Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Stay At Home Writing Mom

April 11, 2017

I'm a little behind. I was going to have this written and posted yesterday, but I was working on a Guest Post for the Mommy Connections page. I didn't finish it last night either, but I have now.

I recently reconnected with a friend. The last time we were actual friends was in grade 9 or 10. It's been a while. 

She was over visiting with her boyfriend, and said to me, "I should have known you'd be a writer because of how much you loved writing when you were younger." (20 plus years ago).

My first thought, and something I stopped myself from saying was, "I'm not a writer, yet."

Sometimes, I feel like I have to be published to be a writer. I think my writing doesn't count. 

I know better than this. I know I'm a writer. I'm not talking blog posts as much as writing stories. Even when I'm not writing, I'm still a writer. (Although a practicing writer is what I strive to be, published or not). 

I was a writer 20 years ago, I just didn't have the confidence to say it.

It took me a long time to admit I was a writer. It took me a long time to get back to writing with enough passion that I knew I was a writer. It makes me sad to think that even for a moment, I didn't consider myself a writer.

How do I fix this thought that I'm not yet a writer? I guess I write. Every night. Every moment I can. (When I'm not being a Momma or working on other projects.)

I was planning to write about the Writer's Workshop I went to a couple of weeks ago.

I will, but first a little about my new writing space.

I've had trouble lately getting to my desk and writing. In fact, my desk had a pile of things on it that made it impossible to write. I was using it as a crap holder. It was downstairs in the spare room next to Clint's desk. I thought writing next to him would be good. It's helped me in the past.

Instead, for the most part, I wrote in my bedroom. Which is fine, but my laptop NEEDED a desk. It looks better on a desk. It likes being on a desk better.

I also needed to find a way to include both my writing and my baby. I needed to figure out how to be a Mom writer (but not necessarily always writing about the baby.)

I was in the middle of organising the disaster I like to call his play room. (Three days ago, it was a play room, as well as the place we put things that have no home - the crap holder room, not to be confused with the crap holder desk.) 

I wanted it JUST to be a play room, and had it all done and wonderful when I had a brilliant thought. I can move my desk into his play area. I can write while he plays. (Which will only works half the time because I still want to play with him.) I can write when he's down for the night and taking naps as well - his room is next door.

So far, I LOVE it.

I'm really loving it so far. Today I started a photo project while he was playing. I haven't tried writing yet while he's awake, but have used my desk more in these two days than I had in ten plus months.

Also, it's keeping me off Netflix. I needed to slow down on the Netflix watching. My brain was mush.

Now to talk about my Writer's Workshop.

I signed up for a Writer's Workshop, called Writerlicious. I've never done a Workshop quite like this. I think other than university, I've done one workshop. 

I plan to do a lot more.

The guest writer was Alice Kuipers. I've read some of her books. (YA and I have a kid's book she wrote for Anthony.) I was excited to see her speak.

The whole thing was very motivating. I learned a lot, and I really found it useful. I wasn't sure what I'd get out of it, and I was happy about every new step I discovered to improve my writing.

We had a chance to mingle after the workshop. That part was good for me because I don't actually spend a lot of time discussing writing with other writers. I sat with three other women about my age (I think). We discussed the possibility of a writer's group. I'm really excited about that.

Long story short, it was good that I went. Even though, leaving Anthony is always really hard, this was something important. I left the workshop feeling ready to write. Although I haven't quite started (again) yet, I really know I will. 

I'm going to continue to be a writer. I'm going to keep writing and I'm going to keep getting better. I hope to be published. Motivation is a pretty great thing.

They served wine at the event... Writing and Wine? My favourite W's.

It also helped me with my final decision not to go back to work. If I was working, I don't think I'd make the time to write. I'd be too busy spending every moment with Anthony, and feeling guilty about every moment not spent with him. Also, I think writing commercials didn't always help my love for writing at home.

This is going to work. Motivated and confident today. 

(I think the new writing/play space was the best thing for me.)

Thanks for reading! 

One more thing, this quote pretty much says it all: 

“Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.”

― Jane Yolen

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

Also, check out my ongoing book blog:  Proud Bookworm at: http://bookserinread.blogspot.ca/ 

I occasionally do guest Mom posts for a local Mommy Connections blog. Check them out, and others here:

Blogs I used to write on but not being updated:

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Staying home

April 4, 2017

Changes. Lots of Changes

When I left my work last May, I knew with all my heart I would be coming back after my maternity leave. I was going to be a working Mom. 

Then I had my baby. 

Very quickly, my heart jumped in with it's own opinion: "What if I don't go back to work?"

My job isn't perfect. It is sometimes stressful. I know, all jobs are. Like I said, it's not perfect, but to be perfectly honest, I'm not going to write about that here. I don't blog to complain about work issues. 

I love the people I work with. People who work in radio are a fun group. Always. It doesn't matter what stations I've worked at, I've always enjoyed the people. They are a family. A fun family full of nuts.

That being said, even with my love for my work family, something started to happen as I watched my little baby grow. I realised I did not want to leave him when the year was up. I wasn't ready. 

Will I ever be ready? I'm not sure.

Although I've been sure for quite a while that I didn't want to go back to work, I haven't been 100 percent sure. It's my job. It's my money. It's my time away from my house. (Adult time.) 

Financially, we can do this, but it will take a lot less spending than I'm used to. This is something I'm not sure about. I'm not talking about spending money. I know how to scrimp and save (I don't like it though). I'm talking about not having my own money. It's going to be hard. I like being self reliant and I really like having some sort of independence.

I've never in my life looked down on the people who choose to stay home with their children because they are doing something SO important. But, I never once pictured myself as a Stay at Home Mom. I guess, I rarely pictured myself as a mother though, so that makes sense. 

When I did see myself as a Mom, I guess I pictured myself as the Mom balancing a kid in one hand, and coffee in the other while running out of the house in my heels. All the power to those Mommas as well because I no longer even attempt to imagine myself like that.

Lastly, I like my coworkers. Even while having the worst day, I know I can pop my head up and talk about it with my work pals.  Work related or life related. 

My baby wins. I can't imagine leaving him in the middle of May. The thought was already breaking my heart. I did not want to leave him for a job. Not yet. 

I left him recently for a Writer's Workshop. It was about three or four hours, and that was already more than my heart could handle. It was worth it though. By the way - more on the Writer's Workshop in a different post.

I know I'd learn to deal with it. Tons of Moms do. 

It's never going to feel right. If I go to work, it won't feel right, and if I stay home, it won't feel right. I'm hoping to find a balance.

This photo was taken yesterday after I got off the phone. (My hair is wet, not greasy...) My bosses were calling to check in and see if I'd be back on May 15th. I told them I wouldn't. I cried when I told them. I didn't want to let them down, and I didn't want to let myself down.

They reacted well. Honestly, it's just another example of why I love the radio business. They all encouraged me and my decision and told me choosing my family is never a bad thing. As one of them said, "We won't be there for you when you're 65, your family will." That really put it into perspective for me. 

I got off the phone, and picked up my sleeping baby because I knew holding him would put things into perspective, even more. I was sad to be leaving something behind, but happy to be starting something completely new. 

There is something else this gives me. It gives me the opportunity to focus on writing. I was going to say to focus 100 percent on writing, but my focus will be on raising a respectful, adventurous, smart, and loving little boy. However, while I'm not raising the world's most perfect boy, or while he's sleeping, I can write. I can work on something I've dreamed about for years. I can work on my novel. I can do everything I can to get it published. 

I'm also going to try to freelance. I need to learn more about it, and decide where and what to do, but I think I'm going to need to work from home in some way or another. I haven't worked it all out yet, I just know I will want my own income. 

However, I'm not going to be selling anything. I will say no if asked. 

Well, I may have to sell my writing skills, but that's it. 

This time will be dedicated to my family, and dedicated to writing. It almost feels like a gift, and I'm not going to waste it. I'm so grateful for it all.

Yesterday, I was sad, and I was unsure about my decision.


 Today, I sat outside in the sun with my family, and all I could think was, I can do this whenever I want! I can watch my son's firsts, and enjoy every moment I can with them.

Today, I made the correct decision.

I also feel like it was a brave decision. I don't often call myself brave, but the decision to stay home feels brave to me. (If you don't agree, that's fine too.) 

And while, I have not started editing/rewriting my novel, I am blogging. That's writing. That's something. 

Life is about to get really different (mostly financially). I spent a year watching my baby grow. Now I'll watch him grow more (hopefully he'll slow down), and I'll finally be able to work towards something I've dreamed about for years. Writing full time. 

I smiled as I wrote that. (I smiled as I reread it as well.)

Okay. so that's it for now. I'm now a Stay at Home Writing Momma. Something I'll do proudly, with tons of gratitude, and with all the energy I can.

Happy Tuesday.


"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

Also, check out my ongoing book blog:  Proud Bookworm at: http://bookserinread.blogspot.ca/ 

I occasionally do guest Mom posts for a local Mommy Connections blog. Check them out, and others here:

Blogs I used to write on but not being updated:

Monday, 20 March 2017

International Day of Happiness

March 20, 2017

It feels strange to be on here again because I just posted yesterday. It used to be normal to post daily, but now my goal is to blog once a week.

However, apparently it is the International Day of Happiness (and the first day of Spring) so I feel like writing.

Because happiness is pretty damn important.

Before I go further though, and before I forget again like I did in the last post, I wrote another guest blog post for my local Mommy Connections page. Check it out. It's all about my experience with breastfeeding. It's obviously not a topic everybody is interested in, but if you are, check it out. Here it is: Breastfeeding

It used to be a goal of mine to be happy. Even in the midst of unhappiness, all I wanted was some laughter. A lightness of the heart. 

Then one day, I figured it out. I just had to be happy. Easy as that. Just be happy. I had to look at things differently. Gratitude was huge in changing my way of looking at my life. In my case, there was always something to be grateful about, I just had to pay attention, and appreciate it.

I am by no means happy all the time. I try to be, but I'm also good at being grumpy. That won't change.

Today is International Day of Happiness, and I wish with all my heart that EVERY day could be International Day of Happiness, and that people could see the the great things in life.

I know that not everybody is in the place or the situation to even experience the good, but the optimistic in me has hope.

I can't make everybody happy. I can try though! 

Anthony makes my heart happy every day. I hope that I will be able to do the same for him. I never expected that having him would make me as happy as I am. I still get tired and impatient, but mostly, I'm just grateful to have him and happy to see him laugh and smile.

So here's to happiness. Here's to the good things, big or small. Here are some photos of my happy things:

I found a cookie

Anthony enjoyed his supper.

A fabulous new project!

First day of Spring means a beer outside. Even if it's cold.

This teething necklace is the BEST.

These boys.

Lunch out. Food. Good!

These boys.

Teaching my kid to brush his teeth.


The SK sky.

Bacon Caramels. 
 Hope you all had a happy day.

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

Also, check out my ongoing book blog:  Proud Bookworm at: http://bookserinread.blogspot.ca/ 

Blogs I used to write on but not being updated:

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Face-book-a-versary? Oh no...

March 19, 2017

About a week ago, Facebook made a video for me to celebrate my 10 years on Facebook. Instead of being excited about their video of photos and words I've posted, all I could think was what a waste-book-a-versary. (haha, I've been waiting to use that joke.) 

Seriously though, it immediately made me realise I had wasted A LOT of time in the past ten years. Somedays more than others.

I have a love/hate relationship with FB, and I'm pretty sure I'll never quit (unless, of course, all this time those silly posts saying FB is going to charge if I don't copy and paste are true... I didn't copy and paste.)

The things I like about FB aren't really what I see anymore. I like seeing photo of my friend's kids, or a vacation. I even kind of enjoy seeing the delicious food somebody is about to eat. I like the happy posts, and the posts that make me happy for the person posting. I like the real posts about things that are hard in life.

I share too many photos of my life. Of my baby, of my dog, of my partner and I. I have friends and family from a far, and this is my way of sharing my life with them. I used to share a lot more details. Happy or sad.

I've slowly tried to share more of my photos on Instagram instead, but not everybody (my Mom) is on the photo sharing media. I find it a bit happier over in Instagram land. 

Either way, I'm getting a bit off topic. My point is, I saw that I had been on it ten years, and it didn't make me want to celebrate. 

I like to think it's there for good reasons. I would have lost touch with quite a few people if not for the social media time taker. Or... I just would have made more phone calls. Who knows. My Katimavik friends, my Korea friends, my university friends, people I've met (and want to keep touch with) from many jobs of my past... most of them hang out on FB. We don't talk every day, but I know they are there.

Unrelated to the ten years on FB, but kind of related last night at around 10, I decided I would try to shut down for 24 hours. I wanted to spend the day with my family, and to catch up on reading and writing.

I had already deleted FB off my phone, but I wanted to actually have a technology free day. I put my phone on airplane mode (instagram, games, texting, calls), I didn't open my computer, and I didn't turn on Netflix. Netflix is on A LOT these days. 

(Side note, I got rid of FB months ago because it wasn't working correctly on my phone, but it's been wonderful not logging in all the time from my phone. I'll never get it back on.) I do use it on my computer.

I did turn my phone on once at 2 to check texts, and again at 5 for no good reason at all. 

I turned my phone back on for good after Anthony was down for the night.

What did I learn from this? A few things.

First of all, I can read while holding a sleeping baby:

Actually, I can read while holding two sleeping babies:

Second, my phone is in use A LOT. For no real reason. I pick it up and use it whether I need to or not. I'd like to continue using airplane mode for an hour or two every day. I really don't need to have it in my hand all day. (I do have to have it nearby because it's my camera, and I'm more addicted to taking photos than I am of anything else.)

Third, although I spend most of my day paying attention to and talking to Anthony (or Clint and Drogo), today I they got all my focus. I laughed a lot. (And sometimes yelped when Anthony bit me, or Drogo tried to trip me.) My family makes me happy. The break from Netflix and wasting time on my phone was lovely. The time with my family (all spent in my lumberjack onesie -seen above) was priceless. 

And fourth, I finished a book (it took all day - and most of it was after Anthony went down for the night), and found out I hadn't written in my journal for a year. A YEAR. I guess that's what happens when social media gets involved. I spent 10 years telling the world my story, but forgot to save some of the healing writing for my journal. Also, I started the journal in 2012. I'll be writing in it now JUST to finish it. 

My OLD OLD friend
First journal entry in it.
The last time I wrote. Just after I found out I was pregnant.

 So to end this post, I have been on FB since I was 26. I'm now 36. I love seeing bits and pieces from my friends and family. But I need to slow down and enjoy my life for real. Not through a computer. I'm not going to quit FB, but I don't need to be on it or my phone as much as I am. (Also, I LOVE the On This Day, and will love it even more when photos of baby Anthony start popping up. That alone will keep me from quitting.)

Some quick other news, my baby boy was ten months old yesterday. Time flies. He makes me happy every day, and I only hope I can do the same for him.
He met Batman on his 10 month birthday.
And last bit of other news, I'm about to take writing a lot more seriously. It's time. That novel is getting back on my screen pronto. I probably should have done that today, but reading felt right.

Happy Sunday, all.

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

Also, check out my ongoing book blog:  Proud Bookworm at: http://bookserinread.blogspot.ca/ 

Blogs I used to write on but not being updated:

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Loved Ones Lost

March 2, 2016

There isn't one day that I don't think of somebody I have lost. Usually, a happy thought or memory. 

I have had the privilege to speak at three funerals. I say privilege because that's exactly what it is. To be asked to speak in front of your loved one's loved ones, and get to say one last thing about how much you will miss them is a privilege. 

It's also scary as hell. It's heartbreaking and it's really hard to get through.

The reason I'm talking about this is because a couple of days ago I was looking at my 'On This Day' on Facebook, and saw  my Aunt's obituary. She died four years ago on February 25th. The On This Day has happy memories as well as sad ones for me. I wouldn't have it any other way. It's my life (from 2007 on.)

Her death was heartbreaking. I had lost grandparents, I lost Cameron, and then my aunt died, and it seemed unfair. 

She was a wonderful woman. Strong, loving, kind, opinionated. She saw the best in the people she loved. 

She was one of my favourite people.

Maybe I've already spoken about her before in posts. 

It's different now. When I see memories of people lost, I automatically think about Anthony. I wish they could meet him. I wish he could meet them.

My aunt would have loved my baby. He would have given her his best smiles.

There are so many people I would have loved to have met Anthony. My grandparents. My aunt. Cameron. My great uncle Bud. 

Losing people is a reality that I was lucky enough not to face most of my life. Now that I have had to deal with it, I wouldn't wish it on my baby. I hope he doesn't have to deal with it, but I know he will. 

He doesn't get to meet the people I've lost. He will get to hear about them though. 

He will hear how my Aunt Marilyn stood up for what she believed in, and how she would have thought he was the greatest little guy ever.

He'll hear how Grandma McCrea was everybody's favourite Grandma - even the ones who weren't related to her. 

I haven't mentioned my Grandfather McCrea because he died before me. I've only hear stories and memories.

He'll hear how my Grandpa Burton used to make the kids jump with his loud singing voice, and how he made me laugh. He'll hear how my Grandma Burton loved her family first. She was ridiculously proud of every single accomplishment, and would have been so proud of him.

He'll hear about Cameron. He'd know that Cam was a great friend, and that if you could learn anything from him, it would be to laugh with all your might.

And of course, my Great Uncle Bud. He'll grow up hearing a lot of stories about that man. A man who was like a third grandfather.

I've lost people. Anthony won't meet them, but I'll make sure to tell him all about my loved ones lost. 

I often look at him, and even though I don't believe in it, I hope one of them is looking down on him and smiling. It makes me want to believe.   

I'm going to lose more people in my life. I don't want to, but I will. I can't stop it, and I can't be sad about it (but I will). I can talk about them. I can share memories. I can write about them. I can remind my little A how much they would have loved him, or do love him. 

This is kind of a dreary entry, but it is what was on my mind. I'm happy. I've lost people, but I'm happy. I can spend my whole life wishing Anthony could have met them, but it won't happen. 

I was lucky to have had them in MY life, and I am who I am, I am the mother I am, because they were in my life.

I'll let my little one know.

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

Also, check out my ongoing book blog:  Proud Bookworm at: http://bookserinread.blogspot.ca/ 

Blogs I used to write on but not being updated:

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Nine Months

Feb 17, 2017

I think I already mentioned that I'm going to be doing guest posts on a Mommy Connections website. I just did my first one! Feel free to check it out: Mommy Connections Blog Post. It's about the choice to have only one baby.

Now for this post.

Today is Anthony's nine month birthday (anniversary?) My plan wasn't for my blog to be all about my kid or a 'Mom' blog. However, it's basically my life now. I'm just getting back into writing, and I'll be able to blog about that soon, but for now, it's just as easy to post about my life, and that includes my sweet nine month old.

Nine months is kind of a big one. It means he's been outside for as long as he was growing inside me. 

Around a year ago today, Anthony was still growing inside me. I was about six months pregnant.
Today, he is a wonderful, healthy baby growing on the outside.
The nine months of pregnancy were scary and crazy. The last trimester was tough. Growing a baby on the inside is nothing compared to nine months of my wonderful Anthony.

During pregnancy, Anthony was growing and becoming a human. Other than the tummy growth, I didn't see it. 

Now, I've been so lucky to be able to watch him grow and change in front of my eyes. 

I think it was a lot easier to keep him safe while he was growing inside me. My little nine month old is full of adventure, and ready to take leaps any chance he gets. Even if the leaps include bumping his head.He's brave, and he's stubborn, and he NEVER gives up.  As far as I know, he didn't bump his head a lot while he was in the womb. (That being said, his head was stuck for a a little too long.)

The thing with this nine month milestone of Anthony's is that it's also my milestone. It's Clint's as well.

We've been parents for nine months. I've been a momma for nine months. (I know, I was a mom while he was growing inside of me, but it wasn't exactly the same.)

Life has changed a ridiculous amount. For instance, I'm home blogging on a Saturday night, hoping that Anthony stays asleep long enough for me to finish the post. Last year about this time, we were going to Rush games, and getting to every concert we could. Going out for supper after 5pm, and enjoying life without a mini attachment. 

I still stayed home to blog, write, or read before he came along, it was just completely different. 

Instead of getting out at night, I make sure to get out during the day between naps.

I'm more exhausted than ever, I stress more about making the correct decision, and I worry about what's going to happen. 

I wouldn't have it any other way. Having something as important as Anthony to stress about is a great thing. He has changed my life in so many wonderful ways.

I smile more. I laugh more. I feel lighter. I always feel lighter now (other than the almost 20 pound mini-me I carry around with me). The weight of the world lifted a bit when I got comfortable being a mom. 

I was concerned that depression would be an issue because it's something I've dealt with, but for some reason it hasn't. I'll admit, I've had really rough days. I've cried a lot. Happy tears and sad tears.

It's been hard, but it's been great. I think having a little guy looking up to me makes me fight harder. He keeps me going, and even when all I want to do is sneak under the covers and close my eyes.

I did the gratitude thing pretty well before Anthony, but now I'm throwing in optimist to the mix. It's a bit harder, but I want Anthony to grow up thinking he can do anything, and he can make the world a better place. I want him to trust that things will get better. I want me to trust that as well.

He's also helped me come out of my shell a little. I've met more people because of him. I have friends, but I didn't really expand my network of friends since moving to Saskatoon (other than work friends.) Now I get out and I meet other Moms, and it has been nice to be able to talk or vent about things that are going on in my life, knowing they won't judge me because they're in the same place.

Just quickly, anybody in Saskatoon, here are some awesome things you can do with your baby, and meet awesome people. 

Fitbump (an exercise class for prenatal, mom and baby, and more.) 

Mommy Connections
Mommy Connections

Mommy Connections (classes weekly with other Moms to learn about Mom life. They also have a Mom and Baby active - you get to try out all the active things in Saskatoon for Mom and Baby. Also fun side events for mom and kids, or just moms.) 

Kickboxing (so much fun!)
okamimartialarts (Mom and Baby Kickboxing.) 

There are many more, but those are a few of my favourites.

We are also doing swimming lessons
with http://kkswimschool.com/. Definitely worth it to get the babes started early.

Bit of a disjointed post today. That's what we've been doing this past winter, but we are slowing things down a little bit in February and March.

My brain is slowly shutting down for the night, so I'm going to wind this down.

Long story short, today, I celebrate being a mom for nine months. Clint celebrates being a dad for nine months, and Anthony celebrates being in our world for nine months. 

Time is moving way too fast.

Here are a couple more photos from our day.

He's helping Momma vacuum.

Wine bottling with Mom and Dad.

One last thing, it's National Wine Drinking Day! So Cheers all!

I'll try to be more on task next post. I feel like this one was a bit all over the place. It's been an eventful nine months.

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

Also, check out my ongoing book blog:  Proud Bookworm at: http://bookserinread.blogspot.ca/ 

Blogs I used to write on but not being updated: