Snippets from a very quiet weekend, spent mostly at home.
1. Eating a whole almond croissant this weekend was bittersweet. Paddy and I often share one between us (it's our little thing)... and although I enthusiastically devoured his half, I ached a little more for his return. Thursday can't come quick enough.
2. Under our house you'll find random pieces of vintage and antique furniture that we're "going to restore one day". I'm not sure when that day will come... in the meantime they make for an interesting little playground.
3. Sleepy babe rests her head on a beautiful grey linen pillowcase, lovingly made by my dear friend Miriam.
4. We're going to start a little garden for Lalie on the back deck - the perfect spot for the little name plaque Paddy welded for her (I just love the colour of natural rust).
5. The leaves on the tree outside our kitchen window have also turned the most beautiful rusty hue - a dreamy view, especially against aqua glass.
Drawing, painting, reading, sliding, playing with puppy dogs...
...I'm starting to think life peaks at toddlerhood.
(oh, wait... for a minute there I forgot about those pesky molars).
Have a wonderful weekend, friends!
P.S - Don't mind the gigantic pink frilly bloomers - Lalie got into my vintage stash for the shop and insisted on wearing them, despite them being a good two sizes too big (and a good two shades too pink!).
Posted by one claire day at 22:46
Hello! Just popping in to let you know that Lalie's nursery is featured in the current issue of Little One Baby. The story is by the delightful Jodi and photographs are by Moments in Life Photography.
You can also spot me over at baby space today where Bron is featuring me as part of her gorgeous 'Meet the Mama' series. You can check it out here.
I hope you're having a lovely day!
Posted by one claire day at 13:36
I apologise for the ridiculous amount of baby photos I've been posting of late. It's just... Lalie makes for a rather endearing subject at this age, and photographing my little cherub requires minimal tidying up or shoving the mess aside*. (I'm the first to admit I'm a mess-shover-to-the-side-er-er. And if I can't be bothered shoving, an effective 'crop' will usually suffice).
Here's the result of a weeks shoving and shooting:
1. Dainty coriander shadows (and our favourite shoes from here).
2. Pretty vintage dresses (and a basket shopper gifted to me long ago by this lovely lady).
3. Frankie magazine and the most delicately delicious tea arrived in the mail from another dear friend. Just as the cover suggests, this little surprise package did me the 'world of good'.
4. You didn't think this would be a completely Lalie-free post, did you?
5. Cheap and cheerful blooms (and an amazing antique piano stool 'borrowed' from my Mum).
6. I have no idea what this plant is, but I love it's gorgeous foliage.
7. Toddler tablescape.
8. My sister came to stay and brought her pillow - I'm in love with her Ikea bedlinen which unfortunately appears to have been discontinued :(
9. The leaves are finally changing here.
10. I just adore those little fingers.
Have a wonderful weekend!
* Kinda felt I should confess after Em's beautiful and honest post on the subject.
In the days leading up to Paddy's departure, I was a little anxious and a lot unpleasant. I guess it was just my way of dealing with the stress of it all...
...but, so far, life as a pair is going much more smoothly than I had anticipated. We're not exactly thriving, but we're certainly surviving. I miss Paddy like sleep* (and I'm sure I don't need to tell you - that's A LOT), but somehow, Lalie and I have managed to ease ourselves into an alternate rhythm. Bedtime comes early, meal times are simple and the the clean up is swift. I've been thinking a lot about the advice Rachel left in the comments on this post and striving to keep my energy expenditure to a minimum. I certainly haven't set any unrealistic goals for myself... or even any realistic ones for that matter! It's kinda nice not worrying about that big list of stuff-to-be-done that so often clouds my head.
One thing I'd love to achieve is a more regular appearance in this space. I suddenly have my blogging enthusiasm back, but there just aren't enough Lalie-free minutes in the day. The only time she allows me to sit at the computer desk is to call Daddy - although she can't quite seem to work out this whole Skype malarkey. Between sweet smiles and blowing kisses there's moments of complete perplexity at the image of her pixelated father who somehow managed to get inside the computer and won't come out. I'm so grateful for modern technology, though - after only a week Paddy remarks at how her hair has grown and how chatty she's becoming. It just goes to show how much they're changing on a day-to-day basis at this precious age. It's comforting to know Paddy is still getting to experience these changes on some level.
P.S - These images are largely unrelated, but I can never resist a good play on words. How good are the pears this time of year? And cheap!
*I couldn't have said it better myself, Tim Rogers.
Posted by one claire day at 14:48
I've never spoken about it here, so it may come as a surprise to some that the majority of my childhood and adolescence was spent on the back of a horse. As a five year old, I remember my Dad telling me that if I wished hard enough for a pony, my dream just might come true. So I wished and wished and wished my little heart out, and then one day the equine fairies gave me Samson. I couldn't believe my eyes - my very own pony! Can you imagine the joy on a little girls face to see such a sight? Samson was what they call a Shetland pony, he was small, cute, fluffy and... completely psychotic! He soon revealed himself to be my worst nightmare come to life. He bit me, kicked me and bolted at every chance he could. Once it (immediately) became obvious to my parents that I was clearly not enjoying this new recreational sport and didn't really appear to be 'bonding' with my mount, it was decided that we would send him back and look for something a little... more suitable.
Enter Goldie. Advertised in the local paper as a 'bombproof'* beginners pony, this gentle and elegant flaxen mare ticked all the right boxes...except the budget. When the seller refused to drop the price, she very nearly didn't make it home with us. I owe much to my older brother Scott who managed to convince Mum and Dad that 'with a free rug and feed bucket thrown in, she really isn't too bad 'a deal'. And so home she came.
Within weeks I found myself on the regional gymkhana circuit being led around by my Mum who was taking to this new country life like a fish to water. After each event, the judges would tie blue ribbon after blue ribbon around Goldie's neck - we were having so much fun that it didn't even occur to us to ask what they were for. It wasn't until the end of our very first gymkhana day that Mum finally (and rather sheepishly) asked 'Excuse me, what does blue mean?'. Our new friends laughed, 'Blue means you've won first place' they replied. '...Oh'. I guess you could say winning six blue ribbons out of a possible seven on my first day wasn't too shabby at all.
As a team, Goldie and I went on to compete in regional and state competitions for the next five years (I then moved on to a bigger horse, but that's a different story!). As I progressed to be quite a competitive and advance rider, Goldie adapted with me, performing at her peak in very competitive, high speed events. That pony went like the clappers - we were unbeatable.
When my younger sister Stephanie turned three, the cycle started again - and Goldie found herself once more being led around in the under seven's age group with my Mum by her side. Other families were astonished at how this pony could switch from being a complete speed demon one minute and straight back to 'bombproof' beginners pony the next. My parents were often labelled irresponsible for letting such a tiny tot on the back of a pony that was notorious for her speedy antics and jittery nature when being ridden by the older sister. But they didn't know Goldie like we did - she was safe as houses that little mare. She was good as gold.
My sister Stephanie went on to win countless blue ribbons (not to mention the trophies!) just as I did. Goldie offered Stephanie the same unconditional love and companionship that she had given me. They bonded just as we had.
The relationship between horse and rider is quite a sacred thing. There is so much trust. Eternal loyalty. There have been periods in my adult life where I have gone years without seeing Goldie. But without fail, she always remembers me. How could she forget the tone of the voice that has called her name from across the paddock literally thousands of times, or the breath that has tickled her fur-lined ears countless times with the whisper of 'Good girl, Goldie. I love you'? Just the same, I could never forget her smell - that salty, earthy, dusty smell that would completely engulf me each time I rode her. Or that gentle shuddering whinny that she would greet me with as I approached her with a slice of molasses-dipped bread.
The day that we brought Goldie home, I was six and she was twelve. Today she stands graceful and content at a ripe old age of 35 (that's extremely old in horse years - the equivalent of 100 human years). Last week Paddy, my sister Stephanie and I took Lalie to visit her - to feed her bread and to ride around the paddock being led by her Mum.
Everything was golden that afternoon - the iridescent sky, the wise old pony and our reminiscing hearts. As we all piled into the car for the journey back home, I was ever so aware of the salty, earthy, dusty aroma that would follow us there. And I was grateful.
*Top photo shows a selection of photographs of both my sister and I as youngsters riding Goldie. The second photo was taken by a family friend circa 1992. Photos below with me in them were taken by Paddy :)
*Bombproof suggests very calm, quiet and unlikely to spook (even in the event of a bomb exploding!). Such a silly term.
Posted by one claire day at 23:23