I'm Kyla,

I want to create art for your walls that tell your brilliant love story...

Willow View Farms

I am definitely noticing a shift in my time, my evenings getting filled with stuff with the kids, and my work schedule really having to shift in order to make that work. I really thought Pepper might play on her own while I got SOOOO much done during the day with the boys in school, but instead she is insistent we spend our days together, dancing, doing errands, and playing while I do my best to savor it all, but secretly thinking about everything I need to get done in playing on repeat in the back of my head. I know I’ll struggle when I’m in a quiet house by myself next year, so I really am saying yes to as much as I can while still running the house in a mediocre at best fashion.

Today I took an hour in the morning with Pepper, and met my sister at Willow view Farms and while it didn’t take away all of the frazzledness I felt today, being outside has always proven to help me feel refreshed. Grateful for these little moments that encourage me.

Wrapped up in a "what if" bow.

I finish my coffee, kicking myself for having caffeine when I know how it makes me feel. I take 3 deep breaths, nope, still have that lump in my throat...I try it again, breath in, breath out, breath in, breath out....breath in, breath out. It's still there, the heavy feeling on my chest, my body taking note of each heart beat. 

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I'm actually quite proud of myself in some ways, usually the last few weeks of August are spent in denial and tears about my kids going back to school, this time the waves hit me one day before they go back, I guess that is progress, even if that feeling still rises. 

I question everything. Why can't I just be the mom celebrating as they walk through the school doors, why can't I stop feeling anxious so I could home school. Did I feel better this summer because they were home? Is counselling actually helping or is it the lack of schedule that I so crave? 

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Why do I want them home? They fight most of the day, pester one another to tears, are bored beyond anything they can imagine themselves out of, and yet here I am tears streaming down my face and a heavy heart at not having them near me. Sometimes I wonder if my tears are for them or selfishly for myself, craving to be more for them as they learn how to leave us. Maybe the panic is that I want more time to fix my mistakes I've made in parenting, or it could be wishing life didn't phase me the way it does. It's apology's and could be's all wrapped up in a "what if" bow. 

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I breath in, I breath out, taking note that even just writing about it has helped. I look around my messy house, peaches on the dining room table that need to be dealt with, the final clean out of my van that has been filled with beach bags, and sunscreen bottles I couldn't find the last few months. Summer was good, but It also felt rushed and filled with work. I take note of what I learned from that as I try to improve on it for next year. Did I give them all I could? Did I spend it on my phone while denying them the attention they craved? I guess that is motherhood, wondering what you do right and relishing in what you do wrong. 

I focus my attention on what I can change. I can put down my phone, I can tell them how much I love them, I can ask for forgiveness, I can push through the heaviness of motherhood and all it's questions (most of of the time.) I actually get to control myself, which is kind of new news to me. I GET TO CHOOSE MY REACTIONS TO MY LIFE. I have gone through much of life feeling sorry for myself, and I'm really so tired of being in that spot. So today I choose the things I can control, like how I react to a world that often hurts. 

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I breath in as large as I know how, knowing that choosing my reaction doesn't mean it's going to be easy. I know what is coming this Fall, and it's going to be the lonely. I know it's time for me to walk in the wilderness (thank you for that Brene Brown) I am working through my pain, allowing myself to truly feel it, and maybe having the security of my kids around me is part of my fear in letting them go, I know what's coming and it's been so long since I've truly been on my own.  The only thing I seem to remember from bible school is "The pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of changing." I have finally hit that stage, and I'd be lying if I said I was looking forward to the pain part, I only know I can't stay in mediocrity. 

 

 

 

When fresh starts feel awfully stale.

I love to write, and have always stopped myself because I'm the person who writes "hear" instead of "here" and "to" instead of "too," and the embarrassment of that was enough for me to say "Nah, I'm not good enough." 

I'm learning to push through, I'm throwing myself out there when I don't have the answers and it feel pretty uncomfortable sometimes. I figure it's easier for people to relate to someone going through the journey, than victorious on the other side. At least that is what I'm telling myself. 

Fresh starts have been on my mind, we see it all the time, but I find September and January are times we tend to focus on getting our ducks in a row, and often it feels messier than we ever imagined. 

kyla ewert abbotsford photographer vancouver photographer

Fresh starts may not be where you are at either, maybe you are starting out your journey as a mom and it feels awfully stale, lonely, and anything but fresh. Maybe it's a big move, or a diagnosis, or starting the hard work of counselling and working through your crap. Starts don't always feel fresh, they feel raw, they feel heavy, and like anything new or that brings change, a challenge. I want to encourage you that, it doesn't have to be ok. We don't have to pretend the beginnings of change are the best, and that we are ready to move mountains that maybe in the end only get nudged,  but I do want to encourage you that the hard work is worth it, that out of pain beauty can rise. If I have embraced anything over the past few years it is that there is enough grace for little old me, so that means there is grace for you too.  Fall arms wide open into that truth. 

kyla ewert

Take on the day with compassion for yourself, and see where it goes from there. 

 

 

Zucchini Galore

I'm sure it is written, that if you are going to start blogging about life, be sure to start out with zucchini recipes to get people interested, and to use cell phone images when you have full capability of producing pretty images with a dslr..Hook, line, and sinker.  

Every summer my dad's garden overflows with zucchini for us kids, and every year I forget some of the recipes we enjoyed, (so maybe this blog is also to keep me organized, It's pretty obvious I could use some of that in my life). 

I turned to my personal google,  (that being my instagram account) and asked people what some of their favorite recipes that included zucchini were, and here is what I they told me. I have only tested the lemon zucchini loaf, but I can assure you my reflux and I both thought it was tasty. 

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Zucchini lemon loaf- https://hip2save.com/2018/08/17/this-lemon-zucchini-loaf-is-light-luscious-and-lovely/

Summer Squash Gratin-https://smittenkitchen.com/2014/07/summer-squash-gratin-with-salsa-verde/

Easy zucchini roll ups- https://tipbuzz.com/zucchini-lasagna-rolls/

Zucchini Cake- last but not least, I can't not mention my mom's zucchini cake. It's so good my sister even wrote a blog post on it a few years ago. 


Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Karinaloewen.blogspot.com

Prep Time : 20 min

Muffins served in:  40 minutes

Yield:  one 9 by 13, or 2 dozen muffins

Cake served in an hour

Ingredients:

½ cup butter

2 ½ cups flour

1 ¼ cup sugar (original recipe – 1 ¾)

4 Tbsp. Cocoa powder

2 eggs

1 tsp. Baking soda

½ cup buttermilk (or milk plus 1 tsp lemon juice)

½ tsp. Baking powder

¼ cup veg. Oil (original is ½ cup)

½ tsp. Cinnamon

¼ cup apple sauce (omit if making original recipe)

½ tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Vanilla

1 – 1 ½ cups chocolate chips (I’m just guessing – I just sprinkle it on top of the cake, or in the mix till it looks right!)

2 cups grated zucchini – peel first if you are opposed to green flecks (which I love!)

Directions:

·         Spray 9 by 13 pan (or muffin tins) with non-stick spray, if needed.

·         Preheat oven to 325° F

·         Blend butter and sugar

·         Add eggs, milk, oil, apple sauce, vanilla, and mix well.

·         Add zucchini and mix.

·         In a separate bowl mix all dry ingredients except chocolate chips.  (This is very important to do separately when making a reduced fat recipe.  You really need to be careful not to over-mix once you add the wet to the dry, to ensure a light and fluffy muffin – especially when the fat is reduced!)

·         Add dry ingredients to wet, and mix until just combined.  I believed I “pulsed” the mixer 6-7 times.  You can also mix by hand, and that works out very well too.

·         If making muffins – add chocolate chips now and barely mix them in J Scoop into muffin tins and bake for Approx 20 mins, until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.

·         If making cake – Pour into prepared 9 by 13 pan and sprinkle chocolate chips. Bake for  approx 40 minutes, until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.

I have found zucchini taste amazing covered in cheese or mixed with chocolate chips, it's basically the best vessel to eat the good stuff. If you have a great recipe you want to share with people feel free to leave a link in the comments below. Thanks for reading all the way through, I myself am more than happy to not have to second guess the spelling of zucchini one more time today. 

-Kyla 

Bennett and Atticus

If I think of it Bennett and Atticus are monumental in my photography journey. They are cousins born just 3.5 months apart, and were so effortlessly the best of friends allowing images of them together to be like a symphony for my eyes.Pictures encourage my weary thoughts, and so does watching goodness and love like this. I really think God uses them to help me see the good.

Libolt Family

This session has been a year in the making and we finally made it happen! Since I'm not allowed to work in the states (which I'll be the first to admit is super frustrating with my job), they came to me, and we met at one my favorite places to shoot in White Rock. We essentially hung out for an hour, and I got to capture them doing what they do best, being together. After seeing some preview photos I received this text from them "Kyla, I can't begin to thank you enough. I am so excited by what I see already. Words can't describe how I feel....you captured us." This will forever be my goal. Everyone has a story worth telling. 

Freund Family

Jaydene is a local photographer and friend. She shot all of my birth's, and I got to shoot all of hers, and a few family sessions for her. Receiving her texts once she has seen her images will forever bring me to tears. She just gets it, she understands that the images will grow in meaning as time goes on, and she makes me feel so valued. So, here they are. Real moments, real memories. 

Amos Family

I'm going to guess that if you have followed my work for any amount of time, that you know this family. They have helped me so much in my business and this time let me take their images while I was being recorded on video, here is a hint, don't do this to people you love. It was actually one of the hardest sessions I've done (can I admit that)? And trying to teach and take pictures of an on the go family that knows me like a second mother, was not ideal conditions. But, they are done, there is love, there is life, and I can't help but love them because they all shine. A huge thank you to my sister and her family for making life that much sweeter, and for waiting for 2 months for me to finally finish editing your images....

Brar Family

My sister is a nurse and I'm pretty sure she tries to convince everyone on the ped's unit to hire me, and she's had pretty good success! (Thanks, Loni)! This is the 2nd time I've captured this family, and can I just say what an absolute treat it is to have them in front of my camera. Suman has made me feel like I am giving her the greatest gift of all time (I sure look at photography that way, but not everyone does). She gave me the go ahead to just do my thing, which makes me feel like breaking out in dance.Having a client that tells you what your images made them feel, is all I need to fall head over heels with my job. I'm figuring out that the more I expose of my heart, the more I get back in return. Feeling grateful for grateful clients. Also, I love this session.

Voth Family

As I said in the first image I shared from the session,  I love capturing an entire family together. Years of love, and the result of time and effort are put before me, and it's the best love story to take in. I feel like extended family shoots should be a celebration of so much, and I think it truly is. 

Hall Family

If you are a photographer reading this or local, then you have most likely heard of Devon Hall. She has captured my family a handful of times, and I have had the honor of capturing her family a few times as well. 

Most people look at me with a confused look on their face when they see Devon and I supporting each other, as we could be seen as each other's competition, but I truthfully don't look at our relationship that way. I look at her as a friend, a mother, a talented business owner who is doing her own thing in a beautiful way. We both radically changed our business just over a year ago, and it has been so nice to call or text when we needed encouragement, or a kick in the butt to stay motivated to make this business work, enabling us to spend time with our own families and to give clients our best. I truthfully couldn't have made this year what it has been without her (and of course Dana Pugh's online business course...seriously, take it).

They ended off the session by remembering their sweet Libby by throwing some flowers in the River together (Devon's idea, with the same flowers they had at their wedding). An honor to be there for something so personal, and beautiful. 

Love you Devon. 

Kletke family

I first met Jenn back in 2001 (I think?) when we both were attending Capernwray in England. I clearly remember the first time I saw here there and it was if I knew we would be life long friends. Though we live a province apart, we have been fortunate enough to see each other nearly every year. She has the kind of heart that makes you think about who you are, what you give, and you are left thinking "I want to be more like Jenn," She inspires, she is real, she loves bigger and better than most would ever dream. She looks at challenges as an opportunity to show more grace, love, joy and to give hope to others. All that she is runs deep through her amazing family, and I consider myself the luckiest to have captured such love in both images and a video session for them. It is truly humbling/amazing when a friend values your work, and I can't thank you enough Jenn for making me feel like I was giving you the most treasured of gifts when you hired me. We spend the day at their favorite place to get away, and then took at few photos at their home the next morning. Enjoy!

Hill Family

It turns out we are just blessed to know good people. Another connection from my parents who had us all in for dinner, and made us feel so welcomed and right at home. Pepper got to play with baby Olivia, and found herself with some pink car envy! 

This session happen as we watched the darkest thunderstorm clouds roll in, but that didn't stop love from being shown, and I consider myself lucky to have captured this family together, doing what they do best. 

Klager Family

If love, laughter, humor, kittens, horses, dogs, luge helmuts,upright bass', pretty light and thunderstorm clouds aren't your thing, than you may want to avoid this lengthy blog post. This family welcomed me in (and being friends of my parents, had them and me and my kids over for dinner the next night, talk about a warm welcome!) and gave little instructions, but to capture them as they are. This session was a gift, and I'm putting up a slew of photos to prove it.