Friday, May 27, 2005

Canadian Vacation

We spent a lovely 5 days in Ontario last week. Below are a few pictures.

It was such a nice, relaxing time! We highly recommend the Fieldstone Farmhouse Bed and Breakfast:

It's a beautiful, quiet setting, only 10 minutes from shopping and plays at Stratford with the best homecooked breakfasts ever! All the ingredients come right from the farm and it's all organic. Yum!

I also highly recommend the Wild Swan Boutique and Spa for wonderful massages! I had a heavenly hour long pregnancy massage there--sigh!

And the nice thing for us Americans is that the $74 massage ends up being only $55 with the exchange rate! (Without the tip of course, which you will want to be generous with because you'll feel so lovely afterward!)

We also spent a couple days with family in Sarnia. We had a great time hanging out with Myron's sister Grace and her family. It was like staying at another relaxing bed and breakfast actually! Thanks, Vermeers!

A lovely shot in St. Mary's, Ontario. Posted by Hello

Front of Fieldstone Farmhouse (we highly recommend this place if you're ever in the Stratford, Ontario area. It was wonderful and the organic breakfasts were delicious!) Posted by Hello

My handsome husband in front of the lovely garden! Posted by Hello

Showing off my 6-month belly in the garden at the bed and breakfast. Finally looking more pregnant and less like I had one too many beers! Posted by Hello

In front of beautiful Fieldstone Farm bed and breakfast near Stratford, Ontario Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Never Grow Old

I spent the evening at what we call here in Grand Rapids "the big mall." We have two others closer to us, but the big mall is just that...much bigger. Plus it has the Old Navy that sells maternity clothes and that was what I was after. I no longer fit into any pants that I owned pre-pregnancy so it was time to break down and get those jeans with the stretchy band around the waist. Thankfully Old Navy's jeans look like regular cool jeans in all other ways. I also got a pair of stretcy waisted khaki capris, two long shirts to cover my popping belly and three pair of granny panties that I will avoid wearing until I absolutely must.

After all that shopping it was time for my favorite treat...Dairy Queen Heath Bar Blizzard. I sat down in the food court to enjoy it and put my feet up. There's a great carousel in the middle of the food court so I sat near it to watch the little kids enjoy their ride.

And then...something very special happened, and I felt like God had placed me there right then to give me a sweet gift.

As the bells rang to signal the start of the carousel ride I realized that the only two people riding were a 50-something couple. They had found horses beside each other and were riding up and down, laughing together, looking at the lights and painted horses with delight, and smiling at the occasional onlooker.

I sat and watched their whole ride, a bigger and bigger smile on my face with every pass they made. What a picture of simple joy and of finding it in unexpected places. As the ride wound down, the lady slipped, a bit awkwardly, from her mount and saw me smiling at her.

From across the way she mouthed the words, "Never grow old."

I gave her an even bigger smile and a thumbs mouth full of ice cream.

Then they walked on, arms around each other, laughing. It was beautiful. I don't think I'll ever forget it.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Strange Childhood Memories

I guess the prospect of having a child of my own has got me thinking about my own childhood. Today my husband and I were remembering the scary health and safety films they showed us in elementary school. He remembered one about the adverse affects of sugar and preservatives. My most vivid memory of this type of thing is watching school bus safety videos in first grade. They would assemble the whole school, first through sixth grades, in the gym and show us these horrifying films in the dark. The only part I really remember about them is the close-ups of some poor 8-year-old's face while he was run over by the school bus--blood streaming from his mouth!

Now, I ask you...what were educators thinking? What a horrible thing to show a kid! I think they stopped showing those soon after the end of the 70s which is when I saw it, thank goodness. At least some things have become a bit kinder and gentler!

It's just strange to think back on weird things that stuck with you from your early days and realize that soon I'll be in on a whole new person's early days. I wonder what weird memories I'll be a part of giving my kid? Agh. I hope I don't screw him/her up too much. At least I don't think he/she will have to watch those school bus safety videos!