Tuesday, 31 January 2017

31/31 {the january project} the project ends and school starts...

First day back at school.....

Year Three, Year One and a very tired Preschooler!

I was feeling #allthefeels after dropping all three kids to school today for the first time!

They were all happy as clams, but I was fighting back tears the whole morning just because... I dunno... motherhood?! Ha! I am so proud of them all, and love to see them so excited for another year in their lovely little school. They are flourishing and what more could I want?! But what is this funny thing, that seeing them so happy and independent brings so much joy and yet kinda breaks your heart for some reason at the same time? It's a big thing to entrust these little people to the world and to their own devices. It's with quivering hands I help them jump from the nest, covering them in prayer for each journey.

Your children are not your children. It is true.

These babies are growing up, that's for sure. Entering these middle years, it's a whole new season, so much to look forward to and yet bittersweet. 


{the january photo a day project}

And so today, it ends. A photo a day, every day of January. With a momentous yet very simple image. For the first time during this month, this is actually just from my iPhone (gasp!!) rather than my 'big camera'. I just didn't have the energy today to worry about getting my big camera as we were racing out the door, so I choose to let it goooooooooooooooo. A rather inauspicious end to this photo-a-day project, but in a way it's kinda perfect because it's a tiny little example of my commitment this year... present over perfect. 

Monday, 30 January 2017

30/31 {the january project} back to school haircut

Back to school tomorrow, so it's time for a freshen up. 

Snip, snip!

(Don't worry, he is not cutting off the ear, just trimming around it, haha!)

{january photo a day project}

Sunday, 29 January 2017

28/31 {the january project} by the river at sunset

This is summer....

We marked the end of a relaxed summer holidays with an evening at the local river... swimming together, adventuring along the shoreline, eating, playing, splashing, laughing and making memories. 

It was nothing short of blissful, this reprieve from the brutal summer heat on a lazy Saturday night. One of those evenings that turns out so perfectly relaxed you can hardly stand it! Rare and treasured. Mark and I swam with the kids and then found ourselves just watching them as they raced around so wild and free, giggling and splashing and playing hard. Just so good to see them so connected and happy, surrounded by water and natural elements. I never see them so engaged and joyful and free as when I see them running loose in nature, in those wide open spaces. 

It was impossible to not stop and reflect on our rich blessings. This family, this moment together, this good life we have been given xx

{the january photo a day project... but how could I choose just one?!}

Saturday, 28 January 2017

27/31 {the january project} jump + splash

Summer is for sprinklers on the trampoline, splish splashing and getting some serious air!

{the january photo a day project}

Friday, 27 January 2017

26/31 {the january project} australia day at the museum

This wall. It lures children to climb it and my trio can never resist it's call!

We had a lovely relaxed public holiday, enjoying a cultural history day at the National Museum.

We also enjoyed a visit from my lovely friend (and fellow blogger), Chelsea from the incredibly inspiring Moments A Day and her tribe. They have almost finished a year long trip around Australia - wow!

They stayed the night at our place and it was so delightful to see the six kids play and also have ample time for the parents to chat (till 1am.... eek!).

{the january photo a day project}

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

25/31 {the january project} the littlest baker

That 'pleased as punch' grin.

We had some dear friends coming for dinner and Lily wanted to make a dessert. She looked through a recipe book, selected one and made a chocolate and peanut butter slice, completely independently. 

It was full of a lot of sugar and even more love and pride xx

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

24/31 {the january project} brothers

These two brothers.

They make each other laugh, and drive each other crazy, like no other.

I have a feeling it may always be so.... I just pray it might be more of the former and less of the latter!


{the january photo a day project}

Monday, 23 January 2017

23/31 {the january project} little lego lover

I see him chilling on the couch like this, looking about a decade older than his years as he flips through a Lego catalogue. He casually looks at me and says 'I really love Lego, Mum.'

I know you do, buddy x

{the january photo a day project}

Sunday, 22 January 2017

22/31 {the january project} part vet, part ballerina

Always on the lookout for another pet.... this time, a skink!

Lily is full of diverse interests and this week has been a rather good sampling! 

A few days ago , she did a dissection on a chicken!! (eek) The backstory is a chicken of ours sadly passed away recently (from old age) and a lovely vet friend of ours told our aspiring-vet daughter that if she wanted, they could do a dissection to learn more about it. Her eyes lit up (!!!) and so.... they did. She was not at ALL squeamish either! It was seriously the highlight of her school holidays. I was so grateful she got this real life experience but even more grateful I did not have to witness it, haha!

Then this afternoon, we had a special mother/daughter outing to her first ballet! *cue the sentimentality* It was such a precious thing to introduce her to! We saw a Storytime Ballet version of The Nutcracker and it was just wonderful, magical, breathtaking, I could go on! We then did dinner and ice cream together afterwards, and strolled around the city, peeking in on urban life and also doing a special project which I will keep just between us but it was definitely something that was so meaningful to us both. The ballet tickets were her Christmas gift, and I hope those memories will last a lifetime. They will for me, anyway! I just treasure these experiences we get to have together.

Most of all, I love the perfectly quirky and individual mix that makes up this girl of mine. Arty and creative, yet level headed and matter of fact. Animal obsessed, non-squeamish, vet/artist aspiring, ballet loving, girl of mine. 

Keep doing you, forever! God made you just as you are and I love every part xx

{the january photo a day project}

21/31 {the january project} a fourth birthday

Our littlest man, Miles, turned four today!

We celebrated with a family trip to the zoo (a very special treat!) and then a picnic dinner by the lake with friends... making the most of our one summer birthday!

It was such a lovely day, especially seeing Miles absolutely thrilled from the start to the end...he never stopped buzzing with glee! 

He kept telling me how he couldn't believe he was three for a hundred days but now he was four, he called himself 'the birthday boy' all day! He had begged for a Stormtrooper cake as he is obsessed with Star Wars (never seen it, but still obsessed) so I did my best to deliver. Didn't quite nail it but he was thrilled and thanked me all day long for it... and said eating it was his favourite part of the day. 

Bless him, my sweet, joyful, passionate little love xxxx

Thanks to my friend Amber for taking these precious cake pics... so sweet!

The kids built a bridge across a little stream in the forest, and our big, brave four year old was determined to cross it independently. And so he did, again and again. 

A special day to celebrate his big day. My baby is FOUR, whaaaa??

{the january photo a day project}

Friday, 20 January 2017

20/31 {the january project} swimmers

Three damp kids, enjoying celebratory icy poles at the end of intensive swim school week.
They all progressed so much in just five days, I am rather proud of these three little fishies!

(...and now we all get a break from swim school for a while, phew!)

{the january photo a day project}

Thursday, 19 January 2017

19/31 {the january project} an emerging writer

"Mum, this says 'If you see a rat or mouse and you scared, you just hug your Mum or Dad', okay?"

His very intentional pre-writing is charming me no end at the moment, Little letters and notes all over the place xx

{the january photo a day project}

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

18/31 {the january project} a surprise adventure

Every now and then, (I won't pretend we are organised enough to make it super consistent!), we like to take one of the kids out in the evening for some special one on one time. 

A special outing can go to 'next level' exciting when you make it a last second surprise.... after bedtime!!! Such a simple thing to do but it makes it that bit extra fun :)

So, Eli was already tucked up in bed when I came into his room with clothes and shoes and said 'Quick, get dressed, I'm taking you out for ice cream!'. Surprised and overjoyed was an understatement!

We got in the car and I jokingly said 'So, do you feel like some icre cream??' And Eli replied sweetly 'I don't mind, Mum, what do you feel like?'


Well, I felt like ice cream of course! 

So we went to the foreshore and ate gelato, walked around the lake, chatted and played. It was simple and lovely.

As we drove home Eli said quietly 'Thanks for taking me out, Mum.' I said 'That's okay, buddy. I just love spending time with you.' He replied 'I love spending time with you too, Mum. It's my favourite thing in the whole wide world'

That's why this kid has my heart forever. He exhausts and yet melts my heart like no other.

Love you, sweet boy xx

{the January photo a day project... but I couldn't choose just one, could I?!}

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Monday, 16 January 2017

16/31 {the january project} nature play

Miles contemplates the structural engineering of his new forest home.

It was a lovely morning at the Arboretum with Kate from An Everyday Story, Kelly from Happy Whimsical Hearts - and finally meeting the amazing Amber of Roam the Gnome who was travelling through Canberra! 

We chatted as we watched our nine combined children enjoy some nature play as they built teepees with sticks, roamed around the cedar forest and made new friendships with each other. How good and nourishing it is to see children simply free to play in nature! 

{the january photo a day project}

Sunday, 15 January 2017

15/31 {the january project} happy dance

My boisterous boy n the middle of a post-bath happy dance. 

{the january photo a day project}

14/31 {the january project} eggs and kisses

My littlest man loves to help. He diligently sat at the counter, carefully peeling nine hard boiled eggs. 

Those little fingers so nimbly peeled, eager to contribute to the family table.

In the midst of his labours, I happened to capture that daily tender moment when Daddy gets home from work. 

Miles was too busy to pause in his task but he did accept a kiss :) 

{the january photo a day project}

Friday, 13 January 2017

13/31 {the january project} a quiet, creative home day

The school holidays fill up so quickly and can get so busy, I try to slice out a few days for the kids to just chill and potter around at home. 

I woke up with ideas of how we might spend the day, but the kids had their own (even better) ones too! Lily decided she wanted to enter a drawing competition, so after some quick googling I found a cute competition to illustrate a children's storybook. All three kids decided to spend a solid hour drawing.... including Eli taping 11 pages of illustrations together!! It was more than a little delightful. They also made firm plans on how to spend the prize money... though after they were done they totally ceased to remember that it was a competition, haha.

Later, I pulled out the canvases the kids got for Christmas and we did a little 'Resistance Art' using their initials, acrylic paint and some magical Washi tape of course. 

It was a lovely little day, bringing back memories of those days that now seem so long ago, just me at home with my three. 

{the january photo a day project}

Thursday, 12 January 2017

12/31 {the january project} splish, splash

When the neighbours invite you over for a swim on a scorching hot summer's day... hooray!

Side note: How fantastic is it since Rashies became a thing?! So much better, healthier and more effective than slathering in sunscreen! Sorry for the random comment but just looking at my little man, arms and torso completely protected from our brutal summer sun, just made me so happy. So good that they are now so common, affordable... and cute :)  Thanks to whoever invented them!!

{a photo a day in january} 

11/31 {the january project} new shoes, new year

One of those little moments to savour each year... the purchase of the new school year's shoes. That glorious five minutes when they are not yet scuffed!!! 

Of course, they couldn't actually manage to find matching school socks so clearly we are not that organised, haha! 

But still... a fresh new school year is upon us and it feels good to start getting slowllllly into gear. Year One and Year Three this year.... not to mention a little one going off to Preschool! *weep*

P.S. Also hoping with this new mesh toe guard the shoes will stay unscuffed just a little longer this year! 

10/31 {the january project} a vision of miles

My littlest man, almost four, looking even older as he also takes a turn in Daddy's glasses.

Slow down, baby boy xx

{a photo a day in January}

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

9/31 {the january project} wishful glasses

The coolest fashion accessory amongst the kids at my daughter's school (according to her anyway) is glasses. For ages she has been begging to get reading glasses, assuring us her vision is so blurry she can hardly see. She kept asking us to book her an eye test, so today at last, my husband took her. 

The optometrist informed her she has perfect 20/20 vision. 

Lily burst into tears, devastated. 

The optometrist assured her she can come back in two years and try again!

Poor, funny, dear girl. She wept hot tears of disappointment this afternoon. 

I told her I will try to find some frames with no glass or plain glass so she can at least wear them sometimes!? I think the novelty might soon wear off. In the mean time, she can try on Daddy's glasses!

Post-sprinkler play with wet hair all everywhere, her self-hacked off fringe, and Daddy's glasses... this girl has her very own sense of self and I just love it... and her! xx

{january photo a day project}

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

8/31 {the january project} listen

When it's too hot to go outside, these two know how to chill.

Kickin' back, listening to audio books under the air conditioner. 

{a photo a day in January}

Monday, 9 January 2017

7/31 {the january project} Look, Mum!

'Look at this train, Mum!'

Look, look, look.... such a frequent refrain, it can be easy to forget what a privilege it is. To be the one they want to share their joy and achievements with.

Thanks, dear son xx

{a photo a day in January}

6/31 {the january project} national geographic

A bookworm surrounded by the wonders of our world....

My husband has many fond memories of pouring through National Geographic as a child, so he hunted through the classifieds and found a stack of 100 (!!) for just $20! 

The children have been enjoying reading through them... and so have we! I think this is going to keep the kids busy over the holidays - all this fresh (and quality) new reading material. 

What an incredible world we live in, what a privilege to dive into it through word and picture.

{a photo a day in January}

Sunday, 8 January 2017

5/31 {the january project} snip, snip

Well, we never want to forget this certain spunky little haircut!

One night in her room, Lily got a hair-tie (loomband!) caught in her hair and decided to fix the problem herself with a pair of scissors!!! Afterwards, she was mortified with what she had done.... and said she slept the whole night with her hands covering the scene of the crime!! She came out in the morning, hands still covering the spot, very distressed and remorseful, ready to confess what she had done. When I saw the hacked off fringe, I just hugged her tight and said 'It's okay, Lily, it's just hair... it will grow back!' Later I added 'But maybe next time, ask for some help?' Soon she was giggling about her new look. This spunky girl wasn't even fussed about the random little patch of hair (oh, to have her sense of self!). She blushes and giggles when people enquire about it, but without shame. She made a mistake, oh well, we all do!

I asked if I could memorialise her hairstyle with a photo and she granted permission and so.... here 'tis.

Oh, Lily, may you always be able to own your actions, learn from your mistakes, be able to laugh at yourself and move on as graciously as you have here. 

{the january project - a photo a day}

Friday, 6 January 2017

4/31 {the january project} like mothers, like daughters...

>> new friends, forever friends <<
>> bathing chelsea's feet in waterbeads... an act of loving service to start things off right?! haha <<
>> long farewells and promises to write (and FaceTime!) at the train station. always so hard to say goodbye <<

As mentioned, my dearest friend Heidi and her family have been visiting us from Hawaii after nine very long years. In this missing decade, we have both been transformed by the role of motherhood and so many of life's joys and heartbreaks. As excited as I was to see her again (and I was verrrrry excited) I was also just beyond thrilled at the idea of our children meeting at long last too. I know we both hoped our girls would connect but I think we were both truly shocked and moved by how deeply they did. A sweet and true little friendship developed over their visit, these two little ladies connecting over so much, comparing similar parenting rules (ha!) and sharing favourite books and games. Chelsea slept in Lily's bed with her and we parents got so busy talking that night we did not realise till 11.30pm that they were actually still awake, giggling away and 'talking about life' apparently. Oops!!! Then they did it again the next night!!! We could not even pretend to be miffed, as secretly we just loved to see their bond deepen. What's a couple of late nights when you are building a lifelong friendship? #nopressure #justalittle  ;) 

Chelsea and Lily, my prayer is that your friendship will bless you both as your mother's friendship has deeply blessed and encouraged and inspired me. I never even dared to dream when we became friends as young teens that decades later we would have daughters of the same age one day who would also become friends, who could also talk all night without drawing a breath or ever, ever running out of things to say. May you both receive even a fraction of the love and support and strengthening of faith that we have both drawn from our friendship.

 {a photo a day in January}

P.S. I should state the obvious, that I clearly generally fail at choosing just one photo a day! A minimalist I am not!! Ha. But hey.. my project, my rules, right!? ;)

3/31 {the january project} a new bond

One of my oldest, dearest friends, Heidi, and her wonderful family came to visit us all the way from Hawaii... after nine years apart and now five children and many, many life stories between us. Not only was it beyond wonderful to have time (precious time!) to talk and talk and talk, but it was also such a blessing to see our children together. One of the sweetest surprises was to see our young boys Davis and Miles (aka MilesDavis, haha!) immediately connect. Two boisterous boys, they spent the entire time roaring in each other's faces, playing cars, racing around in circles while giggling hysterically... they were in heaven but not as much as we were, just having the privilege to watch them form that special boyhood bond. 

{a photo a day in January}