Archive for Dec 2008

December 31, 2008 Summer Dreaming

Last night as Mark and I were out for date night I complained to him… “I’m done with winter. I’m sick of the cold.”

Maybe it was because yesterday I was online booking our tickets to warm places in a few weeks… but suddenly I did not want any more winter.

Today I woke up to another dump of snow and bitter cold. Is there no end?

But, I was going through some of my personal photos organizing them and these caught my eye. Every year we do family photos as my Mother’s Day gift. I get out the remote or self-timer and snap away. These were taken in the Spring of 2007 and I hadn’t looked at them in awhile. Today I’m longing for these warm carefree days.

So, I’ll post these to bring a little sunshine to your corner of the world too!

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Yes, her hair is lopsided. ha ha – can’t seem to get a straight cut on this girl!

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Not sure why there are so many of Eden – I really do love both my girls. Maybe because she was having a good hair day. icon smile Summer Dreaming

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This next series is my favourite.

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Eden has the gift of sleep – if she’s tired she can sleep anywhere. Madi took full advantage of her sleeping sister.

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And one of Mark and I….

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Celebrating life and love,


December 31, 2008 Stories

I love, love, love people’s stories. How you met each other. How you came up with your kid’s names. What your family was like growing up. And on and on.

Recently I connected with Barbara, a reporter at the Record in Kitchener-waterloo, and she is doing a series on couples and how they met and a bit of their stories. Love it. So I introduced her to Chris & Lexie (the “Wicked” themed wedding this summer) and Joel & Rachel (the “Dirty Dancing” couple last year) who both are couples I photographed and live in the Kitchener-Waterloo area.

I just read Chris and Lexie’s article HERE and Rachel and Joel’s is soon to come! Thought you might enjoy a good story too!

December 31, 2008 Giving Back

At edison we LOVE to give back. We figure we have been blessed and likewise need to bless however we can.

One thing we have started to offer our wedding couples is a donation to the charity of their choice. Tonight’s the night folks – and I got to say I’m feeling a bit giddy as I sit here looking up all the requested charities to make a donation to… Canadian Cancer Society, Alzheimer’s Society, Inasmuch House, Sick Kids Hospital, MS Society and more. This is also when I’m sending the proceeds of our “hope” project to New Orleans. (check out this link to see more of our HOPE project).

And I still have to buy my canned goods from cans for comments – my vehicle was in the shop (got it back tonight) and I didn’t think I could carry all the cans with two kids in tow if I walked to the store! Can’t wait to go pick those up!

This is like Christmas all over again…

December 29, 2008 2009 Workshops?

Just planning out 2009…

I’ve had a number of requests for photography workshops – I got to say, I love doing any sort of teaching. It’s fun to be able to encourage and help people grow. I am a strong believer in always learning and growing. I try to hit workshops offered by photographers I respect whenever I can!

So, just tossing this out there… anyone interested in workshops by little ol’ me? Haven’t held any in awhile and I miss doing them. If so – what are you most interested in learning?

Drop me a line ( or leave it in the comments here and we’ll see what happens!

December 26, 2008 Christmas Fun

I have had so much fun connecting with friends and family these last few days – thought I’d recap my week in photos…

Christmas vacation starts… so let’s build a fort!

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And the girls can wear whatever they want…

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And then I kick them outside to go play!

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On Monday we had our annual “Goodson-Jefferyear” party with our good friends the Goodyear family. This year I made their kids PJ’s – can’t believe I forgot to make the dog something!

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Then we went over to Christmas at the Casbah hosted by Jacob Moon - there is so much musical talent in Hamilton! This is a great annual event I love going to!

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Then Tuesday night was our annual Christmas party with the Buceks and Martins – friends of ours for many years (I’ve known these gals since grade nine).

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Every year we do a photo of all the kids in their Christmas outfits…

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And Madi usually does something like this:

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Then Cherie makes all the kids matching PJ’s every year – and we attempt a photo again of them all together…

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Of course – the photographer’s kids are the ones who don’t cooperate…

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And the silliness begins…

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In this group – you pull out a book, and you’re mobbed by little girls..

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Then Christmas Eve my sister, my brother and his family and my parents all came over before church.

My niece Kirsten reading to Eden

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My parents gave out their presents on Christmas Eve. The adults were all in on it (as we needed to book time off) but the kids had no idea that my parents are taking us all on a cruise in February! My mom really wanted to use some of her inheritance to build memories… so off we go! Kids didn’t get it at first but after we showed them photos of the boat on the internet and talked about it – they’re pumped. I think I may be sick of hearing about the cruise by February! Here mom and dad had given each kid a summer outfit, a journal telling them where we’re going and what we’re doing and one US dollar for each year they’re born ($4 for Eden, $6 for Madi and so on).

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My nephew Mason with auntie Marcie

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Candelight service at church on Christmas Eve

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Christmas morning… Eden woke up and said “I got up because my heart is pumping so hard!” I think they were excited!

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Our girls love to open a present, go off and play – have a break – before continuing to open. Here they opened one gift and are playing while the presents wait…

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Did I mention they love books? Here are the girls taking a break from gifts to read with Grandpa

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These next two – this is what you want to see on the face of a child when they open a gift. ha ha!

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My parents and sister slept over Christmas Eve and since we were all here Christmas morning I made us all PJ’s… but my sewing machine needle broke Christmas Eve so they’re not hemmed… oh well!

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All in all it was a great Christmas! Three gifts that really stand out are: Madi made a calendar at school where the teacher had them mimic a famous artist’s style of painting (Warhol, Michaelangelo, DaVinci, etc.) – a great calendar and it taught Madi about art at the same time. She’s so proud and I love it! And then the one thing I had asked for was for the girls to draw me a picture of our family. Madi drew a beautiful picture of the four of us. Eden drew a lovely picture of Madi and me, and then she drew Mark as a baby and herself as a robot. ha ha. And the other gift is a book my uncle had made of the history and stories of my grandparents. This December marks twenty years since my Grandma Hall passed away – and he did this in memory of her. Each of my dad’s siblings (there are 8 kids) wrote reflections and stories and submitted photos. It is a beautiful keepsake!

Now – Boxing Day we head to Mark’s parent’s farm for another Christmas celebration! And it also happens to be a birthday of a certain photographer…

December 25, 2008 Merry Christmas!

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December 24, 2008 Christmas Thoughts

I am a very sentimental person – and I love things like traditions and family history, hearing people’s stories. Over the last few days we’ve been enjoying time connecting with some of our good friends. Last night as we sat around gabbing we got talking about what Christmas looked like at each of our homes growing up.

In my family there were three of us kids. One of us would sit under the tree and hand out a present to each person – when everyone had a present we would open. And then look at what each person got before we continued on to the next present.

day to see what the siblings Mark is one of 11 kids – yes, eleven – and his parents do foster work so at anytime there could be countless amounts of kids on the house. Their opening gifts was a contest of opening as fast as you can! Each kid would make a pile of their gifts on their bed – and they would make the rounds to each other’s bedrooms later in the day to see what had been received.

This is just one of the many examples of how we were all so different in our celebrations. As parents, we also shared the traditions we are building in our own homes now – and the values we’re hoping to instill in our kids.

One tradition we have in our home – my favourite of the season! – is Christmas Eve after the church service Madi gets out our Fisher Price nativity set and tells the story of the First Christmas. This year Eden may tell it – Madi has been trying to teach her how to tell the story… we’ll see if she’s ready. ha ha.

I am full of anticipation – waiting to spend time with family and friends, waiting for the kid’s reactions to gifts and surprises, waiting….

And I am reminded in this time of waiting of the anticipation for the King… and so glad He came and we can now celebrate this joy !!!

May you know the love and joy of the season today and always. Take time to experience the wonder of Christmas in the hustle and bustle!

December 21, 2008 STOMP!

Since Mark and I have dated (and we just celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary – so it’s been awhile) we have wanted to see Stomp. But something always conflicts or we find out about it too late and it’s sold out. Boooo. But this year Mark got us tickets as an anniversary gift for Stomp here in Hamilton – sweet! We weren’t sure what to expect or if we’d be disappointed but… wow. It was phenomenal. I wanted to lean over to Mark and say “isn’t this great?” or some comment… but I was too engrossed in the performance to take my eyes off of it for a second. And that’s how the whole audience was – you didn’t hear anyone talking during the whole 2hours of very high energy performance. Each set I’d think… okay this is my favourite one… then the next set would come out and I’d think, no this is definitely the best. And on and on. To see what they could do with match boxes, water bottles, plastic bags, garbage cans, and more… so amazing.

And… to make our evening even sweeter…

Our tickets were in the nosebleed section – but when we got there they upgraded us to the second row from the stage in the center. Could not ask for better seats!

Such a phenomonal show – highly recommend it!!!

Here is one video I found online if you have not heard of Stomp before:


a great night!

December 20, 2008 Snow Day!

Today was to be the last day of school before Christmas holidays… but instead we had a snow day!! So the kids didn’t get their Christmas parties at school.. but they do get an extra day of holidays. Sweet. In honour of a lazy snow day – here is a really random post of photos form today!

The girls and I braved the weather before it got too bad to go do some grocery shopping. It was dead – no one wanted to venture out! – so I let them play with my camera (try to always have my point and shoot with me). This is called – why I hate to go grocery sopping with the girls. If they are not running away from me this is what I have to push – along with all the groceries inside! Can we say arm workout? Ouch!

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Another variation

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Or this video of Eden – the sound is horrible but she is saying is “here comes the food to you” as she hops to the cart pretending to be food. Strange kid.

Madi did some of her own photography as well.. here is the grocery store through the eyes of a 6 year old. Of course diapers are hilarious at that age.

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Then we spent the rest of the day lounging around in our PJ’s. Here are the girls cuddled in watching a movie.

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But what would a snow day be without getting the kids to shovel – start them young! ha ha!

I love the snow!! So excited!

Celebrating life and love,


December 18, 2008 Ronald McDonald House

Today I had the opportunity to go to the Ronald McDonald House and photograph some of their families. This was such an amazing time – I loved it! Melissa – the amazing Child Life Specialist who was my contact person – gave me a tour of the place and told me lots of interesting facts about the house and also Sick Kids hospital. I loved the sense of family and community in the home!

Let me introduce…

This is Dan… his name is not actually Dan but I’m not sure how to spell his real name (pronounced Day-on) so this will be my nickname for him. icon smile Ronald McDonald House Dan is twelve and has had cancer – and after about a year at Sick Kids / Ronald McDonald House… he’s going home tomorrow!! Could there be a better Christmas gift?

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Love the idea of mom behind Dan every step of the way in these photos…

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Then he literally jumped into mom’s arms (and knocked her right to the ground!)

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Cuddles with mom…

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And typical boy response…

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I let Dan take a photo – he directed mom and told her to do this pose:

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As we were snapping away.. we were thrilled to have Dad arrive from Windsor in preparation for tomorrow’s big departure!

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I’d say they have lots to celebrate!

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Practicing the big wave for tomorrow!

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After Dan, Melissa and I went over to Sick Kids to visit the cutest little two month old twin boys! One boy is still in the cardiac ward for heart problems. You will notice the size difference between the boys – although they’re different in size, they’re both about the cutest things you’ve ever seen! Especially in their Santa outfits!

This is what I saw when I came in – it was love at first sight.

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Mom and Grandma with the boys

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Big Sister Natalie loving her brothers!

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And let’s meet these merry elves…

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Love the rabbit ears behind mom – ha ha!

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And her mom asked Natalie if she’d like to hold her brother – and Natalie asked “While I’m standing???” she was in sheer delight holding him like a “big girl.

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And then 16 year old Stephanie. She had a very exciting day too – half an hour before we did our photo shoot she arrived back from getting her new hair! The wig is made from real hair and you can even see the scalp through the hair. She looked stunning – gorgeous! I’m sure you’ll agree!

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Along with great kids – I met some amazing parents – like Linda here.

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And Melissa what a great staff member and friend!

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Then there is Ben – I wasn’t scheduled to photograph Ben but how could you not? He’s chatting you up and singing and laughing and following us… love this guy! He has had a heart transplant – hard to imagine!

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And then the boys wanted some “gangster” photos with the staff – wearing Ben’s hat.

The boys and Melissa…

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Their teacher Katie – who teaches grades K-12 in one class…

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Goofy faces!

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And they wanted one with me too so I’ll end this looooong post with this!

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A wonderful day!