Category Archives: Life

Loss, Pain and Thanksgiving.

The world around me has been filled with a lot of tragedies of late, and it’s becoming a struggle figuring out how to process all of them. There’s the obvious shock and grieving that happens in these circumstances, but there’s also the learning, the teaching and the love that must follow them.

It’s about finding the proper words to comfort the families that have experienced the loss. It’s helping your kids navigate their feelings of not really understanding and helping them figure out what comes next. It’s learning how to say goodbye and trying not to forget. It’s allowing yourself to be sad and broken. It’s figuring out how to move forward without these people in your life. It’s all of these and so much more.

This weekend, I lost a friend in a tragic car accident. 3 young children lost their mother. One of my good friends lost her son in a another tragic accident. My son’s best friend, lost his brother. The loss of these two amazing people will cause ripples of grief that will run far and wide, leaving all of us wishing we could go back and spend more time with them. That we would all get another moment to tell them how much we cared about them, and that we’d ensure that they really, really knew that. We are all asking the questions and wondering why? Why them? Why did this happen? Why is this happening? How is this fair? But we’re asking questions that will never have an answer, and yet, we will be stuck asking them for quite awhile.

We are constantly surrounded by loss and it becomes this thing that we get used to. It becomes a part of the circle of life and we all just keep moving on, in spite of it. We don’t recognize how important these relationships and circumstances are until they’re completely flipped upside down or are forever taken away. It’s sad…sad that we don’t take them to honour them until we no longer have the option.

But what about other kinds of loss and grieving, how do we work through them and live in the here & now?

Today, I had another friend go to a hospital and take a baby away from a Mother that just doesn’t have the ability to parent. She has lost all of her babies, but she is still a Mother that has suffered a deep loss. My friend is grieving for a Mom that will never know the joy of being a parent, while celebrating the gift of life. She loves this baby and this Mama, and it’s a pain that not many of us will ever be able to comprehend.

I have a family member that is deeply hurt and broken, and I don’t know how to help her. I don’t know how to help her heal and either move on or come home or whatever else that would bring her happiness. She’s also suffered a huge loss and has been grieving for a very long time. How can you help repair grief that runs so deep?

I have another friend that has walked away from her family because it was toxic and just not a good situation to be a part of, and she is still grieving years later. She chose to walk away, but she still longs for something that was or should’ve been. It’s much healthier and safer for her this way, but it still really hurts.

I have children that cry daily, or weekly for years and years as they grieve the family that they know they will never return to. These people are alive but are just out of reach and it hurts so badly. In their grief, they are also dealing with the guilt of being happy in their new lives as they don’t want to dishonour where they came from. It’s a horrible and awful thing to have to watch, and I can’t even pretend to know the best way to help them through it.

These situations aren’t usually how we think about grief but they affect us just as deeply and help shape the life we are trying to live right now. We have to acknowledge these moments and take the time to navigate them. These people need us right now.

I think that as we spend this Thanksgiving weekend with our friends and family that we take a minute to remind ourselves of how precious life really is. Do not wait until someone dies before you think to tell them how important they are to you. Don’t wait until the relationship is completely destroyed to show them some compassion. Don’t wait until someone walks right out of your life before you take the time to try and repair it. Don’t look at a situation and assume you know everything and judge someone so harshly that you can’t ever go back.

Use this time RIGHT NOW to honour each other.

If you can fix it, fix it.

If you can’t, find a way to help everyone get healthy closure so you can all move on in peace.

If you can lend a helping hand to get someone back on their feet, lift them up.

If you need to forgive someone, do it.

If you need to walk away from someone or something, walk away without leave a damaging trail.

If you haven’t told your most favourite people how much you love them, tell them.

If you don’t understand someone’s choices, that’s okay. You can still be there for when they need you.

If you need to just stand by someone and be present so they feel safe, do that.

If you need to grieve, allow yourself to do exactly that.

If you see a Mom really struggling, don’t judge her. Love her, help her, lead her or walk away.

Our lives would not be the same without our people, take the time to appreciate them for all they bring into your world, even if it’s only to teach you a lesson.

I am so thankful for many things in my life right now, some of them are good and some of them are not so good, but they’ve all become a part of my story. Thankfully, I have the ability to rejoice with the good and repair the not so good. That is what I’m thankful for today – that I’m alive to make these choices.

Choose well friends, tomorrow is NEVER promised.

Rest well Steff and Luke, you will be deeply missed and never forgotten. xoxox

The Smirk.

She’s sitting there, looking at me with eyes filled with tears and a smug grin that just will not leave her face. It’s this grin that is almost always my undoing. It’s not the screaming, or yelling or foot stomping, it’s the smirk.

The kicker is that I know it doesn’t actually mean anything, she’s not actually laughing at me or trying to be disrespectful. It’s just what she does when she’s upset and nervous, but I still have a hard time ignoring it.

It truly isn’t her issue, it’s mine. It’s me letting a look control my behaviour and that’s the real problem here. I’m letting the situation best me, and I’m the one losing out.

But that’s the joy of parenting teenagers. Getting past their quirks and tough shells while allowing them the freedom to be their own person. It’s allowing them to have an opinion while still maintaining our role of parent and disciplinarian. It’s figuring out how to be their friend but not their best friend. It’s not getting wrapped up in the eye rolls, the nervous giggles and the ridiculous smirk. It’s about picking your battles and recognizing what really matters and that sometimes, what’s important to you may not actually matter to them at all. AND being okay with that. It’s giving them freedom even though it just about kills you. It’s taking that freedom away when they’ve done something so incredibly stupid that you question how they came from your loins. It’s the moments when you see the worst of you being acted out by your child and realizing that, oh crap, I’m looking in a mirror. It’s hormones, training bras and periods and body hair and angst. And the talk. Oh the talks, why do we have to have so many of them, over and over and over again? Why don’t they just get it the first time? It’s watching them change before your eyes and knowing that they’re struggling and that you just have to watch and hope for the best.

It’s being able to shut your mouth and walk away without saying something you’ll regret. It’s hiding in your bathroom to have a good cry when you’ve reached the end of yourself. It’s sitting on the deck with a glass of wine and thanking your lucky stars that they’ve finally gone to bed. It’s calling your best friend on the phone and congratulating each other for surviving another day with a teenager.  It’s learning to let go of the parent you used to be and allowing yourself to become something completely different. And most importantly, it’s recognizing that it’s okay to be a complete and total failure sometimes and STILL be a good Mom.

And just before you’re about to crash, it’s important to refocus your eyes and look past all the crap and SEE your kids. Really see them. They’re changing and turning into something so amazing. They’re becoming adults with opinions and desires and wants. They’re discovering who they are and who they want to be. They say the most hilarious things and make you almost cry with laughter. They’re dumb and ridiculous but they’re so stinking cool at the same time. They are the best of you and the worst of you. They are so smart and understand things that we never will. They are unique and weird. They are sponges soaking up the world around them, and trying to figure out how to filter what they don’t want. They are determined and vigilant and so very brave. They are yours.

Don’t get so caught up in the crap and nonsense that you miss out on all the good stuff. The good and the bad, it’s all a part of their story, and trust me, you don’t want to miss out on any of it.

Don’t let the smirk do you in.

 

Daily Joy with a Bestie

It’s no secret that I’m a little bit obsessed with forming the best bestie group ever, and no I’m not a stalker. Rebel Wilson, Melissa McCarthy and Candace Payne still haven’t followed me on Twitter, but I know they feel my love and will one day, make our Quartet of Awesomeness a reality. And again, No, I am not a stalker.

My daily joy came about today while I was doing some online shopping. I’m too dizzy to really stand or drive still, so I’ve had to start shopping from my couch. AND with my US post office box, oh man, my options are unlimited. There are a world of stores for this Canadian girl to explore and conquer. Maybe that’s actually Joy One.

Anyways, I digress…I bought this shirt today. It’s from my bestie Rebel’s clothing line and it’s pretty much the greatest thing ever.

rebel

 

Chubby Girl Hilarious Bestie Gang now has shirts.

What Joyfulness filled your heart today???

A Daily Taste of JOY

Pretty much everyone in the world has heard of Candace Payne and has heard her laugh more times than you can probably even count. You’ve all seen her video, and hopefully all of the follow-up videos and stories that show all the blessings that are coming her way. Just for being HER.

Candace became a little ray of sunshine in a world that, lately, seems to be filled with more darkness and despair. (According to the news anyways). That funny mask, the little snort and the un-containable joy reminded us that joy really is in the simple things. We just need to open our eyes and find them.

I for one fell in love with the Happy Chewbacca. Not because I love Star Wars & laughing & dumb videos, but because I witnessed joy in it’s purest form. It was contagious and it ignited a fire deep within my soul. Anyone that knows me, knows that I’m a pretty happy person, that I love Jesus, that I love laughing and that I, more than anything else in the world, want people to feel loved and accepted. No matter where they’re at, or what they look like, or how bad they’re feeling inside – I want them to have the same joy that Candace felt when she put on that goofy mask.

So – in response to my new best friend Candace’s story,  (Yes, I’ve decided we’re meant to be besties. Along with Melissa McCarthy & Rebel Wilson. Because seriously, how stinking awesome would that be? Chubby, happy and hilarious – we will be epic.) I’m starting my own happy story.

For the next 30 days, I’m going to share a little piece of joy that I’ve found in my world that day. It may be big, it may be tiny, but it will be something that made me stop and appreciate exactly where I was at, at that second.

Hopefully, it will remind you to find the moments in your life that take all the darkness away and just help you feel happiness.

Please feel free to share your joys with all of us as well because frankly, there can never be too much of a joyful thing.

My Daily Joy ….. 

I’ll be the first person to admit that this “joy” will seem pretty lame-o but at 7:00 am, it filled my heart with so much joy that I almost couldn’t contain myself. I went to make school lunches for the 6 and realized that we had no bread. I stood there for a few seconds trying to figure out what random pantry items I could throw in a bag and call lunch, when I remembered. Quiznos4lunch. I went online, ordered them lunch for delivery and then sat myself down on the couch to eat my cup of ice while the little’s ate cereal.

It’s the simple joys people, simple joys.

 

Just say No to Tough-Love

Every day when you go online, you can expect to see a blog post or YouTube video or a status that is hacking on a specific group of people. Fat people, gay people, ugly people, old people, etc. It’s ongoing and constant, and pretty much always guaranteed to be there.

Similarly, you can also expect to find just as many posts and video’s reprimanding the people who wrote them and/or shared those posts followed closely by the encouraging posts that are meant to uplift and encourage the people who have been beaten down. They are everywhere.

Fact is, I’ve written many of them myself, and more often than not, they’ve been about Fat Shaming and/or judging people based on their looks alone and then justifying it with “love”. I’ve talked about Mom’s needing encouragement and not judgement, and about shutting-up without knowing all the information or owning your own crap.  Frankly, I’m tired of writing them. Not because I think they’re dumb posts, but because they even have to be written.

If you don’t like what I look like because I’m fat, don’t look at me. You also don’t need to share or make vulgar or vile videos telling me and everyone else how disgusting and horrible fat people are. And please, for the love of all things, don’t justify those videos and statements by concluding them with: “I only say this because I love you and I want you to live longer”. You can’t share a video filled with ignorant and horrible statements and then say, “excuse the language, but this is how I feel. I love you”.

The second you called me, or shared something by someone calling me fat & disgusting, you lost me.

The reality is, these “fat shaming” crap videos are based SOLELY on what I or the other million overweight people in this world, LOOK LIKE. The videos and rants are 100% inspired by what I look like and NOT who I am. These people don’t know me, they’ve never spoken to me or taken the time to get to know me. They don’t know my history, what I’ve been through and what I’m struggling with. They don’t know if I’m on medications, how many babies I’ve had, how much weight I’ve already lost, or what my personal goals and dreams are even about. They ONLY “know” what I look like. That seems to be the point that everyone misses, these posts & diatribes have nothing to do with how much you love me and/or worry about me, they’re about my appearance.

Am I saying that being overweight is healthier than being a “normal” weight, nope, I’m not saying that. Am I saying that you have no idea what my normal, or anyone else’s is for that matter, Yes, I am. Am I saying that I don’t have room for improvement and could make healthier choices for myself, no I’m not. Am I saying that ignorance veiled as motivation is wrong, I most certainly am.

But what I’m mostly saying is that you don’t need to be a jerk when sharing your opinion. We all have things we need to fix in our lives, in our bodies, in our hearts and in our brains. Sometimes these hurdles are massive and will take every single bit of strength that we possess, and no amount of tough love will push the majority of us over those hurdles. Fact is, they make many of us want to run in the opposite direction of what you’re “selling”.

Will mean words, quotes and Old Testament bible verses make someone less gay? Will beauty tips, jokes and rude memes make your perceived ugly person more beautiful in your eyes? Will stats about diabetes and heart disease, or pictures of people in bikinis and funny nicknames make me want to run to the gym? Will your strong personal opinions and preferences build up the people around you or push them farther into the walls that they’ve built up to protect them from all of the world’s nonsense? Think about those things before you take the time to “love someone better”.

MY weight doesn’t change YOUR quality of life. How someone LOOKS doesn’t change the number of days that you have on this earth. If your neighbour is gay, it doesn’t make YOUR faith in God or church any less personal. I am responsible for every choice that I make, and at some point, I will have to answer for them, whether it’s in a doctor’s office or at the Pearly Gates. But please recognize that those choices are MINE, and that your opinion of me and the rooftops that you scream them off will only affect your “end”, not mine.

We shouldn’t have to write posts to lift each other up because the world has judged us so harshly. Be nice, be kind and be an example. We are adults, not small children and need to remember to honour the differences that make us individuals. Live YOUR life to the best of your ability, and let me worry about the story I’m writing for myself. Send love, good wishes, and happy, healthy thoughts, but please keep the “judge-y love” packages to yourself.

Let love & grace be your witness, cause those are the things I want my life to be about.

Skinny is not a personality trait, it’s just packaging.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Road to Skinny … Or Not.

The beginning of a new year brings about the desire for change. It pushes us to think about what we want that is better than what we currently have. It seems to make our eyes focus on all that is wrong with us, and not necessarily all that’s right. It’s the time of year that people seem to think and/or hope will set off this huge firecracker under their butts and in their minds that will cause them to jump up and change. It’s a fresh start and a new beginning.

For me, the new year forces me to focus on my never-ending trek towards “skinny”.  It’s this thing that follows me everywhere I go. It’s the thing I cannot seem to conquer. It’s quite literally the very large elephant in the room that just won’t die, no matter how hard I try. Or maybe not.

If I were to be totally honest, I don’t think I’ve ever cared enough to really want to change it. I’ve got a couple of months worth of willpower, and about 47 seconds of desire. I’ve got all the knowledge in the world, and an incredible team of people willing to support and help me, but somehow I’m also good with where I’m at. I’ve got a massive desire to shop in any store, and not just the stupid chubby girl shops, but for some reason, I’m okay with not trying all that hard to change.

I’m Fat and Happy, and I don’t think this is how I’m supposed to feel.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to be 6 sizes smaller. I’d like to be able to walk around the block without wanting to die. I like the idea of wearing shorts when it’s hot – no I NEVER wear shorts. I’d like to have more energy. I’d like my knees to not hurt. I’d love to sit outside in the summer and not want to die because I’m SO hot, which is a problem because as you know, I don’t wear shorts and fat people have a whole lotta extra insulation. I’d like to not have people give me the classic fat girl compliment, “You’ve got such a pretty face”, to me. Ever. Again. I’d like to be able to touch my toes, for no other reason to say that I can. I want to just take up less space.

So … where does that leave me? The Happy Fat Girl that want’s to be skinny, but doesn’t really care.

I don’t think I’ll ever understand how I truly feel about this subject, or if I’ll ever fully figure it out but I believe that it’s leading me somewhere. In some weirdo, round-a-bout backwards way, it’s taking me to what I really want and need. I want to be more focused. More centered and just more Me. I’m happy, but I want another level of happy. I want to be overflowing with Joy, so much so that it oozes from me and into the world around me. Skinny won’t accomplish that …. but I can.

2015 is going to be the Year of April. I’m going to write. I’m going to write about anything and everything and just write because I can. I’m going to spend time making my new blog fun and super successful. I’m going to move into a house that is exactly what our family needs. I’m going to fall back into mad love with my husband. I’m going to finally put all of my anxiety’s behind me, and step forward without worry about stupid things that I can not control. I’m going to focus on getting healthy and not care at all about skinny. Maybe a smaller size will follow, but whatever, I don’t care.

I’m excited about what’s to come and even more excited to figure out that my “Road to Skinny” is officially on a detour to somewhere totally different.

This road is officially leading to me.

design

 

 

Expecting Something Different

I know that we’re supposed to forgive and forget, and for the most part I’m able to do that. Well, not so much the forget part, but I am pretty good at forgiving. You hurt me and/or my family, and sincerely ask for forgiveness and you will get it. What you won’t necessarily receive is trust and “forgetfulness”.

Problem is, so many times we expect people to react differently than how they always have. We assume that they are going to see our despair or disappointment and not do that again. But then it happens, again, and we just stand there and take it.

Who’s fault is that? Theirs or ours?

At what point should we stop accepting the same old, same old and demand better? When should we stand up and say, I love you but you can be a real jerk. What day do we look at ourselves in the mirror and decide that enough is enough and just walk away?

So often in life, we begin relationships with people and we fall so deeply in love, or like and life that we spend a lot of time turning the other cheek. We decide that there are so many awesome things about them that we can just accept these little quirks or differences. And usually, that’s okay.

Slurping soup, leaving laundry all over the floor, stealing your shoes, listening to crappy music or loving really dumb movies. Those things are okay … annoying as all get out, but okay. But when their fun is at your expense, or when their needs and desires are ALWAYS put ahead of yours, something is wrong.

Relationships won’t always be equal, but more often than not, they should be. There should be more joy than sorrow, more peace than strife and more team than leader and follower. You shouldn’t have to sit there waiting, and hoping and expecting people to become something different from how they’ve always been. It is possible, but it shouldn’t occur at the expense of you.

I want to say that’s it and that even though this relationship means so much to me, I need to matter too. I want to turn around and run away.

But I can’t.

I don’t want to give up on people. I want to continue to expect more. So instead of walking away, I’m choosing to hang on for hope and change and something better. But from now on, I’m done accepting treatment that is less than anything I deserve.

I will expect, but I will not accept.

Now where are you in this equation? What relationships in your world need to have a playing field levelled out? Fix them. We need each other.