Can you even believe it? Another year has zipped by, and it’s time for our annual sit-down to dish on all the spectacular moments and wild adventures that have kept us on our toes throughout 2023. It had its fair share of chaos but a bunch more core memory moments… so grab your favourite armchair because it’s been a zinger!
We started this whirlwind year with a home renovation extravaganza in January. My husband, Dave, the ever-handy and newly retired pastor, took the reins and began to turn our middle-floor apartment into a swanky two-bedroom rental suite. The pièce de résistance? By the end of June, it had a jaw-dropping brand-spanking-new kitchen and master bedroom with views that’ll leave you breathless. Special shout-out to Narrow Gate Developments for all the electrical, framing, drywalling, flooring and plumbing you did!
Don’t worry; we left a few reminders of my dad’s handiwork.
If that wasn’t enough work on its own, spring rolled around, and the bachelor basement apartment got its makeover moment, transforming into an official one-bedroom suite with fresh flooring, sleek countertops, and long overdue soundproofing!
March ushered in a much-needed and unforgettable Spring Break getaway to Kauai, Hawaii, with the BC kids – we love living so close to the Hawaiian Islands. It is a slice of paradise on Earth.
April was filled with tests and not the fun kind. An MRI, multiple CT scans, blood work, more pokes and prods, and pain while doctors and specialists looked for brain tumours, blood disorders, heart disease, signs of stroke, autoimmune disease, etc., all to find the source of the consistent 24/7 migraine, and facial and ear pain and ringing since January. It suddenly stopped, and I returned to normal at the beginning of August.
But the show must go on. May brought a milestone as monumental as our home makeover – our beloved and only daughter Emma turned 23! Just days later, she took the plunge and tied the knot with her “one and done” beau of just one year, Blake. They say when you know, you know – and we couldn’t be happier for these lovebirds as they embark on their lifelong adventure together.
June served up a heaping plate of mixed emotions. Liam’s diagnoses with ADHD and Autism and nostalgia as our youngest, Jacob, walked the stage for his high school graduation. It was the very same school where I threw my cap back in 1990. Talk about a full-circle moment! Emma and Blake moved into the new one-bedroom finished suite for the summer.
July, our two-bedroom suite was finally ready, and tenants moved in. It was also the month when the stork visited our family, delivering our second grandson, Micah. Grandparenthood – it’s a gift that keeps on giving! And speaking of gifts, my sisterly escapade to Arizona with my sister Tammie to see our sister Lise for a long weekend in July was just that – a delightful gift of time spent with family.
In true Jacobson-Mischuk fashion… around the same time as Lara was preparing to give birth to their second son… Lara and Quinton revived my old media company, Mischuk Media, and launched it as a photography and videography agency! If you’re in southwestern Ontario, Canada, check them out!
At the tail end of that month, Dave and I indulged in a cottage getaway with Quinton, Lara, and the little ones on a lake in Ontario. We just had to meet the littlest Mischuk!!
August saw Emma and Blake packing their bags for Calgary, where Blake is pursuing a Master of Architecture, and Emma is working full-time for the school board as an EA. While we miss them dearly, we know they’re charting their course toward a brighter future (and it’s easier knowing they’ll be back on the West Coast in 2025!).
And let’s not forget – we celebrated our first anniversary of coastal living at the end of August. The ocean view never gets old.
Jacob hit the big 1-8, and by September, he was jetting off to Germany for a gap-year adventure with Capernway at Bodenseehof Bible School. The young man is spreading his wings, and we couldn’t be more proud.
Speaking of September… it’s always a busy month for us. We decided to kick it off with a bang, joining a group of new friends for a Surf Camp weekend in Oregon over Labour Day. I bought my first wet suit!! You’re never too old to catch a wave or two.
My husband Dave and I travelled to the Riviera Maya in Mexico for my 51st birthday. We brought along our nephew, Matthew, and his wife, Rachel, the couple who took over our church in 2022, for a trip that was nothing short of pure, unadulterated and much-needed bliss.
Earlier in the year, Quinton had the opportunity to become a substitute teacher, and he loved it so much he headed back to school – he’s now working on his teaching degree at Redeemer University in Hamilton, Ontario.
Hold on, my September story is still unfolding! I embraced a fresh role as the trailblazer of the newly created Brand Development Division at Graf-Martin Communications. This journey has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride, but filled with invaluable experiences and countless reasons for gratitude. In just a matter of weeks, I’ll be celebrating my four-year anniversary. Moments like these truly highlight the versatility, empathy, and innovative spirit that I bring to every endeavour.
Just before their wedding in October, my niece, Emily, and her man, Jake, moved into the one-bedroom suite. Having family close by has been an absolute delight, and we’re thrilled they chose to make this cozy space their newlywed home.
Liam turned 21 and has been working two jobs, saving up for his upcoming Greek adventure with a 10-week Kingfisher Project program through Torchbearers in May 2024. He’ll get to walk through the life of the Apostle Paul, IRL!! I can’t wait to hear about the epic tales from that trip.
Let’s move on to October!!
In the spirit of trying new things, my husband Dave joined our church’s worship team on Thanksgiving Weekend (Canada, eh). Sharing his talents and connecting with the community is what I call a harmonious endeavour!
Our oldest grandson, Zion, celebrated his second birthday in October. Watching him grow, explore, and conquer the world around him has been a delight, even if it’s primarily over Facetime. His parents, Quinton and Lara, turned 25 this month as well. Time sure has a way of flying when you’re having fun!
And then there was November – off we went to Calgary to celebrate Christmas with the family (minus Jacob, who’s off exploring the world). It’s the only time we could see each other at this time of the year.
As we approach the year’s tail end, Jacob is currently on an incredible adventure, gallivanting across Spain, Italy, and Switzerland – it’s his Christmas break. The world is his playground, and we couldn’t be happier for his global escapades.
Christmas is right around the corner; it’ll be our first Christmas without all of the kids at home with us. It’s hard to believe it wasn’t that long ago… in June 2022, in fact, we had everyone living under our roof, including our 1st grandson and three international students from Ukraine. Eleven of us in total… and now all we have left is one kid. It’s been a big adjustment, albeit nicer on our wallet!
Last but not least, over the last year, we’ve had an absolute blast with our monthly Happy Hour gatherings at The Roadhouse Grille with Tammie, my brother-in-law Cliff, my mom Sharon, and her husband Brian. Dave and I love to get together with people; we love to feed people in our home even more. When I felt well enough, we opened our home for dinners with old and new friends on Sunday nights. Community means the world to us… here’s to friendship, laughter, and good times!
2023 has been filled to the brim with love, growth, and adventure. As we enter 2024, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for our family. Stay tuned for more unforgettable moments and, I’m sure, a few more surprises along the way! 🥂💖🌟