Christmas Time is Here!

I enjoyed my first married Christmas with Russ and the fam, and it was wonderful! I hope your Christmas has been merry and bright.


In the Deep Freeze...

One of the wonderful things about living in Canada is the glorious Arctic cold fronts that move in and camp out, plunging temperatures well into the negative digits (centigrade), as well as dumping delightful piles of crunchy snow everywhere. As delightful as all this wintry weather is, it has angered our car Max, and Max now refuses to start. On top of that, our apartment building was bathed in the warm glow of a fire last night. No big deal--fire in the garbage room, which filled the halls with smoke and forced the residents to wait in the cold for 20 minutes, but a neat little bit of excitement, to be sure. Oh well. Only a few more days until Christmas, and only ONE more day of work until a bit of time off and getting to spend time with family!!


Merry and Bright

Temperatures are plunging and snow is falling...the most wonderful time of the year? In spite of the icky weather, all is well. I'm nearly done gathering my gifts, and am looking forward to spending time with the fam! The mall is crazy, and people are frantic to get everything done. I refuse to be sucked into the vortex of stress and instead, attempt to remain an outside observer. I refuse to allow stress to get to me, and I shall emerge from the frenzy, cool as a cucumber. I can't wait!


It's Christmas Time Again, Charlie Brown...

Retail tries to ruin Christmas for me. Being forced to listen to stale, boring classic Christmas music on a loop right after Halloween, being surrounded by crazed shoppers day in, day out...Christmas isn't about the gifts. It isn't about the baking and treats (though they are really great!), it isn't about the lights and the decorations, but it's been eclipsed by them. The consumerism of this holiday is especially frustrating because I'm surrounded by it daily. Being stuck in the mall at Christmas is frustrating. I love Christmas. I love listening to the good music, decorating a tree, (even if it as tiny little one on our table), I love spending time with family, making and eating treats...Christmas is a sweet time, outside of the mall.


T'is the Season...

The first snow has fallen...and melted, but there is a distinct chill in the air.

Things have definitely taken a more festive turn, and everything is beginning to feel holiday-esque. Work is a frenzy of holiday-product-related activity, and people are already frantic to get their holiday shopping completed.

This will be the first Christmas that Russ and I will actually spend together. We will actually be together on Christmas morning, rather than talking on the phone. We will actually have presents for each other under the tree, and will get to see the other unwrap them.
While I dread the time leading up to Christmas, as working in retail has that effect on anyone, I'm definitely excited for my first holiday with my husband.


Much to be Thankful For...

Thanksgiving flowers from family

Lovely fall days

A wonderful husband

I hope that everyone else is feeling thankful for life's blessings!


One Month-Aversary.

Today we celebrate one month of marriedness! It's hard to believe that it's already been a month, and yet, at the same time, it seems like it was forever ago...

Russ bought me the new David Usher CD which came out today. He knows me so well.

The mattress set that my parents bought us as a wedding gift finally arrived on Saturday. We don't have a bed frame yet, as the one we want is currently sold out until Friday, but we set them up on the floor, and it was probably one of the best sleeps I've had in YEARS!!!! I actually felt rested when I woke up!

We went and used some of our wedding money to buy a steaming jug and thermometer for Francis, as well as a magical butter crock that allows you to keep your butter on the counter, so that it's spreadable, without it going rancid! Everyone should have one!

My...I feel so domestic today, raving about various household gadgets. I guess this is what happens when one joins the ranks of the Smug Marrieds..


Sadie, Sadie, MARRIED Lady!!

Yup! So totally married!!! Everything went absolutely perfectly. The day was sunny and warm, but not too warm. Our families met for the first time on Friday, and hit it off right away. The rehearsal went quite smoothly, and we had a big barbecue afterward, which was lots of fun.

I was absolutely calm the whole morning. Got up, had grandma-made cinnamon buns for breakfast with a cup of tea (NO coffee--I would have been bouncing off the walls!!) Lisa got my hair done ahead of schedule, and it looked fantastic. Sarah did my makeup and it looked beautiful, and natural, but was totally bulletproof. We gathered up our stuff and went to the church where I was putting my dress on, so it wouldn't get rumpled in the car. I was totally calm...until 20 minutes before the ceremony. Suddenly I was totally nervous and excited, and was sure I would hyperventilate or throw up on Russ at the front of the church. It was ridiculous. So as I was being all nervous, the pastor came down and said it was time, so we headed up and got ready to go in. As I was coming in, my aunt handed me my awesome bouquet--that weighed about 10 pounds! I made it down the aisle, my dad didn't cry until after he sat down (if I had seen him cry, I would have absolutely lost it.) I managed to make it through the first bit, until the vows. Russ got to go first, and his vows were so unbelievably beautiful that I almost fell apart. I managed to make it through my vows, which turned out fine, and then the rest was gravy! Yay!!!

The rest of the day went by so quickly, but it was so much fun. We got to see friends and family at the reception, eat delicious food, and CAKE! The cookies that we made for the favors went over like gangbusters. Everyone has been raving about them. They were really good cookies.

I honestly couldn't have asked for a better day. Yay marriage!


Commencing Count-down, Engines On...

Okay, so whoever decided that writing our own vows would be a great idea is an idiot. Oh wait--that would be me!! What was I thinking?!!! Well, I'll tell you what I was thinking..."Oh, it would be so much more personal and wonderful to express our feelings in our own words and make our own promises to each other. How magical!" Until I realized, "Oh Crap!! I have to actually put to paper those personal and wonderful expressions of my feelings in my own words and make those promises to Russ!!! AGH!" Now I'm trying to write them and it no fun at all! I keep wanting to throw in jokes and other inappropriate things that pretty much ruin the entire sentiment of them.

Has anyone watched Friends? It's like a combination of the episode where Joey is going to officiate Monica and Chandler's wedding, and he keeps talking about having and holding and giving and receiving...over and over, and the episode where Monica and Chandler have to write their vows and their relationship doesn't fit into the mold of standard vow writing...needless to say, I wish I was watching those episodes right now instead of trying to make these vows not suck. Normally I would have Russ read them over and check them, but of course, since we decided to not share our vows beforehand, that's not possible, which, I think is adding to the stress. I guess I just have to keep trying and hope that they don't come out lamely.



The strangest form of cold feet???

Russ has been a bit forgetful lately. Don't worry...it's not Alzheimer's, but I joke that it is his form of cold feet, because it seems that all the things forgotten are related to the wedding. Most of it is little stuff, and it's not a big deal, but right now I'm worried, because Russ has lost his ring.
Yup...hasn't even had a chance to wear it yet, and it's already missing.

When we were moving, I told him that we should either put it in the lock box, or take it to my parents' for safe keeping, but no, he had a much better place, and so he put it "somewhere safe". Well, that place turned out to be so safe that no one can find it!!

"Who am I? Who are you? Why am I in a suit? I do what?"


30 Days...

In just thirty short days, I will totally be married!! How crazy and weird is that?! Don't worry....I don't plan on going into a big long squee about bouquets and centerpieces and favors. I don't think any of that stuff really matters, and besides, it's all taken care of. I just needed to put down in words what I've been trying to wrap my brain around for the last couple of days--the wait is almost over. I just have to remind myself that all the little things will get done, and what doesn't, isn't important anyways. As long as we have a marriage license and a minister, we're good to go! So, in just thirty days, I'll be partying with friends and family, and dreaming about escaping to Hawaii with my husband.


51 Days.

Never underestimate the value of the company of good friends. It shouldn't be surprising that spending just a few minutes with a friend can completely change your mood or your day, but it still never ceases to amaze me. As I sit here, late at night, with a random episode of Friends playing in the background, I am thinking over the last few days, and all the friend face time I've been lucky enough to enjoy!

We had the pleasure of attending two beautiful weddings on Saturday--Congrats to Elizabeth & Nathan, and Shea & Jason, by the way!! As we were sitting with friends at Shea and Jason's reception, someone mentioned that the next wedding that we would all be congregating at would be ours, and it was actually surreal to think about. August 23 seems so very very far away, and yet...it will be here in a blink of an eye. I would love to just stop and enjoy every single second leading up to it, but, unfortunately, life generally does not allow that sort of thing. I'll have to be satisfied with what I AM able to savor...

Someone asked one of my sisters whether she thought I would be a bridezilla or a calm, relaxed bride, and she said it could go either way. I honestly am calm. If things don't go according to plan, we make a new plan. If the church burns down the day of the wedding, I'll have the ceremony out front. All that matters is that I marry the most amazing man on earth. That rejuvenating feeling I get when I'm with friends is multiplied many times over when I'm with him, and I want that feeling for the rest of our lives. He is totally my zen garden. He calms me down and evens me out. Even though his weird quirks drive me crazy sometimes, I do love him for them...they're what makes him, him. Fifty-one days seems like quite a long time, and there is so very much left to do, but at the same time, I kind of wish that it was fifty-two days from now....


We Survived...Barely.

It's been a while, but June has been ever-so busy!! We started the month with the move into the new apartment. We weren't able to move in until the third, but we survived, and have a fantastic new place to call home. The apartment is bigger, with a working stove, and an AMAZING view of the river valley. I still can't get over it! Now...just have to unpack...
I also had two bridal showers thrown for me at the beginning of the month, one by my mom's friends from work, and one by my aunts. I felt so incredibly spoiled--we were given so many wonderful (and useful) things, it was almost embarrassing! Now, with our working stove, we'll be able to use all those great kitchen goods and cookbooks and other delightful things. Now, on to a busy Saturday of attending not one, but TWO weddings!


If I Hear "We'll Get Through It..." One More Time...

I'm going to smash something. So FANTASTIC news about the already stupid and complicated move...we have to be out of this place May 31st...but can't move into the new place until "June 1st or 2nd". But we'll have new carpet. I'm SO SICK OF THIS!!!! I want a house, but we can't afford one in the stupid bloated jerkface Edmonton (or Alberta, for that matter) housing market. So what the crap would we do if we couldn't put all our stuff in my sister's place for a few days? How the heck to people do this?!!! AAAAAAAAARRRRGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The Garden Island.

Firstly, happy Mother's Day to all those mamas out there!!

Russ and I have officially booked our plane tickets (a total of four planes!) and accommodations for our trip to Kaua'i in August, and now we just have to get our butts in gear and get those passports finalized!

I bought the Lonely Planet guide to Kaua'i and have been going through it starring and circling things right and left, and am now starting to get really, totally stoked. A few must see spots for us are:

Wailua Falls
Kauai Coffee Plantation
Kalapaki Beach

We don't want to rent a car, so we went and bought a couple of expedition packs from MEC. We plan on walking from the airport to the place where we are staying, which is about 2km. Russ says that if we can't walk that, we should die...We are planning on renting bikes for the week, and taking one day to rent a pair of scooters so that we can go a bit farther, to see the coffee plantation and other sights. With the money that we will save from not renting a car, we are even considering going skydiving!! Scary, but exciting at the same time! Only three months, twelve days, and seven hours to go...


Stupid Society! (Warning: Venting to Follow...)

This weekend was a wedding planning weekend. I headed down to Olds to meet with the florist and to help my mom finish up the invites, so that we can get them in the mail. I'm very pleased with how they have turned out, but less than pleased with the fact that we ended up doing them all on our own, after having been promised help. It seems that some are so eager to offer their services, but then, when you actually need them....nothing. Oh well, I'll never be able to thank my mom enough for all the time and work she's put into everything!

I'm quite excited about the flowers. I went into the meeting with a few ideas for flowers, only to discover that every single flower I had picked out will be out of season by time August rolls around. I think we figured out some really sweet alternatives that I think will work out really well. The only issue was that I definitely don't want "wedding-y" looking arrangements, and my mom and the florist had more traditional ideas. After a bit of talking, and going through a bunch of books, we finally all came to an agreement for some really fun, unique arrangements, which won't look at all "wedding-y". :)

I knew that I would probably have to justify some of my choices regarding the wedding, as they tend to not always fit the norm, which can be exhausting sometimes. "Why don't I want a big diamond?" " Are we going to replace the ruby with a diamond when we can "afford it"?" "Are you really going to wear RED shoes?!" And so on... The thing is, that now it's to the point where I am getting all stressed out about things, because I don't want to deal with the questions about them! I know I shouldn't give a crap about what others think, and generally I don't, but sometimes it gets to me. Stupid wedding reality tv is ruining everything for real people!! I don't want to feel like I have to justify my decisions regarding our wedding. It's our day, and if people have a problem with any of the elements involved in it, that's their problem, not mine, but I would be lying if I said it didn't bother me sometimes, though...

Oh well. I know that it will be an amazing day, and none of that other stuff will matter. Plus...the invites are done, and they look awesome!!


If April Showers Bring May Flowers...

...then what the heck do April blizzards bring?! The weather has been seriously schizo these last couple of weeks. It went from being 20c last Sunday, to -12c and blizzarding this Saturday. I just don't get it. Stupid global warming...ruining everything...
All I can say is that I am absolutely sick of winter, and ready for spring!! No MORE SNOW!!
OoooOOOoo!! As I was just typing that, the sun came out! I think I shall take that as a sign of things taking a turn for the better, weather-wise. Then again...we do live in Alberta...

Maybe I will take a trek out to go to the jeweler's to see the wax of my wedding band. Oh wait...they close in 5 minutes. Crap. Oh well...more time to try to decide between a ruby accent or a moissanite one. Any opinions?

Happy Earth Day, everyone!


Surreal Awakening

Have you ever had that creepy feeling, when you're asleep, that there is a spider on your leg or something in your hair? Well, this morning, I had this feeling that there was something brushing along the top of my head and along my face. I woke up, and looked over to see a snake slithering it's way along my head.

Silly me! I'm not awake yet!! I should wake up now! I think.


I AM awake. That's not a snake...it's the cord from the Christmas lights that frame the window above the bed. But if it's the cord, why is it moving?!

It is at this point I begin freaking out, and wake up Russ.

"What THE HECK IS THAT?! SERIOUSLY!" I'm beginning to hyperventilate.

Russ grabs his handy dandy flashlight that he keeps by the bed, because he's ever-so cool, and shines it on the moving cord...which is, in fact, a freakin' SNAKE.

The snake had slithered in through radiator pipes, and since we have a futon, it ended up on my pillow, rather than under a bed, if we had had a real one. Russ, being the hero that he is, grabbed the snake and put it in a cooler until we found a cardboard box to put it in. He put the box by the mailboxes with the following note taped to the top:




The box remained unclaimed. I was leaving to meet a friend for lunch, when the crazy guy from across the hall comes out and asked if I knew what was in the box. I told him it was a snake. He said I couldn't leave it there because someone would trip on it. I said it wasn't mine, and not my responsibility, because it was enough that we didn't freak out and kill it or throw it outside. As we were talking, the girl from upstairs shouts down, "Did you find a snake?!" I said yes, and she came running down asking where it was, so I grabbed the box and handed it to her. She apologized profusely and thanked us for not freaking out and killing it. She said it was very friendly and doesn't bite. I just hope it wasn't dead after sitting in a box by the door for hours.

And, so that is the strange story of the snake on my pillow.


Could Someone Please Explain...

...the Barbie car phenomenon?? I have now seen three different vehicles around town this week with the Barbie logo in vinyl on the back window! And none of the cars were pink--one was a beat up looking army green-coloured pick up truck. I'm so confused.

I've been so exhausted these last few weeks. Moving into an assistant manager position definitely has it's perks, but it is also a LOT more work and responsibility. I feel like I'm completely starting over, and sometimes I wish that I had been with the company longer, and had a better grasp on the basics before having to learn everything else...but on the flip side, I totally dig the challenge!
I just wish I wasn't trying to plan a wedding as well...thank goodness for my family, without whom I would definitely be LOST! Whenever I get stressed thinking about work or wedding planning...I just remember that in 4 months, 6 days, and 17.5 hours, we will be married! And then, in 4 months, 7 days, and 11ish hours, we will be on our way to Hawaii!!!



Seriously, I am so addicted to Etsy.com! It's a fabulous site where you can buy and sell all things handmade. I could spend hours browsing...and have. In fact, I found this beautiful necklace that I hope will match my wedding dress. The artisan who made it was absolutely wonderful to do business with, and I recommend that you all check out her stuff!!
An added bonus to getting a gorgeous necklace, she donates a portion of her profits to breast cancer research, being a survivor herself. On top of that, she included, as a free gift, these gorgeous earrings that perfectly match the necklace. It's so great because I was trying to find some earrings that would match, and to no avail.
So go! Browse! Fall in as much like with etsy as I have!


A Way With Words...

Have you ever noticed that some people have a way of making the most pedestrian, everyday things seem magical and epic? I have such a hard time turning my everyday experiences into some sort of lesson or pondering, which is why I hardly ever post. I feel like things are boring for ME, so why would anyone else want to read about it?? That's not me being self-deprecating, just honest and practical. Since I'm pretty sure that no one reads this anyways, that's all fine and dandy...but if someone does happen to stumble across this little blog, I don't want to bore them to tears! So, I could post everyday, about everyday things...or I could post once in a while, when inspiration strikes. Or, I could attempt to do both. I do want to post more...perhaps I'll just start typing and hope something decent comes out of it...

On a side note, hooray for RED wedding shoes!!


Thought-Provoking Talk.

I am up way too late, but working late shifts has thrown me back into my night-owl ways. I was catching up on the latest David Usher blog posts, and came across a link that he had posted for a talk given by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, a Harvard neuroanatomist, in which she describes her experience of having a stroke. It is incredibly thought provoking, and I thought I would share.


The New "Messiah"...

Working in a bookstore is an interesting experience. It allows you to make some observations about society based on the people that come in, and what they buy. One thing that has surfaced is my extreme dislike for Oprah. I never liked her to begin with--I can't say she doesn't do a lot of charity work, but at the same time, she is also prejudiced. I don't agree with a lot of her views, but the thing that bothers me the most is the way that people almost worship her! Oprah says "Jump", and women all over North America squeal, "How high?!" Any author that Oprah features on her show, or through her book club, celebrates instant celebrity, and we can't keep their books in stock. People don't seem to care at all what the content is...they just gobble it up because Oprah says...

Oprah was raving about James Frey's "biography"...until it was revealed that he "embellished"key aspects of it, then she was forced to issue a statement about it, yet people still come in searching for it.

A while ago, a customer came in and told me, "I just read one of the books from Oprah's club, and it was so amazing...I was just wondering when the author is going to put out a new novel?" I asked her what book it was, and she told me that it was Anna Karenina. It was all I could do to keep a straight face as I explained that, since Leo Tolstoy had died in 1910, it would be unlikely that he would be publishing anything new, then directed her towards War And Peace, but explained it was a lot more complex than Anna.

Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious was flying off the shelves at Christmas because she was on Oprah, but the idea that hiding veggies from kids when they should be cultivating tastes for new things is a controversial idea, and not necessarily a good one.

Selection #61 on the book club list is A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, which is a self-help book. We can't keep it in stock. The thing that bothers me is that people are buying two or three copies of this book, without even knowing what it's about! The author bio on the back describes him as a "contemporary spiritual leader", traveling the world, spreading his message. One woman actually asked one of my co-workers where she could find Oprah's new book. He responded with, "The Eckhart Tolle one?" and she said, "No, the one that Oprah just put out--A New Earth." So he explained that it was not WRITTEN by Oprah, but rather, just selected by her. The woman didn't understand...
It's getting to the point where I just don't want to even SEE another copy of this book.

Now don't get me wrong...I really enjoy my job. I love books. I just wish that people would pick out their own books, not what a TV personality tells them to read. I totally get that Oprah is getting people to read when they wouldn't normally choose to do so, and that she is supporting the book industry...but SERIOUSLY!

Okay...That's my rant. I'm putting the soap box away....I feel better now...


Pictures Don't Do Justice...

Today, I set my mind at ease. Today, I took a giant load off my mind. Today, I FINALLY found my dress, and I must say, I'm freakin' surprised at the one I chose!! It makes no sense, and yet, it looks fantastic on me. My mom took pictures of it, and while I thought it looked really great in the store, and in the mirror, looking at the pictures, it doesn't look as pretty. That's what I hate about pictures--no matter how magical the camera, or how skilled the person behind it is...there is some spark that is always lacking. Don't get me wrong, there are millions of photos out there that just take your breath away, that capture a magical moment in time, but I have yet to find a photo that captures a memory as vividly as my own memory...just a little thought for the day.


Here Comes the Beast...

So I've pretty much had "wedding" on the brain since the beginning of January. I think it has something to do with the fact that in December, "August 23, 2008" seemed so far away...like, in another year or something. Now that there is less than seven months left to go, I'm realizing how much work and planning there is to do, between then and now! We registered on Sunday, (in the midst of a snowstorm), at the urging of my family, but it was kind of fun. Next week is the crazy planning week, and HOPEFULLY, I'll finally find my dress. I've also realized that I really don't want to look like a snow beast in my dress, so I'm using this as motivation to get in shape. The crazy thing is that I've realized how much I love strength-training! I still hate sweating, but I suck it up, do it, and feel better for it. Now, I feel weird if I don't work out, which I never thought I'd ever say... And that is my blurb about wedding stuff. I definitely don't want to be one of those people who can ONLY talk about the wedding, yet, at the same time, it's a hard subject to avoid when everyone is asking about it. I don't mind talking about it when people ask--that's not the issue. I just don't want to come across as self-absorbed or involved like some girls, who want to do nothing but flash The Rock and squee...definitely NOT what it's all about! But I am looking forward to the next seven months...


Welcome, 2008.

Happy New Year, everyone!! I know that this year has a great deal of things in store for all of us, and I, for one, am pretty excited.