On #InternationalWomensDay – Be You, Because You ARE Strong

Happy International Women’s Day!

You might be surprised to know that history records the first International Women’s Day as far back as 1911! Women have been fighting a loooooonnnnnnnggggg time for equality, and will continue to do so. I hate this fact, but to avoid dwelling on the negative, I will take pleasure in seeing how far we’ve come! Keep up the fantastic work, my sisters!

I’m seeing so many quotes and memes on social media today about women, and I’ve observed many of these quotes and memes focus on the word STRONG. Why is that?

Even my personal favorite: “Strong women: May we know them, may we raise them, may we be them.” urges us that being strong is the ultimate goal. Yet, I can’t help but wonder if this battle-cry is being interpreted the same way across the board.

Naturally, the physical sense of the word is a positive goal. Being physically strong isn’t just about how many pounds you can bench-press, but about being healthy. Everyone wants health for themselves and those they care about, right?

But what about being strong in other ways? How do we define that? And what about the women who don’t exude the “traditional” traits of “strength”? I use quotation marks simply because these words are so open to interpretation.

I worry that International Women’s Day is moving towards a different meaning – a celebration of society’s perceived “best of the best” so to speak. That’s not what it’s about.

The woman who doesn’t run marathons for herself or charity can still be strong simply running after her toddler at the park. Or watching Netflix marathons on TV.

The woman who doesn’t own a financially successful business or have a high-powered career can still be strong owning the responsibility to feed her children by working hard at her minimum-wage job.

That woman who doesn’t prepare kale-qinoa-chia seed-avocado crust-less pie to feed her family can still be strong asking her kids to set the table and put the ketchup and plum sauce out for the frozen chicken fingers with tater-tots her family will devour with enthusiasm.

That woman who never declares loudly “Fuck that shit!” can still be strong when she sobs into her pillow because someone hurt her feelings.

That woman who can’t be Ms. Independent-I-Can-Do-It-All-Myself can still be strong when she asks friends or family for physical or emotional support.

That woman who doesn’t kick that asshole partner’s ass to the curb can still be strong when she stays in a seemingly unsatisfying relationship for complex reasons that nobody but her really understands.

That woman who doesn’t proudly don her swimsuit while ignoring her obesity can still be strong when she avoids pools and the beach.

Nobody defines “STRONG” for everybody.

As far as I’m concerned, anyone who opens their eyes and confronts the challenges of life each day is strong, and even those who open their eyes but then decides to close them, stay in bed and avoid the world are still strong in making the decision to do just that.

If you are human and trying to live your life as best you can – you are strong.

Should women be equal with men? Youbetcha.

Should women stop being human to try to fit into someone else’s definition of “strong”?

I think you know my answer to that question.

Be you. That’s strong enough.

 

Happy, Happy, Happy

A few months ago, I began to keep an online Happiness Jar. The idea came from one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Gilbert, who often shares her fans’ pictures on her Facebook fan page of crafty DIY Happiness Jars containing their daily writings about what made them happy.

I’m no Martha Stewart, but I have my hands on my laptop for many hours a day, and I thought perhaps using my blog’s Facebook page would be a good way to start conversations with people about happiness. I’d share what I was happy about each day and invite others to do the same and perhaps create a small positive energy movement.

Initially, it was a great conversation – people were responding every day and sharing their pieces of happiness, just like I had hoped. Then that slowly died off, and every time I posted MY Happiness Jar entry, you could hear the crickets chirping away. Nobody even “liked” what I was saying.

This started to bother me a little. Then a lot. I felt like I was failing at spreading a positive message. I started to worry that I was “annoying” people and that nobody gave a rats. So I stopped sharing my daily Happiness Jar entries for a while.

Until the proverbial lightning bolt hit me.

The purpose of MY Happiness Jar was not to make anyone else happy.

It was about preserving MY bits of happiness. It was about MY desire to have a higher awareness of the positive parts of MY life.

It was about having a place to go to look back on the happy things in MY life if I ever needed some inspiration in a dark time.

It was NOT about anyone else.

So I started again.

Sometimes people share, more often they don’t. The crickets still chirp on a regular basis, but I have stopped giving a shit. Especially because when I re-started posting my daily Happiness Jar entries, I wrote a brief version of the above and had some pretty incredible comments – people telling me that MY Happiness Jar entries often inspired them, even if they never responded to my posts with their own statements of happiness.

So I am learning to refocus.

There are days when it’s damn hard to think of ONE happy thing, trust me.

Like today.

Today, I could tell you about how I’ve had a barking cough for 6 days now that obviously has decided to never leave. I could tell you how that cough combined with the stress of having to whip DD in and out of 4 costume changes with a 2-song time limitation twice yesterday and once Friday night have attacked my neck and shoulder with clenched muscles to give me muscle spasms that made sleep almost impossible despite my exhaustion last night. I could tell you how my 14 year old cat decided to poop on my bathroom floor because I wouldn’t get up at 3am to feed him. I could tell you about the laundry I did last Monday that’s still folded in a basket upstairs waiting to be put away because I was also at a conference for 2 days last week and have had no time to do anything resembling housework.

I could tell you a whole bunch of other crap that makes me weepy, crabby and a little bit stabby.

But happiness is a CHOICE.

I want to be happy. These negative things are all a part of life – every life – not just mine. Without them, I’d have no benchmark to compare the good stuff to. Yes, life has some unhappy moments, situations, times, but even on our darkest days, there is always at least one little thing that was good – the taste of a delicious dessert, the smile on a child’s face, the friend calling to see how you are doing.

I could dwell on all of the rotten stuff I listed, OR – I could tell you about all the people who told my daughter what a fantastic dancer she is at her recitals yesterday.  I could tell you about how every time she stepped out on that stage – 4 times per show for 3 shows now – my eyes filled with love bubbles that I had to breathe deeply to contain, or risk falling apart with the absolute love and pride I felt. The pure bliss of fulfillment, remembering how only a few years ago, I had convinced myself I’d never be a mom watching my child live out his or her passions. I could tell you how Huzbo, with his six left feet, actually agreed to dress himself up with neon colours and get up on that stage with other dads to shake his groove thing in the “Dancing Dads” part of the dance school’s annual recital, and how it made both of our kids laugh out loud with pleasure. I could tell you about how a beautiful, sweet compliment on Facebook from my best friend put a gigantic smile on my face last night when I was so worn out.

IMG_1458 IMG_1499

My Happiness Jar can be half-empty, or half-full. It’s all a matter of perspective. I am the only gatekeeper of what goes into my mind and affects me.

Sometimes it’s hard to choose half-full, I completely agree. It’s human nature for many – myself included – to be pessimistic or negative. It’s often easier to let your inner bully crawl into your sacred mind space and take away your joy.

Optimism and happiness sometimes require work. Sometimes that work is extra-hard due to illness, and professional or medicinal help is needed – that’s ok, too. Whatever works – nobody should ever be faulted for choosing happiness and doing whatever it takes to get there.

So today, I choose happiness.

 

“Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” – Abraham Lincoln

 

Thanks for reading my blog! Feel free to share it, and if you’d like to hear more from me, slide over to the right side of your screen and “Like” my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter and subscribe to get my latest post in your email inbox – yes, that’s right – stalk me!

You may also like reading my blog posts at Conceived in my Heart on YummyMummyClub.ca – check it out!

The Quest to Scratch the Seven-Year Itch

This *may* or may not be, the couple described in this post.

This *may* or may not be, the couple described in this post.

I have a story to tell you.

It’s a story about a woman who’s been married for seven years now, and while she may feel a bit itchy at times, she’s proud of the fact that she would never go looking for someone else to scratch that itch.

Yet, that itch remains.

Because the dude legally obligated to scratch that itch is not doing so as often as he should.

She loves him – most of the time.  She likes him – some of the time.  They are fortunate enough to have overnight babysitting every other weekend for regular date nights.  These dates are usually dinner and a movie, and on one of those dinner dates recently, the woman decided she would broach the subject of her itch.  She thought that maybe giving some compliments would motivate her man to return the favour, thereby making her feel a little sexy and desireable – which goes a LONG way to helping scratch an itch.

She suggested they dine at the restaurant where they first met, and by some cosmic happenstance, they were seated at the exact table they had sat at on their first date, although the dude, of course, had no recollection of that.

She began with what she thought was a VERY flattering compliment:

“You are sexier now than you were the day I met you eight years ago, sweetheart”.  (This is a really hot compliment for a dude who can, at times, be rather obsessed with his aging appearance – to the point where he asks for Botox as a Christmas gift.)

To which the dude responded with…nothing but a cursory “I am? Thanks!”

No return volley, no quasi-compliment, not one flattering comeback.

The woman counted to ten, because she was adamant that this date night was not going to end in a fight like many of them had lately.

“Uhhh, don’t you think when someone pays you a nice compliment, it’s gentlemanly and romantic to say something nice back to them?”

(The woman admits that she was fishing, and that it’s probably a sign of her vast insecurities that she wanted – needed – the dude to return a compliment, but she had decided at this point that hearing some compliments were going to help sooth her itch, and she wasn’t about to let his denseness prevent that from happening.)

“Oh!  Uhhh, yeah – you look lovely!” was the husband’s response.

The woman was put out.  “Lovely” was a word used to describe your mother’s Easter bonnet, or your aging auntie’s rose garden – NOT the word you used if you wanted to get into your wife’s pants and wanted her to want you to do so.

So the woman told him just that – she wanted him to come up with something a bit more passionate than “lovely” to let her know he still found her attractive.

To which the dude replied “You really do yourself up well!”

Now, despite the fact that the woman felt as though the man was really telling her that she was mutton dressed up to look like spring lamb, she patiently explained to him again the folly of this non-compliment, and gave him further instructions to compliment something specific about her looks.

“You have really nice lips for kissing, and great hair”.

Now the woman was feeling better – these were parts of her that weren’t painted on or gussied up with expertly-tailored clothes!  Yet somehow she needed just a bit more – after all, she was feeling really itchy and needed confirmation that her man was still even interested in being her itch-scratcher.

“That’s more like it!  Now, can you compliment something below my neck?”

Quite frankly, the woman knew she was skating on thin ice here, because she knew that before meeting her, the dude was not generally drawn to women who had such generous curves in the bottom-half of her pear.  Yet, she also knew that there were at least a FEW attributes south of her chin that were worth noting, and she felt that her husband owed her the effort of mentioning them once every couple of years.

“You have great boobs!” the dude enthusiastically replied, thinking he was acing this examination.

“What’s so great about them?” the woman prompted.

“They’re nice and small!” he exclaimed triumphantly, with his hands shaping cups the size of half oranges.

Despite the man’s rare appreciate of non-Pam Anderson sized bazoongas, the woman interpreted this as another non-compliment, applying the man’s love of “small” to her rather “not small” derriere and legs.

At this point, the woman gave up.

She is learning to accept that perhaps scratching your own itch may be the best approach after all.

 

 

Thanks for reading my blog! Feel free to share it, and if you’d like to hear more from me, slide over to the right side of your screen and “Like” my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter and subscribe to get my latest post in your email inbox – yes, that’s right – stalk me!

You may also like reading my blog posts at Conceived in my Heart on YummyMummyClub.ca – check it out!

Existential HUH?

ImageA few months ago, I had coffee for the first time with a woman I had recently met.  We got personal pretty quickly, which is fine by me – I’m a bit of an open book on most subjects.  I shared some intimate details of my life story and also the details that I’ve shared publicly.  When I was done peeling back my onion for her, she asked me if I ever felt like I was put on this earth and kept around (so far) to accomplish something amazing.

All. The. Freakin’. Time.

In a nutshell, there have been numerous occurrences in my life – some medical, some notsomuch – that could have easily snuffed out my existence.  Yet, that didn’t happen.  Each time, I somehow made it through, and some of those triumphs were tippy-toeing near the “miraculous” zone.

Now, some of you are probably dying to hear all the gory details of these experiences, some of you may not give a shit, but either way – that’s ok.  This post isn’t about that, mostly because all of those stories would fill a book…hmmm…

The point of this post is to talk about the never-ending feeling I’ve had since I was very young, that I’ve been spared or given back my life numerous times because I have some great calling to fulfill.

So great, in fact, that I haven’t even figured it out yet.

Which IS the point of this post.

What if what I AM doing is the wrong “something amazing”?

What if I find out too late that what I’m already accomplishing and will accomplish were NOT the reasons why I’m here?

I know – this existentialist shit makes my head spin most of the time as well, but when somebody else hits your innermost thoughts and fears all in the same sentence for all the same reasons you have those thoughts and fears – it gets pretty deep.

This is not about ego – I don’t think that I’m here to change the world or any other grandiose ideas like that (with all due respect to those who ARE here to change it).  But what if changing the world was my “destiny” and I’m sitting here telling you that I’m not buying into my own destiny?

I’m sure you can see how this could, at times, be a little crippling.

Scrubbing toilets, typing out the words in my head and posting them online because there is nobody in front of me to speak them to, making grilled cheeses because I don’t feel like going to the grocery store for real dinner food – I’m not convinced these are signs of a higher calling, but who am I to judge myself?

Yes, it’s hard sometimes to avoid saying “I was saved for THIS?” when my child comes home from school with sopping leggings, because she didn’t pull them down far enough when she sat on the potty (yes, sat – like I don’t worry enough about her at school?).  Or when she comes home from school wearing only transparent tights as pants, because she didn’t feel like wearing the skirt she chose to wear that morning, and explained to me her belief that tights and leggings are the same thing.

I have to remind myself that no doubt Mother Theresa’s mom or Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s mother had stories like these to tell – mommy tales.  Yet, look at the destiny they fulfilled.

Now, Baby Girl may not turn out to be the next Oprah Winfrey or Nelson Mandela, or she may – that’s not really the point either.

The point is this – I have to find my OWN value in what I do.

I don’t have to be an iconic world hero, nor do my children.  I don’t have to measure my worth by other people’s standards – how much money I earn, how many people follow me, how many hits my posts get, how much charity work I do, how often I’m on the news.

I simply have to look upon my life as one that matters – no matter what I do.

What more amazing accomplishment can there be?

 

 

Thanks for reading my blog! Did you like this post? Feel free to share it, if you did. Also, if you’d like to hear more from me, slide over to the right side of your screen and “Like” my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter – yes, that’s right – stalk me!

You may also like reading my blog posts at Conceived in my Heart on YummyMummyClub.ca – check it out!

25 Reasons Why I’m Not Hip, and Probably Never Will Be

Baby Girl came home from school last week singing “It’s hip to be a square”, which on one hand, made me laugh because it’s a terrible old song that somebody was witty enough to turn into a shape-teaching tool, yet on the other hand, made me think about how un-hip I am. In so many ways.

Let me run down a few of them for you:
1. I don’t eat quinoa. I may try it one day, but probably long after it’s not hip anymore.

2. I use the “kids in a sandbox” approach to making adult friends – I actually invite people to have coffee if I think they’re cool, or I may even invite them to my house or out for lunch. Sometimes I even do this after only meeting someone once, briefly. Aloof is not my area of expertise.

3. I worry that people are mad at me or don’t like me for some reason (yes, even people I’ve never met) if they don’t reply to my tweets. I want people to like me and feel bothered if they don’t. But only if I like them, of course.

4. I don’t watch SOA, Downton Abbey, Mad Men, Orange is the New Black, or any other TV (with the exception of the quality programming found on ABC’s Revenge, The Weather Network, CBC news or CP24). In related news – we don’t even have Netflix.

5. I’m not on Pinterest, Instagram, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, Vine, LinkedIn or any other social media than Facebook and Twitter.

6. I wear Crocs in my house. All the time, as slippers. Sometimes even when people come over.

7. I like typing on a laptop more than a tablet or smart phone. I like buttons more than a flat screen image of a keyboard. I actually miss my old Blackberry.

8. I like ending conversations of any sort (yes, even on social media) with some traditional form of pleasantry like “Bye!” or “Talk to you later!” or “Have a great day!” instead of just leaving a discussion dangling in the wind with no closure.

9. I double space after periods. That’s how I was taught to type back in 1984, so I will not apologize for learning it well.

10. I don’t find humour in people getting the shit scared out of them, or people getting the beats (not the Dr Dre kind) or imitations of people with physical or mental challenges.

11. I don’t do any sports that I can talk about on social media. I don’t do any sports that I can talk about anywhere. Ok, I don’t do any sports.

12. I wear my pyjamas under my yoga pants to drive Baby Girl to school. And pick her up.  I remove the yoga pants for the hours in-between.

13. Kale revolts me. And yes, I’ve tried kale chips.

14. I have 3 cats. I adore them and I’m not ashamed to admit that. I post pictures of them online, and convince myself that I am not a crazy cat lady because I draw the line at owning clothes with animal pics on them, or having little animal chachkies around my home.

15. I am verbose. Why say it in one sentence, when you can use five or six? I joined Twitter to practise limiting my words to 140 characters. #EpicFail.

16. I follow people back on Twitter if they follow me and they’re not trying to sell me more followers, don’t have a profile that’s in a language I don’t read or speak, don’t have an egghead profile picture with 1 tweet and 254,592 followers or don’t give me the heebeegeebees for some reason.

17. I respond to almost all of the comments on my blogs – good or bad, almost all tweets to me that aren’t weird or rude or trying to sell me stuff, and all emails that aren’t from spambots or marketing firms trying to buy ad space on my blog.

18. I feel awkward talking about my experiences with depression, so I don’t. I don’t judge those that do – in fact I may have a bit of envy that they are comfortable sharing, but I’m not. I’m not ashamed, I just can’t do it. Yet, at least.

19. I put myself “out” there. I comment on blogs of people I don’t know, I tweet to strangers.

20. I still get zits.  I still refer to them as zits.

21. I didn’t dig the Kendrick Lamar/Imagine Dragons mash-up at the Grammys. I’d never heard of half of the nominees at the Grammys.

22. I constantly worry about my phone battery dying because I don’t own one of those little portable battery charger packs.

23. I get manicures biweekly, but my eyebrows resemble Frida Kahlo’s. I cut and colour my hair 3 times per year, and I’m fastidious about my pits, but I declare a moratorium on leg-shaving between November and April to avoid wearing long-johns. Don’t even ask about the equator zone, unless I will be sporting a swimsuit the next day. Basically, I’m a confused sasquatch.

24. I don’t dig zombies.

25. I’m not fake. I’m a sincere, loyal and sometimes overly-friendly person. Most of the time I’m pretty content being just who I am – hip, or not.

Bonus Addendum: I can’t believe I forgot about this in the original post, but that’s just another testament to how unhip I really am: I don’t play Candy Crush.

Thanks for reading my blog! Did you like this post? Feel free to share it, if you did. Also, if you’d like to hear more from me, slide over to the right side of your screen and “Like” my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter – yes, that’s right – stalk me!

You may also like reading my blog posts at Conceived in my Heart on YummyMummyClub.ca – check it out!

A Different Breed of Good

“I’m a bad mom.” 

“Wearing my “Mom-of-the-Year” sash and tiara.” 

“Rotten Mom Club President.”

Just a few of the sarcastic-but-not-really comments I’ve seen recently on social media and blog posts.

Every time I read these comments, my inner voice screams inside my head:

MOMS!  STOP THAT RIGHT NOW!
(If you’ve written any of these or something similar recently – don’t worry – this post isn’t about YOU specifically.)

I know the feelings behind those words, trust me, I really do.  The guilt about some parenting mistake that you’ve made.  I’ve been there.  Repeatedly.  I’m no mothering expert or pro.

But in addition to the numerous resolutions I quasi-made for 2014, I am really trying to give up on mom-guilt.

Do you know why?

It accomplishes nothing except making us feel like shit about ourselves.  How does that do anyone any good?

So what, if you don’t make all those stupid designer lunches for your kids – most kids just throw out their food half-eaten or bring it home uneaten anyway.

So what, if you did the happy-skippy dance when your kids walked out the door on the first day back to school after the holidays – you and I and about a million other moms did too.

There seems to be a growing trend of mothers expressing their mistakes publicly – which is awesome.  Let’s be honest with one another – we all screw up.  Every single one of us.  Hearing about other moms’ mistakes makes us feel normal and supported – we are a mom-munity.

But how does it help other moms to feel like part of the community if we talk about our screw-ups in such a negative way?

I’m not suggesting we brag about what we’ve done or pat ourselves on the back. “Woo-hoo!  I lost my shit on little Johnny last night because I have PMS, so I sent him to his room with no dinner – isn’t that cool?” isn’t going to make other moms feel that sympathetic or connected to you.  But sending out the subtle message that you are a bad mom if you make a mistake or if you enjoy time without your kids or if you get mad at your kids sometimes (a lot) for annoying the bejeezus out of you or any of the million other things that moms feel guilty about – that’s not cool either. Just tell it like it is – you made a mistake, you maybe feel guilty about it (or you feel guilty because you don’t feel guilty), but in the grand scheme of things, you’re still a great mom and this isn’t going to turn your kid into a disaster in the humanity department.

All of your guilt and shame and screw ups and oopsies – they are NORMAL.  Do you really want your kid having documented evidence of reasons to hate you or rebel against you or blame you for needing therapy when they get older?  Nuh uh.  Documenting your very normal HUMAN behavior under the label of “wrong” or “bad” is simply putting the idea into their heads, other mom’s heads and even YOUR head that you’re not good at what you’re doing.

And that’s bullshit.

Unless you are abusive or neglectful or doing other stuff that might require help or improvement – you are all good moms.

We are a different breed of good.  And that’s ok.  We don’t need to be perfect, or even perfect-in-training.

Personally?  I’d rather be the mom I am and demonstrate to my kids that I’m imperfect, flawed and I make mistakes, but I keep getting up every morning and trying again the next day.  I keep trying to learn from my mistakes and trying desperately not to repeat them.  I apologize to them when I think I should.  I’m human.

I don’t want my kids to grow up thinking they need to be perfect.  I’m not perfect.  Nobody is.  They don’t need to be, either.  And they definitely don’t need a perfect mom.

Imperfection is the new black, so stop beating yourselves up, moms.  Be kinder, gentler, easier on yourselves.

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating:

Good enough is still good.

If you liked this post, please swing over to the right side of your screen and follow my blog, so you get my new posts directly in your email inbox. While you’re there, why not also click the “Like” button for my Facebook fan page and hit the “Follow @PapayaJambalaya” button to follow me on Twitter? Yeah, that’s right – go ahead – stalk me. It’s all good. If you’re already stalking me or are going to -Thank you!

Happy Anniversary to my Huzbo

Today is the 7th anniversary of me marrying Huzbo.
200711_19263745184_3117_n[1]

Pretty momentous, considering when my first marriage died at 5 years, I swore I’d never get married again.

For those of you that know me, or those that read this blog regularly, you know I don’t often talk sweet about poor ole Huzbo.

So today, I’m going to talk about the GOOD STUFF for a change.

1.  He is the hardest working man I’ve ever met.  He is the major breadwinner (where on EARTH did that stupid term come from? He doesn’t win bread, for crying out loud!) and he doesn’t quit when he gets home.  He does every kind of housework that I do and he also does ALL of the outside yard work, shovels, takes out the trash, does any house repairs required.  He is my Superman in the work department and even my closest girlfriends will attest to the fact that when we sometimes gather for our ladies’ bitch-about-our-husbands sessions, I certainly join in, but never when we get around to bitching about how husbands don’t help around the house.  He does.  Lots.  More than any man I know.  And I am very grateful for that.

2.  He scoops cat shit every day.  In addition to the household contributions described above, I have to point out separately that when I met Huzbo, I had 2 cats, and upon marrying him, he blindly agreed with me that a 3rd cat was just what our household needed.  From the time we began living together and trying to procreate, he has scooped the cat doo-doo.  In the past 7 years, the only times I have ever scooped are when he had his gallbladder removed and couldn’t bend over for a week, when he broke his ankle and couldn’t walk down the stairs to the basement, and when he went to Florida to help his mother there for 2 weeks.  That’s a LOT of cat crap that I’ve avoided, especially considering two thirds of those cats were mine to begin with.  Even now that one of those cats is a very senior citizen and has some senility with respect to where he should be doing his bio functions, Huzbo understands how much my cats mean to me and has never suggested they be removed from our family.  He has also committed to me that no matter what, when it is a cat’s time to leave this earth, Huzbo will be the one who goes with them and stays with them through it all, because I know I just could not.  He loves our cats too and I know it won’t be easy for him either, but he’s willing to do that so I don’t have to.
bed cats
3.  He does amazing things with his hands.  Oh jeez – c’mon now!  Minds out of the gutter! (Although if you really want to know about that business, I’d have to say he does more magic with his mouth than his hands…)  He is a carpenter and a cabinet-maker and he listened to my desire to have real hardwood floors, laid on a diagonal with a dark strip border around every room in our 1st floor.  He told me I was crazy and it would be too hard and virtually impossible.  Then he did it.  He also did the same thing with the wall-to-wall built-in wall unit I asked him to build.  Then he did it a 3rd time when I told him the fancy plans I had for landscaping the front of our house, which he had never even done before.  He’s a talented man and not afraid to take on my challenging projects.
382795_10150521025690185_2100579392_n[1]

148633_10150111971020185_2035634_n[1]

292893_10151256400290185_291349524_n[1]
4.  He is not shy or quiet and loves to have fun.  I am not shy or quiet and sometimes need someone to pull the stick out of my ass to have fun.  I love going to parties with him, because I do not have to babysit him, ever.  He can work a room better than any politician.  He is the fun parent and our kids love a rumpus with daddy, because he puts everything into it.  He’s a big kid at heart, and sometimes it’s cute and endearing – like on Christmas eve just past, I arrived home with Baby Girl and he had a bowl of sugar waiting for her, with a bowl of multi-coloured TicTacs.  He told her to plant the magic seeds in the magic sugar, and she would get a big surprise in the morning after Santa worked his magic fertilizer on the seeds.  After she went to bed, he pulled out all of those TicTacs and instead stood up large candy canes of matching pink and green colours.  I’m pretty sure you can imagine Baby Girl’s eyes when she saw those magic candy canes that had “grown” from the seeds.

5.  He has a cute ass and beautiful hazel-green eyes.  ‘Nuff said.

6.  He will go to the store or fast-food restaurant at almost any time of day for ANY kind of products.  I’m not sure I want to get into too may details here, but we all have embarrassing items we sometimes urgently (or not-so-urgently) need at the pharmacy and Huzbo has never once said “No way am I going to march up to the counter and buy THAT business for you!”  And trust me when I say that sometimes I would have been embarrassed to have to buy some of those things.  He also is usually just as willing to run out at 9pm for a craved bag of chips, should my craving arise.

7.  He has seen me in some pretty awful states, some medically-induced and some self-induced, and he has held my hand (and sometimes the barf bag) and cleaned me up and he still wants to kiss me when it’s all said and done. After I’ve brushed my teeth, of course.

8.  He is the reason I am a mother.  When I met him, he already had a son.  Yes, he wanted more children, but considering the lengths we had to go to trying create a baby and then trying to adopt, I think he probably would have called it a day and accepted the fact that his one child was enough for him.  But he didn’t, because he knew I wanted, needed, one child for me also.  He wanted Baby Girl and he loves her to the moon and back, but when all is said and done, I think if I hadn’t wanted to be a mother so badly, he might not have pursued it to the extent that he did.

9.  Every once in a very long while, he completely shocks the shit out of me in the most touching of ways.  My parents mean the world to me, and Huzbo loves the bones of them also.  My dad has had a few health issues in the past few years, and recently has had some pain from one of them.  When the snow began to fall in December, my mother mentioned a few times how she worries about him shovelling their big driveway, and how he now needed to rest in shifts of shovelling.  They live close enough for us to see regularly, but not so close that we can pop over there every time it snows and do their driveway for them.  Two weeks before Christmas, Huzbo says to me “I think we should get your parents a snow blower for Christmas so your dad doesn’t have to hurt himself and strain his health every time it snows.  I’m worried about him.”   This, my friends, is when I fell in love all over again.   Not only was he willing to help pay for the snow blower with my brother and I, but he actually thought of the idea.  Forget flowers  – romance gets redefined when your husband does something so touching for parents that you love dearly.

10.  He loves chocolate.  I didn’t always think this was a great thing, to be honest.  Before I met him, I liked chocolate, but I didn’t LOVE chocolate.  I generally only indulged about every 3.5 weeks or so, if you catch my drift.  But living with a chocolate addict has its advantages.  Like, whenever those cravings hit – I know we have a cupboard FULL of choices that I can choose from to satisfy myself.  What’s not to like about that?

I could add a bunch more here – how he doesn’t mind eating at restaurants regularly, how he allows me extensive input into his wardrobe choices, how he will watch and actually enjoy chick-flicks with me, how he will sit on the couch and let Baby Girl play hair salon with his head for hours – but I think you get the picture.

Don’t get me wrong – he’s not perfect and he’s no angel, at times.  But neither am I.  Which leads me to another thing about him that I love:  he puts up with me, most of the time.

Happy Anniversary, Sweetheart.  It’s been a bumpy 7 year ride, but I’m still glad it’s you.   xoxo

206401_19263835184_2736_n[1]

197089_19263845184_3204_n[1]