Monday, December 30, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week every week in 2013"

Sophie: On Christmas Eve as I tucked her in I said, "Father Christmas will be coming here tonight and leaving you some presents." Perhaps it was the thought of a 'stranger' entering our house as she looked at me clearly concerned and exclaimed "Noooo Mummy." The next morning, Santa was in her good books again after she discovered what he'd left for her... the '1001 Things To Spot In The City' book was a definite winner.

Grace: In her 'artistic zone' with the paint set that was at the top of her Christmas wishlist... or to be more accurate, "paints that have a highlighter pink in them".  Santa chose well and Grace was over the moon to find these in her stocking.

Joining in with Jodi

Just like that, we are here at the final portraits of the year.  I am so glad I persisted and now have 52 portraits of each of my girls and a whole series of memories documented.  Next year however, I have decided I won't be joining in every single week but instead, simply here and there when I feel like picking up my camera... 

Sunday, December 22, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week every week in 2013"

Sophie: Such a happy little soul with her wild mop of curls and beaming smile.  She makes me laugh every single day... if only I could keep her at this cute age forever (minus the tantrums perhaps)

Grace: My precious big girl.  She is very excited about the number of sleeps until Father Christmas comes... such a magical time of year for children.

Joining in with Jodi

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Rhythm Of Our Days: Meatball Wednesdays

Ever since we've been married, I've worn the 'chef's hat' in our household.  I've been the one to menu plan and to cook meals each night (aside from the odd meal out or the occasional take away dish).  And while I haven't minded, (especially now being a stay at home Mum), a few months back, I suggested Paul have a turn in the kitchen.

That meal turned out to be spaghetti and meatballs and ever since, every second or third week, come Wednesday night, I've rostered Paul on to cook.  Knowing I have a night off from making dinner is a wonderful feeling, but even more rewarding is watching our little ones help their Daddy prepare tea.

With aprons tied around waists and chairs to stand on, two girls are eager assistants.  One grates the carrot while one 'beats' the egg. And then, once the mixture is ready, a production line of sorts occurs with Paul shaping the meatballs, Sophie passing them to her big sister and Grace rolling them in flour. Watching this teamwork makes me smile.

Then, while the spaghetti cooks and the meatballs are left to simmer in the sauce, the music is turned up and the dancing begins.  With flour on the floor and endless giggles, there is a disco in our kitchen as the girls and their Daddy twirl around and show off their best moves.

When we finally sit down at the table together, there are always declarations of their dish being 'the best batch ever'.

On our 'meatball Wednesdays' there is always mess and more often than not a squabble between little ones trying to help... but there is always lots of laughter too... and that makes this precious little snippet of family life one I want to tuck away and remember always...

With the hot weather now here, I wanted to record this little snippet of our family life sooner rather than later, as I'm sure all too soon, 
our 'meatball Wednesdays' will evolve into a meal more suitable for this season, most likely  a meal cooked outdoors on the barbecue.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week every week in 2013"

Sophie: Toilet training is in full swing now that the hot weather is here... we've had success this week too thankfully...

Grace: In her cardboard mortar board at her kindy graduation.  Looking at photos of her first weeks back in February makes me realise how much she's grown over this past year at school.  Only two more days and she will be a 'big pre-primary kid'.

Joining in with Jodi

Friday, December 13, 2013

Our Christmas Tree (Take Two)

On the first day of December, we excitedly dragged our Christmas tree out of the garage, opened our box of ornaments and let the girls have free reign over the decorating task.  Two days ago, we did the same all over again, only this time, with a new tree.

The first year we were married, with Paul and I set to host Christmas night at our house, we went Christmas tree hunting one weekend, only to return home empty handed.  Every single department store we tried had literally sold out.  I ended up buying a set of red baubles and silver stars and we decorated the jasmine bush on our patio instead, which still looked impressive and which thankfully still served its purpose as the designated spot under which to place all our family's gifts.

Over the next few Christmases, we never bothered to even try buying a tree as there weren't any functions at our house and we figured there wasn't much point.  However, when Grace came along in 2009, I insisted a tree was vital (even though she was oblivious to all the festivities and hype) as I wanted to establish even at that early age what I felt was a very important family tradition.  I ended up buying a cheap, twenty dollar one from Coles (even more of a bargain when it scanned up as thirteen dollars at the checkout).  It did it's job, but has always looked rather bare and unimpressive.  And while structurally it was fine, the more Paul and I have looked at it over the past week, the more we've decided it was time for us to buy something a bit nicer for our family... something that showed we valued this season a bit more than it appeared.

On Wednesday, the girls and I picked up our 'forever Christmas tree'... it is actually smaller than our previous one (although when placed on a little table, it is still my height), but it is more of a realistic pine needle look, with fuller branches that look attractive even when undecorated.  It is not too bulky to store, is easy to set up and isn't too big or fancy (which wouldn't suit our humble little home anyway).

We returned from the shops after collecting our order and set about transferring our baubles and ornaments from the old tree to the new one with the girls ferrying pieces back and forth to me. "Mummy... I like this tree!" exclaimed Sophie as it began to take shape. We selected a nicer position where it can be enjoyed night after night as our fairy lights twinkle away and we are all much happier with our smaller but definitely lovelier little tree...

Our old tree-top star doesn't fit our new tree unfortunately... I'm hoping I can get Grace to craft something.  
Grace also insists we need some tinsel but I'm thinking we may decorate our patio with that instead... I rather like an 'uncluttered' look.
Now to finish wrapping the last of twenty or so presents waiting for me in our study and to get the girls to help me arrange them under the tree...

Monday, December 9, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week every week in 2013"

Helping prepare tea with Daddy... I love the look of concentration on their faces as they focus on the jobs Paul has given them...

Joining in with Jodi

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Our Advent Calendar And Slow December Days

I love Christmas and all the excitement and joy it brings.  However, the busy-ness, the crowds and the stress I'm not such a fan of.  Come December, I purposely try to keep our days as slow as I can. There are still catch-ups with friends, errands to run and food to buy and our calendar is definitely filled more than usual. But for the most-part we pass our days with time spent close to home enjoying Christmas activities and treats.

Last year, I put together a simple little Advent calendar for Grace and on Saturday night, I brought it out again and strung it up.  With my gift buying so close to being completed (just a few small 'finishing off touches' to pick up), I am looking forward to days spent baking Christmas biscuits, wrapping presents, crafting... and soaking up all the magic of this season, a season which feels all the more special when viewed through the eyes of little ones and enjoyed at their less hurried pace.

Each envelope on our Advent calendar contains a card with a special task for the day.  
Some are for Christmas crafts and cooking, others are for outings such as visiting Santa or the Christmas lights.  
A handful contain a small treat such as stickers, tree ornaments or a chocolate.  

Sunday, December 1, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week every week in 2013"

Two very different techniques for decorating our tree.  Sophie focused on pretty much one single branch, covering it with bauble upon bauble upon bauble.  Grace was more precise and methodical, taking her time to look for bare spots and trying to spread her ornaments around evenly.

Our tree looks very haphazardly decorated... and that's exactly how it is going to stay as the girls are so proud of their efforts and think it is perfect... and because of that, so do I.

Joining in with Jodi