2011 in Review

Just ctrl F and see if I mentioned you. This is long. 

A lot happened for me in 2011.

I went back to the gym in February. I set a goal to wear my bikinis in the summer, which had been safely packed away since I got married. Note to you people- you get married and you get fat. You don’t think it will happen to you, and then it does.

Someone in my family got really sick and spent a number of weeks in the hospital. It’s still a daily struggle and it’s always on my mind, but we’re managing a lot better. I love you, you know who you are.

I am a Christian and I’m not Catholic, but I love the idea of making a sacrifice for God for spiritual obedience if you will. For Lent this year I gave up shopping. It was a good exercise- the times I was tempted to spend money I had to stop and reflect, and rely on the grace of God for the will to walk away. I failed a few times- I bought some art supplies at Michael’s and pancake-flavoured lip gloss that I didn’t need. My views on money and the need to buy stuff changed.

I started running. I never, ever in my wildest dreams thought that I would be someone who enjoyed running, and at first I really, really hated it. I ran from March through August, and then stopped. However, whenever something is bothering me, I get the physical urge to go running. I miss running, so I bought some running tights and a running jacket. I look WAY cuter in my running shorts and tank top, but it’s not reasonable to dress that way in the winter. HEAR THAT GIRLS? IT’S NOT REASONABLE.

Somewhere in there I started using Twitter as a means to interact with The Peak 100.5 fm. Honest to blog, I was so effing sick of all the whiners on their Facebook page. Every day, sometimes every hour, someone was saying, “If you play ________ song one more time I’m going to stick a needle in my eye” or “You used to be cool, but now you’re just playing the same music over and over.” The Peak is the best damn radio station out there, and I think people get a little spoiled and lose their heads. I couldn’t take it, so I ditched their Facebook wall for 3/4 of the year. The Peak’s DJs are some of the kindest and most inspiring people, and it was well worth the switch to Twitter to stay in contact.

I LOVE Twitter. It’s the best and worst thing to happen to me this year. The cons: it’s a giant time vacuum. The pros: everything else. I’ve met so many amazing people. There is always one gateway person though, someone who “introduces” you to their followers, someone who you can hijack followers from, and my gateway person was/is Dylan. I still regularly check out who he is talking to (tweavesdropping) for some new timeline content. Another fun thing about Twitter is trying to remember why you started talking to people, or who you know them through. Some are very vivid, others not so much. Most of the people I follow rally around music and food. I finally met Dylan in person at Andrew Palooza, which leads me to Scott.

Scott Graham. Creator of What’s for Lunch BC, friend of Dylan. Scott organized an event called Andrew Palooza to raise money so his friend Andrew could get the Liberation Treatment for MS. Who does that? Scott does because he’s a good person. Through Andrew Palooza I met more awesome Twitter people: Hi Heston, Lyndsey, Daniel, and Bodhi!

I also found hockey this year. It happened, and before the playoffs, too. It broke my heart when The Canucks didn’t win the Stanley Cup, but my cousin Wayne has been a Bruins fan his whole life, and the bbm that I got from him made a bad situation okay. Wayne’s life long dream came true. My six-week dream didn’t come true. There is still time.

My dad turned 50. Still so young even though he thinks he’s ancient as …. nevermind.

At some point I started talking to some pretty swell music people and we hosted the Vancouver Indie Music Tweetup at Spanish Banks. I met so many great people that day. Hoping there is another one in 2012, because now I now where to find the concession stand.

The hot husband and I saw Katy Perry and it was everything we had hoped it would be, and more. If I could be a musician, I would be her. If hot husband could be a musician, he would be her, too.

We went to Newfoundland for a fam jam. I always love it there, it’s always a good time. We went ziplining, which if you know me is a really big deal because I am TERRIFIED of heights. So terrified that I need sedatives to get on an air plane, otherwise I bother the other passengers. Russ met the big family for the first time, and as I suspected, my family loved him to bits. He won my grandmother’s heart by asking her if she’d like a bowl of ice cream after dinner the first night.

Another summer highlight was going to Live at Squamish, on the best weekend of the entire summer. It was hot, dry, and the venue could not have been more perfect. Also- there were unlimited in/out privileges. HELLO CAR BAR in the parking lot. We were totally sober for the drive back to our campsite, and the drive home. I promise. Even if the officer who pulled me over for driving without headlights had to question it, I was responsible.

I went to Wreck Beach for the first time. One of those bucket list items that I got to check off. I’ll be back.

The last quarter of the year was spent mostly at home. Hot husband and I patched and painted our main floor, and replaced all the baseboards. It took a lot longer than we expected, but we’re loving our home that much more, and we did it together. In November, Scott officially welcomed me to the What’s for Lunch BC team. I am loving that I have a place to write about my culinary experiences, and someone to bounce ideas from. I am looking forward to 2012 and being Scott’s intern/assistant/sidekick. I think we make a good team.

I did a lot of baking and cooking this year. I had a hard look at our diet and we made some drastic changes for the better. If you want to maintain your weight, eating at home is key. Knowing what you are eating is 80% of the battle, portion control makes up the other 20%. For a while, I was looking up the nutritional content of the menus before I went out to eat, but that made eating out a miserable experience, so I stopped. There has to be some give in order to be successful. I did wear my bikinis this summer. I wasn’t perfect, but I was satisfied with what I saw. I hope to truly achieve bikini hotness in 2012.

I am so grateful for the relationships that have been forged this year and for the time that I got to spend on making myself a better person. I think 2011 totally rocked. In 2012 I think I need to work on what I want to do when I grow up. I still don’t know. I do know that there is something out there, waiting for me.

Christmas Vacation

Just a few more days and then I am off work until January 3rd. I CAN’T FREAKING WAIT. This last month has totally burnt me out.

I’ve had less help from the hot husband than I have in previous years to organize Christmas for our families. It’s not his fault, and it kills him that he’s been tied to his desk. He’s an amazing man and he works his ass off, so I feel that I can pick up the slack and work hard, too. However- we’re both drained. I got sick a number of weeks ago and I haven’t recovered yet. I’m not sleeping because I’m up all night coughing, and he’s not sleeping because he’s up all night working. We’re up at 5am most days. We’re down to one car, and we’re taking turns driving each other to work and transiting home. I picked up a night a week at Job #2 for the first three weeks of December. Our calendar is sickeningly full and it’s December 19th and I’m only 1/2 done my wrapping, I still have gifts to buy, a Christmas dinner to plan, and parcels to mail out (fuck, I needed to do that last week [It's my blog and I can swear if I want to]) grocery shopping, and I think I’m going to have to bribe my little sister to clean my house for me.

I can’t wait until I am done work so that I can hang up my drivers license and start drinking. I have some very specific goals to reach during my vacation:

1. Read a couple of books. I think I’ll just spend an entire day in my pajamas, in bed, with a pot of tea, reading. My ereader is already loaded, charged, and ready to go.

2. Party my face off at least twice, not counting New Years Eve. I need help, because right now there are no plans in place to do this.

3. Eat and blog about it. I’ve neglected What’s for Lunch BC and I have a few places that need to be experienced.

4. Go to the Vancouver Aquarium. I bought a membership for myself and some family members and I don’t think anyone used them. That was a waste. I love it there and I’m going to see all my favourite things.

5. Cooking. I’m going to cook a bunch of yummy things in large batches and freeze them so that there will be zero excuse to eat crappy food when we’re pressed for time.

6. See some people who I like but don’t generally get to see because they live far away and/or are in school. Call me, we’ll chill by the Telus Optik TV fireplace.

7. Wash my lunch bag. It looks gross.

 

Please help me obtain my goals of eating, being social and partying. I can probably swing the reading thing while I’m hung over. I just realized that I can order my groceries online and have them delivered to my house, and same for liquor to my office. Divide and conquer, I will get this stuff done by Friday.

Love,

Rochele

 

 

Please just snow

I just want it to snow. A lot.

Before this year I hated snow, but mostly because I was pissed off that I had to drive in it. However, now that I am a transit user, I don’t really care what the weather brings. I’m on a hospital route so my street gets ploughed, and the bus takes two major roads and voila! I’m at the office.

There is something about snow that grounds me. It dampens the noise and life seems to slow down. I love that bleak, greyness of the harbour when it is snowing. My favourite thing is walking in snow by myself. It’s a good time to reflect.

Sometimes I need forced quiet time. I’m plugged in all the time and I find it so difficult to shut off and be 100% present. Maybe it’s why I like baking and sewing because it requires my undivided attention. I try to give all my attention when I’m with my friends, but I often fail to do the same for my family.

I just want to stop what I’m doing, go outside, and be centred for a little while. I want to watch the snow with absolutely no agenda and nowhere to be. I want winter.

Here is one of my favourite images Blue Pond and Snow from Hokkaido, Japan.  What I would give to be in a kayak, paddling while it snows? I can almost feel the sleet on my face and hands. Winter is solemn, and I’m feeling that way today.

Meet Odilia-lisseth Batrez Torres

Meet Odilia

 

Meet our first child, Odilia-lisseth Batrez Torres. She’s six years old and she’s from El Salvador. Russ and I are sponsoring her for the next 12 months, and hopefully until she no longer needs to be sponsored.

I’ve had a heaviness on my heart for a while. I know I need to do something to elevate girls in the world. There is an excellent organization called Because I am a Girl, which is part of Plan Canada. and you should watch this video about why I specifically chose a girl to sponsor. 

For $37 a month, Russ and I are ensuring that Odilia will go to school, have access to clean water, healthcare, and sanitation. It doesn’t take much to change lives. I know it’s just one life, but helping anyone is better than helping no one. It is important to give your time and be aware of what is happening in the world.

Even though I don’t think it should mean anything, because helping is helping, Plan Canada is not affiliated with a Christian organization.

Onesies

One of the onesies, and an example of my bad-assness

I love onesies.

A onesie is a one-piece garment intended for an infant or a child, and I’m about the same size as a 12 year old child. In that light, I feel it is my absolute duty to wear a onesie. Mine come from Target in the children’s department. I have a moose-camo print (pictured left,) a rainbow leopard print, and a skull and cross bones print onesie for when I feel like a bad ass. I’m still waiting for an occasion where it is acceptable to party in my onesies. I’m thinking camping?  Anyone want to go camping? I’d settle for a tent in the living room.

For the rest of you weirdos looking for adult sizes, they are available here, here, and here.