Monday, November 24, 2014

I Want

I want warm hands
I want to wear my heart on my sleeve and not feel ashamed that I do
I want to feel the anticipation and thrill of a first kiss and not the sadness of a last one
I want to wake up and watch him sleep...
I want to love with recklessness
I want paint and glue on my hands
I want to feel kindred
I want to smell him and know his scent is meant for me
I want little children kisses and little children hugs
I want to hold hands
I want to reach out and touch
I want to give compliments with confidence
I want hugs
I want to feel alive and awake
I want to sit in the ocean and admire it's beauty
I want my beauty to be defined by me
I want to lay in bed and listen to the rain
I want to love and protect and treasure this skin I am in
I want to sing loudly and joyfully
I want hands on my bare back
I want to be seen, all my perfection and imperfection
I want to be me

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

In Rememberance

We called him Poppa with the funny shoe. He had nicotine stained fingers, large glasses and he loved to garden.

His attestation papers describe him as having a fair complexion, brown hair and blue eyes, 5 feet 11.

He was 19 when he signed up in 1917 according to his war records. As a rural boy, whom was needed to help his mother and brothers run the farm, it was not expected that he enlist. In fact none of his brothers did until after George signed up. His older brother Lynden followed him into service in 1918.

George Thomas Jenings
He was gassed over there. My Nana says that every winter he had a chest infection. Colds settling into the scars he came home with. He was one of the lucky ones. He came home. His brother Lynden died of Influenza before being able to come home.

He had 4 children, my Nana the youngest, lots of Grandchildren, lots and lots of Great Grandchildren and now Great Great Grandchildren.

Dad, Nana, Me, Poppa Jenings,Patti and Danny.
He loved gadgets. The family farm had a Delco plant (a generator) long before the electric lines were brought out.

He loved to dance with my Great Nana. She would close her eyes and allow George to lead her.

He fancied himself a handy man. Because he was a lefty he always hooked up the hot and cold water backwards. Once he had hot water running in the toilet.

My most vivid memory of him: is of him in the hospital following hip surgery (not his first and also why he had to wear a raised shoe). I was between 6 and 8 and I was with my Uncle Dave -whom was visiting from university- and Poppa Jenings wanted to show Uncle Dave his incision. He lifted the sheet and beckoned Uncle Dave over. I was to stand on my side of the bed, it was not for young ladies to see. I got the impression that my Uncle Dave didn't really want to see it and I felt that the incision was wasted on him. I really wanted to see it. I thought of him the first time I ever had to remove staples from a hip incision.

He spent many winters in Florida. He was my first miracle, he'd had a stroke when away one year and I prayed that he would live and he did, for many years after. He died when he was 96.

In a way he fought so that I could travel all over the world,so that my sister Katie could spend a year in Spain. He fought for peace, he fought for choice. In a way he fought so I could go to nursing school, so I could own my own home, so I could have the choice to have a baby on my own  if I wanted.

Today I remember him. Today I remember them.

Me and Poppa Jenings

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Wave

I have wanted to share my experience at Serendipity but have been struggling to find the words. How do you explain a truly magical wondrous experience to someone who wasn’t there?

I arrived to the Outer Banks after a 15hour drive in the rain and I could immediately feel a change, a change in me, also as if I was arriving to another world.
Nags Head, NC


There are no words to explain the Outer Banks to someone whom has never been there. No words would do it justice.

No words to explain Serendipity either. Beautiful souls gathering together to explore themselves, support each other and eat way too much lovingly prepared food. Loud moments and quiet ones.
One of the amazing beach houses we stayed in.

I had the honour to get to cry with and laugh with and cheer and sing with and encourage some amazing women.
Our prayer banner.

I, a non-writer was called to take a writing class and I found out that I have a voice and that my love is huge, intense, magical and amazing. My stories are worth sharing.

I was excited for the new beginnings I was getting to have. The new job waiting for me when I got home. The boy I was falling in love with. The prologue I had just written. (YOU GUYS I WROTE A PROLOGUE!) The new friendships I was making.

I got to spend the day painting, and gluing, and cutting with a good friend. And I got to witness a small part of her new beginning. And it is amazing and a long time coming, she writes about some of it here.
This beautiful soul is Melody Ross!

On our last night together I stood in a room full of women that were all still new to me and felt like I belonged. A feeling I don’t get to have very often. I felt seen and I saw and I loved them all anyway.

I left there feeling looked after and so very grateful.

On our first night together and our last night together Michelle and Jen spoke about how re-entry might be difficult and I put it off for as long as I could.

I traveled to nearby Wilmington, via the lost colony of Roanoke.
Where is the colony?
I found the spot were Nathan gave Haley the Cracker Jack bracelet.
"Don't say I never gave you anything."
I imagined myself on the Rivercourt.
It use to be here.
I walked across Lucas’ bridge.
"I don't wanna be anything other than what I've been trying to be lately."
I heard ghost stories.

Is that an orb in that cemetery?
I caught a wave, then caught another wave.
A tired wet suit and surf board.

Look at those waves!
I visited a huge Antebellum mansion.
Bellamy Mansion
Gained more freckles.
I love my selfie.

On my way home I stumbled across a TAPS memorial, stood on the banks to the James River and cried as the bugle played.
On the banks of the James River.

Pebble beach.

I spent a whole day driving, itching to get my hands on a certain boy.

I came home excited about what the world had in store for me.

But my re-entry was not what I expected it to be. I did not arrive home to my guy waiting for me. I still didn’t know when my new job would start (not until the New Year apparently). And not a single Elsa came to my house on Hallowe’en night.

When I did connect with said guy, it did not go how I had hoped. He didn’t want to be with me and it wasn’t my fault. In fact he thought I was amazing and when I said maybe love wasn’t meant for me, he told me he knew for sure that it was, I loved so well and so easily. But he wasn’t ready and it wasn’t fair to me. And he held me while I cried and told me I was safe. He showed me how much love he had to give, quite and gentle and amazing. It occurs to be that my love is not meant for him, his not meant for me.

In order to honour how much I could have loved him I know that I have to let him go but I have spent most of the last week in yoga pants and cozy sweaters, feeling numb or crying at the drop of a hat. Feeling paralyzed. Worrying that there was something wrong with me. This was not how it was suppose to be.

Then my new amazing friend Kate posted this photo on her blog.
(Photo credit the amazing talented Kate Inglis)

It’s me sitting in the ocean looking out at the waves, looking like a regular pin-up girl (her words not mine). What you can’t see in this photo is that shortly before it was taken I had gotten knocked over by a huge wave (even Kate didn’t know that when she snapped this pic). It dragged me across the ocean floor but it did not pull me under. It did not even leave me paralyzed. I sat there and admired the beauty of it, the vastness of the ocean. I sat there like I meant to sit there and was not merely knocked over.

I have been knocked over by a huge wave and I have been allowing it to pull me under. I have not been admiring the beauty of it. The new beginning of a swelling wave, I’ve only been able to see the crash of the surf. This allows the man whom is meant for my huge, intense, magical amazing love to enter my life. So I think I’ll just sit a while and admire the view, the ocean is ever changing, you never know which waves will knock you over or which ones will allow you to catch them. The trick is to not get pulled under. Sitting here in the ocean, I get the feeling that anything can happen and I’m ready for it.

 (disclaimer: posted with permission of said boy, I am not in the business of hurting people)


Tuesday, July 15, 2014


I haven't been blogging much (though I did write this for The Brave Girl Post about deciding I was worth fighting for) because I have been focused on a photography challenge called 100happydays. The object of the challenge was to take a photo of something that makes you happy and share it everyday for 100 days. Is it possible to be happy everyday for 100 days? The answer is YES! Though sometimes they were moments, more than days.

Even though I am an optimist, have a bubbly personality and smile most of the time, I have the tendency to dwell and worry. So this was a perfect challenge for me. A reminder that there is something to be happy about everyday. A co-worker put it well; "Yes, there is something to be happy about everyday, even if that is only that you woke up breathing today. " That doesn't mean there won't be bad days, I had a number of them while I did this challenge, a couple of them really bad. I found that it was helpful to look towards the happy, even if just for a moment.

Sometimes this challenge was difficult; what do you take a photo of when you have spent 12 hours at work today? Even if something happy happened at work - like, an old man sing show tunes to me after his surgery- I couldn't, because of the nature of confidentiality, post them. And what about after night shifts? Sometimes, even on days off, I had to think about what I was going to post. Apparently, I'm capable of making my own happiness and it is most often small simple things. I'm not as hard to please as I thought. Most of my photos can be placed in 10 categories.

Day 51. May 20th. Yummy Beignets. #100happydays #musicandslavesvaction #livingalifethatsgood — at Cafe Beignet at Music Legends Park
Day 69. Heidi's Bridal Shower. I love this girl, I have loved her since that day in Live Fit and she asked me to be her partner and introduced me to the Backstreet Boys. She was my very first friend when we moved to KW, so it's not surprising that she has made some amazing girlfriends since we met. In a month she will marry the man she has waited her whole life for, the man we dreamed about when we were teenagers. I am so excited for her and I'm really excited for Paul too. Because I know that Heidi was worth waiting for too. #100happydays #worthwaitingfor

Day 68. Spackle, not just for drywall. #100happydays #BraveGirlArtSchoolWings

Day 94. I got a two hour cuddle with my sweet smelling brand new nephew, Thomas. #100happydays #Ilovethisboy #loveatfirstsight

Day 63. Kate Morton might be my favourite author right now. Her books are lengthy (but under 500 pages, so therefore trust worthy) but can be read quickly, mostly because you can't stop. The ending to this one nearly made me gasp. #100happydays #KateMorton

Throwback Thursday
Day 81. Throw back Thursday. My Nana, my Dad, my Great Poppa, Patti, Danny and me. After a long day at work this photo makes me smile. I clearly dressed myself. And apparently as a little girl I was always cold, some things never change. #100happydays #tbt

My garden
Day 61. It is amazing how much can change in two short weeks. Before I left for holidays, my lilac trees looked like sticks, now they are in full bloom. #100happydays #lovespringflowers

Day 24. White tea and a good book is how I relax after a day shift. #100happydays #TedDekker #relax #newteamugs
Day 53. May 22nd. Old school syringes Can you imagine using these? #100happydays #musicandslavesvacation

Day 39. Yesterday's photo. A boy and his guitar. If you have known me a long time, you know that I will forever be on Team Nick. When he pulled out his guitar to play Incomplete, I almost started to cry. He has had some demons to face and it was amazing to see him happy and healthy! So proud of this Brave Dude. Plus guys and guitars are hot. #100happydays #teamnick #KTBSPA

This challenge also helped my photography skills, as I learned to look at items from different perspectives and use different settings. I also learned how to take a selfie. 

I was surprised by the feedback I received. My Aunt Shirley told me how much she loved my positive outlook. Other friends told me how much they enjoyed seeing what I would post each day. I did this for me, not realizing the impact it would have on others. 100happydays is a game changer. Do it for yourself, but I bet you'll brighten someone else's day too.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013 a year in review.

I remember how hopeful I felt at the beginning of last year. I was going to spend the year counting my blessings, my word for the year was going to be SPARKLE. I really felt like this was it, I was finally the girl GOD intended me to be and since I was that girl now then that guaranteed me my most wished for wish, the beginnings of a family of my own. But GOD had other plans for me this year, some of those plans, I have no idea what he was thinking, but some of those plans were truly amazing.

I did spend the first part of the year counting my blessings; my siblings, my parents, my Nana, my Grandma, my cousins, my friends, music, books, the Backstreet Boys, hot chocolate,first kisses in the snow. I decided to take some palliative care/oncology courses ( I completed 3). Brave Girls offered an art class online, so I participated in that. My niece learned how to say my name. My book club had some great discussions. I was dating!

Then I started to fall for a guy whom never intended to fall for me. Actually that's not really a fair statement, the truth is we weren't on the same page. He wanted something that I wasn't prepared to give and I wanted something that he was not even close to being ready to give to ANYONE. He saw that a little sooner than me, which meant that I got rejected and felt defeated. Soon things that I was capable of doing, like cutting the grass, living alone, cooking for one, felt like big huge deals. Was there something wrong with me?? I asked myself and my mom, on more than one occasion. To say that this coloured huge chunks of my year, would be an understatement. It would mean that I would have to go to my brother's wedding alone and that made me really sad. It would mean no slow dancing at that wedding either. It would mean no one to travel with. It would mean that no one would see me for who I REALLY was. It hurt a lot and it still stings just a bit, if I think about it for too long. This is the part of GODS plan that I can't see why it even happen yet. Someday soon I hope I will.

But I did what a Brave Girl does and I did it anyway. I worked on my art, I worked on my courses, I went to bridal showers, I planned trips, I cooked meals, went to yoga, cut the grass, went to work, got out of bed, smiled, shopped, crafted, sang, went to church and hugged even though my heart wasn't always in it. My new word became FORTATUDE.

I did have to go to my brother Dan's wedding alone but I got to walk down the aisle with my fave person, my niece Lexi, because she didn't want to walk with anyone else. I got to slow dance with my brother Tim and Lexi to Kenny Rogers "The Gambler."

I got to spend the summer with my brother Tim b/c he came home from school to work at the marina even though that wasn't in his plan but I'm so happy he did.

I participated in GISHWHES with an old friend. Toast for underwear, is very uncomfortable, in case you wanted to know. :)

I went on an amazing solo trip to my happy place, Manitoulin Island. I was so at peace there. I learned First Nations crafts, made bannock, spent a lovely evening talking with a woman who feeds herself and her partner all year from her garden, stayed at Meldrum Bay Inn (a place I have wanted to stay in since I was a little girl), swam, read, explored every Island Museum and talk to lots and lots of people. It is not something I will soon forget.

I made a new friend and we stayed friends even after I puked all over her car on our first short road trip.

I joined a new choir in town and sang my heart out!

I am learning self care and have discovered podcasts.

I travelled 3536km to Idaho for Brave Girls camp, all by myself. I saw snow in Wyoming, a huge Lincoln head, visited a Holocaust Museum, stopped in to see some Mormons, learned a lot about how the west was settled, visited the largest truck stop in the world, spent a morning in small town USA, went to an aviation museum and so much more. And when I arrived in Boise my Brave Girl sisters were waiting for me. And they SAW me for who I really am. I was so loved on and continue to get loved on my them. The BGC staff and the women that I feel so blessed to have met, have changed my life. I miss them everyday. It was okay that I cried. They loved that I was the first to meals just because I was happy not to have had to cook it myself.  They loved my rendition of "If I had a million dollars." They hugged me. They cried with me, as I cried with them. I was meant to be there, even if I had to make that journey alone. And I can't wait to go back!!

I went to hear my fave author Ted Dekker speak and then I talked to him! I flirted a little with the band who opened for him.

I started my Arbonne business. I get to work with my cousin's wife. We get to do facials for people and talk about a fantastic product. For me it's not about the money at all but for the new friendships I have made. I always thought I didn't make friends easily but that's not true at all. I can't wait to meet all the people that Arbonne will put in my path. We are going to have so much fun!!

This year my word is TRUST. Trust that I'll be okay. Trust myself. Trust that GOD has a wonderfully fantastic plan for me. Trust that guys wont always break my heart, b/c one day one wont. Trust that he will show up when the time is right. Trust that someday I will have a family of my own. Trust that whatever I want to do, I can. Trust.

Happy New Year!!