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Impressions from January & February : a personal project

‘Impressions’ has evolved into a glimpse into my life as a mother and photographer. It’s a memory-bank for my family. I love that about it!

It’s become a way of capturing the experiences and moments that I want to remember in the future when the time comes to take a trip down memory lane. It holds the memories I want my children to know were important to me.

Impressions holds me accountable for backing up and sorting through the many personal photos I take (especially with my phone!) and selecting favourites on a regular basis. If you’ve ever tried organising your digital photo collection, you’ll know how overwhelming and time-consuming this task can be if you leave it too long! I love looking though favourite images and moments, and adding a caption or memory to the ones I share here.

Here’s my Impressions for January and February..

A visit from family

We began the year with a visit from my Dad, his wife and granddaughter. I took Rebekka and her cousin out for a fun afternoon at the beach one day – just the three of us. We had planned on going to Glow Golf (glow in the dark minigolf) but it was full and we didn’t have a reservation so we visited the Mirror Maze instead and had a great time getting lost in there. It was a lot of fun!

A morning with Lea

One morning after dropping Rebekka off at school and doing a quick food shop, I took out my camera to document all we did that day. Lea couldn’t wait to get started with finger-painting, which led to building Duplo towers. She then wanted to make her own toast, getting very excited when it jumped up in the toaster! And I wasn’t allowed to hoover.. no.. “me do it, Mama!” and so she did.

Riding bikes in the dunes

As the weather gets warmer, we’re out on our bikes a whole lot more! Lea’s now interested in the ‘loopfiets’ (balance bike) and is beginning to get pretty speedy on it! Meanwhile, it looks like Rebekka will be upgrading to a bigger bike very soon!! She’s grown a lot over the Winter months!

Happy Flowers!

Tulips are my favourite flower so I love when tulip season begins :-) Unfortunately, this particular bunch were extremely thirsty and they drank ALL their water overnight. I came downstairs and was greeted by extremely droopy flowers flopped over the sides of the vase, they were looking very sad. I’d never seen that happen before! I topped up their water, hoped for the best and quickly left for the school run. When I returned home later, they were looking just as perky as when I’d bought them the day before! Impressive! Yay for happy flowers!!

Toes!

So.. this is what 3 looks like! haha!

Doesn’t matter if it’s warm or cold, my children are always barefoot! Tiny little toes on scrumptious little feet.. that are growing all too fast!

An artist at work

Don’t be fooled by her choice of clothing, it was definitely cold outside. I think she was channeling Summer!! Just loved watching her take a few quiet moments to draw.

The moustache

This is what happens when you Facetime with family and turn your attention away from your children for a few minutes! I’d left Rebekka and Lea noisily drawing together at the table and retreated to the sofa where I could still see them but could also hold a conversation with my Dad. They became quiet. Soon one mischievous 3-year-old coloured in her hands while a supposedly sensible almost-6-year-old added a couple of finishing touches to her little sister’s face! Realisation hit and I leapt up from my cozy spot on the sofa and was by their side in no time to interrupt all thoughts of continued artistry on Lea’s face. The pen was thankfully not permanent marker but it sure took it’s sweet time coming off!!

Baking cupcakes and licking out the bowl

Ohhh, this image makes my mother-heart sigh with happiness .. how I love these two! <3

‘Impressions’ is a creative project by an eclectic group of female photographers from around the globe. Every other month, we share a selection of images that tell the story of what inspired us in the previous weeks. 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!

With love,
~ Natalie

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

Impressions from November & December : a personal project

I’m sharing some of our Christmas traditions for this round of Impressions. We blend traditions from the UK (where i’m from), Germany (where my husband is from), and The Netherlands (because our children are growing up here).

Here’s a glimpse of our December moments..

[1] Decorating the Christmas Tree
We bought our Christmas Tree the weekend before Pakjesavond and the girls helped to decorate. Lea (wearing her Pieten hat) was placing all the decorations in clusters and Rebekka (wearing reindeer antlers) was immediately re-distributing them to better places! So funny to watch!

[2] Pakjesavond, 5 December
The festive season starts with the arrival of Sinterklaas (St Nicholas) mid-November. In the weeks leading up to Pakjesavond (presents’ evening), the girls were drawing pictures for Sinterklaas and leaving them in their shoes by the fireplace with a carrot for his horse. Then they’d sing ‘Sinterklaas kapoentje’ up the chimney (a song asking for ‘schoencadeautjes’ – a small surprise to be left in their shoes). Some nights, we could even hear Rebekka singing it when she was in bed! Occasionally, they’d find a little surprise waiting for them in the morning.

When Pakjesavond finally came around, they were very excited! We were all together in the living room when the doorbell rang. We opened the door to find a sack of presents waiting outside; a special delivery from Sinterklaas and his Pieten! The girls were so excited and shouted into the street: “Dank je wel!” (thank you). The sack was then rushed into the living room to squeals of “Presents!” from Lea! :-)

[3] Our Artist at work
Amongst the Sinterklaas gifts was a set of make your own baubles, so naturally Rebekka got to work straight away!

[4] Christmas Eve
After it’s introduction last year, we decorated a gingerbread house again on Christmas Eve. It followed the familiar pattern of stick one sweet, eat a handful!! Those blue M&Ms are a big tell tale sign.. not mentioning any names.. *cough*.. Lea..! ;-)

[5] Weihnachten (Christmas Eve)
After dinner on Christmas Eve, we celebrate Weihnachten and open presents that were sent from our German relatives. The excitement really begins and the girls can’t wait for the morning which will bring more presents from Father Christmas!

[6] Christmas Morning
The girls both got new scooters for Christmas – we’d tried to hide them in amongst the other presents, but oh no.. somehow they knew.. and those were the ones they both opened first!! :-)

[7] Racing around the Christmas Tree!
The energy of these two (and especially the littlest!) There’s no keeping them still when there are presents to open! :-) :-) 

I also want to make a note here that after bedtime, little miss Lea was much too excited about all the new presents to go to sleep! She was constantly out of bed and making her way downstairs to play. Eventually we gave up taking her back to bed and let her stay up. We couldn’t help but smile as she pranced around the living room with a hula hoop, singing! Don’t know where she got the energy from!! She eventually snuggled into me on the sofa and when it was time for us all to go to bed, she swung her arm as she said “Let’s go!” – so cute!!

[8] The Family-Carstens Christmas Selfie
The last few years we’ve been taking a family selfie on Christmas Day. Rebekka was missing her top two front teeth this Christmas – you can just about see the gap! One big tooth is quickly making it’s way down at the moment and the next one can’t be far off! She’s waiting for a new tooth to come through at the bottom too.

Hope your Christmas was a merry one. Wishing you and your families all the best for 2018!

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 :-) I hope you enjoy all our posts!

With love,
~ Natalie

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

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

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

Impressions from April : a personal project

It’s time for another round of Impressions!

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 monthly posts.

On the 8th of each 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.

So here’s my selection for April:

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[1-4] Meijendal Dunes. Scheveningen.
It’s time to get back into balance. In the last few months I’ve come to realise I need to start carving out a little bit of me-time. So with Rebekka at the creche, I spent my lunch break wandering the dunes with my camera – it was pure bliss! Discarding all the ‘hats’ I wear so I could just wear my own was exactly what I needed. I even discovered a small cluster of bluebells in the woods – Spring is in the air and it’s so pretty. I stepped back into my home office feeling completely refreshed and rejuvenated, and ready to get to work!

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[5] Rebekka’s 2nd Birthday! Opening presents with help from Grandad :-)
Two years flew by in a blink! It’s crazy! Rebekka’s birthday coincided with Easter so we had a wonderful long weekend with Rebekka’s Grandparents – my Dad and Denise, his wife, came to stay with us :-) We indulged in plenty of good food that weekend; spare ribs at Cocomo Beachclub, lots of Easter chocolate, my special homemade lasagne that always goes down a treat, and a chocolate fudge birthday cake. Rebekka was really excited about opening presents; I thought Neal from ADO for Expats might be impressed with her gifts in the photo above ;-) “ADO, ADO..” she says, all excited!

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[6] Kids Playground. Delft.
This is a new discovery for us – a fabulous indoor soft play adventure land for little explorers (and big ones too!) Rebekka is fearless! Climbing high, running, jumping…and me chasing after her. It’s a tiring workout for us both, but it’s a whole lot of fun!

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[7] Blijdorp Zoo. Rotterdam.
This view should be getting familiar by now… see it previously here and here. Rebekka is growing taller and taller! She loves exploring at the zoo. On this particular visit, she kept holding out her hands and asking for the animals to come to her, and getting a little impatient with them when they wouldn’t. Oh, she does make us smile :-)

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[8] Blijdorp Zoo. Rotterdam.
Oh look, another giant animal head! Let’s see Rebekka grow with this one too – haha! Ok, next time perhaps I’ll photograph and share photos of some real animals… ;-P

Please continue through the circle and see what Kim Rogers 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!

Say hello in the comments below…

With love,
~ Natalie

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

Impressions from March (and February!) : a personal project

After missing the last round of Impressions in fact, everyone in the blog circle missed the last round! – I’m including photos from February as well as from March in this month’s post.

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 monthly posts.

On the 8th of each 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.

So here’s my selection this month:

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[1] Exploring at Blijdorp Zoo, Rotterdam
With Mr Rabbit of course! ;-)

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[2] Scheveningen Beach
Are you a regular visitor to the beach? Does this look familiar? Where is it? I’ll admit, I’ve lived here for years and didn’t notice this for a long time! Now every time I walk past it, I’m looking to see if the shadows look “pretty” … I have lots of photos of this little house now!

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[3] An escape to Amsterdam
Such lovely memories from this day… it was the 4th of February, the day before our 5th wedding anniversary, and a Tuesday, which meant that Rebekka was at the creche. My wonderful husband had taken the whole week off work, so we escaped off to Amsterdam for lunch, just the two of us! I was tempted to take the big camera with me, but actually left it behind to just enjoy the moments as they happened…so nice!

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[4] Madurodam. Scheveningen
It’s been a while since we last visited The Netherlands in miniature… and this was Rebekka’s first visit! Happy Anniversary to hubby and I… this was on our wedding anniversary – 5 years of marriage and 10 years together – wow!! Where on earth did all that time go?! :-)

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[5] Skies from my office window
I just can’t get enough of this view! Every day is different! The cloud display at sunset (when there are ‘nice’ clouds) always catches my eye if I happen to be working. Not only do the clouds catch my eye, I’ve also noticed the birds fly about just before sunset recently (a sky full of birds!!) but I’ve been busy and without my camera by my side – maybe I’ll capture the flurry of wings and the fancy air-acrobatics next time!

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[6] Scheveningse Bosjes
A change from the dunes and the beach… Rebekka and I walked in the woods on this day, and discovered snowdrops!

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[7] Tulips
Yay for fresh cut flowers… the first bunch of tulips to make it into our home this Spring :-)

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[8] Scheveningen Beach
Suddenly the weather is warm! It’s Summer?!! Absolutely loved watching these two play at the beach in their own private beach hut ;-)

 

Psssssst…. some bonus images for you! Just wanted to let you know.. the beach pavilions are back, and Cocomo Beachclub is OPEN! and serving the most delicious spare ribs you will have ever tasted! See you there sometime??

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hahaha! ;-)

Please continue through the circle and see what Leslie Huckey Sartan of Leslie Meadow Photography is sharing this month :) Then continue clicking through the circle till you make it back here – I hope you enjoy all our posts!

Say hello in the comments below…

Have a great week!

With love,
~ Natalie

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

Impressions from January : a personal project

Waaaaaaaah! January went by in a flash and it’s already time for another round of Impressions!

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 monthly posts.

On the 8th of each 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.

Here’s my selection for January:

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[1] Concentration.
Rebekka’s become an expert at puzzles. She learned to twirl the shapes around between her finger and thumb which means she’s now completing them in record time!

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[2] Sunset from our living room
I love our view over the rooftops!

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[3] Blijdorp Zoo, Rotterdam
You might remember this same photo from October’s Impressions! It’s winter now and all the leaves are gone. And our little explorer is growing fast! She had a growth spurt at the end of January – all the clothes we bought too big during our Christmas trip to the UK.. are becoming small already!!! Her shoes as well! Crazy! Our little baby seems long gone…

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[4] Yoghurts – a favourite snack!
This little monkey is so proud when she gets to eat a yoghurt all by herself… amazingly, she barely makes a mess! This was the first time she held the spoon properly.. and only one tiny drop landed on her bib! Impressive! She’s now frequently grabbing hold of a finger to lead us to the fridge to get her yet another one! The peach ones are a big hit.. but she keeps calling it ‘apple’! That’s something we’re working on… ;-)

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[5] Scheveningen Beach
A particularly windy day at the beach where the sounds of the waves crashing could be heard from far away. One of my favourite sounds…

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[6] The bark of an old tree. Meijendal Dunes, Scheveningen.
Whilst wandering in the dunes I was wondering how old the tallest trees might be… and then I noticed that the trees had different patterns in the bark – this particular one had a really interesting lattice-effect!

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[7] Sleeping! In the pushchair!
Not so long ago I would have sworn Rebekka would NEVER sleep in the pushchair/stroller/buggy… call it what you will! There are just too many interesting things to see! But she’s been refusing naps lately, and when she does, the fresh cold winter air steals her away to slumber-land! Rebekka missed most of this particular walk – because she was sleeping! I enjoyed it though, more time to stop and take photos ;-)

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[8] Winter berries. Meijendal Dunes, Scheveningen.
In the bleak winter landscape, these bright and cheery pearls of orange caught my eye :-)

Please continue through the circle and see what Vinita Salomé 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 , , , , , , , |

Impressions from December : a personal project

Happy New Year to you! I hope you and your loved ones enjoyed the holidays :)

Here on my blog, it’s time for another month of ‘Impressions‘. Photo sessions, client visits, some travel to Germany and the UK, and all the festivities that December brings certainly kept me busy over the last few weeks. Narrowing my selection of images down to only 8 was certainly a challenge!

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 monthly posts.

On the 8th of each 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.

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[1] Waiting for Christmas
I couldn’t resist to include this one… because it reminds me of one I took when she was only 10 days old. I’ll let you in on a secret too – what you don’t see here is that she’s tucking into a stroopwafel. She LOVES them!

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[2] A special spot in the Meijendal Dunes, Scheveningen.
Rebekka and I have walked this path so many times since she was born. We’ve frequently stopped for a rest at this very bench to nurse whilst dog walkers and horses passed us by. It always makes me smile at the memories.

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[3] The view from my office window.
This beautiful sky cleared away my gloomy mood after an exhausting day. Winter skies are so beautiful.

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[4] Christmas Day at Grandma and Grandad’s.
Christmas was so much FUN this year! Rebekka loves tearing off wrapping paper to see what’s inside. Every present she opened she immediately wanted to play with, and if the present was clothes, she wanted to wear them straight away – hence the bright pink fleece she has on!

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[5] Cousins opening presents together. Christmas Day.
Oh I love these two so much!

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[6] Annual family Christmas walk at Hollingworth Lake.
I love that there are so many ‘little ones’ in our family at the moment – Grandma and Grandad love it too! We were missing a few families but 16 of us (and 4 dogs) got together for a walk around Hollingworth Lake and enjoyed lunch afterwards at The Beach. I love this tradition, and I’m so glad the weather stayed nice for us too!

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[7] Annual family Christmas walk at Hollingworth Lake.
I’m certain these two are going to grow up the best of friends – they are absolutely adorable when they play together! They sure know how to melt my heart with all their hand-holding and kisses. So sweet!

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[8] Cousins saying goodbye.
Our week in the UK went by so fast. This was taken on our last day, just before we left for the ferry. After racing prams in the kitchen, it was time to rest on the comfy sofa for a few photos. It gets harder and harder to say goodbye each time… I can’t wait for our next visit!

Please continue through the circle and 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!

With love,
~ Natalie

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