To New Beginnings!

20140101-193054.jpg

1st January 2014. A new year, new beginnings, new start! There’s something always so refreshing about the start of a new year. It’s like the weight of the previous year that were wearing us down, have been lifted and a lighter feeling is now being felt. It’s the first day of a new year cycle, where we can dream new dreams and wish for new things. It’s the time now to plan ahead on what you want to or not want to happen. It’s all ours for the taking…the world is our oyster….we just need to grab onto it tightly and live, love, laugh and learn like there is no tomorrow!

As I reflect on 2013, I believe I could sum it up as a ‘tragic’ year. So many families endured several tragedies which left people heart-broken and helpless. There were some horrendously sad times that we personally went through and during these times you realise who and what matters most in your life.

When 2013 rolled over I never imagined it would be the last year that my nana would see. I never imagined having to say goodbye to the women who I cherished the most other than my mother. I never imagined nor will I ever forget how much it hurt to say goodbye. It’s a time in my life that has really rocked me and my family, but it’s also shown us how our close family bond is something extraordinary, that was first created by my wonderful nana and grandad and will continue on through each generation.

20140101-193253.jpg

But while we were suffering, so many other people…friends and family were suffering as well. I witnessed some courageous moments from family and friends in 2013, which makes me so proud to have them in my life. So if there is anything I learnt in 2013, it is: no matter what you are going through, there is always someone else worse off and be grateful for what you have, don’t dwell on what you don’t have!

Amongst all the heartache, my party of 5 created some memorable moments. We celebrated many wonderful birthdays together, we watched Sienna grow from a shy insecure prep student to a bright and happy girl who beams with confidence now. We watched Bailey score an abundance of tries and tackles at footy and enjoyed the many milestones of Mia’s year as a 2-year-old, especially being toilet trained!!! As a family we went on many outings to our favourite places and enjoyed a financially secure year with Kane’s job being a huge success. This meant only seeing him on average for an hour a day, but we make the most of our weekends and I appreciate everything he does so I only have to teach a couple of days a week and be home with the kids for the rest of the time…thank you babe!

We spent many occasions with family and friends, laughing, eating loads of delicious treats and realising in each other’s company. We are so blessed for the wonderful people in our lives and appreciate each and every one of them.

These years are surely flying by though. I can’t believe my babies will be 8, 6 and 3 this year….and we’ll be 34!!! But I must say, after all those years of babies, we are really starting to get to a comfortable point with the age of our children and are really enjoying the variety ‘older’ children bring. I actually think I can bring myself to say our family is complete!!!!

New year resolutions??
I’m going to be bold and say I don’t have any. I will continue each day to be the best I can be in every feather of my cap. That cap consists of: a mother, wife, daughter, sister, granddaughter, teacher, cousin, friend, work colleague. No matter what year it is, I will continue to improve on each of these roles. I will continue living a ‘balanced’ life with my healthy eating and exercise as this gives me the best chance of keeping on top of my heart condition! But most importantly I will cherish each day as it comes. I will love each day and laugh as much as I can. I will keep on keeping and do what needs to be done. I will not get bogged down by anyone or anything and I will remember to stop and smell the roses as those roses are the most beautiful creations I’ll ever make! No matter what year it is, I just want to be happy!

20140101-193150.jpg

I am ready to tackle another year…but not until I’ve finished enjoying my holiday with my party of 5!!

Thank you to each and everyone of you who have read my blogs and supported me through my life in 2013. I really appreciate the time you’ve taken to read about my adventures and look forward to sharing my new adventures of 2014! I wish you all a happy new year. I hope it’s full of good health, love, laughter and joy – for ALL of us….here’s to new beginnings!
Xoxoxoxo

20140101-193013.jpg

Advertisements

Celebrating the Joys of Christmas…’Trew Style’!

Another year of Christmas has been had. Another lot of catch ups, present giving and receiving , card making, baking and relishing in the fun and joy that Christmas brings! Christmas this year came round so quickly and what feels within a blink of an eye, it’s all over for another year!

It took a while for me to really get into the spirit of Christmas this year! It’s taken so long to pick ourselves up after nana passing away, knowing that this would be the first year to celebrate Christmas without her was a very hard pill to swallow. But thankfully my 3 beautiful children’s infectious excitement over Christmas was enough to lift my spirit. Once we turned our house into Christmas and the calendar turned over to December 1st, this is how we celebrated Christmas….

The kid’s school Christmas concert kicked started the festive season off this year. It was Sienna’s first one, she was so adorable and sang her little heart out and with it being only a couple of days after Bay broke his arm, I was so proud of his efforts during his performance!

20131227-195129.jpg20131227-195145.jpg20131227-195155.jpg20131227-195206.jpg20131227-195214.jpg20131227-195241.jpg20131227-195259.jpg

Each year we take a trip into the city to see the big Christmas tree and Santaland at Myer. Because we went so early in December, we missed out on the street parade and the light show at city hall…apparently it was amazing, so a bit of a bummer we missed out, but we had the best time with what we did!
20131227-195542.jpg20131227-195555.jpg20131227-195629.jpg20131227-195704.jpg20131227-195731.jpg20131227-195750.jpg20131227-195810.jpg20131227-195903.jpg

Like most kids, our kids love looking at Christmas lights. Now that we so our own house, we don’t drive around as much as we did, but we still managed a few trips around the place, including the south side 4KQ winner, which was spectacular!!!!
20131227-200110.jpg20131227-200125.jpg20131227-200141.jpg20131227-200150.jpg20131227-200243.jpg20131227-200309.jpg

Each Christmas we try and catch up with as many of our close friends as we can! Between Christmas parties for work and family and friends catch ups, we have to start back in November just to fit everyone in! We are so lucky to have such wonderful friends and an amazing family to celebrate Christmas with!
20131227-200525.jpg20131227-200615.jpg20131227-200623.jpg20131227-200636.jpg20131227-200657.jpg

A family tradition has started with our annual Santa photo…we have all been getting in the photo as Mia hasn’t wanted to sit on Santa’s lap! I’m so proud of her this year though…she gave him plenty of high 5s, a cuddle and told him “Merry Christmas Santa!”
20131227-201006.jpg

Each Christmas I do a lot of baking and making….
20131227-201112.jpg20131227-201120.jpg20131227-201133.jpg20131227-201148.jpg20131227-201203.jpg20131227-201225.jpg20131227-201248.jpg20131227-201257.jpg
I made my mum, grandad and sisters a canvas with photos of nana on her last Christmas Day last year. These canvases can be brought out each Christmas now to remember our beautiful lady!

20131227-210906.jpg
It was done later than normal, but this was my Christmas card photo I sent out to 40 of our closest family and friends this year!
20131227-211013.jpg

When you are a prep student at Runcorn Heights State School, you get to be involved in an end of year play called ‘The Christmas Story’. Sienna is the fourth member of the family to perform this play and she played a camel and did such a fantastic job! It’s always such a lovely way to celebrate the wonderful year prep has been and how far my baby girl has come:)!
20131228-193145.jpg20131228-193153.jpg20131228-193237.jpg20131228-193308.jpg20131228-193326.jpg20131228-193345.jpg20131228-193405.jpg20131228-193423.jpg

Every year my sister comes home from melbounre for Christmas, we always get a photo done with all the grandchildren with Santa! It proves to be a little challenging than it use to be as the eldest grandchild is 13 now and he’s told us 15 is his cut off lol!
20131228-193653.jpg

One thing my children love more than ever at Christmas time, is wearing all of their Christmas clothes nanny either made or bought for them! From December 1st, they don’t wear anything else:) I really love how my children embrace the spirit of Christmas and I hope this continues for a very long time!
20131228-193941.jpg20131228-194059.jpg20131228-194151.jpg

As I’m almost finished typing up 2013’s Christmas blog, I’m still in amazement at how fast it’s come and gone and to be honest, it doesn’t even feel like we’ve had Christmas Day! As I sit on the balcony of my holiday unit, I feel like I should be dashing to the shops or baking another batch of cupcakes, but nope it’s all done and dusted for another year!

Christmas Day was bitter sweet this year. Sweet to see the absolute joy and happiness on the faces of our children, but bitter celebrating Christmas without nana;( We were woken extremely early this year by Bay who was busting to go to the toilet at 4am!!! Consequently he was too over excited to go back to sleep but had to wait until the last child woke just before 6! It was all steam ahead from there!

20131229-132812.jpg20131229-132823.jpg20131229-132830.jpg20131229-132840.jpg20131229-132847.jpg20131229-132856.jpg20131229-132908.jpg20131229-132914.jpg20131229-132924.jpg20131229-132936.jpg

Like we’ve done for many years now, we had breakfast with Kane’s family at our house and lunch with my family at mum and dad’s house…so much food…so many presents…so much fun!!
20131229-133127.jpg20131229-133141.jpg20131229-133157.jpg

20131229-133234.jpg
Christmas Day at mum and dad’s is always great…food, swim, lots of laughter!

This year, facing Christmas without nana for the first time was hard. It was a sad feeling which left a void in the air. I felt so much for my mum and grandad. I miss nana so much it hurts, but on those ‘first’ special occasions, I miss her even more. I was so blessed to spend over 30 Christmas days with one of the greatest women I’ve ever known. Nana taught us so much about Christmas…especially how to put on a great one! Forever she will be remembered for her fruit salad, lattice biscuits, roasts and other desserts…forever she will be remembered for spoiling us on Christmas Day!! This year, we all gathered out to the cemetery to lay flowers and wish nana a merry Christmas. An added bonus was seeing her new headstone for the first time, which thank you to my wonderful mother looks amazing!

20131229-135033.jpg

20131229-135041.jpg

20131229-135049.jpg

20131229-135057.jpg

20131229-135104.jpg

20131229-135119.jpg

20131229-135127.jpg

20131229-135134.jpg

20131229-135144.jpg

There were still plenty of smiles on Christmas Day though. Nana would have wanted that. She always had a smile on her face right to the end. If nana could smile through her ordeal then we will always be able to!

20131229-135309.jpg

20131229-135316.jpg

20131229-135322.jpg

20131229-135330.jpg

20131229-135338.jpg

20131229-135344.jpg

20131229-135356.jpg

Of course the day had to end in drama!!!! Bay’s waterproof cast protector came loose and got his cast saturated!!!! A trip to the Mater Children’s was needed for it to be recasted!!!! This arm!!!!

20131229-135553.jpg
Poor bugger!!! Fingers crossed it comes off permanently tomorrow!!!

My favourite day of the year though…(apart from my birthday and Christmas) is Boxing Day!!! We always back up and go to mum and dad’s for breakfast and enjoy the whole day eating leftovers and swimming! No rush, no where to be, no present sorting, just fun and laughter without any stress!

20131229-135849.jpg

20131229-135859.jpg

20131229-135912.jpg

20131229-135929.jpg

20131229-135950.jpg

20131229-140009.jpg

20131229-140022.jpg

20131229-140032.jpg

20131229-140041.jpg

So there you have it! This is how we’ve embraced the spirit of Christmas this year! I hope all my followers both family, friends and regulars, had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you all a safe and happy new year!!

Knowing When to Stop!

Almost another year is about to be behind us. 52 weeks of life, living, working, socialising, creating new memories. 365 days of experiencing the highs and lows of what is thrown our way. I don’t know about you, but I’m really feeling it this year. I’m tired, fatigued, drained and so ready for a holiday!

One of the highs for me this year has been my running! I’ve set so many goals and achieved most of them, but I’ve come to the realisation, that with all the kilometres my feet have pounded the pavement and with no real break to my routine at all, my body is starting to scream at me to stop! So after I sweat out all the junk that I consume on Christmas Day on Boxing Day lol, I am going to have a weeks break! A week may not sound like much, but I know it will be enough to start fresh again in the new year! I would have 2 weeks off, but we are holidaying at the coast and I love nothing more than running at the beach!

I can honestly say I never felt like this a year ago, but upon reflection I realised that twice last year I was sick and sidelined for two weeks at two different times throughout the year. This year I’ve been lucky enough to only battle with a minor virus here and there but nothing extreme to warrant a big break! It’s hard to break a routine that has been going so well for so long, but I believe my decision is a sensible one. I believe that our bodies are precious and should be treated like gold. We are in control of ourselves and we only have one chance at life, so we need to do the best we can…it’s so important to LiSTEN to our bodies!!!!

Life has been one crazy ride this year. It’s felt like an uphill battle at times. So many ups and downs, but one common denominator, that I believe has been my therapy, has been my running! Through my running I’ve been able to plan and reflect on things that have been happening. I’ve been able to let my frustrations out without being inappropriate. It’s kept me sane when I’ve felt I was close to insanity lol, but most importantly it’s provided me with my health and fitness!

Some of my highlights this year have been; running 10k in 48.52mins, 5k in 23.25mins and running my original running distance of 4k in under 19mins twice!!! Running a PB always leaves you feeling so pumped. In that moment, you are the only one who knows how you are feeling. It leaves you feeling invigorated and on top of the world…I love that feeling, which is why I love running!

But as much as I love my running, I know it’s time to stop! My joints are screaming, my legs are hating on me. Once I finish my 10k run this Thursday, that will be the last 10k I run for 2 weeks. During my time off, I will continue to walk each day for half an hour and I will continue my normal balanced eating regime. I will create a new set of goals to work on in the new year, but one thing is for certain, I will not lose sight!

2013 has been a successful running year…I look forward to sharing any of my excitement with my running in 2014!!!

20131217-202306.jpg
I’m looking forward to a break:)…10 more sleeps and then sun, sand, surf and lots of laughter with my beautiful Party of 5!

We Made It!!!!!!

Between me as a teacher and having two children who go to school, I can officially say we made it through another school year…it’s time to PaRtY!!!!!!!

20131212-161759.jpg
School is out for another year!!!!

What a year it’s been, both professionally and as a school mum! I’ve had a massive year at work with my prep special ed kids and my own children have had big years as well, especially with my daughter starting prep! And even with everything we’ve been through, the one thing that remained consistent was school!

As I reflect back over the year, for my grade two son, he has become so mature and responsible. He is an active learner and a great mathematician! He reads for understanding and enjoyment and puts so much effort into any task that is asked of him. He is kind, he is friendly, he has taken each day of school in his stride and is adored by everyone!

20131212-135057.jpg

Then there is my preppie daughter. Well where do I start!!! She has gone from a child clinging to my leg screaming “don’t leave me mummy!!!” To a happy, confident and smart girl who is ready to tackle the challenges of year one. She has improved with her confidence in her ability to read and has found a love of writing. She loves maths and her quick wit is as sharp as ever!! She is funny and friendly and is adored by everyone as well!

20131212-162554.jpg
Last day of prep…am so proud of how far Sienna has come!!

When I walked up the path to pick up the kids for the last time this year, I felt happy that we were about to embark on 6 weeks school holidays together, but sad that another year of their school life was complete! I can’t believe I’ll have a grade 3 and grade 1 child next year!! I love the prep year too, so saying goodbye to Sienna’s amazing teacher and teacher aide was hard, thankfully I still have one more prep year left with Mia in two years time!!
20131212-163214.jpg
Last pick up day for the year!

This week has been a wonderful week of celebrations. It started on Tuesday when Sienna’s prep class performed ‘A Christmas Story’ play. It was beautiful. It was so well rehearsed that all the children did a magnificent job and had so much fun. All the kids were given presents and folios to end the concert and the parents were given a gift as well! The day was finished with a shared morning tea! A great end to a brilliant year!!
20131212-163708.jpg20131212-163745.jpg20131212-163806.jpg20131212-163820.jpg20131212-163838.jpg20131212-163852.jpg20131212-163909.jpg20131212-163930.jpg20131212-163958.jpg20131212-164008.jpg20131212-164021.jpg20131212-164033.jpg20131212-164041.jpg20131212-164051.jpg20131212-164113.jpg20131212-164136.jpg20131212-164147.jpg20131212-164157.jpg20131212-164210.jpg

20131212-164230.jpg

20131212-164242.jpg

20131212-164314.jpg
Sienna played a camel and did a great job! She sang with a smile on her face the whole time!

The kids got their report cards yesterday and I was so proud of their achievements. All of their hard work, our persistence with homework and the dedication of their wonderful teachers sure has paid off!!

20131212-164622.jpg

The final celebration today was for Bay. His class put together a slide show, celebrating the fantastic things they’ve done this year….

20131212-164746.jpg

20131212-164753.jpg

20131212-164801.jpg

20131212-164808.jpg

20131212-164822.jpg

20131212-164830.jpg

20131212-164839.jpg

20131212-164851.jpg

20131212-164859.jpg
Bailey is lucky to have had three brilliant teachers so far and a lovely group of children who he can call his friends!

Now that the school year is finished for us all, we have so much to look forward to! The next couple of weeks will be spent enjoying the lead up to Christmas Day and then after that we are off on our much-needed 10 day holiday to Burleigh!

But I must end my post by saying I wouldn’t be able to make it through any school year without the help from my beautiful mother. Mum not only babysits Mia while I work my two days, she helps with school drop offs and pick ups and I appreciate she does more than words can say!!

20131212-165445.jpg
Thank you nanny!!

Happy holidays to all my fellow teachers, school mums and friends!!!

What better way to start our holiday with dinner and dessert out and looking at Christmas lights!!!

20131212-200316.jpg

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!”

December 1st…when I was growing up, this date was my families traditional date to put up the Christmas tree and turn our house into Christmas time. My husband grew up with a different tradition…November 1st! I know, so early and by the time Christmas arrives the suspense of the whole thing almost kills the kids lol! So we’ve compromised (cause that’s what marriage is about right??) and we start to turn our house into a Christmas wonderland mid November. Because we decorate both inside and out, it takes us almost 2 weeks to get it exactly how we like it! My heart still skips a beat when I start mid November lol…but seeing my kids faces beam with excitement is so worth it!!!

This is how our home evolved into Christmas this year….

The inside….

20131202-203606.jpg

20131202-203621.jpg

20131202-203636.jpg

20131202-203643.jpg

20131202-203651.jpg

20131202-203708.jpg

20131202-203747.jpg

20131202-203818.jpg

20131202-203826.jpg

20131202-203839.jpg

Even the kids have their very own Christmas light each…

20131202-204003.jpg

The outside….
From this….

20131202-204041.jpg

20131202-204052.jpg

To this….

20131202-204143.jpg

20131202-204154.jpg

20131202-204202.jpg
Over 2000 lights light up our home at night:)…the kids just love it!!!!

When the first of December finally rolled over we were able to start the count down….

20131202-204404.jpg

20131202-204414.jpg

20131202-204422.jpg

20131202-204429.jpg

With so much heartache this year, it was hard to pick myself up and get into the Christmas spirit, but the kids are the best form of medicine and watching them embrace it for everything it’s worth, makes enjoying it so much easier. Our favourite nightly ritual is sitting outside on the driveway with an iceblock admiring our very own Christmas light display:)

20131202-204741.jpg

20131202-204804.jpg

20131202-204844.jpg

20131202-204853.jpg

Our Christmas tree is now the popular spot to take photos and read our nightly book:)

20131202-205059.jpg

20131202-205104.jpg

20131202-205110.jpg

20131202-205118.jpg

20131202-205126.jpg

20131202-205159.jpg

So this is our Christmas display this year…each year we add more and more and create another lot of beautiful memories to cherish.

Our final piece to the puzzle was added this afternoon and now I feel it’s complete….

20131203-062755.jpg

20131203-062802.jpg

I hope you all have a wonderful festive season where you spend your time laughing and bonding with your loved ones…I sure know we will:)!:)!

20131203-142114.jpg