home is.

This weekend I traveled back to Oakville to surprise Missy for the weekend of her post-degree program graduation and to celebrate her new job. It was planned for weeks and the bonus would be that I'd also get to spend some quality time with Cath, who also stood up for me on my wedding day as a bridesmaid and is a dear dear friend. What a weekend. Filled with reunion bliss, hugs and kisses, story swapping, laughing like it was 2nd year again, sleepover after sleepover, husband-free girl time, and mutual encouragement. I can't express in better words how much I love my friends and loved being with them.

On Sunday after church, oh and how sweet it was to be at Harvest again (the church that I was "spiritually brought up" in over the last 5 years), Gill Symons said something important. "Isn't is great to be home again!?" I paused. Thought about it. After all the tears and turmoil of leaving Oakville, the home of my friends, my church, my whole network for the last 5 years, I never thought it would be so easy to say...

"This isn't my home anymore"

She understood immediately. Probably something a lot of women can relate to who leave their parents home and proverbial nest when they get married and start a new life and create a new home with the man they love. Even if you move down the street from them you still start something new. You still get it. She did.

As much as I miss Ontario, Harvest, Oakville, my parents, my girlfriends, the predominance of English, and all things familiar, Montreal is my home now. It feels so good to be here, in my apartment that is so distinctly Montreal. Old 1800's house renovated into flats, exposed brick walls, candles burning (which is an obsession I've picked up from Jamie since getting to know her living down the road from her and James), my office chair slightly rolling to the left because that's the way the floor tilts, and Chamomile tea (a gift from a McGill student) in my cup. Home.

The reunion was sweet but the future is here and my heart is in it. 100%.


the yoga monster

Today I was happily walking home on Rue. Sainte Catharine in the shopping district downtown after a great discipleship group - the 1st year girls one @ McGill. We had a great time discussing different ways we can connect with God each week since it's easy to fall into the whole "I'm too busy slash bored with my normal routine" thing. I think we all really benefited from the ideas thrown on the table, anywhere from "Listen to U2, they're like sooo Christian!" to different authors to check out, different styles of journal-ing to incorporate your prayers, thoughts, struggles, etc. Truly inspirational and I'm actually listening to the song "Forty", performed live in Brazil by U2 (link ), and plan to have a nice time of reading my Bible and journal-ing in a minute as a result.

Anyway, I've got a bit sidetracked, the whole point of this blog wasn't to talk about DG, but oh it was a goodie. So I'm walking home passing such great stores promising 50% off or as they read: jusqu'a 50% rabais! en francais. I was feeling thankful for such a great DG and also that as the semester is coming to a close maybe I deserve a treat, not like a new winter coat or anything (read: I forced myself to not look at them because they were all glistening and gorgeous and my husband would kill me) but maybe just a new head band or something. You know, a treat, because it's been a great semester of hard work, but great progress at work and my parents always celebrated victories of progress with us whether it was a report card, a personal best time in track, or completing a semester of university unscathed.

So I turn into LuLu Lemon. JOY. I love that store. It's expensive, but the clothes are such amazing quality that it's totally worth it. We're talking AMAZING. Like 2 years ago I was in BC and my 4-year-old LuLu zip-up jacket that they tell you "don't EVER put in the dryer" was in the dryer for like the 32,423,0000th time, and the zipper FINALLY shattered. I mean seriously, I was asking for that, years earlier. I wasn't even that sad because the jacket was white-turned-yellowy-brown-yuck as I'd worn it out like crazy over the course of those 4 years. But what the heck, I took it to the local LuLu to see if perhaps they could replace the zipper. Because I have THAT MUCH nerve. But that's just what they did! They shipped it away to be fixed and sent it back to my home in Ontario 2 weeks later! Are they looking to be trampled on?? Because I felt like I was the abuser in an unhealthy relationship or something...

Nonetheless, I continued in my destructive ways, and the zipper soon thereafter was fraying from the bottom up. Again, I wasn't surprised nor disappointed. This jacket had given me all it had. I had abused it, over-worn it, and thoroughly enjoyed it for 4 years. It could go now. I'm ready. Turn off the machine.. I mean, wait. I'll try one more time to see if I can suck anything out of good old LuLu, maybe a free water bottle or something. Yup, there's no end to my frugality or nerve.

Apologetically the sales girl told me "it can't be fixed, there's nothing we can do". I saw this coming. What I didn't see coming were her next words... "BUT WE CAN GIVE YOU A CASH REFUND, IF THAT'S OK WITH YOU MA'AM". MA'AM!? You can call me whatever you want!! FULL CASH REFUND? FULL CASH REFUND people! And not even from the discounted price that surely it had slipped to in the FOUR years since I'd bought it. Full refund. The $115 was MINE again, after I had used and abused that poor jacket for 4 years, I could just turn it in for a shiny new one! I'm a MONSTER! A monster with a new teal zip-up jacket that won't show the stains (read bruises) as well as his deceased white friend.

So yeah, It's expensive, but this company is as loyal as my best friend Missy and that's saying a LOT. SO I wander in. Of course they're selling their glorious, long-torso-ed $54 and $58 work out tank tops for $29 and $39. Of course. So I try them on. Perfection. A black one and a coral one, both fitting perfectly, both flowing style over the stomach, so I could wear them if I had a baby bump, both needing to be owned by me. My mom shortly thereafter receives a text "so I found some great LuLu tops, and they're $29 and $39, so if you're looking for gift ideas..." My mother knows the value of a great LuLu anything, and I took those babies home where they will surely be used and abused until they simply cannot take it anymore, which is when I'll probably trade them in for a newer model and forget I ever loved them. Yup, I'm a monster. A yoga-clad monster.


Alysha 1, Etsy 0

Alysha, my cousin, is kind of amazing.

She and her husband Daymond visited this weekend and we all had a marvelous time. The farewell tour continued, including eating great food and drinking great wines and coffees all weekend long. I think when I do get pregnant I'll look back on binge weekends like this of eating and drinking pregnancy-no-no's and long for them.

Not only did Alysha provide the much needed and missed family connection, but she also brought along delicious wine and steaks for us to all enjoy on the Friday night, her much anticipated plans for a future high-tea themed baby shower, and the no-need-for-expensive-Etsy-baby-stuff good news. Many good things happened in the last 48 hours :)

Turns out, everything I'd wanted from Etsy was "simple sewing, Emmy, common!".

I myself am not a sewer (read: I'll sew my own fingers before sewing a straight line) so I couldn't recognize the simplicity of the over-prized things I'd wanted in the previous post. Alysha went on to explain excitedly how she could and would make me everything on the Etsy pictures I'd posted and more! She loves creativity, decorating, details, and all things pretty, PLUS she's enormously generous and loving and doesn't want kids of her own, so she pretty much adds up to be a pregnant or dreaming-to-become-pregnant woman's best friend.

So whenever I can post confidently the news of a pregnancy, the next step will be fabric shopping, since Etsy has nothing on my wonder-woman cousin. That combined with the potential of this being my last period for a while is more happiness and excitement than one girl can take! What a weekend of Goods :)


please be the last one for a while...

Again, the feeling stas "another month, another period" and sighs.

This time I'm less disappointed not to be pregnant because I do believe it's best for our family and our plans that we're not pregnant until after November, but something else besides the desire to have children makes me long to be able to say "I'm Pregnant!"... These CRAMPS!

The pill took care of my PMS cramps each month and now that I'm off it they're back in full force. really back! Like I don't even remember this much pain before! owwwwww

I don't need to hear "well when you're in labour, period cramps will feel a lot less painful!" either Moms, so don't even think about it... Just let me think that when I don't have my period this particular pain will be gone without mention that new and more painful feelings will surface ;)


addicted to Etsy

Many of you know the handmade maga online store Etsy, I first heard about it from dooce.com, and am hooked. I'm still yet to make a purchase but when we do get pregnant that'll be my first stop for my baby bedding and perhaps a diaper bag. If only baby shower registries had such hip and unique things for babies...

Check out these great finds:


50 days

my first post and essentially the first day we began "trying" was 50 days ago.

50 days ago we began this journey, but TODAY we can begin it for real... we want to get pregnant in December or after. Up until now we've been passively trying, secretly (or not so secretly when you have a blog I guess...) hoping that we wouldn't get pregnant until AFTER November. Novembers possible day has come and gone, so now it's ON! Let the games begin!!

NOT pregnant

Took the 1st response test today since it is 5 days before my period is due and saw the lonely line (his other pink line friend indicates pregnancy).

I'm ok with it. Part of me is disappointed (as many people suggested I would) even though if I were pregnant this month it would cause some changes in our summer plans that I wasn't fond of... weird how the mind works eh? I was terrified, didn't want this to happen, wasn't embracing the possibility, until only one line appears, and then it's all sunny hindsight... "it would have been great to get pregnant in November!" "Why would anyone NOT want to get pregnant in November!?" and so on...

But this does mean all of those cons listed before are gone. From here on out, if we become pregnant in December, January, February, or onward, we can still go to North Africa on missions this summer, to France en route home, and even to the set-up trip this December. In fact the next time we'll be "trying" will be IN North Africa.

Common December!!!


PROS to being pregs this month:

- Baby would be born in August: before the insane month of September (for us, it's easily the busiest month for work)
- Brad wouldn't have much work to do so he could be around with the new baby a lot before September
- I would have a clear cut/dry year for maternity leave (our heaviest months for work are Sept-June, so I could take mat leave at the beginning of that phase)
- I could be in Rachel Cheng's wedding, my dear friend, as it's currently scheduled when I'll be in North Africa (baby permitting)

CONS to being pregs this month:
- Baby would be born in August: and would be the youngest in their class (equivalent to a December baby in other provinces as the cut off date in Montreal is Sept 20)
- Brad would go to North Africa for 3 weeks instead of us both going for 6 weeks
- We wouldn't go to France at all
- Meaning I may also not go to North Africa this December for the set up trip we've planned


"first response"

Why does this pregnancy test who boasts to kick the other brand's butt ONLY allow me to take the test 5 days before my period? that is a response I want NOW. Not first response... NOW RESPONSE.
I have to wait until Tuesday at the earliest... apparently.

sidenote: God bless my dear friend Jess who bought it for me as my first "baby gift". She is without a doubt a wonderful, caring, practical friend and I love her.


WOW, remembering right now exactly why I married my husband... He is AMAZING.

I feel so much better about the whole could-be situation after talking to him.
Last night when he got home, in borderline hysterics (crying, laughing, oh gosh...) I told him how there was a mistake in my previous planning for when we're fertile (and thus when not to have sex, JUST until December...) and we may have been having unprotected sex for the last 4 days that were my most fertile.

warning...potentially gross part below

I know I know, the chances are low. Women try for months before conceiving a child, but then again some people do it once WITH protection and still wind up pregnant, so I don't want to be ignorant. There's also the matter of (don't get grossed out!!) Discharge. When you're pregnant it increases and becomes a thicker consistency similar to if you have a yeast infection. I fit the bill for that symptom, but again, could be a number of things.

It's just the whole what-if uncertainty that we're in right now. You all know how much we want a baby, but just in December... one month from now would make a HUGE difference.

We could go to North Africa this summer (traveling in the 2nd trimester is apparently the best time), we could go to France after and have some amazing R and R before kids arrive, our baby could be born in September instead of the dreaded August (that's a hot month I'm thinking to be super pregnant!). Ah the next 9 days (before I get my period) will be a real interesting time (read: poor Brad, I'll be laughing and crying s'more).

But as I started this post, he has been AMAZING. I was worried he (the seasoned back-packer and traveler extraordinaire) would be disappointed if it turned out we couldn't go on Project this summer or France afterwards. He was so cool about it. Cucumber cool.

"Babe, we can go anytime, we're young, there will be more opportunities for travel",

"Babe, God is in control and whatever happens is his will so let's not worry about it",

"Babe people try so hard to become pregnant, if we are it's a blessing!"

Like I said, WOW. Just like that my panic dissipated into peace about the whole thing. I know I do so badly want to go on this missions trip this summer, and of course France was icing on the already delicious cake... but he's right - about all 3 of his above quotes.

So, time will tell... I'll keep you posted.



don't panic...

I messed up the whole "when-do-you-ovulate" thing, referring back to my Post dated Saturday, October 24th (and I have a 29 day cycle) about me last period. Meaning I thought the time we were supposed to be careful (remember, we DON'T want to get pregnant this month, but in Dec, Jan, or afterward) was next week, NOT the last 4 days plus tomorrow...


See the thing is I want a baby - no question, but not this month, since the slew of things happening this summer would be on hold... or off... depending. So basically I really really really hope I'm not pregnant AS WE SPEAK but it's a possibility, heck we had "unprotected" (don't I sound like an after school special?) sex like every day of my last few days of extreme fertility...


OK, must remember God's in control and whatever happens happens... But please keep your fingers crossed and pray that I'm NOT a baby mama just yet... Next month? Yes please! the month after that? Even better! This month? hoping NO.


let's pretend this isn't a sign that I may forget my baby at the hospital...

The freedom of getting off the pill and not having to remember to take something at a precise hour every day or panic would surely ensue was short lived.
My friend Amy reminded me recently that you basically switch taking your pill for taking your pre-natal vits... Crap. Prenatal vitamins. oh yaaaaaaaa...

*run to the bathroom and take 4, because who ever really overdoses on Folic Acid?*

Now thankfully I don't have to take the prenatal vits at 11pm every night or I'll feel nauseous and my period may be messed up, because we all remember that fun... But still, why is it so hard to remember a single pill!? JUST TAKE IT. EVERY DAY. SO YOUR BABY'S SPINE ISN'T AS CURVED AS NONNA'S (the 96-year-old-medical-marvel who is my grandma-in-law).

Clearly sitting the pill jar in the bathroom cupboard is just ludicrous as I forgot nearly every day for a WEEK (and yes, I know this won't actually do huge harm since I'm NOT PREGNANT yet, but starting habits early is always a good thing) so I've moved the meds to my bedside in hopes that before bed or when I wake up I'll just see it and do it.... you know, like all the other pre-moms who arn't impossibly forgetful.

But then there's the issue with needing water to down those suckers... because the fact is they're the size of about 4-5 birth control pills in one giant super pill that is so daunting to swallow I almost want to grind it up with a mortar and pestle and sniff it like other drugs, that I have never seen as appealing until now when I'm choking down the horse-tranquilizer-sized beast wishing there was another way. In short, a large glass of water plus maybe a cookie or two is needed to avoid the gag reflex that the super pills bring on.

Yeah, looking back, a little baby birth control pill that only needs a sip of water to go down did seem easier, though the whole date-time-perfection was unquestionably problematic in that I am the most forgetful person alive (lets not even talk about the iPod I forgot in a car not too long ago...)


sacrifices part II

as I sit here with my delicious double shot morning latte (best wedding gift we ever got was that blessed machine!), I can't help but savor every sip... In just a few months could this morning ritual be a distant memory?

I've been made aware of all the glorious drinks and foods to avoid while pregnant, so recently in Quebec City Brad and I called the next couple of month my "Fair well Tour" to great food and drink... Might as well enjoy it while I can the thought is...

So in the next month I plan to indulge as much I can in some of my favourite things:
  1. COFFEE. espresso, drip, chocolate-covered beans...
  2. Raw MEAT - oh how I love you Sushi... A big slab of raw salmon alone is a delicacy, match it with yummy flavours of avocado, spicy sauce, red pepper, fish eggs... ah my heart is breaking!
  3. Raw EGGS - recently Jamie introduced me to the greatest salad dressing on earth! It contains a raw egg, and has rapidly become a staple in our house. (I'll add the recipe soon)
  4. FISH - even cooked, Salmon is out :( we better get going on that enormous-feed-your-family-for-a-year Costco bag we just bought...
  5. ALCOHOL - disclaimer: I definitely will be ok without alcohol, I'm not dependent on it (though coffee may be another story...) whatsoever, but I do love a glass of red wine over dinner, a beer with my hubs, or the traditional champagne and orange juice over Christmas holidays with my uncle Duke (it's become our just-the-two-of-us Christmas tradition and I cherish it)
  6. HOT TUBS (!) - did she just say HOT TUBS!? And SAUNAS!? AHHHHH I wish I never read that article! Over winter conference we stay in a mammoth downtown Toronto hotel and I enjoy almost a nightly trip to the sauna to get piping hot and unwind, as well as a visit to the hot tub as much as possible. Apparently raising your inner body temp too high above normal is life threatening to the baby inside of you and so all prolonged hot showers even (GULP) should be avoided. **If any of you know my husband's propensity to refuse use of the heater until it's fr-r-r-r-eezing you'll be laughing sympathetically right now.
  7. Websites also included avoiding illegal drugs, X-rays, and HERPES... but they're not as sacrificial for me... (read: irrelevant but funny)