Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Christmas post and a half

I've decided that I quite fancy doing a bit of a Christmas wrap up. I know it's nearly February, but I also know how much I enjoy looking back on the memories.

So. Christmas!

This year was the first year that I had a beach Christmas. We spent a couple of weeks at the beach and to be honest, the whole Christmas holiday was a bit... interesting. Some of it was great, and other parts, not so much. I think Shane and I both came away deciding we will never try to have our 'holidays' over Christmas again. It's just so busy! We went to Noosa, which is probably one of the busiest beach destinations for Christmas in Queensland. But aside from that, it's also hard to lose so many of your precious holiday days with all the assorted Christmas hoopla. We are not really crazy shopping, busy-doing holiday people. Our idea of a nice holiday is a chance to properly unwind, and we didn't really get that. But, oh well, you live and you learn!

In saying that, some of the good times of the holiday were pretty great. Christmas day was spent with some of Shane's extended family. And Shane and I did manage to sneak away for a lovely Christmas Eve service at Hillsong Noosa. Very very, not what we are used to, but good all the same. Christmas day was spent opening so many presents (So early! Our kids were up at 4:30 am!).

So many presents!
Look at that tired face!

After the madness that was present opening, we all headed up to Shane's Aunty's house in the Noosa hinterland. Her house was all kinds of amazing, and one of the nicest parts of the day was the fact that the kids spent hours in the pool. It was a really fun time, especially because so many of the adults got in the water with the kids, and that always makes things so much more fun doesn't it? I remember how much I used to love it when my parents and Aunties and Uncles would swim with us when I was a kid, and I want to make sure I have fun with my kids. I think we did this Christmas, anyway!


All tuckered out

A few days after Christmas we headed inland to my sister's house to have our Christmas with my side of the family. That was a good day. I really like my family. 

It's a bit funny. The dynamics in my family have really changed a lot recently. I am one of four girls, and I just love it. It's so nice, but I've realized it's only as nice as you make it. For a while in our adult lives, we all lived in the same town. Which was so great, and made family relationships so easy. But sometimes it made them too easy, if that makes sense? It enabled us to be lazy with our relationships and take them for granted, because it was so simple and easy to see one another all the time. A couple of years ago, my sister Jenny moved away with her family, and now my sister Cathy has moved away too. And unless the effort is put into sustaining those relationships and making them a priority... we simply won't be as close as we once were. I don't want that to happen, so it's something I'm going to try to be mindful of in the future.

Our trip to see my family was a bit of comedy of errors. On the way inland it was pouring down rain, and while Shane was driving we lost a windscreen wiper. We ended up stopping at the next little town, and thanks to the magic of Google, managed to find a replacement wiper without too much hassle. Then, after we left my sister's house in the afternoon, we got a call from and realised we'd left Shane's laptop and my kindle at her house. But it ended up being a really good thing,  we turned back to pick them up. and met everyone at a lovely park, and had so much fun on a giant flying fox there.


We took the kids to Underwater world with Shane's parents, and cousin Cassi, and the kids really enjoyed that.

There was also one morning when Shane and I took the kids for a bushwalk up to a lookout, which was pretty amazing. The walk was only a kilometre, but it was uphill all the way, and was plenty long enough for little legs!

It really made me look forward to doing that kind of thing when the kids are older though. So beautiful!

Probably one of my favourite days, was the day we spent with my sister Cathy, and my nieces Isabel and Rachel. We took Charlie on a go kart ride for his Birthday, and then we went to an amusement park.  The kids had an absolute ball on all the rides. It was a really good day.

We celebrated Charlie's birthday with a cake that Charlie loved. It was only a Woolworth's cake that I repurposed to turn into an accident site. But he was really taken with it. 

My baby is three!!

I think doing the birthday cake thing has to be one of those real defining parenting moments. It is good. 

Goodness this has been a doozy of a post! Well done you if you made it to the bottom!

It was a very busy holiday. But I think we made a few really good memories.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Around Here

So we are getting ready for Kindy (!) this year. It's kind of weird to know that this is the start of a whole new world for us. We are embarking on a new chapter, one that is going to go on for a really long time. I am a little nervous to be honest. I don't love change. And this particular change is one I have zero control over. I am also scared, because I can't help but worry have I done enough? In the four and a bit years that she has been all mine, have I done all that I can for her? My girl is off to face the world, and she will use what skills I have taught her to do so. I am a bit sad for all the times I have not been the Mummy I wanted to be. But I know that always I will be her Mum and she will be my Georgie girl.

She, of course is so very excited, and eagerly talks about "Being a big girl at kindy with no Mummy and no Charlie!" I hope so much that she has a good time.

The Boy is toilet training and doing really well. We have a few incidents, one really fun (read: challenging) one when we were in at the Doctor's surgery. But mostly he is doing such a great job! Now we just need to work on how much paper goes into the toilet. Mummy nearly cried a few days ago when an almost full roll of toilet paper was flushed down the toilet.... only to back the toilet up, and get fished out. It's certainly not always glamorous, motherhood. But we are learning. It's a little bizarre to realize that I am headed to a place that will have no more nappy changes. But so good too!

I have signed myself up for a boot-camp for the next few weeks. Three sessions a week has been hard going, but I also love it. You know that wonderful pain you get when all the muscles you'd forgotten even existed are hurting every time you move? But I really do enjoy it. Group exercise is what really works for me. I especially love boxing on Wednesday mornings. I am really hoping that once the boot-camp finishes I will be able to keep up with the exercise, because it makes such a difference to my emotional well-being, as well as my physical health.

And... yeah. That's a bit of what is going on at the moment. I am going to try really hard to pick up the threads of blogging again, properly this year. I think writing is good for me, and I do love the memories!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Believing that I am enough

At Christmas, my church gives the children a book each. This year, Georgie got a book by Max Lucado, called The Tallest of the Smalls. He is such a good author! She likes the book. But I needed it.

Perhaps you don't know-
Or maybe you do- 
Of the too smalls of stiltsville
And their story for you

Where people like we,
Each evening at six,
Gather together,
for the purpose of sticks.

2015, so far has just been hard. I have been fighting a battle with my head, every day.

My little girl (who is not so little anymore) is about to start Kindy. And it has thrown me a bit. It's no secret that I struggle sometimes to feel like I am enough, as a stay at home mother. And now that I only have one child at home a few days a week, I feel like I should do something more, you know. Other people manage to do so much with their time after all, (oh, comparison is the thief of joy!). I have this internal list of things I try to do every day: Get dinner on the table at a decent hour, make sure I do the folding, do some form of exercise, don't stuff food into my mouth when I feel down, go the whole day without losing my temper at my kids. And honestly? Most days I'm lucky to even check one thing off that list.

Tall stilts upon which, 
A stiltsvillian can strut.
And be lifted above,
Those down in the rut.

Sometimes I imagine what the world would be like if we all walked around with big neon signs hanging over our heads, telling everyone what we are. You know what it feels like my sign would say? Inadequate. Insufficient. Found wanting.

Like Ollie, the boy
Whose pants have a patch,
Whose legs are too skinny,
Whose socks never match.

I came home from holidays, wracking my brain trying to think about what I should be doing with myself. This past week I've had all sorts of wild ideas, about things I could do. I've been looking at all kinds of study options. But to be honest, it's been a bit like last year all over again, with extra anxiety.

I know, I know, that now is not the time. And I don't actually think that study, or qualifications, or job titles will make me a better person. But yet, I kind of do. It's ridiculous, because I don't judge other people on what they do or don't do. Some of my most favourite people, don't do paid work, or have important degrees from universities. Yet, they are some of the people i like the most, the ones I know who do so much, are the kindest, and have the most wisdom.

The truth is, that deep in my heart I struggle constantly with feelings of self-doubt, and a lack of self-worth. I don't feel like I matter to the world, partly because I don't earn money or know stuff. But I also wonder, what will be enough? How many degrees would I have to get, how important would I have to be in the world? I suspect that ladder is one I could climb forever, and never reach the top. And I know I would miss out on so much important stuff along the way if I chose to put my feet on that ladder right now.

I know that what I really need is to stop listening to the lies that enemy is bombarding me with, and start listening when God tells me that I am priceless. It's just so hard, to know something, but not believe it. I am trying so hard, so hard to listen to God. The world just feels so much louder. When I first read The Tallest of the Smalls to Georgie, I cried.

Jesus smiled down and said
"Ollie. Come walk with me.
Keep your feet on the ground,
Refuse to be stilted;
Choose low over high,
Leave the system tip-tilted."

"You're precious my Ollie,
Not too short or too small.
I made you remember?
You're mine after all."

That book, was written for me. For where I am right now. I am doing my best to focus on Him, and on the truth. I am trying not to let my thoughts and feelings become bigger than they should be. I've got to believe that my value is dependent on who He is. And I am trying to trust God, and live according to his word, rather than get caught up in things that have no value. You know what a neon sign above my head would say, (if such things really existed)? Forgiven. Beloved. Property of Jesus. Sanctified. Justified. I am working on believing that.

I may not be much.
The smallest of smalls.
But since Jesus loves me.
I'm the tallest of talls.

For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. Matthew 23:12

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