When friends get married

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it was a beautiful wedding in yorkville, toronto; the weather was spectacular, the music was touching and the ceremony perfect. and the dancing. oh the dancing. my feet are going to be sore for a few days – but it’s a small price to pay to the dancing/dj gods who happened to play all the best dancing oldies you could ask for at a wedding. (my absolute favourite!)

it’s pretty amazing when your friends get married. it makes you believe in a love story because you’ve had that special privilege of watching it unfold right in front of you.

when i think of the group of us all getting older over the years, going down different roads doing different things, it brings me a sense of comfort to know that you two will be there together, just like it should be. i feel so blessed to have been included in this amazing day.

here’s to the happy couple!! ❤

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yorkville ^^

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my handsome date ^^

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Road Trip

We’re off on a road trip this weekend to see two wonderful friends from grad school tie the knot! The suits and dresses are packed and we are ready to dance. Cliff respectfully declined the invitation in lieu of spending time with my parents and sister’s family 🙂

Have a great long weekend!

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Shower the bride

Last weekend:

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mother of the bride’s cup from her wedding day! ^^

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took forever to unfold ^^

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ice cream cake with praline caramel topping. groaannn. ^^

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pussy willows mean spring is officially HERE!!

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peanuts! ^^

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DSC_0215it actually hailed outside but colour and pussy willows helped a bit 🙂

We needed that

it’s tuesday night and what with the past forty-eight hours I had almost forgotten that we had had a weekend away but we did – and we definitely needed that.

i can’t remember the last time we went somewhere, when it wasn’t for some other purpose, other then to just “be away.” usually it has a lot to do with family affairs or comedy shows, both of which we’re more then happy to attend – it’s just different when it’s a vacation for vacation’s sake.

the past 8 months has been gruelling. and now i’m frantically looking for a job so I can make up for all the lost time i spent being in school rather then working like the other adults i know in my life. the point is, free time over the past 8 months has been scarce, and sometimes i feel like i’ve just been rushing from one task to the next, trying to keep on top of everything.

mike really is the best. he’s been supporting me in every possible way you can support a person since i made the decision to devote my life to a really demanding program last fall. (well actually he supported me before that too, but i’ve needed it way more since last september.)

anyway. i love holidays. friends. food. what more can you ask for? it was the perfect way to celebrate the end of the school year.

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we saw the Toronto Raptors play (and more importantly win!) and then spent the night ambling along the cold and wet streets of Toronto before hitting up the Bier Market on the Esplande.

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geese in the eaton centre ^^

on saturday we walked around the city (which was still unseasonably wet and cold!) and we made it to the eaton centre.. (sorry.. i don’t think they call it that anymore? i refuse to call it anything but), and the best part about it being rainy and wet and lots of walking? lots of food. lotsandlots!

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the best lunch ever at Banh Mi Boys on Queen Street west! ^^ check out those “kimchi fries” – to die for.

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(ug! there were leaf fans everywhere!) ^^

the sun finally came out for a bit in the afternoon – a city is definitely a different experience in the cold or the rain. not necessarily good or bad, just different.

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(a pool. a hot tub. a complimentary robe. it was like someone could read my mind.)

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dinner at george. seek it out – amazing food and amazing service. seriously… you won’t go wrong with this place.

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this is me trying to pinch the decor – you can dress her up but you just can’t take ‘er out.^^^


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and this is the racoon that had us country folk enthralled while our cabbie was waiting for us. he narrowly got hit by a street car. i might have risked my life for him…. there’s just something about a masked animal that makes you feel like he is more human.

and that was the weekend. our hotel by the way was an amazing deal – our friends booked it for everyone via Hot Wire. I think if you’re not picky on where you end up location wise, and you’re willing to be surprised, it’s definitely the way to go.

ahhhhhhhh. weekends.

Remember these two?

Remember these two? It seems like yesterday My best friend and her fiancé were engaged on the end of a dock at midnight in the summer (awwww):

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But really it’s been about 8 months and the wedding festivities are officially UNDERWAY!!

Last weekend was the Stag and Doe – it’s an event in support of the bride and groom. Some people think it’s like the “stag” or “bachelor” party – but both wedding parties together. Not true.

A Stag and Doe is NOT about holding a party for your “last night single” (which I think is SO tacky by the way. If you have to have a party to celebrate “last night single” you probably shouldn’t be getting married in the first place… I mean celebrate the event with your friends for sure, but the way these Bachelor and Bachelorette parties have evolved into meat market type parties kinda makes my skin crawl.)

Actually a Stag and Doe is an amazing night where everyone in the community comes together, pitches in and helps out. Really, it’s just a fun opportunity to have a relaxed party before the more high stress events can pick up and it’s such a great way for the bride and groom to feel love from their community and the people in their life.

It was about an eight hour trek across the province so we had to pack Cliff dog up and left him for the weekend with my parents (who live about halfway from where I live to where the Stag and Doe was held).

One of the pitfalls of growing up is the fact that sometimes you meet partners that live hours and hours away from your best friend 😦 It still pains me at random moments throughout my life that it’s not like it used to be, when we lived a phone call away and spent every spare minute together. All things considered I think we still do a pretty good job of seeing each other – and growing up, more often then not, means things can’t stay the same way forever.

It really was such a good weekend, and it was so amazing to see Jessie and John and made the fact that they will be married in only 3 short months very, very real!! (YAY!!)

I’ve included a few pics below. If you haven’t been to a stag and doe or you’ve never heard of one, you need to put it on your bucket list  (find one and attend… there’s no such thing as “Stag and Doe Crashers”). There is just so much positivity in the air at a party like this. Plus, the DANCING. (Oh the dancing!) A “do not play list” does not exist at an event like this – which is just fine by me. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed Gangnam Style so much 😉

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Road Trip!

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Country roads

Driving to the hall to set up

Driving to the hall to set up

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The tiki tiki bar gets signed by every bride and groom in town who use it for their event

The bride-and-groom-to-be

The bride-and-groom-to-be

Proud to be team bride

Proud to be team bride

Clearly I'm going to make a great journalist someday

Clearly I’m going to make a great journalist someday (I actually didn’t notice any error until after I spent half and hour making this sign.)

the actual "coolr of boozer" that you could buy tickets for

the actual “coolr of boozer” that you could buy tickets for

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Hard working wedding party

The boys had a brilliant idea to raise more funds

The boys had a brilliant idea to raise more funds

The youngest dancer on the dance floor

The youngest dancer on the dance floor

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Marked my cup so no one would take it (MOH) 😉

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Mike does his bouncer face

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We basically danced the night away

Family Day

It’s a holiday in Canada today: Family Day. The irony about Family Day is, it’s a “provincial” holiday – so everyone in Ottawa who has a job with the Federal Government (which is probably 75% of the working population) has to work on “Family Day.” Bummer. Imagine your kids have the day off school but you have to go to work so they get shipped off to a sitter’s house? Something’s wrong with that picture.

I used to work for the Federal Government – but now I’m a degenerate grad student sitting on my couch in pyjamas at noon (and I may or may not shower) and to be frankly honest I have no classes on Mondays anyway so there really isn’t anything different about today in this household.

i’ve realized that as you become older, you become less concerned with other things in your life – things that seemed so important when you were younger – and you realize that your time is better spent with family.

nothing could really be truer. despite all the struggles, the ups and downs, life turmoils, distance and eccentricities that make up a family, there really isn’t anything that can replace them.

since the student budget is tight and my family doesn’t live in town, I won’t be able to spend the day with:

two sisters, three nieces, one nephew, two brother-in-laws or mom and dad.

but….. the other thing about getting older is your family will grow, it’s one of life’s many blessings.

and so i get to spend the day pulling shoe’s out of this guy’s mouth:

Cliff 4 months

sharing a wonderful brunch for two:

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And of course intervening in various attempts to overthrow the canine (from the advancing feline front):

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Happy Family Day!

And remember in the words of George Bernard Shaw:

“If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.”

Skate your heart out kid

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As one friend pointed out to me, in Canada we don’t say “ice hockey” – it’s just plain old, hockey. Because of course, what other kind of hockey could there ever be?

Although when you are on an outdoor rink and some of you are wearing figure skates, do usual naming conventions still apply?

There’s a beautiful rink in our neighbourhood & I had forgotten how much I love skating. I grew up on an outdoor rink in our backyard, so it makes sense that it felt at home.

Also, do you know how much energy it takes to skate and hold a stick and chase a puck all at the same time?

Way too much energy.

Brat Puppy

We had an interesting week in our household.

On Monday evening I was sitting in the driveway of a stranger’s house – about to leave the car to do an interview for the radio broadcast course that’s consuming my winter. As I went to turn the my cell phone off I realized I had missed two calls when I was driving.

It seemed weirder when I had a text from Mike to call my dad ASAP.

So I did and found out that there was a bit of a family emergency back home (about a three hour’s drive from the location I was sitting in that very minute.) It’s the kind of call you dread – never knowing when it will come or just to what extent it will change your life.

Over the following 48 hours, including a trip home to see my parents, we found out that the long-term effects would be minimal. We breathed a sigh of relief that we had been so lucky.

In the minutes and hours following the call we began to make arrangements for the trip home. It’s not as easy as it used to be. We used to be able to fill the cat dish up with food and water and head out. Since the arrival of the devil child (aka that cute puppy Cliff) we have more strings attached.

My parents have a giant great dane and when you mixed that with the 3 hour drive (Cliff hasn’t got used to the car yet) and the fact that it was 10 pm at night, we were inclined to not bring him on the trip with us.

In times of crisis you find out who your friends are and we are SO lucky to have wonderful – feels like -they’re-kinda- your- family- type- friends who live down the road. They uprooted their schedule and agreed to come and puppy sit for the day/night while we were out of town.

While we were gone we found out that that angelic puppy that tilts his head at you just so? Well he kept them up all night. Which is strange because he has been sleeping through the night for about two weeks now. No complaints. Loves his crate/bed. Just goes in no questions asked and goes to sleep.

Nu-uh. When we were gone he took liberties.

And since we’ve been back?

I think I’ve slept about 8 hours (plus a few day time naps to catch up) in 48 hours. And I’m not even exaggerating. I wish I was.

Last night Cliff barked off and on from 2AM until 6 AM. In 20 minute intervals.

THAT HAPPENED. The night before that was about the exact same thing.

It’s like SLEEP TORTURE PEOPLE.

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Trust me, he doesn’t feel sorry.

I feel like we’re at square one again. We are having to start from the beginning. We already went through a few weeks of “let him bark it out.” But now we’re right back to where we started… listening to him bark for hours until he just tires himself out, or it’s time to get up.

It’s just been a really long week and I’m SO HAPPY that today is Friday and maybe we can put it all behind us. Bratty behaviour and all.

Wedding in the Hills

Friends of ours got married at the most beautiful location this past weekend – it was just 45 minutes north of the city in Quebec’s beautiful Gatineau hills.

The trees are basically on fire at this point in the season and the bride and groom were married on a ledge overlooking the valley. It was absolutely breath-taking to say the least.

I think shows like Four Weddings and Say Yes to The Dress can cheapen what it means to get married. Not only are you supposed to get married but we’ve been made to believe that  a wedding is a competition that you have to be the BEST at. And we’re so used to seeing pictures of “perfect” weddings on Pinterest that make you think a wedding has to fit inside a template which screams magazine catalogue. Don’t get me wrong – there’s no wedding show or picture of DIY wedding favours that I wouldn’t get sucked into… But when you see two people do it for the right reasons… it’s really refreshing.

I think what I mean to say is, it’s just so lovely to see close friends get married. Congratulations to the newlyweds!!

Cottage Life, You Own Me

Before there was the strep throat, or the new school week of orientation there was this:



Iz dreamland, non?

If you’ll recall, my best friend got engaged last week and the dock you see here? This is where the magic happened. (bow chica wow wow)

We were lucky enough to join the happy couple over the long weekend and soak up some of the cottage life before the onslaught that will be life for the next four months commenced on Tuesday.

There’s this old aboriginal folk song that all Canadians learn when we are in public school (it’s an oldie but a goodie):

Blue lake and rocky shore, I will return once more

When the winter winds do blow, and the assignments do make me want to pull my hair out this fall and winter, I will return to this post, booked-marked as a favorite, and try to make peace that one day again, life will be a cottage.

Mark my words.
I WILL be back.

But first! There’s a few things to tackle over the next few months.

BFF



I touched this (and *almost* picked it up)