Archive for Friends

What Does Amanda Say?

049-Jonathan-Kuhn-Photography-Amanda-and-Kevin-Proposal-1096 On Sunday November 24th at 2:51pm, this picture was taken. An hour before, little did I know all that would unfold. Sit tight, grab some hot cocoa, and enjoy the adorable tale of the engagement of Kevin & Amanda.

All photos (excluding my quick shots of the cards) are taken by the talented Jonathan Kuhn. You can (and should!) visit his website at

After church on Sunday, Kevin and I parted ways – I had a church meeting and Kevin had told me that he would use that time without me to go to work for a couple hours. Afterward, we would go on a “dinner date” he had planned.

I texted Kevin as my meeting was wrapping up, and he let me know that he had a few more things that needed to be done and that I should take my time getting to his place. I, heeding his advice, lingered around the church for a few extra minutes and chatted with some friends who were there setting up Christmas decorations. I didn’t see his car in his driveway when I arrived, so I parked and sat in the car listening to the CBC.

Meanwhile, Kevin001-Jonathan-Kuhn-Photography-Amanda-and-Kevin-Proposal-0983 was in a nearby nature reserve by his house setting up a super secret surprise.


I had texted him letting him know that I was parked outside his place waiting for his return from work. I received a text right away saying “Oh come in!”. Upon receiving this, I was confused at his verb tense as he was not at his house. I then asked if he was home. To which he replied “Maybe!” “I’m home!”. Confused, I got out of my car and went into his house. I was not met by Kevin, but by my friend Krista. Surprised and confused, I questioned why she was there and asked where Kevin was. She let me know that he was not there and that he was running “boy errands” (to this day, no one knows what that means).

She then handed me a card and told me to follow her (click to enlarge photos in order to read the message). When we got out of the house, I laughed when I realized that I couldn’t follow her too far, as I was going to have to drive. We hopped into my car and away we went according to her direction! We only made a few turns until she told me to pull over on the side of the road. Once out, Krista led me to the beginning of a trail. She left me there alone, but equipped with a second card.


Card #1


Card #2

I began the walk down the snow covered trail and not a minute later, I saw two figures approaching. As they came near I realized that they were not strangers, but they were in fact our friends Jami and Tristan!



Card #3
This refers to a rabid squirrel we had encountered one day.

At this point, I had a pretty good idea of what was to come. That morning when I woke up, I did not even see an engagement in sight. However, once Krista handed me the first card back at the house, I thought to myself Oh, this is happening! Because I was pretty sure I was in the middle of a proposal, I decided to have some fun with it. As I approached my friends, we met each other with Oh! What a pleasant surprise! What are the chances! It also just so happened that they had a third card for me! As soon as they handed it to me, they continued their “Sunday stroll” up the hill.

Off I continued on my journey. Next, I met with Joanna who was “Just out picking flowers on this fine day!” Funny how there were flowers to be picked in snow covered November… It was fun playing along. And lo and behold she had a card for me as well!



Card #4
These are characteristics of a place that we had visited together out of province.

Lastly, I came across another couple. This time it was Sandra and Brian. What do you know! They were on a Sunday afternoon stroll too! And as luck would have it, they had a card for me from Kevin too! What were the chances! This card was thicker and as I began to read it, it not only was hilariously clever, but I became increasingly more excited for what was to come.

025-Jonathan-Kuhn-Photography-Amanda-and-Kevin-Proposal-1043 027-Jonathan-Kuhn-Photography-Amanda-and-Kevin-Proposal-1045IMG_5138IMG_5139IMG_5141IMG_5142Isn’t that card clever?! It’s hilariously cheesy and cute. After reading that last card as I walked, I finally made it to where Kevin was anxiously awaiting me.

028-Jonathan-Kuhn-Photography-Amanda-and-Kevin-Proposal-1048From there, he expressed some very kind words, removed his handsome hat, got down on one knee and proposed.

033-Jonathan-Kuhn-Photography-Amanda-and-Kevin-Proposal-1056034-Jonathan-Kuhn-Photography-Amanda-and-Kevin-Proposal-1059036-Jonathan-Kuhn-Photography-Amanda-and-Kevin-Proposal-1061What did Amanda say? YES! I said yes!
043-Jonathan-Kuhn-Photography-Amanda-and-Kevin-Proposal-1079This is also where we shared our first kiss. I love the way in which this moment was captured.
045-Jonathan-Kuhn-Photography-Amanda-and-Kevin-Proposal-1084 046-Jonathan-Kuhn-Photography-Amanda-and-Kevin-Proposal-1088 048-Jonathan-Kuhn-Photography-Amanda-and-Kevin-Proposal-1093We were, understandably, very excited. And still are!

059-Jonathan-Kuhn-Photography-Amanda-and-Kevin-Proposal-1124 060-Jonathan-Kuhn-Photography-Amanda-and-Kevin-Proposal-1126Here’s the ring! Ring, ring, ring, ring, ring!

063-Jonathan-Kuhn-Photography-Amanda-and-Kevin-Proposal-1135As we walked up the hill from whence I came, Kevin shared with me all of the hard work that he had put in to making this day special. He had visited my Dad to ask permission to marry me a month ago while my mom and I were visiting my Nana. He designed the ring himself and had been planning this day for months. This day was brilliantly planned – all unbeknownst to me, who was pleasantly surprised throughout. He incorporated all of my favourite things – homemade cards (which he spent countless hours on), dear friends, and to top it all off, the entire thing is documented in pictures. THE BEST. I could not have imagined the proposal going any other way. I also could not imagine marrying anyone other than him. I thank God that He allowed this wonderful man into my life. I am incredibly blessed to have him. He is my best friend and I love him dearly. I look forward to spending the rest of my life serving God with him.

055-Jonathan-Kuhn-Photography-Amanda-and-Kevin-Proposal-1113A big thank you to all who participated. Thank you Jon and Katriina for taking the time to photograph the whole event. The pictures are AWESOME. Thank you to all of our friends for their involvement and their strategic and sneaky plotting. And most of all, thank you to my fiance (ooh that’s so exciting to say!) for all of his hard work, planning, and thoughtfulness. I love you!


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Sherbet Watermelon

It was HD’s birthday recently, so NK, the brilliant woman that she is, suggested that we make this dessert. HD loves watermelon. I remember once in middle school going over to her house to attempt watermelon carving. It was a delicious task.

It’s the inside that counts. Chocolate!

All you need for this “cake” is two kinds of sherbet, chocolate chips, a good sized bowl (this will make your watermelon shape), saran wrap, and a freezer. It’s important to begin the prep process in advance as to allow for freezing time.

First, line the bowl with Saran wrap. This will allow for an easier time getting your watermelon out of the bowl.

Then take your green sherbet (if you choose lime flavoured, you may be surprised, as we were, to find it actually white in colour. You can account for this with green food colouring) and make a thick layer. It helps to place the Sherbet in a seperate bowl and stir/mix it a little to make it more smooth. But be quick before it melts!

Place your half-finished creation in the freezer. Allow it to harden before beginning the next step.

Mix your chocolate chips into the pink-coloured Sherbet and fill the center of the bowl with this mixture. Smooth off the top and place in the freezer.

Once hardened, flip the bowl over and place the watermelon on a plate. Done!

Slice up as you would any ol’ watermelon.

Eat. (this is the easiest step of them all)

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Life with HD (Episode 2)

Well, HD is a hit. Her quotable words produced much laughter last week and thus she has given me the go to post more (she enjoys the prospect of fame, I presume).

Sometimes I wish that I could be home more often so that I could fully enjoy her and all she has to say. Here are only some from this week. Believe me, there are more.

HD: Today I thought I went deaf in one ear because I couldn’t hear my music. Turns out it was ’cause my left ear bud stopped working.
Me [laughing]: What? How long did it take you to realize this?
HD: Ummm, about an hour or so.

HD: Six degrees of correlation!

NK: What would you do if Taylor Swift came to our house?
HD: I’d make her butter chicken!!!

TN: Us housemates need to have a picnic!
NK: With candles!
HD [in a very serious tone]: No. No candles. That’s a fire hazard.

Me: Want to hear what I wrote for class about my adventures in Panama?
HD: Yeah sure.
Me [reading my Spanish assignment]
HD [interupts 5 sentences in]: Wait. That’s NOT English!

HD: Awesomeosis – when awesomeness goes from high concentration to low concentration.

HD: One day I’m going to make sense to everyone.

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Maximizers and Satisficers

During Reading Week, our class’ positive psych challenge was related to decision making. We discussed in class how, when making decisions, people tend to be maximizers or satisficers. Maximizers are those who seek out all possible options before making a decision in an attempt to make the best decision. In contrast, satisficers are those who may not spend countless hours searching for the best option, but they find one that is good enough.

The problem is that maximizers tend to be less satisfied with their decisions; they constantly fret about how they could have made a better decision. Whereas satisficers, may not have gotten the best, but they are still very satisfied.

In class, we came to the conclusion that individuals are not confined to one type of decision making and can exhibit one or the another depending on the situation.

How do you approach decision making? Which situations are you a maximizer or a satisficer?

At first, I suspected myself as a maximizer because I tend to think through many of my decisions. However, upon further reflection I realized that, in general, I’m a satisficer. I don’t usually regret my decisions, nor do I ruminate on the decisions that I should have made; I tend to be satisfied with many of my decisions. I will take time to think of what I want and what I’m looking for in an outcome, but when I find something that fits this description, that is enough to satisfy me. Maybe I tend to limit my options sometimes, but why would I seek out something better, that may not even exist, if I’ve found something good?

On the other hand, on a smaller scale, I tend to me a maximizer. In the grocery store, for example, I don’t just pick any good looking apple. I scan, seek out, and select the ones that are most without blemish. Or when I buy a book, I seek out the one that is in the most pristine condition. Who wants to read a book that is not in mint condish? (Unless it’s a very old book  passed down from generations and subjected to wear and tear – which makes it even more intriguing to hold). These selections take more time than if I was satisficing – but really, in the grand scheme of things, maximizing in this situation only requires a short amount of extra time.

But is it possible to be both a satisficer and a maximizer at the same time in a single instance?  I’m wondering this because in many other occasions where it is necessary to seek out the best option, I feel as though I am still satisfied with the decision that I make. Don’t think I’ve ever regretted an apple that I chose.

The textbook suggested to go shopping and limit yourself to certain arbitrary restrictions: visit only two stores, spend less than 15 minutes making a purchase, buy only items that are blue. And then make these decisions irreversible, for instance, by going to a store with a no-return policy.

The only things that I set out to purchase that week were fruits and veggies. And if I chose to restrict myself to abiding by these restrictions and not make my own, I would be limited to the purchase of blueberries. And come on, we all know those are sadly out of season.

Because purchasing fruits and veggies is, hopefully, a purchase that requires little thought, I didn’t find it fitting to use these restrictions. Therefore, instead of purchasing items as the textbook suggested, I decided to apply these concepts into how I chose activities that I would be spending time on. After all, as the saying goes: time is money.

This Reading Week, I piled into a car with four other friends for a fantastic mini road trip. The city that we visited for the weekend was holding a winter festival with countless activities. We got a pamphlet and soon realized that there was SO much to choose from. We could not do it all, let alone even 10% of it. So we had to work with the time that we had. But because our time was precious, we also weren’t going to spend hours mapping out the best possible route to all the best possible exhibits and activities. So we all briefly looked at the pamphlet, picked out a few things of interest, made sure everyone was game, and off we went. And although we still had the pamphlet, I wasn’t interested in looking at what else I could have gone to. Why would I when I could be spending time anticipating what I would be going to.

And we ended up doing so many fun activities! Arts museum, ice slide, fireworks, Ferris wheel, science museum, planetarium. Not to mention everything (minus the arts museum) was FREE! And it also helped that all of these attractions were opened to the wee hours of the morning. Who can say that they were at the Planetarium gazing up at “stars” at 2 in the morning?! It was awesome.

Since time is irreversible, our experiences could not be returned. And I’m glad for that! On a side note, wouldn’t it be weird if our experiences could be wiped from our memory for what we think will be better ones?

One of the best things that this exercise stresses is to be grateful for what you have. A very important reminder indeed.

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Life with HD

HD is one of my lovely housemates. My life since she has moved in has been significantly enhanced. My other housemates and I have agreed that she is one of the most quotable people EVER.

Below are the gems she has allowed me to share. Enjoy!

HD: “Knuckles are the knee caps of the finger.”

HD: “Oh it’s a dish cloth? I thought it was a decoration!”

HD: “Amanda, how come boys haven’t realized your awesomeness. You’re just so… awesome!”

HD: “I’m never going to a sushi buffet ever again! Alone… Amanda, can I borrow some peptobismol?”

HD: “Who’s a genius?!? Who’s a genius?!? I’m a genius!”

HD: [referencing Thousand Splendid Suns] “Y’know, people at my work actually read that ‘Thousand Splitted Ends’ book.”

Aside from being extremely entertaining, HD also dabbles in cooking. View her tasty eats here!

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Blog Rrrrroll.

Look to the right (and scroll down a little). Now back to here. I added a blog roll!

Ok, so it’s not that exciting, but I wanted to share some links to a few blogs that I stalk. This is a growing list (and I stalk many, many more than I have listed), but if you are a blogger and think that I should stalk yours as well, send me your link. I’m always looking for more good reads.

If you have been interested in what I have been posting in terms of Positive Psychology, my classmate and friend, Julie, has also been writing a little about her experiences. Check her out here!

If you’re weary about visiting a stranger’s blog, allow me to fix that. Julie is cool and random. And although the title of her blog is “julieandlouie”, Louie being her cat, she has yet to mention much about him. Also, here is a brilliant portrait of the two of them.


My doodle of Julie and Louie ... that I did not do during class...

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Letter of Gratitude

Writing a letter of gratitude, as we did for our class’ Positive Psych Challenge last week, is harder than it sounds.

There are some things that I don’t like to force, and writing is one of them. I have a hard time beginning to write knowing that it is required of me, even if I have a lot to say. Right away I had a couple people in mind that I wanted to thank and once I chose someone in particular, I knew exactly what I wanted to tell them. However, I found it hard to string together words. Knowing that it was required of me made me feel more apprehensive to begin writing because I didn’t want my words to show that I was writing merely because my prof told me that I had to for an assignment. Nevertheless, I needed to go beyond the requirement of my course and search for intrinsic motivation.

I have not yet received a reply, but frankly, I don’t need one. I would love one, but that’s not the reason why I wrote it. I wrote it to thank the person and to let them know how much they have influenced me in my life; I shouldn’t need anything in return.

I really think people should write letters (or emails, or even Facebook messages) more often to let others know how much they are appreciated. Not that we should do it out of obligation, but out of a genuine desire to let someone else know how we feel.

Try it out. I guarantee it’ll brighten someone’s day.

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