Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Friday, August 25, 2006

not that desparate...YET!

When I talk about this move I usually say, and believe, that this is the right place at the right time for us. It is a fresh start, a new beginning, a bend in the road.

Blah, Blah, Blah.

Today is a day where I feel like starting over sucks.

Today is a day where I feel tired and lonely and that there is nothing very glorious or redeeming in this new chapter. I've thrown myself a little pity party and feel morbidly glad to be at it. I'll take another chocolate chip cookie and another cup of very sweet tea thank you very much. Oh and don't worry about the bread I'll just take the butter.

See I was talking to my mom on the phone one day last week and the kids were SUPER cranky which translated into me being cranky. My mom thought that day would be a good day to fix my life. I love suggestions and advice on days like that. My most common response is to revert to being 12 years old, "oh ya, well then why don't you do it!" During this conversation my mom decided to tackle the area of friendship.
"Well do you have a mom's group you can go to?
There's one at the parent link centre but they're off for the summer.
"Well what about the multiples group?"
I've been meaning to go. I've even made contact but it hasn't worked out yet.
"Well what about people from church?"
Mom, it takes time to get to know people and during summer everyone is all over the place.
"Well, why don't you put an ad in the paper?"

I'm sorry WHAT???? I can see it now: "Pathetic woman seeks friendship with other moms of small children and promises she's not a serial killer or child abuser."

I know you meant well mom and I do appreciate your love and concern but I hope I never get that desparate!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Book Tag

Okay so my good friend Simone tagged me in this book game. All my books are in boxes still so lets see what I can remember without being able to look at the titles to jog my memory.

1. One book that changed your life:
The Bible. The Pentateuch as Narrative. KIDDING! "Boots and Bibles" by Rev. Walt Reimer because he is a modern day hero of the faith whose life of simplicity and humility and willingness has inspired me to say "yes" to God again and again.

2. One book that you’ve read more than once:
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

3. One book that you’d want on a desert island:
Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell because it's such a great read and it's really long.

4. One book that made you laugh:
A Prayer For Owen Meany - John Irving

5. One book that made you cry:
The Diary of An Ordinary Woman - Margaret Forster

6. One book that you wish you had written:
And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie. Amazing plot, masterpiece of it's genre.

7. One book that you wish had never been written: I'm going to have to go with Simone and cite a children's book. If I have to read "Pooh wants something yellow and yummy for his tummy" one more time...

8. One book you are currently reading:
Middlemarch - George Eliot (who was actually a woman named Mary Ann Evans.) Now you'll know a final Jeopardy question if it ever comes up.

9. One book that you’ve been meaning to read:
Blue Like Jazz - Donald Miller

10. One book that you wish had been written:
A sequel to Pride and Prejudice that is written by Jane Austen

11. One book that you got for free:
Anna Karenin - Leo Tolstoy. The last book my dad bought me.

12. Favorite Book this Year:
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - Jonathan Safran Foer.

I'm going to tag my very good friend Michelle. She's always got something interesting on the go! Michelle you're it!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

This is one confused little boy

A few weeks ago...

Me: "Tristan, what's your sister's name?"

Tristan: "Aia!"

"What's my name?"


"What's your name?"



Me: "Tristan, what's your sister's name?"

Tristan: "Aia!"

"What's my name?"


"What's your name?"


We might have a few issues to work through....

Thursday, August 17, 2006

tales of the follicley challenged

I don't get it.

My mom has thick hair. Hugh's mom has thick hair. Hugh has thick hair. I have thick hair. Tristan has thick hair.

Ava has almost no hair.

Tristan has had 3 haircuts. Ava, none. Well I did trim the back a little to remove the birds nest but that was more damage control than real haircut.

A while ago Hugh and I were at Wendy's with the kids and a very sweet little old lady came up to chat. Side note: If you have twins be prepared for everyone you meet to stop you and tell you if they are a twin, have twins in their family, know a twin or always wanted twins. This particular woman fell into the "I-have-twins-in-my-family" category. They were her grandchildren who were all grown up and seeing our kids made her feel reminiscent.

Then, this not-so-sweet old lady looked at our children and asked if they were both boys. We have been asked this question a lot so, typically, when we go out, we try to color code them and on this particular day Ava looked like a big pink gumball. "No," I said without even a hint of the ARGH! I was feeling, "we have a boy and a girl."

Then this horrible old lady said, "Which one is the girl?" With a slightly fixed smile on my face I patiently pointed out the child wearing the cotton candy pink and THEN....

Then this evil old lady said, "Oh I would have thought that was the boy."

%&#^* !!!!!!!!!!! &^%@* !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *&%#@ !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm sorry Ava, the gene pool has failed you.

This is why it was so exciting to put Ava's hair in pig tails for the first time yesterday. She kept touching her hair, "pony? mirror?" I would hold her up so she could see in the mirror and she would reverently touch her "pony's". It was a sacred moment of girlhood.

Admittedly, there were more than a few wisps of hair on the back of her head that didn't fit into the elastic but, whatever! From the front she looks like a bona fide little girl.

At least I think so.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Diary Of An Ordinary Woman

This should really be the title of my blog but I am actually referring to a book I just read by Margaret Forster.

In the foreward the author tells us how she received a call from a woman who had kept a diary from the age of 13 to 94. This woman wanted to meet to discuss the possiblity of publishing her diaries.

Millicent King was born in London in 1901 and her diary begins in 1914 and goes all the way to 1995. As I read the introduction I got chills imagining the story I was about to discover of a woman's life that stretched almost throughout the entire 20th century. I couldn't wait to begin.

The book did not disappoint. I had to put the book down several times just to stop and process what I was reading. She lived through 2 World Wars, Communism, and the advent of Feminism. She loved, she lost, she was depressed, she was happy. She celebrated V-E day, she walked in Feminist marches and protested against the building and testing of nuclear bombs. She never made a major contribution to history or did anything to change the course of history. She was nobody.

And yet, she was everybody. Margaret Forster referred to her as "The Unknown Woman", a fitting comparison to "The Unkown Soldier".

The book ends with another meeting between Millicent and the author to discuss the diaries shortly before Millicent's death in January 2000.

I cried when I finished the afterword. I had been so affected by her life. The dreams she had as a teenager did not come to fruition. The life she imagined she would have she didn't. Sometimes she was full of self pity. Sometimes she was all grit and determination. Sometimes she just wrote about her garden. She longed for life and love and adventure and she got all three. It just didn't always look like she imagined it would. Sometimes I was frustrated with her because I felt she was wasting her life and letting opportunities pass her by. Other times her unassuming heroism would make me catch my breath. She was so brave and yet she felt so ordinary. I found her story incredibly inspiring.

I reread her last few diary entries and the afterword several times not ready to put down the book and let go. I flipped the page and read thoroughly through the bibliography. I even flipped the very last page that's almost always blank. And there I saw it. An Author's Note.

"This book began as described in the first two pages of the introduction, but I never did meet the woman in question. She cancelled our meeting at the last minute because of some family objections. I was already so looking forward to her diaries that I decided to overcome my disappointment by pretending I had indeed obtained and read them. The result is fiction. The real "Millicent" has since died and though her diaries exist, I have never read them."

Fiction? FICTION?

I had just become emotionally involved and attached to a work of fiction?! I had loved and cried and lost and lived not alongside an amazing woman but a work of FICTION?!

I felt so cheated. I still feel cheated. Right from the introduction the entire book is written as truth. But it is not Millicent's truth and it was "Millicent's" truth that I found so compelling. It was like the time I found out Santa Claus wasn't real. Hugh tried to console me by saying that it probably was the amalgamation of truth about women of that time. Well good for them. They should have kept a diary then.

Would I recommend this book? I don't have enough emotional distance yet to be able to be objective. You'll have to decide whether its worth a read or not.

Monday, August 14, 2006

What the heck are we doing in Alberta anyway?

This is the part where I fill you in on our lives.

As most of you know for the last 5 years Hugh was a youth pastor in Vernon. Since resigning our church he has gotten into a line of work that regularly requires banging on large pieces of metal with a sledgehammer....aka heavy duty mechanics. Hugh calls is paid therapy.

There are 3 different shifts and Hugh works a 2-week rotation on each one: 7am-3:30pm, 8:30am-5pm, and 12:30pm-9pm. Work in the so-called "real world" has definitely been an adjustment. Not being able to call Hugh to come home when I want to throw the babies or myself out the window has been a rude awakening. Pastoring is not a walk in the park by any stretch but it is flexible.

My sister Jane lives here and she has been my life and sanity saver on more occasions than I can count. I will greatly miss her company and our afternoon tea ritual when she moves on from here.

Overall we are enjoying Medicine Hat more than we thought we would. Hugh is really enjoying getting his hands dirty (literally and figuratively) and he has learned alot at this shop. Some of it even has to do with fixing big trucks. Alot of it is words that cannot be published on a family friendly blog.

We have said from the beginning that this is not the end of ministry for us but an evolution. What that looks like we don't know right now. We're just taking the next steps as we know them.

As for moi, I have been working on an interior decorating course for 3 years now and am happy to say that I am one budget quote away from sending in my final project. I'm looking forward to the fun of decorating and the thought of not having to hand draft anything again makes me deliriously happy.

I suppose hand drafting is a good skill to have but seriously now! There are computers for that sort of thing. Drafting is so time consuming and meticulous that it often makes me want to swear and throw things. At one point during this last project I became so enraged that I stomped to the kitchen, yanked open the cupboard door, and roughly (not randomly because I do have a dish fetish and had to think it through) grabbed out a bowl and dramatically and satisfyingly hurled it to the floor.

Actually it didn't get satisfying until the third try. Whoever heard of an almost indestructible salad bowl? The humourist in me found it highly amusing that I kept having to pick up the bowl. The dramatist was disappointed the effect had been spoiled. Once it finally smashed I was able to calmly finish my project.

After I send in my final project I will be looking at setting up my own little decorating business and I'm looking for ideas for business names. Any suggestions would be welcome.

The kids are doing really well. They have a very rigorous schedule of eating, pooping, playing, watching Baby Einstein and sleeping. Apparently that's all very hard work as they are sacked at the end of the day! Ava is talking up a storm and Tristan is coming along despite Ava's best efforts not to let him get a word in edgewise. Apparently her name is Tristan too! They will be 2 next month and I can hardly believe it.

So there you have it. Now you know just what the heck we are doing in Alberta anyway.

more munchkins...

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Friday, August 11, 2006

Whose Kid Is That?

My Son.

23 months old.

A few days ago I was standing in my backyard with a friend. Said friend was hanging some laundry on a drying rack after making a brief foray away from camp life. The kids had followed us downstairs and were playing with some balls around our feet as we stood outside and chatted. The neighbour's child started crying.

My friend and I are talking and this child keeps on crying. The cries are getting escalated and I look up at our neighbours balcony but can't see anything.

We bought a duplex. Ours is the left side. Or as Hugh says, the non-hot tub side. Landscaping and fencing aren't done by builders here and as it was only completed in May neither of us has gotten to that yet.


You can hear pain and maybe panic in the poor child's cry and I was thinking wow I can't believe our neighbours are just letting their little girl cry like that. We rarely hear our neighbours and I was struck with how much their daughter's cry sounded like Tristan's. Weird.

But I'm a good mom. I know where my children are at all times. For example I know that Ava is walking in and out of the back door and Tristan is spinning his ball on the ground beside me...or not...

"Tristan!" Well he can't have gotten far. There's no need to panic.

"Come on buddy where are you?!" Where is he? I can't believe the neighbours kid is still crying. Omigosh! What if he's running down the road...


I glanced into the neighbours yard because they still weren't doing anything about their crying kid and it was starting to get to me. That's when I noticed Tristan's back end sticking up. He had managed to get his head caught between the steps leading up to the neighbours hot tub and he was screaming bloody murder.

The neighbours daughter's cry is eerily like Tristan's? Seriously now.

After easing Tristan's head back out and drying his tears we headed back inside.

The lesson for today is when you have 2 children who are both 23 months of age chances are you don't actually know where everyone is at all times.

Oh yeah and look at the plank in your own eye before trying to remove the speck in your neighbours. Or in another paraphrase, look to your own crying child before accusing the neighbour of negligence to theirs.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

check us seriously, check us out...

For those of you wondering how the kids have grown, in the words of Strongbad: "check me out."

so this is blogging?

Originally when we decided to join the world of blogging I thought this would be (A) a way to let people know that we hadn't dropped off the face of the earth by moving to Alberta, (B) a place to keep people apprised of how amazingly cute, wonderul and original our kids are and (C) a place to share some random thoughts.

I did not realize how all consuming the world of blogger is! I find I'm constantly thinking about what I could post on my blog. My kids are playing and I'm thinking "is this funny enough to post?" I lie in bed at night and in that dreamy state just before falling asleep I plan out all these super amazing posts that will make people say "wow, I had no idea Heather was so ________ " (fill in the blank) I personally like gifted, incredibly intelligent and perceptive or hilarious. Unfortunately by the time the morning rolls around all those wonderfully insightful posts have been lost in the soggy mush that is my brain and are beyond my ability to remember them. Guess I'll have to settle for just plain read-able. I blame all the poopy diapers.

So not only do I obsessively think about my own blog but I want to check out my friends blogs and see what's happening in their lives. Sidenote: Is it bad that I go to my friends websites to find out what they're doing instead of picking up a phone? Between texting, blogging, and emailing we never have to have contact with another human being again....But that's a whole nother issue. And yes "nother" is a word. I looked it up. So anyways I'm reading my friends blogs and then I'm reading the blogs they link to and the blogs that the links link to.....And in the blink of an eye its 10:00, nobody is dressed and I've missed my multiples group playdate. Sick. It was supposed to be my first time going. Technically I've been once before but since I was the only one who showed up I don't count it.

Did I mention that I haven't washed my hair in 5 days and Ava, although we're sitting outside, isn't wearing any pajama bottoms thanks to a recent diaper blow-out. Omigosh, the spirit of the redneck is getting to me....

Anyways were was I? Oh yes the world of blogging. Another thing about blogging that I never really considered is how vulnerable it is to write something and send it out into the void of the internet. You don't know who will read it. You don't know what they will think about your writing. You don't know what assumptions they'll make of you as a person. Everytime I want to publish a post I hesitate. Should I or shouldn't I? Maybe it needs one more read through. A little more tweaking. Publishing a post leaves you vulnerable, exposed. Like taking off your hoody in math class while writing a test and realizing you're not wearing a t-shirt underneath. Which actually happened by the way. Not my favourite memory of Grade 7.

But for all of that where else would it be possible for so many people to leave their mark in this world? At the end of the day that's what this is all about. It's a place to say I matter, my life counts. It's a place to realize that our existence means something. It's a place that proves the power of the individual and the beauty of the ordinary. And that is pretty amazing.


Tuesday, August 8, 2006


So we've officially joined the world of blogging. By the way does anyone know what "blog" means?

Maybe it's an acronym? Bloody Large Overweight Gopher? Big List Of Googlers?
Maybe it's a curse word?
Maybe it's a code word like "Deep Throat" of Watergate infamy?

But I digress.

We're here in Medicine Hat and stubbornly hanging onto our crazy BC ways like recycling, using complete sentences, not smoking and driving a vehicle that doesn't require diesel or a step ladder. No cowboy hats for us....yet.

Just keep praying!