Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lent Day 3

Hair cut and conversation with hair dresser.
Trying not to melt down at realizing that
to get my hair (and makeup) done before liturgy and
then the Crowning
I will have to be at church by 8 AM at the latest.
I am guessing I will be up by 5 AM to do prayers
and everything.
By then the plan is to have Cleo and my belongings
moved down South to the
East Coast apartment where
Orthoman and I will make our first home.
I am not even sure what house/home I will wake
up in on my wedding day.
(though I already have two ideas in mind :) ).
I have made a two grocery list pages for
the Months of
and what needs to be accomplished in what month.
This includes two week long visits
to Michigan before August
Two or three visits to the East Coast
with the move happening in August.
Now I need to call the cater and see
about pricing...
I start my new work next week Monday at 9 AM.
Lord have mercy.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Field Notes - Lent Day 2

Cloudy here in Ottawa.
Lots of white snow on the ground.
Called the Ukrainian Church hall to
reserve the reception hall.
Have names of a few caters.
Today is a cleaning day.
Also hair cut
and discussing the possibility of my
hair dresser doing my hair for the wedding.
As I start work full time for 1 month
then have Holy Week and Pascha
and by May will be traveling 1 or 2 places
per month
I am glad to be getting some of this work done now.
The last thing I would want to happen is
to wait to reserve a church hall for the reception
(my own church's hall is too small)
and find that someone else had taken it.
Later this week I find out if the simple
more informal reception in Michigan
(we are doing more than 1 event due to family
and church family being spread out)
will work the venue hoped for.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Field Notes - Lent Day 1

Lent day 1
Canon of St. Andrew Part 1
Orthoman has agreed that
we can have a more Ukrainian meal for the
I love perogies.
Orthoman said because he loved me
I can have the meal I desire.
I agreed that we can have cheesecake
for dessert.
You know it is lent when one already begins
dreaming about cheesecake.
Seriously though,
I can see that one of the biggest struggles
is that so many things are a distraction to us
from having a spiritual life,
from prayer.
Lord help us and have mercy!

Changes and hoped for continuity

Saturday after vespers
I talked with some of the beloved
and fast growing kids/teens of my
Ottawa parish.
About my last trip down South
to the States to be with
About Orthoman's plans to come
in two weeks;
About Orthoman's very meaningful
decision to come to Ottawa this year
for Pascha to share it with me;
About the cookies I made last year for
Pascha that these kids remember
very well.
It is things like this that I hope to figure out
how to continue;
the Holy Supper for Christmas Eve;
A fish dinner for Annunciation;
Pascha baking and Pascha cookies for
and hopefully a Pascha Bright Week dinner...
I can't imagine what it will be like
in a year's time,
and logistics will be a bit more of a challenge
as Orthoman and I will live about an
hour's drive from church
(which on the East Coast is not considered
all that abnormal);
flexibility, ingenuity and brainstorming
will all be needed to
have some continuity for the
festal celebrations,
along with changes, new things and merged
small home-based traditions...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hours before Great Lent

Orthoman gave me this
back in January.
I shared it with friends at coffee hour
today at church
and joked about that we
needed to eat the chocolate before
forgiveness vespers
(which we had a few hours early
so we did not have to return to church 1-2 hours
after our liturgy and church meal)
as it had milk in it.
Really, it was a liturgical necessity. :)
Thanks to Orthoman,
many of us enjoyed a piece of this chocolate.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Our First Lent

My last lent in Ottawa.
I had been with Orthoman for two weeks this month
and last week was sick
so it was about a month since I was last at my church.
Confession with my spiritual father
tonight at the Eve of Lent.
Tonight I must admit I cried because
Lent is my favourite season
as it means lots of church family
and it is my last Lent here as I
will be leaving
my church family and spiritual father
to marry Orthoman.
But the vision of what I feel called to
in marrying Orthoman is beautiful and I know that God
will not leave me.
But the grief of leaving my home
is just as real as the joy of being given my
beloved Orthoman
whose love continues
to flower before my very eyes.


Just a note about timing
for clarification.
Because my very wonderful sister
Rebecca and my cool bro-in-law Mark
who live in Romania
hope to come to the wedding
and are doing summer camps for most of the summer
the wedding itself will not be until after
the old calendar Dormition Fast
which ends towards the very end of August.
More on that later.
With needing to do proper marriage preparation
and prepare for the move itself
and do the actual move
(I am hoping to move and do the initial set up of
my things before the wedding
since we have the apartment already)
time will go very quickly.
Of course I ask your prayers
for Orthoman and myself.

Who I am going sailing with

As my blog community is slowly
commenting and emailing me
(thank you!)
and realizing that I just announced a
life-altering change in my life
I thought I would give you a little bit of
background to the Orthoman I have been given.
First, I was introduced to him
through a trusted Orthodox friend
who has known him for many many years.
He an active member of a lovely Orthodox Parish.
We are from similar Christian backgrounds
and our families actually know a few
people in common with each other.
Our families are both very
supportive of us as a couple and
so are our close friends
and spiritual fathers.
He is faithful, smart, honourable and
has uncanny similarities to me,
including a very similar sense of humour.
The picture above is a
Dutch Delft Christmas Tree ornament
that my Mom has.
My parents have met my Orthoman
as have pretty much all of my relatives
and not only do they like him
but one of my Aunts told me
make it work, make it work
and another Aunt asked
if she was invited to the wedding.
One of my cousin's kids gave Orthoman
her teddy bear to babysit while
she went off to play.
My close sister-friend's children
love my Orthoman
and played games and read stories with him.
Another dear couple who are also
some of my closest friends
enjoyed hosting him the first time he visited
and had a lot of similar theological
and intellectual interests.
The Orthoman and I have been to Michigan
together and spent a day at my
beloved Michigan monastery.
And he comes again to Ottawa
in about 2 weeks time
not that I am counting the days or anything :)

Friday, February 24, 2012


One of the last days to eat cheesecake
before Lent.
I can't wait to eat it again with
my beloved Orthoman.
I really miss him.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Icons for the Voyage

This is Orthoman and I's first icon corner.
It's in our apartment
(well, he's the one living in it now but I helped
pick it out)
and we've prayed there together.
The tall icon of the Theotokos is the
Mother of God Joy of All Who Sorrow
and the Akathist for this icon is found here.

Missing my Orthoman

We are still apart
separated by miles and miles
and he comes to see me in a few weeks.
I really miss him.
This whole leaving everything for the
Orthoman I love
is a very multi-layered endeavour;
the newness of our love
the huge transition of moving and loss
the communication as we work on
laying the foundation for our
God willing future marriage
it's wonderful, overwhelming/exhausting and
I am finding,
worth it all for the Orthoman
that I have been given.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Progression towards the Voyage

Orthoman let me know that the ring is finished.
Now that is a big deal.

Szechuan Anyone?

This is a joke indirectly about Cleo.
No worries, 
My Orthoman does not hate Cleo.
But both of us do find the above picture
to be rather funny.

Exploration for Food and Supplies

So many things need to be done
to leave one's home.
Including new grocery stores.
I remember how much I missed the
Safeways, Save-on's and IGAs in BC
when I left...
I remember the shock of hearing of the
fire in the Fort Langley IGA
and now I love my downtown Ottawa
Hartman's Independent Grocery Store
(even though they got rid of the piano a few
years back, much to everyone in Centretown's dismay
and are now crowding the aisles making it a less enjoyable
experience to be there).
I don't think people always realize how important
grocery stores are;
not to mention that they are most people's food supply
but that they are the neighbourhood institutions.
My new little town has many grocery stores
for such a small town.
There's an A&P grocery near to us
and when I went there
to buy milk and laundry detergent and juice
on my last trip down South
I remembered very distinctly the movie
Home Alone II
when the little boy goes grocery shopping for
simple things like milk and laundry detergent.
There are also a few smaller vegetable and health food stores
in my new small town
and the cereal box posted above is a new find.
I had one bowl of it already
before I left back for Ottawa.
I liked it.
I will miss my old cereal here
(a Canadian brand)
but it was good to find a reasonable alternative
in what God willing will be
my unexpected new life
with my Kindhearted OrthoMan.

Sailing and Time

Because of the current locational
difference between us
time is the hardest to come by.
This is a period of intense communication
and preparation
and it is a constant effort to
achieve and maintain
what is needed
during this time.
If I did not have the support of my friends
and spiritual father
this achievement would not be possible.
With God's mercy
it will be and is possible.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Voyage Preperation

I have been to the small Eastern town
where I hope to move to
and have moseyed about
taken lots of pictures
and tried to imagine
leaving my home
my friends
my church family
my country
for this place
for my OrthoMan...
beginning this unexpected voyage.
I find I often still can't really imagine it.

What is it like to live an unexpected life?

One of the hard things is that I am in Ottawa
and he about an 8 hour
or so drive South of here;
not that I drive per say.
Above is one of the lunches we had during my last visit
and I really miss being with him.
Notice the cheesecake?  :)
This is going to be a continued theme for us
as my OrthoMan loves cheesecake
and well, I must say I like it very much myself.


On Valentine's Day
last week
I went with my beloved OrthoMan
to pick out an engagement ring.
Picture above is it in it's unfinished stage.
It was a simple and quiet day.
I felt so happy.
If you would of told me that a year ago
I would have been traveling to the East Coast,
be reading books on marriage
getting to know a new Orthodox parish
hoping to be engaged after Pascha
and preparing to move to East Coast of the States
I would not of believed you.
that is actually what I am doing.
We are in for it,
together for life;
it is unexpected
at times glorious
at times overwhelming
(as any transition is)
preparation to be with Christ in a boat
together for life;
life in marriage
life in church
life in the midst of a sea of change and 
trying to piece everything together 
as we prepare our sailboat to leave the safety of the 
beautiful wooden dock
and launch into the sea of 
living life together.