The First of Many Embarrassing Moments

The saying “Everything happens for a Reason” is overused for a reason…because it’s true!  During hard times in life, I’ve asked myself in frustration, “What good could possibly come out of this?”.  And then, often times years down the road, I realize why I had to go through it, even if it’s simply because it brings about acceptance and understanding to another soul in a similar situation.  It allows for compassion and empathy.

Even something as simple as taking a job that I didn’t exactly think was glamorous back when I was a teen, instilled life skills that I was able to take to the next job, and to the next, and then finally into the world of Photography that I love today.  I couldn’t have found this career had I not made all those other choices that led me here. And who knows, maybe this career is preparing me for something different in the future that I will find purpose within as well. Life is funny that way.  The future is open and full of opportunities, sometimes one just has to take some chances and veer off the familiar road that is comfortable and second nature.  A wise person once told me to take on the challenges that make you feel the most scared and anxious.  The more scared you are, greater the reason to go for it.

I remember my very first office job, which was my practicum after I finished my office-administration certificate. I showed up bright and early with my eager eyes on.  I tried on several office outfits before settling on one that I felt would show my new employer (who didn’t have to pay me since it was a practicum) that I was professional and I meant business!  Yes I did…I’m now a super serious, efficient, and proficient office worker.

My new boss walked into the building, and I stood off awkwardly to the side, waiting for his hand to be extended so I could firmly shake it. On another note, I believe hand shakes should be firm. There is nothing worse than shaking a feeble hand with no life in it. It always takes me by surprise when I shake a flaccid hand when I’m expecting a strong handshake.

Anywhoooo, I shook his hand firmly and with purpose.  And then…something horrible happened.  Now let me also tell you that this was back when I was “portly” and sported a large set of ta-tas.  It all happened in slow motion.  My bra strap apparently gave up on supporting my large heavy melons, and broke. It not only broke, but it shot out with such force that it hit my new boss on the way out, and to my horror landed on the outside of my super serious office shirt.  We just stood their, holding one another’s hand, although the hand shake came to an abrupt halt.

The weirdest sound escaped my lips.  It was reminiscent of Chewbacca.

I will have to give it to him, he didn’t flinch or even react. He let a few painful seconds pass while my previous eager eyes morphed into horrified-deer-caught-in-the-headlight eyes.  He calmly asked me “Did you want to go home and fix that?”  to which I replied “sorry my bra strap whipped you.”  And on that note, I turned on my heels, and ran home to change.

I returned quite sure that this would be the last of my embarrassing moments. Oh silly girl, I was so wrong. The phone rang while I was on the second floor (which was in the industrial shop part of the building).  Apparently I was the one whose job it was to answer the phones only I didn’t know anything about these fancy office phones.  Rather than put the caller on hold, I just laid the phone down and ran down 1 level to my boss’s office to let him know he had a call. I realized the phone upstairs was still off the hook so I ran as fast as I could up the stairs to hang it up.  If you can believe this, I ran right into some exposed roof ducting and nearly knocked myself out. I saw stars and the impact from my head to ducting brought on a loud thunderous noise that reverberated throughout the whole building.  I blindly crawled to the phone to hang it up, and then I heard my boss at the bottom of the stairs hesitantly say “Oh my, are you alright?” , and my shaky voice replied “Ooh yes! I’m Right as Rain!” What teenager says that, like I stepped out of a scene from the Littlest House on the Prairie. I believe I also took on a British accent.

All of this happened before Noon on the first day of my new super-serious non-paying practicum.  What is the point to this story?  I don’t really have a point, I was just reminded of it while I was typing the first two paragraphs of this super-serious blog post.  It has prepared me for the knowledge that I will continue to embarrass myself often, and my kids will just have to deal with it.

From my heart to yours,


Here’s to Different

I stumbled across this quote today.

“If each man or woman could understand that every other human life is as full of sorrows, or joys, or base temptations, of heartaches and of remorse as his own . . . how much kinder, how much gentler he would be.”
William Allen White

You know those moments in life, when another kind soul shares an encouraging word that you will always remember?  In time, the encourager may not remember the words they’ve shared, but the receiver of encouragement will always remember and treasure those words…locking them forever in their memory to be recalled when they need it most.

Through out the years, I’ve had many of these amazing kind souls share their words of wisdom with me at times when I least expected it and when I needed it most.  One of these amazing souls happens to be my sister Roxy.  She is my second Mother.  She taught me that different is beautiful, and that it takes courage to go against status quo.  She knew who she was early on in life, where as it took me years to figure it out…I’m still figuring it out.  She had the tenacity to stand up for her beliefs.

She raised my little sister and I to love and appreciate music, live theatre, and all facets of the amazing world that is the Arts. A world of colour, imagination, depth, and diversity.  We called ourselves “The Sisters 3 Club” and we used to put on little drama productions for anyone who would watch.  My sisters and I grew up in a small town where the flair for the unique wasn’t always embraced; however, Roxy embraced different and owned it.  I always knew she would grow up to enjoy a life full of the Arts, which she has.

I grew up watching her perform at the Fringe festival, and various other productions she was part of in University. She later went on to be a Drama Instructor guiding those who share an appreciation of the Arts. Today she transforms spaces in homes to reflect who the owner is through interior design. I’m so proud of her.

Her love for the Arts was passed on to me as well and I’ve kept many of the stubs for productions she either took me to, or that she was a part of.

One of the words of wisdom that she shared with me when I was a little girl, has stayed with me to this day, and it’s something I tell my daughter often.  While I can’t remember it verbatim, it went a little something like this….  I asked Roxy “Do you think I look nice in this outfit?”  She looked down at me and replied “Do you think you look nice?” I nodded my little girl head and she followed with “Then that’s all that matters. Wear what you want to wear. Whatever you think is beautiful, is then beautiful.”  The lesson I took from her words in relation to something as insignificant as “what should I wear” is to be the woman I want to be, and Own it.  Even if it’s different…actually, especially if it’s different.

She taught me to believe exactly what one’s heart and soul leads them to believe. The transformation of a belief morphs from a question, to a feeling of peace that comes when one follows the only path that is right for them because it’s their own truth.

So here’s to different…

Here’s to the ability to understand and appreciate others who come with a different point of view from our own. May our understanding come without judgement.

Because different is refreshing, and it not only brings about change, but it can also solidify what you know is your own truth.  That is exactly how we all grow in life.

Thank you Roxy for all you’ve done to influence and inspire me in this crazy ride we call life. I love you.

From my heart to yours,


It’s a Beautiful Life

There have been many times over the past few years that have reminded me to cherish life, but none more powerful than this past month.

The Relay for Life was this past Friday, and I’m still recovering from it! What a night it was full of tears, strength, pride and most importantly HOPE.  Also a night of snow in June!

image Copyright: Canadian Cancer Society

I tried to keep my GPS pedometer on for the entire night but my phone kept running out of batteries; however, it did record 20 KMs of walking!  Thank you for supporting our team with your donations and well wishes.  You can see images from the event on my photography blog by clicking HERE.

Back to perspective….The Relay for Life, and all the people who I’ve met there, have changed my life.  They’ve made such a profound impact on my heart.  Despite the snow and rain, the tone of the night was one of strength and hope.  Every person there who donned a yellow shirt wore it with pride…they are cancer survivors.  They did not walk that first lap with sorrow or sadness, they walked it with huge smiles, exuding the true joy of life with each step.

image Copyright: Canadian Cancer Society

It brings me back to what the gentleman said to me as we were in the waiting room of the Cross Cancer Clinic last week. As I sympathized with him over his cancer diagnosis, he said with a small grin “What’s a person to do? You just have to deal with it and make the most of it.”  He exuded positivity.  It poured out of him with every word and gesture.  He knows what it means to cherish life. He respects life.

We spend far too much time complaining my friends.  We complain when it’s too cold, when it’s snowing, when it’s raining, and then we complain when it’s too hot. But then you meet someone that has nothing to complain about because he’s fighting for his life.  He wakes up each day and is thankful for it.  He appreciates the gift that is life.

Yesterday, I was editing the photos from the Relay for Life. My kids broke out into an argument upstairs and I was growing more annoyed by the second.  Minutes later, I received news from a dear friend that a mutual friend of ours learned that very morning that her young son had Leukemia.  Heart-breaking perspective my friends.  I pray for her and her son in the days to come. That they will find strength and peace through the support they receive, and that he will start his healing today. And I will hug my kids tighter because life is a gift.

The whole point of what I’ve learned this past month isn’t that I want to say in bed with depression. It isn’t that I should be knocked down by life’s harsh blows. It’s that I need to live the best life possible, and to give my kids the best life possible. My Dad returns from his daily Radiation treatment, jumps in his tractor, and feeds his cows. He carries on with a smile and a kind word to all who know him (and even those who don’t!)  I can’t explain to you how proud of him I truly am.

All around me things look differently.  The mundane items I’ve walked by a hundred times, all of sudden have meaning. They tell a story of true life…the love that lives within the every day.

My daughter’s flip-flops, still full of grass, that she literally walked out of to go inside from the afternoon’s backyard play session…

The way my kids sheltered their sidewalk chalk under the patio table so they wouldn’t get rained on…

The pansies that bloomed (despite the snow) that remind me of my Grandma Perkins. Pansies always make me smile when I take the time to appreciate them. They are so intricate and delicate yet hardy and strong (just like my Granny)…

And then I made my kids go outside to get a photo taken on this day when I appreciate them so much.

Lucas and Tessa haven’t grown out of the hugging stage, I hope they never do.  Lukey has always been a little care taker of Tess, and of anyone younger than he is. If you come over with a baby, guaranteed he will ask to hold him/her.

My son Ty was bitten by a dog a few years ago on the side of his nose (I should clarify it wasn’t our dog pictured here! ha ha).  I hoped this scar wouldn’t bother him. Quite the opposite is true, he thinks it makes him “look tough”. He tells his buddies he was attacked by a cougar. 😉 I love the confidence he displays through his actions.

It’s a beautiful life. Life is too short to carry anger, grudges, or to waste time worrying about what you could have or should have.  Live in the now, in the spectacular present.  There is so much to be thankful for.

I remember back when I was a little girl, I dreamed of the day I had my own house, my own career, my own children.  How disappointing it would be to tell the little girl of my youth that I didn’t understand how lucky I am, that I didn’t truly give life the respect it deserves.

Life is meant to be lived with Joy.  Slow down, take it all in. Soak up the love. Take some holidays, enjoy a walk in the park, give more than you take.  Life is busy…yes it is, but sometimes you just have to MAKE the time for what’s truly important.

From my heart to yours,