Snowy Fire Nights

We got dumped on last night.  It was such a treat, after spending all day packaging up a gazillion orders (THANK YOU!), that 9pm rolled around, and magic, mysterious white frozen fluffs starting falling from the sky.  And fall from the sky they did.  We probably got close to 6 inches in about an hour.

So what's the best thing to do when it's snowing that much?  First, drive through the drifts to the store to grab some late night snacks, then head back home to play in the snow!  We had a bonfire for a little bit, until our bums were too cold, and then we headed back inside for a movie snuggle. 
 There's something magical about capturing the snow laden trees (and everything) at night, and it becomes even more captivating capturing it by firelight.  Thankfully it stopped snowing for a small moment so we could snag some pictures, without totally soaking our camera in flakes.
Our little Taco was very curious as to what we were doing outside.  He was meowing at us through the window, probably trying to let us know that it's cold outside, and there isn't food out there anymore, and we might die if we don't come back soon.  He likes to watch out for us like that.
When he's not caring for our wellbeing, Taco enjoys rocking out, preferably to Impending Doom.  Here's a little video Josh put together, showcasing this hardcore kitty's moves. 

The Lonely Island Birthday

If you read this blog, you'll know that it was Josh's birthday this past week.  Even though he was able to go out and so his favourite thing on his birthday (surfing), it still is so much more fun to celebrate with friends.  We like having kid parties at our house.  For my birthday, we had a snow day, GTing all day.  For Josh's last birthday, we had a great Peter Pan themed party, because Josh never wants to grow up, and just be a kid for life.  This year, we didn't get any more serious or responsible, but did get a little more adult.  (*that was a warning, letting you know that there might be some 'I get easily offended' reactions to both a couple pictures, and the overuse of profanity in these songs.  We don't take them seriously, they were originally made for the demographic of Saturday Night Live, and you can relax a little, knowing that we aren't cussfaces in our everyday lives.  I'm also not forcing you to scroll down, or listen to any of the songs in the links below)

This year's theme was The Lonely Island.  If you haven't seen one of their videos, or heard one of their songs, I'm sorry, but I think that you've been living under a rock.  Andy Samberg and crew regularly would have Digital Shorts on Saturday Night Live.  Sometimes bigger stars such as Justin Timberlake (many times), Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Natalie Portman and Michael Bolton and many more would accompany them on their songs (click names to see some of their fine works with the Lonely Island boys).

We all dressed up as some of our favourites.
Josh was the "Normal Guy"
Chris was "Guy Number Two" from "We Like Sportz"
Steph was "Rihanna" in "Ronnie and Clyde"
Josh was "Dick in a Box" (no indecent exposure, just pure dick-ness, while in a box)
Kathryn was "The Boss" from "Like a Boss"
Kevin quoted "F-ck Land" from "I'm On A Boat"
I was the "Mermaid" whom T-Pain has his way with in "I'm On A Boat"
Darren was just TOO good as "The Creep"

I was pretty pumped that everyone dressed up.  (We're just missing Rob as Natalie Portman from "Natalie's Rap"...his photo didn't turn out badass enough).  We listened to The Lonely Island all night, ate copious amounts of yummy foods, laughed too much, and enjoyed the unusually warm weather.  The evening ended with a huge bonfire and a couple of rounds of Head's Up (seriously, best bonfire game ever, thanks Ellen DeGeneres).  Download that game immediately.  It's so great.

Now we need to come up with another idea for next year's birthdays!  Do you guys have any ideas?  We like dressing up, being a little ridiculous, and having lots of fun.

Here's a little fishy lady for good measure.

Birthday Blessings

Last weekend, the winds were in full force on the lake.  It was bittersweet in our house, as when the winds pick up, Josh gets major surf stoke, but he was full on covered in poison ivy (more on that later), and we had some lovely friends over for the weekend.  This also meant that he had to miss out on the Gales of November surf contest happening down on Lake Erie.  Since he had so much fun at the last contest, he was pretty bummed.  Thankfully for him, there's going to be another contest happening soon, the Battle of the Great Lakes.

After listening to the wind howling outside all morning, Steph and I couldn't resist running down to the lake Sunday afternoon to snap some pictures and experience the wind for ourselves.  We literally almost got blown away!  The gusts were so strong, that as we stood there we were being pushed back from the lake.  Walking to the beach from the car, sand and leaves whipped at our faces, and we thought momentarily about turning around and booking it back to the car.  We decided against it, cause we really wanted to see what the water was doing!  

The waves were killing it!  I knew that Josh would have been a little sad to see what he was missing, so I was glad that he was too doped up on Benadryl to want to come out to see the waves.  Steph and I thought for a second about grabbing wetsuits and going to play, but then of course we came to our senses, snapped a couple pictures, and ran back to the car.  No matter how bundled up we were, that wind was still cutting through our layers, and cutting deep.  All we could think about were the hot cups of tea waiting for us when we got home.

I know these pictures don't really do the waves justice, but I promise, these are big!  The buoy out on the lake was reading 11 feet, and that's pretty massive for our little bay.
 Tuesday was Josh's birthday!  This is what we woke up to:
A couple weeks earlier we had our first snow of the season, but it didn't last too long.  This snow earlier this week actually has stayed until the end of the week!  It's going to warm up this weekend, so I'm sure it will all be gone soon enough, but it was very pretty while it was here!  The trees all glistened, and at night when it was snowing, it looked so beautiful in the streetlamp light.  

Of course, what brought all this beautiful snow, was cold air blowing in.  And of course that only meant one thing, big winds, and big waves!  Josh couldn't ask for a better birthday present!  He was totally pumped to be able to go surfing on his birthday.  This kid lives to surf.  He eat, sleeps and breathes surf.  You'd think that living on a little lake in Canada wouldn't be totally ideal for a surfer.  But that's why we moved up to the lake when we got married.  We didn't see it feasible to leave the country, since we are Canadian through and through, and we didn't want to move to either coast, cause we love our friends and family too much to move far away.  So next best option, plant ourselves next to a giant lake.  Now, we live within 2 hours of great surf spots, most within 45 minutes.  That makes for a seriously happy boy.

Many people think he's a little crazy, especially since surf is best in the fall and winter around here, and he spends hours in the water looking like this, but he loves every second of it.

Happy Birthday babe, hope you enjoyed your special day.  It ended with chicken wings, so I'm sure that you did.

Surf's Up! Lake Huron Fresh Water Classic 2013

This past Sunday morning, we got up at the ridiculous hour of 4:00am (AM!) packed up the boards and snacks, plus winter gear and warm socks, made a quick stop at Timmies for some morning fuel, and started the long drive over to Kincardine, on the shore of Lake Huron.  It was the end of October, which means that fall surf was in full swing, and the Lake Huron Fresh Water Classic surf contest was starting at sunrise.

I can officially say that surfers are out of their minds.

It was pouring rain, mixed with bouts of hail and icy roads, and the forecast was calling for a high of 6*C.  Throw some 30-40km winds at our faces, and it was looking to be a good day.  At least it was looking to be a good day for the crazy people.  

I really don't understand the desire to get up so early, to put on wetsuits (still cold and wet from the previous day's surfing adventures!) and get into frigid water, while being pelted with giant chunks of hail and rain.  Sounds like the worst beach day ever.  I was completely bundled up in my winter clothes, long johns plus leg warmers, scarf, toque (that's a beanie for all you americans!), mittens, and I stood huddled by the heater in the little tent we had on the beach for the judges and spectators.  All of the competitors happily ran into the water for the whole morning, taking on the rough waves (that weren't really cooperating) with huge smiles on their faces.  I know that Josh and the friends that came with us were totally stoked, so it was kind of easy to take on a little of their excitement while watching from the shore.
Tim, waxing up for the day
Helene, Scott and Josh heading out for one of the shortboard heats
Helene and Josh ripping up the competition
Helene happy to be back in the warm tent with coffee!
Josh just finding out that he made the finals!
Serious swag for the prizes!  That's a 12' SUP for the shortboard winner!
After the event, we all packed up and headed over to a local pub for the award ceremony.  Our friends Helene and Antonio both won Aloha Spirit Awards, and Antonio won the Longboard division, plus placing second in Shortboard.  Tim's friend Matt won the Shortboard division, taking home a GIANT Stand Up Paddleboard as his prize!  That was an adventure to pack into the truck.  It was pretty sweet for Matt, since it was his first time surfing the lakes.  He grew up ocean surfing in Barbados, and his still was definitely visible on our little lake waves. 

It was so nice to see the community between all these surfers, even though they all live so far apart!  We had people from all over, including Sudbury, Rochester, NY, Toronto, and although they live here now, a few guys from Peru and Barbados!  Everyone was so nice and chill (do you expect anything less with surfers?), and I'm looking forward to going to more contests.  I just hope that the next one isn't so cold and wet.


A little table set up a quilt show.
One of Taco's usual spots.  Cardboard is his favourite.
Evening watercolour session.  New brushes are the best.
Practicing with my Nikko G and Sumi ink, and practicing scripture in daily life.
Spaghetti squash from Heather's garden.  Butter, salt, pepper, parmesan is all that is needed.
Painting backgrounds.
Treated my boy to some cajun shrimp, to accompany his southern sweet tea.
Strawberry sprinkle treats with many episodes of Parks and Recreation.
'Tis almost the season.

Sept 27: An Anonymous Letter to You (You Don't Know Who You Are)

Friday, September 27: An anonymous letter to your Facebook friends. Be as snarky as you'd like. (but don't include people's real names.) 

Facebook is really getting on my nerves lately actually.  Every day I'm tempted to delete my account, but then I remember that there's fun opportunities on it to catch up with people's lives from my past, and share pictures of life with friends that are far away.  It's also a nice way to contact people if you don't have their number or address.  But I think that people seriously abuse Facebook.  And frankly, some posts definitely get on my nerves.  So here's a little letter to all you Facebookers, and why I think that some of your Facebook actions are ridiculous.  Sorry if you think this post is ridiculous, but I don't care.  All the culprits of the following make me want to delete you.

1. Vaguebooking.  This practice has created a new word.  Not sure if it's a legitimate word, but I know that it's a realy practice, that people just shouldn't do.  What's the point of Facebook, if you're just going to say really vague things, and then avoid answering anyone's questions about it?  Attention is what you're seeking, and attention is what you're getting.  Why not give your readers a little boost of excitement too, and just let us in on the 'secret'?  Either that, or just keep it a secret, instead of shouting from the mountain tops, 'Hey! I have a secret and you don't, and I'm not going to tell you anything about it, but I just wanted you all to know that I have one!'

2.  Creeping.  Yes, creeping is what Facebook has been made for, but why not let your friends know that you're creeping them.  Hit that little 'like' button, leave a comment, or if you want to be more private, send a little message.  We're called Friends on Facebook for goodness sake, I think that you could share some kind of relationship with me online.  Facebook has even set it up where you don't have to actually say anything, but there's that little 'like' button which lets me know you were interested. 

3.  Creeping, and then sharing that information with others behind your friends' backs.  Have you ever had that situation that someone has read or seen something on your Facebook, and then they've used that information to essentially tattle on you to someone else?  Well I have, and frankly it's really annoying.  Sorry that I haven't managed to tell someone you know to your face what I did last weekend, or that I dyed my hair, or that my husband got a tattoo, or that we bought a new car.  I didn't think that I needed to, but thanks for letting someone know, so that they can come back and question me about it.  Question me as to why THEY weren't informed of adult decisions that we are completely capable of making on our own.  Sorry, didn't think I needed to alert you to these seeming meaningless happenings in our lives the second they happen.  Maybe if you just wait, perhaps until the next time we see you in person, we will let you know our good news.  But in the mean time, please, continue to phish for information through your more Facebook savvy intel.  Oh and intel person, you can let us know that you're sharing this information, ok?  Cause that only seems like the polite thing to do.

4.  If you're going to post rants, statuses, or anything really, please make a little effort to use proper spelling, punctuation, full words and grammar.  Bloggers, this is a shout out to you too!  When we are living in a word of type, creating letters our there for others to read, the decent thing seems to be that we should share these letters in legible, comprehendible formats.  I don't respond well to 'u' and 'r' as real words, because they're not.  Please don't become a generation that has thrown real language and writing out the window.  Our kids are going to be complete idiots if these bad habits continue.

5.  Stop inviting me to the 'Birthdays' app.  If I have my birthday listed on my Facebook profile, get out a calendar and right it down.  Or, I don't know if this has been noticed or not, but Facebook has this little widget in the top right corner that alerts you to people's birthdays.  It's like magic, and it will tell you if today is my birthday.  If it doesn't say that today is my birthday, chances are, it probably isn't.  What a miracle of technology.  This is even more infuriating when I get these invites from A. people who I know don't really care if it's my brithday, or B. close family members.  I mean, how did you remember my birthday 10 years ago, when you didn't have Facebook?

Sorry if you think that I went overboard on my Facebook rant.  Hey, at least I didn't post this rant as my Facebook status today.  Yeah, rants on Facebook can be pretty annoying too.

(this post is part of Blogtember

Sept 20: Comfort

Friday, September 20: React to this term: comfort. 

Comfort.  It's really easy to be comfortable.  Stay comfortable.  Get stuck in comfortable.  I know sometimes for me I just want to stay in the cloud of our bed, because it's comfortable.  That sometimes I don't want to go out, but it's not comfortable.  To wear yoga pants and wooly socks and sweaters day in and day out, because it's comfortable.  To avoid high heels in any sense possible, because they are torture weapons for feet, and, not comfortable.  To snuggle up with a nice cup of tea, layers and layers of blankets, and a classic movie for each date night, because it's comfortable.

But if we constantly stay surrounded by comfort, we aren't going to take any risks, try something new, or change any routines.  And therefore, we will become stagnant, and probably really bored.  Sure it's nice to stay in bed all day, but when you finally do get up, and realized that you've missed a beauty day that reminds you it's still summer for one more day, it sure can be a downer.  When you stay in all the time, because you like what you know, and don't feel comfortable being social, you miss out on making new friends, who soon enough, you will feel comfortable with too.  You'll miss the flowers in bloom, the changing of the leaves, the chance to learn something.  

Taking risks can be fun!  Being spontaneous is so freeing.  So be free, and stop planning.  Planning everything down to the minute, because then you won't feel any stress, just causes more stress anyway.  Planning around your comforts doesn't challenge you, doesn't let you grow.  

Every once in a while, it's nice to be comfortable.  To stay in, and nest.  But don't forget to escape that comfort too.  It'll be so good for you.

Sept 18: Imagery

Wednesday, September 18: Only photos

Sept 6: A Story of Fear

Friday, September 6: A story about a time you were very afraid.

I'm not going to share about a time I was very afraid, but just about a fear of mine.  I guess I could talk about my fear of my favourite animal, sharks, or how swimming in dark water totally freaks me out.  But I'm not going to.  I want to address a fear that I have that I really want to overcome.

Singing, by myself (not as backup vocals) in front of people.  I don't even do it in front of my husband.  Or family.  Or any friends.  But I want to.  

I love singing, and I think I'm pretty good at it.  I've done two solos in my life, and I was shaking with nerves, and fears of totally messing up.  I start to sweat and my hand shake, I feel flutters in my stomach, and I'm scared that my voice is going to crack, or come out of tune.  I don't sing out with my full voice, and am too scared to go hard with the power that my voice has.  This fear reminds me of my fear of public speaking, but somehow I make it through speeches or presentations more easily that singing out loud for others.  

It really bugs me that I'm too afraid to do it!  I have no reason to be afraid.  I know I can hit the notes, and hold them without my lungs feeling totally deflated.  I know that I can carry the melody with strength and power.  I know I don't have a rational reason for being afraid of singing, and that this fear is so minimal compared to major things in the world that I could be afraid of.  (But really, why do we need to be afraid of silly little things on earth?  There should only be One who I should fear, for He holds my life in His hands.)

One day, hopefully soon, I will overcome this fear.  I want to stand up in front of a crowd, or even a couple people, or even just one other person, and sing my little heart out, the way I do when I'm in my car by myself.  And when I do, maybe I'll let you know.  But I can't guarantee that I will be able to show you.  I'm not sure I'm ready for YouTube just yet. 

Here's a little amazing song that I want to sing out....and have been doing so over and over again in the car, in my head, or humming along as I work.  

Sept 5: A Piece of Advice

Thursday, September 5: Pass on some useful advice or information you learned and always remembered. 

Some advice that I learned from my mom, when I was going to visit friends, for dinner or the weekend or whatever, was to always bring something, usually food.  I never really understood why, but still I usually followed through with either a call asking if there's anything in particular to bring, or else I'd just grab some chips or make a quick little dessert to share.  As I got older, and more of my friends had their own places, I tried to put this in to practice even more, as I realized that these couples or friends were no longer living at home, and generally had more expenses than me, still at home.  So I definitely wanted to contribute, to offset their costs of hosting me.  Now that I have my own home, and it seems to be host to many days of friends over to visit, I understand why my mom was trying to make this a habit for me.  We've had lots and lots of visitors come to our house over the last year, and the cost of food definitely starts to add up quickly.  Especially when you have guests that stay for a couple days.  I'm not trying to sound like my friends are a burden, or that I hate hosting people, I actually feel the opposite.  But it's so refreshing when someone calls ahead and offers to bring the bacon for our breakfast, or some burgers for dinner.  When I'm constantly feeding beyond Josh and I all the time, it's not always in our budget to do so.  Josh is of another mindset, where he's a total giver, and it doesn't really bother him as much.  I guess because I have the practice engrained in my head, I sometimes hope that friends wouldn't constantly come empty handed.  This past weekend definitely tested me on this way of thinking.  We were expecting three or four people over, so I shopped accordingly.  Then last minute it was four more people, then another two, then five more again!  I was definitely feeling the pressure.  That's a lot of people, a lot of toilet paper, and a lot of dirty dishes.  Thankfully some of my friends pitched in and brought food and drinks, or contributed financially to some of the purchases (KFC for our one year housiversary!).  I don't expect people to bring stuff when they are invited over (I'll even let it slide sometimes when people invite themselves over!), but when it's for a whole weekend, and multiple days are involved, and little help here and there sure is helpful.  And I'll definitely do it when I come visit you too!
If you can snag them before the squirrels, we have free strawberries at our house.  You are welcome to whatever you can find!

Sept 4: Escape This Life

Wednesday, September 4: If you could take three months off from your current life and do anything in the world, what would you do? 

Wow.  Three months off my current life?  I don't even know what I would do!  Sometimes I feel like, in other moments of my life, I would have taken them off to live the life I'm currently living.  I really love it!  But for the purpose of this challenge, I'm going to try and think of something different.

If I could escape my current life for three months, I think I'd go somewhere far, still with the beach, and with Josh, but this time to the ocean.  Can I bring friends with me?  I'd paint and draw, just for me, (my etsy can wait), and create huge messes everyday.  I'd have this ginormous studio filled with natural light from windows all around me.  One or two walls would be able to open up like garage doors, to let in the fresh air and breeze off the ocean.  I'd have all the supplies I could ever need, and a huge table to spread out my work on.  Josh would have a wall filled of surfboards, and a giant shelf of yummy smelling surf wax (have you ever smelled surf wax before??? Oh my goodness, it's so great.)  We'd escape into the sea to paddle out into the sunsets, snorkel the coves, and play on the beach.  Ok, I don't feel like I'm changing much of this dream life from my current life, as the foundations are still the same.  Everything would just be a little improved.  

I'd have hair to my butt, full of mermaid colours, and a flower crown on my head.  My closet would be filled with flowy things, bringing out the beach hippy in me.  Wed eat food from our yard, and less from the store.  Actually, we wouldn't go to the store, just to the little market down the road, so we'd ride our bikes instead of driving.  We'd have outdoor BBQs with friends, and just spend the evenings around the fire, sharing life.  Oh, and there would be lots and lots of palm trees.  Yeah, I think I could do that for a dreamy three months.
Photo snagged from Steph, on our trip last winter to Domincan Republic.

Sept 3: Who I Am

Tuesday, Sept. 3: Describe where or what you come from. The people, the places, and/or the factors that make up who you are.

Technically, I came from my mom and dad, in a hospital in Calgary, in the cool month of March.  My mom said I interrupted her lunch, but that was ok, cause I was her first babe, and I think the labour wasn't too bad.  I also know that my name comes from my mom's bunkmate at camp when she was a kid, and that she fell in love with the name Reva.  Turns out my dad wasn't the biggest fan of the name at first, but after watching my mom go through labour, he let her name me whatever the heck she wanted!  I'm pretty stoked on my name.  I don't think that I've ever hated it (except maybe when doing touristy things as a kid, and I couldn't find my name on anything!)  
Hi! I'm born!
We lived in Calgary until my sister was born, 4 years after me.  I thank my babysitter from Calgary for my love of hair.  She taught me to braid (french, fish, inverted) on My Little Ponies and my little Sheera doll.  I also fondly remember the snow.  We had the biggest yard on our street, as we had an irregular corner lot, and I remember walking around in the snow with my dad to spell out all our names.  Calgary is also where I learned that I can be really good friends with boys.  My best friend Nick lived behind us, and we spent lots of time climbing over each other's fences to play.  
My moms famous ski jacket, easiest person to find on the rink and the ski hill.  Plus a cutie little sister. (stole this from Ali's instagram.)
When my dad got transferred to Edmonton when I was 4, we made the first big move of my life.  Thankfully, there were other families who got transferred to Edmonton too.  One of these families included one of my oldest friends, Erin, and we quickly bonded.  I remember lots of time spent at her house, specifically lunch time, with Itchiban soup and grilled cheese sandwiches on placemats we collaged ourselves.  I remember playing in the sickest snow fort ever that her dad would make us every winter from shovelling off the back deck, and hosing down the fort when it was all done so it was solid.  I remember watching Rock-a-Doodle-Do constantly, and reading Sweet Valley High daily.  We actually blew through hundreds of books through the library program (cause we would win POGS for every book we read!)  And we started a secret club, with a code for writing notes, and handshakes and everything.  I still have my little box that we each have, with my notepad and pen.  I miss adventures at West Edmonton Mall, spending the whole day floating down the lazy river at the water park.  I miss sleepovers and playing dress-up in the basement, with an overflowing tickle trunk.  And I really miss all the cardboard boxes, which we painted and made windows and doors, and played for hours in.  I can't wait to do all the things I remember from when I was a kid, with my kids.
1993, all dressed up to go see Joseph and Technicolour Dreamcoat.  I loved it so much, I went with other friends again the next night.  I still know most of the words to most of the songs.  Josh also stole this picture from a family album and has it hanging by his desk.  I also think my mom made my dress, with matching headband.  Woot woot shoulder pads!
When I was in Grade 4, my dad got hired my a company in New York.  It was the hardest thing to leave all my friends, move not only thousands of miles away, but also to completely new county.  I was the weird Canadian kid, with the weird accent.  It was a hard three years in New York, but I wouldn't have changed it.  Again, I found a best friend in a boy down the street, where countless nights were spent playing Man Hunt in the court, days swimming in the pool, and chasing the ice cream truck (Vinny!) down the street to snag some AirHeads and BlowPops.  I remember bailing hard one day on my bike and totally tearing up my leg, and Vinny gave my friend and I free rootbeer float popcicles.  I remember sitting in the hammock in our backyard (the same one I now have on my porch!) singing My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion at the top of my lungs, over and over again.  But New York wasn't always the nicest to me, and therefore I wasn't always the nicest kid.  I was sneaky with my friends, nasty to other girls, getting in fights in the hall at middle school (which is pretty much like high school here in Ontario) and had such a foul mouth.  I definitely needed the break from that whole culture, so it was a good thing that after only three years in the States, we moved back to Canada.

We moved to Ontario, to a little town and I started grade 7.  It was pretty weird going back to a school of a couple hundred that was full of little kids, compared to have been in a high school type atmosphere in the states, full of 1800 grade 6, 7,and 8s.  Thankfully I wasn't the only new kid in class that year.  It was a hard year, as I went back in the French Immersion program, which I had missed out on the last three years, so I was so behind.  But I eventually found some good friends, and learn how to live life in a small town, after living in three big places all my life.  My little town totally changed my life.  I made the greatest friends, whom I'm sure I'll keep forever.  I realized the potential of my faith through church and youth group and these friends.  I stopped being afraid to be more creative, and started working hard on artistic creations.  All of my friends were interested in the same things, and I learned about hardcore music.  These friends took my to my first Cornerstone Festival, which completely changed my life.  I stopped wanting to be part of the popular crowd, and started to feel comfortable being different.  I finished high school and went to university, started dating the man that would become my husband, and try new things artistically that I never had before.  I learned that I don't do well with roommates that are girls, and that it's hard to make new friends that measured up to all my old friends.  I graduated, and eventually went to school again, and then a third time!  I couldn't narrow down what I wanted to do.  I got engaged to a wild stunt man after an around the world trip to Australia to see my sister graduate, got married to the man of my dreams, and moved to our little beachy town.  
Little Josh, the first year we started dating.  I miss those huge earrings, and my stretched ears.  I don't miss the skater hair on the boy as much though.
In the last year, I don't feel like I've changed too much, but I've learned tonnes.  I've learned to snowboard, to (almost) surf, to skateboard, to keep a home.  I've learned to be a momma to a kitty, to cook for a troubled stomach, and to host lots and lots of friends and family.  I've learned how to love in new ways, to understand my faith better, to communicate in new ways, and to push myself in new ways.  I've realized the work that I want to be my job, which is nothing I would have ever imagined before.  And now, looking back on all of these factors that make up my life, I've realized what kind of woman I have become.  And for that I am forever thankful.
We are homeowners, and didn't get a good picture of it!  Josh is already ready for a life at the beach.
(this post is part of Blogtember)

Instant Moments

Some instagram moments over the last couple weeks.  Follow me if you like @daughterzion

/Getting down to some professional business/ /Kitty Taco hiding from the camera (actually, he just sleeps like this!)/ /Inky fingers are the best/ /We got a new car!!  88' Cabriolet, it's made for topless summers/ /So in love with this guy. Sorry for the kitty spam!/ /Sketching thank you cards for a wedding this September./

Life Lately

Life's been a little all over the place around our house.  I've been swamped with work (which is excellent, I'm not complaining!), but I feel like I've let somethings slide to the wayside in the mean time.  Like our new kitty, the poor guy just hasn't been getting the attention from me he wants, and he definitely lets me know.  I haven't been whipping up fancy meals, and we've eaten lots of tacos and too many nights out with friends at restaurants.  We finally did laundry today that I've been putting off for two weeks, but still put off cleaning the house.  But in hindsight, even though I feel like I've been putting my work first, and everything else second, maybe I'm wrong.  Josh and I escaped yesterday for a mini summer vacation, just the two of us (I forgot my camera, so you'll get a post later full of grainy phone pictures).  It was so lovely.  The night ended with the most amazing lightning storm and clouds coming in around sunset, and it continued flooding the sky with lights our whole drive home.  We ended the night with the last three episodes of Parks and Recreation season 4.  I can't wait until the end of September when our season 5 arrives in the mail!  This morning we woke up to thunder and rain, which was so calming and relaxing.  An order came in for me at work, but I decided to put it off until tomorrow, and catch up on some reading (online, and on the page) and organize my calendar for the next month.  Tomorrow I might be taking a chunk of the day off too, and two lovelies are coming to visit us for the first time!  These girls are like my little sisters, and I've been babysitting them (when they were younger and needed it) since 2000!  Now they're all grown up, and I can't believe it!  These ladies are so beautiful, inside and out, and I can't wait to share a little bit of our new life with them.  

Here's a snapshot that Josh grabbed quickly on my phone last night (hence the poor quality!), as we curled up on the couch for some Parks and Rec.  Taco ran right over to me and crawled up on my lap and and proceeded to fall asleep.  It was so nice to know that even if I haven't been able to give him the loving he deserves, that he still loved me enough to cuddle.  I'm so in love with this kitty.  

Hair Adventures of a Mermaid

Hi friends, I'm a blue-head now!  Well, with a few other colours thrown in.  (I'll list what I used at the end of the post.)
I've been colouring my hair since grade 9, way back when.  The first time I did it, my friend was putting the colour into my hair, and I was so freaked out about what my mom would say.  Thankfully, I had managed to not really know what colour my original hair was, because nothing had changed after I rinsed out the colour.  I had picked out a shade that was pretty much the exact same as my hair.  After that first time, I slowly became more and more red.  After a couple years with luscious, long, wavy, thick red hair, I decided to get a little hippy.  I dreaded my hair in grade 12, and they became platinum blonde.  I wore those for about a year until I was over them.  But I couldn't part with my hair.  Cutting it off was not in the picture.  I spent three long months slowly and gently combing each dread out.  I managed to do it, but the bottom 3-6 inches of my hair was so fried from all the bleaching, and the dreads themselves.  I ended up cutting it all off anyway, right before heading off to university.  I coloured it dark brown, chopped it into a little A-line bob, and every time I got bored at school, my hair seemed to become darker, and shorter.  The worst thing I did to my hair was dye it black.  It absolutely killed my hair. 

A few years later, I was flipflopping between reds, blondes, browns, and all the variations in between.  It wasn't until I went all over blonde, and had been following Natasha Lillipore online, and fell in love with her hair.  She had blue, then pink, then purple...every bright rainbow shade under the sun.  I wanted it so bad, but knew that where I was working would SO not be into it.  So I started with just a little chunk on the underside of my hair, which could be easily hidden.  The only problem was that every time I re-touched it, the chunk would grow bigger and bigger.  Eventually, I was all over bright red, and somehow got away with it.  This was leading up to my sister's wedding last summer.  Thankfully, she was down with my electric red-fuschia hair (which looked so good against my navy bridesmaid's dress).  Ever since then, it's only been full on mermaid/my little pony hair, all the time.  And I love it.  I had super bright hair for my wedding, and just last week, went blue/teal/purple/green.  Here's some pictures I took to share.
I'm a die-hard Manic Panic user, since it's gentle on my hair, and I can leave it in for hours, and my hair comes out so silky after.  I often use a lot different colours when I do my hair, so that there's lots of variations to enjoy.  For this hair-do I used: Green Envy, Shocking Blue, Atomic Turquoise, and Ultra Violet.  I try to use the Amplified Manic Panic colours, because they last longer, which helps my hair stay more vibrant.  I also have a small bottle in my shower thats part conditioner, part colour, which acts as a glaze every so often.  It's been a while since I've used just straight colour, so it was pretty shocking how vibrant and dark it was.  All summer, I've just been using the glaze to make my hair more pastel, since being in the lake often would fade it fast, and I was pretty lazy about wanting to take the time to really colour my hair.  I don't want to spend a whole day inside soaking my head in colour on these beautiful summer days!

This past weekend was my hair debut to my husband and friends, and they loved it.  I think I was told about a hundred times how much they liked it.  We had a blast of a weekend, playing outside.  I learned to shoot a BB gun, and hit the can my first shot!  Watch out world, this mermaid might impale you with a little metal ball, but I'll try really hard not to.  Just kidding, I don't shoot people.  That's not very nice.
Tips for keeping your colour:
-wash less: water strips colour, so I wash the least amount possible and use dry shampoo in between
-conditioner colour: as I said above, I 'glaze' my hair with a little colour every couple showers
-use coldest water you can handle when washing, it helps, trust me
-I keep my dye in for as long as possible, with a shower cap or plastic bag on my head.  It really helps the colour to stain my strands really well.  I don't recommend doing this with all hair dyes, but Manic Panic hasn't hurt me yet!

Meet our New Furbaby, Taco!

Hi guys! I'm Taco! And I'm the new furbaby living with Josh and Reva.  I thought that I'd let my new mom introduce me to you, and tell you all about my story.
Josh and I adopted Taco a week and a bit ago, and we've already fallen in love with this boy!  Taco is 6 years old, and was taken in by a lovely lady after his family abandoned him and his fur family (some dogs and cats!) after they were evicted from their home.  Poor guy.  Luckily, he was taken in and given lots of love by his temporary owner.  Unfortunately though, she was really allergic, so she was just keeping him until she could find a permanent home for him.  She named him Taco (because she didn't know his original name) because every time she made anything Mexican, he was always in the kitchen.  Being named Taco was what drew us to him in the first place.  After we met this little furball, it was love.  He's super affectionate, loves getting attention and being brushed, comes when he's called, and prefers to go to the bathroom outside (bonus!).  He's pretty much a dog, which is our favourite kind of cat.
This is his favourite chair.  Most of his naps take place here, and sometimes he sleeps covering his face.  I think it's just because he's camera shy.
He parties hard.  And have a serious love of cardboard boxes.  We have been so blessed that he doesn't scratch the furniture, only cardboard.  
Longing to be outside.
So that he can do this.  He rolls around in the dirt as much as possible.  What a goof.
He comes to bed with us too!  He usually falls asleep before us, at the end of our bed, but as soon as we're sleeping, that seems to be when his nighttime adventures begin.  Most of these adventure involve a little bit of his catnip toy, and lots of cardboard boxes.
He's pretty sweet.  Even my cat-hating dad seemed to have fallen in love!  I was worried at one point that my mom was going to steal him on her last visit, and take him home.  You should come and play with him.  He'll love you forever!


Reading: I'm just finishing up the last chapters of Dan Brown's newest book Inferno.  I feel like reading Brown's books is some kind of a guilty pleasure.  But I really do love them!  There's so many twists in his books, and imagination, and I like how he's managed to include 'true' facts about secret societies and  government institutions.  My favourite is how there's been glimpses into the Vatican and the Catholic church.  So much more scandal that the news releases!  Even though I have to take most of these facts with a grain of salt, because I don't know which bits of the story are the true parts, and which are fabricated, I don't care.  I just want to keep turning the pages.  Inferno has been good so far, but I'm not sure that it's my favourite of his.  We'll have to see when I finish the book completely.  Before reading this book, my favourite I think has been the Lost Symbol.  Do your imagination a favour and pick up one of his books.  They really are entertaining.

Listening to: Brookes.  All day, every day (almost...within reason).  Any time I've put music on this spring (usually when I'm in the shower, it's blasting!), it's always been either Brooke Fraser or Brooke Waggoner.  There's just something about these ladies voices lately.  Who I am kidding, it's been well over a year of these voices streaming out of my speakers.  Waggoner's new album, Originator, is definitely a step away from her older albums, but I'm still really loving it.  She just manages to create such beautiful sounds with the instruments in her band, and soothing sounds in her voice.  Brooke Fraser is another lady with a soothing voice.  She has this little bit of raspiness in her voice that I just completely fall for.  Plus, many of her songs are evidently worship songs for Jesus.  Being able to worship God through singing along with her music makes up for missing out on the kind of worship I want at church.  I definitely recommend picking up both Originator, and Brooke Fraser's Flags, or any other their older albums.  You won't be let down.

Watching: When we moved into our house, we decided to not have cable, or any TV really, besides something we can stick in the blu-ray.  After about 4 months, we decided to splurge and get Netflix.  My newest indulgence on Netflix has definitely been almost everything in their documentary section.  Currently, it's all about the prison docs.  Into the Abyss has been my top pick on the Canadian Netflix.  It's creepy and intriguing and you can't stop looking at one of the killer's eyes, no matter how much you want to look away.  It's scary to see the moments leading up to an execution.  Over on American Netflix, I've been sucked into a series by National Geographic called Lockdown.  It's an inside look into most of the maximum security prisons across The United States.  If you are interested in the secrets of gang life on the inside, prison penalties and discipline, and even the 'nicer' side of prison (if there is one) such as college graduation and family visits, I recommend watching some of the prison docs on Netflix.  Honourable mentions go to: Russia's Toughest PrisonsErasing Hate, and Aryan Brotherhood.

Making: This you'll have to see when I'm all done!! It's my first DIY project.  Not something huge, but something special that I've been wanting for a while.