Archive for the ‘Random musings’ Category

Hope, believe, love


August and Everything After

The west, so far, has been very good to me.

I’m slowly piecing myself back together, feeling my heart begin to heal and I finally feel alive again. The haze has lifted and the sun in beginning to shine brightly.

I’ve found a job at a great bar filled with the most amazing people who have embraced me as part of their big, crazy family. They really, REALLY care about each other and after such a short time here, I am secure in knowing there are good people who have my back. I’m spending my time with people who make me feel things again, who make me laugh, who are helping patch up my bangs and bruises, defrost my heart, challenging me and supporting me as I begin to define life under my own terms. I’m settling into a new apartment and making it into my own little home. Every single day I’m mountain climbing, running, biking and camping and letting the mountains work their magic to soothe my soul.

There are moments when I miss my old life like crazy. Moments when I cry thinking about my pups and how desperately I wish I could cuddle with them, have them underfoot, have to sweep 10X each day. There are moments when my family is all together, and my nieces and nephews are giggling, that I would give anything to be with them all. Moments when I miss the familiarity of “my people” and Paisley. But this fresh start and new scenery are what I needed and this trip that has turned into a move (Temporary? Permanent? I’m still operating with no plan…) is proving to have been the best thing I could have done. I’m slowly beginning to figure myself out and enjoying getting lost in exploration along the way.

Nihahi Ridge

Stampede Night Out


The Girls

View from the Summit of Temple Mountain


Temple Mountain Summit (exhausted, cold, exhilirated and proud!)

Kananaskis Lake

Fernie, BC


Beginning of Chapter Three

On Wednesday I will be hitting the road, solo, to drive 3500 kms west to the mountains. I’ve got my mountain bike, camping gear and a backpack full of clothes packed away into my little car. I’m heading out in that direction with no clear direction or plan and have no idea where I will land, what I will do or for how long. What I am hoping is that with each passing kilometre I will be able to breathe deeper, think more clearly, and slowly begin to put the pieces of my heart back together again. Some say I’m running away. I say I’m running forward; towards healing, growth and peace.

Wish me luck as I embark on this new adventure!

Two Months

I know I’ve been missing in action lately. It’s been a difficult, tumultuous, emotional past two months. On March 29th, Lee asked me for a divorce. A few weeks later I found out about his girlfriend. The details of our split are for Lee and I to know and if you care enough to know more, you can give me a call and ask me in person. But for those of you who are wondering, I’m doing well. I’m feeling strong and good and excited about the new life possibilities before me. Of course there is considerable sadness over the demise of what I thought was the great love of my life, but I am walking forward, without looking back and my legs are growing stronger with each and every step. I am making some big decisions on what my next move will be (stay tuned…) and see a beautiful world out there waiting for me to explore.

It has now been two months since my world was flipped upside down and I have begun to think of life in terms of chapters in a book. Chapter one was my childhood and chapter two was my time with Lee. I am only just beginning to write my chapter three and as any avid reader knows, no book truly gets good until chapter three. A wonderful adventure awaits me and I’m steadily moving towards it.

Through all of this, I have realized how truly lucky and blessed I am. I have the most amazing friends and family who have been right beside me. I was shattered and they saw me at my worst. They have held me up when I felt too weak, they have been my shoulders to cry on, my voices of reason, outlets for my anger and frustration, my drinking partners, beach buddies, willing listeners and have patiently been helping to put me back together again. I am surrounded by loving, beautiful people and could not be more grateful for all of them. When you hit the bottom you realize who the true people in your life are and I have been astounded and overjoyed by how many true people I have. You all mean more to me than I could ever express. Thank you. xo

Today I mourn for the polar bears…

Last night I was sitting out on my back deck at 9:15 p.m., drinking a delicious Creemore beer after a day spent outside painting my fence in shorts and a tank top and getting a sunburn. I was also busy swatting at mosquitoes while I checked out my crocuses, daffodils and tulips as they are doing a whole lot more than just poking through the ground. And it’s March. And I’m in Canada.  There is something seriously wrong with this picture.

Don’t get me wrong – I am loving the beautiful sunshine and the warm weather ain’t half bad to deal with – but the fact remains, that it’s March. And I’m in Canada.

Please don’t tell me that global warming is a myth.

The warm weather is here and we might as well enjoy it. As Canadians, we are used to getting such a sacred few days of beautiful, warm weather that we have no choice but to REALLY enjoy every one that we get. But while you are outside enjoying the unseasonably warm temperatures, reflect for a second on how scary the repercussions of such temperatures are and what they can actually mean for our planet if this becomes the norm. This cannot possibly be good and it’s a rather stark reminder that we all need to be doing things differently and demanding better from governments and large corporations. If we don’t start being better stewards of our planet, we  will end up doing a whole lot more than mourning for the polar bears.


Nothing is simple in matters of the heart.

Black and white fade to reveal all shades of grey.

Logic and reason abandon,

The heart pursues its passion.

And we fall to become victims of love.

365 days to 30

Today I turned 29. With 365 days remaining until the big 3-0, I have decided to make some positive, healthy changes in my life in order to ensure I enter my next decade with the energy, confidence and spunk I need to tackle the next challenges in life.

There was a time when I lived incredibly healthy. I ate the right food, I trained for hours each day and I devoted my energy to my sport (biathlon); all of which made me very happy. I entered my 20’s in excellent shape and never gave any thought to my body beyond what I could push it to do. Throughout the past nine years, I have fallen in and out of my (considerable) vices; smoking, drinking, eating garbage food and not dedicating the time I should to exercise and sport. I have allowed myself to think of my body in terms of how it looks rather than in terms of what it can do.

No more.

I will not make a grandiose statement that I am going to completely ditch my vices and eat 100% clean. For me that is simply unrealistic. I enjoy a good party far too much. I also love a cold beer on the beach, a nice glass of wine by the fire and cheese – any kind, anytime- far too much for such declarations. That said, I am going to make a conscientious decision to eat at least 80% clean and consume the sorts of food that make me feel good.I am going to work on putting nutrients into my body that will provide me with the energy I need to accomplish my daily goals.

I am going to continue to slowly work on recovering from my back injury and find new ways to strengthen it to prevent future injuries. I am going to work on creating my own modifications in order to be able to return to all the activities I love as my back strengthens and allows it. I am going to swim, cycle, and eventually, I am going to hit the pavement running again. I am going to do everything I possibly can to put my gloves back on and get back to boxing. I am going to work on improving my flexibility, something I have long neglected, through extensive stretching and yoga. I am going to push myself forward every single day.

365 days from now, as I enter my 3rd decade, I intend to do it with a running leap forward. And I intend to be healthy and feel good.

Let the countdown begin!



Life is all about moments. And every moment we make little choices without even realizing it. And most of the time, things work out ok. So if we trust our instincts, and remember that we’ve only got one shot at this crazy thing called life, the moments all add up into something pretty remarkable. Whether we know what we’re doing or not.

My Old Stomping Grounds

This past weekend I made the long drive east to Ottawa. A trip that should have taken me 7-8 hours ended up taking two full days after the CRAZIEST white-out snowstorm I have EVER driven in (and that’s saying a lot coming from a girl who lives in Bruce County…) left me storm-stayed in Belleville for a night. While I was disappointed to have to miss dinner plans with my friends Nicole, Rob and their son Max, I decided to make the best of it and  think of it as yet another travel adventure and story. Turns out every hotel in town was sold out of rooms and full of stranded travelers! Some beers and stories in the hotel lobby with fellow strandees and I could do nothing but laugh at being stuck somewhere en route to a destination AGAIN!

Over night the snow stopped and the highways were cleared and I headed back out on the road in sparkling sunshine to finish the last stretch of the drive. As soon as I hit Hwy 417, a huge smile spread across my face; I absolutely LOVE Ottawa and have the best memories of my time living there. It is a place of firsts for me; my first time living on my own and by my own rules, my first apartment, my first roommates, my first serious relationship, my first grown-up job, my first deep hurt…It is also where I lived the glorious life of a student, spent far too much time (and money) partying and had some of the most hilarious and story-worthy encounters and adventures. Ottawa is a beautiful city and will always hold a special place in my heart.

The Capitol also happens to be where some of my favourite people reside but because it’s so far away, I don’t make it back nearly often enough. Needless to say, I had a full schedule to see everyone I wanted to see while there but managed some great time with all my important Ottawa people. Noah (my NZ travel buddy) recently moved back so I used his apartment as my home-base. Friday at noon I met a work colleague (fabulous lady who knows just the right things to say to get me motivated!) at Heart and Crown for lunch and followed lunch up with wandering around the market reminiscing! Friday night we went to an old church in the Byward Market that is no longer an active place of worship and has been converted into an event space (although converted might be the wrong word…it really hasn’t been changed in anyway and the pews and everything are still set up) for a dance party.

For possibly the first time in my life, I felt old. There is a good chance I was about a decade older than a lot of the people there. Regardless, it was kind of hilarious and we had a pretty good time dancing and ended the night at Shawarma King, which is never a bad thing. When I lived in Ottawa, I assumed shawarma was standard fare in all major cities but O-town is truly the only place I have been where you can find it on almost every corner.

Saturday morning was breakfast with Nicole and Rob (delicious eggs benedict on home-made english muffins!) and cuddles with their adorable son Max. It was so great catching up with Nicole! She and I spent years traveling all over the country together competing in biathlon and I am so happy we have remained such good friends throughout the years. She is also one of the most interesting people I have ever met – the girl has traveled all over the world on her own and has some pretty remarkable stories (you should read her blog to get a glimpse of some of the remarkable adventures she has been on –

Drinks Saturday night at The Lieutenant’s Pump followed by a trip to Elgin Street Diner, an Ottawa late-night institution where the line-up and wait is well worth it to grab one of their multiple flavoured, cheese-curd filled, gravy-drenched poutines. I wondered if the four-cheese variety was as good as I remembered it from my university days and it was although I wasn’t able to shovel back a full order on my own the way I used to be able to! (You’re almost guaranteed to run into someone you know at ESD and this trip proved that theory true once again as I ran into a friend from highschool that I used to work beachstaff with).

Sunday brought a morning coffee date with Tasha at Bridgehead (BEST coffee in Ottawa and it’s all fair-trade, organic and shade-grown from small growers) where I got to hear all about the plans for her upcoming nuptials! An afternoon coffee date with a long-time family friend (who incidentally I used to babysit and who’s recent engagement announcement, that she told me about when I ran into her Friday night, contributed to making me feel so old…) at Sun Cafe (a cute place that combines coffee shop and flower shop) and my caffeine levels were perfect for the day. Dinner and laughs with Norah, one of my best friends from highschool, at Clocktower Brew Pub (they brew their own beer – Wishart’s Bitter is my favourite) brought a perfect close to my weekend.

Monday I hit the road heading back west and broke the trip up perfectly with an over-night stop in Kinsale to visit my sister and brother-in-law and get some always needed snuggles in with my gorgeous niece Paige. Tuesday was a stop in Grand Valley to visit my sister-in-law (the sister-in-law who was my university roommate in Ottawa so it completed the circle perfectly!) and grab some snuggles with my handsome nephew, Callum before I finally arrived back home!

It was a perfect long weekend full of people I love and I cannot wait to plan my next foray back to Ottawa sometime very soon!