Monday, December 31, 2018

2 0 1 8 : Tribe

Whilst I have seemingly disappeared from the blogosphere, that doesn't mean that 2018 isn't a year worth recapping, a year of adventure, a year of hope, a year of change and a year of joy. It was the year I packed up my little tribe and moved north to be reunited with my even bigger tribe and the coastline that I yearned for. It was the year I went back to work fulltime after becoming a mum, in a completely new role that brought with it both it's rewards and challenges. It was the year I let myself rest when I needed to after finally allowing myself to admit I can't do it all. It was the year I didn't get a stamp on my passport but wasn't mad about it. Most importantly, it was another year for my family and I to enjoy in one another's company, for my husband and I to fall more and more in love with each other and with our little cub. For me, it was the year of my tribe.

This time last year I wrote,

"It's been the year of her, our own little piece of magic. She has brought our family more love, more joy and more hope than I could have ever imagined. She has been my night, my day, my comfort and my reason to smile on the toughest of days."

Those words still resonate with me today, and I feel that we have only filled more pages of the chapter of becoming new parents.

Audrey-Lee and I were in bed by 9pm last New Years Eve and I don't suppose this year will be any different, now with the morning after when she wakes us up at dawn to start the day with games and cuddles. In January I took Audrey-Lee to her first music festival So Frenchy, So Chic which was swiftly followed by St Kilda Festival in February. February saw us celebrating our little baby's first rotation around the sun with multiple events shared with those who had supported us through the highs and lows of becoming new parents. My parents visited from Brisbane and her Godfather Zachary & his boyfriend joined us in Torquay for a very special birthday weekend by the sea.

February was also a big month for me professionally as I resigned from my role at an organisation that gave me so many opportunities. It was a little nerve racking resigning without another role lined up, something that is not in my nature at all but something bigger was in store for me. Jarrod and I had decided it was time to let go of Melbourne and move to Brisbane so we could be closer to family. Part of me felt like I failed moving back to Brisbane, back to my parent's home for a few months whilst we found our feet. Part of me felt I was giving up the dreams I had in Melbourne. Nine months later and at times I still struggle with not living in convenient Elwood, a stones throw from everything, surrounded by the cultural curiosities that such a city provides. However there has been so much gain from moving north closer to my family and being able to reconnect with old friends.

In March we moved with minimal drama, except for me being unexpectedly booked in for a job interview whilst at the airport about to board my flight. With squirming toddler in one hand and my phone in the other I did my best to wow the panel whilst also ensuring we went through security screening in time to board our flight. I was convinced I had done so poorly, but apparently not. Two weeks later I was on the payroll, getting to know an industry that was completely foreign to me, and I'm still there, still learning.

The next few months were spent getting to know our new city, the city I had lived in but barely uncovered in my adolescent years. We journeyed near and far, from Southbank to Noosa Heads, Byron Bay to West End. We spent many a weekend including some in the winter at the beach with our Pisces. Our little girl was a flowergirl at our friends wedding and joined us for many a celebration with those we hold closest. We celebrated my mum’s 50th birthday with a week at Sunshine Beach surrounded by family who had journeyed from across the country.

There are many things we have had to adjust to in our new life here, from Audrey-Lee joining a preschool to Jarrod going part time at work whilst I return full time. We have had to squeeze so much into each and every day we get together as a family of three as they are few and far between.

It was also the first year since I graduated high school that I wasn't doing some form of tertiary education, as I wrapped up my Masters in Business Administration in 2017 and decided to focus my time outside work on my family. I did however have my graduation ceremony in July with my nearest and dearest there to help me celebrate. My little tribe and I celebrated in the way we celebrate most things, by getting out of the city, this time exploring the outskirts of Lamington National Park.

So as for the new year, we have many plans already in the pipeline from adventures near and afar, to career goals and a new car. Feeling ever so slightly positive and aspirational I do have some things I would like to focus my attention on in 2019.

Next year I aspire to be the best mum, wife, sister, daughter, friend and team member I can possibly be, whilst also being kind to myself. Next Year I aspire to have more date nights with my husband. Next year I aspire to pick my battles and let my losses go. Next year I aspire to put the phone down and be present. Next year I aspire to manage the juggle of work, parenthood and marriage with as much ease as humanly possible.

Happy New Year to all, I wish you and your families a magical 2019.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Lavender and Baby's Breath

Be still my darling
You have much to learn

Take time before running
Look at the world around

Listen to the birds
Watch the trees dance

Feel the breeze on your neck
See your dreams in the clouds

Wish upon a star
Know that you are loved

Images by Katrina Lee Boultwood
Audrey-Lee wears Arnhem + H&M
Claire wears Spell & The Gypsy Collective
Jarrod wears Industrie

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Rainbow Baby

Our little sunshine is now one year Earthside, and she has blossomed into a beautiful little girl, even more wonderful than our wildest of dreams. There are so many words I could use to describe this vision with her static blonde hair and her need to climb everything and anything, but for now let her be known as;


Images by Katrina Lee Boultwood
Audrey-lee wears Seed & Converse
Claire wears Billabong & Spurr
Jarrod wears Industrie

Saturday, January 27, 2018

So Frenchy, So Chic Petite Fille

Earlier this month my darling baby girl went to her first music festival Earthside.

She'd experienced a festival wombside but I'm not quite sure how much of that stayed with her after the whole being born dilemma.

Being a huge fan of the Melbourne festival So Frenchy, So Chic, a music festival where it is entirely appropriate to chill out on a picnic rug barefoot in the sun and eat your weight in cheese whilst listening to an amazing array of French beats from folk to blues to pop and soft rock, it was only fitting that I take her. It's also one of the only festivals I know where I'm not struggling with stage clashes, as there is only one stage, and there's a short break between acts for small talk, gelato runs and taking photos.

My friend Katrina Boultwood, who often features on here as one of my favourite Melbourne photographers joined us for the day. With her she brought olives, strawberries and her camera to take a few photos of my darling girl's first music festival.

How did Audrey-Lee do a day in the sun, with a crowd and loud music?

She did remarkably well. We packed our pop up sun shade, she had three outfits so she could eat all the food but still dress to impress, and she took a nap in her pram in between two acts (her timing with that was incredible). She loved the music, and dancing with the crowd. I am very much looking forward to her second music festival in only a couple of weeks time. After all, I need to milk her enthusiasm for being my festival pal whilst it lasts.

Photos by Katrina Lee Boultwood
(above: DSLR & below: Iphone 8)

Claire wears Spell Designs
Audrey-Lee wears Sprout from Myer, Pure Baby and Marks & Spencer