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?