Posted in personal April 1st, 2013 by pia


Hi guys. Sometimes – actually, every time –  it’s hard to write a blog post after a long break. So much has happened between posts that I don’t know where to start, or what to share. But then after a while of sitting here looking at the blank box, I realise the best place to start is in this moment.

In this moment, I am sitting in my little home office/studio/dumping ground, at the desk, writing this blog post. Laly is having her midday nap (what a wonderful difference it is to be down to one long day nap!), and Romain and I are working on getting the last remaining shipping invoices to the book buyers from the campaign, and then I hope to be able to start getting some of the packages together throughout the rest of this week, so that we can start sending them off around the world next week.

As I’ve been collecting the shipping and adding the details in the spreadsheet, I’ve been receiving lovely little notes within the invoice payments, with inspiring and encouraging comments. It warms my heart so much, and encourages me to keep going.  I’m very thankful for the support, I would not be able to keep creating if it wasn’t for those of you who voice your cheer.

Laly is growing so much. Among so many skills she is mastering, she has just started to walk, and I’ve noticed how much she is uplifted by positive remarks and reassurance. Her face lights up when we say “Bravo!”, and “Well done!”, and if she stumbles through trying her new skill, it will be one of those remarks that encourages her to try again.


Last night after Laly went to bed, I reflected on the words that she is hearing the most throughout every day. Other than “Maman” and “Papa”, I realised the words we are repeating the most every day are “cuddle”, “câlins” (french for cuddle), “snuggle”, “beautiful”, “love”, “bonjour”, “bravo”, “kisses”, “bisous” (french for kisses) and of course “Laly”. It got me thinking about how lovely that is, how much that must make a difference to someone’s life.

I had intentions to write a post about Laly’s first birthday, but as you may have gathered from Romain’s previous post, things happened. My health took a turn for the worse, and I’ve spent the last month building it back up. I’m not quite recovered, I understand now that getting Little Treasures to the insane deadline that we had created for it was detrimental, and not just for me but for my new little family. If I am not well I cannot look after my baby and that is incredibly scary. And I’ve understood that in the future, if I want to continue doing projects, that they will have to be spread out and take much, much longer, with as many helping hands as possible. It’s just not possible for me to do what I do and be a Mum at the same time.

I got very down for a while wondering why other new mums could work on their projects, write regular, extensive blog posts complete with photographs (knowing how long it takes me to compile such posts), earn money, and cook a meal. Seriously? I mean, seriously? I just don’t get how. Friends assured me that these mums have help from their parents, in laws and siblings, and that on top of that they must have nannies, cleaners, and possibly butlers. They reassured me that the difficult circumstances I have going on in my life at the moment are taking their toll on my health. But I just kept seeing that it was all a reflection of me being incapable. I’ve been taught to cope with whatever comes my way, no matter what.


So not only has my little Laly been doing a lot of growing these past days, so have I. I don’t think I’ll ever write about all that has been going on lately here on the blog, I know there is still much for me to go through in the coming months and years and you know when you’re in the thick of something, it’s hard to stand back and take an observing eye to share it with the world. I notice that when I try to explain to people what has been happening, it is just a bunch of words, words that sound hollow for something so deep. But I sense that one day I may feel ready to write about it.

In this moment,  I thank you for being here, and for your understanding and for your love.

À bientôt, mes amis.


PS I took these photos on Saturday, at Laly’s first easter egg hunt, a very special day created by my talented friend Tracey.

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  1. cathy says

    Well sweet one look how beautiful your little girl is and isn’t it so lovely to look at the pretty words you say to her every day… You live life with much detail and love so just always remember you are enough ….may your life be like a wildflower growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day …..c xo

    April 1st, 2013 | #

  2. Jennifer says

    gorgeous photos. Look at how your little one is thriving. That would be because of the love she is surrounded by. One thing you are NOT, is incapable. But I know how when you are “in it”, “it” overwhelms.

    April 1st, 2013 | #

  3. Hello Sandwich says

    You ARE Incredible Miss! Not many people are as talented and as lovely as you! I’m sure you’re the best mum, too!
    Look after yourself lovely and rest up to recover.
    Love Ebony

    April 1st, 2013 | #

  4. gaby@stilelemente says

    The paragraph just above the 3rd image is a discussion I have been having with one particular friend lately… she is trying to get her little creative enterprise up and running and wondering how other mum’s do it… I said the same to her as your friends have said to you 🙂

    Other than that I just want to say I stop by here every now and then but don’t think I’ve ever left a comment before. Reading this post, the part about reflecting on the words your daughter hears every day – I wanted to say that I like the way you observe life and how that in turn is probably what feeds your creative ventures. I like how you pay attention to the little details in life that so many people can overlook as being meaningless… one of my uni lecturers referred to it as ‘rewards for looking’ and in a post recently Oriah Mountain Dreamer quoted from one of her books (The Dance) ‘Some longing within us is met when we participate in the beauty of creation by really paying attention.’ Nice…

    April 1st, 2013 | #

  5. katiecrackernuts says

    Keep rolling with it Pia. The words, right now, aren’t a priority. Take care. They will come. Don’t worry. You WILL look back and be amazed.

    April 1st, 2013 | #

  6. Edwina says

    Oh dear miss Pia even though we don’t know each other and I don’t normally comment on peoples blogs I just had to send you a wee message of aroha from just across the Tasman…did you get it?…I cannot offer you any advice, sometimes that is all we get and it dosnt always help but you are truly one of the most gifted, beautiful people (I can just tell!!)and ok now I am just rabbling sorry! it is so hard sometimes being a mum and having a creative mind and trying to fit work and life all in to a day sometimes it just feels dark:( but no advice ooops! just enjoy your gorgeous wee girl and partner and maybe you could come on holiday to Okarito and we will look after you!!! and you could all go bush walking and have heaps of quiet time!(there is no cell phone coverage!)
    take care miss Pia and maybe one day we will meet xxx
    biggest of hugs always x

    April 1st, 2013 | #

  7. kate says

    Don’t be too hard on yourself Pia.

    The first few years of a childs life bring so many adjustments for a mother and father.

    I found it so so tough!

    As cliche as it sounds…it does get easier x


    April 1st, 2013 | #

  8. Deb says

    Goodness me Pia, you wonder how other mothers do it? When I have read your blog I quite often wonder how you do it. Your get up and go is a true inspiration, really it is. But hardly surprising that you are now feeling like you need to rest. Take care of yourself and your little family x

    April 1st, 2013 | #

  9. nic says

    Dear Pia,
    sometimes your body shows you when you have to slow down. That does not mean that you’re incapable, it means that you’re a working mother with a lot on your plate. I know not-working mothers who cannot cope, it’s just that looking after a baby affects you on so many more levels than any project could, it’s all-consuming and takes a lot out of you. Be kind to yourself, slow down when you need to and enjoy Laly.

    April 1st, 2013 | #

  10. thevelvetnap says

    You are doing the right thing – you can only ever be where you are – so easy to loose sight of. I’ve been there. Take care of your wee girl and your little family.x

    April 1st, 2013 | #

  11. Jane says

    Dear Pia, I too often marvel at just how much other women seem to manage to get through in a week. When you have a baby time whizzes by sooo quickly and you do right to take steps back and just take time to savour, to assimilate, to try to allow yourself a moment here and there to gather your resources, it is entirely necessary for your sanity. We women are wonders! We truly truly are!
    Hugs to you Pia, you are very special.

    April 1st, 2013 | #

  12. Mary Jo says

    Your radiance shines through in every post. You amaze me!

    I opted out of the i-can-do-it-all world several years ago. Partly for my kids, and partly because of my health (I have sjogren’s). Although I have occasional pangs of competitiveness and self-doubt, overall, every one of us in our little family of four agrees that it was the right choice. And as an added bonus, my creativity stepped up to a whole new level as I slowed down. So, I think you will not regret the choices you are making.

    Take care of yourself,
    Mary Jo

    April 1st, 2013 | #

  13. Caroline @trend-daily says

    Dear Pia, I promise that all us blogging, working mums go through some kind of crisis on a regular basis. I can only blog once a week max, as like you, it’s my own pics. I’ve also learned the hard way and my blog is so tiny compared to yours. Work projects just now have to be fewer and when I work, blogging just can’t happen if I then want to sit and do homework with the kids, pick them up from school, drive them to clubs…. Your devoted readers will totally understand. Family always first :-))

    April 1st, 2013 | #

  14. fraupauls says

    It’s a great pleasure to hear from you again.
    Best wishes to you and your family!

    April 1st, 2013 | #

  15. Inge says

    Oh Pia, your blog is so precious and different because it’s so real. You don’t make it look like it’s all so easy, as others (unwillingly) do. That’s part of what I love about it. I know what you mean when you talk about feeling incapable, but when you try your best and with all your heart, you are never incapable, no matter the outcome.
    These words are just words too and I hope they don’t sound hollow to you, I wish you all the best.

    April 1st, 2013 | #

  16. s t e f a n i a says

    Hi Pia,
    I share like you the same amazement at women who appear to do it all despite of being mums of young children(s). I am a graphic designer mother of one (4 years now) who is struggling to put energy and passion in her work as well as in her loved family.
    Probably the mothers you mention do have nannys, butlers, cleaners, parents and all of that. Probably. I try not to loose my self in comparing, as this makes me feel also a little lost.
    Just wanted to say that I share your feelings and hope hope you’ll find your way and balance soon. You are surely not alone in this 😉

    April 2nd, 2013 | #

  17. Ana says

    Hugs to you, Pia. Sometimes life is just crazy and it is fine to step away from work and just live it the way it is. Most important: get well soon.

    Looking forward to receiving my copy of the book.

    Hugs again.

    April 2nd, 2013 | #

  18. Yoli says

    Pia your baby is so yummy!!! Glad to see you back.

    April 2nd, 2013 | #

  19. nadia says

    i love you Pia, those are the words came to mind the minute i finished reading this post. You are beautiful human being and that you pushed yourself to the point of not being well, i know in away it was the only way you knew how to be. It is funny how we put pressure on ourselves. Pia i wish you well in all the crevasse of your being.

    April 2nd, 2013 | #

  20. Tanys Gupta says

    I have come back to this blog after a big absence myself to find that you too have been going through ‘growings’, challenges and realisations. Thank you so much for continuing to share!

    Please remember to never ever compare yourslef to ‘normal’ people and circumstances – the more I make new friends from all walks of life, the more I relise how rare ‘normal’ is! Wise people will never measure you against a ‘normal’ yardstick because they love you and know how much you have achieved for your circumstances. And sometime getting up and smiling at your child when everything is turning upside down inside is an achievement too!

    Thank you for finding the time time to share – you are wonderful!

    April 3rd, 2013 | #

  21. mel@ loved handmade says

    I’m quite sure there isn’t a mumma out there who does it all easily, though I think we perceive others to look so capable, in control and on top of everything. Sometimes you just have to stop, eliminate the things that are not necessary and focus on the most important things, you and your family. Good for you for taking the time to stop and heal..take care x

    April 3rd, 2013 | #

  22. Jeni at Northern Rivers Dreaming says

    Said what I wanted to say in my shipping invoice email lol, but will add an extra hug here 🙂

    April 3rd, 2013 | #

  23. Ximena says

    Dear Pia, I know it’s manners to comment when you visit a blog but I don’t usually have time. Also, the fact that english is my second language stops me from commenting. I quickly browse through my favourite ones every few days, including yours. After reading this post however, I can’t not say anything. I often wondered, upon visiting your blog after Laly was born, how you did it. When I read about the Little Treasures projects I thought “Good on her, these young mums are amazing”
    And you know what, you are as are all the mothers out there that try so hard to keep doing whatever it was that they were doing before, clinging to the person they were before becoming mothers. It’s bloody hard, but as someone said way up in the comments, it does get easier. Please be kind to yourself, and enjoy Laly – she’s only little once. Much love X

    April 3rd, 2013 | #

  24. shipbuilding says

    I have been taught to cope with ‘whatever comes’ too. it’s not easy to keep things in check. I don’t think there is anyone out there who would ever want to see a blog post, a book, a magazine article of yours come at the expense of your health and the happiness of your family. maybe a lot of people will read this and realise it’s ok to slow down, to admit that you can’t do it all, all of the time. sending you much love, k x

    April 3rd, 2013 | #

  25. Oscar et Lila says

    Chère Pia,
    prenez soin de vous, c’est le plus important…et de votre belle petite famille.
    Ensuite, tout ira bien pour vos beaux projets.
    Nous vous attendrons, pas de soucis !!!
    Avec toute mon amitié.
    Patricia * Oscar & Lila

    April 3rd, 2013 | #

  26. sarah says

    ahhh mother guilt – we are so hard on ourselves. Take time, baby steps and remember to breathe – promise it will get better xx

    April 4th, 2013 | #

  27. Breenda-Dianne says

    My dear Pia,
    This is the first time I’ve been moved to post a comment, though you’ve been a loving inspiration for the past 3 years. You are experiencing what so many of us go through in this adventure called life as an individual…learning the paradox, learning we cannot truly experience the idea of individuality without the shared being-ness of one another. We are not an island. We are a loving and lovely golden chain of light where each link is a holographic part of the whole cosmic heart. We were never meant to strive through this miraculous journey, not without the support, whether it be physical or emotional, of our “others”. Learning to unlearn is a courageous act. The willingness to let go of our own self-imposed expectations of our self so we may truly experience the joy offered up to us without…guilt or a mistaken sense of unworthiness.
    Take your time, darling one. Your first obligation is to your true inner self. Everything else will follow naturally or been left by the side of the path, like a pair worn out shoes. Journey with bare feet and gentleness toward yourself.

    April 4th, 2013 | #

  28. Edwina says

    Pia, I do not know you, but I admire your creativity tremendously. Being a mother and trying to follow your own projects/ work/ blog/ whatever is not easy. Not now when your children are young and not even when they are older. I have gone back to uni after lots of soul searching ( giving up on professional photography) with a now 11 and 12 year old, and feel guilty almost every day. Not being able to attend sports fixtures that are held in the week or assemblies etc. makes me feel as though I am not good enough. My health in recent years took a huge knock because I tried to burn the candle at both ends. I have realized that those women who look as if they are managing are not. Something has to give. You cannot be everything to everyone. It’s a lie. If you spend all your time on your work, your family suffers, or your health. Ultimately, we have decided to be mothers and wives and that should always come first ( I was reminded of this last week when I left my ill 11 year old at home alone to go off to the school where I am doing my residency, only to be reminded that my first priority is always my family…so promptly returned home to a very happy little boy). Women’s Lib is over rated. No=one can do it all without something or someone suffering. You can only do your best with what you have. Balance is the key. As my mother-in-law often reminds me, you are the pillar of your family. If you collapse, so too will your family. So dear Pia, stop being so hard on yourself, take some time and remember, those that care will always be there, so enjoy each moment and be a strong pillar….

    April 5th, 2013 | #

  29. Alana says

    Hi Pia, your photos and words are beautiful and I love to see what’s going on around here. Take time for and care about yourself.

    April 8th, 2013 | #

  30. Angela says

    This time, when our little people are small enough still to want to be the centre of our world, their chubby hands forever seeking comfort in the folds of our skirts and their sticky jam faces pressed against our own for strawberry flavoured kisses, is a time so precious we will spend the rest of our days reflecting on the wonder of it. Enjoy every moment and document as much as you can for the passing of days can bleach our memories x

    April 11th, 2013 | #

  31. Ruth says

    Hi Pia, you are not alone. I feel for you, I can very much relate to what you are going through. My “baby” is turning three in two weeks, and even though a lot of things do get easier I still find it very hard to find time to work on creative projects. My husband also raised the money on pozible last year to self-publish his children’s book (much much smaller scale then your campaign). I was very impressed when I realised that you only gave yourself a month to raise the money! Let alone everything else that comes with self-publishing a book! I think it’s amazing that you did get it all done, give yourself a well-deserved break and allow for some time to reflect. All the best! Oh, and I very much look forward to my copy of Little Treasures. No rush with the shipping! 🙂

    April 11th, 2013 | #

  32. Riley says

    Dearest Pia, The creative fire that fuels your engine burns so brightly, it’s blaze lights up your life and the ones you love. When you realize you are running on fumes and the fire has dwindled the darkness can feel daunting. Someone told me recently that we should fill our own “gas tank” with the spirit of inspiration and tend to everyone else in our life from the overflow…What happens for most mothers is they give to everyone they care for from their tank and end up living off the fumes themselves. Nobody does it all alone. It takes a village to raise a child, which is tough these days as we are spread across the world from our loves ones. Create your village, call forth a support system and care for yourself tenderly. You will be as magnificent a mother as you are a creator and when it feels your creativity is suffering at the hands of motherhood take a deep breath and know it is fleeting. It gets ever so much easier. Thinking of you with love!

    April 11th, 2013 | #

  33. Maria Ernest Fragopoulou says

    Dear Pia,

    What separates you from the rest and what makes you stand out from the crowd is this honesty expressed in your writing and in your images. I know how hard it is to raise a child on your own without daily help from family and nannies, how your own self can totally disappear, the frightening feeling that you as you knew yourself is totally gone, the scary part of all this responsibility, that feeling of incapability, the lack of personal time to even think…Now that my youngest daughter is almost four, at this very moment, I am writing these words, while holding her hand so that she can take her nap. My oldest is sitting next to us painting…Somehow you will manage like me and like your friends…I need to remind myself constantly that this warmth they bring to my skin is the essence of life, of my life at least…it is an accomplishment…loving and being loved.


    April 16th, 2013 | #

  34. James says

    What a lovely set of photos.
    Keep doing what you’re doing – a wonderful job.

    April 19th, 2013 | #

  35. wendy says

    Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart, and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked in rooms or books in a very foreign tongue.
    Do not search for answers which could not be given to you now because you would not be able to live with them and the point is to live everything.
    Live the question now, perhaps then, someday far in the future you will gradually without even noticing it live your way into the answer…….

    Very wise words by
    Rainer Maria Rilke

    April 20th, 2013 | #

  36. Paula says

    Pia, you are an amazing person who inspires many but your honesty is more inspiring and thoughtful.
    Good luck lady… It’s a long road back sometimes and then one day you realize you feel better.
    Love and rest Paula

    April 20th, 2013 | #

  37. LeeLee says

    Totally understandable. Take the time for you. Beautiful photos!

    April 25th, 2013 | #

  38. pia says

    Thank you all for your beautiful, beautiful comments. Each one has touched me deeply, such wisdom and insight and encouragement. With love, Pia

    April 26th, 2013 | #

  39. Ellie - Petalplum says

    I think us women can sometimes be the worst at supporting each other, as there’s this perceived “not good enough” we see when we look at other mamas. It’s the worst thing ever – instead we should be all encouraging each other and reminding each other how incredibly hard this job is. The job of being everything for such a tiny new being is so important and wonderful, but also so draining and tiring.
    Yes- some mums do seem to be able to do a lot and keep on doing it all. But I think somewhere along the way something must fall apart; even if they manage to hold things together for many many years. There comes a time when they are being so good at doing everything, they have no time for themselves. And no time for being simply there with their little one.

    When my first baby was a new tiny one, I so wanted to get to being “myself” and doing all that I thought I should be able to do. My dad has constantly reminded me that being a mama to my children is the most important job in the world. And that I am the best mama they need – I may not be the best mama in the world, but I am the best one for them; and that’s what matters. Those words coming from my dad meant so much to me in those early days.

    It’s incredibly hard – learning to be a new mama, and giving up so much of yourself. Not being the superhero woman/mother. Our society needs to learn to change and allow us to take time out to learn our new roles and our new self, and our new life. And to not have perfection always in the fore to taunt us.

    I wish you beautiful days growing with your little girl. It’s the biggest, hardest, most intense and wonderfully nurturing journey to go on. Take care. Look to your sweet little one for guidance, she’ll tell you the days to slow day and take care. Other people can wait, and will wait if they are important enough. xxxx

    April 27th, 2013 | #

  40. Sara says

    Thank you for sharing all this Pia… Even if you don´t say it all, and I cannot understand what you are going through (even though I would like to try) I do understand that much that this book I´m waiting for is worth all the waiting. And I will read it while holding my breath, feeling your energy through the papers, and hopefully I can send some energy around the globe for you… Because you give so much energy with your beautiful pictures and the way you use the words…

    Dear Pia, I wish you all the best and thank you for being such an inspiration, even when you don´t believe it yourself!

    Lots of LOVE from Sweden (and someone who has your other three books already, and loving them!).

    XOXO, Sara

    April 30th, 2013 | #

  41. Geraldine says

    Pia, My son was born on the same day as Laly. I think you are amazing for what you have done!!! I am grateful if I find time for a shower each day let alone anything else. It is the hardest job in the world being a mum specially a new mum. I hear it get easier.

    May 3rd, 2013 | #

  42. Michele - Free your Dreams says

    Thanks for being such an inspiration!

    May 4th, 2013 | #

  43. Amanda MacLeod says

    Pia, I just discovered your blog and work tonight and you are awesome and inspiring! As a mom to young children and new maker/entrepreneur I can definitely relate to the daily struggles of trying to do it all, thank you for your candid honesty! Be kind to yourself and get well soon.

    May 10th, 2013 | #

  44. Tina Smith says

    As others too have said above, I do not know you personally Pia, but often like to read your blog and your comments on Facebook, and to look at your beautiful creations. You are an inspiration to all women out there who are earth mothers and inspired by nature and beauty. Your comments on the first words Laly is hearing struck a chord with me. My own daughter has eleven month old twin girls who are just starting to try and say small words, and it brings home how important it is to make those first words special and meaningful for them. You make motherhood look easy, and it is not. By no means. It is the hardest job in the world, but the most rewarding. Nothing will ever compare to those first years with your new baby. Do not look ahead, enjoy the moments now, and remember, the grass may look greener, but never is. Keep positive, be pampered and enjoy the love you get from your family. That is all that matters.

    May 10th, 2013 | #

  45. Sabine says

    Hi Pia, oh yes how I understand the struggle of mothers and their creative endeavours! I am only now coming out and starting up again a creative life and my son is 6! Admittedly my darling husband works very hard and we live in a rural town with very little family support. This isn’t to depress you. But just to say you are not alone. Just reading through your comments I’m sure will warm your heart how we all just do the best we can each day with our little darlings and fit a bit of ourselves in as well. All the best wishes.

    May 24th, 2013 | #

  46. Marie @etincellestudio says

    Joyeuse fete des mères Pia! Your post is touching me as I am struggling everyday to reach my goals. In 6 years however I have learnt that you have to be patient and take things easy and slow. I was amazed that you decided to write another book and self publish it while Laly is still so young. Amazing job! All mothers go through the same struggle I believe, but some find it easy to delegate some tasks (such as house cleaning or baby-sitting) to reach their goals and keep on track. Not everyone can do it. Moving to Japan last year has been extremely hard for me but eventually 1 year down the road, I manage it all much better 🙂
    Concentrate on things you love only, with the support of your husband!

    May 26th, 2013 | #

  47. Kasia says

    Dear Pia, I want to thank you for inspiration and all the beauty you share with us. Your book ‘My Heart Wanders’ accompanied me with the decision to leave work and follow my artistic dreams. I even wrote about it in the most recent post on my blog as a tribute to you: I wish you all the best with your projects and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for all your delightful books to come!

    May 28th, 2013 | #

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