Tag Archives: vacation

A Simple Indulgence

I’ve got issues.

I often have issues with spending money on myself. Be it a gift or a need I will talk myself out of any purchase that involves myself.

When Kevin and I finally had our wedding almost 10 years ago I got a simple band that matched Kevin’s. It was something we could afford at the time. I told Kevin that he could get me diamonds when we reached the 10 year milestone. Even though we married with 7 years invested already 10 is still a major milestone for any married couple in my opinion.

However, the titanium rings we purchased 10 years ago no longer work as Kevin lost a fair amount of weight and his ring couldn’t be re-sized and as we no longer matched I turned my eye to a new ring for myself as well. However, I could talk myself out of every ring, every style and every price range.

Until recently when I found a little jeweler I never knew existed. Sutton Smithworks. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing their showroom and found a ring that I enjoyed visiting.

A lot.

So I recently took the plunge and told them what I had for a budget and what I really loved about the ring that had caught my eye. It was a trinity of stones collected together and they all complimented each other in such a wonderful way. That’s what I wanted as much as it can seem that we are abrasive to each other Kevin and I compliment each other amazingly and well three plays a part into our lives as we have three kids, live in a house numbered 13,¬† heck our kids are right now 3, 6, and 9 years of age so 3 is a number that weaves throughout our life together.

And they made magic happen. A ring that was just a picture I adored is now on my finger and I’m in love. It is my ring. Much like those TLC shows where they cry when the get the find the right wedding dress for them I know this is my ring.

My ring. Custom designed and brought to life by Sutton Smithworks!

So for the first time in a long time I got myself something that I didn’t really need but it was something that I really wanted.


Dear Grandma

Dear Grandma,

I’ve tried so many times over the last week to find the words. I’ve been at a loss to express what I’ve been feeling despite my ability with words.

I can remember how the trips to Snow Lake seemed to take forever and how my mom would tell me to sleep because the sooner I would go to sleep the sooner we’d be there. I used to always wake up at the same place coming into town which was driving¬† just past Elm Street (more popularly called Main Street) before starting down the hill towards Our Lady of the Snows Catholic church. I can remember how you would come out even at 5:30 in the morning to make tea and toast for everyone and that I would fall asleep to the sounds of you and mom talking at the table for hours after we had arrived.

I remember the Donald Duck nightlight tucked away in a drawer for me to get whenever I needed it during those tender years of being afraid of the dark. I can remember you reading in the twin bed just across the room from mine while my parents slept in your room. I can remember listening to you breath and being re-assured you were there. I’ll never forget how these memories swept over me when I put my head down next to yours in the hospital when I was so tired I couldn’t keep my eyes open.

I’ll never forget how I wept, overwhelmed by the fact that the sound of your breathing might not be a good thing this time. Eventually the sound of your breathing would breed a sense of empty hope for me because I desperately wanted your pain to stop and for you to have the peace you told me you wanted when your time came. I hope that over time the memories won’t be tainted.

I adore the smell of fresh baked bread, apple pie and muffins. To this day all these things make me think of you. Kevin recently started baking our bread and every time I smell it start to bake I think of the evenings you spent baking, of fresh baps and pie crust pieces dusted with cinnamon and sugar.

I remember how you came in 2006 when I was very sick with an arthritic flare and you baked. I remembered the comfort that came from your care then. I remember crying when you finally arrived after a bus adventure which included a door falling off.

I had the benefit of having a second home, a sanctuary in the North because of you. I learned the joy that is popcorn made on the stove top (that wasn’t Jiffy Pop) and watching Jeremy Brett on CBC every Friday evening. Over the summer I am hoping that Nathaniel and I can embrace that tradition. I remember watching Seeing Things, Hardcastle and McCormick and Airwolf. I remember life with CBC, CTV and if it was a clear night and we were lucky HBO.

I learned to swim in a lake and can still remember swimming from what seemed so far out towards your feet as you sat on the dock with them dangling in the water. I remember learning to ride a bike with no training wheels. How you always had quarters for the jukebox when we ate at the restaurant you always called “George’s McDonalds”. I remember fresh berries from your yard, raiding peas from other yards and blanket forts on the front step as the sun went down.

I was always sure that you loved me. I never questioned it. Snow Lake remains my sanctuary. My touchstone. My safe place and you made it that way for me. The north will always be my second home.

I already miss you dearly. Hell it has taken me days to put these words together and there is so much more I wish I could say but the words elude me.

You always said I never wrote you enough though you wrote to me every week since I was 4 or 5 years old.

Last week was the first time a letter never came for me. It was one of the hardest realizations of my life.

I love you and I’ll miss you always,


Unexpected Traditions

This may shock some folks but I spent Monday nights as a slip of a girl at Brownie meetings that were held in the basement of St. Ignatius church.

Yes, I was a slip of a girl once.

Yes, I used to be on church property and there wasn’t a bolt of lightning aimed at me. At least not as far as I know. There were a few dark and stormy nights in there I’m sure.

When I joined Brownies they became short a Brown Owl or group leader and knowing my mom had a long history of guiding it took nothing for me to volunteer her for the job. Of course I was good enough to give her a week’s notice about the whole thing.

So eventually our routine on Mondays was to go to Brownies together and then afterward we’d usually go to Pizza Place in Grant Park Place for dinner. It slowly became our tradition and it’s one that I still smile fondly about to this very day.

In recently months I’ve found myself with busy Monday nights again. I started a Mary Kay business in the fall and it turns out I’m pretty good at it. Weekly unit meetings are held on Monday nights, and for me at least, across the city. It puts a bit of a pinch in eating dinner together as a family but enter Perkins with the Kids Eat Free promotion.

Now our new tradition is to go together and enjoy a meal after which I proceed to head out the door to my meeting and Kevin and the kids head home for bath time and bedtime.

Often when we think of family traditions we think of those large occasions like Christmas or Thanksgiving but miss those little routines that sit at the heart of the family unit. Be it Sunday dinners, or family game night, or always having ice cream at the BDI the first day it opens or celebrating a new football season with a trip to the Whistle Pig…

O.k. that last one I’m projecting but hope to make it a new tradition starting this year.

I just hope someday my kids will look back and smile about Mondays at Perkins.