Saturday, May 30, 2009

Garage Sales on a Saturday

I really wasn't sure what to do with Briony today... Geoff's working a bunch of nights again, so I knew that I'd be on my own today while he slept. One glance outside told me that it would be a great day for a walk. And a peek down to the end of our street told me that it would be a perfect day to check out a bunch of garage sales within walking distance of our place.

Two hours, seven garage sales, and a boatload of sunshine later, Briony and I came home with only two things (which I consider to be a great success, hehe): a brand-new Memory matching game, and a bin full of Duplo blocks. The grand total was $6.

Seriously, who in their right mind would sell an entire bin of Duplo blocks for $3?! It's ten years old, but that stuff doesn't age - and it's so washable. They still sell the identical set at Toys R Us for $40. I consider that to be a pretty awesome garage sale find. And a pretty nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


So I'm doing Erin's questionnaire, not because I was tagged, but because I found her answers really interesting. And because I'm procrastinating and I really don't feel like cleaning my dirty house. And because I feel like I *should* blog, but I'm just not ready to talk about it yet. So here you go.


Would you rather be called hot, cute, or beautiful?
I have to choose?! Beautiful.

Do you have a little sister?
Yes. And soon I'll have two!

Do you like Taylor Swift?
Not really, but I'm not offended by her either. Just ambivalent, I guess.

Do you like to listen to the radio when you're in the car?
Yup, I'm a loyal Curve listener (though I'll sometimes plug in my iPod if I'm in the mood for something really specific).

Tell me a fact about the last person that texted you.
My Dad. And my fact about him is that I still think it's funny that he knows how to text. And that I helped to talk him into upgrading to a Blackberry this week. He's becoming so... current :)

When's the last time you ate at Taco Bell?
Last month. Geoff made me. It was greasy, but tasty.

True or false: Miley Cyrus is the most annoying person ever?
SO SO SO true.

Do you like to wear flip-flops?
Hm, good question. I do if they're comfortable and cute and not too sloppy-looking. My favourites are Kenneth Cole - a metallic charcoal grey with beading. I've been wearing them at least a couple of times a week, and I wore them to death last summer at work (I switched to heels just for meetings to help be a little kinder to my painfully pregnant feet).

Have you ever broken anything because you were mad?
No, but I agree with Erin - it would be SO FUN. Oh wait. Does cutting up pictures count? I totally shredded a picture of me and an ex, and sent him the confetti in the mail. Ah, high school :)

Do you like wearing headbands?
No, but I sometimes do the whole 'slave for fashion' thing and suffer through it for a day. Always regret it after about 45 minutes, though. You ladies know what I mean.

Have you ever watched The OC?
YES. Every episode, many times. I'm not proud of it.

When's the last time you had an Oreo?
No clue. That's kind of sad.

Do you like Chris Brown?
NO. He's abusive to women and I hope his career dies a slow and painful death. (Was that harsh? I don't care.)

Last December, what was your love life like?
Um... Friendly? Come on, people. We had a TWO WEEK OLD BABY.

Do you wash your hair in the shower?
Every single morning.

How are you feeling right now?
Tired. A little bit overwhelmed, but optimistic.

Last nap?
Not recent enough. A few weeks ago, maybe?

Want something you can't have?
See above question re Oreos.

Is there something that happened in your past that you hate talking about?

Has someone ever licked your cheek or forehead?
I don't want to talk about it.

Last place you took a plane to?

Own more than 10 pairs of flip-flops?

What woke you up this morning?
The same thing as every morning: Briony jabbering away in her crib.

How many times is A in your full name?

Whats the weather like outside?
Dark. It was warm and sunshiny earlier today, though.

Are your fingernails painted?
No. I miss french manicures. Since I became a mommy, they've been chopped short and devoid of polish. Someday...

Are you taller than 5'6"?
I am exactly 5'6". Take that, quiz!

Do you have highlights?

What were you doing at 8:00 this morning?
Hearing Briony and wondering if I should get up, or if I could sneak another couple of minutes of sleep before she got mad at me for taking too long to come and say good morning...

Last Faceook wall post from?
No clue, sorry.

Three days from now will you be in a relationship?
That's the plan.

Do you have curly hair?
Nope. Annoyingly *slightly* wavy, but straightened daily compliments of Mr Chi.

What is the farthest you've travelled with a friend?
London with Erin.

Are you close with your cousins?
I'm not really sure how to answer this one. Not particuarly, I guess. I get along with them, we're just busy people.

Is there stuff from your past that you miss?

Name 3 thoughts you have at this exact moment?
1. I should really be cleaning my house.
2. I should really be doing homework.
3. I should really resist this temptation to eat.

What's something you really want right now, be honest?
Clarity. And maybe the ability to see into the future. Just a peek :)

Does anything hurt on your body?
Everything, but that's normal.

Are you going anywhere for the next summer?
Lots of time with my family at Falcon Lake, I hope. And if all goes according to plan, possibly a trip to NYC and Washington DC with Geoff and Briony in the early fall.

Have you ever liked somebody and never told them?

Is there anyone that means a lot to you?

Are you happy with the way things are going?
Almost all of the time. That doesn't mean it's easy, though.

What was the last thing you ate?
Vanilla frozen yogurt with fresh raspberries.

Who is the last person you hugged?

What color underwear are you wearing?
This is embarrassing... They're totally hot pink.

Do you ever go in pet stores just to look at the pets?:
No, but this is kind of funny, because Geoff dragged me into one TODAY because he wanted to show Briony all the animals.

Is it annoying when your hanging out with someone and they text other people?
It depends.

Have you been under the influence today?

Pick a word that begins with the first letter of your first name:
Laundry. Oh, that's sad...

Is there anyone that you care more about than yourself?

How long is your hair when its wet?
Just past my chin.

Do you take compliments well?
No, but I'm trying to be better about it.

Will you be in a relationship in four months?
That's the plan.

Do you like to make the first move?
Depends. I used to... Now, not as much.

Do you hate it when people smoke around you?
It didn't bother me until last year. When I was pregnant, the smell made me gag and puke. And it still kind of makes me nauseated now.

Who was the last person you had an argument with?
Geoff, I think.

Do you know anyone that smokes pot?

Did the one person who hurt you the most in your life apologize?
Yes. The funny thing is that it still hurts sometimes.

Did you go out or stay in last night?
Stayed in with Briony while Geoff worked a night shift.

Do you miss someone?

Who was the last person you took a picture with?
Geoff and Briony.

Do you have someone you can be your complete self around?

Are you worrying about someone right now?

Are you hungry right now?
I'm with Erin on this one: No, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't eat... :)

Labels: , ,

Monday, May 25, 2009

Checking In

Hello, loyal blog readers! I assume there are still at least a few of you out there who check in occasionally - despite my irregular posts lately :)

We're still alive and kicking. We got home on Wednesday night last week, and on Thursday morning we had Briony at the doctor's for her six month appointment. All you moms out there know that six month appointment = another round of immunizations... I didn't really give these a second thought because she'd sailed through the two month and four months rounds - but for some reason, these ones were tough for her. Added to that was the stress of coming back home and adjusting to our house and our time zone again (which is probably asking a lot of a six month old), plus she's teething. It's been kind of on and off with her, but she has not been Briony for a couple of days now, and that's hard. Last night was the worst night I've had with her since she was probably three weeks old.

So between Briony and catching up with a few friends, I've been busy. Especially because - for the first time ever, now that she's sick - she seems to prefer her mommy. Strange. Anyway. We're here, and we're doing okay. Geoff's at work again tonight, and Briony was actually playing and giggling before I put her to bed half an hour ago. Fingers crossed that it will only get better from here :)

Labels: ,

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Clearing Out The Clutter

Last month - a few weeks before we left on our trip - I joined an online friend in a project she started called Be Here Now. The idea was incredibly simple - to live more mindfully and make an effort to be present in every moment. Over the past month or so, I've been making an effort to do exactly that. It has NOT been easy, but the effort has been so worth it.

I've noticed myself being a little less frustrated in situations that would ordinarily have pushed me right over the edge. And I've noticed that each day holds just a little bit more joy - living in the moment forgives a dirty house in favour of some giggle time with a baby, it realizes that a phone call with a friend should be spent sitting with a cup of tea and not folding laundry, and it gives permission to just STOP every once in a while. The funny thing is that I expected my house to become a disaster zone while I 'lived in the moment' and gave up my multitasking way of life. It actually isn't *too* bad. Turns out that focusing on one task at a time is actually quite efficient - who knew.

All this focus on living more mindfully has made me incredibly sick of the clutter in my house and the baggage it represents. And so I'm getting rid of it. The events of this past year - specifically, becoming a first-time mom and helping to support my mom through a fight against breast cancer - have really impacted me. There's nothing like new life and a life-and-death battle to really set you straight and help you figure out your priorities. I realize more than ever that it's people (and not STUFF) that makes my life so valuable. Don't get me wrong... I like stuff. Particularly stuff in the form of books and clothes and shoes. But I'm finding that I really crave a home full of a little less stuff.

And so, I am embarking on a mission to get rid of all the stuff that I haven't touched in a few months. Seriously. I'll never miss it once it's gone. And the best part is that it's going to go to a great cause: the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. We're registered to do Run for the Cure again this year, in honour of my mom. And I'm planning a yard sale for sometime in June to kickstart our fundraising efforts. Anything that doesn't sell is getting packed up at the end of the day and taken straight to MCC.

For me, this clean-up of my house is also a clean-up of my heart. I want to be surrounded by people I love, not just stuff that I love. I'm really excited :)

Want to join me?

**UPDATE: We have tentatively selected Saturday, June 6 as our 'Yard Sale for the Cure' date.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The One Where I Should Be Packing Instead Of Blogging

So we're leaving Vancouver tomorrow and coming back home to Winnipeg. And I'm filled with completely identical emotions that lead me to a place that's somewhere exactly between coming and going, happy and sad, relaxed and completely stressed out. I love being here. I love being at home. I detest the transition times that happen in both places.

I need to post about our trip to Victoria. I need to post about Briony turning six months old this past Saturday. I need to post about Run for the Cure and my fibromyalgia and about a hundred other things that have been going on. But more than anything, I need to PACK.

See you all soon! :)


Monday, May 18, 2009

The One With Long Weekend Pictures

More to come SOON about our fabulous little mini-vacation to Victoria with Rob and Vicky and their adorable baby girl Ava. I've managed to get some of our pictures up on Facebook - you can check them out here.

Of course, while in Victoria, we made a few more family photo attempts.

Rob graciously volunteered to play photographer. Clearly, we made an excellent choice... hehe :)

Well, at least we're in the frame on this one. Still a terrible photo of the three of us, though...

Wait! Stop the presses! What the HECK is this?!... Now, I'm no expert - but I do believe it's a FAMILY PHOTO. It only took us six months. Which means that we're already too late to start trying for a photo Christmas card :)

Labels: , ,

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The One Where I Leave You With A Smile

I'm going to be missing Friday, so I thought I'd share a smile early... Without further ado, I bring you Awkward Family Photos. Have a great long weekend!

Labels: ,

The One With Pictures

I finally managed to get a bunch of our pictures uploaded, but only to Facebook. You don't need an account to view them - just click on this link here.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The One Where I Magically Reappear Online

I'm not dead. Just having some technical difficulties that have hopefully now been solved. It was a classic combination of Marilyn's computer finally giving up the ghost while she was away (no big surprise, just not fantastic timing) + issues with MTS and my Blackberry here (imagine that). But my Blackberry data started working again. And Geoff and I helped Marilyn purchase and set up a brand new computer last night. And here I am, to catch you up on everything you've missed.

Um, let's see. What have you missed? Well, in no particular order...

Geoff, Briony, and I have been adventuring in and around Abbotsford for the last ten days since we last posted an update. Our adventures have taken us on lots and lots of walks - around town, around parks, around lakes, around malls, and all over the lower mainland. A few of these adventures have accompanying pictures. A few of them don't. A few of them involved rain. A few of them didn't. All of them involved Briony's pink adventure hat and a stuffed animal friend or two.

My mom came for a six-day visit - an almost spontaneous decision made after we were already here that just kind of seemed meant to be. She came along on a few of our adventures and I had the total pleasure of introducing her to the other half of our life out here.

While my mom was here, we received a message from my dad that he had heard the results of the mammogram she had just before she hopped on the plane. It's all clear. I can't really explain what that day was like for us here when we found out... Or rather, I can, but it's still emotional for me to talk about. It was a very, very happy day. But 'happy' isn't quite the right word for it - it was happy, but even more so, it was hopeful. It's like we have permission to think about the future again, and it just kind of takes your breath away to open up the world like that again for our family. It was a day full of moments that just looked a little bit different in the light of our wonderful news. Happy moments. Hopeful moments.

I had my first official Mother's Day. We kept things low-key - Geoff and my mom each bought me a card, we went out for brunch together with Briony, and we walked around the park. It was a very good day. And it was very special to get to spend it with my mom.

We went on a MASSIVE shopping spree at Ikea to buy the big group gift for Aaron & Caitlin's upcoming wedding shower. Fun. Then we had to figure out how to pack everything so that we can fly home with it safely and economically. Not as fun. But between Geoff (a master packer), my mom (a master organizer), and me (a master bossy chick), it was no problem at all. I'm getting super excited to get home and wrap it all. I *heart* wrapping presents. And there are lots and lots of them to wrap before the shower. I seriously can't wait to see Aaron & Cait's faces when they see all this awesome stuff!

Marilyn came back from her trip, after spending an awesome two weeks reconnecting with her family and friends in Pennsylvania and Delaware. Even better, she came back with some fantastic stories about various Republican encounters. And no swine flu :)

Briony is still doing really, really well with the time change, the change in location, and our busy schedule. She's still rolling around like a pro and doing really well learning to sit up on her own. And she's still having these big crazy giggle fits when she gets overtired. It's so adorable, it's hard not to keep her awake. Have I mentioned that she's going to be SIX MONTHS OLD this Saturday?! Ridiculous.

My new class started on Monday, and I'm working to get in the groove of this new class with a new instructor. So far, I'm really enjoying it. I decided last week to keep one class and drop the other one I'd planned to take this semester. It will take me a few extra months to graduate, but I'd rather not feel stressed about the extra homework and reading that would be required to take two classes at the same time. I'm feeling really good about that decision, and Geoff was very supportive.

I stayed up WAY too late last night to watch the finale of The Biggest Loser - three hours long + time change + BC time delay meant that it wasn't over until 11 pm (which feels like 1 am to us here). And out of the three finalists, the one I was least excited about ended up winning. But it was still awesome, and totally worth it. Now I need to dig deep and find some motivation to really start on some weight loss of my own. If these people could lose more than 50% of their body weight in six months, I can certainly take off the extra twenty or thirty (read: forty or fifty) pounds that I'm dragging around with me right now. But food tastes good. And playing with Briony is *so* much more fun than working out. We're working on it :)

We're also working our way through all the different scenarios of what this fall might look like for our little family - my return to work, our tentative vacation plans for September, and all kinds of drama and variables. It's been nice to have the time and space for Geoff and I to really talk about it all. No big decisions yet, but we still have lots of time to figure it all out.

Geoff has decided that my mom and I are the Gilmore Girls. I was offended. He accused us of talking nonstop and very fast, and of having conversations that consist entirely of half-sentences (because we already know what the other one was about the say and it can just go unsaid). I started paying attention. And he's totally right. My apologies to everyone else who has to hang out with us from time to time. But you should probably just learn to deal with it. (See above note, where I explain that my mom is now cancer-free, and is likely to be hanging out with me for a very, very long time. SMILE.)

Yesterday was Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, which got me thinking about lots and lots of things... And we're getting very close to having all kinds of news to share about our team for Run for the Cure this year... Hopefully, I'll manage to find a few minutes to write a few more posts over the next week or so.

I'm missing tons and tons of stuff here, but you get the general idea. We're healthy and happy and relaxed. This is a second home to us, and it's been amazing to have an entire month here this time. Tomorrow morning, we're heading off to Victoria with Rob & Vicky & Ava to spend a few days on a mini-vacation. Which means that I have lots to do tonight - laundry, packing, homework (read: blogging, watching America's Next Top Model, eating ice cream). Yeah.

On that note, I'm going to go try to upload a few trip photos :)

Labels: , , , , , ,

Monday Secret (belated)


Monday, May 04, 2009

Monday Secret


Sunday, May 03, 2009

The One Where Everyone Giggles

So we skipped church today. Get over it. We discussed it last night, and we were just really needing a quiet morning. Briony slept until after 7 am (noteworthy, I think) and then we took the rest of the morning at an incredibly leisurely pace. There's something magical about a day when you don't need to be anywhere at all.

Eventually, I put on my proper (ugly) walking shoes and Geoff, Briony, and I walked over to the nearest Starbucks - half an hour uphill, I kid you not. The very best part of my morning? Well, the Starbucks, obviously. But that very delicious victory was tied with the half-hour DOWNHILL walk back to Alan & Marilyn's house.

In the afternoon, we began our hunt for a Mother's Day gift for Marilyn. We know what we're getting for her, we just haven't found the perfect one yet. We visited a few stores, and Briony was in an incredibly silly mood. Every time I looked into her stroller and said 'peek!' she would burst into fits of giggles. FITS of giggles. Giggling that makes that old panda video look like Briony was doing her best impersonation of a sullen angsty teenager. It got to the point where people from around the store - shoppers and employees - were coming to see what was going on. And of course, the giggling was totally contagious. It was as if we were wheeling around this little bundle of absolute sunshine who was going around and making sure that everyone we crossed paths with had a wonderful day. Every person we passed walked away with a mile-wide grin on their face. And Geoff and I laughed so much our faces hurt.

Have I mentioned lately how very much I love this baby girl of ours? I don't know how God decided that *she* was the baby who would fit in our little family perfectly. And I don't know why he thought we deserved her. But he really, really got it right.

Labels: ,

Saturday, May 02, 2009

The One With Pancakes and Friends

Geoff, Briony, and I headed into Langley today - the halfway point between us and Jason & Amy - to meet our friends for brunch. Of course, the whole baby + Manitoba time + taking care of an old person thing meant that we'd had breakfast hours earlier and this was very much lunchtime for us (but breakfast for our childless friends). Ah, remember those Saturdays? hehe

It was so much fun to see them, as always. They're totally those friends who you sit down with and then look at your watch a few seconds later and realize that you've been sitting in Denny's for three hours. I don't work with Chuck five days a week anymore, and Baden moved to LA, so it was nice to spend some time with J - I love Geoff and I married him for a reason, but along the way I've collected these guy friends who are incredibly talented when it comes to making fun of me. We were about ten seconds into 'brunch' before I was being criticized for being addicted to coffee - a vice which apparently shows that I have a weak character. Ah, I'd missed him. And I *heart* Amy, who didn't hesitate to order a cup of coffee as a show of solidarity.

They're off to Berlin this week (fancy fancy) so we're hoping to connect with them again later in our trip - we have an epic games night planned. And of course, I'll continue to drop hints about how much they would *love* to have a baby... See, I get my own revenge :)

Completely new topic, but an important one: Briony is almost sitting on her own. She can do it for maybe ten seconds at a time before she gets a little bit wobbly, but she's incredibly steady. I can't believe she's going to be six months old in just a couple of weeks. I know that everyone says the time flies by so quickly, but I seriously underestimated it.

Misunderestimated? ;)

Oh, and I totally rocked dinner last night. I pulled out my trusty meatloaf recipe (don't mock it til you've tried it - I made the best meatloaf in the world), and Geoff's dad actually came back into the kitchen while I was cleaning up to tell me again that dinner had been 'very, very nice.' Funny that it mattered so much to me to hear that. But it totally made my day.

Friday, May 01, 2009

The One Where We Get A Little Bit Crazy

Ooh... Today's big adventure? We went to a different park than usual. Wild!

And today's big stress? We woke exhausted this morning. Why, you ask? Okay, I'll tell you. Television here is MESSED UP. Last night, we really wanted to watch the new episode of The Office. But our bodies think that it's two hours later than at home. And primetime here is different than at home - The Office is on at 9 pm (not 8 pm like in Winnipeg). Which means that we had to stay up three hours later than we should have just to watch it. Of course, it was totally worth it. But Geoff and I have had a few very good laughs about how difficult it was for us to stay up. When did we get this old? :)

Friday Smile

If you've been to Abbotsford, you've likely been to the little British tea shop & candy story just outside of town. It's a tradition for us to go - partially for the tea, partially for the candy, and partially for the lovely British lady who runs the place. We stopped in this afternoon and she was fussing over Briony for a while before asking what her name was.

If you've named your own child something slightly less common than Jennifer or Amanda, then you know exactly how this conversation typically goes...

Stranger: Cute baby. What's her name?
Lindsay/Geoff: Briony.
Stranger: What?
Lindsay/Geoff: Her name is Briony.
Stranger: Hm. What an... interesting... name.
Lindsay/Geoff: (taking a deep breath to launch into an explanation about how Briony is a perfectly legitimate name that's slightly more common in Britain, and how we chose it because Geoff's family is British, and that whole song and dance)

This time, the conversation went more like this:

Stranger: Cute baby. What is she called?
Lindsay/Geoff: Briony.
Stranger: Lovely.
Lindsay/Geoff: (taking a deep breath to launch into our typical defence, just before realizing that the owner of the shop is British and didn't think for a second that we'd chosen an unusual name)

And that, friends, is most definitely my Friday Smile.

The whole baby naming thing is just as fascinating to me now as it was when we were in the middle of debating the pros and cons of Briony - and a dozen other names that we liked - while I was pregnant. It's such a personal decision, and it blows my mind that people constantly seem to offer up their own opinions.

Incidentally, Geoff and I both still absolutely love Briony - the name AND the goofy baby girl who lives with us :)