Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pierson Maxwell // Newborn

Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education Degrees complete? Check.
Graduation? Check.
Job lined up for fall? Check.
Enjoying summer to the fullest? Check.

It's been a busy year. And finally, after a VERY long hiatus it was time to make another video. I forgot how much I love doing this.

So without further ado, let me introduce to you my dear friend's newest family member, Pierson Maxwell. Isn't he handsome? He is a sweet, peaceful, cuddly newborn who is a beautiful and perfect addition to this family. I so look forward to watching him grow up alongside his big brother, Jude. Here is a quick peak into Mel & Ang's new life as a family of four. Mel & Ang, you continue to inspire me with your beautiful babies and mad parenting skills:) Love you guys! Many blessings and a huge congrats on your new baby boy, Pierce.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

On Conquering the World

Oh blog, how I miss you...

It's crunch time around here. No time to do fun things like blogging. But I did want to pop by because I desperately need a break, and want to share a quote that someone shared with me the other day. I love inspiring quotes. They are like seeing a rainbow peek through dark clouds on a stormy day. They make me smile and give me perspective.

I was sharing with my cooperating teacher (and cousin!) how overwhelming teaching can be. There is SO much to learn...and SO many things one could (should?) be doing to be the best teacher one can possibly be. Some days it feels like a daunting endeavour. How will I ever 'get there'. She gently left me with the wisdom a prof gave her back when she was in university,

"Master the ordinary before you attempt the extraordinary." 

Simple. Profound. Perspective taken.

Have a good night,

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Dear Elsa...

Happy 1st Birthday, Elsa!

Elsa turned one today. And what a perfectly thoughtful gift her parents have given her...their love in a letter. No, a video letter probably isn't on every 1 year old's birthday wishlist, but in a few years it will mean more to her than any cute new outfit or teething ring ever will.

This idea came to me one night while I was lying awake in bed (that seems to be the time of day when ideas start lurking around my mind...and keep me from sleep!). Rebecca (a lovely woman and talented photographer!) had commented on one of my videos saying she couldn't wait to start thinking of the second baby cuz she would love a newborn video. I kept thinking to myself, why wait? And this idea came. A letter. I'm a letter girl. Write me a sweet note and you made my day. Don't buy me gifts...dig down deep and bless me with your words. Give me a card filled with your thoughts, penned with your hand and it is at the top of my list of favourite gifts (just ask Mark!!). Words are meaningful. Personal. Powerful. They help you see into someone's heart. And a letter? It's planned...thought out...the words are carefully chosen. Well, I couldn't get this idea out of my mind. I took a risk and shared what I had dreamed up with Rebecca. She.Was. Pumped.  And she got her husband on board, too!  :)  As I got to know her a little better through emails I got more and more excited about this project. Rebecca has a magnetic and energizing personality. She is bubbly and genuine, passionate, and has a giant heart. Rebecca, thank you for dreaming and scheming with me. This project made my heart very happy.

And Elsa, sweetie, I hope that when you watch this one day it will bless your heart (as much as it did mine) to hear your mommy and daddy dig deep down and try to put into words just how much you mean to them. You are so loved, little one.


Tuesday, October 04, 2011

October? Is that you already?

I blinked and September was over. Still haven't caught my breath from all the 'back into the swing of things' that September was. I feel like I'm STILL getting back into the swing of things! But I guess that's my new normal, so I should just get used to it...

What have I been up to? School. School is going well. Busy. Bizee. BIIIIIIZZZZY. However you wanna spell it, it's busy. But it's my last year and that thought is wonderful, and surprisingly overwhelming at the same time. I didn't think I would be the type to feel this way...this excited nervousness about applying for jobs in spring and the daunting reality of "oh my goodness, I could have my own classroom next year...I have SO MUCH TO LEARN and only 7 more months to learn it". Yup, that's how I'm feeling. However, I do have the best, most wonderful and knowledgeable cooperating teacher...for which I am overjoyed and incredibly grateful for. Some people are not so lucky. I am one of the lucky ones (a fantastic teacher two years in a row?...so blessed). Now to pick her brain for the next 7 months...

Mr. Mark has been super-duper busy, too (we make a really good team right now!). Filming weddings in Toronto, Kicking Horse (B.C.), a bunch in Winnipeg, of course, and is currently in Chicago at a film workshop. No big deal. Not! I'm so freaking proud of him!!! He has worked so hard to get where he is and it makes me beam with joy and pride and mushy-gushy goodness that he is living his dream. If you haven't, make sure you check out their latest and greatest...so you know I'm for real and not making this up! Their blog is over here with their most recent work - a stunningly remarkable same day edit. Best one yet. So in love with what him and his team create. So. In. Love.

As for me and my videos?! Well, I've had to slow down a bit with this whole school thing starting up again. But I am working on something that kinda gives me goosebumps whenever I watch it:) I've got a ways to go. But something's in the works...

And lastly, a few thoughts from the deep...I have been really challenged and encouraged with the messages at church lately. Good stuff. Real stuff. Stuff that matters. The series is titled "Hope"...it deals with how to find hope in times of crisis...whatever that crisis may look like in a person's life. I'm not going through a crisis, but let's face it, life isn't lollipops and rainbows. This stuff is practical and I love it.  Whatever the life situation...major or minor crisis or just needing some answers to life's questions it's worth the listen.

Maybe this seems to be a recurring theme for me...or maybe it just helps me keep perspective (cuz life is so much about perspective; that's what I've concluded)...but here is another goody (or kick in the pants!) from Mr. Oswald Chambers (LOVE this guy. Wish we could go out for coffee...)

"We are built for the valley, for the ordinary stuff we are in...Spiritual selfishness always wants repeated moments on the mount. We feel we could talk like angels and live like angels, if only we could stay on the mount. The times of exaltation are exceptional, they have their meaning in our life with God, but we must beware lest our spiritual selfishness wants to make them the only time. We are apt to think that everything that happens is to be turned into useful teaching, it is to be turned into something better than teaching...into character." 

May your October be blessed. 

And...break time is over. Back to it...
Hope to be back soon:)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Victoria // Newborn

The look on D'Arcy's face when we came to meet Victoria for the first time was sheer joy and pride. He is one incredibly proud papa! I love that. He was so excited to show off his little girl. And what a sweet, sweet little girl she is. She is perfect. And she sleeps...all the time. At least whenever I've seen her she is ALWAYS sleeping like an angel. Hmmm...this looks pretty easy...sign me up for one of those please:) Well, Candace has informed me that, no, she doesn't sleep ALL the time; she still has to get up several times a night, and yes, she does even cry once in a while, but, it's true, Victoria is a very contented baby (as I have witnessed every single time I've seen her!). 

I always say this, and I'll probably keep saying it. I love hearing "the story". It's personal and unique, and different every time. What struck me about this story is what an incredible team D'Arcy & Candace are. So much love. So much support. So much pride for each other...and the beautiful thing they created together. Team Beckett...you rocked it:) 

I also had the opportunity to shoot alongside Jennifer Tower of Jennifer Tower Photography while she did Victoria's newborn photos. She is very talented, super creative, and has such a kind and gentle spirit. It was a pleasure meeting you, Jennifer! LOVE the few photos I've seen from your session so far:) 

So after all that, here is a sneak peak at another little miracle. Enjoy!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Hello, September!

My summer read this year was called The Happiness Project. I thoroughly enjoyed it. And I kept it so long I owed the library $10 in late fees. My apologies, library...but it was worth it! I was inspired by a friend to read it, after she mentioned it a few times on her blog (not sure I would have read it otherwise. Thanks, Kendra!).  I gained many new and very practical insights on making intentional and conscious choices that could increase my happiness. So much of a person's happiness has to do with their attitude and mindset. Like many other things in life, it starts from within. It's a good read. I totally recommend it. Especially if you are a task oriented, get 'er done, "lists", kinda person. You'd love it!

Just one of many things I took away from this book (and love!) is the 6 second hug. The author did some research and discovered that "the minimum time necessary to promote the flow of oxytocin and seratonin, mood-boosting chemicals that promote bonding" is 6 seconds. I believe that. I dare you to try it.  :)

Mark and I went to Gimli for the day to celebrate my birthday. It was an incredibly beautiful day. I wasn't expecting beach weather for my birthday! Usually at this time in the summer it starts to cool off and the crisp fall temperatures start to creep in. Not this year. It was perfection.
We ate lunch on a patio overlooking the lake (which almost feels more like the sea than a lake...come on, pretend with me!), lay on the beach and watched sailboats while we worked on our tans, we went to my very favourite store, Tergesen's, we walked the pier, and we took photos. It was a lovely day. 

And I very much enjoyed spending it with my favourite person.  :)

A perfect end to quite a perfect summer. 

Now it's September. Time to get back into school (my LAST year of school, that is. Very exciting to say those words!)...get back into a regular routine...and bring out the fall wardrobe (yay!). 

A happy fall, and many 6 second hugs to you:)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The View

Today was one of those perfect, picturesque summer days that made me want to hold on to these last few days (?!) of summer with all the strength within me. Let me paint you the picture I saw on my drive...endless bright blue sky, flawless puffy white clouds (just like you see illustrated in children's story books...the ones that are so perfect they don't look real), golden, freshly combined fields bordered with wild prairie grasses and flowers...the rich palette of natural colours beautifully complementing each other. Artistry that photos and paintings (and words!) can do no justice to. In a word? Breathtaking. It made me grateful to live in the prairies...something I SO take for granted. We are blessed, and I should take the time more often to be thankful for this beautiful, and wide open, and safe (so we have blizzards and the odd tornado...have you watched the news lately? we're pretty lucky) place we are fortunate enough to call home. So often I'm in such a rush to get where I'm going and so deeply absorbed in my busy thoughts that I forget to turn and look out the window and take in my surroundings. Well, I'm glad I turned my head today (most likely inspired by time spent with a great friend, Chai Tea, and genuine conversation...soul-food). It was so worth it. And it made me wonder how many other beautiful and lovely things (and people) in this life I have missed out on because I was so focused on what's right in front of me (myself, really). Kinda disappointed in myself for not having my camera with me...the sole driving force for buying myself a nice camera...take spontaneous pictures that preserve the beautiful moments and 'revelations' in my life. Oh well, hopefully I'll just look out the window more often.

A happy and relaxing last weekend in August to you:)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Jude // One Year

Time flies. We don't realize it when we're in it, but when we look back...and see growth...and change...and progress...we wonder where time went. And we can't quite remember how in the world we got from point A to point B so stinkin' quickly. I wish I could remember this when I'm sitting in class counting the days till graduation (something I need to work on!!). I don't know how you moms do it. One day you have a little newborn baby in your arms and before you know it they are crawling faster than you can keep up with...and walking along furniture. You blink and they are a year old already. That's what it felt like when I was filming this video. It wasn't that long ago when Jude was itty-bitty and his beautiful head full of hair fit nicely, resting in the palm of my hand, and I could stare for hours at his sleepy little face. And then he got bigger....and he started smiling and giggling. Now he's cruising all over the place, holding on to window sills and furniture. I love reaching out my hand to his as he wraps his tiny little fingers around mine, holds on tightly, and cautiously but bravely walks all around the room. And soon he's going to decide it's time to let go and walk...on his own. Yes, they grow up very, very fast.

It's neat for us to go back and watch what they were like as a newborn, or six month old...but I think it's going to be even more meaningful when Jude grows up and can see and hear what he was like as a baby. I'm so glad I have a baby album filled with pictures of my childhood. But now that I'm doing this I think of how cool it would be if I could hear my cry as a baby...watch myself take wobbly steps as I learned to walk...and see my mom interact with me and hear her voice. Jude, you can thank me when you're older!! Lol!

This video was definitely the most challenging so far - apparently one year olds can boogie pretty fast! He kept me on my toes the entire time:) And what you see here is only a tiny snippet of the great fun we had together that afternoon. Mel & Ange, once again, you guys are my inspiration. I love watching you raise your little man, and love him the way you do. Blessings to you and your very handsome ONE YEAR old!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Jasmine // Photo Shoot

Dear Jasmine, 
You are a very lucky little girl. You've got a mom & a dad who love you more than you could ever dream of being loved. You've got a summer birthday - so you can have your parties at the beach. AND you've got a pretty awesome head of hair!! 
Love & Snuggles, 
(self-proclaimed) Auntie M

This little sweetheart is the daughter of a very dear and longtime friend. We've known each other since kindergarten...and now she has a baby! Feels weird and wonderful all at the same time. Like we're actually grown up or something. I've adopted this child as another little niece of mine and can't get enough of her squirmy cuteness and adorable sounds she makes. I'm very much looking forward to watching this little girl grow up:)
Here's a peek at the newborn photo session my Bff did for them. Thanks for letting me tag along, Mar! You can see her photos from the session here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Happy Heart & Full on Life

This summer has been amazing. I can't decide if it's because it's been so hot that the mosquitos haven't been hanging around much, or that this is the first summer I haven't taken any summer courses so I can actually enjoy my time off and do fun things...and sleep as long as I please (guilt-free)...and read (for pure enjoyment sake). When I look at the calendar and see that all this summer-goodness is about to end in only two short weeks (gasp...) I wonder how in the world I'm going to finish my summer "to-do" list. It might just be a busy two weeks. Or I won't wash my windows this year :)

My heart is happy. God is good. Last two weeks of summer...here I come.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Jillian // Newborn

I absolutely love hanging out with first time parents. There is so much wonder and amazement in their eyes and in their voices at the fact that together they created this little being who has turned their world upside-down. And each and every parent says they would never go back to the "old" world. Ever. They embark on this journey of so many unknowns and so few hours of sleep and still all they want to do is stare at that cute little face (that is very encouraging!!). Jer mentioned that God knew exactly what He was doing when He made babies so darn cute! It's impossible to get annoyed when those little miniatures stare straight up at you pleading, in all their cuteness, to be cuddled, held, and loved.
Jer and Tessa have been dear friends of ours for quite a while now, and it was beyond my pleasure to spend the afternoon with them documenting an "ordinary" day in their new life. I told them how impressed I was with how laid back they are as 'first-timers', to which they responded, "it's because we really don't know what we're doing"! Well, you guys are doing a phenomenal job of faking it!! Jillian is a very lucky little girl. You guys are and will continue to be great parents. Tessa mentioned that it's the little moments that are the highlights of her day. I love that attitude. Soak it up; rest in those beautiful (and messy, and exhausting, and confusing) moments...take it all in...and enjoy your sweet, sweet Jilly Bean! Love you guys:)

Monday, July 25, 2011

It's a BLOG!

After casually mentioning a blog I 'kinda' had in the works to a very dear friend of mine (who was a little more than surprised to hear about this), I was struck with something she said to me. Don't be afraid to share your passions in life. Simple, yet profound. I sometimes feel like I may be the only person who cares about this...so I tend to keep things to myself. There is vulnerability in sharing yourself with others. Well, her enthusiasm was very encouraging. And if anything, I know I have one, genuinely interested supporter out there (aside from my husband, of course)!!  And so, here it is, world! An official welcome to Peanut Butter and Jelly Films.

I have been dreaming and scheming about this little secret of mine for quite some time now, and I am happy to finally share it with you. Over the past year (in my downtime!!) I have been experimenting with documenting a very important season in people's lives...little ones. A season that comes and goes faster than we expect. Each and every time I make a video for a family I fall more and more in love with hearing their stories. Because every family has a story. And every family's story is different. And I feel that these stories need to be preserved...and shared. PBJ Films is my journey in figuring out how to do that!

So...thank you for stopping by! I invite you to stay a while and take a peek at something I'm passionate about :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Camryn // Newborn

Shortly after this itty-bitty, little sweetheart was born, Kelly texted me saying she had a song in mind for the video. It made me giddy with excitement to shoot the video...and blessed me to know that they were obviously excited about it, too! After listening to the song, I instantly fell in love...with this new baby girl who I hadn't even met yet...and that indescribable feeling I knew her mommy & daddy had towards their daughter. There really is "nothing lovelier than you", dear, sweet baby Camryn. You are a blessing. Kelly & Tyler, you guys are amazing. Period. Thank you for inspiring me and sharing your story with me. Looking forward to seeing this little girly grow up:)

Many thanks to Marky Mark for assisting me with this shoot and lending me his expertise as I tried some new things this time. I am very lucky to be married to such talent:)

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Happy Canada Day!

I have to be honest...I was a little skeptical about this Canada Day celebration in Steinbach. I didn't know what to expect except free cupcakes and fireworks. And I thought, how is this going to be cool? The event was from 9pm to 11pm...what would people do for two hours?! Well, I was wrong. Tons of people came out, and it was tons of fun! True, there was nothing really going on except free cupcakes, and people waiting for the fireworks...but that didn't matter. Kids were playing. Families were hanging out. And that's all that mattered. It was really neat to watch. Today's society is all about entertainment value...which I fully admit I sometimes fall prey to (and was obviously guilty of in my attitude about this whole event!). But last night was all about enjoying the incredible, bug-less (true...I only noticed the mosquitos after the fireworks...not sure if it was because I was filming and was too busy to notice them, or because they really weren't there!) summer evening with people you love. And really, kids can make anything fun...if they want to. Many of them were running around chasing each other, playing catch, kicking soccer balls, doing cartwheels, and playing with their parents.
So good to see.

Happy Birthday, Canada! We are so blessed to call you "home".

I filmed this video for the City of Steinbach's website. Mark encouraged me to do it, and said he would give me some direction along the way. I filmed the entire thing, and he sat in a lawn chair editing the clips throughout the evening. Thankfully we ran into his cousins, who were gracious enough to let Mark set up his little outdoor 'office' next to them (which probably curtailed some funny stares at 'the dude who brought his laptop to the fireworks')!
I was a bit nervous about the whole thing...this was my first 'live' event. But I ended up having so. much. fun. It was exhilerating to walk through the crowd with my camera to search out festive faces (loved the painted faces!!), laughter, kids doing the cute things kids do (like that girl eating the fruit roll up?! that clip gets me every time!), and families just being together. Like families should be on a holiday.

Go Team Hiebert. Thanks for your help, Mark!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sleepless Thoughts

1:30 AM and wide awake. I wish I were sleeping right now. But since I'm not, and since my brain is firing random thoughts in every direction at a million mph...I might as well do something productive with my time and try to gather some of these stray thoughts and put them together in some sort of cohesive pattern for you to enjoy:)  Get ready for some unexpected deepness at this ungodly hour. I've been thinking about contentment lately, and the whole underlying premise of this blog...my personal challenge of enjoying the ordinary days on my journey. When I stop and reflect and take the time to count the incredible things I have been blessed with in this life it's easy to be in that contented place. And that is why I do what I do...I work hard at documenting life so I can remember the wonderful and good things and people I am blessed to be around. But to stay there...in that mindspace? ALL the time? A different story. I honestly feel like some days I need to tie a piece of yarn around my finger so every time I see it I remember my goal. I'm easily distracted. And this world? Full of distractions. I don't need to tell you that. Some days I feel like the child whose mother is taking her into the grocery store to buy milk. And on the way to the cleverly placed, WAY back corner of the store, we pass the bright coloured, mouth-watering aisle filled with candy of all shapes and sizes...right at my eye level. The child (okay, I) slow my brisk "follow the mama" walk to little more than a baby step. And you all know the rest of that story. It gets ugly, unfortunately. I'm sure you've all seen it. And after those moments, when I reflect on that 'ugly' moment with a disgusted "what was I thinking?" and "how old am I??!" look on my face,  I wonder why it's so freaking hard to be in that beautiful, contented place all the time. The answer? I'm only human. We're only human. The self-denied perfectionist in me scowls at this answer ("there has to be a way", she screams!) But I think it's the truth. What kind of journey would life be if it were easy? What kind of people would we be if we didn't have to try? And so, we get knocked down, but we get up again (weirdly enough I'm pretty sure that's both a Bible verse and a pop song).  And that is the challenge...to get back up, and try, try again (thank God for grace). As my dear and wise old friend, Mr. Oswald Chambers consoles, "No man is born either naturally or supernaturally with character, he has to make character. Nor are we born with habits, we have to form habits on the basis of the new life God has put into us. We are not meant to be illuminated versions, but the common stuff of ordinary life exhibiting the marvel of the grace of God."

Here's to getting back up again. Possibly making a checklist. And to a really good sleep.    :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My Happy Place

Every year my in-laws rent a cabin on Lake of the Woods. We usually only stay a day or two, but those are two days that make my heart and soul very, very happy (pause for a long, deep contented sigh...remembering how good it was). There is something about that lake that is so endearing, so grand, and so peaceful that makes my heart sing really happy songs the entire time I'm there (to myself, of course. Nobody wants to hear that noise). We tan, we fish (as awkward as I make it look), we nap, we eat really, really good food, and we breathe deeply the fresh, glorious scent of natural goodness (unfortunately that is not an exaggeration. I couldn't get enough of that fresh nature smell, that I was literally sucking it back. I guess living next to a greasy restaurant makes me homesick for freshness?! Gotta stock up while I can). I also really love seeing my father-in-law in his element. He is nature man; and would probably make a very good Survivor Man. People shine when they are doing what the Creator created them to do. My father-in-law was meant to live on the lake (that being said in all my humanly wisdom. Lol!).
To top off the weekend we were escorted out of cabin country with the most gloriously breathtaking sunset I think I have ever seen (okay, maybe ever documented?!).

Wednesday, June 01, 2011


Hello there! So glad you stopped by : ) I would love to offer you a cup a jo and have you stay a while...but as you can see, I'm working on getting this thing up and going! There's a few vids up for you to enjoy...but there's more to come...so come back soon!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Mark and I entered Still Motion's short film contest with our video Abscond. We booked a weekend getaway to Falcon Lake Resort to celebrate the end of my 4th year of University (yay!!! one more to go!) and to have some good R&R before the busy wedding season starts for him. We thought this would be the perfect setting for the theme for the short film contest...'Simple'. Feeling a little discouraged with the freak May snowstorm we weren't sure we were actually going to feel inspired to do the video. Lucky for us this is Manitoba, and while there was ice and snow the first day, there was sun and spring the next day, so we did it. We had fun doing it, AND we won 2nd place! Woop woop:) Thanks so much to all my peeps for showing your support on FB and voting for our video. You guys rock!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Jude // 6 Months

6 month olds are SOOOO much fun!
I think it's safe to say that this is my favourite age. Newborns are cute and cuddly...love that stage, too. But 6 month olds. Oh, 6 month olds. That giggle? Nothing sounds sweeter. That smile? Nothing melts my heart faster. Like I said, SO MUCH FUN! I have really enjoyed watching Jude grow up these past few months. He is a very sweet little man. Ange, you are an incredible mother. I love watching you take on the world with your son. You have embraced this new role in your life, while remaining yourself. And that inspires me. Thank you for sharing your day with me:)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sunsets & Bike Rides

Today = first bike ride of the season + an evening with my lovely + a beautiful sunset + no mosquitos. Perfect. I don't need an extravagent evening for it to be perfect. Ordinary can be perfect.

Today also marks my first success with a summer goal of mine. One of my goals for this summer is to learn how to use photoshop. This is a personal challenge for myself...I enjoy digital scrapbooking and such, and want to create cool litttle things in photoshop and get really frustrated because I CAN'T!! Well, look out photoshop...because I plan to figure you out! Yay for new challenges and here's to having fun with some photos.