Monday, December 31, 2007

Lindsay Is

How truly strange, this Facebook thing. It has caused me to think of my world, my life, my emotions, and the combination of the three in a single statement that always begins with the same two words: Lindsay is... Never mind the fact that the 'is' is gone now :)

Which brings me to the question that's been causing me some stress this week: What the heck AM I?

I'm scared because this fibromyalgia / chronic fatigue flare my body's been hinting at for a while already seems to be seriously on its way now - and I'm not sure if I've been successful in preventing it or even slowing it down. I'm overwhelmed with fear and panic about the future, because I don't know what that means or what it will look like. My plans are gone, thrown out the window - for today, for tomorrow, for the next month, for the next year... I have no clue what to prep myself for. I am not the one in control anymore.

I'm upset, because in the throes of this physically and emotionally bad day, Geoff and I went outside this morning so he could drive me to work and we discovered that my car had been broken into. The would-be car thieves were not successful - I had an immobilizer installed two months ago - but they decimated my drivers' side lock and the body of the car around it, and they absolutely tore apart my ignition and steering column. I couldn't even get my key inside what was left. They went through my stuff in the glove box and the trunk, but didn't take a thing. And so, instead of a tough day at work, I had an extremely tough day at home - making phone calls and statements, arranging for a tow truck and a rental car, cleaning out my car, walking to get rental car insurance, and the list goes on... I did my best to work from home in between all my running around. And by 4.15 pm, I was back at home with a rental car parked where my ruined car used to sit - evidenced by yet another chunk of car sitting in the snow in our driveway.

(Geoff missed the majority of the excitement because he's working a stretch of nights and had to go to sleep pretty much as soon as we discovered what had happened.)

I'm tired.

I'm speechless, and I don't really know what to think or what to feel. The surprise stress of a damaged car is really the last thing my body could handle right now - physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. I'm fighting hard here, and waiting for a breakthrough. I'm hurting.

And I'm wanting rather desperately to call for some chinese take-out and spend my New Years Eve in a bubble bath watching Audrey Hepburn movies (I have now perfected the temporary TV/DVD setup in my bathroom... Way too awesome for words :)

But that's not what I'm doing tonight. I have an hour to pull myself together before I get picked up for a New Years party that's pretty much guaranteed to be fun, with old friends who I love like crazy and always make me laugh until my stomach hurts. Which is maybe the best therapy of all. And I'm kind of looking forward to it.

Forget one-sentence status updates. Human beings are complicated - especially the girl kind. Although maybe I can squeeze out one last one for 2007, for old time's sake: Lindsay is going to be okay.


I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I'm calling
You catch me when I'm falling
And You've told me who I am
I am Yours

Excerpt from 'Who Am I' by Casting Crowns

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Monday Secret


Friday, December 28, 2007

Friday Smile

From a blog I love... Dwight Schrute's Schrutespace :)

December 20, 02:10 PM
Spelling is a Cornerstone of Communication

Please take a moment to ask yourself this question before reading this web log: “Am I a stupid person that can’t spell?” If yes, then answer this question: “Will I be offended if somebody, namely Dwight K. Schrute, makes fun of people that can’t spell?” If yes, then please visit another destination on the World Wide Web. I suggest Also, take solace in the fact that you know how to read at all, despite your shortcomings in the spelling department.

For those of you who remain: welcome. You’re among decent spellers. It feels good to get rid of the poor-spelling moon-faces. Good riddance.

I was at a gas station this weekend and heard a little girl ask her mother a question. This question might as well have been “Why am I so dumb?” but in actuality, it was “Do reindeer fly better when it’s raining?” Obviously, the girl thought that reindeer was spelled “rain deer.” Children are stupid. What sense is there in naming an animal after a weather condition? There is no such thing as a hail bear. Nor is there a sleet squirrel. The only exception to this rule is the snow leopard, which is named more for its coloring than its preference for cold weather. I’m also aware of ThunderCats, but they don’t count because they’re alien creatures.

The point is, this girl didn’t know how to spell and her mother didn’t bother to correct her. That’s why I had to step in. I politely explained to the little girl that she was stupidly spelling the word incorrectly in her head. I went on to say that the rein in reindeer is spelled like that not because it refers to the reins that man uses to domesticate these animals, but because of the word’s etymological roots in the Norse languages. Additionally, I told her that reindeer are also known as caribou. The girl started crying and needless to say, I won’t be returning to fill up at Bewick’s anytime soon. I’m in the process of refining biobutanol from this year’s beet harvest anyway, so I won’t need gasoline at all from now on.

Spelling has always been important to me, as well as the Schrutes in general. Considering that the name Schrute is not the easiest name to spell, we decided that, as a clan, we needed to make spelling a priority. As a result, our home schooling emphasized spelling at the expense of other subjects that were deemed to be less important, like geometry and AP U.S. History. While I can easily spell “rhombus,” I sadly have no idea how to identify one.

Happy Holidays and a merry “That is all” to everyone.

With Utmost Sincerity,
Dwight Kurt Schrute


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Holiday Round-Up

Let's see if I can summarize...

I suppose that Saturday marked the true beginning to this year's Christmas season. Geoff and I went shopping for a bit in the afternoon to take care of a few final details, and then Emily joined us for the evening to watch Elf - can you believe that neither Emily nor I had seen it before? Anyway. What's not to love about a movie in which Christmas is saved by singing. I thought it was absolutely delightful.

Sunday had an EARLY start. Because of the snow, Geoff and I had to leave our house at 7 am to get to Niverville in time for my 8 am soundcheck. After some quick practice, we left church to meet Rocky for breakfast - then it was back to church for the Sunday morning service. I had WAY too much fun singing the old-school Amy Grant version of 'O Little Town of Bethlehem' with my peeps (complete with a rockin' synthesizer solo and THREE key changes). After that, it was off to my parents' place to help them get ready for the Hildebrandt family gathering there later in the afternoon. By 3 pm, our house was full of people and we dug into presents and way too much food. Geoff and I stayed late to help clean up, then it was back to the big city.

I worked on Monday, then Geoff picked me up and we headed straight back to my parents' place to help get ready for my own family's get-together in the evening. We shared dinner, gifts, and so much laughter that my stomach hurt. It was so much fun to share our family Christmas traditions with Kevin and Geoff for the first time, and we had Cait there as well to share in the festivities. I love my family. We had such a great time. Geoff, Aaron, and I slept over - and my dad and I were predictably the first people awake. I shared an hour with him over a cup of coffee (or two...) and that was really special time for me. By 11ish, everyone else was up and we all pitched in to make brunch together. By 2 pm, Geoff and I were on the road again. We spent the afternoon preparing dinner and dessert to bring along to his brother Kevin's place, and we shared Christmas dinner with him and a Christmas phone call with Marilyn while we were there.

Boxing Day started off pretty slow for us... We slept in, then went to a couple of stores around 12.30 - bought a new stereo for my car (an extremely necessary purchase), a few books I'd been eyeing from Chapters, and two pairs of shoes for Lindsay. Nothing really extravagant, and nothing that was one of those 'oh my god, you'd never believe it' sales. I really didn't want to get up early or go to any of Those Stores. Then we were off to Morris to spend some time with my mom's family. More great food, and lots and lots of Blokus. By 11.30, we were home again. And back to work this morning. Whew.

My challenges for right now are trying to get through the ridiculous list of things I've planned to accomplish at work this week, making time to get my house back in order, and not being disappointed with Geoff's and my conflicting work schedules... He's off while I'm working today and tomorrow, then I'm off for the weekend while he works, and then he's working Monday night (New Years Eve) and Tuesday (my brother's birthday). And then he's off for the rest of that week while I'm working, and then working on the weekend again. Sigh. I suppose it's good for us to miss each other.

Oh, and trying not to be disappointed that Christmas is over. I love Christmas. I especially love spending time with family and friends, and giving gifts to people. It's such a long wait til next year...

So, all in all, my first married Christmas was busy - but kind of perfect. And Geoff contributed to the perfection by surprising me with probably the most perfect gift anyone has ever picked for me: a black pearl necklace that is absolutely stunning and simply looks like it was created for Lindsay to wear it.

He succeeded in making me speechless, which probably says it all :)

Geoff & Lindsay

Cait and Aaron

Jessie and Kevin

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Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas To All...

I'm feeling a little bit overwhelmed this Christmas, to be honest. I can't remember another Christmas when so many people who I love have been hurting, and so deeply. My heart breaks for all the families who will be doing their best to celebrate this season with an empty chair around the table for the first time. My prayer is that in the absence of happiness, you will experience some measure of joy. And hope that we'll all be together again someday.

To those of you who are hurting...
To those of you who are celebrating...
To those of you filled with great anticipation...
To those of you who are too tired to imagine tomorrow...

You have all our love and prayers. I wish you a very merry Christmas, and a new year full of God's blessings and his love - which is so much bigger and better than mine :)

Brandy blogged this quote yesterday, and it's so perfect:
I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.
- Mother Teresa

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Christmas Smile



A huge hug for Jonny & Kristen, who had a *big* surprise when Ian James arrived five weeks early on December 23.

Isn't he beautiful? Ian, not Jonny :)


Monday Secret


Friday, December 21, 2007

Friday Smile

Stewart, Colbert to return Jan. 7

"We would like to return to work with our writers. If we cannot, we would like to express our ambivalence, but without our writers we are unable to express something as nuanced as ambivalence," Stewart and Colbert said in a joint statement issued Thursday afternoon.


In Pursuit of the Christmas Spirit

It worked for Erin, so what the heck...

Wrapping paper or gift bags?
It's all about the UNwrapping. So the answer is obviously wrapping paper. I wrapped all of mine this year, but I've been having horrible little guilt attacks all week about the fact that I'm killing the planet with my need for giving superficially lovely gifts. Not enough to stop me, though :)

Real tree or artificial?
In my heart, it's a real tree. In my childhood, it's a real tree. In reality, I just simply require a tree up in my house for longer than a couple of weeks. And so, we have an artificial tree. But I've been having horrible little guilt attacks all month about the fact that our tree was likely manufactured with polyurethane, almost definitely shipping over from some country overseas, and possibly chock-full of lead or some other type of ghastly toxin. And then I read that the most environmentally-friendly way to do a Christmas tree (other than not having one) may be to just reuse an artificial one for a loooong time. And that made me feel a little bit better.

When do you put up the tree?
After American Thanksgiving, at my first opportunity.

When do you take the tree down?
I don't. Seriously. I had one roommate take my tree down in protest while I was in England with Erin, in the middle of February. That's by far the longest I've ever gotten away with it... But it's always after New Years.

Do you like eggnog?
Yes, but again - the guilt. I drink a few glasses of the light variety and count it as dairy + protein, which *has* to be a good thing. Right? It's two food groups!

Favourite gift received as a child?
I'm not even sure about this one. I can remember lots of good ones... As an adult, it has to be the Christmas my parents surprised me with command start in my car. That was AWESOME. If you're a Manitoban, you know what I mean. I'll never go back.

Do you have a nativity scene?
A tiny little frosted glass one that I got as a gift when I was a Sunday School teacher. I'd love something more prominent, and something that suits us and our space. I'll know it when I see it. Until then, I insist of having my little set somewhere in the living room - as a subtle reminder of what all this hoopla is actually about.

Hardest person to buy for?
Geoff. He'd probably be happy with anything I picked for him, but he's famous for buying himself pretty much whatever he wants - and so there's little left on whatever list of ideas I'd been keeping. And his hobbies are EXPENSIVE. I had a few ideas this year, and I went out on a limb a little bit... We'll see how that goes :)

Easiest person to buy for?
Probably my brother Aaron. I'm not really sure why. But I always have lots and lots of ideas for him, and that comes in handy because his birthday is January 1 and it's an excuse to pick more than one of those ideas. The hard part is figuring out which one to give him first!

Mail or email Christmas cards?
Mail. Come on. I don't even feel the environmental twinge on this one. Thoughtfulness and taking the time to write a card and make someone feel special trumps an email every time. Besides, getting *real* mail is SO FUN.

Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
I don't think I've ever had a BAD gift, but you always get some of those generic weird-smelling-candles-and-bath-beads combos that make you wonder how many times it's been regifted...

Favourite Christmas movie?
The Grinch. The old cartoon one. That's all I'll say about that.

When do you start shopping for Christmas?
Typically, around the end of November. This year, we got a little bit of an early start because we picked up some stuff on our trip. But I have to be careful not to start too early, because I have a hard time stopping...

Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?

Favourite thing to eat at Christmas?
It would be much simpler to list the things I DON'T eat at Christmas: fruitcake. Yep, that's probably it!

Clear lights or coloured on the tree?
White. No exceptions.

Favourite Christmas song?
Santa Baby. I know, but it's irresistable!

Travel at Christmas or stay home?
I've never spent a Christmas away from my family here in Manitoba (though my mom's family goes away for the weekend between Christmas and New Years every second year). And I love being home for Christmas. But I must admit... It feels incredibly strange this year to have Geoff's family in another province and to not be spending a part of the holidays with them.

Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
I'm sure I could.

Angel on the tree top or star?
Um, nothing. It didn't fit. Which is probably a good thing, because Geoff really hated the one I picked up new this year :)

Open the presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
I have a Christmas Eve family. Geoff and I are spending Christmas Day together this year, because that's how it worked between his schedule at work, my schedule at work, and family stuff. I have no idea what will actually stick as tradition when we have our own family.

Most annoying thing about this time of year?
Having to be PC about saying 'happy holidays' - or checking with people before you say the C-word. I'm so over it. Oh, and people being mean in the stores. Seriously. You know it's going to busy, so plan accordingly and make a choice (yes, I said it: CHOICE) to have a good attitude about the whole thing. I had to go to Superstore tonight and I knew what would happen... So I picked up a Gingerbread Latte at Starbucks on my way, got a stupid cart, and made sure I had a detailed list and lots of time. Let's just say that no one else seemed to be in my headspace on that one.

Favourite ornament, theme, or colour?
This year, our tree is gold, silver, and black. I don't know how to even begin to pick one favourite... This year, the ornament we picked up in England with Geoff's family is feeling pretty special. And the one Geoff bought me to mark our 1st Christmas last year. Anything that combines good design with a happy memory :)

Favourite for Christmas dinner?
I thought we covered this one: EVERYTHING.

What do you want for Christmas this year?
Time with the people I love. I know that sounds lame, but it's true. Any gifts that happen on top of that are gravy.

Mmm... Gravy...


Thursday, December 20, 2007

At Christmas Time

I know I've been slack on the whole blogging thing lately.

It's weird. The time approaching Christmas is always so hard for me, and I'm not really sure why. I always flare up - which means that I get super-exhausted and my pain level skyrockets and I'm just kind of generally not myself. And every year, it's an identical feeling of being totally ripped off, because I *love* Christmas, and I want to fully enjoy this time. And I get even more frustrated by the fact that I planned for this. I start getting ready for Christmas waaaay ahead of time, and I pace myself, and I take care of myself - and still, the same thing happens every year.

Add to that the fact that every single client tends to get a little bit crazy the week before Christmas, pushing through deadlines and just being generally cranky and demanding. And add to that the fact that, no matter what happens in my job, it is *always* Lindsay's fault. And I'm pretty much ready for vacation.

I think that God must grant me some kind of extra measure of patience during this week before Christmas. It is so incredibly hard to deal with a client who's upset that we can't deliver a project early to accommodate their spontaneous beach vacation when I'm sitting in that meeting and feeling nauseated from the pain in my body.

And I'm far from being the person with the biggest problems to worry about this holiday season.

Anyway. Last night, I let go of all of that (the universe forced me to, because I left my cell phone at work accidentally - the horror!). Geoff and I went to Anica & Sophie's holiday concert at school and it was so much fun. It was a proper elementary school holiday concert - complete with that girl in a red velvet dress who positioned herself right in front of the mic and sang *very* exuberantly (completely tone-deaf, of course), those kids who were waving frantically to make sure their parents saw them (so adorable), and that one kid who pulled his santa hat right down to his chin and refused to show his face (but kept up with all the actions - pretty impressive).

It was awesome. It made me feel all Christmassy inside :)

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Cocoon Holiday Party Highlights

The Cocoon Martini Bar (otherwise known as Kyle & Jill's kitchen counter)

All the girls :)

Guitar Hero


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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Today's inspirational quote, coming atcha from the Cocoon offices:

The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice
what we are for what we could become.

- Charles Du Bos


Monday, December 17, 2007

Weekend Update: Party Girl Edition

So here's what *was* on my agenda for this past weekend:
- Finish my Christmas shopping
- Wish I hadn't participated in Friday night Cocoon karaoke
- Finish writing out all the still-blank cards that have been sitting in our office for a month
- Do some laundry
- Book a mani/pedi
- Buy 240g of meat, then take a picture of it
- Eat more Christmas cookies
- Think quasi-seriously about going for a run, then decide it's too cold

And here's a quick overview of what I *actually* accomplished:

Check! A blissful Saturday morning...

- Finish my Christmas shopping
Check! A not-so-blissful Saturday early evening... But at least it's done.

- Wish I hadn't participated in Friday night Cocoon karaoke
I set a record by actually *not* doing karaoke, for the first time in my history at Cocoon. Though I did regret some other points of the evening, namely allowing Chuck and Jason to mix my drinks... Ugh. This may or may not have contributed to my sleeping in on Saturday. Rest assured, I spent a good portion of Monday morning yelling at them.

- Finish writing out all the still-blank cards that have been sitting in our office for a month
Well, not so much finished, but I got a few done. It's on my agenda again tonight.

- Do some laundry
Um, I started. And then I fell asleep (last night). And so Geoff actually went and switched the laundry, and pulled it out and folded it and brought it upstairs after I went to bed. So sweet. So I guess it's a check!

- Book a mani/pedi
Crap. I knew I forgot something.

- Buy 240g of meat, then take a picture of it
Okay, I couldn't quite work up the nerve to do it.

- Eat more Christmas cookies

- Think quasi-seriously about going for a run, then decide it's too cold

Not too shabby, I think. In between all these stellar accomplishments, we helped Geoff's friend Erin celebrate her 27th birthday on Saturday night, we went to church on Sunday morning (and I got to see Meredith, which is always a treat!), and got groceries and cooked a *real* meal on Sunday night. It was just about enough to make me wish for another weekend to recover from this one :)


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Monday Secret

It breaks my heart that the very happiest times can also be the very saddest when you're hurting and missing someone. This season is so full of memories.

I had an absolutely heartbreaking Christmas when I was in junior high, and this holiday has never really been the same for me. I found the joy in it again, but I'm unable to take that for granted. I know this Christmas will be extraordinarily difficult for so many people who I love - and I cry when I think about it.

Just know that you're in my prayers, and I love you so, so much. You can come collect a hug from me anytime, don't even worry about saying why :)

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Friday, December 14, 2007

At Long Last

At long last... it's Friday!

The short version of the story is that we landed a new client last week who needed a pretty intense Lindsay-specific project turned around in record-setting time. I lived, ate, breathed, and slept (very occasionally) this project for almost a week, but the final details were wrapped up around 3.30 this afternoon and I am DONE.

I guess the good news is that Geoff was working all week too, so I wasn't totally ignoring him - he was ignoring me too. Maybe not the healthiest thing ever, but whatever. If nothing else, I know we're both really looking forward to this weekend and actually getting to spend some time together.

I'm just wrapping up a few last details, then we're off to the Cocoon Christmas Party. It's sure to be an adventure: lots of karaoke and some sort of impromptu dance party, if the past is any indicator. I'll post pictures next week if they're not too embarrassing :)

Here's what's on the agenda for this weekend:
- SLEEP IN (top of my list)
- Finish my Christmas shopping (wish me luck)
- Wish I hadn't participated in Friday night Cocoon karaoke (yep)
- Finish writing out all the still-blank cards that have been sitting in our office for a month (procrastination is next to godliness... besides, how many ways can you possibly say 'thanks for the stuff' without resorting to foreign languages or totally insincere cliches)
- Do some laundry (very important)
- Book a mani/pedi (critical)
- Buy 240g of meat, then take a picture of it (ask Kari-Ann)
- Eat more Christmas cookies (if I put in on a list, it feels like an accomplishment and not a failure)
- Think quasi-seriously about going for a run, then decide it's too cold (hey, just being realistic)


Friday Smile

I couldn't *really* pick just one, so you can check out the full Calvin & Hobbes Snow Art Gallery on your own :)


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Quick Little Update

I know, I know. I am seriously due for a *real* blog post. And it's coming. This week has been incredibly busy, and I am exhausted. Let's put it in perspective: I've been coming in early for work every day (I'm writing this just a little before 7 am from the office), I've been staying til 7ish every night, and I've been working from home in between.

The good news is that there is light at the end of this tunnel - the projects that are sort of consuming me right now are wrapping up - but the weekend cannot come soon enough!

In the meantime, if you're looking for an interesting blog reading adventure, you can always join in the Joyous Days of Gilbetron festivities over at Evan's place :)


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Every day, Dolly (my coworker) receives an email from her mom. This email is a forward of some kind of inspirational quote that her mom receives every day. A few weeks ago, we started writing these on a whiteboard in our work area - just because they were too hilarious not to share. Last week, I introduced a five-star rating system.

Here's today's four-star-worthy tidbit:
"Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

Okay. Enough thinking. Here's my other favourite quote of the week:
“The vast majority of bloggers out there are responsible correspondents doing fine work in niche reporting fields, like Gilmore Girl fanfiction, or, cute thing their cats do, or Photoshop images of the Gilmore Girls as cats. That's great. Where I draw the line is with these attack bloggers. Just someone with a computer who gathers, collates, and publishes accurate information that is then read by the general public. They have no credibility. All they have is facts. Spare me.”
- Stephen Colbert


In Case You're Curious(er)

Need a reason to smile on a Humpday morning? Make yourself a cup of tea and peruse a remarkably long summary of my little brother's latest exploits.

And then realize how very related the two of us are.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Long Lost

...And speaking of resemblances, here's a funny little side-by-side image that appeared in my inbox today. One of our designers was watching Ocean's Thirteen recently, and thought that one of the actors - Eddie Jemison - bore a striking resemblance to my dear husband. I fought him on this point right up until I actually saw the picture of Eddie.

You can see for yourself. Creepy.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

A Family Resemblance

Okay, I had to post this: a picture of one-half of my recently acquired crew of nieces and nephews. It makes me so happy. Especially when viewed alongside a picture of my own siblings :)

I wish these guys lived closer (though Hannah did a pretty great job of making me laugh out loud from four provinces away this evening).

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Practice Makes Perfect

I am drafting this blog entry from a most unusual place: St Johns Ravenscourt's holiday concert. At Bethel (Geoff's church). In the library, stealing someone's open wireless connection, and trying to get some work done - all the stuff I couldn't get done for some clients because other clients kept me running around like (ready for it?) a chicken with its head cut off.

Geoff does sound tech work at his church - in fact, he's in charge of it - so every three weeks, it's his job to do sound during the morning service, and at any other event that is held at the church during the week. And today was SJR's holiday concert. So my verrrry patient husband spent all day today (beginning at 08.30) at obsessive dress rehearsal after obsessive dress rehearsal after maniacally obsessive dress rehearsal. To keep himself conscious, he actually wrote down the 'quotes of the day' overheard coming from the mouths of the teachers - too funny. And now, he's back and handling sound for the evening performance.

I can hear the concert from my hiding place, and I swear to you, I have NEVER heard such a perfect children's concert. Ever. Not one wrong note, not a missed line, not a peep as they filed onto the risers with military precision. And these are students in grades one to four!

The choir director pulled Geoff aside as soon as he arrived to warn him that, although he'd been a second or two late cuing up ONE of the songs in rehearsal, that would NOT be acceptable tonight. Tonight was to be PERFECT. And as I sit here, taking in the very last note of the very last 'grand finale' song (it was the word 'peace,' if anyone cares), I must admit - it was perfect.

But I kind of missed the crazy kids who freak out when they get on stage in front of an audience (hi mom! can you see me waving? how about now?!). And the inevitable one who hogs the mic, drowning out the entire choir behind him with their offkey impromptu solo that's muffled because the mic is halfway into their tonsils. And that kid who's always always always half a beat late with her clapping, looking absolutely clueless as she does her wavy, twinkly star finger actions while everyone else twirls.

It's what holiday concerts are all about. At least, that's what they're about in my rather charmingly imperfect, decidedly non-fancy-private-school world :)


Weekend Update: Cold and Miserable Edition

Okay, so it's not quite as bad as that. But I don't think our thermometers have risen above -20 in over a week, and it's getting to be a little much. I appreciate the snow and all that, but this is starting to be a little bit ridiculous, especially in light of all our efforts to reverse global warming. And they wonder why Canadians are so slow to adopt new environmentally-friendly habits. On weeks like this one, I'm secretly a little bit tempted to treat my 'how to save the planet' books as a *reverse* how-to guide.

Friday night was nothing special. I ordered pizza, watched What Not to Wear (heckling mercilessly), and went to bed early-ish. Saturday, Geoff and I ran a few errands, got a random tree delivery (a late wedding gift from his friend), had Mel and Marc and Malakai over for coffee, had a brief emotional meltdown (I blame a long, stressful work week), and then went to Geoff's work Christmas party. Sunday was quiet. We went to Niverville to spend some time with my parents, then came home and pretty much crashed.

I had intended to work yesterday evening, but I could literally not keep my eyes open. My solution was to get up early and head into the office for 8 am. Ugh. It seemed so brilliant last night, but I was CURSING my plan this morning. Good thing I did, though, because I had a frantic client call at 8.30 am that I needed to get started on immediately. Which also meant that I didn't get done what I came in early to do. Sigh. Such is life.

Today's challenge is letting go of my feelings about a tagline we're proposing to a client that is grammatically incorrect (the tagline, not the client). I run into this situation with relative frequency - because advertising is not academics. But seriously. I had a physical reaction to this one. It just feels so WRONG.

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Monday Secret


Friday, December 07, 2007

Friday Smile

Geoff got me hooked on these stupid LOL Cats. I hate them. I hate most 'cute animal' pictures and I hate all grammatical errors. So I have absolutely no idea why these make my laugh. In all fairness, he had to show me about a thousand of them before I even cracked a smile. But still.

Anyway, enjoy.


Thursday, December 06, 2007

Way Too Early For Pancakes

That was the general consensus when Kyle, Chuck, and I woke up at 5 am yesterday morning to go to our client's charity pancake breakfast for the Christmas Cheer Board. It was also way too early for Santa Claus - the jingle bells in my face before the sun had come up were almost too much to take. It was all much jollier once I pounded back three cups of crappy coffee, and the sky started to lighten. And by around 7.30, I was good to go for the day. At least until 5 pm. I was supposed to make an appearance at the CMA holiday mixer, and there was absolutely no way that was going to happen. Geoff and I had a ridiculously mellow night at home because neither of us felt particularly healthy.

This morning, my alarm went at 7.45, but I felt about the same as I had the previous day. Geoff and I are both Officially Sick - unfortunately, he gets to call in sick. The nature of my job is such that as long as I stay away from people, I don't really have an excuse to stay at home. He's sicker than I am, but STILL. I was totally ripped off that I had to go make myself somewhat presentable and trudge through the snow to a day full of meetings and strategic marketing plans (and I need my brain for that stuff).

Now that I'm at work and being kind of productive, I feel a little better. But I will be an incredibly happy girl as the end of the afternoon nears and I can go back to my hoodie instead of a suit jacket :)


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Drama Drama Drama

Ah, Kari-Ann.

Some of you have had the pleasure of meeting her, loving her, being intimidated by her, being mocked by her, or just standing there stunned by how darn tall she is up close. I love her. I only have one Kari-Ann (and I thank God for that), and she is special. Every friend plays an important role in my life, and Kari-Ann is my Dramatic Friend.

The build-up to Girls Night began over a week ago with an email to Anja and I requesting an appointment for sushi, and the promise of some morsel of Big News that just could not be shared by email or telephone. The first night that worked for all three of us busy and fabulous working girls was last night. And in between, Kari-Ann was NOT gracious. She full-on taunted us, promising that we would not leave disappointed. It was a dramatic week - even for Kari-Ann.

True to form, she waited for a perfect moment, paused dramatically (is there any other way?), and then rather unflinchingly dropped the social equivalent of Hiroshima on us last night. And then sat back and thoroughly enjoyed the chaos she'd created.

And that is why I love her.

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Home for Christmas

Okay, it can't be a secret anymore that Lindsay LOVES Christmas. And last night was Christmasfication night chez Geoff and Lindsay. I've always been excited to make my house festive (and incredibly reluctant to take it all down again in January), but this year is extra-special because I have a HOME to decorate. And an incredibly tall husband to help with all the annoying stuff I can't reach at the top of the tree.

Yesterday after work, we set out on a mission to find a not-too-ugly artificial tree. It took almost two hours and probably six or seven stores, but we finally found one that was exactly what we'd had in mind. We got it home, set it up, fluffed up the branches, decked it out with ornaments and decorations... Lovely. It is a lovely tree. I can't stop looking at it, it just makes me *so* happy.

The best part is that it's a pretty tree, but a sentimental tree at the same time. I look at it and I see the new ornaments that we picked together, the snowflake we bought with Geoff's family in England, the decorations I bought on my very first Christmas on my own, the old ones that Emily and I used to fight over, the one Geoff bought me last year to mark our first Christmas together...

It's perfect and cozy and wonderful.

Geoff's surprise beginning to our Christmas project

Our tree

The ornament we bought in London

Our shared favourite 'new' ornament

One I've had since my first Christmas on my own (maybe I was destined to work at Cocoon?)

Some Christmasfication in the dining room

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Monday, December 03, 2007

Monday Secret

I wish she'd just do it, and see what happens. Why are we so scared - and what are we scared of?


Sunday, December 02, 2007

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas...

I love our neigbourhood on a bad day. Now that it's December and all the houses are decorated for Christmas, it's ridiculous. The trees, the snow, the lights... Happy sigh. I can hardly wait for it to warm up a tiny bit so that I can go for a walk and just soak it all in.

Yesterday was a *full* day of Christmas baking with my mom, my grandma, both of my aunts, and (for a little while) my sister. And I do mean a full day. We started around 10 am and finished around 11 pm. In between, we completed enough of 9 recipes for all of us to go home with enough cookies, squares, and other festive goodies to pack our freezers.

My mom and I were both a little worse for wear this morning - I guess that's how you know you put in a good day's work.

I came back to Winnipeg in the late afternoon, and Geoff had this look like he'd been up to something. Sure enough... I didn't even have my shoes off before he dragged me into the living room to show me what he'd done. He's been working nights all weekend, but he set his alarm early today to get up and go buy an evergreen garland and some lights to decorate the banister, to surprise me. So adorable. How could you NOT love this man?! :)

And then he was off to work, and I settled in for an evening of email catchup, copy editing, and reruns of The OC. Underneath the glow of our very first Christmas lights of the season.

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Saturday, December 01, 2007

An Unexpected Encounter

I had such a good night last night. I certainly didn’t expect things to turn out that way, not after the week I had. I was tired and – thanks to my ever-constant friend called fibro – I felt physically beat up. Weary would be the right word, I think. Or exhausted. Or just plain, old-fashioned TIRED.

Last night, as I rushed around to get ready for the evening’s plans, I felt this compulsive need to just stop. I found myself sitting on the couch and pausing in all my busyness to just BE. And in that quiet, I realized what had been going wrong in my world all week. I realized that, in the midst of my chaos, I had made myself busier and crazier trying to get everything back in order – and that I’d failed to do the one thing that I should have done at the very beginning. You know it. Finally, at the end of my positively hellish week, I paused and talked to God about it.

I feel like I made him sad. He told me that he’d been right there the whole time, wanting to help – but waiting for me to ask. And I never did.

I’ve spent the weeks since our trip feeling pulled in seventeen thousand directions, playing so many roles, wearing so many hats (and I do not even look good in hats). Within the space of a week, I am a wife, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a sister-in-law, a granddaughter, a niece, a cousin, an aunt, an account manager, a coworker, a consultant, a writer, a mentor, a worship leader, a woman… It’s hard to know where to stop. And I feel like God gave me a great big hug last night when he told me quite simply that I needed to concentrate on one role and one role only: I am his child. As long as I focus on that and do it the best way I know how, the rest will come. If I’m focused on loving the people around me and becoming a little more Christ-like every day, how can I fail at anything I need to do? He saved us so that we could be free. And I am free of the pressure to do all those roles perfectly, and to just pour my heart into one.

I feel so light, so hopeful. My body is tired and weary, but my soul is refreshed.

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