30 September 2010

[Siah: FIrst Day of Preschool. Sort of.]

Since it's almost October, I thought I'd better finish up this post that I've been meaning to put up for the last few weeks ... 

Josiah's first day of Preschool.

Now, Siah already completed a half year of preschool at our church's Preschool.  Because he's a January 1 baby, they let him join the older kids and he loved every moment of it.  But originally due to some complications with him legally not turning four until 2011, he wasn't able to move up with his class.  

So, he was going to have to start fresh with new kids and everything.

We decided that maybe this was the perfect time to transfer him to Mattias' school, as they have a thriving preschool there as well ... and when given the choice, Siah was THRILLED to be going to his big brother's school.  

Like any kind of change, I was anxious about it.  I loved the school that he had been in, and had relationship with so many families this past year.  I had so wanted him to move up with that class, but now I see how it's all working out quite well.  

Siah LOVES his school and his new friends.  And he still sees his old friends at church and Sunday school.  It seems to me that our kids are far more flexible than I am *grin* ... 

Currently, Siah is the most prepared for Preschool than the other kids.  And so he should be, as he's done this for a while.  But it's great seeing the leadership skills developing in him.  He's so different than Mattias.  Tias tends to follow, while Siah loves to initiate and lead ... 

Now that we're in week 3 (hmm ... or is it just week 2??  It's all a blur ...), things have settled nicely.  It IS a pain that the school is a 20minute drive, and some days it's six trips (drop both off, drive home, pick Siah up, drive home, pick Tias up, drive home) - that's almost 1.5hrs of driving BEFORE we even get into afterschool activities ... but we're working on some carpooling/playdate options with other families.   And next year will be even crazier with 3 days of preschool ... 

So - the big question is ... should we start considering moving.


29 September 2010

[redhanded photography: Janssens Family]

... ok.  I assure you that there is a LOT more going on around here, other than RedHanded Photography stuff.  But these last few weeks were INSANE with shoots and editing and and and ...

But - let me tell you about last night.  I'm apart of a group called HH12, which stands for Happy Housewives 12 (there are supposed to be 12 of us *grin*).  Each year the group changes a little, but the core has stayed pretty much the same for the last few years.  

It's only once a month, and the idea is that you set this time aside on your calendar - and you don't let anything touch it *grin*.  Each month there is a hostess and we all gather together and eat, chat, or do an activity.  And last night ROCKED.

Our friend KP was the hostess and she did an INCREDIBLE job of preparing for a super kickoff for HH12.  She planned a murder mystery, to be taken place at a "chocolate indulged spa" ... there was a chocolate fondue, spa music, candles, and other yummy treats ... and our group all got totally into it.  I had SUCH a great time ... playing a part, laughing at the ridiculous storyline ... so much fun.

On another note - another post for RedHanded Photography is up.  Come stop by and see ... the Janssen Family.

Have a great one!

27 September 2010

[redhanded photography: Howard Birthday Celebration]

... ok.  So.  Didn't weigh myself at the opportune time this morning, so I'm do it tomorrow morning.  It was chaos this morning b/c Mattias' school had "chapel" and his class was in charge.  Tias wanted us all there ... so - chaos.

ANYway - I'm desperately trying to catch up on SO much stuff.  I have 2 wedding albums to finish, 5 slideshows, editing from two of last week's shoots, and accounting/receipts to finish up as well.   And that doesn't include the disk burning and meeting with clients ... wow.  It's crazy.

This photography thing has turned into a 20+hr/wk job ... but November will be pretty quiet.  Wait.  It's not even October, is it.  Hmmm.  October is insane too ... totally my fault for taking it all on.  But it's a great job - I love almost every moment of it ... plus, almost all of the hours are put in when the kids are in bed and I'm in my jammies on the couch *grin*.  Not a pretty sight, I assure you *wink*.

So ... I did a post last night while having heart palpitations watching "The Perfect Storm".  WHY WHY WHY I had it on, I'll never know ... I can't breathe for the entire 2 hrs.  So.  I shut it off before everyone drowned ... 

Wanna see the post *grin*?  Oh, you gotta come see.  It's the "Howard Birthday Party" ... I bet a lot of you will recognize some faces there ...

Click HERE to view ... 

Have a great one!

24 September 2010

[redhanded photography: Tony & Ashlee]

Life is ticking along ... and tonight I am SO excited to go out on the town and see Harry Connick Jr. with my hubby and friends ... an intelligent dinner with food cooked by someone other than me ... stiletto boots and eye make up ... 

I love a night where I get to be a grown up.

I'm also catching up on all of last week's shoots.  There will be a bucketload of RedHanded Photography blogposts next week, so come check 'em out.

Today's post?  Tony and Ashlee ... click HERE to view.  One of their guests pulled out an old "Rick Astley" tune ... "... never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down ... "  Oh my.  SUCH a fun reception!

Have a great one!! ... hmmm.  It's early - but do you think I could start getting ready for our night out, now??

21 September 2010

[big dreams: Being Reminded]

I haven't forgotten ...

It's been a few months since I put it out there - and asked you if you'd be interested in joining along side me in sharing your story.  So many women contacted me, women who had a child pass through sickness, miscarriage, or accident ...  even women who were unable to carry a child biologically, offered their stories of invetro, adoption and fostering ... all with endings that were heart breaking, but strong stories of survival with the Cross as their anchor.

And I haven't forgotten.

It just seemed that although it was the right time for me to walk forward in this, it wasn't super convenient for everyone else during the summer months. And there were some of you that were totally "in", and then felt overwhelmed and decided that you just couldn't do it ... so - I waited.

So.  This past Sunday morning I had another reminder ... after I led worship at our church, a man approached me with tears in his eyes and a piece of paper in his hand.  He said, "I remember - you, you lost a baby, right?"  ... and I nodded, knowing exactly where this was heading.  "My daughter just lost another baby, " he said.  "And I think this one has been just too much."

He shared her story with me, asked if I would mind contacting her - and at that split moment I was so angry that I hadn't followed through this summer with the book.  How I wish I could have it to give her, to show her she's not alone, that her child matters, that she can and will survive.

Another gentle reminder for me.

SO.  It's fall, we're all getting settled into schedules ... nighttime is getting earlier and so are cozy nights at home.  Are you willing to take some time to prepare and share your story?  Have you had a journey that you know would comfort another?  Would you like your experience to have a purpose - to encourage and breathe life into another?

Then, please ... please - email me at tawnsblog@hotmail.com .  And let's get this thing going.

** Please read this PREVIOUS POST on the details of the book I'm hoping to be putting together.  **

20 September 2010

[running: IPHONE Running Playlist]

Hey *grin*!

I've been busy ... last week was just out-of-control.  Good, but out-of-control.  I had four (one, two, three and four) photoshoots.  Two lovely newborn shoots, one 70th birthday celebration that was so fantastic, and a family shoot with a great family.

Friday night my hubby and I spent the night lazing on the couch, catching up on "Survivor" and the "Big Brother" finale.  And my Mac and I bonded over the bazillion images I had to sort through.

ANYway ... I'm almost caught up - I'm getting into a rhythm.

Plus, Mattias was diagnosed with bronchitis after battling a fever and lethargic behaviour for 7 days.  Good thing we took him in, because the Dr. said that if we had waited even 24 more hours, it would've progressed to pneumonia.   Man.  Did I feel like the worst mother ever ... here, I thought he was just trying to avoid going to school.  I thought maybe he wasn't adjusting well to grade one, that maybe he was lonely, or didn't like his teacher.  Nope.  Just like he kept telling me, "No, Mommy.  I'm sick."  And man, was he right.

Thank goodness there's a learning curve with being a mom *smile*.  

Ok.  Onto my Monday "Biggest Loser" post.  I only ran one 10km on Monday ... and then was too afraid to run again with my bummed ankle until Saturday.  BUT on Saturday, I ran TWELVE KM.  Man, it felt good ... and I took 2 advil that night, JUST in case *grin*.  So I decided to weigh in on Sunday morning - curious about the run and what it did to my body.

Weight:  134.8lbs.

So.  Not a big jump.  I guess now that I'm gaining muscle, and approaching my goal weight (well, 10lbs), things will slow down.  I'd like to be "wedding weight" by my anniversary in November.  124lbs.  We'll see ... 

People have asked me what I listen to on my IPhone while running ... so - here's my set.  It's always on "shuffle" because I can't handle listening to things in the same order over and over again ... I'm weird that way.

IPhone Set, in the order it's on my phone - but again, it's always on shuffle:

Whisper His Name - Deluge
Jericho - Ben Cantelon
God of All - Ben Cantelon
Sing Sing Sing - Chris Tomlin
White Ribbon Day - Delirious
You Never Let Go - Matt Redman
Hosanna - Starfield 
The Highest and the Greatest - Tim Hughes
No Not One - Christy Nockels
Deeper - Delirious
Mighty to Save - Hillsong
Desert Song - Hillsong
Revelation Song - Kari Jobe
I Have Found - Kim Walker-Smith
How He Loves - Kim Walker-Smith
Gloria - Matt Redman
Saviour of the World - Ben Cantelon
All For You - Reuben Morgan
How Can I Keep from Singing - Chris Tomlin
History Maker - Delirious
Reign in Us - Starfield
Love Never Fails - Brandon Heath
God of Wonders - Third Day
Hallelujah - Ben Cantelon
My Soul Sings - Delirious
Forever Reign - Hillsong Live
Heaven Is Here - Kim Walker-Smith
Holy - Kim Walker-Smith
You are Faithful - Kim Walker-Smith
We Shall Not Be Shaken - Matt Redman
Our God Is Love - Hillsong Live

Running is my "God Time" ... so I tend to just listen to worship as apposed to just "inspirational" music.  There is a lot of great Christian music out there - but I like to listen to songs that are either sung in my home church, or could be.   And I also listen to new albums that I haven't had a chance to already check out.  I LOVE the new Deluge album called "Unshakable".  Even the worship tunes are "run-able".    I think that's an important thing to think about ... when I'm running, I have to have music that isn't too laid back - otherwise I find myself running to the beat ... and too slow.

Ok - that's it.  Hope this post inspires you to get your running shoes on!!

Have a great one!

13 September 2010

[biggest loser: Alrighty Then.]

It's been a while since I posted on my personal journey of my weight-loss.  I decided to take a little look back - to see how far I've come, how far I have to go.

So - my last post showed that I was 137.6 lbs.

This morning, I was 135.8 lbs.  And my waist was just under 31".  

Two pounds in almost a month.  Not good ... BUT, it's not like I'm starving myself, skipping desserts, eating only 4oz of chicken with a head of lettuce.  So what do I expect?  Plus, with all my running, I'm pretty sure that I'm packing a bit of muscle - so that's got to count for something.

When I look back even further I can see how things have really progressed for me ... so - this time last year, I was 158lbs ... now, that was only 4 weeks after I had Katia.  But still - it's what I was last fall ... so this past year I have lost over 20lbs.

I still have 10lbs to go.  I'd like to be 124lbs, actually.  But we'll see ... if things start sagging, I'll stop *laughing*.  But I'm going to start being faithful with my weigh-ins here.  It seems to work for me to be painfully public about it ... and it's free *grin*.

My goal for next week:  134.5lbs  - oh to be under 135lb ... I haven't been there since July, 2008.  Sure, I was preggo for most of 2009, but stiiiiill.

And in my final weigh in on that 2008 Biggest Loser competition I did, my final weigh in was 130lbs.   So - if I put it that way, I'm only 6lbs from being my lowest weight in 2 years.

Hey.  I'm feeling pretty pumped now ... off to do my run *grin*.  Going for 7km today ... 

OH OH OH!!!  And I have a post up on my Redhanded Photography Blog ... it's of a family I know well - maybe you know them too ... come stop by and leave a comment if you wish!

Have a great one!

10 September 2010

[Tias: First Day Of Grade One]

First off - how INSANE is it that summer is over.  Over?  Wow.  Time really DOES fly the older you get *grin* ... and now the fall is here.  Oh how I LOVE this time of year ... there's a line in "You've Got Mail" and it talks about "...bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils" in the fall.  Just typing that makes me feel all warm inside.

I loved school as a child, and I'm trying to make this time of year just as special and just as full of excitement as I remember it ... With a new class, new teachers, new pencil crayons and markers, new friends, new warm clothes, fresh lunches ... love love love it.

But.  I have to say good bye to him every day now.  And THAT makes my heart sink.  So - I've been trying to make it fantastic for him, while hiding my little bit of sadness ... cheering him on the best that I know how.

Mattias had his first day of school on Tuesday.  He was so excited - even though his class only had four children from his kindergarten class ... Truth is, I think I was more nervous for him than he was.  Nope.  I was for SURE more nervous ...  It was a full day - but I knew he was more than ready for it.

I love his school, I love the families there, and I love the teacher's hearts - so, we're looking forward to another fantastic year of new friendships, memories and of course - LEARNING!  Oh man ... why can't I be six again? ... And I loved the picture he drew of himself.  The hearts inside ... made me smile.

Well, his teacher is going to get to know me really well *grin* ... bring on the helper days, the fundraisers, the field trips.  I'm sooooo in!

Tias, I hope this year is the best one yet, and that not only you learn about words and numbers, but that you learn about compassion and generosity, about laughter and loyalty.  You are such a beautiful child - and I am a better person because of the things YOU teach ME ... love you Tias so much!!


Ok.   Have a good one *grin*!

09 September 2010

[Katia: A Ladybug Birthday]

A year ago I was DONE.  And after a brief visit to my doctor, he agreed ... and off to the hospital I went.  After a short but intense delivery, we had our final member of our family:  Katia Rose.

It's hard to believe that a year has rolled by, and yet it seems like she's been with us forever.  And when it came to planning a birthday party, I felt a bit overwhelmed and unsure of how it would all pan out ... 

Of course, it all started with a ladybug theme.  Poor little thing - I hope she doesn't mind all the ladybugs in her life *grin* ...   Black, red, white, pink, polka dots.  Yup.  And I made little "antennae" for each child out of a headband, pipe cleaners and spray-painted Styrofoam balls.  They were placed at the door ...

My sis-in-law did the balloons ... her and her hubby's store is Party On.  You should really check it out ... tell her I sent you *grin*.  

The food ... well - we prepared BBQ'd chicken, halved baked potatoes, corn on the cob, pasta salad, broccoli salad and a green salad.  There were veggie chips and hotdogs for the kiddies too ... 

And the star of the show ... at least for that night, was dear little Katia Rose.  I found the sweetest little outfit for her ... she looked so grown up.  And a little bit like a ladybug *grin* ... special thanks to my cousin, Jamie, for her ladybug barrettes.  She has a store - you should check that out too ...

And we all tried to get our pics with her ...

Even I managed to get a couple of pics with her ...

Our immediate family came (we so missed my parents, but they had left for their "Trip Of a Lifetime" already ...) and our close friends who had a child the same age as Katia - or close to.   It was a great group - I love seeing people I love with other people I love ... 

For dessert ... candies.   Ladybug cookies.  And the "Ladybug Birthday Cake".  You saw that already.

Of course, there was a rip-roaring rendition of "Happy Birthday" and then Katia proceeded to double-fist her cake straight into her mouth ...

She opened so many beautiful gifts ... including a special card made by Mattias.

And after an evening of celebrating, we handed out "favours" to each person.  What was it filled with?  Black and red Jelly Bellies, of course *grin*.  Again - HUGE thanks to my sis-in-law at Party On for that ... did you know that she does this service for FREE?  Brilliant.  One less thing to do!!

So.  I'm pooped.  Not just from reliving this whole thing, but from having to post a bazillion pics *laughing*.  Mom, Dad - this one's for you!!

Have a great one!

08 September 2010

[redhanded photography: Dave and Courtney]

Yup.  Still alive ... and like so many of you, right back into the swing of things with school and schedules.  But I love schedules ... I just don't like not seeing Mattias for 8 hours in the day.  Ugh.  I miss him so much ... but he's doing well.  I'll be posting some pics of his first day of Grade 1 later ... 

But for now - I wanted to show you my latest work of Dave and Courtney's wedding.  Photography continues to be such a blessing for me - an outlet for creativity, for my need to run a business, for a small way for me to contribute financially to the home ... it clears  my mind, lets me meet great people, and gets me out of the house a few hours of the month.  For us, it's perfect.

Please stop by - would love to have you, and comments are always welcome.  Would love to know that you came and checked it out ... it helps me know how much time to put into these kinds of "advertising" *grin* ... 

If you are interested in using my services for wedding, maternity/newborn, event (first birthday, baby shower, hockey tournament etc.) or family shoot - please contact me at my Redhanded Photography site and click "contact".  Please note that I am currently taking bookings for spring/summer of 2011.

Have a great one!!