Category - family

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I Didn’t Expect To Feel Like This When She Turned Ten
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Beach Babies Rejoice
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Running For The Cure
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Super Simple Summer Fun
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Hot For Teacher
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When A Pet Dies
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Run Boys Run
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Need Comfort? I’m Probably Not Your Best Bet
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Goodbye
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Grandparents—a video

I Didn’t Expect To Feel Like This When She Turned Ten

As her tenth birthday approached, I felt on edge. Normally the prospect of a celebration has me excited—party planning, baking buying a cake, and wrapping gifts are generally joyful. But instead of joy, I felt dread.  It wasn’t until after her party, when it was quiet and I was alone pouring over images of my daughter as a baby, a toddler, a school girl, right up until photos taken that morning of the amazing ten year old person she has become, that it all came out in a rush of emotions I didn’t expect.  I was choosing photos for a video to document our daughter’s first decade of life. You can watch it below if you feel inclined. I know, it’s kind of like me saying,”Hey, wanna watch slides of our vacation to the Grand Canyon?” And then forcing you to sit through two hours of photos of my family posing in front of various rock formations. Except, this video is only two minutes long and it’s worth watching if only for the song. God I love this song. Milestone birthdays—there’s obviously a lot of nostalgia that go along with watching your child grow up…and away. As babies, they clung to us. They[…]

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Beach Babies Rejoice

I grew up with sand between my toes—not a comment on my mother’s housekeeping, but a product of living a stone’s throw from White Rock beach. I spent every possible minute turning over rocks in search of sea critters, and digging my feet into the sand until it went from warm and dry to cool and wet.  All children should experience the joy of exploring tidal pools, building sandcastles, and running barefoot on the sand.  .  This is why I’m thrilled to share this video about “World Beach Rescue Day.” Not to mention that it combines two of my favourite things—the beach and wine. Barefoot Wines and the beach go together like Frankie and Annette (If you don’t understand that reference you might be a Millennial, in which case, you’ll have go Google it. Or like, Snapchat it). Since moving away from my beloved seashore to the land locked province of Ontario, I’ve come to appreciate the great Great Lakes. They are rather spectacular—shark free and unsalted even. I haven’t switched teams completely however. Ocean or lakes, or rivers for that matter, they all run through me. It’s more about the beach. Step barefoot onto sand, and stress involuntarily dissipates.  Beaches[…]

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Running For The Cure

I have so many fears that I’m afraid there’s something wrong. It frightens me.   I worry about things like Hog Weed, and Lyme Disease, and plane crashes, and nuclear war. I’m scared of penicillin resistant super bugs, and child abduction, and funnel clouds, and pesticides, and GMOs, and solar flares destroying the earth or at the very least, our internet access. And tsunamis (which is dumb because I don’t even live near an ocean, but we occasionally visit the seaside). Oh, and Ebola. But the thing that scares me the most; the one fear that consumes my thoughts on a daily basis, is cancer. It’s the Exorcist of diseases. Gory slasher flicks don’t scare me, but horror movies like Paranormal Activity and the Exorcist terrify me because they could happen. Just like cancer could happen. And it does. Based on 2009 estimates two out of five Canadians (45% of men and 41% of women) are expected to develop cancer during their lifetimes. And one out of four Canadians (29% of men and 24% of women) is expected to die from cancer. Source This is truly frightening. FYI, fretting over every lump, bump and funny mole doesn’t actually help. In[…]

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Super Simple Summer Fun

  As Canadians we spend a lot of time indoors. This past winter was especially brutal. Spring arrived just in the nick of time because the Thornburys were getting dangerously close to a “The Shining” situation. Rum—good. Red rum—bad. My kids have been itching to get outdoors and back to nature and that’s exactly what we did last week. We spent seven glorious days with family at their cottage on a lake in New Brunswick— sans wifi or television. No iPhone grafted to my hand? I expected it to be difficult. It wasn’t. It was heaven. Here are a few of the activities we enjoyed: On day one of our vacation, thanks to the last remnants of Hurricane Arthur, we had no choice but to make our own indoor fun. To be clear, the dads coordinated the fun. I sat on the covered porch and read for three solid hours. Bliss. So what fun did the guys come up with? First they played a game — “Super Moose” (Reg. $29.99). It’s a wooden puzzle challenge where players take turns balancing antlers on a wobbly moose head. It’s meant for ages 3+. The older more dextrous and patient kids enjoyed it,[…]

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Hot For Teacher

    *Disclaimer: This post is me making nice for calling my husband “Susan” in a recent blog post*  I married a teacher and I highly recommend it. Teachers love kids, they’re silly and creative, and best of all they’re home all summer! Though by August 31st I’m pretty much ready for him to pack his school bag and hit the road.   Ten reasons I’m lucky to have him With hashtags. #justbecause   1. He’s always the first to apologize. Even if he didn’t do anything wrong. #peacekeeper 2. I don’t have to remind him that I don’t like bok choy. He just knows. #expertchinesefoodorderer 3. My mom told me that you can tell everything you need to know about a man by his eyes. If they’re cold, he’s cold. If they’re kind, he’s kind. If they’re crossed, well, he’s probably being goofy and that’s a good thing. #babysgotblueeyes 4. Even though it’s kind of emasculating he’ll walk the chihuahua if I ask him to. #mychiguy 5. He’d rather stay home with his family than go out on the town. #homebodyhardbody 6. He’s allergic to whining, gossip and cattiness. #Imarriedagrownup 7. He laughs at my jokes. #noaccountingfortaste 8. He[…]

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When A Pet Dies

Pets die. It’s inevitable, but when it actually happens, it’s heart wrenching. Especially when you have kids.   We have two dogs who are getting on in years and we accept that they won’t be with us forever. But our skinny pig Ernie was only ten months old, so when he died suddenly it was a shock. Though he was merely a guinea pig to some, to us he was a beloved pet and sweet friend to my kids Sebastian and Avery. For reasons unknown, Ernie had a massive seizure and died. My daughter has Epilepsy so I’ve done my fair share of research into seizures. But never did I imagine I’d be Googling “what to do when your guinea pig has a seizure.” I was sitting next to his cage when it happened. He suddenly began convulsing in his cage, and was paralyzed and helpless in a matter of minutes. I knew when I picked held him, his head tilted and nuzzled lifelessly into my neck, that he was leaving us. That’s the hardest part about having a pet—they are completely dependent on us for their survival. So when they get sick or hurt or god forbid die, it’s[…]

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Run Boys Run

This weekend the Thornbury family laced up and headed for the starting line. Well, half of us. I was supposed to race too, but after an unfortunate mishap involving a curb, my clumsiness and a swollen cankle, I had to sit this one out. Disappointing (well kind of, I hate running). I was looking forward to being active with my boys. Avery and I were there at the finish line though. We cheered them on and couldn’t have been more proud.     

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Need Comfort? I’m Probably Not Your Best Bet

Shortly before 6 AM on a Sunday morning our daughter came into our room sobbing. “I had a bad dream,” she cried. As she lay with us, the phone rang and we learned that my husband’s mum had passed away at 5:55 AM. Avery and her Grandie were so deeply connected in life, it makes sense to me that they were connected at the end.   When a loved one dies it’s a blessing for them if it’s quick—to go without suffering. But for those left behind, it’s heart wrenching. So how do people get through it? There’s no right or wrong way. Actually, that’s not exactly true. When you’re trying to comfort your grieving husband, there things you should definitely not do. For example, the day my husband’s mum died we sat on the couch exhausted, unable to do anything but stare. Avery wanted to play but we just couldn’t. Then I remembered I’d picked up some movies from the library earlier in the week so I popped one in the DVD player to keep her occupied. When I noticed my mistake, it was too late. The movie I had chosen was Up! If you know the sentimental story,[…]

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Goodbye

Losing someone you love leaves a hole in your heart. When the loss is sudden and unexpected it seems more cruel and difficult to accept.  You go through the motions and make the necessary arrangements, comforting those around you and accepting comfort when you can. You hold your family close when they cry and when you think nobody will hear, you cry too. My husband lost his mother, my father-in-law lost his wife, my children lost their grandmother, I lost a friend. It’s hard to accept that she’s really gone. Our son was extremely close to his Grandie. He’s now struggling with the concept of mortality—hers, his and ours. Avery, our seven year old special girl, doesn’t understand. Not really. She knows Grandie has gone somewhere, but explaining death is damn difficult. She thinks her grandmother has gone to the dentist. We’re not sure where she got this idea. The other night I heard her ask, “Daddy, why you sad? You want your mum? It okay daddy, Grandie is at the dentist.” “You mean heaven?” he asked her. “Yes, the dentist at heaven,” she answered. She was clearly confused about the concept of heaven. Truthfully, even as an adult, I[…]

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Grandparents—a video

Grandparents are a gift. Sure, sometimes you want to exchange them, but mostly you’re just incredibly grateful to have them in your life. I grew up surrounded by love and laughter and I’m thankful for that. And now my parents are sharing the silly side of life with my kids. When my parents look after their grandchildren, my kids can’t shoo us out the door fast enough. When my husband and I went out for dinner recently, my parents came over and played with the kids for hours in the basement. My mum shot this video of Poppa entertaining Avery is his sweet, funny way.

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