Cancer survivor contest winner! – Ottawa Valley Photographers

Cancer survivor contest winner! – Ottawa Valley Photographers

Since Lisa and I have both lost our Mothers to Cancer in the last few years we decided that we needed to do something to honor their lives.  We came up with a yearly contest for a free Photo Session. We asked that people nominate someone living with Cancer or a Survivor. This year was our first year and 22 people were nominated. I wrote out each name nominated by hand and put it into in a bowl. My son was excited to pick a name…

The winner is… Tristan … a 7 year old boy who survived! He is energetic, funny, and full of Joy!  What a blessing it was to work with him and his blended family. I asked his mom to give me a bit of a timeline of his journey and she replied “He was diagnosed in April 2013 (when he was 5) with stage 3 kidney cancer (Wilms tumour) and had his right kidney removed shortly after. He had radiation for a week and chemo until October 2013. He did amazingly well all through his treatments and all his scans have been clear since then.”

We wish Tristan and this family a lifetime full of great health and happiness.

2015-09-12_0001  View More: http://specialtreasures.pass.us/tristans-family-session 2015-09-12_0005 View More: http://specialtreasures.pass.us/tristans-family-session 2015-09-12_0006 2015-09-12_0002

View More: http://specialtreasures.pass.us/tristans-family-session

Advertisements
A Growing Family- Ottawa Valley Photographers

A Growing Family- Ottawa Valley Photographers

In July we had the privilege of capturing some family photos of the “S” Family. After being able to capture both their Engagement and Wedding Photos , it was great to be a part of their first family photos. We absolutely adored Baby K and saw a clear extension of their love in him. The photos were taken on a very hot, sunny day at a local farm in Eganville Ontario. There wasn’t much shade to be found but that did not stop us nor this amazing family!  We are very happy for this couple and their little man and we wish them much happiness as they watch him grow. We have included a few pictures of this families journey with us below. Thanks you for letting us be a part of your special moments together! SpecialTreasuresBlog_0010 21406_610916258928825_476313447_n SpecialTreasuresBlog_0007 2015-08-06_0001 2015-08-06_0002 2015-08-06_0003 2015-08-06_0004

Sara and Jason’s Poolside Wedding

Sara and Jason are such a special Couple. They joined together with their closest family and friends around a beautiful pool side in Eganville Ontario. The Pool and stunning Tiki Bar area was located in a friends yard (Otherwise known as “Punta Canada”).  It was a gorgeous sunny day with plenty of heat. The Bride walked down the aisle with both of her parents at her side. Sara’s daughters were part of the wedding party. After the couples vows were read Jason had a surprise for the girls. Not only did he have vows and a ring for Sara, but also for them.

His vows:

“I know I wasn’t there for the first steps that you took, but I promise that from this day forward I will love and support you…”

The details of this wedding were centered around this great couple’s Love. Sara and Jason, with the help of the girls, even made their wedding cake from scratch. Formal pictures were taken just down the road at a huntcamp location with fields, rustic buildings, and even an old bus stop! LUCKY US…. the photo ops were endless!

Thank you for letting us share your special day with you… We wish Sara, Jason, the girls, and the new little bundle (coming this year) the best future possible.

SpecialTreasuresBlog_0012

SpecialTreasuresBlog_0013

SpecialTreasuresBlog_0014

2015-07-24_0001

2015-07-24_0002 2015-07-24_0003 2015-07-24_0004 2015-07-24_0005 2015-07-24_0006

SpecialTreasuresBlog_00112015-07-24_0007 2015-07-24_0008 2015-07-24_0009 2015-07-24_0010

SpecialTreasuresBlog_0016

SpecialTreasuresBlog_0015

SpecialTreasuresBlog_00182015-07-24_0011 2015-07-24_0012 2015-07-24_0013 2015-07-24_0014 2015-07-24_0015 2015-07-24_0016  2015-07-24_0018 2015-07-24_0019

Vendors:

Hair: Signature Styles by Tia

Make Up: Chantal Smith – Beauty Secrets

Dress: David’s Bridal – Florida

Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal – Ottawa

Flowers: Handmade by Mother of the Bride

Men’s wear: Express

Rings: People’s Jewellers

Wedding Favors: Antique Key Bottle Openers- The Wedding Shop

Caterer: Leather Works

Wedding Cake: Made with Love buy Sara, Raya and Alyssa, lovingly supervised by Jason.

Jackson Family has a new addition!

Jackson Family has a new addition!

It continues to amaze me that we are so blessed to do this amazing job…and share so many wonderful experiences with our clients!  Last year Jenn and I had the pleasure of sharing a very special wedding with Amanda and Brody

Congratulations Amanda and Brody on the newest addition to the family, he is beyond adorable!

SpecialTreasuresBlog_0008 SpecialTreasuresBlog_0010 SpecialTreasuresBlog_0011

Hiking for Hospice… Hiking for Mom…

Our family had the chance to give back to Hospice in a very big way! As many know, our mother/mother-in-law spent her last few months on earth in Hospice Renfrew. It truly is a home away from home. The staff and volunteers make everyday, no matter how hard or discouraging, a blessing for and with your dying loved one. It gave our family a chance to spend all of the quality time we could with mom (Sharon). It equally allowed mom the chance to have the respect and dignity she so deserved through the end of her disease and exhausting battle.  We were so honoured to be hiking for hospice, and very grateful to all of those who supported our team. On May 4th we took the hike for hospice and as a team raised  over 2,800 dollars. The entire event raised 65,000 dollars. Our team’s name was Nanny’s Ninjas, as mom so loved her grandkids. It was a rainy, windy, cool day but that did not stop anyone. We walked the 3km millennium trail in Renfrew On. Here are a collection of photos taken inside before and after the hike. If anyone is in need of end of life care Hospice Renfrew is an absolute blessing and I truly believe it is a little bit of heaven on earth. We look forward to hiking every year at this event in memory of Mom (Sharon).

SC1_5561 SC1_5562 SC1_5563 SC1_5569 SC1_5570 SC1_5573 SC1_5574 SC1_5579 SC1_5586 SC1_5587

Where have you been? Are you OK?

We have gotten these questions from our wonderful clients who have been concerned that we seem to have disappeared.

On behalf of Jenn and myself, we are sorry;  we are still here but recently needed to take some time to be with family.  For those who do not know Jenn and I are sister-in-laws (I am married to her brother Rob) Last summer Jenn’s mom Sharon was diagnosed with cancer.  When they found the cancer we were optimistic and tried be as positive as possible.  As the results from the first CT scan came back we knew very quickly this was going to be a difficult fight.  Cancer Sucks.  It just does.  There is nothing good I can say about cancer.  Some people will tell us it can make you strong, or bring your family closer, but I can assure you cancer does none of these things, Sharon was strong before she got cancer, our family was close before Sharon got cancer.  It is so difficult to write this as I can feel the tears welling up.  Jenn and I decided that family was a priority, we took a small step back from our photography and only took a few bookings as we did not know what to expect.

On January 15 2014 Sharon lost her battle with cancer.

It has truly been the most difficult loss we have ever experienced and we just needed some time.

We can not thank our clients enough for their patience, understanding, support and sticking with us during this time.  We are truly blessed and now we have an angel to watch over us.  We also would like to thank the staff and volunteers at Hospice Renfrew who cared for Sharon and for our entire family.

Jenn wrote the following and had posted it on her Facebook page, I thought it best captured the love, the strength and the loss we have all been experiencing.

Heavy on my heart were these words tonight ! Love you momma

In the last months of your life I held your hand and told you that everything would be alright
I prayed for and with you…
I prepared my heart for the worst but hoped for the best
I spent as much time as I could with you
I didn’t want to have any regrets if this indeed was the beginning of the end of your life here on earth

In the last weeks of your life
I helped you take care of yourself
Maintaining dignity and respect
I read you your favorite bible verses
We talked about all of the life you had lived
Sometimes I just sat and watched you sleep …
Sometimes I just sat in silence while you told me all you had too.
Often I busied my hands to help you however I could,
I learned lessons, I gained the new ability to “hide” my own pain from you.
I know you must have saw through it…
but for both of us..
You did not acknowledge it..
We had to carry on!

I feel like I really found out what kind of a mother you had been all of those years… A gentle , helpful, selfless one..
And In the routine … Our roles changed so very much.
You taught me how to stand on my own two feet… And how to care in a way I could not have even imagined.
I know now it was the way that you cared for everyone…
I lost the ability to pray with words
I prayed in tears and song
I closed off the rest of my life
So I could try my best to hold up yours
I lived for you… I knew the end was near
It taught me how to make decisions without you
But… Still…
It did not teach me how to let you go.
I spent my quiet moments grieving a loss that had not yet occurred
I saw the sun … I felt the rain… But I was already mourning
Especially in the quiet …

In the last days of your life I plead your case aloud with God over and over.
But my heart had been prepared..
I never left your side,
And in the end I begged you to let go.
I told your wordless, barely responsive body that
I was tired, worn, and weak… That I might have to go home for awhile…

I couldn’t leave…

And then I was given the strength that you held onto your whole life ,
You grew weaker, your pained diseased body was failing, your heart was beating but you started to leave.

I waited with you… And my thoughts, actions , and words , were all consumed by waiting… You could not wake up, and we could not sleep…

And…
We all gathered around you,
In union we watched and waited.
Some read to you, some sang to you, some cried for you…

We took turns holding your hand
I know I kissed your face at least a dozen times that morning,
Your earthly body was changing,
And God was busy preparing your new body …
Your new home…

I could not do anything for you anymore,
I could not keep my hands busy to maintain or prolong your time with me…
So in those final moments I could no longer depend or be depended upon…

I was lost … I bowed my head and prayed the deepest prayer I had in so long… And then I lifted my head and knew it was time to say goodbye.

That miraculous moment when you opened your eyes,
And you cried for the life you were leaving behind,
We were all there to say goodbye,
And your eyes turned toward the light,
As the angels carried you to your new home…
That very moment is what sums it up for me…
That very moment where all of the joy and all of the pain in my heart met,
Where the deepest moans of mourning were heard
When We watched you leave,
In the way that you left…
You were “mother”, and you drew up an energy only God could give,
So you could mother us in your passing.

And all of the people who knew you tell stories of their blessings because of who you were.
But I could never express the blessings you passed on to me in this journey…
Picking up the pieces of my current life is refreshing, and beautiful…
However, it is fragile, and shaken, and frightening …

In the days after you died,
I have been filling my time with tasks
I have been loving my family
I have been yearning, longing, and grieving,
But I am doing fine, and I see the sun and I feel the rain,
And I have been living… Without you…
I know I am mothered by the legacy you left behind…
But when the grieving comes… I have to retreat, relive , and let go again….
Always in my heart momma!

MattedPhoto

ST2_9800_mat

Happy Canada Day ~ Ottawa Valley Photographers Celebrate with Family

It is no secret Canada Day is my favorite holiday.  Canada Day has always meant the official kick off to summer celebration!  As a kid I always enjoyed my town’s Canada Day festivities, Morin Heights always had lots going on and as kids we always enjoyed the live bands and huge bonfire.  I have always enjoyed taking my kids to celebrate around our town.

canadadayblog1

My son really enjoys the bike parade every year, and spends a few days planning how he is going to decorate his bike in festive red and white.  This year was no different.  There were a few activities for the kids to enjoy at the youth centre.  They played games, some of the prizes at the games were mustaches which the kids had fun with…and these awful looking teeth, which are really funny for little boys!  The kids could have their faces painted, and who doesn’t love a dunk tank!  Is that wrong that we take so much pleasure in making someone fall into ice-cold water?

Summer Fun, and family is what Canada Day is all about!

Summer Fun, and family is what Canada Day is all about!

What Canada Day celebration would be complete without fireworks?  Everyone loves fireworks and we always enjoy them from Nanny and Papa’s deck, we have a great view and avoid any crowds…it’s perfect.  This year Eganville and the Bonnechere Valley Township Fire Department did a fantastic job!

Thanks for a job well done, we can’t wait for next year!

Fireworks!   The Perfect end to our Canada Day Celebration

Fireworks!
The Perfect end to our Canada Day Celebration

fireworks

fireworks2

fireworks3

fireworks4