The Cross Equals Love

Every year I um and ahh about writing a blog like this… and the last couple of years I haven’t, but Friday night I woke up with some stuff on my heart, so here it is…

So it’s Easter 2019… which for many like me, means extra public holidays and time to spend how I please. But also for many like me, it is a significantly important weekend. It is the weekend purposefully designed to stop and reflect on the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus… it’s the weekend that celebrates my hope, my joy and my salvation, but quite easily gets swallowed up with family adventures and house renovations.  Which are not bad things… they are just not the reason for the weekend.

Last night I woke up with Christianity on my mind… I had been thinking through the day about Good Friday and how it is typically experienced at church… it’s a service and event that I have always struggled with… not because I am uncomfortable with reflecting on Jesus’ death… but because my eyes are always set on life after Sunday.  Life post Jesus’ resurrection. I know without Friday, I can’t have Sunday… but I am not good at sitting in the atmosphere of Friday and Saturday when Sunday has already come.  Anyway… that’s a blog for another Easter… On my little Good Friday mind rabbit warren… I started thinking about things I have seen in the news recently, and just general discussions I have had over the last little while… let me list a few

  • George Pell, the Catholic Church… other churches and institutions that have allowed children to be victims of violence that should not have ever been thought of in God’s house let alone perpetrated.
  • The fire at Notre Dame and the contrast of responses… the french hymns and songs being sung outside as it burnt, the devastation, the volume of money magically offered for its repair and tension between being able to find millions of euro to rebuild a church… but not to feed the hungry or to house the homeless
  • Israel Folau, free speech vs inclusion, honesty vs acceptability and when to be silent and when to speak out.

Right now the Church and Christianity are not all that popular. For a very long time the Christian Church in the western world has been a safe space, a moral compass… and now… it’s not seen like that… the Church has let people down, it has made mistakes, and it is often misunderstood. Sure there were thousands of years of Holy wars and terrible decisions made by the church, but for most of my life… that was history and the ‘Church’ was ok… maybe even good according to the world, it was part of the picture of wholesome family life… but now, not only is the Church not seen as safe… but the world is quick to condemn it, to call it out and quick to reject it.  I have often watched people with other faiths have their beliefs embraced and welcomed in the name of inclusion, but have been made to feel uncomfortable offering a christian perspective or heaven forbid a prayer, because christianity is now longer welcome. And in fear whinging, I understand that my previous lack of persecution has come from a place of privilege. And the fact that I have not experienced this type of exclusion until now is blessing and one not experienced by many around the world. But I am not here to sook, or excuse the Church… because I can handle myself and my faith… And in some things I think the world has been right to question and challenge the church. I think the church should be held accountable, after all we claim to be called to a higher standard… one it has time and time again failed to live up to.

Here’s thing… there are many things about my own church, and the wider church that I don’t understand, decisions, attitudes, behaviours, that to me seem not only unchristian, but also fall far short of the calling and the purpose of the Church. It also doesn’t reflect Jesus… I believe Jesus would be and is just as frustrated by the church as the world is. Jesus didn’t come to bring pain, suffering and exclusion… in fact he spent his life on earth actively trying to restore people and communities. Jesus came because he loves the world… all of it… regardless of race, culture, sexual preference, gender, attitude, privilege. he doesn’t care how good or bad, rich or poor, in or out someone is, He loves them all the same.  He calls them all the same. And if the church isn’t showing this, then it is the church that is wrong.  The cross equals love… nothing more and nothing less… it is about reuniting and offering undeserved reconciliation between creation and its creator.  That’s the Jesus I know and live for anyway.

So this Easter… please accept my apology for being another Christian that will have been a bad example of Jesus for you at some time and contributed to the mess that is the Church… The Church is broken because it is filled with ‘works in progress’, but unfortunately we can’t do faith well without it… because God also created us to live in community with each other and with the trinity… most of us are trying our best to love the world as Jesus would, but we don’t always get it right.  So for just a minute, forget about Christians and the Church… and take a moment to seek Jesus… you will see how quickly the rest falls away when held up to the light of His love. Because that is what Easter is for, it’s what it is about… the cross equals love… not just for others, but also for you.

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. 

John 3:16-17 The Message (MSG)

31 things before 32

It’s that time of year again, the night before my birthday… and today like most years I have spent some of the day reflecting… I’m not sure what it is about birthdays, but they always a good time to take stock of the year that was, the things that I have learnt and the ways I have grown. So just like the last couple of years, I’ve popped it into a little list… a list of 31 things to be thankful for, to acknowledge or just remember before I turn 32 tomorrow.

  1. So far my 30s are great… tough and exciting, but somehow much more satisfying.
  2. The coffee thing was just the sleep deprivation… I am back on full time tea.
  3. I really like being outside… I often forget this though… I should make a point to remember because it is good for my body and my soul.
  4. When I listen to my own dietetic advice… it works…
  5. Finding the balance between working and being a good mum and wife is hard, it’s hard on my brain and hard on my heart, but the more I do it, the more I get used to it… but it’s not really easier.
  6. I really enjoy music… listening to it and being part of it.
  7. Watching kids learn things we take for granted is the best… how the world works, what things do and how to use their muscles and brains.. I could watch Isaac work out life forever…
  8. It’s important to be deliberate about including people in your life… if you aren’t they will disappear. Make time for the ones you love.
  9. Birds are actually pretty amazing… I still don’t want to touch them, but I like to know what they are.
  10. Making time for reading is also really good for my heart and my soul
  11. Stats, facts and competitions, even if they are just with myself make me achieve more in a moment than I do without the push.
  12. Being deliberate about family time has to be a priority… Dave and Isaac are my most important people and making memories with them is the best way to spend my free time.
  13. Exercise and learning are addictive
  14. Play centres are dirty… and they set off all my germ phobias, but they are fun and Isaac loves them so we will keep going.
  15. Swimming laps can clear the mind and bring clarity… but it does come with an epic google eye ring.
  16. I am much handier with a needle and thread than I ever thought I could or would be.
  17. Cuddles from Isaac are the greatest gift.
  18. I am so thankful for those who have gone before me who have fought for justice so that I don’t have to.
  19. Time passes quickly, writing things down as they happen is the best way to remember and savour them.
  20. I still love the Langham and everything about it.
  21. Traveling with a baby is both easier and harder… I am much less stressed about having the things I need and much more stressed about everything else.
  22. Grandparents are lifesavers that make the world spin.
  23. Sometimes it is impossible to say thank you enough.
  24. I will never stop listing.
  25. I am still surprised by how strong my body is and the more I push it, the stronger it gets.
  26. I value quiet time more than I ever thought I would… silence is magic to my ears
  27. Distance is nothing between besties, but it doesn’t make it any less exciting when you find out she will be home soon enough
  28. I am still more attached to my phone than I would like… but I think I am getting better with it slowly
  29. If I just exercise in the morning, it will be over and done with and I won’t have to think about it again for the rest of the day… I should do this
  30. I have more than I need, I always have… I need to take time to remember this often.
  31. The hard bits of life make you appreciate the sweet bits all the more.

Here we go 32… lets do this.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Tension of Adjustment

Last weekend I experienced something profound… something I was not expecting, something that totally overwhelmed me and left me feeling both very appreciative, but also left me with a lot of questions.

I couldn’t tell you how many movies I’ve cried in… there are too many to count, I could probably think of a few that have left me in tears… usually sad tears that come out fear of shared experience or potential futures… but until last week, I don’t think I could have told you about a movie that left me uncontrollably sobbing in appreciation… it’s just never happened… not joyful, heartfelt appreciation.  But that’s what happened, and jeepers were the ugly tears… now there was probably a lot of contributing factors… I’ve been tired, Isaac has been a bit under the weather, we are adjusting to a new season of life in the George household and there are a lot of emotions around… just under the surface waiting for their chance to show… but I think these tears were that and more… the more being a true and deep appreciation of what those who have gone before me have really sacrificed and fought for so that I can whinge about it now in my 2019 reality.

So what did I see? I hear you screaming… Dave and I saw ‘On the Basis of Sex’ a movie about the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  Who it turns out is a hero of mine… She is a woman who has spent her whole life standing up for herself and later the women of America.  She is a woman who despite being constantly told, she can’t, she shouldn’t, and she is unwelcome preserved and persisted.  A woman who knew her worth and that women in general were more capable than the lives they were encouraged and pigeoned holed into leading.  It is thanks to her that discrimination on the basis of sex is no longer just accepted in American law… and in many way, thanks to women like her that I can do all of the things that I do, have the jobs that I have and expectations on my life that I do.  It’s because of women like her (and many many others) that I can expect to co-parent and share the workload of my house, that I can work and not feel guilty about not being the full time carer for our son.

It’s no secret that I like to think of myself as an advocate for womens rights.  I would like to think that I actually do advocate… not just think about it.  But increasingly in my life I have found myself standing up against the female stereotype, that despite our modern age, continues to persist.  However, even though I would like to think of myself as progressive, I often catch myself longing for what many refer to as a ‘simpler time’ when all I was expected to do was stay at home and keep both the house and the children under control. A time where I would have known my role… to marry well and be satisfied… where my choices were limited.  But I know that for me this wouldn’t have been enough.  I am a terrible decision maker, but I like having options… I like that I get to choose whether or not that is the life that I want.  Now don’t hear me saying that being a stay at home mum isn’t a job… because it is more than a job… or that it is a bad choice, because it isn’t.  It’s only a bad choice when it’s your only choice… especially if that choice is just assumed and not actually chosen by you.  I know that I have more to offer than to be seen and not heard… and that I would never have been able to conform the way I would have been expected to had the ’1950s housewife’ expectation remained.

In watching ‘On the Basis of Sex’ I felt like I was able to get a glimpse into what it must have been like for so many women that have paved the way for me.  I often feel like I am still fighting the proverbial white man in many areas of my life, but let me tell you my fight is nothing in comparison to the fights that have gone before.  The overwhelming appreciation I have for Ruth and her counterparts I very hard to put in to words.  However, the movie also left me wondering… why hadn’t I known her story before this… who else should I know about, why don’t I have more female heroes in my life… where can I learn their stories… because there must be so so so many more.

This season we are in at the moment is hard… it’s not our hardest season, and it has not been made difficult by one particular thing, it’s just a season of adjustment.  Adjusting to new jobs and increased working hours for Dave, adjusting to picking up more days of my own work and returning to pre-baby work as well.  Adjusting to not being around Isaac all day everyday and learning how to deal with childcare… saying goodbye, organising drop offs and pick ups and allowing him and I to rest (me occasionally while he is at childcare and him after childcare because playing all day is very hard work).  Finding balance with work, money, fun, family and all the things that make up life.  Finding the balance between wanting to be everything for everyone and knowing that I can’t.  But these choices and these battles are also a privilege… these are choices that many women didn’t and still don’t have.  And why balancing all these options has been something I have really struggled with especially since becoming a mum, I have to remind myself how blessed I am to live in a time where I can do what I want to do, where my husband expects to play a role in our household and parenting which is more than just occasional dinner guest and sole provider.  And that my privilege still outweighs that of many people I encounter daily.  Nevertheless, there is still a tension here.  There is a tension between reality and expectations, tension between what was, and what is… and tension between what can be and what I want.  It’s the reality often seen in a good old Facebook quote… “You can do anything, but you can’t do everything” which is very true but hard to remember all of the time, and not always fun to live.  There has to be sacrifices eventually, but sacrificing time with Isaac to work doesn’t make me a bad mum, nor does sacrificing work to look after Isaac make me a bad feminist.  It’s all just about finding balance.

So my challenge in this season is to seek out some more information and wisdom from those women who have gone before me and those that are still around me, who have made this thing called motherhood work… to learn more about women like Ruth… because seriously what a boss!  But also to cut myself some slack… to be ok with the tension and growing pains of adjustment.  To be ok with feeling both happy and sad that Isaac is at childcare.  To embrace my ‘me’ time when I can so that I can be a better mum to him and a better person in general.

My Baby Brother Got Married

There are something things in life you know will probably happen in the future, yet are never prepared for when they actually do… My baby brother’s wedding is one of those things.  Maybe it is because he is the baby of the family, so it’s some subconscious part of my brain thinks that while he is now an adult… he should also still be 10 and watching me dominate at Mario Party.

The fact that I felt unprepared for the event is also ridiculous because this wedding was planned like nothing I had ever experienced before… there was a run sheet for everything, logistics meetings and 1000s of texts and calls to confirm details for the part my little family of three had to play… you would think that with all that preparation I would have realised what was happening… but I didn’t.

I still hadn’t caught on as I helped them move things into their new apartment, or when I sat through a very detailed wedding logistics meeting last weekend.  Not even when I tried on my new dress or rehearsed the song that we had chosen for me to lead the congregation in singing during the ceremony.  The penny still didn’t drop when Dave and I were watching Isaac be driven around in a miniature convertible making sure he would love his trip down the isle and not scream.  Even yesterday as I got my hair and makeup done… I still hadn’t let the reality sink in… I don’t think I actually realised until I watched my my little brother articulate clearly and beautifully all the things he loved about the woman standing in front of him as he read the vowels he had written for her.

Yesterday I got to witness two young people promise to be the moon and so much more for each other, to share their lives, to support and challenge.  To be their person for all time… and it was beautiful.  It was also a really nice reminder of the things that I had promised to my person almost 8 years ago.  But this blog is not about that.  This blog is to admit that I finally get it… he is a grown up… and he is married.  And… because of all of this I have gained a passionate, strong and caring sister who balances and loves my brother better than I could have hoped.  This is one of things that gets quickly overlooked at weddings, overshadowed by the displays of love and affection.  When people get married it’s not just two people who get joined for life, but families that grow… well that’s how it is supposed to work anyway.  Our already complex and large family grew by one and her family.  Which means that while we get one more person to care for and include, it also means we gain one more person on our team, to love and support us, just as we will her.  Marriage is an old, but powerful thing and it is most definitely worth celebrating.

Oh… and just in case you didn’t notice, this event crossed number 24 off my list and number 5 off Isaac’s list which just adds to the fun!

2019… It’s List Time!

How the heck we are already in 2019 I will never understand… but nevertheless a new year means a new list… and I think it is going to be fun.

I feel like… well I am hoping 2019 is going to be a year of home and family, where we get to do things together and make the most of our family time.  A year for good health (minus all the childcare bugs we are bound to pick up), activities and learning.  I am not sure if we will be able to cross everything off the list, but we will give it a good crack.

We are up to list number 11 this year… pretty nuts ey? So if you are new here… firstly welcome… but you might want to check out some of the old lists here: 2006, 20072010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018).  What can you expect from this year’s list?  Well like normal… some self improvement tasks (physical, spiritual and mental), some fun tasks, some things I just have to do and some more baby friendly things… because mum life is now in full swing.

Seeing as Isaac did so well on his list this year he gets another one too, it has been fun to document some of his milestones through here… and I really hope to do a better job of it this year, because really that’s a long standing goal… be better at blogging interesting things more consistently.   Anyway, enough chat… here are the lists….

My list:

  1. Watch a Disney Movie I haven’t seen for a while with Isaac
  2. Re-learn how to do a rubix cube
  3. Bring back date days and go on at least 6 dates
  4. Visit all three Melbourne Zoos
  5. Go overseas
  6. Have a weekend away
  7. Work as a teacher
  8. Use my sewing machine
  9. Do my 50th parkrun
  10. Use our museum membership
  11. Run most of a half marathon
  12. Finish Isaac’s quiet book
  13. Let things heal
  14. Don’t snooze – just get up
  15. Plan at night
  16. Go camping
  17. Walk Dex regularly
  18. Plan our grocery shopping and meals at the same time – preferably weekly
  19. Cook dinner regularly
  20. Moisturise regularly
  21. Finish the scrap books
  22. Consistently exercise at least once a week
  23. Keeps my useless phone time under control
  24. Go to a wedding
  25. Read 7 books
  26. Go to the footy
  27. Make some playdoh
  28. Bake meringues
  29. Finish watching Deep Space Nine
  30. Swim some laps
  31. Write at least 15 blogs.
  32. Make a gingerbread house from scratch
  33. Be ok with Isaac going to childcare
  34. Give Dr Who a go
  35. Eat 5 new foods
  36. Go barefoot on sand, grass, carpet, tiles and concrete and talk about how it feels with Isaac
  37. Read a book to Isaac everyday
  38. Try 3 new restaurants
  39. Buy an item of clothing that you really love but isn’t like anything you’d usually wear!
  40. Memorize a chapter of the bible
  41. Take Isaac & Dexter to the dog beach.
  42. Visit three new playgrounds!
  43. 5 new cafes with 5 new people
  44. Volunteer at parkrun
  45. Do some trivia
  46. Find the dragons nest in kallista
  47. Be deliberate about filling the house will lovely things
  48. Investigate our options
  49. Fill out Isaac’s baby book
  50. Go for a walk with my bestie
  51. Plant and grow some veggies
  52. Update the photo wall
  53. Go swimming with Isaac
  54. Take a picture everyday
  55. Turn off my social media for a week
  56. Lights out by midnight
  57. Finish Isaac’s logs and decide what to do with them
  58. Wear a non-black t-shirt outfit at least once a week
  59. Update our budget
  60. Keep getting closer
  61. Wash my car at least 3 times
  62. Sort out the photo storage and keep it up to date
  63. Keep my desk at home clean
  64. Scan the photos in
  65. Finally finish the bible plan I started 2 years ago… it’s getting embarrassing
  66. Have another brunch date with Isaac
  67. Have a brunch with Dave… without Isaac
  68. Have brunch by myself
  69. Work out what I am allergic to
  70. Get a haircut
  71. Go berry picking
  72. Get my steps average up to 10000 per day.
  73. Cross at least two things off the list each month
  74. Use my gratitude diary and Isaac’s highlights book
  75. Play a board game/card game
  76. Make an iTunes playlist for each season
  77. Have high tea
  78. Get a massage
  79. Have a cup of tea at robinsons bookstore
  80. Learn a new skill
  81. Have a picnic
  82. Go on a family bike ride
  83. Get a tea advent calendar
  84. Learn about 3 new Australian birds
  85. Add a quick 10 minute clean to your night routine
  86. Give something in our house a makeover
  87. Try meatless Monday
  88. Work on my feet
  89. Have a no spend day once a month
  90. Find another way to save a little bit of the planet
  91. Call my grandparents regularly
  92. Turn on music instead of the TV
  93. Boil some eggs
  94. Try one of those meal prep provider companies like hello fresh
  95. Make some banana bread
  96. Go to the movies
  97. Make the most of our weekends
  98. Read for 10 minutes a day
  99. Do my devotions at least 5 times a week
  100. Listen to at least one audiobook

Isaac’s List:

  1. Learn to walk
  2. Learn at least 5new words
  3. Go on the little trains in Eltham
  4. Go swimming
  5. Be in a wedding
  6. Play outside
  7. Cuddle all of my grandparents (including my great grandparents)
  8. Build a sandcastle
  9. Go to the park
  10. Finger paint
  11. Do a puzzle
  12. Go to the library
  13. Play with some bubbles
  14. Do a fun run / walk
  15. Go on a plane
  16. Learn to climb
  17. Go down the slide by myself
  18. Have a big boy bath
  19. Pat some new animals
  20. Go to a new zoo
  21. Go to the museum
  22. Learn the actions to a song
  23. Play with my Mother’s group friends
  24. Sort some shapes
  25. Play with some blocks

Ok… there they are… 2 new glorious lists… let us know if you want to cross anything off with us.

Our Curious Life: Week 52… Kind of.

 

 

 

So, we’ve made it to the end of the year… how exactly I am not really sure, but here we are… and I’m calling it… I tried no. 27 and it just didn’t working for me… not at all, and despite my best plans, it is highly likely that I am not going to catch up on my weekly blogs… so I am not going to try anymore.  This list item seemed like a really good idea and the blogger that I pinched the idea from made it look pretty easy, but it turns out, right now, it’s actually really hard to achieve.  So in lieu of the missing weekly blogs I thought I would do an end of year list wrap up… because let’s face it, that what we all really want to know before the new list drops anyway.

So what have we crossed off this year… well lots… and like most of the updates before this, if it was lucky enough to make it into a blog of its own… well you can click the link… and if it wasn’t haven’t you can read it here… ok here we go, this could be a long one.

  1. Learn how to fold a fitted sheet – completed: 14/06/2018
  2. Learn how to make 3 different balloon animals – completed: 09/12/2018
    For my birthday this year my wonderful friend Pheebs included a balloon making kit in my birthday gift and while it took me almost all year to get around to I finally made some balloon animals.  I made an Octopus, a Giraffe, a Dog and a Fish… and to be honest they weren’t very good.  It turns out my fear of popping the balloon completely out weighed my desire to learn more.
  3. Watch the never ending story – completed: 20/07/2018
    This is pretty self explanatory… I watched it, I enjoyed most of it… it’s off the list
  4. Watch some ER… maybe a season or two – completed: 07/08/2018
    This is also pretty self explanatory, but I have to admit I found it a lot more confronting than I remembered.  Maybe its my new ‘mum hormones’ or maybe its our journey over the last couple of years, but sick people and medical emergencies are just a little to real for me and I get very involved very quickly… I have realised that I need to be a little more choosy with my television viewing.
  5. Spend a weekend in country vic – completed: 27/10/2018
    It’s probably not quite what I was imaging when I popped this on the list… I was certainly hoping for something like the wonderful weekend we had in Daylesford last year… but this year we have really only stayed in Inverloch and because we stay there fairly regularly it doesn’t really count.  We did however spend a full Saturday in Bendigo with the Big Band, we even got to go for a little drive out to Lake Eppalock between gigs and I got that same sense of returning home… there is just something magic about central Victoria.  I did a terrible job of taking photos that day… so the picutre is of Isaac during our night gig.
  6. Have some family photos taken – completed: 18/01/2018
  7. Go to a wedding – completed: 13/01/2018
  8. Get a full nights sleep – completed: 31/05/2018
  9. Go down to Inverloch – completed: 10/03/2018
  10. Go camping
  11. Remember to take Isaac’s milestone pictures – completed: 31/12/2018
    Some of these were a little delayed, but we have all photos to accompany all of the milestones we had a card for… and unsurprisingly, they are super cute!
  12. Get back to running – completed: 29/06/2018
    So this has happened a couple of times… but on the 29th I started running to train for the 10km I did in the Melbourne Marathon Festival in October… since then I have slacked off again… but I have big plans for next year so watch this space.
  13. Take Isaac to parkrun at least 5times – completed: 22/12/2018
    We have not been to parkrun anywhere near as much as we should have been this year, but Isaac came to at least 5 of the runs I attended.  We really thought he would love running with us, but it turns out he finds it a little boring… but he does enjoy the trips to the park after.
  14. Go swimming – completed: 26/01/2018
  15. Go to the zoo – completed: 14/07/2018
    I have had this on my list for years… It is something that despite being on the list I have actively avoided doing.  In previous years I have done fun runs around the zoo a couple of times, I have also stopped to have pictures taken just out the front of the zoo… but this year I actually went in!  We had a cousin fun day at the zoo and saw all the animals.  Turns out going to the zoo is better than I remembered and much much more fun with a child… I have a feeling this won’t be our last trip to the zoo.
  16. Have a play date – completed: 16/10/2018
    We’ve been getting better at play dates… but the one that crossed it of the list was a play date with Isaac’s friend Jaylen, I was so nice to watch them play together… It was also nice to catch up with Jaylen’s mum Julia and eat delicious treats, I think I am going to be a fan of play dates.
  17. Check out a mums and bubs session – completed: 05/12/2018
  18. Check out the local library – completed: 31/01/2018
  19. Have a picnic – completed: 20/12/2018
    I probably haven’t mentioned enough how great my mother’s group has been, I have loved making some new local friends and sharing my mum journey with them.  Our little group finished the year off the year with a picnic in the park and it was fun.  It’s been so nice watching the bubs grow and learn together and I am very excited to see all that they achieve next year.
  20. Wear some non maternity jeans – completed: 13/07/2018
    We had a weekend away in the city… and I thought it was time… so I wore them once… and then put them back in the cupboard and forgot about them.  A little while later my favourite pair of maternity jeans ripped… so I decided it was time… I brought some new jeans that were more comfortable than my old pre-baby ones, ones that fit my new body shape a little better… just one of the many things I didn’t really think about before having babies… just how much my body would change… but you will be please… maybe… I am please that I can now honestly say I am more often than not wearing my new and very comfy non-maternity jeans.
  21. Go without games on my phone for at least 2 months – completed: 28/02/2018
  22. Work on my mornings
  23. Cook dinner regularly – completed: 21/08/2018
    This has been a fun new addition to my life… and I have discovered the key to getting me to cook regularly is just planning… If I know what I have to do and when, I am all in… but I have also discovered the opposite is true… no plan.. no dinner, not by me anyway.
  24. Keep getting closer
  25. Work on my steps game – completed: 31/12/2018
    Look… it hasn’t been a great improve… but my daily average steps is more at the end of the year than it was at the start.  I would love to say that I am averaging over 10000, but that would be a lie… my current average is just over 8000… so not terrible, but some room for improvement next year.
  26. Embrace life with the oxygen – completed: 30/01/2018
  27. Try weekly blogging – completed: 18/12/2018
    So I talked about this at the beginning of this blog… it just didn’t work the way I thought it would… I’ll have to come up with a new plan for next year.
  28. Keep the family in good supply of Isaac updates – completed: 31/12/2018
    It turns out this is more challenging that I had imagined… it’s a fine line to walk between super annoying and just enough.  I probably could have sent more, but I did send some updates fairly regularly… especially if we hit a milestone.
  29. Have a date night once a month
  30. Give Dave some time back – completed: 31/12/2018
    Well I asked him and he said ‘yeah, sure’ so I am taking that for a yep… and crossing it off the list.
  31. Embrace my independence – completed: 31/12/2018
    I haven’t always loved it, but I have been better at just trying things, going places and making the most of my time with Isaac… so technically not ‘independent’, but definitely ‘independent’ from Dave… so off it goes.
  32. Go without TV for a week
  33. Actually wash my car regularly
  34. Get the blue Kia repaired – completed: 20/02/2018
  35. Take Dex and Isaac on a walk, solo
  36. Walk to my MCH appointments – completed: 08/11/2018
    Our Maternal Child Health Nurse operates out of a centre about 500m from our house, so it is actually easier to walk to our appointments then get into the car and drive around… despite that, driving is always tempting… but don’t fret… I walked to them all.
  37. Thank the hospital – completed: 19/04/2018
  38. Do a fun run/walk – completed: 04/03/2018
  39. Play a game of some kind – completed: 07/01/2018
  40. Let something go – completed: 31/10/2018
    This was harder than I thought, I am a bit of a perfectionist, so letting things go isn’t a strong suit of mine.  This year I have tried my hand a few new things, mostly making things.  I have made some Christmas gifts and some things for Isaac.  During this process I have had to learn how to sew and stitch things, I have made things that I haven’t tried before and they are not perfect, but they are functional, I have had to learn to let the imperfections go and be happy with the progress I have made and the end products they have resulted in… I am pretty proud of my new skills…  and I will keep working on it… both making and letting things go.
  41. Remember Joshua – completed: 18/10/2018
    Remembering Josh is something that I find bitter sweet.  It’s hard to remember sometimes because there is now more that should have been than ever before.  It’s something that I want to do, but something that still carries pain.  This year he would have been 2… and we took Isaac with us to have pink donuts and turkish delight milkshakes, we let some balloons go and stopped to be thankful for what he taught us and what we have together.
  42. Celebrate the small things – completed: 22/05/2018
  43. Live oxygen free – completed: 24/12/2018
    Well we almost didn’t make it, but on Christmas eve we handed back all the Oxygen tanks and the concentrator.  We haven’t had the machine on or used a tank since October, but we had to wait and see before we handed it back, but now it’s gone and hopefully it doesn’t come back.
  44. Walk and have a mid week brunch date with Isaac at half half – completed: 12/12/2018
    I thought this would be super easy… so I left it for later in the year, for the middle months when it was harder to do other things on my list…. but then half half shut for months… and months… but good news, it reopened and Isaac and I went.  And in some listing miracle we ate our meals at the same time and no one cried.  It was actually really wonderful and something I am going to try to keep doing with him… turns out he can be a good cafe date.
  45. Join a mother’s group – completed: 30/01/2018
  46. Drink a bottle of water everyday
  47. Keep track of the things I am supposed to be doing – completed: 31/12/2018
    I am actually terrible at this, and could have done a much better job than I did, but I tried all year… man did I try… and I think it has been worth it despite the struggle.
  48. Plan at night
  49. Take a photo everyday – completed 31/12/2018
    You may have seen some of these across the year… (January, February, March, May, June, & October) and some of them didn’t make it…. but trust me they are all there in my phone… and they look good.
  50. Visit a museum / gallery – completed: 20/11/2018
    Just like the zoo, this is way more fun with kids.  We took Isaac to the museum, starting at the children’s section which he loved, but after a play we also checked out the rest and he seemed to also like that, lots of fun things to look at and explore.  I am really looking forward to taking him back her over and over again as he gets bigger.  I hope he loves learning as much as I do.
  51. Sort out my photo storage
  52. Scan the photos in
  53. Recycle the VHS tapes – completed: 25/09/2018
    This year I have found myself morphing into a bit of environmentalist… which I am actually really enjoying.  My own little war on waste is coming along nicely… with my new compost bin, our multiple bins for different types of recycling and our new found love of ‘Who Gives a Crap’ toilet paper.  But to make it even better we also found a local place that was willing to recycle our VHS tapes.  Unfortunately for them, they had to pull them all apart manually, but I don’t mind because as much of them as can be will be recycled.
  54. Read 6 books – novels… not picture books – completed: 17/11/2018
    I really wanted to be able to say I read way more than 6 books, but like my weekly blogs, it has been hard to find time to read… but I read 6 and I am reading number 7 at the moment… this will stay on my list and hopefully I will get better at finding time to read.
  55. Cross at least one thing off the list each month – completed: 05/12/2018
    Yep… at least one a month… this is a good thing to have on my list… I like the challenge and the spread.
  56. Be deliberate about filling the house with good thinks like flowers and music – completed: 01/11/2018
    I could have been better with this, but it’s a start, and it’s nice… I am also going to try and keep doing this.
  57. Edit and finalise Isaac’s logs and maybe publish them
  58. Make a photo book of Isaac’s 1st year – completed: 30/09/2018
    Again this was not quite what I had in mind when I popped this on the list, but I did make a book of Isaac’s 1st year, but I didn’t keep it, we gave it to Dave’s grandparents when we were in New Zealand.
  59. Return of the fit pig – completed: 31/05/2018
  60. Throw things out / recycle / donate – completed: 31/12/2018
    I am all over this, recycling, reusing and donating… I hate throwing things out and I have become quite the anti waste warrior.  This will continue long after this year’s list… the world needs it.
  61. Clean out the garage – completed: 10/11/2018
    Nothing makes me happier than when everything has a place and everything is in its place… and that’s how the garage is now… and it makes me happy… far happier than it should… there are even labels on all the boxes… it’s a magical thing.
  62. Finish the scrap books
  63. Finish Isaac’s room – completed: 16/01/2018
  64. Wear a real bra – completed: 07/04/2018
  65. Figure out how to be a working mum – completed: 10/08/2018
    As you can imagine this pretty much coincided with the end of my weekly blogs… just as I got us into a routine at home… I started working from home.  I am back 2 days a week this year and hopefully a little more next year… It’s been a strange adjustment, using my brain a little more regularly on things other than parenting and having a little more interaction with other adults.  I have really enjoyed going back, but I won’t lie.. 12 months without work was also really nice.
  66. Go somewhere with out Isaac – embrace the baby sitter – completed: 28/09/2018
    I’m still not totally comfortable doing this, but I know it needs to happen… and I have done it a few times…  I am sure it will get easier as time goes on and he gets bigger… but it’s still hard right now.
  67. Make a cake for Isaac’s first birthday – completed: 01/08/2018
    Oh man, was I proud of this… a blue monster cake for Isaac’s monster party… you should really check out the picture on the right… it looks pretty great.
  68. Go overseas – completed: 02/10/2018
    This really should have had a blog all of its own.  It was a wonderful wonderful trip where we got to hang out with family and Isaac was able to meet his great grandparents.  We went exploring, fed some ducks, touched the black sand and Isaac learnt to crawl while we were there… it was really really great.
  69. Make a Lolly cake – completed: 09/11/2018
    Inspired from our trip to New Zealand we had some more lolly cake… it’s a strange cake… super sweet and fun to look at… and it was made, and I still have more ingredients so we might need to make another.
  70. Keep the pantry and fridge under control – completed: 31/12/2018
    Except for perhaps the last couple weeks over Christmas, we have been pretty good at this… Dave should take most of the credit, but I have been trying… just like the garage, everything needs a place and everything should be in it’s place.
  71. Watch a Disney movie with Isaac – completed: 16/06/2018
  72. Add Isaac’s pendant to my necklace – completed: 22/01/2018
  73. Organise the casts we had done for Isaac – completed: 01/05/2018
    You would have thought this would have been an easy task… but it turns out the Lady that did these ones was much less helpful and reliable than the lady that did Josh’s casts… but we finally got them done and they turned out really well, despite the challenge… they aren’t hanging up yet… but they are framed and ready to go.
  74. Use the go-pro more
  75. Make my language child friendly
  76. Check out ArtVo – completed: 23/06/2018
  77. Finish the bible reading plan I started last year
  78. Exercise weekly… hopefully more, but at least weekly – completed: 31/12/2018
    Here’s the thing… it wasn’t every week… but on average it was weekly… there were some great weeks and some down weeks, but some weeks I smashed it… and there were less slack weeks than there were good weeks… so we are claiming this as a win.
  79. Make a key lime pie
  80. Purée some food – completed: 20/02/2018
  81. Have a spend nothing day once a month
  82. Make the most of our delivery saver – completed: 20/12/2018
    Only just, but we did save a tiny bit of money… turns out the bigger Isaac gets the easier it is to get groceries with him.. he can go in the trolley now… I am sure that it will probably get hard again in time though.  Either way, we used the delivery saver just enough to make it worth it.
  83. Get a mani/pedi and get a colour you’ve never had before – completed: 28/11/2018
    I love the idea of this… and all year I have been looking forward to it… but then I got stuck thinking about foot fungus and other people’s feet and couldn’t bring myself to go and get it done.  So I gave myself a foot spa at home and painted my toes… and decided that I could cross this off the list.
  84. Get a massage – completed: 21/12/2018
    Seriously I know I say this every year… but I should do this more often… it is soooooo nice.  Thanks pheebs for my voucher that made this happen.
  85. Do a Mums and bubs exercise class – completed: 19/04/2018
    Isaac and I attended a mums and bubs exercise class for most of the year and we loved it.  We stopped at the beginning of term 4 because it just got too hard to make work… but it was great while it lasted.
  86. Get some kind of routine – completed: 31/12/2018
    It keeps changing, but we do have a routine of sorts… we’ve worked out meals and naps and bed time all pretty consistently… and I won’t lie… I love the structure.
  87. Contribute – completed: 31/12/2018
    I would have been pretty ashamed if I hadn’t been able to achieve this… especially given that I have spent a lot of this year at home.  I think spending so much time at home has really helped me get on and do some house work because I have to live in the mess I create… and it turns out I am pretty intolerant of my own mess.  This item on the list that is a win win for Davo.
  88. Hang up the pump – completed: 08/04/2018
  89. Update some photo wall photos – completed: 04/01/2018
  90. Get the pictures framed
  91. Hang out with my besties – completed: 08/01/2018
  92. See Coco – completed: 06/01/2018
  93. Have a meal with all of our parents and siblings (separately) – completed: 31/12/2018
    I was terrible at documenting these meals… but they happened… you’ll just have to trust me.
  94. Have an ice coffee at 3 different places – completed: 03/02/2018
  95. Touch the ocean – completed: 10/03/2018
  96. Have a fun fight
  97. Fix my computer – completed: 02/01/2018
  98. Wear something other than a black T-shirt for a whole week – completed: 20/01/2018
  99. Keep our bedroom tidy – completed: 31/12/2018
    There was some contention over whether I achieved this or not… but I have actively kept the room tidier than I did the 12months before… but maybe not as tidy as I could have.
  100. Save some money

So that was my list… not a bad effort really… 79/100… Not quite my best year… but certainly not my worst.  But how did Isaac go with his list I hear you ask… well lets take a look:

  1. Try some food – completed: 16/02/2018
  2. Ditch my oxygen – completed: 24/12/2018
    Isaac was also the beneficiary of our Christmas miracle… although he really ditched his oxygen in october, we couldn’t make it official until the tanks and machines were gone.
  3. Sit up by myself – completed: 22/06/2018
  4. Suck on my toes – completed: 30/12/2018
    And it was forced… turns out he just isn’t that interested in his toes… I thought all babies loved this, but I was wrong… maybe it was the time he spent in his brace… maybe he just doesn’t like his feet… who knows?
  5. Go to the park – completed: 07/10/2018
    We have been to a few parks this year, but the one that crossed this of the list was a special park in Whanganui, one that Dave went to as a little boy, an amazing park along the whanganui river… it is seriously epic and I think we will go back here as often as we can.
  6. Pat Dex – completed: 23/11/2018
    Dex and Isaac are still working each other out… sometimes they just want to be near each other… other times they need to be far far away.  Dex likes to visit and lick Isaac… but Dex does not like to be touched by Isaac… they’ll work it out eventually.
  7. Have a party – completed 04/08/2018
    This should have had a blog of its own too… it was an epic party with balloons and donuts, friends and family… but when your first year was a rough as Isaac’s, it’s worth celebrating!
  8. Visit my friends at Monash Children’s – completed: 10/04/2018
  9. Go on a fun run/Walk in my pram – completed: 04/03/2018
  10. Get around on my own – completed: 03/10/2018
    There is nothing that makes a parent feel more relaxed about being on holidays than a baby deciding its time to crawl the second you get off the plane… no baby proofing… no safe spaces… random hotel carpets… yep… it’s wonderful.  What makes it even more wonderful, is when the newly mobile baby also likes to lick the floor… we should just go ahead and insert a huge face palm right here.
  11. Go for a swim – completed: 27/12/2018
    We have been a bit slack with swimming lessons… we will get to it, but we haven’t yet, so instead we have had to wait until the weather warmed… after a few failed pool attempts, we finally won with a swim at the beach… he is not totally convinced… but we will get there.
  12. Try story time at the library – completed: 31/01/2018
  13. Make some baby friends – completed: 10/04/2018
    I know I have talked about Isaac’s baby friends… well my mother’s group a lot in other blogs…. but not in this context… Isaac is lucky enough to have lots of friends… and this includes the little gang of 7 we hang out with each week at mothers group.
  14. Go on an adventure with Dad – completed: 29/10/2018
    Isaac and Dave have been on a few adventures because Dave likes to run errands when he is in charge… but the adventure that crossed this off the list was a trip up the 1000steps… with Isaac in the baby bjorn…
  15. Sleep through the night – completed: 01/03/2018
  16. Get some teeth – completed: 26/11/2018
    I thought this might never happen… It feels like we have been waiting for teeth forever… but we had to wait until November for the first little tooth to pop through, now we have 3 with maybe more on the way… well hopefully a lot more… but I think another will be here very soon.
  17. Watch a Disney movie with Mum – completed: 16/06/2018
  18. Have brunch with my ladies – completed: 08/01/2018
  19. Go to the beach – completed: 10/03/2018
  20. Learn a word – completed: 23/11/2018
    About 5minutes after we left the pediatrician who would have liked him to have a least one word, Isaac said Dad in the car on the way home… he really likes to do things in his own time.
  21. Cuddle all of my grandparents and great grandparents – completed: 03/10/2018
    This was the main reason for our trip to New Zealand, for Isaac to meet his great grandparents… it was just as magical as we would have hoped.  Before we went overseas he also got cuddles with all his other grandparents… He has 11 grands and greats all up… he is a very loved little guy.
  22. Make a keepsake – completed: 11/05/2018
  23. Go on a plane – completed: 08/06/2018
  24. Try my jolly jumper – completed: 30/05/2018
  25. Grow – completed: 31/12/2018
    Lets face it, we could have crossed this off on January 2… this guy has been growing all year like a champ!

So there you go… he finished his whole list… maybe it’s beginners luck… maybe he is just better at listing than me… I guess we will find out in 2019.

Our Curious Life: Week 49

Far out… how is the year almost done, and how the heck am I still so behind on these blogs… these were supposed to be an easier way to keep the blog up to date… but it would appear that more often than not other things have taken my time. Anyway, somehow here we are at week 49… what have we done?

Well despite this week only starting on the 2nd of December Christmas is in full swing at the George house. This week Isaac and I attended the annual Ladies night out, Isaac was our special guest, due to the fact that he is not a lady and I sung with the Grammarian Singers Christmas Concert. This is the first year in many that I have been caroling, so to speak, and while it looks different to the caroling that I used to do it has made this December feel a lot more like Christmas.

We’ve also had some non Christmas fun, we started the week with brunch to celebrate Meg’s birthday and a stroll through the botanical gardens. We celebrated Ann’s birthday on Saturday and right in the middle of the week we had out finally Thrive group for the year. We love our thrive group and they have been such an important part of our village. We also had a follow up sleep study for Isaac and you will be please to know that this time I remembered my pillow.

Oh and in a desperate attempt to finish this years list Isaac and I went to a mums and bubs session at the movies… which was not super successful… turns out Isaac does not care to watch a big TV… he would rather just crawl around on the floor. Ideally we would have done this earlier in the year, but it has actually has been very difficult to find a cinema that shows movies that aren’t super adult at their mums and bubs sessions. If we wanted to see action flicks or 50 shades of grey we would have been set, but I just couldn’t bring myself to take a baby with me. So, if any people that run the scheduling for cinemas… maybe stick with PG movies… or chick flics… leave the others for date night.

No Photos this week… too much to do, not enough time…