Should I leave the lights on?

Recently in the New York times they had a piece on the light pollution in New York City, and about a bill that seems to have caused a bit of discussion on light pollution. On one hand, having fewer lights in the New York skyline would be more beneficial to the environment, and the migratory and mating habits of birds and animals. Another upside to having dimmer lights would be a greater possibility to see what is actually up in the sky in the middle of the night in NYC.

This photo is by Thierry Cohen, and awesome artist, click the photo to be taken to his page!

This photo is by Thierry Cohen, an awesome artist.

However, New York is big and it is filled with crime – fewer lights would mean more cover for unseemly and horrible stuff to take place. It is a good idea, but in they end, they should take a deeper look into the different possibilities and scenarios surrounding the bill in question.

This photo is by Thierry Cohen, and awesome artist, click the photo to be taken to his page!

This photo is by Thierry Cohen, an awesome artist.

The reason that this story caught my eye was because it made me think of a road trip Joe, Elena, and I took up north to Sudbury and down and through Manitoulin Island. After about four to six hours of driving in the middle of the night, Elena told me to pull off to the side, we woke up Joe and stepped outside the car just to stare at the naked sky.

This photo is by Thierry Cohen, and awesome artist, click the photo to be taken to his page!

This photo is by Thierry Cohen, an awesome artist.

Now, I have lived in the country and have gotten some pretty epic views in my life of the night sky, including one birthday of mine in which the Northern Lights appeared above our house.

I have also seen beautiful pictures depicting the night sky without light pollution, and, let me tell you, the real thing…it is even better than you could have imagined.

I wish we lived in a world where we didn’t need lights on all the time and that we could look up at any moment and just see the Milky Way. I wish that everyone would get to experience the ethereal beauty of the night sky unpolluted, with the lights that we have deemed so necessary. I ultimately wish that we could have a world so full of peace and love that lights weren’t so necessary.

This photo is by Thierry Cohen, and awesome artist, click the photo to be taken to his page!

This photo is by Thierry Cohen, an awesome artist.

It is something to work towards, and something to aspire to. Hopefully it will be so…one day.

~ Andreah

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Find the balance

I can’t find it.

And by that I mean my balance. I can’t seem to be able to juggle everything that my life is holding right now, from friends, to family, from work to Joe. I am in a constant state of flux and it is driving me crazy!

If only I was this talented.

If only I was this talented.

I should be better at this! I know I am giving myself no time whatsoever to go from no job to full blown job, from having friends who I would go see to friends I live with, but for the life of me I cannot seem to get my footing!

I know this isn’t an upbeat blog, but right now all I have in my brain is the fact that I am fighting tooth and nail to make sure I can get everything I need done and sorted and I am losing a war with myself right now.

I am trying so hard that I end up getting worse at the balancing act.

But then again, think about where I have come from recently. We moved from Peterborough and left behind a life that me and Joe had built because we couldn’t sustain everything that we needed for a basic life, to our mom’s house where we then picked ourselves up further to live with our friends, and although I love it, and am happy…moving 2 times in 6 months? It’s a little much.

I just want to find a moment where I can have a little breathing room, just to relax and be able to say okay, I can have this break and then I can keep going, even for a day would be nice. However, that is not how life works, and no matter how hard I try to make sure I have the balance, I feel like I am losing.

I know that everyone goes through times like this in which the balance is not there, and it becomes harder and harder.

In the end though I know it will be okay. Because if it’s not okay, it’s not even close to being over.

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~ Andreah

The Roomie Awards

I have lived in a lot of different cities, and in those different cities I have had a lot of roommates, I counted it up and in total I have had a whopping 18 roommates. That is a lot of people I have lived with that aren’t family.

So I am going to give Roomie Awards to the people I currently live with! I live in a house with Joe and three other people, so I sat them down and had them nominate each other for things, and when we all agreed, here is what we came up with:

The winner of the BIG CHEESE/CHIEF AWARD is… Justin.

No I don't know what is happening behind the tree.

No I don’t know what is happening behind the tree.

It tends to be that whenever we are sitting around with nothing much to do, Justin comes up with stuff. He also is the main person of the house. He tends to also be like the big brother of the house and is always there to lend a hand when needed or just help out.

The winner of the SMEAGLE AWARD is…Ponee (a.k.a. Josh).

Isn't he a strange one?

Isn’t he a strange one?

Josh is a little strange, a little weird, and sometimes really annoying, but he knows this and owns it. Josh can also be really helpful and a good guy when the time calls for it. He also takes the guys harassment on a daily basis, and doesn’t really care that much about it.

The winner of the HYPERACTIVE AWARD is…Hanna.

She's so Pretty!

She’s so pretty!

It has been said that if we got a hamster wheel big enough, we could run the house off her energy. She is an awesome girl, an amazing friend, and just a little *cough* a lot *cough* crazy energetic! She is an overall amazing person, and a real best friend.

The winner of the SPEDCIAL AWARD is…Joe.

Handsom isn't he?

Handsome isn’t he?

I did not nominate Joe for this one, and yes the ‘D’ is really supposed to be there. Joe has the uncanny ability to get himself into the weirdest of situations, which makes sense as he did ask me to marry him!

The winner of the FUZZY/DINGO AWARD is…Cleo!
Cleo is the house puppy. She is adorable and crazy and is always up for snuggles.

The winner of the JELLY BEAN/BUG-EYED AWARD is…me.
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This one was a weird description, but I am going along with it. Hanna said that I should get the Jelly Bean award because I am so colourful and random. Justin says that I get the Bug-Eyed award because I always have an interest, I am always doing something, and it is never the same thing. Ever.

I have had so many experiences living with people of all walks of life, and this one is just a new adventure. With all new good people…even if they all are slightly crazy.

~ Andreah

You can go home again…

Well, I am, as you know back at home, living with the Mom again.

I don’t really have any tips to living with the parents, except to just remember that this is all just temporary.

I was going to do a funny post with tips about living with the parents again, but I don’t have any funny things to say about living with the parents again, because quite frankly, it’s not funny, and it kind of sucks.

But I do just want to make this post because it sucks, and I wanted to say it out loud.

I wish we didn’t fall down. I wish we could have stayed in Peterborough. And I really wish that we wouldn’t have had to move back to Mom and Mike’s.

It sucks that we have had to shove all our stuff from an apartment into random nooks and crannies. It also kind of sucks that our bedroom is literally just a bed.

I feel like we are in the way, but I know our Momma loves us and supports us, and we are so lucky she is here for us.

So this post is to just say, it sucks, but we have the best mom in the world, and the coolest stepdad.

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Thank you, guys! You both are awesome

~ Andreah

A new year, a new hope

New Year’s resolutions have never been my thing. Of course, I have goals, but they have nothing to do with a January 1st deadline.

I have dreams, but those are literally farfetched things that won’t happen (e.g. Grow wings and fly to Brazil).

I do have hopes. So here is my list of hopes for the New Year.

I hope I won’t fall down too often, and if and when I do, I hope I won’t beat myself up too much when I pick myself up and keep going forward.

I hope I will be able to let go of the little things and enjoy the moment without worrying so much.
1I hope I can see the bright side of everything and everyone this year.
2I hope I can just be happy, and stop hurting myself, or letting others in to hurt me.

I hope I will have a full day of just smiles, and laughter.

I hope I can grow closer to my sisters.
34I hope I have new adventures this year! Amazing adventures.

I hope I don’t lose sight of myself and my weirdness, because it’s what makes me me.
5I hope that I don’t wonder once this year, ‘What if?’
6I hope for this year to be better, in work, in life, in love, and I hope that I brought the tools from last year forward, so I can do these things.

I hope Joe and I keep getting better with every bump and bruise. I hope we keep becoming more awesome.

I have hope that everyone’s years will be better, and that we all will have an amazing year ahead for families, all our friends and us.

~ Andreah

WVS Gift Guide for the Mechanic/Gamer

Joe is a hard one to shop for on most occasions. He doesn’t really want anything, and we don’t usually have the funds for what he does want, so I come up with something small, and he always cherishes and loves the gifts I give him, as far as I know.

However, I have a dream list of things I could, and hopefully one day could get him – some of this isn’t too bad, and might be in the list for this year, but some of the prices *EEK!*

So without further ado, this is my gift guide for the mechanic/gamer in your life!

Games, games, games!
There are so many games that I know Joe would love! For example he would love to have:

Call of Duty (COD): Ghosts

Amazing game!

Amazing game!

COD: Advanced Warfare

New and Shiny game!

New and shiny game!

Need For Speed (NFS): Rivals

It looks AMAZING!

The one thing when you are looking for games for a significant other, is either play the games he likes with them, so you know what they like when it comes time for shopping, listen to their friends and them debate on which games look good, how high the rating on it is, and then the compare and contrast of the other previous games, or take a shot in the dark, and if all else fails they can trade them.

For instance, COD: Black Ops – Joe and I play all the time, but when he played COD: Ghosts with our friend Greg, he mentioned liking and possibly getting it one day. And, of course, Advanced Warfare is on the list because it is new and pretty, but probably out of my price range.

Extras for gaming
There are two things I would love to get Joe as well.

The first one is practical for his gaming and he has mentioned at least 20 times that he wants this – a charging dock and battery packs so we don’t have to stop a game and change the flipping batteries!

Battery Packs, No more buying batteries for the controllers! Yay!

Battery packs – no more buying batteries for the controllers! Yay!

It would also be really awesome if I could get him this next thing, which is a custom controller. He would have his own controller, and whenever we game at a friend’s house we wouldn’t have to wonder which one is ours, because oh yeah, that’s Joe’s controller!

A custom controller? Hells yes!

A custom controller? Hells yes!

Tools
Pretty, expensive, awesome, and jaw-dropping tools. Tools that his old boss told me about, or got for himself, and I saw that look on Joe’s face, of a wish in the back of his mind that one day he would get the amazing tools too.

For instance, pretty much anything from Snap-on, or Matco. This also requires some research, or some shop stalking.

Like this cordless, airless, impact gun, with bits that retails WAY TOO MUCH!

Pretty Tools, and that's all I know about them!!

Pretty tools, and that’s all I know about them!

I wish we had unlimited funds, and that this could happen, but it’s a lot out of my price range at $1,300.

In the end, I know that gifts or no gifts, just spending time together would make him extremely happy!

Cherish each other and just show some love!

~ Andreah

Farewell

So I lived, until recently, 2 and ½ hours away.

The decision to move back was not under any circumstances an easy one. We made a life there; we met new people who became like family, made new friends, reconnected with some of Joe’s old ones, and grew stronger as a couple through all the ups and downs. We built a small, but meaningful life. One that we already miss and will always miss, and this is my goodbye, for now.
We will always go back and visit, and we will keep the ties there as strong as possible. Here are the things I am going to miss:

1. The shop.
It was an amazing opportunity for Joe, following his dream, and a new start. The people we met there are a large eclectic group of people from all walks of life, and each and every one of them taught us something, and helped us grow in new and interesting ways. I will miss them all so much.

2. Joe’s family.
Joe’s family helped us so much while we were getting our life going, always there when we needed them, and even when I tried to do it all myself, they were there helping and pushing us to get on our feet. They love us unconditionally, and I know, even though we are far away, they still support and love us.

3. Our crapartment.

Our little livingroom

Our little living room

It was small, had leaky pipes, broken tiles, and the hallway always smelled of smoke from our across-the-way neighbour. It was our first place, our first home that we built and made ours.

Our little Kitchen

Our little kitchen

It will always be our first home, and a wonderful and cozy one. We got luckier than most with this one, but I will always miss it, and wish we could go back.

4. The scenery.
Where we lived was beautiful, or at least the country was. Big full rolling hills, the colours in the fall, the beautiful lakes, and the almost untouched forests. I know we will see it again, but I will definitely miss it.
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I know we will visit, but as with any change this one was and is hard. I wish we could go back, but I know that with Joe by my side where ever we go will be home, and whatever we do will be where we are supposed to be.

~ Andreah

Thankful changes

This year has been insane.

It has been full of changes and new beginnings, scary and exciting.

It has also been a year of finding the things to be thankful in times of darkness, and in times of turmoil.

I am thankful for so much, and sad about so much that it leaves me boggled, but this post going to be about the former.

Love and friendships
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I have found so many new people to love.

We found a new family at the shop, I have grown closer to Joe’s aunts and Grandpa, and made new friends. I have solidified old friendships, and all existing relationships are stronger than ever. I am so thankful for every one, and trust me the list is long. I have had so much support and love from so many different people that it’s hard to actually express how thankful I truly am for them and what have done for us.

Sisters

And I get to have my sisters there at my back! So lucky!

And I get to have my sisters there at my back! So lucky!

We haven’t always been close, but because of the distance, and missing them, I have been able to grow up a lot, and to learn who they are and what it really means to have sisters. I have, in the past, kept them at arms length, and I am so thankful and so blessed that they never once gave up on me, and now our relationships are so strong and so wonderful. They are always at my back, always are so supportive, and are always there for me…whether I need them or not. I love you all.

Parents
I have so many parents. SO many I can’t list them all. They all guide me and are there for me, and love me and Joe. We have so many parents spanning from back home, to the one we created 2 and 1/2 hours away that wherever we go, they got our back.

Change
I usually am not the biggest fan of changes, in fact it kinda freaks me out when there is a landslide of new changes in the mix. Moving back home is hard, but it’s a chance for a new adventure, new paths, and new growth. Although I am worried that things may not turn out well, I know that we will be able to make it work, whatever comes our way.

Joe

Joe lets me be weird, and he is just as weird as me!

Joe lets me be weird, and he is just as weird as me!

He is my rock, my love, my best friend, and my light. He makes happy when I am sad, always is there for me, and always loves me, even when I am being ridiculous. He is my partner, and my confidante. He is my smile. I never thought I would find someone, and for them to be just what I need in any given moment and situation? I can say that I am truly blessed.

Elena

Elena's role!

Elena’s role!

She is my kindred spirit and my other-other half. She is best friends with Joe, is always there for me, my road trip buddy, and my awesome more-than-friend friend. I can’t actually explain how much Elena means to me…and Joe. She is always a support, a shoulder to lean on, and a hand to hold – a true soul mate of mine. I couldn’t have done everything that happened in this past year without her.

I am eternally thankful for everything on this list, and more.

~ Andreah

Can we try a little acceptance?

Remember the old saying ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me’?

Well, I call bullshit.

It’s hard being plus-sized, and times don’t get any easier when younger generations seem to get harsher.

When you walk into a store, and hear people talk about you, your size and the way you look, it doesn’t hurt any less than when I was a kid and all my playground to high school bullies would comment on my size over and over again.

It hurts and the flashbacks aren’t any more fun than experiencing it the first time.

I am trying and working on loving myself, but when I hear from four teenage girls who I don’t even know, “Can she get any bigger?” I think it’s gone too far.

When you tell your child, while I am looking through the plus-sized section, not to eat too much because you don’t want to look like her, well I just say that goes too far, and although I don’t make a comment, and just try and brush it off, it still gets to me. It still hurts.

Made by Epic Designer Carol Rossetti!!

Made by epic designer Carol Rossetti

I just want to say one thing when people out in the world make me feel like a tiny insignificant speck of nothing – Screw you.

I like food, and although I am working on cutting down the fat, I love good, delicious, healthy-for-you food, and didn’t get this way by eating fast food. I got this way by having poor eating habits, not eating choices. I got this way by being severely depressed, wanting attention, and getting it through the wrong means. And yes, I am paying for it now, but I didn’t do anything to your child, you, or anyone around you, so why must you comment? Why comment on people’s lives, their weight, or anything else about them? Why can’t we all just be nice to each other regardless of what they look like, and why the hell can we not appreciate who they are?

That person who you are talking about? Yes, they may be overweight, but they can still hear you!

Made by Epic Designer Carol Rossetti!!

That person may be wearing outrageous colours, but maybe it makes them feel good, and what right do you have to comment on how they look?

Granted, I am a firm believer for dressing according to my body size, but just because I don’t think I can’t make a tube top work, doesn’t mean anything about you! It means that I can’t flaunt all of me yet. I will get there, and I will learn to love my body, but it doesn’t happen overnight and weight loss doesn’t happen in one swift moment. Trust me, I know.

But one thing that would probably make everyone’s lives a ton easier is to stop judging based on appearance.

Made by Epic Designer Carol Rossetti!!

Stop belittling other people because you think it makes you sound better than you are. One day those teenagers are going to learn what it feels like to be on the other side, and the next time I may actually say something. That mom in that store may one day have an overweight child and will learn to accept their faults and love them regardless.

I may not be able to teach you these lessons, but I hope one day we all can learn to accept faults in ourselves, because that’s where we should be looking first.

I do want to end this blog post on a high note – that no matter what I think of myself and no matter what anybody says, I know Joe thinks I am beautiful; he says it to me every morning when we wake up and every night before we fall asleep.

~ Andreah