pourquoi j'adore le Quebec

Brad just revealed that this weekend he's taking me to Quebec City for our anniversary (due to our hectic work schedule we couldn't take the weekend on our actual anniversary which was October 18th).

I'm SO excited!!! I've really come to LOVE Quebec and Montreal specifically. Here's Why:

  1. Quebec is a socialist heaven. The rights of Quebec citizens are amazing, we're talking cheap rent with rent control, low costs of buying (and if you're buying down town the PQ Gov't will give you up to $6K if it's your 1st home, and $10K if you're got kids!!)
  2. Which brings me to the next part - Quebec is an amazing province to have kids. The province supports a generous 1 year maternity leave for those whose employers don't offer it, so practically every woman or man, should they choose, can take a paid year off to care for their children.
  3. And upon returning to work after the glorious 1 year of baby-bonding, Quebec citizens have access to (actually GOOD) $7/day day-care! It's completely government subsidized so anyone can be a working parent.
  4. Not to mention, when my kids are of age, they can attend some of the greatest universities in Canada, if not the world (McGill was just ranked #18, the highest in Canada, take that U of T!), at significantly subsidized rates as well. That's right, Quebec citizens half HALF the tuition costs that I paid in Ontario and Canadians in other provinces. Leaving Quebec one of the provinces with the least number of graduating students with debt.
Granted, Quebec has these amazing offers because the birth-rate has been on the decline for decades as people here are statistically prone to never marry, never buy a home, never settle down, never have (or keep) children, and drop out of high school (yes, Quebec has the highest rate of teen depression, high school drop out, divorce, and abortion in Canada)

As you know it's the latter statistics that drew us to ministry here though we definitely are benefiting from the former!


biological children or adoption

We had dinner last night with a new "couple friend" that we met through Brad's brother and ended up having an amazing time. Seems like we actually have more common with them! We talked for hours over common interests, and each was genuinely interested in the other's unshared interests (they're huge fans of the environment, everything green, vegetarian, etc, we talked a bit about our church, work, faith). Was a really nice night, and me being me got my new friend Erika talking about kids.

She shared my desire for kids some day (all be it further down the line than me) but is adamant about adoption.

She's a great listener and polite person, so she didn't trample on my wanting to "create something new" desire, but it was clear she thought wanting to enter your own kids into "a population that's already out of control and under fed" wasn't shared by her.

I'm not closed to the idea of one day adopting, I mean Brad and I travel so much with work that we've seen the world and the needs of kids and we're even the proud sponsors of little Farhana from Bangladesh, but right now there is no greater desire in my then to have a baby. "Have" as in carry, conceive, give birth to, nurse, care for from birth, etc. Should I feel guilty? I did at first but then retracted my guilt and now I'm just confused a little bit...

I guess the "recycle, reduce, re-use" saying is held by hard-core environmentalists in many realms of life, far beyond plastic and meat... I really like and respect this couple and the many people who choose to adopt (for all the reasons I've encountered, far beyond population control to passions for mercy and justice, love for certain countries where social programs are poor, inability to conceive, etc) - it's just not me.

One day maybe... Not closing the door to it whatsoever. But it really made me think last night...


Another month, another period.

Thankful because getting prego this month would mean we may have to cut our summer plans in half if not erase them completely.... but still was a tad disappointed. I just really want to be a mom.



I bought a gorgeous, slightly used pair of skis off Craigslist at the end of last winter.
Remembering that I love to ski helped me make it through the bitter cold Montreal winters. Something to look forward to when it's snowing by the foot and all I think of is being buried in cold... Something to get excited about as the temp drops and the 3rd layer of wool is piled on my shivering body...

However, a group of my friends and husband bought their winter seasons pass to the local mountain and I did not take part. If I get pregnant even in a few months, my skiing career would take a break immediately making the pass not worth it (likely). I may still go if I find I'm not pregnant, but I won't get to go very much since it will be on a month-by-month basis.

Not a huge deal because we're far more concerned with becoming parents than the next winter Olympians, but for me, skiing made winter not so bad, so it is surely a sacrifice.

Note to self: add a 4th layer and sit by the fire and smile, because it snowed for the 1st time this week, in mid October :)


Today I bought:
Prenatal Vitamins & a pregnancy test (to use if I'm late this month)


queries on breasts

so much on my mind lately...
  1. will having had a Breast Reduction make breast feeding more painful?
  2. when do you stop breast feeding? I'm hoping when my kids get teeth (oh the fear...)
  3. is breast feeding difficult? It always looks so natural when I see it on tv, with other friends who are moms, etc... but it also seems abnormal to be (guess it's a phenomenon I won't understand until I experience it)
And unrelated... I need to start taking Folic Acid my friend Amber has always reminded me...


Brad's been on a work trip being trained to lead the Summer Project we're going on this summer. He's gone before as a staff like I will be this summer, but this is his 1st year going as the director of the project, so obviously he needs some training... I'm not opposed to that...promise.

But I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo lonely!

He left Monday morning. Sunday was our 1 year anniversary. Maybe the timing was just sensitive, but what can you do? He's coming back tonight (thanks God!) and it really wasn't that long of a seperation when I think about it, but I'm growing really attached to that guy, leading into slight resentment of any and everything that takes him away from me, darn you work darn you!

No I'm fine, but man... I've become attached!

If I were pregnant right now or with kids I wonder if I would feel even more solo/lonely? Does it increase the more significant the separation is? Like right now he's gone for a few work days but it's fine because I'm busy with my own job, and it's just me. If I were pregs or with kids would it be harder? Easier (since I'd maybe be more busy?) who knows.

Just counting the hours till his return :)


1 year

Today's our 1 year wedding anniversary!
What a great year of getting to know each other better, figuring out living together, falling more in love, working through big and small conflicts and oppositions, growing up a lot, and learning loads.
What will the next year hold for Brad and Emily Morrice?


poor investments?

Well, my birthday has come and gone, bringing with it many lovely gifts from friends and family. One such gift from my Mom resulted in my shopping (she gave me both cash and a Winners gift card - one of my favourite stores).
I got a couple thinjgs, a nice tank top that fits just perfectly, a new wonderful lime green wool sweater that may be the most cozy and beautiful thing I've worn since it's distant cousin that I bought from Winners last winter in pink from DNKY (another steal, love that store!!)

And then it hits me... I could be pregnant like NOW. I technically could be and not know, or even could be in a couple months... either way, these great new clothes purchased would be kind of a waste depending on how much of a bump I get (fingers crossed for a glorious, sizable baby bump!)

My friend Loni always says she has more maternity clothes than normal clothes since she's on her 3rd pregnancy in about 5-6 years. Makes sense. I need to think twice before spending money on clothes that may not fit in a few months... There's always next winter of course, and who really knows when we'll conceive. But it's some good food for thought... Maybe I'll stop saving up for that pair of dark denim jeans I've been drooling over and re-think the whole wardrobe of a non-pregnant woman thing seeing as how we're trying... But then again, if I'm not yet pregnant it's not really a poor investment after all. Hmmm...


pipe dreams of the perfect pregnancy and travel...

Thanks to an ovulation calendar I found online, I know that I'm fertile again between November 14th-19th for a birth around August 10th, 2010. Or, even better, I'm fertile between December 13th-18th, for a birth around September 8th. Or, best yet, I'm fertile between January 11th-16th for a birth on October 7th.

I would love to be in North Africa and France (the trip we're planning to take after since we fly through Paris en route home anyway) when I'm in my 2nd trimester as I keep hearing it's when a woman feels her best and is physically the strongest during her pregnancy (think 4-6 months). It would be our last chance to travel pre-children and is extraordinarily perfect (financially as the trip would be tacked onto a work trip, time-wise as we take our vacation after long assignments such as a 6 week missions trip, and personally since we both speak French and neither of us have been to France for more than a layover)

If we get pregnant this month though, we may have to reevaluate the trips altogether, since I would be between 6-7 months pregnant on the trip, where I've read I'm much more tired, large (hello baby bump!), uncomfortable (flying, walking, heat, no thanks), emotional, and in general need of living close to a doctor. Ah the dreams we have little or no control over...



So Brad and I were talking about how much we should expect to spend in the first year of having a baby... I found this thing called a "Baby Cost Calculator" that was pretty thorough, and my cost was just over $4,000!

Now, that's assuming we pay for everything ourselves, not taking into account showers, gifts, freebies, hand-me-downs from friends/family, and our eBay savvy dutch-like tendencies, so next year may not be so pricey... but eye-opening nonetheless especially considering we're looking to buy a home and car next year too!

Also made me think, will I be a high-maintenance mom that spends loads of money, a cheap mom who never gets the "good stuff", or (hopefully) somewhere in the middle? What would you be? Check out the calculator and let me know!



So apparently, this Thanksgiving weekend (when my mother-in-law and her husband are staying with us) I'm what all the ovulation websites (yes such things exist to my surprise in surplus!) call "FERTILE"

Wow. First actual chance to get pregnant. Big weekend ahead! Actually, scratch that... if I were to get pregnant this weekend, the baby would be born in July 2010. Making me 6+ months pregnant on North Africa project this summer. No thanks! Again, there's not too much control with this "Russian Roulette" so maybe it's a good thing Brad's parents are down the hall all weekend ;)

We both said it would be great for us to get pregnant around December, making our baby born about September 2010. Ideal for many reasons including that our baby would get the "January advantage" kids get in Ontario (being the eldest in their classes growing up) because here in Quebec, the cut off date is actually September, not January. Though mostly, I want to participate in North Africa Project this summer which would be all the more likely and altogether possible if I were around 3-5 months pregnant during the trip (best time to travel experts say!)

Anyway, this'll be the first chance we have to get pregnant since going off the pill. We're actually hoping not to get pregnant yet, but not doing anything to stop it either. Guess nature will run it's course! Happy Thanksgiving everyone :)


babies babies everywhere

soooooooo many people are having kids right now!

My good friend Loni is about 7 months pregnant, followed by other staff friends Jen and Deb. Our friends Mike and Heather just announced they are having a 2nd child, and 2 friends are in the "trying" process just as Brad and I are.

I feel surrounded by pregnant women and those who want to be. It's not overwhelming or anything, just kind of exciting.

It's baby season!


Old Enough?

I was young to get engaged - 21
I was young to get married - 22
I'm young to be trying to get pregnant - 23 (as of today, in fact!)

"So what's the rush", as people always ask?

1) when I met Brad, I'd never met a Christian man like him. He was perfect for me. I was surprised every time I learned more about him, finding more and more things that compliment my personality, likes, habits, perspectives, family history, faith journey, etc. Not that we're exactly the same at all, but compliment is the key word. And he does. He was the one, why wait?

2) When I met Brad the timing was right. I was done university, we both had full-time jobs, and he was the crutial 4 years older than me, making us ready at the same time to get engaged (isn't it great how it took that extra 4 years to bring us to the right place?! Oh boys to men....)

3) A long engagement didn't suit us. He lived in Montreal, I lived in Hamilton. Our work was waiting for us in Montreal, and we chose not to live or sleep together before marriage. Our wedding wasn't outrageously expensive and we divided up paying for our wedding into 1/3 for each of our parents and of course us, so saving up for us or our parents wasn't as necessary as if we had a really big and expensive wedding and it was put on one person. 6 months engagement was fine, and so we were married - 6 months after getting engaged, 1 year after beginning to date, 17 months after meeting each other

4) Starting young suits the family we're dreaming of. We've always wanted a medium-large sized family. 3-4 kids is our dream. We also want them fairly close together (1-2 years apart each, max, ideally of course). Also, even if we get pregnant immediately, Brad will be 28 when our first child is born, and I, 24 (approx). I would love to be done having babies in my early 30's, if not by 30. Maybe a pipe dream, but that's what we're talking about here - our dream scenario.

5) We believe we're ready. We had some scares (read: thought we were pregnant and didn't know that we were ready) early on in our marriage. Think one month in...and oops, my periods late. And yes, I did forget the pill from time to time... Though I was terrified, Brad rose to the occasion like a Saint. He reminded me that God is in control, that we love each other and have people in our lives who we can watch and learn Christian parenting from... He was a dream! a day later, my monthly friend came. But my perspective changed.

That was nearly a year ago, and since then we have had other "Near-Child Experiences" that made us realize if it did hap[pen, we could handle it, and we started to get attached to the idea as well. This summer we had a "Near-Child Experience" though we were not yet trying and still using the pill. Only a short 24 hours of thinking it could happen, but about a million emotions flooding our minds. And then my period came. This time we cried. If that was as hard as it was, how hard will a miscarriage be? I pray against that experience, but statistics tell me it could easily happen to me. Yet, through these experiences, we believe we are ready, and are eager to join the baby bump ranks :)

6) My mom is one of my heroes. I love my mom, I admire her parenting, I loved my childhood, my sister and I are close as a result, I believe, of her parenting skills in raising us to play together, be best friends, kiss and hug each other when we're sad, etc. She stayed home with us for a few years before going back to work (something I've been thinking about lately and what we'll do in that regard). Mom was young when she met my Dad. He's sweet, blond and blue-eyed, hard working, and so handsome... so she fell for him, getting married at 22, and being done her child-rearing days at 25 when I was born. Is there anything wrong with wanting to be like your mom? I hope not :) The times have changed, but she's still heroic to me, so if God wills, I'll follow those foot steps.