In Category: ‘random’

August 24, 2011 Summertime Blues

Sometimes my girls will ask if they can draw on themselves with washable markers. “It comes off, no harm done, go for it.” is my thought. Today Eden took it to a whole new level… I should have known when I heard her announce “I’m an avatar!”

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I’m sad to look at the calendar and see it’s almost time for the girls to go back to school. It’s been a great summer of “nothing-ness”. We have always tried to teach the kids to be happy with little, so they can always be entertained. This summer they have spent hours colouring, making clothes for Barbies with material scraps and tape, riding bikes, collecting caterpillars, making homes for their toys in the tree roots, making doll houses out of empty boxes… and just being kids. The perfect summer full of nothing. And everything.

Celebrating life and love,


July 24, 2011 7th Wonder

This past week my youngest daughter, Eden turned seven. This is a moment she has been dreaming about for a long time. We have talked daily about her birthday party for… about a year. Every day, she has a different idea for her birthday. She just loves to have reasons to celebrate! I over heard her on the phone last week to a family member asking what she wanted for her birthday – and Eden replied “I don’t really care what I get… I just want to spend time with people.” That is so Eden…. she is a lover of life and people.

Every week our church at the beginning takes time for praise reports – things we’re thankful for – and this week Eden was first to raise her hand and grab the microphone and said “I had a great first week of being 7.” This is one excited kid! I love her enthusiasm!

Eden had her birthday party with her friends from school last Monday. She chose a “Christmas in July” theme and not only did every girl (13 including ours) wear red or green… most wrapped their gifts in Christmas wrapping paper and some even gave Christmas-themed gifts. I love a themed party! I’m a nerd that way.

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Then on the actual day of Eden’s birthday, I asked her what she would like to do for the afternoon. One thing was on her list. Swim at her cousin Hannah’s pool. Madi, Eden and Hannah are so tight – love that.

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But my very favourite memory of all was tonight. We had family over for Eden’s birthday – just a BBQ and hang out time. Last night, Madison cut out a whole bunch of hearts in preparation for today’s family party. She had each person write down what they loved about Eden. Then before the cake, she read them all and Eden had to guess who wrote which one. I loved Madi’s idea! It has always been my pet peeve, that we often go to birthday parties and the birthday person doesn’t seem celebrated or acknowledged. This was such a great way for everyone to tell Eden why she is so special to them. I think this may be our new tradition. And I really hope that it isn’t just once a year that we stop and tell her – and all our loved ones – what makes them special!

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I’ll leave you with this image… this is Eden as we sang “Happy Birthday” and shows her personality and zest for life perfectly!

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Eden’s name means “Delightful” and she brings us more delight than we could ever have dreamed!

Celebrating life, love and Eden,


July 14, 2011 Cherie’s Ride

Cherie is one of my dearest friends. Our kids have grown up together and refer to her as “Aunt Cherie” and her kids call me “Aunt Krista”. We don’t see each other as often as we like, but when we do it’s like no time has passed. Going out for coffee we can skip straight to the heart in our conversations – and I love this gal’s heart!

A couple weeks ago we went camping with Cherie’s family and our good friend Carolynn’s family. Before we left Cherie said “I have some big news – I’m not pregnant – but I want to tell you in person.” We had so much fun guessing – but never guessed this!!!

Cherie’s big news is…. she is riding bike across Canada to help raise money and support for cancer! Cherie is a nurse at Sick Kids hospital in Toronto and has seen far too many children dealing with cancer over the years. You can read Cherie’s story here – and if you feel so inclined, please donate to this great cause!

Last week I did a 5minute photo shoot of Cherie with her new bike. So very excited and proud of her!!! Love you, Cherie!

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Celebrating life and love,


Growing up, I loved my dad’s bedtime stories. They weren’t from a book – but from life. I come from a family of pilots – my parents took flying lessons together. My mom never went past her private license but my dad has flown for about 40 years now. My mom’s dad owned a fly-in fishing business up in Northwestern Ontario. And there were uncles and my brother and others who all flew. I loved all their stories. Grandpa’s plane going down and being missing for 3 days…. dad waterbombing mom’s car or the clothesline… dad flying up to Northern communities to play Santa to the native children… dad flying a beluga whale in his plane… dad’s plane going down to the bottom of the lake – but not before getting all the passengers and himself off… and so forth. I loved these stories!

Likewise, my dad loved to make things. Before he was a pilot, he was a mechanic. This love of tinkering with cars and machines is his pastime. As a 15 year old dad bought a 1930 Chev from his teacher for $50. Over 55 years later he still drives this car! As kids, dad built us a replica car to his 1930one that ran on a battery! He also built us a go-cart, and then made a fibreglass body to look like a Ferrari! He is always building something!

Well, 4 years ago in his retirement from the airline, dad started a big project combining his love of flying and love of making things. He started to build a plane. Looking at this box of parts and pieces it seemed like it would never be finished. But he would plug away at it whenever he could. He loved to be out in the workshop with his baby! Just on the fuselage alone is 13,000 rivets – this plane was so time consuming to make! He had to have it inspected every step of the way and finally – FINALLY!!!! – after four years tonight was the night.

It really is inspiring. Sometimes goals seem so overwhelming or too big. But I think about this box of bits and pieces, and now seeing dad flying in it after 4 years of hardwork… makes my goals seem more attainable! Reminds me also of my Grandpa who dreamed of flying but he was so poor. He talked about going to school in barefeet and being made fun of for being so poor. He said one day he would fly an airplane and snub his nose at his small town and all those who had made fun of him. He went on to fly, and later own a small flying business and did in fact fly over that town as he had dreamed. I love coming from a family of crazy dreamers.

I wonder if you who are reading this have dreams that seem unattainable and huge…. maybe this will encourage you to start… one step at a time.

Back to tonight….

Our family, and my dad’s good friend Russ who has been helping him, gathered out at the airport tonight for the inaugural flight. We were so excited to see it take off… but more excited to see it safely land again. So, so, so excited for dad and proud of all his work! He is working on pontoons with wheels next so he can land on the ground or water. We were the only ones at the airport which was fun and had a bit of a party… food, banners, bubbles, noisemakers, and fun! Madi insisted on dressing like a flight attendant – and the three younger girls gave us the full flight attendant routine (I guess they do listen on the plane!). Without further ado… here is my dad’s plane…

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All the grandkids….

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Mom and Dad – oh! The adventures these two will have now!

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All of my family….

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And it’s time!

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Eden’s says “Fly Great Silver Birdy” – tried to get her to do a more simplified message but nope!

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And the best part – it landed safely!

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One very happy man!

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And time to put the toys away…

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Celebrating life and love,


July 12, 2011 Just a Minute

I cringe every time I utter these three little words “just a minute.”

It’s summer holidays for the kids and they’ll come up to me and ask me to read to them, or go for a walk or just hang out… and I’ll catch myself saying “just a minute”. Eden is my drama queen, and she’ll ask “What’s more important, mom, your computer – or your youngest daughter?” Talk about a kick to the gut.

This summer I have a goal. I want to enjoy the moments with my girls – now. Not in just a minute. Because those minutes quickly add up… and soon they won’t be asking to hang out. Perhaps it will be me asking them to spend time together, and I don’t want their learned response to be “Just a minute”.

And it’s not just my kids – but the loved ones in my life. Yes, life is busy. But are the tasks I’m doing more important than stopping and giving the gift of my undivided attention? Usually not.

Last night after supper we went for a walk. So simple. But the kids just come to life at these simple things – like time with mom and dad. They laughed and giggled, hugged and skipped. When I look at these images I want to remember the joy in giving the gift of time… now. Not in just a minute.

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Celebrating life and love NOW,


March 24, 2011 Making a difference

Yesterday the photography industry was in an uproar… a fairly well-known photographer in the wedding industry made the absurd statement that he was offering a one day one-to-one mentoring session with him for $16,500 (regularly $20,000). And no, that is not a typo. Those zeros are all suppose to be there. Well – in his mind there suppose to be there.

I try to stay positive and out of photography gossip but this time I want to speak up.

I felt disappointed in the photography industry as I fell asleep last night. Are people just in this for money? Fame? Glory?

For me, photography is a way to celebrate life. Celebrate love. To make a woman feel beautiful when she has only ever seen failure in the mirror. To make a couple remember why they fell in love as they enjoy a portrait session together. To pause moments of love. To offer gifts of memories when life takes people from us too soon. This is why I shoot.

SO this morning I challenged myself… find photographers who are shooting for reasons other than the bank. Find photographers who are making a difference. Remind myself why it is I pick up my camera. And  had to share what I found.

Photographers quickly stepping up to the plate to help Japan.

Photographers fighting against Ovarian Cancer.

Helping Charities and Non-Profits get noticed. ANd here too.

All the photographers who allow women to feel beautiful – no matter their size – and with their clothes on.

Giving parents who have experienced the loss of a baby the gift of portraiture.

One I’m involved with – photos for families going through the journey of cancer.

For families with children with life threatening illnesses.

For military families when they are reunited.

Celebrating adoption.

And I’m happy to say I could go on and on. (ANd please leave in the comment section any others I may have missed!)

Today I look at my camera – not as a tool to get rich – but as a tool to enrich the lives of those I’m honoured to come in contact with.

And so I ask all those photographers who may read this – how will you use the gifts you have been given?

Celebrating life and love,


March 23, 2011 What a difference…

Last week on March Break the girls were running around in Spring coats… or no coats at all at some points! It was a week ago Madi was in a tank top and jeans singing and dancing outside my kitchen window to Justin Bieber tunes.

Today…. a snow day? Craziness. But I’ll take it if as it means I got the girls home from school all day today! YAY!

What a difference a few days makes!

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Celebrating life and love,


I am so excited that I will be heading to Haiti to work at God’s Littlest Angels Orphanage for a week. I have been so blessed and am ecstatic to give back in this way. I am going with my sister, Marcie and my good friend and fellow photographer Jodi and her mom. We booked our flights last night and will be there 3 weeks from now!

Just because you may not be able to take time and go… you can still be involved and help in practical ways! If you are interested in donating items… you can find a list of what is needed at the orphange HERE. Please contact me first to make sure I still have room in my suitcases! They also mentioned they could use plastic Easter eggs, icing for cakes and Easter egg dye. And the shoes mentioned in the list can be new or gently used.

Please pop me a line ( if you would like to contribute something! A great way to get your kids involved also – by having them pick out items! Just like the Samartian’s Purse Shoeboxes at Christmas – a tangible way for them to give back, and to start conversations with them.

Celebrating life and love,


March 22, 2011 Aboriginal Day

Last week I got to photograph an Elders Conference at McMaster University put on by the Indigenous Studies department called “Knowing Our Traditions”. As I photographed, I also got to sit in and listen in on the speakers – and I found it fascinating to learn more about this incredible culture right next door to me that I realized I know so little about! It was a beautiful day…. thought I’d share a few photos from the morning session where Tribal Vision taught a group of high school students traditional aboriginal dance and song. So cool to watch and listen to!

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Celebrating life and love,


March 15, 2011 Just Breathe.

I turn on the news and I’m reduced to tears. Japan. Loss. Destruction. Pain. Chaos.

I find myself awake at night worrying and praying.

And then I awoke this morning to Someone at my door. Someone reminding me He is in control even when I’m not. Reminding me to breathe. Just breathe.

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Celebrating LIFE and love,