicole for the last couple of years, and the combination was pretty darn ridiculous if you ask me. In the best possible way :)

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Moms Group Ideas

So I've joined the committee for the Moms Group that Briony and I have been attending. We're meeting in a few weeks to plan our sessions for next year and I'm wondering if anyone has any good ideas for topics or activities for the moms to enjoy while the kids are having fun with our incredible caregivers.

I have a decent list of my own ideas already, but I'd love more! Mommy topics are cool, but so are just general topics for women - because I've heard a rumour that we still keep our individual identities after giving birth... that's correct, right? :)



Lovely Weekend

What a lovely weekend. And now - BAM! - it's back to reality. We'll be on the west coast in less than 48 hours and HOLY CRAP do I have a lot to do to get us all ready.

But first, let's dwell on the lovely. Emily and I spend Saturday and Sunday at the Fort Garry Hotel for a belated celebration of her 30th birthday. We checked in, enjoyed a cup of tea, and then headed downstairs in the hotel for a two-hour vinyasa yoga class. I'm often skeptical of new instructors, but these ones were good - and I surprised myself by not only surviving but enjoying my first ever two-hour class.

As an aside, the time and money I spent doing one-on-one sessions with a yoga instructor -slash- physiotherapist to learn how to modify postures to work for my disease-ridden body was maybe the best thing I've ever done for myself. I've always enjoyed yoga, but that knowledge has taken it to a whole new level for me. And it's given me the confidence to just do my own thing during larger group classes when I need to without spending a single ounce of energy worrying or caring about what other people in the class are thinking. I suspect that attitude and confidence has also transferred to my life outside the yoga studio... But I digress. That's another whole blog post someday.

Back to our weekend. After yoga, we walked over to The Forks to pick up some snacks from the market and then we went back to the hotel for dinner. From there, we started to get ready for our spa appointment. Around 8 pm, we headed up to the Ten Spa for our Hamam treatments. I don't know how I've lived 28 (almost 29) years of my life without experiencing this - and I'm no stranger to the spa. It was all hot and steamy and twinkly and AHHH...

From there, it was full-on Girls Night with a cheesy girly movie, a bottle of wine, and snacks in our room. The morning held just enough time for sleep and a quick Starbucks run before we got ready for our ninety-minute relaxation yoga class (think lots of sloooow breathing and five-minute stretches). Any part of me that was still sore from the first class was feeling pretty darn amazing after the second class. With the hamam in between, it was a perfectly balanced weekend. We headed back to our room to change and pack before meeting our boys for the hotel's infamous Sunday Brunch.

It was a lovely weekend. Oh wait, did I say that already?? :)

Of course, as soon as we were back at home, it was back to real life and I spent an hour with Geoff working on the yard - the perfect antidote to a spa and yoga weekend (hehe). It was so good for my heart to see how excited Briony was to see me. It was our first night apart other than my gallbladder fiasco when, if you recall, she had a vicious stomach flu at my parents' place (I'M STILL SORRY, MOM!). That attachment was not by design, but I just feel better when she's close by. This was probably good practice for my Girls WEEKEND away in July.

The long weekend was capped off by a daytrip out to the lake to visit my parents yesterday. Lovely.

And then my alarm went off this morning, yelling at me to go to work. I did so grudgingly, but with a glorious knowledge that this is my last trip into the office until we get back near the end of June. Here's hoping a combination of four shots of espresso and leftover zen from my lovely weekend can carry me through until we're sitting on a taxiing airplane very early on Thursday morning.

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

One Moment With Briony

Okay, so we knew that Briony liked sushi. But that 'like' has definitely crossed over to *love*... This kid pounded back an entire california roll + edamame beans + sweet potato rescued from inside some tempura at lunch today, all while declaring (repeatedly), 'I LOOOOOVE SUSHI!'

I love sushi too. And I love this daughter of ours. And she, in turn, will LOVE that we're headed out to the ocean this week.


Friday, May 21, 2010

One Moment With Briony

Briony's bedroom this morning when I came in to get her from her crib.

Briony: Oh no, Mama. Oh NO... (hands gesturing wildly and head shaking)

Me: What happened, Briony?

Briony: OH NO, Mama. Baa is STUCK. (pointing at the space between the wall and the crib)

Me: *loud exhale as I climb underneath the crib to retrieve her stuffed sheep and back out again*

Briony: Hi, Baa!... (pauses) OH NO...

Me: What?

Briony: FOOFA is stuck...

Needless to say, I made THREE SEPARATE TRIPS under her crib this morning to rescue her various friends who she'd stuffed into that space at some point during the night. Which would have been incredibly frustrating if it hadn't been so incredibly hilarious. FUNNY KID.


Friday Smile

This is an easy one. I'm smiling a lot today :)

Today is Geoff's last shift for an entire MONTH. We made it! And now our reward will be lots and lots of family time (most of it spent in and around Vancouver).

Tomorrow, Emily and I are headed to the Hotel Fort Garry for a sleepover packed with girly awesomeness - including two yoga classes and a visit to the Ten Spa. And it's all being capped off with the hotel's Sunday Brunch with our boys.

If it's nice, we'll head out to the lake for the day on Monday.

Oh, and then there's the secret... Which is not as big of a deal as it's turning into, but I'm quite enjoying torturing you all :)

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Book Review: No More Christian Nice Girl

Have you ever picked up a book that you WANTED to like?

When I volunteered to read and review a new book called No More Christian Nice Girl: When Just Being Nice - Instead of Good - Hurts You, Your Family, and Your Friends by Paul Coughlin + Jennifer D. Degler, I was excited. I loved the idea of the book. I loved knowing that it was coming with discussion questions, and I thought about reading it together with friends and the amazing discussions we could have over Starbucks, talking about the whole concept of being so nice it hurts...

I got the book in the mail the other week and immediately cracked the cover to scan the table of contents. I found chapters that included:
- How we learned to act nice
- How nice wrecks family relationships and friendships
- How nice messes up your marriage (and steals your spice in the bedroom)
- How nice cripples your career

Awesome. On to the introduction... INSERT SOUND EFFECT OF DULL THUD.

I made my way through most of the book, and here’s the thing. There’s nothing wrong with the concept. There’s nothing wrong with the subject matter. There’s nothing wrong with the content itself. In fact, I thought it was all great. But that ‘great content’ was communicated in a way that left me literally rolling my eyes at the book. There were cheesy stories interspersed about a real ‘nice girl’ named Nicole, and there were way too many assumptions made about who a ‘nice girl’ is and what she thinks, feels, and acts like (case in point: the claim that the average ‘nice girl’ turns into an eight year old girl in the bedroom and has never initiated sex or worn anything but granny panties... seriously).

Not that I've ever done those things, Mom... Or Geoff's Mom...


In all fairness, maybe I was not the target audience for this book. Maybe I'm too young. Maybe I'm not nice enough. Maybe I'm not churchy enough. And maybe it’s the writer in me, but I had a tough time ignoring the presentation while I sifted through and extracted the message and the heart of this book. There really was a great message and a beautiful heart. That’s why I was so disappointed.

If the topic is interesting to you, you can still check out this book - I've searched online and there are definitely others who loved it - but there’s another book that has been absolutely instrumental in my journey to embracing my inner good girl (without being a pushover). It’s called the Good Girls Guide to Negotiating, by Elizabeth Austin + Leslie Whitaker.

Hm. Based on this book review, maybe I’m not as nice as I thought. I hope I'll be invited back to do another review.

And I hope that this is my last book review ever that talks about panties :)

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Big changes coming here at the Haus Of Wright... Hoping I'll be able to share before the weekend! ;)



Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Day at the Lake

This past Sunday, the portion of my family that still resides in Manitoba spent a day at the lake to hang out in the incredible sunshine and christen my dad's new pontoon boat (and my parents' new seasonal campsite).

There's just something about the lake. I swear, as soon as we turn off the highway and start heading into town, my entire body takes this slow deep breath and I can feel right down to my toes. Awesomeness. Can't wait to spend lots more time out there this summer.

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I need to learn to be more gentle with myself.

Do you remember Junior High? Do you remember what it felt like when those girls totally bullied you and made you feel worthless because of something you wore, someone you ate lunch with, or just not going along with the crowd? It didn't happen to me often, but it did happen... And when I think about it, my stomach still ties up into the same awful knots it did way back then when the wounds were fresh.

I can make myself feel like that. Just for having a day that is less productive than I feel it should have been. The key words in that sentence would be I FEEL and SHOULD.

Today, I am choosing to treat myself with the same grace I would offer to my friends without a second thought. Starting with not working (or stressing about work) until Briony's naptime today, and instead taking her for a walk this morning.

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Tuesday Smile

Go and have a GREAT day, everyone!

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Monday, May 17, 2010

A Walk in the Park

This is probably not really news, but our family spends a heck of a lot of time at Assiniboine Park. The other night, we took Briony a walk and she was absolutely enthralled with the baby geese ('ducks! ducks! it's a duck! five, two, five, two, DUCKS!').

This photo makes my heart smile.

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International Family of Mystery

I have been meaning to blog this FOREVER.

Take a look at our family's passport photos. And then I DARE YOU to tell me that we do not look like a total spy family.

Geoff? SPY.
Me? SPY.

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Women in the Workplace

The NYT ran this article today about women, work, and compensation.

What do you think? Do you feel like women have a fair shot at a fair paycheque, or are we all a bunch of whiners? :)

This poll is for the girls...

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Random Pet Peeve

Random Pet Peeve: People who ASK for comments on Facebook... Or whine about how no one is reading their blog anymore (in an effort, I assume, to guilt people into going to read their blog and then commenting on it to validate them).

I say this in love. No, scratch that. I say this unemotionally, as a marketing consultant. Which I totally am :)

If people aren't commenting - or aren't viewing your content in the first place - it's because you're not engaging them. You're pushing self-serving information at them and not encouraging them to apply your ideas to their own life. Or you're updating your blog so infrequently that you're losing your audience (rule of thumb is minimum 2 to 3 updates every week). Or you're writing about things that are completely irrelevant to them (and are probably going to land you on STFU Parents, possibly submitted anonymously by yours truly - oh, I'VE DONE IT).

I type this with a smirk on my face, knowing full well that I break blogging rules all the time. I used to be *so* much better about reader engagement, back before I gave birth, that glorious season in my life when I slept enough to remember how to spell my own name. I've promised myself to do better this summer... But at the end of the day, this blog was meant to chronicle my life and really nothing else. It's something that I do for me - to journal, to think things through, to have a creative outlet during the weeks when I'm writing stuff at work that kind of bores me. The fact that you all visit and then take the time to comment and send me emails about what you've read and what it means to you is phenomenal and awesome and amazing, but it's not why I do it. It's a happy bit of icing on the cake.

But I'll bite :)

What is your random social media pet peeve? C'mon, you know there's SOMETHING about blogs or Facebook or Twitter that makes you absolutely insane... 1 - 2 - 3 - GO!


From The 12 Most Annoying Types of Facebookers

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Monday Secret


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Dear Briony

It's time for another Chronic Babe Blog Carnival! This week's theme is Parenting With Chronic Illness.


Dear Briony,

I know that I tell you this every day, but you are an incredibly special little girl. And you are going to grow up special - partially because you're just a cool kid, and partially because you're growing up with a sick mommy.

Being your mommy is something I wasn't sure I'd be able to have in my life, but now I can't imagine my life without you in it. You're the best thing that has ever happened to me. And even on my worst flare-up days, your noisy wet kisses are the very best medicine and all the motivation I need to get out of bed and try my hardest to make it a good day.

We're a good team, you and I. I think it's amazing how God matches up babies and families, and how he knew that you and I would be a perfect fit. It breaks my heart that you're growing up with a sick mommy, but you deal with it so well. It's like you just KNOW. You are incredible.

Most kids grow up to realize that the world is not a fair place. You are going to learn that early, and I am so sorry for that. The world you live in is not full of unicorns and rainbows and sunshine like I wish it could be. There will be little things that you are going to miss out on because I am not a 'normal' healthy mommy. I hate that, but it's true. For now, you don't really understand. Someday, I fully expect that you'll have times when you feel angry, disappointed, and frustrated with me. And that's okay, because it's going to be part of your journey to understand what makes our family special - and in turn, part of what makes you special. If you let them, it will be moments like these that help you grow into a patient and compassionate woman and they will turn this challenge into an incredible blessing in your life.

Something else that makes you special is all the people in your life who love you like family - our village. I don't know if there has ever been another girl with as many 'aunties' as you have, people who step in whenever we need a little bit of extra help. You are SO loved. And I hope that these people will continue to be an important part of your life as you grow up. You will learn so much from them, and they'll be there for you on those days when you feel angry and frustrated and disappointed.

There are things you will miss... But one thing that will not missing from your childhood is LOVE.

And birthday parties. I don't care how sick it makes me, you are going to have birthday parties - parties *almost* as special as you are :)



If you like what you're reading, there's more - lots more - over at the ChronicBabe Blog Carnival! Please show my fellow Chronic Babes some love :)

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Friday, May 14, 2010

It Has Come To This

It's 20.18 on a Friday night and I am bribing myself - with ice cream - to work until 21.00. At that magic and entirely arbitrary hour, I plan to power down my laptop and then proceed to gorge myself on said ice cream (and maybe some popcorn too, because that's the kind of week it's been) and watch reruns of Law + Order... or whatever else is on television on a Friday night.

I suspect that most people my age are probably out doing something more fun than working, eating ice cream, and watching reruns of legal shows that are probably based on 'current events' that happened four years ago when the episode originally aired... And while I may be behind on my Law + Order, I am most certainly NOT behind on MSNBC / The Daily Show, so I have at least one foot still firmly planted in (sarcastic and US-centric) reality and will realize this as I stuff popcorn in my face and wonder why I took FRIDAY night off instead of a superior television night earlier in the week.

This is my life now. I suspect my blog was more interesting when my life was more interesting.

PS - NBC announced this week that Law + Order will not be renewed for its upcoming 21st season. BOO. Before you get your panties in a knot, the spinoffs are all safe. There's even a new spinoff approved for the fall. But I don't know what television (and NBC) will be without Sam Waterston. And this means that it only *ties* for the record of longest-running drama, which seems kind of tragic. Hmph.

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Is it Friday yet?

I feel like I should throw myself a party for surviving this week... And I might, if it weren't for two important little details: (a) I'm too tired, and (b) my week isn't over yet. Geoff's still working tonight/tomorrow morning. And I need to work on the weekend, rewriting something for a client for the third time and counting because my moving target keeps moving... ARGH. And then Geoff is back to work on Monday. As am I. Because clearly, there is no rest for the wicked - OR for two working parents.

This week has been a gong show and next week is looking equally stupid. I just keep thinking that if I can make it to *next* Friday at 8 pm, we're laughing... Then Geoff is off work for a month (did you catch that? A MONTH!) and I'll be one day away from my yoga/spa weekend with Emily and six days away from our trip to BC.

I think I can... I think I can... I think I can...

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Playful Playdate

Miss Briony + I hosted Kari-Ann + Scarlett for a playdate this morning. Yes, THAT Kari-Ann. The super fabulous one behind Playful Peanut on Etsy. (Have you ordered anything from her yet? YOU SHOULD.)

It was awesome to see them, as always. And as always, I find myself wondering how two friends who got pregnant with two baby girls only six months apart cannot manage to see each other more often... It's ridiculous.

Briony is being a bear today, so it wasn't the smoothest playdate in history - but that's the great thing about friends. They're kind of obligated to love you (and your wild offspring) anyway. And the girls still managed to set a new world record for Cheerio consumption - and even shared a little bit :)

This particular playdate also functioned as a friendly courier service for some stuff I'd ordered for Briony from Playful Peanut - namely, a personalized Quiet Book, a belt, and a bunch of new hair clips. They're just as gorgeous as I'd hoped and expected. Check them out!

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fibromyalgia Awareness Day

It's Fibromyalgia Awareness Day today.

I 'celebrated' by having my mom over to watch Briony (THANK YOU AGAIN, MOM) so that I could work myself to the point of illness + exhaustion. Naturally.

I paced myself very well during the day, I think, but setting a healthy pace during the day ended up meaning that I'm sitting down again at 10 pm to do another couple of hours of work before I sleep. Kind of dreading what the rest of this week will bring after I'm so blatantly making poor health decisions tonight... BLECH.

Today, I wanted so badly to pause and celebrate everything I have in my life despite fibromyalgia. But instead, I found myself wishing - with tears in my eyes - that I could have just one day where I didn't end up in that place where I'm so exhausted I just literally feel like puking, or a day where I wouldn't have to deny my daughter something as simple as playing on the slide at the playground because the pain was too much, or just a day that is DIFFERENT from my everyday reality.

I choose to believe that day is still coming.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Will the Real Lindsay Wright Please Stand Up?

I sent off my request for a form that will enable me to graduate after I complete my final course this summer... But I've just been informed that UVic has SEVEN Lindsay Wrights in their system who could potentially be eligible for graduation this year and they need more information to figure out who I am (and which form to send me).

I never want to hear a whisper about Briony having an unusual first name again. THIS is precisely why we did it.

Oh, and at work last week, I was introduced in a meeting as Lindsay Wright... the agency's WRITER. You could literally see the pun sink in as it was spoken before the snickers started.

I really need to insist on a different title.

I don't regret taking Geoff's last name when we got married. It's kind of pretty, it's a heck of a lot shorter than Hildebrandt (I have a middle initial on my driver's license for the first time EVER), and I like how it makes our little family cohesive.

But it is *incredibly* common. And - much more importantly - it turns me into a living, walking, breathing pun. I hate puns. Talk about taking one for the team.

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Intent to Post

So I have about a million blog posts waiting to be written, including posts about:
- My second Mother's Day yesterday
- Our first daycare interview this morning
- My FINAL UVic course that started this afternoon
- Almost accidentally finding a fabulous new bathing suit
- Totally accidentally finding myself with a huge reading list again
- Lots of recent older-house annoyances
- Lots of tears over Briony turning 18 months old this week
- Lots of freaking out over baby milestones
- Lots of hilarious new things that Briony has been saying
- Lots of work drama and decision making
- Lots of dreaming and planning and discussing future trips
- Lots of new photos and a few videos
- And lots more stuff, I'm sure... (I'm a writer, people)

But for now, I'm going to quickly finish up a project for a client and then go crash on the couch with Geoff, some awesome television on our PVR, and my good friends Ben + Jerry.

I'll leave you with my favourite photo from Mother's Day yesterday...

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Sunday, May 09, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

I am eternally grateful for the privilege of getting to be this magnificent munchkin's mommy. Isn't she something? I quite honestly love her a little bit more every single day :)

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Saturday, May 08, 2010

Socialite In The Making

Tell me this photo doesn't have future drunken socialite/heiress written ALL OVER IT...

This was during her phase last week when she refused to take off her sunglasses ('eyes'). This kid makes me laugh.

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(Almost) Officially Spring

First tulips of the season from my yard... :)

Of course, it's not *officially* spring until Emily + I have had our first picnic of the year.


Friday, May 07, 2010

Thank God It's Friday

Briony + I had another battle of wills this morning. She thought it was morning. I disagreed. I WON.

But then *real* morning came, and I didn't feel any more awesome than I had earlier. And Briony's still being kind of whiny. So I packed us both up and we walked over to Starbucks, baby happily chattering away in her stroller as we went and telling me all about everything she saw.

All good, right? Yeah. Except for the part where we ran into one of my clients at Starbucks. It was a client I like, but that doesn't change the fact that I was in yoga pants, no makeup, and seriously looking like I needed a weekend (and a second cup of coffee). Super professional.

Anyway. Briony + I are muddling through a very long day over here. I'm trying to get some work done, but it's almost impossible with a toddler around. It's just not very possible to write - or more importantly, to write something GOOD - when it's being worked on in 90 second chunks. The deliverable I'd planned to wrap up today is going to happen this weekend, and I'm not okay with that... But it's outside of my control. (Can you even believe I just said that?!)

I'm still flared up - and starting to annoy MYSELF with how often I'm mentioning it - but I have a few fun things planned this weekend and I'm going to make the most of it.

Oh, and the best part? Our dryer is getting fixed. Ahead of schedule. TOMORROW. I'm not too proud to admit that I cried when I hung up the phone after Manitoba Hydro called with the good news. I really need to do baby laundry and it was seriously stressing me out.

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The Master Your Metabolism Cookbook

So just in case you've ever paused and wondered, 'Just how nerdy is Lindsay REALLY?...' - I totally have an answer for you. I'm nerdy enough that I had a copy of the new Jillian Michaels 'Master Your Metabolism Cookbook' in my grubby little hands by 10 am on the day it was released. Yup. And so far, I'm really impressed with it.

Our family has enjoyed two dinners from the cookbook so far, and they turned out so fabulously that you know I'm gonna share at least one of them with you :)


Grilled Lemon Chicken

1 tsp lemon zest
juice from one lemon
1/4 c chopped fresh basil or oregano
*I used basil
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (4 to 5 ounces each)
1/4 pitted kalamata olives, halved
*I skipped the olives to make my family happy

Prepare dressing by whisking together the lemon juice and zest, then stirring in the basil, honey, mustard, garlic, and salt and pepper. Whisking constantly, add the olive oil in a slow stream. Set aside.

Marinate the chicken in half the dressing. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or up to 8 hours), turning at least once.

Stir the olives into the remaining dressing and set aside until ready to serve.

Grill the marinated chicken breasts (5 to 6 minutes per side). Place the chicken on a platter and drizzle with the dressing.


I was particularly happy with this recipe because it worked so well to make it ahead. I ended up just making half the dressing and throwing the chicken + marinade in a freezer bag together when I got home from the grocery store. When I took the bag out of the freezer to thaw a few days later, it marinated in the fridge and was ready to go in the evening for dinner. It was super yummy without the extra dressing (though I'd imagine it would make it even better)... I'm just a huge fan of doing as much prep work as I can ahead of time.

There's nothing super-special about it... It's just good. And it's clean. And the leftovers were ridiculously good in a salad. It's one of those perfect solid recipes that I know I'll be using for a long time.


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Friday Smile

Hands up if you're totally excited for SNL this week!

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Thursday, May 06, 2010

One Moment With Briony

My child has replaced all the random 'rah-rah-ooh-la-la's in the intro to Lady Gaga's song 'Bad Romance' with 'mama' and has been singing ALL MORNING. I can't stop laughing at her... And considering this little song about me is likely to be as close to a Mother's Day gift as I'll get from her until she learns how to make ugly crafts somewhere, I'm cherishing it :)

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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

One Moment With Briony

Apparently, eating raspberries is HILARIOUS because raspberries have a little toddler-finger-sized hole in the top of them... I think Briony might have a new favourite food. Add this to the list of things I never, ever thought about before I became a mommy.

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It's Raining, It's Pouring

Some randomness on yet another rainy day...

I can't find my umbrella. What's the point in doing your hair in the morning when it's raining and you can't find your umbrella? Stupid. Talk about a wasted spoon.

I have a secret. I really like the days when I come into work. Of course, I miss Briony like crazy, but it's kind of fabulous to drink Starbucks + wear grown-up shoes + talk about smart things for a few hours at a time. It's always this huge deal to actually get myself out the door, downtown, parked, and into the office - but all the effort is so totally worth it when I get there. It's been such an amazing journey to discover that I still really love what I do.

Today was supposed to be Estate Planning Day, but the lady we were scheduled to meet with has the flu. I was REALLY looking forward to just getting it over with and crossing it off our list, but it looks like it will need to wait until later in the month.

This is seriously the flare that will not end... I am SO sick of feeling like shit. I spend most of every day fantasizing about swallowing a handful of pills, crawling back into bed, and staying there until next week.

I married someone great. I used to really freak out when I flared up, worrying about how it affected our relationship and thinking secretly that I wouldn't blame him at all for wanting out. But that's not Geoff. And it makes every flare up feel so much more manageable to just let go of that fear. I'm sure there are other girls with chronic illnesses who aren't as lucky.

Our dryer is not going to be fixed for at least another week. But that's fine. It's not like we have A BABY LIVING WITH US or anything like that. I get that this is an opportunity to be more environmentally friendly and all that jazz, but in case you haven't noticed, it's RAINING. And the whole clothes-hanging-everywhere-to-dry thing is getting kind of old. Actually, it makes me insane. And there are not enough anti-anxiety meds in the world to make me okay with it. (Mom, I'm bringing laundry over to your house after the weekend, okay? Thanks.)

The barista at Starbucks this morning knew my order. I know it probably means that we spend too much money at Starbucks, but I don't care. It made me so happy. And besides, this is totally why I work - to pay for all the fun stuff.

And speaking of fun stuff... We're working on finalizing plans, but in exactly one month from now, Geoff + Briony + I will be in Whistler for the weekend with Rob + Vicky + Ava. I am so excited. It's always so great to spend time with them (and when we spend the entire weekend together, it actually feels like we snuck in some quality time instead of just speed-dating-style conversation chunks in between running after toddlers). And what better place to hang out than Whistler? Looking forward to some beautiful scenery and lots of time to relax.

I've been missing my house key for two days and counting, and it has seriously been stressing me out. I just found it in my lunch bag, underneath the lining. OF COURSE (note the obvious sarcasm).

When Briony was born, we got a ton of cards. They're all in a basket in her room and she LOVES to play with them - especially because so many of them have pictures of babies and/or things that babies like. But her very favourite card is the one we got from Emily + Paul because it plays part of Louis Armstrong's 'What a Wonderful World' when you open it up. I've heard the same two lines of that song about a kajillion times because she'll just keep opening it and closing it to loop it incessantly. It would be annoying except that (a) it's kind of a great song, and (b) she has a special dance that she does just for this song, kind of swaying back and forth with a huge grin on her face. Even if I'm not in the room, I know exactly what she's doing when I hear the song playing. This morning, she was playing with it - and doing her special little dance - while we snuggled and she had a bottle. I had been super stressed about needing to get ready for work and considering handing her off to Geoff instead of doing the whole morning bottle thing, but it was exactly what I needed to put the rest of my day in perspective. The world really is kind of wonderful, isn't it? :)

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Monday, May 03, 2010

Monday Smile

This simply cannot wait until Friday...

So. Geoff came home with a minivan brochure last week. A MINIVAN BROCHURE. As in a BROCHURE about MINIVANS. And I did what every mature almost thirty year old mother would do... I threw a little hissy fit. Because there is just no way that I'm okay with driving a minivan. I know that other people do, and that's awesome for them, I just CAN'T. I take crap from my friends for my 'soccer mom car' - I can't even fathom the fallout from a MINIVAN.


Shake it off, Lindsay.


My drama queen minivan-related emotions aside, we've been thoroughly enjoying the Toyota Sienna campaign in the Wright household. I laugh at the commercials every single time. And when the campaign music video 'Swagger Wagon' launched, I laughed until my stomach hurt... Hopefully all my motherfather blog readers out there will enjoy it too :)

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Sunday, May 02, 2010


Another Chronic Babe Blog Carnival submission... This week's theme is Learning To Live With Pain. I'll link to the rest of the articles when they all go live this week.


I don't remember what it's like to live without pain.

I can't remember a single day of my life where I didn't wake up and feel pain in most of the joints and muscles in my body. Of course, some days are far better than others - but even on my very best days, it's always there.

People get really sad when they find out that I've lived with chronic pain since I was ten. I've thought about that, for sure. But what I've thought about even more is the fact that I might be incredibly lucky NOT to remember very much about life before I got sick. Kids don't always get knocked down in the same ways that adults do. Of course, maturity and perspective are incredibly important when it comes to dealing with something like chronic pain. But there is definitely something to be said for youthful resilience.

I was so freaking determined to be NORMAL that learning how to live with pain just kind of happened. If I was going to do things with my friends, if I was going to have a full course load and a full social life, if I was going to go to university and build my career, I needed to push through the pain. Again, thank God for the naivete of youth. When you're young, you're so much more fearless and you still believe that you can do anything. Some of the trial-and-error process really hurt, but one day - right around my twenty-fifth birthday - I stopped and looked around and realized that I was doing it. I was living my life with chronic pain. And all things considered, I think I was doing it pretty well.

Some days, I think about ten year old Lindsay. It makes me want to cry. I want to hold her and cry and mourn the loss of her childhood - because in so many ways, that little girl went from ten years old to adulthood literally during Spring Break when she was in grade five. I squeeze my eyes shut and wish with all my might that I could shield her from what's coming, stretching out my arm to brace her from the accident I can see coming right at us.

But in the next breath, I wonder what that would be stealing from her. Chronic pain isn't something I like, but it's undeniably a part of me. When your energy is limited and every movement counts, it causes you to prioritize every decision and everything in your life.

When everything costs something, you place value in the things that truly count. And that's a hefty little life lesson for a ten year old. But it's one that I would never take away from her.

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Getting Back Up

You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down.
~ Mary Pickford

It's been a long weekend (and not in a good way). Geoff's been working nights, Briony's been sleeping terribly thanks to yet another round of teething, and I've been dealing with a week-old flare up of arthritis and fibro symptoms that's starting to turn psychological. There's just something about living with pain and exhaustion at that level for a while that makes me kind of batty. And it makes me super sensitive - I'm disappointed and frustrated in just about everything and everyone. Case in point: I was dangerously close to tears when I *thought* that Geoff didn't like what I made for dinner tonight, and he hadn't said a word.

If I'm being super honest - and it's hard because I HATE this part of me - when it gets this bad, I don't ask for help anymore. I can't risk the hurt of hearing about people's other (read: NORMAL) plans, the things people who don't live with chronic illness do on weekends.

It all makes me want to curl up in bed and stay there. Not that it was a serious option, but I'm glad I didn't... Briony was particularly giggly and fun this evening before I put her to bed. It's absolutely amazing how God matches up babies and families, and how he knew that Briony and I would be a perfect fit. She's incredible. It breaks my heart that she's growing up with a sick mommy, but she deals with it so well. I swear it's like she just KNOWS. And I pray that it will turn out to be a blessing in her life somehow.

But it's days like today that make me so very grateful that tomorrow is a new day. I'm so glad that I can make new choices tomorrow and that I can start the day with a clean slate, full of possibility. Who knows... There's always a possibility that I'll wake up and my pain will be gone - or at least manageable. But just in case, and maybe most importantly, tomorrow will be a day that is full of HELP, with Katie coming in the morning until Geoff wakes up after his shift.

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Saturday, May 01, 2010

Mommy Moments

I was nearing the end of my rope this afternoon and I decided to cure our cabin fever with a mommy-and-Briony trip to the mall. She was actually lots happier after her nap this morning, but I think we were both needing a change in scenery. I was really needing a walk more than anything, but it's raining again today... Anyway. She was chattering away in the backseat as we drove and just a few blocks from home, she paused and then said 'I LOVE MAMA.'

It is so incredible how something so small can make ALL the other less-than-awesome mommy moments totally worth it.

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Briony Has A Superpower

Well, she probably has MANY superpowers... But the one that most concerns me today is the one that allows her to supernaturally SENSE when her daddy is working a night shift. Obviously, her natural response to the situation is to give me hell. Geoff was back for another night shift last night, and I will say that it was better than last time - but only because she managed one five-hour chunk of sleep vs last week's horrific two x two-hour chunks of sleep.

And of course, the second Dada walked in the door, she's all rainbows and unicorns. OF COURSE.

I'm trying *so* hard to be calm and patient and just roll with it because I know that she's teething and that this is NOT typical. But I SERIOUSLY need more sleep than this. My body is shutting down and we still have two more night shifts to go. And this is apparently supposed to be my 'weekend' - within an hour of Geoff finishing his third and final night shift, I get to go to work (because this is considered TIME OFF). Yippee.

Okay, thanks. I'm done now.

In the meantime, this website is seriously cheering me up :)

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