For the eyes. For the heart. For the ears. For the feet. For the soul.

Friday, December 31, 2010

The closing of 2010

What a whirlwind of a year. At this time last year, we were being picked up by a limousine to head to Toronto and fly out the next day with our friends and family to get married in Mexico. We had an amazing week, one I will cherish for a lifetime. We came back for a reception I will never forget, and a few days later in February, headed back onto a plane to paradise for our beautiful, wonderful and special honeymoon at the El Dorado Seaside for a week of luxury and indulgence.

We tied up the loose ends to move into our new home in May. I quit a job that was literally hell on earth after two years and walked out with not only my head up, but a victory of putting someone in power in their place and the comfort of knowing he would never be able to bother any of the 12 (and more) women again. Sometimes I do think that God put me here on this earth to say the things that others are afraid to say because behind the scenes, I'm always thanked for coming forward when others don't want to. Speak up and benefit all.

We have made Brantford our community and met some wonderful friends. I have gone through the ups and downs of "finding myself" career wise and I'm sure the journey is not over. Always continue to grow and challenge yourself.

We witnessed an aunt finally get married to her sweetheart and for once there was an event where everyone in our family was in attendance. It rained, it poured, we laughed, we got dirty and wet and had an unforgettable evening. A few short months later, we lost an aunt in an absolute tragedy. As our family struggles to move forward despite the missing link, on these days such as Christmas and New Years especially, we remember those that we have loved and lost.

Chilean miners captured the attention of the world with their heartstopping rescue and escape. Canada hosted the 2010 Olympics. World news throughout the 52 weeks of the year was full of unspeakable crimes as well as emotion-tugging do-gooders who have helped even my pessimistic self believe that the good outweighs the bad in life.

I picked up a camera and fell in love with photography. I started a blog and my husband continues his food journalling daily. Our dog is more well behaved and growls less. Our tummies are full and hearts warm.

On the closing of this year, I would like to thank you all for supporting my honest journey, expressed through the written word and photos. I would like to wish everyone a wonderful and safe evening and a marvelous 2011. There are days when I have doubted the title of this blog because quite frankly, when you're having a bad day, life hardly seems wrapped in lace. I've learned a few things about life. Perspective is everything. When you consider what you've been through, where you could be or where you never want to be, you can be grateful for where you are and all that you have.

It's also so much sweeter when you've got someone you love to point this out to you every once in awhile.

Cheers, Happy New Year, and here's hoping the rest of your voyage will be sweet. If you're really lucky, you'll find treasures along the way which will be wrapped in pretty and delicate lace.



Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A mother's hands, a mother's love

My mother's hands are always there to wipe my tears, give a hug and mend my repairs, even if it means hand stitching my curtains, or giving my pesky dog love. My mother's hands write me keepsake letters and make me home made soup when I'm sick. Nothing can replace a mother's hands.

Monday, December 27, 2010

In my room

A friend just asked me today if I survived Christmas. It's been a whirlwind of activity, family, friends and emotion. It's strange taking on new traditions as a married couple when you're used to your own for 30 something years. Today on the 27th of December, I went to visit my childhood home. My stepdad of almost 20 years invited my husband and I over, along with his grown sons and grandsons.

When I was growing up, I'm sure I bothered the hell out of these teenaged boys. Jason always teased me that I would stand at the end of his bed, first thing in the morning bugging him in my eight year old manner, to play cards with me.

Many tears were shed and memories recalled as we all chatted about life, death, the past and the present. It seemed strange to me that Michael did not know about an entire chapter of my life, two thirds of which were spent with this side of the family. As an extended member noted today though, we are all adult now and old enough to talk about how we all fit into this perplexing puzzle of blended families.

I took Michael on a tour of the home I grew up in and had an odd feeling when seeing my old room I grew up in. The kind of feeling when you are visiting an old high school where it once seemed so big and daunting, the hallways so grand and scary and as an adult, it now seems all so insignificant. I spent so many hours in that bedroom chatting until the wee morning sunrise to my girlfriends, crying heartbreaking tears over young breakups, planning my adult life in many details, all of which I would later learn were all part of the journey and plan and none of which followed suit to my intricate plans. I remember the day I moved out. My room was bare and I cried like a baby; partly because of the nostalgia, but probably mostly because deep down, I knew I'd never be back.

When Bob's son Jimmy and I were trying to recall how much time had passed since we had seen each other, he noted probably 8 years when in fact, it was probably more like 18 years. He handed me a wrapped package that was to remind me of gifts we used to exchange when we were younger. I told him how great his sons had turned out and his lip quivered with pride.

Family is everything, no matter how blended, extended, far removed or estranged. You can make it work and it is so important to show your kids love, affection, approval and pride. Everyone just wants the approval of their parents, and every parent just wants to be proud of the way they raised their children.

Merry Christmas to all, and may the memories of your past, shape you to be the wonderful person you are today.

Me, in my old room, in my mom's rocking chair.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

~ Sister Sister ~

Sisters. It's a concept I'm fascinated by but can't understand. Ever since I started my photography journey, I've wanted to capture the love between siblings. Oddly enough, two cousins of mine also wanted to give their parents a gift that money can't buy. The gift of the present which after seconds, becomes the past, caught on film. Still motion.

I remember when Taylor was born. I fondly recalled the story to her today as a ten year old who held her newborn cousin in her arms. Her mom was probably Taylor's age at that time. Micayla was a little cutie who we lovingly nicknamed "Buddah" as she had the chubbiest cheeks ever.

These two women have grown into remarkable human beings. Sitting and having a conversation today with them over coffee, after a fun filled afternoon of ice skating, sent me on a journey to my past and right back into my present where we got to know each other as adults, laughed, cried, reminisced and talked about life and family.

Nobody's family is perfect. Everyone can agree upon that. Siblings I have found are often different, especially sisters. Taylor and Micayla aesthetically look so much alike, yet they tell me, are very different. Standing behind the lens, I see a different version of their story. If you can imagine, I actually had to force/stage them to fight in a few shots. All sisters will attest that is something that can happen quite naturally, and that's all part of the sisterhood experience. These two sisters laugh together, protect each other and chide one another like old school pals. They speak fondly of their grandparents and extended family. I asked them to bring something today that was special and meaningful. They had some framed childhood photos, rings their grandfather had made for them out of his diamonds, a fur coat made into teddy bears by their grandmother, their mom's monogrammed fur coat and my favourite, two stuffed animals that their dad gave to them just the other day as grown women. You're never too old to be loved by your dad.

One thing is for certain: these two girls love their parents to the depths of their souls. This song has always reminded me of the exact people Roy and Arlette are towards their daughters: kind and generous.

Maybe it's this time of year or just my sensitivity in general, but these photos make my eyes brim with big & fat tears. I didn't think I'd be able to get it all done in one day, but when I put my mind to something, I make it happen. Here is a sneak peek at a few photos of over 500 that were taken today.

Auntie Arlette and Uncle Roy, I hope you enjoy this photo journey of your two daughters and the love they share for you. I wish you a Merry Christmas and send you both a big hug.



Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holiday Fashion

Jewel Tones and beige:

Solid black with a twist:


Tights and layers:

Glamourous updo's:

Bold coloured lips:

Go vintage: