Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Name Change and Teaching

Hey team! So, Gary and I have our business licence coming up for renewal in a month and we are changing from a proprietorship to a partnership. Yes, Gary has been the sole owner of GC Photography since the beginning even though I now do about 80% of the work:) It makes sense to change to a partnership but we are thinking of changing our name as well. It can be hard having a business with two people but I know I would never do a wedding without Gary! Besides, he's my expert camera/lens cleaner/ maintenance guy and IT expert! I do want something tied to our name but maybe it doesn't even make sense to change it. You know, all new business cards, domain names etc. Could be a pain. Thoughts? Does it even matter? We aren't looking to expand our business, just keep it nice and small. Kinda weird in a world where everyone wants to grow, grow, grow!

Secondly, it seems like every single person I talk to daily (when they find out I'm a photographer) mentions that they have a nice camera and would like to learn how to use it properly. I would LOVE for people to know how to use their cameras to their full potential. I'm thinking of offering mini courses (you know, like 2 hours) where you learn the basics of how to use your camera (focusing on shutter speed, ISO, aperture and exposure) and then practice in an indoor and outdoor setting might be a fun idea. I would offer the first one at a discounted rate to get feedback. I'm not claiming to be an expert but I do feel like I have some good info to offer! Besides, I'm a decent teacher and I miss it:)

Anyway, those are my thoughts of the day. Would love feedback!
Love, Louise

Monday, March 26, 2012

Maternity Photos!

You can check out our maternity session that we had in Victoria here. I'm so glad we did it as Megan and Steve always do a great job and we haven't done maternity photos before. It's a bit scary being on the other side of the camera but it's always worth it! Please leave them a comment as we photographers like that sort of thing:)
PS So glad we did it in Victoria, it's so beautiful there!

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Gary and I had a wedding to photograph today. If you are not from the Lower Mainland, today we had the nicest day weather wise we've had all year. It was fantastic. Gary wore sunscreen. I sweat a little. Oh sunshine, I love you. We only photographed the ceremony, family photos and the formal portraits (maybe 3.5 hours total) and I was exhausted. Wow. We have three more full weddings to go before babe arrives and it should be interesting to see how my body does. My feet and hands are starting to swell and I am very short of breath. However, I do feel so, so good!
{On our way to the wedding, we stopped by Fort Langley to check out this wall that we've always wanted to use for photos. We didn't use it for the wedding today because it was in full sun by the afternoon but I do love it! Also, just want to point out my new chalkboard pen. If you are looking for one, it's from Opus. Just $4 and it wipes off with water.}
People are now asking me all the time when I'm due as though I'm about to give birth. They are shocked to hear that it's not til the end of May. Yes, I am big. Yes, I get really big with each baby. I have to say that whenever I see someone running, I wish I could run. I haven't really enjoyed running since before Koen was born but it was something I used to love. I'm pretty sure I will get back into it again once babe is about 6 weeks and I'm `allowed'.

For some reason, I'm sort of grieving that this is my last pregnancy. It's gone so well. It's such an amazing process. I'm so thankful that I have been able to go through it. I know that having another child (via adoption) is a possibility so that is still exciting but the likelihood is very low based on my husband's lack of desire for 4 kids (understandably!) and the long, long journey to adopt. I am appreciating every minute of this and am not ready to meet this babe yet. It's coming up fast! Compared to her brothers, she does not move much at all (which of course freaks me out at times). She is most active from about 6-8pm but that's about it.
{Kai learning about measuring in cm. He LOVES his math book. We spent 2 hours yesterday learning about money and measurement. I love that he loves it:)}

Because we had a wedding today, Grandma and grandpa took the boys overnight last night!! Yay!! Gary and I went and saw `The Hunger Games' which I have been eagerly waiting for. I really liked the books (like 8.5/10) so I could not wait. The movie was good but the movie is never as good as the book:( So, I say it was about 7/10 and Gary just gave it a 6/10. It just didn't feel as intense as the book, you know? Still, so good to go see it. We then went for sushi afterwards. Yum.

Finally, don't get me wrong. I love family time but wow, we have had a LOT of family time over the past two weeks. I think I'm ready for Gary to go back to work and for Kai to go back to school. I feel like I just need some `Louise time' but not sure what that looks like. Maybe aquafit on Monday.

Oh ya, I didn't tell you about our kitchen. We officially signed a contract for new cabinet doors/sides etc. Not all new cabinets, just refacing them. They will be `chocolate pear' and very nice, and you know, a few thousand more than we anticipated. Yikes! It's the last thing we wanted to do in our house so then we will be done and I will love it.

And to all you 200 people that read this blog daily (or at least click on it to see the blog links on the side), you can comment you know:) It's so crazy the random people that tell me that they read this blog. I don't think this stuff is very interesting but thanks for caring about our lives:)

Have a wonderful rest of the weekend!
Love, Louise

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Visits and Geocaching

As our trip nears an end, I have realized that one of the kids highlights was just playing cars in the hallway. They love to race their little matchbox cars for hours. Without fighting. Yay! Guess we didn't need to go anywhere fun for them to do that but maybe if we were home they would be distracted by other things and not find each other so fascinating.
After a leisurely morning, we got in the van to head to Port Alberni which is about one hour away. My mom's mom (oma) and brother (Uncle Al) live there so it's always great to see them. It's where my parents met as teenagers and got married a few years later.
We stopped at Cathedral Grove (we always do!) and tried to go for a walk but it was really, really muddy and wet so we had to cut it short.
Kai was happy that it was so short, he was not a fan of the walk.
Here the boys are with oma and uncle Al. We are celebrating that oma turned 89 yesterday! We just stayed for an hour and then went back to Parksville.
If you've never been, Parksville has a great playground for kids along the beach. It's huge and great for all ages. Just saying.
I'm so embarrassed to post the picture below but it is SO cold and windy here and my coats don't zip up so I just layer. I look ridiculous. Gary doesn't own a winter coat that I could borrow (he just wears rain jackets over fleece). I have to say that I'm so tempted to go somewhere warm next Spring Break because there is no way I want to take a baby out on the beach in this cold, windy, snowy weather.
We then went back to the condo to get ready to do some geocaching. There were two caches along the beach and Kai found both of them.

Kai got a little red truck out of this one:)
My boys!

Highlights for each person:
Koen: the petting zoo in Victoria and the jet tub
Kai: playing cars with Koen and seeing oma and uncle Al
Gary: going for walks as a family
Louise: having our photos taken, the jet tub, and reading two books (oh, and oodles of outdoor family time).

Hope you are having a great week.
Love, Louise

PS Sooooooooo excited to see the Hunger Games on Friday!!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Off To Parksville

I had a terrible night of insomnia but at least all I had to do today was be on holidays. For some reason I could not stop thinking about a million things. Gary is so good about just...not thinking:) We got up, had breakfast (three pieces of toast for each kid...piggies!), packed up all of our stuff and went two blocks back to Beacon Hill Park. It was raining but the boys didn't care. We saw a lot of ducks and then went to the playground for a bit.

We also went to the Children's Farm there for a bit and the kids loved the baby cute! Great idea, Haley:)
We did a scenic drive and then went off to Parksville. You can tell the kids have been playing hard because Koen had a nice little snooze.
We are staying at condo just a 5 minute walk from Rathtrevor Beach in Parksville. By taking that big ramp (below) and not being beachfront, we save $50+/night:) This is one of the simplest/smallest/oldest condos that we have stayed in but the kids (and I) love the jet tub that we have so that's a perk! There's also a playground right outside our door:)

The weather has been crazy all day. Rain, snow, sun...the works.
The inside joke of this trip is saying `Who wants to go to the Dolphin Show?'. It's because when we play Junior Monopoly, Kai inevitably gets that card over and over (Go to the Dolphin Show and pay $2). So, no one here wants to go to the Dolphin Show. I should have told `Ms. Megan' this trick to get Koen to smile because this is the smile you get when you ask him...
Koen could've stayed on the beach forever but our Mr. Kai Bear has been a bit grumpy and was ready to head back in once the rain started again.

I love being on holidays. I love the beach. I love the way these boys travel and explore.
Well, I'm going to head to the couch and start on book #2:)

Love, Louise

PS I think Gary and I need to do a trip just the two of us back to Victoria sometime. It's so different doing that trip with kids. Still good, just a whole lot less romantic. Maybe next year we'll take our bikes across on the ferry sans kiddos. Yes, I think a bike trip is romantic.

Monday, March 19, 2012


Today we took the ferry to Victoria and drove straight to Beacon Hill Park. We met up with Megan and her husband Steve to have a family/maternity session. It was pretty cold but I won't complain because it wasn't raining! The kids did a pretty good job...I think? I'm excited to get those photos and you can see a sneak peek on their website now!:) Victoria is gorgeous.
I've been trying to keep them injury free for the last few days and of course last night, while they were racing cars, one of Koen's cars flew into the air and hit Kai in the forehead. It resulted in a goose egg immediately. True, there is photoshop, but that adds an hour to any photographers editing just to get rid of that bruise/bump in all those photos.
(found it! Not an exciting one.)
We got to see a billion ducks and geese and peacocks which the boys loved. We then went to our hotel (resort and spa, go us! Thank you, Hotwire!) and got settled. Then, it was off to geocache and walk the harbour front area.
We did go to the Old Spaghetti Factory for dinner as we forgot that our hotel had a full kitchen this first night and didn't bring enough meals along.
The kids loved the `fancy restaurant' meal (ha) and I realized why I never go there. Oh well.
Went back to the hotel and the boys went for a swim and hot tub.
I have realized that I couldn't go on a trip any further along in this pregnancy. I get pretty tired so am not a whole lot of fun or very helpful:)
(The boys just watched the hockey game in bed and Koen actually fell asleep before 8pm which has never happened in a hotel for him EVER. Yay! Our little monkey is growing up:)

Looking forward to tomorrow!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Backsplash and Desserts

We saw `The Lorax' yesterday and the kids enjoyed it. We went to the Clova so it was just $15.00 for our whole family:) Koen thought the Lorax was cute and Kai laughed throughout the movie. It was good, the kids give it an 8/10. Oh ya, Koen kept calling me the `Lobster' last night and we realized he thought that was the name of the Once-ler.
{Above is the old backsplash in the messy looking kitchen, below is the new backsplash in a still messy kitchen}
Gary is almost done the back splash, he just has to seal it one more time. Next week we have someone coming by to give us an estimate on refacing our cupboards (they just replace the doors and put a veneer on the side to match rather than replacing the cupboards). It does seem ridiculous to spend big money on aesthetics rather than functionality but the orange looking cupboards do drive me nuts. We love our house and if we can put money into it to make it just how we want it then we save a ton of money not moving. I wish we had done the upgrades when we first purchased our home but we were just married, it was our first home and I was too scared to put even more money into upgrades, even though we were approved by the bank to spend much more:)
Koen can play all day long by himself. He makes up his own rules and plays for me, Kai, Gary and even his baby sister. Baby sister (in utero) has won several games already!
We are just prepping for our `big trip' to the island and looking forward to it! I am so incredibly tired so I'm taking Palafer (iron). I do feel very, very good physically so that is awesome. I totally credit prenatal yoga. We have our maternity/family photo session on Monday so I'm just hoping the weather is decent for that day. I'm also hoping the kids keep their faces injury free for just a few more days:)
{Playing with the 85mm a, I've never struggled so much with a lens before. I want to fall in love with it so I will persist.}

The kids are driving Gary and I a bit crazy so I'm hoping they will tire themselves out while we are on holidays. It doesn't help that we've had snow/rain every day.

We babysat Isaac for a couple of hours last night. I love him but it reminded me how evenings (or really any part of the day) will not be free anymore in just 10 short weeks. I am soaking up my selfishness now. Free time to do as I wish. With the boys being 3 and 5, it's just so easy as they really take care of themselves most of the day. I'm a bit nervous:) I'm very thankful that I have the entire month of June to just focus on baby and the boys and then have very limited bookings after that.

Baby girl is definitely craving desserts. Every night I want to have something homemade that involves chocolate. I don't do it every night but I want to:) These two minute brownies in a mug desserts are perfect! What else do I crave? Some awesome homemade mousse, banana cream pie, cupcakes with lemon frosting....oh man, so good. I don't want to waste the calories on store bought stuff and I don't have tons of energy to bake so fortunately I don't end up eating it very often. Oh, and whipped cream. It makes everything better. I've gained 22lbs so far which is pretty much on track with my weight gain with Koen. I'm still exercising daily so that's good too.

Well, better get to the laundry so I can pack our suitcases!
Have a wonderful weekend.
Love, Louise

Monday, March 12, 2012

Spring Break: Green Lake

We just spent three nights at Green Lake (up by 100 Mile House). It's where Gary and I got married and my dad has a house there. We went up with my sister Maria and her family and the benefit of that is that the kids just play non stop. Very little parenting involved:) It actually isn't my favourite place to go in the winter, especially when I'm pretty pregnant and not really able to do many activities but it was still good. I forgot to bring my computer which was a bit annoying because I had planned on working/editing each night. Now I feel like I'm behind but oh well. There is no internet there so it's good to get away from that for a few days:)

So, here are some pictures from our time. We had great weather but it was windy and cold. The drive home was a bit stressful as it was snowing quite heavily. The boys had a great time with their cousins and they just played so well together.

{Gary, Kris and the kids built a snow fort/quinzee which the kids loved tunneling through}

{Maria and Kris snowshoeing on the lake}
{29 weeks and the last time I will be pregnant at Green Lake. Kind of sad as I wouldn't mind doing this again:) I feel like I'm 3 months pregnant until I see myself in the mirror:)}
{And one of my favourite parts of the day...after a long day of playing, the kids in their pj's watching some cartoons before bed.}

{Kai and Koen look so much alike above!}
The kids traveled so well (it's about 4.5 hours) and it's so easy to go with the two boys. I know it won't be `so easy' for much longer so we are definitely appreciating it now. Looking forward to the rest of our spring break as the best is yet to come! Tomorrow is a work day for Gary replacing the back splash in our kitchen...not so fun but it will look great. Thinking of seeing `The Lorax' with the kiddos this week too, anyone else seen it? Okay for the little ones?

Hope you are all doing well.
Love, Louise