March 17, 2013 § 1 Comment
On Wednesday, I flew to Toronto to visit my family and friends!
My first stop was my parents’ cottage on Burnt River in Fenelon Falls.
It’s always nice to start my visit here, with just my parents. We eat and talk and go about our usual business and I pretend I live there for a few days.
It was pretty cold and snowed every day, but Mom and I still went out for ice cream. Kawartha Lakes is known for its dairy, you know.
On Friday, everyone met at my sister’s house in Oshawa, including Nick who flew in that morning, my grandparents, and my brother & his wife. Ben and Jillian were excited to show off their new pet guinea pigs…
…and Ben was in love with his new bamboo plant (for some reason).
Ben, who once had a speech delay, has become unbelievably chatty and keeps his poor sister awake all night. She actually left everyone to have a nap by herself in the middle of the afternoon.
He could pass for my child, no?
Nick and I spent the night at the Martin’s. Have I mentioned that the kids love Uncle Nick?
They really do.
That afternoon, to make the final stop in my Canadian tour, we took the train into Toronto. I was so happy to spend that evening with 8 of my favourite Torontonians! We had a quintuple date at The Emerson. Great call for a place to have dinner, Julia! We sat at a giant table in the front of the restaurant like it was made just for us and ate some delicious food.
I love these guys so much; it’s always such a tease to see them for just one night. I love that they’re always there when I’m in town though, even though I’d like to just steal them all to live in New York with me. Another cottage weekend this summer, ladies? Gowns!!!
February 7, 2013 § Leave a Comment
It was a year ago today that my sister Jennifer gave birth to my nephew Everett. Sadly, he didn’t make it into this world alive.
Though the emotional toll it’s taken on my family and most of all, Jenn, has been rough, it’s inspiring to see how she’s handled the speed bump that plopped down into the middle of her life’s path. Jenn and I have always gotten along well, despite being very different people, I’ve always admired her, but I never knew how tough she could be. The way she and her husband, Ryan, have handled sharing their loss with friends and family is admirable. The way they’ve communicated to their son and daughter is just incredible. Jenn has never shied away from talking about what happened to her and as a result, Ben and Jillian, who are just five and three years old, talk about their brother often and fondly. Today, they celebrated Everett’s first “Angel Day” with cupcakes and by writing letters to him in heaven. What better way to celebrate a special life that’s impacted so many people, even though we’ve never met him?
I’ll be thinking about the Martins all day today and hope you will too.
January 14, 2013 § Leave a Comment
When I moved to New York, I gave my parents about five boxes to store. Those boxes included irreplaceable things that I didn’t feel comfortable shipping to myself, including my collection of photo albums from the pre-digital camera days. I wouldn’t look at those old photos too often when I had them, but thinking about something happening to the only physical copies of these memories gave me so much anxiety! So this Christmas, while I was visiting my parents, I managed to scan about 300 old photos.
It’s so funny to see how I’ve changed throughout the years…
December 27, 2012 § 1 Comment
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a visit to Canada to see my family. Nick and I flew up very early, a 7:45 am flight, on Saturday and headed to my parents’ place in Fenelon Falls.
We spent the first two days of our Christmas visit in the woods, on the river, which was lovely and quiet. It was great to catch up with my parents, just the four of us. On Sunday, I scanned about 300 photos from my old photo albums that are still being stored in their garage (stay tuned for a post from that later!) and that night, we went out for a really nice dinner at Pane Vino in Lindsay.
On Monday, we all drove down to Oshawa for the Christmas celebrations with the rest of my family at the Martin’s house.
I hadn’t seen Ryan and Suzanne since May!
And it was so good to see my cute little niece and nephew.
We all hung out, eating and drinking and talking until it was time to eat. Lucky for Jenn, my Mom still makes the turkey even when dinner isn’t at her house.
For the past couple years, my family has celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve, which means eating our big turkey dinner and exchanging presents that night.
Ben and Jillian got their first Alfie toy this year and they fell in love with him.
When it was time for bed, Ben was so sad that Alfie had to go back to the North Pole that he kept getting choked up, telling us it “pulled on his heartstrings” that he had to leave until next Christmas.
He’s pretty much the sweetest little boy there ever was.
On Christmas morning, the kids actually slept in until almost 8:00!
Ben was thrilled to get a Polar Express train and Jillian was so happy just to get her “baby seal named Pearl” from Santa.
That day, we relaxed, visited, and ate even more.
I love my family!
I hope you all had a great Christmas too!
November 11, 2012 § 1 Comment
This weekend, for the first time since Nick and I were married, my parents came to visit us in Brooklyn!
And although they’ve come to visit us three times now, this was the first time they were able to be here with no agenda, no plans, and not have to even venture into Manhattan. It was so nice to show them our neighbourhood and give them an idea of how we live here.
They arrived Friday evening, so we made dinner at home and hung out on the couch, drinking a bottle of wine from my favourite neighbourhood wine shop, just talking. On Saturday, after a bagel breakfast, we walked to Williamsburg and had lunch at Smorgasburg. I took my Mom to Dalaga (my favourite!) where she got to buy a cute sweater and scarf. We had a tasty dinner at Habitat and spent another night in, chatting on our comfy couch that has convinced them they need a sectional for their cottage ;)
This morning, we had brunch at Brooklyn Label and walked around Greenpoint, then to McCarren Park and back. It was such a beautiful, warm Fall day!
Since I got my sense of humour from them, I knew they’d appreciate our “Live Chicken Laughter” sign.
They should be landing back home in Toronto right about now. Thanks for coming to visit, Mom & Dad! We hope you liked Greenpoint and that you come back again real soon.
October 4, 2012 § Leave a Comment
I mean, how great is happiness? It’s really a simple emotion, if you think about it. That’s why I’m really interested in this new documentary, Happy. Everyone has the right to be happy, even though happiness comes easier for some than others. Some expect to be happy all of the time, where others argue if you weren’t miserable sometimes, how could you know when you were happy?
All of this reminds me of the speech my Dad gave when Nick and I were married:
“Christina is always happy… or at least working towards it given the circumstance. For several years in her mid-teens, she actually hummed cheerily non-stop during meals. Happy hums.”
I hope you all have a very happy Thursday.
September 27, 2012 § 2 Comments
I am a firm believer that you can never have too many photographs.
Whether you take photos of your family…
…Exciting moments in someone else’s life…
…Even when you’re riding a double decker bus in London and your husband thinks it’s time to stop taking photos, it probably isn’t.
Because someday you’re going to look back on these photos and be so glad you took the time to take them.
Tell me, what do you take photos of and do you take them often?
Also, I’m becoming an Instagram addict. Find me there: “christinastorch”.
July 24, 2012 § 2 Comments
A big reason to write and mail real letters is to keep in touch and share photos with your little niece and nephew in Canada. If you’re lucky like me, you’ll get a video back.
May 21, 2012 § 3 Comments
March 19, 2012 § 3 Comments
I flew up to Toronto on Wednesday to spend 5 days with some of my favourite Canadians!
For the first time since I moved to New York, I stayed with my sister for the majority of my visit. I was happy to get in so much time with her and her adorable family. I was reminded how much work it is – and how exhausting it is – to take care of two tiny ones all day long for three days straight. Oh, and did I mention they have a seven week-old puppy?
I mean, geez. How could I have missed Biscuit the puppy’s cutest month? I couldn’t. It was great timing for feet-biting cuteness.
Wednesday night, we had a bit of a party at the Martins’ in Oshawa. My parents and brother Ryan and his wife Suzanne came over for dinner…
…We had birthday cupcakes for Mom…
…and we played in the park afterwards.
Look at Jillian’s hilarious little face and firey hair. You need to zoom in on this one – she’s having the best time!
It was so nice to get to see so much of Jenn. I love spending time with the kids, but my favourite parts of the visit were at night when they’d be in bed and we’d drink wine and talk. She’s so strong and is such an amazing mom. For those who have been asking, she’s doing much better than you’d ever think after the worst thing happened last month.
After spending a “girls’ night” with Jenn and my Mom at the cottage on Friday night, I said goodbye to family and took the train into Toronto for the weekend. I stayed at Julia and Jay’s place, but since they were at a wedding Saturday night, I spent the evening (and night and early morning) with two of my favourites, Sarah and Karen.
We went to Woodlot, a tasty and extremely popular new Toronto restaurant, and then a few bars on Dundas Street. Guest appearances by Rob Blyth, Tami Noa Levy, and Stephen Bowles happened then we ended up at Sarah Townson’s house for St. Patrick’s festivities with Amy, Emillie, Damian, and Bettie! I stayed out way past my bedtime, but it was so nice to see everyone! Don’t you love it when you don’t have to sit and catch up, instead you embrace the moment and laugh and joke like old times? I sure do.
Toronto, you are the best. Please never change so I can come back every few months and love you again!
Now what you really came for… OBLIGATORY PUPPY PHOTOS!