Ten Questions with Courtney

In our week of interviews to celebrate our 10th Birthday, it’s Courtney’s turn to answer our ten questions…

1. Describe your ten-year-old self. Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give that ten-year-old girl?

When I was ten I was the eldest of five kids — my baby brother, Spencer, had just been born. My sister and I used to pretend our baby brother was actually ours. My mom jokes that she only ever held him when he needed a feed and apart from that, we had him in our arms. We lived on a flower farm 15 minutes from the nearest town and spent our days running around outside. I dreamed of owning a horse and begged my parents every chance I had. (I finally got my own horse when I turned twelve). I was a tomboy and loved playing with my many boy cousins, riding bikes, climbing trees, etc. Growing up in a little farming town in a quite conservative family, I was also quite naïve. Going to University when I was 18 was a big eye opener for me!

If I could give that girl advice, I’d probably tell her to not take herself too seriously and to stop worrying about what other people think. It’s taken me a long time to figure out who I am and what makes me happy without worrying whether it appeals to everyone else.

(The photos above were taken when I was around 8 or 9. Unfortunately, my mom only kept my baby book updated until I was this age so I couldn’t find photos from when I was ten!) 

2. If you could have 10 extra minutes every morning, what would you do? Sleep in? Do yoga? Spend more time choosing an outfit?

I’d love 20 extra minutes to squeeze in a quick yoga session (with Nadia’s 20-minute yoga DVD), but I would settle for just ten minutes if I could get it.

3. You arrive to the school gates 10 minutes early to pick up your kids. You pick up your phone. What do you do (emails? Instagram? Pinterest? games?)?

For some reason, checking emails on my phone just gives me anxiety. I’d rather not look at my inbox and just deal with the emails when I’m in the right headspace and at my computer to read and respond to them. Instead, I would browse Instagram and check in on my friends and family. Either that or I’d FaceTime my sister!

4. You win the lotto of £10,000. How do you spend it?

I’d like to go back to Trancoso, Brazil. It was our favourite spot of all the places we visited in our round-the-world trip, and we’d love to return some day. Of course I’d bring Esther and Emilie and their families too. Because how fun would that be?!!

5. You have ten minutes to prepare a meal for your family. What do you make?

Our go-to super easy meal is a tuna pasta we perfected when we were in a campervan in Australia 8 years ago, and ever since we’ve called this meal ‘pasta alla campervan’. It’s a tomato sauce made with garlic, olive oil, tinned tomatoes, capers, olives and tuna. So easy and our kids devour it.

6. You have ten hours on an airplane ALL BY YOURSELF with a library of every movie and TV series ever released. What do you watch?

Oh my gosh, where do I even start? I’ve probably only watched five movies in the past 12 years since having kids. I have so much catching up to do. (Whenever movies come up in conversation with friends, you’d think I’ve been living in a dark hole for the past 12 years. Haha.) I’d probably go for the super cheesy romantic comedies, something I could never get Michael to watch with me. One of my favourite movies from my teenage years was a cowboy movie called ‘8 Seconds‘. Did anyone else have a crush on Luke Perry? I’d love to re-watch that movie for old time’s sake.

7. Aliens are invading your house and you have time to grab 10 items (not including people). What do you grab?

This is a tricky question because we left many of our favourite possessions and treasures from our travels in our little flat in London. We also have a couple boxes of favourite keepsakes and children’s artwork in my dad’s barn, so we don’t have very much here. Having moved across the world to Australia and having started over in many ways, I’ve really become unattached to possessions. But if aliens arrived and took over our house, I’d probably grab:
1. The photo albums and printed photos, including my own baby book my mom made for me.
2. My computer and the hard drive with all the digital photos
3. My wallet. (Boring answer, but we’d need to buy food!)
4. Our big basket of Schleich animals – we’ve spent so many years growing our collection and they’re really the kids’ favourite toys.
5. The custom papercut Emily Hogarth made for us after our travels last year.
6. Our paintings by our artist friend Jeff Kowatch.
7. The baby’s clothes. I have so many hand-me-downs from when Easton and Quin were babies, and they hold so many happy memories. (I have a pair of tiny shoes worn by all four of my big kids just waiting for Wilkie to fit into them.)
8. Our collection of children’s books. I always write on the inside cover of the books I give to the kids, so there are so many cute messages from the past 12 years and I’ve always hoped the kids would keep them and share them with their own kids.
9. Michael would probably grab all the houseplants – he wouldn’t trust the aliens to look after them correctly. Haha.
10. My phone (to call my friend Aimee and warn her that we were moving in with them!).

8. You can spend ten minutes with any famous person. Who would you pick?

I don’t know how famous she is, but I’d love to meet Ina May Gaskin. Her Guide to Childbirth changed the way I birthed my last two babies, and for that I am forever thankful. If I was lucky in that ten minutes, I’d get to witness a birth. (I think in my next life I’d like to come back as a midwife! How magical is the birth of a baby?!!!)

9. What is something about your current self that would surprise the person you were ten years ago?

Ten years ago Michael and I were living in a flat off Hampstead Heath in London with our two little boys. I always knew I wanted a big family, but would never have thought we’d end up with five kids — and five kids in the same girl-to-boy ratio of my own family growing up!  I also knew I wanted to live in Australia at some stage, so the fact that we’re now here in Byron Bay would not really surprise me, but it would make me so happy to know it would eventually happen.

10. What do you hope your life will look like ten years from now?

I’d be so content to think it would look a lot like it does now, albeit with older children (oh my gosh, it freaks me out to think I’ll have a 22-year-old in ten years!). For the first time in my life I am living somewhere where I could happily live forever, which is such a settling feeling… so I’d be so happy to think I’d still be here in Byron Bay with my family.


Comments (8)

October 26, 2017

It’s unreal how you all (Courtney, Esther & Emilie) look SO like your oldest daughters in your childhood photos!

October 26, 2017

So fun to read! Love it

Annie from Brimful
October 26, 2017

I love that all three of you ladies are really happy where you are in life. Sure, there may still be things you wish for….there’s an overwhelming sense of contentment. That is truly a gift!

Courtney in Australia
October 28, 2017

Thanks for all your sweet comments, Annie.
It’s so true — I also had that same thought when I read Emilie and Esther’s answers. How lucky we are to be so happy with the path we’re on in life.
Hugs to you! xx

October 27, 2017

This was such a nice read! What an amazing story you have. I admire your values as a mother and a family. I just recently had my first, but I plan to have a large family as well. Reading about your parenting techniques (especially your article about how to assure closeness between siblings) definitely has and will influence my parenting style with my children. Thank you!! 🙂

Courtney in Australia
October 28, 2017

That is so sweet of you to say, Katelynn. Thank you.
Congrats on your first baby. What a wonderful time for you and your family! xx

October 27, 2017

Courtney I too had a crush on Luke Perry. I know you don’t have time for TV but I’m still crushing on him in his new Netflix show “Riverdale” 😂

January 25, 2018

So lovely to know more about you Courtney! Ivy looks so much like you in the first photo xx

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