Tuesday, December 29, 2015

portraits..the final four

the way her 'dancer' skirts sit under that belly
dumped by a wave, fully clothed, within a minute of stepping onto the beach
'Jammy Faced Mary' stories before bed are her favourite
sometimes she sits like a kinder kid, and suddenly I want to swaddle her like a newborn

My final four portraits for 2015.
It's the loveliest thing, to look back on treasured moments I want to remember.  One from every week of her little life this year. Snippets of the everyday, of milestones, of the mundane, of challenging times and heart melting moments.  All captured to remember always.  

Special thanks to Jodi at Practicing Simplicity for hosting, it's been a joy x

Friday, December 18, 2015

chance encounters..

As the end of another year draws near, I can't help but look back and reflect on the last 12 months and where we are headed in the year to come.

It's been year of battles, and not many won is how it feels.  A big year of learning, of frustrations and a lot of 'one step forward two steps back'.  It also feels like the challenges will serve their purpose, like changes are around the corner, but just what changes I'm not too sure.

I look back and it seems I've been completely caught up in us, our work, the day to day, and now all of a sudden its christmas time, the end of the school year and summer holidays. 
In a blink! Another year down in the whirlwind of life.  
Last night I felt so overcome by negativity and angst. Unsettled by things that are out of my direct control, like I'd been dumped by an ocean wave and wrung out. Early to bed followed by the first uninterrupted night of sleep in forever, and things felt a bit better. Isn't it amazing how much better we cope with a decent night of sleep!

This morning I sent my excited boys off to school for the last time this year.  I cleaned and tidied, then put Olive and my nephew into the twin stroller for a walk.  As soon as we left I could feel positive energy beginning to flow.  Taking my time time to walk and look around, watching the sea mist blow through the air.  Stopping to talk to people, popping my head into the dry cleaners to share a friendly tip we'd been talking about the last time I was there. We stopped to say hello to Santa selling the Big Issue, who then reached into his sack to pull out a present each for my two happy toddlers. 

We ran some errands, stopped off to buy our Big Issue Santa a morning tea treat and headed home. I walked, apologising to people we passed for our oversized stroller taking up the footpath, some would smile and say hello, others didn't.  A little further on we came to a lady who stopped, made a big arm gesture to allow us to go first and said, smiling "make way for these children, our grand future".  I smiled and thanked her, we stopped and chatted about this time of year, about children, about all the unrest in the world and even about God (!?).  She did most of the talking, but it was lovely to listen to her and to hear her thoughts, albeit a little 'out there'.  
It was an encounter I felt I needed to have today.  Sometimes people are sent to cross our paths for a reason.  We introduced one another as we were saying goodbye, and as I turned to leave she said "I wish for you all that is in my heart..there is a lot in there, and it is all good."

A sudden chance encounter, and I feel just a little bit lighter, a little bit less wrung out.

Monday, November 30, 2015


I spy the faintest sprinkle of freckles appearing across her nose
that sweet, sweet neck is for kissing
all the gentle sweetness, it far outweighs the two year old horrid
we're in the process of learning the concept of sharing
a wreath of dried weeds, and all she sees is a crown
the little girl emerging..looking a little bit too grown up for my liking
counting grazes, there are many..
so in love with the ocean
"a Kristoff tree!!"
she means crystal, but she's still Frozen obsessed

presents and parties and cake! 
She has never been to a real birthday party before, but she talks about it everyday

a huge 10 weeks of portrait catch up! I can't believe there's only four to go, and I can't believe I've managed a picture every single week so far. Hugely proud of myself, and so loving to look back on memorable moments captured each week of her little life this year.

you can join in with more lovely portraits over at practicing simplicity..

Thursday, November 12, 2015


pretty piles awaiting my attention..

a neat stack of unfinished blankets

a very slow going work in progress

beautiful merino

wooden hooks

does anyone know why all my pictures and text are publishing in the centre when I have written them all to be on the left? blogger mysteries..

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

the sunset series..

The last of our birthday sunsets for the year.  This one seemed to need a whole lot more effort by us all just to leave the house, and there's an obvious mood about these pictures I think.  Dog poo scattered like land mines along the walking track and a shoreline covered in washed up seaweed just adding to the tone of the evening really.

I'm glad we did it though.  Even as we headed home I felt like it was meant to be that way, an honest refection of everything right now.  A bit messy. It can't be magical all of the time, but a chance to wander by the ocean, feel the damp sea mist on your skin and sand under your feet.  Time to breathe. You just have to make those moments happen and enjoy them for what they are.

We're all a bit worn out, a bit snippy and short tempered.  With six weeks left of term and coming to the end of our busiest time of year, frankly, we all just need a break.

It's been a big week of milestones and special family time, too.  Moments to treasure for sure.  I can sense the emotion of it all building in us, in me, and I'm waiting to be able to just let it all go.

We celebrated our little guy turning nine this week.  He had the BEST day, followed by more celebrations throughout the weekend. Those are the greatest birthdays, the ones that seem to go for days.

Nine.  In my mind, time has stood still since the day Olive was born and he was just six.  I feel like he's still six, but he's not and its like I've missed three whole years of his little life.

He'll always be my baby, I know, but nine has just come out of nowhere and to think that he'll be double figures next is mind blowing.

He's almost finished grade three and it has to have been the best year of school for him so far.  The support and encouragement of the most incredible teacher has been extraordinary.  Some people are just born to do what they do, aren't they, we'll be sad not to have him as a teacher next year, but he will have left the most positive and lasting impression on Eddie, one he'll draw on as he grows and always remember.

This little guy of ours, maybe not our baby but still little.  He makes me smile and fills my heart with happy contentment when he creeps up and hugs me from behind, still, he's always done that.  He sits at the dining table and his feet dangle high off the ground, and he has to climb the front gate to be able to open it.

He's affectionate and loving and considerate.  He's still feisty and has a short fuse, but as he grows he's learning to mange it.  He doesn't like it when his temper gets the better of him, but he's trying hard.  Outbursts are few and far between and over pretty quickly these days.

He writes us love letters and tells us how wonderful we are.  He draws constantly, its like a meditation for him and he's really very good.

He loves dinosaurs and lego and batman and spiderman.

We took him to aerodrome on the weekend and he saw a much bigger boy bouncing and climbing walls with effortless skill.  I could see the look in our Eddie's eyes.  Awe.  This guy looked like he could be a real life Peter Parker the way he scaled those walls.  Then I watched on as our little guy, ever so tentatively, tried it himself.  He was too shy and worried people might see him so stopped. Always so worried about what other people might think.  I'm not sure where that insecurity crept in, but I wish he could just believe in himself a little bit more, see what we see, and give it a go.  He would be a natural at those spiderman moves.

Our Eddie.  You're awesome baby boy.  We love you to bits!

thanks to Nick for the pics as always, which for some reason will not align properly in this post..?

Sunday, October 11, 2015

the sunset series..

This sunset walk was more of an early twilight walk, still so pretty with those soft moody greys before the rain.  We were all exhausted and looking forward to an early dinner and movie night after a crazy busy start the the school term.

Yesterday my darling biggest boy turned 14.

Look at him, all broody and lost in thought.  He's not a great fan of our sunset birthday tradition, or having his picture taken, but here he is doing it anyway, for me. He does things like that.

He makes me proud every single day.

This year, he joined the Australian Air Force Cadets, and he's so in his element.  He's responsible and committed, and rises to every challenge.  I love his focus..but I do miss his long hair.  One day he wants to be a pilot, and I love that he's taken it upon himself to begin working towards this goal at such an early age.

He's easing into these teenage years with calm and a quiet confidence.  Navigating his way slowly, but purposefully. Things might change, I shouldn't speak too soon, but so far he's making the parenting a teen pretty easy work.  We know already this most likely will not be the case with his siblings, so we're lapping it up for now!  If you've been a reader of my blog for a while, you might recall all the challenging times we've had with our big boy so far.  Perhaps the most difficult time are behind us.  Fingers crossed.

Sure, the traditional birth story on the eve of his birthday is wearing thin, he eye rolls just about everything his brothers say and do, he likes to give us a good head start on family bike rides, and we're good to just drop him off a little way from where ever he's going, but that's ok with me.  We have a little giggle and give him his space, and then every evening when the others have all gone to bed, he comes downstairs to sit with us, to watch a bit of tele together, to have a good laugh and to chat.  And this is one of my most  favourite parts of every day.

(all pictures taken by my sweetheart, thank you Nick)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

taking stock..

when in a blogging funk, take stock with Pip's list..

Making: body exfoliating cloths from raw linen
Cooking: chow mein
Drinking: a crisp white wine on those warm evenings we had recently, ahh felt like summer 
Reading: To Kill A Mockingbird for the first time since year 8 (albeit very slowly)
Wanting: a holiday
Looking: for the perfect pair of bathers, I don't know if there is such a thing (urgh!)
Playing: hookey on the back deck
Deciding: what to do for the big boys 14th birthday 
Wishing: we could afford both money and time to make some home improvements
Enjoying: warmth, finally after a very long winter
Waiting: for November when my mum and dad move to town, permanently!
Liking: hanging the washing outside and it drying the very same day
Wondering: how the heck I'm going to make our office (in the living area) look good with a second work station
Loving: beach swims after school
Pondering: 3 year old kinder, to go or not to go?
Considering: a season pass to Adventure Park for xmas, we've been once and its a 5min drive away
Buying: op shopped bits and pieces for the kids school concert costumes
Watching: Frozen..still 
Hoping: I can keep the rose clipping from mum and dad's very first home alive at my house

Marvelling: at the depth and content of Olive's imaginative play, she blows my mind
Cringing: at the awful things people say 
Needing: a haircut
Questioning: weather its time for a professional colour to beat those greys, and time to stop doing it myself
Smelling: the ocean air and spring blossoms and mozzie spray
Wearing: skirts and open shoes 
Following: the Humans of New York refugee series, the lives people live is unfathomable
Noticing: the neighbours porch looks into our living room since we had to cut the fruit trees back
Knowing: we need a higher fence
Thinking: I might go and see the new Toni Collette, Drew Barrymore movie..all on my own, its been years
Admiring: my hardworking, patient man 
Sorting: through all the stuff! 
Getting: rid of most of it!
Bookmarking: blogs, but never finding the time to go back to read them
Coveting: beautiful handmade homewares for those home improvements we can't yet afford
Disliking: the ugly new houses replacing beautiful old ones in our town
Opening: happy mail 
Giggling: at Olive complimenting my singing in the car
Feeling: blessed to live where we live, especially this time of year
Snacking: too much
Helping: a two year old learn to share
Hearing: too many sad news stories 

Monday, September 21, 2015


she quotes scenes from movies and applies them to real life moments..
Me as I sneeze: "Bless me!"
Olive: "oh mumma, you sick!"
Me: "I'm fine darling"
Olive: "you have fwozen heart (cups my face in her hands) tooo love fix it.."

"i don like fairy dust.." 

"is mornin' time!"

a contemplative moment..

followed by taking over mumma's chair..
I couldn't decide between these two this week, they both made me smile.

It's become a portrait blog, or so it seems.

I've been in a quandary as the boys get older, about what to share and what not to.  I feel that so much of what I used to write are not my stories to tell anymore.  Yet they're such significant moments I want to record and treasure.

I hope to find a balance in my mind and heart, because how I miss it!

join the link up and see more portraits at Practicing Simplicity..

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


all the softness..

"i just gonna weeeed (read).."

the climbing, incessant climbing!

mesmerised by the liquid wand, but for me, its about the vest..and those chunky arms

'mine dancer skirt' and she lifts her leg up behind (not so gracefully) then twirls..

all the beautiful hair, it grows thicker every day

I suggested we grab our coats and go outside, she replied..'are you kidding me!'