Thursday, 21 November 2013

30 days of thankfulness- day 21.

Today I am thankful for a reminder of this article.

I have read it before and it really struck a chord. It was nice to be reminded by a dear friend of these things that prove to be consistently important to people when they reflect back on their life.

This is it in a nutshell:

"1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier."

It's not that I think that life is too short, but rather that life is too precious. This is our one shot to be happy and live a whole hearted life- I don't want to waste it!
I can look at each of those points and recognise times in my life where I have had the thought flicker across my busy mind...'I just wish I could....' 
Thinking happy makes me happy, spending time with genuine friends makes me happy, expressing myself and being true to my heart makes me happy and taking some time away from work (even if that just means a weekend or a holiday) to stop and enjoy life makes me happy. It all looks so simple, but there have been many times in my life when it has all seemed completely impossible. Sometimes it is harder to appreciate my good fortune, good health and wonderful family and friends- sometimes it takes a conscious effort to remember. 
I am thankful that I am at a point where all of these things feel possible. I am thankful that I have created the opportunity for myself to make those things possible. I am thankful for the support around me to make those things possible. 
Hello Helen- this is for you!! xx

30 days of thankfulness- day 20

Today I am thankful that Christmas is coming!

I do so love so many things about Christmas. The past few years it has been a bit of a challenge to get into the spirit of things because I never seemed to have quite enough time to send out the Christmas cards, to enjoy shopping for gifts, or get some Christmas baking done.

I am busting to get that tree up but I'm holding out just a little bit longer. With a certain little boy in this family getting very, very excited and offering daily countdowns, I think we might be best to hold off until at least December.

I have the wrapping paper at the ready, some baskets of gifts wrapped and ready to go under the tree and my colour scheme has been decided. A little trial run of some Christmassy cake pops was more than a little bit of a thrill and a little visit to Kmart this week inspired all sorts of plans for a tight budget.

These super cute baskets are only $6 in Kmart!!!

Having time means that the budget is slightly less extravagant, but it is so lovely to plan for hand made gifts and some creative shopping.

Are you excited about Christmas too? Or do you prefer to pretend that Christmas doesn't exist until December, 24th and then do a mad dash to the shops?

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

30 days of thankfulness- day 19

Today I am thankful for babies. All of them!  But especially mine of course.

I had the pleasure of visiting a friend and her newborn baby and gorgeous toddler son last week and could I be feeling a little bit clucky after that... YES!!!

I'm always clucky, I love everything there is to love about babies. I suck up their divinely baby smell and it just makes me smile.

I loved every second of my pregnancies, but that could have a lot to do with the fact that I was severely ripped off and was robbed of half of it when Campbell arrived. Nobody was ever going to hear me complain about how long it dragged on with the next two- I savoured every minute of the back pain and heart burn...well mostly tolerated it as politely as possible ;) I really did love the excitement, the anticipation, the thrill of wondering who this little person would be.
 After being told that this may never eventuate for us, it was a very, very happy moment each and every time that stick showed the lines that meant BABY. It is not an easy road for many and I am extremely grateful that our hiccups were relatively minor.

So this week I have been cluck, cluck, clucking and pondering the final departure of the cot. I know it is quite silly to still have it, but it is that last little thread that ties me to those baby days. I am ready to let go and accept that my family is growing up and moving into new and exciting phases. I am ready to admit that it is rather nice to sleep at night. It is a relief to not have to have room in the boot for a wheelchair AND a pram. It is best to be thankful for the 3 amazing boys we have been blessed with and to snatch up other peoples babies whenever I see an opportunity, and inhale that baby smell until my lungs collapse.

Monday, 18 November 2013

30 days of thankfulness- day 18

Today I am thankful for a chance to catch up.

I have been thankful for many things each day and often jotted down the things that came to mind. Today I have had a moment to sit and write it all down.

It does feel like an indulgence most days to stop to write, when there are so many other things that need doing. But it is a wonderful mood lifter. Sometimes a little mood lift is far more beneficial than ticking things of the list.

I have been caught up in lovely jobs and fun things and I am thankful that today I have had a moment to reflect on it all and just feel happy.

I also got to sneak in a little date with my hubby today. Just brace yourself for the excitement I am about to share.... he had to pick up fencing supplies and hay today for the school farm...and I got to tag along!!! Not the most exciting and romantic of dates but it was some precious time together ON OUR OWN! We got to chat without interruption while listening to the music WE wanted to listen to. As much as we love our boys and are very, very thankful to have them, it is lovely to just be us for a moment. One little moment to just pause and be happy for all that is ours- even when that means we are towing a trailer full of hay.

30 days of thankfulness- day 17

Today I am thankful for Princesses, pink, glitter and frills.

Oh it is such fun to do girly stuff sometimes. I was never much of a girly, girl- in fact pink and frilly is not something I give a second thought to most days. I have nothing pink in my wardrobe and really had to search the back recesses of the wardrobe to find the perfect gifted dress for this occasion- aha there is some pink in there after all!!

 I do confess that I had some fun considering every possible princessy option to create a party for the sweetest little princess of them all. Being quite inexperienced in this arena I had some nerves going in, wondering if I hit the brief.... I think it passed the princess test.

I did have fun putting it all together and can't wait for the next opportunity to get my pink on.

30 days of thankfulness- day 16

Today I am thankful for another parcel in the mail!!

Another gesture of love that was created with such effort and thoughtfulness. A perfect gift, as they so often are from this generous friend, that was not just a 'thing' but also a lovely story.

Thank you for all of the thought and energy you put into making me this gift, my precious friend, and I hope you felt the rainbows I sent you xxxxxxx

30 days of thankfulness- day 15

Today I am thankful for being prepared to take the risk of being someone 'fails while daring greatly'.

I have done it before and I have no regrets.
I am indeed daring greatly again and it is so scary and exciting in a big, shiny package.

I sometimes feel like I am a bit adrift, floating away from the things that made me feel comfortable and secure, but that also gives me the sensation of not being weighed down. There is the occasional moment when I wonder whether it was sensible to cut myself away from what was safe and sturdy, but who knows what fabulous journey awaits!!

I must also give thanks to a very insightful and beautiful friend for reminding me to dare greatly!!

Thursday, 14 November 2013

30 days of thankfulness- day 14

Today I am thankful for happy mail x 3! 
None of which were expected- even better. 
A sweet bundle of treasures from Japan- I do so love stationery but even more so when babushkas are added to the mix. I am so grateful for this generous gesture & can't wait you put it all to use. 
In the second envelope I found a wedding invitation from a love story like no other! I am so thankful to be invited to share in this beautiful story. 
Envelope number 3 enclosed the most gorgeous bunting & bonus cards from Vintage Prints. Triple joy!! 
No bills!! No forms to complete!! No appointments to follow up on! 
Just joy x 3. 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

30 days of thankfulness- day 12.

Today I am thankful for opportunities.

The opportunity to have an education, to choose a career path, the opportunity to have children, the opportunity to have a home to raise my family in.

I have been guilty of forgetting sometimes how fortunate I am to have these opportunities and wishing for more or better or more exciting.

Today I had the opportunity to go to yoga- which meant I also had a gorgeously peaceful night of deep sleep and the chance to catch up with a very special person.
Today I had the opportunity to see a glimpse of a much loved baby- and it hasn't even arrived yet!!
Today I had the opportunity to sit down to a beautiful meal with my family.
Today I had the opportunity to follow my heart.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

30 days of thankfulness- day 11.

Opps I forgot to be thankful yesterday. I was very busy prepping a party and playing around with my website, and collapsed into bed happily exhausted at the end of it all. I am thankful for just that- a whole day of doing something that I love.

Today I am thankful for another day of something I love- being Mummy! That is absolutely the happiest of all happy things. Joe had an appointment today at 11.30am. It would have been so silly to take him to school only to pick him up at recess....right?

We made the most of our rainy day together. The appointment went swimmingly with all of us proud and happy with his progress.

We made a fresh batch of yummy chocolate M&M biscuits and Joe said that when he is a grown up he was going to try to make a giant cookie- like a pizza. So I suggested that we try it out today instead of waiting all that time. Oh I wish I had captured the look on his face :) It made for a pretty yummy afternoon tea once everyone else was home from school.

And this .....

......just this.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

30 days of thankfulness- day 9!

Today I am thankful for my Drew! He is so awesome in so many ways, but especially tonight. Not only is he making plans to switch bedrooms with Campbell  (so that Cams gets the bigger room ...with room to swing a wheelchair) but he also picked the movie for tonight. Being a bit of a retro fan he totally got that 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' might be something kinda cool. Oh yeah... sooooo beautiful!!! (click on the link now so you can enjoy the song while you read on- you know you want to!)

He wasn't too sure that it was really that good (as I promised profusely) but I just know that once he has seen it another 20-30 times he will be completely convinced. It was our wet weather PE staple at High School, although I really don't know how they got away with that now!! We weren't complaining at the time.
What a classic! We have it recorded for a week- I am confident I can make us all watch it another 20-30 times before it expires.

Do you remember Ferris with fondness too?
Did you get a shock to see how young they all look- even Charlie Sheen!!
Did you see those computers?!
Do you think I should encourage Drew to watch it another 20-30 times so that he can fully appreciate the joy that was growing up in the 80's???

Friday, 8 November 2013

30 days of thankfulness- day 8.

Today I am thankful for parties.

It's very shallow I know.

You may not be aware that I really love planning a party- no really I do!!

I am planning for some beautiful party ideas at the moment, and they are both for girls!!! Oh yes- super special and exciting to explore my girly party options.

The joy of a little face shining up at you is pretty special as a teacher, but also as a party planner- with a little extra fun added to the mix. I miss my class of little sweeties so I hope my party girls will indulge me and let me fuss over them.

My work space......there really is some organisation in this chaos!!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

30 days of thankfulness- day 7.

Today I am thankful for this:

I have a lot of work to do but my website is live and ready to go. I am going to spend my weekend loading product and the week ahead ordering more gorgeousness.

I am very happy (and a little bit scared) to officially embark on the 'It's a date' train....wooohooooo!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

30 days of thankfulness- day 6.

Today I am thankful for friendship.

Where would we be without our BFF, lovely friends you see only occasionally but immediately pick up where you last left off, and those everyday friends who are always around for a quick chat, a hug when you need one or a good belly laugh when the mood is silly.

I'd be completely lost without mine! My boys would be lost without theirs too.

I have always been lucky when it comes to special people who come into my life just when I seem to need them. Sometimes they come and go, but remain a precious memory. Sometimes they become a friend for life. Sometimes you never even get to see them for many, many (maybe even many, many, many) years but the connection remains strong and messages flow with love and encouragement- oh the joys of modern technology and I do so value a very precious card or letter in the mail.

I always know when I have met a kindred spirit and sometimes I can't believe how quickly that connection is formed. I can recall meeting people for the very first time and thinking "we'll be such great friends" and sure enough they are.

I am so thankful for those meetings with good friends when you end up light headed because the conversation never stopped. I am thankful for the kind and generous words friends share to give you the much needed boost to get you through the next phase. I love the chance to catch up with a group of lovely friends where too much tea and cake is consumed and several conversations are running at the same time. I treasure that very special connection where words are not even needed, just thinking of that friend makes you smile and know that everything will be OK.

I am so, so fortunate to have all of these things in my life. I am thankful.

Thank you my friends for all of your kind and generous comments each day. Your thoughtful words bring tears of gratitude to my eyes every day (you probably already know that I am a bit of a sook).

I hope you can take a moment to think about what made you feel thankful today and make sure you take the time to savour it- it will make you smile and smiling is my favourite!!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

30 days of thankfulness- day 5

Today I am thankful for a strong and healthy body. It's certainly not as nice to look at as it used to be but it serves me very well.

I apparently have enough height to reach things perfectly. It is indeed a good thing that I don't need to go to the top rung of the ladder little some folk do. Shorter people tell me how fortunate I am to have such an ideal height- so I am thankful.

I am strong enough to lift and carry lots of stuff. I can manage a vast number of grocery bags in one go in order to avoid a second trip. I can still lift a skinny but awkward 15 year old when I have to (although there may be some grunts and groans from one or both of us depending on how well I am managing). I don't hesitate to shift some furniture when the mood for some rearranging comes over me. When I am hit with a bizarre desire to do a spring clean, and tip the house upside down in the process, this body steps up to the challenge and can clean, climb and scrub for hours on end.

My arms and strong and capable and just the right length to embrace 3 boys at the same time. They can even manage to reel in fish of enormous weight and length....

You are impressed aren't you? And look- I even managed to do it with a children's fishing rod!! 

I am frequently regretful for the extra curves I have managed to gain over the years, but this body of mine has grown and nourished 3 amazing people and continues to do an awesome job of looking after them all. I am thankful that although it forces me to suffer some aches and pains more often than it used to, it still does a fine job of getting me through all sorts of incredible feats. For that I am thankful.

Monday, 4 November 2013

30 days of thankfulness- day 4.

This is proving to be a very positive exercise indeed. It comes to mind several times during my day and I ponder what I could choose to write about. It really does make me realise the many, many things I am grateful for.

Today I am especially thankful for the gift of brothers. When I tell people I am the mother of 3 boys they usually raise their eyebrows or roll their eyes and often say something like "Oh you must be a saint" or "Oh you poor thing!" Little do they know the joy that there is in having my 3 boys. My boys think they are so very lucky to have brothers to hang out with, share cool stuff with and to have a best mate on hand every day. They have a special bond and I think it might be a pretty rare one too.
Campbell has set the tone in our family. There are these unspoken rules that apply when one brother can't do the stuff that the others can. There is an acceptance that things can't always go the way you want them too, an understanding that there are many things that other people take for granted and even dare to complain about, and there is a willingness to see people for more than just appearances.
Campbell has also learned to show gratitude to his brothers who will look out for him, grab him a drink or a snack when he needs it, and are willing to accommodate his unique interests.

They rarely bicker and regularly show affection. They are kind to each other and they enjoy the company of their brothers. I could never have realised how smoothly 5 weeks on the road with a camper trailer could go, until we just did it. Three brothers across the back seat for hours on end. Laughing at the same things, listening to stories with glee and enjoying the time to be a family. It was so good that we did it again the next year, and will probably do it again this year!

I am proud beyond belief when I see them sling their arms around each others shoulders, or naturally reach out and grab hands as they stroll along. My heart bursts when Campbell thanks his brothers with genuine sincerity for bringing him a missing book and the joy they show for his gratitude.

I am more than just thankful for my three boys- thankful just seems far too inadequate.

Photography by The Follans

Sunday, 3 November 2013

30 days of thankfulness- day 3.

Today I am thankful for my childhood sweetheart, my soul mate, my Eric.

I am mostly always thankful for him, but I do admit to the occasional period where I am more annoyed, fed up or simply irritated with him. But that's pretty normal...right?

I have already told our story, so I won't bore you again.

The truth is that I am very lucky to have him and I try really hard to not take that for granted. We have had a few tricky things thrown our way (we all have) and we still manage to find a way to hold it together. We find fun and adventure in the most creative ways- we have a wheelchair to factor in after all. We challenge each other intellectually, creatively and in the every day boring tasks that sometimes end in the slightest frictions ;)

We know each other too thoroughly to be able to hide faults. We love each other too honestly to not forgive those faults. We appreciate our different strengths, even though they sometimes drive us crazy.
I would jump to do anything to fulfil his dreams and he has done just the same for me.

We have a bond that is even stronger than I believed possible when we first dreamt our biggest dreams at very tender ages. Our children are the biggest of our biggest dreams and they have managed to surprise us with the extent that they have completed our lives. We had not really braced ourselves for what parenthood would mean for us, but we have been able to embrace and appreciate everything that was meant to be.

I am thankful for the constant companion I have, for the love he has given, for the appreciation he has for the person I am (warts and all). I thankful that he is willing to do the ironing AND mow the lawns. I am thankful that he is the best Dad I could ever have hoped for and has been incredible from the very first sign of cluckiness every single time. I am thankful that after 23 years of loving him, he still loves me too.

I am thankful for my husband and I know that there is nobody else in the world that I could be more thankful for.

Photography by The Follans

Saturday, 2 November 2013

30 days of thankfulness- day 2.

Day 2- the bond between a boy and his dog.

I am thankful for the special bond that my Campbell has with our crazy dog Charlie. There is something very calming about this connection and it is having a very positive influence on Charlie.

A few weeks ago Campbell got a bit of a bee in his bonnet about our dog Charlie sleeping on his bed at night. He read about it in a book and decided that he rather liked the idea of a companion at the foot of his bed. Charlie is very much an outdoors dog and well known for being more than just a little bit crazy and undisciplined. We started out with just a short visit each night at bedtime so that Campbell could have a little bit of quiet time with his dog. Charlie was grateful for the scratch behind his ears but was keen to escape after a few minutes. 
As the weeks have gone on our time has stretched. Campbell, Charlie and I have become accustomed to our quiet time each night. We chat quietly while Charlie enjoys a scratch. What was once a few minutes has become longer and longer. Charlie quietly curls up next to Campbell and listens to Campbell's gentle, reassuring voice. 
We have all noticed a change in Charlie's demeanour lately. He is calmer and more likely to listen to our directions. Campbell has made quite an impact.
Our time together every night is precious and we all look forward to it- Campbell, Charlie and I. 

I am thankful that my 15 year old boy still appreciates time with his mum and his dog. I look forward to that quiet, calming time together each night and treasure our chats. 

Friday, 1 November 2013

30 days of thankfulness.

Given that I am always able to reflect on so many lovely things to be thankful at the end of each day, I have decided to answer the call to be thankful every day for the next 30 days.

So here I am Alison joining you for the ride.

I actually had one of those days yesterday where I was overcome with a gush of gratitude for all of the good things I have in my life. This is perfect timing.

Today I am thankful for:

* A lovely dinner cooked with love and an extended evening of chilling out at my Mum's place.

* A fabulous meeting to plan a party with a gorgeous girl- I am busting to start pinning ideas!!

* The opportunity to take it easy today after waking up with a stiff neck and a pounding headache.

* The reason for the neck pain was that I have been sitting at my computer too often getting my website ready to launch VERY soon. So exciting!

* Inspiration for the most amazing and exciting ideas that I just can't wait to plan over a business lunch some time soon- are you listening Lis?

* The most amazing husband and children I could have ever dreamed up in my most wonderful dreams.

* Reading this article which has helped me to take a deep breath and realise that I am making the right decisions for my family and I need to stop stressing about money.

Gosh! That's a lot to be thankful for already and I really could keep going with a tonne of little things that made me happy today. I might just save something for tomorrow :)

What made you smile today? I hope you got the chance to take a moment to be thankful for a lovely little moment in your day.

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