November December 2018

Guys, I’m due to have a baby in less than 10 days! My days in the lead up to this little one’s arrival look a lot fuller than those leading up to Archer’s birth. Not much resting happening here! (Though I am definitely needing it.) So this post is going to be short and sweet, I’ll let the pictures do the talking. I’m so thankful for these special moments captured over the last couple of months. So thankful for my little Arch, my Reece and our beautiful family. For spring, summer, good friends and incredible food. Thankful for 2018 and all the beauty it held and all the ways it caused us to grow. Hope your 2018 was just as wonderful. Catch you next time, when I’m a mum of two. Much love xx

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September October 2018

Some ordinary days and some special moments from our last couple of months. In September we celebrated Archer’s third birthday which was bittersweet as I imagine every birthday will be as our babes grow older. I feel incredibly proud of every milestone he reaches, but they do often leave me feeling “where did my baby go?”

My time in general with Arch these past few months has also been bittersweet in many ways. The more I know him, the more I adore him and his precious little heart. He really is the sweetest boy I’ve ever met (mum bias). But man, does he push my buttons like no one else can. I have found myself in tears more than once as this wonderful whirlwind of a three year old expands his independence and pushes every boundary he can find.

I can only imagine the challenges that we’ll face with a new baby thrown into the mix. I don’t think anything can really prepare you for growing your family, for adjusting to two in very different phases of life, when there has only ever been one. He and I. But I will welcome it with open arms and throw myself into the season and all it’s heart expanding craziness.  I’ll be the best mum I can to these incredible boys I’ve been entrusted with and try to be kind to myself when I don’t meet my own probably-way-too-high expectations.

In these past months we also celebrated our newest nephew coming into the world. He has captured our hearts and we are so grateful to have him here and to be a big part of his world as he grows. Cuddling him and smelling his newborn freshness is getting us pretty excited to meet our own boy very soon. Only about 8 weeks to go now (son, please have some grace for your mother in the scorching heat of a Queensland summer and don’t be 6 days late like your brother was).

Until next time, xx

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July August 2018

Hello friends!
Well this post is a little bit about regular life at home and a lot about our Bali babymoon.
My biggest revelation whilst in Bali: home is the prize.
No matter how much social media might try and make us feel like holidays in paradise and all that come with them are the ultimate in life, I was reminded during our time away that what we are building at home is so much more valuable than that.

It was such a special trip and I’m so thankful for quality time with Reece before we embark on newborn parenting: season two. But I found myself at a point during our week long getaway, realising that I was actually putting way too much emphasis on cramming as many experiences into the time as we could, rather than just taking it all in and enjoying the simple things. Like Reece’s face.

I realised my compulsive planning of all things exciting and photo-worthy was rooted in the warped idea that holidays are the prize, that this was going to be the only chance I had to really enjoy myself in a long time before going back to my busy, repetitive, and often tiring toddler-rearing life.

But that warped idea is not my heart. My heart is that I would pour my life into motherhood for this short, sweet season & enjoy it to the fullest. That I would see the richness and beauty woven in amongst the everyday and that I would be so thankful for it, even when it’s messy and just plain. dang. hard.

I’m not sure where that twisted logic crept in, but I’m glad that I saw it for what it was & was able to realign my wayward mind with my heart.

So much of our experience of life is shaped by our perspective. And I want my perspective to be a grateful one: treasuring the things that grow and last, more than what might look like the dream but really is just a (well earned!) short pause to take a breath and refresh.

I think generally we are in danger these days of missing the real beauty in life, in our attempt to appear that we have the most and are having the most fun. I’m guilty of it, yikes. It’s a scary thing to realise, and I certainly don’t want to contribute to making people feel that way.  So today my beautiful holiday photos (well, I think they’re beautiful… probably because my husband is in most of them, ha!) come with a healthy dose of honesty, as well as some frames of our plain, simple life at home, which is actually the best gift we could ever ask for. The real prize.

Oh and newsflash… About a week after we returned from our babymoon, we went off to see how that baby is growing and to see what we might be expecting, gender-wise…
We are pretty excited to say, we are having our second boy! What a joyous, wild adventure that will be. Can’t wait to meet you our son. Three and a half months to go! xx

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Cookies!

We are big cookie fans in our house, they are my absolute favourite homemade treat as well as Reece’s most requested lunch box snack. I usually make up double batches of everything and then freeze them so there’s always some on hand. Reece actually loves eating them frozen, and I love warming them up so the chocolate goes all melty (because chocolate is pretty much mandatory in any cookie for me).

My dad is a huge Anzac biscuit fan and for many years they’ve been his Father’s Day present from me or my sister. He doesn’t want or need much else, but a big batch of homemade Anzacs always makes him feel  loved.

So in honour of Father’s day this weekend, I thought I’d share two of our favourite cookie (or biscuit) recipes here.

The first are I think the best cookies I’ve ever had the joy of eating – 5 ingredient peanut butter chocolate chip cookies from one of my favourite food blogs, Pinch of Yum (See recipe on their site here). The cookie dough is grain free, dairy free and refined sugar free but you’d never even know it. The peanut butter gives them the most amazing soft and gooey texture, something you’d expect from a cookie with a lot of butter. So here they are, with some photos of a batch I made, fresh out of the oven.

5 Ingredient peanut butter chocolate chip cookies

Ingredients:

2 cups coconut sugar

2 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt (totally doesn’t count as one of the 5 ingredients)

1 & 1/4 cups natural peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)

1 cup chocolate chips (or chunks of dark chocolate – I use 70% or over so the cookies are still dairy free).

Method:

Preheat the oven to 175°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

In a medium bowl, combine the coconut sugar and eggs and whisk until smooth. Then whisk in the vanilla and salt.

Add the peanut butter and mix with a wooden spoon until well combined. It will start to become very thick. Add the chocolate and stir until evenly spread through the batter.

Bake for about 12 minutes or until the cookies are just golden at the edges.  Let the cookies rest on the hot baking tray for 2 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

These cookies keep well at room temperature for about 4 days, and freeze well for up to 3 months.

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Now for the Anzacs. This recipe is one I’ve been using since I was a kid from the Women’s Weekly cookbook that my mum has had in her cupboard since the dawn of time. I don’t eat these kind of biscuits anymore because they have a few ingredients that I try to avoid. But I still make them often for my family and can guarantee by how quickly they get eaten that this recipe is a winner.

Anzac Biscuits

Ingredients:

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup plain flour

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup desiccated coconut

125 g butter, chopped

2 tbsp golden syrup

1 & 1/2 tbsp water

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

Method:

Preheat oven to 160°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper

Combine oats, sifted flour, sugar and coconut in a large bowl.

Place butter, syrup and water in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until smooth. Stir in bicarbonate of soda. Then stir this mixture into dry ingredients until well incorporated.

Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls. Place 5cm apart on trays and flatten slightly. (They will expand quite a bit.) Bake for 20 minutes or until golden, cool on trays.

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Whether you want to try one of these recipes out as a Father’s day gift or just to eat yourself, I hope they are enjoyed! And a big Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful men in our lives. xx

May June 2018

Well hello! Here I am again to update you on our past couple of months, and they have been interesting ones…

First of all (let’s get the nasty stuff out of the way) Reece, Archer & I have been walloped with what’s felt like about 10 bouts of various sicknesses.
Anyone else had that this winter? So horrible! The hardest part was seeing Arch so miserable and really not himself for somewhere in the vicinity of 4-5 weeks.
That had me really down at some points because it seemed like every time he was almost well, he’d get hit with something else, and I felt like we’d never see the end of it.
Not to mention toddlers are significantly more whiney, cranky and difficult when they are not feeling well. My heart absolutely went out to him. But I was in much need of a holiday some days.
One of my sicknesses also came in the form of the morning kind… if you catch my drift.
We are expecting our second little babe to arrive early next year.
We found out in May and I have made my way through the draining first trimester and am now around 16 weeks. We are so looking forward to meeting this little one and having our family and our hearts expand all the more.
I am really thankful that I haven’t been overly sick with either of my pregnancies. I’ve been pretty queasy at times but food has always helped to settle my stomach so I just make sure I have food on hand wherever I go (which is kind of my dream come true).
The tiredness though, I don’t think you can get away with not feeling that. I am in bed (or passed out on the couch) before 9’o clock most nights.
The question we are getting asked the most with this pregnancy (or should I say the number one question asked of anyone who has ever been pregnant since the invention of the ultrasound) is “are you going to find out what you’re having?” And the answer is…. YES. I can be happily patient with a lot of things if needed, but for us personally, we don’t see much point in waiting for this. Meeting and getting used to a new baby is surprise enough on it’s own for us. We’ll find out if it’s a boy or a girl in a few weeks and we won’t be keeping it a secret.
Bit by bit, Arch seems to be getting his head around the idea of a baby joining our family.
We have been showing him a lot of photos and videos of him when he was a baby which he thinks are hilarious. And he seems to be grasping the concept that we all start out pretty small and just keep getting bigger, or “big and big” as he says. Context: “Look mum, now I am big and big!”
My growing belly is making things a bit more real for him now that he can see something is happening there. He likes to say hello to the baby, tell it he’s it’s big brother and give it kisses and high fives. (High five for the baby = slap on the stomach for me. Great.)
Arch has also recently started going to a family day care, which he loved, and then really didn’t like (during that nasty, never-ending sickness phase) and now loves again (yesss).
It’s so great to see him making friends and learning lots of new things. Equally as great is the time it affords me to do things like grocery shop in peace and be a tired pregnant lady. Win. Win. Win.
Oh and I mentioned I needed a holiday above. Well it’s happening. Reece and I are being
sensible, house-saving, budgeting grown ups most of the time. But around the time we found out we were having another babe, we decided a tropical-baby-moon getaway was definitely something we needed before plunging into parenthood round two. Regardless of the budget.
Maybe it’s like this for everyone, but we’ve felt like it’s taken such a big toll on our marriage- just figuring out how to be parents and how to manage our time and priorities so that we still have a healthy relationship. Things we once took for granted like having a proper uninterrupted conversation and going out for dinner are now so precious and rare! So holiday time it is, in less than two weeks. Arch will be staying with both our parents while we’re away and we’ll miss him like crazy, but we know the quality time together will be so worth it.
It’s wayyyyy past my bed time guys, so I’m signing off and hoping you enjoy these images below from our wonderful May and June. Thanks for stopping by xx

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March April 2017

Autumn! I think our time in Christchurch has left me loving and appreciating this season more than I ever have before. I never thought I’d say this, but I’m actually hanging out for the cool change of winter, and even missing those frosty, misty, Canterbury mornings (although I’m sure they are a lot more romantic in my memory than the cruel, hard reality of scraping the ice off your windshield before you leave for work…)

Our last couple of months have held lots of magic little moments… and plenty food that was apparently special enough to be photographed!

Below you’ll see, amongst other things, Arch jamming on the xylophone at our local farmer’s market, a late afternoon at our new favourite swimming spot, a night sky – shot by my little brother, great job Davey 😉 A weekend away with my Reece – so needed and so good for the soul. And a morning the Currumbin Eco Village. This was a special day… no agendas, just hanging out with our boy and taking his lead on what interested him the most.

You’ll notice a few photos of me in this post. Sometimes Reece likes to turn the camera on me which I think is a good thing… if he didn’t, we’d have a lifetime of family memories recorded without me in them. In a couple I look a bit more put together which is great, & in a couple of others… not so much. But the latter are the photos that matter to me more. A full heart, playing with my boys & appreciating the simple things in life. I don’t want my appearance to matter to me so much that it keeps me from loving a photo of me at my happiest, or my realest. I still see imperfections in each one of these photos, but I don’t want to be about perfection. I really don’t.

As time goes on, I want to see less photos of me where I’ve got my makeup & hair sorted (this is a rarity anyway) and the lighting and the angle are just right..
and more photos where I’m being kind, filled with joy, and loving people. That’s worth so much more to me than a split second of appearing perfect…

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January February 2018

Here’s a little bit of what the rest of our summer looked like… feat. my sister’s bridal shower/picnic (special mention to the incredibly delicious grazing table and ever jaw-dropping Christchurch scenery. And! my now married sister!), Byron farmer’s market, an Archer Dylan visits Bangalow photographic essay, multiple trips to the ocean, a real classy family photo. And a wallaby. All in all I think it’s safe to say we had a great couple of months. Hope you did too! x104105106107108109110111112113114115116118119120121122123124125126127128129130131132134135136137138139140141142143145