December 6, 2016

good grief

Hello! It's been so long since I've had a moment to write, and I've missed it. It's funny, as the year comes to a close, I have caught myself thinking, 2017, now that has to be a better year!
In 2014, one month in, my mom had to tell me she was dying - bar none, the hardest conversation of our lives. So that year, we rallied around her and watched helplessly as cancer turned our family's favourite person into a sickly skeleton. All the hugging in the world, and cancer still found its way in between us. In 2015, we had to say goodbye to her, and learn to walk through a grief I have never known, where still to this day, a few moments alone in my car, free to let out the tears, can quickly become me shouting into the sky, where are you? Give me a sign you are around! I need you! I miss you! And our family unit, as I knew it, felt like it disappeared.
In 2016, the year started with a bang, with Dad in intensive care for two months, fighting for his life. And in that time, I sat beside him, day in, day out, re-living so many hard moments from my childhood, holding his hand, when at some moments I wanted to run screaming from that hospital. I wanted to say enough! And to layer on the grief this year we had to say goodbye to our cat of 18 years, and dog of 16 years. I lied on the floor, beside my dog, holding her as she left this world. I seriously covered her in more tears than I had ever let out in my life. She died when my husband was away, and I think I cried for the both of us that day.
But I'm not here to tell you my sob story because I know several people who have endured a lot worse this year. I'm here to tell you that layered in these tragic times of life, have been these moments, of pure joy, of fall down laughing, of travelling, of meeting new friends, of being in rooms with extraordinary souls. I've become one of those people who sits right inside the happy moments now. I consciously take note of them, and could give you a big list of moments that really stand out because I took the time to observe them from every angle. I remember, when mom only had a month or so to go, I was standing on a beach with friends, skipping rocks into the ocean. The kids were running around laughing, the sun was on our faces, and I remember looking around at each of them thinking, this is it, this beautiful moment will carry me a long way. I've stopped wishing 2017 is going to be extraordinary because I know now that life will throw a lot of good and bad our way, and it's all about navigating it and living with the reassurance that incredible moments will keep coming. When I called to tell my friend I was pregnant with Stella, she found out her dad was dying. When I told my husband I was finally feeling more myself again lately, our friend found out he has cancer. So, if you find yourself thinking, it'll get better when I have a bigger home, or I'm thinner, or I'm doing my dream job, or I have more money, guess what, life is all of the good and bad happening to you right now. Seek out the beautiful moments. I take a photo a day because I want to remember a special moment I experienced each and every day. I don't even have to look hard. They are all around. xo

November 13, 2016

Mt. Baker Getaway

Hello friends! How are you? We just did a mini getaway with friends to Mt. Baker. When my weekend line up includes mountaintop hiking, eating delicious homemade food, playing games with friends, sipping delicious wine, listening to music, going on a gorgeous river walk, and having amazing laughs, well, it's tapping into everything that feeds my soul. I am a huge proponent of the mini getaway. It's such a wonderful way to reconnect with friends and to break up these dreary November days. I hope you had a lovely weekend! xo

November 1, 2016

a walk in the park

Happy November 1st friends! This morning was a stunner, so I grabbed my camera and went on a gorgeous walk through my favourite park. It felt like a real gift, to have some time for myself, to do what I love so much - shooting photos in nature. Honestly, nothing makes my spirit feel more fulfilled than quietly observing animals in their natural setting. Maybe that's why our trip to Africa still ranks up there as one of my all time greatest life experiences. I hope you are able to steal some moments for yourself. I'll write more soon, but I have to wake up at 4:30 tomorrow, so it's time to hit the hay! xo

October 5, 2016

the best of friends

These three. Together since their mamas bonded in the local hospital's baby group. And now they are one month into Kindergarten at three different schools. They are completely different from one another, and yet their personalities compliment each other beautifully. My daughter asks about them all of the time and always draws things in threes - three fairies, three bunnies, always putting their names on them. We still get them all together once a week to keep this magical bond thriving. Sisters can be chosen. xo

September 28, 2016

Pender Island, B.C.

 This past weekend I had the amazing fortune to gather with six lovely women for a Pender Island getaway. It was one of the best wildlife experiences I have had - from seeing a pod of at least 15 killer whales go splashing by our patio, to hand feeding deer in the just felt like we were at the right place at the right time. One afternoon we even had a deer follow us along on a was definitely a magical weekend. We found new trails to venture, ate gourmet meals cooked by the group, danced the night away - it was all that you could ask for from a great getaway.

August 16, 2016

Hornby Island, B.C.

I'm a huge fan of B.C.'s Gulf Islands - there's something so utterly charming about the way people live - the pace, the natural beauty, the roadside stands full of beautiful flowers or farm fresh veggies...
We spent four days camping on Hornby Island and it quickly won me over. Here are a few images from our getaway:

They wanted to help build the campfire....but I think they might have mixed it up with Jenga because it's looking like they're building a four alarm blaze.
These moments  are what it's all about.
Early morning reading
This photographer had heart palpitations during the making of this photo.
Who's a cutie?
Tribune Bay

Breakfast outside, campstove coffee and these two - heaven.

The beautiful bluffs at Helliwell Provincial Park. Helligreat.
Cardboard House Bakery: Delicious food within a parklike setting with a giant bike rack for people to come gather on their travels. I couldn't recommend this island more. xo

July 27, 2016

Harrison Hot Springs

We had a mini getaway to Harrison for one of Craig's bike races. He shaved an entire hour off his time last year and placed 12th overall! It was such an awesome experience for us to celebrate with him. Even though it was just an overnight getaway, sitting in those hot springs, going out for a nice dinner and staring out at that gorgeous lake sure was rejuvenating.

July 24, 2016

Mill Lake Park, Abbotsford

Hi friends! How's your Summer been? Over the next short while, I'm going to play catch up on some of our little highlights so far....I hope you've had a wonderful time enjoying the great outdoors! This is definitely the time when our province makes it oh so appealing to stay close to home. It's just beautiful. Here are some photos from back at the end of June. One of my favourite things to do is to explore places I've never been before. Here's a beautiful park to walk around, complete with a water park and numerous playgrounds along the little 2.5 km lakeside loop. It's called Mill Lake, and it was a great spot to spend the day and bring a picnic.