Friday, April 30, 2010

Faithful Friday: Ongoing Conversion

I never got around to posting last Friday, so this is a double whammy.

The previous week at RCIA we were to bring our favorite prayer to be put into a book that we will all receive late as a keepsake. Our class consisted of reading the prayer we brought and then signing it, giving it to the person who was going to bind them into a book.
We sang a few hymns and clapped for everyone who shared. It was very relaxing and and a fun evening.

This week I didn't go to class (gasp!). I know I'm horrible. I was having a very high anxiety day and had to sit in my car for 15 minutes after getting off the train before I was capable of driving home. Not a good way to start the evening, so I opted to stay home. I enjoyed my evening and I don't think I missed a whole lot. The topic was Ministries. Various people were going to give talks on their ministry and urge us to sign up.

I'm all for giving my time to the Church. Right now I don't have any. Someday, when I have the time to make the best of the opportunies I will be apart of a ministry. At that point I will ask questions about them and decide from there.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

22/25: Diary of a Mad Bride

Diary of a Mad BrideDiary of a Mad Bride was interesting and scary all at the same time. I am planning a wedding myself and at the beginning of the book I kept saying 'I've said that', 'I've done that'. This was definitely good to read early in the planning process. I know there will be certain things I will try to avoid.
Amy is an interesting character. She goes from anti-wedding chick to "the bride". I feel for her and her struggle between her job, her wedding, her fiancé, and their families.
It was nice to see however, that even if a lot went wrong, everything turned out in the end and she realized that even though it was 'the biggest day of her life', she ends up realizing it's only one day out of the rest of their lives.

Things I learned:
  1. Involve your fiancé. He does actually have an opinion and does care.
  2. Everything won't go right, and that's ok.
  3. Ask for help! You can't do it alone.
I hope that I don't turn into 'one of THOSE brides'.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

21/25: The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty

The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty is written by Ann Rice under the pen name A.N. Roquelaure. It's an erotica novel. On the Nest Book Club forum, we have a chance each month to sign up and be paired up with a fellow nestie and read a book together over the month. My buddy and I both had this book on our to-read list and decided to read it.
The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty
In the traditional folk tale "Sleeping Beauty," the spell cast upon the lovely young princess and everyone in her castle can only be broken by the kiss of a Prince. Anne Rice's retelling of the Beauty story probes the unspoken implications of this lush, suggestive tale by exploring its undeniable connection to sexual desire.

This was the first erotica novel (other than a few Harlequin novels) that I've ever read. Wow was I in for a shock. The back of the book says "Beauty is awakened by the Prince, not with a kiss, but with sexual initiation." Let's start by saying that this book focuses primarily on the S&M side of sex. I had a hard time at the beginning getting through this without thinking 'what kind of kingdom is this?'

I will admit that reading the first few chapters had me blushing and having to put it down before I got to hot and bothered. After that, the novelty wore off. The naked slaves became a normal occurance, and I became desensitized to it all. The story line was very simple. As part one of a trilogy, Beauty is introduced to being a slave for the Prince and must learn to be obedient and disciplined. She struggles with this greatly, but learns quickly what can happen if she doesn't follow orders.

The writting itself was good. Ann Rice has a way of writing that doesn't delve into too much detail and allows you to visualize easily what is going on. It was also very easy to read. It did not take me long to get through this one.

I am still undecided if I will continue with the series. I am the kind of person that needs more romance and love. The other two books in the series are:
Beauty's Punishment (Sleeping Beauty)Beauty's Release: The Conclusion of the Classic Erotic Trilogy of Sleeping Beauty

Therapy Tuesday: Prolotherapy #2

I'm actually posting this entry on Wednesday since I forgot yesterday, but nonetheless.

Last Friday I had my second treatment of prolotherapy.
I was all ready to drive to the clinic when I realized after my treatment my hand falls completely asleep and useless. I drive a standard. I had to get Frenchie to come with me so he could drive home. Being the type of guy he is, he wanted to see the treatment. (He watched my laser eye surgery too). Frenchie was shocked by the size of the needle. He couldn't believe that amount of liquid would go into such a small area of my forearm.

The Dr. and I discussed my symptoms and pain level from the previous week. I told him that I lasted half a day longer on my pain level. He said that was an improvement, also reminding me it is a slow process and it will take some time. I had the same effect from the treatment. Hand was completely asleep by the time we got to the car.

By Tuesday night, I wasn't at all worried about my wrist being sore for pole class. That's an improvement again. The first treatment put me to Tuesday around noon without much pain. This time, I've lasted until Wednesday morning. That's an improvement and success in my mind.

I will be going for treatments now every two weeks. Hopefully the next update will be better!

Wedding Wednesday: Caterers, Dress and Diary of a Mad Bride

This past weekend when Frenchie was home, we went through a list of caterers and narrowed down from 5 to 3. I emailed those three requesting quotes and a larger menu selection. All of their websites said email for more selection. Annoying, but ok, I get you don't want your entire menu and prices online for the whole world to see and compare to.

As of Monday, I got one quote back. $6000 for the food and servers for 130 people. Keep in mind we are doing a buffet. I nearly choked! Needless to say, I spent the evening Monday and Tuesday emailing more caterers and getting more quotes. So far I've gotten some much more reasonable quotes, with more bang for the buck.

I'm hoping by the end of this week we will have a better idea of how much food is going to cost and how close it will fit to our budget. We should be able to pick one and meet with them over the next couple weekends Frenchie is home.

This weekend my mom and dad are coming up to see me try on the dress I want and help pay for it. I am so excited!! I haven't tried any on since I found that one, but I also haven't given the other two I liked any thought.

Diary of a Mad BrideI borrowed a book from my sister called Diary of a Mad Bride. It fits perfectly into one of the tasks in the SBC but I also thought it would be fitting to read as I am a bride-to-be. So far the book is very funny. The character Amy has been dating Stephen for a year. Her best friend is getting married and said friend and her fiancé are bugging Amy about when her and Stephen will tie the knot.
Needless to say, she gets engaged and now needs to plan a wedding. I'm not that far in, but the quote that strikes me is this:
"How hard can this be?"
I said those words. I didn't think it would be that hard. I'm finding out first hand that planning a wedding is a large endeavor and should not be taken lightly.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Therapy Tuesday: On The Pole

For the next 4 weeks I'm continuing to assist in a level 4 class. I'm trying very hard to learn and figure out how to teach a move properly and what advice I can give the students. I'm enjoying the learning process. I do feel a little lost sometimes and am certain that myself and the instructor of the class have different ways of teaching. It's good for me to see how someone else would teach it. I'm able to listen to their instructions, and then add my own.

We were working on a move that I myself have not gotten consistently yet. That makes it difficult to teach. The wrist sit is my nemesis move. I can get it sometimes, but most of the time I fail. The students all struggled with it. I told them it's a tough one and it will be one they will need to work on for a while.

The plank was also a move they got introduced to. This move is a foundation move. It leads into so many others and really gets your body used to being horizontal on the pole. Not a normal feeling.

(Pictures courtesy of PoleJunkies)

In my own class following the level 4, I got over a brain-block. Or at least I started to. I've had a problem transitioning out of the superman back into the gemini hook. When I was learning the superman, I didn't get my hips down far enough once and nearly hit my face square with the pole as I fell forwards. Not a good feeling. Thankfully I didn't, but the feeling has stayed in my sub-concious. My instructor helped me get over that a little last night. She supported my torso and made me feel more comfortable. I knew she would catch me if I was in any danger. I did the move several times and got a little better at it. Hopefully I will be able to practice a little more on this and get over it fully.

Therapy Tuesday: Frustrations

I am frustrated with a lot of things in my life right now.
  • Frenchie is away for longer than we expected. His contract at his current job has been extended. No idea for how long. He was supposed to be done at the beginning of June, but that's going to happen anymore.
  • I'm lazy. When I started this blog, it was all about following my fitness goals and having a place to put my goals, trials, successes and thoughts I haven't been to the gym since September 2009. I'm afraid to hurt myself, but I'm also afraid of the way my jeans are starting to fit, my lingerie is looking and thinking it's time I do some squats or start dancing more.
  • Anxiety. It pops up at the worst moments. Right before a meeting (one that I only have to sit in with 200 other people and listen). On the train on my way home. On the train on my way to work. In my RCIA class. Randomly throughout the day. I need to start tracking my symptoms better. I'm a firm believer in patterns so if I notice one, I should be able to prep myself accordingly and hopefully midigate the effects.
I'm not in a good place right now, and certainly not wanting to focus on the good things in my life. Right now I want to look at everything that sucks. Once I feel satisfied that I've found everything in my life that is awful, I will feel better and be on the upswing.  I know for sure I'm not nearly as down as I was several weeks ago. I know this well will not be nearly as deep as the last one. Things in general are better than before, I just can't help buy look at the negatives. I'm a pessimist. I fully admit it and accept it.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Manic Monday: Dog Park, Pubs, and Movies

Beta took 3 trips to the dog park this weekend. She even met my coworkers dog who happened to be there.
Friday she got bowled over by a dalmation of some sort, but then a Japanese Mastiff defended her. It was really cute. The VERY large dog stook infront of her when the dalmation came running at her again.
Saturday/Sunday she played with smaller dogs, more her size. It was so great to see her playing. She would even go up to people, but of course, if they looked at her, she ran back to us. I was so impressed how close she stayed to us. Frenchie said Beta has a 20 yard radius before she comes running back. She came when we called her, she ran after the ball and brought it back when we asked her to. I'm such a proud fur-momma!

A friend of mine had her birthday last week. So to celebrate, her and I went for pedicures. It was wonderful! My toes look like the color of the aliens in Avatar. (We joked the color should be called Ava-toe)
So to celebrate with more people, we went to a pub Saturda night. It was nice to spend the evening with great friends, Frenchie and great food. The pub we went to is called The District. They are a micro-brewery, and they smoke their own bacon. For an appetizer, we ordered a bucket of bacon. How random! But SO GOOD! It's a little bucket, probably a pint size.

Date Night - read the review here
Zombie Land - read the review here

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Movie Review (6): Zombie Land

Rules Rules Rules! I love his Rules!
This movies starts out with the main character going through a set of Rules for Zombie Land.
Things like: Don't be a hero. Beware of bathrooms. Cardio. Always wear your seatbelt.
It shows in detail why these rules are in place. I watched the intro, and was hooked. Gory, funny violence was a must after the day I had.
The movie itself is completely ridiculous and pointless. The USA is taken over by zombies and there are a few living humans left. Plot: Drive across the country to see if there's anyone else alive.

I laughed. I thought it was ridiculous. I thought it was entertaining. Not much else to say about it. Definitely a rental.

Movie Review (5): Date Night

Synopsis: Phil and Claire Foster are a couple who have been married for several years. Their days consists of them taking care of their children and going to work and coming home and going to bed. But they find time to have a date night wherein they go out and spend some time together. When another couple they know announce that they're separating because they're in a rut, Phil feels that he and Claire could be too. So when date night comes Phil decides to do something different. So they go into the city and try to get into a new popular restaurant. But when it's full and still wanting to do this, Phil decides to take the reservation of a couple who doesn't show up. While they're having dinner two men approach them and instructs them to stand up and go with them. They think the men are with the restaurant and want to talk to them about taking someone else's reservation. But it appears the couple whose reservation they took crossed someone and the two men work for this person. The men are after something, but whatever it is they don't have it.

My Review: I am not a Steve Carell fan. I do not watch The Office and I haven't found his movies particularily funny. I do like Tina Fey, and loved her on Saturday Night Live. This movie made my stomach hurt from laughing, even the next day! It was hilarious! The plot was funny, and typical of a couple who've been married for a long while, have kids, and the romance is dying. To try something completely different to put some romance back in and have it go so horribly wrong... A nice couple ends up in so much trouble and by trying to fix it, make things worse. I loved how they were so cute together, and they completely understood where the other one was going. They were in tune with each ones crazy ideas.
I must say though that Mark Wahlberg being shirtless for ALL of his scenes wasn't too bad either ;)
Without spoiling the show, here is my favorite line that I just have to share.
Steve Carell to Mark Wahlberg:
"And would you please, for the love of God, put a f$%*ing shirt on!"
Frenchie and I were quoting the movie the entire way back to our house and into the next day. Definitely buying this one on DVD.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

My Fiancé

I am tired of writing the phrase in my blogs, and I don't want to give out his real name. So instead, I will use the word "Frenchie" It's his hockey nickname, and fitting since he is French.
Just thought I'd post this incase anyone gets confused about who "Frenchie" is.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

20/25: The Thirteenth Tale

The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel
The Thirteenth Tale.
All children mythologize their birth. . . . So begins the prologue of reclusive author Vida Winter's beloved collection of stories, long famous for the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale. The enigmatic Winter has always kept her violent and tragic past a secret. Now old and ailing, she summons a biographer to tell the truth about her extraordinary life: Margaret Lea, a young woman for whom the secret of her own birth remains an ever-present pain.

Disinterring the life she meant to bury for good, Vida mesmerizes Margaret with the power of her storytelling. Hers is a tale of gothic strangeness, featuring the Angelfield family -- including the beautiful and willful Isabelle, and the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline -- a ghost, a governess, and a devastating fire. Struck by a curious parallel between their stories, Margaret demands the truth from Vida, and together they confront the ghosts that have haunted them.

I really liked listening to this novel. It was fast, kept my interest and I really fell into the story. I was taken in by the characters and the mystery. The story took twists and turns, went forwards and then would suddenly jump backwards whe Margaret would find a flaw and call Ms. Winters on it. I thought the narration was great, and for my first audio book, I was happy the voice did not annoy me.

The only thing that bugged me about this book was a few bits at the end. There were some characters brought in that weren't ever present throughout the rest of the book, and didn't make any sense to me. It felt rushed to me at the end to wrap things up.

All in all, I really enjoyed listening to this, and I feel like I would have very much enjoyed reading this novel.

In Honour of Earth Day, I listening to this book rather than read it.  5 Points for me!

Movie Review (4): "Whip It"

I finally got around to watching this movie. I loved it!
I have a friend who is on a roller derby team, and I've never quite understood the draw to it. On the other hand, she doesn't understand my draw to pole either. After seeing this movie, I get it. I totally get the joy and the fun and the blood and sweat behind roller derby and what makes her love it so much.

Ellen Page did a wonderful job in her role as "Babe Ruthless". She was a believable character. Young, 17 years old and looking for something to help her forget her life.

This movie certainly did not make me want to strap on some roller skates and join a team, but I would love to go and see a bout some day.

One of the things that struck me about this movie was how it didn't end like every chick flick does. I won't give the ending away, but just say it was refreshing. It was real and not fairy-tale.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wedding Wednesday: DJ

Friday my fiancé and I are signing our DJ! We found one we liked and for a fabulous price. Check!
We have the option to have the guy as involved or not as we want. I'm going to take full advantage of this and use the DJ as a time keeper. He will make the announcements for our entrance into the hall, the first dance, Father/Daughter, Mother/Son dance, cake cutting, supper, etc. Rather than hire a Day of Coordinator to do this, I will pass it on to a vendor. I know I will be way to busy visiting and dancing to keep track of time, so having a schedule we can give him will be very important and less stressful for a family member to take care of.

I've started looking at decorations since I can do that without going a meeting with anyone. I think this weekend we might take an hour and go to a warehouse that has decorations set up for you to view. No meeting required, just go.

Caterers.. the bane of my existence right now. I want to book one so badly, but can't find the time to meet with one! It is going to be June before we decide and can meet with anyone, and I fear that is getting too late in this city. Everything books up so quickly!  This weekend I will sit down with the MacBook (or the weddingBook as I call it) and look through the sample menus we have. Then decide what it is we want and contact the various places for prices.

Day of Coordinators. A lot of the other brides on my planning forum are getting one of these. It's a person that you meet with prior to your day about timing, your vendors and how the day will go. On the day of the wedding, the DoC will make sure every thing runs smootly. The vendors are paid and there ontime. The decorations are set up and to the specs we want. All in all, very useful. I asked one decorating company to give me a quote. $1100 for a day?!!!?!! Are you nuts? I think we can do with out. At least the reception will be taken care of, and I'm hoping our photographer will be on the ball with timing. As for the ceremony, I am a habitual 'on time' person, and by on-time, I mean 15 minutes early. I truly hope I am ontime for the wedding. My fiancé said he'd be very surprised if I wasn't there early.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Therapy Tuesday: On the pole

I had my first class of Level 10 tonight as well as my first class of assistant teaching.
When I got to class, I was under the impression that I would be observing the level 4 class and somewhat helping out. To my surprise I got to lead the warm ups! And then I got to assist teach!

There were 4 students and they were very fun. I got to help them get into the Cross-knee release (see picture courtesy of That moves requires you to trust yourself. It hurts to get into, but once you commit to it, the pain goes away. The problem is, you have to commit to arching back and trusting your legs will hold you. That's a hard one for everyone the first few times they try it. I felt very proud when all 4 of them got it!
Then the instructor and I had them work on their basic inverts. That was good and fun. I learned a thing or two as well so another bonus.

I was so happy that I got to actually assist. It was so fun!

After the assisting class, I had my own dance class. Level 10.  I asked our instructor what we'd be learning and she said all non-chalantly "Candlestick" (see picture courtesy of I told her "no." hahaha She laughed and said "yep. Prepare to be sore in the morning"

I didn't get the move, and I thought all the way home about it. I believe it's a hand position issue on why I can't hold myself up in the position correctly. I will have to work on that this weekend and see if I'm right.

Therpy Tuesday: Prolotherapy #1

Last Friday was my first treatment of prolotheraphy. I posted Thursday about my wrist issues and that I was going to try a new treatment other than physiotherapy and massage.

I had a 30 minute session with the Naturopath and got 6 injections which is about 10 ml of fluid into the tendons. He found the problem is not my wrist, but my forearm. He pushed on the spot with his thumb that he thought might be the problem and was right. Ouch! That's where the injections went in. Just below my elbow in the forearm. The serum goes into the tendons that attach the muscle to the elbow. The serum contains a local anasthetic. For the first hour after the injection I had little to no use of my right hand. Signing my payment slip was interesting, and trying to dig my bus pass out of my pocket was funny.

According to research and my confident doc, I should be pain free after 4 to 6 treatments. There is an 80 85% success rate. I nearly cried when he said 'pain free'. After 5 years, I don't know what that would feel like! I truly hope that this works. I asked him questions about what I can/cannot do while getting treatment. His only do nots were icing it, and taking an anti-inflammatory. I asked if I needed time off the computer: No. I asked if I should refrain from dance: No. He said I could go back to lifting weights when the treatments are finished!
The first day and half after the first treatment was painful. I felt like my pain was at it's worst. That's expected and I was told that would happen. After some heat before going to bed Friday night, it felt better in the morning. It's now Tuesday and after a day of work I feel ok. It's not better by any means, but getting there. It feels weak and tired and swollen. Part of the healing process.

I really hope this works!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Manic Monday: This is my "I miss you face"

I went down to the basement to check if my cd had finished burning. When I walked back up the stairs, this is what I found at the top.

Beta and I spent the weekend together. She learned 'fetch', how to walk on the leash better, and how to cross a bridge. She also met a sprinkler. One of those 'laughing' ones. At first she was freaked out by it, but then became curious. She got within 3 feet of it, which I'd say it pretty darn good. I was so proud of her!

Saturday she came with me to my sisters and was chased and played with by my nieces. They can both say her name really well so it was fun to see them playing with her. She slept the entire evening after we got home from supper.

Sunday we got up early and I braved the off-leash dog park that's near our house.  Beta didn't go off-leash but maybe this weekend when my fiancé is home we'll try it. She did very good saying hello to the other dogs. I found out she's not fond of the river, so we'll work on that. I think if I'm standing in the water with treats, she might come in.

Once she was tired from the park in the morning, I headed off to a pedicure with my friend for her birthday. It was a wonderful time following be a delicious breakfast. And I have pretty toes! The woman giving me the pedicure asked if I was an athlete of some sort. "Soccer player?" "Uh no, I pole dance. I'm always in bare feet." "Oh, that's different." Just do the feet and make them pretty will yah?

I took Beta again for a walk to the dog park, this time in the middle of the afternoon on a hot Sunday. There were a ton of dogs. She was very wary at first, but then wanted to say hi to them all. Still on the leash for this go around, but she was getting much better. We continued training with fetch back at the house and then she slept the evening away. The above picture is her telling me it's time to go to bed and why am I going downstairs... again.

Friday, April 16, 2010

19/25: Vampire Diaries: The Awakening

The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening (Paperback)I picked this book up from the library because I love the TV show. This was a very quick read. I didn't find the characters engaging. Elena seemed to switch characters halfway through. What started out as a 'man hunter' ended up being a 'girl infatuated'. I thought there wasn't enough story to back up the dialogue. things moved really fast and I feel like I was missing information. I realize it is a YA novel, I've just read better ones. Perhaps I'm tired of the vampire craze. I was expecting better things from it based on how good the show is.

This book counts towards the SBC task of Read a book in a series.

Unfortunately, I won't be continuing the series. I'll stick to the TV show.

Faithful Friday: Meditation

In Wednesday's class this week we looked at how to develop a life of prayer. We focused on meditation and sitting quietly to listen to God. I've never been any good at meditating. I dislike yoga. My nature is to feel music, to be active and meditating/yoga doesn't make me feel that way.

Our catechist for the evening wanted us to go through a meditation. It was supposed to be 20 minutes, but we ran out of time and did 14. Those were the longest 14 minutes I've ever sat through. Needless to say, I was trying very hard not to bolt about halfway through, and trying very hard not to burst into tears. It was excrutiating to sit there that long. When the 14 minutes were up I got up immediately and asked my friend sitting next to me to start talking about anything. Just talk. She started talking about her wedding and that helped a ton! I listened and felt better in a few minutes.

Needless to say, meditation is not for me. I realize that many people would say meditation will improve over time, but I'm a person that doesn't WANT to meditate. I don't feel this burning need to do it. It's not me. "Meditation will help improve your panic symptoms" "It will help reduce stress". Thanks but no thanks. Anything that causes me more stress and causes me to get closer to having another panic attack is not helpful. I don't need that in my life. I don't need to work through it. I have other ways to reduce stress that are much more enjoyable. I would rather put on a song and dance for the 14 minutes and feel better that way.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Naturopath - Prolotherapy

I have had wrist problems for about 5 years now and it seems to come and go. Lately there's been less 'go'.
I have been in physiotheraphy every 1 - 3 months (depending on my pain level) for the past 3 years. I go for regular massage therapy every 1 - 2 months.  I've been told many things. It's carpal tunnel. It's a repetitive strain injury. It's stress related. My neck, shoulders and back are so tight it's pinching the nerves down into my wrist. Whatever it is, it's not getting better, it's not going away.

I'm 25 years old. I can barely hold my 6 month old niece for more than 5 minutes before my wrist gives out and I have to put her down. I don't have my own children yet, but I sure as hell want to be able to hold them when I do. I can barely hold onto my mouse to use the computer by mid-work day. I'm young. I have a long life ahead of me and not being able to use my hands properly is a very scary thought. At this point, I fear nothing will make me better. I'm tired of being massaged and poked with accupuncture needles. It's not painful to have treatment, I'm just annoyed that something that worked a year ago for a while, isn't cutting it anymore.

Everyone says it's related to dance. It's not. I know this for 3 reasons.
  1. I wasn't pole dancing 5 years ago when it first started. I've only been dancing for 2 years.
  2. I had a lot of wrist pain by Tuesday morning this week and had not touched the pole since the previous week. Why would the pain creep up a week later?
  3. I can go to IPC and dance for 6 hours both days and not have pain. Yes, there is some inflamation, but you'd get that from any sport if you did it long enough. At that point, my wrist is not pained, it's just tired and weak.
My physiotherapist yesterday told me I should try prolotherapy. She recommended I go see a naturopath as they do this sort of treatment. It's covered by benefits thank goodness. I have my first appointment tomorrow morning.
I should probably explain prolotherapy a little. I don't know a lot about it, other than it's new, and is supposed to be great for joint-related issues. I will know more tomorrow but for now, you can go and learn more about it. Prolotherapy

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wedding Wednesday: Guest lists

After the suggestions I got from my readers last week, I emailed my parents and future-in-laws with our preliminary guest list. I asked for suggestions, addresses and if we missed anyone very important.

My mom got back to me the next day. She is going to check with a few family members to see if they are going to come or not. It was nice to get a message back so quickly. Now I just have to wait on the in-laws to get back to us. I know they are both very busy and have guests this weekend. I gave them 1 month to get back to us. That should be plenty of time.

Thanks for all your suggestions, I told my fiancé what the plan was and he thought it was very forward of me. I told him I didn't care since we can't really book a caterer without knowing better what our numbers will be. He was quiet after that in thought, but then agreed and asked if I'd extend the deadline to a month instead of a couple weeks. Compromise!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Blog Award!

Thank you to Kate over on Whimsical, Whamsical, Whumsical. I enjoy her blog a lot.

I'm glad you enjoy my blog! I started it for my friends who are in other places to keep up on my life and it's snowballed into a big part of my every day life.

Blogs I love:
That's Life...
Amanda's Life Commentary
The Sweet Life

Therapy Tuesday: Off the Pole

I've been feeling a lot less stressed out lately now that my week of busyness right before Easter is done, and things are back to 'normal' (can't be completely normal with my fiancé gone, but close enough). I've started taking Beta to doggy daycare every day. They were completely understanding of my situation and since she is only 4 months old, they suggested I bring her daily. She's far too young to be in the house alone all day.

Although my evenings are now very quiet because she sleeps off her days of playing, it's nice that I can enjoy some me time after a long day of work. It's been so much more relaxing and stress free! I feel like I'm missing out on a lot with Beta since she sleeps while I'm home, but we have the weekends together and those are a blast. A good chunk of bonding and training happens on the weekends.

I'm feel like loneliness is starting to settle in more than before. With Beta sleeping the evenings away, the house is eerily quiet. I sit and read, watch some tv, organize things around the house, but it's not satisfying. There's some thing, or in this case, someone missing. My fiancé left Monday again to head back to work and these first two days have been the longest yet. It's hard, and getting harder without him.

Potentially there are only 3 more shifts he has to go up north for. Potentially.... The idea is that he goes up there for 3 months, and at the end of it, they have work for him back in Calgary. I'm not holding my breath that he'll be back in June permanently. Our economy and the work for his type of job is poor right now. There aren't a lot of jobs available for him. I'm praying that it's only another 3 shifts, but in the pit of my stomach, I know it's more than that.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Manic Monday: Steak, Crab legs and Movie Review (3)

This weekend my fiancé was home for his 3 days off. He leaves today. :(

Thursday night he usually gets in at 9pm but he didn't arrive until 11pm. We had a freak snow storm that lasted for a few hours causing the airport he was at to be delayed since they wouldn't have been able to land at the Calgary Airport. Our major highway was shut down for a few hours so people were stuck getting out or coming into the city. He finally arrived and it was so wonderful to see him safe and sound.

Friday we went to "Clash of the Titans" in 2D. We'd heard the 3D version wasn't worth seeing. I rate it 1 star. It was awful. The graphics weren't all that great. I knew the story beforehand, so there was no surprise on the lack of plot. I just felt there was something lacklustre about the whole thing. If you want to see this movie, rent it. It's not worth the movie to go see it on the big screen

Saturday I had my first staff meeting for my new part time job. Don't be confused, I have a full time job and it's good, but I also love pole and want to start getting into it more. Starting next week, I will be an assistant instructor in training (not sure that's the proper title, but it works). I have three 6-week sessions that I will be observing and learning long side an instructor and an assistant instructor. There will be an evaluation at the end of each 6 weeks to determine where I am in my training. Once I'm done the 18 weeks of training, I will most likely become an assistant, but it entirely depends on what the owner (my instructor) has in store for me. I'm looking to get the experience and to get more pole time.

Sunday my fiancé and I went to The Keg for steak and crab legs. It was delicious! I had a larg glass of wine, and a lot of food. I went home full and tired.

It was a very short weekend and I wish we had more time together. Another 10 long days ahead.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

18/25: Olive Kitteridge - Elizabeth Strout

Olive Kitteridge (Later Printing Edition)
I read this book as part of the SBC for the "Read a Pulizter Prize winner" task.
I got 15 points for this one!
I don't have a lot to say for this book. I didn't like it, and it was a struggle to get through. I found the main character, Olive very annoying and irritating. To me she is the classic old woman, who talks about everyone else and isn't very nice. I just couldn't get through this in one sitting. I had to read other books at the same time just to get through it.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Faithful Friday: Confirmation Photos

As promised, here are some pictures of my confirmation at the Easter Vigil, April 3, 2010

The Altar. They had beautiful flowers set up.
Lighting my candle for the Renewal of Baptismal Vows. For the meaning of the symbols go to this post: Faithful Friday: My decorated candle
Profession of Faith. Here we recited the Nicene Creed. I had to mumble through it since I don't have it memorized. In Mass, we always say the Apostle's Creed which is the shorter version.
Being annointed with the Chrism.
I am officially confirmed at this point!
Right after Confirmation my sister snapped a photo of my sponsor and I.
She has been beside me for the last year and half and never lost faith in me. She has been a true inspirtion, a great friend, and someone I hope will remain an important person in my life. I couldn't have asked for someone better to jouney with me.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

17/25: Wake by Lisa McMann

5 stars!
I started and finished this book within 24 hours. I had to force myself to put it down when I got to work in the morning, after I had finished my lunch and before I went to bed.

Wake (Wake Series, Book 1)Wake is about Janie, a high school girl with a big secret. She gets pulled into the dreams of those sleeping near her, helpless to do anything but watch. It's a young-adult paranormal romance. I hadn't expected to read it but a co-worker lent it to me saying she read all three books in teh series in a couple days. I couldn't get enough of it. The characters are believable in the way they talk to each other. Their emotions are true for what you would expect for characters in high school.

Janie is a character that has triumphed over a bad home life, keeping a secret from everyone she knows, and working towards a life that will take her away from the one she has. I like her as the main character and intend to read more about her in the next two books. She's not a whiney teenager, she's a tough one who sucks it up feeling lost but able to survive.

The concept of her being in other people's dreams is cool. I haven't read a book like that before and the storyline kept me interested. She develops and learns about herself and how to control her ability throughout the book, making you root for her the whole way through.

I would recommend this book to anyone who needs a book they can start and finish in a short amount of time. It's very enjoyable and pulled me in right from the beginning.

This book counts for the SBC towards the 10 point task "Read a book set in high school or college"

The next books in the Wake Trilogy are Fade  and  Gone.
Fade (Wake Series, Book 2) (Wake Trilogy)Gone (Wake Series, Book 3) (Wake Trilogy)

Wedding Wednesday: So many details!!

Now that the photographer, venues and DJ (almost) is booked, we have to decide what we want to eat. This in itself will take a while. My fiancé is only home every other weekend, and I don't want to waste use our short time together going over wedding details the entire time. Picking a caterer is a big deal. We want good food, at a fairly good price. We also want to customize our menu since we aren't particularily fond of any of the packages the places are offering. This will require a meeting or two with different companies. Because we don't have any week nights available anymore, we're losing valuable time to get this sort of thing done. I'm not sure if my fiancé is going to have a huge part in this. I may be calling on my sister to help me out.

On another note, I am starting to realize just how many details there are with the wedding. I know I have said to myself "This wedding planning is easy. Check check and check!" Well now that the vendors are almost done, the details are next. The little things that decorate the Church, the reception, the chairs, etc, etc.
What do we want on the invitations? What wording?
Where will the guests stay? Where do I want to get dressed the morning of?
How will the wedding party travel?
I'm now realizing the importance of Save the Dates, so I now have to figure out what to write on those too. Which brings up needing to get a guest list finalized. Both sets of parents have yet to send me their guest lists. I will have to send an email with a timeline on it I think.

My apologies for the ramblings, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed and feel like a lot of this will happen on my own since my fiancé is gone 20 days a month. (yes I am bitter and lonely...). I realize that I still have a year but it goes quickly. I already have most of my summer planned already! I remember thinking how far out 2 years would be, but 6 months has flown by and I don't know where they went. I can't have that happen again.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Theraphy Tuesday: On The Pole

This past weekend I got to talking about how much I love pole and the stress relief I get from a short dance session. My mom commented that she can't get her head around it. She sees it in the movies and just can't quite picture me doing that sort of thing. I explained to her (again) that it's not like the movies. For me, it's completely un-sexual. I practice power moves in my class mostly. A few transitions between moves here and there. I asked her if I could show her what it's all about. She agreed to watch.
I simply showed her all the inverts I know, a few spins, and a few combinations. She saw how much I loved it, and was very surprised at the strength it took for me to do some of the moves. She said she now understands and sees how much work it is.
I'm happy that I got to show her what it's all about. I'm glad that she was in a positive and receptive mood. I think now she gets it, and won't think down on what I love so much.

Class was... cancelled... sort of. I showed up and was the only student. So instead of teach me one-on-one, which would have been ok, my instructor offered to give me a workshop for the cost of that class instead. Count me in! So now I have to decide which workshop to go to. I know who the instructors will be, but they haven't been officially announced yet. I am leaning more towards one than the other. I will let you know next week which workshop I go for!

It was nice to get home early last night. An extra 30 minutes of sleep is very handy!

Therapy Tuesday: The 16 week curse

Beta seems to have forgotten that she's house trained. Sunday she peed in the house 3 times! I was so absolutely frustrated with her and mad. Instead of yelling, I took a deep breath and realized that maybe I missed taking her out. I might have been distracted cooking, or on the phone. I know for the last time she did it, I changed routine on her. She's just a puppy, they like routine. Changing something freaks them out and they get confused. I suppose that's just how it is. A lot of people say at the 16 week age, puppies forget a lot of skills they know. I hope she gets over this forgetfulness soon.

I am not super stressed about it. I took a deep breath, figured it was probably my own fault, and cleaned up the mess. There's not much you can do after the fact. You have to catch them in the act in order to correct the behavior. I have no idea what I'm going to come home to today since Beta has been a little under the weather. I believe it was mostly stress from the weekend since there was so many people and another dog in the house. She is used to quiet and just me being around.

The fact that I didn't totally freak out and sit down and cry and feel sorry for myself thinking 'how can I do this on my own' is a big step. I feel better and more able than I did last week. I'm hoping I can harness that "oh well, it doesn't matter" thought process more often this week.

Switch gears....
I know a lot of my stress came from the RCIA and how much work it's been. Now that I've been confirmed, I'm hoping that my level of anxiety starts ti disipate a little. I have 7 more Wednesday classes and then I am officially done. I have plenty of countdowns started and love seeing them come to a close.
  • 7 more RCIA classes
  • 2 more puppy classes
  • 3 more days until my fiancé is home
  • 1 year, 10 weeks until the wedding
After the first two countdowns are done, I will have a lot of time on my hands. I am looking foward to being able to put Beta in doggy daycare 3 times a week to get her socialized and tired. I am looking forward to using the time I will get back on myself and to grow the bonds I have with Beta. I need to start taking care of myself, and I feel like I will finally be able to do that once things start to come to a close.

One thing I learned from my retreat this past weekend was that taking 5 minutes to sit and reflect or pray can make a world of difference. I don't talk a lot about my faith, but I do call on God a lot for help, and I know I should take more time to listen, rather than just ask. It may reduce my stress more than I realize.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Manic Monday: Easter Weekend

This Easter weekend was very special for me. I attended Church Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Saturday night at the Easter Vigil, I was confirmed and took my first communion. I am now a Catholic!
I have been working towards this since September 24, 2008. That is the day I entered into the RCIA program at my local parish. April 3, 2010 I was confimed!

Thursday my mom came and stayed with me. She attended Holy Thursday and found it very interesting. She kept saying there is always something going on, she could never fall asleep in my church. haha. I was so grateful that she came and helped me out. She had dinner cooked for me when I got home from work and helped me out with my puppy taking her out for walks and giving me a break.

Friday was Good Friday service. I have never been before but I will not miss it from here on out. I loved it! As sad as the service was (yes I cried), I felt so much closer to God. I kept thinking how much like a funeral the service was and how beautiful it was. My sister, brother-in-law and her two kids arrived at my house while mom and I were at the service and took care of my puppy. (THANK YOU!) My other sister, brother-in-law, and two kids came over for supper that evening and hung out for a while.

Saturday was the big day. I went on a retreat for the morning with my sponsor and other RCIA participants. What a wonderful experience! I arrived home and chilled out with my family for the rest of the day. My sister popped over with her family again for supper and brought a cake this time. I received confirmation gifts from everyone. (Pics to follow in my friday post.) My dad arrived just in time for dinner. The Easter Vigil was absolutely amazing!! I have never had a smile on my face for 3 hours while at Church before. The service was stunning. The baptism of some of my fellow RCIA people was joyful. My own confirmation was the most incredible experience. My family all said how proud they were of me. I received hugs from so many people and felt at home there.

Sunday my mom stayed for a while after my sister left. We went for an Easter Brunch and hung out. It was nice and relaxing. After she left I cleaned my house. It was such a beautiful day I took a few walks with Beta, and cleaned.

I am still on a high from the whole weekend. I feel renewed and at peace. I still cannot find the words to describe just how happy I am. My only wish was that my fiancé would have been there with me.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

16/25: French Women For All Seasons

French Women for All Seasons: A Year of Secrets, Recipes, & Pleasure (Vintage)
The last of the WBC books!
I finished the 25 point task for "Read a book and then cook based on it."
This book goes through each season and includes recipes and fashion for each.
It was a very interesting read, and one that I will probably go through again and again depending on the season I'm in. The numerous ways the typical French Woman wears a scarf is imcredible. I see the draw towards them.

I cooked a leek soup from this book. It was ok. My FI ate a few bowls of it (I froze it in portions) but that was it. I threw out the majority of it.

The one thing I did love about this book was the menus. Every breakfast included coffee. Every supper included wine. Can't go wrong with that!

Endings are New Beginnings

(yes I'm aware it's April Fool's Day, and no I don't pull pranks and I dislike when they are pulled on me)

Yesterday marked the end of the Winter Book Challenge from The Nest Book Club.
I finished with 170/425 points. Since it was my first challenge, I'd say that's pretty good. I'm not a fast reader, and with having little time to read other than on my commute, I don't get a lot of books read. I'm proud of my first crack. 15 books in total! I'm well on my way of reaching 25 books in 2010. I may have to up that to 50.

Today marks the beginning of the Spring Book Challenge. Another 3 months of completely different tasks.
I have a bunch of books picked out, and I'm working on getting through them one at a time. I think that will be much more effective.