Summer Living

Back in early spring, mid-September to be precise, Daniel decided he no longer needed his daily nap. Right around that time I stopped blogging. Because adjusting to the new routine of non-stop action from morning till bedtime left me with hardly any time to come up for air, and so many things that I used to be able to accomplish during his naps became a luxury, something I could only find time for during my weekends, and slowly, steadily, everything just faded away – plans, dreams, ambitions. But I was there, right in the moment, looking after my inquisitive, active, happy toddler. There will be a season in my life when I can sit down and dream big again, but for now my time with this boy of ours is too precious to miss. Plus I never stopped taking photos. I have been taking more photos than I used to (my bursting hard drives are nodding in agreement) to document our little memories.

And today, on the first day of autumn, I am back here, re-reading my old posts, feeling overwhelmed with gratitude as I scroll through the old photos. I don’t want to break the yearly tradition (just like HERE and HERE), so it’s time to fill this space with photos from our summer. Of brutally hot, sunny, long days filled with so much happiness. Salty breezes carrying around smells of frangipani flowers. Sandy little feet. Sunrises and sunsets. Discovering new exciting places. Chasing each other around our backyard with a water hose in hand.

Fire, Air, Water, Earth.

Life.

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Belinda - March 2, 2017 - 1:18 pm

Absolutely breathtaking as always Anastasia. How I love your summer wrap up blog posts :) The B&W of him on the sand dune pulling along his kite needs to be submitted for a competition – any competition!! Amazing. My second favourite is the B&W of him splashing up out of the water. So much joy and happiness in that photo xoxo

Anastasia - March 2, 2017 - 2:31 pm

Thank you so much Belinda :) I love the sand dunes B&W too, one of my favourites from that sunset session! And that place (Anna Bay in Port Stephens) is amazing – there is so much open space, and you feel so small, and the landscape around you is so powerful. Can’t wait to go back – thankfully it’s just two hours away north!

Lisa Jay - March 2, 2017 - 3:18 pm

Beautiful collection!!

Anastasia - March 2, 2017 - 8:52 pm

Thanks so much Lisa!!

East Coast of Tasmania

Once we arrived to the white beaches of the Bay of Fires, we knew we did not plan our stay on the East Coast well enough – there were so many places to explore. So we had to cut our time in Hobart to make sure we had a little more time by the sea. One of the things that made me fall in love with that stretch of the coast was how diverse it is – you can stand on the lichen covered rocks and witness a majestic sunrise on the beach, and thirty minutes later you can wander through an ancient rainforest to feel the cool water blown off one of Tasmania’s highest waterfalls land gently on your face, and then, back on your way to the coast, as you drive past brilliantly green pastures you can stop at a dairy farm to taste on of the best cheddars in the whole of Australia. And after a couple of days exploring the Bay of Fires you can continue south along the coast and just 90 minutes later arrive to Freycinet National Park, the home of the world-famous Wineglass Bay. And even if we could not do the full trek to the bay with a toddler in row, we still had the best hike up to the lookout. My words wouldn’t do any justice to that place so I hope my pictures do a better job illustrating the beauty of Freycinet.

Wild, rugged, spectacular. Plus the oysters on the East Coast are some of the best we’ve had:)

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Cradle Mountain

Cradle Mountain had been on my must-see list of places for years, and one night in March we bought plane tickets to Launceston pretty much on a whim. For three long months I kept checking the Cradle Mountain webcam obsessively, dreaming of the day when I finally stand on the shores of Dove Lake and witness its majestic beauty with my own eyes. For the last couple of weeks before our flight the mountain was obscured by heavy clouds and rain almost daily, so all I could do was pray for at least a few hours of clear weather for our chance to see it.

It is amazing how everything fell into place. The fact that we decided to start our Tasmanian trip in Launceston instead of Hobart, the closed roads on the shortest route to the area, getting lost multiple times on the way, Daniel’s unexpected, early, long nap in the car. As we pulled into the car park at the lake after our much longer than planned drive, the clouds started to lift, and, a few minutes later, during our little trek to the most photographed boat shed in Australia, I could not believe our luck  – the sun came out of nowhere, and the mountain stood there, right in front of us, in all its glory, and I could not help but cry.

The next morning we got up in the darkness, dressed our confused toddler into layers and layers of warm clothing, and did that slow drive to the lake once again, to be greeted by the mountain, by  clear skies, by calm reflections on the water, by the sun painting the top of the mountain deep red as it was slowly making its way from below the horizon line.

We only managed to spend a few hours at the lake during our stay, and we were blessed, so blessed by clear weather. It rained for the rest of our time there (which made exploring the most amazing rainforest I have even seen even more special), and those three days will never, ever, be forgotten.

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Precious Snapshots

He is two and a half. He climbs onto everything, he jumps off everything. He is crazy about trains and fire trucks. He loves to help me cook (“cut! cut! Daniel cut!”). He is very much into yoga (he calls it “goga”). He wears funky socks. His has a toy doctor’s set, and it’s his favourite. He puts all kinds of containers on his head and says he’s a robot or an astronaut. He makes ice cream from Play-dough and says “Mmm, yummy!”. He has a giant teddy and a toy rat as his best friends. We have a ritual of making a hot chocolate before bedtime, and smoothies in the morning, and I want to remember forever how spectacular the milk moustache looks on him. I also want to remember the faces he makes, the way he looks at me if he wants to do something he is not allowed to, how cute his little PJs look on the clothesline outside, what our quiet days at home are currently filled with. Being caught up in running the house, constantly picking up toys, wiping sticky cheeks and fingers, making sure he is fed (etc, etc) often makes it hard to see the beauty of it. But my camera is always near me, and I make a conscious effort to pick it up and it see it through the lens, all of it, in all its glory – our everyday that is to become a precious memory in a very short time from now.

They do grow up a bit too fast.

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Lisa Jay - June 22, 2016 - 8:44 am

Beautiful collection of images. It’s so good to document all these details and moments.

Belinda - June 22, 2016 - 1:42 pm

Oh what an extraordinary gift you are creating for your little boy. These images will be treasured forever. I adore the photo of him playing doctor with his bear. Too much cuteness!!!

Anastasia - June 27, 2016 - 1:37 pm

Thanks so much Lisa! I know that I will keep coming back to these photos for years and years – it’s amazing how fast they change and grow, so it’s easy to forget so many little things that are happening these days. So thankful for photography!

Anastasia - June 27, 2016 - 1:39 pm

Thank you so much Belinda! Those red doctor glasses on his face – I melted into a puddle when he put them on for the first time (upside down too I must mention!). Oh, toddlers, they are adorable and funny and amazing :)

Claire and Andrew Married

Bright autumn sun was creating a myriad of playful sparkles on the waters of Horseshoe Cove, in Sydney’s Newport. Strong afternoon winds had quietened to a lovely, gentle breeze. Shiny white yachts were reaching their masts up to the gloriously blue sky. And on that perfect day, in the perfect place, surrounded by their families and dearest friends, Claire and Andrew held hands, and said “I do”. There was so much love, so much joy. And the light at sunset that day was pure magic.

Here are some photos that tell the story of Claire and Andrew’s big day:

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Wedding Dress – Angela Osagie, Swish Bridal Design

Makeup – Linda Oliver

Hair – Paula Hibbard, Fabulous Hair Up

Flowers – Wild Lotus

Cake – Sweet n Pretty

Transport – London Cab

Celebrant – Ed Taylor

Band – The High Life

Reception Venue – Royal Motor Yacht Club