boy looking at book

Our Year of Stories – 3/52

Cynthia Dawson
One of my favorite times of the day is bedtime and only partly because the kids will be going to sleep. I love the time we spend reading stories before they are tucked away for the evening. I can usually be persuaded to read “just one more.”  Our love for books is why I normally suggest books as gifts for the kids. You can never have too many! “Give Please a Chance” was a Christmas gift from their great-grandparents and has quickly risen in the ranks to be their favorite. They ask for it every single night and little miss has quickly memorized most of the pages. While she was resting after a collision with the fridge, she read the whole book to her brother. The would both echo “please?” on each page and swoon over the illustrations. I can see many more weeks of this scene repeating in our home.

For more of the story, go here.

boy looking at book


Julie Mak
While the days of you reading The Hungry Caterpillar over and over again are now long gone, your love of reading has lasted. Seeing you and your brother get completely immersed in the world of books makes me so happy, I am excited for all you have yet to discover.

Julie Mak Photography


Julie Moses
He was there for a gig. The girl he has accompanied several other times asked him to play guitar for her once again.  I’ve heard the set many times already since they practice at our house. I don’t always stay for every gig. He doesn’t always want or need me to. This was going to be one of those gigs where I just dropped him off and picked him up when he was done. It turned out to be my gig too, though. The gig was actually a rock and roll style recital. Though Ryan was not one of the teacher’s students, the girl he plays for was and she was asked to sing acoustic songs in between the other performances. The teacher just so happened to be a client of mine as well and he asked me to shoot the gig for promotional images. It’s nice to have permission to take photos of your own kid and be able to say, “Hey, just doing my job!



Kelly Jacobi
You’ve had Howl since you were two. He has gone everywhere and done everything that you have done. Now, even at almost 7 years old he brings you comfort. I have always loved the way you snuggle him when you sleep. It so uniquely you the way you lay him gently on your lips and drift off. (Read more from our week here.)



Lynzi Berg
I’ve often found that the most perfect photos are not perfect because of any technical aspect but because of something much deeper. Maybe I like imperfection because of how much it resembles a memory.



Mel Karlberg
After about 20 minutes of him teaching me ninja moves, stick throwing techniques and detailed forms, I asked him if he wanted to take martial arts classes again.   He looked at me, confused, “No, why would you think that?”  It’s because I always do this when I see a passion in him.  I want to recognize it, provide him with the rules and structure, and feed that passion so he can build upon it.  When he fell in love with piano, I immediately found him a piano teacher.  Three years and 3 piano teachers later, he still hadn’t learned his scales and was way less passionate about playing the piano.  I think I’m overly concerned about his ability to focus and learn the rules, but I need to remember that he is 8.  Now is his time to experiment, to explore his imagination and create his own rules and invent his own style before he’s thrown into a world that will try to define that for him.  For more of our week, head over to the blog.



Meredith Rockefeller
Last week I realized how much I like seeing the interactions and bond between my children as their own unit. Me on the outside looking in at who they are together. Siblings truly are our only lifelong companions, the people who truly understand from where you came, and are there throughout your adult life as well. So, this week I have another moment of the three of them together without me or my husband as part of the equation. There’s a lot that could be improved technically, but I like this moment because it’s the three of them together, anxiously awaiting a picture from my sister of her newborn son, of their new (and very first) cousin.

Meredith Rockefeller


Piper Anne
Sometimes it can be hard to see her – she’s quiet and feels content not making herself the center of attention.  But if you really look you’ll be gifted to catch a glimpse into how  amazing she is.  They say still waters run deep you know?



Renee Bonuccelli
Hockey. Our winter lives seem to revolve around it. This is our first year with three in hockey, and his first year playing.  Today he got to skate in the arena where FIVE Stanley Cups were won! A new arena was opened this season and this arena retired. But for kids playing their first year of hockey it was a pretty magical occasion. More images on the blog🙂

Renee Bonuccelli


Sherri Davis
Hotel room mornings. The blackout curtains do their job. We sleep until 9am. The housekeeping cart waits, silently in the hallway. Waiting for the guests to descend on the waterpark. Soon we will put on our damp bathing suits, and take the elevator downstairs. The Wooly Mammoth. Canada Vortex. Bobcat Falls. We will search valiantly for a table to put our towels. Tomorrow before we head home, we will drive along the gorge, past Clifton Hill. This city, world famous and normally busting at the seems with tourists from the far corners of this planet. But in January, the crowds will be non-existent and we get a parking spot in the front row.  Yet you and your brother will be more interested in riding the twin escalators in the visitor centre. Up and down. Up and down. Up and down. Up and down. Eventually we drag you outside to see Niagara Falls. One of the 7th Wonders Of The World, or so we thought. It turns out it isn’t. Most of the places on the list google provides me I have never even heard of.



Sonja Stich
You love to perform. You dance and sing, you play theater and your new found passion is magic. You do these spectacles for us, your parents, and occasionally for your friends. A few weeks ago, after your theater workshop came to an end, you told me that it was your dream to perform on stage with many, many strangers in the audience. I was thrilled to hear that from you and confident that you will find your way to express yourself. Your father is a musician and your mother a photographer, but we both prefer to stay behind the scenes. But you, you want to be seen. I love you and I’m enamored of your character that is so different from mine.

Sonja Stich


Tess Runion
Some of my favorite hours spent on our weekends is during our evening walks. I fall back with my camera and watch my life through my lens. It always brings me peace and gratitude and allows me to adjust my perspective that can often get skewed throughout the week.



AnnMarie Denis
People may wonder or assume that I favour taking your picture because you seem to be in them all. And while I really do love taking pictures of you, the truth of the matter is, you are always there, always by my side. You keep such close tabs on me and you don’t like to let me out of your sight. We are like peanut butter and jelly, you and I. We just go together. I don’t know if it’s because you are my baby and I am oh so desperately grasping to hold on to  all the moments, but the feeling is very mutual. I don’t like to be out of your sight and I worry when I can’t see you. So yes, your presence in my work is heavy  and you may be the only 3rd child with the most pictures in the family album but let’s be honest, the older boys are happy to give you the spotlight. They are often, “over the camera” and you seem to carry on like it’s no big deal.  So as long as your good with it, I’ll happily keep snapping away.



Carey Pace
We pulled you into our room Friday night to talk. We explained how your sister has been feeling. We told you how lonely she feels, how much she misses her friends in Tennessee, how the kids here just aren’t as nice. Most of the time she’s so effervescent and joyful despite her disappointment. She cried in my arms the night before telling me how much she just wanted to have friends. So Daddy gave you the charge of being a better big brother. He told you he expected more than what you’d been dishing out. He asked you to be kinder, gentler, and more compassionate. That he needed somebody at school looking out for his little girl when he couldn’t be there. You are very selective with your affection, Buddy. You reserve it for me, your daddy, and your nana; never her. But Saturday morning, you took our conversation to heart and we found you snuggled with your sister in her bed playing your 3DS’s, doing something you both enjoy. I don’t know that I’ve ever been prouder.


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