happy new year

With the New Year being just around the corner, I wanted to wish you all a happy 2020!

I don’t remember being particularly excited about the new year growing up. However, ever since having children, I consider it to be almost a magical time in our lives. It’s a symbol of new beginnings, of promise, and of what is to come. Over the last few years, I also consider it a time to start over and to become a better wife, mother, and person in general.

This year we have made three big resolutions to work on as a family rather than going it alone. With the busyness of our everyday lives, I feel like we sometimes are letting the temporary chaos get to us and we aren’t always putting our best foot forward. I want my children to grow up in the happiest and most loving household that I can give them.

Over this last year I have come to the harsh realization that just because people are part of your family, it doesn’t mean that they will love or even like you. Your parents, former stepparents, or whoever might fight tooth and nail to not be part of your life, and no amount of invites or tears or even showing up on their doorstep will make them be present or even care. Sometimes you will hear firsthand that they hate you, which is what you might need to finally move on. I’ve been told that it is just better to cut those hateful people out of your life- even if it hurts and it is the last thing that you wish to do. But making yourself happy is key to living a happier life, for yourself and your family.

This year we are all about love. We will surround ourselves with those family members who want to be in our lives and embrace them with open arms. This is Geoffrey and I making a conscious effort to become even better parents and better spouses. Our children will never question their worth or our love for them. Never. That’s the best gift that I can think to give them. (I also firmly believe that if we better ourselves then we are bettering the world!)

That said, we also have less emotional and more physical things that we are looking forward to this year. Remy and Wilder are getting a new bedroom in January, we are getting a new kitchen in March/April, and my brother and his family are moving back to BC! That means we can still go and visit them, my dad, and stepmom every summer. I am looking forward to this new tradition.

Do you have any resolutions? Did you accomplish what you wanted to over this last year? What lessons did you learn? I would love to hear your thoughts below.

Have a safe and fun New Years Eve and see you all next year!

Emory

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merry christmas

Merry Christmas all!! Even though these are traditionally my shorter posts, I love that after six years, I am still here to wish everyone a happy holiday! It’s an honour to still be writing my blog and hearing from those who are kind enough to comment.

We were able to go on a few outings this holiday season. The first one that we took Remy and Wilder to was called Glow.

Glow is an indoor light festival located at Prairieland Park. This was its first year in Saskatoon, and I’m guessing will have many more to come. It featured light gardens, a treasure hunt, food, playground, Santa Claus, live entertainment, and over one million lights!

A little more on the expensive side, it was still worth going at least once.

Next, we were able to go to the Enchanted Forest at the Forestry Farm.

This drive-thru holiday light tour is in its 21st year and has over 80,000 visitors per year. Every year features one new display.

Visiting the Enchanted Forest is something that Geoffrey and I have done every year since dating! Remy enjoys it immensely, but Wilder is still too young to understand what is going on. This was her fourth time going, and his second (we took him last year when he was two weeks old). She has already asked to go back again, so I think that we will go once more before they take it down in January.

Finally, we visited the walking light display at Pike Lake Provincial Park on Saturday. It was our first time going and it was just so much fun! The weather was somewhat warm and the displays, although not many, were very well done. You could also go ice skating, play crokicurl, gather around the bonfire, and have hot dogs and hot chocolate afterwards. Too cute.

Our family seems to change with nearly every Christmas picture. From a beardless husband and two dogs and a cat in 2013, to hair extensions and masks in 2014, a first pregnancy in 2015, our first baby in 2016, a second pregnancy and miscarriage in 2017, and finally, another new baby in 2018. Life has certainly been exciting over these last few years! I only hope that we will continue to love, learn, and grow in the New Year. You as well!

Happy holidays, and enjoy your time with friends and family!!

<3<3<3

Emory, Geoffrey, Remy & Wilder

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thirteen months old

Happy Monday, everyone! Christmas is so near and I had something completely different planned for today’s blog post. However, Wilder hit so many milestones last month that I just had to do one final monthly update. I couldn’t resist. ;-)))

A few days after turning one year old, he woke up with two bottom teeth! Huzzah! His top tooth is going to come through any day now as well.

I kept wondering what would happen first- Wilder getting teeth or walking. Well, he’s doing that too! We have a walker on our hands! I can’t believe it!!

He is also down to just one nap per day, and received his one year immunizations. That messed up his sleeping and eating for about a week, but he is back to his normal, happy self. Thank goodness. In fact, he slept through the night for the first time just a few days ago! Pretty soon, he and Remy will be sharing a room.

Lastly, this month will mark the end of our breastfeeding journey. I am saddened that I have to give it up, and am already longing to have another newborn to nurse! Only God knows what the future will hold.

Wilder is 13 months and one day, and we are just so proud of him. We love him more than anything. Well, Remy and Wilder.

Have a lovely week!

Emory

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oarsman photography

Last week I had mentioned very briefly that I started working as a freelance photographer again. This is true! Although I never truly “gave it up” (I do submit articles with pictures for a magazine every two months), and occasionally I get paid for my blog posts, I have decided to seriously dive into it again.

It seems like almost a lifetime ago that I was operating as a new photographer under the name Prudence & Me. In my mind, it was a temporary name for a part-time job that I was only just finding my footing in. I began it to help pay the bills, only to stop when I became pregnant. Every session I learned new techniques. I tried to keep the moments candid and gave little direction. My photos were becoming darker with greater contrast and I hadn’t yet found a niche that I wanted to focus on. The name bugged me, but I didn’t want to change it until I was certain that I was going to keep going with it. I had also been saving up for a new camera and lens, only to eventually use that money elsewhere.

After months of mulling it over, I finally feel as if it is time to start it up again. The first thing that I did was change the name to Oarsman Photography (after Remy, whose name means ‘oarsman’ in French). I wanted a more masculine sounding photography name so I could appeal to a wider group of clients. Then I made a website and an Instagram page.

In the last month I have shot a couple’s session, engagement, wedding, mother and son, and family. I feel like my style is still evolving and even though I got a new camera and lens, I am saving up for a better lens. Until then, here are a few pictures from those sessions.

Emory

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master bedroom: before and after

Today, I will be sharing our master bedroom makeover with you all! 

When we first gained possession of this acreage in March 2019 we were paying two mortgages. We therefore decided to hold off on renovating until our house in the city sold. On top of that, it seemed like everything was breaking and so any extra funds that we did have went towards repairs. 

We ended up selling our home in July. By then the weather was too nice to stay indoors and so we pushed back the renovations again. We instead focused our attention on fixing up the yard. We said that we would start painting inside once it got cold again. That finally occurred in October!

Why we did start with a master bedroom remodel? In the past, I have always made our bedroom the last room that we touched. I feel like no one sees it except us, so why be selfish and make it a priority? This time, I really wanted to put more of an effort into honouring the marriage that Geoffrey and I have spent the last almost decade living, loving, and fighting for. 

Coming out of the fog of the newborn stage, I feel a renewed sense of self. Almost like I’m allowed to focus on things that aren’t just baby-related. I have finally started working out, I have gone to a real hairdresser for proper shorter and blonder hair, I have made appointments for just me, and I have started doing photography for clients again! With this also comes a desire to have fun with Geoff, to go on dates, and to grab as much alone time as possible! Hence, a need to pour that attention into a physical space like our bedroom as well.

From the above before pictures, the room didn’t look that bad. Up close, it was a different story. The house was previously rented out to someone who basically let their three massive dogs destroy it. The bedroom doors were torn to shreds, the handles were chewed, the floor and window trim was completely scratched, there were several toll-free phone numbers written on the walls in pen, screw holes everywhere, a ceiling fan covered in fly poop, and decals of soldiers with guns and parachuting out of airplanes. Like what the heck?

The first thing that we did (after months of hanging a blanket in the window to block out the sun) was purchase blackout blinds. Our bedroom window is south-facing so it catches a lot of heat in the afternoon. I cannot believe that we have waited this long to buy them! They work like a dream and look very nice. If we were to ever move again I wouldn’t hesitate in buying the same ones from Home Depot.

Upon hanging the blinds, we set about painting the walls. I went to Pinterest for inspiration and after seeing how beautiful one black wall looked in a white bedroom, I couldn’t resist. My boring self never seems to stray far from black and white walls. I am trying to venture into new colours, but for now, I couldn’t be more pleased with the way it turned out!

After the walls, trim, and doors were painted, we needed a shelf to display everything that I had been hoarding in my closet for nearly a year. It was going to be a shelf dedicated to our marriage and our three babies. Again, my love for all things familiar got the best of me, and I returned to Home Depot to buy the same knotty pine board and black brackets that we hung in our old house, and even the living room of this acreage! One day I might stumble onto a different solution, but until then, this is what a prefer with both the price and look.

Up went Remy’s newborn pictures, Wilder’s birth announcement, Rowen’s only sonogram, and our wedding photo. This shelf sparks love and joy and sadness and everything that my life has been over the last decade. I feel privileged each time I glance up at it.

I also replaced the old plastic switch plates with brushed metal, and the junky register with a black metal one.

Time now to focus on our bed, which I felt was missing something. We upgraded from an old wooden queen frame to a new metal king about one year prior. It was during that time that I also had to buy new bedding to fit the bed. Again, lack of imagination over here, I had zero ideas as to colour scheme. I went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and felt completely overwhelmed and out of my element. What I ended up walking away with was white everything! Sheets, pillows, pillowcases, quilt … I didn’t know what else to do.

This time round, I felt such a desire to add a pop of colour. I went to my favourite new store, Home Hardware in Warman, SK and browsed their beautiful aisles of home furnishings. What I ended up buying was an orange pillow (is that orange? yellow? rust?) for $50! It was way more than I intended on spending on one throw pillow, but goodness it was worth it. Remy calls it an owl pillow for some reason, and Geoffrey knows that he’s not allowed to touch it. The blanket at the foot of our bed was crocheted by my late grandmother.

Finally, we needed to replace the “crappy” ceiling fan. When I was at Home Depot I browsed their selection but didn’t see anything that I thought would work. Next I went on Amazon and spent the better part of an evening searching for a black ceiling fan. Again, I couldn’t find one that I really liked. I was so disappointed and was about to give up for awhile. Suddenly, I thought to check Canadian Tire’s website (that is where we bought the fan for our previous master bedroom). As luck would have it, it was the pre-Black Friday event. I immediately saw one that excited me, and it was on sale for $149 from $249. I went the very next day and after using my Canadian Tire money, it came to $130 including taxes. I was so happy, and it’s the cutest darn thing!

One of my goals in making over our room was to transition Wilder into sleeping in Remy’s room, or their shared room. That didn’t happen. While I will eventually replace his crib with a black mirror and a tall plant, until I paint and design their room, he’s going to keep sharing with us. No matter, I will miss him too much if he leaves me.

Thanks for reading! Please leave any questions or comments below.

Emory

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