Cheaton and Kiran: Pitt Lake, BC Engagement Photographer

 

Cheaton and Kiran are still working on planning their wedding, and wanted to get their engagement photos done as soon as possible to celebrate!! I didn’t get the chance to meet them before their photos, but I could tell how excited they were from Kiran’s phone calls!

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Both of them are currently living in different cities, and if the timing works out they get to spend one weekend a month together! I was so honored that they chose to spend one of their weekends together with me doing their photos!!

We went back and forth on locations for awhile. Kiran had seen some of my previous photos and knew of our mutual LOVE of the mountains!! We sent photos back and forth for a few weeks and finally decided on Pitt Lake! Neither of us had ever been before, but it came highly recommended from other photographers (seriously the local photography community here is amazing!) and google images! haha

The night we met was PERFECT! The sun was already starting to show off when we met, and we spent a good two hours exploring Pitt Lake and the surrounding area! We met the cutest puppy, and took some iphone photos for some canoers who headed in for the day! It was the best kind of exploring! Cheaton and Kiran were so easy to talk to, SOOO photogenic (which they swore they aren’t! hmmmm I think they lied!) and it felt like I had known them for years! Their goofy sides came out near the end, when I asked them to practice their first dance. Cheaton broke into this funky dance and had Kiren laughing so hard!! They first met through football, so they decided to end the night off with their jersey’s and some friendly tackles :)

Cheaton and Kiran it was SO amazing to hang out with you both!! :)

Volleyball Nationals – Calgary

The blog has been SO quiet! For those who follow my Instagram account will know already that I spent 10 days this month in Calgary!! It was a whirlwind of activity after activity and although it was a blast, I am glad to be home and slowed down a bit….for now anyways! A few people have asked why I was in Calgary, and it was for two reasons! The first reason was Calgary was the host city for the 2015 Volleyball Canada Nationals!!

Some of you may know already, but Marco and I first met 11 years ago while playing Volleyball at the University of the Fraser Valley. Since graduating, both of us have been wanting to get into coaching and back into Volleyball again somehow.

Last year we reached out and coached a U-13 girls team in Chilliwack and had SO MUCH FUN. We moved to Abbotsford last Fall and we hoped to help out with a team in some aspect again this year. Marco went to the first meeting for the club with some warnings from me…..”don’t commit to anything yet”, “remember how much work it was?”, “make sure they know we have two kids and can’t take on a team just us.”

Marco walked in the door a good 3 hours later grinning. “We got the U-18 girls team!” haha my reaction was “WHAT?!” Apparently the “don’t commit to anything until we get a chance to talk it over first” comment hadn’t lasted! Not going to lie, I was NERVOUS! What the heck were we going to do with a U-18 team! Also not gonna lie again, that age group intimidated me a bit! I originally went to College to be an elementary school teacher for the sole reason that highschool kids intimidated me! Marco’s enthusiasm quickly spread and I immediately called one of my best friends, and fellow UFV alumni (and highschool teacher!) to ask her to assistant coach with us! She was in!! It was a go!

Tryouts were INTENSE for us! We all got clipboards, the girls had numbers written on their legs corresponding with their names on our boards, and we got to walk around and make notes. The parents watching up in the bleachers didn’t make it any less overwhelming! Once we relaxed into it though, it was so fun getting to watch these girls play and choose the ones we wanted to make up our team!

We had SUCH a fun season. Not only were these girls amazing players, but they are some of the BEST girls I have ever met! They taught me so much over the course of the season. Mostly all the cool words and phrases….bae, on fleek, sauce me that water….I definitely felt every single one of my 30 years some practices, especially when I got to practice with them and didn’t recover quite as quick as I had in college!! They also discovered a few weeks into the season, what I do for work and that I write a blog!! A few of them came to practice saying they had spent hours reading it the night before…followed by “when will we get to be on your blog?!” (So this is for you guys!!)

We ended our season off with a trip to Calgary for Nationals! It was a big trip to wrap our heads around! Two of the girls had never been on a plane, and Marco and I were trading in our two young kids for 13 seventeen and eighteen year olds!!! It was like having 13 younger sisters for 5 days!

They played amazing! It was an overwhelming event. It was one of the largest single sport events ever held in Canada, with approximately 10,000 athletes and 800 teams across 3 venues. There were 14 year olds all the way up to the World League men’s and women’s teams! It was such an amazing experience to be a part of, even for us coaches. You realize how small the volleyball community is when you start recognizing coaches, and refs back from our college years! I loved watching the girls take it all in!

It was the best they had played all season!! I was so proud watching them come together as a team and play their hearts out!!

So before I get too sappy….Jenn, Brynna, Karissa, Caroleena, Kiren, Verity, Mackenzie, Gabe, Cassidy, Kailene, Michaela, Katie and Kennedy here’s your blog post!! I LOVED every single minute of coaching you all!! I am so proud of your season, how you bonded as a team, and how you represented the club at Nationals!! You made us laugh, you made us so frustrated (I mean c’mon you put our mattress in the bathroom!), you made us insanely proud and I feel so glad to have gotten to been a part of your lives!! I miss you all already!! Wednesday and Sunday nights just won’t be the same without getting to see your faces!! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep in touch!! (and you 17’s COME BACK NEXT YEAR! We couldn’t imagine coaching anyone else!)

LOVE YOU GIRLS! :)

And here’s a few photos from our Nationals journey!!  WOOPA!!! ;)

 

Note how the male coaches spent the ONE HOUR flight vs the female coaches!! haha

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Don’t ever leave your phone unattended!! It was selfie central! :) 

Check out the two in the mirror :)

The girls thought it would be HILARIOUS to prank me and Marco. So front desk GAVE THEM A KEY TO OUR ROOM! haha seriously without ID or anything!!

And they put our mattress in our teeny tiny bathroom. And then left a note “Love you guys!!”

We got to see World League Men’s Canada vs Cuba! Such amazing Volleyball!!! Canada won in 3!!

Me and Care scored a Charger for our rental car!!

Some warm up in the street with a mini volleyball! haha they crack me up!



Thank you girls for SUCH an amazing season!! LOVE YOU! :)


Paul and Britney: Chilliwack River BC Engagement Photographer

Britney and I tossed around ideas for a location for a few months. She said she wanted to go on an adventure and I was obviously up for that!! None of the ideas seemed to fit though, until Britney suggested the Chilliwack River…she grew up fishing there and the idea of a sentimental adventure was PERFECT!

We walked along the river, climbing over washed up logs and tree stumps and Paul and Brit trusted me enough to be truly themselves. The first photo below is the VERY first photo I took of the entire session!! Usually it takes awhile to warm up, but Brit and Paul dove right in, and took a risk! They both have goofy personalities, and are quick to laugh and tease each other. They are up for any adventure and Brit’s bold laugh lit up the photos the entire time. It would be impossible not to fall in love with these two within minutes of meeting them!

Brit is one of those women who I admire in every way! She isn’t afraid to be herself, show off her vibrant personality and take every opportunity to laugh and enjoy herself! She had no problem, mid engagement session, hugging Paul in the “backpack hug” and giving him a little hump. (I couldn’t stop laughing when she did this! I do this to Marco ALL the time whenever he does the dishes, or is ironing his shirts for work…which probably isn’t the safest, but that’s another post haha)

The only word I can think of to describe Paul and Brit together is vibrant! He makes her light up and laugh so easily, and she ADORES him. He made sure to grab her hand whenever they were walking together, and make sure she was always doing okay. I can only picture their marriage being full of food fights in the kitchen, tickle fights that turn into something more, and so much laughter!

I can’t WAIT for their Mexican themed wedding this summer at La Punta Norte in Summerland!!

 

Adam and Ashley: Sunrise Abbotsford Engagement Photos

I could tell from Ashley’s first facebook messages that we were going to get along fabulously. She uses lots of exclamation points, gave me tons of information about her and Adam, and her excitement for life was so obvious!!

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After throwing around some dates to try to get a sunset session in, I suggested a sunrise session! Not only are winter sunrises GORGEOUS, but the major plus is they happen at 7am. Rather than the Summer’s 4:30am sunrises!! BONUS!

We met along one of my favourite walking trails and again I wondered why I am not more of a morning person! It was so quiet and peaceful! We had timed the sunrise a bit too early, so we snuck in a few photos, then talked….about wedding planning, work, life, etc. These two make you feel like instant friends! Ashley even brought me wine and chocolate so she was a BFF from the start ;)

Ashley is so vibrant! Her huge grin rarely left her face, and everytime she talked Adam’s eyes would light up as he cuddled her. We spent the rest of the morning walking around the trail and exploring off the trail in the grass. When the sun rose it was AMAZING to watch everything go from purple to pink to orange. And these two just soaked it up and kept on cuddling!

There were hugs all around when we left!! It was SO great to meet you Adam and Ashley!!! I had the BEST time :)

Choose Adventure!

Since launching the new “brand” I’ve had a few people ask why I am so adventurous all of a sudden when I didn’t seem to be before? Why it seems I all of a sudden enjoy hiking and the outdoors, and why before I never seemed to embrace doing these things? Why this “risk going too far” attitude never came through before? I understand! It has definitely been a newer part of my life recently,  I even doubted using adventurous as part of my branding a few times because of how popular it is right now amongst photographers and other forms of media. But I assure you it’s always been a part of who I am.

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The honest truth is I am happiest when I choose adventure. My birthday is the perfect example of this. It was a gray, wet and chilly day. Trust me, that couch was calling to me LOUDLY. The idea of cuddling up with Marco on the couch and binge watching Netflix with coffee and chocolate all day was so much more appealing at 7am than doing a hike outside with a forecast of heavy rain! A thousand excuses to not go were going through my head. “It’s supposed to rain.” “Maybe we could go next week when the weather will be nicer?” “What if we waited and went in the summer when we could add in a swim?” “What if we aren’t back in time?” or the best one “think of how amazing an entire kid free day on the couch would be?! Cuddling! Catching up on our TV shows?! Let’s do that instead! pleeeeeeeaaaase?”

The excuses filled my head to the point where I almost voiced them. I am so glad I bit my tongue and kept them in….because that was one of my favourite days of the year so far. It was the most fun I’ve had with Marco in awhile! It was one of my best birthdays, and I gained memories that I wouldn’t have gotten from spending the entire day on the couch.

I realized something profound over the last few months, happiness isn’t something that just happens. It’s not something that just hits you upside the head when you least expect it. It’s something you have to CHOOSE everyday. It’s something you have to actively pursue. (Remember the movie!?) It’s something that sometimes goes against what you actually want to do, but you still do it anyways because you know it will make you happy. It seems backwards, doing something you don’t really want to do at the time, but you do it anyway because it WILL bring happiness.

To me that’s living an active lifestyle that has me outdoors lots, exploring new places and trying new things. It’s choosing adventure, it’s risking going too far, it’s making the decision to go do something other than just staying home. It is freakin hard some most days, and somedays the couch does win, and I am learning that’s also okay! It’s glorious on those days when I am tired and grumpy. But that can’t be my life….and it slowly was becoming my life. The stay at home, never doing anything, giving into my excuses of “let’s do it another day” and then unhappiness DID hit me upside the head and I realized the ONLY way to get out of it was to change, to make better decisions, to make harder decisions, and to do the things that I didn’t really want to do.

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It is still a struggle every single day to choose to do what I know will make me happy, over what’s easiest, what’s most convenient. (#thestruggleisreal ;) But I believe through and through that happiness is worth it. I believe that I am worth having the life I dream of and I want to live in such a way that will inspire my kids to grow up knowing they can do the same.

I know I have many days where the couch wins and where I let the excuses be voiced, but my goal is to make those days fewer and further between and to embrace them when they do happen! There is only so much adventuring one can have before brain, and body need a rest.  It’s all part of living life fully….the mentality that wherever you are, you’re ALL THERE.

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