For me, my family photos are some of my most precious possessions. One of the first things I do when settling into a new place is put up my loved ones pictures. At my university dorm room I filled a bulletin board with snapshots, in our first home Steve and I had a family galley wall… amongst the collection our parents’ wedding photos. Our fridge is usually filled with photos of friends and these days their babies.
One of the first pieces of advice we received from our real estate agent when preparing to list our home was to take down the photos and put up more generic art. That one simple switch effectively removed “us” from our home. It isn’t until you remove all of the photos that you truly realize the comfort they provide. And so one of the first additions to the new place was our pictures.
In terms of personal preference when it comes to displaying family photos, I find that grouping pictures and frames together has a nice impact. We settled on the upstairs hallway as the main location for our collection, I like that it’s a private space yet we pass through it often. I’ve read tips in décor magazines about developing in black and white, using a standard white mat and keeping your frames uniform. While I do like the artistic element of black in white photography, I can’t commit. I find that the magic and life captured in the photos sometimes exists in the colour. I develop and display both. I have fun switching out and playing with little photo groupings on our dressers and book shelves.
The addition of our photos has definitely helped us to feel a little more settled.
“What I love most about my home is who I share it with.” – Tad Carpenter
It’s been a month since we’ve moved, and it been a bit of a whirlwind trying to set up a new house. We’ve been busy unpacking, painting, installing… basically just settling in. We’re getting there. We’ve come to the realization that a house can be decorated, but a home is composed of a life collected and evolved over time, and so we’re pacing ourselves.
Luckily there are plenty of fun distractions. The past month has been full of new experiences. We’re slowly becoming acquainted with our new hometown. We’re new members to a gym, we’ve ventured out to the new grocery store and made a couple of visits to the farmer’s market. A recent highlight, was the three of us dining out on the patio at the local pub. The neighborhood is lovely, we’ve met some great families and there’s no shortage of kids. The community splash pad and pool is where you can usually find us! Safe to say it’s been a memorable Summer.
Our new home has been dubbed the “blue house”. There’s a very simple story behind it. When we purchased the house, it was partially constructed and the exterior building materials had been selected and ordered before we entered the picture. When we asked the sales agent the exterior details of the house he pointed to a sample wall and said he was pretty sure it was this one or the other. Long story cut short, we made a trip during the construction stage a couple months after the fact and were surprised to find a blue house. And while it’s highly unlikely that we would have selected blue for the siding, it has definitely grown on us. I think that the blue-ness has a certain charm, we’ve even received some compliments from family and friends on the selection…for which we can’t take any credit. Hence, our blue house… a happy accident.
It’s been a little more than a week since we moved … and while moving with a little one certainly complicates things, I’m happy to say that we’re settling in. I’m not sure that I have any useful advice to offer about packing, moving or unpacking. It simply takes a lot of work. But, one luxury Steve and I allotted for ourselves was hiring movers. The two men that showed up with our moving truck more than earned their wages. Another big aspect of our move that helped us to get better organized was having a week between closing dates. The weekend prior to our big move, Steve and I did runs back and forth with boxes, clothes and linens. We were able to begin unpacking the closets and cupboards before all our furniture arrived. It was definitely a nice feeling to clean and organize the storage areas ahead of time.
For me the best thing about our first few days in our new home was all being together (Steve took some vacation time, combined with a long weekend). There’s no denying that there’s something exciting and a little strange about waking up in a new place. Nolan seems to be adjusting quite well. And while there are still boxes to unpack, cleaning to be done and appliances to hook up, we are steadily tackling our to do list. Truthfully, we seem to favor taking advantage of the summer weather and new walking trails outside of our door.
The momma in me is excited to feather the nest and make this house a home.
It’s a fresh beginning for which we are very grateful.
Grandmas hold our tiny hands for just a little while, but our hearts forever.
This weekend I had the privilege of celebrating my grandma’s 88th birthday. The last while my grandma’s had some health setbacks and so it was extra special to see her well and in good spirits. My family surprised her by picking her up in a limo. She arrived to her party in style, we cheered and sang a round of happy birthday when she made her entrance.
She’s such a special lady. She’s the matriarch of our rather big family (at last count we were somewhere around 50). She’s an inspiration to all of us. Belonging to a large family is a blessing, the support, love and joy we share together is something I simply do not take for granted; and at the heart of it all is my grandma. She’s a woman of strong faith, she’s a young soul, who appreciates life and all that it entails. She’s wise, a straight shooter, with a great sense of humour. I love to be in her company and I feel very lucky to still have her in my life. Happy Birthday Grandma! FYI she requested a helicopter for her 90th.
Most times that I think of my dad I instantly smile. His personality was so big, lively, fun and loving. He raised three daughters, he loved us madly, protected us fiercely and brought so much joy to our days. Raising Nolan has in so many ways made me feel closer to my own dad. At times my heart breaks, it’s often bittersweet… thinking about how much my dad would have loved his grandson. I find peace in the belief that they met in heaven. My little boy reminds me so much of my dad, it’s crossed my mind that Nolan was sent in part to us from dad. He’s the perfect blend of sweetness and mischievousness, he’s brave and strong yet so loving and lovable. Nolan’s middle name is Peter, he resembles my dad and already I’ve started telling him all kinds of stories about his Grandpa in heaven.
Shortly after my dad died, I met Steve. The saying holds true that little girls look for qualities in a partner that remind them of their dads. Although they never met I know how much they would’ve liked each other. My husband is fun loving, he literally wakes up and goes to sleep with a smile on his face, his happy nature is infectious and Nolan and I are so lucky to have him. Nolan lights up when he’s with his dad. He already idolizes Steve, he has special laughs reserved just for when they play together. You’d have to see how Nolan looks at him, the two of them together literally melt my heart. It has been incredible to watch Steve be a dad, happy father’s day honey.
I’ll also use this opportunity to wish my father in law, Nolan’s “grandpops” a very happy father’s day. Nolan is the first grandchild for both families, he’s spoiled and so loved. Although, there isn’t supposed to be favourites… Nolan’s already claimed his grandpops. The bond they share is undeniable. I read a quote a while ago that said, “A child makes a man of his father, and a boy of his grandfather”. I have truly loved watching their special relationship develop.
So there you have it… this father’s day I’m reflecting on all of the incredible men that have made such an impact in my life.
“We were together, I forget the rest” – Walt Whitman
We’re scheduled to take possession of our new home in T -10 days. So naturally rather than buckle down… pack and tie up loose strings, we elected to hit the road and spend the weekend in wine country. In a word it was glorious. The weather was perfect, the scenery was lovely, the food and drinks were delicious, but my favourite was the alone time with my honey. It was much needed and each moment was savoured. He truly is my best friend, our time together is usually spent laughing. I continue to fall more into love.
We dubbed the weekend our “catch all” weekend… we celebrated both of our birthdays. As for our little sidekick, he had a wonderful time with his Grandma and Grandpops. We got full updates throughout the weekend about all the fun he was having. I’ll say it yet again, we are so lucky to have support from our parents. We don’t for a second take it for granted.
Our weekend entailed a scenic drive, visits to three wineries, a happy coincidental meet up with old friends, a delicious dinner, a round of mini-putt, a full night of sleep, breakfast and a couple’s massage. In my books it doesn’t get much better. While I did question whether it was the best time for a getaway, I recognize now how much we needed a quick escape. We have full and exciting weeks ahead of us. Both Steve and I were happy to return home to our boy, we’re rested, excited and eager… and our wine collection is restocked. All in all it was a pretty great weekend.