Wednesday, December 23, 2015

2016 Additions

Each year I like to add a few ornaments to my tree that represent the year. This year I have three to highlight.

#1 Harley Davidson

This is actually a key chain that is acting as a tree ornament. I got it in York, Pennsylvania when I went for a tour of the HD factory. For some reason, I've always had a fascination with the Hog and when the opportunity arose to do a tour, I jumped.

It was pretty cool to make our way through the various parts of the plant and see the bikes being assembled. An additional fun feature was sitting on the bikes in the showroom. Hey, a girl can dream, right?

#2 Cinderella's Slipper

I actually gave this ornament to my mom many years ago. It just seemed to make sense since whenever the topic of my singleness came up, she would start to sing the song from Cinderella, "someday your prince will come..."

One week after getting engaged and the first time seeing her after the ring was on my finger, she had a tiny red box and a letter for me. She was giving the ornament back to me with the following explanation:

The year that you gave me this ornament, I secretly cried for you, but I placed it on the tree in a prominent place, front and centre. Every time I viewed it, I would pray for the man that would be your "Prince Charming". So now I return this ornament to you... to place in a prominent place on your Christmas tree - a reminder of God's faithfulness, that as we pray believing, things come to pass.

#3 The Fan

This ornament has such a great story behind it, and involves my hilarious Grammie. When my sister Jo-Anne got married, she was the first of Grammie's grandchildren to tie the knot. What happened next started a tradition.

Connie & I hosted an "hour by hour" shower for Jo-Anne. For those of you that are not familiar, all the guests are assigned a time of day and their gift should be used at that time. Just for kicks, Connie & I assigned Grammie to bring a gift for 4am.

When Jo-Anne read the card out loud, it said "For those hot nights. Love Grammie" The room exploded with whoops and hollers to find out what Grammie had in mind for those hot nights. She was perplexed as to why people were laughing. After all, she had just purchased an oscillating fan "for those hot nights".

Each granddaughter that got married since then has gotten a fan from Grammie. I love that she embraced it and it became her tradition. It has been a long-standing joke with us and several years ago, I bought this ornament for her. This year, I'm getting it back for my tree. Grammie has already told Mom that she needs to get a fan for Janice. I can't wait to receive it! :)

Thursday, December 03, 2015

The Other Man in my Life

My heart has been stolen by another man. Well, more of a boy actually.

When I met Devin, I knew that he was part of a package. He has a six year old son, Cody. In the beginning, I was anxious about meeting Cody. What if he didn't like me? What if I didn't like him? This was new territory for me.

Before meeting in person, Devin shared photos of me with him and vice versa. What an adorable little red head! On Mother's Day weekend, we decided it was time for the two of us to meet. I knew that I didn't want to take that step until I was certain about the future, but we were ready.

Devin wanted to plan a special surprise for the day we met - so we could both remember it in years to come. He would not tell me what we were doing but said it would be "memorable". I arrived at Devin's house and finally got to meet Cody. At first he hid behind his dad and peered out at me with adorable big blue eyes. It didn't take long for him to warm up and show me some of his toys.

After lunch, we set out for our adventure. We were both surprised and excited to discover we were going on a helicopter ride over Niagara Falls! It certainly was memorable!

One thing I noticed early on with Cody is that he is always telling Devin how much he loves him. By the third or fourth time that afternoon, I looked at him and asked "does your heart melt each time he says that?" Devin replied "Yes, it feels pretty awesome. And some day soon, you will know what it feels like."

He was right. A few weeks later, Cody and I were waiting in the car while Devin ran into the store. I heard a little voice from the back seat.

"Yes Cody?"
"I love you."

Oh. my. goodness. I melted. And Devin wasn't even there to witness this! It was completely spontaneous and unprompted. When he finally emerged from the store, I got out of the car and told him what just happened. We both got a little misty as we realized the bond that was forming between us.

This weekend Cody & I spent the day together while Devin was at a course. I picked him up at Grandma & Grandpa's house and got the biggest hug ever! Arms & legs were wrapped around me as he buried his face in my neck. Again...heart melted.

I am so incredibly blessed to have this little guy in my life. He is smart, creative and athletic - speaking French, constantly drawing and painting pictures and skating like a pro. He is innocent and sincere. He says things like "You look beautiful today Janice" ...when I've got my hair in a ponytail and wearing my sweats.

I was recently listening to a Focus on the Family podcast and they were discussing the women of Christmas. Elizabeth had waited many years to have a child and probably was wondering if she would ever become a mother. However, she needed to wait to fulfill God's perfect timing. This concept clicked with me and my own circumstance. I have waited a long time to be a mom. It has been a desire of my heart for as long as I can remember. I really didn't know if I would ever get that opportunity. But, God knew that in 2015 there would be a six year old boy that was just waiting for such a woman to be a part of his life. He needs me just as much as I need him. Devin and I are over the moon at how our family has been carefully put together by the Maker, Himself. We cannot wait for what lies ahead!

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Engagement Photos

Our friend Brandy generously offered to do engagement photos for us! We spent the better part of a Sunday driving around the Niagara region posing and snapping pics. 

We recently got a disc with the pictures and I thought I'd share a few of my favourites!



Friday, November 27, 2015

You Want Lights With That?

It's that time of year again. Time to get festive! I love putting my Christmas tree up and all the sparkle it adds to my living room.

I was prepared when Devin arrived on Friday night. After (an awesome salmon) dinner, we started assembling the tree - fluffing out the fake branches and arranging the lights. Well, who am I kidding? I designated lights to him. It is a task I hate each year and now I have someone willing to take over? Yes!

Once the tree was up and the lights were on, we decided to hit up Starbucks for a holiday drink. It was just the right thing to do.

We eventually did get back to the tree and it was fun to explain all of my special ornaments to him - where I got them and the meaning behind them.

While getting the ornaments out of the box, I found a tree topper I had purchased a few years ago, but had never used. I could never get it to sit right on the tree - always flopping over. When I complained about this, Devin grabbed it, quickly modified it and had it on top of the tree! Wow, this is great. I love that this guy is going to be my husband! But wait, it gets better...

When I was later admiring the tree in all of its twinkly goodness, I remarked that it's a shame there are no lights on the tree topper. Quite honestly, it looked a little goofy to have a star on the top of the tree without lights. When the room is dark, you can't even see the star! Devin reacted to this comment in the best possible way. "You want lights on your tree topper? I can put lights on your tree topper." And with that, he was outside at his truck, getting the tools he needed.

I was amazed as I watched him snipping, clipping, soldering etc. Even using a little micro torch. Wow! This was pretty freaking cool. My heart swelled when he put it on the top of the tree and plugged it in. Oh, honey. I love you!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

McCartney Review

Well, he did not disappoint! Perhaps I'm biased, but Paul McCartney still rocks a live show. 
Not only was I excited to see my favourite Beatle, but I was going to see him with my other favourite guy :) Devin & I listened to McCartney music in the afternoon to prep for the show. There were a few songs that came on the playlist that he didn't realize were McCartney songs, so that was fun. He was excited!

We met his dad Larry & Bev in Hamilton, grabbed some food and set out for Toronto. Bev was lucky enough to be celebrating her birthday with Paul. How cool is that?

Once inside, I could hear the faint sounds of bagpipes. My heart leaped and I found myself craning my neck to see inside the stadium. Unfortunately, a burly security guard stood in my way. As we started to form a line to get in to our section, we discovered that was, in fact, Paul doing a sound check. (clearly I had heard them doing Mull of Kintyre). Waiting in line was not so much of an issue, but the longer we waited, the more people were filling up the mezzanine - making it nearly impossible to even cross the walkway! By the time we were able to go to our seats, we were feeling like sardines!

Speaking of our seats, they were great! Up in the 300s but a great side view of the stage. Paul soon appeared on stage, looking dapper and wearing his trademark "Beatle boots" and a jacket. After  a few songs he lost the jacket and continued to play for three hours. When you consider his work with The Beatles, Wings and his solo career, his catalogue of songs is phenomenal!

The highlight for me (I think - it's hard to choose just one) was the moment of Mull of Kintyre when the pipe band walks out on stage in a swelling crescendo. What a moment! I've only seen Sir Paul in Toronto, but I've heard that he only does that song here. I'm not sure why, but I'll take it!

And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.

with Port Dover Pipe Band
Outside Air Canada Centre

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Fab Four(th)

In all the excitement of getting engaged, I nearly forgot that I'll be hanging out with my favourite Beatle in a few weeks!

One morning in mid-August, I woke up to see this post on Instagram. I was SO EXCITED! Obviously, I needed to get tickets. Not only was I thrilled that I'd get to see Sir Paul again, but I'd get to share this experience with Devin.

I set about researching when the tickets would go on sale and various pre-sale options. Because I am on his email list, I had a pre-sale password for Monday. At 9:55am I announced to the office that I would be busy for the next few minutes as I secured my tickets. Ahem, um, ya. That didn't happen. I tried for about 30 minutes and was unsuccessful before they were gone. Not to worry. There was another pre-sale through Live Nation on Thursday and if all else failed - the tickets went on sale to the general public on Friday.

We had plans to go to Wonderland on Friday, so I really wanted to get the pre-sale tickets. Alas, it was not meant to be. Again, I announced to the office that Paul needed my attention for a few minutes and again, I struck out with tickets.

Friday morning came. We were in the car headed to Canada's Wonderland. I was armed with the TM phone number, the app on my phone and my credit card. At 10:55am I signed into the app, located the tickets I wanted and waited. On Devin's phone, I started calling the number. Yes, it was a crazy 15 minutes of calling and refreshing the app but I did succeed in scoring tickets! I was elated.

The concert is just a few short weeks away and I can't wait to see Mr. McCartney for the 4th time.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

This blog post has a nice ring to it...

So, this happened last weekend.

It's funny. I have anticipated this moment for a long time and wondered what it would feel like. And I can honestly say, it feels like the most natural thing in the world!

Let me rewind and share our story because it's a good one!

As I mentioned previously, it was this photo --> of Devin and Cody that caught my attention on eHarmony back in February. Once he discovered how much I loved that picture, he suggested we go back to the same spot this summer and recreate the photo with the three of us. I thought that was a great idea!

So, Labour Day weekend, we loaded up the car and set out for a L-O-N-G drive to Biscotasing. Devin's dad has been going fishing there for 20 years and it was there that the photo was taken last Labour Day. The trip was filled with good music, Starbucks, conversation (including talk of a ring that he hadn't yet purchased... what a trickster) and a nearly-off-roading adventure!

When I woke up on Saturday morning, I had foggy memories of a dream in which I gotten engaged. It must've been that ring talk in the car. I shared my dream with Devin and he did a pretty good job of hiding the shock on his face as he planned to propose that day! He later told me that was God confirming his plans.

It was a beautiful sunny day on Saturday and we took Cody to do some target practice. We all had a lot of fun and, in fact, we were actually pretty good shots! I commented a few times how it was such a great day and he just looked at me with a big grin and said "oh, it's only just begun!"

When we were getting ready to go on the boat, I asked Devin if I could put my stuff in his bag. He looked at me and said "I don't think there's room. You should get your own bag." So, I put my clothes in my bag with room to spare. I asked if he wanted to just combine our stuff and take one bag. He insisted we take two bags. Now I know why. He didn't want me digging around in the bag and find the ring!

After going for a swim in the lake, we made our way through a series of nooks and crannies on our way to the beach so we could take the photo. We came around a corner and when the beach was in view, it was full of boats. Clearly everyone in the area decided to party on that beach for the long weekend. I could see the disappointment on Devin's face when he realized his plan was falling apart. Oh dear. The poor guy. He looked over at me and said that he didn't want to take the photo with all of those people at the beach. I said it was fine, we would just come back the next day. No problem. I wasn't too worried about it but clearly he was. He had himself psyched up that he was going to propose! The sun was shining, the day was perfect, I had even dreamed about it! How could those boats be ruining this moment?

We decided to go fishing instead and we had a great afternoon! We caught our limit and started heading for home. When we passed by the beach... the boats were all gone! The smile came back on his face and he said "looks like we can do that photo after all!"

We beached the boat and changed into our clothes. Devin and Cody had the same hoodies they wore last year. (excellent planning Devin!) After Devin's mom snapped a few pics he wanted to go for a walk. Cody stayed with his grandparents and Devin and I meandered around the little island. As we walked, he started telling me how much I mean to him (and other things that are between the two of us), then he dropped to one knee, opened a little box and asked if I would be his wife. YES! Yes, of course I want to be his wife. I can't wait to be his wife! We shared the news with Cody and after he confirmed he could come to the wedding, he was pretty happy.

The view, just after getting engaged!
Because we were "off the grid" this was our little secret for a few days. Which, on one hand was nice. But on the other hand, I was bursting to tell people! Even when we got back within cell coverage, I was still hours away from London! I completely drained the battery on my phone on the trip home. And now I'm finally getting around to sharing it in the blogosphere.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Birthday Boys

To celebrate these two cuties, we spent the day at Eastpark in London. Jesse & Liam are 2 years and 2 weeks apart, so when they both wanted to go to Eastpark for their special day, I decided to break the tradition of one-on-one and we all went together. What a fun day!

We started at the batting cages. They were eager to start swinging but in the beginning it was tough to make contact with the ball. But, by the time we were done they were actually doing pretty good! I tried my hand at it as well and I was not prepared for how much it hurt my hand when I hit the ball! I had a ring on and with each crack of the bat, I would wince as that ring was getting pinched and hurting my finger. Ouch!

Next up was the go-karts. So fun! Liam is too young to go by himself, so went together. What a hoot as we raced around the track - pedal to the metal. We stopped for some lunch and then hit (quite literally) the bumper cars. I wasn't expecting them to be so fun but we had a blast slamming into each other. We wrapped up the day with a rousing game of mini-golf and ice cream.

These two boys are each unique but both full of energy, curiosity, and plenty of love for Auntie Janice. We had such a good time.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Questing with Maddie

Celebrating birthdays with my nieces and nephews is always a fun event. Lately I've been playing catch up for birthdays past... this time was with Madison.

I know how much she enjoys puzzles and figuring things out so we hit downtown London for an Urban Quest. I first discovered these adventures a few years ago when I took Abby out for her birthday. We had a great time and I've done them a few other times as well.

I let Madison take the lead on finding all the clues and taking notes. She's a really clever girl and the ones I thought I might have to help her with, she got on her own! We had a great afternoon criss-crossing the downtown before ending up at Victoria Park for a cold smoothie and an endless supply of jokes. Ha ha...this girl does love riddles and jokes!

Thanks for the memories my dear Maddie! It was a great day.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Happy Birthday Peanut!

It's hard to believe that an entire decade has passed since this little Peanut entered my life. I can clearly remember the day he was born...

First of all...he was two weeks early! I was in the middle of the biggest project to date at work. Not only were we rebranding from The New PL to A-Channel, but we were also changing graphics systems at the same time. For the Graphics Coordinator of the newsroom...that was a tall order. But, I felt confident and up to the challenge. Until I got the phone call. We were just finishing up the evening newscast when Jo-Anne called to let me know they were on their way to the hospital. What?!? Seriously? If this is a joke, it's not funny. No, it was definitely not a joke. She was in labour.

I cleared my schedule with my (accommodating) supervisor and headed for St. Joe's. This was a moment I had been anticipating since finding out about the Peanut on December 24! Despite arriving "early" he took his time with the delivery. We spent many hours on those hard benches in the waiting room. However, it was all worth it when I entered the room and saw that adorable little bundle.

Jesse has always had a special place in my heart. He's the only kid that I've been in the waiting room for. He is curious - asking questions and being "hands on". He is loving and sweet. He is funny. He loves science and exploring and is really great at figuring out how things work.

I am so blessed to have Jesse Harding Koiter for my nephew. We have had some super fun moments over the years and I look forward to many more!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Good Things Come to Those That Wait

Four months ago, I woke up feeling nervous but excited. I was going to meet face-to-face with someone I had connected with on eHarmony about a month before. I know, I dating. Gah! But it had worked for a few of my friends and what did I have to lose?

Devin's profile caught my eye when I saw this photo --> Honestly, I was not looking for a single dad and in the past had dismissed any matches that had kids. But, this photo spoke to me. I loved the backdrop - it reminded me of my fishing trip last summer. And I loved the two faces looking at me. As I clicked through his profile, I noticed how open and honest he was with the information he shared. I decided to contact him. Over the next few days, we messaged back and forth and I definitely felt a connection with this guy.

We continued to communicate by email/text and we finally made arrangements to meet in person when he came back from Florida. Since he lives in Welland and I live in London, we met halfway in Brantford at The Keg. All afternoon my stomach was in knots. My friend Jackie messaged me to see if I was excited and I told her I felt like I might be sick. She laughed and said that's "butterflies" and that I should enjoy it. Ha ha. Enjoy it? Why, oh why are first dates so nerve-wracking? 

As I suspected, as soon as the initial "hi, I'm Janice" was over, I was just fine. In fact, it was the best first date I can remember! We had so much to talk about and the whole evening just seemed so easy. We had to leave when they were closing The Keg, but we weren't done talking! In fact, we have had many dates where the time slips through our fingers and logistics force us to shut it down.

I've often wondered where my path in life would lead me. I certainly didn't anticipate being 38 years old and single. But, God did. He knew the decisions that I would make that would lead me to this point in my life and the experiences that would shape who I am today. He was also working in Devin's life at just the time that I was wondering why things had not worked out for me in this regard. We are both convinced that He brought the two of us together.

I am so lucky to have found someone that shares my family values, is solid in his faith and treats me with respect and intentionality. I look forward to what the future has in store for us!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

16 Candles

There are milestone birthdays in everyone's life. I clearly remember turning 16 because it meant I could get my driver's license. I turned 19 in France. Of course turning 30 carried its own consequences!

Today, my niece Abigail Elizabeth marks a milestone as she turns 16. I am so proud of the beautiful young lady she has grown to be. I realize that calling her a "young lady" makes me sound old...but that is what she is! John & Karen have done an awesome job parenting and stewarding this girl to where she is now.

I became an auntie when Abby was born, so she holds a special place in my heart. We've had lots of fun over the years with sleepovers, picnics, special outings, etc. I'm thrilled that she has developed such a love of music (playing the guitar, piano, trombone and learning more!) and is quite the little performer!

Happy birthday Abigail as you mark this milestone. Now, stay off the roads everyone! :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Mr. Liam

It's hard to believe but eight years ago today, this little firecracker was born. I clearly remember getting a call from Jo-Anne. She needed me to come over to watch Jesse because they were headed for the hospital. It was around dinner time, so I packed an overnight bag and hit the road. When I arrived at their place, they were just finishing up Swiss Chalet take out. I stayed with the Peanut while Jo-Anne and Nick set off for the hospital.

When he finally arrived (just before midnight) he had a shock of dark hair and the cutest little face. We were all thrilled to meet the newest member of our family. Since then, I've watched Liam grow into quite the little character. The things this kid comes out with are hilarious! He makes some very interesting observations sometimes and it's like he's an old man trapped in a little boy's body.

Liam has a great sense of rhythm and music and is constantly bee-bopping to his own beat. He is passionate about food and loves helping out in the kitchen. This little guy has added much joy and laughter into my life and today I'm happy to celebrate his 8th birthday.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Follow Up

I wanted to take a moment to follow up my previous post about Dad. He has made amazing progress and is heading home today, after only two and a half weeks!

We are so very proud of his determination and effort during his various therapy sessions. He still has some work to do, but he is well on his way!

Thanks for your thoughts & prayers.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Turning Point

There are moments in life that represent a turning point. The start of a new chapter. Last weekend was one of those for me. I got a call on Saturday morning from my Mom. She had taken my Dad to Strathroy hospital with signs of a stroke. The words tumbled out of her mouth and into my head but they didn't seem real. We had just been together three days earlier to celebrate his 71st birthday at Montana's. How could he be having a stroke?

Devin and I had been on our way to visit my Grammie, so we detoured and headed for Strathroy. Although I was upset, I was glad that we could be there as a support to both Mom & Dad while things unfolded.

When we walked into the hospital, Dad was being checked out by a doctor. Although he didn't seem to be that bad, they had decided to send him to University Hospital to be assessed by the stroke team. Initially he had minimally impaired speech and tingling in his right arm. However, his symptoms progressed as the day wore on.

The next few days were a bit of a blur and definitely surreal. When you're not familiar with medical terminology or the cause/effect of strokes, the information can be confusing and overwhelming. However, hospital staff were optimistic for his recovery and were so patient with him and us.

It is difficult to see someone that has always been a strong and unshakeable figure in your life so vulnerable. Although he was fully aware of what we were saying and what he wanted to say, it was very difficult for him to form the words and get them out. I tried to remain positive and optimistic while I was with him but it was one of the scariest things I've experienced. I knew the doctors, nurses and therapists were saying that he would get full function back, but I couldn't help but wonder if that was true. What if he didn't improve and this was his new normal?

On Thursday he was transferred to Parkwood Hospital - an excellent facility for rehabilitation. Since then we have seen continual improvement with both his mobility and his speech. The therapists are relentless with a full day of activity, and when they're done, my Mom is working with him. I have been so encouraged by his determination and his progress this week.

On Tuesday night I was telling him how proud I was of his hard work and that I could see it was paying off. He smiled and started to tell me that he had tied his own shoes that morning, but he couldn't finish the sentence. He started to cry and so did I. What a wonderful accomplishment only 10 days after the stroke!

There have been many teary moments since last Saturday but this experience has only brought my family closer together and proven to me that they are my number one support. 

Thanks to all of you for your prayers, encouragement and offers of help.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day

I am blessed to have the mom that I do. I know most people probably think their mom is special - and they are absolutely right. But my mom is actually amazing.

She has proven herself to be a devoted farmer's wife and a steadfast support to her family. When I think back to the things my mom put up with, did without or had to make do - all with a smile on her face (and usually a song on her lips) I am simply amazed.

I have often said that women get a super power when they give birth and I stand by that. My mom has been an unending support for me and is always there when I need an opinion, a solution, advice or just a shoulder to cry on. She encourages me in my weakest moments and celebrates with me during my proudest.

Selfishly, I am grateful that I am the baby of the family. This position provided me with the best opportunity in the birth order, in my opinion. Because my older siblings were in school when I was born, I had my mom's undivided attention at home. Because of that, we share a pretty special bond.

I am so grateful for my Mom and who she is this Mother's Day.


Thursday, April 09, 2015

Day Five

Day Five. Day five of schlepping around the house in my pajamas. Day five of the same ponytail. Day five of surviving on ginger ale and applesauce. I have been counting the days in my head all week. And, what a week it has been.

I woke up Sunday feeling under the weather and it spiraled from there. Apparently someone brought some germs to Easter dinner because there's a bunch of us that have been down for the count this week.

It has been a long time since I've felt so rotten. The closest I can relate it to was in 2006 when I got a double ear infection and that was no fun!

So I've been rotating from my bed to the couch to the arm chair and back again all week. I cannot believe how much I have slept! And when you're taking cold medication and sleeping all the time, you dream really strange things. It's been a surreal week, to be sure.

Fortunately I have awesome people in my life that make sure I'm doing ok. My friend Jackie stopped by with a care package on Tuesday (I've been surviving on those applesauce cups!) and my boss stopped by today with another from the office.

It seems that when you're feeling your very worst, you realize the very best in people :)

Now, let's hope I wake up refreshed and renewed in the morning!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Spider

This spider has been around for a while. I'm not sure where he came from but I know where he's been... Back and forth between me & Jodi.

The whole thing started back when we lived together on Central Ave. I think I started it, but I could be wrong. That's how these stories go.

I put this little plastic spider in with her sandwich for her lunch the next day. I thought I was pretty funny. Then I forgot about it.

She never said a word about it, but waited a few days and strategically placed it somewhere I was sure to find it. Perhaps in with my makeup or something similar. This continued for the rest of the time we lived together. Just when you'd forgotten the spider...he'd turn up.

Well, six years have passed since we were roomies and the legend of the spider continues. He makes his way into birthday cards, Christmas cards, etc. and this week I'm happy to report he showed up in my birthday card. I will take care of him until it's time for him to unexpectedly show up at Jodi's house.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Alternative Christmas Card

I absolutely love getting things in the mail. I've been this way since I can remember. As a kid I would write letters to my cousin Wendy and eagerly await her reply, which usually included some stickers.

It seems sending cards in the mail is a thing of the past. And that, my friends, makes me sad. I'd like to remind you that ten years from now, you won't be able to sit down with a coffee and pull out a shoebox full of Facebook posts to re-read. Nope, not the same.

That's why I wanted to take a minute and write about this lovely card and the sentiment behind it. Reid & Carolyn had their first kiss on Valentine's Day and, being the hopeless romantics that they are, they send Valentine cards as most people would send Christmas cards. Isn't that sweet? I love it. A great little surprise in my mailbox. Thanks Juniper!

Sunday, March 01, 2015

When Good Things Happen to Good People

Sometimes it seems like life deals a crappy hand to the best people. I'm sure we all know someone that just doesn't seem to deserve the bad news that was just delivered to them. It doesn't seem fair.

But, that's not what this post is about. This post is about when good things happen to good people.

It seems that lately I've had the privilege of sharing in some great news and it couldn't be happening to better people. In the fall I celebrated the weddings of two friends and I have two more coming up that I'm thrilled to witness. These are friends that have patiently waited to meet the right person and sometimes wondered if that day would indeed happen.

To top it off, I have two miracle babies to celebrate. One just arrived and one is on the way this summer.

When you know the road before has not been an easy one, what an amazing feeling to share in a friend's good news. Feeling pretty blessed tonight.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Hazy Shade of Winter

I know I live in Canada and most days, I'm proud to be a Canadian. But why, oh why, do Canadian winters have to be so long? And snowy?

I realize this year is not nearly as bad as last year. We didn't really get snow until after Christmas this year. As I recall, last winter we were buried from November until spring!

However, I've reached my max. I'm tired of shoveling. I'm tired of the groan my car makes in the morning when it's -20. I'm tired of winter boots. I'm tired of the puddles left from winter boots. I'm tired of everything looking so bleak.

I need sunshine! I need green! I need flip flops! I need a warm breeze!

Come on spring! Please come early.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Family Day

A few years ago, Dalton McGuinty and his Liberals created a holiday for us Ontarians in the middle of February. Family Day. One of his best legacies, I would say. It's so nice to have an extra day in the middle of the cold and snowy winter to get out and do fun things with the people you love!

To celebrate, all kinds of activities are planned in communities big and small. You can even go ice fishing without a license on Family Day weekend!

I spent my Family Day with my niece Kaelyn. To celebrate her 10th birthday in September, we had planned to go to Fanshawe Pioneer Village. Plans got changed and life got busy and we found ourselves in the middle of winter! She thought skating would be a good idea and I agreed. We considered the outdoor skating path at Storybook Gardens but when the temperature plunged to well below zero, we opted to skate our way around an indoor rink instead!

It had been about 8 years since I was on skates. I'm pretty sure the last time I went skating was when I took Madison for her fourth birthday! I was a bit apprehensive, but told Kaelyn we would depend on each other! It turned out that we were both better than we thought. Only one little tumble for her as we were getting off the ice.

In addition to the skating, we explored the community centre with a scavenger hunt, played a couple of games of Sorry! and, of course, "When I Opened Grandmother's Trunk". I taught her this game while we were ice fishing and it's become a favourite.

Was happy to spend my Family Day with such a cutie.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

90 Reasons to Celebrate!

This weekend we gathered to celebrate a very special lady. My aunt Peggy turned 90 today!

When you speak to anyone that knows her, it's obvious what a treasure she is... much loved sister and mother, special aunt, cousin and neighbour and a cherished grandma and great grandma!

Peggy was twenty years old when my Dad was born and has always been more like my grandma than my aunt. She was present for most birthday parties, Thanksgiving and Easter dinners and special moments like a graduation or piano recital.

She is the most giving person I know and willingly sacrifices her own comforts for those that she loves.

She's a fighter. She entered the world as a "preemie" and proudly tells that they used a man's handkerchief for her diaper. She hasn't stopped fighting. During her days working at a factory in Windsor, she lost her index finger but that hasn't stopped her from crocheting and quilting!

She has proven more than one doctor wrong by overcoming an aneurysm, heart attack, broken ribs, broken hip and cancer. During one of these hospital stays, she told me that she would need to live until at least 90 to get everything done that she wanted to do. Well, she did it. And this week she told me that she's now aiming for 100.

I have no doubt that in 10 years we will be gathering for the celebration of a lifetime!

Showing off her new wrinkle cream :)