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 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 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...


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, 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?