Weekend update.

Alex and I both finish work at noon on Fridays and this Friday was especially exciting because we went and looked at a house.  Surprisingly enough we finally liked one!  He is signing the offer and sending it to our realtor as we speak.  It’s pretty scary and intimidating but I just keep reminding myself that we have to live somewhere, so we might as well own it. 

We both agreed that we were only going to get each other cards for Valentine’s Day but the deal was that we had to write something nice in it, not just “Love, Julienne”.  I was pretty impressed with what I had written, but it didn’t even come close to the awesome things Alex said.  I got a two page letter just because he said he couldn’t fit everything in a card.  I was in tears within 10 seconds.  He laughed and said I usually made it longer than that before I started crying.  We spent the day running errands and looking at appliances, flooring and paint samples for our potential new house.  It was pretty low key, but was just a great couple-y day and it was so nice to spend the day just the two of us doing whatever we wanted.  Saturday night we were invited to go out but were both beat from running around all day so we stayed in and I made him  watch When Harry Met Sally with me.  Is it just me, or is everyone’s favourite part the cute old couples telling how they met?  I love it.

Sunday I went to my hometown to visit my grandmother.  When I got there she didn’t know who it was and my mom told her it was Julienne and she just kept looking at me and saying “She doesn’t look like Julienne, she doesn’t look like Julienne.”  It broke my heart.  This might sound awful but part of me wishes that I hadn’t gone to see her, because the last time I saw her she was peaceful and we spent time together just the two of us.  That’s how I wanted to remember my last time seeing her.  Alex says maybe I should just leave it at this (she isn’t expected to last much longer than a week or two) because right now I still have good memories.  That makes sense but I know part of me will feel guilty for not taking advantage of the time I have with her while she’s still here whether that time be good or bad. 

In Ontario we had a long weekend for Family Day so yesterday was dinner celebrating a friend’s birthday.  We had an incredible meal and I made my specialty – Apple Caramel Cheesecake for dessert.  Recipe here.  It’s delicious, but if you’re going to try it out here are my adjustments.  First, make your own crust.  It’s super easy and takes no time at all.  Second, don’t drizzle the caramel sauce over the crust (it makes the crust too chewy).  Instead drizzle the caramel sauce over the cheesecake once you’ve sliced it.  It tastes better and looks prettier too. 

So, basically my weekend was good until last night.  I’m prone to anxiety attacks and can’t really handle stress all that well and as soon as my head hit the pillow the attack started.  I was just feeling really overwhelmed because of everything with my grandmother, putting in an offer an a house, worrying about my mom.  My mom is retiring this week and I’m wondering how she is going to cope with such big life changes (retirement and losing a parent) so close together.  Also, my dad is not supportive of Alex and I buying a house together before we get married.  I totally understand where he is coming from but I think every child struggles with disappointing their parents.  Basically I was a ball of nervous energy which means I spent the entire night hanging over the toilet puking my guts out.  I think I only got two hours of sleep and now I’m struggling to get through the day.  My throat is killing me and I broke a blood vessel in my eye from all of the dry heaving (lovely, I know).

I’ve been trying to figure out ways to keep my stress levels in check to keep myself from getting into a full blown anxiety attack, so I’d like some input.  How do you keep your stress levels down, and how do you keep from worrying? What are the things you do to keep yourself calm?

February 17, 2009 at 6:41 pm 1 comment

Dress me.

I bought this dress for a wedding that I’m going to in May.

Dress

 

Cute right?

Now comes the tricky part.  I’m an idiot when it comes to accessories.  I can never pick out what looks right.  Alex bought me diamond studs and a diamond necklace two years ago and they are my daily staples and I don’t really stray from them unless I am getting dressed up.

This is why I need the help of the internets!  PLEASE! 

Does anyone have any suggestions for shoes and jewellery?

 

P.S. Am also mad at the world because this dress is $40 at Dillard’s right now.  Let’s just say I paid A LOT more than that for it. 

February 12, 2009 at 4:03 pm 4 comments

Almost grief.

At the beginning of the year I posted about my grandmother and her poor health

On Friday I was just pulling into the driveway when my phone rang.  It was my brother asking what I was up to this weekend.  I ran through the plans that Alex and I had made and asked him what he was up to.  He told me I should come home.  Our family had been told that my grandma probably wouldn’t make it through the weekend.  He told me not to rush but that it would be a good idea to head home at some point.  I called Alex in tears and told him what was going on.  I said I would wait for him to get home and then we would head to my hometown.  He told me to just go and that he would meet me there. 

I threw an overnight bag in my car and left.  I’ve never driven so quickly.  The sobs were laying just underneath the surface.  The tight chest, the swollen throat.  Tears filling my eyes but never quite spilling onto my cheeks.  I got to my grandmother’s house and she was in bed, lightly sleeping.  My mom was sitting beside her holding her hand so I crawled in bed behind her and wrapped my arms around her.  We laid there and just slept.  She woke up and my mom asked her if she knew who I was.

“My girl,” she said, leaving me in tears as she drifted back to sleep. 

I took my mom’s spot holding her hand and just sat with her for nearly an hour, just the two of us. 

She’s still fighting.  Still hanging on.  Still holding all of us together.  It was like a reunion, all of us ordering in Chinese and taking turns sitting with her.  Laughing and telling stories in the living room.  Enjoying each other’s company while our family still feels complete. 

February 10, 2009 at 8:23 pm 3 comments

The letter of the day.

I know that 99.9% of you have all seen this by now, but I just got my letter from the lovely Hillary at two L’s please.  She could have been mean, but instead of screwing me I’ve been assigned the letter “m”.  For those of you that have NO idea what I’m talking about, here are the rules:

If you want to participate, leave a comment on this post and I’ll assign you a letter (don’t worry, I’ll be nice too).  You then write about ten things you love that start with that letter and post it on your blog.  When people comment on your posted list, you give them a letter and the chain continues.  (And I thought forwards would be as far as internet chain letters went!) 

On with the letter M!

1. Mornings

Mornings

I KNOW.  There are a lot of people out there who hate the mornings and sometimes I have even been accused of not being a “morning person”.  In reality, as long as I am not bothered and can go about my normal morning routine – I LOVE IT.  Plus mornings mean breakfast food and you can never go wrong with breakfast food. 

 

2.  Marshmallows

Marshmallows

Marshmallows are  incredible.  Growing up spending summers camping and making smores has cemented my love for the marshmallow.  My favourite fruit dip is a combination of cream cheese and marshmallow fluff and my favourite Christmas treat is a combination of marshmallows and peanut butter.  I know ambrosia salad grosses a lot of people out, but it is delicious in my books!

 

3.  Mittens

Mittens

These are not the prettiest of mittens, but they are the warmest.  These babies are down-filled and awesome.  Being in Canada you learn the value of good mittens pretty quickly and for the most part gloves just don’t cut it.  I spent 14 year figure skating in dainty little skirts and dresses and with the exception of when I was in a competition I always wore big warm mittens. 

 

4.  Mud

Mud

I started playing rugby at the age of 12 and instantly fell in love with the sport and nothing made a game or practice more fun than mud!  It definitely softens the ground up when you’re getting tackled.

 

5.  Moving

Moving

People are going to think I’m crazy for this one too but I love being organized and there is no better way to get organized than to go through everything you own.  Plus it’s great being able to make a new place feel homey and comfortable.

 

6.  Mums

Mums

They’re so pretty and they end up blooming just as everything else starts to fade away in the fall.  Perfect timing to keep summer around for just a little longer.

 

7.  Moonlight

Moonlight

I grew up ina rural area where most of my summer nights as a teen were spent on my best friend’s roof watching shooting stars.  Warm, bright summer nights with tons of stars and the moon shining is something I never really valued until I moved to the city and couldn’t take advantage of it anymore.  Now that I’m back in the country I’m back to enjoying it.

 

8.  Michael Scott

Michael Scott

When The Office first came out I was never really interested.   Then I started watching it and became hooked.  I now own every season on DVD and pretty much drive Alex crazy with it.  Look here for a great montage of “that’s what she said”.

 

9.  Milk

Milk

I actually feel bad for all of those people out there who can’t have dairy.  I love milk.  I crave milk.  My mother used to complain that my brother and I were going to make her bankrupt from all of the milk we drank.  After a work out I don’t crave water – all I want is a big glass of ice cold skim milk. 

 

10.  My Boy

I know this one is a bit of a cop out but he’s so great.  Thinking about him puts a smile on my face and I still get butterflies in my stomach before I see him and it’s been three and a half years.  He’s always been understanding and suppotive and has been the level-headed one when I’ve been freaking out or overwhelmed.  He’s nice.

 

Okay, so if there are any of you out there who haven’t done this yet and want to just leave me a comment on this post and don’t worry I promise I will be nice with the letter selection!

February 5, 2009 at 8:20 pm 5 comments

Growing up. Growing away.

As I’ve mentioned before Alex and I are house hunting.  A process which easily seems to be never-ending.  I keep hearing everyone saying that it’s a buyer’s market which, is true in some ways but there’s nothing out there to buy!  We’ve been seriously looking for the last 8 months and were casually looking for at least a year before that and still nothing.  It’s been frustrating to say the least but I don’t think I was really prepared for the emotional aspect of it.  The excitement of being able to build a home somewhere and finally feel like I can nest contrasted with the panic that the day we buy the house it’ll flood, or the pipes will burst or the furnace will blow up.  I think this roller coaster of emotion is pretty normal for most house hunters but I never anticipated how much additional stress my family would cause. 

My parents think I should live in the same town as them. 

I love my parents, I really do but I don’t think I would like them anymore if we lived in the same area.  My brother lives in the same town as my mom and dad and my parents are always at his house.  He’ll work all day and my parents will call the instant he and his family sit down to dinner.  If the ignore the phone my parents will drop by just to make sure everything is okay.  Alex and I stayed at my brother’s one weekend to look after his son and my parents called five times and stopped by twice.  It was overwhelming.  If Alex and I ever end up in a car with my parents it’s inevitable that they’ll drive us around and show us all of the nice houses for sale – in their town.  My dad is constantly showing Alex job ads in the local newspaper and it makes Alex feel like garbage and like his job isn’t good enough for my parents.  Which is INSANE because he and my father work in the same field.  I’ve even told my dad how it makes Alex feel and it’s like it went in one ear and out the other, because there he was pulling out the classifieds the next time we were there. 

I know my parents just want us to be around and to spend time with their kids, but in all of my relationships it has felt like a constant tug of war between spending time with them and spending time with my boyfriend.  I travel for work and my only free time is Saturday and Sunday and since that’s the only time Alex and I have together it’s hard to want to share that time.  We currently only live 45 minutes away from my parents and we make sure to see them once a month and it’s still not enough for them.  Last week I talked to my parents three nights in a row and my dad still said, “Keep in touch.  We never hear from you anymore.”  I nearly lost it.  It’s such a struggle because I want to spend time with my parents because I know they’re not going to be around forever, but at the same time I’m 25 and I want my own life and when I’m around them I feel smothered. 

This weekend Alex and I went and looked at a house that we actually liked.  I called my parents to tell them the good news and my mom’s response to tell us to keep looking and not rush into anything.  This has been her response whenever we’ve looked at a house.  I finally told her how frustrating it was to hear that because it seems like she doesn’t even want us to have a house because whenever we’re excited she tells us to keep looking.  I quite angrily reminded her that we haven’t exactly rushed into anything because we have been looking for almost TWO YEARS.  I know the reason they want us to keep looking is because they want us to be engaged before we buy a house together, but they’re too passive aggressive to actually come out and say that.  Hell, I would love to be engaged right now but the lack of a ring isn’t going to stop us from moving forward with our lives.  The whole conversation left me in tears which of course made Alex mad, simply because he was defending me which makes the stress worse. 

I just wish my parents would be proud of me and my accomplishments.  I have a degree and a diploma, I have a good career.  Alex has a good career and we both have job security which is a lot to ask for in this economy.  They should be proud that we’re in a financial situation where we can actually afford a house.  But they’re not.

I need advice!  How do you deal with parents interfering?  Have you ever been in a similar situation? 

February 3, 2009 at 2:35 pm 2 comments

Dodged a bullet.

You always hear people say that you can’t choose your family but sometimes don’t you wish you could?  The dynamics of families are complicated let alone bringing in-laws into the mix.  Thankfully Alex’s parents are incredible but my ex definitely had some skeletons in the closet – namely his grandmother. 

This was a woman I had always known as an acquaintance (we lived in a very small town), but I never really knew.  The first few times I met her she was always friendly and pleasant like most grandmas.  It wasn’t until later when I realized there was something a little off.  The first time was at a Christmas party when she was handing out gifts to the grandchildren.  Everyone was opening their gifts when she came up to me and said,

“You’re not in the family until you’re engaged and you don’t get a Christmas gift until you’re in the family”. 

Wow.  I was not expecting a gift whatsoever and I just thought it was strange to even address the non-gift, especially by making sure I knew that I wasn’t family yet.  I got over it and didn’t really see her again until the following Christmas when she apparently relaxed her rules and gave me a Christmas card with a dollar in it.  Interesting. 

A few months later we were having dinner with a bunch of his extended family and she brought up my mother’s family.  She mentioned that she had known my aunt before she passed away.  She then proceeded to tell me that her husband (my boyfriend’s grandfather) had been dating my aunt, but took one look at her and left my aunt.  Her theory was that my aunt was so heartbroken over losing him that it drove her to drink (my aunt was an alcoholic) and that’s why she died.  Holy hell – what do you say to that?!  There was no, “Nice to see you”, “Pass the peas”.  Nope, it was all break-ups and alcoholism.  Swell.

The following Christmas the whole family went to her house and she told everyone that she hadn’t bought Christmas gifts, instead she was letting all of her grandchildren pick out one of her decorative plates that they wanted.   Apparently she really wanted to get rid of those plates because all of a sudden I was “family” and  there she was urging me to “Just pick one!”.  I think the truth was that they were moving to a smaller house and she just didn’t want to pack all of the plates. 

All I could think about was how thankful I was that the ex took after his mother’s side of the family because I didn’t want any of the crazy traits rearing their ugly heads. 

So – did anyone else dodge a bullet by avoiding marrying an ex with crazy family members? 

January 29, 2009 at 9:57 pm 3 comments

Award season.

Big news!  I received my first ever blog award!  I was given it by the lovely Rachel who is so cute and sweet.  Reading her stuff is like a daily dose of sugar.  She’s getting married soon, so any of you who are looking for wedding ideas head on over and check her out because really, you won’t be finding ANYTHING wedding related here!  Not that I am anti-wedding or anything but I am still a girl without bling! 

Anyway, this is the award -

blog_honest_award 

And apparently I have to list 10 honest things about myself (that are interesting – this might be difficult) and pass the award on to seven bloggers that I feel embody the spirit of the honest scrap, so here we go!

Interesting Things:

  1. I am a chronic list maker.  Every morning at work I make a list of everything I’ve got going on, that way nothing gets missed.  When I go away, I make lists of clothing and toiletries to pack.  I constantly draft up wedding guest lists and once again, how pathetic am I because I’m not even engaged! I CANNOT enter the grocery store without a list.  I end up with the most random stuff – jelly beans, chicken and organic shampoo. 
  2. When I was four years old I told my mom I wanted to play hockey.  She said okay and went up to the arena to sign me up.  She came home with figure skates.  Nice.  I did skate for 14 years though so I guess it worked out. 
  3. I gave up figure skating to play a contact sport.  I even played varsity in university.
  4. I work with all men in a VERY male dominated field.  This has only ever bothered me once.
  5. It bothered me when I got angry when someone had not provided me with paperwork that I needed (for the third time) and he showed up at my office and said, “I’ve been bad, do I get a spanking?”. 
  6. Alex and I both travel for work so we only see each other on the weekends.  We’ve been doing this for almost four years and will probably stay this way for another four. 
  7. The pinky toe on my right foot is shorter than the one on my left.  I cut off my toe when I was 7 years old and when they reattached it they had to overlap the skin and that made it shorter. 
  8. I went to university to get book smarts and then went to college to get hands-on experience.  My job is in no way related to either of those things. 
  9. I have a huge extended family.  For family dinners we have to rent a banquet hall.  I can remember not being able to even get into my grandparent’s living room at Christmas because there were so many gifts for everyone under the tree.
  10. When Alex and I met I became the other woman.  When we started officially dating I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to trust him because of it.  I’ve never trusted someone more.

 

Onto the nominations!

Random Rantings

Cheaper than Therapy

Kicky Boots

That Wife

Getting Single

This? Is Not The Life I Ordered!

It’s like I’m ….mmmagic!

January 28, 2009 at 6:15 pm 2 comments

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