What comes next….

When I asked whether I should stop in Montreal or go to old Quebec City, someone asked me “What are you going for?”. I replied “For adventure and to take photographs”.  They said “Well, if you want drugs and hookers, go to Montreal. If you want culture and experience, go to Quebec City”.  Well then! That was 1 point for Quebec City.  As I was approaching into Montreal (which, woah, if you’ve never driven there….it’s like Toronto, only I had NO CLUE where I was going) I saw a sign for gas.  Up until this point, gas had hovered around the $1.20 per liter mark (I was “so thankful” it jumped from $1.10ish to $1.20 just a day before my big road trip commenced!).  Well, in Montreal it jumped to $1.43 per liter! Um….nah….forget it. I’ll just have to skip the drugs and hookers this time around (kidding!~ obviously, I know that there are a million other things about Montreal, but I just chose to skip it this time) and kept driving right to old Quebec City.

I had decided to stay right downtown, just off the “strip”.   I rented a room (which was soooo big as you can see in the photo!).  As soon as I parked, I popped my things up to the room, grabbed my gear and headed around to look about.  It was incredible.  I loved being able to casually walk about, as slow or as quickly as I wished, stopping where and when to take photos of anything and everything.  I saw the horse drawn tours and immediately headed over.  I asked him the cost, his reply was “$90”.  I said Great! Lets go!  He had a bit of a shocked look and repeated the $90 fee (I am guessing, he may not have a ton of people be so excited over that fee and decline).  I said yes, I know, I’m ready! 🙂 Remember, I was on this trip for experience and to try new things, not “stuff” so I was ready for it!   I hopped on and away we went.  The tour was just over an hour long and I got to see all of old Quebec City as well as into the new part and parliament buildings.  It truly was an amazing tour.  He told me of some amazing places I must visit and we talked about his life as well.  Well worth the money!!!

I had him write the suggestions in my phone since his accent made it slightly tricky to know how to spell some of the places he was talking about!

He recommended this Poutine Restaurant for dinner, so I went. (Even though, before this day, I would have told you I was very un-Canadian and hated poutines!) But Oh. Em. Gee! This place was amazing. I sat at the window and watched as the city went from day light, to street lights and the continued hustle of the streets.

 

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Everyone is human~

I wanted to write a little personal post, a little insight, into my life.  As some may have noticed, 2017 is non-existant as far as my blog site goes.  Even the final part of 2016.  We never really know what is going to happen in our lives, even if we think we have it all or even mostly figured out.  We have ideas of what our lives are, what they will be and what to expect.  And you know what happens to those ideas? Life.  Life sometimes happens to those ideas.   Without going into great detail, life is exactly what happened to me in the very early part of 2017.  I had been with my husband since highschool,  over 16 years, married for over 10 and our 3 beautiful daughters when the marriage was ended.  Half a lifetime of memories, hopes, dreams and expectations.  So while I continued on “living”, I was going through the motions of life.

I returned to work in the Veterinary industry after my maternity leave, and to the photography world and continuing to be a mother to my children and maintain my household.  I wish I could tell you I did it well.  The stress of this life changing event took hold of my physical health as well.  Illness and sickness plagued me and it culminated in a near-death septic infection that landed me in the hospital for a week during Easter of last year.  I had emergency chest CTs, emergency head CTs (for a potential brain aneurysm), ultrasounds on my chest, legs, lung scans, more ECGs than I could even count and rounds and rounds of medication.  I turned a corner about 4 days after going to the hospital and began my return back to health.  When I was discharged, I had diagnosed blood clots in my lungs and so many medications to take I had to make a chart for the first 2 weeks at home!  (As of 6 months from my diagnosis I am blood clot free and no longer required to take blood thinners!). Two months after this hospital visit I was rushed from my veterinary clinic via ambulance with the fear (from paramedics and doctors) of either a small stroke or a heart attack!  Another short stint in the hospital, further CT scans, cardiac tests and a cardiac stress test revealed that I did not have either! Whew!  However, I was pulled from work and placed on medical sick leave.

I continued to try to live my new life as a single mother of 3, co-parenting and navigating our new “relationship” as co-parents.   By August I had decided I was sick of just surviving day by day, I wanted to be LIVING!   I was offered a position within an incredible business, run by an incredible and inspiring woman, at Bounce Hair Boutique.  This job opportunity was presented and offered to me just prior to my “Journey to find myself”, a self discovering 3 week solo road trip out to the East Coast to and it was one of the decisions I had to make during this trip.  The veterinary industry held my heart for almost half my life and I adored it.  However, it comes with its stress, long hours and heartache. During my trip I made a decision that after 15 years in the Veterinary industry and as a Registered Veterinary Technician, I was leaving the profession.  I was going to focus on my children, my photography business and my life and accept this path at Bounce.

When I returned from my trip, I felt like a new person.  No, not a new person, I felt like ME.  A rejuvenated ME, ready to face life with take on my new challenges and be LIVING, not just SURVIVING each day.  I was determined to be a better mother, the best mother, and a happier, self -loving (instead of self-loathing) woman!

I could quite literally, go on forever about my thoughts and feelings and fears and accomplishments, but I did say I was going to write a “little post”.  🙂  I simply wanted to express that I didn’t simply fall off the earth, but I did have to let certain things slide while I determined how best to manage all that I needed to in my life.

My road trip was one of the most incredible things I have ever, and could have done for myself.  I didn’t plan a single thing past the first day.  I planned to drive from Windsor to Kingston and spend a night at my friends house and from there? Who knew!  Each stop I asked the locals where were some places they recommended to see and photograph and I got amazing tips! I didn’t know where I was going to sleep until close to evening each night; I very rarely chose a “conventional” place….some nights I even slept in my van (I brought a mattress and had prepared to do that a few times). I was on this journey to read, discover and experiences….not for fancy places to sleep and expensive food. 🙂

I journaled and thought and read books. I laughed and sang out loud.  I cried and cursed.  I experienced life in a manner I had never before.  I spoke with so many strangers, meeting some from all over Canada and the United States and loved hearing their stories.  I looked and smiled at anyone and everyone I could, opening myself up to whatever was brought my way.  I contemplated who I was and how I had strayed from who I was. I relished in the realization of some pretty major “epiphanies” into the person I wanted the world to see.

My first stop was at my friend Danielle and Bill’s house.  I grew up through highschool with Dane and our daughters attended the same grade school until they moved away a few months before I began my trip.  It was great to catch up and see their home, their girls and the new store they were starting (They own Cash For Clothes in Windsor and in Kingston!).  Dane and I explored some of Kingston before I left on my way to Quebec.  I had yet to decide if I was going to stop in Montreal or head right to Old Quebec City.

Over the next little while, I’ll continue showing parts of my journey and talking about my trip ❤
xo
Clarissa

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Julia & Eddie ~*First Wedding Anniversary*~

I was so excited when Julia first contacted me. She told me that her and her husband (who are from the USA) were planning on a first anniversary trip to Windsor for a little getaway and asked if I was interested in doing a shoot with them.  She and I couldn’t have been more on the same wavelength if we tried! I brought items, she brought items and they worked perfectly together! She said it was exactly as she envisioned (which is music to a photographers ears).  They cut part of their cake, using their cake stand made with love for them and brought along some wedding photos. She told me how she has photos all over their place as well as makes books for everything. This is so nice as so many of us (myself included) forget to do this.  It was even more of a compliment when she said if they ever have a baby they will travel over for their newborn session!

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Nancy’s Family

I photographed this beautiful grandmother (yes, a Grandmother!) a few months ago with her beautiful children and grandchildren.  It’s obvious that good looks run in this family (and good genes too!) and I really enjoyed this session.  I brought along a gift of Toy Story Toys to capture the joy and love of these little ones and it totally worked! Watching them play was so sweet.  Apparently the last time they had photos done the teenagers were toddlers! WEB ONLINE USE Nancy's Family May 21 2016 (1)WEB ONLINE USE Nancy's Family May 21 2016 (4)WEB ONLINE USE Nancy's Family May 21 2016 (18)WEB ONLINE USE Nancy's Family May 21 2016 (22)WEB ONLINE USE Nancy's Family May 21 2016 (29)WEB ONLINE USE Nancy's Family May 21 2016 (31)WEB ONLINE USE Nancy's Family May 21 2016 (40)WEB ONLINE USE Nancy's Family May 21 2016 (52)WEB ONLINE USE Nancy's Family May 21 2016 (56)WEB ONLINE USE Nancy's Family May 21 2016 (62)WEB ONLINE USE Nancy's Family May 21 2016 (67)WEB ONLINE USE Nancy's Family May 21 2016 (69)

Miss A *~5 days new~*

I photographed Miss A’s big sister 2 years ago and it is amazing how much these two look alike. I had to keep reminding myself not to call her by her big sisters name!  Big sister was so sweet too- I ran into them at a restaurant a few weeks before the birth and I had a great time with Miss N! She was so sweet and I just wanted to scoop her up and squeeze her.
I went to highschool and was best friends with this little one’s dad and I remember when he and his wife began dating when we were still so young (actually, it was just recently 17 years ago!)- So they have officially been together more than half their lives.  So to be able to capture these parts of their lives for them means the world to me. I can really say I was there in the beginning of their relationship, the beginning of their marriage, the beginning of their parenthood and I hope I continue getting to be there always!

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Mr W *~8 days new~*

The lashes on this sweetheart are incredible! And his pouty lips and kissable cheeks…I am sure they are kissed…A LOT!  He was so good for his whole session that I just couldn’t stop photographing him! Which resulted in so many amazing photos that I had to edit them all.  I was excited to see the items his parents brought for the session, especially since we’re a Detroit Tigers house!  And I think they worked out just perfect 🙂

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Little B ~*7 days new*~

Just about 2 years ago I had photographed Big Sister for her newborn session! I really love when I have the same families return for their children! Although big sister was a little tired, we got what we wanted before she headed off to Gramma’s house for a nap.  I love the hair this little guy had- I felt like I was photographing his big sister all over again! How sweet are these two?

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Mr I Heads off to JK!

With a slight tear in my eye, I photographed this sweetheart earlier this year.  I have literally been photographing him since he was in the womb and every year since and here he is, 4 years later and about to start JK!  He is so sweet and vibrant and funny- such a joy to see.  And it warms my heart that his parents still travel back to Windsor for me to photograph him!
I was excited to “surprise” his mom during the session with the “back to school” photos- and I loved watching his concentration as he wrote his name.
Have a great time in JK buddy!

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First Communion

I first met Mom and Dad (and Nonna and Nonno) many years ago as clients at my Veterinary Clinic. Over the years I watched them become parents, not once, but twice. I watched lovingly as these two grew each year and enjoyed seeing them all at the clinic when they brought their dogs in.  Miss M made her first communion this year so I was honoured when they asked me to photograph her- especially since I no longer work at the same clinic and I don’t get to see them as often anymore!

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Mr C & Miss Q ~*15 days new*~

Another amazing story from another set of amazing parents.  These two gorgeous babies were also born via a surrogate to which mom and dad knew and were close to.  They were able to see their babies grow and be close every day. And boy! Do these two ever look like their mom and dad! They are like little clones.  Little Mr C was so easy going and complacent, his sister, she was the vocal one of the two.  She expressed her dissatisfaction with certain poses, all while her brother slept the session away!  It is so cool to see the distinct differences in personalities so early on in their sweet little lives!

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