Friday, November 30, 2018

Lake Louise Family Photoshoot + our Christmas Cards

So this post is incredibly long overdue when you consider that these family photos were taken back in July. However…. I’m sure most could agree that our life has been a little crazy (with the California surgery and postop recovery) up until just recently; and so around the time things began to FINALLY slow down just a little – it came time to order our Christmas cards, and I decided to hold off on posting these photos a little while longer.

For context, the months leading up to Evanna’s first surgery down in California was filled with a lot of stress, anxiety and quite a lot of fear of the potential risks that we were consenting to. Well after a little “cry on the internet” (quoting Nick there lol) about the absolute nightmare of trying to coordinate travel plans just to get Evanna down to California in the first place (after experiencing a ton of dead ends, our incredible social worker here in Calgary was able to knock some sense into a doctor or two, and emphasize that due to how much oxygen Evanna was on, a commercial flight was not possible whatsoever, and she absolutely required a private medical "hospital to hospital" transport), my good friend and family photographer asked if we’d like to take some family photos before we left. I of course jumped at the opportunity, and while discussing location ideas, she mentioned she had been doing lots of sessions out in the Banff and Lake Louise area, and asked if Evanna could handle the short drive out there. I stated that Evanna could definitely handle the drive, and because I didn’t want to take up any more of Jennie’s valuable time, I inquired if she already had sessions booked in that area that we could just piggyback onto, and did it on a day that both Nick had off and when Jennie was already going to be in the area for another photoshoot. 

The awesome result of doing this photoshoot out at Lake Louise, was when I showed Evanna’s Stanford/LPCH nurses pictures of what she normally looks like (people tend to look like crap postop to say the least... so I like to always show "normal" pictures of Evanna to the nurses that are taking care of her in hospital), it was also a neat way to show them where we’re from and the beautiful mountain backdrops that exist here in Alberta. If anything, while a handful of staff had heard of Calgary (only because of the 88’ Olympics... so maybe we should host again one day soon lol), most of the people we talked to down in California really only knew of Vancouver, Toronto and Banff when talking about our home Canada – so I often had to say that if traveling to Banff or Lake Louise, you usually had to fly into Calgary to get there lol. Though I know the world doesn’t revolve around me, I guess despite the size of city (and the fact that it’s like the 4th largest city in all of Canada), I was shocked at how many people in California (at least the hospital staff we came across) hadn’t heard of Calgary before. I had to constantly state that we're basically just north of Montana, and seriously less than a 3 hour plane ride from San Francisco (because most people assumed we had come really far to get to  Stanford... like the East Coast/Toronto perhaps? And not realize that we're a lot closer than they originally thought).  Oh well.... at least I now know that we've educated a few more Californians, and had many state that Calgary/Banff/Lake Louise is now on their bucket list to visit in the future by the time we were transferred back to Calgary. 
Anyways, though I’ve already posted and shared several of these photos on both my personal Instagram and family Facebook Page from our July Lake Louse photoshoot with Jennie of Guenard  Photography here’s more of my favourite shots for your viewing pleasure!


And now for the photo that we chose to put on our Chatbooks Christmas Card. Chatbooks has a ton of amazing holiday card layouts to choose from -- both portrait and landscape options, and even templates that allows for multiple photos to be added. I personally love layouts that allow for one large photo with simple text, as our parents + grandparents tend to display these cards all year long, and so it's something I keep in mind when choosing which design I'm going to use. 
What I particularly loved -- was the FREE option to add a few more little candid photos on the back with a little holiday message. Chatbooks also includes envelopes with a return address printed on them for FREE! Seriously how amazing is that?! With the code kierra20, you can get 20% off your  entire order... and with tomorrow being the December 1st -- this is something I would personally order before the end of the week! Click HERE to view + shop their holiday card designs!

xo The Irvine Family

Below I've linked some past family photoshoots

2014 || 2015 || 2016 [part 1] [part 2]|| 2017

Thursday, November 15, 2018

It’s my freaking 30th birthday!

I actually didn’t think I was going to go all out and write up an entire (last minute) blogpost for my birthday (as if you hadn’t noticed, my blogging as been severely lacking these days….for which I actually have a little anxiety about said situation – ugh), but I realized that I had a number of thoughts and feelings about this “milestone” tonight (November 14th), and wasn’t sure I’d be able to fit it all into one Instagram  post in the morning. 

Nick likes to say that “30 is just another number, same as any other”, but I feel that is just typical man logic for yeah. I on the other hand feel like my life has been shifting for the past several years, and turning 30 only solidifies where my life is headed and what I no longer care to waste my time and energy on. There are just certain things that I’ve begun to slowly realize aren’t really applicable to me nor feel is important to spend my limited time on, and instead have created goals + lifestyle choices, and have seen these dreams slowly take shape over the last 2-3 years. While some of it has been out of choice, I’m quite amazed and fascinated that it’s been the things I have no control over that have been the biggest shapers.

In my early 20s I truly believed that once I got married, life would be set….even perfect, and I wouldn’t have a care in the world. I honestly laugh when I think about the little trials (if you can even call them that) Nick and I experienced in our relationship while we were dating, and thought some of the things we had to work through would be the hardest things I would ever have to endure….oh silly naive me. But that bubble quickly popped once we had Evanna, and man, life is one hell of a trip and can be quite unkind at times. And even when I consider the “cards we’ve been dealt” and the experiences we’ve endured since 2014 – I’m quite sensitive and aware that we could have it way worse and we are quite blessed when it comes to the support we receive from our friends, family, medical team, and even our country. Even the simple fact that I have an extremely supportive spouse + partner who does more than his fair share when it comes to raising our children is something I often take for granted. 

My 20s may have seen a few close friends completely disappear from my life without explanation, however, it also saw over 100 new relationships take place and develop. It slapped me with the reality of how precious this life is, and how a healthy body is the probably the most underestimated gift ever given. Moving into the last few years, I’m learning to care a little less about what every person thinks about me, and that it’s okay if not everyone likes you. I’m still learning how to be more confident and comfortable in my own skin, and how amazing it is to really put yourself out there. Sure it’s risky, and there have been plenty of times that things haven’t exactly worked out in my favour and told “no”… but for every rejection, there has been a better “yes” around the corner waiting for me. 
While I’m a tad afraid to think what may come in my 30s (can you blame me?), I’m also quite excited. From the personal goals + dreams I intend to crush, continuing to see my time as valuable and living more intentional. Sure, “selfcare” is continuing to be so important, but translating that into meaningful and more purposeful actions that lead to an overall healthier person physically and mentally. 

So to my 30s…. I may be a little hesitant for you and what you have in store for me… but let’s DO THIS!

xo Kierra