Wednesday, February 7, 2018

It’s a good day when no one cries on the way to work...

Standards have lowered y’all. I can’t even explain how it is to just keep moving forward when it feels like I’m failing on all fronts.

I know at sometime in the future we will look back on this time and realise we got through it, but right now a lot of it sucks.

It doesn’t all suck. We are eating lots of veggies from our garden and the hens are laying well. The Resident Teen is learning to clean the house and making a good job of it. I’ve started two new quilts that will probably take all year.

Annie and I sorted all her clothes and tidied her room, it looks amazing. I’ve lost two kgs at weight watchers and gained some much better habits. I also got diagnosed with type 2 diabetes so that was a kick in the butt. 

But then there are mornings like yesterday when Annie burnt her arm, forgot her togs and her breakfast, and I had to explain to her teacher why I haven’t bought stationery yet. (The Resident Teen got her two hash browns at morning tea and the day was saved.) 

They say it takes a village to raise a child. I don’t know where the village is, but it definitely takes teamwork. In my house, we are all holding each other up to get through.

This too will pass. 
No one will cried today.

Monday, January 15, 2018

I was debating whether I would keep blogging this year....

(some negative feedback I got last year is still rolling around in my head)
but I figure if I can learn from the feedback then maybe it's ok
if I keep on writing here in this space.

I mean, nobody actually has to read it and I like writing it,
so that's ok I think.

So here I am in 2018, still blabbing on about stuff.
You can read it or you can not. I'm not offended either way. Deal?

I have high expectations for 2018. 
Let's face it, 2017 set the bar verrrrrry low
so things can just get better from here.

Anyway I've decided that 2018 is the year that I finally get fit and healthy.
I signed up for a year of Weight Watchers 
and I've actually been moving my body a bit.
I'm determined not to be Fat and 50, so I'm going to do this.

We added two kittens and two baby bunnies to our family over Christmas
and we spent the holidays watching them and having belly laughs 
at their antics.

Everyone needs a pet which makes you laugh.

I sewed a ridiculous amount over the holidays (especially when I was home alone)
and now my sewing table is clean and tidy and also my head is too.
I'm planning on another epic project hopefully ending in either an
exhibition or a book or both. But it is great to clear some space to think
about these things. I'll keep you posted if you are interested.
{insert crickets chirping}

In other news I've been loving working in our garden with Annie.
We've eaten lots of cucumbers and courgettes, lettuce and silverbeet.
That combined with the eggs from our chickens, means that we have eaten some
delicious home grown dinners this summer.

So here's to 2018. Starting with hope for good things.

Friday, December 22, 2017

With a lot of help from my friends {my Christmas miracle}

Right now I'm feeling thankful right down to the bottom of my bones.
On Thursday morning I stood in my kitchen
pondering the budget and the things left to do;
and I said to myself, I need a miracle.

But you know, miracles don't really happen to ordinary folks do they?
I shrugged and went off to meet my BNI leadership team for breakfast.

My BNI group meets every Thursday morning where we talk about our business
cheer each other on, pass referrals and have breakfast together.
I love my group and currently they have allowed me to be their president
(i didn't think they would say yes lol)

While we were having breakfast they gave me an envelope
with money and vouchers they had collected for me.
I cried. I could not believe it.
It was my Christmas Miracle.

It's a truly humbling thing to receive a gift that you absolutely cannot repay.

So this Christmas I am grateful to the person who gave me a Westfield Voucher.
It was the exact amount of what I spent at Kmart buying final gifts.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I'm grateful for a full tank of fuel. We can go camping this week.
I'm grateful for the grocery vouchers, they were almost exactly the amount I needed to buy the things we absolutely could not go with out (cat food, dog food, hen food etc)

One of the things on my to-do list yesterday was to pick up a ham
that i had ordered earlier in the year.
I debated whether I would or not because I couldn't really afford it
but i had ordered it, so I thought I better have some integrity.

When I went there, someone had paid for it.
I was speechless.

I'm grateful for a Christmas food parcel we received this week
the pantry look s much better.
I am also thankful for some other money we were gifted that filled the rest of the gaps.

I can promise that we have not wasted any of it but used it wisely.
It has been an amazing provision.
I can't believe it just happened for us when we really needed it.

Last Christmas I got a credit card and just put Christmas on that.
But that was a horrible idea and it was hard to pay all that back
actually it was impossible. I ended up putting it on my mortgage.
It was a hard lesson to learn and I cut up the credit card.

This Christmas I was determined to get through somehow.
I knew there would be a shortfall, but I thought I would just do what I could.
But thanks to the amazing provision I have received,
provision I never dreamed would turn up, we are having Christmas in our house.

I am more grateful than words can describe.
So much undeserved kindness.

It's a Christmas Miracle.
Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Embracing the Sparkle this Christmas

In the last week of November Annie was keen as mustard to get our tree up.
So we dragged out the tree and the decorations and set up the tree.
To be honest we ran out of steam after the tree was up
so we put the decorations in a basket and every time we walk past
we hang a couple of decorations up.

While she was doing that I googled saying about Christmas to put something
on our letter board and came across this saying:
Christmas is too sparkly, said no one ever.

I liked it. I thought it was an attitude that I could embrace.
Because Christmas can be hard work,
you are busy finishing work, making gifts,
attending end of school things etc etc.

But I thought, what if I just embrace it and enjoy the sparkle.

And so on the whole we have. We put out all the Christmas quilts
and I hung as much Christmas bunting as my house could stand.
We have decorated a bit and we have Christmas lilies making the house smell amazing.

We have said yes to things that we could do, 
and enjoyed those.
(We said no to some things too and that was ok)

It's a busy time of the year and we can't change that.
But we can take time to visit a friend for a drink and to admire their lights.
We can wear our prettiest dress and go and sing carols at school.
We can admire the decorations all around
and we can enjoy the excitement of the approaching holidays.

The advent calendar is still empty, but no one seems to mind,
it doesn't all have to be perfect.

The important thing is to enjoy the sparkly bits
and not stress about making it perfect.

After all a bit of glitter hides a lot of imperfections.

So have a sparkly Christmas folks,
and a restful holiday wherever you are.

Here's to 2018.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

We went camping and it was ok.

Remember how I wrote about reclaiming summer? Well a few months ago in the dead of winter, I was working one Saturday and decided there had to be more to life than work. I rang up and booked a camping site by the sea; and this weekend we went to stay. 

Every step felt like an achievement...
Convinced the Resident Teen to come with us {check}
Packed the car {check}
Drove to Kaikoura {check}
Set up the campsite {check}
Enjoyed each other’s company {check}
Took a nap {check}
Are camping food (nachos, macaroni cheese, pancakes, sausages) {check}
Did some stitching {check}
Lit a fire {check}
Watched the sunrise {check}
Fitted everything back in the car {check}
Made it hope safely {check} 

We did it all. We may have accidentally taken the tent without poles or fly and had to sleep in the gazebo. We may not have rated a single vegetable unless you count an onion. 

But we went away, we loved watching the sea do it’s thing and we enjoyed being with each other. 

There may have been some preliminary yelling by me, 
but on the whole even the Resident Teen seemed to enjoy himself. 

Funniest moment: feeding the seagulls the leftover two minute noodles
and Chrissy says (in a seagull voice) "ooh what's this? spicy worms!".
Still chuckling over that one.

So if we can save enough $$$ we plan to try again at Christmas. 
Next time we will take the dog lead, 
breadboard, sharp knife and the sunscreen, 
oh and a proper tent and a water container.
Oh and a tent. Ahem. 

We’re calling it #winningatlife

Monday, November 13, 2017

A bunch of excuses {about why I'm a terrible friend}

Recently I became aware that a couple of people who I thought were good friends
had decided not to be my friend anymore. (Thanks Facebook)
I was mortified and messaged one of them (before I realised there was two
and then I stopped looking hahaha)
and apologised for being a terrible friend.

But apparently my blog is depressing and I'm never around
and so they decided I wasn't worth the hassle.
My blog might be depressing, (I do try really hard not to make it depressing)
but life is hard and I'm not going to sugar coat it.
I mean, I'm all about the real and I've never apologised for that.

But I am a pretty terrible friend. I don't have a lot of spare time 
and then when I do I tend to need to sit in a quiet space and sew
otherwise I'll go stark raving mad and nobody wants that.

Also I'm not particularly interesting, 
well unless you like quilting and knitting and growing houseplants.
So I don't have a lot of topics of conversation.

Working full time and living in Rolleston really eats all of my time
and more energy than I really have.
I realise these sound like pretty lame excuses.
But it is what it is.

On Saturday I was helping at the school fair and I'd done my bit,
so I wandered around hoping to find someone to hang with.
And who did I run into but the lovely, amazing,
the incredible Miriam. She brought me a piece of cake
and we sat and ate cake and chatted.

It felt so good. So on Sunday I messaged an other friend
for a Coffee and Kmart date and she said yes.

So here's to me, trying hard to be a better friend,
more available, more present and more there for people.

Baby steps people, baby steps.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Grey days and hopeful hearts.

 Last weekend I pulled out my paper pieced hearts. Last time I did this (a few months ago) I realised that the colours didn't go together and I couldn't come up with a solution so I put them away to marinate in the cupboard for a while. This time though I laid them out and tried again to make them work together. In the end I picked out all the discordant hearts and decided to do something with them.

I remembered that I had some grey background in my stash, so I pulled that out and there was the beginnings of a project. This week, I've been coming home from work and after dinner I've been stitching those hearts together and gradually a project has emerged that I really really like.

How cool that the ugly pieces, the ones that didn't match, the pieces that got put aside; those are the pieces that have come together to make a quilt that I think is simple but harmonious.

It is not a mistake that I notice this right now. This week that has been so hard for so many reasons. A week when I learned some hard lessons, I struggled and acknowledged my shortfalls.
This week I took out the disused and ugly pieces of my life and
had to find a way to make it all work together.

Life isn't all sunshine and roses, sometimes it is grey grey days 
and struggles. Sometimes it is tears and heart ache.
Sometimes it is fears and worries.

But this week ask I've stitched my grey hearts together,
I'm remembering that the hard things are the things that help us
to work out what is really important,
to hold onto the good things and to make peace with the things
that seem hard. 

This week I'm grateful for two amazing jobs that challenge me out of my comfort zone.
I'm grateful for friends with kind forgiving hearts.
I'm grateful for oven fries for dinner and for fresh eggs from the chickens.
I'm grateful for a home where we can laugh with each other,
most of all I'm grateful for a hopeful future.