Even if you don't love the man, you got to love the marketing.

Politics is probably the last place I should take this blog. But I just gotta tell you about Obama's "American Stories, American Solutions" 30min ad campaign I just finished watching. (Why I found myself watching this is another story.)
Wow - like I said, even if you don't care for the guy (or what he stands for), you do really have to applaud his marketing department.

So, if you have (more than) a few minutes, and what to hear one (heck of a bias, totally appealing-to-the-motions, very well executed, tear-jerking) side of the story - then check this out.

But if you do, have a Kleenex handy.

Click here to watch it on YouTube.

(Disclaimer: This is not an endorsement, I just think the marketing is fantastic.)


Makin' Big Plans

It was a year ago today that Tom and I returned from our honeymoon, and immediately started packing for Montreal. I remember the excitement, the emotion...definitely some great blogging material, but maybe for another day.

It's been a year since then, I'm now a month away from completing the first year of my masters, and an anticipated 10 months (that all go perfectly smoothly and exactly as planned) away form completing the degree; according to our 'grand plan', that is.

Lately we have been dreaming of plans for the future. The future being when this degree is wrapped up. Will we stay, will we go? If we go, where do we go? For how long? What will we do?

We've come up with more than a few ideas, along with hows and for how longs and how we will get there, but we need to constantly remind ourselves that these plans cannot be for merely selfish reasons. This isn't about us. These can't be our plans, actually.

This is written in the book of James, chapter 4, verse 13-17;

Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." [Emphasis mine].


Getting better, thank you.

Much to everyone's relief, I'm on the upswing.

Isn't it amazing that we can so quickly go to taking things for granted after knowing the other side? I'm so thrilled in being able to function in daily tasks.

Thank God.


Enough radiation for a decade

Last night I finally had my MRI - the last of the tests for my bizarre spring 'incident'. 

How come no one told me I would be in this a super loud radiation machine for over a half an hour??? I thought it was going to be more like the CT scan - quick and painless.

Speaking of pain...Guess what?!? The test triggered a near-migraine. Yup, I was ill again last night. The feelings of pain and nausea from motion and light brought back a flood of memories from the spring. Tom and I followed the neurologists orders of what to do at onset --> it has worked pretty well so far. 

So, for the evening we were brought back to the spring; both of us a little anxious to see what the morning would bring. Tom even got up in the night to follow the "prevention protocol". The fact that I'm up and working away this morning is nothing but great news - but the leering tingling over head is nothing to make a joke out of I guess. So, I'm forced to slow down -  at a time that it is, seriously, impossible to do so. 

"This is *not* the time for this! I *can't* slow down." [I won't even trivialize you with the insane amount of work that must be accomplished over the next two weeks.]

Then I have to really think - really remember the fear in my husband's eyes, the dependence I had on others to do the simplest things, like making it to the washroom.  

Then  I think - this *is* the time to slow down. I can't afford not to. 


A few little gifts

*Somebody* bought me a new lens for the camera! If you live in the SLR digital-photography world too, you know how exciting this can be. It's a 55-250mm telephoto lens --> translation --> it provides a much greater capacity to 'zoom' than does the original lens that came with the camera. Although it scares me to pieces changing them back and forth (usually more than once a day), I'm getting quicker.

I'm excited about this lens, and about getting into photography. I feel really supported by Tom's encouragement. Before, I thought it was more of a "oh, that's nice dear" thing when I would tell him about the latest leaf I took a picture of, but now that he brought me this gift I take him for serious (I also feel a little pressure to produce better shots now that I have another tool in my camera case!).

But, I had a bit of a problem. You see, cooperative practice subjects are hard to find sometimes, and T doesn't enjoy a flash in his eyes every ten seconds when I'm learning how to adjust the settings - nor does he enjoy producing a fake genuine-smile on demand. So, to get around this little issue, I bought him a distracting toy to play with while I take his picture. And believe me, in this photo, this is no fake smile...

Yes, it *is* ironic that this shot is out of focus, but hey - it's what I got!


Back to the Woods

We headed back to the Gatineau this past weekend to spent another night in a cute little cabin to celebrate our anniversary. This one was *much* more primitive than the last, but isn't it super cute?

The only heat we had was a wood stove, which worked out fine considering I had a woods-man with me (who actually woke every few hours during the night to throw another log on the fire!). We had a blast, didn't freeze to death, and enjoyed watching our wedding videos projected onto the A-frame ceiling of the cabin.

I just love fall!




No words can express the joy I felt on our wedding day, one year ago today, or every day that has since passed. My love for you has grown ever deeper and truer with time...I love you more than yesterday, and I know that it will be even greater tomorrow. Thank you for being such an amazing husband - provider, protector, anchor, supporter, encourager, counselor... Thank you for catching me when I fall, never dwelling on what tripped me, but always encouraging me to try again and offering a hand to tackle it together.

I thank God for you everyday, and if it be His will, we will grow old together.

Your Wife of One Year

I am excited to see where the future will take us,
but never before have I enjoyed a journey so much.


No more scaredy-cats

It's funny how it doesn't take them long to move
from hiding under your bed,
to taking over your bed.



Well, now that we have all the ingredients to foster cats again, we headed off to the SPCA on Monday evening. We are now the proud foster parents of two 3-month old kittens. Tom named one Maxwell, and I named one Maxine. Go figure.

These are the first two kitties from the SPCA that were scaredy-cats upon arrival. We are often on a kitten hunt when it's time for bed, a check up, a pat, well anything really. Looks like I have some work to do 'socializing' these two little ones. It's kind of sad actually, being so scared of life at such a young age.

I present to you... Maxwell

And Maxine

Mind the dust under our bed.


Wonderful Weekend Getaway

We went away to a beautiful cottage in the Gatineau area this last weekend.

Wait. I should back up and tell you how we found ourselves there.

A few weeks ago at a Saturday night prayer meeting, a couple (who we just met) told us about their nephew (who we've never met) that owns a bunch of cabins in the Gatineau, and how this nephew likes to lend them out to Christians who want a getaway from the city. Really? So we got his number and booked for the soonest weekend possible, which was this last weekend.


We went away to a beautiful cottage in the Gatineau area this last weekend. The cottage was one of eight situated on a 200 acre piece of land owned by an extremely generous gentleman and his wife (and four kids), who enjoy lending the cabins out to Christians who want to get away. Free of charge. Make yourself at home.

All of the cabins are different. Some small, some large, all rustic. Each is furnished, including an equipped kitchenette, and heated by a wood stove (they chop and supply all needed kindling and logs). These were just the cutest little cabins, most with a lake front view.

Now, I just *love* the fall. Such beautiful colors, chilly mornings, warm afternoons. It was so relaxing, even though I took a bunch of work with me, of course. It was so cozy to do my readings in a comfy chair, by the fireplace, over looking the lake, and surrounded by huge, colorful maples.

We took a hike on Saturday where I got to practice my photography a bit. Tom was so patient with me, he was my model. Here are a few other things I found in our travels...


Waking up to freshly cooked dinners.

We got me this fabulous new slow-cooker--> after days of checking out the options in stores and online, I finally found the one I wanted, and Tom found a store and an arrival date (fresh, fresh, FRESH off the shelf - it's the new Hamilton Beach 5-quart, digital display, triple setting, stay-or-go, slower cooker). Fantastic. This puppy even has a meat thermometer built right into it; you can program this little white beast to take all day to cook your pork roast but stop when the internal temperature reaches 160, then hold it at a biologically safe temperature while not drying it out.

The problem?

I'm so thrilled with it, and my new slow-cooker magazine, that I have been whipping up meals day and night. Not kidding about the night thing either, yesterday morning we woke to a tender, juicy, slow-roasted chicken. Yup, it was ready at 6:30am. I packed some for Tom's lunch, of course, then proceeded to make a fabulous chicken stew with the rest. Besides the roasted chicken and subsequent soup, I've made a ratatouille, beef roast, and a veggie stew. It only came in about a week ago! (And we weren't even here for the weekend.)

Yes, our grocery bills are out the window, but our freezer is filling with healthy and ready-made home-cooked dinners.

Alright, does anyone want to come over for dinner? (Or lunch, or breakfast, or a midnight snack?) Because Tom is having a hard time keeping up, and I just hit the start button again.

Ooy-gooy garlic and cheese bruschetta bread

My most favoritist part about Toronto airport is the Swiss-Chalet's garlic and cheese bruschetta loaf. My goodness, it is goodness! It's now a tradition to grab one whenever we have a stop over in Toronto. It's kind of funny, whenever we are booking tickets and we *must* have a stop over in Pearson airport, we always check to make sure there is time to head to Terminal 3 and grab the good stuff.

Now, I'm sure you're thinking "There are Swiss-Chalet's everywhere, Candice." But it's not the same. This puddle of olive oil and melted cheese, sopped up with italian bread doused in garlic butter, is now a symbol of traveling.

I wonder when we'll get our next slice....

Wordless Wednesday