I asked my kids to help me out with this one, and give me their advice for how to have a great 2018. Here’s what they had to say:
This one took a bit of interpretation as my littlest doesn’t talk quite yet (well she does but it’s not a language I understand). I took this to mean “Don’t hide from your problems, instead take a bite out of them!”
My super charming, not-so-little boy, said to tell jokes and have lots of tickle fights!
And my oldest says to dance to the music in your head <3
But most of all they all agree to make sure to prioritize spending quality time with the people you love the most.
Happy New Year from my family to yours, here’s to making new memories with the ones who mean the most to us <3
If you are pregnant in Fort McMurray you either know this sweet momma, or you should! Jessica runs Blossoming Bellies and Bosoms, which is an amazing store full of quality maternity and nursing clothing (as well as a few super cute baby items). Jessica kept me from wearing PJ’s all winter, instead dressing me in luxurious hoodies and wrap sweaters made in Canada! Then about half way through my pregnancy she became pregnant with her second child! We’ve had some chatty shopping sessions and photo sessions and she is one of the sweetest people you could ever meet, so definitely check out her shop for a little sunshine in your day.
Jessica asked pretty early on if I would photograph her new baby, and of course I knew I would be honoured to. Her former family photographer had unfortunately lost her home in the fire and moved out of Fort McMurray, however Jessica and her husband really value beautiful photography, displaying it in their home and gorgeous albums, so I was honoured to be chosen to add to their life art.
Shortly before baby her boy was expected to arrive Jessica and her daughter came by to capture a few photos. One of the most impactful moments of my life was seeing my oldest daughter for the first time after delivering my son, so I absolutely love capturing moments in those treasured final days before a new baby joins the family.
Once sweet baby M arrived everyone was in love! He has such incredible and unique features, and I fawned over him the entire time I photographed him. Being my first newborn after having my own baby, he seemed so tiny and my own little one sure didn’t seem so little once I held her again afterwards! They grow too fast, so I’m so glad I was able to capture his teeny-tiny-ness before it starts to fade away <3 Enjoy!
And after the family had a chance to cuddle him for photos it was my turn! This sweet boy was a posing pro and showed off his cute pouty lip, gorgeous eyes, and spitfire tongue <3 Thank you for choosing me to capture this incredible time in your life and the beginning of baby M’s <3
If you’re interested in finding out more about customized, luxury photography experiences contact me!
I had the incredible honour this month to photograph the Fort McKay NorthWind Dancers, and thought this would be the perfect day to share a few photos! Fort McKay has a special place in my heart, as I taught Junior High there for 2 years when I first moved to Fort McMurray, and met some of the most wonderful people I know. My heart is always full thinking about those wonderful years. When my family evacuated during the fire we went to Fort McKay the first night and were taken care of by many of my former students and their families, from them allowing us to park our camper in their driveway, bringing us blankets, air mattresses, food, toys and most importantly their support.
This post is also just in time to tell you about Treaty Days happening in Fort McKay starting tomorrow and going through to Sunday. The Treaty Days will include a traditional Powwow this year which you won’t want to miss! To see more photos check out my instagram and Facebook pages! The link to the event schedule is at the bottom of the page, so check it out! I enjoy getting out there every year to see the festivities and catch up with former students <3
Grass Dancer (and my handsome hubby!)
Fancy Shawl Dancer (and the wonderful woman behind organizing the Fort McKay NorthWind Dancers!)
Kids love getting mail (it’s a time before mail means bills), so when I saw a Facebook ad for a subscription based educational activity for kids in specific age ranges I figured we’d give it a try. I ordered the Koala Crate as well as the Kiwi Crate, because I have a 3 year old son and 5 year old daughter. My daughter had a friend over when the mailman dropped these off and was busy in dress-up-ville, so I took the opportunity to have some one-on-one time with my son. We both had GREAT time with his crate from the moment he got to excitedly open the mail with HIS name on it exclaiming “It’s for ME?!?”. I didn’t have the camera handy because I hadn’t realized it was going to be a photo opportunity until we were pretty far into the activity, but I did take the note that I better get it ready for my daughter’s turn!
After her friend went home and my son went to have some play time with his newly created toy I went into the living room to see my daughter had already anxiously gotten into her box so I grabbed the camera and sat down to help. I wish I had a chance to put the vacuum away, but nonetheless, this is what our house ACTUALLY looks like when I don’t get to prep the area haha.
There were excellent instructions with photos, this crate which is for 5-8 years olds still required a bit of help for my 5 year old but once we read the instructions together she was able to follow the photos herself. In addition to the craft projects below there is a colouring/activity/storybook that relates to the project.
She was constructing a wooden claw toy! There were little cardboard guide templates and stickers to help line up the holes properly, using her knowledge of colour and direction (right/left, top/bottom) in the instructions.
I’m pretty sure this is the first time she has successfully tied a knot by herself, I showed her a couple of times and then she did it on her own. We talked about why tying it twice works a lot better than just once (because the instructions said to do it twice and she wanted to know why) and then tested it out to see how easily it fell apart if only looped once.
The crate came with all of the premade pieces you see, all the accessories and even the scissors, so everything needed to complete the activity. It was great practice for fine motor skills as she was required to screw on these tiny nuts, and attach elastics to them.
Next she needed to create little pom-pom guys to be able to pick up with her new claw contraption. More fine motor practice, with winding the thread and cutting the loops.
Then for the grand finale, her claw hand works! She then cleaned up the pieces from this activity using her claw, which took her the better part of an hour ONE PIECE AT A TIME, but hey, if it makes cleaning fun I don’t care how long it takes! Thanks Kiwi Crates, we can’t wait until next month to see what fun is to come!
http://tinker.kiwicrate.com/Refer?i=CrystalM48 Her’s the link to save $10 on the crate, and save me $10 off my next subscription at the same time!
Yes, you read that right. Today my family went dogsledding with Tar City Kennels!!! First of all, this is not just a quick touristy activity, it’s an incredible experience that everyone in Fort McMurray should try to take in.
We started off by meeting some of the newest members of the team, who haven’t quite earned their racing stripes yet, but boy could they steal a heart quickly…and a mitten!
After meeting the adorable puppies we made our way to the sled, where my kids and I got cuddly and cozy while our sled dog racer Moe Ladouceur and his coworker got the dog team ready to go.
And we were off! We were cruising and the turns were a rush. The warm weather meant there was a tiny bit of slush being tossed at us, which only made the ride feel more authentic. We even got a little bit of air off of a couple of bump on the trail, which the kids quickly declared made it ‘just like Santa’s sleigh’ because we were officially flying!
After the ride we made sure to thank our gracious host Moe, but also the wonderful dogs who did such a great job taking us on this experience.
The day wasn’t over yet though, because Sawyer was infatuated with the sleds and when Moe noticed he didn’t hesitate in suggesting Sawyer try one out. Of course Brielle had to get in on the action too, which she comes by honestly because soon my hubby was hopping on to have his fun also.
Don’t worry, that truck is just my brother-in-law arriving to take my nephew and niece out next.
All in all I highly recommend this activity! Hopefully the weather cools for a little bit longer so more of you are able to have your own awesome dogsledding experience. The kids absolutely loved it, but so did we! Truly fun for all ages, and a unique opportunity that will have the city slickers jealous of all that fun up in Fort McMurray. If you’re interested you can contact Moe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1(780) 370-0202
Do you have other recommendations for family outings that are somewhat unique experiences available in Fort McMurray? I’d love to hear about them and document to share our adventures!
My second fundraising session for Relay for Life this year was ADORABLE baby Riley. Oh my, the cuddly factor on this girl is off the charts. I had to actually stop at one point to just cuddle her because I couldn’t resist her charms any longer. Once you see her photos you’ll understand 😉
When mommy responded to my promotion for a sitting baby who isn’t quite crawling Riley was perfect; however she quickly took that as a challenge and I’m going to be she is a crawler by now, because she was ready to go when she came by to visit!
Thank you mommy for sharing her gorgeousness with all of us!
I’ve had the pleasure of photographing this family since Eli’s big sister was a little older than this age I think. Just like his sister a dorable little Eli has a smile to melt hearts.
This session is one of my Relay for Life sessions this year, with all proceeds being donated. This year my sessions targeted baby’s who had learned to sit on their own, but not quite crawl yet. We call these sitter sessions and I LOVE them, because these sweet little babies are full of wonder and personality in this stage, still young enough to dress up in silly, adorable outfits, not too old to photograph naked and pure, but too little to escape! I’m so glad it gave me the opportunity to spend time with this cuteness! Thanks mommy for bringing Eli in and for your donation!
I’ve known Brady since just before his first Christmas. He and I have always been buds, we just hit it off…possibly because I give him some kind of treats every time I see him. For his first birthday he had a cake smash, and his second birthday was a giant lollipop. Since it was actually Brady’s real birthday for his session I decided he needed to open a present…and then keep opening, and keep opening and keep opening. He didn’t miss a beat and definitely got a kick out of all the unwrapping.
But wait, what’s that under Brady’s shirt?
Oh my gosh! He’s superman!
He’s also training his little brother to be a superhero. He’s a pretty tough kid, but he sure is loving to his little brother! He loved making him smile and holding his hand during the session.