Saturday, November 08, 2008


This will be quick because I have much better thing to do but you should know that we are still alive and kicking. More so kicking than fully alive. The majority of our online efforts have been soaked into our emblem blog. Dustin has worked many long and hard hours updating and setting up our new proofing and ordering site. As well we've been diving more and more into Photoshop. I'm loving that we can use Photoshop and Lightroom together. Who knew they were made to work together so well? Thank you Adobe. Are you lost yet?
Me too.
We've been really busy this fall but not as busy as our summer was so that's good.
We have yet to go through our photos rom our trip to Ottawa. Turns out, go figure, Dustin and I still like each other. And had a fabulous time touring around Ottawa and Montreal. Those wedding photo should be up in the next few weeks. Roz...if you're reading this, they're coming I promise!
I have to say, I'm loving fall this year. It was T-Shirt weather on Halloween and we had an absolute blast running around town candy bags in hand. I do have cute photos to put up of our little Princess, kitty and Batman. Someday.
It's Olivia's birthday today and so I'm going to go spend our day playing with her. What a joy she is. And always has been. Check out her birthday post and first birthday post. Look at her CHUB!
I love that kid.
Have a good one.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Better Late than....Later.

I've always been a procrastinator. I was one of those students that stayed up all night and did their social studies report the night before it was due. I'm not sure why I'm this kind of person because it really makes my life less enjoyable. I keep telling myself that I'm going to start getting up at six o'clock and making the kids their breakfast early and have Ben's lunch made the night before. I convince myself that I'm going to set out all our clothes to save the kids their indecision. And then the alarming noise of my clock alerts me to morning and I can't seem to convince my body that those necessary tasks are more important than enjoying a few more minutes (or hours) of a cozy warm bed. I suppose you can't teach an old dog new tricks.
I suppose my point here is that I keep meaning to post photos of our Summer and the months just keep going by. So here I am late...handing in my "report" of our summer. Other than packing up and moving we did manage to have a little fun here and there. One day we headed up to Calgary with the cousins and Grandparents to have a little fun at the zoo. Little did we know we picked the hottest and busiest day of the year to go. We only managed to lose one child and it was only for about five minutes but still not a fun few minutes for this poor girl's heart. All is takes is but a few seconds for a little girl to go missing in a crowd of people so large. Much props go to the staff at the zoo who are always on the lookout for crying kids and were able to hold Megan safe until I ran panicked and wild-eyed to the lost and found. Nothing feels better than to wrap your child up in your arms after all the "worst-case scenarios" have gone flying through your head. From now on every time we go to a busy place each child will have our names, address and cell number on a piece of paper in their pockets. Sheesh.

Josh....what does a T-Rex look like?

Baby Joseph....being a doll.

Ben...having the time of his life at the zoo.

As I reflect back, I honestly can't remember what he was crying about. I DO remember, however, that I was VERY minor. Isn't it always?Where's Liv?

Awwww Yeeeah!

Meggie, I am so glad we found you.....
Hey D, how does it feel to follow six kids around the zoo in 30 plus weather?Yeah, that's what I thought.

Maybe next year I'll post some fall photos. ;)

Thursday, September 11, 2008


First of all I would like to invite you all to take a peek at our new emblem photoblog. Over the next week or so we will be posting photos of all the shoots we have done thus far this summer. The blog itself will also be undergoing some major renos but we wanted to just get the work out there so you all can have a quick look at what we've been up to this summer. So far there's a longboarding post and a few wedding pics. Many more of those to come.
We leave today to go to Canmore area for another beautiful mountain range wedding. We've been spoiled with a few of those this summer. And then next week is our first ever trade show. We got our prints last light and I'm unbelievably stoked at how great they turned out. Even better than I could have ever imagined. We will take pictures at the trade show to showcase all our hard work.
And in the midst of all this insanity our firstborn started grade one. He has very quickly learned how different grade one is from kindergarten and was a little disappointed to discover gone are the days of centres and puppet shows. But, he has been adjusting well and looks forward to every day.
Megan also started her first day of preschool today and though a little tentative at first, is more than excited for her "school".
Olivia continues to surprise us with how utterly hilarious she is. I never in a million years would've thought she'd turn out to be such a spazz and a ham. She was so not like that as a baby.
I love it! Never a dull moment around these parts. I hope to put up some summer photos on here in the next week or so. Our summer was full to the brim. I know there are still some of you out there who are wishing for more updates so I will do my best.
Also....I'm THRILLED for my dear, wonderful friend Amanda who welcomed a beautiful healthy baby into the world yesterday evening. I'm missing her now more than ever.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

To my dear faithful readers.....any of you left?

Before I begin. Here's a few adorable photos of my little neice Brielle taken a few weeks ago during a visit up North. I couldn't resist giving your eyes a feast of cuteness.

Maybe she doesn't like the camera all that much after all.

It's been over a month now since we last pulled into the flat plains of the prairies. And it's been a crazy one. Much like everyone else we know we've had a busy summer. We spend our days here enjoying our cute little house and playing in our monster yard. We bike to Grammas and swim at the local outdoor pool. And can I just say how much I miss the beach.
A lot.
We rarely watch TV anymore and our evenings are gobbled up with emblem's work. It's been a busy one. We just shot the most fabulous wedding in Fairmont BC and we couldn't be more pleased with the result. And now we're kicking it into high gear to get things ready for our first bridal show coming up in September. We're having our first high quality album printed in the next few weeks. I'll put photos up after we get it. I'm so excited.
The kids are LOVING it here. They never want to leave. This has made our transition SO much easier. I'm really looking forward to the routine of fall. And, honestly, for business to slow down a little. Things will be slowing down mid September and then October Dustin and I get to head to Ottawa to shoot a wedding there. How cool is that?! And of course we decided to stay for a week to enjoy Canada's capital city in all the splendor of fall. This is our honemoon actually. Not our second honeymoon cuz we never had a first one. It's THE honeymoon we never had. I couldn't be more thrilled.
I'm hoping to post photos of the house as soon as I get some photos on the walls and clean up a bit. So....maybe next year sometime?

I'm sorry for not reading or commenting on any other blogs out there. I just can't seem to fit it in to my day. The sun need to be up longer, I think.
I won't make any grand statements promising to update more often because...well...I think what goes on outside of the internet sphere is just more important. But, I know there are those of you out there who like to know what's going on in my life. So, I won't give up completely.
I WOULD, however, rather hear from many of you in person. Please email me or call me.

Sending love....
O yeah....If you have a mac... ichat is my new most favourite thing in the whole world. Look us up.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

We're HERE! but....not there.....

Yesterday was a long gruelling journey. Many mountains to climb and valleys to traverse. Feels like the way of life. As we pulled out of our little culdesac and said goodbye to the beautiful house we built, my heart felt strong. I felt sure. Suddenly, out of my open window I heard voices yelling and through my rearview mirror saw two figures clothed in naught but housecoats running down their driveway at eight in the morning. Our dear neighbours and friends Luke and Tianna heard us about to leave and ran bleary eyed and touselled to see us off. They encircled us in a tight group hug and prayed a blessing over us. This is when my emotional dam officially burst forth. For the next two hours as the glorious orchard country whizzed past my window my heart said it's goodbyes. This has been the one place Dustin and I have ever known as home since we've been together. This home has held a group of friends as dear to us as our own family. This family of friends has encircled us with their love and filled all the corners of our hearts. As I drove away I was sad, but more then sad my heart sang to God praises of thanks. I cannot help but feel like Summerland was God's gift to us. A place to learn and grow and be loved. Every person that came into my life was a beautiful piece of this gift. And even more than that, but a way for God to shower us with his Grace and Love. And so I leave full. These feelings have surprised me. I thought I'd feel a bit of fear, anger even. Instead I feel awash with peace and hope for what our future holds for us.
As the tall, towering mountains gently flattened into the rolling prairies as we drove I was overwheled by the beauty of it. The most spectactular sunset blazed in the heavens to welcome us. I thought for sure I'd be wanting to turn back and run, but instead I gladly drove on into the heart of that great, golden sky that stretched before me.
I still don't feel like this is my home yet but as we slowly pull out the boxes and watch the kids run around excitedly I know those feelings aren't far away. I know that my heart will aways love Summerland and the people who have made it home for us. My first love, of sorts. But, I know I will love what's in store for us here. A life full of it's own mountians and valleys to travel.
I miss you guys and I love you all. I thought about listing all the names but I'd be here forever and I don't want to forget anyone. You know who you are.

But, don't worry....we'll be back.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The inevitable......

THIS just made me cry. And I can't even handle THIS.....
I'm am on the very verge of no longer holding it together.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Ride the Giant

From this point on I will be shamelessly bragging about my talented husband. Ready?

Last weekend Dustin had the awesome opportunity to be the photographer at a brand spanking new event here in Summerland. Ride the Giant. Here in Summerland there is a mountain called Giants Head. Apparently the face of the mountain looks like a giant head. I have yet to see this. This mountain is less of a mountain than those found in the Canadian Rockies yet more than just a big hill. It's a small mountain. Anyways, in the midst of record setting, sweltering, melt your shoes to the pavement heat, Dustin was up there snap snappin away. I, thankfully, was hanging out comfortably in my nearly packed up, air conditioned home.
For two full days Dustin perched himself on that mountain. He climbed trees, laid on his belly, slaved his flashes, hiked up and down, up and then down again in search of those perfect shots.
And find them he did.
He came home, flushed, dusty and sweaty at the end of his second day. He looked me in the eyes and I immediately saw the excitement that sparked there. He instructed me to sit down and proceeded to recount his day. Stories about these "crazy dudes" and the insane slides and turns they successfully completed. And how at the end of the day the sponsors couldn't thank him enough and gave him a free longboard. And then asked him to photograph their next event and possibly more to to come after that. Apparently nobody else is shooting in his "style". And they're "so excited about the photos".
It is SO amazing to finally see Dustin excited about his work. For so many years I've seen him go from one job to the next doing things that he's felt that he should do because it's a reliable job, and the responsible thing to do. And every time a little more of who his is gets shut in the dark. Dustin is an artist. His heart is an artist's heart. He thrives and lives on doing things that are creative. He once told me that if you could sum up in two words what it is that he strives to do with his life it would be "igniting wonder". That is what he is passionate about. And I am so thrilled and excited to see him be passionate about something again. I really think that if a person is truly passionate about what they do and they're good at it. They draw people and success to them like magnets. I can't say it enough how excited I am for Dustin and how much I believe in him.
If you're excited too, let him know and leave him a comment. He's the kind of guy that thrives on words of affirmation and encouragement. I'll even post a few of my favourite photos for your viewing pleasure. I'm sure he'll put some more up after he gets back from his "hairy man weekend" in the bush with his buddies. I'm a little scared about what gonna go down there. All I know is they left with ALOT of junk food and paintball gear. Oh dear.

(clickity click the pics for full size.)
See how excited he is? Now tell him how excited you are for him! (July 6th) is his BIRTHDAY! Even more reason to leave him love!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Making the most.

This will have to be short (as usual) because things around here are still crazy (as usual). But, I just had to let you all know that after my initial breakdown I have been doing tremendously better. I am choosing to enjoy my amazing friends here and make the most of what is left here. Yesterday was filled with good friends and laughter. I am so blessed here.
Also, Dustin has an amazing opportunity this weekend to be a photographer at a longboarding competition here in Summerland. He is super excited to have this opportunity and be able to get a "backstage pass" to get some real dynamic photos. I'm sure they will be posted here before long.
Keep checking!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The count is on.

I think I'm going to start keeping a tally on my breakdowns from here until...the end of time. least until we move. I didn't expect my world to come crashing down on me so soon. I figured I could at least hold things together until we drove our bulging U-Haul across two provinces.


I have this fear/realization that other's people's lives do not revolve around me (WHOA!) and that their lives will go on perfectly happy and fine and wonderful without us.


You mean, I'm not the centre of everyone else's world?!


It's all happening so fast though. I wanted one more dinner party with each of our friends, one more girls night, just another quick trip to Bellingham, I'm not ready to let it all go yet. And yet I'm fully aware that no time will ever be enough. Eventually I just have to suck it up and tape up those final boxes and say goodbye. But, I will be sad. For awhile.
Again, I am so greatful for Dustin. This morning when I was stomping around throwing things into boxes and barking orders, complaining could I get a little HELP around here!! Dustin had the wisdom and insight to see that I wasn't angry with him but rather overwhelmed and sad at the immensity of it all. What a difference seven years of marriage makes. If this had been our first years, we would've dragged that fight out all night long. Yay for maturity!

It probably doesn't help that we're sleep deprived. The other night I hauled a barking, wheezing Liv down to emerg with a nasty case of croup. We arrived home three hours later after advinistering a hefty dose of steriod and a brutal attempt at a ventolin treatment. She's got serious fight in her that one. She's slowly getting better and returning back to her happy/quirky little self.

Welp that's it.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Here to There. Or Someplace in Between.

The last few months have been, um, a little insane and it's only going get worse over the next few. Not bad insane just a bit of a roller coaster ride. It's been awhile since I've posted anything on here personal. Seems everything on here has to do with Emblem these days. But, that is not all that our lives consist of. Far from it. The past months we've been doing all sorts of fun things with family and our kids. Remember those guys? I heart them. We've been having lots of fun vising family over in Merrit and we even made a road trip all the way out to the prairies to visit my family and scout out our new home. Remember D's cowboy post? Yeah, that's going to be his new home. At least I won't have to drag him kicking and screaming.

Many people have been asking us how we feel about moving and why we're moving. There's so much weight and complexity to the answers of both of those questions. There's no one reason or feeling to sum this all up. How can I? How can I not feel sad to leave a place that's been my home for over four years? Four WONDERFUL years no less. And yet how can I not be excited to move forward to a place that offers us so much? Freedom from debt, the support and availability of family, the opportunity to pursue a dream that we didn't even knew existed until it was staring us in the face. I think I need to discover a way to live two parallel lives. Oh man, it's going to be an emotional month. I apologize in advance if this blog turns into an emotional barf bag. I'll try to empty it out every now and again so it doesn't smell.

As far as moving dates go we've decided to move next month. Even though our house hasn't sold yet. Whodda thought? This is the only option we have left that makes any sense. Our August-October is filled with emblem stuff for Lethbridge area. We feel as though we have no choice. I really hope and pray/plead with God that we will sell or at least have an offer by the time we move. I don't think I can handle the stress of having two homes for that much longer. I know that there's a bigger picture I just want to see it really bad right now. This always happens to me. Things get stressful and I fear that I'm losing control (control that is just an illusion) and I have such a hard time leaving my future in the hands of a loving God who has never failed me. I know it doesn't make sense to me either. Patience....I need some. Trust....and that too. And if you see me....maybe a hug.

Okay, other than that....things are great. ;)

As for the little people....
Megan slammed her finger in a door at my parents house and it looked mighty nasty for about a week until it got stepped on and some of the pressure released. Now we're waiting for the nail to fall off.
You know, for a former nurse I'm really not all that tough.
She is still Megan, hot headed, stubborn, vocal, and yet most often sweeter than honey. Her emotional pendulum swings far and wide. There is no steady with her. She is so me. My poor, poor husband.
Olivia is the same hilarious kid. Words are exploding everyday and she continues to amaze us with her many, many unique and strange facial expressions. She managed to get out of her crib and out the front door while being watched by friends of ours. And because of God's great love and mercy she was discovered in their backyard before she wandered farther as the sun went down. When I think about the what ifs...I get really overwhelmed. See what I mean? There is not a doubt in my mind that God's hand is in control here. whew....crisis averted.
Ben is still growing and changing and challenging us everyday with his irritating whys and attitude. But, he has a sweet, gentle nature and a crazy fun imagination. And what a gifted artist he is. He teacher is constantly raving about his art work. Could he BE any more like his dad?


Dustin....well....he continues to be a rock to me. A source of great encouragement and love. He is so perfect for me. As the years go by and I see more and more people struggle in their marriages and relationships the more thankful I am to have him as my husband. Yeah, sometimes I wanna punch him square in the neck, but for the most part I wanna hang on to him so tight and never let go. This life is way way too short guys.
Dustin was sharing with me the other day after we'd watched the movie "Bucket List" (SEE THIS MOVIE! DO IT! DO IT NOW!) that after he'd had this epiphany of sorts. Thinking about how short this life is that we life and how important it is we hold onto the moments that are entirely too fleeting. How wonderful and amazing it is that we have this opportunityin this photography business to meet people and to love them and to show them how beautiful they are. It's our new slogan..."we'd love to meet you and have the chance to show you how beautiful you are." This is the beauty of life. in that moment...being with those you love...cherishing them...what a treasure to witness and capture families and loved ones in those moments. How cheesy do I sound right now? It's only cheesy if it's not true. So, this is NOT cheesy. I love how Dustin feels his emotions so deeply. Except when the pendulum swings to the brooding side and those emotions come to bite me in the behind. A sensitive and caring man is a rare find indeed and I am so willing to take the good with the bad on this one. And no you can't have him, he's mine!
I feel like I've totally lost my train of thought here. I blame our crazy life and the jumbling effect it has on my brain. And with that I realize it's time for me to stop with the writing. I will, as always, leave you with some gems of the last month.
I'll be back, but I won't guarantee I'll make any more sense.

This is a new favourite of mine taken on a road trip pee break at the side of the road. Look at the love. What a rare tender moment. Is it just me or are my kids really cute?
A very typical Olivia face. Lips out, eyes blank. Helloooo in there....anybody hoooooooome....Cousin Chloe cuddling with a snoozing Papa. Er... his arm anyways.
Livia's checking out her kooky Gramma. (Just kidding mom.) Well, sort of kidding. I have seen you play Guesstures you know?
Catchin stuff. It's what boy's do. can imagine the screaming that went on over this. Not a fun few days.
Did alot of this.....
And cute is he?
So cute.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Fresh Photos

Okay, the gates are open... check out some of our newest photos on
Just click on weddings to see Martin and Kristin's wedding in Canmore, Alberta and click on couples to see Ben and Becca's engagement photos in Lethbridge, Alberta. The newest images will always show first in the slideshow.

We have been so blessed with such wonderful people to work with. They make our job so fun and so easy. We have to thank Martin and Kristin for their energy and real joy for life, it was an honor. Ben and Becca, you guys are beautiful and such hams, we had so much fun.

man, we sure did.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

"I wanna be a cowboy..." -Dustin

My horseback riding skills are shallow. I get nervous when they eat grass out of my hand and I hang on more than I ride. Horses intimidate me. I know I am not the only one with stories of getting tossed and being the lead act in the "involuntary rodeo". So, I can deduce that being a little nervous around horses is normal. So, when my father in law asked if I wanted to go horseback riding the first thing that came into my mind was me being dragged, foot locked into the stirrups. But before the hesitation was obvious I jumped at the opportunity because I want to be a cowboy more than I fear my head bouncing along the horizon.
This mixture of fear and aspiration comes mainly from a movie I saw as a kid. "Man from Snowy River" is my mind's cowboy reference. Growing up watching that movie did two things. First, it made me want to be a cowboy which of course means that I need learn how to use a bull whip, buy one of those leather raincoats, learn how to catch and break wild horses, get a pair of Wranglers, learn how to make a fire in the rain, learn how to fist fight, and absolutely learn to ride a horse down that impossibly steep hill. Second, it made me have nightmares. These wild horses, which really are the subject of the movie, are terrifying. There is a scene where Jim is almost trampled by the stallion and there's this psycho flashing image closing in on the stallion's eye and, of course, it's accompanied by those abrupt, piercing, foul violin blasts. So, as you can see, my feelings are completely reasonable and understandable. You empathize.
My father in law (we'll call him Harold) and I headed south. We drove to one of the nicest stretches of prairie I have seen. At first, it doesn't look like much, a fence, some grass, some dying trees and a whole lot of sky. But when you go through the gate and drive up to the stable you realize there is so much more to explore. On the other side of the fence the land drops away into a gentle coulee with a meandering stream babbling at the bottom. Flitting back and forth across the stream are bluebirds chirping in the prairie wind. The wind is warm and steady, sweet and clean and carries red tailed hawks on the hunt. Deer bounce up the side of the coulee, white tails waving and the horses could care less drinking their fill from the stream. I could stand at that fence for a long time.
Harold hollars, "Atlas, Beau...DIV!!" The horses lift their heads. We have to work harder to get them to come lumbering up to the stable but eventually they do and Harold shows me how to brush the horse, put on the saddle and the bridle. Putting my hand in a horses mouth, under its belly, ducking under it's head, that's all new and I don't do it all very well at this point but we get the job done, well, Harold does and I nod. Soon, we are riding down into the coulee and off collecting miles. We rode about 12 miles that first day, a little more a couple days later. I had all the hair on the inside of my legs ball up into little leg afros, I managed to stay on top of a spinning horse with a sliding saddle, I got sore, I got real tired, I wanted more.
The following Saturday, I got a whole lot more. We met up with Fred, Bev, Ben and Becca and drove East into the foot hills. Spending time with these incredible people was half the adventure. They are some of the most hillarious, genuine, honest to God cowboys I have ever met. Instantly, I wanted to be part of the family. They all saddled up, I tried to help and we trotted off into over 30 miles of wild. My horse and I were a good match. We were out of shape, eager and a little nervous. Watt, a beautiful Palomino was my noble steed and soon he realized just how inexperienced I was and exactly how out of shape I was. Watt was sweating head to hoof in no time.
We spent the whole day riding through those hills and mountains and I loved every second of it. We went through forest, up and down hills, mountains, through marsh, stream, mud, and bog. We made a fire, cooked weenees, napped in the sun. We had close calls, good laughs and got real sweaty and dirty. Getting to ride on that horse in those mountains with those people was priceless. We got to the top of Chimney Rock and I was speechless. It is my great pleasure to spend all my days discovering the greatness of God. He is absolutely and truly magnificent.

And maybe someday I'll be a real cowboy.