I’m back, it’s me, and I’m really back

You guys! Guess what?! I’m back. I’m back to work and have resumed my position as the editor of the Mile Zero News and The Banner Post with Mackenzie Report Inc.

When I went on maternity leave in April, 2016, I honestly believed I was packing up my life as a journalist into one little banker’s box forever.

But, life had other plans. And, I am back.

To answer a couple of questions everyone is curious about – yes, I am happy and managing just fine, and yes – the boys are liking being in full-time childcare.

Finding Childcare

When I got the offer to come back to newspaper, I had approximately two weeks to find childcare. Any parent who has tried to find childcare on a budget in a small town knows this is no easy feat. But, God provided and we found an awesome licensed day home provider in our hometown. After only two days of going to her house, my little Ezra sat on her front step waiting to have his shoes taken off, looked up at me, waved and said “Buh-Bye.” It was adorable, comforting, and heartbreaking all at once.

Previous to my return to the paper I had been working in a different day home setting. Despite the fact that I was there everyday, Ezra would scream to the point that he was sweating and shaking if he couldn’t be in my arms. So, it was a massive relief to see that not only was he not crying when I left him at his new day home, he seemed comfortable and happy.

Unfortunately, this wonderful day home provider had to stop providing child care at the beginning of October due to personal reasons. On the boy’s last day she said Ezra gave her several hugs and even a few kisses while she was playing on the floor with him. He is for sure my sweetheart, both boys are really if you can get Elijah to slow down for more than a second or two, but it was like he knew they had to say goodbye and that maybe she needed a few extra hugs that day.

Thankfully, God provided once again and we were able to get the boys into another licensed daycare facility immediately. The transition from day home to daycare has been a bit harder on the boys. They come home more tired, partly because they have to leave the house earlier and get home later. 

Elijah is in a room with three and four-year olds and this room does not have a nap time. He was skipping naps, or trying to, prior to starting day care. But, not having the option to nap at all is proving a bit hard on him. I am seeing a slight improvement in his ability to last all day without a nap, but it’s slow. So please pray for us, and his poor childcare providers. Elijah is just like any of us when we are over tired – a bear.

Counting my blessings and finding “me” again

I’ve been back to work full-time for just over a month and it honestly feels like I was never away. I am so appreciative of how my family has adjusted and made this transition as easy as possible. My job requires me to work two or three evenings a week and often a few hours every weekend. My husband has been so great in making sure he is home while I am out. I rarely have to worry about juggling work and life. A few people have asked me how I’m REALLY doing working full-time, caring for two busy boys, and looking after our home. And, I can honestly say, it’s all good. I’m comfortable, I’m happy, and I’m grateful for a job that allows me to be a mom and a professional.

In the months after my maternity leave I had begun to realize just how much I loved being a professional. This realization was a strange one for me. In university I can remember hearing a presentation from a professional journalist who told us to throw out any idea of having a family. She flat our said families and journalism don’t mix. And, I believed her. That presentation even caused a small crisis of identity where I reconsidered becoming a journalist at all.

After a little more than seven  years in Grimshaw, I am happy to report that families and journalism can mix. I recognize that that’s not always true for some people and certainly with some companies. But, not for me and not in the company I work for. I am constantly reminded of how fortunate I am to be employed by an individual who does put families first. I don’t have to sweat about taking Ezra for immunizations during the day. Nor do I have to worry about staying home for an afternoon if Elijah is sick.

I’ve even been able to take my kids to work with me. This has resulted in a few of the most adorable photos.

I’ll still be posting about the projects we complete around the house (I have a coat rack/shelf and sofa table completed and ready to tell you all about), but I also anticipate that I’ll be back to sharing more about our lives in Grimshaw now that I’m back, I’m really, really back.



Firefighters, keys and day spas

Small town life is an interesting concept. Rather, Albertan small town life is an interesting concept. I’ve lived in a small town most of my life, but have never experienced the sense of community that is so prevalent in Grimshaw. Perhaps this is because I lived in one small town, went to school in another, and had friends in other towns.

In Grimshaw, people have to rely on each other. The option to attend a private school in a neighbouring community is not an option – the communities are simply too small and spread out. Shopping in the next city isn’t as easy as it is in Ontario because the next city is two hours away.

I experienced a bit of small town love this morning in Berwyn, about 10 minutes west of Grimshaw. But I have to tell this stories in a series of events, starting with last night.

Last night I went to the Berwyn fire hall to take photos of the volunteer firefighters for the newspaper’s annual fire prevention supplement.  I had a good time laughing with the firefighters and taking their photos. Most of the men had no issue having their photo taken, the women on the other hand were a bit harder. They were all concerned their hair didn’t look good. One woman even insisted on wearing a helmet, which worked for me.

Anyways, one firefighter has been a volunteer for 26 years and he was a lot of fun. He tried to creep up behind me and scare me and then proceeded to make jokes about my Ontario plates.

So this morning, I go to the Post Office and pick up the newspapers for Berwyn and Peace River. Yes, in addition to being a journalist I am also a newspaper delivery person. I patted myself on the back for being so organized and being in Berwyn shortly after 9 this morning. I hoped out of my car with the newspapers in hand, the book to record the charges and a pen. I shut my car door.

I locked my keys in my car – along with my phone, my spare key and my CAA card.

After some discussion with one of the local store owners, another man found the mechanic and got to work trying to open my car door. I thanked the store owner and walked over to my car. I had no other choice than to laugh upon seeing exactly who was at my door. None other than the veteran volunteer firefighter from the night before.

No, I did not get off easy. Yes, I did get into my car and he even fixed the wind whistle on the passenger door (Too bad I didn’t know this man before my road trip, eh Amanda?) 

Small town communities are lovely.

Oh, I almost forgot. For my Toronto friends who feared I was moving to the middle of nowhere with no city perks, I have news for you! I just interviewed the owner of a day spa in town. It’s a new business and it’s lovely. I can’t wait to check it out as a client.