Life Changes

It’s been forever since I’ve posted anything, so I thought I’d update you all on my incredibly life-changing summer.

My last post was a casting call for my short film- so let’s start there. At the end of May I went into production for my third narrative film (but my very first funded one), and it was an incredible and intense four day shoot. It was amazing to have an actual DOP and crew for this shoot as my previous films were just DIY productions. So it was a huge relief to be able to focus on directing and not have to worry about operating the camera and monitoring light and sound as well. My actors were all Yukoners who had never acted in film before, but they did AMAZING, they really went above and beyond for me and for the project. I know they pushed themselves past their comfort zones in order to get some of the scenes and shots that I really wanted. And they really made me so proud! At the end of those 4 days my heart was so so full of love and gratitude, I was just beaming.

It was super intense because I came down with a really bad cold on day 2, and after we wrapped I literally had 48 hours to pack up my entire life for our move across the country. I also needed to get in an application to the Yukon Filmmakers Fund before I left to try to secure some funding for post-production for the film. Needless to say those were a couple of sleepless nights, but I got it all done and my fiance, Lyndsie and I were able to embark on our epic cross-canada roadtrip on June 1st.

It was wonderful to spend a week in Vancouver and visit with some of our dear friends and hang out by the ocean before heading to Pemberton for our big gay camping wedding.

Our wedding was without a doubt, my dream wedding, it was casual, colourful, and it was camping! Plus I got to spend a weekend with my favourite people and celebrate our partnership and our commitment to building a beautiful life together!

Here are a few of my favourite pics from our special day! (Taken by Lara Gray from LMG Photography of Vancouver)

HLWed2.jpgHLWed5HLWED1We thought our roadtrip across the country would be a lot more leisurely than it was, but we were petal to the metal through the prairies due to a three day storm that we were not keen to tent in- so we drove from Vancouver straight through to Toronto and made it there for Toronto for Pride which was super fun. Then we drove down to Niagra Falls for a cute date and some gambling at the Casino. We were able to spend Canada Day long weekend with our friend at her cottage a few ours outside the Toronto. Other highlights of our trip include chasing squirrels with Darla in literally every park we stopped at, and eating yummy yummy food in Montreal and wandering the streets of Saint John, NB at sunset.

We made it to Halifax on July 5th and slept in hammocks on the harbour our first night in the city.

We almost moved into what we thought was a beautiful apartment with a view of the Harbour but we realized in the nick of time- that it was a sketchy bedbug infested building! So for all of July we camped at different campgrounds (or slept in the car if it was raining) and house-hunted.

I got a notification email from the Yukon Government on July 7 that I would be a recipient for the Yukon Filmmakers Fund! So I have been able to hire a Yukon Editor, Sound Designer and Colorist to help me complete my short film, Hands Don’t Lie! Which is due in December. πŸ™‚

Lyndsie started a job at a local Irish Pub before we even had a roof over our heads! But we finally found a perfect 2-bedroom apartment in Clayton Park which is just a 15min drive out of Halifax and fortunately were able to move in at the end of July.

I joined roller derby here in Halifax and am back on skates after not skating FOREVER (since before my surgery last December) which has been super exciting but also super challenging and frustrating because my legs don’t feel/work the way they used to but I’m finally starting to feel more solid on my skates again!

Next life changing event: I landed a job that couldn’t be more perfect for me- video production coordinator at ORB, an award-winning toy company based out of Halifax! And it just felt amazing like this year is really my year! I literally get to do all of the things I love at work, write scripts, plan shoots, make videos, do other creative writing and marketing campaigns etc. So just when I thought my life couldn’t be more perfect-

My dog Darla got very very sick. In a matter of days her kidneys and liver were failing and the vets didn’t know why. She’s only 2.5 years old and I started asking myself why the heck we moved here and blaming myself for uprooting her from her home and causing this. I’ve never cried as much in a week as I did two weeks ago. The vets said she wasn’t going to make it. We almost put her down, but I just couldn’t do it- I needed a 2nd opinion and then a third, the vets said it would take a miracle for her to start getting better. So I just waited and prayed and cried and prayed and cried for what felt like forever. I didn’t even want to stay here if Darla didn’t make it. We spent 5K trying to save her life, but the Clayton Park vet was so kind and even gave us $1000 off her treatment. When she started improving I felt like I could start to breath again.

Lynds quit her job in order to be a stay at home dog mom and give Darla medication around the clock for the last three weeks. Now Darla has two more days of pills left then we will get her blood tested again and see where she’s at. She’s definitely got her spunk back, but she has lost A LOT of weight and I’m still really worried about her,… but I am SO HAPPY she is alive.

Yesterday I found out my first film, Witch Therapy, was selected for the Reel Pride Film Festival in Winnipeg in October. πŸ™‚

So all in all I feel like this summer has been an amazing emotional journey with lots and lots of change and milestones. Some days I feel like everything is moving at lightning speed and I haven’t had any time to stop and catch my breath- but I’m just grateful I get to share these ups and downs with my lovely partner and furchild because they are the ones that make everything else I do worthwhile.

❀ HJL

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