Kylie Purtell - A Study in Contradictions

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Pictures, snippets and posts | Opinion

Some days, my house looks like this...

But some days my house looks like this...

Now tell me, oh wise, all-knowing internet-land, do either of these pictures tell you whether or not I'm a good person? A good mother?

Well do they?

If these pictures can't tell you if I'm achieving a gold star level of motherhood achievement, then perhaps the snippets I share on this blog, or my Facebook page, can give you an accurate picture of the sort of person and mother I am?



Do these pictures and snippets and posts convey accurately the way my heart bleeds for my children? Do they tell you how I worry every day about doing the right thing by my girls? How i strive to be a good wife, daughter, sister or friend? Do they convey the love I feel for my children when I look at their beautiful faces? Do they accurately portray the times when I lose my temper and I snap and yell at my girls? Do they show you the guilt I feel when I lose my shit and fail to be the kind of mother I strive to be?

Do they show you that I do my very best to keep a clean and tidy house, a healthy house, that won't be a hazard to my girls safety and well being? Do they show you that some days I fail miserably when it comes to being the perfect housewife and mother and keep my house in perfect working order?

Do they let you see the minutiae of my days, the 86, 400 seconds of my day that I spend being the person that I am, the mother that I am?

Or are they simply just pictures, snippets and posts from my life? A part of my story but not the whole story?

Are the pictures and snippets and posts that make up your online persona a real and TRUE representation of your life and you as a person and mother?

Are they reflective of what you truly think and feel and do from one moment to the next, in your crazy, imperfect life?

Are you happy for me to make snap judgements and assumptions about the type of person and mother you are, based on what you show on the internet and social media?


Then why are you so quick to make judgements and assumptions about other people based on the snippets you see of them on the internet?

Why are you so quick to put the boot in when you only have part of the story, couldn't ever possibly know the whole of the story, based on the pictures and snippets and posts that others put out there of themselves?

Pictures, snippets and posts. Part of the story but not the whole story.

Before you rush to condemn and judge others for the part of their lives you see online, perhaps you could take a second to think about what it really is that you're seeing.

Perhaps you could take a second to think hey, we're all different, we all have challenges, we all have successes and failures in this glorious, fucked up adventure we call life.

Perhaps you could think about the pictures and snippets and posts you share, the part of the story, but not the whole story, that you allow people to see, before you rush to make judgements and assumptions about others.

Perhaps if we allow ourselves to feel even the tiniest bit of empathy, and push aside our self-righteous indignation at the part of the story that's not the same as ours, we could make this magical internet place a happier one.

A more caring one.

A more supportive one.

Because I know I can't get the whole story of your life from the pictures and snippets and posts that you share online, so let's not assume that we can get the whole story from someone else's.

Because we all know that when we assume we make an ass out of u and me and we make ourselves look like bitch-face, Judgey McJudgerson's when we do.

And I know that's not the whole story of you.

Do you think it's fair to judge someone based solely on the snippets they share online? Have you been guilty of doing it and forgetting that even when people are keeping it real that it's still not always the whole story?

Note: I wrote this post in September last year. It wasn't in response to something that anybody said to me, just something that had been percolating in my brain watching others be villified and judged based solely on the small, tiny, snippets of their lives they chose to share online. And while I wrote it last year, I think it's just as relevant today, no?

Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

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Monday, 23 March 2015

One Perfect Moment {Editing Life} | Life

One Perfect Moment is all about those moments, big or small, that make you wish they'd last forever. Those moments you want to stop in time, when everything feels perfect, even for just a split-second. Snapshots of the mind. Moments to treasure forever.

Silence. Everyone in the house is sleeping.

It's late. Very late.

But still. I sit at my computer.


Last weekend I had the privilege of shooting a very special family and their precious newborn baby.

All families and newborns are precious, of course. But this one is extra special.

They are my friends.

And I know the hard road they've traveled to be where they are today.

It was a paid shoot. A job. Money changed hands and I was expected to produce a professional result.

I sat at my desk, in the early hours of the morning, working.

But I wasn't really working. There was no reason why I had to be editing those photos that night. When it comes to family photography, most of the time, people don't expect less than a 48 hour turn around time.

I could have gone to bed. Could have left it till the morning.

But I couldn't.

Because sitting there, going through those lovely photos, tweaking them, touching them up, making them just right...

I wasn't really working.

I was pursuing my passion.

And you can't put a price on that.

Or a bed-time.

Linking up with Multitasking Mummy and One Mother Hen

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Sunday, 22 March 2015

Twelve {52 week project} | Photography

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015.
{Punky} A quiet moment of contemplation, talking about the fact that this will no longer be Nana & Pop's house, and how exciting it will be visit the new one. She wasn't convinced!

{Zee} This girl loves to be outside, and she will run at every chance she gets. At first she didn't like holding hands but she's starting to come around to it now, and realises that she has more chance of exploring if she sticks with Mum or Dad rather than trying to go it alone. Me? I just like the feel of her tiny hand in mine.

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Friday, 20 March 2015

Linky Lovin' Friday {20th March 2015} | Reading

After last week's skipping of Linky Lovin' Friday you'd think I would have double the links to share with you this week, but I don't. I had a Tafe assignment due so I spent most of last week working on that when I wasn't working on my other job, motherhood.

So I haven't had heaps of free time for leisure reading. I have been reading, however it's mostly been photography articles, doing research and preparation for my assignment and the two that I have due in the next two weeks. As soon as Tafe is finished (only two weeks to go! Where did the last 7 weeks go?!?!) I plan to dedicate a Linky Lovin' post to some of the awesome photography articles and posts I've been perusing.

I'm also going to work on bringing you the next couple of instalments of my Photography Basics series, where hopefully I'll be able to prove that my photography course was worth the money and I'm not some wannabe hack!

The original plan when it came to studying the Diploma of Photo Imaging was to wait until next year and spend 2016 doing that. However after thinking about it more carefully, and talking to Dave about it, the new plan is to try and start the course in the second semester intake later this year.

The only hitch is going to be whether or not we can arrange suitable childcare for the girls, but I'm really hoping we can pull something off. I really don't wait until next year to start, I've been enjoying Tafe so much and I don't want to lose that momentum. Not to mention the sooner I get it done the sooner I can really dedicate my time to getting work and building up my business.

I also don't want to spend Punky's last year before she starts school studying. I'd like to be able to finish the Diploma mid next year, and then spend the last half of the year doing work experience and some of my own jobs, and spend time soaking up her last days before big school.

But enough about my plans for the future, let's come back today and have a look at what I've been reading and loving around the interwebs the last couple of weeks...

The pressure to perform and bitterness by Lila Wolff
This was a great post by Lila. I really get where she is coming from with this. I've been guilty of feeling that pressure and bitterness myself from time to time, I think it's a part of human nature to be honest. But it's something that can be terrible if you allow it to consume you.

When you are tightly wound by The Life & Writings of Kate Baer
Great piece from a writer I'd never heard of before. She really could have been writing this about me!

Slowing myself down for the now moments by Full Half Glass
I really enjoy Mark's posts and this one was no exception.

The Grey Area by Fat Mum Slim
As I commented on this great post by Chantelle, there are so many grey areas in my parenting that it's like a really awesome Ansel Adams landscape! A great read.

So those are my top picks. Have you read anything particularly good this week? Hit me up with you links in the comments, pretty please!

Linking up with Grace for FYBF & The Weekend Rewind gang.

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Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Taking Stock {March 2015} | Life

With all of the stuff going on in the last week or two and my Tafe course nearing it's end, I thought it was time to once again take stock...

Making : Plans for some de-cluttering and rearranging we're going to be doing around the house in the next couple of weeks.

Cooking : Pancakes for dinner. Dave is on night shift and I'll be at Tafe all day, so it's really the easiest thing. Plus I can make a double-batch for the girls to have as snacks over the next couple of days

Drinking : Copious amounts of coffee. As always.

Reading : The 6th book in the Harry Potter series, The Half-Blood Prince.

Wanting : To spend a week by myself (ok, Dave can come too, I spose).

Looking : At the state of this house and how we are actually going to manage this decluttering and rearranging!

Playing: Stupid phone games. They're addictive.

Deciding : Whether or not I should stay blonde when I next get a haircut.

Wishing : I could start the Diploma at Tafe straight away rather than having to wait until next year.

Enjoying : The cooler autumn weather, especially in the afternoons & evenings.

Waiting : For our mini-trip down to my sister's place at Easter.

Liking : The fact that Punky seems to be settling in to preschool a bit better.

Wondering : If we will get much back at tax time this year, we could really do with an injection of cash after the last couple of days with car regos, etc.

Loving : My new flash unit and playing around with it. I'm still firmly an available light lover and photographer but I am loving the possibilities that a good flash unit holds.

Pondering : The NSW state election and who the hell I'm going to vote for.

Considering : What we need to get rid of and what we need to hang on to.

Watching : The final few episodes of The Walking Dead season 5 and wishing there were more episodes to go.

Hoping : That Punky makes a friend in the new girl at preschool. The signs look promising.

Marvelling : At how much I've learnt and how much my photography has improved in the 7 short weeks since I started Tafe.

Needing : Honestly everything on my list is a want, not a need. It would still be nice to have what I want though!

Smelling : My old friend Joop, and thinking I need to request some more of my other perfume, Truth by Calvin Klein, for my birthday. It's almost all gone!

Wearing : My usual mummy outfit, jeans and a singlet. I'm such a fashionista!

Following : The football again, because I joined a tipping comp for the first time in 3 years.

Noticing : The light. Ever since starting Tafe and learning about studio lighting, fill flash, etc I find myself analysing the lighting in photographs and TV shows so closely.

Knowing : That choosing to study photography and pursue it as a career is absolutely, 100% the best decision I've ever made.

Thinking : I really need to get my hair done.

Admiring : This lovely ladies photos. I'm in love.

Sorting : Baby clothes and deciding on a couple of things to keep for the girl's glory boxes and what to pass on to my sister and others.

Buying : A new car in a few months time. I can't wait!

Getting : Pissed off at the makers of feminie hygiene products!

Bookmarking : This post by JJ.

Disliking : The fact that I'm not going to have the money for a ProBlogger ticket again this year. Gutted!

Opening : Lovely little packages from lovely bloggers.

Giggling : At Zee, she is just the funniest, cheekiest little monkey!

Feeling : Sad that my babies are growing up and knowing that I probably won't have any more.

Snacking : On some Carmen's dark chocolate espresso muesli bars. So good!

Coveting : The new Macbook Pro. I'm going to need to invest in a laptop for when I do the Diploma course next year and it's at the top of my list!

Wishing : We didn't have to say goodbye.

Helping : Dave beat his addiction to Clash of Clans. It's not working.

Hearing : The sound of my girls laughing and playing together. It's not all sunshine and lollipops between them, but they are definitely playing together more and more as Zee gets older and it makes my heart happy.

So that's what's been happening around these parts lately. How about you? Let me know what's been going on with you.

This list inspired by and created by Pip from Meet me at Mikes.
Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

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Monday, 16 March 2015

One Perfect Moment {Saying Goodbye} | Life

One Perfect Moment is all about those moments, big or small, that make you wish they'd last forever. Those moments you want to stop in time, when everything feels perfect, even for just a split-second. Snapshots of the mind. Moments to treasure forever.

Goodbyes. They're always hard. Even when it's a house.

Dave's parents have sold their house. A house they've lived in for the past 20 years. And while I've only known the house for 13, it's the place where I first met Dave's family. The place where we had our first proper kiss. The place where we made plans to get married.

I lived there for a few years, before Dave and I bought a house of our own. Punky spent most of her first Christmas Day in that house. It's a house that holds so many happy, precious memories for myself, Dave and his family. The birthdays. The parties. The bonfires.

I still remember the first time I ever went inside the house. I spent the entire time, about 4 hours, standing in the dining room/kitchen area, chatting and getting to know Dave's family. We'd only been going out for a week.

Yesterday we said our final goodbyes to a place we will remember forever. We walked through the empty rooms, minds flooding with memories. The girls ran and screamed through the hallways for the last time.

We trekked around the yard, talking about that happened here. Remembering perfect and not so perfect moments.

It was hard to say goodbye. Punky understands that we won't be going there again. Zee has no idea. Dave, myself and my brother-in-law tried to soak in as much of it as we could. As we climbed in to the car to leave for the last time, it was hard to hold back the tears.

It's funny how a place I haven't lived in for almost 8 years could bring such strong emotion. Funny how saying goodbye to a home is almost as hard as saying goodbye to a loved one. Because the house, while an inanimate object, is a part of us. A part of our story that we will never forget.

I'm so glad we got to say goodbye and spend a final few moments soaking in it's beauty and it's memories.

A perfect few moments at the end of an era.

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Sunday, 15 March 2015

Eleven {52 week project} | Photography

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015.

{Punky & Zee} On Thursday night we went up to Nan & Pop's EK house for the last time. They've bought a new house and with great sadness we said goodbye. There was nothing left in the house, as everything was moved on the Tuesday and Nan & Pop have only been going back to get the place clean before the new owners get the keys tomorrow. We've had so many happy memories in this house and it's really sad to see it go. It breaks my heart that the girls won't really remember this place, and so I made sure I took as many photos as I could. It's funny how saying goodbye to a house is almost like saying goodbye to a person. There is a grief that comes with saying goodbye forever, even when it's just a house.

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Tuesday, 10 March 2015

The first Tosser Trophy of 2015 goes to... | Ranty Mc Ranterson

The time has come to award the first Tosser Trophy of 2015 and it comes to you courtesy of a nomination from my long-suffering husband. So without further ado, the most anticipated award of the year goes to...

The makers of feminine hygiene products.

Seriously, why do you need to change the packaging every bloody month? Why?!?!?!

Do you know how hard this makes it to find what you want/need month to month? Every month I have to stand there and carefully read the packaging to make sure that I'm getting the thing that I actually want.

Just when I think I've got it figured out, that I know what size & colour the packaging of the pads or tampons I'm looking for is like, you go and change the damn thing! The amount of times I've walked out of their with the wrong pads or wrong tampons is ridiculous.

And we all know using a light tampon that you think is a super is not going to make me or my underwear very happy!

Now to some women, standing and reading the front and back of the packaging might not be a problem. In fact, if I've somehow managed to get out of the house and to the shops kid-free then I might actually stand there and read the front and back of every package just for the hell of it. Because I can. Because every moment I stand there trying to figure out which pack contains the thing that I'm after is another minute of child-free peace that I've gained.

To be honest though, I'd rather be spending those blissful, child-free moments doing something more enjoyable, like pouring hot wax on my nether regions or dumpster diving through dirty nappies.

The thing is, most of the time when I'm shopping I have a kleptomaniac preschooler and a toddler trying to kill themselves climbing out of the trolley with me. If I'm not telling the preschooler for the 50 bazillionth time to stop touching every damn thing on the shelf then I'm frantically trying to keep one eye on the shelves and one eye on the toddler who is hanging over the side of the trolley, attached by one leg and aiming for a perfect 10 at the World Trolley Diving Championships.

It's hectic. And my least favourite thing to do in the world. Except for maybe dealing with a number three. That might actually be worse. But only just.

The last thing I want to be doing while I'm trying to keep two small humans from destroying the joint or killing themselves is to have to stand there and try and figure out what colour the pads I'm looking for is packaged in this month.

Just pick a colour or design and stick to it for heaven's sake. For my own sanity, the sanity of the shoppers around me, and the sanity of our dear husbands.

You see, as confusing as it is for me to figure out which product is the one I'm actually after, can you imagine how hard it is for my husband?! He's trying to do a good deed, and buy his wife the right thing. He thinks he knows, he grabbed them last month and it was easy enough. He checked the colour and design of the packaging on the last lot before he left the house, he thinks it will be easy.

Jokes on you buddy, you're gonna have to stand there staring at all those pads and tampons for way longer than you ever dreamed possible. Just one of the many bonuses no-one ever told you having a partner would bring.

I can only assume that the people who design the packages and make these infernal changes on what feels like a month to month basis are man haters. What other reason could there be? They want to see them suffer in the aisles as they frantically search to find exactly the right thing for their woman, lest they feel her hormonal wrath for getting it wrong, at what is already a really shitty time of the month.

So do us all a favour why don't you, and just pick a colour and design and stick with it, yeah?

The mothers and the husbands of the world will thank you.

Have you ever noticed how often they change the packaging of these products? Has it confused you too? Tell me Dave and I are not alone in this most serious grievance.

Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

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Monday, 9 March 2015

One Perfect Moment {Driving} | Life

One Perfect Moment is all about those moments, big or small, that make you wish they'd last forever. Those moments you want to stop in time, when everything feels perfect, even for just a split-second. Snapshots of the mind. Moments to treasure forever.

Hectic. Chaos. Exhausting.

Just a few words you could use to describe my day last Saturday.

It was my good friends daughter's 4th birthday party. There were lollies. There was cake. There was the most magnificent jumping castle.

And there were kids. Lots of kids. All dressed like Elsa from Frozen. It was a full-scale Elsa Convention if you will.

Dave had to work so I was flying solo with the girls and to say they were a handful would be an understatement. Punky is going through a stage where everything is the most dramatic thing to ever happen to her. There were tears. Lots of tears.

She doesn't cope well with large groups of kids. She gets shy and overwhelmed, and as a result she gets emotional and sticks to herself.

Zee on the other hand, is the total opposite. She thrives in large groups, she loves to watch the kids. She quite happily went and say herself down in the circle of kids who had gathered to play pass the parcel. She watched with interest and knew exactly what to do when the time came to have a go at unwrapping. She was in her element.

Punky sat on my lap and refused to participate, snuggling in to my chest and watching through the gaps in her fringe. She eventually warmed up as the party wore on, but I could tell it was an effort for her to keep the emotions in check.

Zee was her usual, destruction-seeking missile. At 19 months she is determined to get her hands on anything and everything she finds in her path. She is relentless and simply laughs and goes back for more despite being told off or moved away 10 times before. It is exhausting.

I was saying to Dave that night when we got home that, although there are plenty of upsides to having two kids close together, one of the downsides is that we've basically had a toddler going through that destruction phase non-stop for the last 19 months. Just as Punky started to grow out of it, Zee grew in to it. It makes it incredibly draining to go anywhere with the girls and without Dave. I spend the time constantly stopping Zee from doing things she shouldn't be, and trying to help Punky keep her emotions in check.

By the end of the party I felt like I had run a marathon between the two of them. I think I sat down for a grand total of 5 minutes over 5 hours, and by the time we got in the car to go home I was well and truly done.

But as we started the 45 minute drive home, a sense of calm descended over the car. Zee fell asleep by the second turn, and Punky was having a great time going through the contents of her loot bag. Every now and then she would exclaim "Look, Mummy! What's this Mummy?" and discuss each of the little trinkets from the bag. She munched on the mixed lollies and smarties and I could tell that despite the emotional ordeal that being surrounded by a large group of excited, noisy kids was for her, she was happy. She'd had a good time.

As we drove home I basked in the calm of the car. I didn't feel stress at the traffic, just enjoyed this small, perfect moment of peace as my small girl slept and my big girl enjoyed her treasures. I knew that as soon as the car pulled in the driveway it would be back to crazy, hectic, sugared-up kids, but for just this moment, everything was calm.

A perfect moment in a day full of chaos.

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Sunday, 8 March 2015

Ten {52 week project} | Photography

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015.
{Punky} Things are pretty interesting when your Pop has a wooden leg. It's always cause for much inspection and amazement when he takes it off. Punky loves inspecting it, knocking on it, and then trying to put it back on for him. I still remember the very first time she discovered there was something a little different about Pappa Mick's leg, the look on her face was priceless. Now, it's almost commonplace!

{Zee} Uncle D is most certainly the favourite Uncle. Dave and I are pretty sure he actually outranks either of us in the popularity stakes. He's fun. He's always willing to play. The minute we arrive at Nan & Pop's for dinner the first words out of Punky's mouth are always "Where's Uncle D?" and the two of them love searching the house to find where is hiding each time.

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