What I am proud of

I saw a quote online the other day, this is it:

Such a simple quote, yet it really touched me, I really agree with it, and I found the rest of the day I constantly came back to thinking of this quote.

It has been a huge year in our house, in my life, but I am happy to say at the end of the day, I am proud of where I am now, of how far I have come.

We all continue to grow each and every day, life’s experiences continue to enrich and challenge us, and assist us to develop into hopefully the best people we can be.

So it made me think,

What am I proud of?

Sometimes that is a hard question, none of us want to come across as conceited, but perhaps we should each take a moment to look inside ourselves and think about what we are proud of about ourselves.

So here is my list:

  • I am honest and reliable:  Unfortunately I have seen first hand what devastation and havoc lies can create on other people’s lives. I am proud to say that I value and respect being honest and reliable to others.
  • I admit to my mistakes– I will NEVER pretend I am perfect, no one is, especially me. It is a very important thing for kids to grow up knowing that their parents are only human.
  • I have an amazing, supportive team of friends and family, and I am so thankful for them– I feel so incredibly blessed by some of the amazing souls that surround me in life, and every day I count my blessings to be able to share my life with these amazing people.
  • I have finally realised that it is time to let go of the things that I have no control over in my life– something that even a year ago was almost impossible for me to do.
  • I’m becoming more assertive– For years I have said that I think my lesson in life is to be more assertive, I have been trampled on by others, had my feelings and views squashed and ripped apart. I have had hundreds of sleepless nights worrying about what others think or say about me. Now simply don’t care, my skin has grown thicker, and I know that those who truly love me know the real me.
  • I have fallen apart and put the pieces back together again:  This year has been a shocking one, I know what it feels like to hit rock bottom, and I know that it is impossible to feel “normal” again overnight, but I did it. Some days it feels like some of the pieces are falling apart again, but I am safe in the knowledge that I know how to heal myself, and that I am finally able to be more gentle on me.

 

Now it is your turn, What are you proud of?

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Welcome to the family Beady!

For years, our daughter Kiara entertained us with amazing tales of her imaginary friends, there was Tamma and Camma, the twins she braved crocodile infested waters to rescue, they had many an adventure together, before months later Tamma and Camma deciding to return to their jungle tree house.

Then we had Ayna and his sister Sherarian (definitely original with her names!). They were orphans, and Ayna was left to raise his little sister.

I have stopped the car many time to let one or all of these people in the car, I have set an extra place at the table to feed them, or help hold their hands as we crossed the road. I have tucked them into bed as I have tucked Kiara in, and I have been part of hours of conversation with each of them.

While the rest faded away, Ayna stayed, and I went on to be celebrant/wedding photographer/mother of the bride and MC on countless occasions as Ayna and Kiara got married.

Kiara kissing “Ayna”

At the end of each wedding, Kiara would give a long and emotional speech on the love that her and Ayna had for each other as well as their friends and family.

And then the day came, Kiara came running to me to tell me that Ayna had died in a car accident, and before I knew it, I was sheeding tears for this little man, whom I had never met, but had become part of our family.

I sat there and  held my daughter as we  cried together over the loss of Ayna, without even knowing it, he had become part of our family.

Time continued, and it has been almost two years since an imaginary friend has had a place in our house. I have spoken of Ayna since, but never really realized how much I missed him and what he brought to our family………. until yesterday.

Noah approached me to say he had made a new friend, his name is Beady, and he is half dog, half (friendly) monster, and has wings so can fly anywhere. This news brought an instant smile to my face.

In the day and a half since I have been introduced to Beady, I have played with him, invited him into our car, “watched” him eat his dinner on the roof, gone swimming with him, and had him accomany our family on a trip to the local water slides for a birthday party.

Poor Beady got a bit exhausted by the fast pace of our family, so when we attended another birthday party this afternoon he had to stay home for a sleep.

Beady has kept Noah entertained with many games they have played together, and there seems to be more laughter coming from his room since Beady came to stay.

Once again our home is filled with a little more love and laughter by being joined by an “imaginary” friend.

Noah has loved answering all our questions about Beady, whom seems very clever and funny, and loves the fact he can fly everywhere.

So Beady, I welcome you to our family, if you even bring half as much love, laughter and joy to our family as Ayna did, we will be sure to remember you for years to come.

Thank you for keeping my boy company, for bringing out that amazing character of his a bit more, and thank you that by coming, you are helping 6-year-old Kiara, who has decided she is too old for Ayna, remember a little slice of magic from her past as well.

Stay as long as you want Beady, you are more than welcome here. xoox

Thankful For Five Kittens

I have never really thought of myself as a “cat person”, have never owned one, and have more often than not been scared of them or annoyed by them.

I have countless cat stories, of various feline’s attacking me, or doing something to make me either afraid of them or not very much of a fan of their species.

This year however I was lucky to meet a beautiful cat that made me see the good side in them, fast forward a few months later , and a local animal rescue organisation was asking for foster carers to help with the influx of animals they had needing to find a forever home.

Many were being saved from the local pound, and unfortunately not all could be saved.

I decided to do my bit to help, and put our hand up to be an animal foster carer.

The day after I filled my forms in, I was rung to say 5 kittens were needing a foster home, and would I be willing to give it to them?

That was when Tia, Asha, Bella, Lara and Spencer were introduced into our lives, and brought much more into them then I ever expected.

As you can imagine, a house filled with kittens was chaotic, the kids wanted so badly to play with them, and I was worried they would hurt them.

Noah especially was loving them way too roughly, and kept picking the poor kitty’s up by around their necks, I was freaking out that he would accidentally kill one, and a lot of time was put in to show him how to correctly hold and play with a cat, something I am thankful to say he has finally caught on. Of course the first few days saw the kids fight over the cats as though they had taken to all out war.

The smell and mess 5 kittens made as you can imagine was huge, and a bit to get used to, however I was very surprised by how quickly cats are toilet trained in comparassion to dogs.

A couple of times in the first few days I wondered exactly what I had put my hand up to do. When I told friends that we were fostering five cats, more often than not I was asked how crazy I was, and what possessed me to put my hand up for such a thing.

No one called to say they were interested in adopting one of the kittens, no queries were made, no forever homes seemed on the horizon.

Among this all, a fairly shocking and stressful family event occurred, bringing lots of pain and angst into our household. On the evening that this all happened, I lay on the lounge chair, and simply cried, big, hot painful tears of sadness, hurt and confusion. I sobbed in the dark, hurt beyond words and belief…………. then suddenly a little ball of fluff joined me in my spot, Tia curled up into my arms and gently wiped my tears away with her soft paw, an unexpected gesture of kindess n my time of need.

In the following days, the cats provided a much-needed distraction for us all, and many laughs with the crazy antics that they had.

As they grew, it seemed a bit too difficult to keep all five of them in our house, so two were handed over to another carer, and then a friend took a liking to Spencer, and he was adopted into his forever home.

As we waved goodbye as our friends left with Spencer in his car, little Kiara started to cry, I told her that she knew from the start that they were not our cats to keep.

“I know Mummy” she replied “These are not tears of saddness, but tears of happiness that Spencer has found a great forever home”

On going back inside, we were unable to find Tia, who had become Spencer’s main playmate.

After half and hour of searching, we finally found her huddled up in a corner shaking, as I held her close to me, feeling her heart beat a hundred miles an hour, my tears begun to fall too, while I was also sad to say goodbye to the cheeky Spencer, I felt sadness for this little kitten, obviously upset at the departure of her dear brother, it was a sign that touched my heart.

We have been fostering for a month now, and have only Tia and Asha left in our care. I do hope they find their perfect forever homes soon, but in the meantime, I am so thankful for all that these feline friends have brought into our lives.

Since we took on these kittens, our bank account is a little lighter, our house a bit smellier, there is chew marks and scratch marks in various places, but I am so thankful for all these little feline friends have brought into our lives. Some of the wonderful things include:

*The laughter and smiles their antics have brought to our faces.

*Free playmates for the kids.

*The fantastic feeling of doing something good for these beautiful kittens.

* Finding out how peaceful it is to sit with a purring cat on your lap, or lay with one snuggled up beside us, resulting in more then one of us relaxing so much and being lulled off to sleep by their soft gentle purrs.

*The joy of listening to 6-year-old Kiara talk about how much she wants to rescue animals in need when she grows up, as well as seeing what amazing stories and drawings have been done at school by her as a result.

*Bringing out care and compassion in my kids.

*Opening my eyes to what beautiful, clever creatures cats really are.

It hasn’t been all smooth sailing, and fostering has been a big commitment, but it is one I am very glad we took, because the rewards have definately been worth it.

Thankful for a little bit of magic

Yesterday we were fortunate enough to view a total Solar Eclipse, right in our own town.

If I am going to be totally honest, I really had not thought too much about the impending Eclipse, I was happy to hear the extra people and business it had brought to the city, but had not got caught up in the hype.

It was only after the eclipse was I to find out that it was the first time in 1300 (no I did not accidentally put an extra 0 on the end) that a total Solar Eclipse has been possible to view from Cairns, situated in North Queensland Australia. It was also viewed in other areas of Northern Australia as well.

My in-laws told us last week that they had planned on going out on their boat to view the Eclipse, and seeing our kids had yet to have a ride on their boat, would we like to join them?

Safety glasses and life jackets were purchased, and then an event in our family turned our world upside down.

Confusion, tears, hurt and anger lived in our house, and still does a bit. It is a story that I am unable to tell, as it is not my story alone, but I can only say our families life was put on its head, and we were all put on an emotional roller coaster.

The Eclipse could not have come at a better time, a little bit of adventure and something to look forward to was just what we needed.

The alarm clock sounded at 4:15 yesterday morning, and the kids were unusually easy to get up and get organised. A quick trip to McDonald’s drive in for coffee, and then onto the marina to board the boat.

The view at the Marina was magical in itself, pure bliss of calm, still water as the early morning haze highlighted the boats.

Before we knew it, we were ready to set sail.

The kids each had a turn of steering the boat with the guidance of Grandpa, and the smiles shining from their little faces illuminated my soul.

Kiara had experienced a fair bit of anxiety about falling off the boat up to the lead up of our trip, but thankfully she felt safe enough to relax and enjoy the journey and experience on the day.

The sun slowly rose as we sailed along , the sight in itself a magical and calming one.

The clouds stayed around, and we were unsure if we would actually get to witness the solar eclipse, but were happy to just be out on the ocean, enjoying the beauty of this time of the day.

Before we knew it, it was time to put on our solar glasses and prepare to view this amazing wonder.

As the moon came between the sun and earth, day suddenly seemed like night, the temperature cooled down, and our surroundings had an eerie, yet magical feeling about them.

And then we saw totality………

The amazing moment we had been waiting for, and the sight was more beautiful and magical then I can even begin to describe, and definately more so then I could have ever imagined.

We turned back to look at the mainland, and we could see thousands of tiny flashes as the people back on land took photos of the wonder in front of us all as well.

Before we knew it, the moon began to move away from the sun again, and everything went back to normal.  Everyone on the boat were full of excitement with what we had all just witnessed together, something really amazing, and something many people do not even get to view in a life time.

On the way back to the Marina I was overcome with sea sickness, and moved up to the front of the boat for some fresh air. I took the time to take in the beautiful surroundings around us, the breathtaking view, the gentle lap of the ocean, and the calm calls of the birds as they flew over our boat

The queasy feeling stayed with me, but I felt it was all worth it, because at that very moment I thought of what a truly brilliant display mother nature had put on for us that morning, and as I looked back into the boat, I saw my husband and our two kids, grinning from ear to ear, and buzzing with excitement.

The early morning start, the sea sickness, and a family of overtired people the rest of the day………. every little bit was worth it, for the magic and adventure we experienced and witnessed that day.