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Posts Tagged ‘family’

The Door

We have been looking for a screen door for the back, upstairs entrance to our house. Something solid, with a screen at the top, and some character to it. The door we have currently is a simple and metal with a window that does its job but lets very little light and fresh air in.

Our first stop was where every home owner goes when they want to take home improvements into their own hands, Home Depot. This was not my suggestion, I hate the Depot. I do not like the colour orange and I live for a bargain.

I have never found a bargain in the Depot.

After looking at their doors and discovering that I was right and the Home Depot may not be the place to purchase our items we changed directions and sought out a home based carpenter.

The person we were aware of had a business out of his garage, which is very normal in our area, and sold solid pine front a back doors, these are not ready for pick up, they are ordered and made. We met with him and discussed parameters, cost, time frame, and bargained with him a bit.

Okay I bargained with him.

I was satisfied, somewhat, with the deal we got but when I returned to the car with the baby I felt like I hadn’t gotten the best deal I could have.

He and Brian arrived a few minutes later and he commented on our car.

“Wow! Mazda 3, nice car, you guys must not do too bad eh?!”

Was he comparing my lifestyle to this car?

“Oh, this is a rental, this isn’t my car.”

His stare shifted from me to Brian. Brian then offered that I purchased a Volkswagen.

“Huh. Another great car. You guys really aren’t doing bad at all.”

I could feel myself getting angry. Who was this guy? He had no idea how “well” we were doing and if we were doing “well” at all. I hadn’t disclosed how much I make or how many bills we have, he simply assumed based on my rental vehicle and then my purchased car.

Was this why he didn’t lower the price of the door much? Because he believed we made “enough.”

I discussed my thoughts with Brian on the way home and my frustration with the way people perceive others just by their clothing, vehicles, or house.

I’m thankful that I rarely allow myself to do this and have learned through my line of work that you never know what someone else has or is going through. Someone may be driving a BMW, work for a multi-million dollar company but be in millions of dollars of dept and be terribly unhappy, or they might work two nights a week at a restaurant and have thousands in savings but shop frugally and drive a 1990 cavalier.

You never know.

And you know what?

It’s none of your business.

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Let's BEE Friends

*SLAM*

"I HATE YOU!"

My bedroom door hit its frame so hard I can see where the wood has split with my anger.

My blood boils.

Stupid house. Stupid rules.

I hate it here.

Throwing my body face first into my pillow I let out my frustration, my confusion, and my teenage angst. I cry because I can't go to the party I so badly want to attend and because my parents don't understand me. I scream because they don't care.

My tears choke me, they're fast and hard.

My head hurts.

Then I hear a knock.

"Go away!"

My voice is cracked, hoarse from screaming and I'm still angry.

I feel my dad's weight beside me on the bed.

"Don't get wound up."

Is all he says.

And then he puts his hand in mine and gives a tug.

I spring up and wrap my arms around him, close my eyes and bury my head in the comfort that is my father, and cry.

And we sit that way, together, father and daughter, a quiet understanding; a forgiveness, until I am calm.

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Most little girls grow up dreaming of their wedding days.

I did.

Hours spent draping oversized fabric around in preparation for my imaginary nuptials.

Growing up dreaming of my soul mate, my one true love, of the man I was destined to be with.

When I was 18 I fell in love. I was head over heals and believed I had found the one, we were going to be together forever.

My heart was broken.

I was 18. People change as they grow. I had changed and so had he. He was not my price charming and he was not my match.

As time went on friends became engaged and married, they expressed their love for one another in front of their families. Their love was evident, explosive, and unbreakable.

That little girl inside of me screamed.

She wanted that kind of love.

When would it be her turn?

Dating because an obsession, no longer fun and exciting. It became about meeting my criteria. I needed a break.

And then I meet him.

He made me nervous.

No one ever made me nervous.

His eyes pierced through me when he spoke and he was funny. I loved funny.

We were never apart.

Even now we are rarely apart. His easy-going nature, hilarity, and dedication to whatever he is doing make him so easy to be around. He is the most loyal person I have ever met, supportive and empathetic.

We welcomed a daughter in April 2010 and I saw him be a father for the first time.

We are blessed. This man will go to the ends of the earth for his family and for this I am more than grateful.

On June 1, 2011 he proposed to me.

Yes this year.

No we weren’t married.

Yes I know you thought we were.

Sorry I didn’t tell you.

I said yes.

Leighann

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Big Steps

Two fingers grasp the leg of the highchair, wound tightly keeping her upright. Her smile is wide and full of 6 teeth.

Stomp stomp stomp

She marches in place and giggles, throwing her head back and then points at us all. Soaking in the attention and the applause she laughs loudly and claps, letting go of her support.

Gasp.

There she stands, all on her own, and claps her hands.

Friends are visiting and they encourage her to come to them, they tell her she can do it.

Tilting her head towards her shoulder she smirks and then bends down to pick up a wayward shoe, she holds her prize high in the air and squeals before stepping forward.

One step

Two steps

Three steps

Four steps

Five steps

Did that just happen? She just walked! My baby just walked! Did everyone see that?

So much screaming. Celebrating. Hugging. Clapping.

So proud.

She was so proud.

Her grin grew 3 times its size.

My heart grew 3 times its size.

I was so proud.

Let's BEE Friends

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When we bought our house we knew eventually we would have to find an alternate heating source. Oil gets expensive.

But, I am a freak when it comes to our budget and go over it twice a month, on pay days, with a fine tooth comb. I know exactly what comes in and what goes out, I know how much we have at all times, and I know what we can afford.

This freak side of me didn’t come naturally, it was learned. After years of hearing my father preach it and then a horrible credit card experience I finally got it!

So when we chose an oil company to provide us with oil and service it was my expectation that they would also give me an accurate quote for my monthly payment based on use. I expected the sales man who came to my house to have some knowledge of his product. I thought we all had an understanding.

Receiving a notice in the mail that my monthly payment would be tripling because the quote was underestimated was only the beginning of the many THROAT PUNCHES they are about to receive from me.

Their response to my tactful email was timely but not satisfactory, it did not resolve my issue and my bill remains at the same amount. THROAT PUNCH number 2.

When I called their offices in order to “discuss” my invoice there was no discussion. They simply told me arrangements would have to be made. I could pay now or I could pay later. Either way I had to pay. THROAT PUNCH number 3.

How can a company expect a family to pay for a bill THREE TIMES THE AMOUNT they budgeted with 30 days notice?

Why are their sales people idiots?

Do they like THROAT PUNCHES?

Oil company… I hate you. You’ve left me trapped and unable to do anything but pay you so that my family is warm this winter.

That’s a bitch move.

Enjoy your Throat Punches.

Cow.

Linking up with The Truth About Motherhood

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One Photograph

While cleaning out boxes I found a photograph.

Its corners curled inward and yellowed from years of fingers rolling over it, smoothing it down, and bringing it close to get a better look.

The colours have dulled over time but the smiles of the people inside its border remain alive, glowing in the sunlight.

A bucket sits beside the back wheel of an old beige car, brimming with foamy suds, promising a wash as a little girl in a bathing suit winds her fingers around the nozzle of a twisted green hose, gleefully pointing it at her victim.

The photograph springs to life as the water sprays down on a man who is also laughing, relishing in this time spent with the girl, happy to be dancing in memories made in the chore of washing a dirty car.

So many happy memories.

From one photograph.

Memories between father and daughter.

My father.

His daughter.

Leighann

Special thanks to Leigh Ann Torres who helped me edit this post.

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That Old Shack

At least we have a roof over our heads.

I repeated this daily while looking around what appeared to me to be a shack. A barely standing duplex that we lived in, decorated nicely, and loosely called home.

To the naked eye is was quaint. Its pale yellow siding and dark wood deck welcoming guests from the side into an open concept floor plan.  The pale laminate throughout warmed with a brown area rug, a proud purchase at the time but left behind in the move for fear of bringing mold or dust mites with us.

A closer inspection would reveal holes along the baseboards, ant and mouse traps under cabinets, and hours spent putting up new weather-stripping on a house we didn’t own.

We promised each other we would move, we would buy a house.

Soon.

The move would come sooner than we thought.

There was mold. There was a lot of mold. We discussed the situation with our landlady and communicated to her that the house was making our newborn sick. We wrote her letters about the mold, the holes, the bugs, the dust, and the birds living in the eaves.

Nothing was done.

We had to move to keep our baby healthy.

I have memories of this house. The poorly constructed, mold and bug infested house.

Despite the conditions my memories are all good.

That house was were I experienced pregnancy, where I announced we were expecting a girl, where I sorted our baby’s gifts.

That house was were we chose our daughter’s nursery colours, decorated every inch with purpose, folded each tiny piece of clothing perfectly.

Weeks of my maternity leave spent filling out a hard cover pregnancy journal were spent in that house waiting for her to arrive.

I paced the floor of that house waiting for the call from the hospital to tell me it was time to induce.

That house is where we brought our baby girl home and went from two to three.

Became a family.

Although that house was a shack, we made it a home.

Leighann

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This week we took on and conquered sleep training. Sleep has been an elusive beast in our house and sleep training a controversial subject. We wanted to assist our daughter in sleeping on her own, however, did not want to attempt many methods for various medical and personal reasons. So we picked a method that we hoped would work and although we were faced with a flurry of mixed emotion and high anxiety we were still determined to get this baby to go to sleep on her own.

Her new resistance to rocking was the push we needed to begin the process, a process I had studied endlessly. I should have learned by now that in parenting there is no rule book, no guidelines, no step-by-step tool, you just do it.

Night one we laid on our baby’s floor. The two of us. We listened to our baby cry and reach for us while we reassured her from below. My heart ached to jump up and rip her from her cage. To bring her to my chest and rock her until her eye lids fell, heavy with sleep.
I prayed she would just fall asleep, that she would understand this was the best thing for her. I prayed that God would rock her to sleep, that she would feel His arms around her and drift off. I tried to be tough telling myself that she wouldn’t remember any of this and she needed to learn to be a big girl.

I felt Brian’s hand grasp mine.
It tightened.
Tears were stinging my eyes as I fought to hold back my sobs.

After 20 minutes of hearing my child, my life, cry for me I reached my hand up through her crib bars and placed my hand on her mattress, smoothing it over her animal print crib sheet.
She slowly knelt, exhausted, and placed her tiny head into the palm of my hand.

That is where she stayed.

That night the three of us slept in my daughters room.
One in her crib.
Two on the floor.
My hand reaching into the crib so she could still feel the warmth of the body that she is naturally drawn to.
The body she grew in.
The body she knows as home.

Leighann

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This Room

03/01/2011

 

Burgundy walls divided midway by a green and gold border wrap like a ribbon around the room. If it was tied it would be at the closet by the hand picked shower curtains, used as closet doors, that match the pattern of the border perfectly.

The matching comforter and hand made window valance complete this room and make it perfect for a 14 year old girl.

In 1994.

A closer look reveals the years of joy, tears, memories, dreams, and angst.

The door is a different colour than those in the rest of the house, from the months the girl spent without one and learned that slamming said door was not the answer to her problems.

Behind the curtains that hang in the closet,  replacing the doors that were not closed properly, are stuffed animals once loved and believed to come to life, letters from old friends, and photo albums.

The walls whisper secrets told between girlfriends at sleepovers, secrets shared by the girl and her journal, secrets shared by the girl and her mom.

The plush carpet is stained from make up mishaps, spilled milk, and from tears.  Tears cried from a broken heart, a lost friendship, a misunderstanding, and from laughter.

SO. MUCH. LAUGHTER.

The ceiling has cracks. It’s heard yelling and has held it in. Soaking in the I hate you’s and the leave me alone’s. It didn’t break or crumble, it stayed strong and supported the girl.

The paint is a playground of pin holes and tape that once held up posters of Dylan McKay and Madonna, Van Gogh and Monet; embracing who she would become.

The room as a whole is beautiful memories. Hugs, laughter, tears, and warmth.

Its growing up and comfort.

It shaped her….

Me.

Its home.

Leighann

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Through Tears

02/11/2011

This week’s Red Dress Club Red Writing Hood prompt asked you to begin your piece with the words, “I could never have imagined” and end it with “Then the whole world shifted.

My post is dedicated to my Mom.

I could never have imagined I would hear those words. I sat at the dining room table, staring at my mother, who’s eyes were already red, waiting for her to take it back, to tell me she was kidding. I looked at my dad but he wasn’t laughing. They were serious.

I was 16 years old, I was selfish, my social calendar was my prime concern, I knew it all and had the answers to everything.

I didn’t have an answer to this.

I looked at my mom, tears were streaming down her face now and she was wringing her hands. She looked at my brother and then me wanting badly for us to tell her we were happy, that we loved her, that we would embrace this news.

My heart pounded loud in my ears as my mom, through tears, told her story, stopping only to wipe her eyes and accept pats on the hand from my dad.

My dad.  Always supportive. I love this man more than words can express. My heart hurts when I try to voice how much.

My brother and I asked questions, we said hurtful things.

My mom’s years of pain didn’t register.

I was 16, I was selfish.

Anger swept over me and I wanted to cover my ears making it impossible for any more words to get in. I was the oldest and jealous of losing my place.

Sounds kept getting in and swirling around in my brain.

My mom had a baby.

She gave him a better home.

My mom is brave, strong, amazing, inspiring.

I have an older brother.

I wasn’t the oldest.

Then the whole world shifted.

Leighann

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