Monday, January 27th, 2014
so here we are, end of january and i still haven’t done a wrap up of 2013. i was struggling with how to approach this in a fresh way and i thought since the majority of you who follow my blog have already seen my best pictures, i would add a personal spin and show you some of my favorite pictures taken on my phone. i think the images i captured on my phone this year more fully encapsulate who i am and what my day to day life is like, so it will help you to get to know me a bit better.
the thing about the year coming to an end is that so much evaluation happens. i have a love/hate relationship with evaluation. on one hand, it can serve as encouragement and affirmation while on the other hand, it can be darn near the most depressing activity possible.
this time last year i was preparing to attend the what if conference in dominican republic which turned out to be a life changing experience (tickets for 2014 available here). and as i sit here preparing to attend this year’s conference, i’m suddenly filled with fear: i’m going to see many of the same people, people who have started non-profit organizations and traveled the world and written books…and what have i done in a year?
fear. it can be so.freaking.crippling. the voice that says, “pack it up, girl. if you haven’t started yet, you never will. compared to everyone else, you really don’t have much to offer.” and while the temptation is there to agree, i can’t. don’t get me wrong, many days i have succumbed, listened and obeyed it. and those were some dark days.
so i’m here to tell you what i’ve done. not as a point of pride, but just to document it, to speak it out, for myself more than anything. to say “screw you, fear. i’m going to go about my business trying to make this world a better place.”
p.s. “doing” is not the be all end all. ultimately i just want to “be” better and not worry so much about what i do. but “being” is a little harder to measure, so here’s a glimpse at some of the things i “did” which are all hopefully feeding into who i want to “be”. enough “quotation marks” for y’all?
this year i hung out with my kids. sometimes i just watched; watched them play, laugh, poop (sorry but i did), be ridiculous, cry, love, fight, think…i watched. because i know this time won’t last forever, blah blah blah, and i want to remember it with even more than pictures, but with actually memories. in my brain.
i also got to take pictures of some other people who were watching their own families grow.
and i watched my husband daily, i mean daily people, becoming a better and better father to these little monkeys of ours.
i traveled! so many good memories of trips taken, on my own and with my family, of sights seen and friends made.
i picked up the ukelele again after about a million years, i planted (kind of) a garden, i baked lots of sugary treats (some of which i shared and some….), i learned how to crochet and i worked at making our house a safe place where we can learn together and make mistakes together and do things that we love and encourage anyone who comes through our door to do the same.
we hosted friends from australia and i almost peed my pants going across the longest unsupported something or other gondola in the history of the universe (pretty sure that’s what it says on their website)…but i did it!
i ate some spinach.
we welcomed some amazing people into our lives who love our kids and obviously love us as they were willing to invest time and energy into our offspring when work took us away from them.
i got to venture a little outside my own territory to document peoples’ love and commitment to each other and had a darn fun time doing it.
i shot a ton of instant film, all different kinds. a goal i didn’t even know i had, but once i was doing it, i was like “yes”.
we lived a dream of mine, traveling to the “birth place” of one of my favorite bands and watched them perform on their own farm. and we met a man that owned a motorcycle shop who knew everything about cameras, so that was awesome.
we spent so much time in our yard. so much. and it was wonderful.
there were also some pretty sad things that happened this year to people i love. loss is hard. and while the temptation is there to bottle it up or feel like it’s too much, i was forced to open my hands and release it to God and trust that he will sustain. and he did. and does. he really does.
i got to experience the joy of welcoming new life into the world (without the pain of having to “welcome” it myself, which was a bonus).
we took a couple of little trips as a family and it was so fun to see all of our kids at a stage where they could experience and enjoy these places in new ways.
i tried to get out from behind the camera a bit more, even if it meant the outcome was awkward pictures like this:
we celebrated 14 years. 14 YEARS!!!
i was terrified at the speed with which my children’s bodies/attitudes grew.
i stopped to smell the roses (or fresh laundry, whatever the case may be). for reals. sometimes you just gotta to stay sane.
i grew some really fat/slightly deformed carrots. any tips on growing normal looking carrots are welcome.
i had SO many cool couples choose me to document their weddings…absolutely blown away by people’s willingness to include me in their celebration. they fact that they entrust a day like that to me…i’m almost in tears just thinking about it.
we took our kids on a plane across the country. hold your applause please.
we celebrated. that youngest one of ours knows.how.to.celebrate.
i got to see my kids perform on stage, some more willingly than others, which is always a joy. i’m plan to live vicariously through them when they make it to broadway. you think i’m kidding.
i went to new york city for new years eve. dream come true.
and like i said before, i tried to get a few pictures of myself. when i die, i don’t really want my kids to wonder who that strange lady behind the big black box all the time was…i think it will be good for them to know i had a face and a name and something of a personality independent of who i was as their mom. because sometimes when i look at some of the things i pursue because i want to, it’s tempting to feel really selfish. but then i think, “how am i serving them if i don’t go after any of the things i feel called to/have always wanted to do?” not all of those things need to wait until they are teenagers or out of the house. it could be something as small as investing in a friend or spending time “creating” or sitting down at the piano or something as big as taking our family to india for a month…i want to be someone who had dreams and went out and lived them.
so. 2013. a good year. not without it’s failures and disappointments, but a good year. thanks for living it with me.
p.s. more of my day to day life can be viewed over here on instagram, if you’re interested (if you are interested, that’s kind of creepy). i just passed 1000 followers and am going to post a little contest this week to say thank you!!
Friday, February 15th, 2013
we just met last week, but i already love her. who wouldn’t? she approaches the world with a child like sense of wonder, so ready to learn, to experience and to enjoy. she’s an encourager, an optimist, a dreamer. the kind of person who is oozing with potential and beauty and laughter. the best kind.
hoping that you go home with a renewed sense of hope for the future, knowing that you are an amazing woman who is capable of SO much. thanks for putting up with me and my 6:30am camera happy self! you’re beautiful.
Tuesday, October 9th, 2012
if we’re talking about eternity, then one year is just a drop in the bucket. but if we’re measuring events of importance in our daily lives, right here, right now, one year is certainly a milestone to be celebrated. a year of life, a year of commitment, a year of challenge, a year of firsts, a year of love…that’s the good stuff right there. congratulations on a year, dan & jade. was tickled to be able to celebrate with you.
Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012
sorry i missed you all last monday! i was busy. playing.
we’re keeping it close to home again, friends. our dear dear friend joshua hyslop has just released his album! we’ve been waiting awhile for this one and he’s been teasing us releasing songs over the past few months. i had the absolute privilege of photographing josh and his beautiful woman, julia, before they were wed last summer. my jaw still drops thinking of that evening.
without further ado, here’s josh (p.s. you know you’re famous when youtube adds a commercial to the beginning of your music video):
go buy his album “where the mountain meets the valley”. do it now!
Monday, May 7th, 2012
staying in the hawaiian spirit…(which is where i am right now…don’t be jealous, it’s not that awesome…fingers crossed), i figured i’d share a little ukelele goodness from my friend jordan klassen. not only is he an amazing musician, he’s an all around nice guy. enjoy…and don’t think about me drinking mai tais on the beach watching the sun set. because i don’t drink.
Monday, April 30th, 2012
oh fiona, where have you been?? more flashbacks to an angstier time in my life…it’s funny because i always wondered why people are so attached to music/voices from their youth. i still don’t have an answer to that, but i realize i’ve become one of those people. I AM ONE OF THEM. and i’m okay with that. because the music of my youth is rad.
Monday, April 23rd, 2012
i have to admit, i was kinda prejudiced against this band when i first heard about them because i really didn’t like their name. i know, i’m ridiculous. but after hearing their music on multiple occasions through different sources, they’ve won me over.
**warning** this post is about my faith. so if you’re kind of like “hey, i like her photos, but don’t really want to hear about her personal life” you might want to skip this.
i am being made new. something which i am, everyday, grateful for. because the thing is…i’m messed up. i’m jealous and petty and annoying and deceitful and impatient. i fail my family. i screw stuff up. all the time.
i have days like today when something (which does not need to be outlined here) frustrates me and instead of moving on, i dwell and stew and think ill thoughts and develop that heavy feeling in the pit of my stomach. and that now makes it MY problem, which it never was in the first place. and so, i put this song on replay and i listen over and over until it starts to sink in. i am being made new. i just need to choose to walk in the grace that has been offered to me. and in that grace, i can be patient and loving and self-controlled and gracious in return. what a sweet deal.
Monday, April 16th, 2012
you know that feeling when you “discover” a band that not many people know and you make it your mission to tell all your friends about how amazing they are and you go see them live at a small, intimate venue and you really want them to do well…and then they do something that makes them popular and suddenly you kind of wish that they had stayed small and beautiful and that you were the only one that knew about them so you could be secretly serenaded by them without it being “cool” to like them? or is that just me?
that’s this band for me. got to see them twice last year (proof i was there) and though i truly am very happy that their music is being heard by more than just me, i still kind of wish we could rewind back to before the grammy’s…and the hunger games soundtrack…and when i googled them, information about actual civil wars was number one…and it could just be me listening to them in my cold, dark basement office sweetly satisfied that i had “discovered” them.
Monday, April 9th, 2012
this past week i had the opportunity to speak to a group of women who want to learn how to take better pictures. i felt nervous and inadequate and excited all at the same time and really had no idea what would come of my time with them. of course i was hoping they would learn something and that i could share a little bit of my own journey with them. i started off the evening by asking them what inspires them. because really, i believe that you can have all the technical expertise in the world, but that is not necessarily what makes a beautiful picture. what makes a picture stand out to me is when it tells a story or conveys love…when there’s heart involved.
all that to say, this question started to stir something in the hearts of these women. even if they didn’t share on the spot. i received a lovely e-mail from leanna the day after the workshop and was moved by what she had to share. if you have a moment, please check out her blog – she wrote a post about her inspiration and her hope and her love. i never knew asking a simple question would have this effect, but i was so glad it did!
if you live in the fraser valley and are interested in connecting with other moms who are learning how to use their cameras, check out this group! or if you want to arrange a time that i could meet with you/a group of your friends to do some small group mentoring, send me an e-mail. i love to help people take better pictures of their family.
as for something else that is inspiring…how about this?! my kids have probably single handedly added 200 views to this video (as i was posting, josiah heard it from the other room and came running).
Monday, April 2nd, 2012
cliff and i have been taking guitar lessons. i know how to read music and spent 3 solid years of my adolescence playing the ukelele, but have never really known how to play guitar. i always thought i’d just teach myself. and well, you know how that is.
so when our friend mark offered his services to facebook land, we jumped at the opportunity. i have been a less than ideal student (rarely practising), but i’ve loved picking up some chords and watching my fingertips callous.
mark is an awesome teacher and a wonderful musician. he was the opening act at cliff’s variety show on saturday night and was a big hit. he also recently finished recording his album which will be released soon. can’t wait!