Thursday, January 30

Thankful For The Christmas Memories #quiltonmostloved

Thankful Thursday with APLDespite Christmas being pretty much done and dusted for the next eleven months I wanted to share with you some of my most loved Christmas memories. For they are most certainly something I am super thankful for.

The fact that I heard Quilton had a bit of a  #quiltonmostloved competition running regarding the topic may also have swayed me. Though with the closing date being tomorrow my chances are probably somewhere between none and not much. Nonetheless though, I am still thankful to have heard of it. 

Choosing my most favourite Christmas memory however is not quite as easy as I first thought though. Which I take as being something to be incredibly thankful for - too many wonderful memories to choose from.

My first real Christmas memory is from the year 1984. I was all of six at the time.

In early November of that year my parents had bundled me up on a plane with some friends and sent me off to have the adventure of a life time with my English relatives. An adventure that would see me gone for around three months and experience the joys of a white Christmas. Which coming from a rather tropical little hick town was beyond exciting.

I loved how over there your stocking was left on your bed, rather than under the tree. The thought of Santa actually being in the same room as I was almost too much to bare. Of course I had grand delusions of this making it easier to catch him in the act.

It didn't.

Some nearly thirty years later though, I do still have a rather amazing doll that has a striking resemblance to a six month old baby and some rather amazing memories of a family that I would never have got to spend time with otherwise. I also look fondly upon tangerines. As Santa kindly left me one in my stocking. I had never heard of one before.

From there my next most loved memories around the festive season begin the year I was 12 and pretty much continue for the next three years. During this wonderfully blissful time our Christmas Days were spent with Mr Awesome and his family. (Yes in case you didn't already know the Mr and I are what some might call childhood sweethearts of sorts)

Every moment that we spent together was pure bliss in my little prepubescent mind but the ones spent together over the festive season were even more special. Even all the way back then, it felt as if that was the way it should be for the rest of forever. Our families together as one celebrating one of the most memorable milestones of the year.

There were backyard rugby games, where I may have made myself an easy tackle target when I had the ball and Mr A came hurtling towards me. Where the tackles may have turned into slightly extended embraces as two lovestruck teenagers overwhelmed with emotion tried to battle their way through the hormones of being young and in love but not knowing how to deal with it in any shape or form.

Things didn't quite pan out for us at that time though and the next few years saw us go separate ways. And while the Christmas' in that time weren't necessarily terrible there are not a lot of outstanding memories from then either.

Oh but the first one together, in our own house, with our own children. Surrounded by family. Our families. The love, the laughter and the joy felt that day. There are no words to describe it. My dream come true.

There was nothing particularly special, other than the fact we were together. As one. As I had always    hoped for. That's what my #quiltonmostloved memories are of. Families coming together and dreams coming true. Things that I will always be eternally thankful for.

What about you? What are you thankful for this week?

Tuesday, January 28

Aussie as bro!

One of the great things about being a blogger is getting to try things I would not normally get the chance to. 

Such as these great wines from Wine Selectors 

Now just between you and me wine is generally not my first choice of drink. My pallet tends to go for a cider or a spirit first. Though that could just be because they are something that can be shared with Mr Awesome who most certainly is not much of wine drinker. However after giving these little babies a go I am currently reviewing my wine drinking policy.

Without a word of a lie they were some of the best wines I have ever had the pleasure to drink.

Upon arrival of my delivery I carefully examined each label, you know just in case this non wine drinker had ever heard of any of the wine makers. I hadn't.

What I did notice though was that all the wines were Australian. Which being a few days out from Australia Day I thought was quite fitting. What I thought what was even more fitting was to share them with friends at our Australia Day bash.

Which was exactly what I did.

For those interested our Australia Day bash involved riding our bikes to a local park, setting up a heap of shade and a BBQ and then waving madly to all the utes in the ute run that passed by.

Best. Time. Ever.

I don't know what the attraction is, but I find there something incredibly awesome about standing by the side of the road and waving and yahooing at utes decorated with flags driving past. Every year the ute run is pretty much the highlight of my Australia Day. This year though I must say the wine did come pretty close to topping it.

Once the excitement of the cars had passed we settled down to the rather enjoyable task of kicking back watching the kidlets run around and play while we sampled some rather delectable white wine and pretended to be wine connoisseurs.

We smelt and sniffed and swirled.

We did not however do any spitting because that is just a little bit wasteful when you are not really a real wine taster. Which was probably more than evident because we were drinking out of rather dodgy plastic cups rather than hand painted wine glasses.

There was a third bottle. My favourite in fact (which naturally I don't have a photo for)  it was a Tamburlaine Natural Selection Chardonnay. Turns out that not only are the wines all Australian they were organic as well. Which my buddies sampling with me, told me was why it tasted so darn good.

The red wines, are still patiently waiting to be trailed and tested. Which going by the whites I am pretty excited about. As much as I have said I am not a wine drinker if I have the choice between red and white I will generally opt for the red. Based on how much I enjoyed the white I can only begin to imagine how wonderful the reds will be.

Who wants to join me?
Joining in with Jess & the IBOT gang
and Ms Mystery for the One New Thing Challenge

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Monday, January 27

Ten Things You Wouldn't Know By Looking At Me

When I saw the prompt for this week's Listmania I was more than just a little excited. It feels like forever since I last wrote a post filled with riveting bits of information about yours truly. In fact it appears as if I may have gone the whole of 2013 without one Ten Things You Probably Didn't Need To Know About Me type of post.

Oh the horror!

Not wanting to make the same mistake in 2014 I present to you

  1. I have only ever lived in the same one horse town. Ironically I grew up with the strongest desire to leave as soon as I could. When push came to shove though the time just didn't feel right and I have been here ever since.
  2. I like to go running. As a regular reader you are probably well aware of that, but the list is all about things you can't tell by looking at me. There are certainly no visible physical signs of my love of running at the moment. I hope that one day that will change.
  3. I struggle to think of interesting things about myself. After sharing 30 awesome things about myself and 10 things you probably didn't need to know about me, coming up with another 10 interesting points is proving to be more than just a little tricky.
  4. I am often a lot harder on myself than I need to be. Point three is a prime example.
  5. I love to cut corners whenever possible. In fact sometimes I spend so much time and effort thinking about an easier way to do something that it probably would have been easier to have gone and just do it in the first place.
  6. I have tried studying for two different degrees. I am still without a degree. I am thinking of giving it one more go. Third time lucky and all that.
  7. I am rather superstitious. There is no way I will willingly walk under a ladder, however Friday the 13th and black cats are a bit lucky as far as I am concerned.
  8. Stuck for ideas for the list I asked Mr Awesome for a suggestions. Apparently, according to him, I like to feed people. Which in some ways is a bit true. Making food for people for special occasions, does thrill me, what does not, is feeding children dinner each and every night.
  9. I love Hugh Grant. Particularly in Love Actually and About A Boy. But then find me someone who doesn't.
  10. I am easily distracted and often bore easily. As evidenced by the lack of detail in the last few points on any list I make.
This post is also joining in with the fun of The Lounge, hosted by Tegan
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Saturday, January 25

Snapshots of Us Week 2

Last week I threw caution into the wind and jumped on board Practising Simplicity's 52 Project. And honestly I walked away with mixed reactions.

I do love the idea of of ensuring I have taken regular photos of the kidlets. You can never have too many copies of photos of your children stored it various forms. The 52 Project goes a long way to making that easy.

As a regular reader you will have heard me harp on no end about my love joining in with linkies. One of the reasons I love them so is because you get to cruise around the web and share in lots of comment love. Unless of course it is a linky where you share photos of your kids. Apparently no comments are necessary.

Which I must admit I find kind of weird. But whateves. Just means I don't need to actually link up. I can just post beautiful weekly photos of my girls. In the weeks I remember to take their photo of course.

Which thankfully managed to happen this week.

Selfies with Lovely.

Lovely taking selfies while she waited in the car. 

Zany and Teapot waiting at a bus stop. There was an adventure to be had.

A mum with her Little Two. It always makes me smile to see my dimple.

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The First Date

This time eleven years ago I was a twenty four year old single mum waking up from what was quite possibly the most wonderful night of my life. Some eighteen hours early I had nervously been awaiting what was really one of my first ever real dates. 
Image credit: Jasmaine Mathews

A blind date it was not, yet in many ways that was exactly how it felt. It had almost been like a lifetime since our paths had last crossed. We were as good as strangers in so many ways.

My mother had agreed to care for Lovely, who at the time was not yet two. Since Mum lived with us at the time it was no real inconvenience for her have her for the night. I greatly appreciated it though and it was by no means something I did often or took real advantage of.

Even though I was a single mum I had not really been so for very long. Lovely's father and I had gone our separate ways the previous April. A week after Lovely's first birthday. I had followed him out in a last ditch effort to save our very flawed relationship. I received the message loud and clear there was nothing to salvage.

The following eight months were incredibly tumultuous for me as I tried to find my way in life once more.

May saw me with a 13 month old, a broken arm and homeless. Returning to Mum and Dad's house really was the most sensible option and reluctantly I took it.

By July I was nearly back on my own feet and settled into my very own rented accommodation. An old weather beaten fibro built house that had some how managed to remain standing when most of the city had been destroyed by a cyclone some twenty five years ago. 

It had three bedrooms, a stainless steel kitchen and a massive yard. All that I needed and a whole lot more. Apparently it was best for me not to be alone. Not that I was alone because I had Lovely but it was a handy excuse for those that wanted to be alone. 

My parents were well and truly entrapped in a can't live with or without them scenario. They would take turns in coming to stay for extended periods of time. Having one with me gave them the space they both needed at the time. 

Dad had gone on another road trip, which mum had to be at her house. For a few moments I was alone. 

Then a friend need a place to stay. In many ways I felt responsible for his lack of accommodation. I had the room so gave returned the generosity he had shown to me when I needed it most a few months prior.

A few days turned to weeks, which went to a month, and then longer. Somewhere along the way, we stopped being just friends. We were both so lonely at the time it seemed to make perfect sense.

Only it wasn't really.

Deep down I knew my heart wasn't in it. 

I had spent the last few years doing things that my heart wasn't in. I had vowed never to do that again. Never. 

By this time my dad had returned and mum was looking for some space of her own again. The what would have been empty room was again empty no more as  mum quickly entered the vacated space left by my friend come lover who would eventually become but a stranger.

Life seemed to be rolling along nicely. 

With the new year upon me I was filled with hope and possibility. I had a casual job and was studying. I had found a wonderful day care option for Lovely. Life felt like it was coming together. Sure there was something missing but for the most part all the pieces were slowly falling into places.

Then the dreams started.

So real and vivid. Even in waking hours they would begin to invade my every thought.

A face. A person. Someone from what felt like a lifetime ago.

When I won a double pass to a local nightclub exclusive party there was no doubt on who I would offer the other pass to. Provided of course I could actually make the call. My hand would waver over the phone for so long before I would actually have the courage to pick it up.

Even thinking about it all these years on my stomach still starts to tighten and swirl all at the one time. My heart had never beat faster and it amazes me how I actually managed to get the words out.

"Hello it's Rhianna, is Mr Awesome there?" I somehow stammer
"No of course he is not here" his mother curtly replies

I am suddenly thrown back to the early nineties where I was an awkward and nervous teenager when it came to boys. My heart sinks and I am engulfed with disappointment. What ever was I thinking?

"He doesn't finish work till five, should be home by five thirty" a slightly softer voices continues.

Of course work. Why didn't I think of that? 

Feeling more than slightly stupid I leave my number and begin counting down the hours till I can at least begin expecting a return call.

to be continued...
joining in with Kerri
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Friday, January 24

Things I Know In 15 Minutes

Just a super quick post from me today. One that I hope to write in only fifteen minutes.

Since it is the last official day of school holiday (weekends and public holidays don't really count as school holidays) I am taking the kids to an indoor play centre. Not exactly my most preferred thing to do but it is raining and it is a friend's birthday and they asked as if we were interested in helping them celebrate there so why not.

image found here

So what is it that I know this week?

I know that looking for a photo to include in my post is sometimes the longest part of getting a post published.

I know that I am not really looking forward to the return of school.

I know that the reason why I am not looking forward to the return of school because I am not a fan of the morning rush .

I know I would like it if school started at around ten rather than just after eight.

I know that writing every day has gone much better this week than last.

I know that I am super thankful to the wonderful bloggers that join in and support Thankful Thursday each week.

I know that I didn't get to read any of said bloggers yesterday because I was out getting school stuff sorted.

I know that if you forget to check the time before you start writing it makes it very tricky to time when you have written for fifteen minutes.

I know that an iTunes card for a boy's thirteenth birthday is a bit of a cop out, but really I am all out of ideas and at least I know he will love the card.

I know I should have thought before his actual birthday to ask for suggestions of what to get. So go on tell me what would have been a better gift?

I know that I am joining in with the ever lovely Miss Cinders and you should too

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Thursday, January 23

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday with APLHello and welcome to another edition of Thankful Thursday. Which just between you and me could well be my most favourite day of the week. Thank you to all those who link in a post and share their thanks and super big thanks to everyone who stops by and has a read.
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Last night I somehow managed to swangle Lovely into going for a run. Well actually she thought she was swangling me by offering to go for a run with me in the hope that it would see her iDevice returned to her hot little hands. You know on account of not being able to run without music. A plight that while I understand I know is not actually the case.

So run without music we did.

Well at times we ran, on and off. Her reluctance was great but my determination won the day. And there was even a part of me that was glad not to have my regular tunes blasting into my ear drums. Oh how have times change.

As crazy as it may sound it was something I was a bit fearful of. I may have been concerned that without music I simply couldn't run. A tragedy I nearly had to face a few months ago when my phone started going haywire and I thought I lost all my music, just as I was heading out for a run no less. It was all a bit melodramatic but in the end the songs showed up and I was able to run off into the sunset. So to speak.

I am thankful that I made myself get out moving. I have been making excuses for far too long. Including oh I can't go for a run because I don't have a running band for my precious new phone (aka music maker and distance checker).

Though it is not just yesterday that I am thankful I made myself get up and move. It is the very first day that I decided to try and see if I could actually run. Running really did so many wonderful things for me, both physically and emotionally. I am thankful that I started and I am thankful it is always something I can turn too.

I am even more thankful that I managed to drag Lovely along with only minimal protest. I wish there was a way I could make her understand how many different ways she will benefit by having a good relationship with exercise from an early age.

Mind you if we are talking things I wish I could just make children magically understand from an early age the list would be a mile long and my job as parent would be made redundant I guess.

With the return of school next week the last few days of this week will be consumed with preparations and purchases of school supplies. I am thankful that the government provides us with vouchers to help cover some of the costs. Mind you it can only be used at the school and not for fees so it is not like I have a wide choice on what to get. As much as it is a case of Peter stealing to pay Paul at least it means we can get new uniforms without having to physically hand over cash. For which I am super thankful for. Especially in this particularly tight week.

While on the topic of school and education I must give thanks to all those teachers and support staff in our schools. Being employed in the education department, is no easy feat. They are after all the main shapers of tomorrows adults.

But enough of what I am thankful for, let's hear your thanks,

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Wednesday, January 22

On needing school supplies and more time

At the half way mark of the last week of the school holidays I find myself filled with disappointment and despair at the prospect of what next week will actually bring. To say I am not looking forward to the return of school is somewhat of an understatement.

Image found here
These holidays were supposed to the ones that I implemented life long positive changes that would see us in good stead for the days to come. All the organisation and routine that we so desperately need yet just as desperately eludes us was supposed to take form during this break.

Exercise, reading, writing, chores, all that type of thing was supposed to be carefully allotted into a time slot ensuring that it would be done at the appropriate time. None of which happened. Or even came close to it for that matter.

It feels like I am hitting my head against a brick. Only worse.

Generally I am all fine with the "I am less than perfect, let me embrace my faults as I work towards a better me"  attitude but right now my faults and areas for improvement feel so overwhelming I am not sure there really is any other type of me, let alone a better one.

Deep down, deep, deep, deep down mind you, I know that there is. I know that if I take enough deep breaths and just get on with it, eventually it will be done. Or at least closer to being done.

In my head I know all the right words and actions. I know all that needs to be done and even all that should be done. Yes there is a slight difference. None of that makes it any easier to actually start doing it though.

Being torn between wanting to blurt stuff out here and knowing it doesn't really belong on the Internet doesn't help much either. Using all my energy to fight the urge to download all my crazy thoughts to here does seem like a waste of such a precious resource but my inner voice tells me it is for the best. Instead I will struggle with finding the balance between what I want to say and what is ok to say. Vaugeblogging at it's best.

This time next week normality will be in full swing. Though how making lunches before breakfast is even finished equates to a sense of normal is a little beyond me but that is the joy of having to take a packed lunch to school.

Unlike most mothers preparing for the back to school rush I am yet to organise school shoes, bags, uniforms and lunch boxes. It is part of my head in the sand disorder. I was hoping by not getting organised time would somehow stop and next week would not befall upon us for at least another month. 

Apparently though that is not quite how things work.

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Tuesday, January 21

Learning the hard way

Leaning over the washing machine, tears streaming down her flushed cheeks, she wondered if this really was all she was ever destined to be? A hysterically over emotional housewife that let the mundaness of life overwhelm her on many more occasions that it should?

Surely not?
Image with thanks to zeafonsofound here

Surely there had to be more to it than that?

"There just has to be" she sobbed to herself as she shoved the last of the load into the machine.

It was the dark load. Which meant to get the most out of the water it had to be the last load washed. A lesson she had learned the hard way when the water restrictions were first introduced.

Trying her very best to make the allocated water stretch as far as possible Natalie was recycling as much of the washing machine water as she could. It was what everyone did, they had no choice if they wanted clean clothes. There were special attachments that modified most washers to make it easy to do. Not that Natalie had one of those because they were worth a small fortune. One that Natalie didn't have to part with.

Thanks to Google and a bit of thought it didn't take Natalie long to work out how to whip up a cheaper homemade alternative. Natalie's version involved some hose pipe and a rather large bucket which had once been a rubbish bin. The only difference really between the paid version and Natalie's was the pump. Which in Natalie's case came in the form of her arms.

However, as good at Google had been at helping Natalie set up her own water recycling device on her machine what it failed to tell her was that it was best to wash the whites and lights first. The dyes from the dark colours will always run into the water. Always.

Sadly though there were days when the dark load just didn't get done. It was the danger of being left till last. Sometimes the enthusiasm for clean clothes disappeared before the last load got washed. Two days ago had been one of those days. Which meant by today dark washing had to be done or her husband would be going to work naked. As would the children to school. The dark load was the load that had the uniforms.

Her husband Michael was a police officer. Which meant the children attended a police run school. Apparently it was one of the perks of the job. Or so they had been led to believe. They had in fact been led to believe there were many benefits to being employed by the forces. Natalie however was not completely convinced all was as it first seemed though.

That was how long ago?

Some times when you least expect it, reality comes and long and well and and truly bites you on the behind. For me one of those times came along today.

As you may recall me mentioning before, come July we are off on the adventure of a life time. We are packing all we can into the back of our car and hitting the open road. Mind you such an experience is not exactly free of charge and money is in short supply.

All of which means it wouldn't hurt for me to see if I could get myself a job of some description. Having been gainfully removed from the official workforce for nearly nine years I am slightly nervous about it all.

The other day while down and the local shopping centre I noticed the video store had a position available poster in the front window. I couldn't help but feel that was for me. Sure it said it required some mornings but my dear mother doesn't have much on these days I am sure she wouldn't mind having Teapot tag along with her while I went off and earned some cold hard cash.

Today I finally managed to get the gumption up to actually sit down and have a look at creating some sort of a current resume. In amongst the last lot of decluttering that I undertook I happened to come across my last resume. It didn't have a date on it however the current address was of one I haven't lived at for nearly nine years.

Despite it's age though, that nearly decade old resume was in fact the one that I used to get my very last job with. The position was as a marketing manager with a real estate company, in case you were wondering. I quite liked it though settling into the whole nine to five routine was rather tricky for me.

Prior to the real estate gig I had run a small motel that had involved living on site for a while. The hours were long and varied and anything but nine to five. Being confined to an office for all those hours was also an adjustment I struggled with. Till then all my jobs so me constantly interact with lots of different people. But I've digressed.

Sitting here typing out a new and reviewed resume in the hope that I may be able to score a job somewhere doing something (I really am not too fussed on either just let me choose the hours that suit me best) I the horrible realisation of being incredibly old.

Ok perhaps incredibly old is rather drastic for the tender age of thirty five-nearly-six but wait till you hear this.

I had to write dates from last century.

My first job, which I wanted to include because it demonstrates I am a long term employee, was from 1992-1998. In a surf shop that no longer exists. The fact I have only had five other jobs was the other reason I thought I could get away with stepping that far back in time. Something which I am now reconsidering.

Done any thing to make you feel old lately?
Has reality slapped you one across the face?
How many jobs should I list on a resume?
In fact what should I put on my resume?
And why isn't there someone out there ready to just give me a job doing what I want?

So many questions for today's IBOT post

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Monday, January 20

A new page or two

Despite having spent most of the morning at the computer, I am still without a post for today. Now while that most of the morning does sound rather dramatic it has actually only been an hour. Or two. You know how time can fly when on the hanging on the net.

image found here

It has not been without results though. Sure there may be no post, well nearly no post because obviously this is the start of one, there has been the addition of two new pages. They can be found in main bar just below the header. Quick go look and see if you can work out which are the new two.

For those new here, and the unobservant, the two new pages are Extra Info and My Best Bits.

Extra Info is actually an old page that I have just decided to make live again. I am still not exactly how I want it to work, or how to actually make it work for that matter but it is supposed to be a bit of an explanation as to some of the terms I use, like The Shoebox, Mr Awesome, the kids blog names, and the like.

My Best Bits, as the name suggests, is a collection of all my best posts. Well in my humble opinion of course. And a few readers who were kind enough to make a few suggestions. I know that there are lots of post snippets in the side bar but most of them are for more recent posts.  A lot of the gems have been hidden over time. On account of there being some 780 odd posts here and all.

On a totally unrelated note and with no clear segue at all, today marks the start of the last week of the school holidays. Which just quietly makes me all kinds of sad. The thought of returning to normality and routine does not appeal to me in any shape or form. At all.

Sadly though it can not be avoided so I am just sucking it up and trying to get on with it. There are of course many positives about the return and perhaps even implementation of more routines. I have  heard that they help create order and increase productivity, amongst all manner of other benefits.

Naturally I had planned to implement many changes during the down time. Ones that would see us in good stead for the future. Providing of course I had of actually got around to implement them. There is always time right?
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Sunday, January 19

Snapshots of Us Week 1

It is ridiculously early here. And by that I mean just gone 5.30. Which alright, is not quite stupid o'clock but it is not far from it especially for a Sunday.

I have been awake for over an hour, there was a little person (Zany) who decided that my bed was far more comfortable than her own. Which she is incredibly right about. It is. I know because I tried laying in it after she invaded mine. Mental note to look for an online bedding company to sponsor me. 

Anyway, here I am gleefully in front of my beloved Mac surrounded by silence. Save for the old gently breeze and left over rain drops from the last monsoonal downpour.

As I began wondering through my various feeds seeing who had posted what since last I dropped in I came across Karen's post for today. I too have often thought of trying to keep track of regular snap shots but for whatever reason (probably my laziness) it just never happens.

Amazingly this week saw me snapping a few shots of the girls while we were checking out the big waves on the jetty. Which means I am able to join in this week with Practising Simplicity's The 52 Project

Zany looking out to sea to see how far she could not see
Lovely, contemplating whether she has what it takes to be a model
Teapot, just doing what she does, making my heart melt
 I am still contemplating whether I will go back and post for weeks one and two of the project. It is not like I am adverse to back dating posts if the need arises. Particularly if it encourages me to complete a challenge. Either way I hope I remember to take a few snaps so I will be back next week.
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Friday, January 17

Things I Know About Writers Reveal

 Hello and welcome to the end of another week and the sharing of all the things we know with the ever lovely Miss Cinders.

This week I want to share with you all the things I know about Writers Reveal which was a little group set up by Emily. Who sadly has decided that she just can't find the time to blog anymore. Which also kinda means that this the last of the Writers Reveal posts.

In case you haven't heard of it before Writers Reveal was a monthly get together where the following rather awesome bloggers Emily Morgan WritesMelissa WritesThe Wolfe's DenImagine Create WriteGhostnappedYou learn something new everyday and Have a laugh on me would give each other prompts to write to. There were also a few other bloggers, always Josefa and My Little Sunshine House that popped in and out over the five months.
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The last posts where meant to go live yesterday but on account of my disorganisation and hosting Thankful Thursday I just never got round to it so here I am today. My prompt for this week came from Emily over at You Learn Something New Every Day. Who can I just say is one of my most favourite bloggers. She is so clever and witty and always well written. And get this, I have a feeling there are times in here life she has been like a real writer and been paid for her words.

Anyway Emily's prompt for me was A stitch in time. She made sure she gave me the prompt with more than plenty of time, as well as some incredibly kind words for me, yet here I am a day late and I got a big fat nothing.

I know that when I first read that prompt I thought it would be perfect for a piece of fiction.
I know that I was a little intimidated about how I would find ideas to do it justice
I know that my brain just froze and couldn't come up with anything. At all.

I know that when Emily asked me if I was interested in being part of the group I was beside myself with all kinds of excitement.

I know that at school I was always the last to be chosen for anything, if at all. Hence why it was so exciting to be included.

I know that school was a long time ago but some wounds are hard to heal.

I know that even though most of my posts were left to the last minute I did enjoy the challenge.

I know that even though I did enjoy the challenge there is a little bit of me that is a bit glad it has come to an end.

I know I don't really need any more things to be left to the last minute I have got plenty of my own things left waiting till then. Speaking of which I should probably go and see to.

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Thursday, January 16

Thankful Thursday

Last week when I finally got around to writing my thankful Thursday post, I realised that in amongst all the rascally gremlin playing from the previous week I no longer had the code for my glorious little blog buttons. Only I had no time to do anything about it. I am thankful that now I have.

As much as it seems like forever ago I can still remember how exciting it was to put together my first ever blog button. It was way back in December 2011 in case you were wondering. I was so thankful to a Daisy for sharing how easy it was to go and make a button.

If you too want to know more about button making I have a simple to follow tutorial that is on the press of a button away.

Not being one to rush into too much change, other than my current buttons that is the only other button I have had here. Whenever I look at my header or branding images I get all kinds of warm and fuzzies and don't imagine I will be changing any of it any time soon. Well maybe the fonts but only if the day where I have nothing else to do ever comes.

While for the most part I created my lovely buttons and header myself, all the images were actually given to me by my very dear friend Jess. Something I am incredibly thankful for every time I come here because I still just love my little fairy and butterflies oh so very much and it was a very generous and thoughtful thing for her to do. Mind you there are about thousand things I could give thanks for in terms of Jess and knowing her, she really is one of those one of a kind type people.

Now I know that I have probably harped on about it enough already but it really was such an honour to start the week not only featured in the Digital Parents weekly newsletter but to also be front and centre over at Red Dolls as her Blogger of the Week.

What I am quite possibly more thankful for though, are all the beautiful people who not just offered their congratulations on these little accolades, but mentioned how deserving they felt it all was. The feelings of appreciation, support and love that I have felt this week are something I am super thankful for.

Other blessings this week include a new nephew. Sadly he lives far to far away from me so I can't steal some new born cuddles but I am so thankful that my brother and his wife were able to welcome their second bundle of joy safely into their arms. I am thankful too that my mum was able to be close by for this special time. Not that it affects me any her being there but I know how much it means to her and that is enough to warm my heart.

We were reminded on Saturday just how precious life is, especially the life of children. A fellow worker in Mr Awesome's office tragically lost his son to SIDS. I know that there is nothing to be thankful about such a situation, it is absolutely heartbreaking. Those parents lives have been changed forever and they will never be the same again. However I am thankful to know that because of generous donations they (and others) will be able to get some support through the likes of SIDS & Kids.

I am thankful for wet and windy weather that has kept us inside and confined to each other for the last few days. With Lovely not being home long it is nice to all just hang together. Despite the odd WWIII moment when sisters decide feuding is game of the moment.

As much as I know we should treasure our possessions and there is no need to update the moment a new model comes out, I am a bit thankful that Mr Awesome went to the trouble of organising me a flash new handset. OMG it is all kinds of shiny and lovely.

It does take a lovely photo

I am thankful we ventured out for a stroll and some fresh air. The gusty winds blew away some of the mental cobwebs of being at home so much. The girls just loved the feeling of almost blowing away. Generally the winds here are rather non existent so it makes for a lovely change.

Earlier in the week I read a post about how a recently married man discovered that marriage wasn't for him. The first time it popped up in my feed I totally ignored it. I assumed that it was about some two bit cheating low life that left his heartbroken new wife. 

I couldn't have been more wrong.

I am so thankful that when it popped up in my feed a second time I made the effort to have a read. It left me with a perspective I wasn't expecting.

The world is full of hope and wonder. You just need to go looking for it some days. Stopping to give thanks is a great way to see what you have. I am more than thankful for all the beautiful bloggers that are taking the time to join in with this little old linky.

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Wednesday, January 15

Moments of life

Feeling all kinds of very special on account of my shiny new iPhone that Mr Awesome surprised me with the other day I just posted the above photo to my Instagram account. It was captioned with 

Yes I know how dodgy is it putting a photo of what I wrote in. I couldn't work out how to copy and paste the already written text and after what went down the first time I wrote it I was too scared to give it another go. Plus it's Wednesday so extra photos are encouraged. 

Seriously in the space of time it took me to get that up, which really wasn't very long, the littlest two went from playing happily to intense I hate you battle grounds to best friend sisters for ever in what felt like nano seconds. All before 8 am and a full cup of coffee. 

The most crazy part of all is that since then I have not done a stitch of crochet and my coffee is now gone. 

Sigh. The fun and games of being a mum. 

That is a photo of my belly yesterday. The  resemblance to a pregnant belly concerns me no end. I do not want any more babies. Ever. Never ever. 

There is no doubt in my mind that my baby caring days are well and truly over. There is not even the slightest hint of an interest in going through the joys of a newborn. Words and feelings that I never expected to say or feel. 

All three girls where practically dream babies. Looking back on their early years I have nothing but found picture perfect memories. It is only as they have gotten older I have challenged and inadequate as a mother. And that is why I just know my baby making days are over. 

The babies I have already, who while aren't babies anymore, need me more now than ever before. Especially the eldest. 

I remember when she was two, everyone warned me about how terrible it would be. I was adamant they were wrong. I was determined to buck the system and have the terrific twos. And we did. And it is with a similar attitude I want to approach the teenage years. 

I want the terrific teens just like we had the terrific twos. I know that it doesn't have to be the terrible teens any more than it had to be the terrible twos. Of course it it always easier said than done. 

But that doesn't mean it can't be done. 

Tuesday, January 14

Yay I am back on track!

Man oh man oh man!

Talk about chasing your tail.

Image found here
I guess it all really started this time last week. I had the most perfect post idea in my head but I just couldn't seem to get it out and nor could I get anything else out till this was done. Oh the drama of writer's block.

It is no secret that I am huge #IBOT fan. I just love blogging on a Tuesday (and let's face it who doesn't). Only being all prepared with scheduled post seems to have eluded me of late. And only made worse by the fact I decided to test myself with a little let's blog everyday challenge. Which in case you were wondering isn't exactly going to plan.

However thanks to some blog post cramming and back dating (I will spare you all the gory details, you're welcome) this post will now see me back on track and able to at least portray the perception I blogged every day for a while. 

Why this is important to me I do not know but it is. And one thing I have come to realise about this little old blog is that at the end of the day I do it all for me. So while most other bloggers are turning to the slow blogging movement I am here punching out post after post in the hope it will somehow make me a better writer. 

Practise makes perfect right?

Having said that though it has been a big morning at the office with these two little beauties already being published 

leaving me somewhat drained of inspiration for this post. 

But that is ok because I feel all kinds of awesome for still being able to pretend I have written every day. The fact that I have shared my failings and back dating palaver means I am able to continue on because I have been all open and transparent. I am nothing if not honest. And perhaps just a little crazy.

So what about you? 
Any crazy new year's ideas you are trying to live up to or did you let it slide by the way side like I most possibly should have?

Do you blog on Tuesdays with Jess?
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Monday, January 13

Top 5 Road Tripping Songs

As you may well have worked out by now I am somewhat obsessed by linkies. They are essentially a bloggers equivalent to crack. Actually that is not true the comments and views that joining in or hosting a good linky can bring is the equivalent to bloggers crack or whatever your choice of illicit drug may be. You get my point comments and linkies are addictive.

As the proud host of a linky I know first hand how super duper exciting it is to have people join in with your linky. Each and every week when someone links in a Thankful Thursday post I get all kinds of exciting tingles run through me. Whenever possible I try and join in with other linkies not just because I need my hit of comments but because I like to think my joining in makes someone smile. Which is what brings me here today.

The ever lovely Rachael over at Hopeful Rae of Sunshine hosts a little weekly link up called Listmania and today I thought I would join in. Sadly for me though her prompt Top 5 songs for road tripping has me a little stumped.

It's not that we don't road trip because we do. In fact I love nothing better than an outback adventure. It's just when I am put on the spot to think of something I generally crumble under pressure and can't come up with anything. Which is exactly where I am right now.

So rather than share my top 5 road tripping songs I am going to turn to Google and see what it has to say for itself.

Apparently it is only I that struggles with selecting road tripping songs.

So I give to you My Top 5 Road Tripping Songs According to the Top 5 Google Searches for Road Tripping Songs. (Say that ten times real quick)

  1. From Bruce Springsteen's' Born to Run
  2. From Canned Heat's On the Road Again
  3. From Talking Heads Road to Nowhere
  4. From Daft Punk's Get Lucky
  5. From The Allman Brothers Band's Aint Wasting Time No More
Ok so number 5 was actually number 6 on Google's list but their number 5 was through some Pepsi site that I couldn't seem to find any songs on and I may have never heard of the band or song before but you can't win them all.

So what would be on your top five road tripping song list? Head on over to Hopeful Rae Of Sunshine and see what others are recommending.

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Sunday, January 12

I must confess it is not really Sunday

Though you already know that because chances are you are reading this on a Monday. I say that chances are because as I write Sunday has been and gone and while the likelihood of a Sunday coming back is relatively high, Sunday January 12th 2014 will not be returning. That is the down side to most days, they are a never to be repeated offer, hence the importance of making the most of them.

Which I quite possibly didn't  do on particular day. Sunday 12th January was neither here nor there in terms of exciting events that you may or may not want to relive. The were the standard fun and games of parenting, a ridiculously early morning trip to the airport to deposit my mother and some couch napping. Nothing outstandingly brilliant to remember or forget. Just another day really.

Mind you the chances that you are reading this on a Monday have greatly changed as well. On account of it now being Tuesday and all but on I will go.

image from here

So what am I going on about I here you scream from the comforts of where ever it is you are reading this?

Well last year I set myself the task of seeing how many days in a row I could post for. In case you were wondering this is how long it lasted. Needless to say as this year rolled out I noticed a similar trend to last and thought I would give the whole let's see how long I can post for another go.

Being the footloose and fancy free girl that I am I didn't put much thought into it at first, I just tried to post every day. Only by day six I had realised that day five saw me post somewhere other than here so had I broken the rules and failed my task or could it still count because I did still post on one of my blogs?

As a prime excuse maker and rule bender I went with it was all still on. At not even a week in I didn't want to be walking away. I know that I have wonderful readers that don't mind if I don't post something every day but there is an internal part of me that wants to make sure I write every day and at this point in time my only motivation to write is if I know it is going to be posted somewhere.

Yes my ego apparently constantly needs stroking so what?

Anyways as you may have worked out by now I am falling even further behind in my desire to post every day. The first real missed day it was easy to justify back dating. However it is now on the verge of spiralling out of control. Which is why I am confessing this all with Kirsty today.

The prompt for this week was to confess your goals for this year. Which just quietly I may not have really done yet other than this whole let's see how long I can post daily for and we are all seeing how well that has turned out. I have been stuck on deciding the whole word for the year thing

Sigh, sigh, sigh.

On the upside at least this is all providing me with another opportunity to practice my let's-not-beat-myself-up mantra and I now have a post for Sunday and it is only Tuesday meaning I can still justify my back dating, don't ask me how, I just can.

What about you how are your new year goals and resolutions going?

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