August 2012

A memory box reveal

Happy Friday friends! Today I want to share with you the memory box that I’ve put together for Jamie. Each of our boys have a memory box (or two), filled with journals, scrapbooks, keepsakes and other memorabilia from their first years. Jamie’s box currently sits in my studio, as I’ve been busily finishing off his baby book this last week (funny how such ‘baby books’ are always completed way past the point when our children are in fact babies).

Clockwise from top left:

a) Jamie’s brag book: For each of the boys, I’ve put together a small photo album of some of my favourite photos from their first twelve months. Each album holds only about 36 photos, so it’s intended to just be a brief overview of their first year. It’s a nice little addition to the memory box because the boys’ first year photo books are stored on separate bookshelves, not in the boxes. Plus, it’s always nice to just quickly flip through a small album and be able to see how much they changed over the course of twelve short months. This black cloth one is from Kikki-K.

b) Jamie’s ‘official’ baby book: I’ve bought one of these for each of the three boys, as I like having an ‘official’ place where I can write down all the details about their birth and their milestones. There are, of course, some pages that always confound me (e.g. am I really meant to remember what the fashion was like the day they were born?) but overall, I think these baby books are a worthy investment of time and money. This particular one is also from Kikki-K (yes, I am a fan).

c) Cards and notes: A memory box is a great place for storing all those cards and notes of congratulations that people send you when you have a baby! I like tying ours up with a piece of string to give it an added tactile touch (and also for keeping them together).

d) Jamie’s first year journal: This book is similar to the one I used for my own personal visual journal. I put in a custom order so that it would have 366 pages – one for each day of Jamie’s first year of life. I’ll be writing a separate post about this in the near future, but I originally got the idea from these 365 Days notebooks that Kikki-K sells. I’d bought one for Pete after he was born and had used it for his first year scrapbook. It was great, except that the perfect book binding meant that once there were photos stuck on every page, the binding could not actually accommodate the resulting thickness. The beauty of Badger and Chirp‘s handmade journals is that they cope very well with having lots of photos stuck inside. Plus, the cover is made from beautiful soft lambskin leather, and you can choose your own colour!

e) Other things hidden underneath the items above are ultrasound photos and CDs in a Kraft envelope, a hand-knit vest by my mum, and spare birth announcement cards.

It feels amazing to have finally completed all of Jamie’s baby/1st year scrapbooking, and an absolute joy to look through everything with the boys and our parents. It really is a great reminder of how precious our children’s lives are.

Do you keep memory boxes for your children or perhaps for yourself?

During our holiday, Rick and I snuck away for one night to the beautiful Acacia House located in Milton, on the South Coast of NSW. We had been there for a weekend in 2006, and had loved it. It was a three and a half hour drive from Sydney, but it was totally worth it. Apart from the fact that I got to sleep (in peace) in the car, and Rick got to, well, drive his favourite toy, we literally had the guesthouse all to ourselves.

We stayed in ‘the cream room,’ which was as beautifully furnished as it was the last time. In fact, they’d added a television to the room, which was simply perfect as we arrived just in time to catch the season finale of Once Upon A Time (I’d been desperately hoping I wouldn’t miss it). The hostess even fed us delicious, rich fruit cake, which went down beautifully with hot mugs of Milo. After the television viewing, we indulged ourselves in long, hot showers and then slipped straight under those crisp linen sheets. My goodness, that bed was as comfortable as I remembered it to be! And the best part? We were under those warm covers for ten hours straight, which is unheard of in the land of little people.

The next morning, we enjoyed a sumptuous breakfast on this beautiful verandah which had the most spectacular views of the Budawang Mountains. The breakfast itself seemed never-ending: first there was cereal, then toast, then yoghurt, then juice, then the hot food – sausages, bacon, eggs, mushrooms and tomatoes – and then the host came out with our tea and coffee. Spoilt much?

It was indescribably wonderful to be able to sit down with Rick to the first meal of the day and be able to take as long as we want, without any interruptions or fights or either of us losing our patience because one of the boys were refusing to eat. It was just us, the crisp air, the sound of the birds in the trees, and the sweeping Australian land before us. How I savoured every moment of that hour, drinking in every second of every minute that passed.

After breakfast, we didn’t have long before we actually had to leave again. But before we did, we roamed the grounds like we did six years ago, revisiting the outdoor wood fire oven, the enormous tree in the front gardens, the horse and the emu (yes, you read right), the cows which had worried me the last time (again, you read right), and last but not least, the lone wooden bench that reminded me of the one in Notting Hill.

Even though it was only fourteen hours between our arrival and departure, our one night and morning at Acacia House left us significantly relaxed and energised. The hospitality of our hosts, the brightness of those stars at night, the beauty of our room, the warmth of our bed, the tranquility of the country, and the fresh rural air all combined to refresh and recharge us. I honestly hope we will be back again before another six years goes by. And maybe one day, we might even bring the boys. Maybe.

Acacia House
203 Evans Lane
Milton NSW 2538
Hosts: Peter and Chris
Phone: 02 4454 5652

Have you stayed anywhere wonderful recently?

(Linking up with Grace.)

As of this moment…

…I am giddy with excitement that the new blog design is now live! It feels like I have been dreaming about and working on this for so long now, and it’s just amazing to finally see it online. I would like to thank Tabitha for helping make all my fuzzy concepts come to life (I am especially love with the new ‘Pink Ronnie’ logo that she’s created…) as well as Dave for surely being the most efficient and precise WordPress/Thesis developer there is out there. I would recommend both of these amazing people in a heartbeat.

Thank you so much for all your patience with the lack of regular updates in recent days. I am happy to say that the blog shall now return to normal! There is an abundance to share in the coming weeks, and I can’t wait to catch up on all your lovely blogs as well. Lastly, a hearty welcome to my new readers. It’s an absolute joy to have you here.

Photo above: Kicking off my shoes at the beach.

We spent a lot of time playing outside in the holidays, basking in the warm air and savouring every moment of being together as a family. The golden hour seemed even more golden than usual. Here, Jamie had just woken up from his nap. I had actually been attempting to nap outdoors myself, hence the cosy deck chair and blanket. As for the bananas… well, that was afternoon tea. What can I say – sometimes, simple is best.

You can read more of our golden hour story here.

Something new

Something I’ve been keeping under wraps is that we are about to launch a new look for the blog real soon. It’s one of the reasons I’ve been missing this last week. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am about it! It signals a new beginning here at Pink Ronnie, and I am just bursting to tell you more. Meanwhile, thank you so much for bearing with my lack of updates, as I settle back into my bloggy routine after our amazing family holiday. Lots to post and share. Miss you all!

I was recently invited to join The Creativity Project: a monthly blog circle started by a group of talented photographers with a different theme each month. I’m so excited to join these awesome ladies in this creative venture, and yes, this is my inaugural post!

This month’s theme is sun flare, which I’m happy to say is something I just love to capture in my photos. Most of you will know that we’ve been on holidays and over the weekend, we revisited the Sturt Gardens in Mittagong. We were there last year during our family holiday as well, and it was just lovely going back and observing how much the boys had grown up in a year! Naturally, I hung back to snap photos, and here, Pete was waiting for me to make sure that mummy wouldn’t be left behind… How sweet is this little guy?

Now head on over to Becky at Life with Kaishon and be sure to click through the links to continue throughout the circle and enjoy everyone’s take for this month’s theme.

Made me smile…

…a Butterfly chair / flowers from the sidewalk / a sea of lavender / the joy of holding hands

What are some of the things making you smile?

These days…

…the air is getting warmer. Spring seems just around the corner. The five of us are spending lots of time together, soaking up every minute of this precious family holiday. We are making frequent trips to our favourite cafe, and just loving it. I am even getting some quiet time to myself in the mornings while Rick takes the boys out to play. We are eating Crunchy Nuts for breakfast – our traditional holiday cereal. Pete is speaking more and more each day, which is so exciting. Meanwhile, Angus continues to astound us with his photographic memory, and Jamie has started to count from one to three. I am in constant awe of my wonderful husband, who everyday puts all of us before himself. I hope that our boys grow up to be like him – husbands and fathers who love their families abundantly and selflessly.

(Linking up with Trish.)

Spending time outdoors during the golden hour has been so much easier since Jamie started to walk. He’s just like one of the big boys now: strolling around, inspecting leaves on the ground, drawing on the driveway with chalk, shovelling pebbles into a bucket, peeking at the ants, and dragging a shovel along behind him. It’s so wonderful to watch the three of them running around and playing with each other like the best of friends.

Sometime last week, I prepared some peanut butter on toast for the boys for afternoon tea, and served it up with some tomato and cheese. Our boys love their cheese and their toast (though getting them to eat the crust is still an art form that we have yet to perfect), which is just fine with me considering how easy it is to prep both! Can you see that a fork is missing from the ‘after’ shot? 10 points for anyone who can work out where it’s gone…

There are days when I ache for these three to remain little boys forever. More than anything, I yearn to protect them from ever being hurt. I want to wrap them up in my arms, and envelope them for all time. But seeing as that is not possible, I shall be content with watching, listening and savouring as they learn, love and live each day.

You can read more of our golden hour story here.

(Linking up with Jess.)

He gave me flowers…

The honest truth is that neither Rick nor I are very good at getting each other gifts. However, in the week leading up to our wedding anniversary, he asked me quite a few times whether there was anything I wanted. I honestly couldn’t think of anything (well, a gorgeous vintage typewriter wouldn’t go astray but I know how expensive a nice one can be), so in the end, I suggested flowers. To our shame, neither of us know what these are called – all we know is that they’re native to Australia. If anyone would like to help us out here, please do!

In other news, we are officially on holidays which means the five of us get to spend a heap of time together for two weeks, and I get to catch up on some scrapbooking in the daytime! Yay! This week, I finally finished Jamie’s 1st year journal which ended up being about 10 centimetres thick. I can’t wait to share it with you!

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

More flora here.