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Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

GiGi Photography

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    April 30, 2008


    I'm sitting here, waiting for Lucia to fall asleep so I can photograph her. Isn't that silly? Every time she falls asleep and I've tried to move the blanket off of her, she wakes up and smiles at me.

    Silly girl.

    I just want her to sleep right now! I got the neatest thing in the mail today - it's a hand-made organic-knit cocoon. I'm using it for my newborns in the studio. Now, I know Lucia is not a newborn, but she's not that big so I thought I'd try it with her. She just needs to sleep and I'm all set!

    Here she is ... teasing and taunting me ... by not sleeping ...


    Have you all been following the BPA issues in the news right now? I have found a really great website with a world of knowledge for us moms ... check it out. The Soft Landing

    As I was reading through her information yesterday, I saw that the soother Lucia has been using is considered one of the toxic/BPA soothers (an Avent soother)! Eeeek. I switched her over today to a BPA-free one and was pleasantly surprised to find the store I visited had pulled *ALL* their baby items and replaced them with ONLY BPA free products. Way to go, Wal Mart!

    And did you hear that Canada is leading the way when it comes to clearing out the shelves of BPA-containing products?
    Go, Canada!

    And can I just add this? Abby, my hubby (who is a funeral director, in case you didn't know), got this in the mail today ... couldn't believe it and it totally cracked us up!



    2 comments so far...
    ~lovelyn wrote: (05-01-2008 at 11:26am)

    she is so, so sweet! =)

    Melanie wrote: (04-30-2008 at 3:51pm)

    I love the picture of your daughter. She is soooo adorable.

    April 29, 2008

    The feeling of complete love.

    If one feels the need of something grand, something infinite,
    something that makes one feel aware of God,
    one need not go far to find it.
    I think that I see something deeper, more infinite,
    more eternal than the ocean in the expression of the eyes of a little baby
    when it wakes in the morning and coos or laughs because it sees the sun shining on its cradle.
    Vincent van Gogh

    I think I have used that quote before, but I love it so much!

    As promised, some more of wee baby Aubrey and her mommy ...


    kisses for her little girl ...


    and the family connection ...


    We worked to get her sleepy and it was so worth it!


    And hey ... don't forget to enter the giveaway for the Pippalily sling (below) .... I will post the winner sometime this week. It's a fantastic giveaway! Too bad I can't enter! ;)

    2 comments so far...
    Kari wrote: (04-30-2008 at 12:14pm)

    WOW. gorgeous as always...wonderful work! :)

    Amanda wrote: (04-29-2008 at 12:48pm)

    I love that family picture!

    April 27, 2008

    Sling it, sister.

    Okay. Okay. I'm cheating.

    It's not quite Monday yet but I'm going to pretend I wrote this post on Monday because I KNOW I won't have a chance to post tomorrow (the real Monday).

    So ... Happy Monday!

    I was dying to do a little sneak peek for one of my darling clients ... we met three years ago and have had quite the history between us now.
    So, seeing her wee girl turn one is pretty special to me. I cannot BELIEVE little Nora is already one - how did that happen? But doesn't she make the CUTEST one year old ever?

    (I was SO happy to be shooting outside! I love outdoor photography!)


    What a sweetie!

    She reaallly didn't want to give up her snack trap ... ;)


    Love her expressions ...


    Thanks for letting me share with your special day! Happy Birthday, Miss Nora!


    And now - for Monday's giveaway - yahooo!

    Today's giveaway is something I can't live without. My sling.

    And today is your lucky day! You could be the winner of a rockin' Pippalily sling!!

    Created by a mom in Toronto (can I get a cheer for a Canadian based company?!), Victoria Turner knows what it's like to need some free hands while you run about with your babies and kids. I love this woman's story. It's awesome and inspiring.

    You can read about it here:
    Awesome article in the Toronto Star

    If you haven't tried a sling out with your baby yet, you have to try one now! I used mine all the time with Lucia and used it for Lyla, as well (sadly, I didn't know about slings when I had my first baby four years ago).


    Just leave a comment on *this* post and your name will be entered into the draw. One lucky winner will receive a sling of her choice from Pippalily.

    Good luck!

    15 comments so far...
    ~lovelyn wrote: (05-01-2008 at 11:28am)

    love that pic pushing the baby carriage. =)

    and what a great giveaway...i love slings.

    Christine Pope wrote: (04-30-2008 at 4:32pm)

    Heather told me about ur site and I just love your photo's.
    I was just looking at getting a sling for my little girl. I really hope I win.

    Erin wrote: (04-30-2008 at 1:52pm)

    how cool. hope i win.

    Alison Jordan wrote: (04-29-2008 at 2:27pm)

    Love the pattern! The little ones have to look good :0) I like that it is a Canadian product.

    Rebecca wrote: (04-29-2008 at 12:39pm)

    I love those types of slings, i don't know what i would have done without mine, Spencer was in one everyday for at least two hours! Great product! Great pictures aswell,one years old so fun, just around the corner for Spencer.

    You gotta re-boil that.

    We had a kettle;
    we let it leak:
    Our not repairing made it worse.
    We haven't had any tea for a week...
    The bottom is out of the Universe.

    ~Rudyard Kipling<

    A Sunday tea. What could be more delicious that an afternoon cup of tea on a bright sunny Sunday?

    I had just put Lyla down to sleep and Lucia was snug as a bug in her swing ... so, I decided to make myself some tea this afternoon after church. It was a lovely day for an afternoon tea out on the back porch. So I boiled the water ... and then walked away (because you know you are never to watch a kettle boil!) and ended up scrubbing off the marker that Lyla had so creatively decorated Lacey's bedroom walls, closet and kitchen set with ...

    Came back and realized the kettle had boiled and was cooled down already.

    So I turn the kettle back on and walked away because we all know you don't watch a kettle boil.

    Turns out, Daisy, the dog, decided to slurp up any of the bath water left over in the tub, leaving wet, sloppy footprints all over the bathtub and the bathroom tile ... so I grabbed a rag and cleaner and tidied up the mess.

    Went back to get my tea.
    The water's lukewarm again.

    I turned the kettle on - yet again ...

    Looked down and saw my step stool for the kitchen (I'm rather short and LOVE having a step stool) and suddenly thought "Gosh, that would look good painted!" and ran out out to the shop and slapped on a quickie coat of blue paint ... it literally only took a few minutes ...

    Came back and the water was not even lukewarm, it was cold by now.

    What was that I heard? Lyla, happy, energized and ready to rock n' roll all refreshed from her nap, hollering for me from her crib ... "Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!" (She calls me ma, not mommy ....) "MAAAAAAAA??!"

    I sighed and put the tea bags back into the cupboard.
    I never did get my cup of tea today.

    Maybe tomorrow.
    Tea is over-rated anyway.

    I don't have a recent tea shot but I took this Friday night over dinner. I thought it just screamed summer ... I don't drink wine but my hubby doesn't mind a glass with his dinner - wish I did drink it because it looked so yummy!


    Oh, and I'm adding this photo because I came across it the other day. I love this photo of my hubby ... he's the one with the heart around him, in case you haven't figured that out yet. He's pictured here with his dad and his two brothers. This was their "staff" photo for their business Dods & McNair Funeral Home & Chapel.

    Yes, he's an undertaker.

    And I'm okay with that. ;)


    2 comments so far...
    Tracy Nevin wrote: (04-28-2008 at 9:21am)

    AHHHH so many times have I tried to poor myself a tea....I have given up until the wee ones are in bed....Drive-by works well too. I feel for ya Miss Gillian.

    Donna wrote: (04-28-2008 at 6:32am)

    Ah we start one thing and yet move on to another.......forgetting the first for what seemed like just a moment.

    That Tea sounded really nice, hope you get to enjoy one today (Monday).

    The wine shot looks yummy!

    April 25, 2008

    Sleep, baby, sleep.


    Lucky me.

    "The smile that flickers on baby's lips when she sleeps-
    does anybody know where it was borne?
    Yes, there is a rumor that a young pale beam of a crescent moon
    touched the edge of a vanishing autumn cloud,
    and there the smile was first born . . . .”

    ~Rabindranath Tagore

    I get to wake up every morning to this beautiful sight.


    What a sweetie ... I'm biased, I know ... she looks SO much like her daddy.


    And during the day, I get to see this:



    Okay, let's announce the winners of the awesome, fun and funky, and yet PRACTICAL, giveaway from Monday, hosted by Smart Mom Jewelry.

    The winner, using, is

    Karen - who won the jade donut pendant


    Amy - who won the turquoise heart pendant

    Congratulations, girls!

    Just e-mail me and I'll get your prize into your hands!

    I hope you enjoy them! (I personally think they are the coolest things ever ... ) I will be doing another giveaway for these necklaces in the near future, so stay tuned. And a big thank you to Smart Mom Jewelry for hosting this giveaway. You guys rock!

    Coming Monday, I will do yet another giveaway from an awesome Toronto-based business woman who is rockin' the mompreneur world! Make sure to come back on Monday for this awesome giveaway!

    6 comments so far...
    Stephanie wrote: (04-30-2008 at 1:43pm)

    Your photos are unbelievable ... what a gift!

    Vicki wrote: (04-27-2008 at 12:44pm)

    Such beautiful work...very spiritual and honest. Thanks for stopping my my blog...I'd love to do a promotion with you.

    Vicki Bodwell

    Donna wrote: (04-26-2008 at 10:14am)

    She is soooooo...adorable! Oh my how she is growing each and everyday.
    I see a little of Daddy and alot her Grandpa (your Dad):)

    Tamara wrote: (04-25-2008 at 5:16pm)

    Ahhh...that is about all I can say...makes me want another wee one. Someone slap me please...:)

    Evelyn & Kaitlyn wrote: (04-25-2008 at 12:27pm)

    She is so adorable! These pictures are way too cute!

    April 23, 2008

    Remember Africa.

    This morning started off very rough ... with all three girls crying and screaming at the same time during breakfast ... Abby telling me he had to go work on his day off (he doesn't get many days off and when he does, I cherish that time for grocery shopping, appointments, etc. that I can't get done when he's working) for what seemed like at least 10 minutes ... and there was a tiny moment where all I wanted to do was find a hole and climb in it and bury myself!

    And then I prayed.
    And then I poured myself a cup of coffee.
    And then I remembered Africa.

    When Abby and I were first married, we went on a month long missions trip to Zambia, Africa. The whole trip was LIFE CHANGING - and I would do it again in a heart beat. It was the MOST amazing month of my life ever. I could go into huge detail about the trip, but what I took away from it was very important for my life -whenever I feel like my life is horrible or that I am being treated unfairly (c'mon!!!!! Three kids screaming at the same time?! And I hadn't even brushed my teeth or started my day yet?!), I think of the people that we met in Africa.

    NOTHING I have ever had to go through could compare to the immense suffering and the overwhelming challenges that the African people deal with. Starvation, political manipulation, a failing economy, famines and droughts, HIV and hepatitis ... at least 20% of the population are infected with HIV.
    Forty-two percent of children under five are stunted or malnourished, 18 percent are severely stunted and up to 50 percent suffer from micro-nutrient deficiencies.

    Those Zambian faces stay fresh in my memory every day. And whenever I feel like I have the "right" to complain, I remember Africa.

    A quote from one of my favourite authors:

    “Count your blessings. Once you realize how valuable you are and how much you have going for you, the smiles will return, the sun will break out, the music will play, and you will finally be able to move forward the life that God intended for you with grace, strength, courage, and confidence.”
    -Og Mandino

    So today if you are feeling "poopie " (as we call it in this house), realize that it's not all THAT bad.

    Remember Africa.

    And because I never post without a photo ... some photos from yesterday afternoon with Lacey. We found a spider in our backyard that she calls Charlotte. (Original!) It was VERY windy and this little guy was the size of your pinky fingernail so it was hard focusing on him as his web jostled in the wind - but we got it on focus. ;)




    4 comments so far...
    ~lovelyn wrote: (05-01-2008 at 11:25am)

    i'm here for the 1st time from 5 minutes for mom. your photos and sentiments are beautiful. africa has a special place in my heart, too. and i think the exact same things some days with OUR three little girls! =)

    Kari wrote: (04-25-2008 at 10:49am)

    What a great post today! Thank you for sharing...I went on a mission trip to the Ivory Coast as a teenager and have never been the same. Have you heard of the Bite Back campaign? They are partnering with Compassion to get mosquito nets to families in Africa...I posted about it...or see Boo Mama's blog. Have a blessed day, thanks for the reminder...we don't have to look far to see heartache and someone who is suffering and it makes our "trials" pale in comparison.

    God bless your day! :) Kari

    Donna wrote: (04-24-2008 at 10:05am)

    Ah yes the crying of children, the un expected change in schedules, the kaos of life, the feeling of just wanting to curl up and hide for just a moment.........feeling guilty that you even feel that way, you are not alone.
    Our Prayers become answered and we see where a real problem lays.

    How blessed we are with all that we are given.

    How amazing to have been able to give a piece of your heart and mind to Africa.

    The pictures of Lacey and Charlotte are beautiful:)

    Amanda wrote: (04-23-2008 at 8:28am)

    OH you are so lucky to have gone to Africa. Ive been wanting to go for a long time now!
    Must have been an amazing experience!

    Very nice pics of Lacey. She is looking so grown up!

    April 21, 2008

    Sweet angel baby.

    Seven weeks of pure, chubby cuteness.

    Ahhhh, sweet little Aubrey visited me in the studio this weekend, along with her gorgeous mom and dad and darling big brother. I have had the pleasure of photographing this family several times before and each time, it's such a pleasure seeing them.


    How cute is her big brother? He's really not that big - just a wee 18 months old. Still somewhat of a baby himself, really.


    Daddy's little girl ...


    Thanks for letting me snuggle up with your new baby, Allison! She's adorable. :)


    And as promised, today is the giveaway day! Wahooo!

    I have found some truly awesome givewaways and this is one I'm particularly excited about. Mainly because I've never seen them before and also because, well, they are just plain awesome for moms and look hot and trendy, as well!

    Check this out: Smart Mom Jewelry

    How many times have you been holding your little cutiepatootie in your arms, only to have to yank your necklace from his or her slobbery mouth... babies LOVE to chew on their mom's necklaces, don't they? I know that from personal experience two times over now. ;) So why not wear a necklace that is MADE for your baby to chew?

    Introducing some real baby bling ...


    This week, I'm giving away one jade donut pendant and one turquoise heart pendant - all you have to do is leave a comment here on this post and then I will draw names at the end of the week. Refer someone to the blog and get them to leave a comment, mentioning your name, and your name will be entered twice into the draw! Mention which pendant you would like to win, as well.

    And drop by Smart Mom Jewelry's site to say thanks for hosting this week's giveaway!

    13 comments so far...
    mindy wrote: (04-27-2008 at 11:14am)

    Great idea! I love the necklaces. Wish I would have had one of these when I had my first. They are very stylish also.

    Tamara wrote: (04-25-2008 at 3:22am)

    What a great idea for a give away...Talia would get much joy out of this and I could wear a necakalce again. Please put my name in for the circle one...
    By the way I wanted to say I also truly enjoyed your post on Africa...something we all need to be reminded of. Thanks.

    Donna wrote: (04-22-2008 at 10:25am)

    What a GREAT idea. I am in for anyone of them. They are all so nice.

    I have not worn any jewlerly since my children have been born and we are now expecting our third. It would be nice to wear something for all of us.

    You get GREAT give aways, thank you for thinking of others. I appreciate the kindness and fun of it all. Thank you:):)

    Kim wrote: (04-22-2008 at 5:23am)

    Love it!!!

    Rebecca wrote: (04-21-2008 at 9:03pm)

    Such a cute and great idea, Spencer would love to get his hands and mouth on it! lol.

    April 18, 2008


    "A little girl can be sweeter (and badder) oftener than anyone else in the world. She can jitter around, and stomp, and make funny noises that frazzle your nerves, yet just when you open your mouth she stands there demure with that special look in her eyes. A girl is Innocence playing in the mud, Beauty standing on its head, and Motherhood dragging a doll by the foot ..."

    - Alan Marshall Beck

    We have not been indoors all day. The weather is amazing and fantastic and absolutely magical. I am so happy spring has arrived!

    The girls and I have been outside for about three days straight now and we have been soaking (literally) up every sunbeam and sunkiss we can get!

    The girls got dirty - but boy, oh boy, were they happy.




    Check back on Monday! I'll be doing the next giveaway!!!

    0 comments so far...

    April 17, 2008

    Happy Birthday, Abby.

    This is a wee bit of a personal post, but I don't think my readers will mind. :)

    Today is my hubby's birthday ... we went out together tonight (thank you for babysitting-Grandmas!) and had pedicures together (oh so nice!!!!!) and then went to the newest Thai restaurant in town for dinner. Yummmm. What a nice night! Our last date was four months ago so it was well overdue.

    (And it was an incredible break because, even though I thought the flu was over, it has hit our house yet again. I have been very housebound this week ... ugh.)

    So to show Abby how much I love him on his 37th birthday, I'm writing a list of 37 reasons why I love him.

    He doesn't always read my blog (he's not a computer guy) but he will tomorrow when he gets to work. :)

    My List:

    1. Your complete and loving generosity
    2. Your hands
    3. The way you bring me a cup of coffee every morning to start my day
    4. Your funny way you sing country songs
    5. Your smile - the way it glows! LOL!
    6. Your desire to grow and learn more
    7. Your hard working attitude
    8. Your easy going attitude
    9. The fact that you never get mad at me when I do weird things - like melt plastic accidentally on the oven top
    10. Because you lend me your debit card without complaining when I can't find mine
    11. your eyes
    12. your respect to your parents
    13. that you love my parents as much as I do
    14. you never are afraid to ask for directions
    15. your lasagna (home made)
    16. your cheesecake (also home made!!!)
    17. your patience, especially with the kids
    18. the fact that if I make dinner, you clean up
    19. the way you read the girls bedtime stories every night
    20. because you don't hold a grudge
    21. the fact that you let me get a dog even though you knew you didn't want one!
    22. you let me carry my pet rabbit, Oscar, in our wedding as my "bouquet" and never questioned my sanity :D
    23. that you will *try oh so hard* to stay awake when I make you stay up with me till midnight while I'm proofing or working on my computer
    24. your incredible giving spirit - the way you shovel everyone's driveway in the winter and help people out of the ditches and tight carwashes
    25. the fact that I can say to the girls "Daddy will fix it" and you always do
    26. your beautifu, adoringl love for our daughters
    27. your willingness to go grocery shopping at midnight
    28. for feeding the girls breakfast every morning so I can shower
    29. because you used to drive two hours to just see me at work for a quick coffee break
    30. that you knew within weeks of meeting each other that were were made for each other
    31. you don't complain if I make something strange for dinner (usually an accidental dinner - I'm not the world's best cook!)
    32. that you encourage me and my strange ideas
    33. the way you can make someone feel like a hundred bucks within seconds
    34. because you can just go with the flow and not get overly stressed if there is no plan
    35. that you still contemplate having another baby :)
    36. that you love me even when I'm crabby and make no sense
    37. that you still think you married a young chick! ;)

    Happy birthday, Abby. :) Love you tons, my dear. xo

    (A quick photo of Abby and Lucia, hanging out tonight ... he's singing her to sleep.)


    3 comments so far...
    Kari wrote: (04-18-2008 at 8:05am)

    That was a beautiful post...

    tear-ing up,
    Kari :)
    bless your day!

    Amanda Mitchell wrote: (04-17-2008 at 8:56pm)

    Wow, that is soo sweet. Sounds like a really great catch Gillian! You guys are an inspiration and encouragement to mine and Jareds life!
    You are so blessed

    Take care! I hope the flu bug leaves your house soon! :(

    Rebecca wrote: (04-17-2008 at 8:04pm)

    Awww, that is the sweetest list ever, sounds like you have a great husband, I'm glad you had a great day together.

    April 16, 2008

    The days ahead ...

    They hold adventure.

    They will bring blessings.

    They contain generosity.

    They deliver hope.

    The days ahead are exciting days ...

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    I met with a beautiful young lady today who works in the Dominican Republic and is visiting Ontario for a short two week span. We talked over a few things that I just can't WAIT to spill out on the blog!

    But I can't give details - yet ... soon. I promise.

    And when the details emerge, it will be exciting!

    So for now ...

    A picture, relating to the details.

    (Are you confused or what?!)


    When you do nothing, you feel overwhelmed and powerless. But when you get involved, you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment that comes from knowing you are working to make things better.--Pauline R. Kezer

    3 comments so far...
    sarah bean wrote: (04-24-2008 at 2:24am)

    gorgeous bracelet!

    Cammie wrote: (04-17-2008 at 9:23am)

    Love the colours in the beaded jewellery. Very beautiful. I really like that quote as well,such a simple message with strong meaning.

    Amanda wrote: (04-17-2008 at 6:12am)

    That is a great quote at the end of this post. Wow!
    So true!