Confirmation Day...

Comment

Confirmation Day...

This weekend I was so delighted to share in and capture Alishas Confirmation day. First to be welocomed into their home and share in the excitement of the morning to then follow on to the Church... Sitting and listening to the Bishops message I was so encourage by his words to these teenagers. Going into secondary school is a big deal and I really believe that having this foundation is so important to creating strong, confident and, hopefully, kind humans! 

With their Artwork sized prints, I will be designing and creating a photo book for Alisha to have as a beautiful keepsake alongside her communion photo book....

 

Comment

When its perfect timing...A Pre-Wedding Photo Session

Comment

When its perfect timing...A Pre-Wedding Photo Session

These two have shown to me again that life may not be what we expect it to be but when the perfect person comes along at the perfect time...

That  person can be the best thing that will ever happen. 

And make you laugh, constantly.

We took a wander in the Forrest; David, Sharon, Leah and I and by the old boat house they laughed and I captured their friendship, love, and laughter...always such a treat.

Pre-Wedding Sessions have become very popular! Sharon and David wanted to share these captures in prints with their wedding guests at their wishing well table and cake table too... Other couples have used theirs in personalised photobook and signing frames.... plus it's a great warm up of those smiles for the big day! 

Comment

Say no to guilt.

1 Comment

Say no to guilt.


I've pretty much been guilty for 18months. I've stopped that now.


As I've said before I moved away from Australia at a highly emotional time, leaving me with extra baggage of guilt. This is on top of the standard dose of mummy guilt. 
Guilt sucks.
It rears its head at the height of success. At the happy gathering. And the quiet coffee break.
Guilt is not helpful.
It drags you down. It says you shouldn't. It says you can't.  It questions your every move, your integrity.
As someone who prides myself on my integrity (in between asking for forgiveness for when I'm wrong), on my honesty and kindness, it's not helpful.
It's not all guilt that's bad, some is right there quietly and gently reminding us to ask for forgiveness, to say sorry, to pipe down. But this guilt is from  a place of love and will instruct and correct.
The other ugly guilt is made from Fear, telling us all those awful negative things. It's terrorising us. I've had enough. It's not productive. It's not honouring the cause I came here for. It was time to say no. 
And as always when I'm processing challenges the theme runs in conversations I have. One with a work college and another with a mummy friend. 
My answer; If you can answer these questions then what are you fighting yourself for...
Did I do the best I could to the best of my ability?
Was I considerate in my decision making?
And if so, give yourself a break. 
Like Brene Brown says 'talk to yourself like you'd talk to someone you love!
You're only human.

My cups of coffee are much more peaceful (most of the time), I have headspace to grow and love and build. 

Oh, and when you're on the other side, remember the encouraging words of others that pulled you through... and then sprinkle them about like glitter. 


Melinda x

 

1 Comment

Why Family portraits are different now...

Comment

Why Family portraits are different now...

If you look at the photos on my folks walls I guess they are the same as yours... cheesy fake smiles, splochty backgrounds, mullets ... oh I was an 80s kid, we had matching mullets sporting a trendy fleece jumper, purple my colour of choice! Even better my mums knitted jumper with a giant colourful boomerang and AUSTRALIA across the front, flamin' beauty mate!

Moving a little more forward, is it white t-shirts blue jeans? Cheesy smiles.

White backdrops, some more of those same fake smiles, crew cuts. 

Or worse still, NO photos!

Don't get me wrong, I stinkin' love those photos, okay so I admit we didn't go as far as the white shirts and jeans, we weren't that fancy. The one my mum spent ages getting my hair neat just to static right back up there...the hand-me-downs... the story of my Dads awesome moustache. 

I love that they are a story of our growing family, just it only captures our faces, not our characters.

Things have changed; well they are changing. Now you can dress how you want ..let's think coordinating rather than matching. You can choose your location. You can laugh loudly with your people, look at them (preferably), and capture the real you, and them. 

You can RELAX and ENJOY!

 

And then the outcome is like this...

 

They look happy, right?! 

We're all going to have our ups and downs in the days and weeks, but its those ups that keep us going through the downs, its what we need to remember and SEE to keep going, keep loving keep smiling.

And if you knew this bunch like I do, you’d know that they are the most full of love… ups downs and all x

Comment

New year, fresh air

Comment

New year, fresh air


I think it comes at this time of year as we push ourselves trying to create Christmas perfection, making sure it's fun enough, there's enough gifts, the food is tasty enough... making sure I'm festive enough. And it's all enough to drive you to breaking point, because we can't do all the things, not without other things going without..
So if feel my mind and my body calling to slow down. 
I see it everywhere with #slowliving and #slowcollectives but what does that mean? Because things need to get done, right?!
I feel so many of my conversations and thoughts are filled with the word busy.. too busy. 
And the question is, where do we start?
What do we cut back? What parts of life do we want full and which can be a little lighter on, to give us space to breathe?
For me 2016 was filled with creative leaps, loads of photography, driving, and when possible to for school collection..I was usually running. The only reason my children got enough veggies was from my loving Paddy Family and as that may seem like a small thing it's significant sign to the rush in the year. 
Time to edit. Refocus. Refresh.
Life is far too short to rush.
My hope for you is your new year is just that.. a new start, a deep breath of fresh air and while ups and downs are inevitable may you have the space to deal with them as you need.
Melinda x
 

Comment

My Why.

Comment

My Why.

Recently, after getting completely obsessed with Podcasts (a whole other blog), I completed the Myers Briggs personality test. While the results of being an INFP Introvert was no shock, it did explain a good few things of my personality um, lets call them quirks.

When I was a very impressionable teenager a fella I thought was pretty cute said about me to a mutual friend 'that Melinda chick is a bit weird' Ever the optimist I took the fact he called me chick was pretty great... the fact he called me weird only set in later. Looking at that same fella, he's now wearing an ironic moustache and 80's Levis. At 32, I'd prefer to be weird than a hipster. 

"You're blessed when you're content with who you are - no more, no less. That the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that cant be bought." - Jesus

I've found this far in my thirties that its mainly about getting comfortable with myself, accepting the my strengths and weaknesses I was purposefully created with, and use them to my advantage...Instead if being ashamed of my shortcomings, as a wife/mother/friend/daughter. This theme is popping up everywhere and common in current conversations. On that note, I've also learnt that meaningful conversation is my thing. Its where my tanks are filled and I thrive. Its not in the big crowds and why I'm so flippin' awkward with small talk, and thats okay. And do you know what ? Its totally okay if you're not like me, probably better, we need those who are extroverts to keep us entertained - and take the attention from us!

"You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being 'care-full', you find yourselves cared for." - Jesus

Committing to growing a business its just not in me to make it just business. For me when people allow me to capture them they also let me into their secret little world of family, that is, if I'm doing my job right!  So, I only feel it right to allow my families to be of the same privy. And on top of that its about community, I want to be involved and be helpful and make a change. The way I process these things can't happen if I don't over-share just a little!

Tell me if you take the test! How accurate is it for you? What age (if ever) did you get comfortable in your skin and say 'feck it' I'm gonna work with what I've got? Comment below I'd love to know...

Melinda x

 

**Quotes by Jesus Christ : Matthew 5 + 7

photo credit © Amaya Gold 2016  

 

 

Comment

1 Comment

The Blog is Back!!

Hello, so glad you came for a nosey!

Im going to be more present here and love if you'd pop by every now and again...

Theres some super exciting new things coming in 2017 here with Melinda Gold Photography... To keep up to date with it all I've just made a super snazzy Newsletter you can sign up to!

So have a read through here and Ill be back soon to fill you in with the details on my up and coming Creative WORKSHOPS for you Ireland-dwelling folk and some hints tips and day to day goings on...

PLUS that #mamasintheframe Guide I promised not so long ago...

Its worth sticking around, promise...

Melinda x

1 Comment

Six years on..

Comment

Six years on..

My Human-ness,

 

Six years today. Ive been a mum for six years today.

She was a surprise, I beautiful welcomed surprise. 

I say it all the time but i could be driving down the road and look in the rear view mirror spot two kids and be like ‘Holy crap, when did they get there!’

My first few months, years of mothering were hard. Really hard.

|I spoke to my mum recently about the pressures of motherhood, the expectations.  And after raising 4 children of her own, (generally) socially capable, happy, healthy children. Her conclusion is we just expect too much of our selves and each other. 

I know this has been written before, by many women, but we are still in this same place going over the same thing.

We are human. We tend to be inpatient, selfish, anger quickly, get hangry. I get SO hangry. 

Human.

Be kind to yourself and I think the rest will follow…

 

Melinda x

 

Comment

Comment




Birches post tour.


It's hard to think it's been a whole year since I wrote all my 'Birches on Tour' feels. It has.
And what a year.

Our world has been scrambled and turned upside down with what seemed like a continuous attack of grenades.
Still, I feel us standing in solidarity, yet on the opposite side of the world, yelling;
'We Shall, We Shall, We Shall Not Be Moved' 
Tears streaming down our faces, holes in our heart, at times strained.
Linking arms, yelling.

Timing rubbish. Isolation unforgiving. 
His love never failed.

I felt such a peace, in the oddest of ways when I left for Ireland. 
Who does that though, leave in the time of crisis? Leave at the heat of the fire. 
And feel that it's the right thing. 
Even logically now I can't believe I did it, but neither can I deny it was the right thing to do. For the blessings and favour that followed.

A faithful friend reminded me of a verse the other day;

'And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.'

So, here we are a little beaten up, a lot disheveled; but stronger in character, stronger in faith and clinging onto His Grace. 

Comment

Comment

Hello Sleep?!

It's raining its pouring, my old man is snoring but neither little bow peep nor all her lots sheep could right now help me fall asleep..

They say in babies that sleep promotes sleep. I feel the same about creativity. 
I've now had a full week to slow down.
I've cooked endless batches of cookies and eaten far too many myself.
This week I started crotcheting for the first time in over 6 months. He's the wonkiest boxy fox, but he's given me a kick start back into creating stuff. 
I need to create stuff, it's in my DNA next to the 'hangry' gene. 
And now I need to do more. I am looking forward to a new year of big creation, goal seeking and hopefully reaching.
I think just pre-Christmas where the start of faith lies is a perfect time to stir up ourselves. 
Reignite dimming flames. 
Fill up our buckets where hope is dry.
Draw near to family and friends who encourage, lift and fill us with what the year has taken from us. 
And then when the in my opinion over hyped New Year dawns...
We are full, recharged and ready to hit it running!


Comment

Comment

Tis' the season-s...

There was a man lying, dead, on the road.


Then he moved his head, and then an arm. Turns out he wasn't so dead, just drunk, having a little nap on the road. 
'Welcome to Cavan' I was told with a hearty 'haha'!

So life in general is somewhat different. I work now. Well part-ish time. I didn't think I was a working type mum but it turns out now I am. And I'm a better mum for it. I enjoy my kids more, I enjoy my days off more, I like using my creative gifts and my brain. I enjoyed the season I was home full time with my kids too. 

Seasons change.
I now wear at least 3 layers of clothing. 
All the time.

The first day I got back to work, school photography, I had a school of 220 children to take photos of. I was a tad nervous. It took me all day, I was exhausted!
The last day of school photos this term I had a school of 300, I finished by lunch time 
I totally high fived myself!
And rightfully so. When we challenge ourselves and then go ahead to succeed, gosh it's good. 

The downfall to this new expedition in life is my amazing husband and baby-daddy, building genius that he is, doesn't cook. So coming home from long days with no food a well let's just say 'Hangry' is a medical condition. 
'So we'll just have toast' he says. 
So you'll just have two black eyes, I think.

Change is still happening. We are still adjusting. My house is looking beautiful. My children have settled. The dog still pees on the floor a little. My heart is still somewhat heavy. 

But we are so blessed and we will hold firmly.




Merry Christmas Folks.

Melinda x

Comment

1 Comment

Kinda foggy days

I haven't written for a while.. I suppose I like to write uplifting positive things and the truth is..
Moving is hard.
Moving countries is harder.
Moving countries, with children and starting working after a long time of not working with a renovation in home, is enough to feel surrounded with fog. 





And only after a few days of driving to work surrounded with actual fog.. like thick, can't see in front of you fog, makes you focus more. To see that after a while is not foggy any more..
I arrived in a town the other day and the whole drive was foggy, then I arrived at this little town and the sun came out. 
Fantastic I thought.
I got out if the car and it smelt like poo. Someone took advantage of the sun and sprayed crap all over their farm. 
I held my breath and set up at the school (for photos). 
It got me thinking about this stink.
This fog.
This weight I got up with every morning.

Well for starters the stink that dude sprayed all over his farm was for fertilisation so the cows could eat it, so we can have milk and meat. Okay kinda fair enough, I though. Annoying but fair enough.
That fog.. Well it was thick in one town but gone in the next. And as I drove back home again, it was still floating in a town on the way.. It comes and goes and there is sunshine in between and a chance for a tan even!
Adjusting to our new lifestyle is hard. It's different and change isn't easy but doesn't mean it's the wrong direction. Stinky, sight limiting and tiring but not necessarily the wrong direction.

I'm greatful for the loving, kindness and the goodness. 
It's just harder some days to focus on that with little sleep and a sore heart.

Melinda x

1 Comment

Comment

Hope in the little things

When big things are somewhat pressing, find hope in the little things.

Before we left Perth we the pastor prayed 'let them find hope in the little things, and hold onto it when the big things are too much'..

And little things for me... 
Great seats for the twenty hours of flying. Flying with littles is stressful, any extra comfort brings hope.

Sun rays beaming through the window as we drive the motorway to Ballyjamesduff in Ireland. Oh! Sun rays in Ireland are hopeFULL.

Cousins being instant best friends, hope for the lonely days.

Children settling into their new beds so sweetly, a mamas best hope. Hope for continued sleep filled nights!

Local faces giving free coffee when the bags under the eyes cannot be hidden. COFFEE in any form.

A field full of wild flowers and cows and ponies. Smiles for the outside when the inside isn't so..

And cups of tea. 
Endless cups of tea with people we love.


Recognise and Hold onto hope.

Comment

Comment

All in.

A whole lot of lemons have been dumped at our door, figuratively. It's hard work to make lemonade from this many figurative lemons.

It's tiring.
It's discouraging.


You see someone I love dearly is unwell. 
I whole heartedly believe they will get better. But in the mean while, as they go through the healing journey, I have to move overseas. 'Have to' as in that's the decision we've come to weighing up all life's pros and cons... Still feeling not grown up enough to have to make these life decisions..

Two separate friends have told me that what ever decision I make I must own it and never 'what if'. 
And as I wait for a huge sign to confirm my decision is right..instead I had an epiphany.. Of sorts.

        

No matter what we do HE IS and always will be. 

I strive to act with Trust, Grace and Faith.
It's time to go all in, believe it.
I can no longer stall on my being overwhelmed of the unknown. 
I must latch onto His promises. 
I must go all in.

How about you?


And what is true?
Regardless of my decision, God IS. 
Always.


Melinda x


|Daniel 3:18... Just before the three fellas were about to be thrown into the furnace...|

Comment

Comment

Life Currency

It's not a new concept to me, more like an awakend one.

When we were children we gathered  stones and set them in a circle. Then piled sticks in the middle. Dad lit them and we toasted bread and cooked eggs and sausages over the fire.
We sat on the Roo Bar holding on for dear life as we drove at least 100km/hr - maybe, probably 10km/hr driving down gravel tracks. Best ever. My dad says, and I agree, this was a good investment. 

Life currency spent well.




As plans A and B seem to drift and all the stillness in the world are not concluding, life currency sits and waits.
Money is Super handy, yes. Nessecary, yes! But. 
It can not manipulate or articulate the perfect plan. 
However much patience grows in the mean while. 
And as I find myself surrounded in days where what I eat is the only thing I can control, here I find the need to refinance my life currency. Actually no, I knew how it should be spent but now I know the reason.
I directioned fulfilling my dreams and gifts with cash gain. 
I now redirection |the sister band to One Direction| with a cash bonus to fulfilling my purpose.
How excellent and how encouraging to myself that with a slight view change I seek to profit a new goal. This also eliminating frustrations from outside comparison, competition, pressures and doubts. 

I choose to spend my Life Currency fulfilling my purpose. 
I choose to spend my Life Currency bringing joy.
I choose to invest my Life Currency well. 

| Life and life in abundance |

Comment

Comment

Procrastinating and Tea making

There comes a time in the whole process of moving where you just have to look yourself in the face and say..'Okay woman, you're just bloody procrastinating now!' As I sit down to write and drink a cup of tea oops! 
Irrelevant how super cute that new tea mug cosy is it is essentially not nessecary and your husbands certainly is not! I can and will totally still claim my 'wait til the last minute theory and idealism' 

BUT 

Idealism is not reality.



Ideally we would eat chocolate cake for breakfast and never get fat!!


Ideally they would have created that hover board they promised by now and be working hard on, and just putting the finishing touches on, a Teleporter! Beam me up Scotty!
Ideal but not reality.

Ideally I would like to go for a wee by myself, with no little visitor prancing in and asking nonsensical questions.
Ideal but not reality - although I am totally impressed that these little people of mine have a sixth sense of perfect 'interrupt mums wee' timing!

And obviously more than anything (like I've said a billion times) ideally all the people I love to spend time with lived in the same country. But realistically could I live in one place for the rest of my life?!

Sometimes we need to let go of the reigns of our Ideal and appreciate the beauty and opportunity of our Reality...Or perhaps what our reality is teaching us about being idealistic...otherwise you will wish your days away on what is to come.

Thanks for listening to my feels' 

Melinda x

Comment

Comment

Limbo mode


I have a new motto. 
'Don't do today what you can put off until the last minute - when there's coffee to be drunk and cards to be played!' 
A little long winded but you get the picture! 


Let's be honest I've always been a bit that way, I work better under pressure but...
The waiting has come to its pointy end. Three weeks til all of our belongings are shipped so two more weeks of sitting here in pounce position. The only thing I will need to do is sort things into sections - oh plus the monotonous everyday chores - the down side to having your house packed for you. I'm not ungrateful, super happy in fact that I don't have to pack all this crap up for the fifth or sixth time in as many years, but all this stalling has driven me to trackies on the couch mode. Well it hasn't gone as far as 'trackie mum' at school so we're safe for now, just a warning! 

I do very much appreciate that this part of the journey is slowly rewiring my priorities. Sitting at my sisters house, with dishes looming at home, I sat a little while longer, laughed a little bit more and sung a few more lines. Returning a few days later to do it all again. Dishes can wait while these memories are being made.

Let's not have to wait until our abundant time is minimising with loved ones to sit a little longer and laugh a little louder. 
 

Melinda x

Comment

Comment

Maybe May

Oh! So there goes May...
Hmmm so I disappeared for a month there it seems..




May was filled to the brim. I find it is now a very serious necessity to fill all plans out in my diary. I am filling days with coffee and friendship.. And lots of time consuming errands.
What I have though completed with such joy is all the bookings for our 'Aussie Conaty Adventure' catchy isn't it!!?
You may call us crazy, we may very well call ourselves crazy by the end of this short trip. But it has to be done! 
When we leave Perth we will be flying to Amsterdam, staying for three nights kicking jet-lags butt and riding bicyclesdown the pretty canals of the olde town past flower markets, oh yeah! 
There suspect a lot more Jet Lag fighting and more coffee drinking than bicycle riding but I have high hopes.
We continue on by train to Brussels where the chocolates are plenty and the waffles are a must for breakfast. A trip so some big shiny balls in the centre are a must I hear.

After three more nights we will take another short train trip to the one and only Paris. Oh Yes! I cannot wait, I loved it the first time and can't wait to share it with my loves the second time. A sunset cruise past the Eiffel Tower, banana and chocolate crepes and the endless beauty that surrounds that is Paris. Obviously our littles will be angels appreciating the art in life and drinking in the French culture...errrm obviously! 
Two nights later away the Euro Star will be whisking us through the tunnel to London Town! 
Refreshingly drinking tea with familiar faces, not to miss the Camden Markets and perhaps even Peppa Pig Land if Little Miss has any say.

Touching down on Irish soil three days later.
Can. Not. Wait.

Let's just pretend no goodbye will need to be said before this..ignorane is bliss!


So what your favourite stops in these place, favorite foods or just a must do selfie?? 
I would love your suggestion. 
And if you haven't been.. Live vicariously through me until you book your ticket.

Ps. I am not as naive as this post suggests, I can see most days playing at parks and finding food..but that works for me it's still an adventure with my people. 

Comment

Comment

Birches on Tour.















Family is a funny thing. 

We grow up fighting for our parents attention, approval and acceptance. 
We then rebel against their rules and ideals.
And we sway off the beaten track, with our parents struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hoping and praying that their middle child would not be killed following her own ideals of discovering adulthood.

And then, suddenly, we are here; 36, 34, 30 and 29 years old and settled. 
Well somewhat settled. 
And we find ourselves on a family trip over East. 
No partners. No kids. 
Just the original Birch Clan.

And we actually enjoy each other's company. 

After years of not seeing eye to eye, finally (well I can only speak for myself), find a mutual ground of respect. 
We certainly do not agree on everything we do, having quite substantially differing views of success, goals and happiness. But we respect each other's views with only slight muttering a behind each other's backs and more than anything agree that we are BLESSED.

As I talk to more and more families, my extended family included, I discover how lucky we are to be loved and love each other. Or even just to be able to keep each other's company without a family brawl! 

So I think my parents should be very proud of themselves, VERY proud. 
Proud of the culture they have created and instilled into us.
Proud of an overcomers attitude.
And never giving up.





Comment