Bloobs… wanna take a wild guess? Blueberries, that’s right. Abel loves berries!

Besides eating ‘bloobs’ we’ve been playing outside more lately. It is spring now and some days are really warm. I’m planting a veggie garden this year so we’ve been outside preparing that. We have lettuce planted, and I’ve started some cucumber, courgette/zucchini, tomato, capsicum/pepper, chives, spring onion, and strawberries. They’re inside and I’ll put them in the ground when they’ve grown a bit bigger. The capsicum isn’t really growing but I’ve heard they are hard to grow so I’m not too surprised. We’ll see if any of the seeds germinate. I also have some squash seeds I saved but I think I will plant those later in the season, and focus on the cucumbers and courgettes for now.

Abel loves helping dig in the dirt and he loves having a bath afterwards to get all clean.

Yesterday we spent the afternoon at the beach, and it was so nice. The wind was a bit chilly and it was overcast but it was so nice to get out and enjoy it. I took some fun photos as well which I’ll share later! We visited the same beach last September so I have some cute comparison photos to share. Ok I’ll just do a sneak peak now. So cute…

It’s hard to believe there’s only a year between these photos!

Spending Time Outdoors

I’m making an effort to be spending time outdoors lately and it’s so nice! Since we moved to this house, we’ve been busy with a newborn and it’s winter so there’s been lots of cold rainy days. Recently it’s been warmer during the days and I’m taking advantage of it!

Don’t worry, it’s really not too cold, I was barefoot as well. I’m doing some gardening, mainly just weeding and preparing a garden bed so I can plant in a month or two. I had this bright idea to turn the edge of the yard into a garden, where the grass wasn’t growing due to the fence leaning wonky (one more problem to fix, haha). Then I realised that if the grass wasn’t growing, my plants probably won’t grow either. Huh. Bright one, right? Anyways, I guess we’ll find out.

There’s another area near our driveway that gets lots of sunlight and I just took out a ton of weeds so hopefully I can grow something there! I love growing a garden, and it’s been a while since I had a successful one. Gardening isn’t my strong point but I really love it, so I’m trying to learn!

I’m planning to grow tomatoes, squash, courgette/zucchini, and cucumbers.

These wild ducks live right behind our house, and they wander around every property except ours, which isn’t accessible to them. I’m kind of sad to miss out on the ducks, but at the same time, walking in duck poo isn’t very nice, and they might eat the garden? Some day I want to get chickens!

The house where we used to live had a large variety of plants and there was always something blooming! Our current house is not like that but we have a few and like I said before, I’m excited to plant a garden. I currently have a few things growing in our window sill, which I’ll plant outside once it’s warmer and hopefully they’ll be established enough not to die…

Being a toddler is hard, right? And getting molars is especially hard.

I was just looking back at these photos of Abel… less than a year ago and he is already SO much bigger!

I noticed a bit of an issue with the sidebar of my blog so if you notice wonky text, I did too, but I can’t figure out how to fix it, so just bear with me.

Northland Based Product Photography

I am starting a Northland based product photography business, called Salt & Light Photography. You may notice my website looks a little bit different now, and the home page will now give you the option to go to my blog or to my photography page. Don’t worry it’s still me and I’m still blogging just as sporadically!

Salt & Light Photography was actually my friend Mia‘s idea, and we spent some time creating these photos together as we brainstormed. We’re currently working on a few collaborations with some local New Zealand businesses so we can build our portfolio. I’ve been sick this past week so I haven’t made much progress but as we recover I am so excited to get to work on this, and share the photos with you once we’re finished!

I have thought long and hard about my goals as a wife, mum, and individual, and I’m really passionate about staying home with my babies and also using my skills and working toward short-term, tangible goals. If you’re interested in our photography or just want to follow along, I have an Instagram page, where we’ll be sharing photos! It’s also a great way to learn about kiwi small businesses as that’s who we’ll be working with.

Cuddles with Juniper

Cuddles with Juniper. The other day I was feeding Abel lunch and reading to him while Juniper played on the floor. She loves to kick her legs and move around, and, apparently, cuddle in her blanket!

She’s also cut her first tooth!

She just turned four months last week and I’ve suspected she was teething for a while now, and I finally felt a sharp edge while she was gnawing on my fingers. She already has teeth, and I feel like she was just born. Soon she’ll be started solids and wasn’t Abel at that stage just a month ago? If you think time goes fast normally, having a baby speeds it up mega. I’m not planning to start solids with Juniper until I have to, and I did the same with Abel. By five or six months though, he was very keen for food and would watch, open his mouth, and grab for food anytime we ate.

When it comes to most things I’m very much ‘go with the flow’. Our Plunket nurse asked me what my goals were for Juniper and I was like… my what? I thought she was asking if I wanted her to be a Dr, or get a 4.0 GPA or something. No, she just meant like in day-to-day baby life. I said, ‘oh, well, I plan to keep her happy and healthy and go with the flow…’. For us, routines work better than schedules. I couldn’t tell you how many naps she typically takes or how many feedings she has, because I don’t really think about it. We have a good routine but I don’t track those things. As for night wakings, I honestly can’t remember most of the time but it’s still a lot, I can tell you that.

I might be a little biased,

but I think she’s just the cutest baby ever. I’m still surprised at her baldness though. Why was my baby boy born with a head full of hair but my baby girl is still bald at 4 months? Don’t worry, I love them just the same. ๐Ÿ˜‰ PS if you want to see a fun comparison, here’s Abel at the same age!

Snacktime With Abel

Snacktime with Abel!

Abel is talking so much lately, adding new words and communicating better all the time. Have you ever talked to a toddler and have no clue what they’re saying but their parents can translate easily? Yes, we are there!

You might have noticed the lack of pants, because we are potty training! Abel is doing really well and although the first day I regretted it every second, we’re now on day three and it’s better.

If you have children you won’t be surprised to hear that I can’t stop staring at every one of these photos and admiring my little boy. It’s such a privilege to be his mum, and it is amazing watching him turn from a baby to a toddler. Now he’s running around, talking, potty training, and just acting much too old. He adores cuddling, and usually when I’m cooking dinner he likes to come hug my legs the whole time which slows me down a little. But it’s the sweetest thing and I love the snuggles!

Lately we have been reading the Little House series aloud. We finished ‘Little House in the Big Woods’ and are now reading ‘Little House on the Prairie’. We are both enjoying it a lot! Abel just turned two but he understands a lot.

I was going to read him another chapter but he grabbed the book from me and wanted to look at it himself, so I just started taking photos of him instead. I’m really looking forward to printing some photos! At the end of every year I make a photo book. I just love it because it’s so nice to have the physical images to look at, and a highlight of memories and moments. Sometimes it feels like we don’t do much exciting but I love taking photos of the little moments like this because they’re just as special. Don’t forget to take photos of everyday life, especially when you’ve got littles who grow so fast.

Playing Outside

Abel just adores playing outside, whether it’s at our house or at a park. I know I’m biased but for real, I think my kid is so dang cute! His little outfit today was just too much, so I took him outside for some photos. I love taking photos of my family especially as Abel is so little and changing so quickly. That said I have barely any photos of Jared and myself, but hey, we pretty much look the same right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

His romper and cardigan are both from – my mom’s favourite place to shop for kids clothes! She sent a package for Abel’s birthday which included this romper. I was so excited when the weather finally turned warm enough for him to wear it.

Abel has been walking for about a week and a half now, and it’s the. cutest. thing. ever. Oh my.

He’s still learning to be steady on his feet and so he still enjoys crawling at times. However, he’s taken up this weird monsterish crawling on his feet and hands, with his bum in the air. It looks like it belongs in a haunted house, just saying.

It might look kind of cute in the photos but when you actually see him crawl, it’s hilarious and so weird. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Since Abel loves playing outside – just in the grass, or on a playground – and my midwife is encouraging me to stay active during this pregnancy, we’ve been going for walks to the park pretty frequently. We have one that’s not far from our house so we visit there often!

Abel is also absolutely happy exploring our own little yard, which is great!

Yesterday I was working on putting together a photo book (with Diamond Photo, I have been really happy with the quality of their prints and books!) and looking through all the old photos of Abel from this year was so fun.

Northland Beaches: Pataua North

Several weeks ago we spent a Saturday at the beach. It’s still a bit chilly for swimming but we enjoyed relaxing on the sand. We love exploring Northland beaches and finding new gorgeous spots!

It was my first time at Pataua North and it was amazing! We parked at a small gravel lot then walked up a grassy hill and BOOM there’s a gorgeous beach view!

Abel is (was?) learning not to put every single thing into his mouth so I could relax a little more and not worry about him eating sand all the time. That was a couple weeks ago. Last week I took him to the park and he started eating some random sandwich crusts he found. Bark. Leaves. Etc. So I’m not sure if he’s actually improving. Regardless, this day at the beach his mouthing things was minimal!

After spending a couple hours at the beach, we drove a few minutes away to where you can walk on a little trail and bridge across the water to Pataua South – which otherwise you can only reach by driving all the way around Whangarei and through Waipu.

I’m really looking forward to more beach days this summer! Check out this post for some of the beaches we visited earlier this year.

Whangarei Portrait Photography: Abel at Mander Park

Well, we have been busy lately and I haven’t been focusing on my blog. June was busy for us and in July we spent two weekends in a row away at weddings, one in Rotorua and one in Palmerston North. Somehow we’re already over halfway through August… this has been the weirdest year that’s for sure. It feels like it’s been so slow and yet so quick at the same time.

Last week I took Abel for a walk to a nearby park and took some photos of him.

He is doing really well! He’s not walking yet but he loves cruising around on furniture and he is a super fast crawler. He figured out how to get off the couch himself, and he could spend hours every day just looking at his books. And eating them. He likes eating them too.

Abel loves listening to music and singing along, and he enjoys standing at the piano and ‘playing’.

Abel enjoys going in the creche on Sundays and playing with all the toys and the other kids.

He had a Plunket visit this morning and he’s just under 11kgs and is 77cm tall. He can say ‘mama’ and ‘dada’ and a whole bunch of gibberish. The other day my niece Grace and I were playing a game and she said ‘Abel am I going to win?’ and he yelled ‘No!’

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Portrait Session: Whangarei Falls

Portrait Session: Whangarei Falls

I love the Whangarei Falls and it’s a must-see place when we have visitors! When my sister Kalina was in New Zealand in February, we did a photo shoot at the falls.

The falls are gorgeous and if you find yourself in Whangarei I highly recommend you visit them. You park near the top of the falls and there are a few viewing platforms where you can see the waterfall from the top. A trail takes you to the bottom, but it’s not very stroller friendly. One side is lots of stairs and the other side is a not-as-steep path that takes a bit longer to walk. At the bottom of the falls you can take a trail that leads to the A.H. Reed Memorial Park.

Of course I had to take some photos of Abel too. Like pretty much every other baby, he loves putting things in his mouth, no matter how bad they taste.

I’m looking forward to visiting the falls again soon! When my mom was here last year and we were impatiently waiting for Abel to make his appearance, we went to the falls and I took advantage of all the stairs, hoping it would help get him in a good position to be born. (It didn’t, apparently). It was a cold, rainy, day then! Although it’s getting rainy again in Whangarei as we approach winter, we’re still having some nice warm days, so I’d better take advantage of that because let’s be honest… going for walks isn’t as fun when it’s cold and wet. Or 9 months pregnant, but I don’t have to worry about that this year. ๐Ÿ˜‰

It was so fun to have a new model. I’ll take your photos anytime, Kalina!

To learn more about my photography, click here!


Life Update!

A little bit of a life update! The last few months I’ve neglected posting as we’ve been very busy, and going through some things as a family.

After Christmas, we spent a few weeks travelling around New Zealand to visit our friends and family! We spent several days in Hamilton at a family camp, then went on to Rotorua to visit our friends there, and then down to Masterton to see my sister.

Shortly after Christmas we found out we were expecting our second child, and in the beginning of February I suffered a miscarriage.

In January/February, my dad, Apollo, and Judah visited, and in February, Kalina came for a visit!

Now that we are back to ‘normal’ I want to get back to posting but it’s always weird trying to figure out what to say after being gone for so long.

So for now I’ll just share some photos I’ve taken recently!

At the Redwoods in Rotorua!

At Mount Bruce Wildlife Centre in Masterton with Adalia, Percy, and Monty!

We were all shocked when we arrived in Masterton to find that Monty, who is two months younger than Abel, is BIGGER than him!

I took family photos for Ben and Adalia. The colours were beautiful and somehow their outfits perfectly coordinated with the landscape – forget coincidence, let’s just say that Adalia planned really well. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Of course, taking photos of toddlers isn’t always easy… Percy saw the trampoline and set his mind on jumping. He was pretty upset that we made him take a few photos first. After Ben got home from work we took a few more photos with him!

If you’re interested in family photos let me know! Check out my photography page for some other examples of my work.

That’s all for today… I better go take my husband some lunch and then come home to fold the piles of laundry on my couch…