Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Last Yellowknife post

We're desperately "pre-packing" our house right now. (Yes, I typed "we"!) Although we don't have to pack the house, we do have to separate what we're bringing in the minivan from everything else, and it's a lot of work.

Things are good. We're settling in as a family again. Hubby and I are learning to parent together again, too.

We met Hubby at the airport, signs and banners waving. When he stepped off the plane, I didn't recognize him. He's lost 30 pounds! That was a shock.

It's good to be together again. I missed him desperately.

This will probably be my last post until Victoria.

Goodbye, Yellowknifers! It breaks my heart to leave such wonderful friends. I love you. Know I pray for you.

Come visit!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

M5 W1 D5: Thoughts on my last night alone

I have been alone with my three children for four full months and five days.

Tonight is the last night I will put them to bed on my own in a very long time. The Hubby returns tomorrow.

My feelings are a stew right now, but the stock is certainly gratitude. I'm so grateful to the friends who watched my kids and cooked me meals and cleaned my house. Grateful to my parents for listening to me moan and complain. Grateful to my in-laws (both sets!) who helped me during a tight financial squeeze. And to the staff at the MFRC, who were an unfailing help and support through this, the longest, hardest and most accomplished winter of my parenting life.

To all of you, thank you a million times over. Please give me a chance to return the favour; call me anytime you need a hand.

And thank you, God, for giving all these beautiful people to me as my family and friends.

As for the other feelings floating in that stock? Excitement, certainly, and elation. But also some nervousness and fear. Will we fit back together as a family easily, or will we squabble and fight? How has he changed? How have we? Can I let go? Will the kids be royally ticked off and show it? I'm expecting the worst, but hoping for better; after all, we have a very long drive ahead of us.

If you're the praying type, drop one for us tomorrow, will ya?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

M5 W1 D2: To my mother


Although you are an entire country away, you have been my rock and strength these past two years.

In the midst of your own health concerns and worries, you pulled me through mine.

In the midst of your own concerns this winter, you helped me face four months alone with three small children.

You listened. You let me cry. You gave me encouragement and advice and sometimes a verbal spank.

And you did it all over phone lines and through computer screens.

I have always admired your strength, your fierce will, the way you raised us.

Thank you for my childhood. Thank you for still mothering me as an adult. Thank you for refusing to be my friend, and insisting on being my mother.

I love you very much.

Happy Mother's Day.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

M4 W4 D4: The adultness of life

I was a very sensitive child. Oversensitive, really. I always had intense emotions. I was wildly happy, deeply sad, overwhelmingly hurt. I also had an uncanny ability to sense a person's true mood, even when they were faking another one.

This was not easy on my parents. I was always bursting into tears about something, out of sadness or happiness. I realize now it must have been intensely stressful.

A. is the same way. His goldfish died on the same day that we sold the tank of tropical fish (angelfish, a gourami, and sundry others. Yes, we had two tanks of fish!) Losing all of his pets on the same day was just too much for his little heart to bear, and he sobbed about it for 20 minutes, curled in my lap. Then he looked at me and said, "Loving is hard, Momma."

Oh yes, it is hard. A.'s first lesson in the adultness of life: Loving is hard.

I've been watching that happen around me this month. Friends struggling with love and family and loss.

A family that attends our church lost a son to suicide this week. My heart is broken for them. How inexpressibly awful. And yet they pray and hope and struggle to work through this grief. My admiration for them knows no bounds, as well as my sadness for their son and for the disease that took him from us.

I've also been watching three sets of friends struggle with married love. I'll say no more about that here, except I love them all and am praying for them.

In my own family, my grandmother saw her heart doctor in the past two weeks, and was greatly relieved she would not need another heart operation. But my mom and I want to shake her because she would have been fine if she'd listened to her doctor rather than a cab driver. The doctor told her to take her meds. The cabbie told her not to. She listened to the cabbie. So now she is on a much "tougher" drug for life.

One of my life's mentors, a childhood friend of my father's, is very very sick again. His cancer has returned, and he's too sick and weak for chemo. This man has now had cancer three times in his life. I'm praying for a miracle at this point. His mother's prayers produced one when he was a teenager. He is one of the kindest people to ever walk the Earth, and we will all have lost something if he leaves us early.

Loving is hard.

And yet, with all this, my life continues with its busyness and happiness. I have always felt deeply, but then the feelings move on. Happiness is never really far. I wonder if I am essentially shallow.

But then I remember the quote another blogquantance recently posted, from Albert Camus: "In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."

I have always had that invincible summer. God willing, I hope I never, ever lose it.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

M4 W3 D6: The big dates

It's all official.

I'm having a massive garage sale Saturday, May 12, 8 to noon.

Hubby arrives home Thursday, May 17 (two weeks.)

We leave for Victoria in our minivan the early morning of Saturday, May 26.

Our house is for sale -- anyone want to buy a house in Yellowknife?

And now the roller coaster ride begins.

Hands in the air, people!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

M4 W3 D5: The big news

Acting Sub-Lieut. Hubby called tonight. I am happy to announce he has signed a lease on a personal married quarters, or PMQ, for our family. For you civvies, that's a house.

And what a house! Four bedrooms, a front yard, a back yard, living room, dining room, kitchen. Only one bathroom, but who cares! It sounds like an enormous palace to me!

For those of you who do not know me in real life, Hubby, the three children and I live in a single wide trailer with two bedrooms and a small addition. The computer nook and the front porch/mud room comprise the addition. There is a small square of grass in the front and a small rectangle on the side.

The new house is two streets away from the public school in which I have already enrolled A. It is a brand new school, and I can walk him there every day. It is also close to the MFRC, where Little I. will be attending pre-school twice a week.

There is a maple in the front yard and little flowers poking up through the grass.

Hubby is finalizing the details of his moving leave, so I can't post much about that until tomorrow. However, the children and I will see him very, very soon. And then we will be headed to our new home.

The final lump of sugar in this sweet news: We will be in Victoria in time to see one of my "sisters" marry the love of her life.

"Rejoice to the LORD always, and again I say rejoice!"

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

M4 W3 D3: Size eight and other amazing moments

On Monday's weigh-in, I met a new weight-loss goal: 20 pounds lost. Whoopeee! My reward to me is some new clothes, so Baby N. and I went shopping this morning while the boys hung out at the MFRC.

Having lost 20, I expected to go down in size. However, I was realistic: I'd been squeezing myself into size 13/14 pants and XL shirts before Weight Watchers. I expected to be a size 10 and a L shirt, and I was very excited about that.

I arrived at Reitman's (the only decent store in town that caters to women who are not teenagers, whippet thin and/or rich) and picked a bunch of size 10s and L shirts off the racks.

I tried on a large T-shirt and size 10 jeans, very excitedly noticing how easily they zipped. I looked in the mirror. The jeans were TOO BIG. So was the shirt.

I started to cry a little bit. The saleslady asked if I was okay. I turned to her and said, "I have been overweight since I was 19 years old. I started WW 2 months ago and have lost 20 lbs. This is the first time I've bought clothes and a 10 is too big."

She looked at me, smiled and said, "I knew the 10 and the large were too big when I hung them for you. I was wondering why you chose them. You still see the old you, but honey, I see you as you are, and you are a size 8 and a medium shirt."

I cried a bit more, and she gave me a big hug and went looking for clothes in the right sizes.

I bought two pairs of size 8 jeans and five size medium shirts. They all fit perfectly.

I was hoping I'd hit a size 8 at the end of my journey. Looks like I will really be a 6/7. I haven't worn those sizes since high school.

I came home and calculated my body mass index, or BMI. It's 25, which is the highest end of "normal, healthy weight."

I am no longer obese. I am no longer even overweight. I am NORMAL.

I am in shock.


There is some very exciting stuff happening on the Big Move front, but I can't say anything about it until tomorrow night. Things will be more final then.

Hubby is in Victoria, busting his butt to get himself settled and our nest ready. More info tomorrow night!