Monday, 9 December 2013

49/52 - a gift of time, a gift of giving


She is the kinda kid who, when missing a day of school due to a vomiting-virus, takes her teacher flowers, a card and a gift (fancy shower gels) to say 'sorry for missing school'.


I tried to explain that she really didn't need to, that she couldn't help being sick and her teacher understood that, etc etc.. but at a certain point you just gotta let them follow their own convictions, huh?!

Pretty sure her darling Preschool teacher had never received a gift for that reason before?! Oh, my girl!

She had been working on the card for her teacher before she got sick, but once that happened, the motivation changed and of course had to be upgraded with (pretty yet fake) flowers and present too.

Love her heart.


Last week I went on my third annual Mother's Retreat! (Click here to read more about why and how I do this!). Ohhh... it was long awaited and greatly appreciated! Yup, just me by my sweet self, in a near by hotel for the night. Nothing but peace and quiet for almost 24 hours. Time to pray, read my Bible, think, plan and set goals for 2014. Focus on my faith, my heart, my mothering, our family and our future. In the busyness of these days, it's so good to stop and really think about how things are going, and where we are going. 

Apart from a couple hours of this 'work' time, there was also plenty of time to chill out, nap, take a walk, read magazines (bliss!), watch a movie, get room service (!!!) and just do nothing. And did I mention the silence?!

Oh, it was refreshing and rejuvenating to my very depths. It almost didn't happen this year due to other commitments and stretched finances, but I started to hit a wall and thankfully Mark insisted we find a way to make it happen. It was so good. I have come to rely on (and dream of!) that retreat each year - just space and time and quiet to be still. In the busyness of mothering in these early years, that is a rare commodity! Yes, I dream of that sleep in all year long, haha ;)

My incredible husband handled the kids like a champ while I was away. There was home made pizzas and pancakes, games and even chores. He is the best :) 

I came home all 'filled up' and ready to be fully present with my precious tribe once more. I was greeted with big hugs and kisses and declarations of being missed dreadfully. Eli presented me with this adorable basket full of drawings  and  cards. Mark later quietly mentioned they had actually drawn them all for him and then regifted them as soon as I walked in the door! Ha!!! Ah well, I will take whatever I can get.

That annual retreat is something I cherish and appreciate so much... and it is ever so good to have time on my own. But it's even better to have a loving and happy home to return to. Being enveloped in cuddles as I walked in the door was a very good reminder of that!

My sweet son presenting me with their re-gift!


Just a little sneak peak of our Christmas set up.... we can't wait to share our first Christmas with this little treasure!

(I have a hundred more shots of the Christmas tree set up but will save that hopefully for another post on our family Christmas traditions if I can find time to write it!!)

Project 52: A portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2013

More highlights from the week that was...

He loves playing with these giant cars!

After the kids chose their own gifts to give to children at Marymead last week, we took
them down to donate. Lily drew pictures for the kids too. E is a little stressed in this pic
that the bag is too heavy to carry ;)

Experiencing the gift of giving. 

Looking so grown up and summery! Can't believe we are hitting summer again
which means my baby is almost one!!

Her card says 'Dear Lana, I hope your fish has a happy life, love Lily'. 

Off to celebrate the birthday of Miss Harper . We are at that stage where 'How do you spell that, Mum??' is a constant cry and I am confess to sometimes getting a bit tired of slowly spelling out words!! But at the same time, it's amazing to see how she has naturally progressed from random word and letter writing to wanting to form lengthy purposeful messages. All self-led. Though her focus seems to be mostly on the nouns, haha. This message was 'I hope Finn celebrates Harper's Birthday' (!??!). It is a gorgeous process to watch even with the teeth-grittingly-slow spelling out of long words. :)
Miss Harper filled with joy at the sight of her gorgeous Dolly Varden cake she has longed for, made my her loving Mum!

Could this be!? A photo of my three, all happy and smiling??! Ok, so not all looking at the camera, E's collar is askew etc - but I will take it! :) I think this is still the best posed shot I have of them!

You betcha I'm including all decent shots from this quick little shoot!

Eli got the serious face here.

Oh, Eli!

Keeping it real: For every cute shot, there are about twenty that look like this. Which is why I rarely try to get posed shots of my trio - it is really not good for my blood pressure!!!

Smothered in love xx


  1. Your Lily sounds like the sweetest little girl that ever lived. The photo of all three are just priceless. Eli seems like quite the clown! First hiding his eyes and then sticking his tongue out and squinting, lol I love that last one. Uber sweet....which sums up your little tribe perfectly!

    Here's to a wonderful holiday season as a family of 5 xx

    1. aw thanks faith! she is a super sweet little girl i must say (in my highly biased opinion!). she shocks me with her thoughtful ways! and YES - clown does not even begin to sum up eli, he is a super-clown. it just cannot be suppressed!!! lol, and we have tried at times ;) just full of energy, joy and humour. its tiring, but we do love it :) he is also very tender/gentle which is such a contrast to his more zany moments!! thanks for commenting! xx

  2. The look on Harper's face is priceless, that is one happy birthday girl! Love all Lily's writing, she is so good at it. I remember going through that phase of having to spell out every word for Indigo, but the thing is, once you teach Lily, she can take care of that job when the boys are up to it, that's how it worked in my house ;) Great shots of all three of your little munchkins together, and the outtakes will be funny to look back on in the years to come!

    1. thanks for re-commenting rachel, sorry it got lost somehow before!?! GENIUS!!! that is very handy to know my spelling-out-days may not last forever. haha that will be so handy if she can do it for her brothers, hopefully she will be just so proud of her spelling prowess, she wont mind haha! i was so happy w the trio shots and yes all the many outtakes will be the more 'realistic' memory in years to come i am sure ;)


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