Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Afternoon

Took advantage of this sunny Sunday afternoon.  Got outside and breathed in the beauty of the world.

It's one month until Christmas and yet these little beauties are still blooming in my garden.

I never tire of the view out my living room window.

Ambleside Beach sunset.

Ambleside Beach sunset.

A determined little dachshund.

I hope you got a chance to be outside today.  Enjoy the upcoming week, everybody.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

What A Difference A Year Makes....

Today Joe and I celebrated a very special day.  November 18th marks the first anniversary of our home renovation.  What a difference a year makes!  I've been flipping through the photos from the past year and was astounded at the change in our house!

It all started with our back deck.  It was literally rotting off its moorings.  We hired our fantastic contractor Marcel Lanter to replace it in the spring of 2011.

Our deck went from this... this.

We were so impressed with the job Marcel and his crew did on our deck, we hired him to replace our falling-down kitchen.

Our kitchen went from this.... this.

From this.... this.

From this... this.

What was really amazing was that Marcel and his crew transformed our kitchen in 5 short weeks!  The first wall came down on November 18th and Joe was cooking dinner in his new kitchen on Christmas Day.  Absolutely incredible.

Our original plan was to only renovate the kitchen.  But once it looked fantastic, we needed to gut the rest of the house as well and have Marcel work his magic.

The dining room went from this... this.

The living room went from this... this.

Our stairwell went from this... this.

Under the stairs went from this... this.

Our TV room went from this... this.

During all those years when our house was tired and forlorn, we still had fun in it.  Lots of fun.  We hosted all manner of parties and events over the years.

But I have to tell you, this facelift has given our house (and us) a new lease on life.  We've hosted even MORE parties since the renovation was finished in the spring.  And the best perk of all is that it brought us our first house exchange!  Joe and I can hardly wait to spend next summer in England.

And what anniversary is complete without a celebration?  We invited our renovation's fairy godmother and her husband over for dinner to join us in our happiness.

Thank you to everyone who played a part in our home's transformation.  We have enjoyed every minute spent in our house over the past 12 months.  I know this house will give us many more happy years to come.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Today I Am Thankful For....

"If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is 'thank you', it will be enough."  
                                                                                     Meister Eckhart (c. 1260-1328) 
A couple of my fans (Hi Robin!  Hi Paige!) pointed out to me recently that it has been two months since I wrote a post for my blog.  I've had an idea rolling around in my brain for well over a month now, but for some reason I just wasn't motivated to put pen to paper.  Well, maybe tired is more an accurate word to describe why I wasn't writing my blog.  Honestly,  I've been having trouble staying awake long enough to watch the 6:00pm news.  Thank you Paige and Robin for giving me a nudge in the right direction.

This post was suposed to be in conjunction with the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday.  But since that day has come and gone, the post will have to stand on its own.  Because, really, it is always appropriate to say thank you.

Every day during the week before Thanksgiving, I had my students finish this sentence "Today I am thankful for..."  They were thankful for all manner of things.  Family.  Toys.  School.  Friends.  Bikes.  Their answers made me think.  What was I thankful for on a daily basis?

Here is my prayer.....

Today I am thankful for the amazing Indian Summer we experienced this fall.  The sunny, warm weather lasted almost until the end of October.

Today I am thankful for my book club.  I have been a member for fifteen years and I look forward to spending an evening a month with these lovely ladies.  Oh, and reading books.

Today I am thankful for spending time with my friend of 40 years and our families.

Today I am thankful for a kind neighbour who invites us to pick her late autumn raspberries.

Today I am thankful for a canine friend who is willing to wear latex booties so he can come inside onto our new hardwood floors.

Today I am thankful for hosting a family reunion with some of Joe's cousins.

 Today I am thankful for re-connecting with a family friend we knew another lifetime ago.  And to see what an incredible adult he has become.

Today I am thankful for children humouring my requests at family dinners.

 Today I am thankful for autumn colour in my backyard.

Today I am thankful for the special family meals that my husband single-handedly prepares.

Today I am thankful for kids who still need their mama.

 Today I am thankful for souffles for breakfast.

 Today I am thankful for the view out my living room window.

Today I am thankful for mornings like this.

Today I am thankful for a grandmother-in-law who has loved me as one of her own for twenty-six years.

Today I am thankful for a family who doesn't take itself seriously.

 Today I am thankful for this turkey.