I am a tired old mama and I am having a pity party.

Sometimes I wonder at the choices I have made in my life and if I am strong enough to live them.

That statement might give you some indication of the week I am having.  Or maybe the month I am having.

I have never been one to really focus on my age. My life really started for me in my thirties. I FOUND myself in my 30s. I found my husband, my career, my happiness in who and what I am and in what I was doing.  On Janurary 1, 2011, I turned 39. And here I am, almost out of my thirties, and this year more than any other I am feeling my age.

I guess you would call me a 'late bloomer' in the getting married and having kids gig. I was married at 31, got a dog at 32, had my first child at 34 and my second at 36. And we are done. We have our 'perfect' little family and this old girl really can't imagine having another baby (even though I get some REALLY strong urges just about every day to do just that)!

And here is the thing. When I really start to think about it, and for some reason I am thinking about it a LOT lately, I am WAY older than a lot of the mamas that I hang out with.  To the tune of up to 10 years older then some of them. And yes, I know, I should not compare myself to other women, other mothers, others' lives, but let's be real here, WE ALL DO IT! We can't help ourselves.

Social media is a marvelous tool for my personal and business life and also a bane on my existence right now.  On Facebook I read about Mama A doing amazing DIY crafts with her kids, Mama B taking her kids to a bajillion different music and dance classes, Mama C baking 17 loaves of bread and teaching her kids how to do fractions at the same time and I can't help but feel like an inadequate and tired old mama while I look over and see my kids watching 'The Lion King' for the tenth time this week.

And now I am crying...

Because I feel like maybe I have cheated my kids. Cheated them from having a younger, stronger and maybe healthier mom. Oh, believe me, I have cried about this before. I can't help it. I imagine the future and wonder what it will be like to be 50 and have teenagers?  What about 60 with two kids in university? Will I be around for their weddings or to see my grandchildren? I know that it is useless to wonder about all of this, but like it says above-this is MY pity party and I'll cry if I want to!

I guess I am really just having a bad week. My kids are acting up more than usual. I am still recovering from my hip injury. My husband and I have not had a date night in almost 2 months. And to top it all off, we are likely going to be selling our house in the next few months (more on that in a later post). You know that feeling you get when you have so much to do or so much that you want to do, but you really don't know where or how to start and so you just sort of float through your days not really doing anything??

Yeah, THAT!

It will get better, I know it will, but for now, this month, this WEEK, I feel old and tired and constantly just trying to get through my days.

Please tell me I am not alone in this....



Me. Unplugged. So to speak...

30 Days of Truth - Day SIX: Something I hope I NEVER have to do.

Like almost everyone else in the world, at this time of year I think about my family.  I get super nostalgic at Christmas and remember all of the little things that made my Christmases so special as a kid.  Mom taking us to stroll down Candy Cane Lane, the Santa Claus parade (when it was still outside!) tobogganing and building snow forts with my siblings, all of us getting to stay up late to watch The Sound of Music on our ghetto TV channel (those of you who did not have cable as a kid know what I am talking about!).  And now I get to start all kinds of new traditions with my kids.  Ones I hope they will look back on one day with nostalgia as well.

But this post is supposed to be about something that I hope to NEVER have to do in my life.  There is a lot in my life that I hope I never have to do, but I keep coming back to this one thing, and it is about my family and my siblings.

I grew up in a family of four kids, me (the oldest), Brother #1, Brother #2 and Baby Sister.   We were your typical siblings, there were fights, teasing, bickering and also a lot of love and laughter.  We grew up in a single parent home and didn't always have a lot of material things, but we always had each other and especially at Christmas that meant the most.

There was also this funny kind of grouping with us as well.  Brother #1 and Baby Sister were the fair-haired children. They were the white blonde children with baby blue eyes that everyone oo'ed and ah'ed over.  And then there was Brother #2 and myself.  The dark ones.  Dark hair, darker eyes and this made us the other pair, the ones who did not shine so bright (on the outside).  Regardless of our looks we were a pretty close family, and even though we technically came from a 'broken home' we all turned out very well.  Not a criminal record amongst us, no one got knocked up and we all graduated High School and then some.  Well, almost all of us....

In the summer of 1993, just three days after his 17th birthday, Brother #2 was killed in a totally freak car accident.  It was a beautiful sunny Saturday in August and he was on his way to see a friend in a local rodeo.  At 10:30 AM that morning something happened, he lost control of his vehicle and crashed head-on with an oncoming pick-up truck.  His vehicle burst into flames and we have been told that he died on impact (I guess this is some kind of solace).

At the time of the accident Brother #2 and Baby Sister were at a Christian summer camp in Northern Alberta.  She was the first family member that the authorities were able to track down and so my Baby Sister, at the age of 15, was the first one to be notified of my brother's death.  My mother and step-father and I were at a retirement party outside of Edmonton at the time and they were dropping me off at my apartment at around five PM.  We were very surprised to see my Baby Sister emerge from a vehicle with two of the camp pastors when we got home.  And then they told us what had happened....

...and THIS is what I hope and pray that I NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER have to do in my life.

I NEVER want to have to hear the words that my child has died.  I witnessed first hand my mother's heart breaking into a million tiny pieces at that moment and the primal sound that emanated from her body still haunts me to this day.   My mother has a very strong faith and belief system and I know that it is the one thing that carried her through that day and all the days that followed.  And I am pretty sure that if you asked her she would tell you that this is the one thing she never wanted to have to do in her life.

My family was forever changed that summer.  I was now the lone dark one and I felt that.  I missed him...I still miss him.  Especially at this time of the year.  I wonder what he would be like today.  Who his wife would be, how much our kids would love each other.  How good it would feel to have his huge arms wrapped around me for one more hug (he was 6' 2" and 240 lbs when he died)!

These things I can not have, no matter how hard I wish for them.  So, I will take my kids to Candy Cane Lane, we will make the coolest snow fort on our block and we will stay up late and watch The Sound of Music all curled up together on the couch.  And because he is Brother #2's namesake, I will hug my son just a little bit tighter too.


Desmond Hans Hovis
August 11, 1976 - August 14, 1993