A very merry unbirthday to you! TO YOU!

“Babe..?”

“Yes?”

“I’m 25…right?”

“Are you actually asking me this?”

“Yes – how old am I?”

“You are 26!”

“I lost a whole year…..?”

This is an actual conversation Cody and I had about three weeks ago.

It seems that as you get older for women, you start going backwards in age, but for men you just lose years. You stop counting all together.

Today Cody turns 27! I am marrying this handsome devil.

And although he is not a big fan of birthdays,(tonight’s festivities include Chinese food and a Sons Of Anarchy marathon), I am a huge fan of him!

Love you Cody! Happy birthday! I have a feeling this is going to be a great year!

~ Jacqui

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WVS Gift Guide for the Hunter in your life

As you all know, the love of my life Cody is a outdoors-man/hunter…although, put a spider in front of him and he will prove that label wrong.  For this gift guide, I am going to let you in on a little secret…Cody tells me ALL YEAR ROUND what to buy him and all I have to do is listen in on his conversations with his hunting group, the conversations with his friends, and with his uncle Pierre – it’s his only pastime (other than me). I am not eavesdropping…Well, I am, but only to find out how I can spoil him, because that is one of my favourite pastimes!

See? favourite pastime!

First, I will address fashion. In every hunter’s wardrobe, camo is a staple: real tree camo that is! Everything and anything: t-shirts, long sleeve shirts, hoodies, under armour, socks, boots, jackets, EVERYTHING!! This year, my eyes are on reversible camos, which go from winter to fall hunting. They are essential and very practical to closet space, when you think about it. Instead of having two sets of bibs* taking up all the room in the closet that should be for everyone’s coats, there will be plenty of room with these oh-so-fancy pants!

Those hunters are fashion forward! Such thinkers!

If you are budget savvy, then this next option is not for you! Two years ago I bought Cody a new excalibur bow, with the help of our friend Jeff, because, let’s be honest, I would go for the prettiest ones, which may work like crap. Cody had been handed down a bow from his uncle, which had seen better days. He had been talking about upgrading it and adding on a new scope to help him see better, and tweaking it to get a better shot out of it. I thought with all the upgrading he would be putting into it, why not just get a new bow? I asked Jeff if he could help out with finding one on sale, that is still a great bow, which he did. I got a picture about a week later, telling me to BUY IT – so I did! If you are to take anything away from this post, it should be do research! My form of research is the many men in my life who LOVE hunting and love Cody. All of Cody’s friends who he grew up with are thankfully interested in the same hobby, so having them as my experts is where I start. Not only will they help me find what I am looking for, but they also help me with the lingo, so when it does come time for me to purchase any one of these items, I sound like I know what  I am talking about!  The look on Cody’s face when he opened this gift was PRICELESS! This year he has been dropping hints for a new gun, but I didn’t give in this year, even though this would be right up my alley for spoiling. There is always his birthday, then the wedding.

I don’t think this is the exact model, but I can’t tell the difference. That’s where you get your researchers to help!!!!

If you have not noticed a trend, everything is real tree camo. In our area, Sail, which is an outdoor store, just opened up. At this point, Cody has not made me go into the store, so I am not sure if this is going to be the greatest thing ever because I will no longer have to travel far to get his gifts, or the bane of my existence because Cody will have a better chance of getting more “just because” presents.

Hunters require tags for every season in order for the ministry to hunt legally (this excludes waterfowl, which have other ministry limits) and they can be purchased at Canadian Tire. A great gift idea would be a gift card for their tags for the season. These requirements are Ontario-based, but I am assuming that the same concept would be across Canada and the US; however, they may have other requirements. Most people may think that gift cards are impersonal, but to me giving Cody a gift card for any one of his favourite stores to get himself all set up for the season is one of the best gifts you can give a hunter. In Southern Ontario, that includes TSC, Canadian Tire, Sail, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, which are all larger box stores that a gift card would be great for. Cody has some local favourite outdoor stores, little mom and pop shops that he visits frequently, but again do research so that you can give a gift and give back to your local small shops!

Enjoy the shopping season, and try to spread the holiday cheer!

~ Jacqui

*Bibs are the the pant sets of camos, which are worn over the shoulders. They pretty much look like snow pants for hunters…Okay, they are snow pants for hunters.

25 before 25 – A look back

Well ladies and gentlemen readers – I turned 25 on September 21st…. and man was it fantastic! Not only did I celebrate one of my soul sister’s nuptials to one of the most amazing and kind-hearted man I know, but I also spent the day with my family – with tacos! Yes…tacos and Dr. Pepper…I love Dr. Pepper.

So 25 means that it is time to reflect on the resolutions or tasks that I gave myself before I hit the big 2-5. To be completely frank, I had forgot about the list I made – oops! So let’s go through this…

Walk more to explore than as a means of transportation was the first on the list and surprisingly I did this! Bacon, Hendrix and myself have a morning routine, which 3 out of 5 days in a week I keep!

I noted that  I should grow a gardenAHAHAHAHAH! As I am reading this, I can’t help but look at the date this was written – March – and I think that it was right after this that I signed on to a major project at work and said goodbye to any spring or summer I had. I turned in my “green thumb,” which I never had in the first place, for a laptop and overtime. That “garden” never had a chance. I didn’t even weed my garden. This year, I went with the “natural” look…or the “don’t visit this house because crazy people live here” look, you can take your pick.  Yes, I live in that house! The one where mothers shield their children and rush them along the sidewalk as they whisper to quicken their step. Seriously, it’s that bad!

Well, this one was clearly obvious that I would have to do it, and I did – I planned our wedding (note how I said ‘our,’ Ken!). Let me check off the list what we have accomplished, because I am pretty proud. We have our  *insert drum roll*:

  • caterer
  • venue
  • photographer
  • florist
  • DJ
  • invitations are being put together
  • guest list is made

Yeah, that’s right! WOOOOOO! Go me!

I wanted to cook outside of my comfort zone. I bought a new cookbook a couple of weeks ago while I was still in my 24th year (therefore it still counts), and I have made some amazing meals. Cody can attest to that – just ask him!

The next resolution was to not sweat the small stuff. I failed at this one. I am not being hard on myself, I am being truthful. There is no way that in a couple of short months I curbed my impatience. I am still trying and I did try. I am going to put this in the “win” category, though, because I am feeling spicy and because it is a daily battle for me not to bottle someone due to general stupidity which is proven by my not being arrested!

Enjoy the summer was number six and, well, in true Canadian fashion we didn’t really have a hot summer weather-wise, but it was a fantastic summer. Cody and I got away for a weekend, I spent days outside sun bathing, I went to the beach, I drank, and I ate. It was fantastic!

Number seven was to go canoeing this summer. Well, I didn’t go canoeing but I did go kayaking while away with Cody’s family  and it was absolutely fantastic! This also is a big check mark for number sixteen which stated to spend more time with Cody’s family – so once again WIN category!  I also listed To hike with my sisters.  I went hiking quite often, and early in the morning with not only my sisters but our extended sisterhood ladies and then some!

Be more involved with my nieces and nephew was number 8 and better late then never I spent the whole day with them yesterday…or more like the morning with all three monsters, the afternoon with the drool man and the evening with Princess Sophie (who is now refusing to be called a princess because she is no longer one…when did that happen?!?!?!) and then bedtime with all three terrorists again!

 

Drool monster extrodinare!

Drool monster extraordinaire!

 

Timbit monster!

Timbit monster! Definitely not a princess any more!  

 

Sassy slug sister!

Sassy slug sister!

Number ten and eleven were to sleep more and work less. I am happy to report I am still putting in lots of overtime, however I am sleeping properly.

As I read on, I realize that I copped out on this list of resolutions! Sorry guys! Number 12 was to walk the dogs more, which was kind of a repeat of number 1 where I vowed to walk more to explore Ayr.

Cody has been out of the house more, like I listed in number 13, but not in my doing. He has taken this whole “Hunter’s Life” to heart and I find myself more and more lonesome at the house. I am not complaining – I love that he is active and out and about. In fact, it gives me more time to gather myself after work so I can be 100% for him. However, now that I say that, babies are on the horizon (no I am not pregnant yet) which means this may be the last hunting season that I will get to do that.

Number fourteen and fifteen go hand in hand – to dance until the morning sun comes up and to drink more wine! Happy to report that this summer was full of wine and dancing (it’s the best form of exercise if you ask me!).

For those of you keeping track number 16, Cody and I spend more time with his family, was brought up in number 7; however, while were are on the topic of all things family, my mom is still working her ass off, so the extra amount of me and her time has not been as successful as I would have liked, as stated in number 23. This is not just her fault, I am just as guilty as well. Life gets busy, but that will hopefully change once she has that CGA In her hand. As well, my Dad has a crazy schedule of driving all over Ontario and Canada, so I have not been able to see him as much as I had liked to as per number 18. I did see him on a past weekend for my birthday lunch and it was absolutely fantastic!

Cody and I have not had the chance to expand on his family tree like I listed in number 19.

Back to going in order – have I confused you yet?

My house is still a mess, so number 20 to do more laundry and cleaning has not been taken care of as well as it should have, unless we have family coming over. This also means that number 20 to get organized has soooo not even been tackled. Seriously, my desk at home is a mess, my desk at work is a mess, my house is a mess…I need a life nanny! Anyone willing to be my life nanny for free?

I am proud to announce the birth of my best friend’s baby, which as number 21 on my list. Emma Grace was born on September 18th. She is so beautiful with a full head of hair and gorgeous eyes! Ashley and Marty are over the moon, and I am so jealous of their beautiful family! Makes me want one of my own even more!!!

My heart was instantly won over - Emma Grace <3

My heart was instantly won over – Emma Grace ❤

Number 23 was a disaster as soon as I wrote it out on this list – there was no way I could stop talking as much as I do, but I think I am still a good listener?…Sorry co-workers and desk mates!

I did not reach my fitness goal, but, in a way, I did reach it. I am more comfortable in my skin because of working out, however I am no where near my goal. I like food way too much…and TV…and being lazy…my own fault.

The final goal I set was to find a silver lining in every day. This is never ending. I will always look for the positive to avoid becoming a pessimistic person.

Well, as confusing that may have been for some of our readers I hope you followed along and are still following along. I have a feeling that 25 will be an amazing year, maybe even the best one yet!

~ Jacqui