Monday, October 31, 2005

...and the two shall become one

Before I got married it used to disgust me when couples would say "we are doing this" or "we really loved such and such". I'm not sure why. I think it bothered me the most when it was couples who were only dating and not married yet. Probably because it always sounded to me like they were finding their identity in a relationship - which probably wasn't the case. It really, really bothered me and my friends would always laugh and make fun of me for it saying that soon enough I would slip into that. I guess because I am so stubbornly independant and want to be me and not "Vanessa and Jamie". But inevitably, I find myself saying "we" this and "we" that and ... it's not as bad as I thought it would be. It's kinda hard not to say it as Jamie and I seriously do pretty much everything together. Still, it was quite a shock when it just slipped out while writing a reply to someone's evite and I said that "we" had something else scheduled.
I guess it's true that the two really do become one. I think what worried me the most is that I would lose myself in this couple identity and that I would stop learning about who I was created to be and what my skills, talents, interests, passions, and quirks are. But that hasn't happened yet and as I continue to be that stubborn firecracker, I continue to learn about myself - and with marriage, more often than not, it's the faults and things that I'm not great at that I am confronted with. Perhaps that's because there are more faults than great things...not to say that I'm not a wonderful person - :D all I know is that I'll be learning and growing for the rest of my life. If I ever stop learning and growing it will be a sad, sad day.
So all that to say, I am quite happy to incorporate "we" into my daily life.
Especially because it involves this handsome fella.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

motivation such an aggrevation

I think I need to take a course or something. I'm bored and I'm not learning and I'm having trouble focussing. It's probably just an "off" week, but all week I've been so lazy, lethargic and just plain bored. I know that boredom is a bad thing and supposed to be a sign of something bad, but I can't help it. Support raising is HARD, we're nearing the end of our contact list and we still have another 20% to raise. *sigh* and *sigh* So I feel like a bit of a downer right now.
I know it will clear up...I think I just need to do something creative. Like take pictures. I really wish I was taking another photography course. I really enjoyed my last one at Humber.
I think I will start up on making some of my Christmas gifts.
Oh you know what I think it is? I need my own space. I'm getting cabin fever and I need my own place and space to do what I want. Privacy has never been a HUGE priority (ie. I've always felt the need to have an "open door" policy if you know what I mean) but I think as humans we ALL have at least a need for some sort of privacy.
Phew. This has been a rambling ranty entry that I haven't done in a while.
Oh and I bought the new Broken Social Scene CD as well as the Killers CD which I know isn't new but I've wanted it for over a year now.
That is all.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Something New!

I just started up a photo blog to only post pictures. Check it out if you are interested!


Over the last month or so, the topic of racism has been talked about and analysed and brought up over and over. So I have been dwelling on this topic quite a bit lately.
Yesterday I was browsing online and found this article/video clip of these two pre-teen twin sisters from the Southern US who are singing Nazi songs with the facade of cutesy folk tunes. It honestly made me sick to see it. They sing at White Supremicist rallys and they are very honest about their racist beliefs. One of the twins said that Hitler was a great man. The other one said that she didn't believe that over 6 million Jews were slaughtered. She said she didn't believe there were that many on the earth at the time. What? What on earth have you been brain-washed with? The brainwashing comes from their mother and grandfather who are both White Supremecists. The grandfather even brands his cattle with the swastika. What? How can a symbol that so much of the world shudders at the picture of, be something that this man feels completely comfortable branding on his cattle and even on the side of his truck?
Call me naive, but I had no idea that groups like that were tolerated. How can you get away with having public meetings to discuss how your race is better and even supreme over all other races? Promoting hatred and racism towards other cultures and races should be illegal.
Racism is something that I feel very, very strongly about and when I think about how rampant it is (especially in the US), I feel sick to my stomach. Growing up in Toronto and being white, yet being the minority in both my junior-middle school as well as my high school, it was very normal to have friends from many different countries and cultures. I'm so thankful for that experience and that childhood and I wouldn't have it any other way. I was educated in different cultures long before I ever took a "Cultures of the World" course or any other type of course that explores peoples of the world.
Toronto is one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world! You can find a restaurant that serves food from practically any country in the world, you can go to "Little Italy", Chinatown, explore areas that are Polish, Greek, German, Russian, West Indian, etc. Toronto has it's problems I'm sure, but there's no other place I'd rather be. How can a biracial child not be beautiful? How can a human life not be beautiful?
Racism comes down to ignorance, and ignorance is ugly - no matter if it does have blue eyes and blond hair.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Celebrations for a 24 year old.

Yesterday was the big 2-4 and despite skulking around like a hermit during most of the day, the evening definitely redeemed itself.
Jo and Shereen came in from London and then we met up with the rest of the gals at a pub in Bloor/West Village. And I had a great time! The Silliness Factor was up by at least 10 points and the laugh meter was off the charts. We had a really, really good time and I even did a shot of water. Ahem. Yes, it was all fun and games, really.
It was nice to chit and chat and a bit of "seat grooving" (where you just shake it up a bit whilst's really quite enjoyable). It was nice even though the service wasn't entirely up to par (hence the shot of water) but we were upstairs, relatively by ourselves and I enjoyed some delicious sweet potato fries - DELISH!
I had a fine time and thanks to the ladies that came out and made it the fun night that it was!
This morning, however, my dear mother put on an amazing spread for brunch. *insert tummy rumbling here* Everything from a cheese spread, sticky buns (my fav) yogurt, spinach dip with pumpernickel bread, fruit, cheesecake!, and a sweet sassy apple cake. MmmMmmMmm. I may just have to go over there later on tonight!
So all in all, it was a good one, a memorable one, a fun one. And it's all in what you make it.
24 always seemed old...but now that I've arrived it doesn't feel that old. I really only feel it when I've crossed my legs for awhile and go to stand up. Hello? Bones cracking anyone?
So bring on year # 25. I'm ready.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Blue Man Group - you should go!

Last night Tamsin took me to see Blue Man Group for my birthday. It.Was.Amazing. It was! I loved it. A combo of humour, weirdness and rhythmic collaborations. It's hard to describe, but it was literally like being in a dream - a really weird dream - and everyone else knows exactly what it was like. Everything from one guy throwing at least 20 marshmallows and the other catching them in his mouth - the Ultimate Chubby Bunny - to playing a drum beat on a plumbing pipe - to eating twinkies with a fork and knife (and involving an audience member) to being taught how to be a rock star, to playing classic rock songs on a bunch of pipes.
It was SOOOOOO much fun and thank you so much Tamsin!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Crusades

Yesterday I watched the movie, Kingdom of Heaven. It's a movie about the medieval crusades that I know I need to do much research on. But the whole movie (though I did fall asleep for about a half hour) seemed to have an over-arching sadness to it. What possessed these people to kill, slaughter and rape those who did not share the same beliefs as them? And throughout the movie those in authority kept saying over and over, "It is God's will for us to do such and such." Usually that such and such was killing, slaughtering or even initiating a war. What? God's will? How do you know? Are you coming before God in prayer, meditating on His word day and night and begging for peace and salvation for all? They were so misguided. It makes me so mad and so sad that Christians and Muslim's today have this huge gap between them because of these foolish crusades that happened hundreds and hundreds of years ago.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Our first apartment

Last night as I was lying in bed - the time when all my productive thinking occurs - I got to thinking about our apartment in Kitchener. It was our first apartment and I loved it. So I was thinking that I should write a blog about my memories there and things that I liked (and also disliked) about it. It probably will not interest anyone except for myself and possibly Jamie. But for posterity I am writing this blog anyway. (Oooh "posterity"....such a good word!)
One night last summer I woke up at around 5am to Stanley (our cat, see post entitled, "Stanley") running around and around our room, over our bed, in a pattern as if he were chasing the ceiling fan. I soon realized that there was a bat in our room. I immediately went into panic mode and wanted to hide under the covers while Jamie was trying to take the covers off so we could get out of there. It was a tramatizing experience and sometimes I think I hear that awful squeaking noise in the middle of the night. We still have no idea how it got in - but my theory is that it got in through the bathroom vents. *shrug*
Then there were the nights where Jamie and I stayed up past 2am doing a whole lot of nothing - so one night I decided to make mashed potatoes. I made enough to feed an army! But they were delicious! Another night I made peach cobbler. Some might say I'm crazy.
I loved having people over. Girls and guys! Jo and Shereen came over on a couple weekends. That was fun - the Spa place just down the street was amazing - choco fondue and some of those sweet mocha drink things.
I miss my kitchen. I miss my food processor (even though I used it, maybe a few times...but it's so cool and I know one day I'll use it!), my clean counters and floors. Even the oven that always burned everything. For some reason it was 200 degrees hotter than it should have been.
The sweet balconey where we often smoked cigars while sitting on those little stools from Cuba.
The door that you had to give a shove and lean against while you locked it.
Oh and those foolish hallway closets - the silly doors kept falling off. Annoying at the time, yet funny to think upon now.
My birthday party where I sulked at the end of the night because the guys wanted to watch something else - precisely why I am doing an all-girls birthday thing this year - where I think about 16 people slept over? Crazy.
Our sweet, sweet Zehrs where you could do your own check-out. I loved that.
Getting ridiculously snowed in during the winter. Crazy snow in Kitchener. And ice!
Going for walks around the neighbourhood and attempting to regularily go for runs.
I love our sweet, old black leather couches. They are scrappy, but sooo comfortable.
Opening the door in a dark apartment to see Stanley come running up with squinty "sleepy eyes" and do his double "meow".
My birthday indoor picnic that Jamie put on for me after work. Candles, a delicious meal and some fine, fine wine.
Having our families over for dinner or games or whatever. I loved making food and trying out new recipes in my kitchen. I've said it before, but I'll say it again - I miss my kitchen.
Those silly bathroom drawers - the bottom one was kinda mouldy. Ick.
Oh and how amazingly hot it got in there once the heater was fixed - at the beginning of November!!!
Lugging all our laundry up and downstairs - I don't miss that!
Our sweet landlord and his family. I only wish we coulda gotten to know them better.
I love that we never really heard our neighbours - only on summer nights when the kid a few apartments away would attempt to play the guitar. He was horrible.
How blessed we were - and still are.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Treat pic 'o the month

I've decided that every month I will feature a treat on my blog.
This month's treat is M&M Almonds! I love 'em! I love 'em! I had a large handful of them (thanks Erin) last week and I loves 'em! I loves 'em!
You should try them. It's like chocolate covered almonds - but better!!!

I took this picture on our way home from Montreal. I really like it - I'm not sure why. The cool clouds, driving into the's a road trip picture and I likes it.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

We win!

A happy couple after our Leafs win!

Trip to Montreal

Me & Jamie outside the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec for our birthday presents to each other.
The teams face off - it was incredible to see so many Leaf fans 6 hours away from home to support their team!
The final score - oh yeah, we won - much to the disappointment of those overconfident Montreal fans.
Celebrating the game-winning goal scored by Eric Lindros!
The (drunk and very mouthy) guy in front of us who bought a Habs flag so he could rest his feet on it - you can see it at the bottom of the picture!

Friday, October 14, 2005

The Revolutionary Online Life

I was just thinking the other weird it is that you can just go online and find photos about anything. People post their pictures online about their life, they journal online about their life, post private and intimate details of their life for the world to see. It's so weird because I find the North American culture ridiculously private. And yet we are obviously yearning for intimacy with people - so we post it online for millions to see. It's so strange.
I guess having experienced such an open culture in Tanzania where you could talk about most everything - your life, your family, your religion or faith and you could talk about it with anyone - even a stranger from Canada - it's just such a stark difference in Canada where you have to constantly be thinking of how you're going to transition from a "surface" conversation into something deeper. I think this online phenomenon just goes to show that people are looking to discuss the deeper things in life and specifically the deeper things that go on in their own life.
And I am just one of many.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


I was lying in bed last night thinking and the only thing going around my head was the song "Photograph" but Nickelback. Now I'm not a die-hard Nickelback fan, but I do like quite a few of their songs. This song, however has really resonated with me for some reason. Maybe because I really enjoy reminiscing about my childhood and growing up and looking at pictures. We were all so different then and life was so different then.
It's just about looking back on how things were and saying good-bye to the past and hello to what's to come and what is in the now.
All I know is that it gets stuck in my head for hours and when I hear it on the radio when I'm driving, I end up speeding because I'm belting out the song and I don't even realize it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


I have this love-hate relationship with sleep and more specifically sleeping in. I love to sleep in! I always have really good dreams AND it's also just a nice feeling to be lying in bed when you should be awake and dressed and doing something productive.
At the same time, I hate seeing the time on the clock past 9am and thinking about how much I could have been doing by now - the day goes by so much faster when you sleep in.
It's also a vicious circle. You sleep in. So you stay up later because you're not tired. So you sleep in because you stayed up so late. And so on and so forth.
But sleep.
It's truly a wonderful thing.

I stole this from Travis (

....Rules of the game: Post 5 Weird and Random facts about yourself, then at the end list the names of 5 people who are next in line to do this.

1. I love the feeling of having clean feet when I go to sleep.
2. I have a horrible sense of direction and yet still feel the need to blurt out suggestions or directions (and what I feel to be corrections) to Jamie when he is driving (despite his impeccable sense of direction - don't say I never said it, babe!)
3. Sometimes I pretend not to hear Jamie's questions so I don't have to answer them. (If you know Jamie, you'll understand that he asks 100x more questions than the average person - per day.)
4. I love it when people laugh at their own jokes - and when actors crack up on SNL.
5. I have an uncanny sense of smell.


Being Thankful

I am thankful for a house to live in (though not my own) while so many in New Orleans, India and many others all over the world are without what we so often take for granted.
I am thankful for my health; that I am not living daily with the pain of cancer, the limiting paraplegia, or even something as little as asthma.
I am thankful for my family; for my immediate and blood relatives as well as the wonderful in-laws I have married into. That I am welcomed by all and experience no shunning or rejection as do many all over the world for various reasons.

I am thankful for friends; my girlfriends whom I can laugh, cry, chat and vent to and know that they still love me even when they see my HUGE faults.
I am thankful for a car; to be able to get around when I need to despite the high prices of gas.
I am thankful for heat and warm clothes as we are going into the seasons when the weather gets colder and many homeless die on the streets of cities across the globe.
I am thankful for my husband Jamie; a man who loves God more than anything else and who loves me far more than I deserve.
I am thankful for my God; who chose me before I was formed in my mother's womb. Who made his light to shine in my heart and daily beckons me to Him with abounding mercy and grace. Who loves me far more than I deserve and yet calls me His daughter - even when I was the worst of sinners - that I am an heir with His own son, Jesus Christ who is everything my life is about.
I am thankful.

Saturday, October 8, 2005

Families are weird

Why are family functions destined to be full of mishaps and usually a few arguements?
I don't have the answer to that question, but looking back, as frustrating as it is at times, it's like watching a comedy. It's funny if it's not happening to you.
Do families like The Brady Bunch exist? And while I actually have never even seen the Brady Bunch, I would say, nope. Miscommunication is the cause of something like 90% of all arguements. People have higher expectations, or ideas of what they want to see happen or how they expect people should act. What would happen if we had no expectations? This blog is really not going anywhere...but I mostly just wanted to say that apple picking and visiting the grandparents with your family is a lot more complicated than it sounds!

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Good old fashioned fiction

Currently I'm reading a book called Redemption by Karen Kingsbury and Gary Smalley. Last night I started it and after only 6 chapters I was bawling. I never cry when I read books. Watching movies, yes (and sometimes good Bell commercials), but never books. It's a story mainly about a husband and wife and how their marriage falls apart (due to infidelity) and how they want to fight to keep their marriage. It's so refreshing and heart-wrenching as there are just so many couples out there who have lost the will to fight. Who don't even know that people out there FIGHT for their marriages.
I read a quote recently by an actress who said that marriage shouldn't be hard work and if it is then you've married the wrong person. I disagree. I think you need to work very hard at marriage at times and especially as the "excitement" wears off. I think if you don't laugh in your marriage then you've probably married the wrong person - I guess I shouldn't say that but to me, it's HUGE to be able to laugh with my husband. It's a lot more than laughing, though. It's so much more on a physical, emotional, intellectual and highly spiritual level.
I know there will be rough times and hard times in my marriage (I'm going on two years - woohoo!) but I want to say that during those times, I fought to keep my marriage strong. I want to be like the couple I met at the bank who had been married for over 60 years who were so happy and so in love. I want to be like that!
I am so thankful that I married Jamie. He is so much of what I am not. He is patient and loving when I am short and spiteful. Our Pastor once said that "Marriage destroys the ego and enlargens the soul.". I have found this to be so true. More true as I open more of myself up to change from the inside out.
So...for those looking for a good Christian fictional novel, pick up Redemption (it's the first in a series!) and grab the Kleenex box!

Tuesday, October 4, 2005


I came into my bedroom to find my cat Stanley sitting like so. What an idiot. And he stayed like that for about 15 minutes. Jamie proceeded to take numerous pictures on my camera - film, not digital. What a guy. What a cat. What a lucky girl I am to have so much humour in my life.

Now that's some facial hair!

They actually have a World Beard and Moustache Championships. This guy entered into two different categories: Partial Beard and Freestyle.
Partial beard? I'd hate to see what a full beard looks like.
I wonder what his wife thinks.

Monday, October 3, 2005

Summit 2005

Heartfelt worship, LOUD cheering and songs from different universities, challenging messages, a Napoleon Dynamite spoof, cardboard boats and one crazy staff member zip-lining into a crowd of over 400 students were just a few of the things that happened at Summit 2005 and what made it even more exciting than any other Summit before it.
One of my favourite things about Summit is the competition between the different university campuses. There's Queens with the jacket slapping and typical song/cheer. There's the Toronto campuses (Ryerson, U of T and York) with their T-O chant. It gets in your head! Guelph and Mac's cheer worked together as they both were doing the "O-le, ole, ole, ole" chant. You know I was singing along.
I wished I were on campus by now. It's hard to be support raising, but I know in the end it'll get me where I desire so much to be. How lucky am I? I get to work with awesome staff who have a heart to change the world and build into student's lives and to literally transform our university campuses for Christ. The students are so passionate and on fire that it often puts me to shame in my passion and heart for this ministry. It's exciting, though. And I love it.
And then there's STINT. Short Term International. Ever since Jamie went to Tanzania the first time and then ever since we both went to Tanzania in May of this year, we've both had a desire to spend at least a year in Tanzania to help with the ministry at the University of Dar es Salaam. I know that this is something I want to do, but I'm having a hard time focussing on it as I'm focussing so much of my energies on just getting on campus here in Canada! But it was great to meet with the Tanz team at Summit and see the passion that God has placed on some of their hearts to do the same with Jamie and I.
I know this will be a long journey that God is going to take me on, but I'm almost scared to "go there". Especially in my mind and emotions. I guess missions is something I've always been open to, but never really had a clear heart for a particular part of the world. Until now. As one of our supporters said, "If you are open to missions overseas, then you should go. Most people are not even open to going anywhere. If you are open, God will use you and WILL send you." That really spoke to me. I guess I thought most people were at least open to going somewhere, but I guess that's not true. I know that the "travel bug" God put in me, was to lead me to eventually go into missions overseas. And that's really cool.
After this weekend, I was just so refreshed by the amazing and awesome worship and just had some intimate communion with my maker and the lover of my soul, Jesus Christ. I just got the new Chris Tomlin cd called Arriving. I recommend it to anyone looking for a worship CD of solid lyrics and sweet melodies (how's that for a review?!). There's one song that I just love and it's called "Mighty is the power of the cross" and I am always brought back to the simplicity of my faith and the extreme and absolute love Jesus displayed for me on the cross.

What can take a dying man and raise him up to life again?
What can heal a wounded soul?
What can make us white as snow?
What can fill the emptiness?
What can mend our brokenness?

Mighty, awesome, wonderful
Is the holy cross
Where the Lamb laid down His life
To lift us from the fall
Mighty is the power of the cross

What restores our faith in God?
What reveals the Father's love?
What can lead the wayward home?
What can melt a heart of stone?
What can free the guilty ones
What can save and overcome?

It's still a miracle to me
It's still a mystery
It's still a miracle to me
The power of God
For those who believe

In a world filled with brokenness, hurt and pain, praise Jesus that the power of the cross is enough to heal, comfort and welcome back the prodigal sons and daughters.
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