Showing posts from August, 2011

My Life As A VCR

Sometimes it feels like everyone is zooming ahead and I am just standing still. I want to zoom ahead. In fact, I want to hit the fast forward button and get to a place where I am further along in my grief, to a place where I am coping better.

The last few weeks have been hard for me. I don't know if there is something about the 6 month mark, or just that summer is over and school is starting. Maybe it is both. Maybe it is something else entirely.

On the way to work yesterday I felt angry. I am mad that I am on this journey. Isn't it enough that I am grieving the loss of my son? Do I need to also be struggling with seeing pregnant woman and babies? I have 2 coworkers who are expecting, so sometimes I feel like the only safe place is inside the walls of my home.

I have read a number of baby loss blogs that talk about the loss of friends after the death of a child. I can honestly say that when I first read about this I couldn't believe it. I thought that those women's fri…

The Big 6 - 0

My Dad is 60 today. He doesn't like to have his picture taken, so we have lots of photos of him purposefully NOT looking. We also have plenty of photos with Dad making rabbit ears. We call this pose "Classic Dad." Occasionally, I can sneak a good picture by feverishly snapping and crossing my fingers. Here Dad was pumped that he shoved Hugh off in the sailboat without a lesson! I think Jes took the first picture in recent history where Dad meaningfully looked at the camera and smiled. It is a terrific picture. Dad looks awesome. (FYI: he is working under the cabin) Unfortunately, he has a paper towel bandanna wrapped around his head! Happy Birthday, Dad. We love you.

Super Mom

Today is the first day of classes for high school students. I struggled yesterday. I am not supposed to be back at work. I am supposed to be home with my 6 month old. My six month old. . . 

I shed tears a number of times during the day, but powered through. We had things to get ready for our week. Groceries to be bought, meals to be made, laundry to be done. I ran around like crazy until 8 pm and then went for a run. Yesterday, I tried to be super mom.

Every once in a while during my saddest days, I remember that I can honor Tripp by being the best mom I can possibly be. Yesterday was one of those days, but I got lost in my list. I worked in the garden, got lunches ready, cooked soup and stew. Calder and I had a bit of time together in the early afternoon, but it wasn't playtime.  I was too busy being super mom to play.

I had everything under control in the kitchen when it was time for Calder to hit the hay, so I grabbed his hand and began leading him to his room. I wanted a few m…

5 Years

Today, Hugh and I have been married for 5 years. Hugh is an amazing person (and its not just me who thinks that).

Hugh is competitive, but a good kind of competitive. Give him his skates, stick, and his Shellbrook Elk's jersey and he is fiercely competitive. He hates to lose and his favorite wins are the 10 - 2 type. If you know me, you know I am also fiercely competitive, but unlike me, Hugh knows where to draw the line. This summer we went canoeing while we were at the lake. I was taking more strokes than he was at one point and I started getting on him to pick up the pace. He told me it wasn't a race. What is the point of canoeing if you aren't going to see how fast you can go?

Hugh is caring. If you are a parent of one of the students he has taught, you already know this. I think that's why when students from his elementary school come to my high school I automatically have a soft spot for them. Hugh cares about every kid that he comes into contact with and he has t…

Jack Layton

I first heard of Jack Layton's death on the radio on my way home from work Monday. I started bawling. I don't know much about politics, nor did I know much about Jack Layton, but his death shocked me. My grief for Tripp and my empathy for Layton's family got mixed together. He is only 61. Thoughts of "its not fair" rolled through my mind.

The last few days I have thought a lot about Jack's family. I have been speculating about how Layton died. I have seen death and I wonder if Layton's was as peaceful as Tripp's. I have also been wondering what it was like for his wife in those last moments. I wonder if she was present when he died, or if he went in his sleep. If she was there, I wonder if she was begging him to stay with her or if she was encouraging him to go. If I had to guess, she would have been encouraging him to go. As much as you want your loved ones to stay with you, I don't think anyone wants them to stay in pain.
I love that our country i…

Over the Hump (Wednesday and Grief)

Today is better. The feelings from yesterday surfaced just before supper, but I had the strength to manage them better. I am glad this month's 23rd is over. I think it might have been harder than last month. In fact, I am pretty sure it was. Six months felt like a bit of a milestone.

School start-up is CRAZY busy. There is no other way to put it. You try to do a half dozen things at once and somehow don't seem to get anything accomplished. I have spent a lot of time this summer working. I don't do "winging it." It doesn't mesh well with my personality. This semester I am prepping 3 classes all of which I haven't taught (it is all new curriculum). It is exciting to try something new, but I wish it wasn't this much all at once. I can get a bit overwhelmed at times. I'm in my 10th year of teaching, but this year's work load is going to make it feel like I'm in my 1st.

I like having our full house. So does Hugh. Luke, we love you in OUR baseme…

Six Months

When Tripp first died, I asked our counsellor what I needed to do to get better. I wanted so badly for the hurting to stop. He told me to stop thinking about getting better for 6 months. Today is 6 months since we lost Tripp and I am not trying to get better anymore. I know that I can’t. Grief and sadness are part of my life. I have just learned to live with them a bit better.

With that being said, it has been a hard day. I went into work today and couldn't get motivated. I read this blog and decided I needed to call a friend. There was no answer and instead of hanging up, I got choked up and left her a tear filled message. I miss her. Our relationship has changed. I am changed. Days go by between messages and return phone calls. I don't know the particulars of her day-to-day. I don't know what kind of baby her newborn is or how she is managing. I hate it. The last few times someone has asked me, "how's she doing?" I have bumbled out a makeshift answer by tryi…

Full House

My brother, Luke, lives with us. He has been camping out in our basement for just over a year. We love it. It is great for Calder to have Uncle Luke around and Hugh and I love his company as well. Because Luke lives with us, we also get to enjoy his girlfriend, Brittany's company quite a bit too. She is a sweetheart and don't tell Luke, but I think she is in love with Calder.

Last night, my sister, Jes, moved into our house with her boyfriend, Nate. Oh, and her cat Mayo came along with them. Jes and Nate are relocating to Saskatoon and while they get all the details sorted out they are staying with us. I think Nate's one night in "the crazy house" got to him. He left this morning before 8 am and he has found a place that he can move into on the weekend! We are super pumped that they are going to give living in Saskatoon a try. (We really want Nate to like it, so please help me find him a competitive Sr. Men's Basketball team to play on - He's 6'6"…

Reba Sings. I Write.

For me, singing sad songs often has a way of healing a situation. It gets the hurt out in the open into the light, out of the darkness.
Reba McEntire
I am having another off day. I presume last nights thinking has carried into today, not to mention the interrupted sleep I had last night. I did a lot of dreaming about Tripp. In my dreams he is always dead and I am always grieving. I started waking from my dream when the Band Perry's If I Die Young began playing. It appears its even too sad for my dreams. I woke up and could still hear the song. Foggy, I asked Hugh if he could hear it. Once I spoke, I realized that I actually could hear the song and it was coming from the kitchen. It was quite loud. It was actually almost blasting. I got out of bed, turned it off, and stumbled back to bed for a restless few more hours.

This morning I realized that the alarm on our kitchen radio must have gotten turned on. I looked and it was set for 12:00. I heard the Band Perry at 12:43. The music wa…

6 Months

Yesterday, Tripp would have been 6 months. I had some sad moments, but overall it was a pretty average day. Tripp might have been sitting up by himself by now and we probably would have been mashing some banana or avocado up so he could try his first solids. There are a few of my friends on Facebook who have children who were born right around when Tripp was born. Their pictures and comments are reminders of where our life was supposed to be. I have been avoiding Facebook for the most part of 2 months, but have been slowly starting to check out the news feed again. Seeing all the 6 month olds is hard, but not quite as stinging as it was seeing the 4 month olds, two months ago.

I keep re-reading this paragraph and the more I read, the sadder I get, and the harder it is to figure out what else to write.

So, instead of staring at this screen, I am going to spend some time actively engaged with my husband, son, and niece. I wish you a happy weekend with your families.

Summer Holiday 2011

We started off with a couple days at my mom and dad's while Hugh tiled their main bathroom. Calder got all dolled up to head out to the cabin on Tuesday night. I am glad it was Grandma's mascara he found and not mine! Seriously though, he does have some skill. Not only did he not poke himself in the eye hard enough to cause pain, he actually got mascara on a few of the eyelashes on his right eye.
At the start of summer, after much frustration with the coffee pot at the cabin (I couldn't seem to pour that thing without spilling), I purchased a Tim Horton's Coffee Maker to replace the old one. Not only does the Tim Horton's pot not spill, I know how to use it since we have one in our house. If you are looking to replace your old one, I seriously implore to take a look at the Tim Horton's one. It is easy, quick, and when a piece of plastic broke on the one we have at home, they exchanged it without a receipt with no questions asked. *Tim Horton's representative…

Random Thoughts

We are home from the lake. I want to put together a bunch of photos from my favorite moments, but I am still in vacation mode and downloading and editing a pile of pictures isn't on my priority list. Later this week. I promise. • • • Calder learned how to do "thumbs up" while we were at the lake. He is so PROUD! It was entertaining to watch him try to get it right - staring at his fingers, slowing moving various ones up and down. If you see him, ask him to point something out. He used to point at things in the usual way with his index finger, but obviously, he needs to show off his new talent and now points with his thumb. • • • I am in love with the show Master Chef. The finale was last night and we taped it. I am excited to curl up  and watch tonight.
• • •
You probably didn't notice, but underneath my picture and blurb on the right-hand-side, there is an advertisement. Today I set up Adsense by Google which puts ads up that are relevant to you and your readers. I have…

If I Die Young

I woke up Monday with If I Die Young by the Band Perry in my head. It was on repeat. It played in my head all day. Any time my thoughts stopped, the song played. It is such a pretty song that part of me didn’t mind it. That was the part of me that needed a sad day. Just like when I was a teenager and feeling angry. I would play Green Day or Nirvana as loud as my little stereo would go. I felt rebellious. I wasn’t, but the music made me feel like I was. Now the Band Perry helps me feel the entire weight of my sadness. Music is empowering.

Monday didn’t come out of the blue. It has been building. There have been so many quiet, calm, peaceful days at the lake. They have been wonderful, but along with them come many moments to reflect on our family. Our family without Tripp.

We were at the lake on July 23 – the day Tripp had been gone for 5 months. I didn’t bring the computer, but had some alone time to write when everyone else took off to the park. I scribbled down my thoughts and stored …

My Happiness Project Week 12

There has been so much good stuff the last week, I am just going to highlight some of the things I wrote down.
Monday. Calder and I went to Pearson’s and bought him 5 new cars. The good stuff? Seeing him SO excited.
Tuesday. Coffee on Mom’s deck. The good stuff? The sunshine, Calder building roads with tiles, and a few marching breaks with Calder.
Wednesday. The lake and the weather. The good stuff? Hugh’s out of the blue, thoughtful smile at me when we got supper ready. No words. Just a smile.
Thursday. More lake and beautiful weather. The good stuff? #1 - I ran and it made me feel powerful. #2 - Hugh woke up in the middle of the night and the covers were slightly over my face and he tucked me in.
Friday. Time spent on the lake. The good stuff? 2 hours fishing and a canoe ride on the glass-like lake.
Saturday. Extended family. The good stuff? The chaos that ensued when my dad, mom, and sister arrived at the cabin.
Sunday. More time with my family. The good stuff? Watching Jes and Calder in…


I love shopping at home. Walking downtown Tisdale brings back memories of my childhood. I should have whipped my camera out and taken some pictures, but I didn't think about how much I love seeing the familiar stores and strolling up and down the street until I began writing this post.

Calder and I had an exciting reason to head out and to do some shopping. Calder's great grandma Hamilton gave Calder some money when we saw her last weekend. Calder had money burning a whole in his pocket (although he was completely unaware!).

We headed to Pearsons - downtown Tisdale - and began the hunt for a new toy. We drifted down aisles, gawked at toys, and touched anything we could get our hands on.
In the end, Calder settled on 5 new cars, which will not come as a surprise to anyone who knows him. He was so excited to open them when we got home. Good stuff.

Wedding Vows

My friend Courtney's wedding was our 4th wedding of the summer, but because of a bunch of different reasons it was the first wedding ceremony I attended. Courtney and her husband, Bart, wrote their own vows. It was important to Courtney, so Bart did it and to use Court's words, he "rocked it" - good stuff. I love weddings and intently listened as they read their vows. It was the best part of my day, hearing how much they love and respect each other.

Their words and the words of the justice of the peace have had me thinking the last few days. They spoke of ideas like, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, and through the easy and the difficult. These are important ideas to me - ideas I took very seriously when I spoke my vows to Hugh. The thing that has me thinking is that since Tripp was born and died, we have been living through the worst and the difficult and not once have I thought back to my vows.

The day Tripp died, our family doctor said, "t…
These are pictures from wedding #3 - Andrea and Carson Penner. Luke was a groomsman, so he missed out on the photo op at the house. I am pretty happy with the pictures for only about 5 minutes of snapping!

The photos above are unedited. The photo below is edited. It is interesting how a bit of editing really can brighten them up and sharpen the color. I can really notice it in the color of the leaves and our skin tone.

We have one

Courtney and Bart got married on the weekend. I talked about how hard weddings are and theirs was unfortunately no different.

We sat at a table with an acquintance. Think about how you chat with acquaintances. You talk about where you live, what you do, and about your family. You talk about your family. I forgot to prepare myself for this and when they asked if we had kids, I opened my mouth, but nothing came out. I started stumbling around and finally said, "one. We have one." I looked to Hugh. He smiled kindly at me and nodded his head. I wanted to bawl. We have one. The next few minutes were spent in a fog. I bumbled out small pleasentries and asked the questions that you are expected to ask. I heard things, but wasn't able to really listen. It took a good 5 minutes for me to find my footing and blink all the tears back into my eyes.

Hugh then took off for the washroom. At that same moment a pregnant lady - a very pregnant lady - sat down at our table and started ta…

My Happiness Project - Week 12

I am in Tisdale. I forgot The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, but remembered My Happiness Project notebook, so I figure I am equipted to continue with the project while I am on holidays. It will just be my own ideas rather than Rubin's!

At my friend, Courtney's wedding on the weekend, her mom and dad gave the welcome to the family speech for her husband, Bart. Well actually, Court's mom gave the speech and her dad just was her handsome bodyguard! While Court's mom was speaking, I was wishing I had a pen and paper to take some notes. She said some really great stuff. Since I didn't have anything to write with - and not to mention how weird it would be to take notes during wedding speeches, I am just going to have to paraphrase!

It doesn't matter how big our house is, what kind of car we drive, or how many holidays we go on. Those material things will never be the good stuff in our lives. The good stuff is kissing your kids goodnight, curling up with a good …

1st Missed Post - Weddings and Babies

I didn't post yesterday. It wasn't intentional. I had thought I had scheduled this post for Saturday, but I put the wrong date. Its kind of funny it happened this way, because I had been considering not posting this weekend. One of the reasons was that less people read on the weekends and the other reason was along those same lines. I was beginning to think I should do the same. Other people were focusing on friends and family on the weekend - I thought I should too. On Thursday, I began to tell Hugh my plan and I started getting choked up. Then, I started crying. Blogging has become so linked to Tripp for me. Thinking about not blogging and saying it outloud were apparently 2 completely different things. I chalked the crying up to not being ready to get let go of the daily posts and decided I would post this weekend and see how I felt next weekend. Maybe this was the step I needed to let go just a little. We'll see. Here is yesterday's post.

I think one of the hard th…

Kinsmen Park

On Thursday, my sister, Jessica, Calder and I met our friends Danielle and Jack (who were with Danielle's sister-in-law and nieces) at the Kinsmen Park. It was great. You can't beat the bang for your buck at $1 a ride. Deena inspired both Danielle and I, who are avid readers of her blog, to check out what Kinsmen Park has to offer. You can read about the great time Deena had with her family HERE.

Along with the rides, Kinsmen Park also has a great playground and splash park/paddling pool. We will definitely be going back with some trunks! How skinny is Jes? Oh. . . and after Danielle spotted this chicken, we couldn't resist!

Taking Partying to New Heights

Calder is getting better at understanding time. We often set the timer on the stove when we need to get something done. For example, I will set it for 5 minutes if I need some time to get the kitchen cleaned up after lunch or I will set it for 5 minutes in the middle of cooking supper to have a play break with Calder. We have found that Calder responds better when he hears the buzzer go off. He knows exactly what is going to happen. Now when he wants us to play he will often say, "set timer. 5 minutes!"

He is starting to understand the concept of the past. Although everything that has taken place in the past has happened "yesterday" or "last night." FYI: we went to the lake last night and his birthday was yesterday!
* * * Last night I laid Calder down for bed just a few minutes after 7:30. At 8:00 I heard a bit of singing coming from his room, but it was quiet after that. All and all a pretty good bedtime for Calder. When Hugh went to tuck him in before we …


One of Hugh's hockey teammates, Ryan, recently welcomed a daughter into the world. I wanted to pick up a gift for her and emailed Ryan's wife, Heather, for their mailing address - it is too long to wait until we see their family at the rink.

Heather immediately sent me a heartfelt response which included:
 "Tripp and Calder are so lucky to have you as a mother-and even though Tripp is not here, earthside, he is still receiving and benefiting from all of your love and strength!"

"I can't even imagine what you and your family are dealing with on a daily basis but you and Tripp have taught me to enjoy every moment of my children, no matter how stressful or exhausting"

In closing she wrote,"Please don't think you need to send anything for Nya or any other reason-I know you have more important things on your plate!!" and did not include their address.

Heather is one of the kindest, thoughtful, nice people I have ever met. She is putting me first - l…

My Happiness Project Week 11

I skipped week 10 (in case you were counting).

I just flipped through the pages of My Happiness Project Book and I am realizing that I don't want to focus on any new items this week. I have a TON of stuff STILL on my "Get off my back list", I haven't sent the few cards/gifts I need to send off of that list, and I don't have one thing written down on my "Little Things Matter" list (this is where I plan to try and make an effort in several different areas to connect with people). There is too much left to do to move on to something new.

I guess I did do the Kindness Project last week which I am going to add to the "Little Things Matter" list, but other than that, I really need to focus on getting back on the bandwagon. So, in order to do this I am going to limit my cruising the internet time to a quick email check first thing in the morning and 20 minutes during Calder's nap and 20 minutes after Calder goes down for the night. This should be…

Knock, Knock #2

This Wednesday I received my 2nd Beyonce! I am so pumped. And to think, there are many of you out there who don't even have one!  Clearly, I am spoiled. My new Beyonce is a replica of the original Beyonce and can be purchased here if you are feeling a tad bit jealous of me. It was fitting that it arrived on Wednesday, because, one, I was having a horrific day, and, two, it was the random act of kindness day. I love the sticky note. If you are wanting a little more of the 5-foot chicken see here. And if you have no idea what I did in the picture below, you might want to go here as well!