"Dedication" To The Hooligans...

I'm a brave woman...That I am...I'm about to embark on a 6+ hour road trip ALONE with a busy almost two year old, a 7 month old "ninging" machine baby & a dog...I mean how do I possible maneuver the lot of them into wherever, so that I can even pee? I can't leave the pup in the car in this heat, the double stroller is gigantic & won't fit in bathroom stalls- So, I might have to do a pull over to the side of a side road kinda deal...Real class!!!


I know it's going to be a nightmare so at least I'm prepared going in- Loading up on snacks, leaving as early as possible & thank Sweet Jesus for our new van & that every-parents-best-friend-on-a-road-trip DVD player...


Speaking of Sweet Jesus, one of the main reasons I am about to put myself through this is to get my babies Dedicated/Baptized/Christened - whatever you want to call it- I've been thinking about it for ages, ever since I had Noal & then you add in Pip, who we were so scared at times of losing & you get a mumma who feels the need to do this symbolic ceremony of sorts....



I'll let my letter to the hooligans speak for itself on how I feel about the whole thing...






My Darling Noal & Reid....

Before I had either of you I never really gave much thought to getting you baptized, christened, dedicated, whatever you want to call it...However, once I had you, Noal, I began to think about it a bit...Then, you came along Reid & when you were fighting for life numerous times I knew that I wanted to do something...


To me it’s not the Act itself- It’s not what the Priest or Pastor is saying...It’s not the water poured over your head or the scriptures read...

To me it’s a symbol of saying thanks to God, Fate, the Universe for giving me you...For trusting me to create Happy Little Souls & having the honour to do it with the two of you...


So, next week you're both getting dedicated in my Papa’s old church, where more than 3 decades ago I once was too...This for some reason holds great significance to me- I like the fact that it’s all come full circle...Where my parents once dedicated me & in essence themselves to raising me to the person I am today, I am doing the same...


Now your dad & I aren’t really the religious type per say- Your dad in particular will probably be quite awkward at the church, he never really quite gets what’s going on...I love watching his face at certain points in any church service- He can't hide what he's thinking-His face always says it all...So I'm truly hoping he keeps it together for photos during the ceremony...You never know with him though- Half our wedding pictures have him making his "this is awkward"" face...


So, in this “Ceremony”, the Pastor may be asking of us, certain things that we promise to do as parents in your lives...That’s all lovely & I respect that foundation & promise to raise you in some of it...

However, my little Hooligans, to me this whole thing has really made me think about what we promise or “dedicate” ourselves to do & be in your lives...

·      We promise to absolute LOVE you- Adore you really- no MATTER what...No matter who you choose to be, what you choose to do & who you choose to become in life...

·      That being said we also promise to guide you, discipline you & teach you how to respect all that you can in life...

·      We promise to give you a life full of fun, giggles, laughter & adventure...

·      We promise to live in the moment with you & play when we can, snuggle for as long as you want & listen to all you have to say...

·      We promise to show you by example how to be kind, open-minded & big-hearted people- to embrace differences, seek individuality & love regardless...

·      We promise to always make you feel safe & welcome in our arms, home & family...And protect you as much as we possibly can...

·      We promise to love each other & respect one another, to show you what a beautiful relationship can be...

·      We promise to teach you to be grateful for all that you have, see the beauty in the lives you’ve been given & live with a thankful spirit...

·      We promise to be your biggest fans, advocate on your behalf when we have to, go that extra mile when necessary & clap & cheer for everything you do...

·      We promise to let you grow, create, explore, seek out what you could be passionate or talented at in life...

·      We promise to always have time for a kiss, hug or cuddle- no matter what is happening in our lives- we promise that you are our number one priority & nothing will ever be better than your love...

·      We promise to be the best Mum & Dad we know how to be- Love you with all that we can, lead by example, show you all the world has to offer & most importantly raise you to have Happy Souls...


This “Dedication” to me is more an Act of publicly saying thank you...Thank you for giving me the two of you who have changed my world so completely...Who have taught me about a love, so fierce & precious & who have given me such a purpose in life...


Our darling Noal & our precious Reid we love you more than any possible words could be written- We promise you US- in all that it entails...We are yours & you are ours...What a beautiful thing...To that we dedicate everything to...Our family...


Love,

Mum & Dad

 {Well your dad doesn't know I'm writing this- nor does he know why I feel so strongly about getting you both "Dedicated"- But I promise you one thing- Your dad would agree with me 100% about what we promise to do & be in your lives...}






I absolutely love the fact that they are getting dedicated in this old, little church like I did- For some reason that brings me such a peace in my decision to even do all this...


Anyways, wish me luck on getting us all there & be prepared for photo overload in the next week or so...On top of the babies dedication we are celebrating Noal's 2nd Birthday...



Oh and if you see a frazzled-insane-looking-woman on the side of the road, balancing what looks like a pee squat by holding a dog's lease, all while singing Head & Shoulders & throwing yogurt covered raisins to a toddler, just smile & be on your way...No need for a honk cause that might just topple me over- Thanks...






P.S- Here's what our little invite looked like: 



And here's just another pic ~ I love how Pip stares at him so intently...




~Lucky in Life~

Before I start today's post, I just wanted to once again thank you friends for the outrageously, awesome support you show...I posted my thoughts/beliefs on Love is Love...Regardless a few days ago, not knowing how many people I would "offend" or how many would "walk away" from Happy Soul Project...Instead I got amazing feedback from all over the world- People relating to how I described my belief in "God" & believing as strongly in Equality as I do, which in turn validates my thoughts even more...So, dear friends, thank you for being your awesome selves & sharing your thoughts with me...


Okay...On with what I really want to share with y'all today...


I have been really lucky in life...My brother & I believe we were actually born with horseshoes & tell each other to "shine er up" when we need a bit of luck on our side...It's the Irish in us...


One of the "luckiest" things in my life, besides landing the perfect person for me {minus the fact that he purposely bugs me more than anyone should, can't wipe a kitchen counter if his life depended on it & thinks our bedroom floor is a norm room made for his socks and underwear} & of course my hooligans, has been friendships....


I can't even tell ya how amazing friends throughout my life have been- I'm not about to name names or such- But, considering the fact that I've moved around quite a bit, I can honestly say everywhere I've landed I have been truly blessed with great friendships...And I'm a true believer in thinking people/friends are meant to be in your life for a time, a season or a reason...


Let's take recent friendships I've made for example...I never would have possibly met some of my new gal friend's if Pip didn't have Down syndrome...It really has opened a whole new world in which I'm grateful and excited to see what is born from it...



Meet Pip's new best friend the adorable Lochlan...
His beautiful, big baby lips are out of this world cute...




I know in life, Pip will be opening many a new worlds for me- Introducing me to many new people, discovering things I knew nothing about & growing me as a person...I have to say though, once again I have been lucky & found a few Down syndrome Mumma's to walk this journey with...Lochlan's mum & I are are excited to share in this whole new "Down syndrome world" together, watch Pip & Loch grow up as friends & hit milestones, compare doctor appts & therapy sessions & just have a friend who's kinda walking the same path...Or at the very least, be there to have drinks with, when we've had one hell of a day...


I really do think each friend represents a new world in each of us & I'm so grateful for the worlds I've explored because of those in my life....

Cheers to friendship!!!


Love is Love...Regardless!!!

I've always been one to speak my mind and share my thoughts...I've also always been one to stand up for what I believe..Whether that was being a way-over-the-top-bible-thumping-go-getter-Christian in my early teens or in situations like I am in today...


As mentioned before, I grew up in a Christian household- My family raised me with Christian values, & my Papa was actually a preacher, so the foundation was there stretching back generation from generation...In my early teen years though I took it to a whole new level- Engulfed in "youth groups", "retreats" & the such, it went from the values/principles my family taught me to "aggressively pushing, believing for that matter, my beliefs on others" - Looking back now I feel like I got so involved with all that {my circle of friends & my boyfriend at the time we're all a part of it} that I didn't see beyond it...It's actually something in life I regret most- Being so blinded by it, that I couldn't see what else the world was offering at the time...



Fast forward a few years, rebellious years to be honest, in which I tried to "discover" it all on my own...Throw in a few more years of traveling the world, meeting & seeking out people with different beliefs...Put in some really-make-you-think-about life/death moments like sitting beside my father-in-law as he passed away...Add in the miracle of having children and for an added bonus, one that had to fight for her life numerous times....And you get what I believe now....



I believe that there is a God and I believe "God" is different for every single person on the planet...What a Catholic Nun feels as God is different than what the old lady weeping in the pew feels...What a Jewish mother believes is God is different than what a Muslim Father believes...What a Baptist Pastor knows as God is different than what a Buddhist monk feels is God...What I feel, think, know as "my God" is beautiful to me because it is mine...What God is to my mother is just as beautiful because it is hers...What God is to others doesn't, shouldn't matter to YOU- It's their God!!! Whether that's Jesus, Allah, Jehovah, Fate, Karma, Nature- WHATEVER...Point is "God" is mine, yours, theirs & different to all of us!!!



You could find "God" in the beauty of nature, or in a song that touches you beyond words...You could feel a stirring in your heart seeing your baby girl getting operated on or sitting in a pew hearing words that resonate to you...You can find peace in knowing yourself, being connected to something greater than yourself or in seeking out help in others...For each and every person finding "God"- that love, peace, refuge is different and I for one love the beauty in that....



All that being said, Happy Soul Project is not about negativity, confrontation or judging...However, I am writing this post for the record for y'all to know LOUD & CLEAR- I am 100% a believer in God, Fate, Karma, Equality & LOVE....That means I believe everyone has a right to believe what they want, love who they want & become who they want to be based upon all of that...



Surprisingly, I have received a few messages & comments about my LAST POST- Comments that I won't publish on the blog because I don't want an ongoing debate and messages I will not respond to personally...People have wrote asking how I can believe in God & condone "that awful behaviour" of being gay & quoting scriptures....Some wrote that I am suppose to be an example of what a "Christian" is and that my blog should be used as a platform. Others warned me that because of what I wrote and my beliefs, I will lose or a lot of followers/readers will "walk away" from the blog...



Walk...Please Sweet Jesus, Walk...Walk away from me, from Happy Soul Project & please don't ever send or make comments of that sort again...



Yes, my blog is a platform and here's what it's preaching once again: LOVE IS LOVE!!! Regardless...


My mind will never change about this...My heart will always feel this way- And I'm sorry to lose you but please walk away...



Big tip in life folks- Live your life without judging & see how much happiness comes of it...Why should you even care who loves who? Focus on loving who you need to love in your own life & less on who others should or shouldn't be...


So, to those who will be walking away from Happy Soul Project- I wish you well, hope you change your mind & open your hearts and see the beauty in the differences we all have...

Pints + Patios + Paul Walker = Life Before Kids....

As mentioned over & over, being a mum has changed my world...Blah Blah Blah...I could go on & on about that & how much I love Noal & Pip...It's brought all that purpose & love that every mum talks about- And like this post described, I honestly feel I am meant to be exactly where I am in life...HOWEVER, as mentioned in this post, Being a mum SUCKS- sometimes!!! 


Now, no judging and no need for all that "kids are special gifts from above" stuff...I get all that- I ADORE my hooligans but there are moments, places & people I miss dearly since having them...


~Pints, Patios & the Likes~
Let's take the other day...It was absolutely gorgeous out, perfect patio weather some would say...As I pushed my one-heck-of-huge double stroller past a bustling patio with folks loving it up, I was immediately filled with jealousy at their pints & care-free afternoon...


People always tell ya to enjoy your freedom but until you actually are handcuffed 24/7 to another life {or lives} you don't really comprehend it...All those care-free afternoons & big nights out seem like a lifetime ago - And I for one, am so glad I made the most of them...

Some might even have said I was a wee bit of a "party girl" back in my day...My gals even gave me a "drinking" name ~ Ruby ~ because I use to get so happy & want to dance, spilling red wine everywhere..."Ruby" only comes out on very special occasions now- She's a bloody blast- Craig is not too much a fan of Old Ruby but me & my gals very much are...

One of my favourite "Ruby" nights was when my friend caught me talking to Paul Walker {I'm not into those car movies, but I guess he's a pretty big deal} using a full-on Irish accent & meaning it...I guess when the mojitos hit, I get confident & believe I can pull off a bloody accent...Have not a clue what I was rambling on to him about, nor what he was saying to me, but got full credit from my friend about how committed I was to the accent...Go big or go home right? 

Point is I miss those random, spur of the moment patio drunk afternoons or big-need-McDonald's-or-Pizza-after-the-bar kinda nights...





~Planes, Trains & Automobiles~
Awhile back, before the hooligans came & even before we moved back to Canada- Craig & I were living out a dream so amazing it sometimes takes my breath away thinking about it...I am soooo thankful we had those years doing our own thing, living abroad & seeing what we could of this gorgeous world...While living in Dublin, Ireland we easily could take a "weekend" trip to Holland, Hungary, heck even Spain- Those are some pretty special years & if possible I would highly recommend it to y'all- If you can live abroad at some point in your life- DO IT!!!


Anyways, I desperately miss the whole ease of travelling before kids...Whether it was backpacking Australia, a move across the world, a trip to Spain or just a weekend getaway to Montreal the thought was thrilling, the adventure was worth the pain of getting there & the experience was pure joy...Now, the thought of packing with 2 kids, driving more than a short distance with them & getting anywhere makes me want to invest in a pool, pretend we're away & call it a day....





~Looking Good or at least better than a bun, leggings & spit up~
I never really realized it before, Craig always thought I was & friends made it very clear, I am or was a product junkie...Way back in the day I loved experimenting with different makeup looks & hair colour {some looking back were absolutely horrendous- Hello, friends why didn't you tell me getting dread braids was just wrong on me & that the blue eye shadow I caked on was pretty special too? }- I can fully admit that I spent way too much moula & time on that kind of stuff now...Especially after seeing my friend Jenn's face when she found my "stash"...Over the years I've collected tons of makeup...Too much really...


I can honestly say however, since the hooligans I've worn 1 or 2 eyeliners, the same blush & 3 different kinds of lip gloss & haven't been into my "stash" in years...Sad really- all that lovely makeup- just sits there begging to be used with no real chance in the foreseeable future...The thought or time to do anything other than the basics these days is my reality...


As for hair- It use to be my thing...Straighting it like it was my job, getting it dyed every x amount of weeks it was needed & really having the time to look after it properly...These days the roots are out of control, {as mentioned before I haven't dyed it since Jan...And as much as I hate the look of it right now, the fact that I've gone 7 months without dying it makes me want to continue on to see if I really could pull off just my natural colour}, I wear it curly more often than not & it's usually on top of my head in a bun to protect every measly strand I got left from my wrestling toddler & clingy baby...



Picking out clothes & dressing up for the day use to be a delight, now I'm lucky if my leggings are hole-free, I can hide the spit up on my shoulder & Noal's snot that was wiped on my sleeve blends in enough to be wearable...Literally...




~Friends of all sorts~
I miss friends...Period...I miss having the time to have long chats with them- Just hanging out...I think just growing up in general changes things but having kids really seals the deal...The one good thing though is you really cherish the friendships you have & the time you do get to spend with the ones you love...

But those random friendships that popped up & you went along for the ride are the ones I miss most...For me in particular, I really miss my "boyfriend" {that would be a good guy friend who happens to be gay, who I like to have as a "boyfriend" in my life, since I already have a husband.}I've had 2 gay boyfriends who have held special spots in my heart...My first was Emmerick who I lived with in Oz- He was an Irish guy who was just lovely- we lived in Bondi Beach together for a short time...But, my true "boyfriend" love is the fabulous Matthew Montgomery...He's a star...

He knew from the moment we met I guess...I didn't even know who he was and had just moved to my husband's small hometown...Matt walked right up to me & said "I'd like to audition", to which I replied "For what?" and he sealed the deal with "to be your gay boyfriend"...Ah, Hello, Amazing or what?


So, he's one of the ones I've had the most fun in life with...He's the one who caught me fake accenting Mr. Walker, he's the one who snuck us into TIFF parties & he's the one who laughed hysterically when I stole a camera & hid it in my Spanx...{Another blog, for another day}...He's just awesome & you can't not have fun when he's around...But he feels so far away right now...The thought of a weekend with him & all that it will entail is magical & one I look forward to again at some point...




~Me, Myself & I~
And lastly I miss me...I miss having "me" time...The thought of reading a good Mauve Binchy, with a cuppa tea without having to gulp it down before the kiddos wake up from naps- or having time to actually look at myself in the mirror and get done up without having to sing "Baa Baa Black sheep" or the thought of actually shopping for myself and not getting swept into the kid's section at H&M every time- Any of it- all of it seems ages away before I have genuine "me" time again...


So, just to recap- I miss spontaneous drinks, travelling, getting properly ready, friends & myself- Nice...so pretty much everything that made up my old life...Oh the joys of Mummy~Hood...


Cheers...
What do y'all miss the most about life before kids?


An Elephant & A Boob...Everyone's favourite zoo story...

This week was the first time that we've had a "vacation", where we weren't jetting off here or there, feeling more tired than we were before the vacation started...The past few years whenever we had time off it was usually spent going to visit family, attend an out-of-town wedding or something of the sorts...And when we lived abroad it was explore here, go there, see this, do that & I wouldn't have wanted it any other way...


We never really just took a week off to do nothing in particular, with no real plans...However, we did just that, just us as a little family & I have to say it's been lovely...


For the most part our week has been filled with beach days, ice cream, parks & slides, longs cuddles in bed, corn on the cob, baby wearing, road-tripping-car-ride-naps, antique stores, smiles & giggles, eating toes, cotton candy, long walks, carnival rides,  an attempt from the hubs at breakfast in bed TWICE {and even with nearly a decade of waitressing experience, maneuvering with a baby, dog and toddler was nearly impossible} snugs while watching cartoons, lazy sunshine afternoons with Deac, dinner sans shirts or bibs & special memories like seeing Noal's reaction to a giant elephant up close & personal...


We brought the hooligans to the zoo yesterday - Noal has been pretty excited about going for days...Heck so have we according to this...



It was as perfect a day as you could think of...Nice weather, both kids chilled for the car ride & at the zoo, Noal so freaking cute seeing the animals, making noises & clapping- Only one little glitch in the whole day...


We got there about 10 minutes before the zoo opened, perfect timing to give Pip a quick ning...Craig parked the van away from others so that I had a wee bit of privacy while nursing...



So, Pip's having at er, my dress {bad outfit to nurse in on my end} is all the way down, so one full boob is visible & all of a sudden Noal starts screaming "elepat" "elepat" & making an elephant noise...Thinking like I always do, my boy is so smart, he must have saw the zoo sign with an elephant on it, to then be SHOCKED when I looked up to see a bloody elephant with it's trainer & a crowd of people parked right smack in front of the van...So, right dead-on-smack in front of my visible boob...Bloody hell...That poor trainer's face- He couldn't get that elephant to move faster if he tried...Good times...


We met again later in the day...My boobs thankfully were put away this time...



Anyways, beauty of a week - I love summer - I will let the photographs speak for themselves to share our week "vacation...































Happy Summer Y'all...