Sour Gummy Worms, One Sleeping Bag Too Few, and Awesome Friends

Last Friday. On the phone. (Packing for camping)

Varun: Flashlight? Matches? Lighter? Hatchet? First Aid kit?

Me: Yup.

Varun: Ground tarp. Lantern. Propane. Tents. Tent Pegs. Tent poles?

Me: (Browsing Facebook)  Mmhmmm.

Varun: Sleeping bags. Pillow–we don’t need pillows. Mat. Do you have mats?

Me: Yup. Two yoga mats. Okay, seriously. We have everything! I’m packing the car and I’ll be there in half an hour to pick you up!

And you know, I don’t even have to tell you and you know, we did not have everything.

We braved Labour Day weekend traffic and drove to Toronto to pick up our friends (He’s from Mumbai, India and she’s from Canada). There, we filled the car with two families worth of tents, food, clothes, lanterns etc. I mentioned that I had meant to buy sour gummy worms but had forgotten. This, of course, made Sarah, who is 8 months pregnant, desperately long for gummy worms. The guys did not want to go on a candy scavenger hunt, but Sarah pulled the “I’m pregnant and I NEED gummy worms NOW” card. So we stopped at Walmart while the guys grumbled about sunset and pitching tents in the dark and why North Americans use the word “need” instead of “want”.

By the time we arrived, there was no sun to be seen. Amidst my protests of carbon footprints and car batteries, we set up our tents with the headlights on. As I grabbed our bags out of the trunk, I had a horrifying realization:

Me: Umm. Varun. We have a serious problem.

Varun: What?

Me: Well. I brought one sleeping bag. Only one. Not the other.

Varun: (Probably ranting about how I wasn’t paying attention when he read his downloaded-from-the-internet packing list). Hmm. Okay. It’ll be okay.

Me: [Insert 20 minute long freak out here]

Thankfully, our friends were gracious enough to lend us their towels, since I had the genius idea of not bringing two towels. (Hey, we can share, right?)

Our evening went a little something like this:

Remember how I told you that buying a King sized comforter was a marital necessity? Amazingly, we managed to share a single mummy sleeping bag unzipped. And instead of fighting over it, we kept waking up and making sure the other was covered. Marriage therapy, right there.

Thankfully, the rest of the weekend went a bit more smoothly, with Sarah and I laughing as Varun and Yohan bonded over growing up in India, the trials of being married to a white girl, singing Hindi songs and practicing Manly Camping Skills.

The guys did a great job of building a fire. And fanning it into roaring flames with the lid of my tupperware. (That lid will never be the same)

They were also a great breakfast crew. When I exclaimed the it was time to add the eggs to the onions ‘now‘ they replied that they would break the eggs in “in tandem”. Go Team India.

We spent the mornings in our pajamas, eating greasy breakfasts and playing Pandemic. In the afternoons, we sat on the beach, played bocce ball and consumed copious amounts of snacks.

And we talked. So. Much. We talked about in-laws, retirement, financial stewardship, life calling, violence in movies, children, books, missionaries. And then we dropped into bed onto yoga mats exhausted.

I am so thankful for Sarah and Yohan (and their towels, let’s be honest).

And I’m super thankful for my gracious hubby. And for his excellent skills in wood chopping, fire building and sleeping using only 1/3 of a sleeping bag.

[Because it’s my birthday, and you can do anything you want on your birthday, I am going to re-post a blog for the second time (gasp). So, while I go eat my peanut butter cupcake, you can read My Favorite Varun Moment of 2007]


The People We Never Were (And Probably Never Will Be)

Change is in the air. We’re in that awkward time of year when it’s still super hot out, but the evenings are quickly becoming cool. When stores are a mess of back to school fashion and bathing suits on clearance. It’s not quite Fall and it’s just barely still Summer.

For over-achievers like me, this means it’s time to make massive to-do lists (before school starts), vow serious life-style changes (no more desserts) and dream about reform and organization (alphabetized bookcases!). Oh, the great plans I have made…

Here’s my off-the-top-of-my-head list for the next week: clean out closets, organize desk, print and frame pictures, write letters to parents and grandparents, learn the Hindi alphabet, finish paperwork, figure out a new phone plan, write future blog posts, read three books, organize our calendars, make homemade pesto, deal with the scary pile of stuff in our bedroom, and spend time with as many friends as possible. And this is meant to be on top of work, ministry, marriage, exercise and sleeping.

The person I strive to be everyday is, I think, mythical. She’s athletic, funny, smart, quadra-lingual, sexy, organized, generous, crafty, punctual. She hands every thing in early, she makes homemade bread, buys local and organic. She doesn’t support slavery, has her hard drive backed up and has finished decorating her apartment. She doesn’t need sleep, doesn’t need caffeine and never gets distracted by social media. This is the person I fail to be everyday. This is the person I will never be.

The strangest part about this is that I’m fairly efficient and a hard worker. But I’m also effusively social and spontaneous. And I do love sleep. So I climb into bed every night, staring at piles, listing off tasks un-done and willing myself to wake up earlier and try harder.

And you know what? I’m tired of it. I’m tired of being mad at myself for not regularly (ever) sanitizing fridge drawers and for not continuing to learn German. Varun, my wise and encouraging husband, says I need to remind myself of who I am in Jesus. (Remind me to print and frame something like this). And you know what? He’s right.

Knowing who I am gives me the freedom to recognize and accept who I am not.

I’m not the kind of person who mops her floor much. (Much means more than 1 X in 6 months).

We’re not the kind of people who get excited about sports events like the Olympics or Superbowl, nor do we know the difference between the Oscars and the Emmys.

I’m not the kind of person who can succeed in any DIY project. I don’t paper maiche, I don’t find cupcake recipes off of Pintrest and I’m never going to open an Etsy shop.

I’m not a schedule person. There is no “We usually eat supper at…”

We’re not the kind of people who go shopping together. We don’t go on dates to the mall. Or the farmer’s market. In fact, one person in this couple buys the clothes for both of us.

I’m not the kind of person who replies promptly to emails. I have emails starred for reply since April 2011.

We’re not pop culture people. Don’t expect Varun in skinny jeans or me to know more than one Nicki Minaj song.

I’m not the kind of person who remembers birthdays, gets cards to you on time or sends gifts. This goes for Christmas too: there aren’t mass mailings of Christmas cards or handmade gifts.

We’re not a super romantic couple. (Am I allowed to say that?!?! This is an upcoming post topic). Of course we love each other and have a blast together. But there aren’t a lot of long-stem roses and little black dresses happening here.

I’m not the kind of person who wipes out the kitchen sink. Or cleans my trunk. Or vacuums my car.

Whew. This was super freeing. I could go on, but then you would fall asleep on your keyboard. And I don’t know if you’re the kind of person who cleans their keyboard or not, so best not to drool on your laptop.

What about you? What kind of expectations, ideals, habits or virtues do you not have/meet/possess? How do you manage your self-criticism and frustrations?

Either I Really Meant It, Or I’ve Reached a Creative Wall

So tired I (Yup, actually wrote that. Freudian slip.) So today I wrote a blog post in my head about how it’s 2 p.m. and I’m running (reasonably well) on 3 hours of sleep and how this gives me hope that maybe I’ll be able to handle the whole Mom Thing.

And then I remembered, I already wrote this post. Last year, during a week-long intensive course. *awkward*

I’m beginning to see a pattern in my life. Social life + life usually trumps school +schoolwork. Therefore, a week long course with assignments due by Friday is a recipe for an Amelia flavoured disaster.

And so. While my thoughts on Motherhood have changed in many ways since last May; apparently this post is so apt I’ve written it twice.


This post is from May 2011.

The Mombie Diaries:

This is the title of my Mommy Blog. It is copyrighted because I said soput a © next to it. It is so named because I anticipate lack of sleep and feeling like a zombie.

You’re curious, aren’t you? A Mommy Blog, why that could only mean one thing: I have too much free time on my hands. I spend far too much time brain-storming random ideas and this was one of them. [Breathe, we’re not expecting!]

But speaking about being fruitful and multiplying. About once a week I find out on Facebook or Twitter or CBC that one of my friends is pregnant. For minutes I dream about fuzzy pink blankets and chubby baby cheeks. Then something pops up on my newsfeed from a parent who was up all night tending a screaming babe. And I doubt my own survival skills and move on with my day.

Seriously though, and I’m talking to you Mr/Ms I Don’t Want Kids Right Now/I’m Not Married So I Don’t Have To Worry About It (Whew), I am scared about the incredible responsibility and the enormous sleep deficit which parenting involves. I think parents are heroes. [Also, I think coffee is effective]

Usually, I find fatigue overwhelming and wonder hopelessly, “How can I ever be a Mom?!”. Last night, due to poor planning, an intensive course and too much socializing, I only got 3.5 hours of sleep so I could study for a test today. I woke up, wrote my test, did a presentation, went for a run…and thought, “Why, I’m awake and (mostly) alert. Maybe I could do the whole Up All Night Mom thing.” Maybe.

So, babies. Did you know there’s a website which “generates” a picture of your Not Yet Conceived/Born children? Just upload a picture of yourself and your spouse and…TA-DA!

“Our Baby”

I think this baby is seriously upset. Okay, my results were less than inspiring. Also, it saved to my desktop as “angry baby”, so I’m thinking the website is nothing more than a data base.

I dunno though, maybe she has my eyes…

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