Wednesday, 13 April 2016

#highlightsreel // favourite faces, familiar places, treasured traditions...

Ok, I am still so far behind in recording our little family highlights reel here (and please remember this is a highlights reel... the reality reel is not so photogenic, haha, but we all know it is part of every family's real life!) - however I am inching closer to 2016 so sloooooowly catching up!! 

Here is our December. After we returned from our Brisbane trip, gearing up for Christmas. We had a lot going on in our family during this time, it was not the most relaxing Christmas season, that's for sure! But as the kids wound up the school year, we still took the time to make memories and savour the little moments, and carve out time for our most treasured Christmas traditions.

These are the days....

My first crop of  garlic!! It took six months to grow but totally worth it for this delicious, flavoursome, organic goodness!!
Even with giving a bunch away I was hopeful it would last our garlic-loving family a whole year - and so far so good!!?

A bouquet of beetroot
Not sure if dolly just got rescued by these two firefighters or what!?
My sweet son. He has such a generosity of spirit xx

Character in spades!

This face. It slays me. Those beautiful brown eyes, my sunshiney boy xx

A spunky little lady...not your average princess!! 
strong is the new pretty

what joy she brings xx

Decorating the Christmas tree is always one of my most favourite times.
The parents sit back (well, Mum takes photos while Dad sits back, ha!)
and watch with sentimental smiles while the kids intently and gleefully decorate
the tree. The result may be lopsided but it's every so gorgeous!

Reading the first book in our Christmas Book Advent...
Lily wanted to make her own Christmas cards for her buddies!
No fear. Dancing up the front during the community Christmas carols!
Enrapt by the opera singer with her little school buddy!
The day after the 'last day of school for the year', we have a little tradition of serving the kids breakfast in bed. Breakfast is very simple, just stuff they love - toasted cheese croissants and greek yoghurt with fresh raspberries - and juice! They are soooooo excited about this they even eagerly stay in bed till I bring it to them, haha! Their delight is worth a few crumbs in the bed once a year... a simple but sweet way to celebrate a big year of doing their very best at school.
Look at that face!! Worth a few crumbs or what!? ;)

It just ain't Christmas without our $6 Aldi Gingerbread Kits! A sugary, crafty concoction of fun and  memories, sticky fingers and sneakily sampled lollies. The kids love assembling them. While they may not win any gingerbread house competitions, we have a good ol' time.
Ha!!!! How to even caption this image?! ;) #mycrazykids
When your favourite meal is baked potatoes, the best way to get them on the dinner menu more often is to offer to make them for the whole family. And so she does.
Decorating baubles to hand out at the local shops. Glitter glue and gem stickers - what's not to love!?! ;) 

I was kinda proud of my home made drying rack, haha!
Clearly these photo settings were completely off, HA! But consider this a place marker to record the memory of surprising the kids one night by getting them up after bed time to go see the Christmas lights! The surprise factor (and hot chocolates in travel mugs) always makes it all the more exciting!! :) A very special night xx
All ready to hand out their home decorated ornaments at the local shops. A sweet and simple way to do a little random Christmas kindness. It is always a wonderful experience, especially to see them intently chase down unsuspecting shoppers so they can foist an ornament on them!! So many folks are overjoyed and you can see their pleasure in taking a moment from the pre-christmas shopping hustle to enjoy that little kindness. Many people automatically reached for their wallets and we had to insist 'No, no, it's a gift!!!'. Some people (I think assuming we were selling them) refused to accept our little gifts, to the utmost distress of the kids especially Miles, lol!!! He was so shocked and disappointed if anyone declined. We live and we give and we learn. Love to see my kids taking babysteps into the world, learning lessons of generosity and kindness as a family. 

And that was our December...

xx Kate

Thursday, 31 March 2016

the last little one at home // the in-between season

With my middle child off to school this year (and totally rocking it by the way - but that's another post!), I suddenly realised I've somehow transitioned from a 'mum of little kids who has one at school', to a 'school mum who still has one kid at home'. Subtle difference but a big one (to me, anyway, lol)! I blinked, they grew up, and now here I am. Still getting used to this change...having two school age kids. For so long (soooooo long), I was a mum to little kids at home. But the baby and toddler phase has officially past. Eek?! If you are anywhere near this stage you know how bittersweet it is! So strange to realise those 'little years' have really past (we survived!!!) and we are entering a new phase, heading as a family towards those middle years, the school age years #whoa. In many ways I'm sad to say goodbye to those simple, precious (exhausting) and adorable baby days, but also excited about the fun and conversation and independence and adventures of school age kids. Ahhhhh, transitions!

#mixedemotions #addictedtohashtaggingevenwhennotonsocialmedia ;)

Accidentally twinning with my buddy as we enjoy a coffee date
(another novelty I hardly dared with multiples). Matching grey 
and navy stripes... hmm, maybe we  are spending a little TOO
 much time together?! :) #impossible

My three year old 'forever my baby', Miles, is still at home (the last one!!). I am so incredibly grateful I still get to be with home with him.... but it's funny how it feels so different?! Our family is more firmly in the school phase, no longer a newbie school mum with the novelty of a first school child. With my second starting, we all kinda feel like pros! He knew what to expect and so did I... so it was a much less emotional experience for all of us, really. School lunches, permission slips, home readers... yeah, we have found our groove with all these novelties!

And life at home with 'just one'? It feels like a whoooooole different ballgame.

Hot Cross Buns on the deck together for morning tea. Happy times!
Scraped nose, but he don't care!

These are simple, quiet, contented days. SO QUIET!! SO SIMPLE!! SO SWEET!! Ha. Just a far cry from the general level of mayhem and noise that was in the house with three kids full time. Sibling interactions - even when positive - are just generally so noisy!! And now it's sooo quiet, lol. But I am still getting used to it, frankly. I think when you have been so accustomed to being home full time juggling three little people along with running a household, having 'just one' feels practically child-free, haha!! So I have to admit we have been having a blast together. I love hanging out with my little sidekick, Miles, he truly is darling! And all of a sudden I have so much freedom to run errands, do volunteering, help with church things, hang with friends, get chores done, do the gardening, organise the house, etc . So doable now, especially with a super chilled and independent little man by my side. It's such a change?! Especially as Miles is now a big three year old, past the super busy toddler stage. He can play independently, obey instructions, understand where we are going and why. He is happy to go along with whatever is happening Oh, and the conversations are precious beyond words... I love this age! We have the best chats as we cruise around town and hang out at the house. And of course we love going to pick up the big kids after school, greeting them with hugs and begging for updates - it's always quite a reunion!

Quietly, independently, happily playing Magnatiles while I bake.
What is this?!?!?! 

I'm just loving this sweet season. This time feels so precious and I know all the more now how much I need to cherish as it will not last. 
Side Note: If you have 'just one' total children right now, please know that when I had 'just one' myself it suuuuure didn't feel so simple and easy breezy!! Perspective (and I guess your ability to juggle and cope) just changes a fair bit after you ratchet up to three then down to one. But that first one? It felt challenging for sure! #restassured

I've been joking to friends it's like I can now do all those SAHM things I always thought I would do but couldn't because, you know, all those kids in the way!!! Ha! So have to admit I have been really relishing these quiet and productive days! Pottering around, getting all those ever-undone chores off the list, helping out at school, getting shopping done, taking care of errands with my buddy by my side. It's been pretty sweet and I started to think about how productive I have been.... IT FELT GOOD! Then I realised -

Wait a minute! Was I suggesting that the previous seven years raising three little humans was unproductive?!

Oh, no, no, no. Not at all.

Maybe unproductive in many senses, in many worldly values... often it appeared that nothing got accomplished in a whole day!! (Except keeping the kids alive.. my main goal!) BUT....The everyday, glorious and mundane task of raising little people - it's the most important job I ever had (and still have!). Maybe it was largely 'unproductive' in one sense, but it was still noble work. Ok, the floor often wasn't swept and I was often frazzled and tired to my bones but still...being home, being with them, during all those pre-school years, was unproductive in the best possible way. After all, I didn't quit my job to stay home and keep the house clean, or be productive in really any sort of measure except being there for them, raising them, instilling love and values and character in their hearts. Just giving them the priceless gift of time. Time with me, time to be nurtured in the home, time to grow up slowly and gently and quietly. We all know time is precious and it seemed my greatest productivity may have been seemingly 'wasting time' by investing in them, in giving time to them. Ok, ok, it's nice to get the chores down and the errands run, but I think we all know what has the greater value! The pay ain't great, but this work has an eternal value in my perspective, investing in little hearts and minds.

Now school is calling for my baby boy.... just a year or two away (he is on the cusp of the school year, so not quite sure when he will start yet). School is beckoning my last little one, I know that time to that point will fly. Then the office will be calling me once more, and I know that will be yet another change for our family. Times, they are a changin'...

But for now? 

I will enjoy this 'in between' season, soaking up the last drops of SAHM life with my little dude, while also ticking things off my to-do list like A BOSS!!!!!

Monday, 14 March 2016

#highlightsreel // riding bikes and reading books

Ok, so I came across a pile of unedited photos from late last year! 

Last year... such a tumultuous one. I hardly took photos (comparatively to past years, haha!), but as I just found these I decided to sort them and post some before they stayed buried on my hard drive forever... 

The kids already look so much smaller. My babies! A reminder of how time flies, huh??

I remember them lying around on the floor together, all in a line for some reason only known to childhood. So, of course I grabbed a couple photos because... it's what I do, ha!

She read her first whole chapter book, cover to cover, all to herself, by herself... she had dipped in and out of many but this one was where she had staying power. So precious! Now she seems to tear through them at a rate of knots and I just love having another voracious reader in the house! With more coming up the line!!

Somebody took a tumble. After cuddles and comfort, he needed a little time. The sweetest sad face ever.

Our beloved friends came to visit and it was beyond lovely to see these two little guys hanging out - best buddies! We mothers plan to keep them that way for life!!! ;) 

Lily found one of the chicken's feathers in the backyard... and decided to use some ink and try writing old school style... where she gets her ideas, I can't tell ya!

A lazy home day, reading books and eating lunch on the trampoline with my sweet boys. Miles is sitting in a cardboard box - who knows why?!
The boys at 'school' - Ms Lily runs quite a strict school room ;) 

Brotherly Love xx
The kids were obsessed with snails as pets for a while... building all sorts of home for them, haha!
He really, really, really loves any kind of hat. 
She finally nailed the bike riding thing - from starting off solo to braking to steering... hooray!! Loved to see her confidence growing. And yes the bike is too small... luckily she got a bigger one for Christmas ;)

Meanwhile the boys were having a percussion band rehearsal near by... #sonoisy #sofun