365 days of Awesome : Week 1 and WOW what a week!

Today is my first day off since I declared my year of Awesome Fun. I look around me and I am sitting in piles of stuff that needs attention and my eyes are a bit squinty because I am still on the sleepy side of the day (it maybe 1:14 pm MST but I had a WOW of a week and I just caught up on sleep – which is AWESOME!).

I started my new job this week and after 3 days I logged 26km of walking. The cool part is, I am keeping active during the day and this will adds loads of benefits to my overall fitness levels because I am still trying to keep up with my fitness plan – although -41C has been keeping me inside on DangerBike. I just won’t run when it is this cold for safety reasons. I am a little bit frightened of my half marathon in January, but…whatever…I’ll be in Walt Disney World, haw bad can it be?

I learned about a Beer-vent calendar and MAN I wish I knew about it in November because a different international beer a day in December sounds awesome! Next year I will give it a try.

I bought a ton on bath stuff at Bath and Body works because tub time is my favourite time of the day, me + book + bubbles = Heaven! I finally got to indulge last night because I knew I could sleep in this morning. Good thing too, because I was SO FREAKING COLD from my drive home from work at 10:00 pm, that I never ever would have fallen asleep. Best sleep EVER!

IMG_5802I have a I Heart Mickey NYC cup that I drink my water out of. It makes me stupidly happy for reason beyond comprehension. I indulge in it after coffee.

I had eggnog in my coffee this morning. Enough said.

IMG_5794My kids performed at Convocation Hall on Wednesday. Both had solo or major parts. I heard my daughter do a jazz solo on a grand piano, the kid has never had piano lessons. It was a cool experience. Their ensemble will be competing in an international competition again in California. They came in second last year. Fingers crossed they will be first this year, however…it is all about the experience, not the medal (says the mom who promotes process verses product).

A quiet morning off before I go to work is a night owl’s DREAM COME TRUE! I spent the morning laughing with my team about stupid stuff. And really, can it be more fun than laughing? I think not.

Go out there and find the fun in your day!


365 Days of AWESOME!

awesome-meter3 years ago I started off as the little girl who said no more than yes and played it safe with most life decisions…or made poor choices out of fear. The one day I woke up and decided to change my life. And change it I did!

I went to University to prove to myself that I was smart, that I could learn and to change the direction of my career. I went into teaching because I knew I would be good at it, and I was, but it never filled my passion cup. Yesterday at 8:34 pm MST, I submitted my final project and my last paper for University. If I end up getting zero on both of them, I will finish the class with a 70%. Cool. Yet I am worried sick about handing them in too soon.

I finished the number one most important goal I have ever set for my personal self. Sometime in January, I will see my marks and know I am a University Graduate. That is cool, shocking and overwhelming. I cried when I hit send yesterday. I worked hard, I completed 6 classes this year. SIX! That is stupid. That was MORE THAN FULL TIME. I am that girl who goes big or goes home. I tend to go big. AND I finished a month early. Why?

I start my new career on Tuesday and I wanted some down time with me. That’s right, with me. I will go for a run, do some planks, read Joseph Boyden (new favourite author!!!), bake cookies – I have not baked for fun in forever! I use to love to bake! I will make Chocolate Chips cookies for my kiddos and my new boss told me to make him some too. Oh…I work for men. SCORE! A new challenge! I have only ever worked for women. I have lots of new things coming up but I know from my very firsts half marathon, it is important to avoid the marathon blues.

Always have a ‘next thing’ in the wings.

I am on it!


I am the project manager for a Do Away with SMA. We are  turning it into a foundation that will do some great work. It has become my passion and I love what it teaches me and I love the team I work with. So that is a start (please please please go like us on Facebook and follow our adventures on our blog!). It is huge and I have big plans for it, but for now we are small and just getting started.

I am also starting my new career, it is a combination of management and fitness (seriously if you had asked me 3 years ago where I thought I would be…it would not be in the fitness career field!!). That will be a huge learning curve that I am super excited about!

Then I have nights and days off. Wow…what the hell is that? I think that is where I do fun stuff with friends and family. When my cousin finished Grad School, she started a project call 365 days of fun. She went wild with cool and fun things. Well…I will too.

My friend asked me if pre-scheduled stuff counts. Is it fun? If the answer is YES, then it counts!! I want to spend the next year, 365 days of them, making them count – being thankful and enjoying every single minute! I have worked hard for this moment and now I am going to celebrate. BIG TIME.

I have some pre-scheduled things like 4 destination races…how exciting is that?? I will be in Florida, Calgary, Hawaii and Los Angeles. There maybe a Vancouver in there, we will see.  So I know I am travelling and that is always fun!

Check list, Travel? Check! New career? Check! New Doctor on Doctor Who? Check! AND I find him kinda sexy too…finally a doctor who isn’t young enough to be my son prrrrrrrrrr.

I bought an Annual Pass for Disneyland AND Walt Disney World. That means I am going back for SURE next year…that is AWESOME!

Today I had a celebration with my Aunties. They gave me gifts for finishing school…WOOT! Who doesn’t find presents fun???  Oh, and I  bought an iMAC. I KNOW!!!! I hate Windows 7 so I quit the PC world and went full on Apple. I don’t know much yet, but let me just say this….WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG???

Tomorrow is day 2 of 365 days of awesome. Then Monday is day 3. Then my new job starts.

Welcome to the Edmonton Tourist’s 365 Days of Awesome! I can guarantee it will be interesting and it feels great to be able to write – ready – JUST FOR FUN! I am going to finish my book, I am entering Canada Writes with a sad tale from my past, fingers crossed they pick it!

Seriously…I cannot begin to tell you how happy I feel or how amazing it feels to accomplish hard goals that you set for yourself.

I recommend it.

Go out and be Awesome!


Ode to AbronxTurtle: The 59th Street Mount Sonofabitchs song, or Not Feeling so Groovy.

Today my friend abronxturtle ran his 12th marathon in a year in an effort to raise money for the Dream Team. A group of runners who raise money for the Make-A-Wish foundation. He posted this on his facebook page:577801_4993828286128_1137167856_n

22 in. And here’s Mount Sonofabitch. 59th street bridge. – J. Kolinsky

What is remarkable to me is not that fact that he ran well over 314.4 miles this year. It was way more than that this year because he trained, ran half marathons, 5 and 10ks, and did numerous fun runs. I am not amazed that he ran 3 marathons ALONE without help, support, fan cheering or anyone to meet him at the finish line (okay, that’s a lie I am COMPLETELY AMAZED!). What is remarkable to me is he just decided to to this incredible task and so he did it.

Lots of people make New Years Resolutions and peter out around January 2. They lose momentum. Joe didn’t. He kept going. During these past 12 races he lost a tooth, sprained an ankle, ran with the Elvis’, defeated by Hurricane Sandy, ran hills like a roller coaster, bled, was bruised and batter, yet he still did it. He ran all those marathons just like he said he would. He never quit and if anyone had the right to it was him. He kept going because he told his daughter he would and he doesn’t like to let her down.

I have learned a lot from him over the years I have known him. I have learned from his mistakes and his success.

So Joe, now that you have ran 12 marathons in 12 months, what are you going to do? Oh right…going to Walt Disney World to run the Goofy. Congratulations my friend, you deserve a vacation in Walt Disney World, a medal and all the best.

You deserve to feel groovy.

The Learn to Drive Milestone


A rite of passage happened yesterday. It was a very exciting moment for me.

My son drove a car for the first time.

This was a big deal. I remember being 16 and my dad took me out in his Blue Dodge Diplomat to the church parking lot. He put the car in park, opened the car door and stepped around to the passenger side. I couldn’t wait to get into the drivers seat! My dad is a teacher by trade profession and is one of the best. He explained in very clear detail, my step by step procedure.

When you put the car in drive, it will move forward, so keep your foot on the brake.

As you slowly release the brake, the car will move forward.

Stomping on the brake will cause me to vomit.

Take your time, we have all the time in the world – we don’t have to rush.

And thus began my first driving lesson 1983 – an era before seatbelts.


Last night after dinner, I said to my 16 year old. “are you busy? Can you come out with me for a bit?”

He looked at me suspiciously, assessed the situation and agreed. I drove out of the city and to a country school about 10 minutes from my home. I figured this would be a good spot with no pedestrian or motor traffic. He looked at me and said, “Either this is a driving lesson or you are about to murder me and dump my body.”

Me-“Correct, I have a baseball bat in the trunk and a carpet to roll you up in.”

He laughed and climbed out of the car, went around to the driver’s side and waited until i was in the passenger seat before he got in. The first thing he did was put on his seat belt and complain about how weird it felt crossing over the other side of his body. I asked how he felt, the reply was “Nervous and a bit scared.”

Me- “We won’t be going of 10km and there will be no reversing the car today. Just slow on the straight away and turns.”

I gave him the same instructions my dad gave me. Calm and quiet, full of confidence I never felt. I forgot to mention the part about stomping on the brake will induce vomiting. Sure enough, I was thankful for the seatbelt as he tested the brakes. He drove in circles for about a half hour. He tried stopping various times and got the hang of not smashing my face into glass. He actually was a quick study. He pulled up to the fence and I inquired as to how he planned on moving the car since I said no reversing. He said he could either get out and have me do it, or he give it a try himself. I gave him the step by step instructions for reversing, this included how you turn the wheel in the opposite direction of where you want to go. I then heard the Doc Hudson reference from him. The quote from the movie

I’ll put it simple: if you’re going hard enough left, you’ll find yourself turning right.

Ummmm nooooooooooooo. But secretly was happy he used a Pixar reference. When he didn’t shoulder check I made splat sounds and told him that was puppies and babies he ran over. He laughed and put the car back up against the fence and did it again. This time he shoulder checked. About 10 more minutes, and I directed him to park near the gate. We traded places and I asked him how he felt now. His reply was one of confidence. “I don’t feel scared anymore. Just nervous because there is so much to remember.”

I drove down the country road and into Sherwood Park. I found the Dairy Queen where we planned to celebrate. He asked if this was the one his Grandpa took me too. “Nope, that one is an insurance company now”. We had blizzards to celebrate. He told me he hated the licence plate cover on my car. It says “I’d rather by in Walt Disney World.” I told him I hated the Datsun B210 I had to drive when I was a kid.

You never get to drive the cool car when you are young because it is too expensive. Once you can afford it, you look like a ridiculous old dude trying to recapture his youth. He laughed and agreed that bald guys are hilarious in a convertible. I rest my case. I reminded him to look at the cars the high school kids drive – if they are lucky. He laughed and said, “you’re right, they are all beaters or mommy vehicles.”

Now my boy is motivated to get a job. Insurance is expensive, now that he has a glimpse of the freedom of the future.


Signs, Signs, Everywhere There’s Signs

I’ve started paying attention to signs. Not just road signs, but clues or meanings that trigger directions for me to follow or messages I am suppose to be aware of. Usually they are verbal but every now and then they are words I read. Over the past 7 days the message I have received loud and clear is, if you want something bad enough, say it out loud. Tell people you desire this.

It all started last week in my Qualitative and Quantitative Research class. My Professor gave me an article she found on LinkedIn. It is called,

Four Ways Women Stunt Their Careers Unintentionally  by Jill Flynn, Kathryn Heath, and Mary Davis Holt, you can read the blog here.

Essentially, The article tells women to be proud of their accomplishments and say so. Don’t assume the people in power know what you are capable of, tell them. Be assertive. Men typically do this all the time. When women do it, they are looked at as bossy or pushy. Have you ever heard the old adage, the squeaky wheel gets the grease? Well, it’s true.

My mom and I had a sit down the other day talking about selling yourself. My mom is likely the best sales person on the planet. She can sell ice to Inuit. She maintains that if you can’t sell yourself to a company you want to work for, than how can you be expected to sell anything once you work for them?

Good point mom. I also know if I sell myself too hard, than I risk being shown the door. I’m okay with that. I am confident enough in my own ability that finding a new opportunity down the road is possible. The bottom line is, I know what I want, I can see it clearly. I am taking steps that put me in that direction. I have told people what I want and I am 3/4 of the way done in terms of furthering my education to get me that position. Today I had three separate conversations that pointed back to that sign.

The first conversation was with a person who just finished the very same degree that I am currently working on. We were chatting about the Master’s program, when she commented about my skill and mentioned that I may be a good candidate for a future endeavor. I replied, that’s the plan Stan! I told her I think it’s important to share your plans. She agreed, she said no one gets ahead by staying quiet about their intentions. EXACTLY!

The second conversation was with a new employee who has her eyes set on a brass ring. I can see the hunger in her eyes. She also is telling everyone who will listen her ambition. Good for her, I like her tenacity.

The third conversation was with a dear sweet friend. We were talking about personal goals, not work related ones. She had mentioned that she was interested in running the half marathon with me next August. I said it’s a date! Meanwhile, I mentioned that I had hoped to run the Donald Duck half marathon January 6, 2012. I was currently training for it and if all went well, I would be there because it is the 15th anniversary of the race. I was told there would be a bit of fan fare surrounding it! She asked me what was holding me back. I replied, CASH. School is expensive and that is my priority right now. She reached into her bag and gave me $5.00! She said if everyone who read my blog gave me $1 than I could go easily. She is right,and I would have money left over for a big donation to Make-A-Wish too. Before I left, another friend over heard our conversation. She gave me $5.00 too. So now I have $10.00 towards my flight! I have taken some Face Painting jobs this Christmas, so that will cover half my flight. This no longer sounds crazy! Okay, it sounds crazy, even to me.

I do however, come with a set of beliefs and values. I believe that no good deed goes undone. So… I am not going to ask you for a donation to send me to Walt Disney World in January. If you would like to contribute, THANK YOU!! But that sounds selfish. I am going to ask you to think about giving $1.00 to your charity of choice instead of me. I am not a charity – as much as I like to think I am – but I do believe in giving of yourself and money.

I will be optimistic and say WHEN you donate to a favorite charity because you read THIS blog, please tell me and I will write the amount on a piece of paper and put it in my fund. You can email me: edmtourist@gmail.com

you can tweet me: @edmontontourist

You can Facebook me: The Edmonton Tourist

AND of course you can comment below!

I want to see the generosity of people, of my readers. I want to know how much – I’m asking that you give $1, your morning coffee costs more…just saying, and where you give it.

As for my fund, If I don’t raise enough for 2012 marathon it’s okay, I KNOW I will raise enough for the 2013. Any extra will go to the charity I will run for, Make-A-Wish foundation. I will run for them, because I have been lucky enough to have my wish come true, Make-A-Wish gives kids a chance to have their wish come true. Dreams that come true are the second best feeling, making someone elses dream come true is the best feeling.

Thanks Laurie xoxo