The Real Moms of Vancouver – I’m a Proud Vancouver Mom.

I talk very openly these days about being a mom, but I know as a business owner and a recording artist in the music industry, so many stereotypes and stigmas are attached to that. I tried not to make it a big deal, mainly because I am a woman who strives for integrity in this industry, who chose to have a family in the midst of a career and I never wanted being a mother to be an excuse for not achieving my goals and successes. What I find though is that it actually is because I am a mom that I have the successes of my life as well as have the best adventures with my best friend (my husband) and my kids. For so many years, I didn’t have people who understood me, and I found myself being in hiding, struggling with the things every mother struggles with, as well as finding the balance between marriage, kids and career. I honestly felt like I was walking the journey alone. I didn’t have tons of girlfriends as I mostly hung with the boys, and the girlfriends I did have didn’t have kids and it was a different dynamic. So, it was a blessing when I found an incredible group of women in the VancouverMom.ca community of whom many I have never met but only experienced life through their stories. Many of the articles I read resonate with me everyday, many of them have inspired what products I use, what kind of food I eat, and why I should be ok with just being me. These women are real heroes in my life. Its through these women, that I discovered how to be real not only with myself, but to everyone around me. Although there was a sense of having to portray a very professional artist profile, at the end of the day, I was still a wife, and a mom, and every mom knows that we still all become basket cases when our kids are sick, wishing it was us instead of them; we cry at every new step, new word, new achievement, and proud moments when we see our kids change their world; We hurt for other moms when we read their journeys of sons and daughters lost, and we celebrate when we read stories of how we are just happy to have survived the day! Motherhood can be soooo hard, but it makes it so much easier to know there is a sisterhood who understands, who don’t judge, but who – when all is said and done – are cheering you on to be the best you can be! I don’t for one second put myself in the leagues of some of theses amazing Vancouver Mom bloggers and writers – these women have stuck it out and blogged for many months and reached the masses, but one day if I can keep up the writing, I hope I can inspire and encourage others just like they have inspired me. If you want to check out some of the amazing movements going on, here are some links of some of those who have impacted my life.

VancouverMOM – www.vancouvermom.ca

Mom Blogger Amber Strocel – www.strocel.com

Mom Blogger Katie Smith – www.worldbysmith.com

MomIncMovement – http://www.momincmovement.com

Entrepreneur MOM now – http://www.entrepreneurmomnow.com/vancouver

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Dear Stacy..

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To my amazing husband Stacy,

THANK YOU…

for loving me, even when no one is looking. For not being afraid to be honest. For when I was in the hospital worrying if I was going to be ok, you stayed strong and even though you were scared too, you were brave for me. For letting me chase my dreams and for never letting me give up on them. Thank you for the love unconditionally, and for the example to our kids of a very present, engaged, fun, truthful Dad and a husband who loves his wife.

I believe in you, and in your dreams as well. Not just your dreams and adventures you’ve had and that I’ve loved as a family, but your dreams of traveling the world, and of building the best live venue coffeehouse in Vancouver. I don’t need you to prove yourself to anyone, nor fit in a mold of who people think you are and who we are as a family. Thank you for letting us live “outside the box” and for making everything ok even when – to everyone else looking on the outside –  we look crazy! Thank you for catching my many tears when they fall, through the great times, and the hard times, and you are still there, by my side, to hug me when I’m just the girl who just needs the boy to hold her and tell her he’ll never let her go.

Thank you in advance for forgiving me for posting this on my very pubic blog instead of writing another “just between you and me” letter. This time ( and this may be the only time lol ) I wanted the world to know how proud of you I am, and how blessed I am that I have a husband who knows whose he is, and who loves his family. I love you so much! I am yours and you are mine, FOR LIFE…..xoxoxox

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Raising little world changers.

This is what I call standing up for something: I was truly astounded when my 10 year old Zac said he wanted to speak at the town hall meeting for the BC film industry and We Create BC last week. I don’t think he realized that there would be 2000 or so people looking in, and one of his biggest challenges is doing anything in front of lots of people. But, he had something to say about an industry that he is passionate about and he believes in. Our whole family works in this industry, and it means a lot to us. From when the Q & A started I could tell he was so nervous. I reassured him he was so brave but didn’t have to speak if he didn’t want to, but he wanted to. This was live, uncut and highly publicized. I was so proud of him. He took the mic like a pro and read off a piece of paper that he had prepared beforehand, ” ….I am here to make a difference in this industry…together we can create change and our voices can be heard! ” In this wonderful chaos that I call parenthood, there comes moments like this that bring me to tears, that we get to see the positive difference and lasting impact we make in our kids lives. Zac got a standing ovation, and I was truly just humbled and blessed to be his mom. Please check out what’s going on in the BC Film industry. Our hope is that the public would really see the lives that are being affected, as well as dispel myths about what the public may think the local Vancouver industry really is about. To watch the live presentation of  Zac’s speech you can go to this SaveBCfilm link. Zac speaks at 1:11:00.

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Photo Credit: Tina Lovgreen BCIT Journalism Student.

Just days after this one, Zac and my second son – 8 year old Jaedon – got their “WE DAY” Free the Children kit out, and one of the campaigns is to raise $25 in pennies to give one child in a third world country fresh water for a lifetime. It’s a great cause because the pennies are going out of production, so Free the Children and RBC Bank are helping them go to good use. The boys took them to their classes to get their classmates involved and the whole school ended up wanting to get involved. Now all 18 classes in a small elementary school in the suburbs are doing the campaign and impacting lives and my 5 year old Zoey is on board too! My kids really are changing the world. It’s proof that little people can do big things, even in this day and age of technology and distractions. Truly remarkable!

We Create ChangeKids.Shari&Mike

Photo Credit: Shari&Mike Photographers