Monday, March 21, 2011

Another Step on the Road of Life

My 13 year old kissed a girl.  And he liked it.  Just another milestone passed.  I'm full of pride and excitement for him and sad at the loss of a little bit of his innocence.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

12 Years later

The second half of's bittersweet for me.  It brings up happy thoughts of a winter season that will soon be behind us for another year but also the memory of a fateful day that swallowed up one of my best friends and never gave him back to me. 

I sit here knowing the 12th anniversary of Andrew's death is looming.  I struggle with just how much has happened in those 12 years without him here.  I've written him letters in the past with the wishful thinking that once it ventures off into cyberspace that he'll be able to 'read' it.  Silly I know, but it gets me through these next few days the best. 

Dear Andrew,

It's been 12 years, but when I close my eyes I can still picture your face clearly.  I have worried that through the years my memory of the 'looks' you'd give me, your smile, your frown, your laugh will start to fade.  So far I've managed to hold on to your image, but I miss the sound of your voice.  Rarely does a day go by that you or a passing thought of you doesn't pop into my head. You seem to always be lurking in the background.  And for that, I am truly grateful.  

As the years pass by and events happen without you I find the hole you left when you died just gets more intense.  That longing for our friendship is stronger.  It's not consuming me anymore, but the pit in my gut is still there.  Knowing what you are missing makes me miss you even more.  There is just so much I want to share with you and I'm saddened to know I can't pick up the phone to call you or email you or text you (a handy new way to communicate has come along).   When I have needed you most, you weren't there. This used to anger me, but now the reality of me not being there for you when you needed me the most leaves me with deep regret.  I used to be mad at you for leaving me. Now I'm mad at myself for not being more present.  I'm hurt that you weren't able to turn around and see that I was always right behind you. Every step of the way, I had your back. 

I am so sad that my children only know the essence of you, and not the real you.   They will never know you personally.  In my opinion, they are a little poorer because of that. They would have been blessed to have you in their life. I wish my children could have known and appreciated our friendship, what it means to have someone in your life you can depend on, laugh with, scream with, cry with, chill with - no drama, no weirdness, no strings, no expectations.  Someone who just fits - male, female, it doesn't matter. 

I haven't met anyone quite like you since....though I don't think I'm searching for someone to fill that void anymore.  I've come to realize you've earned that void.  It's yours forever and it will remain with me always.  Maybe that's my take on healing.  I don't know that I believe in the big guy upstairs or that we'll be reunited with each other again someday, no where close to here, but it's a pretty nice thought.  I'll hang on to that. 

"You are broken now, but faith can heal you." - TOOL

I miss you still,

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Space Saving!

So I mentioned the other night I stumbled on an attic floor plan similar, yet different, than mine.  I also mentioned it gave me some new ideas on how to make better use of my loft bedroom going forward.  Last night Eric and I did some rough measuring and laid out a potential new floor plan and now I just need to organize myself with the steps to work through this process and the costs associated with it.  I think it will be a long, drawn out endeavour, but well worth it in the end. 

My current upstairs is simply divided into two separate rooms by a wall right through the centre of the 'rectangle'.  All of the alterations we came up with occur in the first portion of the room so my actual bedroom part won't be altered or made smaller at all. 

Amazing Amazon

Uh oh....I think I may have just discovered a new obsession.  One that could be potentially costly.  I'm actually a little shocked that I took this long to truly discover .  I ordered 5 books from the comfort of my bed two nights ago, sadly one had to be cancelled as it wasn't in stock and I'm waiting on the last one to ship but the other three have been sent out to me already.  It's a little like Christmas for me.  (I'm well aware that my credit card is being dinged for them, but still.) 

I love the freedom to take my time and browse through a butt load of books I wouldn't normally have even been aware of.  I think I've found some potentially great (but heavy) reads. 

Oh Amazon why have you evaded me for this long?  I'm glad we've now found each other and I trust we will have a long (yet expensive) relationship with each other.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Well I'll be!

So I was named in the top 10% of our entire company for high customer service scores.  Our company is huge, so I take this as a massive accomplishment.  I'm the only one in our entire market who made the list.  I felt it necessary to email my supervisors to notify them of this just in case they overlooked the email.  Sometimes I have to toot my own horn.

Well done ME!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My less than exciting life.

I took the week off work to coincide with March Break for the boys and man I am not sure who was looking more forward to the week off, them or me.

The weather has been relatively cooperative and I've managed to relax and be productive thus far.  The boys have managed to stay entertained (sleepovers, soccer dome, movies, Lasertag, escorting me on errands, and assisting with yardwork so far) since Friday so I'm also pleased with not having to listen to them bitch about how bored they are.

This past weekend, Eric and I took a relatively quick road trip to Toronto on Friday to hang with Jon for a little bit.  My guts were killing me, so we decided to ax the idea of spending the night and returned home that evening.  Saturday we ran some errands and I managed to score Gage some new soccer gear on sale which I wasn't expecting.  We went for breakfast at Pan in St. Catharines and it's probably the first time in a long time that I was able to eat and not feel like shit after.  It was delicious and I'd love to go there for lunch the next time.  We stopped by the Market and my friend Kent and his wife Lee were running a booth for their online business so we chatted for a little bit before making a couple of purchases and ventured on our way.  Saturday of course was game night with Mike, Kori and Lesley.  Sunday Eric and I went for breakfast buffet in Fonthill and whittled away our quiet afternoon.

Monday I grabbed Gage, as Roan had slept at a friend's house and had gone to Brock University to go swimming for the afternoon, and we went to run some errands (his haircut, MTO to transfer the car we got from my grandmother into my name, the bank, lunch, etc).  I attempted to start to clean up my yard after the thaw (clearly the ugliest time of the year) then I called it a 'productive' day.

Tuesday consisted of Roan going to a birthday party at Lasertag and Gage and I cleaning up 6 bag fulls of yard waste!  More to do tomorrow.  It's sad isn't it that this sort of thing excites me now?  Tonight I spent a few hours drawing monsters with Roan (I'll post pictures once we have them all coloured in.  They are after all, masterpieces.)  And now I'm listening to him sing softly in the bath tub.  Sometimes there isn't a better sound.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Carpet! Genie! ALADIN!

Last night Eric and I headed to Fort Erie for a night of games with our friends, Mike, Kori and Lesley.  En route we had a lovely road trip of sing song car karaoke of 80's trashy hits, we got slightly lost, and at some point I lost my sight and was mildly disoriented and drove on the shoulder for at least a city block before realizing my error.  I will say this though, the shoulder on Netherby Road was smoother than most of the city streets in both Niagara Falls and St. Catharines. 

When we got to the house that Lesley is watching (on a farm) we had a small tour and I was tickled pink that the entire upstairs loft/attic living area was along the same lines as my space however this house used the space much, MUCH better.  I took a bunch of photos so I could (wishful thinking) renovate my bedroom area to mimic what this house had.  It was so nice and exactly what I want for my personal space.  So now I've got to measure the perimeter of my attic space so Eric can do a 3-D rendering of what I would love for my space to look like on Sketch Up.  So now this desire to renovate has kind of trumped our trip to BC this year.  I've also come up with some ideas for the outside of my house as well... So many ideas!

Any way, back to game night.  We played Pictionary Man and Scattagories.  I have to say I was so much better at Pictionary than I was anticipating.  We had a good time and lots of laughs and it was nice to get out of the house again this weekend and hang with some friends.

This weekend coming up, we're hoping to be able to head to London Friday night for a Matadors show provided we can find someone to watch the boys overnight.  I'm hoping this winter slump is finally over and us wanting to venture out of our house and be social again is a sure sign of spring around the corner.  

New Horizons

I feel like things might finally be falling into place on the work front.  I don't want to say too much as I'm a pessimist and I figure just writing it all out will jinx me and the whole thing will cave like a house of cards.  However, I should know most of the details on Monday, the 21st when I return to work from a week long holiday.  I think if things work out like I'm hoping, that it will be good for everyone involved and Holly will be a happy lady.  Hopefully April will be a fresh start.  New outlooks, new passion, new blood, new moral boosting, new ideas.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Ring Ring!

A couple weekends ago, Eric and I went to Toronto to see Joe Rogan as mentioned in a previous post and the following day on our way back to Ryan O's from breakie we stopped into an antique shop near his house.  We spent probably close to an hour wandering through the small, cramped store and I finally stumbled across the one thing I was looking old rotary dial black wall phone for my kitchen.

We checked to make sure it worked at the shop and it did so I caved and bought it.  I also picked up a small pocket ashtray for Eric that he had his eye on.   The centre of the dial even has the original 4 digit phone number on it.  It's so heavy you could probably kill someone if you smacked them over the head with the receiver.

I was excited and curious to hear it ring.  I figured it would be crazy loud, but sadly the ringer is broken.  That makes Holly a sad girl.  So while I'll  Eric will probably still hang it on my kitchen wall for me, I'll keep my eyes peeled for a similar phone with a WORKING ringer.

It was so entertaining watching the boys figure out what the hell to do with this 'dial thingy'.  They honestly had NO idea.  Awesome.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

One Day I Woke Up...

It dawned on me this afternoon (I've had a lot to think about being trapped in my bed for almost a week sick) that it seems almost like one day I went to bed and when I woke up my little boys weren't little boys anymore. One is a teenager now.  He physically looks like a teenager, sounds like a teenager, eats me out of house and home like a teenager, sleeps in like a teenager, and sometimes even smells like a teenager.  It's like I blinked and the formative years were gone.  He's almost never home and when he is, there's a gaggle of other stinky teenage boys with him.  It's surreal, yet intriguing, watching him unfold before my very eyes.  I'm watching the hair on his upper lip fill in slowly, I'm listening to his voice crack and change every day.  I'm watching him come into his own personal style with pride knowing that if I was in his place I'd be wearing the exact same style.  I'm watching him form opinions on his musical tastes, some questionable but most I actually (secretly) enjoy.  I find myself smiling each morning when he asks me to blow dry his hair and straighten it for him, because you know what?  It looks good that way.  I'm watching him become a man.  A good man, as a mother would hope.  The phone rings at night and it's girls calling for him. I know he worries that I'd embarrass him in front of his 'girlfriend' but I never would.  
I won't tell him this though, as this fear keeps him alert and on his toes.  I'm proud that he has a girlfriend.  I'm proud that the phone rings for him at all.  I'm secretly proud that I have girls wrapping on my basement windows at 8:30 at night for him.  Is that wrong?  Probably.  I watch him walk out of my house and down the street with a group of kids and my heart swells with pride.  He's my kid.  He's a good kid.  But a kid for how much longer?  Not long I suppose.  Next year is high school and everything is going to change.   I fear he might not make the right decisions, I fear that he might not realize how important school is.  I fear that he might lose the comfort he currently has with regards to what he tells me and what he opts to keep secret.  I fear that he might disappoint me.  That's something I dread with all my heart.  Shouldn't it be the other way around? 

I have another son who for years stood by and watched his brother have a life around him.  Always wondering when it would be his turn to sleep over at a friends house or take off on his bike without supervision, or spend alone time with Grandpa, or be allowed to walk alone to the corner store.  Well one day I woke up and this day had come as well.  I look back and think about all the things that have happened in the 10 years of this kid's life and I shake my head.  I don't know where all the time went but it's gone and here we are.  I'm standing by and watching my walking heart start to really truly be his own person.

He's always trying to finagle ways to have a friend over or go to a friends house and he's usually successful.  He's become well versed in the use of the telephone.  It's also interesting to me how quickly and easily he can memorize a phone number of a friend.  He clearly has figured out what prioritizing means, in his world anyway.  He's approached me about doing French Immersion next year, and while I suspect it will be a struggle for him it's one of the few things he's decided to do that has nothing to do with his brother's previous actions.  He's been through the mill, this kid.  He's definitely a lover, not a fighter (unless your name starts with a G and ends in age).  Everything is so personal to him.  He's a sensitive boy who takes far too much to heart.  I worry about this character trait as he gets older.  I know what girls will do to a 'nice guy'.  I know what high school can be like and thick skin he does not have.   I do know that he doesn't care about stereotypes, stigmas, prejudices, biases, etc.  He just wants to be friends with everyone.  I hope one day that wonderful trait leads him down a fulfilling path to a career that will best utilize those strengths.  A path where he can change someone's life for the better, like he's altered mine.  I hope he never loses that strength.  I hope he doesn't become cynical in the ways of the world.  I hope he doesn't easily succumb to peer pressure but I believe deep down that out of my two boys, he'd be the one to cave to his friends.  I worry that he will continue to be impulsive in life and make unwise choices and decisions.  I worry that he'll let his emotions overcome him as he works his way through this world.  I worry that people won't accept him and all the things he is.  I worry people will only find the negative in his 'disorders'.  I worry people won't be able to find the gold that lies under those disorders.  I worry that he'll always have to struggle just a little bit harder than his brother to fit in properly.  I'm so grateful to his current group of friends.  I'm not sure if they are too young to know any different or if they just truly love Roan for who he is, but they are wonderful for him.  I have never met a kid who can make me laugh as much as he does.  Hands down, funniest kid ever.  The things that escape from his brain through his mouth are mind boggling.  I often don't know where the thoughts come from, but I relish in them.  I could listen to him all day which is good because there are some days that he never stops talking.  He is going to be the one who teaches me to be a better person.  He's already begun.

I am a mother of two boys.  I am a blessed human being.  Anything over and above these two people is an extra gift, because I'd be truly content if all I had were them.  It's me and them and then there's the rest of the world.