Jonas and Kristen get hitched – Eco chic

Wedding number 2 of 3.  Jonas and Kristen get hitched.  It was outside, it was green, it was wet, it was beautiful.

How I know Jonas – Through the Boy.  Jonas played varsity volleyball with the Boy for Western.  He’s a farm boy at heart, and so is  the Boy – so they obviously hit it off immediately.  Jonas was my first favourite (you may remember that each year I would pick a favourite – the first year I had a whole team to pick from).  That’s right, sorry other volleyball boys, but Jonas was the first to learn my name and he two-stepped his way into my heart.

Kristen, I don’t know so well.  But I do know that when they first started dating I asked Jonas about her and he had absolutely nothing negative to say.  In fact, he seemed to be quite smitten – and said something to the effect of, “she’s made me realize what has been missing in my life, and in every other relationship I’ve had.”  Anyway, I met her at the wedding and she is delightful and really seems to be a truly perfect match for Jonas.

The wedding.  It was outdoors, at a tree farm.  It was beautifully set up.  They were supposed to be married in a gazebo with their guests sitting on perfectly rounded bales of hay.  Unfortunately, it poured.  Not just a sprinkle… POURED DOWN RAIN ALL DAY LONG.  Their 7 o’clock wedding was rained out.  Luckily they had a tent for backup.  Unfortunately, it was the perfect setting for mosquitoes and they FEASTED on my feet all through the ceremony.  What luck.  We spoke with the owner of the tree farm and he said they have the whole tree farm irrigated because it NEVER rains there.  It passes right over, maybe sprinkles for a few minutes – but NEVER does it rain for the ENTIRE DAY!

They didn’t let that stop them from a foot-stompin’ good time.  Live music, roast beef shipped in from Jonas’ family farm in Saskatchewan, friends we haven’t seen in a few months, all without putting a serious tax on the environment.  One word.  Beautiful.  If the weather had cooperated, it would have been stunning.  But there’s something about seeing two people not let the weather stop them from enjoying their perfect day!

Congratulations Jonas and Kristen! So excited you’re living in Ontario we hope to see you soon!

Wildflowers in old mason jars with some much needed citronella candles - beautiful!

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Getting back into needles

Knitting Needles of course! I heard a rumour that my family in the west have been waiting with bated breath to hear what my big surprise was.  What surprise? You may remember that I wasn’t blogging a few weeks ago because I was working on a surprise.  Well, here it is – prepare to be disappointed unless of course your name is Jonas or Kristen, in which case I can only assume you are happily enjoying these…

Wedding gift of the century

Jonas and Kristen got hitched a couple of weeks ago.  It was wet, it was green, it was a REALLY good time!  What’s with the socks?  They had a wedding that fit with their mission to live as sustainably as possible.  They were married at a tree farm, they collected wild flowers the day before, and they made a request that if you were going to get them something for their wedding, to please do so with their choice to live sustainably in mind.  Reuse, regift, make something, bake something, gift certificates for things to do, promote a local artisans, get them something that grows.  As soon as I found out I was up for the challenge and the Boy and I started to try and think of something creative we could get them.  We hadn’t really had much success, and we hadn’t settled on anything until 2 weeks before I had a brain wave.  I could knit them socks!

One problem… I’ve been “knitting the Boy’s socks” for about 8 months now.  I only had 2 weeks.

What can I say, I love a challenge and work well with a pressured deadline.  I headed out to the wool store on Monday (that brought me to 12 days away) and found some delightful sock yarn for boy socks and I knit. I knit and knit and knit.  I knit on my lunch break, I knit as soon as I got home until I went to bed.  I knit and knit and knit. And I finished them.  1 pair of socks for a boy with days to spare.  Just one problem… there were two people getting married!  Luckily my mom has a love of knitting socks and gave me some to choose from.  The deal – I need to replace what I gave.  No problem, it’s not like the yarn is still in an untouched ball or anything.  Hmm… maybe she should give me a deadline!

Anyway, that’s where I was.  Contrary to popular belief I don’t generally blog at work… only if I’m feeling completely inspired and can bang it out in a few short minutes.  So since I was mad knitting that left no time for blogging!  Sorry to get your hopes up Alberta family –  no ring, no wedding plans… just needles. Knitting needles that is.

Full report on the awesome evening that was Jonas and Kristen getting hitched tomorrow!

F is for Family

There’s the family you’re given and the family you choose.  Both are great, but the latter is usually just a little… easier – less dramarama more family fun.   One more activity in our weeks of craziness, I officially became a groupie and saw my second Shred Kelly concert.  I didn’t know it would be possible, but they were even better the second time! They were the headliner, instead of the opener so they were able to play for longer and throw in a few super fun covers – more on that in a minute. The show was in Toronto, and since Toronto is the centre of the universe each band member had friends there to support them and they certainly delivered!

What was even greater than the show was getting together with our chosen family, and in an even rarer occasion – they were ALL there!  This is extremely rare since one is in BC, another in Bermuda, Richmond Hill, Alliston, Newmarket and Guelph – while the last few aren’t such a distance from Toronto, the first two make it difficult for us all to be together.

Proud parents waiting with breath that is bated

So all of us stomped our feet along with Shred Kelly as we sang along and watched one of our own in their element.  We were a proud group that’s for sure!

Now as I’ve mentioned there were some covers this time, and one such cover that my siblings and I became quite nostalgic over, while the Boy and my parents had NO IDEA what was being played.  So for those that remember the National Film Board’s short animated video of The Log Driver’s Waltz that used to be played on the CBC – enjoy.  For those that have no recollection of the time in question here’s a GREAT video for you – enjoy!

Phil and Emily – Elegant Country

This August we have three weddings in three weekends.  Each wedding is a different group of friends.  Each one we wanted to attend.  But seriously – three weeks in a row?  Couldn’t they have spread them out a little?  No?  Alright, marathon it is.

The first was a high school friend of the Boy’s, Phil and his blushing beautiful bride Emily.

Meet Phil – this is how everyone that knows Phil would describe him in two words – genuinely nice.  When we were in University, Phil would come out on Friday nights but not Saturday.  It’s not that he had other plans on Saturday, though he was usually hanging out with Emily, it was just that he didn’t like being hung over on Sundays.  You see Phil’s mom liked it if he went to church with her on Sunday.  It’s not that she had said “Phil I want you to go to church with me on Sundays.”  It was more that he just knew that she appreciated when he went with her.  Genuinely Nice. And sweet.  Yes, sweet would be a good word too.

Meet Emily – this is how everyone that knows Emily would describe her in two words – classically beautiful.  In every meaning of the word.  She is gorgeous.  There is no one that would see Emily and think “she’s just okay.”  She’s beautiful.  And to top it off, she’s beautiful on the inside too.  Isn’t that a kicker?  A pretty girl that’s also a genuine sweetheart – what a catch!

That’s why it’s surprising when you find out that Phil and Emily have been dating for 7 years! What have these two beautiful people been waiting for?  Phil used to say that he was going to be the LAST of his friends to get married.  In fact, “If all of my friends are married, I’m going to go out and find new friends that aren’t married – and then be the last of all of them to get married” is a direct quote from Phil.  Congratulations Phil – you’re FAR from the last… in fact – you’re the FIRST!

So because I’ve received a request to review all of the weddings so my wedding bloggers can get ideas I’ll happily oblige.  I’d call Phil and Emily’s wedding “Elegant Country.”  They were married in an adorable small town country church.  Adorable, but HOT.  It was probably 30C + humidity, we walked into the church and up to the balcony, and it was probably 50C in the church.  The Boy ditched his jacket in about 30 seconds. The groomsmen and groom did not get that luxury and looked like they were going to pass out in the heat.  Tip – when you are planning for all weather, include a plan for heat.  The guys probably could have taken off their jackets and still looked formal and handsome, and they wouldn’t have been (as) dripping in sweat.  Hindsight.  They didn’t think it would be THAT hot stand up there.  It was.  They could have ditched the jackets OR strategically placed the fans to blow directly on the wedding party.  To give you an idea, by the end of the ceremony the guys were soaked through their shirts, vests and jackets.  Sexy.

Reception was at 5:30, dinner at 6:30 (probably ended up being closer to 8), was held in the Embro Community Centre.  They had their Buck and Doe there too.  Let me tell you – it did not look the same as it did for their Buck and Doe.  It didn’t look like a community centre at all actually.  It was BEAUTIFUL.  Fabric and chandeliers.  Purple and white. Stunning.

The DJ was pretty good, got everyone dancing, food was awesome, and dessert was delicious.  Here was the biggest highlight for me – my shoes.  It might sound selfish, but I’m sorry, it’s true.  I borrowed my mom’s Cole Haan black patent leather pumps and this is what I learned – money might not buy happiness, but it does buy happy feet!  I haven’t made it through a wedding without changing shoes or ditching shoes completely.  Put on these bad boys and danced the night away, I could run a marathon in those things! I’m hoping that by the time this marathon is over I’ll have molded these shoes to my feet and Mom’s feet won’t feel as comfortable in them anymore and then I’ll be forced to take them off her hands.  Somehow I doubt it.

Congratulations Phil and Emily – you guys are two of the sweetest people I know and I’m certain you’ll enjoy a lifetime of happiness together.

XOXO

Picking up where you leave off

Not just picking up with friends – which was where the title came from a week ago when I first typed it, but with this blog.  Not suer if you noticed, but I sort of dropped off the planet.  Sorry about that.  So I’ve considered doing a mad post of all the things I have been doing the past couple of weeks instead of blogging… hmmm.  This blog is to for me to keep a record of my life to look back on – and the Boy have been busy living the life I want to remember, it seems silly to skim over the busy parts and give special attention to the everyday parts.

So I’m compromising, I’ll condense but I won’t skim over.

This takes me to event #1 A Date with K8

Do you have a friend that you don’t see a lot, maybe they live in another country, or province (my case) or maybe they live down the street, but your lives took you in different places and you just don’t seem to see eachother as much as you know you should?  I’m sure a lot of people can relate – there’s someone you don’t see but once you do, it’s like you saw them yesterday.  It’s a great feeling.  Picking up where you leave off.  Like they never left.  Like you’re still 21 living in an apartment together, going to school and hanging out on the couch.  That was my date with K8.

She arrived fashionably late, mostly because she left late, and we apparently live a ridiculous distance from civilization (read Toronto).  But once she arrived there was wine, there was gossip, there was talking about boys, and of course talk about the Boy.  Talk about family, friends, travel, school plans, job plans, weddings (ours and others) and of course her plans to move home to me.  And then the Boy came home – and finished making us dinner (I had prepared, he BBQ’d).

Something that makes a great friend even greater – when they love your Boy as much as they love you.  Once the Boy got home he and K8 were able to pick up where they left off and we all went to Dairy Queen for Children’s Miracle Network Blizzards!  As a side note Dairy Queen has a new size – Mini! It’s really the perfect amount of ice cream.  There’s just one problem, it’s $2.99! $3 for a teeny tiny blizzard.  It may be the perfect amount of ice cream, but it’s a total rip off.  For as often as I go to Dairy Queen – I think I’ll probably suck up the stomach ache and stick with a Small.

The Boy went to bed by 10:30 (a late night for him) while K8 and I stayed up talking for another 2 hours.  I couldn’t even tell you all the things we talked about – we just talked.  We caught up, we recapped, we analyzed, we laughed, and when she very reluctantly had to leave – I could have cried.

That’s the bittersweet part about the great friend you can pick right up with, it makes you wish you didn’t have to pick back up where you left off.  It makes you wish you didn’t have to pick up at all – that she was just there, in your everyday, all the time.

That’s why she needs to move back to the T-dot.  STAT.

So K8, when you’re reading this – book your ticket, pack your stuff, and get back here.  I had a great night and I think you’ll agree, it’d be great if we could do it more frequently than semi-annually!

Heading North

I’m heading North for a few days, a mini vacation before we continue our wedding weekend marathon.  The Boy is a bit bitter that he doesn’t have vacation days and can’t get time off during the summer, but don’t feel too bad for him he’s planning some serious man-dates this week. 

I’m super excited to have a couple of unplugged days.  And while the weather seems to have turned this morning, (16C) and I can feel the fall air thinking about taking up permanent residence, it’s not raining (as it has every other time we’ve visited this cottage for the last several years) so I’ll take it.

To keep you occupied in my absence I’m sharing some of my favourite blogs and podcasts.  The other day I was thinking that I should really just quit my job and read blogs all day, but alas… earwax.

Crowning Victoria – Are you planning a wedding? Vicki is.  And she’s taking beautiful pictures along the way.  Love her.

1001 Rules for my Unborn Son – Some good advice for boys everywhere… I think I should secretly subscribe The Boy to this one.  While there’s no denying he’s pretty awesome, he could definitely pick up some tips like #451 – You only get one chance to notice her new haircut or #430 – Don’t lie to your doctor.

Raising Amazing Daughters – These lovely ladies may not have posted in a while, but you can enjoy some back log.  The concept is neat, it’s a parenting blog with advice from Mom and her three twenty-something daughters.  They banter about the rules they grew up with, debate their merit and comment on what they think their parents did well, and what annoyed them.  Dad throws in his 2 cents too – short, sweet and hilarious, “I heard Twix is a gateway drug and that bathing suit was $90.”  Dad’s are funny. 

These two preggos are about to pop: The Confessions of a Mrs  – any day now, and if you start to like her be prepared – I’m anticipating a no holds, TMI birth story.  Heather Drive is a little more subtle and a few weeks behind. I may be a bit resentful of her though because she’s at 35 weeks and has only gained 23 lbs… I’m no preggo expert but that seems unfair.

Then there’s the stuff that I listen to and read when I’m looking to geek out…

Socialnomics is a blog (and a book I’m reading) about how social media works, and how to make it work best for you or your company.  It’s full of fun facts, and a new way of looking at the world.

PODCASTS PODCASTS PODCASTS:

K8 gave me a whole new list to listen to when she was visiting, and I haven’t gotten to most of them yet, but I can’t sing the praises of How Stuff Works too much so I’ll confess my love of Josh and Chuck at Stuff You Should Know once again.  And also their sister podcast, Stuff Mom Never Told You.  I haven’t written in to either of them, though I’ve long considered it.  Josh and Chuck have a podcast on How Redheads Work, and Molly and Kristen have one on Are Long-Distance Relationships Doomed?  My two cents – redhead’s are AWESOME, (the rest of you are just jealous) and long-distance relationships can work, but they are NOT easy, and require A LOT of work and a true committment.

So that should occupy you while I’m MIA.  Don’t worry I’ll be back before you know it.  I should have a couple of wedding reviews in tow, and some good Boy stories especially from this next one.

Hope everyone is enjoying these last beautiful August days… and if you have a minute let me know – What other blogs are you reading?  It’s okay, I understand we’re not exclusive, and you see other pages!  Show some comment love and let me know what I’m missing.

Hoes Sold Here

I feel like I’ve been dropping the ball in my blogging world so just wanted to let you know that I’m still here. There is good reason that I’ve been slightly MIA – but if I tell you I might spoil a surprise… so you’ll just have to wait.

The Boy and I had wedding number 1 this weekend, that’s 1 of 3 in the next 3 weeks.  It was a lot of fun, and beautiful and deserves its own post so stay tuned.  Also BFF K8 was in town last week which also deserves its own post, sneak preview I want her to move back here NOW!

So what can I delight you with quickly on a Monday morning? My employer, Women’s Centre of York Region is still selling Hoedown tickets.  We’ve moved into full sales mode, and Magna has provided a large sign outside our office that says Hoedown tickets sold here, or at www.hoedown.ca.  I came to work this morning and someone had changed the sign to read “Hoes sold here www.hoedown.ca.”  I thought it was hilarious especially because they weren’t complete jerks and left the extra letters on the ground so we can fix it.  Others at the ol’ feminist non-profit… not so much.

Wish I had my camera on me this morning, (one more reason I need an iPhone I guess). C’mon Women’s Centre of York Region – Hoes Sold Here.  That’s funny.   

Happy Monday!

101 in 1001 update and Company’s Coming!

It’s been about a month since I started my 101 in 1001 list, and while I haven’t been able to completely cross things off yet I’ve done more than make the list and completely forget about it.

I made the Boy cookies without him asking.  While this was a two step process – I made the dough with the intention of baking them for snacks on our way to Ottawa… I didn’t quite get to the baking part.  So we enjoyed cookies randomly this past weekend.  I was reminded why I only bake a few at a time – I had two, the Boy had 10 and they were gone within about 10 minutes.  Gross.  I thought he might save some for lunch the next day… no dice.

I tried to put things away according to the Boy’s standards last week – but I gave up after hurting my neck on Thursday and I did not get a stamp of approval.  The Boy says if I check it off he’ll guest blog his protest. Given that he hasn’t read my blog in weeks (a point of contention at the moment) I’m doubtful.  But since I’m trying to be honest about it – I guess I can’t cross that off.

We did go to Ottawa, but I’d been there before – so I can’t count it as a city I’ve never been to. But we did go on a dressed up date while there, and I realized that only going on 3 in the next 2.75 years is not very challenging so I’ve up’d the anti.

I have gone on some dates with my peeps, phone and in person.  But tonight I’m getting an extra special date.  My university roommate/bff/wife is in town from Edmonton, so instead of a monthly phone call we get an in-person date instead!  I’m making dinner, and the plan is to entice her to move back to the Toronto area by feeding her the delicious bounty that is Ontario fruit and veggies. Three words Barbecued Corn and Peaches.  She’ll be completely defenseless!

Haven’t actually planned anything else to eat other than that yet, so if anyone has some favourite BBQ treats (since it’s too hot to cook inside) that are made even better by fresh Ontario goodness – send them my way!

The Sneeze that Rocked the World

Well, maybe not the world – but it definitely affected my world for a few days.  I’ll set the scene…

Typical Thursday morning.  Getting ready for work, minding my own business.  I sneeze.  Nothing unusual right?  WRONG! I pulled my spine, and felt AND heard every muscle in my neck tighten. *SHHHLP*  And that’s how it happened.  I sneezed, and couldn’t move my neck.

What’s a girl to do? Go to work, obviously.  It’s just a pulled muscle.  That seems like a silly thing not to go to work for.  And besides, I have Motrin in my desk at work, and only Tylenol at home – useless.

Off I go, cringing and wincing every time my neck was jolted on my commute by bus.   Got to work.  Took the Motrin.  Moved my computer so that I would be sitting straight at my desk instead of at an angle.  Toughed it out. My colleague came to my office and told me to add heat.  So I microwaved my “this air conditioning is ridiculous” scarf. I lasted until 2:30. But by then I just couldn’t do it anymore.

After another painful bus trip I made it home and applied some serious application of heat.  I thought I would heat it up and by morning these muscles of mine will relax and be back to normal.

Nope.

Day 2: Not toughing it out.  Not going to work.  Seeking some sort of refuge.  My usual masseuse is typically booked for weeks ahead of time, so I didn’t even bother.  Instead I found a massage therapist that would see me in the morning and was within walking distance of my house.  It was my first MANssage. Here’s my review.  Not a big deal to have a Manssage, but I did learn in times like these it is important to have a relationship with your massage therapist (if only you could get her in an emergency).  It’s important to have a trusting relationship so that you can relax your muscles.  He did work and he even kept me for an extra 20 minutes without charging me.  It gave me some relief I probably went from an 8.5 (1-10 worst pain ever) to a 6. And he gave me this helpful tip for the future… ICE not heat. Heat apparently pools the blood (bad) while short spurts of ice creates more circulation (good).

I went through the rest of the weekend getting slowly better, and my posture going from perfect to back to normal as I relaxed the muscles in my back and neck and they went back to normal.

I also had to deal with slight mocking from the Boy who after sneezing (every time ALL weekend) said “Oh my neck!” Punk.  Other than the mocking he was nice and has continued to ask me how I’m feeling.

All in all I had heard of people hurting themselves in past by sneezing… my favourite is the sneeze = dislocated shoulder.  To be honest, historically I have been the one mocking.  I mean really, who hurts themselves sneezing?!  I will mock no more.  It SERIOUSLY hurt.

Ottawa 2.0

The Parliament library really made me want to see inside... next time I guess

Well, still on Saturday (it was a really big day) we took ourselves on a tour of the grounds of Parliament Hill, showed some respect at the National War Monument, went for dinner, saw the light show on the Parliament buildings and practiced our self-portrait skills.  Whew! It was a really big day!

I'm still not really clear as to why we have a cat sanctuary... but we do.

I can definitely recommend grabbing a brochure and taking yourself on a tour of the various monuments around the grounds.  The brochure will give you all of the info on each monument – and you save yourself walking with and listening to strangers.  There is definitely A LOT to take in on Parliament Hill and all of our country’s highlights are represented.

Other than walking and walking and walking we took self-portraits ate some delicious food (some more delicious than others).  We had a really great time just spending time with each other.  Even though we live together now, the summer has been so busy that sometimes it feels like we hardly see each other.

Me and Louise McKinney celebrating the passing of the Persons Act

The Byward Market was a highlight for some more than others.  The Boy felt overwhelmed with the number of people, and the choices in maple syrup.  I thought it was awesome at all the choices in veggies and fruit, and was so taken with all of the buzz that I may have happily paid $13 for 5 veggies.  Good thing I keep the Boy close by, and good thing he pays attention to these things – we renegotiated with the farmer and got a $5 refund.

OH! We also saw the light show on Parliament Hill which I’ve only walked past and not actually sat down to watch it.  It’s really impressive.  If you’re in Ottawa do it up I say.

And that was basically our weekend.  It was a short little getaway, didn’t cost us a fortune – didn’t cost us much at all really, and we had a lot of fun.

We’re planning our next trip (well not really planning but it’s always nice to think about).  Any suggestions?  Where is your favourite weekend getaway

The self-portrait works better when the Boy takes it... but I look like a little person and he always looks so angry!