what I learned in February


Camping with small kids is doable and a lot of fun. I like a bed under my back, and I like not sleeping in the same room as my kids, so the idea of a tent, squished next to my (cuddlesome) two-and-a-half-year-old who likes to wake up at 5:15am, was less than attractive to me. But we live in Australia now, my parents are here, my sisters and their hubbies, and it was determined that we should go on a holiday all together. The truth is that it was amazing. We camped for two nights, and not once did I hear a little person whine about when they get to watch Jake and the Neverland Pirates. The boys played with dirt, sand and water, we ate two-minute noodles and drank hot chocolate. My back still feels out of whack, but write it down in the books: Camping may be the easiest family holiday we’ve ever had.


Bite-sized goals are changing my life. I didn’t make resolutions this year, but I had two goals for January: No eating at McDonalds for the boys and I, and I will wake up before the boys. We had zero fast food until last weekend, and I’ve woken up before the boys more than I used to. It was a boost, a good one. So I made a list for February. It was a bit longer and required more of me; I would have to organise my kitchen drawers, and figure out how we are storing our books. But it got done. Midway through the month, when I didn’t want to do anymore (the bookshelves, our bedroom), I saw the things I had done, and thought, keep going. You can do it. I’ve made a list for March, and hopefully this new trend of goals for each month will continue bringing small changes throughout the year.


I love taking and sharing photos. It had been months since I picked the “big” camera up, but I had been watching golden hour for days with longing. I paid attention, picked up the camera and snapped a few photos of the boys and our yard. It felt clunky at first, I had forgotten how to use the settings, but it still felt good to come back to the camera. I’ve been posting again on Instagram, too, and you can follow me over there. It’s met my need to share what I’ve been learning when I don’t have time to blog and also to capture moments of beauty.


don’t like choices, but I pretend like I do and this stresses me out. Here’s what I mean. For the past few years, I’ve felt an unspoken pressure to find new cute (and cheap!) places where I can grab a cup of coffee or catch up with a friend. Moving to Melbourne made it worse, there are great cafes around every corner, and I never wanted to be at a place that had (gasp) less than inspiring ambience or (shudder) bad food. (Hashtag firstworldproblems.) But what this meant is that the slivers of time I had to myself were full of internal pressure: Should do this, should be there, should see so and so, and instead of being able to unwind my mind and my soul, I was getting more and more wound up. So I’ve eliminated some choices. There are several cafes in our neighbourhood, I chose one, and every chance I get for 30 minutes or more to myself, I go there. I order the same thing – a small mocha – and I journal, read, make lists, or read the newspaper. It has made the time I have to rest that much more restful. 

I’m linking up with Emily P. Freeman today and lots of others who are sharing what they learned in February. It’s a wonderful way to chronicle the small and big ways we grow, change and learn, and I love it. Right now, I’m trying to capture moments of beauty and change over on Instagram, so head over there and follow me if you want to see more.

Share This Blog Post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest

18 thoughts on “what I learned in February”

  1. Hi Devi – stopping by from Emily’s link-up. I call my Nikon the big camera too. And the camping thing? When our son graduated high school he wanted a family vacation of camping as we drove from South Florida to Maine. He told me i wouldn’t have to do a thing (he knows I’m not a camper) I did, however, choose the campgrounds based on bathroom ratings 🙂 it was a vacation we still talk about, in good ways, a lot of years later.

    • I hope it goes really well, Jen. It’s a system that fit my personality, and I think that’s why it worked. So glad you liked the blog. I’ve never tried the RSS feed, so I hope it works. You can also subscribe with your email address if you prefer that. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Ahh, the family camping. i think this year we will finally invest in a big tent and take the plunge with our three kids, ages 6 and under. i know the nights might be uncomfortable, but i know nothing beats the fresh air and popping out your head from the tent in the early morning. i’ve done plenty of camping in my life, but never with the whole family. i’m inspired by your post.

    • It’s definitely doable, Lisa. I had to lay down with him until he fell asleep, but honestly what else would I have been doing?! My sis got the boys glo sticks they held on to in the night, so that both kept them entertained but was also something comforting. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. ” but I pretend like I do and this stresses me out” You had me at that, seriously. Not quite with regards to nice coffee places, although I could relate to that too! I think this February has brought home to me that how I react to some social interaction / pressure, i.e. social busyness, has that effect on me. And how I pretend to love it, but i really actually don’t. roll on march for a short list of do-able to do things, less social and more intentional, creative alone time.

  4. I found you through Emily Freeman’s link-up and love how you pointed out the power of small goals. It amazes me how little by little progress adds up when we break things down into doable pieces!

    • Hi Yettie, we really did have fun, but I think it does depend on the location as well. We were right next to a beach, which meant lots of sand play and that sort of thing. And there were so many adults around to play with them, all those things helped. Let me know if you do go and how it went! There are lots of resources online as well about camping with kids if you need more information. Thanks for stopping by!


Leave a Comment