Wednesday, September 30, 2009

One gone, one to go.

David is off to England today. More specifically, he's off to San Francisco right now, and then off to Heathrow a little later. Based on his estimations, I expect him to be in Cambridge by 09:30PST tomorrow morning, which I believe will be 17:30 for him. He's expecting an uncomfortable evening, as most of the shops shall be closed and he won't have any bedding or things like that. I'm hoping that he can find a shop to buy these small necessities easily enough.

Although we've been apart for much of September it hasn't felt like it since we've talked on the phone daily. So it's now that I'm grumbly about long distance and low communication. I know I shouldn't complain—it's only a few weeks apart and then we're together again—but I never like it. That said, part of me is very glad that I'll be arriving after when our place is hopefully a little more set up! I'm coming down with a cold anyway, so it's just as well that I'm not traveling.

I didn't make it down to Victoria to see David off because I spent the weekend in Vancouver. We decided that it was more important for me to spend time with family than running down island to say a quick goodbye. While in Vancouver, one of my friends suggested a photo challenge that I am going to try to do. She said that I should take one photo a day while in England and then write about it. While I don't think I'll manage to post daily, I think I'll definitely try this photoblog idea as a way of capturing life over there. This blog is going to be going in a slightly different direction anyway, more of our lives and not just wedding, because I think living in England is a little more interesting than living in Toronto, and my mum actually reads this blog!

As for wedding updates, I think the big wedding things are all done. Some of the smaller things are coming together—I've pretty much picked the bouquet flowers (Holland roses or something similar), thanks to Tara we've found a place for dancing at our reception venue, and I finally sat down and came up with the beginnings of an inspiration board (also thanks to Tara). David and I have been window shopping rings, particularly as my engagement ring is going to be hard to fit. I bought a sh*tload of ribbon at Michaels, and so now I'm coming up with ways of incorporating it into the wedding.

One really special thing that I can cross off my list is my wedding hairpiece. Ever since I found them on Etsy, I thought that wearing a beaded hairvine would suit my perfectly. It's got all the lovely organicness of nature in form, but all the subtle elegance of shiny things in details. What makes it special is that my Aunt the Amazing Jewellery Designer has agreed to make it for me. We went to Michaels to pick colours and go over ideas, and then two hours later she'd already done a small mockup (in fall colours) for me to try...and I LOVE IT. It's perfect! So I'm really, really, really excited to see what she makes for my wedding. And one of my uncles has agreed to be our MC, which is also really special. We're trying to get family and friends involved in this and so I'm really happy that people from two families have already agreed to contribute in those ways.

So here I am, missing David but grateful for each day I'm home. I'm spending my days running errands and shuffling around things in boxes, doing some wedding planning, visiting friends and family, and waiting to leave.


Here are some examples of hair vines. I'm definitely not a big tiara type of girl, and I wanted something a little more nature-infused than a rhinestone headband or even a metalwork circlet. These ones are by Chic Allure on

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

thoughts on my reactions to life

Yesterday was play-day in Nanaimo with my mum and grandma. That makes today Productive Day, and so far I’ve done things toward settling on travel insurance and finally emailing back one of the employment agencies (an email long, long overdue but there you have it. It wasn’t so much procrastination as insane busyness).

If I’m learning anything right now it’s to not make plans. By which I mean, to steal from The Good Book, to “not worry about tomorrow, for today has enough problems of its own”. Each time it looks like everything is settled and I can relax, there is a new upset. If I spend time trying to run over everything and make sure all is in order, I can easily freak out and live on the edge of stress. So I’m trying very hard to learn how to only focus on the tasks at hand. Learning very hard to set long term goals rather than immediate plans. To have ideas of what I would like, one day, rather than a set in stone plan of how it should be. And hopefully that will keep my sanity, and keep my interest in life active without making it controlling.

I am not really enjoying talking to people right now, other than a few trusted people who I can always count on to say the right thing. Most people and their well-meaning comments just make things worse. I wish, sometimes, that I could have better control of my logic so that my anxiety didn’t peak every time someone, trying to make conversation, suggests a new worry or problem to moving/living in Europe, but I’m not at that point yet. I know I can’t control other people, only my reactions to them, but right now it’s just easier to not talk to people! That said, I haven’t felt like speaking much in general right now. I’m content to just be quiet and listen and watch. I need a break. I only want to hear good and happy things, or other people’s problems that don’t touch on my own.

Not that life is doom and gloom. I’ve been having loads of fun and am starting to feel more rested inside. I’m also looking forward to being in England and traveling around, and to having an apartment. O how I’ve long for an apartment these last three years. More privacy! Not having to live with the quirks of an in-house suite! I’m also excited for the wedding. Can you believe that 2010 is just around the corner? And yesterday I went shopping in Nanaimo and got well stocked up on much needed items...including my new embroidery project—a tablecloth with butterflies and wildflowers on it. I’m almost finished my pillowcases (I should finish them tonight) which are also butterflies and wildflowers. I seem to have adopted a theme.

All in all, I’m turning 26 in a week and a half and I am starting to feel like now I’m reaching adulthood. 25 is supposed to be a milestone “quarter of a century”, but 26 feels over a hill. Not over the hill, but a hill. The little valley between 25-30. So it’s about time I learn to harness my anxiety into productivity instead of procrastination, and learn to enjoy each day for what it brings instead of always looking ahead.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Crossing the big things off the list

The concrete bits of weddingness seem to be coming together. For those of you who think I'm organized—yeah, I am, but only because it all has to be done before I head to the UK. After that I won't be able to do anything here in person. So all the big things need to be at least figured out before I go.

Mum and I went down to Victoria to buy my wedding dress. I had tried on dresses in May, which gave me the next four months to make my decision for certain. So we went to the bridal salon on Thursday night, I tried on The Dress again, this time complete with my veil, and it was still IT. So I got measured, we placed the order, and now we wait! I was pleased because the dress was a size or two smaller than I thought too, which is fun. The only catch to ordering this early is that I have to ensure that I don't gain any weight for a year. As I've been steadily losing weight this shouldn't be a problem, but I plan to use it as an incentive to keep on track with healthy eating and exercise. Because my dress is a corset back I have some leeway for weight loss/gain, and I'm somewhat hoping that I can lose enough to order the going-away dress I want, which has a more fitted waist. So we'll see. I am certainly not someone who buys into the whole "must lose weight for the wedding" ideology, but for overall health & wellness we're trying to make better choices and I certainly wouldn't be sad if those had some visible effects by the wedding!

While in Victoria Mum, David, & I also went to find the groomsmen's suits. Initially David was going to wear his charcoal grey suit with his periwinkle blue shirt & tie, and the boys were going to be in light grey suits with navy shirts & some sort of tie. But alas! There were no light grey suits to rent in the whole of Victoria (our very kind saleslady at Moores called every store in town for us). She finally found a place for us that rented charcoal grey tuxes, so we went there and everything changed.

We were going through the samples, choosing the tux and accessories, and then David decided that he would wear a tux as well. So they boys are going to be dressed a little more formally than we'd originally thought, but I don't mind. The ties David picked for everyone are really fun and colourful which keeps with the original idea, and I think it's just as well the man wears a tux on the day he gets married. I am mostly relieved that we did not have to end up getting black tuxes. Too formal and dark for a morning wedding. I still like the idea of morning suits, but I think the shorter coat on the tux will be a little nicer for the boys in the hot August sun. And my brother is happy that David was picking the tuxes, not me, because I was thinking sweater vests...

So after wedding-clothes day we came up to Port Alberni and had our meeting with Fr Marek at Notre Dame. The meeting went well and we filled in a 45 question questionnaire that determined that yes, we are practicing Catholics and no, we're not related or unable to marry for other reasons. And Fr Marek had no problems with us setting up our marriage prep at OLEM, so provided the English are willing to counsel us it's all good. I'm really pleased with how not-anal they are about stuff at Notre Dame, so it looks like I can have The Wedding Song as my processional, and there shouldn't be any conflict over me being escorted down the aisle by my parents.

And finally, we went down to Roger Creek Park to check out accessibility for some of our older guests, and we drove to some different spots in town to find a place to take our wedding photos. We think we're going to do them in the woods behind the park—there is a bridge, a train bridge/tracks, lots of trees (obviously), and the river bed. It should be lovely. We had thought of doing it down at Harbour Quay but it's windy and not as pretty. And I'm happy, because I wanted my photos done in the woods. So we'll see if the photographer disagrees, but other than that!

The big things are all coming together, which is good because David got his visa (d.g.) and his ticket to England is booked for next Wednesday. I'm still waiting for my visa but will hopefully be joining him a week or two later.

Monday, September 14, 2009

west coast planning

I’m blasting folk music and sitting in my parents’ dining room, which means that the view from all the windows is mostly of towering evergreens and blue sky. Their house is so open and airy feeling, and its age and somewhat “crumbliness” always makes me feel like the forest is barely being kept out of it. My eyes have certainly been starved for the woods.

I’ve been back for about two weeks but they have been so full of visiting and traveling that they have passed in a blur. Things don’t show much sign of slowing down now either, although at least I’m home now until Wednesday. Then it’s off to Victoria to buy my wedding dress (!!!!) and pick up my man, who will be spending some time in Port so that we can get wedding stuff done and so that we won’t have to be apart.

So far things have been falling into place. We met with our potential photographer last Monday, and after looking at her wedding portfolio, speaking with her, and asking David’s mum’s opinion (as she is an award winning photographer herself) we decided to go with Ms. Erglis from Victoria. We haven’t told her that yet—I’m still waiting for David to approve the email I want to send her! Anyway, I am very pleased. Her photographs are beautiful and exactly what we want—nothing too staged, just pure beautiful traditional poses, a little bit of fun, and stunning scenic shots thrown in. When David comes to Port we’re going to see if we can’t find a location or two for our photos. We’re thinking either the forest around Roger Creek or the water at Harbour Quay, or both.

I spent a few rushed days in Vancouver, visiting people and getting things for my visa in order. One of my lovely brideswomen, my cousin Tara, is also engaged so we had a good afternoon talking weddings. She reminded me that when we were little we always used to talk about getting married in the same year and having a joint honeymoon. Well, the honeymoon idea is definitely out but it is funny that we’re getting married in the same year, just like our parents did.

This morning I went to mass at Notre Dame, and as usual had a happy little glow thinking about having my wedding there. Fr Marek was saying mass this morning, so I was extra happy because there’s a good chance that he’ll be marrying us. Anyway, I try to not get too distracted by WEDDING during mass.

All these thoughts aside, we actually have a little bit of tangible weddingness now—the cake topper my mum ordered us from Jim Shore has come in! And not only has it come in, but it is more beautiful and perfect than imagined. I’ve been feeling really burned out with the stress of this past year but being able to hold a little piece of future happiness in my hands has certainly rekindled my excitement for the wedding. David is really happy about it too. And my Grandma gave one of her delightful little gasps when I showed her the cake topper last night. Now that the cake topper is in we’ve been sitting around thinking up ideas for the actual cake design.

In non-wedding news, we got a bit more information about our accommodation in Cambridge. Our rent is scarcely more than we were paying in Toronto (and yes, this is with the exchange rate factored in!) and it comes furnished. Needless to say that is a huge weight off our minds. Packing sheets and silverware is much easier than packing a couch.

Off for now!

Friday, September 4, 2009

very brief

I've made it home alive, and the luggage is all ok and nothing is broken. I've just spent four days camping in Nanaimo, and now am home overnight before heading down to Victoria for four days, and then over to Vancouver for another four. It's a busy life I'm leading, and I miss David (stupid distance)...

also, prayers are appreciated for both of our visas going smoothly.