How to know if she’s the one

This is a sponsored post from eHarmony Canada.

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When you’ve been with your partner for a long time, there comes a point where you start imagining spending the rest of your life with them. But how do you know if they’re the one for life? Here are some ways you can tell.

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 She makes you feel good

 When you’ve met The One, you know it by how they make you feel. Everything is better when they’re around. From paying you a compliment to helping you work through a problem, your partner should make you feel like life is good.

 She gets on with your friends and family

 The people who have known you the longest will be the best measure for whether a partner is right for you. If she gets on well with the people you’re closest to, you can feel safe in the knowledge that you’ve found someone special.

 She has her own life

 After you’ve gone through the honeymoon period of wanting to spend every minute with each other, a successful relationship is based on two people coming together from separate lives. If she’s able to maintain and enjoy a life of her own, you can know that she wanted to make space in that life specifically for you.

 She’s in your corner

Life’s toughest challenges are made better by knowing someone is looking out for you. If she knows what to do in a crisis, you can trust that you can go the distance together.

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…but not all the time!

 Part of being someone’s partner is knowing when to challenge them. It’s no good being in a relationship with someone who agrees with you 24/7. You need someone who can bring a new point of view – even if it occasionally bruises your ego.

 She trusts you (and vice versa)

 The big issue of trust must be tackled before making a commitment to someone. It’s cute to be a bit jealous occasionally but too much of it can turn a relationship sour.

 How to meet your soulmate

 If you’re single and still looking for The One, here are some tips on how to go about it.

 Through friends

 Telling your friends you’re looking to meet someone is a surefire way to get set up for a few dates in no time. Many couples find each other through friends so don’t be afraid to ask.

 Classes

 Taking a class in a subject you’re really interested in is a good way to find people with common interests. From there, it’s only a short leap to suggesting you meet up outside of the class and have that all-important first date.

 Online dating

 Online dating, through websites such as eHarmony Canada, allows singles to meet each other quickly and easily. By taking the time to set up a profile and perform personalized searches, you can meet singles in your area for dates in no time. Click here for more information.

The Wedding Reception

I think Sunshine and I were looking forward to the reception almost as much as the actual reception itself (if not a little bit more). As mentioned previously, we were having a relaxed reception with pizza and cupcakes and no alcohol. So how did it all turn out?

Well, once the reception was over our officiant asked everybody to meet on the main floor of the venue and sit on the stairs. Where there were only 40 guests, the thought was that Sunshine and I could get a picture with the entire wedding party…something not many folks get to do during their wedding. We ended up getting our wedding party to pose with us in two different stairways, and the photos turned out great. No, not everybody was looking or smiling at all the same time, but we loved knowing that everybody who was really important to us was there getting photographed.

The wedding partyThe wedding partyOnce the photos were taken, we waited for everybody to take their seats so I could say a few words. I thanked both of our parents for being so awesome and then thanked each of the children individually for being as incredible as they are. Then we decided to have our first dance, if for no other reason than to allow folks to take pictures of us.

Which they did…

Dancing at the reception Dancing at the reception Dancing at the receptionOnce the dancing was done, the food was served! The line-up immediately started with the kids and then the adults, and the two servers who were there to help dish out the pizza started to fall behind a little bit. My dad, who ran a restaurant for over twenty years, jumped behind the counter and started handing out bottles of water and Coke…and he didn’t miss a beat!

Dad servingThe food was served and it took a few minutes, but Sunshine and I finally were able to sit for just a couple of minutes and try to eat some of the food ourselves…

Enjoying the food at our receptionThe Shoe Game?The music played but people weren’t really dancing much (probably because of the lack of alcohol), but we didn’t care. Sunshine and I enjoyed the 80’s music that we chose together with everything playing from Wham! to Milli Vanilli to Rick Astley. We were more than just a little happy and didn’t have a care in the world. We mingled and spoke to everybody. After a little bit, it was time for the shoe game.

The Shoe Game??

Yeah. It’s a bit difficult to explain here, but thankfully there’s full video of the entire game for you to enjoy!

The rest of the reception was fairly uneventful, but there were a ton of laughs, a ton of love, and a ton of photos to end off the evening. At the end of the day, we found ourselves to be blissfully happy and unbelievably excited to be Mr. & Mrs. CBG.

My dream woman is now my wife…and life is pretty good right now.

My fave shot

The Wedding: The Ceremony concluded

So everything was running 30 minutes behind and our officiant hadn’t arrived until after Sunshine was ready to actually walk down the aisle. Thankfully, seeing my bride immediately made the world a better place and our wedding ceremony absolutely perfect.

Making her smileI could tell that she was tearing-up before things even started, so I tried to talk to her and joke with her so that she would just be as happy as I was. As the officiant began to speak, I zoned out. In fact, I was so absolutely enthralled with my bride-to-be that I don’t remember a single, solitary thing that she said the entire ceremony. What I do remember is that I was talking to Sunshine almost the entire time…blissfully unaware of anything else going on around me.

Sunshine’s sister did a great reading for us, taken from a poem that she found on the internet, Loving The Wrong Person by Andrew Boyd:

We’re all seeking that special person who is right for us.
But if you’ve been through enough relationships,
you begin to suspect there’s no right person,
just different flavors of wrong.
Why is this?
Because you yourself are wrong in some way,
and you seek out partners who are wrong in some complementary way.
But it takes a lot of living to grow fully into your own wrongness.

It isn’t until you finally run up against your deepest demons,
your unsolvable problems – the ones that make you truly who you are –
that you’re ready to find a life-long mate.
Only then do you finally know what you’re looking for.

You’re looking for the wrong person.
But not just any wrong person:
the right wrong person – someone you lovingly gaze upon and think,
“This is the problem I want to have.”

As some of you may know, both Sunshine and I decided to write our own vows. We didn’t want to just write plain ol’ vows or sappy vows or boring vows…we wanted to really let our personalities SHINE without being too over-the-top.

I went first…

For those who couldn’t make out everything (it was a bit windy, I know), here are my vows:

I’ll always remember the very first words you ever said to me…
“Glad to see my friend request wasn’t creepy.”
Baby…you had me at “creepy”.
It only took a week before I knew that you were “the one”. I almost chased you away because I was just so eager to tell you that we were meant to be together forever. Luckily, we both kept our stalker tendencies in the background long enough to fall in love with each other.
What convinced me of how perfect you are for me was realizing how you never just “put up with me”. You not only accept all of the wackiness that makes me who I am, but you ENCOURAGE me to be me. I’ve never had that before and I love that I feel 100% comfortable being myself whenever we’re together.
Having said that, there are some vows I need to make in order for this whole thing to be considered official:
I vow to never take you for granted. I mean, you COOK for me!! How awesome is that??
I vow to never forget our journey. And yes, that includes the over 65,000km that I have driven over the past four years to make this awesome long-distance relationship work.
I vow to not keep score. I have too much respect for you to ever do that.
I vow to always try to learn, improve, and grow as a person. You know that I’m not the same man I was five years ago, and that’s all because of you.
I vow to never get complacent. I don’t ever want us to sit back and think our lives are boring.
I vow to wake up every morning and fall in love with you all over again.
And above all else, I vow to take you as you…loving who you are now and who you are yet to become. I promise to encourage you, trust you, and respect you. I will love you unconditionally and without hesitation.
This may be our second time taking this crazy step called “marriage”, but it’s definitely my last. The journey I have taken with you is the ONLY journey I ever want to take for the rest of my life.
And you know what they say about second marriages: 60% of the time, they work EVERY time.

Sunshine followed-up…

And here are hers for those interested:

Todd~
You are my cheerleader, confidante, best friend, co-conspirator, and partner in ridiculousness. You have helped me to find the true meaning of happiness, and you work with me to cultivate it every single day.
You make me laugh like no one 3I have ever known.
You inspire me to be a better person, while loving me exactly as I am.
You are the mirror that reflects back all of the best parts of me, without being dishonest about the not-so-best parts.
You have loved me not just at my best, but at my worst, too – which I admit, is no small feat.
You are the person who always believes me, even when I don’t always believe in myself.
Today I take you to be my husband, the step-father of my girls, and best friend until death do us part — even if Ryan Gosling shows up on our doorstep.
I promise to be the best partner to you I can be, and to make up for those days when I fall a little short.
I will always encourage you to be yourself, even when I’m embarrassed by your antics.
I promise to not keep score, even when I’m winning.
No matter what – I promise to love and respect you, even on those days when I might not like you very much.
I promise to make sure I’m not just hungry before I yell at you.
I promise to stay engaged in life and in our marriage, even on the toughest days.
I promise to do my best to be a good stepmother, friend, and role model for your children.
And most of all I promise to always be grateful for what you and I have together — to nurture, protect it, and work to make it better — because I know how rare and special it is.
Marrying you today makes me excited for the future, and I vow to help create a life full of laughter, love and adventure that we can be proud of.

My awesome son was the ring bearer and did a great job of holding and protecting our rings. When called upon, he was totally prepared to hand the rings to Sunshine and I…

The ring bearer!At this point, we had another “uniquely us” moment that we thought would be fun. We hadn’t asked anyone to be a best man or a maid of honor, so we had nobody to sign the registry as our witnesses. The “joke” was that our officiant was going to ask for two volunteers because we couldn’t decide who we liked the most. Immediately, two friends leaped up to be our “best people” (one of them was our awesome friend from Texas, T) and so we were ready to make things official.

I put on some “mood music” to play in the background, including Grow Old With You and Rainbow Connection. Being “us”…we couldn’t just sit there idly and be boring…so we just HAD to mug for the camera!

Making it official 1 Making it official 2Honestly, once we were done and our friends were signing the registry, we didn’t have a care in the world.  In fact, neither one of us have any recollection of this picture ever being taken…there was nobody else in the entire world but us.

Oblivious

Once that was done, all that was left was the official announcement of us being “husband and wife”. I pulled Sunshine close to me, caressed her beautiful face, and kissed my bride…

The kiss!!We danced our way down the aisle to On Top Of The World (because that’s how we were feeling) and made our exit. While the marriage ceremony was now over, the reception had yet to begin!

The Wedding: The Ceremony

When last we spoke, the wedding proceedings were running a half hour late but the stress was beginning to disappear once photos began to be taken. Our photographer was awesome…she guided us up and down the waterfront boardwalk and took some incredible shots. I was initially a bit concerned about how we would look and if our photographer would capture “us” and who we are.

I’m so glad that my concerns were unfounded…

001 002 008We were all smiling wide as we made our way back to the venue, 30 minutes before the start of the actual ceremony. At this point, I split away from Sunshine and the kids, grabbed the rented stereo equipment, and made my way to the roof. There were a few of Sunshine’s family members up there waiting, taking in the view of the harbour in the sun. The seats and tables were all set-up and ready to go.

IMG_3603I quickly set-up the music and began to play my “pre-wedding playlist”, which consisted of songs like Never Tear Us Apart, Someone To Love, and Faithfully. Because I’m just a bit of a ham, I grabbed the microphones to test them out and then proceeded to talk to the wedding guests…at one point even trying to talk to a passing boat and get them to wave.

I remember it being 4:25pm and the guests were all getting seated. I took a look around and noticed something was missing. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it…

Oh yeah…there was nobody there that could actually MARRY US!!!

Okay…long story short, we had told our officiant that we weren’t going to be in a rush to start the ceremony right at 4:30pm and that we could probably wait until around 5pm.  We totally changed our minds shortly after that meeting but, unfortunately, we had forgotten to tell the officiant.

It was 4:30pm…everybody was seated and my dad was waving at me to start the proceedings. I waved him over and politely told my family and friends that no, in fact we didn’t have anybody there who could actually marry us.

Panic immediately began to sink in.

As soon as my dad went back to tell Sunshine, the officiant showed up. She was quite adamant that we had said 5 o’clock and I didn’t recall having that conversation at all. I told her that it didn’t matter and we were good to go.

I turned on the Love Theme to The Princess Bride and then the kids all made their way across the roof, around the seats and up through the middle of the aisle.

IMG_3602

That happened rather quickly but I honestly don’t remember much about it. Why? It’s because I was solely focused on my beautiful bride walking towards me to our song

My beautiful bride...
My dad walking my beautiful bride down the aisle…

To be continued Monday…

The Wedding: The Big Day Begins

Sunshine and I woke up on Sunday morning with smiles on our faces. She had been a bit on edge over the weekend so she wanted to go out for a run and try to clear her head a little bit. I was pretty relaxed so I guess we kinda evened each other out a bit. Just as she went out, my son woke up and was out with me in the living room. We decided to go out and pick up some donuts for the kids as a special “wedding day treat”.

By the time noon arrived, I had picked up T and we were dropping Sunshine off at the hair salon. She didn’t actually have much of a plan going in…just that she wanted her hair up a bit to show off her amazing dress. Once she was dropped off, I had one more special stop to take T that involved food: Tony’s Donair.

T at Tony's DonairWhat’s a donair? Well…here’s a pretty good description from Wikipedia:

Halifax donair meat is sliced from a loaf cooked on a vertical spit, made from a combination of ground beef, flour or bread crumbs, and various spices. The sauce is distinctively sweet, being made from evaporated milk, sugar, vinegar, and garlic. The meat and sauce are served rolled in a flatbread with diced tomato and diced onion. While not included on “original” donairs, some restaurants add lettuce and/or cheese as well.

Halifax is famous for our donairs, but not a lot of people have had the opportunity to try them. I took T to Tony’s and let her dig right in…

T loves donair!In T’s own words: “Yum!”

I drove T back to her place so she could get ready and head back to pick up Sunshine. The only problem was that her hair appointment was running a little late. How late? Well…about 30 minutes late.

This was when I started to get a little “antsy”. Y’see, up until this point, I had been cool as a cucumber the entire weekend. Everything was planned and set-up and simply ready for implementation. This 30 minute delay, however, threw me for a loop.

As we drove back home, I received a text from my dad (who had already picked up our flowers and cupcakes) asking where we were. At this point, it was 1:35pm and I had wanted to leave for the venue at 2:20pm…so things weren’t going quite as planned and, being one who doesn’t like to veer away from a plan very often, I began to get flustered.

We got home and the girls all got changed. By the time they were ready, it was 2:20pm and both my son and I hadn’t gotten dressed yet (it’s a small apartment). By the time we were ready, it was 2:35pm and I was really beginning to freak out a bit.

We got to the venue and unloaded the cupcakes, flowers, and table centerpieces. It was 3 o’clock and I was concerned about meeting-up with my oldest daughter (who was meeting us there at 2:45pm) and the photographer (who was supposed to start taking our pictures at 3pm).

I actually began to fear that my attitude was going to ruin our big day. I had to take a deep breath and try to place everything aside for a moment. I looked around and realized that this was MY big day; it was OUR big day. I realized that my daughter hadn’t shown up yet and the photographer was late, so why was I getting all worked up?

My daughter arrived. The photographer arrived. One picture was all it took for me to relax and enjoy the rest of the day.

The Whole Fam Damily
The entire CBG clan in our first “all together” photo.

Yep…I was now ready to own this day!

The Wedding: The Final Days Before

Both Sunshine and I took Friday, August 9th off of work in order to get some pretty important things done. First was traveling 2.5 hours to pick up my son, Ankle Biter. Once we did that, we began back-tracking 45 minutes to pick up my daughter, Rugrat, from her grandmother’s. After making a quick stop to say “hi” to my dad and ensure everything was on track for Sunday, we made our way home.

You would think we’d then be able to chillax for a bit on a Friday night…but no. We needed to travel 20 minutes to pick up our friend T from the airport, so we dropped off the kids and went back to pick her up. Sure…her flight was a bit late, but we were still really excited to pick up this great friend who flew up from Texas just to spend the weekend with us.

After pick-up was complete, we then head back into the city so we could settle in for the night. Sunshine and I had purchased some lobster and prepared some Maritime-made lobster rolls in a way you just can’t get anywhere else. They were incredible and T was extremely happy, so this made for a great start to the weekend.

We wanted to go out for a couple of drinks with friends, so we ended up at the restaurant that Sunshine and I enjoyed our first date at: The Fireside Restaurant. It was nice to sit back and relax a bit before the hectic weekend officially began. And really, how lucky was I on this evening?

CBG in a Sunshine/T sandwich!

T took a quick shot of the happy pre-wedding couple.
T took a quick shot of the happy pre-wedding couple.

We got up bright and early on Saturday morning so we could take T down to the place that holds such a dear place in our hearts: the Halifax Seaport Farmer’s Market. Not only was this place the venue for our wedding the next day, but it’s where we spend every other Saturday morning religiously. We know some of the vendors so well that they were almost as excited as WE were for the wedding! The people there…the crafts…the food…the atmosphere…it’s something that needs to be experienced in order to be truly appreciated.

T waiting at Wrap So D
T waiting at Wrap So D

T was taking pictures left, right, and center…and rightfully so. The colours of the produce alone were enough to inspire cameras to come out and start clicking. Halifax is known for it’s blogging culture and food bloggers, in particular. Seeing people randomly take pictures is just another part of the market’s charm.

It was here that I introduced T to one of my favourite vendors: Wrap So D. He not only makes the best wraps in the city, but he likes to crank up music and put on a show for his clients while they wait in line. One of his newest creations is the Seaport Seafood Medley Wrap, which includes a generous portion of shrimp, scallop, & lobster along with red onions and peppers in a Hollandaise sauce. WOW…was this thing good!

Chef Darren at Wrap So D making T's seafood wrap.
Chef Darren at Wrap So D making T’s seafood wrap.
Seaport Seafood Medley Wrap
Seaport Seafood Medley Wrap

Needless to say, T was pretty happy with her second introduction to Maritime food.

I grabbed my two kids to get some last-minute errands taken care of (finalizing paying for the flowers, picking up dress shoes for Ankle Biter, etc) and dropped Sunshine, T, and the girls on the Halifax waterfront to have fun and explore. After meeting up with everybody, we stopped by a local ice cream/chocolate/candy store called Sugah! and let the kids cool off with some hand-paddled ice cream.

PHOTOBOMB~!!
PHOTOBOMB~!!

The final night before the wedding ended with a pretty spectacular BBQ’d hamburger display by yours truly (really…they were pretty awesome…just ask T!) and a lazy evening sitting around with T, talking about life and such. We could have talked all night (we are all friends, after all), but we all turned in at a decent time…knowing just how much was in store for us the next day.

 

The First Post-Wedding Update

Hey gang!

The wedding was only three days ago, but both Sunshine and T have posts up already discussing it. If you’ve read my blog for awhile, you know that I’m going to break down this wedding and post-wedding family vacation into at LEAST a week of blog posts…so be prepared to be bombarded with even the most minute of details.

Having said that, this week is being spent with family…so the blog posts probably won’t start until Monday. HOWEVER, I will be updating my Canadian Bald Guy Facebook page with various photographs from before, during, & after the wedding (not to mention VIDEOS OF OUR VOWS) so you can at least get a taste of what’s to come.

Thanks for the encouraging comments & well wishes that both Sunshine and I have been receiving on Twitter, as well. It’s awesome to have such an online presence and know that so many people have been rooting for us over the past five years.

So to quickly recap…we’re married, all went unperfectly perfect, and life is tremendous.

Stay tuned!