How stereotypical…

Let me begin this post by saying I am NOT one of those people who makes resolutions or reflects on the year’s events at the end of every year, so this may seem stereotypical to some, but it’s kind of new to me. 

engagedIt’s the end of the year, and what a great year it has been.  This year alone I experienced some of the biggest moments of my life.  Getting engaged in 2011 was certainly the kick off point for a lot of these happy changes, so thanks to my lovely husband for the wonderfully romantic Boston Pizza proposal.  (For those of you who don’t know the whole story, I’ll post about it [maybe] at some point in my blogging life, so for now you may be left scrunching your foreheads at the last 5 words in that final sentence.)

April 12, 2012:house 3

We signed papers and officially became homeowners. That afternoon/evening seemed to last forever as we sat in the car, walked through the neighbourhood, and waited for the back and forth negotiations to cease.  It was hard to believe just 3 days before we had seen the house for the first time.  Alex called me and I rushed over from the gym, not even knowing this would be THE house.

June 12, 2012:house collage

We got keys to our brand new (it’s 25 years old but new to us) house, which we are still working on making into a home.  I sort of wrote about it during the month of October for a 31 24 Day Series.

house collage

I’ll be posting what we have accomplished and what our next goals are in a separate entry within the next few days.  It’s been a learning experience so far trying to decorate, keep a budget, clean and relax in our humble abode, but we’re making it work!

August 17, 2012:

I started this blog.  One of the scariest things is to put one’s thoughts, feelings and ideas out into the world.  Starting this has been sometimes scary for me, but I want to keep going – not for worldwide fame and gazillions of dollars (because I could totally be the famous Learner Observer lady some day.  HA!), I do it for myself, to document my journey and to know that sharing bits of my life doesn’t have to be scary, because though people may not like what’s here, or might judge me by what they read, this little tiny blog has come to mean a whole lot to me.

August 23, 2012:Calendar august

I got the offer from the Durham District School Board to become a Supply Teacher.  This might sound like an insignificant event, but if you live in Ontario you understand – there is no room for new teachers here!  I graduated in 2010 and have stayed at my desk job since, not being able to find a teaching gig in our region and feeling unable to quit my steady job to volunteer at schools for a potential opening.  When this news came, I was over-the-moon-super-giddy-happy!  Foot officially in teaching door (classroom?).  YESSS!

September 15, 2012:wedding collage

We got married!  It was a beautiful and perfect Summer day.  Oh wait… except for the crazy Toronto traffic which kept about 3/4 of our guests from being able to see us actually say our vows!  That’s right…we chose the worst day in GTA history to wed in the West end of the city.  There were highway closures, cultural events closing off several blocks right by our venue, and extra extra extra traffic EVERYWHERE.  In all honesty, I didn’t notice much of it.  15 minutes before the ceremony all I could do was sweat as my bridal party fanned me down with menu cards in the reception hall.  Once I set foot into that chapel, it was all forgotten and I didn’t even notice who was/wasn’t there, whether there were flowers or walls or a floor.chapel

All I knew was that I was about to get married to the only person I have ever wished to be married to.  It was the best day.  This is how I felt all day except for those sweaty 15 minutes:

PicMonkey Collage

October 20, 2012:luther collage 2

We picked up a new member of the family and Luther (aka Lu, Lulu, Luli-Paluli or Freakshow) the hyperactive pup was officially adopted.  We love him – even when he eats our personalized leather USB drive with all of our wedding photos (*see photos below), even when he pees on the carpet (which has thankfully stopped happening!), even when he wakes us up at 5am, even when he digs up half of the backyard…

usb collage

…because let’s face it, he’s adorable!Luther collage

November 25, 2012:The Village

Our church (The Village) was officially, publicly launched, and it was such a happy/proud/exciting day after being on a journey with old and new friends to start this beautiful community.  It has been a HUGE privilege to be part of something this amazing.  I can’t wait to see where God takes us next!!

December 25, 2012:

I officially entered the last, final year in my twenties.  There will be no photos of this atrocity.  Ok so this was not a high, but it needed to be documented because I always had timelines in my head of “where I’ll be by the age of ___” and I can honestly say I didn’t expect any of the above things to be happening to me by the age of 29.  It’s funny that even 10 years ago I thought I’d be married by 25, having kids by 28 but I had no idea where or with whom.  Now I don’t know when I’ll have kids, and I’m just insanely happy to be married!  Not because I feel like this is where I should be in my life, but because this is where I want to be, where I was meant to be, and who I am meant to be with.  That’s the best part.

2012, you ROCKED!

Now it’s time to set some goals……..

twitter rant

I’m sure I’m not the only one who happens to have a family member or friend who is seemingly tweeting 23 hours a day. I always wonder how they manage this impossible feat, and also quietly groan at the fact my timeline is polluted with these incessant 140 character messages about…nothing. So why do I follow them, you ask? Well, I guess it’s not the right protocol when it comes to social media to ‘unfollow’ a good friend or worse even, a family member – though this hasn’t stopped me in the past.

So let’s get to my real twitter issues. These 140 measly characters have given our current generation a sense of empowerment and entitlement that is so unearned.  We have countless 15 year-olds walking around with the Blackberries and iPhones, heads down, thumbs busy, giving the world a piece of their minds, – and when I say a piece, I mean every single ridiculous, pointless and unnecessary thought that comes across them – yet these kids are unable to raise their heads to say hello to someone, or better yet look someone in the eyes.  They feel like there is power in being able to share their every fleeting thought when all it requires is a few movements with their opposables, but are socially inept when physically faced with another human being.

The fact that 9-year olds have Facebook and Twitter accounts means this lack of real social interaction starts at a such a young age that by the time this generation is required to get a *GULP* job (and believe me, I could write a lengthy blog just on teenagers and their job expectations, but let’s save that for another day), the assumption will be that all they need to do is put more words on a screen, transfer them onto paper, and BAM, the job is theirs.  “What…?  Shake someone’s hand?  But how and why on earth would one do that?”  — Seriously, I am waiting for the day I see a blank stare from a kid as I extend my hand out to him or her!

It is so unfortunate that technology is doing such a disservice to our youth when it has the potential (and often the ability) to teach, connect, enlighten, etc.  I can’t help but feel like a bitter old lady as I have these thoughts.  “Kids these days…” as I shake my wrinkly finger in the air.  Perhaps it’s the educator in me, but I just wish for more for the future generations: more physical and personal connections, more than believing there’s no better way to express oneself, and more than looking at a device and never seeing the world around them.  I wish for less virtual connections, less self doubt, and less dependance on something that cannot actually give or show love.

The real problem is not the teenagers – the problem is the misuse of social media, so let this not be a post about me hating on teens! My displeasure is entirely towards the negative impact they have, as I have outlined in the above rant.

I know what you’re thinking right about now…”but don’t YOU have a Twitter account?”  Well yes, and you can follow me @ThalitaMurray.  The big, big, BIG differences between me using Twitter, Facebook and a blog and a teenager doing the same are that I am not using social media as the only way to express my thoughts, connect with my friends and know about the world in general.  With that being said, I do regrettably know adults who have already been negatively affected in the same way as most of today’s North American youth.  Let me give you an example: I see someone I know at the gym while working out, we make eye contact, I begin to put up my hand to wave when she quickly lowers her eyes and darts in another direction.  This has me thinking this person dislikes me or maybe I have done something to offend her.  That same evening I see a tweet, an Instagram “like” and a Facebook wall post with “Hey! Cool seeing you at the gym today! xoxo”.  Huh?!? Did I miss something?  I would much rather have exchanged waves and possibly had a quick chat in person than the weird and random virtual exchanges that came after.

Am I alone here?  Does anyone else think our generation and future ones run a risk of losing personal relationships, and essentially a huge part of making real connections with people and their communities?  I’d love to hear some other people’s thoughts on this.

My rant is over… for now!

The most overwhelming feeling

I just got married on September 15th (that’s us right there!), and as you can imagine, it was the happiest day of my life.  I was overcome with joy and my face hurt (in a good way) from all the smiling and laughing that came with the day’s surprises and emotions.  I could say I was overwhelmed by the love I felt for my (now) husband that day, but that’s not the feeling that hit me like a ton of bricks.

Wedding smiles!

Before you start to think I’m a terrible person, let me explain: of course I had all the gushy feelings of love happening that day.  I cannot count how many times I looked at him and felt rushes of emotions flow through me and it was all wonderful, but it did not overwhelm me because, you see, I have loved this man for a very long time and I get these feelings very often when I look at him, they were just a bit amplified that day because of all the additional wedding day emotions – nothing to be concerned about.

The stuff that really hit me hard was totally unexpected and as I said before, overwhelming.  The feeling I’m talking about here is gratitude.

I don’t recall ever feeling quite to blessed, thankful, loved and helped as I did on my wedding day, though the overwhelming gratitude started making its way into life long before September 15th.  Everyone from my mother to the staff did everything they could to make sure things were just right, and on top of it, our friends were so, so, so generous in giving their time, efforts, and gifts in an unexpected, and (I repeat) overwhelming way.  This is the best kind of overwhelmed I have ever felt!  And to be honest, it’s difficult to deal with.  How do I thank everyone?  Make them feel as loved as I feel? Express as sincerely as possible how much what they’ve done meant to me?  I still don’t know the answers to those questions, and I can only hope that I one day figure them out because these people need to know – I need them to know!

Here’s a sneak peek at how wonderful everything looked

In all honesty, I mostly wanted to write this post not just to make known to the world how grateful I am for the wonderful friends and family we have and how selflessly they gave for the biggest day of our lives, but to remind myself whenever I go back to this post how blessed we are.  I wrote this so that my future self can read and remember a day when everything got done and I wasn’t the one running around, working alone, and being stubborn because things need to be done my way – yet everything was wonderful and beautiful and ultimately perfect.  I wrote this because this overwhelming feeling has been the reason I have profusely, passionately and incessantly thanked God for all of the ways in which He has blessed me, not just on that day, but every day.

It’s 11 days after the wedding and the tight overwhelming feeling in my chest hasn’t gone away yet – you know, the feeling like you could break down and cry at any moment out of pure happiness?  I feel that pretty much all the time these days.  I’d love to say that I don’t want it to ever go away, but it’s a bit exhausting being this excited about being grateful all of the time!  Hopefully this post will be enough to remind me of this euphoric feeling, and I can only hope I get to write more reminder posts like this!