Treat yo self


Canada Goose jacket; 7 For All Mankind jeans; Sorel boots; L.L.Bean tote bag

Can I even call myself a blogger anymore? Seriously, I suck at it. My lack of posting is nothing new, and if you had to guess the reason, yes, it’s school. The first week of January was Block Week at the University, so school didn’t officially start until last Monday. There’s no such thing as easing in, so you just hit the ground running the second classes start.

If you can believe it, I’m already behind. For some reason, I thought this semester would be slightly easier, but then I was “surprised” by all the work required for only the first week. Like reading. And more reading. And lectures. And learning exercises. And thinking. And processing. And reflecting. And writing. And MORE writing.

Basically, I had forgotten how to do school, and I think my brain blocked out the memory of how grueling last semester was. I’m afraid to even say that I think this semester will be even harder. I’m taking two courses again. Last semester, I took counselling theories and learning theories. This semester, it’s ethics and human development. There’s so much more to counselling than just listening to people talk about their problems. If only it were that easy.

Jon is back from a week long trip in Peru for Charles’ bachelor party. If you know him at all, you’d know he’s not exactly the outdoorsy type. So the fact that he survived the Inca trail to Machu Picchu is quite impressive. I’m sure he’ll write a blog post about it eventually. Now that he’s home, he’s determined to begin his new three years resolution. While I’m glad he’s home for many reasons, I’m excited to have him resume his duties of taking care of the humidifier. Priorities, you guys.

I know I didn’t follow through with a lot of my plans for the blog in December, and while my heart always longs to write for this blog, it continues to be increasingly challenging because of school. If I have a little bit of breathing room this semester, I will be sure to pop in.

C.


Picture or it didn’t happen

2014


Wilfred Free turtleneck sweater & jeans; Babaton coat; Coach court bag; Vince boots

Where to even begin talking about 2014? Well, seeing as 2013 was a terrible year, I was optimistic that 2014 would be different. Jon and I got into a big fight last holiday season, which actually influenced a lot of my goals for 2014. Basically, I was stretched trying to live my own life while simultaneously trying to be part of Jon’s world. Thus, I decided I needed to make more time for me to balance out how time was being spent in our relationship. It wasn’t easy at first since we love doing things together, but it was definitely a healthy change.

I started doing yoga and even completed a semester of adult ballet classes. Both activities seemed impossible to keep up with when other responsibilities have always been more important, but I wanted to make myself more of a priority. I started off 2014 doing exactly that and saw amazing results, except I completely neglected to apply the same principle at work. Instead, I took on way too much and put my clients/coworkers first, which consequently led to burnout.

Thus, 2014 was a brutal year for me. I made the painful decision of quitting a job I loved. I suffered from severe stress and anxiety. My self-esteem plummeted. But the worst part of all was being unemployed for four months. Life was still quite rocky for several months after securing a new job, so overall, the majority of this past year has been hellish for me and Jon.

But it wasn’t all bad. Jon started a new job at Telus. A bunch of our friends got married. We traveled Europe and went to TomorrowLand. I started grad school. Yet, the most significant and beautiful joy of all was my sister gave birth to a precious baby boy in late November, and my heart is so full of love for Baby Luca. The last time I felt this way was when Billy was born.

2014 was basically a year of one life lesson after another. I’ve learned a lot this past year, and it’s definitely changed my perspective on what it means to live well. As such, my primary goal for 2015 is to find balance in every area of my life. Other than that, I have no idea what is in store for 2015, and while I’m approaching this new year with caution, I can’t wait to see what it will bring.

C.

As long as I am with you, my heart continues to beat

Babaton coat; ASOS scarf; Nine West boots

I had every intention of writing more over the holiday break, but totally got caught up with other things and, frankly, sitting in front of the TV. After submitting my last paper of the semester, I wasted no time cleaning the studio where there were books and papers everywhere because of finals. Since then, we’ve been on a purging streak. We spent a whole Sunday going through every box in our rental storage unit, throwing a bunch of stuff away, and reorganizing everything again into new boxes. Then we moved all the contents into a storage space in our building’s basement, which we only discovered a few months ago thanks to some neighbours. The studio also has a tendency to collect crap over time, so I did a thorough cleaning and tossed out even more crap. #feelsgoodman

When in school, I rarely see friends, so I made it a point to get out as much as possible during December. To kickstart the holiday festivities, we treated our dear friends, Derek and Sunny, to dinner at The Nash to celebrate their recent nuptials. The four of us always have a lot to talk and laugh about when we get together; a sign that we have a very comfortable and rich friendship. As for the food and restaurant, it was exceptional. The food scene has changed so much in Calgary over the past few years, however most of the restaurants are located on 17th Avenue. So I was thrilled when I learned that Michael Noble was opening a new restaurant in Inglewood, which has an abundance of pubs, cafes, and express food places, but is lacking in fine dining restaurants.

Then there were a series of hangouts and Christmas parties with the best group of friends. I finally had time to catch up with my sister, who I hadn’t spoken to in months because of the chaos of school and the arrival of Baby Luca. I’m officially an aunt, you guys! I also saw my best friend, Sonny, who is now a PhD student at University of Toronto. We’ve both come along way since our undergrad years where we probably did more talking, eating, and singing than actual studying.

Jon and I spent Christmas in Edmonton this year. We had absolutely no fixed plans except to be there and be present. We enjoyed family time around Le kitchen table, played with Dobbie and Tiger, caught up with friends, and even squeezed in some rest. We got back into town on Sunday evening and had dinner at my parents’ house with the Holters. Then I spent the last day of 2014 watching Mocking Jay Part 1 with Billy.

Now we’re wrapping up the holiday season by taking some time for ourselves. In other words, binge watching all three seasons of Sherlock (I heart you, Benedict Cumberbatch). We stayed in for New Years Eve this year with a bottle of bubbly and recapped the highs and lows of 2014. Jon and I love a good party, but the couch in front of the TV seemed like the perfect place to ring in the new year with a toast and kiss fifteen seconds after midnight.

C.

Feels good, man


Joe Fresh tunic blouse; TNA leggings; Burberry folding wristlet; Nine West boots

Four months ago, it seemed like grad school would never start, and when it did, I was convinced I was going to fail. Now I’m done my first semester, and I can hardly believe it. I feel like writing an Academy Award speech, but I’ll save it for when I graduate. ;)

As if starting a new program at a new school weren’t already hard enough, looking for work and starting a new job definitely added to the stress and pressure of this first semester. How I managed to sort out my life and still get good grades is seriously a mystery to me, but I certainly couldn’t have done it alone. Jon wrote a humourous and touching blog post on what it’s been like for him with me in grad school, which you can read here. It’s an honest recap of our life over the past eight months and gives you a little bit of insight into how we’re balancing work, school, and marriage.

I meant to check-in last week, but I’ve been busy working at my evening job and catching up on home chores. I will do my best to update this blog as much as I can over the next little while, so definitely check back.

C.

Surviving life, work, school, & everything in between


(instagram.com/annawatsoncarl)

A friend I made in grad school shared something with me, and I want to share it with you guys as it perfectly describes what I’m going through right now. To give a little context to her situation, she is a wife, mother, grad student, and works full time. She is also a beautiful writer.

“When I get discouraged because the volume of work seems too much, the competing demands too many, my resources too low, I remember that this is what growing and succeeding looks like at points. It’s messy. It’s imperfect. It’s fighting through, identifying what actually needs to be done, under the pressure, with competing demands, finding and building networks, asking for help, negotiating and making compromises to creatively get to the finish line. And some days it just sucks. But in the end, it is a privilege to have such problems in the first place. And it will be over soon enough. And it will be worth it. And the first friend who points out that proper sentences don’t start with And or But are getting whip cream pies in the face.” – KN

For those in a similar boat, I hope you find comfort and encouragement in her words as I certainly did.

C.