Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I Heart Hawaii


I just got back and will (maybe - who am I kidding) do a more detailed post on this another time.

It was spectacular and other word-ly.  I fell in love and it spoke to my heart and to my soul.  It was other wordly because it was really was a world away from Saskatoon, Calgary, Vancouver, even California, or any other place I have ever been.  It was so beyond pictures I have seen, movies I have watched, or my wildest imagination.  It was honestly paradise.

And since I have been home almost 20 hours, it has been all I have thought about.  I feel like Liz Lemon when she says, "I want to go to there."  I DO!!!  I want to plan another trip, but more than that, it is where I want to end up.  I want to live there and wake up there and surf there and spend my life there.  I have never felt so affected by a place in my life.

I want my daily decisions to be clear, with the focused goal, the end result in mind.  Will this "fill in the blank" take me back to Hawai'i?  I will work towards it with utter determination.  Will I want new jeans, or add that to the Hawaii fund?  It is such a clear answer!!!  Will spending time on Pinterest or spending money decorating my house bring me closer to Hawaii?  If the answer is no - I don't want anything to do with it. It is all I want to be back there.

It is particularly surprising, because for those who know me, know I have previously stated and truly been happy anywhere!  I always thought I could live and be happy anywhere.  But CRAP!!  Not anymore!!!! 

But as I am already thinking about planning the next trip and making good financial choices to ensure that it happens, it made me think of the Celestial Kingdom.  How much more other-wordly it would be.  How much more paradisical it would be.  How even Hawaii would pale in comparison.  How if we got a glimpse of it, ALL of our thoughts, energies, and efforts would be so one track to ensure that is where we end up.  Every single decision we would ever make would be altered by that solitary experience.  So I want to keep that along track my goal to be back in Hawaii.  Will this decision bring me back to my Heavenly Father, because after our experience with Him, to no longer be in presence with Him, will be like coming home to Saskatoon, Sk. after Hawaii.  And trust me - that is painful!! 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Kony 2012

Ok,  so I am not an overly political type.  But I would like to think that I would be on the right side of a fight, but in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan - there are not a lot of obvious "fights".  We invariably complain about the weather, (whatever the weather), wonder how the Riders will fair this year, when the City of Saskatoon will ever set up a mandatory curbside recycling program, talk about the useless Victoria Bridge, talk about the farmers (and again this brings up the weather).  But as far as life and death situations... we are thankfully, severely lacking.  I follow the news in both Canada and the US (especially the election news), and consider myself relatively informed, but I never knew who Joseph Kony was until today.

I saw this video on Facebook and it moved me.  It made me cry, but unlike most videos that are made to raise awareness, (and end up depressing the crap out of you because there is rarely anything specific that as an individual I can do that can make a difference) this has an action plan.  SO there is something I can do - I can tell people about this and I will.  I will wear the bracelet, write my MP and I will phone the school and see if they will present this (they often do awareness/try-to-help-others kind of thing).  Maybe I will even put up a few posters.  It seems like a tiny amount of effort for the benefit of so many.

What I loved most is that we have the ability, wherevever we are, even in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, to make a BIG difference in the lives and safety of children on the other side of the planet.  It makes me happy to think that I can do something.

This video is about 30 minutes long.  Watch it.  Watch it with your families.  And please share it.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Do you ever read blogs from people you don't know, but the more you read them, the more convinced you become that you are destined to be buddies with the author?  Now, see, for the normal part of the population, I would guess most of you would say, "why no!  It never even occurs to me!  I just like reading it because (insert sane rationale for reading details about stranger's lives they post on-line - here)."

But this is where the crazy stalker in me takes over and thinks everything I read, from this one blog in particular, is exactly like ME!!  We are kindred spirits!!!!  She writes like I would if I actually blogged!!  So to list the reasons why I think we were separated at birth: she is the same age as me (not the same birthday per se, but she is in her early 30's - so that means a TON, right?!), has 4 kids (ok, we are no longer twinsies in that department, but for a while we were), home schools (ok, not that one anymore either), home birthed her kids, (I just had one at home, but still - same, right?), she struggles keeping her house in order AND she is Mormon!  Can you say same/same?!

So I know that it's crazy, and I know that we are not the same so much after all, but I still feel like we would seriously be friends if we happened to live in the same country/state/ward.  And I have been tempted to write her a letter telling her as much.  (But then, I also think that Sarah Palin and I, while we vastly differ on political ideas, would also be besties after watching her TLC show.  Well, maybe not besties; she did actually shoot live animals, but for the sake of our friendship, I would be willing to overlook it because she is so much dang fun... )  But then I realized that put in the same level as that crazy guy in the cheesy 90's movie"The Bodyguard".  But it is So. Hard. To. Resist.

So today, instead of telling her why I think we should be BFF's, I am telling all of you.  Why tell one, when instead you can admit to everyone who reads your blog (granted that's probably only three people) that I am absolutely Coo-coo for cocoa puffs Nuts.

So there it is.  I am a cyber-stalker.

Do you have a one-sided-cyber-bestie too???

Friday, January 6, 2012


I always have a love/hate relationship with my kids names.  When I am pregnant I agonize over their name.  When they are born, it is still nearly impossible for me to commit.  They say you can't leave the hospital until the baby is named, but I (unfortunately) know otherwise.  The problem is, once you leave the hospital, there is no sense of urgency.  This week or next... what does it matter?  Ezra wasn't officially named until for 6 weeks.  When I finally (reluctantly) "decide", I proceed to be wishy-washy about it for the following year.  I question it often, wondering when it becomes too late to change it.  Thankfully after about the one year mark I finally make peace with the name and come to genuinely love it and feel that it is a perfect name for them.

Naming kids is not something I enjoy - and I have even been known to say, "I would rather go through labour than name a child" to many people.  WHAT?!? I know.  Crazy.  But there are so many factors to consider: like their initials, how it sounds, what it means, how it goes with the other kids names, potential emotional damaging nicknames, fun nicknames, which name is first and middle, and do I really want to use the name that I LOVE as a middle name?  Isn't that just wasting it?  It causes me a great deal of stress.  Thankfully I am married to a man that has only adamantly contributed one name to our progeny and that I haven't loved and it was for Oliver's middle name, Euan.  (On that note, Euan??!??  Paul shares the same birthday and year as Ewan McGregor and consequently (secretly) feels connected and thus named our 2nd born's middle name after him.  (Paul will just as adamantly deny this).  I happen to share death day with Elvis Presley (he died the same day and year I was born) and I have yet to insist we name one of our kids Elvis.  But I wanted to have Oliver's middle name to be after our real estate agent, Mac, but Paul refused me on that ground alone.  But really - Oliver Mac Russell...  seriously - coolest. name. ever.  As it is, I love Paul, and so Oliver's middle name is Euan.  I have told Paul that if he ever dies, I am changing it on the way home from the funeral.)

When it came time for Eloise to be born I really was torn between Margaret and Eloise.  I loved both names so much!  I loved Margaret Eloise Russell.  But Eloise Margaret Russell sounded really lovely too.  In the end, Eloise won out because it was a little less common, and I loved how Charlotte and Eloise fit together.  So it was decided.  Ish.

The problem I am finding out is that everything rhymes with Eloise-e.  Not at first glance, mind you, but we somehow make it work.  Like when she has a cold, we call her Ela-sneezy.  When she has raspy breathing, Ela-wheezy.  When she has a poopy bum, it's Smelloise.  Easy-Breezy-Eloise-e has become one we use most often, and that has evolved to "Breezers".  (Breezers??  That is right up there as bad as Ezra's nickname which is Snoogs.)  But today, as she was hanging out with her cousin Axsel, slapping his newly buzzed, spiky head and using her mighty 23 pound girth to push the standup toy that he was hanging onto for dear life around the kitchen and in a panic with every inch she moved it, the nickname has evolved once again from "Breezers" to "Bruiser."  It really doesn't help that "Eloise" means hale and hearty.  No joke.  

Oh oh.  I think it may be time to switch to Margaret.  

Saturday, November 19, 2011


PS.  I finally did my taxes.  Well, I finally got all my receipts and info and took it to the accountant.  It took all of 30 minutes.  Good thing I only have a couple months until next year's tax season so I am less likely (ok who are we kidding) to repeat this again.

Man, am I ever an idiot.

PPS - I know that "PS" means post script and that it is to follow something else, but - I was being ironical.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Bad, Worse, Oh Dear

As an homage to the wonderful talk by Elder Dallin H. Oakes entitled, "Good, Better, Best", I would like to offer the antithesis of choices that are "Bad, Worse, Oh Dear.".

Good, Better, Best
*Cleaning your kitchen on a regular, post-meal basis
Bad, Worse, Oh Dear.
*Finding the source to the smell in your house is a 5-day old pot of garlic mashed potatoes hiding behind a bag on your kitchen counter.

Good, Better, Best
*Regularly exercising and enjoying a healthy, strong body free of aches and pains
Bad, Worse, Oh Dear.
*Thinking you have a bladder infection for 6 weeks because your pelvic floor muscles are in spasm from a ri-Dic-u-lously weak core.  What's that you say?  Awesome?  Yes, awesome indeed.

Good, Better, Best
*While nursing, spending time on iPhone reading scriptures, catching up on the news or e-mailing a friend you have been thinking of
Bad, Worse, Oh Dear.
*While nursing, spending an inordinate amount of time on Facebook wishing more of your friends actually updated their statuses, while hiding those who update too often with LAME updates

Good, Better, Best
*Doing your taxes in tax season
Bad, Worse, Oh Dear.
*Having to wait 8 weeks for your income tax return because NO ONE works at the tax centre from Sept. - Dec.  I know this because I have done this for the past 4 years, and yet... still haven't done my taxes.  

Good, Better, Best
*Going to bed early, with a clean face and teeth; feeling good about the day and happy for tomorrow
Bad, Worse, Oh Dear.
*None of the above and having to drink 6 diet coke's the next day because you stayed up too late catching up on Bachelor Pad.  (seriously, Bachelor Pad???  That alone could be it's own individual bullet for Bad, Worse, Oh Dear.)

I am currently really trying hard to move from my existing state and all I can say is *groan*.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

That Time of Year

To say there has been a hiatus with the blog, is, well, a massive understatement.

But my 11th anniversary has moved me back into the blogging world.

There are many things that I can look back and say without hesitation that I definitely never saw coming11 years ago.

  • Five kids???  Ok, I guess I kindof thought we would have a big-ish family.  And in my head, I guess I kindof thought between 4 and 6.  But that was all a theory.  To be honest, I didn't particularly like kids and the idea of having them was based on a promise by my mom that I would actually, really love my own.  (Thank goodness she was right!!)  But the actuality of having 5 kids is very different than thinking numbers in your head when you are young and kid-free. 
  • That we would ever leave Calgary.  We love Calgary.  We were both born and raised there.  We love having our family close. We love the mountains (ok, Paul wins this in a landslide, although I do think they are very pretty in a I-don't-actually-want-to-climb-them-sort of way.)  We love the other amenities too.  The shopping, the zoo, leisure centres, bike paths, science centre...
  • That Paul would not be a production manager.  When we got married, that was the plan and he was in school finishing off his degree.  I also didn't imagine that he would go back to school, only 2 1/2 short years after graduating, and eventually accumulate two more degrees.  

  • But the thing I really, really never saw coming was that I would be spending our anniversary alone  (Paul is Regina for 3 months for the first part of his residency) and that he would checking other lady's downstair's business before telling them it was time to push.  Nope.  Most Definitely did not picture that one.
Happy Anniversary, Paul.  You are pretty friggin' awesome.  And without question, I am a better person for having married you.