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Prairie girl with a west coast future.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Family Ties

It's now nine days post Belize and I owe the world a blog post of epic proportions! That post, however, will have to wait until the husband uploads the 329843948 pictures we took.

(Seriously. We put an 8 gig memory card into that poor camera and took pictures of basically everything.)

This post sees us back in Port Moody after a quiet, low key, but wonderful Christmas with the husband, the brother and the parents in Nanoose Bay, on Vancouver Island. Please forgive the saccharine nature of this musing - I'm overly full of love and sugar at the time of posting!

For various reasons, this visit had me thinking a lot about family.

I come from a small and close family. There are two kids, one mom, a step dad and a scattering of aunts, uncles and cousins that live in different corners of the earth. The four of us have been through some very hard, trying times. These situations could have done one of two things - we could have been torn completely apart, or we could have grown much closer and forged deeper bonds.

Luckily for me, the hard times drew all of us into the safe harbor of the family. We learned to rely on one another and I think we came out of these situations knowing a new definition for the world "love".

Now that both Mike and I are grown ups, this bond we share with each other and with our parents is even stronger and important to all of us.

There are some tense times in my family right now and, just as before, it's drawn us into a tighter, more cohesive unit.

And, so, this Christmas was less about gifts and presents and more about re-affirming the love we all share.

It sounds trite and cliche, but Christmas, to me, is about family and love and the familiarity of traditions that have lasted for years and years.

Of course, there is always room for more traditions as our family grows to include more loved ones (like my husband and Mike's girlfriend).

This was a pensive and thoughtful holiday for me and it allowed me the opportunity to self-reflect.

So, amongst the wrapping and stockings and carols, I realized that it's the closeness and love I share with my family that's the true gift.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Felis Domesticus

I think I might love my cats too much (if that's possible). I just spent the better part of an hour taking a cat sitter through the various nuances and quirks of Mortimer and Io. We talked about habits, stress triggers, feeding, etc. It's like being in charge of two furry, high maintenance children. Who happen to use a litter box.

I am also paying this cat sitter an exorbitant amount of money to come pet my cats and hang out with them for a few hours a day. I suppose she's also being paid for feeding and watering them, but I believe most of the cost goes towards giving my cats the love that they are accustomed to.

I always feel slight cat-mommy guilt when we go away on vacation. I often think that the cats will forget who I am if I go away for any period of time. In reality, they probably just vaguely wonder where the human who talks to them in an annoying high pitched tone has gone.

Cat sitter preparation is just one of the last-minute steps I'm taking to ready the Bitchardson duo for our Belize trip.

Next up? Buying small, wee toiletries - like a collapsible toothbrush!

Sunday, November 29, 2009


I am not good in the kitchen. I do not relish time spent preparing food. I much prefer the time spent eating food.

There are some people who are intuitive when it comes to food. These people are brilliant, but infuriating.

They don't work from recipes and they don't use exact amounts. They cook by feel and by touch and use recipes only as basic guidelines.

I envy the heck out of these people.

I can follow a recipe, but any time I get a whim to get creative, something goes horribly, horribly wrong. And these times usually end up triggering the smoke alarm and see me watching the oven belch plumes of acrid smoke.

I am an anxious person in the kitchen. Cooking does not relax me - it triggers my flight/fight response and I often emerge from the kitchen feeling like I'm coming out of a culinary foxhole.

There are about 4 dishes that I can make with relatively few issues. I'm usually quite content with my small, narrow repertoire, as Adam makes up for it when he plays house husband.

But there are some days, when I feel like I'm lacking some kind of wifely gene, and I try and force myself to take the kitchen by storm. These times usually end with me slinking out of the kitchen and ordering Thai food.

Despite all of this, I will still watch the Food Network and pretend I know exactly what everyone is talking about. In reality, I just like to look at the pretty food.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Feel the burn

I write this post with fingers that are attached to two very shaky arms.

In light of our upcoming trip to Belize, I'm trying to force the jiggly bits of my body to become...less jiggly.

Every second day, I furtively close my blinds and put in a DVD entitled "50 Ways To Sweat Like An Overheated Donkey". Or something.

And then I wheeze and plank and jumping jack my way through a horrifying combination of strength/cardio/abs. The end result leaves me lying on the floor in a pool of my own perspiration while the cats sniff me and wonder if they can start gnawing on my flesh yet.

I haven't seen any visible results yet, but the spokesperson/head torturer on the DVD purports that I should feel and look "shredded" in 30 days. So far, I feel like I've been put through a shredder, but I don't think that's what she means.

But I'll keep at it. God as my witness, I will continue to perform horrible and mildly embarrassing maneuvers such as "The Thrust Squat Oblique Twist Punch" in hopes of achieving less jiggle.

I really want to walk up to someone (probably a hapless co-worker)and say "HAVE YOU SEEN THE GUN SHOW?" and then show them my magnificent bicep muscles.

A girl has to have dreams.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


So if you've known me for any length of time you'll be familiar with my particular breed of gremlins which tends to attack technological devices.

It's not uncommon for anything with circuitry to go buggy in my presence, much to Adam's chagrin. I have what is basically the opposite of technological green thumb.

When I received a new laptop, I looked at it with trepidation and concern, fearful that it would not last long in my hands. To my laptop's credit, it held out for a while. Bravely, it suffered through minor hiccups like freezing for no good reason and the random breakage of the "t" key. But, alas, it's forcefield was being slowly worn down by my gremlins.

Every time I touched the poor wee computer, I could feel it cringing beneath my deadly fingertips. But, still, it held out.

Until today.

I was merrily surfing the internet when I put the laptop down to get a drink of water. As I stood up, I literally saw the life leave it's eyes. It made a sad "bewoooo" noise and shut off.

I prodded it a few times, hoping it was just playing dead - like a mechanical opossum. But it was the real thing. My poor laptop was now no more than a fancy paper weight.

I sadly poked it a few more times, hoping to find a secret button that would reverse all of the trauma and make it sing with life again. No such button.

So now I've commandeered my husband's laptop and I will try and type stealthily, like a ninja, so it won't die on me.

Poor laptop, I hardly knew ye...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Belizean Bound

So, we're going to this wonderful eco-resort in Belize for our honeymoon ( I am fulfilling at least three childhood dreams with this trip:

1. I get to sleep in a fancy treehouse
2. I get to see Eagle Rays up close (Adam has warned me not to try and hug them. I think I may ignore him)
3. I get to ride horses through the jungle

And I think Adam is fulfilling his childhood dreams to go schlepping through ancient caves and geeking out about Mayan ruins.

After the horrible "Thursday That Felt Like A Monday" and now the "Friday That Feels Like Another Monday", I am clinging to the fact that our Belize trip happens in less than one month.



This gives me the strength to carry on and deal with cranky people, who are probably only cranky because they aren't going to Belize.

PS: It's currently 27 degrees and sunny in Belize. Here? It's passive aggressively raining.

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Deep Well of Thanks

We received the thank you cards we had printed by our photographer. It's my job this weekend to write these notes of gratitude and thanks and love. And it's overwhelming. I'm not concerned about the inevitable case of writer's cramp that I'm going to get, I'm concerned because I don't think I can fit the magnitude of my appreciation on these little cards.

When I think back to the people who came together, from the ends of the earth, to witness our marriage, it makes my breath catch in my throat.

And I'm not just talking about the day of the wedding. I'm talking about the family who cried happy tears right along with me as I shared my proposal story. I'm talking about the friends who made it their personal mission to find me corset ribbon and to accompany me to dress fittings.

Everyone who attended the wedding (and those who were there in spirit) deserve more thanks than I can possibly write. I don't think putting pen to paper can quite convey the sense of love I feel when I think about the small and big things that were done to help make the wedding a success.

And it goes deeper. How do I think my parents for showing me what to look for in a marriage. For showing me what deep, true love looks like? How do I thank a family of in laws who have all but adopted me as their own?

So, even though all of these people will receive thank you cards, I hope they all know that the gratitude I hold for them goes far, far deeper than what I can ever possible hope to write.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I would walk (run) 500 miles

I ran tonight. Despite falling asleep (and probably drooling myself into embarrassment)on the train ride home, I didn't give myself a chance to talk myself out of it. I came home, babied talked the cats, changed into my running stuff, and went out.

My choice to not wear mittens was a prudent one, as the act of lumbering along warmed my extremities quite nicely.

I find that it always takes me a while to harness my cadence and understand my natural rhythm. I never feel truly "at home" in my stride until about 1/3 of my way through a run. I'm quite convinced that those unlucky enough ,to see me at the start of my runs are treated to a sight that includes both flailing and wheezing.

I ran about 3.5 kilometers today, including a hill at the beginning that I affectionately refer to as "Big Hill of Fail and Doom". This hill lulls you into a false sense of ease when it plateaus in the middle, before stretching upwards again into the stratosphere.

I hate that hill. I HATE IT. I hate it with the hate of 1,000 firey suns and I wish for it to be flattened by a mean, scary bulldozer. But it does great things for my butt, so I continue to torture myself with it.

Generally speaking, the majority of my run occurs with small, harnessed strides, as these come naturally to me. But near the end of my run, I like to kick it. I increase my speed and lengthen my stride, and I feel like I'm flying. I believe I actually muttered "whee!" to myself as I broke the sidewalk in half with my speed.

Whenever I'm feeling uninspired to run, I always remember that I love to fly.