Yesterday we all drove out to another farm on an exciting venture: We are hatching new baby chicks out, and we bought a load of mixed eggs in all sorts of colours. Blue, green, pink, olive, dark brown. This means that if we get hens (female chicks), we will eventually get to collect eggs like these in our own chicken pen! How cool is that, such beautiful eggs. The chicks are due to hatch in three weeks, and we are all very excited!
Was called up at 5 am, jumped out of bed and (almost) straight into the car, drove through a blizzard to the big city, and witnessed a beautiful home birth and a sweet sweet family become four. A wonderful experience, and such a privilege. Love!
Lunch time + fart noises. Great combo!
We packed our bags this morning and headed out before the mist had been burnt off by the sun; we wandered up the steep hill into our forest and as I turned around, I saw our farm enveloped in the most beautiful light. Again, that feeling of being in place.
The gapahuk (remember last post?) is seriously taking shape! Mr. Payne has single handedly built it up there, he is definitely our very own Hulk. We are very lucky to have him (in many ways!). It is such a pearl of a spot, the view, the forest surrounding it, everything. It will be another place to create beautiful memories. Love it!
We are building a lean-to (gapahuk) in the forest above the farm - somewhere we can camp and sleep overnight around the year. Mr. Payne found the perfect spot, with the gorgeous view coming straight in, and today we started the first work on it. Some dead trees were taken down to create the first framework. We are so excited about it!
(I am considering giving birth up there. Yep.)
A beautiful thing happened today:
For the first time in many weeks, I felt like myself again, and I had that feeling again, the one I've been missing so much. Since this baby moved in, I have felt so off, so tired and out of focus and nauseous and, then, down. And it's been tearing me up a bit - even though I have known that it was a passing thing - but I haven't had space to feel that wonderful tingle of happiness a lot. Yes, this baby is very much wanted and we are so happy about it - it's not that. The fundament is right, but my physical self was too busy just hanging in there, so everything was affected by that. I was starting to worry a bit. But then, yesterday, and today, I have had days where I have been me again - and today I had a moment I have been longing for. It can happen anywhere, anytime, in any context, there is this sudden explosion of happiness in me, like my chest is going to burst for a few seconds, and I feel butterflies in my tummy, and everything is just right. Not spectacular, not sensational in any way - but just right. I was just cooking, and there it was.
And then, later, I opened a book that I'd picked up from the post office, and the words in front of me were about this exactly, and I just felt so fuzzy and happy and on a wonderful journey, it was simply beautiful. The book was Home grown by Ben Newitt, and the words that struck a chord in my heart were these:
"But the freedom I speak of is more than temporal; it is also a freedom of emotion and spirit, to know that happiness and fulfillment can be found in the smallest and simplest of places and things. I think of the way I'm so often caught off guard by some small, commonplace moment (...). Sometimes, I cannot even identify a trigger, like when I am walking down the farm road, and I am suddenly swept by a sense of knowing my place. Not just in the here and now, but in the grand, infinite scheme of things and forces far beyond my capacity to even imagine.
What I gain from these moments - the quick bloom of warmth they bring, the quiet sense of knowing that there is nothing else I need - cannot be readily measured, and because it cannot be measured, it cannot be traded. It is my own wealth. It is unique to me and therefore it is secure."
That. Exactly that.
Another thing I thought of today:
How I was afraid that telling you all about the pregnancy would somehow jinx it, that it was wrong to put it out there. That I should have waited. And then I realised, after I have read all the messages and comments from everyone, that what it really did, was open up to all the love and well-wishing and good vibes from people everywhere. And that has to be a good thing, right?
T H A N K Y O U for all your sweet words, they are so appreciated.
Since I became a mother I have had the feeling that our children chose us. It's the most beautiful privilege; of getting to be close to them, of carrying them, loving them, being on this journey with them.
If that's the case, well then we have been chosen again - because there is a bump growing and inside is another miracle, another one of life's most precious gifts.
Yesterday was great. Thank you so much for the birthday wishes for Falk both here, on Facebook and Instagram.
The main person had a great day from start to finish: Songs and candles and the birthday crown and presents in the morning, waffles for lunch, the whole family over for cake and ice cream in the afternoon, lots of cousins to play with, and then calm and lovely evening moments, just us. A perfect day for a perfect kid!
Two years ago today, you came rushing out and opened our hearts even more, made this family even more colourful, quite a bit more crazy, a lot noisier, and added a whole lot of cuteness to the bundle. You have grown into such a funny, charming and smart little person, sometimes a rascal, always heartbreakingly cute and always on the move.
Falk, you still make my heart sing every day, you still make me want to shower you with kisses and snuggles all the time, you're still my baby (sorry if you're reading this when you're fifteen). In the wake of the chaos you so wonderfully create, I take deep breaths, look up and see you, exploring, playing, being completey free. We are so happy to spend every day with you, to see you grow and develop, to hear your words flourishing, to see you conquer new milestones all the time, to know the little man that you are.
You are fearless, strong and independent. And although I can see that you are becoming your own little person more and more, needing me close less and less, I hold on to the baby in you, just a little longer. (I might just do that for another twenty years or more.)
Happy birthday, wild wonderful beautiful Falk! We love you so much our hearts burst!
Mr. Payne and the littles have been to England to visit family this weekend, so Ronja and I have ruled the farm in solitude. We've handled sheep who got stuck, horses who got out of their box at night and had a party in the barn, a crazy bull calf, snow, sleet and ice, hard work from morning 'till night. And in between, we have had dinners in front of the tv, watched the three Narnia movies, eaten too much ice cream and gone to bed too late for our own good. And Ronja danced her first hip hop show on Saturday!
It's been lovely to have my big girl to myself for a few days, and now that they're all safely back (and have had a wonderful time, too), it's all good.
Hope you had a good one, too!
Finally, there has been sufficient snowfall to call it a winter. The last days have been beautiful; lots of white fluff covering the ground, embracing the landscape and transforming it into clean soft fuzziness.
When I decided to go into photography full time, the thoughts spinning in my head were mostly concerned with worry: Would I get enough jobs? Would I be competent to do them? Would people be happy with my work? I believed in myself (if I hadn't, going for it would just be plain stupid, wouldn't it), but I was still worried. Now as things have moved along wonderfully, the first year has been mind-blowing in every way, I am getting enough work and people are happy with it, I am seeing other aspects of having this job, things I hadn't thought of that much before. I am included into the most sacred and memorable of moments in people's lives, and the reality of that hits me every time I am invited to do a job. During the last month or so, I have been at two weddings and two births, and now I'm waiting for another birth. The weddings, full of excitement and happiness, and the births, hard work, magic and wonder, and then complete bliss.
So lately, I have come to think of my job like this: It's all about love. I work with love. Could it seriously get any better than that?
Our oldest horse, Marius, who is only four this year, is turning into a wonderful working horse. This week we have pulled timber down from the forest with him, and not only does he save us a lot of work, he provides snuggles while waiting for the timber to be loaded and generally makes work very enjoyable. Ronja is learning a lot about horses and handling them now, so she can also assist Daddy in the work. A great team effort that proves to me it is all worth it; all the training, planning, pondering, all the getting-out-there-and-doing it. It's all worth it, even through times of doubt.
The first day of a new year.
To start a new year is refreshing, it's like a whole bunch of unscribbled paper, full of promise and possibilities. We started 2015 with a lovely day at home, just us. The kids knocked the gingerbread house down violently with a hammer, before we threw Christmas out (at least most of it) and enjoyed the freshness of a non-Christmassy living room again (I always appreciate coming back to normal). We headed out to shoot some arrows (Christmas presents), and went for a lovely walk in the woods and by the river. Back home, we threw together two scrumptious pizzas, and the first day of 2015 was complete. Love!
It's been a crazy amazing year. My first year as a full time photographer, and starting the magical adventure of birth photography, it has given me so many wonderful memories and taught me so much. I have been allowed into the most sacred of spaces, met beautiful people, shared touching moments. I have been given trust and creative freedom, and I have seen my own courage grow steadily throughout the year. It has truly been a formative year, and I cannot wait for the adventure to continue into 2015!
I want to thank you all for reading the blog and for all of your sweet feedback. It means a lot! I hope you will follow us into 2015 - let us see what it will bring, shall we?
H A P P Y N E W Y E A R !
(click on the images to see them big)
I love this about Christmas: the excitement and wonder, the leading-up-to, the magic of creating that lovely ambience and waiting for the big day. My little trolls are asleep now, the tree is decorated, the stockings are ready, and tomorrow awaits with lovely memories in store.
I hope you're having a good one, too.
The precious few hours of daylight are cherished to their full these days, and I often take my boy out for a stroll before nap time.
Every walk is full of little wonders: Today, two choppers flew over our heads, big and black and loud. Then Albertine (our filly foal) tried to eat Falks hat, then we did some climbing, before we found the hole of Superworm in our field. (Superworm is a big and very heroic worm from a children's book.) Then, in the end, we almost fell asleep in the sun there, on the ground (waiting for Superworm to come out).
Lovely, lovely moments, with a lovely little guy.
As the years move along, as we grow in both size and number, it is a wonderful thing to do a family photo every year. Being a photographer does not make it any easier - I would probably say the opposite - because I'm a control freak and would want to both be in front of and behind the camera in those shots. Alas, I am not the yogini I wish (you know, some of them can be on more places than one simultaneously), so I have to settle for being in front of the camera this time. Luckily Grandy is visiting this week, so she was hired to push the button - and after the normal caffufle to get everyone in place, we actually managed to get two good ones!
So here we are, the Paynes of 2014.