Tuesday, February 24, 2015

February is for freezing...

I am guilty of having said, on multiple occasions this winter:
When will this be over?
Followed shortly by:
Why do we live here?
 To which Graham responds a variation of:
The healthcare: I'm a kidney transplant patient. Our families. Our friends. Kris, you work for the Federal Government... No we cannot move to California tomorrow. 
I know. I know.

Cue guilt as I zip up my parka.

But we are all (at least those of us in Ottawa) guilty of having laughed at this image while dreaming of snow that is actually not snow, but in fact sand...
All of that said, we are incredibly fortunate to live the life we do; and we are incredibly fortunate to live it here.

I thought I would share a few highlights from February.
Valentine's cake for our wedding party :)
The night before Valentine's Day, we decided to plan a little get-together for our wedding party. I thought it would feel special to spend some quality time together before I transform, Animorphs-style, into a fire-breathing dragon (bridezilla)...

Kidding aside, I am much more easygoing than I imagined I would be. It just so happens that I am harder on myself about an unmade bed than I am about an unknown centrepiece. Thank goodness.

My patient bridesmaids have also made this process feel easy. They have been honest with me about colours they like, if they feel my timelines are slipping, etc., which has softened the decision-making process.

One is more candid than the others ;)...
"You cannot wear Swedish Hasbeens to your wedding. Maybe to your bridal shower. Not to your wedding."
The truth is, because we are getting married on my parent's property, I woke up one morning and was suddenly faced with 1001 decisions. Not my strong point. At first, it felt daunting to choose between one hundred types of everything imaginable.

Just when you think you've found your "dream chair", you are faced with a decision on colour. Gold vs. white vs. cognac.

It feels a little... stupid.

As a result, throughout this entire process, I have quietly reassured myself:
None of these decisions matter.
Saying yes (like there was ever any doubt) to my then-boyfriend, on bended knee, was a decision that mattered. Saying "I do" will be a decision that matters.

The rest... The rest is just fluff. And while I am a self-proclaimed perfectionist - particular to a fault! - I will not allow small details to drive me bananas.

All of that to say: we have been having a lot of fun planning. It has been both challenging and rewarding. And we wanted to thank our wedding party for supporting us.

So we brought them to laser tag...

As we entered the maze-like arena, I immediately began jogging around the black-lit space (they only said "no running" after all - yes, I am that child all grown up).

Later in the game, while running full-speed up a ramp, I came to understand the prohibition: I crashed into a wall, bashing my head and falling backwards.

But because I have lived my entire life both competitively and clumsily, I forgot the incident as soon as it happened. After all, I needed to find (hunt) Graham and try and tag him as many times as humanly possible before the end of the game.

After laser tag, we returned to our house for pizza, snacks and cake. I made a heart-shaped dessert (pictured above) and glued pictures of our wedding party to toothpicks, scattering them about.

I absent-mindedly poured an entire bottle of wine into Laura's glass... I think my collision was beginning to rear its ugly head... 

My head was pounding for most of the night, but I blamed "not having had a glass of wine in a few weeks," and continued chatting. We laughed for hours and it was a lot of fun!

But as the hours passed, the pain became increasingly worse. Before I could object, I was laying in Sam's lap as she rubbed my hair. After our guests had left, I ran upstairs and jumped into bed. Soon enough, my headache had entered territory I can only describe as "blinding."

I could not open my eyes. Graham was downstairs cleaning up the mess, and I found myself yelling at the top of my lungs (but apparently not as loud as Metallica, vibrating my skull) for him to come upstairs.

The moment I began feeling sick to my stomach, I remembered: I pictured myself crashing into a windowed-wall at laser tag.

Great. I have a concussion.

I am particularly vulnerable to head injuries on account of an accident several years ago. The pain I felt was eerily similar. Not a good sign.

Graham drove me to the hospital immediately, where we remained from 1 o'clock until 5 o'clock in the morning. I cannot imagine I could have appeared less responsible. There I sat, in my pyjamas, crying while I admitted:
I hit my head then drank a bottle of wine.
She is a picture of grace and poise... 

Graham held my hand. He carried me into the hospital. He covered me with blankets, but made sure I didn't fall asleep. He made me laugh hysterically even though it hurt to. He never left my side.

Suddenly, I was reliving that first accident: I was transported back in time to our first apartment, looking into worried eyes, my face all stitched up and fighting to heal.

We have both changed in so many ways over the past five years, but Graham's desire to protect and take care of me is exactly as it always was. I am so lucky!

Once we arrived at home, it was early morning. While he finished cleaning up downstairs, I ate slices of white bread in bed (lol).

We woke up past noon on Valentine's Day, and all of our plans appeared "ruined" at first glance.

But I was fortunate. I felt only minor mental fog. My headache was gone.

So we relieved ourselves of all Valentine's Day-associated pressure, and enjoyed our afternoon together.
I made Graham a breakfast of heart-shaped chocolate chip pancakes, eggs, bacon and toast. He was so happy. And I was thrilled he ate all of the pancakes that sat in a bowl (outside of this picture) but looked more like blobs and less like hearts.

Next we returned to the hospital to pick up my forgotten wallet. In my concussion-induced oblivion, I had left it behind.

Graham picked up my favourite sushi as a surprise. Who wouldn't want to eat dinner on conversation heart themed plates?!
In complete honesty, I ended up feeling grateful for our quiet Valentine's Day in. And we more than made up for it this past weekend. 

We spent Saturday morning in Westboro, playing outside. We had so much fun. We trekked across the beach until we were exhausted, chasing each other with fists full for snow. 
Graham face-washed me (badly). So mid-race to a tree, I collapsed with a "twisted ankle" to try and get him back. 

Normal... 

Once we had deemed ourselves soaked and frozen, we went out for brunch. Graham bought me a discounted Valentine's Day candy stick... He's a keeper.

We also visited the library! Last week, I set 23 books as my goal for 2015 on Goodreads. The public library is quickly becoming one of our favourite places, which is surprising, because Graham wasn't convinced he'd enjoy it!

Later that afternoon, Graham brought me to a shady arena (sorry babe, but it was) where he played 3-on-3 hockey while I read.

Then - the highlight! - we went out for dinner at The King Eddy, which we have designated our new favourite "date night spot" and "need a cocktail spot" and... "it's Wednesday spot."

You get it. It was that good. We became a little obsessed and took it upon ourselves to make friends with the staff. 

We both commented after dinner how wonderful it felt to be "pleasantly full" instead of completely stuffed. 

So naturally we headed to Oh So Good afterwards to eat cake. Failures... 
Footlong hotdog bliss. 
Weirdly happy about my hotdog.
Bailey's cappuccino. Isn't it pretty?!
It's easy to lose sight of how lucky you are when you're amidst the daily grind (and daily cold). But this past Saturday made me pause, multiple times throughout the day and look at Graham: 
I can't believe I get to marry you. I can't believe how much you make me laugh. I can't believe we're best friends. I can't believe you make doing normal, every day things feel life-changing. I can't believe this is our life. 
Life doesn't always - or sometimes, it feels like: ever - go as planned. And sometimes there's a reason.

xoxo,
Kristina

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