~ Special Moments - Unforgettable Memories ~

I started this blog, as a reflective tool for my professional practice and in many ways it has evolved to include special moments from my personal life too!  Writing about my experiences in the classroom, inspiring readings, school visits, new educational books or products, and later the workshops that I have had the privilege to attend or present at has given me a voice and a chance to share the learning with a wider audience.  It is quite incredible to archive your thoughts, whether online, in a journal, or photo book, and later return back to them months after.  You would be surprised of the changes and growth that occur!

Blogging is a labour of love for me, and in many respects my hobby.  It is a creative process with both the photography and words selected to convey such moments.  I enjoy this opportunity and never imagined that anyone would care enough to even read it...  Now with almost 2 million views, google has approached me to monetize this virtual space with various advertisements along the panel of the blog.  I have purposely chosen to keep this a free space for those who visit, and plan to make a separate website for my consulting company in the near future.  

Somehow through this online platform, I feel as though I have developed an extended family of educators.  Your emails of encouragement have truly motivated me throughout the years.  In any given week I can get up to fifty emails with questions about resources, clarification about my planning process, and upcoming learning opportunities.  I was most surprised when followers started sending me messages wondering about my travels, engagement, wedding, and now how my pregnancy is going.  It it for this reason, that on occasion I like to post about special events in my life.  It is a chance for me to share a more personal side of myself and help you get to know me a little bit better.  

The way that I see it, behind each blog is a person. One with a life outside of their professional aspirations.  It is these special moments that help define who we are, and our outside of school experiences impact how we educate our students.

A few years ago, my professional and personal life collided when my fiancĂ© planned his marriage proposal in my Kindergarten class.

Naturally the group of students involved wanted to help us plan the wedding!  So of course we had our own celebration at school, well in advance of the big day with the help of a real photographer (annawithlove - see photos below).

Today marks our first wedding anniversary.  It is a day that I look back upon with great emotion, especially as a sentimental person.  Over the summer I got my professional photographs from LifeImages and hope you enjoy re-living this momentous day with me! May our story warm your heart even on the coldest of days!

Here are a few photos of us preparing on the morning of our wedding:

Here are a few photos of us during the wedding service at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church with Father Spyros Vitouladitis:

Here are a few photos of us at the Toronto Christmas Market with our Great Entourage:

I purposely selected the Toronto Christmas Market, so that we could create the tradition of returning each anniversary.  My thought was that it would be wonderful to capture the special moments as our family grew in the season that we love most!

Our family is beginning to grow a little more quickly than we had anticipated, and we are expecting Baby Vergis in a few short weeks. 

Here we are one year later feeling so blessed that our story is continuing and a new chapter is beginning... For more pictures please visit my Instagram page and hashtag #shareinourstory.

From my family to yours, thank you for your kindness throughout the years.  I would love to continue to use this blog as both a professional and personal space.  

Both Arsenios (Ari) and I would like to extend our sincerest appreciation to everyone who made our wedding day so memorable.  To our parents, relatives, and close friends - you shared in our story and it wouldn't have been complete without you!  Special thanks to my mom, cousin AnnaMaria from Greece, and friend Claire for everything they did to help me make this day possible!  Perhaps next year I will blog about all the tiny details that we created ourselves, especially at the wedding venue!  DIY projects are my favourite!!

I treasure these moments and plan to create many more...  May we all continue to celebrate love, happiness, and above all our health.

I hope that you slow down and enjoy those who surround you and the magic of this season!


Joanne Marie Babalis


are special moments

that tell our story...

                                                                                     -Unknown author 


Share your thoughts :

  1. Dear Joanne:

    I found your amazing blog last year, while looking for reggio emilia resources.
    Your work is an endless source of inspiration.
    I just read this post and found it so moving and touching. Thank you so much for sharing a piece of your life and such beautiful pictures.
    Blessing for you and your growing family. Love & Light from Chile :)

    Wish you Peace beyond all understanding


    1. Dear Siret,

      This comment made my morning!! Thank you for sending your well wishes all the way from Chile. I am so pleased and surprised that you found this little blog from such a distance!

      I appreciate you taking the time and am happy knowing that I can inspire a few along my travels!

      Have a wonderful holiday and Merry Christmas!

      Warmly yours,

      Joanne Marie Babalis

  2. You have such a way with words and your photos speak what can't be typed. Whenever I am in doubt of myself as an educator I come and check out your blog and I'm always left feeling revitalized and full of inspiration to take back to my own class! Thanks for sharing your life with us and congrats on the little one on the way!!! Much Love!