Somewhere in Tuscany (Montepulciano??). Not sure why the photographer thought it’d be awesome to tilt the camera.

We spent a wonderful five days with (Allan’s) parents before they left yesterday, leaving us a bit homesick and hungry (after all the delicious food Mom cooked for us) in their wake. During the rest of their visit we got a chance to do lots of catching up, visit a Mennonite church in London (with only 10 congregants but lots of heart!), see Wicked in the West End and spend a couple nights drinking tea, eating cookies and playing euchre.

While she was here, Mom made us a few hot breakfasts of fried eggs, toast, orange juice and coffee and, feeling a bit morose this morning, I encouraged Allan to pack our supper leftovers for lunch so that I could return to our flat after morning lectures to make myself a lunch of…fried eggs, bread, orange juice and coffee.

Mom and Dad took with them our finished wedding thank you cards which will slowly get distributed through our social networks in the next four weeks or so. Writing all those thank you cards was no easy feat – it took us a number of multi-hour writing sessions to get them all done. But each time I started to feel like the task was beginning to be a bit of a slog, and the Sharpie fumes started causing overwhelming nausea, I merely had to look over our spreadsheet that we had used to document everyone’s gifts, and be overwhelmed by the generosity of our friends and family in giving us their time, presents, prayers and encouragement.

Of course, it’s not the wedding (or weddings gifts) that has shown us what amazing friends we have and communities we belong to, but our wedding was a very powerful reminder that we are deeply loved. A number of family members and friends flew to Toronto just to attend our wedding. Many of those same people, plus many others, pitched in beyond what we could have even hoped or imagined so that we could have a flawless (and, for Allan and me, perfect) wedding day. Acquaintances and friends of our parents wrote very heartfelt cards and gave generous gifts to wish us well in our new life together. Some of the families that came had very tough years with serious illness and other misfortunes befalling them yet still rejoiced with us. A few seniors from church who were friends with my late grandma sent sweet notes to congratulate me on getting married (this in particular was very special to me). I’m getting a bit teary just writing this so I’m going to have to stop here.

It just so happens too that in the past couple of weeks I have received a number of e-mails from good friends with whom I’ve been out of touch since I moved to London, and each one of them has warmed my heart. I am notoriously bad at responding to e-mails on time, so if you are one of those people, please know that I’m sorry, your reply is coming soon, and that I would love to video Skype with you some time. And if you are one of those people who e-mailed me in the summer and have not had a response, the above also applies to you and know also that I am ashamed of myself, I am lucky that you are still my friend and I am working on it (my tardy-response problems).