Wednesday, June 25, 2008

oh, Calgary

One week in Calgary's has passed. I'm wearing a sweater (In June) because the weather here is tricky. Up until noon it's brrr (Chilly. Tania needs to go back inside where its warm), then it gets warm enough to wear shorts. So here I am still wearing a sweater at Starbucks, hot, because I thought it was going to stay cold. You can tell I'm not from here.

It's been a good first week. Shawn started work at Coram Construction this Monday (Starts school in August), so I had him all day for almost a week before I was on my own during the day. Our days start EARLY because my dear husband must leave for training at 6:10 in the a.m. So we're up around 5:30, and I get to play wifey and make breakfast and send him off with his lunch for the day. Shawn's really digging this domestic gig for me, but once the unpacking and house nesting is done, I'll be needing more to occupy my time or I'll be booored. Until I find a job (tricky because I need to be sponsored by a company/organization for a work visa), I hope to perfect my domestic skills and do some volunteer work.

Shawn coming home after 1st day of work/training
Shawn's family has been super generous and supportive. We live less then 10 minutes from them, so we've enjoyed their hospitality (and great meals) lots. Lindsay, Shawn's sister, also lives in Calgary, so I was guaranteed a least one friend when I arrived:)

We live about 10 minutes from downtown and have great access to many things. Our house (by that I mean 2 bedroom basement suite (the housing here is expensive, and a little unbelievable at first for this Texas girl) is across the street from a shopping mall, which is awesome since gas prices are HIIIGH. For my friends and family in the U.S.A, be thankful for 3.95/gallon. Shawn and I filled up our SUV for 96.00!!! I thought I was going to cry. Gas is 1.33/Liter, which we figured to be equivalent to $4.92/gallon!! So, we are planning to switch to a smaller vehicle asap. Bikes are in the plans too.

I'm really grateful to be a 4 minute walk from a mall with a grocery store and a walmart (Starbucks too)! New concept for me. I've never heard of a grocery store being in a mall, but I'm really liking it. I went to the grocery store yesterday for the first time by my self. I walked with my reusable grocery bags (Canadians are very eco-friendly) over the grocery store. I felt a little lost because some things are in Kilos, some in grams, some in pounds, and I have no clue what the conversions are. Also, I'm not used to some of the brands, which made me an uncomfortable shopper. And boy are some things more expensive them I'm used to. (I saw cereal going for $6-10.) Coupons will be my new friend. Every product label, etc has the French equivalent, so its fun to read the labels to Shawn in my sad French accent.

Our reusable grocery bags. I feel guilty about throwing
anything away here. Recycle, Recycle.

We're in the process of finding furniture. A bed asap, so we can end the "camping" in our own bedroom. We have a beautiful dinning table that Shawn's parent's gave us. All our wedding gifts have been unpacked and put in their place. That was fun for me. I felt like a little girl playing house. Guess, we don't change much, huh?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Road Trip: The Move to Calgary

Day 1-June 15, 2008
We've begun our move from Houston to Calgary. The 32 hour, 2200 mile journey will take us 4 days. Road Trip! We are about to begin day 2. We spent the first night in Lawton, Oklahoma (Home of 2007 Miss America Laura Nelson, Incidentally), and are now headed to Denver, Colorado. Shawn has worked hard to get us free hotel rooms through Wyndhams "lowest rate guarantee," and has succeeded for Denver (yay for free hotel!). We almost got the night free here in Lawton, but filed our "lowest rate guarantee" claim with less than 24 hours, so it was a no go.

Day 2-June 15, 2008
The massive road trip continues. Day 2's 12 hour excursion took us past the Indian casinos of Oklahoma, up to the land of Oz, and west toward the Rockies.

We had a good time yesterday, enjoying our car-made sandwiches- and these aren't plain ham and cheese. We got the works, cause I (Tania) get bored of the same food quickly. We got chipotle mayo, honey mustard, cranberries, provolone, Cheddar, avocado, honey ham, turkey. Many combinations too choose from. Yum.
We listened to another Dave Ramsey (Financial Peace University Series) CD. The guy's hilarious!! We're going through the 13-CD series cause we want to be wise about money. Dave has a great testimony about how he rebuilt his wealth after going broke (after having had a net worth of 4 million dollars at the age of 26) based on biblical principals. We also spent some time quizzing Shawn for his University placement exam on music theory. G major, 7 flat, flat 13, yada yada, yada. It's a whole different language. I just smile and tell him when he gets the flash card right. Good times.

We stopped at a nice Walmart in the middle of no where to restock on groceries somewhere between Kansas and Colorado. Walmart's fun when you've been in the car for 8 hours:)

Below is a pic of the modern windmills we saw in Kansas. They're huge. Very cool energy makers:)

We're now getting ready to head out for day 3. Up we go to Montana. We stayed the night south of Denver FOR FREE at a very nice Day's Inn. Go "Best rate guarantee!!"

Day 3 and 4-June 16 and 17,2008
So were done! 32 hours later, we arrived in Calgary, Alberta (Where deers and bears walk into buildings! Not kidding!).

Day 3 was a great ride from Denver to Montana. As we were leaving Denver we ran over this huge piece of plastic that left about 5-6 vehicles with flat tires. Fortunately, we didn't get a flat.
The rest of the ride was fields, fields, and more fields. As we went north, gas prices kept going up as well. Here is Shawn looking sad as we have to painfully pay 4.09 per gallon of gas :)We stayed the night in Townsend, Montana at a KOA camp. As we were arriving to the camp site we stopped about 10 feet from hitting a deer! Welcome to Montana! Below is the cute little cabin we spent the night in. It was a gorgeous camp site, with a beautiful lake and the mountains surrounding in the distance.
Day 4 was the final stretch. A shorter stretch, only 7 hours from Townsend, Montana to Calgary. It was a beautiful ride: rivers, lakes, mountains, and the cutest little towns. The little towns were a different world for us city folk, and we kept wondering, "What do people do here?" It was fun to imagine the lives of the people there, especially the children who rode their bikes around with so much freedom.
We arrived at the little border town of Sweetgrass, Montana/Coutts, Alberta at about 1 p.m., and after being grilled by a few very straight faced Canadian border patrols and filling out lots of forms (including an itemized list of all Tania's things and wedding gifts), we were on our way 2 1/2 hours later. We arrived in Calgary Tuesday evening around 8 p.m., with lots of sunlight still around (It didn't get dark until around 10 p.m.) Overall, the trip was great! We were very blessed with great weather and safety. Yay for no flat tires and no deer hitting!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

We got married!

So...the big day came and went. It was grand. So much fun. Thank you to all my fabulous bridesmaids, Shawn's groomsmen, and all my friends and family who made the day so wonderful.

Here are a few pics from Lyd's cool camera:

The bride...dun dun durrrraaaaa...

The fam. They worked so hard to pull the day off, especially our sweet parents. The love of parents is strong and so self-sacrificing. Thank you!

My sweet and soooo amazing bridesmaids. I'm blessed to know and have these gals as friends!

Lyndsay Evans: My new sister-in-law! She is loads of fun, and is such a sweet servant.
Carol Robertson: Sweet friend from college. This girl has a heart of gold, and such a joy!
Jessica Bolding: Another buddy from college...She's such a faithful friend, always there when I need her. I was her birthday on my wedding day. She was sweet and let us take the spotlight:)

Lydia Jones: My BFF! She is a precious friend, and my maid of honor. This girl is sooo much fun, She also has a beautiful heart, and I'm so blessed to call her my best friend.
And...the guys. Outstanding groomsmen. Clockwise: Dylan, Aldo (Tania's bro), Rob, Tim
Flower girl Karlie. Who knew bubbles could be so entertaining.

Fun times...

more to come...
p.s. To see our professional photos, go to
Hint:the password is my (Tania) new last name.