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?

Random act of kindness – Part 2

Back in March, I told you about a school assignment where Emily had to talk about a random act of kindness. 

You can read about it here: Random act of kindness

At the time, we couldn’t come up with an example as Emily doesn’t interact with strangers. 

Over the last week, while we were away on an amazing vacation, I tried my best to let Emily be Emily. 

Some people stared, some people didn’t even see us as they were absorbed in their own vacations, other people shared in our happiness and a small group were touched by random act of kindness. 

I followed Emily’s lead.  
She’s an awesome kid!

Here are some of the things we did. 

1.  At Harry Potter’s park, Emily couldn’t make her interactive wand work. She tried, I tried, Jon tried but we couldn’t do it. A boy probably 12 or so was looking at us… Holding a non-interactive wand and he looked like he wanted to try but his wand wouldn’t work. He gave Emily some pointers as he had been looking at other people… She looked at him and asked him to show her with her wand. His face lit up. He did it perfectly on the first try. He gave Emily back her wand, his mom discreetly thanked me and we went on our way. Emily probably made his day. 

(I will tell you what happened to Emily’s shoe in another post)

2.  We randomly offered to take pictures for families and couples. 

3. We chatted with a 6 year old boy in line for an attraction. He wasn’t paying attention to the line and kept walking into Jon but instead of losing patience, we talked with him and his family and when he decided to join in on our family hug we let him.  He was a wonderful little guy who happened to have Down Syndrome. He was friendly and  just wanted to chat.  He probably get stared at too so this was nice for him and his family as well as for our family. 

4.  We had dinner in Japan at Epcot.  A family from New Jersey sat next to us at the Teppaniyaki table. They all looked at Emily at some point… Not sure if it was her voice or overly tired look…  Emily was exhausted.  We ate too much and planned to skip dessert even though it was included. The family sitting next to us with 2 kids on children meal plans were given the dessert menu and picked 4 desserts. When our server came back, I confirmed no desserts for us as Emily and Jon were already outside watching fireworks. The father ordered the desserts for his whole family just to hear our server tell him that those were the adult desserts. The kids could have ice cream. Dad was disappointed but asked for chocolate ice cream.  They only had vanilla. He picked vanilla…  I felt so bad for him. I remembered once, being offered ice cream or jello while adults were offered all the cool desserts.  (I’m sure my mom could tell you all about my not so pleased with the rule reaction) 

I don’t know if they couldn’t afford the extra cost of getting them the desserts they wanted…  The dad looked so disappointed, the son wasn’t paying attention. The mom and daughter were in the restroom. I told our server that I had changed my mind and wanted 2 of our desserts.  The 2 the kids wanted…  I asked her to bring the desserts to them.  The dad was so happy and when the mom came back from the restroom he told her all about the ice cream fiasco and how the nice lady (me!) took care of their desserts.  

 (That’s Emily after dinner 😴) 
5.  While trying to take pictures of Emily and Jon riding Splash Mountain, I took many pictures of many strangers.   The lady next to me, ran out of space on her phone just when part of her group of students came down.  I had pictures of them so after I got my pictures, I found her, showed her the pictures I took and asked for her email. I sent her the pictures today.  I’m not sure if she truly believed I would be emailing her 😀

6.  We distributed Mickey stickers to random kids. The doorman at the hotel kept giving them to us so we shared them.  One little girl held her Mickey sticker during the whole Nemo play at Animal Kingdom. 

7.  Still at Animal Kingdom, we kept seeing this family. The son was probably 4 or 5 and was in a stroller. The little girl was younger and running around. At lunch, we ended-up sitting next to each other, I don’t think they ever noticed us but I saw them. I saw them put a helmet on their son before taking him out of his stroller for lunch. I saw the parents play tag team making sure both kids got all they needed. I saw people staring at their boy wearing an helmet to have lunch…  When our server gave Emily 2 pictures of Donald-Daisy-Mickey-Goofy. I asked Emily if she would give one away to make someone happy. She picked that little guy. She went said hi and asked his mom if she could give him the picture.  

I was so proud of her… 

I am so extremely proud of her!

I’m sure I will think of other things we did but that’s it for now.