Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cleo and Sunday...

The picture of Cleo as promised. :)
Well, life continues down here.
It's pretty busy...
lots to figure out, do and plan.
It is Canadian Thanksgiving next weekend and
I will be God-willing hosting a small dinner party
here in my new home with my DH.
Lots to do to get ready for this;
meal already planned;
now I just have to get everything ready...
It's great to have a social event to plan...
Today was a special birthday of an Ottawa friend...
I am greatful for the internet
in times like these.
It is odd to suddenly have a very new life
and know that everywhere is the same and yet
for me all is very different.
Thanking God that He remains the same...

Icons and Second Sunday Down South

My Orthoman-husband and I were given
many special icons for our wedding.
Today we had them blessed.

The one of St. Phanourios is the one
leaning up in the centre of this photo...
We were married on St. Phanourios' day
and were given this beautiful handwritten from
close friends of ours from Romania...
My dear friend and I both agree that
St. Phanourios is to be one of the
protectors of my husband and I's marriage
and family...
It was very moving to see all of these icons blessed
with their own prayer service after liturgy.
My DH and I are having a smallish prayer stand
built for our prayer corner in our dining room area.
We probably will not get this for another month or so.
Once we have this in place and
our icons up in this corner,
I will be sure to DV post
lots of pictures!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

First meals...

I made a lovely pizza for my husband and I...
with knife that was a gift from my Ukrainian family...

Fresh cheese and
farmer's market mushrooms, kale and tomatoes.
Pepperoni for my DH...

The cheese was really different to grate;
the sauce good but more runny
than I was used to.
One of the gifts I got from IKEA in Ottawa
with the gift card I received
was a large white tray
that these plates are on;
we use it to carry food outside to eat.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Snapshots ~ the view from here

My buffet that I had in Ottawa
I still have in my new location.
We plan on having our wedding crowns above the bed
as is traditional
but for now they are on the tray...

This is one of my favourite parts of my new home.
Huge kitchen window and window ledge.
Candles for lighting in prayer for others.
Roses from my dear Orthohusband.

My main tea cozy, new napkin holder and one of my creamers
with tea spoons.

Little icon of the Theotokos from a dear
Ottawa parishioner on the day
they had a goodbye potluck lunch for me.
New toaster oven a wedding gift from
another family in my church;
I try to remember to say a prayer for them each time I use it...
Spice rack from the Value Village in Langley BC
from my early Orthodox days and late undergrad days...
it's moved with me many times now!

This is a picture of a little of what I see out of my
kitchen window.
My friend T. asked me for this picture and here it is!
My days are full of various activity here.
I am slowly putting things away,
finding places for things,
moving lamps...
Finding new doctors, dentists
making lists of what we need to get
(light bulbs for example)
and going through boxes and drawers.
Stuff of normal life after a move
and joining of two households.
Cleo is adjust well
but does get jealous at times and lets me know
by a simple 'meow' but she has
more room to be in,
a great window ledge in spare room
and more than one person to be with when my DH is home.
I got the cutest picture of her yesterday...
will have to blog this soon.
I am fighting the 'just moved lonelies' a bit
but am talking to old friends and
working on being thankful for all the many
blessings I have been given.
Can't wait to share more of my new home with you as
time goes on!
Thanks again everyone for your love and support!
As always, you are each a real and great blessing in my life!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Remembering my wedding day

Slowly I am seeing pictures of it.
(including the one above,
with our wedding candles
a gift from our male sponsor from
the Greek monastery)
I wanted to write something before
more of my memory of this day
The day was a shining perfect day;
I woke at 4 AM I think
and had lots of time to get ready.
I was at church by about 9:30 and was
greeted by my familiar church family
all dressed up for the wedding
later at 3 pm.
It was Sunday and the sun shining
and it was clear, cool and blue skied.
I had a bag of rose petals and leaves
left over from the flowers and
the photographers came
(they are Orthodox as well)
and we met and I was so happy.
I went inside and the next while I put
rose petals and leaves by the main three icons
we venerate.
Something I have done in the past
for the feast day that I am
writing this post on
the Elevation of the Holy Cross.
I had confession the night before and felt
prepared and able to be at prayer,
which confession often helps one with.
Liturgy was wonderful and
my Orthoman's sponsor and some of his children
were with us in the same pew.
I remember seeing my friend who we
have walked many times to church together
Sunday mornings
in a different pew later in liturgy.
My spiritual father had myself and my Orthoman
come first to communion
as we needed to leave a bit before the end of liturgy.
My Ukrainian mother had food prepared
and made a beautiful table for four of us...
my sister, my Orthoman and one of my dear friends
who had already done my nails
and who did my make up that day
(we had been practicing and buying makeup
at various times in the summer).
We ate and the photographer took pictures on and off...
My hair dresser was a bit late.
My Orthoman went off to hang out with his sponsor and family
while my sister and other friend
hung out with me and helped me get my
Grandma's wedding dress on.
The hairdresser came.
I remember being upstairs at the candle desk and
giving a message to my Orthoman
via his sponsor's daughter
which included
madly in love with my Orthoman
We were both so happy.
Since the hair dresser was late
we did hair and make up at the same time
and many kids from church came down to visit me
as many were in the church hall
(different than the church basement where I was getting ready)
until the wedding.
And so I talked with various girls from our parish
as my hair was done,
dress on and make-up being applied.
My sister-friend and sponsor came
and got her dress on.
My sister was wearing on her wrist
my sister-friend's Cross necklace that I had gotten
from Holy Dormition Monestaries'
gift shop
(I was wearing one from there as well,
a red-jeweled one).
I had golden silk coloured komboskinis for
various of my Orthodox female friends
and gave them out
(except some that I did not see or have time to
give out then)
and so my sister-friend and her sons
played by my feet as we talked and
some of my nieces and nephews
were down by me as well
as well as church kids
and it was so much fun...
And later it was just my hair dresser
a Bulgarian whose Mom goes to my parish
and who I have gone to for 7 years
and my friend who did my makeup.
We were running behind
and my hairdresser quick
put my friend's hair up
in one minute and
so I said goodbye to my
longtime hairdresser
and soon went up stairs with my dear friend
who did my make up
helping me with my train as I went up the steps.
As my family is protestant we had my Dad
walk me into where I would be betrothed towards the back of
the church.
My dear friend held my train
and my Dad slowly processed in
following the
two wonderful kid icon bearers
ring bearer
and two little flower girls
and my sister-friend and my sister.
It was my wedding day!
I saw my Orthoman standing in the front
with our two priests
smiling wide
and I knew the smile on my face was
as big it could ever be.
I remember seeing many of my friends;
I vividly remember seeing a library friend
who came
and my family and all was dazzlingly beautiful
as the choir sang and my Dad brought me in.
The betrothal went beautifully
with my Orthoman's priest doing his ring
and my spiritual father and priest doing my ring.
Our male sponsor put the rings on our fingers at
the end of this part of the service.
Rings on, my spiritual father led
my Orthoman and myself into the church by the
small table that had a beautiful white table cloth
that a very loved parishioner in my church
lent me and had brought to liturgy that morning.
It was an older cloth
that her grown son had been
swaddled in for his baptism;
very precious and dear...
I was holding a small bouquet of roses and a small
white Brides Bible in honour of my Grandmother
who also held a small white Bible in her wedding.
I had a red silken komboskini on my left wrist
and my comfortable red Birkenstock sandals
on my feet.
The Gospel in the liturgy that morning
fittingly enough was about the parable of the
wedding garment and my spiritual father
explained that the guest who had no wedding garment
was lacking in love;
that love is the wedding garment.
The Crowning went all two quickly;
I remember trying to really pray throughout the service;
I and my Orthoman had been to the Greek monastery that past
Monday and the Abbess told me specifically to
pray to Christ during the service.
I remember we both bowed under the Gospel book that
my beloved deacon of my church in Ottawa
was holding for the reading;
I remember my sister-friend's husband standing behind us
reading the Epistle.
I remember looking at my Mother and smiling as
she also was radiantly beaming.
I remember everyone looking so beautiful.
We we hand-tied in a beautiful Ukrainian cloth before
the dance of Isaiah and
were standing on another one in front of the table.
I remember walking carefully by
my Orthoman around that table;
the homily was towards the end
and my spiritual father talked about the Gospel
that is read at all Orthodox weddings
of the marriage at Cana.
I was tired by this time
and two chairs were gotten
for me and my Orthoman to sit
in front of the table and
our sponsors and my sister stayed standing
while my spiritual father spoke to us
beautifully of this parable
being as the Fathers said
a miracle of pure beauty
and how the Mother of God and all the Apostles
were there at the marriage feast
in this parable and so would be also with us.
The whole world seemed to shine in
glorious beauty.
The homily ended and our two priests
blessed us with our two wedding icons that
were hand-written at the Greek monastery
and we processed out holding them
smiling out at all of our friends and family.
The line for greeting everyone was really special.
I was singularly aware of each person I talked to
and was so happy;
my sponsor and friends made sure I had
water to drink and some almonds to eat...
My Orthoman and I went to my favourite tree with
our photographers and we
were both so happy and excited about the pictures...
Afterwards we all went in the photographer's
car to the reception and I called my friends
as I was coming
and my dear friend had my makeup there to
do a quick refresh and we talked to more kids outside and
then we were introduced with everyone cheering and clapping...
I remember vividly seeing the older couple in my parish
who are like the matriarch and patriarch there
and who had blessed me that liturgy and in the receiving line.
(The same of whose white cloth was adorning the
wedding table at the church).
They are both in wavering health and when I realized that
both of them made it to the wedding reception I was
so honoured and pleased
that it was the first thing I wrote down in my wedding journal
We had a large head table and could see everyone there
(family, friends, church family...about 150 people);
after liturgy I was able to invite two people to the reception as
two others were not able to make it
and I loved seeing everyone there;
I remember seeing one of the newly invited
with two other of my dear friends
all three Russian speaking
(from three different countries/areas)
and seeing all my friends at their tables...
I had done the table chart myself as I knew
everyone there and we had a teen table and
it all went really well...
The caters brought the table clothes and votive candles.
My and my Orthoman's familiy
brought the flowers, ballons and white lights.
Our male sponsor brought over the icons,
crowns, candles and tray
and the two Rushnyks.  
My Orthoman and I had prepared some
joke kisses as of course we would be
asked to do this at the wedding reception.
It seems that every one's favourite was the first one
when we handed each other a Hersey kiss.
The meal went wonderfully
and each of our sponsors said a heart-loving honouring toast
and we had cheese cake
and my Orthoman and I cut ours in the front
with our cake knife and server that we
had been gifted with
earlier that summer.
We had a short slide show and
the head table
was seated in a half circle in the front
including my Grandma;
and I was so surprised by the cheering
(I think from the large teen table in the back)
when we had the slide with my Grandma and Grandpa's
wedding picture and I mentioned that I and my
Grandma were there
and that I was wearing her dress.
We remembered our parents and grandparents...
We were married on St. Phanourios' day and
had an icon hand-written in Romania to present at
our wedding to my church
and I presented it to my spiritual father
and one of our beloved parishioners talked to us
while I and then my spiritual father were
holding this icon
about how wonderful St. Phanourios is.
One of my Uncles was especially happy about
the gift of this icon and
I was surprised at how deeply his joy was
shining out of him...
We gave out Dutch little King peppermints and
Queen Willamina peppermints and talked to guests
as they were leaving...
including some of my closest girl friends...
Various kids were talking to me and my Orthoman
and at one point my sister-friend's second child
who is newly three years old
came running up to me and I scooped him
up in my arms...
My Godson
who is not yet 1 years old
was sitting behind the head table and at one point
was sitting on my train that was behind me as I ate...
My spiritual father and his Matuska stayed to about the end
as did my immediate family and deacon's family
and we talked;
happily there was wine left over and my deacon
took some to share at the church meal next weekend
after liturgy
though I would not be there myself
and this made my heart glad...
I wished many from church goodbye
and to some that I would see them on Tuesday
for the liturgy for the beheading of St. John the Forerunner.
My parents drove us newly married to our hotel
and gave love and hugs goodbye...
It was a perfect beautiful day
and it went by so quickly...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Removal of Crowns

My beloved now Orthohusband and I
had the removal of crowns this past Sunday.
It was lovely, beautiful and good.
My new church is very kind and welcoming.
I could not ask for anything more.
But wow, I am really missing my Ottawa and
my church family of 7 years.
This part is really hard.
But my Orthoman is kind and understanding.
My new home is slowly coming together
and I can't wait to show you all pictures of it.
I've found some organic milk,
even organic yogurt,
though it does not compare to what I had in Ottawa;
it's lacking a tartness that Hewitts yogurt has...
My new grocery tags for sale items are on
my key chain and
the little town I live in is small enough
that I mainly understand where I am going.
It helped that I was here a few times before
marrying my beloved.
I had a good talk earlier this week
with a good friend who married her beloved
and moved countries to Ottawa;
she knows how it is to have such a big
change in location
and that is comforting.
She also said that her first church is still
very much home to her
so that was good to hear.
And I am truly happy for
how kind my new church is.
It's just that it is very possible to be
both glad and sad
at once.
Tomorrow I hope to go to liturgy for the elevation of the Cross.
I do thank God for all the many blessings He has given me!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Quebec City

It was such a lovely time.
I hope to do some posts about the museums we saw;
one thing at a time.
Right now we are slowly making steps at
getting our house in order.
It always takes more time than
one wishes it to take...

Friday, September 21, 2012

In my new home

Orthoman and I have been home
for about 2 days now.
Lots to do,
unpacking and finding places for things.
On Sunday we will have the removal of crowns
at my new parish.
It is a beautiful day today and
my beloved and I went to liturgy
for the Nativity of the Theotokos
at my new parish.
We got some beautiful icon gifts that we
just got last night;
a Cross;
a beautiful set of carved round icons and a carved spoon
from Romania
and a lovely hand-written icon of St. Phanourios
from Romania as well...
(we were married on St. Phanourios' day old calendar).
To have such dear gifts from very beloved friends
is a great blessing and comfort
as I get used to my new life
as a wife
down South...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Married and going to my new home

My Orthoman and I got married
Sunday Sept 9, 2012 at 3 pm.
The wedding went wonderfully.
Everything from start to finish went smoothly
with liturgy
getting ready
the betrothal and crowning
the reception.
My Orthoman is now my Orthohusband and I
his Orthowife.
We are just coming back from Quebec City
this morning
after 7 days of resting
picture taking
dining at restaurants, cafes and
seeing about a museum a day.
We have two flights before we are in our new home
together and see my Cleo Cat!
Who our cat sitter assures is fine and happy.
It will be a lot of adjusting
to a new town, church and country.
One of my dearest friends from my Ottawa life
goes back DV to Romania tomorrow.
Everything changes and quickly;
God brings us to where He wants us and there
we must grow
pray and continue to seek repentance.
I've been keeping up on blog reading
but not commenting,
as a honeymoon is only once in one's life.
I can't wait to be home and with familiar things and
see Cleo...
it's great that I am already a bit familar
 with the town I will be living in.
I am DV looking forward to more blogging,
emailing and calling my family and friends.
It is a new life that has opened to us
and we are ready to begin life together in
our new Orthohome.

Friday, September 07, 2012

My family has come

My Mom brought my Grandma's wedding dress
that I am wearing
God willing in two days.
Along with also came the bridesmaids dresses.
And three gifts from friends and family.
I've had insomnia again
but am hoping my head cold is on the way out.
We've got most things done
and lots of family to help.
And my sister and brother-in-law
brought the St. Phanourious icon
that one of my dear Romanian friends arranged for us
to be hand-painted.
We are getting married on St. Phanourious' day
(old calendar).
I ate at the park last night with my
Orthoman's family.
I am so happy to see my family...
Everything is coming together well and I hope to rest
a bit, if not sleep a bit more...

Thursday, September 06, 2012

prayer request

Please pray for my friend who is
expecting her 3rd baby and the baby
seems to have an enlarged kidney and
may need to be born by C-section.
Please remember me also,
my cold is hanging on and I
feel so exhausted. 

Three days

Looking forward to being home.
I still have a head cold.
Stressful last days
Lord have mercy.
3 days to wedding.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

5 Days

Sunday night
Orthoman and I
 had wonderful time with friends.
Monday was wonderful
and peace-giving.
Orthoman, myself and three of my close and dear
girlfriends from church
went to the Greek monastery.
One of our sponsors got our wedding candles
from the monastery and we were given
them yesterday.
They are beautiful beeswax candles
with beautiful ribbons
glass flowers and a small jeweled Cross on each.
We got our wedding icons that the nuns
hand painted for us.
They are so beautiful.
I have a flourishing head cold and
ask our prayers that I get better soon
and that no one else
esp my Orthoman do not get it from me.
Please esp. pray for Noah who is
very ill with a high fever.
God is with us!

Sunday, September 02, 2012

And all changes

Small picture of my gold chair and Cleo.
Now that it is over, 
it is a relief to be out of that apartment. 
It was not always an easy place to live and 
I am glad for what is my new future home.
Yet it was chosen and given as
the place where love would grow...
Gone with it is my gold chair.
It was my Dad's chair, 
we have a picture of him 
holding us kids when we were infants
in it.
Cleo is doing well;
she is tended by a good cat sitter down South
who emailed reassurances to us.
Orthoman is here.
I am so happy he is here.
I am really excited to marry him.
I can't imagine leaving my church.
7 years now.
So many life changing events there.
Leaving my spiritual father
my father confessor
my gentle father
is unfathomable. 
I trust God.
I am so thankful for monasteries.
We go to the Greek one
God willing tomorrow. 
I had a wonderful weekend visit
with my sister-friend.
I am physically exhausted.
My throat hurts.
The move day was hard.
There was no one to help me;
one friend got sick;
I did not get to my other friends house till after midnight.
My church is going to do evening teaching 
on the church again this fall.
These were my favourite.
I can't even begin to describe how special those evenings 
are to me; how I would feel like a girl in my 
father's house,
how the light inside the church would enfold and comfort us.
How it felt like a warm safe refuge from a rough and confusing world.
How the Icons are, what it sounds like,
the vividness of remembering specific prayer services;
Akathists, molebens, teachings, vespers, lityas.
The gold wood floor,
the progression of my churches iconography
and the deepening of beauty.
The choir's strength and song.
Remembering those early years and how we would all
wait in line for confession;
watching younger kids go to confession and 
how loving it all was and is.
I weep and I cry but I am at the same time
comforted by the memory of the early mornings in my new home
that I am making with my Orthoman;
how that kitchen is a refuge with the icons and the lampada to St. George
lit bright and beautifully shining
and my icons to St. Seraphim and St. Katherine. 
I do not know why or how I ever deserved the man I am marrying. 
He is truly the perfect fit for me and 
I can't tell you how wonderful;
it is not describable; 
I am not talking about perfection
but about God's mercy and the paradise of new beginnings.
It is possible to be calm
in deep grief
and yet so much in the beginnings of being in love
and wanting to learn to love
one's beloved.
I can't wait to be with my beloved.
And to be at liturgy with my church and my beloved
is a deep blessing.
The last thing my Grandfather John ever said to me
is that 
prayer is the best thing.

Saturday, September 01, 2012


The move took longer than I had hoped.
I am at my sister-friend's house
and her kids are with me on the couch
and my Godson is with me!!! 
My Orthoman is coming today.
The hope is that as is now planned
the girl will get the twin bed today.
I was determined to try to clean my house
as much as possible.
It was not easy
as I am very tired.
Some of my very good friends kept me
company on the phone.
So I have said goodbye to my little blue apartment.
My life is going towards marriage! 
8 days now.
Thank you for your prayers.