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Joe has some advice for you! Click here to find out what he has to say about the whole New Year’s Resolution phenomenon.

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My apologies for the delay since my last post. I’ve been going full-throttle for the past week or so and I realized when I breezed past the office wall calendar today that Christmas is less than a week away! Hoorah!

Christmas is my favourite holiday of the year. Everything about it is awesome – the music, the decorations, the snow, spending time with family and friends, giving presents, receiving presents, and remembering what is truly important in life. As I reflect back on this past year, I tear up thinking about how truly lucky I am. And I can’t wait until a few years from now when Joe and I can start our own family activity advent calendarlike Andrea over at quietfish.

We’ve been doing lots of Christmas baking, with more to be done this weekend. We are collecting photos of the scrumptious goodies and I’ll be sure to post them along with some recipes over the next few weeks. My husband has turned out to be quite the pâtisier!

And we’ve only got a few more presents to buy, thank goodness. The roads and traffic have been less than forgiving for the past week thanks to the snow and that pesky extortion scheme-er…I mean bus strike. Right. But that’s a topic for another post…

For those of you who read Joe’s post about getting back into working out, I’m sure you’ve guessed that this means I can’t get away with slacking off anymore, either. Bummer!

So we were over at my folks’ last night and I ran/walked on the treadmill for over half an hour – not bad after two months off. I find it’s super important for me to have good music to keep up my motivation. Right now, my workout mix includes:

  • “Toxic”, “Womanizer”, and “Piece of Me” by Britney Spears
  • “SexyBack” by Justin Timberlake
  • “Just Dance” by Lady GaGa
  • “Stronger” by Kanye West
  • “Disturbia”, “Shut up and Drive” and “SOS” by Rihanna
  • “When I Grow Up” by the Pussycat Dolls

I’d love to have more, though!  So if any of you have some ideas for fast-paced songs, please feel free to leave comments with your suggestions…

Our townhouse has baseboard heating. It’s not as bad as you’d think – especially since Joe and my dad installed fancy programmable digital thermostats throughout the house. But you know what I miss most about central heating? Those little plastic drying racks with the cones that you can put your hats, mitts and boots on to dry out in winter. Then, the next time you put them on they’re all warm and toasty. I miss those!

As I sat in my car this morning, crawling along Hunt Club in that extra-long commute that comes with a snow storm, I was tempted to be upset. To say “why me?” in that self-pitying way we do when the universe seems to conspire against us with a personal vendetta. But then I heard a piece on The Current about a man recovering from a traumatic injury he endured while in on tour in Kandahar.

Do you recall the story of a soldier who was ambushed at a meeting and got an axe through his head back in 2006? I remember hearing about it at the time and thinking “man, that guy’s a gonner”. Turns out, I might have spoken too soon. Trevor Greene and his partner Debbie Lepore were on the show, talking about Trevor’s long road to recovery after his brain was literally split in two. After the attack, doctors told Debbie that Trevor would never wake up from his coma and, if he did, he would surely be a “vegetable”. But the brain is often resilient in a way that defies science and today – after two years of painstaking, incremental recovery – Trevor is now able to talk and has regained the use of his arms. He even hopes to walk his fiancé down the aisle in 2010. Their commitment and spirit in the face of adversity are awe-inspiring. I seriously recommend you check out the audio clip of the show here: http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/2008/200812/20081209.html

If anything, it will make you feel a little less “woe is me” and a little more thankful for the life that you are living.

Ah, household chores…how I’ve missed you.

I know it may mean I’m certifiable, but I actually enjoy housekeeping. Well, I suppose I like the results more than the process – the gleaming counters, the tidy rooms, the sense of accomplishment…I love it! I’m actually reading Martha Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook right now and I’m learning some very interesting things – like how often I should be wiping my baseboards and dusting my ceiling fan and what the technical names are for all those doohickeys that come with our vacuum cleaner. I’m such a dork!

The problem is this – I can’t seem to bring myself to do chores when my husband is in the house. I know it’s corny, but I still have that newlywed desire to just be together when we’re both home. That, and the fact that when I’m cleaning while he’s playing his video games I can get crazy and resentful. Logically, I know this isn’t justified – we’ve split the household chores fairly evenly and he often has finished his jobs by the time I come home from work, so he’s earned his break. But this doesn’t stop me from twitching each time a gun is fired on his stupid Call of Duty game and cursing our big screen TV.

And so, with Joe out at a Sens game tonight with some buddies, I’m taking the opportunity to clean the kitchen, vacuum the stairs, mop the front hall, and run a few errands. Domestic bliss at its finest.

We’re in it now!

My dad and my brothers came over this afternoon to help Joe and I strip down the basement storage room (soon to be our new home office). We discovered some pretty interesting “work” under that lovely seventies wood panelling. Check out those wires…not quite up to code, that’s for sure.

And then Joe had to saw awefully close to those wires – luckily the breaker was off at that point.

We even found blocks of styrofoam below ground level as insulation…strange.

One of the styrofoam blocks beneath the window was the safe haven of a colony of little potato bugs. Ew! Of course, I was tasked with taking that piece outside to add to our growing pile of trash:

What impressed me most about the whole process was how confident and professional my brother Russell was in leading the demolition. He’s in construction (a finish carpenter) and he’s the one who drew up the whole plan for finishing our storage room to add more usable space to our home. He’s obviously in the right field – I was so impressed at how easily he delegated and taught us how to do different things. *sniff* My little brother’s all grown up! He’s the one with the toolbelt:

In just over two hours, the demo was complete and the room is now ready to be re-framed and insulated. Hooray!

Hey everyone, be sure to check out Joe’s new blog over at http://stepintoit.wordpress.com.

After a lifetime of struggling with his weight, Joe has finally found a path that works for him. It’s all about adopting a healthy lifestyle – no dieting allowed! He’s lost close to thirty pounds since we starting dating and he’s still going strong. I’ve even lost fifteen – he’s a fantastic support and inspiration!

He’s now officially launching a health and fitness coaching business. If you know anyone who wants a helping hand in losing weight or getting fit be sure to send them his way.

So amid all the scaling down we’re doing this Christmas, it looks like our cat will get the most expensive gift of all!

I should give some background: Joe and I have been bouncing around the idea of getting a dog for a long time. We’ve had a hard time narrowing down which breed will meet our needs (Joe wants a big dog that he can play and wrestle with and who doesn’t need an obscene amount of exercise, and I want a dog that I can control and who won’t eat children or other small animals). We’re now thinking about a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, possibly in the spring or summer of 2009.

But before we get a dog, we wanted to make sure that our cat, Tryst, would be able to adjust. We knew she would have to be able to escape whenever she wanted. So we wanted to get her a tall kitty play structure or “condo” that she could play on now and where she could eventually hide away from a nosy dog.

They have an excellent selection of kitty condos at the PetSmart on Merivale Road (near Hunt Club) – so much so that we were able to pick one to go with our decor! And here it is:

It’s pretty impressive! And she LOVES it! How cute is she?

That’s actually Joe’s pic above – he’s loving my new camera too. And here they both are:

Merry Christmas, kitty!

Why I’m here

My name is Sonya. I live with my husband and our cat in the suburbs of Ottawa. I started this journal to document my thoughts and experiences and share them with friends, family and anyone else who happens to pass this way. My hope is that it will help to keep me focused on the simple things I value most in life and, above all, keep me writing.

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