Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Family Mission Statement - SYL Week 3

Write a Family Mission Statement.....no, I don't think so!

At least that's what I thought until very recently.  I loved deciding on what my core values are, and it has already helped me in some situations - and lead me into "trouble" in some (in the eyes of others).

So - can I do it write a mission statement I mean.  Yes and no.  I am going to write a more personal mission statement, rather than a family one.  One that reflects the type of year I would like to have with my family, friends, colleagues and the people I meet along the way.

It is not going to change my world, more serve as a reminder on how I would like to live my life, and what I would like the outside world to see when they look in. Something I can print out and read daily, to remind me of the person I want to be.

My attempt is below - and I guess what really matters is it is just me that needs to be happy with it.

I will live everyday as a new day.
As a mother, I will  greet my children with
a smile and a cuddle.

I will help my children learn by nourishing their hearts, minds, bodies and souls.

I will be the healthiest person I can be and set an example for my children.

My husband and I together can achieve anything.

As a family we will make an environment that is safe, secure, full of love and laughter.

We will spend time together as a family. 

My mission is to make my life Sunny.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Kindness - Grateful for it, and it is SOOO EASY

This week Maxabella Loves via Kidspot is continuing their 52 weeks of kindness. 

Is it me, or does there seem to be an overwhelming desire in 2012 to find and recognise kindness and beauty, happiness and laughter everywhere. 
Many, many of the blogs I follow, am reading and have tumbled across seem to have this recurring theme.  

How wonderful.

Anyway, back to Kindness - and more specifically the kindness of strangers.  
At first I couldn't really remember experiencing kindness from a "stranger" so this post seemed a bit tough to write at first.  SO it go me thinking - what really is an act of kindness.

Is it letting my kids watch TV on Saturday morning so I can sleep in (kind to me or them?)
Maybe it is contacting the books for the library at school
Is it simply just smiling at a person on the street that you don't know?

I am not sure EXACTLY what it is, but I know if there was more kindness and less judgement the world would be a happy, smilier place.

Our family sponsors a child via World Vision, that counts as kindness to a stranger I guess.  But I think what I was looking for was something more tangible in my everyday life.  

So, Maxabella Loves was right.
When she said it was the person who opened the door for you because you have a child on one hip, two school bags, a handbag and an umbrella in the other hand and are trying to find your keys.  
It is the lady in the supermarket who smiles and says "she looks just like you" and makes you stop and smile (when you could, frankly leave her at the supermarket) 

Kindness comes in many shape and forms, and I think sometimes we don't even realise it is going on.

Next time you see someone on the street, even if you don't know them - simply give them a smile.  It might just make their day.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Like Dora says "We Did it........."

So that is the first week of school for 2012 officially OVER (in Qld anyway).  Well done everyone for making it through!  It seems everyone I know has had a good transition back into the world of routines, lunches, school bags, pick ups and drop offs.

M1 is happy - he likes his teacher, has a nice group of friends to sit with in class and has re-established friendships with some of his mates from last year.  So has M2.  Her return to day care was tear free.  She was very excited to be becoming an "Echidna" and going into a new room.  Her teacher is fabulous too - she comes home bubbling over with the things she has done throughout the day.

So it seems that 2012 may just turn out to be OK.

What have I learnt so far?  You know, pearls of wisdom that I can share - Ha!  Honestly, not much really, but here are some things I know (as Oprah would say).

  • I know we will always worry about our children - even when we know they will be OK
  • I know that sometimes the "important moment" things are more important to us mums than they are to our children.  
  • I know that friendships will be made, and change.  Nothing is permanent, but the things that count last a long time and survive all kinds of weather. This is true for us and our children
  • I know that even though they drive me CRAZY - I love my children more than anything in the world (almost..)
  • I know I still love this time of night - kids both in bed asleep, and finally I can sit down and have a coffee.

I hope you all had a great week.  Here is to 2012 continuing just as it has started.  With happy smiling children, and people who are willing to see beauty everywhere and be happy!

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Back to school Blues

Today I have the back to school blues.  You see my hubby did the "first day drop off" today.  First.  Time.  Ever.   You know, the one where you walk them to their new classroom, meet the teacher, help them unpack their books.  Sniff.

I needed to be at work, and this is the way our life has to be at the moment.

I officially don't like it. 

And before I start getting all sorts of "suck it up - it a choice" type comments, I KNOW!  
Well it sort of is anyway.  Things have got more expensive and we just could not afford the luxury of me staying home.  And that really is what it is.  A Luxury. I had it  until M2 went to pre-prep and have only been in this situation for the last 12 months, so I am still adjusting.

Yes M1 and M2 were fine.  No tears.  Probably didn't even notice I wasn't there.  I allowed myself to shed a tear on the way to work, and hubby sent me some photos, but it's not the same.

So here is to all of us working mums and dads, who for whatever reason, are not able to be there for all the moments we would like to.  We miss them.  And it is ok to miss them.

See you at pickup time, my beautiful babies.  Mummy loves you and misses you already!

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Grateful for Beauty

I have been reading "grateful posts" by some of the lovely bloggers out there.  It is so nice to find a community that supports and nourishes the souls of people that, generally they don't even know.

It has inspired me to write my own grateful post, and link it up with Kidspot.  It is always good to share the love.

I am grateful for beauty, the beauty that is all around me.  I see it when I walk outside onto our deck 
and overlook our tree shaded, big beautiful green, grassy backyard.

I see it in the excitement M2 has when we finally get to make cupcakes together (I had been promising her all week....)

I feel it in the awesome cuddle I got this morning - and yes I mean "just" a cuddle.

I see it in the clean clothes that are waiting for me to fold them up - especially after reading some of the stories from the "kids of the flood".  Those kids are amazing.  I shed a tear or two whilst I was reading that article, but, wow, how resilient are they.

My point is, I am grateful for beauty.  It is everywhere.  We are soooo lucky to live in this country.  Forget your "first world problems.  If your kids are fed tonight, and clean and you can give them a kiss and cuddle at they hop into their own bed then that to me is beauty.  

Today I am grateful for beauty.  Beauty is EVERYWHERE.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Balloons and Reflection

Today I am feeling a bit reflective.  Seems some people I know are feeling this way too.  Looking back on their year and how they found some amazing strength and have come out the other side.

Great for them.  I am happy they have come out the other side.

Everyone deserves their piece of happiness.

I have done this too, but can't help think this other person's triumph was, (only a little tiny bit, but still), at my expense. It was because of her that my year too was turned upside down.  It was because of her and her "group" that I (and some of the people I am Friends with) were labelled and considered toxic.  Not Fair. You should never be punished for showing care and compassion. 

Selfish I know of me to think like this, but.. that's how I feel, and it's my blog, so I will write what I want to!
 A dear friend of mine has decided that this year she is going to be happy and that the rest will just have to sort itself out.
I love this. 
This is what I am going to try and do.

So what I am going to do, rather then dwell on this, is to have my little rant (this is it..), put it in a balloon (again) and let it go (again).

I made a pledge to myslef this year to define and stick to my core values.  Things that I think are important.  I listed living, loving, learning, honesty and courageous.  So to be true to myself and these values, I can't click "like" on that FB comment.  But that is ok.  This is who I am.

I am going be happy, put my face to the sunshine and smile.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

My Values - Deciding what is Important (SYL Week 2)


Define your FIVE core personal values.  This is hard and easy at the same time.  I have thought a lot about this over the past 10 days, and below are the results of my thoughts.   My first three values I actually have on a necklace, along with the tree of life to remind me that every day is a new day, and that every day, we should all be living, loving, learning.

LIVING - now this sounds strange at first, but really what it means to me, is living in the moment and accepting that things happen.  You can't change what has happened, but you can acknowledge it and move through it.  If we all keep living I believe we can all become stronger and able to handle whatever life throws our way.  Life is now and is for living!

LOVING - without this, there is nothing.  Simple.  Everyone deserves love.  My M2 comes and tells me all the time that "I love you mum, with all of my heart".  This is so beautiful.  Love can be expressed in so many ways.  A gentle touch, a smile, a helping hand saying thank you.  M1 comes and gives me cuddles and smiles.  Just as beautiful.  Most importantly, loving,  it needs to be dynamic and consistent.

LEARNING - this follows closely behind Loving because without learning, we never improve, create, wonder, ask, question or grow. I am learning everyday.  I want to continue to learn everyday, and then apply this to my living and loving.  My kids are my greatest learning experience to date, and I can not see that changing in the future.

COURAGEOUS - having the courage to follow your convictions and stay true to yourself is hard.  Sometimes people don't like you for the way you think or act.  Or for what you believe. And I mean courageous not courage because someone can have courage - but it takes a courageous person to act on it and live it daily. I am working on this becoming second nature.

HONESTY - like so many simple things, honesty makes the world go 'round.  Sometimes honesty can get me into trouble, so don't be honest to be mean, be honest to be true to yourself.  Nothing more simple than that!

These are what I keep coming back to as my core values. I hope I can do them justice.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

2011 - What Went Right (SYL Week 1)

I am taking part in the Home Life Simplified Simplify Your Life 52 Week Challenge.  Week one is about reflecting on what went right in 2011.  What a great idea.  Here are my thoughts (in no particular order) - warning this is a long post..........
  • I made a beautiful and life long friendship.  This amazing person came into my life as someone else left, and I have never been so grateful.  Thank you beautiful lady.  I know you and I and our familys' will be friends for many years to come.  You are one of the positive people who lifted me up this year.  And of course my mum and my BFF in Tassie who also helps keep me sane.
  • I successfully juggled the home/work/school balance.  Not always perfectly, and not always without one side being up or down more than the other, but I did it well enough to go back and try and do it all again this year.
  • My family made me feel happy.  Seeing M1 settle into a class he was happy in and cement some friendships makes my heart feel good.  Also seeing M2 settle so well into day care - this was her first year, made my life so much easier.
  • Our backyard helped to bring our family together.  My kids love doing things outside.  M1 is (generally) very good at "teaching" his little sister (M2) how to play cricket, soccer, climb a tree etc.  Watching and participating with them in these activities brought us all together - and without even having to leave home.
  • Lying in my husband's arms always makes me feel at peace, and I needed him more than ever throughout this year.  He is my rock and my soul mate.  He understands me, tolerates me, supports and encourages me.  He also laughs at me too - which is sometimes just what I need. 
  • Going to the gym and exercising helped fill my tank.  So did going to "Book Club" and cooking with my children.  So did taking part in the "Happy Place Challenge" with Nathalie from Easy Peasy Kids.  Happy moments are everywhere.  We just need to let them in.
  • Starting this blog made me feel excited and helped keep me focused on the good things going on all around me.  It also gave me a place to vent and be able to let go of negativity.
  • I have learnt that I am strong and capable - and for that I am grateful.  I have connected better with M1, which for me is a constant challenge.  But it has been better than it ever has before and I believe it will only continue to get better.
So looking back, there are lots of positive things that went on through 2011.  And really when I read back over this list, it is just the tip of the iceberg.  And one very smart lady once said "re-frame" your experiences and you will see there can be rainbows everywhere.  Keep embracing the Ordinary!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Finding MY "Simple" - The Challenge Has Begun

Last year was my first year returning to the workforce after 7+ years as a SAHM and it was a year full of challenges, juggling, compromise and learning to let go.

It was fulfilling, rewarding, stimulating and successful.  I wrote about some of these things in a previous blog, which you may enjoy reading called When Coloured Balls Turn Into Rainbows.

It was also a year of ups and downs socially and personally for me - for lots of reasons, but I have already reflected on this and learnt to let it go.  

Learning to let go of things is a great skill to master.  
It is often hard, but worth working at.  However, I digress.

Recently, via Miss Mandy at A Little Space Like Home I have become aware of the 52 Week Find Your Simple Challenge being run by Deb at Home Life Simplified.  This sounds like just what I need.

I love the sound of this challenge because it starts off by reflecting on "what went right in 2011".  I have seen so many reflective posts on what people are planning on doing better (and I myself am guilty of doing this), when, what we should be doing is celebrating what went right for us.  

Focusing on the negative and the need to "upgrade" everything in our lives and strive for perfection is tiring and draining.  As mums, we don't need this extra pressure.

Also, at HLS, Deb focuses on achievable goals, that will not overwhelm you.  Whilst I love blogs that show you how easy it is to organise things (The Organised Housewife is one of my favourite blogs), I often think that for some of us, with older houses, kids that aren't all at school, that work or volunteer part time and don't have unlimited budgets, they can be a little unattainable. 

I need something that shows me how the "little things, often" approach can work.  My house will never be a show house - but it is a home filled with love, and on most days laughter too.

So, from this week forward,  I will be trying my best to participate in the HLS 52 Week Find YOUR Simple Challenge.  

Wish me Luck!

Monday, 9 January 2012

One Week In

So the new year is now one week old, and I thought it would be wise to check in with some of  my goals and see how I was doing.

So far - not too badly.  I have walked nearly everyday.  It is great for mind and body.  My wonderful hubby lets me go for a walk at witching hour.  M2 can be put in the bath and M1 and he can amuse themselves easily and start getting the dinner preparations underway.  It is a good system.  We normally "tag team" then, and he will head out for a run once I get home.

I have tried to be kinder to myself - but this has sometimes meant I haven't been as kind to others as maybe I should be.  But I am trying.

I am living more in the moment, and this is allowing me to play and interact more with both M1 and M2.

The wine thing is going badly - I definitely need to do better with this goal.  It is such a ritual to enjoy a nice glass at the end of the day, but really not so good for the waistline. I can only seem to last a day or two without it and then cave in and have one again.  Must. Keep.  Trying.

The others are works in progress.....

Overall, not bad I guess. 

The year is certainly going to present a lot of new challenges, but I feel truly blessed that I have a healthy and happy family, that love me, and I them. 

I know some of you out there have a tough year ahead - you are in my thoughts.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

A New Journey Begins - Bring it on 2012

I have been reading back through my blog posts, and what struck me most was how "angsty" everything was.  I think I need to rename my blog "Angsty Pants".  

So............. with that in mind I thought it was time to re-evaluate why I want to write a blog and start to re-frame it.  Less angst and more joy - a la Nathalie at Easy Peasy Kids.  She always has great advice and happy comments and words of wisdom to pass on.

From here on in, this blog will be (mainly) about the joyful, fun and happy moments in my life.  Life is too short for angst and sad reflection. There may be a couple of posts that sneak past me, but I will try my best.

I have read lots of "mum blogs" this year, and some of my favourites are Daisy Roo and Two, The Imperfect Mum and A Little Space Like Home.  These women all have inspiring stories and are "keeping it real" out there in the blogging and FB world.  Thanks girls!
And of course I love Sunny Mummy.

In fact this is what I am going to try and be in 2012 - a Sunny Mummy!

Forget "yummy mummy" - that is just not a realistic proposition for those of us who live in the real world, with floors to wash, dinners to cook and children to look after.  I am going to start looking after me first.  If I am not happy, how can I be happy and in the moment with my children?

Last year, 2011, was not a great year for me personally in some ways.  I was misjudged by some people for caring and branded "toxic" for venting my frustrations over some "inadequacies" in the educational institution my son attends.  MY OPINION PEOPLE - MY OPINION!!!!  Let it go and move on.

I was however blessed with a beautiful new friendship - one that I know will last.  As cliched as it is, when one door closes, another one opens.  How true, one door was certainly slammed shut, but the one that swung open is so great.  Thank you - you know who you are.

So instead of resolutions - here are my goals for 2012

Be kind to and look after myself.
Worry less about what other people think - and more about what I do.
Love my children to bits and play with them more often
Live in the moment
Drink less wine
Exercise more
Learn to love me for me
A pretty big list - but there it is out there in the universe for everyone to see.
Judge me - or don't.

I am very good at putting things in balloons and letting them go.  Thanks mum for teaching me that.

So here is to the beginning of another chapter.

2012 will be whatever I make it - and I intend to soak up everyday!

Happy New Year