30 Days of Truth: Day 13-A band or artist that has gotten me through some tough days.

I like to put my own spin on these 30 days of truth posts and today's is no different. I don't think I can say that I have only ONE band or artist that has gotten me through tough times. So instead, I thought I would give you a list of some of the MUSIC that has been instrumental (total PUN intended!!) in shaping my life and my love of all genres of artistic expression!

First you need to understand that I have no musical talent whatsoever. My husband (Mr. Perfect Pitch, Royal Conservatory of Music graduate, concert pianist guy) tells me that I am tone-deaf. He is probably right. The only instruments I ever played were a recorder, an organ and a clarinet, and not one of them did I play particularly well!

I tell you this so that you know that I have DEEP, deep respect and admiration for anyone who can play an instrument, sing in tune and otherwise musically entertain me!

So here is my list of 'musical memories' as it where:

1. As far back as I can remember, the 1965 timeless classic The Sound of Music has been in my life. It was a special treat for us as kids to stay up late and watch it every Christmas and I don't think I have missed watching it at least once a year since I was 2 years old. I know EVERY SINGLE WORD to every song in that movie and the first song both of my children heard sung from me was "Edelweiss". I am transported to a happy place every time I watch this movie or listen to the soundtrack (that is a much played staple in our iTunes library) and am reminded of my childhood and also of how much I wanted to be Maria when I grew up!!

2. U2. Need I say more?  Okay, I will. My best friend in Grade 7  introduced me to these four boys from Ireland and I instantly fell in love! Particularly with Larry Mullen Jr. Joshua Tree was one of the first LPs that I owned, but I think "I will Follow" from Boy and "Sunday Bloody Sunday" from War are still up there in my list of all time faves from the band. Their music has been in either a cassette deck, CD player or iPod for more than half of my life and I have much respect for these men both as artists and people. I saw them in concert in June of 1997 for the PopMart Tour and while everyone else at Commonwealth Stadium was on their feet and screaming when they started their first set, I was glued to my chair with my mouth wide open and tears streaming down my face.

3. Ramsey's Soul Revival. WHO? Double Points go to anyone who leaves me a comment telling me you saw these guys in concert! RSR was a freaking fantastic local Edmonton band in the '90s. They had a funk/soul/dance genre going on that spoke to me and I fully admit that I was a full-on RSR groupie! I never missed a gig, I (ahem) 'dated' the lead guitarist (and possibly one other member as well) and it was great!! If there is ONE band that got me through a tough time, it was probably these guys. The day my brother died, they had a gig in Edmonton and I needed to get out of my house. I could not be around all the shock and sorrow and could not deal with my own grief just yet. I went to the gig and just danced....I danced all night, non-stop. Their music took me somewhere I needed to go and afterwards I went home and slept in my brother's bed and cried for 2 days straight.

4. Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Not sure why, but this is my favourite piece of classical music. Always has been. In University I would study while listening to it over and over on my stereo and then during exams I would simply recall the music and answer the questions much easier! I know, some 1st year Psych student can tell you why this is so, but whatever, Vivaldi made me a smarter person. End of story.

5. In the late 1990's I had my 'angry-girl-music' phase. I was really into Tori Amos, Garbage, Hole, Alanis Morrissette and the like. I was single, I went to lilith fair and I 'may' have thought I was a lesbian for a minute or two. And then I met my future husband.

6. THIS is our song. Please have a listen. And yes, we are this cheesy.


I also love this clip because, a) Billy Idol was the first concert I ever attended and, b) I love Drew Barrymore and want her to play me in the movie of ME.

7. I now realize that I could go on and on and this list is already getting rather long.....

I do however have one ALL TIME favourite song. It is a song that can have many interpretations, which may be why I love it. It can uplift me, it can calm me, it can make me cry and it just gets me every time....very deep, deep down in the pit of my gut.

Here it is for you to enjoy. Thank you Leonard and thank you Jeff!



Sweet Dreams everyone,


P.S. I would love to know what some of your musical memories are!


30 Days of Truth. Day 11: Something people compliment me on all the time.

These posts where I have to talk about myself are hard for me. I don't want to come across like I am bragging or like I am totally awesome, but this time I totally AM. People CONSTANTLY compliment me on my children.

Yup, I have perfect kids!

In all seriousness, it is true, complete strangers come up to me all the time in restaurants, at the grocery store, at the coffee shop etc... and tell me either that my children are gorgeous (why, yes, yes they are!) and/or that they are so well-behaved.

I think the reason my kids are so well-behaved all the time (okay, let's just be realistic and say it is about 92.7% of the time) is because they have always come with us everywhere. We went our for dinner when C was about 5 weeks old and since then we have simply always taken our kids with us wherever we went.

I don't think it was a conscious decision that we made, it just was how it had to be. We did not want to leave our kids with anyone else or we could not leave them because someone was always nursing. So, they came with us everywhere.

I also think this is important for kids. They need to go to the grocery store, to restaurants, to weddings, on planes and anywhere else you go. They learn from each and every one of these experiences. They learn proper behaviour and these daily life experiences can provide you with incredible teaching moments as well.

I am sure people must think I am a crazy woman when I go grocery shopping with the kids. Even when they were babies I would talk to them the whole time, going through the store and our list and rattling off all the names of every fruit and vegetable and box we passed.

At restaurants it is the same thing. We bring the kids some activities, we let them choose their meals and we show them by example how to behave in public. And invariably, wherever we are, someone will always come up to us as we are leaving and tell us how well-behaved and beautiful our kids are.

The best compliment we got was in Maui last year. We were eating dinner at the fabulous Mama's Fish House in Paia and little did we know, but the Mama herself, the matriarch of the founding Christenson family was sitting just a table away from us.  She stopped by our table after she had finished her meal and told us that in the 30 years that she has been in the restaurant business she has never seen two more well-behaved young children!! It was the highlight of an already amazing night and meal! (You really have to eat there if you ever get to Maui!)

Babywearing has been a big part of how easy it is to take my kids with me everywhere we go. That and breastfeeding. And babywearing and breastfeeding at the same time. I can't count how many times I have been walking around the mall with a baby in a carrier and on the boob at the same time and no one was the wiser!

Don't be afraid to get out with your babies. Teach them about their world, expose them to different situations and provide them with the example they need to know how to behave. And having a good baby carrier while you are doing all of this is not a bad idea either!!

So yeah, I am bragging a bit. I have me some good kids. And I know this because everyone keeps telling me so!!

Thank you!



30 Days of Truth: Day SEVEN - Someone who has made my life worth living.

Someone who has made my life worth living.....hmmmm, I have a feeling this could turn into a very predictable post.  Or not, let's see how it goes...

I have three people who make my life worthy every day.  My husband, my son and my daughter.  And let me tell you, THIS life is never boring!!  Well, OK, some days it is boring (laundry, laundry, what's for dinner, laundry, do a puzzle, watch a Disney movie, more laundry), but for the most part, all three of these fabulous creatures that ARE my life make me smile, laugh and sigh (big happy ones) at least once a day!  They show me the simplest things are sometimes the most amazing ones and for all that they do for me and are to me, I am eternally grateful.

So many people come and go in our lives that it is often hard to pinpoint that ONE person that has made it all worthwhile. Or is it?

I have had a few conversations lately with people about fate, coincidences, and the so-called laws of attraction (I understand these, even though I have not read The Secret - please don't all gasp at once!). And I have come to a realization through all of these interactions, a constant, so to speak.  No matter who comes and goes in our lives, the situations and challenges we are faced with each and every day, the joy and the sorrow, the people we meet, the days we love and those we hate...all of it, all of LIFE is a CHOICE.  And the one person who is the constant, the one person who has the power in all of it, is  YOU.

So, this may sound a bit funny, but I think that the ONE person who has made my life worth living is...


Does that sound selfish?  Self-centered?  I don't know, maybe?

In my life, I could have made a lot of different decisions. I could have chosen to do or not to do quite a few (sometimes questionable) things.  I could have chosen an easier path, or a harder one.  But all in all these were my choices and my life is what it is today because of those choices.  If I had chosen differently, even though at the time of some of these events the outcome may not have been that great, would I have learned what I was meant to learn, would I be where I am today? (I keep thinking about Doc Brown telling a young Marty McFly about the consequences of messing with the Space-Time Continuum! Not worth it, IMO).

Did I and do I have incredible mentors, friends and people who have guided me on my path?  Absolutely!  And yet, again it was my choice to either seek out these people and/or accept their presence in my life.

When I was in university, and was having a rough go with life, I made myself a scrapbook.  I would take magazines and cut out pictures of people, places, faces, words, clothes, cars, houses, and all the things I wanted in my life and I would paste them in my scrap book.  I made a 'Vision Board' for my life, even before it was all trendy and cool to do so.  I like to take that scrapbook out every now and then and see how much of my vision has been realized.

And you know what, a lot of it has been.  It may not have happened in the order that I thought or the exact way I had pictured it, but it has and is happening every day.  And my life is worth living not because of someone else's influence, my life is worth living because I am ME (the good, the bad, the lipstick and the crunchy!) and I am good with that.

This is likely my last post before Christmas, and so I want to wish you all a very Merry and Happy next few days and remind you to always remember your truthiness, breathe deeply and love yourself no matter what!