32 Things before 33

I’ve grown to really enjoy this little tradition I have created for myself. I like to reflect and see how much I have learnt… so just like the last couple of years, before my birthday tomorrow, I have taken just a minute to write a little list of the things that I have learnt and the ways I have grown. A list of 32 things to be thankful for, to acknowledge or just remember before I turn 33.

  1. I hope tomorrow will be the weirdest birthday experience I experience in my life time
  2. I am much happier with who I am as a person now then I have been in years
  3. I am learning to be comfortable in my physical skin… and learning to trust my body again
  4. I am learning to be comfortable with being both mentally tough and mentally fragile at the same time
  5. I am learning to slow down and think about what I want and why rather than just pushing to have it all
  6. I am learning to enjoy the perfectly imperfect both in me and the world… Facebook live is hard for everyone… even the wiggles
  7. I need sleep… and I am better when I go to be early… even though I am also most creative and fun late at night… it’s a hard line to walk
  8. I love being Isaac’s mum… but it’s a different hard to what I imagined
  9. Consistent baby steps will still move you forward
  10. I have a high tolerance for children’s music and I am not ashamed of it
  11. Taking time to do indulgent things for myself isn’t a waste… but it does need moderation
  12. I am very lucky to be in a partnership marriage… I am heard and respected and valued…
  13. my faith doesn’t have to fit the same box everyone else’s does… God is big enough to handle me, my questions and my opinions and his grace is sufficient for my mistakes
  14. I can use less and enjoy more… my choices have an impact even if I can’t fix everything
  15. Flossing is tedious but surprisingly satisfying
  16. I choose not to live without the orthodontic bar holding my bottom teeth in place
  17. I am very thankful to once again be living in the same hemisphere as my bestie
  18. Life is short… phone calls are easy… just call those you love
  19. Don’t over react to you toddler… they are more sensitive than you anticipate
  20. When Isaac asks for a cuddle… always… always say yes… even when his hands are covered in spaghetti
  21. It’s ok to have all of the feelings… even if you can’t hold them in
  22. It’s also ok to say no and stop listening, watching, reading things that you can’t handle… you don’t have to know, see, feel everything just because everyone else is
  23. Just cook the meals… your body and your wallet will thank you
  24. Remember that little eyes and ears are watching you… try to behave accordingly
  25. You have to let the toddler take risks… he did not come with bubble wrap…
  26. Be flexible in your travel plans… it will lead to far less disappointment… I will see you one day NZ South Island west coast!
  27. Enjoy the world with the two-year-old… they way he sees it is way more exciting than how my tired eyes do
  28. Life is too short for boring earrings
  29. Wear more colour… it always looks better than you think it will
  30. I am thankful to the lockdown for giving me more family time… for long days with Isaac and Dave
  31. I am the office distraction… it turns out I am significantly more productive when I work from home
  32. Just keep reading, walking and singing… they are all making you a better version of you

Here we go 33… it’s going to be a good year even if we don’t leave the house again for a while.

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.

30 things before 31

Somehow it is my birthday again tomorrow… a whole year has apparently gone by since I last wrote a post like this.  But this birthday feels different and I am not really sure why… usually I start my birthday blogs talking about how I don’t really feel ready to switch over to the next age… but this year I just don’t really feel that fussed about it, which is really strange.  It is super odd… since I was 17, I have had a love hate relationship with birthdays, but now as I turn 31… it suddenly doesn’t feel like such a big deal.  Maybe I have finally grown up? Maybe I am still in denial about being 30 at all… but either way its nice not to be upset about it.

Each year I like to take just a minute (although it seems to be getting longer as I add more and more years) to stop and reflect on how the past year has shaped who I am now.  Things that I have loved, learned or just lived during year 30… 30 of them, before 30 becomes 31 tomorrow.

  1. 30 wasn’t so bad… it happened and the sky didn’t fall, I didn’t fall apart… in fact it was kinda nice
  2. I finally feel like an adult… I know I have been one for a long time now, but I feel like I am actually living an adult life now… trying to save money, considering my long term health, fixing things at home and being more comfortable in my skin.
  3. My body is my body… it’s far from perfect, but it’s done some pretty great things, it may never be the body I want, but it’s the body I am most comfortable in.
  4. Sometimes the things you fear the most, aren’t the things you should have been worried about
  5. It turns out my boys like to come fast and very very early… neither traits they get from me
  6. We live in a country that is incredibly blessed with amazing health care and hospitals
  7. There is a place for coffee in my life, and after years of being an exclusive tea drinker… I am now partial to the latte… I would imagine it’s the sleep deprivation.
  8. Even when you think you have had all you can take… there is usually more, and you learn you are stronger still.
  9. God is good, all the time… and his plans are better, even when you think yours a pretty great.
  10. Isaac is the toughest kid I have ever met
  11. I will do anything to hear a baby giggle, especially if it is my baby
  12. Best laid plans are now a pie in the sky kind of goal… yet I continue to make them anyway
  13. I like making improvements on my house… but the greatest home improvements are when everything has a place in the room in which it belongs… it turns out I am a house micro manager
  14. Banana bread is from heaven
  15. Babies are hard to take selfies with
  16. Motherhood means getting to join a gang of incredible women who you can talk to about anything even if you’ve never met before
  17. You can sit in the same chair all day every day for months if it is with the ones you love
  18. Babies grow fast, sometimes they only wear clothes once, although you can get so much joy from putting a child in a seasonal costume.
  19. Tiny face-washers save many things at many times
  20. Life goes fast… you should always celebrate the small things
  21. Turkish delight milkshakes and pink donuts will forever be sacred
  22. People are good more often they are not, and we are surrounded by so many people who love us and truely do want us to thrive and succeed
  23. Being a mum is better than I could have ever comprehended, although it comes with its own bag of guilt and expectations that I am continually trying to work through and balance
  24. Breastmilk is magic… not just for the baby, but for the mum who can offer nothing else to a baby in NICU… even long after they have left… although not pumping today for the first time in 8 and bit months was acutally really nice.
  25. I am married to the most patient, servant hearted man I have ever met… he has kept us going, kept us fed and kept the house functional… he is also an epic dad and has actually been doing the majority (like at least 85%) of the overnight feeds solo.
  26. I can’t stop crying… everything pulls at my heart strings.  This week I cry at every happy story at the commonwealth games… so many tears it is embarrassing… and don’t you dare show my a picture of a baby in hospital, I will not cope.
  27. I am looking forward to a year of not being pregnant and eating all of the foods (in moderation of course)
  28. I am pretty sure I am addicted to my phone and social media… maybe 31 is the year to get this under control because real life is definitely more satisfying.
  29. Hail does a lot more damage than I had realised….
  30. Even though I am further away from a lot of the goals I had over the last couple of years, I feel like I am simplifying and making way for other goals which somehow now seem more significant, even though they wouldn’t have previously made the cut… I think this is another sign that maybe I have just started growing up.

Thanks 30, you have certainly been another challenging year, but you have also brought a lot of joy and wonder, lets hope 31 is just as joyful, but less dramatic… I feel like my 30s could be my best years yet.

I’m 26

I feel like I have missed out on something… Tomorrow I turn 27… Which if you’ve read any of my previous blogs on birthdays will know is something that is bitter sweet… But I feel like I have missed something while I have been 26… I haven’t really said it… I haven’t said ‘I’m 26’… Not because I haven’t been asked how old I am, although that is getting less frequent the older I get… Apparently I must look old enough now that that question is rude… But I digress… The truth is, over the last couple of months when people have asked me, I have said.. “27… oh wait, no I’m not, I’m 26”.  So I feel like I have missed 26… But 26 has been a good year, an incredible year even.  In fact while I was 26 I started a new job, I finished my dip ed, Dave and I brought a house and two of my closest friends, Kirsten and Sia, got married and I got to stand by them as they did it… and thats just some of it!  26 has been great… And just like every other year, I’m not really ready to let it go, we’ll not without saying at least once… “I’m 26 and I like it!”

So what ever tomorrow and the year of 27 holds can wait just one more night… Cause right now… I’m still 26!


Thankful for so much

Wow, I am really behind… my crazy busy life has taken over and once again my blog has been neglected… but I am back… perhaps just to come up for some air before I disappear again, but hopefully not.

So because I promised to do this weekly, three weeks ago and I have done nothing, I thought I would do a catch me up with a ‘forever grateful Friday’… all part of fixing my attitude and keeping my eyes focused on the blessings I have, rather than the hurdles I have to jump.  Oh and just FYI they probably won’t all be this detailed:

1. Friends and Focus
On Easter Saturday Dave and I got to spend some time with the youth leadership team from church, planning, brainstorming and goal setting for our church’s youth and young adult ministry.  It was really nice to be able to share our past trials and victories together, but even more importantly to imagine what could be, and to start the ball rolling towards these.  Oh and even though my brain hurt by the end it was a fantastic day with an even more fantastic group of people.

2. Surprise Family Encounters
On Easter Sunday, Dave and I headed to Leongatha salvos for morning church and we got there we bumped into my grandparents, my aunt and uncle and their kids, which while in hindsight it perhaps isn’t surprising as I knew they were down at Inverloch, it was still a pleasant surprise, and there is just something really special about celebrating days like Easter Sunday with family.  We also got to have an impromptu chinese lunch which was delicious.

3. Birthday goodness.
What’s not to love about your birthday (apart from the getting older bit)… nothing… that what.  In true Emma style I did a million things for my birthday, a movie and dinner with Dave, breakfast with mum and Jake, dinner with Dad and Jake and a dinner with friends.  An awesome Zumba gift, an impromptu cake and a delicious cake from carousel with the biscuit bits… best husband ever.  Oh and a kindle that is coming… I am thankful already.

4. For more than a house
On my birthday I said goodbye to my old family holiday house, the one that holds many memories and have helped Inverloch become so special to me and most who know me.  I was sad to say goodbye as I tend to get attached to things a little too often.  I will miss the love hearts Pa used to mow into the backyard for gran, I will miss the awkward stairwell, I will miss the uncomfortable, yet practical fold out bed.  I will miss the stories that each room tells, like the spare room with the patched up door for a duplow box assault and eski made bedside table in my parents room.  It will be strange not to look down the street and see who else is in Inverloch when we walk past, but I am thankful for the house and for the experiences I have shared with it.  I am also thankful that there is still Dad’s place down there so that I can still enjoy the beach and free accommodation… oh and the beach.


So April has been pretty choccas… but I am super thankful.