It’s time for a List update… Part 1.

It’s not often that I find myself sitting in a cafe alone twice in the one week, but when you have a free hour and the baby is hanging out with Daddy, you seize the moment with all that you have… when I told Dave I had a bonus hour his response was go and write a blog somewhere, so that’s what I am doing…

That was 4 months ago… and then life happened… as it always does, but it’s time to get back on the blogging horse and do a massive list update. I find these hard to write despite having the content already… its hard to write them in a way that keeps things interesting… but I will do my best… are you ready?

Its the beginning of August which means we are now well over half way through 2019 and seeing as this blog is taking me forever to write I have decided that I am going to release it in parts… because some blog is better than none… So… 2019’s list… well so far in 2019 I have crossed 34 things off the list… just over a third… but I’ve only blogged about 3, so here are the rest…

January

January was a good month for the list… we crossed of 7 things:

My bestie was home for Christmas and so we walked, no. 50 (completed: 08/01), and I went to the movies with her to see Mary Poppins Returns, no. 96 (completed: 02/01).

We purchased a standing desk for our home office, and while I am still working out the best system to get the right balance of standing and sitting, I can now ‘work on my feet’ as requested by no. 88 (completed 07/01), and I love it. It helps break up my tasks and it gives me a reason to move a little more while I work. Although apparently I still don’t move very much even when I am standing… sometimes I can stand for an hour to work, but it’s not enough movement for my watch to register that I have stood… we’ll add this to the list of things I am working on.

I am proud to say that I have finally finished the bible plan I started two years ago… to read the bible in a year… it may have taken me well over 2 years, but it’s done and no. 65 (completed 24/01) is crossed off. It’s also the first time I have read through the entire bible front to back… I am glad that the pressure of the plan is gone, but also that I have read the whole bible… it’s a good book.

On a fun afternoon with Pheebs, Isaac and I made our own play doh.. although Isaac wasn’t as impressed as Pheebs and I were, but that was no. 27 (completed 25/01),

At the end of January, as Isaac started to try some longer days at childcare I went back to the pool and swam some laps, no. 30 (completed 29/01). This was seriously good, I am going to try and do some more of this in 2019… there is something very calming about the quiet of the water and the regularity of the laps… it’s good for the soul… and the body.

The other January list item was my baby brother’s wedding… but I already blogged about that here.

February

Feb was another good month for listing… in fact it was just as good as January because we crossed off another 7 things…

I’m not sure if its the same need for me to know things that brought about my interest in brids… but I have also taken to looking at things and thinking… I could do that… or I can fix that… so here enters no. 80 learn a new skill (completed 03/02), I am becoming a sewing wizz… well that may be an overstatement, but I am getting better at it.  In Feb I learnt how to do a ladder stitch which I used to fix the lining of my hand bag which had given way after some misuse on my behalf.  Since then I have repaired the same bag twice more, fixed a soft toy of Isaac’s and managed to preserve Josh in the Curious George plush that we brought and that held him just before we said goodbye. I had been umming and ahhing about getting this professionally done, and even though it took a long time, I am now glad I waited and that I was able to do it myself.

In the same vain as no. 80, no. 08 ‘Use my sewing machine’ (completed 10/02) is also crossed off… although rather than repair works this was mostly to help me also cross of no. 12 ‘Finish Isaac’s Quiet book’ off the list too (completed 28/02). Isaac’s quiet book has been a labour of love… it’s taken me a lot longer than I thought it would, but it has already had a lot of use… it’s basically a felt book full of felt activities that don’t make any noise, but in theory keep him occupied and quiet at church… or other places that require children to keep it down for any length of time… although it doesn’t keep him as quiet as I would have hoped… we’ll work on that bit.

Isaac started finally started his swimming lessons this year and I got my first chance to hop in the pool with him on the 21st which meant we were able to cross no. 53 off the list. In fact it’s been a big month for my mum list items… we also crossed off no. 33 ‘Be ok with Isaac going to childcare’ too… I am not sure if I will ever be totally comfortable… but I think ok is an accurate description right now.

The last item I was able to cross of the list in Feb was no. 100… ‘Listen to at least one audiobook’ (completed 27/02). Before having Isaac to listen to a lot of audiobooks… but I have found this much harder to do sharing my car with little ears as my book choices aren’t always baby friendly… but this one, ‘Stronger than the Struggle’by Havilah Cunnington was… I am hoping to find some more… or maybe when he is a bit older we can pick them together… but to be honest I am probably going to stick with my usually super safe ‘Stuff You Should Know’ podcast for now (which by the way is a ripper… you should totally listen to it too).

Ok… so that’s the first two months of the year… and it’s taken me months to finish this far… so I think it would be a good idea to take a break here and post it… so that you can catch up… while I attempt to start writing the next update… hopefully that one will take less time… but we will see.

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.

29 things before 30

So tomorrow I turn 30… and just like every other birthday for at least the last 10 years I am not excited about getting another year over… but this year I feel a little more ready for it.  30 has been something that has been looming for a while… 30 years in fact, but more so in the past 12 months.  Something that I have spent a lot of time thinking about and something that I have finally decided won’t be as bad as I think it will be.  So I thought I would continue my new tradition (from last year) to take a moment before it happens to reflect on the year that was 29 before it is gone altogether.  But before I can reflect on the last 12 months… because 30 is also the end of a decade… it only seems right to look at the last 10 years as well…

20-30 is a big time of change… a lot of growing up… and while I don’t think I have being an adult down pat yet, I certainly feel more like an adult than a young adult.  I am not sure if it’s my new found love of a quiet night in? Or my change in thinking around having to stand up and make a change if I don’t like something… but I feel like where I am at now, even though it may not be where I am forever, is an achievement…

20-30 has also been home to some of my happiest times as well as my most challenging…  I have changed and grown, physically, mentally and spiritually.  And while I wish I hadn’t grown quite as much physically… unless I could have gained some extra height… I am thankful for the lessons I have learned and the paths I have taken that have made my faith and mind stronger.

I have done so much in my 20s that I am not sure how my 30s will catch up, but I hope that they do… although, I am hoping our hardest path has already be walked… and the rocky patches ahead will not be quite as devastating.

Since I turned 20 I have…

  • Completed… well attempted to complete my very first list (2007) and since attempted 8 more… I am currently on my 9th
  • Returned to China to hang out with Dad and cross ‘Hong Kong Disney Land’ off my life long Disney visit bucket list (2007)
  • Had my life outlook changed by a uni placement to Bourke (2008)
  • Had 2 massive 21st parties
  • Finished my Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics (2008)
  • Started running the Kids Church at Church and had the most epic YP Anniversary of all time with ‘Talkin’ about my generation’ (2009)
  • Continued my red dirt obsession with trips to Broken Hill (2009) and Uluru (2016)
  • Got a job in the country… Castlemaine to be exact… moved out of home and spent a year blogging about it (2009-2010)
  • Had my 5 year and 10 year High School Reunions (2009 & 2014)
  • Starred in Box Hill Salvos “Nativity Play’
  • Got my first iPhone
  • Ran 2 Half Marathons (2008 & 2013)
  • Meet a cute little guy named Dex… and he moved in (2009)
  • Bought my first new car and said goodbye to my faithful Saabie (2010)
  • Experienced some snapshots of Europe… first with the Big Band in Sweden in 2010… then with Davo in 2015/2016
  • Got Engaged (2010) and Married my very own Prince Charming (2011)
  • Auditioned for Broadway (2010)
  • Visited Disneyworld with my new Husband (2011)
  • Visited NZ and my NZ family a couple of times (2012 & 2014/2015)
  • Watched one of my little brothers get married (2012)
  • Said goodbye to my second job as a Dietitian and moved to my current workplace at Link, where I have been able to expand my dietetics skills in to Marketing and IT (2013)
  • Been Bridesmaid for 2 of my best friends (2014 and here)
  • Brought my first house (2014)
  • Graduated from uni twice… one for dietetics and then again for my teaching degree (2014)
  • Watched both of my parents get remarried (2014, 2015)
  • Worked out how to long distance best friend (2015)
  • Recorded my first CD… well sung vocals on a Big Band CD (2017)
  • Became a mum and had to say goodbye to my little man (2016)
  • Got back up (2017)

A big 10 years… but I think the past 12 months have challenged who I am at my core more than any year before and I think lots of the things that I have done over the past decade have somehow prepared me for what happened…  But there has also been lots to be thankful for and I have learnt a lot… so in my new tradition… here are 29 things I have learned, loved and lived in the past year that have helped me prepare for 30…

  1. Birthdays are excellent… No matter how much I have been nervous about embracing them… they are always fun… especially when Dave helps to plan them… tomorrow will be good.
  2. Epic milkshakes are indeed epic… and often overwhelming, they should be consumed with caution… and preferably with no other sources of lactose.
  3. Having a celebrity like a post… even if they are a fake one… is more exciting than it should be… they are just people…but it was Russell Coight
  4. Dave makes driving a bus look grand
  5. Trimester 1 of pregnancy is the worst… it is hard keeping a secret, especially a when you feel like poop and you have to convince everyone else you are fine… lets hope that the next one is somehow easier.
  6. Jells Park is way more beautiful than I ever gave it credit for growing up… I am really glad that it is my local Parkrun venue.
  7. Dex looks great in a bow tie
  8. Family is messy and hard to fit on a wall, but I wouldn’t change any of it
  9. Pregnancy cravings are weird… but turkish delight milkshakes are the bomb
  10. Having Josh was the best thing I have ever done, but it was also the hardest knowing he wouldn’t stay.  Even if I knew what would happen I wouldn’t have swapped those 24weeks for anything.
  11. Colouring really is as good a distraction as they say it is…
  12. I still love my list, and I am really enjoying the simplicity of it this year, lots of local fun.
  13. 29 has been a year of home, embracing family, learning to breathe and dreaming for the future.
  14. This time last year I wrote ‘I am stronger and more capable then I think… I should remember this more often’, this is more true now then ever before.
  15. Whatsapp is great, but seeing your bestie face to face is greater, especially when you have time off to be able spend with them.
  16. I like being in the IT and Marketing teams… I also really like teaching.  I am pretty blessed to work for such great places that encourage me to grow and learn new skills.
  17. Dancing in a strawberry suit isn’t as embarrassing as you think it will be, you should just embrace it.
  18. Dave is still the best person to have ever entered my life.  He is strong, wise and loyal and I love him more than ever… plus he gets even better looking with age… who would have thought that was possible.
  19. I am getting better at throwing things out… lots of times you have to get rid of something old to make way for the new.  I don’t need to be a hoarder to keep the memories.
  20. I have good people around me, my community if vast and wide and I often take it for granted, but Dave and I could not have gotten through the last 6 months without them.
  21. I love the country
  22. I love the AFLW and I am glad I was part of the first season.
  23. I love singing in a recording studio… it makes me feel like a superstar.
  24. New cameras are the bomb… but I desperately need to improve my photography skills.
  25. Practicing gratitude is important… my new daily habit of writing down 3 things is helpful… it’s making me see the good… I should keep this going because I still can’t make happiness, or just choose to be happy, but I can choose to fill my life with people, things and places that make me happy, I can choose to see the good and I can choose to seek better.
  26. I still love blogging… and I think I am getting better at it… I suppose that’s the plus side of honesty.
  27. I love to worship… I love learning about worship and I love Jesus… He is the only one worthy of my worship.
  28. My plans for my life might be good, but as hard as it is to accept sometimes, His ways are better.  Life often seems unfair sometimes and we can’t always see the bigger picture… but we have to trust.
  29. I am still getting better at looking after myself, but just like last year I still have a long way to go… but this remains a top priority.  I can’t do what I am called to do, if I can’t function.

29 you have been a challenge, you have been hard, but you have been worth it all… in fact 20s you have been great… better than I had ever hoped and totally different from what I expected.

I am holding on to the promise that my 30s will bring better things… I hope that I continue to learn more, love more and live more… 30 I am now ready for you.

It’s 2017 List Time!

Hey 2017, I have been waiting for you… waiting for a good reason to start lots of things again… all the usual suspects, like getting my eating and exercise on track, but also a brand new list.  I am really excited about this year and it’s list.  I am not really sure why, but it has a good feeling about it, which is enough for me to go with.

This year will be my 9th list… 9, can you believe it? That will take me to 900 things that I have ‘listed’ and attempted.  You can check out all the old lists by clicking the year they were attempted here: 2006, 20072010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 or 2016.  This year’s list is once again full of little goals, 100 of them all up… Some big, some small, some fun, some serious, some new, some re-dos, some very deliberate and some very very random but all things that at some stage last year I decided I wanted/needed/should do this year.

I really love doing these lists each year and the last couple of years I have been lucky enough to have been on some overseas adventures, in fact last year we started the year in Venice and the year before we were in New Zealand, so I jam packed those lists with the things we would do while we were away.  But this year we are regrouping and staying home, which means the list looks a little more like the lists of old… all home grownish, localish fun which means if you live near me… or want to visit me, you too can join the listing fun.  Seriously let me know if you want to help me… crossing things off the list is always more fun with someone else.

I am also hoping (like every other year) that 2017 will be the year that I get more consistent with blogging it when it happens… so that I can remember them all, not just all the big ones… anyway, that’s enough rambling about the list… here it is:

  1. Play some table tennis
  2. Learn to make a paper crane
  3. Do something special to celebrate my 30th
  4. Go on a book blind date
  5. Make Mrs Kaye’s cookies
  6. Have High Tea
  7. No more games in the morning… even if I am sick
  8. Try again
  9. Keep getting closer
  10. Go back to park run
  11. Go back to work
  12. Go back to school
  13. Paint something
  14. Build something
  15. Drink a bottle of water most days
  16. Have a ‘no screen time’ day or hopefully a couple of them
  17. Make some smores
  18. Go on a picnic
  19. Find out how floating lanterns work… how they are made etc.
  20. Go to the drive in
  21. Go Camping
  22. Go on a  road trip
  23. Swim in the ocean
  24. See a musical
  25. Do a fun run
  26. Have a spa of some sort
  27. Write a letter to myself to open in 10 years
  28. Help change something at home
  29. Start learning guitar again
  30. Get a haircut
  31. Take a photo everyday
  32. Exercise at least 3 times a week and make the most of my gym membership
  33. Send 20 hand written cards
  34. Eat/make paella
  35. Bake a lemon meringue pie
  36. Get a massage
  37. Participate in a scavenger hunt
  38. Do some trivia
  39. Try those multi fill water bombs and have a water fight
  40. Remember the important things: God, Dave, Health, Family and Communication
  41. Get better at shopping for my body
  42. Watch Hocus Pocus
  43. Go on a bush walk
  44. Use my new outdoor reading chair
  45. Blow some bubbles
  46. Play a board game
  47. Play a video game… not on my phone
  48. Go berry picking
  49. Have 5 different milkshake dates
  50. Try yoga again
  51. Visit a museum/gallery
  52. Blog regularly
  53. Seriously… be on time
  54. Get to work earlier and leave on time
  55. Keep my photo storage up to date
  56. Keep my computer up to date
  57. Meet Baby Lewis
  58. Try to make Turkish Delight… or just eat some real Turkish Delight
  59. Read 16 books
  60. Read at least 3 christian/devotional books
  61. Bake/cook something from 6 different countries
  62. Visit 3 different national parks
  63. Create an outdoor cinema in the backyard
  64. Go to a country town I have never been to before
  65. Watch a sunrise
  66. Get my car washed properly and then wash it least 5 times
  67. Read the book of Joshua
  68. Find some new blogs I like and read them regularly
  69. Cross at least one thing off my list each month
  70. Go to the fancy McDonald’s in Clifton Hill
  71. Finish cleaning out the spare room
  72. Three words… ‘home cooked meals’
  73. Have a spend nothing day at least once a month
  74. Get up at 7am on work days
  75. Make a quiche
  76. Have a non liquid breakfast at least twice a week
  77. Finish Gilmore Girls
  78. Check out Hungarofest
  79. Stop using Eastlink… just leave earlier
  80. Find out if our house has a legit hidden fireplace… or just get some proof of hope
  81. Find out where our local swimming hole is and use it
  82. Remember Joshua
  83. Try the crochet thongs/uggs
  84. Stay at the Langham
  85. Try Danny’s Donuts
  86. Finish sorting and storing the VHS tapes
  87. Blog about being thankful at least once a month
  88. Get my steps up again… ideally to >10,000 per day
  89. Learn how to play a new game
  90. Go interstate
  91. Get both the Europe and New Zealand Photo books ready for print
  92. Finish watching Star Trek Next Gen
  93. Go on a romantic get away
  94. Try 4 more local cafe’s in the search of our new local
  95. Finish my sentence a day book
  96. Improve my 5km time
  97. Do some colouring
  98. Go to bed earlier
  99. Clean out the Kikki.K folders
  100. Be deliberate about filling the house with good things like flowers and music

And there you have it… 2017 I am so glad you are here!

2016 – The Wrap Up

Wow… so that was 2016… probably one of the craziest years of my life.  I don’t think any other years of my life have had quite as many extreme highs and lows, and the list has once again been there through it all.  I am really glad that this year I chose to include some of my more deliberate holiday adventures.  I like that it has given me a reason to document them properly and that now I have them sitting right here to look back on whenever I want as many of them have a blog post just for them.

What about the rest… well that’s here too.  Some have links, and some I will tell you about right here, including the ones that didn’t… but they are all there ready and waiting for you to read all about…

  1. Start 2016 somewhere outside of Australia – completed: 01/01/2016
  2. Make a summer fruit platter in a watermelon – completed: 19/02/2016
  3. Send 12 hand written cards/letters – completed: 23/04/2016
  4. Make a lolly cake – completed: 31/11/2016
  5. Rearrange a space – completed: 17/02/2016
  6. Play my flute – completed: 29/12/2016
    This year was the first year in a long time that I have missed Christmas caroling, I didn’t miss it enough to get my flute out during caroling season, but I did get it out this week and play some carols.  It was really nice to play again and to know that I haven’t lost it.
  7. Go to Disneyland – completed: 24/01/2016
  8. Find out is our house has a legit hidden fireplace
    I am pretty sure that we do… but I have no proof and while my intention was to just kick a hole in the wall and find out what was there, some other things came up and I will have to wait a little longer to find out for sure. 
  9. Visit something older than colonised Australia – completed: 14/01/2016
  10. Have tea in London… Queen optional – completed: 19/01/2016
  11. Do a ridiculously cheesy tourist photo with a famous tourist attraction – completed: 22/01/2016
  12. Go to a country I have never been to before – completed: 02/01/2016
  13. Find a geocache – completed: 06/04/2016
  14. Hide a geocache – completed: 06/04/2016
  15. Watch the Prince of Egypt – completed: 18/03/2016
  16. Go in the 2016 Melbourne Marathon festival somehow… 5, 10, half or full
    When the 2016 Melbourne Marathon was on I was 23 weeks pregnant and running was even less of a strong suit than it was earlier in the year.  Maybe next year.
  17. Be a Victorian tourist and go somewhere all the tourists go – completed: 09/07/2016  
  18. See my bestie face to face – completed: 18/01/2016
  19. Get back in the pool and swim at least 5 times
    I am not really sure why I didn’t swim this year… I really enjoy it, I think that maybe it’s the thought of the effort of bathers, towels, public showers and goggles… sometimes it all just seems too hard.
  20. Go to the Zoo – completed: 03/02/2016
  21. Make some kind of festive seasonal dish – completed: 02/12/2016
  22. Use the fire pit – completed: 19/02/2016
    Not only did we use it, but there a perfect circle of dead grass where it was.
  23. Go skiing or snowboarding or tobogganing – completed: 03/01/2016
  24. Do you want to build a snowman? I do – completed: 04/01/2016
  25. Go Camping – completed: 04/04/2016
  26. See some Northern Hemisphere stars – completed: 06/01/2016
  27. Run with at least 3 different people – completed: 27/02/2016 
  28. Make a photo book or our Europe Adventures – completed: 29/12/2016
    Just sitting there waiting for the Christmas budget to cool it’s jets before we print it.
  29. Save money each pocket money
    It was not a good year for our fiances… well Dave’s pocket money card might be ok… but mine not so much.
  30. Go on a bush walk – completed: 05/04/2016
  31. Go to a farmers market – completed: 27/03/2016  
  32. Make some meringues – completed: 03/10/2016
  33. Learn how to spell meringues without having to check it every time – completed: 03/10/2016
  34. Keep my emails under control – no extreme amounts of notifications on my phone – completed: 31/12/2016
    Not at all times, but for most of the year I made a special effort to keep the notifications under control.
  35. Get and keep my photo storage under control – completed: 29/12/2016
    This is one I am really proud of, I love our photos and I am a little paranoid about losing them, but now I have them all backed up and safely stored, I just have to keep these backups up to date. 
  36. Sew something – completed: 30/12/2016
    Let’s not get too excited I repaired a jumper of Dave’s and pair of my pants, but I had to get the sewing machine out and use it to do so… that counts as sewing.
  37. Do some trivia – completed: 05/06/2016
  38. Bake some snacks – completed: 02/10/2016
  39. See a musical – completed: 13/05/2016   
  40. Read 16 books – completed: 20/11/2016
  41. Do a water aerobics class
    I am putting this in the same category as swimming, the whole idea was just too much for me this year.
  42. Do a spin class
    So I don’t really have an excuse, I left it too late and then when I could do a class again, I just didn’t want to.  Bikes and me… maybe we will never be.
  43. Have a BBQ Wednesday
    I wish we had, I really do, but we didn’t.  BBQ Wednesday’s seem a lot harder to organise and make happen than they ever did before.
  44. Go to a state of Australia that I haven’t been to before – completed: 03/04/2016
  45. Touch my feet to some red dirt – completed: 06/04/2016
  46. Clean up my iTunes playlists – completed: 29/12/2016
    Yep all clean, lots deleted and hopefully just the good ones left… I’ll just have to work my way through them again and check.
  47. Visit another international thermal pool – completed: 07/01/2016
  48. Clean my car more regularly
    Nup… it is really dirty and will be until next year… I really need to clean it more often. 
  49. Sort out my 2014 and 2015 scrap books – completed: 12/12/2016
    Turns out there were a few more years that I hadn’t done, but they are done now too… Now I just have to do 2016.
  50. Try at least 2 new park runs – completed: 12/03/2016
  51. Keep my apple things updated properly – completed: 31/12/2016
    This actually took a lot more work than this little list item implies, but it is done.  Laptop, iPad and iPhone.
  52. Go to Inverloch at least 5 times – completed: 15/12/2016
    I am not really sure what to say about this, I went down there 5 times… and really I should do it a lot more often.
  53. Swim in the Ocean
    I really wish I had done this too… but it just didn’t happen, when we were at the beach it was too cold, but when it was hot, we were no where near the beach. 
  54. Have high tea – completed: 09/07/2016 
  55. Walk to the end of a pier – completed: 30/10/2016
  56. Get some Fro-yo – completed: 11/02/2016
  57. Go roller skating
    Also a no for 2016… even though we live right near a skating rink… turns out I am just not that passionate about skating.
  58. Ride a bike – completed: 17/01/2016
  59. Have some pasta/ pizza/gelato in Italy – completed: 01/01/2016
  60. Have some processed meat in Germany – completed: 05/01/2016
  61. See the Myer windows – completed: 21/12/2016
    Dave and I spent a night strolling around the city checking out all the Melbourne Christmas fun… and that includes the Myer windows… but because it was a beautiful night and we went at peak time… I just looked through the very long line and Dave read the book to me.
  62. Go to a place I can’t pronounce – completed: 06/01/2016
  63. Do some more work as a teacher – completed: 29/02/2016
  64. Take a photo with an English Guard – completed: 20/01/2016
  65. Take the Eurostar – completed: 22/01/2016
  66. See an Emu – completed: 05/04/2016
  67. Experience the outback – completed: 04/04/2016
  68. Follow through on the date box again – completed: 27/12/2016
    Each year these seem to get harder to fit in, but always more important than they were the year before.
  69. Go to Sherbrook forest – completed: 09/04/2016
  70. Be on time… it’s time
    I don’t think I could honestly cross this off, but I am getting better and I am definitely making more of an effort to be on time.
  71. Have another Star Trek Movie Marathon – completed: 29/12/2016
    We had planned on doing this a little earlier in the year, but it didn’t quite happen, so this week I sat down and watched the two first movies back to back… which counts as a marathon.
  72. Make my own dumplings – completed: 28/11/2016
    With a trusty Donna Hay recipe which is always delicious.
  73. Be confronted by WWII – completed: 11/01/2016
  74. Go on a Gondola ride – completed: 01/01/2016
  75. Visit a real life old time castle…. like one that would inspire Disney – completed: 08/01/2016
  76. Visit at least 4 museums –  completed: 12/01/2016
  77. See the Berlin Wall – completed: 14/01/2016
  78. Taste some dutch cheese – completed: 16/01/2016
  79. Have a Shakespeare moment – completed: 02/01/2016
  80. Do a 3D jigsaw – completed: 21/09/2016
  81. Ride a Camel… or at least see one in Uluru – completed: 05/04/2016
  82. Have one of those epic milkshakes – completed: 09/04/2016
  83. Have a Random Acts of Kindness week
    This should have happened, and I even started a couple of times, but either forgot about it or started missing days.  Either way it didn’t happen.
  84. Go on  a Road Trip – completed: 06/05/2016
  85. Have a wardrobe purge – completed: 29/01/2016
  86. Do another Pinterest project – completed: 19/12/2016
    This year I made some DIY Pinterest Christmas gifts, including some sprinkle candles and something special for my friend Pheebs.  I like Pinterest!
  87. Help change something at home – completed: 20/11/2016
  88. See some carols by candle light – completed: 11/12/2016
    Thanks city of Monash, they were fun and I learnt that ‘Boomeranging’ fireworks is the best.
  89. Get a massage – completed: 23/11/2016
  90. Keep getting closer again
    I did for most of the year, but the back half of the year has not been great for my weight goals… but I have had some other things on my mind and I can try again next year.
  91. Make the most of my gym membership
    I don’t think I could honestly cross this off either… I have used the gym, but not as much as I could have or should have… I am going to put this with no. 90 and say I will try again next year.
  92. Get my menu planning and home cooking game on – completed: 31/12/2016
    I may have taken me all year… and I may not have written anything down, but at least I now think about what we could cook and plan ahead if I need to go to the shops… which is such an improvement from where I was that this is getting crossed off.
  93. Spend some time in the Old testament (Study at least 2 OT books) – completed: 29/12/2016
    This has been really good for me to do, I think I often forget about how much God has packed into the old testament because I spend so long focusing on the new one… but this year I have studied the book of Daniel and Judges and it has been really interesting.  I have learnt a lot more than I thought I would and I am hoping this is just the beginning.
  94. Eat something from out veggie garden – completed: 22/02/2016
  95. Play some badminton – completed: 28/12/2016
    So despite the very hot weather this week Dave and I went to the oval across the road and played some badminton, just for a few minutes because as well as the heat the wind had a mind of it’s own which doesn’t work well with a shuttlecock.
  96. Make sure I remember my secret list – completed: 29/12/2016
    I don’t think I could honestly say I have achieved my secret list, but I definitely thought about it, especially as the year has been coming to an end which is all this list asked me to do.  The secret list was just one to remind of the perhaps more important things that don’t often make it on to the regular list as they are hard to quantify, but that doesn’t make them less significant.  It included a reminder to slow down, work on my communication and to make time for God, Dave and myself in my sometimes way to busy life.  I have really liked having these little side goals to help me focus on the bigger picture.  We only get a short time on earth and I want to make sure I am making the time I have better and not worse for myself and those around me.
  97. Run 5km without walking
    Another thing I wish I could have crossed of the list but just like number 16 my motivations changed and it just didn’t happen.  It is still something that I want to do, but I think it is going to take a little longer than I had hoped.
  98. Have the parentals over for dinner… all of them… separately
    Well we did have them all over at different times but not for meals.  Well, sometimes we had a mid-meal…. like afternoon tea or morning tea and sometimes even lunch, but not a deliberate dinner.  I have certainly seen them all more this year than last year, and after this year will continue to see them more.  Their strength and support has been invaluable and I am truly blessed to have all 7 of them in my life. 
  99. Be more domestic – completed: 29/12/2016
    So given that Dave is the more domestic one in our household, he was the judge of this one and he says, and I quote “this was your best year so far”… a pretty overwhelming ‘more’
  100. Take Dex on a Doggy Adventure – completed: 07/10/16
    So the photo isn’t great but we took Dex to visit his friend Abe when we went to visit our friends Dust and Jess… he had a great time.  

So there you go… another year of listing done… and I think I have done pretty good… well actually I think this is my best attempt yet with 84 things crossed off.

Here’s to 2017… may it’s list offerings bring even more joy than 2016’s.

2016 – Photos, Lessons and Thankfulness

Ok so today is the last day of 2016 and I can’t tell you how ready I am for 2017.  It’s not that 2016 has been all bad, it hasn’t.  There is a part of me that will actually miss the things and events of 2016, but I am ready for something new.  Ready to start again.  2016 has held lots of my best and most treasured moments, our travels around the world, new friends, old friends and meeting and holding my baby boy for the first time.  But the second half of 2016 has also been my hardest time to date, saying goodbye to Josh way too soon and learning to live in world where he was and now isn’t.

Much of 2016 was unexpected, but through all of this I have grown.  I have learnt more about myself, who I am, who I want to be, and where I need to make changes.  More about my family and friends, just how important they are, and how much they love Dave and I through both good and bad.  And more about what is important in life, how much trust I have in Jesus and that even though I may not see the whole picture I can trust that this is part of something much bigger than me.  That this year has been and will be way more important that I will understand for a long time.  I have learnt to hold on to the things that I know are true and good and to hope and celebrate joy in really really crappy places.  I know that “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28, NLT).

Looking forward to 2017 I must “be strong and courageous! I must not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord my God is with me wherever I go.” (Joshua 1:9, NLT with my paraphrase).  God has this covered, he has Dave and I covered in his love, in his grace and in his mercy.  His love brings joy and peace beyond understanding and circumstance.  We have good things ahead and my hope is that we will see some of these in 2017. 

Usually at this time of year I would right a blog looking back at the year through the photos taken on my iPhone which I am still going to do, only this year instead of writing a highlight of each month, I am going to write about the things I am thankful for.  On most occasions these are also the highlights, but practicing my gratitude and highlighting the blessings brings me a lot more joy than just telling you that something was good.  It’s also better for my brain. So this is what 2016 looked like through the eyes of my iPhone with my gratitude lens on.

January…

I am thankful for:
•  Travel, exploring Europe and having my mind opened to more of the world with the best travel buddy I could have ever asked for, Dave.
•  Meeting new friends.
•  Polka bands and spoons in Austria.
•  Exploring London, Paris and Disneyland with my best friend.

February…

I am thankful for:
•  Warm weather and food with friends old and new.
•  Parkrun and it’s ability to engage my fomo so I actually exercise.

March…

I am thankful for:
•  More food and sharing it with more people – this seems to be a theme of my life.
•  Inverloch and the opportunity that it gives me to step back and slow down.
•  Beautiful cards from Happy Mail that I have been able to share.
• Learning about snapchat filters and the fun they have brought… even though I still haven’t quite conquered snapchat.

April…

I am thankful for:
•  The outback and red dirt and the feeling that I get when I am standing surrounded by it.  By the incredible landscapes and history our home holds.
•  Camping, hiking and exploring new and beautiful places with Dave’s family and how much closer I feel to them after having these experiences.
•  Getting over my fear of bugs, I don’t know how, but I do know it happened in April and now they don’t bother me… at all, it’s really nice.
•  Birthdays and the wonderful excuse they are to catch up with people and eat delicious treats… see I told you it was a theme.

May…

I am thankful for:
•  School and the community that it is, for the wonderful and talented kids, for our trip to Mt Gambier and watching them perform in the Lion King.
•  5 years with Davo as married couple.  Marriage just keeps getting better and better and it is still the best decision that I have ever made, to say yes to him and to get married.

June…

I am thankful for:
•  Finding out we were pregnant, even if I wasn’t quite ready.
•  For work and the fun things I get to do, talks, presentations, adventures and be creative.
•  Bram and Jean and the impact they had on Box Hill Salvos, but also on Dave and I.  Their wisdom, humility and enthusiasm is something that I greatly value.  For Bram and I’s competitive parkrun spirit and his encouragement of my running.

July…

I am thankful for:
•  Anti-nausea medication and the difference it makes.
•  The generosity of friends and the wonderful and relaxing weekend in the city it provided for Dave and I.
•  Catch ups with new, but great friends.
•  The joy of sharing good news with family.  For how excited they were and how much they loved Josh, even before we new he was Josh.

August…

I am thankful for:
•  Sharing my pregnancy with one of my best mates and having an endless supply of food at our shared desk.
•  Scans and how incredibly detailed they are, for seeing Josh move around and starting to get to know who he was.
•  The joy of sharing our news of Joshua with our wider group of friends and family and the amount of love that was poured out.
•  More sunny days as winter started to disappear.

September…

I am thankful for:
•  Cleaning things out and making way, decluttering and letting go.
•  Our Babymoon to Lakes Entrance and time spent with just Dave.
•  The incredible example my grandparents are in their marriage, 60years strong and still so in love.
•  Tiny baby clothes and toys.
•  Another scan and the detail in which we were able to see our perfect baby growing.
•  Turkish Delight milksakes and pink donuts.

October…

I am thankful for:
•  Dust and Jess and the exciting news that our Baby was getting a cousin.
•  Spending time with friends for the grand final, birthdays and mario party.
•  Holding Josh and being about to spend 3 heartbreaking days with him, for how perfectly he was made and how beautiful he was.
•  Watching Dave with Josh and falling even more in love with him as he became a father to our tiny boy.
•  Being able to sing, kiss and cuddle my precious little one.
•  Friends and family that stood in the gap for us as we grieved, for food and gifts that filled our house and for love that was poured out so abundantly.

November…

I am thankful for:
•  Learning to breathe again.
•  Sunny days to spend out on the deck and catching up with family.
•  Gingerbread, Christmas Trees and the Christmas Movie Marathon voting system.
•  Our photo wall and being able to put our whole family up there.
•  Singing to celebrate on of my old teachers at school and the impact he had on our musical lives and just singing in a choir again.
•  Heartfelt and their gift of beautiful photos of Joshua

December…

I am thankful for:
•  Polaroid photos.
•  Having Kirsten home for a couple of weeks and getting to hang out with here.
•  Crafting and blogging and having time to due some fun projects.
•  Perfectly wrapped Christmas gifts.
•  Christmastime – meals, celebrations and time spent with those most important to us.
•  Joshua’s tiny hand prints on our tree.
•  More time on the deck.
•  Summer, heat and our new air conditioners.
•  Time to reflect.

There has been so much to be thankful for and really this is just a snap shot.   Despite the pain and turmoil of moments, 2016 has been pretty good, really good actually, but I am still looking forward to 2017 with the hope of even more joy.  I will be strong and courageous, and I will trust that there is good because I love God and he loves me and will be with me whatever 2017 holds.