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I’m back! Mostly.

 

Well, hi there! Long time, no see! I’m back, mostly. If you had no idea I wasn’t around then you can totally stop reading now and just get on with your life 😉 However if you had noticed I was absent, then I’m about to explain why. Before I do, I want to say I’m pretty big on authenticity, and I’ve called others out for their lack of it. So, it’s important to me that I keep it real and tell you… I’ve been gone because I was having a hard time. It’s hard for people, especially mums, to say that, and not be met with pity, derision or random solutions. But there it is. It’s simple and true and something that can be hard to say, and hard for others to hear.

To keep a long, looong story short, we had a rough few months through spring last year with our 7 year old. His story is not mine to tell, but that stress, coupled with the pressure of an emergency house move we orchestrated inside of 6 weeks (including finding the house, lol!) broke me. My body started to not function well in November, and by December I was a wreck. I had to cancel and postpone some sessions and editing (and thank you, so much, to those clients for their kindness and understanding!)

Family helped us financially and physically, and so did my friends, but the renovating of a few things at the new house coupled with moving a lot of our belongings by myself with the kids was just a lot, after a busy and stressful year working 2 part time jobs, homeschooling full time, and running a local homeschooling group. By Christmas I was taking life one hour at a time, and I really hibernated from Christmas to mid-January, nursing myself as much as possible. All this stress flared up an old health issue so I had that to deal with too, as well as sorting out our new home, and dealing with backyard renovations that are still not complete now. I also had to have emergency dental in that time, and I’m one of those people with genuine dental anxiety.

At the end of January I quit my part time teaching job, and cancelled my homeschool teaching commitment for the term to allow myself some more time and space for healing. I felt ok, mostly on top of things now that I’d focused on myself for a few weeks and reduced my workload. I felt ready to get back into this work, which is my creativity. I hadn’t touched my camera for almost 2 months but I thought that I was ready to start posting on social media again, and taking bookings. I started thinking about this blog post in my head and started to feel brighter about the year ahead.

But then, life again threw me another giant curveball that nearly cracked me all over again. Some people came into my new house, at night, when my husband was away, and took my handbag, wallet, car keys (which had keys to both houses on it!) and, the worst part, my car. I called my husband hysterical; he could not even understand what I was saying.  Within a few hours we’d handled insurance, bank, and police between us, and my amazing mum had rocked up with some cash for me so I’d have some money for the next week while waiting for new cards, and organised a locksmith to rekey both houses. But it was a total nightmare.

Worst part: we had plans with 20 other homeschool families to be at Yanchep Lagoon. My babies were heartbroken, and I mean HEARTBROKEN we couldn’t go and I felt SO bad for them. In addition to that, our snorkelling gear and JJs new bodyboard were in the car in a dive bag, along with JJs 2 new pairs of shoes (his feet will NOT stop growing!) and tonnes of other bits and pieces. (Other mamas who live out of their cars will know these feels!). JJ was devastated about his beach gear; Chloe about a special sticker kit. We all sobbed together while my husband sat in an airport in the middle of nowhere all day with no money to even get something to eat trying to get home to us.

The last 2 weeks we’ve spent trying to get our backyard finished ( D.R.A.M.A. but we are SO close now!) and sorting out these car and wallet issues, which have not been easy either. Our insurance company has not been great. We’re still not finished with all this hassle, sigh. Thank goodness for my husband Scott who has handled a lot of this so i could just have less on my mind and focus on homeschooling and parenting.

However, somehow I have felt ready to write this blog. I’ve booked some sessions for March (several new babies arriving, squeeee!) and I’m really looking forward to them! All this nightmare with the backyard and the car will be done by then, and Scotty will also be starting his fabulous new job he’s been waiting for. It really is all starting to look up. Finally. It has been a very rough few months but the light at the end of the tunnel is well and truly beckoning.

But enough of all that! Who wants to see bits of the house?! I took some snaps just for you!
HUGE DISCLAIMER! I am a people photographer, not a venue photographer. I’m pretty average at it actually, lol!

So I was going to tell you about my favourite thing about the new house. But when I went to take photos… what is it?

I love so many things about this house. My little plant nook, to start with. I have loved indoor plants for about 10 years, and now it’s a bit in fashion so I indulge even more! One of these plants is TEN years old! Always accompanied by my little shadow, Lily.

 

I wondered if it was the kitchen that I love best, that is honestly massive.  We put a new bench top on so my babies could sit up and help cook and eat and do drawing (all things we do every day now, SO NICE!). This photo is breakfast this morning, poodle at the ready for any stray scrambled eggs that may fall. Dishes from Saturday night waiting to be washed, and an absolute mess! A tangle of plants potato, tomato and watermelon plants on the windowsill waiting for the unfinished backyard to get its sh*t together.  Love it.

 

Then I looked around that family area, and I wondered if it was maybe this homage to the ocean I’d created. A beautiful artwork by mum (real estate and hero by day, artist by night), a clay bowl JJ made a few years ago, glued together now and holding treasures found. A whale work I bought in Fremantle from a street artist, a whale postcard Chloe had found. Our gorgeous fish tank, and some of my favourite things ever, indoor plants!

 

I sat photographing this aqua bench Scott made to go with our giant, gorgeous solid sheoak table Scott’s dad made us, and one of my treasures arrived. She brought a ball she’d made out of magformers to show me.

 

Chloe is at least part cat, and she morphed into something I like to call Wounded Dystopian Cat and I just cannot even with these faces, lol!

 

That light though. Is it those east facing windows here in the family area and the playroom and that early morning light that is my fave?

 

The playroom. I mean firstly just HAVING a playroom, is amazing. Somewhere that Lego land, where feet go to die, can be contained is amaziiiinnggg. Somewhere that these creative souls can leave projects out for when inspiration strikes… which is sometimes at 4am.

 

Art is a big deal here. We do it, we view it, we appreciate it, we support artists and we have it, everywhere! Here is just some of the art walls we have here. In my room, Chloe’s room and the entrance. We have art here by Wallflower Weavings, my friend Rachel of @rachdoesstitches, my graphic designer Delphie of See Creative, Harry and the Hound, my mum, my friends, all of us here, and more!

 

And speaking of art, this art wall is definitely my favourite of the art walls. It’s the kids art wall, and mine, on one huge six metre long wall. Interactive for the kids so they can change around their art using picture rails from blessed Ikea. And, in true real life form, it’s got 3 empty photo frames waiting for me to make my mind up about what to print!

 

As I was thinking, was our new games room (technically a formal dining area) my favourite thing, or maybe it’s the giant bay window in my bedroom where I keep my Shakti mat and posture pole ready for meditation any time, my big boy rocked up to show me his helicopter he’d made. They may seem like random inclusions, but honestly those areas have really changed the way we live. Little known fact about me, outside of homeschooling groups, I love tabletop games, and we’re not talking about scrabble and monopoly, but amazing modern games. Takenoko was just sitting on the table so I left it there. The shelves are a mess so no more photos of them, haha! And having my mat and pole out on the floor ready to use anytime means that I use them almost every day, which has made a massive difference to my wellbeing too.

 

Then I realised what it is, my favourite thing, and my girlfriends will have guessed it from the beginning because noone steps into this house without hearing about it, haha! My Roomba. My darling little robot vacuum which is the best 200 bucks on gumtree I ever spent. If you hate gritty floors like me, and also hate vacuuming like me, then get thyself a robot vacuum and sit on the couch and watch it work. My absolute favourite thing about this new house, lol!

 

Yep, I took a photo of my roomba and put it in a blog, lol! It’s authentic! Honestly, that thing makes a huge difference to me as living with a dirt patch for a backyard for nearly 2 months means the amount black sand in the house is foul (I’ve taken to wearing shoes in the house always which I never did before) and Roomba stays on top of most of it.

So. There you have it. A little sneak peek around our lovely new house, the back story to my surprise summer break, and slow start back into work through autumn. And don’t worry, I don’t forsee any more long, emotional blogs in the future!

I’ve decided to leave my first set of minis for the year until March 24/25 so I have plenty of time (minis can be stressful!) but if you’re interested please do get in touch.

I hope you’ve had a much calmer summer than I have, enjoying this unseasonably mild weather we’ve had in Perth (I’d like a few hot days to be honest!) and I look forward to seeing you soon xxx

 

PS Free tip! Do not move house a week before Christmas with children prime Christmas-excitement ages (4-8 year olds really) and do even minor renovations. Just don’t.

 

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