forest children

One rainy morning last week, we drove north for just under an hour and went to one of our favourite spots in the forest. There we explored.

I happened to grab my camera on our way out the door, and this is what I documented.

Saskatchewan, you are surprisingly and unassumingly beautiful.

Emory

Hello, Followers:
Blog // Instagram // Pinterest // Twitter

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

Hello, Followers:
Blog // Instagram // Pinterest // Twitter

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

Hello, Followers:
Blog // Instagram // Pinterest // Twitter

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

Hello, Followers:
Blog // Instagram // Pinterest // Twitter

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

Hello, Followers:
Blog // Instagram // Pinterest // Twitter

%d bloggers like this: