Thursday, March 31, 2011

Second, Seattle, Sore

I have been growing very appreciative of traditions with good friends. And I love that I have different small groups of friends that I do regular fun things with. I am definitely going to miss that when I move away, but cherish the times together now, and the times I know we will have when I am back here visiting.

Yesterday, Amy, Carlee and I headed to Seattle for the day. Walked around a bunch,went into some different stores, ate some great food and enjoyed a movie.

Instead of memorizing the movie times, Carlee decided to take a picture of them. We saw Lincoln Lawyer which actually isn't the type of movie I would normally choose, but I really enjoyed it.

Carlee has always wanted to be a mannequin, so she figured she'd get some practice in.

Stopped at Anthropologie because it is a super fun store and there's always really fun displays everywhere. Love it even though I have never actually bought anything there. It's fun to look.

And aprons. They have many of them and all of them are incredibly fun and original. :) (except for the hundreds of others sold in all their stores I'm sure)

And who doesn't love playing with large magnifying glasses?

Carlee found a prom date.

And Amy and I had a debate over very important matters.

All in all a wonderful day and it didn't really rain at all when we were walking around downtown, so that was nice.

One of my favorite things of the day was how much we laughed all day long. And not just ha ha here and there, but that gut splitting laughing that makes your abs hurt the next day. And intermixed we had really encouraging conversations about more serious things which was also appreciated. All in all a perfect day. I'm looking forward to the next 'eat seattle' already. :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Peeing, Pants, Puddle

Yes it's official. I have the bladder control of a five year old. Maybe more like a two year old. Today I had an absolutely fantastic day with friends in Seattle, for our traditional, 'Eat Seattle' and it was so much fun, with so much laughter and good conversations and so forth.

But perhaps there was a bit too much laughter and not enough peeing that happened? The photo below would be proof of that. And oh I wish that my friend had leather seats instead of upholstery...

Most people would be mortified at such a photo, or even such a story of having peed their pants in someone's vehicle at the age of 26. But let me tell you, I find it HILARIOUS. And I hope you do too. Because all I can do is keep laughing at it. So hopefully it brought you some joy as well. More photos from eat seattle coming soon!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Changes, Cousins, Canucks

Over the last few months I have put a lot of thought into how I spend my time and where I invest it. I realized that in being someone who is fairly agreeable, I say yes to a lot of things that when I think back on it, I didn't really want to do. And so I have decided to be more intentional with my time and with my friendships. I have a lot of friendships and a lot of wonderful people in my life, but sometimes I feel like I am stretched too thin. So there's a need to decipher which friendships were more for a season and which ones were long term. Not to say that you never speak to people again, but the intensity changes. This may sound harsh and I don't intend it to be. It's just been me figuring out how to best be a friend to the people in my life. I'm embracing the different seasons and how they each have molded and shaped me into who I am today.

Another thing i have been realizing over the last couple weeks has been how our perceptions and views of ourselves and the world around us impacts the way we react to others and even in the way we hear and interpret words and actions. I've had some unfortunate events take place that I am regretful of, because in communicating, I did not respond well. And did not present well either I suppose. But I was reminded of how hugely our lenses of the world affect us. If I feel like everyone dislikes me or wants to attack me, I will interpret most things through that lens even though it may be incredibly far from the truth. This has caused me to examine what my expectations of others are (as they are often unrealistic and need to be shifted), but also what my expectations of people's reactions to me are as well.

Anyway, that was a lot of jabber.

The other night I was able to hang out with my second cousin Nicole and it was funny when I thought about it, because we went to high school together, we read each others' blogs, we're similar in a lot of ways, yet we never hang out. So recently we decided we should actually make it happen and we did. And I am already looking forward to the next time. It's funny, because in talking and hanging out, I felt like we hung out all the time, although I hadn't really seen her since high school nine years ago.

And thus concludes a very random post with a lot of scattered bits of my thoughts. And I will add a shout out to the Canucks who are playing amazingly and will hopefully win the presidents' trophy this year. And hooray for them having the most wins on record for them in a regular season. I am saddened by the fact that I'm pretty sure the NHL playoffs will be hard to find while in Asia... but hey, you never know, right?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Capilano, Cousins, Canucks

Last week, my relatives from Castlegar were in town. My great-uncle Henry passed away before Christmas and they decided to have a memorial for him in Abbotsford since that's where he lived a lot of his life.

I have always loved it when any of them have come to visit. We all connect really well. It's funny because my mom used to babysit her aunts kids, and then they babysit us as kids. I also got to be a flower girl in Deb's wedding so that's really special as well.

We clicked well and had a lot of fun. Went to Capilano Suspension Bridge for the day on the Friday and beat the rain which was nice. Did you know that as a BC resident, if you pay for a day's admission (26 bucks), you get a year's pass? Which is expensive for one visit, but not for the whole year! So I'm excited to go back in the winter because they always do a lot of Christmas lights. And they're opening up a new cliff walk exhibit which also sounds pretty great.

My aunt Carol really hates her picture taken. This was the nicest one I took of us. The rest she refused to co-operate :)

Thankfully Deb and I share the same joy of taking beautiful photos. Or funny ones. With signs.

I love BC. And places like this that are surrounded by woods and it just feels outdoorsy. yeah it's touristy, but that was okay for this day.

And I love my mom as well. Because she rocks. And I love our friendship. :)

The bridge was super scary. Watch out.

Watch out for slippery surfaces. Thankfully I did not fall.

What do you do on suspension bridges?? Run of course!

Strangely enough, everyone slipped by this sign. It wasn't even wet really.

Sadly Deb had the worst fall..


Hooray for suspension bridges!! They actually have a really cool exhibit that has little suspension bridges between trees. It's called treetop adventure and it's actually really cool. Great views as well.

My mom tried having a bigger wingspan than the eagle. At least she has a wider wingspan than the goose. Go Mom!

Unsure of what slugs do at slug crossings, but we probably fooled quite a few people into thinking we were giant, colorful slugs.


White Spot before the game! Mmmmm!

All in all, a wonderful time with family and getting to know them in a new way as well. It was good to celebrate Uncle Henry's life with those who came to the memorial. I really appreciated hearing all the stories from his life. Always inspiring and humbling to hear of the amazing legacy people have left before us.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Honjin, Hockey, Home

My first week back home has been a crazy mix of things but mostly I am enjoying being home for more than two days at once. Being sick has added a different dimension, but I have enjoyed reconnecting with those I love dearly and being able to have quality time with friends.

The first night back, Kristen and I headed to Vancouver to my favorite sushi place in Van and then to the Canucks game. If you love sushi, go to Honjin sushi on Pacific and Davie and order their tuna tataki. It is divine. And melts in your mouth.

After a delightful dinner, we headed to the game and enjoyed watching the Canucks win. And getting on the big screen of course too!

And of course, mixed into the socializing, we had to watch some home improvement and do some homework together. Well, Kristen doing homework and me avoiding the papers I have to mark by organizing and cleaning.

So that is a little bit of what I have been up to. Enjoying the sun as well!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Make-Out, Montreal, Mounds

Another aspect to Quebec that I absolutely love is the culture and the fact that I have some wonderful friendships that I have built there over the years. What I love about most people in Quebec is they are who they are. They are fairly open and honest about who they are and aren't ashamed of it. Their life motto is "Joie de vivre", the joy of living. Love it.

So when we first stopped for a bite to eat at Wendy's upon my arrival, I had to laugh at the couple that was making out at their table for the entire thirty minutes we were there.. Seriously, people? I had to take a photo...

I stayed with my friends and outside the window I always had a wonderful view of whatever fresh snow had come down the night before.

There are some great restaurants there, including a Thai place that is everyone's favorite. Good to see friends from Montreal and hang out with friends from Capernwray as well.

While I was there, the students were taken on the annual trip to the cabane a sucre, which means sugar shack, where they make the maple syrup. They have traditional Quebec dinners where you put maple syrup on everything. Starts with pea soup, then there's scrambled eggs, ham, bacon, sausage, crepes, and maple pie. Talk about a sugar high.

After the meal you get to enjoy tire, which is boiled maple syrup poured on snow. You take a popsicle stick and roll it up on there for a tasty treat. When I was in elementary school, we always did this in our studies of Quebec at their annual festival of Carnaval. I was in French Immersion so we got neat opportunities to learn about such things.

Another thing I love about Capernwray is the honesty and openness of people there. I love that you can meet someone and suddenly be friends and conversations can be really open and honest.

Brandis and I started and finished a puzzle which was a lot of fun. Kind of crazy with all the people in it, but we enjoyed it.

I was able to help out a bit with the men's retreat as well. Fun to do dishes and clean-ups again and gave me a glimpse of different aspect of life there, especially during the summer. For their retreats, they always do a pie phenomenon with a coffee bar and a pie bar. Incredible.

Me and some of the female staff.

Lisa putting the final touches on the blueberry pie.

We decided to make up fruit of the spirit exercise poses. And for some reason, everything seemed extra funny that night. Love those moments.


And thus concludes my time in Quebec. It was a wonderful two weeks. A great mix of relaxing, working, playing with kids, connecting with the staff and students, visiting friends in the community and sitting in on classes as well. I can't wait to go back and actually be a more permanent part of the community there! :)