Monday, December 29, 2008

Finally, a lazy day to just take it easy and sleep until noon. Yes, I slept in big-time today, but that's because last night I decided to scrap when I got home, and then look through all my scrapbooks, and then read... so I went to bed at 3:30 am! I figure it's okay since I have a whole entire week off, so I can do what I want. I can stay in my pj's all day if so desired. I have lots of new scrap goodies, good books, a good TV series to watch online, and good music, so I'm all set!

We had nice Christmas, and Santa was very, very good to me, and to the whole family. I'm almost embarrassed to list what I got because my mom went way overboard, as she normally does. Patrick was like "um, she does realize that you're 24 now, and not 5?". I told her she shouldn't have bought so much, but she insists that she wants to do it while she still can, because you just never now what will happen, which we know all too well. So now I am the proud owner of novelty pots and pans, dishes, mac makeup, and a lot of new scrapbooking supplies, among many other little beauty products and such. My mom's big gift this year was a laptop that Patrick set-up - I think she's going to become an Internet junkie as she has been browsing every night from the comfort of her bed. I also made her a mini-book about all the things that I'm thankful for, which made her cry of course. I think it's those little special gifts that end up meaning the most, like the ornament that she got me, which is a tradition every year.

What was also very nice about this Christmas is that Patrick came over for supper on Christmas eve, then we went to church, and everyone came back here to "eat, drink and be merry" (as Dave Matthews would put it - love that song). Patrick even agreed to sleep over, and I gave him his Grinch pj pants, which he loved! So we were together for the first time opening gifts and I think it's something that we'll now continue every year. We also had a super amazing brunch at my place before rushing out to Pat's to open gifts with his family. That went well and everyone got really nice things. We hung out with his family for a few hours before coming back home for dinner, which was delicious as usual.

We started a new tradition, which was a huge hit, surprisingly! I made everyone write 3 nice things about each person around the table, and then we folded up the papers and put them in a bowl, and we took turns reading what each person wrote, and had to guess who wrote what, and about which person. It went so well, and it was really fun, and it made everyone feel good to hear nice things about themselves, and learn how others felt about them. The idea was from an Oprah episode that I saw, but my uncle added in the part where we had to guess to make it more entertaining.

Afterwards, we went back to Patrick's to the party with all this aunts, uncles, and cousins. They were playing pool, drinking of course, and singing karaoke. It was pretty tame compared to previous years, and also because one of his cousin's brought his 8 month old adorable baby. It actually didn't last for too long - I think people were gone by midnight, and then we just relaxed after a very eventful day.

On boxing day, I hit the stores. Well, mostly the scrapbooking store, which was having a 30% discount, so I stocked up on paper, cardstock and adhesive. I also went to the mall and got a few shirts, a hat, and some mini-albums at Winners for a super good price.

Other than that, what has been going on? Our team worked at the library this past weekend, and on Saturday the system was completely down, so we had to do everything manually, which was insanity! It's at times like those that you realize just how much we've come to depend on technology for everything, and how dysfunctional we are without it! Thankfully the problem was fixed before the end of the day, but it took us quite a while to enter everything - we didn't stop for a second that day.

Last night Julie and Ken had us over for Monopoly (the new electronic version) and after a crap start, I managed to cream everyone real good (I had the car you see in the last photo). Thanks for the fun time guys.

I have taken a ton of photos but am behind in editing them, so I'll only post the ones from Christmas Eve so far and then come back and add them in later.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Only a few days until Christmas, my oh my... so here's what's going on with me, in list form, because it's way easier.

1. Darla and Pat's party on Saturday night - that was really fun. We ended up dancing and laughing and taking tons of incriminating photos and got home at 3 am. I wasn't expecting that, but it had been a long time since we saw that gang and really had a good time, so it's all good. Pat also bonded with the guys, so it was all good! Here are some pictures from that event, mostly non-edited, because at this point, I just can't be bother much.
2. Sunday I woke up at noon, can you believe it?! And sadly, I felt hung-over, even though I'd only had 2 or 3 glasses of wine. What's that about? Talk about a cheap drunk... anyways, my mom decided that we were going to bake Christmas logs for all the people who brought us food and stuff while my dad was in the hospital. So that amounted to 9 cakes, which was insanity, but somehow we pulled through and delivered most of them later that night. Everyone was all surprised and very appreciative, which was nice and really put us in the Christmas spirit.

3. Yesterday was the day that I had no choice but to finish up my Christmas shopping. Yah, I wasn't really prepared for the -30 degree blowing winds... I had on only a t-shirt and my short fall jacket, thinking I would get too hot in the stores. Except, some really special thinker came up with the concept of the dix30, what with all its outlets that one must walk to, outside in the blistering cold - genius! Anyways, whilst I was rolling my cart filled with bags to the very end of the Walmart parking lot, I really thought for a few moments that my fingers would fall off (as I had opted to not bring in my mitts, since I had a small purse with me). I could not move them to open to unlock my car door... Not a lot of logical thinking was going on yesterday. But I did manage to buy all the needed gifts, so yay for me.

4. Rested by Pat's fire for a good hour in the late afternoon, which was nice, and then came home later on and watched the Tudors. Did I mention we get obsessed with shows once we start a new series? Can't wait to see what happens to Catherine of Aragon... it's some intense stuff going on!

5. I'm wrapping gifts today. Well, I haven't started that yet because I'm still blogging and surfing the Internet. But I will be wrapping and cleaning and working out, and just maybe, baking some shortbread cookies.

6. I am all inspired to make jewelry with some letter stampers that I've found on eBay. They are sooooo cool. It's like scrapbooking on metal, I love it. We haven't ordered them yet but I really want them.

7. I've gotta start my day now, it's getting a bit ridiculous. So cheers!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Well, it's been another very busy week. Here are some pictures from Wednesday. I went to Patrick's for a bit, and then we went shopping for gifts. Here's a picture of his mom's cat, and another pic of the road that I've travelled thousands of times, to get to his house.

I wrote an exam on Thursday, which was so-so, but at least I got to go out with my friends for supper afterwards, at Boccachino's, which was really fun. We had the chance to catch up and get all the scoop on each others' stages. Thanks for a fun time, if you're reading - we'll have to do it again soon. Here's a pic of me with Tania, Mallory and Kristin.

I was also playing around with the camera that night and got a shot of myself snuggled in bed with "Patrick". When I can't have the real thing, I settle for the next best.

Friday, I went to help out at the school where I did my stage, since it was the Christmas concert. They sang really well and it was fun, but I found the concert to be WAY too long for them - they were getting very restless, noisy and hungry, and to make matters worse, the parents and guests were seated at the front of the gym, blocking the view of all the students who had to sit at the back! Anyways, it was good to see everyone again, and when I arrived, they were just getting ready for recess in the hallway, so they swarmed around me and gave me a giant group hug while screaming "Miss Ashley" as if I were a celebrity or something. I felt very loved indeed. I guess it felt to them that I had been gone for ages instead of just a week... I hope I am able to go visit nest semester, but they'll be getting a new student teacher in their class, so I'm sure they're forget me soon (sniff, sniff).

On Friday night, I went to a supper at my boss's place - she was having a little get-together for the girls who work at the daycare. It was really cozy and nice, as it always is, and feels more like a family gathering rather than a work gathering. I bought her a box full of imported teas, and decided that I would alter the box. I used some Making Memories papers and went all out... it was pretty fun to do and she loved it. She's really into antiques, so she loved the vintage style papers. Here's what it looked like.

And here's a picture of the dream team together (Me, June and Zarina).

Patrick slept over on Friday night and we watched our latest obsession:

Really, there's a lot of sex in the show, but overall, its well done, and we're learning history whilst being entertained. Henry is quite bothersome, but oddly lovable at the same time. Pat keeps pretending that he doesn't like it and is only watching because of me, but I think he's hooked.

Last night we went to Darla and Pat's for a crazy fun party! I have tons of pictures to upload, but I think I'm already maxed out in the picture department. I'll have to save them for tomorrow, along with all the photos of the mad baking session that went down this afternoon in my kitchen, which involved preparing 9 log cakes to be distributed to friends who were kind to us when my dad was in the hospital. More on that next blog post - I'm going to bed.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I worked in daycare today for the first time in over 2 months! It was nice to see the little kiddies again - they have really grown in such a short time. I was worried they would have forgotten me, but most of them (besides the baby) didn't, which made me feel oh so loved. It was also nice to make some money for a change.

Patrick has a new free recording up on his website - it's a sort of meditation that you can listen to when you have a few minutes to yourself to relax. I just did it and it was really nice (and normally it's really hard for me to get into it, but I just switched off the part of my brain that says "no, no..." and went with the nice feelings). So I suggest that you try it here! Click on the little bar with the play button.

Also, I have some new photos for the challenge - various Christmas decorations throughout the house. The lighting has been really crappy but it hasn't stopped me from taking pictures. My mom made this angel several years ago when she was going through the "crafts" phase. Well I think this is still very nice, but there were other things that got out of date pretty fast (like the potpourri and stenciling and such).

Then there's Rudolph who sings and moves his head, while his nose lights up. Yes, I just had to buy this from Hallmark a few years back (after Christmas, mind you, so I got a 50% discount).

And finally, here's our banister all decorated...

Okay, well I'm off to Patrick's to watch The Tudors... I finally convinced Patrick to watch this series with me, and we're starting it tonight.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I'm so, so behind on everything! This past week just flew by in a blur, between crafting gifts, the bad weather, teaching, staff parties galore, and everything else... it's been crazy and the days are bleeding together. On Monday I couldn't start my car, so my brother ended up pushing me out of the drive way and on to the street, so I could take my mom's car that was behind mine. What fun that was! It was a good thing it was a ped-day and it didn't matter what time I got there. We had a welcome-back breakfast for the principal, and it was a pretty laid-back day. That also happened to be the lovely day that it was -30, ick! Later that day, I found out that my car's battery was completely finished. My dad called the tow-truck to bring it to the garage...

On Tuesday, Patrick and I went to Le Chateau with our 50% off coupons (from Julie's mom) and got some nice shirts. When we left, though, we barely made it out of the parking lot, there was so much snow... we made it back, thankfully, and watched the hockey game together. Then Pat had the idea of making origami birds for all the kiddies in my class, so he taught me how to do it, and we did a LOT of folding, but it was worth it!

Then on Wednesday was the giant ice/snow storm, and I was so sure that school would be cancelled, but they made us go in. It took a good 45 minutes of shoveling and scraping to get out of the driveway. We couldn't even open our doors at first because of all the ice - we had to use wall-paper applicators because the scrappers were, of course, inside of our cars... gotta love winter in Canada! Wednesday night was the staff party for the library at Villa Bella. We did a fun gift exchange and our boss was nice enough to get us all gifts. I really wasn't impressed with the food, the prices, or the service at the restaurant though, and I will definitely NOT be going back there ever again.

Thursday... nothing much to document about that day except frantically trying to finish up my gifts, card-making and wrapping for my students and teachers.

Friday was my last day of stage and it was really hard to leave. The kids caught on that I wouldn't be back anymore and they were getting a little clingy and emotional right from the start of the day. A few kids even brought me some gifts (chocolate, some soaps and such, and pjs). I gave them their presents in the afternoon and they really liked them. Actually, I think the boys liked them more than the girls did, but Pat was like "duh" because he had tapped into his inner six-year old to think of something he would have loved at that age. I also personalized all the birdies and made them into ornaments so they could hang them on their trees, and I gave them some stickers too. I managed to get a good group shot, which makes me very happy, but I can't post it here. That day at lunch, my teacher organized a meal for all the student teachers, which was really nice of her. In the end, I had a really positive experience at that school, and my CT gave me a great evaluation! I will be going back to help out with the Christmas concert next Friday, so I will see them all again soon.

Friday evening I went to get highlights in my hair... and after that Pat and I had a very relaxed evening - we made soup and sandwiches and watched a movie. And totally predictably, I passed out half-way through it... I am tired just from writing everything that happened this week, so no wonder I was so worn out. Oh and I also worked this weekend. So I am very low on energy at the moment.

Oh and I must not forget that my wonderful, thoughtful boyfriend got me a gift for finishing stage. It's actually a kind of early Christmas present, since he knows I will use it (them) a lot. He got me a wide-angle lens and a zoom lens!! Score! They are the kind that attach on to my already existing lens. I've had a little fun with them already but I will have to wait to go somewhere with good light before I can use them in their full glory. And before he gave them to me, he told me how hard I've worked, and how he knows I'm going to be an amazing teacher... sniffy, sniff... isn't he great?!

Okay, so this was WAY too much rambling. But I have been doing the photo-a-day challenge. And here is the proof.

The things that keep my feet nice and cozy.

Here's a gift-basket that my mom prepared for friends. It has a bottle of Vodka, some martini glasses, a blueberry mix, and some cocktail recipe cards that I made.

This is from the sushi dinner that Patrick and I had not last Friday but the one before. The photo kinda sucks but you get the idea.

Here's a photo of our upstairs Christmas tree that sits in the bay window.

A photo of my car about to be towed to the garage (but in the end, the guy was able to start it, so my dad just drove it there).

A few from my front door after the day of the storm.

The new mug I got from the library gift-exchange --- love it!

One of the origami birds we made... there were 20 more...

The card that I made for my cooperating teacher.

A view of our back deck.

Me, decorating the tree.

Okay so this is officially the longest blog post ever. But I had to get everything down before it's forgotten. Cheers, and have a great week everyone! Hopefully I'll be able to document on a day to day basis now that I have more time.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I've been pretty crappy at blogging this past week! I was really busy with a 10-page paper due and my final evaluation with my supervisor (both went well, so I can breathe again). The kids have been very difficult as well - their attention spans are shrinking while the silliness factor keeps multiplying. My patience threshold has been low, as you could probably guess. So I'm very happy that I've had two whole days off in a row, it's so wonderful. Tomorrow is a ped day too, so I will have lots of time to plan for my last week of stage.

Today I am going to scrapbook at Julie's which makes me ver, ver happy. If you are wondering why I didn't include the "y" on very, you should know that I am in the process of reading a Georgia book, as you may have noticed on the side of my blog. It will only make sense to those of you who have ventured into that world. Yes, I know the books are fluff, but they are so addictive, and did I mention, British? You know me and all things British.

Yoga or cardio this morning? That is the question du jour. Also, I must clean my disgusting scrapbooking mess and pack and plan before leaving for Julie's in just a few hours. I better get on that right away.

We (aka my mother) started unpacking a bunch of Christmas decorations. I helped take out the tree, and we will probably decorate tonight, yay! I also have to bake something for tomorrow because the principal is coming back and they're having a little breakfast party.

Enough rambling for now because it's taking me forever to type this thanks to my demented keyboard... I haven't bought a new one because I think I wrote that as a gift idea and I'm afraid someone has already bought it for me. I must suffer until then...

Here is a recent layout I made.

And here are the first pictures I've taken for the December photo challenge. The first is of a swarovski crystal that my cooperating teacher gave me. The next of a Christmas decoration - we have several of these snowmen along the stairway to the basement.

Alright, well I'm off to exercise. Cheers!