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For a while now, I've been questioning whether or not Vancouver feels like home. Just a few weeks ago, I was ready to throw in the towel and give somewhere else a shot. 

wilting hydrangeas

Even if it meant leaving my amazing healthcare team, renting out our house, and (dog forbid) moving. I was just sick of being here! (This sentiment seems to come in waves and this was a particularly strong one.)

Bruno woke me out of a deep sleep last night around 1:30am saying, "Ariane... Ariane... What is that? What's that sound??" In my semi conscious state I started listening... to the sound of someone pacing back and forth upstairs! What?? What is going on?? We sat in bed frozen, listening... 

But something wasn't quite right - the pacing was really only along the very front edge of the room... and then I heard the familiar sound of nails. Like a dog skidding on linoleum. And then jumping and skidding some more. Quickly it made sense that this pacing was not happening inside the room upstairs but along the balcony that sits right along the edge of it, right above our bedroom. And that the pacer was likely not human. 

Of course, we were still pretty on edge, not being 100% sure what was going on up there... we tiptoed out of our room and up the stairs, inside it seemed safe. Outside, we couldn't see anything. But I could hear it. It sounded like a dog with long nails trying to get out. And of course, once we were able to get a good look...

Why I was awake at 2am last night

Our house came with "custom blinds" on every single window in the house. Great! Well, sorta... except they are exceptionally heavy and on wimpy cords, which means some of them have already broken. Not to mention, the bigger ones are extremely hard to put up and down, especially without gouging your hands on the little strings. As fate would have it, all of the windows are non-standard sizes, at least as far as Ikea is concerned (we did manage to buy long curtains there luckily!), so without spending a fortune, the only real option is to make new ones. A challenge I plan to slowly chip away at as long as we live here...

After

After much deliberation, Bruno and I decided to tackle a bunch of changes in our yard this summer. We were originally going to put it off until next year, but then we figured since we're around a lot this summer we may as well just get things started so we can enjoy our outside space more. Mostly there has been a lot of ripping out things (especially a TON of cedar shrubs) that the builders had done initially. The yard was so sterile, it looked like landscaping around a parking lot.

Rose

So, what have I been up to the last couple months? You know how it goes... Drupal, work, Drupal, work... and then Bruno arriving here to stay for the entire summer!

He arrived just over a month ago and will be here until August when we go visit his family in Belgium and then go to Drupalcon in London. The plan after that is that he'll be coming back to Vancouver again, and then we've got a window of about six weeks to hopefully figure out something more long-term, ie. getting a work visa or extending his visit if that's possible.

ICE CREAAAAAAAAM

The weeks (months) leading up to the Christmas holidays continued to be really busy. We'd been really cramming at work, and I was also doing a lot of Drupal work (we had a big Documentation meeting/sprint weekend the weekend before holidays that people flew in for, and it's also been a big push getting the Drupal 7 docs done for its release which is coming up this week). I was definitely running on fumes. Thankfully we'd made the wise decision early on to shut down entirely at work for two weeks over the holidays, so we could all take a proper, well-deserved break. I went back to Saskatoon for a full week and a half, to have Christmas with my parents, and basically just do what Frankie says (ie. relax).

box chaos
Decorating the tree with my mom

So first, a little catch up from before my last posts... back in June, I went to Saskatoon for a weekend to go to the wedding of one of my next door neighbours from where I grew up. The Sulatyski family lived next door to me my entire Saskatoon-life (plus a couple years after I moved to Vancouver), and are like my second family... sometimes I feel like I grew up more Ukrainian than any other culture!

Me and the boys

Before we get started, here's some new LCD Soundsystem for your listening enjoyment...

Much of my thoughts go like an agile retrospective these days... project management is permeating my thinking patterns.

Good

Friday, December 19th - lovely dusting of snow, viewed through the window of AB headquarters.  Finished off and had a great evening with friends, then spent Saturday and Sunday running around prepping to leave for LA, where I was heading to spend Christmas with my cousins.

A nice dusting of snow

IMG_2885

It's supposed to go down to -19C with the wind chill tonight.  Totally unheard of.  Everyone is complaining about the cold like crazy, and yet I'm pretty sure a lot of people are really enjoying it (myself included).  Maybe it's the lack of rain, but people seem pretty cheery.

MORE SNOW!!!

Of course for a lot of people who aren't as lucky as us, it's very, very tough dealing with this kind of weather.  I feel even luckier that usual just to have my warm, dry apartment and a nice bed to sleep in.

MORE SNOW!!!

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