Tag Archive | Canada

I Worry…

And I wish I could categorize it as a super power. I have always been somewhat timid, it has just increased drastically since Ken openly acknowledged his severe depression had relapsed. 

I come from a family of people with anxiety… close family members who I won’t name since I did not ask their permission, some even officially diagnosed and medicated for it. I have had conversations about how it is “in the genes”… how we could be know for it, and how we manage to make it work for us. 

My worry solidifies in plans, in back up plans, in back ups to back up plans. I categorize and re categorize everything. This includes my own health. I am always trying to be proactive. Living in the US without Canada’s universal health care has had me in a position of careful self management for periods of time.

And I have succeeded in spades. Working out up to 6 times a week has me active, removing high fructose corn syrup has my stomach aches down to a minimum, I limit my contact use, attempt to get enough rest, walk all summer and spend my time productively. 

But I worry… I worry about the dental visit I will have to finally have after an undisclosed period of time and the fall out from that. I worry that if I drop the ball on any of the above things I will trickle down to a massive physical breakdown (even though I know one less work out a week or that extra can of pop isn’t a final nail in ANY coffin). 

But it goes beyond that… I worry about Ken. I mean… ALWAYS worry about Ken. Is he healthy, is he happy, does he feel in control of his mental health? Have I done enough to assist him in his work to remain healthy? Can I do more?

Of course I also have a healthy dose of “Mommy Guilt”…. that feeling like you will never do enough for your kids. I question my parenting skills, my homeschooling, my ability to provide and discipline and love all at the same time. Will they reflect back on their childhood and see that they were loved and I did my very best for them? 

Don’t get me started on my worries about where I live and the goings on on a grand scale. What a world we live in right know.

So, I worry. And I plan, maybe over plan a little… and I love and I live and I do my very best. 

My master plan is to find a way to make my worry work for me. If it is worthy of worry it is worthy of work. This month I added a 3rd workout class to my schedule (don’t worry I still don’t exceed 6 days a week, I rather changed an elliptical run with R.I.P.P.E.D which I love… I am not THAT crazy after all). I have to wait to face the music at the dentist so I upped my dental care regime to at least keep peace of mind that I am not creating a bigger mess. The kids – well I just do my best and change things up from time to time. December is a month to celebrate according to Zander… so we are! Who says education has to be boring and lack in colouring pages? Not me!!!

And now for the biggest worry of them all (and I admit it, my own worries take a back seat when it comes to Ken’s health, it can just become so all consuming that I am still learning to let him worry about him and me do me.)… KEN… My greatest love, my dearest companion AND my largest worry. 

What can I do? Well, nothing more than I already am, so how to cope? Conversation, crochet, chocolate (cuz what doesn’t get a wee bit better with some quality chocolate?) and awesome company every so often. Yup, online and in person, I am surrounded by some of the most amazing and supportive people who get my crazy. (Or at least pretend they do)

So yes, I am a worrier, I just have yet to let the worry consume me. So if you have a conversation with me that is very wordy and full of circular discussion (like a lot of these blog posts) just realize I am talking through my worry, my neurosis as Ken likes to say. I put my worries out there so they feel less huge, less soul crushing. If someone I trust can tell me it is a tiny worry, well, maybe I can believe it too?

Do you worry? I would love to hear how you cope. Or, if you need me to, listen to your worries so you can feel heard. We worriers need to stick together, if nothing else than so we can enjoy chocolate, crafting and conversation… some of the best “C” words out there! 20171204_170413

Happy Canada Day!

July 1st is our yearly opportunity to be very visible and very Canadian. This year was a little different… Emanuel was still away at the Scout Camp with his friend Aidan until the evening. So we did our usual photo shoot with a twist.20170701_094925

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There was a meet up with our homeschool friends for some swimming or club (kid’s choice) with Nate and Bella as well. 20170701_105006

We TRIED to head to the zoo but apparently it was the day to go. So instead we turned around and headed to our favourite beach. Since the weather was a little on the cool side and cloudy it wasn’t packed. We didn’t spend much time in the water but really enjoyed the sand.

With Maple the Leaf

With Maple the Leaf

20170701_13072020170701_13300120170701_13370520170701_131403After the beach it was home for showers and then off to collect our absent Canadian. On the way there we stopped at our 3rd Tim Hortons so far. This one is rather close to the Novak’s house. I actually meet what I assume is an owner of one of the franchise. After a lovely conversation about the new stores and my coming from Canada to Minnesota he comped us 40 Tim Bits!!! So I left that store with 80 Tim Bits, an Ice Cap and a wonderful experience.IMG_20170701_162643_194

Snoopy!

Snoopy!

After a visit with the family and delivery of their Canadian goodies it was off to McDonald’s (Echo’s request after the aborted trip to the zoo).20170701_185250

We rounded off our Canada Day with a table of Canadian sweets. Ken made traditional and mint Nanaimo Bars (we had to order the custard powder off Amazon), Maple Cookies sent by a friend, and Tim Bits. Not bad! Next year buttertarts?IMG_20170701_211904_989

We redid our group photos on the 2nd to get a full group shot.20170702_095901

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Not bad for a Canada Day that wasn’t able to be celebrated IN Canada.20170701_095149

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Welcome Grandma, Down from the Great White North…

But just for a week. Which I can tell you, her dog Gypsy did not approve of. I heard tell of a minor hunger strike when cookies were snitched from meals but the actual dog chow left untouched! It was a lovely week full of a good balance of activity and rest.20170404_134102

Grandma started off smart – she hooked the kids on some puzzle game apps so they could all play together. Always a good plan, especially since they were FREE. Couple that with watching dog rescue videos together and much time was spent in quiet enjoyment.IMG_20170404_152623_521

20170407_112120We took Grandma to the YMCA twice this visit. Once to watch Trinity and Emanuel in karate and meet their Sensei.IMG_20170413_222319_460

The other time to come for our Sunday night swim. Mommy got in her exercise class, and the rest got quality pool time with Grandma letting Daddy off the hook!IMG_20170409_182842_996

20170409_18390720170409_193406Our big field trip was to the Mill City Museum. A family favourite and fun for Grandma to see some Minnesota history first hand. She and Ken took the twins up in the big elevator that walks you through the history of the mill as well as its partial destruction.20170407_130947

20170407_13183120170407_13243220170407_135035IMG_20170407_135840_62920170407_14142220170407_13384720170407_132037Grandma asked to go to two specific places to eat – Culver’s, which we went to the night she came. She had never been, we simply could not let that stand!IMG_20170404_182631_533

The second place was a brunch with adults only to Perkin’s. This was followed up by a lovely stash of bakery goods purchased by Grandma that came home for the kids to enjoy. We snuck over to Joann’s while we were out. Good food AND good shopping (with coupons of course).

It was a decadent brownie.

It was a decadent brownie.

Grandma also COOKED a couple times – we got to taste her delicious homemade spaghetti sauce. With meat in it! AND she made taco soup. A new one for all of us, but one that everyone but the girls (no surprise) enjoyed. It was beyond delicious. So of course, I must share the recipe! HERE20170406_130918

Mine is without crunched up nacho chips.

Mine is without crunched up nacho chips.

She came bearing gifts… Canadian snacks… well lots of Canadian things. Including a colouring book for the 150th birthday. She also brought us some Gypsy puppies to add to our teddy collection. We had some small tokens for her.IMG_20170404_155142_971

My early birthday gift to mom, a pin.

My early birthday gift to mom, a pin.

We had hair braiding parties.IMG_20170410_220135

And Grandma spent special quality time with all the kids. It was so lovely for them to have one on one (though the twins opted to go together) time with Grandma and fully get her hooked on Caribou coffee.

Mix in a couple nippy spring walks to the park and Grandma got a taste of early spring in Minnesota.20170405_104230

We also pulled out movies and popcorn to make sure we had some quality cinema time. Kubo was well enjoyed.IMG_20170405_010349_384

Grandma took special care braiding up Emanuel’s hair. It was nice to have a week of no hair in the eyes. Though friends said it was very… basketball player! IMG_20170405_210629_766

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Since Easter was right around the corner we also did some egg decorating.IMG_20170409_145459_677

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Ken and I snuck away for some quality YMCA time… well he sat, and I went to class.IMG_20170407_180036_180

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It was a terrific visit. Sit back and enjoy the excessive, but happy images! Thanks for the visit Grandma!20170410_125226

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