Tuesday, September 30, 2014

{today sucked}

I dropped a steak knife on my big toe today. It sliced right through the toenail and stuck into me and I bled onto the floor. It hurt so much that I didn't feel anything at all for a solid minute. And then I felt it.

I still feel it. 

It happened right before I went to the grocery store and realized (after all of my food was rung up and bagged) that my debit card was not in my wallet. Which would've been fine except that Sobeys has this rule that you can't take the food out of the store without paying for it first.

I thought to myself: I need a nap. I will nap when Sullivan naps this afternoon.

And Sullivan thought to himself: I'm not going to take a nap this afternoon. 

This is most likely what they meant when they said that when it rains it pours. And, hey, that just so happens to be the perfect metaphor for today because on my way from the grocery store to the car, the skies opened up and drenched me with the fury of a thousand Super Soaker water guns.

I know it's only 8:45 pm, but I'm going to crawl into bed, watch the entire first season of Family Matters and eat cookies. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014


Barclay was out of town this past weekend so my little sister, Elise, came down for a two-night sleepover. Two reasons this was awesome:

1. I'm a grown woman with the alone-in-the-dark tolerance, imagination, and rationalization skills of a three year-old. It's so, so pathetic. It doesn't make very much sense at all that having another girl in the house with me could possibly make me any safer than if I were here by myself - as though burglars and bad guys and boogeymen have a rule about not breaking into houses with two or more adult occupants or something. But it works for me.

2. Elise is headed off to Haiti to volunteer at an orphanage for a little while and I won't see her until Christmas.

So we had a girls weekend. We went to the mall and the farmer's market with Karlie and her girls and we hit up the thrift store just the two of us. She taught me how to make tortillas and we watched Roman Holiday, and we played Ruzzle and had French Toast. And of course I took her to the Science Centre to see the giant animatronic dinosaurs they have there because that's just the kind of thing you take your little sister to see, even if she is actually a grown woman.

She's five years younger than me, Elise is. So even though she's an adult, I guess, it's still pretty weird for me to open the front door and see her standing there, all alone. I always want to pull her in by her shoulders and shake her a little and yell, "DO MOM AND DAD KNOW WHERE YOU ARE? WHAT COULD YOU POSSIBLY BE THINKING, DRIVING ALL THE WAY UP HERE ALL BY YOURSELF?"

But she doesn't even live with Mom and Dad anymore. That's weird too. She has a job and an apartment and a car, and she knows how to make really great tortillas from scratch.

It's terrifying. Not the tortillas part, the little-sister-growing-up part.

The everyone-growing-up part. The stuff-changing part. The deepening-lines-in-my-face part and the my-baby-isn't-really-a-baby-anymore part. This morning, I glanced over to where I'd left Sullivan on the floor playing with his trucks and he was standing there with just one hand on the fridge, blinking at me like he wasn't sure what had happened. I stood there blinking right back at him because I wasn't sure either.

Weren't you just born?

I feel like I've been lamenting the passing of time a lot lately. So instead of ending this post with a melodramatic plea to life to slow down for a hot second, I'm going to focus on the fact that the present is actually quite nice; this weekend was nice, seeing the people I love grow and change and thrive is nice, and life in general, as it is right now, is nice also. I guess I'm kind of a rearview mirror type of person, but I'd like to look around and ahead more, lest I miss this amazing scenery whizzing past my window.

So cheers to the breakneck speed of the minutes and the hours. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

{married to amazement}

I went to visit Theresa on Friday. She was waiting for me in her sun porch with a bowl of grapes and a plate of lemon cake and some peppermint tea. She was smiling widely when she opened the door and pulled me in, but her eyes were full of bright tears.

If you've met her, then you know that Theresa is a woman with dazzling fireworks for emotions - they explode out of her in vibrant colours, popping and cracking and lighting up everything around her. It's a wonderful thing, and it makes her the perfect person to watch a sad movie with or to tell some good news to. She is one who has mastered the art of sharing joy and not covering up sadness.

She dabbed at her eyes with the backs of her hands as she ushered me in and said, "I've been reading a poem. It's so beautiful. Let me read it to you."

I have never been one to turn my nose up at a good poem.

So I sat in the chair across from her and she picked up Volume One of Mary Oliver's New and Selected Poems and began.

"I won't read you the whole thing; it's not a very happy theme (it's about death), but I just love this part. Oh, have some cake, too. Listen to these words. They're just beautiful; I'm probably going to cry again." She rolled her eyes and sniffled, smiling, "Um - here:

When it's over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement
I was the bridegroom taking the world into my arms

A bride married to amazement. Isn't that just so beautiful?" 

As I watched her read, so excited to share the words she'd found with me because she knew I'd appreciate them the same way she had, I felt my smile slowly stretching over my face like the beams of sunlight that crept across the floor at my feet. Because the poem seemed to be describing her better than I ever could. Her eyes were shimmering and her voice was quavery and she leaned forward as though leaning into the book, leaning into the words, sharing them with me like a very good secret. 

We spent the afternoon in her sun porch, talking about books and music and summer and fall and people and life, but it was filtered through Mary Oliver and tea and sunlight. I left with those three lines running through my mind and feeling so happy to have friends who continually remind me to be unabashedly spellbound and emotional and excited about life, who suck me into their enchantment and out of the everyday.

Like the bride in the poem and like Theresa.

Thursday, September 11, 2014


I don't like Katy Perry, but I think I heard her song Dark Horse in the mall or something yesterday. I had it in my head all day. And last night, I dreamt that I made this meme thing about it. So this morning, while eating breakfast and listening to U2's new album (which I actually quite liked, and which features Lykke Li, of all people, on a track) I made the dream meme in real life.

And what are internet memes for if not for sharing on the internet? Here:

So, I don't know, a glimpse into my psyche.

While I had the Photoshop up and running, I pasted Barclay's face into an old staff picture of the company he's working for now (he switched jobs around the same time Van was born) and sent it to his boss. It's their cover picture on Facebook now, so I guess I'm really good at Photoshop. You can hire me, if you want.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

{more so}

It's raining, and Sullivan is sleeping. I should be sleeping too, since I haven't slept for more than an hour in a row at all this week, day or night. But it's raining, and Sullivan is sleeping. It's probably a bad decision--I am the queen of those--but I just want to sit here by this open window and enjoy this weather and this music and even this weird brain fog. It all fits together so nicely, it would be a shame to waste it.

Yesterday, I saw a yellow leaf, and all at once it felt like summer was over, even though it's technically not yet. I smiled to myself. Last time this year was when I actually started feeling--and looking--pregnant. I'd spent the summer feeling sick and not telling anyone why. Moving to a new house and making plans. Mostly feeling nervous and silly because my pregnancy felt like a joke I was playing on myself. There was no evidence that a baby would ever sleep in the room I'd picked to be his nursery or wear the tiny sailboat cardigan I'd found.

And then suddenly, there were yellow leaves on the ground and tiny little baby kicks like Pop Rocks in my belly and everything felt crazy real. I was excited and terrified and so, so thankful.

I'm still feeling all of those things a year later. Just more so.

I hate winter, but I love fall. I'm ready for more days like this, sitting in a fog by the window listening to music and thinking about the past and the present and the future and sometimes nothing at all.