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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July? How about JOY-ly!

Why hello August! You certainly came out of nowhere!

I guess that happens when one has as joyful a July as I just did. Practicing daily gratitude is so grounding for me. Taking in a whole month of gratitude at once is the best kind of uplifting! Here we go!

July got off to a great start! What could top a Canada Day shared with my Toronto Blue Jays and 21 friends who accompanied me to a game? 22 friends perhaps? Just kidding! Even though the Jays lost and we all ended up with either heat stroke, sun burns, heat rash and/or sweat in unmentionable places, we had a blast! Follow that up with a BBQ and ice cream cake on my condo's roof top garden with neighbours and soon-to-be-newlyweds Bey and Ricardo and their friends. I'd say we all hit a homerun that day.
Ameera and I melting at the Jays Game on Canada Day.

The first week of July also brought me a great new co worker who has been an absolute pleasure to work alongside! She's already got me signed up to go Tree Top Trekking in September to continue my pursuit of getting high. I had to draw the line today when she invited me to a 5K Zombie Obstacle Course. I am honestly flattered that she would want to share her weekend time with me since we see each other all day but she lost me somewhere around the mention of running and blood.

That same week many of us from the YMCA of Greater Toronto took part in the YMCA Relay for Strong Kids on the Honda Indy track. What a fantastic event!
My volunteer partner Bryan and I at the YMCA Relay for Strong Kids.

I also got to celebrate two special people who turned 40 this month! Melanie, who knows my heart so well, let me take her to dinner even though we were complete prunes from spending way too much time in the whirlpool. Read about her thoughts on turning 40 here.

Naheed also turned 40! He invited everyone over for a party 3 short days after moving into his new home. When I saw the six pack of Fanta in glass bottles, I became giddy! It might as well have been my birthday! Lucky me, on another July night, I got some one-on-one time with the birthday boy. Later that week, he and his boyfriend also treated me to a home cooked brunch with the most delicious pancakes!
Fanta in a glass bottle! A glass bottle!

My Vegas crew reunited this month over yummy poutine at the W Burger Bar. Bestie confessed that he watched Glitter in the theatre...twice. You gotta love him! And I do! So much so that I scored a date with him the next week for sushi!
Bestie - mid confession and drunk on sweet potato beef poutine...

Speaking of poutine, one of the most important days of the year happens in July. That's right! You guessed it! NATIONAL FRENCH FRY DAY! (Way to go US of A for recognizing this day. I dream of a world with an INTERNATIONAL FRENCH FRY DAY...) June 13th marks this celebration of Mother Nature's gift to me in my most favourite of its fried forms. Pity it only comes about once a year.

After a joyful National French Fry Day, I got the opportunity to attend a birthday party for my favourite Canadian living in Lusaka, Zambia. This is not an easy place to win in my heart people...after all I know approximately THREE Canadians who live there.
Here are the other folks who were invited to the party.
Clearly, I was the youngest at heart of the birthday party bunch.

Ethan turned six and invited me to his Build-A-Bear-Workshop party. I even got to build my own friend.
Sungura (Swahili for rabbit) and I. He's no longer parading around nude -
I bought him a Toronto Blue Jays uniform.

A highlight this month was my second annual Soup Sisters experience. Last year, 20 of us kicked off National Volunteer Week with my first Soup Sisters event. After a night of teamwork, great food and doing good, I was hooked. This year, 25 of us pooled our energy and spirit to crank out 96L of delicious soup together in just a few short hours!
My Soup Sisters and Broth Brothers.

Having Fridays off this month, I took a quick trip south of the border with Mom, Minaz, my favourite Canadian living in Lusaka and his Mom. These folks put in motion the words "shop 'til you drop." I worshipped the Archers at Target. As you do when you are Canadian.

Dinner dates with Erin, Munira, Ameera were a treat this month. Funny enough, now that I think about it, all three dates included the devouring of green dragon rolls. DELISH!

My Dad also turned 65 and we celebrated with a fresh and tasty Middle Eastern meal one evening followed by a perfect day by the BBQ. So happy that the Ladaks who were in town from Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania joined us too. Could it be a coincidence that the week after my Dad turned 65 he locked his car keys in the house and his house keys in the car at the same time? How curious.
Dad and Kahzmir and an ice cream cake with a very short shelf life.

This last weekend in July was definitely special. I kicked it off reuniting with my MBSR teachers at Women's College Hospital for a refresher course. Deanna and Thora came by the Harbourfront to play at the urban beach at the HTO Park. Ameera and I followed that up with massages at the Elmwood Spa. She then put up with me crying throughout the Opening Ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympics which we watched on mute while out at dinner. (That right there is a good friend.) Karim, Minaz, Faiza A and I also caught the Cirque de Soleil: Michael Jackson Immortal show and had a blast being reminded of the messages of love for one another and for the Earth that were so prevalent in Michael's music.
Eleven month old Thora and Deanna.

I said good bye to July today with Kimberly, mani/pedis and my favourite bean burrito from Quesada. What an amazing month! Joy-ly, I love you!


tez said...

What a fantastic month! Can't wait to hear what August has in store for you! xx

Tima said...

July was an amazing month. Thanks for a great time. Can't wait to hear what you're up to in August.

Miss Sasha said...

Faiza! It truly sounds like you had a joyful month! I would love to know more about your soup sisters endeavours....maybe next year you would accept me as a 26th member?

Don't worry about your dad's key was a fluke...when I was in my 20s I locked my house keys and the garage door opener in the car, but brought the car keys as I closed the garage door and ducked out as it closed. Sometimes moments happen.

Claire Kiefer said...

Thrilled to hear that you had such a wonderful month. :) I'm constantly amazed by your positivity and gratitude. You deserve to be surrounded by your most favorite people ALL the time. So cute that Shafik saw Glitter in the theater twice!!

Love and miss you lots! xo

Erin {pughs' news} said...

Umm, wow! What an awesome month! Hope August is every bit as joyful :)

Matthew Snope said...

I'm a Faygo guy, but we can still be friends. Since I know you're down with the Insane Clown Posse.

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