The Year of Sunshine and Lemons

2011 was a year of sunshine and lemons.

We started and ended the year in a holiday house with a lemon tree out back, making lemonade and eating crepes and hanging out with family and friends.

A year that started with lemons and ended with lemons and sunshine.

Not everything in 2011 was great, but mostly.
When life gives you lemons ... and all that.

Joshua Tree National Park, January 2011
San Francisco, January 2011

Our little family adventured around the world ... Nelle spreading joy like sunshine wherever we went, and we met more people than we ever would have without her in our company. I mean, am I likely to start a conversation with people at the cafe ... in line at the bookstore ... on the sidewalk with the cute dog?

She is.

the Monterrey coast, January 2011

We celebrated 3 years cancer-free, and amidst the scans and checkups and paranoia and pills and shots, I realised I didn't even think about cancer every waking minute anymore. 

Or even every day.

water skink, our house in Brisbane

It was good to be home.

rivers on road trips from Brisbane to Sydney, April 2011

And away.

the Sunshine Coast, where Grammy lives

And it was good to sit back and remember how precious this time is. Even if I live another 50 years, this time is breathtakingly precious. This time where she skips and sings and we hold hands all the time and where her daddy and I are still her bestest ever friends.

Because I'm starting to take time for granted again.
And I don't want to.

Singapore, June 2011
western Scotland, June 2011

And we explored; we spent time in places where we struggled with language; where foods and drinks and attitudes differed from home. We sought out places with strong coffee and fresh veggies and cobblestones. 

But. Do cafes and castles and farmer's markets count as exploring? Was it gritty enough?

cottage in the Pyrenees, July 2011

We learned things about people and places and our selves. And I guess that's exploring.

Phoenix, September 2011

Nelle started kindy, and I started to imagine school and friends and heartaches and graduations and weddings and grandchildren ... 

but foremost, I wondered ... how do we raise a daughter to feel good about herself? To be true to herself? Is it enough to be who we are? 

I hope so. I hope I can be good enough. I'll do my best.

The Grand Canyon (of course), October 2011

This year I started a new business; tried to find a place in the real world for all these ideas in my head.
I felt small.
But powerful.

Palm Desert, December 2011

This year. We gained and lost and almost lost. We dreamed and took chances and cooked and gardened and sometimes we just cuddled on the couch with our dog and our little girl and watched movies.

It was a happy year, a year of new babies for some friends and weddings for others. We produced a bucket of potatoes of our very own. We read more books than the year before and we spent many an evening in bed watching Alias dvds. 

We basked in this year, this time together. 

Palm Desert, December/January 2011/12

This year of sunshine and lemons.
Happy 2012,
Amanda xx


  1. Lovely post Amanda.
    Can't believe we also watched (and are still working our way through) Alias DVD's in 2011.

  2. What a beautiful post summing up your year. Yes, it is enough to be who you are for your daughter, in fact, I think it is everything.

  3. You make me want to cry. This was a beautiful read. Happy what feels like a belated New Year Wish now. Your pics are stunning.

  4. @Where My Heart Is
    Jess - great minds think alike, right? :)

    Paula - thank you! I do agree with you on that one. It's hard being real though.

    Sherilyn - hugs back, and thank you. happy 2012 to you!


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