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A Year in the Life: 2013

A few of the moments that made up our year…

silly moments – eating candy I found at the bottom of the toy box, being attacked by my own umbrella, responding to international outrage about the hand-holding ban at my children’s school…

sad moments – the 10th anniversary of my son’s death, the ugly side of marriage with young children, the heartaches and hassles of Down Syndrome…

sublime moments – finalizing our adoption, a new tattoo, winning a Freshly Pressed poetry contest,  speaking on national radio…

and the many, many sparks of beauty and brilliance our normal, everyday life provides.

2013

January

candycorn

Starting Over

The only thing worse than stale, month-old Christmas candy corn is the guilt from eating stale, month-old Christmas candy corn. So much for eating healthy this year…  Read More.

February

adoption-Paperwork

For Keeps

My son is 25% boy and 75% snot. Although we were finally getting the hang of sleep at night, all night long, today we are bleary-eyed and grumpy. And slimy (see above re: snot). It’s not what I pictured when I imagined this day…  Read More.

Marchtattoo

The Writing on My Arm

At the peak of busyness, my skin was a criss-cross of inky blue impressions. The tribal markings of a suburban soccer mom. Appointments. Phone numbers. Grocery lists… I decided to revive my old tradition – with a twist. This important reminder is permanently inked on my left wrist… where I will see it frequently… so I will never forget.  Read More.

April

20130409-010752.jpg

little mirror, little me

When I look at you
I see myself
unveiled…
impulses unedited
words unscripted
feelings unrestrained
the stark honesty of an
undiluted soul.  Read More.

May

blackeye

How I Got My Black Eye

In the heat of battle trying to unlock my car, the cord of my headphones wrapped around my neck, choking the breath out of me making me very uncomfortable. Juggling an overstuffed bag, iPhone, red umbrella and keys while being strangled by one’s own technology is upsetting, to say the least.

So I dropped my keys…  Read More.

June

20130619-191707.jpg

Our Version of Normal

People are staring at us with big grins and smile-y eyes. The kind of looks reserved for fluffy bunnies and newborn kittens. Awwwww… One lady nudges the guy next to her and nods in our direction…

For a minute, I’m thrown. I look around and wonder what’s going on.

Sometimes, I forget…  Read More.

July

20130729-162149.jpg

18 Years of Best and Worst

This is a particularly busy season of life. For people who once enjoyed sleeping in, lazy days and reading for hours, the past decade has been an adjustment. We’re often snappy and overwhelmed. We’re usually sticky and smelly. And we’re almost always exhausted.

We’re not our best us…  Read More.

August

Hoos ll Family Portraits-21

Does Down Syndrome Need Fixing?

You are not broken, sweetheart.

At least, not in any way that really matters. Not like people who are spiteful or small-minded or utterly self-absorbed. I hope the day never comes that you suspect “special” is a code word for defective. Or that having “needs” is a shameful weakness.

There are people that think this way. Ignorant people who simply don’t understand. Cruel, stupid people who simply don’t care…  Read More.

September

The hospital staff made a plaster cast of Simon's hand and foot. It's one of my most precious possessions.

The hospital staff made a plaster cast of Simon’s hand and foot. It’s one of my most precious possessions.

Simon

The next part is familiar. Cold jelly, the smooth glide of the wand, mildly uncomfortable pushing against my bladder… but it’s quiet in here. So quiet. She’s not smiling anymore. I crane my neck to look at the screen, but it’s turned away. And she’s so quiet.

She pops out of the room, telling us she just needs to talk to the radiologist about something. Glen looks stricken. I feel something growing deep inside me. A dark, chilling dread. I know this feeling…  Read More.

October

cart

Damsel in Distress Part 759

I wonder what he saw as I stood there in my second-hand boots, bags under my eyes and hair falling out of its clip. My son whining and grabbing me while sporting a wicked black eye and a runny nose. I was cringing inside. Feeling judged. Feeling humiliated…  Read More.

November

play

Hand Hold Ban, No Touch Play and the Real Story

Dramatic headlines. Followed by a juicy sound-bite about small children forbidden to hug or even push their friends on the swings. Set up a camera across the street to film kids playing.

Et voila – a sensational story that goes viral in hours!

Of course, the real story. And the facts. And the true intentions of a diligent staff. Not so entertaining…  Read More.

December

show

Music to my Ears

It projects across the room, flat and forced, more like yelling than singing.

It’s a step, or two, behind the rest. A discordant echo chasing lyrics that roll off nimbler tongues with ease.

It’s one of the most beautiful sounds in my world…  Read More.

So here’s us, in 2013.

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Friday’s Favourites

Just doing my part to fill the gaping hole left by Oprah. Here are some of MY favourite things. I just might make this a regular thing…

Favourite quote: “Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.” – Eric Hoffer

Favourite “Mom” phrase: “Oh ya… this is happening.”

Favourite non-sentient being: my new iPhone.

Note – NOT the iPhone-S. I have finally found something that happily does what I want without talking back. I fully expect that one day “Siri” (the voice of iPhone-S) will turn on us, a la skynet. Me and my quiet, well behaved phone will be far, far from the trouble.

Favourite App – Remember those photo booth picture strips? I have one of me and hubby from when we were 16. We look all cute and sweet and we’re slobbering all over each other. Now I can take one anytime (and I do). So easy and only $0.99: Incredibooth.

Favourite Blog: This one is hard to narrow down. There are so many amazing/interesting/weird/compelling writers out there. She was one of the first I started to follow, based on the name alone. Funny, humble, inspiring and she has revitalized the word douche in our house. Jamie the Very Worst Missionary

Favourite Books: This week, it’s a toss up between Stephanie Meyer’s The Host and Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Suess. Both brilliant. Both by authors who are famous for other work. Both are the best they’ve ever written IMHO. So if you like intriguing sci-fi with great character development (and a dash of romance) pick the first. If you like clever political satire and/or absurd rhyming words, read the second. Better yet, read both.

Favourite Christmas cookie – most difficult category on my list. Do I honour my scottish roots and go with shortbread? Plus, it is made up almost entirely of butter and sugar, can’t go wrong with that. OR do I throw my support to the sugar cookie? Which, now that I think about it, often comes with icing which IS entirely butter and sugar. Done, sugar cookie it is, sorry Grandma.

NEW Favourite Christmas song – I heard this song on the radio and immediately tracked it down on youtube. Maybe I’m late to the party, but seriously, the AMAZING Justine Hines will be reaping most of my iTunes dollars in the new year.

So here’s me, peddling other people’s brilliance.


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