Our Toronto Wedding: Ceremony and Reception

(plus I have a couple videos from our wedding videographer in Cuba at the very end of this!)

All photos in this post are again by Nicole Kirk Photography.

So I left off right before the ceremony. After our first look at Brickworks, Nicole, our photographer, drove us over to the venue, only a five minute drive so it was very convenient. We got married at the Globe Bistro, a restaurant in Toronto at Danforth and Broadview, and it was just perfect.

We wanted to be officially married before our destination wedding in Cuba, so our initial plan was to go to City Hall and then take our family out for dinner, however the logistics of that ended up being a bit more complicated than we anticipated. So, we started looking around at small wedding venues in the city and in the end the Globe Bistro won. Okay honestly we didn’t look at very many places, we just really liked this one. We went for brunch there a few times, loved the food and service, and decided that was the place for us.

They had a perfect room upstairs for the reception, and the restaurant was big enough that the ceremony could take place there as well (SO convenient, this way no one had to move to a different location). And since it was a restaurant it was already a nice space, we barely had to decorate, and they handled all the food and drinks (and servers, and plates and cutlery, and table linens and all that stuff that you might have to rent elsewhere). It was easy peasy planning-wise. I’m so, so glad we got married there.

Okay, onto the ceremony. I felt very calm all morning. In the week leading up to the wedding, I just wanted to get the show on the road already! I think seeing the venue with just Evan the day before also helped to calm my nerves. I was just excited and happy and ready to marry Evan.

My handsome dad walked me down the aisle to, once again, the instrumental version of Jack Johnson’s Better Together (I used it at both weddings, I just love it so much).

And my most wonderful groom was onstage waiting for me.

Literally we had a stage, the restaurant used to be a theatre, so that was nice. I felt very important.

We may have been low key with the decor and the details, but the ceremony was something that was very important to us. I still can’t get over how amazing it was, and a lot of that had to do with our officiant Heather. She has been a longtime blog reader of mine who also happens to be a United Church minister, and actually reached out to me through my blog and offered her services to us when I wrote that we were getting married. We met up with her for lunch a couple of times in our planning days and she could not be a nicer or more genuine person. She was so helpful when we were planning out our ceremony and worked with us to make sure that it was thoughtful and meaningful to us. I loved working with her. She did such a great job during the ceremony. Her voice was loud enough for everyone to hear and full of joy and charisma. I feel so lucky to have had her.

Aside from our families, I only had two friends in attendance — my good friend Beth from high school and another friend of mine since elementary school, Allison, who was Beth’s date (which worked out so well, my mom was so excited to see both her and Beth!). Beth and Michael (Evan’s brother, aka Brotherman aka the Best Man) stood up there as witnesses for us.

And Evan’s cousin Barb kicked off our ceremony with a really great reading that Evan and I chose. Here it is.

From The Beginning to End by Robert Fulghum

You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way.

All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks — all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will and you will and we will”- those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe”- and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.

The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, ” You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed — well, I meant it all, every word.”

Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another —  acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this; is my husband, this- is my wife.

We both had a hard time holding it together during that. We found that reading while we were internet searching it really resonated with both of us. I love that it is practical and less about the romantic, two people becoming one, soulmate bullshit. We both said that we knew very early on that we would get married, and we had all of those conversations. We’ve been all in for a while and our wedding was just the next step in the process, so it felt very fitting. Also, it said “lover” in it and I like that.

Heather said some other nice things, and then before our vows we did our question of intention, which was:

Do you Evan promise to love Lindsey and respect her, to share your life and your dreams, to build with her a home that is a place of love, happiness, commitment and growth?

I do.

Do you promise to be a companion to her in all of her successes and failures, her happiness and sadness, to always give to her your unwavering support and above all else, the freedom to be Lindsey?

I do.

Do you Lindsey promise to love Evan and respect him, to share your life and your dreams, to build with him a home that is a place of love, happiness, commitment and growth?

I do.

Do you promise to be a companion to him in all of his successes and failures, his happiness and sadness, to always give to him your unwavering support and above all else, the freedom to be Evan?

I do. I really do!

My favourite part of our question of intention was the part about the freedom to be ourselves — that is something I think is so important in a relationship and not something that I’ve always felt, until Evan came along.

And our vows, which I loved. We had talked about writing our own, but in the end we found some that again resonated with us and felt fitting to us. Here they are.

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p class=”p1″>Evan/Lindsey, I promise to be your lover, companion and friend,
Your partner in parenthood,
Your ally in conflict,
Your greatest fan and your toughest adversary.
Your comrade in adventure,
Your student and your teacher,
Your consolation in disappointment,
Your accomplice in mischief.
This is my sacred vow to you, my equal in all things.

I particularly liked the mention of lover, again, and the ending with “my equal in all things.” Also comrade in adventure and accomplish in mischief — this felt very true to us.

Then we had Heather read the Blessing of the Hands, which we also found somewhere online and just loved. Here it is:

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.

These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.

These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.

These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind.

These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy.

These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children (and all your cats).

These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.

These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.

And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled with age, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

That sure started the ol’ waterworks. I think that is such a beautiful blessing.

After this we lit a candle for our loved ones who are no longer with us, specifically my D-Dad and Nana, and Evan’s Bubby and Nana, and said a little prayer for them.

<

p class=”p1″>Although we cannot see you
We know that you are here
Smiling down, watching over us
As we say “I DO”
Forever in our hearts
Forever in our lives
And so we say our vows
In loving memory of you
This light shines
as a symbol of life
and love remembered.

And finally, we have the exchange of the rings.

Evan/Lindsey, as you place the ring on Lindsey’s/Evan’s finger, please repeat after me:

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p class=”p1″>With this ring, I marry you and bind my life to yours.
It is a symbol of my eternal love,
My everlasting friendship,
And the promise of all my tomorrows.

And we sealed our vows with a kiss.

And I got my lipstick all over Evan’s face and he looked like Howdy Doody for all our family photos.

We signed all the legal things…

And then we were officially husband and wife!!!!!!! YEAHHHHHHH.

All our family 🙂

And then it was party time!

Our guests mingled in the reception room and ate h’ors doeuvres and drank mimosas while we took family photos — this was originally going to happen outside but it was raining quite heavily so we just did it right there on the stage and it turned out well (they say it’s good luck if it rains on your wedding day!). Because we only had 35 people in attendance we were able to get pictures with absolutely everyone, which was great. Tracey, our wedding planner was a HUGE help in wrangling people for pictures. We had a list of photos we wanted (highly recommend doing this) but I still don’t know what we would have done without her.

For the reception room we kept it simple with the decor and just did tulips with a local florist as centrepieces (Tracey also arranged this for us — and the florist brought them over and then came and picked them up afterwards, which was fantastic).

We also put framed pictures of Evan and I on the tables in mismatched frames, and our guests could take them home if they wanted to, you know, adorn their homes with our faces.

The mimosas were a’flowin!

Evan’s Uncle Gino kicked things off with the most perfect toast.

And then it was food time. We had a brunch buffet which included a veggie frittata, baked French toast, bacon, sausage, a fruit plate with yogurt and granola, greens with field mushrooms and roasted tomatoes, potato salad, and an assortment of pastries and sour dough toast.

Ahhh I love brunch food so much and it was all really delicious. A lot of people say that have trouble eating on their wedding day but I had ZERO issue with that at all. I cleaned that plate and went back for more.

Evan and I sat at the head table with our moms, Brotherman, his wife Kelly (my new sister-in-law!) and our nephew Landon. Throughout brunch we did speeches, and Brotherman’s was so great. It was thoughtful, funny without being embarrassing for Evan (not that he would have cared) and with just a littttttle bit of sap.

And my friend Beth’s speech about our longtime friendship was touching as well. She may have shed a tear, or several million 😉

It was cute. When I had my heart shattered into pieces when I was 17 she was the one who came straight to my house with a pint of ice cream. She also talked about how bad of a driver I was in HIGH SCHOOL. (I’m much better now, but you may remember the Captain Hook story…whoops).

And then my dad got up there and was so genuinely touching because he got choked up and left in the middle of what he was saying and sort of left us all hanging. I was like “Dad are you going to close this out with a toast or what?” so he had to come back up and finish that off.

It made us laugh harder than I have laughed in a long, long while.

We didn’t do dancing or anything, just mingling. I loved that it was low key and I had time to go around and sit and chat with everyone. Perfect!

My cousin Allie and her daughter Nora came all the way from BC! (remember Allie’s wedding? One of the most fun weddings I’ve ever been to) I was so happy they were there.

And then Evan and I got up there to do our thank you speech together as husband and wife!

Evan started with mentioning that he had planned and written down everything he wanted to say and my plan was just to wing it, and he pointed out that was very representative of our relationship.

Which got a good laugh. And he is not wrong.

I just had a big love burst for him while I was typing this.

After a few hours of eating and drinking and chatting with our guests, we cut the cake. The cake! It was made by a former coworker of mine at Girl Guides, Cathy, and gurrrrrlllll, she slayed.

Evan had one request and that was NO. FONDANT. So we had all the buttercream and it was fabulous. I love that she matched my bouquet with the flowers.

The top layer was coconut with coconut buttercream, and the bottom layer was vanilla lemon. SO FREAKIN DELICIOUS. If you’re in the Toronto area and need a cake check out CakesByNaCJ, I highly recommend!

All in all, it was a wonderful day and I could not have been happier with the way everything turned out.

And then we went off and did it all again in Cuba, as you may know.

So if you made it to the bitter end and you don’t feel wedding’d out yet, here’s a video of our Varadero ceremony, I haven’t shared it here yet!

I still don’t really know what our officiant is saying (well I caught “thank you for choosing our hotel”), but I like it anyway. And a bonus video of us frolicking around with our bridal party, which is one of my favourite things.

I have no regrets about having two small weddings instead of one larger one. I feel so lucky that we were able to have an intimate celebration with so many people who mean so much to us. I’m just going to say, we also saved a lot of money doing it this way, so I definitely recommend.

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Our Toronto Wedding – Part One

Our six month anniversary is coming up in about a week so I figure it’s about time I recap our Toronto wedding! I did talk a little bit about it the day before we went off to Cuba and got married all over again, but I didn’t give very many details. It’s time.

All photos in this post are by Nicole Kirk Photography — and she just killed it. I love them so much. Highly recommend Nicole if you’re looking for a very reasonably priced wedding photographer in Toronto! I feel so, so lucky to have all the pictures we do, from both weddings.

On the freezing, rainy morning of Sunday, April 30, I got up at 4:30, got myself and my mom out the door, picked up Evan’s mom, and drove to Evan’s cousin Barb’s to get ready for the big day.

Just a tip — if you feel like maybe you don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night to start getting ready on your wedding day, don’t have your heart set on a morning ceremony. I did not fully consider this when we decided we wanted a brunch wedding, but the entire ordeal was over by 4pm and I was home in my pajamas, legally married, drinking wine on the couch with my new husband and my mom (romantic!) by dinner time so…I have no regrets.

The ladies all got ready at Barb and her husband’s place, which worked out perfectly as it was close to our venue and they were the best hosts. Breakfast was served and the mimosas were flowing when we arrived at 6am!

Evan and I chose to have a very small family-only ceremony followed by a brunch reception so we unfortunately could not have the bridal party in attendance (that would have added 12 people and that alone would have increased our wedding size by 33%), so I didn’t do the whole “get ready with your girls” thing on my wedding day. I saved that for my Cuba wedding day, which included all of (well, most of) our friends. But I had our moms and Barb, and Tracey (my amazing wedding planner — more about Tracey later), Natalie (my amazing hair and makeup artist), and Nicole (my amazing photographer) so I had a good support team!

I loooved my dress. I was originally undecided on what I wanted to wear for this wedding but when we were shopping for my Cuba wedding dress my good pal Emily found a long bridesmaid’s dress that would work perfectly in cream! So my “wedding” dress was actually a bridesmaid dress. It’s pretty much the same thing, just no train. Honestly if you’re wedding dress shopping consider trying a bridesmaid dress — this one was about $250, so MUCH less expensive than a traditional wedding dress.

I had mostly the same accessories that I used in Cuba, right down to the flowers, which are faux from Ashley at From The Stem Up. I still have my bouquet, I’ll probably have it forever, and I still swear those flowers look and feel real.

And my Wifey purse which I JUST realized actually says “help me” upside down, haha. And I had the amazing mermaid spoon bracelet from Lisa, my very bestest. She sent this to me in advance to wear since she couldn’t be there for the Toronto wedding (she lives in Calgary and I know she felt really weird about missing this, but she was my MOH and was at the Cuba wedding — her parents were at this one!)

After Natalie and her assistant slayed our hair and makeup (I’ve never looked better and doubt I will ever look better), my mom helped me into my dress.

It was a really nice moment. I’m so glad we could have our moms at both our weddings. My mom was SO happy and beautiful.

Love that picture and I’m so glad I have it.

Barb and Tracey also helped me out with the dress situation (I wore the same belt that I wore on my dress in Cuba).

You know you have an amazing wedding planner when she helps you get your dress sorted out!

And you know you have an amazing photographer when she makes you look like this.

We had such a great relaxing morning. It was the perfect spot to get ready and I’m so thankful to Barb and Brian for letting us take over their beautiful house!

Evan and I had decided to do a first look, mainly because we wanted to get some pictures of just the two of us and the best time to get that done was before the ceremony. At around 9:30 Tracey drove me over to Evergreen Brickworks, a former industrial site turned park, to meet my husband to-be. Evan was already there with our photographer, he got a ride from his best friend in our condo building — an 88-year-old man who Evan helps with computer stuff. After Tracey dropped me off she drove over to the venue and helped them finish setting everything up and make sure my music was ready to go. Talk about wedding planner extraordinaire. She was the best and I’m so glad we had her. I worried about NOTHING all day.

Check out this fine slice of prime rib waiting for me.

I’ve talked about Brickworks before on here — it used to be within walking distance of my old Toronto apartment if you took the trails through the Don Valley. Evan and I hiked here back in the days when we were first dating so it seemed fitting to do a first look and photos here. The weather was not as nice this time though. It was absolutely FREEZING and so windy. I am so cold in all of these photos and I thought for sure you would be able to tell, but I’m so glad you can’t.

Oh heyyyyy, surprise! Look at my dress! LOOK AT IT!

He liked.

So after that sort of anti-climactic first look thing (well it is, we were excited to see each other but we spend every day together, the only difference this time is that we looked really good) we just canoodled around with each other and tried not to look cold while Nicole snapped photos.

But I was genuinely so happy and excited.

It’s a good spot for photos, ’cause they have it all! The hipster backgrounds, the nature, the little lake! It felt fitting for us. And it rained the rest of the day but it held off for this, so I was grateful for that.

You can’t even tell we’re in the city. Almost.

I love that we did that. Getting up early and standing around in the cold for an hour was worth it.

Ceremony and reception stuff to come because this is getting quite lengthy.

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Good Reads

Back in January I set a goal on Goodreads to read 40 books this year. My goal last year was 25 books and I was super proud when I slayed it early! But, I was commuting on the bus/subway for two hours a day, so it was easy to burn through the books. Now that I’m driving to work my reading time has been cut down significantly and the 40 books goal may have been a lofty one. I got off to a slow start this year and didn’t read much in the spring when the height of wedding things were happening (I was so overstimulated our entire time in Cuba that I read maybe four pages total). But this summer I stepped it up, I spent a lot of my not-blogging time reading. I’m up to 30 books read now and I think I might get to my goal. I have a lot of books to talk about and I haven’t written a books post since March, so here’s a few of the ones I got through!

Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica

Synopsis:

In downtown Chicago, Esther Vaughan disappears from her apartment without a trace. A haunting letter addressed to My Dearest is found among her possessions, leaving her roommate Quinn Collins to question how well she really knew her friend. Meanwhile, in a small town an hour outside Chicago, a mysterious woman appears in the quiet coffee shop where eighteen-year-old Alex Gallo works as a dishwasher. He is immediately drawn to her, but what starts as an innocent crush quickly spirals into something far more sinister.

As Quinn searches for answers about Esther, and Alex is drawn further under the stranger’s spell, master of suspense Mary Kubica takes readers on a taut and twisted thrill ride that builds to a stunning conclusion and shows that no matter how fast and far we run, the past always catches up with us.

It was okay. I wasn’t super enthralled. I had a hard time connecting to any of the characters because they just didn’t seem like real people to me. I was surprised at the ending but I also felt at that point that I didn’t really care what happened? It took so long for anything to happen that by the time things started to come together I wasn’t feeling it anymore. I love a good psychological thriller and the slow burn of knowing something big is coming up, but in this case I wasn’t invested enough in the characters to appreciate it. I did appreciate how the two storylines were so different and how in the end they synced up, but I think the book glossed over some parts of Alex’s storyline that would have made the ending pack more of a punch if they had been developed further. So just okay for me, but some reviewers LOVE IT so maybe you will too!

The Girls by Emma Cline

Synopsis:

Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged—a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence, and to that moment in a girl’s life when everything can go horribly wrong.

Oooh, I liked this one. I don’t even know how I found out about this book but I liked the cover so I added to my Goodreads to-read books. I love a good hippie cult coming of age story (who doesn’t?!). The book was clearly based on the Manson Family, she really only changed a few insignificant details as far as I could tell, so if you know that story well this probably won’t be anything surprising to you, but knowing that story helps to create a good visual for this one. I could clearly see the setting and the girls. It’s definitely a bit overwritten and some of the writing seemed awkward and try-hard which at times was annoying, but overall I was into it. I thought the author did a great job of describing adolescent female insecurity, and I could really empathise with Evie. I remember being that age and just wanting more than anything to be popular (I was not) so the way the author set everything up did a great job of showing how a regular “good” girl could end up with the wrong crowd. The wrong crowd being the Manson cult. She also did a great job of describing Evie’s girl crush on Suzanne. As a reader, I really felt it.

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

Synopsis:

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle. 

Oh hello, OPEN MY EYES! This was amazing. I already love Trevor as a comedian because I love that he doesn’t resort to certain type humour for an easy laugh (poop humour for example). He is clever and witty and doesn’t shy away from talking about controversial issues like race, hate speech, police brutality, white-privilege, etc. I can’t imagine it’s easy to bring out the humour in those issues, but he does. He’s a great storyteller and the stories about his childhood and what it was like to grow up with a white father and a black mother in South Africa during apartheid (when it was illegal for South African citizens to marry or have sex across racial lines — hence why Trevor was literally born a crime), and his struggle to find his identity and fit in, well it was eye opening. Really interesting to read about. His writing is thoughtful and intelligent and he shares his perspective so well, plus he’s hilarious and was clearly a pretty naughty child, so those stories were entertaining. I think it’s an important book to read and one of the best I’ve read in a while.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Synopsis:

If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.

Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Everything is going to change.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Remember. Survive. Run.

I tried to listen to this as an audio book back in 2016, had a hard time getting into it and stopped listening, and then picked it up again this year. I liked it a lot more the second time around. The plot was interesting and kept me hooked and I ended up enjoying the book overall, but there were a few things I didn’t love. I wish the characters had more personality, or some of the secondary characters had been explored a bit deeper. Thomas (the main character) wasn’t my favourite. And I wish they described Theresa, the only girl, as something more than “pretty”. The “love story” aspect kind of felt like it was just thrown in there and didn’t develop naturally. I was also not a big fan of the ending. Overall, I liked. I bet I would have absolutely this book had I read it back in 2010, but now with so many dystopian sci-fi books to choose from I’m not sure it holds up as well. I do want to watch the movie now!

Dreams from my Father by Barack Obama

The synopsis is here, it’s pretty long.

So I listened to this as an audio book, which is read by Barack Obama, and I would just like to say that I could listen to him talk to me for hours and hours, so that alone made this book a great experience for me. I mostly listen to audiobooks when I’m driving or cooking, and sometimes I find them hard to follow and I tend to start thinking about something else in my head and realize I’m not paying attention and I’ve just missed half the chapter. But with Obama speaking, I was never not paying attention. He has such a commanding, comforting voice, like listening to a trustworthy family member. A loved uncle.

I love that he wrote this before he was president, because somehow it seems more honest and candid than it might have had he written if after. But I think this would be a great book even if it wasn’t written by the former POTUS. I loved hearing more about his background, his family and his upbringing. When he talked about visiting his family in Kenya that was a real highlight for me.

The book provides a better understand of who Obama is and why he is the way he is, how hard he worked for his community. Something that continues to impress me about him, and I really got a sense of this in the book, he is just so pragmatic. He takes the time to look at problems and issues thoughtfully and from every angle. That is an admirable quality. Highly recommend this read.

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35 Further Reasons Why Evan is the Best Ever

Happy 35th birthday to Evan! (well, it was yesterday but no one reads blogs on Sundays.)

As you may know, I have a yearly tradition on Evan’s birthday where I post all the reasons why I think he is the best ever, with the number of reasons coinciding with how old he is turning. Of course, this list is subjective, based on my personal feelings. And, admittedly these aren’t so much reasons but more stories of what Evan has said or done throughout the year that have either made me laugh really hard or made me think “you are just the best, ever.”

So, since Evan is turning 35, here are 35 reasons why he is the best ever (I am really trying not to repeat any from previous best ever posts!)

He brings me pineapples full of pina colada on the beach, for one.

35 Further Reasons Why Evan is the Best Ever

35  He looooooves yard sales. Weekend morning yard saling is Evan’s dream activity. Especially when we’re at the cottage. We usually go out for breakfast on cottage weekends and if Evan sees a sign for a yard sale he will be finding that yard sale and we will be stopping at it. One morning we went on like an hour long wild goose chase trying to find some yard sale that ended up being totally crap. He is an old man in a young man’s body and he’s going to be a really good grandpa one day.

I should note that I do not particularly love yard sales, we have enough junk around the house without buying more of other people’s, but I appreciate his love of treasure hunting.

34  The way he chooses to describe things makes me laugh really hard (I’ve mentioned this before), for example wild goose chase, he calls it a wild juice case. If he notices his shirt has a hole in it he will say “this shirt is more holey than righteous” (like a play on more holy than righteous). Once, he described a man as: “He looks like he just drank a potion and hair shot out of his head in every direction.” It was an accurate description.

33  It’s his dream to have a rumpus room. And that is what he calls it, not a rec room or a man cave or a den or whatever, but a rumpus room, for rumpusing. He said this around our friend Scott’s mom and she was like “rumpus room?! I haven’t heard that term since the 70s.” But of course it’s how Evan chose to describe it.

We were talking about how we could redesign our office into a rumpus room, for his rumpusing, and Evan stopped and said “Wait, if we have a baby isn’t the baby going to live in here? This would be a better baby’s room than a rumpus room.” We don’t even know 100% that we’re going to have a baby but that right there warmed my heart. So, our guest room might have to turn into a guest room/rumpus room so Evan can live out his rumpusing fantasy.

32  I love the amount of effort and dedication he puts into every project he takes on. As just one small example, the Zach Morris phone he made for our Saved By The Bell costume for the 90s Jack and Jill. First of all, he searched every thrift store near us for that phone, and when he couldn’t find one like it he made a flyer that he stuck up on the bulletin board of our condo building’s parking garage with a picture of the phone he was looking for, and strips with his phone number to call him if someone had one. He even tore a strip off himself to “create buzz” as he put it, like it was a popular item. When no one called him (because it is not a popular item) he made the phone himself out of wood and glued a paintbrush handle as the antenna. For reference, here is the Zach Morris phone:

And here is the phone that Evan created:

31  I’ve mentioned before (in several other best ever posts) that Evan is very popular with the old ladies in our building. They adore him. He’s done handyman work for a lot of them at some point, and he has expressed to them how much he enjoys cooking and eating dishes from different countries (we have many immigrants in our building). So now several of the ladies have invited him over to cook with them and have taught him how to make their favourite family recipes. The best part about this is he brings these dishes home to me!

30  I love watching Evan with kids because he is slightly awkward but he’s just a big kid, and they pick up on that.

Last winter we were at my friend’s sister’s place and a couple of kids were playing Power Rangers in the basement. Evan had never met these kids before but one of them came upstairs and pointed at Evan and yelled “We want the guy with glasses to play with us!!!” so he did, and when I went downstairs a while later to check on him he was in a corner and they were beating him with pillows. He was losing at the Power Rangers.

29  Evan’s nana passed away last fall and as he was very close with her, it was really hard on him. Creativity tends to be his outlet and he poured his heart and soul into making a custom box for her ashes. Just as he did for his Bubby (his grandpa) in the first Evan is the best ever post.

And Brotherman again drew the design before Evan stained it. It was beautiful.

28  He is such a proud cat dad! His love for Tilly warms my heart but what surprised me the most was how much he loved Bonnie! We didn’t have her for very long so I didn’t think he’d really bond with her. But he loved her immediately!

27  He also loves his fish. He has a five gallon fish tank, which has about half a dozen fish in it, mountain minnows, or feeder fish that you feed to bigger fish. He got them as starter fish when he first got his tank to make sure the ecosystem was good before he put fancier, more exciting fish in there. He has spent two years making that aquarium a lush underwater oasis, with live plants and fun hiding places, and it’s still just the feeder fish that live in there. When I asked him if he thought maybe it was time to upgrade to better fish he was like “but it’s their home, I can’t just kick them out!”

Last weekend he was at his dad’s for the night and he texted me “can you please feed the fish and then turn the light off for the night once they’re done eating? They like to see their food but have it dark at nighttime.” Okay.

26  He was at his dad’s for the night last weekend because he was putting in a laminate floor for them. Because he will drop whatever he’s doing to help anyone, especially family. On our way back from Niagara Falls on Canada Day weekend, my dad called to see if Evan had any time the next week to help him put up a 500 pound permanent steel tent structure thing in their backyard. Evan dropped me off at home and then headed to my dad’s immediately to help him. It took him two days, but he and my dad got that sucker up. And all the credit to him for tackling a stressful project with my dad for two days, ’cause I’ll tell ya I don’t think I would have the patience for that task. But he actually had a good time.

25  He is my resident researcher, constantly googling the answer to questions he doesn’t know, landmarks we pass in the car, etc. Last November when we were visiting Paula and Fabian in Orlando, we passed The Holy Land Experience theme park when we were driving around, which Evan and I had never heard of and Paula and Fabian didn’t know much about, either. Evan was immediately looking it up and was like “Did you know there’s a Tiny Town of Bethlehem and you can go into an exact replica of the Garden Tomb where the body of Jesus was buried?” We were dying. Paula and Fabian said they have passed that place a million times but never actually looked it up. Being around him is very educational.

24  We went on a minimoon in Algonquin Park this summer (more on that later) and we were hiking the trails and Evan of course picked up a guide book and read aloud to me in a theatrical voice along the way, so I knew about each trail’s specific geological characteristics and the flora and fauna, etc.

His level of enthusiasm for things definitely makes me enjoy them more.

23  I present this without comment.

Okay, just awwwww, what a little sailor!!!

22  As I’ve mentioned in previous best ever posts, Evan is still very tidy and enjoys cleaning, especially vacuuming. His mom told me that all he wanted for Christmas when he was about 3-4 was a cleaning cart, like a janitor or a maid would use. She was not able to find a child’s toy replica unfortunately.

21  He still tells me every single day that I’m beautiful, and he makes me feel like everything about me is loveable. It’s a really nice feeling.

20  Without me knowing, he saved and brought home the cork from our wedding champagne that we toasted with on the beach during our ceremony in Cuba, so we can save it forever!

19  His big thing to say to me if we are out anywhere is “put that in your purse” and it’s turned into a huge joke now. If we’re at a restaurant and there are packets of peanut butter and jam on the table Evan will nudge me and say “hey…put those in your purse.” If there are free samples of something or we’re drinking out of nice beer glasses in a pub it’s “put those in your purse.”

18  He’s good to have around at all-you-can-eat buffets because he has the best tips to get the most out of your experience. Recently we went to the Mandarin with Lisa and Scott (an extensive Chinese buffet) and he leaned in to us and whispered conspiratorially “Okay, don’t fill up on water, and don’t go for the soup or the salad bar, THAT’S WHAT THEY WANT YOU TO DO. We need to get the most out of this! We want them sweating in that kitchen!” I don’t know why this was so funny and maybe you had to be there, but we were dying.

17  At Lisa and Scott’s engagement party I was sitting at a table with some of Lisa’s ladyfriends and Evan strolled over with a bunch of pretzel sticks lined up and sticking out of his shirt breast pocket. He just casually pulled one out and started munching on it while making eye contact with us.

16  Drunk Evan. Drunk Evan is my favourite and I love that it doesn’t happen very often, the stars really have to align, so it’s a special treat. His sassface is in full force and he gets extra hilarious with his one-liners. People are still regaling stories of the hilarious things he said at our joint bachelor/bachelorette night in Cuba (that is probably one of my favourite nights of all time). I felt like he was a character in a movie.

15  Sometimes he will get into bed at night and declare “I am feeling extra harassy tonight.” and I will protest “Nooooo, I’m just reading!” and he will say “What about a choose your own harassment adventure? Do you want perpendicular legs, (when he lays sideways on the bed with his legs rigid over mine) or maybe pillow thief, or blanket hog, or steamroller?” NONE. But ughhh it makes me laugh.

He now has a perpendicular legs hand signal that he will do before I get into bed, which looks like this:

14  We were fishing at the cottage this weekend and Evan was casting his rod while I was sitting next to him reading on the dock, so I said “don’t hook your lover,” and he responded with “Do you know of anyone more careful than me?” And no, actually, I can’t think of one single person who is more careful than Evan.

13  I also present this with no comment.

Okay, just:

12  Someone once stole his lunch at work and he said “It’s okay, they probably needed it more than me.” LOLWUT? No.

11  My bestie, her mom and I were discussing all the books we own (MANY) and Evan jumped into the conversation and said “Why do you need to keep so many books? They’re just trophies.” I never thought of it like that, like ‘look at all these books I’ve read!’

10  I overheard my friend Dawn describe Evan as a “warm hug of a person.” which I thought was a really lovely way to describe someone.

9  On our Toronto wedding day, after the ceremony and family photos when we sat down to brunch, Evan wiped his mouth with his napkin and it came away covered in lipstick. He was all “look at how much lipstick I’m wearing!” I guess I transferred it onto him when we had our first kiss. Whoops. No one had noticed or said anything to him, so we figured no big deal. But when we got our pictures back, he looked like Howdy Doody in all our pictures before he wiped his face, so therefore in ALL OF our family photos.

We laughed SO HARD when we saw this. Oh man, I’m still laughing. (I was able to Photoshop it out so no biggie!)

8  He’s actually really good at folding fitted sheets.

7  Since living with Evan, I have not ironed one article of clothing. Evan is the one who handles all the ironing in our house and it is WONDERFUL. Also the sewing. Ain’t nobody got time for that (except Evan). And if one of my necklaces is knotted I just conveniently leave it on his night table so he can fix it for me at his leisure.

6  His first and biggest priority in any situation, wherever we are, is me. It is so nice to have a partner in life who always has my back and is constantly looking out for my best interests and well-being. I still sometimes can’t believe that I found such a solid person who cares for me so much. And I know if I said that to him he would say “You didn’t find me, I found you.”

5  This manatee also thinks Evan is the best ever.

I better watch out, I'm pretty sure this manatee is after Evan #facesmoosh

A post shared by Lindsey (@happyorhungry) on

4  I love that I have now written a total of 165 reasons why Evan is the best ever and I still don’t have a difficult time coming up with them.

3  I love that all the past reasons still apply. We may have changes in our schedule that make things different, for example we don’t wake up every morning and spend half an hour together with coffee in bed on weekdays anymore (this was in a previous best ever), but generally all the reasons he is the best ever still stand. He is still the most thoughtful, with my family as well as my friends, he still has the best one-liners, is still the best cook and cooks often, makes me coffee when we’re home together in the morning, is the handiest person ever, he’s still a do-er and doesn’t procrastinate, he still does unexpected little things to make my life easier, and he still makes me laugh hard on a daily basis. Etc. etc. etc. Living with him is the best.

2  Even five years into our relationship he still offers me the biggest piece, the best piece or the last piece of whatever we’re eating. That is love!

1  He is my HUSBAND!!!!!! I get to spend my life with this glorious hunk of man!

Happy birthday Evan! I am excited to spend many, many more with you, because you are the BEST. EVER. and I am the luckiest. Ever.

If you made it all the way to the end and still want more, here are the past Evan is the Best Ever:

 

 

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Hello, I am back

Oh heyyyyy! I’m alive! I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to abandon you all summer. Things were busy and a one week break turned into two, and then three, and then I was like “well, I might as well just take August off,” so I did. And now here we are two months later. How is it already September?! I feel like summer didn’t even happen! Hopefully I still have readers after being MIA for so long. I know it’s annoying if you follow a blogger and they suddenly just drop off the face of earth, so I am sorry if anyone was checking to see if I had posted anything.

I’ll be honest, taking a blog break was kind of nice. It was nice to come home after work and do whatever without having to worry about how I was going to squeeze in time to write anything. Sometimes writing a blog feels like a bit of a chore, so when that starts to happen I think it’s time for a break. An to be honest, I also find it more difficult to write these days with everything going on in the world. When there are massive hurricanes raging, the west is on fire, there’s a threat of nuclear war, the awful heartbreaking DACA decision, and a madman is in charge of the free world, being like “lalala look at all the pictures I took this weekend!” seems tone deaf and insensitive (though it is nice to take a break from the terrible news of the world and read mindless drivel, and someone needs to create that mindless drivel). Add to that, I’m getting older and more careful about what I put online. I feel like I can’t write as freely as I once did.

But I did miss blogging a lot. I missed sharing my adventures on here, I missed having a reason to take pictures of what I’m up to, and I missed the comments (although the blog community is definitely not what it used to be). I just missed sharing my life.

This summer has been busy with all the typical summery things, just not with our typical summery weather. It felt like we didn’t really have a summer in Ontario, just a prolonged spring, and now it’s fall. It was very rainy and cool most of the time, or at least on weekends, which is when all the things are happening. Back in the spring when the trend of crap weather was starting I was thinking that’s fine, weather, you get it out of your system now and as long as we have a nice summer it’s all good. But then June came and the weather didn’t listen, and I was still thinking, that’s fine. I can deal with June being less than ideal as long as we have a nice July and August. And then it was July, and it was more of the same, but I was like okay as long as August is nice I can deal with this. And then August came and went and now somehow it’s September and well, it’s still raining. But maybe we’ll have a nice September?

Every year we Canadians suffer through a cold and snowy winter telling ourselves that it’s okay because summer’s coming and it’s going to be beautiful, so then when it isn’t I feel like I’ve been robbed. I only went swimming like three times!

And, see, how tone deaf am I complaining about the weather. I know this is nothing compared to the much worse situations that many other people are dealing with right now. Every time I talked to my mom and brother in BC they would go on about how it had been 30 degrees and sunny every day there since May, with no rain at all. But, there’s so many wildfires! They have those to deal with, which is unpleasant to say the least. They told me it’s so smoky sometimes that their eyes sting when they go outside. I can’t imagine.

But back to the summer. We made the best of what we had. We got up to the cottage a few times, went camping (it rained the whole time but it was still fun), went on a mini moon, and did a lot of other little adventures. So I have a lot to talk about. And I still haven’t even fully recapped our Toronto wedding! And Evan’s birthday is on Sunday so you know what that means…I can’t miss the annual best ever post (that’ll be on Monday, not Sunday).

I am so out of the habit of this kind of writing though and I’m worried I’ve lost my blog voice. For now I just wanted to write a quick HEY I’M NOT DEAD! And just let you know that I’m hoping to pick it up around here. And I hope people are still around to read it!

Also, wherever you are in the world, stay safe my friends.

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Toronto Waterfront 10k…Again

A few weeks ago I ran in the Toronto Waterfront 10k with my blog pals Michelle and Casey, as well as Michelle’s friend.

Michelle convinced us to sign up with her back in March and I ran this same race last year with those two and my friend Melissa as well. I guess I didn’t hate it, ’cause there I was. Back again.

I didn’t really train for this race, and I probably should have. Whoops. I ran about 7k in Cuba with Casey, and that was the furthest distance in all of my “training” (and the furthest distance since this 10k race last year). Other than that I ran 3-4 times outside all spring, about 5k each time, and then the rest of my running took place at Orangetheory Fitness. OTF is HIIT (high intensity interval training) though, so while you may get 24 minutes on the treadmill per class, it’s different speeds and likely not running the entire time. I am not a natural runner at all and I do think that OTF has made me a bit faster, and I think it’s the HIIT that’s doing it.

Anyway, we ran it on a Saturday at 7:30 in the morning, right in the heart of downtown Toronto. It would have been the most perfect beautiful day for sitting on a dock on the water sipping some beerskis, but it was just BLAZING for running. It was hot hot hot and incredibly humid. I was already sweaty just walking from my car to the starting area — no exaggeration.

It was like running in Cuba. It was also quite busy.

Michelle and Casey’s plan was that Casey (the running speed demon who recently completed a 50k trail race) was going to pace Michelle to a 10k PR of just under one hour. I decided to run with them for a while to see if I could run at that pace at all, even though that would be shaving almost 15 minutes off my 10k time last year, which seemed impossible. I knew it would probably be too fast for me, especially without actually training for it. But hey, ya gotta try!

The big joke was that I would be good for about 24 minutes, since that’s what I’m used to running in OTF, and then I’d be dying. And that is not far from the truth. Michelle, Casey and I ran together for 4km at a pretty decent pace, and when I hit that 4k marker (24 minutes in) I had to slow it down. I told them to go on without me and just continued by myself at a slower pace.

A kilometre later I ran into Michelle again, who was also dying of heat. She said her initial goal was a cool and rainy April idea and maybe wasn’t going to be realistic during a heat warning. So we ran together until about 8k and then she pulled ahead of me again. I could see her several yards in front of me for the rest of the race though, and focusing on her up there kept me going!

I was music-free during the first half of the race but by the second I needed a push. I was running in the direct sunlight and there was no breeze at all, and I was feeling it hard. It was also around this time that I got a notification from my Runkeeper App (WHILE it was on and tracking my time!!!) that I needed to get out and run and the first step out the door is the hardest.

Get moving. How about YOU get moving, RunKeeper. I’m already f@$%ing running you idiots! The first step out the door isn’t the hardest, running for over an hour in a heat wave while my thighs chafe off is the hardest.

At least I got Casey’s notification at the same time, motivating because she a) had already finished and b) there were donuts at the finish line. That got me moving.

I didn’t feel great but I crossed that finish line in 1:11.05, almost four minutes faster than last year so I was happy with that!

Actually, it was my fastest 10k ever!

But only my second 10k ever, hahaha. So, Runkeeper tracked that but not that I was actually running while I was running?

Anyway, I got my medal and you know I got a donut.

Yay, the bloggers and joggers actually went jogging!!!

And then we went for food and lagers, as we do.

Of course AS SOON as we finish the race it got overcast and breezy. Of course.

Overall I really like this race. It’s pretty even aside for an uphill at the end, and very well organized at the start with the bag drop, etc. I did not bring water onto the course with me though, and I didn’t see a water station until about 4k — on a day as hot as it was I would have appreciated water sooner.

Ohh I’ll probably run this bad boy again next year. MAYBE I will actually train this time.

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