Hooray for the Internet, Part 1.

The sun is shining. The weather is warm and we have been living outside lately. Unfortunately, there’s been a lot of stressful badness going on too, but we are surviving. I don’t want to get into all of that right now. I want to focus on the good, the amazing and the wonderful.

Last night, I was feeling sorry for myself. I started chatting with a couple of my friends. One of them, we will call her Friend B is having a hard time too. Friend A was being awesome, supportive and sweet to both of us. The three of us have known each other for years now, and are aware of the ups and downs we’ve been facing. We commiserated and Friend B suggested running away to get ice cream. I couldn’t, for a number of reasons and so she and Friend A got to plotting and next thing I knew, there was a care package attached to my front door.

It's almost as big as my head! SO MUCH ICECREAM

It’s almost as big as my head! SO MUCH ICECREAM

Now, what if I told you that I met Friend A years ago, online. She and I have only met in person once (and it was extremely awkward because of me being socially stupid). Friend B is basically her sister, and I came across her on livejournal, through Friend A’s posts. Eventually, I met Friend B because she is a car seat inspector and I wanted our Britax inspected before Liam’s birth. Since then, I had her inspect it again and she has popped by to buy some cloth diapers from me. We three have never hung out (well, they have, what with being sisters of the heart), but I still consider them friends. They know me better than most. Also, this entire conversation that we had? It was on twitter.

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My point in all of this is the following:

Hooray for the Internet!

I can honestly tell you that the internet, and the relationships that I’ve formed here, have probably saved my life (and definitely my sanity) on several occasions. I mean that seriously. Today I want to talk about how the Internet is responsible for the happiness in my life now. I will get into my past with the ‘net, but that will be another post for another day.

Hooray for the Internet, Part 1: Friends Today

Almost three years ago, on a hot summer day, after nearly a year of trying, I found out I was pregnant. I did what many moms-to-be do these day and I went straight to the internet. I have long been a fan of community groups and forums, so I did a search for groups that seem to fit. I joined some on Ravelry, BabyCenter and Mothering. I then remembered how helpful Wedding Bells had been to me when I was planning my wedding. I liked that it had so many local resources, so I searched and joined BabyBells there. Within BabyBells, I found a April 2012 Mommies subgroup and immediately joined.

If Heather of 2011, excited and pregnant, sitting in her office chair at Algonquin College, could look forward and see me today, she would be extremely surprised by the changes. With the exception of a specific few, my social group has completely changed since I announced my pregnancy. I am now surrounded and supported by the most incredible community of women. Most of whom, I met thanks to the internet. The rest I’ve grown close with because we decided to reconnect online.

 

The April Moms

We April 2012 Mommies are the first to admit that we are a unique group. It is extremely rare for a group online, especially a Mommy Due Date Group, to develop as ours did. We are an amazing tribe of women, of all backgrounds, all interests and parenting styles. Despite that, for the most part, we get along and love each other. We have supported each other through difficult pregnancies, losses, death, divorce, job loss, ups and downs in health (both physical and mental), drama, you name it. We’ve celebrated births, new jobs, love, laughter and friendship. I know that I can turn to these women, no matter what. And I have.

As you know, I had a really hard time after Liam’s birth. These are the ladies that helped drag me out of that. They were there at 3am when I was crying in the dark, nursing my child for the hundredth time. They were there on the sunny afternoon when I felt like I would never leave the house again. They were the ones that had my back when I decided it was time to get help. They were the ones that helped me decide that I needed it. One of these Moms, Crystal, was going through sometime similar. She talked to me whenever I needed it, no matter what. She convinced me to leave the house and attend our very first Ottawa April Mommies get together, hosted by Leslie. I was terrified. I’m so so glad I went. It was thanks to this outing that I started getting out of the house and living again. I nursed in “public” for the first time that day, in Leslie’s living room, surrounded by other nursing and bottle feeding mothers. Crystal sat beside me and nursed her little girl.

The group has changed a bit since then. Weddingbells closed down its forums (which have respawned over on Buzzle, kind of. Us April Moms are notorious on Buzzle. Bwahaha). Our posse has a group on facebook now and talk waaaaay more. Within this group, like in any gathering of individuals, smaller groups of friends have formed. For me, this includes My Girls. My Tribe.

We live all over the city, but we make a point to try and see each other at least once a week, at least those of us who are stay at home moms.  We keep in touch throughout each day on messenger. They are my people, my kid’s people. Hell, last year they took me out for a surprise birthday celebration, along with my fave lady, Sarah.

 

Beyond High School 

One of the great things about the internet for me has been the ability to keep up with people that I genuinely cared about when I was younger. One of these people was this rad girl, Steph, that was sort of on the periphery of my social group in high school. We met through her boyfriend, who was a friend of mine at the time. We’ve followed each other on facebook over the years, but didn’t do much interaction beyond that. When I was pregnant, I discovered she was as well! We started talking. It was her second, and I definitely felt like I could go to her for advice and knowledge. She invited me to participate in a Blessingway/Mother’s Blessing before Liam’s birth (I couldn’t make it because I got super sick), and visited me once I was well to gift me with some beautiful items the mamas made for everyone involved. She had also made a gorgeous bunny, which quickly became one of Liam’s favourite toys.

Liam and Mr. Bunneh

Liam and Mr. Bunneh

She wore her daughter that day, and opened my eyes to the world of non-buckle carriers. She nursed openly, without shame. I remember when she left, I turned to my sister and said “That. That’s what I want to be as a mother. Confident, calm, gentle and still awesome”. After Liam’s birth, she encouraged me to attend the babywearing get together‘s that she attended. There I met some incredible people and fell in love with the world of babywearing.

She lives on the other side of town, so we don’t see each other as much as I would like, but we keep in touch online. She and her family are moving to my neck of the woods soon and I am SO EXCITED. I look forward to seeing way more of this amazing family.

 

Lazy Stupid Godless

I’ve been a member of Ravelry for a long time. These days, I don’t have much time for the forums or for crafting, so I keep my Rav visits simple. I check my friend feed and check out LSG. LSG is an epic and infamous group on Rav. It stands for Lazy Stupid Godless, and it is full of all sorts. Some of these are totally incredible, brilliant and hilarious individuals. Of these, my favourite is easily Kaitlin. I added her to my friends list ages ago, and eventually started following her twitter account, where we started interacting. (I am a Super Creeper. If I think you are awesome, I will add you everywhere and hope that one day you will talk to me). Have you ever talked to someone, and realized instantly that there was a connection? Some little spark that spoke to you and said “This is one of your people.” Kaitlin is one of those for me. I followed her blog, and she followed mine. A couple years ago, she was looking into some information on Doulas in her area, so I reached out and we talked. We talked about being pen pals and slowly developed a friendship, despite having never met. She lives on the other side of the country, but that doesn’t matter. I feel like I can be completely open and honest with her. She gets me, and I get her.

 

Long Distance

Anyone who has ever read my blog knows that my sister and I are tight. She’s my best friend, without a doubt. Unfortunately, she also lives on the other side of the country. When she left we were sisters, but not nearly as close as we are today. Huh? How is that possible? Through the magic of the internet, that’s how. It took a while, I’ll admit. For some reason we just didn’t get that we could stay in touch online. One day it clicked, and we started emailing. All the time. The internet turned our relationship into something amazing. We talk constantly, about everything, whenever we need to.

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Similarly, my friend Sarah and I have been able to keep in touch. She lives about an hour away, in a beautiful small town. We don’t get to talk as often as we’d like, thanks to children and life. Thankfully, we have facebook, messenger and text messages to keep up on each other’s lives. She is my Sister from Another Mister.

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She, Tracy and my friend Leigh (who used to live in Montreal, and now in the US) were able to do all my crazy bridesmaid stuff despite being so far away from each other thanks to facebook and email. My girls. They were the very very best.

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So, there you have it. That’s part one of how I’m a massive geek who has had her life enriched my the internet. <3 More to come!

December, the ninja

Ah, the snow is falling outside and I have a pile of holiday cards beside me, waiting to be addressed and stamped. Tis the season, for sure.

I feel like it has caught me by surprise this year. I guess with everything that’s happened, and especially with the honeymoon, I was so distracted that I didn’t even notice December creep up.

First, I’ll back track a bit and elaborate on Jamaica before moving on to other things. I would definitely recommend not only Jamaica but our resort to anyone looking into taking a relaxing trip to someplace warm where the food is good and the people are lovely. We stayed at Couples Swept Away and definitely felt that it had the right vibe for us. We are not big party-ers, and didn’t want to go someplace that was entirely focused on getting drunk and dancing 24/7. CSA had an adult vibe that focused on letting its guests relax and rest. There was plenty to do, but no one was shoving it down our throats. We spent nearly every day, all day, on the beach. We read, we talked, we swam and we tanned.

The food was amazing. My favourite restaurent on the resort was Patois. It served a blend of local fare and more european dishes. Even the little grill made amazing food, including jerk chicken, patties and snapper sandwiches. Yum! My favourite dish of the whole trip was one of the appetizers. It was a smoked marlin au gratin dip with hand cut chips.

The Smoked Marlin <3

Pat and I had some amazing chats, including one I’ve been wanting to have for a while – Our future family plans. While I don’t want to get into it too much here, we are both on the same page and am hopeful that if things go well for us at work, that we should be able to start thinking more seriously about it soon. So, with that as a bit of a warning, I am doing lots of reading now, so don’t be surprised if I start talking more about baby/birth/family stuff.

Anyway, back to the trip. One of my favourite activities we did participate in was a snorkeling trip to one of the near by reefs. Unfortunately, we didn’t have an underwater camera, so I can’t share anything from our adventure, however I can tell you a bit about what we saw. The coral itself was beautiful a little bit scary. I’ve never been so up close and personal before. I’ve heard stories of people cutting themselves on reefs before so I was really careful. We saw a couple of sting rays. Just little bitty ones. We saw an unpuffed puffer fish, a bunch of beautiful angel fish and the like, as well as some trumpet fish.

Trumpet Fish

Puffer Fish

Sting Ray

For those of you who have never been snorkeling, I highly recommend it. It takes a bit of an adjustment at first to get used to staying near the top of the water so that you can breath, breathing under water and seeing the whole underwater world around you. I love it.

So, to wrap that up, the trip was amazing and our relationship is even better than it was before we left. Yay!  In terms of witchiness, I did have a couple of interesting occurances.

1. Nightmares. I don’t normally have nightmares. They are really rare for me. I dream vividly, but not often am I frightened by my dreams.

2. Had a definite conversation with the ocean. She wanted a sacrifice because I hadn’t introduced myself properly when we met (namely, my rings). I refused the rings, so I lost a pair of sunglasses. It felt like it wasn’t enough so we had a chat, and within seconds of this chat, I somehow stepped on a shell or something, drawing blood. It must have been a small shell because it only cut enough to bleed briefly and then shut. This happened once more the following day. At this point I had the sense that we were ok now. Just to be safe, Pat and I kept our rings in our safe from then on.

3. On our way home to the airport I saw something that I can’t explain. It may have just been a strange play of light or something, but I swear I saw a little person in a field. And by that I really mean a full proportionate person who was maybe only a foot and a half tall and completely black. Like, an absence of light and colour. Strangest thing ever. This was immediately followed by a sense of vertigo and my mind deciding it didn’t happen.

Good times!

On a completely different note, while we were gone, our videographer posted our wedding video. Care to see? It’s here.  I’m so happy with the results. She’s amazing.

So on to life now, we’ve settled back in. The snow and the cold aren’t quite as shocking anymore and we’re gearing up for Yule and Christmas. My sister arrives from Calgary soon and will be staying with us for the first time. I’m really excited. Christmas is going to be hard this year, having so recently lost my Mum. It’s the first year since we moved to Ottawa in 1988 (with the exception of one year in Disney) that we won’t be having Christmas in my mother’s house.

Meanwhile, to complicate things, I managed to have a job fall into my lap. I couldn’t say no to the opportunity, and so I start on Monday. The pay isn’t great, and the situation is strange, but it’s work. It’s admin work at a local college, working with employment services (har har, Universe. Good one). The weird bit is that it’s full time until May and then goes part time until November. Not exactly ideal, but it’s still something for now. Hopefully I like the work.

And on that note, I’m off to drink some tea and listen to Laura Marling. <3 Cheers!

Happy Lammas!

I hope you all had a lovely Lammas! I spent the day napping and hanging out with the hubby. I was hoping to do some celebrating and baking, but my body just wasn’t having any of that. I spent the first part of the weekend at my friend’s cottage with some of the girls, and as a result, was less than well rested upon my return to Ottawa. I’d like to think that my enjoyment of nature and St. Ambrose Apricot wheat ale made up for any missed rits on the 1st

I was very sad to have missed this year’s Kaleidoscope Gathering. A good friend of mine invited me to hang out with their group, which would have been amazing, but family stuff kept me closer to home.  It’s been a dream of mine to attend for years now, but every year August seems to be extremely busy. I have promised this good friend of mine (who is still in the closet, so to speak, so I’ll simply refer to her as Friend for now) that I’ll definitely be there next year. Fingers and toes crossed :)  It’s hard for me, to reach out and connect with the community. Now that there has been some drama over the years, I’m even more shy. I think KG would be a great way for me to connect with people, I just have to force myself out the door.

I got my very first award today, from the lovely Domestic Witch! I don’t normally pass these things on, so you’ll forgive me for not listing any names here. Instead, dear reader, consider yourself a recipient of this award. Thank you for coming by, commenting and reading what I have to say. I appreciate it.

We also got the good news from our wedding photographer that our photos are ready! I’m hoping to be able to pick them up sometime over the next couple of days. In the mean time, here’s a sneak peek:

So happy with how they turned out :) Can’t wait to see the rest! Well, that’s it for now! I have to get back to work.

The Rest of the Wedding Crafts

I suppose I could have added this to the last post, but it just didn’t seem appropriate. So, instead, a whole new post to continue on the Wedding Crafting train!

So, last time I showed you my garter and my jam. This time, we’re going to look at my very easy save the dates, programs, seating chart, “guest book”, table numbers, Memory Table, handfasting cord, and my favourite DIY item thus far: My ring pillow.

Save The Dates

I’m not sure if this qualifies as “DIY”, but seeing as how I did it myself, I’ll go with it. We wanted to send out Save the Dates to allow our long-distance family members enough time to save up and plan a trip down, if they could. Pat has an uncle in Dubai, for instance, who needed lots of notice for the wedding. So, I started poking around Etsy and wedding forums for ideas. Eventually, I settled on the services over at Zazzle.com. You can pretty much make anything over there. You can personalize clothing, items, whatever. The service I was interested in were Save The Date cards. The plan was to have them printed and sent out with Christmas cards in 2009.  Here’s what we came up with:

Keep in mind, this was before we had to change our date, so we were going for a fall wedding theme. It only took me maybe an hour to come up with these, and they were printed and shipped to us within two weeks.

Programs
Pat and I were very lucky to have my good friends at Wishtree do our invitations. Unfortunately, it was not in the budget for us to have anything else professionally designed and printed, so I decided to do our programs myself.

A friend of mine from Weddingbells sent me a template for a bi-fold wedding program. I have to admit, it took A LOT of work to figure this thing out and get it to print properly. This was the one wedding project that took me WEEKS and caused me more than my fair share of frustrations.

I printed these on two types of paper. One is a marbled light card stock for the covers, picked up at Staples. The inside bits were printed on an off-white recycled paper, picked up at WalMart. All of these were printed very quickly and efficiently on my work photocopiers. I then had a gathering at my home with my sisters-in-law who helped me fold and staple each one.

One thing to keep in mind when doing your own programs…very few people actually take them home. It’s a little discouraging to have put that much work into them, but I’m glad we did. The programs explained a lot of things that our guests were confused about (where to go between the ceremony and reception, what a Ring Warming and a Hand Fasting are, who are those gorgeous people standing at the front of the room, etc…).

Seating Chart
I decided to make my own seating chart, as they tend to be ridiculously expensive to have printed. I found an old window pane in my family home in Orleans. My Mum, you see, was big into glass art. She did stained glass, Glass-On-Glass and Glass bead making. This window pane was salvaged by my Mum for the use of doing glass-on-glass art. I decided it would be perfect for our look and was a subtle nod to my Mum.

I cleaned the glass just a bit, because I didn’t want it too perfect. Our look was rustic, and a shining window pane wouldn’t have fit. We picked up some scrapbooking paper from Michael’s that suited our theme (woodland rustic elegance) and our colours (purple, brown and green), and some Putty Adhesive. I printed on the ivory card stock, taped the lists to the scrapbooking paper and then used the putty to attach the paper to the frame. Because each pane was shaped differently, tape or glue wouldn’t have worked. I didn’t want to use nails for fear of breaking the glass, so the putty was the perfect alternative.

I think it was a huge success. People loved it and it really suited the rest of the decor. Took me very little time to put together, so over all, one of the best DIY projects from the whole wedding.

Guest Book
I knew we didn’t want a traditional guest book. No one ever looks at their guest books and we wanted something to remind us of all of our friends and family that supported us on our wedding day. Taking a cue from my girl, Sarah, we stole their idea that they used for their wedding: A picture frame guest book. Again, not completely DIY, but seeing as how I put it together, I’ll count it.

First I went to Michael’s during their frame sale and picked up a large frame with LOTS of matting at 50% off. I then had one of our engagement pictures blown up and printed at Walmart. Guests then were able to sign the matting with Sharpie markers we provided. I love the result and its something we can look at and cherish for years to come. I think we’ll even keep the engagement picture in there. :)

The Table Numbers


Like I mentioned with the programs, Pat and I just didn’t have the money to have our numbers printed, so I did it at home. I used some stock photo flourishes, left over cardstock and some photopaper. I used spray adhesive to attach everything together. Et voila! Unfortunately, there aren’t too many pictures of them. Sorry!

The Memory Table
Both Pat and I have people that we’ve lost that we wanted to honour in some way at the wedding. We wanted to do it in a way that wasn’t morbid, and wasn’t intrusive to the rest of the event. So, we came up with the idea of the Memory Table.


I had contacted both of our families in the search for family pictures, specifically from weddings if possible. I took these pictures, scanned them in, made them all either sepia or black and white, and printed them out to the same size. I then took cheap IKEA frames and spray-painted them black so that they all matched. I also found an antique frame and printed out a poem to go with the table.

Everyone complimented us and thanked us for the table. It was pretty, and not so sad as to upset anyone. Definitely what we were hoping to accomplish :)

Handfasting Cord
Pat and I both felt strongly about including Hand Fasting in out ceremony. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to us as our cord, so I went out to one of my favourite stores in the world: Fabricland. I picked out some beautiful velvet ribbon, and a purple ribbon that matched our Ring Pillow. I finished it off by with some of the ribbon from the Ring pillow.

I considered braiding it, but felt that it wouldn’t do the beautiful ribbon and service. so I simply tied the ends together. Simple, but pretty and perfect for the ceremony. Here it is, modeled by my dress form, Betsy:

I was concerned about it being a pain for our Officiant, but she did a great job and we didn’t even get tangled. Woo!

The Ring Pillow

Now, for my favourite DIY from the entire wedding. This is the project I’m the most proud of.

I was inspired by this, which I found somewhere out there in the vastness of the internet:

I picked up some fabric at Fabricland (it’s very similar to a suede, but synthetic), and then cut up some of my grandmother’s wedding veil. It was a beautiful long cathedral veil that was falling apart. It was never properly stored or cared for, so I decided to make the best of it and make it beautiful again. I used one of the buttons from my Mum’s collection, ribbon from my own collection (used in the making of Baby knits for friends) and then embroidered our initials and wedding date on the back.


It was incredible painstaking. I worked on this for about 8 hours. Making the pillow itself was easy peasy, but I’m not well practiced at embroidery, so it took me longer than expected. The most delicate and time consuming part was of course the lace. I had to hand sew every piece down, being careful not to tear or damage it.

Now, I just have to figure out where to keep it :) It’s too pretty for our couch, so maybe a comfy chair or our bed. We’ll have to wait and see.

So! That’s it! At least as much as I could think of :D I hope you enjoyed and I hope that I’m able to inspire and maybe give some new brides hope that they too can DIY as much as possible.

Strawberry Moon Wedding

Well, we did it. We are finally married. Pat and I literally tied the knot on Saturday, the day of the Strawberry Moon, and a partial lunar eclipse, surrounded by most of our nearest and dearest.

The Handfasting

Married, at last.

Since last Thursday, life has been incredibly busy. Between welcoming family to town, prepping for the wedding and getting my little sister packed, I haven’t had much time to breathe. Unfortunately, I’m definitely feeling the effects of all that stress and hard work. I’m exhausted, emotional and starting to get sick again. Luckily, for us Canadian’s, we have a short week this week, with Canada Day tomorrow. My plans were to sleep, but I have some issues to sort out with some friends. We shall see. Also, thanks to summer hours at work, I’m off Friday as well. I feel like I really need this time.

It’s been such a rollercoaster of a week. Incredible highs, and heartbreaking lows. I can’t say that it was a good day, packing Tracy up, seeing our family’s home full of people I don’t know, moving things I grew up with, to the other side of the country, where my sister will now stay.

Meanwhile, I also have an appointment for the family kitty on Friday at the vet. Mystie was 2 years old when we took her in to the family house. I think I was 14 or 15 at the time. That would make her about 14 years old. I’m concerned that she’s having kidney problems and I don’t want to move her until we know what’s going on, for both her sake and so that our two cats don’t get sick. The plan is to move her into our place sometime early next week, if all goes well. I’m terrified that we’re going to get bad news on Friday.

Mystie <3

Luckily, with all of this going on, I start therapy again today. I’ve only been once since Mum died, shortly after a big dramatic family throwdown. I’ve been meaning to go back since, but life has been so busy and we’ve been too broke. I’m nervous about it, but I know I need it.

With it all said and done, I’m married to my best friend, and I feel even closer to Pat’s family and my best buds. Life is good, just complicated. I’m taking the necessary steps to make it better and healthier. Oh! And no honeymoons in my immediate future. We’re hoping for sometime in the late fall, early winter.

I hope that wasn’t a sign…

Man, here we are. Three days out. It’s amazing to me how fast time flies by. We’re in a pretty good place overall. Most of the big stuff is done. I’m looking forward to being able to share with you all of the little projects I’ve done once the wedding is over.

Litha came and went beautifully for me. My sister and I spent the morning dealing with some frustrating estate stuff. Luckily, I think the sticky pink strawberries and the warm sweet smell of the boiling jam could cheer the grumpiest of people.

In fact, I wish I had some to make today. It could certainly help!

Today is one of those days that they warn you about when you start to plan your wedding. I was warned that in your last week before the wedding, the following would occur:
-Your face will explode into badness (Check. I have both eczema and pimples, and my neck is included in this joy. Sweet.)
-You will burn/tan when you do everything you can to avoid it (Check. Despite wearing SPF 60 every day for the last 2 months, perhaps causing the previous issue, I have lovely strap lines. Awesome.)
-People will suddenly cancel at the very last minute (Check. We’ve gone from 81 to 68 in two days)
-You’ll finish almost everything to suddenly have to fix a bunch of things you did too early (Check. Because of the previous point, I have to work on the place cards and completely rework the seating chart)
-Vendors will piss you off, even if they’ve been angels up to this point (Check. Suit vendor is flaking on us. May not have the suits for the guys until the day before the wedding)

Meanwhile, we just had an earthquake. We don’t normally have those here, in Ottawa, despite having a fault line right near my house. The last “big” one was a 4.5 I think back in 2002. It was only 5.7, but for us, that’s intense. People at work are now being short and snippy with each other, as we call loved ones to make sure everyone is ok. I feel caged. I just so badly want to get home and see Pat and the animals to confirm what my mind already knows, that they are fine.

I hope the rest of the week improves. I’m trying to be optimistic, but this is a bit much.

Birthday Shenanigans

Hi everyone,

I have had one hell of a week! Friday was our busiest day at work, as it was The Relay For Life in nepean. I worked from about 8am til 11pm, and definitely felt it. It was such a great experience though, getting involved with the community and seeing the incredibly fighting spirit of the survivors. I wish mum could have attended one.

This past weekend, I turned 27 and celebrated with my bachelorette! Firstly, my sister and I went down to this cute little place in town called “The Mud Oven” to paint some pottery. I did a spoon dish (purposed to be a ring dish for Pat and I) and was gifted a lovely latte mug by Tracy.

Me, at the Mud Oven

This was followed by a latin dance lesson at Dance Studios! I had so much fun! Normally I find dance lessons can be so awkward, but our teacher was lovely and approachable. I had such a good time and I polished up my salsa moves.

Me dancing with our instructor

After this, we changed and made our way to the Highlander for dinner and drinks. Tbere I was introduced to the game “Manhunt”. They provided me with a list of men I had to be photographed with. Hilarity and molestation ensued.

Me, at the Highlander, enjoying my first drink of the night

The Manhunt! Me with Popped Collar and Beardo

From there, we went to a swanky martini bar for more drinks while waiting for the dance floors to get busy. We then made our way to The Whisky Bar for dancing and drinking, and stayed there til the wee hours of the morning. I had a blast.

Me and my sister, at the Collection

Sunday morning we recovered at Zaks with some eggs and coffee. Nothing beats a diner breakfast after a night of drinking and galavanting.

Since then it’s been a lot of running around, getting things ready, cleaning and meeting with vendors. I, of course, have had a massive face breakout. Good times. I cheered myself with another hair appointment to make the colour more unified and rich.

New Hair! Again!

Taaadaaa.

It’s all coming together. A week and a half left to go, and two more relays. Life is hectic!

On top of that, there’s been some more family drama. Again, no details, but I am forced to deal with a specific individual who I a bit of a drama queen and manipulator. I’ve always known that people in our family could be incredibly sneaky and manipulative, but the last few years I’ve really learned that our family isn’t all honour, trust and rainbows. Some people have made me downright ashamed to share the same last name. Does anyone have any tips or witchy tricks for dealing with people like this? It’s important stuff. It’s my mother’s estate and the relationship with all of my siblings on the line. Part of me almost wants to do a binding on these people, but I know that that crosses some lines. Personally I’m not comfortable with any of the “controlling of others” magicks. I don’t want to control their actions or thoughts, I just don’t want their influence bringing me down to a deep dark depression anymore. Today I was so mad, I was shaking. I just wish I was Teflon coated so none of this would stick to me anymore. Or maybe it would be good to send them clarity and understanding. I don’t know. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Busy!

Life has changed so much in the last couple of weeks. It’s incredible to think where I was even a couple of months ago.  I started my new job at the Canadian Cancer Soc this week and am loving it. On paper, I’m a Data Entry Clerk, though today I was referred to as a Fundraising Assistant in an email to some clients, so that’s pretty fancy. I’m not doing a whole lot of crazy or exciting things right now, but I’m happy. The office has a great atmosphere. I’m in a large room with some offices coming off of it. The large room has two desks, one in a corner, with the other across the room in another corner. I am at the first desk that you see when you come into the room. In front of me there is an old worn couch. In front of that is an old table, full of chairs, welcoming people to sit and talk. People chat, and laugh and keep themselves busy. I feel welcome, needed, and proud. So proud. For the first time in a long time, I feel proud to be a part of something. Cancer has affected the lives of so many people that I love and care about that I feel so good about being a part of the fight.

It feels so right.  Like home.  :)  Now I just need to jazz the place up with a few nicnacs and pictures.

I’m getting married in about 3 weeks. How crazy is that? I mean, we’ve been together off an on for nearly a decade, so it wont be much of a change, but still. After a year and a bit of engagement, it’s amazing how the last few months zoom by.

Last night we met with our officiant and absolutely loved her. She’s so perfect for us. She’s sweet, warm, tattooed and pierced. She has a great sense of humour and is really open-minded about the things we want to include in our ceremony.

This weekend I’m sleeping over at the old family house because I have my second dress fitting! I get to drag my sister to this one. It’s going to be emotional, as it also happens to be my Dad’s birthday. Funny how the first fitting fell on Mother’s Day and the 1 month anniversary of Mum’s death. I guess that means that both of our parents are with me  :)

Next week is my birthday and my bachelorette party. Somehow, those things go so well together ;) I can’t believe I’m turning 27. Time is such a funny thing.

Well, I should get going.  I have a training session tonight (Woo Overtime!) and I’d like to eat before that happens.

Ring Warming

Even though it’s considered a faux pas to leak information about the wedding ceremony, here I am, about to share one of the more important and personal aspects of our big day.

Despite the drama we’ve been facing the last few months, Pat and I really like the idea of doing a Ring Warming ceremony with our wedding. The ring warming is basically this: (as taken from my programs)

During the wedding ceremony, Patrick and Heather will exchange rings. These rings are visible sign of their commitment to one another. A ring is a circle, with no beginning and no end, and in such acts as a symbol of eternal love. As you are seated, they invite you to take part in the warming of the rings. We ask that each guest hold their hands over the rings for a moment, warm them with your love, and make a silent wish or prayer for Patrick and Heather, and their future together. We ask that you wish them health and happiness, and all that is noble in life. When these rings come back they will contain, in their precious metal, that which is more precious, that which is priceless – your love and hope and pledge of support for our union.

That’s good stuff, right? Well, there’s a lot more to it than that. There is of course, a lot of preparation involved to make sure Surly Aunty Sue doesn’t throw a wad of negativity at our marriage. Our wedding day happens to fall on the full moon in June, so I’ve decided to start the ring ceremony on the full moon in May, this Thursday.

My plan is this:

-Cleanse the rings with each element

-Protection spell on the rings (more of a filter spell really. Keeping negativity out, and letting warmth and positivity in)

-Our own blessings on the rings.

What do you think? Should we do anything else? I’d love to hear some feedback :)

Oh, and for pretties, here’s what the rings look like:

My set <3

Pat's ring

I’d love to hear what you think :D

A sicky Sunday

Pardon me…I have a tendency to ramble when sick. I woke up this morning with a bad sore throat and chest congestion. I think my constant running around has finally caught up with me. It has been a very busy week. Tuesday, I picked up my sister from the airport, did some groceries with her and then relaxed at the family home in the east end of town. Wednesday, my brother and I went to the lawyers to sign some documents to do with the estate, and then Tracy and I were off to Kemptville for my next hair trial. Luckily, this one went really well. It’s not quite perfect, but with a few tweeks, I think I’ll be 100% pleased. I finally have a hair stylist for the wedding, so that’s a massive weight off of my shoulders. My new inspirational pic:

Emmy Rossum <3

After my successful hair trial, we made our way to Merrickville to check out the construction that’s going on right outside my venue. We discovered it should be done by the end of June, so fingers and toes crossed that it’s done a bit early. We also investigated the nearby ruins to see if they are what we wanted for portraits the morning of the wedding. Here’s a picture done by Barb Cameron, an Ottawa photographer, of a wedding she covered in Merrickville:

Beautiful, right? Hopefully we’ll have some good weather for photos, because I definitely want to get down there for a few.

Gorgeous!

And lucky for us, they are only about a 5 minute walk from the venue :D. After wandering all over town, we popped into the lovely little icecream shop on St. Lawrence (a couple of buildings down from the Baldachin) and had the very best icecream I’ve ever had. Yes, seriously. I had Carnival Popcorn and Dandelion. The popcorn one tasted exactly like caramel kettlecorn, and the dandelion one was light, herby and citrusy. Absolutely perfect.

Yum! A small peek at my hair. T and I eating ice cream in the van

Wednesday night I went home, as I had an interview on Thursday morning. The interview was for a clerical position with the Canadian Cancer Foundation. It was a totally random posting I came across one day and applied to on a whim. The interview went so well, they want me to start next week. :D I’m going to ask to have them push it back, to give me more time with Tracy and to finish wedding prep. Plus, as it turns out, I’ve managed to get sick. Fun times :P

So, I’m finally employed! Woo! I honestly feel like it’s a gift from Mum. It just feels like her, ya know? The pay is exactly what I was looking for, with great hours and a job I do really well. I’m excited :) Oh, and it’s a 20 minute drive from  home! Now, I just need to get a car!

Friday, after my computer test with them, Pat and I went to get our marriage license! Woo! Which means we can now meet with the Officiant and get this show on the road. After that, we did some running around and went out to celebrate my new found job.  After a yummy dinner we watched Valentine’s Day, which was ok. Anne Hathaway stole the show for me. Her accents were hilarious.

Yesterday, I drove out to Orleans (I’ve been using the family van), and took Tracy out for shopping. Picked up a cute dress for my Bridal shower, dropped it off at the tailor’s (curse my itty bitty shoulders), had lunch with my old friend Tyler and bought my wedding perfume.

It’s been such a search for me, trying to find a Big Girl’s Perfume. For the last 5 years or so I’ve been using the amazing scents from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. It was an obsession really. My collection is HUGE and eventually, I had to stop visiting the site because I had way more scents than I could possibly ever wear and was spending way too much money on them.

This was from 4 years ago. The collection is actually much bigger than this now

While I absolutely adore my BPALs, I wanted a spritzable Real Perfume for the wedding. Something sophisticated, that I could wear for special events after the wedding, like our anniversary, etc… Tracy and I visited a million perfume counters before we both agreed that one was the right one for me and the wedding. We both agreed on:

Dolce & Gabbana L'eau The One

It’s so light, fresh and pretty. Not at all what I thought I’d want. Amusingly, it is very similar to a blend created for me at a Dancing with the Elements workshop I attended a couple of years ago. There was an aromatherapy component to the event, and each person had a blend created especially for them. The one made for me had basil, lavender and something sort of fruity.

After our running around, we returned back to the house in orleans for a BBQ with Pat. I had picked up some great Angus sirloin, which we marinaded for about 45 minutes. Together with fries and salad, we had a great dinner. We enjoyed a dessert of Drumsticks and then made our way out to see the new Robin Hood movie.

I had heard some mixed reviews, but I have to say: We loved it. Seriously. I want to own it. I was especially impressed with Alan from Great Big Sea who really brought the Merry men together in a really believable way. Also, Friar Tuck, with his bees, was such a pleasant surprise for me. <3  Cate Blanchett is probably my favourite Marion to date.

After that, Pat and I returned home and went to bed. This morning I woke up with a very sore throat and congested chest. I’ve been using Oil of Oregano, hoping that it will kill off whatever has moved in to the back of my throat. I have a very busy week ahead, so I really need to get better ASAP. Any home remedies that you recommend?

This week holds: A couple of appointments throughout the week, my BFFs coming to town (S is in Calgary. Her Oma is quite sick, L lives in Montreal) for the Shower, which is this coming weekend. Eek! Tracy and I need to get as much wedding stuff done as we can before I start work the following week.

So,  in the mean time. Lots of rest and knitting.