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14 Dec

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24 Jul

“There is family you are born into, and family you choose. Tamara has always been a member of my chosen family…”

On July 13th my best friend married my brother in law. In some ways, my life is like a fairy tale. I fell in love and married a man I’d been secretly in love with since high school, and now my best friend, whom I’ve known and loved for 15 years, shares my last name and I get to call her “sister”. Does life get any better than this?


Tamara and Jerred were married at Gatzke Orchards in Oyama, BC. It was an incredible wedding with thousands of personal, beautiful DIY details.


The groom, my handsome brother.

Tamara has been a part of my life for so long that my family has amalgamated her into their lives like an honorary Kushniruk (yeah…my maiden name is a doozy.) and it was amazing to see them there on such a momentous occasion.


My younger brother.


The day before the wedding was vibrating with the excitement of the day to come and we were treated to an incredible feast by Tamara’s other bridesmaid Liz and her husband/chef. Just thinking about the food and set-up makes me drool. It was amazing.



This wedding deserves its own Pinterest board.


The day of!




Tamara looked so beautiful. I felt such pride and love being a part of such a huge moment for her. Getting to watch her transform from my gorgeous friend into a stunning bride. Yes…when she slipped into her dress and turned around, I cried…a lot.

There are so many things about the day that made me smile. The guests and the decor (that I knew first hand contained all of our blood, sweat and tears), Tamara’s excitement seeing everything come together, Jerred’s very obvious adoration for the woman he was marrying, being maid of honor and having my girls be flower girls, getting to spend time in the gorgeous Okanagan. So, so, so many delightful and memorable moments.


Bridesmaids and two flower girls. (Thanks for the photo Liz!)

Mom and Girls

My mom and my two girls! (Thanks for the photo Mom!)

4 Sisters and Nova

My younger sister and I, with Nova.

Flower Girls

Flower girls! (Thanks for the photo Liz!)

Crazy Nova

Crazy looking Nova at the end of the night. (Thanks for the photo Liz!)

This wedding and Jerred and Tamara’s marriage is so close to my heart. I’m so looking forward to family holidays and get-togethers and for our children to be cousins. I can’t wait to see where their lives are headed and how much happier they are going to make one another. I cannot believe my good luck. I get a sister, my children get to have my friend in their lives in an entirely new capacity, and my FAMILY has gotten so much bigger and better. The things I have to say are so overwhelming, but I think it’s safe to say that when I think about my life, I feel more than blessed, I feel incredibly full of love. Both love received, and love given. And there’s a whole lot more to go around.

For the photos of Jerred and Tamara’s incredible day, stay tuned on their AMAZING photographer’s page: Blush Photography by Angela Waterberg. You DEFINITELY want to see these.

Tamara has always been a member of my chosen family, but I am so happy that on July 13th, she joined my “you have no choice” family.

Walking with Tamara

Blush Photography

What we’re up to in January!

4 Jan

Christmas 2011 was amazing for the Boden family. We spent it with friends and family and Santa was very good to Nova for her first Christmas.

She did really well! She even grasped the concept of ripping the paper off of the gifts. We all thought she would be mostly interested in the wrapping or the boxes but she went right for the toys inside. Haha. She’s figured this Christmas thing out folks.

She got a little overwhelmed Christmas morning so we put her down for a nap after she opened a couple of gifts and then had “Adult” Christmas. Once she woke up she opened a few more and much later opened the rest. In the end, everything was opened and she has a full toybox to show for it, along with some practicals and some “save for later” items that I’m very excited about.

New Years came and went and there are a few things in the works in our house for 2012!

1. We are getting better and better at experimenting with different solid foods and textures! So far her favorites are peas, sweet potatoes and home-made oatmeal. She very strongly dislikes eggplant and isn’t very keen on carrots although she’ll eat about half of what she should. Ha. We’re doing our best to stay on top of making all of her food ourselves and it’s been really fun, challenging, and also extremely rewarding! The learning process is a highlight for me since I get very excited at the prospect of researching anything and it’s awesome seeing what she takes to and what she doesn’t. If you have any home-made food tips or questions I’d love to swap!

2. We are, as usual, gearing up for another big move in March although (and I say this every time) this will hopefully be the last one for quite some time. Things that are different this time around? We will be closer to Cale’s work (and possibly mine if I get a position I’ve been eyeballing for the past couple of months), no room-mates (which is a bit bittersweet), and we’re hoping to move into the East Vancouver area where 80% of the people I know in the lower mainland live! While I will miss the people we live close to now we know this is a much better idea (and money saver) for us.

3. We have a few resolutions we are working on! Things like, more time for Mom and Dad, less lazy time in front of the television (after baby is asleep), a more organized household, more home cooked meals, and Mom is making a private resolution to change her clothing habits. It’s time to invest in clothing that fits well but isn’t exercise pants and tank tops. I feel like this can only be a self esteem booster.Hopefully with the help of things like Cozi, Flylady, and Apps for Moms getting organized and simplifying our life will be easier than ever in 2012.

4. Shameless plug: Cale and his bro (Uncle Jerred) have their own contracting company under works. If you need any renovations or work done please give these guys a go! They’re very talente handy-men and between the two of them can do everything but electrical and plumbing. Check them out.

2B Constructed

There are also a few things on the go as far as making Nova’s baby food is going. Since all the food we use is organic and locally grown I felt like it would be a good idea to share all of the knowledge I’m accumulating in one easy to access place so check out my food blog. It’s under construction at the moment but will be up and running in no time.

12 Mile Organics

5. Nova’s baptism is this weekend! I was baptized and raised Lutheran and we live very close to my home church so after a lot of discussion we decided that we wanted to go ahead and have Nova baptized as well. We chose her Auntie Chantelle and Uncle Jerred as the godparents and know that they will do a great job mentoring her and loving her as she grows up.

6. You’ll be able to watch the goings on in our lives soon enough once we figure out our brand spanking new Canon Vixia camcorder!!!

After much deliberation we choose this camera, which was a very generous gift from my Dad, to record all of our family’s milestones. Let’s face it, it will be a lot of video of Nova. Nova laughing, crawling, walking, talking, and just generally being a little cutie. I’m very excited to start using it! I’m ALSO very excited about the HD and dual SD card capabilities! Whoo hoo!

We are so grateful to everyone who has been supportive of our family and continues to love us over the years. It’s so difficult to SHOW such immense appreciation for all of you but hopefully my constant bringing it up will be a good start. Thanks for an amazing 2011!!!

Photo by Tamara Lakeman Photography