13 years ago this weekend Dan and I were married in our backyard.
I was 28, he was 40, and it was a second marriage for us both.
Dan’s brother, David, performed the ceremony in our backyard,
marriage commissioner for a day.
Ours was a whirlwind of a courtship.
By our second date we had determined that we were getting married, which was a complete surprise to us both given that neither of us were convinced that marriage was a direction in which we wanted to head again.
However, I found myself quite suddenly smitten with this man who did terribly romantic things
like leaving a new duvet for me to find in my entry when I came home from work, because I had said that my apartment was cold at night,
and he wined and dined me to no end.
Our first Christmas together, Dan took me to Paris which was where he officially proposed . He had planned to find some romantic venue (Paris has a few),
but he was so excited to pop the big question that it spilled out of him as soon as we arrived at our hotel.
It wasn’t, however, those grand sweeping gestures that won me over (though they are wonderful memories),
rather what I fell in love with were things such as,
the first time we spoke on the phone Dan told me within the first five minutes that he had an 8-year-old daughter that meant the world to him,
he often phoned my mom in the evening to share with her news from his day,
he was still great friends with his ex-wife and her parents,
he was passionate about art, beauty, our world,
and was deeply committed to always being and doing better…..
These things convinced me of his character,
and I felt assured that our life together would be an adventure, a mutual journey of learning, discovery, play, love,
It has not always been easy.
We have needed to learn about building a healthy relationship, and we have already been through so much,
but how lucky am I,
to have someone who believes in me, cheers me on and cherishes me completely?
We have our moments, but with every big decision we are on the same page.
With you, my dear, there is never a dull moment, or lack of expression.
You know how to play and dream, your generosity is limitless, and your talents still move me.
Happy Anniversary to the man who loves me as much a woman can be loved,
is a wonderful father to our kids,
and who taught me that lighting is everything.
After a couple of weeks of eating a ton of junk food,
I decided that our summer could not be entirely comprised of chips, pop, candy and such.
I pulled out my healthier eating cookbooks, made a big shopping list and headed back to the city to stock up on groceries galore.
Back in Waterton, I started experimenting with healthier recipes again.
I made ‘Trail Mix Cookies’ from Joyous Health by Joy McCarthy to start with (positively delicious!), Creamy Avocado Potato Salad from Oh She Glows by Angela Liddon (also fabulous) and successfully offered my family fresh berries with whipped coconut milk for desserts (omg, have you tried this!?)
However, things fell apart when I made ‘Black Bean Chia Brownies’ (Joyous Health) the other day and George said to me once they were ready,
‘You didn’t put anything stupid in these brownies, did you?’
‘I have no idea what you are talking about, and that’s not a nice word to be using to talk about my food,’ I replied.
I knew that my game was up, though, when the kids and their friends all bit into the said brownies. Olivia’s friend Georgia politely tried to tell me that they were fine, but my own two were gagging dramatically. Piper, the oldest in the group, said,
‘Karen, are there beans in these brownies?’
My reply was my fit of laughter. You can imagine how my children responded.
Oh well, I think the brownies are quite sophisticated and chocolately and black beany-delicious, and my kids can always stand to have their taste buds broadened,
much to their dismay.
Peace in the kitchen is a process,
and food exploration unapologetically delights me.
We have been blessed these last few weeks with spectacular weather. All is still, hot, and gorgeous.
It has been the kind of weather that wants to be held onto, savoured, and absorbed into every pore.
We have spent more time at the lake,
and as I watch my kids swim, boat, skip rocks, climb the boulders and cliffs, and lie on the beach,
I remember my own similar childhood experiences from summer holidays and camping trips.
I am so grateful that my kids get to experience nature, too, in ways that I did,
as I now know there are few and rare moments in life that are so free, real, and precious.