Friday, July 30, 2010

Salty Goodness

Action movies should always be over the top, unrealistic, involve surprise twists and from now on should always feature Angelina Jolie. I had high expectations of Salt, mainly due to my high expectations of Jolie as an actress capable of picking good scripts and being able to emerge herself in any role. She has a versatility as an actress I'm not sure we've seen before. This movie is no exception, and her capability once again shines through.

I've seen it argued this was not a realistic film. No, it probably wasn't (although I know nothing of spies and the CIA to back up my opinion). I also wouldn't peg Die Hard or The Bourne movies as particularly "realistic". Somehow I get the feeling as an action movie starring a female lead the questionable sense of reality is tied up in our struggle with the image of a female being an action hero. She was everything an action hero should be, smart, quick, and ruthless, she just didn't happen to have a twig and berries between her legs.

The original star was to be Tom Cruise who backed out, and I for one and am thrilled with his decision. I believe Jolie brought an added soul and gutsiness he would not have provided. Tom Cruise is a brilliant actor, but he's a different kind of actor as well. In an interview it was said she turned down the role of Bond girl because she wanted to play Bond herself. She was fearless as Evelyn Salt and her androgynous ability to play the dual masculine and feminine parts of the character was alluring.

The movie had tons of moments where I uttered "what in the what???!" outloud in the theater. Any movie that shocks the crap out of me is automatically worth 4 stars. The fact this was cast so beautifully with Jolie, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Liev Schreiber bumps it up to 5.

It's an action movie pure and simple. It has car chases, hand to hand combat, surprise twists and a whole lot of sexiness. John McLane and Jason Bourne would give this two thumbs up and so do I.

Have a great weekend everyone!
Jessa xx

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The paper cuts on my heart

We received THE e-mail. You know... The one informing us we need to update all our paperwork. I whined on facebook, I whined to my mother, I whined to my husband, and now I'm whining to all of you. I DON'T WANT TO DO IT!!!!!! There, much better.

For those who may not know, our dossier expires after two years from arriving in Ethiopia. Prior to that expiration we're required to update everything. I do mean EVERYTHING!

I was actually surprised about the maturity with which I was handling it for the first couple of hours. I was whiny, sure, but I was also rather organized printing out the list, posting it on the fridge, and e-mailing our agency. I was very methodical and calm. Then I e-mailed two of our references for new letters. Isn't it odd the things that set you off?

I was writing this e-mail asking them if they would write new letters and tears start prickling my eyes. Next thing I know I can feel one lightly hit my cheek. It never went beyond a few tears sliding down my face, but it felt momentous. I don't want to be all melodramatic about the whole thing, but it feels like a big deal. It was a big deal to do it all the first time, why wouldn't it be the second time? As you can see, I'm still in a relatively whiny place.

The one thing that brightened all of this for me was this line:

It is still possible that we will be in the position to present you with a referral before your dossier expires, and the updated documents will not be necessary. However, we have no way of knowing for sure if a referral for your family will come in time.

Our board meeting minutes came yesterday as well and they are signing on a new orphanage which is fantastic news! I can't help but feel hopeful our referral may come sooner than later. The thing about hope though is that it's not always a good thing. I'll do more on that at a later date, but I think those of you who've dealt with infertility will probably understand how hope can become a double edged sword.

I'm off today to acquire more paper cuts and spend more money! It's all good though, because I know my child is worth a million paper cuts, a million tears, and a million heartaches. They are worth all of that and much much more.

Have a lovely Thursday,
Jessalyn Hope (I bet you didn't know Hope is actually my middle name) ♥

Ps. My Salt review is coming up tomorrow!

Image from

Cupcakes, My Forever Love

Some of you may remember earlier I posted about a stepping stool for our cat I was redoing. I said it was going to be girly, and Doug thought this was greatly amusing because apparently everything in our home is girly. Yes, that's the one. Well my little arthritic angel now has her fabulous girly stool that was revcovered in cupcake fabric. It bravely teeters on the line of tacky, but in spite of my awareness of that truth I adore it. It makes me smile when I glance down next to the bed each morning. It's hard to be sad when you see cupcakes first thing upon waking.

Julia loves the stool! They all do, it's become the hit of the cat world. Did I ever tell you my sister named her youngest daughter Julia, and I named my only female cat Julia? This was before meeting each other. Makes you think...

I hope you're having a wonderful Wednesday and that your eyes enjoy the feast above! I'm off to see Salt tonight, I'll let you know how it is!!



Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Where the Forest Fairies Live

If you're feeling at all gloomy this Tuesday I promise the above photos will help you with your melancholy mood. A very brilliant woman turned a small hunting cabin into this stunning Victorian cottage. I am in utter awe of her talents. After reading her blog and discovering she's not only an incredible designer but also rather shy and modest, I am even more excited to share her lovely masterpiece. I have a soft spot for humility and one day I may even acquire some myself.

This truly is an extraordinary cottage. There are few words to describe something so delicate and when I look through these photos I feel I'm exploring something magical. There is no kitchen or bathroom even, which somehow makes it all the more spectacular. It is so tiny and dreamy, much like the artist herself who designed it.


Sandra's beautiful blog :

NyTimes slide show:

Monday, July 26, 2010

Vacation Madness

I have had two weeks of relaxation, laughter, and alcohol. I'm so relaxed I resemble a wet noodle.

We stayed at a beautiful hotel called The Nines in Portland and I would live there if it was only more affordable. The architecture was stunning as the main level opened into a hollowed out building, with a glass ceiling. The hotel rooms looked onto this well designed great room and restaurant, and in the wee hours of the morning a couple gentlemen may or may not have been seen mooning onlookers below.

I am so excited to be back and blogging again as I was starting to miss you all! I fell in love with a french design magazine while away and I can't wait to show you some of the scrumptious architecture in it this coming week.

I would like to send out a special thank to my incredible cousin Anya and her husband Will for being the best travel companions we could ask for! xx

I also had the amazing fortune to meet with Natalie and her husband Chris and they were just the nicest people you could meet! We were overwhelmed by their hospitality. There is something so special about the friendships you meet in adoption. You never have to explain yourself because they already understand.

We also just returned from camping with our friends Tim and Rachelle and their 18month old doll face and had a ton of fun in the sun! We had amazing company on all our vacations. We were very blessed.

I hope you are all enjoying the fabulous summer,and I have to give a congrats to the five families we know of that received their referrals for children this month! Make that a congratulations to all of us!!

Jessa Now #44 on The List!! xx

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Garden Party Sweet Delights

Since I do not have a garden my "Garden Party" was more of an indoor/porch party with lots of food and flowers. This was a ton of fun to put together, easy, and tasty! I love this time of year if for the hydrangeas only! There were only four of us and it was nice quaint size for sandwiches and cupcakes!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Roses & Poppies & Lilies Oh My!!

I have fallen in love! Featured in this month's Elle Decor UK, Nicolette Owen's place is divine. I love the flowers, I love the blue, I love the wooden floors throughout. There is an eclectic and scattered tranquility to her place I've never quite seen before.

Recently another design magazine had the heading "Is small the new big?". My breasts were thrilled at the idea. Breasts aside, it's a unique concept in homes. We often see space as our number one priority. As someone living in 750 sq feet I have a love of small spaces. When done right they maintain a charm and coziness hard to emulate in larger homes. When house hunting size hasn't been number one on my wish list. My list begins with charm, age, garden, and then size. Looking through her photos has once again endeared me to the luxury of a small space. It's enchanted me with it's magical allure.

Nicolette is a florist who works from her New York home, known for her unique and simple arrangements. She bought this place primarily due to the fact it had a garden. I think part of it's appeal is the floral and garden aspects she has intermingled inside as well.

"I like to use flowers the way other people use lighting: to create atmosphere and to change colour and mood." With that small quote she has articulated everything I love about having a house full of flowers. The non-committal, interchangeable beauty they allow us. The refreshing and timeless quality of silky petals and floral aromas.

Happy Hump Day!


Images from

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


"...each milestone came and went. The calendar advanced, and there was no baby. The English language lacks the words 'to mourn an absence.' For the loss of a parent, grandparent, spouse, child or friend we have all manner of words and phrases, some helpful, some not. Still, we are conditioned to say something, even if it is only 'I am sorry for your loss.' But for an absence, for someone who was never there at all, we are wordless to capture that particular emptiness. For those who deeply want children and are denied them, those missing babies hover like silent, ephemeral shadows over their lives. Who can describe the feel of a tiny hand that is never held?"
Laura Bush

A year ago today I learned via facebook that our adoption agency went bankrupt. There were no answers given, there was no one even there to answer the phone. This was a loss like none other I had ever faced. It was raw unbridled anguish, and it was ugly.

After a few days all families involved managed to put on our armor and prepare for battle. We petitioned to government officials, people spoke out to the media, more financial commitments were agreed upon, and committees were created with people devoting their time and energy to the resurrection of this agency. Family, friends, and strangers devoted energy and compassion to the renewal of faith. It was a horrific period filled with remarkable action. Thousands of people working to bring hundreds of children home. You are all part of my child's story.

I remember the day of the trustees meeting. Feeling helpless on the other side of the country, I prayed like never before. I later read that the BDO had proposed a restructuring plan. As people recounted the surge of emotion running through the room, the open sobbing of men and women daring to dream again as all 250 people raised their hands and voted yes,I cried with them. I cry now thinking about the moment all of us who thought we had lost everything, reclaimed a piece of our lost hope. Held on to a corner of that dream once more.

I commend all of you. I am so amazed at the strength of a group of people entrenched in grief and grounded in fierce determination. I am honoured to be in this with you.

I also take this time to remember families who we lost in this horror, and children who were not united with their parents. The impact cruel actions had on our lives, leaves deep scars. I will not ever forget you. I will not ever forget these moments.

I continue to pray for all of us, and I am so thankful to call many of you my friends and confidantes. You are my inspiration.

Sincerely, Jessa xx

Monday, July 12, 2010

Loser Ville Vancouver BC: Confessions of a Barren Babe

We didn't get the house... Which is fine. The end of the world did not appear as earlier predicted. My self esteem however took an enormous dive. It was so low I think it even explored the underworld.

These are an honest transcribe of my thoughts for the past couple of days and this should be preempted by saying I have been surrounded by numerous pregnancy/birth announcements lately:

I'm a giant loser

I can't have a baby, I can't buy the house, my life is being wasted

I just want a break from this. Buying a house and running part of it as a business would have been the perfect break from this chaos. I just don't know what to do to make this all easier.

I failed in the most obvious of ways and because of this failure we have spent thousands that would have put us in a better position. Without the adoption and refinancing our condo, the house could have been ours. I hate that guilt.

I'm an asshole because others would kill to be in our financial position and I'm devastated not getting a house others may never afford.

I'm a bigger asshole because I don't really care.

I feel trapped. I love the idea of moving away. For years now I have wanted to move, England being my top contender. New York and Toronto are also both practical options for Doug's current employment. We can't leave the country until the adoption is finished, and it's a headache in fees to even move across the country during this. I don't like feeling caged.

I could have finished school by now. There are definitely times when that wasn't possible and I worked a few jobs at a time in order for things in our life to work. However if I stayed in school this summer and for the next year I'd be close to done. I find it too much though. I'm too erratic in my moods at this time and University is stressful. I feel like I'm failing at being intelligent. Failing in my ambitions.

Stagnant. I look at the almost done nursery and I realize the summer referral I predicted is not going to happen. I now hope for one before Christmas. Time isn't the biggest issue here. I know six years is a long time, and I know 3.5 years is a long adoption, but it's the issue of not being able to make the decisions we want to make. We don't have a say, and making plans doesn't work. I suppose the theory is live like you're not expecting to be a parent, but I'm not sure that's possible. It's like living ignoring that migraine you have day in and day out.

I want to move to St.Marie Meade and be an 80 year old crime solving old biddy. Let's just skip this part all together and hop to scotch mints, knitting, and visiting nieces and nephews. I'll call myself Miss Marble instead of Miss Marple and hope Agatha Christie doesn't mind me stealing her character's life.

Ugh. Double Ugh. Ugh, Ugh. I shall follow in Pierre Burton's footsteps and write a book in which the only word spoken is "ugh". It shall be the story of my life as told through my extremely whiny narration.

I want to start yelling 'it's not fair' at everyone. Now, life is far from fair and if life were actually fair my life would probably be much poopier but this is my whiny rant session and since when does logic intercede with pity parties?

Those are my Monday thoughts in a million words or less. I know everything will be fine but today I'm still disappointed. I could apologize for my ungratefulness and my childlike tantrum but I don't want to. Perhaps disappointments hit me harder because they trigger a thousand other emotions. Perhaps I just don't have the foresight and wisdom right now to be philosophical. Perhaps I just don't like Mondays!

Onwards and upwards my friends. Onwards and upwards.


Friday, July 9, 2010

Celebration Panties

Today we are #46!!!!!!!!! After two months of no news we finally have heard of two referrals. So exciting!

I posted this on facebook yesterday but I thought I'd share the giggle with you here. Yesterday in an unprecedented move, Odin our orange tabby casually sauntered out of our bedroom wearing my underwear. Then he proceeded to lounge around the living room like this was an every day occurrence. I have no idea how he got them on but his blasé attitude made for a fabulous sight.

It's days like this I wonder if our human child will be as delightfully peculiar as the rest of the inhabitants in this household. I sincerely hope so.

My favourite part in Disney's Beauty & The Beast is when Belle asks her Dad if he thinks she's odd? He comes out from under his invention with these large goggles and headgear and responds "My daughter? Odd? Where'd you get an idea like that?" I think it sums up our family perfectly. Odd is all of our middle names.

Incidentally, I once had a five year old ask me if I were Belle? It was pretty awesome. I said I was. Long brown hair, green eyes, loaner who spends all her time reading and talking to animals, mildly strange... It's an understandable mistake. God Bless children.

Happy weekend everyone!! xx

Thanks Priscilla for the wonderful picture!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My Dream House

Doug and I have been casually contemplating selling our condo and buying a house for the last year or so. I've rather given up on finding the "dream house" for a few reasons. The most important being we live in Vancouver. Unless you've looked for real estate here it's hard to explain just how pricey everything is. For a mild comparison we've discovered we could trade our Vancouver condo for a small nice Toronto house.

We've still continued to look though and have actually found a few that were almost right for us. I have a couple things that are must haves for our house and a few things that are definite bonuses. It must have hardwood floors. That's nonnegotiable. I'm fine with them being crappy, in fact I'd be thrilled to paint them white, but they must be there. We have three cats and I'm allergic to them all. Yes, I know that makes me bonkers. I'm also asthmatic. Cleaning hardwood is easy and efficient. They float my boat. My other must have is a garden. I want land. The final must have is light quality. We live in a cloudy city so I like as much natural light as I can get.

The above are photos of my dream homes. Things I'd have if I caught that little lucky charm leprechaun. Conservatory, claw foot tub, large bay windows... Pure Bliss.

The five photos directly above are pictures of a dream house in the running. It would require the alignment of certain planets to pull this house out of the hat but it's something we're seriously considering.

Now that I've shared my dream home, tell me what is in yours?


Images from