Dear Girls – An Autumn Weekend

Dear girls,

I’ve decided to write to you via my blog seeing as I am never going to begin keeping the journal I have had planned since I was pregnant with you, Anouk.  I figure this is an easy way to keep a good record of your lives and some of the fun (and possibly mundane) things we do together. It also means I’ll have a better chance at remembering this part of my life that is moving at the speed of light.

Over the weekend we stayed close to home.  On Friday night, we had the pleasure of your Granny D. coming to stay.  She knew I was feeling unwell and for dinner brought around a slow cooked chicken casserole.  We spent time at the Farmers’ Market and pottering around the garden and then on Sunday, you had more visitors.  This time Janie and Grandad came over to look after you both so that your Dada and I could have the morning off!

Under Little Big.

Under Little Big.

I don’t know how much of a morning off it was for your Dada seeing as I made him wait whilst I got a coffee and dragged him around secondhand stores looking at junk.  Some of the junk made it home in the form of a couple of lamps and some little jeans. Upon our return, your Grandad had made an amazing lunch and we all sat out under Little Big and enjoyed a perfect Autumn afternoon.

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Anouk, you were also the lucky recipient of a brightly coloured jumper, knitted by Janie.  I can’t wait to team it with some matching tights and see your tiny little rainbow covered body run across the hill with the combination of delight and lack of coordination that you have made your trademark!

Thanks Janie!

Thanks Janie!

All-in-all we had a pretty great weekend that was special in the fact it was typical.  The important aspects of a good life were covered, food, rest, gardening and family.  We didn’t fight crowds inside an airless shopping centre or spend money we don’t have on things we don’t need.  Not only did the weekend allow my body to heal, it revitalised my soul and got your Dada and I thinking about our plans for this land and our future.

Finally, and here’s the lesson in this letter, if there’s one thing I want you to understand, it’s the importance of family.  When your Dada and I decided to return to this area it was partly due to family and partly due to where we could buy property that would suit our lifestyle.  It wasn’t until you were born that we realised it would have been ridiculous for us to be anywhere else.  I don’t think I could have made it through the past three years of being pregnant and having young children without having family around.  In my experience, it truly does take a village.

So, I want you to know how lucky you are to have all these wonderful people, grandparents, aunts and uncles, who love you right on your doorstep.  They are all great role models in different ways and I hope as you grow up you take advantage of their wisdom and experience. They’ll only make you better people if you do.

Love you lots, Mama. xx

 

 

An Unassuming Life: Turning Inwards.

As I mentioned in last weeks post, our family has been insanely busy recently.  On the
weekends we’ve had a myriad of family commitments and throughout the weekdays I stupidly over scheduled and now we’re paying the price.

Both the girls have been really unsettled day and night.  Delphi, who from birth has only
awoken once a night has been waking more often and needing to be bounced back to sleep. Anouk, (whom admittedly has never been a great sleeper) has been having tantrums going to bed, which along with her 4am wake up to sing the alphabet is draining to say the least.  Day time temperaments have been whiney and whilst this may be because I have a baby trying to crawl and a toddler trying to take on the world, I also believe it’s the girls protesting doing too much.

I said to Nick over the weekend I was running on empty and wasn’t sure how much more I could take and as it turns out, my body said the same thing.  On Monday, I was diagnosed with a case of Shingles.  My Doctor immediately demanded I put myself in isolation for a couple of weeks, partly due to the contagious nature of the virus but also because she could see I just need to have a rest.

Along with bad sleeping patterns and exhaustion, we’ve been letting terrible eating habits sneak back in.  Instead of homemade snacks, I have store bought chocolate in the fridge, our meals are not as wholesome (although we haven’t fallen into the takeaway trap yet!) and I’ve been letting Anouk eat at random times of day.  I wonder how much our slide in wholefood eating has contributed to me falling ill?  I know that it has a lot to do with Anouk’s attitude and inability to cope when she’s told she can’t have a cookie.

So here I am, sitting on my sofa, the house is not tidy, I have laundry to do, my bed is unmade, my hair unwashed and I have cancelled all plans until after Easter… and you know what, I am so, so happy!  I have just taken a few trays of oatmeal cookies out of the oven and I am back to tracking my water intake using this app.

Fresh from the oven.

Fresh from the oven.

There is something so luxurious about knowing I have nowhere to be and nothing to do. I don’t know at what point it became a popular trait of society to over schedule and be constantly on the go.  It is, literally, exhausting.

With the onset of the cooler months it seems like a good time to focus on quietude and the wellness that our family experiences when we slow down.  In her book, Sara Avant Stover says of Autumn, “It is time to gather, store, organise, and wind down from Summer’s high tempo and the relentless forward momentum that modern living usually demands”.

Anyone who follows my Instgram will know knitting has been featuring heavily in my slow revolution.

Anyone who follows my Instagram will know knitting has been featuring heavily in my slow revolution.

From now on, I will be focusing on Stover’s words of wisdom.  I won’t be scheduling something every day and ‘no’ won’t be a dirty word.  Whilst living on a property doesn’t give us a lot of access to coffee shops or playgrounds it does mean we have a lot nature to explore and delight in. I will invite more people to come into my home and stop worrying that it’s not finished enough or that it may not be perfectly clean.

I’m not sure at what point I let the lifestyle I love get away from me but it’s time to take it back. I know my entire family will be better for it and instead of wondering where the week went, we can work hard on our land and in our home, building a solid appreciation for things that take time to grow.

A weekend in Autumn.

My family relishes in taking things slowly.  Come the weekend, we prefer to schedule very little and spend our time pottering, completing house projects (Nick more than me), knitting and crafting (me more than Nick), cooking, eating and of course, entertaining two inquisitive little things.

Recently though, we’ve been busier than usual and so when last weekend rolled with no
commitments, we took the opportunity to do all our favourite things.

It had rained a lot a lot the week previous and it seemed Summer had finally said goodbye. We were all itching to get outside see what was happening around the property and of course Anouk was keen to splash in the dirty puddles left behind.  The landscape had turned from shades of brown to green as far as the eye could see… the depth of colour on this land after the rain has burrowed into the dirt blows my mind every single time.

This collection of photos were all taken over a 48 hour period and I wanted to share them
because they so well illustrate how varied the landscape in this beautiful part of the world can be.

Saturday Morning: I had to stop the car just outside our gate to take these photos of the sun rising under a thick layer of fog.

Saturday Morning: I was on my way to the Farmers’ Market and had to stop just outside our gate to take these photos of the sun rising under a thick layer of fog.

Saturday: Our little veggie patch exploded after all the rain.

Saturday: Our little veggie patch exploded after all the rain.

Saturday: My sister Erin sent over a pair of Wellies for Anouk and they just so happen to match mine.

Saturday: My sister Erin sent Anouk a pair of wellies and they just so happen to match mine.

Saturday Evening: The sunset sky was incredible.

Saturday Evening: The sunset was incredible.

Sunday: The next day grey skies returned.  Not that any of us minded.

Sunday: The next day grey skies returned. Not that any of us minded.

Sunday: Hello Nich.

Sunday: Hello Nich.

Sunday: If you look closely you can see some of our resident roos checking us out. And, there's so many interesting and natural things to pick up on our walks.

Sunday: If you look closely you can see some of our resident roos checking us out. And, there’s so many interesting natural things to pick up on our walks.