Here’s to my friends

I’ve been struggling with a lot of stuff lately, some I can talk about and some that I can’t, at least not right now. As a result, I am pretty much a raw bundle of emotion a good portion of the time. And when I saw raw, I mean raw. If you see me, or talk to me, there is a good possibility that I may start crying for no apparent reason. Trust me when I say, there is a reason, I just might not be able to share it with you at that time. Sometimes the stories in our heads and hearts are not our stories to tell. Sometimes they are though, and at that moment, those are the ones that we need to share.

I really believe that people pop into your life or your day just when you need them. I know it’s true because I had it happen to me twice today. Out of the blue, I received a text from a friend who means more to me than I can even say in words. It was full of love and encouragement and completely unexpected. My friend is wise beyond her years and is one of those people with whom I feel that I have a real, genuine connection. One of those friends that you are quite confident that you can say anything to and even if they don’t agree, they will still love you regardless. Someone that you trust implicitly. Friends like that don’t grow on trees, though I wish they did. Without even knowing it, she sent a ray of sunshine and light into what is kind of a dark and gloomy day.

Later on in the day, I got a message from another friend. This one floored me, for they were the kind of words that you always hope to hear, but never actually expect to. You inspire me. Instant tears and feelings of gratitude flowed from me. During those times that you don’t really feel like there is much to believe in, someone, somewhere sends a thought out into the universe, or directly to you that reaches straight to the heart. Words of confidence, words of encouragement, words of truth. You inspire me. Why those words mean so much is hard to explain, but the feeling that you are making a difference to someone, somewhere, is huge. So thank you.

I don’t write just to inspire, but I do write with the hopes that something I say might reach someone in the way that the words of others have reached me. One word, one feeling, one truth. Just something.

Sometimes we need something to hold on to, an inner tube to surround us and let us know that although it feels like we may be floating alone in this great big sea that we call life, we are not.

So thank you friends, for being there when I didn’t even know that I needed picking up. Thank you for having the courage to share your thoughts with me, to laugh with me and cry with me. Thank you for not just holding on to the thoughts that you have shared, because it didn’t seem like the right time or the right thing to say and I hope that you will continuer to do so in the future. Thank you for being there to pick me up when I stumble, and hold me up when I fall. Thank you for sharing the belly laughs and the tears, the inside jokes and the silly stories. Thank you for loving and understanding and caring for me, and knowing what makes me different and weird and quirky and not only getting it, but embracing it. I feel blessed to be surrounded by so many amazing people in my life, and to be able to call them my friends. I only hope that I can be as good a friend to them as they are to me. Whether you have been a part of my life for 20 years, 2 years, or even just a few months, please known how much you are cherished.

Here’s to many more times shared, both good and bad, because that is what life is all about.

Getting to know Q One Day at a time (and giveaway!)

Sometimes I stop and look at Q and I really wonder how he is growing up so fast. He is a really talkative kid, so I have a good idea what he is thinking about most of the time, but I realized that I don’t often stop and sit down and actually ask him questions about himself. I mean, we do talk about stuff, all the time, but I’ve never interviewed him or recorded most of his answers to stuff. I know what he wants to be when he grows up, but it had never occurred to me to ask him questions about the kinds of things he wants for himself in the future, for example. I think he is more of a free-thinker, which is why the questions “what did you do today at school?” Or “how was your day?” never really wield good answers for me. He is happy to tell me about his day, but on his terms.

I have friends who do annual birthday or first day of school interviews with their kids, and although I always think it’s a great idea, it usually gets filed into the “to do someday if I remember and have time” list at the back of my head. This is where the new¬†One Day app came in. It’s an app for your ithings (iPad, iPhone, iPod) that helps you do just that. You ask your kid, parent, spouse or even yourself the question, record the answers, and then the app stitches them together into a little movie for you.

I was quite excited when I heard about it, thinking that Mr. Talksalot would probably LOVE getting to be interviewed on camera and boy, was I right. All I had to do was ask the question and press record on my iPad and Q did the rest. I loved hearing his answers to some of the questions, and I learned some things about him that I hadn’t known before. I can’t stop smiling every time I watch his answers. Have a peek for yourself

He was a bit annoyed that the camera operator cut off the answer to his first question, and wanted it noted that the correct answer is “doctor, race man, referee and superhero”. We also had to do a few takes on the one about what kind of person he wanted to marry, because he actually named someone and then told me that he hasn’t told her yet and it was a secret still. So we did a couple of retakes until he was able to describe the kind of person he wanted to marry without giving away his secret.

That is the cool thing about this app. If you just get silence, or someone lets one rip or just gives away a secret by accident, you can delete it and do just that part over again without having to re-do all of the questions.

Here is another one that really lets his personality shine.

There are several sets of questions and even themed ones to choose from. Q has informed me that we will do one interview video every day from now on. I think it was a hit and is something that we will be glad we have as he grows up. He loves watching them just as much as I do, and that is something really special to me.

Now for even more fun. How does a $250 gift card for Target sound to you? Good, right? Well you are in luck. I’ve teamed up with a great group of bloggers to give away just that. It is open to residents of Canada and the US (excluding Quebec, sorry). Please don’t forget to actually complete the entry requirement, and if you need help, let me know.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Although this is a sponsored post, I am so in love with this app and think that you will love it too. All video, thoughts and opinions are ours alone and I’m sharing this with you in the hopes that it will be as special to you as it is to us.

Thanks for being my bucket filler

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Sometimes I stop and wonder for a second just how I ended up with such an amazing kid. These moments of silly, of giggles and of cuddles are something that I look forward to every single day.

He learned about having a full bucket and how important it is to fill the buckets of those around you in Kindergarten last year. He keeps my bucket full, for sure. I hope that I do the same. His laughter is like music to my soul. His silly sense of humour and how hard he tries (unsuccessfully, right now, a lot of the time, haha) to come up with hilarious jokes.

It can be hard to keep your bucket full when things aren’t going according to plan. Moments like this are what recharge me and keep me remembering what is important. I want him to look back someday and remember that even when Mummy couldn’t roughhouse with him, we still had fun and played lots. I want him to remember the belly laughs and the snickers and the giggles, the tickles and the snorts and the chuckles. It’s easy to get caught up in negative, but when you have this to look forward to, it’s even easier to look to that.

Thanks for being my bucket filler buddy.

What do you do with your family to recharge when things are tough? How do you keep your bucket full?

Here I am -vulnerable, open and raw

I’m sorry I’ve been a bit MIA this week. I keep having all these thoughts, but when it actually comes time to out the thoughts into words, they just don’t want to come. I’ve been a bundle of emotions lately, and everything I want to say just doesn’t come out right. I feel vulnerable, open, raw, everything that should, in theory, make for a great post or twelve, but that rawness just feels too raw to want to expose it any more. I am going to take a chance though, and share my thoughts and feelings because maybe, just maybe, it will help to get them out of my head and onto the page.

I have struggled with anxiety for probably as long as I can remember. It didn’t used to have a name, for probably most of my life it was just a feeling. The assumption that something was wrong because someone was late in getting home. That nagging at the back of your head when you weren’t well, the stress when those you love weren’t. The fear that something was going too happen, and the feeling of not being able to be at ease. The claws, trying to dig into your brain and scratch away happiness and contentment. Just because. I know that I worry too much. It manifests itself in physical ways for me and in mental ones. Itchy skin, hair falling out, loss of appetite. Now, I know better, know that I have a tendency towards anxiousness. Knowing that doesn’t help though. It doesn’t give me that room to breathe that I so crave at times. It doesn’t give peace to my over-working brain, or my nervous heart or that little voice in my head that says that things aren’t ok. It’s just a word.

Chronic pain has just heightened these feelings for me and although at times I am fine, sometimes, like now, I kind of wish I could wrap myself and everyone that I care about in bubble wrap and scuttle us all off to a cave in here middle of nowhere. Someone where no one hurts or gets sick. Somewhere that we aren’t struggling for ways to explain acts of senseless to our kids, where they can keep their innocence about them for just a while longer. Somewhere that we can all be at peace with ourselves and with each other. I know that no such place exists though, and so I struggle. There are days that I wonder just how I am going to keep my head afloat. Sucks, but true.

I miss my physical outlets right now. I long to be able to put on some music and let the movement and the emotion, the hurt and anger and sorrow flow from my body like sweat. I want those feelings to be replaced with the joy and ease and freedom that dance provides for me. I want to take something raw and turn it into something powerful and meaningful and give a voice to my feelings without ever having to say them. I need to let them go. But I can’t, and so I have to open myself up with words and say them, although not out loud, still out there, and still scary. I don’t like being vulnerable, open and raw right now. I need to be strong, but what do you do when you just feel like you can’t carry the load that you have to bear? I know that you have to just put one foot in front of the other and keep walking. I have to accept that it is ok to be vulnerable and open and raw, but how do you do that? It is scary, scary as anything, and I will be frank in saying that I don’t know if I can.

So please bear with me as I try to find a way to share myself in a real way. I think that even sharing this has been a big step, and maybe one that will be a positive one too. As much as we like to only portray the good stuff in our lives, it isn’t real life if we do. So here I am, warts and scrapes and all.