Today I’d like you to meet Rachel (Sundaypeach as is her Instagram name), she’s an incredible momma to three…ok 5 if you count the four legged babies too…who lives in beautiful Australia. Rachel’s stunning Instagram feed first drew me in because of her photography, but as I started to follow along in her journey, watch her move and renovate her stunning home, raise her children and indulge in life’s little pleasures, I was captivated and felt like I almost new this Aussie momma. That’s the funny thing about Instagram, we watch each other decorate, shop, we see what each other cooks for dinner and the way our littles grow up. It gets us invested in each other’s lives, although we’ve never once spoken a word in person, and Rachel is one of those friends I feel I have without having had the chance to meet. But one day…one day I will make my way to Australia, and we will sit down for a cup of tea. And I know that once you get to know Rachel you will be just as captivated by her as I am.
Here is what she had to share.
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your family.
We are The Woods Family. We are me (Rachel), my husband Craig, Jack 13, Ella 11, Aniah 7 and our hound dogs Issey & Harley. I’m a photographer exploring creative pursuits and my husband runs an Electrical Contracting Company back in the city that we moved away from 8 months ago. This means he commutes the 3 hours back to the city for a few days during the week but is home for the rest. It has taken some adjusting but we love the slower pace of living in a seaside country town, every weekend truly feels like a holiday in amongst the craziness of renovating our house. It’s been a big job but it’s coming along nicely.
Describe a typical day/routine?
Our daily routine generally starts with the buzz and hum of the coffee machine, well that’s when the Mr is home. I don’t actually drink Coffee, never have, never will, but that sound is soon followed by the whistle of the kettle, on the stove, ready for my cup of tea. (have I mentioned I’m still in bed at this stage…he’s a good husband;) The rest is a bit of a blur and happens 5 times week…and that is waking children, making breakfast, packing school lunches, signing homework before the bike ride or walk to school. We will often see a minimum of 5 kangaroos on our way. Once settled in their classrooms I often continue my walk or ride around the bay nearby and being a God-believer it is often here I have regular chats with He who created it all.
Are there any special traditions your family induldges?
A fave family place is a Mexican Restaurant run by friends. It’s a must for each of our birthdays and any other chance we can get. Whilst waiting for ‘the usual’, owls are always drawn on the back of the kids’ menu. This started while the girls were still little and I had drawn an owl for them to colour in. It is a tradition that has stuck, only now they draw their own….and I still have to do one too just because.
What would people be most surprised to find out about you?
My birth certificate has me legally named Sunday Peaches. I was adopted as a baby and re-named during the process. That original name has always been a treasured part of me. Most close to me actually call me Peach, I love that.
Hunting for and gathering treasures from Junk Shops is something I love to do when time allows. Taking photos and getting creative is also on the list. Lately it’s just little things like making garlands or re-arranging rooms and shelves and dreaming about what to make with my favourite pieces of fabric or paper.
Describe you children’s rooms decorating style?
My childrens’ rooms decorating style is a little tricky. My older two now have ideas of their own and that doesn’t always suit what I necessarily like;) My son Jack is now a teen *insert shrieks of disbelief and horror He doesn’t seem to mind what his room looks like as long as his skateboard, drum kit and computer are all in check. I make the surfboard and bmx stay outside…only they creep in when I’m not paying attention. Initially when we had moved he was resigned to sleeping on a mattress on the floor as his bed wasn’t suitable for relocating to our current house. We have now purchased him a proper bed so he is now off the floor!
Ella, 11, has a thing for Paris and Justin Beiber. The Beiber fever has been contained within her walk-in robe…phew!
Ani, 7, is my girly-girl. She likes things pretty and mostly in order. She doesn’t mind what is added to her room as long as it features something to do with nature, owls especially. She has loved them since my mum returned from China with a framed paper-cut owl that caught her attention since she was about 8 months old and she would always coo and smile at it.
All of our rooms are painted a cool white, allowing whatever is placed in them to really ‘pop’ or stand as a feature on their own without competing with background colour.
What is your favorite room in the house and why?
My favourite room in the house would be my kitchen. It all happens there. It’s the place where we come together no matter what the day. Our dining table is the in the centre of it all and if it isn’t covered with gigantic paper plans that my husband is working on (it’s is favourite space to work also), then it’s often covered with the floury mess of doughs and cakes being made with the help of extra hands. It’s a nice light, white and airy space. Above the table hangs a green enamel pendant light was once above many a rusty car in a mechanic’s busy garage. The blinds are opened first thing in the morning to allow the pink glow of sunrise to fill the room. It’s the heart of our home but a sanctuary also, far enough away from the noise that might be happening in the rest of the house.
How easy is it to meet other moms in your community?
Being new to town has made it a little tricky to meet other mums in my community. I found I have connected more with other new mums with children at the same school as my own as we are all in the same boat. I’ve made a great effort in arranging play-dates for my children, particularly the girls, as they are trying to get to know people too, that’s been the best way to get to meet other local families. Being a fairly small town the locals tend to stick with those they have known for decades, but I’m not one to let that stop me from making friends and putting myself out there. I’ve built some great friendships already in the short space that we have lived here, at times it’s been daunting but braveness pays off!
What surprised you most about motherhood?
In one sense motherhood has made me braver. Putting myself in the ‘firing line’ if I have to, despite conflict being very far from my character and nature. And in another sense Motherhood it has made me weaker. I have lost my nerve with certain things, particularly horse-riding and surfing etc… I think in the back of my mind I wonder what might become of me, or more so, my children if something drastic was to happen. It has made me become more safety focused i think. (on saying that, I have occasionally been getting back out in the ocean with my surfing teen)
What’s your philosophy on “eating your vegetables”?
Hmmm veggies ‘ey…Eat the not so nice bits first, then the other part will be more like a reward to finish off with! Plus, nobody likes cold veggies that were meant to be warm in the first place right? Quick…eat ‘em up!
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and who would you bring along?
Mexico! All that wonderful food and colour makes me want to explore such a cultured place. There are so many people I’d love to take with me, that’s a hard question to answer! Brooke Fraser, to write and sing of our adventures, photo journalist Steve McCurry to capture the colour and details and my full-blood sister Camille whom I have only really seen 4 or 5 times but I’d love to get to know her more and just hang out.
What role does Instagram play in your life?
Instagram probably plays too big a role than it should in my life. It’s kind of an addiction. Sometimes I will take a month off just to keep balance and perspective. I love to shoot everyday elements and celebrate the lovely side of things. It’s a great way to record life as we know it right now, I hope my children enjoy looking over these images in years to come and that they are associated with happy memories, not that of a mum with a phone in her hand all the time! Sometimes you’ve just gotta put that thing down and have fun don’t you think?!
What have you found most surprising about Instagram?
I have found the connections I’ve made and the people I’ve ‘met’ the most surprising about Instagram. It has opened up great opportunities into other people’s worlds, some whom I have had the pleasure of meeting in person or become further connected to online through Facebook and blogs etc. I had joined Instagram solely to share photos with friends and be inspired by other photographers, I hadn’t realised the networking and social aspect would play such a big part also. It really is eye opening, inspiring and fun!
Thank you so much Rachel for sharing so many sweet things about your yourself. You can find Rachel on her Instagram feed! She’s in the process of setting up a website though, so stay tuned!