Thursday, June 20, 2013

Well hello there


{echo}  h  e  l  l  o  o  o  . . . .

Is anybody still out there?

Yeah ok, bad blogger, bad blogger.  Bet you thought I'd fallen off the face of the earth, didn't you?  Its the same old story, you get busy trying to be everything to everyone, and something's gotta give.

Not promising that I'm back for good, but I just thought I'd pop in and say "hi" anyway.  I'm a stay at home mum, I'm used to talking to myself :)

Lotsa stuff been happening.  Too much to go into great detail.  Here's a few bullet points:

  • Did a photography workshop in early March.  Fell even more in love with my camera.  Its rarely been out of my hands since.
  • Found out about "Tough Mudder" challenge, decided we were doing it!  Got stuck into some training.  Then woke up one day out of the blue and couldn't walk due to pain in the ball of my left big toe.  It was 3 weeks before I could even stand straight without pain.  Podiatrist named it "Sesamoiditis" and sent me for Xrays.  A metatarsol pad and chiropractic eventually saw it come good, however I lost valuable training time. Lost motivation. Tough Mudder plans now on hold.
  • I had a few paranoid health scares, which all turned out fine
  • Skye stopped having a daytime nap (NOOOOO!!!!!)
And something really really sad happened.  A friend went in to hospital to have bub number 2 via a scheduled caesar, only to be told that there was no heartbeat.  Her much-longed for little baby was an unexplained full-term stillborn.  My worst nightmare came true for my friend.  Words cannot explain the heartache.

I dont know if you've ever been to a funeral for a baby or child, but I dont think there could be anything more tragic and heartbreaking.  Instead of celebrating the wonderful life that person lived, you instead talk wistfullly about what might have been.  This little boy never drew breath, but he was so dearly loved.  His photos were beautiful and tragic at the same time.  The size of that tiny little coffin...

Not long after this tragic event, my uncle passed away after a long battle with cancer.  Another sad day, but also an amazing celebration of his absolutely amazing, incredible life.  I learned so much about him at his funeral, and I wish I'd known some of it before he died.

Funerals are never nice, but the older I get, the more I start to worry about my own mortality.  I mentioned health scares above, and perhaps I'll go into more detail at a later date, but all I know is, my worrying is getting worse.  There is nothing more sacred and important than my little family unit.  I'm terrified of something taking that away from me.

No photos today, this post has been sitting in draft for weeks, and if I wait to upload photos, it will sit here for another month.

I promise to put lots of photos in my next post, hopefully soon!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


A month, thats how long its been since I gave my blog some lovin...

I'm sure I've had plenty to say, but just not a lot of time or inclination to sit down and say it.

So whats been happening?

Well, I had another birthday... and suddenly I'm staring down the barrel of 40.  Two more years til that lovely milestone.  I remember being fearful of turning 30, and what a pivotal year that ended up being in the life of Hil.  At 30, I finally got my shit together.  I wonder what 40 will bring?

What else?  I started hitting the weights and cardio again at the start of January.  And I cleaned up my act with my nutrition, which had sadly spiralled out of control during Koby's first year.  So while I'm not enjoying getting up at 5am to train again, I am enjoying the benefits of sorting myself out.  Pants are looser.  I'm starting to ditch baggy tops in favour of some of my more form-fitting ones.  Feeling happier.  2.5kgs lost in January, along with several millimetres all over. 

And then 2 weeks ago I suddenly started getting compliments from people that I looked great, had I lost weight?  I was feeling quite buoyant and pleased with myself.  And then for no reason at all I just decided that I couldn't be bothered getting out of bed at 5am, so I started sleeping in.  I started to justify having that mid-week glass of wine, because, y'know, the kids had been horrendous all day and I DESERVED it.  And I started slipping on the ole nutrition side of things too.

Why do we do that to ourselves?  I'm quite annoyed at myself.  But anyway, I'm refocused and recommitted to my goals.  I'm realistic, we all have off days - we just shouldn't let them go on for 2 weeks.  I do love how I feel when the post-baby muffin top starts to shrink, so I will remind myself of this in future.  This week has been back in control.

Other news, I've also become the contact person and co-ordinator for our local Playgroup this year, so thats been taking up a little of my time as well, planning the activities for each week.


I've been really enjoying my camera and making an effort to take photos at least weekly.  I'm still Instagramming and share most of my photos (mostly iphone but some DSLR) over there - I'm @hilh on Instagram.

A couple of photos from the last few weeks, still a big learning curve but I'm enjoying the process:

Trying to capture water droplets falling...

Nasty little Cobblers Pegs, from our garden.

I was lucky enough to be given a new lens for my birthday, a Canon 50mm F1.8, so I've been madly practising away.  This is a prime lens, meaning no zoom, so I've had to use my feet as the zoom!  The new lens is taking some getting used to, but I'm enjoying the challenge.

Some photos from the new lens:

 Fork reflections

Happy Feet

Looking up

Sunrise through the leaves 

Our little Dutchy

So much to learn, but its so cool to be getting the creative juices flowing again :)  I'm doing minimal editing (if any!), mostly because I cant be bothered, but also because I prefer that kind of look.

Anyway, I drafted this post on the weekend and its taken me until now to get back to finish it, with that said, I'll hit "Pubish" now!  Have a great week!

Monday, January 21, 2013

The crossroads

My little boy is a baby no longer. He runs now. He climbs. He communicates. His hair is growing longer, into soft baby curls at the back, and I find myself constantly running my fingers through that fine blonde hair… dreading the day that I will take him to have his first hair cut, when I might actually have to stop and acknowledge that he’s becoming a big boy.

It happens gradually. We celebrate each little milestone, each little achievement with glee and pride, cheers and celebrations: but there is an undercurrent of sadness always hanging around, like a grey mist that seeps in slowly, softly, often without realizing. “This wont last” it whispers, it taunts.
He’s not a baby anymore. And though I still like to think of him that way, I know that I have just a short amount of time before he’s running off with his friends, playing rough and tumble games that I wont be a part of, and pushing me away, needing me less and less.

So I snuggle with him as often as I can. I cradle him like a newborn. He loves to push his warm body against me and just lean into me. He has a rocking chair in his room and I rock him and sing to him, snuggled into the crook of my arm, as part of his pre-bed routine.

He still wants to be picked up, so I happily oblige, and he is still so dependant on me for almost everything.  I am torn between wanting him to grow into an independent big kid, and wanting him to stay just like this… at this crossroads between baby and boy where we can enjoy the best of both worlds for just a fleeting moment in time…

I am so going to miss this stage.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Happy New Year!

Theres no other way to describe the last couple of weeks, other than to say that its been a blur.

Birthdays, a kids birthday party that turned into an adult stay-up-too-late-and-drink-too-much party, cakes, Christmas, presents, more alcohol consumed, excess food consumed...

And with all this stuff whizzing past, I kept thinking that the world just needs to slow down a little bit.  I needed to stop and take a breather, to stop and just inhale all those sweet experiences just a little bit longer.  I wanted to take a step back and take a mental home video of all those lovely moments in time, so that I could replay them in my head in the years to come, and enjoy them all over again when I actually had time to.  Instead, I feel like I rushed around and missed most of it.

I took photos of course, but they only give you a tiny glimpse of what was happening at the time.  And when you are taking photos of your kids opening their Christmas gifts, you also cant HELP them open their Christmas gifts.  So I found myself putting the camera down in order to be more present, more in the moment with them - rather than standing back, being separated from it.

But also, when I think back over the last few weeks, I've caught myself thinking "I wish I'd taken a photo of this or that"... because you lose track of what everyone is doing sometimes.  On Christmas day, I turned around and someone had dressed Skye in a princess dressup outfit... When did that happen?  I completely missed that, busy doing something else.

You cant be everywhere at once, I know that.

Our last couple of weeks in photos:

Hubbys birthday on the 21st.  Along with his standard order of Beef Wellington, he requested Snickers Cupcakes...

And whats Christmas Eve without a few candles, and a little bit of Christmas light bokeh... 

And more bokeh...

See?  I've learned a new photography word, and I'm throwing it around like there's no tomorrow.

(Bokeh: In photography, bokeh is the blur, or the aesthetic quality of the blur, in out-of-focus areas of an image)

And then Christmas morning came.  And in the excitement and the flurry of activity, I'd forgotten that I'd left my camera on manual focus from my bokeh photos the night before (see how I dropped it in again?) - and lo - all my "gift opening" photos are blurry  - bugger!

But trust me, this scooter, this much longed for, often-asked-for, long-dreamed-about scooter, was a big hit.  Santa, in his wisdom, decided that it didn't need to be assembled before the big day though, so daddy had to spend a large part of the morning putting toys together.  Lucky he's handy like that.

Mum got to cuddle with my little Christmas elf.

My beautiful Christmas princess, with Dutchy the dog.  Its like Dorothy and Toto.

And then Christmas was over, so we filled our days languishing at home.  Playing outside, enjoying having daddy home, and sticking frangipani's behind our ears.

Then another birthday was upon us - Skye turned into a big 3 year old. Three. Three. I still cant get over it. How did that happen? And it was like, overnight, magically, she turned into this mature child who said "please" and "thank you", who played carefully, kept her clothes clean, and decided to share with her brother.

Ask her how old she is, and she proudly holds up 3 fingers.

Slow down, time, slow down.

Her first play-doh set.  And a little handbag containing 3-year-old-treasure: hair clips, and 5 flavoured lip balms.  She has inherited her mama's lip balm addiction, already.

Blowing out 3 candles!

And then it was the last day of the year... so we bundled our little loves in the car and headed to a nearby lake.  Husband then decided we should do a complete lap of said lake - all 4km of it!  Took us an hour, but it was nice to get outside, get some sun on a scorchingly hot day, and walk off some of the Christmas indulgences.

And the reward at the end was a nice big playground, complete with flying fox.  My brave little 3 year old threw herself at it, and had a ball.  We pretty much had to drag her off it by the end.  Guess which new addition the cubby house will have at home this year?

So, happy new year all.  Here's to making 2013 the best it can be.  Here's to savouring more of those precious moments, for saying YES to the kids more often.  Heres to less "cranky-mama", and more "happy-mama".  Here's to stressing less, and loving more. 

The new year is upon us, I dont know about you, but I'm planning on making each day count.