Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 - The year that was everything we hoped for.

2011 has been such a rewarding year in terms of personal achievements for both me - and my tiny little business "Dalli".  As I look back over the last 12 months, I feel both proud and satisfied that I have followed my heart and have met so many wonderful people along the way.  Many people describe me as "stubborn and determined" and I can honestly say that I never saw myself in this light until this year.  I always thought I was a follower - someone who was just happy to blend into the crowd and never wanting to stand out.  Perhaps that is from years of wanting to be "normal", I don't really know but ever since having Macie - something inside me has clicked.  Something that wants me to different, creative and a boundary-pusher.  Something that wants me to strive for the best, provide for my family and most importantly, teach Macie to always have dreams and always believe that they can be matter what anyone says. 

Here is just a little snippet of the rewarding year that 2011 was....

January saw the start of something big with "The Dalli Cottage Collection" scoring it's very first stockist.  Jo from Little Indigo fell in love with the beautiful patchwork aprons and asked for them to be specially made for ages 2 - 5.  Just ask and you shall receive. 


In February, both me and The Dalli Cottage Collection were featured as "Rural Mumpreneurs" in the fantastic online magazine "AusMumpreneurs".  It was fantastic exposure for my tiny-weeny little business and to be featured amongst such beautiful & talented women was a huge priviledge. 

March is when I picked up Heath's SLR Camera that had been given by his Dad years ago and started to capture our darling little girl along with our beautiful and sometimes harsh surroundings.  It was then that I fell in love with capturing that moment in time and making a picture say a thousand words....

April is where Heath & I let go a little and went on a mini-holiday without Macie.  We texted, called and sent photos 100 times each day but we also enjoyed some H&H time with our beautiful friends.

A few months down the track and I was asked to do a maternity shoot for a beautiful friend of mine.  Say no more.

August bought some very exciting news that I received a Bronze award for a few of my photos in a worldwide photography competition.  To say I was stoked....well that is an understatement.

We also got to annouce to the world that we expecting another miracle due in Feb 2012.  I can't wait to be a family of four - and it gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.  Don't get me wrong - I have my moments where I freak out about how I am going to do it (my meltdown last night at Heath being an example!) but I know that it will just happen....and it will be magical. 

With this news - I decided to pack away my sewing machine and say goodbye to the long nights sewing up a storm for The Dalli Cottage Collection.  It was sad but it was a fun adventure.  I learnt so much....but most importantly, I learnt that I can do anything I set my heart on....and perhaps surprise a few people along the way!

We also had newborn overload and I was so priviledged to be able to capture such beautiful moments in these darling little babies lives.  It was this month I fell in love with newborn photography and perhaps when Dalli started....another branch of my tiny weeny business....

September bought more exposure for my photography and blog after being featured in a local magazine called "Border Living".  Another amazing oppurtunity and was an absolute priviledge to be featured with such talented women from around our region.  Nothing beats the country....

I was also asked to photograph TWINS.....lucky I was pregnant because these little darlings were just the cutest and most obliging little darlings ever!

October saw another month of fantastic Photography Oppurtunities......and when I really saw myself doing this in 5 years time...

November was filled with hustle and bustle of Harvest on the farm.....

and a few more shoots to fit in before Christmas....

and to finish off the year......a photo like this of darling little Stella. 

2011 has been such a rewarding and fantastic year.  Heath only said to me the other day how much he has enjoyed the past year and I had to agree.  Sure - we have had our ups and downs, but we are still so thankful for all the beauty our lives have to offer us. 

Thank you for supporting, loving and following the Dalli blog.  I have loved your comments, your feedback and your support. 

See you on the flip side!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas - Dalli Style

Sharing Christmas with a Santa-Mad two year old was my idea of FUN.  It's where magic happens and where my heart beat seems to speed up when I watch her face full of bewilderment and excitement as she opens presents and talks about Santa.  It was truly the best 4 days ever....

We were slightly worried that we would spending Christmas cleaning up the aftermath of a flash flood through Heath's parents house due to big rain upstream on Thursday.  Thankfully the water peaked within inches of going through their house and Santa was definitely on our side.  I have never seen a flood at the farm before and was so shocked to see how quickly the water levels rose...thankfully our shabby little cottage is on high ground! 

We spent Christmas Eve celebrating the fireworks display that our beautiful country town put on as a community event.  These fireworks put any display to shame - they are amazing and it is such a warm & fuzzy feeling to sit on the football field amongst all the locals sharing the same excitement.  Watching the kids run to Santa when he comes for a visit and then watching their faces as the sky lights up in a kalediscope of colour.  Macie spent the whole time going "BANG BANG BANG" and absolutely loved it.....and that is what Christmas is all about.

A HUGE thanks to Ma & Pa for taking these photos!
Christmas morning is where the magic all began....huge big eyes, happy smiles and the rest was history!

A huge day at the farm surrounded by all Heath's family.  Breakfast at the cottage, swimming in the Jumping Castle, playing on the swings, collapsing for a sleep while Heath & I get to enjoy a long lunch with everyone and then back up for an afternoon of fishing, laughing and lots of fun.  By 7pm Heath & I were more exhausted than Macie!!

Then off to my parent's on Boxing Day morning to do it all over again....

 Another day filled with so many special memories, long lunches while Macie slept, plenty of laughs, swimming and presents!  Macie tried out her new floaties in the pool with Heath and they were such a huge hit!! 

Now it's home for some peace and quiet before the next BIG milestone of our lives happens in Feb 2012......and when I say BIG....I really mean it....our little man is growing more and more every single day and February seriously can't come quick enough!  We are so so so excited and can't wait for Macie to be a big sister - because we know that she will love him to bits!

So much to be thankful for in 2011....and so much to be excited for in 2012!  Hope you all had a great Christmas and have a safe New Year!  I shall be spending mine on the couch cuddling up to the husbo!!  X

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

The pavlova is cooked, third batch of rumballs are made, presents wrapped and "s-a-n-t-a" presents are assembled (thanks to my beautiful husbo & father-in-law!).  Heath is mowing the lawn and dodging the storms, Macie is watching the Christmas specials on ABC kids and I am feeling a whole lot better after an afternoon snooze....

From our cottage to your hearts - we wish you the most loving, fun and fantastic Christmas you can imagine. 

See you on the flip-side!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

All I want for Christmas....

Heath and I have made a pact to each other this year not to buy each other presents.  Instead we splurged on a beaut new flat-screen TV that Heath has been begging me to agree to for years.  Apparently my 10 year old little TV box didn't satisfy the craving....and eventually I relented and agreed to fill our already-small living/eating area with a massive television.  Anyway....

Just because I have agreed to no presents....still doesn't mean that I can't dream....

Here is my Top 5 4  (I couldn't think of a 5th thing I wanted!) list of what I would love to get this Christmas....thanks to Pinterest!

A handbag that goes with anything - yep....I want need this baby. 
Down to my last few sprays of my Chanel perfume.....
A babymoon to a place like this.....

Call us mad but Macie has started to fall asleep while being cuddled and sung we are happily soaking up the precious moments watching her eyelids slowly get heavier and heavier and then feeling her body melt as she falls asleep.  As this baby continues to grow at a rapid rate, I find myself dreaming of a beautiful chair like this....
Instead of all the things above - I have been treated to an early Christmas present - a "ME" day where I had lunch with a girlfriend and had my hair cut for the first time in over 12 months.   Then the cherry on the top of the cake is that I get another "ME" night out with my closest friends this week - all child-free.

With all that being said - I really do feel that I don't need all the "stuff" above to make me feel satisfied.  I have a loving & understanding husbo, a beautiful Macie, a healthy baby incubating and learning how to do a fantastic kick in the ribs, a loving family and such a gorgeous circle of friends.  I have my health, Heath has his and we have the health of our children - which is so much more valuable than anything.

But most of all - I have happiness, gratitude, and love for MY life.  As simple as it may be - I love it, and it's times like Christmas that makes me even more gracious. 

What are you hoping for this Christmas?  I truly hope that in between all the presents and chaos - you all find the love and happiness you deserve. 

Merry Christmas - from my heart to yours.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The leadup to Christmas...

In true Dalli style, we have been a tad Santa mad on the lead-up to Christmas.  Our fabulous little country town has put on an absolutely amazing array of activities to celebrate Santa, Christmas and all of it's goodness.  It's times like this, that I find ourselves surrounded by beautiful, genuine and friendly people and I say to myself "Thank God we live here!". 

Our weeks have consisted of: 

We have been to Playgroup in the Park PCYC which was held by Care which is a government run organisation.  Seriously - there was everything a little child could dream of!  Painting decorations, decorating badges, making Rudolph some food for Christmas Eve, Kittens to watch play, face painting - and endless food (which is where I found Macie 99% of the time....the sugar high wasn't so exciting for me!). 

We had our very last swimming lesson for 2011.  Macie put on her best "I can throw a Tantie" performance, I breathed a huge sigh of relief and the baby screamed "THANK GOD" for it was over the kicks it was getting in the belly courtesy of Macie's swimming skills.  Doesn't Macie and her beautiful little friend look impressed?  This photo makes me do belly laughs!

We went and leaped, jumped, danced and slithered at the Leaping Lizards Christmas Party....another little gathering where Macie spent the majority of her time at the food table!  Christmas Rocks according to Macie!!

We helped "Ma" Christmas-fy her home which was so much fun!  Christmas Trees and decorating Gingerbread men.....seriously what more can you want?

So now, it's just the cooking of the rumballs, cheeseballs, sticky date puddings and PAV (my fav) that needs to be done.  Macie is such a great help in the I tend to leave all my cooking until after bedtime....

Cooking at Mimi's!!!
The reindeer food is waiting patiently on the tree and the Santa video's are being watched religiously each morning.  Seriously, what are we going to do when Christmas is over???

Oh that's right - we are going to have a BABY!!! ;)  Bring on 2012!!