Tag Archives: natalie carstens

Love and laughter; an in-home maternity session in The Hague

Documentary Maternity Photography by Natalie Carstens #nataliecarstensphotographer #maternityphotographer #pregnancy #denhaag #thehague #zuidholland #netherlands

Documentary Maternity Photography by Natalie Carstens #nataliecarstensphotographer #maternityphotographer #pregnancy #denhaag #thehague #zuidholland #netherlands

Documentary Maternity Photography by Natalie Carstens #nataliecarstensphotographer #maternityphotographer #pregnancy #denhaag #thehague #zuidholland #netherlands

Documentary Maternity Photography by Natalie Carstens #nataliecarstensphotographer #maternityphotographer #pregnancy #denhaag #thehague #zuidholland #netherlands

Documentary Maternity Photography by Natalie Carstens #nataliecarstensphotographer #maternityphotographer #pregnancy #denhaag #thehague #zuidholland #netherlands

Documentary Maternity Photography by Natalie Carstens #nataliecarstensphotographer #maternityphotographer #pregnancy #denhaag #thehague #zuidholland #netherlands

Documentary Maternity Photography by Natalie Carstens #nataliecarstensphotographer #maternityphotographer #pregnancy #denhaag #thehague #zuidholland #netherlands

Documentary Maternity Photography by Natalie Carstens #nataliecarstensphotographer #maternityphotographer #pregnancy #denhaag #thehague #zuidholland #netherlands

Documentary Maternity Photography by Natalie Carstens #nataliecarstensphotographer #maternityphotographer #pregnancy #denhaag #thehague #zuidholland #netherlands

Documentary Maternity Photography by Natalie Carstens #nataliecarstensphotographer #maternityphotographer #pregnancy #denhaag #thehague #zuidholland #netherlands

Documentary Maternity Photography by Natalie Carstens #nataliecarstensphotographer #maternityphotographer #pregnancy #denhaag #thehague #zuidholland #netherlands

Documentary Maternity Photography by Natalie Carstens #nataliecarstensphotographer #maternityphotographer #pregnancy #denhaag #thehague #zuidholland #netherlands

Documentary Maternity Photography by Natalie Carstens #nataliecarstensphotographer #maternityphotographer #pregnancy #denhaag #thehague #zuidholland #netherlands

Documentary Maternity Photography by Natalie Carstens #nataliecarstensphotographer #maternityphotographer #pregnancy #denhaag #thehague #zuidholland #netherlands

Their labour playlist filled the room with a wonderful Brazilian beat as bright sun rays streamed in through the windows. A bottle of red wine was opened and a glass poured for the father-to-be. Freshly cut gerberas and tulips were placed on the dining table and on windowsills, perfectly complimenting the sunny February afternoon.

This maternity session in The Hague has quickly become one of my favourites. The afternoon was so relaxed. It’s a privilege to witness the love and affection of a couple anticipating the arrival of their first baby; to capture it in photographs for them to treasure always is such a joy.

With the passing of time, photographs come to be a beautiful piece of your family history. One day, I imagine their son will look back with curiosity to see what his parents’ lives were like while they were awaiting his arrival. Perhaps one day far from now, these images will be discovered by a grandchild too.

If you’re expecting a baby this Spring and are ready to have this fleeting moment captured in photographs, drop me a line and we’ll make it happen!

With love,
Natalie xx

Posted in Clients, Pregnancy Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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 , , , , , , |

Family Life: a season of special memories as this family welcomes their fourth baby

three siblings hugging on the sofa | Photographer: Natalie Carstens, nataliecarstens.com

three children playing on the floor | Photographer: Natalie Carstens, nataliecarstens.com

pregnant mother building train tracks with her children | Photographer: Natalie Carstens, nataliecarstens.com

father and son playing with a train set | Photographer: Natalie Carstens, nataliecarstens.com

pregnant mother and father feeling baby kicking | Photographer: Natalie Carstens, nataliecarstens.com

father with his son who is pretending to have a baby in his tummy | Photographer: Natalie Carstens, nataliecarstens.com

family playing with cushions under their tops pretending they have a baby in their belly | Photographer: Natalie Carstens, nataliecarstens.com

a mother with her daughters, one girl playing a guitar while the other one hugs her mama | Photographer: Natalie Carstens, nataliecarstens.com

family with young children | Photographer: Natalie Carstens, nataliecarstens.com

pregnant mother and her young daughter | Photographer: Natalie Carstens, nataliecarstens.com

father kissing his newborn baby boy | Photographer: Natalie Carstens, nataliecarstens.com

a newborn baby boy laying on a big bed | Photographer: Natalie Carstens, nataliecarstens.com

toes and feet from all the family, from papa and mama to the children and the newborn baby. the mother has a tattoo on one foot | Photographer: Natalie Carstens, nataliecarstens.com

newborn baby wearing a dinosaur romper/onesie/vest and laying in his parents' arms. the father is kissing his son's hand | Photographer: Natalie Carstens, nataliecarstens.com

siblings. baby is sleeping and is being cuddled by his big sister | Photographer: Natalie Carstens, nataliecarstens.com

baby boy is sleeping in a Leander hanging cradle | Photographer: Natalie Carstens, nataliecarstens.com

grandmother holding her sleeping baby grandson | Photographer: Natalie Carstens, nataliecarstens.com

all the family on the sofa with grandma | Photographer: Natalie Carstens, nataliecarstens.com

grandma is on the sofa holding her baby grandson and looking towards another of her grandchildren with a big smile on her face | Photographer: Natalie Carstens, nataliecarstens.com

newborn baby boy is sleeping in his baby box /crib | Photographer: Natalie Carstens, nataliecarstens.com

I love working with this family. They were anticipating the arrival of their second baby when we first met. Now they have welcomed their fourth.

Their home is a wonderful blend of cultures and heritage, changing and evolving over time. We include special items in their photos – a blanket, earrings, clothing, a train set – each piece with it’s own history and story to tell.

They inspire me with the beautiful way that everyone comes together – to play, to eat, to rest. They exude the perfect blend of chaos and calm.

I’m truly captivated by the way the children play and dance in front of my camera, all the while chatting in a language unknown to me. We speak together in actions and a simple mix of Dutch and German. They are happy and I feel their joy.

My heart is full.

These photos tell a piece of their family story, and I am grateful to capture it for them.

You can have memories like these too! Interested? Or ready to book? Send me a message, let’s make plans!

With love,
Natalie

Posted in Baby, Clients, Pregnancy 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 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 January & February : a personal project

I find myself drawn to comparison photos of the girls lately; photos taken in the same places but months/years apart. When I look back and compare, it really shows how fleeting these early years are and how fast our girls are growing up!

Here’s a glimpse into our January and February..

[1] Writing notes for our Happiness Jar
Our Happiness Jar is filling up with notes and the girls have been happily adding to it with pictures they’ve drawn! (After sharing a photo of our 2016 happy notes on Facebook and Instagram over the New Year, I received a lot of questions about how it works. I try to write at least one thing daily that made me happy, date it and put it in the jar, then we read all the notes on New Year’s Eve. You can read more about how we do it over here.)

[2] Blijdorp Zoo, Rotterdam
Not only is Rebekka growing taller but she’s also suddenly looking so grown up! It’s amazing to compare this photo of her to the last one I shared, or how about the first one!

[3] Blijdorp Zoo, Rotterdam
And now here’s Lea looking all grown up! Where’d my baby go?!! See the same photo taken a year ago, here!

[4] ‘Little Lego’
Duplo still gets a lot of play-time but lego is increasingly making an appearance. The girls both love it! Rebekka was at school so this time Lea had the lego all to herself.

[5] Snow Day!
We had snow at the beginning of February, and on a weekend too. The girls were so excited and couldn’t wait to go outside to play! Rebekka told me her favourite season is Winter – because of the snow! 

[6] Snow Day!
Look carefully and you might notice that Lea is still wearing her pyjamas! She couldn’t wait to go outside and there was no convincing her to get dressed first ;-) :-)

[7] Reaching higher
I photographed Lea up to mischief in this spot almost a year ago, you can see it here. (She’s emptying the cupboard of tupperware much less these days. Now she goes straight for the cookies in the corner cupboard!) She seems so little and so big all at the same time, and I notice that her hair is getting so long lately! Before I know it she’ll be able to reach and wash her hands in the sink all by herself! 

[8] Sisters
Watching them play together makes me so happy they have each other!

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 , , , , , , , , , |

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:

01-impressions-blog-circle

[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!

02-impressions-blog-circle

[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

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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

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An Image that Speaks Volumes – Escape

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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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