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Sydney
Australia

LIFE:CAPTURED began in August 2013 when we held our first full-day workshop at RAW Space in Sydney, Australia. Our mission is to help people document their stories and create tangible keepsakes to be treasured for generations to come. We offer intensive design, photography, and memory keeping workshops, as well as interactive online classes. We are advocates of honest photography, minimalist design, and memory keeping that's simple, beautiful, and tangible. We are the pioneers of the story book, and we offer flexible templates that enable everybody to tell their story. We believe that life is worth remembering and that it is never too early or too late to start documenting yours. LIFE:CAPTURED was founded by Rhonda Mason (of the Pink Ronnie blog) and Trish Chong (of Tealily Photography).

The blog

The official blog of LIFE:CAPTURED Inc, the modern school of memory keeping. We believe that life is worth remembering and that it is never too early or too late to start documenting yours. We blog about design, photography, and how you can preserve your story with timeless, tangible keepsakes.

A day in the life

Ronnie

A day in the life - A blog post by Rhonda Mason for LIFE:CAPTURED Inc (The modern school of memory keeping)

| Written by Ronnie |

Every three months or so, I try to record an entire day in as much detail as I can manage. This particular account was especially important to me, as I knew it would be the last time I would document our family life in this way before the arrival of our new baby. At the end of the year, my plan is to compile all of this journaling into a small coffee table book.

Wednesday, the 13th of April

7.00am
Rick gets up and brings the boys downstairs. I drift back into deep sleep, having not really slept much throughout the night.

8.00am
I have a strange dream, and finally wake up around quarter to nine. With some manoeuvring, I manage to roll over onto my back - rubbing my hips and holding my bulging tummy as I do so. I hear a small 'click' in my pelvis, and swing my legs over the side of the bed. I pad quietly down the corridor and into my studio. I sit down, wake my laptop, and spend the next half an hour finishing the 8x10 insert layouts for Weeks 12-15 of our family's life album, so that I can focus on the 6x4 and 3x4 layouts during quiet time later on in the day. From downstairs, I can hear Rick encouraging the boys to eat their breakfast in the meals room.

9.00am
After I complete the insert layouts, I reply a few outstanding work emails. I mentally check off all the interviews that I need to prep tomorrow, and I am extremely encouraged that almost everybody has sent in their answers and images on time. It feels almost surreal that tomorrow will be my final day of writing blog content for a while. Suddenly, I hear Rick shout out to me:  "Ronnie, it's twenty-five past nine!" I promptly close my computer and head downstairs. Pete is at the table, drawing. There are rubber shavings and pencil shavings on the table, but I don't say anything. Instead, I walk over and kiss the top of his head. He looks so happy to be drawing and creating. The other three are also drawing in the play room: Bear has drawn an underwater racing car; Angus is drawing a racing car for Jamie; and Jamie is drawing a racing car for Angus. I go over and give them all kisses as well. Rick comes out of his office to make eye contact and say hello. We hug, and I thank him for the sleep-in. He disappears again to get cracking with his work day. I remember I've run out of testing strips so I can't do a sugar score reading. As I start to potter about, I start to detect a strange burning smell in the kitchen. Pete can smell it too. I'm worried it's an electrical fault and ask Rick to investigate. Eventually, he concludes it's coming from our neighbour's place. Pete finishes his drawing and sweeps up the shavings on the table (upon my gentle request). I put the kettle on and steep my usual cup of English Breakfast tea. I marvel briefly at how I've completely converted to Twinings from Dilmah. I then grab So Good from the fridge, place a Weet Bix and some toasted muesli clusters into a bowl, and pour the So Good on top. I take down the medicine caddy from the top cupboard and start to put my pills into a small soy sauce dish. Jamie spies me, and pipes up. "Mum, we haven't had vitamin C yet!" I put four into another soy sauce dish and place it in the hatch. The big boys immediately come over to take theirs. Pete notices that there's still one left. "Bear, there's vitamin C!" Bear looks up, comes over, and I hand him his orange pill, smiling widely as I do so.

10.00am
Angus finishes his drawing as well, and we put it up on the fridge. In an attempt to give the boys something else to do, I suggest that we take the Lego trays out of the Drona boxes and line them up in the family room. Angus does not seem enthused by the idea, but Bear and Pete immediately jump up to help. Between the two of them, they take out all the trays from the two blue Drona boxes and line them up along the patio doors like we always do. Bear looks very grown-up as he does so. Pete immediately gets to work with sorting out the Lego in the 'to be sorted' trays. I encourage everyone else to help, with the promise of a jelly bean. As I expect, the two trays get sorted extremely quickly - even before I've managed to finish my breakfast at the meals table. I hand out a jelly bean each as promised: Bear chooses a black one, Pete has a pink one, Jamie picks a white one, and Gus eats a blue one. With the lolly jar back in the cupboard, I sit down to sip my cup of tea and reply to comments on Instagram. I also send my friend Ann a message on Whatsapp, "Thinking of you! xo." Pete comes over and shows me a chipped nail from trying to take apart Lego pieces. At my request, he brings my handbag over, and I take out my nail clipper. "That's a big nail clipper!" he exclaims. "It's not as big as daddy's," I reply. Without further ado, I trim all ten of his fingernails. Meanwhile, the Lego has been abandoned and Jamie and Bear have started drawing again in the family room. This time, the attention has shifted to superhero drawings. I watch as Bear rushes to Rick's office, and before I can stop him, he knocks on daddy's door, goes in, and asks Rick to draw "big Hulk." I walk over and suggest that Rick lock his door if he doesn't want to be disturbed. Rick very generously stops what he's doing, takes Bear's green pencil, and draws him a very cool-looking Hulk. By the time I sit back down to them my cup of (now lukewarm) tea, Pete and Angus have quietly managed to take the keyboard out from under the stairs, set it up on the sideboard in the lounge room, and are happily playing songs together. I get out my camera to snap photos of them. I listen to them discussing what song to play next, and I smile as Pete makes a request for Mary Had a Little Lamb. Back in the playroom, Jamie and Bear continue to draw happily together. Seeing that everyone is content, I disappear upstairs to get changed and finish tidying the bedrooms.

11.00am
I am back downstairs. Pete and Gus want to go outside. I glance out the window. It's hot and sunny out there. I tell them that they can, but only if they put on socks, hats, and sunscreen, keep the doors closed, and pack everything up themselves when it's time to come inside. "Yes, mum!" they exclaim, and away they go. I sit down at the meals table to jot down a few notes for my Day in the Life (DITL) journaling. Contractions come and go. Suddenly, Jamie shouts out to me from the playroom: "Bear has drawn pink on the couch!" I sigh. "Come over here, Bear!" He does so, slowly. "What do you need to say to mummy?" He looks very sheepish and avoids eye contact with me. "Sorry mummy... please forgive me." "And?" "I.... won't do again...." "Okay, thank you, Bear." We hug, and I tell him that I love him. Shortly afterwards, Jamie and Bear also head outside. I help Bear with the sunscreen and his shoes. Jamie puts on his school bucket hat because we seem to have lost the rest of our green hats. It doesn't take long before soccer balls get kicked outside the gate. I move the green car and retrieve both the orange soccer ball and the tiny plastic one. I can feel my sugar level falling, so I go back inside to have a banana. Pete comes inside shortly afterwards, telling me he is sweaty and needs "fresh air." He also wants morning tea. I offer him an apple. Through the fly screen, he asks the others if anybody else wants one. Bear does. So I wash two. We give Bear his through the patio door. Pete eats his apple from the meals room, whilst watching the others play outside. Angus and Jamie have their helmets on and are both scootering up and down the driveway. Bear is right where the action is, but somehow manages to stay out of the way. At one point, he rides Pete's scooter over, pushes it up the driveway a bit, then lets go and watches it roll away with great delight. Pete finishes his apple and asks me for ideas on what to do next. Lego? No. Reading? No. Maze book? Yes! He retrieves it from his drawer and comes sit next to me at the meals table (where I am still typing up DITL notes). Rick goes upstairs to get changed before heading out to run a couple of errands at the local shops. He comes back downstairs in his Kitanica pants and blue work shirt. "Aren't you going to be hot?" I ask. Suddenly, we hear Bear scream out that he needs to do a wee. Rick immediately whisks him into the front bathroom. Afterwards, the little guy gets rewarded with a marshmallow. Rick leaves to buy testing strips for my glucose readings and ham and cheese buns for lunch. Bear appears at the table with The Little Boys' Activity Book from Gus' drawer. We ask Gus if Bear can draw in it. Gus says Bear can have it. I find a black pencil and scrawl, "For Bear, from Gus" inside the cover. Bear finishes his apple, washes his hands (as requested), climbs into Jamie's booster seat, and begins to colour in some of the pages.

12.00pm
Pete continues with his mazes. Bear colours in happily, asking us now and again, "What him name?" whilst pointing to some odd-looking picture in the book. "Um, orange fish with big teeth?" I suggest at one point. Bear says "No!" and proceeds to call him "Big Bad Barry" instead. Gus and Jamie finish scootering. They ride on their bikes. They throw their frisbees around. They fly the Dusty planes. Rick returns with buns and testing strips. I summon the troops. Gus and Jamie pack their scooters, bikes, and frisbees away, and bring in their hats, water bottles, and sunscreens in as per my earlier request. They also wash their hands. Pete and Bear put their activity books on the red chair, and Pete puts his sharpener away. Rick hands me the buns and returns to work in his office, reappearing only briefly to heat up some leftover bolognese. The boys and I gather at the meals table. They're very excited about the buns. I bring out their plates and cups, and pour half a cup of milk for each of them then hand them a bun each. I pour myself a small glass of orange juice and heat up the rest of the bolognese that Rick left for me. I also make a Nespresso for Rick and bring it in to him. "Thanks darling!" I sit down with the boys, listen to them chat, and watch them eat their buns. More contractions. Bear and Jamie eat all the bacon and cheese off the top. I insist that they also eat the bun component. Pete and Gus both show me that they've been eating their buns in conjunction with the bacon/cheese. I devour my bolognese, then wash a bowl of grapes with baking soda. As the boys finish their buns, I distribute the grapes, encouraging them not to talk or laugh whilst eating them. In between mouthfuls, they pretend their grapes are little spaceships and some hilarious conversation ensues. I take out my iPhone and get a video of them nattering away.

1.00pm
The big boys finish one by one. They bring their plates and cups over to the sink and then wash up in the bathroom. It's Gus' turn to help me sweep the floor so he immediately gets out the dustpan and broom and goes to work. I ask Rick if I can borrow him for ten minutes. He helps me get Bear out of his high chair and brings him upstairs for quiet time. Meanwhile, Pete settles into the lounge room with his reading material (both WeirDo books), and Jamie disappears upstairs as well for his rest. Gus and I finish cleaning up the meals area together, then he goes to the family room to read Alexander McCall Smith. I finish cleaning up in the kitchen just as Rick re-emerges in the kitchen to make more toast. I give Gus and Pete their quiet time kisses, and tell them I'll be upstairs in my studio, encouraging them not to disturb dad as he needs to work. I gather my laptop, the box of party decorations for Bear's party (that's just arrived via Express Post), my bag, and my water bottle, and head upstairs just as Bear is heading downstairs to "tell daddy something." I ask him if he's done a poo in his nappy pants, and he says yes. I let him go to Rick, as it's near impossible for me to change him anymore, what with the size of my belly. I put my things down in the studio then go in to see Jamie in his bedroom. He wants to lie on the floor but I encourage him to lie on his bed so that he can get some proper rest even if he doesn't sleep. At first, he refuses. But then I explain to him that starting big school means that his brain and his body are both very tired, even if he's not aware of it, and that resting during the holidays will help a lot when big school starts up again. This he seems to understand. I help him to spread out his blankets, and he eventually agrees to lie down. I give him a kiss, and leave. Bear passes me in the corridor and heads back into his bedroom for his nap/rest. "Go to sleep, Bear, okay? Don't let me hear you get up again!" "Okay mama, goodnight!" I settle down into my studio (contractions and all) and hang up the See the Big Picture poster print that arrived earlier in the morning from Officeworks. It takes a few goes to get it straight. I then realise the Blu Tack has left an unpleasant mark near the bottle of the poster, but I decide to let it go and not let it ruin my day.

2.00pm
Jamie uses the bathroom outside my studio, but heads straight back to bed. I send the insert layouts for Weeks 12-15 (which I completed in the morning) to print while I get to work on the 6x4 horizontal layouts. Around half past, I go downstairs to make myself a coffee and realise Rick isn't in the house. "Where's dad?" I ask Gus and Pete. They both say that he left in the car. Then I remember he has a meeting with our SAFE Ministry representative. While the milk heats up in the frother, I grab my Fuji from upstairs and take some photos around the house for DITL. Once the coffee is done, I leave Angus and Pete to keep reading their books, and I head back upstairs to keep working...

3.00pm
Pete comes into the studio and asks me if it's time to get up yet. He has the sweetest, cheekiest look on his face, as if he already knows the answer is going to be 'no' but he wants to try his luck anyway. Sure enough, I say (with a knowing smile), "Not yet, darling. I'll come get you at half past. Keep resting, okay?" "Okay," he says quietly with a half-grin, then heads back downstairs as quietly as he came up. I continue with my album layouts, finishing up the horizontal 6x4 ones and starting on the vertical 3x4 ones. I send then horizontal ones to print. Close to half past, Rick returns from his meeting with Anne, and I can hear Angus and Pete 'get up' and chatter with excitement. Not long after, Jamie rushes down the corridor and appears in my doorway. He looks at me, half-guiltily, for a moment and I smile at him. "Yes, you can get up now. Bring your clothes downstairs and get changed but don't wake up Bear Bear!" "Okay mummy," he whispers, then disappears. I continue with my layouts. Contractions come and go. Around quarter to, I check in on Bear. He is fast asleep, with a few of Angus' toys strewn around him. He looks so adorable I want to go in and squeeze his cheeks. I resist the urge. Quietly, I pad downstairs to see what the big boys are up to. They have started on the Lego, and I remind them that it would be cool for them to build a house like I suggested earlier. Angus is immediately enthusiastic. "Oh yeah! Let's do that!" Rick is nowhere to be found. Seeing that the big boys are happy, I head back upstairs to continue working and to keep an ear out for Bear. 

4.00pm
Rick reappears and starts to prep dinner in the kitchen. Around quarter past, Bear wakes up with a small cry. Moments later, I see him rush past my office. "Bear! Bear!" I call out to him. He disappears downstairs, most likely into the comforting arms of daddy. I try to focus, but get distracted by the various noises and cries drifting up from below. I'm torn between wanting to finish my layouts and wanting to help sort out the increasing commotion. Eventually, I hear an "Argh!" from Rick. Shortly after, he clambers up the stairs and appears in my doorway with an arm full of sheets. He expresses how stressed he feels about the stuff he needs to do for church. The SAFE ministry meeting he just had is clearly weighing on his mind still. He heads down the corridor with the sheets. I sleep my computer and head downstairs. Gus and Jamie are working well together. They've built the foundations of a house, and it looks awesome. They appear frustrated with Pete, who has apparently been taking pieces of Lego from their house. I attempt to arbitrate, suggesting that perhaps Pete wants to be a part of what they're doing. They insist that they're not excluding him, but that Pete just wants to take their Lego. I look at Pete, and he is silent about the situation. I decide not to push it and let them try to resolve it themselves. Bear comes up to me, looking rather sad. I sit down on the couch and pull Bear onto my lap (as best as I can anyway, what with the big belly and all). We cuddle for a long time. I cherish the smell of his hair, and the feel of his soft cheek against mine. It's been a while since he's craved comfort like this from me, and I know that this one moment will stay with me forever. My heart aches at the thought of him no longer being my littlest - my baby. "Bear, Bear - do you know how much mummy loves you?" I whisper into his ear. He nods. "Lovey you too, mama." I gather him closer to me. After a long while, I leave him with his brothers and head back upstairs to see how Rick is going. He is in our bedroom, sorting out all the sheets he just got off the line. We chat briefly. I sit down on my side of the bed. He asks how I'm feeling, and whether Audrey/Lewis has been moving, and I find myself unexpectedly quiet and reticent, as if I've withdrawn behind some inner wall. Rick looks at me silently, clearly wondering what's wrong. I look down at my hands and think for a while. "I feel like you're projecting your stress onto me." Immediately, he understands the meaning behind my words. He reassures me that that's not the case, and that he's simply been trying to share how he's feeling, much like what I do when I come into his office to vent about something that's causing me stress or frustration. I nod, and we hug. The contractions and tightenings that I felt all through quiet time start up again, and I attempt to put my feet up on the bed. Before long, however, I can hear Bear calling out to me from downstairs. "Mama....!" "I'm upstairs, Bear!" "Mama....! Mama....!" I sigh, and swing my feet off the bed. Rick helps me to my feet, and I plod slowly back downstairs. As soon as Bear sees me, he runs into my arms. We settle back onto the couch, and I hold him for a long time.  

5.00pm
Rick comes downstairs to continue his dinner preparations. He tells me he's serving up tortillas and salad with the beef instead of veggies and rice. I ask him if he can set aside some beef for me, as I feel like having mine with bok choy and rice vermicelli in soup. "Of course!" he replies with a big smile. (Best husband ever, is what I have.) Meanwhile, I spy Pete wandering around aimlessly while Gus and Jamie continue to work together to build their Lego house. ("We won't finish it today, though," Jamie points out to me, ever so matter-of-factly.) I ask Pete if he'd like to do Mathletics on my iPad. He beams! "Can I do Reading Eggs?" "Sure!" I say. He runs upstairs to fetch my iPad from my briefcase and joins Bear and me on the couch. Bear is immediately interested. "Me watch Petey?" "Sure!" I reply. I suggest that they go into the lounge room so as not to distract Gus and Jamie. I lie back on the couch and put my feet up (finally). The contractions have eased up, but everything still feels tight and stretched. I close my eyes and listen contentedly to Gus and Jamie chatting away about what they're making. "Mummy," says Gus, "don't look until I've finished what I'm making, okay?" "Sure, darling," I reply, not even attempting to open my eyes. Moments later, Jamie comes up to me and whispers in my ear: "Can you just tell me if it's a boy or a girl?" I grin and whisper back in his ear: "It's either a boy or a girl..." We smile at each other, and Angus pipes up: "I know what she said! I bet she said that it's either a boy or a girl!" The three of us chuckle together, and my heart bursts with affection for our boys. Before long, Rick announces that dinner is ready. One by one, the four boys head over to the table. Pete attempts to put my iPad on the stairs but I ask him to put it in my cubby office instead. Angus helps Bear into his high chair. Rick brings the beef, salad, and tortillas over to the table. (The boys are clearly excited about the tortillas.) He also pours each of the boys half a cup of orange juice and "brown fizzy." I put my Chinese chicken stock on the stovetop to boil, and then soak my vermicelli noodles in a bowl of hot water for two minutes. I add some washed bok choy to the stock and wait for it to cook through. I drain the noodles then combine everything into a serving bowl. I add Rick's beef on top, then season with pepper. By the time I bring over my food to the table, the boys are already onto their second or third tortilla. "What you having?" asks Bear, with great interest. "Noodles!" I reply with a smile. 

6.00pm
All through dinner, the boys chat animatedly about anything and everything they can think of. In particular, we talk about Bear's birthday on Friday and going to the zoo on Saturday. We also chat about how many tortilla wraps everyone has had (as you do). Pete and Jamie both want to have more wraps but without the beef. Rick and I insist that they must have beef with the tortillas. (And so on and so forth.) Around twenty past six, Rick gets up and starts the process of cleaning up. Bear points to daddy's empty chair and asks me to sit next to him. "Do you need me to help you to eat, darling?" "Yes," he replies, with a half-cheeky, half-sad look on his face. With some effort, I scooch over. I pop a tiny piece of beef into his mouth. As always, he takes ages to chew and swallow it. With each mouthful, I move through my usual rhythm of gentle encouragement/stern instruction/counting to five. Angus and Pete finish their food first. They bring their plates and cups to the kitchen, wash their hands, then return to the table. Jamie also finishes and does the same. In between two very slow mouthfuls of Bear's, I bring out the box of sweets from the kitchen pantry and hand a small square of chocolate to each of the big boys. I also put one in front of Bear. "You can have this when you finish these last two pieces of beef." Quick as a flash, he swallows the beef he had in his mouth. I pop another two in, and he swallows them without fuss either. Seriously, kiddo!? I hand him his piece of chocolate. Rick cuts up some apple and oranges in the kitchen, which he then brings over. Angus fetches the four plastic plates for me, and I distribute the fruit amongst the four of them. Jamie insists that he doesn't want any orange but I give him one piece anyway. As I walk back over to the kitchen with the chopping board, the contractions start up again and I can feel our little person bearing down. I groan softly. Rick looks over at me. "You know what? I wouldn't be surprised if this little one comes early...." I say matter-of-factly. I ask Rick if he's okay with me retreating into another room to sit in the dark for a while. "Of course, darling," he says as he continues bustling about with the cleaning up. I take one last glance at the boys happily munching on their fruit and disappear into Rick's study with my laptop. I plop myself down on the couch and put my hands on my belly. For a while, I just sit there in the dark, feeling every squirm and movement coming from inside. For a moment, I think about birth, but then I push the thought away. I open up my laptop and start writing up the weekly summaries for the 3x4 layouts for Weeks 12-15. This part of the layout process usually requires the most amount of focus, and I'm glad to be doing it alone in a dark room. Outside, I can hear Rick summoning the boys ("Where's mummy?" asks Pete) and taking them upstairs for their shower...

7.00pm
I finish the weekly summaries and head upstairs to join the others. I hook my laptop up to my Canon Pixma in my studio and send the vertical 3x4 layouts to print. By the time I emerge, the boys are all showered and dressed in their pyjamas. They are all in Angus and Bear's room - hanging around and waiting for daddy to finish making their beds with the clean sheets. I head to our bedroom to use our ensuite. When I return, Rick has finished with the sheets and the boys are all in their respective bedrooms, ready for sleep. I can hear Rick saying goodnight to Bear and Gus, so I go into Pete and Jamie's room. I realise that neither of them are wearing singlets, and I insist that they put one on. I say goodnight to Pete first - wrapping my arms around him, giving him his kisses, saying a prayer for him ("Dear God, please help Pete to sleep well. Please keep him safe. Thank you that he is our son, and may he always trust in Jesus. Amen."), and asking if there's anything he wants to say to me. "Love you, mummy," he says quietly. I repeat the process with Jamie. Rick comes in and gives the boys a sip of water each from the silver enamel cup. Once they're done, I say goodnight to them again, then walk out with my usual final words, "Love you boys. Goodnight, and go to sleep!" I go into Angus and Bear, who are both lying down in their beds in the dark. I go over and give Angus my goodnight hugs and kisses. I also pray with him. I notice he's asked daddy to take his doona away because he feels it's too hot. I point out he'll need it back when the weather gets cooler. Meanwhile, I can see Bear getting restless and I encourage him to get under his sheets. "But me get horsey, mummy!" "What horsey?" He gets up and retrieves the soft toy from the Expedite storage box then gets back under his blankets. "This horsey, mummy!" "Oh yes, of course..." I leave Angus' side and go over to do my goodnight routine with Bear. He insists on praying as well: "Dear God. Thank you for horsey. Thank you for mummy and daddy. For staying home and looking after us. Amen." After I give him one last hug, he makes his usual request: "Sing song?" I think for a while and sing Away in a Manger. I then bid them goodnight for the final time and repeat the same words: "Love you boys. Goodnight, and go to sleep!" Rick and I convene briefly in my office. He tells me his plans for the rest of the evening, and I tell him mine. He heads downstairs to work, and I stay in my office upstairs. 

8.00pm
All the boys are quiet. I keep expecting Bear to emerge from his bedroom, but he actually stays in bed tonight. It takes him a while to fall asleep because, now and again, I can hear the soft chime of the bell on the horsey's neck. All my layouts for Weeks 12-15 have finished printing, so I get to work trimming the photo paper, inserting photos into the page protectors, and adding the pages to our album. As I do so, I start considering 8.5x11 page protectors instead of 8x10 protectors as it would mean I wouldn't have to trim my letter-sized photo paper at all, which would essentially be a lot less work. I hunt online and order one packet of 8.5x11 protectors from Amazon. I decide to wait and see whether or not I like the size, and then I'll either switch or stick to 8x10. Because my studio is right on top of Rick's office, I can hear him coughing and talking on the phone. By half past, I have finished assembling all the layouts for Weeks 12-15 and feel super-pleased with myself for accomplishing all that ahead of schedule. I move onto my next project for the evening: organising our family's memorabilia from 2015. I bring out the box sitting on my shelf, open it up, and start sorting out the stuff into piles on my desk...

9.00pm
I spend the next hour looking through cards, notes, letters, and long-forgotten momentos. I especially enjoy reading through the cards that Rick wrote me last year. I snap a photo of two of those cards and SMS them to Rick with the caption: "Somebody loves me...!" I also snap a shot of Audrey/Lewis' ultrasound picture taken back in October last year and send that to Rick: "Look who's grown!" Close to half past, I pick up my game and start finalising the different piles of keepsakes: there are birthday cards and Christmas cards to into the boys' individual memory boxes, there are notes/letters/Christmas cards that people have written to Rick or myself or our family to go into our general box of R&R/family memorabilia, there are a couple of Mother's Day gifts that the boys bought me last year to go into my personal memory box, there are some brochures and maps to go into the boys' own scrapbooks, there are cards and letters that the boys have written us to go into the big envelope at the back of our family's life album, and there are notes/cards that Rick and I have written to each other to go into our 'Rick & Ronnie' scrapbooks (along with the movie stubbs from our R&R dates throughout the year). And of course, there are a few things to throw out as well. I take the various piles of memorabilia downstairs into our lounge room. One at a time, I take down the memory boxes from the LACK shelf and place the relevant memorabilia inside.

10.00pm
All the memorabilia is sorted, and it feels GOOD. I'm also starting to feel incredibly hungry so I heat up the croissant that Rick bought me earlier in the day. I tear it in half and bring Rick his portion. He is busily working away at his computer. He looks up and smiles at me. "Oh, thanks darling!" I set up my laptop in my cubby office downstairs to be closer to Rick, then settle down with my croissant and begin sorting out photos for Weeks 10-12. Conscious of the time, I apply keywords to the eight hundred odd photos as quickly as my tired brain allows...

11.00pm
Photos are tagged and sorted into their correct folders. I schedule time to rate them on Sunday, as it's late and we need to get to bed. I jot down a few notes for our DITL journaling, block out some time on Thursday morning to write up the whole narrative, then sleep the computer. Rick heads upstairs before me because he's starting to get a migraine. I do a walk around, closing windows and making sure all doors are locked. I discover the garage door is still wide open so I close it. By the time I'm upstairs, Rick has finished his shower and is climbing into bed. I hear him murmur softly that he's excited about going to the zoo on Saturday with the boys. I shower as quickly as I can, brush my teeth, don my pyjamas, put on some Vaseline lotion, get my blindfold and ear plugs ready, arrange my various pillows, then lie down next to husband. He reaches over with his arm, and I take it. I feel sad that we haven't been able to connect like we usually do before sleeping, and I tell him that I feel worried about him. We say our usual "love you and goodnight" to each other, then I urge him to sleep. His breathing deepens almost immediately, and I lie there, in the dark, feeling Audrey/Lewis move, and waiting for sleep to take me as well...

You can read the other posts in this series here.

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