Chapter 13: The Return of Gilmore Girls

The highlights of this week were steaks (again), rock climbing, Christmas shopping and last but definitely not least, Gilmore Girls day. With the Christmas season on the horizon we've been warming up our vocal chords to carol in the Christmas season. Heather, Amber and I have been working on a rendition of The First Noel in the back ground but somehow we've been recruited to sing in 3 separate Christmas musical numbers having not sung for anyone yet. You tell one person you were in a band...

img_2830_editimg_2786But we've really been getting into the Christmas spirit. In preparation for our Christmas vacation I've been trying to hone my steak skills cause no one wants to be practicing on a vacation dinner. It's resulted in steak 4 times in 8 days so I'm pretty happy :) We also want to start making some holiday treats so if you've got any recipes please share them with us! Meals, deserts, treats, we welcome them all.

It's really different having snow more than a month before Christmas. Although it was miserable to commute to work in there's something really magical when you're looking for a Christmas tree with snow all around you. Heather and I have started stewing on gifts for one another. This has been quite the year of gift giving for the two of us; rings, to name a few. So we're trying to celebrate Christmas on a budget. It feels so much more difficult to be sneaky but I feel like Heather is upping her sneaky game. She's a sssssnaaaaake. The first gift has appeared in our apartment wrapped and ready to be placed under a tree. So now we need a tree. We went down to the Atwater Market near our place which has a ton of local shops selling anything from cheese, meats, breads or even trees. I learned about two different trees that they're selling down at the market. The first is the Fraser tree which has a bluish tint to it's needles. These trees tend to be very full and last between 4-5 weeks. The second is the Balsam tree which is more fragrant but has less needles than the Fraser. They tend to last only 3 weeks. I think we're leaning towards the Fraser trees but they are a little more expensive. Wouldn't it be so picturesque bringing a tree home with snow falling all around. I love Christmas.

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But the highlight for Heather would have to have been Gilmore Girls day. She's been waiting years for this so as soon as she got word that there was gonna be a reboot she started planning. This culminated in a opulent evening of sweets, treats and comfort food. She and a number of the girls in the ward got together and had a potluck style binge fest and pounded out as much as they could and then the next day Heather and Amber finished the rest of them off. We went on a hunt for pop tarts to complete the arsenal of junk food Heather was bringing to the party but after looking in 4 stores we were still empty handed. But I managed to sneak away and find another store which carried them and surprise Heather. I love surprising her. That's one of my favourite things. 27 days till Christmas!

- Steven

https://youtu.be/5ivaXzASO_w

Chapter 12: Weather man said its gonna snow!

This week was a blast! Steven has been learning so much about cooking the past few months, and this week he really wanted steak... So he made steak! It was the perfect rare/medium-rare tenderloin steak. Now that he knows how to make it, every time we talk about what we will have for dinner that is what he wants haha. Steak for daaayyys! I picked up some kosher salt on my way home from work, and he did the rest. next task is we need to time the rest of our meal better with the steak, it was a lot faster than we had anticipated, so we pretty much ate our steak like an appetiser and our veggies as an entre.

7aba6e7d6644b325961abde7fb613bdbOther news in our adventures with food, we went to C'Chocolate for the second time, and once again were not disappointed! we had one of their signature dishes this time, called C'Wow! it was very wow. It is a large dark chocolate dome, and inside the dome is ice cream and brownie and waffle and fruit. the waitress brings it out and then pours molten hot caramel over the dome melting it and exposing the wonders within. SO WOW. it was super rich, but amazing. After biking home, steven taught me how to dismount and mount my bike with style. it was really cute, like kids we rode around the street in front of our apartment as i practiced my running bike dismount and mount and i hardly got any scrapes. I never would have been able or even tried to do that two months ago. I am so much better at biking now! I actually genuinely enjoy it. Wierd.

 

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Saturday morning was SO exciting. We woke up to the news that there was a huge Christmas parade happening a few minutes bike from our house, so we quickly got dressed, grabbed some doughnuts and booked it up to st. Catherines where the parade was. I have never seen a Christmas parade that high budget before, nor have I ever seen Bonhomme in the flesh! (or snow rather) It was a childhood dream come true! We learned about bonhomme (king of the Quebec winter Carnival) as kids in french immersion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QffMCyY0dI

There was also the most legit Santa ever, he had a real beard and everything! And for some reason, Marty McFly was there with his DeLorean, Dr. Grant and Dr. Sadler from Jurrasic Park and John Hammond, and even Ghost busters showed with a few ghosts! Horrifying ghosts. Honestly it was a dream come true. I felt like I was in Miracle on 34th st. or any other movie with an amazing Christmas parade. Vancouver, step up your christmas game, Quebec's christmas spirit is putting you all to shame! After the parade we needed to warm up so we got some apple cider and all we wanted was to do christmas crafts and listen to christmas music doing christmas things... On our way to find the apple cider we stopped in this cute little store, it had a really random assortment of potted plants, nick nacks, special hard to find candy, and a display of giant human sized cuddle bears! it is not very often that Steven and I are made to feel small, so this was a real treat. They were so unbelievably soft, and cuddly, were they not 150$ we would have purchased one. Or two. Who knows! All in all, it was the best day EVER.

Also, we were asked to speak in church in , If you want to give our talks a read here are some links to them, You will really get to know me well in mine haha.. Mine is on when to Yield your heart to god and when to exercise your agency, and Steven's is on How to stand as a witness of God in your every day life (especially in the challenging context of the YSA)

love, Heather

PS. IT STARTED SNOWING TODAY. we are so not ready for this winter...

Heather's talk: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1lzRV5UJEEdE2ZPz76PUgXsWL-dUasuLNK6PobweC0tk/edit?usp=sharing

Steven's talk: https://docs.google.com/document/d/10BwKmfrgF84Jqjv3xNtIfIYhPfFbTSVCL8O5KJAXYGE/edit?usp=sharing

Chapter 11: Je Manges Comme un Cochon

Commuting to work for me takes about an hour and 15 minutes on public transit and Duolingo has become a daily occurrence on the way to work. I've been trying to be more diligent at learning French and have been learning all the helpful phrases such as, "a bear, bears" and "I eat like a pig." I'll be fluent in no time ;) According to Duolingo, I'm 8% fluent at French which seems inaccurate but who am I to argue with my teacher. img_7397If there's one thing that's been consistent since arriving in Montreal it's that Heather and I have just been taking turns being sick. It seems as though one of us will get sick and by the time they're better it's been passed on to the other person and then by the time they're better the virus has mutated into something different enough to get the other person sick again! Heather got hit by a bug last week which symptoms included headaches and nausea. It lasted a couple of days and by the time Monday came around I had picked it up so the first two days of the week I was trying to make it through work with a massive headache all day. Not the nicest. Hopefully, Heather won't get sick now that I'm over it.

But this week has been really fun. Donald Trump was elected the president of the United States and we cried, I went to the gym for a circuit training session and nearly vomited, and I made jambalaya in our slow cooker and accidentally burned it cause I left it on over night. It actually tasted amazing before it got burned so I'll be repeating that recipe. With the imminent onslaught of winter weather we went in search of winter boots earlier this week. We found a warehouse sale which said they had winter boots so Heather and I made the long trek out to the west island area to take advantage of the great sale. What we discovered was some discount used furniture which looked like it had been used for the past 2 decades in some real estate office and a ton of really cheap "cheap" clothes and boots that didn't fit. Heather and I just looked at each other, laughed and hauled out of there. Life lesson learned, don't go to a warehouse sale that doesn't state the brand names in the ads. After finding nothing we went back to researching and found another warehouse sale up towards the northern part of the island and found a great couple pairs of Timberland and Sorel boots that will do a great job at keeping our little footies warm.img_7851topost

Speaking of the winter, today Heather and I were invited to prepare a musical number for the stake Christmas presentation in December. So we spent most of today listening to Christmas music and brainstorming ideas. Some might think it's too early for Christmas music but it was so nice. We decided to revisit a rendition of The First Noel which we did last year but this time we're giving ourselves more than 3 days to learn. Our friend Amber plays violin and sings so we're going to do 3-part harmony with guitar and violin.

But one of the highlights of the week was our blind taste test of Sprite and 7-Up. Amber and Devin were having a debate as to which is better so we decided to put it to the test. We bought a bunch of junk food to set the stage and a pallet cleanser and we were ready for action. After each of us tested both we came to a majority consensus that 7-Up is the better of the two but if you go back and forth between the two than after about 3 tastes they literally taste the same. People can disagree but honestly, Sprite tastes like 7-Up watered down with Club Soda. All in all, it was a successful experiment. Till next week!

- Steven

PS. sorry about these unrelated photos, we neglected taking pictures of any of the things which were interesting to write about haha...