100 Word Story - Five Important Things

Each morning I say the same five important things.
Some are not as special as the others and are said by necessity.  Don’t forget your lunch and don’t forget to bring everything you need are the two that come to mind. 
They may not be special but they help to make the third, have a good day, a little easier to do.   
They are simple little words said each and every morning but the very most important two are the ones said while heading out the door; I love you and I’ll miss you.
Because I do and I will.

What's with the Rush?

Last week was full of advertisements and hype about upcoming big sales and the oddity that is Black Friday.  This week has been all about the new IKEA opening up in Winnipeg and the rush to be first in line or just part of the first rush.
I don’t get it. 
While black Friday is a rather new thing in Canada, in the US its so called purpose is to mark the first shopping day before the holidays and coincides with US thanksgiving.  In Canada it admittedly has nothing to do with any holiday what so ever (really neither does the US version) and is all about getting consumers to spend their money in one spot or another.
What always gets me about all this is that out of all these so called amazing sales have I ever actually heard something really special.  I’ve yet to know anyone who has gotten a once in a life time price that couldn’t have been found during a regular sale another time of the year.   I’ve never heard of someone being hit with a great revelation or epiphany by being the first to buy a new item rather than second or 1000th. 
What I have heard are the stories showcasing the worst of humankind in reports of black Friday, grand openings and door buster sales gone wrong. I’ve seen videos of literal mobs who appear more like looters than shoppers.  I’ve been baffled to see people lining up in freezing cold, pouring rain and other terrible weather conditions just to be the first shopper inside a new store or to buy the first of an item.  
In short I haven’t heard anything so special about participating in these type of events to want to do so myself.     
I see greed and displays of animalistic instinct that make one question what we are capable of. Is this after all really what we are becoming?  Animals so obsessed over the acquisition of things that the people around you whether stranger or friend is irrelevant?  A world where common-sense and basic decency are less important than our most base instincts to gather?
Perhaps I’m being dramatic but it’s undeniable that these sales often bring with them stories of stomach-turning events as well.  It’s something that really turns me off against these types of events and gives me a mild feeling of disgust simply to contemplate them. 
All these sales and events make me want to do is remind others of the importance of people over things, time over items and love over money.       

Picture Day - Getting into the Spirit

It's that time of year to once again to start decorating, shopping, baking and having fun at every turn.  The Christmas season requires a lot of "dressing" and it is just about time to get into the spirit of things.

I'm on German TV! Woo-Hoo

I'm on German TV! Woo-Hoo! A few days ago a German TV team came to film us over at flaregames Studios =) they shot the studio, the people, and me drawing characters! Yay! =) Check out the video! I'm so very excited!@ Flaregames.
You can watch the video here: flaregames on TV

100 Word Story - Dreamer

Frank always had dreams about the strangest of creatures. They were bug like in appearance and sailed through the cosmos in oval shaped ships and talked in very high pitched voices.
It wasn’t until years later when they invaded the Earth that Frank realized the dreams had never been dreams at all. The creatures had really been trying to communicate with him and to learn about humankind in order to better prepare their invading armies.
Unfortunately they never bothered to ask Frank how big he was.  The invasion failed miserably as the strange creatures were only about 3 inches tall.

Scrapbook Woes

The closest to scrapbooking I’ve ever come has been the girls’ baby books.  I’ve put together photo albums certainly and from time to time added little bits of memorabilia to those albums but never have I done a traditional scrapbook.
With a trip to the most magical place on Earth and having happened across a beautiful scrapbook I thought I’d give it a try.  Unfortunately by the time I saw the lovely book I wanted we had really spent quite enough on souvenirs and had no room left to pack it if I bought it.  Naively I was thinking some abstract thoughts about ordering it online or picking it up at the Disney store in Minneapolis eventually and we left it behind.
Well as it turns out I should have figured out a way to stuff it in a bag. We have no plans to head off to Minneapolis until the spring time at the earliest so unless I want to put it off and start forgetting things before doing this scrapbook option A was out.  So onto online purchasing….well once again shipping costs heading north of the US border make online purchasing a royal pain in the behind.   
So what to do? Well we had another option as we knew of several people heading to Orlando in the next few weeks and so to save on shipping costs we asked if they found themselves near that particular Disney store to grab it for us if they could. The first wasn’t able to but the second group we knew picked it up for us and I was very excited to get started.
I printed off all the pictures I want to use and gathered all the materials that I want to make part of the book.  Sunday afternoon I got the book from them and despite pictures and dimensions being sent it’s, you guessed it, the wrong one!  Right design wrong book, album rather than scrapbook.
Of course I didn’t tell them that, I just graciously paid for the book they brought us, thanked them for looking for me and sucked it up.  I am thankful after all that they put in the effort to do me a favour and I can’t fault them for grabbing the wrong one. The two books are identical in everything but size and I know they thought they had the right one.
Inside however there was a little girl whose new balloon had just been popped and was in the process of throwing quite the un-ladylike tantrum. I’m much too far up the path to stop the project now. I’ve purchased materials and started arranging pages which will only fit in a full size scrapbook and I’ve put in a lot of effort to get that book home to me.  I've invested myself in the project and so I'll follow through.
Unfotunately it's now going to cost me much more thanks to paying for the wrong book and those terrible shipping fees never mind the extra time and effort.  Lesson learnt.  If you find something thousands of kilometers from home that you really want don’t let little things like how much room is left in your bag stop you from buying it.  I’m sure if had really tried I could have found a way to stuff it in.

Current Resume =)

Also feel free to check out my Linkedin Resume over here
My Resume on Linkedin

Royal Revolt - Art

Some of the recent art I did at Flaregames for the new Royal Revolt update, I'm having so much fun working on this game, the game is a huge success - more than million players so far, it's such an amazing feeling to know that people all over the world see my characters and sketches! 

BraveSmart - Artwork

So this is just some of the art I did for BraveSmart a few months ago at Flaregames. I was basically trying to adjust to the existing game style, which was a lot of fun. I had a lot of fun working on this project.


Part 3/3 - Lost

Part One

Part Two

She stared for long moments the fear and panic creating a painful burning sensation in the back of her throat. She could see the desert stretching out around her, feel the warm sun on her face, the cold packed earth beneath her feet, smell the dry dust everywhere around her and she dropped to the ground in relief.

A dream she thought nothing more than a dream. She had dreamt the world around her had suddenly blinked out of existence. It had just been a dream, a dream so realistic that it had quite nearly driven her insane.  She clapped her hands over her mouth to stop the laughter that threatened to bubble up at the thought.  She was quite sure if she began to laugh right now that she would never stop.

“A dream” she repeated aloud as if hearing it would make it seem more truthful and yet it did not.  Everything still felt wrong but she was so grateful at being able to feel anything at all that it didn’t matter. 

She stared at the horizon and at that great big beautiful ridge which would lead her into town.  Slowly she walked towards it and as she did she felt the dream slipping away. She could only remember the joy she had felt when she had opened her eyes, not remembering having shut them in the first place, and the terror which had gripped her but the details were fading away.

Now the sun was rising and the world looked even better with the sun just above the ridge which would lead her, while not home, to safety.  She would be fine she would just keep walking, she was bound to reach town before another night fell. She would spend tonight safely locked in her hotel room with the TV and every light on, wrapped up in all the blankets she could find.

She paused for a moment sitting down to rest her feet the thought of the warm and comfortable hotel soothing her mind like a balm.  She took out one of the water bottles from her backpack and drank half of it down before climbing back to her feet and beginning to walk again.  

The ridge looked different somehow, Joelle shook her head, no it was just the after effects of that terrible dream playing tricks on her mind she thought and continued to walk forward the ridge becoming clearer with each step.

The closer she got to the ridge the more convinced she became that something wasn’t quite right and as she walked to the top of a small hill leading ever closer to the edge of the ridge she looked up from her feet to the sky and stopped dead.

Hanging above her head was not one sun but two.  Both blazed their heat down upon her and as she stood staring into the sky she heard a wet squelchy sort of noise from behind her. 

The hair on the back of her neck stood on end and she remembered that warm and wet, somehow alien feeling, she had experienced in her dream. She refused to look behind her and indulge herself in this new paranoia, and yet the two suns hanging in front of her was just as insane to contemplate as considering what in the middle of the desert could have made that wet noise. 

She gave her head a little shake instead and stared at the ridge over which the second sun had just risen. It must be a mirage, or a hallucination she thought. Maybe something had gotten into the water bottles she had been drinking. With determination she set her mind against her imagination and set off towards where she knew the town lay in wait. 

Once she got there she would instead of heading straight for her hotel room head for the nearest Doctors office instead.  They would be able to figure out what had suddenly gone so wrong with all of her senses. They would fix it. 

The ridge she now realized wasn’t that far off anymore and she probably could have made it the night before if she had just kept going. She would have seen the lights from town before long and could have followed them to safety.

Of course she was still going to get there safely. There weren’t two suns she told herself sternly and she certainly hadn’t heard the sound she thought she had, there was nothing here. She had just gotten stuck a little ways outside of town and had to walk back that’s it nothing more.  

Sometime later just as the ridge began to rise up to meet her she heard that same wet sound behind her. This one was followed by another and another wet sound and she began to run towards the ridge, towards the light of the two suns.  Faster and faster she went as the sounds behind her seemed to get louder and closer and somehow more excited.

She was scrambling up the hill leading to the top of the ridge in front of her when she felt the first brush of warm wetness against her ankle and she screamed just as the view beyond the ridge came into sight.

She found her footing and stood on the edge of a great chasm. Where was the town, where were the people, the buildings, anything.  There was nothing just those two suns high up in the sky and the noises behind her.

Panting she shaded her eyes and searched the horizon for some sign of life but there was none. An alien landscape spread out in all directions before her, the noise from behind came again followed by a sensation of that sickening warm wet thing against her leg.  The sound became a happy gurgle and Joelle shuddered.

She took a deep breath and finally turned to look down and back the way she had come.  She finally had an image to put together with that noise and that warm wet feeling. It was worse, much worse than she could ever have imagined.

She had apparently driven much further away from town than she had thought, or perhaps she had walked further. All she knew was that the wrong turn she had taken had been more wrong than she could ever have imagined. 

With a final scream of terror she threw herself from the top of the ridge into what she hoped would truly be nothing.         

Part 2/3 - Lost

Hours later she woke freezing cold and feeling as if the world was tipping on its axis.  Jumping up she’d fallen back to the ground the stars above her head spinning madly.  Then without warning all of the stars winked out of sight.

Suddenly there was nothing, not even the feeling of the hard pan beneath her nothing other than the inky blackness which seemed to press upon her from all sides. It felt as if she had suddenly gone blind deaf and dumb in an instant.

She groped about with her hands and for a moment she felt something, but pulled back with a cry….it had been slimy and hot, something completely alien to her and somehow dangerous. 

Just as quickly as she’d withdrawn her hand she reached out again, even that strange feeling had been better than this….this nothing…..

Groping wildly she began to flail as panic took over, how could there be nothing, nothing to see, to feel, to hear, to even smell.  She screamed into the darkness realizing even as she screamed that she could not hear herself that the sound was only from inside her own head.

She continued screaming silently for what may have been only minutes but felt like hours before she was able to force herself to stop, realizing that if she didn’t do it soon she would never be able to.

She was breathing hard and yet even straining as hard as she could she could not hear the noise of her own breath, but she could feel it.

She focused on that feeling the only feeling she had left, counting slowly with her eyes closed. She reached one hundred and slowly opened her eyes and yet she still saw nothing. She felt a sudden itch on her nose and realized with a start that she couldn’t reach up and scratch her nose because she had no hands. Did she have a nose?

She felt panic rising again and fought it trying to stay calm and think after all it seemed to be the only option open to her.  Think or go crazy.  Her thoughts swirled madly searching desperately through her life’s knowledge for some point of reference which would help her get out of this mess. 

Her mind suddenly grasped upon an old lesson from Sunday school when they had been taught about purgatory.  She seemed to recall it had been described as being trapped in nothingness.  Was this the afterlife then? Had something killed her without her sensing it and now she was doomed to spend the rest of her life (existence?) as whatever this was?

She floated in the blackness considering the possibility arguing with herself, praying to the god she hadn’t spoken to since those childhood days of Sunday school.  Desperate to stay calm she began singing old songs in her head to distract herself from the growing sense of unease and terror griping her mind. Why hadn’t she stayed with the car!

An image of her body lying in the desert came to her mind unbidden. She saw the sun rising and the vultures circling over head.  She saw small coyotes and other desert creatures inching slowly to where she lay and begin to pick at her body.  She saw a vulture dip its head over her own and rise up with an eyeball, her eyeball, swinging from a long piece of sinew in its beak.

Great waves of disgust and despair coursed across her mind wiping away all other thought and panic once again took over. Before long she was again silently screaming into the void surrounding her.    

Without warning she felt a soft thump against her back and her eyes flew open. She was laying on the hard desert surface the stars above her head.  She jumped up staring around in confusion as the first hint of the sun reached the horizon.

Part 1/3 - Lost

The sun began to rise and Joelle heaved a sigh of relief.  Although far from out of danger with the sun coming up over the horizon her situation suddenly felt much better than it had in the darkness.

After all she wasn’t really lost she’d had a bit of bad luck is all. She had set out from her hotel to meet up with an old friend and had barely driven out of town before realizing she had made a wrong turn.

She’d decided to turn around when the hunk of junk car she’d rented decided to lurch forward and stall.  Unfortunately it had lurched at the edge of the narrow roadway while she was turning and it had gone sliding nose first into the ditch. She probably would have been able to back the car out of the ditch but it had refused to start up again.

She tried for nearly an hour before deciding to give up and walk back.  She would have called a tow truck but ever since she’d arrived her phone had been acting erratically and now it didn’t even want to turn on. She’d only been driving for ten minutes anyways how far could she really have gone?    

She could see the ridge which marked the edge of the valley the town sat in and it hadn’t looked all that far away even if maybe she’d been driving 15 or 20 minutes rather than 10 before turning back.

She’d started out fine, better than fine really.  There had been a bunch of water bottles in the trunk and she had taken those as well as anything else that might be useful to her including the first aid kit. She’d even had her umbrella which she’d opened up to shade herself from the desert sun.

It hadn’t taken her long to realize how hard walking across the hot ground was going to be and several times she had turned back towards the car wondering if maybe she should just stay with it.  Even if no one passed by accident she’d spoken with her friend on the phone just before leaving and her friend was bound to get people looking for her when she didn’t show up after a few hours.

Eventually she walked just a little bit too far to change her mind.  Just as she’d decided that walking really had been the wrong choice the sun started going down and without it glinting off the roof of the car she couldn’t quite make out where it had been. She thought she saw it for a moment but without any footprints on the hard pan and each bit of brush and cactus looking exactly the same as the next she couldn’t be sure. 

She could be sure where the ridge was though and so she decided to keep going.

As it had gotten darker she’d begun to stumble. What from a distance looked like a solid flat expanse was actually rather uneven sometimes even dropping off several feet at a time.  After falling headlong off of one of these drops Joelle realized trying to walk in the dark wasn’t only useless but dangerous.

So she’d scooted back until she rested against the mini cliff she’d just fallen over and leant back determining that it would be best to stay put for the night.  More tired from walking all day than she’d realized, she had pulled up the hood on her sweatshirt and fell asleep in just a few minutes.

Suddenly Looking Good

Now I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again I am not the most fashionable woman in the world.  I don’t enjoy shopping, I don’t “get” fashion trends and I don’t buy large amounts of clothing.  I like to keep things simple without a lot of fuss but that is also partly out of necessity.
I work with children and so not only is it a bad idea to dress up for work it just isn’t practical.  What this means is jeans, t-shirts, sweaters and the like is my day to day wardrobe. Nine times out of ten my hair is in a ponytail to keep it out of the way and I’m often covered in a combination of baby drool, craft paint and sparkles.  
How I look is the farthest thing from my mind and I’m ok with that from 9-5.  It’s when my work day is done however that I start to want to have a little bit more something to my look. Even heading out to run a few errands, grab a fast meal out or just out taking a walk I want something that looks more put together and at least clean.  
So rather than waste a lot of time changing out of my regular workday wardrobe or even trying to keep those things clean I’ve learnt how to switch out or add just a few items to dress up my practical outfits with ease.  
What I now do is I search for those few items that can take any outfit and make it look great.  They aren’t necessarily high fashion items, I really don’t have the time or inclination to follow fashion trends, but they are classic pieces of good quality that will work for years to come.
It’s amazing what changing from a practical down jacket and sturdy winter boots into a classic wool jacket and a soft cashmere scarf with heeled leather boots can do for an outfit.  It’s just these simple little changes that make me feel like a whole new woman and this is where sexy jumped out at me.
For some time my go to boots have been a pair of knee high leather boots with a slight heel.  In fact I’ve been wearing these boots since I was 15 or 16. Not the same pair no but almost the exact same style and although I still love these boots they no longer made me feel like quite so put together when I put them on.
So after searching every shoe store in the south and west ends of the city I finally found the right pair and not only do I feel put together wearing these boots but like a whole new woman.  It kind of jumped out at me and I think I may be seeing the brighter side of fashion here. 
I’ve realized that if you love what you’re wearing you’ll love how you look. If you love how you look it can give you confidence and make you feel good about yourself.  I really can't think of any better way to feel good than feeling confident and you have to admit it also feels pretty darn sexy.     

Full Of Ideas

I suddenly seem to be full of ideas, for new projects, space saving ideas and decorating wants.  I’ve been energized and everywhere I look I see some sort of potential.  Our family lives in a fairly small house and so I’m always trying to think of new ideas to save space but this is the first time in a long time that I’ve actually come up with anything and I’m just bursting with ideas.
When we first moved in I had tons of ideas and many of those ideas have come to life. I’ve built shoe racks right into the walls, added shelving, baskets, hooks and hangers then organized it all to within an inch of its life.  The feeling though that more and even more space is needed has always remained.
Lamenting the problem constantly just frustrates me and I haven’t had a really good unique idea in awhile. Perhaps that is why I’m now suddenly filled with ideas; I stopped thinking about it. While I was only physically in Orlando a week my mind spent a couple of months there ahead of time planning things out and so my mind wasn’t focused on this aspect of our house.
Now I’m seeing these spaces that could use a little help from what feels like a new energized perspective and I think that is what is making these ideas pop up like mad.  So many ideas are also making me take a step back from what I’ve already accomplished and considering them from a neutral perspective. 
I’m finding myself rather pleased by the things that have worked on which have worked out wonderfully and yet I’m also finding I’m able to look at those that don’t without self recrimination. Just because the old idea doesn’t hold a candle to the new idea doesn’t mean there isn’t merit to having tried out the first one.  Perhaps if I hadn’t tried out the first and discovered what doesn’t work the new idea may never have occurred to me. 
 Take my latest brainwave; new storage compartments built along the shelf which runs alongside the stairs.  It seems so obvious but if the idea that is currently in use hadn’t started me thinking about that spaces potential maybe I wouldn’t have had the new compartment idea.
Right now this shelf is half empty while the other half is filled with baskets of hats, mitts and scarves.  Every year those baskets work great over the summer storing sunscreen, bug spray, hats and umbrellas with ease but then along comes another winter and it stops working so well.
Take a nice set of mitts, hat and scarf and times it by four people. Then add in for each person another set for playing in, another for when it’s really cold and then the odds and ends of winter wear (including the dogs boots and jacket) and you would find that it adds up to an awful lot of stuff. 
All that stuff takes up a lot more space than was needed over the summer months and suddenly baskets are overflowing, tipping and tumbling
It’s rather inconvenient to chase at least one piece of your winter wear down the stairs every single time you get ready to go outside.  
I’ve learnt something from it though, actually several things, one baskets fall over, two baskets that fit the existing shelf don’t hold enough, three it IS best to have these items by the door and finally four that there is a better way to do it.
I think this will be my first project to actually follow through on. The rest I’ll have to write down so I don’t forget them but I’ve got to say it sure is nice to feel those creative juices flowing once again.  

Picture Day - Favorite Vacation Shots

Main Entrance

Epcot, Spaceship Earth

Mickey and Minnie Mouse

Festival of The Lion King

Cinderella's Castle Night

Cinderella's Castle Day

Me With Chip N' Dale

Osbourne St. Lights

Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular

Main Universal Entrance

Studios Entrance

Across Islands of Adventure Lake

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Aztec Entrance

The Most Magical Place on Earth

Yep still stuck on Walt Disney World but really can you blame me?  On our trip to Orlando we visited the four Disney parks and the two Universal Parks. Although we had fun at all of them Disney is where IT was at. 
That’s not to say Universal wasn’t great in its own way. Universal is home to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and since our entire family is huge fans that park is placed firmly in the number 2 out of the 6 parks we visited.  In the end however, aside from HP, Universal just feels like any other theme park.
Walt Disney World, in particular The Magic Kingdom and Epcot, is like stepping into another world. A world where all the faces are smiling, where people (cast members and tourists alike) dance in the street, where the rides are “experiences” and foot traffic is so well managed that even in the midst of a parade it flows smoothly.
It isn’t just for the kids either and I think that is a big part of what makes Disney so special.  It turned out my husband and I had just as much fun as our daughters did.  While we walked into the parks as Mom and Dad we left as kids having had a day of fun. 
Perhaps it is because of rides like Dumbo which in most parks wouldn’t be designed to seat adults but small children only.  Nothing at Disney is kids only or adults only everything is designed to be an entertaining and fun experience for everyone regardless of age.  Sharing in the fun as a family changes the outlook entirely.  
It’s all in the details and Disney does the details well.  One of those subtle details is the different music for each area which emerges from bushes and along walkways each sound evoking memory and lifting your heart.  Another detail is in the food, everything is specially made for Disney.  A bag of nuts “manufactured” by Chip n’ Dale, Mickey ears ice cream and Minnie Cookies.  Each of the rides are more than just rides they are immersive from the moment you step into line until you step back out into that glorious Florida sun.   The shows are spectacularly put together and the cast members treat you like royalty. 
In no other place have I felt that overwhelming feeling of being a kid again.  Disney focuses on learning and imagination; it is forever optimistic, encouraging and hopeful.  It makes you think about our potential as humans and it truly is magic.

Disney Done

Well that’s it summer is officially behind us, but what a way to top it off. Our family spent the last week in the wonderful Florida sun and after 8 days of bliss we returned mid snow storm.  While we were there I wasn’t giving anything back home a second thought while blogger faithfully posted my pre-written and scheduled posts. 
Stepping off the plane in Orlando was magical in and of itself, having gotten used to near freezing temperatures the warm and humid air was pure bliss.  Palm trees swaying in the breeze, geckos running across sidewalks, flowers in bloom everywhere and of course visits with a very special mouse made this the best trip our family has ever had.   
I’d mentioned my intent to surprise the girls with this trip and did we ever succeed.  Their reactions to the letters I made for them were priceless.  While our youngest went from curiosity to pure excitement as soon as she realized what the letters said our oldest went through several stages (including a rather doubtful one) before reaching that def-con 10 level of excitement herself.  

Since we were leaving the very next morning our vacation started as soon as we told the girls and I couldn’t be happier with our decision to surprise them.  Since we were left so soon after telling them it seemed we were in full-fledged vacation mode from that moment forward without even having left the house.
Another little bonus that wasn’t strictly necessary that helped bring the vacation home even before we stepped onto the plane was by starting off our trip by renting a limousine for the ride to the airport. For the girls this was a new experience and certainly worked to make it special.
This was also their first experience flying and so we made sure to talk to them about what to expect from the flight, the different noises and sensations that they might experience and brought along as many distractions as we could. I admit I was a little nervous as my husband is not a good flyer and our youngest shares his fear of heights so we did need to consider she might not do well. Thankfully it turned out that neither of them had any issues flying and enjoyed seeing everything from up high.       
Our flight had been slightly delayed and so our first day’s plans were a little rushed on arrival but we also arrived with a flexible mindset and so it didn’t cause any undue stress.  We were very happy with our hotel and the anticipation of our first parks day kept the stress of getting prepared for our week in check.
I think this was probably one of the most important elements that made our trip successful, planning.  I’d done a huge amount of planning long before we left but having that plan while remaining flexible really seemed to make everything flow smoothly.  There were times we forgot about the plan and lost track of time yet we still seemed to always find ourselves in the right spot at the right time for all the shows, parades and fireworks we wanted to see. 
All of our planning and research into when to go, where to eat, what to do each day, deciding whether to rent a car or not, the best location and hotel to stay at all these big things were figured out ahead of time and so the little things just worked.
Leaving to come home we were of course saddened to go but we all felt content and happy with all we had done and our tired feet were ready to call it a day.  We got one last week of summer fun before walking off the plane at the end of it all and straight into several feet of snow. Disney may be done but the memories we have brought home will last a lifetime and the snow doesn’t feel so bad.        

Looking Forward to Looking Back

This was considered the theme, motto sounds better in my opinion, of my yearbook the year I graduated high school.   I remember seeing those words emblazoned across the front cover and scoffing my first thought being “who thinks up this crap”. 
I for one wasn’t considering looking back in fact I recall thinking that I had absolutely no intention of ever looking back.  Those days would be done and my plan was to never stop looking forward. I didn’t have the happiest of school years nor did I have the worst and it is only with experience that I’ve realized it.
As time went by and my school years became further and further behind me I lost much of the early cynicism that I’d had towards those years and I found that sometimes in the natural course of life that you had to look back.  It also become apparent to me that taking a glance over my shoulder from time to time in no way prevented me from staying focused on looking forward the other 99% of the time.
Perhaps I realized that by denying those looks back was kin to denying who I am and where I came from.  That wasn’t the intention behind the original thought, that I would not look back, but was an apparent by-product of that mind-set.
We can’t nor should we leave it all behind.  
Our lives and everything good, bad or in-between which happens to us must be embraced as a part of us, a part of our memories, before looking forward can be done with strength and conviction.  To accept it, forgive those who wronged us, admit to our own mistakes and look back at our lives with the new perspectives which are gained with each years knowledge is vital to looking forward.
So now I am looking forward to looking back from time to time....I still think the phrasing sound kind of stupid though. 

My graduating class on the steps of the Manitoba Legislative.
I'm on the bottom row farthest to the left in blue.

100 word ramble - Weekend Breakfast

I’m usually a very simple breakfast person but weekends hold a special place.  At least one morning each week will find us gathered around the table in robes, pj’s and slippers to enjoy a much more sumptuous breakfast than the fast and simple weekday ones.  It has become a bit of a habit and the one meal which is guaranteed to gather us all together regardless of what else the coming day holds.   In our busy lives these lazy, tasty breakfasts are a special moment of peace and rest, our families bond strengthened each week over waffles and pancakes galore.