Happy bush birthday Ellie

In The Family

Ellie in the desert....

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The 22nd of August is an auspicious day. It is the anniversary of the birth of Ellie Kate Shanahan and this year she turns 8. A bush birthday for our nature-loving daughter, she will wake up as the sun rises, which we will watch together with a cup of tea. Pancakes and damper for breakfast. A swim in a swimming hole, camp oven chocolate cake with candles under the stars. A few lollies thrown in, the promise of a movie in Darwin and it’s a pretty good birthday. Ellie agrees.

This time eight years ago Matt and I were focused on seeing our second child safely into the world, not really thinking too much about who she would be. It’s funny though, how quickly children show their personalities and some of their stronger character traits. Travelling with our three and doing some hard things certainly highlights differences in how they view the world and how they interact with it. Often I find myself wondering how this or that aspect of one of their  personalities will help or hinder them as they navigate their way through relationships and experiences. It doesn’t matter, they are who they are and we love every inch of them regardless.

Our Ellie – strong-willed and strong-minded, beautiful, imaginative and creative, thoughtful, sensitive and funny with insights into people that bowl us over. Happy birthday beautiful girl.


  1. Happy Birthday Ellie! Lauren has been talking for weeks about her birthday and your upcoming birthdays. She has marked both of them on her calendar in the colourful, crooked handwriting of a just-turned-eight year old. Your Mum is right; you are a beautiful, kind, sensitive, creative and funny girl and have been a wonderful friend for Lauren. Who else would have wandered the school grounds with her on a hunt for “dinosaur eggs” (i.e. rocks) before bringing them home to be ever-so-carefully nursed to hatch in a warm spot? Enjoy your special day. Love Lee and Lauren

  2. Happy Birthday Ellie!!!
    We all hope you have a very special day.
    Lots of Love
    Kylie, Brendan, Camille and Sylvie
    PS Mel, you write so beautifully! I think you have found your calling. Send your blog work to a travel magazine (or any publication really). I am being deadly serious 🙂 xxx

  3. Happy Birthday, Ellie!

    Ask you Mum and Dad for a choc-top @ the Darwin flicks.


  4. Happy birthday Ellie, hope you have a fabulous day. Sammi misses you x

  5. Dear Ellie. Happy celebration of the day on which you were born! Sounds like you will have a great day with the family. Uou deserve heaps of fun, food, and…..fat pancakes (more food) – yay!!!

  6. Happy 8th Birthday Ellie! I hope you had a fabulous day!
    Prep S says ‘hello’ to you all! xoxo
    I’m loving following your amazing journey, a true inspiration!

  7. Happy birthday Ellie! Hope you had a beautiful day. What an adventure to remember in your ninth year. We’ve been thinking of you today. Heaps of love from James, Andrew, Dean & Jen xxx

  8. Happy Birthday Ellie,
    Hope your folks came through on that Darwin movie promise, though your bush birthday sounded pretty spesh I must say.
    Berl just put me onto your family blog so I look forward to following the family adventures, and you’ve inspired us to do something similar when we head off on our adventure next month.
    Love to the family,
    Fozz & the Forresters

  9. Glad you all had a lovely birthday Ellie. What a lovely memory you will have. Heaps of love to you all. I miss you very much. I will talk to you b4 you leave Darwin

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