Freezing Rain?!?!?!

Snowy-snowy Montreal is scheduled for some beautiful freezing rain this afternoon. Um, our flight is at 2:10 this afternoon.

No big deal, right? Well, it sort of is, because this is the current master plan:
  • Arrive at airport at 12:20 (my girlfriend is driving us, no parking fees!)
  • Leave at 2:10 (directly, absolutely, totally on time)
  • Arrive at 4:10 (save an hour, I love it!)
  • Meet M&D Scatliff at the airport
  • Grab bags at 4:25
  • Steal a vehicle 4:35
  • Head to Dauphin 4:45
  • Arrive at Grandma Baker's house 8:45
  • Join the festivities 8:46 (including a fun gift exchange that will wait to begin till we arrive!)
BUT!!! If there is freezing rain, we may be delayed. AND do you honestly see any room in the above schedule for a flight delay? Yeah. Nor do I. How long can you seriously make people wait to open presents? Even though they are adults, they are human!

Thankfully we also have an amazing family in the city, that probably won't be crying to have us stay over on Christmas ;) It's selfish - I'll admit it. Last year we had Christmas eve and Christmas day morning with our Winnipeg family, so we were hoping to spend that with the Dauphin family this year, because God only knows where we will be next year.

All I pray is for the journey to be safe, and for us to be with those we love to celebrate tonight. There may be a reason why this is the way it is. I've handed it over, let's see what happens.

Early Christmas present!

I just have to share this. It is so exciting!!! (To me, at least.)

So, the final grades for the semester are slowly trickling in. Yesterday I checked a course website online to my final percent grade. It's 84.58% Not bad, not bad. BUT, GPA grade letters are what actually matter, not the percent grade. The tricky part?
  • 85-100% = A
  • 80-84% = A-
  • My grade = 84.58%
As you can imagine, it has been a very suspenseful 24 hours. As Tom put it, "You actually didn't get higher than 85%, so I would brace for an A-." A smart man, a man that was trying to protect me from disappointment. However, I guess my proff believes in the rounding system because it was just entered onto my transcript as an 'A'!! Again, can I get a woot wott?!?!

Just to reiterate - you may have noticed that McGill Univeristy GPA grade letters only go to 'A' (no A+ around these parts). Meaning, this was the highest grade I could have received. Period.

To paraphrase a quote from a wise man I know (name withheld intentionally) "Anything higher than the absolute minimum to receive the grade you wanted was a waste of effort."

Welp, only 0.08% of a grade wasted over here!


The Old Hair

So, I realize that when I posted about the new hair, I didn't include the old hair, which would be an essential element to many readers.

Here's a glimpse of what it was before:


A day without the internet

The functioning capability of our internet has been sketchy-at-best, these days. However, all you had to do was reset the modem, and often you were good to go again.  Tom has been conversing with beautiful Bell about this, but no solutions as of yet.  
Then, there was this morning. 

Nothing worked. 
No internet. 
No phone. 
No connection to the outside world (besides the cell phone, of course)

I nearly went mad.  It's crazy snowy-cold outside and the car is buried under a mountain, and I have no internet?.I dislike driving on the best of days, so going somewhere was pointless, especially considering there was really no where to go (well, except to find some internet cafe...). The real bummer is that I had planned to do a bunch of work today to relieve the idea of having to do some in Manitoba.

I nearly went mad. 

"No worries," says Bell, "there will someone there to fix it between 9:00 and 5:00". Oh, so anytime then, really? 

Patience girl, PATIENCE.

This is what I did to pass the time:
  • Organized our wedding photos. Not a complete overhaul, but an improvement non the less. 
  • Organized my "My Documents" folder.  Needed to be done and was a good way to spend some quality time with the laptop. 
  • Finished making Christmas cards.  I know, I know, it's about time anyways. But this is a bit tricky with no glue in the house and a sloth that doesn't want to get her boots on and walk to the store. (Can you blame me? This phone dude could show up any minute and reconnect me with my outside world. I'm not going to miss that!!)
  • Tasted (scrap that, ate) everything remotely edible in the fridge.
  • Harassed my husband at work via cell phone a number of times. (What is Bell saying about it  now???)
  • Dreamed of the blogs I could write.
  • Read the Good Book
  • Ate some more. 
  • Took a nap. 
Then the phone rang. 
Seriously, HALLELUJAH! 


In response to 'blog criticism'

Recently Tiffany shared some criticism she heard about blogging:

"People only blog when they're bored and have nothing to do, when they're busy and their lives are interesting they don't feel like it, or don't have time"

I have to say - I don't agree!

I blog for many reasons, and boredom is waaaay down there on the list.

I blog to keep in touch with those back home without having to tell stories over and over again. Not only is this a time saver, but it also saves those who aren't interested in hearing about it.

I blog to keep sane. Honestly, sometimes blogging is like therapy. It lets you get it out - and somethings are actually easier to get out into cyberspace than in a face to face conversation. Unfortunately though, it's pretty difficult to get honest and full feedback from readers as appose to a house guest - but I am quite surprised at the number of e-mails I get in response to blog posts providing just that.

I blog because I really like it; whether I'm busy or not. Unfortunately the busier I am the less blogging I'm able to do, but it isn't because I have 'better' or 'more interesting' things to do. It's often on the busiest days that I wish I can blog the most. I think to myself "gee, that would make a great blog!"  Blogging material is all around us, whether it is a picture of a deck or dinner story - I've been interested in all of it. And, not to sound too cheesy, but I really value each and every blogsite I stalk.

I blog to feel like I'm connected with other adults, and with the outside world. I work from home, and some days that means I don't leave the apartment at all and the only person I talk to is my husband. Although he is super fantastic, blogging lets me tell my thoughts to others. I like reading other people's blogs for the same reason.

I read people's blogs to feel normal. There are others out there that feel the same way.

I read blogs for entertainment. Sometimes, yes, it is to fill time because I'm bored, but most times it's comic relief from work. I actually save 'doing the rounds' for my coffee breaks.

The Hair

Here they are, some high quality web-cam pics of the new do.


Wash and wear 
(this one's improving, don't worry):

Pony tail!!!! lol!


Growing Older

I will get no sympathy.
I know it.

I know it I will get rolling eyes, "give me a break"'s, and sarcastic "poor-you"'s.
But I'll tell ya anyways.

I'm turning 25 in January.
And this is hitting me.


I've been smart though - all my friends and family members are older than I. I've sent them ahead of me to tell me how it goes. Let me know what the road is like. What's the best thing to look forward to. But there is one major draw back to this. If I'm getting older, that means they are too.

Yes, this is the first time I've truly realized this.

It is the first real time that I've had to make some real plans for the future. Oh sure, there are times in the past that I planned out which university I would attend for my undergrad. Then, knowing I would be there for the next 4 (oops, make that 5) years I never had to think of it again for quite some time. Same goes for grad school, give or take. This time it was planned with my life-partner (I say that because at the time we were just merely engaged and deciding where we were going to move to). Then, after we moved on over here and settled in, we have been content in our planned little lives until the end of the degree. Now, the end is near. Way sooner than ever anticipated. Come the end of August, God willing, we will be done. Then what?

Now, I know I've mentioned before that we have been tossing around ideas of where we'll go next, and what we'll be doing there. That research and opinion-seeking venture is continuing, very actively, but I need to let out the realities that this carries.

I'm growing older.
And so is everyone else.
Life is short.

I cannot even start to offer life advice, for I know that every single one of our readers has more experience than I. I just need to let this out a bit. You've all been here. Every chapter that closes, you realize time has passed. I've been quite blessed, I've had things tick along at an adequate pace. I'm happy with what I've accomplished so far, and am very happy with where I am. I look ahead with great anticipation at what may be coming around the corner, all the while really enjoying the ride. It's a fantastic place to be, I've never been in a better one.

But time is ticking.

We strongly believe that we (everyone) have a purpose, put here for a reason, and, if you listen hard enough, you may get an inclining as to what it is. We are trying our best to strive for this, because if we live life for just ourselves, what everlasting value does that have? Honestly. Our lives are just a tiny spec of dust that passes, here for a moment and gone forever. What is the point if we merely live this for ourselves? Pointless, no?

Live life with a reason. With a purpose. With a Greater Power at the wheel. Make decisions to follow, but then, looking back you realize that time has passed. That every-few-year venture means that, at the end of it, a few years have passed, so you better make the 'right' one.

Does this make any sense to anyone reading?

Side Note:
I cannot imagine aging and not knowing God. Still wondering what happens on the other side. Fearing death. I don't think I'm dying, don't get me wrong, but it comes along with the packing of growing older. We are here for a finite number of days.

So, in response to this growing up thing, I cut my hair. Yep, this is my coping mechanism. I figured I can't live life as a grown up with my hair in a pony tail.

There's your comic relief.


All wrapped up and into something new.

The last assignment for the semester was submitted on Friday. Yup, you heard right, it's over! I'm not sure if anyone cares but I wrapped up the following courses:
  1. Nutrition in Developing Countries
  2. Health Policy and Food Security (in the face of the global food crisis)
  3. Host-Parasite Interactions
  4. Graduate Seminar II
  5. Statistical Analysis of Nutrient Data
That's right! I passed a graduate level stats class! Can I get a woot woot!?!

Here's what on tap for the graduate student world come January;
  1. Epidemiological Perspectives in Global Health
  2. Water, Health and Sanitation (Parasitology)
  3. Maternal and Child Nutrition
  4. Full-fledged big 'n ugly literature review for my project
  5. My project (Extending till August)

Right now I'm delving into my project topic, sorting out the whats and hows and whens and whys. Lots and lots and lots of questions. A little daunting and overwhelming (Merry Christmas to me!).

On a little more exciting note, I've also been hired by McGill to invigilate undergrad exams at the downtown campus. So, like a big girl, I'm commuting in to downtown Montreal and refereeing a bunch of sweating anxiety filled undergrads write their finals. Not only does this opportunity offer a bit of amusement and nostalgia, but some extra Christmas coinage too, which is nice.

That's some of the latest happenings here in the east.


Hard at work...

I caught Candice on film, in one of her quieter moments. She's got everything set up just so to maximize her productivity these days -- notice in particular the three monitors, the blue Costa Rican coffee mug, phone in hand, and everything else in arm's reach. I'm pretty sure each of her chair wheels is sitting on a specific paper for a specific reason, too.

Sorry babe, hope you don't mind me sharing these! :)


I know, it's been a while.

So, things are a bit hectic around here lately! I often think about the blog, and often ponder blog material...But just don't get the couple of seconds to write one. So, I'll give you some of the titles I've thought of, and a condensed draft of the post.

  • And they Keep Coming!
A blog about how awesome it has been to have had so many visitors out here in Montreal! So far we have had both sets of parents come out multiple times each, my younger (compared to the oldest) brother visited twice, the oldest one once, my cousin & her fiance two weeks ago, Candice & Nat in the summer, Sharla & Blaine yesterday... We've also met up with other cousins and aunts/uncles of mine in Ottawa...And even Tom's cousin moved here this past summer. And all of this happened over ONE year!

  • And They Keep Staying!
Our apartment is still the home of 4 SPCA kittens. We tried to take them back the other day, but they were too small (average weigh in of 1.76lbs). They need to be 2 lbs each before they can go out for adoption. Next time we won't let them go to the can before weighing in!

  • The Marathon.
If a marathon runner was one mile from the finish line during the best challenge of her career, would you say "You know what, you look tired and have worked really hard. I think you should slow down now." Yeah, didn't think so. So, on that note, please don't tell me that I should be getting more sleep lately ;)

  • Coming to a close.
This has been the utmost-bestest term of my life. The courses, the assignments, the topics, all of them have been so applicable (and interesting, which I'm sure is related to applicable) to where I want to be 'working' after I'm done this degree. The knowledge that I have gained over the past 4 months has been incredible. And completely worth it. But, not only has it been amazing from a topic point of view, but I have done better at striking a life balance than ever before. Tom and I have had multiple date nights, a few excursions to a cottage in the woods, trips to Ottawa, a scoot back to Manitoba for a wedding, have hosted many family members, and even took a trip to NEW YORK CITY!!! Yup, it's been an absolute blast. Praise God for the blessings we have received!

  • Gearin' up!
Now that the term is almost done, it's time to hit the high gear on my project! We have a huge annual meeting next week (yikes!), in which I will be presenting my findings so far (which means I better 'find' something in my dataset this upcoming weekend!) The process of getting something under way has been nothing short of a learning experience, and a true test of the patience, but I am anxious to get going and see what happens. Wish me 'luck'.

I have a few more, but maybe I should save some ideas for a more real post. Just in case I find myself bored with nothing to do one of these days (HA!).