family

when it snowed a lot in january.

I’m trying to get back into just sharing the photos I love from this life that I live, even if no one wants to read about it. So here are some photos from a really snowy day in January. Nate & I went to get a sandwich from a shop & then walked around our favorite neighborhood & get coffee at our shop. It was a simple sweet day but I had fun taking photos of the snow & each other.

Christmas in Canada II

Ok this one is a little less in the feels & a little more just taking photos of things we like to do in Toronto. Everytime we pop into the city for the day, we are sad to leave. We love it there ESPECIALLY when it SNOWS! We met up with a few friends, we drank coffees & ate some snacks. Its hard to do all the things we want to do in just a day or two, but we definitely try!
First up - Baddies for coffee with friends. & then we walked to Roncesvalles to browse some shops, mainly Muttonhead.
We then ended up in the financial district to wander around, in & out of buildings & get another coffee at Dineen.

Day two was equally as dreary, but still beautiful. We did some last minute Christmas shopping at the Drake General Store, which is always a number one recommendation! & then walked down Queen St to another shop called Peace Collective . After that we popped into a newer location of one of our fave shops, Pilot Roasters. After that we drove further into downtown, around OCAD & wandered, grabbed our [last!] coffee from Library Specialty Coffee & headed out to the east end to have dinner with friends. Here’s our one little tip on days like this where we want to cover lots of ground [aka coffee shops]. We sometimes get one coffee & split it, we sometimes go to a shop for a meal & split a coffee & other times we get non-coffee drinks! It depends on the shop, why we wanted to check it out & how long we have. Its a rigorous criteria & to be honest, its very calculated for our personal enjoyment HA!
The last part of our night, that I didn’t document any photos of at all, was dinner with friends in Little India at Lahore Tikka House & skating on the outdoor rink in Greenwood Park. One of my favourite Christmas memories for sure!

oh. & one last little photo of Nate in the Chicago airport on our way home. Caffeinated only by United Club drop coffee.

Christmas in Canada

Nate & I try to do Christmas with family every other year [KC family one year, Canada family the next] but honestly, we’ve been really bad at it! It seems like every year we have reason that we HAVE to be in Canada, or for 3 years in a row I had a job that kept me in KC for Christmas Eve.
Anyways, this Christmas was supposed to be a Kansas Christmas, but we just knew we needed to be in Canada & I don’t regret a single moment. Being with my family, in my childhood home [which I had NEVER done before!] was so special & also incredibly hard. My mom was so so sick. There aren’t many photos of her, as she was usually sleeping, but I still wanted to remember every detail, even if it was a hard moment.
So - we went up to my sisters for my nephews dedication at church, we spent a few days in Toronto & one really great evening at the Christmas Markets with my parents. We met up with friends we hadn’t seen in years & walked around the city in the snow. We spent dayyyys lounging around at home, watching movies & getting ready for Christmas dinner. It was really one of my favourite Christmases & I’ll probably share two posts worth of photos. Because they’re all special to me.
First up - The Christmas Markets, lots of days around the house & essentially no snow on the ground.

Winter Holidays in Ottawa Canada

Nate & I both love going to see my family in the winter because we both love the snow!! I love it because it's magical. Nate loves it because he likes outdoor activities in the snow.
This year we spent a day in Ottawa before we met my family. Mostly because I wanted to take photos of Hadassah, but also because we don't usually get to spend time in the city! We stayed at the Andaz & LOVED our experience. They we're so good to us & gave us a complimentary drink upon check-in! The room was so beautiful & it's right in the Byward Market, so we walked to dinner & to some shops & to get coffee the next morning. It was such a nice little treat before the holidays!

We spent Christmas with my extended family at their cottage just on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River, which we love. It's so beautiful & there was nothing to do but play outside & play games by the fire.  I also love snow on green trees, a LOT. Fair warning. But first - lots of ice skating.

& a really good afternoon of snow shoeing! Which I haven't done in years, it is an insane work out.

After Christmas we spent a few days at my Grandma's house & I love the photos I took there, just everyday normal moments, but ones that I want to remember. My parents first thing in the morning, reading the paper & drinking coffee, my sister caught in the reflection as I was coming in through the back door & my grandma making coffee in the morning light.

When I visit my family in Southern Ontario in the Summer pt. II

If you missed part I. you can find it >>> HERE
Okay! We arrived in Tobermory with a plan & an RV. Non-negotiables were as follows [in no particular order]. 
Fish & Chips.
Flowerpot Island.
Grotto.
Family Time & Birthday Celebrations.
& we freaking DID THEM ALL. which is a miracle of God. 

We stayed at a Campground which will remain nameless because it was absolutely bizarre & run by weird people who do weird things. But it was really foggy & pretty one morning when we left, so I'll post two photos of it & that's it all you get.  

We took Bruce Anchor Cruises over to Flowerpot Island, with a detour to see a bunch of shipwrecks, which initially I was like 'sure it will be cool', but when we went over them I was losing my mind. So insane. I couldn't believe how close to the surface they seemed & we were RIGHT over top of them!!

Once we got to Flowerpot Island [see above image for rock formation that looks like a flowerpot] we hiked the trails & it was extremely enjoyable. We got to the other end of the island & had a lunch break [accompanied by actual demon squirrels who potentially wanted to eat US for lunch] & then we had two options. 1- Hike back the way we came or 2- take the 'scenic route' back. The lady said the scenic route was for 'intermediate hikers' & was 'stunning' & would take us '45-60 minutes'. Well it turns out it was for rock climbers who wanted to scale walls & go down 50+ steps into a valley of rocks, but guess what. it took us 32 minutes. #professionals SO if you're two middle aged, moderately-active humans, along with two late 20s fairly-active people... you can do it too!! Also it was my moms last day as a 56 year old & she had just had a chemo treatment two days prior. She's a boss. #mombrag
Below are 10000 photos of the crystal clear blue water. I wanted to get in so badly, but it definitely was not warm enough!

Next up, that SAME evening, was the Grotto. & the main reason we chose to travel up to Tobermory. Just type Grotto into google images [or conveniently click here] & you'll see why. Also take note that during 'peak season' you have to go at the butt crack of dawn to get a parking ticket & have to choose a 4 hour increment in which you'll be going. We chose the evening group. It was beautiful, but absolutely not warm enough to get in. #tragedy. Also take note that it takes about 45 actual real minutes to walk out to the water from the parking lot. The end.  Enjoy one zillion more photos of crystal clear water.

The rest of the trip was a bit more relaxing. We did have both ice cream & fish & chips [not together ha!] BUT! We had our Fish & Chips at Shipwreck Lee's & it was another strange but very enjoyable experience.
We also celebrated my mom's bday & Reva & Josh joined us! We had angel food cake & strawberries [all time fave] & my mom fake blew-out her non-existent candles. She's my fave. <3 First up - we floated around in a tiny pond on that giant swan paddle boat. 

#feels I love my parents soooo much.

LASTLY!!! We went out that night to catch the sunset, which we missed. BUT! We did walk down a long path & across a random tent pitched by the water, to see the very end of the sun. We also picked wildflowers for my mumma & honestly.. they were pretty beautiful. 
In the end, it was a great few days. I've never camped or RV'd with my family before, so it was fun to do that! 

When I visit my family in Southern Ontario in the Summer

Nate & I try to always go up to Canada for a few weeks in the summer to be with my family. It's always incredibly busy, but we've been more intentional to not just fill our time with seeing people, but with making memories with my parents & my sister & her husband. This summer we went up for my Grandfathers funeral but ended the trip with some great memories. We spent Canada day on the water on a friends boat & then we drove up to Georgian Bay to spend a few days in Tobermory. We 'glamped', which is something I hadn't done with my family before! New memories.

Nate & I always try to squeeze in a day or two in Toronto, because we LOVE that city!!! We stayed close to Queen St. & found a cute restaurant called Oretta to share a pizza before the dinner rush. We also got steamed buns, ice cream & coffee twice. We try to go to as many delicious places as possible, so we spread our eating out & share a lot of meals. 
The last few photos are Nate's, he loves cities because of all the people & their style & there is a lot of that in Toronto. My fave is the guy who totally spots him snapping a pic & turns around to give the peace sign. My second fave is the guy in blades with a hockey stick. I want to frame it & say #CANADA over the top. Speaks to my soul.

On our way home from the city we stopped at the Scarborough Bluffs, which was partially flooded from all the rain in the city, but it was still beautiful. We had plans to take some photos in the area, but instead we randomly bumped into a friend from when I was in high school, & we chatted with him for over an hour. #worthit. He makes great videos & has an awesome youtube channel.  

Next we stopped to visit my sister on our way up to Tobermory. She lives in Wasaga Beach & our tradition when we go is to ride bikes to the beach. Which I love on a deep soul level. [ps. most of these photos are iphone pics! except the last two of reva & josh at the beach.]
[pps. that's taco, my sisters kitty in the first photo. he recently passed & I was so glad I got to see him this summer. he was the absolute best kitty in the universe & I'm not a cat person!]

I think I've reached my max in photos allowed in any normal humans blog post -- so I'll post the rest of our trip in part II. I write all of this down & share it so I can walk down memory lane every once in a while. Trying to get better at that!