Second outing with my new camera

I know, this isn’t a photography blog….

This is a blog about Emily and the life lessons she’s teaching all people who come in contact with her.

Today’s post is about finding me… allowing myself to learn something for me… something I’ve wanted to do for a really long time but never got to it for so many reasons.

Over the years, Emily has taught us so much about ourselves…

Jon and I know each others dream and know what we both had to set aside at one point or another to continue our journey of learning with Emily.

Our journey is different than the one we planned when we met at 21 and 23 but believe me, we “now” love it.  It was and still is difficult but we are making it work and we are now having fun!  We are enjoying our family life.

Last December, Jonathan took Emily shopping for my Christmas/Birthday gift.  They bought me a Canon Rebel T5i

I spent the first 2 months looking at my camera, thinking I had no more excuses.  My family gave me the tool I needed to learn something I have been wanting to learn for years.  Photography!

I didn’t read the instruction book and couldn’t figure it out on my own… 😦

So, I paid someone to give me a guided tour of my camera in early March.

I used it once in April and took it on our vacations earlier this month!

We went to Florida for Emily’s dream come true vacation which was granted by the Sunshine Foundation of Canada.  We went to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, we visited Universal parks, Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Magic Kingdom.

Since my concussion (October 2013), I get massive headaches when traveling by plane and this time wasn’t different.

I don’t like roller coasters so it wasn’t difficult for me to pick taking pictures and playing with my camera as opposed to going on rides with Jon and Emily.  Jon was worried I would get bored but eventually realized I was having an awesome time with my camera.

Here are some of my favorite “artsy” pictures from our trip.

This is a candid shot of a real man. My husband who will do anything for his girl.  I know, that’s so sexy right?  I love him and Emily adores her dad. We are so lucky to have Jon in our lives.


Flowers on the table, I just love the color.


Emily listening to our “behind the scene” tour at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium  It was fascinating to see her pay attention and even contribute info and ask questions.


Emily, Mallory and Hope. My pictures are not as good as the CMA photographer but I like them.

IMG_0495 IMG_0506 IMG_0513This was much harder to do than I thought. The lights or lack of in there played tricks with my camera.

Again, my girl, completely engaged.


The whole island is covered with these. I took many pictures to try and show the thousands of seashells but I’m not 100% happy with any…  That’s the best one, I think.


My girl


My girl and hubby sitting front row!  I caught them on so many rides. I’m really proud of my roller coaster pictures.


Candid shot of my girl laughing.


Reflection in a window


I got the fire!


I photographed those suitcases 7 times before they looked this good.  Again, the light was playing game with me.


My girl sitting front row once again. I photographed many strangers before taking this :). If we zoom in, you can see Emily laughing like crazy.


Animal kingdom.  I have many more pictures of hippos, rhinos, lions, elephants and so on but the ones below are my favorites.

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One of two baby gorilla napping while holding the most amazing monkey position ever. Scratching armpit and head?  Seriously, that’s how he slept while the one kept rolling around 🙂

I might have to frame this.


My camera made the cage disappear. I don’t know how I did this but I love it.



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Magic Kingdom.

Pure love!


Here you go.  I took over 1000 pictures and will share them in posts about our trip.

Of those 32 pictures, which one is your favorite?

When the stars are aligned… a simple day can turn into an amazing one!

Saturday April 11th 2015

I have had my new camera since Christmas but haven’t had a chance to take it out yet….

I could have taken it out but there was just too much snow for me to care but today… today was going to be different!

First, we went out for breakfast and I sat across the table from Emily and took pictures…  Emily had a big bright window behind her so I had to play with the settings quite a bit.

I also told Emily not to worry about me taking so many pictures.

I LOVE those 2 pictures!!!

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My girl, just being my girl.

Next, we were scheduled for make-overs at our MAC store at the mall.

Remember how we were there for the Cinderella at MAC release?  After spending a small fortune, Alicia invited us back for make-overs.

Today was make-over time!

We arrived just before 1pm and Alicia was kind enough to book Emily and I sitting next to each other.  She also booked us for a little bit longer than the allotted 30 minutes as she had noticed that Emily needed  a little more time to be comfortable enough to be touched by a make-up artist.

I was assigned to Rachel who was great and allowed me to stop and take pictures of Emily whenever I had a chance.  I also made sure I had their permission to use their names and pictures in my blog!

Ladies if you read this, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for being so accommodating and for making my daughter feel like a top model.

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Emily picked her colors and decided what she wanted to get done.

She went with purple!


Emily allowed Alicia in her bubble.

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Emily and Alicia!


To all employers out there!  You can’t train someone to be like Alicia was with Emily.  This ability to make someone feel comfortable is a talent, not a skill.  Alicia must have been in contact with others that have special needs or she has an affinity…  or both!

She is now part of a select group of people that have reached out to Emily and made her feel just like everybody else.  She is now a friend of Emily.  Not someone Emily will call to go out but someone Emily will say hello to and chat with and return to the MAC store to buy more stuff because Alicia is there!

Maybe this is what “they” mean when “they” talk about inclusion.

For all the kids that are being in proximity to someone like Emily, a percentage will go on with their life and remember that they had school mates that just wanted to be treated like school mates…  Those kids will grow-up treating people around them with respect, regardless of their differences.

Today, Alicia did just that.  She gave Emily more time, she allowed her to be herself and made her look beautiful.

Thank you Alicia, my girl looked like she belonged on a magazine by the end of our session!

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What Emily didn’t know at this time… is that we had a big surprise in store for her at 3:30pm

We had a late lunch/early dinner planned with family members…


She figured out as soon as she got to the table that this was no ordinary lunch.

Barb did such an amazing job decorating the table and wrapping Emily’s box.  We are so lucky to have relatives in the same town we live in.

Most people take family for granted.  We lived far away from families for many years so now that we have relatives near by, we enjoy them and I think they enjoy us!

Today, Emily finally got the confirmation that she will be meeting the dolphins from The Dolphin Tale movies.

We are going to Florida:

  • We will go to the American girl doll store in Orlando
  • We will go to Clearwater Marine Aquarium to see Winter
  • We will visit the Harry Potter theme park
  • We will visit Animal Kingdom
  • We will visit Epcot (eat in Japan)
  • We will visit Magic Kingdom


Thank you Sunshine Foundation of Canada.

I sent my first fax to the foundation in September 2012…. 2 years and 8 months later….

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See the tears of joy?  This is the girl who wasn’t supposed to understand and show emotions…

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The table looked awesome and Emily was so excited that she barely ate….

So after this early dinner, we decided to end the day with a hockey game.  We went to see our beloved Moncton Wildcats play the Halifax Moosehead in the second round of the play-off.

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Th game wasn’t good at all for us!  But, on the way home, Emily was still saying “Best Day Ever!!!”

Now, we start counting sleeps…