Hanging on to summer

What a summer we’ve had!  I realize it’s now officially “Fall” but I wanted to share another session from earlier this year.

It’s Friday, so this one is short on words, but big on energy.

… this adorable family and all the energy of young boys.  And love.











p.s. If you love the taste of summer (as in, the taste of beer), Bruce is the one in charge of brewing at an amazing craft beer place in Stratford – Black Swan Brewing.  Check them out on Downie Street the next time you’re there, or find out if your favourite local bar serves any of their offerings.  Black Swan_0001

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Back to school

To all the kids out there heading back to school – homeschool, new school, new classes, new teachers, new friends…Back to school_0002

To all the kids out there starting school in a different city, different province, different country… Back to school_0001

To all the teachers out there heading back to school – new kids, new grade, new school, new job…Back to school_0003

To all the parents out there sending their children to school for the first time, the last time, the only time, the far away time…Back to school_0004

… blessings to you all in the year ahead.

I’m honoured to be part of your journey.

~ Thank you ~

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Celebrate Mom – A Benefit Event

Will you help me?

Yesterday I hinted at something to help moms “Get in the picture.”  Here’s the quick reveal:  Mother’s Day portraits, Mini-Sessions benefiting the work of Mennonite Central Committee.

(Full disclosure:  If you follow me on Facebook, you already know about this event.  BUT read on to hear the rest of the story about why I’m doing this.)

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is an organization dedicated to “relief, development and peace in the name of Christ.”  They have long been near and dear to my heart. (The short version: Without them, my grandparents might have starved to death in Russia.)

They do countless wonderful things – just take a moment (or several) and look through their website. (Canada and USA)  The piece that our family has been regularly involved in is their various “Kits” – collecting donations for them, packing them, and hearing where they are heading.

Right now MCC has several urgent needs, including hygiene kits.  It’s a simple thing, really – a towel, a toothbrush, a tube of toothpaste, a nail clipper and a bar of soap, all gathered together in a draw-string bag.  What a difference it makes for someone fleeing war or natural disasters when they have some of their basic needs met.  What mom doesn’t want to see her family healthy?

I want to help mothers and their families around the world in these crisis situations, just like someone helped my Grandmothers and their families all those years ago as they were fleeing war and famine.

Will you help too?

I am running a Benefit Event on Saturday, April 18 to raise funds for hygiene kits.  Have your picture taken with your mom, or with the mom of your kids, or as a mom with your kids, or as three generations (or more!) of moms.  Mom needs to be in the picture (see my post yesterday for more of my thoughts on that.)  The mini-sessions will take place indoors at the MCC offices in Kitchener.

Did I mention this could make an excellent Mother’s Day gift?  (hint hint)

The $100 session fee goes directly to MCC.  You will receive a tax receipt for $50 (and if you want to donate more, the receipt will be for $50 less than your total amount).  MCC gets the entire amount.  MCC Ontario Executive Director, Rick Cober Bauman, confirmed for me that monetary donations actually go further toward obtaining kit supplies than the same amount spent at a store.  That’s why I’m collecting dollars rather than supplies.

My goal is $1600.

More details on the April 18 event are below.  Contact me to book your session time, and with any questions about the event.

Thank you for celebrating mom!

If you feel inspired to make a donation directly to MCC for hygiene kits (or any aspect of their work) without being part of this portrait event, blessings to you too.  Contact information for MCC Ontario (and others regions, including USA) can be found through here, including a “donate now” button.  Optional:  you can send me a little note as well, letting me know you’ve celebrated in this way (no need to include any amount-details).  Blessings to everyone who celebrates mom, no matter what form it takes.

Celebrating Mom Blog Poster

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Get in the picture

Most of us mom-types don’t want to be in front of the camera.  Some of us actively avoid the front-side of that lens as often as possible.  Why?  There’s a host of reasons – bad hair day, the wrong outfit, that extra few pounds we’re going to lose next month.

So we avoid being in the picture.

And yet, our kids belong to what’s being called “the most photographed generation in history.”  Photographs that stay on our phones and on our computers, never to be seen again.

Put these two statements together and what do you get?  A generation of kids who don’t have any pictures of their mothers, or perhaps more importantly, with their mothers.

When I look back through photo-albums of my childhood (aside:  this same generation of  kids don’t really have tangible, hold-in-your-lap photo albums to look at either) and I find a picture of me with my mom, what do I see?

I see Mom.

Sure, I might mock the crazy clothing trends of the time, or poke fun at the size of the sun-glasses “back then,” or the bizarre combination of stripes and plaid I happened to be wearing when I “dressed myself.”  I might laugh at the picture, but the laughter comes from a place of love.  I’m so glad I have that picture.  Like the one of us around the campfire, roasting marshmallows… the one Dad captured, where Mom is in the middle of reminding my youngest brother to ‘blow out’ rather than ‘madly wave around’ the flaming marshmallow at the end of his I-found-it-myself-in-the-woods roasting stick.  A perfect mothering moment?  Thinking back to similar moments of flaming-sticky-sugar-panic I’ve had with my own kids… probably not.  But that’s not what I see.  I see our family together.  I remember the campground, the vacation, and the good times and memories of my childhood.  Yes, we all have 80s hair (another thing to laugh about), and because it was a summer camping trip we probably hadn’t showered all that recently (you know what I’m talking about).  But that’s not what I see.

I look at that picture and I see us with Mom, together, and I remember having a great time.

So to all us Moms out there, I have a challenge:

1. Get in the picture.  Regularly.  Often.  (Selfies totally count.)

2. Print those pictures.

Tuck them in a little album and leave them lying around the house where your kids can pick them up and look through them.  They won’t care what you look like.  They’ll just remember having that crazy-face-contest with you and laughing until their sides ached.

I’m as guilty of forgetting to do this as any of us.  Case in point?  I had to scroll back through through 2 months of pictures on my phone before I could find one with me in it.  But it was a great day skiing together with my girls!


And one of me and my amazing mom.  Just because.

If you want more than selfies, stay-tuned tomorrow for more info on a Benefit Event I’m hosting to celebrate moms here and around the world.

Now go and get in the picture!


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A walk in the woods

Fall seems so long ago, doesn’t it?

The warm sun, the cool breezes, the breath-taking colours that hung around for so many wonderful weeks… it was a glorious fall.

Don’t get me wrong – I’ve really enjoyed this winter.  The snow, the dazzling sunshine and the clearest, bluest skies of the entire year.  Winter has been everything it promised to be.  But somehow when it comes to the end of one season I am fully ready for the next, and I look forward with anticipation to the changes that will come.

Today, while we wait on the ragged edge of a dying winter, I want to take you back for a moment to that splash of colour.

… and an adorable family.BechtelPark-01BechtelPark-02


Aren’t they adorable?!?BechtelPark-06 BechtelPark-07 BechtelPark-08

And they also love to laugh together.  A family session isn’t complete without a healthy dose of laughter.BechtelPark-10 BechtelPark-09

… and a few giggles.BechtelPark-11 BechtelPark-12

BechtelPark-13 BechtelPark-14 Seriously… can you get any more adorable than this little guy?  I’m melting.BechtelPark-15 BechtelPark-16

There is always time for Mom & Dad.

Just Mom & Dad.  BechtelPark-17 BechtelPark-18 BechtelPark-19 BechtelPark-20

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A walk along the Mill Race

When I first moved to the Waterloo area I had *no* idea what a “mill race” was.

An event? Like where you run? Past a mill? I’m not a big fan of running…

A kindly friend enlightened me (after he’d stopped laughing) with a patient, “No, silly…” and explained how it’s a channel dug (often) by hand to divert some of the water from a river so it turns the big wheel at the mill before flowing back into the river. Taa daaaa… power!

Wow. That is cool. Who knew? (clearly not me, but I do now)

The Mill Race trail in St. Jacobs is 2km long – at one end is a picturesque little waterfall and picnic area, and at the other is the Ice Cream Caboose. And the mill. But for my kids, the Ice Cream Caboose is way more important.

When a friend of mine told me she wanted to gift her sister-in-law with a portrait session at the Mill Race, I was delighted. We started at the dam on a beautiful spring day, and alas we didn’t make it all the way into St. Jacobs for ice cream, but we still had a wonderful time together.

MillRace_02MillRace_03The little man wasn’t too sure about the whole thing until his buddy appeared.

Cooper-bear to the rescue!!

MillRace_05 MillRace_06The other wonderful part of this session?  There’s a new little one arriving in the family!  So we took a few moments to capture some beautiful mama-glow.

MillRace_08 MillRace_09A woman carrying new life is one of the most beautiful sights.

There was time for cuddles and stories…

MillRace_12 MillRace_13… and some air-time with Dad.  (Can’t you just hear his squeals of delight?!)

When we (that is, Cooper-bear and his buddy) had checked out all the interesting features of the area, it was time to find something new.

MillRace_01 MillRAce_16 MillRace_17The trail was definitely worth exploring.

MillRace_19 MillRace_20A dandelion… the ultimate gift to melt Mom’s heart.  So.sweet.

MillRace_22Happy fall, little guy.  I hope this new season sees you grow more and more, especially in your new role as Big Brother.




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Phil & Jules – Cranial Waves

Here’s another session from last fall.  The day was grey and misty… kinda how I always imagine Narnia to be when Aslan first calls it into existence.

One would think, given the grey and dreary-looking skies, that the rest of the world would be dreary-looking as well.  I’m delighted to report that this was entirely not the case. Indeed, the fall colours seemed to glow!  It was breath-taking.

And when your clients have personalities as vibrant as the glowing trees?  Well… it doesn’t get much better.

Meet Phil & Jules and their family.Cranial Waves_0000Cranial Waves_0004Cranial Waves_0002Cranial Waves_0003

We met up at the Huron Natural Area in Kitchener.  It’s a fantastic place to visit, walk, explore, wonder and marvel.  I had the honour of being there with my camera to capture some of all of that.

Cranial Waves_0005 Cranial Waves_0006 Cranial Waves_0010

That moment when you get photo-bombed by your dog…  Love it.Cranial Waves_0001

Huron Natural Area is huge.  We only covered a very small portion of it on this visit.  There are so many different walking trails to choose from that you could easily spend a day wandering around, taking it all in.  The ‘bamboo forest’ was our destination, because bamboo is soooo interesting!

Cranial Waves_0007 Cranial Waves_0009 Cranial Waves_0008

When it was time for something new to investigate we wandered some more, stopping here and there whenever any of us noticed something else interesting, or fun…

… like a giant sand pileCranial Waves_0012

… or a big row of rocks that are just perfect to jump from.Cranial Waves_0011

If you’re clients of either Phil or Jules you might recognize the above photo.  If you’re not clients, you might want to be!  (Full disclosure… I have been for years, and can’t say enough about how wonderful they are.)  They own and operate Cranial Waves, a family-based clinic in the charming little town of Baden. The therapies and services they offer are many. A visit to their website will tell you so much.  Phil is currently accepting new clients, so head on over and check them out!

When the kids grew tired from walking, they went for a drive in the stroller.  And by ‘drive’ I do mean drive.   Sweet little miss has figured out how to throw her weight around enough to steer.  For real.Cranial Waves_0014

There’s always time for some pictures of just Mom & Dad.  Always.  I dare you to look at these two and not catch yourself smiling.Cranial Waves_0016 Cranial Waves_0015Cranial Waves_0022 Cranial Waves_0017 Cranial Waves_0021

Just when I thought we were nearly done, Jules runs to the car and comes back with their longboards.  How much fun is this?!Cranial Waves_0020Cranial Waves_0019

And cap the evening off with a cuddle and some lovin’.Cranial Waves_0013

Thanks, Phil & Jules, for a fantastic evening together! You two and your amazing kids are awesome.  My cheek muscles still ache from so much laughter.

(… for real, go check out their website…)  🙂

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A European mini-vacation: Day 2 – The Netherlands

I had a client post ready to go, but due to popular demand (read: my family and friends) I’ll do another personal post first.  Welcome to day 2 of our vacation.  (You’re welcome, family)  🙂  In case you missed Day 1 you can go back to it here.

After what might be one of the best sleeps of my life – thank you jet-lag – we were ready for another day of adventure.  We were in for a treat!  Annie & Kees, relatives of my sister-in-law, were delighted to show us their country.  They went above and beyond, renting a vehicle that would carry all of us, and arriving early in the morning with a list of amazing options.  Wow.

Here in Canada, it’s not feasible to consider seeing more than even a fraction of the country in a day. To drive from one end to the other takes days and days.  To visit more than one province in a day is only worth considering if you’re in the east, and even then you need a real plan.  And you have to really, really, want to.

So to realize that we were going to drive easily from one end of the Netherlands to the other?  In a day?  It made me realize how very big our country is.

So I will begin with an apology – there are quite a few ‘shoot-out-the-window’ pictures in today’s post.  Even though the Netherlands is smaller than Canada, in order to cover it all in a day, one simply cannot stop at every single point of interest.  😉

Windmills.  Oh the windmills.  That was the one thing I really wanted to see.  And we did! Every little town and village had one, and a church steeple.  To see them with my own eyes and know they actually exist, functioning, in use and in three dimensions, made me smile all day long.

What I didn’t expect to see was a boat in the field beside the windmill.  (yep, that’s a boat)

Netherlands_0002 Netherlands_0003


The other thing that happens in Europe (or at least, with all our relatives over there) is kaffe und kuchen.  It’s slightly different in Dutch, but it’s the same idea.  11am and Annie says it’s time to stop… so we find the next little town, cross the moat, drive through the huge, ancient fortified gate in the town wall and find the local watering hole.

Parking spots are marked in the cobblestone streets like this… (how cool is that?!)

Netherlands_0007And the village is right out of a story book.  A story-book village ready to cheer on its national soccer team.  Netherlands_0004 Netherlands_0005

The innkeeper was delighted to have some international guests, though I don’t think he understood my fascination with the Pringles vending machine.  Netherlands_0006


Once fortified on kaffe und kuchen, mineral water or bier, we were ready to continue on the adventure.  Next up – touching the North Sea… almost.

One quarter of the country is below sea-level, so everywhere you look you can see any number of earthworks, dams, dikes and locks, either nearby or on the horizon.  The national commitment to maintaining these structures – and their relationship with the sea – is incredible.  And essential.  Climate change and changing sea-levels is a real threat around here.

So it shouldn’t have surprised me that there would be a huge dike between the roads and the ocean.  It shouldn’t have, but it did.  And even though I tried to capture the amazement and perspective with my camera, it doesn’t do it justice.  So add a hefty helping of awe and amazement to these images…. and you’ll come close.Netherlands_0009We were keen to put our toes into the North Sea… until we realized it was low tide, and we saw just how.far.away the water was.Netherlands_0010So we settled for gazing from afar and pausing for a moment to talk and laugh together.  And the odd photo-bomb with brother’s camera.  (one never knows what will happen when the camera gets handed off to the brother… myself included)Netherlands_0011Marsha and her cousin, Annie, have a very special relationship.  It was wonderful to see them together.  ❤Netherlands_0012 Netherlands_0013Kees and Annie were excellent sources of information.  We peppered them with questions all.day.long and they never grew tired of answering, or guessing, as best they could.  Tour guides extraordinaire.Netherlands_0015 Netherlands_0016

For example, this pole with the ice cream cone on top?  In summer months, when the beach is packed shoulder-to-shoulder with people, everyone near and far knows where the ice-cream stand is.  Brilliant.Netherlands_0014

On our way again.

I was endlessly fascinated by the countryside – poppies blooming wild by the roadside, the windmills, the sheep and cows in the fields, the street-signs, the ever-presence of the sea… it’s all so very different from what’s here at home.Netherlands_0008Netherlands_0030 Netherlands_0042 Netherlands_0025And the house-barns… they have only ever lived in the stories of my grandparents, who lived in these in the “old country.”  Here they were in front of me… real.Netherlands_0023

These big bridges, for example?  These chains of bridges with gates that can be opened and closed against the water?  Yeah, we don’t have these at home.  Netherlands_0018

Decades ago (and I’ll apologize right now if I don’t get this history quite right) there was a huge storm.  The surge was so high and so strong that the damage inland along the shores of the lake/sea was enormous.  After that they closed off the outlet to the sea with a series of these bridges and gates.  During normal, calm weather the water can flow in and out with the tides.  If a storm is coming they can close the gates against the surge and so protect the water levels further inland where the shoreline is much more vulnerable.

Again… what a relationship to maintain with the sea.  Netherlands_0020The giant rocks above, we later learned, trace the outline of an old church/cathedral destroyed in one of those storms (you can see them on GoogleEarth).  A testament to the history of the land-sea relationship.

Cool bikes aren’t limited to Amsterdam.Netherlands_0021Time for lunch.  It was, after all, around 3pm.  Off to another small town with another windmill and heaps of small village quaint-ness.

Netherlands_0024When I asked Annie & Kees what a traditional dutch food to try would be, the response was immediate… Croquetten.  Translation:  deep fried, breaded cheese.  Or meat.

Salty. Crunchy. Greasy.  That covers all my favourite food groups.  Yummmmm….
Netherlands_0026 My dad and I got a real kick out of the ‘open’ sign hanging in the window.  He figured his brother would too.Netherlands_0027 Lest you think, like I did, that windmills are cute and little…Netherlands_0028 When you’re leaving town the sign looks like this… and then when we headed back north the bridge to cross looks like this!Netherlands_0029


Bellies filled with good food, we set off for one of the Canadian War cemeteries in Holland.
Netherlands_0031It was a profound and deeply moving experience.Netherlands_0032Netherlands_0035Netherlands_0033Netherlands_0034Netherlands_0036At the entrance to the cemetery stands an enormous tulip tree… in full bloom.  It’s something I have never seen before.Netherlands_0037Our journeys took us back through Amsterdam where we had the great fortune (according to some in our party) to be stopped by a lift bridge.  It made me smile that the bicycles were the first ones across once the road re-connected.Netherlands_0038 Netherlands_0039 Netherlands_0040The final leg of our tour-of-the-country was across the longest dike – the 30km long Afsluitdijk  or “Barrier Dike”.  The brainchild of Cornelius Lely, the Afsluitdijk took nearly 40 years from idea to completion.  And it’s no wonder.  It’s an astounding feat.  The stretch connects North Holland with Friesland and turned the inland sea from salt to fresh-water.  Land is still being reclaimed from that sea-turned-lake.

Boats and water-outflow get through a lock and sluice system at one end.Netherlands_0043In the middle there is a stop-off point with a restaurant, picnic tables and 2 monuments:  One of a young man laying the final block in the dike, and another of Cornelius Lely himself, gazing out over the new lake his idea-come-to-fruition created.Netherlands_0044 Netherlands_0045 Netherlands_0046 … and in true dutch fashion, there are bike lanes on it too.  Next time.  🙂Netherlands_0048 Netherlands_0049 And when you look out to sea from the dike… wow.Netherlands_0047


Thank you, Annie & Kees, for the best tour of your country we could have imagined.  Even now as I’m typing this my head is spinning with how much we did, how many things you showed us, and all the effort and care you took.  It was truly wonderful!  From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

We’ll see you again tomorrow.





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A European mini-vacation: Day 1 – Amsterdam

So I went on this vacation.  To Europe.  For a week (well, 8 days).

It was amazing, a crazy-fast whirlwind, and absolutely wonderful.  We saw family and friends, a whole lot of the Dutch country-side, a good chunk of the German one too.  It was incredible.

And it feels impossible to try and describe it all.

But since you’re here, and I’m here, I’ll give it a try.  😉

Here we are ‘before’ – there is no ‘after’ picture to post because, lets face it, who loves how they look after “sleeping” on an airplane?

It was ridiculously simple to get from Shipol airport in Amsterdam to anywhere else in the city.  The train station is *right at* the airport.  Someday, Pearson… someday.  Off to downtown!


There are bicycles everywhere in Amsterdam.  Everywhere. The first thing we were greeted with was a bicycle parkade.  Three levels high.  Not kidding.Amsterdam_0052 Amsterdam_0053

Bleary-eyed, and nearly getting run over by at least 2 different cyclists (our fault, not theirs… you can’t hear them coming like you can hear a car!  Crossing the street took some getting used to) we arrived at Multatuliaccommodation for some of our group for the next few days.  Host Joanna met us at the door at happily agreed to stow our luggage until our check-in time, while we went in search of breakfast.  Or was it supper-time back home?  Amsterdam_0061Vinnies was recommended, and it did not disappoint.  Even though our bodies had no idea what time it was, the simple scrambled-eggs on toast was delicious.  The only thing we were a bit disappointed with was the size of the coffee.  Europeans, I discovered, sip coffee out of very small cups… a far cry from the thermos-size cups we can buy here.  The strength of the coffee compensated for the size – somewhat.  Wowza, it was strong, wonderfully so.  And delicious.

And pretty.

Of course, leaving the deli meant crossing the street, and taking our lives into our own hands again.  (We did get used to looking for bicycles by the end of the day, but it took constant reminders to each other!)

I love the signs – street names are attached right to the buildings, and in the photo below it’s a one-way street for cars, but not for bicycles.  I’m guessing that’s what uitgezonderd means.Amsterdam_0062

After dropping the rest of our luggage it was on to the Rijksmuseum.  Our strategy for coping with jet-lag was to power through the morning, catch a short nap after lunch and then meet up with the rest of our group when they arrived from the airport in the afternoon.  Mom has had ‘re-visit Rembrandt’ on her bucket-list for a while, so off we went!
Amsterdam_0055 Amsterdam_0056

The building itself was a work of art, both outside and in. Amsterdam_0059 Amsterdam_0060Fairly quickly into the visit we realized that wandering through a huge museum filled with a mind-boggling amount of art (including an airplane) might not have been the best keep-us-awake choice.

Amsterdam_0057We managed less than a third of it, but when we rounded the corner into the bright, airy space dedicated to Rembrandt, it rather took our breath away.Amsterdam_0058Why we feel the need to take a picture of a picture, I do not understand.  But we do.  And we did.  Just like the hundreds of other visitors in that space.  I can’t imagine the time, effort and intention that went into some of these paintings.  Floor-to-ceiling art is not something I encounter in my every-day.


And then we crashed… figuratively, I mean.  Travel and time-zones finally caught up with us.  I have never loved a nap soooo much.  And I have never felt so transformed by one either.

We went in search of some food (by this point we don’t even know what meal to call it).

My sister-in-law has Dutch roots and often serves spiced dutch gouda at her house, or “Nana-cheese” as her kids call it.  In Dutch, the “g” has a rattly-at-the-back-of-your-throat sound, so we learned it’s pronounced more like “hhhghghghgOW-dah.”

She’s always told me that the dutch love their cheese even more than I do.  I didn’t fully appreciate it until we walked into the bread-and-cheese store (for reals, that was its name).  Floor to ceiling wheels of cheese.  No fewer than 8 were gouda varieties.  It was impossible to count all the offerings there.  And with a slightly smaller floor-to-ceiling section of fresh breads, I was in heaven.Amsterdam_0063

One more stop for some smoked fish (when by the sea…) and we were ready for a feast.  The apartment sleeps 8, but it was spacious enough for the 11 of us to share lunch.  Just be careful of the stairs.  It seems Dutch builders in centuries past thought that step-ladders were good enough for getting from one floor to another.  (Yikes!)


We spent the next few hours simply wandering the streets of Amsterdam.  It was almost intoxicating – everywhere I looked there was something new to see, something so unlike anything that existed at home, something so.much.older than anything where I live.Amsterdam_0065 Amsterdam_0067 Amsterdam_0068 Amsterdam_0069 Amsterdam_0070

And then, in the midst of the intoxicating novelties, something that wasn’t new.  A piece right out of history, right out of a story I read as a young girl, a play I saw in a high-school gymnasium.

The Anne Frank Haus.  Real.Amsterdam_0066History happened here.  World Wars unfolded here.  In three dimensions.  The fear, the terror, the courage… all happened here.  To living, breathing people.

To me it’s only ever been words on a page in a book.

The realization stunned me, time and time again throughout the trip.

We continued our wanderings…

Amsterdam_0072 Amsterdam_0071A Lego VW camper-van.  Awesome.
Amsterdam_0074 Amsterdam_0073 Even Margaret Atwood was in Amsterdam!Amsterdam_0075 Amsterdam_0076We wandered our way back to the central train-station to await our dinner-canal-cruise.  Isn’t that one of the most beautiful train stations you’ve ever seen?



Amsterdam_0078 Amsterdam_0079


We spent the rest of the evening floating through the watery streets of the city.  My aunt & uncle were unable to make the trip, so Dad was charged with carrying their camera, purchased specifically for this vacation, and documenting everything for them.Amsterdam_0080 Amsterdam_0081 Parallel parking lessons, anyone?Amsterdam_0083The provinces (or are they regions?) of the Netherlands are written across the front of this row of buildings.  Amsterdam_0082

When dinner came we all laughed. Who would have thought we’d come half-way around the world for New York pizza.  😉Amsterdam_0086


Amsterdam_0084 Amsterdam_0085So many of the buildings in Amsterdam were crooked, or slightly off-kilter, or leaning a whole lot.  Like these, the Dancing Houses.  Amsterdam_0087 Amsterdam_0088 So much happened in just one day.  So many new things.  For this little country-mouse, it was incredible, if not a tad overwhelming.  I’m so glad I was there.

Wow.  Just wow.
Amsterdam_0089…and this was only the first day.Amsterdam_0090



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Ann & the boys – fall Mini-Sessions

Ann is a midwife.  I speak from experience when I add, a wonderful midwife.


Because her life is largely dictated by babies and their unpredictable, sometimes uncooperative approach to “schedules,” AND she also balances being wife and mother to her active family, trying to book an entire family session proved to be, well…  complicated.  Mini-sessions were the perfect compromise.  En route from one engagement to another, with her pager on her hip, Ann and her boys made time for some family pictures.

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Ah brothers…MiniSessions-8 MiniSessions-7 MiniSessions-9 MiniSessions-10

It seems to me that all three of these boys think Ann is pretty amazing too.MiniSessions-12 MiniSessions-13

But what did I think was the most fun?  The football they brought along to throw around.  I have never mastered the art of throwing one of these.

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If you want to know more about midwives like Ann (and Shirley), visit the Blue Heron Midwives in Waterloo.

If you pop into their offices on Dupont St. you’ll see this magnificent fellow on their walls.  He’s part of a line of art prints I have for sale.  Drop me a line if you’d like to see the gallery ( cnjwiebe [at] distributel [dot] net ).Heron

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