Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy 100th

Being that this is our last post of 2012, and our 100th post of the blog, we thought it fitting to start off by saying thank you for being part of our adventure with us and sharing our journey. It's not always an easy road, but we're thankful for each and every one of you for being here with us.

Can you believe it's been 100 posts since we first decided to go on this crazy adventure? Where has the time gone? Today marks our 5th month here - nearly half a year already! On the one hand it feels like we just got here and on the other hand, it feels like we've been here much longer than a few short months.

It's funny that we keep calling it an adventure when our lives are so routine - not much different than when we were in Ontario: work, home, repeat. We have resolved to experience more of what Nunavut has to offer us in the coming year - these past few months have really been just us trying to settle in and find our footing (I think we have a pretty good handle on things now)!

2012 was a big year for us with lots of monumental changes that impacted our lives in so many ways. We started it off with a bang by getting married, so the rest of the year had a lot to live up to! 2012 was a year of discovering who we are, what we can handle, and appreciating everything we have. The saying of "absence makes the heart grow fonder" holds truer than you can ever imagine.

It has been a year of testing ourselves and relying on the strength of our family and friends to support us when we faltered. Time and again, we have turned to each other and said, "how did we get so lucky?" - a lesson we will always cherish and not take for granted.

Though we are separated by physical distance, it is in this year that we have both felt closer than ever to the ones we love. We have been blessed with amazing people at home, and the ability to meet and build relationships with amazing people here in Baker Lake. If we take anything away from this journey, it's that no matter how hard it gets, the love and kindness of the ones you hold dearest to your heart is all you need.

Happy New Year from us to you, and may your 2013 be filled with more adventure and more love than you ever thought possible.

Lily & Jeff

Friday, December 28, 2012


For those of you planning to travel over the holidays, let me offer you some sound advice; add a buffer. Or two. To put it more plainly: factor an extra day or two into your trip. I mention this because weather is that great unknown quality that can make your holiday beautiful, or strand you at an airport, and in my line of work, I see all too much of the latter. I've joked with my pilots before about the show Arctic Air, which shows planes taking off and landing in what appears to be really crazy weather, and ask them why they can't do that, and the response I get is that TV and reality are widely spaced. The truth is that the minimum conditions to land an airplane up here do contain ample safety margin, and the other day is a good example of why. Up until about 20 minutes before the plane was due to land, the weather was fine. In those last 20 minutes, though, we had thick fog roll in, making visibility on the ground impossible, and making some passengers' plans all for nought. So take it from the expert - don't assume that travelling in the north will mirror your experience in the south.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

First Christmas

This Christmas was one of many firsts for us: the first Christmas we've been away from our families, the first Christmas in Nunavut and the first Christmas we've shared as husband and wife. A lot of pressure for one day - but it was one that was filled with love and the creation of new memories.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!!

From our house to yours, the warmest wishes for a very Merry Christmas!

All our love,

Lily & Jeff

Friday, December 21, 2012


According to the Mayan calendar, the world was supposed to end today - so if you're spending one of your few last moments on earth reading our blog, we're flattered! :) We woke up to the radio playing some horrible new pop song that all the kids like these days (I'm old, ok?) and I immediately thought, "this is the worst way to go!" However, the song ended and not the world, so I guess it turned into a good morning!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Roll with the Punches

One of the biggest tips I can give anyone who comes to the North is that you need to learn to roll with the punches. I wish someone had sat me down and really made me understand that things may not always go as planned (not that they always do when you're in the South either), and it's ok if they don't. There are so many factors that you can't control up here, and it's just something you have to learn to deal with.

Before we moved to Nunavut, I'd say I was/am a Type A personality who always liked to have a schedule that was followed and spontaneity really wasn't my forte. Since moving here, I've had to do a significant readjustment to my level of expectations and need for order/control. It's been an interesting exercise, for sure - as my husband, the easy-going one of us, can attest to.

Things move at a different pace here than in Toronto. The notion of "time" works a bit differently here too and not everything happens when it's supposed to. Schedules aren't necessarily followed all the time. Weather, as can be expected, plays an important role in a lot of things so you need to learn to readjust/rearrange things based on what's going on outside. It's a unique experience that isn't at all what I'm used to. When we first got here, it made me really flustered because it's not how I work - if something was supposed to happen every Tuesday, then I didn't understand why it didn't happen every Tuesday.

The upside to all this is that I'm learning to be more at ease when things don't happen the way I thought they would. It's teaching me that the world won't end if something is 5 minutes (or 5 hours) late. It's also  resulted in some pretty good times when curveballs are thrown - for example, flights were cancelled yesterday for friends, which meant they had an extra night in town, so we had had them over for an impromptu dinner party. An unexpected way to spend our Tuesday night, but it was a pleasant surprise because we had a really nice evening instead of sitting around watching TV.

Over time, you just learn to let things go. So what if that thing that was supposed to happen on Tuesday doesn't happen on Tuesday? It'll probably happen on Wednesday. You thought you were leaving 3 hours from now and you're told you have to leave in 45 minutes? Ok, so you leave in 45 minutes. Or tomorrow. Either way, you'll get to go, so yay!

Whatever it is, roll with it. Life goes on whether you're ready or not, so why get angry? Breathe through it.

Stuff happens.
Things change.
Oh well. It'll be ok.
You'll make it through, and you'll probably have some great stories about it after.

Silver linings to everything.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Checking In

It’s Sunday evening, and Lily is relaxing with a cup of tea on the couch while I take a quick break from studying (and post this note). I’ve been entirely too absent from our blog of late, and while I can use the excuse of work and school, I really shouldn’t, because this blog is our gateway to the friends and family we’ve left behind, and to the new ones we’ve made here in Baker and the surrounding environs. Therefore, I will endeavor to shoulder more of the onerous task of communicating with people so my poor wife doesn't have to do it on her own. . ;-D

Friday, December 14, 2012

Ladies Night

Last night was Ladies Night at the Northern...since it was also Grey's night, the girls and I decided to go see what all the buzz was about. We weren't quite sure what to expect (should we bring small bills and pretend we're on Magic Mike?), but it was an experience we decided we needed to see for ourselves.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Christmas has officially come to our house in Baker Lake, Nunavut!
We are bursting with FEELINGS, glitter and lots and lots of presents. No really, we are bursting at the seams with all of these things!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Geography Lessons

It is amazing to me how many people don't know where Nunavut is - a lot of the people I've had to explain it to are even Canadians! Considering the territory has been around for over a decade (since 1999 to be exact), there really is no excuse to not know it's part of your own country.

It's particularly frustrating when you're talking to organizations/businesses/corporations and they keep trying to tell you that "a technician will be sent out" or something equally as silly - that sentence is usually followed up after a pause with, "oh...oh no. Our technicians don't travel that far."


First off, if you're working for these companies, shouldn't you know the boundaries of where your technicians will go? Secondly, when I tell you that there are none of your branches in town, please don't fight with me and tell me "well, there must be something nearby."

I thought I was the only one who was getting frustrated telling my banks that no, I cannot walk into the nearest branch - or telling the satellite company that no, there is no one in town from your company to install my dish...but everyone I've been talking to has had the same problem with everyone we've dealt with.

So please, if you're a company that has customer service representatives, please train them on where your locations are and where your technicians are located. And when I tell them that the closest location to me is likely a 6 hour flight away - please tell them not to fight with me. It's just easier for everyone if maybe geography is a topic you cover in training.


Friday, December 7, 2012

"Picket Fence" Dreams

It came up in conversation recently with a friend whether or not I was happy with my life, and I have to say that yes, things are going pretty well if I do say so myself. I'm happily married, I have wonderful family and friends who love and support me, we all have our good health, I enjoy my job, I've a roof over my head and food in my belly...what more could I ask for, really? (Aside from the occasional spa day and 5 star meal that I don't have to cook myself, ha!) As the year winds down and I start to reflect on how much my life's changed over the past 12 months, I appreciate everything I have that much more.

The other night, Jeff and I were sitting and writing our Christmas cards to mail home, and I was reminded of how I used to wish that I'd be doing that exact thing with someone one day. I called them my "picket fence" dreams - where I had the husband, the house, the typical suburban life...too much Leave it to Beaver as a kid, perhaps? Maybe. But I'm still content with how life is treating me. I'm thankful I have a husband who will humour me and sit and write to our family and friends on cheesy cards I painstakingly chose for us - and enjoy doing it too!

Of course, writing Christmas cards turned into an emotional exercise in and of itself since I started to cry when it really hit me that we won't be home for the holidays. Geez, I cried putting the tree up, I cried writing cards...this is much harder than I expected it to be. (I don't cry *that* much normally!!) It's also extra hard because co-workers are planning their trips home, and some are already gearing up to leave (you don't go home for a few days when you're up here - it's not worth the long travel day - so you make plans to go home for weeks at a time, and December is a pretty quiet month in the office.) Thankfully we have plans to Skype with our families for Christmas, but it's not quite the same as being there in person. I guess this isn't quite how I'd pictured my very first Christmas as husband and wife.

That being said, we're making all sorts of plans for the holidays here, building new memories to add to our collection, and experiencing a life that not many people can say they'll experience. It may be more of a "snow fence" dream rather than a "picket fence" dream, but I'm still thankful for every second of it.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Bad Day for Shopping!

When you're shopping online, there's a level of trust that you need to build between yourself and the place you're shopping from: you trust that they will deliver the products you purchased in the condition you purchase, and they trust that your credit card doesn't get declined when you hit that "pay now" button.

It's really frustrating when that trust is broken, and even more so when you aren't the one receiving the purchases, but gift recipients are!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday Musings

Mother Nature has flicked on the a/c in Baker Lake it seems. Last Thursday we walked out of the house and it was significantly colder than it has been. Before we moved up here I had wondered what anything colder than -25 felt like, and let me tell you - it sucks. I think the temperature has been hovering around -38 the past couple of days...-53 with the windchill was the lowest I saw. It's a type of cold that the minute you step outside, not only does your nose hair freeze, but you start coughing because it punches you in the lungs for trying to breathe.

Yeah, it's a jerk.

Needless to say, I've been keeping a close eye on our fuel tank because we're in big trouble if our furnace won't run!