Showing posts from 2011

Christmas Kindness #2

A woman who lives on my crescent called me last week. I had never met her, but have seen her outside her house with her kids. We have waved, even said hi, but I didn't know her name until she called.

She reads my blog.

She has been so moved by our story, by my story, by Tripp's story, that she wanted to do something. She made it her goal to make everyone on our crescent a ice candle holder like the one I made for Tripp. She had some help and some very warm, uncooperative weather, but our crescent has been transformed for me.

I have always loved our crescent. It is filled with young families, dogs, and kids who play street hockey. It is truly the best place to live in our entire town (and yes I am biased). Last week the gesture from a neighbour made me feel a little more loved right where I live.

She promised me a hug the next time our paths cross. Until then, thank-you, thank-you, thank-you.

The Hamilton's Current Reading List

The last few days I can't get enough reading. Right now I reading what I thought was the last installment of Diane Gabaldon's Outlander series. Upon looking for a link to show any of you who were interested, I found that Gabaldon is currently writing an 8th novel in the series. My friend, Deena, recommended the books right after we lost Tripp. She gave me all 7 published books and I began reading. I have read nothing but these books for the last 10 months, not wanting to start anything else until these are finished. There have been times I can't put the books down and others where I will leave them for weeks without picking them up. That being said, I totally recommend reading them. (As do the 642 ratings on If I did it again, I would just take some reading breaks from the series! Oh and a side note if you do pick up this series. Although it is not a romance novel in the typical sense, there are some "smutty" parts. I am usually not a fan of …

A Thought's Influence

The condo that we stayed at on our trip had a hot tub. The last day we were there, Calder went "swimming" 3 times. {INSERT picture of Calder in hot tub on our trip HERE} He had such a fun time in the hot tub that we thought that we would take him into the city to go swimming at a city pool. We had a bit of running around to do before that, so just after lunch I hopped into the shower. 
As I stood in the shower I began to go over what our afternoon would look like in my head. A picture formed of us skating, then a picture of me at Lululemon and on to a picture of us at the mall. Lastly I got a split second glance of us at the pool. Hugh and Calder were in the shallow end of the pool and I was standing at the edge holding a baby. 
I can honestly say I don't remember that happening before - involuntarily thinking of a moment that was going to happen and having Tripp in it. I think lots about what things would look like if he were here, but I do that consciously. I suppose t…


We left on a ski/snowboarding trip with my family on the 22nd and got home last night. For those 5 days I unplugged myself from technology. I didn't check my blog (I had set those posts to be published before we left). I didn't check facebook or my email. I didn't text (which is no great feat since I often don't even know where my phone is let alone have it charged).

It felt good to be unplugged. I thought I might miss it, but in fact when I got home last night I wanted to continue to remain unplugged. Saddly, it wasn't to be. I needed to check my email to make and confirm some plans for later in the break. Once I got on the computer I couldn't help but check my blog and read all of the posts that I had missed on my blog list. After writing this, I am sure I will immediately go to facebook to see what I missed there. I am going to try and take more breaks from technology. Even just for a day at a time. It was refreshing.

I have lots to say about our holiday and…

Christmas Kindness #1

This came in the mail for us last week. There was no name attached.

You brought a smile to my face and a tear to my eye. Thank-you so much for your thoughtfulness. We have already put it to good use. After I get my Christmas stuff away I am going to find it a permanent home. Thank-you. Thank-you. Thank-you.

Merry Christmas

Much Love, 
The Hamiltons

Tripp's Star


Christmas Letter

Hugh and I usually send out photo card and letter at Christmas time. We like to think we are funny, so we add our own flavor to the letter. Here is a taste of last years:

Dear Friends and Family,
Well, it is that time of year again already; Clark Griswold, decorating the house and Christmas Cards. Yah! As we sit here thinking about the items we would like to share with all of you, Calder is getting settled into bed for the evening. This year will once again be our “Top Ten” list (remember, in no particular order). 
10. We will start with Rapid City, SD. Hugh, Calder and I headed down South to visit Luke for Christmas last year. It was the worst drive of our lives. Calder had had the flu a couple days before we left and it decided to attack Hugh and I the morning we left. My sister, Jes, and her boyfriend, Nathan, were lifesavers. Hugh and I couldn’t even function when we got to Regina, so they took Calder so we could have a nap (again. . . sorry you guys got sickJ). Once we got to Rapid,…

Lending out Tripp's swing

This week was the first time I lent one our our baby items to someone since Tripp died. Up until now, I had needed those things in our house. I needed them to be his. He would have needed the sleepers and the bumbo chair. He would have needed the blankets and the toys.

Yesterday when friends of our were telling us about looking on Kijiji for baby items and relating some of the funny stories, it felt natural to offer them our swing which was one of the few items they were having trouble getting. I think it felt natural because they weren't looking for us to give it to them, they were just talking about what was going on in their lives. I am still not sure I will be able to lend out sleepers and clothes, but it felt good to let them use Tripp's swing.

Shout it from the rooftop. . . or maybe just our lawn.

Hugh and I hit the bathroom after our counseling session yesterday. After as we walked out to the van the first think Hugh said to me was, "I could see us going to see Brad for the rest of our lives." I had been thinking the exact same thing. 

It is a safe place to be heard. Brad prompts us to examine ideas and feelings. We get to talk about Tripp. We get to talk about Calder. We get to talk about us. 

Hugh and I discuss everything that goes on in our lives. We have real conversations, but we find that when we go to counseling we talk a bit more about the bigger picture, whereas in everyday life we talk about specific events. It is really good reflection.

This week on my friend, Dani's blog, she talked about her experience with counseling saying, "I didn't know if I was "crazy" enough to need to go to that extreme, to actually talk to someone about my life." I know exactly what she is talking about. There is a stigma around asking for help. Especial…


This afternoon Hugh, Calder and I headed into the Lawson Heights Mall to visit Santa. I clearly don't take  Calder out enough, because he was running wild pointing at bright signs, elderly men in scooters, mannequins wearing lingerie and a girl with a mohawk (a very cute one I might add). It was fun to see the mall through his eyes today!

Calder was a bit shy to hop right up on Santa's lap, so Hugh encouraged him to start by letting Santa know what he wanted for Christmas. "I want Chick, Mater, Lighting, Doc and all da guys. And a new hockey net. You can take my old one." Santa laughed and thought a trade sounded like a good idea!

After the list was finished, I asked Calder if he would sit on Santa's lap so I could take a picture. I thought he would still be reluctant, but he nodded and Hugh lifted him up.

 I am sure glad Santa's elves make Disney's Cars merchandise. It is hard to find!

Hamilton Family Christmas

Friday marked the last day of work for Hugh and I. We both took today and tomorrow off to extend our Christmas break a bit. On Friday Hugh was excited as we drove to work. He couldn't wait to spend more time together. Hugh and I have started to really enjoy our family Saturdays and he spoke about how we were going to have 2 weeks of Saturdays. I should have been elated. I really love our family time.  But, instead I was nervous. In fact, I barely slept at the end of last week. I have been dreading Christmas. The last day of work marked the fact that Christmas was here.
We spent Friday evening and Saturday at Hugh's brother, Billy's house. He and his wife, Abbey, hosted the Hamilton family Christmas this year. We had some good food and laughs on Friday night.  We headed home early to get a good rest for Saturday's festivities.  Hugh and I talked on the short drive about how there were reminders to us that Tripp wasn't there. For Hugh it was reminiscing with his par…

Updated: There's not enough time to come up with anything good.

Here is my to-do list for tonight (Thursday)
1. Write on Christmas cards
2. Make grocery list for after work tomorrow
3. Help Hugh make lunches
4. Clean off the disaster on the kitchen table
5. Finish pukey laundry (if you can believe it, Calder was puking sick AGAIN last night)
6. Mark Foundations Pre-Calculus 10 exams

This list will easily take 2 hours. The exams will take almost that much on their own. It is 6:41 pm. On topof all that, I am going to spend the next 19 minutes with Calder before he hits the sack. If I want to end my night snuggled on my couch with Hugh rubbing my feet as we watch last nights Modern Family, I better get on it!

1. Write on Christmas cards Done! - But only the ones I HAD to get done for today!
2. Make grocery list for after work tomorrow Done!I actually got this done while Hugh and I were driving to work!
3. Help Hugh make lunchesSort of? I cut up the egg for the egg salad. I wasn't really very helpful on this front! Hugh made lun…

My first Christmas craft since graduating from TPS*

Here it is. The frame cost $20, foam backing, $4, and cork, $20 (and I have quite a bit of it left). I used a hot glue gun to stick everything down. And impressively, I only burned myself once.

I feel like it needs a bit more to spruce it up for Christmas. It almost needs to be a bit more gaudy to be a Christmas decoration. I have an idea for some cute thumb tacks. I was also thinking I could get some sort of bow to put across the top.

Considering that was my first Christmas Craft in 20 years, I may just leave the upgrades to do next December!

*TPS - Tisdale Public School (Grad 1991) And before you go thinking I am older than I am, TPS was a grade 2 - 6 school! I think I may have dated myself. Don't even try to do the math. I will just say it. 29 years old.

Five Regrets of The Dying

In Friday's Saskatoon StarPhoenix John Gormley's column caught my attention. It was titled "Why we should listen to Rick Mercer". Turns out Rick Mercer is gay. And I'm happy to report that Gormley doesn't think it matters. As Gormley says, "Gay or straight, he's Rick Mercer and he's really good at his craft."

As interesting as the commentary was, it was the last part that has had me thinking since I read it. This is straight cut and paste from the article:

This week on my radio show the phone lines lit up when we talked about Bronnie Ware's Five Regrets of the Dying.

What began as a blog post went viral and is now a full-length book released this fall by the Australian writer and artist at

Ware worked for years in palliative care with patients who had gone home to die. From spending the final three to 12 weeks of life with people, she observed that while every patient went through a variety of emotions, each generally f…

World Famous Sugar Cookies

I didn't win a cookie award. That title is self-proclaimed. Sugar cookies are my favourite Christmas baking. A couple of years ago my friend, Twyla introduced me to Wilton's food colour found at Michaels. I love it. It is a paste and has very rich colour. I love the look of the finished product!

This year, I enlisted Hugh to help me ice the cookies (last year, it was my friend, Ader:-). It's a big job! Immediately, Calder pulled up a chair and started wolfing down a green sugar cookie tree. This kicked off a 20 minute conversation about the colour green.
Calder: "What's your favourite colour?" "Is green your favourite? Or is red your favourite?" "I like green" "There are green trees there and there and there and there." " 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6. . . green trees" "Mama, do you like green?" "Dad, do you like green?" "Pace likes green." "Maddy likes purple." "Green is my favourit…

Worldwide Candle Lighting

Last week someone commented on one of my posts about a Worldwide Candle Lighting. Thank-you Anonymous. I got the information for the gathering in Saskatoon, but was feeling anxious about attending. I wanted others to see Tripp's picture. I wanted to stand with people who know what it is like. But I didn't. In the end, my nerves told me it wasn't the right thing for me this year. Instead, I honoured Tripp by lighting a candle at his tree in North Hills Park. I made an ice candle holder out of a mold my mom got me a few years ago from Lee Valley.

I wanted to leave the candle going all night so that people out for a walk would see Tripp's light. We got about 1/2 a block away and I couldn't do it. There is no way a fire would have started, but I couldn't leave it unattended. I dropped Calder and Hugh off at the house and headed back. As I approached the park I started crying. I could see the light and it looked beautiful. I wanted other people to see it too. I mig…

A Grandma's Wisdom

I should have posted this on Wednesday, but I was feeling too sad to write. I am still sad, but it fits right in with how I am feeling.

I had a heart-to-heart with my Grandma Jenny on the weekend that included some tears. I asked her if she got cancer if she would get treatment. You see lately I have been thinking about what it will be like when I am on my deathbed. I keep thinking how happy I will be. I will be on my way to Tripp. On my deathbed I am old. I have gave my life all I have and I am ready to leave. I'm not sad my journey is ending, I am just so happy to get to finally get to stare into Tripp's eyes for hours on end, rock him to sleep, and listen to him breathe.

When I asked my Grandma the question she thought about it and said that as long as she wouldn't be on life support she would fight it. My grandma is 84. As we sat there and thought I tried to put myself in her shoes, but I didn't find myself coming to the same conclusion as her. It made me think. My…

Read Somewhere Else Today :-)

Today I am the featured mom on Deena's Mommy Diaries. I LOVE that Deena does this. It is so cool to see other mom's perspective and also neat to see how similar we all are. Check it out HERE.

If you are looking for some other good reading today, there have been a couple hilarious reads at If you are a Twihard, THIS will sing to you. (It will sing to you if you aren't one, too. Hugh isn't a Twihard and still found it laugh-out-loud funny. After I made him read it.) I could really relate to her post yesterday.  I recently found a small lump in my left deltoid. I am getting an ultrasound in January as a precautionary measure (the doctor thinks it's a lipoma). It's not necessarily cancer. Don't panic. Read the Bloggess. It seriously isn't necessarily cancer. I'm not necessarily worried. LOL. But, seriously, it isn't cancer! And I'm really not worried.

Home Alone

Tuesday, 7:34 pm

I have had a sad couple of days. I can't hang it on anything in particular. I wonder if it might be the upcoming holidays or just the fact that I have decided I can't fall asleep. Ultimately, I have no idea and quite frankly tonight I am too tired to even bother thinking about it.

Hugh is at a meeting so I am going to do what I love to do when I am home alone. Light candles. Make hot beverage. Grab iPad and remote. Curl up under a quilt my Grandma Jenny made. Try not to think.

Christmas Party

Last night we were out at the Riverside Golf and Country Club celebrating the holiday season with Hugh's summer work crew. Hugh loves the people he adjusts crops with in the summer and the company always puts on great events for their employees. My brother's girlfriend, Brittany, and her cousin Mackenzie came over to look after Calder, so we took advantage and had Brit take a picture. Every year the company gives the employees and their significant others Christmas ornaments. I think mine is prettier, but you be the judge. The company also does a draw for the large center piece. As luck would have it this year, Hugh was called upon to pick the name from the bowl. Hugh made a big joke of pretending to fish around through the bowl of names. He then tipped his head back, looked the other way, AND PICKED HIS OWN BLOODY NAME. Only Hugh could pull that off!

Calder's New Wheels

On Sunday while we were in Tisdale, we took Calder skating for the first time. Calder LOVES hockey and has been talking about going skating for a couple of weeks. In fact, last Sunday we had our gear at the door and were just about to head to the rink when Calder burst into tears and asked us if he could please stay home. That should have been our first clue at how sick our boy was going to get! Too sick to play hockey means Calder is REALLY sick!
This week saw tears, but they were our of frustration. At one point he was crying and said, "I can't stand!" And he couldn't. He was like a wet noodle and couldn't seem to figure out how to get his feet underneath himself. We had a little heart to heart about how he couldn't always walk, but now he is a super fast runner. He did give it one more quick try after that. It was a brief outing, but a good first taste. I hope Calder learns to love skating. I love the freedom on the ice. I want him to love it too.

It won&…


Last year we took Calder to Gama Medical in Warman. The doctor there diagnosed him with a hydrocele, but Hugh and I barely heard a word of it. The doctor was HOT (and around here is fittingly known as "the hot doctor" - I am way over Grey's Anatomy, but I think McSmokin' is quite fitting, so I'm going with it). The whole time McSmokin' was talking all I could think about was how I was going to take my bulky snow boarding coat off without causing a big kerfuffle. I was very concerned that McSmokin' needed to know that I wasn't a box with a tiny head on top, I was pregnant!  

I was almost giddy after we left the clinic. McSmokin' is seriously HOT. Hugh and I didn't say a word about what we had just heard until we got outside. Then the first spoken words came from Hugh: "that was one good looking dude!" 

On the way home from the clinic we tried to piece together exactly what McSmokin' said about Calder's impending SURGE…

The Book of Awesome

I felt like being inspired today, so I went to If you haven't been there check it out. It is a website dedicated to spreading ideas. Very cool. One of my all time favorite Ted Talks is THIS one. 

Once I got to I looked at the menu on the left hand side and saw, "inspired." How perfect is that. I didn't even have to search to be inspired. It's like they knew I was coming. I randomly clicked on THIS one. It is Neil Pasricha: The 3 A's of awesome. Hugh got The Book Of Awesome by Pasricha for Christmas last year. The book is about finding awesome in our daily lives. It is filled with excerpts about finding your keys after looking forever (AWESOME!), the smell and sound of a campfire (AWESOME!), waking up and realizing it's Saturday (AWESOME!). 
The Book Of Awesome started as a blog. It started as a way for Pasricha to deal with his grief after a couple of devastating losses. It started with just one reader. His mom. And then it grew. And grew.…

Torture and Worry. Isn't there enough? Why do I do it to myself?

I used to spend a lot of time alone in my car, driving home to Tisdale, back to Brooks, then to PA to watch some hockey. More often than not (especially when I was tired) my drive would get filled with tears. I would let my mind run away with the most terrible thoughts. My dad having a heart attack, my mom getting cancer, my brother getting in a car accident, my sister getting attacked by one of those creeps from the jail, etc. As my ugly cry would be reaching it's peak, I would tell myself that by just thinking of those awful things I had prevented them from happening. I mean really, I'm not psychic. Us regular folk don't get premonitions about the future. So clearly by thinking them, they weren't going to happen. Sometimes I could fool myself with this nonsense, but usually I just wound myself up for some more crying.

Things didn't change when I got married, only now I torture myself lying in bed worrying about Hugh being in an accident as I wait for him to get h…

Those Less Fortunate

Christmas ads are out in full force in the newspaper and on the radio, and TV.  With them come the pleas to help those less fortunate. This year the phrase "less fortunate" has come to take on a whole new meaning meaning for me. Every time I hear it I think of those people who like me will be grieving during the holidays.

I hadn't given much thought to those who are grieving during the holidays before. I guess I have thought of friends without siblings or parents, but I hadn't really thought what it must be like for them. I was consumed with my own life and my own family and was fortunate not to have grief accompany my holiday cheer. And on top of that I hadn't considered that it isn't just the first Christmas that is hard. It is every one.

I have done some searching online. I like to prepare myself as much as possible for any unknown in my life, whether it be moving our cats into a new house, getting a baby to sleep through the night, or in this case the bes…

Another Sunday On My Top 5?

Calder was sick again on Sunday. He had a fever all day and then puked in the evening. He wasn't all about mama yesterday, but he wasn't all about daddy either. It was marvelous (well except for the part where he was sick!).

We cuddled on the couch and even had a nap together. I am currently hearing that music in my head that they play on the Philly Dip commercials just thinking about it. It was a a little taste of heaven.

On top of a day filled with cuddles I was able to get some Christmas baking done and kicked my feet up a bit.

I can't believe that it is December this week. I have most of my shopping done (And yes, I did it online!), but I can't figure out when I am going to get the rest of my baking done or get the house decorated. I am swiftly running out of weekends.

I think I am going to have to get a Hugh-do list started!

UPDATE: I have added an ad to the bottom of the post. To date I have made a whopping $1.38 for the Children's Hospital with the ad on the …

Mount Martensville

I hate being cold. I hate -32 degrees with a windchill. Somedays, I even hate winter.

But other days there is freshly fallen snow.  Minus ten degrees. A hill.  You CAN'T hate that.

Two Saturdays ago, Hugh, Calder, our niece Maddy, and I spent an afternoon at Mount Martensville. (Technically its the hill in North Hills Park, but that's a seriously lame name. I went sledding at Mount Tisdale, so obviously there can't be a better name for it than Mount Martensville!).

After that Calder threw a fit and Hugh and I thought, "what the hell?" Hugh sat Calder on his bum, locked his heels in the handle of the crazy carpet (new and improved from when I was a kid, I might add) and shoved Calder down the hill. We thought he would just tip over to the side. Nope. He raced down at a lightening pace right to the bottom, smiling ear to ear.
I took 64 pictures of our afternoon at the hill, but somehow I didn't manage to get one of him coming down by himself on the crazy carpe…