Friday, December 27, 2013

Long Time No See....

Hello Blog, it's the day after, the day after Christmas, and I have been thinking about  you.....I think it's time we saw each other a little more....

Its been almost a year since I have written anything - I put too much pressure on myself to Gratitude daily and I couldn't keep up, so I quit. Standard procedure.

Over the last month I have been blog writing in my head - I miss it.

No pressure this time.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

365 Days of Gratitude: Days 68 - 78

So I have dropped the ball a little....Last, last weekend was a bit eventful. I was released from my calling as a Primary Teacher, well that actually happened this Sunday because of last Sunday.

The last few weeks of Sunday teaching for me had been getting harder and harder. I was completely bogged down by feelings of obligation in almost every area of my life. I would be preparing my lesson on Sunday morning and thinking "I don't want to be doing this...", "how I can I testify and teach about this principle if I am just not feeling it?" Church for me is different from other aspects of my life, the rest just grind on no matter how I am feeling, but my religious experience is so completely dependant on my spiritual health. This means that in order for me to fully serve my Primary class and I need to be nourished. And yes, I know we are all up and down sometimes with our commitment and attention to spiritual things but I didn't feel like I was getting any better. I started not wanting to go to church at all.

This all came to a head on that Sunday. I had 12 children to teach because one of the other teachers wasn't there. It happens, teaching is a voluntary role. Which was fine, really, because it was my old class so I knew them well. The problem started when I realised that I had prepared the wrong lesson, because I have been away for 2 weeks (one for a dancing commitment and the other, because I just couldn't drag myself there) and I misjudged where we were up to. The children had already had the lesson that I was about to teach. So instead of rehashing it I decided to have a quiz.

I am not a person that functions well thinking on my feet, so it was a little messy from the beginning. What made it worse was that two brothers that I normally have my individual classes who are fine by themselves, together were a nightmare! They were hiding under chairs and and being totally distracting. We are not a school, not qualified teachers so we do not discipline - if we encounter bad behaviour (this was a first time for me) we are required to take the child to their parents. Problem is these two boys would not listen, the wouldn't come out of class at all. Eventually the Primary President came in took control - and I was happy to give it, but them I was barely holding it together.

After class I was a wreck. I sat it the toilet, crying and praying. I couldn't do it any more.

I didn't want to ask for a release, because that just isn't done, well it is, but I guess it shouldn't be. At least that it how I felt. You accept you calling to serve until it is over. The flip side was that if I couldn't stop teaching I was going to stop going to church. I was hiding from all of the Primary ladies but one found me and took me to the mother's room and I cried again as I shared with her how I was feeling. Like a complete failure, that's what! She told me that it was far better for me to stop teaching than to stop going to church over it. She also expressed her gratitude to me for being such a reliable teacher over the past year - and told me not to feel like a failure. (Trying to!) It was important for me to take care of myself  first.

So I walked out of church that Sunday relieved and completely grateful.

Then I took a break. Blogging had started to feel like an obligation too. Instead stopping however I have decided to modify - I think I need reduce my posts to every second day, or every week. I will see how it goes.

These past 11 days I have been grateful for....

My blow up that Sunday. For without it being so difficult nothing would have come of it and I would still be trying to grind on, feeling worse every week. I am grateful for the opportunity to get back to me and to focus on my spiritual experience every Sunday.

Surviving another week of school. It always feels like that, I just manage to get my homework or my readings done the morning - or half hour - before my classes. I wish I could get on top of it more, although it feels like this is just the nature of full time study with a family. I acknowledge there is space for me to try harder though, so I am not so frazzled all the time. Working on it!

My thrifty husband. I love that he is so responsible and cautious with our financial circumstances. Sometimes his thrift is quite hilarious though.....I like to buy the children dressing gowns or winter PJs for Easter and this year mum bought them PJs and I was buying the dressing gowns. I was talking about it with Michael and of course he said we can't afford it, which was followed by the response 'I will make them myself'. It is the usual response and has been quite a running joke with me, because often it is in response to things he most definitely cannot make! when I wanted to buy a wall clock! (Recently instead of getting a new power cord for the laptop, he spent a whole weekend messing around with his power tester, soldering, cutting wires...etc - but by the end of it the cord works brilliantly and you wouldn't even know that he cut an inch if it. He saved some money and was very pleased with himself.)

So dressing gowns. He is most definitely making them. Instead of buying material he has purchased coral fleece blankets from KMart which are far cheaper - queen size for $19. The challenge has grown to making some for his grandchildren as well....7 in total. Currently his 4 down with 3 to go and getting better and better with each one.

Love my super talented husband!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 67

Yesterday I was thankful for....

Early morning study time, and the chance to sleep when I am tired. Jack wet the bed, it happens twice a week lately, he is still in training but getting a lot better. Unfortunately afterwards I couldn't get back to sleep - this was at 2am. It was not very useful laying in bed so I got up and did a couple of hours of study. I don't know why I am so productive at that time of morning, I hate that I am, but it works.

The flip side to a super productive morning is that I was exhausted by 11am. Very thankful that all the kids are at school and I get to catch up when I don't get enough sleep. I remember those days too well when they were little and I was constantly exhausted and sleep was awful.

Family time and Psych Pizza Night. Woot!!

Friday, March 8, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 66

Yesterday I was thankful for.....

Time with friends. More specifically my best friend, the only person I have even been able to swap shoes with (size 10 too!), my bridesmaid....who helped make my wedding one of the best days of my life....Evette.

I have known Evette for almost 5 years, I cannot believe it has been that long! Our sons were both in Prep together. I had just left my first husband and I was a mess. Withdrawn, ridiculously insecure, anxiety girl. She noticed that my son was wearing a "Huonville Primary School" school jumper and started a conversation with me. She had grown up in Huonville. Of course she was from Tassie, she was the funkiest mum there.

We became instant friends, with the help of our boys being best mates. She watched me heal, listened to me wax long about myself, my future, the men that I dabbled with, drank with me, shared her wisdom, her insecurities, laughed with me....and confirmed my feelings that Michael was most definitely a keeper.

I don't get to see her much. I moved further away and we are both so busy with work/uni/family etc that it is hard to catch up. But when we do, it is awesome and I cherish it, and wish those times were far more frequent.

Yesterday we went op shop, piles of clothes - over three hours of girlie awesomeness. We talked and tried on clothes, swapping them above the change room stalls. It was so fun...we must do it again...soon.

We lunched and talked more. I wish we didn't have to pick up the kids, because we probably could have talked all day. Sometimes I wonder if we had unlimited time, how long could we actually talk for? hmmm.....

Thursday, March 7, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 65

Yesterday I was thankful for....

The coffee shop right outside my lecture theatre. I was exhausted all day, not really sure why. As I was falling asleep doing the readings for my lecture in morning I knew it was going to be bad....Argh! Lectures are bad at the best of times! It is just not my method of learning - I cannot be spoken at for 2 hours and not feel drowsy. How is that going to stimulate my mind!?

Anyway, I was clock watching, pinching myself and trying not to close my eyes for too long, counting the minutes until the halfway break. I was thankfully saved by a decaf skinny mocha, or maybe it was just the act of getting up and walking around.

That was the day I wish I drank coffee....though from experience I am pretty sure caffeine doesn't do anything for me.

Trying not to fall asleep at inappropriate moments is torture! 
(One of my most embarrassing falling asleep moments was an out of office training on a new accounting system 12 years ago. There was only three of us, and this chick was talking on and on....and I was falling asleep, my head lolling everywhere. It was so humiliating!!)

Do you think that means I would be really easy to hypnotise? hmmm

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 64

Yesterday I was thankful for.....

Just getting through the day. Seriously, 8am lectures....really? I am done just getting the kids off to school....*sigh* hopefully I can get it together by the end of semester.

Being a half decent cook. It stresses me out a bit, trying to think of something - but I am thankful I can bust out a healthy meal with time pressure. Last night it was Spanakopita, out of the oven as I was heading out the door again for a night lecture.

An awesome husband that picks up the slack. When I am busy Michael gets a chance to show his true colours, he is amazing. He hangs out the washing, washes up, sweeps the floor...etc etc awesome, awesome, awesome. I wouldn't be able to study full time without his help.

15min kettlebell workout a friend shared with me. It's fabulous. Weight and cardio at the same - I prefer hard and fast than long workouts. I managed to squeeze it in after uni just before I picked up the kids from the school. Win!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 63

Yesterday I was thankful for....

My neck being almost healed.

The motivation to do my Accounting Theory homework. A serious achievement. This subject is brutal.

Another successful tentative attempt at Family Home Evening. During dinner we talked about Easter and I made chocolate chip hot cross buns for dessert - they weren't great....but hey, they were made with love, or haste. Whatever. A bit of both. We followed it all with an episode of "Once Upon a Time". Oh, the moral dilemmas of fairytale characters. Love it!

Monday, March 4, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 62

Yesterday I was thankful for....

My husband taking the children to church even though I wasn't going. The stiffness and pain in my neck was worse, I slept terribly during the night. In all honesty though, I was feeling extremely down in spirit as well.

As I was preparing my lesson, everything I read rang true, yet it didn't pierce my heart. I just couldn't feel it. How could I possibly testify of the restoration of the priesthood to my primary class if I didn't feel it? I knew that it was my fault that I wasn't feeling the spirit, and that really depressed me. I couldn't even bring myself to pick up my scriptures.

Michael willing took the children to church without me, which is a blessing in itself. I am grateful for my husband's constancy and that our whole family's spiritual learning doesn't stop because I am having an off day.

Tomorrow being a new day. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 61

Yesterday I was grateful for....

Honestly, I can't really think what happened yesterday - let alone specific things I was grateful for.

I was tired after the night's midnight ice cream indulgence and couldn't get back to sleep. I got up and did a bit of study .Ash was up with me, not being able to get back to sleep after Michael came home either.

Combat. It was hard and my face was red afterward - fabulous!

Arriving home to clean bedrooms and no dishes in the sink. Thanks to Michael for cracking the whip over the kids to get their Saturday chores done.

I fluffed around on and fantasised about what art I wanted in my home.

I do not like many of Gustav Klimt's pieces - but this one is gorgeous!

I had a 20 min nap and woke up with a stiff next.

An opportunity to step outside my comfort zone. I nervously said the opening prayer at a friend's daughters baptism.

It rained constantly.

A home that keeps us safe, dry and warm.

I didn't do any study.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 60

Yesterday I was grateful for....

A movie date with my husband. He had an RDO,  and I inadvertently wagged my first Public Law lecture....honestly, read my timetable wrong - thought my tute was my lecture.

We lunched on Subway and watched 'I Give It A Year'....*sigh* it was crap. I was so disappointed because I did want something light and funny, and I love British movies - but this one, don't bother. I am usually so particular with the movies I watch - storyline, content etc. I was waaay wrong with this one.

Still, it was awesome just having a day with Super Stud.

Psych Night!!! Oh yeah! We have been waiting for a year and half for the return of our favourite show.

We all were so excited. I made pizzas and we ate in front of the was such a good episode! Now that it is back on, we get to have Psych Night every Friday night. Yay!!

Midnight ice cream treat. Before Michael left for dancing I asked him to bring me an ice cream home with him. I didn't have high expectations, and plus I am always asleep anyway at 1.30-2am! 

But he did.

I had a midnight Maxibon snack....awesome. 

He also relayed a back and forth he had with the 7-11 guy: 

Super Stud: I have to bring my wife home an ice cream or I am in trouble...but in the morning she will be disappointed and complaining about her butt.

7-11 Guy: Yeah, my wife would complain about her butt too. 

Super Stud: But I like her butt the way it is. 

7-11 Guy: Well, if she lost her butt she wouldn't have any boobs, and I like her with boobs.

Super Stud: Yeah, I like my wife with boobs too.

Good to know.

Friday, March 1, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 59

Yesterday I was grateful for.....

A crazy awesome workout. I am totally thankful to my girl, Faith, and her crushing weekly workouts. 25mins hard out has me sore in all the right places for a couple of days.

 "You can go hard, or you can go home...."

Beef Stroganoff. It's been awhile since I have made it.

Don't know why though, because it is so so good! 

I like to make mine simply with beef (blade steak bashed with a rolling pin), onion and mushrooms, stock, plain flour, s&p and plain yoghurt - but I discovered yesterday that adding worcestershire sauce adds a super tasty dimension and great colour. Oh yeah - and served with  large shell pasta.

Am I the only that growls at anyone that would dare tip the left over gravy down the sink? Baby, I am having that ish for lunch over pasta!......mmmm

Thursday, February 28, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 58

Yesterday I was grateful for....

My decision to transfer to a Law/Commerce degree. I love the study of Law far more that I do accounting, and am very glad I went with my gut feeling on that one. Although, I still have no idea what career path I want to take. 

Law is such a diverse field, and I really want to find my niche. 

Something that fits my personality, sparks my passion and has me excited to get up to go to work every most days.  Luckily I have until 2016 to find out! 

Squeezing in a smashing 15mins kettle bell workout. After uni and before school pick up. I felt like a champion.

Having neighbours who, both husband and wife, studied and work in the field of Law....And the opportunity to talk about study and career options with wife when she came over to pick up bread. (I do the charity bread run for the church in our area)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 57

Yesterday I was thankful for....

Being able change tutorial classes. I had a 5pm tutorial and all the other time slots were full. I was concerned, so was Michael, he didn't know how he would be able to get back home so early from Brisbane (an hour train ride away) to look after the children so I could go.

We had to figure it out. I prayed for help because I knew that it was something that we needed to work out for us. I decided that I would sent an email to my  course convener to try and get a different class. However, before I completed the email, I checked enrolments and see if any spaces had showed up.

All the tutorials were filled except for one - right after the lecture, which is normally the most sort after time. What a blessing, I was able to get the perfect class. So grateful.

Getting a road carpark so I didn't have to pay for parking.

Getting the last hot chicken at the supermarket. Chicken sandwiches for the kids lunches - yay!!

Michael hanging rope in the garage so I have an inside clothes line. My washing isn't piling up in all this rain - and we save electricity by not having a dryer.

My husband. Yesterday was our 2nd wedding anniversary. It was a hectic day, I was at university until late but it didn't matter. He had bought me a hard drive - I wanted one because I had nearly filled up my current one with all my favourite TV shows. Not quite romantic - but the card had me all teary, and my husband is definitely not a card man!

I bought him a HUGE mug half filled with Hersheys Kisses - Michael didn't like them....I admit I didn't really like them either. Note to self: Only buy Australian chocolate - I forget how good ours is!

It wasn't really a super amazing night, although we had already had a night together on the I didn't mind.

I am just incredibly thankful to have him in my life. He is my opposite in quite a few ways, but it has worked out perfectly. He balances me and encourages me to be the best ME by simply accepting me for who I am. Oh yeah, and he also infuriates me beyond belief - passion, right?

I never thought marriage could be this good. I love you Big Stud!! mwa!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 56

Yesterday I was thankful for....

Persevering with children that were driving me mental and having Family Home Evening. When we finally got to it, another lesson on prayer. Touching briefing again on the importance of prayer and the blessings that come from communicating regularly with our Heavenly Father. We also discussed how and when we can pray.

For the food 'treat' I made pretzels, they were a disaster. (At least Ash tried to like them for me - what a sweet kid!) Everyone had ice cream instead.

Making yummy minestrone soup. I was right no one else really liked it except me. *sigh* On the plus side, I have a few containers of healthy, tasty soup for me!

Body Attack. I know it probably gets old, that most of my gratitude posts have some kind of reference to exercise. But I am thankful! Thankful that I get the opportunity to workout in a class taken buy a super bouncy 'woo girl', that sings notoriously badly to all the tracks, but makes me work oh so harder than I would on my own. Woot!

Monday, February 25, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 55

Yesterday I was thankful for....

My marriage surviving learning a dance routine with my husband. I swear it was touch and go at one point. Quite a few times that morning I was thinking we couldn't possibly stay married if we can't learn a dance without getting cranky at each other, maybe we are just not compatible....etc. There were a lot of prayers in my head, that I would be able to be kind to my husband, despite my frustrations.

But seriously, how many couples learn dance routines together? Let it be stated now, that I am super grateful that I get to dance with my husband. By the end of the day we had nailed the whole thing, quite rough in places, but pretty damn impressive in my opinion.

What doesn't break you only makes you stronger.....right?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 54

Yesterday I was thankful for....

The opportunity to use one of my talents. I have always believed we are all given talents, and it is our responsible to use and improve them. You know, the parable of the talents. I used to be anxious because I knew I was reasonably good at dancing, but I didn't know what I could do to use it (other than dancing around the house to reduce stress)....let alone improve it. Mostly after I had children....I wondered how I could possibly dance, in any form, with a family?

Then in 2010 I met my second husband and he introduced me to freestyle partner dancing, modern jive and I discovered west coast swing from there.

Today I dropped the children off to spend the weekend with family while Michael and I were learning a dance routine to an acoustic cover of 'Somebody that I used to know' . I like routines because we have something to perform at church events, should we get the opportunity - to promote our dance style and to share our love for dancing.

It was a hard day. We learned 1 min 50 secs of choreography in 6 hours. My legs were sore, my feet was sore, my back was sore....and my brain was fried.

It was awesome!

Time to celebrate our second anniversary. We were exhausted, but jumped at the chance to be able to go out to dinner without the children. We ate yummy gourmet burgers in Broadbeach, and I tried to get all sentimental about our love and marriage - Michael wasn't having it. His definition of romance is 'being a dick' -quote. However, I am super grateful for his spontaneous gifts and creativity...loving my home made Valentines PJ's, my watermelon coloured phone and my gorgeous red leather uni laptop case, to name a few. This girl is taking what she can get, and loves her guy for who he is - so what if he is garbage at writing in cards, waxing lyrical about love and traditional romantic gestures? - I know he loves me.  

Saturday, February 23, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 53

Yesterday I was thankful for*....

Being able to enjoy my last official day of holidays. I went to the gym, I tidied my house, I watched 3 episodes of 'The Mentalist', I made macaroni cheese (I decided I need to change my recipe, using just white sauce tastes a little too greasy), made brownies, watched my son lick the bowl, had an awesome visit and from a good, not often seen, friend, and had quality time with my husband.

Getting some sense of organisation to the house. It's a small thing, but my washing has been folded daily for the better part of the week (Wow!!). I have enforced a weekly cleaning regime for the kids and their rooms and playroom has been tidy for most of the week. The house looks good, and I feel prepared for the new semester of study.

*My gratitude is most often not going to be earth shattering or probably terribly interesting, but its genuine. I like that I am becoming able to find gratitude in the every day, seemingly mundane, routine of life.

Friday, February 22, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: day 52

Yesterday I was thankful for....

Time apart from my husband. He doesn't go away often for work and he was only away for one night, but I missed him. I truly think absence does make the heart grow fonder. I love having the space to think about my love for him and the place he has in my life (in case you are wondering, I don't just sit around and moon over him but these are thoughts that run through the back of my mind while I am enjoying my time alone), and being excited to see him when he comes home. I guarantee he doesn't think about me as much, although he did say this time he did because of a movie he was watching about a single mother and her controlling second husband. He said it made him want, even more, to give me a good life and happiness.

A productive afternoon. Some days things run relatively smoothly after school - moments I love to savour. Ash had soccer straight after school so I took the others to the library and grocery store, where the security guard told me off  (in Amelie's ear shot) for her not wearing shoes - hilarious for me, because I am always telling her to keep her shoes on...hopefully she will listen. 

At home the kids did their homework and put their clean clothes away without complaint so I was able to prepare dinner in peace. Fabulous.

However, It went a little down hill at dinner, because I felt sick and wasn't there cracking the whip over them to eat....but we won't go there!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 51

Yesterday I was grateful for....

Mum having a day off. So that when I called her in a mini melt down I was able to talk to her. Nothing was majorly wrong, I think I was just feeling stagnant. The children are all at school and I spend my days alone - gym, cleaning the house and picking up after other people. An endless ground hog day of thankless/payless service.
Thank goodness university starts again next week - otherwise I would be looking for a job.

Quality time with Ash. We both loves movies and awesome TV shows, and that is an area that we easily bond. Last night I let him sneak out of bed and watch a new murder mystery show with me. I love my boy!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 50

Yesterday I was thankful for.....

Sh'bam. Dance fitness class, first mentioned HERE. I have a love/hate relationship with this class....I spend the first half wanting to bolt and breathing through, what feels like, panic. My comfort zone is very small and I loathe feeling ridiculous...But the end I am finally in a groove and don't want it to stop...then I want to go the video store and rent 'Fame' - cannot believe I still haven't seen that movie.
But seriously, its a kinda awesome class. Loads of fun, lots of jazz running and some leaping...I feel like a kid in the early 90's again!

Date night. Not a huge event - watching 'Elementary' followed by a couple of episodes of 'The Mentalist' (it's growing on me), eating popcorn, chocolate etc....and falling asleep on my husband. Simple, but I love it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 49

Yesterday I was thankful for.....

Group workout classes. From the moment I got up I felt sluggish.Going through the motions seemed the only way the kids were getting to school, let alone anything else getting done.  I had planned some gym action - a treadmill run, maybe some weights - instead I aimlessly wondered the gym floor like a fool, changing my mind on every piece of equipment I got to. Thankfully I noticed that Body Attack was on - yay! - meaning, I would be forced to do a workout, it would be hard and I wouldn't be temped quit halfway through....

Yeah, about my fitness exclamations two days before - they were premature and unfounded.....Attack smashed me!! On the plus side, plenty or room to progress!

My mother the Naturapath. Or witch doctor as my husband likes to call her. I am super grateful for her knowledge as well as the fact that she works at a health food store and I get a significant discount on my supplements.
This is a point of contention between my husband and I. He believes I don't need anything and any issues I have are all in my head - affectionately of course! Aside from a crap case of psycho PMT once a month and stomach aches, I struggle with my moods and random depression - probably residual damage from seven years of heavy marijuana use and intense stress...ugh.....drugs are bad, mkay?

Family Home Evening. We did it! I was sick of stressing about trying to do a lesson and just decided to have it anyway - it will improve with time. I decided to focus on something I believed that our family needed to work on - Prayer. We have family prayer in the morning and pray over dinner at night, but our personal prayers are significantly lacking.
I talked to them over dinner about the importance of building a relationship with Heavenly Father and how a habit of prayer is a benefit to our lives. I decided to stick with the topic of 'prayer' for a month for FHE lessons, I like the idea of a monthly focus like they have in Primary at church.
Our dessert was chocolate muffins with Nutella centres and our activity was watching the latest episode of "Once Upon A Time' together. It is a favourite show for us to watch as a family. I love the moral dilemmas that the characters have, and think they are a great teaching tool for the children. I get so excited at the developments in the story that I squeal, pause it to make exclamations and squeeze my sons it!

Going to bed with a clean kitchen. It doesn't always happen - I am so exhausted at night.

Monday, February 18, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 48

Yesterday I was thankful for....

Australia specific Stake Conference. Once a year we have a video conference where the Prophet and selected General Authorities and general officers speak to us live via satellite. I look forward to it because, even more, I feel like I am receiving spiritual counsel just for me.
It didn't really turn out how I intended.
I had an argument with Michael just as I was getting ready and I ended up in tears and wasn't going to go. Luckily we worked it out in enough time to arrive 3 mins before conference started. However, I probably should have packed more activities for the kids due to it going for twice as long as normal. They were still well behaved considering they had to sit for 2 hours, but restless enough that I had trouble concentrating. *sigh*

Despite all that, I am glad I went. If anything...we sang my favourite hymn.

An hour of co-operation. I don't know how it happened, but before dinner we all started cleaning, bedrooms, playroom, mopping - and with no fighting between the kids OR Michael and I...Whaat!?! Within an hour the house felt very rarely happens like that - a memory worth savouring.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 47

Yesterday I was thankful for.....

My fitness. It is finally back. I bought some cardio gloves before Christmas due to Combat not being as challenging any more - but since Christmas I haven't been able to use them. I cracked out the gloves on Friday and did well, then forgot them on Saturday - and wished class was harder. Woot!!

The service of others. A friend of mine offered to have the kids over so Michael could sing in the choir for Stake Conference and I could go to some dancing workshops. I repaid her with some Spanakopita (Greek spinach pasties) at her request.

Birthday dates. Mum and Dad have developed a birthday tradition with the grandchildren - a clothes shopping date, lunch and, if its Ash, a movie (he loves movies). Great for me, as I don't have to worry about buying as much clothes for the year and great the kids, because they get way better clothes than if I had bought them. They are rain checking the movie - the "The Great and Powerful Oz" is not out yet.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 46

Yesterday I was thankful for....

Learning.  Tax training has started again and I like, know stuff. Last season was my first. It was scary and I was winging it a lot. I love that going into this year I am more confident and that most returns will be relatively easy. Learning is hard, but knowing stuff....Is awesome.

Momentum. After spending the morning tax training I thought I would continue the flow and head over to university to get prepared for the new year. I am never this organised a week before the semester. I have read all my course profiles, I know when and what my assignments are and what text books I will need. Feeling excited to start the semester!

Friday, February 15, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 45

Yesterday I was thankful for....

Valentine's Day PJ's. 

My super studly husband stayed up to 1.30am to sew me these for V-Day. I love them and cannot wait until it gets colder and I can wear them all the time!! And even better, now he has a pattern and can crank them out for me 'production line' styles. Oh yeah.

A work out buddy. I have never really had a work out buddy *sad face* and have been envious when I hear/see all the people that do. Yesterday I was able to do a weights session with my 'bread run girl' Faith....and it was awesome! She brought all her group fitness, super fit husband knowledge to the table and we went hard! I would never have been able to push myself like that alone - here's to many more hardcore legs sessions!

Love. I am so grateful to have Love in my life - real, fabulous, supportive, makes me wanna be a better person, and drives me crazy but I am still not going anywhere, kind of love. Happy Valentine's Day to the wonderful man that is helping me raise my children, live my dreams and who loves me just the way that I am.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 44

Today I was thankful for....

The power of 15 mins. The context, putting away the clothes mess in Jack's room. I like to clean, I don't like to tidy - so I had to force myself - My timer friend (the microwave) gave me 15 mins to do something....and we all know something is better than nothing
The first 15 mins, clothes done and folding put away. The second 15 mins - the living areas tidy...and then I did a little bit more.
That is what I love about 15 mins, it either motivates you to do more or you just do that and it still has made a difference. Note to self: Use it for other hard to do tasks, study, exercise, Sunday lesson preparation....

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 43

Yesterday I was thankful for....

Opportunities to step outside my comfort zone. I did a Sh'Bam class. Dance looks something like THIS. I felt ridiculous and awkward, although 12 year old me would have loved it! I would go back again - cause I really need to learn how to relax and dance in front of other people....

Getting to birthday shop for Ash. I was anxious because of course I had left it until the last minute, so I was really hoping I would be able to find some things that he liked. Shopping for my almost 10 year old first born son was an emotional experience. I was getting teary all over the place...he is getting so big and he is such a good boy and I remember when he was just a little baby....awww...*tear*

I love other people's (in my family) birthdays. It is a chance for me to spoil them and it makes me so happy and so filled with love trying to think of things that they will like. I love making their favourite dinner and baking their favourite cake. I am also attempting to make 'birthday week' a tradition in our family, my husband hasn't quite caught on. I just love the idea of a week leading up to your birthday getting special privileges - riding 'shotgun' for the week, getting an extra movie on movie night, randomly staying up a little later to hang out with me....etc....Birthday's are so fleeting, I like the extended version.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 42

Yesterday I was thankful for....

The endorphins that come from exercise. I was having an angry day. I was eager to drop the kids off at school to get them away from my poison atmosphere. My friend couldn't come to the gym with me, unfortunately, because I really needed the motivation myself to go. Regardless I decided to do some weights....1:41mins later, including stair climb and a 20 min run....I felt loads better.

Lessons in the kitchen. I am thankful for the silver lining that comes from failure. I decided to make a Pineapple Upside Down Cake yesterday to take to the Lawton family 'family home evening'. I have always been interested in attempting one before, and since I didn't need to buy any extra ingredients (a plus due to it being the end of the pay period) then, was as good a time as any to try.
No one told me how ridiculously hard it is to melt brown sugar and butter together!!
I have learned that a little bit of boiling water makes all the difference to  seized melted sugar. Aside from that little drama - the cake turned out alright. If there was an attempt two, I would put less sugar in the actual cake, not cook the cake in a spring form pan - the toffee leaks out everywhere!, and not drizzle the leaked out toffee on top of the cake...once I had started I knew it was a bad idea but by then I couldn't stop.

An awesome In-Law family. Once a month, usually, we have a Lawton Family Home Evening with my husband's family. This is a pot luck event with everyone bringing a main and a dessert to share and we eat and spend some quality time together. I am always a little nervous, and a lot awkwardly shy when I get there, but when I leave I have had such a good time and am elated to be part of such an awesome family...Love them a whole lot!

Monday, February 11, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 41

Yesterday I was thankful for....

Being a Primary teacher. Every week there is a reason to be thankful for my teaching calling. This week I am grateful because I teach the same lesson as my two older children receive, so I know exactly what they are learning about. In the car on the way home from church, when we do "what did you learn about today?" I can ask all the right questions to make sure they understand the principle and add more information they may have missed out on.

Finally getting it together and doing some visiting teaching. It hasn't been happening, as much as I want it to. I think about my visiting teaching sisters almost daily. My companion and I had never met and although she is in my ward, obviously, and we made Facebook contact I was still to shy to go and say hi....seriously, I have a problem!
This week we finally got it together, she works all week so we decided to meet with our sisters after church. We met with our first this week (we have 3), she was really grateful just to have her visiting teachers seek her out, apparently it had been awhile.
Again I was awkward, the message I had to share was hesitant and stilted. My companion seemed to know her better and they chatted very easily. I was a little envious - why do I find it so hard to talk to people?
But it was a start, and we did it. The message we had to share was on the importance of building friendships with new converts to help support them in their conversion. To me the message was for all of us, that is why visiting teaching is important. We need to take care and look out for the sisters in our ward. People need people, to feel they are loved and valued, especially when they are struggling.
It was hard stepping out of my comfort zone, I am very grateful I did.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 40

Yesterday I was thankful for.....

Running and rain. I don't often run in the rain. I like to have my iPod with me, and rain on glasses isn't really awesome. I tend to bail out and do a treadmill run or nothing else. But yesterday I left my iPod at home, got saturated, spent some time in my head and ran was definitely worth it.

Quality birthday time with my, almost 10 year old, Ash. For a party he chose to have two friends go with him to Timezone. A couple of hours filled with video games, bumper cars, mini golf and laser tag, followed by Hungry Jacks for lunch. He loved it, they love it, I loved it!

I think he was really stoked having time with me doing something he loved....especially considering I rarely, almost never, sit down and play computer games with him anymore.

I now want to go to Timezone for my birthday! I was overjoyed to see 'Guitar Hero' there, a few rounds of that, some car racing, motor bike racing, bashing creatures on the head, shooting in a saloon - and how good is laser tag!?! argh....I had the best time!!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 39

Yesterday I was thankful for.....

Being able to help with the Cooking class at the children's school. Luckily for Amelie, this year the kids get to start cooking in Year 3. They really need parent help for the classes to be effective because without enough volunteers all the children are unable to participate. This cooking class is part of a national Kitchen Garden program in selected schools where the children get to participate in the growing and preparing of food they eat. They weekly alternate between a cooking and a gardening class. One of the main reason I chose this school for my kids - love, love, love it!

So anyway....I helped supervise a group making pasta from scratch and sauce out of tomatoes grown in their garden....and then we got to eat it. Yum!

Being persuaded to share my popcorn with the two oldest children. If you know me, you know about my love for popcorn. I have been known to eat a large box all by myself at the was a challenge I happily accepted.
The plan was to put them to bed and head to my room to watch the latest episode of 'Suits'. Ash and Amelie begged to join me even though the times they were around while Michael and I watched it they couldn't understand any of it. Quite hilariously Ash said "I don't even know what they actually work at, just do this case, do that case and going to 'court'." I never realised how many metaphors were used in one episode until I started paying attention to it.

I may have been a little bit growly that they were eating all my popcorn....

Friday, February 8, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 38

Yesterday I was thankful for....

The energy to push myself through a weights session. Sometimes it feels like such waste of time, but I have to keep telling myself that it is ok if it's hard today, because next week I will be stronger. So yeah...yay me!

A temporarily non-demanding schedule. So I had big plans after scrubbing my kitchen - yesterday I didn't do anything other than regular 'keeping the mess at bay' housework , a load of washing and looking after and feeding my family. I worked out, set "Wii Fit Plus" up for Michael, finished a book, had a nap and did some other pottering around activities. I don't quite remember. I am trying to remind myself to really be thankful for these days and not feel guilty, because when uni goes back I will be worked of my feet and looking forward to my next holiday.

Dancing. Although I didn't stay the whole time, I still had some good dances. Honestly, I feel quite socially awkward there if I am not actually dancing - I chat with a few people, but I just don't know what to say....I am garbage at engaging in conversation and I feel like such and loser because of it.  Blegh - I don't feel awkward dancing though...thank goodness.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 37

Yesterday I was thankful for....

A new Goodlife gym at Nerang. This means I have a gym buddy in my fellow charity bread collector, Faith. I have never had a gym buddy before, a fact that I have moaned about quite often, so this is all rather exciting!

Finding the mojo to scrub my kitchen. I feel a house inspection coming on and also uni starts in a few weeks. Hopefully I can continue the flow and get all the edges and corners of my house super shiny. I might even fold the washing!

Helpful children. We collect the left over bread from the local bakery on behalf of our church once a week. The children usually are embarrassingly loud and have a tendency to fight amongst each other while they wait.

Yesterday I sent Ash into the shop to buy more garbage bags for the bread and when I came out they had already wheeled one of the bread filled trolleys out to the car. I met one of the stores 'trolley guys' as I was turning the corner, and he said "Are they your children around there?" I nodded. "They are very energetic!" Tell me about it....I returned to my car to find them climbing the fence to the trolley shed! But they were helpful, without complaining. Ash even told me he was tempted to use my card to buy a treat for himself as well as what I had asked him to purchase, but decided it wouldn't be such a good idea.

I love it when my children make good choices!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 36

Yesterday I was thankful for.....

Combat. I spent at least 5 years being quite significantly angry with no decent outlet other than locking myself in the bathroom with my head phones and cranking Korn or My Chemical Romance - a very Emo period for me. I will be grateful for every day I get to air punch/kick out my frustrations. It keeps me sane!

Something to look forward to. Date night.

Cheap pizzas and video night and a TV in our room. We put a movie on for the kids and gave them some pizza on a pizza box - no washing up - and shut ourselves in our room to watch two episodes of 'Elementary' was wonderful! (We did get a movie to watch after the kids went to bed but it wasn't that good and I fell asleep on my husband....which apparently he loves, so its all good.)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 35

Yesterday I was thankful for.....

My alarm clock. Without out it I would not have been able to get up early and go for a run. I also wouldn't have been able to listen to this awesome talk by Neal A. Maxwell while I was running.

Taking the time to prepare a Family Home Evening Lesson. Now I have one up my sleeve, because unfortunately I was exhausted last night and it didn't get taught....I felt like a failure, but then remembered our most excellent lesson in Relief Society on Sunday about "Becoming" and realised that I was a process to becoming the best 'me'. So I went a little easier on myself.

Lamb and chickpea soup. Amelie and my friend, Lou, were also thankful for it. Unfortunately the rest of the family don't appreciate my healthy dinners. Michael is not a soup man, and Ash likes his foods to be separate....I don't know what Jack's excuse was.....I have to admit I am rather a selfish cook - I figure if I am cooking dinner every night....but really, I think we need a family meeting re: The Weekly Menu.

Monday, February 4, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 34

Yesterday I was thankful for.....

The opportunity to fast. Our church has fast Sunday once a month. We fast for two meals, or 24 hours - I have not quite managed that long. I usually miss two meals on Sunday and eat at about 5pm...Anyway, more information on how and why we fast here. 

I have to admit I find it hard - probably because it is not something I have been consistently doing for my adult life, and also, I just really like to eat. Getting the children ready for church yesterday was excruciating! Made a little more difficult by the fact that I was hungry (and possibly hormonal) - I felt like I couldn't do it. I wasn't coping and I wanted to eat!! I had a good cry on Michael, said a bunch of silent babbling prayers, and got myself together. I couldn't bail - my lesson to my 10 year olds was on "When we are obedient and do our part, Heavenly Father would helps us."! I knew this to be true, I just had to exercise the faith to do it. 

My day ended up being really fabulous, my lesson went well and I got a lot of spiritual nourishment, and a little bit more conviction, from my Sunday meeting. 

I am grateful for the opportunity to fast, to sacrifice my physical nourishment for a day bring me closer to my Father in Heaven, receive the blessing from obedience and to donate of my substance to those that are in need of help. 

This video clip.

and Master Chef. Love that show!!! 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 33

Today I was grateful for....

Combat. I didn't plan to go today, but I am glad I did. My day always seems to flow a little better when its starts with some endorphins.

Michael taking the kids to the beach. It was nice to have some quite time to do some housework and chill out.

Learning. I made my brain hurt today. I am trying to learn html so I can mess around more with my blog. Knowledge is power!

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 32

Yesterday I was grateful for.....

Leather seats in Michael's car. I bought the kids a chocolate milk Friday treat (I am often a stingy mum when it comes to treats) and as they were doing a 'cheers to the first week of school' Amelie knocked Ash's bottle too hard and his milk went everywhere. What could have been terrible to clean up was relatively easy solved with a damp towel. When my bomb of a car finally dies, my new one will have leather seats as well!

A TV for our bedroom. I was against the idea for ages. I didn't want to get in the habit of laying in bed watching TV at night and falling asleep in front of it. It has proved, however, very awesome for me. Especially on the nights Michael is out late dancing. I get to plug in my hard drive and watch my favourite shows in comfort.....Our couch is ridiculously uncomfortable.....seriously.

My funky happy t-shirt and my helpful little guy. Yesterday was plain awful (you can say that again). Jack was tired and refused to go to class when we got to school. I was tired and didn't have the patience to successfully, and kindly, handle his random stubbornness (he normally goes to class so easily but we were a little late and he was nervous). I was upset and losing it, as soon as I walked out the door I burst into tears. I hated being mad at him, and I hated that I was so intolerant.

I wanted to distract myself. Going to the movies sounded great but I talked myself out of it since I am trying to save money and not eat a huge bucket of popcorn. Instead I went to the op shop and bought a funky $6 happy yellow top....

...and wrote my day off reading and sleeping and eating my own stove top popcorn. I was quite significantly depressed for no real motivation, lethargic, and all of that. I managed to make dinner....just.

After dinner Jack decided to clean his room, he knew that I had been upset with him in the morning and that I was still feeling crappy (as much as I try to, I am not one of the those mums that can hide her emotions from her kids). He apologised and said he wanted to 'make me happy'. He cleaned everything up and made his bed nicely before he got in it. It was so lovely of him, and I got all heart melty. I didn't even mind getting up at 11pm to change his wet bed!

Tomorrow being a new day. Thank goodness for that!

Friday, February 1, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 31

Yesterday I was thankful for.....

A great night of dancing. The last couple of times were a bit off. I felt like I had lost my mojo and confidence on the dance floor. It was extremely nice to come home on a high after quite a few memorable dances!

Michael the Babysitter. He watches a friends of mine's son, along with our kids, so she can come dancing with me. He has a soft spot for the challenges of 'single mum-dom' when it comes to fun.

Car Chats. Loved having a companion to ride with me up to Brisbane. Its a 45min drive and can be tiresome and dangerous, especially coming home late.  I don't get much 'real conversation' with females - this is almost the best 1.5hours of my week!

Yesterday's gratitude was all things dancing related!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 30

Yesterday I was thankful for.....

The motivation to housekeep. It is still hot. I worked slow and steady. Halfway through I noticed how filthy our ceiling fans were....again. Lucky we only have three! (Baby wipes are awesome for cleaning fans.)

Since I have a rather inflated view of who actually reads my blog, and nothing makes me feel more validated that thinking people care about the things I have to share....

So, here are my top 3 super awesome housekeeping tips:

*    Aside from everyday functional cleaning (washing up, sweeping etc), make sure you do things you husband will notice, or he will be inclined to question what you have been doing all day. Its sucks, but it's just how it is - at least in my house anyway. 
As good as it makes me feel having clean fans, my husband won't notice unless I point it out.  Makings beds, eliminating piles of clutter, folding washing (ugh!), cleaning the super filthy vanity. Nothing beats the quick tidy before he walks in the door - even if you have been lost in an awesome book or TV series for most of the afternoon!

*    Keep the number of 'dumping grounds' (clutter spots - you know what I mean) you have to a minimum. I have two main ones - the other side of the brown couch for the kids toys I find laying around. It faces into the playroom so you can't see it from the living areas. Every couple of days (ok maybe once a week...) I yell at the kids to clean it up. (I am working on the yelling thing) My other one is a couple of in-trays I have - my paper dumping ground. I am terrible, I swear I only sort it every 4 months. Michael likes to use my study desk or sewing table for the dumping of random things - doesn't make me happy!

*   Everything feels better when the floors are mopped or carpets vacuumed. 

An easy middle of the night bed change. I am getting used the fact that I am going to have to get up quite regularly to change sheets while Jack is transitioning out of night nappies. Last night because of how he was sleeping the wee only went through his sheet - meaning I didn't have to wash his 'wee mat' and plastic sheet as well the next day.....yay!! Small pleasures - if you are a mum you will understand how awesome this is!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: day 29

Yesterday I was thankful (just to change it up a bit) for....

A sunny day. After days of heavy rain and a laundry full of soggy towels and dirty clothes, I was grateful for some sun to be able to do some loads of washing.

Now I just have to fold them all - worst job ever!

I like to ask Michael to do it. According to me, the washing job is complete as soon as you take it off the line - or after a load of washing gets put on, depending on the day. Yeah, I am pretty rubbish at getting it straight out onto the line too!

The kids going back to school. I kind of feel like a horrible mum for saying that. Although I loved (periods of) them being home for the holidays, they were getting just a little too much. They were bored and starting to fight and bicker a lot. Frankly, I think they were over it too. This morning Ash said he was pretty excited to get into learning new things, and Jack was so happy to be back with his BFF, Zoran. Amelie was just super excited that they didn't start learning on the first day, but instead did fun things and got organised for the new year. She loves organising - when she is in the mood that is.

To be able to exercise later in the morning. It's nice to have the option of sleeping just a little later and going to the gym after I drop the kids of at school.

To have power. So many people in the area still have no power from the storm, and it has been a couple of days now. We were incredibly blessed to have not lost any at all. My heart goes out to them, it would be a huge challenge....and one a admit I would deal very badly with. I am super cranky just trying to deal with the kids in the heat!

Monday, January 28, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 28

Today I am grateful for....

That the worst of the storm missed us. We didn't lose to power at all or suffer any damage (other than the very minor flooding last night). We have been extremely lucky.

Being finally, almost, prepared for school. For three kids books are coved and felt pens, crayons and pencils are labelled - and I am totally spent. Although I have absolutely no idea what I am packing for their lunches tomorrow.....

Psych. The best show ever (really if you haven't seen it, you....must!!)  - it made all that contacting and labelling bearable.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 27

Today I am grateful for....

A handy husband. Still loads of rain, it hasn't stopped, and water was starting to come into our garage. I would have no idea what to do, however, my handy husband is handling it....he has been outside for a while doing  'handy stuff' with the drainage. All I know is, the water level is down and our garage is dry. Oh yeah, and he tied down our trampoline.Thanks stud!!

This talk on testimony and conversion. Since this is something I have been thinking about a lot lately I am grateful it was the topic of our Relief Society lesson.

Singing this hymn, 'How Firm A Foundation', in sacrament today. It is one of my favourite hymns. Every time I hear/sing it I am reminded that my Father in Heaven knows me, has a plan for me and that if I stick with Him all will be well. 

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 26

Yesterday I was grateful for....

Being an Australian. Yesterday it was Australia Day. Traditionally we celebrate with bbqs and beach days, but this year the weather totally washed us out. It has been raining almost constantly for a couple of days, and in Australia - that means flooding. No dramas where we are but it has been a major buzz kill for me. I have felt totally removed from the celebrations.

I stayed home, did some cleaning, contacted school books, watched new episodes of some of my favourite shows with my husband, and had burritos for dinner. Just a regular rainy day and not a sausage or steak in sight.

It didn't stop me from thinking about what it means to me to be Australian though. I love my country. I am so incredibly grateful for being blessed to live in freedom and safety, with a, for now, stable economy. To be able freely to choose so much of my life - my career, my education, my faith.

I was watching a humourous debate last night on "Is there such thing as being too Australian" - and if there is such a thing, what it actually means to be Australian. It reminds me of my year 11 (or 12) oral on a similar topic. There are a few iconic Australianisms - our self decprecating humour, "tall poppy" syndrome, beer drinking culture, our belief in mateship and our generosity to help others. But Australia's strong mutlicutural heritage means being Australian has so many different flavours and I love that.

My grandparents are Russian and came over after World War II, after being in a German prisoner of war camp, in search of a better way off life, because they didn't want to go back to oppressive Russia.

To me Australia, is the land of opportunity and new beginnings.

Happy Australia Day!

Friday, January 25, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 25

Today I am grateful for.....

Combat. Even after a late night, and a middle of the night bedding change (Jack, not me) I still wouldn't miss getting up a 5am for combat. In that 45min class, I feel strong, powerful and confident. Not just physically strong, but emotionally and spiritually as well (it sounds weird I know - but true nonetheless). My foes are beatable, my weaknesses can be overcome.

(I have probably blogged about this before...)

Regular boxing/kick boxing/other martial arts (as awesome as they would be) just wouldn't be the same. The music makes it for me. Smashing it out, increasing intensity with each musical build up - there is nothing like it! Honestly, I feel euphoric - and just a little emotional. I am sure it is quite hilarious for the instructors (I am, hopefully, not the only one - since the early morning class is always packed out) to see a group of females, smiling, as they beat the crap out of an invisible opponent. I don't usually imagine a person, any more - there have been moments - I would like to think that I have far less pent up anger than 'past Natasha' had.  My target is usually a disempowering feeling or situation.....I love Combat.

Our early Australia Day morning tea, and the chance to get to know my neighbour more.  I made scones, she brought lamingtons, and the kids chatted non-stop. Show-and-telling all their toys and favourite DVD's. We finished with some craft - paper chain snakes. Definitely remembering that one for another day - paper strips, sticky  tape and a felt pen = at least a hour of peace.

365 Days of Gratitude: Day 24

Yesterday I was grateful for.....

My cute little reminder of the awesomeness of parenthood. It was another hard day on the parenting front. My two youngest are fighting a lot lately and Ash had a friend over, which always seems to disrupt the children's playing dynamic - does that happen to anyone else? The friends want to be alone, the left over children wail that they haven't had any friends over for ages, and the annoying of each other begins....

Well Anyway - my day was going like that, I am sure the heat wasn't helping, and the fact that I hadn't taken them out of the house for more than a quick grocery/video stop in two days. So I decided on the local pool, for my sanity more than anything. 

The three older children were occupied on a long blow up "something" they have at the pool sometimes on holidays, where you have run along as far as you can before you fall in the water, and I was watching Jack in the smaller pool, and reading. Jack was bouncing everywhere. So smiley and excited to be swimming and was showing me all the super cool things he could do with his kick board. I nearly cried, tears watering my eyes but not quite spilling over - I had been having such a garbage time with them all and then my little guy being all cute, happy and bouncy melted my heart and I wouldn't trade parenting for anything in the world. I helped make him - how cool is that! 

I am grateful for parenthood. Grateful that it pushes my limits daily. I can have at least a dozen successes and failures in a 24 hours period (I am on call nights as well, especially during this no-nappy night toilet training business.) I have developed so many personal skills being a mother that no other job would provide (at least that is what I said on my resume!). It's hard and it's awesome - and on a good day....I love it. 

Books. How good is escaping in a book? Brilliant.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pantry Salon.....

As I sit here I have glad wrapped hair and honey and oil dribbling down my neck.

It's a home made hair treatment. My first one.

As much as I try and love myself just the way I was made, I kind of dislike my hair - it's thin (periods of intense stress has just made it thinner), fine and oily by nature. I also colour it quite regularly at home - my one cosmetic vice - so it's dull and dry and I have notice more hair loss than usual! Ugh, I want to cry!...since I am not really schooled in the art of beauty I have never really considered using any kind of treatment on it. Instead I take a trip to the hair dressers every couple of months, when it's driving me nuts and I want to shave my head, and get the ends cut off.

So this morning I was feeling inklings of the 'head shaving' kind and since I can't get to the hair dressers until next week at least, I thought I would google myself a solution.

(The oil and honey is now dripping onto my lap and my hands are sticky from the honey - possibly/probably I put too much in....)

It actually has an egg yoke in it as well, although I made the mistake of warming the oil and honey before the egg yoke went it. Umm not the best idea - cause it didn't stay totally raw.....

No make-up, no photoshop - just me....eek!!

Results: no dramatic change, but it may have done something....

I do have some different hair treatments to try....warm rosemary (essential oil) and olive oil, mayonnaise, natural yoghurt, stop colouring my hair, shave my head (again - strongly considering it! I need to call my husband to talk me down, he might come home to a huge surprise....I can be extreme)....


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 23

Today I am grateful for......

The hard days. When the bickering and fighting is seemingly non-stop. When Master 5 screams in response to every little annoyance. When I just want to get in the car and drive away.

Because without them, I wouldn't appreciate the absolutely brilliant days!

Michael coming home. Even if it is after dancing, and almost the middle of the night and he has to wake me up to cuddle me.


A fridge full of pie. It helps me feel as though I have accomplished something.

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 22

Yesterday I was grateful for.....

Finding out our ward was having a 'bake-off' for the Australia Day Activity. It got me all excited about making pie again, so I made two to practise - lemon meringue and banana coconut cream. After the competition the desserts will be sold to raise money for EFY (Especially For Youth)....which is awesome.

Pressure baking freaks me out though....

Tidy kid's rooms. However, Amelie did some extreme negotiations - she did a deal with me that if I cleaned her room she would do my the vanities and sweeping the floor. She did it. I think I got a raw deal, but I was desperate.

Monday, January 21, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 21

Today I am grateful for.....

Absence. I am a big sap. Occasionally Michael goes away for work, it is not for long, but I still miss him like crazy. Funnily enough, he can drive me totally nuts when he is here, with the way that he teases me and loves to get me all wound up.

 I would love for him to walk in the door now and tell me the salad I made him for lunch was crap - I would smile and tell him at least he was healthy, and that his body thanks me. Then I would give him a big smooch.....*cough*


The last week of the holidays.....and milking it for every last drop. The only time we left the house today was to go to the supermarket. It rained and the kids jumped on the trampoline in their swimmers, they lego-ed, Amelie dragged her feet cleaning her room but sang a lot on her imaginary microphone to her music (ugh - its such an effort...and still not done!),I finished a novel, googled some recipes, played the Wii with Ash, exercised, and yeah, did some really, really light cleaning. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 20

Today I am grateful for.....

Family. I still think there would be nothing better for us all (3 couples, 3 kids, 1 dude - but seriously bro, I hope this one lasts - she is a very good catch!) to move up to Mum and Dad's house and all live together, commune style.

The distraction my awesome Valiant 10 Primary class is from all my spiritual drama.

My children. That even though they don't want to go to church some weeks, they almost always enjoy it when they get there.

My husband. For being cool with me staying and hanging out with my family far longer than was prudent, considering the long drive home and work in the morning.

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 19

Yesterday I was grateful for.....

Being motivated enough to start doing some weights again. I always lose my  mojo when it comes to personal weights sessions. I don't know if it's to do with the fact that I don't have a workout buddy, or that it's hard work and I don't like to push myself. Whatever it is I would like to commit once a week to working on my strength (in addition to a my Body Pump class and the resistance training I get from Combat).

Michael is completely anti weights training when it comes to women, or men for that matter. He thinks, for men, that muscle should come from pure hard work not poncing around in front of the mirrors at a gym. Fair enough. However, when it comes to women, I beg to differ. He likes to go on about how beautiful a women is with her soft natural curves, but I know what he looks at and most are those women who are the 2% (or something) of the population that just naturally have shape in all the right places, and the rest probably do some sort of strength training he just doesn't realise.

When a women gets older, no matter how gorgeous she was when she was younger, and she has done no form of strength training that is when you start to notice it. Especially in her posture.

Weight training can, for example:-

Improve mobility and balance
Improve posture
Increase bone density and strength
Enhance performance of everyday tasks
Assist in the prevention and control of health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis
Decrease the risk of injury
Weight management
Improve sleep patterns (from the Vic State Government Better Health Site)

Why wouldn't you start training? It is not at all about crazy buff man arms and a ripping six pack......I highly recommend it ladies!

Making good food choices. And not resorting to take out because it was easier not to prepare something. I am really feeling the responsibility of keeping my family healthy at the moment.

Weekend quality time with my super studly husband.

Friday, January 18, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 18

Today I am grateful for......

Time at the pool with our neighbour and her gorgeous little girl. We have lived next door to each other for two years now and it has only been the last few months that we've moved beyond mere pleasantries. Mind you, my kids have been having conversations with her and her daughter ever since we moved - they are far more comfortable meeting new people than I am!!

An afternoon sleep, AND a tiny pre-pool morning nap. Dancing last night and Combat early this morning - 5 hours sleep does NOT look good on me.

A new episode of 'Suits' to watch with my sweetheart. Plenty of ethical grey areas to make me question why on earth I am studying law, with just enough moral resolution to keep my watching. I love sharing my favourite TV shows with my husband - he is not quite as excited about them as I am, but I think he secretly gets into the stories and characters!

Making the choice not to be lazy and order pizza for dinner. My family's bodies will love me for it.

Having my handsome little man fall asleep on me and getting to carry him to bed. I love that little guy, almost 6 and he still feels like my baby. I clearly need more babies - darling, pleeeease?! *sigh* or at least have the grandchildren over more often.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 17

So at the moment I am feeling rather down and I am finding it hard to be filled with it may be simple tonight.

Today I am grateful for.....

Shopping with my children without tantrum and drama. Today they were able to spend some money of their own on (almost) whatever they wanted. It was fun watching them make choices and be independent - I let them make the purchases themselves, even going as far as sending the older two off on their own with a spot to meet up when they were finished.....I was so proud of them!!!

Sharing dinner with a friend and happily paying it forward.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 16

Today I am grateful for.....

The opportunity to be home with my children during the school holidays.

Having the extended motivation to clean up my walk-in robe....and yes, it feels fabulous!

A brilliantly creative 8 year old daughter that makes excellent banana fritters.

A husband that loves dancing as much as I do - if he had to choose, I am sure he would choose me though.....right?

365 Days Of Gratitude:Day 15

Yesterday I was grateful for......(doh, hate missing days!)

A beach day with friends that we do not often get to see. The kids played together brilliantly!! Absolutely love it when that happens. No bickering = bliss.

Dodging the bullet that was a previous boyfriend* (the relationship was so disastrously complicated - I am not even sure that it could have been labelled!), finding a good friend in his ex-wife, ("ex" - there a better prefix, please let me know!)and therefore still getting to hang out with their awesome children!! 

Stopping by to see my fabulous Babushka on the way home - love her so much! She fed us mangoes, we helped her sort the toy box and I dozed on the carpet while my children played around me (I am my father's daughter!). She is 87 (I think), and I selfishly want her to live forever. Or at least so my children can have her in their life growing up as much I had her in mine. I honestly can't imagine my life without her. 

Frozen leftovers. 

And "Pushing Daisies" time with my most excellent husband.

*9.23pm - So I feel bad about this comment - I have been thinking about it on and off all day - it is phrased rather callously. So rephrasing - I am just really grateful that my life didn't turn out the way that I wanted it to at the time with that particular person. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 14

Today I am grateful for.....

Surviving pre-school shopping with all the kids.

Having Lou over for dinner and as a dancing buddy.

The slightly cooler weather.

The chance to sweat it up on the dance floor.

A husband who is happy to serve others.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 13

Today I am grateful for.....

My calling as Primary Teacher - I love teaching my class.


My husband - cause he is such a stud and loves me lots.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 12

Today I am grateful for.....

Learning experiences,


How absence makes the heart grow fonder,


Jack. His happy chatty ways were hilarious to me tonight. He met an old man at a family get together, my uncle's uncle and promptly got along with him. On meeting Jack immediately waved and stuck his hand out. A  little later he came over and said to me
'I like that man!!'

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 11

Yesterday I was grateful for.....

The opportunity to witness my beautiful step-daughter's marriage and sealing to a wonderful man.

A fabulous husband who is heart meltingly good with babies. He spent most of the reception chilling with  his 4 month old granddaughter.

Being part of such an amazing inlaw family. When I was a young women I wished my now sister inlaw was my mother. I think I got the next best thing.