Chapter 30: KnockOutWedding2017

We took off last week for my best friend's wedding. We arrived at 1am Thursday. We spent Thursday running errands, picking people up from the airport, and helping set up the reception before stealing Krista for some bachelorette fun!

We rode roller coasters as a welcome to the ride of a lifetime marriage will be. It was super fun, even though I started feeling sick after like one ride haha... I held it together so well though, and for so long! When i needed a break and time for my gravol to kick in Carolyn and I tried the high ropes course which was super fun, I've never done that before! I have really powerful fear of heights, but over the past 10 years I have worked on it at every opportunity I have and am super proud of the progress I've made!

Anyways, after coasters we took some photos, which were hilarious as so many of us tried to clown-car our way into squishing inside one photobooth. Afterwards we headed out to the restaurant, where we had dinner and mocktails and Krista opened a lot of fun lacy presents. We were nearly the last people there too. We eventually made our way to the house Krista's parents had rented. The bridesmaids slept over and we stayed up all talking super late.

[video width="640" height="480" mp4="http://www.hsward.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/BJV8-B4Y53.mp4"][/video]

That night Steven had dinner with his aunt Bonnie and uncle Lee who live in Northern Edmonton. He stayed at their house that night too, so he really got some quality time to spend with them. Lee was an Elvis impersonator in his "glory days" and Steven even got to hear his uncle perform for him a little. Apparently he is an amazing guitarist too! I guess we know where Steven's passion and talent for music came from... ELVIS!

The morning of the wedding, Krista gave us all matching monogrammed robes in the wedding colours, and her adorable niece had a tiny pink one. It was soooo cute. We got ready, (Krista looked STUNNING. those eyelashes like woah) and then Krista, her parents and I drove to the temple, everyone else would follow an hour or so later. Laurie and I had a really nice time getting everything to be perfect in the bride's room, and I can now say I have moved furniture in a temple... That might be a no-no, but the dress needed some space and the chair was squishing it. I stand by the decor decision, and I'm sure future brides will thank us.

Krista and Kaden looked so happy during the wedding ceremony, it was a beautiful private affair, with just some family and a few friends in attendance. Krista cried, and I think Kaden got emotional too although I couldn't see his face as clearly. I don't think I have seen a happier bride and groom in a long time, It was so touching to see the pure joy they had at the promises they were making and that they could be together - forever.

Mrs. and Mr. emerged from the temple a short time later just as we were starting to be concerned that it would rain. We made the most of the time at hand and got some really stunning photos of them, as well as shots with their families and parents etc. Just as we were about to start photos with the bridal party the ominous clouds (which look awesome in photos) broke open, and it started pouring. We all ran for cover and waited about half an hour as it cleared up. Looking back, I really don't know how I ended up with a sunburn, but there you have it! red hair/skin's fair - dont care. haha. We had a whirlwind of a day, and so much fun at the reception. Everything was beautiful, very classy and bonus? there were waffles. Gotta love waffles and popcorn! (Krista and Kaden's favourite foods)

food, speaches, songs, and then dancing, cleanup, and goodnight.

That's a fraction of what happened during that trip but It's enough for one post I think!

Highlights of the next few days: taking the niece/nephews on their first water slides, family photos, me somehow failing a drug test at the airport and having to have a full pat down and all my belongings searched and drug tested (would not recommend..), and of course, the amazing steaks cooked by the love of my life! It was so nice to have all my siblings together, and really wasn't long enough for me.

 

Mom and dad flew to Montreal with us Sunday because my dad had a conference here to attend. It was incredibly nice to get home! Since Monday was a holiday, Steven and I got to play tourist! We rode bikes down to the old port where there was an amazing event going on. There were all these people dressed in period clothes from 375 yrs ago (how old Montreal turned this week) and we got to walk around and look at booths of people doing pottery and shoe making, blacksmithing, and so much more. We met up with dad and went out for poutine (of course)

There were some really rainy days this week, so we spent our evenings mostly just at my parents airbnb. It was a condo with really great amenities, so we used the grill one night, the pool tables another couple nights. it made us reeeaaally want to live in a condo with good amenities...

anyways, this post is getting rambly, so Ill just leave it here. Talk to you next week!

Love, Heather

Chapter 29: VACAYYY

OK, sorry we didnt post for the last two weeks, we had some major secrets to keep, and we were crazy busy. We didn't go home for christmas  because flights were so expensive, so we decided to go for a visit this last week. Being the sneaky sons of guns we are we decided to keep it a surprise to my best friend. She was home that week as well and my sister was planning her bridal shower. In reality I was planning it with her, and Krista had no idea I would be there for it. We flew out Wednesday afternoon, after Uber-ing to the airport with Gus Portokalos from My Big Fat Greek wedding. He was hilarious, talking about how french is easy because "...it all comes from Greek! Seriously, almost all the words come from Greek." Pretty much the game Gus Portokalos plays in the movie ("give me a word, any word, and I will show you how it comes from Greek.") So that kind of made up for how slightly violent and racist he got later in the trip.

After getting to the airport, we were congratulating ourselves on how smoothly everything was going... and then somehow we both got "randomly selected" for  increased security checks. I've never experienced that before, and even though I knew I had nothing to hide it was pretty nerve wracking! Everything was fine (of course) but apparently the x-ray machine shows areas of "potential suspicion" and that just so happened to be Steven's.. um.. crotch area? Haha it was pretty funny. Suspicious crotch ;)

We landed in Vancouver at 8:40 pm, played with the kittens who stole our hearts, and then went out for Pho with Steven's parents - Jean and Steve. We had a great time and loved the Pho, its been way too long. We crashed pretty quickly after getting home.

Thursday we made some fail pancakes, and then we went to the beach! I cried real literal tears of joy when we got to the beach. I had nearly cried just seeing the ocean from the plane, so walking across the sand towards those waves rolling in on Spanish Banks Beach tipped me over the edge. I had tears running freely down my face and wasn't able to control it. I am still and apparently will always be an island girl at heart. We walked on the beach as clouds flitted across the sun, it was a day I wanted to bottle and keep forever.

Too soon we had to leave. Met up with one of our best friends Michael and went to one of our favourite hipster restaurant Chow Veggie Express :D It was amazing. You're going to hear a lot about food during this trip. We pretty much did a tour of our favourite food spots in Van and stuffed ourselves haha.

Eventually Michael and Steven got me to the ferry, and I cant believe how much I LOVED that ferry ride. I checked my luggage, so I was able to go out on the deck and watch as the sun set and the wind blew away the clouds. Mom picked me up on the other side and took me straight to the Schmidt's (where Krista was staying). We were coordinating with Laurie, so that when we got there Krista was downstairs. I snuck into the house, and hid behind the kitchen island. Then Laurie yelled downstairs for Krista saying that my mom (Laurie's bff) was over and wanted to say hi. Krista came upstairs and walked towards mom, and just as she was passing by the island I popped up like a daisy. My cheery HI! was quickly drowned by a scream and then muffled by a giant hug. She had NO idea - SUCCESS!!

Friday I spent running some errands and spending time with Krista Laurie and mom. We picked up Carolyn from the ferry in Victoria and were all reunited. It was really nice to see her again too.

We had the day scheduled down to the minute Friday, and we only just were able to pull it all together. We took over the Schmidts house to decorate at 9 am. By 11:30 we were home again and gave ourselves exactly 15 minutes to get pretty. We may not have been 100% successful, but we stuck to our 15 minutes which im pretty proud of. Grandma and Grandpa showed up, with pizza! Such life savers. We somehow pulled the food all together in one hour, loaded up the van, and got it all to the Schmidts. We had made Pink chocolate covered popcorn and pink Candy popcorn, little sandwiches, meatballs, and of course lots of tarts, brownies, veggies and fruits.

I worked on getting everything layed out and keeping it stocked up while Carolyn played host. She did a great job of shepherding people and of being MC for the games she had planned. I had to leave a little early (during the gifts) to make the ferry which was too bad, but it was so worth it. We had a blast and there were so many people there supporting Krista. It made me feel so happy for her!

Steven picked me up from the airport, we got sushi to take on the plane the next day, and got back to Steven's parent's house. We had a big family dinner, with good food, people and conversation. We ended up staying up super late, so we got only like 4 hours sleep, before we had to get up and get to the airport.

Thats really only a fraction of what we did, but those are a few of the highlights from me. Here's what steven got up to!

love, Heather

 

 

After dropping Heather off at the ferry terminal I met up with one of my best friends Tevis at the rock climbing gym who I hadn't seen for a year and a half while he was in Korea and I was in Montreal. It was so good to see him. He's gotten so good at climbing since I've been gone so it was super intimidating. He killed a 5.11c while we were there and I took an epic fall lead climbing a 5.10c. I probably fell 10 feel and when the rope finally caught me Tevis and I were staring at one another face to face. It was quite the epic fall - one where everyone turns to look and it just happened to be right in the centre of the gym. Apparently, I'm not afraid of falling..

After climbing we met up with some more of my best and oldest friends Jessie and Sam for some sushi!!! I got a good ol' Bento box which surprisingly, I haven't seen any of since I've been in Montreal. It's actually shocking how cheap sushi is in Van compared to Montreal. Both times we ate sushi here we spent just over $15 and it was more than enough food. I already miss it..

I had probably one of the most active weekends of the year. When we were planning our trip home my brother called me and said, I know you're only in town for a limited amount of time but hear me out, ski trip all day followed by dinner and video games. Who can say no to that?

Friday I was picked up bright and early by my brother Joseph and his wife. We had initially planned to hit Whistler but decided that the hills would murder me so we went to Cypress which opened for one last day of the season the Friday we were home. #providence

It was such a fantastic trip!!! Just to remind you, I have a whole two days experience downhill skiing, so when we got to the hill Joe and Felicia spent the good part of the first hour running me through a crash course to help me refine my technique. After that Felicia went off to go conquer a black diamond and Joe stayed to babysit me down the green run Collins.

On my third or fourth run down Collins I was feeling pretty confident with my speed and technique and was going pretty fast down the hill when a snow boarder cut in front of me. I was already hugging the shoulder of the run but I tried to go farther out to the left and plowed straight in to the bamboo posts on the edge of the run. I went straight through them and tumbled out on the other side but quickly realized I had lost my left ski and pole in the process. When I ran back to the edge of the run that I had plowed through I looked over the edge and saw my ski precariously teetering about three feet over the edge and below was a little stream. I barely managed to reach over and grab it with the help of the snowboarder and a passing skier but it was definitely a close call.

After that Joe convinced me to upgrade to a blue run called Humpty Dumpty. It gets it's name from all the moguls. I had never done moguls so you can imagine it was quite the struggle at first but I just forced myself into it and figured it out! There definitely was no absence of falls but I managed to catch a few of the good ones an the GoPro strapped to my chest. After Humpty Dumpty we found out that Felicia had killed the black diamond run! All in all, we all had some pretty huge accomplishments - I upgraded to a blue apline skier, Felicia upgraded to a black diamond and Joe got lost in the glades for half an hour. We finished the day with some Mediterranean food and some co-op Halo.

The next day I got to spend the morning at the billiards with my dad. He's quite the pool shark. We spent the first two games with me remembering how to play but it was a fun competition after that. My shot of the day was when dad had his back tucked in the corner pocket with my bad sitting right in front of it. I managed to get the cue ball in, knock my ball away and nuzzle the cue ball right next to his sitting on the edge of the hole. Dad got some pretty fancy shots in while we were there. Some cue behind the back shots, across the table shots and so impressive precision shots. It's always a great time playing pool with dad.

That night I picked Heather up from the ferry, we bought some sushi and had a big family dinner at my parents place. Everyone was there apart from my oldest sister and her husband who weren't able to make it up from Seattle for the weekend but it was a great time!

The next morning I got up with the sun to go for a walk with my mom, talk about life, love and change and then rushed off to the airport for our flight home. There's so much more to talk about but it's getting late and we still haven't recovered entirely from jetlag. Till next time Vancouver, we miss you dearly!

 

Love, Steven