Six things that happened in year six

Today marks six years since Kevin and I started dating. What happened in year six? Well.

  1. We got engaged and started planning our wedding
  2. We traveled – Calgary, Prague, Portland, Orlando, Washington/Oregon road trip
  3. We adopted a garden space that wasn’t being used by its owners
  4. We united with our southern besties and formed the Trash Panda Union
  5. We started running
  6. We decided to move (again)

Cheers to six years! 🥂

Try this: say hello

Trying new things is a great way to feel an invigorating boost in life. Every Monday, I’ll be posting an idea for trying something new with the details or how and why I think you should do it, too. Consider it your mission should you choose to accept it. 😀

It was a Friday morning and I was on my way into my office. I was walking down the hall that leads me there and passed the door of a woman who was relatively new to the company and to whom I’d never been introduced. We work in different departments and for two whole years, we’d never officially crossed paths. We had, of course, literally crossed paths in stairwells and hallways, but never in a scenario that would allow us to get acquainted.

I trudged past her office, noticing that all the other doors on the floor were still closed. As I got to the door that leads from her hallway into mine, I stopped, took a deep breath and walked back to her office door. I leaned in and I said, “hi.”

I’m a serious introvert. I thrive in quiet and calm. I speak with purpose and (almost) never frivolity. In all honesty, I strongly feel that the fewer words I hear in a day, the better. I often come home saying, “I wish people would talk lessssssssss.” But I did it anyway.

What came of it? Well, to start with, we chatted for about fifteen minutes and got to know each other a little. In the months that have passed, she and I have developed a fun and friendly relationship and continue to connect a couple of times a week. I like her a lot and we keep spending more and more time together. It’s nice to have someone new to debrief with even if it’s just during chance meetings throughout our days.

Reaching out and talking to a stranger can be challenging. Maybe you’re shy. Maybe you’re not interested. Maybe you feel like you already have enough friends/contacts/acquaintances. Maybe you’re exhausted and feel like you can’t give any more.

Say hello. To your neighbour, to someone you pass on the street, to the person sitting next to you. I’ve maintained friendships for years with a student who sat beside me on a flight to Hawaii, a fellow festival volunteer who waited in registration line next to me and my matron of honour is someone I stood beside at a winery tasting.

Say hello and you risk someone not saying hello back, being dismissed or being ignored. But if that happens, so what? You carry on with your day.

Say hello and you take the chance that you could end up talking with someone you really like. Say hello and you might just enjoy a momentary smile and a nice little conversation. Say hello and you could make a friend.

•••

If you had the Matthew Good Band song Apparitions in your head the whole time while reading this, well, I don’t know what to tell you. So did I. Interesting fact: it’s nearly impossible to find that video online which is a real shame because it is such a great one. If you never saw it or haven’t seen it in years, I encourage you to take another look at it. Also, it’s TWENTY years old this year. Sigh…

Do you have any great stories about times when you spoke to a stranger?

Comedy, hip hop and vulnerability

Last night we went to see my favourite comedian (comic? I actually prefer to say comic, but I don’t know if there is an established difference between the two so I went with comedian because that was how he was described when I looked him up,) Nate Bargatze. I first saw him perform stand up on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. (My other favourite comedian, a comedian I’d forgotten until my mom texted me while we were at the show, I said we were seeing my favourite comedian and she replied, “Jimmy Fallon?” Ooops. I guess old Jimmy’s been dethroned.) In fact, I’ve seen him there three times. ( ~ one ~ two ~ three ~)

Late last year, I bought his hour-long Comedy Central performance called Full Time Magic. I downloaded it and saved it for our flight to Florida in November and it had me literally laughing out loud on the plane. I played it again in the car on the way to the show last night (Kevin had never seen or heard it) and it got the same response from both of us.

I had seen a couple of comedy shows a long, long time ago, but Kevin had never been to one. This one was part of Just For Laughs Northwest and took place at the Biltmore Cabaret. The Biltmore could be called a Vancouver institution. Remarkably, in all the shows I’ve been in all the venues in Vancouver, I’d never made it there before. It was pretty much what I had expected – dark, dated and straddling the difference between being dingy and having character.

Just For Laughs Northwest continues now through February 25th – visit their website for more information and a list of performers

We arrived a few minutes before the show started and it was standing room only. On TV, comedy shows are always in auditoriums so everyone has a seat. In old bars, it isn’t really like that. There were rows of seats set up on what I presume would normally be a dance floor and high top tables were positioned behind them. Banks of booth seating on either side would probable have been most comfortable, but I suspect it wouldn’t have afforded the same view that we got by standing near the back of the room.

If this was a typical comedy show, then I would say that they are punctual. At a few minutes before the show was scheduled to start, a recorded message from the JFLNW organizers told us that there was a prize pack up for grabs – just look under your seat to see if you’re the winner. That was like salt in the wound from knowing that I had scoffed when Kevin suggested getting there early and now we didn’t have a place to sit.

What I hadn’t really thought about was opening acts. Like almost any musical performer, apparently comedians/comics also have openers. Unlike musical opening acts, the openers keep it short and sweet. John Cullen is somebody I probably never would have seen in my lifetime if not for his pre-Bargatze spot and he provided some good laughs. (My highlight: him utilizing his day job position as a teacher to say the things the rest of us never do about kids’ names and their rather obvious fates when christened with them. Tyler, Justin, Skyylar…)

Nate Bargatze came out and he was exactly what I was expecting. Take a look at those videos above if you want to see what that was. For about an hour, he shared his observations as a regular dude from Nashville – his material included travel, fast food, performing in prison, his visit to a serpentarium,  a childhood baseball story that had Kevin howling both in the moment and hours later and more.  (But, sadly, not his tiger joke. I love his tiger joke.)

It was a super fun time.

As we stood there at the back of the room and smiled and laughed the whole time we were there, I had these lucid moments when I would look around and just silently observe the people around me – the guys at the high top in front of us who never spoke the whole time we were there, but whose bodies shook in time with the crowd’s laughter and the guy behind me who laughed into my hair (like, right into my hair – I could feel his breath) more times than I can count (seriously, how would one not notice that they were doing that?!?!)

I looked out over all the people and back at Nate Bargatze and I thought, for the first time, “man, that must be an amazing job!” and “okay, now I understand why someone would want to do this!” I mean, gathering a group of people into a room and making them happy. What better reward than that could there be? It’s like being a musician or an actor, only better. It may not last forever, but the comic’s certain contribution to his or her audience is happiness. Man, that’s powerful.

Another thing I stood there thinking: this job has incredible rewards, but it must also be incredibly taxing. Being on the road is a tough slog and it can be a long one – years long. City to city, always coming and always going. I think about this whenever I listen to Nate Bargatze talk about his wife and his daughter. I think about what that must be like to be away and traveling with loved ones at home. It feels like it might be lonely to be out of town making other people laugh while life continues to happen at home. That’s a big price to pay for a career and it’s one that probably gets overlooked by many people.

This third thing that I was keenly aware of while watching the show was the courage that it takes to do something like that. Unlike other performers – actors are usually part of an ensemble, most musicians are not solo acts – being a comic has you on the stage alone – without props, with the shelter of other people being there, without anything else to take the focus off of  YOU. That is an incredible amount of vulnerability to exhibit.

I first started thinking about this when I went to my first hip hop show in December. My friend and I were there to see the headliner, but we were also pretty into the opener, Homeboy Sandman. Mark (my friend) had coached me in not getting my hopes up. As a rap show veteran, he said that sometimes they get a little obnoxious. (After the fact, we both agreed that wasn’t the case with this show.) I was still super jacked to be there and when we walked in, the show had already started.

There was Homeboy Sandman all alone on stage. He was performing the songs we knew and interacting with the crowd in between them. He had a great vibe and it felt good to be there. Amidst all of that, I still took to think about how exposed he was up there. Yes, he was entertaining a room full of people, but when I analyzed it more deeply, he was offering his personally crafted product to people who had the options to either celebrate it or totally reject it. I stood there looking at him with great admiration, in awe of his bravery – out there on his own, laying his life’s work down for all to see and hear, no shelter, no support.

Man, that’s gutsy.

The headliner from that night, Aesop Rock
Just because I loved that show and this pic

Funny coincidence: I found out last night that both Nate Bargatze AND Aesop Rock are on the bill for this year’s Sasquatch Festival. If that isn’t a sign that I should be there, I don’t know what is.

#minsgame – week two

One hundred and eight more items were pitched out our doors this week. That’s 136 things in total. It’s day sixteen and as the numbers rise so does the challenge of the game.

This week (plus a few days) I got rid of books, DVDs, dishes, booze, pillows, towels, stationery and other miscellaneous pieces. We sent donations to Wildlife Rescue, BCSPCA Thrift Store, Burnaby Public Library (I wanted to donate to New West’s, but their donation process is just too restrictive and I couldn’t wait for a date), to friends and to service locations on the Downtown Eastside. We also made a few undocumented (by that I mean in addition to each day’s collection) “donations” to the garbage and recycling.

These numbers are still small enough that they’re manageable. We’re also at an advantage of having the motivation of the challenge AND our impending move as extra motivation. That do I really want to put in all the energy of packing and carrying this item all the way over to another place way factor is helpful to say the least. Now that our place has been shown and we can really start to tear everything down, I expect that we’ll start seeing even more *stuff* that can go. At least I hope so…

Do you ever go on clutter clearing binges? What are your best tips for not collecting too much *stuff*? Are you more minimalist or pack rat?

Wedding Wednesday: the dress

I’ve learned a lot about wedding dresses over the past couple of months. Mostly I’ve confirmed what I suspected in the first place: that I am not overly interested in them.

Now, let me be clear. I learned many things about wedding dresses in the process of finding mine. For one, they are GORGEOUS. Even if you haven’t spent your entire life dreaming about a specific dress or studying the styles, fabrics, details that are featured on them, there is no denying that the intricacy of a dress is awe-inspiring. This is a fact to which I hadn’t given a whole lot of credit up until a few months ago.

Kevin is SUPER superstitious about not seeing my dress. He wouldn’t even look at the opaque bag that carried it when we brought it to my parents’ house from the shop. So, out of respect for him – because he always reads my posts – I won’t go into great or specific detail here. I will, however. share a few tips and tricks that I learned along the way.

One thing that became really important to me after we decided to get married was to maximize our time while we are engaged. I wanted to take in all the traditional events and immerse ourselves in the experiences. The first of those things was trying on wedding dresses.

I honestly hadn’t given much thought to shopping for a dress until Amy mentioned doing it while she and her family were here for my birthday. We perused the options for a visit to New West’s Bridal District and selected the one that seemed fanciest. I was game for going, but I wasn’t going to shop around so we were limited to one stop that day. I’m not a shopper and I could mentally prepare for the appointment, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to deal with two or more. We chose The Bridal Gallery as our destination, Canada’s largest wedding apparel store. I had no intention of buying my wedding gown there, but I wanted to get the full meal deal of wedding gown shopping. I don’t know where I thought I’d actually buy my dress, but I warned everyone ahead of time that we weren’t buyers on our outing. (I have no idea where or how I thought I would somehow magically end up with a wedding dress  otherwise, but this was the plan.) We booked a visit on my birthday and I rounded up my group: my matron of honour Amy, my mom and two of my aunts, though only one of my aunts was able to make it.

Tip one: Keep the group small and intimate. Most of the places we encountered limited brides to a maximum of four guests anyway, but I can’t imagine more than that. This is a limitation likely well founded since a couple of friends who did opt for bringing large groups to select their dresses found themselves annoyed, frustrated and overwhelmed in their crowded atmospheres. (Though, another couple of friends loved the experience of having a large group.)

We arrived at the appointment and were greeted at the front door. Our consultant introduced herself and walked us through room after room full of dresses, down several hallways and up even more stairs.

Tip two: They will make you take off your shoes. Nobody in my party was really prepared for that. Not a deal breaker, obviously, but it was a little annoying. They also won’t let you in with a coffee or any other beverage. All those Say Yes to the Dress shows on TV? Yeah, there are no mimosas in real life. Not in my experience, anyway.

We were booked into “The Vault” where we got a little more acquainted with our consultant and started talking about dresses (something I know nothing about. Don’t worry, I owned it.) She asked me things like do I like lace? (who doesn’t?), do I prefer chiffon or tulle? (what’s the difference?), how much “bling” am I into? (depends), what style of dress do I want? (what?)

I was a blank slate. I had opened nary a book nor visited a website. I was there for the experience and I was determined to get it. The legwork would be the consultant’s. Ever the professional, she assigned each of us with the task of picking one dress for me to try on. From there we would narrow down the things I liked, the things I didn’t, the looks that worked, the looks that didn’t.

If you have specific ideas of what you want or even a dress already picked out, now is the time when you’ll show and tell.

Tip three: Know what you want. Or don’t. I’d heard so many stories about women buying the exact opposite dress from the one they had in mind or having said an initial big old hell no to their dress only to fall in love when they tried it on. I was determined to save myself the drama of having to kiss a dream dress goodbye or to be super disappointed when something I thought would be perfect really wasn’t. Also, I’m lazy. 

In The Vault, there is a little pedestal for the bride to stand on and a motorized curtain that opens and closes around it. You start inside, the consultant closes the curtain around you, you put the dress on, the consultant comes in and ties you up, buttons you up, clips and cinches the dress to best replicate what it would look like after sizing and alterations have been completed. (It’s a science!) Once you’re all strapped in, back up on the pedestal you go and the curtain automatically opens to reveal you and your dress to your audience. Tada!

You discuss. You critique. You adore. You compare. You vote for. You veto.

Then onto the next dress.

Tip four: Prepare for a parade of cliches. “One man, one dress.” It’s their job to operate that way and they play up the emotional side. I’m mostly immune to that angle so all it really did was get a little annoying.

When the curtain was closing the first time, there was this second when I became acutely aware of the environment. I had all this “you waited this long for the right man to come along…” stuff being said which anyone who knows me knows is NOT my style at all, all this dress propaganda being fed to me and Air Supply was playing. I remember actually thinking, “oh brother. What have I gotten myself into.”

But it wasn’t so bad. It was only weird for me because I didn’t have high expectations for or too much attachment to what my dress would look like. That said, upon the umpteenth question about whether the one I was wearing was THE dress, I let our consultant know, quite clearly, that I’m the kind of woman who can love a lot of dresses. I’m not sure what that says about me based on her math.

Tip five: No photos. Wait, what?

Apparently this is commonplace in independent bridal shops. We were warned when we first started and then when we later took a break so Amy could try on bridesmaid dresses, the woman (not our consultant) reminded her as she hung her selections in a dressing room. Honestly, I found it gauche not to mention out of touch. I understand that they don’t want to have you go out and buy the same dress someplace else – there are several measures in place to prevent this, also weird – it comes across as threatened and insecure. I mean, if you want me to buy from you, then sell me.

Tip six: Know how much you want to spend.

We had a budget in mind and its flexibility was one of the first questions we were asked upon our arrival. In the end, we narrowed our selections down to three and then I tried those three on again. (A side note: when I’d been asked what I wanted in a dress, there was one thing I said I wasn’t crazy about…two of the three finalists had the exact feature that I was convinced that I didn’t want. Evidently, my slate wasn’t quite blank enough.) Once the best of the three was identified, we dressed it up with a veil and a necklace and a bouquet. It was really, really nice. It was within our (flexed) budget. Then all of a sudden, the existing (not mention flexed) budget was out of my comfort zone.

Wedding dresses are expensive and this one was relatively low in price, but I still couldn’t stop thinking about how much that could buy in some other venue. Like travel. Or…I don’t know. Other stuff. (Just travel.)

Tip seven: Wedding dresses don’t fit like other dresses. Or clothes. Even if you’re not like me and you don’t wear athletic clothing most days, you are probably used to having some give in your clothes. A little stretch, a little room, a little flexibility. Wedding dresses don’t. They fit you exactly and though I knew that going in, it still took a little getting used to. And don’t worry about what you wear under there. I got a little obsessed about this and it was all for naught. I didn’t wear a bra at all and as long as your underwear aren’t a really bright colour, which pair you choose probably won’t make a difference.

Of course, you aren’t finished with just the dress because then there are accessories: a veil, a necklace, a hairpiece, shoes, a belt, perhaps. And finally, alterations. We’ve heard estimates between $300 and $700 for them. Luckily for me, consensus says that I’d be off the hook for most of that since I’m tall and the heftiest alteration costs result from taking length off of several layers of dress. That isn’t a problem for me.

We left the Bridal Gallery without a dress, but with an intention to think about it. And think about it, we did.

In the end, I went shopping again a few weeks later with just my mom and aunt. Amy couldn’t be there because she lives out of town, but she was as close as she could be via iMessage. We tried one lead we’d received, but which turned out to be a total dud and then we threw a hail mary pass and headed to David’s Bridal in Langley.

I was aware of David’s because it’s a big chain of stores. It’s the place where a lot of women end up buying their dresses and, as one of those women, I understand exactly why.

Selection. David’s had just as many dresses, but in a much more expanded range of sizes. At Bridal Gallery, they only had a few sizes in a dress so you either had to squeeze into a size or two below or swim around in a size or two too big and try to picture what the dress would look like. David’s inventory was much more complete – if one size didn’t fit, the consultant simply got you the next smaller/bigger one. They also measured me which is something that never happened at the two other shops. The others just went by clothing sizes.

Pricing. Being a chain, David’s was better able to offer us some deals – $100 off promotion plus a $50 off coupon I’d picked up at the Wedding Fair the week before. They can better offer breaks and they have also kept in mind the wide range of budgets. There were plenty of dresses available for much lower prices than we saw in other places.

Extras. Again, their chain status enables them to add on extras like a dress cleaning and preservation program. Buy your dress there and you can buy the package that allows you to send it off via UPS when you’re done and have it cleaned and boxed up for preservation (if you so wish.)

Photos. This is something that really bugged me on our first trip. When I explained Amy’s status and geographic challenge, our consultant did whatever she could to help us include her. She even took the pictures for us (and of us) to share with Amy and commemorate the purchase. As an active user of social media, this was big for me and, while it wasn’t the point that made the sale, it was really nice.

I usually prefer to shop in independent shops so it took a little soul searching and justification to be able to pull the trigger on a dress from a chain store. Here’s what was missing from my purchase that could have been found elsewhere.

Impeccable service. The chain experience was complete with a young and inexperienced consultant. She was perfectly good and may someday even be great, but she wasn’t a pro. She needed direction, she didn’t always listen and if we hadn’t been so intent to buy (I was NOT going wedding dress shopping again) she probably wouldn’t have made the sale. At the Bridal Gallery, our consultant had honed skills. She knew how to talk the talk and she really knew how to make the sale. If I hadn’t coached myself so thoroughly to not buy on our first visit, we’d have been done in two hours.

Intimate environment. Our area was private, it was quiet and it was comfortable for my guests. There was only space for one bride in my room. At David’s there were fifteen change rooms. If they were all being used, that space would get very crowded. Luckily, we were the only group there when we went so we had space. I probably would have walked if I had to share it.

In the end, I am so happy that I did things the way I did – I got the really fancy experience of shopping for a dress in the kind of store that makes a bride feel like a BRIDE!! while I bought a dress that I love and that came at a more affordable price. It was a really fun adventure, but I’m also glad it’s over!

Did you love or hate shopping for a wedding dress? Do you have any tips to add?

Valentines is my love language

I love Valentine’s Day. Always have. As a kid, as an adult, weekday, weekend, single, not single, all of the above. The funny part about saying that is that I’ve never been particular about DOING SOMETHING for Valentine’s Day, it’s more like I just love EMBRACING THE SPIRIT. Because we don’t generally do much. In fact, we never go out – too crowded, and I never ask for gifts – too expensive, (but, okay, I did ask for a spiralizer last year – I really wanted one and I just couldn’t resist when asked), and I don’t even yearn for any romantic gestures. I just like it – the pink, the red, the hearts of a cinnamon nature…

One of my favourite online escapes, A Fanciful Twist,
shared all of their downloadable (and free!) Valentines

Though I’d heard of it in the past, the first time I really came across Gary Chapman‘s “The Five Love Languages” was when it was discussed on the Happier Podcast last year. I was interested in the idea that each of us expresses love and feels loved in a different way.

The five love languages are:

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch

I’ve recently read the book and it expanded on Chapman’s theory. While it’s focused mostly on romantic relationships, I can see how its applicable in relationships of every other kind.

An example: someone who speaks the love language of acts of service may not appreciate when their partner pays them a compliment in the same way someone who speaks words of affirmation. They might feel much more love out of having the house vacuumed by their partner than they would an extravagant gift.

Basically, we all measure love using different currencies.

For me, I’m a quality time love language kind of gal (and after reading the book, I believe in my pretty serious acts of service bent.) Kevin is also a quality time guy with words of affirmation coming in second. (I suspected both of those and confirmed them with him later.)

The discussion on the podcast was interesting. Both hosts identified words of affirmation as their love language and they proceeded to talk about how it’s probably the easiest love language to be partnered with. I remember exactly where I was exactly when I heard it because I reacted so strongly to their statements. Words of affirmation are anything but easy for me. I measure very low in that love language and, as such, I don’t practice it because I’ve never felt much appreciation for it. (They mentioned on a later podcast that they’d heard from several readers who said what I’d thought and recognized their error in judgment.)

So, what’s your love language, you wonder? First, give it some thought. Ponder the list of love languages and see which one you most closely identify with. Once you’ve given it some thought, take the quiz.

Let me know what your results show. I’ll just be over here celebrating with some quality time with my office today and then hopefully a little tonight with my beau as well.

Family Day 2017

This piece “Family Portrait” is unavailable, but find more from this artist,
Heather Mattoon in her Etsy store

Family Day. An extra day tagged onto a weekend with the intention of having families spend more quality time together and/or having a statutory holiday in February. Depending on whose account you read, Family Day sometimes comes across as an intention that found a date, but more often it seems a date that found an intention – that people felt it was too long between the New Year’s holiday and Easter .

Fun fact: Alberta was the first Canadian province to celebrate Family Day and they did so beginning in 1990. The next province to join then was Saskatchewan, but that wasn’t until 2007!

Also…

BC’s Family Day is celebrated one week earlier than Family Day in the six other Canadian provinces that celebrate it. Initially the Premier had aligned the holiday with the rest of the country, but the decision to designate the holiday for the second Monday in February was determined by a consultation on what BCers preferred. Ever since, the holiday has brought with it great debate and suggestions that it should be changed.

Fortunately, regardless of the origin, many communities have taken the opportunity to develop traditions for celebrating the holiday and, true to the name of the holiday, bringing families together with both each other and with other families. Nothing wrong with that!

We are going to take in a movie and then do some meal prep for the week. Nothing particularly celebratory, but we have a big week ahead so we’re taking advantage of the extra day off in the best way we can.

•••

I woke up around 6am this morning and when I walked into the living room, the clearest blue sky was impossible to ignore, helped along by the moonlight that flooded the room. It was gorgeous.

We’ve started to think of the things that we will miss about this apartment once we have moved and the view is certainly one of them. Also, the fact that we get morning sun in the new place. Here, we had sun from early afternoon straight through until sundown. Switching that around is going to take some getting used to and I’m worried about my garden, but I’m sure it’ll all be wonderful in different ways.

•••

This week we are officially starting our half-marathon training with the intention of preparing for June’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle event. It’s exactly one week after our wedding so I suppose you could call it a honeymoon run (our runnymoon?) We found a sixteen-week program that seemed a perfect compromise between the 24-week (too much!) and 12-week (too little!) options that we’d seen before. I think we’re meeting some friends there and spending the weekend so it’ll be a good way to kick off our marriage…and preparation starts now! Well, tomorrow. Today is a rest day and, I’m not going to lie, I am killing it! Thankfully, things have warmed up here significantly so my treadmill running will be kep to a minimum. (Fingers crossed.)

•••

Last but certainly not least, today is my dear friend Rebecca’s birthday. Oh, the places and things we’ve done/see/talked about over the fifteen years we’ve known one another. We should really write a book. Or at least have a podcast.

Happy birthday, Coconip.
Love, Tip-Tip

Weekend, glorious weekend

This work week was a beast. A real brutal beast. It finished with a fifteen-hour day on Friday and a few hours in the office on Saturday – something I almost never do, but it was unavoidable. That was mostly okay, though, since we were displaced from our apartment for the day anyway because it was being shown to potential new renters (last minute preparation for which was sandwiched in between my 10pm arrival at home on Friday and our trip out to board the cats – thank you to our wonderful vet clinic – first thing in the morning.) Brutal beast. Thankfully Kevin picked up my slack.

He wanted six of these

On the upside: very quiet time in the office – only two people even knew I was there, quick visits with these work friends I never get a chance to really see like normal people because it’s always just work otherwise, a defined out time that allowed me enough opportunity to clear up what was really pressing, but didn’t allow me any leeway when it came to staying longer because I really could have stayed all day and still not caught up…

Something about my personality allows me to (mostly) leave the office behind. Once I walk out the door, I am OUT THE DOOR. I don’t take work home with me or dwell on my task list when I’m not there. (That isn’t to say I don’t catch myself working through creative solutions at random moments when my mind wanders – that totally happens.) I am pretty good at keeping my day job and my life separate.

Polka dot dishes!

So, once Kevin picked me up from the office, we were off to the day’s main event: creating a gift registry! We have signed up for a couple of these and this was the first. We arrived at Bed Bath and Beyond perfectly on time (though I was STARVING) and they were (mostly) prepared for our appointment. It was quite simple – they confirmed our information (we did our first address change!) and handed the scanner over to Kevin. For a couple of hours, we wandered the store and in the end, we scanned about thirty items in total. That was definitely a success considering the only thing I had in mind before we got there was a new set of measuring cups. (But, hey, while I have you I need to choose between food processors – this 7-cup pro model or this 8-cup elemental model? I just know you’re going to have an answer for this one, Lexie. 😉 ) It was a delicate balance between envisioning adding all that cool stuff into our collections and contemplating all the work we have been doing towards decluttering and minimizing. But we had a good time, lots of laughs, agreed on almost everything and went for really good pizza when we were done. 🙂

It’s amazing that the snow that sidelined our trip and caused utter chaos everywhere last weekend is all but a distant memory now. Someone had rolled up balls of snow that were at least as tall as me and even they have melted to almost nothing.

Reading has been my passion these past few days. It’s been all I want to do. If you want to know what I’m reading (spoiler: EVERYTHING), let’s connect on Goodreads.

I also republished this summary of our trip to Las Vegas after I was reminded that it was at exactly this time last year. That was such a fun trip. <3

Today, we’re going to do another registry and fill the rest of the day with one of my favourite things of all – wandering. Also, tomorrow is Family Day here in BC so, YAY, long weekend!

What has been/will be on your agenda this weekend?

The dumbest thing I’ve ever had to google

Okay, this probably isn’t the dumbest thing, but it’s the dumbest that I can remember and am I’m willing to admit to right now.

Today, I googled how to run on a treadmill.

I stand by the legitimacy of my question because I’m an outdoor runner. Or at least I was until all this stupid snow took over. I know that it’s technically possible to run outside right now – I am enthralled by the stories friends are telling of their wintery adventures on the roads or trails – but I am TERRIFIED.

Runners, which do you prefer? Running inside or outside?

Struggling through shin splints and  finding the right shoe last fall was TREACHEROUS. I was in pain/sidelined for a few weeks and it was a real disappointment every single day. I don’t want to end up with an injury especially since I’m wanting to start some serious training soon.

So, now I’m doing something I swore I would never do – learning to run on a treadmill.

I’m scared and I’m sad. Scared – I mean how exactly do you run on a treadmill…for an extended period…without anything to look at…and no breeze? Sad – I love running outside.

It’s a temporary fix, of course, but I’ve started to think of the benefits as well. I’m a terrible pacer so I’m hoping to learn a thing or two about how to keep myself from taking off too quickly or slowing down too much when I shouldn’t. I don’t have to worry about the weather or having a companion when it’s dark (which still feels like practically all the time…)

If you’re interested in learning the same, here’s a great list of 12 Tips for Treadmill Running I found online.

What’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever had to google? Do you have any tips for running on a treadmill? Do you even understand why it might freak me out?

Little wins

Sometimes the little wins are the things you need to focus on to get through the muck and the mire of a regular day. Like when you get presale tickets to see your favourite band on the same day when a friend announces that she is coming to town to spend her birthday weekend at your place.

Happy Wednesday!