Heres to being open.

Screen Shot 2018-01-24 at 1.33.24 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.28.08 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-03 at 3.16.04 pmScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.51.32 amscreen-shot-2017-02-27-at-1-14-34-pmScreen Shot 2016-02-17 at 7.09.48 PMScreen Shot 2015-11-07 at 6.21.40 PMScreen Shot 2015-09-21 at 4.35.49 PMLife on the farm is simple, minimalist and starting to shape itself toward being a sustainable little treasure.  We’re excited to now see progress as we take the small but inevitable steps toward a life with less and more good wholesome home grown food.

Our chicken coop is nearly finished, the lawn is drought hardy, the compost is heaped to the brim and the plans for the next phase are nearly under way.

Lately I’ve helping the community rally together against the Fracking Industry (as that fight is unfortunately still ongoing and will be a long process) in partnership with Lock the Gate, immersing myself in the joys of raising Wesley, copywriting from home and learning alongside Mike that the potential to make inner change is huge.

We have both been reading a number of books on mind development, cognitive decision making and positive communication.

Do you ever read books like this?  What’s a book you’ve read and felt really resonated with you?

For me the #1 is The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer – it’s simply given my mind a real shake up.

This is another year that is going to be filled to the brim with love, adventure, open hearts, cuddles, dancing, singing, photos, hiking and plenty of learning.

The first 1.5 years.

Screen Shot 2017-12-28 at 8.25.12 amScreen Shot 2017-12-28 at 8.24.24 amScreen Shot 2017-12-28 at 8.24.55 amScreen Shot 2017-12-22 at 8.30.02 pmIt’s said that a baby absorbs the most information during the first three years of life.  Wesley is now 1.5 years old and truly amazes us with his little discoveries each day.

His mind is like a rocket ship, fuelled and taking off into the great unknown – so ready to take it all in!

We’re now entering a period of new word development.  Some days he surprises me with 4-5 new words and has become more aware of when to say hello and bye.  He’s quite good at waving me off and saying “bye”!  He has even memorised a few parts in books (that blew me away the first time it happened).  He has a little library and we are lucky to be able to borrow some from Eneabba.  At this stage we probably read together at least 2x a day.  He’s often found tucked away somewhere quiet flipping pages, gently peering at the images.

Some of the words he’s learned so far:

Fish, Sheep, Boo!, No, Vroom Vroom, Car, Shell, Flower, Yeah, Ball, Moo, Teddy, Apple, Hi, Bye, Uh Oh, Mummy, Dada, Meow, Duck, Quack, Milk, Dog, Bubble, Egg…

Our darling Wesley has been climbing, feeding his toys and taking them on trips around the house, running, reading, dancing (such a good dancer!!) playing and beginning to take trips with us to the potty.

Here are some songs we’ve been dancing to lately:

He is very generous with his kisses, cuddles and even food.

Sometimes I hold him in the middle of the night and he snuggles into my chest like a koala.  It is then that I can truly measure how large he is for my top half of my torso is engulfed in his hug.  Long gone are the days when we gingerly held him and tapped our palms on his back for little belches.  When he was just born his whole torso fit in the palm of my hand or the crook of my neck.  He was incredibly delicate and precious to hold.

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Now I’m being swallowed in his size – it’s as if I can barely comprehend how this happened…When did you become my big boy?

Time is moving too quickly.   Everyone says that, and it’s true.  In my mind I flash forward to his first bike ride, bus to school, kiss, heart ache…

Day by day, inch by inch he will slowly transform into an independent person who will learn to lead his own way in this world.  We’ll be delighted to keep watching him and showing him everything we can so he can shape his own idea of what his new shiney world will look like.

I can only hope he will still love hugs and cuddles for a little while longer.

Lovely Things.

Screen Shot 2017-10-29 at 8.39.53 amScreen Shot 2017-10-29 at 8.40.03 amScreen Shot 2017-10-29 at 8.40.14 amI did not take many images in New Zealand but as usual it was lush and beautiful everywhere I looked!Screen Shot 2017-10-29 at 8.40.27 amScreen Shot 2017-10-29 at 8.43.05 amScreen Shot 2017-10-29 at 8.43.18 amI’ve seen quite a number of jumping spiders since we first spotted one nearly two months ago now.  All of them have been male, and all of them have been wonderfully beautiful.Screen Shot 2017-10-29 at 8.43.30 amScreen Shot 2017-10-29 at 8.43.41 amThese are juvenile yellow throated miners who were clumped together when I first spotted them.  They were quite noisy calling out for mum n dad to feed them.Screen Shot 2017-10-29 at 8.43.49 am

I’ve recently returned from a 10 day trip to New Zealand for surgery.  I had been on a wait list for 8 months and so when the date finally came rushed to buy a ticket and Mike arranged to have leave from work to care for Wesley.  10 days in New Zealand were to rest and recover from the near 1.5 years of little sleep or alone time… Mike was so brilliant with Wesley while I was away that I never had to worry, he was in excellent hands.

The surgery was very short and I was basically recovered within a day.

I spent my spare time either pushing my limits physically by hiking, swimming, walking… or resting with family and friends.  One hike particularly stood out for me, as it was just alive with the call of birds.  It was the Fern Track up in the Pohongina, which was a solo venture.  The forest gave me so much energy.  It was a restorative trip and I came home eager to see my little Wesley and embrace Mike with the biggest hug.

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Something else wonderfully beautiful…these flowers were waiting for me when I came home.  Mike and Wesley had set up the home and it was so welcoming and pleasing to be back in our little nook in this world.

Slight side note – While I was away, my favourite artist release a second album (after an 8 year hiatus) and I’ve been enjoying it thoroughly for a few days now.  Fever Ray – Plunge.  Her voice is childish, strained unpredictable, off key and difficult to imagine ever being emulated.  My ears love it.

Two more nights…

Lately the autumn colours have begun to creep in and transform some of the foliage.  The pops of orange and red are striking amidst the vibrant green landscape surrounding us.  With the change of colours comes a drop in temperature.  It was cold enough to leave the ground thick with a blanket of icy frost this morning.  Needless to say, our log fireplace has been roaring over night and well into the morning.

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In the flurry of recent cooler days, we met our new neighbour, whom has made herself right at home in a paddock up the road.  She is a total punk rocker with four nose piercings and yet is so sweetly polite of her sheep paddock mates.

Wesley is now marching, and has learned so many little adorable things.  From making tiny monkey, lion and chicken sounds – he’s also learned he can transport items in a little trolley and take them with him.  Honestly, I am in total rapture watching him play and discover the world around him, even though I am severely sleep deprived…my fascination is endless.  I often find myself smiling and feeling this huge sense of gratitude for him joining our lives.  Today, he was babbling away in the back seat and I was just headed home with him from the library and I was beaming hearing him.  This depth of love, is profound.

His first birthday party is this weekend.  We’ll have family over for a little party and some much deserved cake!

Mike returns in two days which is so exciting, he has been away 26 days.  It’s been a long stretch but thankfully we’ve made it through despite some adverse conditions!  I have a newfound respect for single mothers.  There have been a few rough moments, but overall it’s not been too bad.  22 of the nights Wesley was not sleeping well – he’s had teeth, sickness and tummy aches, and crazy early mornings.  How do children wake so perky at 5am?  Last night there were some signs of improvement, which are so welcome!

It’s going to be so cute to see my boys reunite, and also have a little sleep break lets be honest!  I do need to recover for the next stretch, that’s obvious by this stage.  My intake of coffee is at an all time high.  One thing that has helped me with the long distance, is not focusing too long on it.  This is one of the longest stretches we’ve been apart and it wasn’t too bad.  This is also largely on account of the amount of attention given to wee Wesley.  That being said, when it does pop into my mind the longing to be held by Mike…it’s pretty powerful.  I miss him so much, I would love a reassuring and comforting cuddle!

Oh, these flowers are from Mothers Day.  Wesley was in rough shape that day with a high fever, and I was given a few hours to rest and recover by Mike’s mum Ann.  She brought the flowers to me from herself and Wesley’s great grandmother.  I wish they could have stayed like this forever, they are like works of art in this image.  So beautiful…flowers just feel like colour magic in any space you find them!

This is a little list of some new music I’ve been listening to the past couple of weeks…if you’re so inclined to give them a try – just follow the link to listen.

Living Days – Thrill Anybody

Woodkid – Run Boy Run

Twin Wave – Matador

The Moth & The Flame – Young & Unafraid

Christine and the Queens – iT

Eat More Cake – Heat of the Night

Georgi Kay – Ipswich – This track features on a New Zealand television program called Top of the Lake – which if you’re looking for something grim, and beautifully shot…check it out.  Have you seen it?  So compelling…and twisted .

Banks. – Trainwreck

x

Holly

Australia!

Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 10.59.02 amScreen Shot 2017-04-10 at 10.58.14 amScreen Shot 2017-04-10 at 10.57.47 amIf you’d have asked me a year ago if we’d be in Australia again in 1.5 years time – I would have shaken my head firmly and reassured you that we were going to be in New Zealand forever.  We both thought that was what we were committing to upon arrival.  We were here to stay.

Now a year on, our little boy is growing and we’ve settled in but are more flexible with where we need to be.  Mike was offered a position back in Western Australia that honestly was too good to turn down.  He’ll be flying over next month and in 4 months time Wesley and I will follow over to join him.  Just like that everything changes.

This is a conflicting decisions as we’re not too happy to be parting with family; however it does open up an opportunity for us to buy land now in New Zealand and eventually be able to set up our own little business.  I’m just in the process of submitting paperwork for another 5 year visa to stay and work within Australia, and when that’s all secured we’ll be ready to go.

I’m sure many of the readers here are shaking their heads.  How many times have we moved over the past 7 and a bit years?

We have moved from 6 locations: Banff, Melbourne, Eneabba, Coorow, Perth, Palmerston North…  I think we probably travel more than military families at this point.

Some more family is waiting in Australia for us in Adelaide and Melbourne so we shall be flying more often to see them as well, along with our network of friends which will be nice to see them more often (a few of them have had babies too) but it’s truly with heavy hearts that we made the call to leave New Zealand for now.  The only solace is that it’s not permanent.

I’ll be applying for permanent residency by this Christmas and hopefully that will make transitioning to and from a bit easier.

After we buy land, there will be developments that we will need to tend to, so you shall be seeing more of us again int the near future.  Wesley has his own little New Zealand passport and I know we’ll be back often for family visits as he continues to grow and turn into a little independent person.

Side note:  Wesley stood all on his own yesterday for nearly 30 seconds.  It was pretty incredible to watch.  We’ve also just planted a small winter crop of veggies that should hopefully be ready in a few months.

So I guess, if you’ve not had the chance to see us in New Zealand, you’ll have to come and check out Australia!

With love,

Holly, Mike & Wesley

Ps: The photo of Mike was taken during a very special time when we were camping in the South West of WA.  We were whale watching and embracing the somewhat unconfirmed news that we were very likely travelling with the beginnings of life in my belly.  I’m really hoping we can show Wesley the area…it’s magical!