Our Ring Story

Our Ring

My husband, Devin, and I met in 1993. It seems like eons ago, but at times, it seems like yesterday.

You can read about our first date¬†here: It’s quite a story!

So we officially met in January of 1993, but nothing really came of it until April of the same year. We began officially dating (going steady) on May 17th, 1993. I remember a week later, celebrating Victoria Day with fireworks all around us and we were attached at the lips for the entire time… lol.

We were hanging out in his room one evening, a few months later, probably listening to Guns and Roses or Metallica (his thing, not necessarily mine, but I knew the music fairly well nevertheless). I’m sure he was out of the room when I came across a journal of his, and one of his entries stated, plain as day, “Propose to Denise”. ACK!

Most girls would be excited, ecstatic and thrilled.

I wasn’t.

I was surprised. Extremely shocked. How on earth did he know he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me? We’d only known each other for a few months! It was too soon.

This was serious, not something I could pretend I hadn’t seen. We needed to discuss it. So I asked him about it. “How do you know I’m THE ONE?”

He shrugged, and told me he didn’t know how he knew, he just did. It was a gut feeling.

I was still not convinced. I had no such feeling. I mean, not yet. Sure, that’s the goal when you’re dating someone. You hope that it progresses to the point where you just know and you go out and get married. It’s entirely the whole point of dating: finding that special someone who knows all the good, all the bad, is amused by your quirks and oddities, and loves you to the moon and back anyway.

How come I wasn’t as sure as he was?

The question itself wasn’t popped until about a year later, and by then, I was ready. We knew each other better. We were totally in love with one another.

And one day, he decided to take me ring shopping, to show him the kind of ring I liked.

It was a traditional one-diamond, gold band ring. Simple. Shiny. Beautiful. Full of promise.

I was never a big fan of huge engagement rings… I know some ladies are, but it was never me. I don’t need the bling when I have the love.

And then the big day came.

December 10th, 1995.

We were going for a walk near the escarpment we lived by. We spent a lot of time with friends in that forest area, just hanging out, when there was no where else to hang out.

It was dark outside, and snowing. Oh, the snow was so beautiful.

Humongous, fat flakes fell silently to the ground. There was no breeze, it was just so pretty. It was almost like confetti.

Devin swung around in front of me, and bent to one knee.

Then the waterworks began as I started to cry, realizing what was about to happen. He asked me to be his wife, as I continued to cry, and his knee began to freeze in the snow.


We were married just under two years later, on December 7th, 1997, and have been at each other’s side, ever since. We look forward to renewing our vows in front of all of our friends in two years, celebrating twenty years of marriage.


Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentines Day!

Hello friends!

It’s that kinda lovely, kinda dreaded time of year, where everything is all hearts and flowers and chocolate. Mmm. Chocolate.

If you are like me, you prefer to stay in rather than go out anywhere. Avoid the crowds! Why go out when everyone else seems to be doing the same thing? I think romance shouldn’t be forced, and it should be all year long, rather than just on one day.

When my husband and I were dating, it seemed like a big deal. That was probably because we were so used to NOT having valentines, it was super special for us to have one in each other ūüôā So we used to do the whole dinner and a movie thing, but as the years go by, we do less because jockeying for a table in a crowded restaurant, or trying to find two seats together in a busy movie theatre doesn’t exactly scream “romance”. That’s just us, though. To each, their own!

If you’re staying in this year, or you want to make something sweet for your valentine, I’ve got an easy-peasy recipe for you! We’re whipping up cookies!

This recipe is awesome because it’s minimal ingredients and it’s an easy recipe¬†to alter to suit your tastes!



These are perfect with a cup of coffee spiked with some Bailey’s for a cozy night in!


Enjoy, friends! I hope you have a great day with your loved one(s)!

A Bird! A Plane! Me!

A Bird! A Plane! Me!

You get to choose one superpower. Pick one of these, and explain your choice:

  • the ability to speak and understand any language
  • the ability to travel through time
  • the ability to make any two people agree with each other

This is today’s daily prompt…

If I were being honest,¬†I would say that I think everyone in the world should understand every single language. We usually know when two people speaking another language are talking about us, don’t we? I mean, it’s common sense. If you’re talking about someone, you’re usually looking at the person at different points in the conversation.

I have a pretty diverse work environment, and it would be nice to be able to understand what people of different nationalities are saying. It would reduce confusion, and likely reduce hurt feelings (because let’s face it, we all want to be understood).

My mother told me, growing up, that it was considered rude to speak another language in front of people who don’t speak it. So, if I were to go to France tomorrow, I should be brushing up on my French and making every attempt to speak the language while I’m there. The same is also true of people who come to the Americas. Learn the language. I sometimes find it frustrating that others have not been taught this simple act of politeness.

But if I were to choose a superpower, this wouldn’t be it, because I think it would be more beneficial for EVERYONE to know every language. Who knows? It could reduce violence and war on an international level.

Moving on, have you ever watched the movie, The Time Traveller’s Wife? It stars Rachel McAdams, and Eric Bana (yum). Henry travels through time, at a moment’s notice, with no warning whatsoever. He meets Clare when she is a little girl (because he travels back through time to meet her), and their paths intertwine. I won’t give the rest of the movie away, but if there were no way to control travelling through time, it wouldn’t be as fun as if you had control over it.

You could go back through time and meet relatives, famous poets and artists. You could meet Jesus, if you so chose (wouldn’t that be something!?) You could travel to the future and meet your great, great, great grandchildren. The problem with time travel is what a lot of books and movies show us; if you change one thing, it has a ripple effect and changes the outcome of the future.

Maybe we should just leave time to be linear and not mess with it.

I think, if I got to choose one of those superpowers, it would be to make any two people agree with one another, for the sake of peace.

Peace in my own home when the boys get into an argument. Peace between my teenager and either of his parents (hi!). But beyond that, think of how helpful this superpower would be in every day dealings. Traffic squabbles (is your signal light an option?). Shopping (I was in line next!). Work (less inequity).

But think of this on a grander scale. In politics, debates would be more fair. Laws passed would be agreed on by all parties. It would end wars, because the two sides would agree on everything they were fighting about. There would be no adversity between countries, religious parties, political parties, and it would restore world peace, and we could accomplish a great many things because we would agree on what the important issues were, and how to come to terms with each one.

Yup! That’s the superpower for me!

If you could pick one of those three powers, which one would it be and why?

A Bird, a Plane, You!

January 2016 Roundup

January 2016 Roundup

January was a pretty good month for us as a family, and for myself as a blogger. I am really enjoying the WordPress Daily Prompts, I love the challenge of writing about several topics and relating them to my own life. Here’s a breakdown of what’s been going on here at SMores and Sundresses:

My son, Tyler, shared his story about coming out. If you missed his brave and amazing story, you can catch up here.

I began my journey with 21 Day Fix… it’s been touch and go but I’ve lost a few pounds and I’m pleased with how it’s going. I plan to continue the program over the month of February. Read about my start here.

I shared my celebrity run-in from when I was a teenager… you can check it out here. It’s kind of funny, and it wouldn’t be a teen experience if it wasn’t at least a little awkward!

I wrote about a fun weekend shared with friends, which can be read here, and the music at that party can be checked out here.

I’ve shared the dreams of my husband and I, for our big vow renewal bash in two years, when we will be celebrating our 20th anniversary. Can you smell the pork? Find out here.

I compiled my bucket list! It’s pretty awesome to see it in black and white! I encourage you to write yours down as well! Check mine out by clicking here.

I also started a fan page for Smores & Sundresses to keep my posts separate from my personal Facebook page. Bloggers are welcome as well; I plan to have weekly threads for bloggers to share their top posts of the week, and non-bloggers will have an opportunity to check out some other great reads! Let’s share the love, join here.

I wrote to my younger self in a post, you can check it out here. Writing it was so much fun, the words and sentences just poured from my heart!

I shared my concern for a friend who was diagnosed with cancer. He goes in for a scan tomorrow to check his lymph nodes. He would sincerely appreciate your prayers.

I wrote about my experiences with technology throughout my life… maybe my story isn’t much different from yours?

Lastly, I have set aside some time to return blogger love out to the blogosphere and have retweeted posts from fellow bloggers under the hashtag #sundayblogshare. I love how it feels when someone helps to promote your writing, and I’ve been lucky to have received RTs, so I wanted to promote writing that I’ve personally enjoyed!

I am blessed with some pretty fantastic followers, both blogger friends and personal friends. It warms my heart to have you on board. Thank you!

Bucket List

Bucket List

Today’s topic is the 11th item on our bucket list.

I’ve never actually written it down, but I’ve had some sort of list in my head for a long time. I’ve been lucky enough to accomplish some pretty great things in my short life, and I’m thankful for it. Some of those things are:

To find and spend my life with an amazing guy
Have babies
Buy a house
Be a good wife and mom – this is constantly in progress!

A few other things I would love to do:

Indoor sky-diving in Toronto (I refuse to jump out of a perfectly good plane!)
Travel – I’d love to see Australia, Germany, Italy
Go on a destination vacation
Hold my grandbabies
Write and publish a book
Retire early

I think it’s fair to say that the 11th item is to retire early. I want to travel and create more memories with my husband, when I’m still young enough to enjoy life. I think this list is attainable…

What about you? What’s on your bucket list?

Kick It

It’s My Party!


Today is June 30th, 2018.

We are at a friend’s house in Newcastle, Ontario. TJ, and his wife, Steph, have graciously opened up their home to us to let us celebrate our vow renewal in honour of our 20th wedding anniversary which was actually in December, 2017. We had a winter wedding, so we decided to do our renewal in the summer months.

The weather is warm, sunny, with a smidge of humidity (which is normal for southern Ontario). The breeze takes the edge off. The kids just finished school this week, and Tyler will be heading off to Kingston for a full 8 weeks of cadet camp at the military college. He really, really wanted to be a part of this special day. He wants to give a speech in honour of our day.

The house is in the middle of a farmer’s field, there is literally no one for miles. It’s a big, country house, a sizeable property with a woodshed and fire pit in the back. They’ve recently redone the deck to make it bigger, not at our request, it’s something they wanted to do anyway. Over the fire is a partially cooked pig on a spit, turning slowly and continuing to cook slowly for pork sandwiches later.

The local Hamilton band that my husband and I have known since we began living together in 1994 is starting to trickle in, with their gear and coolers. We consider them to be friends, we make a point to see them whenever we know they’re playing in town. We love their music… they play everything from Sass Jordan to Lynyrd Skynyrd to Greenday and so much in between. We technically grew up with them.

There are many folding lawn chairs placed around the firepit, and the surrounding trees have white Christmas lights hung on them, for when the festivities really get under way later. A few tents have been set up for guests who are staying the night, so they don’t have to drive the distance to get back home.

I busy myself in the kitchen, helping to organize and prepare salads and crockpots full of chicken and beef. Devin’s shucked the corn and is putting them into a clean cooler. Later, he’ll pour boiling water into it, and the corn will cook itself. Buns are stockpiled for sandwiches as the buffet is starting to come together.

The pastor who married us, Todd, joins the crowd in the backyard, sees Devin and I, and immediately heads over to catch up. He will be saying a few words for us, to us, about us. It’s his first vow renewal. We’re the only couple he’s married who are still together. This makes us proud… I think it makes Todd even more proud.

Portable washrooms have been set up along the side of the yard so that we can cut down on traffic in the house. We’re not sure who is more pumped about this; us or TJ. This party has been in the making for two years, but Devin and I have been talking about it for much longer.

I can hear the band doing their sound checks, as more people join us with coolers and chairs in hand. A couple of people, who are what I lovingly call, 5-star campers, will be heading into town to stay the night at a local hotel. I’m just thrilled that they could come out for this.

My friend Beth-Anne is busy arranging and organizing, insisting that I sit and relax, but I can’t. I feel bad. Friends of ours shouldn’t be doing all of the work… especially since the entire thing was our idea. The thing I love about Beth-Anne is that she thinks about all of the tiny, little details that I never even thought of, but it justs adds to the specialness of the day. She is amazing, and I am so glad I asked her to be a part of this. She is literally my right-hand lady.

The band is now all set up, and they are making their rounds, meeting friends and family. Country music is playing in the background and the roasted pig is smelling amazing. I cannot wait to eat.. I’ve been so nervous all morning, I didn’t eat a lot… and snacking on veggies here and there has done nothing to tame this hunger!

I take a seat, half-listening to the conversation going on around me, but not directed at me. I see TJ and Devin over at the woodshed, as TJ shows Devin the gigantic pile of firewood he’s been storing for the evening… and then promptly drags out three skids from behind the shed. I think we’ll be lighting up the entire field.

For years, we’ve talked about this. This is the only way we wanted to celebrate. Our closest family and friends, good food, guitars and our favourite band playing as we dance the night away. I finally let my breath out and relax. It’s all about enjoying it now… with the love of my life.

Here’s to another 20 years!

It’s My Party

Hello. It’s me.


Just popping in to give some words of wisdom to my younger self.

Hello self. You’re 18 years old, and you just met this boy at a friend’s birthday party. His cousin set you two up for a slow dance at the party. Awkward. But he’s kind of cute. Looks like a bit of a badass. Trouble, more than likely. But those brown eyes you’re afraid to stare directly into, because you don’t want him seeing your soul… they have already sealed your fate.

Next month, you’re going to bump into him again. At the same friend’s boyfriend’s birthday party. He’s going to act like an idiot by shoving two balloons down his shirt and pulling a Sears pose. You will not dance with him that night… you’ll shake your head and wonder what made you feel attraction last time you saw him.

Then you’ll discover he lives in your survey… the end unit next to where the high school bus picks you up. And you will get butterflies in your tummy every time you walk by the place. You’re convinced you will bump into him along this walk to the bus stop, and even though it will never happen, you’re not prepared for it anyway.

You won’t see him again. You won’t put a lot of thought into it, and you certainly aren’t worried. You aren’t looking for a boyfriend… but you’ll find yourself with one anyway. A guy from high school, who is a little on the chunky side, but you’re attracted anyway and he reeks of cigarettes. You won’t smoke. But he has a car, and he takes you out. It will (rightfully so)¬†make you nervous when his mom tells him, quite loudly, to keep his bedroom door open. It won’t be¬†long before you discover what he’s all about, and it won’t be¬†enough for you. You will want the WHOLE package. You will¬†want a friend in addition to all of that. I’m so glad you have that wisdom back then.

Later on, in April, and his name¬†will¬†pop¬†up again. What¬†will it MEAN? Is it destiny? I mean, you’ve barely thought about him in three months. The “boyfriend”¬†will then be¬†an ex, he¬†will have lost interest as soon as it becomes clear you’re not that kind of girl. You won’t be heartbroken, at all. Your¬†friend will encourage a trip to the mall for the three of you, because you know, a girl needs backup! It will be¬†a fun trip. There will be a lot of flirting, and those brown eyes… he definitely seems interested, but you’ll still want to test the waters. You’ll end the day by inviting him to your high school dance at the end of the month, which, ironically, will be the day you’ll go into labour with your first son, just seven years from now.

The evening of the dance, he¬†will have¬†wowed you already… he’ll give¬†you a rose when he shows up at your house. Who does that anymore? He will¬†meet your parents, and you¬†will be¬†on your way. You’ll find your friends, make all the introductions. He will suggest¬†you could possibly¬†get a buzz from smoking consecutive cigarettes, quickly.¬†Maybe he will¬†have forgotten you’re new at smoking, you only started the previous week. Oh honey… it’s embarrassing. I wish we could just wipe out that part of the night, but maybe it happens for a reason. You’ll pass out, in front of everyone, and end up at the hospital. Your friend will go¬†with you, instead of him (he will never let you live this down, be forewarned), and you will have no concept of time… or location. Next thing you know, your dad¬†will show¬†up. He’ll definitely be¬†worried, but he’ll be pretty quiet. He’ll make¬†small talk, while nurses come and go to check things. And then you’ll spot him, in the doorway. He will be there. Out of concern. Out of thoughtfulness. Out of worry. In your disbelief, you’ll hold out your arms to him for a hug, and your dad¬†will quietly leave the room. You can’t know this yet, but this boy is now not going anywhere.

This is just the beginning, and there is so much more to say. So much I wish I could warn you about. I wish I could tell you not to sweat the small stuff. You don’t know it at this point, because everyone is so nice to the “new girlfriend”, there¬†will be¬†some people who will never fully accept you. You could spend the rest of your life wishing things were different, but don’t. It won’t matter, because it will never happen.

You won’t need their acceptance anyway. Ever. You’ve become¬†an amazing woman. You’re talented in so many ways, witty and smart… not to mention, you’re funny as hell to talk to. You always seem to have that one little comment that causes the crowd to laugh. You’re a terrific¬†mother, no matter how many tears you’ll¬†spill while telling yourself you’re a failure. Your mom skills will constantly be tested; just wait until your first son turns 15… honey, that won’t be easy, but you will manage beautifully, and he will be a better person based on your reaction. Your family has so much love surrounding it… and while it’s not always going to be¬†peachy, at the end of the day, your kids will understand why you and your husband have done things the way you have.

Most of all, in the future, you’re a terrific wife. You would¬†move mountains for your husband… and you try to, on a daily basis. You provide him with a warm, clean home, and good meals. You¬†two are still crazy about each other in every way, even when you’ve been married for close to 20 years. You still miss each other’s presence when you’re at work, and you thoroughly love to be together. Good friends will remind you of what a great thing it is that you have together, while others would secretly love to see it torn apart. Ignore the latter. Don’t let anyone or anything¬†bring you or your marriage down. You have a good thing, and best of all, you get to stare into those beautiful, brown eyes anytime you like. They know your soul, inside and out, and they still love you.

This post is dedicated to my amazing husband, Devin. I love our story and could tell it until the end of time. I love you so much and I’m thankful you are with me on this journey. ‚̧

If I Could Turn Back Time