Sunday, December 4, 2011

Inspiration for this Saturday

On Friday, I turn 30. On the one hand, it's just another birthday. On the other hand, it's a milestone as I enter a new decade. I'm not upset, but I'm bewildered at how quickly my 20s went by.

But I am using this milestone as a reason to have a big birthday party on Saturday. I have invited my closest friends. Surprisingly, all the out of town friends are attending, but not all the friends who live in the same city. It's usually the opposite!

I want the "theme" to be CELEBRATE, and I want glitter and sparkle everywhere. It's such a festive time of year that I think it's only appropriate. Here's what I'm thinking:

Top left, clockwise: Snippet & Ink, Project Wedding, Style Me Pretty,, Style Me Pretty, The Sweetest Occasion, The Sweetest Occasion, The Sweetest Occasion,, and The Sweetest Occasion in the centre.

(See a theme?!)

What are your thoughts?

Saturday, November 26, 2011


I have a birthday coming up in 2 weeks. I decided recently (probably too recently) that I want a party. So I'm throwing myself a party. Why not?! Okay, I'm giving my husband things to do, but basically I'm taking the lead.

I just decided I want bunting. Something like:

(Etsy seller Bevany)

(Etsy seller Ooh La La Company)

(Etsy seller stephlovesben)

(Etsy seller JacWhippet)

(Etsy seller nice)

(Etsy seller Unicorn Parade)

Since I'm pressed for time, I'm going to try making something inspired by the above. I will be going to Michael's to take a look at what it will cost to make myself, and try to figure out how much time it will take me. Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Baby Pressure

First, let me say, I am not getting baby pressure. My mom and mother-in-law don't put any pressure on us.

But I have a friend whose mother got her a subscription to some baby magazine. I won't pretend to know what the magazine is called. Maybe it's Babies or Baby Parenting, or something like that. And this friend isn't planning on babies until next year! Hinting, much? She's been married 6 months.

I understand how parents want to be grandparents. They want to enjoy their grandchildren while they're still young-ish (50s) and mobile. My generation is mostly putting off having children, which is IMHO by-and-large a good thing. I know people who had children younger (22, 23, 24) who spend their adult lives somewhat looking forward to when their kids are grown up so they can travel and do things they love to do. While they love their children - and they truly do - it seems odd to spend 20+ years waiting for your child to grow up in order to resume "living".

Why not do some of those things before children? Why feel like your children made you put your life on hold? Aren't your children supposed to be a big part of your life? Albeit, not the only part of your life. Oh, and why even wait until your children are grown up to travel? Marie-Eve and others have proven you can travel with kids, but for some people it's a matter of money.

I won't get it until I have kids, I get that. That's what everyone tells me. I can imagine that it's a life-shift. I can imagine everything changes - priorities change, how much you have to pack up in the diaper bag just to run an errand, free time decreases. I get it. (And yes, I got the message that I won't actually get it until I have kids.)

Study after study shows that having children in a marriage tends to increase the stress in marriage, so in marriages that aren't very strong, the divorce rate goes up. I don't mean to say children cause divorce, but rather, marriages that aren't strong are more likely to fracture if children are introduced. These are the marriage would have fractured under any signficant stress. (And study after study show that getting married younger, typically defined as under the age of 24 or 25 has a higher likelihood of divorce.)

So why rush? If the biological clock isn't screaming, take the time to solidify your marriage? Six months of marriage, about to turn 30, and has been purchased a baby magazine. Sure, they've been living together for a couple years, but somehow I feel that time was building the relationship, now I feel it's solidifying the marriage. On the day-to-day stuff, there's no difference between living together and being married, but yet somehow it changes everything in your mindset.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Things Wade says

I speak a bit of French and a bit of Spanish. I like to make Wade learn words in both languages. He's good in French, but not at all in Spanish. He usually guesses what he considers to be Spanish-sounding variations of a word in French.

Me: Wanna know what "dog" is in Spanish?
Wade: Dog
Me: No
Wade: Chien
Me: No, that's French.
Wade: chenog
Me: No. That's chien combined with dog. Good guess, though.
Wade: Cano
Me: No. Not at all close, but good guess. Wanna know?
Wade: Sure.
Me: Perro.

Maybe you had to be there, but I thought his "guesses" were funny. Chenog?!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Let's Try This Again

First, let me say that I’m going to attempt blogging again.

I don’t have a very good reason for a temporary absence. I just didn’t have the motivation for a while, and when I did have the motivation, I was very busy with work.

So let me just start with it and summarize where I am.

I like work. In fact, there are days where I really like work. But I also get into ruts where I can’t possibly see how I can advance my career doing what I’m doing, and depressed because I know that if I were to return to the private sector, I’d make 10-20% more money. I need to push myself in ways there are completely foreign to me, but I’m not sure I can. In the interest of total disclosure, I consult in health and safety, and I need to step out of my comfort zone and sell my company to perspective clients. I’m not going at selling things. There are lots of workplaces that need to improve their health and safety, and I’m very good at what I do. I guess I just need to convince others of this.

Self Esteem:
I used to have marvellous self-esteem. I wasn’t conceited; at least, I don’t think I was. I just knew I was beautiful. I know how that sounds – it sounds like I’m conceited. But I think I just had a healthy sense of self-esteem, something that many girls and women do not have. I still know I’m good looking, but I no longer believe I’m beautiful. But what’s really consuming me is that I’ve gained almost 30 lbs in the past 2 ½ years, and I just keep gaining. I can’t stop. It slowly creeps us, each week. I have brief periods where I go down a pound or two, but then back up it goes. I know the basics: calories in < calories out, eat healthy, exercise. But I don’t always have the energy to exercise. And lately, food feels like it’s holding a spell on me. If there’s something yummy, it just calls to me to eat it. And because I’ve gained almost 30 lbs, I’m up a size. I don’t normally discuss my weight or size, but I’m 5’8” and a little bit (or as I round up, I say “five foot eight and a half”), which I think makes me 173 or 174 cm. I weight 186 lbs as of this morning. I was around 160 lbs 2-1/2 years ago, which I was happy with. It’s depressing to admit how much I’ve gained. And every time I see an actress or person I admire who’s slender, I really feel upset with myself for gaining so much weight.

Since I’m up a size, I don’t have much clothing that fits. And I don’t have enough money to buy a whole new wardrobe, so I’m buying a few things each month, because I want to look good, but all the while I’m hoping that I can reverse this trend and won’t need this larger clothing much longer. I was a size 12 (sometimes 10), and now I’m a 14 (sometimes 12), but that can vary widely, depending on the brand.

I do enjoy helping charities. I volunteer with a dog rescue group (doing phone interviews to find out if applicants would be good homes for our dogs), St. John Ambulance (going to an event per month to provide first-aid if required), a kidney cancer advocacy group (occasionally doing stuff to help out, but this is not often), and as the coordinator for an annual walk (“Great Strides”) to raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis, a disease my cousin had. I think I do too much, but I don’t know what to cut out. It stretches me too thin.

I’ll leave it there for now. I think I’m going to try blogging a couple times a week, and see how that goes. I hope you continue to follow me along! And if you know me in real life, please try not to judge.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Old dogs can learn new tricks. Old dogs rescued from puppy mills can be housetrained, learn commands, and even learn to love for the first time. Old dogs whose owner dies can be "rehomed" and love their new family as much as their former family. Old dogs need love, too.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Special Needs Pets

Did you know that dogs rely primarily on smell? Sometimes owners don't even realize their dogs are deaf! They can learn commands by a visual sign. My dog can hear, but she can sit if I say the word sit OR if I just hold my hand a certain way.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

All Pets Deserve a Home

It's the fault of humans that pets are overpopulated. We bred them. We don't always spay and neuter our pets. And an intact dog or cat WILL often end up pregnant or impregnating another animal. And pets that are ugly or have been mistreated can still make wonderful pets. They have such a capacity to love.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Special Needs Pets

Did you know that dogs rely primarily on smell? Blind dogs are easily acclimatized to a new environment. We humans primarily relay on sight, so we can't relate, but dogs do not rely primarily on sight. They can easily be taught the layout of a new home.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Black Pets are least likely to be adopted

... and most likely to be euthanized due to not being adopted.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


One of North America's biggest puppy mills was shut down this week-end. Quebec is, unfortunately, the worst place in North America for puppy mills due to Quebec's comparably relaxed animal welfare laws. (That's not to say that everywhere else is fine, and Quebec has some tough legislation already in the works.) Still, you can read about the story here, here, and here.

Whatever you do, please do NOT buy your pets from a pet store (unless the store is a satellite for your local humane society or SPCA), from on-line, from the want-ads of your newspaper (unless it's a want-ad for a rescue group or humane society), from a "backyard breeder", or from kijiji or Craig's list.

Look into reputable breeders. Start by researching the breed you want. Then go to their breed website and look up breeders (you can start with the Canadian Kennel Club or American Kennel Club, or local equivalent). Ask for recommendations. Ask friends or on internet message boards. Remember, a good breeder won't have 500 dogs present - they just can't properly care and socialize that many dogs. And a good breeder will usually only focus on one breed. And GO to the breeder to check things out.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 - Ten years later

This year is the first year I've felt ready to confront my emotions around 9/11. Every year has felt too raw. I hope that as a society (western society), we evaluate our societal changes since that day. Still, today isn't about society, it's about remembering those individuals who died that day - those in the towers, the Pentagon, the planes, and the rescue workers. And those are still dying from the diseases from exposures on that day (such as asbestos-related cancers).

According to the CBC:

The 2,977 official victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were from more than 90 countries, and memorial services were held around the world Sunday. A service in Gander, Newfoundland & Labrador, commemorated 9/11 and recalled the 6,700 air travellers who were stranded in the town of 9,000 people for up to three days when North American airspace was shut down in the wake of the attacks. Memorials were also held or pending in Halifax, Moncton, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto, and other places in Canada. Elsewhere:
• In Japan, families gathered in Tokyo to pay their respects to the 23 Fuji Bank employees who never made it out of their World Trade Center office. A dozen of the workers who died were Japanese.
• In Malaysia, Pathmawathy Navaratnam woke up Sunday in her suburban Kuala Lumpur home and did what she's done every day for the past 10 years: wish her son "good morning." Vijayashanker Paramsothy, a 23-year-old financial analyst, was killed in the attacks on New York.
• In Santiago, more than 5,000 people partook in a march to remember Chile's Sept. 11 — the fateful day in 1973 when U.S.-backed Gen. Augusto Pinochet overthrew the country's democratic government in a coup and installed a vicious dictatorship that killed more than 3,000 people, tortured up to 30,000 others and forced a further 30,000 into exile.
• In Manila, Philippines, dozens of former shanty dwellers offered roses, balloons and prayers for another 9/11 victim, American citizen Marie Rose Abad. Their neighbourhood used to be a shantytown that reeked of garbage. But in 2004, Abad's Filipino-American husband built 50 brightly coloured homes, fulfilling his late wife's wish to help impoverished Filipinos. The village has since been named after her.
• In Kabul, U.S. soldiers marked the anniversary of the attacks with a ceremony outside the American Embassy. On display was a symbolic iron-made sculpture of the World Trade Center and New York city skyline. The sculpture was made of the steel ruins of the twin towers.
• In New Zealand, players from the American Eagles rugby team were among the first to mark the anniversary at a memorial service in the town of New Plymouth. The players, who are participating in the Rugby World Cup tournament, listened to a speech by U.S. Ambassador David Huebner, whose brother Rick survived the attacks on the World Trade Center.
• In Australia, Sydney resident Rae Tompsett said she's never felt angry over the murder of her son Stephen Tompsett, 39, a computer engineer who was on the 106th floor of the World Trade Center's north tower when it was hit by a hijacked plane. "No, not anger," she said. "Sorrow. Sorrow that the people who did this believed they were doing something good." The retired school teacher and her husband Jack, 92, were planning to attend Sunday morning mass as usual at their local church before going to a commemorative service in the afternoon.
• In South Korea, President Lee Myung-bak sent a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama conveying his "deepest condolences" to the victims.
• In Pakistan, which has been a victim of al-Qaeda attacks but is also accused of not doing enough to crack down on militants, the country's leaders said they joined the people of the U.S. in honouring the memory of those killed 10 years ago.

Barack Obama: "A decade after 9/11, it's clear for all the world to see — the terrorists who attacked us that September morning are no match for the character of our people, the resilience of our nation, or the endurance of our values. [...] And no matter what comes our way, as a resilient nation, we will carry on."

Where were you when you found out? Had the first plane struck? Had the towers collapsed? What did you think?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Vote again!!!

I blogged before about Cheryll and Graham. They are only 100 votes shy of winning her wedding dress. (Or at least $800 of it.) Please click here to vote!

Here's her story:
Cheryll looooooves butterflies. Her boy-friend planned an early spring trip to Niagara Falls, including a trip to the butterfly conservatory and tours of the local wineries in the former honeymoon capital.

Cheryll and Graham spent the morning biking Niagara Falls wineries. In the afternoon, they went to the butterfly conservatory. As they walked through Cheryll was smitten and taking far too many pictures of all of the butterflies. At one point, she finally turned around and noticed Graham on one knee.

Graham was speechless because he was so nervous so it took him a minute to get any words out, but he had tears in his eyes.

When Cheryll saw this for some reason she thought he had stepped on a butterfly and was upset about it so she knelt down to him to comfort him, assuring him that it was an accident.

He hadn't stepped on a butterfly, but he was still speechless. While Cheryll was trying to comfort him, it took all he had to whisper "Will you marry me? You are the love of my life and I want to spend the rest of mine with you."

To give you an idea of Cheryll's love of butterflies, here is a screen snapshot I took of the facebook photos from the trip. You can see the photo right after her engagement of them in front of the cherry tree in the bottom row ... but the majority of the photos involved butterflies!

AND please feel free to re post this on your blog or tweet it! They need the votes by midnight tomorrow (Tuesday, June 28).

Monday, June 6, 2011

Two years ago today ... and help a new bride out!

My 2nd anniversary is TODAY!

It must be a sign that I'm getting older that I'm marvelling at the passage of time.

In honour of my anniversary, maybe you can help my friend Cheryll. She has 67 votes in a contest is to win her wedding dress. (Or at least $800 of it.) And she's nowhere nearing winning right now. The contest closes soon! Please click
to vote!

Here's her story:
Girly Cheryll looooooves butterflies. Her macho boy-friend planned a spring trip to a butterfly conservatory near Niagara Falls, followed by some time actually visiting what used to be the honeymoon capital.

Cheryll and Graham spent the morning biking Niagara Falls wineries. In the afternoon, they went to the butterfly conservatory. As they walked through Cheryll was smitten and taking far too many pictures of all of the butterflies. At one point, she finally turned around and noticed Graham on one knee.

Graham was speechless because he was so nervous so it took him a minute to get any words out, but he had tears in his eyes (he is very manly and never cries so it is adorable).

When Cheryll saw this for some reason she thought he had stepped on a butterfly and was upset about it so she knelt down to him to comfort him!

Of course, he hadn't stepped on a butterfly, and it took all he had to whisper "Will you marry me? You are the love of my life and I want to spend the rest of mine with you."

To give you an idea of Cheryll's love of butterflies, here is a screen snapshot I took of the facebook photos from the trip. You can see the photo right after her engagement of them in front of the cherry tree in the bottom row ... but the majority of the photos involved butterflies!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

We now return to our normal programming

... Including those long-ago promised pictures from my redecorating, pictures from my friend's bridal shower that I hosted, pictures from her bachelorette that I hosted, pictures from our deck that is currently getting redone (due to falling apart in the middle!), and other normal posts.

Evil begets evil

While I welcome the news that a certain bad man is no longer able to be bad. He was considered the mastermind of one of the modern era's darkest hours in an attack on my neighbouring country, resulting in the death of many people of many nationalities. (Many of my countrymen - I would say the majority of us - consider an attack on our allies as an attack on us, too.) I was not shocked that the bad man was in the country he was in (it starts with the 16th letter of the alphabet), in spite of that country insisting he was next door in their neighbour's country (that starts with the words used to describe a charming colourful blanket).

(I'm avoiding names and locations so this post doesn't come up in random searches because I'm not interested in being a political blogger.)

I was shocked to see westerners (in many countries, but not surprisingly predominantly in the country most affected by this bad man) dancing on the streets and cheering the bad man's death. Certainly, it was good news, but to dance and sing in the street? Didn't we westerners shudder when we saw the people of the Middle East burning effigies of western politicians, burning the main religious book used by the largest religious group in "the west", shouting death to my neighbours to the south, and doing similar "uncivilized" behaviours? Didn't we say to ourselves that we were educated and above such lowly behaviour?

A wonderful friend pointed out the following, said by one of the greatest of my neighbours to the south:

"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."

Martin Luther King Jr

The world is changing

I am somewhat political. I don't have an identified party. There are 3 parties I alternate between, depending on the election, their platform, and other factors. In Canada, we have multiple parties, and the 3 main ones are the Conservatives (right-wing), Liberals (centre-left), NDP (left-wing). Then there's the Green Party (left-wing with an environmental focus), who just won their first seat. There's also the Bloc Quebecois (who only run in Quebec and want Quebec to separate from Canada). And there are weird parties like the Animal-Environmental Alliance, two Communist parties, the Marijuana Party, the Rhinocerous Party, and the Pirate Party. (These parties only run candidates in a couple ridings, so they won't be able to govern, and they basically never win.)

So what's the point of my rambling? Well, other than disappointment in the result, it means it's just one thing that's been adding to my consumption of things non-blogging

I voted in my riding, in spite of it being a foregone conclusion that the Conservative would win by a landslide. Voting is a duty to me, and I have voted in every election since turning 18.

(Just one more explanation. Harper, the Conservative [equivalent of an American Republican] got a majority, meaning he can do whatever he want unopposed. Our checks and balances are not particularly strong, so as a majority they can pass any law. They're only accountable to voters in 4 more years, although accountability to voters isn't such a bad thing.)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

You are the one and only ever YOU, Noah

On the night you were born,
The moon smiled with such wonder
That the stars peeked in to see you
And the night wind whispered,
“Life will never be the same.”
Because there had never been anyone like you … ever in the world.
So enchanted with you were the wind and the rain
That they whispered the sound of your wonderful name.
Noah Curis Godwin Lloyd.
It sailed through the farmland
High on the breeze…
Over the ocean…
And through the trees…
Until everyone heard it
And everyone knew
Of the one and only ever you.
Not once had there been such eyes,
Such a nose,
Such silly, wiggly, wonderful toes.
When the polar bears heard,
They danced until dawn.
From faraway places,
The geese flew home.
The moon stayed up until
Morning next day.
And none of the ladybugs flew away.
So whenever you doubt just how special you are
And you wonder who loves you, how much and how far,
Listen for geese honking high in the sky.
(They’re singing a song to remember you by.)
Or notice the bears asleep at the zoo.
(It’s because they’ve been dancing all night for you!)
Or drift off to sleep to the sound of the wind.
(Listen closely…it’s whispering your name again!)
If the moon stays up until morning one day,
Or a ladybug lands and decides to stay,
Or a little bird sits at your window awhile,
It’s because they’re all hoping to see you smile…
For never before in story or rhyme
(not even once upon a time)
Has the world ever known a you, Noah Curtis Godwin Lloyd,
And it never will, not ever again…
Heaven blew every trumpet
And played every horn
On the wonderful, marvelous
Night you were born.

(Lyrics from On The Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman. Picture from Noah's mummy)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I still haven't posted "after" pics in the kitchen. I keep forgetting to pick up my camera and upload the photos ... will have to do that tomorrow ... but I won't promise anything

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Kitchen: Before

The kitchen had been "redone" in 2008 by the previous owners. They thought they were going to stay in the house for longer, so they did the kitchen to their standards. Then in the late summer, they decided to move. So, this is a nearly brand new kitchen.

The cabinets are real wood. Oak, maybe? I would not have chosen this colour of cabinets. I would choose a dark espresso finish. But, you know what, this medium finish is really appealing to me now!

The counters are granite. A special crane was brought in to move them into the house! I would not have chosen this finish of granite. It hasn't grown on me to the point of liking it, but I definitely don't dislike it now.

But the kitchen somehow looked unfinished before. No backsplash, no window coverings, and nothing to personalize it. (Unless you count the bills we often stack on the island as "personalization".)

Now ... well, we still haven't decided on window coverings. I bought a grey roman blind from the Home Depot. It wasn't quite wide enough (I knew that, but I thought it'd be close). Wade thought it was too dark. Then I got a beige roman blind from Sears. It's just too wide, but I think it's not quite right. So now I have to decide on something else.

You can see the "after" tomorrow. (I forgot to bring my camera in.)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A few days later ... it's mostly done

We were mostly done after just under 2 1/2 weeks (12 1/2 work days). I say mostly because we're still waiting for the shower doors for our ensuite shower to come in.

I'm going to start doing before and after shots so you can see how it looks. We don't have art and pictures up yet (lazy us!) so I might wait a few more days so I can show you what it looks like with the art.

This pictures is actually from around February 3rd or 4th - mostly done - you can see the bright blue laundry bathroom that I haven't shared with you yet :)

Princess is wondering what's going on!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day 7: February 1, 2011

The living room is now a blue-grey. I'd been hoping for a little more grey than it turned out, but overall, I like the effect:

The main bathroom is now a grey-mauve and the new flooring (vinyl) is laid:

It's coming!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day 5: January 28

Blue bedroom:

This may be too blue. I'm still undecided if I like this colour.

The forest green and beige bathroom:

The basement with its final coat:

It's not quite this turquoise in person.

And what was my favourite discovery of the day, the front entry:

And how very appropriate for me to share this on Valentine's Day, although rest assured this bright entry will be enjoyed all year!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 3: January 26

The beige ensuite (with me in pyjamas barely caught in the mirror):

The basement has one coat of paint:

Another shot of the basement:

The main bathroom is beige and hunter green ... the mirror is down:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day One: January 24

Lots of splatches, filling in holes in the front entry:
More splatches in the hallway:
Splatches & Chair Rail in the basement:

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Pictures coming soon

The last 2 weeks have been a flurry of home-repair stuff going on - walls painted, vanities changed, new backsplash put in ... so in the coming days, I'll post about it.

Oh, and we hired someone to do it all. Otherwise, we'd spend all our spare time for months doing this work!

Sunday, January 16, 2011


I am heading to Winnipeg this week for training. For once, I'm attending the training, not delivering it. I haven't done any external professional development since starting with my employer just over one year ago, so I'm excited IN SPITE OF the fact that this training is in Winnipeg.

Now Winnipeg is a notable city for many reasons, including: the Blue Bombers (its Canadian Football League team), the Royal Winnipeg Ballet (a renowned ballet), the Jets (its former National Hockey League team, which despite moving to Phoenix in 1996, still has more fans than many small market NHL teams), and future home of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. All good things!

Winnipeg is even better known for its cold winters and for being mosquito-filled in the summers. And I'm going to this city in the middle of January.

Now, granted, I'm still excited about the training. But Tuesday's high is -26C (-15F) and its low is -34C (-29F).


Friday, January 14, 2011

A notable anniversary

Ten years ago today, a double marriage ceremony was held in Toronto at Riverdale's Metropolitan Community Church. This ceremony is quoted as a world first. In this double ceremony, Joe Varnell married Kevin Bourassa, and Anne and Elaine Vautour were joined matrimony.
(Source: Associated Press)

The right to gay marriage started in Canada in 2001, though its legality was in limbo for two years. It was a legally-administered marriage (for lack of a better term). In Ontario, one can get married with a marriage license or through the reading of the banns. Their minister read the banns, so they didn't need a marriage license. Their marriage was upheld in 2003.

Today in Canada, same sex partners have the rights as any and every other couple. Unmarried partners are "spouses" regardless of gender, after a certain time living together elapses. Pensions, drug plans, insurance plans, and everything else must recognize same-sex spouses as equal. Of course, churches, temples, mosques, etc., all have the right to determine if they will marry a same-sex couple, but it's always the right of a religion to select who and how to marry. For example, whether or not we agree, some religions won't marry a couple who's living together. That is an aspect of religious freedom.

I think this anniversary is noteworthy. If you'd like, you can read more: here or here (the second link describes the personal struggle the newlyweds went through during and after the wedding - including the minister wearing a bulletproof vest during the ceremony and death threats before and after the ceremony).

On a sweet note, Joe Varnell and Kevin Bourassa renewed their vows at the same church today.