{10 on 10} ~ December

Well here is my final installment of the {10 on 10} project that I have been participating in for the past twelve months. It’s been great getting to know these lovely Canadian photographers and sharing our work together.

For this month I thought I would showcase our Big Christmas Tree. I do have two trees (I know – crazy Christmas lady), one is a little white one that I decorate with all kinds of pretty ornaments that really have no sentimental meaning. But our main tree in our home is full of sentimental ornaments. It’s not a Martha Stewart Designer Tree, and yes, I’m always envious when I go into people’s homes and see their beautifully decorated trees with gorgeous ribbons and lovely décor. And every year I think that maybe this is the year I will leave the sentimental ornaments behind and decorate my tree so that it looks like a window display at the Bay. But then I dig out the ornaments and there isn’t one I can leave in the box. You see, our tree tells our story. There are over 100 meaningful ornaments that adorn our tree and each one has a significance to our family. I have the last ornament my Great Grandma McKinnon ever made me, the “we’re expecting” ornament that my husband gave me when we found out we were going to be parents for the first time, our “first home” ornament we bought the year we moved into our home and so on. The tree tells the story of our life, of our children’s life and I believe if you look at our tree you will see what’s most important to me. There are the specially handcrafted ornaments that the boys have made for us. My older two sons no longer make the ornaments, and therefore their little handcrafted puzzle ornaments that were made by their tiny hands from years ago mean more to me than any $15 Christmas ball bought at a store. Those ornaments, those ones that evoke an emotion or bring back a memory are what I love most about my Christmas tree.

So yes, there are the odd “questionable” ornaments on my tree and I’m sure some have looked at it and thought “why does she have that piece of paper attached with pipe cleaner hanging from her tree?” but if they look closely they’ll see that it says “World’s Best Dad is Kris Lee #1” and it was made by Jackson. Now who wouldn’t hang that from their tree?

Merry Christmas Everyone.
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Now please head over to Jana’s page to see what she has in store this month.

http://www.photography2204.com/10-on-10-canadian-december/

10 on 10 {October}

I took a walk after supper tonight with my youngest boy Jack and our dog Penny.  I fear with the start of hockey and the change in weather that these walks are going to become rare.  I was commenting to the other girls in this blog circle that I was thinking of skipping this month as I didn’t really have anything to post that I thought would be worthy of {10 on 10}. But I grabbed my camera and headed out the door and I’m so glad I pushed myself to shoot another post. These everyday life, “nothing special” (but special to me) blog posts are really my favourite. I know these images are going to be ones I look back on in years to come and be grateful I grabbed my camera.   I will never regret taking too many pictures, I will only ever regret not taking enough.

So here is my {10 on 10} for October ~ don’t forget to click on the link at the bottom of this post to continue through the blog circle of some seriously talented Canadian Photographers.

**PS ~ no, Jack doesn’t wear prescription eyeglasses ~ these are just his latest fashion statement. Remind you of anyone? I think he looks like Ralphie off the Christmas Story movie! 😉

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Check out Jana’s October post ~ it’s always incredible! http://www.photography2204.com/10-on-10-october/

10 on 10 {September Edition}

{A Day in the Life….Monday Style}

I am not going to lie, this 10 on 10 snuck up on me. Between editing MBM work, getting the kids ready for back to school and heading back to work at my husband’s office I completely forgot about this photography project. I hadn’t shot much in the last month to post for this month’s project so I knew I had to come up with something quick. The weather has been cool and damp so there wasn’t much opportunity to convince (bribe) the boys to let me do a quick session with them so I decided to just wing it and do a “day in the life’ of me. This week I started back to work at my husband’s office, but I don’t work Mondays so I thought I’d pull out the camera throughout the day and show you how I fill my day when the kids are in school. I live a pretty quiet existence “in the middle of nowhere”, but I must say I do love the peace and quiet of it all. I still would rather it be summer and have the chaos of three boys at home, but I’m learning to enjoy a bit of “me” time and get back into routine. So on with my Monday…

First things first…get the boys off to school. The two younger ones go on a bus to their K-8 school and the oldest now is on a different bus taking him to his high school. He went from a class of 18 to a class of 400 ~ talk about a huge adjustment. But he loves it, so I can breathe a sigh of relief.
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Once the boys are on the bus the first thing I do is pour myself a cup (or two) of coffee and settle in and return emails, check my website, blog and FB page. Ok, I sometimes go on Pinterest and online shop too. 😉
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Lately I have been spending a ton of time on my computer editing sessions and weddings. I told myself I was going to enjoy my time off this summer with the kids so I tried to leave a lot of my editing to when the kids are in school. On this particular Monday I spent at least eight hours editing photos, some during the day when they were in school, and then more once they were all in bed. I still have weddings left to shoot in 2014 so I need to work hard on getting caught up. So this little spot here, is basically where I spent the majority of my life. 😉
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Time for a break…so I took a walk outside. Seriously? What is this red leaf doing on the ground? It’s only the beginning of September. Say it isn’t so…soon it will be snow.
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Like any typical day at home, I take the dog for a walk. Ok, maybe I just sit, drink coffee and watch her walk around…who am I kidding?
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My favourite view of the day…the bus coming home.
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And the boys are home…time to shoot some pucks.
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And finally – the oldest boy is home, even Penny is smiling.
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Kids are home ~ I’m happy ~ Penny’s happy.
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And a bonus picture for this 10 on 10 ~ just because I love his little face.
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And that is how I spend the majority of my Monday when the kids are in school, of course I omitted the house cleaning, laundry, meal prep and yardwork, but you get the idea! 😉 Happy Fall Everyone. Now please head over to the talented Jana from Photography 2204 and continue on with the 10 on 10 Canadian Blog Circle. Oodles of talent again this month to enjoy.

http://www.photography2204.com/10-on-10-canadian-edition-sept/

10 on 10 {August Edition}

Oh I know, another beach session for 10 on 10, but these are truly images I love to shoot. This project is for me, and to take pictures each month of something I love. Well I love my boys and I love the water. I had intended on posting images from our trip to the Dells, but today we took an impromptu trip to the beach. It was 2:20 p.m., I was cleaning the house, doing laundry and sorting through work files when all of a sudden I realized I was wasting a perfectly beautiful summer day inside. The boys and I quickly packed up the car and by 2:45 p.m. we were at one of our favourite places – the beach. I had thrown my camera in my bag, but only had my 50 mm lens on my camera body so I couldn’t zoom into them as they were playing far out in the lake. I decided to wade in anyways, with my camera perched on my head. Oh yes, a tad foolish with thousands of dollars worth of gear, but you know what, I bought this gear to photograph my life so I threw caution to the wind. So glad I did, because I love all of these images. Yes they’re wrestling, no they’re not looking at my camera, but this is them, and this is our life. I am not interested in capturing posed shots that don’t really tell our story, and trust me, they likely wouldn’t let me if I tried. 😉

So here you go, my August Edition of {10 on 10} at the beach…again.

Don’t forget to click on the link below these pictures to continue with this month’s {10 on 10} blog circle!

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Head on over to Jana’s blog!
http://www.photography2204.com/10on10canadaaugust/

10 on 10 {July Edition}

Another edition of {10 on 10} is upon us. Summer is finally here in Manitoba. I packed up the boys a couple weeks ago and headed to St. Ambroise Beach for a lovely summer evening. We are so lucky that this beach is a mere twenty minutes from our home. It was a hot summer day and I couldn’t believe we had the beach entirely to ourselves. I am not sure how St. Ambroise Beach is doing since the flood waters have swept across Manitoba, but I’m crossing my fingers that there are many more summer days and evenings to be spent here this year. To all of you affected by the Manitoba Flood, you’re in my thoughts and prayers.

Have a lovely Summer everyone.

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Now please head on over to the talented Jana from Photography 2204 to see her July edition ~ http://www.photography2204.com/10-on-10-canadian-edition-july/

{10 on 10} ~ June Edition

Well not only is this my busiest month photography related, it is also my busiest month as a Mom to three boys. Yes, hockey is over and that was a gong show winter, but at least I wasn’t doing any sessions all winter so I had time to simply run with my boys and work at my husband’s office. For parents of school-aged kids, June is crazy! And I mean C.R.A.Z.Y. There are tons of field trips, track meets and year end activities that you have to be organized for and then there is extra-curricular sports. Two out of three of my boys are playing ball this year which means three nights a week at a ball diamond and then Saturdays at tournaments. Top that with my crazy schedule of grad/high school senior sessions and weddings and it makes for a very busy, crazy month. Have you noticed I have used the word ‘crazy’ three times in one paragraph? I knew {10 on 10} was coming up so I took my camera to my son’s baseball tournament in Morden with the intent of getting at least ten good pictures to showcase this month. I knew there simply would be no time for anything else.

So here’s my {10 on 10}, one of my three favourite boys in the whole world playing a sport he absolutely loves {and the good thing is, I love this sport too}.

Play ball!

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Now please continue the blog circle by heading over to my friend Jana from Photography 2204 and check out her 10 on 10!
http://www.photography2204.com/10-on-10-canadian-edition-june/

10 on 10 {May Edition}

Well I left this month’s {10 on 10} to the last minute! The images I chose were actually from Friday night. My middle son had one of his best friends over and we decided to have a bonfire since it was such a beautiful night out {finally!}  I can’t tell you how nice it is to actually sit outside and not need a toque, it’s been a long winter.  But I must admit, those long Canadian winters sure do make you appreciate Spring.

You’ll notice some talented new photographers in our group this month so it may take you a little longer to go through the blog circle, but trust me, it will be worth it. You’ll find the link to the next blog at the bottom of this page.

Cheers everyone ~ have a fabulous weekend!

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Now please head on over to the talented Jana from Photography 2204 for her May Edition of {10 on 10}

http://www.photography2204.com/10-on-10-canadian-edition-may/

10 on 10 {April Edition}

Well who knew my April edition of 10 on 10 would be so “wintery”, but I’m not complaining as our Spring Break was spent at our cabin on a ski hill so I was actually thrilled to see winter stick around as long as it did. Here is a quick summary of some of the things we did this past week on break!

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You’ll see more of Jackson in this post as he stuck close to Kris and I while we skied!  The older two seemed to dodge me everytime I spotted them on the hill.  Hmmmm, do  you think they did that on purpose? 😉Spring Break_0027This was one of the cutest moments of the week.  My nephew Kael, Jack and I were skiing back to our cabin.  Kael blew a ski and was attempting to put it back on, but he was on a bit of a slope.  I was too far ahead so I yelled to Jack to hold him up while he was trying to get his ski on.  He yells back at me “Mom, I’m only 55 pounds remember? I’m not that strong”!  In the end they worked together and got the skis back on and away we went.

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This is Dylan. He regularly attempts to give me a heart attack. Like here, attempting to fly.
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With our busy hockey schedules we didn’t get “home” much this winter, so it was nice to spend a few days with my nephews catching up. I love that they just pick up where they left off.
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We ventured to my sister’s place a couple times while we were home, and it never fails….you get these boys together and automatically the hockey sticks come out. They played this for hours, right until the sun set.
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We skied all week, but my three boys rarely skied together. As you can tell, I pretty much had to chase them to get this shot of the three of them together. They all have different styles. Danny is an amazing skier, but he’s more cautious and doesn’t like the jumps and bush trails. Dylan is a daredevil and immediately seeks out the jumps and the bush trails so he often ventures off on his own. And I have a feeling Jackson may be taking after Dylan, instead of Danny….much to my disappointment. Don’t get me wrong, I love Dylan’s carefree attitude when he skies, but I don’t think my ol’ heart can take two daredevils in this family!
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And here is my favourite day of Spring Break. On 04/04/2014 my parents celebrated their 44th wedding anniversary. They did so by downhill skiing with their grandkids. It was a great day. And I am so proud of them for living life to the fullest. They certainly don’t “act their age” but their youthfulness keeps them connected to their grandkids and very active in our lives. I honestly can’t say enough about how amazing my parents are. To a child, love is spelled T.I.M.E. and my parents show all their grandkids love by spending so much quality time with them. Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad! Here’s to many, many more years of love & laughter and happily ever after.
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I finally caught up to the “gang” and managed to snap a picture of them on the top of the hill. Trust me, before I could check the back of my camera to see if it turned out, they were scooting down the hill as far from my camera as possible.
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Oh, and here’s the other daredevil in my family – my nephew Dawson (who also celebrated his 12th birthday while we were home). Happy Birthday Kiddo – I love you, even if you do try to fly when you’re not really supposed to.
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And last, but not least, my ski buddy for the week – Mr. Jackson! When all the speed demons ditched me, I could always count on Jackson to ride up the chair with me and be “happy” to ski with his Mom. Thanks Jack, you made my week. I know soon you’ll be racing off with your brothers far away from me and my camera. but for now, I’m going to enjoy our rides up the chair lift!

Now please head on over to my talented friend Sonja at Bobo & Peep Photography by following this link:
http://boboandpeep.ca/news/10-on-10-canadian-edition-v-4/

{10 on 10} March ~ Hockey Life

Well seeing as hockey pretty much takes up 85% of our lives in the winter I thought I better feature some hockey images for this month’s 10 on 10. I chose to pick pictures from each of my son’s last tournaments from this past month. With three boys in hockey we found this winter to be insanely busy. We averaged at least six games a weekend, but sometimes with tournaments we would go into a weekend knowing we had to get to 14 different hockey games. Yes, it is crazy but I honestly wouldn’t change it for the world. I complain about how busy it is, but by the end of the season I actually find myself disappointed that it is almost over. Minor Hockey has gotten a bad rap the last few years with “crazy hockey parents”, violence on the ice and poor sportsmanship. And it is there, I’ve witnessed some of it first hand, but that really is a small part of the game. For the most part it is a great sport and it has been a wonderful sport for my boys to be involved in. They have met great friends, been coached by some wonderful people and have learned some real important life lessons. They’ve been involved in exciting wins, and also in heartbreaking losses and have learned the value of teamwork. When I tell people I have three boys in hockey they sometimes look at me like I’m crazy. But honestly, for all the running up and down highways, all the frozen toes in the stands of the rink, all the rink burgers and early mornings, it has been worth it. I wouldn’t trade the experiences my kids have been given through this Canadian pastime for anything. This is OUR game. And I’m proud that my kids are a part of it.

Jackson’s images are of his Novice Wind-up from this weekend where he played goalie. I don’t know why, but he wants desperately to be a goalie. I keep trying to convince him not to, purely out of selfish reasons because I honestly don’t think my nerves could handle it. He did great this weekend, they won their first game, but unfortunately lost their second. I happened to wake up with the flu so I missed the first game which I’m now regretting as it would have been a much better game to photograph. Jack was quite upset by the third period as they were scoring left, right and centre and he was so discouraged {note to parents with cowbells – please figure out when it’s appropriate to keep using those darned things!} I secretly thought “this may kill the dream of being a goalie”….but nope, he came off, looked at me and said “I still want to play goalie Mom”. Darn it! 😉

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Dylan’s images are of his AA Atom team winning Bronze at Provincials in Swan River. They came up against some stiff competition and the boys on this team played with all their hearts all weekend long. I was very proud of my kiddo and how he played.

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Danny’s images are of his Bantam Provincials in Winnipegosis, where they came back from a two goal deficit in the Gold Medal Game to tie and take the game into Overtime. We lost a heartbreaker with only minutes left in overtime. Having been to both provincials I can honestly say it is a lot easier to “win” bronze than “win” silver. This very well may be Danny’s last year in Minor Hockey as it doesn’t look like there will be enough players to field a team next year in Oakville. I couldn’t resist snapping a quick picture of him and I on the morning of his gold medal game. I’ve spent nine years getting him from one rink to another and I am truly sad to see this time in his life come to an end.
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Now please head on over to my talented friend Sonja at Bobo & Peep Photography
http://boboandpeep.ca/news/10-on-10-canadian-edition-v-3

Ten on Ten, Canadian Edition {February}

Well that month flew by! It is time for another edition of {Ten on Ten}. This month I picked ten images from our recent trip to Punta Cana. We went with our dear friends, the Miller’s. And we could not have had a better time. I have known Lori all my life (literally, all my life) and Kris has known Darren since he was about four years old so to say we are life-long friends would be accurate. We have three boys, they have three girls, and they are all different ages. One might think that combination might not work for a week-long vacation but it couldn’t have worked out better. I talk often about the importance of family, and I am lucky to say the Miller’s are not just our friends, they truly are our family.

Since returning we have been asked “what we did on vacation?”. Well we did a lot of relaxing, a lot of eating and drinking (yep, I’ll admit that) and we also enjoyed the gorgeous pool at our resort. But I think we would all agree that our favourite part was the mornings and afternoons spent on the beach. The kids spent hours upon hours jumping waves and we spent hours and hours just watching them, and joining in at times too. I don’t know if it is because we live on the prairies with no immediate access to an ocean, but I literally could just stare out at sea for hours, never tiring of the beautiful blue skies and gorgeous turquois water. I often think how lovely it would be to live on the water, and have a view like that all the time. One can dream can’t they?

For this month’s {Ten on Ten} I chose only pictures from the time we spent on the ocean and beach because that was truly my favourite part of our holiday.

**Don’t forget to click on the link at the bottom of the images to continue on the Ten on Ten Blog loop!

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CHECK OUT MY TALENTED FRIEND SONJA OVER AT BOBO & PEEP!
http://boboandpeep.ca/news/10-on-10-february/