back to the city

belleville train station

this morning, i’m headed back to ottawa on the train. it’s been a really long week. i can’t believe only 7 days ago i was running that half marathon… in retrospect it seems like about a month!! my dad’s been doing better – every day he seems to be a little bit more like himself, but it’s the start of a long road. all things considered, it would be unreasonable to expect anything else.

my sister dropped me off at the train station bright and early. can i just take a minute to say she’s the best? seriously this girl does it all: three kids, massive dog, and she’s so, so close to being a midwife – only about a year left of practicum and she’ll be catching babies all on her very own! i’m so very proud of her (in case you couldn’t tell.) i should note that i’m proud of both my sisters, but being around sarah and seeing her daily crazy hectic life for the past week has renewed my appreciation for all that she does over the course of a 24 hour period.

so here i am sitting on a train. it brings back so many memories of a trip i took out to the northern part of quebec (the gaspe region to be specific) when i was 13. it was a with an exchange program called SEVEC and you were paired up with a family in that part of the country that spoke hardly a word of english. the train ride was about 30 hours long and i remember there was this one car that had a clear bubble for the cieling. it was a double decker and in the night i snuck up there and watched the open night sky. i associate so much of that summer trip with the train until this day.

train rides are a funny thing – they have that knack for being romantic. Maybe it’s because it’s one of the older modes of transportation.

when we got to the train station in belleville this morning, we found out a new one had been built to replace the old one (old one pictured above). the little station that had been used for so many  trips to and from home still stands beside the new one – in my memory it’s that place for departures and homecomings, that small little antiquated building with just one room and one ticket window. the overhanging roof that covered you while waiting for the train has that scalloped trim. it’s just a shadow of the past. and because it’s still standing there, the new station looks so huge and modern and unnecessary.

i don’t know why i got all sentimental about a silly old train station!

i’m excited to get home for a few days, see my puppy and mike and catch a bit of a breather before heading home again this weekend.

hope everyone has a great start to the week!


Matters of the heart

The past five days have been such a blur – I’m not even really sure what day of the week it is today. It’s Saturday right?

On Tuesday morning my parents were on their way back from my sister’s house in Toronto when my dad started having chest pain. After a couple transfers between various hospitals, the day ended at one AM in a waiting room at the Peter Munk Cardiac centre at Toronto General Hospital.

Today, my dad’s making a good recovery from a double heart by-pass, but like I said, it’s been a really long week (especially for my dad).

Dad, I know you can’t read this right now but you’re my most loyal and long standing reader, and it’s not the same around here without you. Get well soon and I promise I’ll keep tabs of things while you’re gone.

P.s today the mayor of our small town stopped me on the Main Street to hear about how you were doing. If you ever had a doubt, you should know that you’ve laid down some pretty deep roots ’round these parts.

All my love, from the bottom of my heart,
Emily xoxo

When friends get married



it was a beautiful wedding in yorkville, toronto; the weather was spectacular, the music was touching and the ceremony perfect. and the dancing. oh the dancing. my feet are going to be sore for a few days – but it’s a small price to pay to the dancing/dj gods who happened to play all the best dancing oldies you could ask for at a wedding. (my absolute favourite!)

it’s pretty amazing when your friends get married. it makes you believe in a love story because you’ve had that special privilege of watching it unfold right in front of you.

when i think of the group of us all getting older over the years, going down different roads doing different things, it brings me a sense of comfort to know that you two will be there together, just like it should be. i feel so blessed to have been included in this amazing day.

here’s to the happy couple!! ❤


yorkville ^^


my handsome date ^^

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i was out walking the dog today and this song just popped into my head. i have no idea where it came from:

k that’s not a creepy freeze frame at all ^^^

the ’80’s did such a good job of making really happy peppy songs about kinda quasi serious issues. like i looked the lyrics for this one up when i got home and it’s actually about either breaking up – or not being together, or like leaving someone high and dry…. but it’s just SO g.d. catchy!

i thought it was pretty fitting because i’ve been kinda a crab the past couple days – anything but either upbeat or tender. i think the job search coupled with the fact that i’m still pretty unsettled in life had been getting on my nerves and it just came out in snips to those people closest around me. unfortunately … mike always takes the brunt of it.

when you’re with someone, they see all sides of you: the good, the bad and the ugly. you just hope that the good outweighs the other two 🙂

i dunno for whatever reason after i started humming this song it made me think that it’s not just about not nagging, or listening, it’s about being kind and thoughtful and putting more in then you think is necessary. because really, when you’re all caught up in your own world it’s easy to forget that we all just need a little TLC.

lesson for the day brought you via time travel by 1985.

A rainy day for a yard sale

Can you say it’s ironic if you have about 10 solid days of beautiful weather and then on the 11th day – the day you have plans to hold a yard sale – it rains and drops about 20 degrees in temperature?


that’s what happened to us this past weekend.

i spent the morning huddled in the car because mike was relentless and would not close up shop. i think after we factored in the morning coffee & the mcmuffins we came away with about 40 dollars in profit. not too shabby for about  hours of work :p

i consider the one success of the sale to be the fact that we got rid of the vacuum we tried to sell last year but couldn’t. see how persistence and holding on to things in your garage can pay off?!


I think some people are just the sort of people who hold on to things. we’re those sort of people. it’s a fact that i still have papers and work books from public school, the first CD i ever owned (although i no longer own a CD player) and sundresses which i’m certain will come back in style one day (… lord jesus I’m already starting to sound like my mother) mike isn’t much better at picking and choosing so i’m in good company.

and then there’s all these studies that say the less stuff you have, the better it is on your mind – your well being.

so every so often i’ll do a bit of a purge.

and don’t you know, the minute i’ve discarded or donated that old pile of christmas cards or the extra canning jars (or any other random collection of objects!) i find a direct need for them? something comes up and someone says, “OH but couldn’t I just USE 40 old Christmas cards for this craft I’m doing.”

and I say “oh for crying out loud.”

sometimes life plays these funny little ironic jokes on us. rain when there should be sun. a need for something you’ve just gotten rid of.

i guess that’s why they say that god must have a sense of humour.

Around the house and city












^ everything is in bloom in downtown ottawa. it smells like flowers.

^^ on my running route. it didn’t even up raining.

^^^ finally set up record player. jackson browne was the first record i listened to.

^^^^ i told him no soccer ball in the house and this is what he does.

^^^^^ nothing better then a spring night – windows open, candles lit.

^^^^^^ Lord Elgin’s patio is open for the season.

^^^^^^^ a striped selfie for good measure.

^^^^^^^^ mike is a on a quest to perfect the bocconcini stuffed hot pepper.

^^^^^^^^^ homemade italian sandwich bliss.

^^^^^^^^^^ we made a pizza.

^^^^^^^^^^^ i’m taking may to revisit the old children’s faves. first up, the phoenix and the carpet.

 ^^^^^^^^^^^^ he ate cat poop and then asked for forgiveness.

Have a great weekend! p.s. I’m on INSTAGRAM. (who isn’t 😉

Trail Run








iPHONE: a really bad distraction if you are a runner. ^^^

(Also, not only is it distracting, it’s frustrating to hear an email pop up, or see a phone call when you are supposedly “checking out.” I really need to get an iPOD – still haven’t replaced my old one since last fall.)

This beautiful trail is nearly in my backyard. (Plus one Suburbs, minus one, downtown!). Seriously – how many trails do you know of called “Heart’s Desire?” Although I’m not sure how I feel about that creepy little cabin? It broaches on the blair witch vibe…. the bright sunshine helps – I don’t think I’d want to run across it in the fall or night time.

The breeze is so beautiful today. Last night we got some rain and it broke that really uncanny, unseasonal heat we’ve been having. Now it just feels like a lovely May day.

I got some positive feedback today on some side projects I’ve been working on – and you wouldn’t think it, but it goes a really  long way to have that sort of thing thrown your way.

That little nugget, plus the wind, plus the beautiful blue sky? Life is pretty good.

family portrait


i’ve heard people cite a statistic wherein if you get a dog, within two years there’s a huge possibility you’ll have a baby. apparently the frequency within which this happens is extremely high.

my concern is, what if mike holds the baby like this? ^^^

baby steps.

also, if you’re wondering about the bale of hay; it was on my front porch all winter long (since my fall “display”). I moved it to the back yard a few weeks ago when Clifford started digging holes in my garden. i’m not sure but i’m fairly positive he ate a tulip bulb and then threw it up.





choose your own adventure

the renovations continued over the weekend and i’d say that we pretty much have the place back in order. i’ve never been one to pay someone to do work that we can do ourselves (which is unfortunate because i really hate painting…) but, we got it done! officially one year in this place and the walls have all been completely transformed from their previous (and heinous) colour scheme!! Which up until recently included a beige “smear” – i didn’t realize how bad it was until we had it all covered up in fresh, fresh white.

ahhhh. (<< that there’s a fresh breath of air.)

there were also a few birthdays to celebrate (why does everyone keep getting older?!) which kept us busy and full of yummy food.

we got into some pretty heavy conversation on saturday night with family about what it means to be happy and fulfilled in your life and career. is it possible to really love your job? does anyone really? and what do you do with yourself when you are unhappy but you don’t know how to make the changes? this was all floating around amidst the ice cream cake and hockey game. i think we came to the some sort of consensus that personal happiness is more important then money or stature, but if you can somehow find a way to combine the two, you’ve won the lottery.

i know over the past year i’ve been struggling with how to figure out to spend the next 20 years of my life, and it seems like i’m not alone. if i can offer up any advice (since i’ve been doing nothing but deliberation on the topic) it would be to say that life goes on. it might seem impossible to make BIG changes to your status quo, but whatever you decide, things aren’t going to come to a hault around you. things can always be repaired or put back together and ultimately, you need to make decisions from your gut that are best for you. those are the sorts of choices that will make you happiest. not that i’m a guru. it’s just what i’ve gathered having muddled about the topic myself. i think it’s true what they say: life’s a journey.

And in between all of this? we squeezed a few naps where we could fit them, and walks in the most glorious of all the weathers: SPRING! Yes. i’d say it’s finally HERE!!! you know something? i used to hate to have my feet touch grass, but i changed my mind.

the sun was so hot on sunday that cliff didn’t know what to do with his tongue… which makes sense after all because  he’s only ever known snow and cold in his six months of life in this tundra we call Ottawa. He was so hot  it was hanging about a foot out of his mouth.

i feel blessed just as i am. there are so many good things in life that i really couldn’t ask for more. except maybe adventure. i love a good choose your own adventure 😉

We needed that

it’s tuesday night and what with the past forty-eight hours I had almost forgotten that we had had a weekend away but we did – and we definitely needed that.

i can’t remember the last time we went somewhere, when it wasn’t for some other purpose, other then to just “be away.” usually it has a lot to do with family affairs or comedy shows, both of which we’re more then happy to attend – it’s just different when it’s a vacation for vacation’s sake.

the past 8 months has been gruelling. and now i’m frantically looking for a job so I can make up for all the lost time i spent being in school rather then working like the other adults i know in my life. the point is, free time over the past 8 months has been scarce, and sometimes i feel like i’ve just been rushing from one task to the next, trying to keep on top of everything.

mike really is the best. he’s been supporting me in every possible way you can support a person since i made the decision to devote my life to a really demanding program last fall. (well actually he supported me before that too, but i’ve needed it way more since last september.)

anyway. i love holidays. friends. food. what more can you ask for? it was the perfect way to celebrate the end of the school year.

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we saw the Toronto Raptors play (and more importantly win!) and then spent the night ambling along the cold and wet streets of Toronto before hitting up the Bier Market on the Esplande.

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geese in the eaton centre ^^

on saturday we walked around the city (which was still unseasonably wet and cold!) and we made it to the eaton centre.. (sorry.. i don’t think they call it that anymore? i refuse to call it anything but), and the best part about it being rainy and wet and lots of walking? lots of food. lotsandlots!


the best lunch ever at Banh Mi Boys on Queen Street west! ^^ check out those “kimchi fries” – to die for.


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(ug! there were leaf fans everywhere!) ^^

the sun finally came out for a bit in the afternoon – a city is definitely a different experience in the cold or the rain. not necessarily good or bad, just different.


(a pool. a hot tub. a complimentary robe. it was like someone could read my mind.)


dinner at george. seek it out – amazing food and amazing service. seriously… you won’t go wrong with this place.


this is me trying to pinch the decor – you can dress her up but you just can’t take ‘er out.^^^


and this is the racoon that had us country folk enthralled while our cabbie was waiting for us. he narrowly got hit by a street car. i might have risked my life for him…. there’s just something about a masked animal that makes you feel like he is more human.

and that was the weekend. our hotel by the way was an amazing deal – our friends booked it for everyone via Hot Wire. I think if you’re not picky on where you end up location wise, and you’re willing to be surprised, it’s definitely the way to go.

ahhhhhhhh. weekends.