An Inspirational Year!

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It’s been almost a year since I put myself out there to the blogging world. As a wife and mum of three who works two days a week as a special education teacher and has a love of running, cake decorating and craft, I started blogging to not only capture the significant moments in my life, but to also hopefully help other mums out there, to debrief about the same issues that my life is faced with. I’ve written over 100 blogs now which touch on parenting issues, fashion findings, home decorating and my running progression!

I’m not only surprised how many people have read my pieces, but am quite humbled that I regularly have people message me to thank me for helping them to start their journey into getting fit, thanking me for a good suggestion or letting me know they are “glad I’m not the only one:)!” As my blog’s caption is ‘life is about learning’, I feel that this is happening from some people who take the time to read my posts. I believe we all have something to learn from one another and I’m quite happy that I’m teaching someone something from the comforts of my own home!

I love to hear about people’s goals and achievements! It’s nice to bounce ideas off each other as hundreds of heads are always better than one! Just this weekend I received a message from a Facebook friend who I met at primary school updating me on how she is going with her running and thanking me for my words of wisdom and encouragement…how lovely is that! Being told that I’m someone’s inspiration…well you guys are mine! It’s positive feedback which allows me to stay focussed on my goals and inspires me to keep writing!

So I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the wonderful people who have followed my life’s journey over the past 12 months. I have received so many beautiful, heart-felt comments on so many of my blogs and I truly appreciate every kind word anyone has ever taken the time out to write. As I venture into my second year I can only hope that I am able to help more and more people along the way!

A BIG thank you from ME to YOU….I hope we can keep on inspiring each other;)!

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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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The Man That Holds My Hand!

I’ve written quite a few blogs now about different members of my family and by now you would all know how blessed I am with such wonderful people around me. There is one person who I haven’t said too much about yet and that is my wonderful husband – Kane Trew!

Almost 20 years ago I met this skinny, shorter than me boy on the basketball courts, at Woodridge High in the first week of grade 8! We didn’t have a lot to do with each other until he was in my English class in year nine and again in year 10 and then for two years he sat in front of Tania and I in Science!

Then finally after a friendship for a few years, we started going out at the end of year 12 on September 21st 1997…almost 15 years ago! Throughout our 15 years we have been through many ups and downs and the reason why I haven’t been found in the fetal position in the corner of a room somewhere, is because of this wonderful man who is always been by my side!

Life is one big rollercoaster of challenge after challenge, thrown in with fun times that create our wonderful memories! As a couple who have created such beautiful memories together, we have also been through our fair share of hurdles. But one common denominator in our story is that most of the time it’s Kane who has had to be there to support me through the tough times and I’m so lucky to have such a wonderful selfless man in my life.

In 15 years Kane has been right by my side to hold my hand when:
*I was having a meltdown about not being able to complete a Uni assignment on time.
*When I’d had few too many drinks and needed a needle to stop the vomitting – oops lol!
*When I graduated university.
*When I got my first permanent teaching job.
*When writing report cards seemed like it was never going to end.
*When we made the decision to buy our first house.
*When he asked for my hand in marriage and then again when we declared our love in front of everyone on our wedding day.
*When we found out we were going to have our first baby.
*When I miscarried our first baby and had to have a curette.
*When I was in the late stages of my pregnancies and would wake up with terrible cramps in my legs or needed help to get out of bed!
*When I suffered terrible morning sickness for weeks on end.
*When I gave birth to each of our children.
*When I was up breastfeeding in the night for the first time.
*When our newborns needed help to be settled.
*When our children went to hospital to have their surgeries.
*When we went overseas with 2 kids under 4!
*When I had half my thyroid removed.
*When we waited 10 days for my results to see if the tumor in my thyroid was cancerous or not.
*When I’ve been up in the night with an ear ache, tooth ache or bad head cold.
*When I’ve taken on a new position at work.
*When I was given the news about my heart condition.
*And just this morning when I shed a tear over our last born not having a breastfeed anymore.

I wouldn’t have been able to get through any of this if my wonderful husband wasn’t their holding my hand! I figure if we can sustain all of this and still come out smiling and be in love more than ever, then he’ll still be holding my hand in many, many years to come!

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This Is How We Roll……

Celebrating special occassions….how do you do it? Big? Small? Decorations? No celebrations at all?

Be it a birthday, Christmas, Easter or a special public holiday, we embrace everything there is to celebrate a special occasion!

From Christmas until now, we have celebrated many wonderful events with family and friends! The new year started with Australia Day where we wore something that symbolised the Australian flag or Australian colours and enjoyed a good old BBQ and backyard footy. Next was our precious little girl’s 1st birthday, followed by our son’s 6th birthday, my husband’s birthday, my dad’s 60th birthday, my birthday and recently Easter!  Yes that is a lot of cake eating, present buying and wrapping, happy birthday singing but most of all lots of fun times shared with the people we love and care for the most!

Wearing the birthday hat at the Runcorn Tavern!

I love EVERYTHING that goes with celebrating…..themes, cake baking and decorating, presents, parties, dinners, decorations – love, love, love it! When growing up, we always celebrated birthdays, Christmas and Easter with family and enjoyed the fun side of these events which included presents, parties, cakes and decorating! These traditions I have followed and am now allowing my own children to embrace in the excitement of celebrating!

Creating Traditions…..This is how we roll:

Birthdays!

A birthday in our family is considered a very special day as it is the only day you can truly celebrate and be spoilt on your own (that is if you don’t share it with anyone)! I love making such a big deal about the kids birthdays especially! I have a red feature wall that separates our toy room and lounge room which we have deemed our celebration wall! The night before a birthday I always decorate it with a happy birthday banner some streamers and balloons and have their presents sitting out ready for them to wake up to….the kids love it!!!

On Mia’s 1st birthday…our ‘red wall’ is our celebration wall we decorate for all special occasions!

When purchasing birthday presents, we always make sure they are a surprise, but we do ask them to make a list of what they want! I am a strong believer that everyone deserves to get what they want for their special day, provided it is within budget! We have a budget on presents for all occasions, usually between $100-$150, Easter is about $50.   I would far rather spend money on something someone wants!

My favourite part of a birthday is making their birthday cake:) I love making and decorating cakes, again the choice of cake and style is up to the person, once they’ve told me what they want I get to be creative!  On the day, the biggest highlight for the kids is singing happy birthday and blowing out the candles…sometimes twice ok three times on occasions, if someone missed out on blowing out a candle heheheh!

I love doing birthday cakes! Dad’s 60th horse race track I made!

Lastly we always celebrate a birthday with family. If  it’s on a week day we go out to dinner and if you’re lucky enough to have it fall on the weekend, we do something during the day! The kids don’t get big parties each year. I always do a big first birthday, a reasonable size second birthday and from then on they get to choose to do something special around the time of their birthday but not always a party! Bailey had his first “school friends” party this year, as he is in grade one and turning 6 was a major thing for him:) but the next time he has a party will be when he is 10! 21st are also very big in our family….I still remember mine and how awesome it was!

Christmas!

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” We love Christmas and everything that goes along with it!!! My husband is nicknamed Clark Griswall (from Christmas vacation) as he loves Christmas as much as I do lol! Traditionally I was brought up not to put your tree up until 1st December, Kane’s family tradition was November 1st so we compromised and we decorate our house and tree mid November! When Bailey was little we put a few extra fairy lights around our windows and then each year we would add to what we did the year before! Last Christmas was out biggest display yet – over 1000 lights, window displays, garden displays and this year will be even bigger, as I stocked up on the boxing day sales:) the kids absolutely love it and really so do we:) Once our decorations are up, we take our own annual Christmas photo of the kids which I use to make my Christmas cards.

Sitting out the front of our house enjoying our Christmas display!

The month of December is my favourite month of the year! During the lead up to Christmas we spend many occasions catching up with family and friends and we spend our nights looking at christmas lights and listening to Christmas carols. The kids love wearing christmas shirts and outfits and thank you to my wonderful mother who sews, they are very lucky to have alot to choose from.  Three things we make an effort to do is take the kids to Movie World’s Winter Wonderland night, which is absolutely magical, get our annual photo with Santa and we take the kids in town to see the big tree! Our visit to Santa last year was so sweet, the kids drew pictures for him and they posted in Santa’s letter box what they would like for Christmas!

I love this photo!!!! First year with 3 children sitting on Santa’s lap!

Our Christmas day is always so full on! On Christmas eve, the kids leave cookies and milk for Santa and his reindeers and a note thanking him for his presents:) Playing Santa is always so much fun:) I love setting up their Presents in their stockings and making sure a note has been left by Santa:)  Christmas morning is always so precious! Watching the excitement on the kid’s faces as they venture into our lounge room and see their presents and read their note from Santa, are moments I cherish! From then on we hit the ground running! After presents are exchanged and opened, we have breakfast with Kane’s family and from lunch time until bed time, we spend it at mum and dad’s! I love going back to the place I’ll always call home on Christmas day, as mum and dad have always put on the best Christmas lunch and dinner and the pool is always a real hit on Christmas day!

Santa has been and delivered!

Easter!

We have always celebrated Easter but this year was our biggest yet! I love Easter. I am an Easter baby as I was born on Good Friday so usually my birthday is always around Easter.  I love how the kids embrace the spirit of celebrating. Bailey is the biggest driving force behind all of our decorating. I loved decorating our red wall this year.  It was the first time I’ve decorated at Easter and will now definately be a yearly tradition. I even made and decorated my first Easter cake:) I always make sure we venture to the shops a couple of days before Good Friday so the kids can see the Easter bunny and get their annual photo with him.  A lot of our friends and family go away at Easter but we never have and I never did when I was growing up either. It is so nice having Kane home for the 4 days and we try and cram so much into that time too! This year we went to Movie World on Good Friday, did a clean up and organised everything on Easter Saturday as this year was the first time we have had Easter at our house on the Sunday.

Our first Easter display on our ‘red wall’!

Like Christmas I love setting up the kids presents and eggs after they go to bed.  The kids left the Easter bunny some carrots and milk, oh and Bailey left him a magazine…lol! I made sure the Easter bunny left behind some footprints….the kids loved waking up to that, even Mia who is 14 months old was very intrigued by the Easter bunny footprints:)  Once the kids open their presents from us the hunt begins.  We make 3 trails so all the kids get the same amount of eggs from the Easter bunny….again a tradition they absolutely love!

The Easter bunny has been!

We then spend the rest of the day catching up with Kane’s family in the morning and my family at lunch.  This year was the first year we have done an Easter egg hunt with the kids’s cousins, which was a real hit.  Easter is so much more relaxed than Christmas.  It is so nice just to sit back and watch all the kids play, eat chocolate and have fun!

My 3 little bunnies!

Public Holidays/Special occasions!

My son is such a breath of fresh air. Every now and again out of the blew, he will go through with me what is next to celebrate. The year always starts with such a great public holiday in Australia Day.  Each year we go to the beach and Kane cooks everyone a big Aussie Breakfast! We dress in Australia Day attire and have a wonderful time relishing in the beautiful Queensland weather!

Bailey embracing Australia Day….such a proud Aussie!

Other things we do throughout the year are: wear green on St Patrick’s Day, Bailey participates in anything the school celebrates and we always buy ribbons on days like Anzac Day and Daffodil Day. We are also very traditional when it comes to engagment parties, weddings, baby showers mother’s and father’s day.

Our last celebration before the Festive season starts, which Bailey talks about all year is Halloween! I know traditionally Halloween is an American tradition, but who doesn’t like dressing up and going trick or treating! The kids spend a week before Halloween working on their costumes and on the day of Halloween I always put a few decorations up and the kids go trick or treating, only to houses of the people we know in our area…it’s all in a bit of fun:) I always have my bowel of goodies ready for kids who come trick or treating, but our kids seem to be the only ones in our area who do it!

All ready to go trick or treating!

So there you have it! I know we may go overboard on some things, but that is how we roll and we wouldn’t have it any other way!