CIBC Run for the Cure 2010 | Calgary Photographer11.01.10

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I have been holding back getting this post out to try to get the final total for the Tot Shots team for the CIBC Run for the Cure. I can’t wait any longer – I know they are SWAMPED with getting the last cheques and cash through. I am so very proud of our team of 22+. Once the final numbers come through I believe that Team Tot Shots raised just shy of $8,500 in support of Breast Cancer research this year. Thank you so very much to everyone that participated on the team and to everyone that supported us through donations. I know my mum is smiling down. I also want to thank everyone for the special emails that I received sharing your stories with me. The disease is CRAPPY and has affected too many people. But through all of that, I am proud to be part of this community that has amazing strength and WILL one day find a cure. Here are a couple of snapshots of most of the members of the team and then someone actually got a shot of me;) And the last one is my family and a family friend coming in after walking the full 5km. I guess I forgot to print off the 1km walking map…oops;) Next year my son will run with me as he just wanted to keep passing everyone.

Thank you again and I look forward to next year!
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Rollercoaster | Calgary Photographer09.28.10

This week started with a photo session where the music requested was the soundtrack to the Sound of Music. I love this movie! My mum and I would spend every Christmas eve watching this movie…I still do…and sing at the top of my lungs (to the rest of the household’s dismay).

After the session, I received an email informing me that one of the recipients of my “Give of Yourself” project had passed the night before. My client wanted me to know that she had witnessed first hand the gift that I had given as she and her friend had looked through the pictures that I had taken for them. I can’t even properly explain the flood of emotions that went through me as I read this… first, my heart goes out to the daughter in this situation. There are not a lot of people (and then at the same time there are too many) that have had to sit by a person’s bedside and watch them pass. I remember feeling so bad and so guilty that I was telling my mum that it was okay to go because I did not want her to be in anymore pain but on the other hand I COULD NOT let her go. She was my person! It is tough to live without a mother and I feel bad that someone else has to experience that.

Another emotion that I felt yesterday was pride (and this may come across wrong and I hope it does not). The pride came from feeling like a bit of my mum was carrying on. My mum was a nurse and an amazing nursing instructor. One of the nurses that came to the house in my mum’s last hours had been taught by my mum, she told me that night what an amazing person and teacher my mum was. This brought me to ask my mum, “How do you do that? How do you make an impression like that? How can I help too?” My mum’s very simple response was “Give of yourself”. This is where my program came from. It took me a little while to figure out what my role in “give of yourself” could be but then I knew. When I started it on the first anniversary of my mum’s passing, it was a way to give back as well as a way to help heal myself. So yesterday there was a bit of pride that I could give someone a gift, even if it is just a little gift to help.

Then another emotion came over me. Anger! And I wish that I was not still angry but I miss my mum and HATE this disease that takes too many people. This brought me to posting “Been reminded as to why we need to kick cancer in the A#$” on Twitter. It is the final week before the CIBC Run for the Cure and I ask you to support someone that you know in this cause. Sadly too many of us are affected by this disease!

I have received a lot of emails over the last few weeks of others’ stories. So as crappy as cancer is, it does bring people together. I am happy to be part of the community that will find a cure for this disease;)

With the rollercoaster of emotions this week, I am happy to add joy of family, friends, health and work (and gorgeous fall weather – my mum’s favourite season) to the mix;).
I promise the rest of the week will be filled with the fall fun that I have had over the past couple of weeks and not me kicking it in frustration.
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Someone forgot to tell me…|Calgary Children Photographer09.16.10

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…how hard and rewarding parenting was going to be…and all at the same time! This fall is bringing a lot of change in our household. My son started Gr. 1…at a new school. Although it was a change that we knew would happen and tried to prepare for…it came with a bit of a transition. He is pretty shy so working into a group of children that went to kindergarten together was a bit difficult. There have been a lot of trips to the school to make sure he is okay (even the ones where you just stand there just so they know you are there). As a parent it is hard to stand back (especially given my personality;) and watch them work through things on their own. But on the other hand is it super rewarding! I am happy to report that he is settling in, loving his teacher, enjoying homework (thank goodness as this is only the beginning, my friend!) and making friends.

The little one on the other hand has started preschool this year and COULD NOT WAIT TO START! She did not want to leave the orientation and then was very upset when she learned that I was the designated parent helper and would be attending the first class with her. Needless to say, she is having a blast!

She has also started dance this year. Aside from soccer last season this is really the first taste that we have had after school activities. Wow, it definitely adds to the planning. BUT is so much fun! I am not sure who is enjoying it more, me or her. It was so funny to see her in a dress (and happy to put it on). She has been a bit like her mother, in that dresses are typically worn with jeans;) Yep, we are fancy here!

So with new schools, new activities, new schedules,… It definitely has taken a little bit to get into the swing of things. Seriously the food planning that comes with all of this (particularly since I am a bit of a health nut as it is) – CRAZY! Coming up with healthy, energy sustaining, nut-free, low waste (from a packaging standpoint), variable meals and snacks that the children will eat is, let’s just say, FUN. I do get that this is a “stress” I add to myself but I rate this as a fairly high priority. Given the discussions that I have had with other moms lately I think that a lot of us do. I will be trying to share some of the ideas that I am come up or have heard from others because I have been getting a lot of feedback about it and hopefully we will get ideas back;) A few of my ideas that have been working so far is sending a smoothie or homemade muffins to school for a snack. I am finding that these seem to be getting eaten (as compared to the lunch). There seems to be too many distractions at lunch so snack time seems to be the “more substantial meal”. I have been sending a smoothie in a thermos and am adding hemp to get a little protein in. The muffins have a bunch of different flours and grains that seem to carry them through a bit longer. The recipes for the muffins are from Slice. The authors of this cookbook are from Calgary (it is always nice to support local;). I have been finding some great, easy recipes in this cookbook. I even tried the roasted red pepper hummus (featured recipe on their website) for my event last week and it got great reviews. It did from my children too paired with some homemade pita chips. Because, seriously, we all have time to make these;)

I hope that everyone else is settling into their fall nicely! Here are a few pictures from the last few weeks.
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10 Years! | Calgary Photographer07.19.10

This past week Mike and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary!  Holy smokes!  I can’t even believe that it has been 10 years and then I think back to what we have done in 10 years and realize that we needed that much time to do what we have done.  It has been an amazing 10 years…no, not all blissful as we have certainly had a lot of challenges to deal with as does every couple.  But we have worked together through the good and bad times…accomplishments, new puppy (and we thought that was difficult before kids;), babies,new jobs, new houses (far too many of these and through some of the builds it was amazing that I did not strangle the anal engineer), disease, loss (which almost broke me), career change, new entrepreneurial ventures,  first stages of parenthood,…  What I learn more and more every day though is that we make each other better.  We have supported each other through a lot and we work well together.  I appreciate that he has believed in me and supported me because I am sure that my spirit and drive can be difficult to take at times but I also know that he knows it is what makes me FUN (which has always been an inside joke)!  So, here is to keeping you on your toes for another 10 but also to me helping to support your dreams!  I love you!

We went to Lake Louise this past weekend to celebrate for the first non-business related, child-free weekend since having children.  It was really nice!  I did not take a lot of pictures but thought I should have one…I happened to prefer this blown out one over the others as it washed my wrinkles away.  10 years does not  come without a few of them;)

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The big 4-0 |Calgary Photographer06.10.10

My husband turns 40 next month. I probably would not typically blog about it and I definitely would not if I thought that it bothered him. But I know it doesn’t and since I tweeted about the engineer’s dream of a gift with “some assembly required”, I figured I would at least follow up with a picture. One day I will join the rest of the world and get an iPhone and be able to easily share on the fly (but being the practical girl I am, I will be waiting until the contract of my bb is complete;).

So the story behind the gift…we have never really been “gift” people. Probably goes along with the fact that we are both fairly practical but also minimalist. This is a little different though, when you hit a big milestone there feels like there is a bit of an expectation. So I have been soliciting his friends and golf buddies to see if there was a club that he needed. Well, it seems that there has been a “need” for them some time in the past as he has all of them. So I was at a bit of a loss…and mentioned it one day. He answers rather quickly with “there is the bike I have been looking at and it is on sale right now”. Sweet! Shopping done! So the friendly neighbourhood UPS guy arrives last Friday with the gift a month early and I, fortunately, had a GNO planned so that I did not have to be part of the assembly process;) So here is the new cruiser…not the motorized kind that he would really like but the family friendly, get some exercise kind. Don’t ask me anything else about it because despite being shown the website and video and hearing about it for a week or so, I still can’t tell you anything about it or why he needed it?!? Happy Birthday Honey…I know you love it. I just may have to find a beanie helmet because the mountain biking one looks goofy – ah, Father’s Day!

There is no doubt that it will be well used as we are out biking as a family every opportunity we have…here is everyone else geared up. All I ever see is my son’s dust so thought that this was fitting.

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