The title of this blog is a favorite quote from Gretchen Rueben's book, The Happiness Project. I admit, I do catch myself wishing away some days, some seasons of life, hoping for better things. The years pass quickly and when I look back I realize those WERE the better things. In an effort to capture those better things I begin this blog. The details of my life are many things: mundane, quirky, sad, joyful, and hopefully, at times, entertaining. About three years ago my life was pretty much an open book when I blogged about our family's struggle with leukemia. When that was over I closed the book. I now open it again----well, at least a few chapters

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Hints of Light at the End of a VERY Long Tunnel

I'm starting to think it might actually happen. I really might be moving into my new house SOON. I only felt like this after my piano was moved in today. You are not really committed until your piano is living there. Here is a sneak peak.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Deja Vu

One of my least favorite places on earth is the Foothills hospital in Calgary. I really hate it there. It is an ugly cement edifice representing crushed hopes and dreams, and they make you pay $15 a day parking to boot. There is just something really unethical about THAT.

There are only about 6 people in the world that I would enter that nauseating building for again. My dad is one of them.

Last Sunday, after Reggie's ordination to the office of teacher in the Aaronic priesthood, my immediate family sat down in my parent's living room having some dessert. Suddenly,  my dad catapulted from his seat like a puppet, while his fork flew across the room. He had received a shock from his defibrillator. This, of course wasn't a new thing, considering he has myocardio myopathy (life threatening erratic heart rhythms). However, he began to be shocked about every 20 minutes. It is very painful. Other people pass out from the pain, but not my dad. Sometimes I wish he would pass out so he wouldn't feel it. 12 more shocks and an hour later he was in an ambulance on his way to the that place I hate. I followed the ambulance and tried not to think about the familiar roads I was taking and the doors I would be walking through shortly.

From start to finish there were 20 shocks. Pretty much unheard of in cardiac circles. They stabilized him with a slew of medications and he fell into an exhaustive sleep. Mom and I headed to the waiting room and began a fitful sleep in the same chairs I slept in 5 years previous.

It was surreal waking up that next day smelling that putrid antiseptic, listening to the oh so familiar beeps of the IVs, the squeak of the nurses shoes on the floor.  I don't know what you imagine your own personal hell to be, but mine is hospitals.

Without thinking, my feet guided me down the corridor to the cafeteria. I saw the same man there cooking food that I used to visit with everyday. He didn't remember me. I floated to the cash register and dropped coins into the hand that I had touch dozens of times. No smile of recognition. The same porters, the same doctors, the same cleaning staff......all swirled around me in a nightmarish deja vu.

Food tasted like dust on my tongue. I kept chewing, kept breathing, kept going through the motions I was supposed to in the company of someone I had to be strong for. I wouldn't allow myself to lose it.

Back in the room, Dad snapped me out of my haze. He was smiling. He was ok, for the time being, and that was all that mattered. I can do it for him. Whatever that may be.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I'm Back

So I almost gave up the blogging world. No time. Nothing important to say. Kind of want to be a hermit again. But..................a friend suggested that I continue so I will give a try for a bit longer.

When we came back from summer break we were in a staff meeting and our principal asked how everyone's summer was. He called on a colleague and friend of mine and without hesitation he said, "Well, my summer really sucked!" I think it really took him aback, but I almost laughed out loud because it was exactly what I was thinking.

Although it may not have been the ideal summer, I realize that all summers can't be good. If they were we would never have a GOOD summer because we would have nothing to compare it to. If it is all about relativity and comparison next summer is going to be SWEET!

It has kind of been a rough start up to the school year. Here are the things that are consuming me right now:

1. New teaching position (Grade 6--never taught it before)
2. Piloting new school wide reading program at school (Guess who is in charge)
3. Started a show choir at school
4. House, house, and more house
5. Financial stress
6. University of Alberta online classes
7. Young Women's ( Why not be the president?)
8. Several good friends in crisis situations
9. My kids and the things they are struggling with right now.

Here are some good things:

1. Cooper loves school this year and isn't crying every night about going.
2. My parents have been absolute ROCK STARS in helping me with the kids while I have been gone so much.
3. Nobody is sick or injured in my family right now.
4. Reg kicked butt at his first Cross Country Meet.
5. Marin LOVES junior high and has finally got over her extreme shyness
6. Things are back on schedule with the house
7. We are having the most beautiful autumn that I can ever remember.
8. I'm getting a new Honda next week!

Here are some updated house picts:

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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Summer, please come soon

I'm still waiting for summer holidays to begin. School has been out for a while, but my plate didn't empty. As soon as school let out, it was off to Young Women's Camp. It was a great time. I love the girls, and I love the women I work with. There was no complaining. It was kind of a miracle actually.
Just before I left on camp I got a text from my framer about Nightmare on Sugar Street. That is what I have decided to call my house project now, because my street IS ACTUALLY called Sugar Street.

The crane truck had come out all the way from Lethbridge to hang the roof trusses and a crew of 8 was ready to really get some work done that day. After trying to hang the first truss, it was apparent that there was a screw up with the trusses. TOO BIG. All the garage ones were totally messed. This did not sit well with my framer or me to put it mildly. I was ready to throw in the towel that day. My framer admitted that he had never seen so many things go wrong on one build project. Thanks for sharing, because I was already feeling great about things.

I have decided that I have been beat and I am turning over the general contracting to someone else. My mental health can't handle it any more. To make matters worse, it would take a couple of days to fix the truss problem and the crane truck couldn't come out again until Monday. SO............I had a full week of NOTHING going on, no progress whatsoever. Did I also mention that this was the first 5 day stretch since I started that there has been no rain. Perfect.

This week I also had some dear friends who stopped in to visit for a few hours. They had flown in from Ottawa to see the stampede and they took a large detour to come down and see Waterton National Park and to visit me. It was so great to see them. My friend has the same type of leukemia that Cam had and that is actually how we became friends. She was such a support to Cam. Love her and her husband.

After their visit, I drove 6 hours to Edmonton to the Adolescent Literacy Summer Institute at the University of Alberta. I arrived at midnight in the pouring rain with only one windshield wiper working.

The conference was very informative and I got to visit quite a bit with a couple of teachers from my division who are really fun and interesting people. I also found out at the institute what I have really signed on for. What was sold to me as a great PD opportunity is actually a Master's program in disguise. However, you don't get any university credit for it. The people who were in it last year said it was WAY more work than they thought, and they didn't want us going in blind like they did. There are every other week 2 hour webinars, heavy reading assignments, and action research assignments to be conducted in my classroom. Yay for me. Well, my old plan was to get my masters, so I guess this will have to do. All complaints aside, it will be a great chance to learn from leading literacy professors across North America and network with some very talented people.

The last big event of the week was summer games soccer. Marin's team got pummeled and were out of the running quickly. Reggie's team was the favorite to win the gold, and we fully expected them to. We won the first three games handily and then the wheels started to come off. After a heartbreaking loss that would have led us to the gold medal game, we settled for trying to win bronze.

After a full day of non-stop soccer in 30 degree weather, these kids were SPENT. It was a hard fought battle and the game ended in a tie. We headed to over time. If the over time still resulted in a tie, we would go to a shoot out. The shoot out was looking like our best chance to win, as we have an amazing goalie and some very strong kickers. The other team's goalie was mediocre at best. 10 seconds to go to end the over time and our defenseman got a hand ball in the penalty area. When this happens, the opposing team gets a penalty shot, which is from very close range. The goalie must stay on the goal line until the ball is kicked, and there is no assistance or interference from any other players. They sent their best player forward, and he blasted a bullet kick into the right corner to score. Hysteria ensued from the opposing fans. We still had, however, 10 seconds on the clock. We made the kick off and everyone rushed to the opposing team's net to score including our goalie. A beautiful, high cross shot was executed and our forward launched into the air to head it in. He missed. Time was up.

As most of you know, I am a very competitive person. After sitting in the hot sun all day and screaming my fool head off I wanted a win. I was ticked. I expected everyone else to be to. To my amazement, Reggie's coach, who is equally competitive, I might add, brought the team together for a pep talk and a cheer. Some how she got smiles on their faces. Some how she made them feel like they were still winners. To end the last game of the year, she lined the team up horizontally across the field, facing the parents and walked toward us. When they got to us the team cheered for the parents who had been supporting them throughout the season. I was taught a very good lesson. It had nothing to do with winning. It had everything to do with building character in kids. She is a rock star in my book and I feel so fortunate to have Reggie in her midst.

Today was my nephew's mission farewell. This farewell was especially hard on me. Sam was 6 months old when I came into the Williams' family picture. I have known him pretty much his whole life. Out of everyone in the Williams family, he is the most like Cam. I hate the thought of losing my little piece of Cam for two years, but I am so glad he has the chance to serve the Lord and grow his testimony. He is such a great example for my kids.

Hopefully, my summer vacation will begin this week. I am heading out camping with my family and I hope a lot of reading, hiking, and fishing will be on the menu.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


I feel like this picture is an accurate representation of my life lately. It is hard to know where to begin. All I know is that a lot of things are in a mess.

My house is a mess, my desk is a mess, my vehicles are a mess, my yard is a mess, my schedule is a mess, my build guessed it......a mess.

A couple of weeks ago my principal showed this video at staff meeting of this kid in a cross country running race. He was about 20 meters away from the finish line when he collapsed with exhaustion. The coach rushed to his aid, but he waved him off and indicated that he would finish the race unassisted. Summoning all the strength he had left, he began to crawl. Runner after runner passed him by and finished the race. He fell several more times, but kept getting back up and crawled across the finish line. I was in tears as the video played because that was me. That IS me. I'm still crawling. I hope I make it across the finish line in four days time when school ends.

I haven't blogged lately because I been struggling lately and was afraid that a blog entry might release a tidal wave of self pity. I'm trying to stay positive, so I've stayed silent. I can feel that tidal wave emerging now so I'm going to just post a few picts of some fun things in the last few weeks and call it good.

The kids and I were asked to be the torch runners for the Cardston Kids Marathon. So fun! 
Reg, Coop, and I all ran in the Cardston Family Fun Run 5km race together. Amazingly, we all got first in our categories, and Reggie (AKA the MACHINE) was the first one in overall. It was my first run after the broken toe incident so I felt pretty good about it.
Presented the 2012 Cam Williams Memorial Award to Savannah Hunter. What an awesome kid.

Team Orange went UNDEFEATED at the final tournament!

Walls, upstairs rooms, and some downstairs rooms are framed.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

May Long and Other Adventures

I did a really dumb thing last week. I broke my toe. Really not the smartest thing to be doing when you are training for a half marathon that is a week away. I wish I'd broken it in a more glamorous way like booting a soccer ball, or getting stepped on with a cleat, but no, it was pure clumsiness. In the middle of the night I got up to close a window. Instead of walking around the bed to get back in I thought I would do this flying leap over to my side of the bed. Seemed good in theory. I guess I'm not as limber in the wee hours of the night because I whacked my toe right into the corner of my hope chest at the the foot of my bed. The pain took my breath away and it throbbed for the rest of the night. I hope that it was just a bad bang but when the next couple of days revealed swelling, a black toe, and no ability to bend it, I knew my half marathon hopes were over.

I could just kick myself. Just four days before I had done a 12 mile run with my running partner and we were really feeling ready. Instead I ended up running an aid station and wiping away tears as I watched my running partner zoom by. I don't do very well as a spectator. It killed me to not be in that race with so many of my colleagues. It just sucked. PERIOD.

I've been really careful with it and I'm hoping to be in good form for the upcoming family fun run in mid June.

Reggie kicked at his track meet this year. He finally has figured out where his talents lie, and was smart with his event choices.  Last year he signed up for shot put. Yup, that's right SHOT PUT. Reggie and I are pretty much built the same. I told him, "Reg, have you looked at our arms? People like us don't do shot put." To spite me, he still got fourth, beating out kids who outweighed him by 40 pounds.

This year he went in long jump, triple jump, 800m, and 1500m. He got first in all of them. The best moment was when he did his last long jump and beat my standing school record. He was so happy and so was I. It was a memorable mother-son moment. (Technically, my record still stands because he is a boy ; )

For the May long weekend we braved the weather and decided to go camping in Waterton. There were a few sunny moments that we took advantage of. The kids love camping no matter what kind of weather there is.  We did a short hike to Bertha Falls. Another dumb decision on my part. I wanted to test out my toe, and it killed afterward. My sister and her family, my mom and dad, and my brother in law and his family were there as well. It was a nice change of scenery.


House progress has been non-existent, as I have been at the mercy of my contractors and the weather. I don't really like to talk to much about it, because it makes me too mad. They say they are coming to start framing Wednesday. I'm not getting my hopes up though. I'll only get excited when there are actual hammers and nails flying up there.

All three kids are playing on the summer games soccer teams. It has kind of spun our schedule out of control. My calendar has no white space left to write in. I suppose it is a good thing though. I would rather having them super busy than sitting at home vegetating or bugging each other.

June go quickly!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

I've never felt like I've been a very good mother. Parenting weaknesses abound and patience often runs thin. I distinctly remember saying to Cam, "I could never be a single parent. I think I would check into the nut house in no time flat." Well...........about that.............It is pretty scary to think how close I have come to checking into the nut house sometimes. There is definitely a reason families are supposed to be made up of a mom and a dad.

When half of the equation is cut out it is hard. Very hard. I don't really have the skill set to be a successful single parent. However, some compensatory blessing make it possible to keep going when the slogging is tough. One of these bonus blessings is the children I have been given to raise. Although they are far from perfect, they are perfect for me. They teach me so much. I feel so lucky to be a mother to THEM.

Cooper sneaked into my bed at about 2:30 AM as he often does. Usually he continues to slumber while I get up and get ready. Today though I heard him awake and check the clock. After seeing it, he leaped from the bed and began dashing out of the room. He thundered downstairs organizing the rest of the troops and shouting orders. Although the attempt to keep the noise to a minimum was duly noted, there was a lot of pot clanging, drawers slamming, and timers dinging, interspersed with a lot of SHHHH BE QUIET! SHE'S GOING TO HEAR US!  The breakfast parade then descended upon my room with Coop leading the way, beaming. After making sure I ate every morsel of my food, they begged to bring in the Mother's Day gifts before we started getting ready for church.

The high point of the day for me was Reggie's talk in church. He did it all on his own last night while I was out watching 'The Avengers'.  (Didn't really like it, but that is a post for another time). It is so weird to see your kid standing in front of a large audience competently speaking about you. I tried not to get emotional and make a fool of myself on the stand, but it was hard to hold back tears. I had the revelation that maybe I am doing a couple of things right and the sacrifices I make are noticed.

Motherhood is often unsung, less than glamourous, and very, very exhausting, but the rewards are out of this world.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you!