Thursday, June 13, 2013

A winter holiday

It's a tradition to take a winter holiday down the coast. Ads and I have been keeping to this tradition for almost eleven years. This was our first time as a family of four. It was a chance to observe and venture outside, to enjoy the sunny but windy weather interspersed with rainy moments.

I love the warm weather but winter is such an enchanted time. We head down to Anglesea to a family owned holiday shack once or twice a year. It's a simple place we love and call home. We packed our woolly socks, beanies, mohair blankets, quilts and gum boots. I packed my thermie for quick cooking, created a menu for the week, worked out a rough Montessori lesson plan and loaded our new tablet with games, books and movies for Miss Three. We had long drives visiting coastal beaches along the Bellarine peninsula, Barwon heads, Ocean grove, St. Leonard's, Indented heads and then Queenscliff.

Watching the joy on our little one's faces when we arrived at a new beach. Noticing how Little fox is growing up. The chubby cheeks, the words that surprise us, conversations shared in the backseat. Legs kicking out towards the sea, little fingers clutching toys and feeling the sand. When Miss three fell on her bum in the water at Barwon and having to drag her out drenched, soaked to the bone and still able to smile. And after a quick change she was back building sandcastles in her gumboots and hoodie with bucket and spade.
It felt important to take the time to be together as a family and enjoy one another. The simple pleasure of enjoying a sunny day and taking the time to turn our attention to our surroundings. The cloudy skies, soaring sea life, rolling green hills, kangaroos on the green and grazing cattle and sheep in the paddocks. The feeling of sand under toes. Rolling waves, sandy dunes and sea grasses moving with the wind. Making memories that will stay with me for a longtime. Having a glass of wine and hot chips with Ads at the boathouse as the sun set while Little fox played on the floor and Miss Three coloured. A perfect end to our first day.

Watching pelicans fly overhead at Indented heads the following day, collecting leaves at Queenscliff after spending time lunching and enjoying the vintage loveliness at Gingermais. Finding opportunities for craft where ever we were. Beach combing, and eating at Annie's, shopping at Kiitos, spotting toadstools and doing sand play at Barwon heads.

We explored the Great Ocean road and some of our favourite haunts. Spotting lighthouses at Aireys Inlet, watching the rolling surf on the way down to Apollo Bay. Discussing all the wildlife and sea animals that live there with Miss Three as we drove along. Having some mother/daughter time at Wye River collecting shells and feathers, running along the shore, holding hands. Having fish and chips and hot noodles at Lorne as the sun set and we watched the light change across the water and grow dark. 

As the days went on, seeing Little fox discover trees, sand and cloudy skies. I noticed the beauty of where we live. The farmland surrounding the coastal hills and valleys with yellow, loamy browns and greens and the beauty and freedom of the surf, the immensity of the ocean. Listening to the song of the sea. The wind on the water, the cry of sea gulls. The patter of little feet running in gumboots to kick at the sand and chase the receding waves. I felt renewed after weeks of the family being sick with colds and stuck indoors. It didn't seem to matter that it was cold we were outside, having an adventure and having fun. We're coming up to the winter solstice and as we began each new day we turned our attention to everyday rituals that ground us and make us happy. We talked about Winter, the need for things to rest. A time of slowing down, the weather changing. Miss Three learnt to button her clothes and put on socks and tights. To build a fire each night, collect wood with her dad, cook marshmallows and experience the joy of drinking hot chocolate to warm ourselves after being outside. 

I loved sharing time with my husband which feels like a rarity when nights are spent feeding and putting little ones to bed. It's always a case of stealing moments together when we can. Our biggest enjoyment during the holiday was watching Miss Three and Little fox together. Playing on the floor, Miss three celebrating when Little fox spoke or rolled. Sharing in blowing raspberries and giggles. Having morning cuddles in bed and talking about the plan for the day's adventure. 

We made memories that will stay with us. Motherhood and being a parent is hard work but it's times like these that help in those long days that seem to never end. What a week, what a great Winter getaway. 

Are you planning on a Winter holiday?
What did you get up to last week?

x Mummafox

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