Tag Archives: friendship

Merry Christmas, Y’all

Decorations and softly glowing lights, friends and laughter, and anticipation of the magic of Christmas morning. Every December memories come flooding back. I loved slowly going through the Sears Wishbook and carefully writing down my hopes for gifts: a Slinky, Miss Piggy Baby, Monchichi, Cabbage Patch Kid, a Care Bear, a diary. 

As the holidays approached, our house transformed into something magical. Some of the decorations have long been given away and replaced, but when I think of Christmas growing up, I picture the tinsel garland my mom hung over the front hall mirror, the reindeer stuffies perched around our family room, and the red felt stockings hung on the fireplace. I remember a steady flow of visitors dropping in, the white noise of conversation, the small metal candy dishes filled to the brims. And of course, the glow of flickering flames during the Christmas Eve candlelight service, my favourite service of the year.

A week or so before Christmas every year a special package would arrive from Minnesota. We never knew for sure what the contents would be, but they always included Hershey Kisses (you couldn’t get them in Canada back then) and some fun homemade decoration with a newsy letter updating us on all things Minnesotan. You see, years before, a young couple with two small children decided to reach out to a Canadian family in need at the Mayo Clinic. The backstory is not my story to tell, but they (among others) provided support and stability to a young patient when her parents couldn’t be with her as she received treatment. A friendship that spanned years began.

Fast forward to my adulthood. Through social media I have met lovely people from all over. One Christmas not long ago a package arrived from Rochester, Minnesota from a family I had befriended (or they befriended me. Either way, we became friends). Inside was a bag of American Reece’s Peanut Butter bells and Rubik’s Cubes for our four boys. Seeing the return address made my eyes leak and my heart leap at the connection. But wait, there’s more. The sender worked for…the Mayo Clinic.

Your memories are different from mine. And the memories we create now with our children are different again, too. Our family has traditions now that weren’t possible when I was young. We send and receive cards and packages to and from all over the USA. We have received dozens of packages of Oreos and M&Ms from them, too. Each year since the “Rubik’s Cube Christmas” our list of “friends we have yet to meet in real life” grows. And it is amazing.

As we put up our tree this year I set aside some ornaments that I wanted to hang myself. They hold a special place in my heart as a representation of my internet people and a  reminder of how sad things can be turned into the fondest of memories.

Merry Christmas, friends.

*not pictured are the packages of Oreos and M&Ms because self-control is hard

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Create Your Own Village

This post has been on my mind for months and I finally put it into words. Honoured to have it posted on BonBon Break (a new community I am excited to join). Click here to check it out and while you’re there, get inspired by other posts. Stay a while.

A big thank you to all the friends, neighbours, and coworkers in my life who inspire and encourage me. And thank you to this month’s theme sponsor, OurPactApp.


Should We Be Friends Flowchart

We meet potential friends everywhere – work, school yard, the park, 7-11. The possibilities are limitless. But how do we know if a new acquaintance is a strong contender for the serious business of friendship?

Relax, just keep this simple flowchart handy and let it do all the work for you. The vetting process has never been so easy.

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No, YOU Must be Busy

Picture it. My living room, mid-winter, a playdate with a few girl friends and their preschoolers. I was on a maternity leave with our fourth baby and needed to vent.

“Four boys. Are they all yours?

Wow. FOUR boys – you must be busy.

You know, I’m getting a little tired of being asked that. What? Since I have all boys they must be holy terrors that run me ragged? I don’t think I like the implication that having male offspring automatically means I live in a zoo. Humph, I bet if I had a mix of boys and girls I wouldn’t get asked that. I bet if I had ALL GIRLS no one would say that to me. Sure, I have temporarily misplaced a son in grocery store. And there was that time that I couldn’t find one of them in the library, but that’s because they are little, not because I have too many or that they are boys.

Ok,  they are MOSTLY good boys.

Ok, they are MOSTLY good boys.

When strangers gawk in disbelief that I can smile while carting my four young sons around, I feel defensive. THESE ARE GOOD CHILDREN. They don’t run out into traffic, they haven’t broken any bones (yet. There was that gash to the head during a game of Naked Run, but come on, every kid does that).

I’m not some freak show that people can just come up to me and comment on my procreation. I WON’T BE YOUR DANCING MONKEY.”

My friend slowly sipped her coffee, placed her mug down and calmly asked, “well are you?”

“Am I what?”

“Are you busy?”

I pondered this question for a few seconds, lowered my eyes and quietly answered, “Yes.”

“So, maybe they are just honouring that fact and in a round-about way giving you a pat on the back.”

“Yeah, well… MAYBE YOU ARE RIGHT.”

——-

This is why we need friends, people. To talk you down from the ledge, to tell you that your sweater is looking a little frumpy, that your eyebrows need attending, that your house is “clean enough”, and that maybe, sometimes you need to just settle down, Crazy.


My New BFF

Being home full time is great, but truthfully it can also be lonely. The majority of my day is spent with a three-year-old. While he is a decent conversationalist, the content is somewhat lacking. I can only discuss the plot of “Umizoomi” for so long and he’s really not that interested in “Friday Night Lights”.

That’s why I made a new friend. I highly recommend it if you, too, are a stay-at-home-parent. How else can you make the most of nap time? By exercising or resting? No, having your own personal companion keeps you alert and helps your productivity level stay high.

There were many options for a new friend, but I finally decided on this guy, and let me tell you it has been amazing.

photo 1-17

He is an excellent listener

We do all kinds of things together.

He has excellent meal ideas

He has innovative meal ideas

We have so much in common

We even take our coffee the same - black, of course.

We even take our coffee the same – black, of course.

He's become a bit of a muse

He’s become a bit of a muse for me

Chores are no longer tedious.

He is a whiz at folding fitted sheets, I don't know how he does it.

He is a whiz at folding fitted sheets, I don’t know how he does it.

A good friend takes on those tasks you might find overwhelming.

His accounting skills are astounding.

His accounting skills are astounding.

Life is short and the days pass quickly, make the most of them with your own special friend.


I Am a Mom

During my first podcast ever with Michelle http://steadilyskippingstones.com and http://peopleialmostknow.com I recalled how I got started on Twitter and later with a blog. So I went back and read the first thing I wrote, a guest post on my friend, Amanda’s blog: http://mandiemarie.com

You can the read about the beginning of our friendship here: http://mandiemarie.com/2011/09/08/i-need-a-woman/

and my first foray into blogging here: http://mandiemarie.com/2012/05/14/guest-post-i-am-a-mom/

There, history lesson done.