"Noah was a brave man to sail in a wooden boat with two termites." - Anonymous

Thursday, January 28, 2010

When You Need A Pick-Me-Up

This song always puts me in a great mood. From what I understand, this was all one take. Done in Montreal (doesn't the late 60's Canadian university architecture bring back memories?), it was shown a while ago on CBC. A friend passed along the link, and I thought I'd share it.

You gotta love the guy in the hot pink leotard.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Her Peeps

Two years ago this day my Dad threw a surprise party for my Mum's 60th birthday party. He gathered her friends at the golf clubhouse, arranged for some entertainment by a close friend's singing group, and had a wonderful spread of food. My sister-in-law flew up from L.A. to be there. All my Mum's closest friends (that hadn't already flown south for the winter) were there.

My Mum has some wonderful friends. She forms these fabulous friendships with fantastic ladies. The support, love, and laughter they offer each other is inspiring. They come from different places. Some are my father's colleagues' wives, some are golf team members, some from church.

About 9 years ago, her closest friend moved from Calgary to Ontario, and I remember her heartbreak. The two of them were so close, and I wondered what would happen to Mum after V left. She's a pretty friendly person, deeply spiritual, and, I think, a very classy lady. But fairly private too. Another blow came 4 years ago when my Godfather's wife passed from cancer. J was such a light in all our lives, and such a good friend to my Mum.

Then my Dad started edging closer to retirement. Less hours in the office meant more time for golf in the summer and travel in the winter. A few years ago they bought a timeshare in southern California, a place frequented by Calgarians. Their friends. There's always another couple there, everyone overlaps their time. Trips to Las Vegas for concerts, to B.C. and northern Canada for adventure.

There's C, a rector with a wickedly smart sense of humour. There's K, who lost her husband to cancer and subsequently found love with a widower. And T, a real estate agent who has become a favourite walking partner. M was a nurse, and is an avid shopper. And then there was P, a housewife and doting grandmother who made everyone feel like family. We lost her to cancer last spring.

I watch these women as I move further into adult- and motherhood. Along with my mum, they are all an inspiration to me. In their relationships with each other, their partners, and individually.

I find myself thinking of my girlfriends. There are the gals I danced with. We share a bond that's so hard to describe. My dear co-worker who shares my passion for food, inspires me in photography, and gets my sense of humour. My sisters-in-law who are all different from each other, and from me, but we have come together as only the brothers' wives can. My co-worker's wife, the one who was able to put up with his antics and dish it out as well as she could take it.

Some of us are married, some are single, some divorced. Some of us have children, some are pregnant, some have no desire to procreate. None of us are in the same place in life at the same time. However, I can still see those support networks strengthening as we move through life, dealing with all it throws at us.

Monday, January 25, 2010


So, Kami's post about hockey got me thinking.

We talk a lot about what we're not willing to have the boys do. I'm not a fan of hockey (for so many reasons). Hubs likes it, but never played when growing up (at least I don't think so). He played football and volleyball. We're not willing to spend every night driving our children around to various activities, eating in the car, rushing through homework, not getting enough sleep, etc.

We don't often talk about what we are willing to do though. Hmmm.

Of course, they are only 4 and 2. I think we have a bit of time before they start getting passionate about their extra-curricular activities.

Last summer we had our oldest in soccer. So far he doesn't really seem to be into sports, that one. His little brother was out kicking the ball around more than he was.

This year we have him in Ukrainian dancing. Five months of dancing to date and he's loving it. He loves his instructors. I went to parent viewing night and watched him skip, kick, point his toes, twirl the girls. His first performance is this Saturday at the annual fundraising dinner. His first Zabava. Little kids dancing, great food, a dance. Ah, the memories.

Hubs & I danced. We met through dancing. I'm sure I have pictures somewhere of the two of us in our full get-ups. The shirts that were made for us so lovingly by friends and family. The ridiculously tight headpiece of flowers and ribbons (always under the threat that if it were to fall off, it would be stapled onto my head). The red boots that set you back at least $200 per pair so you better take good care of them!

We spent hours in the studio. Hours in the board room. Hours on the tour bus. Hours working on costumes and props. Hours working on fundraisers, bingos, casinos, mail-outs. Blood, sweat and tears were poured into that ensemble.

Hours building memories. Hours building relationships. Hours building lifelong friendships. Bonds were created that can't be explained. When you spend over 20 hours a week with someone that's not part of your school or employ, working towards a common goal, and then 3 weeks with them on the road, sharing experiences, triumphs and heartache, a special relationship develops. Even now we laugh, cry, shake our heads at the antics, the emotions, the memories.

When I take my son to the studio, I show him the ensemble pictures on the wall. I point out myself, Hubs, his aunt and uncles, friends he knows. I choke up when I think about what that group of people meant and still means to me. The education I received.

I want that for them. Not necessarily the dancing, but the feeling, the passion, the friendships, the memories.

I am willing to help them achieve that.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Welcome 2010, Won't You Come In?

We celebrated a lot of Christmases this year. Four different get-togethers with family, to be exact. And one more tomorrow night as my Mum introduces a bunch of her friends to a traditional Ukrainian Christmas Eve meal.

Christmas was quiet this year though. Not once was either of our entire families together, except at the beginning of December when we all trooped down to Lethbridge to celebrate with Hubs' brother and his family.

I worked throughout December, taking a whole 3 days off during the holiday season. I like being at the office when there's less than 25% of the staff there. It's quiet, but there's a cameraderie among those present. We share Christmas treats, go for coffee with people from the other side of the floor (oh, wait, that's every day).

And we even brought the New Year in quietly, at the family cabin in the mountains. Just us two, watching a movie (that now we can't even remember which one, how memorable is that?), boys asleep in their bed.

And now I'm ready for 2010 to come into full swing. There are projects I want to work on, things I want to do around the house, books to read, food to try, photos to take. (It was Varsity Blues, Hubs just remembered.)

I'm normally not a person to get very excited about the New Year. "Just another day," says I. But this year is different. This year I am excited. Excited for the possibilities, the learning, the decluttering, the time spent with close friends and family. Hubs and I are planning a big trip this summer to celebrate our anniversary, but there's more and more about my home city that I want to learn too.

I'm looking forward to my boys growing another year. Both of them will be going to school this fall, the youngest is learning new words daily, he's a regular parrot. And the oldest is so interested in everything. The solar system, the continents, colouring and drawing, dancing, languages. He's a human sponge.

I've spent the last couple of months at work learning a new software (really, trying to break it) and the last few weeks leading a group of people towards our project's first deadline, tomorrow afternoon. It's been such an experience, and I haven't had to e-mail our boss on his Blackberry as he lounges on a Hawaiian beach nearly as much as I thought I would have to. I've learned a lot about what motivates our team, what they respond to, their strengths and weaknesses. I've made some mistakes, and spent the better part of a day fixing them. And when our boss returns from his tropical vacay, I will be ready for a couple of days break myself.

2010 is starting out a great year (I know, we're only 5 days in), and I think my resolution (if I made one) would probably be to appoach the coming months with a sense of optimism and wonder. I plan on exploring and learning a lot this year.