A Letter to Nana….

Dear Nana,

I can’t believe it’s been 2 years since I saw, touched and kissed your beautiful face. 2 years since you took your last breath on this earth and grew your angel wings. So much has happened in the past 2 years. Lots of ups and downs and there isn’t a day that goes by where we don’t wish you were here with us, enjoying in what life has to offer.

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I still find it extremely difficult to be in your home. Your presence is so raw and real and although it brings me comfort, it also breaks my heart and is a harsh reminder of what we are missing! I admire grandad for being so strong. It would have been so easy to walk away from all the memories, but instead he embraces it and has allowed it to help heal his heart, that will never fully recovery from losing you.

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Grandad is going well though. He misses you more and more everyday, but between us all, we make sure he is looked after. He travels with us to watch the kids play sport, relishes in his time at family dinners and enjoys his outings with Kane to Bunnings and the pub!

Mum has been, like always, the glue that holds us altogether. In her darkest days of grieving for you, she always makes sure that everyone else is ok. She is granddad’s sounding board and when he broke his hip, she took tremendous care of him just like she use to take care of you! You’ve raised an amazing women in my mummy nana so thank you!

You should see all the great-grandchildren now:)! Sadly you never got to meet baby Ada who is our newest member to the family! Megan and Shannon’s wishes came true and what a gorgeous wish she is! All the kids have grown so much and are striving to their best potential, especially in their sport! They all talk about you all the time and Mia asks me everyday why did nana have to die?!? Knowing you’re not suffering or in pain anymore is the only thing that puts my mind at ease just a little with losing you!

I miss you so much nana. I miss our chats about TV shows and celebrity goss, swearing together during these chats ended up in many laughing moments and I’d do anything to have that again. I miss the sound of your sweet voice, the touch of your soft hands and your cuddles – they will always be my favourite! I miss that you’re not hear watching our lives evolve and cheering us on with whatever we are doing in life…I just miss you!

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You may not be here in person anymore, but you are never excluded from our thoughts, conversations and special occasions. I hope this letter finds you, wherever you are. I hope that you are happy, content and enjoying the freedom you deserve!

I love you nana – until we meet again….

Nat….xoxoxox!

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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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Laughter…good for the soul!

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Our world we live in is so serious. It’s so busy and repetitive. Respect is something that fades more and more each year and words such a bullying, cyber trolls, depression, anxiety and the like are frequently thrown round like a rag doll. How did we get to this point?

In my opinion, good old-fashioned laughter isn’t used enough anymore. Life is so busy now (which is hard to avoid) but due to all the hustle and bustle we all live each day, people forget to stop breathe, smile and LOL! Shop assistants aren’t as friendly or helpful as they use to be and when I go for a run in the morning I always lift my head to say good morning to people just to be faced with them eyeballing the ground. If you ask my mother, she would say – “but you’re to the other extreme love….you’d talk to anyone and laugh at anything!

All I know is for me, laughter is a good dose of medicine. It’s great for the soul. It can turn a mood right around. It can turn a bad day into a good one. It can get your mind in gear to tackle the harder obstacles in life. I still remember the week we painfully sat with my precious nana, while she was slowly drifting away, we still had moments of laughter in the room. It wasn’t disrespecting the moment at all. We knew that nana could hear us and she would have wanted that as nana loved to laugh. She battled Parkinson’s for many years before she passed away and I think her ability to laugh right to the end contributed to her long jevity.

I’m so lucky that I am surrounded by many people who I can have a good laugh with. My husband and I after 17 years still laugh together every day. When we have get togethers with my family, there is always fun and laughter echoing through the house. I particularly laugh with my mum and sisters and I have many friends who I share laughter with as well. I love that my kids make me laugh every day. They all have such funny little characters and a child’s laughter is like music to my ears.

I find myself laughing wherever I go….I laugh at work, in the school yard, at the grocery store, at the television, at things on Facebook and Instagram, with my specialists and doctors – most importantly I can laugh at myself! My life is far from perfect and I face some hard days, this is when I draw on laughter the most and watch an episode of Friends or look at photos that make me laugh. I always say if I didn’t laugh I’d cry!

Today’s catch up with my two oldest dear school friends was a classic example of how laughter is good for the soul. A common denominator of our friendship is laughter. We use to laugh so loud and hard at school people would think we were nutters. I still vividly remember a trip we took to Sydney we spent the week laughing so much our stomach muscles were sore. But whenever I walk away from my gals, I always feel happy and uplifted. We don’t get to catch up as often as we’d like, but when we do we have a lot of laughing to catch up on and that we do!

I’ve been through and watched a lot of people in my life go through heartache. Life is too short not to laugh. Life is too precious not to enjoy it. If people would relax just a little, not be so serious and laugh more often, maybe just maybe our world wouldn’t be filled with so much crime and hatred, instead more love and happiness!

Really – laugh….it’s good for the soul!

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A Decade of Marriage…

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10 years ago, at 3.30pm on October 9th 2004, I married my best friend, my lover and the man who would become the father to my children….we became husband and wife, Mr and Mrs Trew!

The day was magical, everything I’d dreamt of since I was a little girl. The big white dress, lots of pink, a pretty cake and most importantly there was definitely love in the air. We celebrated our day with 150 family and friends, ate beautiful food and danced the night away – my husband even did a strip dance to the Grease remix song – I still giggle when I think of this lol….all in all it was a wonderful celebration that was all about us and who we are! If I was ever given the chance I’d relive that day in a heartbeat!

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10 years on and how things have changed! So much has happened in 10 years. We have shared so many wonderful memories together I don’t even know where to begin!!

The greatest achievement in our ten years of marriage though is creating our party of 5! Our three babies are our pride and joy and we are so proud of them. We’ve certainly had our ups and downs as parents, but with each hurdle thrown our way, we’ve jumped over it together (sometimes we’ve had to pull each other over it lol) but we’ve always come out the other end stronger.

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We have laughed out loud lots together, shared in each other’s grief of the loss of loved ones, nurtured each other when sick (Kane has done this for me 10 to his 1 lol), been there for each other when we’re feeling down and supported each other with whatever we’ve wanted to do!

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We have turned our house into a home, creating an environment where our children feel loved and safe. We have invested, bought several cars and been on numerous holidays – our first trip to America being our biggest highlight to date.

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Our 10 years of marriage have been great – not perfect, but what marriage is! Marriage like parenting, was never meant to be easy. It’s something that has to be worked at everyday! It’s never meant to be taken for granted and needs to be nurtured to grow. It’s like a rollercoaster – you enjoy the highs and hold on during the lows.

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To celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary, we tossed up many things to do. We went from staying at the Stanford Plaza for a night, to having a balance of time away with the kids and on our own to all of us together for three nights at our favourite Palm Beach resort. We made it a family occasion as that is what is so important to us!

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We had the most amazing weekend. The weather was sensational, the kids had a ball. We ventured to the beach, the creek, walked through the mangroves and scooted to the park. We swam so much the kids must have been water-logged!! And of course I enjoyed my runs along the beautiful water front!

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To top off the weekend, my lovely parents came down and stayed with the kids so we could go out and celebrate just the two of us! We had such a great night at Jupiters Casino eating loads, drinking a few and losing money on roulette! The night was topped off by a stroll along the beach watching the moon rise and watching the fireworks that were on at Southport! It was perfect:)

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These past 10 years have been a real learning curve and as each day goes by we will continue to learn. We are so blessed to have some of the most amazing people around us who inspire us to the best we can be. Particularly my beautiful parents who are celebrating their 43rd wedding anniversary today.

I’m looking forward to seeing what the next 10 years holds for us. From this point we will continue to love and nurture each other. We will continue to enjoy our beautiful precious babies. We will continue to work very hard at building the life we want for ourselves and our children. But in the immediate future we will enjoy our first trip to America as a party of 5…only 7 weeks to go!!!!

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Happy 10 year wedding anniversary Kane Trew…I love you with every single beat of my heart!

Celebrating Us….

This week has been a lovely week and is always one of my favorite weeks of the year! It was our wedding anniversary:) This year marked 9 years and last month on September 21st marked 16 years together! Because the two dates are so close together, we always do one big celebration and this year was perfect!

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One of the best days of our lives:)

It’s the only time of the year where we go away for the night and concentrate on us for a change. We spend so much time pouring our energy into our children, it’s so nice to be able to spend quality time alone together and have a decent conversation and meal where we are not interrupted by little voices (even though I wouldn’t change that for the world!)

On our actual anniversary day, we had a reasonably quiet day. I cooked dinner for us all and we celebrated in the comforts of our own home, as a party of 5. It was lovely actually, thinking about the day we became husband and wife and looking at what we’ve created since!

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This year’s night away was amazing!!! Kane secretly booked a night away at the Stamford Plaza…we stayed there the night of our wedding and hadn’t been back since! It was so worth the 9 year wait as it’s the most beautiful place to stay. The foyer is so exquisite, the decor of the rooms, the classical music constantly playing in the background of the lifts, the friendly staff who can never do enough for you….they really make you feel like royalty and when you’re upgraded to a deluxe suite on the top-level, I really did feel like royalty lol!

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For dinner that night, we had the most beautiful seafood buffet at the Stamford Plaza, with views of the Brisbane river and a lit up Story Bridge, it was so peaceful. Following our dinner we went for a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk and then finished the night with a couple of drinks at the bar – a truly wonderful night full of good conversation and laughs!

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The next morning we woke to an overcast morning where we went for another leisurely stroll along the boardwalk followed by a beautiful buffet breakfast and spa! It was one of the best times we’ve had together since becoming parents. I think as one child turns into eventually 3, you really learn to appreciate the time you have alone. I’ve always loved my husband’s company. We make each other laugh and that’s always been a favourite pastime with the man who is my everything!

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Now that we are back to the land of reality with our 3 beautiful babies, we will cherish the memories of our night away and look forward to next year’s celebrations, the big one – 10 years!!! Plans are already in the making:) Thank you to my wonderful husband, Kane Trew, who is my lover, my best friend, the man whose shoulder I cry on and the man who drives me up the wall, but I wouldn’t have it any other way….or maybe lol! Jokes babe…I love you forever!!!!

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Our Masterpiece….

A dictionary defines a masterpiece as…the greatest work, as of an artist….
Let me reveal our masterpiece – which I think is the greatest work we’ve ever created….
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Our 3 beautiful babies who make up our party of 5!

This week has been another long and busy one (so very normal lol)! But it was certain moments that happened in the week that made me pause and embrace our masterpiece for what it is…

We’ve been working on our masterpiece for 7 and half years now and it will forever be a work in progress. When moments like; watching your eldest wipe your youngest’s ice-cream face (without being asked to), being surprised by your 5-year-old when she took the washing off the line (without being asked to) and hearing your 2-year-old say to her big brother “you played well Bay” after his footy match (without being told to), just makes your heart melt. It’s moments like these that I can’t always capture in a photo, but will forever be implanted into my heart and memory bank! These moments define our masterpiece for what it is.

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Mia excited to see Bailey after his footy game!

We’ve worked hard over the years to instill the values of; love, loyalty, kindness, trust and respect in our children. These are not things that our children are automatically born with, they’ve had to be consistently taught and guided on how to use these values appropriately. There are days where you feel like you’re a tape recorder on repeat – saying the same thing over and over again, but when moments happen where your children are displaying the desired values, it makes all the hard work of sounding like a broken record worth it!

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In saying all of this, our masterpiece is far from perfect. Like any masterpiece, there are days when things flow and work beautifully and there are days that seem disastrous! But that’s where our learning comes from. We don’t let those days make us feel defeated, instead it makes you more determined to work harder on your masterpiece the next day! Like anything you take the good with the bad….I embrace the wonderful moments when they happen and strap on my seatbelt real tight on the days that seem like such hard work!

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I’m so proud of our masterpiece so far. The love we share for each other, the support we give each other and the team work that is displayed within the home is something I love to just sit back and take in from time to time. This week I’ve found myself just sitting and watching with pride as our children, the ones only us created, have displayed some beautiful behaviours and manners. But it doesn’t stop here. Our masterpiece is like a puzzle with a million pieces that we just keep working on until it’s complete. It’s a work in progress, that may never get finished, for as long as we are on this earth, we will always be guiding our masterpiece through life!

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Our babies are so worth the effort xoxo

Until we meet again….

Tears are rolling…
Our hearts our broken…
Yesterday we lost a great lady…Gloria Holpen – my darling nana!

She was a loving wife to my grandad, mother to my mother and uncles and was ‘nana’ to 10 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. She was a mother in law, a sister, an aunty and a true friend to anyone she met. She was loving, she was loyal…one of the greatest women I’ve been privileged to have in my life!

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5 weeks ago nana was rushed to hospital when she fell ill with a stomach obstruction. We were told to prepare for the worst then, but through her pure strength and determination, nana recovered and was ready to be discharged when a spot became available in a nursing home. Then last thursday unexpectedly, nana took a turn for the worst and started vomitting…another stomach obstruction, this time worse, this time there was nothing the medical professionals could do. Sadly nana was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease 5 years ago and now that she was in the late stages of this horrible debilitating disease, her bowel and gut system was paralysing and she was unable to eat or drink. We were told last weekend that nana only had a couple of days to live. She lasted 8 days.

We were shocked to say the least. We knew that she may be at risk of another obstruction, but months or years down the track…not weeks;( When the realisation came to knowledge that nana would need to be cared for in a nursing home, that was hard enough to stomach at first, but we accepted that and my mother worked so hard doing everything she had to do to find nana a nursing home placement and now instead of getting nana ready to move, we are busy planning her funeral. It just seems so wrong;(

In her final days, most of the family were able to spend time with nana, comforting her when she was in pain, holding her hand when she seemed scared and whispering in her ear how much we loved her and that she needed to be brave. This past week has been gut wrenching. Watching my grandad in his final days with his wife of over 60 years was nothing short of torture! Seeing how distraught my mum was at the thought of never seeing her mother again. We’ve cried an ocean of tears, but the most uplifting part of this week has been the realisation of how powerful family love can be.

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The hospital staff were amazed at how long nana held on for. For an 80-year-old women to last 8 days without food or water showed how strong and courageous nana really was. And although nana had many loved ones waiting for her on the other side, she knew she was leaving so much behind! The closeness and love our family shares started way back when nana and grandad started their own family…nana has left this legacy behind and as a family we will keep this going.

How do you say goodbye to someone who has been there for every stage of your life?

As I close my eyes I remember so many precious moments with nana. Her gorgeous smile, her laugh, her beautiful blue eyes and how she always had the ability to put a smile on my face. I’ll treasure the safe and secure feeling I always had when in my nana’s presence and to say I won’t have that again is something I’m trying to come to terms with.

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This week will be tough for everyone. Even though many tears are still to be shed, we are determined to make sure nana’s funeral is a celebration of her life and the amazing lady she was. When nana’s time on earth came to end on June 1st at 11.15am, heaven gained a special angel who will be there to watch over us every step of our ways. So for now nana it isn’t goodbye, rather until we meet again…..

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I’ve Watched…..

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Throughout my life I’ve been blessed with being able to watch and learn from a wonderful women who I will always call my nana!

Over the years…
I’ve watched my nana love and care for her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren as her natural instinct of mothering has always been impeccable.
I’ve watched her love and nurture grandad like the fantastic loyal wife she’s always been.
I’ve watched her give her opinion with a strong view as nana always liked a good debat.
I’ve watched her laugh so hard till she almost wet herself as nana always had a great sense of humour.
I’ve watched her cry at many different situations as she always held her emotions on her sleeve.
I’ve watched her grieve as we’ve lost love ones along the way.
I’ve watched her support us with everything we’ve ever been involved in from our sporting events to our academic achievements.
I’ve watched her play many games of bingo…some she won and some she walked away with the poops!
I’ve watched her make gollywogs, croquet blankets and baskets as nana loved her sewing creations.
I’ve watched her sing and dance at concerts as nana was a groover!
I’ve watched her work her magic in the kitchen whether it be on a roast or bangers and mash as nana was a great cook!
I’ve watched my nana embrace her natural beauty as she never pieced her ears, never coloured her hair and would only ever wear her signature pink lipstick…we tried so hard over the years to get her to shave her legs, so a tattoo was definitely out of the question lol!
I’ve watched her enjoy many cups of tea, coffee and slices of cake as that’s what nana loved to do.
I’ve watched her relish in the company of all of her family as family was her life!
I’ve watched her say goodbye to her family home of 50 years and move two doors up from me – this I will always cherish!
I’ve watched the thrill all her grand babies have brought to her over the years of their developments.
I’ve watched her at her absolute best and her absolute worst.

For a long time now, I’ve watched my dear nana struggle like none of us would know how to. I’ve watched her cry in pain and I’ve watched how determined she was not to let the pain defeat her as she never winged and always had room for her beautiful smile. I’ve watched my devoted grandfather care for her and keep her comfortable at home for as long as he possibly could and this was accompanied by the dedication of my wonderful mother.

In her final days I watched my nana fight with the strength I’ve never seen from a single soul. I watched my family shed tears for the lady who has always been the glue that holds our family together. I watched my grandad’s heart break as he told her he loved her and we would be ok. I watched my nana hold onto dear life until she felt we were going to be ok because nana always put everyone else before herself.

Now that my dear nana is dancing in the meadows of heaven with other loved ones, I will forever live in peace knowing that she will be watching over us all. Our family has another angel now who has left behind a legacy that we will continue to uphold during our days.

I love you forever nana…you will always be my inspiration – today is not goodbye, rather until we meet again xoxoxoxo!

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A Year’s Reflection….

With the chapter of 2012 about to end, I want to take the time to reflect what this year has bought My Party of 5! It’s definitely been some what interesting. Many ups and downs, new memories created, lessons learnt, there were tears of joy and disappointment, but through all of this we’ve been able to hold onto each other to enjoy the rollercoaster and all the while love, laughter and hope was certainly present!

As I write my last blog post for the year and I look back at all the memories that have been created, it brings to light how busy the year has been and how quickly it has flown by! I question myself then…have I embraced it enough? I really dislike looking back at things with regret, but I’m happy to say that I am ready to shut the chapter of this year with no regrets, only lessons learnt and am really looking forward to a new year with new beginnings and new memories!

2012….

The year started on a good note with great times spent at the coast! It was Mia’s first summer and our first summer as a party of 5! We had a few mini holidays as a family and with family! The kids love going away and so do we!

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Once our summer fun was over and Kane went back to work, the reality of me going back to work after having 13 months off started to hit hard! I wasn’t ready at all. Between being diagnosed with my heart condition at the end of my pregnancy with Mia and then Mia being a very difficult baby, I was only just becoming content with everything when the time was up for me to return! It took ages, at least a term and a half for me to settle back into teaching and a new school at that! I’m happy to say I love my job now and am very settled and pleased to be Crestmead State School’s prep/1/2 special education teacher!

With me going back to work two days a week it meant my beautiful mother was back helping us out with babysitting again. It was Mia’s time with nanny as this year our Sie Sie girl started preschool! This was traumatic for us all! Unlike her brother Sienna cried and cried and begged us not leave her (I did that to my mum)! But after a few months the tears were gone and she has become such a confident little student all ready to tackle prep in the new year!

Bailey was so excited to be starting grade 1! He felt like a big boy this year and took responsibly in his stride all year. He had such an awesome year in prep so facing the new curriculum in year 1 was a little bit of a slap in the face at first, but I’m so proud of Bay he never gave up once. Even with more ear problems mid way through the year, he still managed a good report card. He excelled in semester 2 and where he started the year on a reading level 5 he was benchmarked a 21 to finish the year and received a brilliant report card!

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It was a very special year for birthday’s this year….Mia’s 1st birthday, mum and dad’s 60th and nana’s 80th! This meant there was lots of cake decorating by myself and lots of family gatherings! Mia started the birthdays off in February when she turned 1. It was a lovely day spent with my little bear. Her first year had been such a trying one, but we’d made it and almost 12 months on she is the cheekiest, most delightful funny little girl, that is soooo full on lol!!!

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Two 60ths and an 80th which were fantastic celebrations filled with close family and friends!

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And of course we all turned another year older….

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Bay turned 6:)

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Kane and I turned 32 this year!

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Sienna turned 4:)

Like every celebration we embraced it with plenty of decorations and cake! This year Easter was at our house for the first time! The kids had a ball hunting for eggs, playing on their jumping castle with their cousins and I made my first Easter cake:) Halloween was also a hit this year! I made dinner and dessert for everyone to enjoy, while the kids went trick or treating!

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This year was the year Kane had been waiting for since Bailey took his first breath….he finally was ready to play football and that he did!! I still remember his first game. I felt nervous for him. I thought so many things that may of happen, but all that happened was my boy running, scoring, tackling, encouraging and most of all having fun! He had a brilliant footy season with his team being undefeated. Kane was assistant coach and it was a great time for him with his son doing what they both love best! They are both bursting at the seams for the new footy season to start!

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Bay’s footy is not the only one we supported this year. We supported our Queenslanders to victory and were there when Petro played his last game for the Broncos! Kane still goes for his beloved Bulldogs and will never convince me to convert lol! But our biggest highlight of the year for achievement in sport was my nephew Sebastian. He made the Queensland under 12 rugby league team who took out the carnival in Mackay! This was such a special moment for our family as dad and I had made an under 12 state side as well…we even made the paper!

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Our biggest challenge of all hit us mid year when the business Kane worked for went into liquidation. Kane was left without a job and we were down to one car! Thanks to fantastic mates, Kane was able to work and work and work until he finally landed a fantastic permanent job only a month ago. We were prepared for him not to find anything until the new year, so when this came up, we couldn’t believe it! We’d never lived without stability. Living from day to day, watching every single penny we spent so we could maintain our home and investment property! It has been such an unsettling time for us all, but we made it through and all thanks to my wonderful husband who is a work horse!

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Visiting daddy at a job site…water playground – score!

But through the hard times I’ve laughed a lot at the kids this year! They are my everything. They are my light when I’m feeling dark. They may drive me crazy at times, but I would not be able to breathe without them….

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And like I stated above, I’m not only blessed with three adorable children, I have the best husband to go with it!

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I’ve learnt a lot about myself this year! Losing weight and getting fit was the best thing I’ve chosen to do since having my children. I’d never been in a position before where I needed to lose weight, but when faced everyday with a heart condition and letting myself go a bit after having my third child, this has kicked my butt into keeping myself at my best, in order to give myself the best chance of living the longest life possible….this mumma ain’t going no where! Not only am I physically fitter, I’m as mentally fit as I’ve ever been! Things that use to bother me don’t anymore (although my husband may disagree lol) and being forced into not having my husband around as much, I’ve learnt that I can do anything on my own! I owe all of this to running! I believe if I didn’t find the love of running, this paragraph may have been written differently!

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Even though we had some really shaky parts of the year, it certainly is ending on a beautiful note! Christmas was so fantastic this year. We embraced it for all that it’s worth and most importantly we were together relishing in the love we have for each other!

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My last cake of the year:)

As a new year approaches it gets you thinking what you’d like to see happen, resolutions and goals! All I want for the new year is for us all to be happy! After having such an unstable year and watching my husband feeling unhappy, I just want us to be settled and happy! It’s not about money or possessions, it’s about being settled and grounded, once these things are in place, everything else around you balances off nicely!

Of course there are lots of things that I hope don’t happen in the new year! I’d like us to go one year without having to take one of our children to the hospital to have their ears fixed. It was Mia’s turn this year and already Bailey is booked in for the end of summer if his ears don’t improve….but I am thinking positively!!!

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And of course there are things I hope to achieve like cleaning out my laundry/study, the one room I just can never keep organised – it is my dumping ground. I want to get my scrapbooking in order and finish off Sienna’s baby album so I can start Mia’s! I have new running goals and the new year will be my first year where I plan to enter competitions!

Our biggest event that will kick start the year off though is our eldest daughter starting prep! How exciting! I can’t believe that the 10 pound 2 baby I gave birth to is about to start the adventure of primary school. I’m going to miss my little pumpkin so much and so will her baby sister….it’s just you and me Mimi….please be kind to mummy lol!

On that note I shall end my final 2012 blog with thanking you all for your support and reading about my life and My Party of 5! I started blogging as a way of helping others an if I’ve only helped one person with something than I’m happy with that! My goal was to reach 10 000 views of my blog by the end of the year and that has been well and truly achieved with over 10 300 views to date over the 90 odd blogs that I’ve written thus far. I wish you all a very happy new year that is filled with lots of love, laughter and good health and I look forward to sharing more of my life’s findings in the new year!

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Seeing in the new year on our holiday at the coast….couldn’t think of a better way to spend it!

Family is EVERYTHING!!!!

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I love this time of year! It oozes family time and for me there is nothing better than spending time with my beautiful family. Not only am I blessed to have my very own party of 5, but I’m also blessed to have grown up in a party of five that has extended a great deal over the years!

The fabulous people who have started off this great chain is my mother and father! They are truly the best parents anyone could ever ask for. Devoted, supportive, loving, generous and fun parents and grandparents. Without them, none of us would have half of what we have today!

The festive season always allows me to reflect and appreciate my family. One of my sisters lives in Melbourne with her family, so it is quite rare now that we are altogether, but when we are, we sure make up for it! Over the past week, we have spent several days together laughing, joking, debating, reminiscing and watching the kids have fun together! Amongst all of that a fair bit of eating (by the women) and drinking (by the men) has taken place lol! Gosh they are always good times!

My family is the essence of me. They complete the person I am. They are always there in times of need, sharing each and every happy or sad moment! They are people you can both laugh and cry with and be your absolute self. They are the ones you turn to and lean on when the going gets tough and the ones you call to rejoice with when something fantastic happens!

This is my family…my EVERYTHING!!!!!

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We have gone from a party of 5 to 15!!!

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My beautiful sisters….best friends forever!

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My gals….my backbone!

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The party of 5 I’m blessed to have come from!

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Our 7 beautiful offsprings!

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My party of 5 who I could not exist without!

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