Changes keep a comin’!

It’s been awhile, but I’m baaaaaaaack!

And we thought 2006 was the year for change…. hehehehe…

2007 hasn’t started any slower. We’re a month in, and already lots of changes are coming.

Everyone’s New Year’s Resolution – ok, well, not everyone, but for a lot of people – is to lose some weight. That’s something that Stephanie and I are trying to do. A couple weeks into our program, I think we’re doing ok – Stephanie much better than I – but we’re plugging along. I don’t think we’re about losing X number of pounds in Y amount of time, but rather, making some changes so that we’re eating healthier, and getting in routine excercise. Stephanie’s already getting compliments, and I’m proud of her. I might have lost a few pounds, but I need to step up on the exercise. I was doing ok, then close to a week of being pretty sick has knocked me off track. But I’ll get back on the horse. At least we’re eating MUCH better consistently everyday.

Another reason to be proud of Stephanie is that she’s a happy new employee of Great West Life – you got it, that’s where I work (as if you haven’t been able to tell from my previous posts :) ). After nine years of service at MTS, Stephanie’s picking up her boots and coming over to GWL. There’s been a lot of changes within MTS, and she’s faced a lot of adversity there from idiot co-workers and management, so it was time to move on. Stephanie will be joining the change management group in GWL, which is what she’s doing now at MTS. Her first day is February 12th, 2007, and even better yet, she gets to work in the same building as me – and on the same floor! No more driving back and forth in the morning to get us to work, and to meet for lunch. Things will be much easier now.

And speaking of said employment change, that’s prompted us to make some services changes. We currently have MTS for our telephone, television, internet, and cell service. And, we get some nice discounts cause Steph is still an employee there. Can you say free internet? :) However, now that Steph’s leaving, we’re making a wholesale change. Television, internet (10 MB!), and telephone will be handled by Shaw – thanks to Ryan for the hook up! Cellular? Well, we still have contracts and all, so it’s not so simple. And, Steph gets a new cell phone today!

And this is all just January!

Stay tuned for more in our ever-evolving world!

2006 Has Come and Almost Gone

Wow.

It’s the end of the year already.

Well, not quite, but as the juggernaut that is Christmas stands before us just a few days away, we start to think of the year past and the year ahead.

2006 has been quite the year for me. I started a new job, moving from MTS to Great-West Life. I bought a new house in Charleswood, making more room for my family and pets. I sold our first house. I’ll never forget that house. There were some good memories there. In the biggest event of the year, and my life, I got married to my bun Stephanie.

In 2006, I made new friends, and rekindled old friendships. I got to spend time with old colleagues from MTS. I spent more time with my family. For a short time, I re-entered the music scene.

It’s been a big, but busy year, and for the most part, everything was great. Everyone has their ups and downs, but this year was failrly good to us.

Take a moment to think about all the good things that happened this year, and use that to push yourself foward into 2007. Get better. Aim higher.

Merry Christmas to everyone and best wishes to you all in 2007.

The weight of the world

Wow. Just wow.

In recent times I’ve felt like I’m Atlas, punished for fighting a decade-plus long war against the Olympian Gods by being forced to carry the earth and the sky on his shoulders thousands of years ago.

But it’s not really punishment, it’s just the way life works. But now, the earth and sky has been lifted off of my shoulders, and all is right with everything again. Not that there were any real problems, just the hectic pace of so many life-altering changes all happening at once. All the changes have been great ones, so I’m certainly not sorry they’ve happened.

It’s just that now, I can rest, and go back to my normal life.

Here’s a quick rundown of the last five and a half months.

April, 2006: I love my job, I really do. I sit 25 feet away from my (then) girlfriend. I’m the lead Microsoft technician in an IT shop for MTS, and I really couldn’t have a better position. However, over the past few months, I’d been getting tired of not being given new responsibilities (I was promoted a year ago, but my job never changed), and tired of the fact that in spite of the raises and promotions, there are much less-qualified paper-pushers doing a job a monkey can do for much more money than myself and other highly-trained and educated system administrators are making. I had applied for a job at Great-West Life back in September, and missed it by one cut. I was second. But now, I get a call from Great-West Life, asking me if I’m still interested. I think I broke the sound barrier, I answered “Hellz Yeah” so fast. The interview is a 10 minute formality to review my resume, and I get the call with the offer the very next day. No matter what my position, I’m not turning down a near-five-figure raise. Nosireebob.

May, 2006: I start my new job on the 1st. What a change. And it couldn’t have come at a better time. Stephanie and I and all the animals have outgrown our little starter home, and no manner of packing things away, re-organizing the clutter, or hard work will give us more room in our house. It’s time to buy a new home. I was hoping to wait two more years, but I think the men in white would have come with the straight-jackets first. We wouldn’t have made it. We find a fantastic home in a wonderful neighborhood. A little farther to drive to work every day, but believe me, it’s worth it. Twice the size of our current home, and a yard the size of a football field (well, not quite THAT big, but it’s HUGE) that the dogs can run around with. More importantly, there’s room for all our stuff. So, now we begin the process of packing all our junk up and fixing the place up to sell it. Huge props to my Dad for his truck, and for Steph, Morris, Michael, and Bryon for busting their asses to help us get our big stuff into storage.

May 31st, 2006: We take possession of the new house, and rally up family and friends to come help us paint it. Mom, sister Bev, Michael, Aunt Jeanette, Sarah… thanks so much for taking the time to help us out. We get the place painted over the weekend, and now it’s time to move stuff in. In the meantime, crews have been organized throughout the month to come and install a new furnace (the ORIGINAL 1960 furnace just wouldn’t do) and air conditioning. Also, we’ve been out shopping for new furniture (A HUGE TV~!) as well as getting stuff moved in.

June 2006: By the way, did I tell you our wedding is in 3 months? We spend most the month tidying up the new house, and we start dawdling on getting the old house ready. My Mom Laurette, Steph’s Dad Morris, and our friend Michael turns into machines as they help us get the house ready. Michael’s cleaning stuff out. Mom’s painting, Morris is fixing everything. OH! And Rick! Rick has got his hands into everything – fixing up our bathroom, swapping toilets between houses, fixing railings, and general fix-it stuff. My brother-in-law Ian (CARDAC) is coming to install the alarm in the new house. Wow.

July 2006: We’re getting slower on the house. We start focusing more on the wedding. Stuff has to organized, invitations have to go out, menus selected, txues and dresses chosen and fitted… all the hub-bub that goes along with getting a wedding ready. Meanwhile, the house is sitting there, and we’re paying for two mortgages, two sets of bills and house insurances. And a wedding. YIKES! Did I mention that Steph is also in Dragon Boating, and we’ve been taking the dogs to agility classes every week for the last 18 months? Busy? SHIT YEAH!

August 2006: We’re finally ready. After all this time, we’re going to sell the old house. Showings start on the 16th, offers at 5 PM on the 20th. The 20th comes along, and the house is sold at 5:30 PM. YES!!! I feel like someone has picked the sky off my shoulders, and the earthe – the wedding – is only 11 days away. The next 11 days are full of work at our regular jobs, and work late into the night (and usually into the wee hours of the morning) getting things done for the wedding. There were a lot of sleepless nights in this stretch!

September 1st 2006: It’s Stephanie’s birthday! And the wedding is TWO DAYS AWAY!

September 3rd, 2006: It’s the wedding day, and things couldn’t have gone any better. Thanks go out to so many people… Stephanie, Angie, Sarah, Noelle, Bryon, Michael, my cousin Shane, both of our parents for all their guidance (and their checkbooks!), Bridges Golf Course, who gave us EVERYTHING we wanted, Andre our DJ from Great Times Winnipeg, Sally Hull our photographer, Luigi and Shanna at Icon Impressions for the video, Margo Patten for the wonderful job she did as Marriage Commissioner, and to everyone who cared enough to accept our invitation and join us on our day. And to those that couldn’t come, thank you for all your well wishes. The ceremony was awesome (who knew that *I* was going to be the one to cry?), the meal was fantastic, the reception was top notch – Bryon did a great job as MC and Best Man, and Angie was just as good as Maid of Honor – and Andre kept everyone dancing right until we had to shut down. What a day! I even got to golf on my wedding day. How many guys can say THAT? My girlfriend is now my wife!

September 4th, 2006: It’s all over, and after going to bed at 4:00 AM, I sleep until noon-ish and lay around all day until it’s time to go for supper at Steph’s parents. We also get a call that Sally has STAYED UP ALL NIGHT and finished our wedding photos. We go pick those up after supper.

Well, a week off after the wedding, and now we’re back to normal. The earth has been lifted from my shoulders, and you all have NO IDEA what it feels like to have this much stress and change all taken off your back at once. It’s an amazing feeling.

Now, I have to get to those damned thank-you cards, LOL!!