Not So Prepared

This week I need to get my butt in gear.  My husband and I are actually going on a vacation shortly, without the kids.  We haven’t been away alone since the summer of 2005, when we went to the UK and Ireland, and that was a busy trip.  Not a trip of relaxation.  Which is fine.  But now, 9 years, 2 kids, and a lot of sleep deprivation later, we’re doing it.  A week to just sit on a beach and do NOTHING.  Ahhhhh…

And along with the vacation comes the necessary packing for it.  When normally I am a very prepared person, I am not as prepared as I should be when it comes to packing.  Last year when we were going to Florida with the kids and my parents, my mom kept asking if I was packed…days ahead of time.  Nope.  Not done.  Why pack so many days ahead when you very likely need a lot of the stuff you’ll be packing away before you go?  I need my hair dryer every day.  I need my makeup every day.  I need my toothbrush every day.  So I can’t pack those things until the last minute.  And, really, if I’m going to wait to pack those things until the last minute, why not just wait to pack everything until the last minute?

I think I’m this way because I have done a lot of travelling in the past, even backpacking around the UK and Europe for 5 weeks, and so I kind of feel like I know how to pack quickly and efficiently.  Of course that trip required I only take a backpack, and so my “packing” consisted of throwing in a few t-shirts, a few pairs of pants and shorts, a hairbrush, lotion, a light towel, dozens of pairs of underwear (I didn’t mind re-wearing pants and shirts, but I drew the line at underwear!), and 2 pairs of shoes.  This trip is much shorter, but I’ll likely want to take more.  I know, it makes no sense.  I can’t explain it, except to say that when I was backpacking I was much younger, wore very little makeup (I don’t even know if I took any makeup with me – oh to be in my 20s again!), didn’t care if my hair wasn’t perfect for pictures – back when there was no social media, so only a few people actually saw your pics with bad hair – and didn’t have a bulky camera or cellphone or chargers for them.

And should I be taking my phone?  My husband says no.  “We’re going to relax, Shannon, so why not leave your phone at home?”  Well, here’s the thing.  I am pretty addicted to my phone.  I like checking my email, Facebook and Twitter notifications, and seeing what the bloggers I follow are writing about on a daily basis.  And I’m having my 40th birthday (and our 10th wedding anniversary) while we’re away, and I like to see my friends’ birthday wishes to me.  It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.  Also, my 3 besties have their birthdays during our vacation, and I want to make sure I can text them birthday greetings on their special day.  How could I possibly survive without my phone?!  I must make a promise to only spend a few minutes here and there on it.  My husband deserves that.

The hubby and I also have plans which require our running shoes to be packed.  Yes, we are planning to exercise.  I know, I had big plans to do that this entire summer, preparing for a mini-marathon, and so far…well…I haven’t done any exercise.  I haven’t even gone for a walk.  Pitiful.  I could list all the excuses I have for not exercising, but it would take you a long time to get through them all!  So are we going to follow through with the plan on our vacation, when it’s our time to relax?  We’ll see.  I will pack the shoes and hope for the best.

Well there we go.  I’m at least thinking about packing.  I know I need my phone, my charger, my camera, my running shoes, and some other stuff I’ll figure out…in a few days…


Nothing Like a Spontaneous Reunion…(for Ketchup With Us)

I’m a social person. I always have been. I love my friends. I love getting together and having fun. But over the last few years I’ve been disappointed about not having close friends in the town where we’ve settled. It’s been difficult, and, if I’m being honest, pretty sad. You see, I didn’t grow up here. I grew up in a town about 45 minutes away, where I had loads of friends and lots of fun times. So to live in a place where I have only my husband and kids to talk to has been tough. I’ve actually been told that I’m “too busy”, and so people just don’t even attempt to get in touch with me because I have a husband, kids, a job, and a bunch of other things going on that take my time. People here seem to be “all or nothing” people, unfortunately. And because I can’t give all of my time to others, they want nothing. It’s made me think something’s wrong with me (and my priorities), which has done a number on my self-esteem.

Thank God for something that happened last week.

Last week, I decided, on a whim really, to go to Toronto, where I attended university. I haven’t been back for a visit for a long time, but I thought I should take advantage of the few days I had free in the week to brave the craziness of the city and see some old friends with whom I spent so much time over a decade ago. I put out a call on Facebook, and four days later 16 of us congregated at a restaurant downtown for a walk down memory lane. I would describe the experience as “amazingly wonderful”. We were all so happy to see each other, and so grateful to reconnect. Most of them still live in the city, but with busy work lives and personal lives, it had been years since some of them had seen each other. I hadn’t seen many of them since graduation (16 years ago). But that didn’t matter. True friendships aren’t based on how many times you see each other in a year. It was an experience that warmed my heart, lifted my spirits, and reconfirmed to me that I am a good person who is worthy of true friendship and happiness. I heard someone say – on a talk show! – last week that we need our friends to remind us to love ourselves. So true. My university friends reminded me to love myself last week. They also reminded me how lucky I’ve been to have such terrific people in my life.








Yes, I took a TON of pictures that night! I love these people!!!!!

And I hope that we can reconnect again in the near future for another night of laughs and memories. They’re good for my soul.



Reflections at the Licencing Office

I have a birthday coming up at the end of the month, and so recently I had to take a trip to the licencing office.  And because I still have lists on the brain from taking part in the blog posts by number challenge from the Ketchup With Us ladies – Michele at ODNT and Mel at According to Mags – I found myself making a list of all the things that were going through my mind that day.  Here are my…

Reflections at the Licencing Office

1.  I wish I had taken a few minutes and gone to the washroom, or refrained from finishing my second coffee before I left work.  I actually think I might pee my pants.  Right here in the office.  In front of a bunch of strangers.  Embarrassing.

2.  I wish getting older wasn’t so darn expensive.  One hundred and eighty dollars for 2 tiny little stickers to put on my licence plates?

3.  Why isn’t there someone else working in this office?  This is the third time I’ve been in here in a week – and left the other two times because I had forgotten things – and it’s been crazy-busy each and every time.

4.  Why didn’t the paperwork indicate that I had to get another picture for my new health card?  Geez.  I’ve been up since 5:00am, had a quick shower, and ran out the door to get to work.  I was NOT thinking about doing my hair or putting on makeup.  Great.  Now the tired, unkempt Shannon will be the one that people see when they look at my health card…for the next 5 years.  Eeks.  Sorry folks.



Calling All Music Lovers, Kids, Moms, Dads, Grandmas, Grandpas, Aunts, & Uncles

My friends know these facts about me: I love music, I love to sing, I love my kids, and I love spending quality time with my family. Put them all together, and it’s my idea of heaven! That is why I love the Imagination Movers. If you haven’t heard of them, you should check them out. They have their own TV show on Disney Junior (you can see them every day), and they also tour the world doing concerts. They are songwriters and talented musicians, who put on a heck of a show that is not only child-friendly, but fun for everyone in the crowd. If I’m being honest, my husband and I listen to their CDs even when our kids aren’t in the room. Seriously. Anyway, the Imagination Movers are coming to Ontario in the fall (my family is SOOOOO excited), and I talked to one of them, Rich Collins, about the tour the other day, for CKNX Radio.

Here’s a snippet of the interview: