Beauty

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I told my daughter today that she had a beautiful heart.

This comment left confusion on her face.

“But you cant’ see my heart Mamma, how do you know it is beautiful?”

I told her that beauty is not always the things we see.

Beauty is the things we feel, the nice gestures we do for others, and  the gentle way in which we talk to, or treat other people.

Having a beautiful heart and soul simply means that you are a lovely person.

To yourself and to others.

This made her smile, and she went on to tell me a story in which she shared her book at school with a class mate who did not have one.

She told me how happy this made him, and how she felt good to help someone else and share.

I was pretty proud that my little girl had got the concept of having a beautiful heart.

The whole topic of Beauty, and how it is perceived by various people has been on the forefront of my mind, after I listened to some random woman ring into the radio station yesterday and remark that she is so gorgeous that she can never find any men to date whom are in the same league of looks as her.

I was really saddened by her comment.

In looking at the cover, or shell of people, and in making such a huge emphasizes on looks, she was missing out on interacting with so many potentially amazing people.

I think she is probably also missing out on experiencing real life.

While self confidence is awesome,

Being full of yourself most certainly isn’t.

Once again I am brought back to my sisters favorite saying, which is inscribed on her headstone:

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Such simple, yet such true words.

As always, one simple topic left my mind whirling in many directions and many thoughts.

I thought about what beauty really is, and how society puts such a huge emphasis on looks rather than what is inside.

I wondered what a list of beautiful qualities would be.

There are many.

I came up with some:

I think a person who gives unconditional love is beautiful,

Someone who is generous and kind,

Gentle with others hearts and feelings, yet not allowing people to walk over them.

A person who will lend an ear when another needs someone to listen.

A person who sees the good things in the world, even when the hard times are happening.

I do not think a beautiful person is perfect- no one is.

I do think that imperfections and experiences in life add to a persons internal beauty.

A smile that has struggled through tears is beautiful.

Courage in the face of fear.

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I think of all the people who many think that their beauty has somewhat been tarnished by life.

Those with internal scars of heart break and loss,

Of hurt and despair,

And those who have been disfigured or marked in some way by either an accident or disease.

So many people think these marks that life has left on them or in their souls makes them less beautiful.

So many people think that these moments or experiences have simply left them scarred.

I look at people whom have come out the other side of adversity,

Who have fought and won a huge battle.

So many people are made to feel that they are full of scars.

I stopped for  a moment in my deep circle of thoughts and came to the realization:

These are not scars

They are beauty marks.

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Getting My Grateful Groove On.

So I have been a bit up and down of late, been sick, been over thinking, letting other peoples stupid opinions get to me.

I have been spending a bit too much time thinking about what is going wrong, rather than celebrating what is going right, so it is time to get that Gratitude Groove On again!

I think it is time to make this a weekly event, don’t really have the time to go back to posting daily like I did in my 365 Gratitude Project, but think it is important to keep the great stuff on the front of our minds. (Feel free to share yours with me too please!)

So here goes:

I am grateful that it looks like our foster cat Amber has found a wonderful forever home.

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I am Grateful to witness Noah seeing a cane harvester up close, which was wonderfully organized by a friend.

Noah wants nothing more then to have a job driving cane harvesters when he grows up, and as you can see the smile on his face was amazing- and boy those machines are HUGE!

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I am grateful for experiencing new, fun things with the kids.

We got to go riding on a Biscuit on the back of a friends ski boat on the weekend.

I was so proud of how brave and adventurous both kids were, I admire them for that, as I remember how new things always scared me as a kid, and I was often left wishing I had participated rather then letting fear take over.

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I am grateful to live in an awesome part of the world, even if it is heating up this time of the year, and will only get hotter from here on in.

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I am Grateful that the kids are helping out more, whether it be with dinner preparation, or odd jobs for our little business, each little bit counts.

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I am grateful for escaping it all and going camping with my family and friends on the weekend.

While there is no chance to fully switch off completely when you have kids to supervise, I did find myself just sitting and taking it all in, not feeling the need to do anything other than that, it was a nice feeling to just be still for once.

(The Baileys around the campfire were rather nice too!)

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I am grateful for the gorgeous bunch of flowers a beautiful friend gave me.

My favorite  flower- Sunflower, and for over a week they made me smile whenever I walked past them.

The kind gesture in itself touched my heart too- Thanks beautiful Kel xoxo

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I am also very thankful for the beautiful little package that arrived in the mail today from the lovely Angie from Ramblings of A Mamma Just Tryin To Find  her Groove. She made me the most gorgeous cross stitch Fairy, and I am bummed that the photo will not upload for me, so I will have to share it with you next week, but I do have to say that getting a package from the other side of the world and sent with such love and care made my day- Thank you Angie xoox

I am also Grateful for the hard work and dedication my husband Jamie does for our new little business.

It has been a full on whirlwind 5 months with that, and he has worked his heart and soul out in it, giving 100% every day, and while in the interest of being honest, we have had our fair share of work place dramas, it has been great seeing our hard work and determination pay off together, and creating something of our own.

I am also very thankful for his new routine this week of making me a fresh Mocha and the kids a hot chocolate each from our Coffee Van before he sets off for the early morning run- it is an awesome start to the day.

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I am grateful for Friends who become Family, and Family who are Friends,

I am Grateful for making our own path,

For Believing in what seems the impossible.

I am Grateful for Courage, for Strength, and for recognizing the difference between a bad day and a bad life.

I am Grateful for making yummy fruit  slushy’s  at home, and finding them refreshing AND healthy on a hot, sweaty day.

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And lastly, I am Grateful for you readers, whom, despite me not being around as much, you still tune in and stick around and understand that life is busy.

I hope each and every one of you has at least 10 things you can be grateful for in the past week, and if you are willing to, I would love if you could share them with me 🙂

Oh what a night

I went to bed at half past ten, ready to go to sleep.

All was quiet within the house, there was not even a peep.

Then the cat disturbed the calm, deciding the furniture needing wrecking.

I jumped out of bed and asked it to stop.

But it continued on it’s pecking.

Three times more I attempted to sleep.

Three times more the cat woke me.

Finally I covered the lounge with sheets

Hoping it would keep it scratch free.

Finally back in bed, my head hitting the pillow.

All of a sudden, a loud noise made me jump

When my little girl bellowed.

Up I ran into her room, to see what was the matter.

She was uncomfortable, and restless, waking with a clatter.

I lay in her bed to calm her down, and help her drift back to sleep.

Finally she was in snooze land again, after counting sheep.

Back to my bed I slowly crept, hoping for some rest.

Little did I know, there would be another little pest.

Little boy had a nightmare, waking with a fright.

He ran into our room, and boy what a sight!

He high jumped over his Dad, and landed right on me.

Snuggled up, and calm at last, he went back to the land of Zzzzzz’s

Finally

I thought I would get some rest, finally I would drift off to sleep.

Then pussy cat decided to jump up and lay on me.

“Oh what the heck” I thought

Let her lay there peacefully.

Then once again as I drift off, I wake up with a smack.

Little boy has accidently rolled on top of the cat.

I move them round and fix them up, and snuggle back in bed.

Then suddenly I feel a tap upon my head.

It was Miss 7, tired and upset.

For it was the bed she wet.

By now I was hanging over the side, son under one arm,

Cat under the other, not making a peep.

But I had to get up and change some sheets.

Into the laundry they were seen

On their way to become clean.

Dog was laying on the outside laundry floor.

Looking confused as she raised her paw.

She looked so comfy, I was tempted to just lay down and join her on the floor.

Time to get the cot mattress out of its plastic from under the bed.

She could not pull it out as the Foster cat was using it to lay her head.

The crinkles woke the cat with an awful fright,

She jumped on the bed, and jumped so high it was almost out of sight.

Finally, as the night became day,

Little girl became comfy in her own little way.

Cat had other ideas and begun to play.

With the crinkly plastic,

In a very loud way.

By this stage I decided even a marching band

Would not interrupt my own sleep plan.

After many hours of little sleep.

I finally got to get some zzzz’s

Then hubby’s alarm clock wakes with a squeal.

He groans that he is tired, and to get up is an ordeal.

I roll over and say.

“What a night”

He looks confused, I know I look a fright.

You see, while I had to fight for sleep.

While I had adventures when I did not want to hear another peep.

Dear Hubby lay on his side of the bed.

His pillow never left his head.

Low snores could be heard from him.

He never once woke despite of the din.

Time for him to get the van ready for work.

I bounded out for my own little perk.

As he prepared the coffee machine ready for the day.

I requested a coffee I would not have to pay.

He asked me what it was I would like.

Cappuccino, latte or flat white.

Sugar, how many?

He politely asked.

My answer was in my sleep deprived mask.

“Just give me coffee please, don’t ask”

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A little broken

I believe that we are all a little bit broken, every single one of us.

We all have strength that we have gained through the most hardest of challenges or life experiences.

The only problem is that our cracks are  mostly invisable to those on the outside.

A majority of the time we all go about our daily business and the broken parts of our hearts, minds and souls do not hider us.

Other times they disable us in ways we cannot explain or make others understand.

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For those of you whom have followed my blog for a while, you will remember what a difficult and challenging year last year was for my family and I.

I tried to sit down in a brief break from office work the other day to articulate exactly what we all went through and where we are now.

It was going to be a post of celebration, of moving on and showing strength in times of trouble.

I wrote and rewrote the post three times.

Tears streamed down my face, memories came back to the surface, and in the end the whole situation just drained me more than I like to admit.

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The events of last year led me to having a mental meltdown and eventally being diagnosed with Anxiety and Depression.

The mere process of getting out of bed in the morning felt like the most challenging task.

I had anxiety attacks which  disabled me and frightened me more than I could ever imagine.

I was medicated, had therapy and forced myself to be much more gentle on me.

The  whole recovery process was much longer than I could have anticpated and in the mean time I was presented with other, annoying and disturbing health concerns.

Only now I realize that Anxiety and Depression are not anything you can ever say you have recovered from 100%, they share your life, even if just by being in the back of your mind, or you may have a bad day and think

“here we go again”

For a long time I would often find myself on a floor somewhere, collapsed from the pressure I was feeling inside, more than once this happened at work, where my husband was thankfully Manager at the time.

For a long time it hurt to smile.

Many friends and family shone like bright little stars of hope as they sent me messages of courage and hope and surrounded me with love.

Sadly the moment I was at my weakest also became a time others choose to use me as an emotional punching bag, dumping piles of hate on me.

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Just when I thought I was getting strong, the haters would get me down.

Slowly, over time, their words and venom did not cut me like they used to, they did not leave me paralysed, and I am proud of that.

Unfortunately, as with any trauma, the hurt does leave some scaring behind, and that really takes some time and kindness to heal.

A year on I am so much more stronger, and I am so happy about that.

I think I really wanted to write this post now to send out some love to anyone else going through a tough time, as I know there is a lot of you.

I want you to know that you are not alone.

I want you to lean on those who love you.

It is ok to vent, to talk, to say to others “I need help”, or “give me a moment please”.

I really want to make sure that you do not put yourself down throughout this.

Breaking down is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of being strong for far too long.

Remind yourself when those voices in your head tear you apart.

Remind yourself that you are one remarkable human being.

Be proud of who you are, and how far you have come, even if that is merely that today you smiled and your heart did not hurt in doing so.

I remember a little over a year ago, a lovely lady named Leigh posted a gorgeous quote on my Facebook page.

I have searched and searched the net, but cannot find the exact words, however it said something like this:

“One day you will get through this, and you will look back and be so proud of how far you have come.”

And I did get through the rocky parts, and life has thrown more things my way, but for the last year I constantly thought of that quote.

So today I send it out there for anyone else having a rough time.

You will get through this, it may seem hard right now.

But one day, you will look back and be so very proud of how far you have traveled.

Just promise me one thing please.

Be kind on yourself xoxo

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Grateful for My Life Lines

While not exactly over the hill yet, I am 32 years old, and gradually more and more lines on my face appear.

It may sound weird to some, but I actually like them, I call them my “life lines”, a sign of having lived life, having cried, laughed, stressed, rejoiced, having just experienced emotions.

As a child I wanted so desperately to have dimples in my cheeks, it is one of those things that friends who were lucky enough to have them, wished that they didn’t.

I would be found standing still, concentrating as I poked the tips of both index fingers into the sides of my cheeks, hoping that if I did that often enough and long enough, I would eventually get myself a set of my very own dimples.

As you can imagine, it did not work!

Now in a weird sort of way, my smile lines look a little like those dimples I envied for years, sure you can tell they are NOT dimples, but I like them all the same.

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Only recently, my daughter Kiara asked me why I had lines around the corners of my eyes.

Some may call these “crows feet”, but I shall call them ” laugh lines”.

I told Kiara this, and she said she thought I was pretty lucky.

I asked why.

Her answer was simple.

“You must have laughed and smiled many times in your life to get those lines, I cannot wait until I have smiled enough to earn some lines for it!”

And you know what?

She is right!

As a  young teen, I participated in a makeup and deportment course. The teacher told me one day that I really needed to work on the emotions I showed on my face, she said that I moved my forehead up so much that the lines would become permanent over time.

I was worried about this, and tried so hard to keep my face still, and free from lines, but really that was never meant to happen.

Those who know me, know that I am a little loud, and prone to making funny faces.

I make jokes a lot, especially when I am the subject, and you really cannot do that with a smooth forehead!

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The lines are slowly becoming permanent there, but I really don’t mind.

They remind me of all the fun times.

I feel blessed to have some lines to show I have lived.

My sister died at 22, never getting the chance to see these small wrinkles appear on her face.

She never got the chance to grow old.

She was never given the chance to earn her lines.

I am not old, I know that, and I know that my wrinkles and lines will only grow more as the years dwindle on and my age ticks by.

You will never find me in the queue for Botox.

I like that you look at my face and you know I have lived.

Too many people are not given that privilege, and I am grateful for my small blessing.

BRINGING BACK THE PROJECT!

Hi All!

I feel as though I know so many of you, even though I have only met some of you.

On this page you have allowed me an outlet to share the moments of my life, big and small.

I started the page as “Alicia’s 365 Moments of Gratitude Project” when I embarked on taking a photograph a day of something in which I was thankful for.

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The project was fun, and as someone who does not always finish what I start, I felt it was a huge accomplishment for me.

I spent hours printing out each photograph and the story behind it to put in my own folder to keep.

It has been a while since I have looked back on the project, but I feel happy to know that it is there, a permanent reminder of a wonderful 365 days of my life.

The photos ended up filling two Facebook albums, which can be viewed here and here, feel free to browse when you have some time.

It has been over a  year since the project was completed, and it has been a huge year at that.

I attempted to change the name of my Facebook page  to just “Alicia’s Little Moments” (like this blog), but was unable to.

So the gratitude reminder lived on.

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Lately I have received some beautiful messages from lovely people commenting on how much they enjoyed the project, on reading the stories that went with the photos I was grateful for.

I feel so happy reading these messages, and thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support.

You see, it has been a very tough year since that project ended, and it was always so nice to look back in my darkest days and remind myself of all the beautiful things in life.

I have continued to be grateful, in fact on being diagnosed with depression and anxiety, my doctor recommended I keep a diary of things that make me happy, so in healing I kind of continued my own project privately.

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I am ready to come back, though in being honest, I really do not have the personal time any more to take and edit photos every day, with a new business, time is very short at the moment.

So I have a request.

Lets bring back the project, but I need you to help me please.

Last time I invited readers to submit their photos and stories, which you did, but this time I need to share the job more so.

If you have a photo or a story of something you are grateful for, this is an open invitation to share it on my Facebook page . For this to work I need you to join in with me please.

It does not have to be every day,  just post something when the feeling arises, when you feel grateful for something, big and small.

You see, you all will never know how much your support and comments helped me over the years, now lets look at the beautiful things in live together.

The project is back, but this time it is not “Alicia’s project”, it is “Everyone’s project”

I look forward to sharing it with you!

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xoxox

In My Garden

Our house is a home, we live in it, so therefore it sometimes also looks like a cyclone (aka children) has torn through it.

Some days the view from the outside is not much better, we seem to have come to a halt with renovations, and need to finish off some painting, tidy up the tools lying everywhere, and deal with the never-ending weeds, as well as the destruction  that two very energetic dogs make.

This all gets me a bit down at times, but then I chose to focus on all the great things that can be found in our garden, and decided to share them with you  (cause nobody wants to see pictures of the not so great things there!)

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Storm and Zen, our two beautiful, and crazy dogs.

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One of the Willy Wag Tail birds that frequent our garden.

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Our frangipani tree, silhouetted by the sunset

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One lone flower, that survived the destruction rampage of our dogs.

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There is all kinds of life cycle’s and events happening in our yard, I just need to remember to open my eyes and look up and around.

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Dew drops on a leaf

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Tree Orchid, only flowers once a year.

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Cute Lady Bugs

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Wet Season

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Raindrops on frangipani in our front garden

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View from our front porch of neighbors stunning palm tree

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The garden is the perfect place to enjoy a cuppa and slice of cake!

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Our shed was once used by a sunbird to build one glorious nest

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The current sunbird hanging around our place, I caught him in the car port today checking himself out in the side mirror on the car and having a chat to himself! Thanks for giving me a much-needed smile birdy!

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View from the backyard at a sunset over the mountains

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Technically the Singapore Daisy is a weed, but I still think it is rather pretty!

Please Be Gentle with me

Six months after my sister passed away, I sat trembling in a Doctors surgery.

I had been experiencing blinding headaches and was worried about them.

He checked me over, shone a light in my eyes, then rested back in his seat.

“I really don’t think it is anything to worry about, just headaches” he said

Then he smirked at me

“It is not as if you are dying of a brain tumour is it?!”

He thought he was making a joke with a 20 year old lady, and was probably confused as to why that same young lady raced out of his surgery in tears.

I do not think I am a hypochondriac, but I am well aware of how unfair and surprising life is at times.

Cancer, that fucking disease (excuse the language, but I feel it is needed here), has taken my big sister, 3 of my 4 Grandparents,  a grade 8 class mate, numerous friends, and is the one reason as to why I have attended the amount of funerals I have.

I hate this disease, absolutely fucking hate it.

I hate what it does, what it takes, what it prevents.

I HATE IT!

While I am on the hate party, I also hate Dr Google, that friggin thing has had me self diagnose myself far too many times for far too many scary things, and I hate to say it, but more often then not it is cancer.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do not think of cancer 24/7 and it is not as if I obsess over getting it, but it does cause me a bit of caution.

Two years ago a Doctor suspected I had a breast tumour, thankfully she was wrong, but I had already started fighting my battle in my mind.

A doctor was once dramatically alarmed at the result of my blood pressure test, once I told her in my quite, shaking voice that doctors scared me, she got me to take a walk, have a cool drink, take some deep breathes and return.

The next test was much better.

Thankfully, apart from my blubbering mess when I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, I do not make a habit of having break downs in doctors surgeries any more.

I am dealing with some health problems right now, and on Friday my doctor suggested I have some blood tests, as well as book in for an ultrasound and see a specialist (which I have to wait until August to see- but that is a whole other story).

Monday I get the call from the surgery that the results are back, I am right near by, so I duck in and visit them to get the results in person.

The receptionist informs me that the nurse needs to see me, so I take a seat with my energetic 4 year old and wait for 5 minutes.

The nurse comes to get us, and ushers me to a room.

“I am afraid that your results are of a nature that you will need to make an appointment with your Doctor to discuss them” she tells me.

My smile fades, my heart skips a beat.

I go back to the desk, find that I am not able to get an appointment that does not interfere with school drop offs and pick ups until 2 days later.

My anxiety kicks in.

My fears take over.

I start to worry about all the things that could be wrong.

Two days later I finllly get to see the Doctor, she must notice that I look a bit nervous when she ushers me into her room.

“I’m sorry” She says

“Our Junior Nurse is not permitted to discuss results with you, it seems you are just a bit low with your iron levels”

WTF????????????????????????

I had imagined myself with many diseases, got worked up and stressed out, finally calmed myself down.

I told friends how I felt.

I shared my heart and soul.

All to find out my fucking iron levels were low!

Oh please doctors, I am a bit delicate,

Please, be gentle with me.

The Boot Confusion

I live in Tropical North Queensland, Australia.

It is a a warm climate, with some years no need to even get one jumper out of the box when it comes to winter.

We are just coming out of a long, hot summer, where we have lived in light weight clothes and lots of use of the air conditioner and local swimming holes.

The last few days have brought a welcome change in the air, it has been a little cold, and wet, and I was delighted to have a chance to break out the jeans that have not been worn for ages, and dust off my one pair of boots.

My kids were surprised to see me in something so different, that Kiara asked to take a photo of me!

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With the school holidays on, Jamie and I have been doing a bit of job sharing to make up for the fact we have no outside care for our kids.

We met a friend and her kids for morning tea, ran some errands, and before I knew it, it was time for Jamie and I to do the work/ child swap over.

Rather than fully changing, I just swapped my top for my work shirt and continued on my way.

Sadly, throughout the course of the day my boots got more and more worn out and broken.

I completed my shift, and later returned home in time for dinner.

As we sat at the table, I mentioned to Jamie that my boots had broken.

He looked up from his dinner plate alarmed

“What?! What do you mean?! What happened? Are you ok?!”  he asked in a worried voice.

His deep concern actually confused me.

“Seriously, it is no big deal, they only cost me $20 from Kmart 2 years ago, it really is fine, even though they are nice and comfy, it is ok”

“Oh” he said as he breathed a huge sigh of relief

“That is good, I thought you said something else”

I was a bit confused at this comment, and how extremely worried he has seemed.

“What did you think I said?” I asked

“That my BOOBS had broken?”

He looked up sheepishly and nodded!

We had a chuckle together at the misunderstanding, big difference from my BOOTS and BOOBS breaking!