Saturday, January 31, 2015

January 2015

One of my goals for the year ahead is to document our adventures by taking more pictures.  My hope is to do a recap of each month's images here on the blog.   For the inaugural post of 2015, January's collection of moments are above.

What a roller coaster January was.  We said goodbye to our beloved house, our friends and family.  Upon touchdown in Toronto we began exploring in earnest.  Some favorites include beautiful skyline sunrises, new parks and inspiring museums (we loved the ROM and AGO).  

Monday, January 26, 2015

We made it!

We made it!  Barely.... we're lucky they let us in the country after the meltdown James Robert had going through immigration.  Despite his unruly behavior (i.e. running-amuck while screaming "I want more goldfish"... of which there were none) they waved us through.  

A week ago I couldn't have imagined writing from the spot I am sitting in now.  When we boarded our plane on last Monday morning, we didn't yet know where our corporate housing would be.  Luckily, Mat sorted things out and we were greeted with the Toronto skyline and Lake Ontario views.  

So we've swapped our suburban home for a more urban condo for a few weeks and it feels surreal.  James Robert may have been out of sorts when we left Charlotte, but seeing the all day entertainment that is outside of his window has certainly cheered him up.  At all hours of the day, there are a host of his favorite things to watch. Perched atop a subway station, we can now watch trains, planes and automobiles until our hearts content.  

Since our boots hit the ground, we've been busy exploring and on a mad hunt for a rental home. Today, we managed to sneak in story time at a local library and caught a glimpse of local life.  While we've taken in only a small slice of what this city has to offer,  I feel confident that there will be a lot to enjoy.  More to come! 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Home is where the heart is.

As JR and I marched around the living room to Peter Gabriel’s Solsbury Hill, “pack your bags, I’m going to take you hooommmeee” blasted.   James Robert was smiling broadly in the light of our living room, one month away from moving out of the only home he’s ever known.  I saw, in that moment, that this house has given me a new perspective on the word.

I’ve been thinking a lot about home lately, the definition of it and what it means.  Moving will trigger these thoughts. One particularly sleepless night, it dawned on me that in the last 10 years, I’ve claimed 8 addresses.  Many of which I can’t recall their street name or numbers.  However, there are a select few that will likely forever be easily remembered.  

1018 East Thrid Street, my parents house where I prepared for my wedding, and my current address are places that have been home.   The common thread being that these places have been a touchstone, a launch pad for growth and fostered life-long memories.  But it’s more than that.  They all provided the comfort and bone-deep satisfaction of belonging to a space.

Of all the homes I've known, this is the first of which that has had my name listed as owner.  And that in and of itself puts this wonderful house into a special category. 

Fast forward to moving day.  I am typing this while surrounded by boxes.  Paper is being stuffed and wrapped around my memories. 

I have yet to leave, but I’m already nostalgic for 341 Glen Oaks.  I’ll always remember the way I felt when walking inside for the first time.  This place has love in its bones and you could feel it.  The magnolia tree in the front yard was out of my dreams.  The red exterior, the pineapple finials proudly atop the white fence, even the creak of the old floors makes this place feel like it has it’s own character.  I feel lucky to have been a chapter it it’s life as it has been such a rich chapter in my own.

The gallons of paint we put into this place, not to mention the buckets of sweat equity! We put our loving stamp on it’s style, but it’s walls saw us transform in much greater ways.

We became a family in this home.  My baby came home from the hospital through these doors. We forged friendships over countless meals in our kitchen.  We cozied by the fire.  We added patina to the floors with dance parties.  We commemorated great experiences and supported each other through trials.  This has been a place of such tremendous growth.

We have also been flanked by the most generous and wonderful neighbors you could dream of.  How lucky to be taught the ways of Southern hospitality and graciousness by some of the best.  They have become like family.    

How fortunate to be endeared so greatly to a residence.  I, no doubt, will forever be seeking an address that will engender a feeling of such great reverence.  It is with a very heavy heart that I pass along the keys to this place.

While our roots no longer grow here, the gardenia in the back yard will hopefully bloom next year and speak to the gift I was given on my first mother’s day.  It is my hope that our love also adds to the tapestry of this space.  It will be missed dearly. 

If home is where the heart is, a piece of mine will always live here. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Yours to Discover: 2015

It's taunting me.  I've been spotting the Ontario license plate with uncommon frequency. It started while in Hilton Head- they're escaping the snow I rationalized.

But it wasn't until yesterday, in Charlotte, that I pulled up behind another car proclaiming Ontario that I noticed the tag line.  Yours to discover.

They are the words I needed to be reminded of.  As my heart feels the turmoil of packing up the only house my son has known, I was thankful to be reminded (however subtly) of the beauty in discovering a new place.

Yours to discover.  A new year brings this promise every January.  If you're lucky, you have 12 months stretching before you begging to be filled with memories.

This year will be filled with innumerable changes for our family, but like the slogan of our new home, I hope to embrace the discoveries that are ours to be had.

Wishing you and your family a Happy New Year! Here's to a 2015 that is: Yours to Discover.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

One last trip to the beach!

The day after Christmas we packed up and headed to Hilton Head Island, SC.  We were thrilled to take one last trip to the beach before moving and it was wonderful to spend so much quality time with family.

The low country is beautiful at this time of year.

More pictures here