5 Things I’m Grateful For
- My Parents – I don’t think they will ever realize how lucky I am to have them as role models, advisors, and loving people. My Mom is the most gracious and energetic person you will ever meet. You instantly smile when you see her, she’s literally a small bundle of joy. She’s optimistic (sometimes a little too much for reality, however I praise her for her optimism.) Loyal to all people involved in her life, including mine. The most generous person on the planet. I sometimes think to myself that my Mother must open her eyes at the beginning of the day and say to herself” “Today, I will be ‘Mother Theresa’!” She honestly has a heart of gold. I look up to her lust for life and the outdoors. The days where I don’t get off the ship to explore, I think of how disappointed my Mom would be, ‘there is always something new to see and do’ I can hear her saying to me, so I strive to be more grateful for the outdoors and my opportunities for her. My Dad is kind, humble, caring, and the true source of where I am today. He has supported me through thick and thin. He was even proud of me when we thought I’d never get anywhere with my skating. Yet once I got that e-mail from Judy Thomas herself, his proud Dad moment was evident through his voice over the phone. He paid for all my skating, and even gave me an allowance to try to have a normal life on the weekends with my friends. My first year on tour he even signed me up for a co-applicant credit card, (I think he slightly regrets that to this day, and to be honest, I regret accepting it.) He taught me how to read, taught me how to fish, taught me how to skate. He showed me the value of money, and how to write up a decent and well-mannered e-mail. My parents are the best, I just wish I could spend more time fishing with them on the river.
2. My Skating Coach – Nicole will always be my first ‘go-to’ person for life advice. I love her realistic point of views, they keep me on track of what I really need in life and in that moment. Sometimes I don’t go with her advice (which I know I should, but hind-sight is a wonderful thing), and most of the time I go with her advice. I like her strong attitude, and I love her warmth towards her family. I envy the knowledge she has of each and every family member in her life. She could write a book for each person, she knows them that well. Nicole has guided me in all directions, on and off the ice, and I’m forever grateful.
3. My Husband – I met Alex over 9 years ago (side-note: can you actually believe that this November we will celebrate 10 years of being together? I can’t). He swept me off my feet the first time I saw him. Honestly, that moment I laid my eyes upon that beautiful British face (he was chubby back then, but I still got excited because he was European,) my legs went wobbly and my stomach turned a little and I got all sweaty and I thought “Oh gosh, I like him.” I was scared, only because there were people telling him not to get with me, which was heartbreaking, but jealousy works the opposite way. I loved Alex right away. Like I said, it scared me. However, we grew up together. He has turned out to be the best man I’ve ever met in my entire life. He has changed with grace and with power, and with a presence that makes me grateful. He is approachable, comedic, charming, motivated, and also loves his family to a point that is sometimes a little overwhelming, yet pure. He respects me, and carefully lifts me and carries me around the ice making me look pretty (but his smile can captivate anyone in the audience, let’s be real.) He makes me tea, sometimes sings and dances for me, tickles me, and calms me down. I really don’t know how I could do life without him. I’m grateful for his authentic love for me.
4. My Skates – These boots make me do fun things on the ice! And they have been doing that for 19 years! I’m ETERNALLY grateful that I can afford a pair of skates, break them in (sometimes with immense pain) do jumps, spins, lifts, tricks, and entertain audiences around the world. I guard my skates like they are my babies. I remember when I was 14 I spent a summer at my Aunts home in Ontario and I decided to bring my skates with me. Not sure why I did that because I don’t remember ever skating for them that summer, but we had taken a little side trip that lasted longer than we expected and I had left some belongings at her house including my skates. She had proposed that she would mail them home to me but I simply refused. I told her I could not leave Ontario without my skates, they are like my babies! So with my utter stubbornness and annoyance to my Aunt, we drove all the way back (I’m thinking this was a 3 hour drive) to her house, picked up my remaining belongings, as well as my beloved skates and drove back to Toronto to fly home to B.C. I can’t go anywhere without them. I feel like I owe my skates this safe guard emotion, simply because I’m not me without my skates.
5. My First Ten Years Of Life – The first 10 years of my life were lived in sort of isolation. I was born and raised on the Queen Charlotte Islands (now known as Haida Gwaii.) Life here was simple. Weekdays go to school with afternoons spent at either soccer practice or just hanging out with two of my favourite childhood best friends: Clare + Sarah. I don’t ever remember the three of us hanging out together because Clare moved away when we were very young, actually I remember the last day we ever spent time together. Her family was packing up their house and I hid underneath her brothers bed in his empty room because I was down right pissed off that her family was moving away and taking Clare with them! Then Sarah moved away when we just turned 10. When Sarah left I was really sad. Not like adult sad, but like 8-year old kid sad. I felt like I had no one (even though I had lots of other friends and not to mention the clan of Filipino relatives to play with,) but when you turn 9 and have that friend you’re with all the time, it’s almost heart breaking when they leave that small island. However I was motivated to keep busy. I roller-bladed a lot as a child. I feel like that’s what raised my sense of balance because the first time I stepped on the ice I pretended it was like roller-blading and life seemed so easy. I’m grateful for the fact that we lived in a small house on top of a hill that had a million dollar view! I honestly haven’t seen such a view since. We had lots of space to play and run around, and we had that pure Canadian non-polluted air to breathe. I was accustomed to enjoy fishing and basically living on a boat. Mushroom picking, (which still seems like a strange activity to me, yet my parents are still heavily active in the sport of ‘mushroom picking’ to this day) this is where my family would pick as many chanterelles as possible and then sell them. I feel like they make heaps of money, but I’m still blind to their profits and excitement over it. It’s more for the exercise and the excuse to be outside. Also clam digging, that is an essential activity for those who live on the Queen Charlotte Islands. I have photos of me as a baby sitting in my baby chair in the middle of the beach while my parents are actually digging for clams around me. My little brother came into life when I was 6. That was terrifying. I was an only child for 6 whooping years, and I definitely got use to the attention. However, he’s become a better person than I’ll ever be, so I’m grateful for him. In the first ten years I learned about simple living. I learned that no matter where you travel to, home will always be the most beautiful place on the planet. I learned that the friends I made as a child were the ones that saved me. I learned that you must be grateful for what you have and that life is beautiful as long as you have your family, a boat, and a fishing rod.
Thank you for reading my post! These photos were taken during our Pacific Ocean crossing cruise. Here we visited The First Landings Resort in Lautoka, Fiji. To book a cruise vacation that travels across the Pacific click here. Check out The First Landings Resort here.
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Lots of love, Lotta xo