So here’s the deal. When I started writing this post, I challenged myself to keep it short. I know my end-of-week summaries tend to drone on and, occasionally, I get a major pang of insecurity/regret about my verbosity. So I thought I could shift gears and put together a quick Five on Friday post.
I failed miserably! Turns out that I really enjoy processing life and adventures…in a lot of words. That said, I did toss in a few bullet points and perhaps we can all agree that “short” is a relative term?
Overall this was a great week! Lots of unexpected and spontaneous adventures, buffered with stretches of rest and productivity. I know all weeks won’t be this pleasant, so I’m leaning in while it lasts.
I actually listed out a few lowlights to balance things out, but ended up deleting them. Just know everything isn’t rainbows all the time, but why sully a great week by rehashing the few crummy things? (I will mention – thank you for the continued inquiries! – that I have now had one post-ablation period. While it was 100% manageable, it certainly wasn’t a highlight of my week and I’ll admit I was hoping to be one of those women who have NO period after this procedure. Such is life.)
On to the highlights:
FRIDAY | I’ve mentioned my Soup and Sandwich Oasis before – a dear friend in her late 70s hosts me periodically for bottomless cups of tea and a delicious homemade sandwich and soup. It had been six months since I last made it out to see her; what a delight to reconnect after all this time.
En route home, I did a grocery haul and picked up some sushi for an at-home date night before collecting Abby from her final session of March Break drama camp (she loved, loved, loved this!), and then heading off for a walk in the glorious late-afternoon sunshine with a friend.
After the kids were in bed, John and I enjoyed sushi and finished watching the last episode of The Con (a docuseries on Disney+ about “Claims and promises that proved too good to be true.”)
SATURDAY | Back in December, I “gifted” my dad the promise of a trip to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic (we took the kids last April; the pics above are recycled from that visit). He is a huge history buff and his father served in the Canadian Navy in WWII.
It ended up being a wonderful day with my dad. He is known for efficiency and tends to whiz through museums at record speed. But this time he seemed not only content, but intent, on taking his time. We stopped and looked at all the artifacts together, we chatted with museum workers, and generally acted like we had all the time in the world. I took him out for lunch; we lingered over our food for longer than necessary, talking about nothing and everything. We wandered leisurely through a giant outdoor goods store. He kept telling me how much he was enjoying the day.
At one point we walked along a waterfront boardwalk and stopped to read various commemorative signs including one with an aerial picture of Navy convoys. We were standing right by the harbour pictured, which happens to be the very spot from which my paternal grandfather was deployed during WWII. He could, conceivably, have been on one of those ships!!
It is a day I will always treasure with Dad. It was also profoundly bittersweet. To be the one organizing and driving and navigating and deciding seemed like an odd role reversal, after so many years of him behind the wheel taking me places; to see him so content to linger when he normally likes to prioritize efficiency. There was no rush and we acted accordingly and I’m so glad. It makes me incredibly sad to think about a time when I won’t be able to go on outings like this with him. But I am fortunate he is still such an active part of my life and it really felt like we celebrated that in a special way.
A few days later, I got this e-mail. True to form, I’ve used 300 words to say what Dad captured in 15…
Home and another at-home date night with John – ramen! We binged the docuseries MH370: The Plane That Disappeared. For some reason, I continue to watch shows that detail plane crashes (last year, we watched Downfall: The Case Against Boeing less than 24 hours before John hopped on a 737 MAX). Such a tragic story and so many unanswered questions.
SUNDAY | Church. How I love my Sunday mornings.
In the afternoon I made a giant soup (this Smoky Chickpea, Red Lentil and Veggie Soup) and homemade banana bread.
The day started on a high note – I got an obscure Canuckle (a Canadian version of Wordle). Dulse was one of my favourite snacks as a kid and I used to collect it every summer. We had a great dulse-picking beach about 20 minutes from my childhood home!
After so many weeks of upheaval – surgery, solo-parenting, snow days, travel, March Break – it was lovely to have a “regular” day. We walked the kids to school and I came home and worked productively for hours! Yay!
One highlight from the day requires some backstory. John and I each have a set of car keys. Somewhere over the last few weeks, his set went missing. We searched high and low without any trace. There have been a lot of moving parts lately but, in the end, we identified that a potential location was the ski hill; I had dropped John off at the airport one day, stopping to ski on the way home. It would have been easy for me to misplace his set and simply travel home with my keys. Our family has talked about – and searched for – these missing keys a lot lately. We figured our last hope was finding them in the Lost and Found at the ski hill. As I was prepping to leave the house, I put on my heated vest – last worn at the ski hill – and felt something bulky in my pocket. Guess what I found. HIS KEYS!
Speaking of skiing…
I picked Abby up about 20 minutes before the final bell (much more convenient for parking), and we headed out on one last ski adventure. The slushy conditions weren’t ideal but we had a great time together. People were falling down everywhere and I told Abby it was almost guaranteed that I would take a tumble. But I didn’t! 11 runs later, we left without injury and grinning ear-to-ear.
Also, a few weeks previously she had lost her goggles. We managed to find them in the Lost and Found!
The drive home was lovely; Abby took over my Spotify playlist again and we cranked the volume (literally to the max which, in a 10-year-old Hyundai isn’t really that loud) and sang with gusto the whole way home.
TUESDAY | Between a bit of a head cold and my period (Whomp, whomp), I had significantly less energy, but there were still great moments in the day.
At one point I needed to complete an annual corporate registration with the provincial government. When I got to the payment screen I couldn’t help but laugh:
Invite someone else to pay? Yes, please.
In the end, I actually had to use this option! There was an issue with the regular payment page, so I invited “myself” to pay which allowed me to circumvent the issue.
- Levi reading a chapter book to me on the couch. His voice! His soft little cheeks!
- John making delicious chicken, cilantro, tomato, and slaw on corn tortilla wraps for lunch.
- The sun. It was beautiful.
- A walk with a friend in the sunshine.
- Booking two virtual consults for laser-eye surgery (a goal for 2023).
- Buying a mirror for over the couch. It has been 5+ years of living with a blank slate and I made it an official goal for 2023! More on this below…
The highlight of the day was definitely seeing my parents again. They leave in just over a week. Dad called mid-morning to ask if they could stop by for an afternoon coffee. I gave a very enthusiastic Yes. Mom came armed with homemade cookies (so. good.) and that afternoon coffee ended up stretching into supper as well. Homemade Naan pizzas, mini carrots and chips for the win.
On Wednesday, over lunchtime, I joined a live webinar with Ingrid Fettell Lee about joyful home design. One of the exercises involved closing your eyes and imagining your ideal space. If you could create a room that NO ONE else would ever see or use, what would it look like? She suggested we think of rooms we had visited or seen in a magazine for inspiration. I was trying to be creative but kept circling back around to our living/dining room. It is without question my favourite room in our house, and I couldn’t think of any space I had seen/visited that I liked more than our own little oasis.
For so many reasons, this realization made me happy; for years – really until this year – our house has been a major source of anxiety for me: some truly horrible contractor experiences, lots of water woes, regular upheaval. But lately, it really feels like home. And a safe and secure home.
But one missing piece of the puzzle remained: the giant bare wall over our couch. It has been bothering me for years and we finally implemented a solution!
I am a huge fan of mirrors. They help distribute light/make a room look larger and cozier, act as major focal points on a wall, and tend to be much less expensive than oversized art. We found a giant gold mirror for $99 (originally we planned to get one from IKEA, but they only come in black/silver in the size we want and they were $199).
For reference, here is what the living room looked like before we moved in:
It might not gain a place in the pages of House & Home, but everything here has a history. The record player we rescued from a garbage pile (works great!), the plant someone gave us that John slowly tended back to life. The coasters from Musée d’Orsay. The faux-leather footstool we bought from Zellers for $19 right after we got married that, despite daily use, somehow still looks brand-new? The IKEA hutch Abby and John put together when Levi was sick with a stomach bug.
The end tables have a (very cool) story! The paintings all have a story! Everything has a story…and the mirror helps pull it all together.
Also, I figured the best way to ensure something actually happened in this space was to add it to my 23 for 2023 goals list. Check!
And then I headed off on my biggest adventure of the week! A friend asked if I would be interested in going to Halifax to see her son – a dancer/choreographer – perform in a show at the Central Library.
It was a great evening and the venue was gorgeous! I wish our local library had a huge theatre. The athleticism of the dancers was top-notch, and they had a live jazz band. At the end of the performance her son came over to see us and we reminisced about how John and I USED TO BABYSIT HIM/HIS SIBLINGS (one of whom now has a child). He asked about Abby and I mentioned she was turning 12 this weekend. Aside from John/me/hospital staff, this friend and her son were the first people to meet Abby after she was born!
Where does the time go??
I particularly loved watching the shadows of the dancers/musicians on the walls.
The weather was horrible for the drive to/from Halifax, so the commute ended up being part of the adventure. Our friend stayed the night, and it was fun to stay up chatting past my bedtime. She and her husband kept the kids for two nights when we were in Rome, so it was good to debrief about that as well! (I don’t usually mention names, but if you’ve been reading for a while you may recall I reference having a friend where it wouldn’t faze me if every toilet in the house was overflowing and she showed up. This was that friend and, thankfully, nary a toilet overflowed.)
Today is all about work, a bit of laundry (I’m washing sheets!), and some evening prep for Abby’s party tomorrow. She wants cake pops and for a brief second I thought about buying them from a local café, but she was desperate to make them start to finish. In my mind this is part of my gift to her – muddling our way through the mess and chaos of making cake pops. We shall see how this goes. Hopefully it won’t be the “worst birthday party ever“…
Your turn. How was your week?! Any fun little adventures? What would you like to “invite someone to pay” for in your life? Do you ever do a double take when you see someone you used to babysit who is now a grown adult and wonder what alternate universe you’ve just entered? How are they so big? How do they have a driver’s license?!
22 thoughts on “Casual Friday + A Week Of Little Adventures”
I often feel like my posts are too long and maybe they are BUT I almost never read a blog and think “oof this post is too long.” It’s our time to “chat” and there’s no reason to cut it short!
Your trip with your dad reminds me that I cannot wait for the weather to get better so that I can start bringing my parents along on my weekend day trips. I’m excited to show them all of the cool places that I found last summer.
I bet that Abby will have a blast no matter how the cake pops turn out. And yes it is a gift to her to get to have that adventure!
Thanks – I love your perspective on post length. And you’re right – it does feel like chatting. I happen to enjoy reading longish posts! (I’ve had a handful – not mean in any way, just observational – comments about the length of things I write, so I can start to feel self-conscious when I string together a slew of long posts).
I’m so glad you have things lined up to do with your parents. It’s fun to share adventures with them.
The cake pops are delicious, but were also SO messy and also exhausting. But it’s done! Gold stars to the two of us, and now I’m ready to sleep for a week. (Also, I ate too many of the chocolate wafers and now my belly hurts).
Love the day with your dad and his email— so sweet. What a lovely week, and I enjoyed your lost keys story 🙂
I especially love the story of the lost keys because the keys are no longer lost! I was starting to panic about bearing the entire weight of responsibility by having the ONLY set of keys for our ONLY vehicle.
I think the thing I find most mind-boggling about this is that you are not wearing your heated vest every day. It’s the first thing I grab each day after I get dressed! I just like to be able to give myself a little bump of heat whenever I’m even a tiny bit chilly during the day.
I think it’s interesting that people even think about the length of their posts. I mean, we subscribe to YOUR blog and we obviously like it or we wouldn’t be here! Be as long or as short as you want to be!
It’s my feet that get the coldest, and I find it a nuisance to have to charge the battery every night. So I mostly have worn it skiing lately; before that, I wore it 2-3 days a week when I was working in our basement home office for long stretches. I should just get a second battery!
Thanks, Engie! I know it’s my blog and I really do try to write posts for myself (I mean I know I’m writing them for general consumption, but I write posts in the way I like to write/read). I’ve had a few comments about the long length of posts (not mean, just observational), and it does make me quasi self-conscious sometimes. But I soldier on and the posts, generally, remain quite wordy!
So many thoughts but, THAT MIRROR! Perfection! The house just keeps getting better and better. I love seeing the progression from the first picture – you’ve made it so much brighter!
I’m so, so happy with the mirror. That blank space (writing that triggered Taylor Swift in my head) has been irking me for so long, but I just wasn’t ready to source something (and you know how we feel about doing any home DIY work – including hanging things). But we ripped the BandAid and I love how it elevates the space.
I know your Friday posts are long, but I love getting a real glimpse into your life. This week sounds LOVELY (minus the period, minus the head cold.) The afternoon spent with your father is priceless. It sounds like your parents are healthy and have many years ahead of them, so I don’t want to be a downer, but my parents are both gone and yes- spend as much time with them as you can. You’ll never regret it.
Your living room has had quite a transformation! I absolutely love it the way it is now (how did the people before you live with it so dark and dreary???)
I like how you called this post “a week of little adventures.” That describes it perfectly!
It was a lovely week. It’s so hard to balance the “stay in the moment” with aging parents, while also being cognizant that this time will pass (though I could conceivably be the first one to go!). We’ve made some really special memories this winter and I’ll forever be grateful for this time. I also am so conscious of the fact my kids are so blessed to have living grandparents. Both my grandfather’s passed away long before I was born, and I barely knew my paternal grandmother. So I count it a huge joy that Abby and Levi get to engage so frequently with my parents.
I think, most of the time, an adventure comes down to semantics. Anything can be an adventure if you put the right spin on it! Even finding lost keys 🙂
I am glad that you had a wonderful week full of positive moments/experiences! The “invite someone else to pay” option is funny… Phil would invite someone to pay our daycare bill. It’s by far our biggest expense – but worth every penny!
My week was pretty intense… between client meetings and keeping up with emails, it was stressful. Tuesday was a long day as I did meetings in Manhattan, then we took the train to a city in Long Island for dinner and then I took a car from Long Island to the area of New Jersey where I was staying for the next 2 nights. It was a 70 minute drive but I didn’t mind since it gave me time to catch up on emails. But that got me to my hotel room at 9:30 and my day started at 7:30 so it was a long day… I am hoping things slow down soon but I don’t know when they will… I had meetings straight through from 8:30-3 today and Paul was home with me as he wasn’t feeling well (Will was home w/ Phil on Tuesday w/ a fever – but strep test was negative so it’s something else). I’m just really ready for a quiet day at work as the last 2 weeks have been insane. I go to Tucson with Paul on April 10th and hope by then that things have settled so I can actually unplug!!
I remember being so, so sad when both kids finished preschool because it was just the most wonderful and nurturing environment. But it was lovely to no longer have the bill!
You have been through the wringer lately. An unprecedented time at work, coupled with so much illness. I’m sorry Paul was home again this week! And now Will, too?! Ugh. I’m hoping everyone is healthy and happy this weekend and that you’re able to take some deep breaths before your trip so you go into it quasi-relaxed. Also – a solo trip with Paul sounds so fun. What a great age to take him traveling, and without Will in tow, I bet you’ll have the best time (no offense to Will, of course, but traveling with a toddler is not conducive to “unplugging”).
I echo sentiments about blog length. Your writing engages as a conversation and I like your style of writing. That is what drew me in. Sometimes I have to skim and that’s ok. You are being kind to say the comments were observational. I think you writing has built a great community. My opinion though.
I applied and was successful in a promotion at work and I’m in a transition period of overlap of old role and new role so it has been and will be lots of late nights and weekend work.
Today I met a friend for dinner and that was lovely.
Congrats! What exciting news on the work front. I’m sure there will be a lot of moving parts for a while as you go through that transition, but hooray! And time with a friend – especially shared over a good meal – is such a treat.
I’m a bit behind on posts (traveling, you know!) but I’m currently sitting at the airport waiting for a 10:50 flight home. And I started to laugh so much about your comment “I was going to try to crank out a quick recap post but failed ”…. This is so me, too!! Before our trip I was like, ok, I’m just gonna do these quick, short trip recaps of each day. Hahahaha! Who am I fooling- that’s impossible for me!! Just can’t help it! My recaps are all super long and include a zillion photos. And like you said, I do really enjoy looking back on my full/complete trip recaps, so I think deep down I don’t actually want to make them any shorter! So, I can relate. I also feel sometimes self-conscious about them- many of even my regular posts are on the longer side, too, but I find it very challenging sometimes to keep them shorter. So I don’t worry too much anymore about it and just write whatever I feel like. Like others have said, people who don’t like the length are welcome to skim or not read!! 🙂
And I love the story about your dad. I’m super close to my dad too, and I can relate so much to all of your sentiments.
You get it! It’s hard to keep things short (for me at least) and I’m just leaning into it (even if I do sometimes feel self-conscious).
Oh, I could feel a smile spread across my face when I read about the day you spent with your dad. I literally thought: what a day to remember and cherish for years to come (I know the feeling of not knowing how many more memories we’ll be able to make with our parents esp. when we don’t see them that often).
My week was great. I spent 5 days again in the desert (for fieldwork) and our hotel had a pool area with 8 (!) hot spring-fed pools that I enjoyed every night after a long day of work 🙂
It was such a special day and I feel so blessed to have been able to carve out the time to spend time (solo) together.
I’m so glad you were able to do the field work after all (gold stars for advocating for your position and not backing down!). Hot-spring fed pools sound amazing!
Love the keys story, I couldn’t find my keys to my parents place for ages and then found them in my handbag which I’d already searched twice.
I wouldn’t worry too much about the length of your posts, I’m a little jealous actually, that you are able to write so much and still keep it interesting.
My week was fantastic. I’m just back from a weekend away where I saw my first wombat in the wild.
Gretchen Rubin’s advice is always: look where you think it should be. 90% of the time this works, but in this case…my heated vest was NOT where they should have been!
Wow – a wombat?! How cool!
A few thoughts on a few things. As always. And late, as always.
I love the length of your posts. Now, I do sometimes break up reading them into two parts – for example, if I want to get through a few shorter posts from others so I can focus more on yours, or something like that. I think of posts as conversations with friends, and I love hearing the nitty-gritty details of your week. That is what connects us, in my opinion (note: not you/me specifically, but “us” in the blog world and particularly this lovely group of bloggers…).
Also? I feel you on the bittersweet nature of time with parents. My parents are traveling now, and every photo I see of them looking healthy and happy and engaged gives me a bit of a pang…because my mind inevitably shifts to thinking, “Is this the last time they’ll be able to do this? Is this their last big trip?” Sigh. Circle of life, right? But it’s still hard, so hard.
And, finally – the keys story. I live in fear of losing my keys. No one has the spare key to my apartment, or my car. (I mean, the apartment people obviously have a master key, but…) I have no back up. I am my back up. Yikes. (Glad you found them, though!)
Awww. Thanks. I’m glad you continue to show up in this space, despite the many, many…many…words 🙂
It all feels so very bittersweet right now, but I lean into it. I don’t try to pretend I don’t have all the feelings, but I’m not letting them stopping me from making great memories now. It would be easy to try to freeze time by just staying paralyzed about not knowing how many more years we have together, but I’m trying to be intentional about fitting in so many fun memories while we can!