family fall fun

Oct 24, 2014

Oh Blog, my dear Blog.  I spend half of my life wishing that I had more exciting things to write about, and the other half too busy to write.  Life is good. Sometimes it's busy, sometimes it's boring.... but overall, it's really, really good.  Now that I find myself home on a Friday night with my husband working away and the baby fast asleep, I figured you are all deserving of an update! 
We've been on the go the past few weekends.  First, there was a wedding in Calgary. Ryan's cousin Kor married his beautiful bride and Ryan was the designated wedding photographer!  This in turn meant a day of me chasing him around with a stroller packed full of camera equipment and our restless daughter.  It was a long day filled with love, delicious food, and an exhausted me.  I'm so happy for the newlyweds. Some couples just radiate love, and they are certainly among them.
The next day was Thanksgiving Sunday.  We proceeded to Red Deer for turkey and all of the fixings with my side of the family. My mom proudly served pumpkin pie, despite the fact that Ryan and I (and now Aaralee!) are the only ones in the family who actually enjoy it.  Everything was delicious, and I felt as though I didn't need to eat for about a week... until the next day rolled around and it was time to repeat the celebrations with Ryan's side of the family. What's the best part of being married? Well, aside from my husband it's the fact that we get to celebrate each holiday twice. Two Thanksgivings?! Two Christmases?!  Marriage is awesome.  
Thanksgiving was a lot more fun this year as opposed to last year.  Instead of the screaming newborn that I tried desperately to calm, Aaralee is now a hungry toddler who enjoyed her turkey as much as the rest of us. I was feeling especially thankful.  My little family is so amazing.

That week I found out that I was the privileged winner of an Uppymama draw!  If you know much anything about baby wearing, or if you just hang around me enough, then you know all about Uppymama wraps. These are the Ferraris of baby wraps and so sought after that you must enter a draw just to win the right to purchase one.  I know that it sounds crazy, and a year ago I thought the same. I somehow got caught up in the hype and needed to have my very own.  After months of entering, I'd finally won! My own Uppy wrap! Although Aaralee doesn't let me wrap her nearly as much these days, I plan to have more children in the future so it was a worthy investment.  
The only catch was that we'd have to drive back to Calgary to pick the wrap up.  We took this as an opportunity to have a little family getaway. We booked a cozy hotel room and spent the weekend strolling through the city... eating, shopping, and visiting with some local friends.  It was a wonderful little trip!

I've also been keeping busy lately taking photos! Who knew that I'd actually have the opportunity to photograph so many sweet new babies?! It's so much fun getting to cuddle tiny little ones as I reminisce about when Aaralee was so small.  Having my own little bit of income isn't so bad either!  


Oct 9, 2014

You smell that, Canada? No, your nose does not deceive you... Thanksgiving has arrived and our homes are filled with the incredible aromas of turkey and all of the fixings. I love this holiday.  With a wedding and not one but two turkey dinners ahead of me, I'm going to estimate my weight gain to be approximately 7 pounds by the time that the weekend is through. That's okay. I don't go to the gym every weekday so that I can eat in moderation.
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect upon all that we are thankful for, and believe me... my list seems to grow each year.  I'm truly so fortunate in so many aspect of my life and it's important to remind myself of the big picture when little things bother me.  So without further ado, my 2014 list of gratitude.
I'm thankful for my daughter... my crazy, goofy, beautiful child.  Every day is amazing because they are all spent with her.... which brings me to my next point.  I'm thankful for the ability to stay home with her despite maternity leave being over and done with.  I realize that this is truly a luxury and I am so incredibly fortunate that we can make this situation work, because this mommy has terrible separation anxiety.

I'm thankful for my husband for supporting this decision and accepting that he is now the sole source of income in our family... minus the occasional photo shoot that earns me a tiny percentage of my former salary.  I'm thankful for those photo shoots and the confidence that people put in my abilities.   They give me the opportunity to make a bit of extra money, snuggle adorable babies, and interact with other grown ups.  Back to my husband... I'm thankful that he's a great husband and an even better father.  He's so much fun and would do anything for Aaralee. Our baby doesn't even know how lucky she is. 

I'm thankful for my health.  2014 has been a tough year in terms of people close to me struggling with health issues.  I lost my Grandma and a former coworker to cancer in the spring, and I know many people suffering from various ailment. I wake up healthy every day and I try to appreciate that fact for those who no longer are able to do the same.

I'm thankful for all of my family... my side, Ryan's side, and my friends that are practically family.  Raising a baby is hard work and the encouragement and help over the past year has been so very appreciated.   

I'm thankful for the fact that having a baby hasn't meant sacrificing my love of travel.  Sure, I no longer travel for a living, but we've managed a few getaways and Aaralee has visited some pretty awesome places in her short life.  

I'm thankful for my fur baby for his unconditional love and hours of entertaining his the baby. Those two love each other so much and there is nothing more adorable than watching them play. 

Of course there are far too many things to be thankful for and far too little time to describe each one.  I really couldn't ask for much more than my little family, our warm, safe home and the turkey dinners that we about to enjoy.
Happy Thanksgiving... and thank you for reading my blog throughout the years!! 


Money can't buy you happiness... but it can buy chocolate and coffee and really, what is the difference?

Oct 2, 2014

Hello October! See you soon, Thanksgiving and Halloween!! There is so much to look forward to in the coming weeks, but so much to fear as well.  It's evident each brisk morning... winter is fast approaching and I personally am not the least bit prepared for 6 months of bundling up and hibernating indoors.  Have you met my child? My constantly on the go, into everything child?! I envision what it will be like to spend every day cooped up in the house.  We might both go insane.  Mostly me. And oh, the mess this house shall become.  
I've been in a bit of a rut lately.  While there is absolutely nowhere that I'd rather be than home with my daughter, it's definitely no easy task to give up having my own income.  I like to browse Etsy and buy unnecessary things and treat myself to the occasional fancy coffee.... and maybe even get a haircut once every 6 months. Before I made the decision not to return to work we determined that it was financially feasible for me to stay home, but I knew that it would only be a matter of time before guilt set in.  I can't kiss my husband goodbye as he heads to work each morning and then proceed to spend all of his money.  I need my own income, even if it is only a small amount. Even if it's just enough to buy Ryan's Christmas presents without having to whip out his credit card for the purchase. 
Before I continue, allow me to state my disclaimer:  I understand that being a mother is a job in itself and that if I was working we'd still have to pay for childcare. I realize that spending the days with my baby is far more important than sipping lattes or online shopping. I respect all stay at home moms because this is a tough job, and if you are capable of setting your pride aside and accepting that you don't contribute to the family income, I commend you.   I'm not trying to offend anyone here, this is just the way that I feel about my personal situation.  My husband is supportive of me staying home and has never once complained about my lack of contribution.  
So I set about brainstorming ways to make an income that didn't sacrifice my ability to stay home with my daughter.  I could own a home based business, but all that says to me is multi-level marketing which is something that does not appeal to me in the least.  I could invent something, but so far nothing useful has come to mind and I don't have high hopes of this being my get rich quick scheme. I could get a casual part time job, but with my lack of qualifications I'd be settling for minimum wage and once childcare was factored in I'd basically be defeating the purpose.  
With all of this considered, I took to the basement in search of anything that I could list on Kijiji. I love Kijiji.  Unfortunately, my minimalistic ways and the fact that I've moved across the world twice mean that I own very little that I can actually get rid of. Ryan on the other hand, has boxes that have never been touched since we moved into our house nearly 3 years ago, but I can't just go selling all of his belongings.  
I'd nearly given up hope of having money to call my own, until it dawned on me. For years, people have been asking me to take photos and offering to pay me in exchange for my time.  I've always declined, comparing myself to my many talented photographer friends... and my husband.  I'm lightyears away from that level of talent, and it felt like a crime to take anyone's money.  I've taken many photos for friends and family over the years, but I've never took a dollar in return.  One of my biggest pet peeves is when people purchase a camera and automatically label themselves as a photographer despite lack of knowledge or experience.  To charge people money would make me just as guilty. Yet despite the fact that there are so many photographers that could do better, people still asked me to take photos... so I obviously couldn't be that bad... could I?!  I'm finally willing to accept that while I may never be as talented as the photographers that I know, I've got a pretty decent grasp of what I'm doing with my camera and it is something that I actually really enjoy doing.  We all have to start somewhere, right?  
So with all of this said, I've finally started saying yes to the people who have asked for photos.  I spend my days taking photos of my own child (not to mention an insane amount of money spent on photo props since her birth) so why not of other kids as well?  I still refuse to label myself as a photographer, but if you'd like to fund my coffee addiction and buy my husband's Christmas gifts... and you don't mind my toddler tagging along... then yes, I will photograph your children for you. But not your wedding... never your wedding.  And if you don't want my photos, feel free to just send me your money anyways.  Just kidding. Kind of.  

And on an entirely different note, I am now the proud owner of an iPhone 6 (so now I really need the money) and I'm slightly obsessed with the time-lapse video feature. Here is my daughter, destroying the house at high speed.