Monday, December 31, 2007

Recap of 2007?

1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before?
Got married!

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't make New Year's resolutions.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No.

5. What countries did you visit?
Italy, UK.

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
Ummm...2007 was pretty good. Maybe no uncertainty over where we're going to live...that might be nice!

7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
October 20, 2007...wedding day.
EDIT MARCH 2008: December 30, 2007...found out we're having a baby!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting my back healthy and going back to work full time (getting married isn't an achievement is it?)

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not telling the people around me how important they are to me as often as I should.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I injured my back (and some of my self confidence) in 2006 and recovery rolled into 2007, but I didn't suffer...I had too many kind people to help me and I learned a lot from it.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Alex's wedding band

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Alex's, my parents', my sisters', my friends' who all were there for me in every possible way after I fell.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
No one's.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Rent, honeymoon and wedding.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Umm...our wedding.

16. What song will always remind you of 2007?
Ummm...dunno...

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
 a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
Happier, umm..I'm hoping thinner, richer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Swimming, all those physio exercises.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Procrastinating

20. How did you spend Christmas?
I spent the morning with Alex and the rest of the day with his family.

21. Did you fall in love in 2007?
Um, maybe.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Bones.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No.

24. What was the best book you read?
Probably Suite Fran├žaise, but I read a lot

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Ummm....

26. What did you want and get?
Canon G7

27. What did you want and not get?
Nothing

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Little Miss Sunshine? I didn't see a lot of movies this year

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Umm...I don't remember my birthday specifically because it lasted about a week. Spent time with my family, Alex's family, my friends. Probably ate a bunch and drank a bit. Bedazzled some stuff. 30, not 12 as the Bedazzler suggests.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Nothing. It was a pretty good year.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
Umm...evolving? It started with the super comfies because of the back, then evolved to whatever was on sale as my body changed as I healed.

32. What kept you sane?
Alex, my family, my friends.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
No one.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Umm...

35. Who did you miss?
My family and friends who were far away at the wedding and at Christmas.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Isabella

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007.
Even when it seems like it's not, life is pretty good. We're pretty lucky with what we have.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Yeah, I don't have one...

Happy New Year everyone! May your 2008 be a year of laughter, love, friends and family!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Finally...it's been christened

Alex and I just got back from not-the-blue-house. We started our afternoon checking out new couches along Granville Street and then stopped at not-the-blue-house to plot our move. Before we left the blue house this afternoon, we had measured our furniture to see what we would have to get rid of as not-the-blue-house is quite a bit smaller than the blue house.

Oh, and before I continue, not-the-blue-house has been christened. After a number of hours within it's empty room, painted somewhat pinkish-peach, not-the-blue-house will be henceforth known as The Pink Palace. Hopefully once we get our furniture in and our walls decorated, the overwhelming sense of pink won't be so, well, overwhelming.

Upon arrival we noticed that our landlord has yet to hang our new blinds or fix any of the stuff he was supposed to fix before we moved in and we've been paying rent for two weeks. Whatever, we ignored that and set to work with our masking tape. No, that's not where furniture died, that's where furniture is going and we figured this was the easiest way to try our stuff without necessarily moving things in that we don't want to bring with us.

pink palace bedroomThis is our bedroom...which, after much deliberation, will house the queen-sized bed and our double bed will be banished (quite possibly temporarily until the Aerobed arrives) to the guest room.

pink palace bedroomHappy Shannon would like to point our that while it's not the biggest room in the world, it will accommodate, not one, not two, not three, but FOUR bookcases...something very exciting seeing as we were I was concerned about housing our books since the blue house is full of built-in shelving.

pink palace living room
Alex shows that the living room is an okay size (we do need at least one more pair of eyes to help us decide what size new couch to buy).

pink palace living room
This is the other end of the living room/dining room where we will have our dining room table...good thing we ended up with only one set in the end!

pink palace guest room

And finally, our guest room. We will still have a guest room and will still welcome you to the blue house pink palace, it might just be a bit cozier.

So that's the pink palace without furniture. If you're in the neighbourhood in the next few days and would like to offer your opinion on couch size and placement, please do let us know.

That's all.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Airport hang out

I got up this morning and started checking the departures from YLW and the YVR arrivals for Kelsey's flight. Even still I managed to get there a good hour before she landed.

I was treated to the super-spoiled family trying to figure out how they'd all fit into two $800/night room at Whistler...because the 12 and 14 year old boys couldn't share a bed and one couldn't take the extra bed in the adjoining room where grandma and the 10 year old girl were sleeping because the boys needed to be together so they could ski together. And even the promise of their platinum credit card was unable to secure them a better room. And the kids got crankier and crankier as the twenty minutes I sat next to them wore on because they all had to share one sandwich because there was to be NO EATING until they got to Whistler. I got to listen to this because the dad took a cab into downtown to pick up their rental car and had to drive back to the airport to get them and then go to Whistler. Huh? Why not all go into town and then go directly to Whistler. Might save a couple of hours.

Anyway, Kelsey arrived and we spent a good four hours at Milestones playing Scrabble. Then, when we had been ignored long enough by our waitress, we moved on to one of the local-seattle-based- soccer-mom-mega-coffee-shop kiosks and set up shop there on one of their couches.

hanging in the airport
We got a lot of strange looks, not because we were playing Scrabble or because we had a bunch of luggage, or because we sat in the restaurant for hours - it's an airport - people do out of the ordinary things in airports. No we got strange looks because of Kelsey's bike. That's her bike in the mega box there...only one person made a comment about it, the rest just stared, with their mouths wide open, because apparently they'd never seen a box in an airport before...the biggest gapers were the people who formed a huge line up to get on a west bound flight and probably half of them didn't even have suitcases, they had boxes, but Kelsey's box, well, it was definitely a big attraction.

Bye Kelsey...we'll miss you. Have a great time in Australia!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Wedding Pictures

Okay, finally, after weeks of promising, I have posted our wedding pictures. Please send me an email if you want the link.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day Postscript

It's snowing...that means it's officially a WHITE CHRISTMAS! It's pretty with big hunks of snowflake, but driving home tonight could take a long time.

The most wonderful time of the year

It is a pretty amazing time of year...Alex is working today, so I have a few minutes to relax and reflect before his dad comes to get me for Christmas festivities and dinner with Alex's family. I feel a bit guilty that I'll be having a nice family Christmas with Alex's family while Alex talks about traffic...umm...who listens to traffic on Christmas day? (If you do, please let us know!)

We had a quiet morning with some new traditions, some brought from our families...it's nice that we share some things, like when we were kids we almost always got new pjs for Christmas.

My family called from k-town and while I will miss being there with all the Stewart gang, I'm not as sad as I thought I would be. This is the third Christmas I've been away from my family and only the fifth that I haven't spent in k-town, but I'm okay with it. As Mama told me yesterday, this will just be the first (or third) of many! And as Misko reminded me, they missed 18 Christmases in a row, so one isn't so bad.

As I head off to get ready for some good family time, I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. I hope you are spending this special day with the important people in your lives. Have fun, laugh lots, be safe, love and be loved...today and always.

Oh yeah, and in case you were wondering (Heddy...) I couldn't sleep last night because I was excited, so obviously the issues I had feeling Christmassy earlier are long gone!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Resolutions

I know it's traditional to make resolutions for New Years. I don't usually. I have a few resolutions to make before Christmas that I will hopefully adhere to next Christmas
  1. I will not leave all my shopping until the week before Christmas
  2. I will do some Christmas baking
  3. I will not forget an entire box of ornaments in the basement (or storage or closet or whatever other storage arrangement next year brings)
  4. I will not leave my Christmas cards until the weekend before Christmas
  5. I will use an assortment of different colours in my wrapping/bagging in future years. All red gets kind of boring
  6. I will not look for a new place to live in the six weeks preceding Christmas
  7. I will not move in the four weeks following Christmas (okay, so maybe those two are somewhat out of my control sometimes, but should I ever get amnesia and forget what it was like this year, this will serve as a memory jog I hope)
  8. I will enjoy every moment I get to spend with friends and family


That's the list today...we'll see what happens tomorrow!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy Winter Solstice

The shortest, darkest day of the year is here. I look forward to this day every year because it means the days will finally start getting longer. Which means more light. Which means more happy people (or more people who are happier, your choice). Which means no more going to work AND coming home in the dark. Which means happy Shanny. Which is good.

That's all.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Trying to do my part

So, it's been chaotic (that could be an understatement) in my life in the last two weeks. Between our impending move, Christmas approaching at three times the speed of light, the cold hasn't managed to take a permanent hold - yet, and work, well, there's barely been time to stop and think.

Just think. Things like, hmm, I wonder what I should eat for breakfast. Or I wonder what I should wear. You know, the everyday stuff.

This morning was particularly rushed and slow at the same time. When I finally got myself showered and clothed in grey pants and a black sweater, someone had stolen a good half hour of my time and so I decided to skip the raisin bran and home-brewed coffee and grab a hot beverage and a (stupidly high in calories) pastry from the local Seattle-based, soccer-mom, mega-coffee shop, something I don't do very often, but apparently I've done twice in the last eight days now.

In I walk, order my 4,000,000,000 calorie breakfast substitute, hand over my travel coffee mug and pay. I move down to the end of the counter where they smack the beverages down when they're ready and my jaw drops. As the nice lady behind the counter makes my drink in a PAPER CUP and then POURS it into my travel mug and then THROWS IT AWAY.

HUH?!?!?!?

Besides the convenience of using a mug that is somewhat insulated with a lid that closes securely, I like to pretend I'm doing something small for our world by not filling the landfill with yet another disposable coffee cup from the local Seattle-based, soccer-mom, mega-coffee shop (or any other coffee shop for that matter). I use my mug almost every day, usually filled with the aforementioned home-brew. I have a second mug for when I bring tea with me, because coffee flavoured tea, well, it's just gross.

And just to make the stupidity of the making it in one cup and dumping it in another even more stupid...my travel coffee mug is from the local Seattle-based, soccer-mom, mega-coffee shop and is the size of the drink that I ordered - I didn't order something smaller for my big cup...I just don't get it...

And just because the day started off so well...those grey pants I put on, remember them from way up there?! Yeah, well, don't get dressed in the dark or while half asleep. I got to work to discover they were green.

Good thing green and black go together.

Too bad I look like a bruise.

Still shaking my head...That's all.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

hibernation

I know why bears do it.

So they don't have to buy Christmas presents.

I would love to make my little cocoon of blankets and snuggle down for a few weeks. I can't believe tired I am lately and I really could probably sleep for a few weeks. Thank goodness the shortest day of the year will be here soon, because this going to work AND coming home in the dark is a big sad.

Really.

So I might impose a little human hibernation on myself tonight...maybe some hot chocolate, maybe a comforting movie (like, say, maybe, it's a possibility, Love Actually), maybe a little gift wrapping and card writing. Maybe.

Fellow hibernators are welcome...just because I want to hibernate does not mean I don't want to hang out and see people.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Oh the insanity...

I think I must be crazy...Because I resolved some time earlier this year that I should leave EVERYTHING to the last minute, I hadn't really started my Christmas shopping. Tonight Alex and I braved the crowds and went hunting for gifts. I'm amazed, I'm almost done...one trip to the dreaded mall should finish it all off.

Except for Alex. I have no idea what to get him...it's been hard to get into Christmas this year...it almost feels like it already happened...and I truly have no idea what to get Alex...hints and suggestions are appreciated or he might just end up with a large box of socks, underwear, dress shirts, and ties. 'Cause that's what all guys want, right? Even though he only wears a suit (and a tie) maybe three times a year.

Oh, the season.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The annual dilemma

What to get the people on our list?!?!

Except that instead of thinking about that...well...I'm doing everything but. Unfortunately the procrastinator in me doesn't think that writing thank you cards counts as procrastination on this one, but jeepers...I've found all kinds of other things to do. Like blogging and cleaning (the baseboards are sparkling). You know, that kind of really fun stuff. The crowds just kind of scare me...so I'll just keep procrastinating...except I can't for much longer because the Kelowna gifts need to get to Kelowna BEFORE Christmas...sigh....

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I LOVE LONDON

Jennifer, who used to sit on a Girl Guide committee with me, recently accepted a new job and moved to London. I figure she's pretty darn lucky to be living in London and I'm just an itsy-bitsy-teensy-tinsy bit envious. But all is good. She has a blog and she posts lovely London eye candy. And I visit and drool over the pictures...just so I don't forget that I LOVE LONDON.

Oh, you already knew that? Right. Oh well...

blog crawling

Upheaval makes me work harder for some reason. I have yet to figure that one out. The only problem is, once I've spent the whole day in high gear, I kick into super low the second I step in the front door. Today I'm trying to pace myself a little better and seeing as I like lists, I have created four lists - two for home, two for work. Each place gets a list for things that must be done before 4:30/10:30 today and a second list of things that it would be nice to get done. It's working. Kind of. The would be nice to get done list wants to get out there in front of the must get done list. It's got some of the more fun stuff on it...or at least it feels that way.

I've found that I'm bad at working straight through for hours on end and that my back hates that too. Every twenty minutes or so, I take a break and wander somewhere: to the photocopier, to the water cooler, upstairs and back down again. Every hour, I give myself a five minute break. Lately that break has consisted of a game of Scrabulous Blitz or a bunch of clicks on the next blog button. Both a great way to waste time, but also a great way to get my focus back.

In my next blog clicking I've noticed a few things (ooh, see, a list!)
  1. there are a lot of crappy advertising blogs out there
  2. there are a lot of people who start a blog, post a test post, and then never post again
  3. there are a lot of blogs that I'm just not interested in
  4. there are a lot of poorly written blogs
  5. there are a lot of well written blogs
  6. there are a lot of blogs covered in inappropriate images for a work setting
  7. people love their kids, dogs, cats, parents, plants and other things and like to share those things with you
  8. That my blog falls into the following categories: 3, 4, 5, 7...Okay, so for the most part *I* am interested in my blog, but *you* might not be. Some of my posts suck, some are pretty good, most fit into the okay category. I don't have pets or kids, but I do talk about myself a lot (which reminds me, someday ask me about the self-absorbed blogger discussion).


I've also read a lot of things lately that make me realize how lucky I am to have the life that I have. The little things that have been driving me nuts for the last few weeks are nothing compared to what some people are going through in their lives. I've found a few blogs that I check on pretty much daily, some through the next blog button and some through the blog rolls on blogs I find via the next blog button. They haven't made it to my list of daily reads yet, but they might. Or might not.

So yeah, my world feels upside down, but compared to what some people are dealing with on a daily basis, I live in a happy place.

And with this crazy, busy, chaotic time of year on us, I am going to keep reminding myself of that.

Happy Wednesday everyone.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

STOP! Make a u-turn

Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200. Just turn around and go.

Why is it that just when it looks like everything is going according to plan, the path veers off in a direction you DO NOT WANT TO GO?!?!?! I guess that's part of the excitement of life. It might get boring if I did exactly the same thing every day. Right now though, I could do with the boring. I just need to keep reminding myself that last week I was feeling bored even though I had lots to do and this week while the lots to do is still boring, I'm powering through it because "down time" will be a thing of the past shortly.

Oh life...gotta keep it interesting!

And on the upside of the things we get the keys to not-the-blue-house this week.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Kelsey's coming home

In just a few hours Alex and I are off to the airport to pick Kelsey up. And then get her some SALAD.

Kelsey's coming home from Kenya! Yay...so excited...I haven't even talked to my little sister since the day after our wedding...I think it's been seven weeks.

Friday, December 07, 2007

looks like it's ours

I think we have our new place. We pretty much just have to sign the agreement and we can move in shortly...but we won't...we'll wait until January.

We'll wait to have one last (and really a first) Christmas in the blue house. We'll wait until we made a few trips to the Salvation Army with some good stuff that we just don't need or want anymore. We'll wait until the ghosts have calmed down a bit. Strange things have been happening lately...like the shredder turning itself on, things falling over for no reason and not leaky taps dripping. I think the ghosts know something is up...smart ghosts.

Anyway, here are a few pictures of the new place.

It's a bit smaller than what we're used to, but it will do...I will post some more pictures on we take some. Like maybe when there's stuff in the apartment!

not-the-blue-housenot-the-blue-house

bedroom in not-the-blue-housebedroom looking out towards the other bedroom and the living room in not-the-blue-house

kitchen in not-the-blue-housekitchen in not-the-blue-house

Oh, and not-the-blue-house needs a new name. Not-the-blue-house doesn't quite cut it. Not after the hobbit hole and the blue house.

Suggestions? Or maybe the apartment will name itself after we move in.



Beautiful late fall day

It's been beautiful lately and I've been trying to take advantage of it. Last winter I pretty much saw the inside of the house, the block between my house and Safeway/the doctor's office and the inside of Safeway/the doctor's office. I went for a short walk last night, will walk half way to work with Alex tonight and well, have been taking in the campus as I wander to my desk each morning.

winter on campusstill alive

winter on campusbeautiful sunshine

winter on campusfoliage

Please blue skies, don't go away too quickly. It's nice to see the sun and sunsets and not just clouds. I even promise I won't complain about the subzero (barely) temperatures, just don't make it too slippery.



Thursday, December 06, 2007

time for a pep talk

I had a very serious discussion with myself last night. I needed a good talking to.

Tonight I will also attempt to finish all of the thank you cards for the wedding. I am sadly behind.

I'd like to press pause on my life please. And then rewind. I need some more time. Lots more time.

I've been mentally packing the house, mentally writing thank you cards and Christmas cards, and mentally Christmas shopping. All the while physically shredding excess paper to bits in preparation for moving or furiously knitting three projects have deadlines. One of them, like a year ago, one next week and one in two weeks. Needless to say, no packing is done, about half of the thank yous are written, none of the Christmas cards are done and don't even get me started on Christmas presents. I haven't baked a single cookie. The tree and ornaments are still hidden away in the scary basement.

I had visions of this December being much more relaxed and organized than last December...partly for obvious reasons and partly because I was going to have ALL of my cards done and in the mail by December 1. And most of of my shopping done.

Oh well.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

new distraction (ahem...addiction)

So, one of the girls at work told me to add Scrabulous to my crackbook profile...which I did...

I had actually discovered Scrabulous back in the early fall when Alex was working one night, but since I added the application to crackbook, I decided to take a look at the site again.

And now, now I'm addicted.

And even more fun because it's a good way to practice and it's fun is Scrabulous Blitz, which is pretty much solitaire Scrabble.

Anyway, before I rot my brain out with computer Scrabble, anyone want to come over for a real game?

not completely dreary

As I wandered down the road on my way home last night, something made me turn around and look behind me. And I saw this beautiful and unexpected sunset. Yesterday was a miserable and wet day, although it was warm, which made it more miserable (rain+rain gear+warm weather=gross). So pretty.

sunset
Just what I needed after a long day. It made it that much easier to face the long task of sorting, tossing, shredding, saving and packing (and the never ending pile of thank yous and Christmas cards to write)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Looking back

A year ago today was the most frightening day of my life. It was the day I fell down two steps in our basement, fractured a vertebra, and changed the lives of everyone around me.

The last week I have found that going near those basement stairs is scaring me again and I've been having nightmares about people falling down stairs (I hate that Disney commercial from last Christmas where the dad in the Goofy ears is so excited about a discount ad for Disneyland in the paper that he falls head over heels down the stairs. It makes me cringe and I hope they don't play it again this year!) I'm leery of the slippery sidewalks. I loved the snow on the weekend, but felt very uncomfortable walking on the slick ground. I hope that as more anniversaries pass, the fear will abate and eventually go away.

Now that the agony and discomfort are gone, that I can tie my own shoes, that our house is empty of people "babysitting" me, that the medical equipment has been cleaned and returned, looking back it doesn't seem so bad. I know I'm kidding myself, it wasn't fun for anyone - yeah, I was in pain, but my Mom and Alex had to do literally everything for me for the first few days I was home...and I really do mean everything.

Once I was helped into a standing position I could walk very slowly with the help of a walker, but I needed help doing everything else. I couldn't even eat my dinner without a pile of phone books so that I wouldn't have to lean too far forward or lift the fork too far to my mouth.

But good things came from this. I learned a lot about a lot of things. Alex and I have made some healthy lifestyle changes, including cutting back on all the things we did away from work and making time for our family and friends. My fall just emphasized to me how wonderful Alex and my family are and how great my friends are. We had help from all kinds of people and lots of visitors (very important medicine, visitors are!) We've figured out how to take life a little less seriously...I've slowed down the pace of life and I love it! I know what's important and I've learned to embrace it. And I've had to integrate some healthy exercise habits like daily stretching and walking and regular swimming into my life.

And this year, this year I'm going to enjoy Christmas...last year was probably the most memorable Christmas I had, my Mom and Dad had, Kelsey and Rebecca had, but I don't think you'd find any of us saying it was our FAVOURITE! This year, well, I'm going to enjoy Christmas and my week off!

I couldn't have made it to this point without a bunch of people - Alex, Mom and Dad, Kelsey, Rebecca, Brian and Tiki, K., Ann, Debra, Fiona, Stacey, Heather, Julia, Dr. K, and many, many friends and Guiding ladies...a couple physios, a couple doctors. I am so thankful that today I'm mobile and able to do pretty much everything I could do a year ago.

Thank you everyone who has been there in the last year...I couldn't have made it through the first three months without you and the last nine months had their ups and downs and when I needed a laugh, a talk, a walk, some encouragement, a whine, some wine, a hug, anything at all, well, it was there, waiting...Thank you thank you thank you...

I promise I'll try not to fall down the stairs again - I know Mom, I said that the last time too, but this time I'll really try!

Oh...and this is my plug...you can read it or ignore and it's just a plug...I'm not trying to tell you what to do with your hard earned money! The Red Cross was invaluable to us. They provided us with all of the medical equipment we needed, both in Kelowna and in Vancouver. So if you're planning on donating this holiday season (or ever for that matter) and you're not sure who you'd like to donate to, the Red Cross Equipment Loan Program provides medical equipment at no charge to people who have been injured, had a stroke, had surgery or otherwise need assistance and you never know when you or someone close to you might need their service.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Feeling upside down

In the past five days our lives have changed radically, been in what seemed like total chaos and then straightened out just fine.

But I still feel like I'm walking through a really foggy dream.

Change as a verb can be defined as: To cause to be different.

Yeah, life certainly will be different. And while, like most people, I like it when things stay the same, change isn't such a bad thing. But I don't like this change. I liked life the way it was. It was just starting to feel like it was my life and also my life that I share Alex. Of course that hasn't changed, but the blue house really felt like home and I was ready to let it be home for a while. Instead, we have to make a new home and it feels like we just did that...

Big, long, pathetic sigh...I just keep telling myself that everything happens for a reason, so there's a reason here, I just haven't found it yet.

In the meantime I plan on enjoying every last moment in the blue house with our ghosts and our Christmas decorations and all our storage!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

bye bye snow

This morning it was so pretty.

winter
It's gone already. It's been raining for hours and there's still some white stuff out there, but it's mostly gone...or going fast! It's crazy. This morning it was a beautiful winter day...and now it's gross!

UGH!

bear with us

We're making some technical changes and well, it's not going as smoothly as I had hoped. They were supposed to be small and not make a difference when you looked at the site, but well, it didn't go exactly as planned.

Comments and suggestions are welcome and accepted!

what happens in vancouver when it snows...

Cars spin their bald tires. Cars slide backwards while in drive. Cars come close to clobbering other cars. Buses skid and slide and line up...

Last night we went out with some friends who suggested we grab a bite to eat and then they'd drop us off at home. Well, we got to Vine and decided that they shouldn't try to go down the little hill there and we would get out and walk. Good thing...the street was a mess and people were being idiots trying to get up the hill and around the bus and going down the hill WAY TOO FAST and almost crashing into parked cars. It was definitely a fun day out and an interesting walk home. We're glad we were walking...it wasn't even safe to be on the bus!

Ooops...check this one out...

uh oh
Amazing it didn't hit anything!

And there's all the buses waiting to go up the hill. I think there were six. You can see three in the picture.

big line of buses
Ahh...walking in a winter wonderland is an adventure in Vancouver!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Coyote?

Last night, late, after all the guests had gone home, I was in the bedroom getting ready for bed. I pulled up the blind to open the window and looked across the street. And there, staring at me was a coyote. It was sitting in front of Alex's car like it was guarding it. I obviously disturbed it because if coyote looks could kill, I'd be dead. And then it got up and trotted down the street, like it was just the most normal thing ever that a coyote would be in the middle of a city street.

Your presence is no longer desired

So, it's official, we've been evicted.

As of February 1, the blue house will no longer be home. We're weighing our options right now and we do have a few cards left to play, but we've started looking for somewhere new to live. Which is a lot of fun with Vancouver's very low vacancy rates and very high rents.

We've been spoiled for two years and now, well, I guess the pack rat in me is going to just have to let go of some of her stuff and stop buying wool just so there is a pretty stash in the living room. It sure is a good thing the Salvation Army is only a block from our house. We already have at least four bags of stuff, one desk unit thing and a tv to take over. Should you wish to be the proud owner of the desk unit thing, the tv or some t-shirts from high school (I am not kidding!), let us know.

Anyway, when we have somewhere new to live, we'll let you know...until then...well, we'll be house hunting!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

that's what you think

too bad I know my stuff better than you know yours...

stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

snowfall warning...

But it's still just raining buckets. It is welcome to rain as much as it wants...on the weekend. I know that this time last year we had lots of snow and even a snow day, but I'd rather we didn't get that kind of weather again this year...partly because I'm just a little nervous about slipping on the ice.

This weekend some friends are coming over for my annual Get-Ready-For-Christmas gathering. It's usually the last Friday in November so that those of us sending cards overseas can maybe make the deadline. But really, it's an excuse to have some yummy treats and yummy drinks and hang out one last time before the December insanity hits...

So out came the goodies from Alex's parents last year - the early Christmas, but not Christmas Christmas presents...confused by that sentence? Yeah, me too.

Anyway, it's been a slow day and I can't write worth a darn...obviously!

That's all for now...sorry if I bored you!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

You have GOT to be kidding me...

On the way to work this morning, I was thumbing through the paper as usual and happened upon one of those little, two sentence blurbs.

This one, a news item, announced that some of the locations of the super-big-box-discount-store-that-mostly-sells-crap-that-I avoid-unless-completely-impossible-not-to will be open 24 hours a day until Christmas.

Who goes shopping at 3:30 in the morning?! Why do we have to shop all day and all night long for Christmas?

Sigh...I'm going to go shake my head in disbelief now....

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Ducati Love

On the way home tonight I was riding the bus, just like any other night.

And just like any other night I was looking out the window but not really seeing what I was looking at (I think this might a phenomenon called "zoning out").

And then the bus pulled up to a red light.

Slowly I came out of my stupor. And then I realized that sitting next to me was a Ducati. And just as quickly as it came on, the period of lucidness vanished. Until I realized there was a gloved hand caressing the Ducati name on the motorcycle. At which point I decided it was time to look straight ahead and not zone out in the general direction of the motorcycle dude.

The motorcycle dude's response? Continue to caress his Ducati while simultaneously gunning his engine...

Yeah, I get it, you love your Ducati and you think I was checking it (or possibly even you) out...but no, it was just the post work zone.

Multiple Person Disorder

No, that's not a typo.

For the second time in less than a week, we have had our home overrun by a variety of inspectors. Last week it was supposed to take half an hour. The inspector was coming at 10:00 and leaving by 10:30. HA! I ended up walking out the door to work, finally, at 2:15.

Monday someone came to check out the air because of an asbestos concern due to a little piece of duct tape in the basement. And yesterday someone else was here to check something - maybe the bathroom pipes? I don't know, we weren't home for those.

Today the electrician was supposed to come at 9:15 for 15 minutes. Ummm...right...The electrician turned out to be an electrician, a furnace technician, an appraiser, a plumber and someone else who we're not sure what he does. Plus the owner, the potential buyer and two real estate agents.

The parade continues.

Apparently today is the day - the subjects come off and the deal could be done. I sure hope it is, because I'm tired of all these people being in my house.

Wow...someone is grumpy today!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Due to budgetary issues you only get half a cubicle

Or something like that.

Our office moved from one old building into an even older building back in August. There are four of us housed in what used to be the boudoir of the lady of the house. It's a rather large room, but due to the heritage aspect of the building, we can't put anything on the wall. Therefore, it echoes. And all of us are super typers (which means not exactly quiet keyboarding skills) and spend a good part of the day on the phone.

So...to minimize the noise, a long time ago, before we moved, an office consultant came and plotted out the furniture and suggested some dividers for our office.

Okay. No problem. As long as it doesn't mess with the natural light and it doesn't feel like a cubicle farm.

Our walls finally arrived today. Long ago, I had asked for pricing on used walls if they had what we were looking for. And they took that to mean, we'll only buy used walls.

Which means the seven pieces of wall that were supposed to be 48" tall ended up being three pieces that were 66" and two pieces that were 38".

Ummm...

PROBLEM...

So it looks bad. One of the desks looks like we are imprisoning the person who is sitting there.

I have half a wall, so it looks like I just don't want to see people who come in the office.

And it only took, oh, three months to get the walls.

Don't even get me started on the filing cabinets that have not yet arrived.

Friday, November 16, 2007

oscar the GRINCH

We're past the half way mark in November and recently, the discussion with a few of my friends has been how none of us feel like Christmas this year. Grinch has been turned into an adjective and a verb for us.

Last night, as I sat and wrote thank you cards, I thought about how much I wasn't looking forward to Christmas card writing. But then a light bulb went off in my head. I wasn't not looking forward to writing Christmas cards at all this year, I was not looking forward to writing Christmas cards right now.

Because it's not Christmas yet. Just because the stores are decorated and playing Christmas music and the guy in front of my on the bus whistled "Let It Snow" all the way home from work yesterday, doesn't mean it's time for Christmas.

When I was a kid, the tree and decorations did not appear until after my cousin Melissa's birthday on December 10...after! Maybe that's the solution to this pseudo problem...I'll just wait until closer to Christmas to be excited about Christmas...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

miserable

ugh.

That's how the weather has made me feel today. Grey, closed and ugh. And wet. I was dripping when I got to my one hour meeting that lasted 2.5 hours.

grumpy. I guess that's really how I'm feeling.

at least tomorrow is Friday.

and at least it's not 2006.

I just checked back on November 15, 2006 and discovered that this isn't so bad. Last year was way more miserable. We had a broken water main on our street, very little sleep due to the crews fixing said water main, and no water in our house.

Okay, I feel better now!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Holy itsy bitsy teeny tiny!

Check out the miniature knitting. Now, I like to knit, but this is crazy. The smaller the needles, the longer it takes...patience!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Feels like home?

Going to London is like going home for me. Not quite the same, but very familiar. We didn't do a lot of "tourist" things - we went on the London Eye and that was about it. Alex did get to experience Pax Lodge.

alex at pax lodge
And Hampstead crepes.

alex and crepes
And meet a bunch of my friends and family:

kristine and shannonKristine

doreen and shannonDoreen

shannon heidi and sarahHeidi and Sarah (who he met last summer)

hugh and aliceHugh and Alice (who were at the wedding)


shannon and lizLiz (who was also at the wedding with Hugh and Alice)

shanalex at the bonfire paradeAnd he got to attend a bonfire day parade!

shannon persis alex and georgeand meet Persis and George

homeward bound
And now we get to go home...and enjoy the memories of our fabulous wedding and amazing honeymoon.

Real life, here we come!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Life in Florence

pretty marzipanBeautiful Windows

Florence is a huge change from noisy, dirty Rome. Alex and I both like Florence a lot more. It is so much more laid back than Rome and fewer people suit us both!

ponte vecchio in the distanceShanalex with Ponte Vecchio in the distance

Plus we found an amazing restaurant right near our hotel and I think if we could we'd just eat there ALL THE TIME! For three whole days...It's a good thing it's only open for dinner - we ate there last night and tonight. MMMMMmmmm....

gnocchiTastiness (and a requisite food shot!)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Gelato anyone?

Rome is all about eating. Yum!

gelatoGelato

pizzaPizza

more gelatoMore gelato

pasta and wine and masha and lucaPasta and wine (with our lovely hosts Masha and Luca)

Roman Fanny Packs

As we've wandered the city the past few days, we've noticed a lot of men with fanny packs (sorry non-Canadian/non-American readers). Many of them were carrying the fanny packs instead of wearing them. I thought they might be tourists, maybe with decoy fanny packs, but today as we rode into the city, we saw lots of Romans wearing these beautiful fashion accessories. My favourite was the guy in an Armani suit, smart, highly polished shoes and a beat up old fanny pack.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Note to Self: Read previous note to Self

Which means noon to four is a bad time to visit places in Italy!

This morning we ventured east to the Adriatic and then to Chieti where my great-grandfather came from.

We had hoped to see the Adriatic, but we were super pressed for time because we have to catch a very early bus to Rome in the morning. It was also a miserable day and the idea of being at the sea side was not a pleasant one!

Chieti is a very picturesque town with an amazing view.

shannon in chietiShannon in Chieti

chieti streetChieti Street

Too bad it wasn't a clear day!

Everything was closed when we arrived, but we had a very pleasant wander thought the streets. It was hard to even find an open restaurant - lots of bars and caffe, but we wanted to sit and we wanted pasta!

We finally found Ristorante Venturini tucked behind the local theatre. We had delicious chitarra de Abruzzenese, a yummy local dish. We're pretty sure it was a local restaurant that didn't usually see many tourists. Everyone was quite curious when we walked into the restaurant.

We had debated renting a car and a couple of times I wish we had so we could have stopped in some the smaller towns, but overall I'm glad saner heads prevailed. It was pouring rain when we came back to L'Aquila and the roads were quite treacherous. Just outside of the L'Aquila we even encountered a car going the wrong way in a roundabout.

Oh, Italian drivers!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Note to Self

From L'Aquila

Arriving between noon at 4:00 pm in a small Italian town that is NOT a tourist destination is not recommended if you are planning on doing anything that day. In true Italian style, everything except for a few restaurants, bars and caffe is closed! And the market is over.

But it's all good. We wandered around town and meandered around the Forte di Spagnolo. While Alex watched Italian afternoon TV (yup, soap operas and strange game shows), I tried to regulate the jet lag with a bit of a nap.

Now we're off, still at an early hour for the locals, in search of some yummy regional cuisine.

Roma!

From Rome

We're here! We're in Rome! After a long trip, it's nice to be here finally. Sleeping in chairs in airport lounges and on airplanes is not much fun.

The trip was uneventful, but surprisingly pleasant since I've now been awake 32+ hours and spent more than 26 of them travelling.

Oh, and we saw members of the South African Championship Rugby Team - Paula we paparazzied them just for you!

Monday, October 22, 2007

I'm MARRIED!

from London Heathrow

It's over. Saturday was perfect! It went better than I ever could have imagined!

Anyone who was in Kelowna in the week leading up to the wedding knows the weather was miserable and looked less than promising for Saturday.

Friday night as our out of town guests left the house a PRECISELY 9:00 (yeah, yeah, so my dad kicked them out so that I could get some sleep), the stars were out and shining hard. Saturday morning, Kelsey and I went for our pre-wedding walk and it was still nice - a bit chilly, but dry.

While we were getting our hair done, it got cloudy, but by the time the photographer arrived, the sun was shining!

The ceremony was short and exactly what we both wanted. The venue was spectacular with all its fall colours.

Happy, happy, happy. I'm still over the moon two days later.

The reception was a lot of fun! We both had an absolute blast!

Thank you to everyone who helped us get here - my bridesmaids, Mom and Dad, Kelsey, Rebecca and Jared, Alex's parents and brothers, Stacey, my rather large, but very special extended family, and our friends who helped with everything from getting me ready, to calming nerves, to feeding us and doing dishes the morning of the wedding, to ensuring everyone was on time, that the venues were ready and that all the little details were looked after. We couldn't have pulled our big day off without a lot of help!

A selection of photos from the big day:

pre ceremonyphoto credit: Fiona
With my parents, pre ceremony

going to get marriedphoto credit: Neil and Melissa
Going to get married

first kissphoto credit: Kate
First Kiss

the mulvigirlsphoto credit: Fiona
The Mulvigirls

with the lyons familyphoto credit: Mikey
With the Lyons family

with our parentsphoto credit: Mikey
With our parents

husband and wifephoto credit: Fiona
Husband and wife

the girliesphoto credit: Fiona
the girlies

more husband and wifephoto credit: Fiona
more husband and wife

the dishesphoto credit: Mikey
The oh so famous Dishes

the lyonses and auntie stellaThe Lyonses and Auntie Stella do the YMCA

fraser and rebecca doing the YMCAFraser and Rebecca YMCA it

the cakeThe beautiful, yummy cake Auntie Susan made

sistersphoto credit: Rebecca
sisters

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Amazing people in my life!

I have an amazing family (and amazing friends too!)

Somehow I managed to get organized to go to Kelowna for a week, organized for Alex and I to go to Europe for two weeks, organized for company to arrive today and catch a few hours sleep last night.

I was up before it was light out to catch my flight to Kelowna. I landed and the week of errands started with a bang!

Then I was looking forward to a relaxed and quiet evening with my sisters, but strange things started happening. Auntie Jenny, organized aunt, called at 6:30 to see if we were the keepers of the travelling family cutlery for a dinner party she was having tonight at 8:30. Not like her at all, but okay. Kelsey said we could drop it off on our way out because it was on our way to where we were going and that we'd be by around 7:30.

When we got there, Kelsey and Rebecca made me come with them because I hadn't seen Auntie Jenny in a while. Which kinda maybe sorta made sense. Except that she had company.

Then she asked us to come in. Which made no sense at all. Until I she dragged me around the corner to where my mom (who had gone to dinner at a "friend's" house with my dad), my other aunts, cousins and Fiona's mom were waiting. For a shower. A surprise shower. Complete with great food, amazing company, and a super duper vacuum!

So I have amazing friends and family. Hands down. No doubt about it! Four showers, three of them surprises. You're the best! All of you!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Pedometric Challenges

Yes, they continue. At least I obsessively check the pedometer, so I can add the biggest numbers together when the stupid thing restarts itself compulsively. Like this morning. My bus stop is over 1 km from my office. Apparently I've only walked 64 steps this morning. Ya, right...I had major issues with it yesterday too.

Sigh...

My goal of 8,000 wasn't hard to get to on Friday, but on Saturday and Sunday when it was rainy and gross and I wanted to eat turkey and not go outside, well, it was different story. I find though, that once I hit 8,000, I really want to get to 10,000, so the incentive factor is working. I might splurge and pick up a proper pedometer this afternoon so that I can better participate and not mess up my team's totals...and to motivate myself to keep moving. I'm also interested in seeing how far I walk when I'm travelling.

And because I'm a dork and apparently don't have enough to do (HA!), I made a pretty chart showing my steps vs my goal.

shannon's step stats
Yup, dork...here's the team standings too (Marcie's training for a half marathon....)

park house prima donnas

DORK!