Quarter of a Century...

Yes, it's true. A couple months back I turned 25... I officially am now closer to 50 yrs old than I am to my birth... Seems about right... There is a phenomenon that many people experience throughout their life, for a number of reasons, that I like to call 'premature feeling aged'. Here is a prime example. Shawn and I are newly weds at 25, but when people meet us they assume we are either younger than we are, or have been married longer than we have... I can understand why, many people marry at a younger age, having found the one that want to spend the rest of their life with. It just so happened that it took me 24 yrs and 7 mos to bump into the man who convinced me that marriage was a thing that he and I would be great at. Shawn. I love you and am so happy that we met how, and when, we did. Me, on a date with another guy. You, planning a bonfire that would rouse the fire department. I am so excited to spend the rest of our lives together...
I can't wait till we end up looking like this.


I remember once saying to my sister, that I was okay with being single but I was ready to find the guy I would marry. She told me that, it doesn't matter if you meet each other when you are 19, 24, 29 or whatever age. Once you do meet them, your life together begins then, and until then, just enjoy the life you have now and don't waste any of it pinning away. Thanks to her and my amazing friends, I did just that. I enjoyed every moment I could, being single, employed and free. And perhaps, if Shawn and I had met any earlier I would never have been able to experience some of my favorite memories up to now including (in no particular order)

Time to develop Monk Obsession
Spend Chritmas with my Aussie family
Will forever be greatful for their role in my
surgery recovery... xoxo

Endless beaches with my girls
and realizing that you can be best friends with
differing religions if you all are open to respecting each
others beliefs... You were such inspirations to me girls 

Experiencing a legit soccer/football match
in South America
Experience Team Canada win Hockey Olympic Gold
amidst hundreds of fellow Canadian in the middle
of a tiny island in Thailand at 3 am

Falling in love with my brown babies

Traveling Europe with my sisters
and realizing, too late, how much I wished
I had actually taken ANY foreign languages

Life in the middle of YSA madness

and realizing just because you are in love with 
someone doesn't mean you should marry them
Sometimes you have to hold out for 
3 more years...
Grad Trip #2: CUBA

Grad Trip #1: Vegas!
Pick our own guinea pig to roast and chop up for
dinner... yum

Summer fun with my girls
Experience two of my sisters getting married

Finding out that I am strong enough to
come back from braking my back
and rocking a sweet as... back brace

Overcoming our initial response and climbing the
Tongario Crossing in New Zealand

Volunteering in Orphanages.... Amazing
Building life-time relationships.... Priceless

Venturing outside of the southern alberta
bubble I have lived and loved for so long
and time to decide what I wanted in life
and who I wanted to be

Building a love/passion for history,
traveling and all things beautiful

Find a floor of nurses that I just love and
a job that makes me sad to leave
The years I had living with, and doing
with my best friends, my sisters

Defying the Roman Gods...

Graduating with a degree in Nursing

Realizing that I could be a mom one day.
And maybe not all of our kids will be
biologically ours. 

Taking on new adventures/challenges daily and learning
that you can live with only 6 pairs of clothing and you
don't have to wash your hair/body every day... haha...
That can be a good and bad thing... 

I was blessed with a good life before I got married, and I am now blessed with a fantastic husband and the chance to start a new life together in Saskatoon... 

“A man without a mustache is like a cup of tea without sugar”

Ah date night.
One of the top tips we received when we got married was when you are fighting, fight naked make date night a priority. Never let it get lost amidst all the busyness. So we have been making an effort to include date night each week. Not that watching 'The Amazing Race' doesn't make for a fantastic time, anytime, we decided to branch out and venture outside into the -30 C weather. Not many options are left when everything freezes over but we found our spot. Where do you go when you are game for fun? RUCKERS!! (nice slogan there, ruckers)

Reasons why I didn't play High School basketball
came back to me as Shawn destroyed me

Outrage when Shawn realized he had been suckered, once again, by a game

Forget basketball, THIS was my domain, my kingdom...
Even Shawn had to admit defeat numerous times.
I was a gracious winner... 
 It has been way too long since I had the joy of changing money into tokens and watching my money slip away as we tried to feed Big Bertha, or bonk some dinosaur heads... Such simple joy in bringing out the school-aged competitiveness as we fought for top-place among the dance, dance, revolution world... It is the perfect time to enjoy these games. We are still young/immature enough to enjoy all these games while old enough to actually have money to burn on useless games... but it was worth it plugging coins after coins into the "Wheel of Fortune" game! Man, we are all-stars at that! It is so additing! Go ahead and spin that wheel and see if you can resist a second, third or tenth game. We are seriously considering applying on that show... But only if we can do it as a team? What? You can't? Drat... We would have been amazing.

Wearing our hard-earned new mustaches... 

Helping Tom Selleck bring back the 'stash

Who can resist a tickle of a mustache kiss?

 Our date night didn't end, or begin at Ruckers but rather... it was just the beginning...

Later, we found that
only bring trouble

Mug Shots


Happy 1 Month Anniversary!

First, I would like to say that it is only I, and other women, that probably acknowledge today as a mini-celebration. Shawn is quite adamant that there is no such thing as 1 month, 6 month, or any month in between, anniversaries. He is quite the traditionalist that the only anniversary is the annual one. Party pooper. But I didn't let that stop me from rolling over, kissing him and wishing him a "Happy Anniversary" at 12:15 am.

I had planned to wake up and make us some heart shaped pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream for breakfast but, not going to lie, 9 am church destroys any hope for fancy breakfasts. I can barely drag myself out of bed in time to get washed, dressed and make-up'ed'. I don't know about you, but for me Sundays are all about; sleeping in, going to church, spending time with family and a good dinner. If I miss any of those, it just doesn't feel exactly right... But give me a month or two more and maybe our self-thrown pity party will be over... just maybe.

Things I've discovered in our one month of being husband and wife.
 a) A tiny, miniscule basement suite is not bad for a newly married couple, minus the fact we are strongly considering how to convert our stack of boxes, in the corner, into a piece of furniture or art.
 b) My husband is a morning person. I am not.
 c) I am a night owl. Shawn goes to bed at a reasonable hour, the fact that he has school and I have nothing, might have something to do with that, as well.
 d) A tiny house with very little counter-space appears dirty quite quickly.
 e) Luckily, a tiny house is not hard to clean up... Especially when the two people living in it are not that messy to begin with.
 f) After 24 yrs* of being in the YSA, it's quite a switch to be, all of a sudden, a "young married". It's almost like all those people that got married and 'disappeared', all of a sudden, reappear. 
*I know I haven't actually been in YSA for all my 24 yrs, but just go with it.
 g) Boys, or just Shawn, seem to think boys and girls should eat the same amount of food. Not the case. Especially not the case when the boy is half of a foot taller and a ridiculously amount more muscular. But until he figures that out, I will enjoy my equal share of desert.
 h) I love my new name. Valena Bevans. Doesn't that just roll off the tongue? I was a proud 'Wyght' before but I am quite excited to only have to spell out one of my names now. "Yes, my name is V-A-L-E-N-A Bevans." And it just looks good... Not very many last names could mesh with an unique name like Valena... but Bevans does.
 i) I love planning out the next 5, 10, 25 years with my husband. And no, we won't be having kids any time soon. But we do have a fun summer planned.
 i) I have one, amazing husband. Period.


Crying Over Spilled Milk...

Week 3 of having no job, and way too much time on my hands and I decided to bake some of Shawn's favorite cookies; whoopie pies homemade oreos. I have never made this cookies before so I searched out a good recipe from a trustworthy cookbook (with a picture of course, anyone else think pictures are a must for cookbooks?) and started on them, from scratch.

I have been skeptical of our oven since I first laid eyes on it. The fact that it appears to be from 1956 was my first impression, and the fact that it is almost miniature size and stands awkwardly alone, in the middle of our kitchen, does not endear itself to me. I am pleased to announce that despite its shortcomings, our oven did not explode, and my brand-new stoneware baking sheet fit in and the cookies emerged perfect! I was so excited! They were soft, plump and delicious! I was so proud of myself, and as my cookies cooled, I began on the easy part; the icing. How can anyone go wrong on the icing? I am still not too sure myself, but I did.

Perhaps, I was missing have a job a little more than I thought because ten minutes later Shawn found me in the middle of the kitchen floor crying because the icing was too runny which made the cookies look messy. I split the blame of the waterworks two ways; firstly, my birth control and secondly, I had put way too much importance on baking cookies because when I took the runny icing as a failure, I fell apart... I need a job... haha... To Shawn's everlasting credit, he didn't make fun of his racoon-eyed wife on the floor crying over baked goods. He just hugged me, and ate two cookies.

In the end though, the cookies did turn out quite nicely. The icing just needed to sit. We even whipped some ice cream and sandwiched them between two cookies and a couple days later we enjoyed some homemade ice cream sandwiches. But no matter how good the cookies tasted I will never forget my first time making homemade oreos aka whoopie pies and how I cried over "spilled milk".


Dear Job Fairy

I am ready for a job. I curse the ridiculous set-up that Saskatoon has for new job applicants. One size sometimes doesn't fit all. They should take pointers from numerous places that, wisely, have ways for applicants to apply for individual job postings themselves rather than every applicant emailing their resume to one employee who MUST be severely overworked. No wonder she hasn't answered her phone any of the numerous times I have tried calling, she's probably buried under thousands of emails. Poor girl. But I want a job so my empathy is not quite working at full capacity right now.

If you were to look at the last 24 months of my working career, you would never guess that for the previous 5 years I have been quite the workaholic. There was a time where I was working 40 hrs/week during school semesters and then two jobs during the summer. Perhaps I am an occasional workaholic because there has been quite the shortage of work in the last two years thanks to traveling, more traveling, and broken backs. Now, marrying the man of my dreams means leaving my job AGAIN. My poor co-workers must be developing some abandonment issues from my continued departures. I am getting quite good and efficient at farewells now. But I am also growing quite tired of them. I have already settled down with my man, now I am ready to settle down with a job.

I consider myself lucky. Apparently, I have traveled enough sporadically that now that I'm married I am ready to let the traveling part of my life to bed* and settle down to work, if we are talking ideals, in a .79 position on a surgical floor at the Royal University Hospital... I miss work, money, patients, co-workers, benefits plans, and actually leaving the house in this winter wonderland.

But until then, I will just have to enjoy all the free time I have to
eat junk food and watch criminal minds,
organize our new home and just enjoy newlywed life with my hubby.

*for now... at LEAST until summer

Making a House* a Home

We are currently on Week 2 of living in our new, cozy* abode. I know I should probably be annoyed or disappointed with how tiny it is, or how there is literally no storage space (if you don't, as you shouldn't, count the corner in the living room where our boxes currently are) but I secretly loved it from the moment we first saw it. Shawn, on the other-hand took awhile to come around to liking it. In fact, his first impression was that the place was "a complete dive; no way are we ever living here". Famous last words because due to;
        -limited time (4 hrs) to view other homes on our mini-trip out to Saskatoon
        -it being the right price which is hard to argue with when a job is still not reality
        -and a fantastic location; uni only 5 minute drive away and more importantly, grocery stores, restaurants, movie theatre and a gym within 10 minutes away... maybe I'll actually go to the gym here!
the lil basement suite on 3rd St E became our new home. Hurrah!

I don't know how the two of us whom have individually been bit of vagrants the last two years have accumulated so much crap belongings in the last lil bit but we had a full trailer as we drove to Saskatoon. We moved in and found ourselves up to our ears in empty boxes as we unpacked. Our poor garbage can didn't know what hit him. We then found out that due to "resource-saving" measures, the garbage is picked up once every TWO weeks... Oh dear!

I am pleased to announce that our kitchen is unpacked and been in full use these last two weeks. True, we don't have a utensil drawer but the utensil tray looks kinda of cute on the counter-top like that. And we are almost completely used to not having two kitchen sinks now by becoming masters of washing, rinsing and draining all in one sink. Okay, maybe we should probably get a kitchen table before our next dinner party, although I still maintain that eating on the couch/living room floor made for a fun time. But besides those few things, we are loving making dinners in our kitchen. 

Our bedroom is coming along quite nicely too. After two weeks of sleeping on the floor (a hazard of basement suites is not being able to fit your box spring down the stairs) Shawn was pleasantly surprised to come home yesterday and find the bed set up, complete with split box springs and all. It didn't collapse when we jumped on it so I figure that I was quite the handyman (I didn't mention to him that it took me an hour an a half to do a job he probably could have done in twenty minutes). Props must be given to the infomercial star product "Wonder Hanger"... Who knew $12 could save so much space in a closet? Or more importantly, who knew infomercial products actually worked??

Our house is gradually turning into a home, and I'm loving it... Every time we poke fun of one of the many quirks our place has, I can't help but think, in ten/twenty years, I will look back and love all the times we had in our first home together.

*tiny, little, with no storage space


Once is Enough for Us...

Last night I had a nightmare. There are many nightmares you might expect a newly married girl to have; losing her husband, running out of money, her husband leaving her, becoming pregnant on the honeymoon, etc. Nope. My nightmare was we were having a re-do of the wedding day and had to go through it all over again. Worst. Nightmare. Ever.
Reasons why:
    - Surprisingly, I wasn't really stressed much (until the wedding decoration set-up began) other than by two particular people. One is a classic example of people making everything all about them, rather than trying to realize that it is about you and your future spouse getting married, and the other was a untrustworthy person who would say one thing then do an about-face so you are always concerned what will happen next.
    - All your friends and family come to be with you on your big day but you are so busy that you only have time to give them a hug and kiss and if you're really lucky, get a quick photo
    - You've dreamed all your life of your big day but in the end, it's so frickin freezin that you can only squeeze a couple photos in while turning blue; you'd be okay staying outside all day for the photos but how can you ask others to do the same?
    - The temple is crazy busy due to fellow students wanting to get married during the break, around the christmas and new years break and the upcoming 3 weeks of temple closures so you end up getting rushed from the visitors centre to make room for the next wedding party's family. 
    - In a bid to make sure everything is to your liking, sweet but overwhelming, everyone comes to you with every question. I almost broke down trying to figure out what goes where and when... 
    - You work so hard to make sure everything is as good as it can get for your reception and then you are too busy to even enjoy it. 
    - While trying to enjoy your wedding day, you also are concerned that everyone is okay, happy, having fun, not upset, not offended or excluded. There are just too many people in the equation!!!
    -Afterwards, you are so physically and mentally exhausted, when you finally get to your gorgeous suite you only have the energy to soak in the hot tub and then pass out.
Many people tell me that all weddings seem rushed, hectic, and chaotic to the bride and groom while to the outside world, everything seems perfect. Maybe the two are related; the more chaotic/rushed a bride feels, the more perfect the guests seem to think everything is. If that is the case, then Shawn's and my wedding day was the most perfect one people have seen in years.

Despite my feelings about the day in general, I cannot deny that this nightmare-inducing day was one of the best days of my life for so many reasons/moments;
    - the moment I was staring into my new husbands eyes while we became husband and wife I have never been so happy, excited and calm all at once.
    - having my bridesmaids trek through the snow, all with high-heels, no stockings and bright red from the cold, just so we could take a few pictures in front of the temple. That's hard-core bridesmaids, right there. 
    - Seeing the families pull together to decorate the whole reception hall in 3 hours. The Bevans clan are quite the force and I could not ask for more from my family. And don't even ask about taking it all down. It had almost been completely ripped down before we even left. It was the most amazing blur ever. 
My favorite picture of the whole day...
This is how it all felt,; a lil chaotic but full of family and loved ones.
    - Having my family all together, no drama, fights, storm-outs and only a couple tears (and mostly happy ones). Something I almost did not think possible. 
    - I married the most handsome man ever, I'm slightly jealous of myself
    - Seeing old and new family and friends. There's a reason everyone says it's all about friends and family, it is.
    - The candy buffet. The fact that neither of us even saw it in full force at the reception is besides the point. That thing rocked.
 - The photo booth. I don't care if only 1/8 of the people knew about it. 
The ones that did produced amazing, gotta-keep-them photos.
    - Amazing Cafe Rio food for the family dinner? Yes please!
    - The decorations. Who knew that it would actually turn out so pretty?
    - Time alone with my husband. Wink.
 - All the nephews and nieces singing "L-O-V-E" and then 
surprisingly, breaking into ballroom dance. 
Favorite. Part. Ever.

In summary, I married the best man that I have ever known, amidst all our friends and family, and we are ridiculously in love and happy. But would I ever want to relive the day that saw me become Mrs Bevans? No. So much, in fact, that the very idea of ever having to live through that circus again brought on the very nightmare that sparked this blog.