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My Daughter Didn’t Dance

Today, my daughter didn’t dance, and it broke my heart.

 

Lily-Ann celebrated her sixth birthday almost a week ago.  On July 20th we had friends and a few family members over to the house to help her celebrate.  She’d decided on a Goddess Girls theme this year.  We all dressed in chitons, played games I created based on the characters in the books, ate ambrosia cake and drank nectar punch, and everyone wore the winged sandals we made as our party favours.  After her party, she told me that all her birthday dreams and wishes had come true.  It was an awesome day.

Click the photo to see the rest of her party pictures.

Click the photo to see the rest of her party pictures.

 

The two weeks leading up to her sixth birthday, the girl had been going through some rather big developmental changes.  It was clear she was becoming a “big kid” and leaving the “baby” behind.  I was so excited for her.  She was growing in leaps and bounds right before my eyes.  I was proud of the conscious choices she was making, and happy for those things that were changing even without her awareness.  As much as I loved my baby, my toddler, and my little girl, I love the big kid she was becoming even more (if that’s possible).

My little girl loved going to the movies.  She loves the stories, the action, the music, the popcorn…  cuddling up in the dark theater.  More than any of that though, she loved to dance.  Ever since that first movie we went to, we’d let her run up to the front as soon as the credits started, and we’d watch her dance.

Those first few times, she’d wipe out…  a lot.  We’d hold back though, and just wait.  Then, with even more resolve, determination, and grit she would dust herself off and dance her heart out.  Sometimes spinning all the way from one side of the theater to the other, arms held wide, face to the sky, feeling the entire world whorl around her.  And she would take my heart along for the ride.

It was secretly my favourite part of the movie too.

There were times, when others would get caught up in her passion too.  When individuals, couples, and families would stay to watch her dance.  Some would clap for her.  Others would tell us how amazing they thought she was.  And there were those who would simply smile, their eyes full of gratitude.

I think her dancing reminded people of joy.  We so easily forget how much of it there is in this world.  We get so caught up in things that really don’t matter and we forget how to be swept up in it.  Joy can fill the heart with rapture and our lives with light.  Lily-Ann gave that back to people, even if it was just for a while.

Today, when the movie ended, and she got up to dance, my heart soared – like it always did.  She got up to the front, and she stood there.  I watched her posture change, and watched that joy melt away.  Then I watched her walk back to her seat.  She sat back down and said “I’m not going to dance today.  Maybe a different day, but not today.”  And I started to bawl.  I wasn’t loud, but I couldn’t stop the tears.  They poured down my face.

Lily wasn’t sad.  She was happy.  But that pure innocent joy, without a care about what anyone could think, was gone.  She really is a big kid, and with that comes both good and bad.  I look forward to what this next stage has in store for us, but I desperately mourn for my baby – who was here with me only weeks ago.

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Seek no more

On Thursday, February 28th I felt a sudden need to light a candle and to send love out into the universe.  I didn’t know why I needed to, I just knew that I had to.  So at 4:30 I let my daughter choose a candle and we lit it together.  Shortly after that things became all to clear.

Bran Everseeking, who was known to some as Thomas Dunbar, was a treasured friend.  At 4:15 his wife, Naomi, had posted to FB that he was having a heart attack.  It wasn’t until later that evening I would learn of it…  after seeing another post she made at 6:04.  Bran had left this world for the next.  Gratefully I didn’t learn the news until after Lily-Ann had gone to sleep as with it came a slurry of tears.  It honestly felt like some cruel joke.

The last couple of days have been absolutely draining, and I really have no words – which is why this post is more dry facts than anything else.  I’m simply trying to relay information without breaking down again.  For now all I can share are images, something I believe Bran (as a fellow photographer) would appreciate.

The candle I lit at about 4:30 on Thursday, burned until 4:54 Saturday morning.  I know this, because the change in light woke me from a troubled sleep and I saw the last ember go out.

Goodnight my dear, dear friend.  Know that love follows you from this life into the next.  Seek no more.

A sweet story and a building project!

I had three completely unrelated things to share seeing how I needed to post a photo for challenge days 18, 19, and 20…  but then I realized I could very honestly share a project the three of us worked on today and have it fit for all three topics.  Yeah, it may be a bit of a cheat – but it’s not a huge one, especially considering I did grab snapshots on both Friday and Saturday, even if I’ve decided to only share a series of images from today.  LOL

But first?  First I have to share a really quick little story that is super cute and totally warmed my heart.  😀

On Friday I was over at my parents place – watching everyone so Mom could go with Dad to an out of town gig.  When Marie, my sister (whom Lily-Ann is named after), got home she came upstairs as usual then asked for my attention.  I stopped working on supper and looked over at her:  “Yes Marie?”

“Moby.”

“Yes.”

“Moby, look.”

And with that she held up the index finger on her right hand as if to say just one second.  Then she bent WAY down to where little Thor (one of my puppies from the Avenger litter whom is now my Dad’s puppy) was standing, and gave him a little pat.  She then stood back up.  “Moby.”

“Yes Marie?”

My sister, who has never been much of a pet person and who does her best to just ignore the other two dogs in the household, gave me a great big grin and an enthusiastic thumbs up.  To which I replied “Awwww….  Marie!  I’m so glad you like him.  He’s a cute little guy, isn’t he?”  She nodded in approval, which made me feel awfully wonderful.  😀

Okay…  now onto my challenge photos.  😉

So, I need to share for something I bought, sweet, and someone I love.  Well…  here are the girl and her Dad working together to put up the last couple of shelves in her room (which he and I started putting up while she was out with my sister Riki earlier today).  I think this series of pictures covers all three challenge topics pretty darn well.

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photo a day challenge for january

Sharing something you love…

I thought of a few things I could take pictures of today; “something you adore” is a pretty broad challenge.  What I ended up choosing is this:

something you adore

I know I’ve said it here many times before, and it’s likely to be said many times in the future too, but there really is NOTHING like sharing something you love with someone you love.  And for me?  That something is My Little Pony and that someone is my daughter.  I adore seeing her filled with the same joy and creative enthusiasm that filled me as a child playing with my little plastic horses.  Sure, My Little Ponies have changed a lot over the years, but that delight they bring?  It hasn’t changed one iota.  And the idea that I can give that to kid kid?  It’s pretty freakin’ awesome.  So yeah…  While there were a lot of things I could have picked for today’s photo, this won out.

photo a day challenge for january

Good Night!

It has been a long and exhausting day, so I do hope you’ll all forgive me for such a short blog post.  I’m just online for a moment or two to wish you all well.  Hold your loved ones close, and tell them how deeply important they are in your life.  Give yourself the freedom to feel – deeply and fully – every day.  Be gentle with yourself and with others.

Night all!

Mrs. Morin – always a beacon of love and strength.

Life has a tendency to throw a curve ball every so often, just to keep you on your toes.  Some you catch, and return…  others knock you on your ass.  This one?  This one hit me harder than I’d have expected.

A friend just shared the news that a woman I loved and respected has passed from this life.  I knew she was sick, but I hadn’t seen her in years.  I only ever knew her as the bright, intelligent, caring Mom to the Morin clan.

I have so many wonderful memories of Maryjo.  She peppered my teen years with kindness and laughter, an ever present nurturing figure that I (and so many others) could count on.  Mom to four boys, I remember her rescuing me from her eldest who had stuffed me in his hockey bag one afternoon.  I remember the look she gave him as she made sure the others helped me out of that stink sack.

I would have been fifteen or sixteen at the time, and he was a few years older than me – and delighted in the fact that I was so pocket sized.  At the time there were no girls in the family other than Maryjo, so the boys tended to treat me more like a brother – which is something she always felt the need to apologize for (though it didn’t bother me).  I’d like to think those experiences helped prepare them for the sister who would come later, and whom they had learned to be much gentler to thanks to Maryjo’s no nonsense brand of loving discipline.

Maryjo always grinned and gave me a knowing look when the guys would call me idget (because I was “too small to be a midget”).  They always treated me like one of their own…  a middle sister.  And I always felt so at home with them all and Mrs. Morin was a big part of that.

As tears dry on my cheeks after the news of her passing, I take comfort in knowing she found her way home.  I’d like to think that she is again that woman – healthy, vibrant, full of spark – that I remember from all those years ago.  Pain free, and rejoicing in all the blessings she has known.

My heart goes out to the Morin family.  I can only imagine the feelings they must be coping with as they experience her loss.  Maryjo was the hub of their home.  You knew wherever she was you would find compassion, joy, laughter and tenderness.  I will always hold her in my heart – a heart full of gratitude for all she gave me.  She will be remembered with fondness, love, and appreciation.

Momma Morin and all her boyz

Momma Morin and her boyz (hope they don’t mind that I nabbed this off fb). The clan as I remember them from my early teen years – a little older, a little hairier, but the same old faces I loved so much.

 

He loves me. :)

Every so often, in life (as in art), something happens that makes you feel valued.  I know I make a difference, and I know what I do is important…  but in our families, with our mates, sometimes we just get to the point where we just take love for granted.  And when something happens to make you stop and realize how deeply someone trusts you?  It’s a big deal.

I can’t share the details…  yet.  We are making some changes, and as much as I LONG to share, we’re keeping things somewhat private for the time being.  But I can share this:  My husband trusts me far more than I realized.  And that feels pretty darn good.  🙂

The Legacy of 9/11 is Love.

Today is a day for contemplation, and for many it is filled with a deep sense of loss.  Rightly so.  And not just for the losses that occurred 11 years ago in the U.S. but for the losses 39 years ago in Chile.

Today I chose to focus on all the blessings we have.  The love of family.  The gift that is Lily-Ann.  Our wonderful animal family members.  The home we have had for nine years now.  My husband, and all that he does for us.  The fact that I am able to make my way through life as a photographer and advocate.  That we live somewhere that anyone I love is free to love whom they love without persecution.  The many friends, though some are far away, who care so deeply for us.  Our many communities that we are a part of, both irl and online.  And these are just the tip of the iceberg.

Things may not be perfect but we are so very, very blessed.  No… we must not forget the travesties this world has faced, and not just on 9/11, as they have shaped our lives in so many ways.  However, to dwell on all the horrible things man has done does nothing to honor all the good that has also been done.  And I will always choose to focus on the love, the honor, the heroism, the bravery, and the many incredible things our species has done.  I do so with hope, because I refuse to despair for our future while lamenting the past.  I believe in our children, and I believe they will lead us to a life filled with love and promise.

Today is a day for contemplation.  So I have, and will continue to think on our world and the world our children will find themselves in.  But I will do so with hope.  If nothing else, days like today, have taught us love.

Nothing but a Passion for Joy and Love.

I’ll be honest, my brain has been swimming today.  So many possibilities to consider, so many opportunities on the horizon, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed.  Once I’m able to get a few things nailed down, and have made some decisions I’ll feel a lot better.  But for now, I’m a little scattered and unfocused – which isn’t great for writing.

I really do wish I could share some of this with you.  My blog is often times a way for me to unload, and I do use it (and you) as a sounding board when I’m working through things.  But this time, I feel the need to hold back… at least until I make some precursory decisions.  There will either be some major changes coming up in my life, or things will continue pretty much as they are with some minor changes.

Opportunities can be a difficult thing.  Some require a leap of faith, while others require you to jump through hoops… either way there’s a lot of action.  And possibly the most difficult thing can be choosing between multiple opportunities that come up at once.  That’s what I’m doing now.

While I may not have much worked out just yet, I do know one thing:  Whatever path I choose, I won’t change.  I will still make decisions based on joy and love.  After all, what’s the point of following our passions if they don’t include those two things?

That seems to be the one thing that has always remained the same for me…  a passion for joy and love.  I’m a very diverse individual, I wear a lot of hats.  There are a lot of things that give me purpose, and a multitude of things I could find happiness doing.  I don’t fit easily into a neat and tidy little box, and I’m totally cool with that.  In all things, my passions seem driven by joy and love.  And as long as you can find those two things in whatever you do, you can find peace doing just about anything.

Hows that for a long winded diatribe about, well…  nothing.  LOL

I Love Weddings: a photography preview!

Time for a photography preview!  And it’s a good thing too… because I’m just not that eloquent tonight.  😉  Generally words come fast and easy, but tonight?  Tonight I’m tired, and the words, they be playing hide and seek with me (it would appear I’m losing).

I had the pleasure of working with Wendy and Chris to capture all the important moments at their wedding (and several hours before).  The big event was a little over a week ago now, and I’ve got a few sneak peek images to share from the “formals” portion of the day.  Wendy and Chris were so much fun!  I loved that we were able to be silly and capture some really fun and goofy moments along with the romantic ones.

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Thankfully I’ve been able to devote quite a bit of time so far to the edits and enhancements, and I’m about 1/3 of the way through.  So hopefully, Chris and Wendy, it won’t be too much longer until everything is ready.  🙂  Thank you for including me in your special day.  It really was a delight!

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