Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Feeling Green

I don't know about you, but money scares me a little bit. It falls into the 'necessary evils' category. It's the source and the cause of so much tension and so many broken relationships, but it's also a tool that can literally change the world - in a good way. It's that balanced place in between where I want to live... Where I have enough money to have what I need, and enough to share with those who don't.

It was scary to watch the stock market crash yesterday. It's happened before, and it will happen again. But it made me so sad for the people who have literally built their lives around their money. They lost everything they had yesterday. For me, it was a powerful reminder to store my *true* treasure somewhere else and invest in people.

This actually made me tear up this morning. Here's the Top 10 most-read articles list from today's New York Times:

1. Your Money: ‘Is My Money Safe?’ and Other Questions to Ask
2. Shortcuts: Job Hunting Is, and Isn’t, What It Used to Be
3. House Rejects Bailout Package, 228-205; Stocks Plunge
4. Everybody’s Business: In Financial Food Chains, Little Guys Can’t Win
5. The Media Equation: Daring to Say Loans Made No Sense
6. Citigroup Buys Bank Operations of Wachovia
7. Behind Insurer’s Crisis, Blind Eye to a Web of Risk
8. For Stocks, Worst Single-Day Drop in Two Decades
9. News Analysis: In Bailout Vote, a Leadership Breakdown
10. Novelties: Do I Hear 4%? On This Site, Banks Bid for Your Cash

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Thanks for Caring

A quick update on my mom, because so many people have been asking...

She's doing much better, but the doctors have decided that it's time for her port to come out. That will be happening this afternoon. Hopefully - if all goes well - there won't be any real delay with her final chemo treatment (currently scheduled for October 17). The only catch is that they'll need to do it by IV.

Thank you all so much for all your support and encouragement. My family needs it right now, and it's not something that any of us take for granted. We're blessed to have so many incredible people like you in our lives.

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Monday, September 29, 2008

It Was A Very Good Year

Tomorrow is September 30, which marks one year to the day since Lindsay Hildebrandt married Geoffrey Wright. Can you believe it?! In so many ways, it feels like yesterday. And in so many more, it feels like we've just always been together.

I loved our wedding. It was not extravagant, but it was beautiful. It was exactly what we wanted it to be, and we spent the day surrounded by the people we love - there's really nothing we would change about it. The wedding (and our honeymoon trip to Greece and England in November) was a very special way for us to begin our new, shared life together - which was really the point of the whole extravaganza anyway. Honestly, my very favourite part about getting married was just being married, and all the little everyday things that we began to share.

It's been an intense first year. But I can say absolutely that it's been a good one. I'm happy every single day that I chose Geoff to be my husband - and that he chose me to be his wife, a role that I don't think has come very naturally to me. So much has happened in our lives over the past twelve months - most significantly, my mom's cancer and the imminent arrival of our baby girl. I don't pretend to understand God's plan or his timing, but I know that even on the scariest days, I have felt an undercurrent of absolute peace and joy. I can't imagine doing any of this without Geoff beside me. He loves me so much more than I deserve to be loved. He's an incredible husband. And he's going to be an amazing father.

I did some digging today and found a copy of our vows. I can't think of any better way to end this first anniversary post (other than sharing a few obligatory 'aw, remember our wedding?' pictures).

Geoff, I love you. You are my best friend.
Today, I gladly choose to become your wife.
I promise to encourage and support you, to laugh with you,
and to comfort you in times of sorrow and struggle.
I will stand beside you in good times and in bad,
on days when our love is simple, and when it is an effort.
I will respect your talents and your passions,
and support you as you pursue all of your goals and dreams.
I promise to cherish you, respect you, and be faithful to you always.

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One More Time

Please pray for my mom today, and for all of us. They're at the hospital again this morning.

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Lot Going On

It was a busy weekend. We started off by having Rocky over on Friday night to start on the rather substantial task of magically transforming the dark and gloomy mancave into a bright and cheerful baby room. I say 'magically' because I really can't take credit for any of the work.

Geoff and I spent a few hours with Anja in Assiniboine Park on Saturday, capturing some autumn-inspired maternity photos. Later in the afternoon, Rocky came back and worked on the baby room while Geoff tackled another coat on the exterior house trim. I occupied myself by making the boys dinner and keeping them company (read: probably annoying them by sitting right in the way and yapping while they were trying to be productive).

The baby room's looking great - and the paint job will be finished by tomorrow night. I'm so excited. Pictures to follow (baby room AND maternity).

Saturday ended with a phone call from my dad, confirming what I'd been kind of expecting all day. My parents were home from spending the day at the ER - for the third time in ten days. My mom's having a rough time with this round of chemo, and still having complications with her port. I don't know why I knew... I just felt it all day. So while it wasn't a surprise, it was definitely one of those times when I hated being right.

I'm not really sure what to say about today. I'm just not myself right now. I woke up feeling extra-emotional, and I'm pretty sure that's how I'll go to sleep tonight as well. First, it was off to Niverville to help lead worship one last time. It was hard to know that I was saying goodbye to the team (at least for a little while) but, honestly, it was harder to be up on stage and not have my mom in her regular spot. She's occupied that place over the last decade, singing along and cheering us on. It just felt strange to have her missing now at the end.

A few songs in, I noticed that my dad had snuck into the very back of the balcony. It meant so much that he came.

After church, I went to go spend some time with my parents. It went about how I had imagined it would. It's hard to see my mom this sick, and both of them so tired. I'm not really sure what else to say. I was emotional to begin with, and that time at home was just enough to break my heart. I think I cried all the way back to the city. It's just starting to feel like it's been a long time since we've heard some good news about my mom. And we all need it. It hurts so deeply for me to see my family like this. And I hate that there is absolutely nothing I can do to fix it, or even to help. I know that good days are coming again... I really believe that. But today was not one of them.

Geoff and I took his brother Kevin out for dinner this evening to (quietly) acknowledge his 32nd birthday. I felt bad that I was in such an introverted mood tonight, but fortunately Kevin's quiet enough that I *still* probably seemed chatty :)

I'm not really looking forward to tackling a Monday tomorrow morning. The idea's a little bit overwhelming. It's kind of relief to know that it's my second-last Monday morning for a while...

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How to Save a Life


Friday, September 26, 2008

Mommy Poll

I have a bunch of questions floating around in my head, and information that I've been picking up from all kinds of places... If you're a mom (or just spend a lot of time with kids) and you're visiting my blog, I'd love your two cents! Just don't be offended if I ignore your advice and do my own thing anyway :)

1. What brand of diapers did you prefer for your new baby? So far, it seems like people are VERY opinionated about this. (Yes, we've decided to destroy the environment and go disposable... Please don't judge and/or heckle me. I feel guilty enough all on my own.)

2. Did you pick up a breast pump ahead of time, or did you wait to see if you needed one and then send your significant other on an awkward shopping trip? What did you wish you'd known about this lovely product?

3. What did you look for in a baby monitor? I'd love to hear about good - or terrible - experiences with specific brands or models. (As a side note, I'm really not interested in the whole video monitoring thing. We're not *that* lazy.)

4. What did you pack for the hospital that you didn't end up needing? What did you forget?

5. What is the one thing you're really glad you accomplished - or wish that you had gotten around to - during the beginning of your mat leave, before Baby came?

Thanks! Looking forward to stealing your wisdom...


Friday Smile

I dare you to watch this video and *not* smile. Happy Friday!

EepyBird's Sticky Note experiment from Eepybird on Vimeo.


Thursday, September 25, 2008


Yesterday night was kind of tough for me... I went to my last band practice with the team I've been singing with for a decade. Sunday will be my last time singing with them (at least for the foreseeable future). It was good - fun - but I fell apart when I got home.

It's becoming incredibly hard not to feel like everything is ending. And I know that it needs to end for all the wonderful new things that are coming to start... But I feel like I'm giving up so much, and all at the same time.

I was telling Geoff about it last night, and I cried for a bit. I know it's okay - and I'm happy, and I want this. It's just hard. It's not like I wanted a baby because I was unhappy or trying to fill a void. My life is amazing. It could have continued on exactly like this for another five years, and I would have been perfectly happy. I know that these changes mark the beginning of a new kind of happiness... But I sometimes wonder if my current state of contentment makes it harder to be going through these adjustments now.

It will be okay. I know that the next couple of weeks will be hard, working my way through all these endings. But the beginnings are coming, just around the corner, and that's going to be so incredible.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Things No One Warned Me About: 'Practice' Contractions

So my Week 34 appointment today was pretty uneventful, other than getting my papers to start seeing my *official* baby doctor next week.

The same cannot be said for my life... After yesterday's insanity - between my mom's complications and my speech - I got home from work and was very much looking forward to a relaxing evening. Instead, I got Braxton-Hicks contractions (sonuvabitch, those are more unpleasant than I'd been expecting). Nothing to give a second thought to, I've been assured, but I can see this getting annoying. I frightened a coworker this morning my stopping midsentence and clutching my belly. I'm getting happier and happier about being done work in just over two weeks. I just think that it's getting to be time.

I've had probably around 25 in total during the last 24 hours, just a few seconds each, and totally random. As unpleasant as it's been, it's kind of neat to know that my body is so busy getting ready for Briony to be born.

Baby is still happy and healthy in there, and her head is down now - YAY. My doctor freaked us out today by saying that Baby is good to go any time now... I immediately started to list off all the things we don't have ready yet, and he laughed at me. I'm sure we still have a few weeks to go, but there's nothing like hearing your doctor say something like that (and a few 'practice contractions') to get you feeling extra-motivated to cross a few more things off the 'getting ready for baby' list.

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Cutting Poster

A poster campaign that I worked on is being featured on several design and advertising blogs. This is one in a series of three, shot on a shoestring budget for a non-profit client - case in point, this picture was taken in my bathroom and, yes, that is the lovely and talented Kirsten who volunteered to try her hand at modelling for a day last summer (and did a fantastic job!).

Thought you might be interested in taking a peek, while I still have work (read: non-baby) stuff to post occasionally :)

HINT: You can click to make it larger.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

In Need of a Prayer

In about 15 minutes, I'm leaving work to go give a 'motivational talk' at an Arthritis Society luncheon event at the Art Gallery - talking about arthritis research alongside the Chair of Rheumatology Research for the province and the Minister of Healthy Living.

Which is fine. Except that while I'm writing this, my parents are on their way to the hospital for an unscheduled visit to check out the swelling and complications my mom is having with her port that's installed in her chest.

It's overwhelming, and I'm not really sure how I'm supposed to wrap my head around both of those things right now. Which is why I need some help. If you're reading this today, please say a quick prayer for all of us. We really need for my mom to be okay today, so that they can go ahead with her next chemo treatment tomorrow morning as planned - so that she can finish treatment as quickly as possible, and hopefully before the babies come.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Setbacks and Looking Ahead

On Friday after work, I went to go officially register Team Sherri for Run for the Cure. As of last week, we have twenty-four people signed up and $3,800 raised - and both of those numbers are still growing. Awesome.

It had been a really busy day, and I flew from work to home to The Running Room without really thinking about it. But as soon as I was back in my car, I burst into completely random tears. I'm not really sure what it was exactly... I'm really excited about doing Run for the Cure, and I think it's going to be a really fun and positive day. But I got a little bit angry on Friday. I don't want my mom to have cancer. I am so sick of us being a Cancer Family.

The good news is that - after Wednesday - my mom has just one more chemo treatment to go. And then radiation. But I'm trying really hard not to think about that yet.

Before her second-last chemo treatment, though, we're celebrating her birthday - yesterday at Falcon with her big family, and tonight at dinner with our little family. And there is so much to celebrate.

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Monday Secret


Surprise Baby Shower

So apparently the way to fool Lindsay into a surprise party is really quite simple: ask her to plan it.

On Saturday morning, I met up with the Cocoonettes for what I thought was a 'Welcome Back Asta Brunch' - planned by yours truly in honour of our former assistant who moved back to Lithuania for the summer, but recently made her (temporary) return back to Winnipeg. For the uninitiated, the Cocoonettes are all the girls who are presently or have recently worked at Cocoon, plus the Cocoon boys' significant others. We get together for Girls Nights at least every couple of months - more often, if we can manage it.

I seriously did not catch on that anything had been going on behind my back before people started showing up at Cora's with pink baby gift bags. It was a surprise baby shower. For me. Silly girl. And I'd even volunteered to get up and head to the restaurant extra-early to ensure we'd have a table.

Kudos and thank you to the Cocoonettes. Briony is seriously going to be the best-dressed baby girl in town, destined for a career in... well, advertising, naturally.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday Smile

Click here for your Office-inspired Friday Smile.

If you're a fan of The Office at all, I guarantee you'll laugh out loud. I did. Through the entire thing. And then I clicked and watched it again :)


Thursday, September 18, 2008


TGIT... Because that means tomorrow is FRIDAY! :)

Yesterday was another rough night. Not my worst, but far from the glorious eight hours I'd really been hoping for. It made for a long day today - and I'll even admit to losing my cool about some stressful work stuff. Fortunately, Christine and Dolly were quick to suggest a sunshiny walk to Starbucks. It was 26 degrees outside - and we treated ourselves to (decaf) Passionfruit Iced Lemonade - and I was feeling much more Lindsay-like by the time we returned to the office.

Highly pregnant women should have much more relaxed jobs than working in advertising. Seriously.

I wasn't really sure how I'd manage to drag myself to prenatal yoga tonight. As always, I am *so* glad that I did. My yoga instructor also happens to be a massage therapist, and she ended off our session tonight with the best savasana ever, working her way around the room to do some lower back massage on each of us. Yummy. I always leave class feeling like my body is working again, instead of feeling like we're at odds against each other.

And then it's Friday :)

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More House Progress

Not finished yet, but getting *so* close... I cannot wait to get my grubby little hands on the front flower beds next spring, now that it will actually look good to have them done :)


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Thank You

A great big THANK YOU to whoever prayed that I'd have a good night.

I came home from work and tried to have a nap - with no luck at all. Geoff and I went to go see a movie, and got home around 10. And by 11, I was sound asleep in bed - and slept through to 8 this morning (with a couple of bathroom trips, of course, but I fell back asleep quickly every time). I feel absolutely human again today. YAY.

I'm at work this morning, then I took the afternoon off to accompany my mom to an information session at CancerCare. Maybe not exactly like the cool girly stuff we used to do together... But I'm looking forward to spending some Mom Time :)

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Eight Months

You know you're in the home stretch when you feel like you spend more Quality Time with doctors than with actual people... Sheesh. We're definitely nearing the final sprint. I have less than four weeks for work left - and then Thanksgiving, and then three weeks until the expected arrival of our baby girl. I can't believe how time is flying by...

How I'm Feeling:
Tired. Busy. A little bit crazy. Round. Excited. Emotional.

New Stuff Last Month:
- Very strong kicks and squirms
- A very odd-looking belly button :)
- A second session of Prenatal Yoga
- Starting to get the nursery ready
- More heartburn
- A second glucose test (normal!)
- Feeling very protective of Baby
- Mostly wearing flat shoes now... BOO

What's On Mommy's Mind:
Hi Briony. How are you doing in there? Seems like you're having a pretty good time, if all that wiggling and moving around means that you're happy. My books say that you're over four pounds now, and seventeen inches long. No wonder you're squirming so much - it must be getting crowded in there!

Part of me can't help but poke at my stomach every once in a while, asking you to come out. And part of me is really sad that soon you won't be a part of me anymore, that you'll be out there in the world and I won't be able to feel every movement you make. It's complicated.

I'm starting to feel more like your mommy every day. I had a scare this month when someone bumped into the back of my car at a red light. It was a tiny little accident with no real damage to the car. I was only hurt a little bit, and you were absolutely safe tucked away inside of me. But it made me really angry that someone would be so careless around you. I realized that I can't always protect you. And that was really scary for me, because I want you to grow up safe.

Things are starting to change around our house... Your daddy's been working to move his things out of your room so that we can start painting and moving your things in. In the next couple of weeks, it will be all set up - just waiting for you to come and live with us.

You have no idea how much we love you already, and how excited we are that you're coming. We can't wait for our little family to become three people. You are so wanted, so anticipated, and so loved.

Psst! Click on the 'Month By Month' tag below to view past updates and belly pictures.

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Tuesday Smile

I just got an email from Al & Joanne (my sister-in-law) and their family that made me grin from ear to ear. They are currently on their trip of a lifetime, touring Egypt and England with their four kids. This week, they were in Cairo and Alexandria - riding camels, touring pyramids, bartering in bazaars, eating strange food, and swimming in the ocean.

I am *so* happy and excited for them - what an amazing adventure. I can't even imagine the pictures and stories and memories they'll be coming home with :)

Al & Joanne, Hannah, Ruth, Libby, and David last June at Hannah's graduation


No Dice

Ugh. So I ended up sleeping fitfully, on and off from midnight until around 04.30. What happened after 04.30, you ask? NOTHING. Of course, I managed to doze off after my alarm rang at 07.15, which made it a mad scramble to get myself off to work.

If only I could go back to my pre-pregnancy, pre-healthy-living days of coffee and Red Bull in near-toxic quantities - just for an hour or two... I could totally have salvaged a day like today. Instead, I'm munching on a banana and raw almonds. Sigh. Not really the same :)


Monday, September 15, 2008


All weekend, I've been fighting to get some sleep. And I've been losing. I've tried everything I can think of and have given myself a nightly routine that includes (a) writing down the things I'm stressing about so that they're out of my head, and then (b) spending time with a good book in a bubble bath until I'm starting to feel sleepy/pruny. And still, I'm awake more than I'm asleep. I keep thinking the next night will be better, because I'm about 50% more exhausted than I was the night before... But no. I just keep adding exhaustion on top of exhaustion, until I became convinced that there was something seriously wrong with me.

Then this morning, I got one of my 'baby emails' in my Inbox. The topic? Third trimester insomnia, which is apparently very common - like 75% of all expecting moms common.

It doesn't really fix the situation (and all of their 'ideas' for how to deal with it were useless - as in, things I'm already doing), but it reassured me that I'm normal. Which seems to be a common theme already. I should really lighten up.

It's beyond cruel. Just when I need sleep more than ever - and when I know that I'm about to lose MONTHS of sleep once Briony comes - there is absolutely no sleep to be had. Here's hoping it was just a temporary setback. Because Lindsay is TIRED. And the only way I'm going to survive an intense final four weeks of work (and final seven weeks of pregnancy) is by getting some sleep.

Ironically, I'm pretty sure that if I crawled under my desk right now, I'd sleep like a baby...

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Monday Secret


Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday Smile

I can't move furniture or paint to get ready for this baby. But one thing that I can do - and I'm starting to work on - is creating my own compilation CD of lullabies. I'm thinking less 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' and more 'Songs That Mommy Actually Likes to Listen To.' And if I can sing along to them, all the better.

On my list so far:
Lullaby (Dixie Chicks)
Lullaby for Wyatt (Sheryl Crow)

They don't need to be lullabies, per se. These first two ideas I had just happen to be. They also happen to be a little bit country, which is funny to me. Whatever. I love them.

So... Any ideas to add to my list?

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Reflections on an Anniversary

I was doing a lot of thinking yesterday...

It's so strange to me that it's been seven years since September 11. It's our generation's 'man on the moon' moment. Everyone remembers where they were when it happened and how it felt. You know who was huddled around the TV with you, sharing an experience that you all knew was profound - but you didn't fully understand how or why or what it meant.

It's a strange thing. And it's even stranger to me that my daughter will grow up without the 'before and after' that has become a part of our lives. She's being born into a world where we fear terrorism in North America, where heightened security and travel restrictions are starting to feel normal, and where people fear others who don't look like them - because fear has (however unfairly) been given a face.

It makes me really sad. But I also realize that Briony won't know what she missed. This is the only world she'll know - and it will continue to change and be different than it is today.

It also makes me really happy. Because I see that younger people are caring more and more. And they are starting to take action, through protests and petitions and - the most exciting thing, in my opinion - by exercising their right to vote. I'm hopeful that in the next few years, we will start to see this younger generation actually running for office themselves. And their low tolerance level for jargon and bullshit might eventually bring about real change.

The initial fear and shock of September 11 is waning. I'm starting to feel the rumblings, and I like it. We're a generation that wants more. We believe that the world can be a better place than it is today. And we have some of the tools that can help make that happen. We're not afraid to point out the problems that we see or to question what we don't agree with. We value others, and listen to the opinions of people who think differently than we do, because we recognize their unique perspective and understand that every opinion deserves to be respected. I think that's really exciting.

The world is not perfect. But it's a great time to be young and optimistic. Now we just need to figure out all the implications and intricacies of raising a strong daughter who can think for herself (without taking it personally when 'thinking for herself' leads her to answers that we might not have chosen for her).


And now, proving my theory that there's either a song or a Seinfeld reference for EVERYTHING... :)

Me and all my friends
We're all misunderstood
They say we stand for nothing and
There's no way we ever could
Now we see everything that's going wrong
With the world and those who lead it
We just feel like we don't have the means
To rise above and beat it

So we keep waiting
Waiting on the world to change

It's hard to beat the system
When we're standing at a distance
So we keep waiting
Waiting on the world to change

Now if we had the power
To bring our neighbors home from war
They would have never missed a Christmas
No more ribbons on their door
And when you trust your television
What you get is what you got
Cause when they own the information, oh
They can bend it all they want

That's why we're waiting
Waiting on the world to change

It's not that we don't care,
We just know that the fight ain't fair
So we keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change

And we're still waiting
Waiting on the world to change

One day our generation
Is gonna rule the population
So we keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change

We keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change

- Waiting on the World to Change (John Mayer)

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Recipe: Glazed Stuffed Pork Chops

By popular demand...

This was modified from a Kraft recipe. It was yummy and easy and made Geoff happy. My only issue with it is the boxed stuffing... Everything else could be easily modified to be organic. I shall need to do some more research - or just make it myself next time instead of enjoying the glorious convenience of a box.

Glazed Stuffed Pork Chops

1 box stuffing mix for chicken
1 cup apple juice
2 apples
4 pork chops
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup raspberry vinaigrette dressing
(NOTE: I used an organic sweet onion dressing instead, and it was awesome)
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Prepare stuffing as directed on package, substituting apple juice for the water. Cut one of the apples into 1/2-inch chunks and stir into prepared stuffing.

Heat large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Carefully cut pocket in each chop (slice almost all the way open from the side). Close back up, sprinkle with pepper, and cook 2 minutes on each side. Remove chops from skillet, reserving drippings in skillet. Spoon 1/4 cup of the stuffing mixture into pocket in each chop. Spoon remaining stuffing into 13x9-inch baking dish. Place chops over stuffing in baking dish.

NOTE: It works just as well to skip the 'pocket' step and just put the chops over all of the stuffing and call it a day. It just doesn't look as fancy :)

Core remaining apple and cut crosswise into four rings. Place 1 apple ring over each chop. Brush evenly with 1 tbsp of the dressing.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until chops are cooked through. Meanwhile, mix remaining 3 tbsp dressing, brown sugar, and mustard in same skillet. Cook on medium-high heat 1 minute or until bubbly and thickened. Serve spooned over the apples and chops.



So last night, I officially joined the ranks of Pregnant Women Who Have Melted Down About The Unfinished State Of The Nursery.


I'm not proud. And it's one of the true miracles of pregnancy why sometimes these things come out as tears and not as rational, adult conversations.

I can't really explain it to Geoff. I just have this innate NEED to have the nursery mostly done by the end of September. I'm fully aware that it's a month earlier than what any man would consider to be 'reasonable' (ooh, I'm really starting to hate that word - hehe). But I am very reluctant to leave any major projects for when I'm on mat leave. I'd rather guard that time and set it aside for little finishing touches, some time with Geoff, and some time for myself. And I don't have the luxury of pretending that this baby isn't on her way... Not with a tiny little person squishing the oxygen out of my lungs and dropkicking my bladder.

Am I being crazy?

Sigh. I'm being crazy.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week


Before & In Progress

So our exterior facelift project is a work in progress, but we're starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

By popular demand... Here's a bit of a visual update.

Here's a BEFORE shot. Not really fair, because the grey stucco gunk and the bare wood you see were added *just* before the stucco coating happened - it's not like we've been living like this. But it's a BEFORE shot just the same. It just makes it more dramatic (hehe).

And here's an IN PROGRESS shot. Note the blue trim, and all the boards that are currently bare wood or painted the same colour as the stucco - these will all be turning white in the very near future (in fact, Geoff was starting on it this afternoon).

I am *so* excited to see it finished... The exterior was the one really sore point that we didn't love about the house when we bought it - and the one thing that really doesn't look like anything we would ever have chosen. This work we're doing now makes it feel like ours, and it makes me feel kind of warm and fuzzy. I love the feeling of HOME.


It's Tuesday

I'm having a bad day.

I don't think it's any one thing... It's a bunch of little stress triggers that have all converged on this oddly sunny Tuesday in September. It's just not a good day. So I think I'm going to leave it at that. I hate dwelling on those negative feelings and giving them so much power. At this point, I'm just kind of on survival mode - and I'm deciding that tomorrow is going to be a much better day.

Fortunately, I took the time to put together a meal plan and grocery list last night that should be good for the rest of this week. (I know. I'm a 40 year old housewife. But I figured I'd give this kind of domestic planning a try.) And Geoff was a sweetie and picked up groceries today. So at least I can make a good dinner when I get home tonight... At almost eight months pregnant and working full time, I'm finding it almost impossible to do both - grocery shopping AND cooking - in the same evening. And it's amazing what a proper (healthy) meal does for a person's outlook on life.

That's what I'm hoping, anyway. I'm really hoping to scrape together the energy to clean the other half of the bathroom tonight that I just didn't have the gumption to finish yesterday.

Remember when this blog was about a young single gal and all her zany adventures working as an entry-level ad agency minion, going on disastrous first dates, and dealing with a ridiculous revolving door of roommates in crappy apartments?... :)

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Monday, September 08, 2008

Three Random Updates (and a song)

Just a quick (okay, super-long) update on a few of the things that happened in our world this weekend...

1. Lindsay got in an accident.

I stopped for groceries on my way home on Friday so that I could be a good wife and make dinner, and a good sister and pick up a bunch of stuff for my sister's baby shower. On my way out of the parking lot, I was stopped at a red light and waiting to turn left... And the guy stopped behind me - for some unknown reason - didn't notice that his foot has slipped off the brake and he hit the back of my car.

Not really a huge deal. He was going really slowly. And it was minimal damage to my car. But I immediately felt that my neck and my back were messed up. I need to make a decision in the next day or two about whether or not to bother with a claim. I'm just very concerned about having a less-than-healthy spinal situation going on while I complete my last two months of pregnancy.

And after I drove away, I started freaking out (not really Lindsay's characteristic cool). It's just *so* scary that something like that can happen in a split second, and I was immediately worried about whether or not the baby was okay. And so it begins...

2. Lindsay & Geoff skipped the country.

As planned, Geoff and I set off earlyish on Saturday morning and headed to Grand Forks to do a bunch of baby shopping. We didn't find absolutely everything that we'd hoped to, but we did find a lot of great stuff for good prices. Hooray. (Kari-Ann was right. These little monkeys are expensive.)

Our very favourite purchase of the day was an ivory zip-up hoodie made of this really furry fleece, and it has little bear ears on the hood. Unfortunately for Briony, her parents are very amused by baby outfits that incorporate animal ears, animal feet, or other unusual features. I hope she'll be too young to realize that we're pointing and falling over laughing at her when she's dressed up in this stuff.

In between all our shopping, we made some time for lots and lots of people-watching. Funny stuff. I don't even really know where to start.

3. We spent some Quality Time with my family.

After our daytrip to the Land of Republicans, we decided to stop at my parents' place - which is almost an hour closer to Grand Forks than our house is. By this point, my newly mangled back and neck were finished with the whole road trip idea. In the morning, Geoff headed to Winnipeg to do sound for church, and I spent time with my dad and then my mom and then my brother who rotated through the chair across the table from me throughout the morning. Around lunchtime, my mom and I got dressed and prettied ourselves up (she was more successful that I was... pregnant glow my ass) and left for Jessica's baby shower - picking up Aaron's girlfriend Cait along the way.

After the shower, Geoff met us back at my parents' place and we had dinner together and hung out for a while before heading back to the Big City.

This last round of chemo really took its toll on my mom. When we got there on Saturday night, I could see that her eyes were sick. For some reason, that's the hardest thing for me to see in all of this: when her eyes look like that. She's so brave and so strong, but this past week was a really, really hard week. I just want for all of this to be over, and for my family to start the process of figuring out what 'normal' means after cancer.

It all kind of hit me again last night after we got home. I guess I hadn't cried for a couple of weeks. And now I'm kind of wishing that I'd stuffed that down deep inside for another couple of days, because I'm feeling really raw and fragile today.

Days like today always make me think of that old Jewel song. Which always makes me think about my mom :)

I was thinking that I might fly today
Just to disprove all the things that you say
It doesn't take a talent to be mean
Your words can crush things that are unseen
So please be careful with me, I'm sensitive
And I'd like to stay that way

You always tell me that it's impossible
To be respected and be a girl
Why's it gotta be so complicated?
Why you gotta tell me if I'm hated?
So please be careful with me, I'm sensitive
And I'd like to stay that way

I was thinking that it might do some good
If we robbed the cynics and took all their food
That way what they believe will have taken place
And we can give it to people who have some faith
So please be careful with me, I'm sensitive
And I'd like to stay that way

I have this theory that if we're told we're bad
Then that's the only idea we'll ever have
But maybe if we are surrounded in beauty
Someday we will become what we see
'Cause anyone can start a conflict
It's harder yet to disregard it
I'd rather see the world from another angle

We are everyday angels
Be careful with me 'cause I'd like to stay that way

- I'm Sensitive (Jewel)

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Monday Secret

Inspired by our trip to the US of A this weekend.

After much debate, I have decided how I'm voting in our federal election. It involves spoiling my ballot - instead of my usual support of the Green Party. But I will do it quite gleefully. Stay tuned :)


Jessimica's Baby Shower

Yesterday afternoon, a bunch of us gathered at my sister Jessica & her husband Kevin's place to celebrate the future arrival of their first baby. It was neat to see their house to close to finished (they just moved in this summer), and how the space reflects their personalities so well.

Funny story... The doctors still aren't sure if Jessie should be planning on an early delivery date (they've been saying all along that we can expect this baby to arrive in mid-September). But her complications seem to be under control now, and they actually bumped back her due date from October 23 to October 28. Which puts her even closer to our due date of November 3. We'll see, but regardless of what happens, my parents are about to become grandparents twice over in verrry quick succession.

The guest of honour

Obligatory 'pregnant sisters belly shot'

The two mothers-to-be with one happy grandma-to-be. I love this picture. It makes my heart smile.

If you're interested, you can take a peek at more Baby Shower pictures in this album of Summer 2008 pictures: http://www.new.facebook.com/album.php?aid=59486&l=6d043&id=567710427

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Friday, September 05, 2008

Run for the Cure - Two Weeks Left to Donate!

I'm sure it's old news by now that my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer this past spring. Her surgeries are all finished, and she's currently going through chemotherapy, with radiation scheduled to start sometime in November or December. She lost her hair this past month, which was probably the toughest thing we've needed to deal with so far - it's a constant reminder of what she's fighting.

She's pretty feisty - and her prognosis is good - but her treatments are scheduled to continue through Christmas and we wanted to do something extra to encourage her. We're putting together a team of friends and family who will be participating in the Run for the Cure event happening at the MTS Centre one month from today.

As part of this project, I'm doing a *small* amount of fundraising: only $150 in total. Please consider making a donation to help me out! Small donations will add up quickly toward this total (and you'll receive a tax receipt for anything $20 or over). I have two weeks to finish my fundraising.

You can donate by credit card here:

Thanks in advance! :)


Friday Smile

This website might just set a record for the biggest time waster EVER. Enjoy!


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Beautiful Things

So the good news is that our stucco coating is DONE! The crew came back and finished the job today. The colour is beautiful. I'm so happy with it.

The bad news is that all our trim is still blue, and now it's up to Lindsay & Geoff (well, mostly Geoff) to turn it all white. Geoff is working a string of night shifts right now before he's off for eight days. We (read: Lindsay) had also hoped to tackle the nursery during that time off... We'll see what happens. I'm just really starting to need to get that space ready. I can see it in my head, and it's so pretty. I can hardly wait.

Despite this rather formidable to do list, we are taking this weekend off and road tripping it down to the States for the day on Saturday to pick up a bunch of baby stuff. Fun. I'm kind of excited about spending a day with The Boy. It happens. But between both of our work schedules, it doesn't happen as often as I'd like it too. I like him. And we always have fun together - and we're sure to enjoy a full day of people-watching in the heart of Republican North Dakota... :)

I've spent too much energy lately worrying about how our marriage will handle the addition of a baby. There's absolutely nothing wrong with our relationship. But having a baby a mere thirteen months after having a wedding is something that you're warned against doing since you're small - and I'd assume that's for a reason. These kinds of thoughts were really weighing on me when I went to bed last night.

And then this morning, I was getting ready for work while Geoff arrived home late from a particularly rough night shift. He came upstairs with my very favourite Starbucks in one hand, and one of the pear muffins in the other. For me. And he'd warmed up the muffin.

And I knew absolutely in my heart of hearts that we're going to be just fine.

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Fall Baking

Mmm... I'm probably the only person in Manitoba who's actually excited for this week's fall weather. I pulled out a sweater from my closet this morning - somewhat gleefully, I'll admit. Don't get me wrong - I love summer. I just REALLY love fall. Even more so this year, having experienced the intense discomforts of summertime pregnancy.

I decided to mark this first fall-feeling day with some fall baking. And just because I'm in a particularly generous mood, I'm going to share tonight's recipe with all of you.

Ginger Pear Muffins

2-1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups chopped peeled pears

1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp butter (melted)
1/4 tsp ground ginger

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, ginger, salt, and cinnamon. In separate bowl, combine brown sugar, oil, egg, and buttermilk - and pour over dry ingredients. Sprinkle in pears and stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon into greased or paper-lined muffin cups.

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, butter, and ginger. Sprinkle over batter.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.


The End of an Era

I just sent the email that makes the beginning of my Mat Leave official. My last day of work will be Friday, October 10.

I know that I want this baby. And I know that I want to spend this next year at home with her. So why can't I stop crying? (Please don't just tell me it's the hormones.)

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Monday Secret


Weekend Update: The End of Summer

So Curve launched on Friday, amid much fanfare in our office. I was not a part of that fanfare. I was sitting in a basement lab, trying not to puke up an otherwise empty stomach full of orange glucose drink and waiting for my next blood and urine tests (which were repeated four times in three hours). My mom graciously volunteered to drive in and sit with me all morning, which was awesome - it made the time fly by. When Curve was scheduled to launch, we made an excuse to the lab techs about needing something from the car, and then sat in my car and listened to the launch. About ten seconds later, there was a tapping on my window. I rolled it down and was greeted by an angry lab tech who wanted me to know that I was obligated to sit in their dingy nasty lab until my sentence had been served. And so we were dragged back to the basement.

I made it back to work for the afternoon, and the whole Cocoon crew headed out for a celebratory round after work (a round of cranberry juice with a healthy dose of heckling for the pregnant girl...). Then I headed over to Tiber River for a pedicure with Darcie. Kind of a perfect start to a Long Weekend, if you ask me. The colour is 'Naughty' (which made me giggle) and it's a pretty dark red - almost black - that perfectly captures the essence of Lindsay.

Geoff and I spent Saturday, Sunday, and Monday at the lake with my parents. Aaron, Kevin, Jessica, Rocky, and Emily joined us for the day on Sunday. It was a wonderful, relaxing time... I spent two afternoons on the beach, went for a couple of short walks, sat on the lakeshore, went to bed early, and just generally found myself again. It's absolutely insane to me that summer is over - and that next summer, we'll have a baby to pack up and bring along with us. I'm really looking forward to it, though. Hopefully, Briony will like the lake as much as we do :)

We returned to the Big City just as the rain started to fall. And just in time for me to change and meet up with Erin for the Oasis concert. It made me sooo happy. Seriously. One of my favourite high school bands with one of my favourite high school friends. The music was better live than on their CDs, even if their arrogance made them kind of terrible performers (standing there like you're god and initiating applause for yourself is not exactly modest). It was all part of the fun. And they played every single song I'd hoped they would - including Wonderwall, Lyla, Champagne Supernova, Rock and Roll Star, and (happy sigh) Don't Look Back in Anger.

And elsewhere, outside the Wright residence, a rather motley-looking crew applied the first primer coat of our new stucco coating. Unfortunately, they began on Saturday and then had the rest of the weekend off. And now it's raining, which I'm guessing will delay them again. Not the biggest deal in the world... Except that our earth-toned new house colour looks way beyond ridiculous with our old blue window trim colour (that we can't repaint until the coating is totally complete). Lovely. I know it will be very worth it... And in the meantime, I'm learning humility :)

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What Would Obama Say?

I am just nerdy enough that this article was right up there with one of the most fascinating things I've read lately.

What Would Obama Say?

I have always secretly wanted to be a political speechwriter. Okay, maybe not always secretly. But it's a job - along with editing a magazine - that absolutely intrigues me. And I thought it was incredibly cool that Obama's speechwriter is my age. That's all :)