Monday, February 28, 2011

Music Video Monday

Just because.

Nirvana performing About A Girl on MTV Unplugged in 1993.

My Daddy is a Super Army Soldier!

Grant will be leaving the military in a few months so I grabbed the opportunity to take a few photos of he and Avalon this morning in his 2's uniform.

In the almost 6 years we have been together I have never seen him in this uniform, only his 1's which he wore for our wedding in 2007.

He looks so handsome and I am so proud of him everyday.

Here is Avalon and her adoring Daddy... and... likewise.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Inspiration~ Love~ Education

Here is one of my favourite poems by the talented and inspirational, Maya Angelou.
I first read this when I was about 15 years old and it resonated with this girl who was not as 'perfect' as those around her... I wish I knew then what I do now...

PHENOMENAL WOMAN by Maya Angelou (1978)

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing of my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can't see.
I say
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.
Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
The palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.


I know, I know, I harp on a bit and it is so sickly sweet but I truly do thank my lucky stars for my man... I couldn't ask for a better partner, friend, lover or father for my daughter.

Have you seen a sweeter face?

walking, walking, walking

I have been unwell for a couple of days with fever, chills and all around general yuck and he just totally takes over. Even as I am sick I feel guilty that I am laying in bed on our weekend together~ that is much cherished family time and I can hardly raise my head.

We had plans to see family at Winchester farmers Market and, as I later discovered, he had a 'surprise' outing organised to a National Trust site... maybe next weekend..

He is ever so patient with me when I holler and call for provisions, all the while caring for Avalon and doing what needs to be done around the house (double yuck).

Avalon lights up like Christmas when he is around and watching them play together is life and love affirming.

So, here I am feeling less than hot and thanking my lucky stars and whoever *may* be above for the two greatest treasures in my life.

Playing on a Saturday morning...

My joy...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

ART. Appreciation. Part deux

I love the colour and detail in Klimt's work and 'Mother and Child' is no exception.

Painted in 1905, it was part of his 'Three Ages of Women' collection.

This piece has always been a favourite painting of mine; I remember first seeing it (not in person unfortunately) during my final year of school, studying art for my higher school certificate. Now as a Mother I identify with the love, security and protection envisioned in the painting and subject. I hope to see it one day in Rome.

Something new each day....

This week Avalon is moving even faster.... it amazes me how quickly she is developing and in a matter of days I can see a huge difference in her movements. I really need eyes in the back of my head now as I turn and she is halfway across the room crawling.

She freely pulls herself up on to people, the couch, the TV stand. She is couch surfing to get where she needs to be. I marvel watching her and seeing her look at her hands and feet and the wondrous new things they are doing.

I must add she is also a terribly flirt... I catch her repeatedly making sweets eyes at just about any man we encounter. Grant had a friend over the other night and she would not leave his side, it makes me so happy to see her so confident socially with others- always smiling and cuddling up to my friends. I love that whenever we are in a store she is full of smiles for the clerks, my baby girl does me proud. I still have moments where I can't believe someone so beautiful is mine.... but I am gushing.

She is high five-ing with her Dad, "singing" in her own little way and talking to her toys (I would love to understand what she is saying!) She says Mum, Dad, Hi, Kitty (although it sounds like Titty) and let us not forget the infamous shimmy dance. I love to watch her wiggle her little bottom as she stands at her walker.

I am rubbish at filling out 'baby books' and I hope I always have this to look back on and marvel at the milestones she is reaching. We are so proud of our little girl.

Avalon just walked behind her Vtech walker... all by herself... and Grant was home to see it *heart explodes* x

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Old friends/New friends...

K & A in Germany February 2008

Today I finally caught up with two very dear friends I haven't seen in three years.

It was a long time coming and as Amy said, 'It is a sign of a good friend that we can just pick up where we left off.'

Kelly, Amy and I met when we were all posted to Elmpt Barracks in Germany with our husbands.The three of us child-free, I guess we gravitated toward each other as it was difficult (well, for me anyway) to make friends on the camp if you didn't have children. There seemed to be a plethora of social groups for Mother's and their children but nothing for women that had not taken that step and had only married the men we loved and found ourselves whisked away to a foreign country... anyway, I digress.

Kelly's lovely other half actually organised a 'playdate' between her and I (Thanks Chris!) and Amy and I worked in the same building.

These two ladies were absolute gems for my sanity (and my social life) whilst living in Germany, I had a handful of friends and a job I enjoyed yet theses two I felt an immediate kinship with. I don't know how to describe it other than we just clicked. We all shared a deep love for sarcasm, trash TV and Chinese Food-- and we all suffered fools very lightly which often had us in snitches over cups of coffee. I had the honour of going to Amy's 12 week ultrasound and Kelly took great pity on me and drove me around when I was car-less.

I was so sad to say good bye to them in 2008. It wasn't fun (but a way of army life) to move again so soon as I had only been in Germany 11 months. I don't really like change and I find it difficult to make good friends- what can I say, if we don't have a commonality, it just isn't going to work.

The three of us have kept in contact thanks to social networking and that has been a fantastic tool in keeping each other up to date with the other's lives and of course a good gossip every now and then.

Fast forward three years and we find ourselves living within an hour (or two) from each other and having four children between us! How lovely to introduce our little "A's" to each other (Avalon, Amelia, Amber and Ava) and again, connect with like-minded Mamas!

Thank you for the laughs girls and we must do it more often, It didn't take me long after that move three years ago to realise you were two of a kind.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Backstage Pass...

Big Daddy and I love ourselves a live music gig... it can hardly be beat... Today I was reminiscing about some of the amazing concerts we have been to together over the past 5 years and I can't wait to take Avalon along too.

Music is a big part of our lives and I want Avalon to grow with an appreciation for it too.
Although I no longer play (I grew up taking piano, guitar and clarinet lessons) Grant still plays the guitar, composing songs for Miss A and playing her classical lullabies. I love listening to him play as it always soothes me, and it works well when Avalon needs some chill out time too.

You really can't beat live music, the smaller the venue the better in my opinion, although we usually end up in some huge arena. I love the roar of the crowd- the feeling of anticipation and the warm cider. Yep, suits me just fine.

I had always wanted to see 3 bands live; Metallica, REM & Pearl Jam and we have managed to do that over the past few years (Pearl Jam twice no less.) I am not sure who is next on the list, we will see what the summer brings.

We really wanted to venture to Sonisphere this summer to see The Big 4 (Anthrax, Slayer, Metallica & Megadeth) but it is too long to leave Avalon (2-3 days) and we would love to take her but I think the metal mayhem experience may be a little too much- even with the sale of family passes.

Here are some of our memories....

Nightwish supported by PAIN @ London Astoria 2008

Pearl Jam 2009 (and 8 weeks pregnant) Avalon's first gig!

Guess.... 2008

That surely is a happy face.

The mighty Metallica @ O2 Wembley

Blues & Roots Festival, Byron Bay 2007 (the weekend before we got married)

Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Byron Bay 2007

REM supported by Editors 2008 @ Twickenham

Hard Rock Calling 2010~ and our first time away from Avalon (a long 8 hours).... it was such an amazing day and one of our best dates ever.

festival feet....

Mr. Eddie Vedder

This is the idea!


5 in 60 seconds... Books

Here are 5 of my favourite novels... in no particular order.... the first that came to mind in under a minute.

I decided not to ponder too long on this or else I WILL change my mind... so for whatever reason, when I think of the films I love-- these stood out.

All of these works cover a different genre of writing yet they have left a lasting impression on my writing and way of thinking. They are also all novels that I have re-read again and again.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Time to PAR-TAY!!

Today we attended our very first 1st Birthday Party. I have a feeling there will be many more this year and we are all looking forward to it!

The De Souzas had an absolute blast and wish Lily, Izzy & Tomos a very Happy Birthday, it has been an absolute pleasure getting to know you over the past 12 months and seeing you grow.