THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for stopping by and sharing our journey. We mostly tell other people’s love stories on this blog, and for once, I thought I’d share our personal love story through a collection of images from this past year. I don’t know about you, but for us, 2016 was a year of a lot of personal growth, struggles, ups & downs, and also a lot of joy.

At the bottom of this post, you’ll find 11  MOST IMPORTANT THINGS OF 2016 & MY 11 FAVOURITE BOOKS OF 2016.


With so much love & gratitude,

your friend Katya.

zion katya nova

Deepening spiritual practice by creating sacred space in our home. My meditation altar. nurturing nova

“I wish I didn’t wake up for sunrise!” … said NO ONE, EVER. 🙂wedding photographer punta canait's time to bloom

Playa Blanca in Punta Cana, the beach near the home we would buy later this year. punta cana wedding photographer

A lot of epic vegan meals. Because this is my love language. Because we are what we eat. Because food is love.nurturning nova recipes

Family snuggles at Hard Rock Punta Cana. Because they have the coolest jacuzzi and we deserve to make sweet memories after long wedding days of giving everything we’ve got. punta cana best photographerskatya nova punta cana

Witnessed my first homebirth as a midwife assistant & birth photographer … since giving birth to Zion! Miracle. punta cana midwife

katya nova baby zion

Magical trip to Samana Peninsula, where we stayed in a treehouse under the full moon. dominican treehousebaby in a box

Another beautiful baby born. In our home! I’m becoming more and more of a birth junkie. homebirth punta cana punta cana family photographernurturingnova vegan recipespunta cana babymoon

Finally made our wedding album, only took us five years, haha!!! Don’t let your captured memories collect dust, that’s what we keep coming back to! punta cana weddings photographersamana wedding photographerpunta cana yogadominican republic yoga

More brilliant sunrises with our amazing clients. katya nova punta canacabarete surfing

Two words: Wine and Neflix. punta cana wedding photographer

Magical moments in gorgeous places. Jellyfish Restaurant, Punta Cana. best wedding photographer punta cana

Sipping champagne.
first taste of champagnepunta cana fotografo de bodas

Trip to Mata Grande in Dominican Republic for a weekend of Medicine with a Peruvian Shaman.

Trip to Redwood Forest, California for Spiritweavers Women’s Gathering. Solo with Zion. So hard! So good. So heart-opening. I made my first medicine drum.

spiritweavers gathering 2016zionthebabylion

Trip to North Country fair in Alberta. Celebrating Zion’s first birthday!! north country fair 2016north country fair 2016

Trip to Astral Harvest festival in Alberta. Best camping with Noorish family. katya nova photographerkatya nova yoga nurturing nova photos

Nature heals. astral harvest 2016nurturing nova family

Road trip to beautiful British Columbia. katya nova inspired life

Our camping vanBrown Sugar. She’s in her late 30’s and has a lot of spunk. We love her.

My suprise 30th Birthday gift: houseboating on Shushwaps Lake in BC. imthirty-105breastfeeding photosraising a vegan baby

Trip to New York for a wedding & play time. zion the baby lionnew york wedding photographerThank you, Lady Liberty! liberty house wedding photographer

Central Park picnic for all our wedding couples: past, present & future. This just started as a thought, I’m so happy we pulled it off! SO. MUCH. LOVE!!!!! best new york wedding photographervegan family

More quality time with Brown Sugar. Falling more in love with Halfmoon Run, George Ezra & Hozier. traveling brown sugar

Moraine Lake, Alberta.
katya nova inspired lifekananaskis photographer

Returning to Mama India. satnam designs

Ashram living … Anand Prakash Yoga Ashram in Rishikesh. rishikesh yoga photos

La Luna Women’s Gathering in India that I hosted on a New Moon. So much magic. la luna social india

Ganga dip blessings. travel india with a babytravel india with a babytravel india yoga baby

Moving into our amazing new home in Punta Cana. We’ve worked so hard for this, the gratitude is overflowing. punta cana photographer

Praying for peace.
katya nova punta cana

From the beaches of Punta Cana to snowy mountains of Jasper, Alberta. Also, Fireball rocks.
jasper wedding photographer

Zion’s first real Christmas with family in Alberta. My first time holding a violin, my violin. Holding one dream in my hands. Beginning of a journey. katya nova christmas

Welcoming another beautiful Light into the world! homebirth punta canapunta cana wedding photographer

PHEW! And now, here it is, from my heart to yours:


1. Peace on earth begins with BIRTH … this year I helped deliver three beautiful baby girls into this world: Zarah, Candela & Soleil. One day, when I’m an old wrinkly woman, I see myself serving the world this way.

2. Holding women’s circles has been a huge gift (and a steep learning curve!)  … I co-hosted 6 New & Full Moon gatherings for Women in Dominican Republic and India. More of that to come next year, definitely. We are all longing to connect in sisterhood, more than we realize.

3. Meditation is the answer to everything. Also, spontaneous kitchen dance parties.

4. Life is sacred. Each moment has the potential for wholeness and contentment. The purpose is to simply be with what is.

5. If we’re really honest with ourselves, we know exactly what we need, exactly what is and isn’t good for us.

6. ‘Yoga off the mat’ is about how many times a day we get frustrated or angry at mundane shit.

7. Spend time with people who make you laugh. And be a good listener. Gawd, this world needs more people who can listen instead of waiting for their turn to speak.

8. If you occasionally fall flat on your face, it means you’re growing. What is failure anyway!?

9. I have control over SO many things: my thoughts, how honest I am, how often I practice gratitude, how much I smile, who my friends are, how kind I am, what books I read, how often I say “I love you,” how I spend my money, how much wine I drink, how often I think about the past … and how I react to that which I CANNOT control. This is important, brilliant, and it helps.

10. I will never be “fully caught up” on work. There is always a mountain of important things to do and perfectly sound excuses to skip yoga & let screen time cut into unplugged family time. There’s always going to be stress. Make time for joy. You have a choice.

11. What’s meant for me will be mine. I can’t book every perfect client, or receive every valuable experience I think I deserve. What’s meant for me is mine.

BONUS. gratitude, gratitude, GRATITUDE.

BONUS.  breathe … more … slowly.

MY TOP 11 BOOKS 2016

1. Yoni Shakti: A Woman’s Guide to Power and Freedom Through Yoga and Tantra

2. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants

3. One Spirit Medicine: Ancient Ways to Ultimate Wellness

3. Yum Universe: my favourite book for vegan cooking inspiration!

4. Sacred Circles: A Guide to Creating Your Own Women’s Spirituality Group.

5. Plant Spirit Healing: A Guide to Working with Plant Consciousness.

6. Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition.

7. The Radiance Sutras: 112 Gateways to the Yoga of Wonder & Delight.

8. Food Energetics: The Spiritual, Emotional, and Nutritional Power of What We Eat.

9. The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children.

10. A Mind of Your Own: The Truth About Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives. (I don’t agree with a lot of her nutritional advice, but otherwise the book is amazing).

11. The Little Soul and the Sun: A Children’s Parable Adapted from Conversations with God.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Thank you for sharing this heartfelt post. I love following along and find you and your family so refreshing and inspiring! Sending lots of love and light xx Bonnie


Katya, thank you for sharing your journey. You are an inspiration to me and kno that your words reach all the way to Mozambique. A happy new year to you and your family.


So much beauty. Thank you for this post documenting your real, u filtered journey in 2016. Many blessings to you Rob and baby Zion for 2017????

Add Your Comment