Summer Vacation

Oh hey there! I literally have not posted in a month – and I have no idea where the last month went!

Last time I posted about our amazing family weekend at our friend’s cabin in LOTW. After that Ryan and I were on vacation for two whole weeks, and it was such a great break from the office. We planned well and got the best two weeks of the summer, weather-wise, and I’m soooo thankful. Especially because it’s rainy and poopy and kind of cold now!

So, let’s review a little, shall we?

On the last Friday of July we had a surprise birthday party for my mom who turned 50! My cousin and I planned it at a local pool bar/lounge and we invited a bunch of friends and family and she was TOTALLY surprised – she actually tried to walk away when she turned the corner and saw all of us! I don’t have any pictures of the surprise part, but here is mom and her cake (with all 50 candles, of course!)

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And I am loving this photo of my brother, Grant, my life-long BFF, Liz, and my mama:

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The next day we celebrated Ryan’s dad’s 60th birthday with a family dinner at Ryan’s parents house. I absolutely LOVE this photo of Harry, Cheryl & baby Jackson:

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So adorable!!

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To end that first weekend of vacation a couple girlfriends and I went to see the Beyoncé and Jay Z On The Run show at the stadium. I have no pictures of us, but I did wear my special engagement shirt for the occasion, obviously!

As was expected, the show was amazing and I loved every second of it. We’re already looking forward to the HBO special so we can relive the whole thing together again!!

The next day I had to drag tired butt out of bed early because Ryan, Wallace and I were off on our annual camping trip! We go to a campsite that is very close to where I grew up and being there every year makes me soooo happy!

Wallace was thrilled with the sweet car ride bed we set up for him in the back seat with all the open windows and pillows!

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Like I mentioned before, we had fantastic weather and camping was no exception. It was sunny and hot and when it did rain it was at night so we all three snuggled in our tent that we had facing the water and watched the lightening storm over the lake. It was very lovely :)

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We had a spot with our own access to the water right on site so Ryan and I were able to go swimming without worrying about Wallace, since he wasn’t allowed at the public beach. The water was a little chilly, but because of the late thaw this year (due to our unbearable winter) it’s been expected. Ryan calls this “The Summer of Just Get In” :)

We didn’t do much while we out there, just a lot of swimming, reading, relaxing, eating and a bit of canoeing around the lake. It’s really just a great place!

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I don’t think Wallace loves camping as much as I do (nor does Ryan, to be honest), because he doesn’t get his usual couch naps all day long. But that means he sleeps reeeeally well in the tent :)

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Oh man, looking at these pictures makes me want to go back so badly!!

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We were only out there for a few days. When we got back into the city we started work on the house. Ryan and I rented a big residential garbage bin so we could do some overdue tear downs of our backyard and basement, along with getting rid of a bunch of junk the previous owners left for us (how kind).

You may remember that our backyard used to have this weird partition around the dining area that completely cut off our yard and made it difficult for when we had a bunch of people over.

Before:

Photo Aug 31, 2 16 29 PMPhoto Aug 31, 2 15 46 PMAnd this is what it looks like now:

10(Ignore that last pole, it’s gone too haha)

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This change makes our yard so much larger and safe. All that wood was really rotten and you’re not actually supposed to cover up your air conditioner like that. So while our backyard is far from beautiful, it’s a bit more functional now. Next step out here is to add some more stone on the right of the table (when facing the pool) so we can extend the patio over what is now an old sandbox. We’ll be able to move our fire pit over there and just have more of a useable living space in the summers :)

We also did a bunch of work in our basement, but I didn’t take any pictures of it because it’s really just a big blank slate now. You may remember that we had flooding in the winter due to our frozen pipes, so we had to tear up all the carpet down there. Because we weren’t feeling the 70s style panelling and the shotty walls that were half-hazardly put up, we tore it all down as well. So now it’s a big open box with just our insulation/vapour barrier exposed. We also pared down more of our junk and took the time to put together a proper pantry. The only thing that is still together downstairs is our bathroom/laundry room, as it is generally functional still.

 But don’t worry, despite all of this manual labour, we still found lots of time to relax. We would wake up early and work in the mornings and then once it got too hot we would laze around in the pool in the afternoons.

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Lisa, Jason & I

It’s a tough life, but somebody’s got to do it! (thanks for the hand photo bomb, Ryan!)

Let’s see, what else did we get up to? We went to the zoo one day to check out the new polar bear exhibit with Ryan’s family.

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Me, Ryan, Jackson (in stroller), Brian, Cheryl & Alicia

I hadn’t been to the zoo since I was very little and a lot had changed. I think I realize now as an adult that I don’t care for the zoo, and I don’t really ever want to go again. I know that the animals are rescued and are not mistreated or anything, but they all make me sad. Jackson seemed to like it though, which was very cute. He’s getting so big!!

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Ryan

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Jackson

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The very last weekend of our vacation was spent at our baseball playoffs, which are always a good time. Ryan and I play on a co-ed beer league team called Double Ryes and RBI’s and the majority of us have been playing together for the past 5-6 years. Playoff weekend is mostly spent doing a lot of drinking and maybe a little baseball. We didn’t play awesome this year, but by the time Sunday came around I don’t think any of us were in the mood for more beer, so we were pretty happy to get knocked out early:

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And then it was back to work on the 11th!

Not much has been happening around here since then. I’ve been working late trying to catch myself up and I haven’t been to hot yoga in about a month (for shame). We were out at another friend’s cabin last weekend which was awesome and it looks like we’re in for a very rainy weekend this week, which will be nice. I can catch up on some of my house chores.

Tonight my friend and I are going to see The Little Mermaid musical and I am very excited as it was my favourite Disney movie growing up. On Wednesday I saw Wicked with my mom, so I’m just in a show tune mood this week! After this show I’m going to be in full on wedding saving mode, which shouldn’t be hard since I start my (very last) semester on the 3rd!

Next week we’re also going to be meeting with someone at the wedding venue I think I want and I’m looking forward to setting a date! Finally!

That’s all for now. This post took way too long to write. Congratulations for making it to the end. You get a gold star!

Cheers to the Sunshine

After the longest winter ever and what has been a very slow starting summer, I feel like this weekend was the first in a long time where I fully believed that the season of sunshine was finally upon us.

Ryan, Wallace and I went with my mom, her boyfriend and my brothers to Lake of the Woods this past weekend for some sunshine and relaxation at a friend’s island. It was perfect and very much needed! We drove out in two cars on Friday afternoon and got home Sunday night. I am still drained from all the sun two days later, but you won’t hear me complaining! I’m a prairie girl for sure, and I refuse to complain about the super hot weather that we get 8 weeks a year when we spend six months bundled up against the snow and wind.

Stocked up at the LCBO - no room for Grant in the car!

Stocked up at the LCBO – no room for Grant in the car!

Because of the crazy cold winter we had, the ice stayed on the lake for a lot longer then usual and the friends we were visiting didn’t get to go out to their cabin for the first time until May long weekend! The water is crazy high out there right now (and also, a lot colder then usual). Lots of people lost their docks or they are just sitting under water. We had to wade through the lake to get out on to the boat to go out to the island (much to Wallace’s dismay and discomfort), because the water has just taken over the perimeter of most waterfront properties. Actually, when we were swimming on Saturday Jackson and Thomas had to pull this giant tree from the water:

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When we were out there we celebrated my mom’s upcoming 50th birthday by spoiling her all day Saturday. We annoyed the crap out of her by not letting her clean up or get her own drink or serve her own food. We decorated the cabin in the morning, spent the day on the dock and made a fantastical dinner that night. My mom was thrilled!

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Of course, the dogs loved being off leash all weekend. Wallace had a blast hanging out on the dock chasing bugs (so many black flies!! Ouch Charlie!) And Michelle was once again the dog whisperer – Oscar and Wallace never run from her and always love snuggling with her. It’s especially weird for Wallace, since he is always so skittish and anti-social with most people.

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We did a little boating on Sunday, but other then that we were just fans of going back and forth between the lake and the hot tub. Beers and some sort of food were always in hand – there really isn’t much to complain about out here!!

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Grant

And as always, Sunday evening came too quickly and we all had to pile in the boat and head for home. The weekend in the sun came at a great time for me, since Ryan and I have a couple weeks off coming up and I’ve been working extra hard at work to make sure everything is taken care of while I’m away. Now I’m looking forward to next week when I’m off for two whole weeks (I’ve never taken such a long work vacation before)! Our summers are too short here, so it’s best to take advantage of the great weather while it’s here.

Happy Tuesday!

AllisonWallace

Setting The Date… Not.

*hang my head in shame*

I am not a good blogger. Other then the fact that I have zero theme or expertise to share on this whole WWW, I don’t even to take the time to write about how I do not know about these things.

I had an excuse for awhile there. I was taking a class in a condensed (why does that word not look right? Did I spell it wrong? I’m making a face at the computer screen.) semester. But then that was finished June 30th, so, what’s the big deal, Allison?

You would think “oh hey, maybe she’s busy planning her WEDDING!!” But nope. That is also not happening. We’re kind of just enjoying being engaged. And literally every single person I talk to asks me the big ‘ol question like, once a day: “Soooooo, have you set a date?!” and they do it with crazy eyes.

It’s weird. I’ve been dreaming about my wedding day since I was five years old. The past two years I’ve been bugging Ryan about getting engaged. And now I have this (so gosh darn beautiful) ring on my finger, and I’m kinda “meh” about the whole thing. Not that I don’t want to be married to my favourite person in the whole wide world, but more that I don’t want to plan a wedding. Setting a date sounds incredibly daunting. So I just avoid it.

Of course, we have ideas about how we want to go about this. I’d like to maybe get married next fall, September would be nice. It’s lovely weather here at that time of the year. And the idea would be, small wedding & reception with maybe 20-25 guests that costs as little as possible, while not looking ridiculously cheap, and then Ryan and I jet away to Europe for a month for the trip of a lifetime.

The venue and guest list are both throwing me off. The venue being that I don’t want to spend a ton of money, I want to get married outside (under a tree… covered in fairy lights… at night time…) and I don’t want to have to pay for a plan B location. The guest list is hard because Ryan and I both come from pretty large, mixed families and we also have a couple different groups of friends. This means that we’ve come to the conclusion of we invite everybody or nobody. You can’t leave some people out, so we’re just choosing to not invite any friends and only immediate family. Every time we get stuck on whether or not to invite somebody, we ask ourselves a series of questions: “Why don’t we elope? Because we want this person to be there” and then we list who would need to be there (parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, you know. The immediate people). Anyways, we’re afraid we may end up creating tension within the family (well, I am, Ryan really doesn’t care. He’s better at this then I am).

I guess I just have to keep remembering that this is our wedding and we have to do what we want. If we want to blow a wedding budget on a trip then that’s what we should do.

So yeah. Those are just some thoughts. I basically puked first-world wedding complaints all over your computer screen, so, you’re welcome.

Does anybody have any advice on planning a wedding without becoming sooooo daunted with the task? Is anybody planning a wedding right now? Will someone please help me so I don’t crawl into a corner and pluck my hair out? I don’t know how much Ryan would want to marry me if I did that.