los angeles

we left the mountains at sunrise, a few quiet days after flying back from a photoshoot in melbourne. we drove through fog and then took a busy train, carrying our luggage and wearing a sleepy baby. i breastfed her as the train carried us into the city and she dozed against my chest. by midday we had arrived at the international airport.

wherever we go with alba we make friends. instead of being treated with indifference by the strangers we pass, they smile kindly and make sweet comments. ‘your daughter is so beautiful’ and ‘oh what a calm baby’. people give their seats and their time, as alba grins widely at the new faces (who are often making the funniest of expressions). she brings out the good in people and it makes me feel more connected to the world around us.

because we were flying business class we spent all our time before the flight in the lounge, alba playing with a ribbon we’d packed as a toy and squealing delightedly. she is happiest when we are moving, when she is exploring new places. we suspect she has gypsy blood like us.

the flight was 14 hours long. when alba was a newborn i dreaded the day i would take her on her first long haul flight. instead, it was like a dream. at night the roof lit up with thousands of tiny stars and she lay back against me, mesmerised. she never cried. when she slept against her papa’s chest i sat at the bar (how strange to be in a bar in midair) and talked to other passengers about mamahood. something that has my heart.

we touched down in LAX, collected our bags and were met by a 7 foot tall driver in a suit. it was a long drive and alba was tired and upset so i breastfed her in her carseat. not comfortably, but it put her fast to sleep. palm trees lined the sky.

we got out at a beautiful castle-like house in the hills, my friend zelda’s home. from our bedroom balcony we pointed out the hollywood sign to alba. zelda was away on a film shoot so we were alone that night. laying on big lounges on the balcony watching the city bathe in a smoky sunset and giving alba first tastes of organic cherries.

we went for a walk the next morning during a heat wave. we walked until our feet ached and our faces flushed. an hour to melrose avenue and an hour walking along it. mostly passing car yards, abandoned store fronts and the occasional 99 cent store.

in a vintage store we found a little collared floral dress from the 1970’s for alba, in a bookstore we found some beautifully illustrated picture books. we climbed aboard a crowded bus and alba made some more strangers fall for her. we passed by as a film was being shot in the street .

sometimes i could feel eyes burning on us, people commenting on how young i was to have a baby. i just smiled. i know i’m the best mama for alba, regardless of the number of days i have been alive. it is the way i have lived those days that truly matters.

zelda came home from filming. because we aren’t religious we decided to forgo godmother and godfather. instead alba has a sunmother, moonmother and earthmother. three women who we felt would be influential in her life. zelda is alba’s sunmother. she drew alba up into her arms and kissed her head and alba was calm like she had always known her.

we can’t help but take too many pictures of alba. how lucky that we of all people have ended up with such a photogenic child. her two bottom teeth have sprouted through her gums like tiny pearls and late last night she began to crawl backwards. she laughs all the time now and it fills up all the empty spaces in the room.

we have spent our days here meeting like-minded people from the internet, eating ridiculously well at raw & vegan cafes, reading and wandering around the hills of hollywood with alba on our back. but we must go sooner than we’d like, as i have a court case in townsville i am a witness for and afterwards a roadtrip down the east coast of australia. i know we will return soon.

i will turn twenty in the air. although i’m not even sure i will turn twenty at all since we leave on the eve of my birthday and land the day after. maybe this way i can delay the onset of adulthood by another year.

and if not, it’s a meaningful way to end my teenage years, on the road.

(the biggest of thank yous to marsha, zelda’s mama, who so kindly flew our family there & back and to zelda for the endless love and letting us stay in her castle- you are family to us).

many pictures taken by my love, mexico.

124 love notes

  1. I’m jealous of your life and I don’t even know you. Your life is beautiful, and you capture it perfectly. I am so in love with your photos and your impulsive spirit!

  2. Nirrimi these are so beautiful. All of your pictures, all of your writings…they inspire me and warm my heart every time i see and read them, it’s insane…it’s just overflowing with love!Ahhh. (and i know it’s been a while but if you’re ever in LA and want to shoot something or etc i’m always here!) xo

  3. Your writing is a dream – brings me back to the Francesca Lia Block fairyland of my youth. Keep following your instincts, they’re our only anchor in this world. All she needs is love. Blessings on all that you do, and love to Alba.

  4. I’m in love with all three of you, your life, and all your experiences. Only in my dreams could I have something like what you all have. You three and what you do is beyond beautiful.

  5. I would just like to give you a little encouragement… You gave birth-naturally. You’re breastfeeding your child. You are providing for her. You’re obviously making daily sacrifices for her. I don’t know you,but just from reading a few of your entries I can tell you’re a great momma. At an airport with my baby girl who was just 2 months old at the time,a woman aproached me and asked if I was taking her to meet her new adoptive parents or grandparents. I wanted to scream at her and tell her I was a wonderful mother at 17 and how dare she stereotype me that way. But I didn’t. I just smiled and told her we were meeting family. Be strong. There are people out there who will judge you,don’t listen. Just look at your gorgeous,healthy baby girl & know you’re doing an incredible job.

  6. You have a beautiful family. I was 18 when I got married and had my first son. Nineteen when I adopted my second. I wish I had been as wise as you when he was an infant. It bothers me how little breastfeeding support I got with him, vs. my 3rd who was born when I was 26. I did not discover cloth diapers until my 3rd son. I did not discover homebirth until my 4th child, my only daughter. I am now 33, and have five incredible children, and I still get comments from strangers who mean well, but need to remember “inside words”. Trust your gut mama, you are doing FABULOUS!

  7. You have a lovely baby and you write beautifully. I am a 22 year old Dutchie, and I have a 3 months old baby, so I kind of know how you feel. it truly is the very best thing, you know, being a mum.

  8. Long time lurker, first time commenter (I think), but I’m probably your biggest fan!!! Hands down! I don’t care what anyone else says. haha seriously great pics guys. Pure magic! I am always amazed at what you guys create and left with a great longing for the road, even more so then I usually am.

  9. Do not know why your photos make me stop and think. I see the face of your little baby and makes me realize that life like I’ve been here, or that I am bound to take is not to true happiness. I have an immense affection towards your blog. thanks

  10. I love reading your blog…you make me wonder whether I should revert to the gypsy life haha. On another note, Alba has grown to be such a cutie pie. I can’t wait to continue to see her grow into a gorgeous young girl!

  11. Alba is so adorable! At first glance I thought she was eating a bar of soap on the fourth to last photo haha! It looks like you guys had a lovely trip!

  12. your daughter is a gem; absolutely beautiful. love reading your updates– you write with such a beautiful, calm voice and it is soothing. safe travels as you return home. keep exploring and sharing.

  13. Well, the photo where the three of you stand by the door is marvellous!
    Not because of the special photography, but by the look of tiny Alba with the giant eyes…and because y’all are in it!
    Still: what filter do you generally use on your photo’s in the blog? It makes met think of the positive films of Ferrania.

  14. Simply: I love you and your family, you are the best parents for a child, I smiled with my heart all time reading this post. Love love love to you-) little Alba is very lucky to have you as mother and m. as father, you open to her great orizont!

  15. The photo of you three in the mirror made my day!!! Alba looking at you in an amused way is waaay too cute/funny!! and the smile popping from m’s mouth is so nice!
    lots of love to all 🙂

  16. Especially love the photo of your little girl on the wooden/tiled steps. I laugh at you feeding your daughter in the carseat. I felt so chuffed with myself when I first did this. Now onto feeding my third, my breasts are so elongated an malleable I’m sure I wouldn’t even have to stop driving the car to feed her!

  17. I’ve just find your blog.. your photos are amazing! I really like your love story and Alba is so lovely 🙂
    You have a new reader!



  18. Envy is such a strong, negative word. So I won’t say I envy the lives you have. I will say though that I truly hope to one day have something as magical as your precious family has. You are beautiful in every way, and a true inspiration. All the best for all of you and specially Alba, so precious and unique. 🙂

  19. wow you are just so beautiful, and alba’s the cutest. Wish I could take pictures that show’s as many feelings as yours do. Love from Sweden

  20. So incredibly beautiful. Your photos always have a calming effect on me in what I sometimes see as a fraught world. You remind me that doing things your own way works out for the best. Your daughter is such a blessing on this world as are you!

  21. there is such stillness in your stories and images. i always walk away feeling like I’ve meditated. wishing you and yours eternal sunshine!

  22. Hi Nirrimi!
    I just found yourbBlog at teetharejade.COM and I think your life is so crazy, so extraordinary! So inspiring! I’m very impressed and and think you are a very brave woman. Don’t let you drag down. You have a wonderful family and your photographies are awesome. Keep going!

    Libra, 17, Berlin

  23. i love the photo of baby and daddy on the bus. you guys have brought your baby into such a beautiful world. i didn’t realise how young you were, would never of been able to tell. x

  24. alba is so sweet, i love the photo of her in the blue floral dress. and I don’t think many parents, no matter how old they are, bring up their children with such peace, love and open-mindedness – people are always so quick to judge; you’re right to be so proud of the mother you are. do you prefer los angeles to your home in australia? it is one of the few places I’ve never been, and the way you describe it is so different to my idea of it!

  25. My first reaction to the title was ‘Oh my god! They’ve left the country, this is gonna be good!’ and it yet another beautiful post full of beautiful images and you look so gorgeous when you smile!

  26. Reading your blog is like reading my favorite book that never ends. And it is so wonderful to know that this book is based on a true story and that the love and beauty in it really exists in the real world. Thank you for sharing pieces of your life and for being so inspirational. Happy Birthday!

  27. i always love looking thru your posts slowly, so much detail captured so perfectly, always. alba has the cutest smile, such a beautiful family!

  28. I also confess to being a silent reader of your blog for a long time. After reading all the comments here I’m slightly embarassed about what I’m going to say…err… AWW HER TITTIES, HER LITTLE TITTIES ARE GROWING!!

  29. This is lovely. As usual. You continue to inspire me with your enormous heart and beautiful images. With regard to long-haul flight with an infant, I had a similar experience. I thought I’d hate it, but it’s actually lovely. I’ve done asia-north america about 8 times with my two-year old and I’ve found that pople are kind, smiles go a long way, and it’s best not to count on sleeping much. Still, without the distractions of phones, and email, and dishes, it’s a little muma-baby vacation, and a time that I’ve really come to enjoy.

  30. i’ve been following this lovely family for a long time, and i feel like i was the aunt of alba now. i keep wondering how my niece is, all the time ^^ glad to see she’s OK, hope someday i have a chance to meet her, and you all. love.

  31. I am very glad that you got Alba, she doesn’t only make you smile… us, too!

    Lovely lovely photos as always. I can’t imagine anyone not smiling at these.

  32. Thank you for bringing so much joy to my day with your photos.
    You are my inspiration to create.
    Your daughter is gorgeous <3
    Thank You

  33. oh my gosh, your daughter is gorgeous. i’ve been following your blog for a while now, and i always have to stop what i’m doing to leave full concentration for your posts, (although this is my first comment, i’ve always been bad at that) i love how story like they are. i can’t believe you’re only 20, your pictures are wonderful and you are an amazing mother! if people could read your blog they wouldn’t be so quick to judge you. i know far younger mums and in fact, older who aren’t half as good as you are at being a mother. alba is going to have a wonderful life having you both as her parents, wish you guys all the best.


  34. Words can’t describe how much I love this. You make people love life, Nirrimi, you make people excited about life; you show all the beauty. You inspire. Thank you so much <3

  35. Thanks for giving me light, lovely Nirrimi. You write so beautiful… and your photographs are just pure beauty.

  36. I love yout blog, what you write, the way you express yourself, the pictures! everything is just so beautiful, inspiring and amazing! Alba is a gorgeous little girl, i feel like just giving her the biggest hug ever! keep on writing, I´ll keep on reading!


  37. I love your blog! the way you write and express everything, your pictures, it is so beautiful and inspiring! Alba is a gorgeous little girl, i feel like giving her the biggest hug ever! keep on writing, i´ll keep on reading!


  38. I have always found your work to be beautiful though I’ve never commented (I am pretty quiet). But what you said about the people looking at you because you’re such a young parent made me have to say something as well — I had my son a few months after I turned 19. And even now, almost 7 years later, people still can’t believe how young I was to become a mom and that I’m actually a wonderful/caring/happy young mom. Like you said, you just have to smile and make it through all the comments and stares, my husband and I were both young single parents and now we are in our mid-twenties with beautiful boys and no one can take that happiness away from us. You remind me so much of myself when I was your age, and I love that there are other young parents who love their child like I do — and that’s unconditionally.

  39. You should ignore those stupid comments, those people neither know you nor Alba. I don’t like how some people think they have the rights to judge a complete stranger. Everyone can see how happy Alba is and if the others only wasted a second of their lives to see with how much love and joy you & m look at Alba, they can’t help to see that the two of you are amazing and loving parents some other children could be jealous of!
    So please ignore their looks and continue to raise & take care of Alba as you always have. You are doing such a great job!

    – Leni

  40. I love the colors in the first two photographs! I feel as though with my camera I would have to use some sort of stabilizer (which would be difficult in that situation) or a high iso, so either way it might come out blurry or grainy. Then again, I am way overdue for a new camera… sigh. What kind of camera do you use??

  41. alba’s eyes are just so wise! you were both bound to have a magical child. I have no doubt she will continue to inspire other people’s lives

  42. Stunning photos. This is the most beautiful blog I’ve found in ages and your entries never cease to take my breathe away. All the best for you and your family!

  43. Gorgeous post as always N. You have such a sweet little girl on your hands there and sounds like you’re having wonderful adventures. Especially love the opening shot – stunning.

  44. great pictures! Can’t find a favorite one.
    Love the Idea about having a sunmother, moonmother and earthmother. It’s really nice.
    Hope you had a good fly home…

  45. great pictures! Can’t find a favorite one…
    Love the Idea about the sunmother, moonmother and earthmother. It is really nice.
    Hope you had a good fly home.

  46. lovely pictures. i really love picture four. after these pictures i can’t wait to go to los angeles too in the future.

  47. This is so so so beautiful. Every time I read one of your posts, I get so inspired and just filled with happiness. I’m so thankful that you share your stories with other people and give me hope that maybe, someday, I will be able to travel around the world with a family that I might have in the future. So thank you for that. Also, your photos are amazing, and they inspire me to take more photos myself.

  48. Alba is so sweet! Your posts are always so moving. We are flying from Uruguay to Italy with our almost 1 year old in a month and I’m a bit nervous about the flight… I hope it goes as smoothly as yours. Thank you for the inspiring pics 🙂

  49. I’m so glad you had such a wonderful time darling Nim! I cannot believe hot much Alba has grown in the tiny amount of time it has been since i saw you last! It is impossible for anyone to not fall in love with her vivacious gurgles and grins, she shines love as do you both<3 M's pictures are beautiful as always. Speaking of wonderful vintage finds for alba I have a package I shall send to your mountain abode once you are home from townsville. Love to you all!
    PS: I cannot wait to see what comes of the pictures from our sunset balcony moments. xxx

  50. This is not to offend, rather to let you know of this information but “the term, “gypsy” refers to the Romani people. The word was created by the British monarchy and was derived from the word “Egypt”.The very derivation of the term was pejorative in nature. The word was & is still used to describe Romani people, much like “N—–” was & is still used as a racial slur for African Americans.” To read further, you should read here – http://gadjedile.tumblr.com/FAQ. Of course, I am not asking you to stop and you can continue how you want, but just as a heads up.

    Your travel, simply going from Melbourne to the Airport sounds beautiful. The imagery is wonderful and it’s good that Alba seems quite a calm baby. 🙂 Almost no one can resist the urge to coo at a little one, especially as adorable as yours and it’s good to have that, and to make friends.

    Business class? I am jealous! It seems so awesome and relaxing, in comparison to Coach and even First Class in some normal airlines. Also, 14 hours? How long… the maximum I have done is 9 hours and that was barely fun. Though I have never gone with a lover or a best friend (or my own child, though that is due to not having one yet) so I guess that can make quite a difference. It’s great that she never cried. 🙂

    Wait… 7 ft? Holy crud! That is extremely tall…

    I’m surprised that people even made comments on your age, or rather, had the nerve to.

    It sounds like you had a beautiful time. :] And that you will have many more coming up in the near and far future.

  51. oh it looks like you had the most wonderful time! (as i knew you would, what an adventure) and such beautiful pictures as always.
    alba grows so quickly! she is so much bigger already (and even cuter if thats possible?). the picture of her huge grin warms my heart. have a safe flight home and i think it most definitely delays your birthday for another year (nineteen forever right!?) now i just need to find a way to delay mine too! take care you three xx

  52. Such beautiful photos and your words make my heart warm. The photo of Alba lying on the floor in front of the window with the funny little dog standing beside her is perfect.

    I admit that when I look at the first photo of you in a blog post I think ‘man, she looks so young. (and I feel OLD)’ but that disappears almost instantly as I get lost in what a loving family you are and in your words which are so wise.

  53. your stories and photos give me such joy and inspiration. i really love this post. alba is such a beautiful little girl inside and out, it is no wonder she catches the attention of others. have a wonderful birthday in the air nirrimi x

  54. i’ve been a silent reader for some time now, but, reading this post, i feel drawn to comment this time. what i know about life and family and love, is that there isn’t a formula. how cliche, how profound. is it unusual you are such young parents?, yes. do most young parents have a hard time?, yes. but while you are categorized as a “young” parent, you’re also categorized as an aware parent, a gentle parent, a loving parent, passionate, intentional, full of spirit and conviction. there will be trying times, and if you and your partner remember why you began this journey, and why and how all of this love grew, will you not be that much further ahead than those who may be older and more experienced, but embittered and dull? everyone who judges you probably just assumes what you have will wear off, that it’s naivety, i believe you just happened to find what makes you come alive and you stay there. you have built a lovely life, you can see by the fruit of it, allow it to evolve with you, and it will only grow and stretch as you and your partner and alba grows.

  55. Gorgeous words and imagery Nirrimi. Your family photo at the end is so heart warming – just from the way Alba is looking at you. 🙂

  56. Awww she sit up so straight now! These photos are truely wonderful, the light is perfect. I love Alba’s pretty “bathtub”, how blue the light is in the airplane, the cloth hung on the bedroom wall, and reading this post, so full of love and smiles, dated of the 26th of august when it’s still the 25th where I live.

  57. What a truly gorgeous post. You write so beautifully and dreamy. It’s always a pleasure to read your posts. All the best in your future and your lovely little family, I hope your readers get to experience the best snippets of your life like these for years to come 🙂

  58. You have such a beautiful family and it’s amazing how gorgeous your daughter is! The photos from LA are amazing as well, so full of spirit and atmosphere!

  59. Alba is seriously the cutest baby to ever exist ever. I’ve never wanted to meet an infant before, ahah 🙂 (Can’t wait for your NYC trip photos!)

  60. I loved this! What a great set of memories! Baby Alba is precious and so photogenic, must be in her genes. Thank you for sharing such wonderful moments of your life with us. We enjoy them so much. God bless! XOXO

  61. I live in LA and it’s so amazing to see how you capture the city.
    You did a beautiful job, Nirimi. Also, Alba is just magical.

  62. wow, stunning photos! nirrimi you are so beautiful and alba is the cutest girl on earth! i wish you and your family all the best! greetings from berlin

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