Thursday, July 26, 2012

MOH Anniversary Toast

I am a sucker for a good wedding and tears are a regular(and sometimes welcome) occurrence during the proceedings. I love being in a wedding party even more. I've been lucky enough to be in 3 wedding parties, each time as Maid of Honor. 8 years ago, I stood up with my sister, as her MOH, as she married Jeff. I was an emotional basket case for much for the day. Laughing one minute, crying the next, I rode that roller coaster all day. It was fantastic. However, I do have one regret from that day.
During the reception, the two bridesmaids and myself got up to give a toast to the bride/advice to the groom. Shockingly, I had nothing prepared ahead of time and in my mental haze of dizzying emotion, there were tears and some laughter but I've never been satisfied with what I shared. It was scattered and not up to snuff in my opinion. I've often thought of what I could have said about Shannelle and Jeff, or what I would say now, knowing them as a pair for 8 more years. So, for this, Shannelle and Jeff's 8th anniversary, I thought I would give it another shot. I give you the toast that should have been.

  Shannelle, there are few words that can describe all I'm feeling today. I've chosen a few and hope they will suffice.

Lucky- I'm lucky that you didn't kill me when, as kids, I tricked you into cleaning my room time and time again. For that matter, you're lucky I didn't kill you for repeatedly manipulating me into doing, pretty much whatever you wanted(Just go down the laundry shoot, Jenn! It's not that far!). I'm lucky that I've blocked out the summer road trips fights we must have had and mostly remember the ridiculous games we played(How much of your fist can you put in your mouth without it actually touching your mouth?).
Today, I'm lucky I have waterproof mascara on. I'm also lucky that you have brought Jeff into our family. He will make a fantastic, somewhat calmer addition to our loud family and maybe, one day, he'll get to a point that he'll join in on our antics, or at least doesn't internally(or externally) roll his eyes at our crazy Tattrie behavior. More than anything, I am lucky, and blessed beyond belief to have you as my sister. We over-share together(something I've learned it's best not to do with everyone), we talk about fictional characters as if they were real, and share some of the same perfectly logical neuroses. You encourage me, push me and I admire you more than you know.

Happy- When we weren't driving each other 'round the bend, we were a team, a pair, for all of my 21 years. There were secrets shared(or so we thought-Mom's really do know everything), clothes borrowed, Barbie's divvied up and much, much, laughter exchanged. I'm happy today to pass you off to a man I trust to share, hopefully not your clothes, or Barbies for that matter, but your secrets and much laughter. Today, I am truly and unabashedly happy for you. To see you start a new chapter of your life with this man who you love and who clearly loves you makes my heart smile. 

Excited- I'm excited to see where life will take the two of you. Maybe one day, if you so choose, I might have a couple nephews that are cuter than anything I've ever seen. Your call, of course. Perhaps, I'll start to follow golf and trade texts with Jeff during golf tournaments. Although, I really don't see that happening. Whatever happens, know that I'll be there cheering you on, praying for you and coming over to your house whenever possible.

Shannelle, I love you. Jeff, you're alright too.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

What 29 Looks Like

Before you read this post, you should probably read this one. I'm sorry but I'm not going to write that all out again. I'll wait.

You read it? Okay, then read on.

I'm looking to have a different sort of year. In order to do that, I'll be setting some goals for myself. I'll be adding to this list throughout the year. Some of the goals will be super small, possibly a bit silly(check out #3), some will be a bit more substantial. I'm the kind of person who takes a shower, then writes "Take a shower" on her To Do list just so I can cross it off. There may be a bit of that this year, but I'm okay with that.

1. Write a New Post Every Two Weeks
       Writing is something I love to do and I`d like to work my writing muscles a bit more than I have been. I`d like to get better. At first I thought I should write a post every week but seeing as how it`s taken more than two months to write my two most recent posts, I thought every two weeks was probably a bit more realistic.

2. Pursue Writing
   What this would look like, I'm not sure. It's been suggested to me that I pursue getting my work published. My first(and second and third) response was "What? No way! What if they say no!" Who is 'they' and what are they saying 'no' to? I'm not sure. I don't make sense a lot of the times. However! I`d like to see where it might take me. If you have any tips or advice, send them my way!

3. Watch Braveheart
  This is one of those silly goals, obviously. I’m fairly certain that pop culture has ruined the whole, “They’ll never take our freedom!” for me, but I’ll give it a shot regardless.

4. Create More Structure at Work 
  I am a nanny to amazing, two-year-old twin girls. They are hilarious and adorable(as many two-year-old`s are) and I love them so much! We go on a number of awesome outings(Calgary Zoo, Science Center, Monkeyshines) and have lots of fun at home, but I`d like to step up the educational component. They`re whip smart, so all I need to do to provide them with more opportunities to learn! It`ll also give me an opportunity to use that BEd I’ve got! :)

5. Plan For Something a Year in Advance
  Since I graduated from university, my ability to plan anything more than a couple weeks into the future has gone to seed. This is a skill, I feel, a functioning adult needs to have a better handle on. And so I plan. Well, I plan to plan. I`m thinking a 30th Birthday trip. We`ll see.

Stayed tuned for more! And hey, if youve got some goals ideas, let me hear ’em!

One More Year

15 years ago:
  I look at the party invite that my parents have received for Steve's 30th Birthday. One thought runs through my head- "30. Steve, I'm so sorry. Life is over for you now." As a very wise 14 year old, I could see that my life was full of possibility and clearly, at 30, Steve should just give up. What was there to live for after 30?

9 years ago:
  My twentieth birthday hits me like a ton of bricks. Living in the States with family, I have a near meltdown, sure that I'm light years away from where I should be in life. There are many tearful emails written to family and friends back home that all share a common theme- "I'm 20, shouldn't I have it figured out by now? I'm nowhere where I thought I'd be."

1 year ago:
  I turn 28. There's no denying it now. I'm in my late twenties. None of this forgiving "mid-twenties" stuff, I'm rolling to the finish line. I start to see 30 on the horizon, waiting to give me my Retirement From Life papers. A steady dread makes itself at home in my mind, occasionally singing "30's getting closer! 30's getting closer!", like a school yard bully.

  I turn 29. I have 365 days until I'm 30. You may think it's silly, hey, I think it's silly, but I'm kinda freakin' out. I have often said, "If my 20 year old self knew that I'd age almost a decade and still not really know what I'm doing, I would have really and truly lost my mind." I feel like I should know where I'm headed(or at least a general direction), that I should know what I'm about. I've got to be honest with you, most days, I don't. However, an experience last weekend had an unexpected influence on me. I went camping. You might say I had an epiphany. And by epiphany, I mean, I realized something that most people would find to be common sense. Let me explain.

  Camping has never been on my radar. I didn't hate it(although I did have a number of minor death-related fears about it), I didn't love it, I had no feelings towards it at all because I had never tried it. There are lots of things in life, trivial and otherwise, that I'm indifferent to, or more importantly set against, because of the unknown. I don't know what the outcome will be so I eliminate the possibility of the experience altogether. Here's the problem with that thinking-you miss out on so much! Well, I assume you do, I wouldn't know. :)

  One of the best ways to find some direction in life is to try different paths. "It doesn't hurt to knock on the door", as my mom would say. Try things you've never done or only considered. For the most part, you won't know if it's right or wrong by simply making a pro/con list. Listen, I'm not saying, "Hey! Try something new! Do something you know to be a colossal mistake! Stupid decision making leads to a great life!" I'm thinking more along the lines of, "You have a talent. Explore it. See where it might lead. Take it in a direction you didn't expect." Or something as simple as, "Hey! You've never gone camping-give it a shot! You might like it!" Turns out I did. So, as a brand new member of the 29 year old club, I'm making a decision to be a bit more intentional with my life. I'll do my best to accept the life that's brought me to this point and shake off the fear of my twenties. If I'm nowhere I thought I'd be(check!), I've decided that I'm going to use this year to get a bit closer. A year from now, I still may not know what my life will look like at 31, but I'm hoping that I'll have, at least, narrowed the path and maybe eliminated a few possibilities. Check out my post, What 29 Looks Like, to see what some of my goals are.