Friday, October 29, 2010

365 / Day 91 ~ Positive Changes

Again, this week has whirred by and I haven't managed to stay true to the project yet again. I have decided to dedicate this space to random moments in my life, little things and some of our family adventures in the Black household. I want to keep my photography work separate from my more personal blogs anyway so it works. So what have we been up to, or myself more specifically?

I have some exciting news! I finally did it...I joined the gym! Over 4 years and 2 children later and I have not really attempted a single structured work out. After Abby was born I tried to do a stroller fit class. 6 weeks after a c-section was a bit too soon despite my enthusiasm and I was so discouraged when I could barely muster half a sit-up. I also tried a mommy and me aerobics class when Abby was 3 months old. That experience had me running, not literally. I have never taken dance classes as a child and I must have looked hilarious trying to keep up with all the steps and routines. I was always a few steps behind, extremely uncoordinated and Abby was the biggest little one in the group that kept slumping over asleep in her carrier. So, after two classes, I hold my head in shame on both counts of not returning to either.

As for the gym, the last time I officially had a workout was a couple of weeks before we found out we were blessed with my sweet little Abigail. I was feeling ill with the flu that was going around work. I wrote it off. When I found out I was pregnant, less then a week later I was in the hospital with a ruptured Ovarian cyst. Both Abby and myself were close to not making it and the doctor was truly amazed that she fought to be here and continue to grow strong and healthy inside me. He did an amazing job with the surgery. I was out of commission afterward though and the thought of exercising was furthest from my mind as the pregnancy progressed. Despite having always been very slender, I gained 70lbs with my pregnancy with Abby and had people really shocked at my size at my work. I also developed gestational diabetes which is rare from I have been told for someone with a slender build. I gained 40lbs with Madison knowing I was at risk. I still got gestational diabetes but knew to monitor my eating right from the start. That is hard to do when one has a severe sweet tooth! Serves me right for gorging on sweets all my life without shame and rarely seeing side effects other then cavities or pimples...or crazy mood swings.

Why now? Well, since the weather has cooled down quite a bit and we have been inside the house more I have noticed being short of breath going up the stairs or even walking to drop Abby off at school. I have been having pretty scary chest pains for a few months now. I actually spent an evening in the ER a couple of months ago for fear that it was something worse then it was. Thankfully the tests were fine. Being at home and not exercising can do pretty horrible things over time. I am active, don't get me wrong. Running around after the kids has helped keep me relatively slim but my morning walks have slowed down with the weather and I have noticed a big change. Another reason is to clear my mind. I did a Yoga photo session with a really remarkable women recently and just chatting with her and seeing her peaceful aura and friendly demeanor really inspired me. I have been meaning to do something for awhile but talk is talk and doing something about it is entirely different. So far I have gotten a couple of work outs in and have a new zest for life already and look forward to the next workout even with the pain I am feeling today from waking up some muscles I forgot about the other night.

I am starting to focus on the positive things and help nurture my children and their zest for learning and life with fresh eyes. Starting my daughter in JK this fall has taught me a lot about myself and those around me that I haven't had to encounter in awhile since being at home with the kids. My shyness can be overwhelming at times and I almost feel as though I am the one who is the new kid at school in a sea of parents and care givers dropping little ones off. I have always had challenges with being in situations where I don't know anyone but am very rusty having been at home since a few weeks before delivering Madison who will be two very soon. Two years is a long time to be away from working out in the world with other adult human beings. Even with my photo sessions with new people I get very nervous just before I go out to meet new families or couples. The fear disappears immediately after a few minutes as my photography sessions are more intimate and more my element since I am in the mindset to create. I love the challenge and the desire is there but this whole school thing is quite different. It has me wondering, do I need to get back out in the work force? I think the gym is a good start for now ;).

So here is to a new beginning, or chapter so to speak! Wish me luck and send some encouraging vibes my way to help keep me on this track. I know I will need it! My sister has told me it only takes 21 days to make this lifestyle a habit and I am committed. Poor Matt has been trying all along to motivate me to go and like anyone with a bad habit or addiction, it has to be me or you to actually do something about it and make our own mind up about changing things. Oh, we are also getting rid of cable TV! Now that is a habit I would love to get out of our house! Oh, I almost forgot a photograph....can't forget to include one of those being a photographer and all =). Here is a snap of a festive snack I prepared for Abby to take with her to school. The carved out orange pumpkin was inspired by Jamie Schultz, a fellow photographer that has been sharing some of her healthy lunches on FB. I filled her pumpkin with strawberries and raspberries. I was hoping to get this posted sooner in case someone wanted to try it this week but got busy. Hopefully I will have some more to share from this weekends Halloween fun.

Have a fun and safe Halloween everyone!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

365/ Day 90 ~ My little Artiste!

Abby started working on this picture before bed last night and this morning she was so inspired to finish what she started that as soon as she got dressed she couldn't wait to get back to it. My little artiste!! Her vision was inspired by a photo of a dinosaur eating a rice crispy square treat. I see it ;). She loves using bright colours close together when she draws and colours pictures. Having an artistic background I have really been trying to avoid teaching her to choose certain colours that match objects yet and colouring inside lines. I want her to find her own voice and vision. I know with school, this will change but in the mean time, I am enjoying seeing her visions of brightly coloured objects take shape and her pride that goes along with each work she completes.

365 / Day 90

365 / Day 90

Monday, October 25, 2010

365 / Day 89 ~ A little toe jam anyone?

I came around the corner from the kitchen to find both girls sitting side by side, both sucking on their big toes. Ewww. I guess since Abby is not allowed anywhere near a soother that she has been sneaking from her little sister every chance she gets, she has taken to her big toe?! Madison loves to do everything her big sister does naturally.

365 / Day 89

Sunday, October 24, 2010

365 / Day 88 ~ Back on track

So last week was just a crazy busy week for me. I had 2 sessions with one being broken up into two separate days, so I guess you could say 3. The full moon tends to reek havoc amongst me and my girls as well. You know the saying, "It must be a full moon." well, that holds particularly true here and I know there is a lot of merit to it. The tides are affected, animals, plants, etc. Some months I notice more the others, but combine that with a busy schedule and voila, a crazy week of moments where I don't quite feel me anymore. You may think 3 sessions isn't much, but when operating a business PT to be at home with young children who are the FT job, it is overwhelming. At present I limit myself to no more then 4 a month to be able to focus on my family and really try to spread them out over the month if possible.

Thankfully my husband and I had planned a much needed getaway together over the weekend away from the girls. Well, one night actually, but it was perfect and just what we needed. We were planning originally on going to New York city for our 5 year anniversary but after pricing out a weekend there, decided we could plan a trip for the whole family for a week in the Caribbean in the next couple of years for the same price and actually get to relax. New York City can wait. I don't think I want to be that far away from my girls yet anyway. The thought of anything happening and me being unable to reach them for hours scares me. Here are some photos from our trip to Jackson's point on Sunday before heading home.

365 / Day 88

365 / Day 88

365 / Day 88

Saturday, October 23, 2010

365 / Interrupted

This week has not been a success with this project...I have an artistic soul. If something is off kilter, I can't function as I normally do and need to regroup. I have to learn to say no and stick to it and then not feel bad after. I have taken this week to pause my project. I was disappointed with myself when I missed two days due to being busy with my girls and catching up with session editing, etc. I knew this project would be harder then it seems. I am thinking of changing the project into something with less pressure on me and my busy schedule. I realize that I am not super mom and can not do everything. I have my down days and need those as much as I need the days where I feel like everything falls into place perfectly. I wish that every day were like that but know it is not possible unless I lived in a perfect little bubble and that would just be plain boring.

Until I get things sorted and feel more organized, I think I will put this on hold. Fall is always the most busy time of year for photographers. Although I am only taking on business PT at this point to be with my girls, this time of year is also the most busy for school which is a new element to our family, family gatherings, the holidays and also the colder weather looming over us, threatening to descend upon us any day now. I feel like hibernating along with all the animals or migrating south to seek out the warmth.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

365 / Day 87 ~ Another Busy Saturday

Today was extremely busy. First stop was Abby's dance class in the morning, while she was in class we made a quick shopping spree trip with Madison. After dance finished up we stopped in for awhile at the blood donor clinic in honor of Libby John's. You can read more about her story here. I managed to talk Matt into donating for the first time too, her story touched him so much. My children and I had the pleasure of meeting Libby and her mom at a park right before she was diagnosed,which makes it so much more real and so heartbreaking. What her parents are doing to honor their child is remarkable. Out of something negative they are doing something so positive that will help save so many lives.

The last time I donated was almost 10 years ago and was told to wait a few years and pounds more should I try again as I passed out midway through donating and didn't have enough for them to use. It is not that I fear the needle and the act of the process, I have always been very petite and probably didn't have enough to eat before hand. Well...OK, I have to admit the needle does make me nervous. I did manage to give enough of my blood to make it worth while but had to put a stop before they did as the room was spinning. I had to rest for longer then everyone who donated near me and was so embarrassed. The girls really enjoyed their time at the clinic. They had lots of fun things for them to do from colouring, balloon animals and face painting. After I donated I got to see what Abby decided to be. See photo below. I don't know where she learned about vampires but she has been talking about them the past couple of weeks and chose to be suiting for a blood donor clinic. We stopped in at home for naps...the morning must have been busy, Abby never naps. Once the girls awoke we headed off to my friends sons 2nd birthday party. The girls had a blast! My busy day was followed by catching up on some photo editing and emails once my girls fell asleep.

365/ Day 87 ~ Zonked

Friday, October 15, 2010

365 / Day 86 ~ Spaghetti lunch

Just an ordinary day full of nerves for me under the surface. I snapped a couple of random shots of the girls enjoying their spaghetti lunch. They are just like I was when I was a kid. Everything had to be so plain and bland. No sauce on their spaghetti, but they sure do love parmesan cheese. As for my some know, today was the big day to announce my first year anniversary contest winners. I had no idea how nerve racking doing this type of contest would be on my end. The past few days have had me on edge, checking in with my email, my FB page, etc. all throughout the day whenever I had a moment. It was a big success and I am glad I did it but will be doing things differently should I try another promotional contest again. I have really found that you can't please everyone. I tried, really, but I am not perfect and I am one person running this show with a young family to focus on.

365 / Day 86 Spaghetti Lunch

365 / Day 86

Thursday, October 14, 2010

365 / Day 85 ~ There is sun after rain...

My day was thrown off by my husband's announcement that he was working from home today. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy having him around, but the routine with the kids goes out the window. We had to make ourselves scarce in the morning so I took the girls to see Toopy and Binoo perform at the Oshawa Center before dropping Abby off at school for the afternoon. Here is a sunset after all the gloomy rain we had during the day. I loved the way the suns' rays glistened off the rain drops on the cedar trees.

365 / Day 85 Sunset Thursday

365 / Day 85 ~ Sunset Thursday

365 / Day 85 Sunset Thursday

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

365 / Day 84 ~ A little Halloween decoration

I found this gorgeous black kitty sunning itself in our garden this morning. It seriously looked like a Halloween decoration when it was lying down. Both girls were so excited to see it and upset when it ran off...I don't blame it, my camera looks like it could be a weapon.
365 / Day 84 ~ A little Halloween Decoration

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

365 / Day 83 ~ Costume Modeling

I took a trip to Value Village to check out their costume selection. Abby insisted on getting a princess fairy costume and it was too cute to resist. As soon as we got home both girls crept upstairs. I came up to see what they were up to and they were both modeling costumes. It sure was cute to see them both so excited and having so much fun!

365 / Day 83 ~ Halloween Dressup

365 / Day

365 / Day

365 / Day

Monday, October 11, 2010

365 / Day 82~ Happy Thanksgiving!

I got a call this morning from my dear friend who was due to have her baby...her voice sounded way chipper and less out of breath then the past few weeks we have spoke on the phone. I was so happy to hear that she had her baby the night before. I was able to give her a quick visit before heading out to my parents for thanksgiving dinner. Here is a photo that her husband took of me with my camera, post processed by me (nice back lighting btw). It seriously took my breath away. Less then a day old and she was so alert and looks like she is smiling at me here. Please don't mind the messy hair on me, I rarely get a chance to blow dry my hair these days.

365 / Day  82 ~ Lucky Girl

Here are some more photos I took at my parents place in their backyard while enjoying some peace before my family joined us. I love the colours that arrive with autumn in Canada.

Introducing Serendipity, my dad's wonderful world of whatever happens happens!







My dad, the philosopher and nature lover. Thanks for helping give me the gift of appreciation for all things to do with nature and the arts.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

365 / Day 81 ~ Giving Thanks

We enjoyed a visit and a lovely dinner with Grandma and Grandpa Black tonight. I forgot my camera before heading out. This weekend was a whirlwind for us and with two young girls and packing a whole house up every where we go, it is bound to happen. It was nice to relax and enjoy the company of family though.

I did manage to snap some cute photos of the girls in the morning though. They were snuggling on the couch together. Here is one of my favorites. I give my most thanks for being blessed with two gorgeous and amazing little girls. xoxoxox

365 / Day 81 ~ Sisters

Saturday, October 9, 2010

365 / Day 80 ~ Thanksgiving family outings begin

I am back tracking my days and trying to get up on my 365 posts. With thanksgiving weekend last weekend, lots of family visits and my first year in business contest underway, I have had little time to focus on my 365. I have been snapping photos each day, no worries there, but my days are blending together in my memory. This project is harder then I anticipated with life's ebbs and flows. So, my first post from our very busy, Canadian Thanksgiving weekend! Family gathering number one...a long drive for a short visit due to my husbands reffing schedule. It was great to see my sister and her family settled in their new place!

365 / Day 80 ~ Thanksgiving Visits

Friday, October 8, 2010

365 / Day 79 ~ Purple

Here are a couple of photos from our garden of my favorite fall flowers in bloom this week.



Thursday, October 7, 2010

365 / Day 78 ~ Life is a blur

Ever have those days that just whir by and you forget what you did and the next moment it is gone. My days seem to be blurring together lately. With fall came a busy schedule with my daughter starting JK, a couple of lessons for the girls, sessions for my business and the light sinking earlier in the sky at night. The weeks seem to be speeding by. I snapped this by accident during a session on Thursday night of the ground. It seems to suit my mood this week. A blur. The session was a lovely break though. I got to document a yoga session in the serenity of nature. It was very relaxing and a nice break away from the everyday.

365 / Day 77

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

365 / Day 77 ~ Our family

My daughter has started to draw smiley faces on her drawings to my relief. Before she would draw a straight line for the mouths which made me wonder if she thought we were all sad or angry around here all the time. Can you guess who mom and dad are? The funny thing is, she pointed to the largest head in her picture and said that was me and the second largest was her daddy. Hmmm...I guess I am the more powerful force in this household ;).

365 / Day 76

Monday, October 4, 2010

365 / Day 76 ~ Sleeping Dragon

On Friday, while I was picking my daughter up at school I happened to see an unusual sight. The whole wall was covered in dragon flies sunning themselves. Today, I looked out and saw this little guy sleeping on the girls little tyke toy car. It didn't seem bothered at all by my presence. I love dragon flies. They are such interesting insects and hold a bit of magic, much like a butterfly does with its name and appearance. The fact that it eats up those blood sucking nuisances helps too.

365 / Day 76

365 / Day 75 ~ Knox Pumpkin Patch

Today we enjoyed a birthday celebration at Knox Pumpkin Farm in Hampton. It was a perfect place to enjoy an afternoon with the kidlets this time of year. They had everything there from hay rides through the pumpkin patch, a corn field maze, pony rides, a tour in the barn and a great park all on sight. It is a wonderful spot and looks like it may be our families new annual fall tradition. Both girls were having so much fun there. Thank you to the family for hosting their sons birthday party there. We all had a blast helping him celebrate! Here are a couple of images from the fun...

Here is a turkey in time for our Canadian Thanksgiving holiday coming up next weekend...they really are kind of interesting looking. Madison was ecstatic to see it up close and personal and when it made the gobble gobble noises she squealed in excitement.

As soon as Madison saw the Moo cows she couldn't get over them and made mooing sounds for them.


The girls busy exploring the barn...

Madison taking me on the corn maze tour.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

365 / Day 74 ~ Newcastle Fall Fair

We spent time as a family this afternoon and went to the Newcastle fall festival with the girls. We enjoyed a visit with Grandma and Grandpa while we were there along with some face painting for Abby - Madison made strange and didn't want hers painted. Matt took both girls on the ferris wheel and Abby talked him into a ride on the swings which for the first part of the ride she was all smiles, unfortunately the ride was a bit too long and her giant smile turned into a giant frown that ended in a lot of throw up :(. Poor little one...I was getting a bit sickly just watching her go around after a couple of minutes.

I365 / Day 75

365 / Day 75

365 / Day 75

Friday, October 1, 2010

365 / Day 73 ~ Fall Goodness

I decided to get some wholesome exercise this afternoon. Raking leaves is one of those chores that I don't mind doing on a mild fall day. Abby was a great little helper. She enjoyed raking the leaves into piles to jump in under the condition that she helped me scoop them up into the brown bags. The yard was emerald green again in no time. It didn't last more then an hour after we managed to collect 3 big bags full but I felt amazing after the bit of exercise I did get.

365 / Day 71
I managed to make something yummy for my upcoming promo next week. This was a store bought, nicer looking item that I thought would make for a picture perfect back up. It was delicious and my face is going to pay for it in a couple of days in little blemishes. The girls surprisingly preferred the home baked, less attractive of the yummy deserts which will be featured on my photo blog on Tuesday, the fifth of October. Keep an eye out for that special post :).
365 / Day 72

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