And The Half Marathon Training Has Begun

31 May

Well I am on Week 3 of my Half Marathon training schedule. This all came about after I signed up to run a 10K race with Jen and Heather. So I started running a few times a week starting at 2K and then ran 6K on my own and with Heather and Jen before the 10K race. I was feeling pretty unsure of the 10K since that was 4K more than I had run so far. Well race day arrived and it was raining. Heather and I met up with Jen and got prepped to run the 10K by staying dry and warm in the mall until the start of the race. The music was pumping and the excitement was growing and then the race began. I was feeling good and the adrenaline was flowing. We ran 9 and 1′s that day and I was unsure that I could even do that. At the 5K mark I was thinking, what did I sign up for??? There is no way I am going to finish this race. But Jen and Heather encouraged me and gave me the nudge I needed and Jen just said, concentrate on swinging your arms more and then the last 1K, Jen started describing the yummy brunch we were going to eat after at Heather’s house. All of these things helped push me to the end of the race. The last 500 meters were incredibly hard and exhilarating, we started racing harder and harder and ran over the finish line at 1 hour, 13 mins and 13 seconds. I almost burst into tears from the adrenaline, it was awesome and so hard. But I was so proud of myself for completing a 10K, 17 months after my foot surgery. My foot surgery was Dec 10, 2009 and for about 9 months, I was not participating in any other exercise besides walking the dog since my foot was healing and hurt sooooo much. In September 2010, I signed up for bootcamp with my dear friend Tara and she worked through my new goals of getting back into shape and getting my foot strong and pain free. At the end of the 8 weeks, I felt amazing. I has lost 15 pounds from a huge change of diet and a challenging butt kicking bootcamp and felt awesome!!! I had started and was part way down the road of my fitness journey.

Bootcamp started again on Feb 1 and I felt 10 times better than I did in September. I was no longer needing to do the optional exercises that would hurt my foot less, I was able to push myself even harder. I was filled with excitement and a sense of accomplishment. I had set out on my journey of being healthier and fitter last November and seeing results along this journey was so exciting and rewarding.

So while training for the 10K run, Jen and I decided to sign up for the Harvest Half Marathon on October 1, 2011. So now being on week 3 of the training program, I am running 4-5 days a week and depending on the day, I am running 5-10K. I am definitely getting faster and stronger and feel better on the runs but it is still very hard and some days just don’t feel as good. I think the thing I struggle with the most is strengthening my feet. So I am going to work on the philosophy of barefoot running and run 1 day a week without orthotics and run barefoot on the grass which will strengthen my foot and also improve my running posture.

Well that’s it for now. I will keep updating my progress on my running journey.

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The Proposal

25 Aug

The Proposal

Originally uploaded by Wes Devauld

WOW!!! What an amazing day August 19, 2010 was for Wes and I.

We were camping at Honeymoon Lake in Jasper National Park.

Wes asked me if I was interested in getting some couples photos down by the lake and of course I said yes (he knew I would say yes, i love getting photos of us together). Wes was hoping to get a sunset but with all the smoke in the air from the hundreds of BC fires, there was no sunset. So we went down to the lake in the evening to get some photos. Wes set up his camera and timer and then he took a few photos of us together. I was having a great time and had no idea what was about to happen next. Wes pressed the button on the camera and slowly came over to where I was. Then he got down on one knee and said “Sonja, will you marry me?” I was speechless and in my head was saying Yes but nothing was coming out. Then I said Yes to Wes and he went to hand me the box, I said “You have to put the ring on my finger”. So Wes placed the ring on my finger and we kissed and hugged and kissed and hugged and kissed and hugged. I am still surprised with myself that I did not cry.

Shortly after Wes proposed, a guy that was also camping at Honeymoon Lake came down to where we were not knowing what had just happened and told us a story. To the left of me was a bench next to the lake so you could sit and look out on the lake. This guy said the bench reminded him of a place in Norway where you take a woman when you want to propose to her and she has to say yes since the bench is the Yes or I do bench. Wes and I laughed and Wes told this guy that he just proposed and that I said yes but that we were not sitting on the bench. hahaha

What an amazing day!!! And an amazing moment to capture!!! I am very very very happy and so in love with Wes!


Posted in Life, Travel, Wes


First Hike of the Year

29 Jul

What a great hiking day we had with Dad. The weather was just perfect, around 18-20 degrees and we just missed the rain. We got back to the Pathfinder and then the rain showers hit. After our hike, we went for a well deserved beer and dinner at the Iron Goat Pub.

Chester Lake, Kananaskis, Alberta
June 2010


Posted in Life


Summer is Here?

29 Jul

This year has been a very strange weather year for Calgary. We still have lush green lawns and the watering of gardens has been at a minimum. It seems that most days we get a rain storm or showers that keep everything growing and watered. Usually by this time of year, lawns, grass on the side of the road and plants are turning yellow since it is so dry in the ground. This year, the west coast is having a drought and getting the hot weather that we usually see more of in Alberta.

I enjoy the summer sun and love to be tanned but I do not like how hot the house will get with the summer temperatures. So I guess the showers in the afternoon/evenings are welcoming  since it cools down the house for sleeping.  I do hope this weekend is nice and sunny and warm, not too hot but warm enough to wear shorts and a tank top and enjoy camping out in Elbow Valley. I am really looking forward to camping with some good friends and relaxing for a weekend. We have been very busy lately with house reno’s, family visiting, friends moving and of course WORK!

5 days of work left for Wes and then he is starting school in September at the University of Calgary. I am very proud of Wes and know he is going to enjoy working on his Master’s Degree. I am excited for Wes and look forward to seeing what career doors open for him.

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Posted in Life, Wes


My Favorite Ruins – The Inca Trail

11 Jun

My Favorite Ruins

Originally uploaded by Wes Devauld

WOW time sure has flown by over the past year. Just over a year ago my Mom, Dad, Mira, Yuri, Wes and I were hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu!

We had a great time touring around Cusco and hiking! I really loved the food and Cusquena Beer!

This photo was the ruin we visited on our 3rd day on the hike and this was definitely our favorite for a number of reasons. It was not filled with tourists, it had incredible views and it was just beautiful!

I have been reflecting back on this trip and just loved spending time with people I love, and this trip it was my family and Wes. We had some laughs and high moments and low moments but overall it will be a trip that I will never forget and cherish forever!!!

- Photo by Wes Devauld, DR Photography

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Posted in Travel


Riley and Lola Posing

11 Jun

Wes captured the pups in the basement photo studio!

What a great shot! He said it was super difficult to get them to stay still but he was able to work it out.

- Photo by Wes Devauld, DR Photography, Feb 2010.

Originally uploaded by Wes Devauld



Riley’s friend Lola Bear

11 Jun

This is Lola at around 4 months old.

She is a Bernese Mountain Dog.

Riley and her played non stop for 5 days when we dog sat in February 2010.

What a beautiful dog she is!

I am sure we will have many more dog play dates for these two!

- Photo by Wes Devauld, DR Photography.

Originally uploaded by Wes Devauld

2010-02-20-16-48-50 (1)


WOW she is fit!

11 Jun

Riley in February 2010 just before she turns 1.

She is very fit and loves to play in the snow!

- Photo by Wes Devauld, DR Photograpy.

Originally uploaded by Wes Devauld



Dirty Dog in November 2009

11 Jun

Dirty Dog

Originally uploaded by Wes Devauld

This has to be my favourite photo of Riley to date. She is just so cute and beautiful here. The photo was take by Wes Devauld, DR Photography in Nov 2009 at the big dog park we go to quite a bit. She was digging and her nose is all dirty and Wes was able to capture her at the right moment. He also has a funny one of her with her tongue sticking out.

Riley is 9 months old in this photo!


An end to 2009 and start to 2010

22 Jan

Machu Picchu

Originally uploaded by Wes Devauld

Well 2009 has been a year of lots of new beginnings and new challenges. I began my new career path in March as an Account Manager with Emerson Clarke Printing. This new career has challenged and satisfied me in many ways. Challenges I have faced are: learning all about print, what press prints what, different types of varnishes, foils, die cutting, emboss/deboss, etc. Then the challenge of learning stocks so I can suggest different paper to clients and I am learning to identify what stock to use for what project and what weights of stocks are good for different projects. But learning about print and presses and digital printing vs offset printing and what papers are available etc has been fun. I truly enjoy being part of the end result and love to be able to make suggestions or come up with different ideas for my clients.

I think the most rewarding aspect of my job is working with people. Developing relationships, growing relationships and learning to work with many different types of people. The most challenging part of my job is gaining new clients. I have been successful in meeting new clients through friends or contacts as well as new clients have call in for quotes. But it is very difficult to go from point a to point z working a cold call to a client. The challenge of doing this has taught me many skills in working with people and that you need to keep your chin up high and stay positive.

What else has happened this year? We went on an amazing holiday to Peru with my family. The journey began with Wes, Mira and I leaving Calgary and Mom, Dad and Yuri leaving Vancouver. We met in LA where we all boarded the plane for Lima. We landed around midnight and the adventure began. Mom and Dad were supposed to stay in a different Hostel that night since they told us ours was sold out, but when my parents arrived at their reserved hostel, no one would let them in. So in the end they were brought back to our Hostel and given a slightly bigger room for the 3 or so nights we stayed there. The Hostel was very warm and inviting and was in the nicer part of Lima known as Miraflores. We enjoyed our few days there but were ready to leave after 2 days since the pollution was outrageous and the culture we wanted to experience was lacking.  We joined our tour group at a little hotel in Lima to embark on our journey the next day to Cusco. We landed in Cusco during a strike and it was chaos at the airport and instead of being picked up at the airport we had to walk with all our luggage for about 15 mins or so to where our van was waiting. We were then transported to our hotel to settle in and meet our guide. The elevation in Cusco is approximately 3360 meters above sea level. So this evening and the next day we spent relaxing and trying to get used to the altitude. Most of us felt the lack of oxygen but were able to reduce the effects with chewing Coca leaves, candies and Coca Tea.

We then were told that our bus to Ollantaytambo would be leaving in the evening since there was an agriculture strike on and they had all the road barricaded with rocks, stumps etc so you could not get through. The strike by law was to end at midnight. So we left around 6pm and had to take so many different routes and deal with people trying to chase us and prevent us from getting through and at one point we reached the place where we could not drive further. We had to wait at that point till just before midnight when they removed enough of the stuff on the road for us to get past. We arrived at approx 1am at the hostel and had to be up and out of the hostel for 7am. The drive usually takes about 1.5 hours not 6.

The next morning we ate breakfast and went and checked out the ruin quickly and then headed to the start of the Inca Trail. Once we arrived at the Inca Trail we had to show our passports and get stamped to make sure we were regsitered. Wes went to get his stamped and they said no, your passport expired and has not been changed. We had emailed a few months before the trip with the new passport info and then again in Lima and Cusco Wes provided the new passport info that they were supposed to pass along the line. Percy, our guide, did some sweet talking and was able to get Wes on the trail. Phew.

The for 3.5 days we hiked and camped along the Inca Trail. We saw amazing views, ruins, people and got smellier by the day. haha My poor mom had Altitude sickness and was sick most of the hike. Mira was also sick for much of the hike. But they made it :) The hike was amazing and we met some pretty incredible people, two great friends from Edmonton and one great friend from Australia. We have visited with all three since being back from Peru. The day arriving at Machu Picchu was busy and hectic but beautiful. We got there to watch the sun go up from the Sun Gate and then moved to walk around Machu Picchu. It was pretty incredible but we were disappointed with the amount of people that took over the place that took the bus up the mountain. It took away from spiritual and peacefulness of the place. In my opinon, they need to restrict the amount of people that can go up per day just like the restrictions on the Inca Trail of 500 people a day. We enjoyed our time there till around lunch time and then descended the mountain on bus, what a crazy expereince that was. Later that afternoon we jumped on the train back to Ollantaytambo where we got back on our bus for the 1.5 hour ride back to Cusco.

We then spent another 4 days or so touring around Cusco and learning about the history. We enjoyed many great Peruvian meals. We hired our guide Percy to do a tour for the family. We started by going to an Alpaca and Llama farm where we fed the animals, watched them die the wool and weaving it into beautiful pieces. We all spent some money at the store buying toques, gloves and table runners. We then went to Pisac and went for a nice hike through some ruins down to the town to wander the market and have a great lunch. On our way back to Cusco, we visited some Salt Flats. This was very cool and great to see that everyone in the town owns a little flat the they can turn over every 2 weeks and collect the salt and sell it.

Wes, Mira, Yuri, and myself flew home at the end of the month and unfortunately had to spend a day in Lima. Most of the day was spent in a restaurant, patio enjoying some Cusquena beer. Mom and Dad continued on to the jungle for a few days but unfortunately it rained most of the time for them. So that was our trip in a nutshell, it was an amazing trip and one I will never forget.

Shortly after we got home from Peru, we picked up our new puppy Riley, an American Staffordshire Terrier. We love spending time with her and have been enjoying a dog in the house.

So the rest of the year was filled full of weddings. Wes attended 9 and I attended 7. Too many for our liking but it is so hard to choose what wedding you attend.

Then Dec 10 I had foot surgery on my bunion. I was off work till Jan 4 recovering and just this week started driving again. It has been a long 6 weeks but I am happy that we are nearing the end. I just need to exercise my toe to gain the mobility back in the joint so I can walk properly. Once I have done this, I will look at doing some physical therapy to realign my body since my hips, knees, back, everything is out from my foot being bad and also from wearing the air cast. I am very happy I decided to have the surgery since the pain in my foot was increases quickly and I want to get back out hiking, playing foor hockey and walking the dog. I miss getting out of the house and being active.

Well that kind of wraps up parts of 2009. 2010 came so quickly and now looking back, we are almost a month in. WOW time sure flys. I look forward to all the wonderful and exciting things that 2010 brings Wes and I.

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Posted in Life