Bath time by Peter Marshall

Dear Norah,

Who knew that bath time would become your favourite time! And mine! At first, it must have felt awkward to you and you didn’t know what was happening. You didn’t fuss much but really didn’t like coming out of the bath because I’m sure it felt cold. We’d try to wrap you up as quickly as possible.

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Slowly you started enjoying them, but still not the getting out part.

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Four months later, when I would get home from work around 6:30pm and only have an hour with you before putting you to bed at 7:30pm, we started sleep training you (we waited until you were at least 4 months old). Even though I’d only have an hour with you, I at least got to spend time with you during your happiest time of the day! Bath time! Now that you are bigger and stronger, kicking in the bath seems to be your favourite thing to do in there. You LOVE to kick and splash the water! We also think it’s good for tiring you out before putting you to bed :D. I have a cute video of you kicking and smiling too.

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Lunch date with my two girls by Peter Marshall

Dear Norah,

Your mom had a number of doctor’s appointments to go to soon after you were born. On one beautiful sunny day, she decided to walk down to meet me for lunch with you in the stroller. I was working at Telus by Union station. We went out to eat near my building. It was exciting to see you during my work day! I wanted to bring you to the office, but you were tired by the end of lunch so we didn’t bother. I wore you in the carrier but you wouldn’t really sleep, so your mom and I had to take turns holding you.

Your mom took these pictures of you and I and they are my favourite picture of the two of us!

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Thank you Chateau de Sales (my 40th birthday) by Peter Marshall

Dear Norah,

Back on August 3rd, 2013, your mom and I were travelling together around Europe. Your mom surprised me and took me to a winery for my birthday in Bordeaux. Along the wine tour, she gave me 35 gifts, each with a special meaning about something she liked or appreciated about me. 1 gift for every birthday of mine that she had missed. 

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The tour guide at one winery, Chateau de Sales, noticed all the gifts that day, as did everyone else on the tour LOL. Wrapping up our visit, she asked me which wine of theirs I liked the most. I told her my favourite and she proceeded to explain that it was in the Chateau de Sales tradition to give a visitor a bottle as a birthday gift if you were visiting on your exact birthdate. She was also kind enough to write a message on the bottle too.

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She told us that to enjoy the wine at the fullest, it would be best to wait 5 years. So your mom and I decided that we would enjoy this together on my 40th birthday. It seemed so far into the future and a long time to wait, but we followed along with the recommendation and the bottle travelled back to Toronto with us and then from my original apartment on Broadview Ave to our place together on Wolfrey in Greektown and finally to our new home in Newmarket. We got married, bought our first house, and had you Norah during all this time. We were so excited to try it! We used my grandmother's crystal decanter, our first time using it, and a very appropriate time!

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As planned, your mom cooked an extra special meal on my birthday, which fell nicely on a Friday. She bought top quality steaks and cooked risotto and a beet salad for the perfect birthday meal.

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The wine was incredible. Very complex, rich and bold with strong dark cherry notes, my favourite. It was a wonderful evening. I was actually worried we had ruined the bottle as it had travelled from various climates in different housing during the five year period, We were prepared to laugh in case it wasn't great. Luckily, it was not ruined at all, in fact, it was hands down the most special and enjoyable wine we had ever had. And the best part, I'm glad you were there to join us in the celebration! 

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A very special thank you to Chateau de Sales winery in Pomerol, Bordeaux. We hope to return one day!!!

Our first few months with Norah by Peter Marshall

Dear Norah,

Everyone made a point of telling us how tired we were going to be with a newborn and they were right! The first month was super exciting and your mom and I couldn't stop smiling, but it was also challenging. Your mom and I woke up every few hours throughout the night. We did get a lot of help from your mom's family however and stayed with them a few nights a week and that saved us for sure. Somehow though, even while always feeling so sleepy, it was always so great to pick you up and hold you. My favourite moment of my work day was coming home to you see and hold you while your mom told me about your day.

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I actually looked forward to putting you back to sleep during the night, even at 4am. It was so peaceful. My favourite thing to do, once you were settled a bit after feeding and you needed to fall back to sleep, was to play music I loved, but that I also thought sounded like "going to sleep" music. My go-to track was Andvari by Sigur Rós. I wonder if you'll feel anything listening to it when you are older. It is a piece that sounds incredibly peaceful, optimistic and happy to me. It is sung in what fans have coined "Hopelandic", a made up language with Icelandic influences. It means what you want it to mean. It has been my favourite song for so long, and is now becoming a special song that makes me think of you and our nights together. 

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Welcome Norah James Marshall by Peter Marshall

May 17th, 2018, the greatest day of my life.

 Dear Norah,  Let me tell you about the best day of my life. It was the day you were born. Your mom and I were so anxiously waiting for you for a long time. We spent months trying to imagine what you would be like and how we would feel when we finally got to meet you. It was an incredibly surreal moment filled with awe and happiness. 

Dear Norah,

Let me tell you about the best day of my life. It was the day you were born. Your mom and I were so anxiously waiting for you for a long time. We spent months trying to imagine what you would be like and how we would feel when we finally got to meet you. It was an incredibly surreal moment filled with awe and happiness. 

 Neither of us *really* cried. We just couldn't stop staring at you, then at each other, then back at you without saying much at all. We just tried so hard to appreciate the fact that we now have this new person joining us for the rest of our lives.

Neither of us *really* cried. We just couldn't stop staring at you, then at each other, then back at you without saying much at all. We just tried so hard to appreciate the fact that we now have this new person joining us for the rest of our lives.

 I could only imagine how your mom might have felt on that day. She had to go through a much harder time to get to this day than I had obviously. You'll learn in time how strong your mother can be. I don't think I've ever seen her so determined as on the day you were born and through the twenty seven hours of labour. I've never been so proud of her.

I could only imagine how your mom might have felt on that day. She had to go through a much harder time to get to this day than I had obviously. You'll learn in time how strong your mother can be. I don't think I've ever seen her so determined as on the day you were born and through the twenty seven hours of labour. I've never been so proud of her.

 We were both surprised at how you didn't cry at all and your eyes were wide open the entire evening. You were just looking around. I wonder how much you saw. You had a beautiful head of hair in light brown, but I wouldn't be surprised if it changes to beautiful blonde like your mom's eventually.

We were both surprised at how you didn't cry at all and your eyes were wide open the entire evening. You were just looking around. I wonder how much you saw. You had a beautiful head of hair in light brown, but I wouldn't be surprised if it changes to beautiful blonde like your mom's eventually.

 You were such a good baby and very cooperative. You were easy to handle and our first night with you went very smoothly. This was the very beginning of a new life for all of us and I could not be more excited for all of the adventures the three of us are going to have. 

You were such a good baby and very cooperative. You were easy to handle and our first night with you went very smoothly. This was the very beginning of a new life for all of us and I could not be more excited for all of the adventures the three of us are going to have. 

Inspiration Series - What inspires me by Peter Marshall

One of my favourite photographs from Sam Abell, National Geographic photographer:

 I love the depth of the picture... it is a combination of several scenes that all help tell a story. Seeing this inspired me before going to India and helped me take one of my favourite pictures from the trip...    

I love the depth of the picture... it is a combination of several scenes that all help tell a story. Seeing this inspired me before going to India and helped me take one of my favourite pictures from the trip... 

 

 Pushkar Camel fair in Pushkar, Rajasthan, India. My attempt at a more complex combination of multiple scenes.

Pushkar Camel fair in Pushkar, Rajasthan, India.
My attempt at a more complex combination of multiple scenes.