Part 1: 10 years of birthdays, adventures in loveland & a hilarious engagement

magical engagement, oh my handmade

My dearest friends I don’t even know where to begin! The last two days have been filled with so much magic one post could not possibly contain it all-so I’m breaking it into two parts to give me time to celebrate (and process) all the goodness to the fullest. This year was the first birthday I’ve ever walked into without a clue what the plan was or what to expect-both my love Chris and my mama asked me to trust them and let them keep secrets without trying to ferret out the big surprise. Together they conspired to create two separate gifts of such epic awesome my breath catches in my throat just thinking of it all. I better start at the start or I won’t make it all the way through without getting seriously verklempt!

*Pardon my quickly snapped photos-I stayed away from the devices so I could give everyone my whole attention & it was so worth it! Part 2 tomorrow will have all the pretty sparkly photos:) 

Sunday we celebrated Chris’s birthday with the girls, my mama and his family, at the local pub. On Monday after dropping Ila off at school Chris whisked us away to a sweet cozy cottage by the rough and windy ocean to celebrate our 9th anniversary (or annibirthsary since it is stuck between our two birthdays). My mama stayed behind to valiantly troop the girls about town-to school, daycare, Brownie Christmas parties, while percolating on her own secret gifts. In our whole nine years and 10 birthdays together Chris and I have never gone away for a night! We spent our first anniversary and 20/21 birthdays with a 2 month old baby and have been totally lax in making time or putting away money for alone time since so this was a real treat.

magical engagement, oh my handmade

I dressed up in my fancy clothes and we headed for The Salt Shaker Deli in Lunenburg which was sadly but miraculously closed. The funny thing about not having clear plans is that you have space for the most magical things to happen! Without any real destination we headed for the nearest town, Mahone Bay, and drove through it’s sweet streets all dressed in it’s Christmas lights, looking for a place to celebrate. Only one restaurant was open, Mateus Bistro, a lovely little building in the middle of town that invited us in with warm light, the best smells, and a beautiful welcoming Kira, who immediately felt like an old friend. She led us to a table by the window and then completely wooed us with a chai martini and an incredible menu. We told her our crazy birthday story and she brought us a special drink and joyful wishes to start off the night.

mateus bistro, magical engagement, oh my handmade

In between plates of the most extraordinary food (pulled pork on baguette, smoked chicken risotto, the most perfect duck and roast pork with fresh vegetables) all handmade and crafted with love, we learned that Kira runs the restaurant with her love Matthew who is the masterful chef. Midway through our meal he came to ask how our food was and must have thought us half mad (or wholly mad) when we both hugged him! They surprised us with a special birthday dessert of Artic-inspired bannock with maple butter sauce and an indulgent chocolate caramel torte. Most crazyawesomemagic part?  Kira and I are both from BC and have a whole pile of mutual friends on Cortes Island-the place Chris and I fell in love. It felt like finding a bit of home thousands of kilometers away. Like the universe aligned to make our night as perfect as possible. We left the restaurant glowing, full of handcrafted food, and the possibility of new friendships.

When we got back to our getaway Chris snuck off to get something he ‘forgot in the van’ and a few minutes later I heard a knock on the door. I opened it to find him dressed as a singing delivery man, mustache and all! After a great deal of giggling and the funniest video of all time his proposal landed us both in gasping belly laughs on the floor and a most beautiful ring by Aaron of Digby & Iona on my finger. Turning 30, getting engaged, WHAT!?! Could it get any better? Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow in which my mother’s love and our community of  goodness team up to deliver a gift beyond my wildest of imaginings! In the meantime, watch the snippet of video I tried to take of Chris’s proposal, funniest. thing. ever.

The best part is when he said “This all sounded so much better in my head” but I was laughing too hard at that point to keep recording!

How could I possibly say no?


    • Jessika says:

      @Sara: Thank you love!!!
      @Viv: Your comment was the first thing I read this morning! Sending you big hug across the pond:)
      @Tania: I am so happy to have connected with you! I got your package in the mail right on my birthday & adore it (and YOU!)thanks coming your way sooooon <3

  1. April says:

    I have a former co-worker who used to always use that movie quote of “I love it when a good plan comes together”. Nine years, two beautiful girls and lots of changes – seems to me the plan has come together. Congratulations to you and may the salt air calm your souls and propel you forward.

    Happy Birthday Jessika, Happy Birthday Chris, Happy Engagement!


    • Jessika says:

      @April, Chris and I are both sending you big hugs! The salt air is just what our family needed-it has rooted us to what we love and all that matters. Thank goodness for change & turning tides! Love to you <3

  2. Geri says:

    Congratulations!!! What a wonderful journey you’ve been on… and it just keeps getting better! How exciting a year is 2013 going to be for you? So very happy for you, Chris & your girls xxoo

    • Jessika says:

      @Geri-if this weekend was any indication of how awesome 2013 is going to be I better start sleeping more so I have the stamina for it! Let’s plan for 2013 to include real life visits!! Love & hugs to you <3

  3. Chara says:

    Jess!!!!!!Ahhhh!! Can you hear me laughing/crying/screaming from Halifax! Oh I am so happy for you! Big huge happy squeezes to you both and your adorable familia.

  4. Karen says:

    Congratulations! What a wonderful story, can’t wait for part two. All the best to you both, what an amazing way to finish the year and start the next. Congratulations again and thank you for sharing.

  5. Lela says:

    I am crying, Jess- alternately from the pure silliness of it all but mostly because of the palpable joy this post exudes. I am so incredibly thrilled for you. Wishing you a lifetime of joy. xo

  6. tracey says:

    Oh my! Craziness. Happy engagement, happy birthday, happy awesome. Of course the stars aligned for you both on this very special day…that’s what stars do when then see love. I’m so happy for you!!!!! xoxoxo.

  7. Joanne says:

    Congratulations on your engagement! All good wishes. Just think, after 10 more happy crazy years together your baby girl will be the same age as you were when you met…and you two will still be happy crazy and forever young together. Enjoy.

  8. Celeste Maglan Peralta says:

    I recently discovered you & your site this month. Oh, and what a spectacular month it is! I am so moved by your sharing of these special milestone moments in your life. Over-the-moon congratulations to you and your fiance! 🙂

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