#608 1 year on the beach

Today marked exactly one year since we moved across town to live a different life.

A more caffeinated life:

A more explorative life:

A more beach-y life:

And definitely, a more sunset-y one:

It has been an amazing year, and here’s hoping it only gets better.

It started out as a dream, progressed into a waking nightmare as we dealt with moving, unpacking, and adjusting to life in a older house, with things going wrong, no time for ourselves, and endless renovations/to-dos/life changes.

Once that spell was over (and boy was it a LONG one) things went on the improve, bit by bit.

A year later, we can never, EVER look back. We knew, even in those most difficult of days, trying of times and curse-filled moments, that we had made the best decision for US.

And aside from all of the above pros of moving, the other major one has been the closer proximity to most of our family.

So today baby girl was that touch closer in distance to her third cousin, to attend her 4th birthday:

IMAG6291

(Yes they are wearing the same skirt, it was totally not intended yet so cool when we realised they were twinsies. I CAN’T EVEN).

And then later we made an impromptu visit to my sister’s place , something we never used to do, but a favourite new past-time that is becoming more and more common, from both sides.

IMAG6300

(Baby girl and her Aunty making coffees 😉 )

And suddenly, there are so many beautiful reasons to be happy today. Happy for our move. Happy for this 1st Anniversary. Happy for Life.

Cheers 🙂

Advertisements

#602 New baby

So, I was sure I was going to be centring today’s gratitude towards further vineyard explorations…

and then even the scary promise of a thunderstorm made me pause momentarily as I viewed outside our window, the strikingly beautiful yet also fear-inducing scene before us as a reason to be appreciative for what nature has to offer…

IMAG6220

But when I heard someone dear to me had just had a baby, suddenly…

GAME OVER.

All of a sudden, the world is injected with much more PINK.

And I love it.

My cousin, the girl I look at as my younger sister. I was so sure she would deliver sometime this week, as she had told me she was due to get induced in a couple of days time.

That makes sense, I had thought. It was past her due date, but these things were normal for first-borns. First-borns had to be prodded, helped along, poked a little before they entered the world with a tremendous “HURRAH!”

Instead, I looked at my phone this afternoon after some absence, to see 20 notifications from messenger, and was immediately on high alert.

I WAS IN SHOCK.

“I hadn’t even wished her well!” I exclaimed to Hubbie. I had left myself internal notes to message her the night before she was due to get induced, and instead this afternoon I was yelling –

“The last conversation we had was about Lego! Freaking Lego! I didn’t even wish her luck!”

My yelling soon stopped, replaced with much awwwwws and ohhhhhhs as photos of this precious baby girl came through.

SO, SO HAPPY FOR HER.

We have another member to add to our clan, and bows, ribbons, fancy things and rainbow colours will be ALL THE RAGE.

And just as a warning…  I think more pink and baby-gooeyness will continue in this thread following a certain meeting tomorrow… you have been warned…

 

#601 Porch drinks

It will be one, of many. 

We had no plans. Nothing pressing to do. No where to quickly get to and changed from our work gear.

We didn’t even know what we were eating that night.

But drinks were a good idea. It was a mild evening. I got myself some bubbly, Hubbie got himself a beer, baby girl got her cup of water, and we all sat outside on the front porch observing the glistening water before us.

IMAG6161

My it looked good.

And then, just because, baby girl took my phone and decided to take a snapshot of her parents. Hopefully it will be a photo that she can treasure in future…

IMAG6165

Best photo EVER. Cheers 🙂

#597 A well-read break in the afternoon sun

I had many options.

1, I could wash those growing stacks of dishes that had accumulated in the sink throughout the day.

B.  I could write, in any of my writing projects – just pick an avenue: book review, journaling, updating my SmikG page… I would not be bored.

c) I had emails to send, and phone calls to make, regarding our upcoming kitchen reno project.

8: There were also messages to be sent out, to various professionals and also close friends.

Z – I could even dedicate some learning time to baby girl, or break out the sports bra and Zumba away.

But I chose to do NONE of those things.

I looked out at the GLORIOUS day, as Macklemore sings it, and also, baby girl’s new favourite song to sing…

…and I thought, how could I possibly stay inside on a day like today? I had to shirk all my responsibilities and to-dos, and do something else…

I don’t just love coffee. And aside from baby girl, my family, and shopping, and heading outdoors, and looking at sunsets and dancing in the kitchen, there is something else I love, that I don’t get to do as much as I wish to, but it will always and forever remain an intense, deep, reliable, faithful LOVE of mine.

Reading.

I took a new book from the bookshelf that I hadn’t yet opened, and sat outside on our bench, the afternoon sun warming me right up as I turned a couple of dozen pages.

Baby girl found me and brought out a sticker book, sitting on the concrete before me and getting to work.

IMAG6131

Sure, she interrupted my reading every 30 seconds. Sure, at the beginning I got up more than I was sitting down and enjoying the moment, either to help her or get ourselves some sunnies and hats for protection.

Sure, it wasn’t ALL peace and quiet.

But sitting there with my girl at my side, the sparkling water before us, and with Spring putting on a quite stunning show, I felt so relaxed. So at ease. And so ‘me’ again.

IMAG6135

#594 10 Minutes to spare

I had about 10 minutes to spare.

I was at the post office a bit too early, the result of being too damn organised, and so I looked around me at the area in which my work resides, wondering how I would fill the time amidst endless cafes, despite being already-caffeinated (but first, coffee, ALWAYS) and yet not being hungry enough to call in somewhere for an early lunch.

There was no point in walking all the way to work, and then coming back…

Then I spotted sun, and glistening water, through the alleyway up ahead of me, and suddenly I knew how to while away the time…

And so minutes later, I was grateful. Generally speaking, we don’t often have the time to just sit and be in the moment, amidst the busy-ness of life, and so to be so organised as to be so early for work as to be so early for the post office, well, I was going to enjoy this moment of peace and extreme organisation as much as I could.

This was my peripheral vision… from my left

To the centre

IMAG6099

And finally the right

A glorious landscape of water, and boats. I sat there in the chilly air, cold, but with my bomber jacket keeping me somewhat warm as I sat close to the water’s edge on a wooden bench, just taking it all in.

The strong ripple of water.

The rowers competing against one another amidst the endless water up ahead.

The sky-scrapers.

Boats of every shape and size.

The freeway far away, with seemingly few cars, for what was a weekend day.

And then to my right I heard some noise, and coming from afar I saw a young boy with what I assumed was his little sister. I felt a pang of longing as I immediately thought of my baby girl at home, but then as this girl scooted around here and there, the boy keeping a close eye on her, I realised if baby girl was here she would launch herself into the water, and so the longing quickly passed replaced by immediate relief.

Phew.

Yet still, I kept a close eye on them as they passed me by. The boy put his younger sister up on the raised garden bed, and she ran off while he kept close to her side.

IMAG6104

I wasn’t with my baby girl, but I could appreciate the sweet sight of another on the last Saturday of this sunshine-y cold September morning.

And just like that, my time was up. It was 10am. I stood up, and with an invigorated swing in my step, I headed off to do my jobs.

#592 Fleeting sunset

I passed by the downstairs window, and saw a big orange half-Sun disappearing into the watery horizon ahead.

It was vibrant. I went and got my phone, got slightly distracted along the way, and by the time I had gotten back, I was surprised at how much more of the Sun had disappeared behind the water. It was now this:

IMAG6092

I realised I should try and catch a view of it from upstairs, before it disappeared any further, and in the minute that I said a few words to Hubbie and actually went up to our room, it was now THIS:

IMAG6093

I couldn’t believe it! So fast. Before I could even catch a proper appreciative look at it, this bright orange sunset had vanished, leaving a golden hue all along the water.

About 30 minutes later, and the landscape had dramatically changed again:

IMAG6097

Although the sunset had moved past me way too quickly, I know the beauty is always there… in brightness, in fading light, and in the night.

#584 Beautifully treacherous lookout

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

IMAG5962

They say. And they are right.

Moments before I took this photo, I was crying. Not from happiness at the gloriously serene, glistening, and picturesque bay water before me.

My tears stemmed from fear. Intense, sudden and wild fear, that manifested into acute anger and overwhelming sadness.

It all started after our lunch. We were spending the day together as a family, mid-week, which was reason enough to celebrate. So we lunched of course, on pretty meals like this one:

IMAG5958

and then we headed over to Mornington Park, where baby girl let off some toddler-steam on the slide and swing… and after a while we let our feet lead us off into uncharted territory some more, and followed the sea view, all the way to the point of the pier, heading up up up to the rocky lookout which faced the beautiful image of serenity above.

Hubbie had to go as close as humanly possible to the edge. Baby girl followed him. I instructed firmly, that he MUST hold her hand. I couldn’t keep up with them because I had small heels, and was trying not to break my step in amongst the uneven dirt and rocky path. They headed on towards the edge, as I watched helplessly, yelling out to him “hold her hand!”

He did. But I was slowly dying inside. Here was a 4 year-old, curious toddler, letting go of her Dad’s hand every so often to peer over the rocks at the edge of her feet, rocks that in my mind could give out at any moment. She didn’t understand danger: as a toddler, they are not wired that way. It’s the reason toddlers get into so much trouble, they have an inability to judge what is before them, and the obvious consequences that come with it that usually, adults are equipped with by the time they are, you know, adults.

Usually, adults. I say that because Hubbie, is STILL a child.

This is why I was so concerned. He laughs in the face of danger: hangs over far too much over a 25-storey railing; he’ll walk along a brick wall where one side is a path, the other a dangerously high drop to breaks-ville; he will jump and climb up and off of any kind of climb-worthy apparatus, without so much as a care, second thought or slow deliberation.

Also, he had just had two double-shot coffees – and that with his childish and wild genetic composition, was a BAD combination.

Here he was, with our pride and joy – MY pride and joy – standing casually, a bit too TOO close, to the edge of a rocky drop where the other side of the steep descent was dangerously pokey rocks, and smooth, still, ENDLESS water.

I was dying.

As I approached them, I was in a serious state of panic. They were so calm, so chilled about it all. Peering over the edge, getting closer to the descent. I started to cry. And I yelled out some choice words to him. I painted a stark picture, and it got his attention.

He took baby girl’s hand, and they started to walk towards me. “Come on baby girl, Mama is upset,” he said.

“Sorry Mama,” she said.

“Just go over there,” I said breathlessly, as I ordered them back up the wooden steps and to the stable, safer, lookout point.

I turned back to the water, and breathed.

And breathed.

And soon after, I snapped that picture.

And I was grateful. Because the beautiful image before us, could turn ugly in an instant. l am an eternal dreamer, but a realist too. And though I am a glass- half-full gal, I have seen too much sadness to stick my head in the sand anymore.

Life and everything in it, terrifies me to no end, ever since baby girl entered our world and made it so precious. I am grateful for the beauty in it, but I always look behind me, I always check my footing, to check there are no uneven rocks.

I love views like this. And I will continue to photograph them. But under still, calm waters…