Life is full of ups and downs, but always beautiful. Things I want Mikaela to know post graduation.

For those of you who have been reading my blog, or have been a fan of YB for a good long while you’ve heard us both share about the hard times.  The dry financial times where our girls ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner, and where Yannick thought about walking away from his acting.  As we sat, a month ago, watching Mikaela graduate from Pepperdine University, with our two older girls, and a son in law beside us, it was like a dream.  If somebody had told me, while we were eating Kraft dinner for dinner, and dressing the girls in hand me downs, that our youngest would attend a prestigious private American university, and we would celebrate it from our second home in a place that we love so much, I would never have believed you.

But such is the mystery and the beauty of the universe.  A universe that has been incredibly kind, and amazingly generous to us.  And now that I’m sitting on the other side of that part of my mom role, it’s remarkable to me how quickly time passes.  It truly feels like yesterday I was sitting in high school, staring out the window wondering what it would be like to be grown up.  Who would I marry?  Would I marry?  Would I achieve my goals of being a working, successful actress?  What would my life look like.  I could never, in a million years, would never have pictured myself here; forty eight, mom of three university graduates, and married to one man for so long.

I’m deeply proud of not only Mikaela, but all my girls, I’m humbled by the beauty of life, and the ability for the universe to provide balance.  Hard times to teach us how to be gracious and thankful, and good times to remind us that nothing stays bad forever.  I now no longer wonder if those who “have it all” really do have it all.  I’ve learned that nothing comes easy regardless of one’s status in life.  There was a saying I loved, I think it came from a 90’s rap song:  “more money, more problems.”  I never really understood or bought that, having grown up in a single parent household, with very little money, I always imagined that those who had an abundance of money couldn’t possibly have any problems whatsoever.  But then I grew up, while observing the world around me; I witnessed people like Eric Clapton lose his son at the age of four.  I watched famous musicians, movies stars that I admired struggle with addiction.  Some winning their battle, some losing them.  I saw beautiful, talented, wealthy women find themselves cheated on by partners they loved and trusted.  I saw life happen, I learned that life happens to all of us, no matter fat bank accounts or empty ones.  None of us are immune to the challenges of life, in fact, without them we would be mere shells, lacking empathy, compassion and soul.

So as I sit in quiet reflection wondering; if Brianna and Craig will have children, will they own their own home?  Will Dominique marry her love, and succeed in her job?  Will Mikaela opt to sit her LSATS and attend law school, will they all be healthy?  Will they have their hearts broken???  All the concerns and worries that every parent has, bouncing around inside my own mind.  I stop myself and remind myself:  the night doesn’t go on forever, every morning the sun rises, we feel the warmth of it on our faces, and we’re give the opportunity to carry on.  To make today better than yesterday, and to know that nothing, good or bad lasts forever.  That there is balance in life even if we can’t see it in a moment of struggle and hardship, and knowing this brings me comfort and confidence that I made it through the storms of my life thus far, and Mikaela, along with my other two girls will as well.

And these are the things that I would tell Mikeala as she heads forward into her unknown future.


  1. What a beautiful and meaningful expression of your experience and perspective. You’ve learned so much from life! You’ve learned the true meaning of “for richer and for poorer” and have been truly blessed. I admire your grace and gratitude most of all!! I continue to be your fan and friend from afar. I wish you continued joy and blessings! I appreciate your humble honesty and plucky courage. You remind me of a Beatles lyric, “And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love, you make.”

  2. Beautiful Shantelle. Thank you. It reminds me to be thankful for what we have and not be bitter about what we don’t. Times are tough right now but it is only temporary. I have released myself of stressing about monetary things and focus on the good things in my life – an awesome husband and best friend, a terrific son attacking is own life struggles head on with honour and grand ideas. After having two too many major incidents in the past 2 years I have emerged a more empathetic and less absorbed with the material objects that rule our lives. Now, as I prepare to return my too expensive leased vehicle I bought on a whim for spite, I must search Kijiji for my “karma car” for my penance. Keep up the insightful – and often humorous – blog!
    Kind regards, Lynda

  3. Such wise words yet again. And it is wonderful how proud you are of your wonderful daughters, And you should also be so proud of your journey to today,
    Yes there will always be a lot of ups and downs in life. Having your life partner beside you through those ups and downs makes the highs higher and gets you through the downs. You have given your daughters a wonderful start in life and your guidance and parenting have given them a road to their futures, I can only hope I have done as well with mine. They are loving, caring people so we did something right to get them started, And you certainly have done that. Thank you for always sharing your words of wisdom,

  4. Congrats to Mikeale on her Graduation and to her great parents. I know that Mikeale will have some ups and downs in life but she is a beautiful strong women who will weather any storms. Life is a wonderful adventure live your life Mikeale each day with Faith,Love, Kindness and your strong desire to be the BEST that life has to offer. Now your Adventure will begin. 💚💚💚💚

  5. First Congrats to Mikaela

    Second, I have a Question for you. A friend and I are going what we call “Self Care Summer” we dumped our Social Media accounts and decided to have fun during the summer without it. Well she told her one of her Co-Workers this and they asked how would we live with out it. We are both in our 40’s and Social Media has only been around since early 2000’s, meaning most of us have spent our life without it. We just want to take a bit of a “Social Media Hiatus” and focus on seeing the world not through our phones. I want to focus on my writing and other thingsand I feel Social Media is causing me to neglect it because every time hear a ping or beep I have to look at phone.

    What do you think? Do you think a Social Media Hiatus is a good thing? Why do people look at you funny when you say you don’t have Social Media?

    PS…. Her Coworker was understanding about it. I think like most people he is a Social Media addict.

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