joys of january

Jan 30, 2012

I've been slacking on blogging lately, mostly to spare you all from my boring day to day life. Because really, who wants to read about how I spent the morning washing my hardwood floors by hand, only to decide to bake and end up with flour all over the floors an hour later? Yeah, that's what I thought.
What the heck have I been up to lately? I've been baking. I've been cleaning. I've attempted a few home cooked meals. I've spent every evening at the gym, torturing my body as it begs me to stop. Despite the routine, I've managed to sneak a little bit of fun in the mix too.
Like last weekend. Our friend Rachel isn't able to attend our wedding, so she got us an awesome gift to make up for it. We were the proud ticket holders of the Calgary Flames vs. Edmonton Oiler's hockey game. It was my very first NHL game, and to make it better, it was my team vs. Ryan's... or the infamous "Battle of Alberta". I proudly donned my pink jersey and headed to the game with my fiancé who cheers for the wrong team.
We arrived super early, planning to make the most of the evening. As we'd parked the car and began walking to the arena, it dawned on Ryan that his car keys were in the ignition of his now locked car. I thought for a brief moment that maybe he was joking, but my hope dwindled as reached the car. It was one of the coldest nights of the year, and being outside for more than 2 minutes was too much for me to bear. We called roadside assistance, only to be told that there would be a 5 hour wait. That was unacceptable. Our new plan was to break into his vehicle, providing that we were able to find a coat hanger. He's locked himself out enough times that he is now an expert on getting into his car. We walked to the nearest home and knocked on the door. We waited anxiously in the cold, and I saw a face peek in the window and then disappear. Clearly they were not looking for visitors. We knocked again, before finally giving up and walking away. As we did, the door opened and the lady apologized, explaining that she doesn't usually open the door to strangers. We begged her for a coat hanger, stood inside her tiny entryway, heard a small portion of her life story, and eventually left with the hanger in hand. After a few minutes of persistence, the car door was open and the keys were safely tucked into Ryan's pocket. I was freezing. So cold that my toes hurt and nose felt like it might just turn into ice and snap right off. I hadn't been this cold in years, and it was a great reminder of why I left Canada not once, but twice. We made it to the arena to find that the doors weren't even open yet. We'd planned on being early, but apparently we were far earlier than we'd anticipated. We killed time and warmed up by walking to grab dinner at Subway. Finally, it was game time. Back to the arena we went. I bought hot mochas to warm us up and give us a necessary jolt of caffeine. We found our seats, and watched the game. Believe you me, it was an awesome game. The place was quiet as my team won 6-2 over the home team. I gave Ryan a sympathetic pat on the back with an evil grin. If the roles had been reversed, I'd have never heard the end of it.
The next week carried on slowly as usual. A lot of gym, sore muscles, and healthy food. The highlight of the week was when Ryan reached his goal weight and we treated ourselves to sushi. We base our goals on his weight since mine hasn't fluctuated much since I was 16.
I spent Friday afternoon baking delicious chocolate peanut butter cupcakes that were strictly banned from our diet, planning to force them upon my friends come Saturday.
Saturday finally rolled along, and it was a very busy day. Ryan had signed us up to be volunteers for the trial of the new terminal at the Edmonton airport. I needed a good dose of airport, as it's now been a month since I've gone anywhere. We were issued fake boarding passes and sent on our way through customs and security. The terminal was swarming with fake passengers, media... and food. We'd long established that this would be a cheat from the diet day, and we took full advantage, loading up plates of free samples from the restaurants and Starbucks. Our tastebuds were overloaded with salt and sugar, things we'd been deprived of for the entire year so far. Regret and satisfaction hit at the same time. Despite being full, we were sent home with a boxed lunch.
It was time to get ready for our evening. We rarely have plans or a social life at all, so this was very exciting. It was the first official party in our new home, and I had a chocolate fountain for the occasion! Our friends arrived, and the drinks and chocolate were flowing. We ate so much amazing food.. Swedish meatballs, pizza, candy, and everything imaginable dipped in chocolate. All together, it set up back about a week in our healthy eating and exercising, forcing us to consider if such binges are in fact worth the short term happiness. Such thoughts make me question the person that I've become. Food used to define me!
The next morning, our house was a mess. We slowly made our way out of bed, and the few overnight guests proceeded home until it was just Ryan, Davey, and myself. We cooked some delicious pancakes using the macadamia nut mix I'd bought in Maui, topping them with coconut syrup. It was a great breakfast, and our last unhealthy treat for quite some time.
Monday rolled around and my Grandma and her husband Gary were in town. Gary had an appointment at the hospital, so my grandma and I hit the mall for some retail therapy. It was a good day and a nice break from spending an entire afternoon at home!
That's my life, and all of the excitement that it has had lately. Can you believe that I'll be married in 72 days? Because I certainly can't. On that note, it's time for the gym!

grounded and grumpy.

Jan 18, 2012

Lately, I've had nothing exciting to share with you lovely folks. Nothing. On days like today, when there is a windchill factor of -46°C, I'm fortunate that I have no place to be and no reason to leave the house. Today I'm content staying under my thick fuzzy blanket, sipping chai tea and watching countless episodes of Say Yes to The Dress.
Let me tell you, today is a rare day. As much as I love being home, I'm feeling the need to get out. I need adventure. I need excitement. I need to work.
So you ask, why is it the 18th of January and I've yet to fly? Well, that's a tricky question. You see, I'm all for living life to the fullest. I follow my dreams. For me, that means spending a year backpacking Australia and Southeast Asia, only to move to Dubai just over a year later. Until recently, my globetrotting ways have only brought great things to me.
My current job requires me to obtain a pass to access restricted areas in airports for security reasons. Fair enough. Back in September I filled out the forms, went to the pass office, got my fingerprints and photo taken, and was issued a temporary pass until the permanent one came in. I waited.... and waited. I knew that living in other countries would delay my permanent pass more than it would for a person who'd spent their entire lives in the same city. I was patient. And then earlier this month, I was informed that my application had been denied. What?! Why?! I didn't understand. I still don't understand. I was given the right to appeal the decision and provide more proof that I was actually where I claimed to be and believe you me, I was not going to go down without a fight. I gathered up remnants of my life in Dubai. Anything that had my address on it, they'd be sent. At present time, there is nothing I can do but wait for police records from the United Arab Emirates and Australia to say "Hey, it's me! I lived here and did absolutely nothing wrong!".
In the meantime, no pass equals no flying. I'm grounded. I'm bored. I've got no place to be and nothing to do. My life consists of cleaning the house, going to the gym, sleeping and doing it all over again. Yeah, sure, it's great to be home... but not every day. I'll never be a housewife. I can't cook. Ask Ryan, my attempt at baking yesterday turned into ugly pancake-like cookies. I try to keep the house clean, but I get far more fulfillment in going to work and getting a paycheque to help contribute to important things... you know, like the mortgage. My patience is gone and I feel terrible for my poor fiancé, because I'm certain that I'm not a very pleasant person to be around during this ordeal.
So, that's how my year is shaping up so far. With no flights and no life, my list of things to blog about is dwindling... but bear with me. As soon as I'm back in the skies, I'll find great entertaining things to tell you all!

Project 366, Leap Year!

Jan 15, 2012

Lately I've lacked the inspiration for blog posts. You see, between fighting for my airport security pass and facing an unknown amount of ground time, there really hasn't been much excitement around the house. I wake up, I laze around the house, I work my butt off at the gym, and that's a typical day in the life of me as of late.
I do, however, chronicle a little bit of each and every day through photography. Way back in 2009 I successfully completed a challenge known as "Project 365". I took one photo, for every single day of that year. It was a fun and sometimes frustrating project, but in the end it was a great way to look back on the year. Seeing as how 2012 is set to be a pretty big year in terms of life events, I'm giving it another shot. It happens to be a leap year, so this year I'm working on "Project 366". Every day I take a photo and attempt to upload it that same day. I tend to come up with a lot of photos of food, but that's a huge part of my life! You can find all of my photos on my Flickr page! Along with my photo, I write a little blurb about my day... usually pointless knowledge that interests only me. Kind of like some of my blog posts....
Anyways... here is a glimpse at my year, so far!

January 1
January 2
January 3
January 4
January 5

January 6
January 7
January 8
January 9
January 10
January 11
January 12
January 13
January 14

a post of love

Jan 9, 2012

Do you ever have those days when you think "Gosh, I sure have the most fantastic, amazing people in my life" and find yourself in awe of just how truly awesome they are? I do. A lot. Especially today.
You see, I used to live in a far away land called Dubai. While there, fate brought an amazing girl to live in my apartment with me. Her name was Kim and we bonded immediately over our love of chick flicks, chocolate, and butter chicken from the restaurant downstairs. Through Kim, I met Sam, who was just as awesome. Before they came along my existence in Dubai was rather... well, unenjoyable. I longed to go away for work because being home meant being lonely and spending far too many hours wandering the giant overpopulated shopping malls. They brought me out of my shell... but more importantly, out of my apartment. We had great fun adventures and they made me happy.
I was sad to say goodbye to them when I left Dubai in June for the final time. We vowed to keep in touch and promised to reunite. So, guess what?! They are coming to my wedding!!
It's been in the plans for awhile but I just got confirmation today that it's a sure thing.
You have absolutely no idea how happy this makes me. When you plan a destination wedding you have to accept that not everyone is going to be able to attend. I knew that having these girls would make my wedding day even better, but as somebody who has a lot of experience in trekking across the globe, let me tell you.... it's not a short trip from Dubai. The fact that they are travelling all the way to Mexico means the world to me... and to Ryan, because when I'm extra happy so is he! I'm so grateful that all of my closest friends are going to be there with us on the beach in April, but these 2 are flying from so far away that I figured they deserved a blog post of their very own. I love them!
See you ladies with pina coladas in hand in 90 days!!!

hello 2012

Jan 6, 2012

I can't believe that I haven't posted in my blog since last year. Despite being only 6 days into 2012, I'm rather ashamed of myself.
Not a lot has happened since the year began. In fact, it's been a very calm, quiet, and uneventful start. I'm not complaining, in fact, it's been great. I gave away my reserve shift and spent the week relaxing and trying to get over what seems to be the longest, most annoying cold in the history of long annoying colds. I don't get sick often, so chances are I'm just overreacting.
It's been great just lounging around the house and actually seeing my fiancé every single day. It's days like these that I would dream of while sitting in my lonely Dubai apartment.
In the lead up to our wedding, Ryan and I are picking up much healthier habits. No more eating out, no more being lazy. It's healthy home cooked meals and daily visits to the gym for us! Our wedding photos are costing us a decent amount of money, so we may as well do everything in our power to look amazing for the big day. The other night we went to our first "boot camp" class, which is just as fun as it sounds. Low and behold, we walked in to find an instructor who used to work at our gym in Red Deer, and who we held greatly responsible for whipping us into shape 3 years ago. The next day, everything hurt... a sure sign that we are off to a great start! With only 97 days to go, the pressure is on.
Another adventure that we've set out on for 2012 is Project 365. Those of you who've known me for a few years would probably remember me doing this in 2009. Basically, the goal is to take one photo every single day for a year. Seeing as how this year is a leap year, it's actually Project 366! After the photo is taken, I upload it to Flickr with a description and a bit of rambling about my day. Sounds simple, right? However, the pressure to always take a photo that I actually like makes it rather stressful and frustrating on some days. For some reason I still love it and am excited to try again! You can view this year's project right here!
I'm currently having issues obtaining an airport pass, thanks to my galavanting around the globe. While the rest of my classmates had their passes within weeks of applying, I have to prove that I was living where I claimed to be.... which for 3 of the past 5 years was not in Canada. As of yesterday I'm temporarily grounded until the issue is resolved. At this time, my house is open for visitors! Come entertain me, and eat the junk food in my pantry so that I don't have to!!