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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one year old!

This week has been one of deep reflection for me. On Friday November 15, our Wild One will be one year old! This has been one of the fastest and happiest years of my life.

Geoffrey and I had always planned on naming our son Wilder, even years before I became pregnant for the first time. In 2016 came Remy, then our second baby Rowen who I lost in 2017, and finally, Wilder in 2018.

Wilder was and is our rainbow baby. He brought us great hope when we felt lost and sad.

He has been the sweetest, loveliest, and most easy-going baby from the start. I remember being pregnant and at the end of each day I would jump up and down and shake my belly in order to get some type of movement. He was just always so content in there and hardly ever moved around. The only thing that he would seem to move for was the sound of Remy’s voice. He would start dancing whenever she was being particularly loud! I was therefore certain that they would have a strong bond once he was born. That has definitely been the case! These two are as tight as can be.

Because he was so calm in my uterus, I questioned whether or not we should name him Wilder (if he turned out to be a boy) almost the entire time that I was pregnant. That is, until he was born. It was such a wild birth that everyone who met him afterwards said that he had already lived up to his name. After that, I never doubted our choice again.

Wilder is sweet and calm but with an adventurous side. He loves climbing and isn’t afraid to explore any furniture or object that stands in his way. He loves everyone and enjoys waving to and playing peekaboo with strangers. He can out-wave anyone!

He babbles constantly, says a few words, crawls, stands unassisted (!!), walks by only holding onto one of our hands and by pushing anything that moves across the house, loves to people watch, is sensitive, is a pretty good sleeper, still breastfeeds, and still has no teeth! I don’t know what will come first at this point- walking or teeth. He’s pretty close to both, I think.

Anytime I feel sad about him getting older I have to remember that it is a good thing. He is happy, healthy, and thriving. It is only natural that he will keep growing! This is also such a special time in my life- being pregnant and having children. I almost feel like my life is a fairy-tale. Once this phase is over, I will never again get to experience anything even remotely similar. Thus I am trying to soak in every moment that is humanly possible!

I am writing this post on November 10, 2019. On this exact date in 2017, when my niece was getting baptized, I found out that I was pregnant with our second child. While this time of year is one for rejoicing, I can’t help but feel a bit of sadness around our baby that I never came to know or hold. Remembrance Day alone is one for sombreness and reflection, and I will certainly be doing a lot of that during this week- for many reasons. We are blessed to live where we do and lead the life that we have. Sadness aside, I am truly thankful as well.

I wanted to include a prayer for Remembrance Day that was in our church bulletin:

Loving God,
Have mercy on your people,
And open our hearts to peace and love.
Reward all who have died for the country,
And grant that Canada
And all nations
May continue to work
For peace and justice.
Bless us in your service,
And help us to follow Jesus Christ,
Who is our Saviour and our Lord
Forever and ever.
Amen

If you are still reading this, thank you for joining me in my pregnancy journey and Wilder’s first year of his life! Also, for following me through all these trains of thought, trips down memory lane, and emotions. Here are a few pictures that I wanted to include because I have never shared them on my blog (or social media). Gosh, how my darling son has grown.

We will be celebrating Wilder this Saturday with the few family members that love him and have been in his life since the beginning.

Have a lovely lovely lovely week, everyone!

Emory

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our canadian vacation

This August, I packed up the kids and took them on a two week vacation to British Columbia. Not a fan of flying, I chose to instead drive the 4000 km (round trip). We spent the first eleven days driving there and then venturing across the province. We stayed with family in various parts and went to at least one attraction everyday. A lot of the time, we did two things. Naps were skipped and we were wiped out by the end of each day, but in the best way possible. Geoffrey then flew out to meet us on the twelfth day, and drove back with us over the next three days.

Before leaving, I prayed that it would go well and that we would make it back safely. So many things could have gone wrong, but they didn’t. God certainly kept us out of harm’s way, and we had the trip of a lifetime. Here are the highlights taken from the day Geoff joined us until we made it home.

August 28:

Early that morning my brother, Wilder, and I picked up Geoff from the airport and we met Remy, her cousins, and my sister-in-law at a nearby park and lake. We visited for less than 1 hour then sadly said goodbye. Thus began our trip as a family of four.

We made it to 3 Valley Gap around noon. We had already stopped at the ghost town on our way through about two weeks prior. We loved it so much that we decided to visit it again, this time bringing dada.

We explored old buildings, rode a train, played, ate, and ran around. It is such a fun place to visit, and spending a couple hours there is almost not enough time. Revelstoke is definitely a city of immense possibilities for families, from the Enchanted Forest to the Locomotive Museum. It is one that I look forward to visiting again and again.

After leaving 3 Valley Gap, we drove for a few more hours and made it to Golden, BC that evening. I had already stayed the night in Golden with the kids, and knew that there weren’t any attractions in the small but beautiful town. That said, we still needed something to do that evening as well as the next morning before hitting the road. I therefore asked Geoff to book us a room at the Kicking Horse mountain resort, hoping that there would be trails and/or parks within walking distance.

Located just outside of Golden, it is one of the most picturesque places that I have ever been to. We acquired a room at Winston Lodge and given that the busy season was just ending, a room turned out to be the same price as one at a lower-rate hotel within Golden.

The lodge reminded me of The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO. It was huge, beautiful, homey, full of history, had amazing food, and so much more. Guys, if you need to stay the night in Golden, please stay at the lodge or anywhere else in the Kicking Horse resort. What a gorgeous end to an overall fun and fulfilling day.

August 29:

The next morning we ate our complimentary breakfast. Then we went back to our room, packed up, and headed to a park before returning to the road once again. I didn’t want to leave, and wished that we could have stayed another night. Being in the mountains and in a secluded resort felt so freeing! I would have loved to explore the trails and ride the gondola for one more day. Alas, we had to go.

Our next stop was in Banff, AB. We drove through the Rocky Mountains and made it there within two hours.

Once in Banff we parked downtown and went to Central Park so Remy and Wilder could run around and work up an appetite. Then we walked the main street until we settled on a restaurant. After we ate, we went shopping. Afterwards, we returned to our vehicle and loaded everyone up.

Our final destination that day was Drumheller, AB. We arrived around supper time and went straight to the Royal Tyrrell Museum. Remy is in love with dinosaurs, and so naturally she had a blast. We chased her around the museum, going from exhibit to exhibit, naming all of the dinosaurs. Wilder sat content in his stroller.

At the end of the museum visit, she and Geoff climbed the large hill outside, and Wilder and I took photos of them from below. What an amazing place for children!

August 30:

The next day was dedicated to the long drive back home. Although our time with Geoff was short, it became our favourite family vacation to date.

Emory

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ten months old

Our Wilder is now 10 months old! This was a month of many, many new things for him.

Wilder saw the ocean! And mountains! Plus two new provinces! We got out of our prairie routine and took a 2-week vacation to BC where we mostly stayed with family. There, Wilder saw landscapes that he has never seen before. I will be very excited to share that with him when he is old enough to understand.

He now points to objects. He also gives high fives. It’s the cutest dang thing.

He says “mama” on repeat. I swear he also says “hey dad” sometimes as well.

He is constantly standing with support and walks along furniture.

He is still breastfed but is beginning to not want it as much. He now only wakes once or twice during the night, and nurses for just a few minutes. He is growing up too quickly!

Only 2 more months until he is a toddler. My mama heart just isn’t ready.

Emory

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po the saint

We recently added a new member to our household! Friends, meet Po, our St. Bernard.

This little girl is my fourth Saint and Remy and Wilder’s first. I’ve waited many years to get her, having wanting to be settled on an acreage before we did. We knew that moving out here meant that we could finally get one, and so last week we did!

So far she is very quiet and very sweet. I have had a couple of friends with kids over on different days, and everyone can’t believe how good and calm she is. They have all said that she doesn’t act like a puppy and it’s like we don’t even have a dog in the house. I asked for a calm temperament (because of our children) and I guess it paid off!

Remy adores her and Truman has even warmed up to her as well. We hope that her mellow attitude will rub off on him. Nothing seems to phase her, which is the opposite of Tru.

For now, this is our life with Po.

Emory

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