Friday, June 30, 2023

In Honour Of Our 15th Anniversary...

Yesterday was my and Dave's 15th anniversary. I found these questions from Marsha at Marsha In the Middle. You can see her blog here. This was something she posted for a "10 on the 10th" for June. I thought answering these questions would be a fun way to reminisce about our wedding.

1) What is the most amazing thing you remember about your wedding?

Since Dave is Jewish, and I am not, we had an interfaith ceremony and incorporated both faiths/traditions at our reception. The most amazing thing I remember is Dave and I being up on chairs while our combined community danced the horah around us. I just remember seeing Jews and non-Jews swirling around us, everyone participating and laughing, and feeling so supported.


2) Tell us about your wedding dress.

We got married in June 2008. In April 2007, our close friends got engaged, and as a joke, my friend's friend sent her a link to a wedding dress from Target. I saw the dress and announced, "That's my wedding dress." It was $129, it was designed by Isaac Mizrahi (which I didn't care about), and it had pockets! I loved how simple it was and, did I mention, IT HAD POCKETS?!?!?!?

I ordered it in December 2007 and it was shipped to Dave's grandparents' house in New York. Dave's parents brought it to Ontario and it didn't fit. So I sent it back and ordered another one which was delivered to Tim and Janice's by their friend who lived in the States. I still remember trying it on in Tim and Janice's kitchen.

I kept Dave's wedding ring in a pocket during the ceremony, and when it came time to exchange rings, and I pulled his out of my pocket, everyone gasped and laughed! It was amazing! 

3) Did you include all three things (they start with b) at your wedding? Care to share more?

We did include all four things at our wedding. My "something new" was my dress and my shoes.

My "something old" was the myrtle in my hair.  My mom's mom's family had a tradition of sticking laurel in the bride's hair at her wedding for luck. My great-aunt had a plant from the original laurel plant used for my great-grandma and my mom asked if she could have some for me for my wedding. I originally wanted flowers in my hair but loved the story of the laurel, and how it could be my "something old", and so went with that instead. My mom did it for me right before the pictures.

My "something borrowed" were the hair jewels which my close friend wore for her wedding which was six weeks before ours.

My "something blue" were my earrings which I bought for the wedding and my necklace which Dave and I had bought in Prague the summer before.

I really loved being able to mark all the traditions in a way which was really meaningful for me. 

4) Where was your wedding held... church, park, neighbourhood bar?

We had our official wedding ceremony at my church under a chuppah. We had an aufruf (a traditional Jewish ceremony prior to the wedding) at Dave's synagogue the night before our wedding. This is where we signed our kettubah (Jewish wedding contract). We had our reception after the wedding at a local golf course.

5) What is the worst thing you've ever seen at a wedding?

Two not great things I've seen at weddings is I was at a wedding where the best man dropped the ring and it rolled away. It just caused a slight delay but there was a moment where everyone was hoping he'd find the ring again :)

The other not great thing I've seen is a bride who decided to get married outside and her wedding dress was a little fragile so, by the time the ceremony started, her train was soaked in mud. She was really mad about it and basically stomped up the aisle, upset because her dress was ruined.

6) Do you think less of a bride who doesn't wear white?

Not at all.

7) If you got married tomorrow or sometime soon, what would be in your bouquet?

My bouquet was three calla lilies. I can't remember why I chose that but looking back on it, I feel like it was a bit boring. If I got married again, I'd choose more fun flowers -- ranunculus, tulips, lilacs, freesia, dahlias, things like that. I'd go for bright colours but not something too big.

8) Have you ever attended a celebrity's wedding?


9) What wedding tradition means the most to you?

I can't think of a specific tradition but I love weddings where the couple puts their own unique twist on it. We had a choir sing us up the aisle and they learned a verse of the song in Hebrew which was so special. Our chuppah came from Dave's tradition but the poles came from my parent's yard so that was really special. But none of these traditions would be special if someone did them who didn't connect to them. Does that make sense?

10) Describe your perfect wedding.

Our wedding was pretty perfect. It was a fun celebration, combining traditions from both my side and Dave's side, and with lots of our community able to join us. Again, the "perfect wedding" is one in which the couple is able to put their own unique spin on it, and celebrate in a way which is meaningful to them.

This is one of my favourite photos from our wedding day. All three of our living grandparents were able to come and celebrate with us (my one grandma was 101 years old!), and one of my grandmas had just said something a little naughty and Dave and I were losing it :)

 I will leave you with a few more fun photos from our wedding day.

My dad, my 101 year old grandma, and Dave dancing the conga line at the reception!

Willem was getting bored of having pictures taken and I love how I'm laughing here. While we didn't have a wedding party, per se, Willem, Tessa, and Lily had special roles this day.
We'd gone to Disney World with Dave's family the December before we got married so we had wedding Mickey ears which we wore to our rehearsal!

One last wedding photo :)

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Monthly Musings: Summer Fun - Vacay, Trips, And Adventures

Even though today is my and Dave's 15th anniversary, I'm going to do our anniversary post tomorrow so I can link up with Holly at Pink Lady and Patty at Good, Better, Best. Dave won't care if I mark our anniversary a day late since he's been on a work trip since Monday and we won't see each other until tomorrow anyways. Hahaha!


1) Favourite vacation destinations?

I find this such a hard question to answer. It really depends on "for what reason." For complete and total relaxation, we love visiting my parents in Saskatchewan. For a trip where we want to do "all the things," we love New York City. I always love going somewhere new and discovering hidden gems and good places to walk, whether that be city streets or a great walking path. For me, if the vacation includes some sort of water -- a lake, an ocean, a river -- it's even better.

Walking in New York City on various trips, left: 2018, right: 2022



2) Best packing tips?

I'm so boring but I have no packing tips. I just try not to pack too much, especially if I have access to laundry facilities.

3) Road trips or fly?

I really do love to fly. And while our family has done many road trips, it is just a little more freeing to not have a car. My favourite road trip ever was the one we did from Saskatchewan to the Yukon because there was very little traffic and the scenery was incredible.


I would choose a road trip every time if it was always scenery and traffic like this!

Northern British Columbia, 2019 

4) Favourite vacation memory as a child?

We once drove from Saskatchewan to Ottawa, Ontario (about three days of driving) with my three cousins. There were seven kids and my parents in the van and it was just so crazy and so fun. My parents probably don't remember it in the same way but it was so much better than road trips with just my siblings!

5) Ocean, lake, or mountains?

I really love all three but I've probably been to different oceans the most and there's just something so magical about oceans. It's probably that they're so flat, they remind me of the prairies! Hahaha!

6) Campout or indoor grill?

Neither. I'm a BBQ person all the way.

7) Favourite summer cocktail or mocktail?

Probably a G&T or a Moscow Mule, but I also love all the drinks my parents invent when we visit them!

8) Most amazing travel upgrade story?

I was flying home for Christmas one year in university, and I ran into my mom's cousin in the airport. He had a ton of business class points, and was rather irritated after many travel delays, so he decided to upgrade me to first class so we could hang out on the flight together. I was a poor university student and clearly remember that flight. We had little tablecloths and wine with our meal and it was so much fun! And, since this was well before cell phones, my parents and his wife were so surprised to see us walk off the plane together! It was the first time I'd ever flown first class and I will never forget it.

9) Ice cream or popsicle?

Ice cream all the way, especially from my favourite ice cream shop :)

10) Do you camp?

If we can "glamp" at my parents' house. We set up the tent, drag out big foam mattresses and real quilts, and have access to an indoor bathroom and kitchen. It's the best of both worlds!

I'm so excited for this summer because our vacations, trips, and adventures will likely include many of these things I've written about -- some of my favourite places and some of my favourite people.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

What's Up Wednesday: June 2023

Phew. We finally made it to the last day of school. As of 3:20 today, both of our kids are on summer vacation!!! And as of next Tuesday afternoon (if not earlier), I'll be joining them. Yay! I cannot wait!!! However, I still need to get through the rest of this week first. Ugh. 

As always on the last Wednesday of the month, I'm linking up with Shay at Mix and Match Mama and Sheaffer at Sheaffer Told Me Too for their What's Up Wednesday post.

image from here
What we're eating this week... Honestly, this week is a little scattered. Dave is on a work trip out of the country, we've had something happening every night, and the last thing I feel like doing is preparing any kind of food. So we're eating "catch as catch can." I've had more than one meal of cheese, crackers, and fruit. I want to get back into a better meal planning schedule, but that's going to have to wait until I'm done work, Dave is back from his work trip, and we have a chance to breathe again.
I'm so happy that our CSA is back for the summer because that's the only reason we're eating any sort of vegetables right now! We enjoyed our first (but definitely not last) "CSA and BBQ meal" of the summer last week and I'm excited for more of them. And the kale salad I discovered last summer has made an appearance again, and it's just as good as ever.

What I'm reminiscing about... Today is Rachel's last day at our elementary school. She is a Grade 6 graduate. Next September, for the first time in ten years, we won't have a kid at our beloved elementary school. So I'm reminiscing about the beginning of our school journey and reflecting on how wonderful that community has been.
What I'm loving... Even though I'm single parenting this week, during one of the craziest weeks of the year, I am so thankful for my community which is surrounding me and helping me out while Dave is away. From friends who are feeding the kids when I have to work late, to friends who are letting Rachel come over early in the morning before school, to Dave's parents who are taking the kids for a few days, to Janice who isn't letting me spend my anniversary alone -- I am just so thankful. So I'm loving my community. And I was reminded anew of this as we saw so many friends while celebrating our kids' Grade 8 graduations a few nights ago. Sam has a great group of friends all entering high school with him and I'm just so thankful.
At least half of these kids have been friends since Grades 2 & 3.

What we've been up to... All the graduations! We attended Willem's Grade 12 graduation and Sam's Grade 8 graduation. I attended the graduation at the school where I work, and Rachel's been doing Grade 6 celebration activities. Throw in a couple of baptisms and it's been crazy, celebratory times around here!

What I'm dreading... Well, I was really dreading Dave's work trip which coincides with the last days of school/work for me, and our anniversary tomorrow. However, by 3:45 today the kids will be off with their grandparents for a few days and I can just look after myself and my end of year wrap up at work. And the bunnies. Ugh.

What I'm working on... Our neighbours built a really high fence right through my beloved patch of day lilies. Thankfully, they dug up the day lilies and gave them to us so we've been working on extending the day lily bed and replanting them all. We got it all done but they looked so sad after we had to cut them back. So this past weekend, I put some annuals in there just so there's some colour. We'll have to do more work on the end of the bed by the cedar hedge but I think we're going to wait until fall to do that. So I've been working on way more landscaping than I had intended to this past month.

What I'm excited about... Vacation! Summer Break! Not having to get up so early every day! Being able to relax!
What I'm watching/reading... I haven't been watching much of anything. I'm trying to get my piles of work down to nothing as I prepare for summer break but they just keep growing. Ugh. And I've been watching the weather forecast because we've had so much rain lately. I'm always trying to figure out if I'll be able to hang a load of laundry or walk to work.

In terms of reading, I was doing really well with reading a wide variety of books but in the stress and busyness of these past couple of weeks, I've fallen back on the In Death books by JD Robb. I'm on my fourth or fifth one in the last week. I think I just need light predictability right now and these provide it for me.
What I'm listening to... I started listening to "Here's Where It Gets Interesting," a podcast by "American's government teacher," Sharon MacMahon." I listened to her series on How Women Won World War II, which was all about different women and their involvement in World War II. I listen only while I'm folding laundry and now I've started her podcast on the Japanese interment camps during World War II. I really enjoy learning something while doing a chore which is not my favourite. I'll wash and hang laundry all day long but folding it and putting it away is where it all falls apart on me, so having something interesting and engaging to listen to helps so much.

What I'm wearing... I saw this skirt at Joe Fresh but they didn't have my size. I looked online and at at three different stores. Then I randomly found one at a store about two weeks later and it was in my size!!! I love how bright it is, I love how fun it is, and I really love that it has pockets!!! It's my new favourite summer skirt!!!

What I'm doing this weekend... We're spending some time with my cousins who are visiting from out of province and maybe we'll even get some swimming in -- we haven't been to the pool yet which is kind of sad.
What I'm looking forward to next month... VACATION!!! We're going to one of our favourite places to see some of our favourite people for a few weeks and I cannot wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm counting down the days until I see this view again...

What I bought on Amazon... We didn't buy anything on Amazon again this month. It's a rare thing for us to make Amazon purchases.

What else is new... Last What's Up Wednesday, I mentioned that I had good job news that I couldn't share at that time, but I can share it now. While my secretary position at a middle school is not yet permanent, it is only going to be temporary for another five months. So instead of having to apply for my current position (again), I get to just "bridge into" the temporary position. Hopefully (prayers said and fingers crossed), it will become permanent sometime shortly after January 2024 and I will just be the Head Secretary at this middle school until I no longer want to work there. So I'm very excited about that. I have been working at this particular school full-time since March 2022 and, despite all the challenges, I really do love it.

Okay, I'm off to get my kids ready for their last day of school. Summer 2023, we cannot wait to enjoy you!!!

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

I Spy 2023: Week 25

It's the "I have one week left of work/the kids have two days left of school/Dave is on a work trip out of the country" version of "I Spy." In other words, life is insane right now. Phew.

Let's Play iSpy 2022


Willem's Grade 12 graduation was quite the "event" and we were so happy to be able to celebrate it with him.

Outfit – Quarterly

This skirt is my new favourite "outfit." I found it at Joe Fresh and I love it! I've worn it three times now and will wear it again tonight. It has pockets which makes it even better!


Sam and Rachel "played" with their three-year-old second cousin this past weekend. They had a lot of fun being the much bigger, older kids.

Starts with U

With all the rain we've had this past week my umbrella has been very useful. And happily, it "starts with 'u.'"

Choose Anything – Monthly


I don't know if you can tell in this picture, but our dining room has been neglected this month. When we do eat at home, if it's not raining, we've been eating outside. Sadly, it's been so busy, we've barely eaten at home. sigh. We'll have to get better at that once all the craziness ends.

So that's what I spied in this crazy, busy, week. Next week at this time, I will be getting ready for my last day of work before I begin my summer break! WHOOOOO HOOOO!!!

*week 77 of Lysha's challenge prompts. See her post here.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

10 On The 10th: June 2023

After a few months of publishing my "10 on the 10th" posts really late, this one feels like it's relatively on time. Hahaha!!! This was a day of yard work and then a fun mother-son evening with Sam.

Our neighbours had told us earlier this spring that they were putting up a fence. What they failed to mention is that the fence would be more of a wall, cut right through our day lily bed, and be 8 feet high. Thankfully, after I cried, they dug up the day lilies for us to try and replant. So this day, Dave and I worked for five hours digging up grass, reclaiming as much soil as we could, and planting a few feet of day lilies. It was a lot of work.
Also, the dirt that came up from digging the holes for the posts ended up on our grass so we had to work through a couple of inches of dirt, then the grass, and then more dirt. It was so frustrating.

Left: Dave trying to figure out where the grass was which needed to be dug up. Right: About five feet of fresh garden bed, ready for day lilies.
Sadly, the fun part was actually planting the day lilies which only took about 3 percent of the time. Most of the time was spent trying to prepare the bed. This is me watering the first part of the bed we planted.

We only got about three feet done on the other side of the existing day lilies when we ran out of time for this day. But we got half the day lilies planted and it looked so much better. Also, the kids basically took care of themselves and did all the dishes this day while Dave and I worked.

Also, instead of celebrating Father's Day this past Sunday, we finished digging up the bed and planting the rest of the day lilies. Whooo hoo?!?!?

For the evening, my union had offered tickets (including a bus ride!!!) to the Toronto FC game. So Sam and I took advantage of it and went. It was a lot of fun!
The red smoke rising from the sign for the field is an indication that the game is about to start. 

What I love is that the soccer stadium is on the shores of Lake Ontario so you can look out across the lake too. It's so pretty. That's not sky in the upper third of the picture - that's the lake. (Okay, maybe there's a bit of sky in this picture!)

It was such a good game and I really enjoyed spending a fun evening with Sam.

 Stay tuned because July 10th is likely to be really fun!!!