• Good Book Suggestions?

    Well, the Hubster and I have been living in Shop City (it’s a working name.. we’ll see if it sticks) for one full week now, and today we are going to make it official. Screw changing our licenses, health cards or all that (important) stuff…

    …we are going to go get library cards.

    I always feel like you really live in a city when you get a library card and take out your first book with said shiny new plastic rectangular piece.

    So, here is where I need your help. I have been up to my elbows in books about the Amish for the past 4 months (SUCH an interesting culture / religion) but I am ready to branch out.

    What are some good books I should read? What are you reading right now?

    Shop Girl*

    P.s. I’ve already read Twilight.

  • So, I Think I Can Dance*

    Ok. Just quick post as the Hubs and I are off to watch a movie, but I’m trying to get back into this whole posting every day thing because, well, I love you. And I’m tired of your harassment that I’m not posting enough. haha! I kid, I kid.

    So, I know not everyone out there loves it, but can I just say how excited I am that So You Think You Can Dance is back?!? AH! I am one of those girls who alllllways wanted to be a dancer but ended up in hockey instead. (Actually, it was ringette… but hockey is less complicated to explain. haha)

    I watch these dances and pretend it’s me. (Don’t judge me, I know you do it too. ha) And every once in a while a perfect dance and song combination happens and I am so freaking into the performance that I clap / shout at the TV / jump around by the end. (Good music and dancing excites me. Apparently.)

    There are several such performances that I love, but I think this one might be my all time favourite. I love the song and the chest pumps (or whatever they are called).

    FABULOUS.

    Are you a fan?

    Shop Girl*

  • The Dreaded Downsize*

    (Ignore the alcohol box… we are not boozers! I swear!)

    Anyone want to come and unpack my apartment for me? Anyone? Anyone?

    One of the worst aspects of this whole moving thing is that not every apartment is the same layout. Our last apartment was very open-concept. One huge living room, one huge bedroom and a decent size bathroom and kitchen.

    All of the furniture we have fit well into this open-concept space. A lot of it is quite big (the hutch, shelves, wardrobe, etc) so finding spaces for it in our new place has been… interesting. It’s like a tetris game.

    “Well, this piece will fit here if I move this one like that…”

    It has forced us to do what I dread: downsize. We are now reevaluating almost everything because even though we gained an extra bedroom, we somehow have no space. haha! I even did what I didn’t think was possible before… I threw out I two bags of shoes. Two bags. (stifles inward sob) While I love that our new bedroom has His & Her closets, I realized too late that this meant that I could no longer steal over onto his side to fit things that didn’t fit on mine, namely my shoe collection. With the Hubster’s moral support, I carefully selected shoes that I knew I hadn’t worn in ages and lovingly put them into bags to give away.

    *sigh*

    I also put together an entire green garbage bag of clothing that I’m Freecycling. Oh, to downsize… how I hate it. Mind you, I’m sure I’ll love it when we next move and have less stuff, but right now I choose to wallow in sorrow over my poor shoes.

    (Secretly I hope that I can now just buy NEW better ones! I am getting Birks for my birthday–I do a lot of walking and needed something with more support than $5 flip flops–and I need some new black leather pumps and flats for teaching. WOO WOO!)

    Anyway, I like organizing, but I’m ready for this whole unpacking bit to be finished now. haha!

    But these are the things I LOVE about our new place:

    1. There is a window in EVERY room. We get SO much natural light. Fabulous!
    2. We have awesome hardwood floors that are actually in pretty good shape.
    3. It came with blinds. (If you have never moved you don’t understand how much it SUCKS to have to fit every window for new blinds and hang them. Ugh.)
    4. We now have an office, which means that the Hubster’s desk no longer has to be in our bedroom, and my desk no longer has to be in the living room. HOO HAH! It also means that he will be forced to spend even MORE time with me. Muahaha.
    5. My piano now has a real space and is no longer crowded in a corner with all my other crap. It’s so much more relaxing to play when you don’t feel all confined.
    6. The dining room table now sits in front of a huge window over looking a quiet little street.
    7. While the kitchen has less cupboard space, it is much longer and can now accommodate more than one person in it at one time.
    8. There are TREES outside our windows! We have woken up to hear birds singing every morning. I loooooove this.
    9. We no longer require an elevator or many flights of stairs to get into our apartment.
    10. We now have everything we could possibly need within a short walking distance… including a BAKERY. Can I just tell you how much I LOVE being able to buy fresh bread? AMAZING.

    So, despite the need to downsize a bit and all the dreaded unpacking, I’m really enjoying our new place so far. Now I need a job. *sigh*

    Wanna hire me?

    Shop Girl*

    P.s. I’m not sure if you knew, but I gave up on my Shopgirrl twitter account a while back. It still exists because there is a bug in the account that prevents me from logging in to shut it down. ANYWAY, I’ve converted to http://twitter.com/iheartmyshoes so please follow me there! :)

  • The Big Move*


    We made it.

    We are finally here in our new apartment in –blank–. (I’ve yet to come up with a wondrously clever “blog name” for our new city. It’s coming.) After a week of non-stop packing, we were set to move bright and early Friday morning.

    And then we had a couple of… hiccups.

    The Hubster and his dad left to get the truck just before 9am, expecting to be back by 9:30 when everyone who had volunteered to come help was set to arrive.

    Perfect, right?

    Ha. At around, ohh, 9:20am the phone rang. It was the Hubster. A very frustrated Hubster informing me that the company’s computers were having issues and he might be a while. (There is a back story to this… we had problems with this company the day before the move as well so he was less than impressed)

    After he hung up I hoped that his friends would show up together to they could at least entertain themselves whilst I continued to be elbow deep in oven cleaner. WOO!

    This was not to be.

    Right at 9:30 there was a knock at my door. One of Mark’s friends (a very nice person but I don’t know him well at all but will appreciate forever his moving our crap) shows up. Alone. While I am COVERED in black oven guck. (yummy) So I started the small talk and after approximately 45 seconds we ran out of things to talk about. I began to tell him to grab a seat and relax while we waited for the other guys, but as the words were coming out of my mouth I realized that the chairs were covered, the futon was not even visible and the only “sitable” surface was our bed, which by this point consisted only of the frame, mattress and box spring.

    Right.

    So I frantically began clearing off my desk (he’s a computer guy, he can play on my computer, right?) while he watched me in an awkward silence until we were saved by his phone. I ran to the kitchen (to avoid the awkwardness to give him privacy) to call the Hubs to find out where he was. He informed me that things were moving along, but it could be after 10am by the time he got back.

    As I hung up the phone another of Mark’s friends (whom I actually know) arrived to save the day. The two strapping young men began hauling our boxes to the lobby to wait for the Hubster to arrive. Then two of the missionaries from our church showed up (bless those boys) and contributed to the tote-hauling effort. Finally, at some point after 10am the Hubster was able to get the truck and the loading began.

    It was not long after that we realized that there was no way we’d be able to fit everything into the truck.

    When the Hubster booked the truck he specifically asked what size we should get. The guy on the phone (who we later learned was a complete and total moron) assured us that the size we booked was used to move 2-bedroom apartments. We were moving from a 1-bedroom into a two, so we took his judgement and booked the truck.

    Ha.

    The men packed the truck like a jigsaw puzzle but there was still no way it was going to fit it all. (Apparently we have a lot of stuff. Who knew?) It quickly became obvious that we were going to have to make two trips. My family was not coming until the next day to help with unloading the truck into our new apartment, so we scrambled and managed to get three strapping young missionaries on the other end to donate a half hour to make some room in our truck. So, thinking that we’d be back to Senior’s City later that day for round 2 of the move, I left alllll the cleaning supplies in our old apartment as it still needed to be cleaned a bit.

    This was not smart.

    We left Senior’s City at 2pm and drove to our new city and quickly unloaded the heaviest things off the truck (I didn’t want to leave it all for Big Dad, Spart and T-rex), expecting that we’d turn right back around and reload. I somehow missed the memo that companies like this one only give you so many kilometres to use and we only had like…. 2 km left. So my vacuum, broom and massive box of every kind of cleaning tool you can think off spent one last night in our old apartment, and luckily we now live close enough to things that the Hubster and I trudged out to get some essentials.

    I was ready for bed by 7pm. I cannot remember a time in my life when I have been that tired. I forced myself to organize a bit to make room for the rest of the stuff on the truck, then the Hubster and I collapsed into bed around 10pm.

    As Day Two of the move dawned, I was excited to get things underway and start setting up our new place. Big Dad, Spart and T-rex arrived to help us out and as they brought the boxes off the truck I attempted to organize and unpack.

    The key word there being “attempted”.

    Again I was wholly overwhelmed by how much stuff we had. By the time everything was off the truck (of load #1, we still had a bit of crap in our old place too) you could barely walk in any room. The bedroom was entirely inaccessible, the office was stacked to ceiling, and the living room looked like a bomb had exploded and left boxes everywhere. Big Dad had to leave as soon as the truck was empty, but Spart and T-rex (being the FABULOUS people that they are) stayed for hours to help us out. They helped us make our living room look somewhat livable, then went with us to IKEA (♥) so we could get some things we needed. Then, because they are awesome, they even dropped the Hubs off at another rental place so he could pick up a van to go and get the rest of our stuff. Words cannot express how much I appreciate what they did for us on Saturday. I heart you with GREAT hearting!

    So, the Hubs and his dad made one last trip to Senior’s City to load up the van and clean the apartment. They left shortly after 4 and I hoped that they could be back by 8pm at the latest as I knew how tired the Hubster was. I spent my first few “alone” hours in the apartment digging a path into the bedroom so we could have a place to sleep.

    At nearly 11pm the Hubster rolled in. (Apparently there was more left in the apartment than we thought… *sigh*)

    We quickly unloaded the van and thankfully his Dad was there through it all to help us out. He went above and beyond what I’d consider “Dad Duties” and helped us so much. The Hubster still had to go return the van that night, so it was nearly midnight by the time we hit the sack.

    Remember how tired I thought I was the day before?

    Ha. Kiddie stuff. This was pure and utter exhaustion. But it was done. Somewhere underneath all the totes and boxes lay our fabulous new apartment… we just had to dig it out. haha!

    And that, dear readers, is what we have been doing non-stop for the past 2 days (We spent half of the Hubster’s birthday up to our elbows in boxes… WOO! Happy Birthday Hubs! haha). I’m quite pleased with the result thus far–it’s actually beginning to look like more of an apartment and less of a war-zone. I LOVE the layout and we have windows everywhere which I love love love. As soon as we are finished unpacking I’ll take some pictures to show you our lovely new place.

    Shop Girl*
    xo

  • What I’ve Been Up To*

    Hiya, folks.

    Well, after two new lovely people decided to follow me in recent days whilst my blogging track record has been pitiful, I thought I should probably update you with what’s been going on over here in Senior’s City.

    So. Almost 4 weeks ago I said a sad farewell to the Hubs and left to go live in The City for 3 weeks to finish my final teacher’s college placement. I was placed in an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (forever hereafter known as ASD) classroom. I was terrified. Before going into this class I had no experience with Special Education classrooms or students–I had had students with IEP’s (Individualized Education Plans…there are SO many acronyms in this profession… *sigh*) before, but this was a whooooole new ball game. And to top it all off I was placed in an elementary school. Small children. Scary.

    I went into the placement thinking it would just be a great filler for my resume, nothing more. I left hoping that someday I’ll have my own ASD class. It was that great. I almost feel bad saying that as so many of my friends had such awful last placements and mine was AMAZING.

    **Note: At the Hippie U teacher’s college, the last 3 week placement is known as an “Alternative Placement”. It’s the only one we have some choice over, and you can do it absolutely anywhere so long as it relates to education / teaching in some way. It’s really more for the experience.

    Anyway. I worked with a fabulous teacher and two wonderful EA’s (Educational Assistants) whom I already miss terribly. On my first day I learned that there was 6 students in the class–correction, six boys in the class. Six autistic boys.

    Did I mention that I was terrified?

    I knew almost nothing about autism going into the placement. I had read a bit on the internet, and we had learned a little in one of my classes, but it’s not the same as knowing someone with autism. When they all arrived on that first day it took me about 5 minutes to absolutely fall in love with them in an absolutely-platonic-not-at-all-creepy-“don’t-touch-the-children”-teacher-student kind of way.

    It was absolutely nothing like what I expected. I went in thinking I’d be biding my time for 3 weeks, counting down the days to the finish line. I had no idea that I would enjoy it as much as I did. I learned so much. We went for walks. We learned how to make pizza together. We went to the playground. We sang songs. We made cupcakes and learned how to decorate with sprinkles and icing. We laughed–oh sweet mother, did we laugh. I wish I had a picture of Tony*… I often worked one-on-one with him as he was not very verbal, but this kid has SO much personality. He often imitated things he had seen on TV that would have us all laughing until our sides hurt.

    Example: we think he must have been watching Saved by the Bell one morning because he came in one morning, dropped his bag down and ran for the mirror. We watched in amusement as he adjusted his clothes to the look he needed–his sweatshirt was tucked inside his jogging pants which were hiked up to his chest (thus exposing his socks) and his hat was turned sideways like Screech has here:

    He then strutted right over and sat down and started to work.

    Or there was the time he found a little girl’s jacket in the playground, somehow squeezed himself into it, zipped it right up and walked around the playground like the snowsuit kid from A Christmas Story (that link’ll take you to the original trailer for the film. AMAZING).


    In short, it ended up being one of, if not my favourite placement. Seriously. I now know without a shadow of a doubt that I could teach this type of class and love it. It was hard being away from the Hubs during the week, but we saw each other every weekend and I got to hang out with my cousin and her family during the week. I didn’t know her very well before I stayed there, and I am so glad I got to know her better… she is fabulous, her Hubs is hilarious, and her bebe is ADORABLE. It was so great.

    The weeks flew by, which probably contributed in part to my feeling like there was NO time for blogging.

    (At least that is what I am making myself believe. Don’t judge me.)

    In the midst of all this the Hubs and I were apartment shopping in the city where he’ll be starting his new job shortly. We found a great apartment, but everything moved reeeeeeeally quickly. There were other people interested in the same one, so we couldn’t wait and grabbed it immediately and realized that we’d be moving in less than 3 weeks. I was still in The City at the time, so the Hubs (being the wonderful Hubster that he is) got down to business and arranged everything and packed half the apartment before I even moved back home. The second I dropped my bags on the floor I jumped in and now our apartment looks like this:
    I think we’re about 85 – 90% packed. It’s all the little finicky stuff left… and I’m wiped. I am very excited about our new place and the Hubster’s new job, but I’m ready to get the actually moving part underway and stop the packing. haha! We move out Friday morning… as soon as I get our new place looking pretty I’ll post some pictures.

    And then today I decided to chop off all my hair. I think I took off at least 4 inches–there was quite a mountain of hair on the floor, and my bottom layers just reach my shoulders. I love it. I was so ready for something different. Again, when I am not sporting the I’m-covered-in-dirt-from-packing look I’ll take some pictures and require your honest opinion. :)

    Well, I think that’s me in a nutshell… I am sorry I have been absolutely terrible at commenting on your blogs–I do heart you with great hearting, life has just been a little busy. I promise to leave you all lovely comments very soon.

    Shop Girl*
    xo

    P.s. Did I mention that I AM A TEACHER?!? Like, officially 100% a teacher?? Like, I could teach your children. For real. A gets-presents-at-Christmas-time kind of teacher. HOO HAH!!!!!

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