Thursday, October 31, 2013


Wow my not-so-little girl, you are 8! Where did the year go? You made it through the first grade with ease, making friends, working dutifully, and participating in the school talent show. You decided to do a karate routine and you were fantastic! You joined the chess club, switched to karate with Ben, continued your swimming lessons, and started piano, and you wanted to do even more, but Momma is tired. Your energy is boundless at times, and you are always talking, making up and telling stories to me, your brother, and sometimes just to yourself and your toys in your room. One day you will be writing all these down, but for the moment they come out as performance art and I am always surprised by your imagination. Your artwork is definitely your own as well and I love to look at what you create and the fearlessness with which you draw your world.

You have many friends now, your outgoing nature and exuberance draws people in. Your best friend is still your brother though, and the way that you play and argue and discuss and negotiate always makes me smile. You know each other better than any other person in this world, and I hope that it is always this way.

We  had so much fun this year, museums, biking, parks, hiking. Our favourite week was at a cottage where you learned to kayak and steer a paddle boat and we rode our bikes and got up late at night and watched the stars. You caught a toad our first day and on our last you caught a snake and carried him around for over an hour. By the end, you'd let him go on the grass and he'd return because he liked you and your warm hands.

You are starting to read more now and your love affair with books grows stronger. You long to read novels and soon there will be nothing in your way and then every story in the world will be yours. I am so excited for you, because I know how much you want to live in books. You hang on every word I read you and remember details from Harry Potter that I can't remember.

I love the person you are and the way that you see the world, you see beauty in a spiderweb lit by the sun and the mud spatters on the side of the car, you trace a heart on the frost on the window and marvel at the random patterns that exist everywhere. I see the world in an even more beautiful way because of you.

And even though your life can be a bit too dramatic at times and we are not always in agreement (I dread your teens), in the end we always manage a hug and an apology, which is important because never want you to doubt that I am always on your side, even when it may not be obvious to you.

And you still creep into my bed some nights and cuddle up with me and fall back to sleep, just because you can.
I love you so much little Noo, nothing can change that, and I am so damn proud of everything that you do.
All my love,

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Ben, you are ten today and you have been anxiously awaiting your new age for weeks. I am still shaking my head in amazement that my little boy is now in the double digits. 
You are still very much a Lego fanatic, although now your play is more about fighting orcs and toilet humour, preferably at the same time. It had to happen eventually...
You continue to be the kindest and most generous soul that I know. You would give your last treasure to your sister without question if she asked, or sometimes just to make her happy. You delight in making people smile and you spread joy freely. You remember to tell people every day that you love them and give them hugs. A while back we were getting ready to leave the house, and in the hustle and bustle I noticed that you had stopped moving and were just staring at me. When I asked what was the matter, you said, “Sometimes I look at you just because I love you”. My heart exploded right there on the spot. Karate and swimming lessons continue, and now we have added piano. You have taken to music very naturally and I was bursting with pride when you played at the school talent show. You never complain about practising and you love the feeling of the keys and experimenting with sounds and tempo. 
You continue to progress at school, slowly but surely. You love to read comics and write your own stories. Your art is fantastic and creative and shows your enthusiasm for making. You love to venture out and see and discover. This year, we ran a 12k for charity, pretty amazing! You also conquered your bike last summer, so now we can explore on two wheels. I feel your confidence rise with every independent step you take as the months go zooming by. 
And yet you still request a cuddle every morning, and it is still my favourite time of the day. 
Your inner light is still the most dazzling, brilliant glow of any little boy I know, and I am so proud you are mine.
Happy birthday Benny,

Monday, May 20, 2013


 [My words, barely choked out at the gathering after the burial, my hands shaking so hard I could barely hold the paper I wrote it on. Goodbye Dad, I love you.]

My dad had big life.

I was trying to think of a story that sums up my life with my father, but there isn't one, just memories of the countless journeys, and places we discovered by car, truck, camper, boat, snowmobile, and feet - journeys that took us across Canada and from the far north of the United States to the farthest south. Where ever we went, it was more than the journey, it was what we did when we got there. It was the people we met, the things we learned, and the fences we climbed under that were the true adventure. My father instilled in me that love of the journey, the need to break the rules to get to the good stuff, and he taught me the importance of the connections that are made between people.

My father could talk to anyone. It was his greatest skill in life. He could find common ground and laughter and friendship everywhere. My dad loved people, and his honesty and openness drew people to him. I think that we can all agree that dad had a great sense of humour and that he loved to share his stories - the mouse on the string, the time he owned a monkey, eating lemons in front of a trumpet player, the list of prankster tales and laughing at his own mistakes could fill several books, and he told them all so well. He taught me that in order to make friends, you must share yourself truthfully, and playfully, with the world.

My father followed his dreams. It was never a case of if he could do something, but how he was going to do it. His first journey to Alaska was made solo in a VW Beetle from Quebec. He crossed Canada and made it up an unpaved Al-Can highway, found a job, a place to live, and sent the plane tickets for mom and me. That kind of courage only comes from a very special person. And luckily he found a partner in his life who was equally courageous and capable so they could live their dreams together.

My father taught me that I can do anything in this world, and that has been invaluable.

His life was a wonderful story, and I want to thank everyone in Dad's life for being part of it.

Friday, March 15, 2013


"When one is carried away, the other must hold back to create a balance."
    -Ana├»s Nin

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Heart of glass

“Life is short and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are traveling the dark journey with us. Oh be swift to love, make haste to be kind.”

Henri-Frederic Amiel

I saw this on a Facebook post today, and I cannot think of a better sentiment for the day set aside for love.
XOX everyone!

Tuesday, January 01, 2013


It’s the beginning of the new year, so it’s time for resolutions and reflections. When I woke up this morning, I thought the following:
I am happy to be waking up in a warm bed, in a cozy dwelling. I am not hungry, I am not sick, I am alive and I can see the sunlight on the trees and the snow outside, making them sparkle. I have two beautiful children who dazzle me with their growing and person-ness. I have family who loves me and tries to take care of me. I have a few friends, just enough, who support me and love me in everything I do. I have a mind that thinks and creates and dreams and loves impossibly beautiful things.
Everything that I need or I want in this world is possible for me to grasp.
I am so very fortunate.
I just need to remember, and truly believe that. That is my resolution for this year. I will believe that I am fortunate, that I am beautiful just the way that I am. I will do the things that make me happy, and work from a sense of purpose rather than a sense of duty. I will believe in my friends’ dreams and cheer them on as they climb. I will listen more. I will encourage my children and try to be the example. I will be my heart, I will listen to it and appreciate that it is unique and crazy and marvelous.
And I will try to ignore the parts of me, and the parts of others, who tell me different.
All the best for 2013. It will be a good year :-)