2013 and the word that will guide me

This time last year I discovered a blog written by Susannah Conway I’ve always remembered how she carefully chose a word to guide her upcoming year. Seems that it has caught on or maybe I was oblivious back then but many Aussie bloggers are doing the same this year.

So with at least a week of careful consideration, I thought of my word. A word that I feel encompasses everything I want my year to be. There will be no failure, only moving forward.

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My word is ‘better’. I want to become better at lots of things and better my overall lifestyle. I want to be a better me, think better of myself and make better health and fitness choices. I want to be a better cook and homemaker while I’m at home on maternity leave. I want to be a better mum to Phoebe and to Bubba V. I want to be a wife, and a better friend to those who make time for me too. I want to make better time for myself and my family and continue to better myself by putting myself out there.

‘Better’ just seems to fit this year and seriously, I can’t go wrong with it. Even just changing things slightly can only make things better for me and for us.

So, do you have a word? Have you had one in the past? I’d live to hear your take on it.

Bel x

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Goodbye 2012, hello new year

It’s been a big year, I’m sure you’ll all agree and one that has passed us by quickly….or is that because we are just getting older? This year saw us get married after 12 years together and four glorious ones with Phoebe part of our life. We venture off on a beautiful family-moon to Hamilton Island and returned home to find out we were pregnant with our second child. Life has been good.

I’m beginning to learn more about myself and my limits, about those who I have surrounded myself with and what matters most. I’m climbing out of my shell more and more, and have started putting myself out there. I’m beginning to connect with other bloggers and attend dinners and events, something i never would have done in the past ….. and hopefully friendships will build further from this. I’ve learnt that I need to start putting myself first more too and also return to my love of photography which I have neglected this year too much for my liking.

I’ve never been too big on making resolutions for the new coming year or keeping them. This year I’m going to set some goals, mini projects if you will. Success or failure, will not exist, it will all be about how I feel. So without further ado, some of my goals:

Cooking, hubby is the cook in our house, he loves it, is good at it and he thinks I’m not good at it. But with his work, this year we seemed to be eating later and later, pushing Phoebe’s bedtime later and later. Our night time routine has gone out the window and I want to get it back, especially before Bubba V arrives. With me starting maternity leave in the new year and being home for 2013, I want to start cooking more, exploring new meals for our family too.

Photography has still been part of my life this year but I’ve lacked the time to enjoy it as much. I previously have. I’d love to do a 52 week project, but don’t want to overcommit myself with my. New role as a mother of two. Instead, I will endeavour to pick my camera up weekly, enjoy my surrounds but not be all consumed by spending all my time behind they camera.

It’s about me too next year, I’m not going to turn all selfish like but at times this year, I have felt like I’ve put others before myself but sometimes at the expense of myself. I still want to remain the caring, compassionate person I believe myself to be, but I want to be heard to. I want spend time here to release my love of writing, photography and connection. I want to read more, not just magazines and blogs when I get time, but real paper books that ooze the aroma I love.

Get away, we have a caravan down the beach however I rarely venture their without hubby. There are varied reasons for this but it is a beautiful escape that I need to start taking more advantage of.

Embrace the moment, too easily in the last few years my calm has gone, I find myself getting frustrated and at the end of my tether too quickly. In the past I was never like this, I was calmer and took each moment as it came, I want to get back to this, for me, hubby and the kids.

Move it, when Bubba V has arrived and I am recovered, I can’t wait to start moving again, this unstable pelvis business is doing my head in now! The plan is to start with walking short distances and building up, then slowly adding in some jogging and building from there. I’ve never been too big into fitness but I’m really looking forward to changing that next year.

I have other thoughts swirling in my head too, but if you have been regular visitor here, you’ll know that I’m not a fan of really long posts, so i’ll finish it there. I’d like to take this opportunity now to thank all of you who visit here, over on my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts and comment when you visit. It pleases me to no end that finally I’m starting to build my own little community here and I hope to continue to connect with you in the new year.

On an end note, do you have a resolution, a project or goals you have set yourself next year? I’d love to hear about them!

Bel x

One hell of a week

It’s been one hell of a week here, so good, yet so tiring, so exciting and yet scary.  Tuesday night I had my big dinner with other bloggers which I wrote about here and didn’t arrive home into the wee hours of the morning.  The late night alone coupled with being pregnant and also the nervousness that came along with actually attending the event made me tired for the next few days.  However, I felt so invigorated, like what I am doing here might actually mean something in the greater world and that in fact I may finally begin to be forging new bonds with other people like me.

But if that wasn’t enough, I was lucky this week to also attend my first ever blogging event held by 360immerse and Target.  Once again, nerves and panic swept over me when I was first invited and I wasn’t sure I’d say yes.  But with some reassurance from some others, including hubby, I went along with Phoebe.  We had such an amazing morning viewing the new children’s clothing range from Target.  I was also lucky enough to meet some more beautiful bloggers and get to see what these events are actually like.

The Collette Dinnigan Ballet range is seriously all types of cute and pretty!!  Tutus, and soft colours, oh my!  If Bubba V is a girl, she’ll need to watch out, Mummy will be stocking up on this stuff!  Phoebe worked out what she wants to buy on the day, so a visit to Target is imminent in the next week or so.  It was also great to see a formal wear range for girls of all ages and at reasonable prices too.

The colours available at Target this summer include that of the rainbow and more.  And for once, despite not having a son, I was well and truly impressed with the boys collection.  I have and continue to be impressed by the quality of the clothes and durability.  There are many more exciting children’s wear products out for summer and Christmas, but these are the two that impressed me Phoebe and I the most.

Bel x

Disclosure: I was under no obligation whatsoever to write this post.  Phoebe and I had a wonderful morning and attended because we were already big fans of Target and wanted to see what new things were on offer.  We did however receive the costs of our transport and Target gift cards which was a really lovely surprise and we will enjoy spending on some of the new products we saw.

In the words of Dora the Explorer “I did, I did it, I did it yeah!”

Today I am exhausted, I am spent.  The left side of my neck aches, there is no relief and there is a dull pulsing in my right temple.  It was there yesterday, I know exactly what it is and how long it will last (three days, always three days) I slept, and recovered slightly and pushed on.  Last night was the big event of me stepping outside my comfort zone.  I’d come this far, putting myself out there and all, there was no way in hell I was going to pull out.  So I jumped in the shower, it’s truly amazing how theapuctic one simple act can be, and readied myself for the night ahead.

I had literally not met any of the women who I was going to be dining with, the most information I had about them was from their blogs, twitter and instagram accounts.  Some of my friends and work collegues were concerned, you know, with the way the world is at the moment and how close to home some things have been.  I gave all the details to my Sister, you know, just in case.  I grabbed my bottle of water (one of my panic attack saftey nets) and typed an address into my iPhone (I was lucky enough to have the lovely Cherie offer for me to go to her house and grab a lift in), and off I went.

I put the trust in my iPhone map as it directed me the long way to the short cut and into some heavy traffic (a panic attack waiting to happen right there, but I coped).  However despite all that, I managed to arrive at Cherie’s right on time and finally met her in real life.  She was so welcoming and lovely, that I honestly felt like we had know eachother for years.  She put me at ease in an instant (thank you!).  First impressions last don’t you think?

We arrived at the resturant spot on time again (for us Mum’s quite an amazing feet right there!).  I was introduced to so many wonderful women who I admire from afar in the wonderful world that is the internet.  There were quite a few of us, and meant I only really spoke to a couple over tea and got to know them better.  But there’s always next time.  Our bellies were stuffed full of amazing food and desert.  There was laughter, instagramming, and general chit chat.  An outsider would have suspected some sort of work gathering, or a Mum’s night out.  I felt so at home the whole time, I honestly did.  I had moments where I was overwhelmed but I just kept reminding myself that I had already achieved so much just sitting at that very table.

I came home in the wee hours of this morning, and believe me, I am now more well aware that I am no longer in my twenties and need at least eight hours sleep.  When I was in bed, thoughts swirled for at least another hour or so, new friendships, inspiration and direction.

I had a wonderful night, and I am so very greatful for the invite and the welcoming arms of these lovely lady bloggers.  In the next few weeks, I’ll share their blogs here with you too, I’m sure you’ll fall in love.  Until then, I’m off for a quick nap while Phoebe is at Kinder and Fynn is tucked up.

Bel x

 

Building the brave and putting myself out there

Anxiety and Panic Attacks…..I suffer from them, not as badly as others, but I do.  I’m not afraid to share this part of my life, it sometimes helps me do things I normally wouldn’t, if people know.  And it has made other people realize along my journey that they too are very much like me.

I’m not sure whether it is coming with age, but I am trying to build my brave lately.  Encouraging myself to get out there and do things that my panic attacks would normally prevent me (or more realistically, my brain is preventing me) from wanting to do.  Maybe it’s because I’m pregnant too….I find that when I am, and usually for the first year of bubo’s life, my attacks minimize, I have other things on my crazy mind.  Whatever it is, I’m currently grasping things with both hands and putting myself out there like never before!

A few weeks ago, I took a punt, I invited a kinder friend of Phoebe and his Mum (hello Brydie, I know you visit here sometimes x) around for a play-date.  The un-brave me would never do such a thing, never ever!!  But she seemed so lovely and I thought we would have some things in common.  So I bit the bullet….I asked, and they said yes.  They came over on Sunny Friday and stayed for hours.  We ate homemade scones and chatted while the kids played beautifully in the back yard.  It was the perfect morning, so nice, and anything but scary, anything but!

Next week I’ve been invited out with some lovely ladies, none of whom I have ever met.  Rather, each week I find out about them and get to know them through their blogs.  I put myself out there, I told them that one day too I’d like to join them for one of their dinners.  Never did I think that I might actually get invited.  When I did, I panicked, I truly did.  I’m still panicking if I’m going to be completely honest.  Questions swirl through my head and collide,  What if they don’t like me?  What if I make a fool out of myself?  What if I have nothing to talk about?  Maybe they’ll think my little bit of cyber-space is not that crash hot? What if I have a panic attack?   BREATH BEL, BREATHE!!

I’ve decided that the easy thing to do is to say that I can’t make it…. the easy thing to do, easy.  But easy has helped me miss out on some great things in the past, some great, fun, life changing things!  I’d love to make some new friends, a new circle that is just for me.  I would love to feel connected to a world I’m slowly becoming a part of.  I’m not sure how things will work out, but I guess I have to try.  So, I’m going to bite the bullet and I’m going to go.  I’m going to get in my car, drive to a house and get a lift into the city with someone who I have only ever communicated to through blog comments, tweets and instagram (which if you know me, not driving and getting a lift is a HUGE deal for me).  I’m going to sit down for dinner with a bunch of women I have not met in real life, and I’m going to see where it takes me……….

Have you tried to build your brave lately?

Bel x

Living out my dream

If I wasn’t a teacher, I either wanted to be a Park Ranger or an Interior Designer.  Park Ranger because I love being out in the bush, and Interior Designer because I always love changing things around in the house and my room.  I love the thrill of changing furniture around and adding need textiles to create a new space ……. not saying I’m good at it though.

In the next few months, I will be turning Interior Designer when the new playroom/study shell is complete.  I have taken this opportunity to design the room with all the furnishings I want/need.  Our house is teeny, with only 3 bedrooms and one open plan living area, hence why we are making this extra space (to fit in Bubba V and still have a study/playroom space).  The rest of our house is mainly dark wood, but in this new room, I’m going for white and brighter colors.  The room will be airy and have loads of natural light but I also have to squeeze a lot into this space.  This room will house ALL the toys, ALL of my study which includes books, looks of books.

So Ikea and Pinterest are my current friends.  I’ve researched and collected all the things I want in the room over the last few months, I haven’t rushed into it.  So what do you think?  Is it too white?  I’m trying to tie the room in with the rest of the house by using the cane storage boxes, plus we will have a chocolate brown sofa-bed in there too.

1.  Expedit Shelving Unit from Ikea – I’m using this one inbetween the two bigger ones.  It will have the TV on it and all DVD’s etc inside.

2.  Expedit Insert with Drawers, Ikea – for all those DVD’s, portable DVD players, chargers and cords.

3.  Melltorp Dining Table, Ikea  – this will be my new desk.  I already have a white filing cabinent which should fit perfectly underneath.

4.  Ringum Rug from Ikea – this will be to protect the floorboards from the desk chair and add some colour.

5.  Reidar Chair, Ikea – not 100% sure on this yet for desk chair.

6.  Expedit Shelving Unit, Ikea – having two of these babies on the sides of the smaller one.  This will house ALL toys in the house.

7.  Branas Basket, Ikea – to hide away all the toys, dress ups and knick-knacks.

I also need to get some little colour co-ordinated bits and pieces for my new desk space.  I already have some polaroids printed that I will display above the desk and am in the process of wording my own playroom posters with the help of my sister.  So c’mon, tell me what you think?

Bel x

Have I outgrown you?

When I joined Facebook all those years ago, I joined because a couple of friends were overseas and it was an easy, instant way to keep in touch with them.  Over the years, my love of Facebook grew, probably like yours did.  I like many others, have a big friend list (not bragging, just stating facts), that consist of family, close friends, work colleagues past and present, old school friends and some new friends too.  It gave me a way to re-connect with some old friends, and keep up to date with the goings on of others.  It was a saviour at times too, being at home with a newborn.

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But the last year or so, I’m wondering if I’ve outgrown Facebook?  Things have been irking me, from a while ago and recently too.  I’m not sure if it’s enough to make me cancel my account altogether, I’m just not sure what to do.  Some of the things that have been on my mind:

  • Photo stealing.  This is a big one for me.  A year ago I backed up my data to my hard drive and deleted most of my photos.  Facey Friends were reposting them on their own wall but with no acknowledgment of where it had come from.  If my Facey friends could do this, who else could?  Now I’m extra wary of what photos I post.
  • People being snarky, whether they mean it or not.  We are all time poor, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t re-read what you have written before you hit ‘post’ especially if it’s on someone else’s photo or on their status.
  • Manners and being polite, thinking of other people’s feelings, hello….does this not exist in cyberspace or are that rude in real life too?
  • The open-air fighting, seriously, do it face to face.
  • The various type of Facey status updaters (which I am all sure we have been guilty of every now and again).  The whiners, the attention seekers, the constant link posters, the mummy status’ (which I definitely have been guilty of!).
  • And does anyone ever catch up anymore, or even make a phone call these days (considering most of us have smart-phones and are using them to check Facey).

The things I have noticed about my own recent online behavior:

  • I still check Facey all the time, I still love it, but I don’t post many status’ anymore.
  • It seems to be getting quieter though.  Not sure if it’s just me, but have you noticed it to?
  • I love taking photos, always have, always will and I still love to post some.  I still remain very wary, probably more so now of what I post, especially because people can now save to their.
  • I mainly use it for my Blog and to check up on other Blogs too.
  • I actually prefer Twitter, although, none of my friends are really on there.  But I am starting to make a few Blogging friends.

So, I’m still not sure what I am doing or going to do or how I feel about Facebook anymore. I know there are goods and bads, but I don’t know how to weigh these up exactly.  What are your insights and how have you been feeling about it all lately?

Bel x

I’m scared, I know I shouldn’t be but….

I’ve re-written this post a couple of times, taken out sentences, added in different ones, then deleted the whole thing and started from scratch today.  I didn’t want this post to come across negatively, at the time when I originally wrote the post (the deleted one) I guess I was in a negative mindset.  But now that things have calmed and I’m feeling level-headed, I’m re-writing the post in a way that seems more fitting.

I have never been extremely body confident, but was happy with my body and the way I looked before I had Phoebe.  I’ve never really been one for exercising or playing team sports either.  When I fell pregnant with Phoebe, I put on 15 kilos and since the day I had her, I’ve only lost 5 kilos (funny that that was probably how much she weighed, whoops!).  I have many stretch marks to tell the tale of her being in my belly, I like to call them ‘kick marks’ though and they honestly don’t bother me one little bit (I was never a bikini wearer in the first place).  I was left too with LOTS of excess skin, the type that my Doctor told me could never be toned through exercise, only fixed by surgery.  But I hide it well with my clothes choices, no one notices, and when I have shown friends, needless to say, they were a little shocked.

About six months ago, I became unhappy with my body and I’ll stress I wasn’t necessarily unhappy with my weight, more the way I felt.  And so I started to move my body!  I slowly (with the help of some friends) built up my walking to spurts of jogging.  I borrowed a treadmill and started jogging even further.  I actually did start to enjoy it (previously I lacked motivation and drive).  I’m unlucky in the fact though that I can’t change my diet too much, I have this unusual problemo with texture which doesn’t allow me to eat fruit, salad and some veggies (although I’m getting better at having them within other foods).  And then I fell pregnant, I got tired (like we all do) and I was too exhausted some nights to even manage with all the housework let alone going for a walk/jog.  Now my pelvis is playing up too, so I’m in a spot of bother.

This image is from my Pinterest Board ‘Move it’ – I cannot find the original source to give credit where credit is due 😦

So, I’m scared, I know I shouldn’t be, but I was already unhappy with my body…..I’m completely happy at the moment though, I’m pregnant and loving the little home I am creating.  But I’m wondering what state my body will be left in after Bubba V arrives?  I’m not feeling at all pressured by celebrities and their bounce back bodies (although I sometimes do have the urge to slap them), they obviously worked hard, really really hard.  So, my question to you is, am I alone in the way I’m feeling?  How did you or are you trying to feel better about your body after children?

Bel x

An ode to people who are ‘just’ work friends

I have some friends, they are my work friends.  A group of girls, around the same age, who all have the same occupation and work at the same school.  Most of them are now married and are Mum’s, some are not.

But they are just my work friends, they are the type of friends who, send flowers when your Pop has died, with a well thought out card.

Message you from the other side of the world while they are holidaying, knowing that it was your Pop’s funeral.

Message you late at night or early in the morning, knowing that sometimes this can be the darkest park of your day.

Lately, call eachother for a quick chat, which turns into an hour, even though you saw eachother just the other day.

Tweet late at night during those sleeples nights or while up feeding bubs.

Organise weekly catch ups because we know that some of us might not be coping as well as others that particular week.

Work out a roster system to visit a friend, because, we know without her asking that she needs the company and the help.

Hold eachothers hands physically and metaphoically during the tough times, at funerals, when family members are sick or when a tough decision has to be made.

Attend your Hens night and your wedding and turn it into such a jolly affair.

Visit you in hospital or when you arrive home with your new bundle of joy.

Have an opinion and offer advice but never judge!

Head out for birthday dinners or deserts, and pen beuatiful birthday cards.

Offer to watch your child when you are in a bind, even if they have more than a handleful of their own.

Will send birthday cards to your daughter snail mail style because they know she cries every time she goes to the mailbox and there is nothing for her.

Remember insignificant and significant appointments and always check to see how you went.

You see, I have some work friends, but they are much more than that.  They are great friends whom I just happen to work with.  Our bond has strengthened more so over the last few years into something wonderful and supportive.  So they are not ‘just’ my work friends, they are true friends.  Work friends is how I describe them but as you can see, they are so much more than that.

What would you add to the list that your wonderful work friends do?

Bel x

Chapter

If you didn’t already know, I’m expecting another baby in March next year.  This will make our family the perfectly even number of four!  A new chapter in our lives.

I always love the initial questioning you get when you tell someone the news, the first of which always seems to be, was it planned?  Followed closely behind by, we didn’t know you were trying!  And, are you going to find out the sex?  And finally what do you think your having?  So to clear those up, yes it was planned (it shouldn’t matter if it wasn’t though, we are obviously having the baby if we are telling you and are both extremely excited!) and yes, we were trying and you didn’t know because I didn’t really want the world to know that we were bonking regularly in order to reach this outcome.  No, we are not going to find out the sex, we loved the surprise with Phoebe and as Hubby says, “You don’t get many surprises in life these days”.  And for the record, I think I’m having a boy.

The other question is usually, is it different this time around?  I think most pregnancies are different, but yes, my two have been so far.  With Phoebe I was extremely lucky to suffer NO morning sickness at all, I had a few weeks of extreme tiredness which seemed to pass quickly, I didn’t pop out until about 22 weeks either.  I loved being pregnant with Phoebe, I was the healthiest I had ever been, my migraines amounted to two in the nine months I was pregnant and I felt amazing.  Granted, I did have quite a few scares along the way with her, but I savored every minute because back then, we only thought we would ever have one child.

Now four years later, I am pregnant again!  And we are so excited, Phoebe included (she is going to make a great big sister).  I’m glad that I will too savor this pregnancy like my last, because this will be my last.  This time around I have felt ill, all day sickness, but have never thrown up.  The tiredness has stretched on and on, and despite what everyone says, it’s not because I have Phoebe around, she is wonderfully self sufficient and usually not too much hard work.  My skin is terrible, I have never had so many pimples in my life.  And at nearly fourteen weeks pregnant, I have a very obvious bump going on (not to mention the massive boobs!).  But, as with Phoebe, I have already had a few scares, all of which have passed.

So, I have lots on my mind at the moment, we have lots to do and lots of preparation before the end of the year.  My Blog will remain the same, but now just add in some baby stuff here and there, hope you don’t mind!?

Bel x