nodding & smiling

ceci n'est pas un bébé lala

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Our lovely home. Buh-bye!

Our lovely home. Buh-bye!

I calculated that this is my 17th home. From the time I was born to the house in which I currently reside with my own family, I am a longtime veteran of moving. We’ve been in our home now for 10 years, and we’ve been very happy. But, after my hubby started dropping hints about wanting to shorten his commute (okay, they weren’t hints, they were outright asks!), and a re-evaluation of our budget once we entered Alex’s post-secondary years, we decided to list the house for sale and move nearer to his work. The area in which we’re looking is beautiful, offers the smaller-town feel that Katherine and my hubs are looking for, with plenty of jogging paths and trails for me and the dogs.

Of course, the work that follows is never as easy as the decision made. We looked around our house with “buyer goggles” on and rhymed off a bunch of things we needed to address. We’re thousands of dollars into upgrades and updates and up to our eyeballs in boxes, but we think we’ll be ready to list our home on March 1st. We’re going to go the route of no-agent for the first while to see how that works.

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Her First Visit Home

Little sister's idea: make Big sister's homecoming a really big deal. Big sister thanks little sister by a Starbucks coffee date, just the two of them.

Little sister’s idea: make big sister’s homecoming a really big deal. Big sister thanks little sister by a Starbucks coffee date, just the two of them.

Six weeks after drop-off and I’ve made it – Alex’s first visit home.

After she enjoyed an uneventful flight with lots of learnings: online check-in, bus to airport, security, finding your gate, landing, figuring out where to meet your mom who’s driving around the Arrivals area (hint: don’t wait for her at Departures – lesson learned!), my university student got into my car and I could breathe again. Both my babies were with me.

Although we texted often while she was gone, we never Skyped nor phoned. As such, her sister and I thought Alex’s voice sounded different: more mature, more worldly-adultish.

But, once we got home, I recognized her immediately: happy, preoccupied, already making plans, and hungry. I fed her leftover cheese tortellini in rosé sauce at 9pm and she ran off to meet friends, returning around midnight. She crawled into my bed to catch up, just like she always had.

We’re still in the throes of a super-busy Thanksgiving weekend… my sister is moving, my pregnant cousin and family are travelling in from Ottawa and Montreal for her baby shower, and Alex is finding time to spend with all the people she loves: Mom, stepdad and sister, Dad & family, grandmothers, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

Alex has showered us with gifts and love and time and soon it will all be over.

Until Christmas 🙂


(Empty) Nesting – Part 2

What? She needs things for her room!

What? She needs things for her room!

If you recall my first nesting post and the amount of stuff I bought to quell my growing anxiety about my daughter leaving, this post will not come as a shock to you.

Since I dropped her off, I’ve thought of many things she needs. Lightbulbs, a boot tray, a door stop, handsoap, baskets for her kitchen supplies, etc. etc. etc. You name it, I’ve thought of it.


Tonight my daughter texted me…

DD: “Hahaha so embarrassing!”

Me: “What is?”

DD: “Getting packages”

Me: “Huh?”

DD: “Haha I just picked up two packages, and the guy at the front desk was like, ‘Oh you’re Alex! I’ve always wanted to meet you. You get so many things.”

Me: “OMG. So sorry. Just tell him your mom has trouble coping with you gone and this is how she deals!”

DD: “I did, and he said, ‘Well your mom must miss you a lot. You’re the talk of the front desk!’ LOL”

Yeah so that’s how my week is going.


How’s yours?

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(Empty) Nesting

The pile that will one day live in her new life - the one I'm not a part of

The growing pile that will one day live in her new life – the life I won’t be a part of


Expecting mothers “nest” in preparation for the impending arrival of their children… amassing clothes, receiving blankets, furniture and gear. I’ve been fortunate to have gone through it twice, and it helped deal with the flurry of emotions I was dealing with.

I’ve come to learn that mothers preparing to send their child to live in residence at college or university also go through a similar roller-coaster of emotions. This time, I juggle feelings of happiness, sadness, pride, fear, excitement and dread on a daily basis. Spending time helping my daughter make lists of what she’ll need, and preparing the trunk of stuff she’s bringing to Dalhousie from home really helps me deal with my emotions. It’s nesting, in a way, and I get that.



Link to Rob Lowe’s Unprepared on


Yesterday a beautiful excerpt of Rob Lowe’s latest memoir, Love Life, was published by Slate magazine. Having thoroughly enjoyed his first memoir, Stories I Tell My Friends, I’ve already pre-ordered Love Life after reading this.

Unprepared is a touching window into Rob’s thoughts on sending his firstborn son on to college across the country.  As I read each excruciating line, the lump in my throat grew. This is exactly how I feel about sending my girl to Dalhousie University in the fall. No matter how grown up they get, no matter how prepared for independent life they are, no matter how confident you are about the place to which they’re moving, parents love our children as young adults just as much as much we did when they were babes in arms, and the loss we feel when they go off on in the world is profound.

“My work here is done” feels too… final. Unfair, even.


18 Years

Trying Dalhousie on for size

Trying Dalhousie on for size

I’m someone who wears the adjective medium with pride. It describes my emotional state (or my level of interest) pretty much most of the time.  No high highs or low lows here.

That said, I know when my firstborn heads off to university 19 hours away, I’m going to be a hot mess.

It’s hard to believe that 18 years has come and gone!  The precious time during which I enjoyed my eldest daughter as a child has ended.  She’s an adult now, and I’m reminded of this fact as I overstep the new, natural boundaries that have formed recently.

I’m excited for her to begin this new chapter in her life, but I’m going to miss her like crazy.