Happy 6 Months!

Part of our agreement of getting married December 30th is that we would celebrate on June 30th so we can enjoy our day in the summer... 
The 3-tiered rice krispie cake I made for Shawn
-Chocolate Swirl
So what if the "6" cake topper was bigger than the cake itself
 Okay, so maybe we didn't do ANYTHING outside today, in was all indoors but man, it just feels good knowing we COULD go outside and it would be gorgeous... 
Love you so much. Thank-you for being so wonderful. 
Even if you have trouble smiling for pictures, 
and I am a photo-nut..
Thank-you for putting up with me and my crazy habits...

Last Picture...

Who knew that when I took this picture that it would be the last photo of our bike before it got stolen...
Shawn staring down a injured crow that
caws much too early every morning...
Note the rake in his hands; let's just say that
he wasn't going to rake leaves...
I miss it already...

But, on the plus side... Of the two bikes, the thieving thief stole the one with the old, clicking, rickety chain. Jokes on them! I have been asking Shawn if we can just buy a new one and he's been saying it's good enough, but now I guess we have to. Oh darn. ;)


Summer of Lethbridge Summer Events Begins...

During a slow night shift I took the Lethbridge summer activities calendar and marked all the upcoming activities. Every year I mean to go to the Coaldale Candy Parade, Airshow, Dragonboat Races, and such but I always had an excuse (usually work) but not this year. They are all marked in red in my day-planner and Shawn has agreed to my goal to go to as many as possible this year...

First off:

The Dragonboat Races

These races are advertised to the max and it worked. I have always wanted to go check them out; part of me thinks I would have loved to gone to a posh school and been part of a sculling team. Maybe I will try and con a group of people into making a team for next year... But my sister just informed me that the name "Dirty Oars" is already taken by a team, drat... 

Must say, I felt slightly let down. I think that the races are mainly for the teams, themselves. They seemed to be having a blast while Shawn and I were completely underwhelmed. The teams seemed to have a blast though; another reason to get a team together next year... But we did have fun milling around the extra stuff on the fringes; food tents, live bands, and (I use this term lightly) belly-dancers. Pizza for $2.50? Yes, please!

Shawn gave me a hard time for my 'pose' smile... 
He was wondering why I couldn't just look at the camera smile...
Riiiiiiiight, this coming from the guy who gives me

This 'smile'

And this 'smile'

But despite his inability to smile normal for a picture, 
I proved that I could smile for a picture without posing... 
Is it bad that I found it slightly hard?

Reason I Love My Husband Today #179
    He rides the girl bike and gives me the boy bike every time because he knows how much I hate the constant clicking of the old chain on the girl bike... And he still bikes faster than me. Blast.


Love Me Some Biking...

When I think of summers as a kid, I picture myself in my bathing suit on a bike.

Wasn't that the highlight of the summers? Exploring the town, planning big marathon bike rides (never really quite made the trek from Magrath to Raymond), and just living in my swimming suit (because who knew when an opportunity would pop up to get wet?).

So when I discovered a couple of old bikes in my mom's shed I jumped with joy. I have definitely not grown out of my bike obsession and I quickly snatched the bikes and brought them home.

Shawn has been sooo good about indulging me in my love of bike rides, so we will go for rides to get ice cream, movies, and whatever. I love him. 

My bike has now become my best summer friend, sad right? Shawn works during the day and I usually don't work until 3 pm or even 11 pm so I have a lot of free time. So my days now usually consist of waking up, watching some t.v. that has been pre-recorded (can't resist The Bachelorette, even though she drives me batty) clean up, eat, do dishes, and then go on a bike ride to do all my errands.

That's what I love about bikes, I can be efficient, get some exercise and get some sun in all at once... I just need a old granny bike with a basket in front and I will be set.

The best part is that when I am riding my bike, wind blowing my hair and sun on my face I feel like that little girl again that just loved every second of summer and life and all I want to do is wear my bathing suit 24/7 again... Which, weirdly enough is, I am.. Ha ha... I just bought a new suit from DownEast Basics and I love it, so I just wanted to try it on again since we are going to the cabin next weekend!!! Woot woot!

Cannot wait to go to the Bevans' Cabin for July 4th weekend. I have ALWAYS wanted to go to the states for July 4th and have come soooo close but never made it so I can't wait to tan, boat and shoot fireworks non-stop.

Sadly, the only bikes there are broken, last year Shawn and I went for a bike ride and about 2 km away from the cabin his bike lost a pedal... He half-ran, half-peddled the whole way home as I followed him laughing the whole way. 


A Pox On Him

Remember that really nice, gorgeous truck we bought two weeks ago?

Last week it started leaking oil... Not so good.

Shawn took it to a mechanic who informed us the good news, the bad news and the even more bad news.

   Good news: It's not leaking oil
   Bad news: It's leaking DIESEL because the injectors are shot and the engine is now full of diesel
   Even more bad news: It's costing us $3000... Our house down payment fund took a hit.


We emailed the previous owner as he said he just got the oil changed and checked out the engine... The guy was no help, saying he was sorry for the inconvenience but hopefully after we fix this we will have the new truck we were wanting... Um, I am no mechanic but I am pretty sure that it would be hard to miss an engine full of diesel... I smell a rat.

Jerk. Teaches us to not take anyone for their word. Sad. From now on, the only word I am trusting is my husbands, and a mechanics.

Is it bad of me that I am seriously considering egging the guy's house?

There is a tiny, sliver of a silver lining... The mechanic said everything else in the truck is in tip-top shape so now we have a fantastic truck, just a slightly more expensive fantastic truck than we originally planned for.


Inevitable Stress

Using the birth control patch is easy.

Put it on.
7 days later, take it off.
Put another on right away.
7 days later, take it off.
Put another on right away.
7 days later, take it off
Leave it off for 7 days, then repeat.

see how easy it is?
a monkey could do it and not get pregnant.

That's why I went the 'patch' route. Shawn and I agree I am not to be trusted to take a lil white pill to avoid pregnancy. How could I mess up with the patch?

So why am I always holding my breath after I take off the last week's patch? The 24-48 hrs between the patch removal and the eventual arrival of my period is TORTURE. I swear my blood pressure spikes with the anticipation. I could not imagine the stress I would feel with the pill because there is a HUGE window for error...

We aren't planning on kids for quite a bit... That means there are gonna be a lot more stressful days each month... I'm kind of excited for the time we are TRYING to get pregnant just, but I am sure when that time is here, I will be stressing, waiting to be pregnant... Sounds like me.


An Ode To Vending Machines

What a wonderful thing vending machines are. Whether you need a quick fix of candy on a night shift (guilty) or a cold pop you can just grab pop some coins into a machine any time of day....

 My only gripe is that I don't carry much change now that my serving days are behind me so sometimes I find myself staring at a vending machine wishing I had a toonie so I could claim that Oh Henry that is just a glass window away. I miss the days that every day I would come home, pockets full of change. For some reason, when I spent change, it felt like I wasn't really spending money because I never really counted change as part of the tips I made.

But the vending machines we are used to here in Lethbridge are quite tame compared to these I found....

Need some lingerie? You're in luck! Just go to your street-corner lingerie vending machine!

Not sure who has a midnight need for Pro-Active but hay,
others might not need a midnight junk food fix, but I do.

We've all seen the classic 'Claw' game but usually it's gambling for stuffed animals.
Anyone wanna take a shot at getting some live dinner? 
No guarantees though, might be just Mac N Chesse afterall.

And last but not least, your lovely Marijuana vending machine.
But this is one of the more demanding vending machine, needing a
fingerprint as it's only for those with a medical marijuana rx.

My favorite vending machine has to be the tampon vending machine. Hands down. Working as a waitress and nurse, you are surrounded by predominately females so you always have someone to bum a tampon off, if you forget to come prepared. Sometimes though, when stopping to get gas or when in the airport, you just need one and you are torn between coughing up way too much money to buy a box of tampons or just toughing through with some wadded toilet paper when you spot a vending machine angel...

The tampon vending machine. May not be the snazziest of them out there but I can't count the times I have been saved by one of those, (which probably indicates that I should really learn from my past and stuff my bags, glove box, coat pockets, maybe even my shoes.) Thank-you Tampon Vending Machine.

Weekend Away

Somehow Shawn and I both had the weekend off and summer seemed to have a tentative hold over the rain so we decided to join my mom and her hubby, Len, camping out in the Crowsnest Pass.

We had just pulled up when it started pouring, just long enough to make our planned quad rides a ridiculously wet, muddy, and just plain fun. 

Showing our lack of forethought, neither Shawn or I packed a spare change of clothes other than church clothes and even then, Shawn figured he could pull off wearing his jeans to church. Not so much when they were soaked with mud. I don't think they would be too keen on us leaving a mud trail in the church.

Even though there are limitless types of junk food I would rather eat, you just can't avoid and refuse s'mores while camping... I can't resist roasting marshmallows, even if I just pawn them off on others when they are burnt  cooked perfectly. 

The boys spent two hours to get a good fire going as they only had wet wood to use. Ironically, after we put the fire out, with a basin of water, late that night when we went to bed, we woke up to find the fire still smoldering and didn't have to light a match to restart the fire, instead, we just threw another log on the fire. 

You know those ridiculous people that treat their pets like ridiculously-spoiled princesses children? That would be my mom. Yes the dog is wearing goggles, and a raincoat, and is in a special doggy holder. Oh my. 

Nothing tops off a good weekend of camping then a good nap on a hammock.
Now, back to reality. 


Shawn's New Ride

Shawn upgraded to a more reliable, powerful, and just good-looking truck...
Too bad he forgot his driver's license when we went to Calgary to pick it up, 
so guess who got to drive it home??? 

Ya, we like it...
Now we just gotta sell his old truck.


Pre-Approved and Feels So Good...

Shawn and I are quite determined to teach our kids all about credit scores and how to maintain a good score. When I was 17 I didn't think much about credit scores until I was driving home on highway 5, over-tired, at 2 a.m. and fell asleep. I awoke when my car collided into a power-pole knocking the pole over into the tall grass so, when I stumbled out of the car, half-asleep and half-in-shock, I had no idea what destroyed my car. Two days later I was made well aware of what I crashed in when a bill for $5000 came from Fortis Alberta for replacing the power pole. 

$5000 for a wooden pole

I should really get into the power pole industry.
The kicker was they would not accept monthly payment plans, rather they wanted it all upfront.

Riiiiiiight, at 17 I was working full-time, but at McDonalds for $5.90/hr....  

I would have had to work 847 hrs (before taxes) or 21.4 full-time weeks and NOT have spent any money at all before I could have had enough money to pay it of... Not happening. 
When I told Fortis this, they were very understanding. Very understanding that they would not be getting the money out of me right away so they sent a collection agency after me. 


Good news: the collection agency WOULD accept monthly payments

I had previously thought that you cannot start to develop credit, good or bad, until 18. Luckily for me, they just waited until I turned 18 and dinged me. Happy Birthday!!! So my first credit rating was bad, bad, bad, bad, bad. I couldn't even get a student credit card let alone a new car. After being denied for two student credit cards I wrote off my credit as being dismal and never attempted it again. 

A month ago, our plans changed and now the prospect of buying a house is in the very near future. I was not very optimistic about securing a mortgage. Shawn has just come to Canada from the States two years ago, I had the pole incident, Shawn has been working at his current job for only two months, and my work history has been spotty to say the least due to traveling, broken backs and moving. When I was talking to the Mortgage Broker, I could envision him laughing at me as I brought up each new 'but'. 

"I am a R.N. but I have only worked 6 months in Alberta in the last 18 months"

"We DID have a good amount of money in our account, but Shawn just bought a new truck for his future business so that's where half of the money went"

When he called me today, I braced myself for the worst, thinking, 

"Maybe living in a one bedroom, 100-yr-old house wouldn't be so bad. Shawn does like the idea of flipping houses. It will be a good story, telling our kids how sketchy/tiny/dingy our first house was." 
"Maybe we could live in a trailer. Sure there is the stereotype but we can defy it. Or maybe embrace it. Hmmm perhaps we should watch some trailer park boys to get some insight on trailer life."

And than he said it... 

We were pre-approved for almost double than what I had dared to hope for!!! More amazing was this sentance, "You both have rather good credit scores so..."

WHAT?!?!?!? The girls who couldn't even get a $500 limit student visa has a GOOD credit score and you are pre-approving me for how much????
Apparently, bad credit dings only last 5 years so 7 years later all I have left are good credit reports!!!! Who knew?? And even though our job history is spotty, our jobs are good enough that they didn't mind too much. 

So here we are, pre-approved for an amount much more than we will be looking at and working hard to save for the down-payment. But I can't help be as excited about my new-found good credit rating as our future house.

Never mind, I am crazy excited about buying our first house together.

The Bevan's home.

I like the sound of that.


Girls Night

I love my girl friends. They are so wonderful and have been so missed since they moved to Calgary. One of the perks of being back in Lethbridge is that we are only 2 hrs away so when Kirsten mentioned she would be heading up to Calgary for Britt's 25th birthday, I was so excited when I figured out I could tag along. 
Yes, Calgary is amazing, and so is your house, boyfriend and jobs. So that's why I'm 80% happy for you and only 20% of me wishes you guys would move back to Lethbridge already. Maybe 70/30.
Love you girls...


While We Are Comparing....

My friend Amy was kind enough to come over tonight and hang out as Shawn had ditched me for work again (ah... summer hours return) and we spent some time going over each other's old photos, cracking up, seeing how far we've come in terms of ex-boyfriends, hair styles, clothes, and chubby cheeks... The first thing I noticed was how I really wished someone took me aside at age 14 and showed me how to smile... 

When I was a wee lass I thought the best smile was the biggest smile so I showed every single last tooth I could. The class photographer LOVED me every year because he never had to coax me for a smile; my face would hurt because I stretched it so far smiling. 

It wasn't until I saw my high school photos that I clued in that I should probably reel in my smile a bit...

Seriously, why had no one told me? I put this on par to a friend with spinach in her teeth.
Tell her, warn her.

I swear, subconsciously part of the reason I went to University was in order to redeem my horrendous high school grad photos
What a difference a couple years of smiling NORMAL can make...

P.S. Did I mention that Shawn has always looked handsome? 

Jerk... ;)


I Swear I Used To Be Tan...

I swear I haven't always been albino. 


In fact, I used to think I never could be so pale.

Wrong wrong wrong wrong

I need some sun BADLY!!!!

Curse my birth control patch... Technically I am not allowed to tan with
 the patch as it can deactivate the whole birth control part.
That's usually an important part.

So my options are being;

 tan and pregnant 
pale and baby-less

So it looks like it will be awhile more till I can look like this again...


Benefits, My Long Lost Friend...

I got a position!!!! Hurrah!

I am now officially locked into a .58 position until December! Which means I get benefits, sick days, and holidays; basically everything I have been missing since I stepped down from my position 3 years ago and have lived the life of a casual employee. There are so many perks of being casual and it has worked very well with my nomadic life of the last few years but no more!

Here's hoping that someone gets knocked up at work so I can slide into a mat leave after this one ends :D
That's one of the perks of working with all ladies...