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On love- Nicole

Before we begin with the last three of the Love series posts, just wanna give you a head's up on a giveaway I'm participating in.......

For starters we are handing out 180 dolla-billz.
That's a lot of moola that I surely wouldn't turn my nose up to.

 Secondly, the winner will get to choose any pair of darling earrings from Emma & Sophia.
Yes please.

And thirdly, a Big Spender ad space on A Fresh Start on a Budget's blog.
Not too shabby.

Check out all of the darling gals below and get entered!!


and now on to Nicole.....

Nicole is my bro-in-law, Josh's girlfriend.  We have only been together a couple of times, due to the fact that she's in Winnipeg and holidays are too few and far between, but I know that if we were in closer quarters on a regular basis, this girl would be a regular in our life.  My kids love her, I have loved getting to know her and I look forward to seeing more of her in the future.  Also- I'm honoured that she would even do this, whilst on a 6 week vacay trekking through Europe. And then on top of that, this is a beautifully honest and well written piece.  Super impressed, Nicole!

My romantic resume is not one to brag about. I am a 22 year old woman, which immediately acts to forfeit nearly all claims of mine regarding love. I grew up in the age of the Disney animation craze, and I have yet to sing myself out of the ocean and into a blue glittery dress and Prince Eric's arms (although I'm still hoping!). I grew up in the dawn of social media--MSN chat, email, Facebook--and I have yet to have a relationship blossom out of emoticons and lol-ing at the end of every sentence (for which I am not hoping). Even regarding real-life experiences, I doubt I can convince many that I am the one withholding the secret of true love, not even myself.

So why bother contributing a blog post? Am I simply trying to impress my boyfriend's sister-in-law? Possibly (her kids are pretty darn cute). But I think a more plausible reason is that there is one example of true love that I have been fortunate enough to witness, and that is my father's love for his children.

My dad was every kid's dream for a dad. He taught us how to read, how to ride bikes, "helped"with diorama/science projects (read: did projects because he was more excited about them than we were--he's an engineer). He made our lunches, although he often mixed up which kid liked which foods and/or simply threw in whatever combination seemed reasonable, much to our dismay. But he made up for it with the occasional post-it note with good wishes for the day. Every night in the summer, we would say nightly prayers and then try to find the Big Dipper, chatting in the finally cool evening after a hot Winnipeg day. It was my father who recognized when I was having a hard time making friends in high school. It was my father who always reminded me to be myself.

But my dad had his problems too. For years he nursed a growing problem with addiction to alcohol, of which I was unaware until I was an adult. After my parents separated in the summer of 2008, he retreated deeper into this source of comfort. I started to question my respect for him as he let himself slip away, which was devastating to a girl who had idolized her dad for 20 years. I had trouble going to see him, as every time I felt his perceived sense of failure as a man.

In February of 2013, I received an email from my dad, claiming he had checked himself into detox at the hospital, and was waiting to enter a rehabilitation centre. I was dumbfounded. What made him go? What if it doesn't work? I approached this new scenario cautiously,

My dad has been sober since that day in February. I have had my dad back since February, except now, an even better version, as he is honest about his problems and faces his life with open eyes.

I have never asked him why he drank, nor why he stopped. Some people wonder why not sooner--perhaps it would have saved his marriage (although in my opinion, my parents are simply two very different people). Sure, I'm curious, but it doesn't matter. Recently, in a discussion after dinner one evening, he was talking about his interview to enter the rehab clinic. He said, "They let me in sooner than others because I have you."

I may not know much about romantic love. But I think I can say that one form of love is when a man can admit to himself and the world that he has a problem that is taking him away from his children, and he's willing to deal with the painful physical and psychological realities to get back to them. That's more than any rom-com ever taught me.


  1. Wonderful, honest post! Wishing nothing but the best for Nicole, her dad and family.

  2. Wonderful post, Nicole. I look forwarded to meeting you someday at one of Deena's fabulous bday parties.

  3. Really beautiful post. My father has also suffered from alcoholism, and it's a hard road. Sounds like your dad is a wonderful guy!


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