December 30, 2010

Crescent Beach

As the sun goes down on another year, what do you take away with you from 2010? What were your greatest memories? What were your biggest lessons? Here's to a new year full of adventure, surprises and standout moments. I wish you peace, good health and much happiness. Thanks to each and every one of you for reading this blog. I appreciate that you take the time out of your busy lives to pop into this space. I created it this year after being inspired by Susannah Conway's blog. She has been a tremendous mentor. Putting together this blog has been my favourite creative outlet because I get to combine my passion for photography and writing. What makes you come alive? These photos were taken today while my husband and I walked our dog Molly along Crescent Beach. Pure bliss. Happy New Year!  xo

Van Dusen Gardens

There is something so romantic about strolling through a park lit up with Christmas lights, sipping hot apple cider and walking glove in glove. 

December 23, 2010

2010 - favourite images from the year...

These images all trigger an emotional response in me. They remind me of the incredible year that we had and the wonderful moments that gave it shape. Here's my quick rundown of why I set these images apart from the rest.....

1. 2010 Olympics. Canada suddenly felt like a small community instead of the enormous land mass that it is. Pride ran rampant through the streets. The maple leaf waved on thousands of flags and mittens. I don't know if I even breathed during the gold medal hockey game's overtime period. I have never felt Vancouver so alive and never cried so many tears of pride for our amazing athletes as I did for those two weeks. I'm so happy we got to experience it all.

2. Molly - I've got nothing but love for this face.

3.  The red bicycle.  This photo was taken in Arizona. It is the first trip I've taken with just my mom and I. Now I think we'll do one every year. It made me so happy to see her so blissfully happy.

4. Pink Grasses. This was taken in our front yard. It just reminds me of home and all that home represents. Warm and fuzzy.

5. Crescent Beach Marina at sunset. I am so proud to live in such a beautiful community.

6. My nephew Jack at Crescent Beach.  I love how quiet and peaceful he seems in this moment.  He is usually always on the run  My heart explodes everytime I see him.

7. My niece Skylar. Those eyes. Those cheeks. She is pure love.

8. Cooper. She never leaves my side. She'll curl up wherever I am in the house. Twelve years together and seven moves in between. Love my sidekick.

9. The Okanagan. Celebrating a friend's 40th, we got caught in a torrential downpour while visiting the Red Rooster winery. Everything was instantly misty and so vividly green. There is something so wonderful about being trapped inside with amazing friends, watching the rain bounce off the ground while we stay cozy sampling delicious wine.

10. Forbes and Jacinthe's wedding. One of my dearest friends was legally made a Mrs. The sunset wedding and the brides were breathtaking. I was overwhelmingly proud to witness it all.

11. Mt. Baker. This mountain is where I grew up. We had a family cabin here for over 20 years. I've never seen it look more stunning as I did this year. My heart swells with nostalgia whenever I see Baker's majestic peak.

12. The girls. To me this photo symbolizes what friendship is all about. Cozy and connected. We hiked, danced, drank, danced some more and stayed up into the wee hours talking. Bliss.

13. Smiley. This was taken at home while he was getting ready for Zad & Kathy's wedding. He is my handsome gentle giant. I love the clothes he put together for the event. He really is my home.

14. Cuba. To me Havana is truly what Cuba is all about: vintage cars, beautiful architecture, an endless pool of talented musicians and vivid colours. It is a photographer's dream.

15. Fall leaves. I picked these leaves up while walking Molly. I just tossed them in a pile on our kitchen table and started shooting photos. The Fall's crisp air, stunning sunset palette of colour and crunchy leaves underfoot make me blissfully happy. It is one of those simple pleasures in life. A sunny autumn day is my favourite time of year.

I hope you had a wonderful year. xoxo

December 20, 2010

December 15, 2010

Nature vs. Nurture

As we undergo the adoption process, a lot of questions and thoughts about my own adoption come to mind. A few years ago, I tried doing a search on my birthparents, mainly to find out my medical history, and I was told that a "no contact" clause was on my file. Door closed. Because I was adopted in the 70s, it wasn't as open as the process is today. I look at my brother's children (in the photo above) and they are truly a miniature version of my brother and his wife. I see their expressions and dispositions so vividly apparent in their children. I often wonder if there are people out there who look like me or have some of my deeply ingrained traits? Which traits are uniquely our own?  I have always been curious about the nature vs. nurture question. What qualities are we born with and which ones are learned from our environment? As dear friends of mine prepare to undergo the process of selecting a sperm donor, it's interesting to see what qualities they look in their search; which traits they believe will be genetically passed onto their future children.
Here's the information that I was given when I was born:

Mother: 20. French Scottish. Pretty. 5'4", 125 pounds. Brown hair, green eyes, medium complexion. Quiet. Thoughtful. Bright. Charming. Interested in tennis, swimming, skiing, skating, music and reading.

Father: 21. English Scottish. 6' medium build. Curly red hair, blue eyes, fair freckled complexion. Outgoing. Likeable. Extremely athletic - plays hockey, basketball, football. University student.

Pretty bare bones, but I can definitely see a few pieces of me in there. Green eyes, fair skin, reddish hair, quiet, thoughtful, and really charming (kidding, but that one makes me smile.) I definitely feel most alive when I'm active. Is that ingrained in me from my birth father's athleticism? But then there are qualities like my sense of humour, love of animals, compassion for others that are truly inherited from my environment. I know these are qualities I learned from my parents' actions. And then there is my love of dance, photography and writing that I believe are uniquely my own.  I love it when people tell me that I remind them of my mom or dad, because it reiterates that you don't have to be born into a family to fit into it.

Which qualities do you believe are genetic? In no way am I an expert. In my humble opinion, I think that physical appearance and medical history can be genetic (both biological and psychological), but after that, all bets are off. So often you see two children born into the same family who have completely different personalities, drive and intellect from one another. I know friends who are so successful and driven who grew up in horrible deadbeat households, and some who grew up in amazing households but struggle to find their footing in life. How do our environments shape us? What qualities are inherited from the friends we choose in our lives?

What traits in you are genetic and what have you learned along the way?


White Rock Spirit

December 12, 2010

gift ideas for her

The Lululemon Eyewear Gym Bag. This has lots of storage pockets and a wonderful removable wet/dry laundry pouch for your post workout gear. Not only is this a great gym bag but I've used it for weekend getaways and toting around a laptop. 

All My Love For You pillowcases. This is just one of many adorable designs from Bold Loft. Simple. Romantic. Whimsical. 

Audrey Jewelry Boxes. I love how these jewelry cases are stylized like vintage luggage. They look classy on any dresser and are easy to take on your travels. 

Glass cake stand/punch bowl. A classic way to display cakes, pies or cupcakes. This gift would be great partnered up with a baking cookbook. When the cover is flipped upside down, it nestles into the pedestal base to create the perfect punch bowl. 

Album frames. For anyone who grew up on vinyl - now you can preserve and frame up your favourites. Album cover art was often as creative as the music inside. Now you can adorn your walls with a bit of nostalgia. 

Rollerball perfume. These fragrances are the perfect size to tote around in your purse. 

Stocking Stuffers made easy by Restoration Hardware. They have them categorized by interest and have some of the best mini gifts I've spied this year. 

December 4, 2010

goodbye Corolla.....

I didn't get a chance to say goodbye. Ah sweet Corolla, you faired well for us. In less than five years, this is our second vehicle that has been written off.
In May 2006,  Craig was driving our Honda Civic locally, running errands. While stopped at a red light, a truck plowed into our Civic's rear bumper at a speed of 60 kms/hr. The driver of the truck was yapping on his cell phone and hadn't noticed that traffic had stopped. He destroyed our car and the two vehicles that were stopped ahead of Craig. The trunk of our car was literally in the back seat. I can't tell you how thankful I am that Craig left Molly at home that day. I can't praise Honda enough. Craig walked away from that accident without a single scratch while the passengers of the vehicles ahead of ours, were taken away in ambulances.
Being a one car family, we had to get a replacement car, and fast. So, we went for the ultra sexy, super slick ride: the 2003 Toyota Corolla. It was well priced, and had amazing fuel efficiency: Hot stuff!
About a month ago, while I was commuting, I was rear-ended in the tunnel (and no, that isn't a dirty euphemism).  A young driver in her parent's mini-van slammed into the back of our super sexy Corolla. Aside from the shockingly creative expletive combos flying out of my mouth at the moment of impact, it wasn't a bad scene. Her minivan and ego took the brunt of the damage (Here's your keys back Mom and Dad!). That's why I was really surprised to find out that what was initially estimated as a $2000 repair job turned into a write off for our car. ICBC called and gave us a very fair price for our car's "remains". They had her towed away from the mechanic before I got a chance to say farewell to that beautiful boxy son of a bitch. This is my love letter to our sweet ride.
Thank you for showing us beautiful scenic roads stretching from Manning Park to the Okanagan, from White Rock to Whistler, the Gulf Islands, Mt. Baker, Seattle, Vancouver Island and Mt. Seymour.  You never let us down. We always arrived safe and sound. You even let us rack up over 216,000 kms without a single repair. You didn't mind that Molly drooled along your windows as she happily caught fresh air, craning her head into the wind. You somehow managed to steer me right to the hospital, when I couldn't even think straight, after hearing Craig had been struck down by a truck while he was out jogging. You got us home safe from Karen's house when most vehicles were spun off along the Trans Canada Highway during a horrendous snow storm in 2008. We always stockpiled you with mountain bikes and slapped a canoe on top, and treated you like an SUV we knew you could be, you lovable SOB. About every five minutes, when we pass yet another grey Corolla along the highway, we'll think of you. It sure was good to know ya Corolla. xoxo