Five-ish Things

I made the decision last week to attend my 3rd and the final Creative Escape in Arizona in August hosted by the lovely Heidi Swapp and Bazzill Basics Paper.  If you’re not a scrapbooker, those names will mean nothing to you.  But, it’s serving as good inspiration for today’s post.  One of the projects I’ll be working on at Creative Escape requires me to “bring five photos featuring things/people/events in your life that evoke special memories”.  I spent last night sifting through iPhoto trying to pick the 5 best, and thought I’d like to share them here as well.  I may share the project when complete, but I really don’t think my work is all that good.

Unfortunately, I’m up to 18 defining photos, so I’ll need to pare it down quite a bit. Here are some selections from the pared down list:

1. Cindy and I. Cindy was my trainer some years back. I was just starting to work with her when this was taken. She pushed me to places I didn’t think I could go. I definitely reached my greatest overall fitness with her. Already as I write this I know this photo won’t make the final grade because I also have a lot of negative feelings and disappointments around it too as our goals seemed to be very different, and mine never reached.

2. My Girls, Socks and Matisse! I love those two little sweeties so much.

3. Steve and I, on the eve of my 30th birthday on my first trip to Le Blanc. This night was a fabulous night that began with a 9 course tastings menu with wine pairings by the Sommelier on the 3rd floor terrace. There was just us and one other couple, and a saxophonist. We went to the lounge just inside after and spent the night sampling several different martinis made by an amazing bartender, who also made a point of getting me special cakes from downstairs when he heard it was my birthday eve. Very very very special night.

4. My sweet cousin Katie and I, at my 30th birthday party. I have so many memories surrounding this birthday. It was the worst birthday I’ve ever had, and yet in the middle of it all I had some bright pockets of just feeling so loved. It meant the world to me to have her there for my party.

5. The Malecon, Puerto Vallarta. We had a great day on the town in Puerto Vallarta, and by serendipity found this amazing cafe where we sat on a balcony overlooking the malecon, watching the sunset, sipping the most delicious lattes I’ve ever had. It was an amazingly special and impromptu night. We had our share of adventures trying to make it back to our resort as a result of staying out too late and enjoying the night too much. I was just getting the hang of the settings on my camera and happened to catch this magical photo, and it’s probably the one I’m the most proud of.

6. Sea Turtles! On this night we walked 10km down the beach to release sea turtles into the ocean. 2 years prior I had to do this magical event on my own. This year Steve was healthy enough to take the long walk with me. It was an amazing moment to get to release these turtles again, and it was an even bigger accomplishment for him.

7. Goal weekend in Chicago. I’d just shed over 90lbs, had a great roadtrip with Mom from Toronto to Chicago to get there. I was at such a great place of feeling amazing to be me, in an amazing city, celebrating my cousin Ben’s graduation from high school.

8. Kim and I. Wow. Here’s where I get emotional. This was taken on the last day of my last trip to Calgary. Kim, Amber and I were the best of friends growing up together. I hadn’t seen Kim in probably 20 years, but we were able to pick up like no time at all had passed, despite going through so many big life changes on our own over the years. Amber isn’t physically in this picture. She is by way of love from the two of us. You see, I was there for Amber’s funeral. She was senselessly murdered. I always thought I’d reconnect with her, with the two of them at some point, to catch up on life. I didn’t ever get that chance and I have both nothing but regret it didn’t happen, and gratitude it did with Kim, even if it was over such a heartbreaking event. I still cry for her. I still grieve the loss of her. I still regret every moment that I didn’t reconnect with her. Next week is her birthday, she would have been 34. She was beautiful. She was so fun. I have so many wonderful memories of my childhood with those 2, my best friends, for life.

9. My first snorkeling trip. I was so apprehensive about going snorkeling as I’m not a fantastic swimmer, and it was with rented equipment that kind of icked me out. But, I couldn’t justify buying my own equipment when I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy it in the first place. This was just a little north of Playa del Carmen in Mexico. I went mostly to appease Steve. I wound up being one of the last to leave the boat, terrified, ready to return in a moment’s notice. However, once I started, I loved every second of it. This was a moment we connected together and snapped an underwater pic of us holding hands. I was the absolute last to get back on the boat and even then it was with great reluctance. Just goes to show you that you never know what you may enjoy until you try.

10. My first ocean splash. July 10, 2005 I woke up in Bucerias Mexico after arriving early that morning to PVR. Getting in that late pretty much just meant going to the room and getting some sleep to get an early start on the day. I also wanted to wait to go to the ocean until daylight when I could actually see it. So that morning, after hearing the ocean rumble from our room, and listening to the waves crash in over breakfast I finally made it to the ocean, got my feet wet, feeling the surf crash at my feet. Pacific Ocean, nice to meet you. Travel bug, thank you for your sweet sweet bite.

11. Muy bonita! What a funny night! We were at Aventura Spa Palace in Puerto Aventuras Mexico, going for our anniversary dinner. I picked to go to La Hacienda, the Mexican restaurant on the resort. He wasn’t overly happy with the choice but went with it in the name of happy wife, happy life. Aventura Spa Palace is a ~2000 room resort, in 10 3-storey high buildings. There are also 2 lobbies where the restaurants are held; the north and south. Our room was close to the north lobby, dinner was at the south. We were taking the quick way to the south, which means outside by the grounds, when on the walk the skies opened up into this HUGE downpour!!! We both got soaked! He was even more unimpressed with me at this point; cold, wet, and hating on Mexican food. Mid dinner, the mariachis came over and serenaded us. One leaned down during the song and whispered in my ear that I was “muy bonita”. This photo was snapped right after he said that.

12. Approaching the finish of the Soldier Field 10 mile run – May 2010. What an adventure! As I was nearing the end of my weightloss journey I developed a bit of a lofty ambition; to run the Soldier Field 10 mile run. It was definitely something I couldn’t have done 5 years prior at 90+lbs heavier, and completely out of shape. I set a goal, I chased it, and the pure joy on my face, even after running for 2 hours says it all. Fait accompli. To add to the drama, as I was on the last half mile they were shutting down the race and ordering everyone to walk due to excessive heat conditions. I almost started to sob because I saw that I was so close and yet so far from attaining that goal. Well, race rules be damned, I pressed on, kept running, kept in contact with a bike medic beside me to reassure him I was fine and not suffering any heat exhaustion and that I was well hydrated and fine to finish strong. He agreed I was fine to carry on, and that is my burst into the stadium. In being fully honest, it was tons of fun, every single mile. I’ve since pretty much retired. I’m not a runner. I don’t love the prep work. But the nice thing about goals, is once accomplished, they can never take that away from you.

13. I gotta be me – my first Tiffany. Because good things come in little blue boxes. In my case it was a beautiful necklace with a skate, in Tiffany blue, pendant. It was a total surprise that Christmas morning, and so very thoughtful. It may not be as life significant as some of the other memories, but it still makes me smile all the same.

And now to pick and print 5 of these fantastic memories! I’m glad I have some time to make this tough decision.