Saturday, 29 June 2013


A few weeks ago, on our camping trip to Digby Neck, we came across an amazing, magical little place. In the forest were two old apple trees side by side, their trunks entwined. From their gnarly branches, and from the other trees in the grove, hung hundreds of multicolored hearts with names and dates of individuals who had come before us. There were hearts of all kinds scattered along the ground that had blown off in previous storms, and weathered hearts where the writing was no longer visible.

We were mesmerized as we stood reading all the different inscriptions made by lovers, families and friends. The birds in the forest were singing, adding to the magic, and we were shaded from the warm day by the old branches of the apple tree as we silently read the many names and dates on the various hearts hanging there above us.

When I read the little poem on the apple tree I was reminded how beautiful the love of two people can be, and what it can produce. My husband and I held hands under the apple tree and smiled to one another. We are like the apple trees, two but as one, entwined together our roots running deep. We weather each storm as one, holding on to one another, our love and devotion giving us strength to endure what ever life holds. And as we stood and looked at our amazing children there with us, we truly were able to see what beautiful fruit love brings.

We added our own hearts to the tree, and they now swing in the breeze under the old apple trees. Our names added to the many others before us, who walked beneath the canopy of the forest and paused to reflect on what it means to love and be loved.

The poem on the apple tree

And as we walked away, my son snapped a picture of us. It was of our heart between us, linking us together as one. I love you my hubby, forever and always.

Friday, 28 June 2013


So school is out and suddenly two faces are staring at me as if to say, well, what's the plan? Now, because we are a one income family, the plan doesn't consist of a lot of high priced ideas. We really needed to brain storm and think of ways to have fun, while not spending bucket loads of money in the mean time. We do have a couple of trips planned this summer, one camping in Newfoundland and a week at a cottage, but other than that, our days stretch out before us, unplanned.

So after some discussion about what would keep us all happy and occupied we came up with Geocaching. It's something I have only tried a couple times, and had a blast, and it is something I think my kids are really going to enjoy. It's going to get us out of the house, and in to the woods. It's also going to make us even more familiar with our community and the surrounding areas, and get us exercising as well.

For those of you not familiar with Geocaching,  it is an activity where you use a GPS ( Global Positioning System ) to hide and seek containers called caches. Some of these have prizes, so you take one and replace it with something else, and they will have a notebook that you can sign. It's a really good way of getting outdoors and gives the kids a purpose, instead of just saying hey, lets go for a walk. It's like a treasure hunt, but with coordinates. When you visit the official Geocaching website, you can log in and find all the different caches in your area, or for any area you will be visiting, because Geocaches are found all over the world.

The kids are very excited about it, and so am I. I have ordered my GPS and am looking forward to its arrival next week, and then we can begin our summer journeys. Of course I will be letting you know all about our mishaps and adventures along the way, and if any of you out there enjoy this hobby as well, let me know any tips you may have to help us get started.

So other than that, I think we will be spending time at the lake swimming, going to the beach, tending the veggie garden and hanging around the house. Sounds like a pretty good summer to me. Now if only this rain would let up, we could actually get out there and enjoy some of the things we are planning to do. Hmmm, maybe I should be planning some indoor activities too.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013


So all these years I've driven past them on the road, seen them growing in the marsh, and they are a major inhabitant of my neighbours pond, but I never knew they were edible. The all too common Cattail is apparently a wealth of nourishment and a host of many medicinal properties. When I was on Facebook this morning my favorite Chef, Chef Michael Smith posted a recipe for Cattails. I immediately thought to myself, what? Cattails? Don't they grow in the ditch on the side of the road? So I immediately turned to Google for the answer of course. And what I found was a wealth of information. Not only can you eat them, they provide a year round source of nourishment. I found a website that explains all the different uses for the Incredible Cat Tail and I was blown away by how many different uses it has.

Now am I going to give it a try? I don't know. I wonder what my neighbours will think when they see me in rubber boots, stealing the Cattails out of their pond. Well in all honesty, they probably won't think much, they know me well enough to know I have some pretty wild ideas. But whether or not I will get up the nerve to cook it and try it, I'm not sure.

But what this new little piece of knowledge has done for me, is raised an interest in what different plants are edible in the environment around us. I would love to go through the forest with someone that has knowledge about different plants and how to eat them. It would be so interesting and I would be so excited to find out what different things around me I could utilize. Not just in everyday life, but also in an emergency situation, if one should find themselves lost or stranded in the woods for any period of time.

Once again, nature has surprised me, as it does everyday. I can only imagine what other things are out there just waiting for me to discover.

As for trying the Cattails, if I do get up the nerve to give it a go, you will be the first to know. And if anyone out there has ever tried them, please comment or email me. I would be really curious to find out the best way to eat them, prepare them, and utilize them to the best of their potential. And to my neighbours, if you see someone in your pond, with knee high rubber boots and knife, don't be afraid, its just crazy old me. And don't worry I'll invite you for supper if you dare.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013


How I love the different varieties of flowers that grow around this area, whether they were planted or grow wild, I adore them all. From the Lupins that line the curvy country roadsides, their blue and pink spires nodding in the wind, to the Begonia's in my hanging baskets, flowers bring joy and happiness in to ones life.

When I walk through the garden or in to the forest it always amazes me how nature has a plan. As one type of flower dies off, another grows and blossoms giving us a tremendous display of beauty. It's as if nature is putting on a show. Their many different blossoms provide sweet nectar for the all the creatures that need it, and each plant has a purpose to its place here on earth. Just like people. We all have a purpose here on earth as well. And just as in the plant world, as one dies off another is born.

And for me, I see beauty in the weeds as well. They also blossom,grow flowers and serve a purpose. What some may find a nuisance and pull from the ground, I let them abound, surrounding my yard with beauty. We can take lessons in life from nature. In our world some of us see some people as weeds, and try to remove them from our existence, declaring them a nuisance,  when they only long to have their beauty and worth appreciated as well.


I truly believe that if we, as a society looked to nature, and listened and followed what it has to teach us, our lives would be richer and fuller, and we could live in more harmony than we do today. There will always be bad people, and bad things happening, I'm not that na├»ve, but I do believe that if we took a gentler approach to life, it would be more peaceful and happy, compared to the way a lot of the world is living today. Now I know what you're thinking. I should get out my flowered dress, my sandals, my colored glasses and call it a day. But honestly, if you think about it, this planet creates miracles every day. And nature even has a way of dealing with itself. It creates storms, forest fires and earthquakes to name a few. And as devastating as these things are, when it is all said and done there is a resurgence and regrowth and change that occurs after these events take place.

This planet has had it figured out from the start. We should really take notice and follow its example to the best of our ability. We should stop and listen and watch as nature take its course. The lessons it holds for us, are priceless.


Monday, 24 June 2013


Well the weekend is over and it's back to reality.

I spent the weekend at a SAREX for CASARA. SAREX stands for Search and Rescue Exercise and CASARA is Civil Air Search and Rescue. What an amazing time. I met so many like minded individuals and learned so much about the process of how Search and Rescue works, and how it is co ordinated should a real search occur. I also received some amazing spotter training, and am starting to feel a little more confident should a real search occur.

The great thing about the weekend is that I was able to log a lot of time in the aircraft, and every hour counts towards becoming certified. I love being in the air in a small plane. To me there is nothing better than gazing down below and seeing the beautiful landscapes and scenery whip by. For me, everything in my mind disappears and I can just take in all the beauty that the earth holds for us.

Now there are a lot of people that tell me what I'm doing is dangerous. And yes, they are right, it is somewhat dangerous. Flying 500 ft off the ground in a search holds an element of danger because there isn't a lot of room for recovery should you experience an engine failure. But the thing is, life is dangerous. I mean, no one is getting out alive right?

 And last night something happened that put it all in to perspective for me. We had arrived back home and were eating our supper. It was a lovely meal of Beef Tenderloin, Salad and Sweet Potato. Yummy. As I was eating I inhaled and was suddenly choking. I could barely breathe. And it was scary. My husband was very calm and was able to help me and I got it out and all was ok. But what struck me was that after all that "Dangerous" flying we did all weekend, I came home and choked on a piece of meat, and that could have been the end for me. No dramatic plane crash. Nope, just good old fashioned choking to death. And it really made a big impact on me. We all know life is fatal, and we never know how or when it is going to happen. It could be today, tomorrow, fifty years from now. I really don't know. But what I do know is that I am going to do the things that make me happy and give me personal satisfaction. I'm not going to miss out on life because something holds an element of danger.

Now I'm not saying it's ok to go out and be reckless and take silly chances. That's not what I mean. But I do think we need to be happy as human beings. So if you have always wanted to go skydiving, do it. If you've always wanted to go scuba diving, do it. Find what makes you feel satisfied, what makes you happy, what makes you feel alive, and go for it.  We aren't all the same and we don't all want to go flying or skydive. But the point is, life is so short, it can be erased at any moment, so don't miss out on something you want to do out of fear. Because in the end, all it could be is a little piece of meat that takes you down.

So I'm going to continue to fly. I may even renew my pilot's license again ( don't tell my Mom ) and I'm going to experience all the joy that it brings me. And the best part of it all, is that my husband and best friend shares my passion for flight. We were able to enjoy our time learning together as a couple. And as we flew home yesterday in the back of a Cessna 172, he put his arm around me and I snuggled against his chest as the world passed beneath us. And for a little while all was perfect in my world.

Below are some pictures of our amazing weekend.


Wednesday, 19 June 2013


This morning I am sitting here gazing out the window at the trees, sipping tea, and now writing the blog post for the day. It is so quiet in the house. I don't have any music playing or dishwasher going, or anything that would interrupt the silence. All I hear is my fingers tapping the keys on the keyboard and my dog snoring at my feet. It is a blissful feeling.

Being a stay at home Mom has so many great qualities, and I love it. But it isn't always easy. Sometimes, when my husband leaves in the car to go to work, and my kids hop on the school bus I can feel a little left out. They are living life "out there" and I'm here at home. Everyone comes home at the end of the day full of stories and things that happened that day, and I talk about my garden, my chickens and something funny the dog did. But having been both a working Mom and a Stay at Home parent, I know which one I would choose hands down.

Being home and taking care of my family is a very rewarding experience. I have had many jobs in life that have drained me of energy, taken me away from my family and exhausted me to the core.  I have the utmost respect for any parent out there who works and has a family. There is nothing harder than commuting home after a long day, picking up the kids from daycare, going home exhausted and still having to make a meal, do the laundry, go to ballet, go to soccer, do the homework, and maybe have some time for your husband, before falling in to an exhausted slumber, only to wake up in the middle of the night, with a list a mile long racing through your head of what you need to get done the next day. Did that project get done? Did I sign that permission form for my son? How I am going to fit in that dentist appointment?

I remember one very pivotal moment for me. It was the usual crazy start to the work day. We had rushed out of the house that morning and then had to sit in traffic because there was an accident on the bridge. This of course made us late, so when I arrived at daycare to drop off my daughter, I was rushing. I kept telling my daughter to hurry up, Mommy's late. Why are you being so slow? Now at this daycare they had a little window and your child would stand in it on a little stool before you left and wave and blow kisses to say goodbye. But this day I forgot because I was so rushed. And I know she must have cried. I felt terrible. Later on that same day, I was at work and happened to glance out the window. There I saw walking down the sidewalk in the city, my daughter with her day care class. One teacher in front, the other behind, the line of little ones holding on to the rope that connected them all as they made their way. And my heart broke in to a million pieces all at once. I saw her little face and her little hands clutching the rope and I wanted to be the one holding her hand. I didn't want to forget to wave goodbye in the window. Well as you can imagine I pounded on the window at my work, and sure enough she looked up, saw me, and blew me a kiss. The funny thing is, she was so small, and she still remembers that. She remembers seeing me in the window at work, having no idea that I was falling apart right there.

Now this moment sparked my need for change. It certainly didn't happen right away. In fact it got worse for a couple years. But because I knew we needed to do something different, I put all of my energy in to making that happen. And it did. I really feel with all my heart that if something isn't right or you are unhappy with your situation, you need to do everything in your power to change it. It may not happen right away, and it may seem like it never will, but if you keep focusing and working towards what it is you really want, you will get there.

As for not working anymore? Well sure I miss it. I miss the social aspect of being with my co workers and having my own identity. I miss the rewards that having a job brings, like personal satisfaction and growth, financial gain, and adult conversation. But I have taken some steps in my life to make sure I don't lose all that. I volunteer with seniors and Civil Air Search and Rescue. I've started writing again and I make sure I get out of the house and interact with others and spend time with good friends. But now, when that big yellow bus pulls up to the house, I'm there. Now, when the school calls to say that one of my kids is sick, I can go get them. And now, I'm the one in the window waving goodbye and blowing kisses as they go off to school.

So when they all go off in to the real world, and I'm here at home and I feel that little pang of wanting to go too, I stop and remind myself to appreciate it for everything it is. Because when I feel left out and down,  I just go back to that day and I hold that picture in my heart of my little girl gazing up at me in the window and blowing me a kiss.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013


I am very proud to be Canadian, and with Canada Day coming up in a few weeks I thought it would be appropriate to write something about this great country I call home. I know a lot of my readers reside all around the world and I appreciate so much that you take time to visit me here everyday. So I thought I would tell you a little bit about my country and what I think makes this nation great. In return I would love to hear about where you come from, and what you love about where you make your home.

Canada is a vast land that is unique and diverse. We have mountains, prairies, tundra, the arctic, 3 coasts ( the east, the west, and the arctic ) metropolitan cities and small outposts.There are deserts and places packed with ice and snow. There are green valleys and harsh landscapes. We are a nation filled with lakes and rivers, oceans, bays and inlets. We are made up of 10 provinces and 3 territories and we have a population of approximately 35 million people. In fact there are more people in the state of California alone than the amount of people living in Canada. This is amazing in the fact that Canada is approximately 10 000 000 square km. That is a lot of land! 

When we drove across Canada a few years ago I was struck by how diverse this nation is. Not just geographically, but also amongst our citizens. There are so many different cultures in Canada and our country's multiculturalism is something I love the most. People have settled here from all over the world. There are Europeans, Asian, Indians, Australians and Americans just to name a few. And it's wonderful. We are exposed to different languages, cultures, food and clothing. We live side by side in peace, free to have our own religions, and our own cultures. We all live in a world where war is a reality, freedom is not a guarantee, nor is equality. So to live in a nation where we live together peacefully and in harmony is truly a gift that should not be taken for granted or forgotten.

In Canada we also have 2 national languages. French and English. The province of Quebec is where French is most dominant but there are other provinces that have areas that are predominately French as well. Here in Yarmouth and the surrounding areas there are many Acadian communities where French is still the language of choice. I love it.

I  truly feel very lucky and blessed to live in this country. We are a free nation and a peaceful one. We believe in equality and the right to love whom we choose. Each citizen has the right to an education and healthcare. We are known for our politeness and our willingness to help others in times of need.

Now I'm not saying we are perfect by any means and there are a lot of things we can improve on. But all in all, this is a great country. It is beautiful, it is welcoming and it is my home. I love you Canada, our true north strong and free!

Monday, 17 June 2013


Well, our first camping trip of the season was an amazing success. We packed as much as we could in to the car and headed off to Digby Neck Nova Scotia. Digby Neck is located on the Bay of Fundy side of the province in Nova Scotia, where they experience some of the largest tides in the world. There are two islands that are a part of Digby Neck. Long Island and Brier Island, and they are connected by small car ferries which run every hour. They are cheap at $5.50 return.

So it being Father's Day weekend I anticipated that the campground would be buzzing. There is only one campground on the entire Digby Neck so I assumed we would be in competition for a spot. When we arrived at Whale Cove Campground there wasn't a soul in sight. The owners had left for the weekend but were kind enough to have everything ready should anyone want to spend the night. There was a money box to pay for our stay, a small museum, wood, clean hot showers, and a zip line that occupied the kids for hours. In true Nova Scotia fashion they trusted that all would be well, that we would be honest and pay, and respect the grounds and their home. Now this always shocks me. Not that I'm not honest ( because I am, I even gave them a tip ) but I grew up in a city. I was raised in a place where you bolt lock your doors at night, lock your cars, have alarm systems, never leave anything of value lying around, and basically look over your shoulder when walking at night. So when I see something like this ( and I see it a lot ) I'm always somewhat taken aback. Anyhow, we found a very nice spot to pitch our tent, and only had to share the campground with one other lovely couple from Ontario. It was a wonderful place to camp, and was in close proximity to the ferry, and a lot of the sites we wanted to take in. Our first evening we just toured around the area. We visited Whale Cove, Little River and Sandy Cove to name a few.

After a wonderful night of good food, a campfire and scary stories, we awoke to another beautiful day. I have forgotten how quickly a tent heats up in the morning sun, so early to rise it was for us. We ate breakfast, packed up and headed out on the road for more exploring and fun. We hiked down to Balancing Rock, which is an unusual rock formation in the shape of a column that balances precariously over St Mary's Bay. Well worth the wet feet we got hiking in to see it.

After the lovely hike, we moved on to take the next ferry to Brier Island for a Whale Watching tour. We chose to go out with the Brier Island Whale Watching Tour Company. I liked the idea that you could be indoors if you so choose, have a bathroom, and comfortable seating. The captain of the boat was well experienced having been a Lobster Fisherman ( and still is ) since he was just a little boy, and he was full of knowledge and experience about the surrounding wildlife, marine mammals, birds and the surrounding area. We were treated to a wonderful display from the Humpback Whales, one of which they call Patchwork ( due to his patchwork design on his flukes ) These Whales return to the Bay of Fundy each year to feed and raise their young. They feed all summer long on the rich food sources of the Bay of Fundy before migrating south back down to the Caribbean where they will breed and have their young. We also saw Minke Whales and a variety of Bird Life. A truly life time memorable experience.

Once again Nova Scotia has taken me to another level. The beauty, friendliness and laid back approach of life here has been an elixir to the soul. Seeing the whales, hearing their mighty breath as they blew out as they came to the surface and then to see their enormous bodies slowly arch and then dive back down in to the depths of the sea was awe inspiring.

As the sunset on our beautiful trip and we headed home, I felt blessed to have the opportunity to enjoy all that is around us. There is so much beauty in the world. So much to see and do, it would take many life times to experience it all. But taking the time to do what we can, and enjoy what's out there for us, is truly a priceless gift.

Thursday, 13 June 2013


With Facebook, Social Networking, Blogging and all the other forms of communication we have, our lives are no longer private. We are an invisible audience that has the ability to tap in to each others days and nights, thoughts and opinions. In some ways it can be a wonderful platform. It is easier than ever to band together as one and get the word out on things and passions we feel strongly about. It can also be frightening. It is scary to think that someone somewhere may be watching with ill intent. I try to focus on the positive in every situation, so I try not to think along those lines.

When you are writing a blog, you publicly open your world for others to see. It felt a little strange at first, opening up about my life online. I am generally a pretty private person so this was a little out of the comfort zone for me, but I'm really enjoying being able to write, and share some of the things in my life that make me happy. My home, my husband and children and my pets are what I value most in my life. I treasure the happiness and contentment they bring. But life isn't always easy, and the one thing about our online world is that sometimes it presents a perfect world. Our online persona.

When I look back over my blog and my posts I realize it only represents a certain part of me. It shows the happy world in which I reside. But I want you all to know that life isn't always like that. I just assume no one wants to read about when I'm cranky, or the kids were fighting, or that we discovered the shower drain has been leaking in to the floor for weeks and my first hint was, hmmmm what's that funny smell coming from the bathroom? We all encounter bad stuff. The blah days. The times where the world seems dark and gloomy and the sun hasn't shone in awhile. That's normal. It's not like that a lot of the time, but it is some of the time. And that's important to know. But I am not one to dwell on anything negative, at least not for long, so I choose not to write about those things.

In my life I am one of those people who believe in the age old saying, "When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade!"

I always strive to see the positive in a situation, even though sometimes that can seem an almost impossible task. I do not surround myself with negative people or situations, and I have no problem with changing things up if they aren't working out or making me happy. It's so important in life to look for that silver lining, and to try and approach each individual situation with a positive angle. It is so easy to take the dark path. To let it grab you and draw you in. To see the worst in people, instead of looking for the best. It is easy to let your self have that negative internal dialogue that tells you that you can't, or that you're not pretty enough, or smart enough to accomplish great things. It is easier to accept people's judgements as truth instead of pushing back against it.

In my life I am easily hurt. I don't understand when someone doesn't have my best intentions at heart or aren't happy for me when something good comes along. I am often told I set my expectations too high, and therefore set myself up for disappointment, but isn't life all about setting high expectations? Shouldn't I expect the best for myself? I would rather risk hurt and intense disappointment, than miss out on something that could be so phenomenally great! I've also been told I'm a glutton for punishment. I get hurt and fall down, but then I stand up, shake the dust off and go back for more. I don't let it get the best of me. I don't give up.

I suppose what I'm trying to say with all of this is that no one's life is perfect. When we visit each other in our online worlds, in most cases we are only seeing the best of times, not the worst. We all struggle and toil and face our own demons. Don't compare yourselves to others, but make your life what you want it to be. Don't dwell on what's not right, but embrace what is. When it rains, instead of reveling in its gloom, notice the beauty of the water droplets on the flowers.

When life is dark, look for the light, focus on it and do everything in your power to get to it. Don't let anyone say you can't, especially yourself. On the road of life, try and avoid the potholes. But if you happen to hit one once in awhile, I promise, something good is just around the next corner. You may have to turn down another road to find it, but I assure you, it's there.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013


Well its no secret that I love my dogs. I truly couldn't live in a household without at least one dog, and I am so blessed and happy to have two. My Standard Daschund is my old faithful friend of 14 years. He sleeps most of the time now, and his front legs seem to be having some trouble holding him up. But he still keeps on trucking, and every couple of days he makes his slow trek over to the neighbours house next door for a visit and a treat. They have 3 beautiful dogs of their own, and always welcome Barley with open arms.

My newest addition to the home is our ShihTzu/Biewer that we got for Christmas. He is absolutely adorable. He is my newest friend and he takes this position very seriously. He is always at my feet, or on my lap or waiting in the window for me to return. He is smart, playful and fun and absolutely wonderful with my kids.

What I have found to be of  the utmost importance in raising dogs can be summed up in two words. Time and Love. You need to have the time to be there. Time to train them, teach them, play with them and give them treats for a job well done. If you don't have this time to give, you really shouldn't get a dog. They don't want to be cooped up in a kennel all day while you're at work. It's not in their nature. They need to run and play and frolic and each breed has its own temperament, requirements and personality. If you have the time for your dog, the rewards are endless. The other thing is Love. They love to be loved and will return this to you in double batches. My dogs love me unconditionally and I feel the same way about them. My kids pester me sometimes...they ask me "Mom, if you had to choose between us and the dogs, who would it be? " I always play along with the game and pretend to seriously ponder the question and then I always hug them and tell them of course I would choose them. I hope they believe me!

But truly, my dogs are a part of our family in every way. Our house would be an emptier place without them, and I truly believe the gift of their love is something that carries through in to other facets of our lives. I have seen my daughter have a bad day, and the dog lie it's head in her lap. He knows. Or there is the times when our oldest dog will do a bedside vigil when one of us is sick. They are loyal and kind. Tried and true.  All they want is your time and love in return. And they deserve to have it. Dogs are a person's best friend and I am so happy to say I am their best friend too!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013


So another weekend has flown by too quickly. It was filled with good food, great friends, laughter and Post Tropical Storm Andrea which drenched us on Saturday. Hurricane season runs from June 1st to November here on the East Coast, and they are predicting it to be a busy season this year. We shall see. Saturday's storm brought heavy rain but very little wind, and was here and gone before you knew it. Sunday we were treated with a gloriously sunny and fresh beautiful day. We had good friends down from Halifax over the weekend and we took a drive to Yarmouth for lunch. The dam down the road was running full tilt, and as we drove over the bridge we couldn't resist stopping and taking in the tremendous power of water.

We were also treated to another type of visitor this weekend. The kind with wings. This little guy found his way in to my potting shed in to one of my planter pots. We released it on to the grass but not before getting a few pictures of course. It then flew off in to the wild blue yonder. A very happy butterfly indeed.

We also enjoyed the first swim of summer this past weekend. The sun was hot and the water was warm. The puffy white clouds reflected their beauty in to the dark depths of the lake, and we basked in the sun on the Granite rocks that dotted the shoreline of Greenwood Lake. There is only a few houses on this lake and so, as per usual in Nova Scotia, we had the whole lake to ourselves.

There truly is nothing more relaxing than dipping your toes in the water under a brilliant blue sky and basking in the heat of the beautiful sunshine. The rain that comes freshens and nourishes, and leaves us with an appreciation of the bright and the glorious. I feel so blessed in this life to have great friendships, a husband that enjoys all my crazy adventures and ideas as much as I do, and kids that fill me with so much joy and fulfillment. It truly is a wonderful life.