A Virtual Scrapbook of Memories


~*~September Means Starting School ~*~

School!!! first day of school photos
Two girls, both in school.  This is a big transition for them, and for me! I would be lying if I didn't have a large sense of anxiety over this.  The reality of sending your kids to school is scary.  Will they be nice and kind to others?  Will they have melt downs when they don't get their way? Will there already be bully kids in such young grades? I think the biggest source of my anxiety is that this is the start of 13 years of standardized school.  The days of having my girls home regularly is over.  Now their personalities will be shaped by the experiences they have away from me and my husband.   I know they will be okay, I know that we will figure it all out, but anxiety doesn't really acknowledge logic, ya know?  I've been listening to my friends with older children, and honestly, it's scary.  It's a scary new experience.   I'm sure in two weeks, when things are settled in a bit more, I'll feel better about the whole transition, but in the meantime, I'm just trying to get through the occasional panic attack.  Letting go is not the easiest thing for me, but I'd do anything for my girls; including putting on a brave face, and letting them go. 

Chores are always more fun
with a Rhyme

It seems that if you can turn any chore into a poem, little people are more apt to join in.  We've been saying this a lot lately, just trying to survive cold and flu season.


How to make life a little easier with a baby

make life as a new mom easier

First, watch this video once or twice.  This is a clip from Oprah.  

This woman figured out the 'Dunstan baby language'.

 I found this info so helpful with all of my babies.  Before they would full blown cry, you could figure out if they were uncomfortable, hungry, gassy or tired.  All those newborn sounds actually can tell you something.

   I swear by it, and recommend it to all my friends with newborns. If you respond to their pre-cries, it can last until they're six months old at which time you move you the baby signing.   You can communicate with your baby from the beginning. 

Secondly, Spend the time learning Baby Sign Language.  I started around 5 months of age, and began with only two to three signs.  I think we did Milk, More, and Eat. (make sure they are signs that you use frequently)   It takes time for your babies brain to make the connection between WORD-SIGN-ACTION/OBJECT, but once they figure that out, and sign back, you can add more signs, one or two at a time, more quickly.   Now you've got this little six-seven month baby, who cannot talk, but can communicate their wants and needs to you.  By age one, my girls could ask for medicine when their teeth hurt, ask for more banana, sign I Love You (best one ever), ask (demand) a diaper change, ask for a drink etc.   Older children can participate too. 

What an absolute blessing to empower your baby to communicate, and I can almost promise that your life as a mommy will be easier until they can actually use words to tell you what they want.   I can personally recommend both of these books as I used them myself. 

baby sign language
baby sign language

Her Grandmothers Dress, her Great-Grandmothers rings

My sentimental soul couldn't pass up this opportunity when Leah Laurie Photography was looking for young models who could wear their moms wedding dress.  Well - My wedding dress was my moms wedding dress, so now we have three generations wearing this simple, timeless dress.  My wedding ring was inherited from my grandmother (which I cherish) so there is so much history in these photos, I almost can't handle it!!!  These beautiful florals were provided by Blush Florals. Thanks so much for these incredible keepsakes Leah!

100 years ago, our Matriarch was born
5 Generations of women

   Today would have been Nannies 100th birthday.  She passed away 2.5 years ago, surrounded by her family, with the sun shining through the window, on the exact date that my Poppy died, 27 years earlier.  She was a remarkable woman, and one whom I'm proud to be a great grand-daughter to.  
   She would always sing us the song, ' I love you, a bushel and a peck. A bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck'. She always like to make us laugh by clicking in her dentures and buying gag gifts.  She was a hoot.
   I prayed that she would live long enough to see me get married, and then after our wedding, I prayed that she would live long enough to meet our child.   I'm so blessed that we had the opportunity to have this photo shoot with Lisa Wheeler.  Nanny was 95 and Miss B was 3 months.
  We miss you Nanny. Happy Birthday!!!!

Of Course if you hold a naked baby for long enough, you'll get peed on! I find it hilarious to have these photos.


Our Family, Progressively Speaking. 

Progressive Family Portrait


Thanks to an image I found on Pinterest, and some good timing, we were able to start this tradition.  I am so happy to keep it going.  Some of the pictures were taken by professionals, and some were taken by family members.  This black frame will hang in our house forever.  This is what love looks like. Every Year.


Family Photo

         Photo by Leah Laurie  

Family photo

Photo by Jen Jaques

Family Photo


Wedding Portrait

  Photo by Kennedy Photografik

Our Lovely Little Green Wedding
 Photographs by Kennedy Photografik 

our green wedding

Dearest Daughters

Our Four year anniversary is coming up, and it's making me reminisce about that day in April 2011.

  My husband proposed Christmas morning, 2010, in Tofino.

We started to plan a quick engagement, as we also announced that day that I had little Miss B growing in my tummy.   Kevin had been planning on proposing Christmas morning for a while, and we had only found out ten days before that we were expecting. I wanted to enjoy the excitment of our engagement so we kept our pregnancy very quiet until Valentines day 

We planned a small seventy-five person wedding in four months.  We DIY'd everything we could, and held the whole wedding, ceremony, dinner and reception in the same small local restaurant called Tree Frog Bistro.  It was beautiful, the food was so delicious 

and we had a great musician entertaining us.

We used green and white beach glass from my parents collection, and our gift to the guests were heart shaped birdseed feeders.  My mom found the fabric at the local thrift shop and we had the twine and wooden beads on hand, so the whole thing cost little more than the bird seed, a heard shaped pan like this and a lot of sewing and surging time. (thanks mom & grandma!)

    We had a tribute table for our loved ones that had passed away, but we wanted to honour them and include them in our special day.  

    Our thumb print tree guest book, was an Etsy find which has hung in the girls nursery all these years.

 I made many, many ribbon napkin rings; many tissue paper pom poms and agonized over the seating chart.   

     Every table was given a paper and pen to add up the age of all the guests at that table.  The table with the highest age totals got to eat first which ensured that our grandparents would get to eat first (after the wedding party of course)

The Bride and Tradition

our green little wedding

The dress and veil was my moms.  I planned on wearing it since I was a teenager and I tried it on for the first time.  I loved the simplicity of it, as it was an off the rack dress from The Bay back in 1979. The sentiment to me of wearing my moms wedding dress meant more to me than any brand new dress could come close to, and it only needed minor alterations to a) make room for my expanding baby bump, and b) transform a 1979 lace caplet and bring it into modern fashion. 

 I found a local seamstress who was able to add in the lace up panel in the back to accommodate my growing belly, and she changed the simple lace caplet into a modern bolero jacket.  The talented seamstress even reused the original fabric covered buttons on the caplet and put them on my bolero and the button loops were reused on the back lacing of the dress.    Wearing my moms dress was more priceless to my sentimental heart than any expensive dress could have ever been.  In total, the alterations for the dress was like sixty-five dollars.  I told her that she should charge more.

We altered the veil to be a bit more modern and tuck in to the back of my hair. This dress was priceless to me, and I'm lucky that my mom had such great taste as to pick a timeless wedding dress that I could wear.

The Broach.   This was my maternal Great-Great Grandmothers, and every woman in our family has worn it on their wedding day. That delicate little piece of jewelry has special significance to me because it has followed the path of women in my family through the generations to where I am.  When our daughters get married, they will be the seventh generation to wear it.  You cannot put a price on that kind of tradition.

My beautiful bouquet of garden roses was provided by flowers by Cori-Lynn and she saved some green berries for the wedding cake and my hair.  My little green clutch was found at a local thrift shop called Charlie Rose.   My hair and make up were done by Beyond Bliss and we got ready in their beautiful suites upstairs. (which we spent  our wedding night in as well.   Luckily the spa was just a few doors down from our wedding venue so we were able to walk both ways.


The Ceremony 

I walked down wedding the isle to a local musician, Tom Dowding from The Music Room playing Tuolumne by Eddie Vedder on the guitar.   The song couldn't have been more  perfect, and can be listened to by clicking the video.

Our siblings were our Maid of Honor and Best Man; My Brother and Kevins' sister stood up for us and did a great job, and really helped us focus on the idea of family first.  

We wanted to keep the ceremony simple, so we wrote our own vows. (can be seen below)  The officiant called me by the wrong name (Kristin instead of Kirstin) and then referred to me as Kevins Husband, but otherwise it went off without a hitch. And then we were hitched. After seven years as a couple, and knowing each other for fifteen, we were finally husband and wife.   

Spring Green Wedding
Wedding Guitarist
Our Wedding Vows

Wedding Photos at Grandmas 
All Photos by Kennedy Photografik

Bridal Party Wedding
Golfing on our wedding day
Little Green Wedding

Kevins Grandma has property that we've used a few times for family portraits, for obvious reasons. April was a perfect month to get married for us, and the weather held out beautifully, with only a sprinkling of rain during our photo session.  I forgot my flat shoes for photos, and couldn't very well navigate those cliffs with heels, so I posed for all these pictures while barefoot. And pregnant.  Ha! Jenn Kennedy is so talented and has such vision, she did an amazing job.  One tradition we have is golfing off the cliffs from grandmas' front door, so we had to do it on our wedding day as well.

cliff wedding project
Walk the walk to happily ever after
Daddy's girls

Dearest Daughters

 Sometimes the darkest moments have the most profound life lessons.     After spending years in an abusive relationship when I was a teenager, I resolved that I would never let anyone treat me that way again; I learnt my lesson.  I get to choose how I let people treat me which sometimes means just walking away.

    I encourage you to find someone like your dad when you're older.  He treats me with respect and love.  He believes in me and lets me be myself.  He paints my toe nails and rubs my sore shoulders.  He does dishes, laundry, and bath time.  He builds forts with you and your sister, and chases you around the house while you both giggle.   He isn't afraid of being silly, he indulges my creative whims, and gives me a break when it's been a long day. 

He cooks us food, loves us unconditionally and provides stability in our day.  Find a spouse like your Daddy, and don't accept anything less than what you deserve. 


For my little Queens

If you want to be treated like a queen....

Dearest Daughters

  It may seem simple, but its true; you teach people how to treat you.    You have no control over how people act, but you do have the power to accept how they act towards you.  To be silent towards mistreatment is like granting permission for it.   Never be afraid to speak up for yourself or those you care about.  It's perfectly acceptable to tell people that it's not okay to be treated poorly.   Hold yourself to a standard of grace and stand strong knowing that you deserve to be treated fairly and kindly. In return, you must treat others the same way.  

  These lessons are especially true when it comes to loving someone.  Have high standards for yourself and those who love you.