Friday, July 27, 2012

Crunch time!

Now that we're three days away from lift-off, I'm finally weighing in with my take on this whole process. It's hard to put into words the feelings we're experiencing right now. I imagine it's like sitting in the plane moments before you jump out for your first skydiving experience. We are eager to begin this new chapter in our lives, but we are also trying valiantly to stave off our anxiousness. Doing anything new is scary, and this journey we are about to embark on is equal parts exciting and terrifying. As I reflect back on the last three months, there are a few things I wish we'd done differently. I would have liked to spend more time with more friends, and that goes for family as well. I would have preferred to send some furniture and books instead of all of our dishes. All things considered though, I'm pretty happy with where we are now, and we did a good job preparing to leave without a how-to manual.

There have been hundreds of little details that needed to be dealt with, and about a hundred major ones, too. Transferring insurance, selling our cars (on that note, if anyone wants to buy a Kia Soul, email me!), and buying ridiculously warm jackets are just three of them. Even now there are a dozen things left to accomplish before Monday, not the least of which is mentally preparing to kiss our old lives goodbye, and all the comforts and people that have been a part of them for so long. The old adage is true: you don't realize how much you love something until you don't have it anymore.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Cell Phones

I know I said we weren't going to get a cell phone. We had these grandiose ideas of saving extra money, etc. Well...I couldn't do it. I caved. Threw in the towel. Waved the white flag. You get the point. Long story short, I got a cell phone that will work in the North.

Having had two (work and personal) cells for the past few years, quitting cold turkey was going to be a challenge. I've been transitioning this week with a non-smart phone and it's already been giving me withdrawal symptoms. That was pretty much when I decided we were going to have to get a phone that was going to work.

The satellites in the North run off the old CDMA system, so we needed to find either a Bell, Koodo, Telus or Virgin phone that hadn't switched to the 3G train. That in itself was pretty difficult, because most providers are moving away from CDMA and it's becoming obsolete here.

My intention was to get a compatible phone and keep my current 905 number (which I've had for over ten years). I'd then get a Canada-wide plan so I could talk/text unlimited without incurring long distance charges.

In the end, I went with Virgin because it was the only phone I could find that would work. However, this phone is so basic, it makes the one I had in high school seem fancy. Coming off a Blackberry, it also feels about the size of a peanut when i hold it. Sigh. BUT! It will work (hopefully) and I got my Canada-wide plan for $50/month, which seems pretty standard.

I just have to get used to not being so reliant on the phone!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Blog Maintenance

As I'm getting more comfortable with blogger, you may see the layout of the page change now and then. For now, I think I'm happy with how it looks. Let me know if there are things about the layout you like/don't like.

With the move ramping up and my not being sure how soon our Internet connection will be set up once we are there, I wanted to take a minute to let you know that our posts might be a little sporadic over the next while.

I've been trying to keep to a steady schedule of blogging every weekday, and taking the weekends away from the computer - and I think it's a schedule I'd like to keep. Either Jeff or I will try to blog at least a little something every weekday morning to keep you updated (next week being the possible exception).

We have also set up the subscription links in the bar on the right so you can also get an email sent every time we update, or add us to your RSS feeds. Trying to make it as easy as possible! I also have it set to update both my Twitter and Facebook accounts every time there is a new post, so be on the lookout for those as well!

We are also looking for suggestions as to what you would be interested in us writing about, so feel free to leave a comment below and we will try to write about what you want to hear about!

5 more sleeps until we go!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Drowning in Feelings

It hit me like a tonne of bricks last night over dinner - at this point next week, we will already be in Baker Lake and starting our new lives. It's a scary realization to have over a pint of beer, let me tell you.

It's been an emotional few days, and I anticipate it will only get harder as our departure draws closer. Friday was my last day at work; bittersweet to say goodbye to good friends and comfortable surroundings, but at the same time, I really felt like it was time to move on. It is time to spread my wings and take the next step in my career, even if it is a scary, unknown step.

My sister came home this weekend and we got to see her a few times. We had a wonderful family dinner on the one night for mom's birthday and then we also saw her for brunch the day she left. As this was going to be the only time we saw her before we leave, it turned into a tear-filled visit for most of the weekend. Even now, I get tears in my eyes thinking of how much I'm going to miss her. :(

I know that this is only the beginning of a string of tough goodbyes, and I'm not sure I am hydrated enough to handle the onslaught of tears that are on their way. It is tough to remind yourself you're making the right choice when your heart is in so much pain. We are blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives who are supportive of our decision, but it doesn't lessen the heaviness in our hearts as we get ready to go. I don't regret our decision, and I'm still extremely excited, but it still hurts.

As we wrap up this final week in Ontario, surrounded by the people we love, I'm again reminded of how lucky we are to have the lives we do. Love is such a wonderful thing.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mommy!

Happy, happy birthday to my mom today!!!
There are not enough words in the world to describe my love and admiration for her.

She's my home.

We'll see you tonight!


Thursday, July 19, 2012


When we were up for a visit, Jeff got to go on the Baker Lake tour with my co-worker who's been living there for a few years. While driving around, they stopped the car to let some cute birds cross the road. They reminded him of a partridge, but surely they could not have made it so far North. Here's how the conversation went:

Jeff: Those are cute. What are they?
Co-worker: Delicious.
Co-worker: Nice looking things, but they're incredibly stupid. And delicious.

Well then.
Welcome to the North! :)

Note: Turns out they were ptarmigans - kind of like a partridge, or other small gamebirds. They change colour depending on the season, but they really are kind of cute!
...I'd still probably eat it. Probably. ;)


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hey Winter: Bring It!

I don't know if you live in Ontario, but it is hot outside. Like, wear-as-little-as-possible and you're still a mess, hot. Sooooo hot. Yesterday, I was a puddle of perspiration. 45+ (after humidex) is cruel and unusual punishment! It was one of the moments where I wished we were already in Baker Lake because I was a grumpy, sticky, sweatball the second I stepped outside. This heat wave's gotta get outta town.

Anyone that knows me, knows that I am not a fan of winter. I don't like snow, I'm perpetually cold, the dreariness and short daylight hours bring me down, etc. So when I told people that we were moving to Nunavut, a lot of my family and friends laughed and laughed before they realised I was being serious.

I know this is going to sound even more crazy - but for the first time in my life, I'm actually really excited for winter. I want to see what an Arctic winter will be like, to feel how cold cold can be. I want to look outside my window and understand what "winter" really means. I think the thing that will be hardest to adjust to will be the darkness in the winter, but we are fully stocked on vitamin D and I've been trying really hard to find a light therapy/happy lamp (anyone have any idea where I can get one, please let me know!).

I think it's going to be really cool (pardon the pun) to experience Mother Nature at her best/worst. I bet I can make a lot of snow angels and snowmen for our front yard! :) Best part is - no one's going to have to hear me complain about a southwestern Ontario winter after this!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Positive Vibes

All the positive vibes and love in the world to Mum today, who is going in for surgery this morning. We will see you shortly with good cheer and plenty of (gentle) hugs! xoxoxo

- L & J

Monday, July 16, 2012


I started looking into weight restrictions for our luggage when I heard that our stuff didn't get loaded onto the truck until this morning (ummmm, we're definitely going to beat it at this rate??). So I started thinking about stuff that we should bring to hold us over until our things arrive...and the list felt really long in my head, but now that I see it written out, I feel like I'm forgetting key things.

Since we are flying on First Air, the baggage restrictions are pretty limited because we're going to be on a smaller plane. Basically, if we don't want to have to pay for any excess fees (though they may be cheaper than paying to courier/ship things up separately and we'd be guaranteed to have the baggage with us), we both get 2 bags at 44 pounds each. That sounds like a lot, but after going through the process of packing up our house and under-estimating our belongings, I don't want to take any chances.

I think we're going to have to borrow someone's scale next week and do "practice packs" to see what we're looking at in terms of weight.

Below is a list of things that I can think of as essential to get us through the first while that we're there in case our things haven't arrived yet.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Tuning In

Note: Another cost comparison post that may be a little boring for most of you (sorry). However, if you're interested in learning about TV options in Nunavut, read on!
I had no idea looking into television packages/providers was going to be as complicated as it has been. I feel like we've been researching so much that I'm practically an expert! We went into it thinking that we wanted something that made us feel connected enough that it felt like "home" but also wasn't going to break the bank. With very little social activities, and Netflix probably not being a viable option, we also figured we should be looking at something that offered a lot of channels.

The people that we've talked to have mostly been on Team Satellite. It gives you the widest variety of channels, but the reception may be spotty when there's bad weather. I suppose that's true no matter where you are, but I feel like we'd be more likely to have worse weather in Nunavut as opposed to Ontario. However, with satellite, you're looking at doing a self-install (I would be soooo useless in this task) and more money than going with a regular cable provider.

At the end of the day, here are the costs that we were looking at:

Thursday, July 12, 2012


My lovely co-workers (in cahoots with my husband) planned a lovely surprise cocktail hour for me last night at one of the local restaurants by our office. Wine, yummy appetizers and lots of laughs were shared by all and it was so nice to mingle outside the office. I also got these pretty flowers, complete with pink lilies, of course!
As much as I am ready to make the move to a new role, it's always a difficult decision to make. I've made good friends over the past five years here, and there will be people that I will truly miss.

It still catches me by surprise when I think of how little time we have left in Ontario. It seems not so long ago that I gave my very long notice, and now we're talking about how next Friday is my last day. Where does the time go when you try so hard to slow it down? It's slipping by so quickly and we're trying hard to soak up as much time with our friends and family as possible - but it's hard when silly things like chores and work get in the way!

We'll just keep taking everything a day at a time and keep surrounding ourselves with hugs and love. Can't really say I'm complaining about that!


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Keeping in Touch

We stopped by the moving company yesterday to sort through the things they pulled off our shipment (just to make sure there wasn't anything dire that needed to come and had been pulled) and we managed to convince them to let us drop off our pillows and duvets to add to the shipment. I think at the end of the day we are slightly over 4,000 but everyone was tired of us trying to sort/pull things, etc. and just said to forget it. Ha!

I'm thankful we were able to squeeze in a little more because I really didn't feel up to adding a trip to the post office on my To-Do list this/next week. I figured our stuff will take about a month to get up there, and I've been told that mailing things/having things shipped - it can take anywhere from 2 to 5 weeks (6 even, during the holiday season!!) So yeah, you should probably start sending me my birthday gifts now for September! ;)

Due to Baker Lake being such a small place, there are no actual road names, or "addresses" per se. The entire hamlet shares one postal code, and there are post office boxes at the Northmart for some people and everyone else gets General Delivery.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Yesterday was a big day in terms of the move - the moving company came and took our Nunavut-bound things away! While we thought we were going to be fairly accurate around the 4,000 pound mark, we were actually over by 700 when they went to weigh our things. Oops! So that meant that unless we wanted to pay for the freight (we certainly didn't want that, eek!), they had to pull the few furniture pieces off the truck that we had packed (no more bookcases, desk, freezer, etc. BOO!)
Look how big the truck is! It made our house look teeny tiny and took up 3/4 of the street to boot! The movers arrived around 9:30 and we helped them finish the rest of the packing before they loaded everything up. That was actually pretty frustrating itself because when they left last week everyone knew that more packing was supposed to be happening this week - but they didn't bring any more boxes, and said that we didn't discuss that. I know what was said, and I absolutely told them as we did a walk-through, that there was going to be more stuff to pack (considering there were entire rooms they didn't get a chance to go into last week!) Grr! Luckily we had a couple of empty boxes and we ended up packing most of the remaining items ourselves while they moved the other boxes out to the truck.

Monday, July 9, 2012


Happy Monday! I can't believe that 3 weeks from today, we will be on a plane and heading off on our adventure. Time is certainly flying by!

Jeff's wonderful family threw us a "going away but coming back" party yesterday, and we had a lovely time surrounded by our loved ones. The weather was beautiful, the bbq was kept busy and the wine was flowing. I love days like yesterday - just relaxing with family and friends while loving life.

Aside from a dinner of my *favourite* White Hots (so glad to have been introduced to this awesomeness!!), our family friend Natalie made the most amazing cake for us as a delicious dessert. Look at the ridiculously cute penguins!! And the pink wreath!! And the igloo that's actually a mini cake on top!! Agghhh the cuteness is too much to handle!!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Packin' Up

It has been a busy week so far! We spent a day sorting through things into different piles, and then the packers came by yesterday to start boxing everything up. Who knew we had so much stuff?? The moving company sent two people and one man spent the majority of the six hours they were there, packing up my kitchen. Not including the food, just dishes and small appliances and everything that wasn't the kitchen sink. It was getting pretty ridiculous. He estimated that it was probably about 800 pounds or so of just those things.

Oops. I guess I really have no excuse to keep buying dishes (but I love buying dishes!). It also turns out we have 9,893,238 glasses (thereabouts, anyways.) Add in the food and supplies we've been buying and we're probably at about half our weight limit already! I had no idea things were that heavy; I thought we'd be struggling to reach our limit! Now I'm hesitant to bring some of the "nice-to-have" pieces of furniture that we were contemplating because I don't want us to go over and have to pay for the shipping.