Tag Archives: wedding

Sweating is awesome

good-things-come-to-those-who-sweat

For the first time in years and years I signed up for a group exercise class. The last time I exercised in a group setting was in CEGEP (2-3 years of schooling between high school and university in the province of Quebec) for my mandatory gym classes and I intentionally took classes that were not too cardio centered. Why, you may be asking yourselves? Because, dear friends, I sweat when I exercise. Like a lot, like more than most of the men I know. This started about midway through my teens and was a source of intense embarrassment for me, especially during my days as a gymnast when I was forced to wear a long-sleeved leotard made of spandex, which was mostly green. Hello, sweat stain induced self-consciousness. The looks I got from my coaches didn’t help either, which, now that I look back on it, was just plain horrible of them.

So, what made me want to sign up for a group exercise class all of a sudden? A good friend of mine took up barre Pilates at the beginning of the summer. This is a fairly new take on Pilates that incorporates the core muscle exercises of Pilates workouts and ballet barre exercises. You may think this sounds like a lightweight workout and so did I at first, but when I saw the results my friend was getting, I decided to give it try as my extra get fit program for my wedding next Spring. How much fitter can a girl who runs 10kms want to get, you may be wondering? Well, running is great for my legs and butt, but my abs could still use a bit of work in my opinion as could my arms. I started looking around for a Pilates studio in my area that gave barre classes and found one within easy walking distance of our home and gave their barre class a try for the first time last week. Let me tell you, barre classes are not for light weights!!! I was shocked by how hard the teacher worked us, I had to take a few breathers during the class and holy moly, did I ever sweat!!! I was pretty self-conscious about it at first, but the teacher and the other girls were very sympathetic and said ‘No worries, we all sweat! It’s a good thing!’ That put me right at ease and during my second class today I felt way more comfortable than I did during the first one.

So, ladies, never stop yourself from working out because you sweat! Sweating is normal and healthy and is actually really good for you!

benefits-of-sweat-002

Among these benefits, let me also add that sweat is a great way to detox your body! Have a hangover? Been eating a bit too many cookies, salty foods or cheese and feeling bloated? Go for a run or any other form of exercise that will get your sweat glands going, they do a great job of clearing your system of sodium and other toxins and guess what? The more you exercise, the more effective your sweat glands are, so if you find that you are sweating more after beginning a regular exercise regimen, that is normal and good news! For more on the health benefits of sweating (and working out!), you can read this article.

The bottom line is, I am so glad I signed up for my barre Pilates class, it has added a nice bit of spice to my active life and I can already feel some results after just two classes. Just because you are already in shape, doesn’t mean that you can’t be more fit and work some different muscles! The class has also helped me kick the last of my self-consciousness regarding how much I sweat when I exercise. Sure, sweating is not comfortable and is often portrayed as not being feminine or sexy but do you know what is? Being fit, healthy and feeling proud and confident about our bodies and guess what? You can’t get there without sweating! So go ahead, be active, sweat like Hell and if anyone ever comments on it, just keep on going, your body will thank you for it 🙂

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Making everyone happy is not possible

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I’ve been keeping a secret…

So, it’s been pretty quiet around here for the past few months, once again. And here’s why: My Darling and I got engaged!!! He popped the question all of FOUR days before we left on a two and a half week trip to Poland so he could introduce me to his family over there. The vacation was planned, the engagement was kind of expected, but we were getting so close to our departure date that I honestly was not expecting it anymore. It finally happened though and we are both so, so excited.

Our trip was lovely although quite busy, we changed hotels seven times in eighteen days and saw more pretty much every single family member of my Darling’s still living in Poland. That was a lot of people and a lot of travelling and while Poland is a beautiful country and the food was delicious and I mostly had a good time, I got homesick at one point. The episode, which lasted a few days, was mostly triggered by the fact that I had never traveled to a country where I did not speak the language with enough proficiency to have a conversation. The other part of the trouble I is that we were travelling with a couple we are friends with and being with other people day in and day out can be exhausting. I am not a person who can be around other people 24-7, I just end up going bananas and the male counterpart of the couple we were travelling with eventually got rather annoyed with my moodiness and even got upset with me for not wanting to tag along on an excursion at one point, mostly, I believe, because I darling opted to go back to our lodgings with me. Hence, the title of this post: you can’t make everyone happy all the time. Sometimes, you have to put your own comfort and happiness first, whether it is while traveling or in everyday life. I was tired, I had a headache, I needed some space and I was craving some time alone with my Darling. We got engaged four days before leaving on our vacation, for crying out loud and we had not had an entire day to ourselves since two days before we left! So home we went and to heck with the friend’s grumpiness.

It is also impossible to keep everyone happy while planning a wedding. I’ve been at this for about two months now and have already managed to disappoint one bridesmaid and long time friend by not including her in my first dress shopping expedition and a cousin’s husband by addressing their ‘Save the date’ card to Mrs. Jane David & family (as I do with her Christmas card every year) and not Mrs. Jane & Mr. John Doe & family. I have tried to soothe the friend by explaining that the shop I am going to for my first afternoon of dress hunting only allows a bride to bring three people along and that my mom and best friend (and maid of honor) were no-brainers and that my sister in-law said she wanted to come along too right in front of my brother. I have so many friends who have told me over the years that they absolutely HAVE to come with me the day I go shopping for my wedding dress that I will not possibly be able to bring them all along, so what I have told them is that I will be rotating them in and out while always trying to include my mother and my best friend. I have four bridesmaids and one maid of honor and at least one friend who is not in my bridal party who has insisted on being included in one of my excursions. God help me if I find my dress on my first day out, but what else can I do? I can’t keep everyone happy and if I bring everyone along I will have too many opinions in one go, which I absolutely do not want. I have to think of myself and my sanity.

As for the card, what can say? I did not know my cousin had changed her name after she married and did not know that it was legally allowed in the Province she lived in. Women have not been allowed to change their names upon marriage here in Quebec for years now because it was causing too much paper work. Honest to goodness, my cousin’s husband’s reaction didn’t bother me nearly as much as her telling my aunt about it and my aunt telling my mother about it and then my aunt asking my mom to write Mrs. Jane & Mr. John Doe & family on their wedding invitation. I would have much preferred my cousin to contact me directly, but I have not hear a word from her. I am therefore left wondering if my cousin was so very bothered by the incident or if it was just her husband who for some reason overreacted to the save the date card when he had never said a word about any of the other mail I sent. You can’t make everyone happy, you really can’t. I cannot imagine the scenes that will be caused by the eventual seating plans, but ultimately, the wedding is my Darling and I’s day and anyone who tries to rain on our parade is the one with the issue, not us. Someone will complain about the cake, someone else will complain about the music and my dress will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I just don’t care. What does matter is that my Darling and I’s wedding pleases us. Of course I want our guests to have an awesome time at our wedding and I will do everything in my power to ensure that they do, but I refuse to believe that a bridesmaid will have less fun at the wedding because she didn’t come dress shopping with me or that my cousin’s husband will spend the evening sulking because one day, about nine months before the wedding he got a card with his wife’s maiden name on it instead of his and he didn’t feel included in the word ‘family’.

The bottom line is, folks, being kind is important, being thoughtful and respectful towards others is important, but being kind, thoughtful and respectful to yourself is important as well.If you are making everyone except yourself happy, then you are ultimately doing yourself more harm than good.

All about my brother’s wedding

Well, ladies and gentlemen, my little brother got married this past Saturday and it was an absolutely beautiful day. The ceremony was touching, funny and adorable, just like my brother and his wife are and the reception was one Hell of a party. I never expected to cry as much as I did throughout the day though, I must have gone through at least a dozen tissues and unfortunately for me, one of the wedding photographers seemed to get a kick out of how much I was crying because she kept taking photos of my meltdowns. Eventually this got on my darling and I’s nerves and he started shielding me from her view when he noticed her pointing her camera in my direction. I mean seriously, one or two shots of the tearful sister of the groom is fine and touching, but a ton? I don’t get it.

My brother and his wife were married at the Notre-Dame-du-Sacré Chapel of Montreal’s much famed and photographed Notre-Dame-Basilica. They lucked out, it’s their parish and the chapel is a beautiful, intimate place away from the glitz and opulence of the main part of the Basilica.

Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Coeur chapel
Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Coeur chapel

It was just the right size for my brother’s wedding since he and his fiancée had about 100 guests in attendance. This is the main Basilica:

Notre-Dame Basilica
Notre-Dame Basilica

Drop dead gorgeous, but huge and not my brother and his fiancée’s style. The one advantage to using the main Basilica for your wedding is that they close its doors to tourists during the ceremony so you and your guests can enjoy the ceremony in private and don’t have to traipse through a herd of them to get out of the main doors for your photos after your wedding like we did. One of the church employees actually had to remove some tourists from our group after they had inserted themselves right in between the bride’s brother and his wife and my Darling and I as we were making our way out of the church. They looked displeased with having been found out, but their checkered shirts (I kid you not) and cameras were a dead giveaway. The horde of tourists outside the Basilica who took pictures of us along with the official photographers could unfortunately not be avoided however, but hey, at least we put a smile on everyone’s faces!

As for the ceremony itself, it was beautiful and touching. I teared up when I saw how nervous my brother was getting, I cried when I saw him cry as his fiancée walked down the aisle and then cried again when the priest welcomed us and mentioned that the candle burning on the altar was there in memory of my father. I got myself under control just in time to go up and do my reading, which was the first one. I only found out I was reading first at the rehearsal last Thursday and flipped out because I could not imagine how I would manage to compose myself in time to read, but desperate times called for desperate measures: I started counting the figures in the large bronze sculpture behind the altar as soon as the priest told us to sit down and that did the trick. I then proceeded to cry when my brother and his fiancée said their religious vows and then their own vows and then I cried when they were pronounced man and wife. One of my cousins who was seated behind me offered to take some of my crumpled tissues off my hands while she handed me another as I had run out. I refused and shoved the whole lot into my clutch in embarrassment at that point and got overly excited when we came across a garbage can on the way out of the chapel at the end of the wedding ceremony so I could throw them all away. I kept one only slightly used tissue because yup, I teared up on the steps of the church when the bells started ringing too.

We had an hour to kill between the ceremony and the cocktail and reception, so my Darling and I walked back to the hotel and went to relax in our room for a bit. The reception was amazing with delicious food and great music and the speeches were wonderful as well. I went up with my mom she gave hers since she wanted me to take over in case she lost it, so I stood next to her with a box of tissues just in case. She did amazing though and everyone got a kick out of us telling my brother he was so not sorry when he tried to apologize for being an incorrigible tease. Oh and the best part of the reception? I caught my sister in-law’s bouquet!!! I couldn’t believe it, hers was the third bridal bouquet I have ever caught! She was actually apparently going to come over and hand it to me, but my brother told her that would be cheating, so she tossed it, it flew over everyone’s heads and landed on the ground in the right hand corner of the dance floor. I made a dash for it and voilà! It was mine and I just about died laughing!

So there you have it, the happy couple are married and currently off on their Hawaiian honeymoon and we are all left with beautiful memories of their magical day.

Special kudos for the day go out to:

1- My brother and his wife, naturally, for all the beautiful personal touches to their day, right down to personalized M&Ms with one of their engagement photos printed on them which we were all presented with as favors and the donations they made to two charities on behalf of each of their guests, one in memory of my father and one in memory of my sister in law’s grandmother.

2- My local hair salon, Salon Au Premier, who, thanks to my stylist and makeup artist managed to make me look amazing in spite of some major bags under my eyes and my being paler than usual.

3- The Westin for their amazing service, food and beautiful, quiet, comfortable rooms. If you are in the market for a venue for your wedding reception or any other event, check and see if there is a Westin hotel near you and be prepared to be impressed!

The times are a-changing!

My brother and I in the Fall of 1985
My brother and I in the Fall of 1985

So, you know how I mentioned in my last post that Fall is a season of new beginnings? There is going to be a big new beginning in our family this Fall: my little brother is getting married! Yup, that baby on the right hand side of the picture. If that seems funny to you, imagine what it feels like for me, since I remember him being that little! This photo was actually taken in the last wonderful months before he found out what teasing was and started driving me up the wall. It was also taken before he learned how to talk which was when we discovered that he absolutely hated to be wrong. I have been thoroughly enjoying time spent with my future sister-in-law since I now have someone to try to catch my brother out on his mistakes with. Frustratingly, they are few and far between, but my brother’s fiancée and I have a whale of a time when he does make one, which in my books makes her excellent sister-in-law material, especially since she also happens to be crazy about my brother.

The wedding is bringing a lot of excitement to our family naturally, but it is also, probably mostly for my mom and I, a big change. I am having trouble reconciling my memories of my childhood with my brother with the thought that he is going to be a married man in just a few short weeks. I’m guessing it might be easier for me to wrap my head around if he were my older brother instead of my younger brother. I’ll have to consult my Darling on this point since he has an older brother who is not only married but has three children.

Anyhow, wedding mayhem is beginning to fall upon us, so my posting may become a bit sparse. I make a point of trying to get at least one post per week up, but that may not be possible in the next few weeks, especially since my Darling and I are making a trip down to the States so we can travel back up to Canada for the wedding with one of my Grandmothers. Rest assured though that you will be treated to a wedding post. Maybe not with pictures since I will not be bringing my camera along with me on the wedding day in order to be able to fully enjoy the festivities, but most certainly with as many details as I feel comfortable sharing.