Weekend Wind-up

Whew! This past weekend went by WAY too fast! It’s hard to believe that it’s already Monday and Kyle’s back to work already. His four days off went by so fast! Here’s what we got up to this weekend:

– On Thursday we had an appointment at the bank to deposit some birthday money Isla got into her RESP account. We opened the account for her as soon as her SIN card arrived in the mail and we’ve been making monthly deposits ever since then. We want her to be able to attend whichever university she wants and to have a little bit of a head-start in some way. After the bank, we headed home for Isla’s nap, and then went to his mom’s for pizza dinner since it was his step-dad’s birthday. We taught Isla how to do the arm/hand gesture for a touchdown and it’s pretty hilarious. No photos, so you’ll just have to believe me ;)

– On Friday our friends Clara and Cullen arrived from out of town to stay with us as one of them was competing in the Kamloops Highland Games (In the Highland Dance competition, to be exact). The games were on Saturday, but we always have an awesome time with these two and they ended up staying until Sunday. The Highland Games itself was pretty entertaining. Lots of bagpipes and dancing, for sure! Kyle and I had never actually seen Clara dance before, so we headed to the park to watch her compete. Holy wow is all I can say! She’s really good and placed in a variety of different dances so I’m glad we got to see what Highland Dance was all about! The little kids were absolutely adorable to watch too. Also, I have no photos from the Games because I’m stupid and forgot my phone at home. Uggggh.

– I splurged and bought myself a new flat-iron from a beauty supply store. The one I had been using before was a cheap-o Walmart special that I borrowed from my mom, so it’s been nice using a good quality iron for once! The best thing is not having to wait 5 minutes for it to get hot. With Isla getting more and more impatient these days, I need to be able to get ready fast!

– This weekend was also full of new foods! I made cucumber salsa, which I found on via a friend on Facebook (recipe from Keeping it Together). OMG SO GOOD! I love fresh salsa and while I have never made my own fresh tomato salsa, this cucumber version is SO good! It’s very freshing! Clara also brought us a apricot-blueberry-cherry pie for Friday night which was delicious with whipped cream, and I also had my first food truck experience thanks to Cat & Joe’s Pig Rig! They were parked at the Highland Games on Saturday so I braved the long line-up to get myself the Piglet – a small pulled-pork sammie topped with slaw on a yummy bun with fries & beans. I brought my food home to eat and let me tell yah – the lineup was so worth the wait!

– I also decided to take an old chair that’s been kicking around the house and give it a little bit of a face lift, but that will be a post on its own later this week.

What did you get up to this weekend? Ever been to a Highland Games event before? Or eaten from a food truck?

Love’s True Test: Wedding Planning

With my dearest friends’ recent engagement, it made me think of all the crazy-fun times of planning my own wedding — how fun it was looking through the internet and magazines for ideas, planning every little fine detail, and how much of a pain in the ass it sometimes was. Seriously. No bride who has planned her own wedding, no matter how big or small, can tell me that planning was a breeze.

I write this post for my bestie. While she just, JUST got engaged and the whole planning won’t start for a while, I’m sure she’ll appreciate a little advice. (Or maybe not, you never know!)

– As cliché as it sounds, it is YOUR day. Yes, it’s said over and over, time after time, but it’s true. That means, don’t let anyone try to convince you otherwise. You’re going to want to please everyone, but there’s a certain point where you need to draw the line, for sake of your sanity. There’s a reason why you haven’t talked to that girl who had the locker beside you in Grade 8 for over a decade, and just because she starts talking to you and hinting at an invite, doesn’t mean you need to invite her. Yes, that’s probably taking it a little extreme, but you know what I mean. As much as I wanted to invite everyone under the sun, I had to draw the line somewhere, even if it meant telling family, “No, I’m not inviting that person, and that’s final.” It sucks, it’s hard, but it’s necessary. This, by far, is probably the most difficult part of planning.

– Be nice to your bridesmaids. Unless they’re already married (heh, heh) they will pay you back if you put them in fuschia, frilly dresses that hang awkwardly. That being said, I’ll go back to point numero uno and reiterate that it’s YOUR day. So, let them have a LITTLE bit of say in their dresses. Talk about price points, lengths, styles, etc., as a group and come to a consensus.

– Accept help if/when it’s needed. Have 100 invites you need addressed, stamped, and sealed? Ask for help! (The envelope glue will make your tongue eventually go numb anyway.) Sometimes I really wish I asked for more help, but it’s hard to loosen the reins a little bit if you’re a control freak.

– Decide on what to save and splurge on. Sometimes, it’s a matter of deciding which elements are most important to you. Do you love music and dancing? Then spend a little extra and get an amazing DJ. Not a huge fan of cake? Get a small cake (or even a fake one!) for the ceremonial cutting/photo opp and treat your guests to cupcakes. Would you rather have someone else take care of the venue bookings, flower orderings and general organization? Hire a planner! Unless you just plan on doing the city hall thing, weddings are generally not cheap (in 2011 the average Canadian wedding cost just over $23,000 – Eeep!), but if you budget accordingly you won’t feel such a large financial weight.

– Really think about the date and location of your wedding. Want it on a long weekend or at a tropical destination? There’s a chance not everyone will be able to make it. Want it in April and outdoors? Have a back up plan for rain or cooler weather. But once you solidify your date, don’t let anyone try to change it, and try not to be hurt if that person you REALLY wanted to attend can’t make it. Unless she gave your her left kidney in the past, it shouldn’t matter that your second cousin is attending her husband’s uncle’s kid’s bat mitzvah and that she wants to you move the date ahead a week. Again, it’s YOUR day!

– Think of the man you’re going to marry. It’s his day too, so be sure to include him in planning. Ask him what colours he likes and use them in your scheme; not every guy is going to want to wear a fuschia tie or have a bright purple orchid as a boutonniere. Let him sneak a little bit of the music he likes into the wedding playlist. Ask, ask, ask, because as much as they’ll say, “Whatever you want,” a guy does have some idea of how he pictures his wedding day as well.

– Finally, wedding planning will truly test the love between you and your husband-to-be. There will be squabbles over the invite list, music, tuxes, food, etc. This will be the biggest moment in your lives together, and there will be moments where you may feel you’re at your breaking point. Remember to breathe, and try to come to a compromise if there’s a disagrement. I’d be lying if I said that there was no fighting when I planned my own wedding.

I’m sure I have a bunch more tidbits of advice, but I’ll save them for when the time is right or when they’re needed. It’s hard not to feel the pressure of planning, and it’s OK to step back, take a breath, and tell people to flock off (in the nicest way possible, of course). And be prepared for plenty of unsolicited advice. We’ll consider this post of mine the beginning of a barrage of unsolicited advice. You’re welcome ;)

So congratulations again, my friend – and happy wedding planning!!

For those who have wed – Any pearls of wisdom for my bestest bestie?

Friends in {No} Places

You know that Garth Brooks song, Friends in Low Places? Yeah you do, don’t deny it. Anyway, I have friends in no places, or really, faraway places. And it sucks.

While I would generally categorize myself as a homebody, I did enjoy going out with my girl friends when we all lived in the same city. Now everyone is all moved away and I have a baby and well, it’s harrrrd. Life’s little changes have made me quite the loner. I sit at home with my kidlet and we watch the garbage on TV. (If she  becomes an overweight couch potato it’s totally my fault) My non-mom friends (who make up the majority of my friends) can’t really relate to my life now. It really is true that you don’t know what it’s like to be a mom until you become one yourself.  Its hard to be around my non-mom friends without whining about kid things, because most of the time they’ll just react all, “Oh, I’m sure that’s normal …”, not really having any input at all.

Why don’t I join mom groups, you ask? Well, because nothing is more boring than babies who just sit there. Isla isn’t quite at the age where she’ll interact with other babies, I don’t think. She can’t sit up on her own, and I’m not about to sit there with her in my lap and talk to other women about diapers, poop and baby burping methods. In fact, I was the only mom in my prenatal class that checked the “No” box for the “Please share my email address and phone number with others in today’s class.” Introvert, FTW. Building on that, I’m definitely not into forced socialization either. Nothing is more awkward to me than going around in a circle and saying, “Hi, my name is Kara, this is Isla. She’s x months old and we love to go for walks on the beach and watch garbage television at night.”

Of course, when the occasional time comes up when I can go out and socialize, I have to consider Isla’s life as well. Will I have to feed her? Is she going to have to have a million things in her diaper bag? Do I have to lug her around in her car seat or should I pack up the stroller? Gone are the days of random trips to Walmart, the movies or nights out dancing. I even have to think about the last time Isla ate before I take up an offer on an icy cold drinky-poo. In fact, I’ve only had two alcoholic beverages since giving birth.

I’m sure I’ll be broken of my hermitness eventually once Isla is old enough to actually interact with others more. I am looking forward to taking her to the water park, the wildlife park, swimming and all the other fun things to do in town. Eventually I’ll join playgroups and be social, but for now, I’m content just hanging out with my little girl on my own.