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12 September 2011 @ 03:25 pm
After being in school full-time for 3.5 years, this was my first Summer with no educational or professional obligations. I did lots of things like:

-Travelled to Toronto
-Met C's family - they're pretty awesome!
-Travelled to Winnipeg
-Met more of C's family and friends - they're pretty awesome too!
-Went on bike rides, hikes and camping trips
-Attended lots of BBQs
-Went to my first CFL game - gooooooo Ticats!!
-Celebrated my 1 year anniversary with C
-Lost weight
-Gained weight
-Watched way too much TLC - My big fat gypsy wedding, Say yes to the dress, Extreme couponing... the list could go on and on.
-Did the uBrew thing - Cider, Pinot Gris, Shiraz, Czech Pilsner - am slowly turning into a LUSH.
-Gave my roommate 5 months notice - C's moving in this December/January
-Started playing World of Warcraft again - But this time I'm the boss!
-Celebrated the birth of Peter, my newest nephew!
-Made 76 cupcakes for my BFF Claire's birthday
-Hung out in Seattle at a Mariners vs Red Sox game. Boston fans are fun. So is Tear Jerkers Sour Cotton Candy.

I'm sure there is more but at the moment I can't think of anything else to add.

The funny thing is that I am soooo thankful that school is back in session. I seriously missed it! I'm at UBC for the next two semesters and am supposed to be working on my thesis questions and working for my supervisor as her research assistant. Easy peasy!

Life is seriously good and I currently have no complaints. At the moment.
14 April 2011 @ 01:08 pm
Where have I been for the last couple of months? Right here. Enjoying life. It's been a weird semester at school with only one course, but of course, you'd think one course would be easy for an over-achiever. Wrong. I do well under stress. And when I have few distractions. So taking only one course offered no stress, and add a 'Best Boyfriend Ever' to the mix and there goes that idea.

But, in the end, I got through it. Thankfully. Also, I never wrote with an update on my research proposal - it was accepted and I start the thesis part of my program this July. So how am I going to keep busy until then? Let's see...

1. Travel to Toronto to meet C's family.
2. Travel to Winnipeg to meet C's friends (and more family).
3. Paint ceiling.
4. Install trim board.
5. Continue weight loss/lifestyle plan.
6. Spend lots of quality time with C.
7. Play with my kitties.
8. Read.
9. Ride my bike lots.

C and I recently hit our 7 month anniversary. And just as the internet said, this is the point where you really start to learn about each other - you know - those neato interesting things. And once in a while we talk about the future and one day moving in together (but don't worry internet, I've learned my lesson and I'm taking things slow). I told C that I'm scared he'll learn about some of my bad habits, like the one where I like to floss my teeth in front of the TV. He then responded and told me he already knew about that one. WTF? How could he possibly know? I tried to hide it from him. Nope, he had figured it out. Somehow. This makes me wonder as to other bad habits he's picked up on. Basically, his response is that it really doesn't bother him and it really doesn't matter. Yes, yes, I know he's a keeper.

In March C came along on a family vacation. Best time ever. He and I had the best roadtrip, which included lots of seat dancing and twinkies. Once in a while he would make a comment about my driving like "Oh, it's good to see that you're stopping at stop signs again" or "Do not enter means DO NOT ENTER." Please note at no time did I put his life at risk. Ever.

On this family trip, my dad spilled the beans about a secret I had partially been keeping from C. And instead of freaking out, he said that the reality is that we should have no secrets at this stage in our relationship. Of course, I cried, he laughed and we moved on. Again, I feel like the luckiest girl ever. My father told me later that he was sorry and had assumed that C knew. And actually, he said it was a bit of blessing in disguise because he was able to see C's response to the situation - one that he greatly approved of. It's nice having my parent's approval. Finally. Yes, yes, I know I don't need it, and really, I don't need it, but it makes me feel proud to have C as my boyfriend.

The other day I got stressed that I had gained a couple of pounds back. While he was busy in the kitchen, I started to cry. He was beyond confused and did everything he could to console me, which is what I needed. And his emotional help is what helped to get me back on track this week - along with a truck load of willpower. Anyway, I'm one lucky girl all around. I have a great life - even with all it's ups and downs. And these days, it's really only filled with ups.
14 January 2011 @ 09:05 am
The turmoil of 2010 will soon be over, symbolically. First order of business was to get my car back. This finally happened after 9 months. Holy cow, I've been without my car for 9 months! My parents drove down to Kent, Washington to get it yesterday. It was a long day for them. They dropped it off at the dealership and now all I have to do is wait for the repair bill. Finger's crossed. I'm not keeping the car for long though. Though I'd like to think that it's not emotionally triggering, it sort of is... but maybe not.

Secondly, there's the whole business of testifying. That's happening next week. In my head I've chosen to not think about it, just go through the motions and deal with each emotion as they materialize on a case by case basis. I have a strong support system so I'm not worried about falling apart or getting anxious. My biggest dilemma is "What the heck do I wear?"

Thirdly, today I reached an important financial milestone, cleaning up a mess that was left for me. The credit cards are all at zero. I feel like celebrating, but how does one responsibly celebrate this sort of financial freedom? The mess isn't totally cleaned up, but this day marks one of significant progress.


Even with all of the above, I'm finding so many things to be happy about. C, the boyfriend, is pretty gosh darn amazing. We've only just past the 4 month mark, but I've never felt so comfortable and truly compatible with someone. Yesterday while walking home from work, I got really angry (in my head) about all the stuff that happened last year. And then I got angry about the fact that it was making me angry, which made me feel broken. But then I started to think about my present life and the people in it, specifically C, and the fact that I don't feel broken when I'm with him. I feel like I know how to be in a healthy relationship. He is really good for me and he tells me that I am good for him. Did I mention he cooks? Every week. This is not his only admirable attribute, but for some reason I still can't get over the fact that he cooks. And good too! We've also started to make travel plans for the future and it's pretty exciting. I've never made travel plans before with a boyfriend.

School is good and thankfully uneventful. My 'last class ever' is quite linear and predictable. Just waiting to hear back on my research proposal. March or April I think.

And finally, today is the last day of work for my parents. As of tomorrow they are unemployed or retired, depends on how you look at it. My parents realized that they met on Jan. 15th, 1975 - my dad didn't have a single penny in his account and was unemployed and here he is exactly 36 years later and unemployed again. I'm so proud of my parents! Best Parents Ever.
15 December 2010 @ 09:28 am
I'm exhausted.

While I am, for the most part, enjoying my grad school experience, I've never had to work this hard before in my life for something that is nothing more than a piece of paper. As of January 2011, I will have been in school full time for 3 years. WIth only one more course to go (before I begin work on the research portion of my degree) I am overwhelmed by the realization that I am going to have so much freaking time on my hands. I've never only taken 1 course before. It's always been 2 or 3 courses. With lots of commuting. And group projects. And papers.

This last course has math - statistical math. It's a quantitative research course. Luckily, I'm pretty sure C will help me with it. Or maybe I won't need his help. Or maybe I'll just let him help so he feels like he's part of the experience.

Today is significant because it was the application deadline for requesting an internal transfer from a course-based program to a thesis-based one. I just spent the last 4 days writing a research proposal. Holy cow, like, the hardest thing I've ever done. The last time I felt like this was back in October 2007, when I had to write an entrance essay for UFV. Last night after hitting the save button, I started to get all teary and emotional. I guess I hadn't realized that this was a milestone moment of sorts. Or perhaps I was just hormonal.

Anyway, I walked around downtown, being all emo, and then after spending quality time at Winners I headed home where I finally realized I WILL HAVE A LIFE FOR THE NEXT 30 DAYS. Holy crap. You know what this means, right? World of Warcraft. I spent hours installing it last night on both my desktop and my laptop so that when C is busy cooking for me, I can play WoW at his place because for some reason he won't let me install it on his computer. And let's not get started on the PVR restrictions that he has imposed on me too.
Yes, I went with him to the airport on Saturday morning and held back my sad emotions. Really, how selfish of me to be sad when he's going home to visit him family? This is a good thing. I want to be with someone that appreciates family. This is a must have.

But, yes, I'm allowed to miss him. Just a little bit. And I've already 'talked' to him twice so really, I couldn't ask for more. As well, it's going to be a busy week.

Today and tomorrow - research proposal - because really, you only need 2 days to write this, no? HA. Who am I kidding... I'm screwed. At least my prof of choice has signed up to supervise me, IF I'm accepted into the program, and I'm told that this is half the battle.

Wednesday/Thursday - exciting trip to Seattle where I will meet with my lawyer and homeland security. Yes, FUN TIMES. More details to come in January. Maybe.

Friday - Finally World of WARCRAFT. I have the bestest boyfriend in the world - he bought me the expansion pack before he left. He is such an enabler. But I like it!

The weekend will be filled with cookies, poker, and really bad chick flicks that no real man would ever admit to watching. Ha! I'm actually excited about this. See, I've already forgotten that I miss C.

Just kidding. Sort of. Mostly. Maybe.
01 December 2010 @ 08:39 am
So, it seems I can't just count the weeks and say we've been together for 3 months. Oh no. I have to count the actual months. C plays along with my logic but Spadoink puts me in my place and tells me it's not yet three months.

Well, on Sunday it'll be 3 months. And a quick google search tells me that 3 months is an important relationship milestone. Not one that needs to be celebrated, but one where there should be reflection. How are things going? Am I happy? Is he happy? Where are things at?

Am I allowed to reflect before the actual 3 month mark or do I have to wait for the actual day? Or maybe that's all a little too public for this forum. Maybe it's just for me inside my head. I do know I'm very happy about things thus far. Though there are a couple of 'red' flags.

1) Margarine. He uses it. I have no desire to try and 'convert' him. But how can a butter person and a margarine person co-exist in the kitchen? Well, maybe this isn't a huge red flag because he now has butter in his freezer. For when I want to bake. Yes, most girls try to show 'ownership' by leaving a toothbrush and other personal items. Me? I leave butter. Oh. And soon, Vanilla.

2) Football. It's his second job on Sundays, Mondays and some Thursdays. Also, sometimes on Fridays and Saturdays. However, it's only for part of the year. I've never dated someone that watches organized professional sports. And my concern is actually not about the football itself. It's more about the teams he has chosen to cheer on. Dolphins. According to him they suck. According to my dad they suck. Then why the heck did he go to Miami to watch them? And when they were winning on Sunday why was he cheering against them. Yes, there is more to the story. It's called Fantasy Football. I had no idea this crap even existed. And now it's starting to infiltrate my life. And fine, I'll admit, football is actually fun to watch. In small amounts. OH! And he tests me on the team names/cities/states. Is it really supposed to be this much work?

3) Bowling. I just found out that he doesn't like 5 pin bowling and prefers 10 pin bowling. Actually, I bet if he had his way, bowling would only exist on the Wii and XBox Kinect. Nowhere else. I'm still processing this piece of news. I'm not sure how I feel about things yet.

4) Bacon. Yeah. He prefers breakfast sausage. OVER BACON. Is that normal? There must be something wrong with him. Everyone likes bacon. A lot. What does he think he is - Jewish? (Hahaha - wouldn't my mom love that). Again, I only found this out over the weekend. I'm hoping this won't be a dealbreaker. Because... I LOVE BACON. A lot.

I'm hoping this list continues to grow. Because it means I'm getting to know him better and better. And that's the most important thing.
17 November 2010 @ 09:15 am
I met him at the airport upon his return from Miami. As soon as I saw him I couldn't stop grinning. Yup, I'm a little smitten, but I'm pretty sure he is too. Not only did he send me a text before he left, while he was there, and then as soon as he landed... he bought me the most awesome, tacky, personalized souvenirs ever. A shot glass - even though he knows that I don't really drink. But it had my name on it, so he felt compelled. And then a keychain that blinks my name in purple/pink. I LOVE IT! Best boyfriend ever.

Four days apart was doable... but he's heading back east for 16 days in December. Yeah, I wonder what that's going to be like. TORTURE. Also, I packed him a super girlie lunch today. Though, I think it could have been more girlie. I'll have to try harder next time.
17 November 2010 @ 09:08 am
A couple of weeks ago I went to my professor-now-friend's home for dinner along with my ex-at-school-boyfriend and his wife. Somehow we stumbled onto the subject of my parents. Both L and K have almost no relationship with one or both of their parents and as they spoke about their parents my heart broke. And then they started to comment on my relationship with my mom and dad - that they have created a strong foundation for their kids and that they are just the 'right' kind of supportive parents. They also said that they had no idea what to expect upon meeting my parents, but once they did, they seemed to understand me and my craziness better. I've never taken my parents for granted, but I've also never thought of them and their parenting skills in this way.

And now, as an adult, I am so thankful for the relationship we have - one that we've had to work hard to build. They were there for me while I tried to figure out school, life, and love. They were there when I fell out of love, fell back into school and onwards. My mom is the first person I call when I have something to share. My dad is the first person I call when I need advice. And what have I given in return? Perhaps not as much as I should. The one thing I know my parents need from me (though they perhaps have never verbalized this) is time and patience. Being totally present is something that they totally deserve.

The following day, I was yet again reminded how great I have it with my parents. It was the infamous "Meet my parents" event for C. And it went so well, I mean, as well as it could have gone for the first meet. Again, C played it smart and told me that I have great parents (yeah, he's a keeper - but not just because of this). Geez, I really need to stop taking them for granted.

I spent this past Saturday with my dad at a train show. Just him and me. And it was lovely. I don't often get to spend time with him in that manner, and now that I don't travel out to Abbotsford as much as I used to (for school), this one-on-one time is even more special. We talked about everything over udon noodle soup. I want more days like this.
09 November 2010 @ 08:47 am
I've been having a lot of success with this whole weight loss thing. And people are noticing this success and asking me how I'm doing it. Three components. That's it. And the funny thing is that I've been hearing about these three magical components for years. There is no magical pill or special diet. It's all about realism.

Activity - I don't want to call this 'exercise' because the reality is that you don't have to go to the gym and sweat for hours. You have to find a way to fit activity into your life. For me, it's all about practicality. I've been without a car since May (not by choice) and it was the perfect excuse to add activity to my life. After a day at work, there's nothing like my walk home. I look forward to it. I get to listen to my music, I get to wear runners, I get to be in the sun. Yes, there are days that I don't want to walk home, but all I have to do is think about how great I will feel (mentally and physically) after this walk. Also, am I not worth 40 - 50 minutes of activity? And then I have a couple of video games that I 'play' when I'm in the mood: EA Sports and the Just Dance series. However, I'm a little nervous about walking home all winter long and *may* join a gym for the short term. I don't want to self-sabotage my success thus far!

Accountability - Losing weight comes down to simple math. I know that I need 1670 calories to keep just my body going. Breathing, brain function, muscle function, etc. That's called your BMR or Basal Metabolic Rate. http://www.bmrcalculator.org/ I know that if I exercise I will need more calories in order to maintain my current weight. However, in my case, I want to lose weight, so my calories intake should be less, depending upon my own personal goals. In order to lose a pound, I need to find a way to burn/cut 3500 calories over a set period of time. Though I like math, I'm too busy to keep up with it all so I use http://www.myfitnesspal.com/ which is like Facebook but for weightloss. So, I swear I have a point... the idea is that if you are super honest with yourself in terms of the calories you are taking in and you are super honest with yourself in terms of activity then, the math will work out, you will have a caloric deficit and you will lose weight.

No Dieting - This is not a diet. I don't diet. Here's what I ate yesterday:

Coffee with REAL sugar and 2% milk.
Full Fat yogurt (4%)
Kashi Bar with coconut and chocolate
Lindt Swiss chocolate with hazelnuts and blueberries(10 squares)
Large slice of Ham and Pineapple Pizza
Pasta with tomato sauce covered in cheese baked in the oven until golden (Soooo good)
Multigrain chips
Glass of milk
3 oreo cookies
1 litre of water

Yes, I know it's not balanced and I should be eating more veggies. But yesterday I had cravings. And so I listened to those cravings and made myself accountable for everything I ate. And I enjoyed everything I ate. And I felt no guilt about what I ate. These foods don't make you fat, when eaten in reasonable portions. Heck, I could eat X number of twinkies in a day and still lose weight: http://www.geekosystem.com/twinkie-diet/ I will admit that I'm still pretty scared of cheese... but I'm working on this and trying to eat more cheese because a) I love cheese b) Logically, I know that cheese won't make me gain weight.

I'm hoping to meet my 7 week goal tomorrow for a total loss of 47lbs. According to the math, this could totally happen.