Category Archives: Well Lived

we return to familiarity.

A simple calmness. A relished feeling of enjoying our space together, a space that I put much heart and soul into creating. A simple calmness is all I wanted. When much of our days are spent in stressful situations; traffic, work, expectations and obligations I wanted our home to be a place that felt calm and peaceful. Where we unwind and dine.

And so it became clear to be that after we toured Europe and traveled a bit of Africa that we would settle back into our first home together. We knew we couldn’t make Vancouver feel like Europe so I set off to making sure it represented both. As the fall evenings became darker and darker, each day I would light candles and dim the lights as much as possible to create a relaxing atmosphere. He would come in at the end of his work day and find me curled under a beige throw and a book in my lap, and say “Honey, I’m home” in that sweet mocking way of his and also say “I love our home” as he knew it would fill my heart with warmth. As he took off his winter coat and dress shoes I would continue to read the last few paragraphs on the page I started and then we’d tuck ourselves into our tiny kitchen to prepare a meal together. Roasted seasonal vegetables in garlic, parmesan and sprinkles of salt and pepper become our favorite way to enjoy our fresh produce. We pair our meat intake down and decide to just enjoy the best cuts of meat once in awhile, which usually is a lamb from a local butcher. And late in the evenings, instead of enjoying another glass of wine like we did in Europe, we boil a pot of tea and anxiously wait for the click of the kettle then smell each fresh loose leaf tea before picking a fragrant rooibos tea filled with floral and citrus scents.

Much has changed since the last time we lived in our flat. We’ve traveled the world, we’ve seen things and enjoyed experiences we never would have imagined. But one thing remains, no matter where we are, we love being home, together.

and then we moved.

In the course of when June gave way to July we ran our fingers over every inch of our apartment emptying cupboards, selling furniture, and packing boxes with the few possessions that we travel around the world with. In the evenings we’d meet up with friends and hug them saying we’d see them again, but mostly we’d pour a bottle of wine between the two of us and reflect on the time we had living in Europe. We’d sit across from each other, with me wrapped in a blanket to keep me warm in the summer evening, and say ” Remember when, or remember that time when we…” Over and over we’d bring up precious memories of travels, experiences, or moments that are now apart of a beautiful season of living abroad.

And then the time came where we sold the last of our furniture and we spent the last remaning days having picnics on our living room floor instead of a dinning room table, sent our belongings on a container headed for our next home, and then handed over the keys and walked hand in hand with a few suitcases trailing behind us.

in which we remembered.

We wandered hand in hand down the cobble stone lanes, passing by now familiar shops and homes, soaking up every brick and canal we saw. We stood in front of the town cathedral and declared it the most beautiful cathedral we have ever seen, in all the world. We stopped to share a chilled latte at my favourite cafe on the hot summer day, then continued to people watch as they went about their morning routine at the market.

We remembered the excitement of setting up our new home, of creating new routines filled with him and I, and all the amazing places we’ve traveled to. As we walked away from our cobble stone lane, I held back tears and squeezed his hand, thinking this is the most beautiful life we could ever live.

Thank you, Chris, for documenting us in the city we called home.

sunday mornings.

A ritual that slowly started before we left Vancouver has become an anticipated activity once we moved to Europe and found a routine. Sunday morning; the morning reserved for lingering in bed for as long as possible. When the first light creeps through our curtains and stirs us awake I usually feel him move first, in which he turns and notices me there, eyes closed. I feel him reach across the bed towards me and finds my bare back. His fingers trail along the outline of my body before it rests along the outside of my thigh. At this point he pulls me closer to him so that my back is pressed tightly against his chest. We lay there for some time just enjoying the quiet of the morning and listening to the other breathe. We can stay in this place for hours and love the feeling of our skin against each other under our duvet.

When we start to get hungry we slip into the shower where water is mixed with soap and our bodies. Again we linger in our small shower where the steam fills the bathroom that we can hardly see past the glass door. Eventually we tumble out and wrap ourselves in white cotton towels, the smell of fresh linen engulfs us. While I continue to get ready he enters our kitchen to begin preparing our breakfast. After I’ve adorned myself with comfortable yet stylish clothing I put on our favourite Sunday morning music – soft French ballads. The sounds drift from the speakers and surround our home while we work together in our large kitchen.

Sunday morning breakfast is usually filled with steaming foaming lattes, warm buttery croissants, and a soft boiled egg. We chat easily over our breakfast and flirt by teasing each other before reaching out across our white table to hold the other’s hands. Something about lingering in our white sheets, enjoying a long hot shower together, preparing a simple yet healthy breakfast, and having the French language fill our home makes us long for each Sunday morning.

african sun and the south of france.

As the the week drew to a close we curled up onto the couch together in a sleepy state. Slowly we went from seated positions to having our feet and legs entwined, then my back pressed up against his chest, his arm gently lying in the space where my hip and waist meet, and finally we folded completely into each other to lay side by side so his lips grazed against my ear when he talked. In almost half whispers we chatted of all the adventures we have been on in the past year and planned upcoming tours to places we were dying to see. Nordic sceneries, the African sun, cliffs of Ireland, the rolling hills of Tuscany, the Mediterranean meeting the South of France, and many places in between. Even though our eyelids were heavy from having worked the week away, we talked of all the places we wanted to see, perhaps even live. And then, when we couldn’t keep our eyes open any longer, sleep found us wrapped together as one on the couch.