Tag Archives: love

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23 Dec

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12 Mar

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Summer 2013 Round-up

4 Sep


We have/are having a phenomenal summer. A bulleted recap for you, faithful readers:

  • Nova had a birthday party
  • She got some belated gifts
  • Tamara’s bridesmaids and I threw her a terrific nautical themed Stagette
  • Cale celebrated another year as a stellar Dad
  • Nova’s actual birthday rolled around and my Mom came to help us celebrate
  • Lux’s boyfriend Beckett came for a visit
  • Anthony and Jen had a beautiful baby named Hannah
  • Emery and Ashlyn started coming over for playdates
  • Tamara and Jerred got married
  • My sister came for a visit with her boyfriend Ross
  • I had a sleepover and went shopping in the Unites States with my BFF
  • Emery came over on her birthday and we had a pool party
  • Nova and Lux’s cousin CJ came to visit from Ontario
  • We watched a lot of movies
  • We went to the library
  • We spent a lot of time at the park
  • My family from Lloydminster came to Penticton and we went to hang out with them
  • Our family friends bought a house!

We also went camping and learned a lot of new skills, but those are posts for another day. For now…Summer-time collages.

Summer 2013 1



Summer 2013 2


Summer 2013 3


Summer 2013 4

Summer 2013 5


Summer 2013 6



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

Baby Hannah’s Shower

6 Jul

Hannah Marie was born on June 14, 2013, at 1:27am, weighing 7lbs 8oz.


I’ve known her Dad since we were young enough to forget that we even had memories. I grew up with their family. We went on camping trips together, had holidays together, celebrated milestones together. They come to just about every party we’ve ever thrown. Their Mom used to babysit my siblings and I and now  her youngest daughter  is our go-to babysitter. With my family so far away in Saskatchewan it’s always been nice to have this family of friends to surround ourselves with.

It is with great pleasure and excitement that I was able to meet Hannah for the first time last weekend on Canada Day. She’s much smaller than Lux ever was and I couldn’t help but remember my petite Nova, whose infant days are already a distant memory. She smells incredible and her parents are naturally falling into parenthood as if they were made for it.



It’s a strange thing though. To see someone younger than me, that I’ve known for so long,  start to hit the point in life that leads to babies, house ownership, weddings and other grown-up, permanent decisions.  I imagine it will be even stranger when it’s my own siblings. I have them permanently etched in my brain at 10 years old begging to hang out with my friends and I, being incredibly irritating but also incredibly awesome. I can’t imagine what I’ll do when one of them has children. Cry…most likely.

But this isn’t about them! This is about sweet baby Hannah (the second we know, now, plus an “H”) and her delightful baby shower at her Mom and Dad’s newly renovated home! (Which looks freaking amazing!)


I have been excited about this baby shower since I found out her Mama Jen was expecting but, surprisingly, didn’t buy out all of the children’s retailers in the lower mainland. I have such restraint.



Congratulations Anthony and Jen on the birth of your amazing, incredible, BEAUTIFUL baby girl. I hope that there are many more camping trips and holidays in our future with our gang of ladies leaving a trail of mayhem in their wake.





Lux and the Lord

9 Jun

I want to blog about Nova’s birthday party, but I can’t neglect to mention the milestone that was Lux’s Baptism.

I need to start making lists of “must have” photos at events revolving around these ladies.

I searched and searched for days for the perfect outfit for Lux. Nova wore my old outfit and I wanted to find Lux something similar, but still unique to her little cheerful disposition. I finally found what I was looking for, at Sears of all places, the day before!

Lux was baptized on May 26th, 2013, and she didn’t even cry when the water touched her sweet little head.

I’ve been going to my home church, Faith Lutheran, since I was very, very young. All of the people who go there are like a second family to me. We convened every Sunday for years and years and years until in typical teenaged fashion I began to form my own opinions and beliefs and decided waking up that early on a weekend wasn’t worth it and slowly stopped going regularly. Now I’ve moved several times, life gets busy, I work weekends, and have formed my own strong belief system, but I very much miss that sense of community and love and I very dearly miss the congregation that I grew up with. I miss knowing about their lives and seeing their faces regularly. These are people that I love very dearly and who love me and my continuously growing family. They threw me a surprise bridal shower and baby shower, have supported my family during times of joy and sorrow, and will always have a very real, very loved place in my heart. I’m grateful to my Mom for dressing me in my Sunday best and dragging me kicking and screaming, even when she may have wanted to give up.

Nova was baptized there, and now, so is Lux!



I wasn’t sure how Nova would hold up but she did very, very well. She ran around a little during the ceremony but didn’t scream or throw things or cause any general mayhem. Her Grandparents were very good about keeping her contained and well-behaved.

I love the tradition and meaning behind Godparents. To us, it’s a huge deal to select someone to be a Godparent. I’m very happy to say that so far the choices have been very easy. Nova’s Godparents are her Uncle Jerred and Auntie Chantelle, and Lux’s are her Uncle Johnathan and Auntie Tamara. I mean, come on. Could it be anyone else?

17 Godparents

I love these three so much.

I love traditions that call for a coming together of family and a celebration of milestones in children’s lives. If I never had to celebrate another birthday again, but my kids could feel special on every other day of the year that would be a great trade.

16 Group Photo

I’m so grateful to our family for coming out to support Lux and to love her as much as well do. These kids are pretty lucky.

After church service, we headed back to Cale’s Dad’s for cake and a small gift opening, and Lux immediately fell asleep after her big day out.


I made cake. I’ve been really flexing my baking muscles lately so I made this cake from scratch, made the icing from scratch and then iced it myself. I don’t own a piping bag so I did this with a ziplock bag and pulled together ingredients since it was kind of a last minute plan. That’s supposed to be a sun in the bottom right corner…because Lux is my little sunshine, but…well…you can just pretend you got it.


A beautiful Winne-the-Pooh carousel from her Godmomma Tamara.

Nova was more into presents for this event than any other present giving occasion! Christmas is going to be fun this year. Ha.







Thank you to Tamara for picking up my camera and capturing these moments, thank you to my children for making me so proud and being so well-behaved, thank you to everyone who came from near and far (my Mom came from Penticton!), thank you to the congregation for being so wonderful and full of love during my formative years, and thank you to my brother and best friend for agreeing to care for, love, and nurture little Lux as she journeys through life, I’m sure she’ll need you more than you know.


Neglected Nova At 17 Months

22 Dec

My bad Mommy moment is that I put off taking Nova’s 16 month photo until it was too late and she had almost cleared 17 months already. Fortunately, I picked up my socks and she will hopefully only have one small blip in an otherwise pretty good track record. One missed photo in 24 months, given my propensity for quitting and procrastinating, is pretty good. 😉

In spite of her Mom being more distracted than usual, Nova is nothing short of her sweet, charming self. At 17 months her tantrums are becoming more focused and less intense. Her communication skills improve on a daily basis and her sign language has come leaps and bounds in the last two months, luckily for us. She is showing a LOT of interest in the bathroom/toilet so Adventures in Potty Training might begin sooner rather than later.

She’s very active and loves to climb but hasn’t really shown an interest in climbing out of her crib so although we were toying with the idea of transitioning to a “big girl bed” we’ll hold off for as long as she is content to be confined to a small square footage in the mornings/evenings.

Her bedtime routine is basically the best part of my day.

Nova isn’t much of a cuddler. She’ll drive by for a quick kiss or hug but mostly interrupting her playtime for affection is met with a swift backhand and some sort of grunt or scream to convey her utmost displeasure at your presumption that she might love physical contact with you more than stacking her blocks or playing with her new Superfriends (shout out to Auntie Janet and Uncle Ross). BUT…at bed time all bets are off.

We let her run and splash and have a ball in the bath, then she sits quietly reading a book or snuggling a stuffed animal while we brush her hair and teeth, then it’s time to hang out in the rocking chair with a blanket and another book. Typically this time can last anywhere from 5 to 25 minutes, depending on how hard up for a serious cuddle I am, but it’s always immensely enjoyable. It’s also very sweet to see how much she responds to the routine. We go into her room and she points at the Twilight Turtle so that we are sure to turn it on, then it’s time to point at the white noise machine because it wouldn’t be bedtime without the sound of crickets next to a babbling brook.

Gosh I love her.

How is she adjusting? VERY well. This kid was made to be a big sister the way that I feel made to be a Mom. She brings us diapers and throws the old ones away, she helps wipe Lux’s face when she has milky dribbles, she gives her sister a hug and kiss good morning and good night every single day, she asks to come up on the couch or bed and then sits sweetly next to our new babe just looking at her and gently touching her face or hands, occasionally she’ll position Baby Lux’s hands so that they are receptive to high fives. It is pretty amazing to watch. I can’t wait until they are old enough to run and play together. So far so good. 🙂

I was nervous about spending less time with Nova or being too busy to recognize all the ways she is still growing and changing right before our very eyes but I’m extremely pleased to find that so far it’s been relatively easy. Lux, like her big sister before her, is a dynamo sleeper so our days are still reserved largely for playing with Nova and our nights are dedicated to rocking, shushing, and placating Lux. I know this won’t always be the case, and despite my extreme exhaustion, it’s working so far and I can’t complain about THAT particular arrangement.

Next foreseeable challenge…managing a 2 year old and a 6 month old who is desperate to become mobile.