Tuesday, June 17, 2014

#awomansprerogative

Changing her mind.

Actually, it's everyone's prerogative, really.

It's why I have tried to tell myself to "never say never."

Specifically, I'm talking about hashtags. Last fall, I did a post exclaiming my extreme dislike of the oh-so-popular hashtag trend. But over the last few months I have started changing my mind on this topic.

And after fighting it for awhile, I gave in and yes, I have started using hashtags on some of my posts. I still don't like the over-use of them, but I did begin to realize that they really are fun.

It was hard for me to finally start using them, because...well, I can be a bit stubborn. And if I said I hated hastags, then I should stand by that. I started to almost feel guilty for even considering using them. I didn't want to give in.

Well, Hog-wash to that, I say.


So I used to dislike them and then they started growing on me...so what? If my feelings on them changed, why shouldn't I start having fun with them? Why resist something just for the sake of resisting it?

I have been meaning to 'fess up on this subject for awhile now, but after being called out on it several times lately on Instagram or Facebook, I figured it was time to make a public statement.  :)

And while we're on the topic of changing my mind - I also now am into wearing tight yoga/running pants for more than just working out. Like, even in public sometimes.

So sue me.  

(But they're no lululemon's...just cheap Old Navy ones.)


Monday, June 2, 2014

the story

Here's the story,
Of a lovely lady,
Who was bringing up two very lovely girls.
One of them had hair of gold,
Like her mother,
The youngest one...just a bit darker.

Okay, so we may not be the Brady Bunch - but we do have our own story to tell. For me, as a mother, it's been a big struggle these days in many ways with some of the things we have been dealing with. But the one thing I want to talk about today is body image.

Whoa. Big topic.

As most of you know, 5 years ago I was quite overweight, and took the long journey to try to remedy that by losing 70 pounds in 15 months. I still struggle with my own body image every single day - especially over the course of the past year as I have put back on 10 pounds that I have not been able to shake.

And now that my daughters are growing up - they will be turning 9 and 11 this fall - they are already showing signs of having issues with body image themselves.

One daughter has mentioned numerous times over the past year or two how happy she is that she's skinny and she hopes she will always be skinny. The other daughter has started asking her sister if she's fat.

This is a HUGE wake-up call for me, as I try to get a handle on the way I look at my own body. How am I portraying the body image attitude to my girls? How much emphasis do I put on the scale? How many times do I hog-wash my hubby's comments of how beautiful I am if I'm feeling down on myself about my weight?

It's all about a healthy balance. I know this; I've always known this. It's how I lost my weight to begin with. No fad diets, no eliminations, no hard-core over-the-top work-out programs. All just simple moderation with everything I do. That's the way it worked for me.

And that's how I want my daughters to see things too. And if I struggle with these 10 pounds for the rest of my life - then so be it. As long as I am eating foods in moderation and keeping up with regular exercise. THAT'S what it's about. Keeping my body healthy, not about being a certain size or weight. Otherwise I'm being a hypocrite when I tell my girls that "God made us all different shapes and sizes, and the important thing is keeping your body healthy."

I know kids observe way more about us than we even realize, starting at a very young age - but as my girls continue to grow up, their eyes will be fixed on me with even more scrutiny as they look for a role model in this, and many other areas. I want them to know that you can be happy in your own skin, regardless of size, if you take care of yourself. Life is not about being skinny. 

And will they learn that if I don't personally claim that myself? Nope. Not likely.

So, bathroom scale, we won't be meeting very often anymore. You have been a helpful tool over the course of the last several years - and sometimes you have had a very legitimate place in my life. But you cannot be a regular visitor anymore.

And to my hubby - I will accept your compliments much more graciously, regardless of whether our girls are around to hear it or not.

Healthy body image begins at home. And my girls deserve to have the best teacher they can get.


Friday, May 2, 2014

times have changed

I have been blogging since May of 2007, and last month something happened that hadn't before.

There is a whole month with NO posts of any kind. Well, on this Lifesong blog anyway; I'm still going strong on my Photo-a-Day blog. But here, there are no posts in April of 2014...and that feels sort of strange.

I started wondering why my entries have been getting fewer & farther between, and I realized that it's a result of a few things.

1: Social media. There are so many other ways that we interact online these days - Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and others [although I am only on Instagram & Facebook myself]. With so many regular small updates going on, it feels like most things have been covered already and I would just be repeating myself.

2: My aforementioned Photo-a-Day blog. This closely ties in with the social media aspect, as again, because I post a photo - and a short blurb - each day, it covers a wide (however abbreviated) update on our lives.

3: The girls are getting older. This has two reasons tied with it. Firstly - so often I would blog about cute things they said or did as they were growing up. Now, with them being 8 and 10 - they don't have as many funny antics to record. And secondly - when there actually might be things I would want to write about, I have to remember that they're not my little girls anymore and that they might not want everything they do or say put online for all to read.

4: Time. Someone please invent a way to put more hours in a day?? [and adding a few more to the night would be just as welcome!] With me having 3 jobs - cleaning houses, Tiny TreeHugger and my handiwork business - there just doesn't seem to be enough time to do everything that I want to do. Oh yeah, and the social media comes into play here again as well, as I have to admit - like most others - that I spend more than enough time frittering away on those sites.

5: Privacy. My girls' privacy isn't the only thing I think about when I'm debating about posting on here. I feel that as the last couple of years have gone by, I'm wanting to be more private about myself too. I have often revealed so much on this blog that I'm surprised by it. Get me in person, and you won't get a lot of personal information outta me, but with this blogging outlet, that has been very different. And I'm not saying that has been a bad thing. It was a necessary thing for me at times. But I feel like I'm in a different place right now and I don't really want to be that stark and honest for all to read.

So where does this leave me? Not sure. And I don't think I need to define it either. I do know that I really enjoy my Photo-a-Day blog a lot. I often scroll through the days and months and it makes me smile. I like having documentation of every single day. And there are still very real & honest glimpses into my life without providing all of the nitty-gritty details.

Maybe some of you have been wondering where I'm at with this blog - and maybe nobody has. But if you have, that's sorta what's been going on. I'll still be around...from time to time. But in between, definitely stop by here to see more of what we're up to!

Friday, March 28, 2014

morning miracle

Sometimes the solution to something is right under your nose - you just have to open your eyes to see it.




I had such a thing happen this week in regards to a parenting situation and I wonder why it took so long for me to find this solution!

Mornings around here are usually pretty rough. It starts off first thing when I wake the girls up. They moan and groan and complain and often the yelling starts before they're even out of bed. It feels like all morning they are dragging their feet and we need to rush, rush, rush.

Finally it dawned on me...they need a "snooze" option. Just like me.

I used to NEVER use my snooze button. I would wake up to my alarm, shut it off and immediately get out of bed. But in the last few years I have discovered the value of the snooze button. I always hit snooze once, and sometimes twice. But those 7 minutes have become very important to me. It gives me a chance to prepare myself mentally for the day before actually having to get up to face it.

So when I made this suggestion to the girls, they were right on board! This was after Monday morning was another rough one, so we've been trying it for the rest of the week. They need new alarm clocks (theirs are really old and the alarm features don't work), but in the meantime I'm waking them up at 7:35am as their "first alarm." I gently wake them up and remind them that they have a few minutes to relax in bed, stretch, and get prepared for the morning. I come back in about 7-10 minutes later (depending what I'm doing in the meantime for getting myself ready for what my day holds) and tell them that now it's time to get up.

And the result?

We have had amazingly smooth mornings all 4 days that we've done it this week! Well, until we get downstairs for breakfast, that is. Then the sibling fighting usually kicks in. BUT - we have at least figured out how to make the actual getting out of bed process an easier feat. They now get out of bed without any grumbling.

The difference in morning attitudes has been amazing and I am so glad that the realization of a "snooze" option finally hit me. I realize that the novelty of this new idea will eventually fade, but I still think that it will always be an improvement over how we were doing things before. Expecting kids to just be up-and-at-'em within seconds of being woken up isn't really realistic. And while I thought I was doing them a favor by letting them sleep as long as possible, it was really back-firing.

So hooray for our new morning miracle!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

empty void

There is so much I could be writing about. My mind is full, but the words won't come.

I struggle so much these days with feeling happy. Or really, with feeling anything at all. Most winters I'm down-and-out with depression...this winter [the worst one we've had in, like 78 years] is different.

I don't feel depressed.

I just don't feel.

I have been the biggest hermit this winter that I have ever been. Getting to Bible Study every other week, church on Sundays and suppers at my parents' place is about as much socializing as I do. By choice, anyway.

If you have felt me ignoring you this winter - trust me, it's not you. And you're not the only one. And it's not so much that I'm ignoring you as I just can't break free of the empty void of emotions. You'd think that if there is nothing, that it can't hold me captive. Yet it's the opposite. The lack of emotions is keeping me locked up in a prison.

Every once in awhile, my mind seems to let me out on parole for good behavior (or something like that)...but I guess I end up violating the terms and I get shuttled right back.

I should be happy that I'm not depressed. And I should be worried that I'm not happy. And I should be angry that I'm being held prisoner.

But I'm not.

And I'm not even really all that sad.

But I am empty.

And maybe that's a feeling in itself. A feeling that stems from the fear that makes me think that feeling nothing is better than feeling depressed or sad or angry...

I'm thinking that things will change when spring actually comes [weather-wise, that is - not just calendar-wise]. And that the spring thaw will not only melt the snow, but will melt away my empty void.

And that underneath the puddles there will be a deep well full of emotions aplenty. And that I will regain the strength to pull them from the well and claim them as my own once again.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

all too familiar

Well...Sunday was the day that I have been dreading for the past several months. It was the day when I woke up to back pain once again.

Yes, that's right. I had a relapse with my back.

I'm thinking this time it was due to playing Just Dance on the Wii with some friends on Saturday night. I didn't do anything too crazy, but it must've been just enough to tweak something.

Sunday morning started out with me just slightly noticing an issue, and as the morning wore on in church it was becoming more and more painful. I had to stay seated for congregational singing, and when I got up to walk, I needed to rely on the pews for support. It also took a few minutes each time I stood up for me to straighten up, giving me the oh-so-glamorous hobbling around look.

I tried to not panic too much as the thought of being trapped in this situation again for who knows how long was starting to suffocate me. It took all of my energy to just focus on that one day; to not look ahead to the many days and weeks and possibly months down the road.

I didn't sleep well Sunday night as I was terrified about getting up in the morning. When this happened to me last June, while the first day was bad enough, getting up after the first night of sleeping on it was excruciating. It was the morning when I literally took 5 minutes to walk to my bathroom and when I had to get Les to help me back into bed. And later when I needed to get the girls up for school, I had to crawl to get there. I was really dreading having to go through that once again.

However, when Monday morning arrived, I discovered - to my absolute joy - that things had not gotten any worse over night. In fact, things might have even improved ever so slightly! I still wasn't able to walk or stand straight, but I didn't need assistance walking anywhere so that was a good sign! Thankfully I had no plans on Monday, so I was able to just sit and rest my back. By the time Tuesday morning came around and I had to head off to clean a house, I was improved even more! In fact, later that evening I told Les that things felt like they did about 2 months into the last episode. And that was only after 3 days?!?! Praise the Lord!

Today is Wednesday and things are still continuing to improve day by day. I am walking straight (I think) and while there is obvious discomfort in my back, it isn't what I would call painful really.

I am even hoping to maybe possibly getting back on my treadmill by Saturday? I won't push it if I'm not feeling ready, but at the rate things are going, it just might be possible!

So while the setback was originally very disheartening, I am SO thankful for quick healing this time around. And that I was able to focus on one day at a time instead of getting depressed right away thinking about the possibilities of what could have been ahead for me.

ps: I edited my wisdom tooth post since there was a new development that I wanted to record. If you're interested in reading it, go to the bottom of this post to find it.

Monday, February 24, 2014

1000 gifts: #708 - 742 {in advance}

February has always been one of my most difficult months of the year to get through. And quite often March is just as difficult, as I wait very impatiently for spring to finally make an appearance.

Last night, while trying to give my oldest daughter things to think about to distract her from some scary thoughts so she could fall asleep, I started listing some things about spring and summer to look forward to. After I got back to my own bed, I could not stop listing off the wonderful things that are going to be part of my life again...once winter decides to leave.

So, in anticipation of the next two seasons, here is a nice long list of gifts that I am going to be very happy to receive...eventually.

[708] That in-between time where neither the furnace nor air conditioner is needed
[709] Having my windows open and the beautiful fresh air flowing through my home
[710] Birds chirping
[711] Daylight hours increasing till almost 10pm
[712] Being able to run outside without having to bundle up
[713] Flip-flops
[714] Cute dresses and fun colors
[715] Running outside
[716] Slurpee runs
[717] Family walks to the park
[718] Reading a book on my lawn chair in the sun (or shade, when it gets too hot!)
[719] The smell of sunscreen
[720] Seeing my pretty tulips come up from the ground


[721] BBQ's and more BBQ's...
[722] Sitting around a campfire (although I could do without the tenting and many other things that tend to go along with it)
[723] A reason to have consistently smoothly shaven legs
[724] Hearing the girls' giggles as they jump on the trampoline
[725] My annual s'more...or two
[726] Walking barefoot on soft, green grass
[727] Having ice cream on the front porch with my family
[728] Porch visits with friends
[729] Evening walks around town with a friend
[730] The sound and smell of gently falling rain
[731] Dancing in the rain

[732] Did I mention BBQ's?
[733] The sidewalk chalk creations that show up on my driveway
[734] No more posts from other people rubbing their hot vacations in our faces ;)
[735] Strawberry season!
[736] The warmth of the sunshine
[737] The reminder that comes with beautiful rainbows
[738] Lazy summer sleep-ins (on non-work days, that is)
[739] Feeling so hot that I think I might melt...but having shade or air conditioning to escape to when it gets TOO bad!
[740] Watching the girls set up their cookie/lemonade stand
[741] My feet walking in the sand
[742] Chillin' poolside at my sister's house

I got so involved with this list, when I looked outside in the middle of writing it, I honestly was taken aback by the sight of the snow! Guess I got a little caught up in the fantasy of it all...



Friday, February 14, 2014

spreading the love

Today is Valentine's Day, once again. You may or may not remember my thoughts on today from last year's post - in case you forget, click here to read it.

For those who choose to boycott this holiday, my main thoughts about it, to be short and simple, are these few things really:

1. YES, we should show love every day - but we also should give thanks every day, and that doesn't stop us from celebrating Thanksgiving...so why should it stop us from celebrating Valentine's Day?

2.  Make the day about how you want it. Boycott the commercialism of it and turn it into a day of simple acts of love and kindness to those around you. Saying no to some aspects of the holiday doesn't mean you need to be totally anti-Valentine's Day...

3. Take it further than your "significant other." Which means EVERYBODY should be able to partake in the holiday, not just those in relationships. Put the focus of love on your kids, your friends, your other family members...spread. the. love.

I had a perfect example of this happen to me first thing this morning. I got a text message from friends of ours - who have only been married a few years and have not yet started their own family. THEY texted US asking if they could babysit our kids for the evening so Les and I could go on a date. They were spreading the love, making this day not about them but about someone else. We already had planned a special dinner at home with the girls, so instead we invited them to join us tonight - but the thought behind their gesture of friendship and generosity was very love-filled and made me feel very blessed.

That's what Valentine's Day should really be about. Don't exclude your significant other by any means, but include other people. Make it about more than gushy romance. Make it about other kinds of love too.

Go ahead...I dare you!

Friday, February 7, 2014

a tale of two teeth

Last year one of my fears came to bite me in the butt...or the mouth. For years one of my bottom wisdom teeth has been trying to come out. It would poke out then go back under the gums. Lather, rinse, repeat.

It never really caused me much grief, was just annoying. Made me able to relate to cranky teething babies/toddlers though.

But then last January, I developed an infection due to that one wisdom tooth. It was p-a-i-n-f-u-l. It took me several days to go see a dentist, though, as I'm not overly fond of the dentist. Not that I've had bad experiences with them before...quite the opposite. Other than getting a retainer when I was in Junior High, I haven't had any experiences with dentists (besides regular cleanings, of course). That's right - zero cavities. I've never had a needle in my mouth, I've never had a root canal. Nothing. But I have always been terrified of the idea of getting wisdom teeth pulled.

But eventually the pain was so bad that I couldn't keep myself from going any longer. So I made the appointment and waited in anxiety for the results of my x-ray. To my surprise, the dentist said I could keep all of my teeth! He gave me a prescription for anti-biotics to clear up the infection but he said the tooth was growing in nice and straight, so if I wanted to "teethe it out", I certainly could.

Uh, heck yeah! I figured I would get rid of the infection and life would continue on as per usual after that with never another problem.

Until I woke up the Saturday before Christmas feeling pain very reminiscent of a year ago. I tried to tell myself that it wasn't actually another infection but just minor teething pains that I could deal with on my own. However, by the time I woke up on Christmas Eve morning, I couldn't live in denial anymore. So after begging the local doctor to see me (my dentist AND family doctor in the city were both on holidays/closed for Christmas already), I was able to snag another prescription. Unfortunately it wasn't soon enough to get me through Christmas - and the start of our Fargo holiday - pain-free, but after 72 hours I was finally starting to get relief.

And then three weeks later, the pain started...again. I knew this was it - I couldn't possibly keep getting infections like this. It was time to bite the bullet and get it over with. Get the tooth pulled and go through the pain one final time and be done. So I made a last-minute dentist appointment and got a new x-ray. This time I was told that from the top wisdom tooth trying to push its way out, the gums by my lower tooth were getting caught (?) and food and bacteria were getting trapped which was what was causing the infections.

So both teeth were going to have to get pulled. Apparently they were the "easy" ones though - local anesthetic was all I would need. Sure.

My dentist appointment was on a Thursday afternoon, and they scheduled me in for Monday morning. Yikes!! Too soon! I wasn't ready for it that quickly. But as the weekend dragged on, I thought that Monday couldn't get here soon enough. I just wanted it all over with. But for the life of me, I couldn't figure out how in the world they expected me to let them rip out teeth while I was awake and lucid. Sure, they would give me local freezing...but for me to actually be aware of what they were doing while they were doing it?! I just didn't understand how that was going to work.

But Monday morning came and I was determined to be strong and just get 'er done. I had many people praying for me and I told myself that they do this sort of thing every day. I would listen to music to drown out the noise and I would close my eyes so I wouldn't see the "equipment" they were using...and it would be all good...sort of.

When they called my name at the oral surgeon's office that day, I was scared but calm all at the same time. Then as the surgeon took yet another x-ray of my mouth, I was given news that I wasn't expecting. "I'm not comfortable taking out that bottom tooth with you awake." Apparently the x-ray revealed that one of my nerves was too close to the bottom wisdom tooth for a simple extraction. The efforts they would need to take to remove it without damaging the nerve were more intensive than originally anticipated. If I would make one wrong move...

I sat in the chair and cried, I'm not gonna lie. Part of me was relieved that I wouldn't have to do it awake now - but the other part of me was so desperate to just get it over with. It had been a l-o-n-g weekend waiting for this procedure and I was looking forward to putting it behind me. But it wasn't to be. I was rescheduled for Friday at noon and that was that.

I tried not to think about it too much throughout the week, but wasn't really successful. Sure, I wouldn't have to worry about being awake for it anymore - but I also was anxious about being put under. It's a bit unnerving thinking that there's always the slight possibility things could go wrong. You know, just the natural response to going in for surgery, no matter how minor. There are always risks, no matter how slim. And with them calling it "semi-conscious sedation", I was hung up on that term too...what do you mean "semi-conscious?" Am I conscious or not?? (Apparently they use that term because it's not like I'm under to the point that I need a tube down my throat. I would be breathing on my own and all that, but still "under.")

Friday finally came, and my Mom dropped me off at the oral surgeon's and took my girls out for lunch while they waited (it was an inservice day, so no school for them). I lay down in the reclined dentists' chair and they brought in the anesthetist. I was anxious and a little teary-eyed, but he rubbed my arm to calm me down and just kept talking to me and asking me questions as he administered the drugs. The next thing I knew, I was coming to and it was all over. Well, all over but the recovery anyway.

I came out of the sedation quite well and wasn't all weird and crazy. I remember pretty much everything and I think I made pretty good sense the whole time. I do remember being concerned about what time it was and I also gushed to the nurse about "everybody here is so wonderful."  :)

My procedure was a noon (and they were only about 5 minutes behind) and by 1:15 my Mom and girls were back in the recovery area going over my care instructions with the nurse. After a stop at the pharmacy for my meds, we were on my way to my Mom's place. Me and the girls had waited in the car while my Mom went to get my prescription, and as we waited I was getting overheated with all of my winter stuff on, but hadn't thought to take any of it off. When my Mom got back and started driving, the motion combined with me feeling warm and still being so tired from the drugs made me start to feel sick. I quickly started taking off my hat, scarf and gloves to cool off - and thankfully it was a very short drive to my Mom's where I could get out of the car and breathe in the fresh air. Luckily that helped curb my nauseau.

By the time all was said and done and we were at my Mom's place, it was 3:00 and I was starving (as I had to fast from midnight the night before). I was only allowed something cold at this point though, so I had a bowl of ice cream with my T3 and was so tired that I just started to cry. I slept most of the afternoon, waking up to have some jello pudding for "supper" and then Les (who had come after work) took me home.

The next day (Saturday) was a lazy sleepy day for me as well. I was either in my bed or on the couch all day long. Les' parents brought us supper and I was even able to eat some "normal" food already. I wasn't as swollen as I was expecting to get and the pain was definitely manageable. I had taken three T3's on Friday and then I only took one for each of Saturday and Sunday night. Other than that, extra strength advils were doing the trick for me. This picture is from Friday evening, the swelling didn't get any worse than this.

Sunday was a long day though, as we were in the city all day. We left at 9:00am for Sunday School and then I even sang in the worship team. I definitely sang with my mouth more closed than normal, but apparently it sounded fine so it was all good! We also were invited to a Superbowl party in the evening, so we went to a friends' house for the afternoon to wait for it. I rested on my friend's recliner chair most of the afternoon and then I was also dopey and lazy at the party itself. Luckily it was a smaller party, and the 4 women just hung out in the living room (without the TV) and visited. By the time all was said and done on Sunday, I was plumb exhausted and couldn't wait to fall into bed.

Monday was a day at home by myself and while I did do some housework, I made sure I rested in the afternoon since I was still quite tired. Tuesday was back to work and the rest of the week was busy with work and babysitting my nieces and nephew. I am definitely back to normal energy-wise (and was by Wednesday already), but I'm still popping Advil's every 6-8 hours to help keep the pain in control.

All in all, it was an experience that went better than I had anticipated (isn't that the way it often goes?), but I am happy to have it behind me. Now we have to pay for it though - no insurance, yikes! - and hope that I don't have to get the other side done yet. I had been debating just getting them done too, now that I was being put under - but the cost of just the one side was astronomical enough, so we just left it for now.

And that, my friends, is the tale of my two wisdom teeth. Not exactly a gripping story, but something worth documenting anyway! Thanks to all of you who prayed for me and offered words of support and encouragement leading up to the procedure and for checking in on me during my recovery time. Much appreciated!

**Edited to add the following:
It turns out my recovery wasn't quite as simple as I thought it was, in the end. When I wrote this post a week after my surgery, I mentioned that I was still popping extra-strength Advil's every 6-8 hours to manage the pain. This continued to be the case for another several days until I finally called my oral surgeon's office. I was able to get a quick (and FREE) follow-up appointment the next day (11 days after my surgery) and they confirmed what I had suspected, after doing some research online. I had developed a dry socket which basically means this: The socket is the hole in the bone where the tooth has been removed. After a tooth is pulled, a blood clot forms in the socket to protect the bone and nerves underneath. Sometimes that clot can become dislodged or dissolve a couple of days after the extraction. That leaves the bone and nerve exposed to air, food, fluid, and anything else that enters the mouth. This can lead to infection and severe pain that can last for 5 or 6 days. I took a flashlight to look into my mouth, and sure enough, I could see bone!! When I wasn't on Advil, I was in extreme pain - and one time when I had forgotten to take Advil along when Les and I went on a date night, the pain was even spreading to my ear.

Thankfully the fix for this is very simple. The surgeon cleaned out the socket, then filled it with disgusting tasting medicine. This happened mid-morning on a Tuesday (Feb 11th) and I took 1 Advil at suppertime but was Advil-free from then on. The pain relief was very quick and while I still felt discomfort the next day [but did my best to refuse Advil since it had been making me feel so bloated already by this point], by Thursday things were just slightly noticeable and by Friday - a full two weeks after surgery - things were finally 100% back to normal!

Friday, January 31, 2014

we've got gas

I've been meaning to write about this all week, but things have been a little hairy around here lately.

But better late than never - and I wanted to be sure I didn't forget to document this event.

I'm sure the majority of you (if not ALL of you) have heard by now about the gas line explosion that happened last weekend near our place. Shortly after 1am on Saturday there was an explosion that lit up the night sky. We slept through it obliviously, but when I woke up, my Facebook feed was full of this crazy event.

A few hours after I had gotten up, we received the news that our natural gas - along with several other nearby communities - was being shut off as they worked to repair the damage.

Uh..say what?! Our furnace is gas and with the frigid temperatures we've had all winter (last weekend no exception!) this means we would have to go without heat?? And the time frame they gave us was 24-72 hours!! Les made a quick trip to the city to pick up electric space heaters from family and friends (including a construction heater) and we just hoped for the best. Fortunately our water tank - and everything else - was not gas, so we still had hot water and could use our stove, etc. Not everyone else was as fortunate.

We were sitting pretty comfortable for the day, but there was a bit of underlying anxiety as there were a few things sitting heavy on my mind. One was that everyone was holding their breath that with so many space heaters being used to compensate for lost heat that the hydro wouldn't be able to take it and that we'd lose electricity on top of the gas! Another was that there was a blizzard on its way for Sunday with even colder temperatures and crazy gusty winds. We're talking -40C/-40F temperatures.

That first night, we had a family sleepover in the living room as we didn't really know what to expect. It was an adventure for us, that's for sure, but nobody slept really well. Morning dawned and while we had duties in church, we stayed home. Not only because of not wanting to leave the space heaters unattended, but the weather had indeed gotten crazy overnight and traveling was not really a good idea.

It's amazing how something like this really makes you feel restless. I mean, our house was warm enough with the heaters we had borrowed, but life just seemed at a standstill. We were under a declared state of emergency and just that thought can make you feel anxious. But even after hearing reports from hydro that they were keeping up just fine with the increased use of electricity, the blizzard adding to the mix - including closed highways - really made us feel trapped. The concern now was that even if Hydro could keep up - what about if the storm knocked out the power? Then there would be the issues of pipes freezing! We all seemed to be at a loss as to what to do, so we didn't really do anything for Saturday and Sunday. Like, nothing.

Sunday night approached and the gas still wasn't restored. This time we all slept in our own beds as we knew that the heaters were doing their job and we would all be warm enough on our own.

School was canceled on Monday and I had an appointment in the city, so the house was unattended for a few hours until Les came home from work early. I ended up staying in the city with the kids at my parents' place to give them a bit of a change of scenery and after coming home at the end of the day, we went to bed with the gas still not restored.

That was the last night with no gas though, as things got restored sometime during the night. We woke up Tuesday morning to a working furnace and it was a big relief. Another day off of school though, as it hadn't been restored quick enough to make sure the schools were properly warmed and ready to go for staff and students.

So, yes we stayed comfortable enough and safe - but being in a declared state of emergency is something I don't ever really feel the need to go through again.