I Used To Dream Of Paris

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Years ago while living in London, I got bit by the travel bug. While working and pursuing a degree, I booked flights to places like Greece, Spain, Italy, Turkey and Sweden to name a few. I loved experiencing their food, the textures of the land, their skies and the sounds on the streets whether it was quiet or busy or just the sound of the sea. My bucket list of places I wanted to visit was a long one.

When I met my husband, he also wanted to see the world. I imagined us going to the same places I had already been to, and then we would explore new countries together. Our dreams were big, ambitious and I was excited! We chose Paris as our first destination. We looked at hotels, things to do, and train tickets. But we never booked anything.

With marriage and family life, we knew we may have to hold off for a little while. And that was okay. We were happy to be blessed with our two little boys. When our second son was born, my husband was diagnosed with a rare neurological condition. And sometimes life does that to us. We make plans, dream, achieve some goals, and then we get thrown a curveball. We never made it to Paris.

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I recently had a conversation with a friend who said:

“YOU WILL DREAM NEW DREAMS”

She was right. The travel bug got buried. My dreams no longer contain stamped passports and foreign cheese. Living on the other side of the world now, my bucket list has changed. Every country has delicious food to be savoured. No matter where we are, every sunset on the horizon is beautiful. It’s not where we are, it is who we are sharing it with.

The other day as I walked down the picture frame aisle, I saw a lovely picture of the Eiffel Tower. The image of my husband and I sitting at a table eating bread and cheese al fresco at candlelight crossed my mind. I picked up the picture. $6. Cheaper than a flight! I added it to the cart. I went next door to the grocery store and picked up a few items for dinner. That night I fed the kids early so my husband and I could eat alone. I propped up the picture of the Eiffel Tower on our dining room table. I also placed a small vase of greenery as part of the centrepiece and lit some candles. Candlesticks that looked similar to the ones we had for our wedding. I had a bread basket with cut up baguettes, and a serving tray of different cheeses including Brie. I even put on some makeup and my jeans. Would our conversations have been so different if we were actually in Paris? Would the bread and cheese taste that much better? I’m sure our dinner would not have been interrupted with the children running back and forth to get their noses wiped, or to stop them from hitting each other or to suddenly run one to the potty. What I am sure of is that, whatever candlelit dinner I am having, I am sharing it with the best company: my husband!

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I used to dream of Paris. But before my dream of Paris, I dreamed of love and children. And here I am with them. They are my dream come true. And if the travel bug bites again, I am glad to now realise that adventure doesn’t have to be so far away. Sometimes just a short drive away. I just need to appreciate what is already around me.

(Photo credit- paris) 

(Photo credit- bread)

Love and Marriage- Ten Things

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Let’s be truthful.

Sometimes life just isn’t what we anticipated it to be.

The last five years of my life has been full of roller coaster emotions, life throwing its occasional mud ball in my face, but at the end of every day, no matter what happened that day, I am still sitting next to the same person.

If there is one thing I have learned in my five years of marriage, it is that we are in this TOGETHER. The TWO of us.

We HAVE to talk, ignoring each other when we’re mad gets us no where. And a conversation needs TWO people.

I am very lucky my husband is up for anything fun! Love him!

I am getting personal in this post today because I always believe, I can’t be the only one who needs this!

Here are Ten Things we have done -and continue to do- to keep marriage fun!

1. Say 3 nice things.

Real things. I wouldn’t let him say “you’re beautiful.” I want specifics. Long drawn out paragraphs of admiration are great! 😉

I confess and apologise I have no reference for this but I remember many years ago I saw a couple on TV who said they did this very thing. Every morning they started their day saying 3 nice things they liked about each other. Noted.

He takes his turn and I take mine. Who can resist nice things being said about them to them from the one person they love most!

2. Romantic gestures.

My husband surprised me one day with flowers! I really love this old tradition of giving flowers! Broke? Draw some! She’ll treasure it forever!

I appreciate the random love messages on the bathroom mirror. The lit candles at dinner. A letter posted to me- I love mail!

Just like when dating before marriage, these small acts score big.

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3. Date night.

With young children we have spent many date nights at home but it is something we always look forward to.

To be honest, friction does not cancel date night. If you don’t feel like talking to each other you can still play cards! Or other games 🙂

My favourite nights are the ones where we do interviews or play 2 truths/1 lie. There is so much we still learn about each other!

4. Traditions.

I’ve heard some couples/families make a yearly playlist of their favourite songs from that year.

Or go to the same place each year and take a couple/family photograph.

Whatever it is, making and keeping traditions is special.

5. Writing journals.

It is very funny when we document vacations/date nights/road trips and compare how we both experienced it differently! Re-reading them together makes for a fun night reminiscing.

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6. Smell good.

I really don’t have to elaborate on this do I?

I swoon when my husband wears cologne, especially the one he wore when we were dating. Ahhh!

7. Have pictures taken together.

I love looking at all the photos we have as a couple. Kissing ones. Laughing ones. Posed or candid. Photobooth! I personally think it’s important to have pictures as a couple. Memories, reminders and just a sweet keepsake.

8. A kiss before work.

I read an article where a study showed that men performed better at work when their wife kissed them before they left home! Sorry I don’t have the reference!

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9. Celebrating those Hallmark holidays.

It is not my intention to offend anyone here! I have heard many sides and different opinions but at the end of the day, doing something makes everyone happy!

I came up with a brilliant idea for those who tend to forget: plan ahead, buy a shoe box full of different cards and small gifts, and each year you save a trip to the store, just write your message and give it to your love! hahaha

10. The notebook.

This lovely article from a blog I randomly found, gave us this fun idea!

Have a small notebook, write a message in it, put it somewhere you know your spouse will see it and take turns writing messages to each other. It’s fun finding it in strange places and sweet when it is so unexpected!

If someone were to have shown me what life would be like before I married my groom, I know I would have just held him closer and said- let’s stick together no matter what!

A lovely quote I found somewhere:

"We are the perfect couple. We are just in imperfect situations."

Happy Valentine’s Day!

xx

Title photo by LeoPhotography

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Heart Everything You Love

I titled this “everyTHING” and not “everyONE” because it is so obvious to me that we love and are grateful for our near and dear. There are times I need to remind myself there is so much MORE in this world that gets easily overlooked and forgotten that has contributed to my heart.

My heart flies farther than the end of my road.

On sunless days our hearts may feel shadowed by the frustrations of the current circumstances we find ourselves in. I think its great to seek, find and make our hearts in our everyday life. Personally, I do struggle during the dark winter so these reminders simply help. A bit like my ‘Beating Depression’ series that I tried to start and ironically never finished because winter knocked the motivation right out of me!

Hearts are Love.

I love books, libraries, reading, writing and just words!

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I love to cook, eat and watch others enjoy it too.

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I love to sew and create.

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I love the many adventures marriage brings.

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I love to travel and discover all the different beauties this world has.

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I love how music can often find the words you can’t.

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There is so much more I could add my heart to. Flowers and gardens. Going for long walks in nature. Maps for road trips. Art galleries in old cities. Walking along a sandy beach barefoot. Going to the zoo with my kids!

There is a quote I found that said, “If you want to know where your heart is, look to where your mind goes when it wanders.”  I imagine our minds wander very far from our address.

In my continued efforts to stay positive, I am currently surrounding myself with hearts to remind myself of what is in mine. The more love I feel for the world around me, the more I can feel love within myself and be a happier person for those I already treasure in my heart the most.

Fun on photo booth

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