Friday, February 25, 2011

Where my brain has been lately....

Several people have asked us why we would want to move to PEI.  Why not one of the bigger cities on the east coast... like Halifax. My answer?


 And these...

And because...

-it's called "The Gentle Island"... who doesn't want to live on the Gentle Island?
-the total population of the whole island is about the same as the city I currently live in
-Chef Micheal Smith calls it "Food Country" and says that PEI is one big amazing farm surrounded by gorgeous beaches (heaven for me)
-because I could go sea kayaking and whale watching in the morning, horseback riding on the farm in the afternoon, a feast on the freshest of fresh seafood for dinner
-the scenery is spectacular
-they have a good University that offers the degree that I really want
-it's a totally different way of life from what we have now
-everybody and their brother moves out west... we want to go east.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Firelight by Sophie Jordan

*high 3.5 stars*

Dragons.... Draki.... huh.

They're definitely something I'm not used to reading about, and I have to say I was a little unsure of what to expect. Aside from the Hungarian Horntail and crew from Harry Potter, this was my first experience with Dragons (excuse me... Draki) and it was definitely intriguing.

First, I was immediately in love with Will.  From the cave scene through the rest of the book, I simply adored him.  The connection between him and Jacinda was a powerful one to read about and kept me hooked.  When he could "sense" her.... *shiver*.  Loved it.

Jacinda on the other hand? She got on my nerves a little.  It felt like a good portion of the middle of the book was her flip flop from one extreme to the other about her feelings for Will, her desire for Pride life and her relationship with her family.  I know that she was struggling to adjust, but it went on to the point of aggravating.  This is the main cause of my not quite 4 star rating.  I feel like this book was really just a build up for the rest of what could be a really goo series.

I'm still a little unsure of how I feel about Draki.  When the book talked about Jacinda manifesting, I pictured her turning into some gigantic dragon, but then there was explanations about Cassian being larger in Darki form than he was in human, and I thought, "well.... yeah?!?!?".  I think I need to adjust my mental image of before the next book.  I'm not generally a fantasy reader, so I guess I just need some time to create the right world, characters and images in my head.

The end of the book is what really did me in.  The final scene was heart wrenching to read and made me desperate for the next installment.  I don't want to say too much because I don't want to spoil anything, but ugh... I seriously love Will.

In the end, Firelight was a fun read that kept my interested and wanting more. I really look forward to the sequel.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Lost Saint by Bree Despain

I have to admit that I was putting off reading this book. The Dark Divine was one of my favorite reads of 2010, but I read it so long ago that I couldn't really remember the details. I had every intention to re-read it but eventually I had to give in and admit that I just didn't have the time to be re-reading books.

So... I dove in to the Lost Saint and hoped for the best. For the first little bit of the book I had a hard time remembering details of the first installment, but Despain does a really good job of reminding you of the major points without re-telling the whole story.

I really enjoyed this next phase of Daniel and Grace's story. I think it was a good continuation and took some interesting twists. I had a bit of difficulty get used to the new "tough" Grace, but I think that was part of the point. She's struggling to figure out who she is and who she thinks she should be and so the reader feels some of that frustration.

The new characters are really interesting and the tension between Daniel and Grace is what kept me reading. The final scene left no doubt that I will continue with the series and really look forward to the next (and final, I think) installment.

A waiting game

I'm just a big old ball of nerves and excitement lately.  Why, you ask?  I submitted my application to UPEI early last week and to say that I am anxious to hear back from them is the understatement of the year.

I know I have the marks to get in without a doubt.  I had honors in high school, graduated college the first time around with high honours and my lowest mark since returning to university is a B+.  My concern is more related to how many transfer credits they will give me (I don't want to lose out too badly) and whether or not my math credential course earned through my current school will be accepted by them as the math pre-req required for business programs.

I sent a whole package of detailed paperwork to them explaining my situation, I've requested all my transcripts be forwarded to the school and and waiting on pins and needles to hear back.  Everything is on hold (house hunting, job searches, etc.) until we hear back from school. If the transfer credits don't add up or the math credential course isn't accepted, we're not going anywhere.  I'm not setting myself back in school.  However, if everything works out then we can make decisions about the house and when to leave and Bub can inquire about getting a transfer out there.

For some reason we have our hearts set on PEI... so I didn't even apply anywhere else yet.  Not smart, I know.

The family is mostly supportive.  Both of our mothers and my Dad think it's a great idea. Interestingly enough it's my step-dad and Bub's Dad that are not keen on the idea.  This is interesting because both of them, at one point in their twenties, picked up and moved across the country themselves.  My step-dad asked my Mom to "talk us out of it" and my FIL just got grumpy when we told him. He literally got this disgusted look on his face and said  "why would you want to move there"... ummmmmm for the same reason that you moved out west in your twenties.  Because we can and because we will enjoy the adventure of living somewhere that provides a totally different lifestyle to what we have now.  I know it's going to be a battle with him and that he's going to fight us all the way.  As a bonus, he's totally passive aggressive so nothing will be straight forward... it will be all "you know it rains out there a lot right?" "you know that the housing market out there is not really as good as here right?"  blah blah blah... YES! Did you ever consider that I've been doing research like CRAZY? That maybe just because you're finding out about this for the first time doesn't mean that we haven't been looking in to this in detail for a long time?

Hello FIL, have we met?  I'm the super obsessive and uber cautious DIL that you often brag about?  Remember me?  Do you really think that we haven't been putting a TON of thought into this?

Regardless of anyone else's opinion, we're making this decision on our own.  We will definitely ask for feedback but ultimately no one will be able to talk us out of it.  It's frustrating to hear my FIL and step-dad talk about how wonderful it was to the live out west for a couple years, but then to have them react like this when we say we're going east.  It doesn't make much sense to me.

Anyways... my fingers are still crossed and my hopes are still high and really, no one can talk me down. I know this is the right decision for us.  If we put our work in and if it's meant to be, it will be...regardless of what anyone else thinks.

Now... I'm off to buy some Wellies for our big move.  ;)  What do we think...


or something a little more funky?...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


My stats professor is officially the fastest grader in the world.  We got our exams back in class last night. 

I knew I did ok when, as I collected my exam from her, she said "excellent work" as she handed my package to me.  I immediately breathed a huge sigh of relief.  BUT, that sigh of relief was nothing compared to what happened when I actually opened the exam and looked at the mark.....


Could it be true!?!  Honestly, I had to choke back happy tears.  I never thought it was possible, but I guess I was wrong.  It was the ultimate validation of my decision from last semester.  Now I just have to hope that the second half of the course goes just as well.  *fingers crossed*

Monday, February 14, 2011

The right decision.

When I decided to drop my stats class last semester, I was really worried about whether or not I was making the right decisions.  I had a 60... I was passing. But for me, 6 is not an acceptable mark.  I agonized over whether or not to drop the class before I had a mark recorded and re-take it.  Eventually, I made the final decision and pulled myself out, but not without reservations.

Well, I'm back at it this semester with a few changes. Instead of taking it as my online class, I'm taking it in person and I hired myself a tutor who I meet with once per week.  MAN have I realized that I made the right decision.  I got an 85% on the first assignment (up 10% from last semester) and I got 80% on the first quiz (which we didn't have last time around).  But most important, I wrote the mid-term this past Saturday and WHAT A DIFFERENCE.  Last time I froze up. I left most of the exam blank, I was panicked and I bombed it.  This time around, I answered every question without exception, was confident through the whole thing and was the second person to finish (including re-checking my answers and calculations) with 45 minutes to spare.  No rushing, no panicking, no crying.... just relief and confidence when I left the exam.  I honestly think I did well on it.  I'm not going to say I did AWESOME, but I know that I'll be OK with the mark.

It's for this reason that I know that I made the right decision.  Now there's not so much pressure going into the second half of the course and I'll be much better prepared when I have to take Stats II within the next few semesters.   Honestly, I couldn't be happier that I made the decision I did.  I took a step back, took a few deep breaths and started again with a different approach, and boy was it worth it.  I still have a struggle to get through the last test, assignment and final exam, but atleast this time my mark at the mid-term won't be working against me.

Monday, February 7, 2011

An Adventure? Maybe.

Bub and I are at a turning point.  Not in our relationship with each other, but in our lives in general.  Lots of changes in both of our professional lives have caused us to take a step back and think about what we really want... and it has been eye opening.

We've owned our home for 2.5 years now and we love it.  We love it because it's the first house we bought together and because it's been home for so long now.  But, we've been tied to it since I returned to school.  Every decision we make has been based on the house and if we will be able to continue to afford it.  I know this is normal but it's really getting to me lately.  Career decisions, academic decisions..... everything revolves around the house and I realized recently that it really bothers me.

So.... we're moving.  And I mean MOVING.  Like across the country or overseas like we've always wanted to.  Or at least, that's the plan right now.  The fate of the house is yet to be determined.  Ideally, we'll keep it and rent it out because we do plan to return in a couple of years, but if we have to sell, then we will.  Owning is wonderful, but it's not everything and I don't want to miss out on life experiences just so I can say that I own a home. 

As of last night I am officially researching universities out East and in the UK.  And can I tell you... I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!  I've looked at The University of Prince Edward Island's and Dalhousie University's Bachelor of Business Administration programs and both look really good.  I'm leaning towards UPEI at the moment for a few reasons but it's still in the very early stages of research.  And for those who say that moving from Ontario to PEI wouldn't be a big change... I say you need to do your own research.  The two provinces couldn't be more different.  Next, I'll pick a few in the UK and then I'll submit mass applications.    Obviously, staying in Canada would be much easier for many reasons, but if we could make the UK work for a year or two, I'd be all over it.  Wherever we end up, I'd like to rent a little house, get Bub working full-time at some funky job (like a corner pub in England or something)and I'd tackle school full-time.  I just want to experience life in a different way for a little while.

If this is going to happen, it's going to happen quickly.  I'd be applying to start at the new school in September and taking the summer off of classes at my current school to pickup a 2nd job to save.  But honestly, I've never been more excited about anything.  I think this is a big opportunity for us to go and experience something totally different than what we're used to.  I'm hoping that it's meant to be and that fate will be on our side.    Fingers crossed.