Friday, June 28, 2013

Wedding Shenanigans

Between being sick, getting ready to go away, driving 8 hours yesterday and attending a stagette last night I've been a bit MIA lately - but no fear, real life is very exciting and my body is slowly healing. Praise the Lord. 

Last week was a blur of catching up around the house after being sick and tidying to be ready for a weekend away. We had lifegroup and a going away party for Jodi and a couple nights at home - working and resting and eating and it was lovely. Wednesday night we had a burst of crazy energy and Paul did some crazy work in the garage and I did a bunch in the craft room and in the kitchen and we felt so productive. We were up until midnight being awesome and productive. 

Thursday morning I was up bright and early to join Jenna and Corrie on a trip to Nelson for wedding craziness with our friend Sarah Gotell. The drive was a non stop party of great conversation. So thankful for great friends. Thursday night was dresses, dinner, drinks and games - so so fun. 

Today we set up the hall and church, do a wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, and then tomorrow it's wedding and reception! Paul and I are in charge of the bar so we'll be working up a storm (and flirting up a storm with each other - we love bartending together). Sunday we'll go to church here and then drive to Kelowna to visit our step-sister Laura and hopefully her new baby and then Monday we'll head back the rest of the way home and hopefully get home in time to rest for the afternoon and get ready for the week. Phew!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Menu Plan Monday, on Tuesday

Menu Plan Monday with Laura at Org Junkie

Monday: Chicken Satay Skewers, with Boursin mashed potatoes, Boccocini & tomato salad and roasted zucchini. 
I have been sick all week - I missed almost a week of work but am back at it now - and was feeling better yesterday, so I made a real dinner and mmmm it was good. Plus it used up things that needed to be eaten, like the Boursin and tomatoes

Is lifegroup and a going away party for Jodi - so I'm making this recipe I have seen online, and also I pulled together a apple/plum cobbler, using apples and plums that needed to be eaten. Yes!

I am getting ready to leave town Thursday morning for the weekend for a wedding, so Wednesday night will be food prep and packing. I needed an easy dinner, and something crock pot seemed important. 

Since I am leaving Thursdsay morning, I picked a slow cooker recipe that I could put on when I left, and would be ready for the gang to eat when they were all done school for the day. 

Friday: Slow Cooker Stew, using Slow Cooker package from Walmart
Paul is in charge - I'll do the prep for the meal Wednesday and he'll just need to put it in the slow cooker and turn it on. He won't be home for dinner, but our students can turn off the slow cooker and deal with the food.  

Saturday and Sunday: YOYO (You're On Your Own)
Since we are away at a wedding I've left the gang on their own for food, but there will be lots of food left over from our slow cooker meals and I'll be making a Rice, Broccoli and Turkey Casserole to leave them for the weekend. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Dentists, and doctors and extractions....oh my!

And so I find myself writing from a sick bed, yet again.

Since Sunday I've had a crazy toothache on the same tooth that I have had 5 root canals on. This tooth has been a pain since I was 15 years old. When I was in grade 10 I remember it acted up and I was in SO MUCH PAIN. But it was a school day and both my parents were teachers so there was no one to call to help me. I couldn't focus in class I was in so much pain. I went out and sat in the bus loop and cried until the principal happend to come by and find me. Once he saw the pain I was in, he stopped giving out about skipping class and drove me straight to my dentist (only in a small town, eh?). That was my first root canal on this tooth. Anyways, it was flaring up YET again on Sunday. First thing Monday morning I called my dentist who was closed. Called again Tuesday, still closed. Yikes. Finally Wednesday morning they were open and could get me in that afternoon.

Also, on things that happened Wednesday I woke up and was getting ready to hop onto my bike, but as I walked out of the garage towards my bike and felt something go in my back. I still felt ok, so I rode my bike in to work, which was actually fine and I felt pretty great by the end. But as I worked that morning my back started to hurt more and more. I left work early as the pain (between my tooth and my back) was proving too much to handle while working.

I came home and slept for an hour and then headed off to get my tooth looked at. My dental office (Dr. Vincent Tai, at 57th and Victoria, Vancouver) is so great - the staff is super wonderful and so caring. Unfortunately, this time they couldn't really help me. Turns out I needed another root canal on the tooth, but with a specialist due to the nature of the infection. Ugh. So I got a referral to a specialist and set up an appointment to meet them Friday morning (probably going to cost $1800, yuck). I got some antibiotics and pain killers in the mean time. I slept almost all evening.

Thursday morning between the back pain and the tooth pain, work was not going to be an option. I finally arranged to see my doctor and she decided that probably I should be trying to get in with my surgeon. She gave me meds to help with the pain and we made a plan. Unfortunately as of end of day Friday I still couldn't get in touch with my surgeon. Ugh.

[Endodontist, Doctor, Back Surgeon, nurse friend, husband and sister]

I slept all of Thursday and was feeling  somewhat decent by evening, so I went to youth to speak on a relationship panel which was a lot of fun. By the end of the evening though I was exhausted and crashed at home right away.

Friday I got up in time for my 8:30am appointment at the endodontist - after they drilled into my mouth and began the procedure - and then shortly realized that the tooth was past repair and that it actually needed to be taken out. So they put it back and sent me on my way. Fun, right?

I called my dentist and they informed me that I wouldn't be able to get in until Wednesday. Wednesday! I drove home to try and sleep away the pain, but kept crying and crying - the tooth pain was so terrible. At this stage I must say that my two girl students were lovely - Rachel and Ana were so kind to me, making me tea and watching a movie with me and pausing so I could call doctors until I got through. They were wonderful. And finally I got back through to my dentist and they put me in touch with a different specialist and I was off to see him right then and have the tooth removed. Praise the Lord.

I had to wait an hour at the office since they were squeezing me in but I was in! The procedure was traumatic, I bawled through the whole thing but I am so glad they did it. And they were so lovely through that whole thing - brisk and a bit forceful but only because they need to. They were also sweet and kind, and the nurse rubbed my hand while they did the surgery and I cried. Little things make a difference!

I must publicly thank the awesome staff at Dr. Vincent Tai's and at Broadway Dental. From the front desk staff to the nurses and the dentists themselves, I had wonderful experiences at both places - despite the pain they were helping create! They definitely were so gracious and kind throughout my experiences with them. Dr. Vincent Tai is my day to day dentist and I highly recommend him and the wonderful staff he works with.

I came home and cried some more. The trauma and the pain was fairly overwhelming. Paul was getting ready to head away for the weekend (he offered to stay home but I wouldn't hear of it). While he packed I laid in bed and cried (I was fairly pathetic). Then I went to sleep and when I woke up at 10:30 I felt so much better. Yes, my back still hurt but sleeping that long had helped my back too. Yes, there was some mouth pain but honestly it was almost pain free! I took a quick trip to Safeway to get drinkable yogurt and soup for the morning and then went right back to sleep to capitalize on the healing time.

When I woke up Saturday morning I felt terrible. Headache, nausea, backpain. Oh man. I was miserable. I was a mess. Basically I slept all day Saturday, occasionally waking up to text loved ones and complain about the pain, take more meds, attempt to drink something and then go back to sleep. Arlene McGlashen was a hero with her support and advice. So thankful for a nurse friend! Rachel and Ana continued to be amazing supports and Josh and Ana Whitton win a runner up prize for bringing me treats and magazines to read - I was feeling the love. On top of that there was an outpouring texts of love and prayers and support and wow, what a difference that makes. Every time I woke up I would look at my phone and there would be so many texts of love. Every time! So awesome.

Finally thanks to some Gravol my sister brought over the last time I was sick, some advice on medicine from Arlene and more sleep I woke up at 10pm feeling much improved. So improved that the chips that Ana and Josh had brought over actually looked temping - I hadn't eaten much all day. Rather than eating Salt and Vinegar chips with an open wound (rookie move) I made another comfort food, that was soft and non acidic - Kraft Dinner. Oh man did that hit the spot. I went back to bed by 11:30 and slept in until 9:30am Sunday. My headache stayed away, the nausea stayed mostly away and only the back was hurting. I decided to leave the house like a normal person and took a short trip to ikea - how great to feel normal. I grabbed some frozen yogurt as I left and came back home where my hair dresser was arriving to cut my hair! Fancy, fancy.

Paul arrived home, and shortly after that it was time to pick up our new student from Quebec. After I brought her home, I took another nap as I was starting to feel worn out. At 5:45 I enlisted the help of Rachel F (our new student) and Ana (our Brazillian student) to make a family dinner - tomato basil porkloin, panko dusted potatoes, corn on the cob and a spinach berry salad - oh it was a feast. And thank goodness, I was finally hungry for real food. I laid down a lot that evening though, my back still gets testy.

This morning Paul is home from school - he has a week's break. I'm off work one last day, so I made sure to sleep in nice and long so that rest would be a priority. Then I made an easy breakfast and have been laying on the couch catching up on emails, working on some stuff for work and trying to get in touch with my surgeon (who I finally got in touch with and have an appointment in two weeks). I plan to rest, rest, rest tonight and will be at work tomorrow. With pain meds in hand, and a wonderful boss and coworker, I am glad I can get back to work - we have a big office move coming up in three weeks and we need all hands on deck!

And that, is my week.

Thank you for your prayers and support - being sick sucks so much less when you know that others are praying for you and supporting you. I am so thankful for the love you all give.

And to Arlene McGlashen who texted me this morning after a time of prayer, saying that God wanted me to know that He's "got my back". I believe it.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Menu Plan Monday

Menu Plan Monday with Laura at Org Junkie

Monday: Tomato Boccocini Salad, Berry salad, roast chicken & garlic bread
I went grocery shopping and so wanted a dinner that was easy to serve after a couple hours battling in the stores. I bought a roast chicken from Costco ($7.99 always a great deal) and served it with mixed tomatoes and boccocini (and chunks of cucumber) and layered berries (blueberry, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries). It felt summery and fun, and also like a treat. 

I needed a meal that someone else could pop into the over, so I spent Monday night making Million Dollar Casserole. 

I am speaking at my sisters bible study with junior girl teens, so I needed something easy I could eat as soon as I got home. 

Funnily enough, Paul and I are speaking at our church's youth group (with some of the same girls as the night before) on a panel about relationships, so dinner needed to be easy again. I haven't made this casserole before but I have high hopes.

Friday: Chicken Ceasar Salad
Paul is away, so I wanted something light and easy. 

Saturday: Salad and Pasta
Paul is still away and I'll be working all day on makeing over furniture, easy dinner is a must! 

Sunday: YOYO (You're On Your Own)
On Sunday our new student Rachel F arrives - we pick her up at 3. At 5:30 there is a BBQ at the Mitchell's house that Ana, both Rachels and I will go to. It has live music, great food and lots of lovely people. 

Phew - and that, is that!

Friday, June 14, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday (Volume 7)

--- 1 --- 

 I consider any day that I get to see my nephews a good day. 
I got to hang out with them at church recently and then go to a party afterwards with them as well. They made me smile.

[playing under the pews at church]

[Connor "helping" Jonathan play the drums]

Anytime I get to see my parents is a good time too. Last night Jenna and I took my parents out to celebrate Father's Day. Instead of going out for dessert after dinner, we went out for appies - classic Jory style. We had a nice walk and great conversation. I am so thankful for my parents. 

Also, my good friend Lyndsay is starting a new job today (way to go, love!) and we went out to celebrate her with music bingo, wings and beer at the East Side Kraft House (formerly, the E Walk). What a great time.

--- 2 --- 

We have been blessed with great students. We have had Rachel (female, 20, Canadian) living with us since January and she is a delight! Duncan (male, 28, Canadian) has been living with us since February, and he is such a great addition to the house - funny and helpful. Last month we had Ana (female, 24, Brazillian) who is a great sport as she learns English with us and is always up for anything - we're taking her camping this weekend! We also have had a variety of different students from Japan, Korea and China. Our most recent student was Water from China. She was a lot of fun. 
[me, Water and Ana)

I have a board that I fill out each month and each week. I put where Paul and I will be and when so that our students know what to expect of us. It also holds our weekly menu and gives a spot for people to fill in if they will be in or out, so I know how many to cook for and how many to have people set the table for. So handy!
[May's Calendar]

--- 3 --- 
I got a new iPad and I LOVE it. It is one of my favorite things. I went with the mini and I am so glad I did. I recently had to do something with my coworkes regular iPad and it felt so large and bulky. The mini wins me over every time. It's compact (fits in my purse), leightweight (don't even notice it's there) and functional. I can write blogs, read blogs, read books on my kindle app, peruse facebook, watch tv shows that I miss the different tv station apps and more. So happy for this gift - great way to celebrate being 30! 

Thanks to my family for this awesome gift! 
Auntie Lesley, Katie, Nancy & Cris, David & Carol and my parents all chipped in to make this a reality. So thankful!

I found the keyboard online and it makes such a difference. It cost me $30 dollars and makes using pages, notes, email and blogger so much easier. Just sync to bluetooth and type away!

--- 4 --- 
I bike to and from work each day. I love it. Recently it was bike to work week and I stopped at one of the commuter stations to grab some coffee and have my tires and brakes checked. I always feel like a bit of a phony when it comes to the cycling world, so it was an act of courage to stop and engage.

--- 5 --- 
This next Quick Take was copied over from April 12th, and again May 24th. 

"Last week I cleaned my room - put away all my clothes - finished organizing my bathroom. It has been one week of me PUTTING MY CLOTHES AWAY right away. This is a miracle. I'm praying it continues. What a lovely feeling it is. The next big project will be our bedroom. Because as I've mentioned before a pretty space helps motivate me to stay tidy. So if our room is beautiful, I'll try to keep it that way."

Well I am happy to report that it is over 20 days since that last post and my room is still clean! And when I came home from a trip away I unpacked right away. And when I did laundry I unpacked right away! I fear a crash of messy is coming, but I am doing everything I can in my power to hold on for cleanliness.
--- 6 --- 
Rhubarb. Oh rhubarb. You tangy tangy fruit. Growing up we would get little bowls with sugar, a peeled rhubarb stick, and go to town. It was my favorite treat. I tried this again recently, and introduced the rest of the house to it. 

--- 7 --- 
And lastly a peak into my closet. Here's how it's finally starting to stay organized.  I love the freedom to have some things hung up, some things folded in baskets, some things thrown in baskets and some things on hanging shelves. Plus the tank top and belt hooks are a lifesaver!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Outfits - or thanks to Forever 21

Sometimes I get my outfit inspiration from Pinterest. Sometimes it comes from new clothes. That is currently the outfit train I am riding. I have a bunch of new blouses and a new blazer. This has given me tons to work with. 

I LOVE this shirt from F21 - it helped me step out into the neon blouse arena, without going full on neon blouse. I love that it has gold accents and I pair it with a double wrapped gold leaf necklace to draw that out. I love wearing it with my new Sakura/Mantique Blazer ($50). I still can't decide if I like it tucked in or not yet. Thoughts?

When I saw this top at F21 I was hooked.
Polka Dots and Chambray? Yes please

I wore this for a casual day trip over to the island. The striped shirt is a tshirt (with chambray pocket) from F21. Topped with a necklace and my comfy new blazer, it was an easy outfit to wear away for the day, while letting me feel pulled together.
The shoes were on clearance at Target for $12. Love them.

And here are a whole bunch more outfits.

1. Black blouse from my closet and grey legging slacks from RW&Co.
2. Striped T from F21 paired with Chambray shirt, black skinnies and pink belt all from ON
3. Window Paint print shirt from F21
4. Printed Tunic from ON. I got a similar one in turquoise as well
5. Colorblocked Blouse from F21

These are easy go to outfits. Especially the two F21 blouses (3 & 5). I love clothes that are easy to feel good in and easy to wear. 

Thus conclused a blog post that Paul will think is silly, and I will find thoroughly enjoyable to reread later.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Menu Plan Monday

Menu Plan Monday with Laura at Org Junkie

Monday:  Spaghetti w. roasted Zucchini
Paul and I are out for dinner, so I threw together something easy on Sunday for our students to eat Monday. 

This meal has been such a hit at home I knew I wanted to make it for LG. It's light and tasty and pretty easy. 

Wednesday: BBQ'd Pork Steaks, veg & potatoes
We just got a new (to us) BBQ and I just found a stack of Pork steaks in the freezer. Meant to be! I will marinade them in something tasty Tuesday night, and will only need to slice up and season the veg and potatoes for dinner. Paul will man the BBQ. Wednesday is a night off for me, and I intend to enjoy it as such. 

This recipe is called easy, which is good since I need something quick and easy. I'll be heading over to Jenna's to celebrate Fathers Day with my Dad and mom. We're doing an after dinner thing since we both have students to be home with

Friday, Saturday and Sunday: YOYO (You're On Your Own)
Paul, myself and one of our students (Ana) are away camping. The other two will be home but are both usually out on the weekends anyways. Normally I'd give you a rundown of my camping meal (because I LOVE camping food) but I'm going with a group and someone else is in charge of food (surprise!). 

This past weekend was the ENV Women's Retreat that I was a part of planning and leading. It was an exhausting, exciting and challenging time. I had so much fun leading the weekend and even more fun hanging out with all 40 of these awesome ladies. I can not get over how rad they are all and how lucky I am to know them. God is certainly good. 

The retreat was at the Inn at the Quay in New Westminster. Great location. I didn't grab a lot of photos, since I was doing admin and leading and speaking for one of the sessions! But here are a few snap shots of the weekend.

The Hotel room, filled with ladies I love
[Jessica, Lyndsay, Arlene and Lindsay]

Hot tub with friends
[Me & Jessica, Arlene and I, with Ereka]

Views from the hotel room - I got to share with Lyndsay!

The view from the room we were in for the conference
[Top: Corrie M speaking on beauty]
[Top: The view behind her]

I enjoyed dinner Friday and lunch Saturday at the Boathouse.
[My coconut shrimp lunch that I enjoyed with the lovely Helen P]

Little Decor moments from our dinner feast Saturday
[Centerpieces and signs]

I even found something Paul would like.
[@ Lofty Living in New West]

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Rivisto Wedding Extravaganza

What a crazy and fun weekend I just came home from. Wow. And really I came home on Sunday but didn't finish unpacking the car and putting away groceries until almost 11pm, and then work each day and meetings most evenings has meant I'm only just sitting down to write about it all. 

The weekend started nice and early on Wednesday! I took Thursday and Friday off to be down in Washington helping with wedding prep, and Wednesday night a group of the girls and the Bride came up for a Stagette in Vancouver - we ate out at Tropika restuarant downtown vancouver. I went nice and early to set up with some cards to write memories and advice on, and some wooden chalkboard tags for seating and a pink flamingo for the Bride's chair. I didn't want to make her look too silly but since this was her Canadian Stagette (she's dual citizen and lives in Seattle now) I got her two maple leaf bling necklaces from the dollar store. They were balling. 

After dinner the ladies came back to my house for dessert (gluten free since we love our non-gluten-eating bride) and gift opening. We also made sure to shower Rebekah with words of love and affection. I believe a wedding is a wonderful time for a bride to know what her friends like about her and how they see her. I think one of the best gifts we give as friends is to send a woman into marriage knowing she is loved and supported as she goes. It was a wonderful night. 

Thursday morning I got to sleep in (!!). I ran a few errands, tidied the house, packed my bags and drove out to Tsawwassen to meet up with the bride and some of the bridesmaids. We ate brunch together and then packed up the two cars for the trip across the border. The sun was shining, our time was free and there was lots of great conversation. It was a good start to the trip! We made the VERY short trip over to Birch Bay, WA and were very impressed by the area. 

The sun was shining. 
The beach was gorgeous.
And it was Thursday mid day and I wasn't at work!!

We spent Thursday evening and all day Friday having fun, goofing around and working super super hard. We were doing a lot of food prep and wedding prep. We ate well, we had a few beers and we worked our fingers to the bone. 

We headed to the Peach Arch Park (where the wedding would be taking place the next day) which is a neutral ground between Canada and America. Melissa and Paul joined us there from Canada. The grounds were gorgeous. The rehearsal went smoothly and the dinner was Ukrainian perogies and sausage and I was in HEAVEN. 

We headed back to the Condo's around 10 to finish off making the bouquets. I was in charge, and man, I LOVE making bouquets. They turned out gorgeously. Rebekah made great flower selections. 

Then it was definitely time for bed since we had an early morning hair and make up call ahead. We all woke up bright and early, with the make up artists and hair dresser in house. We had fun being pampered and watching Rebekah evolve from a pretty woman to a stunning bride. 

[makeup. veil. sisters]
Can you see Paul in the background of that first shot? He's helping steam a veil. Super anti-Paul behavior

Then it was off to the park for the wedding! 
The outdoor wedding overlooked the ocean and the weather held out. It was perfect. The groomsmen looked sharp, the bridesmaids were sunny and pretty and the bride was stunning. The ceremony was reflective of the couple: fun, holy and very full of glory to God. 

[photo by Bella Photography]

[photo by Bella Photography]

[photo by Bella Photography]

[Chalkboard art by April Cody, Anthony's mom]

These ladies were all pretty awesome.
What a joy to stand with them to support and celebrate Rebekah and Anthony

How pumped are we that Rebekah and Anthony are also American and Canadian bridges like us?

Congratulations, Rebekah and Anthony.
Team Morgan is super pumped for you guys.
We can not wait to see what the future brings.


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