My Growing Family

I haven’t been blogging often with Leon …couple of reasons….busy with a 21 month old, work, and being pregnant. Now the world is going to be even crazier when this little guy is born so before his arrival I am taking a quick chance to put down some thoughts.  Really it is a blog about all the things I am thankful for.

First off,  I have to thank God for the gift of our daughter and everything she has taught us over the last 21 months.  Now I have to thank God again because I never thought I was going to be given the gift of two children.  I won’t lie but I am a little more scared the second time around.  Scared of whether I will be able to raise a boy since I have always been surrounded by women in my life, scared of how I make sure that neither of my children feel favoured or left out at the same time, scared of how I can be a good mother, a good wife, and a career woman all at once, scared of how my decisions impact those around me.    This I guess is what they call parenthood.

I am super thankful for Leon who has been the backbone to this family during this crazy time.  He is my superman and super dad when I am a nervous wreck.  He deals with my emotions whether they are up or down and supports all of us through it all.   We still fight, we still battle it out, but at the end of the day I am thankful that we do because it only means that we are willing to challenge each other and care enough to make it work. Raising a family isn’t easy, keeping a marriage together is even harder, and remembering how lucky we are to just be alive is the reality of life.    We both remind each other of that and I am lucky to have a partner in life that is my best friend, my husband, and a father who is truly hands on.  I can’t really ask for more.

It takes a village to raise a child and I can’t finish this blog without mentioning one more important person in this family unit.  My mom.   She is in HK right now at a reunion of sorts ( wish I was there but for some reason being 36 weeks pregnant they don’t recommend flying :p ).   She has been the reason why I have been able to do all the things that I have accomplished in life and in recent months.   She is the reason why Alexis feels loved from all sides and why Leon and I have a great relationship.  From the day I was born she has been my guardian and she continues to be.  I can only hope that I can take care of her half as well as she has taken care of me over the years.

And with that I am anxiously waiting for little boy’s arrival.   His room is almost done, I have two more weeks before I am off work, and I am so excited for my daughter to have a built in friend for life.   I know that just because they are siblings they are not guaranteed best friends but I hope they growing up knowing they have one another.  Maybe it is my wishful thinking since I was raised as an only child and always saw how all my friends had these enviable relationships with their siblings.

So to my child who is joining this family in less than a month.   Mommy is excited for you to join us and she wants to remind you that as lucky as we are to have you join us.  You are a lucky child because you have a family that will love you more than life itself.   As the theme in our household goes…”All you need is love”
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My heart sings with joy.

There are so many emotions that run through me as I write and post this blog today. I feel so blessed, humbled, scared and so in love all at the same time.

Where do I begin? Gi and I got married 5 years ago as of this Saturday and like all my friends that are married, the question we often hear is “when will we see a little one?” I had this humorous response which I told everyone “ July 10th, 2010 @ 3:00pm .” As much as that was meant to be a joke, after a year of that response, we figured when July 10th 2010 came around – what the heck… lets do it =) So to give you guys some insight, our journey began 4 years ago in wanting to start our family. I won’t lie and say that it hasn’t been tough times for us these past 4 years. However, what I really want to focus on before I dedicate this entry to my beautiful Gi, is how thankful we are. From all the support, the love and generosity that came in so many ways, we’re humbled and blessed.

So for all my long time followers and people that know us well, Chicago has always been a spot that’s special to us. Ironically we didn’t initially plan this trip to be Chicago as Boston was the original plan but because of the Marathon, we thought it would be too crazy to head there. So just like life plans change, we ended up in Chicago, which was perfect. 6 years ago, when I proposed to Gi in Chicago, we took some pics here and 6 years later I’m excited to show these pics of my beautiful wife I shot.

Dear Gi, I dedicate this entry to you. I really owe it to you for keeping us strong and sane throughout this journey. What we walk out of all of this with is not only a beautiful baby but also the knowledge that we can get through anything together. You continue to keep my soul calm and make me better person each day. I love you and I thank God everyday that I have you in my life. As much as I can’t wait to meet our sweet pea, I can’t wait for her to meet her amazing mummy. Happy upcoming 5 years gorgeous.

Love, Leon // aka Dad 2B.
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Soon to be a family of 4 // J&S+ Big brother to be

I could not be happier for this wonderful family.  I got the chance to know them when J was pregnant with A.   It felt just like yesterday we did their maternity session and their adorable newborn shoot of their son.  So I was thrilled to get the message from J that she was expecting again and we booked in a time a few weeks back to do this fun maternity + family session.   We chose the beach as the location, as it was the perfect spot given that they used to spend a lot of time there and they were having a summer baby.   The backdrop and feel worked out perfectly.  When J&S and A arrived… holeee smokes… I couldn’t believe how cute and big A has grown (captain obvious says “of course Leon.. the last time you saw him, he was only few days old..haha)

As much as I love documenting life stages and especially these maternity sessions, it’s just that much more adorable when there is a child in the mix.  As you see in the photos below, we had some fun with the fam.. and if I was big brother A, I would enlarge some pics and hang them in the house as a reminder =)

To my friends J&S, thank you guys both for the ongoing support and having me document this awesome lifestage in your family.  You guys are wonderfully blessed!  I can’t wait to meet the new addition to the family.  Here are a few pics from our shoot.

Your Friend, Leon
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Lifelong friends…

I am lucky in life to have a number of lifelong friends.  Friends that you know have your back and you know you will always have theirs.   Helen is one of those people, I have known her since high school and we have grown up together.   We have gone from our insecure teenage years to university to young professionals to marriage and now watching her go through the joys of parenthood.

It is a rare treasure to have her in Tdot nowadays as Helen and her hubby Enoch normally live on the other side of the country.  So since they were here for the big SS wedding, we got a chance to snap some pics.   She was in last days where she could fly but Helen looked great and was just enjoying her pregnancy.   We can’t wait to meet little bean bean :p

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Jennifer & Stephen – Few More Weeks To Go //Maternity Session

I think one of the best assets we have in our repertoire is the ability to adapt to our surroundings and know what to shoot.  For weddings and engagement sessions … we always plan out all the locations…but with lifestyle sessions we must work with what we get.  For Jennifer & Stephen’s maternity photo session…they wanted to use their condo… and man oh man…what a gorgeous space it was.   It was my first time meeting the couple... and I think the first thing that came out of my mouth aside from congrats… was how awesome their condo is.  I felt like a prospective buyer… as the place was so nice… and the décor was perfect.   OK… main attraction… Jennifer and Stephen are such great people.  They where awesome throughout this session and I enjoyed just hanging out.  Here are just a handful of images from our session.  Big thank you to you both… Gi and I can’t wait to meet your little one for the newborn session  =)

Your Friend, Leon Chai
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T&R Maternity Shoot

I’ve been itching to use Shops on Don Mills for a shoot.  I really like the open space, the California feel, and the restaurants are good times too.  So when T&R asked us to do a maternity shoot – I was stoked that they like this location too.    The shoot was fun times although it was a little tricky to get little L to stay in one spot AND look like he was having a good time.  R – next time I see a truck coming at you, I’m not saying squat brother =)

Here are some of our favorite pics from the session.  Since we’ve been crazy busy with shoots and edits we’ve been a little behind on the blogging, so congrats again on the new edition!

Your friend, Leon
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