Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Oh Christmas Tree

This year, while decorating my Christmas tree, I finally felt like it had a story to tell.

Every year when we put up the tree at Mom & Dad's there were ornaments that would cause us to pause and say "oh, remember this one?" or "oooh, I made this one in kindergarten!"

Since moving out and getting a tree of my own, I've had nicely coordinated coloured balls, but nothing that had "history". This year, I finally feel like I have history!

Here are just some of the ornaments that tell my story:

New Home 2011 - gift from Jo-Anne
memories of Mackinac Island - gift from Mom
Smokey Mountains 2012 - gift from Jo-Anne

my love of photos
Christmas in Paris 2012
Need I say more? Gift from Kim
Yellow Submarine - obviously

Monday, November 18, 2013

Reflections on Paris

One year ago, I was preparing for my first Christmas away from home. My fruzzin Carol Ann had invited me to join her in Paris for the holidays and I decided to go for it!

What a fantastic experience. It is, by far, my favourite trip. The combination of spending time with my globetrotting, super cool cousin, the world class city of Paris and the magic of Christmas made for the perfect adventure.

Neither of us had an agenda and we spent our days lazily wandering the cafe-lined streets, sampling the amazing food and experiencing Christmas abroad. The commercialized hustle and bustle was replaced with elegant lights and sophisticated shoppers. It really was the trip of a lifetime.

I'm so thankful Carol Ann invited me to step outside my box and join her. I shall tuck those memories away and carry them with me to enjoy every Christmas to come.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Reid in the East Village

On November 29th, Reid Jamieson will be playing a show at London's East Village Coffeehouse. If you're in the area, you should plan to attend!

I discovered Reid while listening to CBC's Vinyl Cafe a few years ago. I was drawn in by his voice and soon hooked on this Vancouver-based artist. After following him on twitter and sharing his music with my friends, he tweeted a song to me. Oooh, cool! A Simon & Garfunkel song, no less :)

I was determined to get Reid to London last year and it's finally happening! After some collaboration with Reid's wife Carolyn and a fellow Londoner Toby, we've cooked up a show at East Village Coffeehouse. It will be their first show at the new location and things are looking great after months of renovations.

It's been a lot of fun planning and promoting this concert. It's great supporting talented artists and community initiatives. I'm looking forward to a great night. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, November 10, 2013


This week, my friend Laura lost her mom. I can't even begin to imagine the overwhelming emotions that accompany such a loss. And though death is a natural part of life, it is not something you can ever prepare yourself for. My heart goes out to Laura, Trevor and Luke and the rest of the family.


Saturday, November 02, 2013

My First Half Marathon

Well, I survived my first half marathon. It was a cool, damp morning and I wondered what it would be like for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon/Half Marathon, but I pushed on. I had come this far, I would see it through.

It was an early morning as we made our way downtown to find parking and get to the starting area. Wow, there were so many people! As I made my way to the starting line, I pushed through some eager people. This was my first time and I wanted a good spot! I waited nervously as they played the national anthem and listened to an indistinguishable voice relay what I imagine were instructions.

And then... they were off. I waited with my camera poised, scanning the crowd for a familiar face. Oh wait...did you think I was RUNNING? That's silly.

My friend Char has been training for months for her first half marathon and I agreed to be her cheerleader. It turns out that two of her cousins (+ one spouse) were also running in the same race, so we all headed there together.

I was on my own for spectating, but I was able to connect with my friend Amy who ran the 5k and was there to cheer on her hubby doing the half. Just after I met up with Amy, she was checking her stats on her phone and realized she had placed first in her age group! Way to go! We headed over to the medal tent and she picked up a pretty hefty piece of hardware.

We arrived at the finish line in time to see Patrick breeze past us. That's where we parted ways. I stayed put and Amy went to connect with Pat. For a while, there was a woman with a child in front of me. The kid was holding a rather large Batman balloon - which I'm guessing was so his Dad could spot him when he ran past. However the balloon kept finding its way in front of my face.

Ironically, I did not see any of my group cross the finish line. I watched thousands of people run past and I guess the faces started to blur together! And the balloon probably didn't help. Gathering everyone up after was a bit of a gong show, but we eventually found each other AND the car.

Congrats to Char on a great accomplishment. Congrats also to Lisa, Steve, Eve, Amy and Patrick.