Rules of Engagement


I haven’t really documented much of anything related to Mike and my engagement. I figure it’s high time. Mostly because I document everything else and surely this is just as important for me to capture. Let me say this: over the course of our engagement I have come to reflect on the many wonderful, as well as silly, things I have learned about HIM and ME and US.

It was a warm weekend in late July 2007 when we got engaged. There was no pomp and circumstance. But there was MINESTRONE soup. Homemade. By us both. There was a spontaneous question and a resounding YES! for an answer. We kept it under wraps for a long while. We wanted to savour it. We wanted to play by OUR OWN RULES.

Speaking of rules, I didn’t want a diamond engagement ring. I don’t know if that’s a rule but either way, I simply couldn’t reconcile it with my values. For the amount of money many rings cost, I could save a small country from hunger and disease (which is honestly what I would prefer to do.) So instead we both wore engagement bracelets. We found them while sight-seeing in Barcelona and well, they just really seemed to fit.  They cost about €15 in total but their value is priceless. One My bracelet has already survived the washing machine. Oops. I guess it will weather any storm. I couldn’t ask for a more meaningful symbol.

One of the best decisions Mike and I made as a way to celebrate our engagement was to capture our happiness on camera. The great Kal Barteski agreed to take our photos (just a short two weeks after the birth of her first child) at Assiniboine Park. Outdoors in December. Yes we are truly this HARDCORE! It was the day before Mike’s 27th birthday and honestly the most beautiful, sun-free, snowy day.



Now, a year and a half later, I must admit… I have quite a mental list of insights and memories. Both of which have helped to lay a foundation on top of our already impenetrable friendship. Building blocks for our future marriage.

Some insights… 

  • There is immeasureable value (to my own sanity) in having a cleaning company come in to overhaul the house during the periods while I am away in Winnipeg.
  • Sometimes you have just got to FUN dance. And sometimes you’ve got to SLOW dance. No reason required.
  • I can “drive” and he can “navigate” and it allows us both to be in control of where we’re going.
  • Some families might be penguins and others are bunnies or racoons or fish or birds…but Mike and I aren’t any of those. We are BEAVERS. Beavers are busy. They work hard everyday. Building homes, communities, and dreams. And when they’re done, they move on to the next place, and start again. That’s how we are individually and together. And that’s exactly how our family will be.

Some memories…

  • My flaming birthday pie. It was the sweetest, most thoughtful idea delivered with Mike’s own quirky charm.
  • Dancing in the dark to What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve at Falcon Lake on December 31, 2007. No fuss. All SWOON.
  • Mornings with coffee and croissants – in Canada, France, and Spain. These mornings have offered us an enjoyable ritual and meaningful conversation.
  • Hearing the echo of frère jacques being sung from the bathtub. 🙂 It is goofy things like this that make us both laugh. I have witnessed this truth: laughter is an essential ingredient in any happy marriage.
  • Everytime Mike meets me at the airport on my way into Toronto. It is one of those little things that means so much to me – even though I have never asked for it. Still, he has never missed one arrival.

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