Photo of the day: Contentment

by DaniGirl on February 4, 2016 · 0 comments

in Lucas, Photo of the Day

It was early in the morning. I was reading my newspaper and drinking coffee, and I looked up and found them like this:

Plugged in

She’s happy to cuddle, he’s happy to play, I’m happy to get an adorable photo. Everybody wins.


Photo of the day: Simon is 12

by DaniGirl on February 2, 2016 · 1 comment

in Photo of the Day, Simon

Simon is twelve! To celebrate, we had a birthday dinner at Lone Star:

Simon's birthday

While I’ve been making a lot of black and white photos lately because I’m interested in the expressive qualities of monochrome, in this case I just needed to overcome the nearly insurmountably wicked colour casts from the purple and orange neon lighting. This is what it looked like straight out of the camera:

Simon's birthday SOOC

(I love Granny and Papa Lou smiling off to the side!)

Note to self: no portrait sessions at Lone Star. Great food, terrible lights! Also, did you know you can bring your own cake and they’ll bring it out? Great service, and a very happy birthday dinner. :)

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A love letter to Simon, Age 12

by DaniGirl on February 1, 2016 · 0 comments

in Simon

My dearest, darling Simon, you are twelve years old today!

Simon, you are bright, quick, quirky and good-hearted. Despite your age, you are my teenager, pushing boundaries and taking miles when inches are given. And you get away with it because you could charm the scales off a snake.

Simon in the snow

You love tacos, Lone Star, hamburgers, Subway, pasta, and anything that your dad bakes. You are interested in cooking and baking, but mostly you are just developing an appreciation for good food well prepared. I’m mindful of how much more open-minded you are to all foods now, but especially to the fruit and vegetable variety.

Fun at Brackley Beach, PEI National Park

These are the words that make up your world: Minecraft, groupchat, Skype, YouTube. Your favourite gift at Christmas this year was your gamer headphones, and your iPad is an extension of your arm. I chase you off one screen and find you on another. You’ve proven your comfort with technology at school, though, and seem to have become one of the go-to guys when the teachers need help with technology.

Google Cardboard via View-Master = AWESOME!

Simon, you are thoughtful and empathetic, and always seem keenly attuned to the feelings of others. Except when it comes to your little brother. You have a wicked sense of humour, and you are fun to banter and kibitz with. You’re also a great source of all the gossip in Grade 6, and a goodly portion of the gossip from the other grades, too! Your circle of friends is large, but your squad is tight: Dylan, Mason, Nathan, Ben, and Antonio are still your bros, but I think many of the kids in your class would consider you their friend.

Hockey day in Canada-13

Math, science, languages, history – you don’t seem to have trouble with any subject, and you excel at math and science (even though you do protest that you don’t like science, to my great chagrin.) It’s not unusual to see an A+ on your projects and tests, and you take obvious care and responsibility with your school work. You took another semester of piano this year, and played your recital on the grand piano. You find many ways to make us proud!

Lessons on a grand piano

You’ve shown a love and aptitude for basketball this year, and you’re enrolled in your third year of basketball through the city at MPS. Shortly after we saw the Globetrotters in action, you earned a spot on the school basketball team. Despite feeling less than well, you balanced early practices and a short job taking care of a neighbour’s dog and proved yourself to be dedicated and reliable. You even walked yourself to school in order to make it to early morning practices. And then you went on to score a “buzzy” at the basketball tournament!

Simon ball

You can be willful. You carried your winter jacket the entire day of our Christmas tree quest this year because you refused to wear it and I refused to let you leave it in the car. I’m sure in your life that stubborn streak will serve you well, but it will also put a few more grey hairs on my head between now and then.

Pumpkin picking 2015-4

This is your senior year in elementary school, and you’ve taken advantage of the many opportunities available for leadership and activities. You’ve dressed as the school mascot, acted as a peer counselor for younger students, made and sold duct-tape crafts to raise money for charity and earned your tickets to We Day. I love your enthusiasm for school activities and opportunities.

Simon bday

Simon, these love letters are easy to write, because you are easy to love. You make me laugh, you made me proud, and every now and then you make me crazy. You have so many new and exciting challenges coming up as you graduate from elementary school and move on to middle school this year, and I know it will be an amazing adventure for you. It’s wonderful watching you grow from a sweet child to a charming young man.


Happy birthday, my darling Simon! We do love you so!


I‘ve been thinking a lot about identity lately and this idea came to me when I was literally cleaning the mirror. “What if you could erase your reflection?”

The actual erasing was pretty easy to achieve, and the texture made it a little easier to express it as a more abstract concept rather than something to be taken literally. Sharing it is still more than a little scary, though, partly because it’s me (ugh, hate self-portraits) and partly because it’s a little more conceptual than where I usually go.

Out damn spot

What does it say to you? Do you see the story I’m telling? What do you think?


The boys still love to come out for walks to feed the chickadees. (They might tell you that it’s more “tolerate” than “love” but it’s my story and I’ll edit it to suit my narrative.) Now that they’re older, though, the novelty of simply having the chickadees eat the seeds out of their hands has worn off. Now, they’ve escalated chickadee feeding to a competition. Whomever gets the most chickadees to choose his seed wins.

Sibling rivalry

Hey, as long as it gets them out of the house and into the fresh air (and, ahem, in front of my camera) is fine with me.


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I took this almost a year ago, at the end of last winter. I originally had it in colour, and it was okay but didn’t do much for me. I was flipping through my archives thinking about black and white landscapes, and came up with this. I like the contrasty inky quality of it.


I like how the path on the boardwalk is the lightest tone in the image, which automatically draws the eye diagonally across the image, and I like the bit of texture in the sky from the clouds breaking up a bit in the upper right.

Makes me want to go for a walk at Mer Bleue again!


Photo of the day: “Caution! Door! May! Open!”

25 January 2016 Photo of the Day

Here’s the thing about photography: sometimes, I take pictures to capture and keep moments in time. Sometimes I take pictures to tell a story. Sometimes I take pictures to show how beautiful the world is. And sometimes, I take pictures purely to entertain myself. This was one of those times. This is on a parking […]

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Photo of the day: Lucas and the chickadee

25 January 2016 Lucas

Here’s the latest fad in winter fashion: chickadee seed hats. All the cool kids are wearing them! Feeding the chickadees in winter is always more fun. They’re hungry and more willing to come a little closer to even the twitchiest human to get some bird seed. (Don’t you love Lucas’ adorable red tuque? It’s cute […]

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Photo of the day: PD day lunch date

22 January 2016 Uncategorized

When you have more than one kid, it’s important to remember to spend time with each kid on his or her own. Today’s PD day provided an excellent opportunity for a lunch date with Lucas, and the crazy delicious light in Five Guys was almost as tasty as the salty, yummy fries. Hmmm, maybe today’s […]

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Photo of the day: Red chairs overlooking downtown

22 January 2016 Mothership Photography

I was at a conference this week and I brought my camera along, thinking of maybe a lunchtime walk on the Canal. Although I am really, really happy with my new job, and I really love my newly shortened commute, I do miss my lunchtime wanders downtown! I didn’t make it out for a lunchtime […]

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