Little Miss Kendra is a week older than Callum. For the past year they have played together, grown together, scratched each other and rough housed together. Having them gave us mammas the opportunity to become really great friends, and I am thankful for Kendra’s mom who has been there without question the past year.
Kendra’s cake smash was hilarious! She didn’t want to get her hands dirty, but she wanted that cake, so she dove right in, head right in the cake. Loved it!
Happy first birthday you beautiful girl. You are going to be so much fun, I can’t wait to watch you grow.
To start to tell my side of this love story, we have to head back to New Zealand, in 2012. A rainy day in a campground, we were huddled around our laptop with a dodgey internet connection to finally speak to one of my very best friends. We had been trying to have a skype date for days, and I would finally find out why. On Christmas eve, her boyfriend Danny had written “Will You Merry Me?” in glow in the dark paint on their bedroom wall. As they turned out the lights to go to sleep, his question of how their forever was going to play out was illuminated. Of course she said yes! They managed to keep the news off Facebook until we had spoken – I’m so grateful to have friends who made that kind of an effort for us while we were away. As girls do, a hundred questions and ideas and plans flew between us in our short internet chat. Being on the other side of the world didn’t matter, my best friend was getting married and I was thrilled.
I received a message about 5 minutes after we hung up – oh, by the way, you’ll be my bridesmaid right?
I was sent pictures and emails and plans as we continued to travel around the world. Coming home to Edmonton just meant emails turned into phone calls and dates. Then came the surprise that Callum was going to be joining us, within weeks of their wedding date. Oh my goodness….not only had I committed to standing up beside them, Gareth had committed to photographing their wedding. Not only did Nicole still want me to be a bridesmaid, but they still wanted us to capture their day.
They must have panicked. They must have wondered how this was ever going to work. But they trusted us and kept us in that inner circle.
Fast forward to February 2013…18 days after Callum was born, we bundled him up, and packed up my three bags, the bags which have come to define my life in the past year…my diaper bag, my camera bag, and my girly (bridesmaid) bag. We were off to the wedding and Callum was off to Grandma and Grandpa’s.
On February 23 I watched two people I truly love and admire commit to spending their lives together. It was an honour to be such a big part of the day. It’s a privilege to have you be such a big part of our lives.
Happy anniversary to a couple I admire. It became a bit of a joke that their photos hadn’t been on the blog yet, but I thought this might be the best time to share.
We haven’t known Katrina and Andy all that long, but we have spent a fair bit of time with them in the past year, and we just love them. They both have hearts of gold, we always laugh with them, and they both adore Callum – what could be better?!
Their engagement session is an all-time favourite of ours, which you can see here, and we have been working on a project with them we will reveal soon. We postponed this session trying to get some gorgeous winter weather, and I think we succeeded! One thing you can almost always count on in Edmonton is sunshine.
We are so, SO excited to meet your little babe! Congrats to you both – you look SO happy.
Gareth, Callum and I are currently away in Wales. We’ve brought Callum to see Grandma and Grandpa, and to meet more of the family.
I’ve been picking Gareth’s brain for a while, toying with the idea of starting a personal project – a blog to share personal photos and musing – mostly about Callum, about my new life as a mamma and about everything that goes along with it.
I would be so pleased if you took a look at it – you can find it here
We missed Travel Tuesday due to a small family emergency, but we’re back at it this week!
We left Mumbai, India on a hot, humid, sweaty day. Our long journey took us from Mumbai Istanbul, Turkey, via Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The flight was a strange one. As we boarded the plane in India, all of the staff were acting extremely happy to see us. They ushered us to the front of the line, big smiles on their faces, ready to help us in any way possible. We soon figured out why. The Arabs boarding the flight weren’t used to flying, and they seemed scared, confused and completely out of sorts. We started heading to the back of the plane, but it took ages to get to our seats because of the people in front of us. They zig-zagged back and forth between the rows, even though the flight attendants kept telling them where their seats were.
Once we reached our place we sat and watched as the flight attendants struggled to help everyone find their place. They eventually did, and we were off.
We made it to Istanbul after dark. Gareth had a near miss losing his tripod, which he had strapped tot he outside of his bag on every flight. His luck had finally ran out and it fell off on the plane. Luckily the staff were extremely helpful and they found it! Success.
We arrived at our lovely guest house, and although it was late we each had a need – Gareth was coveting a snack, and I was in need of a glass of red wine.
Gareth’s wish quickly came true. We wandered out into the pristine cobble-stoned streets, a very strange and welcome change from India, and a kebab cart was just waiting for him.
Now it was my turn. We found a lovely little bar, and I had my first glass of red wine in 5 weeks, since we had left New Zealand.
Istanbul was looking like a really lovely city. We were looking forward to the daylight so we could explore.
Handsome Patrick! This little man is seriously one of the most classically handsome babies I have ever seen. Can’t you just see him getting dressed in his suit, picking up his briefcase and heading off to the office?
We met Patrick in our mom’s group, and him and Callum have been buds ever since. We’re so lucky to be surrounded with so many adorable babies with so many incredible mammas. Patrick’s mom has made me laugh more times than I can remember this past year, and some days I really, really needed it. We’re lucky to have met you guys!
Our five weeks in India wasn’t supposed to include a trip to The Golden Temple. It sounded pretty cool when we did our research, but it was a long way to go and we weren’t sure there was time. After chatting with some other travelers though, they convinced us it was somewhere we needed to see.
So we booked our tickets and packed our bags, and headed off to the Bikaner bus station. After checking in, we watched some men load the bus. A camel helped with the heavy work as they put an unbelievable amount of packages on the roof.
As evening approached, we boarded the bus to Amritsar. Our “seats” this time around was a bed at the top of the bus, much like bunk beds. Not quite the size of a double, we had to lie head to toes. Armed with a bag full of snacks and sweets we bought at Bikaner Sweets, we set off on the long journey.
We arrived around 4 am to a deserted, quiet city. We were so tired, but still had to haggle with a couple of bicycle rickshaws to find a fair price. Once at the Temple, we found someone to help us, and they led us to the “foreigner” section of the accommodation that was right at the Golden Temple. Because we were foreign, we had a semi-private room, one we ended up sharing with a lovely Canadian man from Quebec.
The Golden Temple is the home of the Sikh religion. It is a place of peace, quiet and above all else, kindness. Heads must be covered, shoes are removed. Respect must be paid.
We learned that their philosophy is that no one can make a good decision on an empty stomach. Which means no one can worship or learn without nourishment. Food was constantly available. For everyone. For free. Dishes were always being done, the stoves always being stoked.
At night this courtyard was transformed into a sleeping area. Mats were rolled out side by side, row by row and worshipers rested their heads for the night.
We headed out as soon as we arrived, because we needed some “laundary” done.
While we were out wandering the narrow streets, a tailor took an interest in us. With barely any English he invited us into his hole-in-the-wall shop. He was so excited for us to be visiting!
He soon pulled out a long piece of material and gestured for Gareth to sit in front of him. He skillfully and quickly wrapped Gareth’s hair out of sight.
The tailor’s son stopped by the little shop, and through our conversation it came out that I was looking to buy a shawl. A quick call to a friend and Gareth and I were on the back of their motorbikes, zig-zagging through the narrow streets. On this day I was given the opportunity of a true Indian shopping experience. There is nowhere to browse – I explained what I wanted and different items were brought out for me. whilst I sipped chai.
On our last night in Amritsar we walked around the Temple one more time. It glows and shines at night. The quiet enveloped us. I loved this place. Our feet may have froze on the cold marble floor, and as always in India we were stared at and smiled at and asked to be in many photos. But this place was safe, and comforting.
Back on a bus we were off. This bus journey would be the longest, hardest trip I have ever done.
Autumn in Edmonton is always a gamble. Is it going to be nice? Warm? Freezing? Sunshine? Snow. You honestly never, ever know.
Sarah and Brent’s engagement shoot was a huge gamble. Storm clouds were rolling in, the wind was picking up and heavy rain was imminent. It was a challenge to get everyone’s schedules coordinated, so we decided to just go for it. I mean, what was the worst that could happen? We would have got a little wet.
We didn’t. We may have froze just a bit, the wind may have howled and we may have been running back to our cars by the end of the session, but we beat the rain and created some beautiful images.
Your wedding this summer is going to be fabulous…I can just feel it.
A bit of a trip down memory lane for today’s Travel Tuesday! Ever think…oh man, a year ago today I was….3 years ago we were…..
Well here is ours! On this Day…
January 14, 2005. Gareth was in Melbourne, Australia soaking up the sunshine whilst I was back in Canada freezing in the midst of winter. This purse in the heart of the city gained cult fame thanks to a naked Billy Connolly who also sat here. Hopefully it was washed before Gareth climbed aboard!
Melbourne holds a host of memories, from sitting with Santa on a tram while the mercury soared past 30 to last days in Australia. We met some great friends here and said farewells to some who we would not see for many years.
January 14, 2011. We were being transported from a world of street meat and dim sum to a place of pristine beaches and sunshine.
Hong Kong to Tasmania by plane was how we spent January 14 so here is the day before and day after. A week in Hong Kong meant tons of walking, lots of sights to explore, lots of food to eat. We went from being on our own in a very foreign land, to heading back to the country where we met, to where it all began. Back to old friends we had met our first time in Australia. Back to the sea, to sunshine, to summertime.
January 14, 2012. It was time to say good-bye to our beloved Bingo, the Mazda Bongo van, our home for our year in New Zealand. This van caused us more tears and stress and heartache than any vehicle should be able to. It took on more of a persona than any car I have ever owned. Out of sheer stubbornness that van finished our journey with us. Selling it meant saying good bye to a really important time in our lives. I always say if we can survive a year living in a van, we’ll be able to survive anything life throws at us. Bye bye Bingo.
Our dear friend Lauren of the Lauren and Delwyn Project in Auckland, New Zealand, captured some amazing, and some silly, images of us from our time in her homeland. Thank you for being such an amazing friend Lauren. For drying my tears after my mom and dad left, for giving us a place to stay every time we came to Auckland, for being such a kind hearted soul. We miss you.
January 14, 2013. In less than a month we would be meeting this being inside this massive belly that was causing sleepless nights and much nervousness.
And Gareth’s mom sent a lovely package with some baby photos of us.