The 27 year old undergrad.

It has been a busy, stressful summer.  I started classes the day after moving into our new Toronto apartment and we still aren’t completely unpacked and set up.  We have been frequently thrift shops looking for furniture, but haven’t had any luck.  Things are slowly coming together back up in the great white north!

My summer semester was definitely hard, it is such a shock going from the working world back into school full time.  But I made it, and with decent grades.  The biggest shock of all, however, was the fact that I am at a completely different life stage them most of my classmates.  Being a 27 year old in undergrad classes, I am 8 years older then some of my peers.  Although that really isn’t much when you consider one’s lifespan, it is quite a difference in what “phase” of life is happening.

I am 27, will be celebrating my 6th wedding anniversary with the Artist at the end of this month, I have lived on my own and with the Artist for many years and in turn have many bills to pay, and my favourite pass times include reading, watching films, listening to CBC radio, cooking (well, I am the assistant- the Artist is the actual cook!), relaxing while listening to our record collection, getting crafty, and powerlifting.  Through conversation with other students around campus, it seems, as it should when you are 19, that going to bars and hanging out with friends are what the kids are doing these days.  I wish I was saying that I was declining invitations to go out to the bar because I just wanted to go home and relax, but it must be obvious that I am an old lady.  Either that, or I come across as an unapproachable person.  Its probably both.  Chandler from Friends articulates it perfectly…

Chandler Bing

I also feel like I am one of the last people to be fit the “starving student” archetype.  I feel like I am surrounded by people who can afford all kinds of travelling and vacations, Mac laptops to bring to class for note taking, take-out food whenever they want, and no problems paying tuition or rent.  Meanwhile, I am doing my laundry in my bathtub, using the campus food bank, sharing a laptop with the Artist (we need a computer equally for our own livelihoods) as well as a cell phone, and taking notes in class with a notebook that my parents bought for me and a pen I took from their  house.  I filled that notebook completely, so lets hope they buy me a new one for the upcoming term, LOL.  I also have no idea how I will be paying my tuition that is due at then end of this month, not to mention bills, and I continuously sew together the same few clothing items that keep gaining new holes or tears.

It is all very weird, being in undergrad classes at 27.  When I was 19, I thought for sure that at 27 I would have the best job that ever existed and been done school with a prestigious degree(s) and have my dream home and life all figured out.  Well, I have come to the conclusion that you never really figure life out.  It is an ongoing journey with changing goals and aspirations along the way- so you might as well enjoy things, one day at a time.

Today I enjoyed bacon, egg and veggie scramble, and hash browns for lunch.  I enjoyed grocery shopping and still having about $10 left over for any other food needs that might arise this week.  I am going to workout later with the Artist, and despite my current sciatic pain, I will enjoy that too.  I will enjoy watching the Olympics tonight snuggled up with my love, and I will enjoy how beautifully gloomy and rainy it is this afternoon.

To see more photos of me enjoying the simple things in life, check me out on instagram @capitaineflash

As much as I would LOVE to travel and take a vacation, not have to worry about how I will pay tuition, or go shopping for new clothes and shoes whenever I feel like, I am sharing my life with someone who makes me smile and laugh every day, who shows me unconditional love, supports me, and inspires me….and that is more important than anything.

Suddenly, the mangled and torn insoles of my shoes seem so insignificant ❤

Never Lose Your Dinosaur.

You know that twinkle in a little child’s eye when they get into mischief?  Or when they are being silly?  Or that little smile that cracks over their lips?  That twinkle and that smile is something my Artist has never grown out of ❤  And I love it.  Sometimes I catch it and know I have just seconds before something silly will happen, and I find myself with a huge smile and uncontrollably laughing.  For example; spitting ice cold water on me when I am in the shower, setting something up to fall as soon as I walk by, placing a random object balanced perfectly or upside down in a strange place like on top of the TV or door frame, coming in for what I think is a hug but is actually a trap for being tickled to death, or coming in for a hug but it is really a trap for his ice cold hands to warm up on my back or neck, or pretending to eat something weird.  These are just a few.  The possibilities are endless.  But I love it.

Just the other day a friend asked me how I am liking his longer hair and beard.  I love it.  It looks great on him, he can pull it off.  It suits his personality so well.  And when paired with his style- wow.  He does his hair so well, has various glasses to go with his clothes, and shoes, and it all just works together.  And he can pull off crazy combinations like wearing plaid and stripes at the same time, or plaid and plaid, or whatever.  It is such a good representation of who he is, and it just “works” for him.

The inspiration of this post comes from the other day.  He approaches me with that twinkle in his eye, and a hint of that smile.  I immediately know he has ice cold water in his mouth, because otherwise his smile would be different.  And he can’t talk either or he will spill the water.  As I am realizing this, he moves in for a “hug” and I can’t escape.  With his eyes closed, as if this is normal, he soaks me with the water.  And sometimes he has a glass of it stashed in a convenient place to grab.  Wow, this sounds insane.  But, it is fun!  In this heat, having a water fight in the house is a great way to cool off and laugh and be silly 😀  It is who we are, it is our normal.

It makes me smile and laugh, and even join in on the silliness!  It keeps things interesting, and fun.  Even in the most stressful of times, laughter is truly the best medicine.  I love my Artist for who he is, and I wouldn’t ever change a thing.  He is, as I like to tease, “wonderfully crazy”.  Using the metaphor from the movie Step Brothers; the Artist an never lost his dinosaur, and has helped me resurrect mine ❤

A recent photo of his long hair and beard.

A recent photo of his long hair and beard.

Fun and games at the park.

Fun and games at the park.

Silly putty fun, balancing on top of a pop bottle.

Silly putty fun, balancing on top of a pop bottle.

I got him a mini slinky for Christmas.

I got him a mini slinky for Christmas.

Some frozen fries fell in an interesting shape, so he added to it.

Some frozen fries fell in an interesting shape, so he added to it.

At the park.

At the park.

At the park.

At the park.

Just a few photos I could find capturing some of our fun and games.  As the Artist sits beside me on the other laptop, I hear “oh look, chainsaws are on sale at Harbour Freight Tools”…..I can’t help but smile.  This weekend has been lots of fun. It is a holiday, so no school for the Artist…I wonder what today will bring. ❤

Happily Married for 3 Years.

Today is the Artist and I’s 3rd wedding anniversary.  It also marks about 3 years and 9.5 months of dating, and about 3 years and 11.5 months of knowing each other.  That’s right, we were married less then 1 year after the day we first met, and the rest is history.  I was looking for a room to rent in a house while attending Georgian College, but wanted to live in Barrie instead of Orillia (I was attending the Orillia campus).  There was a cheap room for rent in a great location near the Barrie campus, but close to the highway for easy access to get to my campus.  Everyone thought I should live at home and drive every day- but I wanted my own space again, and it is a pretty far drive.  On a whim, I decided to view the room for rent with my mom at the last minute.  I had just got off work, I was working as a nanny at the time, and went right away.  I felt like I needed a shower, and instead of putting on some makeup I threw on some sunglasses and off I went.  The Artist answered the door and showed me around, he too was renting a room there, and his family owned the house, so he helped them out my giving tours and posting ads online.  My first impression: what a cutie!  Holy crap.  The first things I noticed about him here his cheeks- man they looked so soft and squishy and kissable, and his smile- nice, full lips with perfect straight, white teeth, and those eyes- the lightest shade of blue I have ever seen, that now melt my heart every time.  He showed me and my mom around, and was super nice.  Meanwhile, I haven’t taken my sunglasses off because I wasn’t expecting such a good lookin’ guy, and my mom embarrasses me by telling me to take my sunglasses off because we are in the house!  Haha!  Oh well, he saw me with no makeup, unwashed hair, a coral coloured top and a white skirt.  He always tells me how he remembers because to him, apparently I looked good au natural.  I don’t even remember what he was wearing, I was too busy looking at his gorgeous eyes.

So afterwards, in the car, I am chatting with my mom.  We both agreed that for a student house it was incredibly clean, organized, in great shape, and that the Artist seemed nice.  The room was really small, I think something like 10ft by 8 or 9 ft, but it was really cheap and I had access to the rest of the house.  So I took it, without viewing any other place or even looking into anything else.  I moved in just after the Labour Day weekend.  The Artist and I quickly became good friends, best friends actually.  We were super close.  We shared groceries and split the bill, ate meals together, went to the gym together, hung out together, did everything together.  I really started to like him.  In fact, people assumed we were dating, even though we weren’t, he was actually dating someone else at the time, so I didn’t say anything and denied my friends’ accusations that I liked him.  But one drunken night, our true feelings came out, and we became officially boyfriend and girlfriend.  We were best friends who were in love with each other before we even had our first kiss.

Less then 2 months later was Christmas, and the Artist got me a promise ring, which I wore on my right hand ring finger.  He said that it was a promise that the next ring would be for “this finger” as he grabbed my left hand ring finger.  When we went to bed that night, he said to me, “just so you know, I am going to ask” and I replied, “just so you know, I am going to say yes” and that we shared one of the best embraces ever.  As we finished up the school year, we were driving home from a Trivia Night event and the Artist mentioned something about “when we get married….” and then realized he had mentioned getting married and started stumbling and trying not to “scare” me.  But I just looked at him and giggled, saying I had been thinking about it too.  We talked about what we wanted in a wedding, which ended up being very little.  Neither of us seemed to care too much about anything other then being officially married.  So we decided that despite having no money, we could still manage it.  So we picked out an engagement ring together, and made the announcement that we were getting married in 2 months.  There was availability at the Station on the Green in Creemore, and since we didn’t have the means, nor the desire, for anything fancy, why wait?  It sounds crazy, I know.  But if you knew us, and saw us together, it just fits.  My parents weren’t really surprised, they saw it coming, and other close family members predicted it as well.  We literally planned everything and bought everything in 1 day.  We bought the rings, my dress, and the Artist’s suit, all of which were “off the rack” because they fit perfectly and didn’t need to be ordered.  We decided who would do the flowers, who would marry us, that we would get married at 7pm and serve appetizers and desserts, and a family friend would take the photos.  Family friends helped serve the food, tend the bar, set up the music which was just an iPod, and decorate.  The only person we hired was the one who married us.  I wore a necklace the Artist gave me for Valentine’s Day, shoes I already had, there was no bridal party, themes, colours, or dinner, I made the invites and the cake myself (which was cherry cheesecake!), etc.  Super simple, cheap, and small- approximately less then 50 people.  But it was a very intimate wedding, we got to visit with everyone.  Neither of us wanted to be a part of the billion dollar industry that weddings have become these days, which is why we invited only our immediate family.  And since we are each other’s best friend, we wanted only us up at the alter.  We wanted to highlight our future lives together, and for the day to be about our marriage, and not about the wedding.  A wedding is one day, but a marriage is forever.  This is why we did things the way we did, and even though some didn’t agree, we were extremely happy with it.  We have the same attitudes for most things, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, etc.  There is a lot of “buying for the sake of buying” and lots of unnecessary stuff.  We try and make our holiday celebrations to be about spending time together, and any gifts we exchange are just a bonus.  Often, we don’t even exchange gifts, but rather just home made cards, loving words, and do something like have a movie night in, or go to the park for a picnic, or something along those lines.  And we often do little things for each other on a regular basis, because who says you need a holiday to do so?

Back to the wedding haha.

There was this 1 moment that I will never forget- walking down the aisle.  We did not follow tradition, not only did the Artist see me before the wedding, he helped me pick out my dress and we did a lot of photos before the ceremony.  So we came to the venue and went in the back to wait a few minutes as everyone sat down.  Then the officiant came in and said all was ready and the Artist went out with him to the alter.  My dad had a tearful talk with me about how proud he was and how much he loved the Artist, I took his arm, and emerged out the doors.  I saw Steve, the Artist’s cousin’s now husband, playing the guitar as I began to walk- Rod Stewart’s have you ever seen the rain, just an instrumental version.  I turned the corner and he smiled as he hit the part of the song “I know…” and that is when I saw the Artist at the other end of the alter.  That moment will be forever frozen in time.  Nothing could have changed the way that I felt at that very moment.  I am even getting teared up as I type this story, it is very special to me.  I could have been wearing pyjamas, it could have been in a courthouse, it could have been raining- nothing would have changed the way that I felt.  Seeing the Artist’s gorgeous smile and walking down the aisle to marry him was the most important thing to me, and watching me walk down the aisle to marry him was the most important thing to him.

As we progressed through the ceremony, we both held back our tears, and became husband and wife.  Following that was a few more photos, and then we had our first dance.  No speeches, no seating chart, no nothing, it was a free for all.  There were hot and cold appetizers, munchies, desserts, and a wide selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.  We had a great night visiting with our immediate family, and arrived at our hotel in the wee hours of the morning, chauffeured around by my father.  We had a huge heart to heart, and I cried my make up off with all my happy tears.

By this time we were living in Newmarket, I was finishing up school- both a degree and a diploma.  The Artist was done is BFA, and was applying for grad school, exhibiting his work, and working part time.  After I finished up at Georgian, we moved to Toronto.  There, I finished up my degree, and started working as a nanny, and the Artist as a cook in a fine Italian restaurant, still applying to grad school and making art.  We had loads of adventures in Toronto, and then as the Artist was walking home from work, we crossed paths as I was walking to the TTC stop to go to work.  He had been listening to a message on his phone- he had got accepted to Washington University in St. Louis for a Master’s of Fine Art, with a hefty scholarship.  I cried.  I was so happy for him.  I don’t know how, but somehow, we managed to move to St. Louis, Missouri shortly thereafter.

We have been here a year now, and it has been amazing.  I dearly miss the family I nannied for, and hope we can visit with them soon.  But St. Louis has been one crazy adventure.  My parents have drove down to visit twice now, the first time my aunt and brother came along too.  Geez, I love my family so freaking much.  They have been so helpful, supportive, and generous through all of this.  I can’t wait to see them again.  The Artist’s family has been incredibly supportive and generous as well, we are very lucky to have such great families.  Since being in St. Louis I have been able to make some great steps for my own career by meeting some great people and experiencing some great opportunities.  The Artist is out right now on his second day of his Teaching Assistantship for this year, and his first day of class.  This next year is going to just fly by, and who knows where the next opportunity will take us.  We are mobile right now, and are taking advantage of it while it exists, because it won’t exist forever.

These last few years have been a whirlwind, but what an amazing one.  I can’t imagine it any other way ❤

Cheers to the second half of our St. Louis adventure, and whatever may follow 😀

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