Saturday, 31 August 2013

My Big Fun Romanian Wedding!

Hello or Servus (in Romanian),

I just returned from Europe and spent almost a month with family and friends in Romania , seeing many beautiful places, learning to make many delicious Romanian dishes, and learning to speak broken Romanian, which makes my family laugh uncontrollably.

I also had the opportunity to experience an authentic Romanian wedding and had the honour of standing in for the bride and groom as their "little godmother." This has nothing to do with a person's size. During a traditional Romanian wedding, the bride and groom have two sets of godparents, one set from each side. I am so grateful that I was standing next to the bride when my almost "most embarrassing moment" would have occurred if it wasn't for the "big godmother" standing next to me. During the ceremony, we were required to hold a very large candle, that had a white sash wrapped around it, which connected the bride, groom, and respective godparents. As we were instructed to follow the priest in a circle, my very long, pink dress got stuck underneath my heel! I tried to inconspicuously pull it out, but I was not successful. My worst nightmare was about to happen...Thank goodness for fairy godmothers because mine was walking behind me, and pulled my dress out just in time!

Next, came the party and boy do Romanians like to party and dance! We ate amazing food and danced to many traditional Romanian dances until our feet ached!

Looking back at pictures from the wedding gives me much joy, but more sadness. It was difficult counting the days left after the wedding because I knew it would be time for us to leave our Romanian family...

Memories, that I will keep close to my heart, precious moments shared that will last a lifetime. We may be separated by an ocean, but the close bond we acquired over such a short amount of time, despite the language barriers, will always remain!

Sharing stories in broken Romanian, learning new family recipes for our Family Book, sitting around the table surrounded by the people closest to us...Love lives here, too!

I will post Romanian recipes that I learned first hand in future posts!  And by the way, Romanians don't use Windex for everything, they use sour cream! Yum!

La revedere! Til' next time,


Sunday, 4 August 2013

Fun In the Sun!

Welcome back!

What is it about summer? The days seem longer and the memories are endless. Spending time with loved ones during the summer is something we look forward to every year and this year was no exception. Except the weather hasn't been so great and from what I hear from others around the world, summer overseas doesn't feel like summer at all.

But, does this matter to me? Not at all! This summer feels different, more relaxed, almost peaceful. Sitting on the beach this summer was pure bliss because I got to spend some quality time with my mom and sister. The kids despite their usual squabbles had a great time as you can see in the picture below!
Building castles with cousins
I had the opportunity to begin our family book with the kids. The kids were very enthusiastic and helpful during this process. I am very excited to begin my new project and intend to involve the kids in the whole process. It was also great to ask my parents about their great grandparents, though I may need to confirm some specific names and dates from my cousins in Italy who have already made a Family Tree. I am in the process of getting family recipes old and new, from my family and from our extended Romanian family and will be sharing these recipes in future posts! Yum!

Our Family Traditions.

Our Family Tree
One of my favourite family traditions is to spend time together at my parents' home up North, or our family cottage. We've had this house for more than 30 years and it has over the years, become a 'sanctuary' for me. I tell my kids all the time how fortunate they are to have a place to escape to, a place to get away from the everyday stresses of life, a place to reconnect with family and friends. I think they will appreciate our family cottage when they become adults and begin to bring their families up North.

I am raising my children to understand the importance of responsibility by explaining to them that if they want to keep the cottage in our family, then they need to help with the daily chores and the regular maintenance of the house. Who said that pulling out weeds isn't fun!

Thanks to my mom, she has the boys on a daily routine of fixing breakfast, emptying the dishwasher, and collecting the eggs from the chickens. The boys have a lot of free time, too! It's great that they have the freedom to ride their bikes around the subdivision, go to the tennis courts and play a few rounds, or just chill at home and chat with their cousins about what they will build on the beach that day!

My dad has been teaching the boys how to grow vegetables in his garden. Next to his family, this is his pride and joy. He wakes up early in the morning everyday to do whatever he does to grow his delicious vegetables. We have a rule in our family, "Eat whatever is grown in Nonno's garden. Look at all the wonderful garlic, 400 in total! I told the boys how important it is to learn how to grow vegetables rather than buying them in the supermarket.

400 garlic planted by Nonno
Nonno with the grandkids learning how to grow vegetables.
Next to his family, this is Nonno's pride & joy!
The days of summer, hot yet long lasting, lazy days at the beach, sharing stories and spending quality time with family. Sadness is setting in as the days are getting shorter and the summer is coming to an end too soon...

Enjoy it while it lasts!

 I'm in Europe right now trying to finish this post in Romania. The connection is not very good. I am in the courtyard where the connection is the best.  My next post will be about my trip to Romania visiting with family.