1. I have been enjoying the spring/summer weather this month. My love of the outdoors and warmer temperatures is a strange, yet pleasant change in my life. Up until the end of June it hasn’t really been all that humid and that makes the warm weather a lot more bearable to me. I have spent more time outdoors this month than I have in any other June in recent memory. Between my outdoor fitness classes, my running, and the gardening with Jinx I have been doing, I’m feeling rather content. The nights are cooler and the days not too hot. (Except, of course, for the last couple of days with ALL of the humidity. Ugh.) I’m trying to make sure I take more effort to appreciate the nice days and things that can be done during them. It’s helpful for dealing with stress, anxiety, and all of the other negative things going on. This might not seem like an adventure, but choosing to be outdoors, instead of hidden away inside as I normally do, is pretty adventurous to me!
2. We’ve got a few home renovations going on, and going slowly, but I think the results will be worth it once they are done. My father-in-law came over to help Shawn put down floating floor in the basement (to cover up the linoleum tiles we found under the gross carpet.)
When you find flooring you love AND you discover it’s on mega-sale. Score!
He’ll be helping with re-doing the basement stairs, too. They are completely unfinished so once we got the carpet off… what a mess! But honestly, anything is better than that gross carpet. While the men were busy with the flooring, my mother-in-law and I wandered around the mall and I got a new dress.
The dress is an adventure in itself because I am not a huge dress person. I wish I felt comfortable in dresses, but I just don’t. Especially not without tights or anything. Thick-thighed girls don’t do well with bare legs and summer. =/ But I adore this dress and it feels like it was designed especially for me. Plus: polkadots!!
3. There have been way too many health issues on both sides of the family throughout this month and it was getting pretty gloomy, so I had the brilliant idea of packing up husband and dogs, and going to surprise my father for Father’s Day weekend! My Mum managed to keep the secret for a week and I took half a day off work on the Friday so we could drive the 3.5 hours to my parents’ place. It was apocalyptically raining for the entire duration of our Quebec journey, and only tapered off about 30 minutes into Ontario, so we were later to arrive than I’d hoped, but my father was surprised when I called him from their parking lot and said, “Can you come help me with something from my car, Dad?” It took him a moment, but the joy in his voice when he said “Are you HERE?” was amazing.
Super happy Father’s Day Surprise selfie!
So we spent the weekend invading the home space of my parents, and their cats lived in the basement for 3 days (and Jinx and Sophie constantly sniffed the basement door), but we didn’t kill each other and I think the weekend went pretty well. It was a nice get-away for Shawn and I, and it was fantastic seeing my parents. With the exception of my accidentally hitting my father in the face when we hugged (on his abscessed tooth side) and then Sophie pooping on both floors of my parents’ house when we got there, the rest of the weekend went really well. I think I managed to cheer my Dad up a little bit (after the first evening, anyhow. Heh.)
4. At the beginning of June I found out that one of my most favourite bands – A Great Big World – was FINALLY coming to Montreal. Back in 2009, singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson (whom I also adore), tweeted a link to a video for This is The New Year by Ian Axel (featuring Chad Vaccarino). This was the first song I heard as the year changed over to 2010 and there was an INSTANT connection to this song and the singer. I frantically searched iTunes for music and was delighted to discover that Ian’s album was due out in only 4 days. Ian and Chad have been through a bunch in the last 4 years, including a KickStarter drive (that I pledged to!) where they officially became a band. (And I got a t-shirt for the pledge!)
Proudly sporting my KickStarter reward t-shirt from A Great Big World.
I would have loved to have gone to this concert with my father, but circumstances prevented that from happening, so my husband – awesome guy that he is – was going to come with me even though he’s not a fan himself (I still love him, though. I’m a big person.) But thankfully one of my besties, Mo, agreed to come with me, saving Shawn from taking one for the team.
Besties waiting in line for the concert – right before the downpour!
We had a fun girl’s date night – complete with fancy shared two-cheeseburger trio and sundaes at McDonalds before the show. We’re so classy.
A Great Big World – Corona Theatre Montreal, June 17, 2014
The show was amazing (to me, anyhow. I’m pretty sure Mo liked it, too!) Ian and Chad are FANTASTIC live and there is so much energy in their show. I was especially excited to discover new music that evening, too. The second opening act, Jukebox the Ghost, was amazing. I came home and bought two of their albums off iTunes almost right away. Both groups have been on constant shuffle-repeat on my iPhone since the concert on June 17!
5. The weekend after I visited my parents, I ended up on a semi-spontaneous trip to visit my Monkey and her husband in Ottawa! Sort of like my visit in December, this was a much-needed mental health recuperation vacation. Again, June has not been the happiest of months, so I was happy to go visit friends and get away from things for a while. Of course, this meant I left Shawn and the dogs at home, but hey, I was just giving Shawn a vacation from ME! 😉 As always Chez Monkey, there was a lot of delicious food – including fresh strawberries, on homemade cream biscuits with cream (that we ended up having for breakfast one morning since we’d gone out for frozen yoghurt the night before). She was also nice enough to run/walk with me on the trails near her house. We went out both mornings I was there and it was so nice running through nature trails.
Post morning run – day 1!
The entire weekend was relaxing and fun. Monkey introduced me to the addictive game Frozen Freefall and we spent a lot of time playing it (each on our own iPad) and just sitting in comfortable silence. There were also random alcoholic beverages. (Like, one a day. I’m so hardcore!) Honestly, friendships that you can just sit in silence and cheer each other on while playing a match game, and listening to 80s-90s playlists on Songza? They are the BEST friendships. If you have a friendship like that, I hope you know how lucky you are.
One the way home, I was one of two people in the business class train car. It was very surreal. I’ve never been in an almost empty train car before, economy or business. It was sort of nice to feel like you have the car to yourself. If I WAS alone, I’d have sang along with all my music. I didn’t think the one other dude in my car really wanted to hear that. Shawn picked me up at the train station and he managed to make me laugh into tears. I’ll write about THAT in my wedding anniversary post later this week!
This also marked the first time I have visited Monkey in her house in a month other than December. There was no snow, no Christmas decorations, and we could sit outside on her deck. It was fun!
6. Because you can never have too much time with Monkey – we met up for lunch in Montreal 5 days after I left her house in Ottawa! We went to Lola Rosa’s for lunch and had delicious food (as always at that place).
Sweet potato & jalapeno quesadilla with avocado. Yum.
I have no idea why only half of that photo is in focus. That is very weird. I swear it was in focus when I TOOK the photo. Oh, well, I didn’t like the rice much anyway, so I’m not too upset that it’s blurry. =p
We also made sure to take another photo of us together since we realized recently that we are bad at taking photos together! (This realization came about because of this post.) It’s almost like we’re doing a Provincial Tour! We need to figure out how to meet up in 8 other Provinces (and 3 Territories!) before the end of 2014!
Cat & Monkey’s Canadian Tour 2014!
7. Jeepers, this is a long post. I suppose that’s what happens when you don’t blog for a month and you want to note all of your exciting June adventures. Ok, so just yesterday I had to take some stuff over to my sister’s place for her kids. They just got an 8-foot blow-up pool for their yard and my sister told me to come over with my swimsuit. So I did. I dropped off the stuff, played with the kids some and then sat in the pool with my sister, my (almost) 8-year old niece and my 3-year old nephew. I think we were in there for almost an hour! If it was less than that, I’d be surprised. We haven’t laughed so much in ages. We did not get along in our childhood years. We are totally different people and that often leads to major clashing moments. Plus, I always wanted an older brother and my parents stuck me with a younger sister. I was bitter. 😉 It took a looooong time, but once we both his our 30s we found a groove and don’t try to kill each other every time we’re together. This is a good thing, I believe. So I had a fun few hours with my sister and her family. I even got to read my nephew two books and help tuck him into bed. Those of you who know me and know my fear/aversion to children will probably find this remarkable. I know I did. But he wanted Aunty Cat to read to him and help him into bed, and I have to say, it’s sort of a nice feeling to be wanted. 😉 It was such a nice evening to sit in a pool, in the 30C heat and just talk and laugh with my sister, brother-in-law, and their kids. It was relaxing (I know! And there were children there! Normally I flee in terror from children!) and a really nice end to the day.
After pool selfie!
Enjoy your summer, folks!