taking stock | july

Thursday, July 27


Writing: scribbles. 
Cooking: soup. homemade chicken noodle. delish!
Loving: late, slow, quiet mornings.
Reading: lots! oh, and i'm (finally) on goodreads.
Wanting: season two of Westworld to start. now.
Bookmarking: cross-stitch patterns.
Looking: sun-kissed.
Drinking: tea at my baba's, often.
Playing: olafur arnald's 3055. over and over.
Wearing: a sweater most evenings. see you soon, autumn.
Deciding: on winter getaways.
Getting: excited.
Noticing: the moon phases.
Giggling: at babies giggling.
Liking: my most recent audio book, The Underground Railroad.
Wondering: if i'll ever order our wedding album ...
Admiring: Kresswell Interiors!!! Diana & Kristina have SUCH talent!
Browsing: a few different rugs (for the bedroom? the office nook?). 
Watching: Ozark. you should be too.
Hoping: for a few more true blue summer weekends.
Marvelling: at the simplicity of some things.
Enjoying: this resurgence of creativity.
Missing: cool water underfoot during morning beach strolls.
Waiting: for a few books in the mail.
Knowing: that patience will curb (and cure) most worries.
Thinking: about time - the magic of it, really.
Sorting: out birthday weekend plans.
Buying: the On The Fly Pant from lulu in black, burgundy, AND olive.
Needing: a few evenings with just my husband.
Smelling: fresh rain. 

Feeling: calm.

a few more seasons.

Friday, June 30

November

we mostly just packed up stuff (and threw away stuff) & planned out things (and dreamt up things too). riveting, i know. and cathartic too.


January

frosted window panes (literally) and my love, one year older. a job that kept me hectic and a mind that kept me anxious. piles of books & cups of tea - sweet distractions - while lofty goals fell to the wayside.
it's complicated, she mutters.

March

some doozy weather. one particularly glam day (alongside some of yeg's sweetest, most driven creatives) for an exciting ladies clothing launch. road trips & baby snugs.

May

two weeks overseas! amsterdam, in a word, was stunning. i'd go back in a heartbeat. we kept the pace slow & the small details of the city won us over; bicycles, buildings, culture (the food!), canals. ireland, in a word, is home.
December

set up a christmas tree for the first time in three years. slow dancing over old, old floorboards felt like a dream. many evenings of merry and cheer and good tidings. oh, and we booked that spring getaway: amsterdam & ireland!

February

that newborn smell - a boy: his mother, my goodness, a courageous soul! our family said goodbye to my uncle; it still aches (but there is light too, telling the good stories & holding tightly to the best memories). a cold month, warmed by baby giggles and patient friendships.

April

rested. spent a week in california & realized i should probably always live near the ocean. forever a water baby. then a weekend in the mountains; equally as rejuvenating.

June

fell back into a good, golden summer routine after traveling abroad. painted the nook, then filled it back up to the brim with books. lots of family time. lots of quiet time.
(and here's hoping summertime stays as such)

2016, by the book(s).

Friday, January 20

in little to no particular order, a year's worth of reading: 

Brooklyn – Colm Tóibín
For the Love – Jen Hatmaker
When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi
Longbourn – Jo Baker
Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
The Girl You Left Behind – Jojo Moyes
Why Not Me? – Mindy Kaling
The Life & Opinions of Maf the Dog, and of His Friend Marilyn Monroe – Andrew O’Hagan
Yes Please – Amy Poehler
A Time to Kill – John Grisham
Everybody Rise – Stephanie Clifford
The Last Asylum – Barbara Taylor Bradford
The Centre Cannot Hold – Elyn R. Saks
The Mercy of Thin Air – Ronlyn Domingue
Great Expectations: Twenty-four True Stories about Childbirth – Lisa Moore
The Secret Life of Violet Grant – Beatriz Williams
All is Not Forgotten - Wendy Walker
Pearl Harbor – Randall Wallace
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith
Secret Daughter – Shilpi Somaya Gowda
Fates and Furies – Lauren Groff
The Quiet Room – Amanda Bennett & Lori Schiller
Pushed – Jennifer Block
City of Women – David R. Gillham
Virgin Soul – Judy Juanita
Fridays at Enrico's – Don Carpenter
Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living – Krista Tippett
The White Bone – Barbara Gowdy
The Passage – Justin Cronin
The Twelve – Justin Cronin
The City of Mirrors – Justin Cronin
Alias Grace – Margaret Atwood
The Danish Girl – David Ebershoff
Sweetbitter – Stephanie Danler
Circling the Sun – Paula McLain
The Women's Room  Marilyn French
Garth Williams, American Illustrator: A Life – Elizabeth K. Wallace
Little House in the Big Woods  Laura Ingalls Wilder
Little House on the Prairie  Laura Ingalls Wilder
Farmer Boy  Laura Ingalls Wilder
On the Banks of Plum Creek – Laura Ingalls Wilder 
By the Shores of Silver Lake  Laura Ingalls Wilder 
The Long Winter  Laura Ingalls Wilder 
Little Town on the Prairie  Laura Ingalls Wilder 
These Happy Golden Years  Laura Ingalls Wilder 
The First Four Years  Laura Ingalls Wilder 
The Wilder Life – Wendy McClure
Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist – Sunil Yapa
Michelle Obama: A Life – Peter Stevin
The Last Days of Night – Graham Moore
Patient H.M. – Luke Dittrich
Evicted: Poverty & Profit in the American City – Matthew Desmond  
Towers Falling – Jewell Parker Rhodes
The Highest Glass Ceiling: Presidency – Ellen Fitzpatrick
How I Shed My Skin – Jim Grimsley
Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
If the Oceans Were Ink – Carla Power
The Girl with all the Gifts – M.R. Carey
Anthropology of an American Girl – Hilary Thayer Hamann
Cleopatra: Last Queen of Egypt – Joyce A. Tyldesley
The Undertaker’s Daughter – Kate Mayfield
March – Geraldine Brooks
Misconceptions – Naomi Wolf
All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr
The Summer Before the War – Helen Simonson
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, & John Tiffany
A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy – Sue Klebold
My Name is Lucy Barton – Elizabeth Strout
Dead Wake – Erik Larson
Elephant in the Sky – Heather Clark
Lilac Girls – Martha Hall Kelly
Irish Fairy Tales – James Stephens
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
11.22.63 – Stephen King
Fifteen Dogs – Andre Alexis
Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife – Peggy Vincent
The First 1,000 Days – Roger Thurow
Just Babies – Paul Bloom
The Light Between Oceans – M.L. Stedman
Go Set a Watchman – Harper Lee
Doll-baby – Laura Lane McNeal
The Pilot’s Wife – Anita Shreve
Grace: A Memoir – Grace Coddington
My Life On The Road – Gloria Steinem
The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
My Bookstore – Ronald Rice
The Witches – Stacy Schiff
A Season of Ashes – Charleen Raschke
Honky – Dalton Conley
Big Little Lies – Liane Moriarty
My Name is Mary Sutter – Robin Oliveira
The Other Einstein – Marie Benedict
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey
Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert
Bellman & Black – Diane Setterfield
The Abstinence Teacher – Tom Perrotta
Trigger Warning: Short Fictions & Disturbances – Neil Gaiman
Redeployment – Phil Klay
The Empathy Exams: Essays – Leslie Jamison
Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng
The Dollhouse – Fiona Davis
Ordinary Light – Tracy K. Smith
My Life at Grey Gardens – Lois Wright
A Train in Winter – Caroline Moorehead
The Best Kind of People – Zoe Whittall
The Wonder – Emma Donoghue
The Witches of New York – Amy McKay
Commonwealth – Ann Patchett 
Talking as Fast as I Can – Lauren Graham
Arrowood – Laura McHugh

-

it is worth noting that the italicized titles were re-reads (adventuring through my favourite childhood series, Little House, brought me such joy!) and the few struck-through titles were not finished, for no reason other than those books simply having been written for another reader. if you'd like a more in-depth review on any of the books, feel free to leave me a note below, or on twitter or instagram!

happy reading, dears!

setting: the place (walls, house, home).

Tuesday, November 1

friends, we're moving!
this gal's wandering heart is elated (!!!), my husband is equally as excited, the dog has no clue what's going on, and the cat is obsessed with all the empty boxes. more than anything, we are giddy to be back in our home city's bustling core (it's been four years! you've grown up so much since then, #yegdt). i look forward to scribbling about the house, one i've known since childhood, but for now a short story will do; it is too serendipitous not to share.


just shy of one hundred years ago, a house was built in edmonton.
two generations watched from its windows as their little city grew into a grand metropolis. when the museum opened in the late sixties, my newlywed great aunt & great uncle parked along a close-by street and like so many others, eagerly explored the beautiful new building. afterwards, with two hot coffees in hand, they took the long way back to their car and strolled through the neighbourhood, telling make-believe stories to each other about the people that lived in the houses. a few years later, newly graduated from law school, my great uncle brought his wife and newborn daughter back to that exact street, to a house my great aunt still remembers the storyline to.
over the next fifty years, they made a house a home and wrote their own wonderful story within its walls.
last march, sadly and unexpectedly, my witty & kind & stoic great uncle passed away.
my gracious aunt explored the globe and cuddled her grandchildren. this upcoming year, she has chosen to once again adventure. remembering my childhood coo, 'oh, one day! i'll live here! i'll love it like my own - i promise!' and hearing from my papa, her little brother, that we were casually browsing real estate, she gave me a call. and here we are.
it is a beautiful house and a familial home and so, so special to us.

and when the boxes have been unpacked and the closets filled, i will tell you some more stories.

a winter, a spring, a summer, an autumn.

Saturday, October 29

i'll avoid too much of a (particularly well-versed) recitation on noted silences, intentional or otherwise, and happily acknowledge that the past long while has been good. really good. good enough to document, even. while i do feel a bit dazed over just how quickly time has gone, it felt thoughtful & cathartic & genuine to press 'publish' on a grown assortment of noteworthiness. and in staying genuine, let me give credit where it's really due after all of these months: to my piles of tattered old journals & one trusted day planner. okay, and to the timestamped photos too.

November


spent most of my time buried under textbooks, and falling madly in love with a new role. wrote, a lot. flew back to YEG for the long weekend; filled my time with people i love. hosted my bestie & her husband for a weekend. we went on a walk every morning.

January


set one intention for the year: to read more. 100 books in 1 year (nearly there! with time to spare!!!). wished my love a very happy birthday while strolling through an ice castle. began my very last semester away. otherwise, stayed bundled up and generally miserable. it's a jumble of feels being newlyweds & being apart.

March


march was really hard. depression is exhausting. self-doubt is wicked mean. neither deserve more words that those. and then, there's this man. i am forever astounded by my husband's strength & grateful for his patience. you deserve more words than i could ever possibly write.

May


took a wonderful mother-daughter trip to san fran. i've only ever driven through, so exploring the quirky hidden gems of that place - alcatraz! lighthouses! hilly streets! at&t park (the giants won, woo!) - with my mum was fantastic. and also sipped a zillion cups of tea with my grandparents; i missed all of them so much.

July


more weekends, more road trips! started out in beautiful british columbia (we even stayed in a ghost town hotel!). helped my bestest & her hubby move. went to the fair. and on double date nights. and to the lake. and to music nights & foodie events. and to, and to, and to ...

September

began my 26th year, happily so. hugged a little brother extra tightly upon his return from five months of globe trekking. attended & spoke at a conference on birth psychology; was offered a mentorship. heart you always, PNW. discussed a book chapter. started a new chapter.

December


got a fringe (regret it, by the way). counted down the days until winter break. wrote perhaps the hardest exam ever before my flight home. aced it. and yes, had a very merry christmas - families, friend-families, parties. so good. even made it past midnight on new year's eve.

February


the frostiest month. we jetted off to hawaii for a week of sunshine & surf. it was the first time in years that my dad, three brothers, and i had all vacationed together. and, my bestie caught me by happy, happy surprise during our weekly Skype date with an ultrasound photo!!! a baby! sweet soul, i already love you so much.

April


in a blur of research & final submissions, i graduated. farewell (for now, anyway) uni. and i moved back to my home city!!! april was quite the whirlwind: packing, unpacking, settling, routines, visits (so many happy, happy reunions!), and the job hunt.

June


workin' for those weekends, and weekend we did. we snuck off to vegas and didn't even try to party like we used to. also snuck away to the mountains with and stayed up way too late playing boardgames. we have such incredible friends who will make all these golden years to come happier and more fun (and a bit more bearable, too).

August


making good on one of many honeymoon promises, we celebrated our 1st anniversary in palm springs. i adore that place. birthdays galore! danced the night away at a beautiful wedding. sought calmness at a beautiful self-care workshop. felt ready to welcome a new season.

October


held space for my dearest, bestest friend as she brought her daughter into this world (after thirty long hours. honestly, she is truly a divine force). embraced the first snowfall. giddily said "yes!!!" to a new adventure. started packing, again. and started planning a spring getaway.
and just like that, another november is almost upon us.
as for all hallows' eve weekend, we're balancing yesterday's spooky night out at our city's heritage park with a movie marathon tonight, of the classic (& creepy) hallowe'en flick variety. we passed on pumpkin carving; i set up a small samhain altar instead. happy hauntings, friends!
and check back soon. like i said, it feels good to be scribbling again.

one lone post for all of sweater weather.

Monday, November 30




The only thing I have to say aside from farewell, November, you mostly gloomy, sort of exhausting, overly quiet month filled with a small but meaningful amount of pretty good things is, in defence of the stripes, they're all preeeeeeeeetty different. I mean, look at those two on either end; heavy knit vs. short sleeves. Apples and oranges, people. Then, there's navy or black or indigo, boat neck or round, cotton or wool or cashmere. I really could keep going.

And for the record, this was taken after nearly three weeks of me outright ignoring the laundry hamper. It's not like I wore stripes eight days in a row. That would be just silly. The rest of my time was spent in the coziest sweater ever & my beloved collection of black turtlenecks, plus an array of my husband's tees that I've commandeered as sleep shirts. Welcome to my wardrobe, friends; it's all sorts of adventurous around here.

catching up.

Friday, October 30

I hope you brought your reading glasses, friends.
I've fallen slightly behind with my little blog. At the very least, take my word on the fact that ALL I feel like writing about lately is our wedding and honeymoon. Seriously, I look through our photographs at least once a day.

After a month away, I spent last weekend in my home city. The timing was perfect; what they say about absence and the heart and fondness is so very, very true. And the reason to be back was beautiful: our dear friend married the love of her life in a late autumn wedding on a warm (!!!) & sunny day. Steven has known the bride since grade school and holy heck is she ever a sweet soul with a serious eye for glam wedding decor. You know it, Syd, you talented gal! I cried at the ceremony and at the reception and during the first dance and that about sums me up throughout every wedding ever. The dance floor was bumpin', I made off with a loot bag of sweets from the pink + gold candy bar, and yes, a midnight pizza delivery order was definitely placed.


Last year, Steven and I found it difficult to balance the somewhat hectic schedules that often accompanied me on weekends home. In the span of a few days, we'd be worn thin bouncing between family time and friends time and me off to gals nights and wait, what about us time - it was exhausting. This weekend was a pretty sound indication that with time comes lessons learned. We managed to pull off two date nights (!!!) and celebrate a wedding, and while I still got to spend time with my family and closest friends, we actually got some sleep too. On Friday evening, I met a fellow blog gal for vino, cheese, and a heartfelt chat. On Saturday morning before the wedding, I laughed (and happy cried) through our wedding collection with my dad and stepmum. Then, on Sunday morning + afternoon, I literally camped out at perhaps my favourite coffee shop in all of YEG - Sugarbowl, you get all the heart eyes - with my mum in the morn' and some of my closest gals right after, going through all the photographs over again. It was really important to both Steven and I that we got to share in those moments. Besides, watching the reactions are absolutely priceless; my dad's crying face made everyone tear up! I really should've live recorded the peanut gallery that is five girls clicking through a thousand photos. Our second date night took us to the ice rink where we cheered extra loudly at the good ol' hockey game!

And there you have it, friends: a quick recap of a particularly good weekend.
Speaking of weekends, have a spooky one! Tomorrow is the closest our world gets to that of the dead.
But if that isn't really your thing, just enjoy the sugar highs, jack-o-lanterns, & little kiddos in adorable costumes.
 

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