Sunday, 26 October 2014

43/52 - things were hopping at tidbinbilla


On Sunday morning as we were getting ready for church, Mark spontaneously suggested that afterwards we head out to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve for their big Open Day. Now, I am admittedly not a very spontaneous person (what can I say, I like to plan!!) but I agreed that sounded like a grand idea, so we grabbed a few extra supplies. After a lovely morning at church, we headed out to this gorgeous nature reserve that's just a mere twenty minutes away.

There was everything from carriage rides and reptile shows to jazz music and obstacle courses. Best of all was just being out there together exploring with our clan :) A little getaway from the city and the regular routine does wonders, I find... especially amongst the beautiful bush land...

My darling girl was all eyes, ready for adventure and any wombat-sightings ;)


My wide-eyed blue-eyed boy....the remnants of a 'hot chips with sauce' treat very evident on his otherwise gorgeous little face ;)


We were ready to head home after the festivities and were loading into the car when the kids spotted kangaroos and wanted to explore the bush near them. So we decided to toss out the picnic blanket once more, stay a little longer and soak up some extra sunshine (look at me, so spontaneous these days, haha). 

We enjoyed chilling out whilst watching Miles toddle around near by, just loving the wide open spaces. He would roam a few metres away, then turn around with that million-kilowatt cheeky grin, come racing back to the blanket and throw himself upon us for cuddles and giggles... before setting out once again. 

I loved seeing him roam freely and confidently, but then hone back in to us once more - his safe base. It will always be us, sweet boy xx


Hanging out in the backyard in the late afternoon, while the kids blow bubbles and the chickens peck at our feet. 

No one else I would rather have by my side than this handsome fella. Love doing this life with you xx

Project 52: A portrait of my family, once a week, every week, in 2014.

More highlights from the week that was....

Earlier this week, I got to participate in something pretty special. A couple months ago, I won (!!!) a one-on-one mentoring photography workshop with the incredibly talented Robyn of Robyn Geering Photography (who just happens to be the 2013 winner of the Australian Best Family Photographer award!!). After getting a new camera for my birthday (yippee!) it was time for my session. Robyn had very generously offered to split my win into two sessions - one session to discuss camera settings and so on, the other to do a shoot together of the kids, so I can learn from her on the go. What a prize, huh??!!

It was an amazing session, she was so full of knowledge but also knew how to convey it all to my non-technical non-professional mind. How wonderful it was to have time set aside just to ask questions (over and over!) and play with our cameras. Robyn was incredibly generous with her time and talents. I was a bit awestruck to have such an opportunity - and felt a bit unworthy, I must admit! Now my mission is to start applying what I learnt to my photo-taking.... no excuses now!!? It still takes me a while to connect all the dots but I feel like things are starting to sink in more clearly at long last. Check out her gorgeous website and - and if you are in Canberra - you know who to book for your next family session!! She is a real gem :)

Keep an eye out for my shoot with her in a few weeks hopefully - once I get a chance to apply more of what she taught me :)

He always has his sister to lean on. The simple comfort is just too beautiful for words.

How can I stop taking photos of this face?? Every face is so different (to me?)
The kids had a ball zooming down these huge slides... every time, Eli pursed his lips
like so! Love it!! PS One shoe 'cos he was getting a blister ;)

Victory! So proud of herself for her first solo slide :)
He was ready to head for the hills... and seriously attempted it before I nabbed him ;)

The kids were so excited to find a few kangaroos, two with joeys peeking out of their pouches! The kids were jumping like kangaroos, doing their earnest best to blend in so they could get close enough. Their cunning plan didn't work, alas! 
Off on another adventure, hand in hand.
Two chooks nom-noming on the kids' apple core
I am a teensy bit enchanted by my chookies - just love their lush feathers. Who would think they would look so fresh from rolling around in the dirt?! Doesn't work for kids, sadly ;)

There has been a lot of creative play this week using this pipe offcut!
Home made obstacle course. These crazy kids :)

Thursday, 23 October 2014

three kids, two apples, one hammock

It all started with Lily's quest to DIY a porch swing. This resulted in a couple of prototypes and her Daddy's promise to help her execute a 'real swing'. After a few design drafts, Mark remembered my old hammock which I had hauled all the way back from the land of the midday nap (eg Brazil, where I lived many moons ago!).

 He dug it out of the shed to see if it would suffice - and Lily was thrilled, even though it was just a bit of a shortcut. Mark and Lily managed to hook it up over steel beams in the extremely picturesque locale of our dingy carport (surrounded by wheelbarrows, stacks of timber, bikes, and other glamorous and cobwebbed accessories). It didn't matter. Lily was tickled pink and dived into the hammock - after I had shown her how to not lie in it like a gringo, of course ;) Before long the rest of the kids eagerly piled in, three sweet little peas in a pod.

And thus I discovered at long, long, last, how to get some natural and happy shots of my kids together. Eureka!!! Confined into a small, swinging space, munching on apples, laughing, giggling and swaying together. Aha - simple, right? ;) I will take what I can get!

My three little loves, cosy and cute together, swinging away a lazy Saturday morning. Hard not to feel a little blown away at this bundle of blessings before me. Love, love, love.

PS Yes, there are a lot of pics which probably look identical to anyone except a mother's doting eye!!! ;) But it was such a rare opportunity to capture them all in one frame, I could hardly bear to cull them down toooo much. Forgive me ;)

These two angels, warming up the hammock

Miles and two apples join the crew... with much swinging, giggling, munching :)

'Too much love!!! Too much love!!!'

It's apple munching time. They were loving exchanging two apples back and forth :)

'Ok, I think I've had enough of this sharing caper....'
'Seriously, hands off, bro!'
Peacefully snuggled up, rocking the day away.... mmmmm, we could all get used to this!

I brought out a pile of books when they showed no signs of exiting the hammock... snuggly reading time commenced.

'They have a hammock like us!'

My three little duckies, in a rare and precious moment of calm... thankful to soak up moments like these in amongst the regular mayhem ;)