Category Archives: Edmonton

Lately: Part II

Well, here I go again. This time I have let a year and a half go by without contributing to what I thought was going to take off and be my “career”.

Since September 2013, A LOT has happened in the Petry household. I’ll recap the year and a half, with the hopes of catching my “readers” up (ha!) and then try to keep posting regularly to keep this thing going.

September 2013-April 2014: Another hockey season in Edmonton. Did not go so hot. Were out of playoffs by Christmas, I think. Rough go.

May 2014: Jeff went to Belarus to play for Team USA again in the World Championships. I stayed back to start the process of renovations to our house in Michigan. We only have 4 short months in the Mitten, so we had to maximize our time as best we could. That meant me forgoing cheerleader role in Belarus.


June 2014: Renovations STILL going. My thoughts were “when are these people going to get out of my house and when is this mess going to be cleaned up!?” (It was all worth it.) Nellie turned 1…terrible I still haven’t dedicated a single post to just her. What a bad puppy mama I am! 😉

Birthday Girl

Birthday Girl

Most importantly, Jeffrey Nicholas Petry officially graduated from Michigan State University! #proudwifey


My college GRAD!

July 2014: Our home renos were completed in the nick of time for our first big Fourth of July bash at the Petry Casa!!!! My family came up from Texas, and we had ourselves a good ole time. I have to say July 4th is top 3 on my favorite holiday list! And, July 6th Jefferson and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary!

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IMG_0299  IMG_0319


Cruisers for our anniversary            

August 2014:  Jeff’s Cali family came to visit. We hosted our first annual wine tasting party (quite the success I must say)! Enjoyed every last bit of summer!


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September 2014: Made a quick trip down to Texas for one of my best friends’ wedding! Jeff jetted off back to Edmonton for training camp. And, I along with my mommy dearest, and Nellie were left to complete the dreaded 30 whatever hour drive to the great white north. All is good though because shortly after we arrived in Edmonton, Mom and I treated ourselves to a weekend at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in the Canadian Rockies. Wow! What an amazing place.

Mr. and Mrs. Dinerstein

Mr. and Mrs. Dinerstein


The bride and her maids                


Lake Louise

October 2014: Hockey season began! High hopes and much anticipation were the vibes we started another Oiler season with….


November 2014: Traveled to Boston and NYC to see friends and also catch a couple of Oiler’s games. I had been to Boston before, but my 24 hours there solidified how much I love that city! And NYC, that was just a blast going with a bunch of my highschool friends and college roommate to Madison Square Garden to cheer on Jeff and the Oilers.


Mrs. Krug and Me



And somehow we ended up on the ice at MSG

December 2014: Covert trip to Cali to pick up a Christmas gift for Jeff. (That was my excuse to escape to my favorite place.) Two days before Christmas found out the best surprise EVER…more on that later!


Covert calls for disguises while shopping 😉


The special gift for Mr. P

January 2015: Last minute decision to go to Dallas for the Cotton Bowl! My alma mater vs. the rest of my family’s alma mater….I couldn’t miss it! Sparty on! Right, Blake!?


Michigan State vs. Baylor


All Star break came around, and Jeff and I decided to go to Vegas for the break! I was a little hesitant on the decision, but Vegas can be for everyone….you make it what you want! Regardless, it was a much needed break.



February 2015: Pretty uneventful month…just enjoyed Edmonton because I kind of had anticipated it being our last month there with the trade deadline looming March 2nd.

March 2015: Jeff was traded to the Montreal Canadiens at 6:45am the morning of March 2nd. And from that moment on, my life as been a little bit nuts! All good, just lots going on with him being on a flight 3 hours later, me packing up our house in Edmonton, figuring out the logistics of everything, and getting settled/ learning how to city live with our 78lbs four legged child. Birthday month (yes, I generally like to let all my loved ones know we celebrate my birthday all March long) has been quite eventful so far!



So, here we are living in a lovely apartment in Old Montreal for the next couple of months. I would say an experience to remember! Things happen so fast and change can take time to get used to, but I think I can speak for Jeff and I that we are both excited about this experience and being part of the Montreal Canadiens organization! And playoff hockey….I don’t even know what to expect, but I can sure say I am excited for it!

Go Habs Go!



Not sure there is anyone out there who still cares about what is going on in the Petry household for the past 5 months….but thought I would share what has been happening lately in our world.  By the way, worst blogger ever award goes to…ME! Not sure I can even call myself a blogger…oh well.

Anywho, a LOT has happened since March. Let’s begin!



After the season ended, Jeff was home for all of 3 days, and then flew over to Finland for the World Championships where his team won the bronze medal!

All during this time, I stayed back in Michigan to unpack and start furniture shopping for our new home! I also snuck in a quick trip to Texas for my good friend, Jordan’s, wedding! IMG_4856

June came along rather quickly…we spent most of it doing house things. Let me tell you (well, most of y’all are probably my mom’s friends and already know this), but when you buy a house….the work NEVER stops. As kids and young adults we take for granted how a lot of things are taken care of at the house, and never realize how much ACTUALLY goes into it. I mean it is non-stop! But, I guess that’s how life goes as we get older and older….life gets busier and busier, we start to get more responsibility, and somehow, someway it all gets done! Props to those people who are super organized and get everything done on their to-do list right away, because I still have things sitting on that list since June. Oh well, it will get done eventually. And by eventually, I mean next summer because we are already back in Canada.

However, we did find time to do things like this…




And this…


My super freak!

We also managed to sneak in a little getaway to Chicago at the end of June, where we met our friends, Jamie and Ryan, for a fun and food filled weekend! Food being the emphasis. We took the train to Chi-Town which was really cool, and so convenient to take from Michigan. I already can’t wait to go back!





All the sudden it was July 6th. July 6th marked our ONE year anniversary! Where the heck did that year go? (Another growing up lesson….time goes by faster and faster). It was hard to believe a year ago at that time we had all our friends and family down in Texas to celebrate our big day! I wish every year we could relive that party to celebrate our marriage! How fun would that be!? (Minus paying for it all again!) For our one year, we celebrated simply by having friends over, BBQ-ing, and relaxing by the lake! It was perfect.


End of July, my parents came up for a former teammate of mine’s wedding. We road tripped “up north” (for all my southerners out there, “up north” is a term these Michiganders use when they go up to their cottage or lake house in the northern part of Michigan), anyways we headed up to Bay Harbor, MI to celebrate Becky and Eric tie the knot! It was an AMAZING weekend catching up with older teammates and seeing my “big sissy” get married!  I definitely want to go “up north” to vacation more often. Google things like “sleepy bear dunes, Bay Harbor or Harbor Springs Michigan, or Traverse City”. You will see some amazing sites that the mitten has to offer. It is truly breathtaking.


BBQ and Bonfire to kick off the weekend


Family bike ride to get cookies…


The beautiful bride!

After coming home from that fun filled weekend, Mama Bear stayed an extra week to help me do more furniture shopping. What a huge help that was!!! She even did our laundry. I told her she could stay as long as she wanted!!!


late nights with Mama

August rolled around the corner, which meant two things..ok three, a quick weekend trip to Texas to celebrate Shell-Bell’s 50th, getting our puppy, and a Keith Urban concert. Simply the BEST.


Little did my mom know (well kind of), we were planning her a surprise party to ring in her 50th! It went well, and she had the best time…I think! IMG_5733



Birthday Gal

Also got to sneak in a lil’ girl time!


Miss these chicas!

The day we got back from Texas was the day our life changed forever. We landed in Detroit, got Jeff’s car, and drove 2 hours northwest to pick up our little brown bundle of joy! She is so precious, and makes us laugh SO much. Granted, there have been some not so pretty moments with her, but overall her cuteness (mainly when she sleeps) outweighs those times immensely! More on Nellie later!


Miss Penelope Petry, aka Nellie!

Besides all the packing and tying up all the loose ends at our house in Michigan before we left, we spent one of our last nights at the Tiger’s game with family and friends. Nothing like a beautiful summer night at the ballpark!

photo 2  And one last day of this… photo 1

All three of us survived the 32 hour drive to Edmonton, and Nellie was a CHAMP! Jeff got MVP of the trip, Nellie got Most Improved Player, and I…well I got the spirit award or whatever one goes to the best co-pilot. (Seriously, I drove maybe an hour of the whole trip…I know, pathetic.) Whatever, we made it to E-town and got all settled into our cozy lil’ house that we will call home for the next 9 months!

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How we roll…

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Most Improved.

Now it’s time for hockey season! Go Oilers!

What’s been a-happenin’…

Anyone still out there? (Hey Mom!)

Considering it just took me about 6 tries to log-in to my WordPress account due to forgetting my password, confirms I have been a very bad “blogger” and have not posted in a very long time! Unacceptable in the blog-a-sphere.

But, here are all my excuses as to why I have not posted for the past 2 months:

-We flew back to Michigan early November to get a little break from the lockout, and spent Thanksgiving there with Jeff’s fam! So clearly I was too busy stuffing my face with all the Thanksgiving yummies, or hopping on the Texans’ bandwagon at my first Thanksgiving Day football game in Detroit to update Southern Sweet and Salty.

photo 1

Excuse the caterpillar on Jeff’s face.
Forgot about Movember…

-During that stint to Michigan (so Nov 7-25), I actually booked myself a ticket to Houston to surprise my mom and dad! HUGE success! I have to thank Blake for assisting me on that one to make sure it all went over smoothly. I have to say it takes a lot to pull fast ones over detective, Shell-Mack. I had to go as far as texting her the night before from Jeff’s phone telling her that “I dropped my phone in the toilet and would have to take it to get fixed in the morning.” I know that if she called me the next morning when I was flying and it went straight to voicemail, she would begin to think something is up. Gotta cover all my bases!

Needless to say I had a short 4.5 days to spend with my family and few friends I got to see, so no time for blogging.

-Upon our return to Edmonton, we made the executive decision to pack up EVERYTHING in the next 5 days and DRIVE 30 whatever hours back to Michigan, and wait out the lockout there. (Better skating and workout opportunities for Jeff in Michigan) And when I say everything, I mean everything. We left our super cute/awesome apartment in Edmonton sparkling clean like we would never see it again (at this point our optimism was real low that the lockout would actually end…or at least mine was.) So, packing and driving across two countries didn’t lend me enough time to blog either.

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This picture is deceiving. I actually only drove about 5 of the 32 hours.

-Once we got back to Michigan, Jeff got right into skating and working out, and I…well I really don’t know what I did for the next few weeks.I felt so scatter brained during those 3 weeks, it was all a blur. But, being before Christmas I spent most of the time Christmas shopping (on a lockout budget), making a few pinterest crafts, eating my body weight in m&m/white chocolate pretzels, visiting a chiropractor, and not blogging.

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-December 22 Jeff and I hopped on another plane to head down to Dallas to spend Christmas with my mom’s whole family! I could not have been happier to get to spend our first Christmas with my family, and show Jeff how we celebrate Jesus’ bday! It even snowed in Dallas on Christmas Day, so Jeff got his white Christmas he’s always use to. It was truly a blessing we were able to spend Christmas with our families this year! (About the only thing I am thankful for during this lockout!)

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Great Grandma, Mimi B

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Honey and Grandaddy Sir with all the grandkids

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Christmas Morning 🙂

-Woah, BACK UP! I missed a MAJOR date/distraction that took me away from my little blogging hobby. December 20th, Jeff and I CLOSED on a HOUSE! Yep, during all of this madness we became homeowners! HOMEOWNERS! This was by far the biggest event that has been consuming me for the last couple of weeks.

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View from OUR backyard!

-In the meantime, the New Year came and went. Happy 2013! We spent our first night in the new house on January 1st (best way to start the new year if you ask me)! Yes, we only had a bed in the house, but it was SO fun to be in OUR home! Then the lockout ENDED at 5am one morning. I only remember this because I got up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and crawled back in bed and began to scroll through twitter (everyone does that at 5am, right!?). Then I read it, “TENTATIVE DEAL MADE BETWEEN NHL AND PA!” That was enough for me to sling my arm across the bed to hit Jeff and wake him up saying we you are playing hockey this year!!!!

-The next few days I was busy helping Jeff get ready to leave for Edmonton, getting the rest of our belongings moved over to new house, having walls painted to my liking, and waiting on the arrival of all my furniture and belongings from Texas. I might be biased, but I have to say my parents get parents of the year because they loaded up a Penske truck and drove all my sheeesh up from Texas just so we could get somewhat settled and have all our stuff in one spot…finally! This all happened in such a little window of time, it’s actually incredible thinking about how much was done in less than 2 weeks! It was a whirlwind for sure, but well worth it!

*To go along with my list of excuses for not blogging, we were internet-less since we moved into the new house, so I really couldn’t blog. (That is actually my most valid excuse I have….the others were just because I was a bit preoccupied! 😉 )


Top: Before, Bottom: After.

Now, we are back in Edmonton! And, it feels GREAT (I don’t even care that I’ll be freezing for the next 4 months)! It’s finally time to relax a little bit, and just enjoy a lot of hockey! And to contribute more to Southern, Sweet, and Salty.

Go Oilers Go!

Riverhills Lodge

As you might have seen in my last post, What to do when there’s a lockout, we have been trying to stay busy, and do things we otherwise couldn’t do during a regular hockey season…

Last weekend, the Jonesy’s and we got the opportunity to go hunting down in Empress, Alberta.  Just to give you an idea, Empress is about a 4.5 hour drive almost to the Saskatchewan border.

Some cowboys getting their cattle across the highway

We were invited by a friend of the Jones’ (now a friend of ours), whose dad owns the Riverhills Lodge in the quaint town of Empress (population ~20). People literally come from all over the world to have Peter McAra as their guide and to have the chance to hunt all sorts of game.

By the way, our friend, Kim (who invited us) owns Cena in Sherwood Park, an awesome bistro and place to pick up already prepared meals! I highly recommend checking out the website and trying it out! Not only is Kim and her family great, but the food is SO yummy and so convenient! Go check out Cena (if I have any Edmonton readers).

Back to the hunting, we arrived to the lodge on Thursday evening just in time for dinner. Now, I really had no idea what to expect when it came to a”hunting lodge”. To me, it sounded fancy because whenever I went hunting with my Dad and brother, it always consisted of staying in a trailer and maybe showering once the whole weekend.

So, when I heard “lodge”, I was picturing an abandoned hotel like the one from the movie “The Shining” or something. (I know, I sound ridiculous, but I was clueless).

It was nothing like that. It was the most warm, welcoming log cabin overlooking both the Red Deer and South Saskatchewan River vally’s. A different kind of breath-taking than I have ever seen before…and the perfect type of lodging if you ask me when it comes to hunting!

The boys got up and hunted everyday, and Jamie and I (along with the other women) got to relax, go on walks, read, make sure everyone  didn’t go hungry (impossible), and just enjoy the peacefulness of literally being in the middle of no where!

The beard makes him so much more rugged…

This was the first time Jeff and Ryan had ever been bird hunting, so they were pretty pumped, to say the least. They also hunted with bird dogs which Jeff loved considering he is basically a dog whisperer!

They shot (sorry all you anti-hunting people) everything from sharpies, pheasants, ducks, to geese, and Jeff even got a mule deer buck too! It was quite the weekend for the hunters. And now, we will definitely never starve during this lockout due to all the meat in our freezer!

The story of how Jeff got the mule deer is actually really exciting, so I’ll try to give you the reader’s digest version: The guys went out super early to track deer, had no luck, came back to the lodge for breakfast where we showed them a couple of deer we had been watching off the back deck all morning. They couldn’t eat their breakfast fast enough before they were making their way around the cooley to stalk the deer….

Exhibit A:

Then it gets funny, we are all watching these two from the windows of the lodge and I am texting Jeff all the directions from P-Mac (that’s what everyone calls Peter, the owner of the lodge) of where he and Ryan should walk to approach this deer without them scaring it off. Then Jeff’s phone died, so we just sat and waited to see what they were going to do next. By this point, Jamie has their big camera out and is filming the whole thing, Brad (another friend who was their hunting) is out on the balcony trying to signal with hand motions where to go, and the rest of us are just watching it all unfold.

After what seemed to be an eternity, they made a move and shot their bows simultaneously and missed… But, it turns out there was another deer that only they could see and the shots scared them both out into the open…

Exhibit B:

If you can picture us in the lodge that are watching this entire thing, it is like the point in the movie when the bad guys almost get caught, but not quite, and you are on the edge of your seat waiting for their defeat…

So then Ryan and Jeff draw their bows again, and Jeff nails him! Direct hit. We begin to cheer (now out on the balcony and making as much noise as we want), and Ryan and Jeff embrace in a big man hug and high five after their successful stalk…

Exhibit C:

And then not 30 minutes after they got the deer up to the lodge and taken care of, the guys went right back out to do some more bird hunting. Talk about a hunter’s paradise!

Oh and on top of it all, later that evening I went into town with Kim and her sister-in-law to the one stop shop (no, not Walmart), a little store called “Empressive”, to get some ice. As soon as I walk in, I heard the sound of a very familiar accent and can’t help but go up to the complete stranger and ask where he is from. Sure enough, of all places I run into a man from Dripping Springs, Texas who was up there for the week hunting, as well. Small, small world.

Needless to say, the weekend was a blast! The boys were not only successful in the hunting field, but we also made friends and memories that will last forever. The hospitality at the Riverhills Lodge is right up there with the southern hospitality I’m familiar with, and felt more than welcome from the second we walked in the doors!

The whole crew

Yes, to some a weekend getaway to a little town of Empress, AB does not sound ideal or glamorous, but to us it was perfect. It was the perfect getaway to take our minds off of the everyday stress that comes with this lockout, refresh ourselves, and remind us again of a few of the more important things in life: family, friends, and just enjoying yourself in every moment!

So thank you lockout! Thank you for giving us the time to do things we otherwise couldn’t do and enjoy!

What to do when there’s a lockout

1. Wait.

2. Try to stay positive while you wait.

3. Say lots of prayers for it to end soon, or to find the good out of it.

4. Try to stay as busy as possible.

5. Don’t (or try not to) get too overwhelmed by the fact you can’t plan ANYTHING.

6. Keep shopping or buying unnecessary items to a minimum.

7. Experience other things you most likely would not have if the season had started.

8. Wait some more.

9. Don’t get your hopes up.

10. Make your apartment feel like home.

I can’t take any credit for the decorating. We rented it fully furnished.

11. Try to make some sort of routine.

12. Bake

Cookies from our favorite restaurant on our honeymoon!

Pumpkin Blondies from Mag-Pie’s and More

13. Workout (so the excess baking doesn’t catch up to you as quickly)

14. Start doing all the crafty things you see on Pinterest.

Chevron Pumpkins

15. Stay as positive as you can for your hubby who is the one really missing what he does for a living.

16. Be as patient as possible when family and friends ask, “When is this lockout going to end?” 😉

15. Experiment with all different recipes for dinner.

Baked Wings, Procuitto Egg Sandi, Chili, Homemade Pizza

The possibilities are endless when it comes to lockout activities, but in all reality this lockout is no fun at all! All those things are fun for a certain amount of time, but after awhile all you want is your husband to be employed and doing what he loves to do everyday! You want to know what is going on. You want to go to Rexall almost every other night to cheer on your hubby and the the rest of the team. You want to be able to plan when you can see your family and friends next. You want to make some sort of routine out of this crazy lifestyle. You just want things to go back to “normal.”

Until then, we just wait. We wait to hear if he is going to play overseas for the time being, we wait to see if this season is even going to start this year, we wait for any other information. It’s just a big ole waiting game.

Patience is not my virtue…it is Jeff’s, so that’s good!

And while we wait, it is only natural to think of every scenario possible that could happen in the next month…or even year.

It honestly can give you a headache. Or in my case, make you feel sick to your stomach…all day, everyday. So, you have to do your best to stay busy with other things, stay positive, and don’t read twitter.

The one consistent reminder I keep telling myself during this whole process is, Proverbs 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;in all your ways submit to  him, and he will make your paths straight.

I may not have a clue what is in store for us tomorrow, or if this hockey season is going to start anytime soon, but I do know God has a plan for us and will make sure everything works out the way it is supposed to along the way! Just gotta keep my eyes up 🙂

The 2,400 mile and 4,800 minute Drive

Before I get started on the the details of our drive up to the Great White North that was about 3 weeks ago…I want to apologize to all 7 of my readers (give or take a few) for being so MIA in my first few weeks up here. I will keep using the excuse, “once I get settled” I will post more frequently.

I’m not going to promise this time; I’ll just try harder.

Onto the drive….

When looking at the map, it looks like one heck of a drive, but it really was not that bad at all. Dougie and I took our sweet time, and enjoyed the whole thing (well, almost the whole thing!) One of us, may or may not have had a bit of a meltdown in Calgary when it was getting late and he didn’t know where we were and couldn’t see well in the dark! 😉 Other than that minor detail, we had the best time together, and I’m so glad I got to spend that time with my Dad!

It is a trip I will remember forever! 🙂

Travel details:

Departed Houston, Texas on Wednesday, September 12 @5:00am

Arrived in Edmonton, Alberta on Saturday, September 15 @1:00pm

Distance Traveled: 2,400 miles

States we drove through: Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana

Spent the night in: Ogallala, Nebraska; Billings, Montana; Calgary, Alberta

Highlight of the trip: Mt. Rushmore

Number of times we ate pizza: 2

Number of hours Doug drove: 34

Number of hours Julie drove: 4

MVP of the trip: Dougie Fresh

Here is our trip in photos:

And, this is home…for now…

Thanks for the fun drive up, Dad!

Now, it’s time for me to discover a whole new city!

Welcome to Edmonton!

Well, we made it to Edmonton! Dad and I actually got up here last Saturday, but I have had no time to update the blog since then. I promise I will be better.

The 2,400 mile drive really was not that bad, but I will dedicate a whole post to it later for all the exciting details!

I am so happy to be up here in Edmonton, and to be back with my hubby! I cannot wait to get settled in this new city, and experience it to the fullest…at least until the first big snow comes and then I will go into hibernation and watch every TV show and movie I need to catch up on.

There is one little piece of news that was not so welcoming (but we all new it was coming), and that is that the NHL officially declared a lockout as of September 15 at 11:59pm. So, currently Jeff is unemployed and we are just waiting for the season to start. We are being very hopeful that it is going to start sooner, rather than later though! Crossing our fingers and saying our prayers!

So, until the season starts, Jeff will continue to skate and train with his other teammates who are up here, and I will try to figure out this city and where we are going to live in the meantime. Yes, that’s right we still don’t know where we are living yet!

We are currently living with one of Jeff’s teammates and his wife, Ryan and Jamie, until we find an apartment! They were gracious enough to let Jeff live with them last year, and are even more gracious for letting BOTH of us stay at their place for now.  Let me tell you, the housing search thing up here is HARD! So if you know anyone with a fully furnished condo to rent for us American imports, send me the info, please!

Until we get set up in our own place, we will enjoy our stay here at the Jonesy Casa! Another teammate and his wife, Devan and Jenn, are also staying here with all of us until their house is ready, so it is actually just one big party everyday!

Even though there is this whole lockout situation, we could not be anymore blessed to be up here with such great people, and get to be able to enjoy this time with new friends (well new friends for me at least)!

On a different note, one thing (so far) that is different here and is way more expensive is the grocery store! Oh how I miss Kroger! And not to mention, everything is in grams or liters which really throw me for a loop!

That’s it for now. Stay tuned for posts on my week in Houston, the 2,400 mile drive up here, pictures of my new city, and much more that is going on in this crazy life we got goin’ on right now. Currently, I am the epitome of a gypsy…