As winter approaches and the forecast adds inches to their rain predictions, I have been looking back on the days of sunshine. This lifestyle in home session was one of my favourites from this past summer; so much light & beauty & so many windows. (!!) (I really love windows.) Also a sink bath. Because soap suds + sunshine + babies is quite possibly the world’s best combination
The stewardess on the airplane to Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia, told us we had the first baby she’d ever seen flying to the salt flats. It is 3,656 meters above sea level, and so dry your eyes sting a little and your cheeks roughen after being outside. But it is a place unlike any other in the world - a place where the sky perfectly reflects at your feet, a place you can drive across for hours and see only white, a place so barren almost the only vegetation we encountered was an island, completely covered in cacti. Salar de Uyuni was once an ocean, but now all that’s left is salt - and we stayed in a hotel made entirely of it. Visiting this stunning place was one of the highlights of our time in South America.
Our three-week trip this past August was often rushed and sometimes stressful, filled with all that travelling with two young kids can bring, but it was also filled with completely unique experiences. We spent a week in Lima, Peru, where Jorge recorded a class and we explored the city with Abuelita. (We also had several near-death experiences riding in taxis.) The remainder of the trip, we travelled throughout Bolivia, including the city of Cochabamba, where Jorge grew up. There, we visited with family and friends, saw the places Jorge spent time in, ate food he remembered from a kid (anticuchos and salteñas and sopa de mani), and toured his old school. The lunch lady who had been there when he was a kid still worked at the snack stand, and she held Jamie close and cried. Everywhere, women and girls came up to Jamie in awe: “Los ojos!” (“The eyes!”) We quickly realized it was rare for a blue-eyed baby to visit South America. Jamie took full advantage of the attention.
After spending the next couple days in the salt flats, we flew to La Paz, which is where Abuelo lives. It is at nearly the same altitude as Salar de Uyuni, and their main transportation method is not an underground metro, but a system of gondolas (which Matthias loved). It is such an unusual, colour-filled city. Jorge’s brother Luis told us that only a people as stubborn as Bolivians would decide to build a city into the side of a mountain.
Twelve airplanes, three countries (if you count our layover in Mexico City, where we spent a few hours with Jorge’s sister Ana), three weeks without a good night’s sleep, two tired kids, and two exhausted parents. It was a difficult trip, but so memorable and beautiful in spite of that.
My beautiful sister travelled the world a few years ago, and while she was in Argentina, she happened to meet an Iranian who lived in Toronto. God led their paths together & they fell in love & now they're married. And, even better, they have a delicious little baby boy named Titus. (And two dogs. Matthias wants me to mention the dogs. They're important too.)
Carmel and Titus (and, okay, you too, Moses) are the only reasons I'd ever visit Toronto. Just so we're clear. But we got to stay at their home for a wonderful few days at the end of our family vacation, and I got to love my nephew, and Matthias got to adore his new cousin, and I got to take some newborn photos for them. Aren't they a beautiful family?
My 2017 was filled with photographing beautiful people & beautiful newborns. And then at the end of the year came a beautiful newborn of our own, and oh how we love him. Matthias calls baby Jamie "our precious little baby" and tells him "you don't need to be worried, because I protect you." (He also jumps on top of him, pinches him, and screams in his ear, but I'm trying to remember the good stuff.)
And this has basically been our life ever since:
I didn't know how heart-swelling it would be to see your oldest baby loving your youngest baby, and to see the adoration in the littlest one's eyes as he stares at his big brother. It's just the best thing. I've had so much fun taking the last few months off and having the opportunity to photograph our family a little bit more.
But I didn't want to leave 2017 completely behind, without sharing some of my favourite images from the year. I felt tired and pregnant for so much of it, but looking back at these images made me smile and remember all the loveliness I photographed. And here is some of it.
Little Manu was born just a week and a half before our Jamie. She is so beautiful & so is the love that surrounds her & spending a Saturday morning with these three in their cozy Vancouver home was just the very happiest.