2014

So many things I would like to talk about with this final post of 2014. I’d like to talk about how amazing (and different) this year has been. I want to talk about what changes I am excited for in 2015. I want to talk about the fact that I didn’t do much for personal posting this year, and that I am excited about that changing for this next year. I want to talk about my baby! I want to talk about being a working mother. I want to talk about the weddings I photographed this year and how it all went. I want to talk about the weddings coming up for 2015. SO MANY THINGS!

I think for today, I am going to share just a few of my triumphs and challenges from this past year.

Many of you know that I had my very first babe this year. A beautiful little baby girl that I am desperately in love with. She is now 8.5 months old, and her big blue eyes melt my heart completely.

Some of you may also know that I had decided to continue work after she was born. I had my first wedding just 3.5 weeks after her arrival to the world ( I obviously had an amazing back-up photographer on hand – thank you Jessica Balfour!).

So, this year has been a year of  learning to balance all the things I love; my new precious babe, my incredible husband and my amazing job. It also ended up being a year we moved and bought a new house (just 5 weeks after the babe arrived on scene).

Needless to say, I wasn’t able to stay ‘on top’ of everything the way I am used to, which led to a few of the ‘less critical’ things slipping by the wayside. One of those ‘less critical’ things being my blog. Which makes me sad, because writing my personal posts between my wedding blogs is one of my favorite things to do! Not only have I loved writing since I was a little girl, but I love sharing my heart. I love sharing and I love connecting with others. Having said that, this is obviously one of my goals for 2015. I am going to make time again for writing and photographing for the simple joy of it. And I’m going to share it with you.

And now just a few little things from this festive season… this was our first Christmas as a family of 3. Christmas morning was very special. Not only because we were sharing it with our little girl, but we were starting new traditions in our new home. You may or may not know this, but Ryan and I have moved a lot. We met in Penticton over 10 years ago, and since then have lived in 8 different cities and towns in BC. This last move, is one we plan to anchor our lives to for awhile. We love our new home, we love our new town and we can’t wait to set our roots down into the ground beneath us. We definitely have some ‘gypsy’ in our blood, so I know we will have many adventures in our future, but for now, I will be excited about my life as it sits. Which is firmly upon this beautiful town that I now call my home.

Thank you to everyone that has been a part of my life this year. Most importantly, I want to thank my husband for being so supportive as I trudged the new waters of being a mom. He has continued to support me in my work, which I am forever thankful. I also want to thank my mom who has played a huge part in supporting us through everything. She has been my go-to when I need someone to help with Arianna, and I can’t thank you enough for what you do. I also need to thank my dad, my sibs, and my wonderful in-law family for all your support.

And a big shout out to all of those who jumped up to help me this year within my work. As I mentioned above, Jessica helped me out for my first few weddings, as a ‘just in case’ anything happened. Of course, everything went smoothly, but knowing she was there was just what the doctor ordered. And thank you to all the rest that seconded me this year! Amy, Royce, Michele and Lindsay. All amazing photographers in their own right, and they came out to hook me up! I am so thankful for such a supportive and talented group of photographers that I am lucky enough to work around.

I think I will leave 2014 on that note. Hope you all have a wonderful night celebrating the coming of 2015, and I’ll see you on the other side!

xo

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Thankful for

Today is a special day. Little Miss Arianna turns 6 months…

Beginning to write this post, I am flooded with all the memories that have brought us here. Needless to say, even though it has only been 6 months since she entered our lives, it feels like she’s been here for forever.

Before becoming pregnant, before becoming a mom, I definitely had many thoughts of whether I was ‘really’ ready. Nervous about everything. Excited too, but I just knew that I wanted to be the best I could be for this little being, and I definitely had doubts.

But since the day she entered this world, I have never felt more connected to her and to Ryan. I ‘thought’ so much about it before, and now I simply ‘do’. I remember sitting down one day and realizing how much my brain had changed. I used to be worried that I may not know what to do or that I wasn’t prepared enough. And now, I am her mother. Period. I will be there for her. I will figure it out, one step at a time.

She is and always will be covered in love.

Happy 1/2 birthday my little love.

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first birthdays as mom + dad

We may not be going out for fancy dinners, we may not be out on the town or having a big party. There may not be a fancy breakfast made-in-bed, but what there is… is a stunning little 3 week old babe to snuggle, to cuddle, to kiss, to hug, to love. She keeps us busy feeding her, changing her, soothing her, and it is turning out to be the best birthday week for us.

To my husband, who’s birthday was 2 days ago – I love you so very much… happy birthday my love.

And today is officially my birthday, so I figured as a little birthday present to myself, I’d take the time to go over our photos from the first few weeks, and create a little blog post of my new beauty. I know that I can’t express in words how I feel about this little bundle. I am amazed at how beautiful she is every time I look at her. I have cried out of joy more times than I can count. I am simply in awe of my little miracle. With no further ado, meet Arianna Joyce.

Arianna-1 Arianna-2 Arianna-3 Arianna-4 Arianna-6 Arianna-7 Arianna-8 Arianna-9 Arianna-11 Arianna-12 Arianna-13 Arianna-14

 

Seattle getaway

It was short and very, very sweet (especially the part where I was devouring the incredible banana caramel cheesecake from The Purple Cafe – we’ll talk about that in a minute).

Ry and I just got back from a much needed getaway to The Rainy City of Seattle, and it did not disappoint. We had been there once before, but just to fly out on our way to Spain (you can check out that ordeal HERE). This time, we came to enjoy some serious R+R. The only thing I had planned throughout the four days was a couples massage. The idea of a lot of coffee-shop time and book reading time was high on the list of hopefuls.

We arrived on Saturday and decided to walk it out. Check out the downtown area on foot. No map, no itinerary, just go and see what we find. We managed to get ourselves into the heart of things pretty easy, with our stroll ending at Pike Place Market. The market was mostly closed, so we did a little look around, but ended up heading back up the street, slowly making our way back to the hotel, but not after picking up a couple of cupcakes-to-go and prepping our plan for the morning!

The next few days we spent checking out the different neighborhoods – West Seattle and it’s adorable beachfront street, Ballard with its’ ahhmazing sandwich shops and unique storefronts, Capitol Hill where we found my favorite coffee shop of all time and drooled over some ridiculously lovely homes. In the evenings we ate at some of the most awesome finds in Seattle, including Local 360, my new favorite Seattle restaurant. As I already mentioned above, the ridiculous dessert at The Purple Cafe did not disappoint. We ate the biggest pizza pie I’d ever seen at Belltown Pizza. And randomly discovered some amazing lunches, especially loving the turkey sandwich from The Other Coast sandwich shop in Ballard.

On top of all that goodness, I even got to see the original Starbucks and the funky (and slightly stinky – of old trident I think) infamous Gum Wall.

It all ended with a couples massage… me getting a fabulously relaxing and completely indulgent massage, while Ryan came out apparently feeling like a well tenderized piece of beef (but he claims it was good).

All in all, a stellar road trip that I am excited to repeat when we can enjoy a bit more sunshine instead of snow/slush/rain. The one really good thing about the rain, is that it kinda encourages you to stay inside, and inside is where all the snuggles happen. So I have no problem with a few raindrops now and again.

Seattle-1 My first ever trip to the classic Olive Garden. First stop on our road-trip… Seattle-2 My sighting of the first ever Starbucks!Seattle-3 We came across some pretty sweet things on our nightly walks, including this super random  (and rotating) car wash sign.Seattle-5 Seattle-9 The steam made me think a few Ninja Turtles were going to pop out of the sewer! Seattle-13 The Gum Wall. Cool and very gross.Seattle-14At Roy’s Street Coffee + Tea enjoying a couple of ‘ love’ lattes and a love-bug truffle.

what am i proud of

I’ve taken some time lately to write out and think about what inspires me. What defines me. What I am proud of in myself, and what things I want to change. I believe there is huge value in setting goals and writing things down. I think there is huge value in dreaming big and always keeping those dreams in the forefront of your mind. I think there is huge value in always looking further, thinking bigger and jumping higher.
Throughout the past couple years, I am very proud of what I have accomplished. But I will admit, I can’t remember the last time I wrote down my goals and my dreams, or looked back at what they were last year or the year before. I think there is huge power in the act of writing them down, re-reading and re-visiting. Did I accomplish last year’s goals? Were they good? Should I have re-visited and re-vamped? Where did they go…
I decided to start by just perusing some of my favourite spots online for inspiration. Over I went to Oh Joy, and she sent me to this Ted Talk video. Ladies, it’s worth a watch.
Lizzie’s question in the video that stood out was, ‘what defines you?’. When she said it, I automatically felt uncomfortable. I wasn’t sure. And I didn’t like that. I didn’t like that I didn’t really know what it was that made me, ‘me’.
When the video was done, I wrote a note to myself that I would answer that question.
Oh Joy also wrote about Goal Setting, and as I read through her post, I made another note to write my own goals down. Starting at the top. The big life-goals that almost seem silly to write. Then the medium-crazy goals that maybe sound sort-of achievable, and then with the short term goals that even though they sound easy, are still challenging and so, very valuable.
I also decided to look back on 2012 and 2013 and write about the things that I was proud of throughout those years, as well as the things that I want to change as I move forward.

I am going to share with you some of these things. Some things I will be keeping in the pages of my journal and in the ears of my husband, as I think we all deserve some privacy when it comes certain things. But hopefully this little taste will shed some light on where my little life will be headed and hopefully inspire you to do the same in taking time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished and what the future will hold.

What defines me? This was my whole answer, straight up. I didn’t edit this. This is simply what came out.

My open heart. I am a listener. My passion for loving what I do. My family. My love for my husband. My new love for my unborn babe. I am a bit of a loner, and I like it that way. My passion for travel and discovery of new places/things. My love of all things sweet. My obsession with beauty and finding it in the strangest of places.

What am I proud of from last year?
I am so proud of each wedding that I was able to photograph.
I am proud of the positive energy I was able to keep on our journey to becoming pregnant and starting our family.
I am proud that we managed to sneak in our trip to California, even though we really didn’t have the time.
I am proud of how I decorated our house in Penticton. I’m no interior designer, but I think it turned out pretty darn cute!
I am proud of my new website and the way it portrays my business and my person.

What I wished I did a little bit better…
Blog – I love to write and I feel I could have shared more outside of actual photography shoots and weddings.
Always would love to travel more
Photograph more of my every day – enjoy photography for me
Boudoir/Maternity sessions – I’ve realized that I have a passion for photographing women, focusing on the simpleness of who we are and the beauty that we all have within us.
Focus and stream my business – I want to focus my business on the things that I feel are my strengths, which are relationships, love and beauty (weddings, maternity and boudoir).

 

As I said, this is just a taste of what I have been working on and what I will continue to work on. Thinking back on that video, it makes me realize how we need to be thankful for the blessings we have been given in life and focus on the good. I will be the first to admit, it is easy to get wrapped up in what I don’t have, or who I wish I was more like. Jealousy is an ugly thing that can blanket and camouflage all the amazing things that we can accomplish in life. Here is to 2014 being full of focusing on the good. Focusing on the positive things that define who I am.

xoIMG_1280A little sneak of our Santa Barbara trip with my huge, gooey, amazing caramel apple.

29 and counting

Thought it was about time to share my life-changing news on my little photo blog. And to make it photo-worthy, I did a little ‘selfie’ to show what is going on!
Many of you know already, but for those that don’t, this girl is all pre-e-egnant! Yes, we are having a little babe this April and are oh, so excited. At 29 weeks and counting, I can now say that I look and feel pregnant, but all in such wonderful ways.

I feel super lucky that the ‘timing’ in all of this is pretty perfectly selfish for my photography. This is all going down just before wedding season starts, so I’ll be back at it this summer with all my lovely, wonderful couples. It will be different than ever before, but I have even more of a commitment to ensure I am giving each of my wedding days the attention, love and dedication they need and deserve. I can only imagine the eye-opening experience this will all be, and the love that I am about to experience, I’m sure, will only heighten my passion for love and commitment.

As the time ticks closer and closer, I am lucky to have some wonderful ladies that are sharing their tips and little bits and pieces of info from motherhood. But at the end of the day, I know Mother Nature will simply take her course. Me, babe and Ryan will learn as we go – as a team. A new family of 3.
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38 years and going…

I feel so lucky to have two sets of the most wonderful role-models in my life. Both Ryan’s and my parents celebrate their 38th wedding anniversary this year, and it is no secret that we look up to them when it comes to love, respect and partnership.

Today my mom and dad are celebrating the official day of their wedding those years ago, and I just wanted to wish you two the most wonderful of days.

So, here is a little ‘kick-ass’ photo from us to you on your special day…

Lazeski-1We all love you very much, you two lovebirds!  Lazeski-2

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If anyone figures out how to stop time from going by so blinkin’ fast, please let me know! I can’t believe my birthday cruised by again. And this time, Ry kept reminding me that now I’m ‘in my 30’s’. Thanks babe. Love ya too!

But 31 feels like a good number! And I know it is going to mean another year of amazingness and lots of change, which I’ve realized is what I thrive on.

I want to thank everyone that thought of me this year. I felt so over-the-top loved, and I LOVED it! The facebook messages, the texts, the phone calls, the birthday cakes… oh, the birthday cakes… the presents, the hugs, the kisses.  I even had a friend yell ‘happy birthday’ down the street from his truck. So nice…

And just so you know how spoiled I truly was: (and keep in mind it was Ryan’s birthday too, so most of these were double-duty)

Birthday Cake #1 – Apple caramel pie – mmm

Birthday Cake #2 – Black forest cake – deadly!

Birthday Cake #3 – Cupcakes – perfect and kept me going for days

Birthday Cake #4 – Cheesecake – creamy goodness

Birthday Cake #5 – Angel food cake with whipping cream and strawberries – the nellie-birthday classic

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Thank you from the bottom of my heart for my loving friends and family. I don’t think I could be any luckier in love when it comes to all of you. x0

Changes

The season of change has snuck up on me. In less than a month, I am going to be stepping away from doing something that I love. Something that has made me laugh, has made me cry, has made me proud, excited, and has taught me to grow as a person in many, many ways. I have been a skating coach for 7 years now, keeping me busy through our cold canadian winters. As much as I adore working with these amazing kidlets doing a sport that I love, I am needing more time to focus on my love of wedding photography, as well as focus on my family and personal life. Got to find my ‘balance’.

So, the plan from this point forward, is to finish this skating season with a bang, get kickin’ on my photography with the beginning of wedding season in less than a month, and making time to cook a good homemade meal for my fabulous hubby once in a while!

And just so you can understand how difficult this decision really was, here are a few ‘out-takes’ from our skating club photo day that I took of one of the adorable Junior Skaters. Hard to say good-bye…