Thursday, August 04, 2016

Finally.... I do.

A perfect day. That is how I would describe our wedding day.

After months of planning the details - big and small - everything came together on May 22. It was an early morning wake up call for the girls - but, that was the trade off for having a morning ceremony. I had a quick bath in the luxurious tub in my room. Side note: Wow, I wish I had more opportunity to enjoy the elegance and grandeur of my room! It had a huge "living room" with beautiful tall ceilings/windows and a fireplace. The bedroom also had a similar window and a corner jet tub that was fantastic.

My long-time hair dresser Brenda and her co-hort showed up just before 6am to get started on taming our manes. After they arrived, it was a constant flurry of activity: Mom stopped by with some breakfast, the make up girl arrived and got to work, a number of texts, emails and Facebook messages kept my phone buzzing. Before I knew it, the photographer was there! It was time to get my dress on and get this party started.

From that moment, the rest of the day went at lightning speed, and I don't know that I recall everything that happened! People tell you that your wedding day will be a blur - and they were right!

Fun tidbit: I got a text from my new father-in-law that he checked at the front desk and the radar for 10am looked good. I thought that was random and only later realized that it had rained that morning and they weren't sure if we would be able to do the ceremony outside! I think it's better that I didn't know that :)

Before I knew it, it was time to finally walk down the aisle. I took Dad's arm and paused for a moment as I savoured the moment. I was surprised by how calm I was. I had waited a long time for this and yet it felt like the most natural moment in the world. I loved each step that I took - greeted by so many smiling faces. But the greatest smiles were the two waiting for me at the end of the aisle.

I must confess, I loved the ceremony. It was a perfect blend of tradition and our personalities. I'm so happy that we had both Dave Lane & Gord Gilmore be a part. I have known Dave since my teen years and am good friends with him and Laurie. Gord has been an important part of Devin's spiritual walk. So, we were thrilled to have a dual pastor service!

At Dave's suggestion, we used traditional marriage vows but included a love letter to each other. Other than Dave, no one (including us) had read the contents before that particular moment in the ceremony. It was my favourite moment of the day. It was important to us that Cody was included in the ceremony because I was making a commitment to him as well as to Devin. So, we wrote a love letter to Cody as well. What an incredibly special memory.

As I stood at the front of our friends and family, I tried to soak in the moment. There were points throughout the day I tried to do that - take a mental photo. I recall looking into Devin's eyes as we said our vows and listened to the beautiful, poetic words of his love letter and knowing that I had found a real treasure.

Despite the rain earlier in the morning, the sun had come out and was shining down on us. Shining down so much, it was actually getting kind of warm. I had been concerned that the May long weekend might be kinda chilly and my bare arms might leave me shivering. Nope. In fact, Cody took refuge behind Devin during the ceremony to get some shade from the hot sun.

Many times during the planning process, Devin & I commented that we would love to be a guest at this wedding! We knew that we would not be able to enjoy the atmosphere and experiences that we were creating for our guests. This was definitely the case, but I think everyone enjoyed the Sunday paper and coffee we provided.

When we started planning a brunch wedding, the ideas just all came together to have it on a Sunday morning, serve coffee and create a personalized newspaper for our guests while we had photos done. Quite honestly, creating the newspaper was the best part of the planning for me. It's a natural fit for my skill set and interests and allowed my creativity to flow. It was also a way for us to include some of our friends and family. I even found a website that would print on actual newsprint. Super fun!

We wanted to pair the newspaper with coffee - naturally. At first we looked into having Starbucks but soon discovered the only "experience" they could provide was a carafe of pre-made coffee being poured into cups. Not really what we were after. Fortunately my friend Kim suggested O-Joe Coffee after seeing them at her cousin's wedding. They were perfect! They created exactly the ambiance we were looking for.

As I mentioned, the day went by so fast. My only regret is that I didn't have a chance to see & talk to our guests more. Having a morning ceremony & brunch reception kept things on a tight timeline. Of course, you are bound to have moments that you would change when you look back on things, but overall I feel the day was pretty perfect. And, after all, it's not about the day but the lifetime that follows!

Post Script: It has taken me a long time to find some time to get my thoughts together from the big day. Selling my house, moving and becoming a wife & mom have taken priority! Stay tuned for some additional tidbits and photos :)

Friday, June 03, 2016

He Made You Special

It's funny how music can evoke such emotion. I have experienced this time and again, but it always amazes me.

Several weeks ago, Cody asked Devin why his ear was shaped the way that it is. (his right ear has a little fold-over on the top part) Devin told him that's the way God made him and that he is special. Those words immediately reminded me of a song my mom would sing to me when I was a little girl. I could remember most of the words to the chorus, so I sang it to Cody. He listened intently with a big smile on his face.

Those words lingered in my head for a few days until I Googled the song to see if I could find the rest of the lyrics. When I did, I was taken back in time to when I was about four years old. The memory of Mom singing this song to me was powerful as I felt so very special and loved. (the lyrics are so sweet).

Last night when getting ready for bed, Cody asked if I could sing the song about his ear. This made me chuckle but I agreed that yes, I would. "And" I added "there's another part to the song that I remembered". I sang it to him with as much love as my mom had sung it to me. I'm sure he was a bit confused as he saw a tear roll down my cheek, but I was just so grateful that I could share such a sweet moment with him.

The Lyrics:

When Jesus sent you to us,
we loved you from the start.
You were just a bit of sunshine,
from heaven to our hearts.
Not just another baby,
'cause since the world began
there's been something very special
for you in His plan.

That's why he made you special,
you're the only one of your kind.
God gave you a body
and a bright healthy mind.
He has a special purpose
that He wants you to find.
So He made you something special
you're the only one of your kind.


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

SOLD!

I have not had much time for blogging lately, despite the endless supply of content I could write about! However, there is one thing I am bursting to share. It's an incredible story of God's provision.

After getting engaged, Devin and I have had a whirlwind of activity: preparing his house to sell included decluttering, packing, cleaning and a few minor fix-it jobs. When his house finally sold, we were able to purchase our new home in Mount Elgin. Moving day came and went and we are still left with boxes to unpack and settling in to do. With the wedding approaching so quickly, we decided to sell my house after the big day. We didn't need to add any more stress to our lives!

However, when opportunity knocks, you should at least see who's at the door! One night as Devin & Cody were leaving my house, Cody was looking in the mailbox and told me that I have mail. He handed me a Century 21 card with a handwritten note on the back: Want to sell? I have a buyer.

Of course, I promptly called the agent and discovered she had three clients looking for a bungalow in my neighbourhood. The market was quiet in London and she walked the area and left cards at the houses she felt were a match. She was thrilled that I called. I explained that I wasn't quite ready to list. I hadn't had time to "stage" the house and wouldn't have time before the wedding. She assured me that they would be looking at the house and not my stuff.

I called my agent Vicki and explained the situation. She suggested an exclusive listing - meaning it wouldn't be on MLS and no sign on my lawn. Only limited people would be coming and going. Sounded perfect to me. If we didn't get the offer we wanted, we could just wait until after the wedding and go ahead with our original plan. Sunday afternoon I signed the paperwork to list the house.

That week, I had three people go through the house without much fuss. On Saturday, six days after listing, my hair dresser sent me a text. "I know you're not planning to sell your house until after the wedding, but I know someone that is interested. Can he do a drive by?" I couldn't believe it! I texted her back to let her know that I had, in fact, just listed the house and he was welcome to take a look! The following day my agent took him through. The following day I accepted an offer.... 8 days was all it took! We got what we wanted as far as price and closing date AND we didn't have to do any of the fix-it projects that we expected. No staging, no decluttering, no stress!

While celebrating this huge weight lifted off our shoulders, Devin commented that surely this is God's wedding present to us. Indeed.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Gone But Not Forgotten

There is a big gaping hole in my blog these days. I have had plenty to blog about, but no time to actually put my fingers on the keyboard!

I know that I will look back on this time of my life and wonder how we ever did what we did. Pretty much all of the major life events...Devin & I are crossing them off the list in a matter of months.
  • September - we got engaged and started the preliminary wedding preparations
  • October - we started preparing his house to sell
  • November - the house was listed 
  • December - Christmas!!!
  • January - the house finally sold
  • February - we purchased our new home
  • March - we packed & moved Devin & Cody
In the meantime, all of the wedding details are coming fast and furious. Sometime in the next 2 months I'll be listing my house, packing and moving. Oh...and at the same time I'll become a wife AND a mom. 

I love this blog and the opportunity it affords me for self expression and creative writing. But, for now it is taking a back seat to all of the other awesome things happening in my life. Stay tuned, I will return :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Thanks Steve Jobs

I have always enjoyed a close relationship with my brother John, but he's never been really big on communication. Face to face is just fine, but we have not had a lot of phone conversations until the past year. Thanks Steve Jobs.

Pre-iPhone - borrowed his wife Karen's phone.
Last spring I decided to upgrade my iPhone. It was getting a bit long in the tooth and I had completed my contract with Bell. I was ready to switch to Koodo and get a new phone. I thought John was a great candidate for my old phone. He had never actually had a cell phone before, so he wouldn't mind if it was an "older" model. I told him my plan and he seemed quite enthused. Just how enthused I would not fully appreciate until he had possession of the phone!

He has taken to this new technology like a duck to water. Which, incidentally, is his text tone. Yep...quacking ducks. Appropriate for Mr. Outdoors.

This iPhone has improved our communication exponentially! He can send me a quick text when he thinks of something. When he's waiting to pick one of the kids up, he can kill some time with a phone chat. He has even shocked me by starting an Instagram account and most recently Facebook! I never thought I'd see the day.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Home Sweet Home

It's amazing what a difference a year can make. On February 10, 2015 I sent my first correspondence to Devin on eHarmony. It was part of the "guided communication" so, nothing earth shattering. Just a few multiple choice questions to break the ice.

On February 10, 2016 we signed the papers and purchased our first home! We are beyond thrilled to have found a place to start our life together as a family. Prior to finding a house, it was difficult to envision what the future looked like as so many variables were unknown.

God has been in control from the beginning and definitely timed this newest development! The home is currently vacant, which means we get the keys in 2 weeks and can start moving in!


Thursday, January 28, 2016

My Life in TV

During my final year of high school, I had big decisions to make. What career path would I choose? I tossed around several ideas - everything from radiology to photographer. I finally decided to take a one year certificate program at Lambton College called Media Fundamentals. Taking this course would give me some more time to figure things out while I continued to live at home and explore the media industry further. I loved that first year at Lambton. We learned all kinds of cool stuff related to shooting, editing and producing video, DJing the campus radio station and a sprinkling of journalism thrown in. It was great! As the end of the year loomed ahead of me, I was back to decision making. What next? The program at Lambton had an agreement with Mohawk College's Radio and Television programs which allowed students to enter into the second year of their third year program. I decided to go for it and jumped into the world of TV broadcasting.

Two years later, I was an intern at "The New PL" in London. I worked with the Creative Services department on projects like Station IDs, Episodic promos, and commercial shoots. It was a great seven weeks and when I finished, they offered me a part time job in the newsroom. The newsroom?? I didn't consider that to be my dream position. I wanted to be part of the Creative team. But, at the encouragement of established staff members, I took the job with the intention of moving into Creative in the future.

That move never happened, I remained in the newsroom for 14 years... fourteen years  of loving my job! I loved coming into work each day not knowing what to expect. I loved working furiously to meet a deadline - which really was a DEADline. If you missed it, your work was all for not and the show moved on to the next story. I loved the adrenaline rush of an action-packed show, a breaking news story or an election. I was able to participate in and have a unique perspective on some major events during my time in the newsroom - including 911 and the Bandidos massacre.

The people in that newsroom became my family. I spent far more time with them than I did my actual family or my friends. It was a unique atmosphere, heavily relying on a team dynamic while working wonky hours. We encountered situations which might seem absurd to an outsider. I recall one day in particular, we had to move the entire crew to a different studio and control room during a 3 minute commercial break because the audio board caught on fire!


I have such fond memories of my life in TV. Unfortunately, media started to evolve and change and "cutback" and "layoff" became common language. I could see into the future and I would not be one of the ones retiring after 45 years of service. It was time to make a change and the time was now. I enrolled at Fanshawe College and soon after closed the TV chapter of my life.

Leaving the people (my TV family) was the most difficult for me. Sure I missed the excitement of a major news story and having creative control when it came to the graphics of the show, but most of all I missed the camaraderie of my people.

In December, the media landscape changed once again with major cutbacks across Canada. CTV London was no exception and many of my friends and former colleagues lost their jobs. These are talented people that excel at what they do. Unfortunately, what they do is extremely specialized and in a shrinking industry, those skills are becoming redundant. What a shame.

To all of my TV friends, I wish them well. Life does go on outside the walls of the station and they will land on their feet and even excel in their new-found path.