A summer to remember...

I feel the need to explain why my blog sat completely dormant over what appeared on my Facebook page as a pretty busy summer with photography. Well, the reason is really simple, it was one of the busiest times of my whole life! Off the charts busy! A good portion of it was super fun with all kinds of amazing photography opportunities. I can hardly wait to share all of the great times I had with my incredible clients. The other half of the summer was whole different kind of busy... I'll tell you more about it below. My husband and I had the immense pleasure and excitement of purchasing our first home together at the beginning of June. We had found our dream home in the Rocky mountains! It came to us as a sweet little bungalow house, tucked into an end lot with nothing but forest behind us for miles and miles, and mountains in every direction. Needless to say, we were over the moon, excited with the purchase! We got busy with packing up our belongings and moving them to our new house in Exshaw, AB.

This was our first photo with the house. Taken June 7th.

This was our first photo with the house, taken June 7th.

Throughout the evening on June 19th, I unpacked the last of our boxes and ran around taking photos full of excitement for owning our first home. I had no idea that what was coming in the next few hours would radically change the course of events for my/our summer.

We were awakened in the wee hours of June 20th to the reality that our house was going to flood, and we had to leave it and most of our belongings behind. We left our home through waist deep freezing water at 3am to join many other stranded Exshaw residents as the flood ravaged our community and town. Our house got flooded twice during the course of that radical storm in Alberta. We accumulated 6 feet of water in our yard and approximately 20 inches on the main floor of our home. We were fortunate to be able to save the frame of the house, but not much else.  In the days that followed the flood we stayed at the Elementary school while crews worked night and day to get HWY 1 A open again. It became very clear in those early days that we were in for a very long recovery with the house.

Once we arrived in Canmore, we were greeted with open arms by a community that was more than eager to help us out. They wanted to ensure we were well taken care of. Our house was eventually deemed temporarily unlivable until it dried out. By this time, we had already been set up through the disaster relief program with amazing accommodations that a family had donated to those displaced from the flood. Meeting and getting to share a living space with that family was one of the major highlights for us going through the flood. They were so welcoming, full of love and eager to offer us any kind of reprieve/assistance. It's definitely one of the most amazing acts of kindness I have ever received. We are still overwhelmed with gratitude for their generosity.

Throughout the summer, we worked constantly to get back on our feet, and we didn't do it alone. Between our families and a solid network of friends, volunteers and complete strangers, they all pitched in to help us get back to normal in our home. I am incredibly proud of my husband who worked on our home like it was a full time job, doing the vast majority of the repairs it needed. I don't even want to imagine the process without him, and the many hands that got dirty helping us clean up after the flood. Thank you so much for being in our lives!

As I type this note I am sitting in my new office in my now beautifully recovered home, looking out the window admiring the fall colors and all I can feel is contentment and gratitude. Our house is better than it was before the flood, and we have never been so happy to be home.

Thanks for reading my story! Now! It's time to share the other half of my summer! Get ready for a whole lot of Jody Goodwin Photography coming your way!


Oh, and here's the part two to my cheesy house photo, I couldn't resist! ;)


House-1Who has the biggest smile? I think my dog, Neve, wins! ;)