Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Happy Easter! (a little late)

We were gone all weekend enjoying the sunshine with Frenchie's family. We drove up to his parents and stayed for 4 days. We both had Friday off, and took Monday as a holiday.
Easter is now a very special time for me. Last year, at the Easter vigil, I was confirmed into the Catholic Church. It was a life event for me that has meant everything. I spent 18 months in the RCIA program (Rite of Catholic Initiation for Adults) preparing for that day. It was a struggle, and there were times I wondered why I was there, but then something beautiful would happen, and I'd regain my strength. 18 months was a really long time but it's been worth it.

I was able to enjoy the Easter Vigil again this year. Even though it was not my home parish, I still felt that joy. There were 5 adults joining the Church Saturday at Frenchie's home parish. I didn't know any of them, and neither did he, but I still welled up when they said their professions and were baptized and confirmed. I kept thinking "That was me! 1 year ago!"

This journey has been bumpy. I've had wells to deal with where I didn't feel like going to church. I've felt like I lost myself a little bit and didn't look to God. I've also had moments where I go to Church and feel completely at peace. I have felt like that is exaclty where I am meant to be.

I have no idea if I'm a better person over the last year, or if it has made an impact on my day to day life, but I feel better, and I think that is what matters.

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend, no matter what it means to you and how you celebrate.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: April 20 Check-in

2 months
8.5 weeks
59 days

Every time I look at my checklist, things are moved into May. Can't do this until we have that. Have to wait on such and such before doing those. I'm hoping I can get a few things checked off that aren't difficult and don't have any dependancies.

Good news:
My caterer phoned and found me a bartender! He said he will take care of finding another one and not to worry. I feel confident that it is now taken care of. We need to buy some booze and some cups and whatever else we'll need but at least I know we will have a bartender.
My dress finally fits! After having to take it in 3 inches, it finally fits. I should have trusted my gut and went with the size smaller.

Sad news:
My cousin I wanted to be an usher for the wedding has said no and declined the wedding invitation as well. I'm sad because I was closest to him as a kid. I've emailed another brother from the same family.(there are 4 and we used to spend a lot of time together) Hopefully he will do it.

What was accomplished:
  • Caterer found us a bartender!
  • Final dress fitting
  • Date Night: We went out for a nice dinner
  • Contacted wedding planner and got a detailed list to her of everything we have so far. I'm super excited to have her for the month/day of.
  • Appointment to meet with coordinator booked
  • Booked Mani/Pedi appointments
  • Emailed florist with new email address and to make appointment to meet
  • Emailed one guest hotel contact with new email address
What needs to be done in April: 
  • Email other guest hotel with new contact information
  • Take my dress to my parents for safe keeping
  • Finalize reception music - need Mother/Son song
  • Collect photos of Frenchie for slide show
  • Complete ceremony program and print
  • Wrap bridal party gifts
  • Make appointment to get marriage license
  • Take rings in to be re-sized


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

20/50: Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts

Bed of Roses (Bride Quartet #2)

Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked Vision in White more than Bed of Roses in the Bride Quartet series. Bed of Roses was a little too fluffy for me, however, it was perfect because of that. Emma is the romantic one of the four women and she certainly got her fill of romance. I'm not a fluffy romantic person that needs to be swept off my feet (although it is nice every once in a while). Because of my personality, I could relate as well to Emma as I could Mac or Laurel. Parker just scares me.
Emma is the florist in the quartet that runs Vows. She is always looking for the "one" and believes you have to look in order to find. She has a line up of men that would love to take her to bed with them, and sometimes she does, other times she doesn't. She's a great matchmaker and everyone seems to love her. Her family background is rooted in romance, so I completely understand why she wants to be swept off her feet. She believes true love exists where as Mac (Vision in White) doesn't, certainly not for her.

Jack Cooke is a friend to them all, so things could get sticky if they don't work out between him and Emma. Let's be honest, this is a romance novel and it very clearly follows the pattern. Fall in love, have a big blowout fight, get back together and live happily ever after. Not my usual, but I can't help but tear up every so often, blush during the steamy scenes and smile at the happy parts.
Another fluffy romance that has me diving into the next book in the series, Savor the Moment, almost immediately.

SBC 2011: Read a book about a wedding - 10 Points
Book Journey 2011: Connecticut (updated map)
View all my reviews


Monday, April 18, 2011

It's Monday! What are you reading? (15 of 2011)

April 18, 2011 to April 24, 2011
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading, is hosted by One Persons Journey Through a World of Books
Happy Holy Week! We are approaching Easter and although I wish I could say I'll be reading a lot this weekend, I feel it will be spent with family, drinking wine, eating great food and attending Mass.
We have a long drive ahead of us this weekend so I'm hoping Frenchie will drive and let me read.
One of the downsides of both being readers is wanting to both read at the same time.

What I Finished
Safe by Aviva Bel'Harold
Review Here
Safe: a novel
picture from
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
If I Stay

What I Am Reading
The Wise Man's Fear (Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 2)
I just started this book this morning on my commute. I almost missed my stop to get off. It's that good.
If you have not read the first one, The Name of the Wind , get thee to a book store now and buy it!
The tale these books weave is unimaginable. I lost myself for days reading the first one and I fear I will be out of commision while I finish the second one. Sadly, I'll have to wait until the third comes out to satisfy the ache these books create.
Patrick Rothfuss is an amazing debut author. He writes so well, and has such an imagination.
I gave Frenchie the first book and he asked me to pre-order the second one before he was even done.
I didn't get my hands on the second one until Frenchie finished it! 
What I'm Listening to
Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts
Bed of Roses (Bride (Nora Roberts) Series)
I want to throw my iPod on to listen to the rest of this book.
I will definitley finish this one up today!

What's Up Next
I fear it will be a while before I have a next book. Wise Man's Fear is a big one and I intend to read it on it's own.
Once I'm finished Bed of Roses I'll move onto Savour the Moment since it is next in the series. I love having something to listen to.
Savor the Moment (The Bride Quartet, Book 3)


Sunday, April 17, 2011

19/50: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I StayIf I Stay by Gayle Forman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If I Stay was gorgeous. Haunting. Thought provoking. There is something about reading about that unknown between life and death that really makes you think. What would your choice be? Would you stay or go?

If I Stay was written in the form of memories in between Mia seeing what is going on around her comatose body. We learn about Mias life through he memories of her friends and family. They are bouncing from childhood to recent and back. I loved the way it was written. So many memories over the course of a day.
Mia is the classical geek (being a geek is a good thing!) and I appreciate her love for music. Adam is the punk-rocker and though they both love different genres, they are perfect for each other. I loved that despite their differences they drew to love each other in a way only they could. Mias parents were amazing. Teddy was perfect. They seemed like a normal family with all their imperfections. Nice to read a book where the teenager wasn't hating her parents and in angst. It was also nice to read a book where there wasn't a love triangle and the main character has to choose between one boy or the other.

I believe that if I would have read this book in one sitting, I would have sobbed through it. The initial incident at the beginning of the book threw me for a loop and I had to put it down to digest what had happened. I had no idea what the premise of the story really was other than Mia had to choose.

Definitely worth reading. Can't wait to read the nice one!

SBC 2011: Book picked by NBC - 10 Points
Book Journey 2011: Oregon

View all my reviews


Thursday, April 14, 2011

18/50: Safe by Aviva Bel'Harold

safeSafe by Aviva Bel'harold

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

From Goodreads: Fifteen year old Meriah has nothing to live for. No friends, a neglectful mother and an abusive brother. But on the night when she decides to end it all, she finds Toby in her room. Just his appearance is not enough to deter her from her plans. It is only when he tells her that he died that very night that living feels important.

I enjoyed the dynamics between Toby and Meriah. He used to be a bully when he was alive, and Meriah is the victim in her life currently. Their lives are so intertwined, they don't realize it until they learn new things throughout their very short friendship. Not only did Meriah learn to love herself and find her self worth, Toby learned that the way he lived his life was wrong in a sense. Together they help each other find peace in their lives.
Meriah comes from a broken family. Her father left, her mother drinks and has no time for her and her brother is abusive and into gang life. Although she is a smart girl, I feel so bad that no one ever told her how beautiful she is or how smart she is. It takes a ghost to guide her and show her what having true friends means. Meriah is the kind of kid (yes a kid, she's only 15 years old) that you want to see succeed. You want to see her make something of her life and move on. I was pleased that Toby helped her see that life is worth living.
It's a good story and there are some good lessons in it. I would definitely think it's a good novel to have a teenager read when they are going through that age and dealing with this sort of thing. Bel'Harold captures pretty accurately what life at school can be here. She is a local author to me and I'm impressed!
I'm very excited to hear what a few of my Nesties think when they get around to reading it. I am sending the book out for a blog tour.

Follow Aviva on twitter and facebook and visit her website for some short stories and upcoming books. This is her debut novel!

SBC2011: Read a book set in high school - 10 points

Book Journey 2011: Calgary

This book was about bullies.  If you know someone who is a bully or is the victim, there is help. Look for anti-bully compaigns in your area.

View all my reviews


Spring Snowfall

Every year people think spring has officially come the first time it gets warm out for longer than a few days. These people are delusional, at least here in Calgary. Every year, it will snow at least once over the course of "Spring" and throw the city for a loop (even though it happens EVERY YEAR)

This morning I couldn't resist grabbing my camera and taking some photos. The snow is incredibly heavy, fresh, wet and stunning. The air is warm (-1C/30F)

I've been trying to get a picture of my favorite tree covered in snow. It's beautiful and for some reason, it took me until now to actually get a photo of it covered in snow.

Enjoy my morning photos!

Spring 2011 AM
View from our back door at 6:30am

Tree Winter
My Favorite Winter Tree

Spring Downtown


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: April 13 Check-in

I swear I am at the spa every other weekend! (Not that I'm complaining...) Waxing, facial, hair cut, trail, massage. Rinse, repeat. The things we do to look good on our wedding day...

I'm still freaking out about the bartending. I have emailed the caterer 3 times! He's been out of province but still! We're cutting it really close. I thought I had one lined up, but he fell through. He did however send me a name for another person who offered. I'm waiting for her to email me and discuss.

What was accomplished:
  • All groomsmen measurements are in. Tuxes can be ordered
  • Asked sister to do a reading and co-MC - yes!
  • Asked future brother-in-law to do reading - yes!
  • Asked Frenchies aunt to do a reading - yes!
  • Had 2nd dress fitting - needs to be taken in (again!) and hemmed
  • Date night - rented Unstoppable
  • Frenchie to provide guest list for his Bachelor party
What needs to be done in April: 
  • Email caterer about bartending for the 3rd time. I'm really stressed about this!!!
  • Complete ceremony program and print
  • Final Dress fitting
  • Finalize reception music
  • Ask my cousin to be usher - email sent, just waiting for reply
  • Collect photos of Frenchie for slide show
  • Book Mani/Pedi appointments for me - I found a place that will do the nails I want
  • Wrap bridal party gifts
  • Make appointment to get marriage license
  • Take rings in to be re-sized


Monday, April 11, 2011

It's Monday! What are you reading? (14 of 2011)

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading, is hosted by One Persons Journey Through a World of Books

This meme is a great way to start the week and add some great books to your to-read list. I love looking at what everyone is reading.
Thanks for stopping by and happy reading!!

What I Finished
Delirium by Lauren Oliver


5 Very Good Reason to Punch a Dolphin in the Face (And other useful guides)
5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth (And Other Useful Guides)
What I Am Reading
Safe by Aviva Bel'Harold
Safe: a novel
picture from
From Goodreads: Fifteen year old Meriah has nothing to live for. No friends, a neglectful mother and an abusive brother. But on the night when she decides to end it all, she finds Toby in her room. Just his appearance is not enough to deter her from her plans. It is only when he tells her that he died that very night that living feels important

I'm having a hard time keeping my interest in this book.
It's very easy to put down, but I do really like it.
The intertwined lives and the way it's weaved into the story is great.
What I'm Listening to
Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts
Bed of Roses (Bride (Nora Roberts) Series)
From Amazon: Florist Emma Grant is finding career success with her friends at Vows wedding planning company, and her love life appears to be thriving. Though men swarm around her, she still hasn't found Mr. Right. And the last place she's looking is right under her nose.
But that's just where Jack Cooke is. He's so close to the women of Vows that he's practically family, but the architect has begun to admit to himself that his feelings for Emma have developed into much more than friendship. When Emma returns his passion—kiss for blistering kiss—they must trust in their history…and in their hearts.
I LOVE this book. I laugh, I get distracted (in a good way) and I feel happy. A romance novel at its best. Although it follows the cookie-cutter form, I love it.
I can see myself listening to this audiobook again. 

What's Up Next
If I StayRomeo and Juliet