Beating the sniffles in the sunny sunshine!

The boys and I have been sick for the past couple of days. Down with the sniffles, we are. So today I decided to take Poom Poom out for a walk in the sunshine to cheer us up, get some fresh air and spot some things we know! I took the camera along with me.

Enjoy!

(Having trouble reading the caption on the photos? Click the image for a larger view!)


Today I’m joining in with…

who’s hosting…

on behalf of…

Want to see what else people know today? Just head on over to Daisy, Roo & Two to check out the other links!

Thanks for stopping by today –
xx Natalie.

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From tween to teen: Happy Birthday, R.C.

My beautiful niece R.C. is turning 13 this month. 13! I can’t believe it. We celebrated her birthday with a family party this evening. There were presents, chocolates, party sausage rolls, a piñata and pass the parcel! Such fun!

R.C. holds a special place in my heart. She was the first of my nieces and nephews to be born. I was still in high school at the time and spent a lot of time watching her grow. Often, I would take care of her. I have memories of changing her nappies, giving her a bottle, cuddling her and putting her to sleep. We also played a lot. We sang and we danced. Her favorite group was The Wiggles and she knew all the words and actions to “Fruit Salad” and “Big Red Car”. She was such a joy to be around – the littlest, cutest bubble of love!

Now she is growing up! She is a teenager. And what a beautiful young teenager she is! Always kind and thoughtful. She’s such a treasure in our family and hubsband and I love it when she comes to visit. She’s easy going and always willing to help out. You know what? I don’t even need to ask and she will help me pick all the boys toys up off the floor. That, to me, is a special 13 year old.

In her birthday card, I wrote R.C. this special wish:

May these years of exploration, learning and discovery be fun and exciting!

Happy Birthday, R.C. – the leader of the pack! The wise elder of all your cousins. We love you!

xx Natalie.

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Katherine Paula.

Katherine Paula ~ Mum. Celebrating her 80th Birthday.

 

I loved my Grandmother to pieces.
Perhaps I didn’t realise just how strong a presence she was in my life until about a week ago when I attended her funeral. She was so lovely and such a character!
I spent a lot of time with her when I was younger. She would often take care of me. We’d walk to the local shopping centre or sit at home and watch day time soap operas. I have memories of looking over at her in her chair – she was most often sound asleep and when she woke  at the end of the program she would act as if she had been wide awake the entire time.

Mum and I - 2006

We called her Mum. Confusing, perhaps, for those outside of our family (my mother is referred to as Mummy and my father by his actual name!) but so completely natural for us.

Mum suffered with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease for the last few years of her life. It was so sad to watch her lose almost all of who she was. She no longer read her tarot cards, or even knew how to sip her cups of tea. One of the saddest days of my life was last Christmas when I went to visit her in the home where she was being cared for. I walked in and there she was, all alone at a table, staring at a blank wall with a bowl of sloppy food in front of her. She could no longer feed herself and so there she sat, motionless, staring at her food. Tears roll down my cheeks as I think of how alone she looked.

At my graduation, 2006.

I loved my Grandmother to pieces.
I will miss so many things about her, yet I am so happy she is no longer suffering and no longer alone.

I will miss her in a million ways.
The way she was always dressed beautifully – never, ever like an old granny.
The way she never left the house without her lipstick in place.
The smell of her breath which I used to refer to as “crusty biscuit breath”. ha!
The way she would sing my name.
Her beautiful handwriting in the birthday and Christmas cards she would always send.
The way her belly would jiggle up and down when she laughed.
How she always had a blanket or shawl for me when I was cold.
Her delicious banana cake.
The jewels that always adorned her neck.
And how she would ask me to do them up as she put them on.
I will miss her wild hair and her long fingers.
The clip-clop of her heels as she walked down the street.
And, most of all, the way that she loved me.

On her wedding day with my grandfather.

I loved my Grandmother to pieces.
My greatest wish today is for her to know just how much I love her and just how much I appreciate that she was always a part of my life.
I feel blessed to have known a lady so great! And to have been able to call her Mum.

I loved my Grandmother to pieces.

Such a trendy grandmother!

While the kids are away, Mama will play…

After 6 months of looking at my hair, wishing I could make it look good, hoping to get to the hairdresser, today I went, on my own, to get a hair cut. ON MY OWN! My heart hurt a little when I walked out of the house without my children. This is a sure sign of a mother who is not used to leaving the house in this fashion.

I found a place to cut my hair but had just under an hour to wait – not quite long enough to go home and come back so I decided to have a coffee and a biscuit. Hubsband sent a text to ask how I was enjoying my time. “It’s a bit strange!”, I told him. And then proceeded to explain that it was also nice to be able to sit down and drink a coffee without having to entertain and keep happy an active two year old.

It was time for my hair cut and I was still unsure what style to get… and how much to have cut off. Somehow I wanted my hair shorter and I wanted a funky change but I was so indecisive. Usually I know exactly what I want – today I didn’t! The hair dresser and I consulted a few magazines and I explained to her that I would like it shorter but I was concerned about making my face look too round and chubby (this has happened with me and short hair in the past). We decided to take it up to my shoulders to be on the safe side. We could always go shorter if we wanted…. and we DID go shorter!

“The longer I sit here the more I want to cut it all off!”, I told the hairdresser.

“Really?!”, she said. Somewhat surprised.

“Yep!”

So we got the magazines out again and flipped through the pages. More indecision…. more indecision…. until….. Aha! We found it!

I was still concerned that my face might look too round, but somehow I trusted this hair dresser and I trusted that my instinct to cut it all off was perfect.

I’m not exactly sure why this was all so exciting. It felt a bit daring (hubsband has never seen me with hair this short). I suppose it was a case of ‘While the kids are away, Mama will play’. Looking at my reflection in the mirror, watching the hair get shorter and shorter, I began to like what I saw. It actually looked really good!

I was so happy walking home. I felt refreshed – not so much because my hair style was different but because I had been daring and got a lovely rush of a feeling just by following my gut to chop the lot!

To make the moment even sweeter, my boys were SO happy to see me when I got home (3 hours later) with the brightest, happiest smiles on their faces ! And I realized the best part of taking time for my self is the reunion of hearts when we all are home together again.

Oh, I love my boys. I love my family.

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One More Addiction…

I have been seriously neglecting this blog. I’ve wanted to write plenty of posts but every time I go to do it…. I don’t! I keep thinking I have nothing interesting to post about. And it’s probably true. But this blog is supposed to be an expression of the things that make my heart sing.. and, no matter how big or small, there IS something that I do love about each and every day. So, from now on I will post even the smallest of things. Everything that makes me smile and that I am happy and grateful for… starting with Instagram!

I downloaded the app for my iPhone today. I have been hearing about it for a while but have always had hipstamatic so didn’t think I really needed another photography app.

OH. HOW. WRONG. I. WAS!!!

I am absolutely in LOVE with Instagram. And in just a few hours have become hopelessly addicted. I love taking photos. I love this app! Here are a few samples of my first photos…

xx Natalie.

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