Posted in Personal

2012: Quite a year


End of November is here and this is what it looks like in my world: papers, exams, projects, presentations, Christmas gift shopping online, getting together with friends and family, texting like mad with Mr. Dreamy AND reflecting a little on the past year.  You know that thing where you’re just GO GO GO and you don’t stop too often to look back or like, breathe?  Yeah, me too.  For some reason right now though, I’m thinking about where we’ve been this past year, where we’re going, and even patting myself on the back a little for coming this far.

I’m just gonna say it: this year was ROUGH.  It was all by choice: Mr. Dreamy and I decided that I should leave Edmonton and go back to school and that he should finish up our renovations, sell the house and meet me in BC where we’d start our new life by summertime.  I left almost a year ago now, and he’s still in Edmonton. Things don’t always go as planned. Going back to school at 32 was exciting and terrifying, and doing it while my husband lived somewhere else added another dimension of difficulty.  Mr Dreamy had to handle all the house stuff on his own while I’ve been here, and though it’s been beyond difficult getting it together, he’s done a bang-up job.   So at the end of a year living apart, I can honestly say that we’re even closer than we were.  I’m not sure what it is, but I have the idea that adversity combined with true love is like a recipe for amazingness.  Apart form that, we’ve both been pushing the envelope personally, and get to share that with one another at the end of every single sometimes gruelling day.  It’s funny: we tend to aim for calm waters as human beings when it’s the storms that make our lives better.  I can honestly say that though this year has been Brutal (see the capital B?), I wouldn’t take it back.  I don’t tend to make conventional choices, and those choices yield unconventional results.  I like that.  On the bad days I look around and wonder why no one else I know seems to be going through the crap that I am.  And then I remember.  Most people I know would never make the choices I have.  Duh Brianna.  When I think of where I’m going and think of where I’ve been, I’m happy.  Mr. Dreamy and I have some big plans, and they’re going to require big sacrifice.  If I can do this adventure with him for the rest of my life, I’ll have no complaints.

So I’m calling it: 2012, I owned you!!!!!


Our kitchen in Alberta


and our living room. Thanks for all the hard work babe!


Us at the beach Thanksgiving weekend.


White Rock beach a week ago. I love it here!


Me at school. As crazy as it gets, I really enjoy learning stuff every day.






Posted in Personal

Ninja! (Why I need to be more authentic)

I have a confession to make, and it may surprise you.  It may not though, you may have guessed this all along.  I have no idea how many people will be surprised by this admission, or relate to it, or have their suspicions confirmed, or just plain not care, but here goes:

I have no idea what I’m doing.

My life plan has always been simple: be awesome.  Sometimes I feel awesome, other times I don’t, but it’s ok because my plan has nothing to do with feeling anything; it has to do with being something.  And while my goal is simple, it’s also not measurable in any way.  So far, I’ve liked it that way.  See, to my way of thinking, awesomeness is such an elusive thing that I have to strive constantly to meet it, and only sometimes do I ever feel that I have achieved it.  I felt awesome when I started my interior design business and started to get jobs, but then the jobs weren’t frequent enough or prestigious enough to remain in the awesome realm, so I fell.  I felt really awesome when I met my husband and fell in love, but then we didn’t achieve enoughas  quickly as I thought we should so I fell from awesome again.  Over and over again, no matter where my life takes me, I follow up my feelings of achievement and elation with a plunging sadness and despair at not doing, achieving, or being enough.  I logically know that I have so much to be grateful for, but I’m nagged by a persistent feeling that all of my blessings are on credit, and have yet to be earned by my future, awesome, accomplishments.

Crazy, non?

While I know this all sounds ridiculous, I look around and get the impression that I’m not alone.  Especially for the women I know, achievement and perceived success seem to be their drug of choice.  We are never pretty enough, fit enough, smart enough, successful enough in our careers or with our families, we don’t earn enough, we don’t see our friends enough….we don’t have clean enough houses or cook all our kids meals from scratch!  Now we have pinterest to keep a visual reminder of all the things we should be or do, just in case we forget.  And I’m am not knocking pinterest by any means: it’s a great idea and can be used to get ideas for lots of stuff we want to do.  But many of us use it to further enslave ourselves to the new “shoulds” of life.  Our “shoulds” seem to have taken precedence over what is.  And the problem I have with this in my own life, is that what is isn’t even bad, it’s actually good.  My life is far from my lofty ideals, yes, but shouldn’t I be experiencing the wonder of what it is rather than making myself miserable over what it is not?

So this morning, I couldn’t stop crying.  Like really, it was a scene out of some instructural psych depression documentary.  I miss my husband who I haven’t lived with for almost a year.  I’m sucking at school right now.  I haven’t lost the weight I gained over a year ago.  My life is not living up to the picture I have in my head, and I feel really far from making it what I want it to be.  On top of it, I’m absolutely terrified that you’ll know where I’m actually at.  I want you to think I’m together, that I don’t ever have to learn a lesson twice.  I want you to see that I am amazing!  The problem is, that’s not what I think.  I think I’m lost, confused, and tired of pretending I know where I’m going.  I don’t.

I went to one of my favourite places today for lunch: Ninja Sushi.  I ordered something a little different aqlong with what I usually get called a skinny ninja roll.  If you are what you eat, this is exactly what I want to be: lithe, fast and fierce like ninja, skinny like a supermodel.  When I got it, I was surprised though.  It was slathered in sauce, and looked so far from skinny that I wasn’t even sure I wanted to try it.  And the ninja part?  There was nothing ninja about it at all.  But I tried it anyway, and you know what?  It was delicious.  It did not look like what I thought a skinny ninja should be, but that didn’t change that it was indeed a skinny ninja.  So I thought: maybe my whole life won’t look like what I thought it would: should that cut back on my enjoyment of it’s deliciousness?  If I chose not to eat it, I’ll never really know.  If I’d sent it back without tasting it, I would have missed finding a delicious new lunch option.  If I’d nibbled at it, convinced I wouldn’t like it, I would have not given myself the opportunity to really taste what was right in front of me.  Maybe sometimes not knowing is half the fun, and just going with it is the other half.  Maybe if I did life more like sushi sometimes I’d be more satisfied.  I’m really glad I tried the skinny ninja, and you know what?  It was so good I ate it all 🙂

I’m going to take some big bites of my own life starting now, whether it looks palatable or not.  I’m going to feel what I feel and be what I am.  And if I don’t like it, I’m going to change it.  But I’m not going to avoid living it in favour of what it should be instead.

Hope your Tuesday is delicious 😉

Posted in Uncategorized



You ever had one of those days that makes you want to crawl into bed and pull the covers over your head?  The kind of day that isn’t terrible, but enough bad happens to demoralize you enough to want a redo?  Yeah, I’m having one of those today.

Almost every day I wake up excited and grateful to be alive, to be a student, to drink coffee.  Today I woke up and studied, went to class and took notes, then spent another hour and a half studying, went to another class, handed in a paper I’d written yesterday, met with my group for a project, studied while eating raw vegetables, then went to class and took a quiz that I’d been studying for for two days.  I took a look at the first page and recognized none of the terms used in any question.  The same for page two, page three and page four.  Seriously, it was like one of those dreams I sometimes have about high school tests, only I had clothes on this time.  I couldn’t believe it, I was stumped on almost every question.

Thing is, I really like school.  A lot.  I like learning about psychology, I like writing papers, I like waking up to go prepare for my future career every day; it’s neato.  Not many people get to learn all day long, but I do and I enjoy every class.  mostly.  These times when I’m busting my butt to do well, while living in a different province from my husband and trying to live as balanced a life as I can will not always work out.  I may study for hours, but sometimes it’s just not enough.  With what I’m doing, I run the risk of failure: and if I do fail it’s right there in black and white on my scantron sheet, as well as recorded in some excel spreadsheet by my prof.

I knew when I went back to school that it was a risk, and I banked on me turning these few years into a long, productive, lucrative career.  The fact that I could fail made the idea all the more exciting.  Now that I think I could have failed something, even though it’s a small thing, it’s terrifying.  I came home wanting to sleep, or cry, or eat chocolate.  Anything to escape for just a few hours from my fear.  Because what if I can’t do this?  What if I’m not smart enough?  What if…?

And then it hit me: I’m going to fail along the way.  A lot.  The more I try, the more I will fail.  Like a baby learning to walk, falling down is expected.  Funny how I had the idea that now that I’m a grown-up I should never fall.  But logically, if i never fell wouldn’t that mean I’d stopped trying to walk?  What about running, skipping, jumping?  They all bring more falling.  Thinking about not trying to learn or do things I’m not sure I can do isn’t called being an adult, it’s called keeping my world small.  And if I’m going to live at all, why live small?

On second thought, I’ll risk it.  Failure is a small price to pay for learning to walk.  Winston Churchill said that “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts”.  And right now, I think it’s true.  It’s easy to go to school on days when I have nothing to turn in and no tests to take.  It’s much harder to keep going when I’ve suffered a setback like today.  But I’m going to keep going anyway.  Thanks Winston 😉

Posted in Uncategorized

September Confessions

It’s been a long time, my lovely readers!  I spent the summer watching movies and staring out the window at the lawn that needed to be mowed, and guess what?  All that time spent resting totally didn’t prepare me for the CRAZY schedule I’ve got going right now.  So the ride this new school season has been fast and dirty so far, but I’m loving it.  And it’s a good thing, because I’ve got a ways to go…..a ways to go…

5. I’m really into choosing thematic music for my drives these days.  On bright sunny days I’ll go with Kings of Leon or Florence and the Machine.  Cold clear mornings call for Bon Iver and overcast days are all about Lana Del Rey.  Oh, and if I drive past road kill I put on Neil Diamond.  I’m not sure about that last one, but I think that when I’m sad Neil makes the world seem better.  Brooklyn Roads?  Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show?  Yes, Neil makes all that is wrong right again in the world.

4. I was really excited to go to the lake and see if Stella our dog could swim.  Turns out she can if we throw her in, but she totally hates it and panics like she thinks she might die.  I admit I ruined the whole experience by watching a bunch of videos of wiener dogs swimming in pools (of their own free will), making my dog look lame in comparison.  Right after vacation we saw the super dogs at the PNE, so…I now want her to jump through really tall hoops.  It’ll happen.

3. Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is my new reason to feel good about myself.  Yes I watched it, don’t judge me.

2. I’m taking a volleyball class this semester because my school has this awesome rule that if you don’t have the awkward feelings you had in grade 10 gym class (loserishness, awkwardidity, and suicidalation) then you’re not really earning a degree.  In Psychology.  Which requires a volleyball and tennis class, naturally.  Anyway, my first class ended up being outside where I had to remove my shoes for the beach volleyball court, come up with a team name and cheer, and then I got hit in the face with the ball.  Right in the nose from way up high, so it was pretty hard.  It jiggled my brain and my nose went numb for awhile.  The suicidalation got pretty intense after that.

1. I took this picture at the PNE, and no one in my group was surprised.  At all.

Posted in Personal

June Confessions

1. With all these pictures of my friends kissing their husbands on facebook, I feel like putting a picture up of me screaming at mine.  We don’t even have fights like that (I would, but he would just stare at me with a blank look on his face so what’s the point?) but I would stage one just to be different.

2. I’ve been pretty lonely since I went fully online for school, so I think about going to wal-mart and looking around, hoping I’ll run into someone I know and we’ll chat.  I realize how completely depressing that is.

3. Lately I feel that my hair resembles that of Sebastian Bach.  This is not good.  I complained to my Mom and she let me use her expensive Wen shampoo that made her hair soooo soft.  It worked for like, half a day, then I was back to a huge 80’s rock ballad fro.  *sigh*

4. I made an appointment with a consignment store to sell them mine and my Moms clothes.  I sorted them, ironed them, packed them in suitcase and garment bags, filled up my Ford Escape (that’s a lot of space, yo!) and went to my appointment…..yeah, they didn’t want any of it.  That was 5 days ago, and I’ve been driving around with a car full of clothes and shoes ever since, too dejected to do anything about it.

5. I’m wondering if when a form asks me for my family doctor, I should write down Google.  It’s the truth, after all.

Posted in Inspirational

Forced Slow Down

This past month school has been so intense I’ve had little time for anything else.  I’ve taken stats, marriage and family, human kinetics, visited my husband to help pack and get the house ready to sell, done a fashion shoot for my etsy store…and read and studied and crammed and written tests.  I’ve sat in the same classroom all day every day for four weeks.  I’m in the last phase of my summer semester, and this week I was looking forward to starting my online psych course as well as tennis three times a week.  For the first time in 6 months, I won’t have to wake up at 6:00 am, and I’ll have time to plan and cook meals and start my new exercise regime. 

Saturday was crazy busy all day, so on Sunday I woke up, made coffee and grabbed a muffin that I made the day before, and watched the social network to relax.  It was heaven!  No studying, no reading, no worrying.  After the movie ended, I got up to take Stella for a walk, after which I would clean my room, organize my closet, workout, and get ready for the next few weeks.  I skipped down the stairs, leash in hand, with my Mom behind me going to her eliptical in the garage.  All of a sudden, I was hitting cement hard with the top of my foot, scraping my limbs up as I went down.  OUCH.  My Mom went into Mom mode, ordering me to sit down, then checking my foot for swelling and seeing if I could walk.  I hobbled back into the house and put my foot up, googling whether it was a sprain or break and how to treat it.  I was optimistic at first, thinking I could ice it a bit and be back to normal in time for tennis the next evening. 

Yeah…that didn’t happen.  I ended up having to drop tennis and have spent the last two and a half days mostly on the couch.  I hate this.  The more I use my ankle, the more it swells and hurts, so staying off it for the time being is best.  Walking my dog is painful, so I haven’t gone out yet besides doing that.  UGH!!!!  It’s terrible being incapacitated, and over the past couple of days my empathy for chronic pain sufferers has increased.  My appreciation for my extremely good health most of the time has increased also.  It’s funny what you don’t realize when you don’t experience it, like what it would feel like to not be able to do what you want to do.  I always assume I’ll be able to do what I want to do in life, with hard work of course.  I never think about not accomplishing my goals because of physical infirmity.  Funny what we take for granted, non?  Because some people deal with this stuff and much worse for their whole lives.  While I’m still frustrated and annoyed with my condition right now, I have to pause and be grateful that it’s temporary…and minor.

What are you grateful for today?

Posted in Personal

March Confessions

1- I don’t really go to starbucks anymore becuse the food sucks, the lines are long and it’s just not worth it.  I have a gift card though, so I’ve been a few times in the past 3 weeks.  For me, that’s nothing.

2- I’m getting my coffee at a place in Brookswood that’s independant, makes a mean breakfast burrito and also sells jewelry.  I bought a pair of earings this morning with my medium dark.

3- I got ID’d for the first time in a looong time at the liquor store just after I got blonde streaks in my hair.  I was happy, but then I wondered how long I looked old.  Hmm.

4- I got a free app on my phone that tells me where to go and what to do in Paris, because maybe if I’m ready for it, Mr. Dreamy and I will go there this summer!  We totally can’t, but that’s no reason not to obsess over it right?

5- I was saving the second two books after Hunger Games for after my papers are done, but while waiting for my class to start today, I cracked and bought it from google books.  I am ridiculous.

6- I’ve started losing weight without really trying.  I just feel happier than I have in a long time.

7- I’m getting pretty good grades, and part of me is surprised that I’m doing well.  The other part isn’t surprised at all.

8- I’ve found out that my husband tells me I’m pretty if I send him pictures of myself…so I’ve started sending them daily.

9- I’m trying to develop my style blog, which requires reader comments, but I can’t figure out how to get them.  I ask questions, I request comments…nothing!  I will perservere.

10- Sometimes not having kids makes me pretty upset, and I’m in one of those stages right now.  I read that Reese Witherspoon is pregnant again, and cried a little.  I’m happy for everyone who has kids (more or less), but it feels so unfair that it hasn’t happenned for us yet.  I know I’ll be ok either way, but I really do want a family with my husband.  I just have to keep believing it’ll happen someday.  Just when it’s supposed to.

The End!

Posted in Uncategorized

A Righteous Anger

I tried to ignore this feeling today, I really did.  Sometimes I get this feeling in me that I have to blog, and today I have that feeling.  I just finished my last midterm and tomorrow I’m flying to Edmonton to see my husband for the first time in almost two months.  I got my first midterm back already, and I got an A+.  It was a gorgeous sunny day, and I’m kicking back right now with a glass of wine and a piece of bumbleberry pie.  I am happy.  Blissed out, even.


I atend a Christian University, which if you know me, is weird.  I am a Christian, yes.  I have grown up in the Church, my family are Christians, I have attended Bible College, gone on missions trips, Been a fundraiser for a Christian non-profit organization and even had pastoral status in Canada at one point.


I’ll just come out and say it.  For the most part, the Christian community embarasses me.  Ever since Bible College, I have struggled with knowing that I belong to a group of people who have done and continue to hurt people in God’s name.  I know that if I did not grow up in this group of people, I would probably not want anything to do with them or the God they say they represent.  And I also know that I am in this group called Christians because I believe I have a responsibility to be there.  I fantasize sometimes about being a free agent, but if all the sane people leave church then who would be there to give another perspective?

In art class today, the prof showed us some paintings with inverted crosses, crosses made out of money, and even a crucifix submerged in human urine.  She showed us cartoons of catholic priests that looked demonic and the last supper with rats at the table.  These images were supposed to make me angry at the artists, because they were blaspheming and insulting our God and our faith…but all I could think of was how badly we have screwed this up.  How much we have hurt people in Christ’s name.  The artists weren’t insulting God, they never met him.  They were insulting the instution of Christianity they were all too familiar with.  Throughout history, it has been people calling themselves Christians who’ve been at the forefront of opressing every minority group that exists.  God doesn’t want women to work outside the home.  God condones slavery and segregation.  God hates gays.  We have killed people who didn’t agree with us, and called it God’s will.  We have turned our backs on the needy and built up huge churches to hide in.  Seriously, we have fucked up.  And I don’t blame the world for being angry, because I’m angry.

In my next class we watched a documentary on native residential schools in Canada and the abuses that went on in them.  Horrible physical, emotional and sexual abuse perpetrated on little kids taken away from their families because they were born into the wrong culture and faith.  The schools were run by churches. 

Sometimes, God gives me a message that I have to share, and today it is this: I am sorry.  I’m sorry that we as Christians should be modeling Christ for the world, and we’re not.  Christ went into the world and he didn’t make people feel bad.  He didn’t fight people for being different, he didn’t stay in the synagogue and hang out in care groups with people who were like him, he didn’t preach hate or ostracism or the taking away of rights for anything.  He made people feel loved, and he fed them.  And the churchy guys who were all holier than though to everyone?  He shut them down.

So we have read about the pharisees in the Bible, but most Christians I meet are new versions of that.  It’s all about following the rules as they interpret them, and not about being a representative of Christ in the community he directs you to.  I’m not perfect, but my goal is not hang out with too many Christians, be friends with  all different kinds of people, and be as much like Christ as I can.  I get in trouble for living that way sometimes from Christians who think I should think like them to be Christian.  I’m sorry, I don’t.  I believe in a God who created every single one of us with love, knowing the gifts and passions inside of us.  A God who supports changes in society as they come, because he made us to change and grow individually and as a whole.  A God who made us for loving, intentional relationships both friendly and romantic in nature, and does not give a fig about sexual orientation.  A God who knows that we will ultimately be so broken that we will go out of our way to hurt each other, tell each other we can’t do what we have a need to do, and condemn one another for no other reason than we are desperately trying to save ourselves.  But this God who created you and me wants to make us whole again.  He wants us to live in love and joy and wholehearted wholeness.

There will always be those who say they are with God, but he does not know them.  When you meet someone who is happy and has peace, someone who tells you that who you are is exactly who you were created to be, and that God is pleased.  Someone who inspires you to do good in the world, to stretch, to grow, and to live a life of truth-seeking, that will be the true Christian.  Don’t be fooled!  The real ones have a glow, and will never go around tearing people down.  I’m sorry the other kind has been so productive.  

 To my Christian friends, thank you for being the kind of Christians I’m proud to know.  Thank you for standing up for people who get picked on by the church and exposing yourself to rejection from the people who should love you.  Thank you for modeling Christ.  I am thinking of my friend Dylan Richards in particular, who inspires me daily to be a true follower of Christ.  Thanks D, for reminding me through your daily life what that means ❤

Posted in Uncategorized

How to be my Dad

10. Have things to look forward to.

Every few months, my Dad would sit down at the table with us at breakfast and ask what we were looking forward to today, this week, this month and this year.  We would take turns answering, and for me, it became a habit.  Every single day I wake up and think about what I’m looking forward to, and I talk to my husband about what we’re looking forward to.  It taught me that life is not just work and paying bills; people need fun just as much as they do the other necesities of life.  It also taguht me that when I get older and have kids, it’s important for me to dream with them.

9. Treat everyone well.

My Dad would sometimes drive us into downtown Vancouver and show us hookers.  It would usually be on the way to somewhere else, and he’d ask “Kids!  Want to see the hookers?”  We would all yell “YES!!!!!” and he would take us to the seedy part of town.  He would tell us as we lookedon from the confines of the minivan at the women dressed in tight shiny outfits standing in the rain that they were just like us, just doing a job.  He took every opportunity to show us as well as tell us that we’re not better than anyone, just maybe luckier.  And because we have more, we had a responsibility to give more.  I still think about that daily, especially when I come into contact with people who’s parents effectively taught them that they ARE more important than others.  They should have gone to see the hookers.

8. Chocolate is happy.

I’ve never seen another human equal his chocolate intake.  The bakery and Purdy’s people know him by name, and growing up he’d have a chocolate milkshake every day.  Every single freekin day.

7. Exercise is happy too.

One Easter after hiding our eggs and watching us find them, Dad had us all do 20 sit-ups on his sit-up board.  Another year he brought us all to the track and ordered us to run laps.  Weird…but the man is in shape!

6. keep a duffel bag with clothes and a toothbrush in your trunk, and in your closet. 

 I make fun of him all the time for this one, but the logic is sound I think.  If there’s an earthquake, a surprise vacation, or an impromptu date then you’re covered!

5. Throw parties, visit your friends, call your family.

My Dad is a social man.  He calls his siblings and friends just to catch up more than any man I know, and my parents have parties with their friends more than we ever did as teenagers.  They are LOUD.  When I was younger and would go to work with my Dad sometimes, we’d be driving around and he’d say “Oh!  Dave/Scott/Al/Mrs. Booling/Mr. Whoever lives near here, let’s go see him/her!” And we would.  I used to hate it, because these were not MY friends he’d be talking to for what seemed like ages and I just wanted to go home and play with mine.  Now I really appreciate it, because it tought me that people need to be invested in emotionally, and it never ends.  And that’s good, because then your friendship never ends.  My Dad has kept friends from when he was a little kid, and that’s one of the best things about him.

4. Know your neighbours.

Kind of the same as above, and I’m sure he’s channeling the little gum-boot-wearing kid he was when he goes out in his neighbourhood now with the family dog and asks fellow dogwalkers their names.  It happened just this morning!  If my parents go away on vaction and I walk their dog, people know me.  Neighbours pop in to give them gifts on the anniversary of my brother’s death.  That’s all my Dad.

3. Hug often.

I’m not a huggy person, and I have my suspicions that he isn’t either.  BUT.  My Dad thinks that human beings need to be touched and held to feel happy, and he’s right.  I don’t always like being forced to reciprocate a hug, but I always feel loved.  It’s important.

2. Know what and whom you love, and why.

My Dad asks why a lot.  It’s not that he’s questioning us, it’s that he wants to know if you know why you’re doing or choosing something.   So when my husband was asked why he married me by my father, he was a little horrified by the question at first.  But now after some time with my family, he understands the reason, and can answer it without having to think hard.  And I like that!


I asked my Dad on my wedding day (the first one) if he had any life-advice for me, and this is what I got.  As a little follow-up, he said “Always take breaks”.  Good advice for your first job, good advice for life.