He is a dissheveled bedhead, two-foot-nine-inches of pyjama-clad little boy standing between me and the front door. “You no going to work today. It Saturday.”
He wants me home with him all of the time and I can never understand it; by the time that the weekend rolls around I feel so thinly-spread that I’m almost transparent, like I never get the chance to be the best Amber that I can be, the best mother that I can be. But I always try to ensure that their weekends are packed full of adventure, that we go out and DO things (I can either be exhausted in the house or go out and be exhausted at Winter Wonderland or on a nice amble through the woods), that we make time to play and to laugh a lot. I feel very strongly that at the weekend, Kirsty should get some time off from mothering and I should have my chance to shine; it is so good for my relationship with these little people to have them see me as The Mummy for a little while. Still, I know that I would be a better mother if I slept more, if exhaustion and anxiety didn’t sit like a constant leaden weight on my chest.
But last night, walking home in the dark, the rain-soaked pavements and flashing headlights gave the world a dream-like quality and I thought to myself that these are probably the best years of my life, my babies’ babyhoods; the years in which bearded men bring bounteous gifts, fairies steal teeth and mummies are gods and make everything better. My pace quickened as I thought of the four sleeping soundly in their beds, their mama waiting up for me, Josephine-dog half-sleeping at the foot of the stairs, one ear turned to the door. And I felt like such an idiot, smiling to myself in the rain, but I can’t help but feel happy when I remember how lucky we are.
I met the love of my life at fifteen years old, and we have four beautiful children who are healthy and kind. Sometimes I feel like I’m living in a modern-day fairy tale, and I’m frightened that if somebody jostles me too hard on the train, I’ll wake up, and my real life will be nothing like this.
I’ve written before about my compulsion to capture everything. During lengthy weeks at work, this is what I have to refer back to – photos and words on a page, documenting our weekend together. The boys are at an age now where they love to watch our DITL videos, which is a huge incentive to film, but for me there’s nothing like sitting down in the office on a Monday morning and changing my desktop background to reflect our most recent adventure.
We are working with Sony Xperia to explore the capabilities of the Xperia XZ1. Over the course of the next few weeks, I aim to challenge their key message of: Never miss a family moment again with the Xperia XZ1 smartphone and its ground-breaking Motion Eye™ Camera.
At the moment we are still getting to know our new mobile, so we brought it out with us on Sunday afternoon for a little test run and passed it and the DSLR back and forth as we documented our memories. You know my DSLR photography style already – I’ll identify the Sony images below.
A rare sighting of a still Poobum McBitey, captured on the Sony Xperia XZ1.
Above, Kirsty is photographing our tiny tribe with the Sony Xperia XZ1. Below, the consequent image.
Me and my girls, taken on the Sony Xperia XZ1. Embla was sitting quite a bit further back then Olympia, but still – I can’t help but think that it sometimes looks as though there is about six months between these daughters of mine. They are just captivating at this age; Embla is our chocolate-box baby and her hair is just ridiculous, and Oly-Polly-Poobum is just all naughtiness and good cheer. I can’t help but want to capture every second of it.
Girls’ club! Taken on the Sony Xperia.
Oh, golly. I dream of family photographs where everybody is looking at the camera and nobody is crying! This was captured on the Sony Xperia XZ1. It’s invaluable for selfies; you just can’t get everyone in with the DSLR and even if you could, it’s too heavy to hold. It makes such a difference to be able to easily document yourself in the moment – now if only everyone would smile!
Gorgeous backlight! This too was taken on the Sony Xperia XZ1.
Baby cuddles, documented on the Sony Xperia XZ1. This was taken in low-light conditions, in the woods – I was quite impressed.
A Sony Xperia XZ1 snap of mummy and Josephine-dog.
My first impressions of the Sony Xperia XZ1 are positive. It lives up to the promise of ‘never miss a family moment again’. For us, the convenience factor of the Sony Xperia XZ1 is the big lure; what you lose in not taking the DSLR with its raw-editing capabilities, you gain in the ease with which you can capture a perfect moment on your phone. With its Motion Eye™ camera recording 960 frames per second, we found that the XZ1 camera needed minimal set-up and consistently delivered sharp, focused shots.
As the main photographer in the family, one of the things that I like best about having a reliable camera on my phone is that I can pass it to anyone. Whilst the Sony Xperia XZ1 can be utilised on manual mode much as the DSLR, it also has a very smart ‘auto’ mode. Consequently my partner, who takes up the DSLR under duress (but does a cracking job of it I might add!) is far more enthusiastic about documenting her own day with the Sony Xperia XZ1 and I find myself in front of the camera and featuring more frequently in my children’s childhoods.
Documented in our dream.
To me, that’s the most important thing.
What features of the XZ1 would you like me to test?
This post was commissioned by Sony Xperia, but all thoughts are entirely our own.