Saturday, December 22, 2012

Happy Christmas

I am so very happy to post this picture. It's such a good feeling to have my little family so close.
I am truly blessed. I love my family :) Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 07, 2012

The Family Dog

Neko. We've had her as a part of our family for over 3 years now. It's hard to believe, really. Sometimes it feels like longer, especially this last month. The picture captures how we all (Nick, Neko, myself) feel about our current situation.

Neko has an abscess in her neck that was a result of stick-in-throat incident earlier this year. After the stick thing, her throat swelled up really bad, she went on anti-biotics, it got better, then a small abscess formed, then turned into a big one, then started draining itself... THEN she started scratching. And it got real bad.
She had surgery on it almost a month ago, and I can only laugh, and cry and laugh again when I think about how much this dog has been through. She's luckier than most people in the world... HOW DID IT COME TO THIS??!?!?
And the worst thing is, after the surgery the surgeon told us he didn't think he got all of the stick out, which has proven to be true. We are basically back at square one, and may have to do it all over again.
But, I don't know if we should. Nick absolutely loves her. He has already told me he doesn't want to give her up. I, on the other hand, don't want to give up my vacation money. I mean, I love the stupid dog, but how much do we have to sacrifice for her to just be healthy?? Again, HOW did it come to this?!
Half of me wants to be a responsible pet owner (and because she is a part of our little family) and do what's "right" in our crazy society: get the tests done to find the stupid stick, and get rid of it.
Then the other half of me wants to find a family who would love her, who have a big yard somewhere and who have $$$$ laying around and want to fix her all up.
Do I want to give up? Or do I want to be practical? Is this some kind of a lesson we are being taught? Or is it just that sometimes we makes dumb decisions in life, then we have to live with the consequences?
All this over a stupid dog we came to care so much about. It's not her fault......
I still don't know what to do.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Stand Still

It's interesting when something drastic, shocking or painful happens in life, the world keeps turning. In birth, in death... It seems like the world should stop. At least for a moment.
I've experienced both. A nephew being born, a grandfather passing... Both experiences had a profound effect on me. I feel as though the world should have at least paused for a moment to witness a great loss, or a beautiful miracle. But it doesn't.
I remember my numb brain after deaths and births in my family, watching strangers go about their business, wanting to stop them in the street and and tell them "I have a nephew! Isn't it a miracle?!", or in frustration as grief swallows me, wanting to shake them and yell, "What's wrong with you?? My uncle just died!! How can you just keep walking around like nothing happened??"
It's uncomfortable, the stand still, whether good or bad there is tension. In the last 5 years there have been 4 births and 4 losses in our family. A lot of change, some easy, some hard. But change is the key... In the moment of the stand still there is no change. No progress. No rewind. At least, my world seems to slow to a stop. Until the shock subsides, and the wound starts to heal and the excitement starts to wear off. The busy strangers around me start to look normal again and I, myself start to feel normal. It's hard being in the middle of this all, but harder yet for me to watch others go through it, to be one of those "people" who seem to be living life as if nothing has happened, like nothing has altered life for the those involved.
Life goes on amidst the stand still, and I guess somehow we all make it through the worst, and look forward to the joy.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

An Ode To The Rain

Rain, rain go away
Don't come again some other day.
How many times can I say
I'm sick of the rain today?

You're wet and cold and dreary
And make me feel all sneery.
I'm tired of the clouds all teary!
I think they're making me weary...

I'd rather have snow!
And snowy wind that blows snow.
I guess it just goes to show
I'm sick of the rain... Oh.....

Rain would you go away?
I want to go out with just a sweater, okay?
It's getting close to Christmas, by the way.
It's definitely not springy, wet May.

I'm sick of the rain today.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Playing Catch Up

Here's a few random images since my last blog. Things that kept us busy in the fall...
Nicholas built a fence with the help from his brother and dad

He always makes things look easy...

One night we stood in our back yard and watched the smoke from that huge fuel fire.

Aali made a new friend! (a cute little guy I did respite for)

Right after the fence was done, it snowed something fierce!  (Oct 5th!)

I made an apple pie for Thanksgiving that looked better than the magazine pie!

And... We all had the flu last week. This was Aali's way of dealing with it... haha...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Time Away...

Nicholas and I were able to get away this Labour Day weekend, without Aali and Neko and without any worries of everyday life. It was fantastic! We talked, and laughed and ate great food and took beautiful walks and lazy drives around Clear Lake and reminisced, and thought about our future... It was a bit like old times when we were dating. We didn't do anything special for our anniversary in June, so this was a "better late than never" celebration trip!

Anyway, here are some pictures of our little trip through Riding Mountain...
Beautiful harvest time fields on the way to Virden
Our first stop, visiting Aunty Jan and Ron
Our destination!

Our "Deluxe" Room

Our view of the stables and park

Sitting on the pier waiting for our ship to come in... haha

The Martese! We went on a dinner cruise...

The cabin inside, complete with a bar!

The beautiful views across Clear Lake

A sweet couple took our picture for us :)

Dinner was fairly good...

And looked amazing!

One of our many walks...

A dock path through the marsh near Clear Lake

It was really cool, even though we didn't see any beavers :(

Back at the resort, the horses were so cool to watch

A look out point we stopped at on our way out of the park going home... It was breath taking. 

We had a wonderful time! I think it was actually better than our honeymoon!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Life and Death

When someone dies, I think it's natural to start to see death all around us. The children in poor countries, the newest natural disaster, we all know someone who's lost a grandparent or parent. It can be pretty depressing. The media seems to thrive on updating us on deaths, or close to death experiences. I haven't quite figured that out. But on the other hand, there is Life.

I have an uncle who's heart stopped just over a week ago today. But he was miraculously revived with help from his wife and paramedics. He's made an amazing recovery and is now at home! I think it's a miracle. And personally, think it should have made at least the local news but I guess it's not big enough news for them.

For me, on the other hand, it's changed my world! I've started to see life everywhere! Our little monkey babbling away with a smile, the thousands of people bustling around the city, my Grandma and Mother talking about the good ol' times. I'm surrounded by life and living things and it makes me enjoy mine so much more. Death has it's place, but I'm thankful for life today. Life should be celebrated!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Well, I hardly have time to blog. Between going to the cabin, working on our patio, having fun with Aali and watching the Olympics, I don't have much time for anything else!

But here's a quick thought; I love watching people doing what they seem to be created to do. I get this feeling when I'm watching someone be who they are, almost raw, and vulnerable. I see it a lot in the arts. Watching a John Mayer concert one time I got emotional watching him sing (I forget what song) or play this amazing lick, it was obvious this was the best of him. The natural ability, the love of what he was doing and the pleasure and satisfaction he got from it. It moved me to tears.

Watching the Team gymnastics (men's and women's) brought out the same emotions in me. Anyone who knows me is aware of my emotions, I can't help but express myself when I feel a wave of them. I'm okay with it, it's who I am. These athletes, who have worked SO hard, trained SO hard and push the limits on everything they do, AND to have grace and ease while they are performing, or competing is one of the most amazing things to watch. It comes so easy to them, like breathing. And when they perform and out-do themselves you can see the satisfaction and joy and pride, and it's truly inspiring. It quickened my heart, and gave me shivers and made me well up, just like a good song. It made me want to be like them, not what they do, but how they feel about what they do. I'd like to be like that.

Dominique Pegg for Canada

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Wednesday, July 04, 2012


I've been wanting to do it for a while now, so I booked a consult at the tattoo studio down the street for my birthday. It was only a two month wait, and that two months seemed to fly by!
I got a tattoo of the Holy Spirit dove. I always loved the idea that God sent a part of himself to be with us after Jesus ascended. "God with us" is what runs through my mind when I picture the symbol of the dove.

This was my inspiration image

And this is my finished tattoo!
The inspiration image was a little bit too serious looking, so I like how my tattoo artist made it a bit 'lighter'. And I'm very happy with it. While I was cleaning it this morning I was afraid it was going to wash off, but then I realized it's gonna be there forever. And then I Laughed Out Loud.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

4 Years Ago Today...

... At this time (11:45am), I think Cynthia was photographing us at the Cathedral on Tache
... I was already exhausted, and the show hadn't even started
... Nicholas and I were all smiles and giggles all day long
... I felt like a million bucks, and Nicholas was the most attractive I'd ever seen him
... I was surrounded by all my favourite people in the world, less a few...
... I was hungry most of the day
... I was astonished at what we had accomplished as a family
... I was waiting, and waiting
... I was emotionally spent by the end of the ceremony
... I laughed until I cried at my father's speech
... I danced the night away
... I was married

It still feels like yesterday. I hope I feel this was for many years to come :)

Friday, June 08, 2012

Happy Baby, Happy Dog, Happy Me

Aali, Neko and I were finally able to escape to the cabin this week. I was a little worried about taking baby and dog by myself, but it proved to be easier than I expected. And I'm SO glad I did.

It was just a couple of days, but beautiful ones. Just enough heat, sun and breeze, and good cabin food. We actually got to float in the water and sun bathe for a while and it reminded me of simpler days as a kid when all I had to worry about was getting a sunburn.

I feel so relaxed, and Aali is happy, tired in a good way and a little more browner,  Neko is totally flaked out somewhere in the house after getting a lot of good exercise, and this rainy day is a nice break of the sun and heat.

Aunty Becky taking Aali swimming

Playing in the sand

Neko drying off in the sun

I hope we can do it all again soon.

Monday, June 04, 2012

I Secretly Think Aali Is A Baby Genius

This did actually happen: I was washing a few dishes while Aali was playing in our living room. She will often find a remote control for the TV and push the buttons, and because the "On" button is big and red, she tends to turn the TV on and off. So, I heard this happening and looked over to see she had turned the TV on and was surfing channels which then stopped precisely on a cartoon!
It's not a joke, this is what I saw! Haha!

I think she's smarter than she lets on....

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Party Debrief

This past weekend we hosted two celebrations at our house. As small as our house is, I was surprised at how well both parties went; lots of people, little space... Good thing our extended family is close!

To be honest, I LOVED every minute! We started on Friday with a family birthday for Aali. It was a sort of come and go thing, which worked out well. The early people were leaving as the later people arrived. It was busy and loud and fun. I love a full house, especially when it's mine.

After lounging and resting on Saturday, Mother's Day plans changed last minute and we ended up hosting the lunch at our place. Seeing as the decor was still up, a few last minute changes (adding and re-adjusting a "Happy Birthday" banner to say "Happy Mother's Day"!) made the place ready for a different celebration. Again, good food, happy chatter, kids running, dogs barking, hugs and laughter.

I don't think I realized, until we had a place of our own, how much pleasure I get from entertaining. At both celebrations I was able to just sit and watch as people helped themselves to our fridge and came and went, backyard to living room, upstairs and around. And the toilet seemed to be constantly flushing. It's funny how all those things are comforting to me, granted I love my alone time too. I had to recover after both parties, but it was all so much fun.

I hope everyone who came felt well taken care of and comfortable in my home.  I'm not %100 amazing at  entertaining yet (the lack of kleenex in my house, no plates at one point, too few chairs, annoying dog...) But you have to know I love it! I hope to do even more as the years go on.

What's better than getting together with family and friends? Not much. Not much at all.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Happy Birthday

There's a sweet little girl sleeping in the room next to me. She has the sweetest little face, big eyes and a temper. She smiles when I smile, and laughs when I laugh. I think she's smarter than she lets on. I love her to pieces, and I hope she'll know that she's loved, immensely. She's turned one year old today. I can't help but feel like a proud mama. Happy Birthday Monkey :)

Friday, May 04, 2012

Birthday Happy

Well, seeing as that last post was pretty depressing, I decided a pick-me-up was in order. And what a pick-me-up my birthday was! I turned 26 on May 2, and I thought 25 (it being a quater of a century and all) was a big deal, apparently everyone else was surprised and even disbelieved I was 26, my father included...

Anyway, I actually didn't have plans for my birthday. My husband, love him to death, didn't plan anything for me until later in the day, so I thought I'd be spending time at home with the little monkey, just me and her. But by noon I had a sitter, I was booked at Ten Spa for a pedi, and Nicholas decided birthday  sushi would be good. We ended off the day with out weekly bible study with a few young adults from church, who surprised me with cake and flowers and a hand-made card. It was wonderful.

It ended up being one of the best birthdays I could ask for! I guess the unexpectedness of it all was a gift in itself. So, I decided to take a few pics to commemorate it all...

My pedicure! The nail polish was actually called "happy birthday"
Thanks again Chels!
Feeling very refreshed, beautiful and happy after the steam room and pedi :)

On the way home from the spa, Chelsea and I stopped at Danier
to buy this bag I've always wanted.
Nicholas and I went to Yuki Sushi on Main st. DE-lish!

These are my beautiful flowers.

And some yummy cake!

I also had a family birthday supper last night, and that was the best! Nothing like being surrounded by the people you love. I'm a bit birthday happy :)

Tuesday, May 01, 2012


It's been almost a whole year.
I guess I should've known it would happen again.
It's so sneaky. I think I'm okay, then the next minute, I'm not.
I try to talk myself out of it... "I'm better than this! Just breathe!"
But it slowly builds and starts to take over my world.
Then I can't breathe.
As much air as I'm taking in, you'd think I'd pass out, but it's not enough.
I see darkness trying to creep over my vision.
Fresh air doesn't help.
Everything is wrong. "But there is no reason to panic!" I tell myself.
I'm hot. And cold. And dizzy. I don't think it is going to stop.
I look for him, my husband, watching me from our bed.
He doesn't know how to help. He can't feel how out of control I am.
But I need him. I get off the floor and find my way to the bed.
I can't control the breathing.
I lay beside him. He's warm.
His arms surrounds me, and his steady hand starts to circle my back.
He's done this before. He knows how to chase away the panic that has taken over.
I don't know what I'd do without him at this point.
I concentrate on the slow, steady circles. My heart begins to slow.
My mind stops spinning, and I realize how tired I am.
How long has it been? Did I wake the baby?
My breathing starts to become manageable.
But my head is pounding.
Sleep. I just want sweet sleep.

He called from work this morning to see how I was.

I was hoping it was just a nightmare.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I think that's the word to describe what I felt tonight, rocking Aali to sleep. At one point she took the bottle out of her mouth and it fell to her neck, spilling water there. I took the bottle aside and wiped the water away with my finger, and she looked up at me almost encouraging me to continue. So I kept stroking her newly bathed, baby soft neck and she kept looking at me with her big beautiful, sleepy eyes. We just stared. I was overwhelmed with emotion... how did this 'little bit of a thing'* come my way? How on earth did God put this child in my arms? My arms? To protect, to love, to teach and care for? Her sweet face, her bright eyes studying me.
I was filled with wonder tonight. And there's no going back from here. She's imprinted on my heart forever.

* Aaliyah is quite small for her age, and my Grandma has said a few times, "Oh, isn't she just a little bit of a thing!" I thought it was so sweet :)

Monday, April 02, 2012

Sunday afternoons...

Lately Sunday's have been incredibly busy for us. Always full of great things... church, lunch, hanging out, Nascar, family suppers, house stuff. I love to do all of this, but sometimes I just want to nap, or sit in the sun outside, or just be at home with Nick.
Since we've taken in Aaliyah, we have had more Sunday afternoons at home, napping, lounging and being together. I like it. That's what Sunday afternoons are for.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

If I had 1 million dollars...

*I would finish our house (Or I would just buy a new one...)
I would buy Nick a new truck
*I would pay off the visa bill

I would take our whole family back to Egypt
I would hire Ray Lamontagne to do a private house concert
I would invest in some outrageous new product

I would do research and donate big-time to a good charity
I would buy GNF a new facility (Or just pay off debts)
*I would buy a new bicycle

I would buy all my family iPhones (Yes, even the kids...)
I would hire a personal Masseuse/Chiropractor (They would have to be trained in both areas)
*I would probably get another dog (Because I'll have a big yard in the country)

*I would record another CD
I would buy Don Amero a new guitar
*I would renovate the cabin

*I would put money away
I would fund Tom and Nick's mechanic business
*I would help Cor and Daryl find a way to have a bambino

*I would buy the lot next to our family cabin
I would buy that piece of the beach at our cabin
I would go to a big concert once a week

*I would have self sufficient home (Solar panels, geothermal, big garden, cow, chickens...)
I would produce a short film
*I would buy a new wardrobe of clothes

I'm sure I could think of more... What would you do?

* things I think we could actually achieve without a million dollars (or accomplish in the next 10 years)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Nap-Time Crafts

Well, I actually wrote this post yesterday (What? Two in one day? What is going on??) I know, I know, but I was really excited to show you what I made!! Aaliyah sleeps a lot during the day. I was a little surprised at how much free time I get when we're at home. And since I can't do any "loud"* things during her naps, I 've been pretty crafty this week!

I started a little craft** that will go in her room upstairs (when it's completed). I like the idea of having her name around so she can learn the letters and have something fun to look at. So I started with this: (the bright napkins are from becky's napkin flowers from her wedding decor)

And ended with this! The little flowers were actually stamped out of our wedding invitations... I can't believe I still had them!

I had some bird templates from my cd release party that worked well for these little pictures. It all came together rather nicely, I think!

I wanted to do these out of fabric, but after I put Aaliyah to sleep one day, I couldn't really go out and get some. I didn't think I would have had everything I needed to complete this, but I guess I'm craftier than I thought I was. Ha. Anyway, I hope to do more of this, it's fun, and quiet and cute!

*she actually sleeps through a lot of stuff; traffic, dog barking, our creaky floors. But I haven't tried the vacuum yet... I probably won't vacuum while she's sleeping :)
**I actually stole the idea from my cousin Carolyn. Thanks!

Insta Parents!

So. Where to begin...

My younger sister Becky starting doing respite for a baby about 5 months ago. She is the cutest little thing. Nick and I fell in love with her instantly. Her name is Aaliyah (I know, crazy spelling, but whatever)

She's been in foster care for the better part of her life now and when she was about 8 months old, we found out that her foster mother would be moving out of the city and could no longer take care of her. With the thought of babies in our future, and knowing conditions she was living in, it was hard to imagine us not taking her in. It was fast, and is still somewhat unpredictable, but we are now responsible for a 10 month, living breathing human being! I mean, most people who have babies get to have that 9 months preparation time. Being thrown into it has really turned our world upside down. But I guess any baby will do that, with prep or not.

It's been hard, emotional, exhausting, fun, exciting and.... well an adventure. And it hasn't even been two weeks! It's a bit scary to think that for the next couple years, there's always a chance she could be placed somewhere else, or taken back by her parents. Although it is unlikely, she's not completely ours. That's hard to deal with sometimes. But while she's in our care, she's our child, our family, and will be loved and treated like so. There's no other way to think about it.
We love her.