Penny Got Knocked Up By Robbie the Creep!

It’s true – I’m knocked up. My name isn’t Penny, my husband isn’t Robbie, and he really isn’t a creep but I felt this was a fitting way to tell the inter webs that I have a bun in the oven.  I certainly thought it was appropriate for Facebook:

Pregnancy Announcement

As the announcement alludes to, this is from Dirty Dancing, which is hands down one of my favourite movies. Leon, Julie and I can recite it almost word for word. If you don’t at least know the line, ‘Nobody puts Baby in the corner,’ you are pretty much dead to me.

Now, I’m 5 months along, which doesn’t excuse my absence from blogging but for some of you out there who found yourselves unexpectedly pregnant, you can maybe sympathize with the fact that I simply have not had the mental fortitude to be able to blog and work a full and part-time teaching job. Pregnancy brain is real my friends.

I’m starting to get my feet back on the ground and get back into the groove of work but the last 5 weeks have been rough. Some nights I would come home so exhausted that I barely made it through dinner before I went to bed. I also became a fan of afternoon naps. However, that seems to be behind me. AND I honestly miss blogging. I can’t say I’m back three or four times a week but I would love to write weekly and put something out on Mondays or Tuesdays. I think that is reasonable….right? Right? Blogging friends, let me know. I feel guilty for giving it up but I just didn’t have the motivation and I didn’t want to be putting out forced garbage. You can always tell when someone is blogging for the sake of blogging. There’s also the little fact that I wasn’t over the moon when I found out I was pregnant. In fact, I probably looked more like this:

Baha, that one gets me every time.

So yeah, I wasn’t happy and I wasn’t excited, I was actually kind of terrified and mad. Odd combination but that’s the best I can identify. The staff at the doctor’s office kept asking me how excited I was and I would respond that I wasn’t. In one case, the medical assistant made an awkward face, turned on her heel and left the room. I don’t think she was used to that attitude from an appropriately aged mother-to-be. Needless to say, for the summer, I didn’t really felt like turning my blog into a baby blog because I didn’t wanted to talk about it. I could pretend it wasn’t a part of my life but it was a BIG part of it. Your whole life changes and your stomach becomes the center of your universe. I knew from June 18th on (my sister’s b-day) that I was rocking a blastocyst and I tried to keep blogging like normal but once I came back from Calgary I didn’t have the heart to keep going and ignoring the game changer growing inside me.

But happy news…I am now very, very excited! One of my best friends and my now sister-in-law, Leon, is having a baby (soon!) and baby fever is kind of spreading in our group of friends.  Here is a picture of the two of us crowning at Emily’s engagement party:

This baby love has really helped. With the exception of our friend Lisa, who had a baby when we were in our early 20’s, no one in our ‘group’ of high school friends has a child. We are pretty content to be in our twosomes and do carefree couples things, usually involving alcohol. I was not looking forward to giving this up and I didn’t know how my friends were going to react. However, they have all been gents about it, which shouldn’t surprise me. We have always been supportive of each other and our adventures, whether it be getting a pair of glasses tattooed on our faces, or growing a fetus.

Finally, my blog was also about my attempts to get back to the gym and lighter living and I can’t say that being pregnant really inspires this. I can’t fit into any of my old pants or jeans. I sometimes struggle with the lung capacity needed to teach some of my classes, which clearly doesn’t equate to full-blown gym workouts. My feet are already starting to swell. Today I looked down to my feet pushing up over my sandals. This.has.never.happened. I do not have wide feet. In fact, I quite like my feet. But I have a feeling those days are over. For example I feel like I could be sporting a pair of these beauties:

Fear not, this is not me…but I feel like it could be.

Last but not least….I am hungry. I’ve always liked food but now I’m actually hungry on a frequent basis. This is a deadly combination. I wanted to include a picture of a really large pregnant woman to forecast my pregnancy future but when I typed it into Google images of Jessica Simpson kept coming up, so I will save you the visual. You get the idea.

The summation of all of these factors hopefully gives you an idea of why I simply stopped blogging. However, I think I’m ready to get back on the wagon. Obviously the focus is going to change a little bit because my focus is going to be changing a little bit but being able to blog about my life will prove to me that I’m still a human being. Not just a human being maker. 

So if you can forgive me, please keep reading. I promise to make it up to you with tales from faraway lands in the very near future.


Feeling the Love!

As I am in Calgary and will not be blogging extensively I thought I would quickly mention something that happened recently that I am so, so excited about!!!

I was recently nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by Laura from I am so pumped about this, thank you!

I have only been blogging for a month or so, so this was really unexpected and certainly gave me the boost I needed to keep going. Not that I wanted to stop…..but last week wasn’t so great readership wise, so it was a little discouraging. This just pasted the smile right back on my face.


To be eligible for this award, I need to chat a little bit about myself and then nominate some more bloggers for this award.

Without further adieu, some random things…

1. Not that don’t already know but I love dogs. They are such a huge part of my life and can’t imagine my life without them. I also love people who love dogs. I think those who run rescue organizations are God’s special creatures.

2. I love to travel near and far. I’m starting to really enjoy exploring Ontario but I can’t wait for my next big trip out of the country. Hopefully Panama is next up on the list 🙂

3. I am scared to death of raising a teenager. I don’t have kids but I suspect one day I will and teenagers are terrible. From age 13-16 I basically feel like you have the spawn of Satan residing in your home.

4. One of my favourite things in life is meeting B List actors. Perhaps that will be a future post?

5. I also love mayors. Big city, small town. All kinds. As long as they’re old and male. Sign me up. (Definite future post!)

The people I am nominating for the One Lovely Blog Award are:

~ Lindsey from Happy or Hungry because she’s my girl, she makes me laugh and she’s my blogging inspiration

~ Melissa from The Tattoo Diaries because she’s my blood and because even though she’s a new kind on the blogging block, she making me laugh hard with her ridiculous posts and pics.

~Jules from Go Jules Go because she’s hilarious, she has amazing pictures with glasses and she’s been so, so helpful for someone I randomly just met on the internet. If I didn’t know better I would think she’s a gentlemen from overseas trying to get up in my grill.

I always enjoy reading all of these blogs, so check them out. Oh and have an AMAZING weekend!


A Whole Lot of Nothing

I feel very, very busy lately and the days seem to pass by in the blink of an eye but I don’t really know what I’ve been doing.

There’s definitely been a lot of this:


And trust me I’m not complaining but I am triste about how quickly summer vacay seems to go. Most of you probably want to kill me since I essentially have three months off but trust me, it goes by faster than I can sing ‘Summer Lovin’. So what have a I been up to? I have found myself asking this exact question.

After the Baby Miyou adventure I took it pretty easy on Saturday night. I was supposed to go to a BBQ hosted by my new friend Cheryl but it was not to be. Markus got called into work, which seems to be an annoying trend these days any time he is on call. Since he doesn’t actually fix the machines anymore I don’t know what good he is during one of these ’emergencies’. I just envision him standing around the factory floor yelling at everyone, but this is not his style, so I honestly don’t know what he does.

Sunday ended up being gorgeous, even though the weatherman predicted otherwise. We decided to have our friends Rob and Julie over for a swim and a family dinner a la Snookie and pals. Mark’s friend Chase popped also over randomly and I felt it was a little reminiscent of Steve Urkell popping in on the Winslows. Although he did not cause any property damage or hit on our teenage daughter.


We had a delicious BBQ. Rob and Julie (or Khak and Kenny…long story) brought some meat and we had a salad…FRESH OUT OF OUR GARDEN!!!!! Yeahhhhh. So proud of our urban farming success.


Julie also insisted that we add a decoration from our tiki hut to the table to make it more authentically tropical.

Tiki Hut

While we set the table, Mark and the boys were the grill masters.

Grilling BBQ

I really, really wish Mark had been wearing his grill apron. Which I think you will agree would have been more appropriate for this occasion than his Larry Bird shirt:

BBQ apron

Here our friend Khalil models the apron, as well as an inner tube and someone’s training bra.  I think you can agree it is quite fetching. I also see a Troy Junior photobomb in the background.

After dinner we lounged around and Khaki and Ken’s pup Hal romped in the backyard with Bolt and Miyou. Meaning we tried to keep Miyou calm and not rip a stitch, while Bolt mostly ignored both of them when possible.

HallieJulie said Hallie is terrible at posing for pictures but I seem to have the dog photog touch. Isn’t she a sweet pea?

Monday was another one of these with this gal:

Melissa and Dawn

I apologize I recycled the pic but it pretty much was exactly the same. It rained for a wee bit and we headed out to Ardene to get our shop on. Seriously….that store is my dream. It it the cheapest thing ever. Their clothes literally cost 5-20 dollars and will last you a couple of seasons. I feel like I completely freshened up my wardrobe for my upcoming trip to Calgary and it was less than $100.

Monday turned into Tuesday and besides reading a mind-numbing ‘female friendly’ book called Unsuitable Men, I didn’t do much until the afternoon when I decided it was time get off my ass and clean the house. Which is what I did for a solid few hours. Mark was working a shut down so I headed over to my friend Sherrie’s house with Emilio and we immersed ourselves in a delightful BBQ. While it mostly looked like this outside:


….it didn’t matter. We were all smiles as Sherrie regaled us with her antics from her recent trip to Thailand:


I was enthralled as Sherrie told us about ‘Thai showers’, lady boys, ping pong shows and all of the international friends that she made. I was also a little jealous and definitely wish that I could have gone with her. I was seriously, seriously considering going with her but her timing coincided with Focus on Learning and that was one professional obligation that I definitely had to keep. The pictures were beautiful and I can tell she had the time of her life. She is a very brave soul. There is no way I could backpack by myself through the US, let alone somewhere like Thailand but good on her!

After this little love-in I headed to the movies with Marks (remember…Tuesday’s cheap night) and met up with my sis and her boytoy Kyle.

Boy Toy

As you can see, I was definitely a creeper with this pic.

We went and saw World War Z, which Mark and I had both been dying to see since we saw previews for it a couple of months ago. I totally enjoyed every minute of it. I’m pretty easy when it comes to movies but this was definitely a winner for me. I liked Star Trek a lot but this movie was in a different category all togetha.  I love zombie movies and apocalypse movies, so this was a beautiful combination, particular since good old Brad Pitt makes a delicious appearance. While he has certainly aged and is not physically the divine specimen we knew and loved in Troy, he is an amazing actor and I think this is what made the difference for me between this and any other zombie movie I’ve seen in a while. All in all, I clearly recommend it if this kind of movie is your jam.

Today is another beauty. However, instead of lounging on my chair like a lady or leisure, I have decided to get acquainted with my good ol’ laptop and not just for blogging purposes….although I am acutely aware I’m currently blogging instead of doing my work…BUT I think this outside office thing is a step in the right direction.


I even added our little tiki hut friend for that fun office vibe.

On that note, I’m going to get back to writing up my Pearson Publishing chapters and see where the afternoon takes me but I must say a big thank you for the distraction!

Just wondering: do you ever get to work from home? Do you have a job with flexibility? If so, do you often waste you time like me? (Shame on us.)

Back at it?

Good Evening,

I’m not really sure what’s going on here but I think I want to start blogging again. I tried it for all of two weeks last summer and it just about killed me. Your life starts to revolve around your blog and you become really self-centered and I don’t need any help in that regard…..just ask my husband. What I do know though is that I feel like garbage physically and something needs to change. I know my bud Lindsey @Happy or Hungry ( mentioned that she never looked or felt better than when she was just blogging about food. Perhaps this will be my saviour? Really, I’m ready to try anything.

My weight and health have been a constant struggle for me. I was a normal kid and then middle school happened. I gained some weight before heading into grade 7 and being slightly overweight in grade 7 meant you were a whale. I was ‘friends’ with the wrong people and I was made fun of constantly. In today’s day and age, it would be called bullying. I’m not going to get into the stories. Most people have them. Although I do think I have more stored in my memory than your average girl. This caused me to not eat all day at school for fear of being teased and then binge eat when I got home. It is safe to say I gained a lot of weight. I was no longer a little overweight, I was a big girl. I had a on a premium fat suit if you will. Luckily middle school is only two years and high school was much better. Actually, high school was a dream. I had a lot of friends and had some of the best times of my life (more on this later). I even managed to lose some weight, as I worked at a gym and well…I was a teenager, so my metabolism was not the enemy it is now. Then came university and the freshman 15 ended up being the freshman 30. To be fair, this 30 pounds was spread out over six years and several ups and downs, but still by the end of my B.A. and B.Ed. I was the heaviest I’d ever been. When I came home from Teacher’s College I guess I had enough of feeling and looking like garbage and I cut out all grain related carbs (in addition to tons of cardio) and lost about 20 pounds. I then moved out to Alberta to teach for two years. The first year I maintained this loss and then some. When I moved home I met my now husband, who was also a former ‘big boy.’ Together we embarked on a healthy eating party and I lost another 20 pounds. I wasn’t just eating well, I was also working out 6 days a week. At 27, I was in the best shape of my life. I could have kicked 17 year old Dawn’s ass ten times over.

Then, and I’m sure you can guess, this is where my story piques. I came home, bought a house that needed a 100% makeover and had pretty much minus zero minutes to go to the gym. I may have had the summer ‘off’ but that was the hardest I’d ever worked in my life. At the same time, I entered my Master of Education. Once the house was finished I was able to make time to get to the gym a few times a week and really, I maintained my weight for about a year. I wasn’t as fit but I still felt pretty good about things. While finishing my Master’s final project, I started the beginnings of my dream job at a college during the Fall semester. While it was only partial load, in conjunction with my Masters, I was again back to having no time to myself. I also had no set schedule like I did as an elementary teacher, which I’m finding makes a huge difference. The weight began to creep back on. I then received full time at the college in the Winter semester. While professionally I felt like I had won the lottery, in regards to my fitness, things only got worse. My schedule was busier and even more erratic. I thought I would be able to pull myself together over the summer….but it was summer and I was the most self indulgent, albeit tanned teacher, you’ve ever seen. I kind of looked like this:

tannedI like tennis.

This past Winter semester I started another job at a university, on top of my college job and really my desire and time to work out went right out the window. I’m a stress eater and you can believe I was stressed. In addition to these two jobs I also got married and bought a home. Oh, and I was finishing up a College Teaching Certificate. Wowza! However, that is all now behind me and I find myself with 3 1/2 months to GET WITH IT! This is where the blogging comes in. I’m really, really, really hoping this is the ticket. I am sick of making excuses for myself and I’m also sick of feeling sick and tired. I sometimes feel that I don’t have the energy to bring to my job that it and my students deserve; hence the name change of this blog. I really want to feel like I am fit to teach again. I felt so amazing before and I want to get back there again (although I now know 6 days a week in the gym is not maintainable with my current lifestyle).

I think the first stage is getting back into some of the healthy habits that I held dear before. Working out a few times a week, drinking tons of water, cutting down on my portions and experimenting with new, healthy recipes. Which is where the first stage of my plan comes in; the fridge clean out. I find purging your fridge of any old and unnecessary food really helps you to feel like you are starting from a clean slate. So I did that yesterday afternoon….and my kitchen looked like this:

ImageGood times.

In the end though it looked like this:


Well, with more than just veggies. But you can see, I really did start from scratch. I then went grocery shopping today and did the old perimeter of the grocery store (and a few other aisles for Markus who doesn’t seem to have gained back ANY of the weight we lost together in Calgary). Men’s metabolisms = infuriating.

So here I am, starting again. Having lost and gained a little and then losing and gaining a lot, starting over again seems unbelievably daunting but honestly I have no choice. Even if this only forces me to reconsider a meal here and there because it’s going to be on the blog (gasp!) that will be an improvement over what is currently occurring up in hur.

Here’s to being back on the horse and hopefully once again being fit to teach!

Oh and because I also promised laughs here’s a little fitness related something for you:

Two of my favourites; a terrible expression and beautiful man.

The Journey Begins!

I didn’t lie when I said I travel often. It’s not like I’m a travelling salesman, a la Willy Loman, but for my age, I am blessed to be able to get my flight on more often than most. This week’s adventure is Edmonton and Calgary.Now you are probably wondering why I am going to Edmonton at all. It is not a city known for its beauty, nightlife, tourist opportunities, etc. Sorry to those of you who reside there but it’s not. However, it is home to these lovely ladies (and gents):

Circa Cuba 2008. Side note….there was one malnourished horse pulling this entire wagon 😦

My friend Emily and I met these gals on a trip to Cuba in 2008. Ern being the social butterfly that she is, introduced us and the rest is history. When I moved out to Calgary to teach in 2008, it only made sense that I would visit them from time to time and Eddie became my second home. Anytime I head out West, I always ensure that I get to see these girls either on their home turf or in Calgary. This year I’m lucky because I will be immersed in their glow in both Edmonton and when they come up to Calgary to Stampede.

My reasoning for a trip to Calgary is two-fold. As I mentioned about, I lived and worked in Calgary for two years. I was a grade 6 teacher and a grade 5/6 teacher. A job that I absolutely loved. I look back with only the fondest of memories and I can honestly say that I miss my former students with all of my heart. It wasn’t all smiles and roses but overall, taking that job across the country on forty-eight hours notice, was the best decision of my life.

At home in the old classroom.

Along with a lot of reminiscence, I’m also visiting this gorgeous creature:

Columbia Icefields, 2010

Crystal and I have been friends since grade 9 and she is actually the reason that I got my frist job. She had moved out to Calgary the year before, all by herself and began working at the school where I ended up teaching. I like to think of her as a beautiful pioneer of sorts.

Of course, a visit to Calgary in the middle of July also means Stampede! Unbelievably, I have never been to this spectacle. I always went home to Ontario in the summer and missed the events, so excited does not even begin to describe how I’m feeling.

I plan on trying a little of this:

and a little of this:

I’m currently sitting in the Calgary airport waiting for my connection to Edmonton and I can tell you, I had a perfect flight from Toronto with Air Canada. I had a window….in the emergency exit seat….and I watched the Hunger Games for the second time.  And the view of the mountains, contrasted with the city of Calgary…well it doesn’t get any better than that.

In two hours I will be in Ern’s loving arms and she will whisk me away to the feast my friend Emily is apparently preparing in honour of my arrival. I’m probably flattering myself, but I like to think that is why she is going to the trouble of cooking 🙂 I’ll fill you in on her culinary skills and my Edmonton escapades in the next post.

Have any of you ever been to the Stampede? If so, what should be on my must do list?