you say goodbye and i say hello || manila destination wedding photographer

i dont even know where to start with this blog post…

do i start with where we were a year ago? or what we have done in the last year? or how i love our little family of 4?

cuz they would all really be a sweet way to start this blog post.

i dont know if it’s because i’m turning 40 in a couple months, or what, but i am finding i’m getting more sentimental, filled with more emotion, wanting to not RUSH through life but to LIVE it, taking each moment and ENJOYING it.

no i dont konw exactly how to start this blog post. so i’ll start it with a picture:

Upload from January 01, 2012

not only is this the LAST family photo we have together (i’m working on getting a local photog here to do some awesome ones!), but this is the beginning of the current journey our family is on.

this was taken in the elevator of the fairmont airport hotel on dec 30, the day we left our comfortable, amazing vancouver and headed west to our new home, our new life in manila.

excited. anxious. giddy. quiet. scared. happy. sad. some of the phlethora of emotions that filled us that day.

as i sit here and reflect the last year, i hear fireworks STILL - it’s 8:33am on new years day. filipinos sure know how to throw a party. :) we sat up at the kids’ school and watched the entire metropolis, a 180 degree view, light up with fireworks. it’s a sight to behold. and we beheld it. :)


lots of THINGS have happened and such in 2011…and i love making why not do it that way? lists of different THINGS. :)


a deeper appreciation for life. being surrounded all the time around so many less fortunate that i, my world view and life view is changing…i’m so incredibly blessed. as in INCREDIBLY. we have a home, food, clothes, each other. we have so MUCH. and the days when culture shock or the cultural walls are so frustrating and i want to be anywhere but here in that moment, i must chose to remember how richly blessed i am. life is short and we must live it to the fullest - not rushed or quickly getting through it but THOROUGHLY and with intention.

a sense of who i am. nothing like throwing yourself into a new culture, albeit familiar to some degree, with a teenager and preteen, an 18 year friendship with your spouse, having built my photography business a couple times from the ground up, and being a student in the school of life. yes, i’m turning 40 in april. and i simply can’t wait. the 30s brought a lot of good things. but it was a very hard decade. and one i would never choose to relive in many ways, at least the first half of it for certain! i know that this next decade will be so kick arse and that as a person, wife, mom, friend, photographer, i will have the best years to come. there is something about turning 40, to me. you dont actually give a rip what people think of you, or if they like you anymore. you LIVE life and hope that you get to journey with people who love life just as you do and want to see MORE out of life than just “living”.

so who am i? i am a woman who  knows what she wants (sometimes not as clearly as other days!) out of life. who chooses to live with intention. be in relationship with intention. love with intention. play with intention. be present in my childrens lives. love them intentionally and deeply. photograph with intention. interpret the world with intention. serve my Lord with intention. i’m thinking INTENTION is my word this year. :)

i definitely know what i DONT want and with that i choose to run after what i DO want. and i’m so blessed to run it with my best friend and the greatest kids on the planet. they are such a part of who i am. without them, i would not be who i am today. their presence and interaction with my life have molded me. i will be forever grateful. xo

seeing a little more of the world. i never in my wildest dreams thought i’d see and do as much i have this last year…within the philippines, asia, british columbia and then turkey. from road trips in the okanagan with good friends, to shooting love on the shores of boracay and the city life of hong kong, to traveling for lonely planet philippines to turkey, i have been blessed to see more of my world. and am excited to see where 2012 will take me. (an ITALY tour for APRIL, my birthday week, is definitely going to be a highlight! you should come along!) i want to continue my lifelong journey of travel til i’m old. it started when i was a young teen. and i want to bring people along for the ride. i’m really fantastic to travel with. :) no really. i am. hehe..


having fun is a choice. surround yourself with people you want to reflect. metro manila traffic is god’s way to slow us down and breathe. you can change the world by loving just ONE. being positive is worth the work. you can never take too many photos. you can get sick of taking too many photos. :) cats dont have nine lives. you can teach filipinos how to make food and baking that are from “home”. being a parent of a teenager is hard. being a parent of a teenager is one of the most amazing things to watch. meeting new people can be scarey. meeting new people can take you to places you never dreamed. you can find just about every thing you “crave” from “home” here-you just gotta know where to look. having a daughter is a fun thing. traveling smart is an art. a smile goes a long way. 10,000 km is far. 10,000 with skype is not so far. having sleepovers with your kids when daddy is away is the sweetest thing and should never be taken for granted. a thousand pesos sound like a heckuva lot more than $25 dollars. you can get some sweet deals with a thousand pesos. just when you think you can’t go on anymore, more GRACE abounds.


+ get fit and healthy. i know we all say that every year. but in turning 40 i realize this old grey mare aint what she used to be. :)

+ finish several personal projects that i have started years ago, or have put off to start. the time is NOW. :)

+ build my photo tour and travel tour sideline so that i can impart to others all that has been imparted to me..and have a fantastical time doing it in fantastical places around our world.

+ take more road trips out of the metro with the family. believing we will find a vehicle in the next week or so, there is so much more to the philippines than living in the metro. and to show our kids it will increase their appreciation for where we live!

+ shoot many weddings and love this year…near and far. and one with an iPhone, yes it’s on my bucket list. :)

+ be a better friend, wife and mom. this is who i am. what i do is irrelevant as to who i am. as i better myself as a person, a mom, a wife, a friend, my life will be full and what i do will be in complete connection of who i am. :) wow..that was deep. ;)

+ make a difference in my world. in my relationships. in my volunteering. in my photo life. in every part of my life. i cannot change the world. but i can make a difference in mine. :)


thank you. for your support. love. relationships. for believing in us and the dream God has for us. for supporting us as we have transitioned to a new life in manila. without your love and friendship..i can’t even imagine. we love you.

and with that, here’s to 2012..a year full of intentions. full of dreams. full of life.


ps - a full year in photos is coming this coming week..stay tuned!

pps - in the spirit of the beatles, we say goodbye to 2011 and hello to 2012!



as always you bring tears to my eyes and a smile to my face when i read your blog,lov u.If you think turning 40 makes you more emotional how do u think i feel turning 60 a month after you .I always have a hankie in my pocket,life is precious and so are you my daughter,much love mama
here's to INTENTIONAL living!!!!!

Leave a comment