These Small Hours – The Reason Behind The Blog Name Change

I started this blog three years ago, when two little pee lines changed my life.  I discovered I was carrying a very surprise pregnancy and I started the blog to share my experiences.  I called it “Life After Two Blue Lines” – because those two lines seemed a watershed moment to me, a defining point in my life of before and after.

pregnancy test

I wasn’t wrong.  For the next 9 months my life revolved around my pregnancy, and for the next year or two after that my life revolved around the challenge and adventure of reconciling myself to the realities of motherhood and embracing the journey it entails.  I haven’t used this blog nearly as much as I should have – as much as I wish I had – to record that journey, but it has been here nonetheless as my little place of self-expression and discovery.

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Lately, however, as I grow into my role as mum, I have begun to feel confined by the name “Life After Two Blue Lines” as I feel it defines me and my life purely in terms of motherhood.  As I grow into this new life, I am able to slowly remember that I am a mum yes, first and always, but I am also more, I am also else, I am also other.  I am also still me – a new me, a growing me, a changed me… but still me.  Still me whole unto myself as well as being “Mum”.

At the end of the day I think my life story will always be defined around the incredible power of those two lines.  And me the mum and me the person will always be completely, utterly and inextricably intertwined.  And yet I feel it is important to maintain a sense of myself, of my own passions and interests, besides the wiping of bums and cuddling of a sweet and cheeky little body.

me and camera

The title “These Small Hours” comes from the lyrics of the Rob Thomas song “These Little Wonders, which has always spoken right into the core of me.  From the moment I hear the first bars, the first few words, I feel my shoulders relax and I start to remember what life is really about.

let it go,
let it roll right off your shoulder
don’t you know
the hardest part is over
let it in,
let your clarity define you
in the end
we will only just remember how it feels

our lives are made
in these small hours
these little wonders,
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away,
but these small hours,
these small hours still remain

let it slide,
let your troubles fall behind you
let it shine
until you feel it all around you
and i don’t mind
if it’s me you need to turn to
we’ll get by,
it’s the heart that really matters in the end

our lives are made
in these small hours
these little wonders,
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away,
but these small hours,
these small hours still remain

all of my regret
will wash away some how
but i can not forget
the way i feel right now

in these small hours
these little wonders
these twists & turns of fate
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away
but these small hours

these small hours
still remain

 To me this simple, beautiful song sums up so much that is important to me.

It sums up parenthood – how the beauty of it lies in the small hours – these little wonders – the simple magic of the day to day.

It sums up life – not the big excitements and achievements – but the small hours, the ordinary, the RIGHT NOW where all of life exists, where our lives are truly made.  It reminds you to cherish each day and see what is special in each moment and to remember what is really important –

– It’s the heart that really matters in the end.

And it sums up my approach to photography, my absolute passion for it, my desire to document all of those small hours, those tiny ordinary moments and little wonders that make life so special, so that one day, when
time falls away
these small hours
these small hours
still remain.

I’m afraid that in the end – I will only just remember how it feels.

I want to capture and celebrate the small hours.  I want to remember to dwell always in the small hours and see the little wonders that dwell there.

Scarlett laughing

I want to never forget
the way I feel right now.

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Family Christmas Trip 2012 – The Highlights

Seeing as we spent Christmas over here in Australia last year, we decided to make the trip to New Zealand for Christmas and New Years this year, to see my family (Scarlett’s grandma and aunties).  They hadn’t seen her since our trip over there when she was 6 months old, so they loved spending some time with her, and she loved it as well!  She got very spoilt for Christmas!

Seeing as there is no direct flight from Perth to Wellington, we decided to break the trip up a little and had two nights in Sydney on the way and two nights in Melbourne on the way back.  I’m really glad we decided to break the flights up like that (flying with a 16 month old can be challenging at best!), and it was really nice to get a quick little glimpse of two Aussie cities that I’m rather fond of.

The weather in Sydney and Melbourne was fantastic, and even Wellington turned on the sun and a bit of warmth for Christmas Day!  Daddy C and myself even got a couple of nights on the town in Wellington thanks to a grandma eager to babysit 🙂

Travelling with a toddler certainly isn’t the laidback beach-chillin that comes to mind when you think of the word “holiday”… but we had a really great two weeks together and it was a wonderful break away from everyday life to round off a really good year.

I decided to write this as a highlights post and pop up a photo from each day of our holiday… there will be individual posts for each day with many more photos to come 🙂

 

Saturday, 22 December – Flying to Sydney

dad and bubba at airport

 

Sunday, 23 December – Sunny Day In Sydney

babywearing at darling harbour

 

Monday, 24 December – Christmas Eve – Family Time in Wellington

bubba with aunties

 

Tuesday, 25 December – Christmas Day in Wellington

bubba at christmas table

 

Wednesday, 26 December – Boxing Day – Drawing

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Thursday, 27 December – Fun at Grandma’s

bubba riding big cat

Friday, 28 December – Grandma’s 52 Year Old Teddy Bear

bubba with grandma's teddy

Saturday, 29 December – “Cooking”

bubba pretending cooking

Sunday, 30 December – Hanging With Nana

bubba reading with nana

Monday, 31 December – New Year’s Eve – Family Day

family photo 16 months old

Tuesday, 1 January – New Year’s Day – Three Generations of Girls

three generations

Wednesday, 2 January – Flying to Melbourne

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Thursday, 3 January – Melbourne Hotel

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Can’t beat Melbourne on a good day!

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Friday, 4 January – Flying Home!

bubba in airport seat

{357/366:2012} And We’re Off!

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Today is the first day of our holiday – the mission day… our first flight of the trip!  To be honest, it was a nightmare.  I used to LOVE travelling and flying.  But flying with a baby is NOT fun.  Especially not flying four hours with a very active toddler.

But we survived and FINALLY made it to our lovely serviced apartment in central downtown Sydney just in time to flop on the bed and order some DELICIOUS burgers from room service, while bubba enjoyed munching on the hot chips.

It’s a holiday… but not as I used to know it!

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We Finally Made It To The Beach!

When we first decided to build our house, one of the things that drew me to this location was the fact that there is a coastline and beach just 5 minutes drive from the house site.  And yet, we moved in and somehow just never made it to the beach!  At first we didn’t have a car, and it really is just that little bit too far to walk.  Then we got a car… but it was winter… and life settled into a routine… and we just never got around to it.

A few weeks ago I decided I really needed to check out this local beach!  So Scarlett and I popped down for a quick little visit.  It’s gorgeous!!  Fairly secluded and quiet but totally stunning, it felt like being on holiday and it was less than 5 minutes drive from our house!

As soon as we got over the sand dune, Scarlett started pointing at the ocean and emiting her little interested noises “ah!  ah!”  I put her on the sand and she started racing off towards the water!  I didn’t let her go in this time because I wanted to go to the shops afterwards, but we definitely have to head back there soon with togs and towel and let her go for it in the wet sand.

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Seagull!

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Scarlett’s First Birthday

It was almost a month ago now but I decided it was well past time I wrote a little post about Scarlett’s first birthday!

Her actual birthday is August 12.  But it all started on Friday, August 10 – baking day!!

I made two batches of cupcakes and one decadant chocolate cake, and somehow it managed to take me ALLLLL day!!  Bubba helped out by sleeping while I did most of the baking, and then licking the spoon when she woke up 🙂  By the end of the day I was exhausted and the kitchen was somewhat the worse for wear…

Chaos, anyone?

…but I had done it!!  It wasn’t the beautiful shiny cake I saw so many other friends making… but it was made with love and I was proud of my efforts.

The next day was Scarlett’s birthday BBQ (held the day before her actual birthday because Saturday is just more convenient for people when you live 40 minutes from the CBD).  We don’t really have close friends with children here in Perth yet, so it was more an adult celebration – but hey, Scarlett didn’t mind being the sole centre of attention!

We invited people over for midday in the hope Scarlett would have just woken up from a morning nap… of course she didn’t sleep all morning and was ready for a nap as people were arriving!  The joy of an adult party was that it didn’t matter – she napped and we watched the footy and caught up with everyone for a while.

Once she had woken up, she indulged in her favourite food – strawberries!! – and stunned everyone with her ability to eat a whole strawberry in one mouthful!

Then we headed to the park for cake and cupcakes.  Scarlett absolutely DEMOLISHED her piece of cake!!  She loved it!  She also enjoyed opening all her presents… although she seemed more fascinated by the cards!

After all that sugar, she wriggled off to use off some of that energy!

She had a great day and the adults enjoyed some chats and bevvies after she had konked out for the night, exhausted 🙂

The next day, Saturday 12 August, was her actual birthday.  We just had a quiet day at home, but we saved the pressies from Mum and Dad until her actual birthday to make it a bit special.  She wasn’t quite sure about the dolly, but she loved the name puzzle and especially loved the Bop N Pop lion!  Both the puzzle and the musical lion toy are still some of her favourite things to play with.

Sometimes I wish I was one of those mums that made perfect cakes and made lovely themed decorations and let millions of babies and children run rampant through my house… but I figure I just have to accept that’s not really my style and just make the best of the mum I am.  I think she enjoyed her days and I know she enjoyed her cake! haha!  I think she knows how special she is to us, and I guess that’s what counts, at the end of the day.

Happy birthday once again, my little monkey!  I can’t believe you’re turning into a real little girl now!

Scarlett Rose: The First Year

This is a little ode to Scarlett – a compilation of photos from the first year of her life that I have been working on.  I’ve watched it about a million times and it makes me teary every time!

This has been such a rollercoaster year.  It hasn’t always been easy.  I didn’t take to motherhood as instantly as I had always thought I would.  There have been hard times and dark days.  But she has always been amazing.  She is such a good, happy, funny little girl.  She has such a nutty personality and watching it unfold and grow is just amazing.

I would say that things have gotten steadily more enjoyable for me as a mum since about 7 months old, when she started being able to move around on her own.  Since then, I have found myself enjoying her more and more.  I genuinely love hanging out with her, she makes me laugh constantly, even when I’m grumpy.  I love the way she chats and babbles and giggles and dances and squeals.  I love that big cheeky grin.

Becoming a mum has been a challenge and a struggle and a massive learning curve for me.  But it has also opened me up to a level of love that I never knew was possible.  My heart bursts at the seams with how much I adore her.  Even when I’m struggling, I know that it’s me that’s the problem, me that has a lesson to learn – she is always perfect.  She is my teacher, not the other way around.

She has changed so much in just one year – I can’t imagine what life will be like in another year’s time, who she will become.  But I’m just so goddamn blessed that I get to go along for the ride 😀