geoffrey’s 34th birthday

To my husband, on your birthday.

I have spent 11 years to the month loving you. When you walked into the room of our Art History class I had to do a double take. Without your beard, you looked exactly like Brandon Flowers from The Killers- a band that I had recently started listening to. It was puppy love at first sight. Then when you sat one seat away from me I thought I was going to pass out. Only, you left that spot open for your girlfriend at the time. Still, I knew that we would become friends and I didn’t mind waiting for you.

Fast-forward to six months later, and by then we were best friends. Then suddenly you were single! We waited another month before dating. Five months later we almost broke up but became engaged instead (what?!), and less than four months later we eloped!

We were young, penniless, naive university students who were only living in our first condo together because we used our parent’s money towards a down payment instead of a wedding. We relied a lot on family at the beginning of our marriage, and it would’ve been much more difficult without their generosity. We didn’t know much except that we loved one another madly.

We were so passionate about everything. We fought often, lived in two different provinces while you went to school and I worked to support us, travelled, moved often, turned down scholarships and additional schooling, rescued pets, and so much more. Still through it all we always remained each other’s best friend.

We had exactly five childless years before I became pregnant with Remy. It was then that our marriage changed completely. After she was born we seemed to grow up overnight. We tried desperately to navigate through the tricky waters of being first-time parents. Without the help from our family and with very little friends, you finished yet another program and went on to work at a low-paying job while I worked from home. We moved into our rental, then sold it and moved again. I started a master’s program, my job ended, and for the first time in our marriage I realized that I no longer wanted to work and only wanted to stay home with our child (and future children).

You never questioned me. Instead you worked a full-time and part-time job to support our family, often sleeping in your truck. Then you found a career where you would be able to pay our bills and have us live comfortably. You moved to another province for two months to start and complete training, then came back for two months. I became pregnant for the second time, and once again you had to move away for work.

You were gone for three months. In that time we lost that child, but became pregnant with Wilder on one of your visits home! You missed Christmas and your birthday. However, you continued to work so hard, and haven’t stopped yet.

Two and a half years ago I asked you to be the sole provider for our family. I told you that it would be my dream come true. You went and accomplished that almost immediately. We had so many trials during that time, but in the end you became the man I always knew you would be.

You are so kind, patient, and loving. You’re a hard worker, hardly ever complain, are quiet, strong, optimistic, and so much more. You’ve continued to be my best friend after all of these years, and I still love you more than anyone else (except our children ;-))).

Happy birthday, Geo my love! I hope that we have another sixty-four plus years together.

Em

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recipe: vegetarian stuffed peppers

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 bell peppers, hollowed out
1 tbsp vegetable (or any) oil
½ cup yellow onion, chopped
1 cup white rice, cooked
½ can black beans
½ tomato, chopped
½ tsp garlic salt
¼ tsp salt
1 cup (any) cheese, shredded

Steps:

1. Begin cooking the rice in a separate saucepan or rice cooker.

2. Remove the tops of the bell peppers. Then in a large pot of boiling water, cook the peppers until softened (approximately 4 minutes). Drain and set aside.

3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat oil in skillet. Cook the onions and tomatoes over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring only occasionally. Remove from heat. Add the rice, garlic salt, and salt and mix well.

4. Fill the peppers halfway with the rice mixture. Add shredded cheese. Fill the rest with rice and top off with cheese. Place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until cheese has melted. Remove, cool slightly, and eat!

Emory

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happy new year

With the New Year being just around the corner, I wanted to wish you all a happy 2020!

I don’t remember being particularly excited about the new year growing up. However, ever since having children, I consider it to be almost a magical time in our lives. It’s a symbol of new beginnings, of promise, and of what is to come. Over the last few years, I also consider it a time to start over and to become a better wife, mother, and person in general.

This year we have made three big resolutions to work on as a family rather than going it alone. With the busyness of our everyday lives, I feel like we sometimes are letting the temporary chaos get to us and we aren’t always putting our best foot forward. I want my children to grow up in the happiest and most loving household that I can give them.

Over this last year I have come to the harsh realization that just because people are part of your family, it doesn’t mean that they will love or even like you. Your parents, former stepparents, or whoever might fight tooth and nail to not be part of your life, and no amount of invites or tears or even showing up on their doorstep will make them be present or even care. Sometimes you will hear firsthand that they hate you, which is what you might need to finally move on. I’ve been told that it is just better to cut those hateful people out of your life- even if it hurts and it is the last thing that you wish to do. But making yourself happy is key to living a happier life, for yourself and your family.

This year we are all about love. We will surround ourselves with those family members who want to be in our lives and embrace them with open arms. This is Geoffrey and I making a conscious effort to become even better parents and better spouses. Our children will never question their worth or our love for them. Never. That’s the best gift that I can think to give them. (I also firmly believe that if we better ourselves then we are bettering the world!)

That said, we also have less emotional and more physical things that we are looking forward to this year. Remy and Wilder are getting a new bedroom in January, we are getting a new kitchen in March/April, and my brother and his family are moving back to BC! That means we can still go and visit them, my dad, and stepmom every summer. I am looking forward to this new tradition.

Do you have any resolutions? Did you accomplish what you wanted to over this last year? What lessons did you learn? I would love to hear your thoughts below.

Have a safe and fun New Years Eve and see you all next year!

Emory

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merry christmas

Merry Christmas all!! Even though these are traditionally my shorter posts, I love that after six years, I am still here to wish everyone a happy holiday! It’s an honour to still be writing my blog and hearing from those who are kind enough to comment.

We were able to go on a few outings this holiday season. The first one that we took Remy and Wilder to was called Glow.

Glow is an indoor light festival located at Prairieland Park. This was its first year in Saskatoon, and I’m guessing will have many more to come. It featured light gardens, a treasure hunt, food, playground, Santa Claus, live entertainment, and over one million lights!

A little more on the expensive side, it was still worth going at least once.

Next, we were able to go to the Enchanted Forest at the Forestry Farm.

This drive-thru holiday light tour is in its 21st year and has over 80,000 visitors per year. Every year features one new display.

Visiting the Enchanted Forest is something that Geoffrey and I have done every year since dating! Remy enjoys it immensely, but Wilder is still too young to understand what is going on. This was her fourth time going, and his second (we took him last year when he was two weeks old). She has already asked to go back again, so I think that we will go once more before they take it down in January.

Finally, we visited the walking light display at Pike Lake Provincial Park on Saturday. It was our first time going and it was just so much fun! The weather was somewhat warm and the displays, although not many, were very well done. You could also go ice skating, play crokicurl, gather around the bonfire, and have hot dogs and hot chocolate afterwards. Too cute.

Our family seems to change with nearly every Christmas picture. From a beardless husband and two dogs and a cat in 2013, to hair extensions and masks in 2014, a first pregnancy in 2015, our first baby in 2016, a second pregnancy and miscarriage in 2017, and finally, another new baby in 2018. Life has certainly been exciting over these last few years! I only hope that we will continue to love, learn, and grow in the New Year. You as well!

Happy holidays, and enjoy your time with friends and family!!

<3<3<3

Emory, Geoffrey, Remy & Wilder

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thirteen months old

Happy Monday, everyone! Christmas is so near and I had something completely different planned for today’s blog post. However, Wilder hit so many milestones last month that I just had to do one final monthly update. I couldn’t resist. ;-)))

A few days after turning one year old, he woke up with two bottom teeth! Huzzah! His top tooth is going to come through any day now as well.

I kept wondering what would happen first- Wilder getting teeth or walking. Well, he’s doing that too! We have a walker on our hands! I can’t believe it!!

He is also down to just one nap per day, and received his one year immunizations. That messed up his sleeping and eating for about a week, but he is back to his normal, happy self. Thank goodness. In fact, he slept through the night for the first time just a few days ago! Pretty soon, he and Remy will be sharing a room.

Lastly, this month will mark the end of our breastfeeding journey. I am saddened that I have to give it up, and am already longing to have another newborn to nurse! Only God knows what the future will hold.

Wilder is 13 months and one day, and we are just so proud of him. We love him more than anything. Well, Remy and Wilder.

Have a lovely week!

Emory

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