Finding Flow – prayer, the beach and painting.

We love our beach days. Apart from family and friends, the beach is definitely the number one thing I miss about living on the coast. Actually probably the only other thing. And miss it I certainly do. Last weekend, as I lay on the sand watching the kids make sand castles and memories I felt so sure that this was my happy place.

I listened to a podcast about “flow” the other day. I tried to think about how that fit into my life as a mother with small children, as a homeschooling mother, as an artist, and how I could achieve it. Definitely with meditation and prayer – which go hand in hand for me, and something I do most day. Saying the Amidah in the mornings. Art journaling and painting – specifically the abstract intuitive pages. But also, the beach. The rhythm of the waves coming in and going out. The connection with nature (I am a lover of earthing), and the feeling of my skin soaking up Vitamin D. A happy place for sure, but also definitely a “flow” place, and a place of inspiration and rejuvenation. A holy place in many ways I guess!

finding your flow at the beach / family playing joyfully at the beach finding your flow at the beach / seaweed at Maroochydore finding your flow at the beach / boy playing joyfully at the beach finding your flow at the beach / boy playing joyfully at the beach finding your flow at the beach / family playing joyfully at the beach finding your flow at the beach / Mother and son finding your flow at the beach / family playing joyfully at the beach finding your flow at the beach / boy playing joyfully at the beach finding your flow at the beach / boy playing joyfully at the beach finding your flow at the beach / boy playing joyfully at the beach finding your flow at the beach / boy playing joyfully at the beach

My baby aint a baby anymore

My baby, my sweet little girl is 21 months old tomorrow. When her eldest brother was this old I was nearly ready to pop with her second brother. When her second brother was this old, I was more than half way through my pregnancy with her. 

This week I realised she’s not a baby anymore. She’s big. She has long legs, and tells big stories with her hands. She is sneaky and cheeky, and can follow almost any instruction you give her. She has a cute little bob haircut and her clothes are size 2. TWO! Geeze. She is not a baby anymore. When her brothers got this big I was relieved and excited for the next stage of toddlerhood, especially because I was also looking forward to the arrival of a new little squish. But this time it’s different.

I do plan to have another child. Heck, I might even go crazy and have two more children. But not now. Her brothers didn’t scream this loud or high pitched, they weren’t as emotional, and they didn’t still feed 3+ times during the night and at any possible chance (even asking when I’m on the toilet!) during the day. I know my body needs a little rest from the stress and pressure of pregnancy, birth, and the first year after, but knowing this rationally does not stop me being a little sentimental, and a little sad, that I definitely don’t have a baby in my house anymore.

Of course I don’t want to be all down about her growing up – it is after all a great blessing and a really joy to see her and her brothers grow and mature each day. Luke and I are often commenting to each other saying “Wow, don’t you think Eli is so grown up with his words?!” or “Do you remember when Lior couldn’t read ANYTHING, and now he can sounds stuff out so good!”, “I love that Ahava is so great at helping and sharing now.” etc. So in honour of that gift, here are some things that make me grateful to have a full blown toddler daughter instead of a baby one.

  1. She’s fun. She loves to read and play peek-a-boo and do games and things like this. She has a lovely smile.
  2. She is a good helper. She can go fetch things, and follow instructions. She likes to be in on the action, which I usually get frustrated with, but am making a conscious effort to be grateful for and to try and include her more rather than just giving her a different task.
  3. I absolutely 100% love the way she stares and copies. Sometimes it’s me she copies (cue cute games we can play!), but often it is her brothers. She simple HAS to be the same as them and have her own little crown if we’re making crowns (lovely Rosh Hashanah craft), or if the boys are playing dressing ups she also wants to to play dress ups. 
  4. She is able to really show love in a tangible way. We all know babies love us, or at least need us and feel attached to us, but it’s so nice when they’re older enough to express it. She gives cuddles and kisses, and pats on the back. 
  5. Toddlers are cute. Need I say more?
  6. Toddler babble – also cute.
  7. Also, I can put her hair up now, and even though she HATES having her hair brushed she loves having her hair done up & often insists on it (yes, this makes hair time just as difficult as you imagine it to be…)

Ahava Miriam

An Introduction

Hello! I’m Talia, and this is my blog.

I’ve been blogging with WordPress since 2005, and this little blog is my latest re-invention. I’ll get into more of that later, but first let me do the normal instructions.

I’m married and have three kids. We live in Brisbane, QLD, Australia. A beautiful part of the world. We homeschool, and are lovers of the outdoors and nature. We recently made a big God-driven move to Brisbane to start attending an Orthodox Synagogue. Our experience so far has been really positive, and we’re grateful for the way this community has welcomed us, and for the things we are constantly learning about ourselves.

Some of you will be here because you’ve followed The Climbing Tree for many years, but when you get here you’ll notice that there’s (practically) no content left here! Perhaps you’re wondering why that is. Towards the end of 2016 and into the start of 2017 I had a case of burnout. I was unable to stay awake past 10am (but you know, there’s only so much napping with you can do with 3 kids under 4, so I would power on…) and my whole body felt heavy. My doctor did some surveys and tests and my stress and anxiety were off the chart (not ACTUALLY off the chart – just really high!), and so I took a break. Actually, I went a little crazy, and I deleted everything on this blog, and I deleted everything from my Facebook, and all sorts of things. That’s a bit of another conversation though.

Looking back now, almost a year since this first started, but probably 8 months since I actually acted on it, this was all part of the breaking away from the “old me” to embrace the new purpose and life Hashem has for me. A bit of a cocoon situation, you know? I’m sure I’ll talk about that more in future blog posts.

This blog isn’t necessarily a religious blog, but in all honestly, this is such a huge part of my life, that even when I try to just talk about homeschooling I end up talking about the parasha studies the kids are doing. Even just about art journaling seems to focus on spiritual matters. Not that I’m complaining!

I’m not here to teach you – even though I am, and always will be a teacher, my focus has to be on teaching my children as we homeschool, and learning about God through the lens of Judaism. This is my calling right now,  and perhaps one day I will be at a place to teach adults. For now I just want to share my life here on this blog and the things that I’m learning and doing. 🙂