January 31, 2011

Project 31- In search of beauty

I have been struggling each night to do this blog. I set it up to learn from it and start to get my emotions and feelings out. I feel like the last few weeks all I have written is puff pieces. I know that I hurt a few people with my words and that they didn't like reading what I could not say, but I feel like I am censoring myself to a point that this isn't communication anymore, with myself or others. I am still struggling to find that fine line between what I need to say and what my lurkers wont get mad at. I am going to start this project, borrowed from my friend Fiona's Blog (who got it from a friends blog...) and use it to express the thoughts for awhile. Maybe as I work through it I will find a happy medium- expression without a ton of pain around me. I am going to mix them in with other posts, so the questions and answers will come in the right order, but not every single day. If you also blog or journal consider doing the questions with me, I would love to see other people's ideas, opinions and feelings too!
The project is titled 'Project 31" and is a way for women to reflect on the subject of beauty. It was originally described as "you celebrating your god given beauty, and celebrating the beautiful women around you." We all have such skewed versions of what beauty really is and find it hard to find it in ourselves and others. These questions, when really pondered and answered truthfully will help to light the way to finding beauty everywhere.

The project is taken from Proverbs 31, which talks about a woman of noble character and true beauty:
"A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. 
She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her husband and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, as he praises her: "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all."
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. 
Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. 
Proverbs 31:10-31 (NIV)

The Question List:
Day 1. What does beauty mean to you?
Day 2. What makes you uniquely you?
Day 3. Who is someone you know who inspires beauty?
Day 4. Post a picture of you in your favourite outfit
Day 5. Write a blog or a note thanking someone who has made your heart come alive.
Day 6. Jaded Beauty. Has the world's definition of beauty ever jaded you?
Day 7. Write a blog or a note to encourage another beautiful woman.
Day 8. Share a beauty secret (hair tip, makeup tip)
Day 9. What virtues do you value in yourself?
Day 10. What is Jesus teaching you as a woman (sister, daughter, wife, mom or friend)?
Day 11. Post a recipe. Or, if you don't cook, try a new recipe and write about how it turned out.
Day 12. Write about what wears you out as a woman.
Day 13. Write about something you would like to change about yourself for the better.
Day 14. Post a photo you love of yourself.
Day 15. Write to encourage a friend. Inspire her beauty.
Day 16. Write a letter to your daughter or a young girl in your life. Tell her what beauty means.
Day 17. Write about 3 things that make you happy.
Day 18. Describe your personality.
Day 19. Write about your favorite comfort food.
Day 20. Write about your job and why you love it or hate it.
Day 21. Write a letter to your husband to encourage him (or if you are single- your future husband)
Day 22. What are some needs that need to be met in your community? Blog about how to extend your hand to those who need you.
Day 23. What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses?
Day 25. What is Jesus teaching you presently?
Day 25. Post a pic of your favourite comfy clothes.
Day 26. What do you hope your grandchildren will say about you when you are gone?
Day 27. Write a blog to encourage someone and build their confidence.
Day 28. Write about your insecurities as a woman.
Day 29. Write about "a day in the life of me."
Day 30. Who is your role model as a woman?

Dont Judge Too Quickly

I laughed for about half an hour after watching this....I needed to share.....
Enjoy!!!

January 26, 2011

Point form- I promise....

It is, once again, way past my bedtime....so, point form with lots of photos is all your getting tonight....

We went to the Apple store and returned the wireless keyboard and picked up this pretty silver one (and pink protector) instead. It came with a usb extension cord so my mouse cord is twice as long now...bonus!


Playtime with Bailey again in the backyard....remembered to grab the camera this time!


After playtime she decided to hop up onto the bed for a cuddle with Jon.


Dinner #3 for my bday was tonight, this time with my family. Here is one side of the table- My brother in law, Mom and Hubby. I know Mom's not looking at the camera, but I think if I posted the one that she is looking she would be mad...this one is cute!


The other side of the table- My sister, Dad and me.


My yummy, yummy dinner. Steak with shrimp and scallops and a cream sauce. I am going to regret it tomorrow at the gym, but it was worth it (and no desert, so it wasn't that much of a cheat....)


The cute hat and scarf I got from my Grandparents.


All of today's presents at once. My parents got me the next books in the series (I got 7 & 8 at yesterday's dinner, I now have 9, 10 & 11!) They also picked out a kitty calendar for me to laugh at. A Starbucks gift card from Karen and Paul - I love it when other people fuel my coffee addiction!


Overall today rocked. We went to the gym, went out for breakfast, solved my computer issues, did some pampering time (dyed my hair, manicure & face mask...), did some of the organizing for our going away party, played with the puppies and had a great dinner.....Life is Good!

So What Wednesday

A few of the bloggers that I follow started doing So What Wednesdays and I thought I would follow suit. You should too! Check out their blogs for more examples...They are Life After I Dew and Chapters of our Life
So What If:

1. I am so addicted to Twitter that it is the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning.
2. I take a million photos of everything, everyday.
3. When I read really addicting books in bed I read all night long instead of sleeping.
4. I love Valentines Day and don't care if it is made up or if Jon shows his love every day as well. Bring on the sappy cards, the chocolate and the hearts!
5. I am awful at taking time for myself or doing things just because I love them.
6. I am so stubborn that I don't care when people tell us that we will not succeed.

January 25, 2011

Puppies, Birthdays & Addictions

Today was a good, lazy, at home to do nothing day. Other than dinner plans we really had nothing going on. Jon did laundry and changed the bed linens. I did nothing. No, that's not true, I relaxed and lounged and dilly-dallied.

Jon's parents volunteered to dog sit for their friend. While  this is a normal occurrence for them, it's a strange one for our cats. The kitties are friendly, but like to be dominant. They don't have the guts to be dominant against big dogs, so they do the next best thing- hide downstairs, howl and become very clingy. This is them while I was eating lunch. They are on the chair next to me...


We had a few hours today that we were the only ones home with all 4 pets. Since we live in the basement the dogs wanted to come downstairs with us. Sassy knows that down here is the cat's domain, and mostly respects that. She keeps a watchful eye out for Firefly who will enforce the space rules and chase her back up. Bailey, who is here for 4 days doesn't understand the rules. She just wants to play and be loved. Jon had a yogurt before lunch and was teasing the cats with it. They were begging like crazy, and, despite being strong willed,  he did eventually give in. While he was on the floor with them I snapped this photo....him and all 4 of the animals. Sassy looks a bit out of the loop all the way in the back, but she was so excited to steal the big cushion from Bailey....


I took Bailey outside for a bit and realized that she is the perfect dog for this kind of weather. She loves chasing balls and it is just warm enough outside that the snow sticks perfectly. We spent about 20 minutes outside, me making snow balls and her chasing them in the 4 foot deep snow pile we call a yard. She was in heaven, and was so tired after that she had a nice long nap, upstairs, and left the kitties alone! Perfect!

We went out to a great restaurant for birthday dinner #2 with Nicole & Greg since Nicole has to work on Saturday when all of us are going to dinner and the bar. We checked out Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria and loved it. We shared prawns and prosciutto wrapped mozzarella and then they brought my salad, Jon's sandwich and 2 pizzas. It was all really, really, really good! They picked me up the next two books in the series that i'm reading, which is awesome because I finished book 6 a few days ago. I am very spoiled...

I came home and sat down thinking I was going to do a quick post. Apparently I need to learn how not to get distracted (or ramble!) I did a quick check in with the blogs I follow and found a great link in Mommakt's Blog It is for a site called Pinterest, and people use it to create a photo catalog of things they love and where to find them. I have heard about it in the past, but have managed to never click to it. I know how easily addicted I get when it comes to pretty things and great photos. I'm not sure why I clicked onto it this time. My Etsy account now has 3 more favorite stores so I can order from them once we move.

Now to fight the urge to keep exploring Pinterest and Etsy and go to bed....maybe to start book 7.....must sleep soon though, gym time comes early in the morning...Goodnight everyone!

January 24, 2011

Sidenote....New Font

Jan 24th
Ok, so new font....Do you love it? Hate it? Care either way? I am currently undecided!
Feedback please!!!

Jan 25th
Changed it again....is this one better? I am strangely drawn to the fonts that look like they are handwritten...

Birthday Goodness!!

Today was my 27th birthday and it was a gooder! 

I got an early present from my aunts in Vancouver. They picked up a Clay Pot for me for Christmas and got me this recipe book for my Birthday. I flipped through it and am excited to try a bunch of the recipes out! There is one in the back for Maple Pecan Croissants. I have to find a gluten free croissant recipe to do it, but I think it will be worth the effort, they sound amazing!


Today started off earlier than I would have liked as I had to work, but we stopped off at Starbucks on the way and I got a treat- a Triple Caramel Macchiato. Work was good although the leaky ceiling was quite annoying. Jon stopped by to bring me lunch and brought me a surprise Americano from Transcend....so yummy! Then, about 30 minutes later Shannon also dropped in, with a Transcend cup in her hand for me...Yay for a 3 coffee pileup! 


Shannon also brought birthday goodies! An awesome t-shirt from ThinkGeek and a hand warmer. She stuck around for a bit of a visit and then went back to work.


Jon came to get me from work and had these lovely flowers sitting in the front seat. He went to Off Whyte Floral before getting me and Kristi put this pretty collection together! I love her! And him!


Since we were going to be home for dinner Sylvie made my favourite....lasagne! We were all out of gluten free lasagne noodles, so it was made with corkscrew pasta instead, but still tasted amazing! Before eating I opened up my gifts, it looks like the present fairy raided the Apple Store...I got a new laptop bag, a keyboard protector, an amp for my iPhone, and a wireless mouse and keyboard for my iMac. All of my Apples are feeling special now. The only sad thing is that my iMac is too old to have Bluetooth, so the wireless goodies wont connect. We'll bring them back tomorrow and see what other solutions they have for my strange workspace (the cords on my normal mouse and keyboard are too short for where I sit, my arms are fully extended when I am using them!)


We inhaled the lasagne before I could get a photo, but I did get the cake on record. Gluten Free Chocolate Oreo cake. So good!! We didn't have any little candles, so one big one was the way to go! Oh yeah, this is what I look like when I actually wear my glasses! 


This is what the inside looks like. It tastes as amazing as it looks!


And now, i'm curled up on the couch with my sweetie, our kitties, a bottle of wine and Dirty Dancing on TV. Life is good! 
Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes today!

January 23, 2011

Cards and Crazy Weeks!!

This week flew past and despite the efforts to sit down to blog it didn't happen. I'm here now although I really should be in bed.
Monday started out with an evil cold & sore throat. A few days of sleep and lots of Veronica Mars and I am feeling better. The crazy thing is that it was the first really sore throat I have had since I was diagnosed with Celiac disease. I spent the first day trying to figure out what I ate the day before that caused the reaction. Once I woke up the second day I figured out I was just sick, not reacting. That was a bit better.....not much, but at least I knew I didn't mis-read any labels. I am back to being super careful about everything I eat.
The rest of the week passed by pretty uneventfully. Lots more snow, a few days at work and lots of relaxing. I finished Glee, sadly now I am dependant on the TV schedule for more episodes. It has reminded my why I like to watch old shows. TV on DVD means no commercials and it is ready to go whenever I am!

There were a few highlights though....

1. We booked out flights to Victoria to house hunt, job hunt and explore. I am pumped! Jonathan is pumped! We still need to figure out hotel when we are there, but that's the easy part!

2. I set up shop on the table today to make some cards. Jonathan saw what I was doing and grabbed all his models. He was building his Warhammer army, so we spent the whole day gluing, filing and creating together. 


3. I opened up an Etsy shop, check it out here! I started scrapbooking and making greeting cards a few years back and love it. In reality, I probably love it a bit too much, years worth of gathering goodies to use means a big backup of supplies and cards. I made a bunch of new ones today but the shop also has some older ones that I made multiples of. I love everything about Etsy and the fact that it is all homemade things. I have about half of my listings up, I am excited to see them fly!

I will be here more often, I promise! Thanks for reading!!!

January 17, 2011

Photos

I took a bunch of photos this week and meant to post them here. Other stuff and topics took over, so here is a collection of randoms with no other home!

My Mother in Law loves puzzles, and we got her this gem last Christmas. She just pulled it out of the box to do it again. It is all silver and the center is round. Awesome!!
 My cat (the annoying but cute Firefly) decided that she was going to help and rearranged a few pieces, but only after she taste tested one for Sylvie...the piece survived...kinda....
Firefly also decided to watch me eat my lunch from this perch....such a strange cat! I was sitting about 5 feet away at the table, and she jumped up on the bar stool for my whole meal.
My Mom's pugs decided that they are sick of being cold and started to sleep on the heat vent in the office at work. It makes them less whiny, but makes my office cold, so I'm not sure if I love or hate the idea.
 Edmonton has received an insane amount of snow this week. This is my front street. They managed to get the plows through last week right before the big dump, but it still hasn't been done a second time. We live on the edge of the city so the road crews take awhile to get all the way to us. 
 
 See, gross amounts of snow! It is at my waist, and came down some more after this photo was taken.

January 16, 2011

Another Townhouse

Oh no, a housing conundrum. I love, love, love the other townhouse I saw in Victoria, but my second cousin said he took a peek at it when he was moving there and didn't like it. The suites themselves are stunning, but the area isn't. He gave me a list of areas to look in, and then I found this gem.
More photos here!
I seriously need to get down there and walk through both of them and the areas. 

Also, I love the universe and all it's wonders. Kyle, my second cousin moved there a few years ago, and messaged me out of the middle of nowhere about 10 minutes after I said I needed to get in touch with him! Just goes to show, whatever you think about happens. Keep that in mind when running late and driving, think about the green lights not the red ones!!! 

January 15, 2011

Dinner and a Movie....

Today the store was insane. Not too busy, but everyone who came in seemed higher maintenance than they usually are. I think it was a slight sense of entitlement, they drove all that way to my store, how dare I not sell exactly what they were looking for and have it in stock!  So, needless to say, I spent most of the day looking forward to the evening. 

I went on a date....not with Jonathan (who got in some gaming time) but with Shannon. Dinner at The Local and then a movie. Dinner was awesome! We had minor heart attacks last fall when we learned that one of our favourite restaurants was turning into a sports bar. Really? Does Edmonton really need another sports bar? OPM was so yummy, kinda asian fusion, and a great decor. It's gone now, it turned into the Local. Why did we go there if we are so bummed out about it's name and menu change? Well, thank you for asking! They kept our favorite thing on the menu! Here is their description!!! 
Seven Flavoured Beef- Marinated in the fragrant blend of lemongrass, 
peanuts, wheat-free soya sauce, fennel, garlic, ginger & sweet thai basil.
Oh man....so good!!! I could live on it. I think in the short time I have had this blog I have already talked about it once. I can almost guarantee it will be in here again! Lots of good girl talk, trying to figure out my 27th birthday party, her 30th birthday party, both of our moves (she's heading to Kamloops in the spring) and debating throwing a joint going away party. She even braved a sip of my caesar, which was quite funny as her three least favourite foods are tomatoes, anything spicy and vodka. It was awesome...

If you have time to go to a movie, GO SEE THE KINGS SPEECH!! It was amazing! Such incredible casting and a storyline that literally took our breaths away. It is based on the life of George the 6th and the start of his reign as king. Amazing stuff, so empowering. Someday soon (possibly tomorrow evening) I will have time to sit down and do the research it made me crave! I knew that He was the first king to take over because of a scandal, and knew that he was one of the few kings to come into power and replace someone who was still alive and well (his older brother was king, caused a scandal and abdicated the throne) But I never really knew the rest of the details of his life. So good! I want to learn more about him and his speech therapist Lionel Logue.

January 13, 2011

Cold is not my friend!

Holy man it's cold here!

I woke up today and caught up on the blogs I follow. I had a good giggle at K.Law's Blog- Raining Iguanas, who wouldn't laugh at the photo of the frozen lizard in her back yard and then got started with my own day. When we cleaned out the closet un-buried some great tops that I haven't seen for awhile. I wore one today, it's gorgeous, a satin teal tank with black trim and cute button details. I mixed it with a cropped black suit jacket, black dress pants and teal pointed toe shoes. It was cute all together and I was, once again, thankful that I cleaned out all that clutter.

When Jonathan opened up the door so we could go to work I almost ran back down and hid in the warm bed. The high today was -21 plus windchill?? Who the heck came here and decided it was a good idea to be this cold all the time? But I sucked it up and headed into work, I mean really, why waste such a cute outfit? We got there, got back inside and then realized, the heater is broken. It is 10 degrees inside. A bit of an improvement, but not much, especially when wearing a satin tank top. I bundled up in my scarf and spent most of the day huddled in the office. The bright side- the property management company will fix the heater. The down side- They can't get to it until tomorrow. Mental note- wear warm layers to work tomorrow! Lots of tea, surprise t-shirts and warm food got me through the day. By the end even Jon was starting to freeze (he is usually always warm!) I knew the t-shirts from ThinkGeek were on their way, but they came really fast. I tossed this one on over my silk shirt, under the suit jacket and kept my scarf on. Not as dressy, but also not as chattery....
We got home and he started looking up places in Victoria. Yup, all him this time! This is the first big sign that he is excited to move (until now he has said he will go because it is what I want to do) Yay!!! And look at what we found:
Isn't it pretty? It's 5 minutes away from the area that I really want to be in, lets us keep our kitties, has cute 2 bedroom suites and is in our price range. They even let you upgrade to a bigger suite if you need to. So that way, when we first go there and are job hunting we can move into the 2 bdrm, once we know what our monthly income is going to be we can switch up if possible. Townhouse= time to get our Hungarian Vizla!! I am pumped! There is even a pool and canoes to rent in the complex. I am excited to go to the farmer's market in my canoe. I think this is home!

All right, time for me to stop looking at the photo and thaw in bed so I can sleep! Goodnight everyone!

January 12, 2011

Crazy Cats!

Ok, I know I said I was done for the night, but I finally got a photo of my cats drinking from the sink. Whenever you go into the bathroom they both race in and jump onto the sink, just waiting for you to turn the tap on. Really, you would think I don't give them water, but there's a bowl out all the time. 

Firefly                                                            Kiki

So much stuff!!!

I woke up with a strange need to clean and purge today after spending so much of yesterday looking at moving options for April. We moved last December from my condo (which was beautiful but two small for both of us) into Jon's parent's basement walkout (which is smaller, but let us save up money). We are now planning to move a province over and get our life going. It seems like all of our plans are on hold while we stay in Edmonton. Don't get me wrong, I  love the Edmonton (hate the weather) but love the rest of it, and we both grew up here, so moving is going to be tough. I can work here, but not for the same kind of money I will get there. He can work here but will have more success there as his company is just getting started out there. We can get a place, get the jobs going, get our puppy and eventually, start with the kids!
But yes, purging. We have way too much stuff! I swear we didn't move this much stuff in here! We spent all of today working in the bedroom closet and sink area. Yes, our bedroom has a sink. It used to be my Father in Law's workshop, so there was a utility sink in the corner. This is what we did to the room:

It is a strange shape, the back wall does a weird jut back thing and the closet is back in the corner. We put in handy Ikea armoires along the one wall to give us some storage for all my scrap booking stuff and office things. We share the monster dresser and the closet (oi!) Here is a closer view of the wall:


Gotta love the random shelving wherever I can stick it! We also possess the only floor length mirror in the whole house. I don't understand how people can get ready in the morning without one! Want to see our newly purged closet? We donated 5 bags of clothing to Goodwill, and still, it looks insane!


Don't you love the pretty support pole running through it? It makes you dodge a bit when you pull the clothing on that end out, but isn't as annoying as it looks in this photo! I am so thankful that there are two hanging bars in there, we would go nuts trying to share one! The other wall in the closet is all boxes and bins with shoes. Also all purged ;( but that just means I can buy more once we have moved!!!

I also listed a ton of stuff on Kijiji. God I love that site! I'm not sure how many responses I will get, everyone in the city has turned into a hermit due to all the snow, but I am hopeful. This stuff needs a new home, and fast. My next big job is going through our storage locker and seeing what needs to be listed, what needs to move with us and what can go to Goodwill and Freecycle. We got the locker thinking that we were only going to use it for 3 or 4 months while we were showing our condo so we could buy a new place. Here we are a year later going back to discover what is in it's depths. Should be fun!

Yup, that's all. What an exciting day for me! But I feel an odd sense of accomplishment.

January 11, 2011

Birthdays & Puppies

Today was very anti-climatic day. I wasn't going to do a post, but after how much I bug Jonathan to read my posts he bugged me about taking a few days off. I suppose he is right, if I slack off now I won't learn the things I set out to learn with it. 

I finally dragged my butt out of bed and went to the trainer with Jon. After 3 months of 5 days a week I took 1 month off. Bad idea!!! My butt is now very, very mad at me. Evil squats! Fortunately after that we came back home and spent the day on the couch and the computer. I am in full on Victoria dreamland, trying to nail down what area we want to look for apartments in and seeing what arrangements I can make for the moving process. I can't believe it is only a few months away!!

Today was also my Father in Law's birthday, so we had a great dinner and played Tock. Girls against boys....and we won for once! So much for letting the birthday boy get his way. Oh well!! 

I checked in to Twitter after dinner and got absorbed into the wonderful world of 144 letter posts. I really need to learn how to do the point form thing. I love it and get so frustrated by it at the same time!! I caught up, retweeted, replied and then got distracted by YouTube with cute videos of Hungarian Vizlas. I posted one below for you too!! One of my old bosses had a Vizla named Echo and he was such a great dog. We decided last year that when we move into a bigger place and have a good back yard we are getting one and naming him Romeo. 


See, aren't they cute??? I am so excited!!!

January 9, 2011

Snow!!!

Edmonton gets a ton of snow. I have come to accept this as fact, even though I wish every year that it won't come! The snow is one of my biggest reasons for the move to Victoria! They get one or two big snowstorms each winter. They last a week, and then it goes away!! 
When I went outside this morning this is what I saw:

Jonathan grabbed our neighbour's snowblower and went at the driveway so we could head to church. We shovelled at 11pm, so this was 12 hours worth of snow....

I am a princess. Here is the path that was made for me to get in the warm car while he finished!

 The view out our living room window. The frog statue comes up to my knees. We live in the basement, so this is under the deck.....

The arbor is at the back of our yard. It has a swinging seat on it. Can you see the frame? We thankfully took the cushions off it before the snow. 

Prayer of Epiphany

Our Reverend said this prayer in church today and I love it so much I feel the need to share it. Such powerful words and such truth! 
  
Light-giving God – 
We are magi on a caravan of lumbering hope,
traveling through grinding wind and glaring sun,
chill clear nights and skin-baking days. 
We come to seek Your light.

We come lumbering in hope, 
each of us on our own life’s journey – traveling through times of loneliness and fear,
through heartbreak and anger, 
through grief and loss, 
through economic uncertainty, 
through fear for loved ones caught up in war, 
through our own private crises,
through the extended shock of horrific images of hurricanes and genocide, 
through struggles with the mental illness of a child,
the disintegration of a parent, 
the simple letting go of a child more ready to be an adult
than we are ready to allow their growth, 
through the changes in a new marriage,
the welcoming of a new child, 
the completion of a degree, 
the vision emerging in a new work of art.

We come lumbering in hope on a journey of joys and sorrows. 
We come as magi to seek Your light.

But Light-giving God, 
we admit that we are also Herod the King,
trembling in fear at the news of the rising of Your light. 
We admit that we are afraid that the light of Your truth may indeed rise,
and it may be threatening to us. 

Like Herod,
we fear the rise of the truth of the harm we have done to others to build our own palaces and to fortify our own power;
we fear the rise of the truth that lies beneath the political spin we put on our own lives;
we fear to admit to ourselves the truth that may rise within us as we acknowledge the pain of what we have done to others and what others have done to us.

Light-giving God, 
we come as trembling Herod, 
afraid of Your light.

But Light-giving God, 
we are also magi wrapped in joy to arrive at the manger that cradles Your light.
We greet the rising light that Herod so fears.
We, too, fear this light, this truth. 
For here we meet Your light and truth, 
the truth of our own powerlessness.
We are magi, wise and respected sages. 
We are Herod the King, holding wealth and power. 
Yet we are no more than this helpless infant,
no more than human flotsam on the tidal wave of time, 
human beings, no more and no less.

Light-giving God, 
let us sit in stillness in the light of this truth of our powerlessness,
until we can see Your real light cradled here, 
until we are enveloped in the assuring light of this truth, 
until we shine in the light of the common humanity You reveal to us here.

Light-giving God. 
We lumber together in hope as Your church to lift Your Light. 
Let the light that we lift be this light visible in the manger. 
Let us lift not the light of our congratulation of ourselves,
not the light of belief in our own superiority, 
not the light of our belief in our own narrow presuppositions, 
not even the light of our own church.

Let us lift the light from You that we can encounter here,
the light of the power You make known to us in the truth of our powerlessness, 
the light we can see as we sit quietly as magi at the manger learning to be at ease with our common humanity, 
learning to be at ease with You.
Let this be the light we lift as a beacon in the darkness we know best. 
As we lift that light,
may we too be lifted to know the true power that lies among us waiting to rise as a beacon of our true hope.

Amen
Dr. Susan M. (Elli) Elliott

January 6, 2011

Furniture & Friends

For all of those that know me, ignore this paragraph. It contains useless knowledge for you. For those that don't know me (and haven't figured it out yet) I work at my families kids furniture store. It is great, most clients who come in are excited to be welcoming a new little one into the family or putting their toddler into a big kid room. We also sell a ton of little things like bedding, lamps, paintings, strollers, feeding goodies, etc. The list goes on and on.

Today was spent rearranging half of the showroom to make room for a new bunk bed. There is alot of stuff to move around! We seriously moved around 3 isles worth of hardwood beds, dressers and cribs and then moved around all the coordinating matching items. Holy man. I am almost as sore as the day I lost to the warehouse. But the bright side? It's done, and looks gorgeous. We have 2 inches too much room exactly where the bunk bed is going. Perfect!! And, bright side #2??? I don't work again until Monday, so I don't have to deal with the bunk bed coming out tomorrow! Sweet!!

Back to advice time for you guys. Do you know those friends that have been a part of your life for a long long time? Are you still friends with all of them because of your past together or do you leave some behind as you change and grow? Jon and I are both struggling with this question. There are people who we still randomly talk to that we used to be really close to, but have taken such different paths than us that our lives don't seem to mesh up anymore. We have found newer friends who mesh in right now and have the same interests as we do now. Getting together with them is a blast. Time with them includes  lots of conversation, and sweet activities. But the old ones still call occasionally, and we still have the awkward coffee chats, strange hugs and promises to get together again soon. How do we deal with this? Opinions please!!!

January 4, 2011

Finally done!

Guess What? The brilliant but evil guestbook that I was making for the wedding is finally done! Why the heck did I think it was a good idea to put people's photos in with the comment cards? And really, why did I decide to do them by table? Because I like to torture myself? I think so!!! Also, how is it possible that with 3 photographers, a videographer and a dozen or so people with their own cameras that I don't have a single photo of some people??? Argh!
I do think it turned out pretty well, despite all my complaining while I was sorting through everything. I think in 20 years it will be cool to see who was at each table, what their wishes were for us and the photos of them on that day.

This is one of the pages as an example- The 918 is the table number (No, we didn't  have 918 tables....we picked numbers that meant something to us. 918 was the number of days we had been a couple up to the wedding day) The silver cards were the guestbook pages, everyone filled them out and told us two things: What memories they think we should treasure about the day and their advice for us. Some are sweet, some sentimental, lots are comical. They were a ton of fun to read the next day and even today looking through I was giggling at a bunch of them.
Lots of "She's always Right" 
a few "Fight naked, it's hard to be mad when your naked" 
and, my current favorite:
"The key to a good right cross is to step into it and imagine hitting something just beyond your intended target. Oh, wait. Marriage advice? Duck Jon and apologize"

On the bright side, today remained a pajama day. The icky snow that was falling all day and that I would usually whine about? I had no part of it! I didn't set foot out there. My Mother in law got groceries and needed help in the house....Jon loaded from the car and back, I toted the food from the door to the kitchen and put it away. Sweet Deal!

Tomorrow's task? The Honeymoon scrapbook. It's half done and mocking me!

January 3, 2011

Hugs and Babies

Today made me want to come home, drink a bottle of wine alone and curl up on the couch. I think it was a combination of deciding to hold off of the baby making and a friend miscarrying her long-anticipated baby. She has been trying for so long, and made it through the first ultrasound, but not the second. We are waiting for now, but I am so scared of going through what she is going through. What if that is me next year? Why am I so selfish thinking of me when she is in such pain? 

My hugs and prayers go out to her and her husband. 
Mama B, you will make a great mommy someday, just don't lose hope!

I got to baby-cuddle today a few times at work. I don't know why I torture myself. I want my own, I don't want to give them back anymore! The more I hear Jon say he wants 5, the more I agree with him. I want the cuddles and the chaos. I want them to love each other and bicker and make up. I want to catch them cuddling with each other, to catch them getting each other in trouble and to see them support one another. Until then, I will cuddle customer's babies and watch my kitties snuggle with each other.
That's all for tonight. Time to re-fill my wine glass and curl up with my book. Goodnight to you, and hugs. Wether you need them right now or not, you may someday, and now you have some in reserve. 

January 2, 2011

Changed again

I can't make up my mind on blog styles. Bear with me for a bit. It may change again....just think about it as a surprise each day!!!

Baby Time? No....

It's official, still no baby on the way for us. We have been talking about it constantly and decided that we are going to hold off until we have moved and get settled a bit. Moving away from everyone will be hard enough when it's just the two of us, let alone when we have a little one on the way. It also gives me a chance to build a bit of a client base so I am not trying to advertise my design services while pregnant. It was a really hard choice to make, we are both so ready to be parents. Either way, we will start trying again this summer and hopefully will have a little one in 2012!!
Glenna Jean Bedding- Juliet
Jonathan has decided that our first will be a little girl (he is daring the universe to go against him...) And so we were looking at bedding and cribs, trying to figure out what we would do in a nursery for baby Jacqueline. It's funny, I help people decorate their nurseries every day, but when it comes to my own I am very indecisive. I think this crib set is the winner though. So pretty, but so simple.  Now that we have decided not to have her right away the fabric swatches arrived in the mail for me to pick between. What would have been a fun package to open turned into a sad, make me cry package. Not fun! Oh well. Next year I can order the bedding. Until then, I have the little bits to remind me that more work means more money and prettier accessories to go in her room! 

On a completely unrelated side note, check out Adele! One of my twitterers told me to download her music in response to my last blog. She is amazing! Such a strong, clear voice and great lyrics! Thanks to Musical Awesomeness @ sevengenres for the suggestion! 

Question

So when I first started this blog I was doing a daily question. Mostly to myself as I seemed to be the only reader and was the only one answering them. I now have 6 of you....and will now start with the questions again. I will also do other posts (aren't you excited??? double posts!!)

What is one vacation destination that many people think is just fabulous, but which you personally have no desire to ever visit (or revisit)?

via
The Arctic. No sorry, never, ever getting me there. I love how angry the ice looks in this photo. That's my general opinion of snow. I should go and see it, just once, before this global warming thing really kicks in and it turns into a big waterpark, but I am so anti-cold weather. The animals are all cute and white, but that is why we have Sassy. She's cute, white and here in Edmonton with us. Home is cold enough. Maybe once we have moved to Victoria and have an absence of snow for a year or two. Maybe then. But for now, no way, no how.

What about you?

January 1, 2011

Sidenote Mini Blog

I need new music!!!
I was looking through my iTunes and most of the songs and albums that I have on there are old. Like, I had the cd in junior high or high school and loaded the cd's into iTunes when it first came out. On the bright side, some classics have been played 300+ times. On the downside most of the bands aren't touring anymore. I like most genres, and am willing to listen to anything once!
What are you listening to right now????? Who do you recommend??

Thanks!!!!

The Holidays (only a bit late...)

2010 went out with a bang! So many things to do, so little time to sleep. I looked a my computer each night and said tomorrow I would post. So here I am, a week and a half later, with only one post up.
So....Here is the last two weeks in a highlight reel:

December 24th: Christmas Eve
After a short day at work I went home to get ready for the evening. Our family goes to church every Christmas Eve and then we all head back to Mom & Dad's place for games and way too much food! The church sermon was awesome, the message was great and lots of beautiful music. The organ always blows me away, but it is spectacular when combined with a clarinet, tuba, violin and drums! We arrived at Mom & Dad's and spent the evening eating, drinking and playing Christmas themed Charades. It turns out I am a really, really good guesser, but an awful actor! I blame it on my luck when grabbing things like Holiday Affair out of the bag. Really.... I meant to have my camera out (I am usually the family shutterbug) but it spent the evening in my purse....

December 25th: Christmas Day
We woke up early to head over to my sister's house for brunch and gifts. It was fun to see her little guy open presents and play with all his new toys. Last year he was still a bit too young to really understand. We spent a lazy morning there and then went back home for presents and late lunch with the Latours... 

We opened up our stockings and then our gifts. Tons of fun, and we were all very, very spoiled. I got the  mitts that I subtly blogged about earlier this month, along with a pair that were hand knit by my Mother in Law and a few pairs of long warm ones from my Mom. I gave Jon the ornament that I ordered from Etsy. It was a big hit! I think that is going to turn into a yearly order for the very talented painter! 
After a quick nap we went over to a friend's house for dinner. We have done Christmas dinner with my family for the last 2 years, so it was the Latours turn to have us for the feast. They moved to Edmonton from Montreal and created themselves a new family here. Dinner at Barb & Raymond's had been the tradition for the last 22 years, and now that I have been there I see why. Great food, great company and some very strong Pictionary rivals. Raymond is also celiac, so there was lots of gluten free goodies for me to snack on! I, once again, decided I need to learn french asap! I had to draw a stork, and I did a pretty good job, but they took forever to find the word in English for me. My team was shouting the answer in french, and the men weren't going to help us get the point by telling me that they were right. 

December 26th: Boxing Day
We woke up early and went over to Grandma & Grandpa's house for a drop in brunch. She made a ton of food, and we all stayed for a visit and to see who would drop in next. It was the first year in a long time we haven't had a family gift exchange on boxing day, so after the visit we went boxing day shopping! Kingsway mall was a zoo, but less crowded than I was expecting it to be. I picked up a few great jackets and some new work clothes, so overall it was a great shopping trip. I kept laughing at Jonathan, he likes shopping (in small doses) and insists to be my packhorse while we walk around. All the women in the stores were fawning over him as he carried my stuff, they kept saying how they wished their husband would do that. It inflated his ego a bit, but it was fun! We picked up season 1 of Glee, which I have seen bits of and loved. After shopping we came home and started watching it. So good!! 

December 27th: The Spa Day and Wedding Day
In November my gel nails suffered an unfortunate run in with a dresser at work and a few split off. I got impatient and filed them down so they could all grow out a bit. The longer they were filed, the more impatient I got and eventually I just pulled them all off. That was not an easy task! Those buggers really are on there! My thumb nail was the worst, the gel was not leaving. Eventually I coaxed it off, but it took half of the real nail with it. Suddenly the gels that I have had for the last 5 years weren't a possibility until it grew back in. A month and a bit later I finally could get a new set put on. I was at the salon at 10am to get them attached, they are so pretty! Purple and sparkly with pretty blue and white designs painted on my ring fingers. While I was there I got a pedicure and then headed home. I had just enough time to eat lunch and then it was time to head to Southgate
Jonathan and I were, against better judgement, in matching outfits. I usually am very adamant about not matching, but his Mom always tells me the photos will be better. I may have to start listening to her, all the shots of us together are cute. We both rocked the black and red outfits!

December 28th: The Hangover Day
Lots of Glee and couch time. In fact, the rest of the Glee season 1 and cuddling on the couch. That is all. Such a good day!

December 29th: Saying goodbye to Rocket
We spent a lazy day at home and spent some time cuddling Rocket before bringing him to the vet. He was very loved and is very missed. Our poodle is still running around the house looking for him, and our cats still pause when coming up the stairs to see where he is. We spent the evening talking about him, and I got to hear a bunch of stories about him as a puppy. One great one about when the Latours took a road trip across Canada and had him with them. He really, really liked the fish nets in the Maritimes, much to the dismay of his car mates!
After dinner I introduced Jon to Gilmore Girls. He has seen snippets of the episodes over the years of girls nights and couch days that we watched the discs over and over again. I figured it was absorbing enough to distract him a little bit, and that it would help explain some of the quotes Shannon and I use. He says it's a chick show, but is still willing to watch the seasons with me.

December 30th: Work Work Work
After a quick stop at Transcend coffee I went in to work for the day. It was insane! The boxing week shoppers were out in full force and we were crazy busy. The day flew by and we had a blast! Jonathan spent the day at home doing errands for his Mom, who was busy preparing for her annual New Years Bash. Four Gilmore Girls episodes after work and then bedtime for us.

December 31st: Work and Party
Thursday was nuts at the store, so I was fully prepared to run around like crazy on Friday. Apparently all the shoppers were at home getting ready for parties. The store was so slow! Fortunately my Dad came in and we got a bunch of the tedious accounting stuff done. We went home as soon as the warehouse guys came back from delivery and got to work helping with the party.
Sylvie does a theme party each year, and this year's gala was Glitter and Glitz. She spent the morning covering the house with silver organza and white twinkle lights. I got there and helped out with food preparation and more setup. Soon it was time to get ready for the party. The only catch after all that setup? We weren't staying at our house. So, while everyone came here we went to our friend's place which is just down the street. We have a very friendly block, and while the parents all went to the lovingly named Geezer party, us members of the younger generation also all got together. Tons of food, jello shots and board games filled our evening. We did the countdown, the kisses and the hugs and then ran over to crash the other party for more hugs and wishes. Such fun!

January 1st: Yay! Today! Couch Day!
Wow, you stuck through this post all the way to today! Look at you go! Thanks for reading! Today was another relax on the couch day. We watched a bunch more Gilmore Girls and Karate Kid (apparently we were lacking in the testosterone friendly viewing)  Breakfast, lunch and dinner all consisted of New Years platter leftovers. I capped off the evening with a bath in one of my Lush Christmas present goodies. For those of you that don't know me, I am totally addicted to Lush. I love pretty much everything they make, and this beautiful gift box was under the tree for me this year! All of their limited edition Christmas goodies in one big pretty box. I used the bubble bar that looks like Santa Clause tonight. Yay!
Now that I am done this mammoth post it is time for me to go to bed! I promise tomorrow won't be so long winded!!! I hope you all had great Christmases and fun New Years Eves! I am so excited to see what 2011 is going to bring!!

Goodnight!