November 30, 2009


Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 12:43 am by letterstoelias

Hello My Love,

I’m going to ‘try’ to keep it brief as it is already late.  Tomorrow (Monday) is my first day in the Aspire program.  I’m excited about it.  Really.  It just hit me, however, that this is the start of yet another new journey for me, and one you won’t be a part of.

I’m going to try not to think of it that way.  You will be with me.  In my heart I know that.  Just not how I want or would have imagined years ago.  I’m sure it’s a positive move for me .  My job with Cummings has served me well, and I have been treated extremely well over the years (the last year in particular) and I am forever grateful; but running my own business, and one that revolves around children, is something that I can actually look forward to right now – and things like that are hard to find most days.

The gist of it is this – I will go to workshops 3hrs/day 4 days/week for 3 weeks.  The program expects a total of 35hrs/week towards work on the business plan, so I will need to put in another 21hrs/week.  During the course I can collect EI, but they allow you to work up to an additional 20hrs/week to help supplement income, so I’ll be keeping my job with DCIS for now and will work 10hrs/week there.  After the third week, the workshops break for 2 weeks, there will be some projects to work on during that time, then the workshops resume for 2 more weeks in the new year.  Once we finish those, there is a couple of weeks to finalize and present the business plan, a couple other workshops to do, then as of Feb 12th I would find out if my business plan meets approval (you have to meet approval in order to continue in the program and continue receiving EI for a few more months).

I had initially considered spending what free time I had left on trying to get the store up and running as soon as the workshops end – early February.  I figured if I could nail down the retail space, do the main part of the renos during the two week break (pre-school, dance and music will all be on break too, which frees up time), finish renos and order inventory after the second session of workshops, it would be do-able.  Part of me just wants to open as soon as possible so any ‘kinks’ can be worked out and I could have things up and running smoothly long before end of March-April as that will no doubt be a rough time for me.  I spoke with one of the course directors about this, and she thought it would be possible, but she encouraged me to try and focus on the course, developing my business plan, and only start on actually implementing the plan once the course is finished.  I asked her if then it would be ok if I didn’t open until May.  She said that would be fine provided I continued putting 35hrs/week into the business – which wouldn’t be too hard if I took that time to find a location and get it ready.  The tough thing about that, however, is the availability of spaces to lease.  There is one I have my eye on right now, and who is to say it will still be around 4 months from now?  It’s a lot to think about.

I am SO fortunate to have my sister as a wealth of information, as well as my dad who ran a business before and both my parents have decades of knowledge of the community – though I was laughing the other night because I was also speaking with a friend who heavily researched doing the same thing (opening a children’s store) and they each have great ideas, but they are completely opposite.  Upper Gibsons vs. Lower Gibsons.  Opening in a ‘Molly’s Lane’ type venue first vs. well, not.  Both have great points.  I’ll just have to figure out what works best for me, and what I think will work best for the store.  Hopefully once I actually get started in the program things will clear up a bit – but if I decide to push for an opening in February, I would need to get cracking on that lease space soon . . . .

As for other events – today was a pretty relaxed day at home.  It had its ‘moments’, but for the most part it wasn’t a bad day.  It didn’t start out so hot – I tried to make waffles but they kept sticking to the iron.  I was feeling really lousy that I’m quite certain my jelly won’t be setting any time soon (likely ever), and E has been begging for a haircut, but I couldn’t find the scissors.  We made some paper snowflakes and I tried to make a ‘3D’ one, but I used the wrong type of paper and it’s ridiculously floppy.  E had fun with working on them though.  When we were finished, the girls were getting a bit crazy jumping around on the couches and kicking off the coffee table (sort of, it’s hard to explain).  They weren’t listening to my reasonable requests to stop, and I ended up yelling.  Brief, but loud.  I left the room and started to cry.  Of course a moment later they followed after me – I try not to cry in front of them too much, as I don’t want to overwhelm them, but I also know that it’s ok for them to see it once in a while, as helps them know it’s ok to express their emotions.  I sat down on the floor with them, they both gave me hugs and C rubbed my back and said ‘I’n ho-wee, Mama’ (‘I’m sorry Mama’ – when she is cries I always rub her back and say that I’m sorry to hear that she is hurt/sad, so she was mimicking me).  I tried to explain to them that I just really missed you and was feeling sad, and that I was sorry for getting angry.  We all shared a few more hugs, kisses and snuggles, and carried on.

We decided to have a pyjama day.  E was very excited about this.  Especially in the afternoon when I told her we were going to go to Timmy Ho’s for a doughnut and we were going to stay in our pyjamas (just through drive through, but she loved it).  I think it was the highlight of her day.  I know her preschool is having a pyjama day soon, so I’m sure she’ll be pretty happy when that rolls around.  The only problem was, as I got in the car I realized I needed gas.  I must admit to feeling a ‘little’ silly, standing at the gas pump in my jungle themed jumbos . . . .

Anyhow, we played with puzzles the rest of the day, which turned it into a pyjama puzzle day.  After dinner I decided to try and do a ‘test shoot’ with the girls.  I’m going to do some photography for a friend, and as it’s been a while since I’ve done much with lights and backdrops, I thought I should brush up a bit and take the equipment for a run.  The girls had some fun and while it didn’t turn out exactly as I had hoped, they turned out ok.  Not exactly as I had hoped, but not too bad.  I felt bad at the end, however, as I just really wanted a nice shot of the two of them together and C was kind of checked out.  Then Cali wouldn’t get out of the way and just parked her but on the white sheet I was using as a backdrop.  Wet dog feet (she had been outside), and black dog hair do not mesh well with white sheets.  I started yelling at her, which only seems to make her more confused and pace around more, which made me yell more, until finally she figured it out.  You know how stressed I can get while trying to do a shoot sometimes, and I snapped a bit, again.  Poor dog.  I guess it wasn’t one of my better days after all, but at least some of the photos are cute (though I didn’t play much with editing them as of yet, so they’re still a little rough).  Here are a couple:

I find the weekends can be tough.  I love trying to have at least one day to take it easy at home – and sometimes two, as we are usually so busy during the week – but it seems like that is when your absensce screams at me.  Weekends used to be such a great time.  We would all stay in bed until late – you would be playing ‘volcano’ with E on your knees.  There would be lots of tickling.  When we finally got up, you would make a fabulous breakfast, and then it would just be doing regular ‘stuff’.  Wonderful, regular stuff.  Housework, projects, yardwork, grocery shopping, going for a walk.  Together.  I love having time with the girls, obviously, and I know how important it is – but prolonged time with just the three of us seems to exacerbate the fact that you are not here.  I know we are still a family, the three of us, but I miss that ‘family’ feeling.  If that makes any sense . . .

Anyhow, so much for keeping it brief.  As usual.  I’ll try to get some sleep tonight.  Looking for something else, I stumbed across this just now:  We were fortunate enough to discover Ingrid Michaelson in the months before you died.  Not what I was initially looking for, but appropriate none the less.


P.S.  I Love You



  1. Bridie said,

    Wow, is Caia ever photogenic. Also, I love the Canucks tattoo with Eibhlin’s fancy dress! Cute pics all around!

    I just went to iChat you, but I see you are already in conference. Wanted to discuss further the Molly’s Lane… Or, not situation.

  2. pamelachalmers said,

    Hi there!

    We are in Iguazu Falls, Argentina now–amazingly beautiful. Just wanted you to know that I was still checking in on you while on the road and think it’s great what you are “aspiring” to. And since I still go to LA once a month, let me know if you want me to import any kids clothes for you.

    Lucca misses Eibhlin and all his friends at school.


    • letterstoelias said,

      Hi Pamela,

      Thanks for checking in, and I’m glad to hear you are enjoying your trip. We look forward to seeing you guys when you get back. Say hi to Lucca for us too


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