Sunday 31 December 2017

2017, I Think We Should Part Ways...

Dear 2017,

I had a good thing going with 2016 but I was ready for something new, so I thought I would give you a shot. While you brought me a lot of good- and there was A LOT of good- you also brought me a lot of heartache and sadness. There was so much of this, that when I think of you, it's the hurt that I think of first. The sheer volume of hurt was a bit excessive and overshadows all the good times we had. 

Each month, you brought a new unpleasant challenge for me. After 12 months of this, I've had enough. I think it's best we go our separate ways before things get worse. Right now, in all the sadness, I can still recall the good rather quickly. The good is what will make me think of you fondly instead of with pure despair and disdain.

Christopher, Kyle, Paul, Adam, Rocky, Laura, Roxi, Will, Heather, Edith, John. Those are only the lowlights.  There were other people, other losses, other confidence was rocked, my heart was broken, I felt abandoned, and I had some health issues. 

Let's focus on the highlights, shall we?
I feel that I really enjoyed life and really had the chance to have experiences this year. When I get past all the lowlights, we did a lot together 2017.

2017, you brought me my first full year as a homeowner. There were a couple of challenges involving a leaky pipe and grasshoppers, but I figured it out. I have enjoyed having my own place, setting it up to be comfortable for me, and searching for perfect pieces to make it a home. 
You allowed me to accomplish my musical trifecta. I saw David Myles, Royal Wood, and Joel Plaskett! All put on great shows, and all are very personable with their fans. I haven't seen David in well over a year, but he remembered meeting me. Joel didn't exactly do a meet in greet...but I hung around the stage long enough after the show. He was so nice to come over and chat! 
I truly enjoyed the traveling I got to do with you, 2017. Whether is was a day trip to Point Peelee, Peterborough and Huntsville for work, or Ottawa and Quebec City for pleasure, it was a great experience. I enjoyed my private tour of Parliament Hill in Ottawa and exploring Quebec City, being at the southern most point of mainland Canada, and visiting the Canadian Canoe Museum. 
We had a lot of fun 2017- Rideau Canal and Ottawa River tours; hearing- and meeting- Jon Montgomery and getting to wear his gold medal; attending the Canoe/Kayak National Championships; being selected to participate in the National Ballet of Canada's 150 Pointes; being creative- tray making with Gina, Paint Nite with Roxi, rustic sign creating with Christine, pottery painting with Rachel; Rita's murder mystery birthday party; exploring Fort George; Heather's farewell dinner; Grandma's birthday party...just to name a few.

Professionally, 2017, you were good to me- for the most part. You gave me the opportunity to work one-on-one with a VP, allowing me to create and run a new project. A project that the VP said had the smoothest implementation and the least amount of complaints of any project she has worked on. You have almost doubled the amount of projects I've worked on this year, giving me the opportunity to make a difference, influence, and show how valuable me and my position are. A professional highlight was an annual conference. A conference that numerous people have said was the best one they have ever attended. You have no idea how amazing it is to hear this.  
You made me healthier, 2017. I started practicing yoga, working out more, and eating healthier. These are all things I hope to keep up moving forward. 

I don't want to go into the details, I don't want to make this sad, but I do need to mention Will. We threw the most epic party and tribute to our friend. There were so many people that came out to celebrate his life- he touched so many lives. We spent a week planning and preparing, and I hope that Will loved what we did in his honour. In our sadness, you brought friends together, we rallied around one another, and supported each other in our grief. Will is missed so, so, so much...but what a party!

Of course 2017, there were friendships. You brought us a new Pod Pal (who we all LOVE!!), but I don't think there were any new friendships outside of that. You did allow me to strengthen friendships. You showed me who was willing to invest their time and energy into their friendship with me. You also showed me who to stop wasting my time and energy on- thank you for that!

The biggest gift you gave me, the best thing you did for me 2017, is my best friend. Our friendship goes back almost 15 years, but you gave us an opportunity to become closer, to understand each other better, to support one another on different levels. You should us both how much we mean to one another. This friendship means the world to was an emotional roller coaster, but in the end you showed us how much we care for one another, how much we want to share-good and bad- with one another, and that at the end of the day, we have a true friendship, an unbreakable bond. Thank you so, so, so much for this.

2017, there was a lot of good and happy times...but the volume of the sad times, the hurtful times, really added up. Some of the hurt was too much to bear. I'm ready to move on 2017...I hope you are too. I will think of you from time to time with fondness and a sad smile. By this time tomorrow, I will have met 2018...I'm ready for a fresh start. 

Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book.
Write a good one. - Brad Paisley

Monday 25 December 2017

Merry Christmas!

I bring you tiding of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:10-11

Wednesday 20 December 2017

Politically Correct Christmas Carols

I've had shared these Politically Correct Christmas Carols in the past, but they are too funny not to share again this year. Enjoy!

Tuesday 19 December 2017

Hey, It's Ok!
With Amber from Airing My Dirty Laundry

That I watched White Christmas- one of my favourite Christmas movies- on the weekend. I'm running out of days to watch Christmas movies!! I did watch a couple of others, but I've been waiting for weeks to watch White Christmas.

To be counting down the days until vacation!!! I'll be off from December 22- January 2...I take the same days off every year and it's the only time all year that I am out of the office for a whole week.

That, after typing the above; I might be a workaholic. But I love my job!!
To be grateful that I am Canadian.
That I don't know how to drive a standard. When I went to look at cars on the weekend, there was only one automatic in my price range, but a ton of standards. 

Monday 18 December 2017

Inspire Me: Presence

I've said it a million times, and I will say it again- I love the Christmas season!! While I have been celebrating the season with friends already, this week starts the countdown to Christmas and even more holiday socializing! In fact, I'm having friends over for an annual Christmas party tonight. I'm looking forward to time off over the holidays, and I'm really looking forward to spending time with family and friends. 

It's so easy to get caught up in Christmas- commercialism, stress, Pinterest perfect, Instagram worthy, etc. Take a step back, and remember the real reason we celebrate.

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Book Club: Nujeen

Nujeen: One Girl's Incredible Journey From War-torn Syria In A Wheelchair by Nujeen Mustafa
Image Via Chapters Indigo
Book: Nujeen
Author: Nujeen Mustafa with Christina Lamb

Indigo Summary:
{...t]he inspiring true story of another remarkable young hero: Nujeen Mustafa, a teenager born with cerebral palsy, whose harrowing journey from war-ravaged Syria to Germany in a wheelchair is a breathtaking tale of fortitude, grit, and hope that lends a face to the greatest humanitarian issue of our time, the Syrian refugee crisis.

For millions around the globe, sixteen-year-old Nujeen Mustafa embodies the best of the human spirit. Confined to a wheelchair because of her cerebral palsy and denied formal schooling in Syria because of her illness, Nujeen taught herself English by watching American soap operas. When her small town became the epicenter of the brutal fight between ISIS militants and US-backed Kurdish troops in 2014, she and her family were forced to flee.

Despite her physical limitations, Nujeen embarked on the arduous trek to safety and a new life. The grueling sixteen-month odyssey by foot, boat, and bus took her across Turkey and the Mediterranean to Greece, through Macedonia to Serbia and Hungary, and finally, to Germany. Yet, in spite of the tremendous physical hardship she endured, Nujeen's extraordinary optimism never wavered. Refusing to give in to despair or see herself as a passive victim, she kept her head high. As she told a BBC reporter, "You should fight to get what you want in this world."

Nujeen's positivity and resolve infuses this unforgettable story of one young woman determined to make a better life for herself. Told by acclaimed British foreign correspondent Christina Lamb, Nujeen is a unique and powerful memoir that gives voice to the Syrian refugee crisis, helping us to understand that the world must change—and offering the inspiration to make that change reality.

What I Have To Say:
This book is an interesting story about a girl with a disability living in a country rich in culture and history, later a war-torn country, and then here journey as a refugee on her way to Germany. The writing was very...simple, which may bother people (myself included) until you are remind that it is being written by a 16-year old.

I really enjoyed the refugee portion of the story. It was eye-opening to get a first hand tale of living in Syria and then being a Syrian refugee. What's mind-boggling, besides the fact that this is a true story, is that Nujeen's story is not original; there's are millions of refugees that make the same (or similar) journey and that face similar challenges. Nujeen is unique in the sense that she has a disability. What REALLY bothered me is that Nujeen kept using the term "disability benefits", she used her disability to get what she wants. "Disability benefits" ranged from getting to watch what she wanted on TV to cutting the line at refugee camps because she didn't want to wait in line. She came across as bratty and entitled. 

Final Verdict:
Unless you are interested in learning about what a refugee journey is like, and can either accept or overlook an annoying narrator, give this book a pass.  

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Hey, It's Ok!
With Amber from Airing My Dirty Laundry

That, while I don't follow soccer, I'm happy for Toronto FC (and their fans) who won the MLS Cup on the weekend! This is the first time in league history that the Cup has a home in Canada!!

To be binge watching Christmas movies. ABC Spark (thanks for the December Freeview!) is playing a number of Christmas movies every night. I'm enjoying them while I can. 

That I am contemplating buying a new-to-me car. My car is OLD I need to either put some money into it or buy a new car. I think I am going to go with the new car. 

To be using the Do Not Disturb feature on my phone recently. Because I can't hear texts, phone calls (unless the person calls twice in a row), and email come in, I'm not feeling as pressured to reply ASAP. I'm also finding it easier to focus on other things and step away from my phone. 

That I am looking forward to what 2018 holds. 2017 has had ups and downs...I'm hoping 2018 will have more ups.

Monday 11 December 2017

Inspire Me: Better, Not Bitter

Happy Monday!! I hope everyone had a GREAT weekend!! I had a busy weekend, but the highlight was dinner with a long time friend. I haven't seen her in a few months, so it was nice to spend time with her and catch up. Being in her presence is good for my soul; there is a lot of laughter and encouragement. After the situation I have been dealing with, laughter is what I needed.

This weeks quote is no way related to my weekend or time spent with my friend. It is, however, something I need to be reminded of. I wouldn't say I'm bitter, but there is something that I just can't's affecting me in not the most positive way. While I have accepted the situation, I haven't moved on- I'm not sure that I will, or that I want too, but I know I need to grow from it, become a better person and not let it consume me and make me bitter.

Thursday 7 December 2017

Currently- December

My last "Currently" post of 2017...crazy!! Here we go...

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Love Christmas movies, and love that we get a "freeview" of ABC Spark during December so that I can watch Christmas movies every night!!

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 Maeve Binchy is one of my favourite authors and I have had this book for ages- happy to FINALLY be reading it!!

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 Star 102.5 plays Christmas music 24/7 starting in November, so it becomes my go-to station for the Season. 

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Perfect time of year for hot chocolate, I've been having a cup almost every night.
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 I am one of the few people who LOVES candy corn!! My co-worker brought some to work, so we have been snacking on it daily.

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 I have my eye on this Spocket HP printer, which is designed to print photos from your phone. I didn't add it to my Christmas list, but I'm hoping to get a Boxing Day deal!!

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Best way to start the day.
October // June // May // April // March // February // January //

Wednesday 6 December 2017

Santa Never Brings Me A Banjo

There are a lot of things that I love about Christmas...baking, decorating, the holiday spirit, time with family and friends, movies, tv specials, and, of course, music. While there are a ton of Christmas songs that I love, this is one of my favourites, so I had to share it (and I'm pretty sure I've shared it every year since it came out)!!

Santa Never Brings Me A Banjo by David Myles

Tuesday 5 December 2017

Hey, It's Ok!
With Amber from Airing My Dirty Laundry

To already be tired of hearing about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and all things Royal Wedding. I'm happy that they are engaged...but I'm already over having every other post in my social media feeds be about their wedding. 

That I am done my Christmas shopping!! I finished on the weekend and I now I just have to wrap the small mountain of presents stacked in the corner. 

To be looking forward to the live adaption of "A Christmas Story". It's one of my all time favourite Christmas movies and I have high hopes for the live version!

That I am not looking forward to the snow that is in the forecast. I know we are into December and have been super lucky with the weather so far...but I'm still nto ready for snow yet!

Monday 4 December 2017

Inspire Me: Diamond Dear

Heading into the weekend, my Friday was great. There was an incident, but I didn't give it a second thought. Saturday, I had an amazing visit with a long time friend that I hadn't seen in awhile. She made a comment, that I didn't think twice about. When I got home, there was another incident followed by a second...and then a third incident that made me think. This was followed by a series of incidents that confirmed. It wasn't the evening I had planned or hoped for. I was unprepared for what happened next. 

But then I was reminded:

Friday 1 December 2017

Posts of Christmas Past

Happy Friday! Happy December!

I am a beach baby...I love being at the beach, I love warm weather, I love summer. Love. 

But I also love Christmas. I love the movies, music, spirit, baking, card sending, gift hunting, parties and socials, decorating.

To kick-off this holiday season (which I actually did November 12), I thought I would share some of my favourite blog posts from past Christmas seasons!