Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday's Feast #189

What was your favorite cartoon when you were a child?
My brothers were generally the ones watching cartoons. My preference was for anything Disney (Winnie the Pooh shorts or feature length films). Animated classics over cartoons.

Pretend you are about to get a new pet. Which animal would you pick, and what would you name it?
This is definitely pretend because I have no use for pets right now. I do admit to coveting Diane's fish but only if they came with someone to care for them. And I'd probably name them after famous people.

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how much do you enjoy getting all dressed up for a special occasion?
9 The wedding was great because my dress was already picked out for me. I like getting ready for stuff but I *hate* picking what to wear.

Main Course
What kind of music do you listen to while you drive?
Country...which is what I always listen to.

When was the last time you bought a clock? And in which room did you put it?
I just altered a clock I bought at the dollar store. I hung it in my scrap room but it's too loud so I took the battery out. I'd like to get one for my dining room but I haven't yet.

LOL I copied this from Nesa's Blog but if you scroll down she copied last week's from me. I think it's time to give credit where it's due. To the original Friday Feast blog!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Michigan Memories

Warning: This is really, really long and should probably be a bunch of separate entries but that would take way more brain power than I have available right now so I'll just appologize in advance.

"Michigan Memories" is what Diane's dad dubbed the mosquito bites that we all picked up and while they are the most persistant annoying reminders right now, I have SO many happy memories that it makes it worth it ;)

This trip was amazing. For anyone who doesn't know what I'm talking about, this weekend I flew to Grand Rapids, Michigan for the wedding of my friend Diane and her fiance Jim. I had a wonderful time. I met tons of awesome people, had a blast hanging out with Diane and getting to know Jim.

I left home right after work on Tuesday and drove down to Seattle. I stayed the night with Dars and Wednesday morning she took me to the airport. I had a layover in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (during which I bought cheese and watched the olympics) and I arrived in Grand Rapids at 11:30, local time. Diane was there to meet me and we went straight back to their house.

Thursday morning we had a list of errands to run. Picking up the marriage license, a tux, stopping at Michaels, Target, the bank and more. We also made a number of runs to the airport to pick up her Mom, Dad and brother and then, the other bridesmaid, her friend Laura.

Laura and I really hit it off. She is an incredibly cool, insightful, interesting woman and I really enjoyed getting to know her.

Thursday evening, once everyone had arrived, we all gathered on Jim and Diane's awesome back deck for pizza. It was the first time that Diane's family had met Jim and his family and everyone got along famously.

My big thrill for the night...actually there was a few. The first one was seeing fireflies for the first time. I was talking to Laura but I kept focusing my eyes just past her head. Finally she asked "what are you looking at?!?" I realized then that the flashes of light that I kept seeing were fireflies!!! We don't have them up in Canada so this was my first time seeing them. Very cool.

Another first was Diane gave Laura and I bags with black flip flop Crocs in them!!! For any of my non-SS readers, Crocs are a *huge* deal on the board but I've never had my own. I was very excited to get them and I wore them for pretty much the rest of the weekend (including at the reception).

Friday morning Diane, Laura and I got up and went for spa pedicures. They were wonderfully relaxing and we all came out of there with matching French pedicures with daisy's painted on our big toes. Diane and I got manicures as well (Laura had just had her nails done so she opted out).

After our pedicures we went for lunch at Logans. The best part was the "mini bucket" desserts we got. So cute! After lunch we headed over to the reception hall. Both families were there to help set up. We had to arrange all the tables and set up the chairs and Diane's mom, dad and uncle formed a team that ironed 25(!) table cloths!!! They had a system going which worked great. The rest of us made center pieces, bouquets and set out the favours at each spot.

Once the reception hall was ready to go we headed over to the church. There we assembled the arch and before the rehersal, we ate a yummy dinner prepared by Diane's amazing mother-in-law. HUGE pans of lasanga, caeser salad, garlic bread and to-die-for-brownies.

The rehersal itself went great. I was way more uptight about everything than Diane & Jim and I'm lucky I didn't get kicked out :P They put up with me though. Jim's mom had bought him a t-shirt with a tux printed on it to wear and Di had a makeshift veil and bouquet. When the pastor was reviewing the part about exchanging rings Jim pulled a ring pop out of his pocket and presented it to her LOL

Near the end of the rehersal, the photographer, SS member Tiffany (Tiff McPinkie) showed up. It was wonderful to meet her and hang out with her. She stayed at Diane's Friday night (along with Laura and I. Jim and the boys went to his parents) and we had a great time chatting into the evening.

Two other ScrapShare members, Rene (HavaDrPepper) and Jen (momof2greatcats) joined us midway through the rehersal as well. They drove together from Ohio and it was awesome to finally meet them and spend some time together.

Saturday was showtime. Diane, Laura and I hit Burger King for breakfast on the way to the hair salon. I actually did my own hair so I just got to observe and visit while Diane and Laura were pampered. Diane's hairdresser, Joyce is awesome. Di's been going to her for a number of years already so they are both super comfortable with each other.

Once our hair was done, we swung by Di's house to pick up the dresses and then headed for the church where we dressed and Laura did our make up. Despite my worrying (Diane was freakishly calm during the whole weekend so I took on the role of anal neurotic bridesmaidzilla) everything was exactly on time. We finished primping and preening with exactly one minute to spare. Perfect!

The ceremony was beautiful. Everyone was exactly in place and everything ran smoothly. The pastor's sermon was fantastic. I have been to many, many weddings and this was one of the nicest ones I have heard yet. The cool thing was it was only the second time he had performed a wedding!!! He is actually Jim's brother-in-law as well. The premise of his message was that life is a story and a marriage is a novel you write together. You only have one pen to write the story of your life now and you have to work together to decide when a new chapter will start. It was wonderful.

For the recessional Mr. & Mrs. Bryan walked out first (obviously) and then Laura and the best man, Jim's friend and cousin, Bill. Last I got to walk out with both of Jim's boys, one on each arm. That got a laugh from the congregation :) The wedding party and parents lined up for a receiving line and then we and the rest of the family went back into the church for formal photos.

From there we headed out to a park by where Jim & Diane work. It has beautiful landscaping that includes a gazebo and waterfall. Tiffany took some beautiful photos there. It was a bit of an adventure because the wind was blowing so hard. It actually took Diane's veil right off her head!!!

We arrived at the reception hall a few minutes before our precise "5:05 pm" entrance was scheduled so we hung outside for awhile. It was *hot* that evening. Hot and muggy...until midway through the reception when the skies opened up and the deluge started. Even then it didn't really clear the air though.

Dinner was catered and delicious. BBQ chicken, beef, roasted red potatoes, mixed veggies, rolls and probably something else I'm forgetting. Diane's inlaws were key in making sure all the food was ready and served properly. Awesome people I tell you.

For the rest of the evening we just proceeded to have fun. There was a brief open mic while we were waiting for dinner to be ready and a few people gave wonderful speeches. The cake that Jim's aunt (his mom's twin sister) made turned out perfect. It was decorated simply just like Diane wanted and tasted great.

The dances were a blast even if Laura and I were often the only ones up there :) Lots of good memories. Oh, and I *didn't* catch the bouquet. I already have four. This one went to Aunt Joan (the one who made the cake) and she was thrilled!

There is so much more I could say about the fun time we had at the reception. Meeting new people, dancing and more but this entry is already getting too long. The one interesting thing was, knowing I was surrounded by so many wonderful photographers, I didn't take a single picture on my camera ALL weekend!!! If I ever felt the urge to take one, I'd just grab Diane's camera. Between me, her and everyone else that used it, we managed to log over 300 images over the weekend so I know there won't be a shortage of pictures!

One thing we don't have photos of is what Jim, Diane, Laura and I did after the reception. Still dressed in all our wedding finery, we drove in to downtown Grand Rapids to Mojo's Dueling Piano Bar. It was a blast. There were no less than five bachelorette parties there and at least one other wedding party. It was a great way to finish up the night.

Sunday Diane and I got up and took Laura to the airport. Then we went for brunch with her family and took them to the airport. (Kind of a reverse of Thursday). Jim dropped off the rental car and we all went together to drop off the tuxes and then we went back to their house. His parents where there and stayed while Jim & Diane opened their presents.

In the afternoon Diane and I watched "Hairspray" and then we all watched the Olympic Closing Ceremonies together while Diane uploaded photos.

Monday was my turn to fly home. Again I had uneventful flights (unless you count the warm cookies ;)) and Dars picked me up in Seattle. I took my time coming home and went to bed early when I got there.

So there, my attempt at capturing five wonderful days in words. It's hard but it's a start :)

Congratulations Jim & Diane and thanks for letting me be a part of the begninning chapter of your life together!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Living in Fast Forward: All this in one week!

Okay, when I have to reference my day planner between blog posts you know I'm busy. I need to do a quick recap now though or I'll never do it. I want you to know that I've written all of this out in my head already. Transferring it into written words seems silly but I know if I don't, I'll forget. Okay, we left off with the hike at Buntzen Lake.

Monday, August 11th My friend Rebecca took me out for my birthday (nothing like making it last eh?!) We went and saw "Mamma Mia!" in theatres. I'm somewhat familiar with ABBA's music but I didn't know what to expect with the storyline or the movie. I was blown away! What a treat!!! I haven't laughed that hard or felt so good in a long time. If you haven't had a chance to experience this show yet, grab a girlfriend and go. Better yet, grab a bunch of girlfriends and go. It's a blast. I really want to see the stage show now.

After the movie we went to a local restaurant and had huge yummy ooey gooey desserts. It was a great way to celebrate.

Tuesday, August 12th A few months ago I added an ex-coworker as "friend" on Facebook. I've been trying to contact her through various mutual acquaintences for a few years with no luck. There wasn't a lot of communication on Facebook either but at least I knew she is still around. Finally last Tuesday, well, Monday night but I got the message on Tuesday, I got a note from Jennifer telling me that she was would be in town for one day and wondering if I was free for coffee "between 5 and 6". Luckily I was (I would have made myself available if I wasn't) and we met up. Another co-worker, my friend Tracy and her husband Murray came too. It was wonderful to catch up with Jennifer and to meet her adorable son Joshua. (Jen's in the middle with Joshua and Tracy and I are on the arms of the chair in the picture). Hopefully next time we'll have more time to spend together.

Wednesday, August 13th - We packed up at work and headed into Vancouver for the Annual General Meeting. My co-worker and I had dinner at Moxie's on Robson before she went for a run. I relaxed in my room for awhile and then went down and hung out with the Directors for the evening. They're a fun bunch and it's nice to chat with them when you're not in a board meeting setting.

Thursday, August 14th - I was in the meeting room just before seven in the morning setting up. Our Non-Confidential meeting ran smoothly and was followed by the AGM Business Meeting over lunch. After that we packed up, checked out and then hung out at the cocktail party for awhile. It was a gorgeous day so instead of fighting rush hour traffic a few of us decided to go for a walk. We ended up walking most of Robson Street and stopping in a few stores. When we got back to the hotel some of the US Directors were there and they invited us to join them for dinner. We had a lovely meal at the Keg (a nice steak house) and then we packed the car and drove home. I wasn't really paying attention to the clock but by the time we got home it was midnight!!!

Friday, August 15th - I was back at work...on time too! There's always tons to do after a board meeting so I just focused on task after task and the day flew by.

That evening I went to a workshop with an old Creative Memories sideline of mine. I haven't seen her since I moved out!!! So it was wonderful to catch up with her again too.

Saturday, August 16th - Was mostly a relaxing day at home. I walk to the library and down to the Farmers' Market but it was too hot to do much else. In the evening I went to Jevon's parents house for a bar-b-que. Jenna, Will and others from the "Hemlock Crew" were there. Jevon made amazing bar-b-que ribs and we had lots of other salads and burgers too. We spent the evening playing games and visiting. It was wonderful, just like summer should be :)

Sunday, August 17th - I came home after church and laid low. Again it was stinkin' hot and muggy and I didn't feel like doing anything. In the evening I joined some church friends for a bar-b-que but I left early and went and saw my parents.

Monday, August 18th - Work was another crazy, post-board meeting day. In the evening I went to the Agri-fair wrap up dinner and then home to finish packing.

Tuesday, August 19th - I'm heading down to Seattle in the evening and to Michigan for Diane's wedding on Wednesday. Stay tuned for updates!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Buntzen Lake

I've been trying to get to this post all week but I've just been too busy! I'll finish this and then blog the rest of the week.

Sunday, August 10th I joined Melissa and Jevon, her parents, and family friends for a hike at Buntzen Lake in Coquitlam, BC. "Buntzen a BC Hydro reservoir. It is 4.8 km long and covers an area of 182 hectares. Formerly known as Lake Beautiful, the lake is named after the first general manager of B.C. Electric Co., Johannes Buntzen.

In 1903 the Buntzen hydroelectric project was put in service by the Vancouver Power Company to provide the first hydroelectric power to Vancouver. Previously, the city had to depend on a 1,500-kilowatt (kW) steam plant for its power supply. The project involved raising the level of the dam on Coquitlam Lake and excavating a 3.6 km tunnel to carry water from Coquitlam Lake to Buntzen Lake. The tunnel runs under Eagle Mountain, reaching a maximum depth of 1.2 km below the surface, and empties into the north end of Buntzen Lake.

We kept up a pretty brisk pace around the lake and in all it took us about 3 hours including stops. It was a grey and rainy day so the trail was very quiet. We did get a little wet but the trees provided great cover and the mist was welcome to keep us cooled down.

It's a beautiful hike. One I've wanted to do for a long time. The first picture is the suspension bridge we crossed over at the half way mark. The second picture was taken from the bridge and shows the power plant.
This is Melissa and I on the bridge.

The rain made the forest *so* green it was almost hard on the eyes. Absolutely beautiful. My favourite site is the ferns cascading down the hillside.
I love BC :)

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Meme: Bon Appetit!

Shamelessly stollen from Beth who got it from this site.

Bon Appetit!

Appetizer: When was the last time you had your hair cut/trimmed?
Never. Someday I'll scrapbook/blog it all but short story, I've never had my hair cut.

Soup: Name one thing you miss about being a child.
Beth said "lack of responsibility" and I completely agree. That and the innocence. The ability to be happy without money. Or to think that fifty cents is a lot. I miss that.

Salad: Pick one: butter, margarine, olive oil.
I'm a margareeen girl ;) Don't get me wrong, I don't mind butter but I can survive without it. I grew up on Becel and that's still what I use.

Main Course: If you could learn another language, which one would you pick, and why?
Latin. So I can understand English better

Dessert: Finish this sentence: In 5 years I expect to be…In Ontario...or maybe back here already. Hard to say. That's a long time!!!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Citius, Altius, Fortius

At the last scrapbook retreat I attended my project was my school days album. All my annual portraits and class pictures in one place. I only did Kindergarten-grade seven and I'm still trying to locate my grade eight through twelve pictures. While I was looking I found the box that has all my school projects in it. Book reports, art work, you name it, Mom saved almost everything. My next step is to go through that box, ditch the stuff I don't want, scrapbook what I do and photograph anything I'm not sure of. I took a couple photos that night and I'll share them here.

The first one is my "olympic torch" from the Calgary 1988 Olympics. I don't remember the actual olympics other than the fact that the mascots were Howdy and Hidy. Her name was spelled wrong but I still felt a kinship with her :) Apparently we talked about the olympics at school though, hence this torch.

Meredith and I are getting together to watch the re-broadcast of the opening ceremonies this evening.

Citius, Altius, Fortius
Higher, Stronger, Faster

Good luck to all the athletes!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Birthday Celebrations, continued

I mentioned to my mom that my birthday celebrations have been stretching out and she said "you've always done it that way". So I have :) It's fun though!!! Yesterday Jenna and Will took me out for lunch. I had spoken with Jenna a week ago when we confirmed that she wouldn't be able to attend my "party" because she had to work. That night she told me that she had a present that she was super excited about giving me. She really wanted to tell me what it was but I'm a fan of anticipation so I told her I could wait. Of course then I spent the week wondering WHAT would get her so excited? I knew it wouldn't be an expensive gift but instead one of those "perfect" ones. I was right.

I don't think I've blogged about it but one of my pet peeves is that the only measuring cup sets I can find any more only have 1/4 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/2 cup and 1 cup measures. SOME of them have expanded to include a 1/8 cup (?!). I want a standard set that includes 2/3 and 3/4 as well but apparently that's too much to ask.

So my present from Jenna? A metal measuring cup set that has 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 3/4, 1 cup AND a 1 and 1/2 cup too!!! I was just as excited as she knew I'd be :D

Yesterday I also got a text from my brother Seth saying "I blame Robert for not telling me it was your birthday so, here's a flower --<--@" Yeah. I told him I deserve real flowers ;)

And see the little pink guy on the left? Mom bought him for me because she knows I like penguins. I thought he was cute until I read his, excuse me, HER (Brandin say's it's a girl because she's pink), her tag:

"One day while playing in the snow,
I took a little fall you know,
It was akward, don't you think?
I blushed so hard, it turned me pink!"

Remember when I fell a few weeks back? My knee is STILL healing. I don't really need a reminder of what a klutz I am!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Agri-fair 2008

This weekend I reprised my role as volunteer security at the Agri-fair. When I was initally asked if I would volunteer I agreed but in the back of my mind, I thought that I would try and get a different posting. When I showed up and started chatting with people, I decided that it was just easier to stick with what I knew. Plus, that way I got to see all the awesome people I met last year and security isn't all bad.

I had three shifts this year. Friday from 6-10, Saturday from 3-7 and Sunday from 6-10. Of course I was there a lot more than that and my shifts kind of expanded to fit my availability but it all worked out.

Friday I was again positioned at the rodeo. There were some rumblings by the local humane society in the newspaper before the event so we were watching for protestors on top of watching for regular rowdiness. Afterwards I helped keep people away from the fireworks as well which of course gave me a front row seat :)

Saturday I was at the fair just before noon and I spent the time before my shift taking it all in. Pioneer corner, crafting displays (quilting, needlework, sewing you name it!), main stage concerts, the logging show, BC150 Heritage Displays, home show, cooking shows, livestock displays and shows and more.

The best part about Agri-fair is that I can hardly get ten steps without running into another person that I know. It comes from growing up in one town and being involved in the community. It's great!

My "assignment" Saturday afternoon was to guard a fence on the back side of the fair grounds. Incredibly boring work, located right beside where the flyball tournament was taking place. I was sick of hearing barking dogs by the time I got out of there.

I was off at 6:45 and I managed to catch most of Kristal Barrett's performance on the mainstage. Then I headed up to the rodeo to actually WATCH it (without paying attention to the crowd). After a few events I came back down to the stage to watch the Saturday night headliner, Rick Tippe. Rick is a local artist with a long history at Agri-fair. This was my first time seeing him live and he was fantastic. Very much in to crowd interaction and armed with tons of great songs.

Sunday after church we had a picnic and then I came back to the fair. I managed to catch the Lord Strathcona's Mounted Troop performance. They are what the RCMP Muscial Ride evolved out of and they do a fantastic show. After that I reported in as a volunteer and was again stationed at the rodeo. This time I was facing the crowd so I didn't really get to enjoy the events but people watching is always fun. By the time the rodeo was over the sun had set and the wind had picked up so I was freezing. I hung around briefly and then headed home to warm up.
My dad can't understand why I chose to dedicate most of my long weekend to volunteering at the fair and I can't really explain it. Just that it's something I love to do.

Happy Birthday to me

Thursday was my birthday but I celebrated all week. Monday I had dinner at my parents with my cousin Brandin and brother Aaron.
Tuesday we had cake at work.

Wednesday I received a bunch of cards.

Thursday I had tons of birthday wishes coming in and that evening I had friends over for a games night.

I felt like a princess all week. It was great :)

Thank you to everyone who sent birthday wishes. It made turning 27 that much better :)