Tuesday, March 17, 2015

2015 Portraits: February

"Monthly portraits of my girls in 2015"

Sophie: My little fairy, in a dress-up piece ten sizes too big, enjoying our back yard at dusk.

Grace: Well and truly settled into the rhythm of first term and ever so enthusiastic about school and learning (such a welcome change from the beginning of the year nerves in years gone by). Home reading and spelling words have become a regular part of our afternoon/evening routine.

Joining in with Jodi

Monday, February 23, 2015

Snippets Of Our Week

1.  When there is an unusual silence during post lunch 'quiet time', Sophie is usually up to no good. However on this particular day when I poked my head in to check, I found she had set herself up comfortably reading.

2.  My happy little cherub and I have shared the same hair woes in this summer humidity... frizzy curls and fly-aways locks. She carries the look much better than I do though...

3.  Once we're finished our current bedtime read, we cannot wait to get stuck into Grace's new book (bought on the weekend with the voucher she won for an award at school last year).

4.  Our new toadstool house in the fairy garden has seen two little girls regularly leaving notes and other offerings for the pixie-folk.  It has kept this 'mama-fairy' busy and often seen me creep outside in the dark to retrieve bits and pieces that have been left.  Last night, at 10.40, I remembered I'd not removed the thank you note Grace had written...  However, I said a quiet thank you to those fairies myself, as when I went to fetch it, I discovered I'd gone to bed having left the back door open and unlocked...

5.  After doing a bit of house-cleaning last Tuesday, I was wondering which activity to sit and do with Sophie when nature provided us with the perfect one.  We were so surprised to discover a wayward ibis in our front garden as we do not live in particularly close distance to a lake or wetland area. We spent the next forty minutes tip-toeing between the bedroom and lounge room windows watching this friendly fellow scratching about in the leaf litter and pecking at the spiderwebs on our window frames before he flew across the road and disappeared into the neighbourhood...

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Printed Photos + Family Memories

Ever since my post last year where I discussed my saddness at our lack of printed photos, I have made documenting our family life a priority.  Happily, I can report that I have compiled around twelve or so double-page spreads that together, give an overview of our 2014. I've found this project (which is on-going and will be added to over the coming years) to be so rewarding and very manageable and wanted to write about my approach to encourage others who haven't printed out any photos for some time to perhaps give something similar a go...

For my album, I have used Project Life page protectors.  However, my approach to using them is SUPER SIMPLE.  Unlike others who use such resources to complete weekly spreads (which for me personally would be too time consuming and feel like too much of a chore), I document several weeks or even several months in the same space. Every now and then, I download all of the images from our phones and camera and save my favourites into a folder.  When I have enough to put together a layout, I do. Sometimes a layout will cover a month or a season.  Other times it will document a special occasion such as a birthday or family holiday where a larger number of snapshots have been taken. No pressure. No rules.  No fancy embellishments or patterned papers. Just a simple collection of photos with a simple bullet-point list of memories.

I stick to a fairly basic layout and use only one style of page protectors.  I keep my journalling cards the same.  Polaroid-style smaller photos (thanks to the free Collect App) break things up and provide some blank space (as well as useful date records).  Some photos are printed with a white border to provide definition, others are printed to the edge of the photo paper. I try to balance colours and will convert certain images to black and white if they are too visually distracting.

Our album doesn't necessarily contain my best photography but I select the photos that best tell our story. Milestones, snippets of daily life, new additions to our home as well as the occasional portrait all combine together to showcase memories I want us to recall in the future.

If you (like me last year) are in the position of not having printed out any photos for a LONG time, I encourage you to try something similar. My girls love being able to flick through our pages of family memories and I'm so grateful I've stopped procrastinating and have begun creating a tangible record for us all to enjoy and look back over...

A special shout-out to Ronnie whose pared back Project Life style is what encouraged me to try something similar in the first place.
Also, thank you to Claire for your advice and inspiration which I've appreciated too.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

2015 Portraits: January

"Monthly portraits of my girls in 2015"

Sophie: Messy curls, sunkissed skin and chubby little hands... exactly what I want to remember from this photo in years to come...

Grace: Pottering about in the fairy garden under the shade of our frangipani tree.  Last week, Paul said to me, "Do you realise that after this year, Grace will have completed almost forty per cent of her primary school education?" A heartbreaking thought.  If only I could slow down time... the years are passing too quickly for my liking...

Joining in with Jodi

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...