Friday, August 23, 2013

One Year In

A year ago yesterday, I took up the virtual pen (stylus, I guess?) and started writing here.

It was a stressful time - I had just bought a house and was preparing to move in with TB - the first time I'd lived with someone who wasn't family. And a year in, well, now we are a family.

I still remember how quickly everything seemed to move. We only had a month to settle everything so our days were filled with lawyer visits, filling out forms, phone calls and emails to utility companies, landlords, bank managers and lots and lots of trips to take out money. So much money. All the money. Before I even had time to process everything, my apartment was rented, our down payment had cleared and we were sitting on our couch (RIP, Sinky Brown), which was now, officially, *our* couch, in *our* house.

It seems like just last week we were hauling our boxes into our little place, trying to find room to store everything. But then I remember all the things that have happened since - Sewergate, Not one, but two great house parties and, of course, our little furry Hoover, Lily, and all the hilarity that's come with having her - and I realize that it's actually been a pretty full year.

I'm really glad I've taken up blogging again, even if I don't do it as often as I thought I would. For me, the best part about keeping a paper diary was looking back over old entries and reliving past events. It's important to me to retain moments' "authenticity" and I'm usually surprised to find that things didn't happen exactly the way I remember them. This blog has been a great snapshot of our first year in our first house and the trials and tribulations (and super fun times!) we've experienced. So thanks to all (7?) of you for reading, and I hope you've enjoyed my first year back behind the keyboard as much as I have.

Now back to poop jokes and fart noises, as per usual.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

God Bless the USA

Hidey-Ho, Readerinos.

I am bloody exhausted and poor as a church mouse (as opposed to those fat cat Temple rodents) so that can only mean one thing - I went cross-border shopping this weekend.

Since I was a teenager, August has always meant "family vacation time" - a tradition we continue to follow despite the fact that we are now all grown-ass adults. This means that, as years go by, we're a little more grumpy towards each other and a little more difficult to pin down, but we're a lot funnier so it evens out mostly. I tell myself it's a positive experience even though by the time we were declaring our haul at the border this year I was practically itching to get back to my house, my partner, my dumb dog. I love my family but it's really strange to realize that your definition of your "family" is shifting slightly. But enough introspection - on to the trip.

I'd like to say I was prudent. I'd like to say I only bought what was strictly necessary and weighed the pros and cons of each item carefully before purchasing them. I'd like to say that I didn't spend $120 here. I'd also like to say I didn't immediately do some online shopping as soon as I got home. I would like all those things very very much. I would also like a pony. Lot of disappointment going on today.

So, yes. Not stellar on the pocketbook or the self-esteem but the pantry and my closet are both looking boss!

We've got a pattern when we go to Syracuse - and woe betide if we don't follow all expected elements once we arrive. There's a trip to Destiny USA (RIP Carousel Centre), a day at the outlet mall, a quick tour around Target and the aforelinked Christmas Tree Store, and then a short pop-in to the liquor and grocery stores. You might think those last two a little odd but let me tell you - when your liquor stores are identical and province-run, the novelty of a rundown store with a hand-lettered "adult juice box!" sign is pretty much the definition of whimsical. And American grocery stores are the stuff of dreams! The frozen aisles, full of tantalizing appetizers and cookie dough, more choice in yogurts than anyone should ever need! It's a magical wonderland for chubby funsters such as myself. I always feel a little weird, flitting from aisle to aisle, oohing and ahhing as we complete our late-night grocery run. Like, my weekend getaway is just somebody else's Thursday night milk-and-eggs run and if they think of me at all, they have to be wondering at the disjointed state of my cart's contents ("sriacha chips, cake mix, dramamine and a hairbrush. Count me out of your weird night, lady."). But I do try to embrace my lameness and this trip was no exception.

Somehow, I didn't manage to gain a pound on this trip which is shocking and bizarre, but I'm chalking it up to my body's innate skill at processing affordable-family-restaurant food and not the 8.5 hours we spent walking the outlet mall (I wish I was joking.) I do, however, have a craving for vegetables that won't quit and I'm pretty sure my sodium levels suggest I've drank more Dead Sea than sweet tea in the last few days. But it was worth it, damn it. Midsized-town America understands me. It understands that I want my skinny jeans high-waisted and my knee-high boots wide-calved. It "please"s and "thank you"s and "sure thing, hon"s me until I glow from the attention. It finds me Birthday Cake-flavoured Oreos and makes sure I'm never more than 5 feet away from an Auntie Anne's Pretzels. I love it, unabashedly, and my visit there is always one of my favourite weekends of the year.

And I will read this the next time I'm in a car with my family, radio always in between two stations, as I bicker with the GPS while sitting in a backseat packed with filled-to-bursting grocery bags. Because I will need the reminder that I chose this. And that I love it.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Soak it in

TB and I have been trying to squeeze every drop of fun out of the summer (okay, I've been squeezing drops of fun. He's been splitting his time between fun squeezing and demon slaying in Dead Souls). The idea that summer is over too fast is pretty universal, I'd say, but all the more apparent here, when summer is basically 3 months of nice weather surrounded by long periods of either waiting for snow, shovelling snow, or waiting for the snow to melt. No harm, no foul, I love the changing seasons, but I do love to sit in the sunshine while it lasts.

I've really come to realize something these last few weeks, and I'd like to share it with you. It's a little crazy and maybe too controversial, but I feel I have to say it:

I love weekends.

So glad I got that off my chest. So brave.

We imagined this building was Hogwarts, mostly.

I've had a lot of stellar weekends this summer and I'm pretty much addicted to them. This past weekend we decided to go for a walk sans dog, so we could grab lunch and poke around in shops without worrying about Ms. Scrunchface. TB found a free bench in a park nearby and we just sat there, looking like contented lizards, faces turned up toward the sky.

Our lunch was somewhat lackluster so much so that I DIDN'T EVEN INSTAGRAM IT but the afternoon was lovely, just the same. I hate the idea of jinxing stuff but I gotta say, I'm pretty happy with life right now. I'm a little bit sentimental these days because we're coming up on Labour Day, which, as I'm sure I've mentioned at some point before, is my New Years. I continually divide my year into "school year" and "summer" and it certainly doesn't help that Labour Day weekend is also our 1-year anniversary of moving into the house. Basically, I'm in full reflection-mode, thinking about how much has changed since this time last year. Add to that the fact that it's the time of year when a good percentage of my coworkers and friends are moving on to other positions, or, in some cases, other countries, and I'm basically permanently trapped in a glass case of emotion most days. But between the goodbye parties and the farewell cupcakes, I have birthday gatherings, short getaways planned, and some great friends coming into town, which delights me in a way you might have thought impossible. And in between there are these moments of quiet reflection, making me feel lucky for this little life I've carved out.

Oh, also we saw this on our walk:

I told TB we should leave a "deposit" in it and then scribble on the note "No it doesn't. Wouldn't flush."

We are in our 30s.