June Five

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After a really hectic few months at school, I was really looking forward to having the time to get back into blogging as the summer months rolled in- and then I just didn’t blog. The truth is, I’ve had the *time* to do it, but I haven’t had the motivation or the interest. This year still remains my least documented year EVER, and that makes me so sad. I wish I knew why I lost the enthusiasm I used to have towards blogging, but I think the truth is that I’m still just really busy and I let blogging fall behind until it seems almost impossible to catch up.

Despite not really feeling like a blogger anymore, I still do miss it terribly, and I’d like to find the time to get back into it a couple times a week. I was walking home from work late last week, thinking over the plans I have over the next few weeks/months, and how I really haven’t had any time to just sit down and reflect over any of it. I’ve always been one to sort through my thoughts and feelings through writing, so it makes sense that my brain has felt significantly more all over the place than usual.

So I guess there’s no easy way to write a catch-up post except to just dive right in there, so here are a five things I’ve been up to lately:

1. Working, a LOT. I had kind of given up on my one single paid job over the year because I was just so busy, and it was the strangest thing to not spend much time there. I work in a bookstore- so lovely- and have been there for close to 6 years now. I’ve grown up so much there, and since finishing the year of crazy, it’s been really nice to be back there, falling back in love with reading, and settling back into a routine that makes my life feel less upside down overall. Also, the money part has been helpful!

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2. Spending time with family. I’ve always made time for my family- spending time with them has always made me feel sane- but I’ve been making an exceptionally conscious effort, especially on weekends, to see my niece & nephew, and enjoy quality time with the whole fam jam. Whenever I go a week without seeing them I am very sad and miss them tons, so family BBQ’s and hanging out with my favorite little kiddos has been the absolute best. I spent  two full days at my brother’s house with my sister-in-law and the kids a week and a half ago, and it was really really nice. Granted I was pretty behind on work after, but I literally just played with my nephew nonstop, ate my sister-in-law’s amazing food, and cuddling my baby niece. I’m very excited to find time to do it again!

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3. Reading. Not as much as I’d like to, but I’m working back up to the reader that I used to be. Which means I’ve also started buying books again, and that’s not the best, but I did miss that too. I read a really great contemporary-ish YA novel called Noggin by John Corey Whaley which I LOVED, and I picked up Ruin & Rising by Leigh Bardugo today as well- the third book in her fantasy series ‘The Grisha’. So good. I’m also really looking forward to the Hilary Clinton biography, as crazy as that sounds, I’m so excited about it! I’ve been trying to spend some time outside reading, which has been all sorts of lovely.

4. Seeing friends. This seems like a silly point, but I was just so BUSY during the year that a lot of my good friendships took a back burner because I didn’t have the time or energy to go out and see them. If I had any spare time, I would try and squeeze in an evening with family. Anyway point being, I missed friends a lot and I finally get enough sleep in my life to actually enjoy spending time out with them. Dinners, terrace drinks,  random coffee dates, it’s been all around very lovely seeing friends more regularly!

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5. Writing. Okay so I haven’t been around my blog much, but I have been super busy between Confront Magazine and MTL Blog- where I started working again in June. It’s been really nice getting back into the swing of writing, and doing some interviews for Confront. I interviewed this great Montreal girl band called Motel Raphael two weeks ago, and the very talented Canadian pop singer Victoria Duffield last week. Still one of my favorite parts of the job! Oh, and I was also featured as a travel guest blogger right here a few days ago! I am actually really happy with how that post turned out, even if it made me miss traveling a LOT.

So that’s where I’ve been this last month or so! I never imagined that picking my life back up would feel like such a process, but I’ve really enjoyed getting back into the swing of things that I love doing most!

How has June been treating you?

Monday Five

So I’ve been away for blogging for some time now. Just about 3 months, actually, which is probably the longest I’ve gone without blogging for as long as I can remember.

I thought I might try and get back into things by talking about 5 things I’ve been up to in the last few months. My blog has always been the place where I can look back and re-visit any time in my life, so it only seems fitting that I should at least make an effort to record the craziness of 2014 so far.

1. In January, the CASA Cares team started getting into serious planning mode for our 11th annual charity fashion show. We hosted weekly practice meetings for the models, and I spent a countless amount of hours visiting venues, and putting together the bigger details (like the name, theme, etc). It was by far the biggest event we planned of the year, took a total of 5 months of planning, and was one of the most rewarding experiences of my entire year.

Tickets

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The event came together amazingly well (of course there are things I can imagine doing differently now) but we had one of the best groups of student models I could have ever imagined. They went from a group of strangers to a team of dedicated individuals who really made the show one of the best ever.

The fashion show took place at the end of March, and was probably one of the most stressful days of my life… Ever. Seriously, organizing a 500 person event with a team of 17 executives was hands down of the most trying moments I might ever have to go through. But I learned so much, and love my team even more for going through all of it with me.

fashion showAt the end of the show, my team presented me with flowers. Such love <3

2. The main reason that I kind of disappeared for 3 months is because I did this crazy thing and ran in the University-wide elections to be the President of the Union that represents all 40,000 undergraduate students. It took months of preparation and putting a team together. We poured our heart and souls into a campaign, we put so much trust into each other after having known some of each other only for weeks. It was probably the most intimidating thing I’ve ever done, and I genuinely couldn’t imagine having done it with anyone but these other 7 people.

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We ended up losing the election to one of the other two teams that ran. I haven’t spoken much about it since finding out two weeks ago. Coincidentally, we got the results the night of the fashion show, right after the event was over. It was such a “circle of life” kind of moment, one year coming to an end and finding out that the following year would be going in a complete different direction than I had planned. It hasn’t been easy to readjust.

I don’t think I’ve ever gone under as much scrutiny as being a Presidential candidate in these elections. We spent a good month preparing our campaign, posters, platform, and then we had just over two weeks of actual campaigning in school to do. If I said I slept 4-5 hours per night, I’d almost think I was exaggerating. Those campaigning days are still such a blur to me, I sometimes don’t even know *how* I got myself out of bed every day. But I did, and it was hands down the craziest experience (no pun intended on our team name) I’ve ever undergone in University.

3. I applied for another internship too soon after elections were over, and found out I wasn’t accepted for that either. Hey, if I’m writing a candid blog post on my life, it has its ups & downs. There have been a lot, and I mean a LOT of both recently.

4. The interesting thing through all of this is that I’ve learned a heck of a lot about myself. Okay, so maybe I’m a little bit less confident in myself some days than I used to be, but I know I just haven’t found the opportunity that’s right for me just yet. It’s scary, because I’m turning 25 in just a few months, and I just imagined myself in a very different place right NOW, but that’s part of life- right? It’s not always sunshine and rainbows. Life is also about rejection, and failing at some things even when you’re doing awesome at others. I’ve taken all this extra time in my schedule to find myself again, fall back in love with my favorite things that took a back-burner in all of this mess, and that’s been really nice. I started reading again, seeing friends, family, sleeping, and even planning to go to some concerts in the near future.

The GirlsCelebrating one of my best friends’ 25th birthday, worry free in April. <3

Some days I wake up and think that things really do happen for a reason, and other days I wake up wondering why I can’t just get *one single thing* that I want in life. I’m melodramatic sometimes, what can I say. I’m kinda scared to see what this summer holds for me, in all of its unpredictability. But scary isn’t necessarily bad. I have so much wide-open-time to find another extraordinary opportunity to go after!

5. My niece is here! I’m ending this long-rambling blog post with some good news! She was born with several complications, but everything is looking up officially. I got to hold her for the first time over the weekend and she is just the sweetest, most precious little thing I’ve ever seen. Well, at least since my nephew was born! I can’t wait for her release from the hospital (soon, I think!) to spend more time with her. Yay, babies. :)

Eliana

March Moments

I’ve been feeling very busy and disconnected from my blog, and it’s not a feeling I’m used to in the least. It’s strange to look at my recent archives and feel like there is a gap between my life and my writing, and there is very little I can do about it because I’m so short on extra time in my life. But I do my best to keep my blog going when I can, and knowing that I’m still writing a little bit everywhere helps a lot too.

March has been a crazy, beautiful month. Normally, I hate this month. I have for the past decade, because it is just tainted with a lot of bad dates that have followed me through my life. But this year I have been fortunate enough to stop thinking about it, even for a little while.

Here are the moments that have made this year’s month of March so wonderful for me, also known as another way to update about all the things going on in my everyday life!

1. Feeling under the weather and having a good friend surprise you with freshly baked cookies and a little care package that included a candle and some bubble bath. Relaxation, yes please!

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2. Interviewing two amazing Canadian bands for CONFRONT Magazine, Inlet Sound & Lakes of Canada, and then attending their show that evening which was tons of fun.

I reviewed the show right here!

photo (3)Not to mention spending the evening with one of my favorite people <3

3. Somehow finding the time to write THREE guest posts. One about my favorite travel reads, another about my job at CONFRONT (going live later this week, link soon!), and one more about how much I love music.

4. Babysitting my nephew a few times, which is always the highlight of my weekends! 

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5. Dinner for a friend’s birthday turns into a girls’ night & reunion with some of my favorite people

meandlisaWith one of my favorite girls! 

6. Finding out that I will be taking over presidency next year for CASA Cares, the charity association that I am currently the VP Public Relations for this year. I have LOVED being a part of this year’s team. It has not only changed my University experience, but I’ve met tons of amazing people, worked with some great charities, and have learned so much about myself in the process. I’m terrified, but so excited, to see what next year brings to the team that I am currently putting together.

7. Seeing P!nk live in Montreal for the very first time. She has been a long-time favorite female artist of mine, and a role model throughout high school and CEGEP. She was, hands down, one of the best concerts I have ever been to.

pinkshowEnjoying the show with some crazy friends :)

IMG_5757One of the best female artists in music today, in my opinion

IMG_5784Definitely the best concert I’ve been to all year! 

8. NEW YORK CITY for four days, a much needed trip away from home & getaway with friends

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9. Spontaneously having a day off after a very long week coming home from NYC… I *really* needed to just sleep and do my own thing. It was wonderful!

10. Last, but certainly not least, everything this month related to the CASA Cares fashion show. The event took place this past Friday March 29th, and was beyond a success I could have imagined. Our team worked tirelessly for 3 months putting this event together, and seeing it sell out, seeing the models work the catwalk, the performers engage the crowd, and everyone having an amazing time? SO worth it. I’m still on a high after that 20+ hour day, and although it’s difficult to wrap my mind around doing it in another year, I’m already SO excited. What an insane, beautiful experience to be a part of!

I stole a bunch of people’s Instagram photos to share below. Everyone helped spread the word with our hashtag #Platinum10, and from there I grabbed  bunch of awesome pics. Here’s a little look at how the night went:

platinum10setupSetting up & people arriving at the beginning of the evening, after a long day of rehearsals & preparations at the club!

platinum10workitSome models walking the runway, wearing Montreal brands such as Rififi and Valerie Dumaine. Amazing sponsors!

platinum10confettiA confetti-filled ending to the 2 hour show, right before the after-party!

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Models on stage with their final outfits on for the finale

Official photos right here, with hundreds more to come. I’m sure I ended up in pictures somewhere during the night, which I’ll be sure to share as more pictures come my way!

& how was your month of March?! Any great stand-out moments?

Bonjour, Montreal :)

First view of Montreal this morning. Home sweet home  :)

I’m currently sitting at my desk, in my bedroom, subconsciously pushing away the curtain that keeps fluttering onto my laptop like I did every single day of the summer before I left for Brazil.

And yet life feels so entirely different, now that I’m back in Montreal & so extremely far from a country that became my home for three weeks. 21 days that simultaneously flew by and felt like a lifetime. It’s crazy how less than a month in a new country can turn into a place I can see myself going back to over and over… and over again. Even with the ridiculous travel times.

It’s nice to be back in my room, with my music blaring out of my computer and my calm suburban neighborhood just outside my window. I’m excited to have an entire day tomorrow to catch up on relaxing and sleeping, but I know I’ll get bored of the quietness of my surroundings really quickly. I didn’t realize just how many people were ALWAYS around me throughout July.

Seeing Montreal at 11:45am this morning through my plane window was like a huge weight lifted from my heart. I love my city, and I loved watching it fly by through my little window for the 30 minutes that we spent at cloud level before landing. It was a LONG trip back home- long plane rides and even longer layovers- seeing home at the end of the 24 hour journey was like no feeling I’ve ever remembered having before.I bobbed in the backseat of the car until I got home, anxious to see my puppies’ little faces again, and was greeted with an even better surprise; my four best friends were waiting for me in my living room with cameras and big smiles. 

I was deliriously exhausted, but SO happy to come home to their faces and spend some much needed time with them in the afternoon. They hung out with me while I dazedly went through my mail, had some lunch, played with my dogs nonstop, and then we just laughed and caught up on life. It was a very nice welcome to Montreal after being away for so long.

I’m excited to get back into a little routine for one week before I jet off to Europe on August 6th. I have 10 days to catch up with friends, the family I left back here, and see another big show before I leave.

I can’t believe July has come and almost gone. And I can’t WAIT to see how August turns out.

I have lots of pictures and maybe a few Brazilian stories left to share before I’m off again. But right now? I want a hot shower, my bed, and a couple episodes of Hell’s Kitchen. It’s been a very, VERY long two days! 

 

On… Turning 23

Anyone who knows me knows that I love my birthday. I’m not into BIG celebrations and going ALL OUT every single year, but I love that there is one day that comes around that is mine.

Turning 23 feels a lot like turning any other age, really. It’s not a particularly interesting number or milestone… & yet it’s a year, an age and a day I will remember for a long time. I’m celebrating my birthday in an entirely new continent.

I wrote myself a letter on the day I turned 22, to be opened the day I turned 23. I had no idea I’d be thousands of kilometers from home and unable to open it on the day I meant to. I realized this the other morning- I randomly woke up and remembered I had a letter to open on July 10th 2012, and it would have to wait just a few more weeks.

I’ve changed a lot in 365 days. I vaguely remember what I said to myself in last years’ letter; something about being happy, thankful, surrounded by loved ones. I thought that this year it would be fun to write something I could look back on in 2013 no matter where I am in the world, since I wish I could read my 22 year old letter today.

So here is an open letter to myself to re-visit next year when I celebrate my 24th.

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I’m writing this sitting in an apartment in Brazil, while another delicious traditional lunch is being cooked in the next room for my birthday. Last night I went to some family’s house and little did I know they had prepared a whole surprise birthday; balloons, a big cake, lots of food, tons of people, and best of all? A mini dance party with personal FIREWORKS. Talk about celebrating in another country right?!

I must write this in each letter to my future self, but my goodness am I ever grateful. For my friends who send me messages every day, to those who thought of me & sent me birthday wishes, and right now especially for my family- I came to Brazil with NO idea what to expect, and just one week later I know I’m leaving with an entirely new family to visit whenever I want.

Life has a funny way of working things out for you. I grew up not knowing who to trust and who would stay in my life for years to come; but now as I turn 23 I can say that I am so lucky for the people that have found their way into my life over the past few years, not to mention those who have stood by me through time.

So today, while I celebrate my day in a relaxed manner surrounded by new family & friends, I’m writing this as a reminder that there are people out there who love me way more than I knew possible. There are so many amazing things that I have to do, too. If 22 taught me anything, it’s that the world is my oyster and I can make any of my dreams come true, if I choose to. First Brazil, and in a few more weeks I’m going back to Europe. My life is so unbelievable to me right now, I just want to live in the moment and enjoy every single moment. I love my birthday, but this year it’s just one day of MANY that I am grateful and happy for. I’m 23, and I just can’t wait to see what the next year has in store for me.

Amazing still it seems
I’ll be 23
I won’t always love what I’ll never have
I won’t always live in my regrets
-’23’ by Jimmy Eat World

Extended Weekends

Weekends in the summer are my favorite. This year for the first time since I was 16 I  plan on fully enjoying them with family & friends. I asked to have Fridays and Saturdays off at work entirely, and the way my hours work out I often have Thursday and most of Sunday off too. It gives me this really nice, long weekend to look forward to and this entire month I’ve managed to take full advantage.

This weekend has been quite a bit more low key for me because my mom was out of town & left me to take care of the puppies for 4 days. Because they’re still so little and need to be crated when no one is home, I’ve tried minimizing my time out of the house so they don’t spend their whole day caged up! I did manage to spend a bit of time out and about though- here are some pictures:

Thursday-

After spending most of the afternoon out in the sun reading, I got ready and headed out to dinner with a bunch of people from work. Back in March a group of us organized a big event for work during our free time and as a thank you our managers treated us to a dinner at a really cute Italian restaurant!

We had a ton of fun catching up, drinking wine, playing random ninja games in the parking lot after dinner and obviously taking pictures!

Friday- 

I went out for a lovely breakfast with three of my favorite ladies. I always love when we have the chance to get together because we end up sitting and talking for hours! We didn’t have very long because our schedules only had a few free hours, but afterwards I headed back home with Agnes & we spent some time planning and booking our hostels for our week in Italy in August!

We also tried to figure out how we want to organize our week in France, but we had a bit of trouble figuring out where EXACTLY we want to visit, for how long, and how to get around. Anyone have tips?

Finally in the late afternoon my brother came to pick me up and we spent the evening together with my nephew! It’s been YEARS since I hung out with just my brother. Back when he lived at home I would just go down to the basement and we could spontaneously watch movies together, but now we have completely separate lives to try and figure out. We stopped by his friends’ house who offered to spend 10 minutes taking pictures of me and my nephew together with his professional camera. I was super excited (although not picture ready, it was spontaneous!) and I got some ADORABLE pictures with my favorite little boy.

There are a TON more but I’ll stop there for now. I can’t believe how photogenic that baby is though, seriously. Love!

Saturday-

In the afternoon I headed downtown for a photo shoot with CASA Cares, the organization I joined a couple months ago with school. We get individual shots and group shots with the whole team for our website so I got to dress all business and hang out on a roof for like 2 hours on a gorgeous day.

Most of the girls hanging out on the roof while we wait our turn to take individual shots! 

We took photos with all different parts of Montreal below us and I really can’t wait to see how they turn out! I took a few shots with my iPhone from the roof because the view was so awesome.

The rest of my weekend was really low key. I did some reading on Saturday evening & Sunday morning I spent some time working on my new blog space before work! Today I have another spontaneous day off and I’m not sure yet what I feel like doing.

All around really nice weekend spent at home- it was my first non-road trip weekend all month!- and I feel ready for the work week ahead.

How was your weekend?! 

An Adventurous Weekend

Today I am guest posting over on Stephany’s blog Stephany Writes about vacation must-reads. I’d love for you to check it out and let me know what books you would recommend to someone leaving on a trip? Steph is currently on a cruise. You should all be jealous.

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So I ended up taking a relatively spontaneous long weekend off from blogging. Often by the time Friday rolls around, I’m already beginning to draft up posts for next week. But as of right now, I have NOTHING. I think every once in a while it’s nice to just take some time to LIVE and everything else will catch up eventually.

I had one of the best weekends that I’ve had in a long time. I had a spontaneous 4 days off from work, and although I already had a little road trip to Vermont planned with two work friends, I ended up packing my entire weekend with plans. Since today I’ll be heading back to work (in just a few hours, sigh!) I thought I’d share some photos from the last few days before truly getting back to reality.

Thursday- I don’t have any photos, but I had a really lovely day anyway! I spent the afternoon at a L’Oreal sale with one of my best friends where I spent FAR TOO MUCH MONEY on makeup and hair products, followed by a really nice dinner and an Italian restaurant with some friends. Another one of my good friends is leaving for Florida tomorrow so we all wanted to get together for a little goodbye dinner kind of thing.

Friday- I got ready and met my two work friends (well, ex-work friends. I mean we’re still friends, we just don’t work together anymore!) and we drove over the border to Burlington for the night. We bought tickets to see FEIST in concert months & months ago, and had planned to stay overnight to do some shopping the next morning before heading home.

Sitting & waiting for Feist to start! Not our best picture, but the only one we got together

The lovely & extremely talented Feist! She put on a great show. Can’t wait to see her again in August!

The service at our hotel was amazing, but the place itself was SO sketchy. These tips were nailed crookedly to the back of our door…

Walking the gorgeous streets of Burlington on Saturday morning. We walked through a Farmer’s Market before heading into the mall for some serious shopping!

Although Vermont is only a couple hours from home, it still feels like an entirely different world. I always love going to the States for little trips because I get to eat and shop at places that don’t exist just a couple hours North here in Montreal. Although I do go a little crazy turning my cell phone off most of the time, I actually enjoyed it SOSO much this weekend. I happily turned it on to Airplane Mode as soon as crossed the border, and just spent the entire day enjoying a lovely city without worrying about who was trying to get in contact with me. It was VERY nice. ‘

We had a quick lunch at Panera (my first time there!) before heading the 2 and a half hours back home. I was VERY excited about trying this place out because I’ve heard so many good things about it, and it did NOT disappoint! My food was the bomb.

On Saturday night, we had a big girls’ night with a bunch of the ladies from work. I wasn’t able to stay for very long because I had to be up early on Sunday, but I was there long enough to take some yummy jello shots, HOLD A SNAKE (my friend’s pet!) and spend some time in the hot tub.

A few of us girls around the kitchen table!

Me being terrified while trying to hold Timmy the snake! I actually can’t believe I was convinced into doing this, ha :)

Sunday- Mother’s Day was another non-stop day for me. I woke up bright and early for a brunch with my family, followed by a baptism & finally the most delicious meal EVER as an after party for the baptism. I was out basically from 10am until 7pm and by the time I got home I was completely exhausted.

I had SUCH a lovely day and spent tons of time with my nephew who I hadn’t seen in almost two weeks. It felt like way longer- every time I see him he changes and does fun new things. Plus I think he gets cuter every time too. Seriously.

Me and my super giggly nephew at brunch. I freaking love this little munchkin! <3

My brother and I with my nephew at brunch :)

Happy Mother’s day! I’m extremely lucky to be able to call this woman my mom :) <3

Hanging out with daddy during the baptism. His eyes just melt my heart!

It was my sister-in-law’s first Mother’s Day! Baby loves his mama :)

Goodness, it takes a long time to write about 4 days of awesome. I love weekends like this, and I hope there are many more to write about this summer. So far, May has been such a good month to me.  I’ve been working so hard at making the best out of all the little moments I have- with family, friends, and just the time I spend on my own. This weekend was, if anything, the exact kind of thing that reminds me why I’m so lucky to be surrounded with the family and friends that I have in my life. 

Did you do anything special this weekend? 

Already Monday?!

It always seems like the best weekends go by the quickest, doesn’t it?! After last week’s ridiculously low key-ness I was really looking forward to keeping non-stop busy from Thursday straight through to Sunday night. Here’s what my last few days have looked like while I’ve been away from the blog!

Thursday: I woke up nice & early to go to the gym, but unfortunately a sprained wrist meant I’d have to skip out on my back-to-back fitness classes. Instead, my sister-in-law picked me up and I ran errands with her & my nephew! After some grocery shopping, we headed back to her place and spent the day eating/making more vegetarian dishes/playing lots of games with little Cris (obviously!)

 Sleeping while I snap some pictures. You know how it is. 

ANOTHER picture, auntie?! 

Dinner that looks like pasta, tasted KIND OF like pasta, but was actually raw zucchini! So. Yummy.

Friday: Not much exciting stuff happened on Friday, now that I think of it! I spent the day at work followed by a nice relaxing evening at home with my Kindle and my computer. I was working early on Saturday & didn’t really *feel* like going out. Apparently I’m becoming more and more of a homebody!

Saturday: After what felt like the longest shift ever at work (in reality it was only about 6 hours) I headed back home for my Valentine’s Day party with the girls! I’ve mentioned a ton of times that we go out of our way to celebrate all the holidays together, and V-Day is certainly no except when 5 out of the 6 of us are single. These girls keep me sane, and I love that I can talk about a million things with them that doesn’t include why I still haven’t found the right guy.

We spent the evening eating a bajillion kinds of food, playing some old school nintendo (I lost interest at first, but played some really serious rounds of Mario Tennis by myself at the end of the night! I lost every single time. Boo)


Of course there were lots and lots of pictures too. We always know there’s a part of the night dedicated to timer shots all together, and it’s quite funny to see us all just gather on the floor and change positions 10 times in the hopes of getting a few good ones. They’re USUALLY all pretty crazy looking, but that’s what makes it great memories! My friend Jenn brought up how it felt like NOT a year ago since we last celebrate V-Day all together, and as I thought back to last year at my house with the same girls, I was overcome with so much darn love for the five of them. We’ve all been through so much together in the last 3 years that we’ve been (single) friends, it’s crazy to look back on. I love these girls like family though! 

                   

Did you notice we color coordinated for the holiday?! We’re cool like that. 

Sunday: My nephew slept over Saturday night, so I woke up around 4:30am to feed him and hang out. Unfortunately this wasn’t by choice, I woke up with a terrifying ear infection and I couldn’t fall back asleep. I spent some time on the couch playing with him while keeping a cold cloth on my ear, and finally took some Tylenol and fell asleep as the pain dulled away.

I woke up a few hours later (8am, actually. Dear Lord.) and spent lots more time playing with Cris and dressing him up for the day. One of my good friends and her boyfriend came over for 3 hours or so to meet my nephew, and I THINK they were quite smitten with him too! They held him and played games and made him laugh… And it really warmed my heart to see them with him :)

We were babysitting my nephew because it was my brother & sister-in-law’s TWO YEAR wedding anniversary! They spent the day at the spa together, and came to pick up their baby around 4PM. My sis-in-law’s parents ended up coming over like 3 minutes after they showed up, and they brought Anniversary Cake so of course we all sat down and had a lovely spontaneous family afternoon gathering! It was all around very lovely, I loved reminiscing about being in Mexico two years ago watching my brother get married to the woman he loves. SO much has changed in two years, especially the newest addition to our family- I can’t wait to see what the next two years bring to our family!

Chocolate Wedding Anniversary cake… The best kind! 

The bride and I getting ready before the ceremony in 2010!

<3

And that is my awesome weekend of fun! Although I needed last weekend to just be by myself and do my own thing, I realized that I love these ones even more. I had such a great time seeing all my friends and my family, and I’m just very happy as I write this post!

How was your weekend?! Any special moments in yours?

First weekend of 2012

Weekends in my life are often filled with more work or homework than anything else, so when I manage to mix it up a little, I’m so so happy. This was one of those weekends, and it looked something like this:

Thursday: After work I met up with my friend Melanie for a lovely evening of shopping, dinner, and relaxing at my place. She got me into the show Big Love WAY BACK when it first started, and we had promised each other we’d watch the SERIES finale together at the beginning of the summer. We never made the time for it, but she came over after shopping, I made us some hot chocolate and we finally finished watching the show together.

Me shopping for wine glasses (I was thinking of getting that big bowl as a wine glass, what do you think?!), some shared Thai food for dinner, and Mel hopelessly trying to park her parents’ van close to the curb at my house. Ha! 

Friday: I had the entire day off (yay!) and slept until almost 11am which felt AMAZING. At around one in the afternoon my brother came over to pick me up & we ended up spending almost the entire day together. This has only happened a few times in the last couple years, and I completely forgot to take lots of pictures! Besides pictures of my nephew because seriously he’s the cutest.

Healthy lunch courtesy of my sister-in-law! 

Playing on his Baby Einstein piano! 

Saturday: Although I worked all morning, I got to finish an hour early (hurray!) so that I could come home and finish wrapping presents for my belated Christmas party.

I celebrate every single holiday with my girls, and although we didn’t have time actually DURING Christmas-time, we made a point to get together this weekend. We spent the night taking pictures of ourselves in our ugly Christmas sweaters, eating a TON of food, playing some games, and of course opening PRESENTS :)

The six of us in front of the Christmas tree! I’m 2nd from the right, sporting a lovely train/Christmas tree button up sweater! 

Sunday: Basically spent the whole day relaxing, catching up on TV, organizing some things in my room and all around being superbly lazy. It was fantastic! :) After dinner I headed over to my neighbors’ house and watched her 6 year old son, D, for a couple hours. He entertained me with about 5 different games in 2 hours, and then we read some books before I put him to sleep! Ended my night with some much needed reading time and, of course, one last mug of tea (gingerbread spice! So good!)

I drank tea nonstop all day, my friends got me 10 different kinds on Saturday night! Yummmyyy. :) I drank tea nonstop all day, my friends got me 10 different kinds on Saturday night! Yummmyyy.

Making snow cones with the Snoopy Sno Cone machine! 

How was your weekend? What did you get up to?

On… Friendships

 

There are some moments in my life that have been made infinitely better and more special because of my friends. Many of my closest friendships began a decade ago (if not more), so we’ve all been through a considerable amount together.

Friends come and go, I know that. I gain friends every once in a while that I know will be around for a long time, and sometimes I lose friends because of silly arguments, or even bigger ones. This is all part of life, often the loss of friendships taking quite a toll on my emotional state. 

Some days though, I’m reminded of why I consider my best friends part of my family. Some days I’m reminded that there’s a reason that certain people are in my life- despite big fights and moments spent apart, we always come back together to support each other and live through life’s biggest moments together.

This week I’ve had a lot of friendships go under a magnifying glass. Every once in a while this happens, and it sucks, really. Maybe it’s just a girl thing, but we invest so much of our time and emotion into the people we let in our hearts, it’s no wonder that when something happens to make us question those people we let in, we become bitter, resentful and just overall upset. I find myself getting this way from time to time and I remind myself that it’s all out of love. Those who matter always come around.

That being said though, today was one of those days that tested some of my best friendships, and through a mixture of smiles and tears, I came out on the other side happy to have these people by my side. I hate that it was a tragedy that brought us back together, if even for a few hours, but it did show me that no matter what words were exchanged in the last months, the love we all share for one another- the history we all have together- prevails. No matter what, we can put our differences aside and just be there for each other.

I sat in between two girls who mean the world to me in a place that makes me literally cringe, and through heavy words and with heavy hearts we were there for one another to lean on. We shared looks that said a thousand words, we provided comfort to those who needed it, and we all hugged… A lot.

I miss the days when friendships were easy. Some days I feel like I’m losing more friends than I’m gaining, and for absolutely no reason at all. But then I remember the day that my best friend gave me a hug and I burst into tears in her arms, or the day that I got a card with just the right words, or even today, the day that I sat with two of my closest friends to support our fourth through a really hard time, and I know that through gains and losses, the friends I have today are here to stay.