Every great love starts with a great story

Oh hello there.

My name is Annie, we live in sunny Queensland, Australia, and I am the ‘mummalove’ to three gorgeous boys – Sam, Charlie and Nicholas. I am also a wife of one, sister of six, aunty to 18, friend, daughter, business owner, and writer. Some days a superwoman, other days not so much, but always giving it a red hot go.

I think my life has been shaped by a small number of extraordinary experiences.

Growing up with six siblings

Marrying Ben

Becoming a mum to three gorgeous boys within four years

Discovering Nicholas had Down syndrome

Sam being diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia

Losing my beautiful Nicholas at only four years old

…And a whole lot of amazingly ordinary moments in between that I continue to choose to pay attention to, to be grateful for and to fill with love.

One day I was writing answers to interview questions and struggling with one to do with my purpose in life. I asked my beautiful sister for inspiration on this one and she said,

“Love. The fact it’s your last name is no coincidence. Love found you because it’s your why.”

It made me cry. Possibly because it resonated at my deepest level and I knew it to be true.

I think we grow up expecting a fairytale. Marrying the partner of our dreams, falling pregnant easily and giving birth to perfect children, living happily ever after. I have learned the hard way that things don’t always (or maybe ever) happen the way we expect them to. And yet, these experiences have led me to be who I am today. They have shaped me and broken me and strengthened me.

“Something very beautiful happens to people when their world has fallen apart: a humility, a nobility, a higher intelligence emerges at just the point when our knees hit the floor.” ~ Marianne Williamson

In the brokenness, I have had to remember over and over again to look for the love.

In sharing our stories here, I want you to know you’re not alone. That hard things happen. Maybe in your life it looks different to the hard things I’ve been through, but they are your hard things. And I know that you and I can do hard things if we try to remember to look for the love. Somehow we can find the strength and beauty in the brokenness. Sometimes it is far more beautiful than we could have imagined, and most times, we are far stronger than we ever thought possible.

I’m here sharing our story because I know that this parenting gig isn’t easy and we’re all just doing the best we can. I’m here because I’ve worked out that I can’t control what life throws at me, but I can do my darnedest to try to find joy and blessings amongst the chaos, and see the stars in the darkest of nights. I want you to know that it’s okay if you feel a bit overwhelmed too. Maybe we can start in this moment and support each other by doing ‘small things with great love’, rather than trying to tackle anything too epic just yet.

Thank you for sharing in our story, for being part of this crazy journey.

Annie x


Annie profile pic with Charlie and baby NicholasIf you’d love to receive blog posts straight into your email inbox, you can do that by filling out this form. You can also find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter 🙂

The photographs on this site (unless otherwise specified) are either taken by me or my far-more-photographically-talented husband Ben. I’m hoping some of his talent rubs off on me soon 😉 (Please don’t use any of our images on this site without written permission).

Technical support for this website graciously provided by Grassroots IT.

 

  • Darling I love your blog too, especially your “Learning to love rollercoasters story” darling, that brought a tear to my eye and a shitload of goosebumps :(, and just quite simply don’t know what to say. I have requested to follow your updates, as find you so inspiring my darling. Life sends us so many challenges at times and sometimes I just wonder “why!” Stay strong my darling and you are sooooooooooooooooooooooooo lucky you have such an amazing partner by your side, to enjoy this journey ‘together’ love to you and Ben xxxxx

  • Welcome to the club!!
    My favorite Ds quote: “We often think that having a child with T21 {Trisomy 21, aka Down syndrome} is like gaining membership to a secret club, a club you never knew you wanted to be in or even existed, but once you are in, you are so thankful that you were chosen.”

    • Thank you Kristin. That IS a great quote. We are thankful to be welcomed into the ‘club’ so warmly. You’re right – we didn’t think it was a club we wanted to join, but we’re glad to be here x

    • Agreed!!

  • Hi and welcome to our exclusive club! I see that you recently must have had your little one and I just wanted to say “Congratulations!” I am due with my first baby this month and he also has Down syndrome. I also blog as my form of therapy, and it’s really helped to get my emotions and thoughts out there as well as provide information to others without having to repeat myself. Everyone will have questions, so it’s great to get it out there where your friends and family members can read up on your little one. Again, congratulations and I look forward to reading your updates and seeing photos of your new arrival.

    XOXO Adrienne
    http://www.theupsideofwes.wordpress.com

    • Thanks so much Adrienne, and congratulations on the arrival of Wes! I hope you’re enjoying your new status of mummy and coping okay with the sleep deprivation (it does get better, promise!). Looking forward to going on this journey with you x

  • Sallymae Bailey

    Dear Annie, Kristen and others

    I’ve been touched and inspired by your stories and courage and joy in your little ones. I am a friend of Joelle Morgan (if that means anything) but have friends who have started a DS Foundation in support of families. http://www.therightstart.org/

    Just thought you might like to know there is a local Australian support organisation out there for you.

    I personally support Variety – the Childrens Charity and raise money through their motoring events the “Bash”. Variety might be able to provide assistance in time as well.

    Sallymae
    http://www.3littlepigsonthebash.com

    • That’s great Sallymae – thanks for passing on the details of the Right Start foundation. I will definitely have a look at their website. Love the pink outfits on your Bash webpage! Looks like lots of fun. Good luck with your fundraising this year x

  • Just found your blog- really enjoying your boys! Our Eli was born in April, we had a diagnosis at about 20 weeks. 🙂 Looking forward to following your journey.
    barryandashley.wordpress.com

    • Sounds like our boys are very close together – twins almost 😉 I love the name Eli. Thanks for saying hi – look forward to sharing this journey with you x

  • Robbi

    Oki – this means hello in Blackfoot (First Nation) – our Dane was born Jan. 2/12; my sixth son. I was told of his condition while I was in my first trimester; amoung other concerns that the Drs had. I was informed that I could terminate if I chose to, my pregnancy was still early enough to conduct that procedure. Without hesitation I stated that, that was NOT an option. Dane was seven weeks early, endured a couple of health issues although has shown us what a fighter he can be. Dane is 13mths old and continuously showers us all with his Extra-Awesomeness. Thank you for allowing me to share that with you.

    • Robbi, thank you so much for taking the time to leave me a message. Wow – six sons. And I thought I was busy with three! 😉 I’m so glad to hear about Dane and his extra-awesomeness. I bet he loves his big brothers, and they love him. Sounds like Dane’s not too much older than Nicholas. Thanks for saying hello x

  • Marie Mitchell

    What a wonderful start to the month and congratulations to you all for your positive words. You are inspirational. I look forward to reading your stories for the rest of October.
    A loving grandma of a very special grandson with wonderful parents.

  • mummalove and others,
    Please know, I just love helping others. Annie, I just love it, your sons are beautiful. They look lovely and no one shall every make fun of them. I had a friend of mine that had down syndrome and she felt terrible about it. I always told her I cared about her and it didn’t matter if she was different to other people. She was like a daughter of mine, who felt bad about everything. Once I came over across your story, I had tears running through my eyes, such happy tears. I’m glad your sons are fine and I hope they live a happy life. Please keep up your blogging “skills” and I know you will do great above and beyond! 🙂

    Gladly always,
    Amanda I. 🙂