December 20th:
Chloe went missing for three days, in the midst of AJ’s death, and was finally found two days back in the crawlspace of our garage. When she finally came in she ate for 20 minutes straight, and slept on our bed the next two nights in a row. I had hung posters and gone door to door looking for her.
After AJ, I could take no chances with a missing cat.

Today has been a bust. Too much stress, too much nothing… tonight is a little bit of silence and a little bit of cider to make up for it.
Tomorrow I shoot a three hour “emergency” wedding as a second, but it will give me enough to pay into some of the holiday debt we all accumulate this time of year.

Today is the first day of Yule. Tempest and Xan unwrapped a parking garage playset with circular tracks through a structure half their size. It included a dozen new cars to go with it. After Curtis and I hurriedly (and with much frustration) set it up, they played with it all evening. We had to drag them to bed, and Xan stayed awake until nearly 11pm to explore every single track another 20 times, or more.

With such a stressful day beneath me, I put everything into finishing Tempest’s dress this evening and having those moments of pride and joy when she received it… but after screwing up fatally, twice in a row, I collapsed into tears and spent the rest of the night on the couch. It was the breaking point of a terrible afternoon; I was done.
Curtis offered to get my supplies tomorrow morning while I sleep in. He’s too good to me sometimes, and I think I don’t deserve someone as wonderful as he can be.

December 21st:
Curtis birthday was the 19th, and I presented him with [this apron] and we went out by ourselves for a delicious and romantic evening with sushi.

It seems like it’s been forever since I gave a real update. I fail miserably at DePhoMo, but I’m still doing what I can. I have a little back post, but I missed a few days in there, so there will be much photo-love included in this entry.

The last few days we’ve spent completely snowed in. Today it started up again at just past noon and continued into the night. We’re in the midst of a massive, massive blizzard. In two days we’re going to drive up to spend Christmas with my dad, and I’m starting to get a little concerned over the trip up the mountain. Tuesday and Wednesday is supposed to get warmer, and even rain, and if that happens then the roads will be clear on our drive up – so here’s hoping.
I left the house today a bit past 12, picked up by Karen who was the main photographer for a winter wedding. Her husband was driving today, as it was very snowy, with more coming, and she’s terrified of driving in the snow after a few very bad incidents some years back.
The drive there took about 45 minutes when it normally would have taken 20 tops, the roads were in rough shape but he did fine having grown up in Northern Ontario. The couple was 40 minutes late for their wedding, but somehow we managed to get out of there on time. They got married on the shortest day of the year, in a blizzard, in the darkest venue I have ever seen. Half the time we were there was spent doing set-up for lighting rigs, because otherwise we couldn’t get a single portrait done – really, it was that dark in there.

We did take the bridal party outside into the snow for a little while when we still had light. The men all made snow angels in two feet of snow. Kudos to them, I was freezing in my thick coat and two layers of pants and wouldn’t be caught dead laying down, stuffing snow into my sleeves and pants by rolling around on the ground.
After the bridal party was done we sent them inside and went out into the snowy path with the couple to get some photos of them. The bride was wearing a sort of ivory yellowish dress so the colour wasn’t too bad next to the overwhelming white.
We stepped out into what we thought was about 10 inches of snow, but it turned out to be thigh-level. Trudging through that for half an hour was ridiculous. Thank god one of the guests, an experienced camper, thought to bring “hot shots”: little bags that you can put in your boots, pockets or mittens that generate heat and last for seven hours (I have no idea how they work, they feel like they have sand in them). He handed them out to the entire wedding party and the two of us photographing them while we worked outside. It was a life-saver (or a finger-saver, at least).

As soon as I got home Tempest wanted to know if they could have another present. Sigh.
She opened up a Littlest Pet Shop set from Nana, and Xan got another set of Hotwheels cars for the parking garage set from the night before. We discreetly threw out all the broken or oversized broken up cars that he’d been hanging onto while he freaked over all the new cars.

Also this evening I gave Tempest her sunflower dress. While the pettiskirt still needs to be done (tomorrow), the actual knitted dress is now entirely done. I’m so proud of it, it turned out so beautifully.
I explained to her about the pettiskirt delay, but said I wanted to give it to her anyway. “Yeah yeah yeah!” she said, promising not to mind about the missing fluff. I presented her the dress and she squealed in delight. She tried it on immediately and it was a perfect fit. Her shoulders are a little thin for it, so I think I may have to pin it in the back until the summertime (or perhaps even a little past), she’s a skinny girl, but the good part about that is that this dress will fit her for a long while.

DePhoMo 21: “All made up”
Testing the twirl.

It balloons into a perfect bell shape, just like a flower. I <3 it.

A few DePhoMos to fill in the blanks.
A Macbook “photobooth” photo of Xan nursing while I was knitting the skirt of Tempest’s dress. He was very attached to this photo, and it’s one of the few I have of him nursing (for some reason I have taken very little this time around).

Behind me is not garbage, but bags and bags and bags of yarn from the many projects Curtis and I are making.

There is no 17, 18 or 19. Boo.

20: “Clouds or Skies”
I don’t know how cloudy or sky-y this is, but it’s the first thing I thought of. I’m about mid-way through editing this session from some days back, I’ve been slow for sake of being busy and exhausted.
This was the most fucking adorable little girl ever. She was born and raised so far Indonesia, and has never had a chance to see snow before today. This family flew in literally the night before I arrived for photos, and she’d been sleeping since she came in. So after some photos indoors we bundled up and went outside to explore something new. The sun was bright and shining; it was a gorgeous winter day.

On the 23rd we drive for hours up to dad’s place – I’ll update once I get there, hopefully with photos of our way up, provided we survive it.

Links of The Day:
Avatar: The Last Airbender fan? Check out this link and do your part. I sent my letter in a few days ago.
Racialicious – “A blog about the intersection of race and pop culture”. This blog is absolutely one of the best, most continually mind-expanding reads I have ever had the fortune to come across. Every time a new article comes up, I eagerly read it as if it’s chocolate to eat. In the beginning I wasn’t sure I agreed with much of what was posted, and I’d walk away, think, and come back and read again to find myself realizing the depth of the words more seriously. Everyone should be reading this.




  • eiretamicha says:

    That dress is just lovely!! Wonderful job!! πŸ™‚

  • ajlinda says:

    Curtis and I have the same birthday.
    Real cute dress. πŸ˜›

  • Tempest’s dress turned out beautifully!!!! You are so very skilled with the knitting needles! πŸ™‚

  • sprytaen says:

    Question.. how long does it usually take you to return photos to your clients? I shot my first wedding a little over a week ago – eek! – and they’re already clamouring for the retouched images. This seems a little.. premature? Especially since they understand their wedding was the week before my finals and we had to drive two days to get home.

    • admin says:


      She’s insane. With weddings I say a month, but I try hard to get it done in half that time.
      With normal sessions I say two weeks, and usually get it done by one week. What was in your contract?

      I started in graphic and web design, so I know the drill: you take however long you think you can finish in, double it, and then quote that to the client. Because you never know, really, how long it’s going to be and what might come up.

  • derryn_007 says:

    Re: hot shots — not sand, but iron filings! Something about being exposed to oxygen, I think, makes them heat up… you can get them at MEC. You can also get re-usable ones — they’re full of this gel stuff, and you “click” a little metal button inside it, and it starts this chemical reaction that turns the gel opaque (and sometimes crunchy) and it gets hot… lasts for hours, and then you just stick it on boiling water to reverse it and use it again. They were being sold at a kiosk in the mall before Christmas…

    Good luck driving up to your dad’s! My dad is coming over today to take me to the island — should be interesting! Merry Christmas and Happy Yule πŸ™‚

  • I LOVE Tempest’s dress; I swear I’d wear a dress like that, myself. It’s excellent.

    That picture of Xan boobing makes me miss nursing. Aww.

  • winterbourne says:

    Great photos! The dress is beautiful.

    And I’m glad you found Chloe. Too many cat-related crises lately (my coworker’s cat of 15 years died a few days ago, she was devastated).

  • mrsdewees says:

    That dress is absolutely adorable. And the nursing photo is lovely.

  • molly_diane says:

    I’m so glad you found Chloe! One of my cats getting out/lost is literally the stuff of my nightmares and scares the shit out of me. πŸ™

    That dress is so cute! You did a great job πŸ˜€

  • I don’t know how you can knit while nursing a toddler. Mine is forever trying to grab the yarn or the needles. Whenever I try to knit/nurse it’s like nursing a huge feline without claws…”Can’t…resist…string!”

    The dress turned out amazing and Tempest looks like a little garden sprite in it. Precious.

    The article on “Racialicious” was fabulous and I’ve added that feed to my other blog because you’re right, it’s excellent.

  • the_gersemi says:

    The dress is absolutely gorgeous. I’m not a big fan of knitted clothes except for jumpers and socks, but this is simply fantastic.

  • sunlit_mists says:

    The photo of Xan nursing, makes me want to cry.. I miss nursing my babies so much.

    It is as beautiful as any you have ever taken.

    thank you.

    • admin says:

      I think Xan’s nursing days are on their last leg. He generally only nurses 1-2 times a day, at the most, and for only a moment or two. The longest he nurses is when he first wakes up in the morning and gets me awake, for maybe four or five minutes…
      He’s also potty learning really fast. It’s crazy, it’s like he’s leaving the last of his babyhood. πŸ™

  • facethemoon says:

    Beautiful beautiful dress! And since when did Tempest look like such a little person?! She doesn’t look kid-ish at all in those first shots, she looks grown up! Our babies sure are growing up fast. *sniff*

    Lets get together with the kiddies again after the Yule season settles down again. <3

  • That dress turned out beautiful. I love the shape of the skirt!

  • sraedi says:

    Way to go on the dress! : D!

  • florassecret says:

    you should get Tempest into ballet. she has the arms and legs for it.
    Ger’s work was canceled for today. However, he dug his way out and went for a drive to the local store to get stocked up on candles, matches, a lighter and foods we can eat if we have a black out. I wish I could play in this snow, my two girls are sick and the wind chill (ok a week ago) really kept us inside.

    The sunflower dress is amazing, simply amazing!
    I love how it twirls.

    Good luck driving!

    • admin says:

      My mother was a “professional” ballerina for 17 years. After knowing what it does to your body, ballet is the last thing I want her in. :-/
      I know she’d love dance, and there are a lot safer options out there… but I’m just not comfortable damning her to serious pain and injury if she takes a shine to it and keeps going. I know some may disagree with me.

      • sunlit_mists says:

        I took ballet for 8 years, shattered both my knees, and still suffer from it, it and high school football will never happen in this house.

      • mrsdewees says:

        I have horrible knee problems due to pointe ballet. It weakened my legs so much. I’m trying yoga now to see what strength I can get back. I’m not going to ever put my daughter in dance or gymnastics either.

      • There is that … there’s also the fact that ballet – like gymnastics – focuses heavily on body shape and size. Being fit I have no problem with whatsoever, but I really don’t want to get Tykie into anything that focuses heavily on being thin. I flat-out refused ballet, hemmed and hawed over gymnastics (which she only wanted to be in because her cousin was), and was elated when she decided she wanted to take music lessons, instead.

        My entire family railed on me for refusing ballet lessons. For months.

      • derryn_007 says:

        I was in ballet for 12 years on Salt Spring, and loved every minute of it. It was pretty casual, because it was Salt Spring, so none of the pressure to be thin and all that. If you can find a teacher with a casual approach to “recreational” ballet (ie. not focused on training prima ballerinas — there’s gotta be some hippy dance teachers in this town!), I would definitely say go for it, or any kind of dance, really — it taught me a lot about body awareness and (dare I say) grace… and it was fun as heck, especially when we got to do “scarf dancing” (read: running amok with scarves). And T could wear her sunflower dress!

      • yeah I wont put Marissa in real ballet because of that.

        My 21 year old cousin has the movement of a 60 year old woman in her knees. She’s had 4 corrective surgeries and even a plate in her knees.
        She only did ballet from age 2-18 and its that bad.

        I also have a friend back in Ontario who is a ballet teacher and she even told me not to put her in it.

      • starpolish says:

        Something that is great for kids who are athletic or into movement is martial arts. There are a lot of different styles and if you get into a good school, it’s not about “fighting.” It’s about fitness, self discipline, focus and meditation, knowing your body, and self defense. I was steadily in karate from age 8-16 and have been on again off again in hapkido and judo since college. There is some risk for injury (I broke my foot in judo) but most people who do martial arts for life are in better shape at 60 than most people are at 18.

  • mammaopal says:

    I think that’s the most beautiful little girls dress I’ve ever seen!
    The shape is amazing! I can’t believe you KNIT that???! I’m blown away.

    I love how much Tempest adores it too. So sweet!

    Thank goodness you found your kitty! I would be so upset if something happened to my little Darling Sugar-Plum (that’s my cat’s name)

  • T and X are so so so so cute! The bit about the cars made me laugh…he looked so confused the other night when I said, “You have a car, and you’re IN a car!” I loved how he just smiled and said, “CAR!” He’s such a character. πŸ™‚

  • That dress is incredible! I would have killed for something like that at Tempest’s age.

    Good luck with the drive! I’m dreading the trip to Victoria on Weds night :S

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