Photography

We’ve had a LOT of birthday party experience over the years, from bowling to trampolines to movies to art to Lego. Our new favourite party by far, though, is one hosted at the Ottawa Humane Society.

We all love animals, but Lucas has shown a real affinity for them. When he did a school project last year on “People In Your Neighbourhood” he chose our vet Heather Ann to profile, and every time I see a cute kitty video on Facebook, I make a note to save it and show it to him. We support the Ottawa Humane Society already as one of our preferred charities, and so hosting a birthday party there was an easy choice – all profits beyond the direct costs of the party are invested back into the OHS.

They did an amazing job with the party. All we had to do was show up! They provided decorations, cups and plates, napkins and cutlery, and even candles. Our party leader Stephanie was patient and knowledgeable, good with kids, and just the right personality to wrangle a few boys who might have been a wee bit overexcited. She introduced us to her friendly pet rat Phoebe, who was a definite hit with party-goers big and small.

A birthday party at the Ottawa Humane Society

A birthday party at the Ottawa Humane Society

A birthday party at the Ottawa Humane Society

First, we decorated our treat bags (Lucas looked up at me and said blissfully, “I didn’t know there would be art at my animal party!” as his worlds of happiness collided) and then the kids made doggie treats out of oats, flour and peanut-free nut butter. We chose the dog treat activity, but could have also made cat toys or hide-and-perch boxes for the shelter cats.

A birthday party at the Ottawa Humane Society

Then we went on a tour of the shelter, where we saw the animals waiting for adoption. There was a beautiful malamute that very nearly went home with Granny and Papa Lou, had his papers not said he would prefer a home without other dogs. I was really pleased that the kids got to go “behind the scenes” to learn about what the OHS does, and how they take care of the animals that come to the shelter. The highlight of the tour, though, was being allowed to pet the cats waiting for adoption.

A birthday party at the Ottawa Humane Society

A birthday party at the Ottawa Humane Society

A birthday party at the Ottawa Humane Society

I have to tell you, I was secretly pleased at how few animals we saw at the shelter. We’ve visited a few times before to pet the kitties, and always found dozens of cats waiting for homes, but there were just a few this weekend. In fact, while we were there two kittens and one dog were adopted. What a great lesson for the kids! What I didn’t point out to the kids was the family who were obviously surrendering their pet, as they brought in armloads of pet gear and left empty-handed and in tears. It must be heart-wrenching to work with the shelter, and I have so much admiration for the staff and volunteers.

After our tour, we had the usual party fun: cake, presents and loot bags. A giant cookie cake, in fact, baked at Lucas’ request by Beloved.

A birthday party at the Ottawa Humane Society

A birthday party at the Ottawa Humane Society

I can’t say enough good things about the Ottawa Humane Society or the party they helped us host for Lucas. He loved every minute of it and has already said that he wants his ninth birthday party to be at the OHS, too. And did you know they have camps for PD Days and March Break, too?

A birthday party at the Ottawa Humane Society

Happy birthday, Lucas! Thanks for having a birthday so we could have fun visiting the OHS!


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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.


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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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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?


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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.

#brothers


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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.

Boardwalk

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!


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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: 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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In which her photos travel to Norway, Germany, the UK, Russia and Taiwan, among other places

20 January 2016 Mothership Photography

Thanks to Facebook’s “On this day” feature, I was reminded that it was seven years ago today that I started my first Project 365. Yes, you read that right: SEVEN YEARS ago. Wow. Among other things, it serves as an awesome cautionary tale: you never know where your capricious whims might lead you. In my […]

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