Tag Archives: family

Impressions from September & October : a personal project

Time spent with friends, travel to see family, a birthday party and halloween.. here’s a glimpse into our September and October!

[1] Friends
There is always fun to be had when these four are together. And do you see Bruno the bear nestled in next to Rebekka? He was visiting from Rebekka’s school for a few days. We had to write a report about the things he got up to during his stay with us.

We’d been for a walk on the beach to fly a kite, got our feet wet in the cold North Sea and were anticipating a delicious English roast dinner when I took this photo. These fabulous four also treated us to a wonderful singing and dancing performance on a ‘stage’ made of mattresses for our after dinner entertainment – it was thoroughly entertaining! It was a brilliant day! 

[2] A new bed for Lea
We did some furniture shuffling mid-September and Lea got a new bed! She was really excited and straight-away both girls jumped into bed to read stories together, it was really sweet. It did however, result in a few middle-of-the-night wanderings in the first few weeks (one of which caused the art materials to be locked away overnight!!), and our mornings now start a bit earlier too (i’m still getting used to that!)

[3] On the ferry to England
It had been 10 months since our last ferry crossing. And here we are again, just me and the girls. No nappies and no travel cot this time; travelling has got a whole lot easier! It was a lot of fun too with lots of entertainment on the ferry for two very excited little girls! Ok, I’ll admit, I was excited too!!!

[4] My brother and my nephew, Noah! <3
We stayed with my brother’s family which is always really lovely, especially for all the cousins. Noah is growing up so fast, I wish we could visit more often (it’s tricky planning travel around mismatching school term times!)

[5] Autumn in Worden Park, Chorley. UK
The three of them are all wearing tops with rabbits on them. I don’t think I noticed at the time! It was warm and sunny that day, perfect for our visit to the park. On our way back to the car we took a shortcut across a field and unfortunately, I discovered my trainers were not waterproof at all! My brother, Rebekka and her cousin Eva were all waiting by the car watching me as I carried Lea, delighting in anticipation of me walking though a horribly boggy stretch of grass that was utterly unavoidable. Ugh! The cold, wet, muddy water seeped through my shoes and socks – soooooo lovely! They couldn’t stop laughing. They were all wearing wellies of course!

[6] Happy Birthday, Lea!
We celebrated Lea’s 3rd birthday in October with a little party and a Hello Kitty birthday cake. The witch dresses the girls are wearing were bought in the UK for Halloween but they loved them so much they were wearing them daily!!

[7] Carving pumpkins for Halloween
We do love a bit of pumpkin carving! While stirring the discarded pumpkin seeds, Rebekka sang a Dutch song pretending the insides were really a witches’ deadly soup!

[8] Trick or Treat!
After a children’s Halloween party with friends we all went Trick or Treating around their neighbourhood. It’s not a common thing to do in The Netherlands so it was pretty special. Following on from a spooky-themed book week at school, Rebekka has been really into witches (last year she dressed as Elsa from Frozen) and Lea too. They were very excited going door-to-door and filling their baskets with treats!

Impressions‘ is a creative project by an eclectic group of female photographers from around the globe. We aim to share the inspiration behind what we do through our bi-monthly posts.

Every other month, we will be sharing 8 images that tell the story of what inspired us in the previous weeks: our families, nature, weather, or maybe even work itself! We are free to explore the meaning of ‘impressions’, and it is likely to change month to month.

Say hello in the comments below and then hop on over to see what Susanne Ashby of Susanne Ashby Photography in California is sharing this month :-) I hope you enjoy our posts!

With love,
~ Natalie

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Impressions from July & August : a personal project

The six weeks of school holidays passed by so quickly! They were filled to bursting with time spent with our families in the UK, in Germany, and here at home in The Netherlands. It couldn’t have been more perfect, family was exactly what my heart needed.

Here’s a little glimpse into our July and August!

[1] Grandad came to stay!
Lea kept going closer and closer asking to be tickled, then trying to get away as fast as she could. Her anticipation of being tickled was just as much fun as her infectious giggle afterwards!

[2] Near St Martin Kirche in Morsum, Insel Sylt
The start of the school holidays took us on a roadtrip through Germany to visit family. We stayed a couple of nights in Hamburg and it was lovely watching all the cousins play together. Rebekka and her cousin Damian became good friends on this trip, so nice to see! After Hamburg, we continued on to the island of Sylt, getting caught with all the holiday traffic which meant we had to wait in a long queue for a place on the car-train to the island. It also meant there was time for currywurst und pommes so no worries! ;-)

We went on a boat trip and Heiko saw a seal – unfortunately, he was the only one to see it though! We also visited the “zoo” which is a small privately owned animal park – no exotic animals like we’re used to but the girls loved feeding the ponies (Rebekka especially!), goats, donkeys and all kinds of ducks and birds. It was lovely. We visited the church and the graves of my parents-in-law as we always do. The girls love to wander (correction: Lea loves to run!) along the small paths there, it’s such a picturesque place. 

[3] Insel Sylt, Germany
We’ve stopped by this field before on a previous visit. It’s just across from Das Dammwärterhaus holiday appartments in Morsum and has a lovely view out to the sea. Rebekka knew exactly why we were there and where to go when we parked the car and off she went! The two beautiful and friendly ponies were far away but they quickly came close when Rebekka called to them. Both girls were happily tugging up handfuls of grass to feed them and didn’t want to leave!

It was so nice to hear the girls speaking so much German! Usually, I am only hearing English and Dutch from them. Their vocabulary improved so quickly over the week or so we were away and they were both confidently chatting away to everyone. 

[4] Cuddles with Eddy
Eddy’s spending more and more time on the sofa lately. Which means he’s in easy reach of Lea, and when Lea gives hugs, she realllllly gives hugs! 

[5] An evening walk in Chorley, UK
Rebekka and I flew to the UK for the second time this Summer! We had already been for a visit in June to stay with my brother’s family and meet my gorgeous new nephew. And in August we returned! Baby’s grow so faaaaaast! So glad we went – next time Lea is coming too! This is one from an evening walk through the neighbourhood to go buy ice cream. Rebekka loves walking their dog, Buttons, so he came too!

[6] An Oak tree in memory of my Grandad, near the Middle Brook, Bolton
There’s an Oak tree close to the Middle Brook river, planted in memory of my Grandad. Once upon a time this area of land was owned by my Grandad and he bred chickens there. I wasn’t able to be there when the tree was planted and have always been curious to know where it was. My Dad used to take my brother and I for bike rides along the Middle Brook when we were younger, so I imagined a tree alongside the path. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Away from the path, the grasses and brambles were as high as our shoulders. It was completely overgrown at this time of year and just like the children’s book “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” we had to go through it! “Swishy swashy, stumble, trip”…. We found it! It had grown tall and was thriving near the river. It was so nice to be there with Dad and remember my Grandad together.

[7] Turbary Woods Owl and Birds of Prey Sanctuary. Whitestake (Preston), England
My Dad took Rebekka, Eva (my niece) and I to see the bird show at Turbary Woods. It’s a small rescue and rehabilitation centre run by volunteers and the flying display they have is brilliant. Since it was the school holidays there were a lot of children watching and everyone got a chance to interact with the birds and have their photo taken with them. Rebekka had two different owls fly and land on her, she loved it! It was a perfect afternoon. We loved the two owls that ‘danced’ by moving their heads around in circular movements too. Rebekka and Eva kept imitating them, so funny! I wish I had made a note of the species but I forgot! Highly recommend a visit if you’re in the area, here’s their website.

[8] Lea’s been warming up for X-Factor!!
Oh gosh, Lea was singing her heart out, prancing about ‘on stage’ (aka our sofa) and even shaking her head for the top notes, the whole works. She put every ounce of energy into her performance and in stolen breaths kept saying “mama dansen, mama dansen” (she wanted me to dance!). We have an amazing video of her too which we’ve watched so many times now! So fun!

Impressions‘ is a creative project by an eclectic group of female photographers from around the globe. We aim to share the inspiration behind what we do through our bi-monthly posts.

Every other month, we will be sharing 8 images that tell the story of what inspired us in the previous weeks: our families, nature, weather, or maybe even work itself! We are free to explore the meaning of ‘impressions’, and it is likely to change month to month.

Say hello in the comments below and then hop on over to see what Kim Rogers of Brink Street Photography in Denver Colorado is sharing this month :-) Then continue clicking through the circle till you make it back here. There’s just 3 of us participating this time, I hope you enjoy all our posts!

With love,
~ Natalie

Posted in Personal Also tagged , , , , , , , |

Impressions from November & December : a personal project

We’ve had more than our fair share of winter illnesses zap our energy over the past couple of months, so I haven’t been out and about with my camera as much as I would have liked. 2017 is looking bright though and i’m so excited for all the babies – family, friends and clients! It’s going to be a special year!

Here’s a glimpse into our November and December:

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[1] My sleeping beauty

November was a really rough month for Lea. A viral chest infection caused an overreaction of her immune system which meant she was wheezing and not getting enough oxygen. A visit to our huisarts (doctor) was immediately followed by a stay at the children’s hospital where she was hooked up to oxygen and nebulised regularly. We went home a few days later when her oxygen levels where back up and had stabilised. Still not fully recovered and seemingly getting worse, we went back to the huisarts and she was then prescribed antibiotics for pneumonia :-(

On the day I took this photo, we set off for a walk along the beach and she fell asleep only minutes after we had gone outside. Unexpectedly, she slept for 3 hours in the pram while I walked, followed by another 2.5 hours when we got home. Sleep, fresh sea air, and new antibiotics seemed to be exactly what she needed and she was soon starting to feel better. So grateful!

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[2] A visit to England, ‘just the girls, no boys!’

This was a holiday that almost didn’t happen and it was certainly an adventure we are not going to forget!

I had originally booked our trip to coincide with hubby’s travel plans for work. Lea was only just out of hospital though so I postponed our trip by two weeks. Our new travel dates neared and Lea was still ill. We went back to the huisarts and I held out hope that she’d be fine and didn’t postpone the dates a second time. It was only on the day we were due to leave that we decided to go!

With everything packed, the car full, goodbyes said to Papa and everyone with their seatbelts on and ready to go, I went to turn the key in the ignition. Nothing. I couldn’t believe it! All psyched up to travel solo with the girls, packed and ready to drive to the overnight ferry and we weren’t going anywhere. I tried again. Still nothing.

We called ANWB (roadside assistance) to help. There wasn’t a lot of time till check-in for the ferry closed so I called ahead to give them a headsup that we had car trouble. I was so sad to think we wouldn’t make it.

Thankfully ANWB arrived pretty quickly. Our car battery was broken and wouldn’t take any charge. Luckily they had a new one and ten minutes later it was fitted and we were on our way. We made it to the ferry in time by the skin of our teeth! Yay! So happy! And the girls were SO excited!

We were quite a sight making our way from the car to our cabin. Rebekka was proudly helping with the suitcase (which was pretty big since it included the mattress for our travelcot). And I was fully laden up babywearing Lea as well as carrying the travelcot and a big bag of food and other essentials!

The girls were really excited and after bouncing off the walls in our cabin we went to find ‘our stairwell’ where we take a photo on every crossing :-)

The morning brought more excitement as the girls watched from the window while the ferry docked. We were staying with my brother’s family for the first time and couldn’t wait to get there! :-) Two and a half hours on the road and we finally arrived!

Starting with a wonderful cuppa tea and bacon butties, we packed a lot into just a couple of days: a family dinner where all the girl-cousins got to play together, the chippy tea I’d been craving for over a year (battered fish, chips and mushy peas!), visits to Grandma and Grandad’s house and a visit to see Great-Grandma too, a special visit to the church, and supermarket shopping at an Asda superstore to stock up on our favourite UK goodies. You can follow our adventures over on my Instagram account.

Leaving was hard, especially for Rebekka and Eva who play like sisters and best friends. It was a really quick visit home but it was wonderfully perfect (and completely exhausting too, but I was expecting that!) I’ve already been trying to plan in a return visit, but it’s a tough one trying to navigate Dutch and British school holidays as well as life on-call. I’m looking forward to our next travel adventure though!

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[3] Forever 40
In the end, the timing of our trip couldn’t have been more perfect. It meant that I was in the UK on what would have been my Mum’s 60th birthday. She has been gone from our lives for almost 20 years, I can barely wrap my head around that. It seems so long and so short all at the same time. Rebekka started singing Happy Birthday and I couldn’t hold back the tears, it was so special. I miss her every day and wish she were here to see her grandchildren grow up. The girls have never met their Oma and Opa too. And they have great-grandparents that we all miss as well. We try to keep their memories alive through photos and stories. 

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[4] A real tree for Christmas!
We celebrated pakjesavond a few days early because of our trip and when we got back Sinterklaas had returned to Spain, so it was time to unpack the Christmas decorations and choose our Christmas tree. We all set off to the garden centre which was crazy busy! Rebekka proudly chose our tree, saying it was ‘mooi’ (beautiful) and then Papa took it home (we can’t fit the four of us in the car with a tree as well!). Whilst the girls and I waited for him to return, we walked though the garden centre’s Christmas displays, picking out a few extra decorations. 

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[5] Christmas Eve
Friends of ours gave us a tip that Ikea was selling flat-packed gingerbread houses so guess where I bought our house? ;-) I assembled it with a little help on Christmas Eve and the girls loved decorating it. It went a bit like this: stick one sweet, eat two, stick one, eat four..! lol I think this will be a lovely Christmas tradition for us :-)

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[6] Weihnachten (Christmas Eve)
Traditionally in Germany, presents are opened on Christmas Eve so the girls got to open presents from their German relatives in the evening. They went to sleep very excited and Rebekka couldn’t wait for Father Christmas to come in the night and leave even more presents under the tree!

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[7] Christmas Morning
The girls slept in late and Lea had slept through the night (extremely rare!) so we had a lovely relaxed morning! As is traditional on my side of the family, we opened presents while still in our pyjamas! Rebekka sat in one spot carefully opening all her presents, meanwhile Lea was a bit of a tornado, running here and there with a present to unwrap. Taking photos of her was quite the challenge! ;-) All the joy and excitement of children at Christmas is so wonderful!!

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[8] Creative inspiration
Midway through opening her presents, Rebekka had clearly found a favourite – a small heart shaped notebook and set of coloured gel pens. The rest of the unwrapping was on hold while she drew her first picture. She’s our little artist and I love that she paused for a little creativity.

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[a bonus photo!] Reading Christmas stories
I’m rarely in photos, so i’m including this one as a bonus :) An interesting fact for you: ‘raket’ (rocket) ice lollies first made an appearance when I was pregnant with Rebekka, I craved them something crazy! Till this day, we have barely gone a moment without them in the freezer and they are big favourites with the girls. Yes, even on Christmas Day in the midst of winter! You can imagine that it didn’t take long for Lea to learn to say “ice lolly, peeease”. The cutest!

Impressions‘ is a creative project by an eclectic group of female photographers from around the globe. We aim to share the inspiration behind what we do through our bi-monthly posts.

Every other month, we will be sharing 8 images that tell the story of what inspired us in the previous weeks: our families, nature, weather, or maybe even work itself! We are free to explore the meaning of ‘impressions’, and it is likely to change month to month.

Say hello in the comments below and then hop on over to see what Leslie Huckey Sarten of Leslie Meadow Photography in stunning Alsaka is sharing this month :-) Then continue clicking through the circle till you make it back here – I hope you enjoy all our posts!

With love,
~ Natalie

Posted in Personal Also tagged , , , , , , , |

Impressions from September & October : a personal project

Whilst selecting images for this month’s blog circle, it hit me. My girls are growing up. Fast. Woah!

My mama-heart made me choose only photos of them to share with you for this round of Impressions. These are memories I hold dear to my heart. Enjoy..

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[1] Toes, and upside down reading.
Oh goodness, my heart flipped at seeing Lea studying our local newspaper. Those little pointed toes!! Swoon! My little dynamo doesn’t stay still for long but she sure stayed a while to enjoy the paper! If you look closely, you’ll see she appears to have the gift of reading upside down. What a clever little thing she is ;-)

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[2] Scrunchy toes.
Honestly. Baby toes are the cutest. But these baby toes are getting bigger.. ohhh but they are still so cute!

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[3] A visit from Flip de Beer (Flip the Bear)
Flip de Beer (from school) loves adventures and stays with a different family each weekend. It’s such a great concept, and we had a lot of fun when he came to stay with us. We took him on the new ferris wheel at the pier. Now whenever I’m driving to school via the beach (a diversion because of roadworks) and we see the ferris wheel, an excited voice from the back of the car shouts to look out of the window, “we went there with Flip de Beer”!!

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[4] Lea is TWO!!
My baby is two. Where in the world have those two years gone?! Two! Really! As instructed by Rebekka, the girls stood on chairs for the singing of Happy Birthday in English and Dutch. Several renditions later (because it’s so exciting and they know all the words!), we also sang the German version.

Lea sings a lot, and loudly. Ever since her birthday I’ve been hearing random parts of the birthday songs. I love how she sings “to youuuu” :-) She does such a great “hoera”(hooray) for “hieperdepiep” too!

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[5] Blijdorp Zoo, Rotterdam
It was a lovely autumnal day, and not too cold. Perfect for a visit to the zoo. Rebekka had a list of must-see animals so we had a good long walk in order to see them all.

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[6] Blijdorp Zoo, Rotterdam
Both of them up to mischief..

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[7] Blijdorp Zoo, Rotterdam
Sisterly love.. Rebekka is the best big sister!

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[8] Halloween preparations
This year’s pumpkin wasn’t so scary-looking. At Rebekka’s request, I carved hearts for eyes :-)

Impressions‘ is a creative project by an eclectic group of female photographers from around the globe. We aim to share the inspiration behind what we do through our bi-monthly posts.

Every other month, we will be sharing 8 images that tell the story of what inspired us in the previous weeks: our families, nature, weather, or maybe even work itself! We are free to explore the meaning of ‘impressions’, and it is likely to change month to month.

Say hello in the comments below and then hop on over to see what Antonina Mamzenko in London, UK,  is sharing this month :-) Then continue clicking through the circle till you make it back here – I hope you enjoy all our posts!

With love,
~ Natalie

Posted in Personal Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

An Image that Speaks Volumes – Family

An Image that Speaks Volumes (family)

An Image that Speaks Volumes ( a personal project )

Personal projects are a great adventure that often lead us through the most unlikely of paths. Our intention in starting this project is to hone our skills and see where this particular path takes us. We would love it if you joined us on this adventure.

Our intention is for the images to do the talking. We believe a single moment captured forever in a photograph can speak volumes. These images require no words and at the same time, tell a whole story.

Every other month, we will choose a single image to share with you. These images will usually follow a theme. By seeing, we hope you hear our voices.

If you’d like to visit other participating photographers to see their interpretations, follow the links:
Vinita SaloméNatalie Carstens | Tanja de Maesschalk

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Impressions from May & June : a personal project

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[1] Scheveningen Beach, North of the pier
A solo walk along the water’s edge is food for the soul. The waves lapping around my feet was lovely! Later that afternoon, I received a sunny photo of Belmont’s Blue Lagoon (Lancashire, UK) from my Dad, and then my brother sent one from Chorley (Lancashire, UK) too. This was the photo I then shared with them. We’d all enjoyed some time outdoors that day and it was lovely to share where we’d been in our group chat. 

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[2] Scootin’
A new scooter for Lea! Her legs were too short to be able to sit on the seat so she sat on the frame (she still does that now even though her legs are long enough!) Too cute!

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[3] Hi
That little raised hand…. *swoon* !! Oh goodness, I am in love with the photos from a recent client’s maternity and newborn sessions.. absolutely cannot wait for her beautiful fine art album to arrive!!

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[4] Roadtrip to Sylt, Germany
This was a fun but quick stop for the girls on what turned out to be an 11-hour roadtrip through Germany. It was a much needed stretch of the legs – especially for Lea, who is constantly on the go. Time was slipping away fast though and with multiple stops and travel through rush hour traffic, we ended up only just making the last car-train to the island! What a relief to be on that last train! And really, the girls were amazing having spent an entire day in the car!

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[5] Tickle Tickle..
Happy times for the girls as they played with Tante Karin and Onkel Holger! We enjoyed a lovely bbq on this beautiful summer evening. 

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[6] Caught!
Stealth mode fail. I was spotted! Rebekka was reading to Lea, and Lea was sitting very still on the sofa, quietly listening. It was a rare moment and a memory I wanted to keep. I was able to get a couple of photos of them completely unaware of my camera but as I made my way closer to the sofa, Lea totally busted me. At first, only her eyes moved to look at me. Suspicious of the big black thing I was hiding behind, she gave me her “what are you doing?” kind of look. Then, as I peered over my camera, she was quickly up and climbing off the sofa to run over to me. The fleeting moment of stillness and sweet sisterhood, gone. Of the photos I took, it’s this one where I was caught out that brings a smile to my face.

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[7] Lea and Eddy
As I looked back over the photos I’d taken in the last few months, this was a memory that made me linger. Lea was so attentive to Eddy on that day. Quietly chatting to him in her own little language, stroking him, and sitting on the bottom step to wait for him to do his ‘business’ on the loo. It’s a different story now. A few days ago I caught her wagging her finger at him and telling him “niet doen” as he reacted to her teasing with a quick swipe of his paw! 

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[8] Freedom!
There’s no stopping her now! Rebekka’s so proud to be cycling on her own. And we’re proud parents too :-)

Impressions‘ is a creative project by an eclectic group of female photographers from around the globe. We aim to share the inspiration behind what we do through our bi-monthly posts.

Every other month, we will be sharing 8 images that tell the story of what inspired us in the previous weeks: our families, nature, weather, or maybe even work itself! We are free to explore the meaning of ‘impressions’, and it is likely to change month to month.

Say hello in the comments below and then hop on over to see what Kim Rogers of Brink Street Photography in Denver Colorado is sharing this month :-) Then continue clicking through the circle till you make it back here – I hope you enjoy all our posts!

Have a lovely summer!

With love,
~ Natalie

Posted in Personal Also tagged , , , , , , |

Impressions from March & April : a personal project

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[1] Little hands and Duplo
I love watching Lea’s little hands work as she builds. It’s fascinating!

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[2] Playing ‘can you find..’ with Papa
My 3 loves.. ok, 4. I love books too ;-)

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[3] Noodles.
Quicker than you can say the word ‘noodles’, they’re are all gone. Honest. Blink and you’ll miss them. She’s had me looking under her chair and in her seat for them but no, her tummy is full! The first time Lea speedily polished off her plate I was in shock. This little lady has been the fussiest of little eaters.. till now. Ok. She is still fussy. But she is eating a whole lotta different foods these days! Yay!

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[4] Welcome Baby
I was so excited to photograph this family who are also great friends of ours.. little Maeby was born in early March. I’ve cherished every opportunity for her sleepy snuggles and the chance to inhale her brand new baby scent since then. Look how tiny she is in her Papa’s arms. Sweet newborn bliss!

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[5] Little details.
You’re going to have to wait for the full reveal. Maeby needs her own blog post ;-)

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[6] Hungry Frogs
Whose frog is the hungriest of them all?? 

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[6] Where there’s a will there’s a way.
I quietly observed Lea seek out her little yellow snack box from the cupboard. I wondered what she was up to since normally she empties this cupboard’s contents all over the kitchen floor. I watched as she pushed the stool to just the right spot. Then up she climbed to throw her snack box into the sink. Now she’s unstoppable with climbing on the stool to reach the counter. Growing so fast..!

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[8] Party time!
Birthdays are magical and exciting for 4-year-olds! I love the wonder of it all. Four is fabulous! Shout out to Nermina at Perfect Pastry – thank you for the beautiful and delicious cake! :-)

Impressions‘ is a creative project by an eclectic group of female photographers from around the globe. We aim to share the inspiration behind what we do through our bi-monthly posts.

Every other month, we will be sharing 8 images that tell the story of what inspired us in the previous weeks: our families, nature, weather, or maybe even work itself! We are free to explore the meaning of ‘impressions’, and it is likely to change month to month.

Say hello in the comments below and then hop on over to see what Leslie Huckey Sarten of Lelise Meadow Photography in Alaska is sharing this month :-) Then continue clicking through the circle till you make it back here – I hope you enjoy all our posts!

Till next time..!

With love,
~ Natalie

Posted in Personal Also tagged , , , , , , |

Impressions from January & February : a personal project

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[1] & [2] Blijdorp Zoo, Rotterdam
We’re still keeping up with our tradition of ‘growing taller’ photos with the pigs’ head! ;-) This was the first zoo trip where Lea was out of the pram and good grief, there was no stopping her! We were amazed at how much walking she did. Freedom! Keeping her in one spot proved challenging so this was the best we got of her near the pigs’ head!

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[3] Eddy
Since the day we moved house, this is the spot where Eddy spends most of his time. Curled up on our bed.. ohhhh the life of a cat!

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[4] Heave-ho!
Ha ha! I couldn’t stop laughing whilst taking this photo! We had a large parcel delivered and although it was very heavy, Lea was determined to push it along the floor. The fact she had been dressing up just prior and was still wearing a high-visibility vest certainly helped make this an amusing moment!

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[5] Blue.
If you’ve been following my other personal project ‘an image that speaks volumes‘ you’ll remember that the last post had the theme ‘blue‘. I almost shared the image above but at the last minute, decided on something else. These blue shoes once belonged to me. They are lay on a blanket I was wrapped in at my Christening. Two meaningful items, from different moments in my childhood, that my Mum kept and saved. I don’t remember wearing those shoes and I wonder why she chose to keep them. They are too big to have been my first pair of shoes. What memories did they have for her? I will never know. But I will keep them too.

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[6] When the littles get together
Times are changing. The big littles are starting school in the coming weeks and there’s now a gorgeous new baby in the group which means ‘Baby Lea’ has been bumped off her baby spot! These fun (almost-)weekly playdates are going to be different soon. Holding on to the memories..!

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[7] Something is missing.. do you know what?
The tooth fairy paid Rebekka a visit in January.. her little front tooth that was chipped when she fell more than 2 years ago started to wobble. It wobbled a long long time. And then I got a call from the creche. It had fallen out while she was eating an apple. They were a bit shocked that Rebekka lost a tooth so soon! At first, I was a little bit sad that her characterful little chipped tooth was gone. Now though, I’m so used to the gap that it’s hard to think back to when her little chipped tooth was there!

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[8] No words… no words at all!

Impressions‘ is a creative project by an eclectic group of female photographers from around the globe. We aim to share the inspiration behind what we do through our bi-monthly posts.

Every other month, we will be sharing 8 images that tell the story of what inspired us in the previous weeks: our families, nature, weather, or maybe even work itself! We are free to explore the meaning of ‘impressions’, and it is likely to change month to month.

Say hello in the comments below and then hop on over to see what Kim Rodgers of Brink Street Photography is sharing this month :-) Then continue clicking through the circle till you make it back here – I hope you enjoy all our posts!

Till next time..!

With love,
~ Natalie

Posted in Personal Also tagged , , , , , , , |

Impressions from November & December : a personal project

Skipping over November, a month of sickness for all of us (I’m reminded by numerous photos of the girls snuggled up and sleeping), let’s enjoy December for this round of Impressions!

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[1-3] Getting out of the ‘Funk’. Meijendal Dunes, Scheveningen
In the moments when I endure waves of sadness and grief, the extreme joy around me at this time of year can all too easily make those moments feel like a heavy weight sinking me to the ground. How to get out of the funk? For me, there are two fail-safe steps: 1. pick up my camera, and 2. head out into nature. It’s soothing for the soul. I feel lighter. I’m present. Funk officially kicked to the curb. :-)

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[4] Joy
Looking at this photo, I can’t help but smile. I hear laughter! Who knew empty bottles could be so much fun! Kicking them here.. throwing them there.. <3

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[5] Faces and letters
Mid-December, Rebekka started drawing faces.. a head, eyes, nose, mouth, with stick arms and stick legs. They’ve evolved a lot since then (now with eyelashes, and a belly, sometimes a skirt! – stay tuned, I might share an update in the next Impressions!) She’s started writing too. What began as squiggly lines, have become almost recognisable letters (bottom-middle is her name). She quickly favoured writing the letter ‘p’ and sometimes ‘a’. We thought she was on the way to spelling Papa, but no. ‘p’ is Mama. ‘p’ is Papa, ‘p’ is Bekka, ‘p’ is Lea. And it is still the same now. :-D

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[6] Christmas Eve
As is traditional in Germany, presents are opened on Christmas Eve. So when the girls came home from the creche, they got to open presents from their German relatives. Rebekka went to bed repeatedly saying she must “sleep good” because Father Christmas was bringing more presents in the night. (Took a fair bit of explaining this year.. Sinterklaas, der Weihnachtsmann, and Father Christmas!! Rebekka is very much into Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet!)

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[7] Christmas Morning
(Surprisingly, they both slept really well!) ..Father Christmas had been in the night while they were sleeping – Rebekka was very excited! – and we all opened the rest of our presents on Christmas Morning while still in our pyjamas (as is traditional for my side of the family). Oh, those tiny toes..!!

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[8] Our Family, Christmas Day
All four of us together; the rarest of photos. Whether ‘selfies’ like this one (so quick and easy to do!), setting up the camera on a tripod, or booking a family photographer, we should really make family photos a habit. I have plenty of photos of the girls, now it’s time to get Mama and Papa in the photo with them. I’m embarking on a monthly series of family photos that we’ll enjoy looking back on at the end of the year, and also in many years from now. This is a must.

Impressions‘ is a creative project by an eclectic group of female photographers from around the globe. We aim to share the inspiration behind what we do through our bi-monthly posts.

Every other month, we will be sharing 8 images that tell the story of what inspired us in the previous weeks: our families, nature, weather, or maybe even work itself! We are free to explore the meaning of ‘impressions’, and it is likely to change month to month.

Say hello in the comments below and then hop on over to see what Vinita of Vinita Salomé Photography is sharing this month :-) Then continue clicking through the circle till you make it back here – I hope you enjoy all our posts!

Till next time..!

With love,
~ Natalie

Posted in Personal Also tagged , , , , , , , |

Impressions from March & April : a personal project

It’s time for another round of Impressions! I set out with the intention that I would take my big camera outside the house and photograph things other than my girls. Well, that did happen, I promise! But when it came time to select 8 photos, yes only 8 (although you will see that I cheat at the end!), it was impossible for me to choose any that didn’t include my girls. They are my world. I love that this project helps me to consciously document family life.

Here’s a few moments I want to remember from March and April.

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[1] Lea, 5 months
She’s getting all big now!!

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[2 & 3] Sisters
These two. My heart.

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[4] Rebekka’s 3rd Birthday Party
Rebekka was so excited that she was going to have a “lello birthday” party (she’s ditched pink, her favourite colour is now YELLOW!). Her Grandma and Grandad came to visit and we decorated with bunting and yellow balloons, had an amazing cake made by Perfect Pastry and a trio of friends (Leo, George and Nicole) who she’s known almost her whole life came to celebrate with her.

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[5] A taste of carrots… “this isn’t boob?!”
Where in the world did the last six months go?! I can’t believe it’s already time for Lea to be eating proper foods! Rebekka loves to feed Lea, and encourages her with “say aaaaah” “yummy, Layla” (still working on getting her to drop the second ‘l’ !!) and “lekker Layla” but Lea just isn’t interested. She wants the boob! (We recently tried banana, and she’ll finish that – yay! – so I think we’re getting somewhere now…)

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[6] Grandad – with his youngest Granddaughter || Laughter
Just looking at this photo and the sounds of Lea’s giggles are fresh in my mind! She’s incredibly ticklish along her collar bone, and her giggles are adorable! What a treat for Grandad to hear that sound in person :-)

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[7] Lea, 6 months
Happy Half-Birthday, Baby Girl!

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[8] Concentration
Rebekka loves to paint. Painting and cycling, those are two of her favourite things right now!

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[Bonus 8!] Instagram
I took an exceptional number of photos these past two months so i’m sneaking in a few iPhone ones too.

Left to right (top row): [1] Lea, 4 months old, and delicious! [2] Rebekka, home from a firefighter birthday party and not wanting to take off her YELLOW fire chief hat! [3] This turned out to be Rebekka’s last ride out on her loopfiets (balance bike). [4] In the egg at Blijdorp Zoo.

Left to right (bottom row): [5] Supporting our local football club with matching ADO Den Haag Fan t-shirts! Hubby is hoping we’ll get a family season ticket one day! [6] Lea’s growing fast, 5 months here! [7] A new YELLOW bike for Rebekka’s 3rd birthday! She was a very happy birthday girl!! [8] In our lift on the way home with two tired littles (and a tired mama!)

Want to see more? Join me over on Instagram and follow me at nataliecarstens :)

Impressions‘ is a creative project by an eclectic group of female photographers from around the globe. We aim to share the inspiration behind what we do through our bi-monthly posts.

Every other month, we will be sharing 8 images that tell the story of what inspired us in the previous weeks: our families, nature, weather, or maybe even work itself! We are free to explore the meaning of ‘impressions’, and it is likely to change month to month.

Say hello in the comments below and then hop on over to see what Vinita of Vinita Salomé Photography is sharing this month :-) Then continue clicking through the circle till you make it back here – I hope you enjoy all our posts!

With love,
~ Natalie

Posted in Personal Also tagged , , , |