28 October 2011

Moose Jaw Minute #62: Away I go...

It is pretty crazy what can happen in the span of just a year.

You can leave the place you called "home" for nine years, end your long-distance marriage to start *finally!* living under the same roof, land in another country, begin working from home, become a permanent resident of this new country, discover new places, discover new things about yourself, enjoy an incredible marriage to an awesome partner, meet new people and love them as your new extended family, have a second wedding, hike, camp, run a marathon and, in general, come to know and love everything about your new way of living.

But, life is funny and loves to throw curveballs (as awesome as they can be) into your path to see if you can catch them or let them go by.  So you catch said curveball and you...

...take the dream job, move back to the city from whence you just came, say "see you soon!" to your extended family, say a more permanent "hello!" to your urban family, work from an office, discover more new things about yourself as you take on new and exciting challenges, return to a long-distance marriage (piece of cake!), and through it all...attempt to embrace every single moment for the awesome-ness that it is.

I consider myself an incredibly lucky person.  Tomorrow, I return to Chicago to live and work.  Through this experience I have grown to appreciate and be grateful so much more for the people in my life.  Our friends and family have been incredibly supportive of the decision for me to move back in order to pursue career satisfaction and new forms of balance.  Dave has been the most supportive of all...my husband and champion to end.  He recognizes that this is important to me and while it will be difficult for the two of us, we've done this before and we can do it again.  We are calling this, affectionately, my "non-profit deployment."

So, I will be journey-ing between two places...living on the border of U.S. citizen and Canadian permanent resident.  I will travel between the urban sprawl of concrete and high-rises to the quiet and hypnotizing prairies with their amazing sunsets.  Dave and I will navigate this new chapter in our marriage and along the way, we know we've got friends and family to help us along.

It's been a ride and I can't wait to see what's over the next hill...

16 October 2011

Moose Jaw Minute #61: Happy Thanksgiving From Canada

One of the best reasons to live in Canada?  The holiday season kicks off that much earlier!  It is no secret among friends and family that I am a sucker for the holidays...twinkling lights, good food, a chill in the air...my bliss!  Yet another Thanksgiving has come and gone in this fair land that I currently claim as home.  The leaves have turned, and the wind is blowing stiff and cold from the north.  We made the most of our holiday with a hike in the Nicolle Flats with one of our best friends, two (that's right...TWO!) weekend dates at our favourite places in Regina, 13th Avenue Coffeehouse and La Bodega, and a yummy Thanksgiving dinner for just the two of us.  Since then, it has been "bake central" here in the Jaw with vegan pumpkin loaves and a vegan Christmas cake.  I'll include recipes in my next post, but for now, some pics!

Hiking in the Flats
Thanksgiving Tree
A pause in the hike for some love...
YUUMMMY T-Day Dinner!
Fresh cranberries for the vegan pumpkin-cranberry loaf!
SO good!
Christmas Cake anyone?
C-cake baking aftermath...

08 October 2011

Moose Jaw Minute #60: Celebrations and Getaways

On Arcadia Beach in Oregon
What do a surprise wedding on a beach, a move from Chicago to Moose Jaw, and (un)bachelorette party in Atlanta, a wedding shower/celebration Pennsylvania, and a hen-do in Moose Jaw add up to?  Well, our second wedding and renewal of our vows in the amazing state of Washington of course!  Yes, my friends, the Dave + Heather Wedding World Tour Extravaganza came to an end in September with one of the most lovely, beautiful, and meaningful things to happen.  Dave and I renewed our vows with friends and family in this amazing space just outside of Seattle. 

Our friends officiated, our parents, family, and dear friends surrounded us as we recited the same words we did on the beach last May.  We had the most creative team assembled around us to capture the sights, deliver the music, and coordinate everything.  In short, we are feeling pretty darn fortunate with all this love and happiness surrounding our sappy hearts!

The week before and after offered us time to soak in Seattle and Oregon.  We did a boat tour with Argosy Cruises, ate at the same restaurant as Tom Hanks and Rob Reiner did in that oh-so-famous movie, enjoyed wine in our favorite little spot just behind Pike Place Market, ooh-ed and aah-ed over the flowers and goodies at said market, and spent quality time with all of the people that traveled far and wide to be there. 

After the wedding, we traveled down the coast into Oregon (oh...how I love Oregon!) to check out the beautiful seaside towns of Manzanita and Cannon Beach, to go inland to visit the Oregon vineyards and fall into a serious crush with the town of McMinnville, and then on to Portland where the city and its sights wooed us into a honeymoon stupor.  We met amazing people along the way, found some incredible gems, and, well...let's be honest, did not want to come back to reality. 

We are grateful for the time we had to spend with our favorite people, are feeling pretty lucky that we have one another in our lives, and are just darn excited about heading back to Oregon when time allows. 

I've included lists of places we visited along the way below the pictures...these are highly recommended!

Seattle, Washington
Manzanita, Oregon
Cannon Beach, Oregon
Wheeler, Oregon
McMinnville, Oregon (and surrounding area)
Portland, Oregon

It was an amazing trip...