Gee was I ever optimistic when I thought I would have the new website design ready to go by Tuesday! It is now Wednesday and while I have just gotten my big girl off to her first high school camp, my old design has not budged. I can see the changes on my end, but it isn’t ready to be released into the world quite yet.

I am laughing at my relentless enthusiasm. Oh well, I know now why I have been putting it off for the last few years. There is so much minutia to check and double check. Each of these little details lead to another discovery and suddenly I am building a completely new page. Frankly, I am not organised enough to control the workflow of redesigning a website. Good thing that isn’t my actual job!

I just want to get back to writing about life and sharing the photographs I am making.

I even missed my posting my own images for my personal #photographinghappiness project this month. The idea that we will be concentrating on for this next month is Light. This will be added to Moments and Perspective to build the skill set of not only taking great pictures, but seeing all the elements that go into meaningful photographs. I guess I need to swap my perspective here and see this not as a failure or delay, but just a part of the always imperfect process!

See you back here soon.


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New design rolling out here… I need to update things since it has been about three or four years of this look and no portfolio! Pardon my dust while I do this all myself. If something looks broken, it might just be! But don’t worry, I will be back with something beautiful to look at. I hope. I guess I’ll never learn if I don’t try and frankly, I need to stop being afraid of crashing!

Time to fly!

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Brought to you by Bupa

I’m not one for resolutions, but I do like beginnings and appreciate a bit of direction to get motivated. To me, resolutions can seem restrictive in their binary results of either succeed or fail. I am more apt to actually make progress when I start to set to work on a broad plan. With that in mind, I am setting up the theme for our upcoming personal projects.

Last year was all about the theme, “Do Good” and by keeping those two words at the front of my mind, I was able to create my Within The Keep project.

Going forward into 2017 I am going to focus on “Build Strong” because I think that we can and should continue with the good we are doing. This unfolding year will be about strengthening our family team. It isn’t that we are not a close or loving family already. No, it’s just now that the kids are older, I am finding life is less about simple crisis management and more about building on the bonds we have cultivated.


The kids are really their own people with individual interests now, instead of little ones who go along with whatever the adults decide. Like any family, we have distinct personalities that make up our team. Yet, the funny thing is, despite our differences, we all have one thing in common, the need for “me time.”

So how are we going to build a strong team family in 2017 if we need time apart to thrive?

Good question! For us in the past, it’s usually meant looking forward to holidays in a new location full of fun distractions. However, this year, with a new pool in the backyard and a high-schooler who is playing cricket three times a week, we won’t be going on any exotic family vacations for a while. Yet, when we have had staycations in the past, we would find that for us, there could be too much togetherness. So I took an idea that commonly refers to design theory and put it to work for my family…Less is more.

No really, for a family like ours, little by little, together, with our own breaks in between is how we will thrive. And ten minutes is all we need to start. When I was little, my mother would stop randomly during the day to have what she called, time out for loving, when we would just drop the chores and cuddle. Now as a mother myself, my favourite time with my own children is when we read together.

Anyone can find ten minutes in their busy day to focus on family. Those ten quality minutes will lead to more. To build anything, one must start piece by piece, little by little.

It is already working for us. The other day we went to the Bupa Family Day to celebrate the cricket season at the MCG. Gemma had earned the opportunity to experience a master class in bowling and batting with two modern day cricket greats, Peter Siddle and Alyssa Healy! I realised that a master class is like our family plan. That short session spent with Peter and Alyssa was quality time, and Gemma came away with an amazing new level of confidence and skills. The pieces they placed will become part of Gemma’s whole cricket career as she grows.

Gemma and cricket stars Peter Siddle and Alyssa Healy

Gemma Bupa cricket master class with Peter Siddle and Alyssa Healy

Gemma bowling to Alyssa Healy

In the car on the way home, Kieran described it as the best day ever. He did not get the master class and he isn’t really all that interested in cricket, so I wanted to know what it was that made it great for him. The answer was simple; it was the little moments with us. We were not forcing anyone to do everything together, but we did come together as a family.

There were so many little activities that we could do, from plastic cup pyramid stacking competitions to nail biting rounds of jenga and connect four. We even had a few overs of backyard cricket under the shade of the MCG. We rotated around activities, spending time with each other as different pairs. Sometimes we were just a cheerleader for the others as they played, giving us time to be alone while still being part of the whole.

Bupa TeamFamily at the MCG

These small moments are what remind us why we are good together and exactly what makes us a stronger team.

Our family might sound a bit like yours, or maybe you all are the complete opposite of us! Whatever your family looks like, you can find more ideas on how to build a strong team family on the website that Bupa has created just for that purpose.


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I’m not sure where it comes from, but suddenly life here is about planes and flight. When Kieran likes something, he doesn’t just become interested he actually obsesses. Currently he is gathering all the knowledge he can on the history and science behind flight in books we borrowed from the library. He is getting a head start on flying lessons with flight simulators on the iPad and we have built our first model plane. So much fun taking him to the park today and tossing our best effort in the air. Over and over. 

He thanked me as we walked home and all I could think to say was “my pleasure, son” because it is such a pleasure to be a part of something so exciting like a child learning of the possibilities ahead of him.

We are going to go watch planes landing soon. Any other ideas to help him explore this new passion?

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I have long considered the many different month long fund raising campaigns out there and every year I let them pass by seemingly accidentally. I know in my heart that it was a result of my laziness and fear, not any other excuse that I give myself. So this year, I am going to take the shortest month and try to make the most difference. I will be doing FebFast and giving up my luxurious 7am sleep-ins. My feet will hit the floor at 6 each morning to power walk at least 45 minutes. No leisurely stroll, these will be fast paced and pre-coffee. I might even run again if my asthma settles down. Selfishly, walk or run, these moments will be my alone time and I can get my priorities straight before anyone else in my family is even awake. More importantly, I will also be (with your help!) raising funds for disadvantaged young people in Australia.

Giving up lazy morning

As I explain on my page, I am not giving up my wine since I’m actually only having it once a week…maybe. I’m not giving up my coffee because no one needs that sort of mother/friend/human to be wandering the streets. I’m not giving up sugar either…out of principle. This had made me think what really would be difficult for me and what others have no choice but to do every day and how I could also make myself healthier for it… It did not take long for me to come up with a huge list of privileges and the one I would be giving up.

While I get to safely sleep in until 7am and rise from a comfortable bed to make breakfast for my three healthy kids who all get to attend school with home packed lunches, there are many here in Australia who don’t have any of these luxuries.

Where will these funds raised go? What will the money actually do???? Great questions! The answers are varied but simply from overcoming mental health issues and the impact of abuse and neglect, to finding safe housing and tackling drug and alcohol problems, febfast funds youth workers who connect with young people experiencing disadvantage and ultimately help them stand on their own two feet. My kids have not only me and Alec, but a huge family network of family and friends…I can’t imagine the lives of the young people who have none of that.

Maybe you will do your own fast or join me in my quest. I understand that money is tight, so maybe you will help in other ways like thinking of how you can help the youth of your own community. Anything that you can do to make things easier for someone less fortunate is a step towards a better world. If you do donate to my page, I want to thank you for supporting my febfast challenge to literally get my lucky and frankly, lazy rear end up and out the door at 6 each morning.

How shall I be accountable? What do you suggest I do to share my morning dedication with you all? A daily photo post taken durning my walk? A daily quote that motivates me? Combine the two? Give me your suggestions!!!!!

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  • Courtney - I would love to support you and take on the challenge myself as well. I think a photograph and a line or two would be fantastic. Thanks so much Rachel. You inspire me!ReplyCancel

    • sesame - I think a photo and some words is going to be the go! If I don’t stay accountable, I will try to cheat…I love my bed. Thank you for taking on the challenge too!ReplyCancel

  • JiwaTani - Hello… nice post
    Ill visit you blog today…
    have a nice day..

    Happy bloggingReplyCancel