Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Saturday is a special day

...Its the day you enjoy an entire vacation in twenty four hours.

After picking Ben and Maikal up so they could continue the renovations on the house, 
I made a major booster juice run for us.  
My love for Booster Juice knows no end.
Seriously. When I'm in Boston, I freaking crave Booster Juice all the time.
But sadly I don't even own a blender.
As such, when I came home I made getting Booster Juice a major priority.
I wish I had one right now. There really is nothing like a good smoothie.

The day continued to get better because Jess, Nathaniel and James got off work before 10:30am and had the ENTIRE day to hang out. Its not that I didn't have fun moments the rest of the time I was home. But everyone was working so much. Working on houses. And I missed having people to play with and just enjoy my time with. 

But we headed into the Park to join in the Muscular Dystrophy Safeway Walk.
My mom, Dave and Nat and the Wilde family were doing it.
And I wanted to be there to show my support.
Because Steph is one of my best friends and Nat is family.
Natalie's mom, Lawnee, had Muscular Dystrophy.
And passed away last year.
And I quite honestly have never met a nicer woman.
She was always so welcoming and sweet.
I loved that she didn't bat an eye when us Lowry kids would come to spend hours at her house visiting Dave and the kids.
Her hospitality really knew no end.
Jess and I walked twice around Nicholas Sheran Park with Dave and Reese and Katie.
And then ate some glorious hot dogs and I got a chance to catch up with Janessa Hendry again.
There is really something lovely about the Wilde/Steed clan.
And I love getting to put in some face time with Dave and Nat and the kids.

But this wasn't just any kind of day. It was a glorious hot day of summer. The kind you dream about.
So when Jesse suggested we do something fun like bridge jumping I was all over that.
There is just something completely beautiful about Alberta.
I know it doesn't look like anything special, but when I'm away, all I want is to be able to see that big blue sky and the green and golden ground. To be in the wide open prairies. The Alberta of my dreams is always in summer. And all that space, it has a freeing quality to it. 
Its the strangest feeling with Alberta. I know I do a lot of griping when I'm in Alberta. Because, while I love Alberta, I feel like for this point in my life, it may not be the best fit for me. Or more so that I'm not ready for Alberta just yet. But Alberta contains everything I love. And its hard to disregard that. Alberta is my safe place. Even though I feel out of place there now. Growing up in Alberta was amazing. And I have so many fond memories of Alberta. But its like we don't work right now. But the possibility is still there for the future. And no matter my angst against Alberta, I can't give up that possibility. I can't help but hold out for the possibility every time. 
It really was the perfect temperature for bridge jumping. The water was cool and refreshing. But once you were out in the air, you werent cold. Usually I'm a bit of a bridge jumping wuss. I jump once, maybe twice and then call it quits. But we tried to get a good group jump shot many times and I did a lot of jumping. Bridge jumping really is one of those classic summer activities.

And I was very glad for cousins who humor my tendancy to be camera happy.
Its funny because I really didnt take any pictures this trip. Until this day. It quite literally was a weeks worth of photos in just one day.

I had a lot of fun with the boys. We bridge jumped and set up staged action photos and then we did a costco polish sausage run before we headed to the new football field on the West Side. I got adventurous at Costco and saw that Jesse was putting sauerkraut on his hot dog. And I kinda was under the impression that that was gross, I decided to be brave and try it out. It was quite good and really added to the hot dog experience. My dad would be so proud to hear that. 

Because the boys jumped in their clothes... and hadn't thought to take their shirts off before they jumped, James didn't have a dry shirt. I offered to let him wear my tank top... but he declined that. So Jess tried it on to see how tight it was...
Ya... I shoulda taken a pic of the back.
It was a bit of an effeminate look.
Don't worry... Jess had a real shirt to wear so I kept my own clothes.

My dad had mentioned that I should come watch LCI play since he was coaching all day.
It was so surreal watching the game. First off, everyone looks so young. 
Honestly, often, I still feel like the 17 year old version of myself. 
I look at myself and go "You aren't that different." 
But seeing all those high school students? I could not get over how small they all looked.
How young and naive. How physically miniature they appeared.
Was I ever that small? That ridiculous in posturing?
And I laughed at the fact that I wasn't there to cheer on LCI
as some ridiculous hardcore alumni. 
I was there to watch my dad on the sidelines. 

Its weird to remember how LCI football used to take up most of my fall.
I quit swimming because it interfered with going to LCI football games.
To be fair, I was a stat girl. 
But still. LCI football was such a domineering force in high school.
Everything my family did centered around it.
And my dad still loves it. So much so, that even though he no longer
has his own boys playing, he still wants to be a part of it. 

But once half time hit, with the sun still high in the sky, 
Jess, Nathaniel and James and I were feeling a little sunned out. So we headed back home.
Ben and Maikal were still hard at work.
So I went up to hang out.
Since they have been working so much on the house, helping the project is about the only chance I get to spend with them.
One day I mixed some thin set. Another day I painted a closet. But for today, I helped grout.
I won't lie, there is something nice about working side by side.
A bonding that occurs while you build something.
And even though this was the most work oriented vacation I've had from
dental school (and oh did my mother hear about it), I liked the time I got
to spend with Maikal, Ben and Dave. 
Maikal is really skilled.
And I can't help but be impressed by the depth of his knowledge.
And I like that he doesn't get annoyed that I hang around and ask this question or that.
Doesn't get annoyed that I'm SO slow and bail out at a moments notice.

But he definitely had a pirate look going on.
Cropped jeans (perhaps from a ship wreck?). A striped shirt?
A brooding stare? 
The only thing missing was an eyepatch.
I kinda liked it. I like Pirate Maikal.

But I definitely can be a bit of a perfectionist. Even when its not my project.
We had been grouting, and pretty soon after you grout you have to wipe the excess off the tiles and clean up the grout lines. We finished the floor... but I kept finding tiles that could be a little cleaner.
Eventually Ben goes - "Ok, you're STILL working. We're done. I'm confiscating your water."

My parents suite is gonna be prime though after Ben and Maikal are through.

But we had planned to go for an adult family dinner at night.
Once football finished and Linz and I picked Ben up, we headed out with Maikal and Brittany
meeting us there.
So it was with a little shock that once we got there, Ryder appeared by his parents side.
It was most certainly a pleasant surprise.
I just forget that Ryder isn't a baby anymore.
He is now old enough to come to adult only dinners.

And I asked him to smile for a picture and got this:
I couldn't stop laughing.
I don't know what this is, but I find it hilarious.
Ryd sat next to me at the table. 
And that little man is so funny.
I know he's growing up, and its so strange to realize, but at the same time, he doesn't hesitate to believe.
I couldn't help but tell him that Grandpa's mom was a descendant of Sharks, when he mentioned how scary sharks are to him.
Because Sharks are our cousins (according to my Grandma Veia). And Lowry blood doesn't thin with generations so they wouldn't hurt their relatives.
Ryder reminds me a lot of Josh.
He's just so random and sweet.

Lately, I've really been feeling a shift in the family dynamic. I feel like we're all getting closer. Like the family is really settling into our relationships together. And I just am so grateful for that. Because there is no family that compares to my family. And I love the closeness. 

Post-dinner we got a little DQ.
As you can tell, Lowry boys always behave for photos.

Also, I really liked my outfit.
My mother found purple t-shirts in my old closet.
And seeing as our washer and dryer were out of commission due to the renos,
I happily altered the t-shirt so I had something clean to wear.

After dinner... I headed back to Ben and Jesse's place 
to meet back up with Jess. I felt cheerful and great about
the entire day and wanted to hang out with people and 
continue to do something fun. Maikal and Brittany were
going home to bed but Jess, Nathaniel, James and I decided
to go to Andrew Hall's house to hang out and see what he
was up to. We talked about Community and decided that
we would watch a few episodes. Cause its freaking funny.

We watched until the boys were exhausted.
I know I should of taken them home earlier.
Cause they work so hard, poor dears.
But I did take them home once I noticed.

My night could of ended right then and
there and I would have called it a wonderful,
perfect vacation day. Because it was so
carefree and just what I had been needing.

But it didn't.

I serendipitously ran into an old friend, who thought it was
a lovely night for a walk. We brought blankets and headed into
Nicholas Sheran Park to star gaze, and laugh and talk into the
early morning hours. Honestly, it was such an unexpected
end to the day. But late night chats are among my favourite things. 
And I don't think I've laughed so much in quite some time.

It was a great day.

Sometimes I forget just how wonderful the people I know are.
The distance makes me weird and think that the genuine affection
I have for those people has changed. That those people have
changed and that we no longer care for each other or fit together like 
we used to. Jess pointed out to me how unkind I was being to
Maikal now that he's married. And as silly as it was, I was
unintentionally distancing myself. I'm lucky, so very lucky,
that I have friends who don't let me ruin our friendships because
our situations have changed. Friends who tell me whatever I can 
give them is fine, until I smarten up and realize what an idiot
I can be. Because, situations may change and the people I love
may change, but the affection and connection I have to those
people, the true, honest love, well, that hasn't really changed at all.
Just sometimes I'm too foolish to see it.

On that note. Saturday really was a special day.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


A couple of hundred years ago, Benjamin Franklin shared with the world the secret of his success. Never leave that till tomorrow, he said, which you can do today. This is the man who discovered electricity. You think more people would listen to what he had to say. I don’t know why we put things off, but if I had to guess, I’d have to say it has a lot to do with fear. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, sometimes the fear is just of making a decision, because what if you’re wrong? What if you’re making a mistake you can’t undo? The early bird catches the worm. A stitch in time saves nine. He who hesitates is lost. We can’t pretend we hadn’t been told. We’ve all heard the proverbs, heard the philosophers, heard our grandparents warning us about wasted time, heard the damn poets urging us to seize the day. Still sometimes we have to see for ourselves. We have to make our own mistakes. We have to learn our own lessons. We have to sweep today’s possibility under tomorrow’s rug until we can’t anymore. Until we finally understand for ourselves what Benjamin Franklin really meant. That knowing is better than wondering, that waking is better than sleeping, and even the biggest failure, even the worst, beat the hell out of never trying.
Meredith Grey (via sweetlittlesnippets)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Matt's Wedding - Things That Made This Wedding Awesome

Aren't they precious?

The Perfect AB Weather

Cute kids in tutus and colour coordinated polos who also sing cute songs
(though children with slurpees and straws are not to be trusted!)

The speed with which this hug was given and then run away from

Fun groomsmen that are fun
Cartwheel research paying off.

Playing up the cute angle
Mission accomplished.

Friends who don't come for the bride and groom

Cute bridesmaids

Favorite cousin excitement

Faraway Friends

Dear Stefanie Bissett Hyde.
If I had a picture of you with the happy couple it would go right here.

A romantic groom with secret talents

A program that doesn't suck.
Hawaiian dancing
Slightly cheesy MC'in
Children singing
Awesome movie depiction of their courtship (complete with catchy tune!)
Is it wrong to say I loved it all?

Cute decorations that are also easy to take down

Family represent!
It honestly was amazing how many aunts, uncles and cousins made it out to the wedding.
I kinda love my family.

The mountain man
I don't care that he didn't dress in wedding colours.
Or that he refused to shave on principle.
A little bit I look at these pictures and love his beard.

Nicole Smith
Love this girl.

Pretty girls.
My cousin Tessa did Linz hair. And I have never seen it look better. I loved it.
And am a little proud of my personal shopping skills... Lindsay's dress?... found that. My mom's blazer? Bought that. 

Oh cuteness!

Real Smiles
Look how flashy Matty's straight teeth are... yup, he got his braces off four days before his wedding.
Nothing like a close call.

Seriously. Could Tiffany be any more beautiful? 

These hooligans

I just like us.

Time and all eternity.
That is no small feat.
And the love my brother has for Tiffany
never ceases to amaze me.
I'd love to say I taught him everything he knows
but my brother's love and ability to sacrifice
are things that I aspire to emulate one day.

Let me set the stage.
The program is coming to a close.
The bride is now going to throw her bouquet.
An invitation to all single girls goes out.
No one moves.
My name is called out.
"Melissa, come on up..."
I stand up and move to the front of the room.
And not a single other person moves.
I look around me and the entire room stares back.
David Alan quips about me being the only single person in the room.
And I die a little of embarrassment.
Photos are taken.
And after letting the moment wash over me thoroughly,
other single girls filter their way up.
Thanks single ladies of the wedding reception.
But I know everyone else got a good laugh so it was alright.
But awkward... ohhh it was awkward.

The Familia
I missed Josh.
And wished Dave made it into more photos.
Or that we got a "sister" shot with the four of us sisters.

The Smith Familia
I love that there is now a bond between the Lowry family and Smiths.
Because these people are solid.

Good wedding, right?