setting: the place (walls, house, home).

Tuesday, November 1

friends, we're moving!
this gal's wandering heart is elated (!!!), my husband is equally as excited, the dog has no clue what's going on, and the cat is obsessed with all the empty boxes. more than anything, we are giddy to be back in our home city's bustling core (it's been four years! you've grown up so much since then, #yegdt). i look forward to scribbling about the house, one i've known since childhood, but for now a short story will do; it is too serendipitous not to share.


just shy of one hundred years ago, a house was built in edmonton.
two generations watched from its windows as their little city grow into a grand metropolis. when the museum opened in the late sixties, my newlywed great aunt & great uncle parked along a close-by street and like so many others, eagerly explored the beautiful new building. afterwards, with two hot coffees in hand, they took the long way back to their car and strolled through the neighbourhood, telling make-believe stories to each other about the people that lived in the houses. a few years later, newly graduated from law school, my great uncle brought his wife and newborn daughter back to that exact street, to a house my great aunt still remembers the storyline to.
over the next fifty years, they made a house a home and wrote their own wonderful story within its walls.
last march, sadly and unexpectedly, my witty & kind & stoic great uncle passed away.
my gracious aunt explored the globe and cuddled her grandchildren. this upcoming year, she has chosen to once again adventure. remembering my childhood coo, 'oh, one day! i'll live here! i'll love it like my own - i promise!' and hearing from my papa, her little brother, that we were casually browsing real estate, she gave me a call. and here we are.
it is a beautiful house and a familial home and so, so special to us.

and when the boxes have been unpacked and the closets filled, i will tell you some more stories.

a winter, a spring, a summer, an autumn.

Saturday, October 29

i'll avoid too much of a (particularly well-versed) recitation on noted silences, intentional or otherwise, and happily acknowledge that the past long while has been good. really good. good enough to document, even. while i do feel a bit dazed over just how quickly time has gone, it felt thoughtful & cathartic & genuine to press 'publish' on a grown assortment of noteworthiness. and in staying genuine, let me give credit where it's really due after all of these months: to my piles of tattered old journals & one trusted day planner. okay, and to the timestamped photos too.

November


spent most of my time buried under textbooks, and falling madly in love with a new role. wrote, a lot. flew back to YEG for the long weekend; filled my time with people i love. hosted my bestie & her husband for a weekend. we went on a walk every morning.

January


set one intention for the year: to read more. 100 books in 1 year (nearly there! with time to spare!!!). wished my love a very happy birthday while strolling through an ice castle. began my very last semester away. otherwise, stayed bundled up and generally miserable. it's a jumble of feels being newlyweds & being apart.

March


march was really hard. depression is exhausting. self-doubt is wicked mean. neither deserve more words that those. and then, there's this man. i am forever astounded by my husband's strength & grateful for his patience. you deserve more words than i could ever possibly write.

May


took a wonderful mother-daughter trip to san fran. i've only ever driven through, so exploring the quirky hidden gems of that place - alcatraz! lighthouses! hilly streets! at&t park (the giants won, woo!) - with my mum was fantastic. and also sipped a zillion cups of tea with my grandparents; i missed all of them so much.

July


more weekends, more road trips! started out in beautiful british columbia (we even stayed in a ghost town hotel!). helped my bestest & her hubby move. went to the fair. and on double date nights. and to the lake. and to music nights & foodie events. and to, and to, and to ...

September

began my 26th year, happily so. hugged a little brother extra tightly upon his return from five months of globe trekking. attended & spoke at a conference on birth psychology; was offered a mentorship. heart you always, PNW. discussed a book chapter. started a new chapter.

December


got a fringe (regret it, by the way). counted down the days until winter break. wrote perhaps the hardest exam ever before my flight home. aced it. and yes, had a very merry christmas - families, friend-families, parties. so good. even made it past midnight on new year's eve.

February


the frostiest month. we jetted off to hawaii for a week of sunshine & surf. it was the first time in years that my dad, three brothers, and i had all vacationed together. and, my bestie caught me by happy, happy surprise during our weekly Skype date with an ultrasound photo!!! a baby! sweet soul, i already love you so much.

April


in a blur of research & final submissions, i graduated. farewell (for now, anyway) uni. and i moved back to my home city!!! april was quite the whirlwind: packing, unpacking, settling, routines, visits (so many happy, happy reunions!), and the job hunt.

June


workin' for those weekends, and weekend we did. we snuck off to vegas and didn't even try to party like we used to. also snuck away to the mountains with and stayed up way too late playing boardgames. we have such incredible friends who will make all these golden years to come happier and more fun (and a bit more bearable, too).

August


making good on one of many honeymoon promises, we celebrated our 1st anniversary in palm springs. i adore that place. birthdays galore! danced the night away at a beautiful wedding. sought calmness at a beautiful self-care workshop. felt ready to welcome a new season.

October


held space for my dearest, bestest friend as she brought her daughter into this world (after thirty long hours. honestly, she is truly a divine force). embraced the first snowfall. giddily said "yes!!!" to a new adventure. started packing, again. and started planning a spring getaway.
and just like that, another november is almost upon us.
as for all hallows' eve weekend, we're balancing yesterday's spooky night out at our city's heritage park with a movie marathon tonight, of the classic (& creepy) hallowe'en flick variety. we passed on pumpkin carving; i set up a small samhain altar instead. happy hauntings, friends!
and check back soon. like i said, it feels good to be scribbling again.

one lone post for all of sweater weather.

Monday, November 30




The only thing I have to say aside from farewell, November, you mostly gloomy, sort of exhausting, overly quiet month filled with a small but meaningful amount of pretty good things is, in defence of the stripes, they're all preeeeeeeeetty different. I mean, look at those two on either end; heavy knit vs. short sleeves. Apples and oranges, people. Then, there's navy or black or indigo, boat neck or round, cotton or wool or cashmere. I really could keep going.

And for the record, this was taken after nearly three weeks of me outright ignoring the laundry hamper. It's not like I wore stripes eight days in a row. That would be just silly. The rest of my time was spent in the coziest sweater ever & my beloved collection of black turtlenecks, plus an array of my husband's tees that I've commandeered as sleep shirts. Welcome to my wardrobe, friends; it's all sorts of adventurous around here.

catching up.

Friday, October 30

I hope you brought your reading glasses, friends.
I've fallen slightly behind with my little blog. At the very least, take my word on the fact that ALL I feel like writing about lately is our wedding and honeymoon. Seriously, I look through our photographs at least once a day.

After a month away, I spent last weekend in my home city. The timing was perfect; what they say about absence and the heart and fondness is so very, very true. And the reason to be back was beautiful: our dear friend married the love of her life in a late autumn wedding on a warm (!!!) & sunny day. Steven has known the bride since grade school and holy heck is she ever a sweet soul with a serious eye for glam wedding decor. You know it, Syd, you talented gal! I cried at the ceremony and at the reception and during the first dance and that about sums me up throughout every wedding ever. The dance floor was bumpin', I made off with a loot bag of sweets from the pink + gold candy bar, and yes, a midnight pizza delivery order was definitely placed.


Last year, Steven and I found it difficult to balance the somewhat hectic schedules that often accompanied me on weekends home. In the span of a few days, we'd be worn thin bouncing between family time and friends time and me off to gals nights and wait, what about us time - it was exhausting. This weekend was a pretty sound indication that with time comes lessons learned. We managed to pull off two date nights (!!!) and celebrate a wedding, and while I still got to spend time with my family and closest friends, we actually got some sleep too. On Friday evening, I met a fellow blog gal for vino, cheese, and a heartfelt chat. On Saturday morning before the wedding, I laughed (and happy cried) through our wedding collection with my dad and stepmum. Then, on Sunday morning + afternoon, I literally camped out at perhaps my favourite coffee shop in all of YEG - Sugarbowl, you get all the heart eyes - with my mum in the morn' and some of my closest gals right after, going through all the photographs over again. It was really important to both Steven and I that we got to share in those moments. Besides, watching the reactions are absolutely priceless; my dad's crying face made everyone tear up! I really should've live recorded the peanut gallery that is five girls clicking through a thousand photos. Our second date night took us to the ice rink where we cheered extra loudly at the good ol' hockey game!

And there you have it, friends: a quick recap of a particularly good weekend.
Speaking of weekends, have a spooky one! Tomorrow is the closest our world gets to that of the dead.
But if that isn't really your thing, just enjoy the sugar highs, jack-o-lanterns, & little kiddos in adorable costumes.

honeymooning in London

Tuesday, October 20

Long before the wedding plans even began, Steven and I both knew Europe would be the perfect place to spend our first few weeks as newlyweds. After the logistics were sorted, we each chose a country: mine was France & his, Croatia. Northern Ireland was also an absolute must as that's my homeland; my dad was born & raised in a small town in Country Antrim and the majority of his extended family is still there. We couldn't imagine hopping the ocean and not stopping by for a visit. So, when my Aeroplan points whipped up a redeye flight to Heathrow the Monday evening following our wedding weekend, we booked immediately & dreaming up our adventure.


Our time in London was short & sweet - I'm talking a mere twenty four hours! Steven snoozed nearly the entire flight to Heathrow and I watched a bunch of movies in between naps. When we landed, it was late Tuesday morning and holy heck, we were officially honeymooning (!!!)

The Heathrow Express sped us from the airport to Paddington terminal in a quick fifteen minutes and from there, we made our way to our hotel just off Hyde Park. I have a genuine soft spot for boutique hotels and thankfully, my husband tolerably goes along with the often eclectic, usually tiny, always darling spaces. After I found a particularly good rate for the neighbourhood, we checked into the Arbor Hyde Park Hotel, a beautifully restored 19th century townhouse.


We burst out laughing over the coziest of cozy square footage, made ourselves espresso, and ventured back out into the gorgeous August weather in search of much-needed lunch. Steven has some food allergies, the most serious of which being to gluten, so we're extra careful when it comes to dining out. Around a few corners, we found a little English pub with cider on tap and a full GF menu! Hello, good English mash.

Even though London wasn't part of the initial plans, we dedicated some time to mapping out our afternoon & evening amongst a few sightseeing spots - Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and Big Ben, plus a few hole in the wall cocktail bars. And then, we made a rookie travel mistake. After the previous week of wedding wonderfulness, after fourteen hours of traveling, after jumbling our inner clocks zooming through more than half a dozen times zones, and after filling our bellies with good food, we got back to The Arbor and we decided to take a nap.
Oops.
I'd love to tell you we woke up an hour later feeling so refreshed, then strolled through London hand in hand, gazing lovingly into each other's eyes. Sorry to disappoint, folks. We actually woke up nearly seven hours later, feeling entirely refreshed, albeit a bit silly. Such is life. After wandering down to the lobby in search of late night dinner options, we decided to grab a quick drink in the lounge.
Turns out, the hilarious group celebrating next to us was the owners (!!!) and their renovation team, whom were all clinking glasses over the first birthday of the hotel's stunning restoration. They heard our Canadian accents, plus a few mentions of the wedding, and the night rolled on from there. We stuck around until the sun was nearly up making friends with these wonderful hosts, who shared terrifying renovation mishaps and asked a billion questions about our wedding day & honeymoon plans. When we finally did make it back to our room, there was a chilled bottle of bubbly waiting for us, compliments of the hotel! It was such a sweet & thoughtful gesture.

The bubbly worked its magic because after another (much shorter) cat nap, we happily awoke on Wednesday morn and the haziness of jet lag was a long forgotten memory! Whew. We had early afternoon train tickets booked to Paris so we took a stroll through the neighbourhood and the park, packed up, then headed off to the gorgeous St. Pancras Station.



Had we planned a bit better, I'd have loved to hop across the street to King's Cross Station and drool over that white steel roof, not to mention pop by Platform 9 3/4! However, we settled in at Searcys Champagne Bar, spent some time scribbling down shared wedding memories in the journal I brought along, then devoured delicious bowls of GF pasta on Carluccio's seemingly outdoor patio. From there, it was a breeze boarding the train (my first ever European rail experience!) and we were Paris bound!



And so, although the London recommendations only total one gem of a hotel & some delicious travel eats, neither of us regret those uninterrupted hours of sleep that overthrew our London day. Planning a wedding takes a lot out of you - it's busy and fun and overwhelming and packed full of really, really good moments. Still, by the time we set off on our honeymoon, Steven and I were both craving some quiet alone time, together. No hard feelings, body + mind, we know you were just telling us what yah really needed.

I really have no idea how I'm to fit the trillion photos we have from Paris into one post. We only spent four days in The City of Light but oh my goodness did we walk and wander and explore. Whether it's one post or two, there'll be Parisienne prettiness on the blog next week!

a note - I (finally) sorted out my fickly account so you can now officially follow Mr and Mrs L on Bloglovin' (!!!)

the surreal moments.

Thursday, October 15





This past Friday, each with a glass of bubbly in hand, my husband and I found immense joy in looking through the photography collection from our wedding day. We dedicated more than a few hours to going through all of 'em, over and over and over, happily reliving the moments & emotions from a truly surreal morning, day, and eve. Being in two different cities most of the time, we thought it unlikely that we'd get to take in this particular moment side by side. So thank you, fate, for finding me curled up beside him and for giving us the luxury of laughing and crying and reminiscing together; it was absolutely wonderful.

The moments are fleeting, in a near magical way, throughout your wedding. Time moves far more quickly than you ever would've thought possible. And yet, it also moves as though on a slow motion reel - blurry and silent and perfect. Scribbled out, I do realize how ridiculous that sounds. Like I said, it is utterly surreal. Words aside (for once), I am inexplicably grateful to now have so many of those moments forever captured.

Sooner rather than later, I do hope to blog much of the goodness that was our wedding day. Believe me, any and every reason to be entirely nostalgic brings about serious warm fuzzies! Until then, we're simply enjoying the laughter and happiness that comes from sharing our photographs with our family, bridal party, and dearest friends.


[ photo by James Moes via our wedding morn; my great-grandma's earrings & heirlooms from the '20s ]

a happy weekend.

Friday, October 9

Y'all, the best news: my husband is here! Steven flew in yesterday afternoon & we get to spend the entire weekend together. Needless to say, my heart is so friggin' happy right now. We're going to take lots of walks, drink lots of vino, and even go out on a good ol' fashioned date night (take that, Netflix!). And, like we do every fall, we'll be making the biggest batch of vegetarian chili ever. How are you spending your long weekend, friends?

Here are some reads to make the last workday before the weekend speed by ...


// A list of all the cars James Bond has driven.

// It's Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend! We're making gluten free pumpkin pie!

// Vol. 2 of Poppy Barley's magazine is hot off the internet press!

// Snippet & Ink's #WordsToLoveBy is one of my favourite hashtags ever ever.

// I shared this piece on finding those family-friends a while ago on twitter & just had to again.

// A video on pronouncing Irish names that made me laugh out loud. I so get it.

// The bestest fall footwear (now, to learn how to style ankle booties)!

// How to spend 9 glorious days in Croatia.

// The inspiration board for my upcoming hair appointment. Fringe? Blunt cut? Hair dye? All three?

// A well stocked collection of real life movie set homes.

// I've had this tune on repeat lately.

[ photo via this blog, where the prettiest Parisienne photos are ]
 

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