[#1] Share with us a snippet of your story.
I’ve followed Kelli & Vanessa since the very beginning, so when Kelli asked me last summer (yes last summer ugh) if they could feature me, I was instantly overwhelmed and kept thinking I’m not “super mom” enough to be featured amongst so many amazing moms. So I kept putting it off but never forgetting. Finally here I am; just another mom with every day struggles, triumphs, tears and joys like the rest of you!
Here is a little snippet about me. I was born in Belize, Central America in a small Mennonite community! I’m # 9 in a rather large family of 12 kids! My dad being a pastor had the burden to move down to Costa Rica when I was only 6 months old. So my earliest memories are filled with vivid smells of the rain forests, living in a shed with tin roof and concrete floors, spending endless hours playing in the creek with my sisters catching tad poles and splashing in the crystal clear water. My parents may not have had any money but I could not have asked for a happier or more fulfilling childhood. My family ended up back in Canada when I was 8 and I’ve lived here since. Fast forward 15 years and I met the love of my life in Seattle, WA! Mark is everything and more I could have ever asked for in a husband. His heart is one of serving, always making sure everyone around him is being taken care of and goes out of his way to do so. He loves The Lord and has taken a stand that his house will serve The Lord. We’ve been married just shy of 13 years now and have been blessed with 4 beautiful boys!
I try my best to find that happy balance between making a home, raising 4 boys, keeping a happy husband, and photography. We live just outside of a small town in rural Manitoba. Growing up on a farm, I dream of doing so much more with our little acreage. Chickens? A goat? A pretty garden? For now, I’ll keep dreaming! I love capturing the beauty in every day life, always seeking that glorious light and imperfectly perfect moments.
Sorry, that was way more then a snippet!
[#2] Share what is your favorite part of the day with your little ones.
This is a tough question to answer! It completely depends on what stage in life we are at. Currently, my life revolves around my toddler at home since the oldest 3 are all in school full time. I’ve nursed my baby longer then any of the others and would say my favorite part of the day is the time I take to snuggle with him in bed; giggling, nursing, admiring, then snuggling till he falls asleep! In the warmer months my favorite part of day is most definitely the almost daily walks or bike rides along the lake as a family! I live for those times!
[#3] Name three Instagram moms who inspire you and why.
And I thought the last question was tough! Only 3? To make this short and sweet, I’m going to list their instagram names and a few words that come to mind!
@joyprouty – pure sweetness & honesty | @saraparsons – beauty, great sense of style, funny, & loving | @strawberrykoi – inspirational & latte art I look forward to every day! | @stephaniellb – dreamy photography & an amazing mother | @alpinebabyco – smart, talented, adventurous, surrounded by beauty!
[#4] What challenges have you faced in balancing motherhood and your passion for creativity?
Every day it’s a challenge to balance motherhood and photography. I am fortunate to have a husband who works full time to support our family. So that allows me some freedom in choosing what evenings and weekends I shoot. Weddings could take up all my weekends if I let them but I promised myself to only book an average of two weekends a month so I have the other weekends to spend with my family. This has been the best decision ever! Of course shooting is only a small part of my job so I’m left with trying to balance every day life and hours spent in front of the computer editing images. So far the best solution has been to use nap time and evenings after kids are in bed to work on edits. In all honesty, I usually keep putting it off till it’s crunch time and I pull a few late nights to get through sessions! It’s a continual challenge and learning process.
[#5] What is a family tradition you enjoy sharing with your kids?
Every Labour Day weekend, my family (all 70+ of them) go camping for 4 days on a gorgeous piece of property owned by my parents in the middle of no where! No running water or electricity. It’s an amazing time to unplug and unwind after our short whirlwind summers! All the cousins spend long happy days in the warm sun, running freely along the wooded trails and open fields, exploring and playing games. We eat like royalty! Families taking turns to cook hearty meals on the open campfires. We have volley ball tournaments, hay rides and family hikes! The adults spend countless hours relaxing in the shade of trees, sipping coffee, chatting, laughing till our sides ache, napping in hammocks and singing to The Lord with guitars around the campfire! It’s a tradition I hope to continue forever. A weekend we look forward to all year!!
[#6] If you could give us a peek in to your home, what image would you share? And why?
A table full of yummy food! My husband loves cooking and having company over for Saturday brunch! His food gets rave reviews among friends and family! The table is the centre of our home. So many delicious meals have been served here, so many friends gathered around our table over the years! My husband Mark just finished building a long plank barn wood table which now graces our dining room. We hope to serve many a meal on it. Sharing, nourishing, laughing, encouraging, growing new friendships, and cherishing old friendships! On warm summer days, we take the food outdoors! We love picnics!
[#7] Share a photo you wouldn’t typically share on Instagram but depicts real life happenings.
Me being silly and letting Logan claw his way up to find his “nur nur” while I sit with my coffee in front of my computer in a messy room. I don’t post silly pictures of myself so you might be surprised that I can be ridiculously silly with my boys and husband!