October 26, 2018

Getting back to “normal”, when your normal has forever been altered is such a struggle. You know there are things you must keep doing, keep waking up and getting up for, but you do it robotically. Your emotions have been muted and you feel very little. Its a go through the motions process. Do what you have to do, to get to the part of the day when you can stop pretending like everything is ok. When you can shut yourself away and ask the world to leave you alone. Some days you wake up and you know right away that you will struggle to cope. You want to cancel everything. All plans, all obligations, all conversations. You don’t want to see anyone, or talk to anyone. You want the world to fu#k right off. You’ve lost your Dad and nothing will ever be the same. Its a maddening anger and a debilitating sadness all wrapped up in a big shitty bow of unfairness. But your not just a daughter who’s lost her Dad, you’re also a mother, and as a mother you show up for your kids. You show up and you do the job as best you can despite the pain, to try to preserve their “normal”.

Its been hard to pick up my camera again. Hard to capture the boys as they go about their little life adventures, cos the whole time I’m aware that I won’t be texting these captured photos, or short videos to my Dad. And that reality is devastating.

Keane and Cullen taking their annual trip to The Pumpkin Farm with their good friends, Ella and Henry.


October 18, 2018

I know it’s been a while since I’ve had any visible presence here on the blog. I’ve tried repeatedly over the past few weeks to say something in regard to my silence. But the words are so hard to find. I feel like most of you are aware that last month, my Dad passed away, suddenly and unexpectedly. To say it’s been utterly devastating would be to understate it. I was very close to my Dad and coming to terms with what has happened, has been a real struggle. Its a level of sadness deeper then you ever knew sadness could feel. Its an anger thats uncontrollable and inexplicable. It’s a blow to the gut that you will never not feel the pain from. It’s shit! It really is shit! Life without my Dad is so painful and it feels like it always will be. My Dad was one of the good ones and trying to imagine the rest of my life without him in it, seems unbearable. I’m doing what everyone keeps telling me to do, taking things one day at a time. But sometimes its just about trying to make it through the next few minutes, or the next hour. Sometimes its about playing the music so loud, it drowns out your thoughts. Its a process. A heart smashing, emotional process. And we’re all just doing our best to try and make it through.

To everyone who reached out, offering condolences and saying the nicest things about Dad, “Thank You”. I know I haven’t responded to all of you, but I promise I will. Also “Thank You” to everyone who showed up to my Dad’s funeral and in the days following to pay their respects. My family and I are very grateful.

Summers End

September 8, 2018

This is it, the last summer camp related blog post, and it also finally marks the end of summer. I have to say, Summer 2018 has been pretty fun. Lots of adventures with friends. Lots of travel and time spent with family. And lots and lots of water related activities. Beaches, lakes, pools and splash parks. Like summer should be when you’re 6 and 4 years old. Now we’re just waiting for the weather to realize summer has ended and for the cooler temperatures to start creeping in. Then we can get cracking on all of Fall related fun stuff.

But for now, lets wrap up the summer. Final day at camp and we managed to squeeze in 1 last tubing excursion on the lake.

Cullen with his big cousins.

Tubing at a cautious speed was more Cullen’s vibe. He likes to leave reckless to his brother.

Time to switch out 2 of the Doyle boys.

Keane is now front and centre.

And this time there was no holding back. Full speed and airborne.

Time to bring them in.

4 happy post-tubing boys.

Photo with our speed boat drivers George and Mark, guest appearance from a shark floaty.

Back at camp and we’re getting crafty making friendship bracelets.

All packed up and ready to go, but not before we grab some group shots in our cabin.

Time to leave our mark. Everyone signed the door to our cabin.

Cabin from the outside.

4 happy little campers.

The jokers of the group, James & Cullen.

Cullen was obsessed with the map of the camp, so we stopped by one last time before leaving.

“Bye” to our councilors and “bye” to the amazing Sue, owner and operator of this wonderful camp.

Final group shot.

Take Aim

September 3, 2018

I’m still combing through photos from the summer camp. It was only a 3 day camp, but we managed to pack in a weeks worth of activities. These kids hit the ground running from the second they opened their eyes at the crack of dawn each morning, until they literally fell into their beds late in the evening. I have no idea where they dig their energey reserves from, but it was down right impressive. I do however know where Dinara and I had to dig to get our energy from to keep up with the 4 boys. We dug into coffee, wine and the odd cider. Yes, they allow evening beverages of an adult nature at summer camp. Cos these camp organizers know, parents need to be rewarded for keeping up with and surviving each and every action packed day with their kids. Cos in the job of motherhood, you get paid with small incentives, like a glass of wine at the end of a long day. So cheers to mommas!

Its archery time!

Initially reluctant, Cullen did eventually tap into his adventurous side. He’s got his bow, he’s got some arrows and he’s almost excited to give it a go.

Keane gets a little coaching for his maiden voyage into archery.

You can tell its not Paul’s first time to channel his inner Robin Hood.

Nor is it James first time either.

Getting better.

Love the closed eyes.

A little help from his cousin.

Victory! Even managed to hit the target.

Everyone was responsible for collecting their bows.

It really became fun for Cullen once he managed to get some bows on the board.

We may need to invest in our own garden archery. Keane really enjoyed it.

Pool time!

Finishing out the day with a game night. Cullen on the putting challenge.

Paul on the bowling.

Followed by Keane.

James tries his luck with roulette.

Cullen, the silent observer in the back.

James on some kind of tossing game.

Keane looks suspicious of his fellow gamblers.

Let There Be Sun

August 30, 2018

Great plans to over share bunches more photos from the boys summer camp experience this week. But alas it never happened. All time, all attention got sucked in a completely different direction. And it wasn’t binge watching the latest “Trending Now” shows on Netflix, sadly. Nope, it was a lot less fun and a lot less chillaxing based adulting type stuff. But I finally got a window in my evening, the kids are sleeping and for once I’m not struggling to keep my eyes open, not for the next 30 mins at least. So thought I’d quickly jump on the old desktop and throw up a few more pics from Camp Emerson. There’s quite a bit more to share, but for now enjoy the moment the rain stopped, the sun bust through, the water slide was inflated and the foam machine kicked into action.

Foam Party! Thats Keane’s floating head in there.

Paul emerges covered in foam.

Cullen is going in!

Keane and Paul.

Keane’s about to be swallowed by a giant floating foam ball.

Got him!