Monday, June 29, 2009

Cuteness, right here...
Believe it or not, Baby is actually getting rather affectionate lately, and she is even going outside on the patio without completely freaking out. She is changing in her old age, I suppose, and she's also getting very fat because she is fed far too often. But you gotta love her.

This is going to be a short post because I have to go pick up my man shortly. Just wanted to share these pics before they get lost in the back of my hard-drive for while before finding their way onto a scrapbooking page.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Some new layouts. Because, sadly, I have nothing better to do on a Saturday night since my boyfriend has gone to a friend's cottage!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Just wanted to share what my wonderful man made for me the other day. I was in the mood to create, so I started experimenting with letter stamping. I think I *finally* got the hang of it. Then I cut out the heart and filed it, and couldn't help but think how cute it would look on a bracelet. So Patrick dug out some of his scraps and got creative, and this was the final result. Isn't having a jeweler as a boyfriend the greatest thing ever? I think so.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

It's been a lazy few days for me! I've mostly been swimming, tanning, reading and working out. I really can't complain. The weather has been great and both pools (mine and Patrick's) are open, so we have our pick. His is hovering around 87 and mine just hit 80 today, so it's either bath water (good for night dips) or refreshing (good for combating the afternoon heat). I love, love, love summer.

I want to get back into the groove of taking photos every day. I think I will do the photo-a-day challenge for July. I've been taking some garden photos here and there and these are some of my favorites so far:

I also saw a free online photo-editing course offered with Jessica Sprague, so I think I might check that out. You can too, here.

I went to Julie's after the gym this evening, to help her tie bows on the wedding favors. I can't believe that the big day is only about a week away!!! The next little while is going to go by in a blur as we have a lot of events and such involving the wedding, plus Pat will be busy moving his friend Dave.

Anyways, it's getting rather late and I need to get to bed so that I can get up early enough to do the spinning class. I still need to get around to filling you all in on my book list! I'll try to do that tomorrow. I'll leave you with a page I did a week or two ago. Goodnight!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Another busy weekend has come and gone. This one blew out his candles on Saturday (well, his actual birthday was on Friday, but we celebrated on Saturday with friends and family).

On Friday I took him to hit golf balls, and then we went out for supper and a comedy show at the AMC with Julie and Ken, which was really good! Then on Saturday we had a supper at my place with my family, his dad and brother, and Nick and Dave. The rain held off and we were actually able to eat outside. It was pretty nice, and we were even able to make a fire later in the evening. The boys were even practicing their superhero skills... they will always be kids at heart, I guess.

In between Patrick's birthday celebrations was Alex's bridal shower. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera battery in the wall charger.... so no photos :( It was super nice, however, and they worked really hard on all the intricate details. The presentation was very nice, and the food was delicious. It was hard not to stuff myself, but I had to save some room for the dinner at home.

Yesterday we went to the cemetery to visit my grandfather's grave. Little did we know that there was actually a celebration going on. There were soldiers and veterans and media people there - I think they said it was the 100th anniversary of the Last Post Fund... or maybe it was the 100th anniversary of the founding of the cemetery... in any case, there was a big thing going on and we happened to arrive at the exact same time. It was kind of cool, actually, because they had little flags over each gravestone in the field of honor.

Today has been a pretty low-key day. I am in much need of getting back to the gym. That's actually where I'm headed very shortly, for the Jukari class. I am feeling better this week, thankfully, so I want to make sure I work out properly. I always feel icky and sluggish when I don't make the time to workout. Anyways, off to do that now...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Looks like it's going to be another really nice day, although I wouldn't be surprised if it rained again. I was actually happy that it rained yesterday evening, because I was getting to hot and bothered by the humidity. Normally I love the hot, hot heat, but I think because I'm sick right now, it was just making me irritable.

I don't know what I have, but I'm low energy, a bit out of breath, and generally "blah". I'm not overly stuffed up, and my throat is a little itchy. My eyes are also icky. And I have a lump on the side of my throat, which I'm assuming is a swollen gland. I'm going to visit the doctor shortly, so hopefully she can figure out what I have. I wasn't feeling well starting the weekend before last, but I pushed myself because there was so much going on. Then, I did quite a few rather intense classes at the gym last week, but wasn't able to keep up at the regular fitness level. That should have been more of a sign to me to stop, because now I feel like I'm paying for it. So I haven't worked out since Friday, which sucks, but I have to give my body a chance to heal.

It's Patrick's birthday of Friday. We might go to a comedy show, the one they have a the AMC. I think that should be pretty fun. I was going to plan something more extravagant, like a weekend getaway, but as it turns out, it's Alex's bridal shower the next day. It's going to be a busy weekend once again, but I don't mind. As long as it's well mapped out, then it should be a lot of fun.

At Pat's house, there is now an outside cat that I would gladly trade for his inside cat. Look how cute this is. The cat (named Henry 8 by Pat's sister, don't ask why) actually prays for you to give it food... it's the nicest cat ever, and he's always hanging around. He's actually taken to sleeping on their patio chairs. Baby, however, is not a happy camper. She sits at the screen door waiting to pounce. They hiss and attempt to claw at each other through the screen. I am so tempted to just let them go at it, but Baby could get an infection if she gets cut by the other cat...

Add to this excitement the family of 7 groundhogs that have made their home under his shed, and we have quite the animal fest going on! I haven't managed to get a decent photo of them yet, but here is an idea. Pat's dad says he has to find a way to get rid of them, but I'm not so sure he's looking for a humane way to do it :(

Well, I have to go get ready for my appointment, so more later. Have a great day.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

My parents are going to book their trip to Punta Cana and I am majorly, majorly resisting the urge to go along. We were very close to doing so, but Pat and I have decided to pass in order to save money, since we have both only recently started to more seriously save for the future. Since I am used to vacationing each summer, and am such a sucker for the ocean and the sand, it's proving harder than I thought. But I just rummaged through a forgotten folder on my computer, named "creativity", which includes all kinds of fun ideas, pictures, links, etc, so that has given me the needed pick-me-up. We shall make our fun here, in the pool, tanning on the deck, and having the house to ourselves for a week (hopefully, if my brother is gone to Carm's). Plus, I have all kinds of planning to do for the weddings that I have to attend this summer. Julie wants me to say a few words for her, so I want to make sure I do her justice.

It's a work weekend at the library. I enjoy having something to do, rummaging the shelves and finding books to bring home. I've printed my "must read" list that I'd been saving for the summer, when I have more time - well here is the opportunity! Also, I get to catch up with Julie, so that's always fun.

I was looking through some quotes before (part of the pick-me-up) and here's one I quite like. It's possible I've posted it before because its just seems to resonate with me:

"To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury; and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable; and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasion, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony." ---William Ellery Channing

Well, I think I will do a bit of digi-scrapping before I go to work. But first I'll share a page I did a few days ago. I've been experimenting with different brushes, all of which I found for free (yes, free!!). I have not had the urge to buy any "real" scrap supplies for months now, so looks like I finally found something to treat the disease. Anyways, have a great day, enjoy the beautiful weather!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I think I have adult ADD or something considering how many tabs I currently have open on my computer - I keep switching between windows and thinking "oh yes, and I should upload the photos and change my banner and check vacation sites and check my bank statement... and on and on and on..." I have a list, but I tend to get caught up doing several things at once, and I loose track of time. My brain tends to wander a lot. And it feels very weird to not have to do anything, officially, by a certain time. It's a bit unnerving, truthfully. I don't think I would be able to stay home full-time. I think I like being "booked", despite how much I complain about it in the moment.

Apparently, season three of the Tudors has already been filmed and aired in it's entirety. I had been anticipating it for so long, but then I guess I got busy with other things and forget to check when it was playing. Well, at least that will keep us busy for a while. I actually prefer to watch episodes back to back rather than waiting an entire week to see what happens next. That was quite torturous with Lost last season, and I presume it will be the same once True Blood starts this week. Bill seems even more sexy this season - I got a little sneak peak on a commercial. There's something about the pale skin, sunken cheeks and fangs that makes him weirdly attractive. And no, please don't compare him to the dude from Twilight. So not on the same level! Anyways, the actor who plays Bill is actually British, go figure, so you know what that means... yes, it just solidifies the new obsession even more... Patrick was complaining the other day that I find too many actors attractive. Sorry babe! You know that I find you the sexiest of them all, right?

My power went off for over an hour today! It's amazing how much we've come to depend on technology. It was actually kind of refreshing to just pick up my journal and my book and sit down to read and write. I was still in my pjs, and it was dark and rainy - the perfect weather to get cozy and do some reflecting. I don't write enough "privately" anymore, because I suppose blogging and scrapbooking have kind of filled most of the need. Whenever I read over things that I've written in the past, however, I am overcome with nostalgia and love for my life (reading good things and bad)... and it makes me long to start writing my story again. I had started writing a story about my high school years, I suppose it's a sort of memoir, but I never finished it. I think I just need to take it up bit by bit every so often, rather than look for big chunks of time where I just sit down and have in my mind that I will write a ton. I read somewhere that that is what a fairly well-known author used to do - she'd get down whatever she could whenever she had the chance in between all the things going on in life. I can't remember who it was - maybe Carol Shields?

Anyways, here is a digi layout I made a few days ago about a field trip I took to the Biodome with "my" class. I figure it's okay to post since you can't see any of the students' faces. I love the shot of all their hands reaching up to the glass to touch the sting-ray (I think it's a sting ray, but I could be wrong...).

Monday, June 8, 2009

Okay, so where did I leave off?

Just after my last blog post, I spoke with the teacher I was replacing, and she informed me she'd be back June 8th (yes, today), which cut the time with "my" students a little short. There was always the possibility that she would return before the end of the year, but I figured it wouldn't be very likely. Well, turns out that she wanted to get re-acquainted with everyone since she plans to loop with them into grade two. It was so bittersweet to have to leave. I was really rushing to get everything organized and get marks in before the end of last week, which I pulled off, somehow, at the same time that I prepped everything for Julie's bachelorette.

We had a party on Friday afternoon - the kids brought in games and snacks, and the technician in my class was nice enough to get me a cake. Some students made cards and even brought gifts, which I wasn't expecting at all. It is the cutest, most precious thing ever, to get a hand-made and hand-written card from a six year old. The effort and love that goes into those is just priceless. I was pretty emotional the whole day - it started when I arrived to find a giant bouquet of flowers (really gorgeous white chrysanthemums) on my desk with the one of the most cherished cards I've ever received. The resource teacher, who has become somewhat of my mentor/the person that I look up to and respect the most of all the teachers I've known, got them for me as a token of appreciation - and that felt so good, let me tell you. It's nice to know I've made a positive impression on people at that school, especially people who are so highly esteemed not only within the school, but with important people at the board. Here's a picture of the flowers:

After that, one of my students came up to me, cocked his head to the side, and asked "will you dream for us Miss Ashley?" and I just about burst into tears because it was just poetic and perfect for a child who has various codes (not to mention has barely started to read and write). When he saw that I was a little emotional, he said "don't cry Miss Ashley"... and it was just one of those treasured moments when I thought to myself "this is it right here, this is the job for me".

So, needless to say, although the past two months were challenging, I really loved my experience. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to work in a class that uses such great learning approaches, such as SoundPrints and the Daily 5. I really gained a lot of experience.

The weekend was also great! We had such a good time at Julie's cottage. We made her go to Tremblant wearing a tiara, veil, and sash that said "princess bride". She also had a flashing wand, and a blank t-shirt that she had to fill up by asking people to write advice about marriage. That was pure entertainment, I tell you! It was so funny to see the various reactions of people (some were laughing, others were nervously looking the other way, and a few were calling her over so they could get in on the fun). We also rode the luge down the mountain, which was super fun.

After all that excitement, we headed back to the cottage to have a more "private" sort of party. We saved all the really embarrassing games for then. I had made up a bunch of questions for Ken to answer beforehand, then Julie had to guess what his answers were... if she got any wrong, she had to draw a card and do something or have something done to her. That was a great success and we nearly peed ourselves laughing on a number of occasions. Memorable inside jokes include "I hate your family" and "I have a fiance and I'm in love" - hahaha, you know what I'm talking about girls ;)

We were also very lucky with how generous everyone was in the food department! We had awesome things to munch on, delicious cupcakes for dessert, a pretty yummy spinach lasagna (made by yours truly) and some pancakes and fruit for breakfast the next morning. Oh, and let's not forget the amazing artichoke dip! We always tend to eat too much when we go up north, but it's oh so worth it. The country air just makes you hungry and lazy. Anyways, I am really happy that the weekend went so well, and Julie was very happy!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I'm taking a brief interlude from the 2-inch pile of papers that need to be looked over and marked. I decided I would bring the work home because I couldn't bear the thought of working any longer in the stuffy classroom. Now I am at least in the comfort of my room, in pjs (yes, at 4:30 pm, it's perfectly acceptable...) and the coffee is ready to go. I doubt I will make it to the gym tonight, but I don't feel so bad considering I worked out for about 1:45 minutes yesterday. I also have cramps, so that gives me another excuse.

This weekend went by in a blur... it was my uncle's birthday supper on Friday, and then Alex's birthday supper on Saturday. Also, I worked at the library and did a bit of prepping somewhere in there. I've also been getting ready for Julie's bachelorette party, which is coming up this weekend! It's going to be quite the time, I think. We're going up north, to her cottage near Tremblant, and we're bringing all kinds of concoctions with us to torture Julie with before she ties the knot. Hahaha! No, I'm only kidding Julie, no need to get alarmed...

I keep walking by my neat and tidy scrap space an fantasizing about three weeks from now, when I'll be able to walk over there and create at any given moment. It actually looks very inspiring when it doesn't have heaps of crap on top of it. Well, it might not be in three weeks from now if the teacher I'm replacing comes back. I have to find out about that today, actually. She might even come back next week, which would mean only three more days!

Alright, well I better get back to work. I did make a digi page a few days ago, so I'll leave you with that. Cheers!