In Category: ‘random’

Yep. Hands down the worst month for many wives. It’s Movember.

If you haven’t heard of Movember yet – be thankful.

In all honesty…. I would take Movember 12 months of the year over cancer. Which is why I’m proud of Mark and all the other Movember boys. Prostate cancer is one of the most treatable forms of cancer – if detected early. My dad is a case of just this – early detection. Whew! Anywho – they are raising awareness and funds by using their faces.

Here’s a note from my computer-shy hubby.

This Movember, the month formerly known as November I’ve decided to donate my face to raising awareness about prostate cancer. My donation and commitment is the growth of a moustache for the entire month of Movember, which I know will generate conversation (if you don’t believe me, check out Krista’s facebook page), controversy (if you don’t believe me, check out Krista’s facebook page) and laughter (if you don’t believe me, check out Krista’s facebook page :-)).

I’m doing this because 4,400 men die of prostate cancer in Canada each year and one in six men will be diagnosed during his lifetime.

This is a cause that I feel passionately about and I’m asking you to support my efforts by making a donation to Prostate Cancer Canada.

To help, you can either:

· Click this link and donate online using your credit card or PayPal account

· Write a cheque payable to ‘Prostate Cancer Canada’, referencing my name or Registration Number 353870 and mailing it to: Prostate Cancer Canada, Suite 306 145 Front Street East, Toronto, ON M5A 1E3, Canada.

All donations are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.

For more details on how the funds raised from previous campaigns have been used and the impact Movember is having please visit:

Thank you in advance for helping me to support men’s health.


Mark is not only computer shy – he’s camera shy. I did manage to dig up a photo of him from last Movemeber in full country get-up for our goofy Christmas cards last year.

13764 213994487036 570997036 4713335 2749183 n It's the worst month of the year...

Celebrating life and love,


November 16, 2010 Mom and Dad

Growing up, I loved dad’s bedtime stories. If he wasn’t reciting poetry from heart, he was telling us stories of growing up on the farm or his crazy flying tales. I loved hearing stories of dad transporting a Beluga whale from the arctic in his plane, waterbombing my mom’s laundry or car, and even the stories of crash landings and emergencies. My dad has been flying 50 years this year since he took his first flying lesson. It was a few years later he met my mom – a daughter of a pilot, and tehy took flying lessons together both getting their pilot’s license. I can’t imagine mom flying a plane now – and I cant imagine dad not flying.

So when dad retired from the airline a couple years ago – he did what any crazy pilot in love with flying would do… he started to build his own airplane.

After three years… it’s nearly done! So…. let me introduce my crazy parents and my dad’s newest baby….

IMG 1489 1 Mom and Dad

IMG 1495 Mom and Dad

IMG 1498 Mom and Dad

ContactSheet 001 64 Mom and Dad

IMG 1444 Mom and Dad

IMG 1442 Mom and Dad

IMG 1471 Mom and Dad

IMG 1438 3 Mom and Dad
IMG 1439 2 Mom and Dad

IMG 1452 1 Mom and Dad

Now I should give a disclaimer… I try to stay with true colours in my images… but these really needed a vintage feel to them so I played a bit….

After 43 years… still loving…

IMG 1428 Mom and Dad

IMG 1476 Mom and Dad

Then Dad pulled out one of his other stories…. the old car he bought for $50 as a 15 year old….

IMG 1515 Mom and Dad

IMG 1518 Mom and Dad

IMG 1524 Mom and Dad

Celebrating life and love,


November 11, 2010 Canada Rocks

Just before I took my moment of silence in honour of Remembrance Day I was doing some straightening up. My girls LOVE to draw…. and draw and draw and draw. I find drawings everywhere. I keep some that are extra special to me – like this one. Thought it was so fitting to find today.

Madi has atrocious spelling… so let me translate what she wrote….

“in my brain Canada is the best country”
“I’m thankful I live in a free country”
“Canada rocks”
“I ? my country”

Scan2a Canada Rocks

Celebrating life and love,


November 11, 2010 Remembering

This week in Sparks and Brownies, my girls learned about Remembrance Day. On the way home we talked about what it meant. Having done our family’s cross-Canada trip this year and watched the Olympics on Canadian soil last winter – my girls have become fiercely patriotic. We talked about how much we loved Canada and how thankful we are to live here. In freedom.

Over this year I’ve read a few books that really impacted me – Half the Sky, Three Cups of Tea and We are all the Same. In reading about the state of children in other countries – and specifically girls – I have discussed this with our girls. They need to know that they are fortunate to live in a country where as females they still have a right to education, healthcare, religion, and choices. The biggest thing that can hinder them from reaching their dreams is themselves. We will sit around the dinner table and talk about how fortunate we are to be Canadian women.

And in doing so – we are thankful. We are thankful for those who served and gave so we can live in freedom. My goal for myself and my daughters is that we will live in a way that these men and women will not have served in vain. We will celebrate our freedom.

Today I am overwhelmed as I reflect on Remembrance Day. Sa by the lives lost – but mostly a heart overflowing with gratitude.

Thank you.


My mom emailed me this story about her uncle this week. Thought I’d share….

If you happen to watch the new film of “Storming Juno”, think of Uncle Clarence who was there. The story he told is that they landed in the rain and were very wet for several days. He and his mate had dug a foxhole and were still very wet. They saw a hay stack nearby and decided to toss a coin and the first one to flip tails had to get out and fetch some hay to help them dry off. Clarence said he lost and was sure his life was on the line. Trying to be a good soldier, he ran to the haystack and gathered some hay. His arms were full of hay and he turned only to see all his mates blown up by a German grenade thrown into the fox hole he had left. That is the only story that he would tell when asked about the war at least in my presence. Our family has veterans who helped save our freedoms.

(I didn’t have photos of Mark’s Poppy and my Grandpa Hall in uniform to scan today. But thinking about them as well!)

Mark’s Grandpa

rem2 Remembering

My Grandpa (with my mom in his arms and my Aunt Pat)

rem1 Remembering

My great Grandpa

rem Remembering

Mark’s brother Andrew

14260 202911972689 517692689 3092372 5714300 n Remembering

Mark’s cousin Bryan

4598 1090283689913 1011092066 30199679 3534116 n Remembering

Celebrating life, love and FREEDOM,


October 22, 2010 Goal Setting

In my family, I am the youngest of three. My brother is four years older and my sister is six years older. I could never understand why I couldn’t do the same things and have the same responsibilities as they did – at the same time. The concept of an age difference never registered with me.

Fast forward a few years… to Eden. She gets so frustrated if she can’t read the same books, and do the same math problems as Madi is doing in school. She wants to go to the same birthday parties as Madi and do everything she does.

Like losing teeth.

Madi has lost her teeth and got her new ones… and still Eden waits. And waits. And waits. Eden has started to be the one to put Madi’s tooth under her pillow and check for the letter from the tooth fairy for Madi. She gets more excited than Madi.

After months and months of waiting – she got her first wiggly tooth. She has been wiggling and wiggling it. We’ve been giving her apples and carrots to eat. Wednesday night at supper her tooth was barely hanging on…. so we all wrote down bets on when it would come out.

Eden voted for Thursday at school. Guess who pulled their tooth out… Thursday at school? Yep. You know what they say – state your goal if you want to achieve it. Go Eden!

Eden came off the bus with the biggest smirk and couldn’t wait to unbutton her coat to reveal her necklace! If they lose a tooth at school they get a necklace that holds their tooth. Which is why Eden REALLY wanted to lose it at school.

ContactSheet 001 54 Goal Setting

She was so, so, so excited!

ContactSheet 001a 18 Goal Setting

My BIG girl!

IMG 8249 Goal Setting

I just love these mini-celebrations in the kid’s lives. Eden really wanted a party. With kids, a pinata and a pool. We settled on playing Wii after supper instead. And by playing Wii – I mean Eden made countless “Mii”s. That’s how she chose to celebrate her big moment.

Celebrating life and love,


October 21, 2010 Living love.

Last week, a young girl in our church – just days away from her 15th birthday committed suicide. Although I didn’t personally know Kristina, this hit us all hard. And I have been thinking about it since I heard the news… and I had to share my thoughts. My thoughts can be summed up as such:


Active and intentional love.

If I have learned anything through this crisis, this is it. This is what I am being challenged with in my daily life. Each person I come in contact with is just that – a person. A person that needs love, encouragement and to be built up. I am guilty of becoming so busy and self-absorbed I forget to intentionally “be” with the people around me – be it in person, online or on the phone.

I may not know who is hurting – so why not love recklessly? Spread cheer, joy and encouragement lavishly.

I want to be a person of Love.

Although this post started on a tragic note – my prayer is you read and are encouraged to live a life of love. That you read this and are encouraged. Be it a random act of kindness, an encouraging word, a hug, a listening ear… may I encourage you (and me!) to love wildly today.

I saw this video awhile back at our old church… I love it. I love watching the diversity of the respondents. As I watch I wonder when some of them were hugged last. Why not give a free hug today.

Celebrating LIFE and LOVE!!!


October 11, 2010 Happy Thanksgiving!

I love Thanksgiving. Love it. To take time aside and think on what we are thankful for. Obviously I hope I do that more than once a year – but love that we value thankfulness enough to give it it’s own holiday!

One thing we have tried to teach our girls is to verbalize what their thankful for. Something I often forget myself. I may love and adore someone – but forget to actually tell them. I was reminded of the power of words this week when I was given two very precious gifts by my girls that I had to share.

The first was from Madison. She is sentimental like me. We had a rough night – I was being completely unreasonable and asking her to do her homework (oh! I get some cray ideas in my head sometimes!) and it was not going well. When I went to bed I found this on my bed. She had dug out my old Cabbage Patch Kid because she knows I love it (I still do – is that bad to admit?) and had taken the shirt off of a teddy bear that says “You cannot hug your kids too much” and put it on Cabby. She then added a note that said “I’m sorry mom. xoxo”.

My heart melted.

IMG 4800 Happy Thanksgiving!

The second was a random note Eden gave me today. In true 6 year old phonetic spelling. It says “Mom you or the one I’ve bin watign for”. (or “Mom you are the one I’ve been waiting for”). I asked her what she meant and she gave me this sappy, syrupy answer that I’ll savour – knowing in a few years it’ll be the cute boys getting the notes with the same message and not me.

IMG 4803 Happy Thanksgiving!

This Thanksgiving I’m so thankful for my two mushy little gals and so much more.

Take time to be thankful today!

Celebrating life, love and thankfulness,


October 9, 2010 Unremarkable Magic

Sometimes I wonder what days, what moments, what events my girls will remember of their childhood. This intrigues me. Obviously I don’t remember every single day of my life – but can remember some random events throughout my childhood and life. Why those days? What made them special?

Then there are days where it was nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing remarkable. But just a tad bit magical – the magic of nothing. A day in the life of a child. An active imagination. Freedom to play. And dream.

I hope my girls remember days like this. Unremarkable days filled with the remarkable magic of childhood. I know I will.

IMG 4765 Unremarkable Magic

IMG 4768 Unremarkable Magic

IMG 4781 Unremarkable Magic

Celebrating life and love,


Mark and I fell in love because of the game of cribbage. Well… maybe not “because” of cribbage – but crib gave us an excuse to hang out. We would play in our student lounge into the wee hours. I love playing board games because it gives you a chance to gab and connect – while still doing something if things get awkward or you run out of conversation! icon smile Imagine: Board Game Wedding

On our wedding registry we put “board games”. When we were first married (pre-kids) we kept a Scrabble board or Yahtzee on the kitchen table. Supper would take forever as we would play board games as we ate. In the car we kept the boxes of Trivial Pursuit cards to ask each other questions as we drove. When we travel we always take a deck of cards – but you’re just as likely to find us with “Pass the Pigs” or a travel version of Scrabble.

Basically – I’m admitting here to you my blog readers (aka my mom) I’m a nerd. I love board games. And Scrabble trumps all in my books.

When I meet with clients and we’re thinking about their engagement shoot – I often ask them if they have a special interest or hobby they would like to work into their photo session. For us it would definitely have to be board games.

So when I was planning this week’s “Imagine” posting – it definitely had to be about board games. And my beloved Scrabble in particular.

Let’s start with this awesome save the date video. In an eco-friendly world this doubles not only as something us geeky board game lovers will drool over – but saves paper. Love it!

There are lots of great Scrabble wedding invitation ideas – but I loved this one as it wasn’t too blatant. Sweet!

634116763570399688 Imagine: Board Game Wedding

Not to say the blatantly “Scrabble” invitation doesn’t look absolutely freaking adorable as well!

ContactSheet 001 47 Imagine: Board Game Wedding

It’s often easy to tie in fun attire ideas for the bride – but let’s not forget the groom! I think these are adorable for a groom’s cufflinks!

il 430xN180922912 Imagine: Board Game Wedding

Cufflinks also make a cute idea for the groomsmen gifts… but not all men wear cufflinks on a day to day basis. Never fear! There is something for both men and women in the wedding party… cute pendants, keychains, earring and more!

6a00d834517ebf69e20120a627e384970b 800wi Imagine: Board Game Wedding

For decor… I love this to hang at the reception. The ceremony. For photos. For the couple to hold. To hang on the car. To bind and gag annoying kids at the reception. I kid. I kid.

Picture6 Imagine: Board Game Wedding

Centrepieces there’s a few ideas floating around. Scrabble boards for the centre of the table with the lovely floral arrangements on them.

Or…. this fun couple had their engagement photos taken to match board game boxes – and then had the fake boxes made up for the tables in place of table numbers. Hilarious!

Picture6 1 Imagine: Board Game Wedding

Picture7 Imagine: Board Game Wedding

Scrabble letters used throughout the day to “label” things.

Framed “bride” and “groom” Scrabble letters.

135 Imagine: Board Game Wedding

681 Imagine: Board Game Wedding

And throughout the reception to carry the theme.

scrabble wedding06 Imagine: Board Game Wedding

scrabble wedding07 Imagine: Board Game Wedding

scrabble wedding09 Imagine: Board Game Wedding

And I love the idea of place cards with Scrabble letters. If there’s too many guests to do the full name… you can just do the first letter of their name on some great cardstock. I should mention… I’ve started collecting Scrabble letters – and picked up two Scrabble sets last week for 99cents each at the Salvation Army. Score! If someone was doing a Scrabble theme – just put friends and family on alert to watch for Scrabble sets at second hand stores, flea markets and garage sales. Since it doesn’t matter if all the letters are there – you can get them cheap!

placecardboard21 Imagine: Board Game Wedding

And this is just the cutest idea ever… for home, office – or a reception. Imagine a nook with these beauties!

scrabble furniture 1 Imagine: Board Game Wedding

scrabble furniture 2 1 Imagine: Board Game Wedding

These DIY Scrabble magnets for favors – yes please!!

078a4a2ed6789c4e12da6a060783f33b w2a1 Imagine: Board Game Wedding

And cake…. Wonderful cake.

cake462 Imagine: Board Game Wedding

Although might need some cookies to go with that cake!

081 Imagine: Board Game Wedding

I read about the idea of instead of throwing your bouquet… who’s ever name comes to the most points in Scrabble gets it! Love that.

And the last thing I would add would be… GAMES! I would definitely have games tables with Scrabble, Boggle, Pass the Pigs, Yahtzee, decks of cards, and more. Not everyone wants to dance – now those of us with zero coordination and rhythm can do something during the dance portion of the wedding.

Any other ways to incorporate the love of board games into a wedding?

I feel a need to play some Scrabble…..

Celebrating life and love,


September 24, 2010 Falling for Fall

Today was the official first full day of Fall. And it was perfect. Love this time of year – with the cool, crisp mornings… and warm, sun-filled afternoons. After I got the kids on teh bus, I grabbed my camera and explored…

Fall reminds me each year to “hurry up and slow down”.

What I mean is to hurry up and enjoy this season – this time in life, because tomorrow the leaves might all be off the trees and I’ll have missed it. Fall doesn’t listen to “just give me one more day… one more week… just a little more time and THEN I’ll come enjoy you.” Fall shouts it’s beauty and invites us all to join in the celebration… now. Not tomorrow.

And slow down… once we hurry to take the time to celebrate today – savour it. Fall is not about step outside, look up, notice the trees have changed colours and then go back inside. Fall is about looking for the perfect leaf. Listening to the crunch of leaves under your feet. Feeling the mix of cool air on your face, and warm sun on your back. Slow down… celebrate this moment.

Fall reminds me to “hurry up and slow down” every day of my life and celebrate life and love.

Here are a couple of visual reminders…

ContactSheet 001 41 Falling for Fall

ContactSheet 001a 14 Falling for Fall

IMG 3211 Falling for Fall

IMG 3215 Falling for Fall

IMG 3220 Falling for Fall

ContactSheet 002 26 Falling for Fall

IMG 3207 Falling for Fall

Celebrating life and love,