All The Things

October 25, 2016

Oh haaay.

So many things we should talk about. When you haven’t blogged since May (seriously, May? I am such a slacker), so many things have come up like: Theo almost being a year old, our new favorite drama “This Is Us,” our new least favorite drama The Presidential Election, me going back to work next week, all my opinions on everything, and the fact that I am now a permanent resident of Canada!

We better get started.

So, this guy. What a fella.

 

Theo is 11 months old and will be walking very soon. He is smiley and funny and very often joyful. He’s a little too needy at times (aren’t we all), and he has a bad habit of throwing all of the food I try to feed him onto the floor, but other than that, he’s the cat’s pajamas. He has about five-ish teeth and enjoys using them to bite me on the hand or leg. He has been known to say Mama and Dada and Achoo when he feels like it. He loves waving, although lately his wave has turned into more of a salute (not in a good way — think Germany in the 30s. Just because he’s blue-eyed and has become blonde, his views have apparently gone wonky).


As many of you probably know, being a mom is weird. It is wonderful and hard and dumb and the best and terrible and beautiful all in about five minutes. I love Theo in a very different and more powerful way than I have ever loved anybody — my instinct is to protect him and care for him and comfort him. But sometimes he also bores me to death because I can only read that book about driving boats and combines across Canada so many times.


I am going back to work on Monday after my year of maternity leave. Seriously, I so appreciate this about Canada. I couldn’t have imagined going back to work when Theo was 6 weeks. I probably would have just stayed home with him, but I know not everyone has that luxury. But after a year, we are so much more settled, and I’m so much more confident in him, and it’ll be good. And to make it even better, I am only working mornings, and Andrew is only working afternoons this year. So we don’t have to do any daycare, we each get to spend quality time with Theo, and we each get to do some things we enjoy at work! I am very grateful for how this has turned out!

Speaking of gratefulness, I became a Canadian permanent resident this month!


We were expecting to have to wait at least another 6 months, but we got approved early. So, just to explain: I am still an American citizen. I am not a Canadian citizen. I am a permanent resident/landed immigrant/have a green card. This means that I am allowed to live and work anywhere in Canada, I have permanent healthcare, I have a normal social security number, etc. I basically can do everything except vote in Canadian elections. I am so happy that this process is done (it took two years and lots of money), but now I am settled and don’t have to stress when I go through customs!

So, I can’t vote in Canadian elections, but I do still get to vote in American ones. Goody. Just a couple of words on the thing we are over: the election. Over it.


I have been pretty vocal on Facebook about my dislike of Trump. I also dislike Clinton and will not vote for her. I don’t trust her, I think she’s a Shady McShadester, and I also hate her position on abortion. The reason I’ve been harsher about Trump is very related to my faith. Many of the Christians I am Facebook friends with are not considering voting for Clinton. But they might consider voting for Trump. I’ve just been so discouraged and frustrated with some leaders in the Christian community who have supported Trump when, if he were a Democrat, they would use every single thing about him (his multiple divorces, his affairs, his language, his bigotry, his sexist behavior, his flip-flopping) as reasons to denounce voting for him. But because they hate Clinton, ignoring all those things or calling them old news (although apparently Bill’s decades-old affairs aren’t old news), seems to be just fine. The hypocrisy astounds me. But, the argument goes, Clinton has done this and that and this as an elected official! True. Don’t vote for her. Trump probably will do this and that and this as an elected official as well. He’s never been one. Don’t give him a chance.

In my mind, both Trump and Clinton go against anything the Bible might have to say about leaders, wisdom, integrity or righteousness in any sense of the word. We are not electing a pastor, but we are electing a leader and can I really trust either of these people to stay true to any of their promises, lead with integrity or represent America well? Answer: no. Now, I know one of them will win. But I honestly don’t see a lesser of two evils here. And I also refuse to vote out of fear. I have been reading through the prophets in the Bible lately, and there is so much about poor leadership, but most importantly, about my responsibility to live a righteous life with the help of the Lord, no matter what the culture around me is doing. He is the one whose holiness I fear. So, I will send in my absentee ballot, and I will choose a presidential candidate, but you better believe it will not be Clinton or Trump. End scene.

Moving on to something that brings us joy instead of gloom: This Is Us!


Is this everyone’s new favorite drama in replacement of Parenthood? If not, it needs to be. As I watched the first episode, I was loving it anyway, but then I got to the end and my mind was blown, and you know how I love me some episodes that remind me (even in the smallest sense) of Lost. It’s just the best of both worlds. Please get to watching.

Well someone is standing up in his crib and acting like it’s the end of the world. (He was sweetly asleep one second ago.) I had better get going.

How are all of you? I will try to blog again before the Ivanka/Chelsea election of 2024.

Love you all!!

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Friends!

I haven’t blogged in a long time. I don’t really have an excuse except that I often choose to watch Sister Wives during Theo’s naptime instead of blogging. Hashtagclassy. Hashtagpolygamy. HashtagMeridrama.

How is everyone?! Since we last talked, we went to Colorado! It was the bestest. I got to see so many friends and meet their babies and visit Target and eat lots of food. We also went to my friend Matthew’s wedding and he married sweet Emily and we had very schmancy times at the Brown Palace. I miss Colorado. Especially because it is 50 and rainy here today. So I’m looking through my pics of my sweet friends.

We have all been friends for a very long time. Because we are old.

Little Everlyn is only a couple months older than Theo — but he’s about a gazillion pounds heavier than her.

Our men.

Ash is having a little girly in September — hopefully on my birthday! 

Fam.

We are trying to sleep train Theo. He naps well and goes down so easily at bedtime, but then all the waking up all the night long. Last night around 1 a.m., I was letting him fuss for 10 minutes before I went in to him. I woke up 30 minutes later with the monitor in my hand and he was asleep, so apparently a combination of letting him cry/being too tired to stay awake to comfort him works. He woke up later with a smile, so I guess he doesn’t hate me too much.

Happy Memorial Day! Grateful to those who gave all for our country. Although, every time I hear that phrase it just reminds me of Billy Ray and his epic mullet.

Also, Billy Ray. Remember how your daughter is Miley? I bet your heart is achy breaky over that.

Is everyone off work today? Canada celebrates Victoria Day a week before Memorial Day, so everyone here is working away, and no one is BBQ-ing because of the aforementioned rain. Also, did you know everyone in Canada calls a grill a BBQ, and if you call it a grill, people stare at you sadly because they know you come from the country where Donald Trump is going to be president?

While I’m writing this, my TV is muted and there is a show called Tour Group on in the background. (It looks Bravo classy.)

Speaking of classy shows, has anyone ever seen Alaskan Bush People? I don’t get the channel here, but when I was in Colorado, Micah, Alecia and I watched an episode and we cried actual tears. Tears of joy. Because, this:

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Father and son.

Guys, things are about to get fun around here! In June, Theo and I are joining Andrew’s family on Vancouver Island for some beach time. (I will spend most of it trying to prevent Theo from eating sand.) Then Jaci and Josh are coming to Canada to visit! Then at the end of June, Andrew is done with school for the summer — woo hoo!!! Also, we will be in Minnesota for the first couple of weeks in July, so let’s all hang out! After that, who even knows what the rest of the summer will bring?! (Probably more sleep training.)

Theo is excited to visit Target again in July!

Theo has started eating solids. It’s a treat because who doesn’t love cooking food, blending it, freezing it, feeding about two bites to your child while he spits it back at you, and then cleaning up the high chair and washing a million bibs?


So far he seems to enjoy oatmeal and bananas the most. He gets very dramatic about avocados and sweet potatoes — he puckers up like they’re lemons or something. Calm it down, Theo. He’s also very into his new sippy cup because apparently he loves the feeling of pouring water down his shirt and sitting in sopping wet clothing.


When we were in Colorado, we got to go to a Sunday service at my old church, Wellspring. Loved it. We sang a song that has probably been around awhile, but that I hadn’t heard before. I loved the verses:

And then on the third at break of dawn,
The Son of heaven rose again.
O trampled death where is your sting?
The angels roar for Christ the King!

I got chills at the image of Jesus trampling death in victory, and the angels roaring in praise for the Lamb!

Hokay, I gotta go. Theo is about to wake up and politely demand every ounce of my attention. Have a great day, friends!

Theo just cried for ________ (it’s best not to give you the amount of time so you don’t judge me quite as much for being a terrible mother) while going down for his nap, which made me cry a bunch, so we’re just over here crying. It’s Monday, everyone.

Theo has become THE WORST sleeper lately. He’s never been good, but it has gotten out of control the past two weeks. Last night he was up for an hour and a half (from 2-3:30 AM) and then up a bunch of times after that too. At some point in the night, I think I stomped around and threw my phone on the floor (wise) and kicked a chair and ignored all of Andrew’s attempts to calm me. Or something. Who knows — it’s hard to remember things that happen at 3 O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING. I’m going insane.

It’s hard to stay annoyed with this guy, though.

I’ve tried the pacificer, I’ve tried letting him cry, I’ve tried singing, I’ve tried promising him that I’ll pay for his college education, but nothing works. Help! Maybe it’s time to introduce solids — he’s nearing 6 months. Or I think he may be in some kind of regression or developmental leap or he just has a deal with the devil. No one knows.

Please give me some advice or heavy sleeping pills so I don’t hear him. Either one.

In other news, my mom came to visit a couple of weeks ago! She hadn’t seen Theo in awhile, so it was the best and so fun and I miss her. We shopped and chatted, and she loved Theo so much, and we went to Banff and ate terribly, and we watched TLC, and it was great. Come back, Jilly Bean.

Isn’t my mom pretty? Theo thought so.

In even other news, I got to go to brunch and shopping with friends yesterday! That has happened never times in the past few months, so that was a fun treat!

I seriously have nothing funny to say today. The sleep deprivation and crying dehydration have taken everything out of me.

The high today is 79, so Canada is showing off its heat skills. (Who knew?!) Theo is wearing shorts pulled up real high on his belly like an old man, so maybe that’s why he was crying.

Next he’ll be wearing sandals with socks.

I get to go to Colorado in a couple of weeks! Woo hoo — besties and mountains and meeting new babies and my favorite restaurants and Target (yes, I will be shopping there).

I am doing a little talk at my church’s denominational gathering tomorrow. I’ll do the usual on some of the Jewishness of the Bible, and then I’m going to talk a bit about the Kingdom of God that Jesus talks so much about in the Bible. In the Jewish mind, the Kingdom is at hand (or here) when 1. God shows up in power, 2. He is declared to reign, and 3. We obey.

In the Exodus text, after the parting of the Red Sea, the Israelites sing a song to God and declare that He is reigning and will reign! I loved being reminded of that these past couple of days. No matter what is going on — in our nation, in our homes, in the world — God is on the throne. He is reigning. He already reigns whether or not we’re willing to acknowledge it. And one day, everyone will. And so now, I need the Lord to reign in my life. In my thoughts, in my words, and in my actions. I want and need to surrender all to Him. My sin, my selfish desires, my hopes, my all. (Even my sleep?)

OK, I have to go. My brain function is at minimal capacity, which is probably why I’m about to go see what Bravo has to offer.

Theo thinks that’s a terrible idea.

Sweet dreams tonight — I’ll be thinking of you while I’m up all night long.

 

 

 

 

Island Living

March 23, 2016

Hello!

How was everyone’s weekend? (I just realized that it’s Wednesday, so it’s really not a relevant question anymore, but whatever. Days of the week have no meaning when you still have to get up at 5 a.m. on Saturdays because your baby is feeling chatty.) Anyway, happy hump day?

This past weekend we went out to Vancouver Island. For those of you who are not Canadian, Vancouver is not on Vancouver Island. Vancouver is on the mainland. The island is a 12-minute plane ride from Vancouver and it is beautiful and filled with fresh ocean air. (Andrew talked about his love of the island air no less than 16 billions of times this past weekend. #marrytheislandairalready) Also, talking about the island reminds me of The Island and Sawyer and The Dharma Initiative. Those were good times.

Vancouver Island really is beautiful. And the air is quite amazing. #airomatic

Anyway, Andrew’s brother-in-law and sister pastor a church on the island and they asked me to come out to lead a Passover Seder to start out Easter week. So we quickly packed up our stroller, Ergo carrier, car seat, diapers, wipes, baby clothes, pacifiers, toys, blankets, video monitor, breast pump, bottles, sleep sack (oh, and Theo) and headed out. We had super late flights on the way out and the way back because they were such great deals. This was awesome except for the fact that Theo had no idea it was time for sleep and decided to stay awake way past his bedtime. But he was a pretty cheerful fellow, so it wasn’t too bad.

1 a.m. Happy as a clam. Go to bed.

He was a bit off sleepwise for the rest of the weekend, which meant we got to hang out lots in the middle of the night. It apparently also threw off his bowels because he decided to poop on my sister-in-law’s bed as a “thanks for having us” gift. Luckily he’s a pretty fun guy, which made up for the middle-of-the-night-peeing-on-mom-while-she-changed-him fiasco. (Keep in mind that this was separate from the poop incident.)

Loved. Poop and all.

Anyhoo, Passover! I have celebrated Passover seders for about ten years now, which means that I’m old. It also means that I’ve had ten chances to experience this amazing holiday that has taught me so much about Jesus and the Last Supper and the deep meaning and significance behind the bread and the cup.

One of my favorite parts of the seder is after supper, the kids go search for a hidden piece of matzoh bread called the afikoman. Once found, the child brings the afikoman back to the leader, but will only give it back for a ransom, usually a piece of candy. The afikoman must be redeemed for a price. How significant that Jesus, after supper, takes the bread (the afikoman) and says that it is His body, broken for us. How amazing! There is so much to learn from celebrating the holidays that God asked His people to remember every year. Most of us Christians don’t know much about the holidays of the Old Testament, but I believe that we should! They show us so much about God and His amazing character and redemption. If you ever have the chance to attend a Passover seder, do it! (If you’re in Red Deer, I’m doing one tomorrow at CrossRoads Church and there’s still room for you to join!)

Theo is not invited to Passover, but he thinks you should go!

Speaking of Passover and Old Testament things, if we were to take some time to explore questions and topics in the OT, what would you like to see discussed? Leave a comment with your suggestions!

Do you all have big Easter plans? We will be Passovering and then spending time at church on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. And Andrew’s spring break starts tomorrow! Next week we’re going out to Fairmont which means relaxing, hot springs, winter wonderland, and probably more poop incidents.

Anyway, if we don’t chat again before Easter, have an amazing day and take time to honor, praise, glorify and laud the One who paid the price for our sins and then proved that He was God by defeating death!

Speaking of paying the price, Andrew and Theo spent some time humming “Jesus Paid it All” recently. (As you’ll see, I was praising with my eyes closed.)


I love this song and its truths. Oh praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead! (Here it is with more words and less of me snoring.)

Happy Easter, friends! He is risen indeed!

We Took Ill

March 7, 2016

I meant to blog last week, but I was too busy dying. Of vomit. And other things. Other. Things.

Oh, you guys. Last Monday night, a couple of hours after dinner, I told Andrew my stomach felt weird. So I went into the bathroom and had a small episode. Then ten minutes later, Andrew had an episode. Then we spent the rest of the night having episodes from every orifice in our bodies. It was the absolute worst. Andrew threw up at least ten times and his eyes are still bloodshot (a week later) to prove it. I didn’t throw up as many times, but I had a terrible fever and did things like almost vomit on my baby while nursing him. It was a classy night.

Next year’s Christmas card. This is probably somewhere around 3 a.m. Monday night. We shared that bucket. For vomiting.

The next day Andrew’s mom had to come and hang out with Theo while we limped around, took naps, and nibbled on crackers. We’re still not sure what it was — we thought it was food poisoning, but I also got a cold and terrible cough out of the deal, so maybe it was a flu bug? Either way, it was awful and I haven’t been that sick in a long time. I am still recovering and I’m even missing strollercize, and we all know how I hate to miss a good workout.

When you’re sick, your baby suffers too. From poor fashion choices.

So, basically, March came in like a lion in the Snyder household.

My work visa expires in a month, which means that unless the Canadian government hurries up and grants me the extension I applied for four months ago, I will no longer have healthcare or be able to work or leave the country. So, pretty please, Canada?!

Guys, I miss Target. Oh Joy has all these cute new baby clothes that I don’t have access to. And in April, Marimekko is doing a special line at Target and I won’t even get to see it! My life is hard.

Oh boy. Here’s a thing we need to discuss: Trump and Hilary winning Super Tuesday. Way to be crappy, America. I don’t get this Trump thing. I literally know of no one who is supporting him, but apparently tons of insane people are. Does everyone understand that he basically wants to be a dictator and silence those who disagree with him? You know, like people who lead in North Korea and the Middle East. And he says pretty awful sexist and racist things? And he has no actual plans for running a country besides saying a lot of loudmouth things? And the KKK loves him? And his rise to power looks and sounds eerily similar to a guy in Europe in the 30s? I doubt any of you wise blog readers support Trump, but if you have a friend or family member who does, I actually implore you to talk to them and explain that they should rethink all of it. ASAP. Especially if they claim to be Christians. I honestly believe that anyone who votes for Trump would be elevating nationalism above their faith and that is no bueno.

He’s happy to be Canadian and is imploring his American friends to make sure that it’s #nevertrump.

Speaking of Trump, our sermon at church was so very good yesterday. Our pastor started out by asking if anyone was following the election cycle in the States. (This drew a loud chuckle from the crowd because, America, you are a huge international laughingstock with this ridiculous election. Be proud.) Anyway, our pastor pointed out that of all the ridiculous things Trump has said, the one with eternal consequences is when he said that he has never asked God for forgiveness. (You know, because he doesn’t need it.)

We’re doing a short sermon series on some of the lament Psalms in the Bible. Psalms of lament are actually a huge chunk of the Psalms, and they often ask questions of God or cry out to Him. Yesterday we looked at Psalm 130 — a lament over sin. The Psalmist knows that if God kept a record of sin, no one would be able to stand before Him. But thankfully, with God there is forgiveness of sin when we confess and repent. The sermon was so good — a reminder of our sin, of God’s great grace, of His Gospel, and of the hope we have in the God who will Himself, through Jesus, redeem Israel of its sins. Seriously, if you have a few minutes, watch this sermon — it will convict and refresh you!

Theo just peed all over the floor and then whined loudly while I took a 2.5 minute shower. #keepingitreal

Would anyone like to come stuff these cloth diapers for me? I’d rather watch Netflix. #keepingitrealer

Speaking of Netflix, we watched Fuller House. It was terrible, obviously, but so was the original Full House. So they stayed true to themselves. I did love the nostalgia, though, and they had some funny moments. Also, that Max kid. I’m not going to lie — he cracked me up.

OK, I feel that’s all I have to report on. I lost the last week of my life, so I’m going to try to catch up today by thinking about maybe making supper tonight. I have goals.

Have a great week!

Weighting to Lose

February 17, 2016

Hello again!

I have not showered, I need to mop my floors, prep supper and fold laundry. So naturally I’m going to use this precious few minutes of Theo’s nap time to write you a blog post. Hooray!

Here are a few things:

What is everyone watching on TV these days?! Suggestions, please. TLC pretty much just airs the show, My 600 Pound Life all day long, so I need some good Netflix ideas. Although, my friend Rebecca just posted a wonderful article about how we should all be like Coach and Tami Taylor, so maybe I should just watch Friday Night Lights for the billionth time. Texas forever.

I need some help losing this pregnancy weight! Apparently I am not one of those people whose body becomes automatic supermodel whilst nursing. (Shocking.) My body would rather cling to these pounds with chubby hands. I just can’t seem to get the scale to budge. It may have something to do with the constant spoonfuls of peanut butter I eat directly from the jar, but I doubt it. TLC will probably be calling me to be on My 600 Pound Life pretty soon. (Also, is this new weird saggy stomach pouch ever going to go away? It scares and confuses me.)  Anyway, any mamas have weight loss tips and tricks that worked for you?

Apparently this is becoming a mommy blog. Because I need to post a pic of my boy who is nearly 13 weeks and has no trouble growing — deep and wide.

He’s also learning how to fall asleep without a sleep prop (code for pacifier) so that Mom doesn’t have to go replace it all night long. He’s loves this new lesson about as much as I love math, which is not very much at all.

Has everyone seen Donald Trump on Full House? I hope so.

Speaking of ridiculous politics, really America with this election season? I’m thinking it’s a good time to be an expat. I’ll just sit here on my year-long maternity leave and be judgmental. (While paying lots of taxes.)

Once upon a time ago this was a peaceful, cute sitting area.

OK, nap is over and someone needs entertaining. (Me.) Also, I think TLC is calling.

Talk to you soon!

I like to blog once every six or so months. Keeps the writing skills in shape.

One day, you guys. One day this will be a thriving blog with a fresh, new look and an author who writes on it more than never. It may not happen until the restored Eden, but it will happen.

Anyhoos. How is every all of you? To catch you up on all the exciting haps of my life (work and TV), here’s a little listy! (It is Friday, after all.)

  1. Apparently I am birthing a baby within the next three-ish weeks. Umm….

Here’s a bit of a progression for you. It’s gotten super-sized around here.

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I am having a baby so soon! I have decided that I am not one of those women who loves being pregnant. Good for those of you who are, but I find the hefting and maneuvering and groaning to get out of bed eighty times a night to go to the bathroom a bit excessive. Not my cup of tea. I’ve also had some issues with uterine fibroids (non-cancerous tumors on my uterus) that have sent me to the ER a few times, so that hasn’t helped. Overall, I’m ready to be not pregnant again.

It’s getting really exciting! I am feeling ready to meet this little man who is constantly kicking and punching and hiccuping. (What is he so busy doing in there? Sometimes he’s so active — very important things to do and nowhere to go.) What’s he like? Will we get along? Is he going to like Friday Night Lights? All things we need to know.

But then sometimes I am super nervous about it. First of all: labor. They showed us a nice little video at our prenatal class, and the lady in the video gave birth naturally, and she looked like she was having a semi-tough time, but mostly the baby just kind of slid out of her and then they celebrated and laughed and cried. Then we went home and I looked up some You Tube videos. HORRIFYING. These women were near death and screaming and HORRIBLE things were happening to their unmentionables. I can’t do it. Put me to sleep and take him out of my belly somehow and wake me in three months when my body has recovered.

Second of all: after labor, I have a baby! What do I do with him? What if he makes me cry all the time? (I hear that he will.) What if he isn’t into the food I offer him? What if he doesn’t like Friday Night Lights? Yikes.

Seriously, though, it’s pretty exciting. I already can tell that I love him so much, and I’ve put the Shema in his room so we can work on loving the Lord right away. This baby is making me a bit sappy though. The other day I started crying because pretty soon I won’t feel him in my belly anymore, and I felt sorry for Andrew who has never gotten to feel him move around inside of him, and then I watched an episode of Call the Midwife where a baby is born early and they think it’s dead, but then it’s alive! I pride myself on not letting my emotions control me.

Also, I get to buy him old man sweaters and teacup piglet hats.

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2. I have one more week of work before I go on my year-long maternity leave. Canada! You’re amazing. I’m so, so grateful to have the year. But it’s also weird to be leaving work for a year but not officially quitting. Work has been awesome lately — I got to teach a college Bible class, and this past summer I facilitated the whole church doing the Community Bible Experience where we read the New Testament together. I think I might miss work a bit.

3. What are all of the Netflix shows I should watch while I’m up feeding at 4 a.m.? Please leave suggestions. Unfortunately, Canadian Netflix is different than American, so probably only about half of what you recommend will be available to me. If so, I’ll allow you to mail me DVDs of the recommended shows. Thanks.

4. Did I tell you I got to hold a piglet the other day? Cause I did.

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5. After Target abandoned me they have apparently decided to start shipping to Canada. Except that Andrew heard a radio report and Target apparently is the worst at knowing how to plan to do business in a foreign country. The prices online are super high, which is because of the exchange rate. But most companies temper those prices because they know people will have to pay a lot for shipping. But not Target! Some lady tried to buy a pair of $25 pajamas and after Target added in her shipping costs and everything, her bill was over $70. So, basically, if Target doesn’t do like other companies and lower costs so that the overall price is manageable, no Canadians are going to order from them and they’ll shut down the online shipping and fail again! Target! For the love of all that is beautiful and Oh Joy and Nate Berkus, please get it together!

6. I don’t know what it means to whip or nae nae. I think I have a general idea of what “on fleek” means.

7. Canada just had an election. The season lasted for like 60 days or something and everyone was dying because it was so long and they were so tired of politics. Sweet, innocent Canadians.

OK, I have things to do, people. (Mindy Project, eating, maybe some freelance.) How are you? Leave me a little note to let me know. Joves!

 

 

Target is closing all of its Canadian stores.

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Who knew that my first blog post of 2015 would be about something so devastating? What am I supposed to do now, shop at WalMart?! #nothankyou #nothappening #never

I’ve been receiving texts, emails, and Facebook and Instagram posts all day from family and friends offering actual condolences because they knew I would be in mourning over this tragic turn of events. I’m not sure if I should be a bit embarrassed that my name is so closely associated with a cheap retail store in the minds of my friends, but whatever. It’s the truth. I love Target and it is leaving me.

It may be too soon for me to speak — raw emotions and all that — but I have been moving through the five stages of grief since hearing this heartbreaking news this morning (I move quickly), and I thought I’d share my processing with you, dear readers.

First, denial. I woke up this morning to a text from a friend who shared the news that Target Canada was closing. I shouted “NO!” and woke Andrew up. (Actually.) Then I Googled it (similar to Asking Jeeves, Mom) to see if it was actually true. My heart sank as articles confirming the worst started streaming insensitively down my iPhone screen.

Then the anger came rolling in. Canadians. Target is the best thing to have ever happened to you. You literally only have WalMart left as a “comparable” option. What if you want something not ugly? Where are you going to go now?! Why on earth didn’t you shop at Target more?

Next came bargaining. I tweeted Target Canada, Target US, Target Anywhere today and asked them to at least start shipping to Canada from the U.S. online store if they’re going to shut down. I need me some Target somehow. (Seriously, if you are a Target employee/executive who is reading this (quite likely, I’m sure), please consider shipping to Canada!)

The pinata at my Canadian bridal shower was filled with Target gift cards!

The pinata at my Canadian bridal shower was filled with Target gift cards!

Then the depression set in. I may have actually shed a tear. (Not lying.) Now I know that everyone comes to my blog for my practicality, preciseness, lack of drama, and refusal to exaggerate. But I do want to point out that I understand that the closing of a retail store is not an actual tragedy. I am still clinging to a very slight grip on reality. There are clearly things around the world and family and friends who are dealing with real, heartbreaking and difficult things that are immeasurably beyond me not getting to buy Nate Berkus lamps any longer. A lot of what I’m saying is for the sake of my favorite friend: hyperbole. But I am actually feeling a bit sad about Target leaving, and here’s why:

1. I get all of my everything there. Clothes, snacks, shoes, purses, makeup, deodorant, nail polish, thank-you cards (maybe someday you’ll get a wedding thank-you), gum, rugs, lamps, shower curtains, shampoo, toilet paper…you get the point. Target is my go-to. They have cuter, cheaper stuff than most places. I love it.

2. In a weird way, Target feels like home to me. In case you don’t know, the very first Target opened in Minnesota. The Target headquarters are located in downtown Minneapolis. When I was growing up in Minnesota, WalMart was scarce, but Target was everywhere. My mom loved shopping there, and it’s just where we went for all of our household needs. When I moved to Colorado after graduating from college, I would often go to Target by myself after work. I would shop for stuff for my house, buy a shirt or two, and check out the latest makeup. Something about being at Target while living so far away from home was comforting to me. It reminded me of Mom and Auntie Faye and all the times my brother and I would buy cherry Icees from the Target food court.

I lived in Colorado Springs for six years, and then I decided to move to Denver to work on my Master’s. It was a big change and I missed my friends. I was living alone for the very first time, and it felt weird. My apartment in Denver had a Target less than a mile away, and I remember going there for the first time after I moved and feeling a bit less lonely. I stepped into the store, and it was familiar, a comfort.

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Then one day I met a Canadian boy, and I liked him a lot. We started talking and texting and holding hands. We decided to love each other, and then get married. This meant that I would move to Canada, which is kind of a big deal. And, as silly as it sounds, when I heard that Target was opening in Canada, it made me happy. It made me feel like even though I was moving away again, this time to a whole different country, there would still be a piece of home there. I could go to Target and it would feel familiar, I could look at the same items my mom was looking at, and somehow it would feel like I was not quite so far away.

So, as trite as it may be, that’s why I am actually sad that Target is leaving Canada. It is my place. It feels homey and comfortable, and that will soon be gone. But thankfully, in the last few months, home is now wherever I’m with Andrew.

But the question remains: where will I get everything cute from now on?

The next step is acceptance. I’m not quite there yet, mostly because I enjoy being dramatic and exaggerated for as long as possible. But it will come, I’m sure. And if not, you have lots of Target-related blog posts to look forward to. (I think next will be a pictorial essay tour of my home in which I point out all the things I got at Target.)

So, I am sitting shiva today. Send BBQ chips and flowers to cheer me.

Target Canada, you will be missed.

 

 

Hi, guys!

Well, I’m drinking coffee, looking through the Target catalog and getting ready to watch last night’s Parenthood (I have to prepare and hydrate for Parenthood because of all the thousands of tears.). I am feeling cozy and warm and nostalgic, which brought me back to the good old days. The days of Friday Listday. Shall we?

1. I feel like we need to start this post off the right way. My cousin Emily just posted this video on Facebook. The title is “Baby Bouncing” but the reality is 4,000 times better than that. Because it is actually a tiny monkey. In a snowsuit. Bouncing around. In the snow. He’s wearing a scarf. You. Are. Welcome.

2. So, Andrew owned a beautiful condo before we got married. Then when we got married he let me move into it. I have begun making a few “tweaks” to his decorating style. Andrew might interpret “tweaks” as a “completely unrecognizable home.” Potato/potato. (I pronounced both of those in my head as po-tay-to. So there.) Anyhoo, we’ve been doing some redecorating. We bought a dining room table the other day, but no chairs. Because who needs chairs? Except then we realized that we need chairs. So we started looking around, and why is a single dining room chair $200? Actually? Why? Me and my cheapness were not having it.

But then we experienced a festivus miracle. We had a couple days off and we decided to spend a night in Banff. It’s just we do, you guys. Off to the mountains for a spa day. (There was no spa.) Anyway, our hotel had just remodeled and they had a million dining room chairs in their parking garage. So we casually asked the hotel manager what they were going to do with all those chairs, whatever we don’t even care. He said we could take them for free!! Unfortunately, my SUV was already full, so we spent the next eighty years packing and unpacking and jerry-rigging chairs to the top of my car. FREE chairs!

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Yay! I’m going to paint them and re-cover the seats. Which leads me to my next dilemma. There are a million fabrics out there and I want them all. I’m going for a mid-century modern look, and there are so many funky, fun prints. Here are a few examples…

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Don’t even venture toward my Pinterest page. It is flooded with my indecision in various shades, colors and prints.

3. I have lots of videos today. Including this little gem.

4. Update: I watched Parenthood. I cried.

5. Our pastor has been preaching through the book of Deuteronomy and I am loving it. Why do I love the Old Testament so much? I just do, guys. It’s so beautiful. I’ve been blogging about each week because there’s some really cool stuff over in Deuteronomy. Check it out.

6. Umm, I have another video. I didn’t even know they were re-doing Cinderella until every single person on Facebook began posting the trailer for the new Cinderella movie coming out in March. So you’ve probably already seen it. But maybe you want to watch it again. I don’t know your life. Here it is. (Also, remember Gus in the cartoon Cinderella? I love him, but I hate mice. Very conflicting.)

7. Guys, I’m an immigrant now. Like actually. So that’s weird. We’ve been working on my permanent residency application — it’s so much paperwork, and it’s really hard to figure out. We have to provide tons of info on me, on Andrew and his job, and on our relationship history. We had to make a chart of every single visit we had while we were dating — the dates, the number of days we spent together and what we did. We have to provide all of our flight records and pictures. I have to send my fingerprints to the FBI and I have to get a physical. It’s a lot of work, but it’s obviously worth it.

But what I’ve been thinking about as an official immigrant is how hard it would be to go through this process if English weren’t my first language. In theory, I’m good at English. I make my career out of stringing together English words. But there are so many things on this application I don’t understand. I also would have such a hard time going through this process if Andrew and I didn’t have good jobs. In order for me to get a credit card and build my credit history in Canada, we had to put into a saving account the amount of money we want my credit limit at. So, it’s not even really a credit card, but it’s a way to build credit for me so that I can get a normal card in a couple of years. If I was an immigrant working a minimum wage job, it would be so hard for me to set aside a big chunk of money so that I could begin building credit in this country.

Anyway, through this process I am feeling way more empathy for immigrants. It’s a hard process and it would be tough to do without money or knowledge of the language. Which of course reminds me of Deuteronomy, which of course reminds me of how often God talks to the Israelites about loving the foreigner because they know what it was like to be a foreigner in Egypt.

OK, end of Listday! Have a wonderful weekend, friends! And Happy Wedding, Courtney!!!

Love!

Denise Ruth Morris Snyder

Updates from a Matron

October 24, 2014

Guess what I am supposed to be doing? (The answer is “not blogging.”) I should be writing a freelance lesson. But yesterday was my Jaci’s birthday and her one request was a new blog post, and I aim to please. (Also, I aim to procrastinate.)

You guys! Hi! Last time I wrote a blog post was more than two months ago! I’ve had a whole wedding since then. And moved. And bought a couch. I’m an old married woman now. A matron, if you will.

Umm, I would like to interrupt this post to show you something. I’m at a coffee shop, and the guy behind the counter keeps doing something back there with his leg. It just pokes out from behind this post and bounces around. When a customer comes in, he’ll go serve them, and then he comes right back here to do this. What do we think is going on? No one knows.

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I guess I should give some updates because you’ve all been waiting on tenterhooks to know the daily details of my life. (No you haven’t.)

* Andrew and I love married life! Like, I love it so much more than I thought I would. I mean, I assumed I’d like it and everything, but it’s really just been the best. Something changed once we got married. I’m so much more comfortable and peaceful and content. It’s just really, really nice to know that Andrew is here for me no matter what, and vice versa. (I have a lot of married wisdom to offer because it’s been a whole two months, so I’m clearly an expert.) All that to say, I don’t regret or want to wish away the years that I was single, because those were really great times too, but I’m enjoying this new stage of life a lot. Also, when you are married, you have someone who will tell you that all of your decorations and clothes have flowers on them, even though you didn’t think of yourself as a flower person, but apparently you are.

If you are my Facebook friend or follow me on Instagram (denise_ruth) then you’ve seen enough of my wedding pictures to make you wish I had never discovered Pinterest. So, I won’t post any more here.

Except maybe just one.

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* As I mentioned, it was Jaci’s birthday yesterday. And my mom just reminded me that it is my Grandma Betty’s birthday today. Betty Kay, hope you have a good day. (That was birthday poem, guys.) Jaci was a bridesmaid in our wedding, and I hadn’t seen her in literal years, so it was so fun to get to reconnect. She should move to Canada. So should all these other girls.

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*I’m not counting that above picture as a wedding picture. It’s a friend picture. I’ll stop now.

* Leg update — he’s still at it.

* My friend Suzanne just wrote a book, you guys! So, if you are expecting a baby or know someone who is, you should definitely buy her book because she’s a great writer and has three little kids, so she knows what she’s talking about. She’s also doing a giveaway for a free iPad, so you should definitely enter!

I wanted to pin the giveaway on my Pinterest page, but I figured if I did that no one would read the text and they would assume that I’m preggers, which I’m not. And then I’d have to write a whole blog post about how I’m not preggers, but my friend wrote a good book, and I just wanted everyone to know about it, and how when I am preggers in the future our baby will be nameless because Andrew and I will not be able to agree on a name, so little “Buster Brown” (that’s what we’ll have to call him until we agree on a name) will grow up to be socially inept because his parents could never agree on what to call him, and we’ll have to write our own book about parenting and how not to do it, and how important it is to name your children, and it would’ve wasted a lot of time and space to have to write all that… Where were we? Oh yes, get Suzanne’s book. And enter the drawing.

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* In other need-to-know news, I tried on this jacket today. Do I need it? (It looks better in person. And, also, what should we do with my hair? I don’t like it.)

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* So Andrew and I are leading a small group, and we’re all reading through the New Testament together this fall. We’re using this Books of Bible, which is the New Testament without chapter and verse markings.

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Andrew and I have been reading it aloud to each other, and it’s been amazing, for the following reasons: 1. It’s God’s Word, and therefore it is sweet. 2. This study encourages us to read the books of the New Testament in big chunks, like it was written. So, when we read one of Paul’s letters, we read the whole letter at once. It is how the original listeners would have read it, and we are noticing all kinds of new things. 3. Andrew and I are constantly thinking about and discussing the Bible together, which is so cool. 4. We have great discussion with our small group and learn a lot together. 5. This version of the Bible reads like a book, and it is cool to see the whole of God’s story this way. 6. God’s word is always useful and worth it. It shows us who He is — full of mercy and grace. Anyway, it’s great. Jesus is great. The end.

* Leg update — he was doing both legs at the same time for a minute. Fancy.

OK, I have to go. This lesson is calling my name. (Or a nap is calling my name. Who’s louder — that’s the question.)

Have a good weekend, friendsies!