Friday, January 3, 2014

25 Things I Learned in 2013

1. I still hate pineapple on pizza. I gave it a solid effort – but no go. Fruit does not belong on pizza

2. Bacon cures most things.

3. Life is short. And the moments that matter are usually the ones we don’t even recognize.

4. Although bloody cold, in a “your-skin-can-freeze-in-seconds, you-have-brain-freeze-from-the-outside and you-can’t-breathe- through-your-nose-because-your-nose-hairs-are-frozen-together” – At least its sunny and freezing in Alberta

5. I know I should have learned this back in elementary, but don’t put your keys in your mouth in -30 temperatures. Your tongue will stick to them.

6. Few things are more awkward than having a stranger rap to you in a public place.

7. Getting lost driving in the country is a cure for most things. If that doesn’t work – try bacon.

8. Coffee = Life
9. I’ve inherited a second family that primarily wears navy blue. Its like 150 brothers that I never knew I wanted…

10. You can’t pick your family – but in the rare cases you can I’d pick the ones I currently have – and the crazy ones I’ve picked up along the way.

11. Hospitals should have bars/pubs or whiskey dispensers

12. If residing in a hospital for whatever reason these are the things you need to know: the meat is a mystery – don’t eat it. Ice water and heated blankets make things more bearable - and if you encounter a pillow. Hang onto it for dear life. It’s like contraband heaven in sterile hell.

13. People are bat shit crazy

14. Referring to #13. I’m serious. If I’m not getting stabbed with a pen, getting accosted in parking lots by hutterite men trying to sell me pies - or getting human remains delivered to me – its just not a normal day. And it has nothing to do with a full moon.

15. If you think you’re having a bad day – remember that there is a homeless person out there in -30 with shoes ductaped together who would love to have the problems you currently do.

16. Don’t let yourself be an excuse for someone’s unhappiness or failed relationships. Its not worth it. They may not think so – but you are worth so much more than that. Also – sometimes “I’m single” can also mean “I’m engaged and a really good liar”

17. If someone goes into a crazy story that is strangely identical to a James Bourne movie, it is possible they are crazy… and you should slowly back away…

18. I thought I had outgrown my awkwardness/clumsiness. Reality set in when I walked into the wall...

19. When someone shows you who they are – believe them. Good or bad.

20. My heart thinks its batman. However I do not have a batmobile and it mostly just hurts. A lot.

21. Taser Fridays should be a thing…

22. The moments you get to just “be” with someone, talking about nothing, or laughing or drinking in the people you love – is truly priceless.

23. Sometimes happiness is warm socks, lucky charms and being cuddled up on the couch

24. I don’t like running. If I’m running you should run too because most likely something is chasing me.

25. I’m really glad 2013 is over – and I’m excited that it’s a new year. Not in a “I’m going to make resolutions” type of way. But just this year was CRAZY! Good and bad, but fresh starts, new memories and new chapters are ahead and I’m excited :)

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Our seemingly small choices have such a large impact. The mundane choices, over time add up to our life. For instance me choosing to have lucky charms every morning, will probably result in diabetes or obesity – either way not ideal. So there are the small daily choices that we make, and then there are the huge, life altering ones. I don’t know if we always realize the impact our choices have on the rest of our lives.
What if choosing to talk to that stranger turns out to be your best friend, or even perhaps your soul mate? Maybe it’s the seemingly meaningless encounters that change the course of our lives. Igniting a passion, opening your eyes to new experiences. On the flip side, maybe it’s the moments that we don’t listen to that inside voice, leading to your dreams being shattered and feeling so broken you are only left with “If only I had listened”
Every one of our choices has a consequence – good or bad.
Sometimes we make our choices with the purest of intentions. And maybe they just backfired. I know I’m living in that right now.
In my life I have always chosen to live passionately. At times, recklessly. Out of high school I chose to live out my passion of helping and working with kids. I was young, a little dumb - naive. I wasn’t in it for the money, it was a chance to spread my wings, live in the moment and make a difference. I had so many signs to not do it. I was urged to come home, to not stay – but I did anyways. I truly felt that it was where I was supposed to be. Stubbornness? Perhaps. Or the idealist in me truly believed I was doing something good – changing lives. I was 19, what did I know?
All I know is I became very sick. At first I thought it was a bad flu, run down, over worked – too much sun. I had a fever so bad I was wearing a down jacket in 45 degree weather. When I couldn’t breathe I thought my asthma was acting up. When I couldn’t keep food down and the muscles in my legs gave way I finally realized it was time to go home. It wasn’t an easy or a popular choice where I was, and it caused a lot of friction. Still unsure the cause; whether it was the living conditions, mice, I got bit – I still have no idea what caused the virus (however waking up to mice running across your chest is a feeling I don’t relish) but at the end of the day the virus attached itself to my heart.
I barely remember the next 6 months. My immune system crashed so bad I couldn’t even handle getting a small cold and I could hardly get out of bed. Thankfully after months of my parents taking care of me and good medical care my body got stronger and returned to almost normal.
It’s crazy to think that a simple choice at the time could affect my life in such a dramatic way. I really had to learn to trust God and depend that He could protect my life.
So life went on – and now 7 years later I’m still experiencing the effects of a virus on my heart – from what now seems like a dumb idealistic moment in time. Trust me, I’ve made some way more idiotic choices in my life, and miraculously I’m still kicking lol
Mostly I feel fine, and then there are these moments when the pain is so bad it terrifies me. So – I’m scared. I usually laugh it off and say “My heart thinks its batman” or “it does party tricks” but truthfully when it happens I get scared. It’s the knowledge that something isn’t working the way it’s supposed to, and it’s out of my control. I hate not feeling in control. I like to think I’m tougher than I am. So I choose to laugh it off – honestly inside often times I’m freaking the heck out.
And I get it, who wants to date the girl with the heart condition? Lol (However I am thinking of making t-shirts that say “ do you know CPR because you give me tachycardia”) And I’m not having a heart attack and I’m going to guess and say I’m not in immediate danger, but they are still doing testing and there’s a lot of unknowns right now.
But I guess in the midst of it all, it puts things into perspective. I don’t really care that your aunts, cousins dog has fleas, or that the coffee pot has finger prints on it. And I’m aware that the stapler running out is a national emergency – but life is SO much bigger than all of those things. I get to work with people every day that dedicate their lives to helping others, which is pretty cool. There is so much need in so many different areas around us. There are people who literally have no homes. I complain because I have to scrape the ice off my windshield in the morning, but at least I have a windshield to scrape and a job I need to get to. Sometimes we have no idea the impact our choices have on the lives of others – on their day, add them all up - on their life.
I’d rather be crazy passionate in the life I have and try to make the lives of others around me a little bit better when I can – than live safely and not take risks.
I’m not saying I don’t cry or occasionally feel sorry for myself I do. And I usually couple that up with some lucky charms and fluffy socks. But I try to laugh. Because life is usually straight up funny. And it feels a lot better to laugh.
So – life is crazy. It’s made up of a lot of seemingly insignificant moments that really aren’t that insignificant at all.
SO I want to live purposefully. Remember what matters – love the people who fall into my life – even the unlovable ones, because they are usually the ones that teach me the most.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


You know that feeling when someone really knows you. Like really knows you.
Knows when you say “I’m fine” doesn’t mean “fine” or how your eyes change color if your sad. Or the way you laugh or smile a certain way means something… or you can look across a room and share a joke without even saying a word? That kind of knowing. Yeah… I miss that.
Its not very often we get people that “know” us that well. Sure, we know a lot of people, we know things about them, favorite colors, bands, starbucks order or sport – but the deep-down-I-Feel-you is something different.
I’ve had that with people, some amazing friends, some past relationships – family. But when you lose that, or those people move on in life, it leaves a different kind of hole. The kind that you aren’t sure if someone can know you like that again, or if you want someone to. Or you can go for a year without talking, and one look, or conversation and it all floods back – that yeah I don’t even have to say anything – they just know.
Theres a lot to each person. A lot of history, memories – experiences. Once you open up that door of vulnerability it creates a bond with someone that’s not easily broken. I’ve gone through a lot in my life and I find that I can repeat back the events like I’m reading the news – its easier. If I stop to “feel” those events, its too much. Sometimes its just too much to say anything, to explain, to share your life – all I want is for someone to just “know”. I hate starting over. It’s the worst feeling. Its stressful, its uncomfortable and theres the fear that it’ll be too much to handle, or that I’m not enough. I hate feeling vulnerable. Or open. Its terrifying.
I’d rather laugh it all off and say “I’m tough”. But every once in a while – all I want is for someone to look me in the eye and say “I know you’re strong, but you’re not that tough, let me help carry you for a little while”
So don’t discount the value of “knowing” someone, or letting them know you. Its one of life’s precious gifts to allow yourself to be vulnerable enough to love and be loved unconditionally.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Let’s talk about Floyd.
He is pretty, cool, collected and emotionally detached. A flare of fancy fins, moves and bright colors he had me mesmerized at first look.
But let’s be honest… Floyd is a rebound. And like all rebounds he may be pretty and charming, but the emotional connection just isn’t there.
Bruce and I had a connection. He was happy to see me every morning, threw his pebbles at me when I forgot to feed him, got sad when I went on vacation. It was a good 3 years together. He followed me to my new job, and as always was a hit. His classy little name tag “Hi my name is Bruce” earned his way into the hearts of passerby’s and somehow even got me christened as “Bruce” in the office. Unfortunately, like all good things it came to an end on that fateful Monday morning I saw he was doing the backstroke and looking a little pale. It was a sad flush that morning, and to be perfectly honest I’ve never been more grossed out in my life. Blech.
But then I met Floyd… At first… he didn’t have a name. For like month. I just couldn’t bring myself to name him, create that connection. I threw around a lot of ideas, Steve, Hal, Sparky…. Nothing stuck and I’m not even sure if Floyd is really the best name but here we are. I’ve tried mirrors and pictures of fish to get him all wound up, but nothing seems to work. Finally it seems we’ve reached an understanding. He no longer ignores me, and actually swims to my side of the bowl when I come in the morning, waves his little fins with happiness when I feed him and even started throwing rocks at me when I forget to feed him.

Maybe, just maybe we can learn to love each other.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Gear Grinding

I think I’m getting older. No really, besides the gray hairs popping up and the recovery time for working out, or a late night – my patience is getting lower. Maybe I need a dose of happiness like puppies, rainbows and cuddles. Who knows? But really… people are strange. Not in the “it-takes-all-kinds-to-make-the-world-go-round” but in the “people-are bat-shit-crazy-and-I-have-no-idea-how-you-have-lived-this-long” kind of way.
Trust me, I am a strong believer in the goodness of people, and am amazed at some of the amazing people I encounter daily. These are not the species I am referring to

Zombie Children
I had the privilege of celebrating Canada Day with my family and gosh darn I love my Country! However… the future makes me shudder in fear. You know all those zombie movies… not fake, the zombies are here people! They are in disguise of tiny, skinny-jeans, v-neck, cell phones-attached-to-their-brain hipster children. SERIOUSLY.
I can only hope they eat some brains just to ingest some intelligence.
They wander around the planet, bashing into people, lumbering like oversized llamas, uttering incoherent sentences, and when they run into you in a mass group like some sort of pack of hormonal gerbils they honestly look SHOCKED that there are other people around them! People with white canes have a better sense of where they are then these morons. Not sure if it’s the cell phone glued to their faces, or the fake big glasses skewing their vision. Either way I was ready to punt them all into the lake!

Dumb Questions.

You walk into a store. In a mall. “Out shopping today?” Nope. I was actually time travelling, but thanks for noticing.
“Is your hair naturally curly?” nope. I really just like the electrocuted lion look.
“Its ok that I set off fireworks in my backyard in the city right?” really? Do I actually have to answer this question?
In a restaurant “Do you want a table?” actually I was hoping to stand here all night. Thanks for asking.
“Did you know you have a goose outside?” No the fire line tape and orange pylons surrounding it really camouflaged it. Please tell me more.
“But seriously, I swear when I have a fire it never produces smoke” perfect… finally proof magic exists! Call the newspapers!


I know I have “that face” that makes people me all sorts of things. Most of the time, about things I would rather not know. By the time they leave my office, or I walk out of a store, I’m a little dazed at what people are willing to share with complete strangers.
As much as I love hearing about how your relationship with your dead mother is better than ever and you guys hang out like homies, all I really wanted was to buy a multi-vitamin. And in my brain I have SO many things I would love to say, but I just smile and nod and say “aw that’s too bad”.
Its not that I don’t care that your dog died, your marriage is falling apart, you have a hangnail, bad gas, you have warts on your toes – somewhere deep down I really do care. But I’ve never seen you before, and I will probably (hopefully) never see you again and I just think… maybe these types of conversations should be reserved for family, close friends, or perhaps your unicorn covered journal. Just saying.
Alright that about wraps it up. Again, I really do love people, but there are some that really grind me gears.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Threads That Connect Us

Life is messy. There are beautiful, take your breath away moments that collide with the gut wrenching pain of disappointment. One is not without the other. Perhaps the stark contrast gives us the ability to appreciate the beauty, giving us a reason to give thanks for those moments of light in a dark world. 

Maybe it’s to enrich our compassion, because we have known or seen pain – perhaps there is no reason at all. And it’s just life. The way it weaves us together, connected by seemingly insignificant threads, creating a beautiful tapestry full of strength. Small but strong threads tying us all together.

I know people like the good news. The light – the happy. It’s why shows like Ellen get so many more views than a documentary on child slavery. Perhaps we are so overwhelmed with our own pain and worry – it is just too much to take on someone else’s. But it makes we wonder if we are losing our honesty – our genuine truth. We are so busy running and trying to keep our heads above the water – we have truly forgotten how much we love to swim.

So I will be honest. Life is beautiful. I am reminded of that when I drive till I run out of pavement and find a place so wide open I can finally breathe. I am reminded of that, by the fact that my God is so faithful, even when I’m not – and that I have a love I do not deserve. I am reminded every time I find a dime (another story) – and know that heaven has not forgotten me. 

I am also reminded that life is HARD. I see beautiful people suffer so much. Physically, emotionally.  Sometimes it feels like the moment you stand up – you get knocked down. And so with all the hard things – I don’t understand and I honestly don’t know how to put one more foot in front of the other. I’m tired. Physically, emotionally, mentally – and I keep asking “why”. But in those moments I have realized, people don’t have the answers. There isn’t always a “reason” – at least not that I will ever see on this earth – and I guess it’s OK. Because life is a journey and I may not be at my final destination – so I don’t have the answers – I think understanding would take away the magic, the mystery of this life.

It’s not without pain, or struggle, or fighting – it it’s also not without the beautiful strength of spirit, the silent moments of calm, and the small, but powerful threads that connect us. 

Because at the end of the day we are all fighting the same battles – different faces and different stages – and some of us more honestly than others. But I guess we are all human. And we live in the same beautiful, tragic, broken, breathtaking and wonderful world.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Next Quarter of a Century

As my 25th year draws to a close, I like to think back over my last year, all the crazy things that have happened and changed. Some good, bad, heartbreaking and exhilarating. Life has been consistent with its changes. If I could have predicted my year – it would have been so different than what it looks like now.
Funny how fast life changes – in a blink of an eye we go from predictable circumstances – to things we never even imagined (and trust me I have pretty crazy imagination)

I feel that now that my 1st quarter of a century is over – I breathe a sigh of relief – it’s like a fresh start – a new chapter and I look forward with excitement for what lies ahead.
I’ve been learning to keep my heart open and my palms up. For so long I’ve approached my life with fists up, defensive – cynical. And while there are those who would say experiences have entitled me – I’m choosing a different approach. Because not only have I fought life vs. embracing life – it has been evident in every area of my life. Love, relationships – spiritually. And this year – I’m choosing a different path.

I’m choosing to be ALIVE. Not waiting for the right things to happen before I start. I’m starting now. So much time I’ve wasted waiting for the right person, in the right event, a right time – time just slips away.

Its easy to blame people or circumstances like “oh they held me back” or I gave up so much because of this person, or that event. And while it may be true – the real honest truth is that I CHOSE to do those things. Its my life and I alone am responsible for what I do with it. At the end of my life I don’t want to look back and say I wish I would have done the things I was passionate about, but I couldn’t because someone held me back – I do however want to say that I lived life fully to my potential, with passion and uninhibited by any circumstance or individual in my life.

I guess what I’m trying to say and I know I’m rambling – is that I just want to be alive. I want really feel life, not rush from place to place, but savor the moments in front of me.
The 3am chats with my best friend, laughing till my stomach hurts, seeing a need and DOING something about it, spending time with my family uninterrupted by the noise of our busy world.
I want to be still enough in spirit that I can actually feel God all around me.
I want to look out on our frozen morning and see the beauty of the frost instead of how fast I can get to work so I can warm up.
I want to invest and grow spiritually, feel deeply the gratitude of a God who has not given up on me; time and time again proven Himself faithful and loving – even when I do my best to ignore His voice – that’s what I want my life to look like.
I’m tired of making the choices I have, the ones that have broken me, made me ashamed and frightened to be alive. So I’m striving to make better ones – live my life with purpose.

If you’re still reading thanks for reading all the way till the end – life is a crazy journey isn’t it? But man I’m glad it’s a journey and thanks for being on this one with me.