Thursday, August 15, 2013

Two years on!

Two years ago today, right now, I was en route to our new life in the US. I woke up that morning and could barely breathe.  I didn't want to leave. I didn't want to leave the UK.  I didn't want to leave my family.  How could I not see my Mum every six weeks? How would I survive?

I didn't know how to 'be' in the US. I felt like I had jumped off the edge of a cliff and was free-falling to a sudden and painful death.  I have never been so scared in my whole life.

Now here I am two years later and I wouldn't change it for the world.  I've purposely not gone back and read my "One Year Later" post.  I can't remember what I said and I wanted to think about things without refreshing my feelings from last year.

Photo courtesy of Clare Ahalt Photography
This summer is the first year I've really felt settled. I've made friends, proper friends now, people I can talk to about more than just baby poo and summer activities.  I've found a community of birthy people, people who get my passion for pregnancy and birth and don't think I'm a crazy hippy for eating my placenta and having my baby at home!  I've done some doula work, which always makes me happy!  I'm building my photography business and have had steady work for the last few months. I've started doing birth photography and feel like this is what I was born to do.

Most importantly my family is happy. My babies are growing up and my heart shines every day to see them smile and hear them laugh.  It helps that the sun shines so much here!  It's nice to be home with them and see them grow, and it's nice to fill our days with activities and see new things and go new places.

Of course it's hard sometimes.  Finding a balance between working for myself and looking after my boys and finding time for my husband can be challenging.  I still miss my Mum like crazy.  Yes I can live without seeing her every six weeks, but in a perfect world I would be able to, and it is still the one thing I would change about living here.

I'm glad I grew up in the UK and got to see so much of Europe and other places around the world, but I'm also happy to see my boys grow up here, for now.  This is a good place for my family and I can't ask for more than that!

Ahhhh, so I read back my first year post and remembered I had made a list of all the differences I have found here!  I can't think of any more off the top of my head, but my 'new' thing for this year is realising words that I will never ever be able to say properly. For example:

Graham - Thomas's new teacher is called Mrs Graham. He laughs every time I say Mrs Graham. It's Mrs Graaaam, I can't say it, it's going to be a long year...

Blueberry. Make that any kind of berry.
Any name with an Anna in it. It isn't Anna, it's Ah-na.

There are more. I can't remember right now. I'll have to come back and add them later!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

20 questions for a four year old...

Last year, the awesome Mummy Mishaps posted a vlog entitled "20 questions (Aged 3)" and I couldn't help but copy her and asked Thomas the same questions!

Following on from that, it's now one year (and a few days) later, and I sat Thomas down this morning and asked him the same questions now that he is four!


Sunday, June 30, 2013


For every mosquito that lives to bite me, there is a firefly that lives to twinkle for me.

I wish this photo twinkled like the woods behind my house do every night!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Summer bucket list 2013!

It's that time of year again!  Thomas is now in a pre-school which operates on the same schedule as the public schools. That means he finishes school on June 12th and doesn't go back until the end of August! That gives us a LOT of days to fill... Good job we live in an area with a LOT of things to do!

We plan to have fun, take day trips, take road trips, visit friends, stay home, blow bubbles, make some things, draw some things, paint some things, grow some things, pick some things, listen to some music, watch some movies, and generally enjoy the summer :)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Photographing babies

I'm starting to blog over on my photography page now as well as here, so bear with me as I figure out what needs to go where...

Here is my first guest post for the Sacred Roots Birth Community!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Lomography challenge month 2


But I will get some good photos before this year is through!

Most of them look like this:

Here is my one non-blurry, non-over-exposed image :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

"Love makes viruses go round. Discuss."

This was the essay I chose for my Honours paper exam, all those years ago*. I decided to not only think outside of the box, but to jump right on out of it and wrote a philosophical discussion on the many different types of love you would come across in life. Starting from birth, you generally, have the love of your parents, then you love your family and later your friends. As you get older you find romantic love and when you're older still, you might find the love that comes from becoming a parent yourself.

Pesky viruses thrive on the fact that people have the ability to love and a consequence of loving is touching. Most viruses wouldn't last five minutes outside of the human body. Winter creates environments where people want to be closer, feeding off the warmth of their family, staying in closed spaces with their friends and all their children. Of course viruses love winter.

I like the winter too, but would like it to get warm now please. I'm tired of all my friends being sick, having poorly children, and seeing snotty noses.  I would like to go outside and play; I would like to open the windows and blow away the cobwebs; and I would like to wear a few less layers :)

This photo was submitted to the I Heart Faces photo challenge –

  Photo Challenge Submission

*Of course, it was a brilliant essay and I aced my Undergraduate degree!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Diana F+ challenge month 1

My lovely husband suggested I dust off the Diana F+ lomography camera he bought me for Christmas a couple of years ago for my 2013 photo challenge this year, so of course I agreed!

First time round I couldn't get to grips with the camera and my photos were so frustratingly awful that I put the camera away, waiting for a better day...

At the start of the month I got it out again! I dusted it off, bought some film and read up on the (very few) controls. At least this time round I understand the aperture settings and the way the film goes in! Piece of cake.

Ummmm. Well, here we go, month 1. How annoying to not see the images as I take them! Especially when after the first couple I would have figured out I wasn't releasing the shutter quick enough! And there were a couple of double exposures from forgetting to wind the film on, oops!

On the plus side, the lighting is alright, so at least I've learnt something in the last three years :D

My challenge for month 2 - release the shutter! No blurriness please! [with the exception of moving children where this may prove impossible] Wind the film forward!

Month 1 challenge - FAIL!!

Should have taken one step back to focus

Double exposure!

Inanimate object blur fail!

More double exposing!

To be fair, he was jumping...

Blur fail!

Moving + slow shutter = FAIL!

Blurry baby

Shaky hand!

A-ha! Focused! Hoorah!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Lost without my 366 project!

So, how does a girl without an excuse to take photos every day cope? It would seem I *still* take photos every day! But now I have no excuse to bore everyone with them... just a few of them instead :)

This month we've been figuring out another new normal. Thomas has changed schools and now goes three afternoons instead of two full days. It's made so many differences to our lives already! Tyler now naps while Thomas is away, I've been catching up with CBE coursework, Thomas is loving school and we've had so much more time to do other things!

Walking the dog; naked finger counting; jumping off steps; hanging out outside; naked karate practice; impromptu photo sessions; and many more!

January may be a time to hibernate and steer clear of all the horrible illnesses in the air, but we're having a lovely time!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I Heart Faces Photo Challenge ~ Best Face from 2012

How do I pick one face from all of the photos I took in 2012?!

Sometimes it's made easy by having such a beautiful face to pick...

This photo was submitted to the I Heart Faces photo challenge "Best Face from 2012" –

Photo Challenge Submission

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Oh life! How quickly it flies!

I finished my 366 photo project! I decided not to carry it on for another year, for a few reasons.

1. I probably do take a photo every day. Some days I take hundreds! I found by half way through the year I was starting to forget to post a photo, or couldn't find the time to sit down and do it, then by the time I did sit down I had a few photos to post and it would take me so much longer to post them!

2. Because I was posting to my 366 blog so much, I neglected this one. A picture can tell a thousand words but sometimes people want to know what is really going on in my head! Well, maybe...

And 3. I've done it, so now I want to do something else.

Cousins :)
This year is going to be exciting with my photography business going from strength to strength - I hope to add birth photography and newborn studio photography to my portfolio this year; I have my CBE workshop in March with an aim to finish the course by the end of the summer; and I am bowing out of the world of forensic DNA analysis with a PhD examination at the end of this month, followed by my final ENFSI DNA working group in Bratislava in April!

I'm excited to be involved with setting up a new Birthing Circle in Frederick! This group of women hope to educate, support and empower women and their families through the journey of pregnancy, birth and the post-partum period.  We are going to hold monthly meetings and talk about all things pregnancy, birth and babies! Brilliant!

Me best friend's baby, Orson

Thomas has started a new school and is loving it now he only goes for 2.5 hours instead of all day. It's so nice to see him so excited to go! It's also nice to have him with me for longer. As he rapidly approaches school age I become more aware of how quickly time is flying. I get to keep him close for an extra year compared to my UK friends and for that I am very grateful and intend to make the most of it!
Thomas :)
Tyler is keeping me on my toes and wakes up at 5am each morning since we got back from the UK. Yawn.  He's currently refusing to walk, so my previous idea that he would walk by the age of 1 is proving wrong and he will probably follow in his brothers' footsteps and start walking perfectly at 15 months...

Tyler :)
And David is David :) He works hard and he lets me do all of these crazy things I want to do. He is marathon training again and enjoying life in the US.  He has unrelenting patience for my latest photography 'need' and he supports me in all I do. I am very lucky and very happy.  Plus he bought me an IPad for Christmas which means he can do no wrong for at least three months, maybe more...

My lovely family!
So what challenge do I set myself for this year? I'm already missing taking a photo a day! Maybe I'll set myself a photo a week? That's not really a challenge though... Maybe life is throwing me enough challenges this year and I should just decide to 'be'.  Maybe I should just update *this* blog more often... Yes, that's what I'll do, I'll give this blog more love. I can hear you all cheering already :D

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