Almost Celebration Time

30 August 2013

It's Friday!  Do you know what's better than Friday?  Long weekends!  And do you know what's even better than long weekends?  When your birthday happens to fall on a long weekend.

Yep, on Monday I will be celebrating my 28th birthday.  I'm still such a big ole kid because I always look forward to my birthday every year.  I have friends that don't, though, because they feel that their birthdays are just like any normal day. While this can be partially true, I always make sure to enjoy my day because it only comes around once a year. 

Celebrating my 27th birthday

It could also be from the fact that from as long as I can remember growing up, anytime someone complained about their birthday and turning another year older, my mom would always add in her "glass half full" view and say, "I am just always so thankful that I made it to another year and I have another birthday to celebrate".  Oh so deep, but oh so true!

By the time my birthday rolls around, I've already gotten use to the new number because the majority of my friends have turned it first.  8 months ago Todd turned 28 so I've had some time to process it.  In fact, sometimes I catch myself thinking that I'm already 28. 

I'm not really sure what we are doing this weekend to celebrate, but I'm sure whatever it is, it will be great (especially if there is cake involved). 

I'm thinking that tonight I will be playing the birthday card a little early. Since I'm still battling this cold, I will be doing nothing but relaxing. And thankfully these showed up in the mail yesterday to help me do just that. 

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

A Quick Stroll Through A Few Provinces

29 August 2013

Alert!  Alert!  Picture overload!

We have only been back two days from our mini vacay, and I'm already thinking about where we should go next.  Um, is that bad? 

Although our trip was short, we enjoyed every second of it, minus the lovely cold that Todd decided to give me on our very last day.  We arrived in Halifax early Thursday morning. Remind me again why I decided to book a 5:30 AM flight?  We wanted to make the most of our visit, so when we landed in the city we immediately went for a walk around the waterfront.

We then went for breakfast (hellooo eggs benedict) and then went shopping in the downtown area.  Later that evening we checked into our hotel and made our way to the Economy Shoe Shop for some food and drinks.  We really enjoyed this place.  They're known for having great nachos and lemme tell you, they did not disappoint.  The unique decor made it like no other place we've been. After such a long day and running on 4 hours of sleep, the drinks kicked in pretty quick so we called it a night.

When we woke up the next morning, we drove about 15 minutes to check out a mall that had stores  like H&M and Banana Republic that we don't have back here in Newfoundland (I know!).  We walked away from H&M with 3 full bags and in fact, the lady who checked us in even asked if we were from Newfoundland because of how much we bought.  I guess it's time to get with it Newfoundland!

After a successful shopping trip, we hit the highway around lunch time to start our 5 hour drive to where the wedding was taking place in New Brunswick.  Of course we had to make a stop along the way when we saw a town sign saying, "the world's largest lobster". 

Apparently the town of Shediac is now known for not only having the biggest lobster, but the biggest kids!!

When we arrived in Miramichi, we instantly fell in love with the town.  There were so many cute cafĂ©'s along the boardwalk, the people were extremely friendly, and the scenary was so beautiful.

We then met with Megan and her friends and family.  It was so nice catching up with everyone, and the anticipation for the wedding the next day made it even funner.  Drinks on the hotel patio turned into drinks at a local bar.  By the way, whose bright idea was that? Ahhemm, I'm looking at you, Todd!  We tried not to make it a late night so we were back to our hotel by 1 AM (thankfully with the bride).

Megan's parents had a lobster boil up after the rehearsal and since we couldn't make it, they brought some back for us.

The next day was the wedding and it was amazing. I'm so glad we made the trip to help them celebrate.  On Sunday we met up with the newlyweds for brunch and then we had to leave to drive back to Halifax.  This time, there were no stops because Todd was determined to make it back before dark.  When we arrived back in Halifax we went to Public Gardens to try and get in a quick walk before we went to dinner.

We hit up another pub called Your Fathers Moustache and then went to bed to catch our early flight the next morning.  My mom picked us up from the airport and brought Charley with her, and boy was she ever excited to see us.  I guess she missed us as much as we missed her.

So as you can tell, this trip consisted of all things that make any great trip; lots of eating, drinking, shopping, and exploring.  I've been trying to get back into eating better this week because my pants have been feeling a little tight since we've been back, but I'm finding it kinda hard.  Just imagine if we were gone any longer!

2 Girls, A Wedding And Lots of Love

28 August 2013

I was so fortunate this weekend to be a part of probably one of the most touching things I have ever experienced; my friends same-sex wedding.  And from what I could tell, I wasn't the only one who noticed first hand how special this moment was.

Before the ceremony started, the minister stood in front of all of their families and friends and said that this was the first wedding in over 7 years that made her excited to get up that morning because of all of the love she felt from just spending a few hours with the couple the night before.  I instantly knew what she was saying because there was something in the air that day that was contagious, and I swear there wasn't a dry eye to be found.

What happens when you take out judgment?  You're left with love.  And love is love.  It's as simple as that (or at least it should be). There is absolutely no difference if that love is between a man and a woman or two women or two men.  And when you see love like the kind that my friend and her wife shares, you do not question it for one split second.
Before I attended the wedding, I had a lot of people ask me questions like "so, what's going to happen at this wedding?" and "what's it going to be like?".  Let's see, there were walks down the aisle, exchange of rings and I do's, first kisses, pictures, speeches, first dances, and of course one hell of a party.  Can you imagine how different it was?  Really!

Take a look.

The bride did make one comment about them not doing a bouquet and garter toss that we all found pretty funny.  Her exact words were, "my wife would throw the bouquet to a bunch of girls and then I would end up throwing the garter to the same bunch of girls. Nahh we'll skip that, I don't want to make anymore lesbians here tonight". 

Although sometimes I take it for granted, last weekend I was reminded just how grateful I am to be living in a country like Canada, where there were no laws that prevented my friend from marrying the person who makes her the happiest in this world.  It made me so happy to see her so happy and I know I'll never forget it.

Take A Walk With Us

21 August 2013

Yeah, so remember how I thought I was going to be working late every night this week?  Well I think someone up in blog heaven happened to read yesterday's post about me complaining and decided to cut me some slack! Suhhweet!

I ended up having the evening free and since I'm new around here, I figured why not take the camera along on our family outing so you could join us!

 Our (almost) 8 month old girl, Charley, who you will be seeing a lot of around here.
 We still have to practice her leash walking. She's getting extra good at dragging her momma as she continues to grow.

I don't know how she managed to stand still for any of these pictures (we think it was because she knew she was going to be featured on here)

Well aren't you two just the cutest!

This was the first time that Charley didn't want to go swimming with the ducks (again, she was trying to put on a good show)

 How'm I doing with my first blogging pose? 
 Love bug selfies!
I won't be around these neck of the woods for a few days because I'm heading out of the province for my friends wedding.  Is it weird that I think I'm gonna miss this whole blogging thing while I'm gone?  I guess it's not hard to tell that I have newbie written all over my face!!

Why Does Taking Time Off Work Have To Be So Dang Hard?

20 August 2013

It's Tuesday and I'm super duper excited (yes, I just said super duper) because in just two days, me and Todd are leaving for a mini vacay.  My good friend from high school is getting married and, since there was no way that I was missing that, we decided that we'd turn it into a vacation by first flying into Halifax for a couple of nights and then driving to the wedding in Miramichi, New Brunswick. That means there will be a road fave!!

One of my favourite things about a vacation is the excitement leading up to it.  You know, that feeling of having something to look forward to?  It's seriously one of the best parts because it just seems to make everything that's going on around you a little better. 

Like when you're having a stressful day at work. The first thought that usually pops into your head is "I just have to get through these next few days because then I'll be going on vacation and this place will be the last thing on my mind".

Or, when your alarm clock starts making that annoying sound and you just want to roll over and go back to bed.  It seems you drag your lazy azz outta bed a little quicker 'cause you know in just a few more days you can sleep in as much as you want.

What about when you're eating your dry plain chicken breast for lunch and now you get to think about all the new restaurants that you'll soon be trying and, like your work, you know your diet will be soon taking a back seat.

But, here comes my least favourite part (and trust me, it's my ONLY one)......

Why does taking time off work have to be so dang hard?  For me, I pretty much always know that I'm going to be camping out in my office before I take any time off.  Not only do I have to try and clue up all of my work for the time that I will be missing, but for some reason random crap keeps getting added to my pile that would never show up otherwise.  Aint nobody got time for thatt!

With all of that said though, I would gladly take eating lunch at my desk all week and working a few late nights if it means that I get to pack up my things and go on a lil adventure with my lovebug.  Who's with me on that one? 

Ps:  I already have my sad dinner packed in my lunch bag for tonight just in case! 

My Summer Accomplishment

19 August 2013

Just a few weeks ago I scratched off one of the items on my to-do list, and that was to run the Tely 10.  The Tely 10 is a 10 mile (16K) road race that takes place in St. John's every year at the end of July.  

Todd and I signed up for the race in May and entered as part of a team through our work.  One of the main reasons I was so determined to run this race was to support a co-worker of mine, Derrick, who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia last fall.  Derrick was what you would call a hard-core runner.  I'm talkin 50+K during the week, Boston Marathon kinda runner.  This guy has always been the definition of positivity and I know he's been an inspiration to everyone who has known him.  Thankfully, Derrick just celebrated his 100th day since his transplant and he's now on his way back to recovery, cancer free. Although Derrick couldn't compete in this year's race, our team decided that we would all get out there and run it for him (obviously at a much slower pace!). 

Trying to find time to train for the race was hard.  I would do a short run during the weekdays (4-5K), and every time I would try to do a long run on the weekend, something more fun kept getting in my way.  Let me tell you, eating like crap, having drinks, and staying up late, quickly puts a damper on any type of movement exercise during the weekend.

A couple of weeks before the race I managed to run a 12K and I was impressed because it was the furthest distance I had ever ran at the point.  A couple of days later, though, my body must not have been as impressed because I started to have pain in my left hip.  I had to put running on hold, and every day I was so worried that I wouldn't be able to run the race.   

The week before the Tey 10 I managed to try out a 3K and, while my hip was ok during the run, as soon as I was done I found myself rushing to the freezer to grab whatever I could find to numb my hip.  Although I was still uneasy about whatever it was I had done with my hip, I made up my mind that night that I was running the race.

Race day came and I woke up that morning feeling like I was a university student going to write the biggest exam of my life.  I was so nervous, but not because I felt like I was competing or had something to prove, but because I had no idea if I was actually going to be able to run the full 16K.

My mom dropped us off to the starting point a little after 7 AM, and I couldn't believe the thousands of runners that were there.  Before I knew it, I was lining up in the crowd and listening to the gun go off.  For the first minute we were actually walking across the start line because of all of the people. And then we started running.  I felt great.  I was having so much fun, talking to Todd and his cousin who was running with us, and listening to the people from the sidelines cheering us all on.  I couldn't believe it when I looked down at my RunKeeper and it showed that we had already ran 11K.  I kept thinking, "I'm actually going to do this". 

Around the 12-13K mark, my energy level was so far gone.  I'm talking running the other direction gone.  No where to be found.  No where. I knew I had to keep running because that was my main goal, to just run the entire race. Todd kept looking back at me and yelling, "come on Renee, pick it up". 

         Here we are getting close to the end.  Todd kept looking back at me to see if I was still alive!!

All of a sudden we were approaching the last km and, with the crowd on the sides of the road screaming, I just started sprinting.  There it was- the finish line.  I swear at that point I was seeing two of them and I just picked which one I wanted to cross.  Luckily it was the right one and I finished with a time of 1 hour and fourty-two minutes. 

This is me sprinting to the finish line.

Funny note:  When I crossed the finish line and entered the park where everyone went after they finished running, I immediately called my mom to tell her how to find us in the crowd.

This was our conversation:
Me: "Mom, I'm done!" 
Mom:  "Where are you?"
Me:  "In the park"
Mom: "What park?  Where?"
Me: "BannermanPark, you know where everyone goes after they finish their race"
Mom:  "What?  You're done?  You ran it all?"
Me: "YES"
Mom: "Ohhhh, I thought you were calling me to come pick you up somewhere because you were done, as in you couldn't finish the race"

HAHAHAHA!  Thanks mom!  In her defense, she told me that she thought I was going to be running for a bit longer so she assumed that it was too early for me to be finished.  Wait...I don't really think that makes it sound any better!!!

Anywho, all you runners out there know what I'm talkin' about when I say I experienced such a runners high.  In all of my life, I was never so proud of myself as I was at that very moment.  I kept thinking back to a couple of years ago when I couldn't even run for 1 minute, and here I was just after finishing a 16K race.

Me and Todd having a proud moment with our medals.
If you look closely, you can see our "Running For Roul" headbands.

Todd's cousin Barry ran the race with us and 3 of us crossed the finish line together.

My friend Karla was visiting from Edmonton and came out to cheer us on.

Me and my mom, who was probably even more proud of me that day.
Ps: she treated us to an awesome breakfast after the race for doing so well.

Although the Tely 10 was scratched off my list, I've decided that I want to run it again next year and aim to beat my original time.  You hear that bad hip?  Take it easy on me from here on out, please!

I Guess This Is It....

16 August 2013

Well hello everyone.  This is it, my very first post!

I guess you could call me, as the blog community calls it, one of those "non-blogging bloggers". For as long as I can remember my Saturday morning routine has always consisted of lots of coffee and lots of blog reading. I have loved every fashion post, DIY, recipe, fitness advice, OOTD, and weekend recaps along the way and it has inspired and motivated me to join in on the fun.  I can't promise the latest trends or the most creative pinterest ideas, but I can promise that you'll be following a new and exciting journey with me.  So stay tuned!