IMG_5355In life, there comes a defining moment in our lives when we are hit by “The Parent Bug". I remember it like yesterday. Many years ago, a close friend had just had a baby, and I was completely enamoured by the love around her. Her joy, her elation, her sense of completeness and protectiveness at this time of her life.

unnamed-2There are many things that can evoke memories of your childhood. For some it is a smell or a song, for me it was a lamp post. I grew up on a quiet cul-de-sac in a small suburb in Montreal. In the center of the street was a small grassy island with a tall lamp post. Any free time whether it was weekends, after school, hot summer days or even in the freezing Canadian cold the young kids of D’Estree would be outside playing.
It was the late 70’s/ early 80’s and we did not have cell phones, video games or even VCR’s. The only tweets we heard were from actual birds.
The only time we used the phone was to call our friends and ask them two simple words. “Wanna Play?”

unnamed-6I didn't ever really care about age... I always looked young, felt young and was often told that I looked like my daughters' sisters! All that changed when I received a birthday card with a giant 65 on it and I thought -that can't be for me!!!!! But alas, I am aging just like everyone else! I'm not complaining, really, I know exactly how fortunate I am to be healthy and actively involved in life. ..  I never forget it. It's just that it hit me- big time - I'm finally realizing that things are rapidly moving in that other direction.
So I had better take full advantage of my good health and fulfill some dreams!

Scars are intriguing and fascinating. Each one tells a story.
Some people's scars invoke a beautiful memory such as the moment they entered motherhood. Others may stem from a more somber place such as war, abuse, surgery, or other injuries. Scars should be celebrated. They remind us of our body's incredible ability to heal. They are badges of honor that we acquire throughout our lives. Many spend a significant amount of money trying to minimize or eliminate their scars. To me, scars should not be erased. This would be akin to tearing a chapter out of a book and still expecting to understand the story in its entirety.

kids classesThe best. That’s what we all want for our children. The best? What does that even mean? Talk about putting a ton of pressure on ourselves, right? When my daughter was born, I remember thinking “I want to do everything I can to make sure she has the best…” Now, between work, school, drop off and pick up, story time and bath time, birthday parties and more – I keep thinking “Let me just get through the day!” Of course I still want to do everything I can to help my daughter develop, so I recently put her in sports so she’s active and, of course, I read with her every chance I get. She started Pre-K this year so we’ve got the social part covered. What else? How can I teach her patience, improve her hand-eye coordination, and work on her self-confidence, amongst other things? How many activities should I put this kid in?

Luckily, there’s one that hits all of the markers mentioned… and it’s simple: ART.

I have always been what others would consider to be an "overprotective mom" to my two boys.  Being a worse case scenario thinker has made me "one of those moms". 

When my son was suddenly diagnosed with an anaphylactic peanut allergy at the age of 6, this pre-disposition instantly transformed me into a one person army defending his peanut-free safety.

My grandmother and I were very fortunate to be so close.
Not close in terms of physical or geographical distance since there was always about 500 km between us.  But rather, the rare type of close where not only could we finish each other's sentences but start them as well.  As years went on, our very special bond transcended onto my husband and children who loved Big Bubs  with as much heart and soul as I did.

i-h-1I just recently opened a letter to myself that I written at the age of 22.  That is now over 20 years.  I did not expect to wait so long to open it but I never felt ready.  At 22, I was caught up in a vicious food cycle that had basically taken over my life. I remember age 22 being a very tough time in my life; a time of feeling very unworthy and incomplete. I was open to change; I desired change.  It’s hard to believe how a simple exercise would truly impact my life.

Post secondary education in Canada has always been was pretty inexpensive compared to our neighbours south of the border. Historically, the provincial governments across Canada subsidized schooling to such an extent that there wasn’t much need for our parents to worry about college tuition from the time we were babies. Fast forward 20-30 years and things have changed – big time.

unnamed-4Today is Brandon’s 38th birthday. That is, it would have been Brandon’s 38th birthday…had he not gotten Leukemia…had he not died four years ago at age 34. I miss my love every single day. But it is on these anniversaries that his absence is that much more pronounced – the birthdays, the holidays and our family’s significant moments.