That Summer in Burgundy

I’m not even really sure how to start this post.  I’m back.  I’ve missed you.  I’m ready to share.  I want to start by going back a bit…back to “That Summer in Burgundy”.  The video truly says it all…inspiration, beauty, creativity, COWS, wine, cheese, nature, simplicity, writing & connection.

I had the pleasure of meeting Marty Gervais before I left for England back in January.  He loved my story, gave me some writing advice & was even the one to suggest  the brilliant “Dear Grama” approach.  He also invited me to join his group of creative writing & photojournalist students for a summer course in France.  Not only did he invite me to take part in the course itself, but he also asked me to do my own talk for the group.  What an honour…my first speaking engagement.

On the second night of the 10 day trip, I was on the hot seat and must admit that I was a little nervous.  I made up a slideshow of photos from my journey, shared stories of the ups & downs of putting my hopes & dreams out there for the world to see, and talked about what the creative process was like for me.  I wrote every single day while in England…that in itself was quite the process.  Let’s just say, the presentation was well received.  The more I shared, the more authentically I showed up & the more vulnerable I was, the greater the impact.  I had the audience engaged, I had them laughing & I even had them crying just by being me, sharing my story, and truly honouring what the last 6 months were like for me.  The good, the bad & the ugly – and by that I mean that I even showed a picture of myself ugly crying in the slideshow.

It was a wonderful experience & I can just tell that this is the beginning of something BIG for me.  Not only did it help me become clear on how I am going to approach writing my book, but it also made me realize that I want to share the WHOLE story every chance I get.  The stories of self-doubt, what it’s like to hear negative comments in the media, the never fading fear of pressing ENTER after writing a blog post, the feelings of doing something different – & a little outrageous – that may cost you friendships, money & time and after all of that combined finding a way to POWER through.

I already have plans to share my story with schools & university creative writing classes in the near future.  My hope is that in sharing my story, I can hear yours.  I can hear your heart & soul’s desires, crazy-nutty dreams & ideas that may not even be full sentences yet.  Even if at this stage it’s just an itch, an inkling or an intuition that there’s something creative you want to give-a-go.




Well hello there friends, family & followers! I haven’t forgotten about you, I promise! The past 2 & a half weeks have been out of this world.  It has truly been like a fairytale.  I have so much to share that I don’t even know where to begin! I still have to fill you in on France & all that I gained from that experience, saying farewell to England, my voyage home & the incredible things that have happened in the week that I’ve been back.

The Queen Mary was amazing & truly the most magical ending to my journey.  I met some wonderful people, ate some great food & had conversations that I will forever cherish.  Grama was with me the whole way & arranged some spectacular sunsets.  I spent the majority of my time on the 7th deck, looking out to the vast Atlantic and savouring the daily celebration of the completion of this extraordinary journey.

Arriving in New York City as the sun was rising on July 27th was like a dream.  After a wonderful day in the city, a dear friend & I got on the train from New York to Toronto…then Toronto to Windsor the following day.  My reunion with Adam was one of the best moments of my life.  To be in his arms again felt like heaven.

The week was filled with seeing friends & family, getting some media attention from CTV Windsor & CBC Windsor, and the week was going to end with the highly anticipated engagement party to celebrate the love that Adam & I share with all of our family & friends.

Turns out, my fiance is the most romantic man on the planet, because him & my mom had been planning our surprise WEDDING since March.  I found out at 9am THAT DAY that everything had been arranged…hair, make-up, bridesmaid dresses, photographer, videographers, ceremony, reception, flowers….EVERYTHING! It was the BEST day of our lives, surrounded by those we love.  The joy, love & happiness in my heart was overwhelming in the best way possible.  It’s all still sinking in & there are so many details & stories that I want to share…but first…a HONEYMOON!

I thought I would share some photos to give you all a quick update & sneak peek.  I truly couldn’t have done any of this without the love & support of family, friends & complete strangers who I have connected with along the way throughout this journey.

Love & Hugs to all of you….and you will hear from me in a few weeks!

Mrs. Verheyen



Grama - QM

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Feel Good Friday Series

100 days, 100 ways: days 8-2

This is my final 100 days, 100 ways. My Day 1 picture will be shared when I get home. I will absolutely be sure to keep you posted & share photos from my voyage home.  Make sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter for quick updates.

I have to be honest committing to 100 days of anything is quite a lot, but thanks to guest quoters such as my brother (who officially got the MOST like’s) and with the help of YOU ALL sharing quotes & photo op suggestions, I was able to do it.  Thank you all so much! 

Dear Grama

A postcard from Paris

June 30th, 2013
Dear Grama,

Just a quick postcard to tell you what a lovely time I’ve been having in the enchanting city of Paris. I’ve spent time wandering the book & art stalls along the Seine stealing glances at Notre Dame in between. I’ve spent an afternoon at cafes with colourful canopies & outward facing seats so the patrons can watch the world go by. I’ve wandered uphill to Montmarte taking in the picturesque rod-iron terraces lined with wooden shutters & flower boxes. The historical beauty of Paris is incredible and I’ve been officially swept off my feet by the love & romance that radiates from this city.

I was also sure to visit the one and only – Eiffel Tower – that literally made me jump up & down with excitement when it came into sight. As we climbed up to get the best view of the breathtaking structure, I once again lined myself up to the exact place that you stood many years before. I thought of the beauty of that moment. This was at a time that you & Papa had been reunited for many years, it was a trip you two did with a group of war-brides that you travelled the world with, and it was just a teeny, tiny glimpse of your happily every after.  

It fills me with love, hope &  gratitude.
With a granddaughter’s love & admiration,

Feel Good Friday Series

100 days, 100 ways: days 29-23

This is the eleventh of my Feel Good Friday series that I started.  In honour of my 100 day mark, I will share a photo from each day with a quote.  I’m currently in Paris until Monday & then heading to Burgundy for a writing course with some University of Windsor writers. I will return to London July 10th for my final 10 days (eeeek!). Expect updates here & there.

Keep on sending quotes in the comments below, through Facebook, send an email to lifesletter(at)gmail(dot)com or use the form in the About Me page.

Thanks everyone. xox