Monday, 22 June 2015

Darts has taken over

Nationals 2015....St. Catharine's, Ontario.

Monday, June 15th, I rolled out of bed at 3:45 am to catch my 5:30 am flight to Toronto.  Got through security, grabbed a Starbucks (first coffee I saw, I was going for it). Then found the rest of the crew sitting in Tim Horton's. We boarded at just after 5 for the flight. Flight was good. Landed in Toronto at 10:40 ish ( I think) Toronto time. We were picked up by a school bus and driven around the terminal because we had to wait for a few more people to arrive. We arrived at the hotel at around 1:30 I think. Time had become a blur at that point. We checked into our hotel room, dropped our luggage off and were on a mission to find food!! We walked across the street to an Asian restaurant, no one came to serve us, so we left. Boston Pizza it is! Headed to the LCBO, liqour store, after we ate. Priorities people.... Had a few drinks and then headed to bed. That was day one....pretty uneventful. Long, but no darts.

Tuesday, June 16th, Ladies doubles. Doubles and I don't get a long....that is what I have told myself forever. It is a mental thing that I have to get over. I don't know why I think that I play worse when I play doubles. But I have talked myself into believing that it is true and therefore I play like shit. I have to get out of my own head. Not an easy thing to do. Needless to say that I didn't play my best and felt like I let my partner down. She needed a partner and I failed. We had some good matches but we just couldn't get over the wire to put them into the double. Frustrating first day. After the darts were done, we had our team supper in the hotel restaurant we were staying in. Minus the error in my food it was good. Apparently I need to pay more attention to what I am getting....I was hungry....that is my excuse. It was good anyway and they discounted my meal. Meh....It didn't bother me none. Watching Karsten eat his Jambalaya was entertaining in itself, you should not sweat that much eating food....seems like too much work. Day 2.....not a great dart day...but a great day anyway.

Wednesday, June 17th, Singles. Ok...the week wasn't great...I will get to by better games but singles wasn't bad. It definitely was not great...I didn't make it out of my section  but I didn't shit the bed. It could have been waaaay better and it could have gone worse. One of the matches I won I completely thought I was going to lose. She is number 2 or so in Canada and I won. Floored me. Everyone is beatable on any day. Just some people you play against, you walk into the game thinking you are going lose so you loosen up. At least I do. And I also took a game off of another top 5 ranked player in Canada. So I am happy with that. I will take it. After we were done singles, a group of us headed down to Niagara Falls.

Best afternoon ever!!! If you have never been to the falls, go. Plain and simple. You have to see it. It was so amazing. The amount of water that is constantly rushing over, it's mind blowing. We did the Hornblower, which is the boat that goes down and close to the falls. It was so cool.....and wet. Good thing for those ponchos!! Haha. They helped a bit. Took a few pictures, yes if you have seen my FB there are a lot haha. It was so much fun. After the Hornblower we walked down to Journey behind the falls. It is underground tunnels that give some history of the falls. The sound alone is worth it. Hearing the water rushing over top of you is so cool. They had little "look out points" you couldn't see past the water. But you could see the water mist swirling around and the sheer volume of the water.....crazy!! There was a little look out point about half way down the falls that you could walk on too where you could see the water coming over the end of the falls and more pictures were taken. After the falls we went and walked to a little pub on the strip. It was cute, drinks were drank and then a little bit more wandering took place. We headed back to the falls to see them lit up. Once cool. I was definitely a tourist!! haha. Niagara was awesome!!

Thursday, June 18th Mixed doubles. Once again, not a bad day. But doubles...We just couldn't get over the wire. Should have had more games than we did. In the evening was the banquet. It is where everyone who is there for Nationals gets together for a supper and dance. It was slow to start, but the food was brought out. After the meal, they did the awards for almost everything. It is an important part of the night but it seems to take forever. But it did end....and then the "comedian" came out....he was not funny. He was punny.....very very punny. It was terrible. It kept getting worse and worse. After he was done torturing the crowd the dance started. I went to bed!

Friday June 19th, Nodor Cup. To explain the Nodor cup, it is basically one province pitted against the other in a team game of sorts. There are 8 women on a provincial team and 8 men. Saskatchewan women played Northwest Territories first. They randomly select who you will play from that team. Once 5 games are one from a province they move on to the next round. We made it through to our second round and played Manitoba second. We beat them 5-3 as well. The next round was against New Brunswick. We unfortunately stopped there. Which placed us in joint 3rd for the second year in a row. We got hardware people!!!! After that was the World cup qualifier, where the provincial champions have the opportunity to play in. This year the cup is in Turkey, but with all the issues over there they chose to do a pay out instead of sending someone over in the fear that something terrible could happen. Bonnie and Danny played in the Cup qualifier. Danny made it to the final and lost out to Quebec. Bonnie made it through her first three rounds and lost in the forth. They both played amazingly!! There is a reason they were our provincial champs!!!  After that a few of us went for supper before the Canadian Open Mixed Doubles started....yep...I decided to play in that as well....poor Ashtin! haha. Mixed doubles play started around 8:30 that evening. Late start...especially when I had to be up at 5:30 to catch my ride to the airport so I could fly home a day early...whoopsie! Ashtin and I played really well. We made it out of our section with only one match lost....I played better that night than I had all week. The "pressure" was off. I could have fun, it didn't seem as serious as play had been all week. I just played my game. We advanced to the first round of knock out and we both became serious for the first time all night, and lost in our first round of knock out. I had fun that night tho...thanks!! Finally went to bed around 1, I think. Pretty sure I didn't make it to sleep until 2 or 2:30 though. Makes a really early morning.

Saturday I flew home to be at my Grandma's 85th birthday party. Two flights, a 40 minute drive to Moose Jaw, an afternoon spent with family and another 2.5 hour drive home and my Nationals 2015 was over.

The fun I had, the memories that were made will never leave. The people I met and the new friendships that were made will continue as the years progress. I am already looking forward to Nationals 2016!! Richmond, BC. I have work to do to keep my darts at the level they are and progress them even further. I have already started on that. Practice, practice, practice. I have a goal for next year, and I hope to reach it. I think it would be amazing just to make the team again. Our team this year was so great!! We are really like one big very dysfunctional family!! It is worth every minute of it.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me this year for my journey to Nationals. It means the world to me. I have the best support system around. I am really one lucky girl!!

Here's to Nationals 2015 being amazing and Nationals 2016 next year!!


Tuesday, 24 February 2015

The glue that holds us together.

Matriarch - a woman who is the head of a family or tribe.

 February 25th 1930 one of the greatest women alive was brought into the world. Just as the "dirty 30s" started. She is the second of two children, both girls. Gloria Mae Johnson was born. My grandmother.  She is now the definition of a matriarch. She has over come a lot in her days. She had to raise 4 children on her own, one of them, my dad.....that had to be hard enough!! Haha!! She worked at the hospital while raising her children. She never missed an event that included her children, sports, etc. She was and still is one hell of a mom!! Most people now can barely raise their children properly with two parents. She raised 4 outstanding children. All successful. And all four married and went on to have children of their own. Grandma has 10 grandchildren. Those 10 grandchildren have given her 20 great grandchildren. Needless to say family gatherings in the Stephanson clan are loud, busy and full of great memories!! 

Sure I am biased, everyone is proud of their families. I love mine to the moon and back and would do anything for any one of them. But to me raising a family on your own is more real than ever. Yes, I have the kids father around, Grandma didn't have that for most of it. She did it on her own. Ask my dad, uncles or aunt. They will tell you how Grandma managed them and work. Different generation, different mind set. Where you worked hard for what you wanted. No sense of entitlement then. Either you worked for what you wanted to support your family or it didn't happen. No buy outs. You start from the ground and work your way up. Every single one of her children have done it. The work ethic I have now was handed down to me from my father, who learned it from his mother. My children will learn what it is like to work for what you want and it will not be handed to you on a silver platter. Life doesn't work that way. 

The memories I have. I will always have. The trips to Basant with my cousins and Grandma. Grandma showing up at every dance recital, baseball game and sporting event, even when we moved she would when she could. She had 10 grandchildren to cater to now. 4 wasn't so bad!! Good thing we were all basically in the same events. Definitely not all at the same time. I have no idea how she did it. But it seemed like she never missed anything!! Even with her great grandchildren, if she can attend a event that is going on with one of them she will be. She gets such joy watching them do what they love to do.  She is super woman to me. Baking.....oh my lord......Grandma can bake....and she bakes everything!! Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving. We used to stuff 4 children and 10 grandchildren into her house. It was cramped to say the least. But we made it work. Why? Because when Grandma wants something....she gets it. We do not argue with Grandma. What Grandma says goes. Those are memories none of us will ever forget. Lefse........that is all. No greater fight at family functions now in my parents doesn't involve Lefse and who is hording it all. Back to the baking, she did baking for her 4 children and sent enough for the families. Now....she does them for her 4 children and 10 grandchildren. Christmas isn't Christmas without Grandma's baking. I am forever thankful for that. An ice cream pail full of different types of baking. Rice krispie balls, multiple squares, shortbread...she is a miracle worker. I am sure that she needs to start January after Christmas in order to get it all done. Between that, the lefse and everything else she does. She bowls, plays crib, goes on bus tours to see Blue Jays games. Her and Ray are forever traveling to multiple places. One coast to another. Down through the states. She is the most active person I know. She could easily run circles around me. She comes from a different generation. 

85 years on this planet. She has been through a lot! That's 14 Prime Ministers, 1 World War, 27 Olymipic games, Blue Jays winning 2 World Series, Bonnie and Clyde, Al Capone, Amelia Erhart,  Hindenburg, Anne Frank, Bikini's being introduced, Color TV, James Dean, Rosa Parks, Grace Kelly, JFK, Martin Luther King Jr., Mandela, First Man on the Moon, Beatles, E.T., and the list goes on. To have experienced everything she has would be amazing!! I would have loved to live in that time. You made it on your own. How life was different. 

Stephanson's are proud to be who we are. We come from good stock. We were raised right. We are raising our children right. I love my family, wouldn't trade it for anything. I love the life I have been given. I hope my children grow up with the proper sense of hard work. I love both sides of my family, I am blessed to be part of two wonderful families. The Wheelers will definitely come up in a later post. Great memories there as well!! I am very fortunate with the people who I am blessed to call my family.

Grandma, thank you. For everything you have done and continue to do. You are the glue that holds this family together. Thank you for the memories you have given me and continue to give to me and now my children. For being such a prominent figure in my life, thank you. For your no nonsense way of life, thank you. For raising 4 wonderful children, thank you. For loving me, thank you. 

Love always, 

8th of 10 proud grandchildren,  


Thursday, 22 January 2015

Impatiently Patiently Waiting....

Impatient: 1. having or showing a tendency to be quickly irritated or provokes
                  2. restlessly eager

Patient: 1. able to accept or tolerate delays, problems, or suffering with out becoming annoyed or        anxious.

As I am sitting here, drinking my decaf Chai tea and keeping my phone close.....

We are either coming or going. Most of us don't know which we are doing at the time we are doing it. I know I am usually wandering around aimlessly hoping I figure out why I left the room to begin with....I am terrified to know how I will be as I get older. The other day I walked to work, which I used to do all the time, at ten to five I left my desk in search to start my car. I walked into another part of work and realized that I won't find my car. It was left in it's parking spot. I felt like a fool. Got a good laugh out of it, I blame my children. I think I have a good memory. I remember things that I am not too sure why I still remember them but I do. Sometime it proves itself useful. Music, I know my music. Lyrics, artists and albums. I am usually pretty good. Work, I have stored what I though wouldn't be pertinent information, but it has come in handy.

What happened to kids....I asked my 10 year old son to take the garbage out for me this evening....he cried. Are you serious???? I was doing dishes, vacuuming, dusting and pretending to clean my room at 10. Where does he get that thought that he doesn't have to help out around the house? I have never said don't worry buddy...Mom will do it. Pfft, are you kidding me!!! I was raised to help out, whether you wanted to or not. Most of the time I didn't want to. I still have issues cleaning my room!! But I do it, now I enjoy cleaning, for the most part. So when he came back in and sulked to his room hoping to hide from me, I made him come back out and help me do the dishes. Dishes he is fine with. But the thought of having to put his pants back on and go out was waaaaay too much work. Good Grief!! I don't get it. But I am probably not supposed too. That would be life.

There is going to be a new face to look out into the world soon (it is NOT me). I cannot wait to meet this tiny human. He/she will loved like no other.  They are truly a miracle and I am so happy that I have opportunity to be apart of their life. As we wait for their arrival I have thought of all the wonderful things they will be able to see. I hope the places they will get to go and the love that they will feel from their parents and close family and friends. Growing up hearing stories of their family and finding out all sorts of funny things about their parents. Growing up in a loving home is one of the most important things. And this baby will have all of that. Their parents are two of the most amazing people I know. I am blessed to be "auntie" I take that role very seriously. There is nothing better than being Auntie. I get to spoil them to the end of the earth and back. Mom and Dad cannot say anything because what Auntie says at the time will win....Aunties always win!! Rescuing Mom when she is at her last wit end and helping in anyway that I can.

As you first peer into this world I want you to know:

The world can be cruel, don't let it bring you down.
You can accomplish anything your heart desires.
Patience and perseverance will get you far in your life.
Always know you have someone to talk to even when you are afraid.
You have a guardian angel. She is always watching over and protecting you. She will listen when no one else will.
You are loved.
You will make mistakes, they don't define you.
Don't let the negative things take control, there is always 2 positives to 1 negative.
Always believe in yourself.
Hard work pays off.
Listen to your parents, they are usually right.
Dance like no one is watching and sing even if sounds bad.

And know that I love you. Always. I will always be here, I love your Mama and will do anything for you and her. Now....geeeeettt oooouuuuttt!!!