Keep on Keeping!

It’s been 4 and half years since my life changed. 4 and half years since I was diagnosed with a heart condition while I was 37 weeks pregnant with my littlest baby.

That moment of my life, without a doubt, was singlehandedly the most frightening I’ve ever felt. Hearing the words mortality, rupture, open heart surgery, ICU, was like living a nightmare. I was about to become a mum for the third time and while I should have been embracing the moment, I was scared out of my wits as to how it would all end….But thankfully with the support of an amazing family, wonderful friends, the best cardiologist I could ask for and the strength that all of this provides for me to keep on keeping, I’m still here to tell my story!

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This week I had my annual heart scan. This past year has been a very busy one. Between work, the kids education and sport and the busy day to day chores of life with 3 kids, how can life not be busy. We travelled to the States where my daughter decided to split open her head – cause that’s not going to give your heart a scare! Our son was diagnosed with anxiety, OCD and a motor and vocal tic – that’s enough to raise my blood pressure most days! I trained for my first half marathon and to date have run 2 now – this was always going to be a question of is it too much?

But after lying there, feeling sick to my stomach like I always do during my scan on Wednesday, it was so delightful to hear my results hadn’t altered since my last scan. Yippee!!! I was so relieved. It’s always the fear of the unknown with my condition. You just never know. Although I look and feel fantastic on the outside, without that scan who knows what’s happening on the inside. What deteriorates my condition is high blood pressure and thankfully mine is always low but you just never know!

Last year’s scan, for the first time since diagnosis, there was some deterioration. It was only slight but it was movement. I was taken back to all the emotions I felt when I was first diagnosed – scared, overwhelmed, anxious, timid. But that was my scan after I lost my nana – that movement was clearly from a broken heart;(

My aorta is now dilated to 4.6cm. It’s still just sitting in the moderate range as severe is 5cm and I shall do everything in my power to maintain this to avoid open heart surgery. Each day I make conscious decisions on my food intake, I exercise 5-6 times a week, rest when I can, sleep as much as I can and do things for myself that make me happy!

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Next month I see my cardiologist to discuss my health and any further plans that need to be made. But for now I will keep on keeping. I will enjoy the small things in life. I will laugh out loud when I need to. I will remain as calm as I can when I really want to rip someone’s head off (lol). I will appreciate what my life consists of and I will be grateful everyday the moment our little angel baby was conceived, because without her, who knows how long I would be on this earth to tell my story!

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A Letter to Life…

Dear Life,

On the day of my 35th birthday I write this letter as a reflection of what my life has held so far…..

When I was born 35 years ago, I was one lucky little baby girl to be born into the most amazing family I could ever ask for. A beautiful, caring and supportive set of parents and two loving twin sisters 6 years older than I. Growing up I always remember my childhood being a happy one. I have many fond memories of road trip holidays, beach holidays and visiting many different places. A major part of these memories always included my loving grandparents – who I adore at no end.

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I had a good schooling experience both primary and high and was lucky enough to extend my education to a tertiary level and become a primary school teacher. I’ve always had many wonderful friends, some who I’ve known since I was really young and some that I’ve known for a short time but feel like a life time!

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I have always been an active person and played sport my whole life. As a child I did almost every sport imaginable, but as a teen my passion was for my netball – making a state team at 12 was my highest achievement and I still wear my QLD jacket to this day! This passion for an active lifestyle still continues today and at 35 years of age, I can proudly say I can run 20k non stop!!!

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But my biggest achievement in life is creating a life with my wonderful husband who spoils me rotten! I have been lucky enough to birth three beautiful healthy kids who are the apple of our eyes. We work hard to have the life we want for ourselves and our children…it’s far from easy but we get through it together. Nothing I’ve ever done compares to this…loving someone is great, being loved by someone – well that’s just amazing!!!

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Through all the goodness of my life, I’ve seen tragedies. I’ve experienced pain and hurt. I’ve lost loved ones and have seen loved ones experience joy in the darkest of their days! I’ve been scared, felt fear, nervousness, anxiousness and have been overwhelmed at many different things. But one thing I have never done is lost HOPE….

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I’ve had many hurdles placed on my pathway during my life journey so far and I make it my passion to jump over each and every one of them. Some are jumped with ease, while others have needed a lot more work put into them. Some will stand for a long time and maybe forever, but it’s my promise that I will NEVER give up trying to jump them!

35 years you have given me so far. I still can’t believe I’m 35!!!! Someone said to me the other day – “you know that’s half of 70!!!!!!!” Bit of a harsh reminder lol! But each day, week, month, year I’m given, I will always work at being the best me and enjoy what makes me happy! I feel blessed every day for what my life holds and am grateful without a doubt. This little thing called life, is certainly here to challenge us, but it’s also here to embrace for its greatness and I have so much greatness to live for!

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But I do have one wish…please be kind. Be kind to the people I love. Suffering is something I dislike seeing my loved ones do and if I only had one wish to be granted it would be that we are all treated with kindness!

Love Nat!

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Come Up For Air….

It’s been a while since I put my heart on the line and disclosed feelings and thoughts that seldomly go through my head, but it’s been one of those months. You know those months where you feel like your drowning in the pressures of life. The ones where everything in your life has steered off track and it takes all your strength not to have a nervous breakdown…but I’m here to say I lived it, I survived it as I’ve finally come up for air!

February..where do I start?!?

February is always the busiest month of the year for us. It’s the beginning of a new school year which encompasses settling the kids in with a new teacher and class mates and this year in particular was bigger than ever as we established new routines. Thankfully Sienna, who has taken months to settle for the past couple of years, started grade 2 so bravely that she hasn’t caused me a worry in the world…this time it’s been Bailey and Mia.

20150308-200344.jpg If you are a regular follower of my blog, you would know that my son was diagnosed with severe anxiety and a motor and vocal tic late last year. This hasn’t caused any problems for him at school until this year. He still manages to keep his anxiety under control at school, but his tics have become so obvious now that they are evident at school. This lead to an early appointment back to our paediatrician who is now referring Bay to a neurologist to rule out any neurological issues.

Meetings back and forth at the school with Bay’s teacher and the Deputy has now seen him settle in quite well. I’ve started him on magnesium as research has proven it to have a positive affect on people with Tourettes. Magnesium helps to decrease the severity in tics and so far I’m noticing some improvement. I also read an article this weekend where folinic acid and vitamin B12 helps reduce anxiety…I’m willing to give anything a try to help Bailey overcome his anxiety.

Then there’s Mia. Oh Mimsy where will you end up I constantly ask myself?!? Starting preschool for this little cherub has absolutely rocked her world. I thought Sienna’s separation anxiety was bad…Mia has taken it to a whole new level!!! It’s been so bad that she won’t sleep or leave my side when she’s with me. It’s taken 6 weeks, but the last two weeks has seen some positive feedback land in my lap! Although she still cries and frets each day she has to go, she is starting to settle better, interact with her peers and show her teachers what she is capable of. This is a far cry from crying all day, refusing to talk to her teacher and pining over me.

Amongst all of this there was some lovely moments spent when we tripped to the coast to spend time with my beautiful parents on their Palm Beach holiday. It was a shame though that I had to take my work laptop and work on reports that had a strict deadline – a teachers job is an endless job!!! But the reports got done and we always have a ball at our annual getaway with mum and dad!

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20150308-200719.jpg Then of course each February brings about my eldest and youngest’s birthdays. This year I made life a bit easier for myself and had a joint celebration with family. Each child had a cake of their choice and for their actual birthday they took cupcakes to school to share with their friends. I feel like I didn’t put the effort in I normally do for my children’s birthdays, but they were super happy and that’s the main thing.

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20150308-200849.jpg Add to this mix the demands my job plays at this time of year, a change in year levels after the first few weeks of school and a lot of things that played out at work that really made me question…why do I bother?!? Oh and did I mention I hit a car in all of this? And amongst all of this the kids sport started up as well as weekly visits to Bay’s therapist…oh and Kane is working massive hours to boot! One thing after the other was becoming a recipe for a meltdown….

I was spooked. I couldn’t shake the overwhelming feeling of a brick that sat on my head and every time I tried to come up for air, every time I tried to see the light and every time I tried to get the wheels back on my track it felt like another brick was being placed on my head! I kept telling myself “you’ll be right”…”just get through this month and then you’ll be able to breathe again.” I really surprised myself as I hadn’t felt like this for a very long time. I’ve always prided myself on leading a well-balanced life with my running being my therapy. Not once have I missed a kilometre planned out in all of this but I still had an uneasy feeling and I wasn’t feeling my happy self at all…what the hell was wrong with me?!?!

As I counciled myself, spoke to many friends and my dear mother…(although I didn’t bog mum down too much with my problems as she’s suffering a terrible knee problem at the moment) I realised what my problem really was….I’m mentally exhausted. Physically I can keep going and going and going, but with everything that’s going on, particularly with Bailey, I’m utterly mentally exhausted. Where things wouldn’t bother me, they did. Where my patience would be good they weren’t. I literally felt like I was having PMT for a whole month!!!!!!

All of this on the back-end of our overseas trip. I loved our holiday. But 3 massive weeks overseas with three kids under 8 after a huge year that was and since we’ve returned we’ve hit the ground running. We haven’t had that time to recoup and recharge like we normally do at the end of every year. But we knew this would be the case when we decided to go to the States. And I guess having an overseas holiday is like planning a wedding. You spend so long planning it, but the event is over in the blink of an eye. You are on the highest of highs and once it’s over you come crashing down.

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20150308-201056.jpg I’m happy to say now that February is over, the major crashing waves that kept rolling one on top of the other has returned to a semi-calmness or should I say the normal amount of busy and craziness that goes on day in and day out at this house. I have really disliked the way I’ve felt this past month and hope I don’t feel like this again. It’s taken a lot of mental strength and self-regulation to overcome the uneasy feeling that sat in the pit of my stomach for weeks, but I’m feeling back to my happy self again.

I’ve had to really dig deep this past month and tell myself that “I can do this!” on numerous occasions. I’ve drawn on the strength of the people who constantly surround me and make my life an awesome one and I’ve reminded myself constantly how lucky I am. I never gave up on myself. I rode the big wave and waited until it came back to a flat. I like flat…flat is good! I’m finally feeling grounded again and back to being the best I can be in all areas of my life!

I’m so use to dealing with one thing after another but for the first time in a while it was all becoming too much. I was fragile but I’ve built myself back together and after running 17k yesterday (my longest run to date) I’m ready to face the rest of the year!

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Letting Go and Moving Forward!

Is it really 2015 – really??

What happened to 2014??

I don’t know about you, but 2014 had to be the fastest year of my life so far. Or is it that life is so ridiculously fast and busy now, each year is just going by way faster than the next!?!

I’m pretty pleased to see the back-end of 2014. It was a year that saw so many people around us suffer heart ache after heart ache. This all started 5 days into the new year when Kane’s best mate’s dad passed away suddenly of a heart attack. Was such a terribly sad start to the new year and from then on we attended 4 funerals in 6 months – all who were around the age of 60 years old – which is my parents age!! This is the time of life where they should be enjoying their grandchildren and the simple things in life…makes me so sad and appreciate even more my parents!
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2014 was a real roller coaster year – so many ups and downs. It literally felt like we were riding one…we’d plod along and enjoy the highs and as soon as we relaxed into that mode, we came down with a thud! This had a lot to do with the kids health. Mia started with ear infections in February which saw her needing her second set of grommets in May. Unfortunately one grommet has already come out and she currently has an ear infection!!!
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Our boy Bailey had a really rough year. He started it off well and had an amazing football season, but by the end of the football season and after weeks of very irritable and unsettled behaviour, we discovered that his ears were full of fluid and he had hearing loss in both ears, which ended in him needing his fourth set of grommets. He was also prescribed glasses as he is long sighted and has an astigmatism and he is now seeing a child psychologist after being diagnosed with high anxiety. This is also accompanied with vocal and motor tics. It’s been such an emotional time watching our son go through this. I’m looking forward to getting some regular therapy sessions under Bay’s belt so we can start to see some progress.
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2014 also saw many family members battle health issues. Early in the year, my dad was diagnosed with coronary heart disease. It was such a shock to us all but we are so grateful to know this information now and take the necessary precautions to prevent dad having a heart attack. You just never know. The heart is the organ that keeps us alive yet it can go at any time. My heart results altered slightly in this past year as well. It’s the first time this has happened since being diagnosed with a dilated aorta. It was a reality check for me yet again, but like dad’s heart I appreciate every day that I have a chance to stay on top of my defect!

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To end the year of ups and downs on the health front, my grandad fell and broke his hip. This saw him operated on and hospitalised for 6 weeks. He is currently back home and with the help from my always amazing mother and as many of us who are able to help, grandad is settling in back home nicely! He is getting stronger every day and it’s wonderful to see! Gramps has been through a lot especially with nana passing away 18 months ago, but family is what keeps him going!

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2014 for us was a year of mishaps! At times I felt like a skittle being knocked over by a bowling ball. We’d get one thing sorted and then something would happen. While saving for our trip to the U.S and kids needing grommets, we had our car break down twice, our hot water system played havoc on us for months before we finally hit the jackpot – if I had to endure one more cold shower I was going to SCREAM!!! This year has really highlighted the age of our home and now that we don’t have an overseas trip to save for we need to show some TLC towards it!

But what is life without drama?? It wouldn’t be life!!

All this said so many wonderful things happened in 2014….

*We celebrated each birthday and special occasion in style with me baking and creating many different master pieces!

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*We created so many wonderful memories and as I scroll through my 3000 plus photos on my phone, we were so busy making those memories. From beach trips to playground adventures and many swimming occasions, our children are very lucky!!

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*We celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary with an amazing weekend away at Palm Beach – something I’ll never forget!

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*We couldn’t be more proud of how the kids have gone at school, both academically and socially, the kids have done an amazing job all round!

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*We’ve watched Mia go from a toddler to a little girl who is very intelligent – she’s like a little old lady who has been here before and it’s been a pleasure to be able to spend another year at home with her 5 out of 7 days a week. I can’t believe this is her last year before she starts prep!!!

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*I’ve maintained my health and fitness to a level I never thought was possible – running my longest run to date of 16k was such a fist pump moment and am so looking forward to a new year of running goals and challenges!

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*But our two biggest highlights of the year have been featuring in That’s Life Magazine and our 3 week trip to America!! What a thrill both experiences have given us. It’s really enabled us to have the confidence to take on many other challenges and adventures in the future!

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But like each year, non of this would be possible without our hard work as parents, the hard yards Kane puts in at work for us, the help, love and support of my parents and from family around and from the support and friendships that we are blessed to have.

Now the new year has begun, there are so many things I’m glad to see the back-end of, but there are many amazing things I don’t want to let go of! But with each new year brings a fresh start to create a new bunch of memories and for us we are off to a great start, by starting the new year with a week at our favourite annual holiday paradise – Burleigh! We have one more week left before Kane goes back to work and two weeks left before Mia starts preschool! Then after that school and sport will resume and in a blink of an eye we will be putting up the Christmas tree again lol!

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I have no expectations on this year. My expectations on life now do not change from one year to the next, I simple live each day and moment as it comes and enjoy the highs and hold on for the lows! My life and my loves are my main priority and as long as they are happy and healthy, then that makes me the happiest person on earth!

Happy new everyone…make every day count!!!

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My Place of Peace:)….

Soft sand between my toes, cool breeze in my face, the sound of crashing waves – my place of peace is definitely the beach!

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Since I can remember I’ve always LOVED the beach. When I was a little girl I would burst with excitement at the prospect of going to the beach. When I close my eyes, I can still visualise driving up the road waiting for the water to appear. I would sit there with the intent to scream with joy as soon as I saw the first glimpse of the ocean and you know I still have those same feelings now as an adult.

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The beach is one place where I can be and feel as though the worry of the world is lifted from my shoulders and I only feel a sense of peace. I could sit all day and gaze out at what I would say be the most beautiful thing to look at. It makes me happy. I always feel content. I feel calm and confident when I’m at my place of peace.

Now that we have our own children, it’s become a very regular place to visit. The kids have discovered a love of the beach like their mumma and it’s so nice watching them laugh and have fun just like I did when I was a child. My favourite holiday moments and time as a family is always at the beach.

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Last weekend was our final getaway for the summer to Palm Beach. It came at time where all facets of life were at their peak, but the moment I stepped foot on the beach, everything that I’d been feeling was washed away and my sense of peace and calmness was back. We had a ball just like always. The kids had a sneaky day off school on the Friday and we spent the morning on the beach (which we practically had to ourselves) playing ball, swimming, digging holes and searching for shells….it’s moments like this I absolutely live for!

The beach is also one of my favourite places to run. I always love a good barefoot run or a nice steady long run which always seems so much easier when you have such a amazing view to look at.

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Some would ask if I love it so much why not move?? My husband would in a heartbeat, but I love it for somewhere to getaway to. I’ve spoken to many people who have moved to the coast because they ‘love the beach’ and hardly go to it as life becomes so busy they don’t have time! I have too many reasons to stay living where I am and am content keeping my place of peace somewhere I can go for a holiday away from my normal life!

Life is so fast these days and the pressure and demands put on people is becoming phenomenal. For me to deal with this, I rely on my place of peace as a means to recharge and regain my sense of peace and happiness, which allows me to tackle what life throws my way!

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That’s Life….’real IS perfect’!

I still can’t believe it!!! Me in a magazine!!! Who would have ever thought when I started writing my blog two and a half years ago, I’d feature in a magazine along with my beautiful family, all thanks to this little website I created -‘My Party of 5’! Everything I stand for and my blog stands for, is represented from being in this magazine feature and it makes me very proud to be sharing it with the people (you) who have supported me by reading my blog posts!

Last month I received an email asking if I would be interested in being apart of a campaign that That’s Life magazine was running. Two things came to mind straightaway….1. How bizarre – that was nana’s favourite magazine and 2. surely this is some sort of gee up!! Well it turns out it was no gee up and it makes me even more chuffed that my first (and probably only) magazine appearance is in the magazine my dear nana loved to enjoy every week for many many years!

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I expected the article would require a photo that I sent in along with a few lines by myself, but it’s been so much more than that! I still remember the phone call that was made to me asking when I would be available for a photo shoot!!! My excitement was controlled during the conversation, but once I hung up the phone my little OCD brain became over stimulated with thoughts about, clothes, hair, jewellery!!!! The photo shoot went really well. The kids were so excited that they were going to be in a magazine and we had the best photographer who worked so hard to get some great shots! After 5 outfit changes and two hours of posing and smiling I was exhausted lol – it really isn’t as easy as it looks lol!

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The blog post that was discovered by That’s Life, which prompted them to contact me, was the one I wrote about how I’ve ‘earnt my tiger stripes’! It was agreed by That’s Life and myself to include a section of that blog to accompany my photos! From that final phone call that basically sealed the deal, it would be two weeks until the article came out in the 43rd edition of That’s Life magazine! What a long two weeks to wait. I was excited and slightly nervous as to how the article would feature as it bared the part of my body that I never show – my belly!!

The suspense was killing me yesterday. I was hoping I’d find a newsagency that got their shipment of copies in early so I could buy it late yesterday. No such luck lol, but thankfully Kenny our newsagent man had his ready and waiting at 6.30am this morning. As the kids and I turned each page of the magazine we waited in anticipation. My heart was beating faster than normal and then there, right before our eyes was me (OMG) and me and my family (OMG) – we were really in a magazine!!! I’m so happy with the article – I’ve had a smile on my face all day – even when the car broke down, nothing was taking me down today lol!!!

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I feel so privileged to be apart of an amazing campaign that That’s Life magazine has put together. I’m a huge advocate for women feeling good about themselves. Society puts so much pressure on women now to look a certain way, but if we all had a good hard look at ourselves, we are fabulous just the way we are! The ‘realvolution’ campaign is so inspiring which is why I agreed to be apart of such a campaign, in the hope that I inspire other women to feel good about themselves!

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Being happy with yourself is not about having the perfect body, it’s about being happy in your own skin with the ‘real’ you – that is perfect! I encourage all my women followers to jump on the ‘realvolution’ bandwagon and shout to the world why you are awesome! What’s perfectly real about you? Find a photo of yourself that depicts this and celebrate ‘real is perfect’! And don’t forget to grab yourself a copy of this week’s That’s Life edition, as you could be in the running to win numerous amounts of awesome prizes!

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Never in a million years did I ever think my blog would lead me to this day. I’m so glad I decided to write a blog. Not only does it help me to debrief with myself, if each blog teaches or inspires just one person at a time, then my job is being served! Thank you to everyone who has helped me to get to this point, because without people reading what I write, it would just be a personal diary of my thoughts…My Party of 5 is so much more than that….who knows where it could take me from here!

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This one’s for you nana xoxoxo!

I’m Back!!!

It’s been weeks since I put my fingers to keys and typed a blog. I have wanted to on so many occasions but the truth is, aside from being super busy all of the time, I’d lost my way with it a bit. I love my blog and what it represents, but writing is one of those things if you don’t have it, you don’t got it. And I truly felt I’d lost it.

As I opened up My Party of 5’s web page tonight, I started reading all the mail in my inbox – lots of positive feedback. I then browsed over my blog’s stats and although I haven’t published a post in a while, there is never a day that goes by without people reading my blog…I’m now over 22,000 views – I’m very humbled by that.

This was the first step in getting me back to what I love to do – write and share ideas in the hope that I help just one person!

A quick rundown on life as it stands…

We’ve had a massive year so far with loads of birthdays, which means I’ve done a lot of baking!! The kids are settled into school and doing really well. Mia is growing and learning more and more each day. At the end of next month they would have all celebrated their birthdays and will be 8, 6 and 3! Life as we knew it with a baby is all but gone. It’s a sad thought, but we have so much to look forward to.

Between my two days of teaching being very busy and full on and Kane working 12 hour days, the working week is a juggling act between school functions, homework, play group and sport. Bailey is playing footy again this year and is having a great year. Sienna has started a netball program that is skills based and is loving it. Mia is our little fish and loves her swimming teacher Josh! I’m still keeping fit and healthy by exercising 6 days a week and maintaining a healthy diet and getting as much sleep as I can. And my husband is in his glory as it’s the footy season!!!

We still ride the rollercoaster of life with many highs and lows but nothing major to complain about. You get knocked down and you dust yourself off and start again…and again lol!

Now I’ve started, my aim is to write weekly posts and In the coming weeks I will be blogging about some of the projects I’ve been working on, how my fitness stands at the moment, dealing with anxiety, fashion findings and how the pain of losing my nana is as raw as it’s ever been.

Thank you to the people who read my blog…I really do hope it helps someone!

Nat:)

 

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A Daily Dose of Gratitude:)

When we were conceived and given life on this earth, no one programmed into our brains how to handle the challenges that life throws at us. Some of us were lucky enough to have great role models growing up to help us deal with the ups and downs of life and others have had to muffle through it on their own. In the end, I believe how you handle yourself and situations comes down to our personalities, inner strength and our mental health!

If I took a snap shot of my life I would see many hurdles in my way, but I would see myself dealing with those hurdles in different ways! In my teens I would have melted down and cried, in my twenties I would have felt sorry for myself and then I hit my thirties and something changed! My mind felt different. The challenges were greater than ever but I was dealing with them in a more calm, rational manner with grace and dignity. Did I change? Was it having the kids? I know having massive health scares kicked my butt or maybe I finally grew up lol! My whole attitude to life now is all about being happy and positive. I try so hard everyday to provide that for my family and if the days seem dark at first, I look really hard and there is always a light of goodness shining!

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Now that I’m in a great place, the best I’ve ever been, I’m always feeling grateful. Grateful for life and the wonderful things that it holds for me and my family. The challenges are still there as they will always be as that is life and they we learn! But even with the challenges that are thrown our way, there will always be something to be grateful for.

A couple of months ago a best girlfriend and I made a pact to text message something everyday to each other that we are grateful for. Two months on and we are still going and loving it! It really keeps you focused on what matters most. Some days are easy and you could think of a dozen things to be grateful for and then other days are a little harder and you have to look at a lot harder, but in the end there is always something to be grateful for!

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Some of the texts messages I’ve sent have been…

Today I’m grateful for my mother’s beautiful nature:) – she is such a work horse!

Today I’m grateful for my wonderful father who has always been amazing to us kids and his grandkids – I feel so blessed to have him! And am also grateful that my children have a loving and devoted father who love then unconditionally – it makes me happy that my children will be able to look back and have the fond memories of growing up that I have:)

Today I’m grateful that I was able to have a half an hour to myself to eat my lunch and laze on my sun lounge…I’m sure that’s what’s going to see me through to the end of the day lol!

Today I’m grateful for my brave children and risks they take…they make me feel like I can take on the world!!!!!

Today I’m grateful for so much!!!!!

Today I’m grateful for my husband’s hard work and dedication to his job!

With so much hatred and angst going on around the world, it’s so important to not be dragged down by it all. Having a positive attitude and being grateful for what we have is so healthy for us. It contributes to our physical and mental health more than we realise. For as long as I’m privileged enough to breathe oxygen on this earth, I will spend my days showing gratitude and instilling this value into my children. For it’s not what we don’t have defines us, rather – what we do!

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Everyday I’m grateful for my party of 5!

Establishing a Happier You!

Life is so much more enjoyable when you are happy! To me things flow better, chores get done more efficiently, decisions are made more easily and when life throws a curve ball at you, instead of resisting it and curling up in the fetal position, you have enough mental strength to face it head on! For almost two years now, I’ve been working on a new me – a happier me! Finding out about my heart condition really put things into perspective for me…the mantra I live by now is ‘we only have one chance at life, so it’s up to us to make a good go of it!’

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I’ve always been a happy person who loves to laugh and have a good time, but over the years, I would let things get to me and get me down. I would stress over the smallest of things and crack up at the kids and lose my patients at very little. For a long time there while I was pregnant and breastfeeding one baby after the other, I was running on empty. Lack of sleep, teaching two days a week, raising three children and running a house became overwhelming! For me the turning point was finding out about my heart. Although not a ‘happy’ situation to be faced with, once I got my head around what I was living with, it changed the way I started looking at life! Instead of wrapping myself up in cotton wool, I’m grateful and happy that I know about my heart and I work hard everyday to keep myself fit and healthy to help my condition!

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I believe I’ve evolved over time. I’ve grown to appreciate the small things in life. As normal human behaviour has it, we always want what we can’t or don’t have, when really we should be happy with what we’ve got! These days I purely focus on that. I may not have a huge fancy house, drive a BMW or wear designer clothes…I have so much more to be happy about! I have a loving husband, three beautiful children, a devoted family and a number of fabulous friends…not an ounce of money could buy me that!

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At the end of the day, like anything, being happy is a choice! The first step to being happy is wanting to be. From there it’s up to the individual to do things that make them happy. For me that involves lots of things….
*spending time with my party of 5
*cuddles with my babies
*laughing with my husband and children
*dinner date with my husband
*seeing my babies happy
*spending time with my family
*date with my mum and sisters
*chatting to my mum
*time with my friends and their babies
*running
*keeping fit and eating healthy
*baking and cake decorating
*my nana’s beautiful face
*playing around on instagram apps
*having a tidy house
*getting my hair done
*shopping
*painting my nails
*writing blogs
*knowing I’ve helped someone
*being organised
*the sunshine
*going on holidays…just to name a few:)

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I feel very blessed everyday for what my life holds. And although we’ve been through some terribly sad times this year and throughout my life, I still try so hard everyday to focus on being happy and appreciating what I have. For me positive thinking and patience comes so much more naturally now and I believe my happiness has contributed to this! I also believe that when you are happy, everyone seems happier around you. When I wake up every morning I’m happy, because I feel blessed that I’ve been granted another day with the beautiful people that I love…and then I go like a crazy women to fill my day with as much as I can….and this makes me happy!

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Smile and be happy…we have so much to be happy about!

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Happiness breeds happiness….

Running Free….

Body upright, one foot in front of the other, I can do this!
I have children, I have a husband, I have parents, grandparents, siblings, nieces, nephews, family and friends who I need to keep going for!

The past two months have been like a living nightmare that I just want to wake up from. So much devastation. So much heartache. So many tears cried. So much bad news!

Wednesday morning I was awoken to the third piece of devastating news that someone in my dear family has had to endure over the past few weeks. I was left feeling beaten with sadness. Yet again the tears flowed. Just when you think you’re all cried out, your eyes just seems to keep weeping fluid of hurt and despair. I laid under my doona and imagined running away….

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I imagined running free from all the hurt, the pain, the sadness, to a place where it was full of happiness and no stress. Everyone was healthy! There was no such words as death or illness, only fun and fortune! I imagined scooping my party of 5 up and whisking them away to a secluded island where we played in the sun, sand and water all day and couldn’t be contacted by anyone….this is how I felt on Wednesday! Clearly this was a women on the edge of her emotions, who couldn’t bear to see anymore of her loved ones go through pain!

Then I woke up on Thursday and I did run. I ran 5km pretty fast, which helped me to pull myself together. I told myself while I was running that everything will be ok. At the end of this dreadful cycle there will be happiness and good health. We will all come out of this stronger than ever and our family unity will be as tough as nails!

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Now that I’ve kicked my own butt back to reality I’m ready! I’m ready to support my loved ones who are hurting and going through the lowest of lows! I need to be there for my grandad and mum. I need to be there for my other family members who are suffering broken hearts at the moment. I need to be there for my children, who in this disaster cycle look at things so innocently. I need to be a supportive friend to those who need me the most and I need to keep calm for myself. If I don’t keep calm and my heart is affected by all the added stress that is going on I won’t be here to support my loved ones!

From today I’m going to take each day as it comes. Take each situation as it comes and deal with it appropriately. I will stop and enjoy the small things in life. I will accept help when offered and I will stop and breathe when I feel overwhelmed! I will fix a situation where I can and let fate take care of the rest! If I’ve learnt anything over the past month, life is what it is. There is nothing we can do to change a bad situation, but we can make it easier to deal with by being there for each other and only keeping those ‘running free’ thoughts as imaginative ones!

To all my loved ones who are going through a tough time, I love you and am always here for you xoxoxoxox!