Showing posts from September, 2013

Race Day

Saturday is my race at Elk Ridge. I am feeling nervous, but I don't have the same expectations I did when I ran Color Me Rad. . .

For some reason before Color Me Rad I thought that even in a race I would be able to find some space and just run. I pictured myself running and it looking EXACTLY like it does when I go for a run at home. Me and a bunch of wide open space. What was I thinking? I don't think this race will be as crazy as running Color Me Rad, but I am preparing myself to be running along side other people! Hopefully this will prevent me from feeling like elbowing anyone!

Then when I got to Color Me Rad I forgot how hard it is to run. For some reason I thought there would be adrenaline flowing and I would just find a groove and be gone. I actually imagined it being easy. Even though there might be a bit of adrenaline flowing on Saturday, I am still going to have to pump my short little legs, force oxygen into my lungs and repeat to myself over and over "I can do…


I recently read THIS post by The Bloggess and was so compelled by the topic that I began sifting through the comments. It is there that I found THIS Ted Talk by Brene Brown titled "The Power of Vulnerability".

When I set out to watch the talk I was super pumped after reading the summary. Brown studies human connection. I don't know if you remember, but in the months after Tripp died our counsellor suggested Hugh and I really think about what we believe in. After a lot of thought, I realized that the thing I believe in more than anything is that we are all connected and it is those connections that give us fulfillment. I watched the Ted Talk in eager anticipation. I was convinced I would have an "ah-ha" Oprah-style moment. I didn't. In fact, at the end I was disappointed.

Brown started by talking about connection, saying that "It is what gives us purpose and meaning in our lives." I was psyched. Exactly how I feel. She quickly moved on to talk abou…


I came across George Saunder's Advice to Graduates via Twitter (you can follow me @jmhammy). It is a great article. Got me thinking when I read it and since I am still thinking about it a couple weeks later, I thought it definitely worth sharing.

When I think back to high school I do have one regret. I didn't stand up for a girl when I should have. I  agreed with some of the things people were saying about her at the time. In fact, I may have even joined in and said a few things myself (and truth be told, I probably did - I just can't remember the details now).

I saw this girl about 5 years after high school and had a great conversation with her. She explained to me how what I did hurt her and I listened. I had regretted my actions and words since the moment they left my mouth. I apologized to her. And apologized again. It felt good, but when I think back to high school the way I treated that girl still makes my stomach feel gross. As great as apologies are they don't …

Things I'm reading

Glennon over at Momastary did something really great last week to help 4 kids in need. She started a donation flash mob to raise funds to help some families who could really use it. The maximum donation accepted was $25 and you even get a tax reciept! Read about the kids HERE. Read about the results HERE. Very incredible!

Kelly over at Enjoying the Small Things is helping to create more awareness for Down Syndrome. She is working with the National Down Syndrome Society and has made t-shirts with proceeds going to the society. The t-shirts say, "Teach me to soar and I will." They are really cute! We know and love an adorable little girl with an extra chromosome, so this cause feels VERY close to home. I always see pictures of her with her family on Facebook participating in events to support Down Syndrome. We live WAY to far away and never get to join them, so these t-shirts feel like a really good way to support them. And on top of that, I hope that their positive message st…


One of the things I love about fall is getting back into the kitchen. I HATE to have the stove or oven going in the summer, so I often try my best to save any baking for a rainy day. In the fall, it is cool enough to have the oven going without the A/C kicking in. I LOVE it!
The last rainy day we had at home was in July. Calder invited his buddy Emery over and we baked cookies. I decided to do Snicker Doodles with them, because they are really hands on. The kids didn't particularly like stirring the batter, but they loved rolling the balls and decorating them. (You roll them in sugar and cinnamon and then we added sprinkles for a bit more fun!) 

These cookies are SO good! They are definitely a favorite around our house. I was introduced to them by my Grandma Jenny. We were flipping through the 4H cookbook at her house years ago and she pointed them out. Grandma said that her mom, my great-grandma Carswell loved them. Thus, I renamed them :-)
Grandma Carswell's Snicker Doodles …

Color Me Rad - Post-Race Thoughts

Color Me Rad. What can I say? It was not what I expected. I thought there would be paint thrown at you. I got that part. I just didn't think there would be so many people walking. Seriously, I would guessed there would be some people walking, but I would never have guessed that MOST of the people would be walking. I also thought that once the initial pack thinned out there would be room to run, but I was completely wrong. By the time I got near the front of my start wave, I was mixing in with the back with the wave that started before me. The entire race was spent dodging and weaving.

At the 2 km mark I looked around at all the people having fun and realized I was not. I had a cramp and was struggling with having to cut around so many people. I stopped. Took some deep breaths and stretched for a minute. I decided at that moment that it was not the time to even try to get a personal best. My new goal was just to complete the course without any walking and not to elbow anybody who …

First Day of Pre-School

Calder has his first week of pre-school under his belt. I thought I would finish off the week with a few of the pictures from his first day.

Calder was a bit anxious when we got there. Most of the kids strolled into the classroom (some having done pre-school the year before), but Calder wanted me to come with him. We got him his name tag from his teacher's helper and when I asked him if I could go, he said, "No." Ha! I saw his good buddy, Emery pull up a chair at one of the tables and by the time I suggested to Calder that he sit down beside her, he let me know that it was okay if I left. I am so glad Emery was there!

I actually had zero emotions about this first and it took me until Emery's mom asked me today how I did to realize that I didn't have any! I think my lack of emotion is because pre-school fits more in the daycare category to me than into the school category. He has been going to daycare for 3 years and this didn't feel any different. I will save…

Color Me Rad . . Pre-Race Thoughts

I have my first EVER race on Saturday. I am a bit nervous. I know I can run 5 km, so that takes away some of the anxiety. I am just not sure what to expect with such a large group of people. I don't do big groups that well! I am the one at a large function who only leaves the table to go to the bathroom (Hugh is in charge of getting me drinks ;-)) I also like the comfort of my songs and Nike + app and I am not sure if they are good things to be wearing during this colorful race.

I have ran 5 km five times so far. The last two were this past week and I ran them in 29:12 and 28:48. I am getting more consistent and this is giving me confidence. I would like to have a goal for Saturday, but I don't know if it is possible to get a personal best at an event like Color Me Rad.

Running is still hard. The hardest part is getting out. The next hardest part is actually running! It is amazing how my mind likes to make excuses for me once I get going and how it tries to convince myself it …

What is appropriate?

Another blog post circulating on my Facebook is titled FYI (if you're a teenage girl).  I really liked this post and if you haven't read it, I encourage you to read it before finishing this post.

The author's post is directed at teenage girls who choose to post inappropriate things on their social media accounts. The author has 3 sons and 1daughter and monitors their social media.

The article got a huge response. It went viral and subsequently the author changed the original post. Originally the post included shots of her sons and daughter on the beach in their board shorts. I read the post when the beach photos were included. Many commenters were appalled that the author thought it was okay for her sons to be seen online without shirts, but girls had to be wary of the shots they posted online. For me, those readers missed the mark between appropriate and inappropriate pictures. Teenagers in bathing suits posing non-provocatively on the beach is APPROPRIATE. Teenagers in l…

Super Mom revisited

You may have recently come across a blog post titled Moms when are you going to learn. It has been circulating my facebook wall. It is a great post about loving the kind of mom you are and not feeling badly about the kind of mom you aren't.

Unlike the author, I will NEVER host a pinterest worthy party. I am the kind of mom who always has baking in her freezer along side hotdogs and leftover cake pops. I love to grow my garden and spend time outdoors with my family. I am the kind of mom who reads books to her kids and doesn't care if they miss the odd bath night. I drive a mini-van with 200,000 kms and like to buy expensive shoes. I am the kind of mom who tries to get together with her girlfriends for the occasional supper out and finds a sitter every few months for a date night with my amazing hubby. My kids know what comes with a Happy Meal and also what homemade spaghetti sauce tastes like. My house will never be decorated like a show home and the photographs on my walls wil…

Boone Update

Since you are all up to speed on Boone's bowel movements, I thought I might let you in on some of the other things Boone is doing that will be much less embarrassing for a future Boone!

At the start of August, Hugh and I gave up trying to keep Boone sleeping on his back. I know that the risk of SIDS increases when babies sleep on their tummy's, but there was just no way of keeping Boone on his back or on his side. As soon as we laid him down he wanted to roll onto his stomach. We had some of those triangle sleep positioners that we used with Calder. We knew that since 2010 they have been declared unsafe, but we didn't know which was worse - sleeping on his stomach or having something in the crib with him while he slept. We had been using the triangle positioners to help keep Boone from rolling, but near the end of July it felt like he wasn't sleeping well because of them.

The moment we took out the positioners and "allowed" Boone to roll over and sleep on his…

Lessons from Tripp

Yesterday I had two friends burying a parent. Unfortunately, I couldn't be in two places as once (the funerals are at the exact same time), but I did cancel my plans for Monday afternoon and found someone to look after Calder so I could attend one of them. It was a no brainer for me. My gut was telling me that although I didn't know the deceased, I needed to go to support her daughter.

I have shared this one with you before, but I wanted to write about it again. One of the very first lessons I learned from Tripp was what to do when someone is grieving. There was a time before we lost Tripp that my gut would have been telling me to go to a funeral, but my brain would convince myself otherwise. I used to think that you needed to know someone to attend their funeral, but that isn't true at all. Going to a funeral can be to celebrate someones life, but it can also be to show your support to the loved ones left behind.

The most powerful thing people gave me after Tripp died wer…

Guest Post Luke: Men at Ikea

I've recently been blessed with 2 trips to Ikea in the last 3 months, and with a lot of time on my hands while in Ikea I came to notice a few similarities in all the men walking around there.   As I was taking notes on every man I saw, and mostly myself, I came up with different types of guys and what their role was with their significant other.  
       The first guy, who I believe to be the most common, is "The Turn Back Man".  This man believes that, just like in racing, if he stays in front of his significant other he can use drafting to increase her speed and keep her on track.  This never works and he subsequently becomes the "Turn Back Man".  He is constantly 4 steps ahead and turning back over and over when SHE sees something else they "might" need.  It is tough, because when entering Ikea men want to do as little walking as possible, but this has us taking even more steps. It is the slight chance that SHE stays in our slipstream and fli…