Saturday, December 29, 2012

2013:Gratitude

I haven't reviewed the previous year, and I haven't posted anything about our holiday or Christmas.....right now we are in post-Tasmania holiday mode, we survived, and we are chilling in Moe, Victoria with Michael's mum. I hope we are not too much trouble for her! I am really enjoying her company, and the company of cousins and family, and cooking.

Anyway....

I saw Les Miserables yesterday - I am very familiar with the musical, and I didn't want to go (but it was a girl date and Nanna hadn't been to the movies for years). I knew it would be heart wrenchingly sad, and that I would cry, a lot. IT WAS SO SAD....and I am still thinking about it. When I hear or watch stories of other peoples horrendous struggles, I feel so guilty for my life. Its not fair!! Who am I  that I get to have a comfortable life while other people suffer in situations out of their control? The flip side of this emotion is that I feel incredibly grateful - and extra mindful not to take my life for granted.

I have been feeling grateful a lot lately, scattered thoughts throughout my days. But my gratitude hasn't felt sufficient somehow. I remember telling Michael a few weeks ago, when I was feeling particularly blessed, that I wish that Heavenly Father still required us to offer physical sacrifices to him. I felt like I needed a tangible offering of my gratitude.

So when someone put the question out there on Facebook, asking what new years resolutions others had....it came to me - this year I would focus on gratitude.

365 Days of Gratitude 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

For My Posterity.....

It's that time of year again - my birthday! This year, however, it seems to be over shadowed by Christmas parties. At 7am we have our ward Christmas party at our favourite lake - Michael gets out of making me breakfast - and that afternoon is our early family Christmas party - and again Michael gets out of making me dinner and cake.....all I had actually wanted him to do for me. How convenient!

It doesn't really bother me though - I get to spend time with my family and I still don't have to cook. Although I am bringing a chocolate cherry trifle to the festivities - my latest dabbling in dessert-ery.

I have one gift request for my birthday however - I had been wanting it for awhile, but I still had to put the pressure on. I would love my blog turned into a book!! Not that I am a super fabulous writer or anything (soooo far from it!), it is because I want a record of myself and my life accessible to my children and my children's children (etc).

History and heritage has always been important to me, I have often wished that I had known how my great grandparents negotiated life, what they thought about, what their strengths and weaknesses were. Did I have any inherited traits - did anyone else obsess over love dancing too???

So Michael - with a tiny bit of help from me on the editing side - is putting year 1 (2010) together for me. (We are using au.blurb.com) I wrote a lot that year! Even just skimming through it, there is so much that I had forgotten about. Poignant spiritual experiences, life learning experiences and just a plain record of my journey.

I am so glad I started writing.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Permission To Stop....?? And The Cake....Finally!

I don't get sick very often.....maybe once or twice a year.....(I think) and sometime last month I was having a "sick fantasy". I was stressing out over uni and there was so much to do with the kids I just wanted a break - I hoped, just a little, that I would get sick so that I could rest.

Sick fantasies are just like any other fantasies though - they are a nice idea, but the reality is not nearly so awesome......

So my fantasy came true, on the day of my daughter's 8th birthday, right in the middle of my giant cupcake making effort, a week before my major assignment was due and 2 days before I was doing a 10km charity run - the timing couldn't have been more inconvenient!

I had finished the chocolate base (the 2nd attempt) that morning and had just baked the cake and cupcakes (for school)...I had a bit of a head ache which I though was a little unusual since I don't often get them, so I drank more water. Brier then asked me if I wanted to go to Spotlight with her to look for decorative items for her wedding. Feeling a little anxious about the cake, but not wanting to turn down quality time with her - I agreed. She helped me ice the cupcakes and we dropped them off to Amelie's class just as the first break bell went. It felt like such a hassle to do, but I am glad I did because she was so happy to share her birthday treats with her friends....and she loved my cream cheese icing!

All was well until the trip home - then the wall of pain hit me. Aching all over - Uh oh....."Brier, I think I am sick." (I always find it fascinating how fast the flu attacks....it is probably more subtle than that, but it feels like within 30mins you go from feeling fine to having to go to bed!)

As a good mum I had promised Amelie her choice of dinner that night, and her birthday request was lasagna. So on top of the cake I had that to make as well. Again - the timing was impeccable! (curse you unrealistic sick fantasy!) I got as far as making the bolognese mince that afternoon and was assembling the cake when Michael got home. 

This is as far as I got....


The assembly could have been way better, but I didn't care - I was in pain and my head
was swimming....
I couldn't do anymore, I had to admit defeat. I apologised to Amelie, and told her she would have to have cake tomorrow night so I could finish it properly, and that dinner would be spaghetti bolognese instead. She was gorgeous and understanding and Michael sent me to bed.

I spent the next day on the couch, while the kids were at school, watching Season 1 of Royal Pains....as sick as I was, I still felt bad for doing it....

Side bar: Why is it that I/we (as mother's) need an excuse as extreme as illness to grant ourselves permission to stop?? I have found, excuse or not - it doesn't work.....I still feel guilty thoughts pricking the back of my mind that I should be doing something....anything!! Even if I am couch ridden with the flu.....ugh, Guilt.....oh how I loathe thy companionship!

After picking the kids up from school I called Amelie over and said "Look, I feel terrible - I need your help so that I can finish your cake this afternoon and we can take it to Babushka's tonight". We were staying at my grandmothers for the night so that I would be close to where I was running - I still had hopes that I would be feeling well enough.

Once again she was wonderfully understanding and eager to help me. I had an idea in mind for the icing to be very bright, and originally I wanted to pipe it on....

Icing Side Bar: I am not a fan of icing, its pretty but it tastes like straight sugar, or really buttery sugar. I refuse to sacrifice taste for pretty so I try and experiment with different icings. For previous birthdays I have done a ganache glaze or whipped ganache - this time I wanted to try cream cheese frosting....

....But as it turns out, there is not a lot else that holds its shape well when piped other than butter cream frosting and the heat here doesn't help matters...so I decided to go slightly easier on myself and just spread it on. Amelie and I decided on icing colours and used some lollies that she bought for her birthday - and....

Birthday Cake magic happened.....

It was fabulous!

and tasted great too!!

I don't think we actually ate any until the next day - Ami had overdosed on eating the icing while was were decorating.....

And no I didn't make the charity run. I was devastated! It is not often I get to actually use my ability to run for a cause. *sad face*




Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Free.....

I had to take a moment, I wanted to share this feeling before I lost it.....I have been listening to this song over and over this morning and it has my heart exploding with gratitude....



Unfortunately I couldn't find a live version, so you will just have to use your imagination, cause  nothing beats John Legend at a piano.....

I am so very grateful for my freedom - 
To live in a free country where I can live how I choose,
To be free from poverty,
from violence and harm.
To be free from the invisible chains of addiction, anger, and self loathing.
To be free to love and to speak my mind.
Today I feel blessed,
That I am free to be me.

But - 
My heart also breaks for all those that are not. For those that are forgotten and hurting. For those that are not free to express themselves, that are bound by poverty and fear.

For those that don't know the joys of what it feels like to be free.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Baking Freaks Me Out!.....

Well, if you know me.....or at the very least, were privy to my intense bouts of of baking, you would be thinking....what the...??!

The 'actual' baking doesn't freak me out - I like to make cakes - I think I make a good fabulous chocolate mud cake, and my one (thus far) attempt at a sponge was not too shabby....not to mention my successful dabblings in ganache...

So let me clarify....

Cupcakes freak me out!....Cake decorating freaks me out! Cutting my cake into layers, and icing, and piping freaks me out!!

It is the fiddliness of it all. *shudder* It drives me nuts, and causes me all kinds of stress and trauma.

 So what am I doing for my daughters 8th birthday....Today?

A giant cupcake, layered and iced and......decorated. With a chocolate cupcake liner no less!

Why, oh why, oh why did I feel so ambitious!

Cause I love my baby girl, and I am totally enamoured with the image of a huge cupcake with bright multicoloured Dr Seuss-esque icing on top.

However....it is 6am on the day of, and the chocolate liner won't come out the of the tin - eek.....You know how some people thrive under pressure -

I am not one of them.

How good is this?? Mind you, nothing like how mine is going to look -
especially at this rate!


7:07am - I would just like to add that I have finally got the chocolate liner out of the tin!! But since the base is an inch thick and I am feeling more confident - I am going to melt it down and do it again to make it better.

Amelie is was so proud of me - "Wow, great job Mum!" with the biggest smile on her smile.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Tender Reminder....

The last post has been hovering in my mind for days - I loathe to leave my blog on such a downer! Plus, I had to share the tender mercies that got me through the crazy week....

After I dropped the kids at school that day my step-daughter, who currently lives with us - but is hardly ever home, rocked up with her fiance for a day of hanging and getting ready for a pre-wedding photo-shoot. Yay for me, as that lovely young man is a worthy priesthood holder and I nervously asked if he would mind giving me a blessing to help me be calm. It was wonderful - and helped me remember that my Father in heaven wants me to ask for help and is eager to bless me.

Minutes later I had a my Visiting Teachers coming over, a visit they had organised earlier in the week. They were new to me, one of them I was already friendly with and had her family over to dinner before - but still in the early days of a new friendship, and the other I had never met before. I have been been blessed with awesome VT's!! So grateful for them - on top of bringing a basket of chocolates (Yay!!) I totally connected with them, and really felt like I could be myself. I was so (so so so) grateful for their visit - it helped me feel normal - instead of a total head case!

Then...

The next day while running I was listening to the Saturday morning session of this most recent General Conference. The second song was How Firm A Foundation  (click in the link!! powerful and amazing!), such an awesome song. More poignant as one night a couple of months ago I had the lyrics running through my mind the entire night as I slept. I awoke to search down the name of the hymn because I didn't know it off the top of my head. So hearing that song, right then, a midst my anxiety....I had 'a moment'. Running in the early morning sun with tears running down my cheeks.


1.How firm a foundation ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in his excellent word;
What more can he say than to you he hath said?
You, who unto Jesus, for refuge have fled.

2.In ev'ry condition - in sickness in health,
In poverty's vale, or abounding in wealth,
At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As thy days may demand, so thy succor shall be.

3.Fear not, I am with thee; O be not dismayed!
For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand. 

7.The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes:
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never - no, never, no, never forsake!"

In that moment I knew that my God had my back! - and that as hard as it all seemed right then, I would get through it. 

My special moment....

I slogged away for the next few days, gradually understanding more and more of the topic. My group was fabulous and although I couldn't complete the full problem by myself, my contribution was solid and we submitted, with relief for all involved, with plenty of time until deadline. I would just like to say that I was not the only member in our group that was brought to tears by the baffling phenomena that is Consolidations!!

So my sob story had a Happy Ending - one that I could not neglect to share.





Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Girl Interrupted....

Feeling absolutely insane at the moment - have been in tears since - almost - the moment I woke up. It is stress - something my body doesn't deal well with at all. The cause - my university subject. Slightly weird considering I totally smashed last semester with the best grades so far and 4.5 times the work load -  and now I am barely coping with this one subject.

In my defense, it is crazy hard....and trying to get my head around it, and run a household, negotiating 3 children - it's pushing me over the edge. I am finding myself in a really dark place that I never wanted to see again - let alone my husband - he doesn't know what to do except hug me and tell me he doesn't care what result I get, as long as I don't give up.

Relatively calmer now, but that is 2 Valiums later - low dose (left over from a neck injury - I loathe prescription meds).....but I didn't know what else to do. I was too mental to function, was ready to run away because I couldn't handle another day of an anxious chest, of yelling at my kids and having Michael and his daughter witness it all.

It is horrible feeling that out of control, having to resist urges to break things in frustration and  not being able to quiet my thoughts enough to even get on my knees and ask for help. I want/ed a priesthood blessing but it all seems to hard - to call my home teachers, knowing they both work and have families...and from experience, having to wait two days for it and then second guessing myself as to the urgency of it - to explain that it was important NOW and I needed help now! Times like this I curse my body, my mind - I feel trapped by it. I know what a burden it is to be around someone struggling with mental health - and I don't want to be that person.

Wishing I didn't feel so alone right now.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Just a Little Random.....

As I mopped the floor today and made a half hearted attempt to pick up my daughters room - I fantasied about having a super organised house. A place for everything, and a schedule that I actually stuck to.....

The more I thought about that, however, the more I concluded that it was completely unachievable  for me. Not in the sense that it was impossible, but more that it just wasn't me. The older I get, and the more I get to know myself, I am noticing how utterly random I am. Maybe it's the Sagittarion in me, although my mother would suggest a more complex planetary combination - perhaps I should have another look at my birth chart?

Sometimes I find my distractibility hits 'puppy dog' level...(which may suggest why I only seem to have success studying in the darkness of the early morning or in front of a computer in the Learning Centres at school!)... and although it quite often presents a challenge to actually getting anything done - I would not have baked three pies over the weekend and determined my opinion on pastry, (after dabbling in flaky rich butter pastry - I would just go with the standard egg yolk method - the calories just aren't worth it! - Oh yeah, and coconut banana cream pie is divine- and has the least sugar of all my creations!)and managed to do quite awesomely in my Company Accounting exam. 

But back to my randomness - I am actually pretty ok with it. My life has a plan - and I almost always achieve what I set my mind to (Michael would translate that to - "I always get what I want"....but that is mostly because he loves me) often it may take a little longer, but I am enjoying the adventure and learning a lot.

I want my life full of  'smelling flowers' experiences....here's to randomness and enjoying it!






Monday, August 27, 2012

Good Morning.....

This song had my heart swelling and overflowing with emotion this morning......."Good Morning" by Mandisa.



I was so overwhelmed with happiness and love for my amazing life - more specifically my fabulously unique, crazy, wonderful children and my gorgeous, super supportive husband - I love it when you call me "darlin'" (I honestly could not be more in love with a man - put a baby in my belly now! *sigh*  cursing crazy female hormones.....that did feel like the natural progression) 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Playing Catch Up And Finding My Body Fit.....


Exams have been over for a week and I have just had a week of school holidays with the children. I have to say although I am enrolled in next semester, and it concerns me whether I have passed all my subjects - I really don't want to know my results.....This not knowing is quite a blissful situation.

We have had a fun holidays so far, three excellent play dates already - despite the rainy weather! And almost booked up for next week as well! Insert some after-kids-asleep DVD watching with hubby, sleeping in til 6.30am and nana naps in the afternoon (I think I am catching up on all the sleep I lost during the semester) - it is all feeling very holiday-ish.

However....I am itching for a 'go-away' holiday - a road trip to be exact - I love road tripping with my husband and the kids. I think its the fact that I am starting work in a little over a week and I am getting nervous. I want a brief escape - how far is Rockhampton?? *sigh* 'Miss you Jess, I want our kids to be feral together!'

Another thing I have been more relaxed about - its been kind of a forced thing due to exams etc - exercise....and my body. It is not really working though. Yes I have been more relaxed, only scheduling exercise 3-4 times a week, but my body is getting bigger and its freaking me out a little. Frankly, I think it is ridiculous to have a 'shape' that is maintained on reasonably strict 5-6 days a week exercise plan as well as a monitored diet (ps. this has only been achievable for me when I was living with my parents going to the gym 4 times a week and dancing 3 times a week!)- as a mother of three, a student and soon to be working woman as well, this is just a recipe for stress!

With all this busyness, it has just lost its priority - I exercise to make me feel good, keep my fitness and flexibility, health and to relieve stress - and that sits right with me. But I clearly eat too much generally, because my body is expanding and I can't seem to make peace with that fact. It gets me down, and food is a depressing experience for me at the moment - I am having a constant battle with myself - what is right for me?? I have an 'acquaintance friend' (though I would love it to be more friend...) who was/is struggling with a severe eating disorder - she is a healthy weight now but eating still seems to be a huge battle for her.

All of this is in the back of my mind constantly - why do so many of us have this human experience battle with our bodies and food?? And for those that don't, there is always something else that we battle with. I remember being at the height of a pretty severe drug problem and thinking 'I would rather have a drug problem than have to worry about my weight' FAIL!


So I don't know - everyone has something to say, some little bit of advice - but it is a personal thing for me and I am 31 and still figuring it out.....And since this year is my Enjoying It! year, I would like to make some headway on this issue.

Reading CJane always have me thinking about my womanhood....

Happy Holidays!!




 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Exam Stress and Tender Mercies.....

Just a quick update: Slack blogging due to overload of school work...yuck!! I have finished the semester and I am now in examination period for the next 3 weeks!!

End of semester really gets to me, and actually, it pretty much starts after mid semester break - I need to protest, it is the most horrid break ever!!! Just when I start to get my academic groove on - its holidays, I have the kids home and can't study!.....So my motivation is pretty much down hill from there. the last 5 weeks is when I start skipping a few classes and have to drag myself through my homework. The feelings of wanting to quit happen in the last 2 weeks and peaks now as the exam period begins.

I was having a terrible weekend, I have a writing assignment due Wednesday and it is pretty much a culmination of all the semesters weekly hand ins and is worth 100% of my grade - no pressure! So I was freaking out because I didn't know how to start it and I couldn't think of anything else.....translated, I was pretty much doing nothing, well I lie - I read two short novels to distract myself, because all I could think of was what I was not doing - my assignment. Hate that feeling! It all came to a head yesterday in church - I just didn't want to do it anymore....who needs university anyway?? I was on the verge of tears all morning and I couldn't think of anything else.

I dragged myself to church - but I wasn't really there. Even though I was not in the mood to sing the hymns the words still stood out to me.....the opening hymn "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" pierced my heart a little and helped me remember that the Saviour was my friend - he atoned for me and not just for my sin.....my sorrow, my pain, my stress, my anxiety.....for exactly what I was feeling at that moment. I don't know what the sacrament hymn was, but the word "burden" was highlighted for me. I looked it up in the Topical Guide and opened Jeremiah 17:21 in the old Testament:

21 Thus saith the Lord; Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem;

By feeling like this I wasn't keeping the Sabbath - the spirit couldn't reach me at all. Not to mention that I was so distract that I had forgotten to fast at a time when I needed to most. So what use was trying to keep the Sabbath holy by not doing any study when I couldn't think of anything else??

So I prayed.....

Over and over through sacrament as I listened to the testimonies of the congregation - that Jesus Christ, through his atonement, could take away the unnecessary burden that I had placed upon myself that prevented me from doing what I knew I was capable of doing and also from feeling the spirit of the Sabbath and getting the most out of my Sunday.

I went to teach my unprepared lesson to my Primary Class - as turns out I had an extra class as well because their teacher couldn't make it....don't you love that?? But...

It was good.

 I don't how good the children thought it was - I tried to teach the principle the best I could by the scriptures in my unimaginative, unprepared way....but it was good because it helped me to forget my stress completely for those 50mins....and from then on my head was clear. I was able to enjoy my afternoon and see my upcoming task as achievable.

I am so incredibly grateful for the tender mercies of my Father in Heaven, and that He knows what I am dealing with and is willing to help me if I just put myself in a position to receive His help. I am so glad I made a good  choice and went to church when I really really didn't want to.



PS This is also part of my practice of blogging of spiritual things - it feels extremely awkward, but it's not something that I want to confine only to Sundays at church. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Confessions Of An Anti-Groupie....

I have been wanting to write this post for a while, and a message left on my wall yesterday reignited the topic for me....here is a bit of background....


Me: the prolific facebook updater...

yesterday morning....

"That awful feeling when you realise the song you like to dance to is a Justin Bieber song......fail :/"


yesterday afternoon....

"Seriously, how good is Supre??!! I have been shopping there since I was a kid - one shop for all the basic tops - I have re-stocked my singlets (the colours are excellent this season!), t-shirts and 3/4 tops, brilliant for layering....also awesome for random fashion items that come and go (LOVE my stud belt!)


AND the music is BRILLIANT - I want to know who does their playlists!!!

.....I choose to ignore the skank factor :)"

My girl Jess:...the message that inspired this post....

"How do you admit to shopping at Supre but are cut about loving a JB song!?! I LOVE Justin Bieber! Hahaha xoxo"

The answer:
It is because I am an anti-groupie!

I hate following the crowd, and its been that way ever since I can remember. 

I was never a stand out person growing up, I didn't have bizarre hair or clothes - I was normal, if a little nerdy. The funny thing is I don't much like obvious attention either. My uniqueness, however, is very important to me. One of the worst insults was and still is to tell me that I am just like every other woman!! I would prefer to be told my specific short comings - I refuse to be grouped in with every other 'anything'.

When I was a teenager, if there was a boy that all girls liked I wouldn't be interested, no matter how much of a nice person he was. (I met one of those boys a few years ago, turns out he was really nice and I potentially missed out on getting to know, in a non romantic way, a good guy because of my prejudice)I didn't actually have any boyfriends until almost 18, but I had a lot of crushes. The boys I liked were never super popular, I was always drawn to their individuality characteristics. I love discovering the idiosyncrasies in others and knowing them makes me love people even more.

I think that is why I fell in love and married my first husband - he was different (when I first noticed him, and asked around about him, a girl told me not to be interested - 'he draws pictures with blood in them'...instead of putting me off it just increased my interest) and he recognised my uniqueness as well. I think I sub-consciously still didn't want to marry and have the same life as the masses. I married an artist, and I knew my life would be different and challenging, that idea was so exciting for me.

I was heavily into R&B music in those years as well, so much so that I would be scouring record stores and magazines looking for new artists. I loved discovering new talent, and listening to music that wasn't being played constantly on the radio. It was so fantastic listening to an album and feeling like I was one 'of the few' appreciating such an awesome artist.

Anyway, I think it has gotten worse with age - now I can't watch movies if they have been hyped up and everyone is loving them, even if it is genuinely a good movie!! I have only recently seen 'The Help', I got it out on video one day over holidays because I felt like it was time. It was brilliant and I balled my eyes out and thought about it for days, yet I couldn't see it while 'everyone' was still talking about it. I haven't read 'The Hunger Games', nor do I have any desire to see the movie. Maybe I will wait until the Christmas holidays.....


Now to respond to funky Jess's comment - 
Had I discovered Justin Bieber before the screaming masses of teenage girls got a hold of his music I would have loved him and it wouldn't have bothered me at all to share his music with the hoards. But now, its almost torture.....and as for Supre, we have a history, so its all good - admittedly I didn't shop their for quite a long time because of the style of clothes they sell now and their target market - but when all my singlets were getting threadbare...it was time to go back. 

So there is an exception, if I get on the bandwagon first, or without the knowledge that I am sharing my passion with the beast of popular opinion....I just have to suck it, and be part of the beast. That's why I love the "Twilight Saga". It happened before I got 'connected', when I just got back to Queensland, I had no internet and I had been stuck on the drama in my life for a couple of years without seeing much else. So someone gave me a book - I read it and loved it....then I realised.....Noooooo.....I was part of the Twilight beast! I couldn't break away though - the books are amazing! I do however wait a few weeks until I see the new movies....

and that...is my confession.


Friday, April 13, 2012

"Isolated Loneliness...."

I am feeling acutely lonely today.....it not an unfamiliar emotion to me. I remember feeling lonely a lot throughout my life. Maybe it was a consequence of being the oldest and only girl in the four children of my family....or maybe it is a personality things....I don't know.

My star sign is Sagittarius - which is fiery and social by nature, which I am/can be, I feel positively charged after genuine social interactions.....is this why I am so susceptible to feelings of loneliness - without that social charge? As I look back on my life it is peppered with moments of loneliness - I although had friends at school and at church, despite moving inter-state with my family and back again - I often felt isolated and misunderstood and had a tendency to withdraw into my own head.

I know for sure it got worse when I got married....life got a little harder and more busy, I spent less personal time with people and I found other newly married friends preferred to spend time with their spouses. I am pretty sure however that that wasn't the only reason - two of my husbands children went camping for Easter with a group of young married couples and their babies. I have to shamefully admit that I was a little (more than a little....ok...ugh!) envious, never having that kind of relationship with anyone/couple that I have known.

Isolation increased when I had children, with an environmental element as well. My brothers hadn't had any children, I was in a different state away from my family and friends, I didn't know anybody and my marriage already had secrets I was ashamed of. I spent a lot of time in my head and a lot of time not connecting at mothers group and at church, and wishing that I could have mother friends who randomly stopped by, who I could really talk to, make dinner plans with and have our children play together.

It didn't help that my first husband had some kind of social issues/phobia and much preferred me, our children or his own company. I felt like I lived in another world to most of the people I mingled with at church - I didn't think that was all in my head, I was pretty certain they were not going home to a drug addiction and a turbulently violent household.

Singledom with 3 children ramped up the loneliness - I found it hard to connect with unmarried people on one hand and on the other felt like a reject family to the 'complete' families. I think I wanted to marry the first man I entirely connected with (although my commitment was a different story - just ask him.)

My now husband, who I intend to annoyingly love forever, is entirely social on the outside but in reality bit of a loner (maybe I am inherently attracted to them?...Loners). He doesn't hunger for people interaction like I do. He doesn't have any close friends and doesn't appear to mind - making it quite difficult for him to understand my bouts of isolation and loneliness. I try to convince him that I am different, I get my views on the world from my interactions with people - its like my energy feeds off them....I don't think he gets it.

Or

It all could be hormonally related too - PMS depression, I know I get that.....When I die, I am going to have words to my God about that!!

Seriously.


Friday, April 6, 2012

Forget Him Not This Easter.....

It's Good Friday and I am thinking a lot about Easter this morning, I have been watching some of the new Bible Stories clips on the last days the of life of Jesus Christ. I am quite impressed with them, so I decided that I am going to be that annoying person on Facebook and post different ones throughout the day. It saddens me a little that the only imagery we are bombarded with at Easter is eggs and bunnies and marshmallows - 

The whole reason for the bunnies and eggs (don't know about the marshmallows though..what the??....) is that it is a symbol of new life, a representation of Our Saviour's sacrifice and subsequent Resurrection. We celebrate the life He gave for us, the atonement for our sin that it may be possible to return to live with our Father in Heaven. He rose again, the first, that we may some day all receive the same. He is our example, He renewed the law and taught us the better way to live. 

I am so incredibly grateful for His atoning sacrifice for me. He suffered for me. He knows me. He knows my pains, my sadness, my loneliness, and the guilt I burden myself with for my errors of judgement and blatant disregard, at times, for what I know to be right. It's because of this sacrifice and my acceptance of this Gift that I do not have to suffer, I can be free. Comforted to know that I can never wander too far for Him, as my shepherd, to find me and bring me back.

It is still hard for me to talk about the importance of Christ in my life so openly and in such a public forum. Here the words feel alien to me. These words are usually confined to my home and my church where I am surrounded by like minded people. I feel vulnerable. There is so much negative stigma surrounding religion, and I have had my own share of anti-religious sentiments in the past. 

Honestly though, as vulnerable as I feel, and embarrassed by the minority that my beliefs have seemed to become; I am not ashamed of  the Gospel of Christ, of what I believe, and of what brings absolute joy and peace to my life. 

I cannot help but share it with others and it would be remiss of me to keep it to myself. For to me it is truth, and today and for the next three days

I will publish glad tiding of my God and my Saviour, and I will not be ashamed.



Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hump Day.....

I couldn't be more happier to see the end of today, though the relief hasn't quite sunk in yet....I am still exhausted, incredibly cranky and the boys aren't quite asleep yet. 

Wednesday marks the end of my weekly homework, assessments, and most of my classes - by this time in the week I am constantly on the verge of tears, my house is a bomb, and I badly need to repent for all the expletives and harsh words that have come out of my mouth in the last three hours. 

*sigh* 

This is the point where I start to wonder why on earth I decided that full time study would be a good idea this year.....

Somebody please remind me!. 

I wished so hard tonight that Michael would come home, that he could put me to bed, take care of the children and clean the kitchen for me. It is his dancing night - which is cool - but I so badly wanted him here. It's all done, I managed, and the house is finally quite....thank goodness!

I know all I really need is a good night sleep - and to switch of my brain (mind numbing American sitcoms here I come!) and recharge it for tomorrow. 

It is a steep learning curve and I am trying so hard to roll with the changes I have had to make in my everyday life, and the priorities that I have had to shuffle around. 

The random moments of peace and clarity are what keep me going - every now and again during the week, when my mind is clear and unboggled and I get the chance to reflect.....I know this is what I am meant to be doing - .I love it, and wouldn't give up the challenges for anything!. 

But for now....

Bed.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Excitement Times Two.....

I am excited, and nervous at the same time - but I guess if you are not moving forward you are moving backwards...so they say.

I just completed my first week of full time study in my new degree, Accounting/Law if you are not in the know. And for the record, it is definitely as hard as I though it would be! (I should be studying right now) But I am feeling all 'swelly' in my chest about it  - you know what I mean - I feel like "this is for me", and I am loving it.

I walked into my first Law lecture confronted with a David Guetta house remix  (something like this) blaring through the theatre, and my lecturer wearing a funky "That Shop" style dress (though I think her style is perhaps slightly darker), and her hair - a bright pink mohawk!

Okaaaay.....a quick timetable check, and yes, it was the right theatre....Definitely, a first for me.

But she was passionate about the subject , she talked with conviction about her teaching techniques....and I really dug (yes I did...) the fact that she has such a strong sense of style in such an academic environment - and honestly, two outfits later, I want to know where she buys her clothes! Two outfits later because she is taking my 'Legal Writing' course as well.....and that's when it got awesome for me.....

I thought, although slightly interesting, Legal Writing would be one of those compulsory first year subjects I would just have to endure....not so. In two hours I was awakened to the fact, that maybe, I am a writer - in some respects. I have always loved words, stories, language - especially those that inspire deep thought and moral discussion....but never really felt creatively inclined.

It excites me, maybe I have found a place that my interests and skill can fit together....and make super cute legal babies in the process! hmmmm......watch this space!

And that is just the first of our big adventures  - my family of course, is coming along for the ride! (sorry in advance guys, its gonna get kinda crazy around here....)

Secondly, today, at about 2pm  - we settled on an investment property (apartment) near the city!.....I don't know if I mentioned it before - but I inherited this huge commitment by marriage.....just as Michael inherited the huge commitment of my gorgeous 'package deal' - in triplicate! I wasn't sure these two would go well together, and as it turns out, not many banks did either! But we found one, and as the ink is drying post settlement, I am digging out all my thrifty financial juggling skills I learned, out of necessity, from my previous life.

Change is adventurous people, and so is progress! Even with the challenges that I know we will be facing in the next five years (at least!) as a partnership and family, it is still sooooooo deliciously......

Exciting!!!!






Sunday, February 26, 2012

Distance Makes The Heart Grow....

I have not seen Michael since Wednesday morning, he will be home tonight at about 9pm-ish and today is our first anniversary. I think its the longest he has been away since we have been married. The longest before that was when he went to New Zealand to pick his son up from his mission.

Surprisingly,

It's all good....(well mostly good - I need to teach him that a simple reply text to my early morning 'Happy Anniversary' one would have got a lot of husband points, instead of just returning my 4.10pm call....but anyway....working on it!)

Back to its all good, because it really is. I have missed him a lot since he has been away, but the space gave me time to notice how much I had changed since we first met. I have flourished, no doubt about it, and I know that it has been his constant love and support that has given me the confidence to stretch myself and to be more of what I know I can be. 


The thing is, I know Michael knows it, and I know he feels super chuffed that he could be that for me. I really noticed it today sitting at church - I managed to get the kids all ready for church and be early/on time, I had a lesson to teach and I wasn't freaking out! Not to mention I am about start a full on semester at Uni and study up for a tax consultancy job mid-year - and I think I can do it!


In this past year I have had more growth than I have had in the last 7 years! Don't get me wrong, I have been strengthened by the trials, the heart ache, the loneliness, the bad (really bad) decisions - it has been refining for me. And I wouldn't be right here, right now, feeling this good without them. My life or my spiritual progression over the past 3 years (for me they are synonymous - if I am in a good place spiritually all areas of my life are doing well and prospering) reminds me of parts of the allegory of the Olive Tree taught in Jacob 5 (from the Book of Mormon - learn more about it here)...It is actually about the scattering and gathering of Israel.


Jacob 5
verse 65
And as they begin to grow ye shall clear away the branches which bring forth bitter fruit, according to the strength of the good and the size thereof; and ye shall not clear away the bad thereof all at once, lest the roots thereof should be too strong for the graft, and the graft thereof shall perish, and I lose the trees of my vineyard.


verse 73
And there began to be the natural fruit again in the vineyard; and the natural branches began to grow and thrive exceedingly; and the wild branches began to be plucked off and to be cast away; and they did keep the root and the top thereof equal, according to the strength thereof. (italics added)


There was a time about 2 years ago when I was trying to rapidly progress with coming back to church, (I think it had to do with a boy *sigh* - Side bar: Ladies/Gents, do not let anyone rush you to be what you are not ready to be!! If they will not love you for who you are and where you are at - let them go!!) but still was not ready to let go of other parts of my lifestyle - needless to say I crashed and burned. Although it was hugely discouraging, the truth was...I just wasn't ready. 


Now is different though - I do feel like my progress is equal according to my strength and I appreciate and love Michael immensely for sticking by me and letting me be me, taking my life at my own pace, and loving me all the while. 


In my own funny, distracted way - this is my Valentine's/Anniversary gift to him - ME....evidence of the strength, beauty and goodness of our union.


Be Mine????




Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Hard Things, And A Not-So-Good Day....

Yesterday didn't start off too well....My very-almost 9 year old was having a friend sleep over for his birthday and I was super cranky because the play room and the children's room were a mess and I was sick of cleaning up after them....bla bla bla....and the husband and I had had a 'conversation' about our finances which didn't do anything to improve my mood. I was quite possibly hormonal to add to it - so as you can see, the outlook for a productive day was pretty grim.

I was taking my 21 yo step-daughter to the airport and dropped the kids pretty early (8.05am) to school on the way. (I like to give them little opportunities for independence and responsibility - the older two were to look after the 5 year old and take him to class.)


I was trying to mentally motivate myself all the way to the airport, whilst having a mini bonding experience with B, which was pretty cool. (She has recently moved back in to our place - and its good to have her back...)

I wasn't getting anywhere with the motivating so I called Mum who was holidaying with Dad down the road, hoping for some sort of distraction to delay my day. They already had plans and I was welcome to tag a long but I declined and then proceeded to sob it out in the car. As I was heading home (after some calls to Michael - men can be so insensitive sometimes!! - and more sobbing), I heard the traffic was bad on the highway so I made a detour which lead me straight past Babushka's house. She is 87 and awesome, and there was no way I could drive by without stopping for a visit regardless of how average I was feeling. She was really happy to see me and promptly offered me food. After 2 piroshki (mince filled bread pocket things) and some jarlsberg cheese (is there anything better?) I was feeling loads better emotionally, though still a bit queasy from all the stress.

We chatted about sewing and the bean bag I wanted to make, she took me into her sewing room to go through her materials to find a suitable fabric. Babushka's sewing room is brilliant! We settled on a roll of cream curtain material with red/pink flowers on it (to match my red cushions and dusty pinkish-brown leather couch. I then mentioned my struggles with trying to figure out how to fix my couch - the underneath of the middle seat was ripped and it had become a sink hole. I wanted to stitch it but I didn't have any thread strong enough and I was concerned I would need an upholstery needle. We talked, she found me some thread and gave me tips on sewing through the leather with a normal needle.


I had found my motivation!!


After the short visit my spirits were lifted considerably and I was all pumped to fix my couch. However, on the way home I was so incredibly sleepy that it was almost dangerous - so I fell into bed on my return. After 15minutes, which felt like a blink, I got a call from Master very-almost nine's school saying he wasn't feeling well and wanted to come home. I had my reservations - he had had a late night (we went swimming and had dinner with Mum and Dad) but how can you argue when your child has gone to sick bay and the school calls you?? So I went to pick him up - then I was doing my couch.

And I did.


And it feels awesomely normal to sit on.


It took me two hours of stitching and pricking myself.


But I did it!


I didn't get a whole lot of anything else done except a brief tidy, some grocery shopping and dinner (home made pizza at the birthday boys request) - but the satisfaction of a long-put-off-job completed will last me, at least, the whole weekend!


Which leads me to a bit of a side track - why do I/we leave things to the very last minute? To the point that the said task because so urgent that there is not other choice but to do it? I could have fixed the couch ages ago when the rip wasn't even half as bad as when I fixed it (did I mention I fixed the couch???)

I also did my Brazil Butt Lift this morning after a long while of not doing it because the DVD died - easily remedied with Michael's AV receiver. I don't know why I stopped, especially since I got results! Why did I have to wait until my butt became unbearable (to me), to start again??

So many questions!

But the point is - I found my motivation, and beat that not-so-good day - and fixed my couch!



It feels good.



Sunday, January 29, 2012

Getting It Back....

My slightly off week culminated this morning as we ran out the door late for church to the soundtrack of me yelling at the kids. Not cool.

How it started.....

I have been pottering around since the children went back to school...gym/running, basic cleaning, time with myself - but I have felt lonely, entirely unproductive and have not had the desire to do anything greater than that or enjoy the time I had to myself. Although, I must the admit the constant rain hasn't helped - aside from motivating me to mop the floor more often! (There is something about wanting my family to come home to clean floors on rainy days...)


So this morning I was sitting in sacrament meeting praying my frustrated heart out because I wasn't feeling it - and yes, going from yelling to reverence is kinda hard - and I really wanted to be feeling it. 


As I partook of the sacrament I was brutally aware of all the things I needed to repent of, and how I felt like I was constantly falling short of the person I wanted and was striving to be. I wanted to grade myself with a big phat "Fail" and my eyes leaked as I listened to the speakers. I knew that I hadn't been trying my best and that I needed to get back on course. 

My fervent prays were heard, and the words of the hymns resonated with my soul......The only one I remember is the last....listen to it here


More Holiness Give Me


More holiness give me, more strivings within.
More patience in suffering, more sorrow for sin.
More faith in my Savior, more sense of His care.
More joy in His service, more purpose in prayer.

More gratitude give me, more trust in the Lord.
More zeal for His glory, more hope in His Word.
More tears for His sorrows, more pain at His grief.
More meekness in trial, more praise for relief.

More purity give me, more strength to o'ercome,
More freedom from earth-stains, more longings for home.
More fit for the kingdom, more useful I'd be,
More bless├Ęd and holy, more, Savior, like Thee.


After my little reflective teary, I  was able to focus and enjoy the rest of my classes and by the end of church my spirit was lifted, I was happy. And as I type this I have regained again my conviction and zest for life - I have remembered all the things I was wanting to achieve in this little "holiday" before university starts back...and I have promised myself I would not neglect my Visiting Teaching sisters another week even if I am temporarily companion-less! 

Here's to an awesome week ahead!!! 

PS. While we were in church Michael leaned over and inquired as to the origins of my sookiness. When I told him, his response was to remind me of myself two years ago - I remembered, and maybe shuddered a little. I have come a long way since then. I think I will save that memory, for the time again when my eyes are leaking for my inadequacies and failures. I will remind myself how important it is to look back every so often....and see how far I have come. 


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Enjoying It....

I have been doing a lot of blog reading these holidays (Blogs are the new holiday novels for me - the reality TV version, maybe...but far more quality viewing most definitely). One blog in particular, 'CJane , Enjoy It' - Its taking me ages because I decided to read her blog from the beginning. The thing I like about blogs - the honest ones - is that there is no agenda. Its a journey you take as a reader and you gain your own insights from someone else's life experiences....it always reminds me of a saying I heard from a John Bytheway tape back when I was a teenager (note to parents, and to my future self: Teenagers Do Listen). It was a twist on a Chinese Proverb..."A wise man learns from experience, a super wise man learns from others experiences." 

CJane is a writer and began her blog writing about being infertile and enjoying it. In the course of 5 years (I am only up to 2010) she wrote about accepting her infertility, then she became pregnant and wrote about that, and then her baby and experience with motherhood. Then her sister and brother-in-law were in a serious plane crash and she looked after their three children for six months (along with her super supportive family) while they recovered - and wrote about that. Then she got pregnant again....(anyway, you get the picture). Sprinkle that with humour, spirituality, body/food issues, a stud of a husband, a touch sarcasm and a delightful dose of humble narcissism and you have a brilliant blog....and the reason why I have had to be dragged out of the house for the last month and have been having bizarre dreams about a person I don't even know. (Not weird at all!)

So anyway, you have the background. Yesterday I read this post about how there is seasons in our lives for everything and she was in a her season for babies. That she just really needed be there, enjoy it and forget about the rest, for the moment. It got me thinking about my season for babies....and I got a little angry.

I thought about how my (then) husband over shadowed my life with his needs, his discontent, his anger, his mental issues, his art, his music, his life - so much so, that it over shadowed my season of babies. I thought about how unfair it was that I spent my pregnancies, my labours,my baby time.... stressing, and dealing with somebody else problems. Often it felt like I had one extra toddler instead of a husband to support me. Of course I loved him, which was why I spent those years completely torn between my children and my husband, and losing all sense of myself - in addition to severely hampering my ability to enjoy that precious time of my life and the life of my children. Instead I spent those years simply surviving and hoping that my babies would get enough from me, that they would turn out ok. 

Don't get me wrong I had parts to play in that time being how it was, I can't put all the blame on him. (Unfortunately!) It's because of this that I sometimes wish for that time back, and sometimes that wish turns into wanting another baby. But I know that it is only for wanting to have that season again - and hoping to do it better a second time around and to have the chance to enjoy it more. I am pretty certain my time is over though, and that saddens me, because although I made the choice I wasn't ready for it....and I have yet to make peace with the wanting. This is compounded by the fact that my youngest starts school next week - and its hurting. 

I chose to marry somebody who physically couldn't have anymore children (although if I desperately wanted it, I know he would find a way)and I knowingly moved on to the next phase in my life. With the help of a blog (thank you CJane!), I have made the decision this year to really enjoy my season of life - of older children, university, nurturing my talents and serving others - in particular my family, I have no excuses this time - they should be getting all of me. 

I choose to enjoy it!


Monday, January 16, 2012

My Brilliant Day And New Years Resolutioning....In Review (Part 2)

This Sunday has been fabulous....I wish I could bottle the sweet (a word so cheesy and over used, but I know no other to satisfy my description) spirit that has accompanied me this day.

Its gentle nudging insights throughout my classes

the unity I felt with the other women in Relief Society

The awesome feeling as I made lunch for me family, man, I love those guys!

Watching my wonderful husband bonding with the children - he committed to watching "Spiderman" with Master J, and to helping Ash build his catapult. (He also drove away because I was 20mins late coming out of church....but he did come back before I even knew he left, so I forgive him).

I hope I can maintain this feeling for the rest of the day....and most of all, I hope I can remember it.


I can't think of a better time to finish my 2011 goal review......

7. Follow the '5 Laws of Gold'
I felt so inspired by that book when I read it (YOU have to read it!) and ever since, almost every pay, I and then we (when we got married) have put aside 10% of our money, in addition to tithing for 'jingle money' (read the book!). This is money for investment purposes only - to assist in the making of more money for ourselves and our family. I admit, I haven't been perfect, I have dipped into it a few times - but on the whole I have been pretty good with it (The 'I' because I am the boss of this one!). This shall most certainly be a continuing practice - I endeavour to do better this year.

8. Compete in the West Coast Swing Dance Championships in October
This didn't happen. I was all set to, but I could not justify the costs involved at the time. 
However,I did make the finals in the Jack and Jill competition at Swingsation last year....and I am aiming high this year!

9. Start a vegetable garden/Food Sorage
Well, I started a herb garden. However, only 3 of the 6 sets of seeds I planted sprouted....found out some that I thought were successfully growing were weeds = fail. At the moment I have parsley, thyme (doing very well, and will be super great in the vegetable soup I have been craving to make all day), and chives (kinda dismal). So, clearly I still have a lot to learn about gardening...progress is good though, right? I may try some flowers this year too. 

I can happily say I have started building my food storage! 

Humble beginnings....in addition to my pantry

I now have a cupboard dedicated to it (too messy for a photo) - not expanding as fast as I would like, but doing well. Keep up the good work me!! 


10. Get a part time job in accounting
Not successful at all! I have applied for lots of jobs, had one promising interview and re-written my application letter so many times, that it's brilliant. I would be begging me to give me a job based on my letter! (Yes, it is THAT good!) I have been praying and fasting for months and concluded that maybe it wasn't the right time for me to be working and studying. Or maybe there is something better waiting for me. Regardless I have no job, but I am still trying to be positive and staying focused on my studies and my family. 

11. Do well in my studies
WIN! I did great this year! 3 D-istinctions and one C-redit. It was getting a Distinction in Business Law that gave me the confidence I needed to go hard and apply for the combined Accounting/Law degree I had considered, but needed higher grades to get into. I worked really hard and am very happy with my results - Yes, I am hoping for more this year!

12. Less Facebooking....More Blogging
I don't know how successful I been on this one. I am thinking I did not do as much blogging as I would have liked...but oh, how I love Facebook! This girl loves to share and good ol' FB knows it - endless statuses (random, insightful, amusing - hopefully), sharing music via my second best friend YouTube, photos, links.....Facebook I love you! and lets not forget my love affair with Google....but that is a whole other post in itself! And of course, I was studying really hard (see above). 

A quite successful year I would think. But I am wondering, there must be something said for the Law of Attraction and the nature of Goals in general. Although I did not review my list often, or at all - I did well accomplishing, to some degree, almost everything I set out to do. Maybe this year I will do a vision board and knock my goals out of the park!

Is it too presumptuous to add a kitchen like this to my vision board??
Although this doesn't have a breakfast bar for sitting and chatting - I need that! 



Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New Years Resolutioning......In Review

You can find my original post here.

I have to admit, most shamefully, that I probably looked at that post a handful of times throughout the whole year! That is a rather generous statement, since I do not recall any of these times...

However....

In looking back now I am patting myself on the back because I have done quite brilliant in achieving - or at least making a great start on most of them....

Indulge me, if you will, as I review....

1. Be prepared
Thanks to my awesome wall calendar - I have definitely been more prepared throughout the year. (And my dear husband thought it would be a passing fad...whatevs, kind sir!)

Oh, and did I mention I already have the children's uniforms (including shoes) and books sorted for this year? Oh, yes I do. And that my friends, would be a first!

2. Be Early
I am happy to report that we are usually early/on time to most events, especially church. However most thanks has to go to my husband for that achievement. Although I have also been early for most of my uni classes (except lectures...they don't count!) so...yay me!

However, I have just recalled the school run  (its easy to forget since we are in the middle of holidays)...I am not doing so well on that front....hmm continuing goal for this year perhaps?

3. Attend The Temple
When I set this goal I thought it was a rather lofty one - and it was with great hope that I added it to my list. I put a lot of effort into kicking old vices and prepared myself, as best I could. My goal was achieved the night before my 31st birthday.  It was a wonderful experience I was able to share with some members of my family and close friends. I felt overwhelming love and support from everyone. An intense (I am not going to lie) but brilliant, life altering, experience - 12 years in the making!

4.Nurture My Family's Spirituality
I have to think about this one...and I am not too sure how to measure it. We had family home evening most weeks (we have gotten out of the habit lately - totally my fault, the children do remind me...not so prepared here -  It isn't on my calendar!)

We have daily family prayer, attend church regularly (It was quite challenging for a bit as the children were not used to the habit - now they are wonderful and hardly complain = win!) and often talk of spiritual things. So when I look back we are definitely growing more spiritual as a family....'tis a good thing! I hope this years breeds more of the same! 

5. Eat Clean
My/our diet is always improving - although, as super good as I'm sure it is for us human beans - I don't think I will be aiming to eat 100% clean. Its a hard slog with three children and a limited budget. I am happy with where we are at and aiming for more healthy culinary experimentation this year...sorry family!! Of course, plenty of dessert too - you know how I love making new desserts!

6. Train And Run A Half Marathon
I trained - I was awesome! I got up to running about 20km - I was awesome! However, when I went to enter myself into the race I realised it was going to cost just over $100 to enter. Possibly I should have checked this before I started training...regardless it was too expensive for me at the time and I settled for being awesome in my training efforts. I was able to listen to entire General Conference sessions on my iPod running that far.....yes, I was awesome.



I think I will leave it on that, most awesome, point...my stomach is growling....and I don't know where all the children are.

Stay tuned for part two....

I tried 'ragging' my hair last year too - didn't work so well...I don't have a lot of hair!!




Tell me your yearly successes so I can humbly revel with you!!!






Thursday, January 5, 2012

My Artistic Bone....

I am a self confessed non-artist....I do not feel like I have a creative bone in my body...alas!

So, might I add, being married to an artist for six years did wonders for my creative self esteem....a little sarcasm there, if you missed it. But he did teach me one things - ok....maybe two.


One - I learned to appreciate art, and I have a growing love for emerging artists. (This perhaps comes from me still trying to prove myself as a supportive wife to a 'starving artist'....or some psychological, subconscious motivation. Whatever.) I  especially love buying art, prints - I still cannot afford originals (I wish!), from people I know or friends of friends or artists I have actually had a conversation with. (There needs to be some sort of personal connection


and Two - I have discovered a love of getting pictures framed. I feel like I can add a little of my own creative flair (I cannot type/say that word without thinking of 'Office Space' - still a hilarious movie!) and somehow enhance the already brilliant piece of art (clearly I would not purchase art that was lacking in brilliance!)

I currently own four pieces (including one from my ex) by difference artists that I have gotten framed - most of them are small. Here is my latest edition by Erin Hammill...I have had it unframed for awhile because its larger than what I am used to, and I was worried about the $$ to frame - wasn't nearly as expensive as I thought...It feels so good to have it finally on my wall! You can see it as soon as you walk into the house and it looks fabulous!

I am in mad, passionate love with the frame.....


My other prints are by Elisabeth Bell, John Summerfield, and Steven Bowerman (a seasoned local artist).




Do you love art??





Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Christmas....Part Two

It was so great to have Christmas fall on a Sunday this year. I was CRAVING it! I was in tears two days before because I had so much trouble wading through the commercialisation and the busyness of the season and finding Christ at the centre. Which was rather bizarre since we attend church every Sunday and strive to live a "Christ centred life". (I think it is a reflection of my lacking personal scripture study - a goal of mine for the new year)

It was good to be at church and to partake of the sacrament, sit with my family and just listen (as much as possible, there were two wards in one chapel - lots of child noise!).


My super studly husband sporting his new glassed and Christmas tie - post church

After opening our presents I finished making my sweet potato salad and we headed off to Michael's brother's house for his family's Christmas lunch. It was fabulous...meat, prawns and salads and great company. A very relaxed lunch. I loved it. (On a side note: Michael's brother and his wife were in my ward when I was growing up - although I never met Michael - and I remember wishing they were part of my family. His wife was in the Young Women Presidency and I loved her. Bizarrely, I got my wish, just not in the way that I though!!)


Post lunch we skyped Nana and other family interstate....loving technology! 


We then played a present game with the gifts we bought. We were required to each bring a $5 present, including the children. Then we all picked a number out of a 'hat' (the hand of Michael's sister), that was our order of gift selection. Once the first person had chosen a gift and opened it so everyone could see it, the next person had the option of 'stealing' a gift or selecting one from the unopened pile. I learned that my daughter valued a six pack of ginger beer over make-up (I should have put some in her stocking, note to self for next year), which alas she lost to Michael's sister-in-law (the one I love). She ended up, quite happily, with a massive tray of Maltesers.  Michael's son ended up with the make-up, but a kind hearted cousin (I think it was the one I want to marry my brother - it would be quite a lovely match methinks - shhhh, I don't think either of them read my blog) did a sympathy trade and he got a tie instead. 


During the game I committed a terrible gifting transgression - and I felt guilty for days! 

I chose my own gift!!!


Ugh....I couldn't help myself - it was this.....




Again: I couldn't help it - I desired it for myself as soon as I purchased it. Seriously, how good it Dr. Seuss?? Answer: Brilliant! Rhyming rocks my world...


I felt like I was slightly redeemed later in the week when Amelie wrapped up some of our Dr. Seuss collection (we had doubles...thank goodness) and gifted it to Michael other son (not the make-up/tie one) who we visited on Boxing Day. I still feel residual guilt at my Dr Seuss greed -I don't think I will be doing that again. 


Back to Christmas....


After gifting we all slept and the kids played quietly with their new toys - shock and bliss.....


That sure was my kind of Christmas  - I think I married into the right family


Have I posted my creative daughter's nativity scene?