Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 In Review

2010 was quite the year for me!  I thought I would share some of the highlights with you guys.


I’m generally pretty meh on New Year’s, but I was able to ring in 2010 in one of the coolest places possible – Sydney, Australia!DSCN2462New Year’s Eve on the harbour with the opera house in the background.  DSCN2638New Year’s Day on Bondi Beach.

An interesting factoid for you – I was completely and utterly single at the start of the year.  Nary a possibility of a potential suitor in sight.


Sometime around the end of January or beginning of February I got an e-mail from an ex-boyfriend completely out of the blue.  I pretty well told him that he had no chance and things were over.  And, then I changed my mind and we had our second first date on February 13th.  And yes, that would be Future Husband!


I went on my first winter hikes ever!  First up was Johnson Canyon and the Ink Pots in Banff (original post).Ink Pots 05

Second was Grassi Lakes just outside of Canmore (original post).DSCN2967


Set an awesome new 10K PR at the Glencoe Icebreaker race (a tough course) – 55:10!DSCN3056


Took a solo road trip to Washington, then spent a weekend in the Okanagan on my own mini training camp for Ironman Canada.  FH provided support and followed me in the car while I rode my bike for 109 km in just under 5 hours.DSCN3397On a very cold, wet and windy day at Mount St. Helen’s on the 30th anniversary of the eruption.DSCN3679DSCN3706At the end of my first really big bike ride of the year!

I also turned 32!DSCN3760


I completed my triathlon team’s Ironman Canada training camp in Penticton.  It was a crazy 17 hours and 28 minutes of working out in preparation for Ironman, all condensed into 4 days.ttl


I became in Ironman!!!!60069-204-016f


Future Hubs proposed just a few days after Ironman!!!!  What a week I tell ya!DSCN4343


We took a trip out to Vancouver for our engagement photos!  We had a great time out there, visiting our venue again, scoping out restaurants for rehearsal dinner potential, and seeing some of my family.leana-neil-129IMGP2527


We spent our first Christmas together at my parents’ house!IMGP1332

Those are the major highlights that I could think of.  It is amazing to think about everything that has happened in 2010.  I have no doubt that 2011 will be even bigger and better!!

I hope everyone has a safe and happy new year.  See you in 2011!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

What is in a day?

Have you heard the rhyme advising you on the best day to marry?

"Monday is for health,
Tuesday for wealth,
Wednesday best of all.
Thursday brings crosses,
Friday brings losses;
but Saturday, no luck at all."

So Saturday is one of the worst days to get married (if you believe in superstitions) yet it is the most popular.  No doubt for convenience for our guests! 

FH and I were never set on any particular day to get married on.  We just knew we wanted to get married in July or August to guarantee our best chances of a non-rainy day in Vancouver.  When we started throwing around budget numbers it became apparent that a Saturday wedding would be way out of reach.  The minimum spends at most of the venues we were looking at were ridiculous.  Our venue doesn’t even hold small weddings on Saturday nights in the summertime.

Instead we tossed around a Sunday evening wedding so we would have a wider choice of venues.  The majority of our guests will be travelling to our wedding, so hopefully they won’t mind flying home on Monday instead of Sunday.  Vancouver is a great city to explore, so if they fly in on Friday then they will have all day Saturday to do just that.  I also have visions of trying to wrangle up interested wedding guests for a Saturday morning hike up the Grouse Grind if possible.  The Grouse Grind is one of my favourite things to do, it is like Mother Nature’s Stairmaster – a 1.8 mi trail with a 2,800 ft elevation gain.  DSCN1235DSCN1237Before we committed to a Sunday wedding I made sure that there would be several salons open so we’d have plenty of choices for getting our hair done the morning of the wedding.  We were in luck!  Everything else looked like it would fall into place easily.

Ultimately we will be able to have the kind of wedding we really want without having to make compromises due to inflated prices for Saturdays.  We haven’t heard any negative feedback from family and friends on our choice either.  The only thing is, the rhyme doesn’t say what happens if we get married on a Sunday!

What day of the week are you getting married on?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Honeymoon–Check!

Early on in the planning Mr. Gazelle and I knew that we would like to go on a honeymoon as soon as possible after the wedding.  Time would be limited though. We have to take time off before the wedding to travel to it, so we only have a few days after the wedding to take a trip.  As much as we might have liked to wax poetic about a honeymoon to Europe we knew it wasn’t possible.  We didn’t want to put off a honeymoon till later in the year when we might be able to take more time off as we were worried something would come up and we’d never go on that honeymoon.

So instead we focused on someplace we could go reasonably close by right after the wedding, i.e. in North America.  Beaches were out as we weren’t looking to relax, but were looking to see someplace cool.

The decision?  New York City!2007-11-24_0007=edit

I’ve been before, but this will be Mr. Gazelle’s first visit to the Big Apple.  We’ve booked our flights through air miles to keep costs down (and since I had a ridiculous amount available to use).  We also sat down and made a decision on our hotel recently too – The Distrikt.  The reviews on TripAdvisor are really good, the location looks to be smack dab in the middle of everything, and the price was right (key for New York City).

What to do in NYC?

On the absolute must do list for Future Hubs is the American Museum of Natural History.

Image by Craig Chesek via Destination 360

On my list is Wicked… (tickets may have already been procured as I did not want to miss out…)

Image via Wicked Theatre Tickets

and the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Image via

For those of you around New York City (or who go there frequently), please help a Gazelle out!  Do you have any suggestions on places to go, things to see or ideas of where to eat?

Are you going on a honeymoon right after your wedding?

Where Were We?

Wow, has it really been two weeks since I posted last?  Sorry!  The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of time with family, travel, more time with family, relaxing, eating good food…

This was my first Christmas ever bringing a boy home for the holidays!  And that boy just happened to be my Future Husband!  It was really nice spending Christmas with him, my parents and my grandmother.  He had a chance to see and taste some of our holiday traditions.

So, here are the holidays in pictures so far…

We got my parents a digital photo frame for Christmas.  I spent quite a bit of time scanning in old family pictures and I think the folks love it!IMGP1288Future Hubs and I checked out some of the amazing Christmas lights in the neighbourhood.  This guy goes all out!!IMGP1309IMGP1322Future Hubs helped to brine the family turkey in bourbon.  Boy it was one tasty turkey!IMGP1327Christmas Day dinner.  What a feast!IMGP1332My niece helps my unwrap one of my Christmas presents.IMGP1358Learning how to make Finnish pirakka – a traditional savoury pastry of a rye crust filled with rice pudding or mashed potatoes. IMGP1400Wine tasting with the family at Mission Hill Winery.  Yum!DSCN4427I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.  Can you believe that 2010 is almost over??

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

On the same wavelength?

This is too funny to not share…

Future Hubs and I decided to open our Christmas presents tonight.  I know, it is only December 15th so we are way early!  He’s working late over the next few days, then we are taking off for my parents in Kelowna and the presents are just a bit too bulky to pack.  So we decided to open them tonight after eating dinner and staring at them…all…night…long.

FH instructed me to open the small present first.  What was inside?  A bottle of Chanel Chance to keep me smelling nice!Chanel-Chance

Next up FH opened his small present.  Inside was a bottle of Burberry London.  You know, to keep him smelling nice.burberry_london_men

Then I opened my bigger present.  Comfy flannel pants and a tank for lounging at home!gp763797-09vliv01

For Future Hubs?  A big, fluffy, cozy robe (or housecoat depending on where you are from) for lounging at home!prod1209001_HOL1-09

So…not only did we buy each other very similar presents, but we also accidently left our receipts out at some point this week but neither of us found them.  Funny.

Have you and your SO ever been on the same page for exchanging presents?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Our Engagement Photos

Mr. Gazelle and I recently took a trip out to Vancouver to meet with our photographer (the amazing Leslie from Sakura Photography) for engagement photos. We met up with her in Stanley Park in the late afternoon and wandered around the park, checking out the fall foliage. As the sun went down we moved over to Gastown to grab some more urban shots.

This morning I could barely open my eyes after my alarm went off but I checked my e-mail on my phone right away. I had an e-mail from Leslie that our photos were ready, and that she had blogged us too! What an awesome piece of news first thing on a Monday morning.

So without further ado, here are a few of my favourites!

leana-neil-005I always do weird things with my fingers when I run…  Mr. Gazelle’s legs are so long that he can walk while I run.leana-neil-012leana-neil-028leana-neil-042leana-neil-048leana-neil-059leana-neil-067Leslie asked us to link arms and walk towards her and Future Hubs was obviously intent on pulling me!leana-neil-074How fantastic is this alley? Love these two shots!leana-neil-084leana-neil-090We made it to Gastown at the perfect time – still enough natural light for pictures but the street lights were coming on.leana-neil-097This one cracks me up. I obviously had no idea at the time…leana-neil-104leana-neil-119leana-neil-122leana-neil-130The last shot of the day…leana-neil-136

Very early on in the wedding planning process we fell in love with Sakura Photography’s style. I really can’t express just how thrilled we are with our photos. If you have an opportunity to take engagement photos – do it! It will give you a chance to get more comfortable being in front of the camera and it will give your photographer a chance to get to know you guys better.

You can bet that I have all kinds of ideas for how to use our photos…stay tuned!

All images copyright Sakura Photography.

Engagement Photos Blogged!

Want to see more of our engagement photos?  Our photographer has a few up on her blog!  I’ll be back later to share some of my favourites with you, but right now I’ve really got to get ready for work!gastown-engagement-1

Also, please feel free to leave a comment on our photographer’s blog post as right now she is donating CANS FOR COMMENTS!  For every comment you leave on the blog, $2 will be donated to the Vancouver Food Bank!