Link in profile. A few of the portraits I took for the dreamer+writer Mary while roadtripping across Europe. πŸš™β˜€οΈ
We bought a giant box of apples for $3 and made apple chips. 🍎 Crazy scary lightning has left us with no wifi for weeks now. ⚑️⚑️⚑️ I have no idea when it'll be restored and in some ways it's been nice but it's also meant I've been sharing so much less. There's a balance there, one that I'm constantly figuring out. What are your thoughts on the living vs sharing balance? βš–οΈ
Happy birthday Zake! πŸŽ‰πŸŽˆ You'd be 23 today. I'm writing this from the car in tears because we're roadtripping to be with the rest of the family and I want to know you'll be waiting with your familiar wonky grin, your bony-yet-cuddly hugs and your spilling excitement for life. But you're not and that's okay too. I'll be extra enthusiastic, inappropriate and kooky on your behalf. πŸ˜œπŸ™ƒ How insanely lucky I was to have YOU for a brother. I still cannot believe you're not around to break into spontaneous made up languages with. I miss you, I love you, happy birthday. πŸ€—πŸ’–βœ¨
Little happy things. The sound of these kids giggling on the trampoline while I cook, the gentle burn of yoga, caramel rooibos tea with honey, post-bedtime chats with @gregariouspeach, rolling storms, fresh sheets, library books, cafe work dates with @merakiandstone + @samantha_louise_photography and watching films from my childhood squished up with these lovely little ones. ✨
The Sunshine Coast is beginning to feel like home. These beautiful beaches and sweet little towns and this warm weather is ours. We're beginning to see familiar faces wherever we go. There are so many families here. For the first time in my parenting life I am making friends with lots of other mamas. There are so many things to look forward to. Alba's school next year is so lovely, the tuckshop sells things like hot cocoas sweetened with coconut sugar and it has a sprawling community garden. We never get tired of the big green trees outside our windows or the constant birdsong. Alba's always running over to our neighbour's to play. It's a wonderful place to grow up. On the other hand the idea of being more static is a strange concept as someone who has always been travelling. I'm pouring my heart into my writing instead of my photography these days because I can do it from home. It's like I have two people inside me, one is the fearless adventurer and the other is the nurturing mama. Right now I'm choosing to settle more than ever, for Alba but also for me. It feels both right and frightening. But I hold tightly to both sides of myself because they are both important. Though the world around me is calm I have been struggling with anxiety. There have been some big changes happening in my life. I'm not strong enough to talk about some of them yet. This year has held a lot of beauty but it's also been crazy hard. Like all caps HARD. For a lot of us. I've been pushing myself to do too many things while feeling too many things and not giving myself enough understanding. I need to take my own advice and give myself a break. To be imperfect, to be afraid, to be unproductive, to be sad. Then to shake it all off and see the light. I always tell my (dramatic) self, "You survived every other end-of-the-world, so you'll survive this one too." As I sat on my deck last night just trying to catch my breath I thought about what really matters underneath everything. People. The people who love me, the people I love, the new friends, the old friends, my family. They're my backbone when everything else is falling apart. Thank goodness for my people, including you. πŸ™πŸΌπŸ˜ŒπŸ’–
Here's a super dorky photo of me cradling some daisies from the markets. Crooked happy smile and hair that never sits right and a bit of nervousness left over from yesterday. Yesterday was really hard. Way harder than I expected. It was like the feeling when I put out a vulnerable post, times ten. People have been asking me to join Patreon for over a year and it's taken a long time to build up the courage. Because the truth is, I feel a stigma being an artist and saying, "Please support my work, if you can!" Even if there are rewards in return and I've poured my life into my blog. So I spent most of yesterday shaking. It's embarrassing but I think you all already know how sensitive I am. I had these loops playing in my head saying, what makes you think you deserve to be paid for what you do? You love doing it, isn't that enough? My fear of being misunderstood kept roaring to the surface. I'm constantly saying no to sponsorship & ad requests because I want it to be crystal clear that I don't write and share to make money, I do it because I genuinely want to help others. It sounds selfless but it's not, it feels like my purpose and I am so grateful. (I totally think people can do things for others + advertise at the same time, that's just how my own silly fears work!) But fears are there to be faced and ultimately to keep creating fulltime I need support. Two things pushed me to press launch. The first was the feeling I get when I support a person who makes a difference in my life. The second was my passion to get my book underway, a beautiful humble guide to eating plant-based which I will be offering by donation, so that even if you have no money you can still access it. Now the dust has settled I realise everything is okay. I wouldn't judge the creators I love, so why should I judge myself? Art IS important and even if I never got a single backer I'd still be grateful that I have you guys. And I do have backers, an incredible 55 of you! You change my life, even with $1. I don't expect you to help but I am so grateful you do. I will do you proud. All of you. Every single person reading these words. I promise. Thank you for being here. πŸ˜­πŸ™πŸΌπŸ’ž
My girl. You're getting so big. When you get a bright idea you get so excited that you start to shake. You've got a best friend at kindy named Zaia. When something surprises you you shout "Holy guacamole!" You're obsessed with camping, insects and drinking tea. I find drawings of unicorns and monsters stuck to the walls all around our home. On good days you're so delightful I forget that things are ever hard. But you're still so little too. You can be so fiery, sensitive and stubborn. When we were waiting to cross a city street the other day you were so mad at me you were hitting and yelling at me in front of everyone. I'm sure people thought I was a terrible parent and you were a terrible child, but we do our best. I forgive your quick temper and you forgive me for not being perfect. You're trying to figure out how to be a human and I'm trying to figure out how to best help you. We're both just working out this life thing together, and boy, it ain't easy but it sure is a lot of fun sometimes.
March of the unicorns. πŸ¦„
We're currently on the road so here's a snap from another time we were on the road crossing Austria, where we stopped to see the most magnificent library ever. πŸ“– In other news, I'm practically bursting because in a week or so I'm launching my patreon; a place where you guys can get things like monthly filters, prints, mentoring and recipes in return for supporting my projects! My current dream is to hire an illustrator and a designer for my #plantlove book. So yep, keep your eyes peeled if you wanna support a fellow artist or you just like the sound of the goodies. πŸ™ˆ
Thank you for sharing your stories with me, on my last post and always. The beautiful thing is by being vulnerable you help more than just you or I, you help others feel less alone. I keep learning again and again how many threads of circumstance, pain and joy every single person shares. No matter how crazy or weird you feel there are ALWAYS countless people feeling just the same. Your vulnerability creates empathy, and with so much discrimination happening all around us it's obvious we need to realise we're all one and the same. We need each other and you may never know how much a simple story of imperfection or struggle may heal someone else. πŸ’– Another portrait with my love by @kiararosephoto.πŸ’˜
Alba on her first day of kindy. I wondered if I should share this because it's just a silly little phone snap, but at the end of the day it's the stories that count and this is a special one. I was so nervous about her beginning kindy. I worried being apart would be hard, that she would cry as soon as I waved goodbye. We spent weeks playing 'kindy', reading picture books about school and talking about it with excitement. We visited and saw how sweet it was; waldorf toys all around and only ten or so children. They begin each day by baking bread together and singing. The night before kindy we chose clothes, illustrated a list of what we'd need to get ready in the morning and packed the yummiest lunch ever in her new unicorn lunch bag. She fell asleep saying, "I can't believe I'm really going to kindy tomorrow." 😌❀️ Alba wakes up SO early the next morning. She's ready way before we have to go so we just talk excitedly about the day and then jump on Bee to wake him up (sorry Bee πŸ™ˆ). The drive is ten minutes through mostly forests with the windows down. 🌲 We walk in and I read some of the children a book, telling Alba to let me know when she's ready for me to go. When I'm finished she cuddles me and kisses me and says, "you can go now if you want mama!" Just like that. I genuinely have to keep myself from crying. She holds the teacher's hand and they wave until I'm out of sight. As I walk I listen, worried I will hear her cry. But she doesn't. I do a little on the way home but not of sadness. πŸ’ž The teacher sends me picture updates throughout the day, telling me she's fitting right in. When we come to get her she is still fast asleep from naptime and she sits up and sleepily tells Bee and I that she loves kindy. We collect her backpack and listen to her tales all the way home. It's a relief and a joy to know she loves going, especially after hearing stories from my mum of the way her heart broke when I used to cry. This is her third week and I don't think I'm ever going to grow tired of hearing her bubbling over with stories from the backseat about birthdays or sandcastles or dog paintings or baking or new friends.
The big round moon, the warm sea and my delicious little family. Despite a whirlwind of feelings and circumstances lately I can't help but come back to gratitude for the wonderful humans in my life. They truly are the best and I am the kind of big sook who gets teary about it most days. ❀️
My yoga bugs. 🐝🐞
Little me and little Zake. This is a call to action. Right now I'm asking you to message or call someone who means the world to you and tell them so. It only takes seconds to write, "I am so grateful you exist," or to say, "I really really love you SO much." If you're on instagram you have time, do it now. If you've got a little extra time, do it for a few more loved ones. You truly never know how long you have to tell them how much they mean to you. πŸ’ž
I had this stupid idea that I shouldn't share because I'm not feeling good these past days, but why not? I'd love to add some humanness to your feed. Another reminder to pause before assuming someone has a perfect life. I'm all feelings and no words lately. I can barely look at my camera or write in my journal. My heart hurts for my brother. It's been five months now. I had some absurd expectation that I'd be able to go a day without thinking about him by now, but he's always there in the back of my mind. My days are full, I'm working so hard. Editing several hundred images, working on projects, my patreon and planning my brother's story to release next week. Being a full time parent and working is a challenge. So is having anxiety and I've been finding it difficult to breathe lately, I spend a long time laying in bed doing breathing exercises trying not to panic. Life is hard for all of us, without a doubt. But as the Mark Nepo saying goes: No rain, no flowers. And I KNOW those flowers are coming, I planted them myself goddamnit. 🌸🌸🌸 Let me know if you're under a dark cloud right now too and we can stand there together. β˜οΈπŸ‘­ Photo by @bellakotak in calmer times at the London #plantlove picnic.
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