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They say cousins are our first friends.  For me, my cousins were my whole world.

As kids, we all lived fairly close to each other (at least the same city, for awhile).  Growing up was as it should be.  Surrounded by family, on any and all occasions.  Some of my best memories had me playing with my cousins at Christmastime, sitting on the floor in front of my Pappy as he recounted stories of Christmases past from his chair in his living room.  At the time I was the youngest in the family.  And I was also very cute.

 When I was 6, my cousin Jennifer was born.  I remember the sheer delight I had felt that I would finally have a younger cousin but, even better than that, was that she was a girl!  It was the next best thing to having a little sister.   I had hit the jackpot!  I remember loving on that kid.  I adored everything about her.

Two years later, there was more to love.  My aunt had another baby girl.  My cousin Lindsay was wickedly cute.  I simply adored both of those little ladies.

But life happens and our families both ended up moving (too far) away from each other.  Over the years the visits were fewer and farther between, as it happens with busy lives, but somehow, when we would get together, it was always just…easy.  There was always something comforting about spending time with them.

A few months ago, I got an email from Jen to tell me she’d gotten engaged and then she asked if I would photograph her wedding.  Obviously, I said yes.  And obviously, I was completely honoured.

The wedding is this weekend and though I’ll be standing behind the camera trying to capture this important day for Jen, I’ll also be bursting with pride as I watch one of my favourite people in the world walk down the aisle toward her very own happily ever after…

Congrats (a few days early), Jen and Bogdan.  I can’t wait for your big day!


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