Day 15: Death Row Meal

The answer is pancakes. Always pancakes.

I have a serious pancake (or pancake type food) addiction. It’s my comfort food, my favourite of all foods. Whenever I’m depressed, my friends will offer me IHOP because they know I will never turn down a pancake.

So, it would only be fitting that my last meal on Earth would be from the pancake family. But not waffles. Waffles just WISH they could be pancakes, preferably covered in Nutella, nature’s other perfect food.

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Day 14: A Year of Change

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The challenge was to post a photo from last year & discuss how I have changed. Normally, I’d say I’m the same girl I’ve always been, but that’s not true.

Last year, I felt life was hopeless. My daughter was mad at the world & I felt like a failure as a mom. My education wasn’t going well. My friendships were strained. My magazine folded & life without journalism felt bleak. I was healing from a breakup. I was freaking miserable.

But, I kept going. Sometimes, when life feels hopeless, all you’ve got are the little victories. I went to school today. I got my kid in therapy. I handed in my assignments. I went to placement & did well. Soon, those little victories become big ones. I finished school. I found a job. I did well at my job. I helped my child cope with anger & she’s doing well & doesn’t need counselling anymore. I became stronger & more self aware. All of these things helped me be happier.

Then there are the physical changes. I’m 15 lbs lighter. My arms are thinner. I wear a smaller size, and of course, the most obvious; my hair. My once jet black hair is now a warmer brown. The change brightened my face, made my eyes stand out & dare I say I feel like I’m prettier.

The year was hard but I’m grateful because once again I learned what I can accomplish if I try, which is a lot. So, I’m stronger, wiser & more at peace. These lessons I will take to my shiny new home, that I will move in to in 75 days.

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Day 12: What I Never Leave Home Without

There are many things that I never leave home without; my purse, my iPhone, my headphones, my passport & my Certificate of Divorce HAHAHAHA. But that’s all normal crap that everyone brings with them everywhere.

So, I guess the one unique thing that I never leave without is my necklace.

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I never leave without it because I never take it off. I’m a nerd who loves the Legend of Zelda & when I bought my now ex best friend this necklace, I bought one for myself too because I’ve always wanted a Triforce necklace. The Legend of Zelda was my favourite thing growing up & I’ve played every game, I’ve studied the timeline religiously & even own Hyrule Historia, the LoZ encyclopedia. I wear my nerdiness proudly, although I do sometimes get asked if I’m in the illuminati, which is always fun. My district manager has taken to only calling me Princess Zelda, which I’ve decided to take as a compliment.

So, the one thing that I don’t leave my house without is my necklace. If I took it off, I would likely feel naked without it.

Day 11: Favourite Quote

I have many, most of them are by Oscar Wilde or Edgar Allen Poe. However, my all time favourite quote was said by the wisest person of all. He was brilliant, yet often dismissed for being dumb. He was fat shamed, bullied & his ideas largely discredited. He associated with misfits; his best friends had anxiety issues, OCD & Schitzophrenia, Dyslexia & of course, a serious case of Biploar Disorder. But he learned through those friendships, & one could learn more about unconditional love, life & happiness from this wise peron than any psychologist or self help guru in the world.

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Day 10: My Biggest Fear

I’m afraid of lots of things.

I’m afraid that I’ll never fall in love again.

I’m afraid I’m not the best mom I can be.

I’m afraid I’ll never reach my fitness goals.

I’m afraid that I’ll never work in media again.

I’m claustrophobic, I’m afraid of mice & I’m not terribly fond of snakes. But my biggest fear is the most horrifying creature on Earth. The source of all terror. To demonstrate the most evil being alive, I shall post the photo that my friend Dawna made for me & posted on my Facebook.

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Day Nine: The People Who Mean Most To Me

Aside from my children that is.

Today I’m supposed to post a favourite photo of my best friend, but I couldn’t narrow it to just one. I have a group of awesome friends that I love.

Whether I’ve known them my entire life, or a few months, these are the people that have been there for me through good, bad, ugly, mopey, whiny, batsh*t crazy & everything in between. I’m lucky to call them friends. So, thanks amazing friends, for being you. I love you all lots & may have (for the purposes of this post) stolen your FB display photo because I don’t have a pic of you without my kids in it lol. ❤

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Day Eight: Where I’ve Been…& Where I’d Like to Go

I must confess; I’m not a seasoned traveller.

I went to Vermont with my foster family when I was 15 years old & gained 10lbs eating Ben & Jerry’s. I went to Tim Horton’s Camp as a child & broke my arm & ended up with a lovely scar. But, my favourite place on that short list is Ontario Pioneer Camp.

The first time I told my foster parents that I loved them & referred to them as my family was when I left for my first trip to Girls’ Camp. It was so easy there. It was easy to be Christian; everyone was. There were no cliques. Everyone was a friend. No one disliked anyone, we all loved each other & wanted to serve God. When I became a counsellor, I loved my little campers. I loved to teach them about life, God & how to sail. Sailing was my passion there; I loved my little boats & everything about them & sometimes, when everyone was asleep, I’d sneak down to my beloved sailboats & enjoy the beauty of the lake. I loved the place so much, that I took the name of it for my eldest daughter. It was a place of peace & joy; two traits I wanted her to have (& she does…most of the time).

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But the one place I’ve always wanted to go is New Orleans. I want to go to the French Quarter, walk the old streets. I want to go to the Lestat cafe (if it’s still open) & stay in a big old hotel. I want to go to jazz clubs & old graveyards. When I got married, we were supposed to go there for our honeymoon but finances prevented it. But, I still want to go there so badly…just not during Mardi Gras.

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Of course, I also have to go to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. My youngest daughter LOVES football. She’s a little stat quoting analyst who watches NFL AM like it’s church. Once a month I take each girl out for a day of fun and she chose to eat chicken wings and watch her team, the Saints (she also got into a very heated debate with an elderly man which ended in her saying “Mr. Man, stats can’t wie! My team is better!”). Since football is a big interest for her, it’s my job as her mother to understand & embrace her interest (well, I try. She rolls her eyes a lot & explains things many times. I feel it’s payback for the number of times I repeat ” put your backpack away”), so if I ever make it to New Orleans, we’ll be cheering Drew Brees & the Saints to victory, while she’s decked out in her official Saints cheerleading uniform.

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Speaking of understanding your child’s interests; the sometimes angry tween has begged me to take her to New Orleans all year. Of course, it’s not for the scenery, or the history, or anything like that. She wanted to go to Wrestlemania XXX, to see her idol, Divas Champion AJ Lee.

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I would like to travel to many places, but NOLA is at the top of my list. I hope to get there someday, whether it’s on my own, as part of my “dream wedding” (more on that later) or to take the tiniest princess to see her “boys,” I know I’ll get there someday.

Day Seven: What Makes Me Happy

What makes me happy? Everything!

It doesn’t take much to make me happy, as I pride myself on making myself happy every day. I couldn’t imagine living a life where tiny things, such as my favourite song coming on my iPod just when I wanted to hear it, or shopping, or something funny my daughter said didn’t make my whole day awesome. So, to compile a list of things that make me happy is actually quite easy. But, for the sake of not boring you, I’ll keep the list small.

1. My daughters. Duh. They’re my pride & joy, my source of happiness every day. Nothing brings me greater happiness than my girls.

2. Yoga. I love yoga. I love how it makes my body feel better, with less back pain. I love that it’s helping me lose weight. I love that I feel so rejuvenated after a good sweat session with Stratusphere Yoga. Even while I was house hunting, or ill, & couldn’t do a full workout, I still made time for twenty minutes of yoga poses. I even have yoga goals; like someday I’ll be able to do Crow pose properly & not just prep & I’ll do those preacher curls while in Flamingo. Yoga helps the body, mind & spirit.

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3. Music. I love all music. I identify with so many songs & they take me back to snippets of time that make me happy. I couldn’t go a day without singing along with the radio or listening to my iPod. I love all music, from death metal to classical & I think it’s my second favourite non-parenting thing in the world.

4. Writing. Another duh. Never a day without a word was my former professor’s motto & I think I live that. I love to create & give my random ideas life. I love telling stories, recreating memories of concerts, sporting events, the first time you heard that song. It’s my passion & it’s everything to me. Writing is like oxygen to me. It makes me a better person, & once I’ve finished moving, I’ll have a byline again & I’ll be telling my stories again before you know it.

5. Edgar Allen Poe. My all time favourite author. I love his work so much. So much, that my favourite work by Poe is often a “How well do you know MH?” Staple. There’s just something about his macabre works that draw me in every time.

6. Tim Burton Films. I used to own his entire filmography until my ex husband pawned them all. My copy of Nightmare Before Christmas was all that survived (although I do have a copy of Edward Scissorhands as well). Jack is tattooed on my shoulder, he’s regularly my Facebook cover photo & even my phone’s lock screen. My all time favourite line from Nightmare was once a text tone on my phone, but I don’t use that one anymore.

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That’s my short list of happy things. I hope you have a quality list too. Everyone deserves a list of awesome things that makes them happy, as everyone deserves to be happy every day.

Day Six: Pet Peeves

I don’t think I have anything that truly annoys me, well aside from the standard dishonesty, abuse, etc.

I suppose all of mine are social media related.

1. People who display gross things to promote “awareness” on their Facebook page. It’s not helping, it’s freaking sick. No one needs to see a photo of someone’s black & gross frostbitten toes, or a blown up stomach, or someone’s lip half torn off. I read real news for that. I don’t need it on my Facebook news feed. Sharing that story didn’t make anyone more concerned about that health issue, it just made me & all of your other Facebook friends want to throw up.

2. Passive Aggressive Status Updates & Tweets. I love all of those status updates where someone is clearly pissed or upset with someone so they’ll use their status to talk about it rather than call that person. I’ve begun deleting people who do it. Same with subtweets. If you’re constantly crap talking a person & adding #subtweet, you’re clearly trapped in high school & that’s cool. But grown ups call people & work out issues. Try it sometime.

3. Social media narcissism. Yes, clearly I’m blogging about you, and my tweets are all about you & my Facebook status updates are all about you. Dollars to doughnuts there are at least three people who are looking at these thinking ” I can’t believe she’s calling me out like that,” & I’m rolling my eyes because it happens all of the time. Chances are, I am not talking about you. Just like that tweet wasn’t about her & Chris Hemsworth hasn’t proposed to me. Most people are likely not thinking about any one particular thing & just say random crap. The fact that you read into it because you’re desperate to be in someone’s thoughts 24/7 is cool & all, but they’re probably not talking about you. Makes you wonder how much you’re thinking about them to analyze them so much or if you engage in the first two.

Those are my big pet peeves. That and the sound of nails on a chalkboard.