Wednesday, July 27, 2011

When Friendship turns to a Sisterhood...

Over four years ago, I moved from my home town - to Heaths home town.  I knew only a handful of people, had a job I wasn't overally fussed about and was severely homesick.  I loved Heath - but could I really handle the big move away from my family, friends and the job I loved?

Fast-forward and as we look back - we have been through hell and back - but...I can proudly proclaim that "Life is Beautiful". 

I am so thankful for my husbo, Moo, family, cottage, and our sometimes serene way of life.  But most of all, I am so thankful for my friends.

Over 18 months ago, we all met in the crammed little room at the District Nurses' Office at the weekly Mothers Group meeting.  All looking as nervous as each other, it didn't take long before we all bonded over vomit on our shoulders, birth stories and the dark rings around our eyes - forming a strong friendship circle that to this day - still supports each other through the thick and thin.

Each week we gather with children at our ankles to debrief, laugh, cry and most importantly - be friends.  We gather together when one is hurt.  We pick up another child as if it is ours.  We wipe noses, share food and police the slippery slide line-up.  We marvel at how much our children have grown even if it's only been a week since we last saw them and we offer shoulders for support when it all gets too much.  We countdown to special Wedding days and cry over special news.  We send each other "Have a great day!" texts and we cook each other meals when a little extra hand is needed. 

In the last few days, two of our beautiful friends gave birth to the most perfect little babies.  It is such a special and magical time for them and their families - and it makes my heart swoon watching them get used to becoming a "Family of Four" and all the pros and cons that come with it.

The magical thing really is that once these babies were born - all of us gathered at the hospital - like it was our sisters that just had their babies.  We played tag-team with the kids so all of us could enjoy a cuddle and we showered their Big Sisters in all the love and praise they deserve.  We listened with caring ears about the Mama's journeys and we all offered the love and time that they may need.

 It was while we sat in the sunshine in the middle of the hospital - watching the kids play on the play equipment - that it really made me realise that we are more of a "Sisterhood" than an average mothers group. 

Without these beautiful, unique, quirky and loving women - I don't think I would love my Country life as much.  They refill my glass with the endless love and friendship - each and every week.  They are my solace - my comfort - and perhaps my Shrink on days when I feel like I am loosing it!

Thank you to each and every one of you for being YOU.  I look forward to sharing this exhilarating yet scary ride of Motherhood with each and every one of you.  X

"They're the people you can share your secrets with, cry with, laugh with, and just be yourself with. They don't judge you or make you change. They accept you exactly as you are. They look at you and they see a great person, one they love spending time with. You all share something in common and are tied together by memories, tears, laughs & smiles. You're tied together by love for the other. Sisterhood is the greatest thing in the world. I find my time with my sisters the best times of my life. My sisters are my heart, my soul, my fun, my laughter, my tears, my love and my life"
~ Unknown

PS  Alex - how have you managed to escape the majority of photos!?!?!  ;)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Breaking the mundane....

Over the last few weeks, I have felt that the days were coming and going - it has felt mundane and boring - and I know that Macie has noticed it.  Perhaps the freezing weather has contributed....but it is not really any kind of excuse. 

So, I have been making a conscience effort to break the mould.  Even if it means that we blow bubbles in the yard in the blistering cold with our 5 layers and beanies - or we bake cakes just so we can lick the smooth chocolate batter off the beaters.  If it's something different - then we love it. 

I don't like mundane....I feel like it's the toxin that sends me into shutdown and makes me grow fangs in the middle of the night before waking up like a bear roaring before the day has even begun.  Heath usually cops the brunt of it and I often find myself profusely apologising for being such a witch.  Lucky for me, he always finds it to forgive me with a kiss and a cuddle...and a gentle suggestion to find time in the day for a little nap.  God bless him.

Admittedly, in our little country town, there isn't a great deal to do to 'break the mould' - but it's the perfect reason to get creative....

Coffee with friends at our favourite spot with a cage play-pen for the kids to play while their Mama's talk about all things unneccessary. 

Pumpkin Soup lunch dates just with Mummy and Macie - where we sing, be silly and laugh. 

And to be really creative - I decided to take Macie to the Library as she is experiencing an increasing desire for either her Mummy or Daddy to read her books all day long.  There is definitely no complaints coming from me - I live and love to read and simply wish I had more time in the day - and I have managed to pass that passion onto Heath and Macie.  Pretty chuffed - if I may says so. 

So, we walked into the library hand-in-hand without any arguments.....and Macie lets out a huge "OH WOOOOOOW" was her idea of a playground.....with lots of books and toys to let her imagination go wild.  Luckily, the Librarian is one of our very closest friends (beauty of living in a small town) so the threat of being kicked out of the Library due to Macie's high-pitched squeals of delight were next to none....thank god.

I let Macie take the reigns....I let her choose the books.....and I patiently waited until she was ready to go.  No tantrums - No tears.....just a whole heap of fun......even if 3 out of the 6 books we loaned have absolutely NO words in them.  How is this possible??

We have made the conscience effort to break the mundane and fill this house with giggles instead of tears.  We chase each other around before bed time and Macie giggles so hard that she falls into bed deeply content - and we collapse on the couch - filled with our daily dose of satisfaction and delight of being parents to such a beautiful little girl. 


To be true to myself and to be thankful for my beautiful life - I have taken on the Hallmark Challenge - Life is a Special Occasion - which I read about on one of my all time favourite blogs.   The idea is to write a message to 7 people just to tell them you love them - and I can't think of a better way to stop and really smell the roses...and be thankful for all the special people in my life. 

I promise to let you know who I write to - and most importantly, why they are special to me - and I encourage for you all to do the same (and share).  For we all know how much a small message can go a long way to create happiness - and happiness with a touch of love and peace - makes the world go round. 


A few followers of my Facebook page may have seen that I am getting a bit serious about this "Sponsor" gig on my blog.  It's times like these where I feel like I need to do something different and be innovative with my blog - so I have been busy sorting through Sponsorship e-mails and contacting businesses that I would love to be involved in the Dalli goodness. 

I will be placing the spotlight on so many amazing designers and offering many giveaways, discounts and little treasures to all my beautiful readers.  Don't stress though - this blog will not change and instead all these little items and sponsors will be incorporated into the every day - sometimes mundane life - at the Dalli Cottage. 

If you would like to become a Sponsor - then please do not hesitate to contact me via e-mail.  I would love to hear from you and get to know your gorgeous business.


So, if you feel like you are stuck in a rut - go and do something different.  Go and write a special note to 7 of your special people - Go and dance in the rain - or simply go and play with your kids.  You will find your glass being filled and overflowing....and your heart free from any toxins.  

Trust me. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

The journey

Today, while in town, I made the decision to leave the stroller in the car and go for a walk down the street with Macie.  I figured she would hold my hand and it would be so sweet that eventually we would break into a skip and sing a happy tune.  Instead, I found myself begging for her to hold my hand and being hit with the reply of a very stubborn yet definite answer of "Noooo" - preferring to throw herself on the pavement and create a scene....instead of simply holding her Mummy's hand. 
It's these moments where you know you have many pairs of eyes watching you, many opinions flying around about my way of parenting and many little whispers.  It is these moments where I whip Macie up in my arms with a smile on my face and walk briskly away from the situation - praying that the majority of people looking were parents who could sympathise.  However today, instead of parents, there was a lovely table of old ladies who were only too willing to stop me to let me know that I didn't do the right thing in this particular situation....apparently I shouldn't have picked her up and given her a kiss.....because "that is what she wanted". 

Silly my child the kiss and cuddle that she wanted.

I don't own one single book on "Parenting a Toddler"......the professionals contradict themselves - and place far too much pressure on parents in general.  Not one parenting book comes without ridicule  or threats that that style of parenting will scar their kids for life - and I would be sure to say, that not one parenting book comes with a 100% guarantee. 

Macie is made to be spirited, fun-loving, adventurous and mischievous.  It's us - the parents - who simply need to guide her, enforce boundaries and provide her with endless love and kisses.   My style of parenting is giving Macie opportunities to be independent - for instance - walking (potentially skipping) down the street without the restraints of a stroller....and if she doesn't want to do it according to the rules...then it's a matter of picking her up with a kiss and a smile....and not encouraging the tantrums on the pavement with old grannies as her audience. 

I may be doing it all wrong - but all I know is that I am doing it - I am being the best mum I can be and most importantly, I love it.  Although there are days where the boundaries are pushed and the tantrums are plenty - there are also days where the giggles are endless and the cuddles are handed out in bucket-loads. 

It's those days where my heart fills with confidence that our beautiful, spirited, stubborn and gorgeous little Macie will grow to be something extraordinary....and I will continue to feel so utterly honoured to be her Mama and share her special journey.... 

...and one day when I am the old granny sitting and watching the young parents down the street - I will be sure to stop them and tell them that "They are doing a great job".....because that is all they need to hear.   

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Real World

Last week while we were visiting my parent's place, I came across my uncle who is well-known for being a tease with the kids.  He will growl at them while creating horrid faces and then giggle as he walks away - all for the entertainment it creates for him to see the absolute terror on the kids faces.  In the 30 years that he has been an Uncle - he has not changed - always known as the "scary" one....and I have vivid memories as a child of being absolute terrified of him. 

It created an intense conversation with my parents as to whether or not he should quit with the act and stop scaring the kids - and it was the response from my mum - that created a lightbulb moment for me as a parent.

She said "Not everyone in the world is nice Han - so really it's a perfect lesson for the kids to learn.  Unfortunately it's a big bad world out there."

Could she be any more right?

We work tirelessly to create these perfect worlds for our children - filled with happy memories, endless toys, healthy food and loving family....but unfortunately, no matter how tightly we wrap our kids up - we must prepare them for the big wide world. 

As sad as it is, our children are going to come across rude, cruel and mean people in their many walks of life.  It is our responsibility to give them the tools to cope with all the nasty things and to appreciate the beauty of life itself.

It's our responsiblity to raise the kind of person who chooses to take the higher ground in a conflicting situation - to see the empathy and sympathise. 

To raise them to be the person who greets everyone with a smile of love and friendship - no matter how rude that other person is - or what personal hardships they may be going through themselves.

To teach them to know that a simple smile to a stranger can create so much love and happiness.  That it is so much easier being kind to everyone - and not to be tied down by others negativity. 

To simply be the person who will know the importance of kindness and love - and with these qualities - they will reach their goals and succeed in life. 

Memories create all these magnificent qualities.  Simple memories like sitting on the kitchen bench licking cake batter off the beaters....or jumping in puddles after days of rain.....or hiding under the covers with Daddy waiting to scare Mummy as she walks by. 

Memories of playing with friends, sharing special days with family or loosing someone close.  The good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly.  All these memories create lessons. 

One of the most profound memories I have of my childhood is simply......when you get knocked down - get back up, dust yourself off and put your face to the sunshine.  For this lesson will guide you throughout so many walks of life.

For it is today, that we taught Macie this very lesson after she fell off a chair while visiting her Ma & Pa.  She is now sporting a very vibrant blue and purple bruise on her cheek but she is ok.  After many tears from Macie, a minor freak-out from Heath and a lot of reassurance from me and Heath's parents - we all live to tell the tale.

And tonight, as we tuck Macie into bed - all clean, fed and happy - we will read to her Dr Seuss "The Places You Will Go"....for it is in this story that dreams begin and the wise words belong....

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose."
Dr. Seuss

Thursday, July 14, 2011

a mothers love....

This morning was spent with my beautiful friends who are due to give birth to their second baby any day now.  I sat and talked with excitement and anticipation - they sat mentally counting down the days until D-Day.  I wonder if they noticed me admiring their bellies moving in time with their babies and resisting all urge not to touch and rub it constantly. 

It reminds me vividly of the wait for Macie's birth....the constant 'Have you popped yet?' text messages and the endless tips and tricks for how to bring the birth on!  And can you believe that I have been doing the very same to my beautiful friends.....telling them to sway their hips like it's the 70s baby!! 

So it's now that I wait for that all important phone call that the babies are on their way....and wait with their big sisters for the good news....

In the meantime, I will just look at these gorgeous photos.....seriously - there is nothing more glorious than a pregnant woman - and nothing more magical than a mothers matter how uncomfortable they feel! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Admittedly, I have been so unproductive lately.  My house, washing pile, floors and thirsty garden proves my findings.  The dust on my sewing machine is just the cherry on top. 

The thing is - that I have been productive for so many endless's about time I be unproductive - just to even things out.

However, I am happy to report that I managed to blow the dust off the sewing machine and I completed the very first quilting project that I started months ago.  I wanted to make a little playmat/quilt for my new little nephew who is due to born any day now.....

and here is the result. 

Shabby and made with love.  I didn't want the cubes to match up in a perfect pattern - instead I wanted it to be 'imperfect' to represent that everyone and everything are beautiful in their own special way - no matter the colour of their hair, skin or if they have 11 toes. 

So, even though the result of my unproductiveness is creating a little voice that shouts "Oh my god - I really need to sew".....I am loving MY time....with my girl, my husbo and my family.....but more so - with me.  Over the past year, any time that I had to myself - I would be sewing for Dalli....for nearly 7 hours a day.  Over the past few weeks, I have actually laid down with Macie with her afternoon sleeps, cuddled her endlessly on the couch while we watch cartoons together and have just enjoyed our days together.  I have snuggled on the couch with Heath at nights - which is such a rare occasion as usually I am on the sewing machine as soon as Miss Moo is asleep....and until Heath is asleep on the couch. 

I have listened to my instincts - and I have taken a wee break.  Just a little one to revitalise, refocus and decide where I want to take my little business into the future.  How to do things differently - to be a stand-out in the world of so many creative businesses.

But one thing is for sure - and that is that I will always love to write...I will always love to blog....

and I hope that you will always love to read.  X

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Dear Macie

Dear Macie

I am thankful every day to be your Mum.  To be able to comfort you, to play with you, to guide you and to love you.   You make me laugh and cry and scream and smile....but I can't imagine life without you.  I miss you even if I am gone for a few hours.....and I love that you are becoming cuddly in your 'old' age.   

Thank you for making me laugh and smile every day - no matter if the sun is shining - you are always bright, fun and bold.  Even if your cheekiness borders on naughtiness....I still love you - and I always will. 

I love that you can make even the toughest man crumble under your charm.  That they will hold your hand and follow your "Lets Go" command....and then they will sit with you to draw pictures and read you books.  You have no fear....and that little twinkle in your eye lets me know that the world will be your oyster one day. 

I love that you love to sing - and you now sing Twinkle Twinkle over and over again with the utmost precision.  I love that you are independent (admittedly I do find it tiring some days) and that you know what you want...that is a gene you inherited from your Mama.  Use it wisely. 

You are beautiful, colourful, spirited and strong.  You are loving, cuddly and smiley. 

You are mine.

Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you....for blessing my life every day.  For teaching me to be patient, to be confident as a Mum and to love unconditionally.   

Love Always
Your Muuuuuuuuuuuummmmm 

PS  This little letter was inspired from going though my iPhone photos......seriously Macie - you have enough personality to feed 100 adults.  Never.ever.change - no matter what anyone says. 

PPS  Yes, you saw right - Macie has created a lovely outfit of Pull-Up Nappy Leg Warmers....attractive right? 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Good things happen....

Heath proposed to me again over the weekend.  Yep - on one knee and asked me, his wife, to marry him - all while placing my ORIGINAL engagement ring on my finger.....the very same ring that I lost 2 months ago and cried a river of tears.  Over the last 2 months I have searched the house endlessly, reluctantly filed a claim with my insurance company and only last week received the 'go-ahead' from the insurance to go and purchase myself a new one.  The money was sitting in my account - all I needed to do was walk into the jewellery store in town and purchase the ring.  What was stopping me? I had no idea.

Then for some reason on Saturday, I decided it would be a really good idea to wash the car.  Heath was busy at the shed and Miss Moo had her 'teething-I-hate-the-world' pants usually anything involving water dissolves the mood and places a smile on her face.  To really set the all my time owning a car - I think I have washed them probably 3 times.  I usually either drive with a dirty windscreen and mud on the wheels (much to the husbo's disgust) or I pay the trusty young man at the Car Wash to do the job for me.  Washing cars just isn't my thing.....but for some reason on Saturday, I was determined to make our car sparkle.

So I drove the car into the yard, fought with Macie over the hose, cursed at the dog for biting my toes and started to wash the car.  Then something sparkled in the grass......and it caught my eye.....and there it engagment ring - sitting in the grass on the corner of the patio.  It has been mowed over, frosted on, rained on and has been sitting in the dirt for 2 months - and there isn't a diamond missing and it is still in it's original shape.!

You are probably wondering where the photos are - but I was in too much shock to grab the camera.....I ran inside immediately to call Heath on the UHF radio and said "GET HOME NOW!" thing I know he is standing with me in the yard completely dumbfounded too.....he only mowed over that ring the weekend before.

My beautiful engagement ring that Heath proposed to me all those years ago is back on my finger (although needs to be resized).....the very ring that I thought I had lost and shed so many tears over...and maybe blamed Macie for loosing on me!  Lucky she doesn't really understand me.....  

Good things happen to those who wait.....and I am so very glad that I waited.....

And just to let you know - I did the right thing and called the insurance company to let them know that I had found the ring and asked if they wanted me to reimburse the funds.....the end of the line was quiet with a response from the operator being..."Um....I have never had a phonecall from a customer telling us that they want to reimburse the money - I am going to have to get back to you ma'am".  Honesty is my policy.....even if that money would have been so very welcome in our savings account!

So - when life feels like it is throwing all the punches your way and you start to feel a bit defeated....just remember that "Good things happen" because they truly do.....

Sponsored Posts
I am considering opening up my blog to incorporate Sponsors from beautiful and unique businesses which scream quality, class and most importantly, love.  I refuse to let these posts over-ride my blog however would love to include their products into our everyday life at the farm and spread the word in handmade world.  So if you would love to be considered as a Sponsor - please e-mail me with your business details, contacts and website address.  X

Friday, July 1, 2011

The beauty of pregnancy....

Last week I was asked by my beautiful heavily-pregnant friend Lish to take some photos.  I looked at her with a puzzled face and said "Photos?  Of what?".....and she replied with her gorgeous smile and pointed at her belly bump.  I was honoured.  Why?  Because I couldn't think of a more perfect afternoon than to photograph Lish, her magical baby bump and her beautiful little girl.  I think my little jump and silent squeal may have answered her question.....

I spent the last week driving around the paddocks on the farm, the hidden streets in town, timing the sunsets, testing the best light, and exploring the internet for inspiration.  I wanted these photos to capture the silent yet profound relationship between Lish and her little girl and to catch that twinkle in their eyes - their own kind of magic. 

A big thank you to Lish for letting me share just a few of my favourites from the day.  I was so excited, honoured and priviledged to be asked to photograph you and your beautiful family.

If every Friday afternoon consisted of photographing such beautiful people in beautiful surroundings....then I say.....Bring it on!