Saturday, May 28, 2011


Tonight I had an unexpected surprise. My sister Jo-Anne had suggested the two of us go out for dinner to celebrate my completion of the CCPR program at Fanshawe. To me, it was simply making it to the finish line. But Jo-Anne thought it was important to celebrate all my hard work, long days and determination. Sure, I thought...why not?

She emailed me yesterday to say Nick decided to join us as well. So, they arrived in the family mini-van to pick me up. Since I'm moving, they brought lots of boxes for me and as we were transferring them to the house, I noticed a balloon bouquet in the van. I didn't think it was a good idea to take it with us to the restaurant...that would be embarrassing. Jo-Anne seemed a bit disappointed, but brought it inside. Awww, had I known what she had planned, I would have just let her take it with us.

When we showed up at Foolini Koolini's, we were walking up to the door and I suddenly saw my mom & dad. I knew something was up because they would not be just hanging out downtown London on a Saturday night! So, Jo-Anne had coordinated the whole family to go for dinner in my honour.

Wow, I felt so special. After all my work over the past year it was so nice to feel like it mattered and that people were actually proud of what I had done. I really hadn't thought a lot about it, but tonight I certainly felt like I had accomplished something. And as a little reward for this, they got me a wireless magic mouse! It looks so fantastic in the its own acrylic case. Sleek and stylish. I can't wait to get it set up and start using it!

Thanks to Jo-Anne & Nick, Mom & Dad, John & Karen and Connie & Steve. Love you all.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

House Photos!

Finally...some photos of my house.

Monday, May 23, 2011

What A Week!

So, they say that things happen in threes. To follow up on my last post about my new house, in the same week I also started a new job AND won an award!

"A new job?" you may say? I thought she still worked at the TV station. Well...I do. This is a part time job that more or less landed in my lap around the same time the house stuff was all happening. It started when I attended a "thank you night" at Fanshawe for all people/businesses that were involved with our program this year. As I walked in the door, one of my teachers was standing there talking to someone and said "Oh, there's Janice now." It turns out that Jackie was speaking with Marc (my new boss) about a position he had available and she thought I'd be perfect for the role. I just happened to walk in at that moment.

So, I spoke with Marc for a few minutes and he gave me his card. I followed up with emailing him my resume and after a few emails back and forth, I had landed myself a part time job! This works out perfectly for me as I can keep the security of my job at /A\ while I gain experience in the communications industry. The Achievement Centre is very flexible with what days/hours I come in so it works well with my existing schedule.

My first day on the job was the day I bought my house, so it was rather surreal! Since then I have been learning the ropes and will be facilitating a weekly newsletter and managing web content. Last week I was already designing a new brochure for them! I know there will be other duties added to this, once I am familiar with the operations.

On my third day on the job, I got an email from Fanshawe College that I am the recipient of The London Life Fanshawe College IABC London Award of Excellence for 2011. I wasn't exactly sure what the award was or why I was receiving it, so I emailed one of my teachers. She replied back that indeed, I had won the award which is for the student with the top marks. Wahoo! All my early mornings and long days had paid off...literally! Jackie informed me that the award comes with $500 cash. Perfect timing for "found money" with lots of things on the list to buy for my house.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Home Sweet Home

This week I became a homeowner. What an exciting plunge I took, but it doesn't come without a great back story!

I had been casually looking for a house for the past year and a half. However, with returning to school, it was put on the back burner.With two weeks left in my program and lots of end-of-term projects looming, I discovered a house that looked absolutely perfect for me. My friend Kim went with me to check it out and it lived up to my expectations. So much so that I called my parents to see if they would come and look at it.

We wandered through the house with other possible buyers during its first open house. My dad (who tends to be a pessimist) could only say that it had squeaky hardwood floors. Indeed, it was the perfect little house for me. However, my head was spinning with the end of school looming and wondering if now was really the right time for me to jump into home ownership. I decided that perhaps it was best if I waited. There would, after all, be lots of other houses for sale.

Several weeks passed, I finished school, and I happened to notice online that the house was still for sale and the price had actually dropped! Hmmm, my interest was rekindled. I drove past it again and around the neighbourhood. I talked about it with my friend Duane, thought about it some more and went to look through it once again. This time I took my friend Murray with me, who has been my go-to guy about such matters since I have known him. We discussed over lunch and after going through the house, Myrrh gave it a solid thumbs up. I was on the verge...but actually making an offer was a big decision. I needed the weekend to think about it.

Over the Easter weekend, I thought about it some more and crunched the numbers. I considered the pros and cons and by Monday, I emailed Lisa to say I wanted to make an offer. I was so disappointed when she emailed me back to say someone had put an offer on it THAT DAY. I couldn't believe that it had sat on the market with no offers for four weeks, and as soon as I was ready, someone else was ready too. This was the beginning of a roller coaster ride of hopeful optimism and then disappointment.

As the rules go, I wasn't allowed to make an offer until the buyer decided to accept the counter-offer or sign it back to the seller. Lisa was convinced he would sign as he knew someone else was interested. (disappointment) However, she emailed me to let me know that he signed it back with another offer which opened it up to me. (optimism) So, as was Lisa's suggestion, I went in with my best offer. Later that afternoon I found out that a third offer had entered the mix. So, although my offer was beating the first one...the second one was competition. I increased my offer as high as I felt comfortable, but in the end it wasn't enough. The other offer won out. (disappointment)

Lisa reminded me that the offer could always fall through - you just never know. But, that doesn't happen very often. I was convinced that the house was gone, but was awaiting the final word. In the meantime, I was pretty disappointed to have missed out on the perfect property. Anything else I looked at just didn't compare.

Nearly two weeks passed before I got a call, text and email from Lisa while I was driving to see my mom on Mother's Day. The offer had fallen through and the house was available again! I couldn't believe it. I knew at that point it was meant to be. In fact, I had said that to my friend Bruce...if this deal falls apart, I was meant to live in that house!! So I texted Lisa back to say YES!

The next few days were again filled with ups and downs as I had a verbal agreement to my offer when another offer came in. Unfortunately, they had to bring it forward to the seller and it was higher than mine. But, since the house was meant to be mine....the seller decided to go with me. She just felt like that was the right decision.

So, after a week of appointments, paperwork, home inspection, more paperwork and even getting my very first lawyer...I am the proud owner of my first house. I will post more details about the property itself soon. Stay tuned! (but I will say... front porch and hardwood floors!)

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Tribute to Mom

I'm sure that most people think their mom is special, and I am no exception. With today being Mother's Day, it's a time to celebrate moms everywhere. I'm pretty sure that when you become a mom, you gain super-hero powers. Moms require less sleep, can fix anything, have a healing touch and seem to know all the answers...until you become a teenager anyway.

My mom fits this criteria and then some. Long after everyone had gone to bed, she was switching a load of laundry from washer to dryer, packing lunches and making sure all was set for morning. She seems to have the ability to fix/mend/alter/clean/create ANYTHING...sometimes making me wonder if she actually performed a micro miracle. (one Christmas comes to mind when I was creating a Peter Pan costume for my nephew and we were up late into the night on the 24th. Sweat was beading on her forehead when I asked what I could do to help. She told me to pray. lol. Well...she pulled it off!)

I'm not sure if it's because she's a nurse or just part of being a mom, but she could always make me feel better when I was sick - knowing when you needed an ice pack, a band aid or gingerale. She had endless patience in the early years with teaching the alphabet, numbers, reading, tying shoes, etc. She always had time to sing a song and listen to how my day was. She drove me to piano lessons and then waited while I fumbled my way through. She navigated through many family vacations, reading the map while finding a campground WITH A POOL. She stayed up countless times, helping to finish school projects or book reports. She sacrificed so much for her four kids. Thanks Mom!

Of course, there are other moms in my family too... My sister-in-law Karen was the first to have a baby and we were all so excited to welcome Abby into the family, followed by Josh and Kaelyn! Some moms have more obstacles to overcome than others. My sister Connie had lots of those, but we were all delighted when she was able to adopt Madison. And a few years later, Jo-Anne added two adorable boys to the mix. I hope that some day I will have the privilege of being called Mom as well.