Thursday, July 16, 2015

My Top 30

 Holy crap where has the time gone! I'm 30 today! It's definitely one of those ages that I have been very aware of turning. I think it's because it's the first 'Yikes' age to turn. Every ten years, it's that much closer to old. I know I'm not old old yet. But it's definitely a milestone.

 The other day Rob and Alina went to the mall right after work and I had the house to myself when I got home. It doesn't happen very often and I enjoyed it so much. As soon as I got home I didn't have to fix Alina a snack, I went straight to my room and changed out of my work clothes. (Best feeling ever.) Then I started supper but I had iTunes blaring out of our UE Boom speaker. I wish I could make dinner without interruption everyday! It's easier to concentrate on new recipes when I can focus all of my attention on the task. It was just awesome fading into the music. I even danced! It's just incredible how much has changed in the last ten years. If you had asked me ten years ago if getting home from work, making supper and listening to music alone was the best part of my day I would have asked why..

 So in honour of my 30th year I will share my Top 30 Moments in life. The good and the bad because after all that is what life is all about.. The ups and downs;


  Being born. Instead of going to bingo on Monday evening, my mom went into labour. I was born at 7:06 in the morning on July the 16th, 1985. I'm not going to lie, I was a pretty big deal. My brother and sister were elated about my arrival, probably until I opened my mouth to scream. BUT- I still had my shining moment.

My 15 minutes of fame...

  My parents divorce. I was around Alina's age, in my 2's for sure when my parents decided to go their separate ways. Sad for the family, yes. To be fair, I was too little to know any better. So it was the easiest on me for sure.


 Meeting Rudi. My mom went on a blind date with her sister's boyfriend's older brother. We were staying in Edmonton at my grandparent's house. He came up to the apartment and it was love at first sight... for me, apparently. I was a super painfully shy child and the moment my mom opened the door to this bald, body builder stranger I walked right up to him and wanted up. My family was completely shocked.

Reading me German comics.

 The wedding. Three months after meeting, my mom and Rudi were married. We moved to Hinton, Alberta to begin our new lives. Again, it was more of an adjustment for my siblings, not so much for me.


  Quitting kindergarten and waiting a year to start school.. I make this a 'moment' in my life because I remember it well. I cried for a whole week at school and I remember quitting being my idea but it was obviously already determined and discussed by my parents. My mom had me tell Rudi that I quit school and I remember him being really sweet about it when I told him.

My second attempt at Kindergarten. See, I'm much happier..

  Meeting Katelyn in 1992.  This is a moment because Katie and I are still friends. We're both moms with husbands and mortgages.. We're all grown up but we did a lot of our important growing together. We were there for each other in pretty rough times. We've been friends for 23 years!


  Grade 3.  I think a good teacher goes a really, really long way because this grade stands out for me. I think it was because of my third grade teacher, Mrs. Grobel. I still remember watching her slides (yeah, I'm old...) from her trip to Australia. She left an impression and I'll always remember her.


  Meeting my step mom. My dad finally met a really nice, sweet woman. I wasn't sure what to expect but when I met her for the first time, I was instantly 'home'. She is by far, still the kindest, gentlest and sweetest person I've encountered. She had three children of her own and each visit to their home I felt more like part of the family. My siblings weren't into visiting my dad at that point in their lives but I still was. So going away with him was different because I had three other siblings waiting to spend time with me. I cherish those moments with those guys because I don't see them anymore.


  Mom's back. Oh the struggle that was mom's back. Her back went all wonky when I was maybe 13. One day she was counting pennies on the living room floor and the next day she complained about her back hurting. She eventually had to quit her job and had a total of three major operations. Battling with her emotions and pain medications was a struggle we all took on, sadly. Unfortunately she still can't work and deals with her pain regularly.

A rare photo of my Mom when she worked.

  Mom went away for a bit. Pain management is quite an obstacle that a lot of people struggle to manage. She had to go through different combinations to help her, that failed her. It was the morphine that did her in. At one point she had a bad reaction and had to go to Edmonton to get off of the medications that were making her more uncomfortable than the pain. She was away for six months getting the right help with her specialist in the city. I remember that being a real struggle for our family. I was a mama's girl and I needed her. 


  Grade 7 - Kyle R. who I had a huge crush on caught my attention in class and signaled down at his pants. To my alarm and shock he showed me the outline of his boner through his jeans. Wha!?! That was a pivotal moment for me.. I feel like a big sense of my innocence vanished in that moment. Ha! We never dated but he was definitely my first crush.


  Louisiana Part I. By far the best vacation of my life. My sister and I went to Lafayette, LA to visit family members that were living there at the time. They had a swimming pool, incredible Southern neighbours that were like family and insanely delicious eats. I had the time of my life. We also took a road trip to Florida to Disney World. It was amazing and just another reason why I didn't want to go back home.


  Moving to a HOUSE! It was such a huge moment in our lives. We lived in a trailer at Sunset Trailer Court for ten years before my parents bought a split level house right by my elementary school. I was so excited to have my very own bedroom with a door. (My sister and I shared a room in the old place and my playroom didn't have a door.) It was so amazing living in a nice neighbourhood in a big house. It really did change all of our lives.


  Louisiana Part II. A few years after the first trip to LA I ended up going again, this time on my own. I was under 15 so I was considered an Unaccompanied Minor. By far the easiest way to travel because the airlines just escorted me to private play rooms with kids that were also flying on their own. I remember getting so much attention that I wasn't used to but absolutely devoured. The boys were nice to me, my cousin's friends were amazing and I bawled my face off when that summer ended. I fell for the boy next door and totally botched kissing him because I was too afraid to initiate it. I still regret that one..! I spent the very last of my money on getting my nose pierced. I think my parents' jaws dropped when I got off the plane. I went to LA as a pip-squeak and returned a big breasted, curvy 15 year old with a shit attitude because I wanted to live in the states.


  Getting a job at Safeway, when I was 15. I was completely terrified to get a job but knew it was something I should do. My first day was unexpected. I was called in early in the morning because someone didn't show up for work. My first customer was someone buying bagels in bulk and I couldn't remember the code and I burst into tears. It was my first experience with being so incredibly afraid and uncomfortable but having to stick with it, because hey- that's life.

The ONLY picture of me in my uniform.. but it's funny.


   In high school a girlfriend of mine told me that a boy in an older grade said that I had a nice butt. I remember asking which one asked and then replying that I thought he was hot. He learned that I thought he was cute and that Friday night, us girls were visited by him and his friends at my friend's house. My childhood friend was leaving at a certain time and I was supposed to go with her to make my curfew. I remember that moment when I said, "Go without me, I'm going to stay..." I ended up sitting on his lap packed in a car going to a little party. I got home hours and hours after I was supposed to and no one was up waiting for me. I completely disobeyed and got away with it. It was a huge moment in my adolescence where I think the last shred of my innocence disappeared. 


  That boy, I thought was hot was Kirk B. The first guy to steal my heart and keep a piece of it. He was my first love and we were a completely dysfunctional teen couple. It got pretty ugly at times but my relationship with Kirk taught me a lot. I do wonder how he's doing in life. I wish him well.


  Prom/Graduation. Prom and Grad were separate occasions but I lump them together because they made me feel the same. I was proud of myself for graduating and I had a really fun time at my prom with my girlfriends. We got all gussied up and danced and drank at our prom and it was a blast. Graduation was a big day for me because I finally did it; I graduated! It was a big deal within both families (mom's and dad's) because I was the first and I could tell they were very proud of me.


  January, 2005.

  It was my mom's birthday and we all went out for dinner. Rudi had been dropping his coffee mug in the mornings and was feeling off. He was diagnosed with an ear infection and was off of work for a bit because it was unsafe for him to be driving his big truck. The following day, I was at work at the hotel and had to whip home to take him to the hospital. His whole one side was paralyzed. We later found out that he was diagnosed with stage four brain cancer.

Right before going out to dinner for my mom's birthday. It was literally the last outing Rudi ever had.

  March 2005.  Rudi passed away on the 7th and his memorial was soon after. Seeing my dad like that was definitely gut wrenching and unforgettable. There was a true sense of calm that took over the day that he passed but it was still tremendously sad. His celebration of life was nice. I stood up and spoke and it felt good to. The town closed the mill for his service and all of the flags were half mast in honour of his passing.

This is how little I still feel when I think about him..

  We moved to Vancouver Island on July 26, 2005. It was a huge moment in my life because little did I know, I was moving towards my future husband and future life.


  It was September of 2005 that I met Rob for the first time. My cousin and her friends were going to fix me up on a blind date and I kept telling them to make it Rob. I still remember meeting him and thinking he was gorgeous, that he had incredible blue eyes and that he was obviously not available. I was wrong. He was available and to me exclusively. We were dating by October and I was living with him full time by the end of that month. The memories and special moments of us would take up another Top 30...

I found these photos of us making supper and goofing around from our early days. We look pretty in love.

  I met Rob's dad early on in our relationship when he came out with a bunch of Rob's belongings. I met the rest of Rob's family over the course of a few  years of knowing each other. His family has and still is so welcoming and accepting. No matter what, they accept and love me no questions asked.


  My mom liked to drink beer. It wasn't a big issue but during the last few years that Rudi was alive it started to become a bit of one. She didn't like to go out and she liked having a few drinks at night. She was in a pretty bad way then and I think the drinking was one of the only things that made her feel like she was 'doing' something. Not long after we moved to the island my mom decided to go to a recovery center on Bowen Island. I was shocked that she felt like she needed to go but we respected it. It was probably the best thing she could have done for herself. She lost tons of weight and adopted a whole new attitude. We tried to visit her every weekend that we could and those weeks visiting definitely stands out in my memory. She is still sober and we are all very proud of her for it.


  My sister Kyli's wedding and the days before and after. It was such a big event because we had a lot of my brother in law Joe's family from the east coast come to our house to see each other. We hosted the rehearsal dinner and were both part of their special day. We had a total blast.


  Quinn's arrival! Quinn was our first baby and Rob and I were over the moon in love with this little guy. We were in the waiting room when Joe came in to announce that it was a BOY! We were so excited and visited Quinn as much as we could.


  Early in 2010 Kyli phoned to tell me that her, Joe and Quinn were moving to the east coast. I remember being completely devastated. I told her I had to go and went into my room and lost my mind crying on the floor like a little baby. Ky and Joe were our lives. They were what we thought all that we had here on the island, with our immediate family living elsewhere. I remember that we both took the following day off of work. We just escaped into the forest to hike and get away. It cleared our heads and we accepted the news a bit better.

Photo right before my little buddy moved..

  Our wedding. What a day! Our wedding was really classy. I wanted it to be sort of old fashioned, from my look to the black and white wedding photos of our guests on all of the dinner tables at the reception. The music and food and every little detail was planned by us and it was totally worth all of the time and effort it took to plan. It was the perfect day and the day we became a family, I became a Junkala.


  Sadly 16 days after our wedding day, my dad passed away from cancer. We knew the day was fast approaching. He traveled to our town for the wedding but never once left his hotel room because he was so sick. He came all that way to be there for our wedding and had to miss it. Very sad. We were traveling to him when we got the call that he had passed. It was nice to get to see that side of my family again after so, so, so many years.

Picture of him doing what he loved..

  Finding out we were pregnant and Alina's birth! Getting pregnant with Alina was definitely something we intended. I remember agreeing that we were officially trying and very soon after we were pregnant with her! It was amazing and terrifying all at once finding out. Alina was born on March 8, 2013 at 7:39 am. The sun filled my hospital room with a golden glow moments before she came into the world. That whole experience was unreal, like a dream. Her arrival was amazing.

 Many moments since Alina's birth have happened but I'm out of numbers! I'm not sure how I feel about turning 30 but what I do know is that I'm incredibly lucky to have made it this far. I'm even more blessed to have all that I do in this world.

 So to all of those people and moments I've mentioned; thank you, for being a part of this crazy girl's crazy journey!






Heather @ Heathers Hurrah said...

Happy 30th Birthday, Haley!!! My 30th is coming up in a little less than a month, so I know how you feel in some ways! I love this recap of your life, and I hope things are going well with you!!! Have a wonderful day :)

Amanda said...

Happy birthday Haley! Here's to many, many more good years! x

Werner Wirth said...

Happy 30th in your fantastic journey of life Haley. Wishing you a fabulous future with many, many more years to live, love and experience your journey. I feel confident Rudy is and always will be there for you and your little family and would have been very proud of the young lady you have become

The Babbling Box said...

Happy Belated Birthday Haley! I wish I had thought about doing something like this when I turned 30 last month, such a great look back at the big moments!