Today I am kicking off the River Studio Design Blog and introducing you to my family, who will undoubtedly make an appearance along the way. I absolutely love design and love it even more when it holds up to the demands of family life. I have tried and tested things with my gang. Through this blog I will honestly portray the ups and downs of designing for others and in my own home. I hope this may help you in some little way, on your path to creating a beautiful and functional home for your family.
Here is a little bit about my family.
I am originally a northern Ontario girl but moved to Ottawa to go to university. My first job after graduation was in Toronto where I met my charming husband @Geraintthewelsh. Geraint, who is from Wales, had been invited to Canada to play rugby for the summer. He was funny and cute, so I convinced him to stay, and 11 months later we were married. That was probably the riskiest move I have ever made but the best decision by far. Shortly after the wedding, I was transferred with my federal government job back to Ottawa. Geraint got a job working in the commercial office furniture industry and we have made Ottawa our home ever since.
My Husband and Partner in Design
The name Geraint is pretty hard to pronounce so everyone calls him Ger. You should also. Ger has a quirky sense of humour and a joke for every occasion. He is an energetic and fun dad but can always bring calm to a hectic situation. He is the ying to my yang and has never refused a DIY carpentry challenge that I have given him.
It became clear pretty early on that @Geraintthewelsh and I were a good team for home renovation projects. The seed for the River Studio Design blog was planted when we moved to the River House. I talked about the renovation of our four houses and cottage and my obsession with white paint here!
Our Awesome Young Adults
We have three children who have somehow magically become young adults.
Mackenzie is the oldest. We have always known the minute she was awake, as that’s when the singing started. Fortunately for us, she has perfect pitch. Mackenzie was always organizing a game of school for her siblings and neighbourhood children, but now with two degrees under her belt, she is a teacher for real. Mackenzie is like a breath of fresh air when she breezes into a room and lifts up the mood. She empathetic and always ready to fight for the underdog.
Sydney is our middle child, as she always reminds us. While our other two children played competitive hockey, Syd gave hockey the thumbs down and tried dance, karate, competitive swimming, soccer, trampolining and track and field. Did I miss anything? She graduated with a Bachelor of Science and will be on to another degree, but sports a famous X ring. Syd is a good friend and doesn’t tolerate others who treat people poorly, and I am with her on that. She is kind and loving and thinks about things deeply like her mom.
Griffin is our youngest and the only boy. He likes competition with a capital C. Griffin learned to ice skate at age two, then water-skied by age three. When he was young, he played competitive hockey, and that was all he thought about. But, one summer when Griffin was about 12, we enrolled him in a summer camp at a private golf course near our house. At the end of the week, the coach asked us to keep him for the rest of the summer. Hmm – Yes please. Griffin eventually gave up hockey and is now playing Division 1 golf in Virginia. We have to ban political discussions in our house when the kids are all home, because Griffin really likes to argue politics.
The Photobomber AKA Lola the Puppy
I must also introduce our golden doodle puppy Lola, aka the photo-bomber in pictures. We missed our golden doodle Sammy who crossed the rainbow bridge in 2017 and in a moment of weakness, we agreed to get the kids puppy. Since none of them live at home full-time, she is my 24/7 shadow. She lovely and calm but leaves an ample trail of white hair wherever she goes.
I am the wife and momanager to all of them. We have a family group chat that pings all day and I love that we are always talking, even though we are far apart. When asked, my family said that I am a shaper of lives and a maker of beauty; that I am creative, detail-oriented, thoughtful, emotional and that I shower quickly and sneeze really loudly. Well there you have it. While I have had more than my share of challenges with my back (more on that at some point), I try to focus on making every day count. You can find me in my happy place, my cozy office overlooking the river, coffee in hand, puppy at my side and with my laptop. I can’t wait to share with you, the ideas that River Studio Design and I have percolating.