tenth anniversary

Ten years of being married to you. One decade. Where do I even begin?

Our life seems to change from year to year, and although it’s had its downs, I would say that this stage of life is one of our best and strongest yet.

We worked hard to get here. It took us six years of unrelenting searching to find this acreage. Now that we are here, we are thanking God and counting our blessings everyday through conversation and as we pray. We are renovating slowly this time just so that we don’t finish it too quickly and then get an urge to move and start over again. We are mindfully adding things (like fire pits and playhouses) to our property so we can take the time to unwind throughout the day and during the night and really just enjoy this life. This life that we have built together.

We waited five years exactly before I became pregnant with our first child. Then nearly three years later we added our second. This is what works for our family. We had those wonderful years where we could solely focus on one, and now we are focusing intently on both of them. Although we do get tired, we are far from overwhelmed or stressed out. They are beautiful and sweet children, and we are so lucky to have been made their parents.

Our journey is far from over. We are strengthening our relationship with God, living meaningfully, trying our hardest to reduce our waste and preserve the planet (a far cry from previous years), learning how to be less anxious and relax more, striving to be the best parents, communicating more to improve our marriage, and trying to give back when we can. Personally, you would like to make more family traditions, advance in your career, and just have more fun. I would love to eventually have one more child and then to foster children. 

Only God knows what the next year of marriage will bring. I hope that among all the bad in the world right now, that it will begin to shift to only good for everyone on this planet. Also, that the good that comes from our family will continue forward. I love you all!

Em

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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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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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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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in memory of bridget

It is with absolute sadness that I write today that my beautiful soul of a sister-in-law passed away. I cannot imagine what it will be like without her. She was always there when we went to visit Geoffrey’s family, and came to every event and occasion that we invited her to. She was one of Remy’s favourite people, and had already spoiled Wilder rotten in the few months that she knew him. We will certainly continue to always talk about her and keep her memory alive.

Here is a snippet of Bridget’s short but full life, as taken from her memorial card:

“Bridget was an A+ student throughout her school years and received a scholarship to the U of S. She worked very hard on continuing her education via online learning and studied many different areas including Art, Environmental Science and Nutrition.

“As Bridget’s health began to fail she was less able to be away from their family home, so she developed her passion for horticulture … Bridget was very successful in planning small and large gardens on the farm and these became her haven of peace and tranquility.

“Bridget was addicted to the Food Network and spent many hours planning and preparing exotic meals and snacks … She would not miss the annual Taste of Saskatchewan food festival on Saskatoon’s riverbank and always tried as many new dishes as humanly possible.

“Bridget took some beautiful pictures and was so good at editing photography and creating movies that she was the extended families expert. She loved paper crafts, scrapbooking and making personal cards for every occasion and would send unique works of art to her relatives and friends … She had many pen pals all over the world that she kept in contact with through hand written letters.

“Bridget’s quiet and dry sense of humour kept everyone on their toes.

“In restaurants Bridget always took note of people who ate alone especially seniors or those who appeared to have less than her. She would pay for their meal anonymously. She always put everyone else first. She always stood up for the underdog and advocated and supported them. Bridget might have been small but she had a huge heart.

“The love of her life was her 3 year old niece Remy. Bridget had an amazing relationship with her, and Remy was very much in love with “Aunty B” as they spent time playing, crafting and laughing. Bridget’s life may have been short lived on earth but the lives she touched in her short time was awe-inspiring.

“Bridget struggled with her health since she was 5 years old. Her complicated medical condition was so rare; one doctor said that if the cause were ever discovered, they would probably name it after her … She was very strong willed and determined not to let any obstacles get in her way and had proven the doctors wrong many times.

“Bridget taught us so much; Love one another- Do not judge others- Be humble- Treat everyone with patience and kindness- Don’t dwell on what you can’t control- If it doesn’t help, don’t say it- Forgive each other and lastly- Consider organ donation, talk about it and let your family know your wishes.”

You can get a better sense of Bridget by visiting her colourful and creative blog here.

Rest in peace, Bridge. We miss you.

Emory

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