A Canadian Love Story Sprinkled with Cancer & Roots Canada

A Canadian LOVE STORY, sprinkled with cancer

A Canadian love story sprinkled with #cancer via @RootsCanada & @LynneKnowlton



I usually have a ‘no seriousness allowed’ policy on the bloggy posts.  I might have broken that rule today.  I definitely broke that rule today.


It’s been a beautiful week and a sad ( I don’t even like to use that word on the blog) week, all wrapped up in a cabin blanket.



A Canadian Love Story with @RootsCanada & @LynneKnowlton family xo via Design The Life You Want to Live #Love #FamilyDay #cancer #LoveHeals



This week was the anniversary of my Dad passing away from cancer.  It got me thinking… thinking about how cancer touches our hearts.  Cancer has the ability to singlehandedly steal the love of our lives, 

One moment at a time

One day at a time

Like the painfully slow tick of a clock.


The good news is that this blog post is  ….

Mostly   Happiness

mixed with a bit of sappiness.


In celebration of Family Day here in Ontario, Canada ~ I wanted to share something that is near and dear to my heart, and I wanted to share it with YOU.


My family.


We had an incredible day with an even more incredible family—meet the Knowltons. http://t.co/giibUQ44et @lynneknowlton #CanadianLoveStory Roots (@RootsCanada)

As a blogger, I don’t often share the behind the scenes or the in front of the scenes  (teehee) of my family.  Look out … that’s all about to change today.  I’m about to give you a sneak peek into my home life with my husband and our children.  We have four children, but only three are here in the photos.  Our daughter Shelby is away at school in British Columbia.  Big hug to Shelby ! xo


A Canadian Love Story with @RootsCanada & @LynneKnowlton family xo via Design The Life You Want to Live #Love #FamilyDay #cancer #LoveHeals


Ready for it ?  Want to meet my family?

Roots Canada is about to help you with that …


A Canadian Love Story with @RootsCanada & @LynneKnowlton family xo via Design The Life You Want to Live #Love #FamilyDay #cancer #LoveHeals

Meet  Mackenzie 🙂 xo


A Canadian Love Story with @RootsCanada & @LynneKnowlton family xo via Design The Life You Want to Live #Love #FamilyDay #cancer #LoveHeals


Something beautiful came from cancer this week.

Roots Canada found us because of cancer { mixed with luurve.}   You can read the full story here on Roots.  Our Canadian Love Story.


Imagine   that?    Roots  &  OUr  Family !!

 It’s true.  It happened.


Our daughter Tristan, did something cool.  She bought a Roots cabin sock blanket for my hubby Michael.  He wears the blanket faithfully for all his chemo treatments.  Tristan meets us for most of Michael’s chemotherapy dates at Princess Margaret Hospital.  One day, she shared a chemo moment on instagram <—- You should check out her photos, she’s really quite a remarkable photographer.

Roots saw our instagram photos and cancer story.  They wrote us a note … and the rest is history.  Epic awesome sauce, history.


A Canadian Love Story with @RootsCanada & @LynneKnowlton family xo via Design The Life You Want to Live #Love #FamilyDay #cancer #LoveHeals



It  Happened  in  Our  Treehouse  !!

Having a Roots Photo Shoot in our treehouse was a day we will never-ever-like -in -the-history-of-ever- forget.  

They showed up with a rack of Roots clothing <– I screamed that.  They didn’t insist that we wear them.  We insisted *_*.  They might as well have come with Santa and his sleigh.  We might have squealed.   Legit.  Squealed.    

Spending a day with Roots, was flat-out awesome.  An ah-ha moment all the live long day.   


Why  Us?

We are an ordinary family  … just like you :).  We have extraordinary love,  just like you.    Our love is mixed with good times and tough times.  It is mixed with cancer, chemotherapy, family and friends.  Nothing is perfect.  We are imperfectly non-perfect, living it real.  We get through the darkness in life by somehow finding the lightness.


How  do  we   do  it?

In the simple things.  We have dinner together by candle light, as a family, every single day.  For real.  I know that sounded corny.  It’s true.

Michael taught us something about 20 years ago.  He taught us that when things go wrong… love your way through it.   Having a tough time with someone?  Love them.  Having a tough go with getting through something?  Love your way through it.


It is quite simply the glue that holds us together.



Our  Canadian  Love  Story

A Canadian Love Story with @RootsCanada & @LynneKnowlton family xo via Design The Life You Want to Live #Love #FamilyDay #cancer #LoveHeals



The only way to truly tell this story is to start at the beginning ...

Our family has been wearing Roots clothing for as long as I can remember.  I’m 24, so it’s been a while.  Okay, okay ~ I have turned 24 years old TWICE.  Now that we have clarified that I’m ancient… let’s get on with the story before I turn 102.


A Canadian Love Story with @RootsCanada & @LynneKnowlton family xo via Design The Life You Want to Live #Love #FamilyDay #cancer #LoveHeals


The next photo is my hubby, Michael.  Yes, he has cancer.  You’d never know it, by looking at this photo.  It’s crazy how Marlee MacLean can even make a sick guy look good.  I need serious lipstick and bonding primer foundation for good looks to happen.  That dude just walks down a snowy path and he looks like he was meant to be a Roots model.  For real.


A Canadian Love Story with @RootsCanada & @LynneKnowlton family xo via Design The Life You Want to Live #Love #FamilyDay #cancer #LoveHeals


We participate in marriage therapy, also known as cleaning the house and spending every single day together.  Every.Single.Day.  I still like him.

Cray Cray huh?

I realized over the years how wonderful and perfectly suited Michael and I are for each other. Despite all of the craziness of cancer and raising four kids in the Canadian countryside.  The good times and the tough times carry us through.  We love each other more than we ever thought possible.


He’s a happy dude.  He lives every day with intention.  He does random acts of kindness and pays it forward every chance he gets.  He is an abundant thinker.  He has a huge heart of gold.


A Canadian Love Story with @RootsCanada & @LynneKnowlton family xo via Design The Life You Want to Live #Love #FamilyDay #cancer #LoveHeals


Cancer has a way of bringing awareness to the deep inner game that goes on inside of all of us, doesn’t it?   I think our family has a unique way of dealing with it because of the years & layers of happiness/sadness it has brought to our lives.

The point to all this, is that it got me thinking.  Cancer.  It makes you think.  There are many times when cancer makes us feel as angry as a pistol.  We feel impatient, waiting for a cure.

Waiting for a cure is like waiting for a pig to fly out of your ass.  Pardon my French.

I find creative ways to make a ruckus against cancer.


 I  create  photos  like  this :

A Canadian Love Story with @RootsCanada & @LynneKnowlton family xo via Design The Life You Want to Live #Love #FamilyDay #cancer #LoveHeals


What difference can I make?  What will be the difference that makes the difference?  How can I help others?  What can I do that matters?

For the first time this week, I actually launched a new phone case line with this very photo on it.  Will it put it a dent in cancer?  Will it make someone feel good?   I dunno.


Will it make me feel better that it could quite possibly make a difference for someone else?

You’re damn right.


I’d like to think that we can collectively kick cancers ass and take its’ name.



The shit gets real when you talk about cancer, doesn’t it?  There’s no way around it.


I worry that Michael may not be here one day to tuck our children in at night.  Will he be here to tell them that he loves them when they are older?  Will he be on this sweet earth when they get married?  It is like throwing the dice and hoping you win the game.  It’s a tough game and the odds are even tougher with cancer.


As a family, cancer looks us in the face all too often.


This summer, two of our youngest children went to camp.  On the night before camp, my son posted this post to his Facebook :


A Canadian Love Story with @RootsCanada & @LynneKnowlton family xo via Design The Life You Want to Live #Love #FamilyDay #cancer #LoveHeals


How do I tell him?  How do I tell him that his Dad is doing is best to beat up cancer, but that there is no cure?  There is no remission.  It is just about living with cancer like a monkey on your back.

It will always just be there.   Always.  I can’t fathom it.   It is unthinkable.

How do I tell my son that it will always be about chemotherapy and cancer care?  Chemo is the wall that holds his Dads cancer back.   Until the wall weakens again.  Then we patch it with some bubble gum and love and hang on for dear life.

That’s what we all need.  A wall of love.  An impermeable wall of might.  Super strong.   An unbreakable wall.

We need a woven ball of love.  One that is woven so tightly, you can never imagine anything could cut its way through.

Like ever.


A Canadian Love Story with @RootsCanada & @LynneKnowlton family xo via Design The Life You Want to Live #Love #FamilyDay #cancer #LoveHeals


Because our loved ones are our everything in our lives, aren’t they?  Everything.


Life isn’t the same without them.  Because I can’t live in this world without Michael.  He is my everything.  It would be wrong for this world to not have Michael Knowlton in it.  I’m not sure our family could survive that kind of blow.  I know I couldn’t.

He is in my heart.  He is in the heart of our family.

As corny as it may sound … Roots found our heart.  So very Canadian of them.  Canadians have such HEART.


Roots found the heart of a true Canadian Love Story.


A Canadian Love Story with @RootsCanada & @LynneKnowlton family xo via Design The Life You Want to Live #Love #FamilyDay #cancer #LoveHeals


Dear cancer,

Turn around.  Go back where you came from.  Let’s pretend this didn’t happen.


Part of me wonders who will be left standing.  Who will remain standing after cancer takes a run at the beautiful souls in this world? 


A Canadian Love Story with @RootsCanada & @LynneKnowlton family xo via Design The Life You Want to Live #Love #FamilyDay #cancer #LoveHeals


Thank you Roots for the beautiful day with Digital Fashion Editor Amanda Rotstein, photographer Marlee MacLean, and her awesome co-pilot Tyler.


A Canadian Love Story with @RootsCanada & @LynneKnowlton family xo via Design The Life You Want to Live #Love #FamilyDay #cancer #LoveHeals


PS.  You may also find Marlee MacLean on Instagram and Amanda tweet tweet tweeting here on twitter.  They are the sweetest souls on earth.  Salt of the earth.  Awesome.


Our Canadiana Roots experience will be a memory that will be forever etched in our hearts.

A real Canadian afternoon with an authentic company that truly embraces what it means to be Canadian.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. 


With  love


A Canadian Love Story with @RootsCanada & @LynneKnowlton family xo via Design The Life You Want to Live #Love #FamilyDay #cancer #LoveHeals


PS.  Please know that I was not paid to write about Roots and this post is not sponsored in any way whatsoever. Wait, if you know me as a blogger, you know that about me already.

You also know I like to give give give to YOU.   I’m Canadian, after all.  We roll like that.

Click on the photo for a free instantly downloadable book of my fave KickAss Photo apps and 15% off my newly designed gorgy gorgeous phone cases. Your phone called, it said you should buy one.  Oh la la.

You won’t want to miss that.


Be a part of something great by signing up to the #blog & receive a free instantly downloadable book of kickass photo apps AND 15% off gorgeous phone covers! Woot woot !!


Share this like the boss and jump into the comments and lemme hear it …

Talk to me.  I love it when you talk to me. xo


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  1. Cindy Homan

    July 7th, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Dear Lynne and Family,

    You are such an inspiration to me. I lost my husband, mother and father to cancer all in 18 months 6 years ago. I am just now getting “used” to them not being here. I am quite depressed but thank the Lord I know how to KNIT, CROCHET AND SEW, without it I would be in the loony bin.

    I do have two gorgeous grandchildren, Leanna and Grady who keep me grounded. My sons have grow to become good men. While one is married with the children, the other one is single and lives with me and he is desperately trying to find his way in the world. Those deaths affected him more than he knows or will admit. The good Lord will see him through it.

    Thanks for making me laugh to day with your great outlook, pictures and sayings. You and you family are in my prayers!

    Your friend,

  2. Lynne Knowlton

    July 8th, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    Thank you Cindy!

    It is sooooo true, it is so very hard to get accustomed to someone just not being here.

    *sad face*

    Yes, it is the circle of life. Yes, people pass away .. but it still shocks me that the sun rises and we all can still laugh and somehow get through it.

    I learned that about mourning… it never goes away .. it just changes.

    Sending you light and love to you and your family

    Smooches to the grandbabies :)) xoxooxo

  3. Lisa

    July 10th, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    I have just been reading some of your blog. What a beautiful family you have! Cancer has touched all of our lives. But I’m so sorry it is hitting so close to home for you. Your family will be in my prayers.

  4. Jared Ritter

    October 7th, 2015 at 8:45 am

    Wow, both the images and story are so touching. It’s as remarkable a journey of love, of perseverance, and overcoming things that makes me hope you continue to write. I’ve lost both grandparents to cancer, and have had personal battles to overcome ..including a long distance marriage right now that’s tugging at my soul a bit. Thankyou for such candor in your page. God speed…

  5. Laura Altobelli

    July 20th, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    Lynne – I don’t know how I’ve gone this long, but incredibly I just found your blog for the first time last night and can’t stop reading. You’re inspiring me so much creatively, but this post really touched my heart. Just yesterday, I learned that my mother-in-law’s partner, who has stage 4 lung cancer, is approaching that awful, dreaded line where the chemo is no longer working. Just 2 weeks ago, I learned my best girlfriend has breast cancer and has to undergo double mastectomy. Cancer SUCKS. It seems to encroach on the families of everyone I know and brings life to a crashing halt, even when the prognosis is “good”. Reading about your life and how you and Michael cope is very uplifting, and the pics of you and your family are freaking beautiful. Can’t wait to sift through some more posts today.

    Your new friend in America (can I come to Canada, at least until 2020?),
    Laura Altobelli

  6. Adele Malo

    November 11th, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    Even if I am NOT related to you, this is quite a beautiful story of love and bravery. thank you for sharing it. I am wondering if Michael is son of John G. Knowlton, my uncle, and my mother’s (Pauline) favourite brother. with thanks, regardless.

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