Archive for Oct 2009

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October 30, 2009 Sisters Fashion

Last night my Book Club got cancelled – and since I was hosting, Mark had headed out with friends. So…. I decided it was the perfect night for a mommy date! I grabbed my camera and girls and headed out!

Now, after school my girls always run up to their room and change. Not into play clothes necessarily – but things that are more “them”. Here’s a perfect example…

I LOVE when they dress their personalities!

Eden – white flower girl dress, pink cowboy boots, crown.

Madi – Eden’s leopard leggings, high tops, cut off jogging pants, t-shirt and was wearing a ski jacket also.

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These two make me laugh so much. Love them!

Celebrating life, love and my girls!


October 30, 2009 Thank You

A few years ago, I found myself home with a newborn and a two year old and needed a hobby. Stat. So I started exploring my love of photography. After months of photographing friends and enjoying workshops, I thought I would start a small business – one weekend a month at most – to have a creative outlet.

Today I found out for the third year in a row we have received Reader’s Choice Awards in the Hamilton Spectator for Best Photographer and Best Photography Studio.

Wait – wasn’t I just buying my first digital SLR with a crying baby in my arms and a toddler pulling on my leg? Wasn’t I just trying to figure out how to use this new gadget?

I am in awe – full of gratitude. All along the way I have had people supporting and cheering me on and I could not be more thankful. My “get-me-away-from-these-kids-for-at-least-an-hour” crazed beginnings has taken me on travels all over the globe, brought me countless new friends, and allowed me into the lives of so many amazing people.

Thank you.

As 2009 starts to wind down – I’m starting to dream and plan for 2010 and I can’t wait! I get a lot of emails from people just starting out in the business – or who want to start out – asking me questions and advice. Every time I read one of these I am reminded to dream bigger than you can imagine – and go for it!

Celebrating life and love,


October 27, 2009 Falling in Love

Today I fell in love all over again.

Fall this year has been taking my breath away on a regular basis. Today as I drove ALONE – I found myself moved to respond – and saying out loud “wow!” “Amazing!” “That’s incredible!” I was the crazy lady talking to herself in the car. But when you’re in love – nothing else matters.

Tonight, just before Mark got home and we got into supper and the evening – I went outside with the girls to do some yardwork. But, again when you are in love… it’s all you can think about. Fall was flirting with me, and my heart responded.

I put down the rake, and picked up the camera. Fall was in their glory in the early evening light. Yardwork can wait.

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Crunchy leaves on barefeet…

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My girls in the hammock

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Olivia Queen of Dogs surveying Fall’s beauty

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Celebrating life, love, and rekindled love for Fall,


October 26, 2009 Martin Family

Cherie and I have been friends for years and years… over the last several years I’ve enjoyed photographing Cherie’s family. Reminds me of the days in high school when we would hang a sheet and put on funky outfits and do our own mini photo shoots. I hope those photos NEVER surface. ha ha!

This was also fun for me as it was the first photo shoot I shot at my house! It was fun to see my home and property through a photographer’s eyes and not just as a homeowner (seeing all the work to do!). Got to say I loved it… tell me what you think though. Would love to shoot more here… if you’re interested, let me know!

Since I had the couch out for our family photos (see previous post) I decided to use it for theirs as well – such a fun piece!

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Look at Caden’s face here…

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Then we headed over to the barn – to tell you the truth I NEVER go in there so it was fun to explore a bit!

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My dad has his 1930 Chev parked in the barn – so Caden being your typical boy loved that!

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The horse stalls worked for a great backdrop! I opened the big garage door and got some great light!

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Then we went around the back of the barn – not sure I’ve ever gone there before….

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When you start to lose kid’s attention…. play in the leaves!

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Although sometimes you’ll still lose them…

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After a snack, we headed down to the tire swing and field.

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Jodey looking way too grown up!

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This is a little pose called “tackle dad”

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And the two littlest ones are off and running!

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Afterwards they stayed for supper and the kids played… here’s the girls in their full dress-up glory! Eden and Aliah are just a few months apart – as toddlers they fought like crazy but have turned into good friends. Sometimes I think I prefer when they fought as I knew what mischief they were getting in to… now it’s always a surprise. Like trying out different toothbrushes – eeks!

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Celerbating life and love,


October 26, 2009 My turn!

When we bought our house – before we moved in, I knew I wanted family photos done here. We do family photos every Mother’s Day but I decided to wait this year until we were at the new house. I also knew I didn’t want to do them myself – I’ve done that for 7 years – not fun. I thought I would choose a local photographer – I am all about encouraging each other in the photography field and sometimes “small town” photographers can feel, well… “small town”. There’s no need to feel that way though! I wanted photos about us interacting and being ourselves. So I asked my friend Tracy of Father’s Eye Photography to do them!

I know Tracy was nervous – but she did great! Here’s a few sneak peeks…

We pulled the couch from our living room outside – it’s a beast to move but worth it!

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Out in front of our barn

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In our hammock… Mark is sitting on my feet and breaking my legs. True love. ha ha!

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Olivia Queen of Dogs charging Tracy!

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My girls will LOVE this picture because Olivia is in it!

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Running out in the field…

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This photo is so “us” – we love to read and will all cuddle up on the couch and read together. This is one reason I chose Tracy – I love how she captures real life. Thanks!

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It is so nice to have photos of the family – and now I can empathize with my clients as they agonize over what to wear and extra weight and cranky kids… and then try to look relaxed in the photos!

Thanks again Tracy!

Celebrating life and love,


October 26, 2009 Trent, Molly & family

My husband is a “male nurse” – hee hee – he gets a lot of the jokes about male nurses, but it doesn’t bother Mark at all. He has 5 sisters, so working in an office full of women hasn’t really bothered him. Heck! Mark will join right in on the conversations about food, clothes and shopping and be one of the first to offer to bake something. Love him.

April use to work with Mark (until he moved jobs) and so it was so nice to put a face to the name! April has been off on maternity leave for this past year and will be heading back to the office next week. This is always such a hard transition for moms – and so I’m glad Mike and April and their munchkins took time out for portraits before it happened. We met at Crooks Hollow in Dundas – great spot! – and explored. Their kids are soooo cute and it was a lot of fun!

And… I think this weekend’s Fall colours were PERFECT!

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April said Molly always wears this pink bow. I think that’s the cutest thing I’ve ever heard!

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Little Trent will be 1 next week – he is so cute with those baby blue eyes!

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These next few – the keyword is “interaction”! I love seeing how families interact – how Molly relates to daddy, is completely different than with mommy. And how everyone relates together – so fun to observe!

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These two munchkins are so cute! And GOOD!

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I love how Trent is looking up at his big sister here

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Can you see how sweet her little face is?

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And this is when I know it’s time to pack it up….

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Celebrating life and love,


October 24, 2009 Grandparents

Today was a very exciting day in the Jefferson household.

The Chirp magazine arrived!

My girls have their mom’s love of magazines. A subscribed magazine’s arrival in the mailbox is always a highlight! This month’s Chirp is all about Grandparents.

One of the activities was to answer some questions about your grandparents. I just loved the girl’s responses and had to share – it just shows their personalities so much. Eden is always looking for the laugh, Madi is always looking for a way to affirm or share “verbal love” to someone. (These answers they gave were about my parents, some of the other Q & A’s were about their other grandparents.)


What is something that Grandpa always says?

“that a horse is a chicken.”

What is something that Grandma always says?

“don’t pick your nose or your brain will cave in”


What is something that Grandma always says?

“Do you know how much I Love you?”

What is something that Grandpa always says?


I laughed and laughed when Madi said “yes” for my dad – didn’t realize she understood that she had Grandpa completely wrapped around her little finger!

Another activity in the book is doing a family tree – hope to do that soon with Madi (Eden showed zero interest). Last weekend when my family was over celebrating my dad’s birthday my aunt brought a family tree for me and some old photos for me to scan. Yay! So in the theme of grandparents, let me share this photo of my Grandpa Hall as a little boy with his parents – my great grandparents. I often miss each of my wonderful grandparents, and am so thankful my girls also know and love theirs!

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Celebrating life and love and grandparents,


October 22, 2009 Music of the Leaves

A couple years ago we read a story (I think it was a Little Miss Spider one – but not sure) about “listening walks”. In the story the child was scared of all the noises, and so the mom took them for a listening walk where they just listened to the sounds and identified them. We started doing this on camping trips and the girls loved it.

Since we moved out here to the country, every once in awhile I tell the girls… “Stop. Close your eyes. Listen. What do you hear?” Usually it’s nothing. And that’s the point… nothing. Glorious.

Today though, the wind was blowing and you could actually see and hear the leaves falling. So today, after the girls got off the bus and I did my traditional song and dance routine celebrating their routine (after the bus pulled our of sight), I had them stop, close their eyes and listen. “What do you hear?”

I hope I never forget Eden’s response.

“I hear the music of the leaves. I hear the leaves dancing with the wind.”

I then told them I had a special something to show them. We sat down (on our gravel driveway) and I told them God had created a show just for us. Sit tight and watch the sky.

As we watched just above the treetops, we could see leaves coming off the branches and blowing and dancing about in the sky. Eden soon lost interest and took to wrestling the dog. Madi leaned over though and pointed out her “favourite parts” of the show. I don’t know that I’ve seen a theatrical production more grand.

Moments later, the spell was broken. The dog was barking as Eden tormented her. Madi was whining about homework. The girls were fighting. Whining. Fighting. Yelling.

But as I looked out my window and watched the Fall glory, I was reminded of the music of the leaves I had enjoyed moments before. My hope is that these brief encounters with nature and beauty are what is remembered – creating an appreciation for small wonders in my girls. And I hope the moments of chaos, homework, whining and fighting are quickly forgot.

A few photos from the yard today….

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Olivia Queen of Dogs was not in my good books today but then she looks so cute… aw…

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Here’s Eden trying to catch the leaves as they fall off the trees… note the yoga pants pushed up like shorts and sock feet. Nice.

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Celebrating life, love and the music of leaves,


October 19, 2009 Weekend Celebrations

This weekend was my first weekend off in ages – and we enjoyed it immensely!

On Saturday we finally got to celebrate Madi’s birthday present! For our girl’s birthdays we have a tradition of memories rather than gifts. Meaning we give them a small gift and then give them a memory as their main gift. For Eden’s birthday this year we went to the circus, in past years we’ve gone to the zoo, African Lion Safari and so on. This year Madi wanted one thing only. To go to a hotel with a pool.

So Saturday we went to Niagara Falls overnight with the girls and enjoyed time swimming, watching TV and just being together!

As always, the first thing we do when we get to the hotel…. jump on the bed!

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The munchkins… isn’t Eden’s new haircut adorable?

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Mark and the girls cuddling after swimming all afternoon

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Then we came back Sunday afternoon and had my dad’s side of the family over to celebrate his 70th birthday today! It was extra special as my dad’s brother John was down from the Yukon. Uncle John and Aunt Naomi are so great – I still have so many fond memories of my summer living with them in the Yukon!

Uncle Joe brought the perfect entertainment… a box of old cameras, lenses, flashes and random camera gear. Everyone was in their glory checking it all out!

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My favourite part of any family gathering is the stories! Especially “John and Bob” stories… my dad and his brother are very close in age and the oldest of the 8 siblings. They got into so much mischief as kids – they’re stories are hilarious! Here’s Madi listening to the tales of Grandpa and company…

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Cake time… all the grandkids are gathering around to help blow out candles and sneak some cake!

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We had 5 of the 8 siblings there, and thought we should get a nice photo. We had just looked through an album of old family photos of my grandparents, great grandparents and great-great grandparents. I think we were inspired to take some family photos to pass on to the next generation – well, these might not be classics! Here we are trying to get a nice photo of the 3 brothers who were present (missed you Uncle Tom!). As you can see. it’s hard! And then add in random people – Cohen, Aaron… hilarious!

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There’s “the boys” as Eden calls them

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And the 5 siblings present

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We ended the evening all crowding in the kitchen to hear story, after story as we all laughed over the crazy antics of my dad. My Aunt Grace had written him a poem, and others shared memories. A fun night!

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It’s been a busy weekend – but so much fun! Celebrating life and love,


October 18, 2009 Getaway

For our girl’s birthdays we have a tradition of memories rather than gifts. Meaning we give them a small gift (for Madi this year it was a $15 Cabbage Patch Kid, for Eden a $10 horse head on a stick) and then give them a memory as their main gift. FOr Eden’s birthday we went to the circus, in past years we’ve gone to the zoo, African Lion Safari and so on. This year Madi wanted one thing only. To go to a hotel with a pool.

Since we skipped family holidays this summer due to the move, we decided we’d spend a bit more and go to a hotel with a waterpark instead of just a pool. We went to the Americana in Niagara Falls with a wave pool, water slides and more.

But we forgot one thing – we have aimed to bring the girls up with low expectations. Meaning we want them to enjoy the small things in life and not have to out-do our last adventure. For example we enjoy the small parades – ignoring the glitz of the large parades. We try to keep them thrilled with all the small pleasures.

So as happy as they were to be here… I think they would have been just as happy to go to a a hotel with just a small pool where they could simply swim. For them coming to a hotel is about jumping on the bed, watching TV, and swimming in the pool. Because we spent more we thought they shoudl use the waterpark to it’s full extent – but they were just as happy swimming in the kiddie pool and then watching TV from bed. Funny kids!

We still had a great time but I was just reminded of my own lesson – I don’t have to try to outdo our last trip, but just enjoy the simple things in life!

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