Enjoying Eight


Things I'd like to remember about our life right now.

Immy under my feet, dancing and high-kicking through the house, singing the same line from the same song over and over again, completely tunelessly and with absolute abandon.

Her current tastes in music: Ed Sheeran, Bee Gees Staying Alive (that old-fashioned music mama!), Me Too by Meghan Trainor and A-ha Take on me. On repeat in the car, ALL THE TIME.
Her off-the-charts origami skills. Cranes, waterlilies, tiny boxes within boxes within boxes.
Her thankfulness for the most ordinary things. When I stroke the hair off her forehead when she's sick, or bring her a drink, or cuddle her. Thank you for taking care of me mama. It's enough to make my heart explode in a thousand glittery stars

I am so enjoying the age she's at right now. We have so much fun together - we make each other laugh, we cook together, we talk about all sorts of things, we go on road trips and adventures, but my favourite part is when she curls an arm around my neck or calls out to me from her bed when I'm walking out the door: I love you mama. She is so free with her affection, her smiles, her love, her kisses, her laughter, her effervescence and her joy and I wonder how I got so lucky to have her.

**

We went on a road trip recently for Mothers Day. A weekend away, just us girls, on the Great Ocean Road. On our way, she suggested that this should become a tradition - Great Ocean Road every year for Mother's Day. Of course I was all like - HELLS TO THE YEAH!
We had the best time. The weather was overcast and cold, but we put on our matching 1000% down jackets and didn't let that deter us from exploring.
Early mornings on deserted beaches. We climbed the rocks, got splashed by seawater, searched for shells.

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We went to the Visitor's Information Centre, and got a map of the area and the walks, hikes and lookouts. Our first stop was Teddy's Lookout. Beautiful, moody skies and a wind that just about blew us over the edge. Soundtrack on the drive: Ed Sheeran's Perfect.

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Love this picture that a passerby took for us. Kind of out-of-focus and the finger in the corner is my best.

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Next stop was a hike to the Erskine Falls, not far from the lookout. Lots of steps down, taking our time and breathing in the damp forest air. There are two lookouts - a short walk from the carport takes you to the top of the falls, but we opted for the longer route so that we could take a look from the bottom up. There was river high-kicking and ALOT of of crossing and re-crossing from one side to the other over the rocks.

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We wanted to do a bit of exploring further out of the town, so we headed for a trail further down the Great Ocean Road. Turns out this was the absolute highlight of the day - not because of the scenery, or the walk itself, but because of a small painted rock that Immy spotted hidden away in a nook draped with ivy.
I was walking ahead of her when I heard her call me excitedly back. She found this tiny rock, and when we picked it up and turned it over, it had a message on it.
THE EXCITEMENT. You would have thought we'd found gold bullion in a battered wooden chest.
Turns out this is an initiative in Victoria called Vic Rocks. There are little painted rocks scattered throughout Victoria in parks, playgrounds and other public places. The idea is that when you find a rock you can keep it to cherish/ although they encourage a 'catch and release' system. When you find the rock, you take a picture of it and upload it to their Facebook page - then you re-hide it for someone else to discover. You can also paint and distribute your own rocks for others to find and enjoy. It's a public initiative aimed at bringing joy to the community. Judging by how excited Immy was, I can imagine that there are kids all over Victoria feeling that there is a bit of magic hidden away in small corners of the world if you just have eyes to see.

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Fast forward to Mother's Day - Sunday morning. I got a heart-shaped tealight candle and a smooth stone (chipped on one side) that says Best Mum on it in gold. Bought with her own money at the Mothers Day stall at school. But the best part was the card. I've kept it, filed away in a box with other notes and tiny treasures given by a small heart so filled with love.

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It was our last morning so we headed out for a final time to the beach before breakfast. We collected some stones for our own Vic Rocks project (although technically this is forbidden, I found out later) and climbed the rocks one last time.

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Before we checked out of our hotel, I looked up 'best places to have breakfast in Lorne' or something like that, and found this place: Swingbridge Cafe and Boathouse. Toasted sandwiches, perfect coffee and a guest appearance by the sun for a sparkling moment or two.

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For us the 'road trip' part of the weekend is just as important as the days at our destination. I love driving with her and looking for places along the way to stop and discover. We hit the jackpot this time around - a lighthouse just a single right turn off the road home. The lighthouse stood sentinel at the top of the hill, holding back the brooding skies. I gave Immy my camera, and watched her taking picture after picture, examining it on the screen to make sure she was happy with it before showing it to me with an equal combination of pride and anxious questions: what do you think mama? Good? Or not good? 

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The picture below, taken by Immy.

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We made one more stop at the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie. Immy had ice-cream, and I got overwhelmed (just like last time) by all the chocolate and left with nothing except two chocolate frogs on two chocolate lilypads that she picked out for her friends.

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My budding photographer got a couple of good pics in though...

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It was a perfect weekend. I hope she never gets tired of adventuring, and never ever grows too old to play chicken with her sneakers and the sea.

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