Saturday, July 31, 2010

Paper, Procrastination, Painful

Things I would rather be doing today instead of writing a paper and a 2-hour final:

1. Flying a kite
2. Going for a bike ride
3. Canoeing down a river or lake
4. Camping with my friends
5. Writing a letter
6. Going for a walk
7. Reading a book
8. Organizing my kitchen
9. Putting together my new IKEA items
10. Taking pictures outside
11. Swimming
12. Playing Yahtzee (okay, i did this yesterday instead of paper writing...)
13. Watching a movie
14. Painting my toenails
15. Catching up on emails
16. Blogging (oh wait, I'm doing that..)
17. Going to the waterslides
18. Going to the PNE
19. Washing out my garbage can (THAT's how much I don't want to be paper writing)
20. Helping Des with wedding stuff
21. Having a phone date with a friend
22. Going to the beach and playing in the waves
23. Dancing around in my kitchen
24. Visiting my mom
25. Grocery shopping
26. Watching a musical
27. Skydiving
28. Playing piano
29. Jogging
30. Cooking an amazing dinner for friends
31. Hiking
32. Playing a board game
33. Chatting with a friend over tea
34. Going to the bathroom
35. Making a photo book
36. Wrapping gifts
37. Having a bonfire (oh, except for the burn ban that's on I guess...)
38. Making a collage
39. Baking cookies
40. Painting
41. Doing laundry
42. Knitting with my Omi
43. Decorating the Christmas tree (okay, maybe a little early)
44. Wine tasting
45. Dusting my house
46. Writing my book
47. Whale Watching
48. Snorkeling
49. Blowing Bubbles
50. Buying Puppies

But alas, I am finishing this class. Maybe tomorrow I will do all these things and more...

Friday, July 30, 2010

Hats, Hair, Happy

I have a paper to write. Hence why I am blogging.

This week has been full of helping Des prepare for her wedding which is now only 8 days away! (yay!) So yesterday we decided that amidst the stuff we had to get done, we'd go on a date night.
We picked up the stuff for the favors on the way, stopped at IKEA and filled my entire vehicle with finds, and headed on our merry way to Vancouver! We went to Granville Island where we enjoyed wandering around the markets and of course, the hat store. I absolutely love hat stores and often which my head wasn't abnormally large so that it could actually fit the hats I could buy.
Then again, I probably wouldn't have anywhere to store the hats, so perhaps my large head is a blessings. Saves space and money. Doesn't stop me from trying them on in the store though!
For these hats, the lady said "if you put the string behind your head and under your hair, you won't look so dorky." I thought we looked cool. Apparently we looked like dorks. Happy dorks mind you.
On the way into Vancouver, I waved at someone I saw waving, and Desiree proceeded to wave, and then proclaimed "why are we waving?"
For dinner we went to the Keg as per tradition and it was fantastic! So tasty!
Then we went to the Waterfront Theatre to go see the musical Hair, which was fantastically done. I know a lot of the songs in it but had never actually seen it, but it was great. Even better were the comments from different people to each other during intermission. haha
And today, with the temptation to organize my life with all the ikea purchases I got, I will use some self-control and instead read through this stack of books and stack of articles and an attempt to write a paper after a year and a half of not writing one.
Paper is due tomorrow. As well as a 2 hour final I have to write. So today and tomorrow are committed to lovingly finishing this online class that I have oft forgotten. At least I have this bowl of cherries to keep me company. And after the bowl, I will probably have the toilet to keep me company.

Have a wonderful day and a great long weekend!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Simba, Sushi, Showers

Last night I confirmed my favorite sushi place in the area. It's in Vancouver and it's called Honjin Sushi, and I honestly can't wait to go back again, because it's THAT good. Mmm.. tasty. I took Alisha there last night and she heartily agreed.

After dinner, we went to the Lion King, which was fantastic! I had seen it before, but it was wonderful once again and definitely gave me the shivers. Makes me super excited to go back to Africa in a few months!

And below is the reason I usually don't shower and wash my hair before going to bed...

And I decided to give myself an entirely new look.. let me know what you think.
Instead of working on writing my paper and my final, I decided to create a countdown for the next few months. So here it is:

10 days: Desiree's wedding
16 days: Portland roadtrip
29 days: Australia!
79 days: Cali trip
92 days: South Africa!
149 days: My birthday!
150 days: Christmas!!

Lots more to look forward to between now and then and I can't wait! It will be fantastic! Now back to the books and trying to write this silly paper. And maybe I'll wash my hair again...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Forgiveness, Four, Freedom

Four years ago I was placed in a situation that nearly destroyed me.

It is one of the things I look back on as being a time when I lost a lot of faith and trust in who God was and in His love for me. I look back at it as a key point in my life where my perspective shifted and I came away with a lot of anger and bitterness.

Although the situation was fueled by people around me, I was hurt. I felt incredibly crushed and beaten up and thrown to the ground, not to get up again. I didn't get angry at the people, but rather at God. For putting me in that situation when I already felt so fragile. I felt broken and bruised.

Over the years, I have thought about that event with slight passing, not really giving it much thought. I have never really recognized how strongly it contributed to my own anger and bitterness and feeling of lostness at times. How it built into a barrier blocking me from God.

Over the last couple years I have been taking the bricks down from that wall barrier. I have been experiencing healing in ways I never would have thought.

Recently I have been continually hitting a wall. Wondering what the next few bricks are and how in the world I will remove them.

I got home Friday night to find an email from someone whose name I did not immediately recognize. I opened it and within reading the first line, my face was covered with the tears that were streaming down my face.

Cracked. The bricks that have been mysterious and unknown cracked apart a little more with every tear that fell.

This one individual asked me to forgive her. For the different things that had happened and how she contributed to it. And she felt awful. Funny enough I did not even remember the specific details because I had stuffed them down, but as I cried, I began to forgive her and the others involved. I read back through my journal entries from that time and just wept before God. And gave it to Him and received His healing.

Even now I am blown away by this message that was written to me that opened up so much. Felt like a wind of fresh air blowing through my soul as God brought up old, deep hurts and began the healing process and the forgiveness surrounding it. What perfect timing. And what a gracious and gentle God I serve.

I am excited because I feel a little bit more freedom than I did before. I have been clinging to these things and God has been loosening my grip on them as I surrender them to Him. And where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. Oh sweet freedom.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

BBQ, Beautiful, BC

Weekend that begin and end with BBQs with fun in the middle are always the best! Dave, Adri and I were planning on going canoe camping this weekend, but when we had dinner on Thursday night, we decided to do a day long canoe trip and fill the rest of the weekend with fun filled activities!

Friday night, we had an impromptu dinner of turkey burgers and greek salad.
Adri's bun was a bit small but she made do.
My mouth was a bit too big, but that was fine too.
Then Dave, Adri, Cedric and I went to the movies. We went to go see SALT which was actually pretty good. After seeing the movie though, Adri had the idea that she was Evelyn Salt. So now life has gone to an entirely new level of craziness!

Saturday morning started bright and early at Deep Cove with the canoe. Oh how I love my canoe. It takes me to such wonderful places that give you a perspective that is unique to sitting in a boat in the middle of water and taking all the fantastic beauty of creation in all around you.
Strangely enough, I have never been to Deep Cove. I have been invited on many hikes there but never been able to make it. I will definitely be going back though! LOVED it! I love the ocean and the smell of it.
I love that when out in the water, you see life teeming all around. Jellyfish in the water, eagles flying overhead, seals popping up, whales banging into the canoe (okay, maybe not the last one, but wouldn't that be GREAT? okay.. or scary rather).
Dave made himself a comfy {for about five minutes} seat in the middle of the canoe and then proceeded to accidentally splash Adri and I both "by accident" while paddling.

Here was Dave trying out a new more comfortable paddling position.
The sun was wonderfully warm, the breeze gentle and cooling and the splashing waves refreshing, leaving streaks of salt all over once they were dried up.
At one point the waves were pretty big actually.. well, not really, but for a canoe they were big.. Adri got quite splashed in the front and as we were trying to paddle as hard as we could against the waves and wind, I could not stop laughing. Laughing is not so conducive to paddling mind you.
I got burned. I put on sunscreen, but missed some key places. Like my back. And my knees. Oh well.
I love all the rock and tree contrasts in the ocean. And how incredibly BLUE the sky was.
This was a BC Hydro powerhouse we went to check out. As we paddled close, we read the signs that said "Hazardous material is released here and suddenly and can be dangerous to boaters. Keep away." Too bad we had to be really close to read it. So then we paddled really fast to save ourselves from tipping from a sudden rush of hazardous water.

Yet another powerhouse. This time we stayed away.
The canoe trip was delightful! Five and a half hours or so! My arms were sore that evening! Below is a picture of Adri in the water. I'm sure you can speculate at what she is doing. Tee hee.

For dinner we went to Memphis Blues, a BBQ restaurant. The food wasn't absolutely that great and we laughed at that, because our other dinner option was so much better.. and Dave said last time he went it wasn't that great, but he thought it was what he had ordered. So we thanked him for taking us to a great restaurant.

Then we went to rent a movie. After giving them my name, she asked me why I hadn't returned "m" movie. I said I had never heard of that movie so I'm pretty sure I didn't rent it. Turns out there's someone who has stolen my identity who has been stealing movies from Blockbuster. Okay, or perhaps someone with my same name lives down the street from me. Strange. Probably the same person who gets all my emails when people get my email address wrong.

We ended up watching 'When in Rome' which was great. Then we started the Lion King and we all sang along for the first song excitedly and all fell instantly asleep. :)

It was so wonderful going to church again this morning! I haven't been in about a month because I have been gone and it was so wonderful to be there with people I love and to connect with people again. Over and over (and I'm sure I have said this far too many times) I realize how blessed I am and was happy to connect with some people I hadn't seen in a while! After lunch we headed to Costco for hot dogs since Dave and Adri had never had them. Figured it was good fuel for the rest of the day.

We stopped at one of my favorite wineries, Kermode winery, near Deroche. Then we went to Harrison for the day to walk around and hang out. Was great to walk in the water, people watch and have some really great and inspiring and encouraging conversations in such a beautiful spot! Going back to thankfulness at church, I am so thankful to have gone there and to have made great friends there, specifically these two, who are a constant blessing to me! Today Adri today me "I never thought we would actually become good friends when we met you." Haha.. Often when you meet people in passing, you don't think that maybe you could become good friends, but I'm glad we have!

Harrison is so beautiful with all the mountains in the background. And the water wasn't even that cold.

Then this evening we joined my mom, grandma and aunt and uncle and our friend Cheri at my mom's for a BBQ which was tasty as per usual!
All in all, a fantastic weekend! Very full and very tiring! I got a lot of sun and feel drained! But I am excited for what this week brings!
Have a good start of the week friends!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Driving, Darling, Dinner

Delaying my dinner plans are definitely worth it for this little guy. Was hanging out with him and got to babysit him unexpectedly which was great. And I love it when the weather's nice, because that means we get to play outside! And he is mr. outdoorsman to be sure.

Every time he sees tractors, trucks, or anything with an engine, he makes driving noises. So here is practicing driving the tractor. And he did such a good job I figured I'd let him take a try at driving my vehicle too. He's really great at turning the hazards on.
We also enjoyed some dancing, peek-a-boo, and hide and seek inside. Anything to get a giggle or a smile, which is pretty much all the time and melts my heart. :)

And I do love his crazy hair along with the stunning smile.

And I love how he wears ear muffs and walks around the house yelling as loud as he can because it sounds funny when he has them on.
Wonderful afternoon and evening! Then dinner with some friends and planning for our fun-filled weekend. We were going to go camping, but instead, we are going to do laundry, dinner and a movie on Friday, go canoeing all day Saturday up the Indian Arm, and on Sunday, go to church, golfing and have a BBQ and swimming in the evening. With a slumber party in between! What fun it shall be!

Friday, July 23, 2010

BEAR, black, Branches

The day began unsuspectingly like any other. Little did I know that shortly my life would flash before my eyes.
We decided to head to the trailhead of Deception Falls, which took us even deeper into the woods in the middle of nowhere.
We trekked uphill, enduring millions of mosquitos and droplets of rain during the mid-afternoon sudden rainfall.
The Falls were stunning and worth the trek. We admired them. And I wandered deeper into the woods to get closer to the Falls.
As I was suddenly a ways away I spotted some berries and thought how nice it would be for bears to eat those tasty berries. Then I thought about what I would do, by myself in that moment if a bear showed up. Nonsense. Just like our bear jokes during the last couple of days.
Started walking back down and the family that had been at the falls when we arrived were long gone.
Brooke was walking ahead and shouted "Maybe if I run, the mosquitoes won't eat me!"
I shouted back "Yeah, but the bears will!"

A few minutes later, I hear a very cheerful yell from Brooke: "BEAR, bear!"
I thought "Silly Brooke, you don't joke about things like that"

Suddenly I saw Brooke walking back on the path towards me, with a look of panic in her face.
First thought: "Oooh, fun! I can get a cool bear picture"
Second thought: "Oh wait, there's a bear. I'm probably going to die because it will rip me to shreds."
So I put away my camera.
We grabbed large branches and started banging them hard against trees and yelling. After having broken our branches into small sticks from all the hitting, we proceeded down the trail at a slightly faster pace.
We spotted the bear again, farther away from the path than it had been. Avoiding all possibilities of eye contact, we trekked ahead, passing it, but stealing quick glances backwards to make sure it wasn't following us.

Holding my stick, I realized I could not do much with it, but could not stop to pick up a new one. Instead I tried grabbing random branches that looked dead but were actually still attached to the trees.
Brooke told me to yell, but I was dead quiet. I was too busy thinking of the multitude of ways we would get eaten by, mauled by, or ripped apart by the bear.

A "safe" distance away, we heard rustling in the bushes directly to our left. Later we found out it was another bear.

We came up the edge of the hill, and saw our vehicle, as well as the vehicles of the family who had left the falls long ago.
They said they had been waiting for us to come out, because they had spotted the bear crossing the road and walking directly onto our hiking path.
Thankfully I lived to tell the tale. Perhaps a bit of a dramatized version of the tale, but I was truly scared. There's a small chance it would have attacked us {but then again, how can I actually know that?}, but thankfully it did not!

I love hiking, but next time I will think twice before going into the middle of the woods in a very remote area with just one other person.
Or else I will at least bring my flare gun, shot gun, bear spray, bag of long sticks and 20 friends.
So I did not come away with a good picture of the bear, but rather a great story of my near encounter with death. I was thankful for the bears we did see while in our vehicle and was likewise thankful they didn't come join us in our tent.
That night as we were sitting around our campfire, I kept hearing noises {the people next door's fire} and was convinced it was a bear. Now I have a fear of bears being everywhere.
Our favorite camping game was, "What would you do if there was suddenly a bear right _____?" We had some good scenarios and reactions drawn up. Did any of them actually hold true during our actual time? No.
Morale of the story: Next time your mother tells you that you are going to get mauled by bears in the woods, listen to her and bring some bear spray.