pooh, accomplished, rabbit

So Long Ago It's History Already

If I could only find a note to make you understand
I'd sing it softly in your ear and take you by the hand

It is with some not unfamiliar sadness that I realize that many months of my life are again uncharted. It's not that words have become less important to me, just that blogging for work has taken over much of my life because work is so much of my life. It is not, however, all of it. So many amazing things have happened since my last time blogging, and I regret not having recorded them while they were fresh, I feel more and more like I must record things before they disappear, because many of them are really huge events in my life, things I don't want to forget. I guess I need to make a few reminders to blog or it won't happen. I always used to fit it into my life, at the expense of sleep and assignments and other things. I think it's time to begin doing that again. For myself only, really. To keep the memories that my mind may extinguish someday, things I will need to look back on. But there's no harm in sharing these things - and besides that, I've got a private personal blog now where I talk to myself whenever I need to hash things out that aren't anybody's business (or interest) but mine.

For the length of this post (as read by others) after a long absence, then, I will not apologize. Scrolling is a part of the internet, and I really need to get back on this train. If I'm talking about it here, it really needs to be here.

I feel as though this rabbit icon is an amazing icon for many reasons. Firstly, Alberta's cities are home to a great many rabbits. Or hares. I am not certain how the definitions go,  but at any rate, hoppity furballs abound. Secondly, Rabbit looks at the giant pile of carrots with two thoughts - work well done, and deliciousness to come. That is a little taste of how I feel about the coming weeks and months of busywork in the vein of things I really want to do. 

MARCH

I'm only going to go over a few short things here. Paul and I went to Rutherford House to celebrate Paul finishing classes (!!!) and it was wonderful. We had two sets of scones and pots and pots of tea. We love Rutherford House, and it's definitely one of my favourite-est parts of Edmonton. It's definitely on the list I've got coming up a legion of paragraphs down about the best things about Edmonton. 

I was in Saskatoon for a bit in March, and I got to see family and friends, as well as a special hang out with friends in Saskatoon at Fuddruckers, which I'd been missing since it's not in Edmonton. I got to see a bunch of people I hadn't seen in ages and it was truly wonderful. 

One moment which definitely deserves a special mention since I'm such a huge Homer fan (not the Simpsons kind) - I saw a Titan truck with the license plate "HUBRIS". Quite literally Classic.

Probably the best personal moment during March was when I found out through Paul about the Edmonton chapter of the "Awesome Foundation" which is an organization that gets groups of ten people with a bit of financial ability together and they combine forces to give $1000 grants to someone to enable them to pursue a really cool idea - with no hold on the idea or anything, just because the idea is awesome. There was a "pitch party" in late March, and so I went. I am now hooked, and not only did I submit a pitch for the next one, I really want to go more and make awesome friends. I had some utterly awesome conversations (as befits the event) and I intend to keep coming back. Maybe next time I'll be pitching, as I do think my idea is pretty awesome... It was located in a luxury art furniture design place, and there was a coffee table I fell in love with as I was speaking with one of it's creators about Edmonton city culture, how to display art, and "fauxtographers." Best of all, the girl who won her pitch for the pitch party was a new OT from Paul's class, and the idea was to provide a public photo-booth on Whyte Ave for people to take photos in, just as a community thing. I was pretty excited that photography won the day.

It's another business-y thing, but I have to mention that I discovered Streak - a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Gmail add-on, and it has changed everything. I can now sort all my client interactions into the stage they are in (Inquiry, Booked, Follow-Up, etc.) within my email and keep all my notes there. Between this and the invoicing and product-line power of StudioCloud, I am ready for the veritable avalanche of inquries and jobs I've been dealing with since I started a new blog and page format on my site - it's REALLY working. That and word of mouth. Between all the sources of business, I am looking at a year of explosive growth in business, after last year was an explosive year for equipment and product lines. I'm definitely getting where I want to go. It's good.

Top of the world, tonight, tonight
I don't know if I'll make it,
But watch how good I'll fake it 

Streak by itself made this March a landmark month in my business, but with the exponential business growth and reaching the front page of Google's "Edmonton Wedding Photographers" search, I've really made it to the big time. Let's hope I can do a good job. This is a tide-turning moment. Success is sweet. And busy. Time to really work at finding that mythical work-life balance that's so hard for home business owners, especially ladies. It's a challenge to add to my already lengthy list of personal challenges.

APRIL

In April I finally got to take some photos of my niece (born in October), whose baptism is now coming up, so there will be some more photo ops next weekend. October to April went so fast, I kept meaning to get photos and it never happened. They're moving back to Saskatoon at the end of the month, which is one of those "parting is such sweet sorrow" moments for me, but I have to remember that we will continue to see them reasonably often, and the camaraderie we formed here as family in the same city will not end with a six hour distance.

Speaking of distance, April was the month of many miles - I was on the road so often I got sick of it, and for me that's really hard to do. (Honestly, I might not have gotten sick of it had the weather been nicer for most of my trips.) I spent Easter in Calgary with Paul who is out there on placement (I guess this is kind of germane to the discussion of April. Long distance relationship, temporarily. Again.) Against Paul's will he was sent to Calgary for a placement in neurology, he wanted a placement here in Edmonton. I spent a good deal of time out in Calgary, which was good because it was a rough learning curve for Paul and he spent the better part of his first month of the six week placement in a near total state of panic that he was going to fail, and in his defense, it was at least a little bit warranted this time around. (Paul is constantly afraid of failing, but most of the time it's purely irrational fear. This time there were rational issues at stake.) So as it happens in marriage, my stress went up in response to his stress, and even as things got better for Paul, things got a bit worse for me. Suffice it to say, it's been a long haul. This placement being away means that Paul has been in away placements for THREE MONTHS this year, and I've only been with him for scant portions of that time. I will be picking Paul up in mere days as he's done this placement as of yesterday. Can't come soon enough. Can't wait to have him home with me where he belongs. Separation is painful. But it will be over so soon.

The Easter Vigil service we went to in Calgary was pretty great, with a few technical difficulties on my part, as I dropped my unlit candle and it rolled to the pew in front of me. In kicking around to find it, I kicked it into the person in front of me, who discreetly picked it up and put it on the pew beside her, where I rescued it barely in time for the second lighting. Made for a bit of an adventure in such a solemn service, and sadly, it is the part I remember best. I wasn't feeling particularly spiritual that day and really struggled to focus. However, I loved going out to watch the Christ-light candle be lit from the bonfire. That was pretty special for me, as it was last Easter at the New York parish. And the baptisms are always cool. We're making Easters away from home a bit of a habit, which keeps things interesting at any rate.

In April, due to some office equipment malfunctions, I thought of a new business add-on, something I can't do until later once our finances are more sorted out, but I do intend to add it on to my already flourishing business, as it's something Paul can also help with and could provide a reasonably steady income stream, especially in winter when my photo season slows down. I'm not going to say much about it publicly because it's a good idea and I'm not a fan of it being stolen. 

In furtherance to my newest hobby, I dumpster dived some lovely, comfortable balcony chairs to go with my $20 glass balcony table. So I have a nice set now that was mostly cheap-as-free, and saved a lot of perfectly lovely chairs from the dumping graveyard.

Janta came to visit me for a week. She has a philosophy of how to act as a guest which is rather servant-ly of her and involved what she likes to call "job-shadowing my life" and being a "temporary room-mate instead of a guest" which apparently comes with a side dish of doing a lot of my chores. Not that I wasn't grateful - Janta made my workload that week bearable - but it was strange to adjust to having a replacement-Paul who insisted on helping with everything. We had the usual fights over who paid for things, and we spent a lot of time talking about things. It felt natural to have her there, which always makes me smile because our relationship has always been long-distance. Suffice it to say, though, that Janta is dearly loved and this time together will be something I feel I will always remember.

Light a fire, a flame in my heart
Luminous and wired
We'll be glowing in the dark

Anyone who is a Coldplay fan might have noticed that there's a lot of Coldplay lyrics in this post - which is not only because their latest album captured my life the way each album of theirs has at one point or another, but because I got to cross an item off my life to-do-list by seeing them in concert here in Edmonton in mid April while Janta was over. It was the second best show I've ever seen - sorry guys, you were amazing, but Blue Man Group still has the best show title - it was right on their heels though. There's something incredible about watching Coldplay's lead singer pour his entire self-hood into the music the way he did at the Edmonton concert, going so far as to sink and lie down, singing, on the stage, breathing hard as confetti butterflies fell all around him. Edmonton was the opening stop on their Mylo Xyloto album tour, which made it even a little cooler. I would say out of all the bands that have ever encapsulated my life in an album (and there's about half a dozen) Coldplay captures so many more facets of who I am than any of the others. Their concert included a bevy of the songs of theirs that have impacted my life, like Yellow, The Scientist, and The Message, not to mention the songs from their current album, which again has lyrics to mirror my life. 

I can't say enough good things about the concert. I sang along with thousands of people until my voice was hoarse and even after. They gave everyone light bracelets that made us all part of the light show, which was especially cool because of their lyrics, (luminous and wired, we'll be glowing in the dark). Coldplay's music makes me feel, deeply, makes me feel like I am able to find an understanding of life at a completely basic level just for that fleeting moment as I let the poetry and music pass through me. I'm so blessed to have been able to see them in concert. If their next album is as good as their last...well, five or so albums, I will be definitely looking for a concert spot again. This was my big money splurge for the year. It was so worth it.

Note to self, though, bringing ear-plugs and a waterbottle were the absolute best ideas. Do that every concert from now on. I think I would have hated the concert without the earplugs. With fully plugged ears I could hear much better. Which is ridiculous, but true of most concerts, so I will do what I can to enjoy them in spite of disagreeing with the sound people on the proper volume levels for music.

My song is love, love to the loveless shown
And it goes up, you don't have to be alone

Last week I got to attend the first annual Vancouver (technically Burnaby) Canada Photography Conference for wedding photographers. Visualized, dreamed, organized, and hosted by a softie of a photographer I am lucky to know, Jasser, the convention was the most incredible experience. I have never felt more like I belonged as a photographer than I did while I was there with a group of other photographers whose philosophy, friendliness, and excitement made everything amazing. I was buoyed up by the whole experience. Not only have I started to feel like a pro lately, but I finally truly felt like I belonged. I bunked with three other girls who I barely saw since I was keeping pretty late hours, but when I was there with them I was welcomed into their conversations and enjoyed spending time with them. The hotel we stayed in, the Burnaby Hotel and Conference Centre, was pretty cool. 

My first flight was really painful since Janta had given me her head cold while she was here. The pain was so intense I thought my head might explode, and I spent almost the entire first day of the conference waiting for my ears to properly pop. They didn't pop fully until the next day. In dropping Janta off at the Edmonton airport and then driving to Calgary to take off at the airport there the next morning I think I visited the most airports via vehicle in the same 24 hour period... I don't think I could top 2 except in very special circumstances. At any rate, I took a couple of cabs in Vancouver - the hotel was so fancy I even had a cab hailed for me by a very nice bellman, which was darn cool. Both my cabbies didn't talk but were great drivers. The first drove like a maniac (reasonably safely for a cabbie in a big city even still) and got me where I wanted to go on time which I hadn't expected as I flew in the morning of the conference to safe hotel money, the second drove more normally. Both were polite and I didn't have a crappy experience, as Google had led me to believe I would. The fares were only a little high, nothing to worry about.

There's a huge casino attached to the hotel, which was kind of interesting, I've never really wandered around in one before this. I was a little peeved that coin slots are now card-powered, which eliminates any desire I ever had to play a couple of machines with my small change - I might as well just play on a computer with fake money if I don't get to hear real clinking of winnings. I hate fake sounds like camera shutters on digital cameras and such. Fake coin clinking is such a rip-off. On the other hand, I wouldn't mind playing a few hands of blackjack someday - merely for the fun of it, rather than trying to "make money." At least the dealers are still real people there.

While I was leaving a sad thing happened. The zipper on my orange Heys rolling carry-on luggage broke (half of it anyway) and the... hauling stick thing... won't go in and out without serious jamming anymore. It has had it's last run. What a life that suitcase has had! My family bought it for me to go to Urbana where I met Janta, and its been pretty much every place I have traveled since late 2007. Its been all over Canada, USA, Israel... It's been everywhere I've been for ages. I can't bear to chuck it. Oh, the nostalgia! I keep looking at it - still with some of my stuff in it from the trip - and hoping it will magically repair... But I need to suck it up and chuck it soon. I'll probably take a picture of it first. It looks like it's been through a whole lot. It's dinged and scratched with the wonders of experience. My next suitcase? Probably a Heys hardcase, but a four wheel drive this time!

It turned out that my plans to jump in and out of the Vancouver area quickly were a bit hastily made, and perhaps too cost-conscious. I remember thinking, "Man, I don't know anyone in Vancouver." This is totally not true. I know at least three people in Vancouver who are worth visiting. Provided they're all there next year, I will have a chance to see them, as I plan to stay a few extra days and bring Paul so he can vacation in our hotel room, or go wandering in Vancouver. He's got some fun spots he's been too before on work trips, so I'll probably get to explore those with him next year.

Kate was the only Vancouverite I managed to see while I was there, though Ricki and Philip were there (ironically to go to ComicCon Vancouver) and we all went for breakfast together, and then for a walk down Vancover's awesome Main Street - that makes at least half a dozen cities whose "Broadway" district I've visited. I cabbed to the little breakfast place - Joe's Grill on Main - the morning after the epic after-party from the conference (on maybe three hours of sleep) and after breakfast we walked down main to Kate's place - which I never saw, because I had to take the Canada Line (subway/airtrain) to the airport. If I had known my flight was delayed I probably could have hurried a bit less. Ricki and Philip filled me in on the steampunk LARP plans for later this summer, which have me brooding on a character to develop, though Paul had an idea almost instantly. We saw some awesome stores, my favourite of which was a stuff store, and my second favourite a games store!

Love is a game they say
Play me and put me away

Blink, the card game I bought at Strategies (the store) is a super-fun game that can be played with just two people, which is exactly the sort of game I had been considering picking up for Paul and I. In addition, it's really simple, but not easy, which makes it ideal for tired nights. It's a great thing to do together, and since I've been considering adding things to our list of things to do when we're tired ( which currently consists of watching TV together... and watching movies together. Totally different. Really.) So now there's another default fun thing to do! Looking forward to trying the game with more players, too.

ComicCon

Yet another of my many (and I do mean many) trips to Calgary was in order to attend our first ComicCon with Paul - where the nerdiest of the nerds congregate to talk Star Trek and many other fabulous things. 

I was telling Paul that going to Calgary's Comic Convention (ComicCon) was the nerdiest thing we'd ever done - and then I realized I've LARPed three times and am being included in plans for a fourth, which is way, way nerdier, so I amended it to the nerdiest thing we'd ever done together.  Okay, before I say anything else, I must introduce you to OWLCORNS! They're just like you and me. Except they are owls with unicorn horns. And they do stuff. And they're the cutest things ever. I bought a little book of owlcorn antics, and then subsequently found many more owlcorn activities online. It was definitely the highlight of Comicon for me. That and Sir Patrick Stewart. And maybe a few other things. The lowlights, on the other hand, were many. I was having a low tolerance day for crowds, and there are few worse events to have this at than a place that got almost got shut down for exceeding fire regulations the day before we went. I managed to lose my badge, which was okay since we didn't leave (good luck getting back in anyway, we were in a lineup that went around an entire block for almost an hour to get in in the first place). The biggest problem is that both Paul and I were tired, and frankly, the thing just wasn't that good. I mean, there were some awesome costumes, and some of the artists there were super cool. There was one girl who did leaf art, which was pretty cool, and lots of awesome steampunk costuming. In the end though, I was sore and Paul and I got progressively more anxious and uncomfortable. Part of me is happy we stayed to the end because Patrick Stewart was worth waiting for, and part of me wishes we'd just left early, though I think I'd have been even more miserable about it... So in the end I guess I'm okay with what happened, but I don't know if I'd ever go back to a ComicCon unless it was really small and pretty much just had lots of artists to browse.

Learning experience, I guess. The artists were pretty cool, though. It was nice to see so much amazing creativity displayed - a bit like the Fringe, but more specialized.

I'm the raging sea, I'm the bending trees
An unstoppable force with a wake of debris
I'm the wind and rain, I'm the loss and the pain
Without you, I'm a natural disaster

Okay, so if I didn't make it obvious yet, Paul being in Calgary has been awful. But school is nearly over! At least, after Paul goes crazy one more time on his thesis. But after that's done there's a measure of new-found freedom that I am longing for, for my own sake as well as his. We are celebrating his return by seeing The Avengers movie. Thankfully a new superhero movie comes out every time we have something to celebrate... Green Lantern and Thor being the last main celebratory superhero movies we saw. And you can't really call Hunger Games a superhero show exactly, though it is epic.

You can take everything I have, you can break everything I am
Like I'm made of glass, like I'm made of paper
Go on and try to tear me downI will be rising from the ground
Like a skyscraper, like a skyscraper

So I keep making stupid, small, costly mistakes. Like in Calgary, going shopping for cheap produce at the T&T and making a tiny door ding on an Asian lady's Mercedes that's costing me $1200. It was right after I'd booked a wedding for that amount too, which I'm not sure if it makes it suck more to know that I'm working a whole wedding for a stupid door ding or if it makes it better because it's affordable. Sort of. Anyway. Between that and the many stupid things I've done in the past couple of years, I'm feeling a little like my luck is on the down-hill slope. Except for the fact that I'm still winning prizes ALL THE TIME. I won an awesome doorprize for album design at the photo conference, and I just won my Chiropractor's monthly prize which included a pedometer, something I've long been curious about, and I won a free burrito a couple of months ago... So I guess maybe my "luck" hasn't changed. I do wonder if the bigger mistakes are just a factor of adulthood. With great responsibility comes greater margin for error? I'm sure Spider-Man would nod his head to that one, too.

Talk, talk is cheap
Give me a word you can keep 

So what am I doing with the time in which I should be blogging? Watching too much TV and reading too many books. Okay, I take that back, you can't read too many books. But the TV part is true. I've been following The Voice in both the USA and the UK. That's a lot of TV just by itself, but in my defence, I just play it in the background, and sometimes when a favourite voice of mine comes into my eardrum, I stop to listen. If The Voice comes to Canada, I think I'd try to audition. Just for the heck of it. In other TV, Paul and I both love British TV (my parents will have to take some of the blame for this by introducing me to the Brits by way of Mr. Bean, Masterpiece Theatre, and Hyacinth Bucket throughout my life at home) so my current obsessions are with the new Sherlock and Dr. Who. That's just a fraction of the TV though. Since I watch most things in the background while I'm working on photo editing or other computer jobs that don't require all my attention, I'd say I'm following probably a dozen or more TV shows over time. There are about four different season spans, and some of them are old, so how many I am following at one time varies. But aside from the fact that sometimes I could be using TV time to blog, and I intend to switch that around a little, I really don't regret it too much.

Oh, and lets not forget the books. I've found a social networking site on books about half a year ago, and since then it has directly led to me reading some absolutely excellent works. Most recently I read The Fault in Our Stars, which if you ask the dumb masses is a book about cancer and death, and if you ask me is a poignant book about life and love and friendship and wry humor in the face of adversity - about facing adversity and just living. I like that about it. It felt encouraging to me. It is truly an inspired book, in my opinion. I cried. I fell in love with all the characters. It was totally what fiction should be - an experience. That's merely the most memorable book. I've also been devouring the PostSecret series, enjoying Annie Leibowitz's Pilgrimage, and more, from fiction to non-fiction and beyond.

I won't soar, I won't climb
If you're not here, I'm paralyzed
Without you, without you

There has been a resurgence of activity in the love lives/family growth of what seems like dozens of friends. Between the new relationships and new babies that seem to be flooding my friend's lives, I've felt a little overwhelmed sometimes. Actually, when I think about it, it's got to be nearly a dozen people I know dealing with one or the other new person in their lives, whether young or older. Don't get me wrong, it's great to be trusted and be a confidant for many of my friends in relationships (or what they'd like to be romantic relationships). Well, it's fun to be a confidant when people actually take your advice, anyway. I've grown used to the idea that I can't change people, which has been a helpful realization that saves me from taking on a lot of false responsibilities. Sometimes I just want to throw up my hands and roll my eyes, and sometimes I am deeply concerned, but I am deeply honored recently by a great deal of trust placed in me by at least three people I can think of off the top of my head. I'm glad to be a sounding board. I'm just sorry sometimes to be a negative one. There's nothing that sucks more than telling people you think they're probably not going the right direction. I've had some really bad experiences in the past making those judgements, so it's especially hard these days. Especially when I don't currently have much evidence of being wrong about other people's relationships, and I have a whole lot of evidence of being woefully correct about bad ones. Not that I'm omniscient or anything. Just observant and good with relationships other than my own. Though this last relationship of mine is the exception to my prior rule and worked out pretty well, if I may say so myself.

General Last Three Months

And I'm not gonna stand and wait
I'm not gonna leave it until it's much too late

Therapy is probably the best decision I've ever made. Doing it along with the dietician and reconsidering my spirituality is a bit of a burden, though it seems to be working for the most part. Still lots of fixing to do, but it's getting better. It's definitely getting better.

Lord, I don't know which way I am going
Which way the river gonna flow

Ricki asked me what I like about Edmonton. The list is admittedly pretty long. Any of you who know me outside of blogging are already aware that if I have my way, I'll be staying here. I really, really love Edmonton. I think the first and foremost place I love is the Library - my local library, the main library, and the library system in general. My library card is pink and reads, "I am an information Ninja." Which is awesome. They buy enough books for the demand. They have an incredible selection of books of all varieties. They have super fabulous self-checkouts. They have cool events. So the library - incredible. And now Paul has a Calgary library card too, and you can take out books from both cities and return them in either city. Too awesome.

I love the AGA (Art Gallery) and that it brings in amazing shows. The one on Looney Tunes was brilliant, and the appropriateness of Edwin Burtinsky's work here in "oil country" can't be overstated, though I'm not a superfan of his, the work is okay and relevant. There's been some great shows I couldn't see. The arts community here is awesome. Specialized shopping is big. Big place, good stuff availability. Saskatoon is too small for a lot of shopping, big as it is by prairie standards. It's a beautiful city with tons of parks. In Saskatoon the place to go is the riverbank, and it's pretty uniform. In Edmonton there are a zillion amazing parks. I've barely scratched the surface. And that's another thing. It's big enough that I can explore for a lifetime and still never feel like I'm done. Saskatoon I'd pretty well explored already. The Rutherford House is awesome. There's some really cool restaurants. Gas is cheaper in Alberta. Family is really important to most people in Edmonton - something that sets it apart from Calgary a bit. I feel like a lot of Calgarians are a bit more like Cameron's parents from Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Calgary just feels different to me. I don't hate it, but I don't really like it either. 

At any rate, today it's been decided that Paul will only apply for jobs in Edmonton, and it's definitely possible that with the high rate of success I'm having, we will stay and just make Saskatoon a real priority in our lives. It's hard for me, because no matter what happens, one of us really has to sacrifice and there's something we both have to work at really hard. I feel like I should be the one sacrificing, and that somehow everything needs to be reciprocal, but it can't be. That's how it works. 

Bullets fly, split the sky
But that's alright, sometimes sunlight
Comes streaming through the holes

I am working on my spirituality and defining my beliefs lately. I listened to the Problem of Pain audiobook from C.S. Lewis during several of my many Calgary trips, which I really appreciated. The actual subject is only a small feature of the whole framework of humanity that he discusses, but it's a very frankly observed and wisely interpreted set of ideas in my opinion. The whole idea that pain wouldn't be a problem to us at all if there were not a benevolent God is an interesting one, in the framework he lays out. In addition to this, I started reading the Catholic catechism and making notes. I haven't gotten very far, but I am finding it a wonderful basic theological resource and I am excited to continue reading it. It may be thick, but it's quite clearly written and discusses a lot of points that are worth considering.

Not long ago, I watched a video that exposes something I haven't considered much - that we as a society don't speak in emphatic ways anymore. "It has somehow become uncool to sound like you know what you're talking about? [...] What has happened to our conviction?" It's made me really notice that happening in conversations. It's interesting.

I have been watching Ted Talks at least once a week, and following some amazing blogs like Colossal. So life without friends is rich. Usually. But I really need to fix that. 

Sing, slow-ow-ow it down
Through chaos as it swirls
It's us against the world

A couple of days ago I really wanted to go out for coffee with someone - I've spent a lot more time with people online and a little more time in person, and in this case presence is making the heart grow fonder. I really want to have a more active social life here, I want to make more of an effort. Realizing this now, when my life is busier than it has ever been before, is inconvenient. But the more I go through therapy, the more I understand that realizations are only the foundation of change when you decide to make it so. Therefore I put up a Facebook status, and it was answered by my awesome brother in law, who proceeded to take me on a general adventure around Edmonton, showing me some of the wonderful places he had found in his many walks and bike rides around the city. After a long period of cloudy days, we saw Venus shining brightly and talked about the planets a bit. There's one breathtaking view we saw that I can't wait to show Paul on a special day soon. We also spent some time talking about business ethics, life paths, and other amazing things. I'm really blessed to have inherited family (and family-in-law, even) that is pretty amazing, with kind, interesting people in it.

I think I finally found a note to make you understand
If you can hit it sing along and take me by the hand

Today, finally, I have brought my beloved home with me, after another two drives and more to come. We had a bit of a rough day, as both of us are very stressed about our respective workloads (I have an overpacked month with design and photography packed into every moment, and he's got his thesis to research and write) and neither of us are sleeping terribly well. It's not making for a smooth time together. This morning we were both really grouchy. It ended well though, with Paul giving me an animated account of what it is he's been doing at work these past six weeks, and me detailing some of my upcoming business plans.

Tomorrow I have a boudoir shoot (my fifty in a couple of weeks) and a photobooth, as well as a health-related appointment (I have tons of those these days). After that we leave for Saskatoon, which I am hoping will be a bit more relaxed, despite the fact that I will have to take my work with me. But I am looking forward to the days ahead - busy but normal with my husband in the same house. It's going to be an interesting ride!

Ah, what a feeling of accomplishment, working through so much time in a blog post. I am glad I did it. Must do more!

If you'd like to follow my adventures in all work-related things, you can always check out
 http://www.edmontonphotographer.ca

Hey Twyla, quick comment before I head to work! :) It was really sweet seeing you in Vancouver! (Such a funny coincidence that we happened to be there at the same time!)

What did you dislike about FanExpo Calgary? I enjoyed FanExpo Vancouver but I still felt like something was missing... I wanted better panels I think :) When I went to WorldCon there were soooo many panels to choose from, and a lot of them were just like classes about things like folklore in fantasy worlds. I think someday I'd really like to go to TCAF because it seems like all the web comic writers I follow go there :)

Bummer about the door ding!! Insurance didn't kick in? I totally empathize, because something a lot like that happened to me in Vancouver :( What can you do!

There are more things I'd comment on and discuss if I were talking to you in person! :) But I've got to go, so in general I'll say that I'm glad that you and Paul are finding your place in the world and finding satisfaction in all the little things life offers. <3 Have a good one!