Friday, September 28, 2012

Nolan's birthday!

Yesterday was Nolan's birthday, and I had promised him a while ago that I would make him a special birthday cake. I even took the day off to do so (well, plus a 100 other things). See photo below for the result. Not bad, if I may say so. And in case you're curious, we managed to NOT set off the fire alarm with all those candles. Although that makes you wonder about our fire alarm...

And that really funky light I was talking about last time? This is what it looks like:

Pretty cool, eh? Next week we're planning on doing more work around the house. More painting, more lights, getting the garden ready for the winter and maybe, just maybe I might clean our windows..

Monday, September 24, 2012


That is how you can describe our weekend. It all started with a surprise birthday party for JoAnn, who will turn 40 early October. We had all gathered at Ann and Tom's and I think JoAnn was indeed surprises when she realized it was a birthday party, rather than an end-of-summer get together. It was a lot of fun (and a lot of food and drinks...). Margaritas anyone??

The next morning I got up a little earlier than I'd wanted (well or so my body thought) to go to the Renfrew County Outdoor Woodlot conference. When I woke up it was pouring rain, and by the time I got to Renfrew it was still very, very wet. Luckily I could park along the road, so didn't have to worry about getting stuck (good thing they had tractors on display, since a lot of people got stuck in the mud!).  However, by the time the event went underway and the first tour left, it had cleared up nicely and there were even hints of some sunshine! I didn't stay very long, but was glad I made it there and caught up with some people I hadn't talked to in a while. So it was worth it.

I was back in Ottawa early afternoon, since we had to get ready for the NAC gala that evening, where Lang Lang would be performing, while also trying to prepare for the Army Run half marathon the next morning.  While I was away, Nolan had put up our new light for in the bedroom, and it looks amazing! I'll try to take some pictures next time.
Then Nolan had the brilliant (and slightly obnoxious...) idea to try to get a last minute deal on  a hotel room downtown. And it worked! We found a cheap deal for a 4-star hotel two blocks away from both the NAC and the start of the Army Run.
So we checked in to the hotel later afternoon on Saturday, and then headed to the NAC. We watched some 'celebrities' enter the building on the red carpet, including Lang Lang himself. The evening itself was wonderful. The music was absolutely breathtaking and Lang Lang is just amazing. The was he moves his fingers and plays the piano is simply out of this world! Definitely a great night out!

Afterwards we walked the whole 2 blocks back to the hotel, instead of going back to Kanata. We both slept really well and were well rested for the race. For some reason we were both a bit nervous. Not sure why, but I guess we'll never get used to running races...  Nolan decided to run with Ann, and I would try to run with Debbie and Nancy, whose pace is slightly faster than our pace. No wonder I was nervous!

We started a little too far back, close to the 2:30 pace bunny, and the first km we were just weaving through the people, passing other runners left right and centre. It took energy trying to dodge people, but it also gave energy passing people! However, we still had a long ways to go, and I tried really hard to pace myself. However, that was somewhat unsuccessful. I led Debbie and Nancy for most of the race, and was waiting to crash. Hard. I have a tendency to start out too fast and then crash and burn. But we kept going and passed the 2:15 and then the 2:10 pace bunnies. Well, I did crash, but not until the 18km mark, so with 3km more to go. Not too bad, but 3km is incredibly long if you feel like you're going to pass out!  But Debbie and Nancy pulled me through! Nolan did really well too. He and Ann ran together up until 15km, and then Nolan started to speed up. He finished a few minutes behind us, and Ann was able to take 5 minutes of her previous time. So we all rocked this weekend!
It turned out I ran a personal best, and shaved over 4 minutes of my previous best time!! Not bad considering my training was less than perfect... So maybe that 2hr barrier is within reach with some serious training?! It's definitely motivating!
However, my legs are screaming at me today, so not sure when the more serious training schedule will kick... First a little break :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


It's been a little quiet here lately, but that is mainly because I don't have much to say. Well, at least nothing interesting... That doesn't mean that we haven't kept busy! We spent a great weekend in Toronto for Riley and Tina's wedding. It was an absolute fabulous weekend, with many friends that we hadn't seen in a long time (or that I had never even met yet!). Tina and Riley are an amazing couple, and I couldn't be happier for them. Nolan was the MC for the day and he did a marvellous job. Someone to be proud of! Tina told me I was the 'hottest guest' of the day. She totally meant that as  a compliment, but of course, we're both red heads so slightly biased!

The view from our window of the hotel. Not bad :)

In other news... Jack hasn't been around for a while. I hope he has moved somewhere else, and nothing has happened to him. Maybe he found better tasting almonds??  Murphy is still keeping an eye out for him from his newly discovered favourite place. He also has bright white teeth again, after visiting the dentist, ehm, vet today. We should add him to our insurance plan. Or become a vet because apparently they make good money!

Our pepper plants did really well this year! Will try again next year.

We've been saying for a while that we should update some items in our house, such as light fixtures, blinds, paint more rooms, etc. Well, last weekend we started to make due on some of those ideas... We went to check out blinds and bought new ones for the large side window in the staircase, dining room windows, and living room windows and patio door. We've started putting them up (hence the DIY, Do It Yourself), and it makes a huge difference!
After checking out (and buying) all the blinds, we went across the street to look at light fixtures. Maybe not a smart thing to do, since we were, apparently, in need of some shopping therapy. We checked out the light fixtures, and found the ones we had put up in the old house that we loved, but weren't able to enjoy since we sold the house... We decided to use the same fixtures for the hallways, bedrooms and bathrooms. We also bought a new fixture for the dining room, and a funky light for our bedroom! So we have our work cut out for us! After we put up a couple of the blinds in the dining room, we realized how badly some areas need to be painted. We both took a week off in October, and were thinking of going on a last-minute trip, but now we're thinking that maybe we should just stay put and really put a dent in all the work that needs to be done around the house (and that we want to do!). We can always go away on a trip later on (we do have a nice trip coming up this winter as well!), but now we're in the mood to get things done around the house! Make it really look and feel like our house :)

This coming weekend is the Army Run, a half marathon that we signed up for, and thus are planning on running. We haven't had the best training in the world, so we'll see how it goes. Right now, we're just praying for not too much rain! We're also going on a date the night before to see Lang Lang. I'm really looking forward to that, but thought it would be just him playing, but now it turns out to be a full blown gala. I guess we'll have to dress up again!