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In a Year

15 Jun

Some people have told me not to put so much stock or value in the dates.  After all, they’re just numbers and why should I let these numbers have control over me?

Well…  I’m not sure what to say to that except…  Numbers and dates are important to me.  They don’t control my life but I’ve always enjoyed the passing of time marked by numbers and I’ve always enjoyed assigning significance to certain days.  

Such as today.

June 15th, 2017.  Mine and my husband’s 14th anniversary of being together.

Except not.

It would have been, but it’s also the one year anniversary of the end of our marriage.

It’s hard not to be sad on this day.  Last year I was so happy.  Thirteen years together and ten years married.  

We celebrated our anniversary with dinner and a movie.  

I was confident that the troubles in our marriage were secondary compared to our foundation of love.  I was still in love and really looking forward to making plans for the future.  We had been through so much together and we could undoubtedly get through a lot more.  

And now it’s been a year since my heart was broken.

A year isn’t enough time to get over some things.

Granted, I’m not in love with my ex-husband anymore.  That died pretty quick after the final death knell rang.

I’m also extremely happy with my current domestic situation: beautiful house, my three sons, and a man that loves me and appreciates  me and wants me.

If you know who you are, and you love yourself (check and check), a year is enough time to move on with acceptance and an open heart.  But no, it’s not enough time to let go of the hurt and anger.  Maybe next year.

So what have I learned in this past year?

Well, I’m still awesome.  Obvious understatement, right?  But I’ve been pretty surprised with how many people have told me how brightly my candle is burning this year.  Apparently I was hiding under a bushel without an identify of my own?  I don’t know if I agree with that assessment, but dozens of people have told me it’s like I just opened up and radiated happiness and positivity after my divorce.  Wow!  I’m both encouraged and surprised!

What else….

Maybe don’t get married at age 22. 

Do counselling before marriage to see if you’re both on the same page.  One of you might be confident whereas the other might be unsure.

Communicate with your spouse about everything.  As I’ve said before, I used to be cocky.  I considered my marriage to be superior to others.  After all, we talked about everything and everything.  We talked all the time.  Or I thought we did.

Never say never.  Up until last year I said I’d never get divorced.  I wasn’t lying to myself; I believed it with every ounce of my soul.  I’ll never say never again.  Anything can happen.

Some friends will desert you in times of life transition.  It happens.  Try not to be consumed by that and focus instead on the people who are still there.  Oh there were some amazing shows of support for me last summer, from some wonderful people.

Because some new friends will find you during transition as well, and they will become the best friends you’ve ever had.  Like brothers and sisters really.  Despite losing a great love, this past year has been more full of love than I thought would be possible.

That’s enough rambling for now.  It’s time to click off and get out of the city.  

I’m thrilled to be taking a special long weekend getaway with my amazing boyfriend.  New memories will be made on this strange weekend full of anniversaries and memories.

It’s Time to Move On

By Tom Petty

It’s time to move on, time to get going

What lies ahead, I have no way of knowing

But under my feet, baby, grass is growing

It’s time to move on, it’s time to get going

*

Broken skyline, movin’ through the airport

She’s an honest defector

Conscientious objector

Now her own protector

*

Broken skyline, which way to love land
Which way to something better

Which way to forgiveness

Which way do I go

*

Sometime later, getting the words wrong

Wasting the meaning and losing the rhyme

Nauseous adrenalin

Like breakin’ up a dogfight

Like a deer in the headlights

Frozen in real time

I’m losing my mind

*

It’s time to move on, time to get going

What lies ahead, I have no way of knowing

But under my feet, baby, grass is growing

It’s time to move on, it’s time to get going

****

Been working non-stop on my side project (which is more like the main project now): People of Port Arthur by Eating Dirt.

Been working equally hard on my new art endeavour: Pop Art Prints by Eating Dirt.

There she is, one year post divorce. Self portrait.




Christmas ReCap

1 Jan

This Christmas wasn’t too different from last Christmas, despite almost everything in my life being different.

Last Christmas I was married and in love.  I knew life with my young little family was stressful, but I also knew it wouldn’t always be that way.

A lot changed since last Christmas, some of which still causes me random bursts of anger.  I’m ok with that.  I think it’s normal to be angry when life spirals out of control.  I even think it’s normal to be a bit angry 8 months later.  It’s not an all-consuming anger, but it’s there sometimes.  It will get better.

Am I happier than I was last Christmas?  I would tentatively say no.  I was happy last year and I’m happy now.  It’s just different now.

The boys and I had early Christmas dinner with my dad’s family on the 17th.  Then Jason and I spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and a bit of Boxing Day with the boys, including a few appearances from my parents.  It was quiet, casual, and nice.  R3 was pretty grumpy and I don’t know whether or not it was because of toddler teething, a cold, or just a whiny phase.

There was a big Christmas party earlier in the month with many wonderful friends, and lots of holiday socializing over the past couple weeks with some of the same wonderful friends and some family.  A family dinner tonight, a family lunch tomorrow, and a friendly party in the PM.  

That’s a lot of boring details, but hey, it happened man.  That’s real life, baby!

Now for a holiday photo smash!







I really wanted to give those amazing boys a great Christmas.  It was pretty quiet (compared to what I’ve heard other families do) but I think I can count it all as a success.

2016 in review

1 Jan

Summing up the year in pictures.  

Starting in December and traveling back in time to January 2016.

So many lovely friends:

Christmas with the triple Rs: 

Ashley:

A non-Christmas party success by three fun hosts:

A fun photo shoot:

A tattoo:

Got back into drawing and art:

Halloween fun:

A new blogging venture:

A therapeutic photo-shoot:

A tattoo:

New steps for my new abode:

A fun day at the amethyst mine:

August in Alberta:

Exploring my new neighbourhood:

My birthday with my boys:

Moving day:

Ashley:

Last day of school:

Last photo taken as a family of five:

 

A little boy turns one:

May in Alberta:

Speaking on a panel for online authors:

Meeting Lynn Johnston:

The big boys start learning the fun of interacting with a growing baby brother:


It was fun going through a year’s worth of pictures, but very difficult to be concise.  I’m never concise.

Looking through the pictures, it’s clear 2016 was a big one.  There was lots of change.  

The pictures don’t really show the heartbreak and sadness, but they do show the happiness.  

One special picture I’d like to share sums up the last quarter of my year is this: 


Love finds you when you’re not looking for it and when you’re definitely not expecting it. 

What a high note upon which to end this strange year.  

I have good feelings about 2017.  

Bring it on.

Support Your Balls

14 Nov

As a mother to three boys, I sometimes feel like I’m surrounded by penises and testicles.  For the past nine years, it’s been all penis, all the time.  

While that may seem like a dream come true to some, it gets a bit wearisome.

You know what I hear all day?

You’re a dinky pisser!

Haha, PENIS!!!!

Hey, get your dink away from me!

I don’t think I’ve had a full day this year where I haven’t heard the words penis, balls, dinky, wiener, and testicles.  

It’s non-stop.

Having said that, I want my kids to grow up healthy and personally aware.  I want them to know the real words and I suppose all the slang words are pretty amusing.  

The kids already know how babies are made and a natural extension of that is knowing how to keep your baby-makers healthy.  

Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in males 15-34.

When detected early, 99% of those diagnosed will survive.

Having a father or brother with Testicular Cancer increases your risk.

Does this sound like a post for something in specific?  A particular company?

Good, because it is!

Check this out: Tommy John.

They sell men’s underwear!  

Now, you’re probably thinking, “Leah, what the eff?!  You’re a sexy and sassy lady, what are you doing shilling for a men’s underwear company?!?”

Well, just remember those three little XY chromosome dudes I pushed out of my sassy lady-parts.  They’ve got cute little-boy butts that need to be clothed and right next to the boy butts are boy penises.  This momma wants her boys healthy, and that includes the little generals.

Plus, how funny would it be for my guys to stumble upon this post as fatalistic teenagers?

Tommy John is trying to do their part in raising awareness about prostate and testicular cancer, but what exactly are they doing?

They are giving 5% of all sales coming from our limited edition “Ball Print” collection to cancer research.

They are contributing $10 for each purchase made by new customers who were referred by someone else.

What’s in it for the readers?

“Share a pair win a pair” Instagram contest (Starting November 1st). To enter, take a picture of any pair of round objects, and tag them on Instagram using the hashtag #SupportYourBalls, and follow and tag @TommyJohnWear and @TesticularCancerFoundation for a chance to win a $30 credit.

Check your balls, dudes.  Have your doctor check your balls.  Pay attention to your body and your health; you are important and you are worth it!

Home

8 Jul

On June 28th, we put the house up for sale.  

There was one showing on July 1st and another on July 2nd.  

On July 3rd, we accepted an offer and on July 4th a home inspector came.  On July 5th, we agreed to a lower price (because let’s face it, this place needs work), and on July 6th, we signed all the papers which officially sealed the deal!

We sold the house; it’s done done done!  

We’ve been slowly taking boxes and furniture over to my new place since July 1st and July 16th will be our actual moving day!

The new place is a disaster with half unpacked boxes all over the place, but it’s starting to take shape.  I’ve gotten rid of so much stuff over the past month and I can see that I’ll need to get rid of even more.

Moving from one house to another is an amazing opportunity to purge unnecessary baggage from your life, both literally and figuratively.

When we bought this place six years ago, I thought it was going to be our forever home.  It was exciting at first, but it slowly became a burden.  We couldn’t afford to do renovations and repairs and as our family grew, the walls started closing in on us.  

I kept telling myself I was happy because of the great neighbourhood and the fabulous fenced in yard.  But after awhile, even the good things couldn’t compete with the bad.  

For Jason, I think, the unsaid burden of owning this house mirrored the burden of being unhappy in marriage.  In both cases, it’s difficult to say when the bad began to outweigh the good.  I was preoccupied with trying to keep the home livable amidst the chaos of three young children.  I was exhausted yet content and I failed to see that Jason was unhappy.  I believed the kids would get older, we’d alleviate stress, and continue living and loving even better than before. 

But it was too late.  

Now the house is sold and the marriage is over.  I couldn’t save either.

Next week, I’ll be unpacking boxes in my new home.  Soon, I’ll think back on our time in this current house with fondness, despite knowing it had problems and wasn’t meant to be our forever home.  

And one day, in time, I’ll look back on my relationship with Jason as a wonderful and necessary stepping stone in my journey.  I’ll always treasure the amazing memories we made and I’ll always love him as the father of my babies.  The very first time I put my arms around him, I felt like I was home.  He will always be in my life because of our kids, but maybe….

Maybe, like this house, he was never meant to be my forever home.

Saying Goodbye To Old Dreams

27 Jun

When I got married ten years ago, I truly wanted to spend my life with Jason.  

During the years we’ve been married, I always had dreams for the future.  I had things I wanted to accomplish by myself, but my dreams always included Jason by my side.  I always assumed he felt the same way and I’d like to think that he too believed we’d always be together.  

At some point in the last year, Jason’s dreams for the future stopped including me.  And now that he’s pulled the plug on our marriage, I need to say goodbye to many of my old hopes and dreams and welcome in the new.

For instance, Jason and I never really had a honeymoon.  I hoped one day we’d be able to afford to go on a special trip and we could call it a really belated honeymoon.  After we decided to sell our house, I decided that we would use a bit of the profit to take a trip to BC. We’ve both never been and that’s where we originally wanted to ten years ago.

That dream is over but I’ve decided that I still want to go to BC and next summer I’m going.  

Out with the old dream, in with the new.

Maybe Jason did me a favour by ending our marriage.  I would never have ended it; I would have kept trying.  We were going to take steps to alleviate stress; the wheels were in motion.  I believed we were great together and if we could lessen the stress and make changes, things could be great again.  If we could ride the storms of stress and young children and financial strain together, we could come out the other side even stronger than before.  

But he pulled the plug and killed my dreams.  However, maybe he gave me the gift of new dreams. Maybe what’s coming has the potential to make me happier than I ever thought possible.  

I can sleep easily at night knowing that I tried my hardest and I never gave up.  I can tell my children with honesty and conviction that I fought my hardest to keep our family together.  I have a clean conscience.  

A year from now, I hope I can look around and feel thankful to Jason for gifting me with a clean slate: something I never wanted but embraced anyway.

End of an Era

24 Jun

I seemed to have jumped the gun a little bit by posting that beautiful anniversary post last week.  I’ve since taken it down.

The morning after our lovely anniversary date, we went to Pride as a family: 


Later that day, after the kids had gone to Gramma’s house, the marriage was over.

I was devastated and hurt more than I ever thought possible.

By Monday I was angry, more angry than I’ve ever been.

But a couple days later I woke up feeling calm and peaceful and even happy.  I have no idea what’s going to happen next week, next month, or next year, but I’m excited.

I can sleep well at night knowing that I was ready and willing to give it my all; I had no intention of ever giving up and I was committed for life.  But I can’t be in a marriage by myself.  

I also refuse to be bitter and regretful and angry.  My children are my top priority and Jason and I will work together to ensure they are loved and all their needs are met.  

Even though I probably won’t ever understand why Jason didn’t want to keep trying, I know he is a wonderful and committed father.  I’ve never doubted his love for those kids and I trust him completely to be there for them and care for them.

I’m sure I’ll write more about this topic in the future.  For now, it’s onward and forward.