Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I just got an email from someone saying that they are praying for me.

The email had an automatic signature attached that included this quote: "Pharmaceutical companies create and provide products for people who won't take care of themselves."

Um, thanks. I feel *so* encouraged. Because I am OBVIOUSLY doing this to myself.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Finding the Fight

I'm having a hard time being positive today.

I'm finding it very difficult to find words to describe how I'm feeling. More than anything, I think that I'm fighting an overwhelming feeling of loss, and feeling that everything good in my life is slipping away from me.

The idea of what I'm doing to Geoff and Briony right now - and the realization of what having active arthritis again could mean for us - is quite literally breaking my heart. It was one thing for me to deal with this when I was single. I never, ever wanted to do this to my family. I want to question my decisions to share my life with them at all, knowing that this was always a possibility - but I'm refusing to even go there. They are the very best things in my life and they make me want to fight, even today when I don't feel strong enough.

As tough as it was, I know that letting Briony go home with my parents last night was the right decision. I needed today to get my tears out and to find the fight in my spirit again. I'm not there yet, but I'm on my way.

I've won this battle before, and I will do it again... I have to.

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Countdown to Lilith: Kate Nash

Now that we're less than three weeks away from my girls roadtrip weekend with Emily, Kathy, and Mel to check out Lilith Fair in Minneapolis, I can't resist putting together a little 'Countdown to Lilith' series. Can you tell that I'm just a LITTLE BIT excited? :)

First up is the lovely Kate Nash. I have a little bit of a love/hate relationship with Ms Nash. I'm relatively certain that I would have been a huge fan if she'd appeared on the music scene when I was a teenager. But she didn't. And so she's become a little bit of a guilty pleasure artist for me when I'm in the right mood. In the right mood, I quite enjoy reliving my college years in all their glorious angst. In the wrong mood, she's an annoying little sister and I REALLY want her to practice her guitar in the garage instead of in front of the mirror in the bedroom we share.

That said, her style is kind of adorable and her songwriting is creative and fun. It will be interesting to see her live because she's definitely on my list of artists who I have my doubts about... She could surprise me and be incredible live. Or she could sound like s#*t. And happily, there is only one way to find out.

My very favourite Kate Nash song is 'Nicest Thing' - to me, it's one of the most honest 'I wish you loved me back' songs ever. And if you've survived your college years, you know that there's always room for one more song like that (pass the Arbor Mist and a box of tissues, please... hehe).

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Tough Stuff

First, the good news. I called my family doctor this morning and got in to see him immediately. Let the record reflect that taking the time to be exceedingly polite to your doctor's receptionist will pay off EVERY TIME. I don't love my doctor, but I love that - when it's important - I can get in to see him quickly. That's worth so much.

Today was maybe 10% better than yesterday pain wise, but I took some good drugs to sleep last night (probably why I feel better today) - and I forgot how very, very ill they make me feel. I finally kept some food down for the first time around 2 pm today, but I'm still queasy and my head is still pounding.

I managed to make it to my client meeting this morning - only 15 minutes late (I called to warn them, no worries). Geoff + Briony dropped me off on their way to go get groceries and then I took the bus home. Winnipeg Transit sucks for LOTS of reasons, but for some inexplicable reason we have a direct connection from the end of our block to a stop that's within a block of most of my clients. Awesomeness.

Also awesome is the fact that one of my friends had the day off today and was able to drive me to my appointment this afternoon.

Even more awesome is the fact that my parents are keeping Briony overnight tonight to give me a chance to start my recovery process via some better drugs and some uninterrupted sleep (and a break from the nonstop guilt I'm feeling over not being able to take care of my daughter). The only problem is that I feel like a WORSE mommy for needing to do this. And I miss her. A lot.

Now for the tough part... My appointment today did not go the way I had hoped. I'm not quite ready to talk about it yet, but I will soon. The short version is that I can't get the help and support I need from my family doctor - so we're playing a waiting game now. In the meantime, I'm dealing with uncontrolled pain and no access to meds.

The panic is just beneath the surface and it is very, very real. I'm praying for some sunshine in the morning.

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Monday Secret


Sunday, June 27, 2010

One Moment With Briony

Geoff + I had the most hilarious 'conversation' with Briony today.

I should back up... We have rabbits that live in our yard. We see them a couple of times a day - at minimum - and Briony *loves* them. Today, we noticed a brand new tiny baby bunny, which has absolutely delighted her. We talked about bunnies A LOT at our house today.

Sometime during dinner, Briony started jabbering away and looking very concerned. We pieced together her words and phrases and quickly realized that she had just figured out that the bunnies sleep outside - not in a house - and she was pretty upset about it. We actually needed to explain that the bunnies LIKED sleeping outside, just like she likes sleeping in a house.

She calmed down about it eventually, but it took everything Geoff + I had not to laugh out loud at her very serious concern. It's so funny to watch all her little packets of information start to connect. You can practically smell the smoke as her little brain works...

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The Boogeyman

With all the episodes of Criminal Minds and murder-and-mayhem beach novels I consume, I could find A LOT of things to worry about. But I don't. And it's most likely because the vast majority of my dedicated worrying energy is concentrated in one area of my life: worrying that my arthritis will come back.

I fear this more than almost anything in this world. I fear going back to a life of drugs and joint damage and disabled parking signs. I fear what it would rob from me and from my life and from the people I love.

(If you're just joining us, the Coles Notes version of this story is that I've had arthritis since I was 10. I went into remission at 22 or 23, the same year I developed fibromyalgia and basically won the Lottery of Suck. My arthritis has been mostly dormant since then.)

Every time I feel even a hint of arthritic pain, I have to fight the urge to capital-letters PANIC. I want to cry and scream and throw things and curl up in a tiny little ball. So far, the flares I've had during my remission are not usually a big deal and I end up feeling like a (slightly embarrassed) drama queen. But that reality didn't stop me from fighting these feelings like crazy when I flared up in BC this past month. It was easy to blame it on the rain or the altitude change or the time change or a hundred other little things, and I was looking forward to getting home and getting better.

But we're home and I'm not better. I'm worse. This past week brought with it a spiral of PANIC and an escalating series of casualties - first my fingers, then my knee, then my hips, and today my back. MY BACK. Almost twenty years with this blasted disease, and it had never touched my back until today. It's a new and special kind of hell, I think.

I had my brave face on this morning, but I think I spent more of this afternoon crying than not. I know that this flare could go away in a day or a week or a month... BUT WHAT IF IT DOESN'T? The type and amount of pain I've experienced lately is different than it's been in years. It's undeniably arthritis. It's the return of a Lindsay who my husband and daughter haven't met before. It's the thing I've been fearing most, and it's happening.

I've never been this scared before. I've never had this much to lose.

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You Are Cordially Invited

We've had a LOT of tea parties here this week. This morning, Geoff + Briony + I went to go pick up the table + chairs I snagged off Kijiji. They're not beautiful at the moment, but I have big plans for them... Stay tuned for some future (and probably frustrated) posts.

In the meantime, Briony is *so* thrilled with them ('it's a table... it's BRIONY'S table... it's mine') - and now the tea parties have a much classier location than the edge of our ottoman or the living room floor.

Giraffe was our first guest of honour, but I'm sure that Briony would be excited to host anyone if you'd like to come :)

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One Moment With Briony

TOTALLY being an annoying mommy here for a second...

Briony was colouring the other day (not very noteworthy) and I noticed something for the very first time (the point of this post): I could actually tell what she was trying to colour. Since then, she's been doing better and better and it's so much fun to watch colouring become more exciting to her than ever.

It's just such a fun milestone, and I needed to document it :)


Thursday, June 24, 2010

World Record Holder

That's right. I set the world record today for the most times any mommy anywhere in all of history has said NO in one afternoon. And I feel like shit right now. I have visions of a 400 pound grown-up Briony in stained sweatpants with stringy hair lying on a therapist's couch someday saying that all she remembers from her childhood is her mother saying NO and that it has stopped her from feeling like she was worth something and doing anything meaningful with her life.

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Retail Therapy or Happy (early) Birthday To ME!

Yesterday was tough. So naturally, I went out and bought myself an early birthday present.

Or maybe three :)

Check out these gorgeous sandals from Mad About Style on Academy. I came home with the black ones and the white ones (not the ivory floral ones, though they are super pretty too!).

I love it when I'm thoughtful enough to give a perfect gift ;)

I also finally picked up a conversation starter cube I've been eyeing for a long time. I'm such a dork for games that inspire interesting conversations and really get people talking... And I chose the cube full of questions on ethics because I'm evil like that. Can't wait to break it out with some friends very, very soon.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Turn Around

Hands up if you now have 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' stuck in your head.

Oh, really? Just me?


What a difference a couple of hours makes. Briony had a nap this morning (WHY OH WHY do I feel so superior for having outsmarted a NINETEEN MONTH OLD?) and woke up happy as a clam. Then Katie came - and she came bearing flowers, having read my depressing Facebook status updates. Briony waved happily as I left and I was totally thinking happy thoughts again (in place of the thoughts I had previously been having about animal mothers eating their young).

A quick stop at the bank was followed by a visit to Indigo on Kenaston, where I planned to set up shop in Starbucks for a couple of hours. Here my day was very nearly derailed.

Fun Fact: Apparently, I picked the one Starbucks location in Winnipeg without wifi.

Surprised? ME TOO. So I did a quick shop in Chapters and then headed to the next Starbucks over. Deep breath. No big deal. Shake it off. I felt like a little bit of a loser walking in with a coffee and scone already in hand, but I managed to find a big comfy chair, an electrical outlet, and the wifi I was seeking.

One client project and one volunteer project down, and one client project to go - then MAYBE JUST MAYBE I'll have time to stop and look for a summer jacket before heading home again. I know, I shouldn't push my luck :)

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Loving This Second

A few material objects I've been obsessing over lately...

1. Kraft Olive Oil Dressings. Specifically, the Pesto Parmesan and Fig Balsamic varieties. And specifically as marinades for grilled chicken. YUMMY.

2. This ridiculously adorable (and environmentally conscious) tea set by Green Toys I've had my eye on for Briony FOREVER. I finally picked it up today and can't wait to give it to her later today.

3. The new Eucalyptus mosquito repellant by OFF. I looked everywhere for eucalyptus oil last summer and had very poor luck. This year, you can buy it at Superstore for pretty much the same cost as the yucky chemical stuff. It goes on so nicely, smells lovely, and works like a sonuvabitch. Seriously. And seriously awesome.

4. WASHABLE CRAYONS. Where were these things when we were kids?

5. Buy 3 Get The 4th Free at Chapters until July 4. I've been once already, and I'm thinking I'll be back :)

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Signs of Desperation

You know it's going to be an interesting day when you've managed to get your toddler to take her first nap of the day before 07.00.

I don't know why we're having such a rough week over here. Yesterday was a gong show full of nonstop little challenges and struggles. It was the first day in a long time that I can remember needing to bite my lip and concentrate on not crying. I let a few tears slip out on my drive home from work and saved the rest for after Geoff got home.

I might try to explain more later. I might not. I hate dwelling on the negative, but so much of what made yesterday difficult was the flare up I'm still dealing with and I think it's important to talk about it - and for people to understand what a 'day in the life' can be like for someone with fibro and chronic fatigue (especially a 'day in the life' with a toddler involved).

Morning happened around 05.20 here today. You know you're in for a TREAT when your toddler wakes up *before* your nurse husband's alarm goes off. And WOW was she in a GREAT MOOD (can you feel the sarcasm dripping off that sentence?).


I was already well-caffeinated by the time I tricked Briony into napping (she finally let me put her in her crib and took her pacifier when I offered her a few books to look at in there, and within 20 minutes she was snoring... victory!), so I didn't go back to bed. Instead, I chose to pour myself another cup of coffee and spend some time with God. IMAGINE THAT. Talk about a sign of desperation (hehe). It was the only thing I could think of that could possibly succeed in turning such a no good very bad morning around. I'll let you know how it goes :)

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010


My friend Trish shared this quote on Facebook today. I'm not sure of the source, but I'm very sure of its positive impact on me today.

"It is not your role to make others happy; it is your role to keep yourself in balance. When you pay attention to how you feel and practice self-empowering thoughts that align with who you really are, you will offer an example of thriving that will be of tremendous value to those who have the benefit of observing you."

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Memo To Baby

I need to teach Briony how to read so she can read my MEMO TO BABY that explains the fact that we are now back in Winnipeg.

We are dealing with some incredibly tough bedtimes this week - and it's coming from a CHAMPION baby sleeper, so I feel terribly ill-equipped to deal with it. Then she's sleeping until 10 am every morning, which screws things up in a different way. I seriously feel like sitting down on the floor and either yelling or crying until someone brings back my perfectly scheduled toddler (that phrase was not an oxymoron in our house until JUST NOW).

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Workaholics Anonymous

I was inspired by this article today.

I've been working a lot lately on spending my time consciously - on working more efficiently so that I have more time and energy left for MY LIFE. It's so freeing to start to ask questions like 'how does this fit with my goal of having a balanced life?' and 'will this make my family happier?' and 'why am I doing this in the first place?'

It's kind of amazing, actually. Yes, I'm saying NO a little more often. But by saying NO to the things that don't have a place in the life I want to live, I'm able to say YES to some other things - things that make me happy. Of course, BALANCE isn't a destination - it's a journey. But every decision I make to live my life more consciously keeps me on that path.

I think we can all do a better job of pursuing balance. This week, I'm making a promise to myself to keep my work inside boxes of dedicated Work Time - and to walk away from my laptop and live my life in between.

What will you promise to yourself this week?

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Father's Day Wrap Up

Three years ago, I accepted a proposal from a man who I loved. I was clearly blinded by the sparkle of the most gorgeous engagement ring I'd ever seen and weakened by the lack of oxygen up high on the mountain where he asked me to be his wife... I kid, I kid. When Geoff and I decided to get married, I knew that he was a good man and I knew that he'd be a good husband. I guessed that he'd be a good father if we had children someday, but that's something you can't really ever know for sure until you take the leap and become parents together.

We didn't actually leap. We were pushed. But the end result was - happily - welcoming Briony into our new little family.

Watching Geoff and Briony together is one of the things in this life that makes me the happiest. He is such an incredible 'dada' to our little princess and I could sit and listen to them giggling together forever. He has totally stepped up and taken on a more active parenting role than the average 'dada' - something that has allowed me to return to the work I love without having to drop our baby girl off at daycare every day. Right at the moment when I'm ready to sell her, he always seems to have an extra store of patience to deal with her drama. And he's the perfect yin to my yang (or the other way around?), with an incredible superpower that allows him to spot the potential for toddler-sized fun and adventure in anything.

For everything he does to love and support us, it was great to have a formalized opportunity to celebrate him a little bit this weekend. On Saturday, we went to the mall to pick out Geoff's gift and then - at his request - the three of us spent a couple of hours on Corydon. He finally got to check out Dingo's, where he ordered an EPIC 'Canadian Dog' that came loaded with chili, cheese, bacon, and Old Dutch potato chips. I don't really understand (and I nibbled away reluctantly at half of my 'Naked Dog'), but it made him happy.

We were invited to my parents' place for the day on Sunday, but we decided to pick up breakfast and have a quick picnic in the park on our way. OH MY, what an epic miscalculation (yep, this blog post deserved TWO epics).

Okay, I'm from here, and I totally get that we have mosquitoes in summer. But never ever ever in my almost three decades of life in Winnipeg have I EVER experienced mosquitoes like what we encountered on Sunday. Geoff pounded back his breakfast while I tried to shove as much food as possible into Briony's mouth (without accidentally feeding her mosquitoes) and then we RAN back to the car and I ate on the drive. YUCK YUCK YUCK. After a quick stop at Shopper's Drug Mart for some After Bite, we headed out to Niverville and spent a relaxing day catching up with family.

It wasn't a super special Father's Day in terms of extravagant plans or specifically designed memories, but it was a great weekend full of time spent together. And that's pretty special in our books.

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One Moment With Briony

So it would appear that I have accidentally taught Briony to call her Dada GEOFF. I'm still Mama, and Geoff is still Dada maybe 50% of the time, but the rest of the time he is GEOFF.

But not just any kind of GEOFF. GEOFF in this awful naggy parrot voice that she clearly picked up from somewhere... OH. MY. GOD. MORTIFYING.

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Saturday, June 19, 2010


I hear all the time about parents who push their kids too hard or expect them to be too grown up too fast. I think I have the opposite problem. I still have it in my head that Briony is a baby, and I catch myself being way too careful ALL the time. Case in point? My nineteen month old ate raisins for the first time this month. I know that I am ridiculous. I honestly can't help it sometimes. I'm that mom who sees a hundred different ways that she could maim or kill herself around every corner. And it's turning into a crisis situation in my already possibly crazy head.

Here's my stupid first time mommy confession: I'm constantly being surprised when she encounters something new and knows exactly what to do with it - things I probably should have known that she was ready for. This month, I watched her play endlessly with a play kitchen set at Geoff's parents' place and I sat there feeling like an IDIOT because I'd never even considered that a kitchen set would be an appropriate toy for a one year old. Then she was playing dress-up with different hats and giggling hysterically as she toddled around and acted goofy. Again, I had NO idea that a one year old could play dress-up. In Whistler, Vicky pulled out some playdoh for Ava and it blew my mind that a one year old could play with playdoh. BLEW. MY. MIND. Seriously. Does everyone else have a book that I don't?!

So I'm growing increasingly concerned that I am stunting my child's development by failing to make completely age-appropriate activities available to her. This post is part vent part cry for help. For the mommies out there... What did your kids love to do when they were one?

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Return to Peg City

Gee, Winnipeg. Thanks for the welcome. This combination of rain, mosquitoes, and general ick is LOVELY. And you wonder why people say mean things about you.

Our trip home yesterday went off without a hitch. Unless you call a baby who decided to skip her nap *and* decided to start teething again a hitch. Or a very turbulent flight. It wasn't the funnest flight of my life, but Briony wasn't screaming or anything - she was just generally unimpressed. We were greeted at the airport by my parents, which was nice. It's always a million times nicer to arrive in an airport to smiling faces who are happy to see you, isn't it? I love it. But I don't pretend for a second that they were there for me... As always, it's ALL about Briony :)

I had cleverly pre-cooked and frozen dinner for Briony before we left, so we heated that up while Geoff went to pick up pizza and we called it dinner. The big grocery shop happened this morning (after we went out for breakfast).

I think we're all starting to settle in again. Today's been busy - and I've barely scraped the surface of all the unpacking that needs to happen (shameful because all the clothes are clean, they just need to be put away). The morning was spent running errands, and then I had a waxing appointment right after lunch before I got hit with a series of client 'emergencies' (so much for taking the day off).

Hang on... LUNCH. We gave BRIONY lunch. I knew I forgot something. No wonder I feel so crappy.

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Friday Smile

(click the photo to enlarge)


Thursday, June 17, 2010

The One That Tastes A Little Bittersweet

“When you're safe at home, you wish you were having an adventure; when you're having an adventure, you wish you were safe at home.”
~ Thornton Wilder

Isn't that the annoying truth.

The last couple of days have been full of goodbyes. We said goodbye to Al + Joanne and their kids on Sunday and Rob + Vicky + Ava on Monday. We missed saying goodbye to Jason + Amy, which was doubly sad because they'll be out of the country when we plan to visit next... We said goodbye to Aaron + Cait after a movie-and-coffee date last night - made extra special by the fact that our movie was Prince of Persia, which Aaron has been involved with through work (and I finally understand what he's talking about now... YAY ME!). We said goodbye to Geoff's sister Carole and three of her kids tonight, but missed our nephew Justin and his girlfriend Vanessa which was also a little bit sad. We didn't spend as much time as usual with their family on this trip, but I have not yet perfected our self-cloning technology (maybe next time). Oh, and Briony said goodbye to the neighbours, of course. Throw in a few other required goodbyes and you've got yourself altogether too many sappy hugs for one girl for one week.

Tomorrow, we'll say our final goodbyes to Alan + Marilyn - and then we'll turn things around and finally get to say some hellos (which are less dramatic but always happier).

I think we're all packed other than the few things we'll need in the morning. I'm scared to say anything definitive yet, but I'll knock on wood while I type this: I think we've successfully managed to come home with the same number of pieces of luggage that we arrived with, and I only expanded one small suitcase. And that's with a moderate-to-fair amount of shopping and a few gifts coming home (all for Briony and my niece Chloe, of course). I know what you're thinking, and you'd be absolutely correct: I am the queen of packing, and this shall be the proof of my auspicious reign.

I'm logging off now until we're safe at home in Winnipeg. Can't wait to start catching up with all my Winnipeg peeps soon ;)

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The One Full of Sugar + Spice

In between work and laundry this afternoon, I've been building my 'inspiration' file for kids' bedrooms and storage ideas. Know what's awesome about having a little girl? EVERYTHING. Well, everything except the future state of my bank account :)

Here's what I was drooling over today, compliments of Pottery Barn Kids...

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The One Where I Declutter My House From Three Provinces Away

Does anyone need baby bottles? Or a can of Good Start 2 with Natural Cultures formula? As discussed in a previous post, we're totally done here and I'm getting rid of it all this weekend... Message me if you're interested otherwise I'll do some research and see if I can donate them somewhere.

I've got six of these Medela newborn bottles.

And I've got four of these Playtex bottles - one each of purple, pink, yellow, and green. They're exactly like this photo except that they have designs on the bottle part (butterflies, flowers, fish, and balloons if I remember correctly). They use drop-in liners.


The One Where I Curse Marshall McLuhan

I've lived nearly 29 years - all of them in Canada and one third of them as a professional communicator - without reading Marshall McLuhan's classic Understanding Media. I had to tackle a decent chunk of it for the course I'm taking, and I can now say that I could have happily lived another 50 or 60 years without reading it. Those epic 'the medium is the message' quotes are practically all that makes sense in this odd, rambling masterpiece.

It reminds me of required reading for my philosophy course in university. And not in a good way (because there is no good way). I'm taking most of my ideas from a combination of the forward to the book and Wikipedia. Whatever happened to Coles Notes? :)

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The One Where I Nearly Lose My &#*% at Starbucks

The entire population of chatty weirdos in Abbotsford is at Starbucks this morning. The same Starbucks where I am seriously trying to get some work done, away from my adorable but noisy eighteen month old and my husband who is annoyingly on vacation right now.

Here's the list so far (and I should note that I've been here less than an hour):

An older woman with a bowl cut and a rainbow scarf who sat down in the open chair beside me and talked to me AT LENGTH about how close our chairs were together ('It's so funny how they would put these chairs together. Our feet are almost touching! And we don't even know each other! They're really very close together...'). I finally moved mine.

An older man with a mullet and gold chain who immediately informed me that I was endangering myself by working on my laptop without a pad in between the computer and my legs. I smiled my thanks, and the advice just kept coming... Don't swim in public pools. Don't take a bath (but if you need to, stand up and shower right after). Only buy Rolex watches. And that was seriously just the tip of the iceberg.

Another older man with a mullet (REALLY?!) who had to tell me all about his own business success, his wife's success (she's a paralegal who types 165 words per minute... much faster than he had observed me typing, though I'm a pretty faster typist in his opinion), and his kids - including a son around my age who is currently trying to sell a screenplay he wrote about a man with a blood disorder who lives among vampires. Kill me now.

A kid in his early twenties who wanted to know if he could use my MacBook to do something with his broken iPhone. I said no, and he proceeded to tell me a five minute long story about how he just got it yesterday and let his daughter play with it and she pressed something she shouldn't have. I suggested bringing it to wherever he bought it from to see if they could help, and he said something about 'getting it off some guy'... Of course. Buddy, this is SO NOT MY PROBLEM.

Now the seat nearest me has been filled with an older gentleman wearing slippers (WHY GOD WHY) and a black, white, and emerald green knit sweater. He's eating a scone in such a way that his lips and chin are literally blanketed in crumbs... But he's sitting quietly and reading a newspaper and so I'll take him.

Back to work...

UPDATE 11:17 - Buddy with the iPhone came back to ask me AGAIN if he could use my computer to restore his iPhone. Said no again. Now slightly concerned that he'll come back and kill me. On the upside, Crumb Man is now doing a crossword! A glorious crossword that requires SILENCE and CONCENTRATION!

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The One Where I Channel My Inner Paris

It's cool to be your own boss and all, but what people don't always say about self-employment is that while you get to be your own boss, you also get to be your own assistant. This morning, I'm putting together a very basic project timeline and formatting it... It's not exactly rocket science, but super annoying to actually have to sit down and do.

This must be how Paris Hilton feels when she has to drive her own car or fix her own roots.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Monday Secret

Can't believe it's taken me so long to post this...

After this secret appeared on the PostSecret site, someone set up a Facebook group of people joining together to tell this anonymous submitted not to jump. Within about a week, the group had 65,000 members from around the world. No word on whether or not this person decided to jump - or whether they even know about this massive uprising of people wanting to send their love and encouragement - but it's been featured everywhere from CNN to Time Magazine and PostSecret has heard from many others who made their own decisions not to 'jump' because of it. The reason this story is particularly special is because the creator of this Facebook group is a friend of a friend, and I think it's so cool how one ordinary person can make such an impact.

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The One With All The Pyjama Parties

I've decided that it's just because she's been in so many unfamiliar places on this trip, but Briony and I have had a couple of odd little pyjama parties this month.

Once or twice a week, she's been waking up around 2 am and freaking out until I take her out of her bed - then she's wide awake and super happy. We'll cuddle and look at books or watch TV or she'll just sit and tell me stories.

Between five minutes and half an hour later, she'll find her pacifier and stick it in her mouth, hand me her blanket, and then walk over to her bed and say 'sleepy' and she'll fall back asleep until morning absolutely without incident. It's over just as randomly and unexpectedly as it started.

These random little middle of the night parties are NOT my favourite thing in the world. But I'm hoping that by documenting it here, I'll someday look back and think 'aw, how cute...' :)

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The One Where Hilarity Ensues

We met up with Rob + Vicky + Ava for our final playdate of this trip. It was sad because it's so incredible that the girls have each other to play with (and Geoff + I really enjoy hanging out with Ava's parents too). Over the past week or so, Briony started saying Ava, but with two short 'a' sounds. It's kind of adorable. Today, we picked up sushi and met up with Rob's sister and her family in the park for dinner. We just managed to beat the rain and it was a good time enjoying the very end of another lovely day.

I wanted Starbucks when we were leaving tonight and Rob + Vicky (like most of our BC friends, oddly enough) have a Starbucks on the main floor of their condo building. I knew how to get there, but Geoff knew a shortcut - which he didn't really fully explain to me before taking Briony to the car and driving around to pick me up. To make a long story short, I ended up going out the wrong door and found myself in an outdoor maintenance area, in the rain, locked out of the building, fenced in and half a storey above the street. GAAAAH. I called Rob for help - barely able to explain my predicament because I was laughing so hard - and as I attempted to explain to him where I was trapped, this guy came from inside and wordlessly opened the door for me. He let me in and then headed back into the condo closest to where I was stuck, half waving over his shoulder as I thanked him. I realized later that his patio opened onto the place where I was trapped and that the window had been open, and he had likely heard my call to Rob. Then I realized that - from his reaction - this was far from the first time he'd been forced to rescue someone there. Which just made it all even funnier...

Briony didn't fall asleep on the way back from Rob + Vicky's tonight - even though it was WELL past her bedtime. She started getting fussy about 20 minutes from home, and Geoff + I resorted to singing infinity verses of 'The Wheels on the Bus' to keep her entertained. This is particularly funny because neither of us actually knows more than about two verses of this song - and so Briony's bus contained some pretty weird stuff making some pretty weird noises. She was loving every moment of it. And we needed to trade off verses sometimes just because we were laughing so hard.

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The One Where I Totally Give Up

I've pretty much given up hope of ever catching up here, so here's a collection of randoms from the last week or so for your reading enjoyment (or more accurately, for my own documentation of our life).


Geoff's parents have a baby bunny in their backyard. Like a TINY baby bunny. Like a tiny baby bunny that would totally fit in the palm of your hand. Briony has been on Baby Bunny Watch all week, and we spot it a couple of times a day. ('Baby bunny! Baby bunny! Where did it go?')

Our child is *slightly* obsessed with Miga - the black and white Olympic mascot from Vancouver. We resisted buying one for her, but got a tip from friends out here that there is an Olympic clearance warehouse open on weekends and basically impossible to find unless you know people who have been there. Even with very specific directions - and a street address - it was kind of crazy to find, but we were not disappointed. We scored a large Miga stuffed toy for Briony for $6. Awesomeness. Even better was the look on her face when we handed Miga to her. They've been almost inseparable ever since. Briony calls her 'Mugga' and is constantly hugging her and telling us how much she loves her. I think there's a Visa 'priceless' commercial in there somewhere (and not just because of the whole Olympic sponsorship thing). In any case, it's been $6 very well spent.

I'm a little concerned that I've gained weight on this trip, but I'm not checking until we get home. We've been active, but we've also been eating... UGH. Time to get responsible again when we get home. Better have LOTS of fun in the next two days! hehe

I got my first major assignment from this course back with a mark of 78% and a comment of 'fantastic work, Lindsay!' Um, what?! Clearly, we have different definitions and standards. And apparently, I won't be finishing this program with an A+ (or anything remotely close). Ah, well.

Briony has been encountering a series of weird and socially awkward older kids in playgrounds here lately. My guess is that they aren't capable of making friends their own age, and maybe babies and adults seem like easier target. They're inappropriately friendly and just ODD. Today, one of these girls was trying to hold Briony's hand as she navigated some very uneven ground covered in woodchips. I could see that she was throwing Briony off balance - by her proximity and by the fact that Briony was rather forcefully trying to avoid holding the weird girl's hand - and so I asked her not to. Then I told her not to. Then I kind of yelled at her not to. She did it anyway, and ended up falling on top of Briony on the woodchips. I demanded she apologize, and of course she just shrugged and wandered away - and her parents were too busy to notice or care. If my own child hadn't been so hysterical, I would have tracked down her parents just to yell at them for being so careless and raising such a careless child. SERIOUSLY. (Okay, I'm climbing off my soapbox now...)

I'm physically attached to my BlackBerry at all times - second only to Starbucks, and then to my MacBook. If you know me in real life, this is the farthest thing from news. It's partially because I'm admittedly a tad bit obsessive about work, but it's mostly sheer force of habit because when I'm really flared up I need to have a phone within reach at all times, just in case. But I experienced a first today: I accidentally brought my laptop into the bathroom with me instead of my BlackBerry. I'm still trying to figure out what this means. But I've discovered that there is no good place to put a laptop inside of a bathroom. I realized what I'd done just seconds after locking the door and I stood there for a minute like an idiot, trying to figure out what to do with it. (The answer, if you're curious, was to place it on the mat in front of the sink. Not sure what the *correct* answer is, but that's what I came up with at 10.30 at night.)

I started off today with a 07.30 am conference call. It was kind of my idea so that we had the rest of the day unscheduled, but it was NOT one of my better ideas. What a ridiculously depressing way to begin a week (even though I'm happy and excited about the project). Memo to Self: DON'T DO THAT AGAIN.

Lots of people have been asking about how I'm feeling, because I talked so much about being sick at the beginning of our trip. The truth is that I've improved, but I've never really found my balance here - which is freaking me out because if I can't balance here with all this support, I'm not sure how I'm going to do it at home. I'm crossing my fingers that it was just the weather and atmospheric changes here, but we'll see for sure over the next week or two. In the meantime, we've been SO BLESSED to be surrounded by friends and family who pitch in and help out with Briony without us ever needing to ask. Between Geoff's mom and Cait and Hannah and Vicky and everyone else who has given my daughter some extra love at one point of this trip or another, it's been very manageable. I've said it before, but it's as true now as ever: what a lucky little girl to be so very loved.

Two days left before Travel Day. How is it possible that three weeks can fly by so quickly? I blame it on having so many people here who we love. We're sad about leaving but excited to come home again, which means that it was all perfectly timed again.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

The One With a Glimmer of Excitement

Geoff and I have been talking practically forever about doing a trip to New York. He's been, I haven't, and I've ALWAYS wanted to go.

We debated just going and bringing Briony along - because, let's face it, we bring her everywhere - but that would mean giving up Broadway. And I'm a girl with a minor in Theatre who has never been to New York... TRAGIC.

We've been asking around a little to see what kinds of options we'd have for childcare if we decided to just go for it during Geoff's vacation at the end of this year - and I think we *might* have found a solution.

Just the idea that Geoff and I could possibly have a couples-only mini vacation in our future is making me so happy... I'm just having a really difficult time not feeling selfish. We had a baby, and it's our responsibility to take care of her. The idea that other people would need to reschedule their lives so that we can go and selfishly enjoy a baby-free vacation makes me a little bit queasy, if I'm being honest. Never mind the whole part where I spend a bunch of days halfway across the country from my cute-alicious baby girl. And it's kind of overwhelming to realize that we have people in our lives who love us enough to be willing to give their time to do something like this for us.

Good thing I have lots of time to wrap my head (and my heart) around all of this.

In hopes that this trip could possibly happen, I've been doing something that would make Gail so very proud: I've been putting away money every month since February so that our entire trip is easily and painlessly pre-paid. Kind of awesome, hey? I am *so* not this girl... At least, that's what I used to think. But it's actually kind of fabulous to be doing it (in a grown-up kind of way).

We've been talking about it for so long, and I haven't really allowed myself to feel excited about it at all because it didn't feel real. We're still working things out, but just the idea that it could possibly happen unleashed a single excited butterfly today... :)

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

The One Where I Mourn My Baby

Today, I was posting some new photos on Facebook from our weekend in Kamloops and I was struck by just how very grown up my baby is looking. I mean, I know in my head that she's a toddler now... But WOW.

This is the photo that did it.

See what I mean? She's not a baby anymore.


I can't even describe all the ways she's grown up in the last two and a half weeks while we've been there. For starters, my baby is off bottles entirely. She gave up the daytime bottles a couple of months ago, and then the morning ones went maybe six weeks ago. During the last few days before our trip, she wasn't really that into her bedtime bottle anymore - and within two days of arriving here, I realized that she was done. So we stopped. That was it, and The End was entirely devoid of drama (other than a few tears shed by yours truly because I really loved my bedtime bottle time with her). I had absolutely no clue how we were going to wean our baby off bottles, and before we were even close to an idea, she had done it herself. Typical Briony. She's not that into her sippy cup anymore either - she definitely prefers a straw or a plain old cup. She's eating almost exclusively with a fork and spoon instead of her fingers. In less than a month, she's gone from being coaxed into a few cautious steps a couple of times a day to shoving our hands away and running around. And the talking... My god, the talking... :)

WHAT IS GOING ON? Seriously.

I suspect that I'm feeling it so intensely because this is it. We are going to go home and I am going to pack up all her bottles, and I'm going to give them away, and we will never have bottles in our house again. Isn't that crazy? It was crazy to have bottles in our house, and now it's even crazier that they'll be gone.

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

The One Where I Resurface (Briefly) in Kamloops

It was sunny and 29 degrees here today. I'm tempted to leave this post right there, but I do have a couple of other things to say :)

It's been a whirlwind couple of days roadtripping it up to Kamloops and hanging out with Geoff's sister and her family. Al + Joanne's middle children - Libby + Ruth - graduated from high school this weekend, which I think officially makes us OLD.

Last night, we attended their convocation ceremony. More accurately, I listened to most of it from the nursery in the church and then took Briony home to bed before it was over. We did get to sit in the crowd and cheer as they walked in, and I got to see them receive their diplomas - and the rest is just filler, I suppose.

Today, we checked out the farmer's market and a petting zoo (where Briony fell in love with baby goats ['I love gokes!']... there may be more on that later when I get around to posting some photos). After B's nap, much fun was had outside with a watering can in her bathing suit before we all got prettied up for the graduation dinner. Neither last night nor her nap today were particularly wonderful, and I knew when we were getting ready that tonight had disaster written all over it. Again, we planned for Briony and I to leave when we needed to. Fortunately, I got to eat first. Unfortunately, I didn't get dessert. Fortunately, there's a drive-thru Dairy Queen here that was easily found thanks to our GPS :)

Before we left, Briony started a little dance party in the middle of the room - at a private Christian high school graduation that doesn't allow a dance as part of their graduation festivities. But there was music, and there was a dance floor (WHY???), and so we danced. And the image of Briony with Libby in her grad dress dancing in the middle of the floor, lifting and twirling their skirts, is one that I'll treasure always and laugh about often.

I am so proud of Libby and Ruth and everything they've accomplished so far. They are incredible young women and I can't wait to see where they'll go and what they'll do with the rest of their lives. Just like when Hannah graduated two years ago, I felt *so* proud of them I couldn't stop myself from getting a little bit emotional - and these girls were all teenagers already when I met them. It was an honour to get to be here to celebrate them.

So very much to say, but Briony is sleeping - so I'm about to change out of this dress, dig into David's popcorn stash, and raid Hannah's DVD collection (insert evil auntie laughter here).

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

The One Where I Feel Like a Mama Bear

Yesterday brought my very first experience with someone hurting my daughter's feelings. OH MY GOSH, what a difficult thing. The Mama Bear inside of me came roaring to life and I swear I could have eaten the offender. The look on Briony's face was so devastating, it was everything I could do not to cry. Actually, I did cry about it later. I can't fathom surviving an entire lifetime of this.

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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Then + Now

Check out these two photos of Briony - taken this past January and yesterday. Evidence of how quickly time really does fly... This was less than five months. Crazy.

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The One With Adventures, Americans, and Auntie Cait

Yesterday was our cross-border shopping day, something we put away some time (and money) to do every time we're out here just because we're in such ridiculously close proximity to good outlet malls here.

This time, we took my sister-in-law Caitlin along for the ride... Briony was thrilled to spend some extra time with her Auntie Cait - and the adults had a great time together too. We each found a couple of things - well, I found a GIANT BAG of things for Briony (and here is the reason why... SO CUTE!) - and spent most of the day laughing at Briony's random statements and excited shrieks about EVERYTHING.

She was such a trooper... We had one meltdown when she was ready for a nap earlier than we'd all agreed to meet up to leave one of the malls, but then promptly fell asleep in the car, snored all the way to our next stop, and then was back to normal for the rest of the trip. And Briony did okay too, HAHA.

Some photos of the girls shopping together... These make my heart smile. What a great memory :)

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Monday, June 07, 2010

Briony vs The Music

A little bit of video evidence that our little dancing machine had a ton of fun in Whistler this past weekend. Here, she's debuting a new move that involves crouching... Ava joined her little baby dance party at one point, but - of course - we didn't manage to catch it on video. One passer-by commented that if he had a monkey on his jacket, he'd be dancing too. The dance party lasted three entire songs. I'm amazed that Geoff managed to get these clips without laughing too much to film.

Note that I finally broke down and bought her some bling of her very own last week. Her new necklace is kind of obnoxious-looking, but she's pretty much stopped stealing mine now (which was the point). Recently, she's frequently been found sporting my watch, a bracelet, a necklace, or anything of mine that was left within her reach and wandering around the house saying 'pretty! pretty!' And so it begins :)

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The One With Photos from Whistler

This is just a preview... You can see more photos here.

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Saturday, June 05, 2010

The One Where I Am Brave

We're having a wonderful time here in Whistler this weekend. It's my first time here, and I'm a little bit in love with this place as a perfect weekend getaway spot. We're leaving tomorrow, but we'll be back.

We left Abbotsford just after lunchtime on Friday - after a fabulous brunch with Aaron + Cait - and Briony napped for the first half of the drive up the coast. She was awake and either fussing or screaming the rest of the way, but I'd rather not dwell on that. It was a stressful last hour. We got here and our first order of business was setting up her playpen. She promptly passed out again and we did some quick research to find a place to order dinner. Around 6 pm, Rob + Vicky + Ava arrived and Geoff ran out to pick up our lasagna feast. We delayed the girls' bedtime to pick up Starbucks and go on a quick walk through the Village and it totally paid off when they both had GREAT nights. Thank you, Vacation Gods. We owe you one.

This morning, we packed up and headed out for an adventure. We took the girls on the Peak 2 Peak gondola up to the top of Whistler and then across to Blackcomb (and back again). Yep, you read that right. Lindsay - who is deathly afraid of heights - sucked it up and not only went on a gondola, I went on the world's longest, highest gondola. 436 metres up in the air. 3.024 km of line that is entirely unsupported. Oh yeah, and our return from Blackcomb to Whistler was in a glass bottomed gondola. Gaaaah. My hands are actually sweating as I'm typing this.

Anyway. The view was gorgeous and the girls thought it was super cool that the top of the mountains were covered in snow. We saw all the downhill biking going on, and even spotted a mama bear and her cub and all sorts of alpine birds. It was as if the universe conspired to hit me with all my worst fears at once (the heights, the bears, and the birds - not the biking, hehe). Shudder. It made it all worth it to see the absolute GLEE on my daughter's face. She was actually dancing in the gondola with her face pressed up against the glass, singing 'happy! happy! happy!'

Vicky and I shopped in the Village while the babies napped and the daddies supervised, then we went on another walk before checking out the famous Splitz Grill for dinner. We stopped at the park (right near where the medals were given out) for a half hour of crazy running around, sliding, and shrieking before heading back to our hotel for bedtime.

It's been busy, but SO good. It makes all the difference in the world to be traveling with friends who have a daughter the same age as ours (the girls are a month apart). It's been fun, and I'll be a tiny bit sad to leave tomorrow... But we still have almost two weeks of 'vacation' left - if I can fit a little bit more vacation in between deadlines, of course. What's that they say about no rest for the wicked? :)

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Thursday, June 03, 2010

The One About Nothing. And Bears.

Okay, so the truth is that there's very little to say about today. Our life here is very, very normal. We've been getting up early, I've been doing a ton of client work and homework for my course, we've been going for walks and picking up groceries... I'm currently finishing up a paper while watching So You Think You Can Dance and waiting for a load of laundry to come out of the dryer. That should pretty much sum it up, I think. I have a paper to finish tonight still, then a conference call at 07.30 tomorrow, then I will *hopefully* be able to enjoy a couple of days OFF. Woohoo!

Hoping for lots more stories and photos from this weekend. We're heading up to Whistler tomorrow with Rob + Vicky + Ava. I'm so excited for a couple of days of *real* vacation time - and of course, checking out this town that we saw all over everything this past winter during the Olympics.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a tiny bit nervous about bears, though... EEK.

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The One With All The Oil

Geoff and I are admitted news junkies, and we've been fascinated with the BP oil spill along with the rest of the world. I came across this website today that helps you to visualize the magnitude of the disaster by showing you the current size of the oil spill over a map of your house (and that's today... imagine how it will have grown by August... kind of makes me want to puke). Then this article uses the same technology to show actual states - and COUNTRIES - that are SMALLER than the oil spill today.

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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

The One With So Much Gratitude

Just needed to send a giant THANK YOU out to everyone who sponsored me in last weekend's Walk to Fight Arthritis. Geoff, Briony, Marilyn, and I walked a 5k on Sunday morning in Vancouver - and I exceeded my fundraising goals thanks to all of you.

The turnout wasn't huge - I didn't expect it to be given that this is its first year and this is about the nine thousandth cause to hold a 5k fundraising walk - but that wasn't the point. It was amazing to me that people in 17 communities across Canada were able to come together to raise $900,000 to help support The Arthritis Society last Sunday. And it was so important to me that I got to be a small part of that. I'll admit that it did feel small... Smaller than Joints in Motion, to be sure. But no less significant because I got to do this walk with my family - the people who fight alongside me every single day.

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The One With All The Rain

It's still raining here, and Briony was going a little bit stir crazy this afternoon. We decided to do what I thought a Good Parent would do (which obviously left me feeling queasy)... And so we put on her little raincoat + boots and took her to the park to do her worst. Between the rain and Abbotsford's new waterpark, our little munchkin had a blast. But don't take my word for it... :)

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One Moment With Briony

Just thought I should probably note that my child now appears to know most of her numbers from 1 to 10. WHAT?! We all still look at her in shock when she points to a number and gets it right. Crazy kid.

Also, she's learned a few new animal names - including 'rhino' (which sounds EXACTLY like 'wino') and 'frog' (which sounds EXACTLY like another four-letter word that starts with 'f'). Yeah. We've been giggling like eight year olds a lot around here lately :)

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The One Where Briony Lives Up To Her Name

Last night, we received the news that Alan + Marilyn's neighbour has chosen to stop his dialysis treatments. The doctors give him around five days.

I've mostly just met these neighbours in passing, but they've lived here as long as Alan + Marilyn have and I know they're quite close. Briony is a frequent visitor over there when we visit, and she's been over there with Marilyn daily since we arrived this time. They love children and Briony is the sunshine in their day.

It kind of breaks my heart that Briony has absolutely no idea how she is blessing these people in possibly the most difficult week of their lives. She just knows that they love her - and on her way back down the sidewalk after last night's visit, she told Marilyn 'I love neighbours' in the way that's becoming Classic Toddler Briony. I suspect that her Briony-ness will also be a blessing to Marilyn as she says goodbye to this neighbour and friend.

When we chose Evangeline - which means 'good news' or 'bearer of good news' - as our daughter's middle name, it was because she was OUR little bundle of good news in a very dark time, bringing life to our family again. It blows me away how she is already able to be that to another family. What a special, precious girl.

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One Moment With Briony

Marilyn has Briony officially trained to empty out her dishwasher. It is so darn cute. And helpful! Here's hoping this new trick will also work at home ;)


The One Without Sunshine

This is going to be a venting post.

Tomorrow will mark a week since we arrived here on the west coast (and the one-third point in our trip) and I still feel like shit. Sorry, Mom, but it's true. Every day has been a little better, with the possible exception of this morning. And I can tell that my physical challenges are really beginning to drag me down psychologically. This is getting ridiculous. There is no reason in the world that I'm not feeling better except for the fact that I'M NOT FEELING BETTER.

Well, that, and the fact that it's raining again.

I'm working very hard to sit and embrace the quiet. I'm trying to be grateful for the time to work on client projects and homework, and to just BE. This is *not* how I usually travel, but then again, the west coast doesn't really feel like 'travel' anymore - it's more like a second home. And I don't need to be busy if I'm at home.

I'm giving my body all the time and space it needs to heal. I just wish it would get the memo already :)

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