Friday, July 29, 2011

Summer Fever

Every summer it seems to be the same thing. I get antsy, and don't want to work.

Don't get me wrong, I love my job, my coworkers, and what I do for a living in general. At this point, I wouldn't change it for anything. But every summer the same thing happens. It's like my body is still in high school mode. My mindset starts going 'It's vacation time, you don't have to work'. 'What are you doing at work? You're supposed to be sitting on the beach.' 'Let's just take off from work and go fishing!' 'I wanna go hang out outside.'

I am hoping that spending the next three days camping with Gilles will help me get out of this rut, because quite frankly it gets annoying when you are trying to pay attention in a meeting at work, or trying to get work done in general - and all you can think about is 'let's go home,' 'I wanna go camping...' etc.

Do either of you get this sort of... Summer fever?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Nestle Meth

I am an donor to a program that educates elementary and high school students on drugs and their harmful effects. They call every two years for a new donation, each time talking about the new 'big drug' on the street. Most years I have already heard of the problem before they tell me about it, but this year's really surprised (and scared) me. Apparently the big thing entering schools now, is that drug dealers are mixing meth with strawberry nesquick, which then mixes together to form a hard candy. They are then giving this to kids, who don't know what they are eating, and quickly become addicted. Evidently it is called 'Strawberry Quick' and has been in the US for almost a handful of years already, but has only recently become available in Canada.

For more information, see: http://www.anti-meth.org/Candymeth.html

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

TGI....W?

Thank God it's... Wednesday?

Crap. You mean I'm not leaving to go camping after work?

I'm really not about to go stretch my legs and enjoy the great outdoors, and (holy moly) sleep in?

Two whole more days??

Okay. Maybe I'm a little over-excited. But I'm gonna get to learn to roller blade, damnit!

:D

The weekend is coming, and I'll be ready.

In the meantime, Guen is "finally" getting fixed tomorrow. (Seems like finally to us, but really he's a month younger than the recommended age to get him fixed. More on this soon!)

And because I have no good relavent pictures today, enjoy another picture from the wedding! (In other news, I still have to get done my thank-you cards from the second/third bridal showers, then the wedding thank yous. Sorry!!)


Monday, July 25, 2011

The value of family, friends, and time.

One will often hear me complaining about how busy Gilles and I keep ourselves. The complaints are honest, if not intentional. We do keep very busy, and it does become tiring and stressful. What I don't usually mention is that we keep busy not necessarily for ourselves, but for love of our friends and family. Take last week for example (an average week).

Monday: we worked a full day, then I had a dentist appointment and Gilles went to the gym with Jarrod and Lisa, then we got home at about the same time, and made supper, eating at about 10PM and then crashing into our beds around midnight.

Tuesday: Another full day at work, a quick supper, then Gilles did some housecleaning while I went out to see "The Winter's Tale" with Elsie. Home about 10PM, in bed by about 11:30PM.

Wednesday: Gym with Jarrod and Lisa again. Home by about 8:30PM. Spent some time visiting at the house while I made supper, at at about 10PM, in bed by about 12AM.

Thursday: Lots of running around: fishing reel, licenses, etc. Grocery shopping. Got home about 7:30PM. Gilles put away groceries, while I started supper. In bed around 12AM.

Friday: Gym with Jarrod and Lisa. Home by about 9PM. Visiting, supper, laundry, quick housecleaning. Getting ready for visitors tomorrow.

Saturday: Sleep in! Some housecleaning. Lise, Trevor and Matthew arrive at about 5PM. Supper, then ice cream and long walk. Home about 11PM, in bed by about 12AM.

Sunday: Get up earlier because only have morning to visit left. Spend morning playing with toddler/controlling cat. They leave at about 11:30AM, spend afternoon housecleaning. Friends come over to watch Rider game/play cards. Stay 'til about 10PM. In bed by about 12AM.

See, it isn't the fact that we are spending this time with friends and family that gets to you, it is the near constant nature of the thing. We found out on Thursday evening that Gilles' sister/family would be coming to visit over the weekend, and as much as I love them, I wanted to pout and whine that I have no time to just relax and not entertain people/visit people. It was after all, our first weekend home since May and our last until mid-September. But at the same time, it is important that we get all of our time in now. Basically, fill up with family, friends, and life now because it does have an expiry date. After all, what is this life for if not for living?

In the end, I was really happy that they were over. It was a lot of fun, and we don't get to see them often. I guess what I'm trying to get across is that even if you are worth $1M/hour, no time is as valuable as that spent with family and friends. And that is why we will continue to spend as much time as possible with these people, and keep as busy as possible, no matter how busy or tired it makes us. We have our whole life yet to live, and I'll be happy to do so with those I love by my sides.



Friday, July 22, 2011

Yum!!

One of the things I've mentioned here in the past is that Gilles is a picky eater. No cooked vegetables, limited raw vegetables, no sea food, and a number of other things. I am the complete opposite (Is it edible? I'll eat it!), so it makes meal preperation difficult, especially when one is dieting.

At the time of my wedding I hit a new low, or high, depending on how you look at it. The day of my wedding I was the heaviest I have ever been in my life.

I started out the preperation for the wedding determined that I was going to lose at least 30lbs before the wedding, and in the first 20 days quickly lost the ten pounds. Unfortunately, that's when reality hit. There was so much to do with wedding preperation, that I simply couldn't handle taking control of my weight at the same time. Wedding or weight, something had to give or else I was going to lose my sanity (and then possibly lose both.) So, my weight went.

What I did manage to maintain throughout the wedding planning process was going to the gym, as it was a much needed stress reliever, so at least I didn't have to start from scratch on both fronts. Immediately after the wedding, I began watching what I was eating and calorie counting again, and it's working. Groceries are much more expensive and making meals is much more trying, sure. (No frozen pizzas?!) But I've lost 5 lbs so far, and I am intent on making it work.

As I mentioned above, the biggest challenge with this isn't cooking homecooked meals every night, it's finding something that Gilles likes as well. I have been trying new recipes every day, (ones off the internet that I think that he will like), and then asking him to rate them from 1-10. Most days I get an eight, so I don't put those in my recipe book. Only 9's and 10's will do. But last night I got a resounding 10. Yay!

I tried Ginger Me up Chicken! Low Fat Honey & Ginger Chicken Breasts from Food.com, and boy oh boy. Not only was it tender and juicy, it was also a snap to make. I made the sauce while the chicken was defrosting, and then had the 45 minutes while it cooked to clean the entire kitchen! This is definitely going into a regular rotation. Try the link above! It's worth it. :)


(Photo courtesy of Food.com)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Winter's Tale (Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan) - Review

Warning: Includes some spoilers


(Image courtesy of TourismSaskatoon.com)

Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan recieves my applause once again, for a wonderful performance.

Despite challenges of heat and distraction, players were able to give a near flawless performance of "The Winter's Tale" last night. I sat close enough to the stage to see the sweat drenching the costumes, and yet there wasn't a single occasion when anyone stepped out of character - and convincing performances they were.

Every small detail was taken into consideration - from the shaking hands of Hermione (Cheryl Jack) as she expressed her distress, to the veins showing in Leontes' (Matt Burgess)' neck as he convicted his wife to jail. Hair was greyed to show the passage of time between the first and second acts. Hearts leapt to the aid of Paulina (Anita Smith) as she faced Leontes, incensed by his refusal to admit his offspring.

The lesser number of actors in this years' play did cause some confusion on my part. I first thought Perdita to be Mamillius dressed as female to hide his identity (both played by Jamie Lee Shebelski), and both Antigonus and Autolycus to be the same character, albeit with a strong confidence boost (both played by Leon Willey). However, as the storyline progressed, it was easy to see my err, as Shebelski played a very sweet, feminine Perdita, in contrast to Mamillius who enjoyed playing with toys and playfighting; and Willey played a very boisterous and exhuberant Autoclyus, in contrast to the shaking, meek Antigonus.

While I did find myself fidgeting by the end of each act due to the highly uncomfortable seats, my attention was captured every moment. This year's group of players is incredibly talented, and well worth seeing. I look forward to seeing their other play, "Love's Labour's Lost", later this season.

Friday, July 15, 2011

I'm baaaaack!

**Edit: Sorry this took me so long to post! It took me all week to put this together**

One of my coworkers summed it up pretty accurately by saying 'We're gonna miss Chantelle Parent... but we're looking forward to meeting the new girl!'



New girl, indeed.

The wedding had the good, the bad and the ugly.

Let me start from what I consider to be the beginning: Wednesday.

I worked Wednesday until 3PM. [I was supposed to work until 4:30, but my boss started pushing me towards the door at about 12PM :) ]

I had a few errands to run - namely, I still had no decorations for the car or a pen to sign the register. First I checked at Walmart at the south end - no luck. I did a quick search on my phone and found a wedding boutique downtown that looked promising, and it was. I not only got what I needed, but on sale too!

Gilles and I then had to finish writing our wedding speeches that night, as we had spent 4-6 hours on them the night before but finally set it aside in frustration. I also had to finish printing off the programs for the ceremony. There was also cooking, cleaning, and packing to be done. Or at least, that was my plan.

It was 6PM when I arrived at home. I was already frustrated about the amount of stuff that had to be done still, and the fact that I had to leave Thursday morning, rather than that night. Emotions were running high, and so when I requested some help from Gilles, the kindling was lit. Gilles was frustrated about having to help with what was not supposed to be his thing, and I was frustrated at not receiving any help. We ended up chatting for a couple of hours before we started doing anything - as it seems to be when we get frustrated with each other - everything goes on hold until the issue is solved. It ended with Gilles agreeing to fold the programs once they were printed, while I finished the speeches (it was just my parts left) and worked on the laundry.

After working on them for awhile, I headed upstairs to use the washroom. Before I headed back down, I stopped to check the answering machine. Four messages. The first two were hangups. Ok, good. The next one threw me. It was my seamstress calling. The modesty piece had fallen out of my dress at her house, and could I come pick it up before I left town? I faltered. The next message was from Simply Sentiments, asking me to book an appointment to pick up my linens. (This being despite the fact that I had already arranged with one of my bridesmaids for her to pick them up, and phoned Simply Sentiments requesting that this be possible and to please call me if it would be a problem). I broke down. That was all it took - I was sprawled across the floor crying. (Looking at it writtne in this way I feel like an idiot. But knowing my emotional state and how overwhelmed I was already before recieving the messages, I don't think I'd react any differently now.)

Gilles had his headphones on, so I assumed that he wouldn't hear me. That I could have a good cry and then go about what I was doing, and he would be none the wiser. Apparently, he knows me better than that. When he noticed I was no longer in the living room, and that I was out of the living room longer than normal, he came upstairs to find me, knowing that this exact situation had likely unfolded. I explained what happened to him, and he became an angel right in front of me. He offered to finish cleaning the kitchen and do the laundry, as well as the already promised program folding and taking out the garbage. My hero. I then got back to work working on the speech. After I had calmed down and cleared my mind, I realized that I could at least ask my bridesmaid to contact Simply Sentiments and work out the linens, and that she could phone me if they weren't willing to cooperate. After I sent a rather longwinded, ranting and explicit text message explaining what was going on, she quickly agreed to help - not only to sort out the linens but to also pick up the modesty piece. Another hero.

We ended up cleaning up and finishing the speeches Wednesday night, but nothing else. Thursday I packed everything up, (mentally freaking out about the possibility of forgetting something for the wedding in Saskatoon), stopped at Walmart to pick up an extra set of toothbrushes/paste (so I could send a bag to the B&B early for our wedding night), and headed down to the farm.

Luckily, I did remember everything, because by the time I left it was 1PM. I met the town representative to look over the rink, did the check through, and got back to the farm just in time to eat and then head back into town for a sound check at the church. The guy who was supposed to do the sound check with us didn't show, so Mom and I did it ourselves and told him to meet us there the following evening. I spent the rest of that evening folding programs.

Friday we dropped off the wedding night overnight bag at the Master Manor B&B (a great place, if you're looking to stay around Gravelbourg), ate a quick lunch, and then went into town to setup. Setup was set for 1PM, with lots of friends and family helping. Gilles didn't arrive 'til 3PM. I was fuming.

Shortly after Gilles arrived, his mom and sister arrived with a surprise for me. Instead of the 3 sheet cakes I had asked Gilles' mom to order from the Co-op, his sister had surprised us by making a 3-tier wedding cake as our wedding gift. I was really happy and excited.



Setup took until about 5PM, with minimal problems. At this point, we had to race back home for supper before the rehearsal!

The wedding rehearsal was at 7:30PM. It was pretty straightforward, although I had to admit that I would not remember any of it by the next day. After that, it was sorting out some last details at the rink, and heading home to bed. I was in bed at about 11PM.

The next day was.... a gong show. We were up at 7:30AM in order to get to the hairdressers at 8:30AM. When we arrived there, we were informed that the other hair dresser's car had broken down in Regina - but not to worry, that she would be there in about an hour. The plan was that one hairdresser was going to do the bridesmaids and my hair, and the other was going to do Kelsey's hair (she has lots of hair), and Angie would do the makeup in the meantime.

The other hairdresser never did come. What was supposed to be a 2-3 hour appointment stretched to 5 hours, and we found ourselves struggling to get it done in time. (The hairdresser managed Kelsey's hair in an hour flat - I am still amazed.)

We all piled into my parents truck and raced (130km/h on a 90 highway) back to the farm, while I called the photographer to let her know that we were on our way to the farm, so she could get some 'getting ready' photos. Once we got to the farm, I realized that my modesty piece was still in town. My dad offered to drive to town to get it, but that's a 30 minute round trip, and the wedding was supposed to start in 30 minutes. We ended up enlisting the help of my aunt and uncle, who went to the rink, found it, and broke many speed violations getting it to the farm in time. In the meantime, we were trying to make my ballet ribbons work on my shoes, but every time I shifted position the ribbons would all fall down. Finally we had to cut them and just tie them around my ankles. We got a lovely picture of my mom under my dress trying to get them done up though :)

We managed to get me dressed and out the door at 2:20PM. We had 10 minutes to get to the wedding - a 15 minute drive away. And by God, we got there in time. The priest was standing up at the front of the church talking already when we walked in, meaning that the men were already up there too. We hardly had time to adjust our dresses before the music started playing, signaling the first bridesmaid to walk up. Elsie was trying not to cry, and I was trying not to hyperventilate. Dad kept checking to see if I was ok. I'm not sure whether he was worried about me hyperventilating, crying, or becoming a mess and not walking up the aisle. But, we made it up there okay.



The rest of the wedding went great. There were some little things, like Gilles and I didn't know where to stand after signing the register at the church, and we made some mistakes in our first dance... but as a whole, the night was a tonne of fun, and i would hardly change anything. Now, I just have to do the legal legwork and I'll officially be Chantelle Brodeur!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I can hear the bells.

I bid adieu, my fair friends. I will return sometime next week, but until then, I can hear the wedding bells ringing. I will be married in three days' time. The weather network is still calling for 23 degrees celcius and sunny, so so far so good.

I will return a married woman, with a different name.

Au revoir, for now.

Monday, July 4, 2011

5 Days! (OMG)

So.... I'm going to be a Mrs. in 5 days!!

Part of me wants to pause time, just savor the moment, my last few days as a 'single' woman.

Part of me wants to scream to the skies (is this really happening?)

Part of me wants to run around like a chicken with my head cut off figuring out last minute details. This part would be prevailing. (Was there ever any doubt?)

There are a few big items and many small items left on my list.

My dress is done - I have to call my seamstress to set up an appointment to try it on (and pay her, and try the veil/jewellery with it). That's the biggest. There are also things like:

- Fix (re: fill, repair) my gel nails.
- buy more ink
- finish printing programs
- test sound system (church)
- make/send schedules to those involved
- put together bridesmaid gifts
- write in groom's cards (Gilles)
- write speech (eep!)
- pick up helium tank/balloons
- pack seperate bags for B&B
- buy baskets
- buy drink tickets
- ink for pen (or new pen)
- buy little plates
- buy reserved signs
- buy plastic glasses
- buy white sheet
- transfer $ for cheques

Did I mention there are 5 days? Really 4 that I can actually do stuff.

ergh. Meet Chantelle, superhuman accomplishments-a-bot.

Heh.

Good news is that the weather report has consistently announced good weather for the day of the wedding!!! I hate to get my hopes up, but God Damnit I don't want rain.

November 30th, 2011 - Present

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