Sunday, September 30, 2012

Panicking Nine Months in Advance

I only proposed to Amanda a week ago, and already I've had my first panic attack about the wedding.  While Amanda was having a nap this afternoon, I looked at the website for one of the halls we considered for our reception.  The weekend we were considering for our wedding next August was already booked.

It boggled my mind.  I knew that weddings are planned well in advance, and I've heard stories about certain places being booked up for two or three years in advance.  But a small hall in Grande Prairie, Alberta?


And that's what caused me to panic for a little bit.

I'm sure I'll be fine tomorrow, and I'm sure Amanda and I will get things booked fairly soon so that we'll be able to get what we really want for our wedding and reception. Until it's done though, I reserve the right to panic at any time.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Soooooooo Fast

It's been less than a week since I proposed to Amanda and already things are moving quickly.  We're discussing plans for the wedding party, flowers, and other things.

Oh, and Amanda bought her wedding gown today.  Surprised?  I was.  It came about by chance, and it was an amazing opportunity for her.  When she texted me to tell me she and her mom had bought a dress, I didn't believe her.  I thought it was a joke.  Then Amanda texted me back to say something to the effect of "Yeah, crazy, huh?"

She let me see photos of her in the dress, and she looked absolutely amazing.  I couldn't believe how beautiful she looked, and felt the dress she chose suited her amazingly.

One major decision down, many to go, and only ten months (roughly) left.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Pre-Subway Kiss

Amanda and I decided to go out for supper yesterday because we got home so late.  So we walked to the Subway on the bypass and took this photo on the way over.  It was really nice -- the weather cooperated with our walk, and we stopped to swing in a park for a little bit before returning home.

Sadly I have to work tomorrow, so Amanda and I won't be getting up to much together.  But we've got Sunday together, so it's all good!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Telling the Future

Will Jake write a lengthy blog post tonight?

Magic 8 ball:  "Ask again later."

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Memory Lane

Amanda and I just spent ten minutes wandering down memory lane.  I wasn't sure what to write on the blog tonight, and Amanda suggested that I check her iPhone to see if there were any photos on there that we hadn't used.

So I borrowed her phone, started the camera app, and started scrolling through the photos.  Soon we were completely lost in reminiscing about my parents visiting GP in early August, our trip to see my family before I moved to GP, our mini-vacation to Edmonton, and the many other things we've done together since she got the phone in January.

On one hand it's only been eight months, and for over six of them we were only together on the weekends.

But when we look back, it's hard to believe we did that much *living* in that time.  We've travelled, spent time with family, hiked various places, and did it all together. ...and it was all fun.

We kept scrolling back further and further to when we hiked to TR Point, and then to when I had just gotten my hair cut in the winter, and finally to the very first photos we took on Amanda's phone:  a photo I took of her sitting on my couch, smiling at me, quietly amused that I wanted to test her phone's camera by taking a photo of her, and a photo she took (the very first with the phone) of herself to send to me.

Memory Lane is fun.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Photos a-plenty!

Amanda and I have taken a few great photos together over the past few days.

We took this one during a break in the drive to Kakwa Falls while waiting for some ATVs ahead of us to fix a tire that was knocked off its rim.  Amanda and I wandered to the side of the trail and took a photo together while we were waiting.

We took the next one much later in the day when we stopped for lunch before hiking to the falls.  The sun was making Amanda's hair look amazing, and I really wanted to get a photo together with her.

Finally, Amanda and I took this photo together yesterday in Muskoseepi Park while together on an amazing walk.

The weather was perfect, and it was a wonderful day for a walk.  Amanda and I even stopped on a bridge in the park to watch some small ducks swimming in the few streams before continuing with our day.  In short, it was an amazing Sunday together.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Kakwa Falls

Yesterday, Amanda and I were out with her parents and some coworkers at Kakwa Falls.  It took us close to 5 hours to drive out there, but the view was worth it.

I was told that it was possible to get down to the river level.  So Amanda's brother, one of her coworkers and I climbed down the hill to the river's edge where we could get some photos from a different angle.

It's possible to walk right behind the waterfall, but I only walked to its side -- the rocks became much more slippery and I didn't want to risk going in any further.

I took this photo from the side of the river at the base of the waterfall.  I'm really proud of how it turned out.  The only problem is that the photo does not have Amanda in it, and doesn't have the two of us kissing in the photo.  All things considered, it's a pretty good photo regardless!

Amanda and I did take a few good photos of us together, and I'll post some more starting tomorrow night.  Until then, enjoy the waterfalls.  I did!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Early Day Ahead

We've got an early day ahead.  Tomorrow, Amanda and I are heading out for the day with her Dad and people from their shop.  Right now I can't think of the name of the place, perhaps because it is midnight right now.

All I know is that I've got to be up in 6 1/2 hours (far too early for a weekend) so we can get on the road to this place so we'll have time to spend the whole day out there.  So why am I still awake?

...I gave in and had a second can of pop while we were having supper tonight.  The caffeine is still working its magic on me.

It's funny -- caffeine itself doesn't seem to keep me from sleeping.  However, it *does* keep my mind racing.  I can lay in bed and try to sleep, but I think to myself "I could be doing A, or I could be doing B, or I could be doing C, or I could be doing D..."  Eventually I think "I might as well be awake writing a blog post or looking up stuff (random kickstarter projects, video game reviews, etc.) online instead of staying here next to Amanda tossing and turning."

And so I got out of bed, came out to the living room, flopped down on the couch, and fired up Amanda's Macbook.  And thus I wrote this post.  Night folks!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Man or a Muppet?

At one point in last year's The Muppets, the two main characters sing "Am I a man, or am I a muppet?"  It was a great song with a cameo by Jim Parsons that had Amanda and I clapping.

Occasionally I think about that song in relation to me and my life.  Am I the guy who works hard as a Library technician, buys flowers for his girlfriend, writes, and enjoys playing frisbee, or am I the guy who likes to sit in front of his computer for hours playing Minecraft?

There's lots of evidence in each direction.  I like to think I'm fairly good at my job (even my new one), and I certainly enjoy spending time with Amanda and indulging my creative side.

On the other hand, before I moved to Grande Prairie, my Mondays were largely split between driving home from Grande Prairie, doing laundry, and playing Minecraft.  I've spent countless hours mining into the depths of the world, fighting zombies and skeletons, and building monuments that I think are impressive.  ...okay, not "countless" hours.  I've played for 5  1/3 days according to the in-game stats.  That's 128 hours.

Granted, the time I spend playing Minecraft has plummeted since I moved in with Amanda.  But still, the question remains.

Am I a man, or am I a Minecrafter?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Hi ho, hi ho...'s off to the conference I go!

I'll be spending the next two days attending the Rural Libraries Conference in Grande Prairie.  It's a little weird because the only conferences I've attended in the past were at least five hours away from home and involved planning for travel, a hotel room, and meals.  But for this one I just need to drive for five minutes.  I'll even be home slightly earlier than normal.

Yay for conferences!

Monday, September 17, 2012


I invented supper tonight.  After cooking risotto for the first time yesterday, I had an idea.  I made a casserole from ground beef, broccoli, a red pepper, onion, rotini, mushroom soup, bread crumbs, and a mix of cheddar and parmesan cheese.

I improvised the heck out of it, threw it in the oven for a while, and hoped for the best.

It worked.  It was really good, Amanda enjoyed it a lot too, and there's enough left over for her to take for lunch two days this week.  So my invention was a huge success!  I'm two for two in trying to make things I've never cooked before this week.  Maybe tomorrow night I'll go for three.

...either that or I'll wuss out and make nachos.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Three Hour Drive...

Amanda and I took this photo on Friday night just before we drove to Dawson Creek.  Neither of us enjoys making that drive, but that said it's nice having that time together without external distractions.

We listened to music and spent the entire time talking about all sorts of different things, from movies to family issues to where we'd go if we ever won a million dollars (Italy first, then Japan and beyond).

Then today we laid around for most of the day.  I worked on cleaning and rearranging the living room, making things work better for Amanda and me, while she made lunch.  We did some running around, and came back here where I cooked risotto for supper, something I've never made before.

It was a really good weekend.  I just wish it would last another day longer.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Bargain Day!

Amanda and I took this photo behind the mall while walking over to Warehouse One and other stores.  Later on we ended up going to Future Shop where we saw that the 3DS was on sale.  It wasn't a small sale -- it was roughly 30% off.  So I finally gave in.  I was able to buy the system and New Super Mario Brothers 2 for less than the normal cost of the 3DS.

So I'm a happy camper right now.  Amanda and I are able to play co-op Mario Brothers and it's a lot of fun.  That said, we're playing individually right now while we watch the SNL Best of Chris Farley on Netflix.

Life is good.

Late Night Musings...

Amanda is asleep right now.  It has felt like a busy week, and she nodded off just after we turned out the lights.  I think the caffeine I had earlier in the evening is still buzzing through my veins though.  You could probably tell by the fact that I'm writing this blog post at 1am.

So what's been going on lately?  Well...

Even though I still have things to do, my car will become officially Albertan tomorrow when I register it.  The insurance and out-of-province inspection have been taken care of (the only item that failed and needed replacing was my windshield, and I knew it needed to be done sooner or later).

Amanda and I have been steadily working our way through the catalogue of films and such available on Netflix.  We've watched movies from the past we've both enjoyed, a documentary that neither of us has ever seen, and are now (though not right at this moment) enjoying some of the Best of Whoever on SNL.

Amanda is still working away at her sweater and I'm working on my next knitting project, though less reliably than Amanda.  That said, I may borrow one of her knitting books this weekend -- I need to make a toque to go with my scarf this winter.  The toques I own work okay, but I'd like to make one myself that's long enough to fold up so I have a double layer over my ears.  Cold ears = Unhappy Jake.

I think I'll leave it there for tonight.  It's probably time to fill up my water bottle, then head to bed so that I'm not cranky tomorrow.

Goodnight all!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sunset Kiss

Amanda and I went for a walk tonight after supper, and we took this amazing photo together:

The sun was shining at a perfect angle, and the tree we walked by looked like it would be a very interesting background.  So I grabbed Amanda and said "Hey, can we get a photo?"  We did, and I was thrilled with the result!

Amanda's hair looks amazing, the background tree's colour is interesting, and my hair isn't ridiculously shaggy and overpowering the photo.  I may be biased, but I give this photo an A+!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Technolust Part 5

Everyone else in the world is probably talking about it, so I might as well too.  My technolust has kicked in -- I want an iPhone 5.

That said, I really don't need one.  In the past month, my phone usage has dropped like a rock.  I don't need to text or call Amanda very much anymore now that I get to see her all the time (yay!)  My phone still works fine for the things I use it for, and I'm used to taking photos with it for this blog!

But still -- I look at shiny new pieces of technology and my heart beats a little quicker.  I think to myself "I've been good -- I've had my current phone nearly two years now.  I'm not one of those people who feels the need to upgrade every year."

I'm sure that the next time I see Amanda's brother-in-law, he'll be telling me about how Telus has upgrade plans in place for people who've owned their phones for two years, and find interesting stuff to do with Amanda between their two iPhones just to bug me.

I think I can be strong though.  I mean, once I have an iPad somewhere down the road, what in the world would I need an iPhone for?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

It's Time for a Walk

I'm going to spit out a quick 2 minute blog post before Amanda and I go for a short walk.  I'd hoped for us to get out after supper, but Amanda wanted to finish up a Knit Picks order and we were getting her PVR set up for the new season of Glee and Big Bang Theory.

But now her order is off, and we're heading for a wander.  Yay!

So I will leave you with this haiku:

A yen to wander
Despite walking to his job
Hand-in-hand with her :-)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Getting Closer to Official...

I bought Alberta insurance for my car today -- I'm one step closer to becoming an official resident!

Amanda and I were talking tonight while washing dishes, and we talked a little bit about how nice it is *not* having to drive back and forth every weekend.  I've heard that absence makes the heart grow fonder but I'm not so sure about that.  I think I'm incredibly fond of Amanda!

We took this photo together yesterday on our way back from the Library.  It was incredibly sunny and warm, and I couldn't believe how fast it turned to rain later in the evening.  But the sun and warmth lasted long enough for us to take a great photo together, and that's what matters!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

...not so much

Um, I was a little ambitious with my plans for today as I talked about last night.  It was nice and sunny, and *incredibly* hot today.  It felt like early August, not mid-September.

By the time Amanda and I returned from our running around (including a haircut for me!), it was 3 in the afternoon and close to 30 above.  We ended up staying on the couch playing games (me) and using the computer (Amanda) for the rest of the afternoon until I cooked supper.

Before we came home, we took this photo together while we were out and about.  The woman cutting my hair joked that I was ten pounds lighter after my hair was cut. certainly felt like it!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday FTW!

It's Friday!  When Amanda got home from work, I had nearly finished cooking supper.  It turned out amazing, and we had some really good cupcakes I picked up at lunchtime for dessert.

So what did we do for our Friday night?  Well...  We looked up an old movie on Netflix that I enjoy and that Amanda had never seen before:  UHF.  We're in the last five minutes or so, and she seems to have enjoyed the whole thing.  It's great because I thoroughly enjoyed rewatching it too!

So what's on the agenda for the weekend?  We've got to do some running around tomorrow.  There are bottles to return and my hair is still in desperate need of cutting.  Beyond that, we'll be trying to enjoy the warm weather while it lasts.  I'd feel really silly if it started snowing next weekend and we *didn't* make the most of things this weekend.

To that end, I think it'd be great if we went geocaching, biking, or spent the whole afternoon in Muskoseepi Park playing frisbee or flying kites.  Will we?  Perhaps not, but it's a nice thought!

Thursday, September 6, 2012


We're currently on the couch watching Ratatouille.  Amanda's never seen it before, and I'm very happy to watch it again!

We've kind of been going through the movies at a really good pace lately.  Part of that is that we like having quality couch time together, and part of it is that watching movies gives us time to be productive in other endeavours such as knitting and blogging!

That said...  I haven't managed an extraordinary blog post while watching movies with Amanda.  Perhaps it's because my attention is divided.  Or maybe it's because I haven't stumbled upon a topic that compelled me to write a thousand word blog post once again.

At any rate, we're happy.  We're enjoying our evenings, and that's what matters!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

We are Boring.

I just told Amanda I wasn't sure what to write about tonight.  I've had the blog compose screen up for nearly a half hour now without writing anything in it.

She replied "Write about how we're boring."

We both worked today, came home, went to supper at her parents' place and played Scrabble with her mom and sister, then came home and called my parents to see how they were doing.

So, yeah.  I guess we are.  :-)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


I borrowed Toy Story 2 from the Library tonight because Amanda hadn't seen it before.  We were enjoying it, but the disc had lots of problems and the movie kept freezing up on us.  We eventually made our way through the movie, but it was fairly frustrating.

But on the plus side, now we're set to watch Toy Story 3 one of these nights, and I know my copy of it is in excellent shape!

We're just laughing at the outtakes in the credits now -- I can't believe they spent so much time animating them!

Monday, September 3, 2012


I've been waiting and waiting to post this photo, and it finally has happened.  That's my finished scarf, and it's long enough for Amanda and me to both wear it while sharing a kiss for the camera.


Doesn't it look great?  Even though it took about seven months longer to knit than it should've, I'm still proud of myself for finishing it, and for how well it turned out in the end.

After Amanda and I took the photo together, I asked her if she'd mine modelling the scarf for a photo of it in typical usage (except for the fact that it was sunny and warm at the time):

Yup, I think it'll do the trick this winter.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

A-Camping we will go...

Amanda and I drove out to her parents' acreage earlier yesterday to go camping with them and the rest of her family.  We received an interesting welcome to September -- it was fairly chilly, it rained a whole bunch, and we had a lot of fun.

We took this photo early this afternoon.  The sun had finally come out and we warmed up enough to finally shed the blanket we'd been covered with since we woke up at 6:30 to start the campfire.  So we decided to take a quick photo even though our hair was messy and both of us needed a shower.

I still think it turned out pretty good!  Amanda is looking cute, and I'm wearing my favourite shirt.