Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Belated Happy Mother's Day

When Chris and I chose our wedding date, the last thing on our minds was the fact that our anniversary would forever coincide with the weekend of Mother's Day. For that reason, the second weekend in May is always a pretty busy one at our house, with Chris taking the kids out to shop for me and then spending all day Sunday pampering me... It's a rough life! Meanwhile, we always try to fit in some kind of anniversary celebration. This year is was lunch out, and a play at the Grand Theatre on Friday evening -- and for the first time, we didn't have to get a babysitter! The kids were fine at home alone for the evening. What a milestone!

This morning I realized that I had neglected to post anything on my blog for Mother's Day, so I'm making up for it today. I have the world's best mom to celebrate! And she is my most devoted reader, so I know she'll see this today. Sorry it's a few days late, Mom. For over 40 years you have been absolutely the best mother I could have asked for. You gave Tracy, Brad and I beautiful childhoods, and you have given us all unwavering support during our adulthoods. My children are blessed to have you for a grandmother, and even more blessed that you are the example I have to follow of motherhood. I love you, Mom! I'm so glad I got to give you your Mother's Day gift (a little early) in person this year. I hope you had a wonderful day!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Sweet Sixteen

May 11, 1996 dawned cold and rainy in Rothesay, New Brunswick — and for some crazy reason I didn't care one bit! I laid in bed for a few minutes just to savour the uniqueness of the day, took a call from a friend in (who knew?) London, Ontario, and then got up, showered and got ready to go to the beauty parlour. In just a few hours I would marry the man I had waited twenty-six years to meet at the front of a church. I could not have been happier.

May 11, 2012 dawned sunny and warm in London, Ontario — and I woke up with a smile on my face. I lingered in bed long enough for Chris to ask me if the kids didn't have school today. They did, so I pulled myself out of bed and began the morning routine of making coffee, breakfasts and lunches and coaxing kids out the door. Connor wanted to ride his Ripstick to school; Janelle caught a ride with our neighbours. After I shooed them out the door I carried coffee upstairs to my husband of sixteen years and asked if he wanted me to make him a sandwich or take him out to lunch. He chose the latter. I picked him up at noon and we went to Blackfriars Bistro, a restaurant not far from Chris's office, but far enough to offer free parking (a true bonus in this city!). He had been there before; I had not. The food was delicious, the service was friendly but slow (and I came home with a second sandwich when they brought me the wrong one the first time), and the company was my favourite. Our lunch conversations have changed over the past sixteen years, but we would still rather be with each other than with anyone else.
I planned to scan a wedding pic to add here (can you
believe I don't have even one digital picture of our wedding?),
but my scanner was being tempermental so this will have to
do for now.

After lunch, Chris needed to drop something off at City Hall, so I waited for him as he ran inside. When we pulled up I noticed a wedding party standing on the front steps, waiting, I assumed, for the bride and groom to emerge from the building. Sure enough, before Chris returned to the van, the lovely couple appeared, stopped for a few photos, and disappeared into a waiting decorated car. Chris hopped in with me just before they drove past us. It was almost like looking back in time. I wanted to tell them they picked the perfect day to get married. They are enjoying a sunny wedding day. Mine was raining and cold, although I barely noticed (my bridesmaids did in their off-the-shoulder dresses!), and we were stranded by a snowstorm on the first day of our honeymoon. But May 11 is the perfect day to get married. I only hope the newlyweds are still as happy together in sixteen years as my groom and I are today.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Two Month Update

The fact that I have not added a blog post in two months is certainly not because I have had nothing to say. It has been an absolutely jam-packed couple of months! For that reason I'm going to give a brief overview, and in future posts I'll elaborate.

First of all, I found out the day before we left for our Florida vacation that I was added to the Thames Valley District School Board Elementary Occassional Teachers List. Hallelujah! So far I have worked two days in a JK/SK class at Connor and Janelle's school. I love it! It is wonderful to be back in the classroom!
The only character Janelle cared about
meeting was Minnie.

On March 9 we embarked on a fabulous, long-awaited, two week vacation to Florida. It is so hard to believe that was nearly two months ago. We had a wonderful time, and I can't wait to do it again, perhaps this time with a little less emphasis on theme parks. Don't misunderstand me — We loved Disney! But that portion of the trip was truly exhausting! We did, however, have few days at the beginning and the end with Chris's father and stepmother in Zephyrhills, and a day off in the middle of our Orlando blitz to spend at the pool and visit with our friends Eric and Charlene Currie and their three awesome kids. It was so great to finally meet the children and hear their amazing stories of adoption from Ethiopia. We had beautiful weather the entire trip, and a perfect place to stay in our rented townhome in Orlando. And Janelle met Minnie Mouse. The perfect vacation!
After the final game.

Five days after we returned home from Florida we were off again, this time to Niagara Falls for the Ontario Basketball Association U12 Finals. Sadly, our boys won only one out of three games, so there were some tears shed on Saturday night, but overall Connor has had a wonderful experience being part of a competitive team for the first time.

Five more days and the van was packed again, this time for a trip to Indiana to spend Easter with Peter, Ellen, Mallory, Julia and Shorey. One of our favourite things about living in Southern Ontario is being so (relatively) close to the Moore family. It is still about a seven hour drive, but it is so much closer than it used to be. We have had a number of great visits with them since we moved here, but we hadn't seen them in nearly a year, so we were anxious to get together for a few days. We arrived late Thursday evening, and Ellen and I shopped on Friday, then went to see The Hunger Games Friday night while Chris, Connor, Peter and Julia went to an Indiana Pacers game and Mallory babysat Janelle and Shorey. Saturday consisted of more shopping, some great food, and some hard fought ping-pong matches. On Sunday we had an Easter egg hunt, went to church, had a wonderful Easter dinner, and hit the road around 3 p.m. We're hoping we won't have to wait nearly as long for another visit with our dear friends.
Connor and Julia at the Pacers Game.
A couple of days after we arrived home from Indy, we celebrated Chris's birthday along with Bliss and Doreen, who arrived that day on their way home from Florida. We had a great visit, including a couple of games of Wizard (I won once! Woohoo!), despite the flu that had struck me down on Easter Monday. They left our house on Friday to head to Kate and Pierre's, and we went to Oakville on Saturday afternoon to share a meal with the rest of the family. I got a prescription for an ear infection that morning, so I was officially on the mend.

The following day we attended our own church for the first time in six weeks, and then joined Connor's basketball team and their families for an end of year party. There was a "parents vs. kids" basketball game (Chris played, I kept score), swimming time, and a potluck dinner. It was a bit sad to say goodbye to such a great team, but there is a chance Connor will be on the same team next year in the U13 division.
Nurnie with Connor and Janelle, Summer 2010.

Early in April I found out that Nurnie, who has been fighting ovarian cancer since just before Christmas, would be having surgery on May 2, which would be my sister's 40th birthday. For those of you who do not know who Nurnie is, she is actually Lillian Constantine, and is a bit like an aunt to me, but really much closer than an aunt. She is my second cousin on my dad's side, and my mother's best friend since they taught together in their early twenties. She has been part of our family for my entire life. I believe her brother, Larry, christened her "Nurnie" as a toddler, and I have never been able to call her anything else. She never married or had her own children, so my sister and brother and I have been her kids, and she has been another grandparent to our children. Living so far away while Nurnie has been fighting this evil disease has been very frustrating. I knew that I wanted to make a trip home on my own at some point, and since Nurnie's surgery date landed on Tracy's birthday, I thought I needed to be there. I flew to Moncton on the evening of April 29, and Mom, Dad and Nurn picked me up at the airport and we all spent the night at Nurnie's. The next day we visited in the morning, Nurn took us all out to lunch, and then Mom and Dad and I headed to Rothesay. We had decided to try to surprise Tracy, but I knew that would be easier said than done. I hid in the bedroom when she arrived that night for her birthday supper, and the biggest surprise to her was that I didn't seem to be there! When I came out and said "Happy Birthday" she told me that she had already made plans for us to see a movie the next night! All in all, it was a great week. I spent time with my family without the distraction of being on "Mom-duty". I had lots of time to just hang out with Mom in my jammies, or to play Wizard with Mom and Dad. And I was there to meet the doctor after Nurnie's surgery, which went very well, although the fight is not over yet. Saturday Mom, Tracy, Jillian, Brad, Jody, Hailey and I went to Moncton again to see how Nurnie was doing, and after a couple of really good days she had had a rough night. I was glad to see her again, but it was hard to leave knowing she had experienced a bit of a setback. Because I was flying out at 7:00 on Sunday morning, I stayed with Larry and Pat at Nurnie's house, and Larry graciously got up in the middle of the night to take me to the airport. I was ready to go home to Chris and the kids, but I am so thankful I was able to make the trip home.

And that brings us to today, which I have spent quite lazily alone in my house. Tomorrow I'll be teaching the same JK/SK class at Connor and Janelle's school, and I have no plans to leave town again before summer. I'm ready for life to slow down and fall into routine. And part of that routine will be adding to my blog. I promise.