Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Bali ~ as a family.

It's been five years since I last travelled to Bali. The last time I visited was pre kids for a week of daily massages, cocktails and deep relaxation with a dear girlfriend. The time before that was for our honeymoon. This time around was my third visit and by far the best, for different reasons. 

Holding my left hand was my husband, in my right hand was my four year old Ba'il and wrapped in a sling close to my chest was my 9 month old Milinh. We spent nearly three weeks as a family exploring our favourite parts of the island paradise. Bali never disappoints, especially with kids. 

After 12 hours of flights and waits in airports, our first stop was Ubud. A favourite of ours for the traditional handicrafts, lush jungles and a good dose of culture. After a week in Ubud we drove down to Sanur to catch the fast boat to Nusa Lembongan. Pure paradise is all I can say. Next time we will be going to Lembongan first because this 4km wide island induces holiday mode as soon as you step off the boat. I suppose it is a little more of the 'old bali' and we loved every bit of it (but that's a whole other story). After four days on the island we travelled back to mainland and spent another week in Seminyak. A total buzz and a great civilisation fix for us bush folk. 

Even though our children are accustom to travelling, this was their first time overseas. I worried about 'Bali belly', fussy meal times, and how much relaxation we would actually get. As it turned out there were no sore tummies, plenty of peaceful mealtimes and we made sure our days were long and slow. 

Two months later back on our home soil I can still smell the sweet sea breeze and the frangipani blossoms and during my long days at work I am often caught up remembering how wonderful those slow and steady days were. I try to remind myself there will be plenty more family adventures to come but for now I will let the memories of Bali linger for as long as possible. 

P.S. Yes Ba'il is wearing the same clothes in every photo. I plan on writing a post about what to pack when travelling with children. In my experience less is best. x 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

River Dreaming - at first.

I've got this picture in my head of how our River Nest will look. Where future bedrooms, trees, and vegetable gardens will be made. When I walk though the paddocks I can feel what it will be like to tend to the animals and harvest our crops. Only problem is that it will take years and I'm not the most patient person. 

So at first we will start with the necessary - 

Lots of chickens, eggs and creme brûlées. 
A beautiful big vegetable garden
An outdoor tub. 
A large family dining space
An inspiring kitchen. 
And a perfectly imperfect treehouse

Saturday, July 12, 2014


Ever since Cyclone Ita passed through Cooktown I have been absent from this space. Just like the cyclone, my life spun faster than I could possibly keep up with. I think of a cyclone as a natural detox for the environment and so too I found myself having to let go of a few aspects in my life in order to maintain balance.

My return to full-time work with Milinh on my hip forced me to re-evaluate a few things. Having two children is so entirely different from having one, especially while trying to fulfil work commitments. I needed to simplify every aspect of my life. Slowly I deconstructed my commitments and let go of expectations. Although our River Nest was calling me louder than it ever has before, I was forced to accept that it just wasn't the right time to start that journey. I had to find a better rhythm for our fast paced life in the bush. I exhaled, long and deep as I refocused. I had to stay patient and trust my journey.

To get through my yearning to be closer to my family and have a more simplified work itinerary, I had to tune out the 'should haves' and 'could haves' and tune back into myself and my children. This meant a prolonged break from my blog and social media. No influences, no comparisons, just me. Plain and simple. 

I felt guilty for being away from this space and for neglecting my children's portraits and stories of our journeys but I had to let go of the deadlines and self doubt they brought me. I could have been writing about so many aspects of my life that I am sure would have resonated with so many other women out there - 

- the transformation of our family of three to a family of four. 
- my daily rituals as a full-time working mum of two.
- my survival techniques for when Caleb worked out bush.
- working full-time and breastfeeding. 
- working in a remote Indigenous community.  
- living away from 'home' for work.
- trying to accept the transformation of my body after my second child. 
- letting go the lofty expectations I had created. 
- how a weekly yoga practice can really make a difference to a mother's sanity. 
- recognising how important sleep really is and how dangerous sleep deprivation can be.
- letting go of other people's expectations and judgements.
- being thankful for simple pleasures. 
- realistically fulfilling my ideals of what type of mother I wish to be to my two children. 

The list could go on and on but you know what? I couldn't find the words to write about anything, no matter how hard I would have tried. I'm thankful for my break because now maybe I can slowly start writing about some of those things. So I'm back and I'll be keeping my new 'simpflied' rhythm as I continue to share my journey when it feels right and real. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

14, 15 & 16/52


Ba'il - Blowing pixie dust in your Panni's garden, down on the Mornington Peninsula for Great Nanna Merle's 90th birthday party. 

Milinh - Your the youngest of her Great Grandchildren. Sweet as pie the both of you. 


Ba'il - Driving the tractor with your Bis Nonno on his farm. My clever Dad captured this moment when they took Ba'il to visit the farm post cyclone Ita. 

Milinh - Sitting in the very same washing basket I sat in when I was your age. 


Ba'il - Waiting to catch the small plane home. Finally. 

Milinh - Your brother bursts with love for you. 

We are home. Finally. The cyclone clean up begins and will continue well into the next month. I'm hoping for 'normal' to resume as soon as possible. I'm also hoping my poor neglected blog gets a little more TLC over the weeks to come. So many stories to tell yet so little time. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Whirl wind.

At the moment my whole world feels upside down. Today I recieved news of the passing of one of our adopted Parents and Elder from the Indgenous community of Lockhart River. Not only am I silently grieving I am also at opposite ends of Australia to where my dear Caleb is. To make it worse while I pack our suitcases with hopes of at least getting back to Cairns tomorrow, Caleb is bracing himself for an intense few days ahead with cyclone Ita passing through Cooktown as a category 5. The strongest storm our region has seen since the 1940's. 

 I am anxious to say the least. I am not there to pack up my treasured belongings or to secure the art centre. Even though Caleb ensures me all photo albums are packed in water proof bags and all computers are backed up to external hard drives. At the moment it feels as though if our roof stays on we will be extremely blessed. For people who have never endured a cyclone, there are no words to describe the enormity of such an event. The destruction is heart wrenching. 

For now I hope to get at least a few hours sleep before I embark on the long journey home, which may take as long as a week with cancelled flights and flooded roads. As I lay down to sleep tonight I will be surrounding my beautiful little community in visions of strength and protection. I ask you to do the same. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


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

Ba'il -  It's nearly holidays and we are all looking forward to a few weeks of slow days. 

Milinh - Admiring your brother as always my little honey girl. 

April already. Seriously? Somewhere amongst the blur of the last month I even forgot to take a 11/52! I've been lost in a haze of returning to work, having two children and feeling rather exhausted. In exchange for blogging I've been trying to catch up on work and sleep.

I sigh a little relief as we are about to embark on three weeks away from home. Firstly with a week in Melbourne to celebrate Caleb's Nan's 90th birthday. After the family gathering and birthday party we will wave goodbye to Caleb and I will stay on the Peninsula for a few more days with family. I can't explain how excited I am for some crisp evenings, good coffee, tasty food, shops and a hairdresser. The simple things.

After my city fix I'll be flying to the opposite end of the East coast to work in the Torres Strait for a week - with Milinh on my hip and Ba'il spending a week with my beautiful parents. Our little family will then rendevu at our beloved Top Shed at our River Nest for a rest over Easter before we head back home. 

Phew. Wish me luck… suitcases to pack and chickens to feed. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


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

Ba'il - You chose the cottage cake from the trusty old Women's Weekly cookbook. A favourite childhood memory of mine was choosing which cake I wanted for my birthday. We are continuing the family tradition with you.  You'll be 4 on Monday! I still can't quite believe it. 

Milinh - No time for sleep when there's a big wide world to explore.