Happy Anniversary

I am the woman that rocked a leather jacket with her backless lace wedding dress. He is the man who cracks off the most insane puns and dad jokes without missing a beat. We are unique. Together we are the perfect pair.

They say that the first year of marriage is always the most difficult. Although my husband and I have faced many obstacles together, I didn’t find our first year of marriage to be that tough. Maybe it was the leather. Maybe it was the constant stream of laughs.

We faced a lot. My immigration and permanent residency. His ongoing co-parenting (or lack thereof) BS. My necessary job change. Vehicle breakdowns. The death of my grandfather and of my piece of crap mother. Unexpectedly reworking an already tight budget and moving. Loss of friends. A crazy work season. It. Was. A. Lot.

We never fought though. We’ve had ample discussions, learning experiences, and struggles, but we’ve never had an actual fight. Some may think that’s a bad thing, but I think it’s amazing. I’m moved by the amount that we communicate. Neither of us are perfect by any means, but we are certainly perfect for each other.

I adore our marriage. We still go on dates. He opens doors for me. I tickle him every night. We spend quality time with one another. We help each other with household chores. We grocery shop together. He’s my best friend and my biggest cheerleader in life. The support that we have for one another is breathtaking.

Getting married didn’t change our relationship, it just removed some of the barriers of our circumstance. I know of a lot of couples that once they tied the knot, everything changed. I’m thankful that my husband is my rock and a constant in my life. He lets me dance to the beat of my own drum, but makes sure to help me be grounded when I need it. I’ve never experienced such an amazing soul.

Thanks for the amazing year babe! I look forward to growing old with you. Happy Anniversary ❤️

Lazy Day

Because of the most absurd custody arrangement that my husband is subjected to, every Christmas day is fairly uneventful. We dropped the kids off on Christmas Eve and proceeded to have some much needed time together.

We had a full on lazy day.

We stayed in bed longer than normal. We had a huge brunch and played video games. We watched some Netflix. We cooked supper then played some more video games. Aside from a couple of hectic phonecalls, today was pleasantly uneventful.

We needed it.

I don’t think people truly appreciate the impact that the occasional lazy day can have on people. How well it can help rejuvenate and refresh you from being so run down.

Bubbles

Never underestimate the power of a good bubble bath.

It’s been a rough few months. One thing after another after another. I’ve honestly been surprised that I’ve been in as good spirits as I have been. I credit that to my amazing husband who knows exactly how to make me laugh (or at the very least shake my head.)

After a rough October, November didn’t pan out to be much better. Once we got our vehicles back on the road, my landlady called me upstairs for a chat. She said that her ex hadn’t paid child support in 11 months and that she was looking at going back to trial, so it was going to cost her another $10,000. Because of that, she wanted to raise our rent by over 4% and also wanted us to pay 1/3 of it in cash. Why? Because “her tax guy” told her to so that it would reduce her income and property tax. The woman, in not so few words, asked me to help her commit fraud. No thanks. But she’s telling people that she’s increasing it due to us having “higher utilities than expected,” which is a load of garbage.

I asked for help from someone I trust to figure out what we should do. He immediately starts making calls, finds us a new place to live that’s at least twice as large, tells me how the budget would work, helps us negotiate a lower price, and helps navigate us through breaking our lease. Things got ugly. After we turned our 30 day notice in, the landlady came downstairs screaming and yelling at us. Just what I needed on top of everything else.

It started as the fight, then protests and threats in emails. Then things got petty like scheduling viewings every day of the week. Finally, we got some help from the Office of Rental Tenancies here, and should be in the clear. She’s still being ugly over the move out process, but I know where she can go and can tell her how to get there… In a handbasket.

Everything hurts. We moved a solid 95% of our belongings in about 3 hours. Unfortunately most of our connections were out of town, with the exception of one of my employees that graciously came to help. Everything still hurts.

We moved from a small ~700 sq ft 2 bedroom mother-in-law apartment (or “suites” as they’re called in Canada) to a townhouse. There’s still only 2 actual bedrooms, but they’re larger and it has a full basement as well. We’re converting the basement into a 3rd bedroom and playroom for the kids. Hell, our walk in closet is so big, it could have been used as sleeping quarters for the youngest kiddo. Oh yeah, and it has an extra half bathroom, which is fantastic. We have a teeny tiny little yard, a teeny tiny little white picket fence, and a teeny tiny little porch. They’re all far cries from the stoop and sidewalk we had before. We have parking!

The best part of all? The bathtub. One of the only things I was iffy about when deciding to move was having a nice tub. (Not that I was able to use it frequently at the old place because my landlady griped about the water bill all the time, even though it was only $20-30 higher every month from before we moved in.) But, as a tall girl, once you have a tub that can fit your legs and boobs under the water at the same time ….it’s just hard to give that up. The new place has an equally great tub. A little more narrow, but a little deeper. It’s amazing.

So here I lie, second night in a row, having a nice Epsom salt and vanilla scented bubble bath. Soaking the aches and stresses of the past month away is really nice. Behold the power of bubbles!

Happy Canadaversary

Exactly one year ago, my dog and I came to Canada. Mold in my home displaced me, so I ended up moving to be with my husband before we anticipated. How have I been the past year?

Well let’s see. I married my best friend, became a stepmother, and now have an awesome family. I got my permanent residency. Per my last post, I’ve found that I don’t mean as much to some people as I thought. It’s a lot colder here. I’ve been treated like absolute shit by my stepchildren’s mother. I’ve been treated incredibly by everyone else. I had a horrible job, then got a really great one. I’m a lot less stressed. I’m healthy and happy. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve grown as a person.

Canada looks good on me. I’m thankful that I had the ability to pack it all up to be able to be with my husband so that we could have a new life together. Happy Camadaversary. It’ll be nice growing old here.

Surprise!

On Monday, I embarked on a two day drive back to Kentucky. One if my closest and dearest friends went through a major life event that I wanted to support and show some love for.

The drive was exhausting. It’s a little over 1500 miles one way. My husband made that journey multiple times while we were dating long distance. It made me appreciate him so much more than I already do. Seriously. The drive sucked so bad. It was long, boring, and the last half of it was filled with a storm and heavy traffic. My husband did this many many times. Through rain, snow, and Lord knows what else. It was exhausting and I couldn’t imagine doing it multiple times no matter how much I loved someone. I would have flown if I were him. But it just makes me appreciate him so much more.

My friend had no idea I was coming. I coordinated everything with her other half and kept him up to date with my trip progression and arrival time. I parked a couple houses down with a gift in tow and he snuck me in the house. As I entered the house, her oldest daughter looked up and nearly squealed. I pushed my finger up, telling her to be quiet, and proceeded down the hall. “Ya know, the next time I decide to hand deliver a gift, I’m going to fly.” She was stunned and couldn’t believe her eyes. It was perfect. I enjoy making people that I care about feel loved. While I miss my home and my husband deeply, this adventure was important to me.

The next day, I got some work done on my car prior to selling her then proceeded to head to my old stomping ground of ten years. I wanted to see some of my coworkers, one of which is also one of my closest friends. They’ve got downtown torn up, so navigation was problematic. Plus, you couldn’t get down to security headquarters in the same ways you used to be able to, so I wasn’t sure how to get through the locked doors. So I went down to the other security office and started banging on the door. The look of surprise was a good feeling, and I secured an escort through the building for myself. We meandered down the back halls and made way to my old office. I really wanted to see my old managers. One looks more aged than I remembered, stressed from all of the company changes. My other was super excited and surprised. We had lunch together for old times sake, which was nice. I think I made him feel important. I hope so.

Eventually I sold my car. Not for as much as I’d like to, but I got it out of the way. Now I’m packed up and trying to rest a little before flying back to Canada in the morning.

This trip taught me something. Even though I miss a couple of friends, this place isn’t home. My birthplace doesn’t feel like home either. Canada. Canada is home and it’s the first time I’ve felt like that in a very very long time. I finally feel like I belong somewhere. And that’s an overwhelming, but secure, feeling.

Fresh Air

There’s something amazing about Canada. I lived in, what I would consider, a fairly clean small city in the US for over a decade. We had plenty of farms and green space outside out of city’s center. While it has its fair share of rush hour, there are plenty of green spaces to unplug and get back to your roots. I was born and raised by the coast, growing up with my toes in the sand with waves crashing by.

Neither hold a candle to Canada.

I haven’t explored as much as I’d like to, but I’ve found myself spending a little more time outdoors here. From my first visit to Canada in BC to simply parks around town in here in SK. The best I can describe is it just smells different here. It feels clean. It feels different.

I find myself spending more time with the great outdoors here. Be it meeting with friends for a barbeque or taking the kids on park-sided adventures or simply walking the dog. It’s nice. It’s relaxing. Unplugging and being in nature has been a fantastic stress relief too.

Where’s your favorite place outdoors?

Embrace the Curl

Once upon a time in my early 20’s, the majority of my hair fell out. It was devistating. My hair was beautiful, long, and thick. But it didn’t matter because my blood sugar had other plans for me. I no longer had my daddy’s super thick hair.

It took years for it to grow. Years. During those years my hair struggled. I tried to grow it out, but my roots were thicker, making my ends look wispy, unkept, and barren. I went through a series of pixie cuts, bobs, and every other hair hatred in between. I’ve never been much of a girly girl, but my identity and confidence definitely took a hit during the regrowth process.

I got my blood sugar under control and the length came back. My hair was still fairly fine, but I at least had a lot of it again. And then I moved to Canada. My hair was angry for a few months. Oily. Dry. Oily. Dry. Oily. Dry. It would not make up its mind. But here we are about 8 months later and its finally settled on a happy medium. I found a stylist that I liked the sound of and set an appointment for a much needed trim. And. She. Was. Amazing.

I explained to my new stylist the history of my hair and my routine (or lack thereof.) I basically wash my hair a couple of times a week, dry it with the warm and cold settings on my fancy new hair dryer that my husband got me for my birthday, and I call it a day. My hair is usually wavy. Or so I thought. We went to shampoo and condition my hair. After towel drying, my new stylist got really excited. “My god, you have ringlets! I’m so jealous!” In my naive mind, I thought everyone had curly hair when it was wet. She was delighted to find that my fancy new hair dryer is equipped with a diffuser and asked if she could show me how to use it and how to embrace my curl. I nervously obliged. She plopped a handful of oil in my hair, scrunched it, and had me flip my head to the side. A few minutes later, I looked like a different person. It turned out that I did have my daddy’s hair after all, just a bit more fine.

So what about post-stylist appointment? Well, I’m still embracing the curl. Of course it’s not as polished as how she did it, but it still looks pretty damn good. I still have to find a happy balance of how much oil to put into my locks, but I think that’s going to change week by week. And it’s easy too! I don’t have to use a ton of heat (or any at all) to tame the mane! It’s easy to just wash it, throw in some of my home made hair cream concoctions, and either blow dry or air dry. From there I can leave it as is or throw it in a top knot without any care. Lazy and simple, just how I like it.