Monday, July 29, 2013

misadventures of laura kelly: that time we became VIPs

(warning: this story is long. but some of my readers are 
bored government workers and this post is for them. I will never blame you for not 
reading it if you're a person who has better things to do.)

I saw their post on Facebook...



Immediately I emailed MTV for tickets, and they told me that tickets for 1 GIRL 5 GAYS are actually FREE, and that all we have to do is show up for the taping at 8:30pm on Friday June 27th. 

This show is seriously one of my favourites ever, and over the last few years I've grown to love each and every one of the cast members, and to see them all replaced with new guys is a tragedy! I knew I had to be there for the final show. 

So I blasted out on Facebook...


To my great delight, my friend Stephanie said she had the day off and would love to come along. Sweet! Good to go. 

Well, the superfan in me knew exactly where the show taping would take place, I mean...OBVIOUSLY it would be at the Masonic Temple.

So when the email came from MTV with instructions and an address, I secretly cackled inside at the thought that someone wouldn't know where the Masonic Temple was. 

The instructions were simple:

The audience can start lining up at 6:00pm for wristbands at 299 Queen St. W.
The show will start promptly at 8:30pm.

So when 5:59pm strikes, Stephanie and I arrive at the Masonic Temple, only to find a deserted street with crickets chirping in the background. 




And the real studio is 20 minutes away!

Steph looks at me like she's gonna murder me in my sleep that night, so I said one single word: CAB?

Apparently in a time of need, Stephanie can summon a cab in a matter of milliseconds, because before I knew it we were in the backseat nervously chattering and listening to Bollywood music, on our way to whatever waited for us at 299 Queen. 

Oh, I should also mention that Stephanie convinced our cab driver that
 we were MTV VJs out on a job for the studio. 
He said he definitely recognized us.

Needless to say, when we arrived the audience was lined up around the block and halfway down the street. As we passed the first couple people, we realized that they were wearing wristbands. 

Wristbands, wristbands, more wristbands...and then they stopped. More people, but not wristbands. 


We asked some people in line what the deal was and they said that the seats have been filled, and now this is the line for people waiting to watch the show through the windows from OUTSIDE. 

Our hearts broke. All we could think about was the 6 hours we'd spent on a Greyhound bus to get here, and how we'd be bussing home with nothing but a quick peek at some D-list celebrities through a window. 

Now, if you know my Dad or my brother, this next part won't surprise you one bit (because it's just the "Hurren way" of doing things), but the following is a true account of what happened next:

Made eyes at a Security Guard.

He wasn't having any of it. Returned a blank stare. 
Okay...this will be harder than I thought. 

Stepped out of line, leaving Stephanie behind, and had the following conversations with said Security Guard (let's call him Peter).

ME: Hi, Peter! Do you know if I could speak with that producer who came by to count heads?
PETER: No. He is busy. What is this about?
ME: Well, you see...we came SO FAR to see the show but we didn't get wristbands!
PETER: ...and what am I supposed to do about that?
ME: PETER! Please help us! I know you can point me to someone who can help us find two more seats...please!!!
PETER: Nope. Sorry. Back in line.

Back in line then. But still not accepting my fate. 

I wasn't raised to give in to this concept 
of watching the show from outside.

For the next 15 minutes, every time Peter glances down the line of people waiting, I pop my head out in his direction and give him a look of desperation. A look that says HELP ME!

Peter stares back at me with an empty, black heart.

I know I can soften him. The staring continues until he starts to look unnerved with my desperation. Stephanie wonders if I've gone crazy because 
I'm not filling her in on the status of this plan.

ME: Hi, me again! Anything? ANYTHING?
PETER: I don't have the power to find you seats. I really don't.
PETER: ...(look of hatred) Give me a minute.
ME: I knew you could do it. I KNEW IT! You're wearing the shirt of power, Peter! MY HERO!
PETER: Back in line.

Back in line again, but this time Peter finds a young, pretty producer, covers his mouth so I couldn't read his lips, and she glances in our direction. 

I imagine Peter said something like this:

Don't look now, but there are two crazy people in line, and I'm about to kick them out. 
Just making sure they're no one important. 

She nods and runs off.

While I waited, Stephanie and I took photos in line...

Peter approaches. He looks more black-hearted than ever. He stares into my soul and then makes the slightest little gesture with his head, as if to follow him. 

Steph is begging me to tell her what I've been saying to Peter, 
but I'm still going over the possibility that we've been kicked out. 

Within 5 minutes, we are being handed off by Peter and ushered into the MTV Studio by a handsome intern named Jordan who specializes in making girls feel weak at the knees with a wink. 

He takes us to security so we can check our bags. He escorts us into the filming area, and together we walk right up to the front of the stage, where there are 2 seats waiting in the second row. 

VIP area. For real.

(I took this photo while we walked to our seats with Jordan. 
See those empty chairs at the front? THOSE ARE FOR US!!!)

I can't explain what Steph and I were feeling in that moment, but it was magical and confusing and heart-attack-inducing all at once. 

We went from the streets to VIP in a matter of minutes, all thanks to Peter and his icy heart that apparently melted for two girls who took a bus from Ottawa to see the show. 

For the next 20 minutes we got comfortable in our seats, took about 100 photos in case our fate somehow put us back outside with the others, and waited for the arrival of our beloved Gays. 

I'm 100% serious when I say we had the BEST SEATS EVER.

And the best part...they gave us WRISTBANDS! 

The show was a BLAST from beginning to end. We seriously laughed for 2 hours straight. I love that they let me keep my iPhone with me in the studio, because I was able to take the following photos...

Dance battle. Enough said. 

There is so much happening in this photo, and therefore it is my favourite. 

And can you believe Steph and I showed up in Jonathan's tweet?

At the end of it all, Stephanie and I headed back to the Greyhound Station with big smiles still on our faces from the night before. Although it was almost disastrous, we had the best time and now we have a great story to tell about it :)


Friday, July 26, 2013

katelyn + james | ornamental gardens engagement

A little while ago, I put together a website that could help answer all of the questions that I get asked about engagements and weddings. It covers things like what to wear, how to choose a location, and a little bit about what to expect during the shoot. 

Katelyn & James' engagement is such a great example of everything I wrote on this guide, and I'll tell you why. Let's start with location...

A few days ago, we met up on a beautiful night at the Ornamental Gardens, which was a PERFECT choice for these two. As we walked around the gardens, Katelyn and James relived the night when he proposed in that very spot. 

James told me about the part where she hugged him and he became paranoid that she had felt the ring. 

Katelyn told me about how that whole year, anytime they went somewhere nice, she was anticipating a proposal.

James showed me the spot where he hid the ring; right behind the sundial...waiting for his beautiful fiancee-to-be to walk up those steps toward him.

Talk about a beautiful spot for photos...the combination of this tree and that light made me so happy.

Big pink balloon...two happy people in just doesn't get much better than that. I LOVE these ones!!

After a quick outfit change, we ended up at the dock of Dow's Lake for some casual shots. That's another thing that I touched on in my FAQ website! Most couples like to opt for two different outfits to get some variety for the shoot. 

I love their bright and punchy colour choices here!!

Might be one of my FAVES from this session...I just love the light in her hair!

Okay...I just can't handle all this lovey goodness.

PROPS! All of these beautiful personalized touches add up to make Katelyn & James' engagement session extra special. And doesn't she have great taste when it comes to colours? 

Perfection. Seriously...

This last frame of the night. I just adore the way these two love each other.

Katelyn & James are getting married next June, 
and I'm officially excited! 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

fertility update: the new plan

I've been known to say:

I feel less stress when I'm in control.

Although, before this year I wouldn't have said I was a control freak! Denial, I'm sure.

If you're new around here, I'll first let you know that my husband and I started trying to get pregnant in January. In fact, we even threw a party in celebration of my last glass of wine before really trying. 

But getting pregnant proved to be a little more difficult than we had originally hoped, and I found myself looking to the blog to write about how it was going. Thankfully, I received nothing but positive messages, countless emails, and a ton of support from my best friends. 

I channeled all of my frustrations into finding more ways to increase our chances of getting pregnant. I even started taking my temperature in the morning and charting it, in hopes of gaining some insight into this mystical thing we call "ovulation." 

I read the books, I subscribed to the appropriate forums on, I stated taking an iron supplement, started counting the number of days in my cycle...and after all that, I still craved more ways to be in control. 

I was days away from getting one of those expensive Clear Blue Fertility Monitor things...but luckily I met with my family doctor before I did. 

And when I expected him to put me on a whole new set of vitamins or send me off to a fertility specialist, he surprised me by doing just the opposite. 

He told me to stop.

Stop looking at the calendar, stop taking my temperature, stop TRYING to get pregnant every month. I felt like saying: 

I'll NEVER get pregnant that way!

But instead, I just nodded my head and told him I would give it a try. So I've surrendered control. Cold turkey.

I'm not writing this to say that letting go of everything I thought I knew will prove to be the be-all-and-end-all solution to the problem -- heck, I'm not even saying that Beans and I won't start seeing a fertility specialist if we're still not pregnant in the near future -- because this is just my update. A record, if you will, for myself to remember this step in the journey.

But if you see me while I'm out for lunch with a girlfriend or two, and you notice that I'm drinking a glass of white's all good. 

Because the new plan is just to live. 

More blog posts about the journey...
          the end of an era (everybody drink!)
          name your fear -- and destroy it
          honest writing
          letter to baby

a sneak peek at katelyn + james...

I love engagement sessions. I love Katelyn & James. I love ginormous pink balloons.

And I LOVE my job. 

Can't wait to share more from this adorable engagement session! I am already obsessed. 

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, July 22, 2013

cottage life, as promised

For me, cottage weekend is about breathing in a little bit of fresh air. 

It's about spending time with the most wonderful puppy on the planet, and leaving the leash at home...

It's about steaming hot breakfasts...

And dipping your toes into the crystal clear water...

It's about country roads with absolutely no traffic...

And playing games over lunch...

Cottage weekend is definitely about homemade sangria for happy hour...

And, of course, campfires at dusk...

After a social media free weekend (made easier by having zero cell signal), I feel completely recharged for the week ahead. And it feels so good to be taking photos for fun again! 

Real life is happening OUTSIDE, not on Facebook. 

This is starting to sink in.