Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Learning all the time, every day, forever.

Hey all.

I haven't posted in so long, whhhaat?? I find that in time of adjustments I kind of become a zombie.. for instance, working again.. I find I just have a lower desire for much else. I come home, want to hang out with Mark, eat, sleep. I am longing for more and feeling unfulfilled lately, but I am also learning to have grace for myself as I am adjusting and realizing that even if my brain doesn't feel like it's doing much active adjusting, I think my body and soul and everything else are. Mark has been working what seems like lots of night and weekends and this has meant more than enough solo time. I am not good at being alone yet. I really am terrible at it. I feel sorry for myself in an instant and can be so incredibly uncreative with what to do with the time stretching out and out and out before me. Again, grace for myself. I haven't really ever had to do it! I sometimes feel an actual ache in my chest, something close to what I remember heartbreak feeling like, when I think of my family and friends and just so badly wanting to have them in my house and how casual it would be and silly, and how we wouldn't need to ask a billion questions about each other because we already know it all. I was trying to describe this feeling to Mark and he countered with how great and exciting it is to meet new people and I did have to agree with him in the end. But, when I see group of friends on the street and I'm trailing behind them by myself (ha, I sound so pathetic) I just want to be in BC so badly. In hindsight of moving to Calgary, I've been realizing that I never really prepared mentally for what the move would mean. I never really mourned all the goodbyes I was saying. They've just slowly been hitting me every day since I left and haven't stopped. There have been lots of tears lately in our house. I don't know how to make new friends! I am not friendly. I was talking to Mark the other day and something to the effect of " I think people tend to respond well when I smile at them' and he just laughed and said I sounded like an alien visiting Earth, learning the habits of humans. But I honestly feel like I am just not the personality to make new friends and I've been thrown in a situation where that's all I really need to do. I'm not outgoing, bubbly... even very friendly. I don't know how much to pursue people, what's appropriate, what's weird, what's not enough. I really have no clue. In contrast, Mark is so good at it and it's infuriating sometimes! People always want to hang out with him, he could honestly be busy every weeknight if he wanted and I wouldn't be alone. I've also started doing this terrible thing where people here ask me how I like Calgary and I basically just say 'I have no friends and I'm miserable' which I don't think is very appealing to outsiders. I was telling Mark that it's just me being honest and what I think is vulnerable, but it may be coming across as horribly unattractive and whiney.

WHOA. That's a long paragraph. I didn't realize I was going to write that much. I bought a set of moleskins the other day and felt the thrill of breaking them in. I wrote four pages in the first sitting. I haven't written for so long! I will try to filter my thoughts better next time on the blog.

Mark and I have been up and down and all around lately. It's so funny how one night will feel like living hell and the next lunch date will feel like we're dating again and we can't stop laughing. Lately has been a rougher patch but with some really sweet interruptions sprinkled in. Like cool summer evening strolls and going out for burritos. Like making my first lasagna and garage sales in the morning together. There has been lots of talking, lots of planning, lots of compromise and teaching. It's so crazy how those components are what make up a relationship. Just showing up for one another every day even when you're angry, hurt, tired, hopeless. Because suddenly one day, it kinda just creeps up on you, you realize you've been doing really well lately and your love is stronger and you sort of just build on that until whatever is next comes your way.

In conclusion I should say that I am, underneath all the lonliness and missing, in the very bottom of my heart so thankful that Mark and I are here in Calgary together. He's becoming my family here. I rely on him here like I never could in Abbotsford and for that, living here has been worth it, and I'd do it fifty times over.

Here's us on a walk. If I had just posted the pictures we'd of probably seemed so happy and carefree here in Calgs. PSYCH!

Taking the garbage out. It's just a reality!

The end.

Sunday, August 4, 2013


sometimes on sunday afternoons when we’re taking a nap together on the couch, and my head is laying on mark’s chest, all i can hear is a loud thump-thump thump-thump thump-thump thump-thump and as i try to fall asleep i’m suddenly and scarily aware of all his parts and the blood pumping to his heart and irrational thoughts start to race through my sleepy brain - what if his heart stops working? or what if we move to Japan and there is a gigantic earthquake and we’re living in Tokyo and we’re not even together when it happens and we both die? What if Mark’s commuting home from work and he gets in a car accident on an overpass and his car flips over and i am at home watching the news wondering why he’s late and then i see a picture of an upside down car2go and i just know it’s him? that one especially makes no logical sense because we don’t even have any channels on our TV and literally never watch the news. Or what if we’re laying there taking a nap and suddenly I hear silence? What if i actually hear his last heart beat? I tell Mark I can hear his heart and tell him my fears in a rushed quiet voice on this late sunday afternoon and in his half asleep state he groggily replies ‘we’ll be together in heaven’, to which i respond ‘what if we can’t find each other in heaven’ and he says ‘we will’, but i remain doubtful. now i’m writing this and looking over at him wrapped in a quilt i made for him and my eyebrows are still furrowed with worry. but i know he is alive, i can see the blankets rising and falling and for now, I think i will go make him some supper and make it with lots of love. 

This isn't him today, obviously, he's in our bed. He sleeps like a wounded deer, how could i not worry? 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Floods, fights, friends & canola fields.

Oh hey there! 

One of the most humbling/amazing things about marriage that i’m discovering is our ability to forgive each other and move on. Saturday was just not the best day. It just seemed that we both were having bad days individually and together. The day kept ebbing and flowing - small argument, tense hours, start talking again, small argument, ignoring each other, slowly start talking again... repeat, repeat. It was so frustrating! The day finally ended in us watching some Parks and Rec - which was good to just laugh side by side, if not totally together, and forget the day. I ended up feeling completely exhausted by 9:30 and I was eager for tomorrow so I went to bed and Mark had his own time. The next morning I woke up super early, walked and got coffee and enjoyed the sunshine and early morning neighbourhood sounds of birds chirping and squirrels jumping from fence posts to branches. Once I got home I realized all the built up tenseness from the day before was gone. We hugged in the bedroom and said things like ‘What was up with yesterday?’ ‘Lets not do that again.’ And proceeded to have a much better day of treating each other with patience, analyzing the day before only slightly, singing in the car and lake swimming. It wasn’t a perfect day, it seems like every day we are apologizing to each other for our tone or hurtful words. I especially need to work on my tone and what I want to communicate to Mark - the other day Mark said (and I quote) ‘Your words can either be the tops to my towers, or can corrode my foundations’ ... I don’t know if he was quoting something or if he came up with that on his own, but it was a good visual for me and kind of scary. It’s crazy how much power we have to speak into this one person’s life - and we can speak truth and love or ... corrode their foundations with hurt and lies. There is a lifetime of impact there. It’s.. such a scary honor. And on a daily basis, I just can’t get over how unreal it feels to have someone who sees me in my ugliest, meanest, most frustrated days and who moves past it wordlessly with me. Whenever Mark and I have a particularly good conversation where we feel like we were dealing with root issues we kind of get giddy and say things like ‘We’re getting better at this, huh?!’  or ‘We have so much to learn! Haha!’ We can’t help but feel so excited with progress and it’s amazing because you just know you have so much time to learn it all, together. 

Our friends Andrew and Tessa came to visit last week. It was such a great visit. Almost too good. When they left I felt their absence acutely. How eeeassy it was to be around them. How much we laughed. Last friday night Mark was working and I knew Amy and Aaron were out of town and I almost just had to laugh (bitterly) to myself cause I literally had no one else to call. I had a pretty decent night at home, in fact it was my first night alone in some time. But it made me just miss people in B.C so much. Anyhoo. That’s a bit of a sob story...  The truth is I can feel myself starting to like Calgary more and more. It is seriously beautiful here right now. And there is a gritty Albertan strength that I admire and respect, especially since the flood and all the loss people have experienced. They all just love this place so much, you almost can’t help but start to love it too. And now that I have a job (I got a job!!) I will probably start to meet more people and have tons of work friends, just like Emilie ;) 

Here are some pictures from lately... which should probably be split into three different posts.. but who has time for that, right? Here they are in one go.

The day the flood got really bad Mark and I both had off work and so we went walking around the neighbourhood. At this point it was still raining like a banshee. 

We were a little flabbergasted and completely soaked to the bone. 

So, a couple days ago, we went to some of the areas by the Elbow River to see how bad things were. Remember Mark's favourite bridge pictured below? (a month or so ago) 

This is it's current condition. :( So sad! It was such a great bridge. 

Some of the oldest neighbourhoods in Calgary were affected the worst. So, so sad. 

Most of the houses we could see completely through because they were gutting the entire bottom floors, hence all the wood in their front yards. 

Trying to dry some rugs out.

Mark and I were both so shocked walking through these neighbourhoods just because there is no damage in our own neighbourhood and so were a little bit removed from the whole situation... also we have no TV so we weren't watching all the News reports. This was a reality check. And then thinking about those in High River who still aren't back in their homes... Unbelievable what water can destroy.

Tessa and Andrew arrived in the midst of the flood. 


While we were out for lunch, a gigantic tank drove down 17th Ave. Totally normal.

We all piled in a car2go. 

Tessa was at peace with it.

Things got weird with the Gourmet Grilled Cheeses. 

Anyone want the stubs? 

Everyone wants chips when there's a disaster. 

Sunny neighbourhood walks. 

Mini road trips!! 

We drove to Brooks to go to Lake Newall. It was lovely. 

The end. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mosquitos Want My Blood.

Whoa. There is a thunderstorm happening right now. Why am I always home alone for thunderstorms? It's my curse. I can't complain though… Mark and I have spent a heck of a lot of time together over the past week and it's been quite lovely. Yesterday we went to the Community Bike Shop in Kensington to try and fix Mark's bike together. We were pretty much about to give up and take the bike off the stand when this kind man, named Mark came over and basically offered to take the part home and fix it. We happily agreed and later on he told us we could come over and he'd help Mark put the bike back together and pumped his tires up, told him how much the bike was worth, etc. Mark payed 7 dollars for his Bianchi, back in the day. Cray! We were so grateful to this guy! When people from Calgary find out we've just only moved here, they seem to be extra nice to us. He was like "Any time, especially for newcomers to Calgary!' Later that day, we went to buy Mark a tennis racket so that I could inherit his old one and we could get playing already! It was a success and later we dragged our recycling and cardboard and tennis rackets and went walking to the courts, where the recycling bins are conveniently located... right? What a crappy experience. Mosquito's were OUT FOR BLOOD last night. We had no arms free to bat them away and it was infuriating. Later when we were waiting for a court to open up, I was getting SWARMED! I smacked at some on my leg and when I moved my hands there were four dead mosquitos on me! Mark was swinging on the swings as I was losing my mind and he kept calling out 'come on the swings! they won't get you if you're moving' ... Later he admitted there was a cloud of bugs around me. Some kindly ladies let us have their court and we tried to play, but the swarm followed me and after swinging my racket at them I gave up, near tears and we ran home and locked the door. We hadn't even opened our tube of balls. What a bummer. I had about 16 bites and countless mosquitos remains on my legs and arms upon inspection. I said to Mark 'I could feel myself going crazy and it only took about 2 seconds.' Friends, mosquitos are the worst. 

The other night Mark and I watched 'The Sandlot' (my first time) and ate popcorn, but before we did, Mark made me watch a fifteen minute youtube video of famous Arnold Swartzeneggar quotes… they weren't even good quotes! Some of them included 'Let's kick some ICE' or 'I eat green berets for breakfast' or 'well that hit the spot' … I guess that last one is pretty good. Mark was like a little kid watching it and sat frozen, entranced by Arnold. It was a weird sight. See photo below.  After the movie we played Quiddler late into the night. Mark loves word games and he schools me at them er'ry time. 

I worked my first day of work in Calgary today! It was for a temp agency, but a really fun company. I go back tomorrow. It feels good to work again! I can walk or bike it's so close! Yay. Trying to be thankful and not stressed about decisions that are imminent and those freakin' online courses that are always looming, looming… 

This was my face in a moment of pessimism regarding my job search. 

We went for a picnic before work. A thunderstorm was rolling in. 

As you can see, it was sunny at one point, which was why we were lured outside. 

One night after Mark got home, we wandered up to the park and shot off this little rocket thing I brought him home from France two summers ago. We ended up breaking it and it snapped back and hit us both in the hands at different times which was surprisingly painful, but it was a good time. 

It's a bit hard to see... but my face is filled with joy. 

I don't want to brag, but I am a bit better at taking photos at night then Mark. :) 

Walking home. 

Haha. This was Mark during Arnold's youtube vid, mouth agape, hand frozen. He's so cute!! Mark, not Arnold.

Playing games against this shirtless dude. 

We light candles to make it feel more datey.

The light is so bright in the morning these days. 

This is our place from the front and our unit is the one on the side there. Our neighbour went away for a week and lent us her parking space. Mark says he feels like a real man now. It's so nice having somewhere to park!!

Around the neighbourhood. 

This was such a cool place! There was like three people in there just threading rackets. So neat. Also around our neighbourhood. Don't ask me what my hands are up to. Mark never says anything when he's taking a pic of me.. so I'm always internally like.. did he take it? Keep smiling? Move? Different face? It's such a mystery with that guy.

You can't tell, but he's sitting at a table in a car. McDonalds date!! 

You guys... this really irks me. This is my favourite popsicle... and they just decreased the size by like 30% and it's the same price. What the?!! I seriously got all up in the clerks face at Macs about this.... not in a meeeann way.. just in a 'I've been wronged, we've all been wronged' kinda way...  It's just not right. They're so sneaky.

I'll go fold some laundry now.