Photos of the day: Lucas’s baptism

by DaniGirl on November 15, 2015 · 4 comments

in Lucas, Photo of the Day

You know how it is when you let something slide, and then you r-e-a-l-l-y let it slide, and then it’s too late and you’re embarrassed about how horribly you’ve let it slide and you’re past the point of redemption, so you lie awake agonizing about it but can’t bring yourself to do anything about it during daylight hours, so suddenly seven years have gone by and you STILL haven’t had your seven year old baptized? Yeah, that.

Once I finally (finally!) confronted my shame and talked to the church, I found them wonderful and welcoming, and not once did anyone scold me for letting Lucas reach the age of seven un-baptized. In fact, the only thing even remotely like castigation was the priest gently patting my cheek and saying, “come back to Church, child” when I confessed to him at our school’s summer picnic.

Since Lucas will be receiving the sacraments of baptism, reconciliation and first communion this year, and Simon will be receiving the sacrament of confirmation, we’ve been going to church a lot this year. You know what has really surprised me? How much I’ve grown to like it. I find attending mass with the boys a time of peace and calm in the week. I like the singing, and the time to reflect, and the sense of community.

Lucas’s baptism was a delightfully low-key and yet spiritual. The people I love most in the world were there, and there were several other families who also missed getting their kids baptized as infants. (Had I only known, I would have agonized a lot less!) And Lucas so loved the idea that he was dressed and ready for church before half the family was up, and took special care to wash his face and comb his hair so he’d be clean for Jesus.

Both our parish priest and my friends and family are quirky and have a healthy sense of humour, and the day was the perfect mix of community, sacred, and joyfulness. There were selfies with his godparents:

Lucas's baptism

But there were also more solemn moments.

Lucas's baptism

And do you know how you’ve chosen the two most perfect people in the universe to be your third child’s godparents? When they gift him with, I kid you not, a Minecraft version of the bible, old and new testament.


In a way, I feel like maybe we were meant to wait, so this lovely day could unfold as it did, because I really can’t think of a more perfect way to celebrate Lucas and our family’s fledgling reacquaintance with the church. Huh, who would have guessed it? :)


When this family mentioned they had a beautiful carpet of yellow leaves in their backyard, I wanted to make sure I included them in at least some of the portraits. I love this time of year! The leaves were a gorgeous golden yellow that served as a lovely backdrop for a truly adorable family.

family in the leaves

It took a little while to get the girls to warm up to me, but I think in the end I won them over. They both have the most exquisite blue eyes and porcelain doll skin, and they were sweet with just the perfect hint of sass. You can see it in this photo, can’t you?

family in the leaves 2

I never would have guessed that such a big part of getting good photos is getting to know the people you are photographing, and what a delightful part of the job it is. :)

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We had a great time today out at the Lime Kiln Trail with not one, not two, not three but four parts of an extended family for portraits – seventeen people in all. We were all a little worried about the weather, but with a little flexibility, a little luck and a lot of good humour, we managed to squeeze our portrait session into the very best part of the day.

Cousins in a tree

Nine kids between the ages of three and 13? No problem when there is a most excellent climbing tree nearby!

I hope your day was even half as much fun as mine was! 😉

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There’s been a lot of coverage in the media this week of 24 Sussex Drive, the Prime Minister’s official residence. Did you know that the history of 24 Sussex Drive is linked directly with Watson’s Mill here in Manotick?

Watson's Mill

The mill was built in 1860 by partners Moss Kent Dickinson and Joseph Currier. Shortly after it was built, Joseph Currier met his second bride-to-be, Anne Crosby, in Lake George, New York. She had never been to Manotick, and after their January 1861 wedding and month-long honeymoon, he brought her home to celebrate the Mill’s first year of operation. The very day she arrived, tragedy struck: as she was ascending the stairs to the second floor of the mill, her long, hooped crinoline got caught one of the turbines powered by the river, and she was flung against a support post and killed instantly. They say her spirit still haunts the mill.

Currier never set foot in the Mill nor Manotick again. He went on to become a Member of Parliament, and eight years later married his third wife, the granddaughter of Philemon Wright. He commissioned a house be built for her as a wedding gift, and called it Gorffwysfa, Welsh for “place of rest.” The address? 24 Sussex Drive.


Ever since we moved to Manotick, one of our favourite family traditions has been our autumn trip to Miller’s Farm to pick our Halloween pumpkins. I don’t know whether it’s the October light or the fact that the boys genuinely love the excursion, but there are always fun photos to be found.

I particularly like this one: which one is the jack-o-lantern with the gap-toothed smile?

Pumpkin picking 2015-2

Pumpkin picking 2015-4

Pumpkin picking 2015-6

He’s almost as tall as his dad, and can carry his own (ridiculously large) pumpkin.

Pumpkin picking 2015-3

They’re still pretty patient about posing for me. And cute, to boot!

Pumpkin picking 2015-5

Pumpkin picking 2015-7

Pumpkin picking 2015-8

We interrupt this post for a flashback to 2011:

302:365 The boys in the Pumpkin House

Oh my goodness! Just a few changes in four years, right? Sigh. Some things don’t change, though. The boys went to play parkour on the hay bales while I entertained myself taking photos of not-them with my fish-eye lens.

Pumpkin picking 2015-10

Pumpkin picking 2015-12

And since I’m searching the archives, here’s another pumpkin trio — from 2009!

271:365 The cutest pumpkins in the patch

I am grateful to have such sweet boys to indulge me, for family traditions, and for this blog to archive my memories and share them with you. :)


Photo(s) of the day: Autumn abstracts

by DaniGirl on October 24, 2015 · 1 comment

in Photo of the Day

Although one never really gets tired of taking photographs of beautiful autumn leaves, sometimes it’s good to find new ways to approach them and stretch one’s creativity. I took these photos with a slow shutter while moving my camera slightly (or not so slightly) so the autumn trees are intentionally blurred and rendered somewhat abstract.

autumn abstracts-2

I happen to be a reasonably literal person without formal art training, so it’s hard for me to evaluate what makes an abstract painting work. I can tell you that they have elements that most photography books will tell you are pleasing: repetition of pattern, rhythm, motion. The colours and tones are pleasing. In two of the three, it’s quite clear that you’re seeing an abstraction of trees, and it’s not hard to guess with the third what you are seeing.

autumn abstract

Still, I’m not sure. Are these good? I think they’re interesting, at least. If they made you pause for a second and study them, wonder about them, then that’s good, right? But what story do they tell?

autumn abstracts-3

Hmm. Art. The more I know, the more I feel like I have so much left to learn. What do you think?

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Photo of the day: Another spectacular autumn morning in Manotick

21 October 2015 Photo of the Day

Really, do I need to say anything more? Oh autumn, you are so brief, and so blazingly beautiful…

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Photo of the day: Autumn glory on the Rideau Canal

19 October 2015 Photo of the Day

A few days ago, I posted a beautiful (if I do say so!) image of autumn leaves reflected in my end of the Rideau River, up near Watson’s Mill. Here’s a shot of the downtown end of the river, or more specifically, the Rideau Canal. Golden and amazing, right? It’s like a parting gift from […]

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Photo(s) of the day: Matt and Jasmine got married!

18 October 2015 Mothership Photography

Even though I’m a hopeless romantic and love everything about weddings, I don’t photograph too many of them. Weddings, especially big weddings, are terribly intimitading – long, elaborate and stressful affairs that tend to go on long into the night. However, when Matt and Jasmine asked me to take pictures at their courthouse wedding, I […]

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Photo of the day: A rainbow over the Rideau Canal

16 October 2015 Life in Ottawa

It’s dark this time of year when I leave for work, but light creeps into the sky as I make my way downtown. On this particular morning, I had a feeling that sunrise would be spectacular – even before the sun broke the horizon, I was intrigued by the textures of the clouds that mostly […]

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