Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Mini Getaway

Over the weekend, we escaped to Paul's Uncle's holiday house for one last family getaway before the school holidays end... a lovely relaxing break nestled among the treetops overlooking the estuary.

Usually we don't venture too far from the water, with the boat and shoreline to keep little ones occupied. However with blustery winds, it was not ideal crabbing weather and we took a drive to the Mandurah foreshore instead.  Grace declared our morning visiting the King Carnival 'the best day ever', braving the scarily high water slide with Paul (while Sophie and I watched and took photos from below).  The merry-go-round, spinning tea-cups and mini golf were also highlights.

My highlight of the long weekend was definitely the sweet kookaburra who visited us at home one afternoon, allowing me to click away on my DSLR from nearby, unfazed by my camera.  That evening on dusk, he returned for a second time.  We sat in the bush beside the tree where he was perched and scattered left-over quiche around, amazed when he flew right beside us, barely a metre away. So tame, he only flew off when Grace discovered a huge bull ant crawling over her foot and her screams frightened him away.

Now, back home again, among the endless piles of holiday washing which have amounted after only a few days, the reality is beginning to sink in that Grace's return to school is just around the corner. There are school supplies yet to label, a library bag yet to be sewn and a pantry yet to be re-stocked. Next week we will be back into the routine of early mornings, lunchboxes and school bells dictating our days...

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Lingering Summer Holiday Vibe


The end of 2014 seemed to disappear in a flash and while we were not ridiculously busy, blogging fell by the wayside for me for a little spell.  I dedicated November to gift buying and December to end of year functions and Christmas preparations, consciously keeping our activities as relaxing and low stress as possible.

And then after a wonderful day on the 25th, just like that, the busy season was over for another year and we fell into true holiday mode - days filled with lazy, slow-paced mornings, swims in our neighbours' pool and quiet time pottering around home for all.

Now, with Paul having returned to work a few weeks ago, we've tried to let the summer holiday rhythm linger. Days where we've caught up with friends or spent time outdoors by the water have alternated with ones where we have stayed close to home, the girls happy to pull out the paint set for a morning of art while I've tackled my latest decluttering project.  Housework has been done on an as-needed basis, the clock not watched as strictly and there has been a carefree feel in the air.

As for blogging, I am looking forward this year to getting back into my photography and to capturing more precious snippets of family life.  With 2014 zooming by much too quickly for my liking and our girls growing so fast, documenting this chapter in our lives has never felt more important...

Friday, October 31, 2014

Sophie's 3rd Birthday Party

Last Friday night, while I was at the kitchen bench, surrounded by blue icing, trying to create Sophie's birthday cake, Paul walked past and remarked, "Why are you going to all this trouble for just six kids?"

I muttered something about him being a party pooper, that small simple gatherings were the best ones and that I wasn't going overboard anyway...  I had no reservations whatsoever that what we had planned would turn out perfectly...

Sophie's party was a lovely little celebration of close family and friends. There were decorations which the birthday girl herself helped make, old-style games (a treasure hunt, pass the parcel and musical statues), party bags for the children (Sophie potato stamped a fish design onto each one and helped choose treats like notepads and pens and stickers to fill them with) and of course, cake... crucial elements of a successful birthday party from a little one's perspective.

Come Sunday night, we all in agreed that keeping things low key had been easier to run and much more enjoyable and most importantly, our little three year old definitely loved her special day.

I've never been one for huge, over-the-top parties (and judging by the way Sophie gets overwhelmed by big crowds, I think she will take after her mama).  Less elaborate, more intimate get-togethers, celebrating the one day of the year that is purely about our loved ones, is in my eyes truly what counts...

Friday, October 24, 2014

An Interview At Mum's Closet

Today I'm being featured over at the blog Mum's Closet, belonging to a good friend and one of my favourite bloggers, Claire. In her 'Fabulous Females' series, Claire interviews a different lady each week about a variety of topics and I must say, I was very humbled when she asked me to participate.

Claire and I became friends around four years ago through our blogs and both being primary school teachers, with children close in age and sharing many similar views on life, we seemed to 'click' right away. She is such a gem and I appreciate her support, admire her passion for celebrating the positive things in our days and am constantly inspired by her style-filled yet down-to earth posts.

Pop on over to Claire's blog here to read what I have to say about motherhood, blogging, decorating and daily life in our home...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Accepting Imperfection

Last year, as we were passing through Mt Barker on the return journey of our Denmark trip, I called into a few second hand stores for a quick browse and came away with a handful of treasures, including two tiny glasses, perfect for little ones to grasp in chubby hands. At 20c a piece, and reminding me of the glass I always claimed as my own on visits to my grandparent’s house as a little girl, they were even more perfect.

Days later, as the girls were sitting at their little table setting having some lunch, one of them accidentally knocked their glass off the table. It fell to the floor and broke into pieces and I was immediately devastated… devastated that my ‘perfect pair’ of glasses was no more. As I wiped the juice off the floorboards, unfairly chastised the clumsy culprit and swept away the shards of glass, I suddenly realised the ridiculousness of my mindset and my behaviour. Why was having two identical glasses so important to me? Why could I not see the beauty in a collection of mis-matched drinking glasses? What message was I subconsciously portraying?... I vowed then and there to work on being more accepting of imperfection, not only for my sake, but for my girls.

While I constantly let my girls know that ‘things don’t have to be perfect’ and ‘it’s okay to be wrong’, it is the example I am unknowingly setting that has got me thinking. It’s part of my personality to like things ’just so’and to focus on small details. But I am slowly learning to lower my standards, direct my energy towards what really matters and to accept that some things are out of my control (and that often it is best to step back and simply ‘see what happens’). Knowing that nothing is perfect, that mistakes happen, that there are ups and downs and dents and blemishes and that this is more than okay, is a lesson I desperately want my little girls to learn and a way of life I hope they embrace. I don’t want them to be striving for unrealistic standards. I want them to become confident, compassionate, accepting individuals who see the beauty in the imperfect... just as I am slowly beginning to do…