cape spear

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Thanksgiving Monday we all headed out to Cape Spear, the most Easterly point of North America – the closest you can walk to Ireland without getting wet. When we left our house, it was cloudy and the weather wasn’t that promising, but by the time we picked up my parents and started walking around Cape Spear, the sun came out and it was simply glorious! It was chilly, but in a crisp, fall way – fresh and invigorating.

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There are signs all over the place warning people to stay on the dedicated trails. It is so tempting to walk down to the rocks and be close to the waves, but NOT a good idea. People have drowned. The waves can be unpredictable and are very powerful. Incredible to witness, but only safely from the trails.

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There are gun emplacements/bunkers that are so interesting for photos. We had fun taking some shots with the kids.

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The lighthouse was built in 1836 and is the oldest surviving lighthouse in Newfoundland and Labrador.

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It really was a magnificent day. I can’t possibly fit in all the photos I took. Some of these photos are from my iphone and some were taken by my Dad.  Thanks for sharing Dad! I am still so happy to be living close to my parents – they are pretty awesome.

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Cape Spear is a must-see if you are visiting St. John’s.  Another stunning vista to add to the long list around here.

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pottery in quidi vidi

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A lovely friend asked me to join her at the Quidi Vidi Plantation last weekend for A Feast of Pottery. It was a delightful way to connect on a Saturday morning.  The sun was shining in the Gut and it was gorgeous, even though it was a bit brisk. Sidenote: I wonder why they refer to such a beautiful place with such an unbecoming name.  Calling it “The Gut” seems wrong somehow. Perhaps that’s a blog post for another day.

Before I entered the building to see the pottery, I had to take a few photos of the harbour. Doesn’t the scene below look like it should be on a postcard?  Actually, I’m willing to bet it IS on a postcard somewhere in St. John’s.

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The sun was shinning right at me, so not great for a photo, but still such a picturesque place – I couldn’t resist. You can see the Quidi Vidi brewery, which is the green building. I’ll have to check that out another time ;-).

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I tried to capture the sun sparkling on the water – millions of little dazzling diamonds! LOVE!

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When I finally did go inside to check out the pottery – that was a wonderful treat too.  Such incredible work.  People are just so talented – it is truly astounding sometimes. We saw lovely nature-inspired pieces, and many wonderful colours, shapes and patterns. I learned about Raku clay and saw a dozen items that I would love to have in my home. I just don’t have room for anything without ditching something so I managed to hold back from buying anything, but they were positively delicious to behold.

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Upstairs in the plantation, there are different artisans who are working on their craft and selling their wares. If you are in town, it is definitely worth a visit!  One of the artisans had a sign in her booth that I really liked.  It said, “Have nothing in your home that is not useful or beautiful.”  Words to live by.

coming into his own

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We had been married for 3 years when we knew it was time for us to start a family.  Both my husband and I felt we were finally ready for the different lifestyle that comes along with being parents. We had moved from our little downtown apartment in the Glebe out to the suburbs, surrounded by others doing exactly that – starting and raising families.

I actually don’t remember precisely when I discovered I was pregnant with our first child but I DO remember the exact moment he was born.  After a quick (but intense) 4.5 hour labour, our first child, came into the world at 8:40 AM and his crying sounded like the most beautiful sound I had ever heard. I remember feeling such relief to hear those cries.

Although we were as ready as we could be to have children, we had no idea what we were doing. That first night home from the hospital, was a bit chaotic.  I don’t think any of us slept.  We were total rookies.  Our son has had to teach us along the way what he needed and being (mostly) diligent students, his Dad and I have done our best to figure it out as we go.

We went through the regular childhood activities of gymnastics, hockey, beavers/cubs, piano and he did enjoy most of them. But after several years of piano lessons, he begged us to let him drop the piano and take up the guitar.   Negotiating piano practice was no fun, so we agreed to sign him up for guitar lessons.

Best. Move. Ever.

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Since then it seems that the guitar has become attached to his body.  Wherever he is, the guitar isn’t far away from him.  I jokingly refer to him as the “Wandering Minstral”.  I think he communicates best when he is playing and some of my absolute favourite times are when he is following behind me as I walk around the house doing little tasks, while he strums away and talks to me about whatever is happening in his life right now.

I love when he tells me about his life.  I adore his passion for music and I have so much respect for his sense of right and wrong.  And his growing self-confidence makes me a content Mama.

Out of all four of us, I think he has transitioned best into St. John’s life. I always knew he was a Newfoundlander at heart, but seeing him meld into his school and musical activities makes my heart sing.  The joy he takes in being with our extended family is a privilege to watch.

He is still teaching us daily.  He teaches me about love and loyalty and also about the most current You Tube videos. I wouldn’t know about “Nigahiga” or “What the Fox Says” without him.

Happy 15th birthday to our boy. Watching you discover yourself and become so comfortable in your own skin is such a joy.  You have so much life ahead of you and we can’t wait to be here to witness it all.

matt (2)

north head trail

September 30th was a record breaking day for weather in St. John’s.  It was also a PD day for my daughter so I convinced her to join sister #2 and I for a hike on the North Head Trail at Signal Hill.   The last time I did this trail, I started at the top of Signal Hill, walked down the trail and then retraced my steps again back up the trail. This time Sister #2 parked halfway up the hill and we walked down the road through the Battery and onto the trail to do a full loop back to the car.  I’m not sure I would have found the beginning of the trail on my own.  You have to walk through the houses in the Battery and then walk over someone’s deck to get to the beginning.  20131014-182334.jpg

The houses are all built very close together and in many cases, built right into the rock and very close to the road. While it is quaint and interesting this time of year, I can’t help but imagine what it is like in the winter time. I’m guessing just a bit harsh!

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It feels like you are in a totally different country.  So interesting.

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There is definitely a view like none other.

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My ballerina striking a pose.

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When I did this trail in July, you could smell the wild roses everywhere.  This time of year, the trail was littered with dogberries and you know I love them!

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I don’t think it matters how often you do this trail, it is always breathtaking.  You can see Fort Amherst in this photo below. One of my favourite things in the world is to see the sun sparkling on the water.

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Rocky came with us – He was pretty pooped by the end of the walk but he’s always happier to come with us. 20131014-182506.jpg

The hike up to the top got my heart pumping. It is such an invigorating hike – you feel like a million bucks when you are done.  SO much better than heading to a gym.

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St. John’s is so fortunate to have this (and many other) wonderful hikes.  LOVE.

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thankful for thanksgiving

I don’t remember Thanksgiving being a big deal when I was growing up. But since I have been married, Thanksgiving is a holiday I look forward to every fall. Yummy smells filling the house, spending time with loved ones, setting the Thanksgiving table – all part of Thanksgiving wonderful-ness!20131014-181925.jpg

Since it is our first Thanksgiving in our new home, I really wanted to host the dinner.  Sister #2 was out of town (we really missed her and her family) but sister #3 and her family, as well as my parents, came over to celebrate with us.  The adults enjoyed some wonderful bubbly to start the evening!

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Below is my cutie of a two year old niece who is a going concern. So busy and so fun (do you remember that busy stage?).  My six year old niece just loves to spend time with our children, especially our daughter.  Recently she said to her Mom, “Mom, now that they live here, I don’t have to miss her!”  Talk about warming your heart.

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We made two desserts.  One was a Devil’s Food Cake – you can find the recipe HERE. The other is a Collossal Caramel Apple Trifle.  I found this recipe on the Ottawa Valley Moms website.  Although the recipe warned me it was huge, I had some difficulty altering it to fit my trifle dish, so we had some overflow. But was it ever yummy!

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My daughter wanted to make the placecards, so she used my Stampin’ Up! stamps to create the cards and then added “thankful” themed quotes on the insides.  Some of the quotes were funny, and some were more serious. They were a lovely addition to our table! We took turns reading them out loud.

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Do you cook turkey for Thanksgiving or do you like to eat something else? I hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving and a restful long weekend!