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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Little hands.






With his little hands he has been helping me a lot lately as he slowly rediscovers his role within our newly grown family. Eager to help wherever he can by fetching face washers, nappies and keeping an eye on his wee sister while I hang the washing on the line. He has taken it upon himself to feed the animals on a daily basis - the dogs, the fish, the chickens and collect the eggs. With anticipation he watches his seeds sprout and herbs grow and carefully waters them when it's not raining. He packs up his toys at the end of the day without a complaint. I can only hope this is the start of something wonderful.

The other day completely out of the blue he asked for pocket money to buy new lego when we next went to Cairns and from then on has been requesting more and more 'jobs'. Since that day he has done some tasks daily, others only once and the 'boring' or 'yucky' ones not at all. But that's ok because he's understanding the moral of working as a team and reinforcing just how important his role in our family is as the big brother. 

His eagerness comes with perfect timing as Caleb starts his five working weeks away. The first of many times apart for 2014. It's been daunting for me to say the least. The quiet lonely nights are the worst. During the days I have two children, house duty and full time work with a stack of funding reports due at the end of February. Getting back into work is a welcome relief from the rather lonely days spent up here away from friends, family, cafes, sidewalks, parks and all the other distractions that city life has to offer. I've been flooded with so many different emotions over the last few days and haven't known how to put pen to paper but today Ba'il's enthusiasm and simple acts of compassion have reassured me that we will be ok. 

His little hands are finding their way and inspiring me to do the same as we embark on this journey together. Him as a big brother and me as a remote working mother of two. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

4/52




A portrait of my children, once a week for every week in 2014.

Ba'il - It wouldn't be an Australia Day weekend without the sprinkler on the trampoline. 

Milinh - You found your toes and it's oh so adorable. 

I'm learning very fast that to photograph a child you need to be spontaneous and quick. They don't always like having their photo taken. A big difference I have noticed in Ba'il from this year to last, as a toddler grows into a child. 

A baby on the other hand can lie there all day and smile for the camera so more creativity is needed. I'm attempting to capture Milinh's milestones in my 2014 series. Child and baby, I'm absolutely loving the challenge of documenting their growth throughout this year. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

3/52




A portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2014.

Ba'il - Early summer morning tending to your little garden. 

Milinh - And just like that your rolling and moving. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The home of Ol' Man River.




                                                  











This is the home of Ol' Man River, my rather eccentric father-in-law. He built this home from scratch with his bare hands and bartered and salvaged all of the building materials which have created this abode. Every single one of the stones in the wall were lifted from the river and placed on top of each other to carefully create this home. When my husband first left Melbourne at the age of 12 to live with his dad on the River, this home had bark walls and a hard mud floor. Caleb used to do his homework by the light of a flickering candle. A stark contrast from his Mum's sea side home on the Mornington Peninsula.

 My very first visit to this home was back in 2002 a few weeks after I first met Caleb. It was a cold winter's night and after a long unfamiliar four-wheel-drive trip along a dark dirt road I fell instantly in love with this home and Caleb of course.  I was welcomed by the stone walls, the dim lights, and the open roaring fire place. I adore it's warmth, it's tribalness, it's freedom, it's earth element, and it's rebellion to everything suburban. The walls are adorned with nick nacks collected from around the world and precious artefacts given as gifts. Each feather, crystal, skull, painting and book find their space within the wall joins and support beams. 

Over the years I've seen it transform and grow, just as our family has. We used to bath under the big old tree outside under the stars, we now shower inside in an enclosed stone walled bathroom. The kerosene lamps and candles have been replaced by solar power. Tents were once bedrooms and now we rest inside on sheep skin covered beds under soft cotton mozzie nets. The patio where we used to have early morning coffees is now a sleep out. The front verandah where I used to lay in the hammock with Caleb when I was 18 has now been enclosed and the hammock is no more. 

The walls of this home have seen many good times. People have come and gone from this space, often falling in love with it just as I have. And while there may be months in between our visit here, as soon as I walk through the door I am flooded with decade old memories of love, laughter and tenderness that this home and family have provided me. 



Over 2014 I look forward to documenting more stories of dwellings and the people who live in them especially as my parents move out of our family home of 24 years. There is truly something special about the space we create around us and the walls in which our families are raised. 


Sunday, January 12, 2014

2/52



A portrait of my children, once a week, every week for 2014. 

Ba'il - My bush boy. A few days up at the River Nest being occupied by nature. 

Milinh - Morning smiles on white resort sheets. A restful few days in Port Douglas. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

1/52




A portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2014. 

The first long car trip to Cairns for 2014. This year I am going to keep a record of how many kilometers we travel. We did the journey to Cairns and back over 20 times in 2013. That's over 16,000 kms. 

Ba'il - My little cheeky explorer. Your a natural traveller. I hope you journey far and wide throughout your life. 

Milinh - Yawn. You slept the whole trip down. Angel. 



Saturday, January 4, 2014

Goals for 2014.



For me, 2014 is going to be the year of 'doing' and 'keeping things simple'. I plan to take this year slowly and do everything whole heartidly. This year I will be going back to work with Milinh on my hip and Ba'il at kindy. Caleb will be working away often, I have two children now, I have large scale exhibitions planned and the building of major infastructure to manage. This year will only run smoothly if I breathe deeply, take one step at a time and be extremely organised. Inspired by Sophie at Her Library Adventures I've decided to set myself 14 simple goals for 2014. 

1. Create a whole food kitchen.
2. Practice yoga regularly. 
3. Run. 
4. Simplyfy our home. 
5. Create a no waste kitchen. 
6. Save money.
7. Read more.
8. Meal plan. 
9. Get more creative with my children. 
10. Find new waterfalls to swim in. 
11. Sell my outgrown clothes at the markets. 
12. Go camping more often.  
13. Judge no one. 
14. Travel overseas.