Thursday, October 12, 2017


I've heard lots of stories about home renovations: they always take longer than you think, they always cost more than you think, etc. Well, it's all true!

When we moved into our house it had an unfinished basement. At the time, it didn't seem like that big of a deal. We could finish it the way we wanted and expand our living space. After nearly a year of unpacking and settling in, we decided to tackle the project.

We got a couple of quotes from local contractors that left my mouth gaping. Surely we wouldn't have to pay that much just to finish the basement!?! Well, no. We wouldn't. Because we found Mike. Mike is our neighbour who is very handy and has endless energy! He has quarterbacked this project - putting in countless hours at our house and he has had great ideas and suggestions because he's done this type of thing before. Devin has been helping out - which saves on our cost but he's also learning a ton along the way. A win win!

We started out with a mountain of boxes haphazardly strewn about the entire lower level. We had not unpacked all of Devin's stuff when we had to vacate my house. It was the hottest day of the summer when we moved my stuff so all of my belongings were shoved into the basement for the sake of "getting it done". After that, it seemed like an enormous task each time we went to the basement... a mountain of boxes to make our way through.

Slowly but surely we eliminated some boxes - unpacked for our use, donated to Goodwill, sold on Kijiji or just plain garbage. We still have plenty left to go through, but we at least had a manageable sized mountain to deal with. We moved all of these boxes into our "unfinished" area and Mike got to work on framing some walls. It was amazing to see how quickly things changed in the early stages. It went from a big ole empty room with insulation and vapor barrier to walls with drywall and eventually paint. Then came a bathroom, lighting, flooring and a fireplace!

We are nearly at the finish line and are so excited to have this new space to use as a family. The countless hours of working down there is now about to pay off. Although, it has me holding off on the pending kitchen renovation!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Our Maritime Adventure

It all started when my Uncle Doug asked me last summer "When are you coming out to see us?" This started the wheels moving to get our wheels moving!

What a wonderful adventure we had on our trip to the Maritimes. It was a perfect two weeks of just the three of us and the open road. We traveled through Quebec and into New Brunswick. I felt compelled to stop in Hartland, NB to get a photo with the longest covered bridge in the world. Our family had stopped there 32 years earlier and it just felt like a "must do" thing to get our photo with the same bridge!

We carried on to Moncton where we did an Urban Quest by the waterfront. Then spent some time with Devin's Aunt Pauline and Uncle Steve and cousin David & his wife Cathy. We walked on the ocean floor at Hopewell Rocks and carried on to Nova Scotia, eventually ending up at Uncle Doug & Aunt Carmelle's place right on the ocean. What a wonderful few days of relaxing and enjoying their company. And an added bonus, my fruzzin Carol Ann was home too!

We ventured into Halifax and set sail on a pirate ship and watched the buskers around the waterfront. We even tried our first beavertail! But the real gem of the trip was Cape Breton. What a gorgeous spot! Each turn was breathtaking and Devin loved driving those winding roads made famous on tons of car commercials. We didn't see any whales when we went whale watching, but did spot some seals and dolphins. Cody even got to hold a lobster when they showed us how they trap them.

Perhaps my favourite part of the trip was our "perfect picnic" purchased through Parks Canada. We saw it on the website and thought it looked like a great idea. The photo was a couple with a beautiful picnic basket with a baguette sticking out the end. We joked that it would likely be in styrofoam take out containers in a plastic bag when we picked it up. We were pleasantly surprised to find it all tucked neatly into a special cardboard box with the Parks Canada logo. The food was delicious and so was the view that Devin found for us to eat our picnic! What a wonderful day.

Two weeks was the perfect amount of time to actually get away and relax before feeling like it was over and we had to head back to work. We all had a wonderful time and made family memories to last a lifetime!

Wednesday, September 06, 2017


For the past year, I've been jotting down notes on my phone whenever I have a "Cody moment". I'm sure all parents have these moments when their kid says something profound or hilarious. I knew that if I didn't write them down, I would eventually forget and I didn't want that to happen.

Inspired by a Cody moment last night, I thought I'd share them in a blog post - for future reference. Here is my list in no particular order:

Devin and I were stealing a moment to kiss in the kitchen while Cody was headed for the fridge to get a drink. He paused and said "I'll just let you have that moment".

While discussing my wedding dress and how much I loved it, Cody piped up to say "you know me, I love pretty".

While listening to McCartney's Jet in the truck, his fist clenched, he exclaims "My hand is always ready". (This followed me telling him that when you see Paul McCartney in concert and he sings this song, you pump your fist in the air each time he sings JET!)

When deciding what to make for lunch Cody declared: "I would like two examples of sandwiches please".

"My tummy reminds me when it's time to eat. It gurgles when I'm hungry. Mummy's tummy sounds like an earthquake when she's hungry."

While discussing interruptions in the classroom, he claims: "He makes me forget things. Because, I have a beautiful mind when  I'm not being interrupted".

"I'm so thirsty, my throat is dripping it's so dry." (what?!?)

"I'm just going through my brain because I have 300 words I have to memorize for school."

While saying grace before dinner: "Thank you God for Mummy. I've been waiting my whole life for someone like her".

Watching Grammie curl her hair: "You look like George Washington".

He caught a glimpse of the wire on the back of my teeth and was fascinated that I have one the same as Daddy's. Then he exclaimed "You really are meant to be together!"

Cody: "When you're old Daddy, I'll take care of you."
Me: "What about me?"
Cody: "Maybe, but you're tough."

While on our East Coast trip, Devin was explaining to Cody that we were far from home and it took us three days to get there. His response: "We can get it down to two if we really work at it."

Also on our trip, while eating lunch one day - I asked Cody if he was having fun. He agreed that he was and then added "If we didn't meet you, we wouldn't be here right now."

Rounding the corner at Costco, he sees a sample display and sings (with vibrato) "my dessstinnnyyy"

When tucking Cody in, I was explaining how special he is to me and how he's changed my life. He smiled sweetly and snuggled under the covers and then pointed out "If you didn't meet us, you would just be sitting around your house talking to shadows."

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Swiss Chalet ...OK

The following text exchange actually occurred between Devin and myself on April 1, 2016. It was April Fool's Day and Swiss Chalet sent out an email announcing they were retiring their chalet sauce and introducing a new recipe.
What ensued was pure comedic gold. Everyone in the office was following along as Devin replied. The longer it went on, the more he got fired up and the funnier it was. I shared this at our family Easter dinner because I thought it was so hilarious and Jo-Anne liked it so much she "performed" it with Karla Ann at our wedding reception.

Thought I would share it here, along with some pics we took on this year's family vacation. Enjoy.

Janice: Just sent you an email

Devin: K thanks.

Janice: It's about Swiss Chalet. Did you hear about the merger and such? My parents might be devastated.

Devin: That is without a doubt the stupidest thing I've ever heard of in my life. I'm not going there anymore.
Devin: I can't believe how betrayed I feel right now.
Devin: To put this into perspective, The Keg might as well stop serving steak.

Janice: I know! I cannot believe it.
Janice: My cousin Josh will be devastated. He would drink the stuff if he could. And he's not even in Canada to have it before it's gone.

Devin: I'm actually a little taken aback by how angry I am over this right now. I probably should have waited to the end of the day to look at that.
Devin: Don't be surprised if they go out of business over this. There are literally people that will travel across the border from the states, like a pilgrimage, to go to Swiss Chalet for that stuff and then bring home 5 gallon buckets of it. I heard about it on the news one time in Buffalo.

Janice: It's a terrible marketing plan. Like new Coke or McPizza.

Devin: Where do people and companies get off doing stuff like this? They create a product and provide it to people for 60 years and then just take it away. It makes no sense to me. McCartney might as well start doing ghetto rap music.
Devin: Or Target? Where are they now?

Janice: I'm wondering if it's related to the merger with that Quebec chain. Heard it on the radio this morning while getting ready for work.

Devin: What Quebec chain?

Janice: St. Hubert Chicken.
Janice: Never heard of it before, but apparently it's a big deal.

Devin: I knew it! The food is crap. Why would they do that?
Devin: I've been there and it's a crappier version of Swiss Chalet.
Devin: Literally after eating there, I kick myself for not just going to Swiss Chalet.

Janice: Oh dear.
Janice: That doesn't sound good for Swiss Chalet.

Devin: There's no way it will last. There will be way too much push back from the public. They'll do this for a while and then have a grand welcome back to the old sauce as another marketing ploy for more cash.

Janice: Well, sorry to fire you up. But I thought of you right away.

Devin: St. Hubert chicken used to be in Ontario but it's gone now and there's good reason for it because it's swill. What a waste of perfectly good chicken.
Devin: Fired up? I am literally this mad. (anger emoticon)

Janice: Ok honey. Settle down. Life will go on.

Devin: No way! It's what we always do in this country - we settle down and take it. People need to speak up and tell St. Hubert's chicken to keep their poison in Quebec where it belongs.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Happy birthday, baby!

Enjoying our birthday morning coffee!
Today we are celebrating the awesome man I get to call my husband.

We started the morning by stopping in at the local Coffee Culture before work. As we walked hand-in-hand down the street and into the cafe, Devin had such a huge smile on his face. We got our coffees and snuggled in beside each other at our booth. Yes...we were THAT couple. I can't help it. I love this man and sometimes it's hard to not let it show.

Devin loves cars, trucks and all things with a motor. So, with that in mind...

Selling features for this make and model:
  • positive outlook
  • encouraging
  • patient
  • passionate
  • easy going
  • caring
  • loving
  • understanding
We have had a wonderful year since we celebrated his last birthday and I can't wait to see what's in store until the next one!

Happy birthday to the love of my life. Forever and for always. xo

Saturday, July 01, 2017

The week of the gall bladder

It has been quite a week at the Drysdale house. It started last Thursday. My stomach wasn't feeling just right in the evening, but I thought I'd wake up feeling better on Friday morning. It wasn't so. I spent the day in bed on Friday with back pain and nausea. I was disappointed to feel the same way on Saturday as we had made plans to go to the beach with some friends. As one of our only "available" weekends of the summer I hated to spend it in bed but that's what I did. By Sunday, I was feeling more myself so we attended the annual Moore family reunion and squeezed in a visit with my brother and his family.

And then it hit me. Sunday night I woke up about 3:30am with what I knew was a gall bladder attack. I've had a number of attacks over the past year or so but none were this bad or lasted this long. We decided around 7am I should go to the ER so, we dropped Cody off at school and Devin took me into London. We were in his work truck and each bump along the way caused me to moan in agony.

I arrived at the ER looking pretty disheveled - hot water bottle in tow.  Fortunately they could see my anguish as we only waited about 10 minutes in the waiting room before being called in to a bed. I saw a lot of people in a short time - nurses, interns, residents, ultrasound ops, etc. Through several ultrasounds they determined I had a lot of gall stones and one was in the neck of my gall bladder - which was causing the pain. I'm not sure if the doctor that did the original bedside ultrasound dislodged the stone or not but the pain seemed to settle down after he completed the first scan.

Bumped into my old friend Nick on my way home! :)
My sister Jo-Anne came to spend her day off with me while Devin went to work. It was such a comfort to have her there - she even brought me a nice warm blanket as it was freezing at the hospital! She thinks of questions that I never would and ensured I was taken care of. She also drove me home and settled me in before heading out.

I was so relieved when they told me I'd be having the surgery on Thursday. I actually had a consultation on July 11 with a surgeon, but I knew it would be more waiting after the initial appointment. So, to have this dealt with within a few days was wonderful. And it actually ended up happening a day early! They called and asked me not to eat after midnight on Tuesday night in hopes they could get me in on Wednesday.

I went to work on Wednesday morning and sure enough, at 9:30 I got the call and was off to the hospital. Of course, I had made all my arrangements for Thursday.... Mom was going to be with me at the hospital and bring me home, Randy was going to pick Cody up from school and take him home.... a day early had me scrambling. However, I'm surrounded by great people that help out in time of need. Randy came a day early and looked after Cody and though my mom couldn't come to the hospital, she spent the day with me at home on Thursday and made sure I was resting comfortably.

Flowers from John & Karen (left) and Mom & Dad (right)
My dad had his gall bladder out when I was a kid. It was a big deal. He was in the hospital for about a week and still has a big scar. I'm happy to say things have changed. They now do the surgery laparoscopically so I went home just hours after the surgery and will have very minimal - if any - scarring. It's not my ideal way of spending Canada 150 but I'm grateful for the way things timed out and now have this behind me.

Monday, May 22, 2017

After a year... are you still "newlyweds"?

A year has come and gone since I became Janice Drysdale. It's hard to believe! In one way, it feels like we've been married for so long because it was such a natural transition. In other ways, it just feels like yesterday that I was a single gal longing for all the things that are now my reality!

I'm so incredibly blessed to have such a wonderful husband. He's patient and encouraging, always making me laugh, he's handy - completing lots of projects around the house and he balances me. When I worry about every last detail, he is carefree and trusting God. It has been such a wonderful year.

But, it's funny how life doesn't go the way it is planned in your head. I never would've imagined my first year of marriage being so chaotic:
  • moving two houses and all the boxes that go with that
  • selling my beloved Beetle and driving a pick up truck
  • helping a child settle into a new school
  • becoming an English tutor as we help Cody learn to read
  • basically crash-coursing how to become a parent and deal with discipline, learning expectations, responsibilities, etc. Yikes!
If I imagined that I would be choosing my first anniversary card for my husband while standing in the grocery store - with the clock ticking - I would have thought that was ludicrous. Not me! Cards are far too important to be rushed. In fact, they should be hand made.

LOL. Hand made. What a joke. I haven't even had time to put together the photobook of our wedding! Gone are the days of having current annual photobooks. I haven't created one since I met Devin.

One day, life will settle down and I will once again enjoy the things I once did. But for now, I'm immersed in the moment of being a wife and mom. And you know what? I wouldn't trade it for the world. It's what I've been waiting my whole life for.