Friday, December 17, 2010

Whoever said it would slow down?

On one hand, I suppose it is the holiday season which means if I don’t have my days and nights booked solid, something must be wrong – right?

On the other hand, I’m done writing finals, and have been since the seventh. I honestly thought that I would discover that amazingly slippery thing called free time… no luck such as yet though.

To start, I am running at full speed trying to get something homemade done in time for Christmas. You’d think that it would be easy, with all this spare time that I have… but I keep ending up with three or four different people that want to see us every night, what with gift exchanging and all (We will be making a point of handing out gifts next week, I swear).

The ‘Brodeur quilt’ didn’t end up getting finished. It was “close”. Unfortunately that meanse ~ 6 hours of work remaining, and I didn’t have that kind of time left. Oh well, it will make a lovely gift next year. I didn’t even bother starting the quilt for my sister – there’s no way I could finish that. I guess that will be a next year gift too. By the way – don’t let anyone tell you that crafting is cheaper than buying. Sometimes it is, especially if the gifts are knitted. But for the most part, it’s expensive. Take these quilts for example – this project will be costing me a grand total of over $100 per quilt. Definitely not the cheapest option, considering I could go to Walmart and buy a comforter of equal size for approximately $60. My hopes though is that my versions will a) work better, and b) have more worth in the eyes of the recipient. I definitely know that one person appreciates my homemade gift. Lucie (Gilles’ mom) was visibly disappointed this year at Christmas when I had nothing homemade to offer into the gift exchange. Instead, I had a little light-up reindeer. (Which was well-appreciated anyway).

My other gifts are all in various stages of completion.

Adding to the mess is the attempt to stay on top of things for my wedding (not easy, let me tell you!), and to clean the house (again) before we leave for holidays, in addition to the constant visitors and events.
At first I thought the new year would be different.

Gilles got his “letter” a few weeks ago, telling him that he would be attending school in Moose Jaw for the months of January and February, meaning that he will be up on the weekends and that it will be just me here during the week. Sounds like I’ll have a lot of time, right?

Well… maybe. I already seem to be doing my darndest to fill it all up and I’m not even trying to. For instance, I’m getting a January membership to Curves gym, where I will attend circuit training after work 5 days/week. I took on a project to make Gilles and Caleb’s Halloween costumes from scratch. I want to start my Christmas presents early this year. I want to get a homemade dish made once a week so Gilles has food to bring back down to Moose Jaw with him… see where I’m going with this?

Looking back on my life I can’t remember a single time that I haven’t been crazily busy, short of the summers between school years where I was too young to work. As soon as I was old enough to work, I got two jobs, let alone the fact that I was in almost every school club and many of the sports.

I’m beginning to think that I don’t know how not to be busy. Is that even possible?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Graduation

I’m done.

Has it sunk in? No, not really. It probably won’t until I’m walking across that stage in June.
There are still some things to do… apply to graduate for one. I can’t do that until January. But the point is the same. I never have to go to class again if I don’t want to. No more term papers. No more cramming all night for an exam.

Yup, I can deal with that. :)

Thou shalt not forsake me

And I don’t intend to. As this blog is meant to be an outlet for me, I need to use it more often. See, the last little while has been… intense. I’m trying not to get so caught up in school that I forsake the wedding planning. I’m trying not to get so caught up in wedding planning that I forsake school. I’m trying not to get so caught up in either that I forsake my job – I am still fighting for a permanent position. I am trying not to get so caught up in all three that I forsake my social life. To complicate matters, here comes Christmas.
But, when it rains it pours. A quick update on the wedding planning and then I will move on to (hopefully) more interesting things. I have my hairdresser and make-up artist. The photographer is booked, and our engagement photos are on the 18th. But booking a DJ is proving more difficult than I hoped. Apparently for residents of Gravelbourg to check their email is too much to ask. Customer service needs a good defib.

Anyway.

Have I ever mentioned that I love Christmas? I really do. It’s not so much about receiving gifts, although it is nice to get new things that you don’t have to pay for… haha. But seriously, I love being able to see all of my family, and to be able to give them something that comes from the heart without fear that they won’t accept it.

This year I will get four Christmases. It sounds like a lot, but that’s actually about average since I started dating Gilles. First is his immediate family’s Christmas. This one takes place either really early or really late – never actually on Christmas. Last year I believe we had it in January, and in November the year before. This year will be the first that I won’t have to worry about needing to get schoolwork done, which will be a nice change. His parents will be there, his brother Paul with his fiancĂ©e Bea, and his sister Lise, with her fiance Trevor and their sone Matthew.

For this celebration I am hoping to bring a homemade quilt. I am running out of time, but I think if I can spend all evening on it for two nights this week I may be able to get it done on time. I really hope I can… I think it would be a really great gift for the exchange. (I’ll post pictures of all the gifts as I finish them). It’s my first quilt, so I’m not sure what to expect. My biggest hope is that it will be (somewhat)…
((I ran out of time to post here. I saved a draft, hoping that I would get back to it. Two days later I am back and a lot has changed, so I will post this as the stub that it is and start anew.))

Monday, November 22, 2010

Whirlwinds

A lot has happened this weekend. Some of it I’m very happy about, some… not so much.
But first, I have to show you this:



How excited are we! Haha…

Of course, this isn’t the same weight ticker that I showed you last time. After the last weight ticker I gained a bunch of ‘I’m too tired to cook lets eat pizza or order chinese food’ weight. This ticker is from the day that I got engaged (October 30th), to today (November 22). The end weight is where I would like to be by July 9 for the wedding.

I do have a long way to go, admittedly. But I’m actually losing weight again, and boy does it feel good. (In addition to being annoying that nothing quite fits me right!) I’m noticing a definate slow-down in loss though; I’m going to need to add exercise to my weight-loss regimen soon.

ANYWAY – I was so excited about that I had to share it. But now moving on.

So far I haven’t told you a lot about the actual wedding. A lot of plans have already been put in place. Mom and I are emailing back and forth constantly all day.

The first step was to make sure that we could get the church. I will be getting married in the Cathedral in Gravelbourg – this beauty:



That in itself will be gorgeous. The Cathedral will require very little decorating work, which is nice.
I have decided on Carnations for the wedding flower. The colours will be white and red, with blue as a focal colour. We will have to be very careful not to make it look American. The bridesmaids will wear a deep cherry red (they will each get to pick their own dress within my set restraints) and will hold white bouquets tied with blue ribbon. I will be holding a red bouquet with white baby’s breath and white ribbon. The groomsmens’ ties will match the colour of the bridesmaids dresses, and the only thing differentiating Gilles from the groomsmen will be that he will have a white carnation in his pocket, while his groomsmen will each have a red carnation.

As I mentioned, the church is booked. As is the priest, the cateror for the supper, the bartenders and the reception hall. I am currently working on the photographer, the hair stylist, the make-up stylist, the DJ, the… well you get the picture. The plan is to get the place and people booked and then take a bit of a break from wedding planning to get ready for my finals.

Oh, and I asked my bridesmaids and bought a dress on Saturday! I’ll tell you more about that the next time I get a chance to write :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

And after all those promises too...

It looks like November might end up being the least posted month for my blog so far, even though I said I would be posting even more. (I am after all posting almost daily about my wedding decisions, and not to leave you out of the loop am also posting about everything else that is going on… it’s just invisible you see.)
In truth, I just got so busy again that I couldn’t even see straight, let alone take the time to post.

This last week has been… wow.

Let’s see… when we left off, I was telling you that Gilles’ parent had found out about our engagement, and whining about being hungry. Does that sound about right?

Since then, I have been focusing most of my time and energy on schoolwork – I had a 12 page term paper due for English on Friday, and another 12 page term paper for my Commerce class due yesterday. But, as of right now I have one big project left (due Monday and taking up WAY too much time), and then I’m done my assignments. Forever. Hurrah! Exams are on the 6th and 7th, and then I’m done those too. And then I’ll graduate. Like, for real. Done. Wow.

It’s funny how life can both move at a snail’s pace and incredibly quick.

Ironically, on my first day of University I ran into Gilles. We weren’t dating at the time. His family was on their ‘guys weekend’, and his entire family was roller blading across the student bridge at the same time as I was walking across. It was very awkward – my mom talked to his dad and uncle, and I stood around awkwardly. I wanted to go talk to Gilles and I even waved him over to try to get his attention but he moved as far away as he could without his family thinking that he was leaving him, and stared at his feet. He wouldn’t even look at me.

Four and a half years later, I am finishing my degree and we are engaged to be married. My how times change.

…. And, just because I’m not sure if you’ve gotten to see a picture of him yet, here is my Gilles, shortly after we started dating again.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Overweight + Deadline = Hungry

This week since I have gotten engaged has been very interesting.

First, Gilles didn’t want any of his family to find out until we go down to visit Remembrance Day weekend. Of course, being over-excited and not cluing in, I told my family and just told them not to tell his family about it yet. His mom found out from my second-cousin’s sister-in-law last night. (Like I could have predicted that one though!) Gilles was upset at first, but calmed down quickly. I think it helped that I was hosting a ‘dinner party’ last night. My brother and two cousins came over for roast beef, corn, mashed potatoes, and apple pie.

God. My stomach is churning just reading that.

One of the first things that struck me once I finally clued in that, ‘yes, we are engaged’ and ‘yes, we are getting married this summer’, was that I need to lose a lot of weight in a hurry. My running joke right now is that when most women are pregnant they gain approximately 30 lbs in 9 months – meanwhile I have 9 months to lose 30 lbs.

Thing is, even though I’ve been fighting to lose weight for a long time, I know that I can do it. This is no longer a vague goal amount set for a vague point in the future. It is quite simple, and wonderful. My goal is this. On my wedding day, I want to weigh 150 lbs. Unfortunately due to a couple innings with ribs, chinese food and pizza, I am back at 188.2 lbs currently, so I have a ways to go. However, when I put things into perspective it isn’t so daunting. I am starting at just under 190 lbs (actually I was at 190 lbs the day he asked, and have already been dieting for a week bringing me to 188.2 lbs.). However, a year ago I weighed 203 lbs. And I made it down to 175 lbs this summer despite some lax motivation. So I know I can do it.
I’m not into any of those fad diets. I’m not going to suddenly cut all carbs out of my diet, or eat only cabbage soup for a month. I want to do something that has a chance of lasting for 9 months, and maybe even past. (I say maybe, but what I mean is I really really want it to but realistically I know I’ll gain some back.)
So, I fall back to my old standby – calorie counting. The concept is simple. The average woman burns approximately 1900 calories in a day, just by doing day-to-day activities. (ie/ she would burn more if she went to the gym). Thus, if you burn more calories than you consume, your body is forced to metabolize fat for energy and thus you lose weight.

Therefore, I am restricting myself to a maximum of 1500 calories per day. What does that mean for my body?

Well I certainly won’t hurt myself. In fact, I’m eating much better than I had been as of late. I am drinking lots of water and drinking green tea to try to satiate my stomach, which still hasn’t quite grasped the concept that it won’t be recieving an entire spinach pizza for supper. My stomach will slowly shrink, (the liquids won’t keep it from shrinking as they will be quickly digested), and I will no longer feel as hungry. In fact, I will be eating what I should be eating.

So basically, my diet plan = be healthy.

Of course, there are some catches in this plan. The first catch is that we have a box of Halloween candy sitting in the front entrance still that is begging for my attention. This results in a couple snacks a day. Of course, I am marking these snacks down and accounting for them now, unlike when I wasn’t very motivated. But when you snack on high-calorie foods, it means you can eat less later in the day. (What’s that? A bite-size kit kat bar has the same number of calories as an entire can of chicken noodle soup? But it looks so tasty…)

There are also some times that you really can’t get around eating the not-so-healthy foods. For instance, I had been promising my brother a roast with mashed potatoes and gravy for months, so I couldn’t exactly swap out the meal plan for fish and roasted peppers. And I couldn’t exactly eat something different than my guests. So… (Oh, hi sixty calorie can of soup!) I skipped breakfast, had exactly one can of soup for lunch (with two cans of water added to make it actually sort of fill me up), and ate nothing else until supper.
Fortunately I can finally go grocery shopping tonight, which will result in a very full vegetable drawer. (Vegetables are mostly water – the calories come from the natural sugar – very healthy, and you can eat almost as much as you want of them.)

Unfortunately, I still haven’t found time in my life to get much exercise. When I get home I am making supper, cleaning, and working on homework. If I have any free time, typically I want to spend it with Gilles or out with friends. I do have a few work-out videos as well as a Wii Fit however. So, my thought is that if I can get in even 30 minutes of uninteruppted exercise per day in my own living room, I will be fine. As of 10PM on December 7 I will be done school, thus possibly giving me enough time to warrant getting a gym membership again.

I can do this. I just have to believe I can. And friends? I am going to need your help.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Engaged

It’s still not quite sunk in. I’m engaged. As in, I’m going to get married. (I know, that seems obvious but it took me a while to get to realizing that step).

Gilles is my fiance. I’m his fiancee.

I have over a grand wrapped around my finger. It is gorgeous though.

There are so many implications of being engaged. So much to do, so much to think about. I truly haven’t even grasped the edge of that yet.

I think, as this blog has become both my personal journal and my catharsis, I will document the journey here.
I am getting married exactly nine months from today – July 9th, so it will be quite a journey. A quick one.
:) You can expect a lot of wedding posts. (I hope you don’t mind)… of course, I will continue to blog about the rest of my life too, so you can expect more posts in general .

I have noticed three things since I have gotten engaged (Saturday).

1. The first thing every single person asks is to see the ring. (See the last post before this one if you haven’t seen my pictures of the ring yet btw)

2. The second thing everyone wants to do is hear how he asked. So, here we go. (Ironically I have this story down to a science now… I don’t think I’ve even been changing any of the words the last few times).
I was already in my costume. My hair was curled and pinned, my make-up was on, my costume was on. I was Eve (as in, Adam and Eve.) Gilles had his costume on, but needed my help with his contacts. He wanted to wear purple contacts, but has never worn contacts before in his life. I was fighting to try to get his first contact in, and we had been working on it for about twenty minutes already. He was getting really antsy (which looking back, isn’t like him at all but I thought he was just excited or something). He kept saying that I should just pack them up and I can tape his costume up and put in his contacts for him at the party.

Meanwhile, I kept insisting that once we got there I didn’t want to be hiding in the bathroom trying to put his contacts in, I wanted to hang out with my friends. He was always telling me to lighten up and stop micromanaging every second, so I was trying to do that. But he kept insisting that we had to leave by seven, and he didn’t want to be late. I was getting frustrated and told him that either I was putting them in now, or I was throwing them out. He told me to just throw them out then, but I responded that it would be a waste of $30 to just give up and throw them out. I kept trying for a few minutes. Meanwhile we were both becoming more and more frustrated with each other (as often happens when two stubborn people have opposing opinions, so I thought nothing out of the ordinary with it).

However, then he said to me, “Look. You are impossible to surprise. There is a limo coming to pick us up and it is going to be here at seven so we have to leave at seven.”

My jaw dropped to the floor.

After a pause I snapped into action, put the contact back in its case, and shoved my entire make-up kit in my purse. (Yeah, not sure why I did that). I grabbed the contacts and ran downstairs to put my shoes and coat on.

Meanwhile Gilles was peering outside, and told me that the limo was already here, and that he couldn’t remember if he told the driver we would be in costume.

He helped me to the car (well, actually he started trotting off toward the car while I locked the door, until I asked him if he was seriously expecting me to get to the car without falling on my face on the ice in my heels, and then he helped me to the car).

He had champagne ready for us inside, and informed me that we had the limo for an hour, and then it would drop us off at the party. We chatted some, commented on the limo, commented on the view of the city. About half an hour in, he leaning in for a kiss and started rummaging in his pocket. It was at this point that I clued in what was going on.

He stopped rummaging in his pocket, but I was too nervous to look, so I kept our lips locked. Finally he started giggling so I had to pull away. He held the ring up to me, and sat there looking at me. I couldn’t say anything for a moment, then it became apparent that he wasn’t going to say anything either. The conversation following went a little like this.

Me: You’re just going to sit there?

Gilles: My costume will get in the way if I try to kneel.

Me: I’m sure you can figure it out

Gilles kneels on the floor of the limo. I continue to stare at him, waiting for him to say something.
Gilles: [after a seemingly endless pause that was probably only 2 seconds] Will you marry me?
Me: [while shoving my hand out because he is still holding the ring out as though he wants to set it in the palm of my hand] Yes!

At this point Gilles puts the ring on my finger, and sits back down. I kiss him. He proceeds to ask where the champagne went. I had put it in the cupholder things about 15 min prior”

I spent the rest of the ride spontaneously grinning and waving my hands, and saying “Wow. You’re my fiance. That’s so weird. And I’m your fiancee. Weird.”

Yeah. I’m classy.

…. and the camera battery was dead so we didn’t get any pictures of the limo. Once I get them however, I will post some pictures from the party, and I will take some nice artsy pictures of my ring for you. (Oh yeah, and did I mention that Gilles was dressed up as an executioner?)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Planning

I am a Planning Freak. That could be my official title. Not having a plan for the littlest thing bothers me – a lot. Sometimes I think I’m borderline OCD.

I have a day planner that I put all my assignments, meetings, events and trips in, and if someone is coming to visit, they get put in there too.

My wedding has been planned in my head for years… now that I actually know who I want to marry, some adjustments have been made to suit his personality, but very few. We aren’t even engaged yet.

I have every weekend booked, confirmed and planned from now until mid-December. The only reason why I am not booked until mid-January is that I am waiting to hear from a few others about their December schedules.

I plan what I am going to do each evening at least two days in advance. If friends call and want to go out, or come over (etc.), I have a hard time not getting upset, because it forces my plans to change.

I plan eating out, I plan my shopping trips, I plan doing laundry. I have lists, and lists, and lists.

I think I have always been this way to an extent. I had an agenda that I sometimes used in high school – I would use it especially once I started working and had more time management needs. But in high school I was still up for spontanaity spontenaity spontaneity.

This ‘phenomenon’ must have developed as a direct result of University. I can’t see any other explanation. With the exception of my very first semester, I have always worked while in University. Thus, time management has become a crucial part of my life. Right now I am on the final bend in the road. I have two classes left. My final exams are December 6 and 7. After that, I’m free. (And I can put some fun little letters after my name if I want.)

But focusing on the now, I am starting to notice that I am not only trying to plan out my life, I am trying to plan Gilles’ too.

Has this become an obsession and a part of my personality, or will it begin to dissipate post-degree completion, when I have more free time? I’m hoping for option 2.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

What do you think?

Can I pull it off?
(I guess we’ll find out after Halloween…)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Random Acts of Kindness



Life is good. Life is really good.

It may just be the fact that I actually left the house last night and went to a movie with Gilles and a couple friends, and had a lot of fun. But usually that type of thing has a superficial ‘cheer-up effect’ for the night, and then the next morning when the resultat extreme exhaustion hits (we got home at 12:30AM and I have to be up at 6:30 — Gilles was up at 5:30!), I’m not usually very cheery.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I set and reset the alarm for every five minutes for an hour before I drag my sorry ass out of bed when I’m tired. Thus resulting in my having crappy hair, crappy make-up, and a rather greasy persona. Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that I am not a morning person, and am generally cranky when I cannot wake up to my own body’s schedule. (About 10AM). Whatever it is, usually mornings suck. Especially when I am super busy.

Have you ever noticed that the busier you are, it seems the more people take you for granted? (Oh, don’t worry about that, Chantelle will take care of it…) Never mind that you have about a thousand million other things to do, and no one thanks you for doing a single one of them.

But this week? It seems there is something cosmic going on in the atmosphere that makes people… wait for it… appreciative.

*Insert stunned awe*

Every day this week, I have actually recieved a gesture of appreciation, or a random act of kindness in some form or another. In fact, many days there have been multiple of such!

Take Monday for example. The day was average, I was rather sleepy from the weekend but not extraordinarily so. I worked my day, went home, made supper, went to class. In class we had our presentation for our Commerce class. Our presentation which, (not to toot my own horn or anything but…) I designed. Now, forgive me for being cocky again, but I think it is deservedly such. Our presentation was the most put together and thought out in the class. Am I going to far?

Consider this. Half of the class didn’t read the assignment correctly. The other half, it was obvious that they just threw it together and put no time into practicing. We put careful thought into ours, and ran through it several times throughout the weeks before the presentation. And it paid off. Not only were we the only presentation where no one tripped over their words, forgot what they were supposed to say, or dropped their cue cards, we were also the only presentation that actually timed itself perfectly without using a timer, and the only one to not have any typos, spelling mistakes, or poor graphics that were literally plucked off the internets and onto their presentation without any thought of colour adjustment or even removing the white background behind the picture. Okay. Enough about that.

My point, after that very long ramble about – probably seemingly nothing to most of you – is that after the presentation not only did some of the other students comment on the professionalism of our presentations and the slide, so did our teacher. Yay! My group was very happy, and thanked me several times for cleaning up the presentation for them.

Then on Tuesday, my supervisor returned to work. (She had been working from home the day before). She thanked me for helping her out the day before, and gave me a small box of chocolates. (Okay, granted they were chocolates that she had recieved as a gift and didn’t want to eat, but still!) It made me happy.
Then, yesterday a lady from a marketing firm that we are working with brought me a bunch of information on tourist destinations in southern Ontario. I had told her that Gilles and I were looking at going to Montreal for our honeymoon (I know, I’m planning too far ahead again!) Anyway, is from the Niagara area originally, and thought that it was great so she collected a bunch of pamphlets for me when she went down to visit! We are hoping to be able to drive there and back, and that way see all of the sights both ways :)

Then, last night Gilles and I spent about five minutes thanking each other for doing things that night/in the last few days. Very nice.

Now this morning, I was waiting in line for the Timmy’s drive-thru to get my caffeine fix, and a truck came to try to get into the line from the alley side. The two vehicles in front of me didn’t let him into the line, so I thought – Ah, what the the hell, I’ve got time to spare before work – and let him in. Then, when I went to pay for my coffee at the window, the girl said that the guy in front of me had already paid for it! That has had me smiling all morning.

Later this morning, one my co-workers was complaining that his phone didn’t have a setting to turn off the beeping noise when you press buttons. It really bothered him. So, I took his phone and fixed it for him. Simple. I gave it back to him and explained what I did, and he was practically falling over himself thanking  me. I think I made his day just a little bit sunnier. :)

The last few days have restored my faith in humanity.

Has anyone gone above and beyond to say thank-you to you lately?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Leaves of Brown they Fall to the Ground...

My credit to Van Morrison :) The title is from his song so aptly named, “Autumn Song.”

I think I’ve already talked some about my sentiments on the fall season … (checks back). Yes, I have.
But that’s okay, my topic today is actually Christmas.

For those of you who know me well… okay, and for those of you who don’t… most of you know that I am a crafter. As in, never not doing something. Actually more like never doing less than five projects.

As a result of all this crafty goodness, I can’t help but want to make homemade Christmas gifts for each and every person in the world. Of course, if I made gifts for each and every person in the world I would have to quit my job and drop out of school and likely have a nervous breakdown from still having too much to get done.

But this is my list of Christmas gifts for this year – I have blanked out gifts for those who read this blog, and trust that they will not tell others who do not read the blog what their gifts will be.

Gilles – unknown as of yet. Might be homemade, might not.
Elsie – ######### #######
Nolan – Computer-key coasters
Michael – Beer hat
Kelsey – ###############
Memere – ‘Brag’ book
Grandma – Unknown at this point
Grandpa – Unknown at this point
Mom – #############
Lisa – Cross-stitch -if I have enough time
Joanne – Cross-stitch -if I have enough time
Brodeur Chinese gift exchange – immediate family: ###########
Brodeur Chinese gift exchange – Brodeur side: something storebought
Parent family gift exchange – Don’t know the recipient yet, recipient will determine gift
Bergen family gift exchange – Don’t know the recipient yet, recipient will determine gift
… Looks like I have a busy couple of months!

What am I working on now?

Currently I am finishing up the cross-stitch that I am working on for Lise. So far it is five months late. I’ll get it to her at the baptism. :P I’ll start on the Christmas gifts as soon as I finish (hopefully by the end of the week!)
I’ll post pictures of what items I can as I finish them. :D

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Mmmm...

Have you ever had shoe lust before?

I want this shoe.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Organization



Sometimes I’m great at it. Other times I’m awful. I think most people are like that.

Because I have so little free time, my time is hyper-organized. Today I work until 4:30, go home and eat a bag of instant rice before running to my night class. I then sit in class until we are ‘released’ at 8:30, and then return home. I will then set up my lamp in the office, and attempt to do a little bit of organizing. Hopefully I will have time to clean the bathroom.

Tomorrow, I will again work from 7:30-4:30. I will then stop first at the bank to transfer some money into another account for rent and bills, then stop at the grocery store. I will pick up the ingredients I need for my Thanksgiving desserts, and then return home where I will spend the evening making said desserts. (Hopefully I will have time to enjoy my freshly cleaned bathtub afterward).

It goes on as such. Every day is planned so that there is room for a little flexibility, but not much. This part of my life? Is organized.

However there are other parts that are far from organized. The house still isn’t unpacked. When I return home, I dump the newest handouts from each stack onto my desk, instead of neatly placing them in my binder – because I haven’t found my three-hole-punch in the myriad of items strewn throughout the house.
And you know how I said that I was going to buy the ingredients for the desserts that I am making tomorrow? Well that is all fine and good, except I have no idea where said recipe to get an ingredient list is from…

Which then throws me off my carefully planned schedule.

But I’ve made enough lists. I’ve made so many lists they are no longer any help. The easy answer would be (Duh! Unpack and get organized). I’m working on it. But there’s a long way to go, because quite frankly, that takes TIME. Time that I don’ t have. Time that I won’t have until the new year. But boy, if the house is still full of boxes in December I’ll flip. Gah!

I guess I’ll just have to settle on doing the best I can for now. One step at a time.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Nightmare Before Christmas



How appropriate.

People who are like me (routinely biting off more than they can chew) know what I’m talking about. October is the season for… what? Stress. Panic. A feeling of overwhelmingness.

This year is no different.

I broke down and cried last night. People, I broke down and cried because I couldn’t find my day planner for three days. Straw on the camel’s back, right? (For those who don’t know the story – see here. It is one of Aesop’s Fables.)

Anyway, I have been completely overwhelmed. Totally and completely. Between being crazily busy at work, trying to keep up in my classes, still trying to unpack, trying to keep a clean house (groceries, laundry, housecleaning, etc!), attempting to have a social life, and all that, I’m tuckered out.

What makes it all a bit better though, is that I do love fall. I love crunching the leaves under my feet. I love all the colourful leaves. I love raking up the leaves and putting them in pumpkin garbage bags – because I know that soon there will be more leaves anyway. Fall is like a fresh layer of snow, that never gets dirty.

Fall means pumpkin pie, and mashed potatoes, and stuffing. It means turkey, and gravy, and wine. It means dressing up and pretending to be someone else for a day - not just escapism through reading but in your own life.

It means people getting grumpy because four ‘holidays’ are mushed up into the stores at once: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Remembrance Day, Christmas. (Which as a marketer, I find amusing in a sadistic sort of way).
It means no more worring about the weather and if my parents will get their harvest done.

I hate fall, and I hate the stress that it brings to my life. But most of all? I love fall.

!!!



… more to come.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Wasteland

We started studying a new poem in English last night called The Wasteland, by T.S. Eliot.
I’ll admit it. At first, I absolutely hated this poem. It made no sense, had no progression, and had no true definitive start and end points. It is impossible to read.

However, in class our prof was talking about some of the history behind the poem. This is an approach that very few of my professors have taken in the class before. It is common to learn about the authors themselves, but usually there is no story about how the work came to be.

In this particular case, she divulged that the original poem had actually been ~ 200 lines longer, and Eliot’s friend, Pound edited the poem for him and cut all of this out. This took away many of the connections between the different segments of the poem, and took away much of the poems flow. However, it gave the poem more of a dream-like feel. In essence, the poem was originally connected by being the thoughts of an older gentleman’s mind, disconnected by connected through him. In Pound’s edits, the introductionof the gentleman was removed, and hence this connection.

It truly is a fascinating poem… I’m glad that we are studying it.

You can read the poem here.

Studying this poem has really made me think about the thought progressions of my day-to-day life. How what goes on inside (thoughts) is completely different than your surroundings, and the randomness of it all.
My point? Lists and agendas can only do so much. Life is random. Embrace it.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Thank-you

To some of the greatest friends in the world, Elsie and Nolan.

This post is long-overdue, but I don’t think it is too late to thank-you via photo-montage still…



We ended up with six pies in the end… one of which went to Elsie and Nolan, one went to my neighbours, one went to work, and the rest went in the freezer. We also blanched and froze about 10 bags of beans.

THANK-YOU FOR YOUR HELP!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Born to Knit

Dude Craft posted this tattoo to his blog on September 8th.
LOVE it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

How busy is too busy?

I started my second night class last night… it will be another heavy one.

This caused me to start wondering, how busy is too busy?

Are you okay as long as you get some semblance of sleep and maintain your sanity? Or are you too busy the second you start to lose sleep for the sake of ‘getting things done’?

Is too busy the point at which you give up your social life in order to get “the more important things” done?
I’m working full time, plus. That’s a minimum of 40 hours in the office a week; realistically I spend 45 hours/week (including unpaid lunch breaks), plus an hour each day of commute time. So that brings me to 50 hours taken up.

They say that a minimum of five hours must be spent for each hour of university class outside of class; so based on six hours of class per week, I am looking at 30 hours of homework/study time. (plus the six hours of class brings me to 36 hours at school).

At some point during the week, I must sleep. I know, it’s painful, but I must. So if I’m generous to myself and actually allow eight hours of sleep / night, that means… 56 hours/week used up sleeping.

Okay. 7 days x 24 hours = 168 hours / week.
168 hours – 56 hours sleeping = 112 hours.
112 hours – 50 hours for work = 62 hours.
62 hours – 36 hours for school = 26 hours remaining.

So that means if I am perfectly efficient, I have a total of 26 hours per week free. That doesn’t sound so bad. Thats an entire day. That means that maybe, even if I am un-efficient, I might be able to spend a weekend with friends. Have a social life. Retain my sanity.

… OH. I have a 3 1/2 hour/way drive on Friday, and a 8.5 hour first aid recert with my sister on Saturday, and a 3 1/2 hour return drive Sunday…

(off to crunch some more numbers…)

Well, I think I will keep track of my time… like a time journal. Do you think this is a good idea? Then I can streamline my life for the next few months, determine where I am inefficient, and fix it so that I may maintain some sanity.

So…

Total Time spent per class so far:

English: 10h20
Comm: 3h30

This will be my base, and I will measure time spent on other things from today forward.

… Do you think it will work?

Monday, September 13, 2010

"Camping"

Maybe it would have been safer to go camping. I don’t know.

It probably would have had a similar effect on my wallet. (Ouch.)

It was quite the weekend though.

Fun.

Swimming… Hamburgers… Board and card games… Mini-golf… almost like real camping.

That is, almost except for the fact that we were in the middle of the city, sleeping under a roof (we haven’t turned the furnace on yet, so that made things a little more realistic), and the fact that we ordered pizza and chinese for supper…

Eh… what can I say.

I like camping. :)

(And I need to charge my camera still… sorry!)

Friday, September 10, 2010

A baby, a wedding, and homesickness

Last weekend was quite the weekend. Oh yes.

But for those of you who are jumping the gun and assuming that the reference is to myself in the title… it’s not. (Thank God!) I am not pregnant, Gilles and I did not elope, and I have not suddenly become homesick upon moving into a new place. Although – thinking about it, each of these things are just barely beyond the realm of possibility. Eek!

Okay, focus.

First the baby. Ah, yes. Do you remember the baby that I showed you back at the end of May? That baby has grown a lot, and really filled out. He is so cute. I’ll post a picture as soon as I can – my camera is dead right now – but for now you’ll just have to imagine it. 

Anyway, the boys were gone on their “guy weekend” (5 days hiking, biking, roller blading, canoeing and camping, all without a single woman present) so Gilles’ sister came up with baby Matthew. They got to the house Friday night, and stayed until Sunday noon. Of course, “auntie” hardly let his mommy touch him the entire time.

Spending this much time around a baby, I realized something. I realized that a) I am starting to hear my “clock tick”, wanting a child, and b) I am nowhere near ready to commit that kind of time and give up that much of my life for a child.

Basically, my body is at war with my mind. (Again?!) I think we’ve been through this before. First my body warred with my mind over puberty.

Mind: Okay. Now we’ll just walk between these two posts…
Body: Thud. What’s this? Not fitting.
Mind: Not computing.
Body: Oh… my hips are in the way.
Then, into my late teens my body competed with my mind in an entirely other way.
Mind: Okay. We’ll find ourself a nice guy, date, get married…
Body: Can I have sex with him?
Mind: It’ll be a lovely ceremony. Lots of flowers and gauzy ribbon…
Body: I want to have sex with him.
(and so on)
Now, my we have the baby thing going on.
Mind: My job isn’t permanent, and I have no maternity leave.
Body: Wouldn’t it feel good to have something growing inside you?
Mind: And babies are expensive. We’re barely making ends meet as it is.
Body: Those little feet kicking the inside of your belly…
Mind: Plus Gilles and I aren’t even married yet…
Body: And the comfort of putting your hand protectively on a lump that has nothing to do with your eating habits…

… you get the point.

Maybe it is just the exposure to Matthew that has my clock starting to tick. Maybe it will start to slow down again, as reality kicks in even more.

But… we get to see him again in two weeks. For his baptism. And we’re the godparents. !!!! Life is good…
Next, the wedding.

On the Saturday in the middle of the guys weekend and Lise’s visit, Gilles’ cousin Michelle got married. (And looked beautiful. But unfortunately my camera was already dead by then so I didn’t get any pictures at all. I’ll have to steal one off of Facebook for you.)

The wedding was a lot of fun. I rotated between talking to Gilles’ relatives, holding Matthew, and dancing. It’s funny. Normally at these types of events I get anxiety-ridden at the thought of having to come up with something to say to everyone, and get very shy. This time however, I had no trouble at all. Maybe I’m improving?

Finally, homesickness.

My sister moved to Regina on Saturday to start university. Unfortunately, my mom, who was moving her up, had to get back to the farm right away. It was supposed to rain 2 inches, and our crop wasn’t yet off.
Long story short, I ended up going down to Regina to visit Kelsey. I got there at about 4:30, and stayed ’til about 11:30. I like to think that I helped at least. I like to play the ‘hero’ big sister sometimes. Maybe someday I’ll live up to her expectations.

Anyway, I’m happy to say that she has a really nice set-up in Regina. A large room- as far as dorm rooms go, and only having to share her bathroom with one person.

I am going to put a question out there for you guys though. She doesn’t want to leave her shower towel in the bathroom, as the only place to put it would be over the shower wall. There are no hooks on the door or walls, and no hangers to speak of. She has an open closet, but it is absolutely stuffed… no room to hang a towel there. She is not allowed to use any adhesive (tape, sticky tap, those stick hanger on the wall things) on any of the walls in her dorm. An over the door hanger will not fit on either door.

Do you have any ideas what she could do to have a place to hang her towel? (Besides draping it over her desk chair?)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

And it begins.

Last night was my first night class of the semester. My first class of the semester. My last first class of probably my life.

The class is English 379 – Modernist Writing & Contexts.

Have you taken the class? Do you know anything about modernist writing? Am I going to actually enjoy this class?

I don’t know.

The first class was… incredibly dry.

Perhaps that is because none of us have actually read anything yet, so there is little to discuss.
Perhaps because introductions are typically dull.

Perhaps I’m just so tired of school.

Our first assignment is to read Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, and be prepared with some analysis and suggestions for discussion by next Tuesday.

Did I mention I tried to read Heart of Darkness before? I hated it. I got about a quarter of the way through the book, gave up, and just read the explanation online.

I know. That’s not cool. You could almost say it’s cheating. (But in all fairness it’s not like I stole anyone’s ideas or plagiarized… I just chose not to write about that particular book for any assignment.)

But my point is this. This time, I think I should read it. I think I should open it up, dip in my nose, and read it. All the way from page one, to page… 121. It’s not a big book. It shouldn’t be that big of a deal. But… here I am.

I brought it to work in my purse today. I fully intended to read it over lunch. I was going to start. And until about 11:00, I stuck with my plan. But then at 11:00 I saw it. US! Weekly. And this was the picture on the cover:



The cover story was about these two getting married.

Yeah… I didn’t crack open Heart of Darkness.

But I promise myself– I will tonight. Because if I have to read it this weekend while we are camping, I swear I will do so kicking and screaming.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Do you ever wonder...

About your own sanity?

I do.

Am I paranoid? Maybe, or close to.

See, ever since that window got broken, I can’t sleep through the night.

At least not when I’m alone.

Even though we have an alarm system, I still wake up in terror every time I hear a noise.

I’m in a different place, which is much more secure.

It helps some to know that I have an alarm system. But when I’m by myself, it’s still not enough. I still wake up through the night listening to the creaks and groans of the house settling.

Is that sane?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Puppy

Kelsey just sent me a bunch of pictures of our new puppy at the farm. He has no name yet, but how cute is he??

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Personalized

I need to hear back from you.

See, I need to know what you think.

Do you like Ten on Tuesdays? Do you like Fun Finds Fridays?

I do know that I need to add in more personal posts in between. I am aware that my blog has been a little bit… overwhelmed by these weekly posts as of late, because I had fallen behind.

Unless you tell me not to, I will continue to catch up with these posts. I enjoy doing it. But at the same time, I will continue to put actual posts in here… posts where you get to see what I’m thinking, feeling, doing. I haven’t been doing a very good job of that lately.

My life… is weird lately. That is really the best way I have to describe it. I am so used to being in school. I have been in university for four years now, and highschool/elementary for 12 years before that. School is a fact of life.

It’s not as though I’m not going to be in school this fall. In fact, I start school again two weeks from yesterday.

But this year, I’m going to be taking two night classes. And that’s it. Two night classes.

This will be the first time that I can remember, where I am not going to school full-time in the fall.

Granted, I’ll be busier than ever. This fall I will be taking an English and a Commerce class… two classes that are both very heavy in reading and writing. I will also be working full-time, and I’m praying that my weight-loss/fitness journey will not be negatively affected by this. (I’ll write more about this journey at some point, you can count on it.) In fact, I think my gym membership becomes active again on the 7th. I hope my gym membership becomes active again on the 7th. I’ve never been a part-time student before. Am I afforded less priviledges than the full-time students? I hope not.

See, I’d really like to get back onto my 5x/week gym routine. 30 min, 3 days/week, 1hr30min, 2 days/week. And if my gym membership does not activate in the fall, I’ll have to put together the money to buy a membership elsewhere. It isn’t a question.

My body has been crying for the gym for sometime now. It’s weird. In the past I would have never said that I enjoy the gym. I had to drag myself there, Every Damn Time. But it’s been four months since I’ve been to the gym now, more than that if you count that I didn’t go to the gym as frequently as I would have liked during finals in April. The last “real” physical activity I had was my marathon in May. May 30th.

Today, it feels like someone has punched me in the ribs. I don’t know why it is like that, but I do know that a good cardiovascular work-out would make that feeling go away.

After work today I will be going to the hospital to meet my Grandma for coffee. She is there for her check-up, and wants to see me before she leaves the city. She still doesn’t know that Gilles and I live together. I want to tell her. I don’t want to tell her. I really don’t know what I want to do there. I’m sure you’ll hear more on that front.

Anyway, my point is that I will be late getting to the house, where I will rush and make supper, but Gilles wants to spend at least two hours at the apartment cleaning today since we didn’t get there yesterday because he wasn’t feeling well. … I was thinking about going to Regina with Gilles this weekend. I won’t be. I’ll be staying home cleaning the apartment instead.

Haha did I mention that right now is my “non-busy” time? My classes are done for the summer and don’t start again until the 7th. I guess it is more of a “not busy + moving = pretending not to be busy”?
Anyway, I’m taking off the 3rd from work, so that I can have an extra long labour day weekend. That’ll be my summer vacation this year. I can’t wait.

I’ll leave you with a few pictures from my high school graduation, as I think that they are appropriate for today’s subject. Enjoy!







Friday, August 20, 2010

Today's Forecast: Sunny and partly ... smokey?

It may be because I am already coughing, but the smoke in today’s air is unmistakable, and even the Star Phoenix’s weather update recognizes it:



Do you know what this is from? Is it from the forest fires up north? While that would seem like the obvious answer, why wouldn’t they have affected us before?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fun Finds Friday, Vol. 3 (For July 30)

Today’s theme is… skirts. Seeing as it is summer and hence skirt season, I thought it would only be appropriate.

1. “Traditional Hi Low Skirt” from Sears: $59.99

I really like the looks of this skirt because it is appropriate to wear out for the night, or you can wear it to the office during the day. When you are shopping on a budget, versatility is everything.

2. “Apple Pickin’ Skirt” from Made With Love By Hannah: $68

I’m not sure that I would wear this skirt to work, but it would be perfect for a walk in the park, or along the river. This skirt just screams carefree and relaxed to me.

3. “Tamara” from Great Glam: $25

This skirt is just so much fun! Of course it would be worn for both special events, and every day fun-shopping etc, wear.

4. “Pleated Peplum Skirt” from Forever 21: $35

Again, this skirt is more frivolous and fun than it is practical, but paired with a nice black shirt or blazer it could be worn to work…

5. “Double-layered Eyelet Skirt” from the Gap: $29.99

This skirt is fun and flirty. It can be worn at the office again, or would be perfect for a picnic (as long as you have a blanket to sit on!)

6. “Vista Skirt” from Athleta: $54

I love this skirt because it looks like it would be completely versatile. You could dress it down to walk or lounge around the house, or dress it up for work or a fancy event.

7. “Teal Plaid Pencil Skirt” from Ricki’s: $45.50

I don’t know what it is with plaid skirts, but I love them. Maybe it’s the whole “Catholic school girl” side of me coming through!

8. “Blue Canoe Wrap Skirt” from Not Just Pretty: $54.60

The great styling isn’t even the best thing about this skirt. The best thing is that it is made from 94% organically grown, renewable materials!

9. “Lilikoi Lily Skirt” by Not Just Pretty: $90

From the same store as the previous skirt, this number will be available this fall.

10. “G-Star Vintage Mini-Skirt in Raw Denim” from Revolve Clothing: $168


Okay. So I couldn’t honestly write an entire post about skirts without including a jean skirt. But jean skirts really don’t impress me, nor do I really like them. So a jean skirt has to really stand apart from the rest to get my vote. Despite the price, (although the price would result in my never ever buying this skirt), this skirt stands apart for me.
November 30th, 2011 - Present

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Weight Loss Tools

2009 - Present My Weight Ticker