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>> Monday, December 15, 2008

Funny conversation I had with a customer at work today:

Me: "Hi there, can I help you find something?"

Customer: "Yes, I'm actually looking for that book that was on the TV the other day."

Me: "Do you know the title?"

Customer: "No, but it had a white background and I think it was a paperback."

Me: "Do you happen to remember the name of the author?"

Customer: "No, but it was on that show."

Me: "What show?"

Customer: "You know, that news-type show that comes on at night"

Me: "Hmmm, do you remember what it was about?"

Customer: "The show?"

Me: "No, the book"

Customer: "No, but I remember thinking it might be something my husband would want."

Me: "Was it fiction or non-fiction?"

Customer: "I'm not really sure but it definitely had a white background."

Me: "And you said it was on TV the other night?"

Customer: "Yes, but it may have been a repeat"

Me: "Hmmm, well I'm not too sure then as we do have a lot of books in the store, but how about I help you pick out some other titles your husband might be interested in? What types of books does he usually like to read?"

Customer: "I'm not really sure, but I know he usually likes the books they mention."

Me: "Who mentions?"

Customer: "The person on that show"

Me: "What's the name of the show?"

Customer: "I'm not sure"

Me: " . . . How about a gift card?"


Only Hope

>> Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I was so inspired by some of the people at youth group tonight. Two leaders shared their stories and both really resonated with me and I'm so grateful that they spoke tonight. Then just hearing about some of the struggles that people are going through in small groups tonight made me reflect on the past couple of weeks and what I've been going through in my own life. It made me remember that I have to lean on God not just in times of struggle but at all times, and that he's always there to catch me whenever I fall. One of my favorite songs of all time is "Only Hope" so I immediately came and decided to record it and post it on here with the lyrics. I find them really powerful, so here you go:

There's a song that's inside of my soul.
It's the one that I've tried to write over and over again
I'm awake in the infinite cold.
But you sing to me over and over and over again.

So, I lay my head back down.
And I lift my hands and pray
To be only yours, I pray, to be only yours
I know now you're my only hope.

Sing to me the song of the stars.
Of your galaxy dancing and laughing and laughing again.
When it feels like my dreams are so far
Sing to me of the plans that you have for me over again.

So I lay my head back down.
And I lift my hands and pray
To be only yours, I pray, to be only yours
I know now, you're my only hope.

I give you my destiny.
I'm giving you all of me.
I want your symphony, singing in all that I am
At the top of my lungs, I'm giving it back.

So I lay my head back down.
And I lift my hands and pray
To be only yours, I pray, to be only yours
I pray, to be only yours
I know now you're my only hope.


Sooo good . . .

>> Sunday, November 16, 2008

Just saw the trailer for this online - I can already tell this movie is going to be great!



>> Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Can't wait for this movie to come out (November 26th)! Oprah had Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman on her show yesterday and I was very excited about that as I didn't realize the movie was coming out so soon! Here's the trailer:


Disney, me and the future?

>> Wednesday, October 29, 2008

As is noted in the Profile part of my little blog, I happen to be a singer/songwriter/pianist. What you may not know is that I used to be an actor as well. It's what I always wanted to be growing up, it's what I went to school for, it's what I used to spend my free time doing, and I even worked a little bit and got some paying jobs.

When I was around 22, 23 years old I realized that I just didn't have the same passion for it anymore. My interest had now fallen to singing and songwriting, so I had a little bit of a "dream change" and decided to go after that instead. Well in the past year and a bit I have started missing acting a lot. I miss playing a character and really delving into that character's life and figuring out what makes them tick and then translating that into a performance.

I'll jump ahead to only a couple of weeks ago when I saw the Disney movie "Enchanted" (if you haven't seen it you really should - it's a really wonderful, funny, family film). One of the songs from the movie stuck in my head and I kept singing it over and over, which then makes me think of all the other Disney songs I've always loved. So one night I'm bopping around the house doing some cleaning and I'm singing some Disney songs and I think "wait a minute - maybe I could do that! Then I could sing and act and make use of all the crazy voices I do that make Chris laugh hysterically all the time!" By that of course, I mean being a voice actor. Back when I was acting, I knew some voice actors and never really understood why they liked it so much and why they didn't want to be in front of the camera. Now it seems to be all I think about - that it may just be the perfect job for me.

Anyhoo - I've started recording some stuff using my "Disney princess voice" (which is not my usual singing voice - in real life I don't sound quite as "perky"). It's basically me singing the parts in some well known Disney songs. I've posted them on youtube but decided to be brave and post them on here as well to see what people I actually know think about them. (They're posted on the sidebar) Feel free to comment, but keep in mind that these are pretty rough cuts - I just want to start experimenting and see what I can and cannot do. So enjoy! (hopefully)

**Disclaimer - These are for entertainment purposes only - Disney owns the rights to both these songs and the images used.**


What's next?

>> Thursday, October 9, 2008

So things definitely come in threes - all these happened at work over the last couple of days:

1) A little boy bit another little girl in the kid's department and drew blood (they were not related - it was just a random biting)

2) Someone found a used thong lying on the floor

3) A toddler pooped in the kid's department, then proceded to step in it and track it all over the floor.

Hopefully that's it and we've met our quota for biting, lost underwear and pooping for at least a couple of months.



Rudeness and it's contribution to the downfall of society

>> Monday, October 6, 2008

"Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength." Eric Hoffer

I've been thinking a lot about rudeness recently - mostly because now that I live and work in the city I am sadly much more prone to be on the receiving end of rudeness than I was living and working further north. It may sound unfair and awfully generalizing to say, but I found people who lived outside of the city way more laidback and polite when I was working in Newmarket and living on Lake Simcoe and then in Cookstown. However now I am a city-dweller and thus have to deal on a daily basis with those people who feel they need to impart their misery on someone else.

It probably doesn't help that I work as a retail manager of a huge big-box type of store, and that that store happens to be situated in a a very high-end mall in a very high-end part of town. I don't necessarily believe that rich people display rudeness to others more than the non-rich folks do, but so far at work it seems like the people who cause the most trouble are the ones who are either wearing the expensive suit or carrying the latest Marc Jacobs purse.

There's a sense of entitlement that rude people seem to have - I am important, therefore what I say and do doesn't have consequence. Of course, there may be a variety of reasons why one might seem to think treating another person with disrespect is perfectly alright (even though it isn't) - they've had a really bad day and just want to take it out on someone else, they're dealing with someone whose being rude to them, they're drunk (even at the high-end mall I see this every so often). I think though that it's this sense of entitlement that I find the most bothersome. I think many of the world's problems come down to people or groups of people thinking they are better than another person or another group of people. When I see this, even on a small scale, it makes me think that that person is contributing to the bigger problems without even realizing it. If everyone stopped themselves before they talked down to someone or degraded someone in some sense, and thought "wait a minute, this person is no less important than me. Their feelings are just as important as my own and we are connected in ways I cannot even imagine" - well just imagine how this could change the world!

Everyone was created equal. Yes there are some people who do amazing things with their lives and their are some people who don't. There are saints and there are sinners. But we are still equals. Don't just treat someone else the way you would want to be treated. Treat them well because it's the right thing to do. If you bring someone else down, you bring yourself and the whole world down with you.


Makes 'ya think . . .

>> Monday, September 29, 2008

My hubby and I had a date night tonight (which was fabulous as it's a rare occurence that we both get a night off together) and decided to go see the movie "Eagle Eye". It gets two thumbs up from me - not only for being just a great action movie and it makes for a fun night at the movies, but it really got me thinking about privacy and the government's right to gather information and how they go about gathering that information. In today's day and age, everything is automated and everyone and their mother has a cell phone, email account, uses online banking and is probably on facebook or has a blog or two. Everything is out there and information is so accessible. Technology advances so quickly that if you have the same computer or cell phone for two years, it's considered "old" and in need of an "upgrade". It makes me wonder what things will be like in five to ten years, or if "Big Brother" is already watching every move and listening to every cell phone conversation. Hmm . . .


All sorts of inappropriate

>> Sunday, September 28, 2008

I live at a church. Not actually in the church ('cause that would be odd), but in the house on the church property. I've only lived here for a few months, but at least once or twice a week so far I see a car parked in the church parking lot at night with people making out in it. Sometimes it's even no-holds barred nudity. Usually I see this at night while I'm out walking the dog with my hubby, and Chris has made a point to now go up and knock on the car windows and ask the people inside that if they're not here to pray they will have to vacate the premises.
I just find it hard to wrap my brain around the fact that people think it would be okay to behave this way in the parking lot of a church. I mean . . . a church? Is that not just completely disrespectful? Where's the rationale behind that? It's just all sorts of inappropriate . . .


Current dose of randomness . . .

>> Thursday, September 25, 2008

  • I'm lovin' the weather right now - warm and sunny during the days and kind of chilly at night (cute sweater weather)!
  • Sometimes I just want to stay home and watch movies all day - not because I'm feeling lazy but because I loooove movies. I'm not a huge TV fan (I don't think there's a lot of good-quality programming on tv right now), but movies are a whole different ball game.
  • It's pretty hard to surprise me, but I do love surprises (when they're good ones)!
  • I wonder a lot about what kind of mother I'm going to be
  • I think everything happens for a reason, although it's sometimes really hard to remember that when things are hard
  • I really love chocolate - like really, really love chocolate
  • I'd like to write a screenplay
  • I always want to sleep in on the mornings I have to wake up really early, but the times when I can sleep in, it's never quite as enjoyable as it seems to be on those early mornings
  • I don't really have a lot of "favourites". Some people can name off their favourite band, actor, actress, movie or book as soon as you ask them - I'm not one of those people
  • Some people say your teenage years are the hardest or the most "angst-filled" years. For me, my twenties have been much harder and way more "angsty" - not a word I know, but oh well
  • I have a love/hate relationship with songwriting - sometimes I think that's why it's what I should be doing for a living
  • Sometimes I spend way too much time watching funny videos on YouTube
  • I think my dog is the cutest dog in the world and sometimes let him do things he's not supposed to just because it's so darn cute
  • I like to have really early lunches - I hate breakfast food so sometimes I just skip it and then have lunch at 11am
  • I used to think that "fear of success" was just a lazy person's excuse for not doing what they want in life, but now know that it's probably one of the biggest barriers most people will face during their life
  • When I'm at home, I dance and sing a lot.
  • I'm thinking of cooking a full-on Thanksgiving dinner this year, even though I don't really cook and certainly have never cooked a turkey or baked a pie in my life!



>> Tuesday, September 23, 2008

So I'm joining the Y. I will soon be a member of that group of people who flocks to their local YMCA to get their daily dose of exercise. I've been contemplating it for a couple of weeks now, and finally went in the other day to have a look around and see what they have to offer. It's actually a pretty good deal - for a pretty minimal payment each month you have tons of equipment, an indoor track, 2 pools, and unlimited classes available to you. The best part though is that there is no contract and you can pay monthly! As I am hugely adverse to gym contracts, this is a huge draw for me. It also happens to be located right across the street from my work, so it really doesn't get any more convenient than that.

There's a couple of reasons that I'm joining up (exercising = toned muscles, more energy, better sleep), but the two main ones are:

1) I'm going to be outside doing a lot of physical work while in Uganda and I want to be ready and have the strength for it

2) Next summer I will be fulfilling a goal of mine by competing in a triathlon! I hope to complete two actually - probably the Subaru Series Sprint triathlon in Muskoka in June and then one of their full triathlons in August in Orillia.

I love that I can do all the training I want and need at the Y to get me ready for next Spring/Summer! I'll be starting at the end of this week so stay tuned for some training updates over the next several months.


Here comes the fall!

>> Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy first day of Autumn! On my way home from my parent's farm this weekend, it was actually pretty great to see that the leaves were starting to change. While I am not a huge fan of winter (I'm definitely a hot weather kinda gal), I do quite enjoy the fall and all the gorgeous colours it brings. I'm hoping to take a drive up to Muskoka in the next few weeks to see the colours in all their glory and take a bunch of pictures. I meant to last year but never quite got around to it so this year it is back on my "to-do" list.

This weekend was a lot of fun - we had a surprise party for my dad's 60th birthday and it was a huge success. He had no idea and lot's of people came out to spend the day on the farm and enjoy lot's of food, company, great music, and fabulous weather! My mom had been planning this surprise for the last several months, so kudos to her for pulling it off without a hitch!

Next up on the agenda is Thanksgiving weekend, and our plans for that weekend seem to change every day. I may end up going away for that weekend for a short get-away with the hubby. The African Children's Choir is singing at the church that Sunday morning though and we really want to see them, so we'll have to see if we can fit that in there as well. (If you've never heard of them, check them out on youtube or on their website - they're amazing).

Speaking of Africa - only about 5 months left to Uganda! Now that fall is here it seems even closer. Can't wait until I'm boarding that plane!


Walking a new path

>> Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I am on the cusp on something new.

I don't know what and I don't know how, but I know that a change - it is a comin'. Not something physical, not something materialistic, but something more internal. I've felt for the past six months or so that there is something in store for me. The feeling is like knowing that there's something great waiting for you around the next corner, but for some reason the road you're on keeps getting longer and longer and you just can't reach that turn.

The past few weeks have been two things for me:

1 - extremely difficult: I'm been through a bit of a rough time recently and have hit some "lows" that are pretty uncharacteristic for me. I'm usually a really upbeat, perky kind of person who bounces back from things really quickly, but lately things just seem to be pushing me lower and lower.

2 - the biggest blessing I can remember in the recent past. At 28 years old, I am finally coming to a realization that has been a long time coming. Things that I want in life, things that I want to do, how I want to be as a person - none of that will happen on it's own. No one is going to knock on my door one day and say "Congratulations Suzanne - here is the life you always wanted. Enjoy!" I have to go out and do the work, both external and internal, to become the person I want to be. I have to dedicate myself and my time, because no one else will - no one else can.

In the past several weeks I have asked for "divine intervention" on numerous occasions. Jokingly of course, but there was truth underneath it. I feel like a child in the sense that I want to be told what to do: "You will do this, then do that next week and that next year and then you will find the happiness you search for." How easy, how simple. But if that's the way it was supposed to be, then that's the way it would be. And it's not. Instead you have to make your own heart, your own voice strong enough that even in the darkness times you can hear your voice, you can feel your strength and follow what your heart is telling you to do.

This is a journey I am on. As I stated at the beginning of this post - I am on the cusp of something new. I can feel that things are different now. All the times in my past where I've had an inkling of "Am I following my passion? Am I the woman I always pictured I would be?" These feelings don't even hold a candle up to how I feel now. I feel like everything in my life, everything I've said, everything I've done, has prepared me for this moment in my life. I feel a determination like I've never felt before in my adult life.

I can say with true conviction - Watch out, you ain't seen nothin' yet.


Thoughts on Prayer

>> Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Here's a great quote from a movie that I've been thinking a lot about lately:

"Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other?" (From "Evan Almighty")

My hubby reminded me of this awhile ago when I was complaining to him about something work-related. I think it's such a great quote because it reminds you that are an active participant in your life. It's also kinda' funny because I always find myself praying to God for strength - strength to get through the day, strength to remain positive when I'm facing negativity, and strength just to be the best possible version of myself at any given moment. And of course, I am always finding myself in challenging situations where I'm facing negative people or difficult customers, or I find myself slipping into "woe is me" mode when I should really be saying "Thank-you" for all that I have. Indeed I am getting exactly what it is I am asking for - situations and opportunities where I can be strong, where I can strive to be a positive role model.

I think though that I am going to try something new for the next little while. Instead of praying for things or praying for certain character "traits", I am only going to pray with gratitude (again - my hubby's idea). I am simply going to thank God for all I have, and thank him for the great day I have ahead of me (I usually pray in the morning as soon as I wake up). If I pray from a place of gratitude, instead of a place where I am asking for something - perhaps I will only be given more things to be grateful for. I do this not in a selfish way, but simply from a place of realizing I may need a bit of an attitude adjustment and perhaps could stand to start seeing some things a little differently from now on.

On a lighter note though - here's another quote from that movie that I find almost as great:

Evan (on the ark, addressing a big crowd) "People! The flood is imminent! (everyone looks around, bewildered, and up at the sunny sky. Evan addresses the heavens) "Is it too much to ask for a LITTLE PRECIPITATION?"

:) 'till next time . . .


Back to Life - Back to Reality

>> Friday, September 5, 2008

Back to life indeed. I took a bit of a break from emails and my blog in the month of August (mostly 'cause I was on vacation for awhile and then just too busy at my new store). Now that it's September and I've had a few weeks to get settled in at work and back to my routine at home, I feel like I actually have some time now to blog and start answering some long overdue emails!

My new store is great - definitely a lot bigger than the old one and it has a much faster pace, but I can now remember where everything is and have finally memorized everyone's names! It's been really great working so close to home - it only takes me about 5 minutes to get to and from work, so it's a lot easier both on me and on my car! I also have a lot more energy now when I get home so I can do more with my evenings and not just want to come home and crash on the couch.

Our vacation in August was fabulous! Mount Tremblant is gorgeous and I'm so glad we got away for a few days as we really needed it. We then spent some time at my parent's house and that's always fun as it's really rare that the whole Brimley family is at the same place at the same time. Definitely looking forward to the next get-together soon! I also got a chance on my vacay to visit Susan and Lance and meet their wee one Ainsley (who is the most beautiful thing ever and fell alseep on me for awhile - too cute)! Once again though, summer went by wayyy too quickly. At least this year I feel like I actually got to do a bunch of exciting things and don't feel like it passed me by without me taking advantage of it. I also have a really exciting year to look forward to (6 months 'till Uganda), so I'm hoping the winter will speed by and hopefully it'll be spring before you know it!

In case anyone is wondering why the heck I have a "Hobbit" themed blog-page now - I am currently in the midst of re-watching the entire "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and felt the need to make my blog a little "hobbit-ish". I'm a huge fan of the movie (and Tolkien's books) and I watch the whole trilogy at the end of every summer (not just the movie, but special features and the whole kit and caboodle). I find these movies hugely inspiring and can't wait until "The Hobbit" movie comes out in 2011! (Peter Jackson is writing the screenplay so I know it's going to be amazing).


Off to the Chateau!!

>> Friday, August 8, 2008

As I am just a wee bit excited about my trip to Quebec, I thought I'd post some pics of the hotel we'll be staying at. Chateau Beauvallon is a "luxury" hotel - but thanks to both an internet special and the "mid-week" special, we can actually afford to stay there for a couple of days! It's been open since 1942, and sits on a "vast, private, lakeside property in the heart of the Laurentians". It got glowing reviews from both Frommers and tripadvisor and hopefully I'll be posting my own glorious review next week!
Here's to vacations and hittin' the road for awhile!


I'm on Vacation!!!!

>> Thursday, August 7, 2008

That's right folks, I am now officially on vacation for the next 11 days! I'm takin' it easy at home tonight as I was up at 4:45 this morning for work - there's a pizza cooking in the oven and a couch and a couple of movies that are screaming my name. :) Tomorrow morning I plan on having a nice sleep-in, followed by a jog and a swim in the pool - then I plan on spending the rest of the day doing whatever I feel like doing! (ahhh, the joys of being on vacation). That only lasts for one day though, as Saturday I have to go get my hair done (and anyone who knows me knows I hate that more than going to the dentist) and run around doing errands as Chris and I will be heading out to the Laurentian Mountains in Quebec (Mount Tremblant to be exact) for our 2-year anniversary, followed by several days at my parents farm with the entire Brimley clan.

I'm super excited to get away for awhile as I am in desperate need of some relaxing and recharging - with being sick for so long, moving again, and all my work changes, the past several months have been kind of difficult and nerve-racking so it'll be good to get away from it all. I've been trying not to let things get to me so much (as I'm a prime example that it's not good for your health) but sometimes it's just too easy to get wrapped up in the little things. I really need to get to 100% again as I'm starting at a new store after our vacation and I know that September means that the Holiday season (aka - crazy/insane season) is right around the corner, and in retail that means busy, busy, busy until January. It also means that our Africa missions trip is right around the corner (we're going to Uganda for two weeks in March with 4 other adult leaders and 12 kids from the senior high youth group). March might seem like a long ways away, but when you're organizing a trip to Africa that involves lots of people, and most of them teenagers - 7 months really isn't that long. I know it's going to be great and life-changing for all of us though, and it's cool to have something that big to look forward to.

On a completely unrelated note - I reactivated my Facebook account today. It's been over a year since I've been on it, and it's kind of like rejoining a conversation that's already been going on for a long time. I mainly rejoined as I wanted to see updates and pics from my friends, and I do realize now that it probably is a really good way to stay in touch with people nowadays. We'll see how it goes and hopefully I don't become a facebook addict!


Welcome to the world!!

>> Saturday, August 2, 2008

Well little Ainsley Grace Innis has finally arrived! My good friends Susan and Lance welcomed their first child into the world a couple of days ago! I talked to Susan today and she sounds great, and both her and the little one are doing just fine. Susan is my first really close friend to have a child, and it is so amazing that her and Lance have created such a miracle. I know they're going to be amazing parents and little Ainsley is one lucky girl! I'm so proud of them and excited for them as they start this new journey together!

Welcome to the world Ainsley - you're only a couple of days old but you already have a ton of people who love you and care for you and are thrilled to be friends with your parents and watch you grow up!

"Every child born into the world is a new thought of God, an ever fresh and radiant possibility."


Lovin' the summer

>> Wednesday, July 16, 2008

So we're moved and settled in for the most part. (Alright, alright - I've been procrastinating and still have a lot of unpacking to do). But we're here at the new house and so far, so good. Chris' commute has gone from about 45-50 minutes to about 20 seconds, and although my drive into work is now longer (about 35-40 minutes), I'm most likely transferring to a store around here in the near future so then my drive in will only be about 10 minutes max.

It's been a crazy couple of weeks though - it's hard to believe it's already the middle of July! I did have my first "beach day" yesterday though, so now it actually feels like summer has begun for me. Chris and I went up to Wasaga yesterday with some friends from church and spent a fabulous day in the sun and playing in the water with our lovely blow-up dinghy. I'm now sporting a lovely tan and am slowly catching up to the killer tan I had last year. (I'm now a safe tanner though - most of my tan is actually fake spray-on self-tanner. Since a scare earlier on this year I have become a big proponent of SPF 30!!)

Chris and I also had a great day this past Saturday. We had planned on going to the scenic caves in Collingwood, but when we woke up it didn't look like the weather was going to co-operate. While we were trying to decide what to do with ourselves, yours truly came up with the truly wonderful idea of driving to Buffalo to go shopping. My ever-spontaneous husband said "sure!" and off we went. It didn't take too long to get there and we decided to go to the Fashion Outlet mall. Now I haven't been to Buffalo to shop since I was probably around 16 years old. This place freakin' rocks. Tons of great stores, great prices, and only 4% tax!! Why in the world don't I go there more often! Needless to say, we bought a ton of much-needed clothes and decided to start driving back at around 6:30pm. We ended up stopping in Niagara-on-the-lake for a bit to walk around on the lakeshore and then had dinner at a great spot called the Anchorage overlooking the lake. Stuffed to the brim we finally headed out, got home super-late and crashed as soon as we walked in the door. (Shopping takes a lot out of you)!

Next up on our summer fun list is a camping trip with the senior high youth group from church. We're heading to Turkey Point next Friday for three days of camping and fun outdoor stuff with 4 other adult leaders and about 10 youth. Then we have our week-long vacation in August and although we're not 100% sure what we're going to do for that week, we're thinking of driving through the Adirondack Mountains in New York State and spending a couple of days hiking, mountain biking and white water rafting. Both Chris and I are craving a bit of an "adventure vacation" so we're gravitating towards that.

P.S. To all those planning on shopping in Buffalo. Apparently when crossing the border back into Canada, if the border officer gives you a slip of paper, you're supposed to pull off to the side and pay the Canadian taxes on your purchases. Chris and I had no idea, so when he handed us the slip and said "do you know where you're going?" we both thought the slip of paper was just some sort of documentation everyone got, and that the officer was just being really polite and making sure we knew our way home! Ha! We kept driving and didn't realize until we got home and googled it that we should have stopped and that you can be charged and prosecuted if you keep driving! (Oops!) After a whole night of me worrying that we were going to get arrested, Chris called them the next morning and they said that although we should have stopped, they appreciated us calling and this could be our "freebie". Goes to show you how naive I can be . . . ("wow - that border patrol man was so nice making sure we know our way home - how nice Canadians are)!! ;



>> Thursday, June 26, 2008

Here's some random thoughts of mine for today:

* Sometimes I think I talk too much. Someone will ask me how my day was (just out of politeness) and suddenly I find myself telling them every single detail about my day. Even while I'm talking I'm thinking to myself "too much information Suzanne - they don't need to know about the bee that chased you down the street while you were walking the dog or the fact that you forgot to mail a birthday card" yet I just can't make myself shut-up. I definitely suffer from verbal diarrhea way too often.

* I love rain in the summer (especially a sun shower) - I took a break from packing this afternoon and just sat on my bed with the sun streaming in listening and smelling the rain. Perfect moment.

* My new favourite magazine is "Self". Used to be the Oprah magazine but I find it's too repetitive and sometimes a little too introspective. Self seems much more accessible to me right now.

* I love being tan. I've gotten smart though and no longer tan the "real" (ie. dangerous) way. I just started using the new Jergens daily glow stuff that has SPF in it. I've only used it for one day now and already a look a little more "glowy".

* CFRB 1010 rocks my world. I could listen to that radio station all day and not get bored. (My favs are Bill Carroll, the Motts, and John Moore). Sometimes I go out for lunch just so I can listen to the Motts for 30 minutes while I eat!

* I have made a pledge to myself that the only fast food I will eat from now on is Mr.Sub or Subway (or anything else that is a healthier alternative). No more greasy fries or burgers for me!

* I'm much more productive in the early morning than in the afternoon. I can usually get more done between the hours of 5am to 9am than any other time of the day.

* I can sometimes be the queen of procrastinating. Here I am blogging while I should be packing. Maybe I'll watch one of my "guilty pleasure" DVD's while I pack my books (namely my Newlyweds DVDs or my Alias collection.) I know Nick and Jessica are no longer together and Alias isn't on TV anymore, but anyone whose watched these shows has to admit they are kind of addicting (and the kind of thing you can watch over and over again).

Okay, I'm signing off for today - I probably won't have a chance to update again until next week when we've completed the move and our internet is back up and running, so Happy Canada Day everyone!


Moving . . . again

>> Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I am about to move again. This wouldn't seem like such a big deal, except it'll be my sixth house in less than three years. Oy vey. We're moving to the house on the church property, and I am pretty excited as it's a great house (big, yet cosy, a salt-water pool, lot's of beautiful property, and a great wood-panelled room that's going to be my office/music room). I just hate the actual process of moving. We've had access to the house for the past couple of days so we've been slowly moving some stuff in already, cleaning, and repainting some rooms. I still have yet to pack up all my books (and believe me - this is a huge task - I am a bookstore manager after all) and then we're renting a truck and doing the big move this weekend. Say it with me folks - Oy vey.

Hopefully we're in this house for quite awhile as I honestly don't think I'll be up for another move for at least several years. It's also a great house to have lots of little kids running around in! (No, I'm not pregnant yet - there will be no babies until after next spring's Africa trip) I'm also excited at the prospect of becoming more active at the church and building some relationships with the members of the youth group. It's been difficult to get involved as our current house is just too far away and we couldn't afford the gas money to have both of us driving to and from the church every week. Also, half the time I'm too exhausted after work to do much of anything, let alone have the energy to interact with the youth and be my best self. Now I'll be much closer (right across the parking lot)! and attending youth group won't involve a tiring 2-hour round-trip! The amount of money we're going to save from Chris' monthly gas bill is going to be amazing!

My health has been up and down for the past month. I really thought I was getting better, but I still experience the chest pain a couple of times a day. Our real estate agent has a friend who has something called "Prinzmetal Angina" and it actually sounds exactly like what I have. Once we get settled in at the new house, I'm going to follow up with my doctor as having chest pain every day kinda sucks.

I have started exercising (running and yoga). I have muscles hurting that I never even knew existed! My running is actually pretty sad as I could barely make it to the end of my street. I modified my plan a little and now run for one song, speed-walk for one song, etc). At the end of a half-hour I'm pooped but I'd forgotten how good it feels to have a good sweat!

Alright, I'm off to start packing my books. I've been procrastinating for awhile as it was such a beautiful day today. I have to admit the "breaks" I've taken from packing today have been pretty long (it is summer now and you have to enjoy it while it's here)!


Love, love, love

>> Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I am in love with the world. I'm finally feeling like my normal self again, and let me tell you - after two weeks of feeling like a zombie, feeling "normal" feels pretty great! There really is nothing like feeling crappy for awhile to make you appreciate your health and your life more than ever. I've been thinking a lot the past couple of weeks about things (as there was not much else to do). Thinking about where I am in life, what I'm doing (and what I'm not doing), who I am and who I could be, what I'm grateful for and what I wish I could change. Here's a couple of things I came up with:

- I am extremely blessed. I have a great family and friends who love me for exactly who I am. I am married to the love of my life who thinks I'm the funniest, cutest, most lovable person ever (not saying I am, but hey - if he thinks I am, who am I to argue)? I have a full-time job with great benefits, a roof over my head and food in the fridge, and even though sometimes it's a struggle to pay the bills, I know that I will never have to live on the street or worry about many of the things a lot of other people have to worry about. I live in a country where we don't have to worry about footing the bill for our hospital stays, where you can become whatever and whomever you want to be and don't have to censore yourself. I have more doors open to me and possible pathways to follow then some people could even imagine. I am truly, truly blessed.

- What else do I know? I know that with all these blessings, I have not yet fully realized my true potential or my true self. I know that perhaps knowing yourself, really knowing yourself, is a life-long pursuit. Maybe it is not until we are old and dying that we realize who we really are. Is that what wisdom is? Not knowing things, but knowing yourself? I think I'm coming to the realization that maybe the answer to the age-old question "what is the purpose of life" is simply this: to know who you are. If you know who you are, everything else will fall into place. If you truly know yourself, nothing can stand in your way. And if you know yourself, you would be able to connect with life and thus connect with others on a deeper level every day of your life. You would naturally strive to serve your family, your community, the world in an effort to make the world a better place after you are gone. Hmm, this is getting quite existential, so let me reel myself back in here. In order to better realize my true potential, there are some things I have now realized I need to do. These are all things I've thought about for awhile now but have simply come into sharper focus over the last couple of weeks:

* I'm going to go back to school. I don't know exactly for what or in what capacity, but I miss learning. I loved school. I missed school. I need to open my mind and kick-start that brain again!
* I'm going to volunteer. I need to better serve my community and make use of my time in a more productive manner. I am great at consuming and taking, but not so great at giving. I'm thinking I'll volunteer either at a hospital or an animal shelter.
* I'm going to do a triathlon. I have no idea how or when, but I'm going to do one within the next year.
* I'm going to meditate and pray. Every day. No matter what, no matter how busy I am. Everyday for at least half an hour.

As the lyrics go in one of Gavin Degraw's songs (he's amazing): "Oh, this is the start of something good -don't you agree? I haven't felt like this in so many moons, you know what I mean?"


The good, the bad, and the sickly?

>> Friday, May 23, 2008

Sometimes life throws something at you that catches you so off guard it's almost unbelievable.

Two weeks ago, I'm sitting at home after work checking my email when suddenly I get some pretty strong chest pains (by strong I mean strong - imagine someone reaching inside your chest and squeezing your heart - that's what it felt like). I've had chest pain before, but it's always gone away after a bit so I figured it was nothing serious and just tried to ignore it. Well four days later it's still there so my hubby insists on taking me to the walk-in clinic. The doctor at the clinic then insists that I go to the hospital emergency room as anything to do with chest pain can be serious. (I was still telling myself it was nothing). We then spend all night in the ER only to be told that they don't know what's causing the pain but to follow up with my family doctor.

I go back to work a day later (after again telling myself that it's nothing serious and I probably just pulled a muscle or something), but then the next day I have to leave work in a hurry as the pain has gotten worse and I suddenly feel really sick and out of breath. I rush to my doctor's office and they send me to the hospital again to get an echo-cardiogram done (essentially an ultrasound of your heart). Turns out they think I have something called "Pericarditis" which is when the tissue lining your heart becomes enlarged and inflamed. It not only causes chest pain, but makes you extremely tired and generally just feel really sick.

I've been back to the doctor's a couple of times and today was at St. Mike's Hospital in Toronto to see a cardiologist. He thinks it's pericarditis as well, although they can't really be 100% sure as it wouldn't necessarily show up on tests and blood work, etc. He said that normally it just goes away on it's own and all you can do is rest and take medication for the pain. I'm feeling a bit better today so I'm hoping that I'm back to my normal self in a couple of days, but then this past Wednesday I was starting to feel better but took a turn yesterday and was feeling horrible again (so bad I almost went back to the ER). They did do some more tests today as there is a small chance I could have something else, but hopefully it is what it is and will go away for good soon!

Being a relatively heathy, young person, this whole experience has been a bit of a slap in the face for me. I literally went from feeling totally fine to completely sick in a matter of days and haven't been able to work or do much of anything except sleep and lay on the couch for almost two weeks! It has taught me though that you should never take your health for granted 'cause you never know when that could change or something could happen that would change your life forever.

If ever I needed an incentive to start exercising regularly and eat healthy, this would definitely be it. Pericarditis is classified as a heart disease, so for me to be 28 and have had heart disease is a pretty scary thing. I know it could have been much worse (and hopefully I'm at the tail end of it) but it's been an awakening, that's for sure.

You never know how much time you have left. Live the life you want today, tell the people you love that you love them today. It's cliche, but tomorrow may not come and the present moment is all you ever have!


It's Over . . .

>> Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Well my vacation is over. I'm heading back to work this afternoon for a closing shift so I've been counting down all morning as I see the last minutes of my vacation slipping away. It was a good week - we just kind of puttered around the house, went for a lot of drives, visited my brother-in-law and niece and nephew, hung out with the girls, and went out to eat a lot. We also got some new music software and installed in on the computer so now I can finally record stuff! It was good to have the week off with Chris as it's pretty rare that we both have time off at the same time. And it was really good to be able to sleep in every day and just be able to be at home and enjoy the nice weather and do whatever we wanted!

So now the countdown will soon begin to our summer vacation! We're thinking of taking two weeks off in August, or maybe we'll do one week in July and one in August. My parents are having a little family reunion in August so we'll definitely be heading down to the farm for a couple of days in August to hang out with the Brimley clan. It's also our two-year wedding anniversary on August 12th and it's my year to plan it so I better get started!


Maria Shriver

>> Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Did anyone catch Oprah today? Maria Shriver was on talking about her book "Just who will you be?" and it was an excellent show. I've never really known a lot about Maria Shriver but she comes across as a very wise and well-rounded woman and the book seems like something all women could relate to. It's about figuring out who you really are and who you want to be and how to get there. The show actually intrigued me enough to start searching for more information about her and see if there's a biography or autobiography on her I can get my hands on. Definitely seems to be a woman one can look up too and learn from.


Need . . .Vacation . . . . . . now!

>> Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I know I've been neglecting this little 'ole blog of mine. They say when it rains it pours and sure enough all aspects of my life seem to get really busy all at once. I only have 3 days left at work before Chris and I take a week long vacation though, so then I'll actually have time to post something meaningful on here. We're not going anywhere (I wish), just chillin' at home, gonna watch us some movies and gain about 10 pounds. Awesome.


That's it!!!

>> Tuesday, March 25, 2008

That's it!

I'm sick of the snow

I'm moving to Florida

Anyone wanna' come?


Favourite Quotes

>> Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I've been working on a little project for the last little while. I'm calling it my "Dream Book" and it's basically a big scrapbook with pictures of things I dream for in my life. Some are materialistic (my dream house, dream vacation, etc) but some are a little more intimate and reflective of what my ideal "inner" self strives to be. It's been hard to find pictures to represent certain things or certain ways of being that I am trying to embody, so I've taken to finding famous quotes that really mean something to me and printing those out to put in my dream book.

Anyone have any great or favourite quotes to share? Something that really speaks volumes to you about what life is truly about or something that reminds you to stay on course and follow your dreams?

Here's a couple of quotes that I've recently discovered from Henry David Thoreau's famous book "Walden". As I read them for the first time it was like a switch turned on in me and I thought "Aha!!"

- "If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."

- "I have always been regretting that I was not as wise as the day I was born."

- "To be awake is to be alive."

- "If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them."

Love, love, love that last one.


I'm back!

>> Sunday, March 16, 2008

I'm back! I know I haven't posted on here in a long while, but I simply haven't really had anything to report. For the past month and a bit, it seems my life has consisted of working, shovelling snow, and driving in the snow. Needless to say, I am sick of winter and so glad that the sun is out today and it actually seems as if spring might be on the way!
It's now the middle of March and only 15 days until my birthday! On March 30th I turn 28 years old, and this year I am actually quite excited about it. Normally I don't look forward to my birthdays as I have a bit of a thing about getting older, but I love the way "28" sounds. A lot better than "27" I think. 8 is also my favorite number so maybe that has something to do with it. I also have a feeling that 28 is going to be a big year for me. For those that don't know, March 1st was the first day of my year-long "follow your dreams" personal challenge. I have been faced with some big decisions in the last little while, and the biggest one was "what am going to do with my songwriting?". Was I actually going to pursue it as a career or leave it as a hobby. Well I decided to give it a go. I am giving it 100% until March 1, 2009. If I have made some progress by then and think that I am on the right track and will be able to make a living at this then I will continue with it. If I haven't really made any progress and if it doesn't really look like it's something that can or will help provide for my family then I will really have to think about just continuing it as a hobby at that point.
This also means Chris and I are going to delay starting to "try to conceive". We had orignally talked about trying in the summer, but now will wait until the summer of 2009 at the earliest. It'll give us more time to save up some money and get in a better place financially, so as much as I would love to have a child sooner rather than later I know that looking at the "big picture" we're doing the best thing. I'll also be able to help out my friends (as much as they'll let me) when their babies arrive and that can be my training. (Considering I've never even held a baby or changed a diaper I think I'll definitely need it)!
So on day 16 of my challenge, I think I'm made some progress. I bought a new computer, so I now have enough space on it to load all my recording software and all those fiddly bits one needs on a computer to actually make a song sound complete and worthy enough to be on a demo. I've also reorganized all my songwriting stuff and have almost finished writing a new song. I think it's a great one too (if I do say so myself). It's an upbeat tempo and has a good message to it. Can't wait for you all to hear it! I'm thinking I might start up a webpage, something like a "songwriters journey" webpage - the chronicles or yours truly and how a songwriter takes an idea and turns it into a finished product. I'll probably even move my blog onto the webpage, so stay tuned.
On a completely unrelated note - I bought a new pilates DVD the other day. I had a moment a couple of days ago when Chris and I were talking about going on vacation and (sadly) one of the first things that popped into my head at the thought of going somewhere hot was "I can't go somewhere hot! That means I'd have to put my bathing suit on, and I am so not ready for that!" I know I'm not actually overweight or anything, but I've been super lazy since last summer and could stand to loose a few pounds. It all seems to settle in my belly and my behind so when I saw that DVD I though "AHA - flat abs here I come!" I've tried pilates before and found it too slow, but this one is a little more fast paced and solely focused on the abs and butt so we'll see how that goes. As for the vacation, we're probably just going to stay home as we can't realistically afford a vacation right now, but that only means it'll give me longer to get in even better shape for the summer. Bathing suit - here I come!


Current Obsessions

>> Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I have a bunch of things that are on my mind right now. Perhaps none of great importance, just random things but here 'ya go - a list of my current obsessions in no particular order:

- what would it feel like to be born on February 29th? I think this would really bug me that I only got a "real" birthday every four years.

- homemade chocolate chip muffins

- TLC's "Baby Story" and "Bringing Baby Home" - although we just cancelled a bunch of extra channel packages to save money on our cable bill so yesterday was my last day of TLC!

- the song "Realize" by Colbie Caillat

- sleeping in

- rediscovering "The Chronicles of Narnia" and loving it

- trying to figure out what I want to do with my life

- budgeting . . . definitely obsessed with saving money right now

- Robin Sharma's book "The Greatness Guide Book 2" - full of great anecdotes and things to ponder

- wondering where our society is headed - what world we are going to be leaving our children with? This one I've been thinking of for awhile and right now I'm 50/50. Half the time I really believe in the inherent goodness of people and think the world will right itself out but the other half of the time I think it's going to be inevitable that the train we're on has just built up too much speed to ever stop and we'll eventually crash.

- homemade chocolate chip muffins (I know I wrote this above but I thought I'd end things on a lighter note, plus - I do looove my chocolate chip muffins)!

But anyhoo - there you have it - a snapshot into my mind right now.


Which way are we going?

>> Thursday, January 24, 2008

I am deeply saddened by the death of actor Heath Ledger. Not only was he a very talented actor but in the interviews of him I had seen he always came across as a really down to earth, funny and kind person. I thought he had a great career ahead of him and was really looking forward to seeing him portray the "Joker" in the new Batman film and to see what he had in store for us as viewers.

I have also been very saddened, but also very disturbed, by the media coverage I have seen on this. It's one thing to report the passing of someone who is in the public eye, talk about his roles, and I can even understand trying to interview people who had worked with him, etc, to help get across what kind of person he was. What really gets under my skin is not only paparazzi, but news reporters camped out outside Michelle Williams' home in New York in order to try and catch her and her two-year old daughter's reactions as they exit and enter the residence.

As Heath Ledger's ex-girlfriend and the mother of his child, I am sure that Ms.Williams is absolutely distraught at this time and I can't imagine what it feels like to have to deal with all this media attention right now. I think it is despicable and extremely disrespectful. What ever happened to common sense and manners? Have people simply lost a sense of what is right and what is wrong? Can these people camped outside her home hoping to snap a picture not realize that by doing so, they can only be adding to their grief?

This is something that has been bothering me for awhile now - people's fascination with things that are simply none of our business. The rate that people snatch up gossip magazines and log onto the Internet to see which celebrity was caught doing drugs in rehab or snapped by a paparazzi wearing no underwear while getting out of a car is astounding. I can understand the "average Joe" being interested in a celebrities life a little bit, such as watching interviews on TV or reading them in a respected magazine. It just seems that the line has been so far crossed in terms of what is acceptable and not nowadays that the line doesn't even actually exist anymore.

When we can no longer have the sense to realize that having a live stream on the internet outside the home of people who are grieving (something that we have all gone through and know that is one of the hardest things we ever have to process), it truly makes me wonder which way the modern Western society is going. Will we ever have a collective sense that we need to pull back on the reins and realize we are headed to a point where our sensibilites no longer make . . . sense? Or will we let this cancerous behaviour continue to build until we're no longer able to remember what it meant to truly care for each other and only want the best for others?

Something to think about . . .


Goodbye Christmas, goodbye

>> Monday, January 14, 2008

I said a sad farewell to Christmas today. Chris said enough is enough so we finally took everything down. The tree - gone. The garland - gone. The wreath - gone. All my cute little Christmas figurines and candles - gone. If I had it my way I'd probably leave everything up until February 1st, but Chris had other plans. I love Christmas and I love having our house full of things that remind me of it and remind me of family. I think I just need something else to look forward too, Easter maybe? My birthday?

On a completely unrelated note - I have a new pet peeve. I've discovered that it really bothers me when people I don't know call me "hon" or "sweetie". Example - If you're at the checkout counter at a store and when the clerk hands you the bag they say "here 'ya go sweetie!" or "thanks hon!" What is that? I'm in my late twenties, I'm not 4 years old! I wouldn't mind it if it was an elderly person referring to me in that manner - when that happens it's more of a motherly thing coming across and I do think it's quite endearing. But when someone who is not that older than me or someone who is younger talks to me like I'm either a) their best friend or b) their cute little cousin, it really turns me off. I know some people probably think it's fine and that I'm being a stickler but I think it shows a lack of respect. I would much rather be referred to as "miss" or "ma'am", is that too much to ask?


Live your Best Life - Week 1

>> Saturday, January 12, 2008

Yours truly has successfully just completed day #7 with NO CAFFEINE! You heard it right, I am finally kicking my caffeine habit! I was never a huge caffeine addict - I've never been a coffee drinker and although I love tea I've only ever drank herbal non-caffeinated tea. But I do have a bit of a thing for soda (in particular good 'ole Diet Pepsi), and it had gotten to the point where I was drinking about 4 a day. Now some people may say that four a day is nothing, but for someone who once suffered from pretty bad stomach problems, for me four is four too many and it was about time to give myself a kick in the pants and stop, so day number 7 is almost over and I haven't had a drop of anything with caffeine in it. For now I have switched over to caffeine-free Diet Pepsi and then once I get used to that I'll just stop drinking that as well. I found that after around day 4 or 5 I wasn't really craving it anymore and actually preferred water to anything else so that's kinda cool. I did have major headaches days 2-4 but I knew it would be worth it to stick with it!

All this is a part of a decision I made at the beginning of this year. I decided that this year I would live my best life and become the best possible version of myself. This is a bit of an ode to Oprah (I am a big fan of Oprah) - she's always saying on her show how it is every person's responsibility to live their best life and that no one is ever going to change you - only you can change yourself and make that decision for your life. She's right and I know there are changes I have wanted to make in my life for awhile now and it's about time I make them happen!

So first on the list was to become the healthiest I've ever been. I figured the new no caffeine rule would be a good place to start as that little addiction was bothering me quite a bit. As I continue that I'm also going to go ahead and move to the next thing on my "let's get healthy!" list - exercise. It starts tomorrow! I'm gonna' give yoga another try as it's easy to do during the winter in the house and it also has the meditative aspect of it which interests me. I'm going to promise myself that I will exercise at least four times a week for at least half an hour, then I'll move up from there.

I'll keep posting on my progress as getting the word out on what I'm doing will help keep my from slacking off. Here's to living your best life!


You know you're a Grown-Up when . . .

>> Sunday, January 6, 2008

You know you're a grown-up when you pass the magazine section at Shoppers Drug Mart and instead of automatically reaching for the "Cosmo" or "Vogue" magazine, you found yourself gravitating towards "Redbook".

Redbook?! Redbook is what my mother reads!! How come when I was younger and still living at home, whenever I flipped through this magazine I found it extremely boring and full of pointless articles about parenting, marriage and anti-aging that I would never be able to relate too, when now I see that it is actually full of useful and relatable articles for the modern woman?

Could it be? Have I already passed over that invisible line of aging? Am I truly ready to leave my "Allures" and "Glamours" behind and embrace the . . . MOM Magazine?? I'm not even a mom yet! How can it be that I find articles about how to treat childhood chicken pox and how to switch your toddler from 3 naps a day to 2 so darn interesting?

If I keep this up, by the time I'm 35 I'll be ready to graduate to magazines my Grandma used to read, the "Women's Weekly" and the "Family Circle" knitting magazines. Come to think of it, I have been wanting to learn how to knit lately. Maybe I should pick up a copy of that at work tomorrow. Hmmm . . .


New Year, New Blog

So I've decided to rejoin the blogging community. I deleted my old blog months ago, but two of my friends have blogs that I love reading and it made me realize how much I've missed it so here we go!
There's been some big changes in my life since I left - Chris (my hubby) got a new job as a Youth Pastor at a church in Thornhill, we moved from our little house on the lake to a big house in the country, we celebrated our one year wedding anniversary, and have decided that this is going to be the year we start trying to make a baby!
Lots of changes, but they've all been good ones! This is going to be an exciting year for us, so hop on board and read away as I post my innermost thoughts, impart my pearls of wisdom on the world, or (more likely) share in the mundane (but fabulous) moments of a regular day from a regular gal whose quite happy with her regular life. Enjoy!


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