Showers of Happiness and Nostalgia

As a 33-year-old lady, I have been to many, many bridal and baby showers over the years. Many. So on Saturday I was pretty excited to finally attend a shower for me! Not for a baby…

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My bestie Lisa (aka my MOH!) is visiting from Calgary and she threw me a bridal shower!

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I should probably tell you that Evan and I have set a date for the wedding — May 2017 in Cuba! We’re actually doing it at the same resort we got engaged at. We’re also planning on having a small official family-only ceremony and dinner before we leave as many of our family members can’t make the Cuba trip. But yep, it’s happening and I am pumped. With the wedding next May the shower ended up being sort of early (though I don’t think there is a rule, people keep mentioning this to me) but timing-wise it worked out really well. Lisa has been talking about throwing my bridal showers for years and this was the only time she was guaranteed going to be in Ontario over the next year or so. Our friend Crystal is also visiting from Calgary so it was perfect. Well, it was probably the hottest day of the year and I was a sweaty mess the whole time, but otherwise it was perfect.

The shower was at Mark and Dawn’s humble abode and when I arrived Mark answered the door in a French maid’s outfit and started serving us drinks. Amazing.

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I was glad the food was left in Lisa’s capable hands because I know she is just as food-oriented as I am (here’s a link to the very first post I wrote about her ’cause I know she likes it – it’s also her birthday today so I will rededicate that to her). I was not disappointed. Things on sticks!

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J’adore. My good pal Sherrie unfortunately couldn’t make the shower but she sent along her famous taco dip, so that was a hit as well. Ah I love shower food so much. Did some quality food table stalking.

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The cake was also ridiculously delicious.

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Chocolate and vanilla with buttercream icing. Yes and yes.

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There were so many pictures of Evan and I up everywhere. I did not realize how many pics we have together until I saw about 100 of them scattered around Dawn’s. I thought that was a really nice touch. I also have no regrets about taking so many pictures because it’s fun to look back at all our adventures over the past few years. And I got to keep them all! We’re actually doing a gallery wall in our bedroom and needed to print photos for it, so now we’re all set!

There were shower games, like the typical don’t say certain words (Evan, wedding and bride) but instead of clothespins everyone had candy bracelets and if you heard someone say those words you could steal their bracelet. I was killing it for a while.

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It wasn’t that hard for me because I usually call Evan ‘my lover’ anyway, so not saying his name for a couple hours wasn’t a huge deal. In the end though my friend Hannah got a few bracelets in a row, she got a little cocky, her competitive nature kicked in and she overtook me. I’ll get her back one day.

A statue of Evan (well, a groom statue but it kind of looked like Evan) was hidden on the premises and the person who found that won the prize. The winner of that was Casey!

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I’m so glad her and Michelle made it!

The third game was my favourite. Pin the mustache on Evan.

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It was quite the giant and hilarious picture. It made me laugh hard. (We were in Chinatown when that was taken, hence the hat.)

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It was tricky.

I opened presents, as one does at showers…

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It was a hair-up kind of task because I don’t think I have ever been so hot in my life, and everyone staring at me didn’t help that. I discovered that I don’t enjoy being the centre of attention at a party for myself, however I do like being the centre of attention if the attention is already on someone else. Not that I am trying to steal anyone’s thunder, but if I am telling a funny story or something I like getting that kind of attention. Forced attention feels different and more awkward. It wasn’t as bad as I thought though, only a few awkward moments!

My aunt’s childhood best friend Jo-Ann got me a crystal bowl of my Nana’s that I had my eye on several years ago when we were moving out of her apartment and into her nursing home. I had no room to take it at the time but I’ll be finding a good home for it now!

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It is probably one of the most thoughtful gifts I’ve ever received.

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Thanks Jo-Ann, you’re a muffin.

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As is standard, I had to wear the ribbon and bow hat.

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I enjoy the groom statue sticking off of it and the stamp of the Holy Toast on the front (thanks for that Dawnald!)

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I really had the best time and I am so thankful to Lisa for organizing it. I know it was a lot of work. But I’ll get her back someday!!!

I know a lot of people couldn’t make it ’cause the summer is a tricky time to plan things, but I am so thankful to everyone who came. I felt so loved.

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^ My high school lovers (including our English teacher)

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My second mom!

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I needed my bridesmaids to help with the cake cutting (two are missing but I’m sure you’ll see them in other shenanigans).

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It was just a wonderful time and I feel really happy when I think about it.

After everyone left it was just my longtime loves and I for a sleepover. We all grew up together, except for Hannah who I met when she interned at OFSAA (where I worked) a few years ago. We became super close and I am excited to have her be part of the big day.

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I’m also glad the girls could get to know her. We had a little photoshoot outside…

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And then we got into our bathing suits and FINALLY got into Dawn’s pool. That was a dream. We ordered pizza and then after dinner drove to a boat launch for a boat ride on Lake Scugog.

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Which you may remember is the lake I grew up on! I love that Dawn moved back here. Being on that lake again was just the icing on the cake for me.

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Lisa’s old cottage! That’s how we met, her parents had a cottage just near our house when we were growing up. Someone has now painted a skull and crossbones on the boathouse so we assume it has been taken over by pirates.

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It was so, so nice. Until the boat broke down. Which, of course it did. We should have known it was going to. Something like this always happens when we’re all together. It was like the party and the rowboat all over again!

Thankfully we were close to shore and right by the boat launch down the street from my childhood home.

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Mark came and saved us and while that was happening, Lisa, Hannah and I went for a walk around my old block. I honestly felt like I was still home. Like I could just walk into my old house and my old room and everything would be just how it was when I left it 14ish years ago.

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It looks so different now, but still somehow the same. We also saw some neighbours who remembered us — the man was like “OMG Lindsey! Get in here!” gave me a huge hug and then noticed Lisa and was all “Ohhhh you two together, you two are trouble!” You know it! It was just like old times!!!

Afterwards we went back to Dawn’s and hung out in the pool and hot tub with some drinks and it was the perfect end to the best day. I feel so thankful for Lisa and all of my friends and family. What a time.

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Friday Wrap Up feat Rufus Wainwright, Tilly Kitty and Engagement Photos!

Remember a few weeks ago I posted about Choir! Choir! Choir!’s event with Rufus Wainwright at the Luminato Festival? The video is up and it has over a million views! Crazy.

(if it doesn’t load click here to watch it)

Leonard Cohen even shared it!

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The video is even better than I expected. Total chillfest every time I watch it. I love it so much and I’m so proud to be a part of it! With all the crap that is going on in the world right now, I feel like Daveed and Nobu (the organizers) are giving our city — maybe even the world — an amazing gift. I feel lucky to be a part of something so positive.

A few weeks ago for Canada Day we sang After The Gold Rush by Neil Young and I nearly wept with joy. One of my favourite songs, by probably my favourite artist of all time.

(I’m not in that video, I sang it on the Wednesday night and they do the videos on Tuesdays)

So I’ve really been loving Choir lately.

I also really loved Jennifer Aniston’s recent article in the Huffington Post.

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This is my favourite:

The sheer amount of resources being spent right now by press trying to simply uncover whether or not I am pregnant (for the bajillionth time… but who’s counting) points to the perpetuation of this notion that women are somehow incomplete, unsuccessful, or unhappy if they’re not married with children. In this last boring news cycle about my personal life there have been mass shootings, wildfires, major decisions by the Supreme Court, an upcoming election, and any number of more newsworthy issues that “journalists” could dedicate their resources towards.

Here’s where I come out on this topic: we are complete with or without a mate, with or without a child. We get to decide for ourselves what is beautiful when it comes to our bodies. That decision is ours and ours alone. Let’s make that decision for ourselves and for the young women in this world who look to us as examples. Let’s make that decision consciously, outside of the tabloid noise. We don’t need to be married or mothers to be complete. We get to determine our own “happily ever after” for ourselves.

Well done. I do not understand the endless, unfounded celebrity baby bump speculation, or why society in general is so obsessed with whether or not someone is pregnant. WHO CARES. Kudus to her for shutting everyone up. Ugh, except you know it won’t.

“Are you dating anyone?” “Are you going to get married?” “When do you think he’s going to propose?” “Have you set a date?” “Are you going to have kids?” “Are you going to have a second child?” Pretty sure we can all relate to hearing these questions. It’s none of anyone’s business, but also, these are not things that everyone wants! It’s so annoying. Just do what you feel.

Pretty sure I owe you guys a Tilly update.

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I have not taken a lot of photos of her recently because she does NOT SIT STILL. She is running around all the time like a maniac. It is highly entertaining and pretty hysterical, but also a big adjustment — Winnie was an old lady when we had to put her down, and as such, she was lazy. She pretty much just slept all day and was down for cuddling anytime. Having a crazy young kitty around is quite different. The other day she knocked a glass off the table, it smashed on the floor, and then she jumped on top of it and sliced her paw open We had to put a little makeshift booty on her made out of a sock so she wouldn’t get it infected in the litter box.

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Ah, cats. I would appreciate it if she didn’t try to kill herself.

She is awesome though. She’s young and crazy but she does still like to snuggle and be around her humans. As soon as I get home from work she comes running out from wherever she’s been playing and launches herself at me and we have a little snugglefest. She sleeps with us every night, usually on our pillows. She’ll alternate between my pillow and Evan’s all night long.

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Evan usually wakes up with her draped around his head.

So yeah, we love her, and it’s going really well. She’s a muffin.

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I don’t know if I have mentioned this on my blog before but I really like the Pokemon games… My brother Eric had the special Pikachu edition GameBoy with Pokemon Yellow when he was about six, and I stole it and got totally into it and wouldn’t let him play. I had also been playing a bit of Pokemon Diamond until a few weeks ago (I beat the Pokemon League but didn’t catch all the Pokemon)… I’m not embarrassed, the games are addicting. So, like the rest of the world, I am pretty excited about Pokemon Go. It isn’t officially available in Canada yet so I was holding off and just kept myself occupied with Tilly…

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But two of my coworker friends got it and were talking about it all the time, and you know there are workarounds to it not officially being available in Canada…so I couldn’t resist. I now have it. We have been spending our lunches Pokemon hunting.

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Am I going to catch ’em all? Eh, probably just some. That has pretty much been the extent of my playing right now, but it gives us something to do on our lunch breaks. It’s a good time!

Lastly, Evan and I got some engagement photos done!

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A few weeks ago we met up with our photographer/friend Claire in Hamilton for an evening photo session. She took us to Tews Falls, which is usually a very nice waterfall but unfortunately it had been so dry lately that there was barely any water. It was still a really pretty spot though. I initially wasn’t sure if it was worth it to get photos done, but we know Claire (she is a good friend of my good friend Dawn, so I first met her in Grade 9) and we basically just got to spend an evening canoodling with each other. It was really nice and never felt awkward or anything. Claire is super talented (check out her photo blog!) and I think our photos turned out amazing. I don’t want to spam you guys with photos forever ’cause I’m sure it’s annoying, so let’s just get it over with. Here are a few of my faves (okay it’s most of the photos because I couldn’t choose favourites, I love them all!).

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(I’m laughing because Evan just whispered in my ear about what kind of pizza we should get on the drive home. We ended up getting Mexican:)

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Ahh I love them. So glad we have them. Thanks again Claire!

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Cottage Weekend and Nana’s 102!!!

On Friday after work Evan picked me up and we headed straight to the cottage.

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As someone who lives in the city it sure seems like I am never actually in the city, doesn’t it? I do love living in Toronto (for now not forever) but escaping it on summer weekends is my favourite. If it’s hot I need to be in water!

Summer hours have kicked in for me at work which means I get off on Fridays in the early afternoon, which is super awesome so far. Normally when Evan and I leave for the cottage after work on Friday we don’t arrive until like 9pm by the time we get out of traffic and buy our food and booze and stuff, so getting there early felt like a treat. We barbecued burgers for dinner and went swimming, and then Evan decided he was going to clean and vacuum my car. He has a hard time not doing things. He likes to “toil”, as he calls it. I don’t suffer from that and I don’t have a hard time sitting back and watching him. With beer.

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(Boobs wet from swimming mmmkay.)

It was going to rain in the evening so we watched the storm come across the lake…

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I love storms SO MUCH. As long as I am watching from somewhere safe and dry. We spent the rest of the evening in the screened in porch playing cards. Pretty perfect Friday night.

On Saturday morning we hit up the Tall Teepee for breakfast — Evan’s cottage is in a First Nations area so there are shops and diners around with ‘teepee’ in the name. Also a lot of drive-thru cheap cigarette stops. Handy! My breakfast was great.

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No complaints there.

In other news, we discovered recently at the cottage that the septic tank was full…

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The joys of country (and I guess trailer) living. Anyway, it was pumped out and when that happened it was discovered that tree roots had sort of taken over the tank and were affecting the, uh, flow of things. So the plan for Saturday was to cut the roots out of the shitter. Sounds like a fun time. Brotherman and their uncle came over around noon to help with that job and it seemed to be a ‘too many chefs in the kitchen’ type of situation (meaning I was not needed, thank God) so I drove into town to run some errands.

I have been wanting to buy a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) for a while now, pretty much since my friend Hannah and I tried it a few years ago, but they are so expensive (at least $1000!) s0 I have been holding off. Evan mentioned he saw some on sale at Winners so I happened to stop by there in my travels. I found the SUPs, and they were on super sale! I picked up this baby.

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It’s an inflatable one, which I was initially wary about, but it is rigid and sturdy and feels like you’re standing on a fibreglass board. And it has a removable fin. I read reviews on it before I bought it and it had some good ones, people said they were good for beginners and experts alike. So that’s good. Beginner I definitely am.

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If you’ve ever been on one you know it’s a lot harder than it looks. My legs were shaking immediately. I was definitely using muscles that I don’t work often. But I was surprised how quickly I got the hang of it. I need to get a proper SUP paddle (actually I just ordered one on Amazon) but I’m so happy I got an inflatable one. It inflates in 10 minutes and can easily fit in my car so I can tote it around. We’re camping this weekend and I’m bringing it along, so I’m excited for that. I love it already and foresee a lot of use out of it. Evan took ‘er for a spin as well.

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Aw, just learning.

Once the septic stuff was done we hung out in the lake for a few hours.

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We were the only ones up in our little bay so it was so quiet and nice. Not the best weather but it didn’t rain so that is a win.

If you frequent Ontario cottage country you may be familiar with the Wolf 101.5, a radio station out of Peterborough. It’s mostly classic rock with a bit of new rock and alternative thrown it. It is an essential cottage station, I’ve been listening to it at cottages/camping for as long as I can remember and when we’re up at the cottage we put it on as soon as we arrive and don’t turn it off until we leave. They do an all-request Saturday night thing so I decided I’d try to call in. I actually got through! I requested Laying Pipe by David Wilcox (one of my dad’s favourite bands), fitting as Evan had been doing septic work all day. I had to seal my request with a wolf howl, which was pretty funny. The entire thing made my night.

Sunday morning we said goodbye to the lake…

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And drove straight to my Nana’s nursing home for her birthday party. She turned 102 on Sunday!!!

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10 freakin 2!!! Can you even believe it? I’m not sure I can. I recently saw a picture of her that was taken at her 98th birthday and she looks better now than she did then! That sly minx keeps getting better with age.

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I hope that’s genetic. But seriously I’d be happy to be looking as good as her when I’m 80. She’s a miracle.

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Nana enjoyed some Snapchat filters… So did my dad.

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Beautiful.

My auntie Nancy and dad were in attendance, and my cousins Chrissy and Allie were visiting from BC — it was really great to see them. So awesome they could celebrate Nana’s big day.

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The last time we were all together was her 100th birthday!

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It should be mentioned that Nana loves having her picture taken… I may have gotten that from her.

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We had a tea party and my aunt’s friend Marcia made a pavlova and this other amazing light cake that I wish I was still eating right now. I forgot to get a picture of them but man were they good.

I am so thankful to have had my Nana in my life for so long. I have said this a million times but it’s still so true, she is the most positive person I know. Her go-to reaction to anything is still “Beautiful! Wonderful!” and then a pause and then “Fantastic!!!” If you haven’t read it you should check out the reasons she is the best ever. She is still going strong and those reasons still apply!

What a fancy lady.

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And always such a character.

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I just love her so much. It was a beautiful, wonderful…and FANTASTIC day!

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Fry All The Fish

I have been meaning to recap my Saturday after the 10k a couple weeks ago, ’cause my friend Sherrie hosted a second annual (maybe third annual) Hawaiian games day and it just happened to include a fish fry. It was a dream. After my run and brunch with the ladies, I headed home, showered, grabbed my lover and headed to Sherrie’s house for the annual games day. Sherrie’s boyfriend Will owns the food truck The Feisty Jack in Toronto, and he brought it over for the day.

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And I don’t think we are going to be able to go back to regular games day ever again.

Evan had volunteered a few weeks before to help out with the food on the day of and he was SO excited about it. He loves to cook and he loves food trucks and fish and chips in general, so it was right up his alley. He had been talking for weeks about how he was going to chip all the fries. It was cute. The week before he said to me “Do you think I’ll get to wear a uniform?!” Well, I’m pretty sure Will made his life with this official shirt.

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He did bring a change for later once he was done cooking.

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Saucy.

Will and Evan look alike, eh? They have a ton of nerdy things in common (I wasn’t referring to their glasses, but sure, also their glasses) and even have the same birthday.

Evan was pretty pumped to be working on the truck. He was all over those chips!

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Seeing those fryers really took me back to my time working at Dairy Queen when I would occasionally work in the back. We deep fried everything we could get our hands on, even the drive-thru headset, although that was an accident. It still worked after! But it was perpetually greasy for the rest of its days.

Anyway, they made all the fried things and it was incredible.

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I don’t know the recipe for Will’s batter because it’s a deep dark secret, but I did hear there is some Club Soda in there to keep it frothy and light.

The food spread was one of the best I’ve ever seen. They had bacon wrapped asparagus, pulled jack fruit (like pork but not) on a bun, actual pulled pork on a bun, tons of salads (not pictured) and chips (pictured)…

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And then, fish and chips.

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OH. MY. GOD. That fish!!! Totally the best I’ve ever had, no exaggeration. That batter was everything. Just perfect. For the chips Will had set up a make-your-own poutine station, but I couldn’t even get into it because I just wanted fish! All the fish! (I got into the poutine later during our late night snack, I’ll get to that.) Oh, sorry Evan, your chips were good too.

All our peeps were in attendance and we had quite the time eating, drinking and catching up with everyone.

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It’s baby season around here so there were many adorable babies in attendance, including little Marcus (Em and Cork’s chicken nugget).

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We just passed them around as the adults played all the yard games.

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We drew numbers and were split into team’s of two — I of course hoped I ended up with Evan because he’s good at things, but my partner was our friend Chris, who is also, I should mention, good at things. We killed it! We had cow pie toss (aka cornhole), KanJam, frisbee toss…

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Ladderball and beer pong.

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Quite the array of events. After each team had played all the games we tallied up the points and the two teams in the lead went to a final tie breaker of bocce ball. I am happy to tell you that my partner Chris and I were undefeated and we made it into the final bocce ball game, which we then also won (with no help from me, it was not my day for bocce). GAMES DAY CHAMPIONS!!!

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Pretty exciting. Putting that on my resume.

Later that night we had a bonfire and Will used his extra batter to make DEEP FRIED PICKLES!!! He made more fries too and the poutine bar was still kicking around so I got all up in that…

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I’m glad I waited so I could do it right. I actually had several deep fried pickles, whoops. Oh well, summer is for eating. Definitely gained back all those calories I ran off in the 10k that morning…

It was an awesome day and I’m already excited for next year!

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And I’m excited to be camping with most of these people next weekend. If it’s anything like our camping trip last year it is gonna be a TIME.

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Canada Day Camping

Happy belated Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day! #proudtobecanadian

And happy belated Fourth of July to all my American chums. We had Friday off so I was envious of you as I sat at my desk yesterday. I hope everyone had a great long weekend! We went camping with my friend Sherrie and her boyfriend Will, and sadly not in the beautiful mountains above where I was last year, we went to Silent Lake, where my family always went when I was a kid and where Evan and I went to last Labour Day weekend. The weather this time wasn’t wonderful but we had a gooood time.

The reservable sites at Silent Lake booked up really early and were gone by the time we decided we actually wanted to go camping, but there were several sites reserved for walk-ins that you couldn’t book in advance. I called them and they said it was first come first serve for those sites and we should be good if we got there as early as possible. So on Friday morning I left my house at 6am (Evan was coming later with Will), booked it to get Sherrie, left there at 7am, and made it to the park just after it opened.

A lot of people had arrived Thursday night and taken sites so when I checked in the morning there were only a three sites left. It was almost a two hour drive from Sherrie’s place so we sped up there and prayed the sites wouldn’t be taken when we got there. We were super lucky and got the second last available site. A guy in a truck came just after us and got the very last site, and a lady came just after him and was SOL. If we had been even 10 minutes later we wouldn’t have gotten a site, so we were pretty happy about that and raved on about how lucky we were. There were only walk-in campsites left, which meant we had to park offsite and walk our stuff in, but we are resourceful. We made friends with a ranger with a golf cart who let us load up all our stuff.

My tent (on the left in the pic below) is a complicated beast but we were able to get those puppies and the dining tent set up pretty quickly.

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Which was a good thing because as soon as we finished it started raining annnnnd it continued to rain for almost the rest of the day. It figures. We’ve had a bit of a drought lately and have had beautiful sunny weather for the past few weeks, but Canada Day weekend comes along and of course it rains. We still thought we were so lucky though, first snagging the site and then getting everything set up before the rain. Typical Canadians raving about their good luck when it rains all day.

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We got wet but what can ya do. It wasn’t bad, Sherrie had an extra pop-up tent that is meant to be used to shield from the sun, but we set that up over our chairs in front of a fire we built and it kept us pretty dry. Even with the rain I’d rather be camping!

Our first meal of the trip was not extravagant but it sure did hit the spot.

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Sherrie makes the best Kraft Dinner. You can’t get more Canadian than eating Kraft Dinner while camping on Canada Day (it’s our national dish and we eat 55% more than Americans, take that Paula!). I love it. I need to eat more of it.

The rain eased up a bit in the afternoon so we walked down to the lake and then went on a little hike.

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It is a beautiful park. One of my faves in Ontario!

The boys arrived together around 6pm and I’m glad they came when they did even though they missed the day. Evan was pretty sick on Thursday (I think he had the bug I had the week before, it was no good) and it was Will’s first time camping, so if they sat around in the rain all day I think they would have hated their lives. Thankfully by the time they arrived the worst of the rain was over.

I was on dinner duty and made us some tacos.

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Camping tacos are the best tacos.

Evan still wasn’t feeling 100% so he had a spectacular napular in our tent.

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Poor muffin. He’s a trooper.

It rained on and off until about 9, but we got a little sunset break!

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We spent the rest of the evening hanging out by the fire.

In the morning Will cooked us breakfast.

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And it was probably the best camping breakfast I’ve ever had.

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Scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, fried tomatoes, and potatoes. The potatoes were the highlight. He had boiled and seasoned them before he left so he just had to throw them in a pan and brown them up. Excellent idea and so, so good.

After breakfast we headed down to the lake to rent kayaks for a lake adventure.

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Evan and I kayaked the whole lake last year in a couple of hours — we also walked around the whole lake in about five hours. It was 15k on uneven hilly ground and it was torture, this was not the weekend to do that again. But the kayaking we knew was a good time. There are no motorboats allowed on the lake so it is perfect for kayaking and canoeing, and it’s small enough that you can see the entire lake.

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I love the rocky shoreline and the little islands you can explore.

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Evan picked us water lilies! Romantique!

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Mine had bugs all over it so it went overboard pretty quickly…

At the far end of the lake it gets pretty shallow and narrow. It’s a fun area to explore.

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It was a windy day and it was quite choppy in the main part of the lake, but the little channels were calm.

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It’s so pretty.

After our kayak adventure we headed back for burgers (homemade by Will and delicious) and then hit up the beach. It was not the warmest of days but I really wanted to go swimming. That was basically the entire point of leaving the city for the weekend. You can’t have Canada Day weekend without swimming! So, we swam.

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We also played some beach bocce ball.

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We stayed at the beach for a few hours before going back to hang at our site. I was feeling pretty groovy in my camping attire.

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The lake was really close to our site so we walked down for one last hurrah before it got dark.

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And then Will made us the most amazing dinner. Corn on the cob cooked over the fire…

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Shrimp skewers, chicken and vegetable skewers, and coleslaw.

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It pays to be friends with a chef!

And we had some spider dogs later that we cooked over the fire.

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We also went down and looked at the stars over the lake once it got dark, and they were some of the best stars I’ve ever seen. I’m so glad we had a good day on Saturday, it made up for the Friday rain.

We all had to work on Monday so on Sunday we just packed up and headed home. It was a real good time camping with these guys!

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And we didn’t even have one noise complaint! There was a group in their early 20s who had two sites just down from ours and they really took the attention off of us. We were walking by them in the dark on Saturday night and one of the guys yelled “HEY do you guys want to come hang out with us? …or are you cougars?” I said “Maybe we are…” and we kept walking back to our old people site with our old people music (70s/80s rock — probably not cool to them). Ah to be young. And then they got a noise complaint, suckers.

We actually have a big group camping trip coming up in a few weeks which I am really looking forward to, even more now. I have the camping fever for sure.

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Toronto Waterfront 10k Recap

Back in March I signed up to run my first 10k race, the Toronto Waterfront 10k, and this past Saturday was the day!

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Yeehaw!

I have run several 5k races in the past, but that’s all I’ve done as far as “racing” goes. If you can call that racing. I was apprehensive about the distance as 10k is actually the furthest I have ever run before. It was a real big deal and I have been training for it for the past several months.

Initially I followed the Couch to 10k app on my phone, until I got past the 5k distance and then at the end of April I switched to Hal Higdon’s novice 10k training plan. I really liked doing Couch to 5k to get me started, but once I got past the 5k mark going to 10k was difficult because of the amount of time required. It was getting to the point where every run was 60+ minutes and it was difficult to fit that in three times a week, especially when the weather was getting hotter. I found Hal Higdon’s plan much better as I got closer to race time, not that I followed it to a T. I didn’t exactly do the strength training and I didn’t always do the full long run distance (I am so weak-willed sometimes…especially when it’s really hot and humid out).

Anyway, the longest distance I ran before the 10k was 8k, and at a pretty slow pace, so for the 10k I didn’t really know what to expect of myself. My 5k PR is just over 30 minutes, but 10k is a different beast. I doubted I could do it in an hour. And then last week I suddenly got really, really sick. I am talking threw up for nearly 8 hours straight, plus a fever. That kind of sick. The sickest I’ve ever been in my adult life and I thought I had food poisoning, possibly from the wedding, but it only happened to me so it looks like it was just the flu. Fun!

Needless to say, that left me drained and weak. The worst of my sickness was on Wednesday, so by Friday morning I was starting to feel human again and decided I was still going to run the race. But I dropped any sort of time goal. I was running with my good friend Melissa (who I blew across the lake with, and you may remember her from her ridiculously fun Jack and Jill, and then her wedding this past November), and she is in the same running boat as me. We’re pretty equally matched.

She slept over on Friday night (I was feeling back to normal by then but we had too much wine and stayed up too late talking, maybe not the best of ideas), and we got up at 5:30am on Saturday, made our way downtown, and promised each other that we would do whatever it took to run the entire thing together. Even if it was at a super slow pace!

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We also met up with my friends Michelle and Casey (this race was Michelle’s idea in the first place, I cursed her at times but now I’m glad she got me to do it).

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At 7:45am we were off! It was HOT, and it was humid, and that wasn’t awesome, but for some reason I felt awesome. We started off running down Yonge Street to Lakeshore and that part was a bit of a downhill and it may have had something to do with this, but I felt better than I have ever felt while running. I was chatting to Melissa and Michelle and around km 3 or so and I remember thinking that I wasn’t even out of breath (Missy and I stayed with Michelle for the first 5k, Casey took off like a gazelle immediately ’cause she is freakin SPEEDY). That was crazy to me because normally I can’t hold a convo while running. I don’t think. I only really run by myself and I don’t really talk to myself, but I really didn’t think I could. My friend Emily texted me while I was running and I just responded with this selfie:

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Feeling good! Until about 6k when I started to deteriorate. At km 7 we had a turn around and were running directly into the sun and I went rapidly downhill. There’s a big uphill around there too which was not my favourite. 8k was the worst. I really wanted to stop and walk and I know Melissa was right there with me, but we soldiered on!

I am so happy to report that we ran the entire race, no walking, no stopping — though we ran super slowly through the water stations while dumping water down our throats, and onto ourselves. Gah, it was hot. We finished in 1:14:16 and I am super happy with that time!

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Yeahhhh!

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Afterwards we found Michelle, Casey and their friend Stephanie. We were all proud of ourselves. That Casey man, she ran it in 55:07. Crazy. Maybe one day…

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I think I caught the running bug. I am already thinking of what 10k I could do next (I’m not ready for a half marathon yet, if ever, but 10k I can do!).

Afterwards we went out for brunch at Hunter’s Landing. I have seen a picture of their recovery Caesar before and I knew I had to have it, even though it wasn’t 11am yet and they weren’t serving alcohol. I was okay with a virgin one. The garnishes made up for the lack of vodka.

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I always say I like Caesars because they are a drink and a snack all in one… In addition to your usual spicy bean, celery stick and olive, this Caesar included sausage, cheese, bacon, pizza slice and a freakin lobster tail.

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Ridiculous. I loved it.

And then I went to a fish fry party with my friends and spent the rest of the day eating, but more on that later!

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