Miss R turns TWO! ~Windsor Child Photographer~

I just can’t believe how much Miss R has grown. Her hair is so long, it’s grown so much over this last year! Aside from all the growing and changes, she is still the same adorable little munchkin and I just love her.
She has to be, hands down, the sweetest, most compliant 2 year old I have ever seen.  Every single thing I asked her was “ok” and she would then do it. And she was so happy and sweet. I loved telling her to “show me your teeth” as that got the best response from her!  I seriously wanted to keep her.  Her mama and papa are both very lucky to have such a doll.  I can’t wait to watch her grow further.  I loved listening to her sweet little voice and all the things she was saying. I totally, totally love her.  She was greatly enjoying all the girly props, and then I brought out the more! I think she was in heaven!
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Miss S ~*6 months*~ Windsor Child Photographer

A “few” years ago when I was in highschool, I was lucky enough to meet and be friends with a great, fun group of people (well, I guess depends who you ask will determine if it was “lucky” haha).  Recently one of these highschool friends contacted me about photographing her daughter. I hadn’t spoke with her in a number of years so I was very excited to see her again, catch up but more importantly photograph her little one.  And oh. Em. Gee. Was her daughter a doll! She was the perfect model for me and I wanted to kiss and snuggle her all day long! Her smile was infectious and so, so, so sweet!
It was so great to be able to catch up with her mama, meet her papa and of course, photograph her.  Six months is one of my favourite ages, so smiley and happy over everything.  I just loved her! I hope to see her again soon….it was a great day!

*Minnie Mouse romper, necklace and headband from Cassie-Belle Creations by Tara
*Red & white chunky necklace from Cassie-Belle Creations by Tara
*White lace dress and matching headband and Yellow lace dress with matching headband from Cassie-Belle Creations by Tara

 

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My Liliana ~*7 months*~ Windsor Family Photographer

We are blessed with a big family.  A big loving family.  I, myself, have 9 nieces and nephews. NINE! And 6 of them are under the age of 2!
My baby sister has 2 sons and in 2014 she welcomed a little girl in the family! In the beginning she looked identical to her oldest brother but over the months she has changed and now Lili is a spitting image of my sister when she was little. I almost can’t believe how identical they look.  It’s incredible.  And she is a happy baby.  She recently modeled some items for me for a local vendor, so before everyone else arrived we plopped her little bum down and took a few of her by herself.  Aside from her sweet little cheeks and smile, my favourite part of this first photo is that darn sweet little tooth! Ack. So cute.  My little chunker.  My sister has always made the fattest little breastfed babies!~

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Reload & His Family *~Windsor Family Photographer*~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few months ago I was contacted by a woman asking if I could do family photos, only difference was that her baby was a fur-baby.  My response was “Absolutely yes!”.  I told her I was also a Registered Veterinary Technician working in a veterinary hospital.  Of course, that means that I would be combining two of my loves; animals and photography, into one session! How exciting!

When I arrived and met Reload (how cute is that name!?!) I could tell he was a great dog.  I knew from looking at him that he was a senior, which I would have guessed around 10 years old.  I was shocked to hear that Reload is actually 14 years old! For a 14 year old Lab, he’s pretty spry! And I found out that he had even been hit by a car at the age of 13 and survived with no long lasting effects. (Poor Reload)

It’s pretty hard not to fall in love with a furry friend, especially when they are so sweet and lovable.  And so I was told that Reload’s “mama” had done just that when she had met Reload’s “papa”.  And now, it appears that Reload is her baby; he certainly loves his mama.

“Mama” & “Papa” are also super adorable 🙂 And “Papa” was so nice to oblige when I asked him to sit on the gravel dirt 🙂 Thanks for braving all the crazy mosquitoes!!!

 

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The Power of Love

As some as you may know, my dear Grandpa passed away on Thursday March 27th at 1:15am with his family by his side at Hospice of Windsor.  It has been a long, winding, crazy up and down journey.

Back in his working years, my Grandpa was a truck driver.  When he retired in the early 90’s he and his brother decided to move to Florida.  It was exciting and sad for us.  But luckily, we made many amazing trips to Florida over the years and he came home often.  He never thought twice about the long drive, it was second nature to him.

My Grandpa’s health certainly hasn’t been a straight line.  But he was like a cat, only better, as he had multiple lives.  More than 9 it seemed.  And he is a stubborn old mule and a fighter like no other.

About 6 years ago he had to undergo a major surgery to have his bladder, a kidney and his abdominal lymph nodes removed.  During his recovery, he did have a few set backs which landed him in the hospital at Detroit Receiving. (If you’ve never experienced American hospital care, it’s incredible. I understand that for our neighbouring country they have to pay for their health care in a different way than we do, but their services and facilities certainly surpass ours.)  I can remember visiting him with my oldest daughter, when she was about 8 or so months old. She was sitting on his lap and he was enjoying her company.

Over the years, my Grandpa has had so many strokes it became impossible to keep track of just how many.  Each time it only took a “short while” before he seemed to recover and be back to his normal self.  Luckily, he lived across the street from my parents and they have been his watchful caregivers over these  years.  He was placed on blood thinning medication.
**As a welcomed side effect from one of his  first strokes, he “lost” his addiction to cigarettes. He never wanted or felt the urge to smoke another one in his life.  I actual read  a study a few years back that followed those who had suffered a stroke and their behaviour afterwards.  It showed that, I think, 80% of stroke sufferers lost their addiction to cigarettes which lead them to believe that strokes often affect the “addiction center” of the brain.  I guess if there is an upside to strokes, that is it.

During the last 6 years he required regular blood checking and frequent blood transfusions.   Even though he was on blood thinners, he still would form clots.  In his case, one of the biggest issues this caused was with regards to his legs.  He on many occasions completely lost the flow to his legs and had no pulses in his legs.  It required him to have surgery (at least twice, perhaps three times) to place a bypass in his groin region to allow blood flow to each leg.  It would become painful and sore when he was having issues.  It also meant many stays in the ICU.

I think we should actually have our very own named parking spot at the hospital for all the time we have spent there over the years, and perhaps they should have just had a bed with his name on it.  But no matter what it was, he always pulled through and continued on.

In January 2013 my Grandpa began having internal bleeding.  The doctors needed to take him off his blood thinners or he would continue to “bleed out”.  After a discussion with my parents and Grandpa the decision was made that they would stop the medication.  They discussed in great detail that the likelihood that he would throw a major clot was very high and they didn’t expect him to be able to survive such. They thought this would happen within a matter of days or weeks.  That was fourteen months ago. FOURTEEN.

He had a few falls in recent time that also required yet more trips to the ER.  In January 2014 he had a big fall (as that stubborn old man just wouldn’t listen and kept trying to get around his place without his walker) which the doctors did testing and CT scans to ensure all was well.  In February 2014 he didn’t seem like he was doing very well and another trip to the hospital it was.  Only this time the CT scan showed two large masses in his brain that were not there just the month previous.   They also noted a questionable lesion in his lungs, albeit very small, but still questionable.  They began to talk about what the future would bring.  Biopsy was not an option, as surgery was not an option.  Why bother putting him through that when we cannot do anything about it? Let him rest as comfortably as he can.

On February 28th my little sister got married and unfortunately my Grandpa was not well enough to come to the wedding. So we decided to bring some of the wedding to him.  After our formal portraits we stopped at the hospital where my family went inside to meet him.  The nurses had dressed him and brought him to the cafeteria (where there is this beautiful mural).  My sisters wedding photographer, Jill of Real Image Photography, captured more than we could ever have asked for.  We were not only lucky to have her as the wedding photographer, but I am blessed to call her one of my dear friends.  Some of the wedding party also had hired a videographer as a gift to my sister and her groom and they also were there capturing these sweet moments between my Grandpa and his family.  We will forever be grateful for these amazing memories.

When his time at the hospital was drawing to an end, meaning the hospital could not longer keep him there, the discussion of Hospice was brought up.  And luckily, a room became available around this same time.

My Grandpa is my third family member to have a stay at Hospice.  My Grandma was one of the first when it opened in 2007, my Aunt just this past fall 2013 and then Grandpa.  If you have never been there, it is hands down the most lovely place for an ailing loved one.  It has all the comforts of home with care of angels.   The staff who work there may not fully realize that they are truly angels.   To care for others with the most love and compassion I have ever seen from health care workers, it’s breathtaking.

We spent many many hours with him, as much as possible, over these last few weeks. My daughters loved going to see Great Grandpa.  And he loved seeing them.  His eyes would light up like no other when they walked in the room.

Over the years we have so many amazing memories- most of them during road trips to see Grandpa in Florida.  My Grandpa had many funny quirks.  Like he would always show up, unannounced, in Windsor at various times throughout the year.  He would stay for a week or two or three, and then he would leave. Just as unannounced as he came.  Often we had to call him to see where he was at and we would hear “I’m on my way home”.  I think us grandchildren thought it was much funnier than my mom and dad did!  There was a time where I didn’t think it was so funny, although amusing.  I got married on September 9 2006.  My Grandpa was to walk me down the aisle with my dad.  About 3 days before the wedding he actually (shockingly) announced he would be leaving to go home. I said Grandpa, you’re walking me down the aisle! Don’t you dare think you’re leaving.   To which he replied “Oh yeah, ok then”.  He wasn’t malicious, he was just funny.

He also could be quite embarrassing to a young teen or preteen granddaughter.  My grandpa never buttoned his shirts up.  Ok, like the top 3, sometimes 4 buttons were always undone.  Usually one or two of the last buttons were done up.  And if we were  out at the mall and we expressed our disdain for his lack of cover up, his response would be to open his shirt further and say “What? You don’t like my tan?”.  And that tan.  The sun was his BFF.  He loved it.  He loved the heat and he would relax in the sun every chance he got.  He was always so dark, even in the last 6 years of living back in Canada.  The last couple months was probably the “whitest” I can ever remember my Grandpa being!

He also loved the ladies.  Every time the question of “Can I help you?” “What can I get for you” would arise, his answer was always the same “A hug and a kiss and all that good stuff”.  Boy oh boy! And he often got it! He certainly was never that “creepy old man”, but that sweet old man that everyone fell in love with.

Now don’t get me wrong, I can remember plenty of “disagreements” with the old man.  He loved to argue.  And he was never one to give up.  Hmmm, sounds familiar, I can’t imagine where I got this from, right dad?  I remember when I was about 13 years old, we were spending time in Florida and I saw this “giant bug” (I mean like palm sized” run by me at the house.  I screamed as loud as I could.  Everyone came running. I started to describe it and my dad said “Oh, it was probably a cockroach” *faint*  Well my dear Grandpa replies “No way. There are no cockroaches here.  Nope. None. No way”  “Dad, it’s ok, it was probably a cockroach” “I said NO way.  It was an ant.”  Ummmm…..Grandpa, unless there are these crazy palm sized Floridian ants that we’ve never heard of, I don’t think so.  “Yes it was. End of story”.  And that was that.

On Sunday March 23rd I was allowed to bring my dog Titan into Hospice to visit Grandpa.  He LOVED dogs.  When I walked in with him, he lit up.  Apparently he hadn’t been having the best of days that day, but he perked right up when Titan was there.  Now my dog doesn’t get many treats and he is not allowed on the furniture, so when he got up on the bed with my Grandpa and was being given treat after treat, I don’t know who was having a better time! Titan or my Grandpa.
I was happy that I photographed this beautiful interaction between them.  Never underestimate the power of Love between humans and animals.  My Grandpa never stopped petting him, even when they both had fallen asleep.  If I could have left Titan there with him, I would have.

Over the next few days as my Grandpa’s ability to communicate with us began to decline, we spent those moments talking to him and telling him what was going on.  On the night before he passed, he was no longer concious, however he did send us as many signs that he could that he could still hear us.  He turned his face towards me when I spoke and when my girls spoke.  His eyebrows moved up and down in a manner we knew he was laughing when we asked if he paid his bet debt to my dad over his beloved Toronto Maple Leafs recent loss. And when we spoke about the grandchildren, especially the new ones on their way soon, he smirked. Twice.

We held his hand and stroked his head.  We snuggled with him.  We loved him deeply and as best we could.

And in the end, when his breathing slowed and ceased to continue, our emotional pain may have grown, but his physical pain disappeared.  He was at peace. He was no longer in pain.

And we, my parents, brother and sister sat around talking about memories, crying, hugging, holding each other.  Up until that point, I had cried a bit, but not really let go. I had thought that I might be the strong one for my dad and my brother but that was not meant to be.  I cried harder than I can remember in recent times. Although I knew “it was coming”, I still had thoughts that just like every time before; when doctors told us to prepare for his “imminent death” that he would recover and laugh in the face of his mortality.

I’ve never been able to understand those who stayed and held and kissed ones that had passed.  Until now.  I could not let him go.  I refused to leave the room and leave him behind and so we stayed until he was taken.  I held his hand, and rubbed his arm and spoke to him.  I fell asleep with my head laying beside him and his arm in mine.

And then we said our final goodbyes and walked slowly out behind him as he was brought away to the funeral home.  We hugged his nurses and cried more tears.

Why am I telling you all of this? To show you what a fighter he was. How stubborn he was.  How amazing he was.  And for me, healing means sharing.  Sharing his memory, his life.

I promise my girls will always know their Great Grandpa.

Next week, on Saturday April 5th I will be teaming up with Sweetheart Baby Boutique and taking Easter photographs.  We will have an Easter like set up and the Easter Bunny will be there!  Photos will be $10 and each client will receive their image digitally by email.  All the money raised will be donated directly to the Hospice of Windsor.  It will be at Sweetheart Baby Boutique on Wyandotte near Pilette between 11am-2pm.

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Photo credit:  Real Image Photography – Jill Wilhelm

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Photo credit:  Real Image Photography – Jill Wilhelm

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The Big Reveal!!!

I recently had a very excited shoot.  My brother and his girlfriend were surprised when they found out they were expecting, but imagine how much more surprised and shocked they were when they were told it was natural TRIPLETS!

A baby is always a miracle, but when that miracle becomes 3 unexpected miracles, well that is awe-inspiring.  Up until this point, I hadn’t really done a gender reveal photoshoot.  I guess you could say “go big or go home” this time as this was a triplet gender reveal! I received the envelope just 24 hours before the shoot, enough time to allow me to prepare. But in all honesty, I did not look in the envelope until about 2 hours before the shoot. I didn’t want the potential of a ‘slip up’ and I also felt guilty being the person who knew for “so long” before anyone else- so I didn’t peak 🙂 I can’t describe to you the emotions and how I felt during this shoot.   For those of you who hadn’t heard of a Gender Reveal- the parents to be receive the sex of the baby (or in this case, the babies) and are not told during the ultrasound.  They then drop off the envelope to me and I coordinate a shoot to reveal to them what their baby (or babies!) are!  I am able to capture those first emotions for them to have forever, and of course, a cool way to announce to the world!DSC_6629-WEBDSC_6642b-copyDSC_6650-WEB

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BABY A is a …….

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GIRL!!!!!!!!

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So much excitement…so many tears and there are still 2 to go!

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The photo on the right makes me smile every time I look at it.  Through both of their tears and smiles and laughter (while looking at the ultrasound of the “girl parts”) I hear in a small confused voice  “I don’t know what I’m looking at!”

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BABY B is a ………

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ANOTHER GIRL!!!!  Dad’s reaction here was “Oh my! I’ve got 2 daughters! I’m in trouble!”

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LAST BOX!!! BABY C is a…….

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BOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Dad got his Boy!!!!!!

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Young Beauty

Miss K’s mother not only wanted photos of her sweet new son, but she also scheduled a shoot of her beautiful daughter.  Miss K is 12 years old which is slightly older than my last few girls I have photographed!  I welcomed a new ‘challenge’ of finding a perfect balance for shots, not too juvenile and yet certainly not too grown up.  We had quite a few hysterical laughs as I have now learned a new dance from Miss K! She also had her own ideas to some poses she wanted to do which was great!!!! I think her parents are going to be in trouble as she is such a gorgeous girl!

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Welcome To The World Mr L! ~*13 days new*~

Although this little guy wanted to make a fashionably late appearance, once he decided he was ready he flew into the world!  His big sister has been waiting patiently for 12 years for him to arrive and she is such a sweetheart! She was an amazing assistant for me during his shoot, which allowed mama to sit back and relax for a couple hours.  Once Mr L was asleep he was A-SLEEP!  What a wonderful teeny beeb!!

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Happy Birthday Sir!

I have photographed this little big guy since he was still in the womb! His mom, dad and I have been friends since highschool and I was overjoyed when they contacted me to do their maternity photos and equally (if not more) thrilled when I did his newborn photos.  I’ve been watching and photographing this little guy grow throughout his first year and now it all comes down to his first birthday shoot!  I have yet to determine just who he looks like more, he seems like a perfect blend of both his mama and his papa.  (Although during his shoot, he did make a few very clear “I’m exactly like daddy” faces! DSC_5654-copy

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Welcome To the World

Yesterday evening I became an Auntie….again.  My husband and I already have 2 nephews on my side of the family.  This time, his brother was the one expecting.  I posted Jessie’s maternity photos not too long ago and the time finally arrived for the little man’s debut.
The immediate family members waited patiently throughout the evening and just into the early morning today.  It was a little bit of a rough road for Jessie, but finally, at about 11:45pm he arrived into the world.  Sweet little Mr J.

I was so incredibly proud of my brother in law today.  It’s like I saw him grow up in an instant.  (He is my husband’s “Baby” brother) Today he bacame a dad. Wow.  I also am incredibly proud of seeing my sister in law slip so naturally and comfortably into the role of a mother.

And seeing the new love and excitement on both of their faces as they looked down upon this tiny bundle that they created, well, thats just about as good as it gets.

The arrival of Mr J marked the first grandson for my inlaws, we ourselves have two daughters.

Oh how we are going to spoil our new little family member! AO AP AQ AR AS AT AU AV AW AX AY

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