Wednesday, June 30, 2010

 n. a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.

It's going to be short but oh so sweet. Jared has several days off and we're using them to go and visit precious people. 

Precious people. 

We'll talk and we'll laugh, we might even cry. We'll eat yummy food and stay up late and play games or just visit. We'll make memories, take some pictures, share some love. 

Because when you love people, you do that sort of thing. You drive several hours to spend one hour with them. You let them know how special they are to you. That they are a gift to you. You get a crick in your back from how you were holding your baby while talking to your Mom. Because she is so special to you and you love hearing her voice, her smile and her wisdom. 

Sometimes I wish I could just gather up all my family (and now that I'm married, that's a lot of people!) and just hold them close, freeze those special moments with them, love on them.  But that's hard to do right now. Know that you are loved, my precious people. I can't wait to be with you all again! And do those crazy things that make us family.  

It'll be quiet on here for a few days but I'll have lots to write about and pictures to post when we get back. :-) 

Love on your people. Let them know how much they mean to you. Make some memories. You always have today. 

photo: my sister in law with her 4 month old baby, when we were in Taiwan together, last March    

Monday, June 28, 2010

beauty in simplicity 
Outside my window there are random street noises and the occasional conversation as friends meet each other

I am thinking about the gift of relationships and how they all take work and commitment

I am thankful for my husband and his faithfulness to me. And for the fan that creates a breeze on this humid day!

From the kitchen, there are cooling racks filled with cookies, potatoes and eggs to be made into a potato salad and shortcakes ready to be filled with strawberries and cream

I am wearing my favorite jeans and pink t-shirt

I am creating beauty and memories

I am going on a picnic tonight with good friends, by the lake, in the cool of the evening

I am reading The Baby Whisperer

I am hearing sweet baby noises from Kilmeny's playpen.

Around the house...coral daisy in jar, white duvet on bed, stacks of library books

One of my favorite things:  morning run made extra early by a little Miss who was wide awake at 5:48, we joined the crowd of dog walkers and the faithful runners in pounding the track

A few plans for the rest of the week: reading, picture sorting, memory making, library vists, conversations with family

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing...our salad from last night. I had prepared it and called Jared over to look at it before we dished up the beauty. He took a picture of it for me. Isn't he sweet? :-)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

a day at the beach 

Jared told me that Friday would be a day just for us. He wouldn't touch the violin and we would spend the whole day doing fun things, together. He had plans. I love it when he has 'plans', they are always the best. 
After hearing me talk about how much I wanted to go swimming and running down to the water every chance I got, he made plans to spend the day near Port Dover which is right on Lake Erie. I bustled about throwing towels and books and water bottles into a bag and putting together some food. We loaded the van and got breakfast at the bakery just down the street. One of my favorite indulgent breakfasts: coffee and pastries. 

We were told the bakery served better coffee then Starbucks and we wanted to have the complete bakery breakfast so we went with it. Starbucks still has our allegiance. 
Thus fortified for the trip, we headed out. Through some beautiful country. Uplifting music. Good conversation. 

We found Port Dover and it was very busy. Quite the little beach town. We decided it was not the place for us and drove away to find another, quieter beach. We drove down various back roads and meandered through corn and peanut fields. 

Following the signs to Turkey Point, we were delighted to find a quieter beach with shade right near the lake.The stroller worked well to hold our stuff and our little smiley girl. 

Kilmeny had her first real beach experience complete with squishing her toes in the sand, feeling the water on her legs and getting sunburnt (just a little). She was the most happy when she was sleeping in her stroller. I swam out to the boundary line which sounds far more impressive then it actually was and then we both read in the sun. It brought back so many happy memories of family vacations on Lake Okanagan. My book choice of the day was The Hobbit.  There is something refreshing reading about a cold, damp journey to the Misty Mountains when you are lying in the sun.


We got ice-cream cones and packed up. 

Jared has this thing for Tiger Tiger icecream. I don't. My choice this time was Peach Mango Tango Frozen Yoghurt. I should have gone with my instinct and had the Triple Chocolate but it was still yummy. The cones were a treat from Mom M. she tucked some ice-cream money into a card for me. I didn't get as big of a cone because I spent some of the money on scrapbook paper. :-) 

We headed back to Port Dover where most of the earlier crowd had dissipated. Families and couples out for a stroll filled the sidewalks. We got hamburgers and 'golden glow' at this cute walk thru joint that had been there since 1919. It was more of an experience then anything else. The 'golden glow' which is their signature drink needed a little help. But it was fun. 

We walked around the little shops. Jared took lots of pictures, for me and my blog. 
We walked out on the pier and drank in the sun's rays on the water, the waves crashing on the (almost) empty beach. Seagulls, ducks and fishing boats were everywhere.  

We arrived home sun-kissed and tired. It was a good day. :-)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

making it beautiful 

I read how at the top of every to-do list she makes, Martha Stewart first writes 'make it beautiful'. That thought has stuck with me and inspired me. It's an easy enough thing to do. 
Straighten the couch cushions as I walk through the living room, put the clothes away, keep the dishes washed, the flowers fresh and the candles lit. 
So simple. 
Keep the conversation loving. Sprinkle nutmeg on top of vanilla milkshakes. Play music. Kiss the baby. Go running at 10 pm. Chase each other around the playground. 

Jared is a huge inspiration to me in making life beautiful. We spent a few lovely hours together this afternoon making our life beautiful. We looked through oodles of pictures (do you know how many pictures there are when your husband is a photographer? Lots. And lots), talked about the memories from the pictures and the people we want to give pictures too and he created the amazing header for my blog. Isn't it marvelous? 
I love it. 

I had asked him if he would create such a header for me, sometime. He's pretty busy these days with music but we make the most of the moments we have. He had a few hours this afternoon after a concerto competition this am and a get together this pm. So we created the header in those moments. Rather he created it, I gave my opinion. I had an idea of what I wanted the pictures to be but didn't know what pictures so we looked through folder after folder until we found the perfect ones. 

It's been that sort of day, enjoying the simple gifts of each other's company, creating a new (and fabulous)
lunch, perusing a magazine, sorting pictures, and drinking lots of iced tea. And now it's the twilight hour and the house is quiet. The evening full with the possibility of getting Lots accomplished. So many ideas to share with you, so many projects to work on, so many relationships to invest in. I am blessed. 

photo: twilight in Wellington, NZ

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

3 Things that make me Smile! 

Thing 1: 
A peaceful, sleeping baby.
Thing 2:
A peaceful, sleeping baby's foot with  nail polish.

Thing 3:
A cold and refreshing homemade iced coffee. 


And another picture I found on the card when I put it in the card reader. For the record, I did not take this picture. And we were given the darling onesie. 

 And because I know you all want to know how to make such refreshing iced coffee, I'll tell you. 
Place equal amounts of cold coffee (ie. empty the press that has been sitting on the counter all day) and milk, ice-cubes and sweetener in blender. Blend until ice cubes are no longer cubes. Pour into glass. Delight in the froth and enjoy. 
You can vary this by making it stronger (add less ice), a different flavor (try chocolate or butterscotch ice-cream syrup), or simply pour the liquid over the ice cubes. If making coffee for this alone, it's best to add a bit of sugar when it is still hot so the sugar can dissolve. 

Have a pleasant evening friends! 

::::: edited to add: I was going to post pictures and the recipe to an amazing delish salad that I modified from a recipe and a dressing that I created but the pictures on one the other camera that J has with him. So I'll post that another day. These pictures (minus the Canucks one) were taken by me on the 'big' camera, the Nikon D2Xs. I'm slowly mastering it, it's been a goal for um, way too long. 
Off to savor milk and a chocolate chunk cookie and sort through pictures from New Zealand! 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

a trip to the farmer's market 

The Farmer's market is one of my bi-weekly delights. I love walking downtown, past all the old brick houses with lovely flowers, past the old churches and schools and spending a pleasant hour or so perusing the stalls and purchasing the fresh produce. I thought I would capture today's trip for you so you can share in this delight! 

Kilmeny is sleeping and I'm drinking a cup of Orange Pekoe while savoring a Laura Secord 'extreme dark chocolate' square. As a total aside, you all know that the real Laura Secord wasn't a chocolatier, right? She was quite the heroine and you should all know about her, especially if you're Canadian. The town of Ingersoll is near us which I think is really neat and Laura Secord's home is within an hour of us. I love history. If you want to go google who Laura Secord is, feel free, then pop back and let me know. 

Back to today. 

thought a picture of Kilmeny and I would be a nice way to start. Easier said then done. Here's the best attempt. We are both wearing white, pink, and dark jeans. I like coordinating and I like wearing pink a lot more now that I have a little girl. Go figure.

And another, just because:

Ready for the walk! 

Those white moccasins, they were made especially for Kilmeny by her uncle Kyle (Funston) and her feet are finally big enough to fit them!
They didn't last long on her feet though.

There were some beautiful gardens along the way. I could have made a beautiful bouquet but I didn't. I just admired them from a distance and made notes for my 'some day' garden. 
I couldn't resist the daisies!

And then we were there! 

forgot to save some cash for my flowers so I was glad that this stall took debit. I selected the gerbera daisies because, well, I love them. And the color was so appealing. I opened them up and put them on top of the stroller so I could look at them all the way home. 
While I was paying for the daisies, the owner ( or somehow related to the stall) of the stall came with chocolate for the flower lady. He asked if she had shared any with me. She hadn't. But then she did. It was extreme dark- 70% cocoa and I quote 'so it's good for you, keeps you young!' I thanked her and then she gave me another square. I saved to share it with Jared. I couldn't have kept all the yummieness to myself especially after reading this morning about giving as it has been given to you. We each got a square of blissfulness. 

There were more gardens on the way home. Lavender for Kendra.

And  orange lilies for Caleigh. She loves them so much that her wedding bouquet was made up of them. Which makes perfect sense since I had daisies in mine.

To add to the general Adventure of the day, it started to rain. And I didn't have an umbrella. I looked for one to buy but the store didn't carry any. 

I covered Kilmeny up and ran. Somewhere there's a theory that if you run fast enough, you will dodge the wetness. It didn't work. I was soaked. Kilmeny was still sleeping and dry. That was a good thing. One drowned rat is enough. I was slightly tempted to wait for Jared inside the shelter of this lovely place but I knew I should probably buy something if I was going to do that and I'd already spent all my money, so I hurried on home.

Jared arrived home just in time to bring in the last of the vegs up the stairs. I hustled and bustled making lunch, kissing Jared goodbye as he was off to a rehearsal, feeding Kilmeny and then eating myself.

Kilmeny is grabbing everything these days. I carried her and the flowers up the stairs first and she held onto the flowers all the way up and didn't let go until I took them from her. Such a little doll. She attracts lots of attention at the market. One little two year old was quite taken with her and as I was telling his mother how old Kilmeny was, he looked right at Kilmeny and said, ' Are you six months?' So cute. There's an older Middle Eastern man who always blows kisses to Kilmeny and exclaims just how adorable she is. I don't disagree. 
I read Martha Stewart Living while enjoying my  tuna sandwich and Kilmeny enjoyed her Beatrix Potter book from her Auntie Caleigh.
Then it was time for her nap and I hustled and bustled once again to restore order to our little abode. 
My vegetable drawer is all full again with fresh, local produce!
And my fruit basket is all full again with fresh, imported fruit!
And the bathroom window is made cheery by these blooms. Bonus points to anyone who knows what the bottle used to hold.

And now I'm off to write some emails while the little doll sleeps. Hopefully. 
I also purchased some new earrings, not from the farmer's market, some sterling silver daisies to go in my ear. And some delightful filigree silver spheres. 

Happy Tuesday to all of you! And thanks for reading, gleeps, that turned into a long post!

Monday, June 21, 2010

a date

we had booked tickets to go see the Toronto Symphony Orchestra awhile ago. We asked a friend if she would watch Kilmeny for the evening. She had offered to do so whenever we wanted to give us an evening out. She's that sort of a nice person. 

What I didn't know was that Jared had booked something else for later that night. After the concert. It was a surprise. And I love surprises. We got dressed up and set off for our evening out. It was one of the first times leaving Kilmeny with someone who wasn't family and I felt like such a mom giving the instructions. 'This is how you wrap her up for bed. She likes music. You can read her a story. She normally goes to bed around 8:30pm.'  
I know, I am a mom but it's still a little new. 

The concert was an absolute delight. Isabel Bayrakdarien sang and the orchestra played and it was lovely. We got drinks in the intermisson and drank our cranberry juice and fountain coke out of glass goblets and they were nice. We held hands and smiled together as the orchestra played out the lovely music. 

We rushed out while the applause was still going because we had a dinner reservation. 

Now to be perfectly honest, I did guess what the surprise was. But Jared didn't tell me if I was right or not until we were in the concert. We fast-walked all the way to the CN tower, hoping to make it on time for our amazing dinner at the top!!! When we got there, they said there had been a power outage and the elevator had stopped working. Sigh. We walked away and figured out plan B but then the lights starting coming on so we walked back. And the elevators were working. So we went up. All the way up. 2 floors a second. I was glad I wasn't near the glass window. 

The view was incredible. The food was some of the best I have ever had. The setting was quiet and intimate. Except for the very loud customer two tables down who insisted on using his outside voice. I don't think he learned his manners properly. 

More than anything else, it was a lovely evening just to be us two. To talk, to laugh, to enjoy each other in a beautiful setting. To focus on our relationship. To invest in each other. To add to the golden strand of memories. 


Sunday, June 20, 2010

::Weekend Moments::

.....memorable date with my sweetheart....
....Starbucks with friends...
...long, relationship-building talks...
...leisurely Sunday breakfast...
...the little princess sleeping through the night...
...Sunday drive and talk...
...time with a brother...
...laughter, love, the reality of life....

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

On the Washing of The Hands

I contemplated soap and water as I stood there, the warm liquid cleansing, the faint scent of clean permeating the small space. 
Such a common, many times a day practice. 

We bought some new soap yesterday. SoftSoap's shea butter in liquid form. The scent always takes me a a cottage in BC- I can feel the cold tiles on my feet, the seashell decorations, the brightly painted shower tiles every time I use this soap, regardless of where I am. 
So, when I was there, standing in the soap aisle, I knew what soap I wanted to buy. 
So many choices. Exfoilating. Moisturizing. Deep-Cleansing. Gentle on Skin. Scented. Unscented. 

My all time favorite soap is unashamedly the soap my sister makes. I love it. I am a long ways from my sister right now. I don't love that. Using the soap that she has made with her hands to cleanse my hands just feels so right. 
She sells it and we use the scraps in our soap dish. Her soap always brings a calm, gentle, all is right with the world feeling. The same feeling I get when I am around her. She has always been my anchor. I asked my photographer-husband to take the above picture when we were in Taiwan last year. Baskets of home-made soap. It reminded me of my sister and her soap.

There was soap here when we arrived. Irish Spring. A name that I have always felt was so undeserving of that soap. Irish Spring conjures up images of verdant meadows, wild ponies, freshly-picked wildflowers, tea and scones outside. The chaps who name the soap got it all wrong. 

And so I will wash my hands. Many times a day. Breathe in the soft smell of shea butter, cleanse my hands and remember so many happy times in that little cottage. 

 It's all about embracing the moments. Because that is what life is made up of. 


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Day Book for June 15th  
Outside my window...a gentle breeze is playing with the window shades and the sounds of vehicles drift in....

I am thinking...about child training, personal discipline, the future, scrapbooking

I am thankful for...a refreshing morning walk after an up and down night with Kilmeny
From the kitchen...fresh granola and fresh coffee

I am wearing...a colorful tiered skirt with a blue peasant top, my feet are bare and my nails are painted pink

I am creating...a scrapbook of our world trip

I am home this morning, happy thought!

I am reading...For the Children's Sake by Susan Schaeffer MaCauley,  a thought-provoking read

I am sell lots of baking this afternoon!

I am hearing...J practice the violin, Kilmeny explore her blanket

Around the house...gerbera daisies in glass, sun streaming on quilt, stack of paper waiting for pictures

One of my favorite things...cold lemon water

A few plans for the rest of the week....picture sorting, email writing, paper cutting, cookie baking, house cleaning

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing...
Kilmeny's face when she wakes up from a nap and sees me, so rewarding! 

This is part of the Simple Woman's Daybook 

Saturday, June 12, 2010


 a noun
1. a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one's life; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time
2. something that elicits or displays nostalgia.

I've been spending tonight sorting through pictures that will eventually be part of the scrapbook of The Trip. It's been a sweet time. Re-living lots of memories, conversations, growth and beautiful places. Here's a few of one of my favorite places. Two of my brothers (in law) came over and joined us for a crazy, memorable road trip around the South Island of New Zealand. We took lots of pictures. These are just a few. 
Nostalgia is a good word for tonight. It's a beautiful feeling.


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