19 December 2011

In Memory of an Amazing Woman...

This afternoon family of Natalie Murphy said their goodbyes to a beautiful woman, wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend.
Natalie was diagnosed with late stage breast cancer last March and has died truly so beautifully with such grace and peace. My heart and prayers are with her family, especially her husband Greg and wee son Jackson. I never met her, but I've followed her story with great interest since the beginning.

You can visit her website here to read her story and find out how strong and amazing she was. She always believed that nothing could stop her from living the life she wanted. Sadly, just weeks before she planned a New Years day renewal of vows and a celebration of her life she has gone. I feel so sad she never got that day after all the planning she's been doing for it.

As well as feeling sad, I feel so blessed and strange all at once. She died, and I'm still here. Natalie was diagnosed at the same hospital and same time as I was, yet our treatment paths were different, our prognosis very different. My brain is still trying to process how that happens.

What I do know though is that her story has touched many hearts and a lot of people have been reminded that this life is precious. I was listening to an interview on the radio with her the other day and she said she was initially angry (and so understandable) but had to relook at how she was spending the rest of her life, when her husband told her he wasn't going to watch her die angry. So she changed to making sure she left this life doing the things that were important with such grace and beauty.

I for one am giving my kiddies one extra squeeze and kiss when I put them to bed tonight.

Again, I'll say what I've said many times. Cancer sucks.

I'll leave her words to finish this post.

"I wrote about my journey to raise awareness of Breast Cancer in young women and encourage them to check themselves from 20years old, not 40! I also want to encourage people to appreciate what they have and live their lives to the fullest. Life is not about our jobs or the things we own. It’s about relationships and appreciating those we love."

Rest in Peace Natalie.

13 December 2011

Happy Birthday Baby

Happy Birthday to my delicious new 7 year old today.

Love you baby girl!

12 December 2011

Tea Party

Oh my goodness...this is my 300th post on this blog. WOW!
I know I've been absent for a while but there is A LOT going on which in time will make it to the blog but not right now. There are changes afoot....exciting ones though.

Instead here are some photos from my daughters 7th birthday tea party on Saturday. It is SO much fun setting up a little girls birthday party. The last few weeks I've been collecting bottles, making paper decorations, stealing ideas via Pinterest and scouring for pretty girly things to add to the table. Then I got busy making mini cakes, cupcakes and layer cake, marble cake. We were caked out!!
I was really pleased with how it all came out, but when Katie came out to look at the table she teared up and said "I am SO happy!". So that made me pretty proud.
Five little girls dressed in their best dresses drinking "tea" (actually just raspberry fizzy drink and orange juice), eating cake and cucumber sandwiches and decorating cupcakes was actually a really relaxed, fun and easy birthday celebration. And so civilised...until Johnny came crashing through! Haha!

Cupcake decorating...

The finished cupcakes...aren't they fantastic?!

My sweet birthday girl...

23 November 2011

Children on the Beach

Doing children's portrait photography is not something I thought I'd get myself into. But it seems it's one coming my way recently and if I can fit it into my schedule I'm happy to push myself and get some more confidence. I've certainly had plenty of practice on my own kids!

Hence, this is the result of a happy Saturday afternoon on the beach with some gorgeous little girls. The littlest is the daughter of my friend Lisa, who I've known since we were 10 and 11 and the others are her nieces who are all sisters. It was a total delight working with them!

22 November 2011

I'm Back!

Wow what an amazing opportunity to get away for 5 WHOLE DAYS with my gorgeous man. A HUGE thanks to my parents for taking the reins with the kids and wrangling them to school and kindy. You both deserve a big holiday!!

I spent my time away reading, writing (yes, writing. I've started writing a book, hence the lack of posting. Eeek!) and taking the odd photo. In between I went with Owen on some trips of the golf courses. Strangely I didn't take an awful lot of photos, just some of the courses we visited. I couldn't not take any snaps at Cape Kidnappers. Seriously it is the most breathtaking view I've seen for a long time.

Clifton Beach

Owen and I at The Lodge at Cape Kidnappers overlooking the golf course and the entire Hawkes Bay.

Hawkes Bay is truly a beautiful jewel in our country.

Taupo was stunning too...

Kinloch Golf Course

When we got home I had my portfolios due in for the end of year for my photography diploma, so I got busy finalising them and then helped Owen pack for a week in Melbourne to watch the Presidents Cup and get around the sports turf sites as part of his prize for winning Graduate of the Year. What an amazing week he's had! We are happy to have him home now though. And for him its back to reality!

Last Monday after dropping him off to the airport I drove to the Manakau SuperClinic for my appointment with the plastic surgeon. After waiting for an hour we finally got to sit down and discuss our options. Phew, there's plenty of them. Seems its not an option for me to have an implant afterall as my skin and muscle damage after radiation has made the odds of success very small - 40% in fact. Too small to risk it. So we are back to looking at some very intense surgery involving the use of muscles from my abdomen/back support area, usually known as a TRAM flap. I have a lot to think about before my next appointment and weigh up all the pros and cons. A long surgery of 10-12 hours, with a possibly 12 weeks of recovery is A LOT to deal with but the results in the long run would be worth it. Is it possible to do this with 3 kids and an uncertainty of where we will even be in 6 months time? So any prayers about this would be so appreciated.

So here are the photos I submitted for my final portfolio for this year. The theme I gave it was Yellow, Chocolate and Red. I still don't have the marks back so I've no idea what my tutor thinks. The suspense is killing me!!!

Some of these you might have seen before...some are new.