2016 highlights

  • First year in new house. It's a lovely home for us.
  • Hannah's wedding. So simple, so pretty, so perfect.
  • Baby Holly. There's no joy like seeing your baby become a parent.
  • Rachael, Hannah, and Deborah were all home for Christmas
  • I was confirmed Catholic. Everything in me was shaking, but I knew I was on solid rock.
  • Met Jessica. And now she's a part of the family and lives in the suite downstairs.
  • Trip to Edmonton to meet Holly. Oh my goodness. I could hold her all day.
  • Weekend trips away with Gordon. We've had getaways that were just 15 minutes from home, but they were "away", which Gordon needed. Lund, Gibsons, Secret Cove, Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Washington Tulip Festival.
  • Lily became a regular part of the family. I couldn't love her more were she flesh and blood.
  • Family Shindig (2015) on Rich Mountain in Arkansas. So much fun to be around all the nieces and nephews. I remember Stacie leading us in what felt like a Jewish dance and Randy's story of getting terribly sick in Mexico.
  • Stacie came for a visit. She cooked for Hannah and Darian's wedding. It was so nice to have her here.
  • Backyard beautified more. It was so beautiful for the wedding.
  • Grant and May came for Hannah's wedding.
  • Robin's visit. 
  • Sarah's visit.
  • Became licensed insurance broker.
  • Got job at Sechelt Insurance.

home on the sunshine coast

FerryIt's been so long since I wrote. Stacie visited and while here encouraged me to start writing again. She was referring to the days of blogging when I had so much to say. At that time, there were stories that hadn't been told and kids that were adorable, innocent, and filled with delight. So much water under the bridge since then. Not to mention the years of full-time work that took me away from the luxury of writing. There used to be so much to write about. It doesn't feel like there is now. Do I have anything to say? Only I can capture this life, the only one on the planet like it. Can I write to share the journey or write to record the family history? Admittedly, it's been a year or two of amazing learning, growth, changes, and discovery. Also admittedly, writing was a wonderful emotional outlet back in the day. So here goes; I shall write and see what comes out.

Where to begin? Our move is a logical place to start. We left beautiful, prosperous Alberta to move to British Columbia where the beauty is totally and absolutely different than St Albert and Edmonton's. The ocean!! Our house faces the ocean; I never imagined something so extravagant could be my life. But here we are. Some days the barking of seals makes me smile so big I'm powerless to wipe it off my face. I'm not close enough to see the seals, but their racket is amusing in its own right. 

Our view is large; the Strait of Georgie, the Trail Bay Islands, and Vancouver Island. We don't get big waves because

our sweet living room

Vancouver Island is between us and the open ocean. This life is totally foreign to me; a little example: I always thought eagles to be a majestic, regal birds. I mean, after all, they're the American bird. I've learned they're scavengers. They hang out at the dump and that kind of sums up my falling out of love with them. Also, they circle my yard and the neighbors say they've got their eyes on my dogs. I can't even imagine the horror.

The Sunshine Coast is connected to the mainland, but for all intents and purposes, it's an island as it's only accessible by boat. We must ferry 40 minutes to Vancouver to leave the coast. The ferry ride is gorgeous and is still new enough to be exciting. 

Gordon and the kids got here in September and I came in November after the St Albert house sold. So I've been here about six months. I've seen a bear, moose, cayotes, and seals; they're all abundant here. Sunshine Coast Facebookers regularly post wildlife pictures that make me green with envy; deer, bears, moose, orcas, dolphins, wolves, and cougars. Hopefully I'll get to see more wildlife soon.

Last year, a deer birthed twins in my yard. It was before our move, but I enjoyed seeing my neighbors pictures of them. Bears, they say, will frequent the yard this summer, and I certainly look forward to that. 

Alaska-bound cruise ships pass twice daily and this still is remarkable to me. I see them from my living room, kitchen, and patio. As I said, it's a whole new world for me. 

We were on the Sunshine Coast in 1993 for our honeymoon. Fascinating that here we are again.

hannah and darian's wedding

IMG_1680 IMG_1676Our middle daughter, Hannah, married on May 7, 2016. It was a very Hannah-and-Darian type wedding; simple, sweet, and intimate. I was delighted that they chose our backyard to marry. Not only was it beautiful, it was an easy and low-stress wedding. 

My sister, Stacie, came from North Carolina to supervise (plan and cook) the reception dinner of lasagna. Everyone raved about it. Gordon's mom and brother, Grant, came from Edmonton.

Darian's grandmothers, uncle, aunt, parents, brothers, and a couple of friends, as well as one of Hannah's friends, Jody, attended. It was intimate to capture a few photos with all the wedding guests.

Hannah's two sisters, Rachael and Deborah, and her Junior High best friend, Jody, stood up with her. Darian's two brothers, Lyndon and Brendon, and his friend, Mackenzie, stood up with him.

Gordon's pastor, Mike, performed the ceremony and did a beautiful job. It was very God-honoring. I was pleased that everyone heard a Christian message.

IMG_1662 IMG_1717Three eagles circled above the wedding during the message. That was beautiful and seemed like a sign. I don't know what kind of sign, but it was an incredibly unique sight. The pictures didn't do the experience justice.

It was a beautiful spring day and the yard was in full bloom. What a treat to show off our lovely, new yard on the Sunshine Coast.

Thanks to Stacie's generous help, the reception was lovely. A lovely meal, simple, yet elegant decor, lively conversation, and some dancing. All in all, it was delightful.

The bride and groom were gracious, kind, excited, and loved their special day. Darian said it was the best day of his life and Hannah agreed. That blessed me enormously. 


lily belle

LilyLily, my little no-blood-kin granddaughter, is a great gift that BC has given me. How did she become part of me? It happened so subtly. Before I even got to BC, Hannah and Darian caught a ride into town with someone who knew someone who needed a sitter. Hannah needed a job and had experience working in a daycare. With no interview or anything, Lily showed up at the house to be babysat the next day. She was 18 months old. 

Hannah did a good job babysitting her and told me several times on the phone that I was going to love Lily. When I finally got to BC, I was quite enamored with her. She had huge brown eyes, thick dark hair, and was very beautiful. I would go to the sunroom for prayer time and she'd follow me and climb into my lap and I'd rock her while I prayed. She was enamored with me too. Wherever I went, she was not far behind.

One of my earliest memories of her was her throwing a fit. I can't recall what went wrong, but she wasn't impressed with whatever it was. She threw herself on the floor, and with her face buried in her arm facing the floor, she began to kick and scream. I whispered to Hannah, "ignore her." She screamed and kicked a bit longer and then she lifted her head to peek out at us. Her expression was, "What the heck? I'm throwing a fit, give me what I want." We gave her no attention and she got up and was 100% back to normal. Wow, ignoring a fit sure worked in that instance. 

Well, Lily and I kept getting more attached and I quite adored her. Soon Hannah needed to make more money and needed to quit babysitting. I asked to take the job and presto, I had a little sidekick. I began a free fall into love with her. 

I'm so thankful for my little Lily Belle.