Sunday, October 30, 2011


As I write this, one of my beautiful kind-hearted friends is mourning the loss of her mum after a cruel and debilitating fight with cancer.  Another one of my equally beautiful friends is fearing the end is near for her family member. 

Thinking of them, makes me reflect on my weekend.  The weekend that I declared yesterday to be the "Worst Ever in History" after a visit to the emergency department with Macie and lots of tears - mostly mine. 

I work hard to focus on the beauty of life - the happiness and the small things that make me smile and give me joy.  I work hard to ensure I am happy, thankful and grateful for everything - always believing that there is a lesson to be learnt.  I have to admit though - when I drop my marbels - the floodgates open and I usually end up regretting not going to bed and throwing the doona over my head for the day.  That is how I felt yesterday. 

We were in Toowoomba visiting my family to celebrate my beautiful Grandma's 81st birthday.  We started the day wrangling our extremely determined Macie's refusal to wear her hearing aids and then spent the afternoon in the Emergency Department after she fell and hit her head onto concrete - creating the world's biggest egg on her forehead.  Thankfully she is perfectly fine and is now sporting a beautiful bruise that will no doubt turn many colours before disappearing.  In true Macie style - she was more worried about the graze on her knee than her sore head that her mummy was freaking out about! 

The tears (from me) started upon her first refusal to wear her hearing aids....and finished at 7.30pm last night as I rang my nearest and dearest to apologise for being such a jerk all day.  I wanted to blame pregnancy hormones - but really had to admit that I just dropped the balls that I so carefully balance and juggle each and every day. 

This morning, I received the sad news that we were all dreading to hear about my poor friends and their families. It made me put it into perspective.  My issues yesterday were nothing out of the norm and not one thing that happened yesterday was even worthy of being declared the "Worst Day Ever" - even if I did drop those juggling balls. 

Last night, as I watched the sun set with a freshly bathed Macie in my arms, I reminded myself of the "Rollercoaster of Life".  The kind I have spoken about before.... "How it has you believing that you are cruising along just fine and then WHOOSH - down you go with your stomach in your mouth - all while screaming "GET ME THE HELL OFF THIS THING" and coming in for a soft and safe landing. It's like a metaphoric kick in the ass to make you stop and slow take the time for yourself and your family...and to take a step back from your life and take a peek through the windows of your life....and wonder what lessons are to be learnt...lessons that haven't been learnt before."

And yesterday's lesson for today?? Was to be thankful for everything.....because you never ever know what may happen tomorrow. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Jingle Bells....have you organised your Christmas card yet?

I have had a bit of interest in the proposal of offering mini-sessions during the month of November for Christmas photos so I thought I would put it out there.  If you are interested, please don't hesitate to contact me.  I would love to hear from you.

For those who aren't located in Goondiwindi - I may consider doing a few little shoots on 6th November in Toowoomba.  Just e-mail me and we can work it out from there.  X

Thank God it's Friday

I'm not usually like this....but thank god it's Friday.  After the birthday hype, Macie's body decided to go into shutdown mode with a nasty headcold and my motivation seemed to want nothing more than sleep and no brain power required.  I thought it was Thursday when it was only Wednesday....and to add to that, we had 4 home days in a row.....which Moo likens to a hole in the head.  Don't get me wrong - we love home days, but we also like to mix it up with some playdates, activities and somewhere off the farm.  I am yet to decipher who needs this more....Macie or me - and after my weekly catch-up with friends yesterday....I think it's an equal tie.

iPhone snap from last weeks coffee date - these two have managed to get the coffee shop lady to fall in love with them - consequently allowing them to run amuck while we sloooooowly sip on our coffee.  Yep - we love this lady!
I always try to make home days fun and find myself googling and researching activities for us to get upto.  Thankfully this week didn't require too much brain power thanks to the birthday presents keeping a certain two year old entertained.

Another iPhone snap.  Present of the year!  Such a huge hit that we are offered "Tea" at 5.15am in the morning! 
But I am happy to report that I did manage to muster up a little bit of motivation for some craft.

We are yet to determine who receives the lovely Work of Art by Macie.....we are thinking the person who gave us the biggest, loudest and messiest toy for her birthday!!!
It's another home day today - getting organised before we head away to celebrate my beautiful Grandma's 81st birthday with the family.  A weekend away together before harvest starts and life gets crazy. 

In the meantime, I am off to enjoy another cup of decaf while I toast to "THANK GOD IT'S FRIDAY!".  Have a great weekend folks. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Maternity Shoot: Jen & Scarlett

I am so blessed to have so many terrific friends where I live.  The kind of friends where you send a quick text message and within hours we are all together at the park, having coffee and watching our little ones earn themselves a decent naptime for the day.  We all seem to be on the same page with motherhood, relationships and the loneliness of being a Farmers Widow when life on the farm gets busy.  We seem to catch up more when the boys get busier....and not once do our husbands complain?  Why you ask?  Because our friends make us happy.

So, when my beautiful friend Jen asked me to capture some pregnancy and Mother/Daughter shots for her - I was only too happy to oblige.  Jen is an amazing person who will do anything for anyone.  She wears her heart on her sleeve, laughs with all her beauty and will cry at any sad story you throw at her.  The love she shows for her family and her little girl Scarlett is nothing short of beautiful.  The special bond that they have between them is something that only a Mum can begin to understand.

As usual....I will let the photos do the talking. 

A big thank you to Jen for allowing me to share and capture this special time in her life.  I can't wait to have our second babies being friends just like Macie and Scarlett are now.  X

Monday, October 24, 2011

Maternity Shoot with Bec

In my eyes, one of the great beauties of the world is a beautiful, glowing pregnant woman who is dying to meet her newborn.  Ask them to look down at their bellies and they just gaze - imagining holding the little one in their arms - and that is where the magic starts.

I truly love maternity photography.  Sharing the special times with the Mama-To-Be and this shoot was no different.  A big thanks to Bec for letting me share these beautiful photos with the world.

Of all the rights of women, the greatest is to be a mother.
-Lin Yutang

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The day our baby turned two...

As we tucked Macie into bed on the eve of her second birthday, I actually found myself shedding a silent tear.  How could my baby be two?  My beautiful, vivacious, determined and funny little baby is blossoming into a darling little girl.  The days have flown - admittedly, some days blended into others when life got too crazy and others dragged on and on when life in the cottage got too mundane.  We have shared so many cheeky giggles, hearty laughs, fiery tantrums and tears - but the last 2 years has been the ride of a lifetime.  I wonder where we will be this time next year - with a little brother to stir up the dynamic, and I have no doubt that no matter where we are - we will all be together and happy.

I wanted to start a few birthday traditions with just little and simple things that my kids will recognise that I do care.  Macie was a little too young for some of them but that's ok...we still have plenty of more years to introduce them.  Simple things like a crafty number on her door (which she loved and screams TWO!! every time we walk past!) and then lots of balloons to surround her presents.  I also made her a little crown to make her the Birthday Princess but she wasn't a huge fan of Elmo was crowned instead.

We also want her to be surrounded by family - and she is so lucky to have two sets of beautiful grandparents who love her unconditionally.  My family travelled to come for lunch for the day and Heath's parents also travelled home early after a weekend away.  We are so lucky to have such dedicated family who want to share these special milestones with us.

One of the biggest traditions that I am forcing myself to continue is a letter to our darling daugher for each and every birthday.  We plan on storing them away in a special box and giving them to her when we feel the time is right - whether that be her 18th, her 21st, her wedding day or even when she has her first baby - we will know when the time feels right.

Dear our darling daughter Macie,

We can't believe it has been two years since you entered our world and changed the way we view the life forever.  You are now our world - and your giggles and laughs make our hearts beat daily.

We love your cheekiness, your stubborness (although your Daddy may disagree here!) and how you seem to embrace any situation we put you in.  You have a "Go Get 'Em' attitude and usually just want to escape from your pram and go and say hi to anyone and everyone.  You love hot chippies and are not a huge fan of anything involving vegetables or red meat....or any real meat for that matter.  If you could eat strawberries, grapes and watermelon for dinner every night then you would be happy!  You love Daddy playing planes with your food but insist that he fly the spoon all over the cottage before it lands in your mouth and Daddy does it with all the sound effects and actions! 

You love bubbles and playing outside with your puppy Milly.  If you could be outside all day everyday then you would be happy.  You hate Daddy leaving to go to work and if you could go to work with him, you would.  You are so independent and love having your own showers and insist on at least two a day.  You love water - the hose, the sprinkler, an esky filled with ice, anything but the swimming pool.  You really aren't a fan of swimming lessons.

You make your families eyes shine with joy when they are with you.  You make them laugh when they are sad, and fill them with happiness when they feel low.  You are sincere when asking if people "Are OK?" when they are crying and hate to see people upset.  You kiss their cuts and bruises and wish for them to disappear immediately.  You are caring, beautiful and kind.

We love you - the moment we saw you we loved you and we love you more and more every single day.  We didn't think that this intensity of love was possible - but you have taught us that it's real and it's magical.

Thank you for being you.  Never change.  Continue to be determined and your dreams will become true.  We can't wait to watch you grow, learn and be happy. 

Love Always
Mummy & Daddy
October 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The beauty of Karma....

It was Heath's birthday yesterday....the big day where he entered the Dirty Thirties and he even managed to enjoy himself.  I fell in love with this amazing man 9 years ago on a flooded creek - he was the cowboy with the black hat and the rest is history.  Needless to say, I purchased him a new black hat for the next 30 years and felt myself falling in love with him all over again when I took this photo.  Can that be possible?  I know - I am being all lovey-dovey....can't help it sorry!

I know I sing Heath's praises a lot - and tell you all how much I love him - but one of the biggest things I love about him is that he always have time for people.  Remember this story that I told you of him stopping by the highway to help an elderly couple who were moving interstate (if not - read it!).....well you would never believe what happened.

In yesterday's mail we received a parcel from this beautiful couple who had remembered the date of Macie's birthday while talking with Heath and had sent a birthday present!  They wrote a special note to Heath reminding him of how thankful they were, wishing Macie a Happy Birthday and also wishing us all the best with the birth of our new baby. 

I talk about Karma a lot around here.  That good things happen to good people - and even if it comes in the shape of a Purple Bear that Macie has fallen in love with....then so be it.  It is fantastic lesson for us to teach to our children and what better role model to have than Heath?

Happy Birthday to the most beautiful husband in the world.  May your next thirty years be as great as the last...

I had this printed and made a canvas for Heath for his birthday.  I couldn't work out which one he loved more - the hat or the canvas!  Win Win!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Nearly four years ago we made the big decision to take the oppurtunity of a lifetime and move to the farm.  It was Heath's dream to work the land that had been in his family for over one hundred years and I knew that I would always be happy as long as I was with Heath.  I trusted his judgement, I trusted his future for us....I trusted him.

Four years later - I am nothing but thankful. 

I have a beautiful husband who has helped me create our perfect family - a beautiful little girl who brings so much happiness into our lives and our 'Little Man' who is safely growing in my belly.

Never did I ever think that I would appreciate the deep gold of a wheat crop over the big bright lights of the city.  Or the dirt driveway down to our humble cottage over the bitumen and high-set houses. 

But I do....and I love it. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Baby "I" - 10 days new

Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of photographing a beautiful little girl with her equally gorgeous family.  Capturing newborns is definitely something I love and Baby "I" was definitely the perfect little model!

Here are just a few photos from the day....

Isn't she just gorgeous? 
A big thanks to her beautiful family for allowing me the priviledge to capture this magical time in their lives.  It was such a lovely afternoon. 

All photography is published with consent from parents first.  Please do not reproduce or copy any photography from this blog without written consent from Dalli Cottage first.  Thanks

Sunday, October 16, 2011

10 Things....

Recently, I was invited to share "10 Things You Don't Know about Me" from Ilja at one of my favourite online shops Em&Femme Designs.  Ilja is hilariously funny and a fantastic inspiration to just take everything in her stride!  She is also amazingly talented and her designs really are gorgeous.

The game goes something along the lines of tag but I am always up for some fun and love these little games that always leaves the reader going "Well I didn't know that!" here we go....

1.  Before I had Macie, I had a severe phobia of anything related to injections.  As a child, I would scream Blue Murder if a doctor, dentist or any kind of Health Professional even looked to be even considering giving me a jab.  Consequently, our family GP would often hide the needle and hit me when I least expected it....which resulted in a kick in the family jewels for him....with my school shoes on.  From that day on - it was declared war!

2.  I was one of those parents (before actually having a baby) that swore that I would never let my kids watch TV.  Currently, Macie is sitting in her highchair watching ABC Kids while I catch up on jobs and e-mails - and guess what?  I don't feel bad about it!!

3.  I have double-jointed fingers and everything on my left side is slightly bigger and better than my right.  Hands, feet, hearing levels and even my boobs!  Too much information?

4.  I am currently having a "Prove You Wrong" Contest with Heath to prove to him that I can grow flowers in our garden.  I am having issues with a certain 2 year-old who picks these flowers before I can show her Daddy!!! 

5.  I am not a 'Clean As You Go' kinda-person....more so a "Shit! This house looks like a bomb has hit it!" and then I go on a cleaning frenzy.  Thankfully, the cottage doesn't stretch over too many square metres and it only takes an hour to get it back to it's former glory.  Unfortunately, it takes longer for my 10 piles of washing to disappear though....

6.  Heath's mum buys me flowers nearly every fortnight - just because she loves me.  Pretty special right!!  Thank you Larni.  It doesn't go unnoticed and is a beautiful reminder that our relationship is special.  X

7.  I have ridiculously terrible taste in music and have been listening to Christmas Carols off my I-Pod in the car for the last week. 

8.  I hate eating fish....and I despise people who say "Just try it".  I have - and I hate it.

9.  I haven't had a haircut or colour since January - and got abused by a gay hairdresser in Townsville in April for being disrepectful to my hair.  I felt like giving him the forks and perhaps a kick in the nuts like my GP....but instead smiled sweetly and bit my tongue. 

10.  The toilet in the cottage is smaller than one on a Domestic Airline.  Consequently, people that are taller than 5.5ft (Heath & I don't have an issue) usually stop in their tracks and wonder how the hell they are going to fit.  It makes for fantastic dinner conversation to imagine the said person in the position required to make it work.....and to add to the humour we have painted the door so people can write on the door whilst doing their business!  This is the last 2 years worth of visitors.....

The lovely people I would love to tag are:

Angie & Kristy from ANK Bowtique, Emma from Cinderella at Brindabella and Amy from Life with Soul.  

Bare yourselves ladies!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

How Pinteresting.....

The next few weeks are b.u.s.y with both Heath's 30th (don't him I told you) and Macie turns two.  I always made a pact to myself to make my family's birthdays special so I have been racking my brain to get creative and passionate to make their days memorable. 

All I can say is "Thank God for Pinterest". 

It is because of Pinterest that I found the recipe for this for Heath's birthday cake for a special dinner for him on the weekend....

Baked Vanilla and Salted Caramel Cheesecake - requested by the birthday boy and thanks to Donna Hay!

and apparently because he is turning thirty (he uses this excuses when it benefits him) he is worthy of more than one dessert so he has requested this too.  Homemade ice-cream is definitely in the 'Too-Hard' basket so I am offering my famous rocky-road instead.  However I must admit that these look SO delicious!
If I had my way....we would have had our front driveway to the cottage filled with friends and family from far and wide....


but after strict instructions from the Boss, we are having a fun, small and intimate affair with his parents, sister and brother-in-law on our Dalli patio while Macie sleeps peacefully in her bed.  Hopefully the rain gods will be kind and I can create some kind of ambience with the beauty of fairy lights and candles....

Note: my patio is nothing like this....but never ever stop dreaming!!

and the rest as they say.....will be history!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What's been happening lately?

Life has really been so hectic lately that it was only yesterday that I managed to sit down and go through my camera....which hasn't been used too much recently either.  I figured I must write it all down before it becomes old news...

Living on a farm certainly has it's benefits and this is a photo that not every child can boast about.  Heath found an orphaned Joey and bought it home for us to look after.  Macie affectionately called it "Roo" (original I know!) and was absolutely besotted by it....mainly because Roo was just as besotted with her! 

If allowed, I swear Macie would play with my iPhone all day every day.  I made the fatal mistake of downloading child-friendly games onto my iPhone to keep her quiet and entertained in restaurants, cafes, etc.  Admittedly, the games are ridiculously educational (and I will continue to keep telling myself that) and she is becoming a serious pro.  Ask her where the ambulance is and she will scroll to unlock the phone, then skip through the pages to find the App and then find the Ambulance.  The reaction on my parents face when I showed them her new trick was absolutely priceless.  The little demand tantrums for ANYONE's iPhone (stranger or not stranger) is not so priceless!

Moo is absolutely obsessed with Daddy's tractor and ask her where her Daddy is....and she will reply with "Tractor".  Heath recently finished the Summer Sorghum plant however we are all holding our breath since the rain gods haven't been overally friendly since planting has finished!  Keep your fingers crossed for us that the little babies start sprouting sooooooooon!!

She may look like her Daddy but she has a love of all handbags and shoes just like her Mummy.  Scenes like these are a regular occurrence on home days at the Cottage.  Just the other day she was strutting around in my sky-high Tony Bianco heels like it was no-one's business.  That's my gal....

Even though the rain has been prominent around here lately - there have also been a few days where the sprinkler has been on and the yard filled with giggles!!  Milly the dog isn't so keen on the sprinkler though and stays firmly beside my feet no matter how much Macie tries to convince her that it's fun!  This is highly entertaining to watch!!

Is this love or what?  Macie and Archer having a lovely little cuddle during my sister's visit a couple of weeks ago.  Archer has made #1 on the list of "Moo Addictions" and if she could cuddle him all day every day she would.  Fingers crossed she loves her baby brother as much....did I mention we are having a BOY??  To say we are excited is a little understatement and we feel so blessed to be have the joy of the pigeon pair!  Bring on February!

During Archer's visit, Macie wasn't so impressed with the baby bath and the fact that Elmo (#2 on the "Moo Addiction" List) wasn't having a thing we know Macie brings out Elmo dripping wet....but the bath didn't have any water.  Now think to yourself "Where did she get the water"...."Is the washing machine leaking?"...."Has she worked out how to turn the tap on?"......and then the realisation hits you.....yes people, she dunked poor Elmo in the Loo for his 'bath'....and yes people, she showed us how!  Once my sister and I stopped rolling on the floor laughing, we gave Elmo a proper bath with LOTS of soap and disinfectant!  This is a story for her 21st!

As you have probably noticed, it is becoming almost impossible to capture a photo where Macie is actually looking at the camera and smiling.  Heath managed to capture this little beauty the other day and it's out-of-focus because it was a milli-second window of oppurtunity!  I love it - it captures the cheekiness and happiness of our darling little girl.  It makes the horror swimming lessons and 5.30am morning wake up calls all worth it.....