Keys to a new Beginning

So, this is even bigger then my car news….cause I’m holding the keys to a house I have just moved my kids into. It’s not our forever, it’s our resting place. Where we are going to cocoon and heal and get ready to become butterflies for our new life.

I fell like my insides are going to burst with happiness. I decided on a Wednesday it was time to find something to rent for now, looked at a place on Thursday, filled out the application and was told it was mine on Friday. I felt like the old Jill….the one that got shit done.

I was really lucky to have had my dad generously offer for the kids and I to move in with him in January. It was what I needed to do to be able to pause and decide what my next step would be. I know he would have been fine for us to stay, but it just didn’t feel right to me. Everything in my soul was telling me I needed to find my own little spot where I could finally start to heal and find my independence. So I did something that was really scary for me. I constantly worry about finances and making sure I can support my four kids, so spending money on more rent (I already rent my photography studio) was daunting, but I knew it was necessary for this chapter in my life.

The last seven years I was made to feel very insignificant by those around me, and I started to believe it. My dad asked me why it took me so long to leave after he realized everything that had happened to me, and my answer was: I didn’t think I could leave. I didn’t think I could do it on my own….and then when I finally did make the decision, I was told I wouldn’t be able to survive or make it on my own and endured as someone did everything in his power to back up his words….

Looks like I’m doing just fine.

First big purchase!

So, this is kinda big for me. This has been my first big purchase since separating from my old life.

Before, my ex was in charge of all the purchases. He made the most money, so he got to decide what we got. Now, I’m not trying to complain about this, as he provided very well and made sure we didnt go without if he could make it happen. But when you don’t feel independent or like you really have any control, it can really affect you.

I used to be fierce and a leader and feel like I could accomplish anything. Then I went through two years of hell, on top of the 5 years before that being pretty horrible where I was intimidated and bullied by people I thought were my family, and then told to always turn the other cheek by the man that was supposed to stand beside me. So I lost my fierce. I stopped thinking I could accomplish things.

Then when my ex took away my car, I had to borrow what we dubbed the clown car (I honestly dont know how we all fit into it) and I will say, I didnt really feel like my kids were that safe in it. But I saved up and all by myself I found a car, drove to Mississauga, test drove it, heckled down the price and told him if he didnt take it I was walking….and I got it.

It might just look like a used car to you, but it’s my independence. It’s me showing my kids I’m strong and standing on my two feet on my own, something they can do too. It’s the beginning of so many other big decisions that I know I can make.

I drove home with the biggest smile on my face. And every day I get into it, I think how much closer I am to reclaiming my life.

I cant wait to pack this car up with my monsters and make some damn good memories!

#thankfulitsnotavan #notavanmom #divorce #findingmyfierce #myowncar #findingstrength #keeppushing

Happy 9th

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I am a few days late with this, as your birthday was on the 19th. But as a mom of four, things do not always get done on time.

You are my love child. You have always been the most affectionate and snuggly.  Even now, you will wrestle me onto the bed where you will close your eyes and snuggle yourself into me, resting your cheek against my cheek. This affection is not just for humans, you are a lover of animals as well. Every morning you have a ritual with our dog Rita, where you hug her, put your nose against her nose and then you softly squeeze each one of her paws. This is what you do everytime you see her after any time away from her.

As the fourth, and the baby, you must have a personality to fill the room, and you do. You are the clown in the family, always trying to make others laugh. Sometimes you like to ask me if your funny faces make me laugh, and I have to reassure you that yes, you make me laugh.

You will be a big strong boy, I can see it. Already you overpower your siblings when you wrestle with them. But with that strength comes a big heart. You don’t like when others are hurting, and you always want to do well in school and listen to your teachers. You have certain OCD tendencies that have been tricky at times to navigate, but I will admit as a parent I find small victories when I can learn the things that make you tick and how to help you. Clothes have to fit a certain way and come to just the right length on your arms and torso, jeans are out of the question. Your bed is the first thing that is made in the morning, and at night you try to stay as still as possible so you can slip out under the covers without even making a mess of your bed. You are always worried if your hair looks silly, and you thrive on routine and to do lists.

Four children are hard and tiring, but I could not imagine our family without you. You were the finishing touches. Those big brown eyes and freckles will one day get you into trouble I think, as well as your humor. I look forward to watching you grow and expand and learn.

Never stop making those silly faces. Never stop giving your hugs. Never stop loving others and animals the way you do. You matter, and you have a purpose.

xoxo Mom

Happy 12th



Happy life day, my beautiful soul. 12 years ago you gave me the best gift, becoming a mom. And in these past 12 years you have filled my heart and life with so much love, happiness and strength.

You are a smart and quiet boy, that is kind (except when wrestling with your siblings) and sweet to others. You have been so strong these past two years with everything we are going through, offering me hugs and back rubs when you think I am extra sad.

I love you more then everything my child. I look forward to many more birthdays with you…many more years filled with your smile and light.

P.S I’m glad that you don’t think you are too old yet for night time snuggles, as I cherish that time with you, even though you fart way too much and make my room stink!


Mom xox

Give Your Children Voices

Your children are always watching you. And whether you want to admit it, they often will mimic you. They idolize their parents when they are young, they want to be just like you. And to me, this is terrifying.

I am not perfect in any way, although I do try hard as a parent to do my children right. I made the decision to bring them into this world, so it is my obligation to protect, nurture and care for them, until it is time for them to spread their own wings. Then I will have to wait in the background, ever ready to brush them off when they fall while trying to navigate in this often cruel and hard world.

I find my girls watch me the most. When I got an arrow tattoo on the inside of my finger, my daughter drew an identical one on her finger with a marker. Certain outfits I wear a lot, my girls will also try to dress similar. They want their hair done like mine, their nails painted like mine, and are always asking for a spray of my perfume. Their body language and the way they talk to their siblings and others often reminds me of myself. And now they want to wear makeup because I do. I know that my boys watch and listen, but I think because they are boys, their actions reflect differently than their sisters.

If you’ve read through my posts, you will know that I have started a new chapter in my life. I am in the middle of a divorce, which unfortunately has dragged on for two years, and has not been pleasant in any way. It has been extremely tough, and trying to keep my four children sheltered from the goings on has not always been easy. There are eight ears and eyes always watching. They are emotional, they don’t understand, and they just want things to go back to normal. I just want to be able to find our new normal.

A couple of months ago, something happened that put me in a spot I really didn’t want to be in. My ex decided instead of knocking, to kick my door in to get to me, because he was angry. This is not the first situation where his anger has brought this behavior out in him, but most of the time it could be hidden from the children. Having a door kicked in can not really be hidden. I was lucky to have a friend there with me, because it caused him to back off and settle down very quickly, and I will admit, I was pretty numb to this situation. My friend was very shaken up, and I just kind of shrugged my shoulders. At first, I didn’t do anything, because I didn’t want to “rock the boat” so close to hopefully getting a separation agreement signed (which obviously now was not the case) so I kept my mouth shut. That’s how numb I was to the situation.

But then something happened. I watched a few days later, as all four of my children looked at the door. They stared at it, and didn’t say a word. I asked them if they knew what happened to the door, and my girls very casually said “daddy and grandma said that daddy got mad and broke the door.” Everything stopped for me in that moment. I looked at these four children of mine, and thought, how have I failed you so much?       

I failed my children in this situation. This is not an easy thing to admit to as a parent, but I did. They were not told the full truth, therefore they did not think that there was anything wrong with a door being ‘broken’ like this. And why wouldn’t they believe their dad and grandma? I had to make a decision right then, to make this right. As much as I have tried to shelter and protect them, this was something I would have to explain in more detail. I told them, that that was not true, that daddy didn’t break the door because he was mad, that I had locked the door to keep daddy out and he had kicked it in trying to get to me. I then looked straight at my boys and said: when you become men, and you are strong and sometimes have different emotions flair up, by no means is it ever ok to kick a door in if you are mad at the person standing behind it. Real men do not do that, and I hope to raise you as real men. I then looked at my girls and said: if you are ever scared behind a locked door, and the person on the other side, whether it be your boyfriend, husband, or even just a friend kicks that door down to get to you, you call the cops and then you call me.

And then that’s when it really hit me. I was telling my girls to do something that I didn’t do. I was showing both my boys and girls that this type of behavior is acceptable and that there are no consequences. And to top it off, those sweet children of mine said: but if you were hurt or there was a fire or something, you can kick the door down. They were making excuses. They were mimicking me.

I realized that if I didn’t do anything about this, then in the future, my boys may do the same, not fully realizing the consequences to behavior like this; or my girls might think it’s ok for someone to do this to them, which in turn could end very badly. It has been brushed off by the other adult in this situation, so as a parent, I had to make the decision to show my children that when you do something bad or something bad is done to you, steps will be put into place to either punish you or protect you.

I failed my children this time by not acting right away. I was still trying to protect my ex in some way, and was hoping to keep the waters still to be able to get things finished and move on. But I have more then me to worry about, I have four children that I am raising and sending out into the world, and I would be very ashamed if any of them acted like their father or mother did in this type of situation. I want to raise better humans then that.

And to those friends that provided me with emotional support so I could process through this, thankyou. You don’t know how much I needed your kind words and strength, when I didn’t feel like I had any of my own.

So I urge you, if you are a parent, to remember how much your children watch you, mimic you, and learn from you. Don’t fail them like I did. Teach your boys what it is to be men, how to treat women properly, and help them find safe ways to vent their anger. Teach your girls self love and self respect so that they don’t numb themselves to situations that could be, or have the potential to lead to something much more serious. Sometimes what you think is keeping the waters still, is actually just showing them to keep silent when they shouldn’t be.

Give your children the voices they need to grow into the best versions of themselves. Even if it means doing something you don’t want to do. Because if they don’t have you to rely on for this, who do they have?

Happy life day to me.

Today I’m 35. I find this birthday a pretty big one, and I’m not sure why. I’m not afraid of the years that I climb, but I am afraid of not using them properly. .
My life is on a very different path then it was a few years ago. I had that fairy tale dream, but without the happily ever after part.
So now, I get to start my fairy tale story all over again. I know I will travel through the forest and under the bridge and over some rainbows. I know I will meet some princesses and princes, and some wolves and witches. I hope my fairy tale is covered with adventures, mistakes, happiness, and above all, love. Love for myself, love for my children, and love for those I hold most dear to me.
The underlying lesson in my fairy tale: never be afraid to start again. No matter how deep your wounds from your past chapters, you get to choose how to write your future ones. And there is no backspace, there is no delete, there is only one chance at each chapter. Make sure you will be proud to tell it when you reach ‘The End’.
Today I get to celebrate my Life Day, and embrace all that has come my way. I will be gentle to the wounds I carry, and optimistic for what is to come.
I will love big, always. Because how can’t you, when you are a Valentine’s baby?
All my love!

Motivational monday

I have always believed this. Beauty is in your soul. This life can be hard, seek those that treat you well, and love yourself as hard as you love others.