Monday, October 30, 2006

My day just got better

Look Mom, stickers!
picture courtesy of my professor.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Role Reversal

As I was doing my homework at my desk, I turned around to see this:

This bridal magazine is courtesy of Lyndsay. What a doll.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Oh baby, oh baby

ANTM (America’s Next Top Model for those of you who aren’t yet familiar with the ever popular acronym) is an excellent excuse to get together with girl friends weekly and not use your brain (in fact, I feel dumber). We got together last night with the intent of having a little photo shoot (with poses inspired by ANTM of course) but Lynds and Ann-Marie couldn’t make it in the end, and Nancy didn’t bring her shirt. You see, we have matching homemade shirts, and you can hardly be a group of 6 girls with matching shirts and not take pictures. We did a little photo shoot anyway, and let’s face it: what model search wouldn’t want us? Purple tye die is where it’s at.

Me, Kendra, Christie, and Nanc

Here's Christie attempting to pull off the "scary"pose like they did last night on ANTM

Here's Kendra.....being Kendra.

I can't pull this off with a straight face.


More atttempts of the scary pose by Kendra and Christie. (Nice Platysma Kenny).

Trust me: the shoot will be even better with the whole gang there.

Carrie, that little rascal

Tara, Carrie, and I (at Carlynne and I's birthday party)

So, yesterday morning after breakfast, 8:07am, I went to go upstairs to get my bag as I had an exam to get to by 8:30am. When I looked up the stairs, there was Carrie, in her housecoat, half conscious, sitting at the top of the stairs. I said, “Are you okay Carrie?” And she said “I don’t think so” in a barely audible voice, then keeled over. I ran up to see if she was still breathing, and after I saw she was breathing, white as a sheet, and sweating, I ran back downstairs, banged on Avery’s door and said, “Uh, can you please help me? Carrie’s fainted on the stairs.” She of course darted out of her room and we ran to Carrie’s aid. (Of course Carlynne, the MED STUDENT, was the only roommate not home). When she had somewhat regained consciousness again, but was still really out of it, I decided to do what anyone would do in an emergency situation: call my Mom and Dad! My Dad wasn’t there, but my Mom gave us some advice then told us to get her to Emergency as by this time, Carrie had passed out yet again. So, I called 911, and within 4 minutes (just enough time for Tara and I to find clothes for Carrie), there was a fire truck and an ambulance here as well as six people in uniform barging into the house. Four men (maybe it was three men, but it felt like eight men, so I’m gonna stick with the four) stormed through the front doors with a purpose, and two women came through the side door. They told me to gather any medication she had and bring it to them. As far as we knew, Carrie had an epi pen because she's allergic to nuts, but do you think we knew where that was?? Nooooooo. Avery and I looked in her room thinking it must be in her purse. Here's how that went: "Hmmmmm...where could her purse be. Oh, here's her backpack, let's check there. Wait a minute, we don't even know what we're looking for. What the heck does an epi pen look like?" By now the four men had left as they were the firemen and there was no fire. At this point, it was 8:21am and I had to get to the University by 8:30 for my exam. So Avery, bless her heart, skipped her class to stay with Carrie and I high tailed it to my exam. I was sweating when I got there (that’s what happens when you sprint while wearing 3 layers and a backpack) but I got there with a little time to spare even.
So, I’m sure you’re all wondering what’s up with Carrie. Well, she’s A-Okay now. She was at the Grey Nun’s Hospital here in Edmonton until 3:30pm, then she took a taxi to the University to write an exam. What a little punk.
Apparently they did tests on her at the hospital and let her go. We are all very glad that she is okay. But let this be a lesson to everyone with roomies out there. Make sure you have everyone's emergency contacts written down and know where any medications they may have are. I'm implementing this rule tonight at roommate dessert. I'm all business now!

Anyhoo, we're super glad that Carrie's home and fine. The little tird scared the bejeebies out of us.

Saturday, October 14, 2006


If you think a proposal planned and executed by Lowell Taylor can be described briefly, think again. This boy thinks big. Enjoy the short novel ahead.

Here begins the journey of the whirlwind day of Friday the 13th…

The fun began right when I woke up. I went into the dark kitchen to get my run of the mill morning oatmeal when I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I turned the light on and there was a vase of white daisies and red duct tape roses hand-crafted by Lowell. Attached to each duct tape rose (there were 4 of them), was a little message that said something Lowell loved about me. In front of the vase was a note titled “Good Morning Birthday Girl!” It said flattering things including the significance of the duct tape roses. To quote Lowell in the note, “These roses will never die, just like my love for you.” After saying some other flattering things that made me blush, it instructed me to go to class by 8am, to bring my camera, and to not be afraid to take pictures. He also informed me that he had slipped me some extra batteries in my room so I needn’t worry about being liberal with the camera and running out of batteries. Thank you Tara for conspiring with Lowell and having the flowers on the counter ready for me in the morning!

The view I woke up to

Regular morning oatmeal.....although this day was nothing regular...

So off to school I trekked (in the dark as it stays dark ridonkulously late these days). I met Kendra, Nancy, and Ann-Marie there, then we car-pooled to the Glenrose Hospital here in Edmonton because we had a lab there that day. As we entered the I CAN Centre, I did a second take at the office’s front desk because there was a suspicious looking vase of white daisies and red duct tape roses on the desk. There was also another bouquet of pink and white gerber daisies (my favourite) in a coffee mug (also appropriate given my current addiction to DEcaffeinated coffee. I have slipped down the slippery slope). Unfortunately, I didn't know that this second bouquet was for me, so I left it at the Glenrose. But, again, the roses in the other bouquet had little notes on them about things Lowell loved about me. My friends began bouncing with excitement as I approached the bouquet and read the next note. It said some more complimentary things then wished me luck at school and instructed me to go home directly after class- at 12pm. It was at this point that I learned that my good friend Kendra tipped Lowell off about where we’d be and who to contact in order for him and the flowers to beat me to the I CAN Centre. Apparently Kendra had given Lowell the email address of our prof (who, interestlingly, is also the dean of the faculty), so he could request to get into the I CAN Centre early. After telling Lowell his idea to leave me flowers at school “sounded like a nice idea”, Dr. Cook passed Lowell down to Kim Adams as she would be the one instructing our class that day. Lowell got the right info and ended up meeting Bruce at the I CAN Centre by 7:30. Thank you Dr. Cook, Kim and Bruce for being so accommodating!
During class I had a little difficulty concentrating. My class sang me a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday and I think it should be noted that we, as a class, are particularly talented at singing Happy Birthday. Thanks to Sherilyn we have harmony and all. Forget about speech stuff, singing Happy Birthday and clapping….it’s what we do best.

From left to right: Ann-Marie, me, Kendra, and Nancy

Bruce, me, Kim

So, I arrived home to find another bouquet of flowers and a note on my desk. Bouquet number 3. I was beginning to see the pattern with the vases and notes. In fact, I became heavily dependent on them, because otherwise I wouldn’t have known what to do with myself. This particular note instructed me to get showered and cleaned up and wait for Carlynne to get back from Lethbridge. She was expected home before 2pm, and we had a manicure appointment at 2:15. Lowell thought that since it was BOTH of our birthdays, we deserved some together time as well as a little pampering. Well I certainly wasn’t complaining. When Carlynne came home, I packed her up in the car and took her with me to the spa. When we arrived there was another bouquet of flowers and a note. Pretty standard by now. Apparently Lowell had been buzzing around all day just ahead of me making sure the flowers were in their proper place. What a man. The note told us to enjoy ourselves and head home after where I should expect further instructions. The spa was a lot of fun. Initially I felt sort of bad just talking to Carlynne and not the beautician people, but after trying to open up with the manicurist about her tattoos and being faced with a tone of non-amusement, I decided that it was okay to indulge in conversation exclusively with Carlynne. We had a lot of catching up to do. She had been in Inuvik for a month then basically went straight to Lethbridge for the week. She had some interesting stories to share and we all around had a fun and relaxing time.
Time for another side note. So far, almost everyone has asked at what point I thought this might be a proposal in progress. And it was here at the manicure place. A while ago I had told Lowell (ever so casually of course) that when I got engaged, I wanted to get a manicure so my hands looked pretty when I showed off my ring. When we were getting our manicures, I sensed something fishy was going on (I have very keen senses).

Bouquet number three!

Carlynne and I in the waiting room at Spasation. And yes, we shared the chair (even though there was another empty one near)

All ready for a manicure!

Carlynne and I being pampered.

After ripping the ol’ Volvo out of the Spasation parking lot, we headed back home where there were more flowers, kind words, and instructions in front of the door of my room. This time it said to put on my formal clothes, get my hair done, pack some casual and comfy clothes, and be ready for my ride at 4:45pm. My roommates kicked it into high gear and enthusiastically helped me in any way they could. Carlynne was getting herself ready for the surprises she had waiting from Dan (her boyfriend), but she was still part of the fun. Tara became the little run-around girl and photographer and Avery generously offered to fill the position of hair dresser. After my hair was done, and while I was throwing things together for the night, there was a knock on the door. Avery eagerly went to answer the door and then called up the stairs “Julie, your ride is here!” I was more than curious as to who this ride could be. Tara, also curious to see who it was, went downstairs. As she was descending the stairs, I heard a booming unfamiliar voice say “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” Hehe, Tara was quick to inform him that she wasn’t who he was looking for. When I finally had my stuff thrown together, I stumbled down the stairs (as to not rudely keep this random man waiting). Tara and Avery were waiting at the bottom of the stairs with huge grins on their faces, and Tara was ready to take a picture. I looked out the front window and there was a LIMO! It was a very cool looking limo (called an Excalibur limo for all you avid motorists out there). Then, the chauffeur popped around the corner, said happy birthday, and handed me another vase of roses and daisies with a note. Bouquet #6. I read the note, which said to live up the Hollywood feeling, and went outside to enter the awaiting carriage. I heard some giggling, and when I looked to the left, I saw that a small group of my friends/classmates (Kendra, Nancy, Ann-Marie, and Ryan) were hiding behind a tree. They came out and gushed over me (*blush*), and passed around the hugs. We took pictures with me, the limo driver, the friends, the roomies, and of course, the limo.

My roommate Avery doing my hair. Thanx Ave!

Tara, me, and Avery. What fun those girls are!

Me with bouquets 1 to 5.

That's the limo driver, Eric, who delivered bouquet #6.

Me and the Excalibur limo.
(Thank you Tara for making sure the Volvo was moved so the limo had room!)

From left to right: Ryan (my wicked clinical partner), Nancy, Kendra, and Ann-Marie.

From left to right: Kendra, Carlynne, Ann-Marie, Ryan, Nancy, me, Avery, and Tara. RAD!

The limo driver then helped me in, and I sat, all alone, in the back of this huge vehicle. It was actually a tad awkward because he kept making conversation with me, but due to the great distance between us and the music blasting out of the speakers on top of me, I had a very hard time understanding him. I did a lot of “Cool”, “Oh ya” and “Neat”, then got out when he parked in front of Fairmont Hotel MacDonald. This is a very classy hotel that was built in 1915, so it had a special elegance and charm about it. He led me to the reception desk where the lady was expecting me, gave me a hug and wished me luck. What a nice man! The receptionist then gave me the key to suite 729 and sent me upstairs. When I opened the door, Lowell was waiting, wearing a suit, and standing amongst about 500 daisies as well as pictures,photo albums , and other memorabilia we’ve collected in the last 3 and a half years of dating. He sat me down on the couch and presented me with a box slightly bigger than your average shoe box. I opened it, and there was another wrapped box inside of it. I opened that box, and there was another box, then another, then another, until finally there was a little ring box and I excitedly opened it to see none other than…….a loonie. That’s right. What a punk. He’s fake proposed before, but this time it was just mean! I laughed despite my ever slumping shoulders, then he said “Actually, I thought the best gift I could give you for your birthday is the rest of my life.” He got down on one knee and pulled the BEAUTIFUL ring out of his pocket. It was exactly what I wanted. .5 karat, princess cut solitaire diamond on a narrow white gold band. I did the typical girl thing, cried, and said YES.

My view from the back of the limo. It was a very cool limo.

This is Hotel MacDonald in 1915.

This is it more recently (from the back).

The receptionists at Hotel MacDonald. All the employees at the hotel were all SSOOOOOoooo nice and totally into it which made the whole adventure even more fun!

What I was met with when I opened the door to suite 729.

A small taste of how the room was decorated. That book on the left is the 'Magic Book' that Lowell used to ask me out, and the book next to it is a scrapbook I made for Lowell. On the far right are some of the other photo albums that were there.

A disappointed me in receiving a ring box with a LOONIE inside it. Only Lowell....

Lowell quickly redeemed himself. Here's the real deal.

Me looking at my latest birthday present with the view from our window.

Oh, but the night’s not over yet. The night was still young! That sneaky little Lowell knows that I loooooove cajun chicken ceasar salad and mocha mud pie, so he had ordered it from the Cheesecake Cafe and picked it up, so he brought it out of its hiding for us to enjoy as a newly engaged couple. After a lovely dinner, we made our special phone calls to spread the news. People told me that Lowell makes other boys look baaaaaad. And I agree. I feel so lucky to get to be the girl whom all his romantic energy is channeled towards.

Mmmmmm...cajun chicken caesar salad...

Me telling my parents on the phone. They are quite thrilled to gain a new son-in-law in Lowell.

After spending three hours on the phone (no joke), we relaxed on the couch in the suite and enjoyed each other’s company. It was a very surreal feeling, so I was just working on trying to believe what was going on. At about 11pm, Dan and Carlynne joined us and we hung out together until 2:30am. Then Lowell and Dan left and Carlynne and I were left in the beautiful suite for an intimate little slumber party! Lowell thought it would be special for Carlynne and I to spend the night together, and he was right. It was lots of fun (even though we weren’t awake for most of it). At 8:45 in the morning, Lowell and Dan showed up with lattes and a couple muffins from the Second Cup. Mmm…..we love lattes. I think maybe my children will come out part latte. Anyhoo, then we just hung out for a couple hours until we went to explore the yard of Hotel MacDonald. It was beautiful with a picturesque view. Carlynne and Dan became the main photographers, and we took a bunch of fun pictures of everyone. We had 2 cameras floating around (thank you Zabu) so this allowed us to maximize photo ops.

Four on a couch: Dan, Carlynne, me, and Lowell.

Carlynne and I slumbering it up.

Our morning lattes!

Dan is taking pictures of my ring.

Behind Hotel MacDonald.

We're dancing for joy!

Here's a series of kisses...

Things got a little out of hand...

Our ever talented photographers Dan and Carlynne.

Speaking of high profile photographers.... Dan is a busy man as he takes phonecalls while being a photoographer.

After taking pictures, we checked out then went out together for a late breakfast (which was actually lunch because by this time it was past noon) at the Sugarbowl. After some hot eats and cool treats, we made our way back home, and here we are telling you all about it.

Us leaving the hotel.

Some of you are probably wondering about those duct tape roses. Well, there were 24 of those creative little beautiful things (because it was my 24th birthday), and it took him about 24 hours even with help on the stems from his sister Julie (yes, there will be 2 Julie Taylors kicking around) and sister-in-law Marti. Thank you ladies!

Another common question: Did Lowell ask my Dad?? OF COURSE! On Thanksgiving weekend, he went home to Carstairs to spend the weekend with his family. I stayed in Edmonton because I had a lot to do, and I wanted to see Carlynne in the brief time she was here before taking off to Lethbridge for the week. It turned out that Lowell was secretly relieved that I couldn’t go as that would’ve obviously spoiled his plans to talk to my Dad and make the roses. On the Sunday, Lowell told his family he was heading into town with his friend Josh for the day. Naturally, they assumed he meant Calgary as that’s what’s closest to Carstairs. But nope! Lowell and Josh drove to Lethbridge. After a visit with Josh's sister in Coaldale, Lowell met my Dad at the Lethbridge Lodge then headed right back to Carstiars and kept the secret. Thank you Josh!

Thank you to everyone who helped pull this off and make this day so special for us, and also to everyone who expressed their excitement to us. We’re very excited too and we’re thrilled with all the support we have.

As for the wedding date..... we're still trying to figure that out. We're pulling for July 2007, but Marc and Kylie (my brother and sister-in-law) are going to Kenya in Februaury, so we're trying to figure out when we can get them back for the celebration.