Now You See Me…

If anyone has wondered where I’ve been, I’ve been messing around with my new website!


I’ve just recently purchased web-hosting and registered a domain. I’ve done this before, with a friend, a LONG time ago. I believe it was nearly 15 years ago, and while not much has changed that dramatically as far as hosting and domains go, the range of products to use once you got to that point, definitely has.

I’m happy and excited that I secured the domain and quality (Canadian!) hosting, and it’s been a process since then. I wanted to learn CSS and all that jazz, but after nearly a week of pulling my hair out while reading never-ending how-to articles and countless YouTube videos, I connected with someone on a Twitter chat I participated in, and she was seriously a godsend. She helped me over my hurdle and I’m finally on my way, thank goodness.

But that’s only one aspect. There is so much more to do, to learn, to read. I never learned this much when I was in school lol!

At any rate, I’m still here… learning away, and trying to make sense of things as I stumble along. I’ve really missed blogging over the past week or two, but I’m enjoying the thrilling ride I’ve been on.

Blog world: don’t forget about me! In the voice of my favourite Austrian actor, “I’ll be back.”

All Hot Guys Are Straight

All Hot GuysAre Straight

It’s my new mantra.

To catch you up to speed, my son came out to us last August. You can read about it here.

Since then, it’s like I’m suddenly hyper-aware of other gay young men. I hope this hyper-awareness doesn’t last forever, because it doesn’t matter, right? I know this… but for some reason, I notice it. I liken it to seeing pregnant women EVERYWHERE when my husband and I were trying to conceive. Or, just before we bought our 2014 Dodge Journey. Everyone was driving them. Now it’s like, “OMG, I know someone who is gay too!” It’s like I’m suddenly part of some elite club or something…

So we’re at this restaurant back in November, the four of us. We were having a great time together, I was enjoying some white wine and chatting with Tyler, while my husband was entertaining Caleb.

Then these two guys were seated next to us, Tyler and I were facing them.

Me: “Two of your people are next to us.”

Him: “My people?”

Me: *laughing* “I’m so clueless as to how to say it without sounding rude.”

Him: *laughing now too* “Mom, you can call them gay, it’s not an insult if they really are.”

Whew. Okay. That’s out of the way.

We continued with our conversation, and I noticed he kept staring, and I called him out on it.

I can’t help it, mom! They’re so hot!”

Me: “Pretty sure you don’t have a snowflake’s chance in hell with either one of them, because you’re a little young, first of all, and second, they kinda look like their together!”

My husband only caught the tail-end of the conversation and decided he really didn’t want to know what we were talking about.

I’m swilling wine at this point, because it’s truly a conversation I never imagined having with my son. I definitely imagined having it with a daughter though! Okay… so that’s another adjustment I need to make. I often think of that fun evening we had out as a family. Even though it felt weird to me to be chatting about ogling guys while we were ogling guys, with a guy… wow… I’m just so glad it didn’t LOOK weird (if you ask my husband though, I’m pretty sure we looked weird to him, hence why he didn’t want to know!).

Time passed and I was watching a movie with my husband, when Tyler came downstairs and kinda got interested in it too. I made a very slightly suggestive comment about Chris Evans, who happened to be in the movie. He agreed. A little too quickly. I can’t remember if I said anything to him or not (I’m sure he’ll refresh my memory after I post this lol), but I felt a little defensive. Um, I thought he was hot first, kiddo!

What’s next? He’s going to start drooling over Channing? Paws off, son! I’ll be the only one in this household drooling over that unattainable man who doesn’t even know, nor will he ever know, of my existence, like I would ever have a shot in hell with him, even if I wasn’t married, and neither was he! Paws off, I say!

So again… my mantra is now, “All hot guys are straight.” 😉

Getting Lucky

Getting Lucky

From time to time, I seem to surprise my husband of 18 years with some random new fact about myself. It always catches him off-guard, and he looks at me as if to say, “Who ARE you?”

I don’t mean to do it, it just happens. You would think after being together for so long, we would know everything about one another, right? I thought so too. Even at this very moment, I think there is nothing he doesn’t already know about me. But I am sure, in time, some small detail about my life will pop up and he will be shocked again.

We spend a LOT of time talking, about everything, or so it would seem. We lounge outside, on long, humid summer evenings, enjoying a drink together and we just talk. Sometimes he dominates the conversation (which throws me because he’s usually fairly quiet and laid back) and sometimes I’m the one spilling my guts, but regardless, we thoroughly enjoy these talks with one another.

On one particular evening, a few years ago, as the summer sky was darkening, he had a sudden urge to throw a baseball around. We had mitts and gloves in the garage and so he took them out… convinced me to play some catch. He stood a few feet away from me, thinking he was being respectful of his girl, and not making me step out of my comfort zone, and probably not wanting me to embarrass myself with my poor throw.

I smiled at him and asked that he move back… go on further down the street. He looked surprised but moved back a few steps… and I had to repeat myself again. When he hadn’t moved away far enough, I decided to back up to a point where I was comfortable. He seemed unsure, but as I wound up for the throw, memories of playing baseball on the field as a kid in gym class came back to me. I LOVED playing baseball when I was younger. It was my favourite game, and I was often part of the group playing it in the summer with a group of neighbourhood kids.

My husband didn’t hold back with his shock as the baseball sailed easily and swiftly through the air. He caught it just as easily, because he was on a baseball team around the time that I met him, and I went to a few of his games. We tossed the ball around for awhile after that, and he said he couldn’t believe he didn’t know, after all this time, that I could throw a ball. I laughed at him… he didn’t know me in my tomboy days. I could climb trees and hop fences to match ANY boy in my neighbourhood when I was young. I built forts and rode my bike through dirt fields, and came home sweaty and filthy, with more than my fair share of cuts and scrapes. Games of tag and man-hunt were played daily through my summers as a kid. I happily and almost giddily, shared this with him. I honestly thought he knew, I thought I had told him!

A little while later, the song “Inner Ninja” came out, by Classified. I loved the song, mostly because it was catchy… I don’t remember exactly how the topic came up this time, but it must have been through another one of our evening conversations. I shocked him again when I told him that when I was in grade six, I had taken a karate class, which was hosted by a teacher at school. The classes were held before school started for the day, and all I remember is yawning throughout the class. I had the moves down but was still surprised when it came to sparring at the end of the course, in order to get the next belt. I was in grade six, I couldn’t fight for the life of me, so the moves that I had been practicing, along with my yawning, did me no good and I failed epically.

But my husband didn’t hear ANY of the bad stuff I was telling him. He didn’t hear how I had FAILED the sparring match. Oh no… he immediately got our boys’ attention and asked if they knew their mom was a ninja.

Are you kidding me?

*sigh*

Inner Ninja became my theme song after that. Whether I liked it or not. Good thing that song was catchy.

To conclude my story of hidden lifetime tidbits of myself, when I began learning about blogging last summer, I kept it to myself for awhile. I like to think things through, turning it over and over in my mind. I needed a topic… and it began with camping (because of my deep-rooted love for it), and then it progressed to family. Two of my most favourite things in the world… even before wine and chocolate!

When I explained to my husband that I wanted to start a blog and write, maybe make a living off of it, I got that look from him again. The “who ARE you?” look, as he said, “Really?”. I told him I’ve always loved writing (honestly, he should know just by my post-it notes, they are practically mini-novels most of the time!). He had no idea, and I still can’t figure out how he didn’t know.

English was always my favourite class in high school, and I had considered the idea of writing novels like some of my favourite authors; Danielle Steel, Stephen King, and later on down the road, David Baldacci, Jodi Picoult. Wouldn’t it just be awesome to not have to work a traditional job and to get paid for writing?

More ideas and research and reading, and finally I am here. I have, what I think is, a good blog. A place I can call my own, to write and share as much or as little about myself as I like. This is the place I go to when I can’t sleep in, and then my husband gives me hell for being up so early… but I can’t help it. It’s almost therapeutic. It’s mine to share and I have things to say and it’s beginning to pay off. Literally.

I received my first pay for writing, last weekend.

It’s changed everything. It’s changed how I feel about my full-time job. It’s changed how I feel about my future. I am not stuck anymore. I have options. I have VERY REAL options. There are people out there who will pay me to do what I love to do.

Does anyone have any idea how freeing that realization really is? I feel like I can finally breathe.

It is freedom.

And while it’s just a small step, it’s a start. Baby steps are still steps and that is all that matters.

If you’re reading this, I want to personally thank you for being a part of my journey thus far, and I truly hope you’ll stick with me as I navigate through whatever this will become!

Money For Nothing

Money For Nothing


I have spent a lot of time over the past few months rethinking what I do for a living.

I don’t have the job security that I once had, despite having spent nearly fifteen years with the same company. I’ve often thought about leaving, but I have excellent benefits and the paid vacation time really can’t be beat. I have some fantastic co-workers, but overall, I don’t think I would miss it much if I left.

Then I began this blogging thing back in August. I had done a lot of reading about how people can make money from it, but I soon realized that no one will pay me for what I write about, at least not right now. And I am okay with that… I’m still a new blogger, still feeling my way through this, still evolving. One day, I may be able to help others with my blog, but for right now, I think it’s okay if I’m just testing the waters.

But my dream of working in my pjs, not leaving the house on -30°C days in sleet and snow has all but died. The dream is still very much alive, because in my search for at-home work, I’ve come across an idea that really excites me. While I’m not ready to share the idea with everyone yet, I’ve already taken the first steps towards my dream of working at home and made some powerful connections to get started in the direction I want to go. (Sorry if I’m being coy… I don’t mean to be… I just can’t bring myself to say it out loud yet – or in this case, type it out loud!)

This new venture won’t allow me the freedom to leave my job for awhile (I need to make sure I’ll earn enough before I walk away) but I know that I can do it. I know this because my confidence has grown with blogging, something I wasn’t entirely positive I could pull off, but here I am! I know I need to do a lot of work to kick this off, and build up contacts and clients before I’m financially secure enough to walk away and be the stay-at-home mom I want to be.

What I love most about this idea in my head is that blogging and promoting my posts has given me the building blocks and skills I need for this new venture. Even though I didn’t plan it that way, I am so glad things worked out the way they have. I’m thankful to the people who have already reached out to help me on my way.. bless you and thank you!

What is your dream job? Is it possible for you to take the steps necessary to make it happen?

Are you already working in your dream job? What steps did you take to get there? Were you afraid to take the leap of faith? What advice do you have for those of us wanting to take the plunge?

Money for Nothing

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentines Day!

Hello friends!

It’s that kinda lovely, kinda dreaded time of year, where everything is all hearts and flowers and chocolate. Mmm. Chocolate.

If you are like me, you prefer to stay in rather than go out anywhere. Avoid the crowds! Why go out when everyone else seems to be doing the same thing? I think romance shouldn’t be forced, and it should be all year long, rather than just on one day.

When my husband and I were dating, it seemed like a big deal. That was probably because we were so used to NOT having valentines, it was super special for us to have one in each other 🙂 So we used to do the whole dinner and a movie thing, but as the years go by, we do less because jockeying for a table in a crowded restaurant, or trying to find two seats together in a busy movie theatre doesn’t exactly scream “romance”. That’s just us, though. To each, their own!

If you’re staying in this year, or you want to make something sweet for your valentine, I’ve got an easy-peasy recipe for you! We’re whipping up cookies!

This recipe is awesome because it’s minimal ingredients and it’s an easy recipe to alter to suit your tastes!


chocochipcookiesrecipecard

cookiedough

These are perfect with a cup of coffee spiked with some Bailey’s for a cozy night in!

cookies

Enjoy, friends! I hope you have a great day with your loved one(s)!

The Stat Connection

The StatConnection

Today’s writing prompt is about going over some of our top blog posts and writing about what made them so popular.

I’ll start with Hello, It’s Me. This one is obvious to me, and probably to you as well! This post was popular because of the hit song by Adele. I went above and beyond with putting it out there on Twitter because I knew people would be looking for it. I LOVE piggybacking on a hashtag like that! 🙂 Sure, it’s a little sneaky, but hey, it did what it was supposed to! I loved writing this piece!

Next is probably Coming Out – A Mother’s Story – Part One. This one was popular, and I think it may be because it’s hard to find a mother’s perspective out there. I know, because I looked. After my son told us the news, I went looking to see if my feelings about this were normal, or if I was just losing my mind. This post proved to me that no, I was not alone. Just last week, another mom messaged me through Facebook, talking about how she feels a lot like how I felt. For the record, we are all doing great… I think the next hurdle is when my son brings a boyfriend home. In due time (although I’m sure it’s going to happen sooner than I think!)

Lastly, one more of my top posts seemed to be the one about our vow renewal with It’s My Party, when we celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. I can picture everything so vividly, and I tried to give everyone else that same vision! I am still excited about this upcoming event, and I’m truly glad my readers enjoyed the post.


The Stat Connection


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On another note, I’ve been a bit on the quiet side with posting lately because I’ve been catching up on some reading… I rarely have time to read anymore, but I started reading Stephen King’s Under The Dome (epub). Have you read it? Did you enjoy it? I know it’s also a tv series, but I haven’t watched it. No spoilers please! I’m only about a third of the way through it because…

I found some books at the library that have been on my Goodreads To-Read list for-EVER, so I borrowed them, and since I have a deadline with these books, and not the Stephen King one, I’ve set that one aside to read these. I borrowed Ghost-Boy (what a great story, what a terrific and brave young man!), and I’m currently reading Grace of Monaco. We have the movie, but I know if I watch it before reading the book, I won’t be interested in reading it anymore… lol… so I’m trying to hurry with it because I really want to see Nicole Kidman’s portrayal of Grace Kelly!

Are you a reader? What types of books would you recommend to me based on these?

The End of a Beautiful Day

The End of aBeautiful Day


The sun is setting behind the great pines of Algonquin, and the humidity is easing up. Dinnertime has come and gone, and everything has been washed and put away so that bears don’t come looking for snacks.


Four folding chairs are placed around the fire and everyone is freshly showered and in pjs. My husband pours me a glass of wine and kisses me on the cheek as he hands it to me, right before cracking open a can of Canadian for himself. The boys have marshmallows out, and I’ve set up chocolate bars and graham crackers for s’mores. The roasting sticks wait for their calling.


A loon calls out from the the nearby lake, and we all stop talking to listen. What a beautiful sound.


One by one, the stars begin to appear in the darkening sky above us, as the fire crackles. We can faintly hear the fires of fellow campers doing the same. My youngest son exclaims that he saw a shooting star and we encourage him to make a wish. He thinks hard for a second and then smiles. Done.


We discuss what we’ve done today as a family. We began the morning with a nice little hike on a trail close by. We packed some water, granola bars and bug repellent just in case, and we took a lot of stunning photos. We made sure to get some family shots, too. We took our time on this hike. We enjoyed the smells, and the views. We even brought a few peanuts for the chipmunks on the trail.


We came back to the site and made soup and sandwiches for lunch, before heading out on our bikes for a bike ride. It was a good workout, being a little overcast made the ride a little more comfortable. We saw a bear along the way, as she munched on blueberries behind one of the campgrounds. She paid no attention to us, she was all about snacking.


When we came back, the boys did some exploring on their own while I headed for a nap. I fell asleep listening to kids playing, squirrels chirping their warnings and crows clucking. My husband also gave into his exhaustion.


Tomorrow is our beach day. It’s supposed to be sunny and very warm. They’re calling for 30+°C and it’s going to be so relaxing. We all love our day at the beach. Caleb will be building sandcastles and moats, and Tyler is talking about swimming out to the island. I have a feeling it won’t happen, it looks closer than it is!


The sun has disappeared completely now, and we can spot the nearly full moon through the trees. The sky is lit up with stars. Millions and millions. I look up to enjoy them, and see two satellites gliding along. I cannot explain the amount of peace and happiness I feel, being here, with my family.


It feels like I’ve come home.