Chapter 23: And The Oscar Goes to...

This post may be a little short and sweet, because we are currently watching the Oscars! I'm writing this during the red carpet, so between checking out the fabulous dresses (and scary ones haha) I'll try and get this written. For my birthday my parents treated us to a fancy dinner with our best friends here Amber and Devin. It was for this cool restaurant called Dans Le Noir, where you eat in complete darkness, and all the servers are blind. Its supposed to make you rely more heavily on your sense of taste, because without being able to identify what you're about to put in your mouth before you do, your brain has no pre-conceived notions about what taste to expect. You take a bite, and its like "Wow! What a delicious thing! what the heck is it... oooh, its a carrot! How... exotic?" haha we had so much fun. It was surprisingly loud in there too. I guess because you cant see each other's lips, people feel they need to talk way louder to hear each other. Anyways, it was a blast!

Steven and I saw the movie Split this week, and we would HIGHLY recommend!! James McCavoy was incredible. It wasn't as scary as the preview made it look, which was a relief, but it was super suspenseful. That's one movie I think we will end up buying, it was so good. We felt like it had a similar vibe to 10 Cloverfield lane

Another great movie I got to see this week was called 20th Century Woman. I met up with Amber and Devin to see it, while Steven went to band practice. 20th Century Woman is about the relationship between a mother and son as he starts to go through his teenage years. There is a rag tag group of friends and boarders who become like family, which I always love. It talks a lot about feminism, life's disappointments, and what does it mean to be a "good man/woman", and so really, who couldn't love that movie!

We had a party Saturday, and still hadn't cleaned the house or gotten food or decorations finished on Friday I started to worry a little. I nearly had to work Saturday, but because I was really on top of things that week, when it came time to see what I had outstanding on all my shots, there were no surprises and I was on top of it all! So that may never happen again, it was a blessing and just really a prefect combination of a lot of things, but thankfully I didn't need to go into work and could get everything done we needed to instead. I FINALLY printed some wedding/engagement photos While Steven had another band practice in the morning. After he finished his practice, he went and picked up our groceries and a bookshelf we had bought on Kijiji. Meanwhile I cleaned like a fiend, and put photos into frames to hang. It may be one of the most productive days we have had in a while! Just as Steven was on his way back from picking up our new little bookshelf, (which i adore) all of a sudden, there was rain. I tried to find another way to phrase that, but I think I'm leaving it, as it captures how it felt more accurately haha! It was so crazy, and he got stuck at the metro only a few blocks from home because he was worried about taking a wooden bookshelf into the torrential downpour. I brought garbage bags and ran through the sheets of water to go meet him, thinking the bags could keep it dry as we walked it home. It was a great idea, just would have required some much larger garbage bags than we had on hand. We gave up with the bags and just tried to get home as fast as we possibly could. We then attacked the bookshelf, making sure every nook and cranny was dry! We got so lucky, and it looks like its all fine :) Funny how a simple addition of a bookshelf can make a space suddenly so much more homey!

We had a blast at the party later that day. People brought snacks, and we feasted and played a game, took silly photos in the photo booth and since it was an Oscars themed party, some of us even dressed up as different movie characters! We love hosting these parties (Especially because it forces us to do some of the housework we put off otherwise haha)

Anyways, this is getting really long, and I'm getting really tired so I'll just wrap this up quickly. We watched the oscars live, and what a crazy thing! Man, of all the years to watch, this was the one to do it. Congrats to Moonlight, and to La La Land, who handled everything with extreme grace and poise.



Chapter 22: Be Mine Valentime's

Happy belated Valentine's Day! Heather and I made each other homemade valentine's cards. You be the judge of who did it best ;)

For valentine's day we tried to do things for each other instead of spending a lot of money. I started the day by getting up early and making Heather chocolate and banana pancakes and a fruit smoothie and served her breakfast in bed. It's a staple that I learned very young from my dad - if you want to show your wife you love her bring her food in bed.

When Heather and I first moved out here she had macaroons for the first time and it's been a nice treat for us since then. I search around Montreal for the best macaroons and settled on Divine Chocolatier and they were fantastic! I then rushed home and set to making dinner for her. The spread consisted of shepherds pie, Caprice Des Dieux cheese and baguette and chocolate fondu. Everything turned out really well except for the fondu which was essentially a rich drinking chocolate which was used to dip fruit and marshmallows.

For my valentine Heather gave me her beautiful handmade card, which she had made at work using her lunch breaks and a travel set of watercolours, along with a couple Chinese BBQ pork buns called cha-sew bows which are some of my favourite treats from growing up. Recently, we had discovered a Chinese bakery that sold cha-sew bows and I told Heather how excited I was that we found a place that sold them so on Valentine's day she went in search for the little bakery so she could surprise me with this delicious treat. When I first opened the bag my first thought was, why did she buy me donuts for valen...OH!!!!! I love how thoughtful she is.

Yesterday Heather and I celebrated six month of marriage together. I can't believe that it's already been six months that we've been married. The other day I was leaving for work and looking around our little home and thinking to myself, I love our small home we've built together. Moving to Montreal immediately after getting married was not ideal but throwing ourselves into an adventure together that was all our own has been life changing. In this short time we've been here we've learned so much about building a life together, planning, habits (good and bad), compromise, communication and how to make one another smile. People say the first year in marriage is the hardest - if that's the case we're doing pretty good :)

In celebration of our six month anniversary here are photos from our wedding.

Till next week,

- Steven


Chapter 21: Its my birthday, I'll escape if I want to.

So. It was my birthday this week! My brother Ethan has been staying with us for the past little while and so he was here during my birthday which was awesome. Steven, Ethan and our friends Amber and Devin were cooking up a storm when I got home from work we had a lovely dinner! We had pesto and goat cheese stuffed chicken breasts, cesar salad, mashed sweet potatoes with marshmallows, and apple pie with ice cream! Steven had made sure it was all my favourite things, and I was in heaven. For those of you who haven't eaten many meals out with me, if there is something with goat cheese on the menu, it will most likely be my dish of choice. And mashed sweet potatoes are never complete without toasted marshmallows! Aaaand I don't like cake but I love pie, so pretty much it was the perfect birthday meal. They sang happy birthday and afterwards we got bundled up and went to play Escape Room a few blocks from where we live. Every time I have gone to one of these I say "Man, I would love to do this with Ethan sometime. He would have so much fun, and be suuuper good at this." so getting to do this while he was around was like what I have always been dreaming of? haha. anyways. Escape Room, is pretty simple, yet very difficult. The premise is that you get locked in a series of rooms, and you need to search the room for keys and solve puzzles to be able to open the doors and "escape". The one we did this time was county jail themed, and they handcuffed us and locked us in cells! It was really fun, and to top it all off... WE WON!!! so that was amazing!!!  

After escape room, we came back to the house and Steven gave me a few birthday presents, a pair of pants I really wanted but decided not to get (he remembered and went back to buy them), a book I mentioned really wanting to read called "Mormon Feminism: Essential Writings" and a beautiful video he had made, compiling a series of birthday messages he had asked for some of my family and friends to send him. I loved it! It was just what I've been needing, being so far from so many people we love.

We decided we wanted to play card games with Ethan the night before he left. We got out the game we were sent for Christmas from our friend Sam. Its called Adventure Time Fluxx, and its kind of confusing at first, but once you get into the swing of it its super fun! You play by pretty much changing the rules until they work to let you win. The rules are constantly changing, which can make for some pretty sneaky surprising wins! You should definitely try it out, we had a blast thwarting each other's plans haha.


Since Ethan got here, the weather has been exceptional! the sidewalks have been clear, but there has been snow slowly falling and such. Magical! Picturesque! But the day he was leaving, I walked outside to... This. Slush-megedon. and its pretty much gone back to the norm since then. More snow fell, melted into slush, and then froze into rock hard lumpy 4 inch thick ice over all the sidewalks, with new fluffy snow masking this treacherous terrain beneath with fluffy lies.

So a couple funny things happened Thursday during our ward temple trip. (...not something you get to say too often!) We got a late start to our day, meaning we both skipped breakfast. Steven's lunch was insufficient, and then we had to leave right after work to get to the temple, and weren't able to grab dinner first. When we got to the temple, I realised I didn't have a recommend in my temple bag. Luckily since It was a ward temple night, the stake president happened to be there, and gave me a temple recommend interview in the only free room... the coat closet! haha it was pretty funny. By the time they had gotten me all sorted, the endowment session had filled up. Steven and I went to do sealings with a few other couples, and i guess the air conditioning was broken? the room was SO hot. I started seeing Steven sway, and then he made a face like he was going to be sick. he was sweaty and ashen faced. all of a sudden he just got up and said "im sorry, I have to leave, I think I'm going to be sick." and ran out! Poor guy, we think it was a combo of low blood sugar and the heat in that room. As soon as we got some food in him (thanks Jason and Gabrielle!) he was much better.

I had two girlfriends over on Friday night, and we tried to be productive but the evening quickly devolved into girl talk and It was so nice! Its been too long since I had a good girls night. Hopefully there will be more to follow. Steven spent the evening with a band in need of a drummer! There have been a few who have contacted him, but this is the first one he liked the sound of the music. Hopefully it works out, Steven would love the chance/reason to play more regularly!

I ended up working on Saturday again, things are getting tight at work but not too bad. After work I met up with Steven at Devin and Amber's place. We ate a ton of snacks and watched a movie. Pretty standard evening for us at this point, but after such a long day, I probably would have wanted to cancel on literally anyone but the Mendenhalls.

Anyways, its been a long, but wonderful week! There was so much more that happened, but I feel like that's a good enough taste of the highlights for this post. Thanks for all the birthday love this week you guys, it definitely felt special!