Archives for the month of: April, 2013

Inspired by m.a.d.woman and her Grateful in April initiative, I’m sharing some of the things that make me thankful.

This April I am grateful for…

Long time friends – Those people who really do wish the very best for you. The ones you can see after a long absence, and instantly find a groove like you’ve never been apart. The people you never tire of talking to. The ones who make your soul smile. The ones who make you want to be a better you. The ones who remind you who you really are, what really matters, and that everything will be ok. I ran away with my longest time friend for an entire week and it was bliss. Read my Reset post for more on this.

Being missed – I returned from my week away to my hubby and both boys literally waiting on the doorstep, pink roses in hand. My one year old jumped into my cab repeating “ello mummy” over and over in his heart-melting toddler tone. And my four year old’s bedtime cuddles have been a little bit tighter, and his manners just a little bit better, ever since I returned.

New babes – I was invited to photograph a gorgeous four week old bub named Roy. The pride on his new daddy’s face translated beautifully in camera. And this month I met and cuddled the the newest addition to my extended family, baby Lily Skye. She’s the first girl born after seven boys in this tribe so it was fun purchasing pink pressies at long last.

Kiwi politicians – Not something previously likely to make my grateful list, or even my radar, but this month our NZ neighbours truly inspired with their marriage equality move. And the spontaneous singing that followed made me well up. Come on Aussies, catch up!

SNAGs – My gorgeous four year old son is a Sensitive New Aged Guy. He instinctively stroked my hair and rubbed my back while I threw up my nasty virus into a bucket. Meanwhile, my hubby did absolutely everything else at home until I recovered.

Dave – My hubby and I spent three out of four weeks in different states this month. And never do I appreciate him more than when he’s not here. House is humming happily again now that he’s home.

Baking – Making and decorating cupcakes with my boys for no reason other than to pass the time. And baking spiced apple cake because nothing smells more like ‘welcome home hubby’ than fresh cake cooling. The weather has turned along with the leaves, and so I’ve dusted off my slow cooker too. While I type, gorgeous corned beef with sticky plum and balsamic glaze is my work in progress.

Healthy thieves – My kids keep stealing carrots from the fridge vegie crisper and justifying it by saying that they are rabbits. Then they hop around the house singing Hop, Hippity, Hop.

Miracles – This month I ditched a twenty year addiction to Diet Coke. And, as if that was not enough, I reversed a two year (ok, decade long) trend of creeping weight gain. I fully expect to see pigs flying by or hell freezing over any moment now.

A gorgeous dress – The latest addition to my collection is a gorgeous, cherry colored, dance-worthy dress from Queenslander Leina Broughton. It’s so nice to find beautifully cut, feminine, Australian made creations. And it came with outstanding online customer service too.

Sausage sizzle at the supermarket – The smell alone was awesome, but feeding the kids lunch, supporting a good cause, and not having anything to clean up afterwards made my Saturday morning.

Following my bliss – Having time to do things, just because I want to. This month I did a photography walk that took in the sunset from Williamstown and I learned some new tricks to try. And I took my one year old to his first dance class, which he quite literally threw himself into. It’s the most fun hour I spend with him all week.

Quality entertainment – this month I loved the adorable Australian mid-career crisis movie Any Questions for Ben and the inspiring true story of unlikely friendship The Intouchables. Add them to your must see list.

Mentors – My best mentors have always been the ones who push me into slightly uncomfortable but richly rewarding growth. This week I got an email from my most recent ex-boss and she validated my leap of faith into non-corporate life and instructed me to keep creating. It was a beautifully timed gesture of support which made me smile.

Most of all, I am deeply grateful for my recent shift in focus from making a living to making a life. For all these blessings and more, I am so very grateful this April.

Tell me, what is it that you are grateful for today?

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It’s not hip to admit but… I had a blast with Bryan Adams live at Rod Laver tonight.

It’s weird how you can not hear a song for decades, and yet still know all the words by heart.  

With sixteen albums to his name, Bryan had no trouble filling a couple of hours with hits the 10,000 strong crowd could sing along to with gusto.  And there’s something magical about being part of a chorus that large, live and loud.

It was a night of retro rock fun, which gave me flashbacks to my teen loves.  Such a pleasure to relive dancing around the house to Summer of ‘69, swooning over Everything I Do, and sneaking out my bedroom window to Run To You.  Good times!  

Tapping such nostalgia might just be the secret to being 18 Til I Die.

Tell me, which concert has taken you back in time?

Stop being busy.  Press pause.  Make some space.

Be still and silent.  Close your eyes.  Quieten your mind.  

Breathe.  Deeply.  Right into the floor of your lungs.

Switch off.  Seek peace.

Sit in the sun, soak it in and daydream.

Go somewhere tropical, where the air is thick, the pace is slow, and the enormous plant leaves dwarf your troubles.

Enjoy yoga on the beach at sunrise.  Stretch.  Swim.  Move.

Indulge in uninterrupted, deep and meaningful conversation with a friend who really knows you and loves you anyway.

Eat more raw food.  Drink water.  Try something new (like spanner crab).  Devour coconut gelato in a waffle cone.  And make your menu selection the most difficult decision of your day.

Relax.  Sleep.  Recharge.  Get a massage and facial.

Read a book, in a day, which makes you think differently.

Unplug.  Switch off.  Open up.

Walk on the beach.  Climb stairs.  Puff.  Enjoy the view.  Wander through the rainforest.

Sleep is deeper.  Food tastes better.  And your gratitude and happiness blossom.

I have resisted and rebelled against this advice for decades.  Silly me.  
But a week in Port Douglas with my childhood bestie has helped me find my centre again.  

Take your leave people.  For yourself.  And I don’t just mean a family holiday (which is really just parenting made more difficult by an unfamiliar environment).  I mean a REAL holiday.  Where YOU get a break.  Make the time.  Do it.  

I’d love to know what you choose to do to rejuvenate.  

Inspired by Pip Lincolne and her #52lists I decided to jot down, in no particular order…

Things that made my March magical.

1. Quitting my day job.  More on this soon.

2. The Port Fairy Folk Festival – sleeping on the lounge floor in a house full of people who’ve known me since birth, and sharing a weekend choc full of music, in a picture perfect setting with flawless weather.  Woke to waves.  Swam solo.  And now my 4yo son makes up his own folk songs absentmindedly while travelling in the car.  Melts me.

3. Clare Bowditch – and her Big Hearted Business conference where I found my peeps, learned to appreciate being a multi-passionate-sensitive-creative-type, and was flooded with inspiration.  Clare’s joyous new album “The Winter I Chose Happiness” is helping me hold on to this feeling.

4. Making lasagne from scratch.  In fact, did quite a bit of baking.  None of it more satisfying than cooking for two mum’s with new babies.

5. Reading a book from cover to cover in a weekend.  Catherine Deveny’s “The Happiness Show” is a fabulous romp of a read with a truly satisfying ending.  She toys with relationship taboo’s and left-behind love.  And she made me laugh lots.

6. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – My 4yo son has been singing a medley of these tunes since we saw the show so beautifully staged.  A magic, floating, flying car that runs on manners.  Just gorgeous!

7. Sleep – I nodded off mid Endota massage for the first time ever.  Bliss.

8. Christening the newly renovated home of treasured friends – with slow roasted pork belly and stone-fruit tart cooked simultaneously in new twin ovens.  Oh how I love friends who can create beautiful spaces and love entertaining.

9. Hanging washing – My younger self would never have believed this could be true.  But hanging washing means the sun is shining, I am hearing birds in my backyard, and my boys are in their sandpit where their shouting is much less deafening.

10. Family photos – Nobody likes having their photo taken, but everyone loves a good photo of themselves.  The gorgeous Angie Baxter created a collage for my hallway which beautifully captured the four of us happy together.

11. Dying eggs and making pom-poms with the kids – We decorated our Easter holiday cabin.  Handling a ball of wool took me straight back to the craft project basket Mum used to keep by the telephone desk which I was little.

12. Being celebrant for a beautiful wedding in Daylesford.  He is an Australian Youth Ambassador and she is an aid worker.  The world is a better place for their union.  The bride, groom, ceremony and reception at Frangos & Frangos were stunning!

13. Showers – long, hot and uninterrupted every Tuesday.  I did not appreciate this utter luxury until four years ago when motherhood saw it cease.

14. Playing on a jumping pillow with 4yo Declan, who broke his femur doing just that last year.  His joy and my relief made for a perfect play date.

15. Cheeky 3pm wine and cheese with good friends on a sunny Easter Sunday.

16. Mid-day cinema date with a long neglected girlfriend.  New friends are fun, but the perspective of someone who has known you through multiple boyfriends, career moves, fads and failures is solid gold.

17. Joining the gym… and eating almost my body weight in Cadbury eggs.

18. Painted toenails and yellow sandals – scream sunny days and leisure time every time I look down.

19. Cuddles with one of the newest additions to our chosen family, baby Mia.

20. My 1yo son’s first Easter egg hunt and watching his chubby fingers delicately unwrap mini-eggs.

Tell me, what are you doing that makes you happy?

My reward for ticking ‘blog’ off my bucket list was a trip to the cinema.  Movies are a favourite method of escapism for me, but it’s been way too long since my last choc top.

Because it was Australian, starred Magda Szubanski, and was showing before my pick-up deadline, I chose to see Goddess.

Well, what a delightful surprise!  It was gorgeous, joyous, unpretentious, and a good time (best shared with girlfriends).

The radiant Laura Michelle Kelly spreads infectious ditties via webcam from her kitchen sink, becomes a cyber-sensation, then masters the illusive fame/family juggle.

I love that Australia makes musical movie magic like this.  I skipped from the cinema smiling.

Ironic that my escapism attempt saw me engrossed in a flick about a mum ranting into cyberspace.  Hmmm, if only I could sing, or looked as good in a rubber-glove gown.