The Sweetest Things in Life

Much to my surprise and delight, the sweetest thing about this Halloween weekend for me wasn’t mindlessly consuming a grotesque amount of treat size chocolate bars and candy. This is only partially because I specifically bought chips so I didn’t end up devouring more than my share of chocolate while handing out treats to the ghouls and goblins that came to our door. Now, I have to admit a few of my kid’s treats may have somehow found their way into my belly, but that’s really not the point of this post.

Allow me to explain…

This past weekend was one of only two weekends in October that I didn’t have Yoga Teacher Training, so I was able to spend some much needed quality time with my family. It made me realize how much I’ve missed them during our time apart (absence really does make the heart grow fonder), as well as how enjoyable it can be when we’re together.

Here are a couple of the sweetest and most memorable moments from my Halloween weekend:

I got to go out on an actual adult date night with my husband for the first time in a VERY long while. We enjoyed a nice dinner (which was such a treat sans kids), and took in a movie. I cannot begin to explain how nice it is to do something so simple with the guy I love. Just him and I, hanging out and enjoying each others’ company.

We saw The Intern, with Anne Hathaway and Robert Di Niro, and I was completely taken aback at how Di Niro’s character reminded me of my late (paternal) grandfather. I had never noticed this resemblance before, but once I made the connection that’s all I could think of when I looked at Di Niro. Although the resemblance was striking the similarity went way beyond just physical appearance. Di Niro’s character’s sentimentality was akin to my grandpa’s trademark soft side. As I watched the show I reminisced about this special man, who was known for being quiet, and yet you always knew there was a lot more going on beneath his stoic exterior than what you could see with the eye.
I love you and miss you, Grandpa Albert.

Side-by-side comparison of Di Niro (left) and my Grandpa Albert (right).

Another sweet weekend highlight I’d like to share was seeing the pure joy in both of my kids’ faces after trick or treating with their friends. They were both so very happy, and it wasn’t entirely because they scored a hefty haul of candy (much of which has now been donated to Hearts for the Homeless). It was more so because they were having an absolute blast just being kids, doing fun kid stuff with other kids. And I must say, there’s nothing as wonderfully sweet as seeing your children happy.

As you can see, the sweetest things about my Halloween weekend had very little to do with candy and treats, and everything to do with witnessing the importance of relationships and spending time with the people I love.

My heart is full, and how very sweet that is.

En route to the Big Apple & already missing the apples of my eye

Start spreading the news. I’m leaving to day.
I want to be a part of it. New York, New York.

Alright, alright. I’m happy to leave the crooning to Frank Sinatra. As it should be. I just couldn’t help but use the reference. After all, it is very apropos under the circumstances.

You know when you go months at a time without any dedicated one-on-one time with your significant other? Then, by a strange twist of fate, the stars align, you get a reliable sitter, and you’re finally able to go out on a real adult date with your hunny? Only to be able to spend the entire evening talking about your kids? Ya. That.

Sitting in the lounge at Edmonton International Airport at the start of our first kid-free holiday in quite some time, and I’m already missing my kids. Even though getting through airline check-in, security, and customs was a dream without them in tow. Even though I’m sitting here in blissful, yet eerily quite. I feel like something’s missing.

And something is, because we always have them with us when we travel. It’s what we do. It’s what I know. My daughter was just 11 months old when we took her on an eastern Caribbean cruise. My son was just four months when we traveled as a family to Maui. And as I sit here in this peace and quiet, I am flooded with memories of all the trips we’ve taken together.

Like the time we went to Turks & Caicos… The trip was planned in celebration of our tenth wedding anniversary. We had planned a vow renewal and were very excited to have our kids with us to mark the occasion. Yet, if I had to give the trip a name or title, Trouble in Paradise would barely begin to describe it. My daughter got a black eye by running into a luggage cart before we left Edmonton, she nearly lost one of our passports by putting it into a suitcase moments before it went onto the conveyor belt at Pearson International Airport in Toronto, and we all spent over half the week knocked out by an awful stomach virus. Despite the crappy run of luck (pun intended), what I remember most is having that time together, as a family.

Even though I miss my kids already, I must say I’m very excited to have the opportunity to be going back to New York with my hubby. We visited once before and found the city magical. I think it was in 2003 because I remember going to see the rubble at the World Trade Center site, and it was definitely part of our pre-kid life. We’ve been wanting to go back for quite some time, but never thought it would be a suitable destination for our seven and five-year-old children. With all the sightseeing and walking, it’s a much different type of vacation than what they’re used to.

We’ve intentionally kept our four days in the City that never sleeps fairly unstructured (and we may not sleep for four days, either). If you have recommendations for Broadway shows, restaurant, and must-see sights in NYC, please drop me a line. Not sure how much we’ll be able to squeeze into the next four days before leaving for St. Martin, but we’ll do our best!

After an adventurous cab ride, we’ve made it to our hotel, which is just a couple blocks off of Times Square. More adventure awaits, just outside our doors, and I’m sure we’ll be back in the New York groove in no time. (Ok, that’s my last song reference. For now.)