Tag Archives: birthday

Be Slaying Cake Demons

Two years of buying cakes.  

Ice cream. 





Made by professionals.  

Two years ago was the first time that my boys did not have a birthday cake made by my mom.  






Whatever the boys requested, my mom would lovingly and happily create.  

My boys most memorable birthday moments have been their cakes. 

Tonight, I slayed some cake demons.  Often the hardest things create the most freedom within us and around us.  

Tonight, I made my newly four year old’s request for a fire truck cake.  

Tears in my eyes.  

Heart racing.  

Knees trembling.  

Pink icing and all. 

(Who knew red icing was so hard to make?) 


Soul cleansing.  

Mind moving.  

New habits.  



Cake making.  

Happy Birthday OC. 

(My mom’s namesake.) 

What hard stuff will you push through today?   What freedom will you create? 

Be Blown Away on your Birthday 

It’s a windy day here on May the first, but it is not the wind that had blown me away.  

It is the incredible people that surround me closely this year at home, far away in thought and through words posted on Facebook.  I am a bit gobsmacked to be honest.   

After the deep sorrow of my last birthday celebrating my first birthday without my mom, I had expected to be sitting in a mental pit today.  I expected to be hit in the chest with sadness.  

Isn’t it great when we continue to see that our expectations are only expectations?   


Today, I am soaring through the air.


Surprised by a pond that I thought was a broken sewer pipe.   My boys   lovingly made this pond last weekend as I sold tea.  

  We even put fish in the pond! 

Surrounded at home by my wee boys who are under the weather.   


Soaking up the love from all the incredible people God has chosen to surround me with. 

I am blessed! 




Soaking it up! 

Thank you to everyone for truly blowing me away.  I am in a bit of disbelief and I am full of gratitude.  

Thank you Sexy Neck for leading our boys and for loving me.   (Wild and crazy ideas and all!)


Be Celebrating Eight 

The snowman birthday – eight.  


We celebrated our oldest’s birth day a few weeks ago as a family.  JC joined me on an early morning bike ride.   We ate our son’s foods of choice.  We went swimming and opened gifts.   




I am so grateful to be this eight years olds mom.  

It is pure joy to see his sensitive heart that he wears on his shoulders.  

It is profound to watch my first born forge his own path with no one ‘ahead’ of him.  

It is amazing to watch him develop and grow.  

Happy snowman birthday.  

Be Celebrating Your Mom’s Birthday 

Last year, it was lemon meringue cake, dinner as a family and sending balloons up to Nana in heaven.

This year, it is receiving a beautiful phone call from my mom’s friend’s Donna and Wendy, a morning text from Sexy Neck and a great friend in KCity plus I took an afternoon bike ride.  

It is tears.  

It is joy.  

It is shattering grief and living life all wrapped up in pieces of mom’s birth day.  

I don’t know how to do any of this!  

How does one celebrate a day that they’ve always celebrated with a woman that they love celebrating when that woman is no longer with you? 

So, I bike. 

I sit.  

I cry.  

I look at reminders, especially this one I created one month ago that reminds me of the great roots my parents gave me.  

The waves of grief no longer pushes me underwater until I can’t breathe, but I am still on the boat, rowing in this grief, learning about myself and filled with deep gratitude for how present, wonderful and loving my mom was.  

I wish I could get a piece of that back! 

Be Having a Papathon

I am sure you have heard of a triathlon or a duathlon or perhaps even the heptathlon from Olympic events.

But have you heard of one of the greatest sporting events to hit 2014? IMG_6941.JPGPapathon!

A weekend of activity.

Celebrating Papa’s 69th birthday.

Lovingly planned over two weeks by myself, thoughtful Sexy Neck and my three insightful boys.

Papathon began with swimming, a backyard eight hole golf course with prizes, cake, dinner out with my dad, sleepover then skating and brunch before Papa headed home. IMG_6942.JPG

IMG_6943.JPGWe tried to plan a three event weekend, like a triathlon, but it ended up being so much more than what we did.






Wrapping paper.


Necklace for Nana’s rings.

Lottery tickets.

Golf balls in a dump truck.

Steak dinner at our old favourite restaurant.


Swapping lies.

Creating memories.

Celebrating life!

Pouring out love.

For our dear Papa!

Happy birthday Dad!

Be Five

The days are sometimes long but the years are very short.

Five years ago, CC was born. This athletic, witty, smart, wondrous boy came into our family in the water on a Thursday just before lunch.

Today, full of gratitude for life, we celebrate five years with CC. He gets to choose what we eat: waffles, then Japanese food for lunch and frittata for dinner. Plus a birthday cake with vanilla icing. Decorated with a few surprises on top!

The planning started many weeks before. Here is our oldest and Sexy Neck creating a bed for CC’s teddy bear from scrap wood:


Sexy Neck created another masterpiece:










It was a water-filled birthday!

Be Tie Dying



Happy Canada Day!  We are wearing the tie dye shirts that we made for JC’s seventh birthday party.

All day I have been singing part of our national anthem, “God keep our land, glorious and free!”

We swam, sang O Canada while eating cupcakes, visited Papa in Vtown, ate together and enjoyed movies together.  I don’t think we will make it to the fireworks, but we are very grateful to be together sporting our tie dye Canada day t-shirts!

Be Having a Beautifully Brutal Birthday

‘They’ say that the fourth month after the loss of a loved one often leads to things getting ‘easier’! I would have agreed with ‘them’ until I celebrated my birthday this week. ‘They’ also say that all the firsts are extremely difficult. I wholeheartedly concur.

The holes my mom has left in my every day life have slowly been filled with new routines, and great family and friends leaning in. The holes are still felt but the feeling is not a tidal wave that pushes my face into the sand, but a gentle waves the nudges me to shore.

My birthday, oh baby, that was a different story. On my birthday last week, I felt a gaping wound where my mom would have been. My body was pulverized into the sand as wave after wave hit me. All I could do was cry. I am still trying to recover.

Tears flowing effortlessly.

Walking through mud.

Feeling vulnerable and exposed.

A day to celebrate.

A day to grieve a deep loss.

A day of gratitude for the woman who birthed me.

Mom was an incredible birthday celebrator. She truly honoured the birthday boy/girl on their birthday with a gift and activity that was personal and thoughtful. There was no token birthday dinner and cake but usually something to be done together. She took the time to ponder, plot and come up with a very special gift and day.

I remember my eighteenth birthday. I wanted to get up and watch the sun rise. (For those people who ‘know’ me you are probably laughing hysterically.). My mom didn’t mock this teenager, that liked to sleep til noon, but instead she jumped on my idea and started asking questions: What time is sunrise these days? Where do you want to go? What time should we leave the house? My parents and I watched the sunrise on my eighteenth birthday from the top of Cranbrook Hill.

Then came by big 3-0 birthday. Sexy Neck concocted a surprise for me with my parents help. They flew all the way over to Germany to surprise me at a hotel, the Oberamerhof. We were having a birthday celebration there with some friends from the school we were teaching at in Zurich, Switzerland. I bawled my eyes out!

Well this birthday, I bawled my eyes out again. I cried over the boys playing on a teeter totter and mom not being on the bench beside me talking about how the boys are growing.


20140502-224537.jpgI bawled at the kind and thoughtful Facebook posts. I bawled through birthday cards, cake and my boys really doing their best to make it a special day. I bawled because of the incredible gratitude I felt. I bawled because of the overwhelming loss of my mom.

Gaping wound.

Large hole.

Waves coming hard in the storm.

Hot dog roast.







Birthday cake.




Leaning in.

Staying close to home.

Face in the sand.

Waiting for the waves to end.

Unpredictable storms of grief.

Just waiting.



Staying present.

Being me.