The best sandwich ever

It is seeming to become an almost weekly event, the boy and I going to the Italian Centre on Friday evening for a grocery shop and a snack. The food is so good, and it’s fun to spend some quiet quality time with my boy.

He’s fallen in love with some sandwiches they make there, and whenever we go he tries to load up the cart with as many as he possibly can. Tonight when we were there however, they said (at 4:10) that they stopped making them at 4:00 and they wouldn’t make him one. Weird, because they have made him sandwiches much later in the evening – but whatever.

He stood there sad and stunned for a few minutes and then I said why didn’t he take a photo of the listed ingredients and we could just buy them and he could make his own sandwiches at home. What happened next was quite interesting.

He sent me off to get baguettes and he went to the deli and did all the ordering himself. I checked in once and he brushed me off – I’ve got this mom– so I went and found the vegetable spread that he needed.

When we got home, he spread out his purchases and got to work. He carefully cut the different cheeses he’d purchased, he layered the meats, sprinkled the oil and oregano, and then stuck it in the oven to heat up a little bit. When it was done he cut it into small pieces and let Jenna and I each try a little bit.

It was SO good. He said that while the sandwiches he’d been buying used to be his favourite, they had nothing on this one that he’d just made. He declared it the best sandwich ever.

It was a moment of great happiness watching him create a food masterpiece. Especially since the idea was born out of the disappointment of not getting what he initially wanted – as so many great things are.

It was a great freaking sandwich…


I’ve been training for this 

I took the boy into the Italian Centre this afternoon to get some of what have become our house staples. How did we ever survive without having this as a semi-regular stop?

We were leaving the freezer section where entirely too much time had been spent deciding exactly what kind of gelato was needed when I turned around and Jacob was gone. A quick glance around and I saw him leading a father and his daughter towards the cheese section. I fell in behind them and listened to him telling them about his favourite kinds of cheese (there’s a reason we call him cheese boy). He described in great detail the tastes of several different options and managed to convince them to try his current fave – Oka . They thanked him for his suggestions, grabbed a thing of Oka and Jacob left them to the rest of their shopping.

As we were heading for the till he told me that he’d heard them standing by the deli section trying to decide what kind of cheese they wanted to try for supper. He said I knew I could help them because I’ve been training for this moment my whole life. He’s totally right – he has. The kid takes his cheese seriously.

Watching him be so excited about sharing his knowledge about a food he loves so dearly was my happiness moment.


eating this cake was also a happiness moment…. so good.


Italian Centre and the Village People

The boy and I ended up having a personal wellness day today. He had an appointment with a specialist that was on the other side of town which gifted him the day off of school (it’s a short day Friday), so we decided to take full advantage of it after his appointment.

Because we were fairly close – which means not really close, but we wanted to do it anyway – we headed over to the Italian Centre in the south part of town for lunch. It was crazy busy, but the food makes it so worth it. Because we were at lunch rush time,  there were no tables. As we were standing there trying to figure out what to do, they started putting out places to sit outside. It was 14C and you never know here how much longer the weather is going to hold, so we took full advantage of the opportunity to eat alfresco.

That kid makes me laugh so hard. Like hiccups, tears down my face laughter. Needless to say it was a good lunch. He’s such a strong, gentle soul – I learn so much about the perfect love of God in just spending time with that human.

Me and my sweet tooth…. where do I even begin!

On the way home the YMCA came on and we did some serious car dancing. Well, me more than him – and that was mostly because it started to embarrass him which of course made it more fun for me. But there were glimpses of moments inside his embarrassment where I could see him tapping out the beat and quietly doing the hand movements that go along with the song.

I have so much appreciation and gratitude for the relationship I have with that kid. Lunching and car dancing – happiness moments.

On a different note, I had a conversation with a newer member of my tribe today. She’s dealing with some serious stuff. It’s not really her stuff so much as  that of someone whom she loves dearly. I was so humbled and impressed at how she’s loving and holding him up during his deep grief and troubles. I am so blessed to have so many amazingly strong people in my tribe. If indeed it is true that your vibe attracts your tribe (and I believe it is) I must be on a pretty good vibe because I have awesome people in my tribe.


Tiramisu in the afternoon

I met my cousin today for a spectacularly wonderful lunch at an Italian restaurant in town (for those of you close to Cochrane – it was The Boot). Life is busy, but we are both at a stage where we are very clearly understanding the power and importance of these close friendships, so we make time about once a month to get together for a visit. This was the first one in a while that didn’t seem like it was rushed (or had sick tag along kids involved) and we could really just sit and focus on catching up with each other.

This kind of relationship is special for many reasons. We have known each other our entire lives, we share and understand (as much as one can) our unique family, we have had a genuine friendship since we were babies, and we have both been through some (very different) shit over the past few years that has made us really sit back and reassess our lives. It’s so nice to be able to have a conversation with someone about anything in my life and not have to explain any back story because usually she already knows most of it.

We talked about everything  today – kids, cows, family, relationships, faith, food…

The food was amazing by the way. And the owner comes from the same small town in Italy that my aunt does which made it extra enjoyable.

We laughed, we rolled eyes, we shared stories, we enjoyed our food, we split an awesome tiramisu…. we really enjoyed the warmth and love that comes from a genuine friendship. My happiness moment.


A happy belly and a happier heart. 

 This afternoon my aunt invited my kids along with their cousins over to her place for some Italian cooking lessons. They cooked and had fun all afternoon and then us adults got to go enjoy the spoils. 

I can’t even begin to describe how much I have missed these family get togethers and how grateful I am that they’re part of our regular life experience now. 

Seeing how much fun the kids had and then visiting with some of my favorite people in the world – that was my happiness moment today.  


My little Italian boy 

I had Jacob in at the doctor again today – fortunately this time just for a follow up from the visit last week about his ribs (Lord knows we can’t handle any new issues). As he was sitting on the table he started talking about how he a) wasn’t feeling all that well and b) needed some pizza.

I told him that if he wasn’t feeling well that he shouldn’t be eating pizza.

He responded with “what – do you think Italians don’t go eat pizza for lunch when they’re sick? No they go have pizza and gelato and then go sit by the beach”.

So I quoted that and sent it to the Italian part of the family who completely agreed with him. This led to a lovely discussion in chat with us remembering being sick and cared for as children, and how being a sick adult isn’t the same at all.

On our way home we decided to stop at Mercato’s and have a little pasta therapy. The entire time this kid ate all he could do was groan in pleasure as he described how amazing the food tasted going into his belly. Then he took a picture of the menu so we could go get the ingredients and recreate it at home later.

To truly enjoy your meal and to sit in the moment and appreciate with gratitude not only the food, but the people who prepared it – that’s a real joy.  My happiness moment, sharing a meal with my boy.