Ok, I'll admit it. A few years ago I succumbed to the great Elf on the Shelf craze. I am torn between loving this little guy beyond words, to feeling very bah-humbug at the very sight of him by mid-December.
For the uninitiated, the Elf on the Shelf is one of Santa's little 'scout elves'. Once you have adopted one (and his accompanying storybook) - he arrives in your home at the beginning of December and hides somewhere in your house to spy on the kids, to help Santa with his 'naughty or nice' list. The kids love trying to find him every morning! Every night the Elf flies back to Santa to report on the day. Each morning when he comes back, he finds a different spot to hide.
So from December 1 to 24, dedicated grown-ups everywhere help their little Elf find a new hiding spot each night. In my own stupidity, I've added a secondary tradition whereby our Elf "Dash" also fills the wooden Advent calendar each night, for a new treat for them to find in the morning.
For the most part, I LOVE Dash because he helps keep the kids in line during these CRAZY days before Christmas. I mean seriously, kids start acting up or fighting, and all it takes is a casual mention of "Don't forget who's watching!" - and their eyes bug out of their head in panic as they throw a quick glance Dash's way. Quietness ensues, well, for the next 5 minutes anyway. Also, I know that this magical little period of time where they believe EVERYTHING is so so short. I will truly miss it when they're too old for this kind of carry-on, so I must savour it while I can.
But I must admit, after the initial first week of enthusiasm, I begin to tire of the chore, and also, run out of interesting places to hide him! Just about every damn night I almost forget to move him, or forget to add a new treat to the advent calendar, or I bolt awake at 5am and do the mad sprint out to the lounge room to change it all over before the kids wake up and discover the fraud!
Do you do Elf on the Shelf? Do you feel the same way?
(I got my Elf on the Shelf from www.bookdepository.com a few years ago)
A few weeks ago I met up with the Campbell family for a Mini Family Shoot on the beach. The weather had been threatening storms all day but we ended up with a beautiful afternoon!
Jodie and I were good friends at school, and when I last saw her, her little ones were much smaller! It was lovely to see them all again, to marvel at how much they have all grown, and to meet the newest additions to the family, the lovely twin-baby bump! These guys had so much fun in front of the camera, and it shows in how relaxed they are in their images.
Here's just a small selection of some of my favourites from the day - the natural beauty of the surrounds, the feel of sand in your toes (I do all my beach photoshoots barefoot!) and a wonderful family to share a fun afternoon with - awesome day!
Its the eve of mister-almost-4's birthday, and I'm operating somewhere between denial and excitement at the thought of my baby boy turning 4. Each morning this week I open Facebook and bask in the "You have memories on Facebook" reminder, reliving all those last days of the baby bump and all the highs and lows that went with it. Including smirking at my wishful status updates that I wanted to go into labour early, when in the end, I had to be induced at 10 days over. Little bugger did not want to come out.
And now here we are, 4 years later. Seriously, where did those 4 years go?
(That's my boy in the image above, big brown eyes!)
Naturally the excitement is high in our household right now. Add in a Christmas tree, the arrival of our Elf on the Shelf "Dash", and big sisters last few weeks of school, and its a mad, crazy, loud and emotional house of fun here at the moment.
December birthdays, do you have any in your family? We have EIGHT December birthdays in our combined family... EIGHT!! And my parents wedding anniversary. Its a big month. Dare I say, its an EXPENSIVE month! And with 2 young kids with birthdays so close to Christmas, it begins to resemble a toy shop at our house by the end of the month! Am I just destined to be surrounded by Sagittarians and Capricorns all my life?
Oh December, cant believe you are here already, I'm SO not ready for you yet!
I met the Kelly family a little while back, and I have been delighted to do not one, but two shoots for them recently!
Our first shoot was at the beautiful Underwood Park, and let me tell you, the camera just LOVED master Ryder, seriously, he was just a dream to work with! Lots of big smiles, he loved running around, having lots of cuddles with mum and dad, and doing everything I asked, and more! What a gorgeous family!
This is the ONLY way to travel!
I love these tender moments with mummy :)
All smiles for dad, loving that ball!
This little man is such a natural with the ball! Way to make my job easy, Ryder!
Thank you to the Kelly family for sharing your morning of love and laughter with me!
Hilary Hudson Photography. Natural Light Newborn and Families Photographer based in Tamborine, QLD. Australia.