Photography

Hello winter

Winter has been a breath of fresh air this year. Summer was suffocating. The heat, the constant baby wearing in 30+ degrees, the walks to and from school with three kids in tow wore me down in ways I could never have anticipated. It was rarely cool enough to stop and say “Hey, you need a break. How about we go for a walk in the woods?” The woods, much like the ocean, realigns me. It finds my core and heals it.

So yesterday that’s what we did. We walked in the woods near our house and it was magic.



37

Self portrait at 37.

Mother, artist, wife, friend, daughter, sister. So many labels. Sometimes I forget who I am in it all. There are always voices talking and it’s rarely mine. There are hands touching, mouths drinking, my body always someone’s landscape. There are days, weeks, months I forget what I feel like when I am just me. What it feels like to just be. I am always on. Lifting, carrying, holding, soothing, teaching. So rarely still or at rest.

I have days I feel incredibly powerful. When I see the person I have become and she makes me proud. I see how I constantly strive to be better. I see how I push through no matter the obstacles and I feel stronger than ever.

I have days I feel like I am nothing outside my illness. That my darkness is all there is and that I am some sort of contagious disease. Days I fail to contain it. When the woman in the mirror is too flawed to show herself to the world. When I am all shadows and self loathing.

I have quiet days and loud days. Days I feel utterly alone and days I feel more loved than I ever have.

But through all the days I am thankful. Thankful for being me. At 37 I am better than I ever have been.


Dear Baby,

I don’t write much anymore. Not because I don’t want to but because time is never on my side. There is always something or someone demanding my attention. I must have written you a hundred letters in my mind already. That’s where I write these days while I juggle your siblings, work, house and the scraps of time that are left over for myself.

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I swore I would cherish every moment of carrying you but time has gone by so fast and now we are on the brink of locking eyes for the very first time. I’m not quite ready. I’ve still so much to prepare, to process and to memorize about you right where you are. I already know I’ll miss feeling you move inside me, the way you start up as soon as your siblings wake in the morning as if to say “hi”. You’re the last one. The very last seed I’ll grow and there is a great sadness in that. I already know the double-edged sword I’ll walk when you’re finally in my arms. The indescribable joy of every first and the gut wrenching sense of loss for every last. I’ve been there before. I thought your sister was our last but fate had other ideas. And as terrifying as that has been (and is) at times I am nothing but thankful.

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I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. I’m still finding my feet from last time and I worry that two arms will never be quite enough. I worry about the heartbreak that will follow for your siblings as they find me stretched even further. But I know we will have love abundance. I know there will be more smiles than ever before, more laughter and that my heart will positively burst with love for you all. I know that you will complete us and that there will never be any regrets. There are no regrets.

In a few weeks we will embark on a journey that will mark us for life. I trust you to know what to do. I trust myself to know what to do and this time I have placed that trust right where it needs to be. Right here, in the safety of our haven. We will be right here waiting, ready to catch you as you take your first breath of air.

Lots of love,

Mamma xx

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There’s a house inside my mummy

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“There’s a house inside my mummy

Where my little brother grows,

or maybe it’s my little sister

No one really knows

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My Daddy says I lived there too

When I was being made,

But I don’t remember very much

About it, I’m afraid”

-Giles Andreae

(Excerpt from “There’s a house inside my mummy”)

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9/52

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

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Anakin: Practising your “baddie” face with remnants of Darth Maul face paint. 

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Isis: Always happiest outside eating sand or dirt. 


8/52

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

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Anakin: Those moments when the two of you make each other laugh, when you play together, when you so sweetly tell her “I love You, Isis”. When you hold her hand in the dark at bedtime and whisper “mummy, I’m holding Isis’ hand so she won’t be scared.” Those are moments I live for. 

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Isis: Those little chubby legs. The roundness still left on the body of a baby. Soon they only be sweet memories. I wish I could bottle you up just like you are right now to savour for later. 


7/52

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

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Anakin: Hanging out with Leroy, Sir Legend’s dog. (Oh how sweet you are for buying into our friend’s  joke about being named Sir Legend.) You two were thick as thieves during our stay in the Blue Mountains.

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Isis: Squealing with delight every time the cats grace you with their patience. 


6/52

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

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Anakin: You’re a natural born entertainer. Your world has no limits (other than when we say no to your wish to watch tv all day). We spent a few hours in a discovery centre for kids and your positively lit up. You were a pirate, a builder, a chess player, a DJ, a singer, you did it all, again and again, and you loved it. And I loved watching you even more. 

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Isis:  This was your first meeting with the ocean (well, not counting the day before of course) and our first getaway as a family of 4. Family holidays might not be all relaxing just yet but they are packed with delightful times. You had such a ball. Dipping your face in the water, crawling in the waves, eating copious amounts of  sand and doing all the things a baby is supposed to do at the beach and loving it. 


5/52

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

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Anakin: Such a serious face for such a gorgeous little man.  

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Isis: And suddenly you turned one. That bushy hair and those chubby cheeks of yours… oh my sweetness, it’s no wonder I kiss you a million times a day. 


4/52

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

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Anakin: It’s all about superheroes and villains, about guns and blasters, jedi and sith lords. The magic of childhood, the games, the dress ups and the secret lives. The very fibre of fantasy. All right there for the taking. And you, you breathe it all in.

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Isis: Little miss messy. That sweet fussy hair in the back of your head that stays after your nap. The way you put your face in your food as much as you put the food in your face. They say “enjoy every moment because it will all be gone too fast” as if I don’t know. As if I don’t watch you both grow with as much pride as heart ache. As if I don’t know that one of these days you’ll be too big to cradle, too busy to care that I walk four steps away. As if I don’t know that my baby won’t be a baby forever. I know. Too well.