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ciao 2015

Instead of being all young sad and blue that my 2015 wasn’t really MY year of greatness (it was kinda shitty for the most part – especially the end), I decided to look at some awesome things instead.

1. What did you do this year that you’re proud of?

I applied for the Supervisor role at my work.  Even though I eventually was unsuccessful, I tried.  I put my best foot forward and I helped my two friends who I adore (and who were successful) and I did it all with a smile on my face and true, genuine happiness in my heart.

2.What were some times that you laughed so hard you could barely breathe?

My summer at the cottage with Kim and her family.  Our evenings by the campfire were some of the most fun times I have had – and most nights ended with me bawling from laughing so hard! “Eddie threw bugs on us”!!!

3. What were quotes that you loved this year?

From Tina Fey – I need to take my pants off as soon as I get home.  I didn’t used to have to do that.  But now I do.

4. What is your favorite photo from this year?

This photo was taken before I left on my Dominican trip with my family – Simba always is my favorite – he’s so sweet!

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5. Who are people that you believe are bringing out the best in you?

I have an amazing group of girlfriends that make me – me! To name a few, Kim, Nancy B, Erin, Agnes, Sarah, Alex, Dawn, Tammy, Rochelle, Kristi, Nancy W and so many more.  I love you all

And finally…

6. What are some things you’d like to focus and work on in the next year?

Obviously the adoption will be my ONLY priority, but at the same time I also need to work on my, my health both physically and mentally, to prepare myself for being a mother.  This is my focus.

Love Nicole

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What I’ve learned from living with my mom

When I was 13, just a girl struggling to find my place in this world, my parents got a divorce. The only world I knew changed – dramatically.  The mother, who I had been closest to left and my father, whom I barely knew – and to be honest didn’t like very much, continued in my raising and became my sole-parent.  I saw my mom most weeks for an hour or two, but our relationship quickly deteriorated and I relied on my (now) sister-in-law, my Aunt Sharron and my paternal grandmother as my support systems. As the weeks became months, which quickly became years we saw each other less and less to where it was only at Christmas and maybe mothers day where we would spend any significant time together.

My father and I on the other hand became the best of friends…well, that took years, but it happened.  Her leaving, was the best thing that could have happened to me.  If my parents had gotten divorced and I had been left in her care, I wouldn’t be me.  I wouldn’t be the confidant, happy girl I am now.  I don’t know who I would be, but I wouldn’t be me and I am kind of awesome – so her leaving…it was for the best.  I am not one of those people who thinks parents should stay together for the kids – at all!  We only have ONE life to live and everyone should live it to the fullest and be happy – or as happy as possible.  If two people make each other miserable, or hurt each other or just aren’t good together anymore, I believe a break up needs to happen.  Maybe that’s why marriage isn’t my first priority in life.  It’s a very expensive break up, when really, two people should be able to choose happiness over unhappiness any day.

Fast forward twenty years and my mom somehow finds her way back into my life.  Her husband (my step-dad) has passed away and a little over a year later, my dad passes on and I am left…not alone…but, I am left with her.  I am left with the woman who gave birth to me.  And regardless of how she came back into my world, she walked through that door and hasn’t for one moment looked back.  I happily opened the door wide, with no locks, no restraints, no guilt.  I know my dad would want us to be together – to look out for each other.  It’s who he was.  He wasn’t bitter or negative about the divorce…he loved me and he wanted my mom in my life – even if I was an adult now and way to stubborn to take any motherly advice.

I don’t hold grudges.  I don’t make people feel bad about mistakes they have made in the past.  I have felt a lot of hurt from people I loved most, but that is there cross to bear, not mine.  I forgive easily, it’s just who I am.  Again, my dad raised me this way and I am perfectly happy being the way I am.

When my mom called me two months ago saying she needed a place to temporarily stay I didn’t think twice – I invited her to stay with me.  I have a house – a three bedroom home with two bathrooms and a finished basement for me and my pup.  I have a lot of room for guests.  Even if I didn’t – this is my mother.  She went through almost two days of labour with me, I could allow her to come stay with me for a few weeks (or months if need be).

She moved in the first of June and on July 18th she will move back with my aunt (her twin sister) permanently.  It has been a pretty great time.  I have zero complaints.  If it had been more than a few weeks or months, I would have been happy with that too.  I am not mad she’s moving out or angry, I have no feelings of abandon, I liked living alone and I liked living with her so I am good either way.  I don’t need months of therapy (lol, though that would be funny) but I am pretty sure my poor dog will because he LOVES his human nana and has become pretty obsessed with her.

I actually learned a few things in the past 6 weeks and I am going to recount them here for you:

We get along much better as adults on an equal playing field then we ever would have when I was a teenager.

My mom is awesome, but her tolerance for foolishness and childishness is small.  Lazy, full of attitude teenagers is not her cup of tea – and I was FULL OF ATTITUDE as a teen.  We would have butted heads – probably even more than my dad and I did, because at least with him, I knew when he said no he meant no.  I would have pushed my moms buttons a lot harder than I pushed his.  As an adult, we relate better to each other

I have a lot of similarities to my mom – huh!  Who knew?!

I didn’t think we had much in common.  She spent the last 20 years, happy in a small town and I have loved my home in Scarborough (Toronto) and never had any desire to move to a small town – though technically Ajax is a town…so again, I have changed…grown! We watch similar shows, enjoy similar food and even have similar body shapes right now (though we are both over weight and need to work on that)

She is extremely helpful

Everything from doing my gardening (which I strongly dislike doing) to taking care of my pooch to ironing my clothes; as a retired person, she has lots of free time and she happily does a lot for me without me even asking and I am grateful!  She has made life pretty easy for me these past few weeks – especially where Simba is concerned.  In return I have given her a home and I cook dinner every night she is there which is a benefit to us both.

We laugh – a lot

Living alone, I laugh at tv shows, I laugh when Simba is being crazy, but other that than, my laughter has died down.  When my mom moved in, I found my real laughter, my deep gut, hearty laugh.  I laugh till I cry.  I laugh so much my stomach hurts.  It’s fun.  It’s great to be exhausted from laughing so much, it really is the best therapy.

She never stopped loving me

I never doubted my moms love, I doubted her ability to be a mom. Since moving in, she has been extremely motherly towards me, but in a more mature way, since I am not a baby or a little girl anymore. It’s refreshing.  Losing my dad took a part of my heart and made it go away forever…having a parent who loves me still in my life has made the rest of my heart beat a little stronger.  She is a wonderful person and I am glad I allowed her willingly into my home, my heart and my soul.

Love Nicole

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LAUGHTER TRULY IS THE BEST MEDICINE

This weekend my long-awaited girls trip finally came! Blue Mountain was the destination and I was super excited because I have never been but so many colleagues and friends have been there and I have made it my mission to get to the mountains!. Thanks to Kim, Erin and Nancy that mission was completed!

Kim and I drove up together Friday in the early afternoon and we made amazing time – except that about 20 minutes away my GPS lost a signal and we had to find our own way there. Thankfully there is the MOUNTAINS to follow so we did. Blue Mountain had to be somewhere close to the actual mountain no? YES! YAY!

We walked around waiting for Nancy and Erin to arrive (who also lost GPS signal but they didn’t clue in quite as quickly to the follow the mountains) and figuring out where things were.

As we were walking we decided to ride their version of a roller coaster. It was crazy fun and when the other girls finally arrived we all rode the coaster again! I am not going to do a play by-play of everything we did because there was so much:

we ate (well Kim didn’t – for some reason all of her food was undercooked, overcooked or gross) but the rest of us ate well and drank well and we had a blast.

I have needed this break with these ladies for a long time now. They are three of my absolute closest friends and the ones who make the most time to hang out with me even though they have families, partners, kids and friends of their own and they always keep me smiling. This weekend was NO different.

We all laughed so much my stomach was cramping and my cheeks were aching. Even during our “couples” spa package Kim had me in tears, ruining my clay mask – but those lights really did look like dog dishes!!!

Kim, Nancy and I went zip lining and I was pretty sure it would be the walk up to the zips that would kill me not the actual zip lining! I mean seriously, can’t they have an escalator? I couldn’t breathe by the time we got to the top and they guy was explaining what would happen…I just let him strap me and let me go. IT WAS FANTASTIC! Another item scratched off my bucket list! YES!

We also had a lot of Sex on the Beach drinks. When I say a lot, I mean for four girls who never drink. We each had like 4 or 5 but we were all feeling good and enjoying every minute away giggling and gossiping!

On the Saturday we were sitting under a gazebo around 10:30 at night and we looked over and there were approximately 20 young boys (about ages10-14 I’m guessing) who had streaked down to their underwear and ran through the village with no shoes on! At first we couldn’t believe it and then we just kept giggling the whole time – completely inappropriate – but so hilarious!

On Sunday when it was finally time to leave, I was sad. I knew I’d have to come home and deal with this dreaded week leading up to father’s day alone, but I was also happy to come home to Simba. Nothing beats a girl’s weekend with friends, except coming home to puppy dog kisses!

This is going to have to be an annual thing because these girls are my life and this weekend proved how amazing time away from everything truly is!

Until next year…

Love Nicole