Ever had a week when SO MUCH HAPPENS it’s like an overload of monumental moments? Good or bad or a mixture of both, you appreciate it all but kinda wish you could have spread it out over, say, six months? Yeah, that was my week last week in Montreal—so many amazing things happened it was hard to take it all in, so now I’m unloading thoughts and uploading pics and just, WOW!

 

GREAT GRAD: The reason Lyndon and I flew to the other side of the country was to see our daughter, Charlotte, graduate with a post-grad in visual journalism. We seriously wonder how our 3 kids got so ridiculously smart—clearly, some fairly miraculous smooshing of our genes occurred along the way. Her last grad experience in Montreal involved a severe thunderstorm, the collapse of a tent, and 2,000 sopping wet, disgruntled individuals (documented right HERE) so we were understandably a tad apprehensive…

 

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But this time, the ceremony went smoothly in a beautiful, oh-so-solid Place des Arts Concert Hall building, and I felt incredibly blessed to be there to witness such a milestone for my girl. These occasions? Priceless. Always worth the time and money and effort to be there for our kids, no matter how old they are. Am I right? 🙂

 

HELLO, MR. PRIME MINISTER! Charlotte offered to drive us to Ottawa for a day as we’ve never visited our fair capital and wanted to do the tourist-y thing. It just so happens that the very hour we visited Parliament Hill, the entire collection of MP’s and senators stood for 10 minutes on the steps for a commemorative photo shoot. Who knew it was their 150th anniversary?

And maybe we were a little star-struck when we spotted (and slightly stalked) our suave P.M. …

Parliament Collage

 

HOLE-Y SINKHOLE! Yeah, so after we got over the Justin thing, we wandered downtown for lunch, only to discover more excitement—a massive sinkhole causing evacuations and all sorts of disruptions. Somewhat unnerving—check it out—but we were feeling invincible, still on a high from Parliament Hill! I was relieved and fairly amazed that nobody was injured/ sucked into the depths of the Ottawa black hole.

 

METRO IN MOURNING: Unfortunately, there was a truly devastating incident the following day when we took the underground Montreal Metro into the city to do some shopping (can I just mention that Montreal shopping is INSANELY GOOD!) There we were in our carriage, thankfully accompanied by Charlotte as I only speak “un peu Francais”, when suddenly the emergency brake caused us all to lurch unceremoniously forward and the lights went out. Silence. (Other than my beating heart). After several uncomfortable minutes, the announcer told us (in French) that we had been stopped due to an emergency, and that the lines would not be running for the next couple of hours. We would be evacuated at some point. So maybe it’s my wild, fiction-writing imagination, but the next 30 minutes I spent subtly eying each character in the carriage, wondering about their mental stability, physical ailments, which one would perform emergency surgery if necessary, who would read the last rites, that kind of thing. And then to top it all off, a harmonica starts to play a haunting tune from behind us, slow and death-march-like. I turn around and discover Harmonica guy has the wildest eyes I ever did see. For real.

But eventually, our police heroes came and rescued us from Crazyville, assisted us down the emergency ladder onto the train tracks and up to the station platform. An air of solemn melancholy filled the underground space as realization hit and we waited for them to remove all traces of the heartbreaking disaster from the tracks. Sad beyond words, and a harsh reminder of the fragility of life. Every moment is precious. Every soul is precious. Every single one.

 

GRAND PRIX ENDURANCE: The week ended in a frenzy of noise and cars and crowds. My husband loves, loves, loves watching the Grand Prix racing thing on TV, and when we learned that the Montreal Grand Prix was happening the same week as Charlotte’s grad, he thought an early birthday present was in order. It’ll be his 50th in October (how can this be?) so it is a bit special. Therefore, he bought tickets for us all for the 3-day event—yes, I just said THREE-DAY event! I love Lyndon so much that I sat and watched hours and hours and hours of cars going around and around and around a track for 3 days, because that’s what we do when we love someone!! We went from sunburn on Friday to the most frigid temperature imaginable on Sunday—picture me wearing 5 layers topped off with a bright yellow rain poncho on a cold, harsh, steel bench for six excruciating hours. But you know what? It was a blast! An icy blast on times and an exercise in physical endurance perhaps, but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Lyndon was like a kid in a candy store—this was his dream experience and I got to share it with him.

 

Grand Prix Collage

 

All this to say, I got to witness a lot of stuff last week. More than my usual week at home, that’s for sure. I was thoroughly spoiled and did a lot of “Laura things” but the best moments were when they were about others. Life is made up of moments—mundane and monumental, but it’s down to us to make each of them count. Putting aside the busyness and putting others first—spectating, encouraging, celebrating, crying, and laughing hysterically—making memories and making the most of each opportunity that comes our way. Shared moments are the best.

 

the really wonderful quote

Let’s be intentional and go for the “self-forgetfulness”—make time for God, family, and friends this week, and marvel at those monumental moments!

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