Monthly Archives: August 2019


We are at the end of a 12 day vacation from work that included a full week with my entire family – my brother Ryan and his family from Abu Dhabi, my ‘other’ brother Ricardo and his family from Colombia, my parents, my kids, our ‘extra’ daughter Jorgi, my uncle and his wife, with a bonus visit from cousin Chris and Scott.  We also had an evening with a handful of ‘kids’ from our highschool graduating class (25 years!!).  It was an action packed time with two months worth of activities packed into 12 days.

This final day off before going back to work my house is empty.  Kids are at mom and dad’s for the week, I dropped Ricardo, Maritza and Gloria at the airport at 4am today, and Kevin is off to work to try to get prepared for the week ahead.  I am thinking about the past days and feeling a bit sad – I really dislike saying goodbye to Ryan and Carmen and the kids, knowing they will be so far away again until Christmas, and saying goodbye to Ricardo is even more difficult as I am not sure when I’ll see him next.  As fall approaches, I know my parents will be heading back to Phoenix for the winter and now that we are back to work, our time with them will be limited as well.

But rather than dwell on the losses, I am thinking about how very lucky we are.  Having everyone together for a full week is something to be grateful for.  I’m not sure if it’s because I’m getting older, or because of the work I do, but I feel more intensely than ever how important and valuable this time is for all of us.  So many memories are created by these family times – Ryan’s first hole in one – witnessed by our parents and Kevin, family dance flash mob choreographed by Avi and Rafi, Gloria’s emotional reaction to the beauty of Lake Louise, climbing sulphur mountain together and experiencing some of the most stunning views, watching Trace organize and implement activities to combat the post dinner coma’s – every single night, so many laughs, a bit of friendly competition, way too much food, and maybe most importantly, just having everyone together.  I think about how Ryan went to Colombia 27 years ago and how that not only changed his life, it changed ours when he asked mom and dad if Ricardo could come live in Canada for a year.  I would have never imagined we’d be here 26 years later with Ricardo, Maritza and Ricardo’s mom Gloria! I think about how Ryan and Carmen have lived away more than they have lived in Canada, but they are still so good at putting family first.  I think about when the twins were born and when my kids were little and we had only our imagination to dream what the future would hold – and now those little froggie twins are almost 12, smart and funny, athletic and kind.  My girls are almost grown up, both of them driving, and my little baby boy is so big.  I think about how my parents have co-parented my kids and how they remain my soft place to land when I need it.

What I know is that the very best times in my life have been when I have been with all of these people at the same time.  Last summer in Colombia, and this summer here are without question the happiest memories.

This year marks 25 years since I graduated from highschool.  Seems impossible.

Despite the busy long weekend, a few of our friends from our grad class were able to get together at our place.  What a treat to spend time with the people we have known since we were children and feel like no time has passed at all.  We don’t see each other often but I was reminded of how much I really like these people.  So great to laugh with old friends who really know where we all came from….  The reminiscing about some of the questionable decisions and activities brought on many laughs (and a little reminder that some of our kids are the same age as we were when we were making those questionable decisions!).

So today, this last day of my summer holiday, I am feeling thankful.  Thankful that I have a family that is close, that enjoys being together, and who literally flies across the world to be together.  I’m thankful that I have friends from childhood who I still love to see, and thankful for all the other friends I’ve made along the way.  Thankful for Ricardo’s parents who so generously shared their son with us, and who have become part of our family as well.  So so much to be grateful for.