Showing posts from January, 2012


For at least 6 months I have been procrastinating organizing our pictures and movies. At first I told myself I wasn't organizing them because we needed a new computer with more space (this was in fact true), but we got a new computer before Christmas and I have barely used it. Our pretty new computer is just a reminder of all the work I have to do.

Computer work stresses me out. I am so afraid that I am going to lose photos or movies in the transfer. I have an external hard drive and a back-up drive, but I am still afraid.

I am going to begin the computer work today. I am sick of telling myself I don't have time. I just need to get some of it done. I probably will need to lock myself in the office for a few weeks, but it has to get done. It is completely weighing me down.

I miss him.

It's 9:34 pm on Saturday night. I still have the flu. I am getting a head cold. I am tired.

But mostly, I miss Tripp.

I have been missing him all day. I missed him this morning as I picked up Calder's cars. I missed him when Grandma Hamilton was playing with Calder and my nephew Pace in Calder's bedroom. I missed him when Hugh took Calder out to go sliding. I missed him when Calder curled up with me on the couch when Hugh left for hockey. I missed him when Grandma and Grandpa Fritshaw read Calder his bedtime stories.

I missed him so much that tonight as I lay in bed trying to sleep I convinced myself that the clicking of the nursery door was a sign from Tripp and not just a draft. I have been thinking of that clicky door being a sign for weeks, but tonight I let myself believe it was. In fact, it might be Calder's door clicking and not even the nursery, but tonight I am telling myself it IS the nursery and it IS a sign.

Tonight I wanted to curl up in the chair in the n…

A Competitive PartyLite Candle Party II

Calder was sick on Wednesday night (which was the night before my Competitive PartyLite Candle Party). I stayed home with him all day on Thursday. I had a couple of conversations with people about "should I still host the party?", but in the end decided the show must go on. You see this is the 5th time Calder has had the puking flu since the last weekend in November. Hugh and I had not gotten sick any of the previous times. With Calder being sick so much we have gotten so used to it that quite frankly I wasn't phased by it.

As always I washed my hands like crazy the whole time Calder was sick and wiped everything down with warm soapy water. Calder was in bed before any of the guests arrived.

I think you know where I am headed with this. . .

It was 8:30 pm. The Competitive PartyLite Party was in full swing. I thought it might be the 1/2 a glass of wine I had drank that might not be sitting well. Nope. By 9 pm I was puking. Half of my guests were still placing orders. What…

A Competitive PartyLite Candle Party

My sister-in-law, Abbey, recently decided to become a consultant for PartyLite Candles and she asked me to host her debut party.

I hestitated.

I have NEVER hosted any kind of "party" revolving around selling merchandise. My first fear about the party was that no one would come. My second fear was that people would feel obligated to buy something.

I have gone to these kinds of parties and felt obligated and I was afraid that other people might come because I asked and buy something because they thought they had to. After a bit of thought I realized that  I have grown past those days of feeling obligated. I realized that none of my friends would EVER expect me to buy anything. My friends want me to come to their parties to be the vibrant, humorous, obnoxious person I am.

I emailed Abbey back with, "Yes!" I was pleased that I pushed past the fears, because I really wanted to be able to support Abbey and her new business.

First on my list of "party" things (…

Too Busy To Write

The title says it all.

But I still wanted to post. I have 2 things - one to watch - one to read.

The first is about melanoma. My friend, Deena,  posted this a couple of weeks ago and if you didn't watch it then, you MUST watch it now. I wish my 16-year-old self had seen it. The good news is my 32 year old self saw it.

The other is about catching identifying a stroke. It was posted on Facebook, so I am not sure if you will be able to see this without an account. My appologies if you can't.

Here's to getting a bunch of work done before semester 2 (which starts MONDAY!!!).

Cheers :-)

A Whole Pile Of Leftovers!

My Grandma Jenny bought Hugh and I two chickens for Christmas. She has done this for a couple of years and it works out just brilliantly for us. We NEVER think to purchase a chicken to roast, but when we have them in our freezer they always get put to good use.

MEAL #1 Ol' Faithful
This included mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and corn (1 can creamed mixed with 1 can kernel). Mmm. Mmm. Mmm. I didn't take a picture, but I am sure all of you can make a pretty smashing mental imagine of this meal!

MEAL #2 Chicken Quinoa Soup
I used two recipes from all for my guidelines. I like to make soup by letting it simmer FOREVER, frequently tasting and going with the flow. You can the guidelines I used for the broth HERE and the soup HERE. Instead of noodles I used 1/2 cup quinoa and I added red pepper and parsley.
By the time we finished the potatoes and gravy leftovers we had had enough chicken for the week, so I cut up what was left and threw it in the freezer for a rainy da…


Calder LOVES anything that has a motor in it. Cars. Trucks. Quads. Semis. Front-end Loaders. You get the picture. For Calder, the bigger they are the better.

At Christmas when we were on our way to Fernie for some skiing and snowboarding, Calder was awe-struck by the "mighty machine" we saw off the highway. Sparwood, BC is home of the World's Biggest Truck. . . Almost (this is exactly what the website says, but I can't seem to figure out where a bigger one would be:-). This truck was used in a mine for 13 years before it was retired and restored. It looks big in the picture, but in person is is dauntingly big!
Calder's birthday is coming up in March. I know the gift that would elicit the biggest smile would be Matchbox cars. They are his absolute favorite. We could honestly spend $10 and he would be over-the-top. And although I have no problem spending a mere $10 on his birthday present, Calder has well over 100 "dinky" cars and is probably starting to …

Math on the Brain

I have math on my brain. I am up to me neck in marking and planning for next semester which is why my blogging has been put on the back burner. I went to lunch with my friend, Deena (Sushi! Ate way too much) and she suggested I blog about math. Here goes.

I thought I would share with you some of the mad math skills my students have by showing you a sample of what they are doing.

If you were in my Foundations/Pre-Calculus 10 Math class, you might see questions similar to these on your final exam. I would consider these questions to be of average difficulty.

If you were in my Pre-Calculus 20 Math class, you might see questions similar to these on your final exam. Again, these are average difficulty.

Don't be feel bad if you can't remember how to do this stuff! Math is not like riding a bike. If you don't use these specific skills, you will probably lose them! Quadratic functions, Trigonometry and Factoring are not quite "everyday" math!

Set The Timer

I had zero time to blog yesterday. Final exams started today at my high school and I had a number of final exams to prep for new courses. I am taking a quick break from my marking to sign in here! I am setting the timer for 10 minutes. Here we go.

I hate throwing stuff out, but I am not a pack rat. I have no problem purging our belongings to donate, but if the item I have is not appropriate for the Salvation Army, I will choose to keep it.

Case 1: I got a bunch of new socks for Christmas. So many, in fact, that I don't have enough room in my sock drawer. I went to throw a few of the older pairs out and I couldn't do it. The Salvation Army doesn't want my faded, stained sweat socks, but they don't have holes, therefore still had some serious wear left. What did I do? I jammed the new pairs in with the old mix. I can barely close the drawer, but my conscious was seriously eased.  Last year I actually gave a bunch of the new ones away so I didn't have to "waste&…

Why Are You Naked?

Calder loves to look at pictures on the computer. Or maybe he just loves to look at pictures of himself! Either way, we were looking through my profile pictures on Facebook this weekend and as we scrolled through we got to the "pre-Calder" era. As I flipped to each new photo, he would ask, "where's Calder?". I would tell him it was before he was born, but he couldn't quite grasp that there was life before March 8, 2009.

Here is my favourite "pre-Calder" picture from Facebook. It was taken at the Country North Show in Prince Albert one week before we had Calder. People kept staring at me. At the time I thought it was because I must look fat. I was an idiot. Much more likely they were thinking "how the heck is that pregnant girl out so late dancing up a storm?!?!  IMPRESSIVE!!!"

I thought I would add a picture of my belly from that night. The photo above I barely look pregnant.  In fact if it weren't for my bust-line, I would have even…

Blue Monday

I can honestly say that although I am WAY behind at work and didn't get home last night until well after 7 pm, Monday, January 23 was NOT the most depressing day of the year for me.

According to psychologist Cliff Arnall, yesterday was the most depressing day of 2012 and he used a math formula to figure it out, so it must be true. I can understand that the cold and post-holiday let down may be factors, but I was actually delighted to drive to work surrounded by clean crisp white snow this morning. It could have been a bit warmer, but at this point I was so happy for snow I let it slide!

If you want to read more about Blue Monday check out CTV's article HERE. If you want to see the most outrageous picture of a raccoon and kitten scroll to the bottom of THIS Blue Monday article.

Happy Tuesday!

Update: Apparently, as Hugh informed me while I was putting on my make-up, yesterday was Jan. 16. Oops. I had Blue Monday right, just not the date!

The Shack

The Shack by Wm. Paul Young.
A man's world is forever changed when his daughter is murdered. Evidence suggests it happened in a shack in the back woods. Four years later the man, Mack, returns to the shack and has a conversation with God. Sounds hokey. I know. And yet, I found myself racing through the pages.

Growing up Catholic I went to catechism and church. I learned about God and the Catholic faith. I was told to believe. And I did. But I don't remember hearing much, if anything, about spirituality and if I did, I certainly didn't understand what it was. The Shack is about both spirituality and religion, but mostly it is about love.

My favorite exchange is between Mack and Jesus (page 184). Jesus is the first speaker.

"Who said anything about being a Christian? I'm not Christian." 

          The idea struck Mack as odd and unexpected, and he couldn't keep himself from grinning. "No, I suppose you aren't."

          They arrived at the door…

On The Internet

I cannot get enough of the song Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen. If you were going to Costco yesterday around 5:25 pm, you may have seen me rocking out in our mini-van. The factor speakers were maxed out and I was dancing from the waist up. The only words I know are part of the chorus, but yesterday you would have seen me singing. Every. Single. One. It is one of those songs that makes me happy. And hey, Justin Bieber has put his stamp of approval on it. So really, what more do you need?

I heard about a song that went viral on the radio yesterday (this was before my karaoke party). I checked it out and it is pretty cool. Five people playing one guitar. They covered a song called Somebody That I Used to Know.

I have really started to enjoy Pinterest. It is a website that allows you to save links to different sites and organize those links on different boards. I often bookmark pages when I am looking for recipes or ideas for stuff around my house. This site allows me to save them all …

A Little Closer to Heaven

I have had a couple of sad days. Not the kind that are sad from the moment you wake up until the moment your head hits the pillow, more the kind of sad with multiple moments that bring you to tears.
On Monday night I visited Tripp's tree and bench. I needed to be with him. I crouched down and let my hand trace the letters of his name on the memorial stone. The candle was gone. Melted away. I have the new one on our step freezing as I type. I have said it before, but I just feel closer to Tripp when I am outdoors. There are no walls between me and heaven. I cried as I crouched there and told him how much I miss him.
When Hugh and I visited our counsellor, Brad, before Christmas I shed tears as I told him what we were going to do over the holiday. For me the mountains are majestic. I have always felt in awe around them. I knew seeing them would give me comfort. I knew that of all the places I could go outdoors, the mountains were where I would feel closest to Tripp. Brad told me tha…

The teaching post that wasn't

I just spent a half an hour writing a post about teaching in January. In it I aired some of my stresses. I scheduled it to post this morning and then I promptly reverted it to a draft.

Everything in the post was true. I even think it was appropriate, but there was that itsy bitsy feeling in my stomach as I went to move on to cruising facebook and pinterest.

What is the line between professional and personal? It is pretty blurry for me when it comes to writing about teaching. I want to maintain my student's privacy, so I very rarely write about them. In fact, I don't even feel comfortable telling stories about them without posting their name, because someone might know from the context who the students are. And this is really too bad, because some pretty fun things happen in my classroom! I also try to do my best to give my colleagues that same respect.

What does this leave me with? I don't feel comfortable writing about my relationships with my students or co-workers, so t…

The Velveteen Rabbit

Our counsellor has been suggesting we read The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams for the last 10 months. After our session in December I thought it was time to read it. If Brad thought it was good enough to suggest we read it at nearly every session, we needed to.

The Velveteen Rabbit is a children's book about toys being Real or maybe more so about them becoming Real.

"What is Real?" asked the Rabbit one day.

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long, time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are REAL you don't mind being hurt."

I cried. I'm not sure if it was that sad or if I just wanted a moment to be sad. The Velveteen Rabbit will always remind me of Tripp, because he was the reason w…

I did not leave the house this weekend. . . nor did I shower.

It was one of those weekends for me. I was exhausted from our busy Christmas holiday and so when there wasn't a reason to leave the house the weekend, I took advantage. Well, I guess we did need groceries, but I sent Hugh and Calder out for those!

Hugh and I have always loved to spend entire days at home. It can be so rejuvenating to piddle around the kitchen, read a book, drink coffee, and catch a Disney movie. This weekend Calder joined Hugh and I in this love. Hugh offered to take Calder swimming on Sunday, but he turned it down. Calder's words, "No. I just stay at home, please." So in order to stay close to home, we threw together a playful game of street hockey on our driveway with the 2 kids from next door.

There is something about Home. Our house contains all of our stuff and although there is definitely comfort found in the quilt my Grandma Jenny made and Tripp's candle flickering on our hutch, it is the people in our house, those relationships, that give…

Jenny's Battle (aka The Bloggess)

A few times I have directed your attention to I often find myself laughing out loud at her sense of humor crazy anecdotes.

On Monday she wrote a post titled, The fight goes on. In it she candidly speaks about her battle with depression and self-harming.

After Tripp died there were moments when I (and Hugh) wondered if I was depressed. I have never felt worse in my life. My grief was consuming me and I just wanted to wallow in it. My son was gone and I was suffering. Even as I reflect back on that time, I don't think I was depressed, I think I was suffering from grief. With that being said, I can't imagine feeling the way I did then (or even worse) when it wasn't grief. Those who battle depression are brave and Jenny states in her post, they "suffer in the dark."

Even if you don't share my love for her sense of humor, if have some time this weekend, The fight goes on, is worth your time. Also check out her follow-up to that post, Wow.

My Happiness Project

Holidays are great, but I was so busy reading, visiting, and filling my face that I got absolutely nothing done. I didn't check one thing off my list. In fact, I didn't even bother trying to make a list.
Thursday, I got stuff done. Not only did I make a list, I starting checking things off. Some of the stuff I have been procrastinating for months. Felt good.
I also worked a bit on My Happiness Project. I am going to try and focus on making connections for my New Year's resolution. Although I don't write a lot about my project I am constantly thinking about it and I am frequently organizing stuff in our house, using the 1 min rule, and checking things off my "GET OFF MY BACK" list (unless of course it's Christmas Holidays). My New Year's resolution of making connections seems to fit well with my project. People make me happy and as I learned in The Five Regrets Of The Dying, it all comes down to love and relationships.
I also have done some thought on…

What Can I Do? (with a bit of help from Mother Teresa)

“It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” ―Mother Teresa

On Tuesday The Globe And Mail came to our hotel room. I didn't get a chance to read it, but I was so intrigued by an article that I brought it home and read it last night.

The article was titled, The young and the tireless and was about kids and teens who take social action to a seriously high level.

These young adults are inspiring. They have found a passion and poured their hearts into them.  A couple of them have made over $100,000 for their foundations. Makes me wonder what I can do.

“We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.” ―Mother Teresa

A month or so ago I increased the ads on my blog. I had made just over $1.38 in the 6 months prior to that and I wasn't happy about it! My blog isn't meant to be about making money, but people are reading, so I figure if companies want to…

Women Like Me

I think a lot about other women like me. Women who have lost babies. I also think a lot about women who have had trouble conceiving. Maybe because I can relate to their feelings of loss and the change of their plans?

Today we went to the zoo. It was filled with young moms (like me) and their young children. When I looked at them I still felt a stab of pain. That, "it's not fair"and "why me?" kind of pain. The pain doesn't bring me to tears as much anymore and because of that I could recognize that those women might have a story that I don't know about. My grief is at a place where I am starting to see outside myself. Just because they have a family that has multiple children and babies doesn't mean I was seeing their whole picture.

I also had envious feelings at the zoo today. The "you don't know how lucky you are" kind. Today I was in a place sane enough to think about how fortunate those families are to NOT to know how lucky they are…

World Junior Hockey

Yesterday did not go the way I planned. First Calder only got 7 hours of sleep (vs his regular 12). A afternoon nap wasn't in the plans which was completely fine, because it was going to be an early night. That is, until we were given a ticket to join Hugh at the Russia Czech World Jr. game.

This post was supposed to be about the great time we had yesterday in Calgary with my cousin, Matt, and his wife, but last night was late and I was to tired and drained to write anything worth reading.

Fast forward to this morning. Calder again only slept for 7 hours and was up for a substantial amount of time during the night. I, therefore got even less sleep! Oi. The post about the great time with Matt and Katie is getting postponed once again!

Hugh, Calder and I drove to Calgary January 1st. Hugh played World Jr. Hockey in 1997 (they won GOLD!) and Hockey Canada invited all alumni to join them in Calgary to celebrate 30 years of World Junior Hockey.

Hockey Canada has been treating Hugh (and…


I have been dreading AND looking forward to 2012.

I am sad to leave 2011. It was Tripp's year.

n the same breath, I am glad to be further away from the initial heartbreak.

2012 marks the first year I was scared to enter. Hugh and I have given ourselves until now to decide whether to try to expand our family or to paint our new picture of raising one child. It is the biggest decision of our lives and feels a bit daunting. We have been gathering information to help guide our decision since we had Tripp and now need to put it altogether and come to a conclusion. Moving forward and big decisions have always been scary for me. But this is just ONE part of 2012 and I need to continue to remind myself of that.

We have many exciting adventures in store for 2012. Travel and smoothering Calder with oodles of attention are top on our list.

I hope that even in if you have some scary moments in store for 2012 that you also make connections with people and laugh.

More about our first adventure …