Archive for Feb 2012

February 29, 2012 Beautiful Week

This week I witnessed something absolutely beautiful.

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you’ll have seen it’s been an unbelievable 5 days. The short story is my dad was perfectly healthy last week. Was at my daughter’s volleyball tournament all day Friday. That night he started having unbelievably bad headaches. Saturday he went to the ER, had a CT scan and they discovered a brain tumor. He was not doing well at all and started to lose vision in one eye so they sent him to Toronto (no beds in Hamilton). He had an emergency MRI Monday which showed that inside his tumor it was hemorrhaging, making it swell and pushing on his optic nerves. He needed surgery to remove it ASAP. The next morning they were able to remove the entire tumor (through his nose!) and found no signs of cancer! We are still praying his left eye’s vision will be restored.

You’re probably wondering what’s so beautiful about that. Sounds awful.

The beauty I saw was this…

-my mom and dad’s love for each other – there is something so beautiful about a love that’s stood the test of time. The good and the bad. True love isn’t flowers and chocolates… it’s wiping up vomit, staying up all night, advocating for health care, comforting and just being present.

-support – this was huge. Every step of the way we have been floored by people’s support. Family and friends worldwide offering to do anything we may need, praying for dad, sending encouraging notes, and just amazing us with their care. People offering to jump on a plane to come down and be with us. People taking care of my kids so I could be there while Mark was working. Dropping off food. And on and on. And it wasn’t just the people we would expect – but people we hardly knew as well were extending their support. I would tell dad how many people had responded on Facebook (I was posting updates on there as much of our family and friends live far away) – and he would just grin ear to ear. Actually – mom said she caught him tonight whipping back the curtain tonight to tell his roommate about all the people on Facebook supporting him.

-perspective – it would be easy for mom and dad to be bitter. If they had gotten a bed right away – perhaps his eye could have been saved. But, instead I find it so beautiful how they chose to look at it the other way. They travel a lot and often to more remote places. What if they had been in Indonesia or Africa when this had happened? They choose to rejoice he was home. In a corner of the world that has world class surgeons in several cities within a short drive (Hamilton, London, Toronto…). They rejoice that we live in Canada and they do not have to worry about how they are paying for this surgery. We can simply do whatever needs done medically without the stress of finance. The brain tumor could have done a lot more damage or been cancerous and been a much worse scenario. Dad may lose sight in one eye – but he’s still able to see with the other one. He’s healthy otherwise. He’s here. So instead of choosing to be bitter, we choose to be thankful and rejoice in how well it went.

So, I left the hospital tonight with a full heart. Again, I can not thank each of you enough for your thoughtfulness and support. I have not had a chance to respond to people – but I have read every message and you have each contributed to the beauty I saw this week.

My motto for edison is “Celebrating life and love”. This week I was reminded of the importance of just that. Life can change in a blink of an eye.

Celebrating life and love!


And because every post needs a photo…

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February 24, 2012 Albums

15 years ago I married my Mark. Wouldn’t change that for a second. But there are a couple things I would change about the wedding. We were young, fresh out of school, little budget, and just wanting to get married. We had a fun wedding and for the most part I’d keep things the same. There is one big thing I would keep the same.

I’d hire a professional photographer and get an album.

We had a friend take our photos – like many people do – and he was (and is!) a phenomenal nature photographer. But wedding photography calls for something different in the terms of skills. We have great photos of the facts of the day. But not the feelings. Emotions. And little moments.

At the end of the day, he handed us our film – much like being handed a disc nowadays. We printed off photos and put them in an album. But then we wanted to take an image to work and not bring the big album, so we removed a photo from the album here. And there. I’m sad to say our wedding album has many missing holes. I think our kids have seen one photo from our wedding.

This is probably why I am so passionate about couples receiving a finished product – like an album. I don’t want you 15 years down the line to have a disc, and nothing else to show your children. I love the beautiful images of my grandparent’s and great grandparent’s weddings. I hope my grandkids will likewise enjoy our photos.

I am going to show you two albums that I love to give you an idea…

First is Glen and Dorothy’s wedding album. I love the metal cover with the leather spine and back cover. So gorgeous!

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Their album tells their story thoroughly and shows off all their great ideas and details!

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Next is Peter and Heather’s album. I designed the entire album and leather cover to be sleek and modern. More like an art book – clean, crisp and gorgeous!

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Celebrating life and love,


We are always thrilled to be featured – and so it was so great to have Josh and Trish’s wedding featured this week on Wedding Obsession. They have such a great story… friends since they were little kids, called off their big wedding – and simplified it right down to just what matters. A boy and a girl in love wanting to get married. You can read their engagement story HERE, wedding story HERE, and see them featured HERE.

wedobsess Featured: Wedding Obsession

Celebrating life and love,


I have said it before on here – but I’ll say it again. It has been so great to have so many clients become friends. Christa is a great example. I have enjoyed getting to know Mike and Christa as I have photographed their engagement, gorgeous wedding, maternity, first child, Christmas photos, and now as they await the arrival of their second child. It has also been exciting to watch Christa launch her business of gorgeous, vintage inspired stationary and seen it completely take off – no wonder with her talent! If you are a bride, or simply a lover of beautiful stationary – you have to check out Anista Designs! Christa was the inspiration behind our Marie Antoinette shoot last year also.

All this to say, I have gotten to know Christa through our times together with the camera, late night chats online about parenting, lunches and more. She’s a great friend and it was so great to go and document this next stage of her family’s life.

When I got to her house, I was greeted by the cat. Not a fan of cats – but this one has great eyes!

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I hopped in the back of their SUV with Andrew to head to the park. No word of a lie, he flirted with me the entire way.

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It was so c-c-c-c-cold outside, but these guys are troopers!

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Christa is already making sure she’s fair between her two kids – and since she had some photos of just Mike and her with Andrew’s pregnancy, she needed some for this child too. Got to play fair!

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Andrew really wanted to join in on the cuddling too!

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See – seagulls can serve a purpose! They make a pretty background!

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I loved these shirts Christa bought on etsy!

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You can almost hear Andrew saying by his strut – I can do it myself!

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The poor little guy was cold – so he let us know he had enough and Mike and him went to warm up.

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Christa was still game to play some more – so we kept snapping!

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Can’t wait to meet this new little person! I’ll sign off with my favourite images…

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Celebrating life and love,


February 21, 2012 Meera – February

Note: If you are new to my blog, I am photographing the beautiful Miss Meera once a month this year to document her journey through cancer. You can read about her story in her mom’s words HERE, and view my first time meeting here HERE and last month’s entry HERE.

After last month’s heart wrenching images of Meera in the hospital – we decided to show her in a happier setting. At home with her family. I travelled up to their home and just hung out with Meera for a little while before pulling out my camera. Here she is sitting between my legs playing on my iPhone. Typical kid loving electronics!

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Meera showed me all her treasures in her room – such a girly girl!

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Love how her dad had cut all of Barbie’s hair off to match Meera. So sweet.

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Meera has a doll that has wigs – and the wigs fit Meera. So fun!

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And let’s not forget her little sister Ameena! She woke up in all her cuteness… and those legs! Love them!

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Meera’s own personal doll!

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Meera coloring with her family…

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Getting Meera to eat is a constant struggle – trying lots of different food to find something she’ll eat!

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Like any two year old – your little sister sometimes drives you nuts….

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And Meera loves to watch movies!

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But movie time is interrupted by meds time – boo.

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Meera soon fell asleep while watching her movie though. So sweet.

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Ameena fell asleep too!

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And then my favourite part.

Meera’s mom and dad shaved each other’s heads to show their support for Meera. As Laura said to me “It’s a late Valentine’s gift for Meera. Some people give chocolates or flowers to say ‘I love you’. We’re shaving our heads to say it.”

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And the best gift they can give Meera… love and support.

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Laura’s purple heart tattoo on her neck is one Meera drew.

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Checking out the new do!

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And when I left this is what I saw. Love this little one.

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Laura said when Meera woke up and saw their shaved heads she was so excited and just kept saying “Thank you!!!”

If you would like to support Meera and her family – check out this online auction to suport them!

Celebrating life and love,


February 20, 2012 Happy Family Day!

You often hear people saying about Valentine’s – that we should celebrate love every day. And about Family Day that we should be celebrating family every day. But you know, if you’re anything like me, you can use reminders in life. I know it’s just a date on the calendar – but it is also a reminder to stop. And think about those we love. Those we have been given to love.

This Family Day weekend – I actually got to see a lot of family. And loved it!

Friday nights in our house is Family night. We cuddle on the couch – all 4 of us and the dog, eat pizza and watch a movie. It’s such a simple tradition but I love it.

Saturday I started my day by watching my girls do what they love. I love seeing their personalities develop and their interests defined. Eden has been taking ballet this year. To be honest, she’s pretty bored with it – but she loves the idea of wearing her tutu and dancing. And I love watching her learn a new skill.

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Madi has been obsessed with horses since she could breathe. With a dad and sister VERY allergic to horses we haven’t let her pursue it. But, after years of begging, we finally gave in to lessons. Mark and Eden don’t get to ride with her or visit the horses unfortunately, but Madi is in her glory up in the saddle!

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Saturday afternoon I got to spend a few hours not with my family – but with an awesome example of a loving, caring family. I have been documenting 2 year old Meera’s journey with cancer and visited her family on Saturday. While there, her mom and dad shaved their heads in solidarity with Miss Meera (who has lost her hair again with chemo). It was a beautiful statement and I’ll be blogging more on this soon!

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While I was visiting Meera, my girls were able to go visit their cousins Aydra and Jack they don’t see often enough. I love the relationships with cousins! Although I didn’t get a picture of them together this time – this is one from Christmas that looks like it could have been taken on Saturday. They had fake glasses and face paint on Saturday too!

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Sunday afternoon, we had our annual Hall Family Olympics here at my house. My sister planned the games this year and since we’re snow-less (boo!) we did indoor games. She planned “Minute to Win It” games and it was so much fun! Here’s some of us playing the game where you start with a cookie on your forehead, and only using your face – no hands! – have to get the cookie into your mouth. Hilarious to watch! A really fun evening!

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And today, on Family Day we spent most of the day lounging at home in our PJ’s. Divine.

Eden gave me this sketch of her “superhero” costume for “Nature Girl” about a month ago. Every day she asks when I can make it. Today I finally pulled out the sewing machine, and found scraps of material to match her requests and tried to piece together her costume. She’s thrilled. Easy to please. Introducing Nature Girl. The green is for grass. Red is for lava. Yellow for light. Blue is for water.

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And we ended our Family Day weekend with visiting my in-laws at their new home on the lake. Such a calm, relaxing location. Love it! And since I forgot my camera… here’s a snapshot from my iphone! icon smile Happy Family Day!

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All in all, I feel relaxed, rejuvenated and reminded that family is awesome….the family you are born into, the family you marry into and the family you gather as you journey through life.

Celebrating life and love,


February 15, 2012 Beautiful Gals

I’m a jeans and sweatshirt kind of gal. I love to be comfortable. Likewise, so is my friend Sarah and my sister-in-law, Melissa. Being moms, it’s often about what is quick and convenient when it comes to fashion. Today, a couple of us photographers got together to “play” at my home – photographing for fun and to try out some new gear. I asked Melissa from HoneyBee Hair to come and enhance the beauty of both Sarah and Melissa. I love what she did with their hair and makeup! Melissa said the only time she had really worn makeup was on her wedding day – so fun to see the transformation!

I think it’s so great for women to feel beautiful and confident! I’d highly recommend a photo session like this for any woman – for any occasion!

Enjoy a few photos of these lovely gals from in and around my home and studio!

I love how Sarah looks so mischevious!

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And Melissa looked gorgeous!

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Celebrating life and love,


February 14, 2012

Valentine’s Day isn’t a huge occasion in our house… but we do try to stop and celebrate LOVE. It is one more chance for us to stop and intentionally teach our girls about life’s greatest gift. Love.

I’m smitten with Mark for a million and one reasons – but one is because he shows our girls an awesome example of how they should be treated by the boys in their life. They woke up to cards he had chosen for them specifically, and inside he had written what he loves about each girl. And they had flowers from him. They were so excited to have flowers they could keep and grow. Here’s hoping they do a better job than I do at growing things!

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I’m surprised, and pleased, but our girls still ask for homemade Valentine’s cards for school. So, off we went to pinterest (love it) for ideas and the girls chose this idea – turned out cute!

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Our girls have been working on memorizing 1 Corinthians 13 and so we chatted about how this is true love versus “I-love-Taco-Bell” type of love. I leave you with these words… whoever it is in your life today, may you shower them with love!

Love is patient,
love is kind.
It does not envy,
it does not boast,
it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others,
it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil
but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects,
always trusts,
always hopes,
always perseveres.
Love never fails.

Celebrating life and LOVE,


February 4, 2012 Hidden Gems….

At weddings I’m always drawn to kids – and as I was working through some older images found two photos that completely cracked me up. Had to share!

The first – love his confident stride…

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The second… guess someone must have said “kiss my butt” and he thought they meant his own!

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Celebrating life and love,