Archive for New Experiences

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 jonathankuhnphotography.com
………..

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.

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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.

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Card #1

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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!

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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!

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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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A Change in Identity

April 21st. This date has been engraved in my mind for the past few months. And for the last week, I no longer judged time by the current date, but by how many days rest between the present and the 21st. I had made a countdown on the chalkboard in the lab at the five day mark. It gave my two colleagues and I a sense of urgency, yet excitement at the same time.

I printed my thesis last night, and as I walked through the tunnels and hallways of my university, I realized that this was one of the last times that I would be walking the campus as a student. And as I walked, I realized that I will no longer be a CU student – my identity for the last four years. When people ask me what and where I study, I will no longer say CU majoring in Psychology. That is no longer who I am or what I do. It’s really odd to think. I have experienced and learned so much at that campus, that it is hard to leave.

As I walked, I reminisced the good ol’ days. As I passed each building I recalled certain memories – locations where I used to set up to do readings and study (which always varied from year to year as I discovered better, and sometimes hidden locations), booths and tables that I used to meet up with friends regularly to eat or “study”, areas on campus that I would go with friends to randomly talk to students about their beliefs, the classroom where I had my very first lecture in university, Cardiac Hill (the very steep walkway in the tunnels – essentially a hill beginning at the first floor of a building and taking you to the fourth), going on prayer walks with friends to pray for our campus, and countless others.

I think for me, university was not merely a place where I went to obtain a degree; a means to an end. It was a place of much personal growth. It was a place where I grew in my relationship with God. I became involved with a Christian group on campus where the students had a burden to share their faith with others. I met new people, made lasting friendships, and really adopted the burden that they had for the students on our campus. We invested so much time into loving on and praying for our campus that it became more than an institution.

Today marks the last day of my undergrad. I am finished. I handed my thesis to my supervisor this morning. I had imagined this day for months. I had imagined the excitement that I would feel and the relief that I would experience. But the feelings aren’t as intense as I had imagined. Perhaps it hasn’t quite hit me yet; it’s hard imagining that four years of schooling have come to a close. But maybe I’m also a little reluctant to say goodbye to CU and all of those experiences. Things will change, and I’m definitely ready for it and excited to transition into a graduate program at another university, but it will take some time. I’ll have to remind myself that I am no longer that undergraduate psych student anymore, but a Master of Arts student in Counselling and Spirituality. And that, I am excited for.

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Marie-Annette (Marionette!)

Introducing Marie-Annette! Otherwise known as a marionette/finger puppet.

Marie-Annette the marionette

Now before anyone starts thinking that I am a nerdy knitter that makes finger puppets of cute creatures in her spare time, let me explain. I never intended to make this. I was learning how to knit mittens and to test my skills, instead of knitting a ton of stitches, I just decided to knit a few and later undo them. Well, I got a hang of it, and realized that my little knitted tube was beginning to look like the beginnings of a finger puppet. But what does one do with a finger puppet if one ends up making one? So before I went knitting any further, I had to decide what I was going to do with it. In my mind, adults do not own finger puppets. Even if they did put their heart and soul into making it.

So I thought to myself: I need to give it away! But to whom? I thought of any young children that I knew. Not many. But luckily my grandparents just adopted a little girl! [HA. That sounds so random. But very, very true.] What better way to welcome my new (8 year old) aunt into the Smith family than to give her a little homemade finger puppet?!

So on I went continuing this puppet having no clue how it’d turn out. And voilà, a little mouse was born.

Now, Marie-Annette is chillin’ in our kitchen until she gets to meet the girl she was designed to please. But until then, who wouldn’t go on a little photo shoot with their creation?

The life of a mouse - scurrying on the floor

Bookmice (reference to a 90s kids show, did you catch it?)

She has mad piano skills.

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Octopus Battle

I played with mini octopuses.

My housemate needed them for a really neat school project. After she was done with them, we decided to have a photoshoot with these little guys.

The aftermath of one octopus being hurled into the air by another.

Fail.

BONUS: Tentacles close-up

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Remain Strangers

I live in a basement and have no mercy for bugs that cross the boundary between the outdoors and my home. They never have a chance.

But today was different. I met him.

Do not stare at a bug for too long. You will develop familiarity and will never be able to take its life. Squoosh them while you are still strangers. I made that mistake today.

I found him beneath my computer chair. I looked into his eyes, and he into mine. I saw his waving antennae and his beady little black eyes. He begged to be friends. I accepted. We had a photo shoot. Of one picture.

If you look closely [click on the image to take a closer look at his cuteness] you can see a little piece of fluff behind him. I tried to free him from it, however my attempts resulted in him being dragged backwards while it still remained attached.

Currently, he is walking the length of my room enjoying being alive while still trailing the mini dust bunny. What a cutie.

I shall not name him. That’s insane.

In addition: As a child growing up I thought that these bugs which I would find under rocks and in basements were named “Potato Bugs”. Do NOT Google “Potato Bug”. I did. It is not the cute bug that you have found in your room. It is something that will make you exclaim “Naahh” when you realize that Google decided to place images in your search.

Disclaimer: This was not a serious post. The bug is gone. However has not yet met its death.

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