In Category: ‘random’

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!

Krista

And because every post needs a photo…

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January 23, 2012 Legacy

I was chatting with a bride this week who had just received her wedding album from me. She said, “I can imagine sharing it with our grandkids someday.”

I loved that. I think sometimes we think of the photos as for right now – the images we can upload to Facebook tonight, share with our friends tomorrow…. but the images we create today build a story about us that will be passed on to generations. What will that story say? What do we want that story to say might be a better question.

At the end of our chat, the bride said “I want our love to be our legacy.”

What an honour it is to document and create heirlooms to pass on for generations.

This video has been passed around online for years – but I love it and wanted to share it here again.

Celebrating life and love,

Krista

January 22, 2012 Really, really glad

This weekend we watched the movie “Courageous” and in it there is a line that stuck with me. The wife says to her husband…. “There are days I’m glad I married you. And then… there are days I’m really, really, really glad I married you. Today is one of those days.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself! I am so thankful for Mark in my life. He has been my sanity, encouragement, fellow dreamer, companion and the man I adore for more than half my life now.

Today, is a special day in Mark’s life. It’s a significant birthday… I probably shouldn’t say what age but I will leave it at this… he’s no longer in his 30′s! icon smile Really, really glad

I could go on and on about how great he is… but why don’t I just show you?

Mark is the kind of guy that is hard to upset – even when I “accidentally” bring home a baby goat that I fell in love with.

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Mark goes along with my crazy ideas… when I say “Let’s drive from BC to Cape Breton” – his response is “Okay, when?”

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I love to plan parties – but Mark gets the honour of doing the games and everything at the parties. And he does so with such enthusiasm! Even when Eden invited more kids than we knew were coming and suddenly we had 25 instead of the 14 we planned for at her Halloween in July birthday party. Mark keeps his cool and goes with it.

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Mark is a kid at heart – even when we’re kid-less like on this trip to FAO Swartz in NYC without the kids!

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Or getting a broken koosh ball stuck on his head

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Mark makes time for his girls. When we lived in Hamilton, and he worked in Guelph, we would often meet halfway for picnics after work.

n612767628 1766667 7442 Really, really glad

Mark is a nurse, and is so caring with his girls.

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One of my first memories of Mark is his laugh – always ready to burst out!

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As I looked back over photos of Mark there were so many of him just walking and talking with the girls wherever we are. Love that.

At home….

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And even in Iceland…

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And Mark has taught the girls so much! He’s taught them….

-you jump on the beds whenever you get to a hotel

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-whip cream tastes better from the can

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-how to rap

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-proper attire for a date (and how to dance)

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-while in Cape Breton Mark spent a lot of time trying to teach the girls how to do cartwheels

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-how to make goofy faces (even while at a fancy dinner on a cruise)

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-a love of reading and learning

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-to stop and enjoy God’s beauty

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-that if you give it, be prepared to get it.

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-the value of a best friend

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-how to be a scarecrow

n612767628 1563422 4719 Really, really glad

-that a dad is someone to look up to and admire.

n612767628 2002825 8876 Really, really glad

Happy birthday, Marky Mark!

Love your adoring wife. xoxoxo

January 12, 2012 Two Years Later…

At 4:53pm, it will have been two years since the devastating earthquake that rocked Haiti – sending a deadly wake up call to the world that we have a neighbour in need. The poorest country in the western hemisphere practically a hop, skip and a jump away.

May we not forget.

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You can read about my trip to Haiti last April HERE, HERE and HERE.

And here is a video I did to share at church… .

I encourage you to visit HERE today at 4:53pm to read the first hand experiences of people directly involved with that horrific day.

Celebrating LIFE and LOVE and praying for the people of Haiti…

Krista

January 12, 2012 El Salvador

I am going to have to break my visit to EL Slavador into a few posts – the engagement session, a family session, the wedding, the Children’s Home I visited… but first let me introduce you to the country.

I am embarrassed to say that I knew next to nothing about El Salvador before I visited there. I even had to pull out the globe to figure out exactly where it is (it’s beside Guatemala in Central America if you’re wondering). I adore latin america culture so I was excited to go! I was asked to go just a week before Christmas (and about 3 weeks before I left) so I didn’t have much time to do research on the country ahead of time.

El Salvador is a gorgeous country. Flowers everywhere, volcanos and mountains, gorgeous black sand beaches, and warm, friendly people. I love to visit places that are not a major tourist stop and to see how people really live. I especially love it when – as on this visit – I have people with me who know the culture and language!

El Salvador has also been named the most dangerous country in the world (more on that in this article). Their gangs are a serious problem – and how they extort innocent people. I never felt in danger though – perhaps because every single place you go it is gated and there is an armed guard (or guards) with very visible guns. Never seen so many guns in my life! A bit disconcerting chatting with a guard carrying a big gun with ammunition strapped to his vest. But at the same time comforting. Walking down the street between the guard stations at the Children’s Home and their school – a distance of a couple hundred meters at most – I was told that they don’t usually let “gringos” (white people) walk there as the gangs had tried in the past to extort the home and their kids. The kids now have to take a new more guarded route.

And then on the flip side, El Salvador has some of the best surfing in the world and in October 2011 they hosted the World Masters Surfing Championship (found out after the Australian team stayed in the villa we stayed at! Kind of cool).

It is a country of contradictions – some of the friendliest people on earth contradicted with the stories of gang violence. Beautiful flowers and trees contradicted by the signs of poverty all around. People who work from morning to night contradicted by the laid-back, surf culture. And so on….

I loved my time there and would absolutely recommend El Salvador to visit – I would just suggest you be smart when you travel, and if at all possible have someone with you who knows the country and it’s language!

Here’s a glimpse into the country…

0001 IMG 8751 El Salvador

0006 IMG 6914 El Salvador

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Watch for more posts from this great country soon!

Celebrating life and love,

Krista

January 3, 2012 Invaluable

This morning on Facebook, a post was going around that really touched me. I encourage you to read it HERE. It is a letter from a woman who passed up getting portraits done because they were too expensive… and then how she found over the course of a few days she spent the money she could have spent on portraits on this and that… a manicure, a dinner out… things that come and go. Not knowing that this same woman was to be diagnosed with cancer and soon pass away. She ended the letter saying “Time is fragile, it is gone before you know you had it. If you charged $200 for one print it wouldn’t be enough for what it is actually worth. I cringe to think that my priorities were a manicure over a memory to pass onto my babies and husband.”

This afternoon I received this email from a bride from a few years ago along with this photo.

“Hi, Krista.

Jamie’s Opa just passed away, and this picture is the “grand finale” of the slide show. It is a wonderful capture of his spirit.

Also, I love that my Oma that passed away 2 years ago is in the background. They are now both in heaven.

Thanks again for these beautiful memories. They are invaluable to our families.

-Becky”

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I might add that the above photo was in response to this moment. icon smile Invaluable

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This is why I pick up my camera.

Celebrating life and love,

Krista

January 3, 2012 Year in Review

One thing I believe is that if I hope to photograph your life and love… I need to celebrate and live my life to the fullest! If I’m empty, stressed and neglecting my family – it will show in my photos of my clients. A piece of me goes into every image. What I value and cherish is what I strive to capture.

So as January creeps in – I sat back to look at 2011 on a personal level. I thought I’d share a quick year in review of my personal life…

January 2011…

I went to a great photography conference in Mystic, Connecticut with some of my favourite girlfriends. A great time of learning and laughing! ANd I had a great time exploring the sights of Connecticut for the first time!

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On the way home – we all went to New York City together. So fun!

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Then the gals went home, and I stayed by myself for a day before my family came up to join me. It was so fun to share NYC with my girls for the first time.

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ANd they even got to meet the Naked Cowboy in Times Square!

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February 2011….

We are very fortunate to have Mark’s parents winter in Florida – so we try to o down each year to visit! They spoiled the girls again by taking us to Disney as part of our Christmas gift!

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I also flew out to Northwest Ontario for a winter wedding. Was fun to get on snowmobiles for an engagement shoot!

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March 2011…

We saw lots of snow! We love tobogganning in our back yard and playing in the snow!

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April 2011…

One of my highlights of the year for sure was a trip to Haiti to volunteer in an orphanage. I went along with my sister, my good friend Jodi and her mom. Life changing experience!

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We started to thaw out from a VERY long, cold winter and looked forward to hanging out in our treefort and yard. This photo was taken April 27…

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And this was taken the very next day after a wicked storm! As bad as it was – after being in Haiti days before – it didn’t seem so major!

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May 2011…

Spring may be my favourite season – after cold days, to see signs of life and warm temperatures!

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June 2011…

We made a big family trip that we all loved! We went to Iceland as a family for a week with my sister and a good friend of mine. It’s very hard to choose a couple favourites from this trip – I can not recommend Iceland enough! Such a magical place!

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Summer 2011…

We had a great summer of nothing-ness! Enjoying sunshine, friends, camping, and life!

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And Eden turned 7 – celebrating with a “Christmas in July” party!

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And our family grew with our pet goat Juliette (unfortunately she ran away/disappeared late Fall/Winter… we really miss her!)

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September 2011….

Back to school! The girls love school and got great teachers – they were eager to get back!

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Madison turned 9 – and asked for a surprise party with family. She was really surprised!

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After 4 years, my dad completed his plane he built himself! AFter he flew solo for 25hours he was finally able to take passengers – we all went up for a spin! SO proud of him!

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Fall 2011…

We got to spend time with some of our favourite people…

Mark’s family…

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Lots of friends including the Goodyears…

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One of my best friends rode bike across Canada to raise funds for children’s cancer research!

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And of course – Halloween!

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Madi cut her hair to donate for cancer – so proud of her and love her new look!

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December 2011…

On December 6 Mark and I celebrated 15 years of marriage. Love this guy!

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And Christmas!

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Can’t believe how fast 2011 went! As I looked back over images, I was reminded of so many great memories and all the people in my life. My heart feels full.

I look forward to 2012 and all it may hold!

Celebrating life and love,

Krista

October 1, 2011 Kaylan

Last weekend was my niece’s baby baptism… just had to share how ridiculously cute Kaylan is! I love having so many nieces and nephews – they are all so gorgeous!!

315690 10150293231287461 509657460 8154717 1277465861 n Kaylan

Here she is with mom and dad…

0007 IMG 6705 Kaylan

Mark’s little sister Aidan looks great! She’s a natural mom.

0002 IMG 6682 Kaylan

ANd some of my neices and nephews… missing a lot though.

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Celebrating life and love,

Krista

spec Kaylan

September 25, 2011 Fall Beauty

I’ve been on a bit of a personal project lately to document some of my neighbourhood and community that I adore so much. In the Fall, I sometimes feel like I’m going to burst with looking at so much beauty. It’s like eye candy overload! Not complaining – I just simply LOVE Fall. I’ll be sharing some of these images periodically here on the blog.

On Saturday, I was heading to a wedding and so I had all my gear in my trunk… and I passed the Monthly “Horse and Hound Hunt” that happens on the road I live on. The red coats against the Fall colours was just gorgeous! I drove 5minutes before I realized I had my camera with me ready to go! I quickly turned around and grabbed just a of images. I’d love to document them more sometime, but I had a wedding to get to!

0001 IMG 5307 Fall Beauty

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Celebrating life and love,

Krista

spec Fall Beauty

September 21, 2011 Happy 9th!

9 years ago today, I became a mother. We named our little gaffer “Madison” as it means “Gift from God” and my goodness she is just that! This girl has taught me so much about caring, kindness, generosity, laughing, dancing, Justin Bieber, horse facts, and how to love people 150%. She is at an amazing stage in life I’m really enjoying. We can sit and have a good chat and with her quick wit, we always enjoy a laugh. The next minute, she’ll crawl up in my lap or hold my hand. She will put music on and dance with her friends – looking more like a teenager than a 9 year old… and then turn around and play Barbies. I’m loving this mix of grown up Madi who is maturing before my eyes, and little girl Madi who is disappearing before my eyes.

Tonight, I picked Madison up from school. We went through Tim Horton’s drive thru and she got a Smoothie. “You’re the best mom ever!” Then we went to the pet store and she got to pick out a Beta fish as her gift from Eden. “This is the most amazing birthday ever!” And then we picked up KFC for supper (she begs for it all the time and it’s always NO so we promised for her birthday) “I am so happy!!” This kid is so easy to please!!

Then when we got home, in the driveway (in the pouring rain) was my family. Not a huge crowd – just a few of Madi’s family… and she was so shocked and excited. SHe said “What the crap?!” And then jumped out and hugged them all. All night Madi said “This is the best birthday ever… I’m so happy…”

0002 IMG 9946 Happy 9th!

0003 IMG 9947 Happy 9th!

0004 IMG 9950 Happy 9th!

To Madi, it’s about people. She could be thrilled if we had stopped there without gifts. Her “love language” is the gift of time. She just wants to be with the people she loves. She was just beaming. It was such a fun night!

One new tradition Madi started at Eden’s birthday, was everyone writes down something we love about the birthday girl. Then they’re read aloud and she guesses who wrote them. It was such a great idea that we’re doing it at all our birthdays now! Such a great way to honour the birthday person! Hannah (her cousin) read them all aloud… and Eden did the drum roll before each one.

(Eden took a LONG time writing hers out – she said “I love everything about her.” and then filled the entire page with “X”‘s and “O”‘s. Hope she always feels this way!)

0010 IMG 9969 Happy 9th!

0012 IMG 9973 Happy 9th!

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Happy Birthday Madison! I love you dearly and am so honoured God chose me to be your mom!

0005 IMG 9953 Happy 9th!

Celebrating life, love and Madison,

Krista