Sunday, November 27, 2011

Movin on up.

When I married Dave he was a partial owner of a great big house. He and his sister in law and brother had gone in on it together. We've worked really hard to make our basement suite into a home over the past couple of years. It's a cozy little place with big windows, lots of light, warm floors, and bursts of colour. 
There are certain details that I will readily admit I am not a fan of:
  • The garage door in my living room for example! It's been a sore spot in our marriage since... well... before we were married. It's funny to see people's reactions to it. Some sympathize with me about what a strange little situation we have going on, while others thinks it's a swell idea to have a garage door in your living room. I have insisted to Dave on several occasions that people just say that to his face... but I'm starting to think that some people might actually like it. 
  • The lack of a dishwasher
  • How impossible it is to hear the door bell or knock at the door when you are anywhere past the kitchen. 
  • The funny little cupboard that swings out to reveal the fuse box. It's just a strange little detail. 
 But there are also things that I LOVE about this suite:
  • The heated floors in the living room! They make a roll around on the floor with Roly even more delightful than a regular roll. I also love it when Dave turns up the heat without telling me, and my frozen feet get a nice little surprise when I step into the room. 
  • The huge windows in the kitchen. I've realized that actually enjoy doing dishes in that kitchen, when I can look out at our beautiful backyard. It's just a lovely experience
  • The counter in the bathroom. Dave custom designed/built it for me: added a magnifying mirror and extra lighting. It's just perfect. I love it.
  • The fireplace in our bedroom. It really heats things up...?
  • The red walls in the kitchen.
Well, we are packing up and moving out this week. Yup. That's right. We are leaving our little love nest behind, and making the trek- all the way... upstairs. We found a renter for the basement. Although we can technically make more mula monthly by renting out the 3 bedrooms upstairs separately, it has proven to be very difficult to fill 3 bedrooms consistently, and so, we must leave our home!
I haven't really thought about the details of it all, until our renter insisted that the only time she could get help with moving was on Sunday, which is November 27th, not at all December 1st. Dave agreed that she could move (atleast her stuff) in then. Now the work of a move is hitting me. I remember now that I HATE MOVING! The packing, the cleaning, the sorting. One of the things we appreciated about this situation was that we recognized we could do things little by little. The problem is that we haven't been doing anything little by little. And then it hit us that she's bringing all her stuff over tomorrow, and the living room needs to be empty. Well I busted my butt this evening, getting 'er done. And I even got the downstairs kitchen mostly cleaned out and Roly's room upstairs kind of half put together as well. It's hard to finish projects when working around/with/in spite of a darling curious little beggar like Roly. He really does get into everything
It hit me though, tonight, as I was rearranging furniture that this basement is our first home together. I KNOW we are just moving upstairs- and the basement is still in our possession, but I get a little teary eyed when I look around and I think of all the work we've put into this place. It's our first home together. It's where we started our family. I'm amazed when I think of what it looked like before we were married. I can't help but see this place as a metaphor for our relationship. We've worked hard - sometimes a coat of paint was all it took, and sometimes it took major demolition, but we've worked together, with a common goal, and we've got our marriage to a place that we are happy with. Of course it takes maintenance, but every day we are in a place that we can look around and like what we see. 
I love this place, from the walls to the floors- It's not perfect, and on certain days the imperfections drive me up the wall. But in general, I am so satisfied with it. Likewise, my relationship with Dave isn't perfect. There is always work to be done. But I am so proud of how far we have progressed in the last two and a half years; our ability to communicate, our desire to make eachother happy, our ability to make eachother laugh, our understanding of what respect to the other entails, and our willingness to forgive/overlook imperfections in eachother have all grown by degrees.
I'm grateful for my cozy little suite! And my cozy little marriage. I don't know what the move upstairs symbolizes... especially since I'm moving there with Dave, but we'll just overlook that part of the metaphor. I guess it's just a new challenge; a new direction in life, with the same man by my side!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Spelling Test

One time, and only one time, I cheated on a test. It was a spelling test in grade 2. I had the words cut out and lined up in my desk. I don't remember if I passed or aced the test - I just remember sweating and shaking a lot throughout it. I was in french immersion until grade 3, and it is upon that fact that I blame my inability to spell. I really didn't know how bad I was at spelling until I got married... to someone who isn't afraid to let me know when I've done something wrong.
Along with my french background (which I think from now on I will just refer to as my "learning disability," considering I don't actually remember ANY french, but I still can't spell English words) I am a creative person; I love to write, cut, glue, paint, sew, crochet. I just love to make things. I especially love it when I have a good idea, and I can carry it out. I'm not very good at following directions sometimes, which is why I'm not a great sewer - you have to do things the right way, in the right order if you want it to look right. There are rules. There are also rules in spelling, and I'm not very good at following those either. 
There are a few words that I memorized:

  • there, their & they're
  • your, you're 
  • our, are
  • then, than
Finally, along with the french disability, and the creativity - I am a proud Canadian, and I appreciate that we spell things differently from our American counterparts. That being said- sometimes I get a little overzealous with with my patriotism by adding 'u' to words where they don't actually belong. 

You get the point. There are a few words though, that regardless of all the red pen and spell check I've come across I can NEVER spell them properly.
  • favourite. I know, I know- favorite
  • truley - Truly
  • deap - Deep
  • wierd - Weird
  • speghetti - spaghetti
  • vaccum - vacuum
The point of all this? None really. I'm just glad for the little red line that pops up (way to often every time I plunk myself in front of this screen) and allows me to correct myself before I post embarassing blunders...embarrassing. Dangit.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


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Friendship is one of those things in life; one of those don't-know-what-we've-got-'till-it's-gone things. Within my social circle there is a strange phenomenon that occurs when someone gets married - they lose all their friends. That is unless they were one of the last of the friends to get married, in which case they gain the friends back which they lost before. I assumed it was a common thing, but I've realized that it's not; this is a characteristic of the flakey female mormon social circle. It's sad really. 
When I got married I really felt isolated. I loved being married. I loved Dave. I loved spending time with him - and we had a lot of fun together. BUT, I still needed friends. I needed girls to talk to, and be with. I found that no matter what effort I put forward to be with the friends that I had before I got married, they just weren't interested in being there for me. I hadn't been in Victoria long, before I met Dave, and we got serious pretty quickly, so I discovered that none of the friendships that I valued, and that I thought ran deep meant much to them. They had their own lives to deal with, the pursuit of their own educations, careers, adventures... and men. Friendships with guys became different as well... they just didn't work anymore, unless they were one of Dave's friends too. And Dave's friends didn't change. In fact- after we got married I saw way more of Dave's friends. One of his friends was over for dinner at least once / week. Nothing changed for him. He had the best of both worlds, and really didn't understand my sorrow in missing my friends.  
I've heard people say that finding "couple" friends after you get married is like dating all over again. You make your attempts to find compatible friends that you both get along with. Where the husbands can talk about similar things, the wives get along, and no one annoys anyone too badly. It works best if the friendships work out within and without the couple situation. You put out feelers, send out invites, hang out a few times, and see what kind of friends you can be. Are they "game" friends, "dinner" friends, "favor" friends, "movie" friends? Does the wife come over too when the husband gets an invite to watch sports with Dave? When I invite the wife to something does Dave have to invite the husband to hang out?
At one point one of Dave's closest friends married one of my closest friends... which was a match made in heaven (although I'm sure their marriage is fantastic, I'm referring here to the match of Dave and I to them. Truly heavenly). Unfortunately they moved away, and after months of having the perfect couple friends we were left again to fend for ourselves. 
And that's what got me thinking about this whole friendship business. When we got married we were called right away to teach the sunbeams. This meant that although we were moving into Dave's home ward, where everyone had known him, since he was born, no one knew me, and no one (except the lovely 3 year olds) got to know me. We also happened to move into a ward that contained 3 other Sister Wights. This made things difficult for the members of the ward that didn't bother to get to know us, and confused us all the time. 2 of those Sister Wights were named Shannon. My name is not Shannon, but I think people just thought it was a safe bet to call any Wight a Shannon. That happened too many times to count. I really struggled when we first moved in, with finding a place in the ward. I felt isolated and useless. I finally felt like I found a place within the ward when I let go of the hurt and pride that I felt and really made an effort. I did my visiting teaching. I attended Relief Society activities when ever I could, and I really tried to serve the people around me. In doing so I felt like I found a place, and I made connections. 
Recently I've sunk back into my slump of feeling lonely again within the ward. I guess it's been since Laura and Chris moved away. We went to Nanaimo last month and saw them, and Laura and I just sat and talked for so long. I forgot that feeling - it had been so long since I'd been able to sit and talk to someone without effort... without guarding my words, or filtering my thoughts.
I've loved living in Victoria since the moment I stepped foot on this beautiful little island, but there are moments - like these- where I wish I could be back in Alberta. Close to family. Close to old friends. It's so hard to be far away sometimes. And it's so hard to feel isolated when surrounded by people that I know. There are so many members of our ward that I knew in YSA. So many people that I thought I was friends with then, and yet now I struggle to carry on a conversation with them. There are moments where I feel like a little girl that's being shunned on the playground... and all I want to do is run home to my mom. 
I hate feeling like this. I know there are things that I can do to break out of this- and I know the biggest thing is about my own choices: inviting the spirit in greater measure into my heart and home, making an effort to call, invite, talk to, etc. It's just difficult when every conversation takes effort. I don't want to be the one that complains. I don't want to have a pitty party every time I see pictures on facebook of  "friends" parties we weren't invited to. I know that takes a friend to be a friend... or whatever the saying is. I just never pictured myself having to work so hard at it, at this stage in my life. 
I guess the pursuit never ends. I witnessed my mom find her dearest friends when we moved to Taber, and that was when she was in her mid40's. So there is time. I do have great friends. My dear friend Kathryn has been there for me since I met her the summer before grade 4. She sends me birthday cards and facebook messages like no one else I know. She is a good friends. Stefanie is a dedicated caller. No matter how many times she gets my voicemail she always calls back. She is a good friend. Laura is so easy to talk to, and is always checking in and filling me in. She is a good friend. Amie is an entertaining phone call no matter what time of the day or night. It usually ends with one of her children screaming, and having to hang up, but we talk often enough that we can fill in the blanks in between. She is a good friend. 

I have amazing friends in my life. I just need to remember that... and figure out how to be one in return. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Sometimes I feel like my life revolves around inanimate objects. Recently, it's been socks. 

When we first got married I would often come home to Dave relaxing on the couch with one sock off and one sock on.  I think it started with rockband. He would take his one sock off because his foot would slip on the drum pedal if he was wearing it. Somehow it became a habit, and it seemed no matter what, on a warm day, at least ONE of his socks would find it's way onto the floor, or into the couch as he sat there. Throughout the past 2 years of our blissful married existence finding those socks on the floor, under the couch, in the couch, on chairs, and on the window ledge has really been a bone of contention. It drives me crazy. I am married to a wonderful man... but his dirty socks sitting next to me on the couch make me want to yell crude words and burn things. 
Last month we went out of town, and a few members of Dave's family stayed here while we were gone. When we got home there was a dirty pair of socks on the mantle of the fireplace. I swear - only a Wight man.
Sometimes at night, when I crawl into bed, and I cuddle up to Dave I'm disgusted to feel that his woolly little socks have joined us in bed. He may be stripped down to his underwear, but his socks remain on his feet. It creeps me out every time. I think at this point he just does it because he knows how weird I think it is, but I hate feeling his sock feet in bed. I can't even explain why. 
Another frequent occurrence when I cuddle up to dear Dave in bed, is that I try to warm up my frozen little toes. I always have cold feet, especially at the end of the day. Sometimes, when he's feeling extra generous he'll let me warm up my feet on his legs, but the other night he'd had enough. My feet were particularly icicle-like that evening, and he insisted I put socks on. I refused, but when he denied the warmth of his own body to warm up my poor little toesies I had to comply. And the truth is- I've worn socks to bed every night since. I couldn't believe the change it made in my own body temperature and comfort throughout the night. 
Ok, so it's safe to say we have issues with socks. I'm saying we, but it might just be me... but then again? 
Last week I kept catching Roly taking one of his socks off. Yup. ONE. Today I witnessed my son insist his father put socks on his feet before anything else. That's right- socks. Before the diaper. Before the shirt. Socks. We hope our children don't inherit our idiosyncrasies... but I think we are too late on this one. Poor kid. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tell tale signs... of something or other.

Today I wore socks with Sandals into A&W, where I was picking up supper. Dave was in the drive thru, picking up the other half of our order, because the coupons said only 1 per customer... Yup. That was the kind of day I had. I'm not sure which detail I should be most embarrassed about here, but as I've reflected back on my day I've realized that some moments are experienced for sharing. 

Some days I feel the need to elaborate. Today? Not one of those days. Peace Out.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Since when is Garland in November a crime?

I love Christmas. So much in fact that I've already started decorating. The garland, the nativity, and the cute "wise-men" tile my mom gave me are already up in the living room. Little by little this place will be a winter wonderland. Dave thinks I'm being ridiculous. He kept reminding me it was November, while I was struggling to get the box out from under the stairs, then unpacking the carefully boxed decorations. I just can't help it. I'm never sure when it will bite, but when it does- the Christmas bug gets me and puts me into delightful Christmas Delirium until January.
Last year my family started what we hoped would become a yearly tradition. We call it (drumroll please...) 
the 12 Weeks of Christmas.

It entails a challenge, extended from one of the sub-families, within our extended family, starting with the youngest (that would be me), and working it's way up through the family, week by week. 
Dave & Ali -->  Jon & Lauren -->Amie & Fraser--> Joel & Laura--> Hugh & Janet--> Repeat! 
The challenges are extended in hopes of drawing closer to Christ as families and individuals. They are generally challenges involving Christ-like acts of service to other people, as well as doing things or making changes that will make us better people, more worthy of the spirit, and more capable instruments in the hands of God. 
Last year was amazing. It was a beautiful way to prepare for Christmas, and it was an unforgettable experience. I think we felt closer as a family than we've ever felt before, and closer to our Savior, Jesus Christ. It was my favorite Christmas of all time. I loved it. Not only did I feel connected to my family, and Savior, but lasting friendships were forged through acts of service- friendships that have ultimately become very important to me personally over the last year.
That all being said - we've started again... well... sort of. I think we are on to week 4, and still working on week 2's challenge... but the Harding family's ability to procrastinate is completely beside the point! The point is we have been extended a challenge, by my dear brother, Jon Ross & his lovely wife, Lauren. And we, as a family, all over this country of ours, are working on it. That's the beauty of it. And eventually we will update each other on how things went - our struggles, our success, our faith, our trials. It's a lovely thing, and I am once again looking forward to Christmas!

You can stop reading here if you'd like. But I suppose you can stop reading ANYWHERE if you'd like. This year the Hardings got together for Thanksgiving, and we started the first of the 12 weeks of Christmas challenges. The Wights extended the challenge to write a letter to Mom. For Christmas all she really wants is a letter summarizing our year. Last year none of us. Not one. Gave her what she asked for. (What an ungrateful group of no-good-hooligan-children she has). So the first challenge, on Thanksgiving Day, was to write mom a letter, outlining what we were grateful for over the past year. Here was ours:

For dear Nana, from the Wight family. Our  year: 2011
A letter of Gratitude.
Dear Mother,

We’ve been so blessed this year. We’ve had a challenge or two along the way, but overall it’s been a year of learning lots, growing together, and working hard.
The year started off with Dave’s birthday on January 4th. I made Dave a turkey dinner at his request. It was my first (and possibly last???) turkey. I was grateful for the experience, and Dave- for the turkey. I also made a Nacho Libre cake to celebrate with friends.  What better way to honour a man with courage, strength, flexibility & stretchy pants (Dave, that is), than to eat Nachos, watch Nacho Libre & eat a cake that looks like Nacho Libre’s face?

Possibly the turkey experience, and maybe the encouragement from Jon to read the China Study, but somehow along the way we decided to try an animal protein free (ie: Vegan) diet for a month. We chose the month of April, which included Esther’s Birthday dinner of dry ribs, as well as Easter Dinner. Dave exercised some amazing will power, considering he worked at a Mexican Pizzeria every day during that month, as well as went on a scout camp, and didn’t cheat! He lost 19 pounds that month! I cheated more often. I really like chocolate. I lost less weight, but felt great about the experience. We ended the month with gratitude for beans… and meat. Really though, it left us… me atleast… with gratitude for health, the knowledge that we have that helps us to become healthier versions of our selves, as well as the revelation that we can receive, when we seek out knowledge about what is right for us as individuals and families.
Dave, Roly & some sicko with a stash at the park. This was the first week of April pre-weight loss)

Near the beginning of the year we were called into Nursery. We both feel a great love for the sweet little souls in the class, and are grateful for the chance to serve there each Sunday. Dave has been in Scouts for a couple years, and he is kept busy throughout the week, and on several weekends with camps. I was called as Secretary in the Stake Young Womens in March, and was thrown into the thick of things with Youth Conference, a Youth production of the play “Esther”, and Young Women’s Camp, all within a few months of receiving the call. I have loved being a part of it all- being able to serve the youth, and get to know the amazing women in our stake. We remain in nursery. They’ve been promising to release us since March. Although there are days where I roll my eyes and wonder why we are still there- we love it. One day as we walked out the door on our way to church Dave put on his shoes and said “I’m wearing moccasins, and I can, because I’m a nursery leader.” Dave has quite a faithful following of 2 year old boys. They think he’s hilarious, and just love him. Some of the kids, the girls especially, loved having Roly in there at first. They would pet him and love him. They were constantly shoving his soother in his mouth, like he needed it every minute of the day. Now that the soother is gone, he’s steady and tall enough to push, and his scream can be heard from a mile away they are less aggressive in their attempts to mother him. We are grateful for the opportunities that we have to serve, within the church. I think the only way we can learn to love people as Christ loves them is to serve them. Stake dances & singing time in Nursery have both taught me that I need to serve more. 

This spring Roly & I enjoyed our quality time with you, Nana & Grandpa, going to Edmonton twice, and receiving a visit in Victoria once. We were so grateful for your help in planting the garden. The corn, tomatoes, beans, peas, zucchini & potatoes have brought us lots of nutrients and joy over the summer. It was so exciting to see it all grow. We were also blessed with a large apple & pear harvest. I experienced my first independent canning session, which went fairly well if I do say so myself. It was an amazing experience to be able to pick, process & share the fruit. Such a blessing to have it all at our finger tips. 

Dave was busy throughout June & July with baseball. He kept Roly & I entertained on warm summer evenings… and left us home alone on rainy ones. He was happy to be a part of a team, and to be able to make friends and share his example. He’s also added a few more people to his “I know a guy” list.

Roland had his first birthday on August 4th, which we were thrilled to celebrate. We invited a bunch of people over, and had a big pool party and BBQ, with lots of young families from the ward. It was hilarious to watch Roly eat his cake with amazing concentration & determination.  We are so grateful for this little boy. He is a light in our lives- so full of smiles and giggles. The dimples on his cheeks could crack the hardest of hearts. He started walking right around his birthday, and he’s been going in fast forward ever since. He’s a good communicator, and has started to say a few words now. He says things like “Mama, Dada, More & Ball.” He gives high fives and fists (he finally caught on to that one this morning), he blows kisses, and LOVES to wave. You’d think he was the queen the way he acts whenever we enter the bank, or a store. He looks people in the eye, and waves at them until they acknowledge him. It’s pretty cute.

Throughout this year we were taught lessons in paying our tithing. As we did it we were blessed. Opportunities for work presented themselves to Dave when we were feeling desperate and stretched passed capacity. The Lord is so willing to help us when we are obedient to his commandments. We’ve truly felt the Holy Ghost in this home, as we’ve dedicated more time to prayer and scripture study. We’ve been blessed with peace and joy as we’ve made effort to attend the temple. 

I feel so much gratitude in my heart for the things which the Lord has blessed us with over the past year. I’ve seen his hand, and felt his love.

We love you Mom/Nana/Janet. We hope to see more of you next year.

Ali, Dave & Roly Wight.

Longest Post EVER? I think so. Enough is enough. Peace out.