Does the universe try to encourage us?

This will be a short and philosophical post, do you think the universe tries to encourage us? Now what the bugs butt do I mean when I say that, well…We all have ideas (huge assumption on my part), sometimes we have an idea and deep down in the pit of our tummy or the center of our heart something goes “YES! yes yes yes yes, I like that thought so do it again!” It feels as if whatever just sprung to our attention is really important and needs more time, more investment.

IMG_4152Then in the following days or weeks information and other ideas that compliment our initial light bulb moment begin to appear. Everything that comes at us seems to be cementing belief and encouraging us forward, whispering “turn that idea into an action”. ACTION YES! That would be the next logical step when an idea has got you all warm and fuzzy and overexcited.

This is what I mean when I say ‘does the universe try to encourage us?’

Only the thing is, many great idea’s never really get put into action. Or maybe they get put into just a little half hearted, to scared to fail, sort of action. Now I am definitely speaking for myself when I say this, but feel free to identify with me. Of late I have been having one of these inspiring universal shoves. Though, I am not completely ruling out the possibility it is my subconscious doing some pretty clever happy connections. Either way I am feeling excited and this time I want to take ACTION. Hopefully I can share my journey soon and inspire you to embrace some warm and fuzzy and overexcited idea’s.

The Art of Receiving

24 hours ago we launched a fundraising page for our son Boston. It felt really weird…

As many of you will know our little guy, cute as a button busy as a bee, was born with Saethre-Chotzens Syndrome which caused craniosynostosis. He has already had one major surgery for cranial vault remodelling, and this year we hit what seemed to be a medical storm resulting in… Boston needing another major surgery.

IMG_3867_fotorWe’ve decided to travel to ‘The Australian Craniofacial Unit’ in Adelaide. They are an amazing team who have dedicated their professional lives to understanding this incredible field. Founded and lead by Professor David David, an extraordinary man who learnt from the father of craniofacial surgery, Paul Tessier.

Although the choice seems easy I can assure you it took time and much deliberation. One factor that crossed the table was money. We are lucky in Australia, most medical expenses will be covered by medicare, but repeated trips to a city in which we know no one…that would be our responsibility. Adding together flights, transfers and accommodation for just pre operative visits…BOOM $3000. By the time we are heading home from surgery we’ll be up around $9000 and then there will be post operative check ups 8 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, 12, months. BUT there was no way we would let money be the decider in our son’s health, this is his skull we are talking about, his vision, his brain…his future. So the house deposit we’ve been saving got promptly dipped into, and we felt lucky we even had the option.

A few weeks ago my very good friend brought up the idea of fundraising. “hmmm like selling freddos??” I asked. Clearly I had no experience or idea about fundraising, but the other issue I had was it just felt weird. Asking for help felt strange, and for me asking for money felt very strange. Of course Boston’s health is an amazing and worthy cause, in fact any fundraising we did would also help to spread awareness about craniofacial abnormalities and that is a wonderful cause. But it made me nervous, were we worthy? did we have a right to ask? there are people fleeing war torn countries, surely we should suck it up? I set our original goal at $4000 until my husband pointed out that would only cover a small portion of cost and “ah what are you thinking Nell? just set it at $10000″… Why did it feel so awkward?

Well 24 hours ago we launched and we have just hit $7330 IN DONATIONS! Ahhhh YES-ONE-DAY- SEVEN-THOUSAND. To say we are completely gobsmacked, awed and overwhelmed is an understatement. The love and generosity that has spilled in has been the most heart warming thing EVER. Whether people have donated, sent beautiful well wishes or shared our cause, it has just been so beautiful to see the love that surrounds our son. And what have I been doing today? Predominately walking around with a stunned confused look on my face.

We live in a society in which we are pushed to focus on what we have, and are constantly encouraged to have the biggest and best of EVERYTHING. You can do it alone, and do it better then the “Joneses”. The reality of being connected to our community and village takes more energy then waking up next to your cousins hut, these days family is spread across the country and around the world. Yes, we are all connected through technology… yet rarely do we hold each others hands… and sometimes we forget. We forget that we are nothing without each other. We forget that giving to those we love can be the most cherished part of our lives. We forget how to rely on others, and how to let others feel the joy of helping us.

To everyone who has taken part in Boston’s fundraiser today and into the future, we can not thank you enough. Now with every flight, appointment, blood test, scan and surgery, I will carry the thought of all of you. You have ownership of Boston’s journey…we are in this together… and that beyond all dollar signs is the most important thing xox


Our wedding was about more then “just us two”

One year ago about this time I was rushing around with excitement and nerves jumping through my body, it was wedding week and we were full steam ahead. Ten years spent walking the same path deserved one hell of a celebration, in turn we had planned a DIY wedding weekend on a beautiful property with all our family and close friends.

w140830_441aRewind a decade and I have fallen head over heels for a guy who tells me he has no interest in marriage, something about ” a stupid meaningless tradition” (cue total disbelief and denial of the happily ever after girl). But like any good woman I disregard this difference of belief surrounding a major life event, and proceed forth falling in love and waiting patiently for him to change his perspective. Many a debate was to follow surrounding ritual, values, connection, family, tradition. Now you may think this seems a ridiculous situation, one sure to lead to manipulation and bargaining, and maybe you are right…but here is something else it lead to.

My partners reluctance to marry lead me to explore and question what marriage and a wedding really meant to me. I was forced to justify my desire with more then “that is just what we are suppose to do next”. Tradition of old was reinvented and we interwove aspects of ourselves into every part of our union. Each element reflected a part of what was important in our world. And number one wasn’t the dress or food or bonbonniere’s , it was bringing our family and friends together to celebrate. After all our journey was as much about them as it was about us.

The day after I married Steve we were driving to brunch, alone for a brief time, when I began to laugh with joy. I was reflecting on the day just past and I could hardly believe it had been OUR wedding. It was so special and joyful and tear-filled and heartfelt. There was an air of connection all around, like everyone there was in on a beautiful secret. Today I want to share with you some pretty darn special parts of our wedding, little things that in the end made it more magical then the happily ever after girl of yesteryear could even imagine.

w140830_048Tea is a huge part of our world. It seriously is a ritual that brings us together, like no matter how crazy life can be we know there is always time to share a cuppa. So what better ring vessel then a vintage tea tin, found by my mum and just so happened to be bearing the famous Shakespeare line “That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet”

w140830_073_fotorSteve never wanted a  traditional bridal party and I must thank him. I didn’t have bridesmaids, I had “Nell’s league of extraordinary women”. They could wear whatever they wished and they lead me down the isle then scattered throughout the crowd. Each had different roles including witnessing, speech, readings, MCing and holding my hand as the wedding car wove it’s way to the ceremony. I loved that throwing tradition out the window allowed me to honour each extraordinary woman.


As part of our ceremony we shared a drink from a two handled cup. It is a Scottish tradition and the special cup is called a Quaich. We choose to dedicate the moment to my grandfather and Steve’s dad who have both passed in the last two years, off to the next adventure away from earthly soil. By the end of the day I believe most guests had drunk from the Quaich and there was a whole new ritual being developed.

Our son Boston turned two just before we were married. He is such a huge part of why our union moved to a deeper level and it was so important to us that he was included in the ceremony. We wrote vows for him, and created a family charm with each of our birth stones and tokens with our Chinese animals.

VowsLast but not least, music is a big part of life, and we had a real desire to have everyone up and dancing. We also love eating delicious food every weekend at the farmers markets. Why two such random comments…well put them together and we find Andrea Soler. The most gorgeous ray of sunshine we could hope to include in our wedding. Her gypsy beats did exactly what we dreamt and dance we did!
w140830_507 w140830_576 w140830_736_2 w140830_752a_2 w140830_754_2So here I am on the eve of our first anniversary feeling oh so grateful to have my freakin awesome husband (HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!!), and even more grateful that our wedding included so many extraordinary human beings. Hope you enjoyed the flash back xo

*Photos are all thanks to the rock your socks awesomeness of Todd and Alyda from Todd Hunter McGaw Photography.