Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Busy, busy, busy and getting busier

My baby girl is no longer a baby. She started junior kindergarten yesterday. She goes every morning. She had a great time yesterday and was excited to go back. Carl dropped her off this morning because it's raining and I didn't want to bring Carson out in it if I didn't have to. Carl called me right after he dropped her off and said it didn't go very well. She started crying as they walked up to the door. Up until then she was excited. I don't know. I hope she's calmed down now. Carson's not particularly happy either. He wants to go with her. Believe it or not, he goes next year.

I started school recently myself. I'm taking Grammar for Editors, the first course required to obtain an editing certificate from George Brown College. It's every Tuesday evening, and I'm enjoying it. Actually, the first week I was really perturbed. This course is going to be hard. But last night was good and it was just clicking. If I take one course at a time and take summers off, it should work out perfectly. I'll be doing my work placement in the fall of 2009, when Carson enters grade one and is in school all day.

Yesterday I signed Hayley up for swimming and Carson for a movement class we do together. Tomorrow I can sign Carson up for his swimming, and Hayley for ballet and martial arts. We are going to be busy. The price is right, though. They're all through the city, and the total for those five classes is $169! I'm also going to be taking a class at the church on Thursday nights called "Blockbuster Jesus", which sounds really interesting. Here's the summary:

The past decade has seen a number of bestsellers about Jesus, whose marketing has depended on their "controversial" quality - on the ways in which their authors are supposed to have challenged the Church's teaching about Jesus of Nazareth.

As part of the Theology Today series, Stephen Reynolds takes a look at John Dominic Crossan's Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, and Tom Harpur's The Pagan Christ - and asks, "How credible are these challenges?"

So far Carl has nothing extracurricular, so we have to find something for him to do.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Warning: maudlin post ahead

Carson and I didn't make it to Church of the Redeemer last weekend because some idiot in the apartment building across the street was playing the drums on his balcony until all hours of the morning and I barely slept. So we all went as a family this weekend. It was great. There weren't very many kids there, but this is a long weekend in Canada (just because, sort of like a bank holiday in the U.K.) but there were a lot of young people (by this I mean our age) there. There was a woman with green hair, another with a tattoo on the back of her neck, a woman in the choir (vocal group?) was drinking a coffee, and we were appropriately dressed in our jeans. I thought "this is the place for me." ;) More importantly, they seem to have a healthy community and I really, really liked the sermon. The rector (they call him the incumbent - anyone care to explain the difference?) gave the sermon sans pulpit and sans notes. He made us laugh with a story about his daughter, and then related it to scripture. And yes, of course I was making comparisons, but he stood up pretty well, and that's saying something.

The music was good. They use a more modern hymn book, Gather, and we were lead by organ (not overbearing like the one at the other church that gave us headaches) and a guitar. The final hymn was African and everyone was really getting into it.

It's too early to know for sure, but I think this is it. Carl said I had that look in my eye, and he liked it too. So I was on a high when we left, but I haven't been able to sleep tonight (it's 5 a.m. now and I decided to do some laundry instead of tossing and turning) because I've been thinking about my old life. I just don't know how to get past this. It still hurts so badly. I mean, most of the time I am so glad to be here. I love Toronto, I really do. And our families and friends here too, of course. But sometimes I feel like I'm just having a really long dream and I'm going to wake up and be back in California. I know I haven't been great at communicating with my friends there, and I'm sorry. Getting behind on email is not intentional, but I think maybe it's a subconscious form of self-preservation. I miss you and think about you all the time. Too much. I have to move past this period of mourning. I'm still satisfied with my decision to not go to California in July, but now I'm wondering when, if ever, I'll get to go back. And that hurts.

Anyway. Sorry for being so... well, maudlin. Things always seem worse when you've had no sleep.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

...and my heart broke

My baby girl had stitches put in her head last night. She fell headfirst into a metal bar in the hallway of our apartment building, and opened up a pretty nice gash on her forehead. She didn't even cry - she was more concerned about the fact that she couldn't go swimming (they were on their way to the pool). She did cry when her forehead was getting frozen, but who can blame her? I had my forehead frozen when I was 20 and I think I cried! Carl said she was very brave through the whole thing. What a little toughie.

We went to church on Sunday for the first time since we moved to our new place. It was first on our list to check out, and while we thought the sermon was pretty good, we were underwhelmed by the community. There was a lot of mumbling prayers and hymns, though the hymns were understandable as the pipe organ was so loud it was overpowering. Carl and I both had headaches by the time we left. Hayley enjoyed church school and Carson was fine in the nursery (though he was the only child in there). I did think their alert system for the nursery was good - it's a small screen in the church that flashes a number assigned to your child if you need to come pick him/her up. Anyway, this Sunday Carson and I will be checking out another church (Carl and Hayley are going camping with her uncles and her cousin). I hadn't looked at the website for this one before because it's not in our neighbourhood. Not that it's far at all - only five kilometres (three miles) - it's just that there are so many churches between here and there that I didn't think to look at it. And maybe that's part of the problem. There are too many parishes and not enough parishioners. Anyway, I have high hopes for this one. It's got me excited the same way I was when I found St. Tim's website. Check out their website and let me know what you think: Church of the Redeemer

Today is mine and Carl's 9th wedding anniversary! It's hard to believe it's been that long. We're not doing anything special to celebrate today because we considered our kidless vacation a week-long celebration and anniversary present to each other (and from my parents!)

Have to dash to Hayley's swimming lesson. Love and blessings,

Monday, July 03, 2006

The Long Weekend

I'm supposed to be in California right now. I'm happy with my decision to donate the money to the walk instead of spending it on air fare, but I still wish I were there now, visiting the St. Tim's family. That being said, we've had a good weekend.

On Friday night, I went to see The Devil Wears Prada with my sister-in-law Christine. We both really liked it. My enjoyment was enhanced by the group of gay guys sitting next to us who let everyone in the theatre know how much they loved the movie. The guy sitting right next to me put it in the same class as Pretty Woman. Then we went to Cafe Crepe. Mmmmmm.

Saturday was a bit of a bust as I was feeling a bit under the weather. We had plans to go to a Canada Day celebration in Etobicoke (western part of Toronto) with the other half of our Godfamily (Brett, Lara & Anita,) but instead Carl took the kids to the local park where they played at the playground and in the splashpad. They had a good time.

Yesterday we went to Carl's parents' where the whole gang (minus our sister-in-law Natalie) was congregated. We hadn't seen Carl's brother Denis (the only one who doesn't live nearby) in a few months, so it was good to visit with him. Hopefully Natalie can come next time too.

Today was a holiday in lieu of Saturday, so we took a long walk up Mount Pleasant, across Eglinton and down Yonge (with a stop at Dairy Queen!) which was nice. The kids only got cranky at the end. Then we went down to Mark, Christine and Gemma's. Carl, Mark and the kids went to the park while Christine and I went to Scrapbooks by Design. Christine is initiating me into the world of scrapbooking. Carl (jokingly?) says she's a bad influence on me, but I think it's all good.

We've got a new camera on the way (our old one went kaput) and as soon as we have it I'll post some pictures on flickr for you to see. In the meantime, check out this picture that Christine posted in her flickr account: Three Princesses. Cinderella on the right is our neice Gemma.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Happy to be here

I'm not sure if anyone is actually still reading this, but I'll just keep blogging.

Things are going well here in Toronto, though we're still not entirely unpacked. I always forget how much work unpacking is. It's especially strange this time since most of the boxes were packed five months ago. Hard to believe it's been five months since we left California. When we were staying in Brampton, it was kind of like being on hold, so that period of time is kind of sketchy to me. Being in California feels like yesterday and eons ago, at the same time.

I do love living in Toronto. I forgot how much I love living in a big city (you may be thinking "Toronto, a big city?" But yes, it is. It's the fifth largest city in North America, after Mexico City, New York, L.A. and Chicago.) Last weekend, for example, we went to Pride. We were hoping to stay for the parade, but Carson got a little too moody. We had fun at Family Pride, though.

World cup fever has taken over this city, and there have been a few cultural clashes. Nothing horrible, though. So far. I hope it doesn't get to that. Carl and I are cheering for England.

We haven't been to church since we moved (for various reasons) but we hope to go on Sunday. We are going to check out Christ Church Deer Park first. It is not necessarily the closest, but it may be the easiest to get to as it is one subway stop away, and it looks like it has a good children's ministry.

I'm looking forward to the long weekend (Canada Day is on Saturday so Monday is a holiday). Then four days of work and Carl will be off for a week of vacation. That's when we'll be bringing Hayley and Carson to my mom and dad's and I couldn't be more excited. We are going to see Lord of the Rings (the play) on the Wednesday, and on Thursday we're having dinner at North 44)º (as part of Summerlicious, an annual event in which a number of Toronto restaurants offer a prix fixe option on their menu at a great price. North 44)º is generally pretty expensive, but their Summerlicious menu is $35 for three courses.) Other than that we're playing it by ear. We don't want to have too many things scheduled.

I still miss everyone in California so much that it hurts to think about, but I can honestly say that I am happy here now.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Home Sweet Home

I am typing this from my very own apartment. Well, okay, I have to share it with Carl and Hayley and Carson, but you know what I mean. I am out of the in-laws' house and once again have my own space. Or will once we get all the boxes sorted and unpacked. That's nothing, though, we've moved a million times and I'm used to it.

The kids are settling in well. Hayley has been excited to move for quite a while now, and was positively giddy today. They delved into all the toys that they haven't seen in four months. Now they are sleeping in their new bunk beds. Hayley has also been excited about sleeping on the top bunk, but we were a little concerned that she would be afraid to when the time actually came. She's been fine, though, climbing up and down the ladder with ease. Carson actually asked to go to bed tonight, and looks very comfortable in his bottom bunk.

And now I think I'll crawl into my bunk. It's been a long day and Carl and I are due for some z's.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Good Stuff

Happy Birthday to me! I am 31 today, and feeling good. I asked for stamping stuff (from Stampin' Up) and that's what I got! My friend Lara and her baby Anita are coming over for lunch, and Carl is taking me out for dinner tonight.

Speaking of Lara and Anita, I celebrated Mother's Day by becoming a Godmother! I feel so blessed and honoured. Anita did so well, she was her usual smiley self as the minister doused her with Holy water and carried her down the aisle to introduce our new sister. Her parents were very proud, and so were her Godparents. Since Anita's parents (Brett & Lara) are Hayley and Carson's Godparents and Carl and I are Anita's Godparents, we're all just one big Godfamily now. :)

Carl and I are looking forward to a week in July. When I told my mom that I wasn't doing the walk, she told me that she and my dad would still take the kids for a week (though it's now the next week so that my dad will be home the whole time). So Carl booked the week off and we're actually going to have some time to ourselves! How great is that?! It's going to be amazing to have the apartment to ourselves. I don't think we're going to go away, except maybe for a couple of day trips outside the city. Otherwise there's lots to do in Toronto. Why spend money on a hotel when we've got the apartment to ourselves?

We got our car back on the weekend, so yay! Of course we can't drive it yet. We have to register it with the Registrar of Imported Vehicles, then we have to have changes made to the car (like the odometer switched from miles to kilometers), and then we can register it with MTO (think DMV) and insure it. But at least it's here.

Meanwhile, June 3rd can't come quickly enough - moving day!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Hi from Northern Ontario

The kids and I are up at my mom and dad's house now. They live about six hours north of Toronto. We're going back down south on the weekend. It's really nice to be here, visiting my mom and my brother (my dad is at work, he'll be home on Thursday), and getting to know my brother's girlfriend Pam. She's really nice and the kids adore her. Especially Hayley. Carl is working, as is usually the case when I'm visiting here. Once we get our car (no, we still don't have it - I hate red tape) and are settled in to our apartment, we can make weekend trips so that Carl can spend some time up here too.

I've decided that I'm not doing the Avon Walk. I really started thinking about the cost of travelling to California, and decided that I would rather donate that money to the walk. I'd rather give my money to the Avon Foundation and have it be used to beat breast cancer than give it to Air Canada. I'm sad that I won't get to go to California, but this just makes more sense to me. I e-mailed my donors for feedback before I made the decision, and everyone was very supportive.

Not much else new. Just waiting, waiting, waiting for June to roll around.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Sick of being sick!

I've been sick for almost 2 weeks. I got what I think was the flu on the Saturday of Easter weekend and spent the next few days in bed. I was feeling a lot better by the end of that week, but the cold part still hung on and then last weekend my ears got infected and I spent a lot of last weekend in bed as well. This week it's been a lot of coughing and trying to get my ears back in shape, and just being really really worn out. I'm sooooo ready to be better.

I'm very concerned about the Avon Walk. I haven't been able to go out walking while I've been sick (I wouldn't get very far with the energy I've had) and I admit that the training wasn't exactly going well before I got sick either. I only have two months left, and I'm worried that I'm not going to be able to do the mileage. The good news is that I've raised the minimum amount of money required to participate, so that's no longer a concern.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Mixed Emotions

I read Sara's news today, and I'm so happy for her and Dennis that it made me sad, if that makes any sense at all. I'm sad that I'm not there to see the baby that's sure to snatch this year's Baby Jesus role at St. Tim's, and to see SJ's baby, and Shana's... not to mention all the kids who are already around, and of course, their parents. It just gave me a renewed sense of longing for all the people I left behind in Mountain View. And yet I'm excited to be starting our new life here. Maybe when we get moved in to our new apartment, my heart won't be so divided.

I am really happy that I get to watch our little Anita grow. She is the daughter of Hayley and Carson's Godparents, she's six months old, and she is so cute and sweet and smiley, and I could just eat her up. She has cheeks to die for, much like my little Hayleykins. And I'm happy to be able to see our niece Gemma grow up, and have Hayley and Carson be able to play with her. We've been seeing her almost every week, sometimes twice a week, and she and Hayley adore each other.

I'm also falling back in love with Toronto. It really is a very cool city, and I'm happy we're going to be living there. I got used to suburbia and thought that was what I wanted when we got back here, but found myself craving the feeling of being in the centre of 'it all' and I'm glad we're going to live where we are.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Woo hoo!

We found a place to live! It's a two bedroom apartment (I know, I know, but three bedrooms are hard to come by (or out of our price range) in areas you'd actually want to live) in Toronto, and it's a three minute walk from Carl's office. It's at Yonge & Davisville (map), in midtown Toronto (neighbourhood description). The school the kids will be attending is right across the street, and doubles as a school for the deaf. Because of that, they teach ALL the kids sign language, so that they can all communicate together. I'm so in love with that idea! It seems like a great school all around. There's a park right there, and we're right on the subway line. There are walking trails nearby. Recreation in central Toronto is waaaay cheap, so I'm excited about that. Ballet for Hayley will be $26 for 9 weeks! We move in on June 1, and we're very excited.

We got a car loan here and it's in the process of being transferred from our credit union in California (Technology Credit Union, which I would highly recommend to anyone). Then we can go get it from Michigan and finally have our own wheels again. Things are really coming together.

There are a few different churches in the area, but this is the one I'd like to check out first: Christ Church Deer Park, mainly because it seems like it has a good children's ministry.

And now? More waiting. At least it's better to wait for something we know is coming. :)

Monday, March 20, 2006

Carl and I had money stolen from our bank account. They took $180 from our chequing last night, and $500 from our savings this morning. We figure we must have had someone double-swipe one of our debit cards. We'll get the money back, but it's been a pain in the ass. The credit union told us we had to file a police report and get a letter notorized, saying that we didn't withdraw the money. We went to one police station, and the guy there didn't even get up to talk to us, and was no help at all. Then we went to police headquarters, where they did help us. But they said that the bank should be doing their own investigation, and that we didn't have to file a report. So then we went and got our letter notorized, which cost $40, and brought it to the bank. We basically spent the day running around because of it, but I'm just glad that Carl didn't start work today as planned (he starts tomorrow). As his mom said, there was a reason his start date got deferred.

Even though we're getting the money back, I feel violated. And that sucks.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Thank God

Carl got a job! Beginning on the 17th, he will be the Operations Manager at Quartet Services, an IT outsourcing firm in Toronto. He really likes the company and the people he interviewed with, and he thinks this will be a good fit. We're very excited, and very relieved. Now we can start to set other things in motion.

::happy sigh::

Saturday, February 25, 2006

No, I haven't forgotten about this blog. I've just been feeling a little down and didn't really feel like subjecting anyone to more complaining. Anyway, things are beginning to look up. Carl was contacted by three recruiters last week about three different jobs. He's been contacted by recruiters before, but these ones actually wanted to meet with him before they decided to put him forward for the job, which tells me that they're better recruiters. He met with one on Thursday, one on Friday, and is meeting with another on Monday. The ones he has already met with are putting him forward, so that's great. Even if nothing comes of these jobs, it's great to have some interest.

Carl's brother Denis and his wife Natalie are coming into town today and we're excited to see them. They live a few hours away, so we haven't seen them yet. Everyone will be here tomorrow afternoon, and it's been pretty rare to have us all in one place. I guess it'll be more common now that we all live in the same province.

We've been watching a lot of the Olymics in the last couple of weeks. Despite the pitiful showing from our men's hockey team, Canada has done really well. With 20 medals, we've got the most we've ever had. Highlights for me were watching Jennifer Heil win the gold in moguls on the first day of competition, Duff Gibson and Jeff Pain winning gold and silver in skeleton, the men and the women winning silver in the speed skating team pursuit, Brad Gushue getting very emotional after winning the gold medal in curling, and most of all, the women's hockey team's gold winning game against Sweden. As for the men's hockey team, this will be a kick in the ass to the organization, which is good because it's important that they don't play that way in 2010 in Vancouver. Gotta be good on home turf. The feeling of pride I've had during these games has reminded me that though I loved living in California and miss it terribly, I could never become an American. I've got maple running through my veins.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Carl finally heard back from the company he's been interviewing with, and they decided to go with the other guy. So. I'm trying really hard not to despair.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I've decided to stop looking for an apartment. It's just stressing me out and there's nothing we can do about it right now anyway. Until Carl finds a job, we can't put in an application anywhere, and there are just so many variables. This comes from looking at an apartment in Port Credit (yes Joanna, Port Credit!) that we thought was in our price range and then found out that their advertized price was lower than the particular apartment that is available. Not that we could even take it right now, we just wanted to see it. It was okay, but pretty small for the price. Yes, Port Credit is desirable (right on Lake Ontario, little shops and cafes, small townish in the city, and very me) but I don't want my kids to live in a tiny space just to be there. Carl and I did that in the Beach but it's different with kids. There's a much bigger and nicer apartment right near Square One (also desirable) for the same money. The kicker is, we have no idea how much money we can actually afford to pay for an apartment, and won't until Carl gets a job. We're just estimating right now, and it's frustrating and somewhat futile. So I'm going to stop obsessing about it. I'm putting away the Renter's News. Now I just have to find something else to occupy my time and slight OCD. Maybe finding a church.

I was reading Julie's blog and thinking about why I haven't gone to church here yet. I started doing research as soon as we knew we were coming back, and yet haven't gone. There are a few reasons - no car available on Sunday mornings, not knowing where we're going to live - but I think the biggest reason is that I'm kind of scared. Scared of comparisons to St. Tim's, scared of being the new person again, scared of getting attached. I mean, we're pretty sure we're going to be somewhere around here, so we could at least check a few out. There's got to be a way around the car situation. I don't know.

The idea of church shopping is very weird to me. Choices were non-existant where I grew up - one church per denomination per town, and some towns shared ministers. We lived in a three-point charge, where the minister preached in three different towns every Sunday. Then we weren't looking when we found St. Tim's, it kind of found us. So deciding on a church is strange. But I do believe that we have to find one that fits us, or that we fit into.

I don't think I mentioned that I went back on the anti-depressants, shortly after my last post about it. I was just all over the map, and frightened my family. I don't think any of them (except Carl) realized how much I really needed them before. I feel much better now. It's funny, though. I couldn't have my prescription from California tranferred here, so I got Carl to pick it up for me at a Walgreens when he returned the rental truck to Niagara Falls, NY. You don't see many Canadians crossing the border for prescriptions, it's usually the other way around.

Okay, enough purging for now. I bet none of you knew how neurotic I was, did you?

Thursday, February 02, 2006

As Carson would say, Stuck!

Things are moving along. Slowly. We're still waiting to hear the results of Carl's interview on Monday. They told him it's between him and another guy, and that if he got past that round he would have another interview.

We've been looking around at places to live, and we're finding that a lot of the ones we're interested in don't have 3 bedroom apartments available. The kids have been sleeping in the same bedroom here, so I guess a 2 bedroom apartment isn't out of the question, but I'm not sure that we could fit all our crap into one. The TV alone...

I'm feeling impatient.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Sara's on to something...

After my last entry I remembered that Sara's Angels Pushing Children category of angelic kitsch. Well there you go. *grin*

Friday, January 27, 2006

Did Jesus push Carson down the stairs?

I'm a bit of a wreck. In the midst of the upheaval of a country-to-country move, cutting off the anti-depressants is probably not the best course of action. However, as we have no drug coverage, I don't see much of an alternative. I am entitled to one month's supply of a prescription under the visitor's insurance we have, but I don't know that I want to use that now in case I fall down the stairs... well, okay, I did fall down the stairs yesterday, and I bruised my ass and am rather stiff, but I don't need a prescription. But what if it had been worse? Anyway, with the lack of drugs (screw you Tom Cruise, they work for me) and the transition, I've been a bitch and a basket-case.

So I was praying in my room for God to grant me a little peace (and a lot of peace for those around me.) I could hear Carson talking to himself, climbing the stairs. It sounded to me like he was at the top, so when I heard thump thump thump followed by my screaming boy, I. freaked. out. It turned out he only slid three steps and was fine (still needed a cuddle from his mommy), but it sure broke me out of my wallowing. So what do you think, would God resort to pushing a two-year old down the stairs to break his mommy out of a funk? ;)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

9 states in three days (and part of a province)

It's hard to believe, but Carl is in Detroit. He and my dad left Mountain View on Tuesday at 12:30 in the afternoon, and as long as they don't get held up at the border, will be here in about four hours (3 a.m. on Friday). They only stopped for the night once, last night in Omaha, Nebraska. I'm glad it's been such a quick trip, but I think they're slightly insane.

My mom has been here since yesterday afternoon, and it's great having her here. Since Carl is leaving the car in Detroit for now (border paperwork), I don't know when we'll get up there to visit, so I'm glad she came down to get my dad.

I got my OHIP figured out yesterday, so in three months the kids and I (Carl has to take care of his own) will have health cards. It's all a hassle, but as I felt like just giving up and flying back to California, I reminded myself that I was going through the hassle to get free health care. COBRA wanted us to pay $900 a month for it in California, so I guess a bit of running around is worth it.

I still kind of feel like I'm just here for a visit, and I catch myself saying things like "we can't recycle that in Mountain View," or "the dryer at our house..." I guess I have to start referring to things like that in the past tense, but I'm not in that frame of mind, yet. I still sort of feel like I'll be going back. It might be different if we had our own place, but this is where we come to visit. I just hate being in transition, and really we have been for almost two months now. I want to know what comes next, but I know thinking I can is incredibly arrogant of me. If you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plan, right?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Call me the hoop jumper

It's harder to move back home than it is to another country, I swear. Today I was running around dealing with The Man. First I went to get temporary health insurance, which I need while I establish my Ontario residency. That went fine, thank God, because the rest of the day was frustrating. I went to apply for OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan), but I didn't have the required documentation for proof of residency. Fine. So I went to exchange my California driver's licence for an Ontario one (my Ontario driver's licence expired more than three years ago, or I could have renewed it). Well. My California driver's licence was renewed last year, and since I have to have had it for at least two years, I need proof from the DMV that I actually got my licence in 2002, not 2005. So I called the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles), and they said that I need to download and send Form INF 70 to Sacramento along with $20 for the form. Then they will mail me the documentation and I can bring that to MTO (Ontario Ministry of Transportation) to exchange my licence. Haven't any of these people heard of a freaking fax machine? In the meantime, I attempted to change my address with my former bank where my student loan is, and I have to call the branch to do it. I was told this after I talked to the woman for about ten minutes, answering a million irrelevant questions. I'm tired.

The flight went well, as did going through customs. I was concerned about Carson since he doesn't have his proof of Canadian citizenship yet, but it was no problem. The kids are adjusting well. Carl's mom met us at the airport, as did Carl's brother Ryan, and our friend (and the kids' godmother) Lara and her baby Anita as a surprise. There was a patch of snow at the edge of the parking garage, and Hayley asked what the white stuff was. Carson was enthralled by it today when he was touching it with his bare hands. So cute.

Did I mention that I drove in the snow today for the first time in three years? No problem, but you could hardly really call it snow. It was the kind of snow that melts when it hits the ground, so almost like rain.

Gotta go try to put Hayley to bed. It's late, but she's still on California time.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


This sucks. This just sucks. The kids and I had dinner with two good friends and their kids (who are the kids' closest friends) and I cried all the way home. Maybe this will seem like a good idea again once we get to Toronto and see everyone, but right now it just sucks.

More packing

How many more times can I bitch about packing before you throw something at me? It just seems that the more we do, the more disorganized we get. This house is a big mess of stuff. So many people have offered to help us pack, and we are so grateful for that, but I think it would be hard to have people helping us when we have to sort through stuff before we pack it. We might take people up on it on Saturday if we're not in good shape by then.

My dad gets in tomorrow night, and I'm so excited to see him. He has to jump through a few hoops to get here though - he's flying from Thunder Bay (which is the nearest city to where he works) to Winnipeg to Toronto to San Francisco. Whoa. I'm glad the kids and I have a direct flight on Monday.

Tonight was our last parish dinner, and I'm proud to say I wasn't the least bit gooey. The same can't be said for my last covenant group last night, though I was better than I thought I would be. I held it together until the final prayer, and even then it wasn't a sobbing cry. I'm actually getting through this. It helps that I plan to come back in July to do the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. Still, I think Sunday will be hard.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Saying goodbye

We said goodbye to our rector and his family today. Wow, I typed that sentence and then sat here for five minutes trying to figure out what to say next. It was very emotional, and there were many tears. I shed a few myself. It doesn't make sense, in a way, because Kevin leaving doesn't really affect us, we're only here for another week. But my community is hurting, my friends are hurting, and that hurts me. Of course it also reminds me of my imminent departure, though I didn't actually feel that as much tonight as I have in the past month. I'm either desensitized to talking about the move (and I did talk about it a lot tonight, naturally) or I'm saving it up for next weekend. I'll go for the latter.

As for packing... best not to talk about that.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

What a time to get sick

Carl got sick through the night on Wednesday/Thursday, and spent all day Thursday in bed. He was feeling better (mostly) by Friday morning, and then I picked up the torch. I spent Friday and part of today in bed. So we haven't gotten a whole lot done in the past few days. Fun! On top of all that, Carson is cutting his two-year molars, so he's been Mr. Crankypants. It could have been worse, I guess. We could have both been sick at the same time.

Anyway, we still have a week to get everything done. My dad gets here on Thursday night, so we'll have him to help us in the last few days.

Oy. Trying not to stress.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

You know what they say about hindsight...

Up until about a little over a year ago, I really wanted to go back to Canada. I had a few good friends here who I knew I would miss, but my heart longed to be back home. Carl looked for jobs in and around Toronto, but nothing came up. And since he was employed and doing well, we stayed. It was frustrating, to just want to return home and not be able to.

Then we found St. Tim’s, and it was like a new life began for us here. We made so many wonderful friends and became embedded in the community. And most importantly, God re-entered our lives. It was pretty quick for me, it felt like a relief to return to His fold. In truth I had been questioning my beliefs for some time, and finding St. Tim’s was like finally admitting that I was ready to centre my life around Christ.

And then we didn’t want to return home. For the first time since we moved to California, we were truly happy here. We had finally begun to make a home for ourselves here. Of course, that’s when it hit the fan. At first I saw it as a bit of a cosmic joke, but I think I’m at peace with it now. For one thing, despite what and who I’m leaving behind here, I am happy to be going back to Canada. But more importantly, I feel that it’s God’s plan for us. I don’t know what He has in store for us back in Canada, but I can see the purpose of us staying here for so long when we wished to return. We were meant to find our way back to God, and we needed to be here to do that.

Leaving St. Tim’s in no way means leaving God behind. A good friend of mine said something in prayer the other night that really made me think. I don’t remember exactly what she said, but the idea was that when people leave St. Tim’s, they are not lost to the community, but rather are expanding the family of God by connecting with people elsewhere. I like this idea, and I hope that I can bring something to my new church home, wherever that may be.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Stress Stress Stress

I hate moving. You wouldn't think so, since I've done so much of it in the past ten years or so, but I do. This move is by far the hardest. The other country-to-country moves were pretty easy since we didn't bring much with us to England, and when we moved here most of our things were already in storage in Toronto. I hate the packing, I hate all the calls to arrange for the utilities and services to end, I hate all the address changes, and with this one, there's a lot of red tape too. And we've decided that we don't want to rent from an individual again, it's too much of a pain in the ass. Grumble, grumble, grumble, bitch, bitch, bitch.

We're going to rent an apartment (eventually) instead of a house so that we can save up to buy a house. Utilities are included with most apartments there, so it really is quite a difference in price. I enjoy the yard, but I can do without it for a while to have my own yard.

More packing.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Here we go

Since the LiveJournal is more of a family journal (even though I'm the only one who ever really posts in it), I decided to start my own blog, just to let you all in on what's going on with me on a day-to-day basis (hence the title of the blog) as I move from California to Ontario.

If you don't know where in Canada we're moving (and sources tell me many of you don't *grin*), we are moving back to the Toronto area. We will, at first, be staying with Carl's parents who live in Brampton, which is here. The plan is to remain in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area - am I going to need a glossary for this blog?), but it really depends on where Carl finds a job. He is looking all over Ontario, though the far north is not exactly desirable. I'm not talking about where my parents live, now. Contrary to popular opinion, they are not actually that far north. They are below the 49th Parallel (46.2 to be exact) and south of most of the rest of Canada. All right, I'll shut up about geography now.

I'm having a sad day today. We had a birthday party for Hayley at our house yesterday and we had 50 people here, most of them from St. Tim's. 50 people who we really care about and who care about us, and there are many more. That was just Hayley's party. We considered turning it into a going away party as well, but there would be just too many people we would want to invite. After everyone left, I just really felt it. It's hard to think about leaving them. Then in this morning's sermon, Kevin (the rector of St. Tim's for one more week) talked about the strength and intimacy of the St. Tim's community, and I cried. And cried. The thing is, everyone at St. Tim's is sad right now, about losing Kevin and his family. I'm sad about losing everyone.

I'm also happy and excited to be moving back to Canada, but as I'm having a sad day, I don't have the heart to talk about that right now. Catch me tomorrow.