Friday, December 12, 2014


I'm wearing big girl pants now! Find me over here to read more verbal diarrhea:


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Woozy Wednesday: Jericho

I picked my favourite red wine for its artsy label. I don't know a thing about wine. I've never been to a winery, I've never read up about it and I've never once cared to. I know that I don't like white wine because it tastes like chilled crotch rot. But red? Divine. It tastes like creation, like sex and poetry. It blows my trumpet and brings down my walls.

Bear Flag Red Wine Blend from California
A few years ago, my dreads and I paraded into the liquor store and gravitated to this bottle for its colourful design. Most likely I brought it home and shared it with Jane cross-legged on the polka dot rug of the room with the orange walls and the prayer flags. What do I say about it? How do I describe it? It pairs well with chocolate and wet faces from laughter and heartache. It chases down dreams and settles into the crevices of earth not yet discovered. We tip toe around it with our first glass cradled with ladylike fingertips and then back-flip into it all with our second. Shy eyes, break bread, hold hands, nod heads.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Mileage Monday

Seattle Marathon: Andrew's Race Recap

Race weekend was freezing. We got to our hotel on the Saturday and couldn't even really walk around with Callum because it was too cold. There was another marathon that morning and those runners had to run through a blizzard, freezing rain and gale winds. By Saturday night it had cleared up but the temps were still frigid. Luckily we were able to stay warm in our hotel where Andrew got to meet Robbie Keane from the LA Galaxy!

We bundled up on race day morning and headed to the start line. Andrew was nervous, but so ready to get it done.

Callum and I navigated around the city and somehow lucked out enough to catch Andrew a few times along the course. Here he is at around 8 miles. He already had a huge blister on the bottom of his feet!


We caught him again at mile 12 and then again at the bottom of the huge hill at mile 21. He looked strong every time I saw him and was on pace to finish in his goal time of around 4:30. Here he is coming into the stadium at the finish line...

And then I snatched this photo proof from the marathon photographers of him crossing the line. I love the emotion on his face.

The marathon has a way of peeling back our layers, the walls that we put up to trick everyone (mostly ourselves) into thinking we're strong. And then we enter the marathon and all of a sudden our false sense of strength and security melt away and we're left with the core of who we are. That's what crosses the finish line: that part of us that holds strong through the most trying of times. The part that makes it through sick kids and sleepless nights. The part that survives divorce and the death of a loved one. The part that picks up litter and puts it in the trash can when nobody else is watching. That's who crosses the finish line of a marathon. People who are strong enough to be humbled.

Friday, December 5, 2014

BFF: Connect Eight

Andrew talked about this a couple of weeks ago on his vlog, that no matter how many square feet of living space we have, our kids always seem to follow us around the house and cram into whatever room we're in.

We picked this home for the reasons that it had enough bedrooms to accommodate our blended family of eight as well as the advantage of having a rec room in the basement for where the kids could all hang out together (read: GIVE US FIVE MINUTES OF PEACE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD). Yeah, sure, they hang out downstairs in the rec room from time to time to play gruesome murder video games or to have the occasional standoff at air hockey, but for the most part they're well, wherever we are. And yes, that includes the toilet.

Andrew and I were cooing at Callum while he was splashing in the bathtub (Callum, not Andrew) and then Freddy sauntered in to ask me to look over his math worksheets. Shortly after that Katie waltzed in to get me to sign her planner for school and then Ethan followed them both in to see what the fuss was about. So at one time we had six people all crammed into our bathroom, happily, which was nice, as nobody was fighting at that particular moment so we can't really complain. But STILL.

I just think it's so ironic that people search high and low for that perfect home with an added rec room or space to accommodate a play area for the kids but then once we're settled, that play area becomes cold and drenched in the cobwebs of un-use.

I guess it just proves that humans are created for communion, for connection. That as we grow older, through years of experience and pain and hurt we start to put up emotional barriers and isolate ourselves further into independence. Being alone is not how we are wired but instead how we are misfired. It's not right. It's off. And so we constantly yearn for that connection but with our arms protectively outstretched in a manner of stay away, not too close, and then before too long we are alone in our mancave or alone in our living room and we wonder why our children, our own primal beings follow us into the bathroom where they can just breathe in the air we breathe out.

And we wonder why. But we know. Because at the core of who we are, we want that too.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Woozy Wednesday: Puzzle Pieces

I was never into bars or clubs and 90% of my pub appearances have been at Andrew's side. I attribute it to my wardrobe; jeans and tee shirts with cats wearing sunglasses on the front just aren't conducive to the bar scene.

Also, I'm old. And also, I get overstimulated with all the people and music and drinks and conversation. There is so much chaos in my day-to-day life that in my free time nothing sounds more blissful to me than sitting in a corner, drooling and starting at a white wall.

I love being alone. I grew up in a big house, my two sisters 8 and 10 years older than me and so a lot of the time I was left to my own devices.

Quite like an only child, I learned how to entertain myself. I would read books for hours on end until I couldn't physically keep my eyes open. I started running when I was 13, not in a track club or running group but by myself. I played solitaire card games on our camping trips. I'm not complaining because I loved it!

Long-distance running does it for me. It gives me that solitude that my soul craves, that respite from the people, the music, the drinks and conversation. But I have to say that I am learning something about myself, that while it's okay to be alone for a time, it doesn't need to be as much as possible. Rather than escaping to Costco by myself, I turn the van around and pick Andrew and Callum for company. Is it more work? Yep. But it's worth it because I'm better when they're with me, when I'm with them.

I guess that's what happens when you find your partner for life. They get called "the other half" for that reason right there, that we feel severed without them, the open-ended part of our beings left shivering and exposed. I hate it. I was SO FINE without that man. It's frustrating. Ha.

Anyway, so on Friday night Lora and I went for a run and then to the pub for some dinner and drinks and I sat there across from her and felt that pull, that shivery and exposed feeling and finally at some point my eyes filled up with tears and I told her, "I just want to go home. I need Andrew." And that was the end of our night.

I'm not saying it's not okay and healthy and right to be on my own with girlfriends from time to time. No! Not at all! But for me, just for me personally, I don't like being at a pub without my husband. There is just something about that scene that beckons me to be completed with locked eyes, fingers intertwined and stolen little knowing glances with my man. He drives me crazy sometimes, but he's my missing puzzle piece. And I don't want to walk into the bar or pub scene without him.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Mileage Monday

It was Seattle Marathon week for Andrew so while he tapered, I gobbled up the leftover miles like Pac-Man. Ideally I would like to do one 20-mile run per month. Twenty is the magic number as far as optimizing fitness, preparing the body and mind for a marathon, but also keeping it at a level where quick recovery is possible. Anything over 20 miles and I'm wiped out for a couple of days. I was able to squeeze in a 20 miler on Monday, topping out at 70 miles for the week while fitting in a rest day on Saturday!

Monday: My life isn't conducive to planning out runs so when the opportunity presents itself, I jump on it. I left Andrew in charge of Callum's naptime, and after I dropped Katie off at school I headed out for 20 miles. I did one loop of 14 miles, had a water break (and kept my watch running) and then finished it off with 6 miles. I was able to do it in a respectable 2:36. Then it was home, shower, and life goes on.

Tuesday: A recovery 7 miles on the therapymill followed by some stretching.

Wednesday: What a gross morning. Callum woke up at 5am. UGH! So when I put him down for his nap, I knew he'd sleep for a long time so I watched Netflix and ran 13 miles on the treadmill. But then later on, we had a free night to ourselves so after Andrew went for a run, I took off outside in the dark (my favourite time to run) for 5 miles. Then we went to El Nopal!

Thursday: I met Lora for a 10 miler along the dyke out here. We went slow and talked and solved the world's problems. They all grew back like chia by the time we got to our cars but hey. At least we had an hour of peace.

Friday: I was at home with a million kids and their friends all day so I was extremely ready to go for a run the second Andrew came home. Except Callum decided to go poo while he was playing in the bathtub so I spent some time scrubbing the tub out with lavender-scented Lysol. I guess I got it on my finger (not poo, the Lysol) because while I ran, I'd blow my nose into my glove and smell chemicals. Typical Friday night, I suppose.

Saturday: Rest Day! Drove down to Seattle for the marathon.

Sunday: Andrew powered through his second marathon in 4:32, taking 22 minutes off his previous time from only 3 months ago! Race re-cap next week.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Held Back

Freddy got diagnosed with a blood disorder when he was just over one year old. He got a cold, which turned into a cough which turned into pneumonia and his little body was working too hard making red blood cells to even remotely fight the pneumonia. It's a rare hereditary blood disorder, and I'm so thankful that it hasn't affected his life too much. Once in a while when his body can't keep up with the rapid rate of red blood cell destruction, we bring him to the hospital for blood work and if need be, transfusions.

There's this image in my mind. No, it's in not just in my mind, it's in the gap between my skin and memory, my senses and instincts. That space that juts out into our lives whether we want it to or not like a sharp rock between here and there, a space where we can either stand upon or lose ourselves on. And it's of Freddy's tiny toddler body, bound in a hospital bed sheet in a way that kept him still enough to give blood for tests. He was too young to understand that we bound him to help him. He fought hard against us, against the binding force, his iron will flexing and pushing, the angst inside his body practically bursting through his skin and all I could do was stand there and helplessly watch him fight.

I've seen this scene manifest in different ways with each child. It's not a hospital sheet, in an emergency room. It's on a couch. It's in the backseat of the van. It's in a restaurant, it's at home. It's here and there and everywhere in between but to me, it looks the same, that my child's angst is practically bursting through their skin and all I can do is stand there and helplessly watch them fight.

I want to unzip the gap, gather my babies in my arms and duck us all down beneath the great divide between here and there, stand upon that rock, and know peace. And know peace. To close up the unknown and lie still in the safety of love where there is no pain, there is no fight, there is no angst.

But then we wouldn't move forward.