Happy 1st Birthday to our wonderful Milly.
Baby girl, we've adored you from the moment we met you, and with each giggle and 'proud of myself' grin it becomes harder to remember our lives without you in it. It hasn't always been easy, and I think we've been learning almost as fast as you have. but I feel so incredibly lucky that you're mine.
Love you my Milly Moo.
New Year's Eve I headed outside with Milly and my camera to have a quick and impromptu photo session. I need to do this more because I love these photos. These expressions and poses are (or were, because she changes so quickly!) the ones I see everyday - her thinking tongue, two lonely teeth, the intense concentration on a blade of grass...my little phone thief.
A Story Starter from Simple Scrapper's membership collection provided the nudge to create this layout. The sketch is one I've used before, this layout from 2014, and while structurally they're very similar, the overall feel and result is not. The blue and green photos guided my product choice with a patterned paper that is a soft version of that. The yellow and orange embellishments are a nice complement.
The Premium Membership at Simple Scrapper provides skills and shortcuts to help you simplify and find more meaning in your memory keeping.
Milly: Starting to walk! She only reached 11 months old on Monday but she's happily taking a few tottering steps whenever the mood strikes her. We're best to not particularly encourage her because if we hold out our hands and call to her she gives us the biggest smile and drops down to crawl over to us. Gosh, that girl has my heart! She is loving to open and close lids, holds up my phone to her ear as though making a call and suddenly a whole lot more seems within her arms reach.
Delanie: Starting back at work after 12 months on maternity leave. I'm midway through my first week right now, easing myself back into it with 4 weeks of working only 2 days a week. Ongoing, the plan is for me to work Monday to Wednesday. I think it is the right decision - financially, personally, socially - for me and my family but, combined with the end of the year, it's led to me feeling all the feelings about how I've spent 2016. Lots of reflecting on achievement, intentions, motherhood and time.
Mike: Recovering from a bout of gastro (sorry babe!) and has been working on our boat after fixing an exhaust issue led to the engine cover needing to be totally rebuilt. Hopefully we'll be on the water again before the end of summer. He's taken a couple of days off work this week and next to help ease Milly into being looked after by others as I return to work. As I type this he has just bought me in a cider and is sitting at the desk opposite, soldering something for his new remote control plane.
Childminding: As Mike works shiftwork, a mix of morning, afternoon and night shifts that cycle through the different days of the week, it's not as simple saying on Mondays Milly goes here and Tuesdays she is there. We are incredibly grateful Milly has two sets of grandmothers/grandparents who are willing, even keen, to help us out with childcare. There is a spreadsheet calendar recording when Milly needs looking after and by who, but the logistics will probably need finessing for quite a while. My little mamma's girl is getting better about spending time with her grandparents but there is definitely going to be some difficult weeks as she adjusts to these new arrangements.
House: Needing tidying, cleaning, reorganising and decluttering. Exactly when we'll find time for all this remains to be seen.
Garden: After an early season, the roses are in their second flush and the tomatoes are going wonderfully. Milly tasted her first tomato straight off the vine on the weekend, but the possums continue to nibble on all the strawberries before they're ready to be picked.
Business: Making me feel very busy. It's always been my intention to write a blog post sharing more about this venture (as well as so many other happenings this past year) but I can never seem to gather both time and energy. In short, people are booking photo sessions and seeming happy with the result, while I have a crisis of confidence as I edit each shoot but find it incredibly rewarding. While my price is still ridiculously cheap for the time and effort it takes, the business is going far better than I expected at this stage.
You were one hell of a year.
You were the year I met my Milly, and for that you will forever be a favourite.
You saw me from 32 weeks pregnant through to having a 10 month old baby girl. An incredible little person who has preferences and opinions (!), who loves to wave at people and steal my phone.
2016, you were exhaustion and middle of the night feedings. 6am breakfast and mid morning naps. You were cuddles and singing and cheering new achievements. You were clinginess. You were long hot showers to retreat.
You were the year I learnt what it meant to be a Mum. The year I learnt how to be a Mum, although I have a feeling I'll still be learning that one for a while.
You were success as new parents and two trips away, and you were endless laundry, to do lists that we never reached the end of and the frustrations of trying to balance the wants of me and him and her.
You were deciding to start a new business on top of it all.
You were hard and you were wonderful 2016. And as you leave us, so too does my maternity leave end. In less than two weeks I return to work part-time and we'll begin to discover the new normal that 2017 will bring.
Although it's hard not to look back and think I should have cherished this time more...2016, just know that you will be missed.