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Back in May we took a much needed break from our routine for a two week vacation to visit family and friends in UK. We started the trip in London and were thrilled to arrive to find the sun was shining. The weather in NY had been miserable prior to our departure so it felt great to be able to spend time outdoors at my mum and dad’s house. The boys have not been back for three years and so it was all a little alien to them at first. However they adjusted really fast to life on the other side of the pond. Having the opportunity to hang out with their cousins was such a treat for them. I know they would love if we lived just around the corner, like many of their school friends and their cousins. We ensured they had as much time as possible with each other during our short visit.

Our first little touristy outing was to Tower of London. We took my nephew Austin with us. We all had such a brilliant time. It does feel weird playing the “American” tourist in my home town, but I did a pretty good job I think!

It was such a treat for the boys to see Tower Bridge raising to allow a tall ship to sail under it. This does not happen so frequently anymore as the river is not the bustling commercial waterway that it used to be. My dad recalled a story from the 1950′s when the bridge raised as a double decker bus approached it. The bus driver had no alternative but to “put his foot down” and go for it! He safely made it to the other side. No one was seriously hurt. Read more about this incredible story here.

I started back on my Flickr 100 Stranger project during our time in London. I could not resist Jake, the American tourist from Colorado. He was very happy for me to capture him and his tremendous mohawk.

I had the pleasure of attending an outdoor dance performance at the historic home of John D. Rockefeller, Kykuit last month. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund support the Rioult Dance Company of NYC and so the event took place on a stunningly beautiful June evening on the former site of the Kykuit tennis courts. A stage had been built for the evening, the majestic home was the backdrop to the stage and mother nature played a huge part in creating a unique soundtrack in between the musical pieces.

I was literally on the edge of my seat for the entire performance. It was magical.

I hope that I will have the opportunity to see the company perform again soon. I was so moved by the whole experience.

29th June 2008 was a very important day for two very special friends of ours.

Many months before I had received a phone call that I will never forget. It was like one of those cartoon moments when I really could not believe what I was hearing. I (yes ME) was being asked if I would conduct the marriage ceremony for Nick and Michael. I think I asked them if they were being serious! Why had they chosen ME? Well fast forward to June 2008 and I received documentation supporting the fact that I had been ordained for the day – 29th June 2008 by the state of Massachusetts! In the build up to the big day I was incredibly nervous. I was not used to speaking in public, and wow, such an important day in the lives of such wonderful friends. I had nightmares about messing up the vows for weeks. However just one week prior to their wedding I attended a wedding of local friends. I was totally put at easy when the minister “messed up his lines”. I was so grateful for that person for making a little faux pas, as it totally relaxed me. I could sleep again!!

Craig, the boys and I spent an amazing weekend in Boston, staying at the historic Omni Parker House, which was magnificent. We met some fabulous people, friends and family of Nick and Michael. Bud was fabulous with Cameron and Campbell. He took them under his wing for the entire weekend. They loved his company. We have been fortunate enough to meet up with Bud again since our time together at the wedding. Such a great guy.

Nick and Michael, the Allan family wish you a very happy 3rd anniversary. I am sure you are out celebrating in style tonight in London. Wishing we could be there with you both. Cheers to many, many more years of happiness together. Love you xxxxxxxxx

I hope every mother reading this had a wonderful Mother’s Day yesterday (USA). I certainly did. The weather was PERFECT, finally. A gorgeous warm day, allowing me to “play” in the garden. My ideal Mother’s Day involves gardening. It was time to turn the compost. It may sound crazy but I LOVE my compost bins. The feeling of excitement I get when I empty our fresh, homemade compost onto the garden is…….. well, weird I guess. But it is so gratifying to me, at least!

We grilled, ate dinner outside and enjoyed carrot cake and homemade ice cream for dessert. Thank you Melissa for the ice cream!

The boys even donned their swim shorts and had a massive water fight. I do not think it was that warm, but they were having a blast.

Hope your Mother’s Day was filled with love and joy too.

Recently one of our local newspapers contacted me about running a “mystery photograph” once a month. It would feature a local beauty spot or random piece of local architecture for readers to try to guess the exact location. This all started from a random post of a local FENCE I put on Facebook recently. I had used the image for my Flickr Fence Friday Group and was curious to know if any of my local friends had ever paid attention to a fence, located on MAIN St. I was amazed that only one of my friends was able to place it! So it is true, people really do walk around with their eyes shut, or at least they are too busy to look up from their smart phone to observe the detail around them.

Here is the fence

I think it is wonderful that someone took the time to carve the scene into what would have been a regular old white fence.

So fast forward from my FB post several months ago to yesterday when the Hudson Independent arrived in my mailbox. An image I had taken on Labor Day 2010 adorned the front cover of the newspaper. This months Mystery Photo! I felt very proud. I hope the readers find it interesting. Shame my name was incorrectly printed, but hopefully it will be correct next month.

Here is the image they used

Visit the Hudson Independent to discover the location. I am looking forward to seeing how my next image will look in print in the June edition of the newspaper.

The boys have been off school this week and so things have been a little slow around here in the creativity department. However I have to say it has been lovely having them home and our routine slowing down for a few days. We always feel READY for a break from school just at the right time. It would have been even better if the weather was a little warmer, but it did not stop us from getting out and about.

On Wednesday we took the train into the city with some friends and headed to The Harry Potter Exhibit at Discovery Times Square. Unfortunately we were not allowed cameras in the exhibit, so I reluctantly checked my camera bag in with the security guard (I did not fancy my chances with the regular baggage check!)

We all had a great time checking out the movie costumes and props, which were displayed in settings inspired by the films sets – including the Great Hall, Hagrid’s hut and the Gryffindorâ„¢ common room. Having not read any of the books or seen the movies (shame on me) I was glad to have my friend Melissa with me to guide me through and explain everything as we went! I will be making it a project over the summer to try to read the books. Cameron has been wanting me to share the experience for some time now. He promises me I will LOVE them!

From there we went for lunch at Bubba Gump Shrimp in Times Square. What a great place to take the children. Everyone had a good meal and a fun experience too. I think we had the best waitress EVER in NYC. Ask for Mandi, she was brilliant!

I loved having a little trip down memory lane as I spotted a Fisher Price toy similar to one I had as a child. I loved the movie Forrest Gump, I may just have to watch it again soon. I will see it in a new light.

The boys had several playdates and Cameron had a sleepover with his all time fav buddy, Kyler. It is going to be hard heading back to school on Monday, but not long until our visit to UK, for Alan and Alexa’s wedding. Cannot wait!

At least in my head. I received a lovely email last night from my clients who came to visit on Thursday. I just have to share it:

Dear Debbie,

We loved the experience of watching the slideshow with you and on the big screen. As you saw, I was moved to tears, and Vincenzo too. I am happy we were the first ones to have the preview, as it made it more special :-)

We will buckle down and decide what prints or canvas, or book we want and let you know right away. So many beautiful ones to choose from.

You are truly talented and we feel so fortunate to have found you when we did to immortalize the first days of our precious daughter Sofia.

I will always be a big fan!!

We will be in touch soon.
All the best,
Cynthia

Here is the slideshow that moved them to tears. Be warned, you may need the tissues on hand too!

So very proud of Cameron – he went, with Craig, tonight to the swearing in ceremony for the Fire Department. Off he went with my old 50D to photograph the event. Wishing him luck as he went out the door, I told him it was ok to use the GREEN box.

Fast forward a couple of hours. He came back grinning from ear to ear, casually mentioning that he shot in manual as the flash was popping up in Green box mode!

PROUD MOMMY MOMENT!

PS The images are amazing and will be uploaded to the FD website!

I feel the need to blog today. Last night I arrived at a HUGE milestone with my business.

At 8pm on Thursday 7th April 2011 I welcomed clients into my home for a viewing of their slideshow and image gallery for the first time.

Excited
Nervous
SCARED
were just some of the feelings I was experiencing prior to their arrival.

However at the end of the evening the one feeling that came to my mind was:

PROUD!

I feel like I have made it!

Thanks hugely go out to Craig. Without his love and support none of this would have been possible. Cameron and Campbell were so excited for me. They waited patiently for C and V to arrive, so that they could meet them!

I got such a great feeling sitting alongside C and V as they saw the images of their beautiful newborn daughter that I had taken. Seeing the emotions that these images evoked was AWESOME! Hearing them telling me that my work is beautiful and that they are so happy that they found me makes me well up! If I could dance, I would be doing one BIG happy dance right now. But for those of you who know me know that I have two left feet, do not have ANY rhythm and tempo is like a foreign language. Aside from that I can barely move thanks to my awesome gym instructor for kicking my butt in Kettle Bell and Spinning classes this week!

I cannot wait to do it again! I love my job and my clients. THANK YOU.

My old blog is still around, if you get the urge to take a trip down Memory Lane. Seems a shame to archive it completely as there are so many lovely memories right over there at Blogger.

Link to my old blog

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