Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Change, Change Go Away

I like planning, and I like lists. I actually own paper that is pre-printed with lines and boxes to make lists and check things off as I complete them. Needless to say, I am *not* a big fan of change.

I'm trying to change (har har) my attitude, because it seems that - not only is change something that's inevitable - it seems to be the theme of my life recently. I'm fully aware that *some* change is good. Just look at my beautiful little family. But even good change is change, and change is just another dreaded c-word in my books. Too much of any kind of change just kind of gets to you after a while.

I wish that I could blog about what I'm thinking about, stressing about, and feeling right now. But now is not the time, and this is not the place.


How to Cope with Stress - Daily Stress Busters

* Be gentle with yourself. Cultivate a pleasant environment. Surround yourself with what you like whenever possible, whether it is flowers or colors or pictures. Make a space for yourself where you can relax, alone or with others.

* Remind yourself you are an enabler, not a magician. You cannot change anyone else's behavior. You can only change your own behavior and responses.

* Take a mini-vacation from stress. If you can find fifteen minutes a day, or one hour a week if daily isn't possible, make a date with yourself. Schedule a walk around the block, lunch in the park, a sunrise or sunset alone, a bubble bath without interruptions, a stroll through a favorite store, a cup of your favorite beverage away from the demands of the day. Take a deep breath and concentrate on a slow exhalation while tension melts from your limbs.

* Have a massage. (Exchange massages with your spouse.)

* Give support to another and learn to accept it. Everyone feels helpless (and perhaps hopeless) at some time. Admit it and get on with it. When someone needs you, be there for him/her. When you need someone, tell him/her. Use a buddy support system. Find someone you can call or talk to any time.

* Change your routine when it might help refresh your life. Get up a few minutes earlier and go for a walk? Take a different route home from work? Wear your rings on different fingers? Order something different from a menu? Have dessert before your meal?

* Learn to recognize the difference between complaining that reinforces stress and constructive criticism that helps.

* Focus on one good thing that happened each day. Keep a gratitude journal where you list what you are thankful for daily.

* Be a resource to yourself. Try something new, learn to play again. Laugh. Laughter releases endorphins, chemicals in the brain that restore calm.

* Avoid shop talk outside of work. If you socialize with co-workers, keep it social, not a rehash of the day's tensions.

* Say "I choose," instead of "I should." "I won't" instead of "I can't."

* Make exercise a part of your daily life-even if it's only taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking at the far end of the lot.

* Make rest a part of the daily plan. There's no such thing as catching up with sleep on the weekend.

* Have a diet check-up. Eating too much fast food, deep fried, sugar-laden foods? What about your caffeine intake? Balance you diet, balance your life.

* Say "no" when asked to do something you really don't want to do.

* When you're concerned (worried) about something, write down your feelings about it or talk with someone about it. Worries shared are halved.

* Simplify your life. Eliminate the trivial.

* Take slow, deep breaths throughout the day. Sigh.

* Choose not to waste time on guilt, worry about the past. Remember, events exist in time, feelings do not. The event may be past, but feelings linger on. Let go of both.

* Enjoy nature, nurturing, music, children. Seek harmony in life.

* Do one thing at a time. Focus on it, do it more slowly, intentionally.

* Respect yourself. Talk positively about and to yourself.

* Learn to relax, using prayer, meditation, yoga.

* Accept yourself.

* Develop listening skills and negotiation skills.

* Be aware of the demands you place on yourself and others. Release those that are unrealistic.

* Prioritize activities. Do what's most important.

* Set goals for yourself.

* Delegate, delegate, delegate.

* Face fears. Find facts. Take action.

* Remember happy times. Stroll through photo albums.

* Keys to a happy life are: something to do, someone to love, something to look forward to.

* Do first things first.

* Reward yourself.

* Make your space friendly and comfortable. Give thought to lighting, temperature, noise.

* Wear comfortable clothing.

* Don't seek approval from others.

* Make peace and move on.

* Time your activities according to your biorhythms-if you are a morning person, schedule the hardest tasks in the morning.

* Choose to stay or leave, to work or not.

* Choose an appropriate level of emotional involvement. Choose your attitude.

* Have fun

When one door closes another door opens; but if we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the ones which open for us.
- Alexander Graham Bell


Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday Secret


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dad

Happy Birthday, Dad.

I'm not really sure what to say about your 52nd birthday yesterday... We threw you a little party, knowing full well that it was completely inadequate.

Throughout this past year, you have defined the role of Best Husband, Best Dad, and Best Grandpa - for this and all future generations. It sounds dramatic, and I know that you'd shrug it off. But it's true. Mom has been battling breast cancer for over a year now, and you did not miss a single test, consultation, chemo treatment, radiation appointment, surgery... You completely rearranged your life to support your family. You've been a rock for Mom, and for our entire family. I don't think you'll ever know how much that has meant to me. Just knowing that you were taking care of her like that kept me and my baby healthy as I learned to be The Daughter Of A Woman With Breast Cancer and an Expectant New Mother at the same time.

I don't know how to thank you (which is probably why I found myself bawling in the card aisle the other day, frustrated with Hallmark's inability to say what I knew I couldn't just yet). I just love and respect you. A lot. And we can leave it there.

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Another Baby

Congrats to Steve, Sherisse, and Ava on the birth of baby Carter Alexander William this past Friday. Good things come to those who wait - and it seems like most of us lately have had to wait a looong time to meet these precious bundles.

But seriously, girl... 10 pounds 15 ounces?! We should throw you a party. Or a parade. Or SOMETHING. That is one big, healthy, cuddly baby boy :)


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Cutie Pie

Yesterday, Briony and I headed out to Niverville and spent the day with my mom. Of course, no grandma can resist hauling out the camera. And no mom can resist sharing even the most everyday pictures of her cutie pie with the world :)

Yeah, she's getting pretty awesome at rolling. Life has become *so* much more interesting...

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Cocoon Open House

B and I made a quick stop at the Cocoon open house back on March 21. Kyle's mom sent these over the other day... A peek at Cocoon's new office space - complete with baby toys (unintentionally, of course).

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Smile

The view outisde our window this evening. What a lonely, lonely scooter. Geoff actually got it out and drove it to work a couple of times before this latest snow storm... And now it just looks funny. We crack up every time we look out the window :)

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

I'm Baaaack

So yes. It's (mostly) all gone, as of this afternoon. And so far, I'm really happy with my decision - and with Kevyn. Gotta love a hairdresser who just kind of does his thing and comes up with the haircut you didn't know you wanted. It feels so much more like Lindsay hair again.

I'm crossing my fingers that this will make it easier - not harder or more time-consuming - to deal with my hair every day. In any case... The near-constant ponytail HAD TO GO.

Today actually turned into a mostly-accidental Mommy Day. Geoff was off, and I managed to get in on a cancellation with Melissa (my favourite wax goddess at Tiber River) this morning, visited with Darcie (nail goddess extraordinaire) after my appointment with Melissa, met Christine for lunch at the mall, then got to have my hair appointment this afternoon.

I missed my boy and my baby, but it was really nice to get out for a little bit. And I'm woman enough to admit that I didn't quite manage to make it a baby-free day... I totally stopped in at home in between my appointment this morning and lunch with Christine to see Geoff and Briony for half an hour.

(Please forgive the makeup-less self portrait. I was busy this evening.)

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Too Much Information

I can't sleep, so you're all getting quiz answers. If I have to suffer and not sleep, then you can certainly handle this blog post ;)

1. First thing you wash in the shower? my face
2. What color is your favorite hoodie? pink
3. Would you kiss any of your Facebook friends? yes
4. Do you plan outfits? i used to...
5. How are you feeling RIGHT now? tired but unable to sleep, so kind of frustrated
6. Whats the closest thing to you that's red? part of the box from briony's tinkerbell valentines that's still sitting on the desk, waiting to be moved into the recycling bin...
7. Do you have a library card? i used to, not sure if it's still valid
8. Tell me about the last dream you remember having? uh oh... okay. for some inexplicable reason, i was contemplating an affair with noah wyle (who was a med student, not an actor) - in my dream, i kind of wanted to but all the logistics were just kind of overwhelming and i think i was just too lazy to actually go through with it. kind of hilarious, i think. and i'm still wondering why it was noah wyle and not george clooney... bizarre.
9. Did you meet anybody new today? no
10. What are you craving right now? um... dark chocolate
11. Do you floss? not nearly as often as you're supposed to
12. What comes to mind when I say cabbage? my parents' neighbour joe's amazing cabbage rolls at christmas time
13. When was the last time you talked on the phone? this morning
14. Are you emotional? today, not as much as usual (don't get your hopes up - i'm bound to be crazy and hormonal again by the morning)
15. Would you dance to the taco song? um, what? probably not - i'm not very fun
16. Have you ever counted to 1,000? not that i can recall, but i'm guessing not
17. Do you bite into your ice cream or just lick it? whatever combination will produce the least amount of mess
18. Do you like your hair? no, it's the thorn in my flesh. i've always hated it, and now it's falling out... i'm cutting it tomorrow, and hope i won't really regret that after the fact
19. Do you like yourself? mostly
20. Have you ever met a celebrity? didn't i just tell the noah wyle story? hehe
21. Do you like cottage cheese? yes
22. What are you listening to right now? peace and quiet
23. How many countries have you visited? no clue... um... eight??
24. Are your parents strict? i'm going to say yes, but not in a bad way
25. Would you go sky diving? it would scare me to death, but yes
26. Would you go out to eat with George W. Bush? definitely - just to ask some questions
27. Would you throw potatoes at him? no, but i would want to
28. Is there anything sparkly in the room you’re in? my ring (awww)
29. Have you ever been in a castle? yes
30. Do you rent movies often? no
31. Who annoys you most? i'm not working with him anymore, so it doesn't matter :)
32. Have you made a prank phone call? yes, and it's pretty legendary... i may or may not have convinced a boy from our high school that i was a fake girl from another high school who had seen him playing basketball and fell in love on the spot... and he may or may not have taken the bait hook line and sinker and told tons of people about it at school the next day... and he may or may not know to this day that it was a prank. sorry :)
33. Do you own a gun? no (scary)
34. Can you count backwards from 74? i sure as heck hope so
35. Who are you going to be with tonight? geoff and briony
36. Brown or white eggs? brown
37. Do you own something from Hot Topic? nope
38. Ever been on a train? yes
39. Ever been in love? yes
40. Do you have a cell-phone? yes
41. Are you too forgiving? probably
42. Do you use chap stick? yes
43. What is your best friend doing tomorrow? i don't really subscribe to the whole 'best friend' thing... i have lots of 'best girls' - and they'll be up to no good tomorrow, as usual :)
44. Can you use chop sticks? poorly, much to geoff's amusement
45. Ever have cream puffs? yes, with much guilt involved
46. Have you ever seen The Butterfly Effect? yes
47. What was the last question you asked? 'do you think i should cut my hair?' (poor geoff, who had absolutely no response)
48. What was the last CD you bought? the newest kanye west, part of geoff's christmas gift
49. Boys or girls? um, that's pretty vague
50. What is your secret food weakness? eating it
51. Is your hair curly? nope, it's that nasty flippy wavy in-between hair
52. Last time you cried? no clue, but probably very recently
53. Ever walked into a wall? allllll the time
54. Do looks matter? yes, but they aren't everything
55. Have you ever bought anything from Pac Sun? guess not
56. Have you ever slapped someone? i don't think so, actually
57. Favorite time of the year? autumn
58. Favorite color? changes constantly - right now, green and blue
59. Are you sarcastic? always
60. Do you have any tattoos? yes
61. The last person you held hands with? noah wyle
62. Do you sleep with the TV on? no, though it happened frequently when i was single
63. Where was your default picture taken at? i refuse to answer this question based on its ridiculous grammar (or lack thereof)
64. Do you hate or dislike more than 3 people? probably
65. Do you like your life right now? definitely
66. How often do you talk on the phone? only as much as i need to - i definitely prefer email (weird, i know, because i *heart* talking)
67. What is your favorite animal? hot dog
68. What was the most recent thing you bought? groceries
69. Do you have good vision? when i'm wearing glasses or contacts :)
70. Can you hula hoop? i could when i was younger - haven't tried recently
71. Could you ever forgive a cheater? i have in dating relationships, but i think it would be much more difficult now that i'm married... i'm honestly not sure
72. Do you have a job? wife to geoff, mommy to briony, part-time student, and still technically communications director at cocoon
73. Can you handle the truth? even when it's tough, i still prefer it
74. What are you wearing? wouldn't you like to know
75. Have you ever crawled through a window? nope, not that kind of girl

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dinner and a Movie

Geoff and I managed to kind of have a date today - with Briony in tow.

Of course, it's all different now that we have her around... After lunch, we packed up and headed over to Polo Park for Stars & Strollers and saw 'Duplicity' (fun movie, in a romantic comedy / spy kind of way, which is pretty much the definition of fun in my books). Then we stopped for groceries, and came home to unload them and feed Briony. Then it was back in the car and out for an early dinner. More of 'a movie and dinner' than 'dinner and a movie' but whatever. We were never really fans of the 'dinner and a movie' date anyway :)

As a side note, if you have a baby and you haven't already checked out a Stars & Strollers movie, I totally recommend it. The movies they show are at a lower volume than usual and they keep the lights dimmed instead of off. Other than that, it's a normal movie (assuming you can block out the strange goat-like noises of other people's kids... hehe). They're even kind enough to set up a change station right outside the entrance to your theatre, stocked with wipes and disinfectant and diapers in every size. Kind of a brilliant way to get out of the house during a Winnipeg winter. And my god, was it ever winter today!

Anyway. I've taken Briony to three so far, and they've all gone pretty well. When she was tiny, she slept right through the entire adventure... The last two times, she's had naps - but when she's awake, she's pretty much enthralled by the giant screen. Parent of the year, I know...

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In case you needed ANOTHER reason to switch to Gmail... They are now offering a feature that lets you 'undo send' on emails. For those who prefer to live their lives without regrets - or with regrets, depending on how you look at it. I *so* wish they'd had this feature back when I was dating... :)

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Tale of Two Mugs

At Cocoon, I was a little bit known for my coffee consumption. I think that part of it was just liking to have something in my hands at all times, to feel more comfortable - so I wandered around the office about 99% of the time holding a cup of coffee. And often a pen. (Incidentally, you'll notice that I was holding a Starbucks cup for our engagement photos. And that I look really awkward in any wedding photos where I wasn't holding my flowers. And when I was student teaching, it was a joke with my classes that they needed to come and pick up their pen from the little collection that ended up on my desk by the end of each class, after circulating to help the students with their work - and accidentally stealing their pens.)

Anyway. Back to Cocoon. The only trouble with this mug-clutching situation (other than the inevitable caffeine buzz, and the hardcore withdrawal I experienced when I had to switch to decaf while I was pregnant) was that I talk with my hands, and would put down said cup of coffee whenever I needed to explain something to someone. You could find me two minutes later, searching the office for my accidentally discarded mug. Which wouldn't have been a big deal, except that Kyle was equally bad at leaving his mug on people's desks, in meeting rooms, etc. And then we didn't always know which lonely mug was which. (Of course, Cocoon is a branding agency. So all the mugs in the office were identical and colour-coordinated with our office, our logo, etc.)

Geoff very cleverly decided to buy me a 'work mug' as a gift. It is lovely - curvy and white and full of George Clooney (he illustrated it for charity). And so this mug spent lots and lots of time in my hands at Cocoon for probably a year and a half before I went on mat leave. It was a sad day when I packed it up to bring it home with me - along with my bobbleheads, my photos, Flat Eric, the snitch, my tiara, and all the other stuff from my desk.

But here's the thing. I can't bring myself to use my At Work Mug at home. I tried it once, and it made me tear up. It just makes me miss work. There are so many emotions attached to it. And so, every morning, I pour myself a cup of coffee on our kitchen counter and it goes into my At Home Mug - the Starbucks mug we brought home from Seattle last year. I keep on thinking that I'll use the George Clooney mug tomorrow... But I never do. It's such a strange thing.

I know. I need therapy. Or at least more interesting things to blog about. Unfortunately, I was forced to (reluctantly) cancel our playdate with Nicole and Palmer because of the icky weather today.

How about you? Any strange quirks or rituals you feel like confessing on this dismal March morning with the sleet coming down outside?

PS - I still *heart* the obnoxious green in my kitchen. Best paint colour EVER. I can't believe that - almost two years later - it still makes me smile every single time.

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Welcome Home!

Briony and I picked up my parents from the airport on Friday night. They spent two weeks in New Orleans and Cozumel - celebrating the end of my mom's cancer treatments and healing in the warm sunshine.

On Sunday, Geoff, Briony, and I hosted a little welcome home party for them with Aaron & Cait and Kevin & Jessica. Predictably, all the pictures I have of our evening together are of the babies :)

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Briony's New Friend

Congrats to Marc & Mel, and big brother Malakai! Allegra Mercedes was born at 4.47 am this morning - 8 lb 12 oz and 21 in. I'm thinking that with those stats, we might be seeing some chubby cheeks in the forthcoming pictures... :)

So happy for you guys. I know she was worth the wait. Can't wait to meet her!

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday Secret


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Four Month Appointment

So I brought my big beautiful baby girl to the doctor's today for her four month checkup. And we confirmed that she's big... At four months, she's sitting at 16 lb 10 oz and 25.5 in - that's the 95th percentile for weight and the 90th for height (and her head is still off-the-charts big, hehe). She handled the immunizations like a trooper.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love this girl? She's so funny and goofy, and so easygoing - after her appointment, we walked over to HSC and met Geoff for lunch and then dropped in at the Cocoon fifth anniversary open house. At HSC, she was mobbed by Geoff's coworkers. And then at Cocoon, she was surrounded by my coworkers, clients, suppliers, and other assorted party guests - and she just sat back and smiled at them all.

She's friendly and fun, and once you add in those squishy cheeks... Yeah. I think we'll keep her :)

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I had a tough morning. It just felt like there were so many worries and stresses landing on my shoulders, and I keep being reminded again and again that I'm not the one in charge here... God seems to have these crazy little plans for my life, and throws these curveballs my way without stopping to ask me about it first. By lunchtime, I was really starting to feel like I need a vacation (fortunately, Em and I have pedicure appointments tonight - which always helps).

And then I logged onto Facebook. The little birthday notification in the corner reminded me that today should have been an old friend's birthday. We met as teenages, then found each other on Facebook back when I first joined, and she lost her fight with cancer last year. I left her a little birthday message with tears streaming down my face.

How ridiculous for me to be stressing about my wonderful, wonderful life.

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Monday, March 16, 2009


Here's another one that I can't use... Let me know if you can, and I'll drop it in the mail for you :)

(1) H&M - 20% off a $30 kids' clothing purchase. Valid April 2 to April 19, 2009. Canadian stores only.

For the record, I'm *so* ripped off about not getting to use this one... We'll miss it by less than a week! But I hope that someone else's child can get some cool new clothes for spring - and I consider that a very good cause, hehe.



Geoff, Briony, and I were in the mall today. A saleswoman came over to coo at Briony and asked how old she was. I answered, "Four months old today, actually." And then she asked if Briony had a little brother or a little sister on the way...

Seriously. I was prepared for this to happen once or twice, but it's more like once or twice a week right now. And really, if you just found out that the baby you're looking at is barely four months old - it's not even physically possible for me to be pregnant AND showing this fast.

The very worst part? I'd been feeling really good about myself today. I did my hair and put on some cute clothes, and right before we left I took a quick look in the mirror and actually thought to myself that I looked nice.

I hate that a stranger could take that away from me. Even more, I hate that I let her.


Briony is Four Months Old

Are you ready for this recap? It's been an incredibly busy month... It blows my mind how much a baby can change in just four weeks - she's feeling less like my little baby every day as I watch her explore the world and learn new things. I can't believe she's four months old today.

New Things This Month:
- Briony's first airplane trip!
- Meeting all of Geoff's family out in BC
- Getting much more coordinated and finding *so* many things to grab and suck on
- First trip to the United States (a daytrip to Washington state)
- Playing in her exersaucer
- Trying desperately to sit up (not successful yet)
- Rolling from her back to her tummy - yikes!
- Rolling from her tummy to her back, just a few days later
- Kicking and wiggling enough to spin in a circle pretty efficiently
- Playing in her jolly jumper (her new favourite toy)
- Smiling and talking to everyone she meets
- Testing out the *full* range of her vocal abilities, to the point where she sometimes gets hoarse by the end of the day

Favourite Moments:
- Introducing Briony to all her BC aunts and uncles and cousins (and grandparents, of course!)
- Spending lots of time outside in Abbotsford
- Watching Christine, Amber, and Dolly turn to absolute mush when they came over for a tea party and Briony charmed the pants off them (not literally... we don't have those kinds of parties, hehe)
- Putting her into a jolly jumper for the first time, and watching her learn to spin and bounce - she *loved* it and played happily for over an hour
- Listening to her as she finds her voice - in all its noisy, noisy glory

Looking Forward To:
SPRING! So that we can be outside lots more :)

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Monday Secret


Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Art of the Playdate

So here's something funny about becoming a mommy for the very first time... Nobody really instructs you in the art of the playdate. And it's an art, trust me. The thing is, I don't think I'm good at it.

From what I've been able to gather, you are supposed to sit around in a home of someone who has a small child - with your small child in tow - and talk about said children, maybe sip a cup of coffee, definitely not eat very much, and then pack up when your child starts being a little disruptive or when you need to leave and continue on with your errand-running (whether real or invented for the express purpose of extracting yourself and your tiny offspring from said playdate). Which is all fine. But I find myself wanting so much more. I want to talk about current events and careers and postpartum depression and expectations of marriage and motherhood... And from what I can tell, in most playdate circles, that's generally frowned upon. You're *supposed* to talk about your kids. It's okay to talk about teething, but not okay to ask about how their relationship with their mother has changed since they became a mother themselves. It's cool to bring up a labour story, but not cool to wonder out loud how they've managed to adapt to a new role that doesn't involve going into an office every day where you are defined by whatever your business card says. It's all incredibly fascinating to me - this social network that's as foreign to me as the gay men's alliance on Mars.

And that's alright, I guess. I can small talk with the best of them. I just don't really WANT to small talk. But I also don't really want to destroy friendships with the only people I know who are at home during the day :)

Disclaimer: I know that this is a total stereotype and maybe a slight exaggeration. And I have had some delightful 'playdates' thus far. I'm merely making some observations about the world as I see it through my own sarcasm-coloured lenses :)


Happy Sunday

Mmmm. Good weekend. Not for any particular - or particularly fabulous - reason, it just was.

Yesterday was quiet other than the whole Coldplay Incident of 2009. We went for a walk with Briony in the afternoon and hung out in Starbucks for a bit (hooray for babies who are totally cool with hanging out in Starbucks), then we picked up sushi for dinner. Emily came over in the evening and was my date for Kris & Kari-Ann's social - good times in Elm Creek, hehe. Although Donna apparently still hates me. Go figure :)

Em stayed over, and we all met Paul at The Meeting Place for church - my first time (believe it or not) and I really liked it. We ran into lots of old friends, and I met some really great people in the baby room. Then it was back to our place where Geoff dug a path to our barbecue and we grilled some steaks with garlic smashed potatoes, asparagus, and lots of mushrooms. It made me *so* excited for spring! We all enjoyed some Demetri Martin and some conversation in the afternoon - that great, comfortable conversation that can only happen with really good friends.

It was just good. I know that weekends don't really mean what they used to mean in my world given that I'm on mat leave and Geoff's schedule doesn't differentiate between weekdays vs weekends... But they still feel significant in my head somehow. And this one - though kind of busy - felt refreshing. I love that.

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Why I Hate Ticketmaster, or Woohoo! We're Going To Coldplay!

Okay, so Geoff and I have tickets to go see Coldplay in Winnipeg on June 15. I'm pretty excited about it... But not as excited as I *could* have been. Let me tell you a little story.

Geoff got up early this morrning and went to purchase Coldplay tickets at the MTS Centre (we've had the best luck getting wicked seats for shows when we do it this way vs pre-sale tickets or ordering online). When he got to the window at 10 am, he asked for two of the best floor seats available - and the agent mistakenly typed in a request for four tickets. The tickets that came up were on the floor in Row 9, but we only wanted two of them... When the agent went to correct her mistake, the best tickets she could offer were in Section 127, Row 14 (for the same ridiculous price as the good seats, of course). We purchased these tickets because we really wanted to see Coldplay, but these are comparatively TERRIBLE seats, right at the back of the arena. It will be frustrating for us to attend the concert knowing that we *should* have been sitting in sweet Row 9 seats.

Anyway. I sent a nasty email to Ticketmaster, just to make myself feel better. And I'm excited that we got tickets at all. I know that I should be feeling zen waves of gratitude that we get to go, that we can afford to go, and all that other good stuff - but for the moment, I'm pretty annoyed.

I think I'm going to go watch Entourage reruns, and brew the very last of my Starbucks Christmas Blend bean stash. That always cheers me up :)

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Bouncing Baby Girl

So this has been the scene in our house this week, as Briony now prefers to spend the majority of her day 'hanging out' in her new Jolly Jumper... Well, whatever part of her day that she's not spending rolling around like a little fiend until her mommy catches her and forces her to take a nap.

And if her beloved panda bear is in view, she will 'talk' to him - or me, or Geoff, or anyone else she happens to see. All day. Non stop. My chatty little social butterfly... She is fully exploring the potential of her noisy-ness, to the point that she was starting to lose her voice a little by bedtime yesterday. This afternoon, she realized that she could shriek. Loudly. Just for fun. And in a range that I *wish* only dogs could hear. Lord have mercy.

Is it just me, or does she sound a little bossy at the end of this video? :)

Make an on-line slide show at www.OneTrueMedia.com

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Friday Smile

Credit goes to Aaron, who totally made my day by sending me this yesterday :)


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Remind Me

...why did I think this was a good idea again?

I'm feeling it today. But there's no freaking way that I'm giving up on Day Three. Ugh. Here I go... Wish me luck!

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Plan

So my friend Amber and I had a good laugh yesterday when we realized that we'd both decided - completely independently - to start Jillian Michaels workout programs within 24 hours of each other. What can I say... Great minds *obviously* think alike :)

I checked out the one Amber had started (30 Day Shred) and I tried it this morning. I like both DVDs for different reasons - but I think that the 30 Day Shred will be more easily maintained for right now, and I'll add in the Banish Fat Boost Metabolism every once in a while to mix things up. The 30 Day Shred is the *perfect* length - around 20 minutes total - and it was pretty awesome to get in everything important in a short enough time that Briony was happy to play in her 'gym' and watch me.

Amber jumped on the chance to be my email workout buddy and hold me accountable this month. And I'm feeling so much better about not tackling this challenge on my own.

And so it begins. I just finished for today: Day 2 of 30. I can't believe how much better I feel about myself this afternoon after the workout compared to this morning before it.

(If anyone else is interested, all the Chapters and Indigo locations in Winnipeg have it in stock as of yesterday...)

While I was jumping around and looking goofy, Briony had a little workout of her own... Just as I was completing the final cool down stretch, she rolled from her front to her back for the first time :)

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Oh, The Humanity...

Today was scheduled to be the day that I started for-real exercising again - more than the walks and 'mommy workouts' I'd been doing. I decided to entrust my get-my-old-body-back workouts to none other than Jillian Michaels (thinking that if she can make the Biggest Loser folks skinny, then there just might be some hope for me after all).

This will prove to be both the best and worst decision of my life. I made it through the warm-up plus two of the seven circuits and most of the cool-down, and this DVD totally kicked my @$$. My goal is going to be sticking with two circuits a day this week, then gradually adding another circuit every week or two until I can handle the full hour.

Pray for me... LOL. Kinda.

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Monday, March 09, 2009

Briony vs Fist

You don't want to get me started on my thoughts about the whole Chris Brown / Rihanna situation... But contrary to what I *usually* think about the subject, this video seems to prove that domestic violence is pretty funny stuff :)

(So much for getting anything done tomorrow, Amber! Sorry.)

Make video montages at www.OneTrueMedia.com

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Monday Secret



I have a couple of coupons lying around my house that I won't be using. If you're interested, let me know - and I'll drop them in the mail for you.

(1) Thyme Maternity - $10 off a $90 purchase. Expires June 30, 2009.

(2) Bath & Body Works - FREE Signature Collection item with a $10 purchase. Expires April 5, 2009.


Saturday, March 07, 2009

Crazy Random Question

We're going to be looking for a few baby things to borrow while we're in BC this spring. Specifically, we'd really like to find a baby swing, an exersaucer, and a 'baby gym' floor mat with dangly toys.

If you live in the Vancouver / Abbotsford area - or have friends with kids who do - and you would be open to letting us borrow some baby equipment while we're staying with Geoff's parents, please contact me! Thanks :)


Tea Party

Briony and I had our first tea party today - and invited all the Cocoon girls to join us. We had a *lovely* afternoon, and my baby girl charmed all our guests with her cuddliness and big gummy smiles :)

I'm not sure, but this *may* be the only picture of Dolly holding a baby. EVER. But she's been bonding with Briony since she was a fetus (hehe).

Briony was full of giggles and smiles for 'Auntie' Amber, who was more than willing to play with her.

I'm still kind of a little bit in shock that Christine held a baby - more than once! Briony's pretty hard to resist :)

This baby is all tea-partied out...
(Briony, not me - although I look pretty tired too :)

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Friday, March 06, 2009

Friday Smile: Late Edition

Okay, add one more to the list:
Briony just rolled over by herself for the first time, from her back to her tummy. She got stuck there on her face (hehe) and looked a little stunned, but she was smiling - and so was I :)

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Friday Smile(s)

I have a couple of smiles to share today :)

So... We're going back to BC. Soon. Like in six weeks. Crazy, I know. But we ended our last trip with a question from Marilyn about whether or not we'd consider coming out there to take care of Geoff's dad so that she'd be able to attend her fifty-year nursing school reunion and visit with her siblings (who she hasn't been able to visit in a very long time). And the date of her reunion coincided with Geoff's time off in a way that was far more than coincidence, and we've been working out the details this week... Nothing's set in stone yet, but we're looking at leaving around April 28 and returning May 20.

This is a Friday Smile for a couple of reasons. Obviously, we enjoy spending time with our friends and family in BC (and the weather's a little better than Winnipeg). But more than anything else, this feels like an incredible gift that we're able to give to Geoff's mom: the ability to go relax and have fun without having to constantly worry about what's going on at home. I love her, and she's one of those people who would be impossible to try to buy a really fabulous gift for... So it's an absolute honour and pleasure for us to be able to give her a gift of our time.

I finished the Twilight books this week. Actually, I started AND finished them this week. Which kind of goes to show how absolutely brainless they were to read. While the English major in me *cringed* at the writing, they were kind of fun. I still don't know what the big deal is about Edward, but whatever - maybe I'm just too old.

The books in themselves aren't the smile. The smile is that I posted something about reading them on Facebook, and got the following comment in reply: 'How can someone who CLAIMS to be a Christian read that evil!' I chose to smile rather than fume. I also chose to delete rather than share this narrow-minded opinion with the world (at least my Facebook world).

Mostly, I'm smiling over the thought that I have been banished to hell for reading some crappy teenage pop culture books. If I'd known it was my eternal soul at stake, I certainly would have picked an author with a better grasp of plain old English grammar and sentence structure :)

Geoff and I have been watching The Big Bang Theory. For a kind of generic sitcom, I can't believe how much I'm laughing at these characters... Brilliant.

Briony is getting SO CLOSE to rolling over... It's taking everything in me not to just reach over and give her a tiny little push. But I want her to do it by herself.

My parents leave on their 'victory vacation' tomorrow. I am so excited for them, I can't even really come up with the words. If anyone in the world deserves a vacation right now, it's them. And Briony and I drive them to the airport in the morning!

And all my Cocoon girls are coming over to have a tea party with Briony and I tomorrow afternoon :)

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Erin tagged me on Facebook, but I'm going to answer here instead...

What is your salad dressing of choice?
It changes depending on the salad I'm about to consume. It's usually a vinaigrette of some kind

What is your favorite sit-down restaurant?
Hmmm... Good question. Right now, it's Pizzeria Gusto. YUMMY

What food could you eat for 2 weeks straight and not get sick of?
I think that I'd get sick of *anything* after eating it for two weeks

What are your pizza toppings of choice?
Mushrooms. (Sorry, Geoff)

What do you like to put on your toast?
This is entirely different from day to day. Usually some variation of butter, jam, or peanut butter

How many televisions are in your house?
Two, but we really only use one

What color cell phone do you have?
Dark grey and black

Are you right-handed or left-handed?
Very, very much right-handed. This is the reason I pay for manicures

Have you ever had anything removed from your body?
Just four wisdom teeth, a chunk of bone from my jaw (ew)... and Briony :)

What is the last heavy item you lifted?

Have you ever been knocked unconscious?

If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?
No. That would take all the fun out of it

If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
I don't think I would. In fact, I kind of like my name

Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000?
No, but I'm positive my husband would

How many pairs of flip flops do you own?
Lots. Which is funny, because they're kind of a pet peeve of mine

Last time you had a run-in from the cops?
Never. (Insert innocent smile here)

Last person you talked to?
My mom, on the phone

Last person you hugged?
Geoff, last night

Favorite Season?

Favorite Holiday?

Favorite Day of the Week?
Ummm... Sunday

Favorite Month?

Favorite Smell?
Rain. Baby. Baking. Really great cologne

First place you went this morning?
Briony's room

Last movie you saw?

Do you smile often?
I hope so...

Do you always answer your phone?
No. I don't really like to talk on the phone, so I'm notorious for either (a) screening, or (b) having my ringer off. It's nothing personal :)

It's four in the morning and you get a text message, who is it?
Geoff, working a night shift

If you could change your eye color what would it be?
I kind of always wanted green eyes, but I'm okay with my blue ones

What flavor drink do you get at Sonic?
Not really applicable

Do you own a digital camera?
Yes, but I always use Geoff's instead

Have you ever had a pet fish?
Many, beginning with Arden the goldfish (RIP)

Favorite Christmas song?
O Come, O Come Emmanuel - it's just so beautiful

What's on your wish list for your birthday?
No clue...

Can you do push ups?
Absolutely not

Can you do a chin up?
Not to save my life

Does the future make you more nervous or excited?

Have you ever been in a car wreck?
Many, unfortunately (rarely my fault)

Do you have an accent?
I don't think so, but you should probably tell me!

What is the last song to make you cry?
Heal Over (KT Tunstall)

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Briony is Three Months Old (belated)

Late again, I know. Sigh. I'm just too busy playing with her to actually sit down and write this stuff down :)

New Things This Month:
- Celebrating Briony's first Valentine's Day and her first Superbowl
- Starting to grab at toys and actually capture them some of the time
- Finding her hands and sticking them in her mouth constantly
- Discovering that our baby girl is soooo ticklish - changing clothes is almost unbearable for her :)
- Chattering away to anyone who will listen
- Making strange for the first time (only twice so far, so we're hoping it's a phase we can mostly just skip over)
- Going for outdoor walks for the first time

Favourite Moments:
- Briony is still trying to figure out the whole giggling thing... It sounds ridiculous most of the time :)
- Going for a family walk outside for the very first time (we went twice, actually)

Looking Forward To:
SPRING! So that we can be outside lots more.

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Lately, I've been struggling with the idea of freedom.

I think that, for as long as I've been a Christian and attending church, I've heard about freedom and just kind of assumed that the feeling of freedom is something that God gives us automatically. More and more, I'm realizing that freedom - like everything about Christianity - is a choice. God doesn't force himself on people. He doesn't shove a whole book full of rules down our throats. Every aspect of my faith (including that faith itself) is something that I have chosen for my life. And accepting the freedom that is found in my faith is another one of those choices.

This is all very top-of-mind for me right now, because I made a deal with myself that - post baby - I would only step on a scale once per month. I was so proud of myself, because I actually waited six weeks before stepping on a scale again this past Sunday. And much to my disappointment, I actually *gained* two pounds in the last six weeks. I was absolutely devastated. Who are we kidding... I'm *still* devastated. And I'm frustrated because I have old demons coming back to haunt me, reminding me that there's a surefire way to drop all this baby weight in a hurry by allowing myself to return to a life with an eating disorder - an eating disorder that I thought I was free from.

But here's the thing about freedom, at least the way it works in my life: it works better when it's freedom through God, rather than freedom through myself. I've done everything I can to free myself from this disease. I went to therapy, I made lifestyle changes, I distanced myself from people who were a negative influence on my self-esteem, and I've made it almost five years and counting without allowing myself to relapse... I thought I was free. Clearly, I'm not. I can't find that freedom on my own. But I also can't expect it to come automatically.

There are stories in the Bible of people who experience healing. Whether you believe those stories are literal and true or not is beside the point. The point is that those stories are full of people who get up and seek out Jesus, they pursue him and everything he has to offer them. They aren't healed because they happened to be in the right place at the right time when Jesus went skipping through the meadow sprinkling magical healing fairy dust. They are healed because they ask, because they believe, because they drag themselves through a crowd of people in order to be near him and to make their needs known.

I don't have this all figured out. I just know that the freedom I'm looking for isn't coming from anything that I've been doing. And there's no guarantee - even with all the faith in the world - that this is something that I *can* be free of in this lifetime. All I know for today is that I have faith in a God who is stronger than I am, who longs to see my life overflowing with freedom. I'm not saying that I'm giving up on anything that I'm doing, just that I need to start letting God help too.

We're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace.
2 Corinthains 4.7

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I just got home from my moms group, and found out that one of the moms lost her home to a fire this past weekend. They're a family of six and they're looking for a house to rent for 6+ months - starting as soon as possible, and preferably furnished. The house could be in Niverville, Winnipeg, or anywhere in between.

If you know of anything, please let me know! And keep this family in your prayers as they come to terms with their loss and begin the process of rebuilding all the material aspects of their lives. Thanks :)


Monday, March 02, 2009

Monday Secret