Tag: Family

Game night in Whitby!

Date #333 – Monday, June 30, 2014

A: We took the GO-train in rush hour on a Monday – a first for me! It wasn’t fun. I don’t know how people could commute… daily. 

B’s grandparents were visiting so we stayed up and played board games and hung out. I love nights like these, and I’m so excited to play games with more than one person (my mom and I always had to stick to 2-player games, which aren’t as fun at times!).

B: I didn’t realize that because A didn’t grow up I a suburb of Toronto she missed out on the joy that is the Go Train commute. It actually is kind of interesting and there was a fictional, “The Office” style TV show made about it called Train 48.

Anyways, we rode the train to my parents where my Grandparents from Kansas/Alabama and already arrived. The best part was them looking skeptically at my sleeve tattoo but saying nothing. They are very opinionated and intelligent people, and I really love how they are learning how to properly support someone who lives a very different lifestyle from them, like me.

I know A loves games and my Grandmother loves games and so it was great to play late into the night with them and my Dad. My Dad plays slow and always checks the rules and it is irritating and hilarious. I love that I can share these oddities of my family with A. I am so impressed with how nimble the minds of my Grandparents are despite being over 80. I think games and travel play in to this and I hope to keep playing games and exploring late into my life like them.

p.s. The game above is Ticket to Ride.

Family Matters

Date #316 – Monday, June 16, 2014

B: We woke up the next day in Whitby and worked on some random projects. I’m probably updating this blog in that photo (meta!).

We took the train back to Toronto and when we arrived A got some bad news about her family. It was the extreme shift from happy-times to crisis-times. A was so calm I didn’t know how bad things were. I simply asked “what do you need me to do?” I was ready to do anything.

Looking back I feel really lucky to have found that – someone who I don’t question dropping everything for. While crisis moments can really suck, they help you understand what is really important and what you really value.

A: B’s referring to my Grandmother’s health. She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s a couple years ago and, since moving to Toronto in 2011, I try my best to spend as much time with her as possible. When my grandfather passed, I was travelling and living around the world and never took the time to come home because I had so much hate for the city. I avoided it all together. I’m so close to home now that I’m making my grandmother a priority. I went to stay with her at her apartment for a couple days and I can’t even believe B’s response was, “Want me to go with you?” It warmed my heart. And my grandmother’s.

Father’s Day in Whitby

Date #315 – Sunday, June 15, 2014

B: I love my Dad. We used to have a pretty rocky relationship, but now we’re really close. You could say we have always been close, but I fought it hard when I was young. He is very adamant on family time and I admire how much love he has to share.

I’m happy he so willingly and joyfully shares that with A too. I know he was super happy that she came to Whitby to spend the day with us. We all went out on my parents sail boat and then played Ticket to Ride together. 

It was a really fun day and at the end my Dad kept going on about how we should do it again. I know A has a different relationship with her Father and I’m happy she can experience this new kind of relationship with my Dad. I read this amazing article she wrote and I learned so much more about her.

I am super grateful to have such a balanced male role-model in my life and I try to tell him that as much as possible.

A: I love B’s dad too. He’s fun and funny and is super creative so it’s neat to see him and B interact. He also has a wicked Irish accent and it makes me nostalgic for those travelling days and inspires me to get out there more. B’s family is very international, actually, and they’re incredibly active and busy people – fitness, music, food… They’re all very cultured and sweet about it.

B’s dad let me sail the boat then crawled to the other side and said he was having a nap. It was just B and I was all, “Aaaaaah!” but it was fine. I didn’t tip the boat!

(B linked to an article that I’ve temporarily put on hold due to some personal roadblocks – but it’ll be back soon!)

Older Sister’s B-day

Date #288 – Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A: B’s sister celebrated her birthday at an awesome little place called Woodlot. They have their own vegetarian menu which is incredibly great and respectable and their food was delicious. She’s vegan and B’s mom brought her fav vegan cake and the restaurant cut it up and added this raspberry sauce to it. It was so awesome! 

Also B’s sister had this amazing dress from this little shop in Whitby that I must go to with her! I never wore dresses until a couple years ago but now I’m all over it. It’s pretty awesome! (aka. I no longer fear humiliation if or when my dress blows up unsuspectingly… When I was in kindergarten my mom told me a boy pulled my dress up in front of everyone and I never wore them again. Until now. Imagine that!)

B: I’m so happy that A and my sister get along so well. A was stressing about her film and was potentially not going to come. I’m happy she did.

Woodlot is one of the best restaurants I’ve ever visited. My parents and sister were running late (they always are) and so we met with my sister’s partner to have some hors d’oeuvres and drinks. I had a homemade ginger and lemon soda that was out of this world along with some croquettes that blew my mind.

The service was incredible and the food was super fresh. Everything is as local as possible and cooked in an amazing clay oven. The chef and servers were so personable and were kind enough to cut and serve us the vegan cake that we brought (they added the raspberry coulis). Also, the chef made a special passion fruit gelée for her.

I gave my sister two of the Mast Brothers chocolate bars I got from our trip to NYC and she loved them too.

BJ’s and writing cheques!

Date #280 – Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A: I got my very first check for getting published and I wanted to do this “ten things for $10” session to celebrate my accomplishment so I bought a beer at the BJ game and then my project totally fizzled out in the days following. I think I kind of forgot, actually. But the beer was delicious and a well-deserved treat!

The first photo is from the morning before I went to work and I think it’s funny because B is always so sleeping in the morning whereas I am get up and go (but only once I’m awake… which doesn’t take long).

Also this game the Jays won with 10 runs against Phili which was kind of hilarious. 

B: I am a big sleepy head…especially recently. I think this is because I’m a freelancer and motivating yourself takes a lot of energy. I’ve started mediating for ten minutes at the start of each day, and that helps.

The Blue Jays game was amazing. The Blue Jays play one series against the Phillies every year and I’ve been going to one of these games for the past 4 years. It’s important to me because I have family in Philadelphia.

We almost didn’t go, nearly opting for another event. A recognized the importance and said the game was more important than the other event. When the Jays scored 9 runs in one inning I totally lost my mind.

A good partner recognizes the things you really value (like weird traditions) and supports them.

Rooster Coffeeeee

Date #262 – Monday April 21, 2014

A: B came back from Whitby, I’d like to think because I pestered him to go on a bike ride with me, and he picked a place to go for coffee. We biked over to Broadview and had a coffee on the patio at Rooster Coffee. It’s amazing. There’s a beautiful park across the street and a sweet view of the city. It was wonderful, before it started to rain a little. I love rain, though. I just need to get accustomed to biking in it. I wasn’t dressed warm enough.

B: I was really excited about the prospect of bike adventures and coffee. A wanted to go to a new coffee spot, and Rooster is a great café I’ve only visited once before. We brought some camera gear so we could take a bunch of photos. As I was taking this shot, the camera died. A hadn’t charged her battery and took her charger out of her bag. I started getting worked up but then tried to let it go. It wasn’t a big deal, but I sometimes (OK, often!) have trouble dealing with changes like these…the things we do have control over. It was a lot of fun sitting with A on the patio, hanging out by the park.

We then biked over to meet my Mom and Little Sister and helped them pick out fabric for the couches. I’m glad A could be there and interact with my family so well.

B completes CrossFit Open 14.4

Date #231 – Mar 23, 2014

B: The second-last workout of the CrossFit Open had me doing as much as possible in 14-minutes of a 60 calorie row, 50 toes-to-bar (see pic above), 40 wall-balls (squatting and throwing a 20lb ball at a 10ft target), 30 cleans (lifting a barball from ground to chest) at 135lbs, and 20 muscle-ups. I got to complete 2 cleans, a score of 152.

This workout was super tiring and while kind-of-smiling in the picture above, I felt like crying. Everyone at the gym was super supportive, especially A. She came with a book and read and wished me luck and took photos. Having her there is such a calming presence. 

I also helped coach some of my teammates to fantastic results, and filmed the workout of another athlete who has a chance of moving on to regionals (filming in a requirement). A said she feels comfortable at Academy of Lions and I like that. The people there are like family.

After I took a hot epsom-salt bath and cold shower. Then A and I ate a party-pizza from Bitondo’s and biked to her place. A great day.

A: I told B I didn’t think we should get pizza every Sunday and he looked at me and said, “Is that because YOU don’t want to eat pizza every Sunday?” I said yes. And then Sunday rolled around and I said, “We should definitely get pizza.” How could I EVER think I WOULDN’T want pizza? Oh, Andrea.

Well we get the pizza because B is so awesome and works so hard. This workout actually scared me a little but everyone did so well. Each week I want to try to do what they’re all doing more and more. I am very competative, but mostly in an “I see these people building strength and overcoming obstacles and supporting one another and pushing themselves hard and well and I want to be a part of that too.” It’s definitely good motivation.

Different cousin/Hotel party!!!

Date #227 – Tuesday, Mar 18

A: I love this lady! So much cousin time this week. It’s basically the best. We went for dinner and then grabbed a bottle of wine and chilled in her hotel room. B showed up and we chatted. It was so nice to hang out. I love hotel rooms too. I love them so much that I got a job at one a couple years ago. They’re such interesting and great and dirty places.

Two of my favourite people in the same room chatting. Best Tuesday.

B: It was a week of A’s cousins! I met up with A and her cousin after a CrossFit workout. We spoke about a variety of things, including my frustrations from Date #226. A’s cousin (and her hotel-mate) were both able to talk about the various factors in the debate, and recognized how frustrating it is when people don’t try to understand the larger issues. A’s cousin also said I should try not to loose sleep over people who are stuck in their ways.

A’s cousin is nice and open and very positive. It was fun. Also, A said how great it was to have someone listen to her the way her cousin does. I thought about that and how I need to remember to be a good listener.

Cousin/Beeday/Hotel Party!!

Date #224 – Saturday, Mar 15

A: It’s so awesome when my family comes to Toronto. I love seeing them and hanging out with them and catching up with them. It’s hard as time passes and I sometimes feel like I’m merely growing farther and farther apart from my family, especially my cousins who I’ve spent a lot of time with. It’s a good feeling knowing that we can connect again. I don’t know why it’s a fear of mien or something. I guess total abandonment is a fear, albeit a common one, and family isn’t supposed to do that. Actually, this is all relative. I’m way off topic.

My cousins are like the siblings I never had. I love them dearly and this night was especially great because my cousin showed me how strong, beautiful, and independent she is and I am so so so proud of her for being truly great. She’s a genuine inspiration, and her friends and family are really, really sweet. I was so happy to have B there, too. He always makes things interesting and far less stressful for me (last minute birthday gift shopping is stressful!!).

B: A’s cousin came in to the city from the country for her 25th birthday. She loves coming in and staying at this one hotel and dancing in the hotel bar. The hotel is in a very “touristy” part of the city that A and I wouldn’t normally visit, but family means exceptions.

Before heading to the hotel A and I looked at iPhones and A bought her cousin some gifts. Our plans kept changing and A seemed stressed about not having a gift and so I kept checking in with A about what she wanted and how I could help.

Her cousin seemed to really like the gift, and so that was awesome. Also, A’s cousin and her cousin’s two friends were dressed really nicely for the evening (dresses, etc) and I really liked that. A dressed nicely but I had a pair of jeans on and felt bad. I kept thinking about this because the day before I was talking with A about how dressing appropriately for a situation shows a recognition and respect of the situation.

When at the bar A and I got up to dance and the cousin, female friends, and Mom joined us. The Mom’s boyfriend joined pretty quickly, which was great, and then the two other boyfriends eventually joined in too…for a bit, before returning to the table. A and I danced until I had to go and get sleep for the next day’s CrossFit competition. It was great.

Overcoming stress and watching “Say Anything”

Date #218 – March 9, 2014

A: We spent the morning with my mom puttering around. Talking all at the same time or, more accurately, listening to my mom talk. B had to go to a CrossFit competition that I wished my mom was more interested in, so we parted and my mom and I hit up Kensington and the Eaton Centre for birthday shopping. 

B came over after my mom went home and his competition ended and we started to watch Say Anything, only the most charming, heart-clenching, adorable, heteronormative John Hughes movie of life and I couldn’t believe B had never seen it. We didn’t finish because he went to Whitby to house sit, but it’s on our to-do list. 

Here’s some Bruce Springsteen to get you in the mood to watch Say Anything, which you should definitely do right now (ahem, it’s on Netflix – easy as pie!!!0:

B: This was a potentially stressful day that didn’t seem that stressful. I was competing in the CrossFit Open 14.2 workout (click here if you don’t know what that is) at academyoflions and it was the last day of A’s Broken Pencil Deathmatch short-story competition. 

I wished A was able to come see me perform, I was really nervous, but I understood why she couldn’t. Also, I had to go back to my parents’ place to take care of our dog Langley for a week, so I knew I wouldn’t see her for awhile. I called her after the workout and could tell she was stressed. I cancelled dinner with my parents and going to the bar with the people at the Academy and headed over. I’m so happy we got to watch Say Anything. It was my first time and that movie is so beautiful.