Thursday, January 30, 2014

School and Getting Married

This is the final segment in the parts of my story I am going to post on here. Thanks to all who have read this. Hope you got a few chuckles out of it.

School and Getting Married

            Moving into the dorms at Millar College of the Bible was a challenge for me. I am such a neat freak, and highly organized so sharing my space with a roommate took some adjustment. My roommate was an extrovert though, so he made friends quickly and was often not in our room, which gave me some of my own time alone. I had my assignment pile where I was done all of my assignments for the whole semester within the first half of the semester. This enabled me to be relaxed and actually hang out and make some friends in the last half of the first semester. While my roommate and a lot of others were busy cramming the day before due dates trying to get everything done, I was relaxing, hanging out, and playing a video game my roommate had introduced me to. Millar had a great mentorship program that was a requirement. It was a huge blessing for me. My mentor was two years above me and he helped talk me through a lot of problems I was having. He helped me remember how helpful it was to turn to the Bible for answers.
            While there, I recall meeting an old friend and although drinking was forbidden while attending college, we would fill up a Nalgene bottle with a bunch of Vodka and Minute Maid juice, and drink after the College and Career that we were helping out with as part of our class at Millar. The other program I helped with was an online counseling chat room. This was really rewarding, and enjoying this program encouraged me to go through with my plans to get into Youth Care Work.
            I found that many people at Millar would enjoy playing cribbage, a game I love, so I got to play a lot of cribbage. Another thing I loved at Millar was mentoring and hanging out with a young boy, the son of one of our older students attending Millar. He was really good at basketball and I taught him to play cribbage. I would take him to church and after Millar he would come to my house to spend the night and play videogames/cribbage. I often took him out for coffee or ice cream. This experience was more beneficial for me than I think this young boy will ever realize. I would gladly do this for other struggling kids. His mother became a good friend of mine while I was there and for some time afterwards. She wanted to become a Christian Counselor and she helped talk me through some of my issues as well.
             After college I moved in with Karen’s brother Daryl, which I enjoyed. I got a job at the Co-op again, only this time I was working in their shipping and receiving department. I was excited about the prospect of getting married to my best friend and was glad to be able to spend more time with her. 
            The day of the wedding was nerve racking. I was excited yet extremely nervous. I do not like being the focus of a crowd, and how much more focused can the attention get? Camera in your face, more cameras flashing, and a video camera rolling, was a little too much for someone who hates their picture being taken. Anyway Kim came down to the basement where Karen was and gave her a bracelet. Karen says she was fine until our wedding song began, then her father gave her Kleenexes as she cried. Most of this day is a blur of hectic busyness, but I will never forget watching her come down the aisle. She was beautiful in her dress. The rest of the world seemed to cease existence and time slowed. She was the only thing that mattered. We said our vows and gave the crowd a hesitant kiss, as we hate public displays of affection. We were then driven around to our photographing locations. It was already a long tiring day, but we still had the reception to go through. It was busy and we didn’t even get to eat our cake. Our kissing game earned more kisses. A pig teapot was sent around for money, as Karen has a pig collection. Her cousins taped condoms and body chocolate around the outside of the pot, which we got a chuckle out of. We were glad when this was all over, but we still had to rush to Regina, as we flew out for our honeymoon in Victoria, BC in the morning. 
            Amy drove us out to Regina and we almost had a run-in with a semi driver who kept shining his bright lights at us. At the hotel room we were exhausted, but my knees were acting up so badly I was in agony, which is what happens when I get too tired. So I had to have a hot bath to soak them. Victoria was a wonderful city. We enjoyed sight seeing and visiting nice restaurants. We had Crème Brule, steaks, scallops, alcoholic beverages, and an assortment of other tasty goods. We visited the Wax Museum, the Legislative building, Bouchard Gardens, and an assortment of other attractions. We also still joke about the “turn down service”. The way they said it was amusing for some reason and they would leave us great chocolates on our pillows every day.
            Shortly after our honeymoon came my heart procedure. The recovery was not so nice this time, as we would discover the pain in my ribs at this point. My rib pain would imitate a heart attack and I still deal with this to this day, only now it is more aggressive.
            Next we moved to Saskatoon to attend SIAST. My Youth Care Worker course was a challenge for me emotionally. I had to deal with all the issues in my life and learn about helping others deal with the same issues. Then during my two practicum placements I would have to deal with kids who were suffering with much of the same issues. I can’t go into great details on these placements for confidentiality issues, but my group home placement was especially heart breaking for me. After my practicum I would work nights at the group home. I made what I thought were good friends during this time, but only one really put in an effort after school, and eventually I would lose touch with that friend as well. After we both passed our first year, we would have to return home to Swift Current after the government failed to give us any student loans for Karen to finish her course.
            While we were still living in Saskatoon I would get my first book published. I may not have sold a lot of copies, but it was a learning experience. It would take much of the enjoyment out of my writing and eventually lead to a break from writing. However I did enjoy doing book readings at schools, a book reading at McNally Robinson in Saskatoon, as well as a writing workshop at a local school. I loved these times. Kids are a lot of fun as they ask the most random questions. Examples of my two favorite questions are: “Do you like pickles?” and “What is your favorite colour?”
            I would work at Liquidation World for a while, and work as a substitute Teacher’s Assistant, before taking a job at Co-op to work in the footwear department.
            We went to Mexico for our Anniversary a couple years after I started at Co-op. This trip was very fun. I loved relaxing on the beaches of the resort with a good book in my hand. We even got free massages while there, as they didn’t have our proper room ready for us until the day after we arrived. There were a couple of things we did while we were there. We went on a city tour, which showed us the rich and poor sections of town, before taking us up the hillside. Our bus stopped at a local restaurant, where we got to decide what we wanted to eat, fish or chicken. Karen chose the chicken and I order the Mahi Mahi fish. A chicken had been wandering around the restaurant, but disappeared shortly after we ordered. I hate avocados, but they had they best guacamole and homemade salsa there. We then headed to a Tequila brewery, where we got to sample different flavours, yum! We also went to an island for a romantic evening. We ate out in the open air with a view of the ocean, and had entertainment of people acting like Aztecs.

            We bought Karen’s grandmother’s place from Karen’s parents a few years back and redid the whole house, which was a lot of work, and is still a work in progress. Then after Karen got back from a work trip to Los Angeles, she was feeling ill. We then found out that we were expecting Braeden. It was an Oh Crap moment, but it was a great surprise. He was born on my birthday which was extra special for me. Now we are enjoying raising him and learning just as much as he is. Parenting is a precious time that I must say has been and continues to be rewarding. 

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