Tag Archives: thank-you

Who do you say I am?

Over the past few weeks, I’ve met some amazing people and have had some great conversations. I’ve been asked “what I’m about, and what I believe in”, and when I answered, “I” didn’t always come out right. It almost felt like I didn’t know who I was but …. I know who I am.

I know what I believe. I know what I feel. I know what I’m good at. I know what I need to change. I know what I want to keep. I know that I am not everyone’s cup of tea. I know that not everyone understands me, and why I believe and or do the things that I do. I know that I am different, and I’m okay with that.

I also know that when people learn certain things about me, they change they way they treat me or how they respond to me and that makes me sad. We are not the same, but our differences shouldn’t cause walls to rise between us. Truth be told, the “thing” that separates us, probably isn’t that big of a deal. It could actually be just the thing that could make our friendship stronger. It could be the thing that we’ve needed to learn about ourselves. It could be the thing that sets us free.

So to clear up some of the “things” that people think they know about me, this is who I am.

I am a Mother. I’m really good at maintaining order when chaos tries to overtake my home. I know how to make my children laugh. I am raising AWESOME kids. BUT I quite often yell when I should probably just walk away. I don’t attend nearly enough school events or activities with my children. I most definitely don’t cook healthy meals everyday, and will, more often than not pass off take-out as dinner.

I am a Wife. I’m my husbands biggest cheerleader. I have made our home a safe and secure place to be. BUT I’m a terrible housekeeper and the piles of stuff all over my house will attest to that. I constantly blow the budget and am totally fiscally irresponsible. I am dramatic and pouty and not always a great partner.

I am a Business Owner. I have great ideas, and have no problem bringing my vision to life. I have a knack for finding cool things, at great prices in the oddest places. BUT I fly by the seat of my pants, and assume that everything will work out like it should. I am a control freak, and refuse to get help, even though I desperately need it. I keep terrible records.

I am a friend. I am loyal and trustworthy. I’m forgiving and a great listener. BUT I don’t take advice really well, even though I give it out constantly. I’m terrible at returning phone calls. I’m more known for cancelling than for showing up.

I am a born-again spirit filled Christian. I try desperately to practice what I preach. I love my neighbour as I love myself. BUT I don’t attend church as often as I should. I allow my children to believe in Santa Claus. I make mistakes every single day and don’t always choose the most righteous path.

I am many things. I love people, and music and eating out. I’m hilarious. I hate tomatoes but eat both ketchup and salsa with pretty much everything. I hate exercising and love sugar cookies. I am overweight. I am terrified of being locked or trapped in vehicles, airplanes, elevators, etc. I love Social Media, even when people get all crazy and say the dumbest things. Reality TV is one of my guilty pleasures. I am a hermit at heart.

What I am NOT. I am not a better mother than anyone else, and I most certainly don’t have all the answers. (PLEASE don’t be scared to talk to me, ask me questions or feel like I will judge how you do things). I am not “so Christian” that I can’t be bothered with people who are not. (You do not have to change who you are to be my friend. Our beliefs may be different, and that’s SO okay). I am not an expert in anything. (I am learning as I go, and I WANT to hear how you’ve made things work for you). I can not be summed up by a simple blog post. (And neither can you).

So the next time you meet someone and you’re faced with a trait that you don’t understand or maybe don’t even respect, take a breath and reach out anyways. Don’t let a judgment stop you from looking further. We all have some incredible stories to share, so please take the time to listen and hear them. The gifts that you may receive will be well worth the effort.

Thank-you for being a part of my life.

Champions are Everywhere

As many of you know, I’ve been nominated for a FIERCE award in The Champion category. The gala ceremony is next month, and if you can come out and experience the evening, I HIGHLY recommend it. It truly is an inspirational event and well worth the price of a ticket.

Now here’s what my nomination category is all about.

CHAMPION – These are the men and women who show compassion, influence others by being a strong role model in the community, and believe in equality for all regardless of age, race, gender, sexual preference, or religion. They lead by setting an example, giving back, and making those around them feel great about themselves and others. Simply: the world is a better place because they are in it. This category is our way of including the guys and celebrating PEOPLE who make a difference! The core of FIERCE remains true to empowering women but we would be remiss to ignore the fact that behind every great woman is an entourage of people who cheer her on, regardless of gender.

After reading that award description, to say that I’m honoured is a HUGE understatement. To say that I share these nominations with some incredibly awesome people doesn’t even begin to describe how amazing they all are. To say that it’s cool to be a part of something that recognizes “ordinary” people based on the difference that they’re making in the world around them doesn’t do this event justice. I am truly humbled.

I’ve got no idea how the judges will pick a winner, as not one of us is more deserving than the other. In fact, I could name many people who should also be nominated, and I’m betting that many of you do as well.

While I’m honoured to receive the nomination, I want to take it one step further. I want all of you to reach out to the people who have encouraged you and lifted you up and thank them. Give them a hug, or a phone call or a note, and let them know that you’ve felt their help. I want you to go to the people who hate recognition and recognize them anyways.

I think it’s SO important that we all take the time and honour the people who are affecting our world in a great way. Not just the obvious helpers, but the quite often forgotten ones.

Think of the people who always have a smile and a kind word when you see them on the street. The friend that is always there to listen when you’ve had a bad day. The person that offers to babysit when you’re about to hurt your children. The grocery clerk that is always pleasant, no matter how rude the previous customer was to them. The greeter at the store. The transit operator that whistles and sings while he gets you to work on time. Your pastor. Your un-met Twitter friends that make you laugh hysterically, or have advice at the ready when requested. The person that holds the door open so you can run in out of the rain. Your child when they’ve done something sweet. Your kids bus driver that brings your kids home safely every day. The clerk at Timmy’s that knows what you want before you even order.

These are the champions in my life. These are the people who make my days that much brighter and help me to be a better me. I don’t thank them enough, and I need to, because without them I wouldn’t be me.

Am I a champion? I don’t know. What I do know is that this world can be a really tough place, and we all have the opportunity to make it a bit easier for each other. I’m hopeful that I’m doing the best job that I can, and am so thankful that tomorrow, I have the chance to do even better. I am honoured to be a helper, and look forward to seeing even more change in the lives of the people around me.

“We” are much bigger than ourselves, never forget that.

Now please go and recognize the Champions in your life, and always remember to honour the one that’s in your heart. We are all champions in the eyes of someone.


High-Fives & Hallelujahs

Last year I wrote a post acknowledging some of the really important people in my life. People that have loved me, challenged me and helped me grow. People that I didn’t know a short time ago, but couldn’t imagine not having in my life now. When I read my last years list, I am happy to report that I still feel the exact same way about those people and things and better yet, I’ve been blessed enough this year to be able to do a whole new list. (Kristi, Brandon & Deborah, Gryphon Pub Folks, Etc).

I have to start by thanking a few folks again though, so please be patient with me. My Husband Kevin. He’s an amazing husband, an excellent father, and the best friend I could ever wish for. I love you Wiener. My children, who at this moment, number 5. Thank-you for allowing me to be your voice of reason and guide your days. Thank-you for forgiving me in my weakness & loving me all the same. You are why I’m alive, never forget that.  My two besties, Shandra & Tracy. They’re my sounding boards and the voices that I sometimes just need to hear. I’m so blessed to be able to call them friends. My extended family. They are all still very loud, and many, and all over the place, but they’re mine and are always there when I need them.

Now, enough with the mush and on to my list of “High-Fives & Hallelujahs”.

High-Five: a celebratory or mutually congratulatory gesture between two persons performed by each slapping the other’s raised right hand.

My Twittery Ladies – Meaghan, Sarah, Jen, Stacy, Lisa, Janice & Rosanna to name just a few. (There are MANY of you, so don’t be offended if you’re not listed here). These people make me think, cry, shoot water out my nose from laughing so hard and just make my days complete. Some of them I still haven’t met IRL, but I love them like sisters. Looking forward to another year of coconut oil and giggles.

My #shpk Club – These friends were found this year on Twitter, only to later discover that we all live in the same town and share many of the same friends. I SO wish I would’ve met them years ago, and look forward to tonnes of fun that is yet to come.  Bobbi, Lori, Tracy, Carla, Monique, Tanya, Erin, Narissa, Tracy, Darci and all of the rest of you that I KNOW I’m forgetting. #shpk FTW

Luke Fevin & Kathleen Smith – These two people have opened my eyes to many things this year. We are on completely opposite ends of the spectrum on many levels, but we appreciate each other all the same. They have helped me become a better person and to see people and life through another set of eyes. They’ve challenged me to really live what I preach and have not made me feel less than for not sharing their viewpoints. We are never going to agree on a few things but I am thankful that they’ve helped me see outside of my little bubble.

My Coaches – Kerri & Josline. These ladies convinced me to give Ideal Protein a try, and it’s changing my life. I’m feeling better than I have in a very long time. I’m “losing” myself and growing all at the same time. It’s an amazing and awesome feeling, and I look forward to the rest of this journey.

My Customers – Thanks to all of you that continually support me in my businesses and ventures. Because of you, I’m able to stay home and raise my family and be their Mom. Thank-you from the bottom of my heart.

My Social Workers & Support Worker – As many of you know, this past year was tough for us in the fostering world. We had a child move on after being with us for almost 5 years, and it was a hard transition. In fact, we’re still dealing with it. We’ve had 4 more placements since that time and are still waiting for a comfy routine to start again, BUT we have an amazing support team in our workers. Thank-you for always listening to us, and really hearing where we’re at. Thank-you for always accepting my brutal honesty and respecting our role as parents. We wouldn’t have survived this year without you.

Hallelujah: used to express praise, joy, or thanks

I also won a few things this year, so thanks to Jawdrop Coolers for the trip to Vegas, The Shopping Channel for the Vitamix, Urban Infant’s Mama’s Choice awards for having “one of the top 2 online kids stores in the Edmonton area”, and most recently Linetech Ziplines for the zip lining package for me and 7 friends. (aaaahhhh….scary).  It’s been a very “winny” year for me and it was all kicked off by a contest entering frenzy by my friend Jen Banks. I better thank her too, and I’m sorry you didn’t win anything. 🙂

This was also a really awesome year for me, my writing and my little blog. I’ve been given the opportunity to be “Ask April” for Edmonton’s Child magazine. I was honoured to be one of Fierce Magazines Fierce & Fascinating People. I was one of the “How does she do it Mom’s” at Urban Infant magazine. One of my posts was Freshly Pressed. I’m now a guest contributor on a few different websites, and I write anonymously for a few others. I’m getting to do things that I absolutely love.

I say none of this to brag, but to honour all of my gifts because that truly is what they are.  I am still blown away that my rambling is actually making a difference in people’s lives. Thank-you for letting me into your worlds’, and allowing me to be a part of some amazing things. Please know that I will never, ever take that for granted, and am so thankful for all the opportunities that have come my way. And most importantly, thank-you for always coming back to read more.

I know that all of you could write a list just like this and I encourage you to do exactly that. The people that have changed us deserve to know just how important they really are. Never forgot or miss an opportunity to acknowledge all of the good things in your life. It is these people, things and circumstances that change and shape us. It is these things that make our story worth reading.

So, thank-you friends, you are so very much appreciated. Hugs, Hallelujahs & High-Fives all around!