Wednesday, July 29, 2009

If you're looking for me, I'll be at the track

It was a great way to celebrate my birthday, and her birthday. A lot of sunshine, a splash of Bud Light Lime, small bets that were enough to make us hold on to our hats. Multiple sunscreen applications. Superman ice cream cake, and more than a handful of good people to eat it with. Freezies and branded fans in the condo to keep cool. In the end, I think I made a couple bucks, but generously donated it (and more) back to Northlands for beer. Because I'm sweet like that.

It's good to have weekends like this to realize just how wonderful your friends are. And to help lovely people fill Alberta must-dos before they leave us (me) for the east coast.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Vote for Andrea: "the one in the stripes"

Click the above picture to be taken to article in the Edmontonian.

It's an indoor joke.

My baby, the nurse. The caregiver. The one who is always full of sweetness, compassion and love for all things. The one who, at 21, is way more emotionally mature than most people I know. More confident. Beautiful, inside and out.

I'm so glad that she's made her way across the country this summer to live and work in my city. To live with me for the first time in seven or eight years. My little blonde baby. I'm so proud to be your big sister. You're so full of knowledge, give such good advice, and you act like a little old granny like I do. We're lame in the most delightful ways.

Happy birthday, love.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009



Graduate university. Twice.
Move across the country.
Live in fabulous downtown apartment.
Find a career instead of just a job.
Determine who your real friends are.
Make some new ones.
Travel when you can.
Get involved in your community.
Find the love of your life.
Show your love off to your family and friends back home.
Surround yourself with people who inspire, encourage and support you.
Enrol in a Masters program.
Celebrate. A lot.
Have cupcakes for breakfast.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mr. A to Z.

I just got word from one of my lovely ladies that she picked us up tickets for the Jason Mraz concert here in October. Two of my favourite current and past coworkers + Jason Mraz = fabulous girl date. I'm so excited!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Always. Sometimes. Never.

[via PostSecret]

I always…
Say thank you.
Think that a round or two of cribbage and a good bottle of wine is the perfect way to spend an evening.
Would go out of my way for my family and friends.
Require a cup of coffee to get going in the morning.
Call people “buddy”, “doll”, “darling”, “lady”, or “miss”.
Spread myself too thin, I’m working on it.
Dance. Ridiculously.
Believe life is better with cupcakes.
Recite my daddy’s motto: “Life’s too short to be miserable”.

I sometimes…
Mail people cookies.
Miss living in the country.
Forget my cell phone, and feel oh so disconnected from the world… even if no one calls or texts me that day.
Can’t make it through books, newspaper articles, or the back of the cereal box without feeling the urge to edit.
Am unable to say “no”.

I never…
Keep up with the languages I’ve learned -- Spanish, French and Italian.
Will be finished learning.
Have regrets, not because I don’t do dumb things, but because there’s no point dwelling on them. If you learn your lesson, there’s nothing to regret.
Take family for granted, anymore.
Have felt the way about anyone, the way I feel about the Boy.
Thought I’d meet some of my favourite people in the world while blogging.

This has been going around the blogosphere, since I obviously can't resist peer pressure, I give props to Kyla and Mel.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

On my Albertaversary


Approximately two and a half years ago, I told my "from there to here" story. I read it again on Sunday, my three year Albertaversary.

As I'm packing up all the things I've accumulated over the past three years, it's strange to be transported back to the days where my sole piece of furniture was my bed. As I look forward to my "Kentucky Derby"-style birthday extravaganza (hats and horses! gambling!), it's hard to remember the tears on my twenty-second birthday when I had no one. Moving out here was a big shock to almost everyone who knew me -- except maybe my Daddy, who had been telling everyone for months that I was going to take the plunge. I had never been a risk taker, so it was a big deal for me to move across the country on a whim, with the promise of a writing test for a job... not even an interview. I had a feeling.

With my university and high school friends spread across Ontario, and North America, it wasn't too hard for me to pack up and head somewhere by myself. It made sense to go where the jobs were. And the jobs weren't in Ontario, not for public relations anyway. It was empowering to come out here and be handed jobs, my experience lauded rather than being dismissed by the Toronto PR crew.

It was exciting to have the roomie join me a month later, even though I had only known her for a couple months. It was fun to have someone to explore with, to get lost with, to find new hot spots and have new adventures. Though we've had our ups and downs, it was necessary that I had her to get me through the homesick days and help me celebrate small victories.

I've made a life out here. Originally the plan was to come for a couple years, lap up all the experience I could, and return to Ontario. Last weekend my parents said, not even really a question, You're not moving back, are you? And I don't think I am. There's too much for me here. I've made a good group of friends, I've found the Boy, I'm starting my Masters. I've got an incredible boss, the best mentor I could ask for, and fabulous co-workers. I'm involved in things I'm passionate about, even though they stress me out sometimes. I managed to get together a motley crew of friends and acquaintances to raise over $5,000 for cancer research this year alone. If the right opportunity came along, who knows? But I'm happy here.

This weekend, as I move away from the downtown core (sob!), I'll begin a new adventure. It will be me and the Boy (and for a couple months, Kitty), 24-7. It will be less walks across the river to Whyte Avenue and a new section of the river valley to explore. It will be deliberate girl-dates with the roomie, rather than merely running into each other at the apartment. It will be a twice-daily trip on the LRT, instead of a six-block walk to work. It will be study time and essays instead of nightly walks to Starbucks. It's wondering how I'm ever going to get my Christmas shopping done when I'll be with the Boy all the time, and when I'll only be in this city for two weeks between mid-November and Christmas. It's erasing all traces of my old address and home phone. It's separating three years of accumulated furniture, dishes, and decorations. It's removing the skeleton from our front door who's changed to suit the seasons since the Halloween party we had where I first made out with the Boy nearly two years ago. It's moving out, without moving on.

And I couldn't be more excited.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Play me that country music

Thursday was a happy night. The sunshine came out for the first time in days as Kitty and I ventured to the stadium for Jake Owen, Jaydee Bixby, Taylor Swift and Kenny Chesney. Mini donuts and Corona. Not actually sitting in our seats. Seeing cute couples two-stepping and realizing that I'll never have that with the Boy -- it's not his scene -- but it's okay. I had Kitty to swing around. Plotting a trip to Big Valley some year. Throwing our heads back in laughter, feeling at home in the middle of the big city. Dancing from nearly 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on the football field. Waiting in line for the LRT as someone started the Let's go Riders chant, the lone guy who started up cheering for the Esks quickly being phased out. Running up the stairs to be the last people on the train before they closed the doors.

Even though it was a present for Kitty's birthday, it was good to have someone to listen to country music (and dance around like a moron) with me. Both of us subscribe to the "dance like no one's watching" type of dancing -- arms flailing, finger guns, the sprinkler, twirling 'til the dizzy hits... I couldn't have asked for a more perfect night.

Monday, July 13, 2009

On miracles

My little "quote of the day" calendar on my work desk for Friday said "Our most basic instinct is not for survival but for family. Most of us would give our own life for the survival of a family member, yet we lead our daily life too often as if we take our family for granted." --Paul Pearshall

Taking the family for granted is the last thing I'm doing now. It's been a weekend of the Royal Alex, bruises, sore muscles, hugs, tears and a How I Met Your Mother marathon. Mom mentioned that it wasn't ideal bonding time, but I don't think it was possible to be any more bound together.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


The entire city has been battered and bathed. It's okay because we need it. The forecast is anything but sunny, which makes me crave my heavy bedding and a book. Or melancholy tunes. Or tea and granny squares with A. Instead, I slave through the day knowing how it will end... with the unpacking of boxes, like nearly every other day for the last, and next, couple of weeks.

So, amidst the moving madness, it was nice to escape this weekend with the Boy to the mountains. My (other) greatest love. Head over to Flickr to see my other shots from our travels this weekend.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Friday, July 3, 2009

Up, up, and away

[stolen from the lovely Andrea]
Munchkins, I just had to leave a message about how excited I am to be jetting off tomorrow for an overnight in the mountains with my favourite fella. With all the chaos swirling around me in the past couple weeks, it's good to have someone who grounds you. It's good to get away to a space where you just want to swing out your arms, throw back your head and breathe it all in.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy (belated) Canada Day

I'm a day late, but as yesterday was a holiday I was nowhere near the computer. Instead, I tried my best to get the pictures in the Boy's kitchen to go on the wall in a straight line, we walked down to the Legislature for a fabulous picnic with Kitty and A, stared in shock at how empty my house is getting as I threw some more stuff into boxes, and watched the fireworks from my balcony. Fireworks are one of my very favourite things.

Alas, today's back to work, feeling very much like a Monday rather than a Thursday. On the plus side, the weekend (and tonight's football game) is on the horizon. Oh, and tomorrow my parents fly into town.

Yesterday on our way to see the hoards of people swimming at the Ledge, little kids with burnt faces, and more ice cream trucks/carts then we could count on both hands, Kitty mentioned that Canada Day was just like any other day.

"But aren't you glad to be Canadian?" I gasped.

"Meh," she shrugged.

"Don't you enjoy your civil liberties? Democracy? Health care? The fact that you're a woman and you live here rather than in somewhere like the Middle East? Political stability?"

"I guess," she pondered. "It's just that I haven't had to go through that by living somewhere else."

True enough. We're pretty lucky. I, for one, am pretty proud to be Canadian.