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Our Family Portrait

As a photographer I’m usually behind the lens, so when it came time for me to decide on a Yule gift for my husband I thought that I have a family portrait done…  but a portrait of the non-photographic kind.  And right about this time, a fellow artist had shared that he was having some financial woes and could really use a few commissions.  His style was a perfect fit…  very heavy on line, graphic in nature with a grungy flare.  Ideal for an unusual and memorable family portrait.  So I sent a message off his way.

I have to admit, I’ve been dying to share the results of all our back and forth.  I think it’s pretty fabulous, but I had to wait until after Yule – as I couldn’t very well blab about my husband’s gift before he’d received it.  But now that the Solstice has come and gone?  I have to share!

Our Family Portrait - drawn by "gravitiational tim"

So, my thanks to Liam (aka gravitational tim) for all his work, and for his patience with my nit-picky perfectionist nature.  I’d say it was well worth it.  How many families have a portrait as cool as this one?  I’d venture to guess there aren’t many.  😉

The puppies are five weeks old today.

Well, today marks the puppies fifth-week-irthday.  Yep.  They are five weeks old today.  And while it’s never something you hear about well bred Chihuahuas, I’ll say it anyway…  They are getting SOOO big.  LMAO

Okay, so yes.  “Big” is relative.  But they are sooo much bigger now.  And they are running around.  Using the pee pads.  Giving kisses.  Climbing things. Wrestling.  Squeeking (they are trying to bark, but it comes out more like little squeeks).  They are way too adorable.

Today we took both Deedee and Alice for their first play date.  Granted, they were being held more than they were being played with, but that’s good for them too.  🙂  You won’t find a guy who adores tiny puppies more than my dad – and every Chihuahua who has ever been through our doors has made it’s way into his arms at some point.  Well…  every Chihuahua except Nico (but he was a special case).  LOL

Here are two quick snapshots I nabbed (I was too busy being a mother hen to snap more than a couple):

My younger sister Jewles holding Deedee the Chihuahua puppy.

Deedee and my sister, Jewles.

My Dad, just home from work, holding Alice our Chihuahua puppy.

Alice and my Dad.

Tomorrow = another day.
Another day = another playdate.
This time at my friend Yolanda’s place… where I will TRY to hover less, and try to photograph more. LMAO But I can’t promise anything.

Being that it’s Father’s Day…

I figured I’d try to keep on topic.  But I’m also going to try to be brief.  After working 13+ hour days from Friday through Saturday, and then being busy today too… well…  I’m wiped right out.

Today (after a photo shoot at the U of S) we headed to my parents place to celebrate Father’s day with my husband and my Dad.  It was a pleasant surprise to find my Grampa there too.  As I shared pictures of our puppies (who are now four weeks old) I realized that this might be the perfect opportunity to share the blog post I made in his honour.  So I did just that.

I tried not to spy, as Grampa read through my words.  But I noticed him tearing up, pulling out his old cloth hanky to wipe his eyes and quietly blow his nose.  Afterwards he took the laptop in to Grandma Joan (who was sitting in the other room playing a game on the Wii with my parents and siblings) so she could read it too.

Grampa came back into the kitchen, where I was sitting, and relayed a few memories from some of our camping trips when I was a wee thing.  I’m glad he got the chance to read it.  And of all the days he could have read it on, I’m glad it was today.

Grampa gave me an extra tight squeeze, and a kiss on the cheek when he left.  And Grandma Joan said she thought that it was a lovely thing I’d written about him.  It was a good Fathers Day.  🙂

Haven’t read my post about my Grampa?  Head on over HERE to do so.

So, here’s my thank you.  To my Dad, to my Grampa, to all the men out there who love, nurture, protect and respect their children.  Who give us the space we need to grow, but the guidance to do so safely.  Who are steadfast, true, and ever present – even when we (in the moment) may wish they weren’t.  Who hold us tightly in their hearts, and in their arms too.  To all of you, THANK YOU!  We wouldn’t be who we are without you.  You are appreciated, and what you do matters.  Happy Father’s Day!

It’s been a hard day.

Today has actually been a really hard day.  I’ve moved from being angry over this whole thing with the GPC to just being sad.  I can’t help it.  I feel I’ve let down so many folks.  The whole situation has made a liar out of me, and that’s not something I take lightly.

Because of being away, I’m behind in my work…  so I’m seriously busting my butt to get caught up.  Which means I’m tired too.

Then, I pick up the girlie from school only to find out that she has wrecked the hemp necklace and bracelet I gave her (that I had given her just that morning).  Now…  she didn’t do so from a negative place.  She took them apart so she could share the pretty flowered beads and semi-precious stones with her friends.  But that didn’t change the fact that it hurt my heart having her destroy something I gave her.  So we had to have a talk about how mommy-presents matter, and wrecking or giving away mommy-presents can hurt mommy….  which just added to the craptasticness of the entire day.

So I’m tired, I’m sad, and I’m just worn out.  Not a great day.

Then tonight, my Dad called me.  It wasn’t about anything big or important…  He called to tell me that he  bought some tiger tiger ice cream for the girl.  So that when we come by for a visit, he’ll have a treat ready.  And that was a good thing on a day when I desperately needed a good thing.

Thanks Dad.  Thanks for thinking of us when you didn’t have to be doing so.  And thanks for buying a special treat with the girlie in mind.  And thanks again, for calling just to say “HI” and to let us know.

It’s been a hard day…  but that was a good thing.

 

A vegan cake, a birthday dinner, and an absentee brother…

The title about says it all.

Today the girlie and I had a ton of fun making cakes.  We did up two 8×8 vegan cakes, a white and a chocolate.  When they’d cooled we made some frosting, and the wee girlie decorated to her hearts content.  I wrote my brothers name on the cake, and she drew an alligator… both of which were promptly covered in sprinkles and little candies.

Being the age that he is though, the birthday boy never made an appearance.  I can’t be too upset though…  it’s not like we actually made plans for tonight.  I just kinda hoped he’d come be home.  So Damon, the girlie, Marie, Jewles, Ron, Steven, and our friend Shaun all enjoyed Wilson’s birthday dinner and his birthday cake.  It was good.  Don’t worry though.  We saved him some.  😉

The cake.

A peek inside the cake.

If you are interested in the recipes I used here they are:

Chocolate Layer – http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=6686.0

White Layer – http://www.vegan-food.net/recipe/289/White-Cake-Version-2/

The icing was just a simple icing sugar frosting.  🙂

Night all!

Happy birthday Wilson.  We missed seeing you tonight.  Love you loads, and hope you’re having a fabulous birthday with your friends.

Happy birthday Dad.  We missed seeing you too.  Hope you are having the time of your life in Cuba with mom.  Love you lots.  We’ll see you when you get home.

Our second chapter book.

Reading with my dad is one of my earliest memories.  He used to sit beside my bed and read me some of the greatest stories ever written.  It’s where my love of books began.  I still have the copies of the Lord of the Rings trilogy that he read me all those years ago.  They are beat up pretty bad, and can barely hold in their pages…  but they are very well loved, having been read again and again and again.  I hope that one day my daughter will look back on our night time reads with the same fondness, and that it will inspire her to a lifetime of adventuring.

Lily-Ann and I finished our first chapter book on December 26th.  It was an adaptation of Tangled (the new Disney princess movie based on the Rapunzel fairy tale).  We found it in her school book order, and I figured we should give it a go.

On Tuesday we picked our current read.  I first consulted my most trusted group of writerly friends (the MomWriters, an email based group of women writers of which I’ve been a member for the last ten years).  I look forward to following up on many of their recommendations.  But this go round the girlie favoured the first book in the Fairy Blossoms series by Suzanne Williams, Daisy and the Magic Lesson.

So far, we have BREEZED through the first29 pages.  Its such an easy, flowing read.  And the characters are so personable, a group of nine year old fairies just beginning at Mistress Lily’s fairy school, what could be more delightful?  I have a feeling we’ll be sticking with this series for a while.

the next chapter

tonight's chapter...

Scrapbook Date

Once a week I get together with my friend Dani…  We work on our scrapbooking projects, and just yak for a few hours.  It always feels great, and it’s a much needed outlet.  Here’s a snapshot of what I worked on today:

You are my sunshine, scrapbook page

"You are my sunshine..."

I’m working on my wedding album (yes, for the wedding that occurred in 2006.  yes, I know it’s 2010… why do you think I’m working on it???).  This particular page is about my little sister and my grandfathers fiddle.

Marie sang us her favorite song, “You are my sunshine”.  Marie is VERY special to me, so special that I named my wee girlie after her:  Lily-Ann Marie.  So to have Marie get up in front of everyone during the dance to sing for us meant the world.  And to make it even more special, my Dad played guitar, and Donny played my grandfather’s fiddle.  My grandfather left this world when I was just a kid, I never knew him well…  but his music speaks for him in my life.  It was a gift he gave all of us, and I’ll be ever grateful.  So…  for Donny to play his fiddle at my wedding was like having a piece of my family there, that otherwise wouldn’t have been.  I was fine during the entire day, but for that song I teared up.  It was truly wonderful.

Thank you Marie!

Thank you Dad!

Thank you Grandpa!

Thank you Donny Parenteau!

Having you all there made our day extra special.

Sorry for the odd tilt in the photo…  was using my blackberry, and was trying to avoid reflections on the photographs.

Feed the Birds

Nathan Fillion (@nathanfillion for the twits on twitter) the title of this post is in your honour.

Dad putting up his bird feeder

Food for the Winter Birds

It’s my dad’s birthday tomorrow… but we celebrated tonight.  Here he is, putting up one of his gifts on the back deck, a new six station bird feeder.

Happy birthday Dad!  We love you!

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