June 30, 2014

week eighteen

"I just can't get enough of her…"
‘Owning our story and loving ourselves through the process is the bravest this that we will ever do’ - Brene Brown

Finding the beauty in my own unraveling and the world I wander.

In this home he has the freedom to explore… he has the ability to stop and wonder… he listens to his inner voice without judgement. Divine.

June 26, 2014

wholehearted wisdom: how long will i love you

By The Waterboys


How long will I love you
As long as there are stars above you
And longer if I can

How long will I need you
As long as the seasons need to
Follow their plan

How long will I be with you
As long as the sea is bound to
Wash upon the sand

How long will I want you
As long as you want me to
And longer by far

How long will I hold you
As long as your father told you
As long as you are

How long will I give to you
As long as I live through you
However long you say

How long will I love you
As long as stars are above you
And longer if I may

Images: Louise Buma

June 25, 2014

#wholeheartedjournal collective: 17

Piglet: "how do you spell love?"
Pooh: "you don't spell love, you feel it."

Those feelings: the butterfly's in your tummy; the heart - beating that little bit faster; the warm smile that spreads across your face; the peace that overcomes the busy mind; and the uncensored joy that spreads through your body when you quietly observe expressions of love. Tam x

All images selected via the #wholeheartedjournal tag on Instagram

June 23, 2014

week seventeen

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” 
― F. Scott FitzgeraldThe Great Gatsby

"... if I had one chance to freeze time
And stand still and soak in everything,
I’d choose right now." ~ Newton Faulkner

I'd choose each and every 'now'.
I married a musician and the familiar sound you will hear throughout our home is music.
Belly laughs in the back yard - a perfect Sunday afternoon.

June 20, 2014

Heart to Heart: Anna Davis

Over a year ago I was lucky enough to have Anna sit in my lounge-room attending a workshop. I remember the exact moment I met Anna. Her smile can disarm a room of people and I knew straight away I wanted to get to know her. --Belinda

Anna Davis
mother, teacher  |  fields-of-sage.blogspot.com.au  |  @fieldsofsage

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Belinda: Hello beautiful, I am so excited to share this heart to heart with you. I think of you often. I can't believe it has been over a year since you sat in my lounge-room.

Anna: Oh I'm thrilled too lovely! Always so nourishing to be in your presence. The past year has flown faster than I can conceive. So much has happened, seemingly in the blink of an eye, but also has felt a lifetime too!

The light in your beautiful home that day, was just magic

Belinda: I know, some days time goes so fast I can't seem to breathe, other days I have a beautiful rhythm and others it stands still.  The light is our home is truly special. It drew me in as soon as I walked through the door many years ago. I knew this was to be our family home.

It has been a big year for you. I will chat more about that in a second, but first of all, please tell us a little about you. 
Your Name, How many children? Is Mothering your full time occupation? If not, what else fills your time? Do you have a web presence where our readers can find out a little bit more about you?

Anna: So very true honey - you've encapsulated my days right there in a nutshell

Oh wow, a little bit about me, where to begin! I'm Anna - a close to thirty, small town, Tasmanian girl, who lives in a little cottage with my exuberant family of four. I share my home with my wondrously, ever-patient husband Simon, Sage - our two and a half year old daughter - full of fire and finesse, and our dreamboat baby boy, Alby, who is three months old. I am an early childhood teacher {currently on maternity leave until the beginning of next year} and an occasional blogger; 'occasional' as that’s all I can currently muster amongst this whirlwind that is stay-at-home motherhood! Oh, and I adore taking photographs and eating Nutella from the jar . 

I just got goosebumps. I want to be sitting in your kitchen drinking tea watching all our babes play. Congratulations on the birth of beautiful Alby! How have you found the transition from being a Mama to one and now a Mama to two?

Our kitchen is placed just perfectly in our home - it adjoins the playroom and the backyard - the middle ground for tiny bodies pattering in and out while this mama attempts to housekeep! I can just imagine you sitting there with me one day. Thank you for your congratulations. Alby - I am truly besotted with him! I just feel this desperate, almost innate need to kiss him all. the. time!! The transition from one to two has actually been a little easier than I anticipated, as to be honest, I mentally prepared myself for the worst! Witnessing the way Sage just gushes with love for him is more than my heart can handle!

I remember when Noah was born, I was surprised that I found two easier than one. Watching Lotus all smitten for her new brother made me weak at the knees.

I have had to let go of the notions and ideals surrounding ‘perfect’ motherhood – some days will be blissful, others will be a battle.

Now you have let go, how do you now feel about 'perfect' motherhood? Where do you think you were influenced by those notions and ideals?

I think that the experience of motherhood is perfectly imperfect. When I look around our home and see puzzles scattered around the living room, tiny clothes resting in the washing basket waiting to be folded, uneaten crusts sitting on a pink, Peppa Pig plate, residue of coloured bubble bath lining the tub - rather than exclaiming over the mess and becoming overwhelmed, I try and remind myself that this is my story - my story of mothering, the story of our home. My previous ideals of 'perfection' were entirely self induced. Slowly, as I've released my grasp and accepted, with gratitude, that this current place that I am in is exactly where I am meant to be, have I come to realise that I AM the perfect mother - the perfect mother for a little girl called Sage and a little boy called Alby, who bravely chose ME in spite of my imperfections and and the endlessly imperfect state of our home!

I think we are imperfectly perfect for our families. I love that you feel the same way. I often become frustrated by the 'chaos' of our surroundings, tripping over toys, dishes needing to be done and all the other chores. I then I look around and surrender to our story and I exhale.

How do you think it would feel to mother without the fear of judgement?

Motherhood brings with it a great deal of perspective. I know that in many years time when the children are grown, I will crave the chaos and the mess that used to fill my life, as with that chaos and mess, there came an insurmountable amount of love. I'm a mama who would prefer to read stories over doing the sweeping. Housework waits for when sleeping heads hit the pillow.

I find my frustration to the 'mess' comes more out of fear and being judged if someone is visiting. I often find myself apologising. Lately, I have stopped myself and embraced with acceptance, this is us.

Truthfully, I think the greatest judgements come from within, especially when we begin to compare ourselves and our lives with others. When you trust in your own instincts and capabilities as a mother, this radiates.

What is your fondest memory of your own mother or grand-mother? Or maybe, it was someone who had a mothering influence over you?

I find it astounding how becoming a mother yourself gives you an entirely different insight to your own mother. Its like seeing them for the first time with a new set of eyes and you now have something that binds you inextricably - the bond of motherhood. I now recognise and have a new appreciation for all of the sacrifices she made for my brother and I along the way. She loves us unconditionally and that shines through in every action she takes.. even now that we are grown. Each night as I lull Sage to sleep with the same songs that I was once sung in the darkness, my heart swells with the hope that this tradition carry on.

What a beautiful tradition to carry on. 

What has been your favourite mothering moment? A moment when you felt incredibly proud of your efforts?

Nothing can really prepare you or compare to the very first moment you lay eyes on your child. Finally, after months of anticipation, you are meeting this precious being who you have nurtured and loved from the moment they came to be. Birthing each of my children has by far been my most empowering experience, and therefore my proudest. I'm a little worried that now that I've begun, I won't be able to stop 

I loved birthing all my children. Each one very different, equally as empowering. I have learnt many different things about myself in the days, weeks, months and years from them. I often wonder if Brad and I will ever be done having children. It is such an amazing gift our children give us and we give them. Well, beautiful, Lotus is looking after Parker and he is now into all her valuable things. I must go and rescue them for her. It was an honour to be having this Heart to Heart with you and I can't wait until the day I am sitting in your kitchen drinking that cup of tea.

Oh bless your darling Lotus! Thank you for inviting me to share honey. I adore this space and bonds that have come to exist between women from all around the globe. After all, there is nothing more binding or universal than motherhood. Ultimately we are all navigating through, just doing the best we can. I can't wait until that tea date either lovely xx

Images:  Anna Davis

June 19, 2014

wholehearted wisdom: home

By: Alain de Botton


“We need a home in the psychological sense as much as we need one in the physical: to compensate for a vulnerability. We need a refuge to shore up our states of mind, because so much of the world is opposed to our allegiances. We need our rooms to align us to desirable versions of ourselves and to keep alive the important, evanescent sides of us.”

Image: Louise Buma

June 18, 2014

#wholeheartedjournal collective: 16

The green in every image captured my eye. I wondered if it is because it is Winter here? Mornings are cold, evenings are crisp and middle of the day sun draws me out from indoors. The wonder, the possibilities, the connection, mother earth is calling. --Belinda

All images selected via the #wholeheartedjournal tag on Instagram.

June 16, 2014

week sixteen

His lashes and freckles make me weak at the knees.
I was having one of "those" days… Lou's words: "I know what those days are like! If you change your mind and need to get out of your head for a bit I can come down the road (your road!) for a coffee:)" Those words "get out of your head"… yes! that is exactly what I needed!!!… and so we met, and I spent time with Lou and her little people… a gentle nudge from an understanding friend and my day was elevated to one of "those really good days" Thank you Lou. x
Cousins + cake = three year old heaven
Alba swinging with her Grandpa, my father. Watching how goofy he is with my daughters reminds me of how magical and fun-filled my own childhood was. I'm so grateful for his love.
Honestly? I don't think he liked his birthday cake that much. For the kid that has probably sampled way too many refined sugar cupcakes (courtesy of two generous sisters) my "low sugar" Chocolate Zucchini cake just didn't quite cut it! He did, however, have the happiest of birthdays.

June 13, 2014

heart to heart: emma steendam

In this space we are all about ‘letting go of the mother you think you are supposed to be and embracing the one you already are” – but what if you’re not quite a mother yet, in the most obvious sense? The child you hold in your body hasn’t yet reached your arms…though he or she is already is filling your heart. 
Six years ago this was me, the only proof of my impending motherhood were two blue lines on a stick, a queasy feeling in my stomach and a head full of blissful ideals. The excitement, the unknown and oh, the anticipation! 

Today ‘s Heart to Heart is something different. A fresh perspective from my good friend Emma Steendam, a mother-in-waiting, quite literally! Her first child is due any day but she kindly took the time to chat about her mama instincts, ridiculous expectations and the all consuming daydreams of that moment: meeting baby for the first time.

Emma Steedam
mother, photographer  |  emmasteendamphotography.com  |  shesowsseeds.com  |  @emmasteendam

- - -

Louise Buma: Hey! Did you get my spotify playlist? Also...whatcha up to today? Feel like a 30 min FB chat? Aka a Wholehearted Heart to Heart?

Emma Steendam: Sure - can do today, when suits you?

Louise Buma: In half an hour? Or most anytime really!

Emma Steendam: Ok sounds good, 10.30?

Louise Buma: Sorry! Just saw your message - in true mama makes plans fashion Cedar decided to wake up and head butt the side of the cot. Babies! Ready when you are!

Emma Steendam: Ha! I mean...that's terrible. I’m ready when you are...

Louise Buma: Ok, let's do this! I've made a cup of tea, I have baby boy in the high chair beside me and a large bowl of yoghurt to keep him happy...it's now or never!

I made tea too! No baby boy...well possibly 

Ohhh maybe! How about we start with the introductions - tell us a bit about you...

Well, I'm Emma, I'm a photographer by trade, blogger/crafter/farmers wife are the other hats I wear on any given day! I'm married to my highschool sweetheart, we've been together forever, married 2 1/2 years and expecting our first child in 3 weeks (eeeeep!) We live in a little farmhouse in the green Gippsland hills on my family's sheep and potato farm.

Parenthood is imminent my friend! That makes it sound kind of scary - but you know what I mean. That beautiful moment is so close you can almost touch it. What are you most looking forward to?

I'm actually really looking forward to the birth, which is a good thing I'm thinking...I might change my mind about that at the time! That first moment I 'meet' our child is occupying a fair bit of brain space at the moment - it's so hard to fathom, it's not just the nine months of pregnancy, my whole life has been leading me to becoming a mother I feel. I'm also really looking forward to seeing my husband become a father, that was an overwhelming factor in my absolute need to have a baby - not only a baby, I needed to have Matt's baby. That was a pretty incredible and strong instinct.

Oh Em, I'm starting to get teary already! I love the way you say it's been a lifetime leading up to this pivotal moment...it's so true. Do you feel like this baby has been a long time coming?

Yes and no...I've always wanted to be a mother, I was that little girl with the dolls playing mothers and fathers and house in the cubby etc. I was always really orientated that way, and became an aunty at 15 so have always had babies around with my nieces. But then I also wanted to do lots of things before parenthood - university, working, traveling, living in different places, getting married, then it just seemed like the right time. I'm a big believer in everything happening for a reason.

Absolutely. It seems like a lot of things are really falling into place.  And there's almost nothing better than seeing the love of your life becoming a father. How is Matt feeling about it all?

He's pretty excited I think, he is a total baby stalker at the best of times let alone for our own child! He's pretty baby mad, always picking up our friends and family's babies/toddlers/children before acknowledging the parents! I think it blows his (and my) mind that we will love someone so very much, as much as we do each other. That's hard to wrap your brain around until it happens I think!

He is going to be amazing - you both are! Becoming parents together really does incredible things to a relationship. Love for this child will bind you together in the most inexplicable way. Life will never be the same! In the best way...and in difficult ways too. Is there anything that you are worried about?

Trying not to be 'worried' but hopeful that we have some awesome super-human amazing sleeper and feeder! Totally realistic. I'm hoping to get off on a good start to breast feeding, that's preoccupying my mind a bit at the moment, but at the same time trying not to overthink. Not so much worried, but I don't think I've wrapped my head around the fact that this is my baby...I'm the one that can fix it! That's kind of a big deal.

You are its person! WHOA.

Mind. Blown. 

It's so hard not to overthink these things especially when you're counting down the days... What are you doing for the next few weeks?

I've officially finished work, although I was still getting requests for shoots I just am getting too uncomfortable and tired and sore! So, I'm putting the finishing touches on the nursery, lots of little handmade things I still want to make, as well as still creating things for my handmade business Little Miss Emma. Oh and trying to fill my freezer with meals!

So just resting up then? Haha! Do you really need to be cooking all those meals? It looks like you've got quite a wonderful village of friends and family to sort you out!

So true. We just moved back home to Gippsland from South Australia, my mum is literally around the corner, as is my brother and sister-in-law, and Matt's parents are fantastic and close by also. We're very lucky. Being back home now a lot of our school friends are nearby too, some with little babes of their own, our village is growing!

So amazing! This little one is going to born into a very loving, very big family! Was this the reason for moving home? You and Matt have travelled all over the place since you were married...

Er, yes (understatement!) After our wedding we packed up our life, quit our jobs, sold our car and re-homed our dogs and hit the road indefinitely. We worked on a cattle station in outback Queensland for six months and then traveled around Australia (and Papua New Guinea) living out of our ute and camper. Homeless, unemployed but blissfully happy newlywed gypsies. But the heartstrings always pull us back Home - to where we grew up, fell in love, where our families are, close to Melbourne, friends, community. We always wanted to be back here but were biding our time for the right opportunity to arise, we didn't want to rush things like we had previously. Then somewhat unexpectedly Matt was offered a job which meant a great opportunity for him, for us, and it happened to be in Gippsland! We were all set to have our baby in South Australia, where we knew nobody and were a good ten hour drive from any family, and then within a few weeks we were back home! Like I said, everything happens for a reason. Timing, all about timing.

It's the most wonderful thing - MEANT TO BE. Your family must've been thrilled to hear the news you were coming home! The prodigal newlyweds. Before we finish up (because goodness knows I could chat all day m'dear!) has there been any "mothering" advice given or any parenting example set that has resounded with you?

I think mostly what's resonated is that people have told me to not listen to too much advice! Don't overthink, go with your gut, trust your instinct, relax, don't sweat the small stuff and don't try and people-please.

Brilliant. You're a wise, wise mama already. Finally, I think it's been so great chatting about all the 'what's to comes' - I'd really love to do a part 2 maybe this time next year when your little one (boy? girl!?) is on the brink of ONE. What do you think?

Sure! Sounds great, goodness, imagine my mind space then compared to now! 

It's going to be so cool. and chances are you could have a grumpy teething nearly-one year old gobbling yoghurt beside you just like I do now!

...one can only hope? lol

...er, I mean, a cherubic angel playing quietly at your feet?! Hehe.

Of course, didn't you get the memo about the awesome-super-human-brilliant-sleeper-feeder child that I'm growing? Sheesh.

Oops! Of course!...and in the spirit of hypothesizing in to the future - what's your gut telling you today: baby boy or baby girl? If you're right we can praise your mama instincts in a years time...if you're wrong we can laugh about it!

I've been all about boy boy boy all along, totally going to be a boy...then I realised I should probably wrap my brain around the fact that it could be a girl and not to be totally shocked! So this week I've been all about the baby being a girl...just to y'know, prepare myself. So really my mama instinct is shot to pieces at this point!

Ha! Well, just so I can pass on some cute boy clothes, I shall say BOY. You?

Boy still winning out at this point. Just.

Get ready to have a girl! HA! Either is ace - but I think you knew that already. Thanks so much for the chat Em, you're a treasure. And I can't wait to meet this beloved little one and watch your lives change with daily heart explosions.

Images:  Louise Buma