Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Toronto the heartbroken :(


If you had told me when I was 10, or 16, or even 20, that I would wind up spending my adult life in Toronto (or, more accurately, the Greater Toronto Area), I would never have believed it. I grew up on the Canadian Prairies, during the 1970s, when the oil boom was on in Alberta. The premier of Alberta, Peter Lougheed, was my political hero (seeing him walking down the steps of the office tower where I worked, a decade or so later, remains one of the great thrills of my life), and I wrote papers for my college poli sci classes on the subject of western alienation.  Pierre Trudeau (Justin's dad) was prime minister, and universally loathed beyond the 100th meridian (particularly after posing the rhetorical question, "Why should I sell the Canadian farmers' wheat?" and implementing the National Energy Policy, which cut into provincial rights and oil companies' profits).

The West was what I knew, and as I entered my teenage and young adult years, it was where the action was. After graduation, my high school classmates who didn't stay in Manitoba went to school and found work in Saskatoon, Calgary & Edmonton. Nobody I knew was from Toronto, or ever went to Toronto (except one high school friend, who came back from a summer trip sporting a "1050 CHUM" T-shirt. So pervasive was (is) the influence of Toronto on Canadian life that we all knew about 1050 CHUM, even in those pre-Internet days.). Toronto, we all believed, considered itself the centre of the universe -- much as New York City is disdained in some parts of the U.S. for its overwhelming influence on business and culture. (How many Torontonians does it take to change a light bulb? One to hold the bulb, while the room revolves around him.)

But life is full of surprises. I met a really nice, really cute boy from Toronto at university, wound up marrying him, and set up housekeeping in a one-bedroom apartment just off Yonge Street, the city's main north-south thoroughfare, in the midtown district.  It was a great place to live, particularly in those "yuppie years" of the late 1980s, with tons of boutiques and bookstores and movie theatres and chic little restaurants, not to mention banks, grocery stores, the library, streetcars and the subway, all within walking distance. (And we walked, everywhere -- we'd go for days & days without using our car.)  Occasionally, we'd take the subway up to the North York Centre, on Yonge between Sheppard & Finch, to the huge, newly opened library there. The local genealogical society's holdings were housed there and I would spend hours scrolling through endless reels of microfilm while dh browsed the stacks.

"So, how do you like living in TORONTO??"  friends and relatives "back home" would ask me, somewhat suspiciously, with raised eyebrows. I would tell them that I've lived a lot of different places in my life, big & small, and there is good & bad to be found everywhere -- it's all what you make of it.

I could say the same, of course, to the people here who makes endless jokes to me about "Winterpeg."  ;) In many cases, the people rolling their eyes about Toronto have never set foot in the city, and likewise, many people here (although they will jet off each winter to Florida or Mexico or Cuba) have never set foot on the Prairies, winter OR summer.

There was, and is, much to make of Toronto. I have often said, you have absolutely NO excuse to be bored in this city...!  There's an abundance of great theatre, museums, art galleries, concerts, sporting events, movie theatres, bookstores and libraries. There is excellent shopping, both of the mall/chain store variety and smaller specialty boutiques. Restaurants of all kinds abound. There are three excellent universities here, and several fine community colleges. The waterfront is slowly being revitalized, and there are some nice parks -- including, the Toronto Islands (accessible by ferry) and, on the eastern fringes, Canada's first urban national park, Rouge Valley. While the transit system has been underfunded and underbuilt for years, it still gets an awful lot of people where they need to go, and is relatively safe and clean. It's not a perfect city -- not as beautiful as Vancouver or as cosmopolitan as  Montreal or as friendly as Halifax -- but as cities go, it's a pretty damn fine one (and a great place for tourists to visit, by the way!).

The city's motto is "Diversity our Strength," and this city probably comes closer than any to live that ideal.  It can be a shock if you grew up in small towns where diversity means Ukrainians, Icelanders and Mennonites living with white Anglo-Saxon Protestants -- and perhaps a lone Chinese family running the only Chinese restaurant for miles around. I remember standing at a bus stop in Scarborough in the late 1990s with my mother and about two dozen other people. She looked around & whispered to me, "We're the only white people here!"  And we were! There were people around us whose backgrounds were obviously Caribbean, Asian, south Asian and Middle Eastern.  I just hadn't really noticed, because it's not unusual hereabouts. Nobody blinks to see an interracial couple holding hands on the streets. I will admit, I used to gawk at the gay couples on Yonge Street holding hands when I first moved here, but gradually, it ceased to be a novelty. The city has its share of racial and cultural tensions, but for the most part, people get along together pretty well.

After five years in our midtown apartment, we bought a house and moved out of the city proper to a community east of the city. Of course, to anyone who doesn't live here, it's all still "Toronto," and we spent the next 26 years commuting to our jobs in the city's downtown financial district.  We were both at work in our 68-storey office tower when the Twin Towers fell in New York City on 9-11-01.

There were a lot of changes after that. More and more security guards began making their presence known.  Huge planters were installed on the sidewalk outside our towers, forming a barrier along the street. The windows of our offices were covered with a protective film, "to increase energy efficiency," we were told -- but we also knew it was to minimize flying glass in the event of an explosion. I started becoming hyper-aware of the other passengers around me on the commuter trains, in the subway and in the food courts, and did not hesitate to get off at the next station or move to another car if I thought someone was behaving strangely. Wending our way through the crowds along the underground PATH and through the train station, twice a day, I sometimes felt like I was wearing a target on my back. :(

After 9-11, we in Canada, and in Toronto specifically, understood that we were not immune to acts of mass violence and terror. And there have been mass shootings & terrorist acts in Canada (and others that were thwarted), albeit not with the same frequency or casualty levels as in the States.

That doesn't mean, however, that's it's not shocking and heartbreaking when something does happen in your city.

I did not know anyone who was directly affected by Monday's events. (At least, I don't think I do... so far...) But still. Besides being shocking and heartbreaking, it's kind of weird & unnerving, when you know exactly where the violence unfolded. Not only did we used to hang out at the library, along the same stretch of Yonge Street where the van driver so brutally mowed down unsuspecting pedestrians, we drive along that same route several times a year, en route to dentist and optometrist appointments in our old neighbourhood, a few miles further down Yonge. This was familiar territory to us. It's not downtown Toronto (as some reports suggested) -- and indeed, one of the puzzles of this whole story is, why there??  It's a busy, diverse area and densely populated, full of office towers and condo buildings, albeit not as busy and dense as further downtown. It was a beautiful day, one of the first really mild, sunny ones we've had here so far this year, and so perhaps more people than usual were outside, soaking up the sun and enjoying the nice weather on their lunch hour.

Thank goodness for hockey. :)  The Toronto Maple Leafs were playing against the Boston Bruins that evening in Game 6 of their Stanley Cup playoffs series. The Leafs have been Cupless for 51 years now (and counting), and they haven't been in the playoffs since 2004. (If you ever want to see an entire city go completely insane, for a good/positive reason, come to Toronto if/when the Maple Leafs ever win another Stanley Cup...!) The game went ahead, albeit with some stepped-up security and road closures, and a very emotional pre-game O Canada and moment of silence.  And the Leafs won! (Thanks, guys, we needed that. ;) ) (Game 7 tonight!)

Life goes on. It can, it must, and it will. (Eventually.) (Those of us who have known grief for other reasons, know this to be true.)

But the shock and sadness will linger for a long, long time. :(

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

"Life is sometimes confusing, often messy and always surprising"

Gateway Women flagged a great article from the Guardian on Facebook recently: "After a miscarriage and divorce, my friends showed me true love" by Elizabeth Day.  A couple of choice quotes that rang particularly true to me:
When you’re younger, you assume life will turn out a particular way because you haven’t lived it yet. It sometimes strikes me that getting older is a gradual erasure of the nonchalant confidence that comes with that naivety.
And:
When my marriage ended, I realised that another kind of life existed. It was one in which I got to know myself a lot better and where there was freedom in choosing not to conform. For a long time, I felt I had failed to be a wife and failed to be a mother, and that these things spoke badly of me as a person. I had tried so hard to put a positive gloss on things and keep going that I was ashamed when this facade crumbled.
And:
These days, I’m more comfortable with the realisation that I don’t know how the future will pan out. I’ve learned that life is sometimes confusing, often messy and always surprising. To pretend otherwise is to kid yourself you have control, and that means you can’t possibly hope to experience anything authentically. If you’re trying to shape what happens next, you are probably not paying enough attention to what’s happening right now.
Read the whole thing, here.

Monday, April 23, 2018

#MicroblogMondays: Condo living, two (!) years later

Time flies when you're having fun! Today marks two years (already!) since we moved into our condo!  (We actually took possession the day before, but this is the day the moving van came & brought all our furniture.)  Two years later... and we still have pictures piled up in the office/second bedroom that need hanging... I still want to paint our bedroom... and we still need to get window coverings (I'm thinking vertical blinds) for the living room. It hasn't been a priority, but the townhouses under construction behind us will likely be finished later this summer/fall, and privacy will then become more of an issue.

Everything I wrote in my post last year -- "Condo living, one year later" -- still applies, some of it even more so. A couple of further observations at the two-year mark:

*  People are always asking me, "So how do you like it here?"  (Meaning, the community we moved to.)  I always respond, "We love our condo, and we love being closer to family." (And that is true.)  If I get challenged on the implied, "BUT...." I will talk about the insane traffic, exacerbated by the never-ending roadwork. :p  Even the people who have lived here all their lives and love it here will concede that it's ridiculous...! (and even dh, much as he loves living here, has admitted it's nuts)  I've only taken the new subway downtown once so far, but I love knowing that it's there if I want to get downtown quickly and without the hassles of traffic.

*  When real estate experts tell you to pay attention to the property management and reserve fund status, they're not kidding.  The property management company that was here when we moved in (installed by the builder) turned out to be completely inept, and was ousted last summer, leaving a huge mess behind them. It turned out they'd completely underestimated expenses in the budgets they'd prepared, and had been borrowing from Peter (i.e., our reserve fund) to pay Paul. Two of the three board members resigned, and the new board had to levy a special one-time fee to bring the reserves back up to reasonable levels again. The new property managers pretty much had to start from scratch, but they are far more efficient and things are operating much more smoothly these days. Thank goodness!!

* One lesson you quickly learn, living in a condo, is that you can't choose your neighbours...!  Of course, we couldn't choose our neighbours at our house, either -- we had some good ones, and some not so good.  Same here. I'm thinking in particular about the annoying neighbours directly across the hall from us, whose second-hand smoke was thick enough that it had us choking in our unit for a while. :p They further endeared themselves to us (not) by having regular screaming matches -- sometimes late at night after we'd gone to bed. :p Needless to say, we were positively giddy when we checked out the real estate listings for our building last month (as we periodically do) and discovered their unit was up for sale! They moved out at the end of March. The empty unit remains for sale -- we've seen & heard a number of potential buyers coming & going to view it -- but so far, no takers.  Crossing our fingers that the new neighbours won't be quite as, ummm, interesting, as the last ones...! (Now, if we could just do something about the people above us... we think they must have young kids -- and probably little boys -- because we hear a lot of energetic running/thumping around, starting at about 3:15 every afternoon (after school/daycare?) & continuing on until mid-evening (bedtime?).)

*  Construction on the townhouse project behind us is in full swing. It's possible that people will be moving in later this summer/fall. It's been a bit of a nuisance in terms of noise & dirt, but it's also been kind of fascinating to watch them working and watch the process unfold.

*  I find I rarely think about our old house these days, and not as much about the stuff I miss about our old community. (We still go back there every few weeks -- our family dr & hairdresser are still there, and while we're there, we usually visit Katie at the cemetery & go to the local mall.) 

*  The more condos I see -- in the real estate listings, and in "real life," the more I believe we really lucked out with this unit. It's still one of the most spacious, with the most closet/cupboard/storage space and one of the best views (yes, there's construction, but I still think it's better than looking out on the highway or an industrial park...) -- among other attributes. :)  I will admit, I had my qualms about condo living -- but overall, I feel lucky to live here. :) 

You can find more of this week's #MicroblogMondays posts here.  

Saturday, April 21, 2018

"Fire & Fury" by Michael Wolff

Full disclosure: I am no fan of the current occupant of the White House.  (I am also Canadian, so there's not much I can do about it, lol -- even though U.S. politics has a huge impact on what happens to us, north of the border.)

So when my sister sent me a copy of "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House" by Michael Wolff, I immediately dove into it. "Fire and Fury" was a publishing sensation and an instant best-seller when it was released earlier this year. It's a fly-on-the-wall look at the Trump campaign, transition and the first 9-10 months of the administration.

By now, most of the book's biggest bombshells have been well-publicized. So there wasn't a whole lot of new (to me) information -- and what there was, was not particularly surprising or unexpected, given what we already know (or suspect) about the man and his administration.  ;)  The book confirmed the negative impressions I already had, and it will probably do the same if you're of a similar mind. ;)  (I can't imagine too many Trump fans reading this book...!)

My biggest takeaways:  (1) this man is supremely unqualified to be President of the United States, and (2) this is definitely no way to run a government -- or business, for that matter (which might explain why so many of Trump's businesses and projects have gone down the tubes over the years).

The book is a page turner -- an easy, gossipy read, more focused on personalities and palace intrigue than policy.  Is it a scholarly work, or a serious work of journalism?  No. There are no footnotes, little documentation, a ton of anonymous sources (he claims to have interviewed more than 200 people, including Trump himself)(Steve Bannon most certainly WAS interviewed, extensively) and the liberal use of "reconstructed" conversations. (It's not always clear whether Wolff himself was in on the conversation, or whether he's repeating what he heard from someone who was.)

Moreover, there are a number of small, sloppy errors that detract from the quality of the book -- spelling (mispelled names -- which, in journalism school, would have earned me an automatic zero on the assignment, no matter how good the rest of the article was), stylistic inconsistencies, incorrect job titles, repetition, etc.  (These sorts of errors are also a huge pet peeve of mine with communications emanating from the President and his White House -- completely apart from the actual content of messages themselves...!).  It rambles a fair bit, especially toward the end, which comes rather abruptly. (I'd be curious to know why Wolff decided to end the book at the the point that he did. Why not a full year vs 10 months?)  I suspect the book was rushed through the editing process in order to get it into print faster. It would have benefited from a fine-tooth combing-over by a good proofreader &/or editor.

Despite its flaws, does it have an overall ring of truth about it?  Knowing what we know about Trump from more than a full year of observing his presidency, and from more meticulous, traditional, verified reporting from many other sources -- I would say yes.

Is it entertaining? You bet. ;)  I would give it a 3.5 stars on Goodreads.

As the Irish Times noted in its review:
...ultimately Fire and Fury is the kind of book that the 45th president of the United States deserves.  
By disrupting the boundaries between fact and fiction, objective reporting and supposition, author and subject, Michael Wolff has written the perfect accompaniment to Trumpism. Having railed against the “fake news” media while showing an utter disregard for truth, Trump can hardly complain that a book on his presidency plays with the facts.
In the post-truth world of alternative facts that Trump has spawned, Fire and Fury is truly a book of its time.
This was book #7 that I've read so far in 2018, bringing me to 29% of my 2018 Goodreads Reading Challenge goal of 24 books.  I am -- so far! ;)  -- on track to meet my goal.  :) 

Friday, April 20, 2018

The "We Are Worthy" Summit

This weekend marks the start of National Infertility Awareness Week in the U.S. & in Canada (although for some weird reason, the U.S. dates are April 22-28, and in Canada, it's April 23-29).  To be honest, I've never paid that much attention to NIAW, because its focus is (understandably) on fertility -- on those still in treatment, and on the success stories -- not on people like me, who didn't get the baby(s) we wanted (even though alternative reproductive technologies don't work for the vast majority of couples who try them).

This year, however, Andrew & Nicci Fletcher, the founders of the recently launched Childless Not By Choice Magazine,  have come up with a full week of alternative NIAW online programming that I am VERY interested in! The "We Are Worthy" summit is designed "to support people whether they are still hoping to become parents or are searching for find ways to redefine their dreams even though they won’t contain the children that they long for."
The summit will be packed full of webinars and pre-recorded training about proactive healing ideas that can help people move forward. There will also be live “chats” and pre-recorded panel discussion about what it means to be childless not by choice and how we can learn to live in a child-centric world. Hopefully there will be a little something for everyone because, no matter where you are in your journey or what your personal situation is, we are ALL worthy!
I'll admit I had a few qualms about the name.  "We are Worthy" -- well, of course we are!!

(I also couldn't help but think of Wayne & Garth from "Wayne's World" -- "We're not worthy! We're not worthy!" lol!)(Sorry!)


But when I thought about it, I realized that far too many infertility survivors, particularly those in the early stages of recovery from treatment, do feel a deep sense of worthlessness.  Moreover, those feelings are reinforced -- sometimes (sadly) intentionally, sometimes inadvertently -- by others around us, and by society generally.
Living in a child-centric world can be a struggle. [the event website points out] We feel voiceless and marginalised. We feel the rest of the world considers us to be second class citizens because we haven’t been able to have children. We feel that we have failed and are worthless and the world seems to agree with us. It doesn’t help that the terms available to describe our situation are either “childfree” which suggests that we have fully embraced our situation or “childLESS” – no wonder we feel that we have failed or do not deserve to be heard, valued or happy. 
We need to rebuild of sense of self-worth until we truly believe that We Are Worthy! and then perhaps the rest of the world see that too.
The summit includes a mixture of live webinars, pre-recorded training sessions, live chats and panel discussions -- and there are four or five events scheduled every day during NIAW.  The speakers and facilitators include many names that will be (should be!) familiar to those of us in the CNBC corner of the ALI community -- including Jody Day of Gateway Women, Lisa Manterfield of Life Without Baby, Brandi Lytle of  Not So Mommy, Sarah Chamberlin of Infertility HonestyJustine Froelker and Lesley Pyne (among many others).

Best of all, it's all FREE. (Although some events do require advance registration -- so check out the list of events & speakers & sign up for the ones that interest you, now!)  I have all the events & times in my calendar, & hope to listen in to at least a few of them, live or later on.

When I think back 10 years ago to when I started this blog -- there is just no way the handful of CNBC bloggers out there at the time could have put on an event of this magnitude. We may still have a way to go to establish our presence within the greater infertility community, and certainly in the "outside" world -- but seriously -- reading over the schedule for this event, I couldn't help but think: we have come a long, long way over the past 10 years...!

And I can't wait to see what progress the next 10 years is going to bring!  :) 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Snooze time?

A Facebook friend (an online friend, albeit not an ALI-related one) is on a sunspot vacation this week with some online friends. Turns out they are friends she "met" online during one of her pregnancies (she has four adult children). 

And guess what? -- they are "[Katie's due date month] Moms." (I am not going to write out the month here, in order to try to minimize the chances that she might stumble onto this post.) 

Thank GOD her pregnancy was 21 years ago & not 20 years ago. I'm not sure I could have handled that. :(   

(I never joined an online pregnancy group, thank goodness -- I was still a bit leery of the Internet back then. Although I did lurk on some "[Katie's due date month] 1998 Moms" groups now & then, during my pregnancy, & then later on, when I was in a self-flagellating mood. :p ) 

As it is, I am not handling this very well. :(  She is posting tons of photos with captions "[Katie's due date month] Moms do this" & "[Katie's due date month] Moms do that." I'm glad she's having a good time -- and Lord knows, no one knows more than I do how wonderful online friends can be ;)  -- but yikes, this has been tough. I'm actually surprised at how much this is bothering/annoying me;  I haven't felt this way in quite a long time. Perhaps time to try out Facebook's "snooze for 30 days" feature??  

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

#MicroblogMondays (on Tuesday): Wedding weekend :)

Younger Nephew & his beautiful bride. 


  • My #MicroblogMondays post is late this week. As you can see from the photo, I've been busy! ;) 
  • Yes, this past Saturday was Younger Nephew's wedding.  :)  We survived! :) 
  • As with Older Nephew's wedding in the fall of 2016, the weather sucked -- except this time it sucked even more. Older Nephew got rain & chilly temperatures on his wedding day. Younger Nephew got pouring rain in the early morning, which turned to freezing rain, then ice pellets, and later SNOW.  :(  (And more of the same on Sunday. :p ) 
  • The weather forecast got worse & worse as the day drew near, with dire weather warnings issued. The bride & groom were resigned to whatever happened -- but BIL was driving himself (& everyone else ;) ) nuts with fretting about it.   
  • The roads were terrible, and got worse as the day went on -- although they had (finally!) done some plowing by the time we left the hall that night. (The main roads were OK by yesterday, but many of the side streets still had not been plowed.)  
  • Despite the fact that some of the guests had to drive an hour (or more, because of the bad weather) to get here, there were only two no-show families at the reception. More people than we expected came to both the church ceremony & the reception, and surprisingly, people stayed and did not start leaving until 11-12 that night. 
  • Unlike some people in the region, we never lost power, thank goodness. The banquet hall where the reception was held did have a backup generator, thank goodness, which I think gave BIL a modicum of peace of mind. 
  • I wore my regular street shoes to BIL's house & to the hall (and really should have worn my winter boots) and then changed into my dressy sandals/heels (& then later into some flat sandals I’d brought – and thank goodness, my feet were killing me!!). 
  • Even wearing "sensible" shoes, I almost slipped a few times (& my outfit had a pencil skirt!!). 
  • 89-year-old FIL DID slip & fall on the (concrete) front steps of BIL's house as we were leaving to head to the reception. Thank goodness he was OK!!  He even wound up staying until nearly midnight. ;)  
  • We went to BIL's house in the morning while the groom & his ushers were having their photos taken. Cooper (Older Nephew's miniature dachshund) could hear the commotion from the basement apartment, and was howling up a storm, so they finally brought him upstairs for a while, until we had to leave for the church. He got in on the photo session too. :)   
  • We returned to BIL's between the church and reception. Poor Cooper was still howling :(  (I really think they should have taken him to a dogsitter...) so dh went downstairs & got him. StepMIL's 9-year-old grandson was eager to play with him. Cooper wasn't so sure, he barked a lot at first, but gradually warmed up to the strangers in the house. ;)  
  • The church was still beautifully decorated with masses of white lillies from Easter, along with bridal flowers.  
  • The waterproof mascara was tested several times, and held up well. ;)  
  • The bride was stunning. Gorgeous dress. It was sleeveless, but not strapless, which was kind of nice to see. I can't remember the last wedding I attended where the bride DIDN'T wear a strapless gown. 
  • Older Nephew was Younger Nephew's best man and the bride's sister was her matron of honour. :)  Their spouses were among the bridesmaids & ushers, and the bride's adorable little niece (1.5 years old & just barely walking) was the flower girl.  The nephews' only (living) cousin's baby boy was the ring bearer. He's only 9 months old, so his parents carried him down the aisle. ;) 
  • The reception was so much fun. The hall was beautifully decorated, and the food & service were excellent. By then, everyone was relaxed and not worrying about the weather so much. Just about all of dh & BIL's cousins and their families were there (and in fine form, lol).  The kids had a blast running around together. 
  • One cousin's husband rounded up all the other "married-ins" (as in those of us who married into the dh's mom's family, including me & SIL), and we did a round of shots together (lemon drops, which are mostly vodka). The cousins are always doing "cousins shots" at these things & he wanted a piece of the action. ;)  
    • I have never done shots before -- wasn't a "thing" when I was in university ;)  -- but this one was actually pretty smooth. ;) I couldn't down it in one gulp, though. 
    • The bride even joined us for a second shot. ;)  (That one was stronger & I couldn't finish it. :p ) 
    • (As an aside, every time someone mentions "lemon drops," I think about an ALI blogger named Emilie Lemmons, whose blog was called Lemmondrops. Very sadly, she developed cancer and passed away at Christmastime in 2008, almost 10 years ago now, leaving her husband and two small children. Does anyone else remember Emilie? I still think about her and her family from time to time, especially around Christmas, and wonder how they are doing.) 
  • There was a slide show on screens set up around the hall, showing photos of Younger Nephew and his bride growing up (many contributed by yours truly :) ) playing on screens throughout dinner. One of my auntie dreams realized. ;)  
  • I always wanted to tell (or have dh tell) a certain story about Younger Nephew at his wedding. Of course, there are always way too many speeches at wedding anyway, & we didn't get asked to speak -- but dh got BIL to include the story in HIS speech. ;)  When Younger Nephew was about 4, his mom & I went to a wedding shower together while dh stayed with BIL & the boys. The subject of weddings & romance must have been weighing heavily on Younger Nephew's mind, because he & dh had a conversation that went something like this: 
    • Younger Nephew: "Uncle Dh, do you like Aunt Loribeth?"  
    • Dh: "Yes..."
    • Younger Nephew (puzzled):  "Do you LOVE her?"  
    • Dh: "Well, yes..." 
    • Younger Nephew: "But... WHY?" 
    • Dh: "Well... she's my wife!"  
    • Younger Nephew (totally confused): "But... but... but... SHE'S A GIRL!!"  (lol!!)  
    • (I guess he changed his mind...! lol) 
  • Both nephews spoke beautifully. Both SIL & I were in tears, and asked each other, "Where did they learn to do THAT??!" So proud of them both!!  
  • Both nephews were also partying it up on the dance floor. ;)  SIL & I also wondered where they got THAT from, since neither their father nor their uncle (nor their uncles on SIL's side) will dance unless they are dragged onto the floor. Then I saw FIL sitting at the table, helping himself to another glass of wine ;) and it clicked. ;)  He has always loved a good party (although he tires much more easily these days), and in his younger days, apparently he used to get up & sing with the band at weddings (much to the dismay of dh, his brother & their mom, lol).  I guess the party gene skipped a generation...!  ;)  
  • Watching the father-daughter dance was (as always) hard. :(  I snapped a few perfunctory photos and then went to stand with dh & squeeze his hand. Hard.  
  • The happy couple are now on their honeymoon at a Caribbean resort. :)  They left Monday morning, and by then, it was just plain raining. Their flight was delayed an hour, but it could have been much worse. 
  • So.... what shall we do for excitement now??  ;)   
You can find more of this week's #MicroblogMondays posts here.  


Me & dh, the groom's proud aunt & uncle,  in our wedding finery.
Dress by Jade Couture.