Secrets & Lies

I have a confession to make. It’s rather awkward to share, and I hope you will be understanding and won’t rush to judgement.

I have been lying to my husband. For weeks. I have also been keeping things from him. I’m not sorry. If I had it to do all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.

You see, I felt very strongly about something, and I knew he wouldn’t necessarily agree, so I just went behind his back, did what I wanted to do. He never saw it coming.

We had a surprise 50th Birthday Party for The Big Guy.

I knew I was going to have to be deceitful when I heard TBG’s response to my question regarding his milestone birthday. When I asked him how he wanted to celebrate his birthday, he replied, “I don’t want a party, if that’s what you are asking. Let’s just go out for a nice meal with the boys.”

I new in my heart, when I smiled and nodded in agreement, that I would not, could not agree to this. I knew that I would go against my husband’s wishes.

Tough noogies I say.

Weeks of planning went into a week of setting the scene. Firstly, TBG’s birthday was celebrated the way HE wanted over the Christmas Holidays. A nice dinner with his little family. We even had the wait staff sing to him. We celebrated with presents on his ACTUAL birthday, which happened to fall on a Wednesday. Ironically, he was sick this year, and didn’t go to work. Anyone who knows him knows that it had to be fairly serious for him to miss a day of work. He actually ended up missing two days of work.

Then there was the advertisement we put in the local paper – eluding that this was the extent of the extravagance.

2016-12-07-22-01-06

But it wasn’t until the following weekend that the ultimate deception took place. Although he still wasn’t at 100% per cent, he agreed that we would go to the movies; something we had hoped to do, but never got around to over the holidays. Just as we were about to head out the door, his brother, sister-in-law and niece showed up. SURPRISE! TBG is shocked, confused and thrilled. He thinks the surprise is that they have come for a visit, but they have brought quite a bit of food for just us….

2017-01-07-14-52-42

They got to work at putting up the decorations I had stashed away. Within 20 minutes, we had another vehicle pull in – then another – and then it hit him, we were in the midst of PAR-TAY! The food I had told him was a pro-active food prep for the following week, WRONG – was actually for the people who came to the door every 20 minutes or so. Instead of having a typical surprise where the guest of honour is brought in to a fully amassed group of friends and family, I asked them to come whenever they could, which meant a steady stream of people from 3 p.m. onward.

It. Was. PERFECT!

2017-01-07-22-42-12

The gifts, while appreciated were unnecessary. I say that because I don’t drink beer. Little Sister and her hubby, Thing 2, gave TBG 50 Beers for 50 Years. He was spoiled by many of his guests.

One of my favourite gifts was the large container of ornaments given by dear friends of ours, who also read this blog…they wanted to help TBG with next year’s Christmas tree after reading what happened to this year’s tree. Perfection!

It was a wonderful time. The pool table was well used. The food was snapped up and the cake was eaten.

2017-01-08-09-02-34

While TBG was thrilled to see so many friendly faces who wanted to celebrate how awesome he is, he found himself unable to go to sleep once the last pair of tail lights left the driveway. He questioned every action that had taken place for the past few weeks. As much as he enjoyed himself, he couldn’t believe that so much had taken place right under his nose.

“So there’s no more surprises?” he asked, after piecing together the puzzle.

“Nope, that’s it,” I replied, relieved.

…other than my secret family and off-shore bank accounts….

 

Not Quite a Midlife Crisis, AKA Getting My Act Together

The last day of September. The month has flown by. And with it, another birthday.

Over the course of the past 30 days, I have come to a realization; at 41, I am half way to 82.

82. Eighty-two. If I’m lucky.

The last time I felt this way, I was 15 and freaking out because I was half way to 30 and that was so OLD! Foolish, foolish girl. Perhaps it was the anniversary of my arrival, or the lack of sleep, but I had a stern talking to Myself. It would seem the two have come to an understanding.

1. ME, MYSELF AND I – I have moved myself up my own list of priorities. This is huge for me. I have taken my role as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, as being my priorities and then felt frustrated when others haven’t acknowledged the effort I put out. It’s not their fault. It’s mine. No one can change it but me. So I have. I just need to work on the guilt!

2. SALLY FREAKIN’ SUNSHINE –  I am pulling away from negativity. I have always been a positive person, and I think that positivity has drawn people who are less than sunny. Their frustrations and sour demeanor has been a drain on me and I’m simply going to focus on people who are willing to find solutions, not dwell on the problems.

3. LET’S GET PHYSICAL – Taking care of myself kinda fits in with #1, but this is a more literal, physical interpretation. Get my arse moving. I missed an entire summer of playing ball, and I hated not being more active. I asked for a treadmill for my birthday, and The Big Guy was obliging. I’m hoping that having this conveniently located in the Rec Room, near the DVD collection, will keep me walking through the winter.

4. GETTING ON THE FUN BUS – I’m taking advantage of any opportunity for something fun. While 82 would be awesome, suffice it to say that none of us are guaranteed tomorrow and I don’t want to look back on a life of work. How much fun have you had lately?

5. THINKING OUTSIDE OF THE BOX – I’m keeping my mind open to things. Just in this past month, I’ve given myself the latitude to explore ideas and ideologies that I hadn’t really considered before. I don’t think it’s too late for me to learn and investigate concepts outside of what I’ve accepted as the “norm.” I’m really excited by this and can’t wait to stretch my brain!

6. NO MEANS NO – I’m learning to say NO. Because NO is such a foreign word to me, I’ve evaluated the things I devote time and effort to and asked if I’m enjoying doing them. If it’s not a resounding YES, it’s a NO. NO gets the boot every time.

So while I haven’t had much to report here in this past month, I’ve certainly done my homework. When you look back at your life, however long or short it will be, will you be satisfied with it?

I’m doing what I can to make sure I am, and I’ll be rocking with the 82 year olds.

 

Fifteen

Fifteen years ago today, I got up very early to head to the hospital where I expected I would have a baby and become a mother.

At least, that’s what I thought.

Fifteen years later, I realize that while I may have been considered a mother, but I have become a Mom.

PRETTY BOY POUT

 

I vividly remember the first thought I had after the doctor announced you were a boy.

“Oh shit.”

Followed by,

“I don’t know what to do with a boy.”

As one of two girls, I was confident I had the girl thing figured out. But boys, hmmmmm.

So, Happy Birthday First Born Son.

Thank you for helping me become a Mom. Thank you for showing me what to do with boys. I have an appreciation for heavy equipment, work boots, Bob the Builder, goalie equipment, showing cattle, raising chickens and red wagons. (I still can’t appreciate you getting up at 6 a.m. on an almost daily basis….but we all know who your father is!)

Thank you for being an adorable child, and a young man I’m proud of every day.

Now get your arse upstairs and finish your homework.

Birthday Boy

What is summer without a party or two?

For those of us in Boweryville, the first (so far) of the year was last week, as we celebrated the 80th Birthday of The Big Guy’s uncle. This birthday is particularly important to me and The Big Guy since Uncle B is the reason we met.

 

Back in The Day when I was young and naive and lived on a farm, my family and I attended the Anniversary Sunday of our local country church. Following the service was a potluck meal, which was the pride of the ladies who lived up and down the Concession. Homemade salads, heaped platters of meats waiting to be tucked into fresh rolls; it was as much a feast for the eyes as it was the palate.

My contribution was a chocolate cake (surprise, surprise). As we enjoyed fellowship, a neighbour to the south, Uncle B, came up to me to compliment me on my dessert. I was hugely flattered. As I knew this gentleman was a bachelor and his family lived a distance away, I thought I’d make him an offer.

“If you tell me when your birthday is, I’ll make one for you!” I exclaimed.

“July 12th,” he replied.

So on the morning of one of the hottest days of the year, I got up, started the oven, and made a chocolate cake for my new fan, the birthday boy. When the cake was cooled and iced, Dad offered to drive me three farms over to deliver the cake. Little Sister had nothing better to do, so she came along for the ride.

As we drove up the lane way, we noticed a tractor heading back the lane way, past the main bank barn further along to the back fields. We followed the tractor and arrived at a smaller cottage style house and smaller bank barn. There we saw a trio of people, as well as a fourth on a second tractor in the field behind the house.

I was about to meet my future husband, and inlaws.

All I could think of was that the cake I was holding was going to melt in my very hands. The older couple were concerned that  a) they forgot it was the actual birthday of Uncle B, and  b) that they didn’t think they had room in their fridge to keep my confection from becoming a puddle.

Our exchange was short. The driver of the tractor we followed back the lane was indeed The Big Guy, and Uncle B was behind the house, round baling and giving a small wave of the hand as he went past our group. I handed over the cake and we left.

“That guy liked you,” said LS.

“Who???” I asked incredulously.

“The guy wearing the necklace.” she said. (Referring to The Big Guy who was a slick City Boy – gold chain et al.)

I had no recollection of what the guy was wearing, what he thought of me or what his name was, even though formal introductions were conducted.

A few weeks later, we would meet again, thanks to Uncle B. The rest, as they say, is history.

25 years ago history.

Hard to believe baking a cake could land you a husband! Happy Birthday Uncle B. Happy Anniversary Big Guy.

Love you both!!

Sweet Sixteen

When my niece M&M was born, she was about a month early. Things were very touch and go for both her and my sister during her delivery. It was rather dramatic and very fast. Twice I was told that there was a chance that I might not have a niece, or a sister.

Praying was involved.

M&M arrived in the afternoon on April Fool’s Day.

My sister refused to name her daughter until she saw her. I was pushy enough to go down to the ICU and video this tiny baby in her incubator, hooked up to wires and tubes, and then return to my sister’s bedside to play it back for her. My parents held her. I held her, and even The Big Guy held her, before her mother could.

The days that followed were pretty tricky. Being such a small premie, my sister was advised there could be some issues for M&M down the road. We just prayed that we could get her home quickly. M&M never suffered the delays the doctors cautioned about. She has thrived from the day she came home from the hospital.

M&M is the first grandchild for my parents. She was always tough kid, to the point that she has sustained rather serious injuries and never uttered a moan never mind crying. She loves animals, sports and her little sister. She is on Team Jacob. She is selfless and sweet, with her own stubborn streak that I’m sure she comes by honestly.

This year, she turns 16. Little Sister decided M&M needed a Sweet Sixteen party. So she surprised her!

She doesn't wear glasses. She "surprised" us with these!

LS recruited M&M’s best friend to lure her to the hall where the party was being held. Before you know it, she was in the door, and we were screaming “SURPRISE!”

Which resulted in this….

Face covering - M&M code for "Crying".

A room full of people. Family and friends. Food and drink. Decorations and….. A BAND?!?!

<PAUSE> I’d like to offer a little sidebar here on what MY 16th Birthday was like.

  • we had pizza.
  • we watched Top Gun on VHS.
  • when I say “we” I mean my family and my best friend.

No band. No hall. No party. Just in case you are looking for comparisons…

<PLAY>

LS wanted something special for M&M and asked me to put together a photo presentation. It made sense because I’ve taken the lion’s share of photos of just about everyone in this family. However, ironically, I’m the only person left in the Western Hemisphere who has never used Power Point before. SOOOO after several hours of online tutorials, swearing, hair pulling and the overwhelming desire to throw my Mac through the patio doors, I had something that was “presentable.”

M&M 16TH

In spite of the bathtub shot, the buck tooth shot, and just about every shot of her in a costume, M&M is still talking to me. She actually LIKED it!

So far the evening was a huge hit, but LS being who she is, wanted ANOTHER surprise, so she did this to us….

Which resulted in a great deal of snot and tears for those of us watching. If you had told me last fall that not only would my father be alive, but he’d be dancing, I would never have believed you.

But we did a lot of praying then too.