Our Engagement Story & Photoshoot

After discovering we were pregnant, we thought about having a sweet and simple wedding. 

The thought of planning a wedding while pregnant, having it without my family in Scotland, and not being able to drink champagne at my wedding was all too much for me to bear! We were more than happy to wait, save a little, and have the wedding we really wanted in a few years.

That being said, Ben asked for my ring size, and an idea of ring styles I liked when Willow was a baby. So that when the time came, he didn’t have to snoop about to find out my size or fish for hints; he wanted to take me by surprise. 

It may sound silly, since we lived together with Willow, and had already well and truly started our life together, but I was still surprised, and thrilled, when Ben asked me to marry him. 

The Engagement

Ben’s parents have a beautiful home in Palm Springs, California, where they escape the harsh Canadian winters, and last November we spent ten days visiting them. Since Willow was a bit older, we took a short trip and left her with her grandparents. 

We snuck off to LA to spend a baby-free weekend together; going out for dinner, walking about Santa Monica and Venice Beach, and it turns out, getting engaged! 

Ben popped the question early in the morning, on the beach, as we walked holding hands, watching the waves crash against the sand. He told me how much he loved me, and even got down on his knees! It was lovely. I was so surprised, totally cried, and was completely beside myself with happiness!

I couldn’t stop smiling all day. Eight months on, and I still get giddy every time I look at my beautiful engagement ring. 

Our impromptu, low key engagement obviously didn’t include a photoshoot in LA! (Thank GOD, if Ben had surprised me with a photoshoot I might have been less thrilled). We thought about having an engagement shoot in the summer, but weren’t sure when or if we could manage it.

However, we didn’t have to worry as the Universe sorted it out for us! 

The Photoshoot

By day, I’m a store manager in a bridal boutique in downtown Calgary. The store has a relationship with an incredible local photographer, Tara Whittaker, and we were generously offered an engagement shoot! 

We were so excited to meet with Tara, and had the most fun posing dramatically around the still frozen Lake Minnewanka in Banff, a mere two hour drive from Calgary. 

Since it was going to be a winter shoot with such a dramatic backdrop, we wanted to get our fancy on. Ben wore a lovely blue suit and I wanted to wear a burgundy, or similar dark red, to compliment Ben’s colours and contrast the wintery landscape.

After a stressful search, I found the perfect deep raspberry coloured dress in Le Chateau, with a gorgeous flowing skirt, and little off shoulder sleeves. Worried I would be too cold in that alone (it was March in the Rocky Mountains after all!), I realised the perfect raspberry and navy tartan wrap was already sitting in my wardrobe. Gifted by my Mum about five years ago, it was honestly a perfect match between my dress and Ben’s suit, and I couldn’t have found anything better if I had tried! 

Despite the bitter cold, and brutal windchill, we spent the whole shoot laughing, chatting, and having a wonderful time. The dramatic billowing of my dress & wrap was so fitting amongst the mountains, and our photos absolutely blew us away.

We’ve yet to have these framed, but we’re planning to pick a few of our favourites (although I have no idea how I’ll narrow it down!) and hang them at home. We are so happy with how they turned out, and so grateful we have these beautiful photographs to remember this time in our lives. 

If you’re looking for a wedding or engagement photographer, I can’t recommend Tara enough. She is skilled in every sense of the word. An impeccable eye for getting the perfect shot, she managed to catch such intimate and natural moments between us. She was great at giving us directions, too. It was our first time having our photos taken professionally and we were a little nervous, but Tara was so warm and friendly we were immediately put at ease.

 


Tara Whittaker Photography
photography@tarawhittaker.com
Instagram: @tarawhittaker
https://tarawhittaker.com/


 

Pushing Through Creative Doubt

Blogging is something I always return to. When thinking of what career I would like, what business I want to build, what I could start right now, without any further training or education…it’s blogging. 

It’s been this way for five years or so. I’ve probably started around three or four blogs. And when I say started, I mean get all excited, set it up, publish two posts, then shrivel up with fear and delete it after six months of inaction. 

This blog, Roseanne Writes is the longest any of my blogging efforts have lasted. It’s been almost one year since I purchased the domain name, and started posting. 

While I didn’t completely shrivel up with fear and delete everything, I did retreat somewhat, go two months at a time without posting, doubt myself, consider deleting, and berate myself for once again running away. 

But while I doubted the content of the other blogs I tried to start, I have never doubted that I am passionate about writing on motherhood and vegan topics. They are two areas I am experienced in, intensely passionate about, would love to share, and help other people with. 

Where I trip up is my own confidence and self-esteem. My little fearful voice would say I wasn’t an expert, I didn’t know what I was doing myself, so how could I possibly help others? I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t creative enough. It wouldn’t work and I was just setting myself up for disappointment. These are nothing but sneaky little lies my subconscious tells myself when doubt starts to creep in. 

My self care and mental health has definitely taken a hit since I became a mother. But now, more than ever, I need to look after myself, be kind to myself, and build myself up. I have to respect my desire to write, and carve out time for myself. 

I realise as more time passes - my blog sits inactive, I continue to day dream of working for myself, being in control of my own time, being there for my daughter more - that the fear of it not working out will never disappear. 

There will always be doubt, and worry, but it’s how I let this affect me that matters. I can let it eat me alive, push me into writers block and feeling inadequate, or, I can hear my fears, quietly assure myself I am capable and creative and passionate, and trust that my constant desire to write is driving me somewhere important. 

The Bittersweet Ache of Parenthood

It’s strange the things that make you emotional as a parent. In three weeks time our daughter will be 1 year old, and I'm currently bubbling over how well she is sleeping. 

This week we started sleep training Willow. She was still in bed with us, and none of us were getting decent sleep. So, although I wanted our bed back, and I wanted her to sleep well, it broke my heart a little (or a lot) to move my baby to her own room for good. 

It’s only been two nights without her in our bed and I miss her. I miss her soft warm body pressed against me, her hand instinctively cupping my breast and her soft quiet breath. I miss her radiant smiles in the morning when she opens her eyes and sees me. Each night I’ve woken naturally at 4.30am, see her sleeping on the monitor and feel a little lost that she isn’t in our bed, and doesn’t need me at night anymore. 

Sleep training has been the first time I have felt this bittersweet ache; she will never be our little baby in our bed again.

I know it’s so cliche and everyone says it, but my god, it feels like yesterday she was born and I got to hold my darling girl for the first time. 

When she was born, I imagined all the things we would do with her. All the things we would show her, and teach her, and I imagined her as an older child and how much fun there was waiting for our wee family. 

While I still imagine this and I am still filled with so much love and excitement over my daughter growing, this is the first time I’ve realised a stage has been passed. She won’t be a little baby for much longer, and this time has passed so quickly, and been so beautiful, I miss it already. 

Being a parent is the most wonderful, challenging, bat-shit-crazy adventure, and I’m realising that while every day she grows brings new experiences, it also brings an end to some. 

I’m finding it hard to let go of the small, warm, damp wrinkly baby I felt on my chest 11 months and 7 days ago, with her fluffy head, and her big eyes looking up at me.

I am thrilled to be with the (very nearly!) walking and talking toddler with the bluest eyes, the loudest laugh, and the most perfect tiny two front teeth, but I will miss my tiny little baby and everything she brought us. 

I knew there would be hard times, I knew I would be stressed and worried over little things, but I could never have predicted the depth of love I could feel for her. Yet another part of parenthood you can’t understand until experiencing it, is how you can love this intensely.

Sleep training is going well; two days in she is sleeping wonderfully and I’m the only one having a hard time adjusting. I’m writing up a blog post about what method we chose to go with, and how we decided it was the right time for us to sleep train. That’ll come soon, but for now I needed to write about the bittersweet ache of watching your children grow, and the crazy way love can make you feel. 

 

Magical Moments, And The In Betweens

I’m writing this from my breastmilk splattered keyboard (anyone else wonder how this happens?), while a dead-to-the-world 6 month old sleeps beside me in bed; it took over thirty minutes of strategic face stroking and "shhh"-ing, but eventually we got nap number one in the bag.

Her nails need cut, I have (literally) piles of clothes to organise, the dog hasn’t had a walk in a few days and I had to remove out a teeny tiny matt from the back of Willow’s head the other day. This mothering stuff is messy, exhausting, repetitive and sometimes boring as hell. 

But it’s also magical, and I mean that.

It is magic.

It never ceases to amaze me I grew this beautiful little human inside of my body, pushed her out (of a remarkably small opening), and have been keeping her alive these past six months. 

That’s pretty cool. 

She also smiles and giggles at the mere sight of me or Ben, and that’s also pretty cool. Nothing makes a night of fitful sleep worth it like a baby opening her eyes and being completely overcome by joy when she sees your face. That’s love.

As infuriating, and exhausting as parenting can be, no matter how many frustrated tears I cry while trying to rock her to sleep as she screams, or how high the mountain of dirty clothes gets, it is all total and complete magic. Every second of it. 

So take some time today, to ignore all the stressful stuff, and just look at your baby’s beautiful face. You made them, and you are their entire world. Treasure it, because they won’t always look at you the way they do now. 

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What have been your favourite moments with baby? How do you remind yourself to take it easy and enjoy the little things? Comment below or shoot me an email, I'd love to hear from  you, ❤️

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