Year 31

Some of you may have already heard the news that my boyfriend and I tied the knot on Easter weekend in Tofino, B.C.

Some of you may not have.

I know I’ve barely talked about my boyfriend. Just a couple times, really. The first time was our one year anniversary, and the second when I was provoked into blogging due to Snuggie-threat.

But the truth is, I wouldn’t have mentioned him at all unless it was serious and, well, it was.

But before you get all mad, thinking we kept you in the dark, you should also know we are both pretty tight-lipped about our plans and we are both kind of sort of the “low key” kind of people.

And all we wanted to do was elope, because getting a lot of attention is scary. Except I figured my sister would kill me (she would have) and maybe even my mom. So we thought about it a bit longer and decided what we would do is “destination” it a bit, but only a bit, and bring the whole family.

Since we’re low-key and shy and blah blah blah we decided it would be fun to theme-it-up, with a vintage/30s thing. A co-worker had the perfect dress for me (she got it for a steal at LW… $79 marked down from $3200 not a joke) and once I had it cleaned I nearly fell over at how gorgeous it was.

We bought a bunch of awesome hats at a vintage hat shoppe, found a couple at thrift shops, and also raided our parents coffers to have all sorts of interesting props. I also managed to find a hat, which I felt was perfect for the ceremony. And my mom sewed belts for us girls out of remnant fabric I found at a fabric store to tie everything together (pun intended).

Oh, and I wanted simple, antique-y flowers for my bouquet so my boyfriend made me one from hydrangeas.

Whoops. I’m getting ahead of the story.

After we decided the location-ish (Vancouver Island, maybe Tofino), we hired a wedding planner. Suzanne from West Coast Weddings and Events. Right away she put me at ease. She was really professional and knew her stuff. Once I described what we were going for (low-key, simple, beach, family only) she put me in touch with exactly who we needed, recommended ideas and people for what we weren’t sure about, and basically was on-call for all my stressed-bride-to-be moments for the next few weeks as we planned for real a wedding, which up until we hired Suzanne, we weren’t planning at all.

Why Easter? Well, Suzanne was free. Plus everyone had a long weekend so they could make it. Makes sense, right? Right?

Anyway, the most important thing to us (after the props) was the photographer. Honestly we didn’t care if we couldn’t have a beach wedding, due to rain, or if the place we stayed was only OK instead of awesome. We didn’t even care if our meal was in-house or at a gorgeous restaurant. We wanted awesome—themed—photos. Thirties-style. And a rad photographer.

Suzanne recommended a few local photographers and Marnie Recker stood heads and tails above the rest. We loved her framing, use of light, and great ideas. It may seem strange, but we completely trusted her from the get-go, never doubting for an instant that we would love, love, love her photos.

And we so love, love, love our photos. She ended up giving us over 400 images… way more than what we had agreed upon. We were so caught off-guard when she told us how many we were getting I don’t think either of us even said anything. Yikes! Really we’re thrilled! So cool! And we are working on our testimonials so we’ll make good.

Not only do we love, love, love the photos, but we had the best time with Marnie. We were comfortable the whole time and I wish she lived near me so we could be BFFs. Really!

If you click on the links for Suzanne and Marnie at the bottom of this post you’ll see a ton-of-more photos from the wedding.

The day was so, so awesome and we got better weather than we could have hoped for—skies so clear-blue you’d think it was July, 15-degree (Celsius) weather with a quiet breeze, and a relatively empty beach for a near-private wedding.

We (not me, but everyone else probably) made a beautiful aisle with driftwood and shells, which were all just hanging around waiting for us to use them. And we brought in a decorated arch, which was a pretty nice addition to the scene, but also not needed. We were in the most gorgeous part of the world I have ever seen.

We took photos around Cox Bay, which is where the local minister Joan came out and performed a beautiful ceremony for us, and I can’t believe the range of scenery there was in a 10-minute walking radius. Sheesh. Ridiculous. I totally get why people go to Tofino and don’t go home.

A short engagement? Yeah, probably. A lucky strike? Most definitely. The best wedding ever? Heck yes! Our resort was B-E-A-utiful, our dinner was fabulous (best steak I’ve ever eaten), the weather was gorgeous and the setting could not be improved upon.

Oh, and I got a pretty awesome husband out of the deal!

For more photos:

Highlights of the Last Few Years

Since the rest of my life is pretty well documented thanks to this lovely blog, I’m going to highlight the last few years with some links. Please feel free to dig around the archives. If nothing else you can shake your head at what a weirdo I’ve been.

So, what did I get up to from 2006 to present?

Well, in 2006 the most notable things are:

It was kind of a busy year. One with a lot of changes. I had been planning to be a nanny for quite some time. I had a couple friends doing the same thing in European countries and found a good website to figure out if it was right for me. So yeah, nannying has nothing to do with journalism but in my mind it made a lot of sense. Hear me out.

I desperately wanted to travel and live abroad. Yeah I had a heart to live in South Africa, and I looked at some families there. However, they couldn’t really pay much (plus the Rand doesn’t stretch very far after conversion) and I had a killer student loan. If I wanted to travel, then I had to make enough money to pay my loan and travel.

So, I decided Euros or Pounds were the way to go. Pounds before Euros.

As well, I didn’t want to start my career and then bail after a year or two to travel. I know it’s pretty normal to do this but in my mind, for me, it felt flaky. I didn’t want to bail on a career-type job to do adventuring.

In 2007 I stayed at my nanny job. For the whole year. I spent my birthday and Christmas in England. I missed my grandfather’s funeral and everything else. There are drawbacks to travelling, but there are also perks. Like travelling with the family I worked for to Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and Hong Kong. Yeah, it was now my third Christmas abroad but it was so worth it.

Then in 2008 I moved back home. I continued my career as a nanny for a bit, and then I got a job as an executive assistant for a geology consulting company and after a few months got sent to live in northern Saskatchewan to administer the prospecting project with three hours notice. It was awesome.

After the sudden move and shift in job titles I got a few weeks off, so I went back to South Africa. It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

Then the market crashed, and I got laid off. So I did some odd jobs, “found myself” as best I could, and then took the bus across Canada. (I talked about this trip for a while. I was a gooder. July 2009 and August 2009.)

I also got a new job, started dating a new guy, and closed on my first house—but that was all in the second half of the year.

So, in 2010 I took possession of my new place, settled into a 9-5 work life… eventually. I also had the opportunity to be in my first wedding. IN MALTA BABY!. Also, my baby sister got married. I’ve come to terms with it now.

Career Decisions and Kindred Spirits

Like I said before, in my early-20s I went up to northern B.C. and stayed there for 18 months. I think I stayed so long because I didn’t know what else to do. You know what I mean?

I was enamoured by the beauty of the north, and I explored as much as I could. I even hiked to the summit of the mountain in this photo twice. Not a super long climb, but also not the easiest day hike in the world. I felt pretty proud of my achievement, especially since I hate hiking and get a bit grumpy when the going gets rough.

Well, after a while I got pretty bored. I was isolated and, well, ready to move on. So I stuck out a second summer up north to save enough money to go back to university.

I chose journalism because I already had a media diploma and I wanted something that was both versatile and timeless. My heart was in radio broadcasting but I felt like it was a bit limited. Especially since we were hearing rumours of things like “satellite radio with on-demand music.” Whatever that was.

I had also decided that I wanted to be as close to my hometown as possible. I had been away for three or four years and was feeling a bit lonely. Don’t get me wrong, I was having a great time. But… well, there’s no place like home.

But actually, turns out the closest bachelor of journalism degree program offered to my hometown was Kamloops. Three hours by car with a mere two high mountain passes in between. No big deal. I figured Kamloops was a heck of a lot closer than I’d been in years so let’s go for it.

By the end of my second summer up north I had secured a spot in the 25-person b-jour program in Kamloops and packed up my 1991 Dodge Shadow to the brim and drove the nine hours south.

Since I already had a diploma in media, I managed to transfer into third year only a couple electives short. So I stacked my first semester and maybe one more after and managed to graduate on time.

Those two years were the most intense, the most amazing, and really the most fun I’ve ever had. The people in my program were kindred spirits. Never before have I met people who cared about exactly the same things I did. Career-wise. No one really ever “got” my dedication to details and facts and my fascination with the media. Here were people who did. How fun.

Incidentally, I also managed to join a thrash, hippie, reggae, hard rock band and started something called a “blog.”

This brings us to 2005/2006.


I’m going to begin by sharing this post I wrote about a very special Christmas I had overseas.

If you go over to read that post, I’m referring to the first Christmas I spent overseas. The one in The Netherlands.

Like I said before, after the first time I saw Amsterdam, I vowed to go back and live there. So I did.

I found a school called Youth With a Mission, which apparently a lot of people have heard of. I hadn’t but I found out about it through a friend. I did a bit of research and decided it would meet my educational and adventure needs as well as my travel wishes. I had waited four long years to return to Amsterdam. Patiently working at McDonald’s, going to university, saving my money for another trip of a lifetime… a part of me thought it would never happen. But a lot of me still believed.

You know, I just didn’t want to force it. I wanted to go back if it was the right thing to do, not just on an emotional whim. So I waited, and then I went. And I wanted to stay, desperately.

However, part of the school program I attended (called a Discipleship Training School, aka DTS) required an outreach. Mine was to South Africa. Do I dare admit when I heard I was starting my journey in East London I nearly jumped out of my skin because I had wanted to go to England so bad?

Yes. East London is a city in South Africa. And yes. South Africa is a country, not a region.

Things I didn’t know before I went… but I know now!

My months in Amsterdam were amazing. I didn’t want to leave. I even bought a bike from a junkie in the market and rode it around town like I owned the place. And when it was time for me to go to South Africa I tried valiantly to do my outreach in Amsterdam instead. I claimed I didn’t have enough money to go all the way to the bottom of the world (and actually I didn’t) and wouldn’t you know it. Somebody sponsored me, like an answer to prayer.

So I went to South Africa. And I had the TIME of my life. And I vowed to return to South Africa and live there. And I waited six long years, but I did return.

But I didn’t live there. But I sure tried. I had an amazing visit and it confirmed my love for the country and the region of southern Africa. And maybe I will live there one day, but I don’t have the desire as strongly any longer.

After my months in South Africa I returned to Amsterdam for another couple weeks. It felt like home honestly. I thought about staying on with Youth With a Mission, but they only took two year commitments and, well, two years is a long time when you’re 22.

So I went back home and thought long and hard about moving overseas. And then something weird happened. I went to Bible school in Alberta, and then I got distracted and moved to northern B.C. for 18 months. I think I was a bit lost for a while, not really fitting in anywhere and not ready to stay in one place. The early 20s are a funny thing. I think people choose to either settle where they are and embrace adulthood, or they wander, searching for…


At any rate, I continued to restlessly search for the unknown for the rest of my 20s.

This is Why You Should Have Gone to Summer Camp

If you know me in person, it will be of no surprise to you that I love costuming. (Or if you read my blog sometimes). I don’t know why, but when the chance to dress up arises, the shy Robyn gets lost and this weird psychosomatic chick takes over. You know, the kind of chick who is like, “Yeah, so I’m dressed up like a tiger trainer and wear a yak on my head. No big deal. Let’s go tiger.”

This is why you should have gone to summer camp

All of the photos in this post are from various summers between the years of 1999 and 2002 while I worked as a summer camp counsellor. Each week we had the wonderful opportunity to dress up for a “formal” dinner with the kids. Many counsellors would choose this night for their time off. Me? No way. I chose talent show night. Eeeeeeeeeeeee.

Formally I worked at summer camp for six summers. Some were longer than others. Informally I think I nearly lived there for most of my life until age 23.

(Side note: Here is an “unofficial” experience I blogged about while working at camp lol)

As hinted by these photos, my family was a part of my experience at summer camp as well. We were campers, we were counsellors, we were kitchen staff, we were volunteers, and we were even janitors.

Yup, the Roste’s have done it all at camp and that’s why I can’t let it pass by this blog topic of photos and stories for each year of my life. I know it doesn’t technically fit because it crosses many years. However, being a part of this camp in whatever capacity had a significant impact on who I am today and I would be remiss if I just let it pass without so much as a mention.

If you went to summer camp as a child you probably know what I’m talking about. If you didn’t, I’m not sure if you’ll connect with my sentiments. There is something about camping with 100 crazy kids on a holiday from their meds and 17 sleep-deprived and hyperactive camp counsellors that helps create those special kind of experiences a kid looks back on fondly.

No matter all the food was greasy, watery, cold, or otherwise. No matter the lake probably shouldn’t have been swam in for the past 20 years. No matter there’s actually not much to do at camp. For whatever reason, when you go to camp, all this is washed away and you…

Nope. Can’t explain it. The photos don’t do camp justice. All it looks like is I went to a lot of costume parties. But that’s not all!

I also pulled a lot of pranks. And would you look at that. Kinneyland again.

Camp is a place where you are (usually) accepted for who you are, and allowed to get away from all the everyday stuff and just be a goofy kid. You can swim when you’d like, do what you’d like, and eat what you’d like.

Although…if you were at my table when I was a camp counsellor you wouldn’t be allowed to drink the juice. It was a bit too neon. Didn’t trust the stuff. I would dump it out while everyone was saying grace and then fill the jugs up with water.

As well at camp you are in an environment, which fosters incredible friendships. I’ve lived in the same place my whole life, fought my way through university, travelled the world, and still can’t find better friends than the ones I solidified at summer camp. Yes we have a ton in common, which is why we became friends in the first place. But there is something about it…

Nope. Can’t explain the bonds. You’ll just have to go to camp this summer and see for yourself.