The 27 year old undergrad.

It has been a busy, stressful summer.  I started classes the day after moving into our new 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 ❤

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Cheers!

We all have friends on Facebook whom we don’t talk to regularly, or haven’t seen in years.  But I find myself smiling whenever they post something and I enjoy seeing what they are up to these days.  As we get older, I am finding that life is passing me by so quickly, and friends often take a back seat in the pile of things to do and places to go.  This post is dedicated to a few friends of mine who have been a huge part of my life, who I wish I got to see more often, and who have greatly contributed to this adventure we call life.  I wish we had more photos together, so if you have any, I would love to see them.

Cheers.

Dear Vjay: You were such a great friend to me when we lived in Calgary, and were always there for me when I needed it the most.  I had some hard times out there, and you always stood by my side.  I miss our silly laughter and adventures out on the town.  I remember walking to Tim Horton’s with you during our lunch break together at work (work was so much more fun with you!), and it was just a moment that I remember realizing what a lucky girl I was to have such an awesome friend.

Dear Eric: We spend an entire summer together, inseparable, going on adventures and hanging out with friends.  You were supportive, and so very caring, and I thank you for that.  I remember going to Wasaga one afternoon to a bar for some food and some drinks.  I got a Blue Lagoon, and for some reason that day really stands out for me.  Just hanging out, I felt like I could be myself around you.  Whether you put up with it, or actually liked it LOL, thank you.  You were also a great dance partner at my cousins wedding!

Dear Nicole: I know we chat often, but we don’t get to see each other much.  You always know what I am going through, offer a “shoulder to rant on” when things are tough, and encourage me through everything.  We have been friends for so long, it feels like just yesterday I remember seeing you come into family studies in grade 9 carrying your backpack with you everywhere 🙂  I really cherish our friendship.

Dear Pam: I looked forward to our shifts working together, and we had really good talks.  I love bragging about my cool older friend  to all my high school buddies 😉  You were always available for such good advice, life stories, and laughs.

Dear Lindsay:  You always had gum in the best flavours and were such a good partner in drama class.  Remember eating bowls of frozen cookie dough?

Dear Sam: You always made me laugh, and I looked forward to every time we got to hang out and just talk.  We never ran out of things to say, and every morning when I got to school I would be looking for you to have cookies and chocolate milk with 🙂

*Sam and Lindsay, I really loved all of our sleepovers, hangouts, lunch hours in high school, and the laughing.  Oh, the endless laughing.

Dear Adam: I have known you since we were 5.  You have been such a dear friend to me for so many years.  So many lunch hours in high school spent talking and talking and talking, especially about movies.  I think we have the exact same taste in movies.  You came to visit me when I had my tonsils out when I was going to Georgian, and remember our fun night at the GNE?  You are down right hilarious, and seriously one of my oldest, best friends.

Dear Justine: Drama class.  Drama festival.  The headset was on the whole time while I talked about the lighting guy.  Need I say more? 😉

Dear Evan:  I wish I met you at the beginning of high school instead of the end.  I loved all of our talks, hangouts, and parties together.  I remember giving you rides to farmhouse parties, talking on msn all the time, always having good talks about life and love.

Dear Sarah: My class buddy at U of Calgary!  I always looked forward to class instead of dreading it because I had such a wonderful friend to sit with ❤

Dear Ashley: I think we set a record for the most childhood sleepovers at one another’s house.  Remember when you stayed with us for a week while your mom was away?!  Sneaking candy into bed and eating it after lights out.

Dear Heather: My girl guide buddy.  Again, me, you, and Ashley probably sent a record for sleepovers.  They seemed endless!  I loved your dress up trunk full of such interesting things and our bike rides to buy candy at Shell.

Dear Tom: We spent an inseparable summer together.  I appreciate your friendship and I really felt like I had someone to talk to who understood what I was going through.  You were always full of good advice, and I really cherish those memories we made that summer.  Wasaga, Mr. Norms, bonfires, Sour Puss, surprising me at work with Iced Capps, and so many more great memories.  Seriously, I couldn’t have gotten through that summer without you, and was so sad when it ended and I moved to Waterloo.  Your friendship means a lot to me, and will always have a special place in my heart.

Dear Turner: Remember that time we went to see strippers in Barrie?  Haha!  What a night.  You introduced me to, and changed my life with, cheese croissants from Tim Horton’s.  I remember countless high school lunch breaks at Marriah’s, hangouts, and laughing until I cried.  You are awesome ❤

Dear Mel: My skating buddy for so many years.  I was always sad when my parents couldn’t come to an overnight competition, but secretly happy because I knew it meant a weekend with you 🙂

Dear Tara:  Grilled cheese sandwiches at the rink and so much silliness.  I had so much fun.

Dear Emma: An inseparable summer of pizza, bike rides, renting movies, and sleepovers.  Another record for sleepovers I think.  And you had the most awesome bedroom and the coolest birthday party I had ever been to.

Dear Heather: My Georgian carpool buddy.  I seriously loved all of our talks.  When we got to school I was always a little sad that we had to get to class and stop talking lol!  You rock.

Dear Jackie, Marriah, and Robyn: Oh, the laughing.  Serisously.  So.  Much.  Laughing.  We would get told to be quiet in the halls from laughing too much!  Sleepovers, out for lunch, parties, boys, high school- we went through it all.  You guys are the reason that I actually enjoyed, and survived high school.

Dear Maureen: The coolest boss ever.  Full of wisdom.  Taking me out for drinks and dancing with Jenna on my birthday.  You are so sweet and lovely.  You were so supportive to me when I needed it.  Thank you.

Dear Jenna: Taking me out on my birthday as I mentioned above.  So stylish.  I loved when you did my hair for my cousin’s wedding.  I really loved having you as a friend in Calgary, always brightening my day with you smile.

Dear Amanda: I can’t even begin to start to write about our times together.  So much time together, which was easy since we were neighbours!  Bus rides to school, sleepovers, Spice Girls, singing 24/7, dances, and so much more.

If I haven’t mentioned you here, know that I am thinking about you and fondly remembering all of our good times together.  Even though we have grown up, grown apart, changed, live far away, etc. I cherish everyone’s friendship.  I cannot thank you all enough for being such awesome parts of my life.

How insanely lucky am I to have so many awesome friends throughout my life?!?!  I really, really, hope that the universe reunites us again soon ❤

Until next time.

 

Anniversary Gifts

I wanted to share what the Artist and I got each other for our 3rd wedding anniversary.  I posted previously about our story together and photos of our wedding.  We like to fully enjoy and be present 100% for special occasions, so sometimes we do our own private celebrations before or after the actual day.  For example, this past Valentine’s Day, we had our own celebration about 2 weeks after the actual day because that was a better time for us.  That way, we could be committed 100% to that moment.  We were able to spend an entire day and evening together, rather just a little while before the Artist had class or something, and it was also during a window of slower schedules, so our minds were completely focused on being together.  So for our anniversary, we exchanged gifts and celebrated in stages.  In total, we had a nice dinner, exchanged home cards (we do home made cards for every occasion :D), small gifts, movie, baked goods, and time together to share nice words.

For the Artist, I was a little stuck.  It can be hard to think of things that are low in price but still just as thoughtful as the things we always talk about doing or getting one day.  I thought that he would really enjoy something hand sewn by me with our new sewing machine, but didn’t think I would be able to measure him, pick out fabric, and make it without him knowing.  So I thought I would fashion a gift card, so he can choose the item and the fabric etc.  Then I thought, why just one?  So I made a booklet of “Emily Coupons”!  This may look lame, but it was very special.  The coupons included things like making any dinner of his choice- including dessert, any movie of his choice- he often likes really long movies or ones that I don’t have much desire to see, sewing canvas for him, and of course, sewing him any item of clothing he wants.

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I also baked a new recipe for maple cookies, because the Artist loves them, but they didn’t turn out.  I think the best way to go for maple cookies is the kind in a box from the store.

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I also made one of his classic favourites, a pecan pie.  The ultimate goal is to beat the kind from Swiss Chalet, it is the ideal pecan pie.  Mine is pretty good too, and since I have the stuff, he is ready for a second one 😉

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And…..he got me a jewellery box!  Or at least that is how I use it, haha.  I had been saying that my little wooden cigar box was not holding everything- all my stuff was tangled and I couldn’t close the lid or get anything out because it was all messed up.  So when I opened this, I was so excited to organize my accessories into it.  And the style and colours of it are so thoughtful, they are very “me”.

Here it is empty:

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Here it is full:

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And here is my old wooden cigar box, that I now use to hold just my pins:

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I love the red velvet interior, and the old, faded gold paint.  He got it at a second hand, antiquey type store, which is my kind of store 😉  He has even picked out some of the accessories in the past here or has given them to me as gifts.  Some are second hand, some are new, and they are all “fake” and cheap haha!  But I love them.

His gifts, even if they were acquired for free or home made, never fail to become a treasure.  He is so thoughtful and creative.

Sometimes we decide to do a gift exchange and we have to get the gift at the dollar store.  Or it has to be homemade.  And boy, the things we can come up with!  The very best, most ,creative, rarest thing I got for him was for Christmas 2011.  It was a Julian Schnabel book.  He had been yearning hard for it, and for a long, long time.  But it is rare, hard to find, and only a certain, quite low number, of copies exist in the world.  And it is out of print.  Most copies cost hundreds of dollars and are used and beat up, missing pages, the cover is gone, or the spine is detached.  And they still cost a fortune.  I popped into this unique bookstore in Toronto on Queen St. and I couldn’t believe what I saw before me- this book.  And it was in perfect, like-new condition, contained all pages, was beautiful and shiny, and even smelled new still.  And, above all else, was crazy cheap.  So I bought it and lugged the huge thing home on foot.  It was only September, so I had to hide it until Christmas.  I had to tell someone my secret, so I called my mom right away to tell her!  The Artist was still searching on his own for it, so I had to do a little detective work and creative subject changing.  Whenever he saw it for a good deal, which was nothing compared to my deal, he wanted to buy it.  So I was dodging this left, right, and centre!  But usually, the Artist has a sixth sense, and whenever a gift giving occasion happens, he tries to, or actually does, buy what I got him for himself.  And then I discover it and have to tell him why he has to return it lol!  So this Schnabel book was the first time I kept him away with great undercover skills and he had no idea what it was.  The look on his face was priceless, and even more priceless when he found out how cheap it was!

That is all.

This has been a nice reflection, and has helped to soothe me ❤

It has been quite a day.  Hot.  Humid.  Sticky.  Stressing over health issues.  House is a mess because it is too hot to clean.  I need to workout but I don’t have a lock to lock up my new-to-me bike.  I want to indulge in some quiet, laying around time, to get over the stress of my most recent call from the doctor’s office instead.  I need a shower.  We need to budget (this is an every day thing, but when other things add up, it seems treacherous).

Right now, I think I will indulge in a nice shower and pampering of sorts with my good smelling lotions and soaps, then curl up with an old movie, maybe a cartoon, and do nothing.  I tend to be a worrier, and I know that if indulge in this quiet, me-time to process things, I will feel better tomorrow.  If I don’t, the feelings will linger and disrupt several days instead of just one.  So I find zapping it right away is best, if the day permits it.  And today, it is permitting.  Cleaning can wait.  My mental health comes first 😉

And when the Artist gets home, he always knows exactly what to do to help me feel better.  Another one of his sixth senses.

The neurons in your brain take the path of easiest travel, which are the connections used most often.  They are the strongest.  So even in stressful times, positive thinking and positive self-talk can make a difference by strengthening those neurons to be the ones most travelled.  So here’s to thinking about the good; I have a great and loving family who support me no matter what.  I have a wonderful, husband, so wonderful there are no words to describe it.  I am living in St. Louis in a very eclectic apartment, which is very “Emily and her Artist”.  I may not have much money in the bank, but I am so rich with love ❤