No more Babble

No more Babble

I think it’s been pretty obvious for a while, that my blog hasn’t been high on my list of priorities. Which is sort of true. I still spend so much time writing posts in my head and wondering what new ideas I can come up with. I love to write, I love to blog. But the time has come to make the decision to let Abbie’s Babble rest.

I’m very much of the opinion that if I can’t do something well and with my whole heart, then I probably shouldn’t do it at all. I started this blog as a means of dealing with the grief of losing my mum all the while adjusting to my new role as mum of four in a blended family. That season has passed now. My grief will never end and I’ll always be a very blessed mum. But right now, I need to focus on being hands on raising my family and being an amazing wife.

So I’ll say goodbye. And thank you. Thank you to all the wonderful people who have read and commented on my posts. I was always amazed at every comment – that anyone would take the time to read my words and then actually connect enough to say something.

My posts will stay here as I love to go back to read, to see just how far I have come. The memories are real. But for now, I’ll say goodbye. Or maybe see you later … in another form if I feel the need…

Abbie x

 

Girl in chaos

Girl in chaos

This is my girl through and through. She lives in her own frenetically paced bubble. Yesterday when she jumped out of the car I just had to snap this pic – it’s so her.

20160503_151807.jpg

In the seven minute drive from school to home she managed to pull everything out of her bag and then scramble inside, barely keeping it all in check. But oh my, she’s gorgeous.

I’ve posted plenty about Nat (she has her own tag) – my firecracker. She doesn’t seem to live inside any set of rules, she battles and challenges me as a parent every single day. Her emotions ALL run to extreme levels  and she’s either on superfast or the total opposite. She loves completely, has a will that is stronger than no other I’ve met, is extremely affectionate (when the mood strikes her), and feels everything to the highest degree.

I love her, the beautiful girl underneath the whirlwind that is Natalie, and almost cant wait to see her grown up. She’s going to be amazing. But hey, don’t get me wrong, she IS amazing now too!

But for now, I’ll deal with picking her stuff up off the bathroom floor (and hallway and lounge and bedroom!), picking my battles with her, and making the most of every gorgeous mama-daughter moment we share.

Reintroduction: Living Fearlessly

Reintroduction: Living Fearlessly

Living fearlessly is, for me, living happily. It’s about playing life to my own tune.

It’s about doing what is right and good for myself and my family.

It’s about doing things that challenge me.

It’s about living in the moment.

It’s about making choices that bring true joy.

It’s about being true to myself in what I think, say and do.

AND, it’s about achieving all of that without accepting resentment, obligation, and pressure from others. Not caring what other people think about the choices I make. And lots of saying no – without feeling guilty.

You could say that sounds harsh, yes. But you know what, if we don’t make the choices for ourselves (and as a mama, our family) to be happy,  I can pretty much guarantee that nobody else is going to make those choices for us.

So I’m stepping out and making choices for myself and my family that are right for us.

There will always be things we ‘have’ to do, places we ‘have’ to go. I’m totally about accepting responsibilities. But living fearlessly is not letting obligation make decisions that don’t bring us joy or meet up with the priorities we’ve set for our family.

For me, living fearlessly is being free.

More to follow on the specifics of this in my life – I’ve even created a new tag…

Reintroduction: Faith

Reintroduction: Faith

In tough times, we all need something or someone to hold us up. In my challenges I was provided with everything I needed, although I couldn’t always see it at the time. I needed hope, strength, bravery, and shelter to find peace. It is my strong faith in the promises of the bible that provided all of these things in abundance.

My faith in my Lord and saviour is the reason I’m still here today, and the means by which I have been able to grow rather than wither in my trials. I simply can not imagine what it would have been like to travel the last few years without having everything I know and believe to lean on.

As a Christian, I believe in God. I believe He created the earth and all in it. I believe He sent His son, Jesus Christ, to atone for our sin. And I believe in eternal life. I can’t explain my faith, even to myself. I completely understand that on the outside, it may sounds crazy. But there is  a knowing, deep inside me, that God is with me. He’s given us all a portion of faith, we just need to find it. And honestly, the peace joy and hope that comes from surrendering completely to something so much bigger than ourselves in incomparable. (As an aside, by ‘surrender’ I don’t mean that we don’t have choice, we do have free will, but that’s an conversational topic all of its own!)

So I’ve made it through the first year of marriage, a blended family no less. I’ve watched my mum (my best friend) and my Gran, pass to the next life and worked through immense grief. Grief I didn’t think was possible – grief that will be with me forever but through the passage of time, and leaning on God’s promises, grief that I can endure. I’ve had health struggles which persist, identity crisis as I tried to find the real me in the absence of the woman who shaped me, and I struggle daily as a mum (don’t we all?!).

But I’m here. And I’m strong. I’ve been wrapped up by my Lord and I know that no matter what, He will sustain me. My faith is everything.

Here are some verses which are important to me. There are more, many more. But these are the promises I lean on daily. Phillipians 4:13 has become something of a mantra when even taking the next breath seems daunting.

Hope

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

Courage

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7

Strength

I can do all things through him who gives me strength.
Phillipians 4:13

Refuge

You are my hiding place;
You shall preserve me from trouble;
You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.
Psalm 32:7

Peace

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

Hope. Courage. Refuge. Peace.

Yet if you devote your heart to him
and stretch out your hands to him,
if you put away the sin that is in your hand
and allow no evil to dwell in your tent,
then, free of fault, you will lift up your face;
you will stand firm and without fear.
You will surely forget your trouble,
recalling it only as waters gone by.
Life will be brighter than noonday,
and darkness will become like morning.
You will be secure, because there is hope;
you will look about you and take your rest in safety.
You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid,
and many will court your favour.
But the eyes of the wicked will fail,
and escape will elude them;
their hope will become a dying gasp.
Job 11:13-20

|||||This post was prefaced by: Let Me Reintroduce Myself, which you can read here.

 

I object!

I object!

To object: to offer a reason or argument in opposition.

I deal with objection a lot in the form of my feisty nine year old who ‘objects’ to at least half of what I say on a daily basis.

I’m learning to see that this isn’t [always] a bad thing. As with many of my daughter’s seemingly toilsome traits.

“She’s a firecracker” we tell people. I always make sure to place a positive spin on the challenges she offers us as her parents though.

She’s optimistic not unrealistic. Imaginative not a day dreamer. Spontaneous rather than impulsive or undisciplined. Her non stop chatter; that’s a great communicator right there. And instead of staying she’s stubborn and disorganised, I’ll tell you she’s a determined wee things who’d rather focus on people than things.

I love all of her, regardless. Even in my frustration.

And some day, I don’t doubt for a second, all of her personality traits will develop into an amazing young lady, a leader. Quite possibly a lawyer so all those objections can be focused on someone other than her mama!

 

This post was written in response to The Daily Post writing prompt: “Object”

 

 

No longer longing

No longer longing

I no longer wistfully long for the life I once wanted, the life I dreamed I might grow into.

I have it.

I’m living my childhood dream. I’m a mama to children who are happy, healthy and fully engaged in everything life throws at them. I’m married to my very own ‘tall dark and handsome’, who also happens to be caring, loyal, loving, my best friend and more beyond that.  My wonderful husband supports me to stay at home and take charge of raising our family.  I have friends. I’ve seen a little of the world outside my own country. I have more in my life than I need. More in fact, than many on this great earth.

I am blessed.

I am grateful.

I am happy.

I don’t need to long. Because I have.

This post was written in response to The Daily Post writing prompt: “Longing”

Reintroduction: Family

Reintroduction: Family

I don’t for a second believe that family is only those we are tied to through shared genetics. I grew up with a step-father who is my dad in every way (aside from the obvious biological difference). So I knew from a young age what real family is.

As far as my immediate – husband and children – family goes, there is no higher priority for me. Thankfully my Mr and I look at this from the same perspective. We dedicate time, thought and energy to ensuring that our beautiful blend has an amazing sense of love and security, and shared experiences/ adventures/ memories. Family.

I’ve been blessed with four amazing kids. I love them all. But only my daughter is genetically of me. How could I possibly say that my three step-sons are not my family, just because we don’t share genetics? I can’t.

I love them, I’m proud of them, they frustrate the heck out of me … and vice versa no doubt! As I said to them when their dad and I were engaged, I want to be the “mum-type-person” in their lives as much or as little as they will have me (their mum passed away years earlier from Cancer). I’m lucky that they let me be their mum-person in almost every way. We ARE family.

I experienced a big change in my own family dynamics after my mum passed away. We sure did have to do a reshuffle in the way we think and operate. It wasn’t all smooth, in fact some of the lowest lows for me were related to this transition, but we’re over the bumps now. I’m proud of how we’ve overcome. Not proud of my part in it at the low points but on the other hand,  emotions were running sooooooo high, and … well, I don’t need to revisit it now. We’re good and that makes me happy.

Those bumpy months did show me just how important some people are my life. Nothing, and I do mean NOTHING, is worth breaking those special relationships. Those months also illustrated for me the importance of the ‘mum’ role. I think it gave me a bit of a kick to really intentionally be the wife and mum I want for my nearest and dearest.

There’s so much more to write about family but really, I think when I say that my roles as mother, wife, and daughter have become really key in who I am and how I face every day, then I’ve nailed the key points.

|||||This post was prefaced by: Let Me Reintroduce Myself, which you can read here.

 

Mathematically challenged

Mathematically challenged

To divide is the opposite of to multiply. Yep, got that. But divide is so much more than that…

Divide is that black mark on my childhood bedroom wall where my math text book was slammed from across the room at my desk. Frustrated much? Yeah. Statistics not my strength.

Divide is watching my children be so themselves, and so completely different. One who sails through, achieving top possible math scores. One who struggles to meet standards years below their age … and being completely frustrated at their inability to conquer this part of their life.

Divide is the dollars I have to manage across so many piles every month to make our house run. It never goes away.

Divide is the number of miles between my love and I as he serves his country across the sea right now.

Divide is not my favourite word!

This post was written in response to The Daily Post writing prompt: “Divide”

Let me reintroduce myself

Let me reintroduce myself

There are moments in life that define us – maybe immediately, or perhaps they set off a transformation that rolls out over time. A journey.

The last few years have been the latter for me. Quite simply, I’m different to the me who was here two years ago. It’s fair to say I’ve been through the fire and I’ve come out differently. But the same. But different.

I’m still Abbie – I still like most of the same things, my heart hasn’t changed. But I now have a different view of the world … and how I want to live in the world. So I’m back, with plenty to say, and after a process of reinvention, I think I’ve found my voice again – the authentic voice that will speak truly from my heart, no bulls*it, always keeping it real.

The marketer in me wanted to come up with a few key words to sum up my priorities. To focus on those things that have a big impact in this stage of my life, and speak about who I am (or am striving to be).

This is what I came up with:

(See what I did there? LOVE alliteration!)

Over the next few weeks I will cover these aspects and hopefully from there, you’ll have a good idea of where I’ve been.

Yay, I’m blogging again! Well, blog, singular post, but Rome wasn’t built in a day 🙂

Thanks for reading x

 

My one thing

My one thing

The other day I wrote about intentionally living in the moment. Every day.

I can, and do, live here and now because I know where I’m from, where my strength comes from, and where I’m going.

I’m really enjoying the new Hillsong worship album: Open Heaven River Wild. I actually love pretty much everything any of the Hillsong bands release and love that there’s always something to lift me up, carry me through, bring me back to earth, send me into a worship party or whatever my day needs. Yep, they really do it all!

Anyway, a lyric jumped out and hit me in the face this weekend.

all I know is
everything I have
means nothing
Jesus,
if You’re not
my one thing

It’s so true. There have been times when I’ve been less than intentional about my faith and it’s not pretty – and I’m not talking about just stopping going to church (I’ll write on that another time). Jesus is my rock. When He’s my focus, my ONE THING, I have everything.

I can remember when I was a really new christian, I didn’t understand that. I didn’t understand how a pastor could ask me to put my relationship with God ahead of my family – ahead of my daughter. Like what?! I was a single mum at that time and my girl was my world. I actually thought I would never be able to do that.

But I grew.

And as I got to know God and have a personal relationship with Him, I finally understood that putting Him first, makes me a better mum. A better person. A better everything. If you could see the difference on my inside – the forgiveness, the peace and true joy experience I now have, you would never be in any doubt that what I say is true.

Jesus is my ONE THING.

Here and Now

Here and Now

Life is such a journey – and every day I learn, and yearn, to live in the journey, savouring each step of the way. The good steps, the big steps, the painful steps … all the while, admiring the beautiful view. The view around me, and view that is me.

Yes I did say that: admiring me. Living in the moment, marvelling who I am, who I am growing to be, and most of all, admiring my most masterful Creator who knows and is with me on every step of this journey.

My journey has seen happy and sad, good and bad, high and low, and probably everything in between.

In the joy I offer gratitude for all of my blessings, it keeps me grounded, remembering where it all comes from.

Here and NowIn the darker times I also offer gratitude for all of my blessings, for I always have things to be grateful for which is so important to remember when the going gets rough. In those times I also ask my Lord to carry me, to take my burdens, to keep me on steady ground. He hasn’t failed me yet.

He is my rock.

Intentionally living in every moment, knowing with complete certainty where I came from, in fact where everything came from, and where I’m going for all eternity, is the greatest joy and hope for my soul.

Eating myself well (ish)

Eating myself well (ish)

20150918_160103That, over there on the right >>>>> is me at 4pm on Friday. This week I worked two half-days and one full day, I slept most of Wednesday and both afternoons where I only worked the morning. There were more naps in between, and outside of work, driving kids and cooking meals, I’ve sadly achieved very little.

I’m a train wreck.

I feel like someone has heated my bone marrow to boiling point, everything burns from the inside, especially the joints from my knuckles to my toes and all in between. The fatigue is ridiculous to the point of sometimes not even being able to complete a sentence. I used to be called Jabba-jaws – this is not natural for me!

I’m battling an unknown disease. I know some things it’s not. Which is great – it definitely takes the pressure off knowing that while I’m possibly battling something chronic, I’m not looking at terminal. I have a wonderful Dr who I know is battling right beside me. At this stage I’m waiting to see a Rheumatologist at the hospital – it’s going to take two plus months to get an appointment.

In the meantime, there are two things I can control here.

Food and medication.

My Dr would like me to go on Prednisone (steroids) to keep me going until I can see the specialist. It’s a means to an end. I have reservations about this. My mum was on steroids long term and it wasn’t pretty. I also struggle with treating symptoms when we still don’t know the cause. I’m thinking on this one, I’m leaning towards toughing in out for a few more months medication free but we’ll see.

Food is a big card in my favour. I wrote a while ago that I was looking into the Paleo way. I did go fully Paleo for a while. I enjoy the food but when I’m so blimen exhausted and have a household of seven to run, it IS hard work. That said, when I don’t look after my diet, my pain goes up, my quality sleep goes down and the brain fog closes in.

I don’t think I’ll ever be fully Paleo, I need coffee (yes, need, don’t try and tell me otherwise please!) and enjoy my Friday evening vino with my husband too much. But mostly, I am heading back to eating clean, very clean, in an attempt to love on my body as much as possible.

Let’s see what happens.

I won’t stop fighting. I will always make the most of the good days and I have learnt to accept the sleep days for what they are – out of my control and completely necessary…not a reason to feel guilty. I am so blessed with a very understanding husband who is completely supportive and never makes me feel bad for the things I can’t do. I love him.

My life is still good. Great. I am blessed.

Beautiful Heart

Beautiful Heart

My daughter is without doubt, the biggest challenge of my life so far. I love her dearly – each and every part of her that makes her … well, … her. But boy oh boy is my intelligent, highly emotional, stroppy, strong-willed girl a challenge to every bit of patience that I have.

She was the dream baby, healthy from the outset, slept through the nights from eight weeks old, and met all her milestones, many ahead of time. Because it was just her and I from when she was only weeks old, she quickly became mummy’s best little friend.

She was so compliant … until she wasn’t.

I don’t know what changed, but about the time she turned four, my little lady found her will. Her VERY STRONG will. Four years later, we’re still trying to find that compliant heart I know is there. But I have to be honest, compliance isn’t the most important thing to me.

Love, respect, honesty, integrity, being a great friend, humility, reverence, generosity. These are important, in a child and in the amazing adult I know she will become.

This doesn’t win me a lot of fans. I’m probably the mum that you hear repeating herself over and over in the supermarket and just want to shake while you yell ‘woman your child is a brat’. I get that. But I don’t care what anyone else thinks anymore. Yes, I have learnt a LOT about tolerance too!

She does have a strong will, but I see an amazing will that can take her far. Stubborn yes, tenacious too. Quick to question yes, an open heart and mind to learn too. Emotional yes, a big heart too. Stroppy yes, hmmmm, not sure I can find an upside to that 😉

I know God has an amazing plan for her life and I don’t want to break her spirit. I know that if I focus only on behaviour of instant compliance, we’ll only be frustrated – I don’t want her to be a robot, she has so much more to offer than that. Besides I also know I’m never going to achieve that. Don’t get me wrong, she still has to respect authority and rules, we just have to go about things a slightly different way. I will let some things slide that you might not, but in the big picture, it’s small stuff on the Natalie scale.

So lately, seeing a few glimpses of the amazing heart I know is in there, makes me more joyful than the words I write can possibly convey.

Over the weekend I received an email from another parent thanking me for raising Natalie to be the good friend she is. HALLELUJAH! I’m not happy for the praise of my parenting (ok, truth, it feels good), I’m really happy that my gorgeous girl is being an amazing friend. Standing steadfastly on the side of her friend who is being bullied, instead of straying to the side of the bully who is relentlessly trying to break them apart.

My girl was bullied for a long time last year, that’s why she’s at the school she’s at now. We’ve spent many hours pondering friendships and talking about being a good friend. I’m so grateful that her bad experience has come to good in that she can help her friend now. Generally in her new school she’s chosen to surround herself with beautiful girls and when the going gets tough, she stands strong beside them. That’s the kind of friend I want her to be. I’m happy.

I’m also happy that yesterday she got angry at me. Because I wouldn’t stop the car and drive back around the intersection – for a third time. Hmmm, ok, I’ll back up. Yesterday there was a man cleaning car windows at the traffic lights. This isn’t a common occurrence where we live so my ever-inquisitive daughter needed to know why. When I saw his pack on the side of the road I explained there was a good chance the man didn’t have a job, maybe he didn’t even have a place to live, so he was trying to earn money. Well, she was ready to jump out of the car then and there and hand over my wallet! She made me drive around the block and back to hand him some money. I did turn around, I couldn’t quash that sort of thinking, but we didn’t catch a red light so I had to keep driving past a second time.

Boy oh boy did my little lady get stroppy and let me have it (verbally).

So we’re not all the way there. Well actually we’re not even part of the way there. But she’s showing that she’s hearing me, the love, the words, the lessons … they’re getting in. I know they’re going to pay off in the adult she becomes.

Isn’t that really what we all want as parents?

Red lights

Red lights

Today I drove through a red light. Seriously, not just, the light was amber and I made a call to sneak through. Nope, the light was red, I didn’t even see it, I just kept driving. At an intersection I drive through daily! Man did I get a fright.

I’m so grateful for God’s protection on my life. That could have played out very differently.

I am far too tired. And I little freaked out that I could do that. It’s so not me, I’m not (usually) a careless driver. Sigh. Roll on the next specialist appointment and working out what is wrong with this body of mine so we can make a plan and take back control!!!

Blessed to live, live fullyI definitely received a reality check today.

A good reminder.

Life is uncertain, we don’t ever know what is around the corner.

We must treasure every step, every experience, every opportunity.

Every. Single. Day

Diamonds

Diamonds

I am, without question, an optimist. Very intentionally so.

I learnt, as a 15-year-old, the difference between an optimist and a pessimist. I didn’t realise it at the time, but it was a life-defining conversation that will forever shape who I am.

It was a wintry day, wandering along one of my favourite beaches with my Nan. We both loved the beach and loved walking, and I adored my Nan, so these were school holiday days that I very much looked forward to.

I don’t remember how it came up, but I can still hear Nan saying to me “Abbie, some people will look at a glass as half full, some will look and see it as half empty, you can choose which you see”. That was the game changer for me, when she stopped, looked at me and told me I choose whether or not I look on the bright side. It’s a moment that is forever etched on my heart.

Since then, I’ve gone out of my way to be an optimist: finding the silver lining in every cloud, knowing that good that can, and will, come out of bad. No matter what life has thrown at me, I’ve kept going – I’ve found positives because I know they are always there. Yes, sometimes I’ve stumbled around in the fog for a bit, forgetting that the sunshine always follows the storm, but I always get there in the end.

Because I choose to.

I remembered this conversation, this part of me, when I recently listened to Julia Grace’s song ‘Diamond’. I love the story, the lyric.

“Find something deeper
make life a little bit sweeter,
learn to make a diamond out of every stone”.

It’s so good to have a reminder.

Life happens, life is sh*t sometimes. Sh*t happens. We choose how we react, what we see, and how we walk through the storms.

I choose sunshine.

I choose diamonds.

Note to self: Honesty

Note to self: Honesty

There’s a song I’ve been playing over and over a lot lately.

If We’re Honest. I love love love this song. The tone, the lyrics, the message, and of course the divine voice of Francesca Battistelli (I love this vibe for her, much more than her more commercial ‘pop’ sound).

Honesty is something that’s very much on my heart at the moment. It always is, really. But I’ve been living ‘pretend’ for a while now and I’m really needing to not do that anymore.

I’ve been unwell for over a year. Really feeling horrible and struggling each day to do what is required of me. I’ve hidden it. Always pretending I’m fine. Pretending to myself to a point, yes, to the rest of the world, definitely. It’s only in the last couple of months I’ve been admitting my weaknesses to some friends and family. I find that really hard. Those who see my Instagram posts will have seen a little more transparency (isn’t it funny how I, and maybe you, find is easier to be real with complete strangers?!).

I’m so much about ‘keeping it real’ yet by hiding this very big part of my life, I’m not being authentic. And that bugs me. It’s hard to be happy when I’m not being myself.

I know why I hide. I grew up in a home where, if someone asked how you were, you replied ‘I’m fine thank you’. It’s not that nobody cared, I guess I was just taught that we keep our private issues private, we don’t head out into the world looking for sympathy. That stance right there has also stopped me being good at reaching out for help. I also place extreme standards upon myself. Yup, I’m a bit of an overachiever in a lot of ways. At the moment, I consider myself failing as a wife and mother because I’m physically not able to do all that’s required of me in these roles. I’m a stay at home mum, my kids are at school, yet I still struggle to do the basics – the driving, washing, meals, cleaning. And that’s really hard to admit.

So the time has come for honesty.

To be honest with myself about what is real and realistic foremost.

Nothing good will ever come from dishonesty. From lying or misleading, no matter how good the intentions.

To be authentic is to be honest, dependable, trustworthy and real. This is who I am.

So honestly: I’m not perfect, I’m fully flawed and I need to accept this. I am how my creator made me. I will not hide from or be ashamed of His plan for my life.


In case anyone is wondering, my Dr is working hard to reach a diagnosis for me on the health issues. It’s a process but after many (many!) tests and specialist appts we’re hopefully closer to working this out. That will be a happy day, to have an answer and hopefully, a plan…

Making memories

Making memories

Yesterday someone pointed something out to me. Something really important.

Something that I thought was a slightly funny but inconsequential moment, was actually potentially significant.

Bear with me…

Yesterday on the school run I had fractious kids – I blame Monday! I was pre-coffee and not really up for the noise levels that six kids, mostly boys, can produce (I also pick up another family en route to one of our schools). Drastic action was required.

“Right you lot, if you don’t tone it down, I’m going to blast this truck with opera music. Don’t think I won’t do it…”

Hmmmm, still really noisy. Right then.

And suddenly I had six kids pretending to be opera singers – full voice, full comedy act. I will never hear You Raise Me Up in quite the same way again! We laughed all the rest of the way and everyone jumped out of the car at their various schools in good spirits.

I would have totally forgotten this moment except for posting a smart comment about boys and opera music on my Facebook page. Then someone pointed this out to me:

We weren’t just making happy noise, we were making happy memories too.

Gosh that got me thinking.

How many other fleeting random or silly (or bad) moments am I dismissing that are actually becoming an important part of the memory bank that my children will look back on? I need to become more intentional about the now.

This is all part of a bigger change happening in me, it’s been coming for a while. I blogged about being present and needing to be happy with life in October/November last year. I have made some changes, both internally and in the way we go about life, that have made a huge difference, and now, it’s time to be even more intentional about chasing passion and happiness.

Hands Free MamaI’ve been reading a fantastic book called Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford. I had it sitting on my bedside table for at least a year before it was the right time to pick it up, but when I finally did, it hit me hard between the eyes.

In short, Hands Free Mama introduces a life philosophy, it’s about simplicity, being present and grasping what really matters in life.

I haven’t related so much to a book in a long time – you can see by the state of it that I’ve thumbed through it more than just a few times! I will be reflecting more on my own Hands Free journey in future posts.

I think yesterday was a great example of grasping what really matters. That laughter and happiness on the way to school, that’s good memories in the memory bank.

It’s so important to create those moments, or even better, to have time in life to just let those moments happen…

Happy birthday baby

Why I love gifts #abbiesbabble (1)I love birthdays.

Actually, I love gifts. Buying gifts, wrapping gifts, giving gifts. I absolutely adore watching people open gifts that I’ve given … although it also makes me nervous as heck. I always want to make the right choice. Give a gift, no matter how small, that makes someone really happy, makes them feel like I see them, and have thought about what they would actually like.

Today is my husband’s birthday.

It was a bit of a weird one on the gift front.

I gave him a renovator tool. Don’t get me wrong, this is something he really (really really really) wanted. In fact it was on my list of possible gifts LAST year. Yep, he’s wanted one for a while. So it was definitely a happy gift. But as we’re mid-renovation, I gave it to him earlier in the week. No gift wrapping, no surprise (he had to be with me to make sure I bought the right thing!).

Gifts aside, it’s been such a lovely day. Yep I do love family birthdays. We make a point, especially when it’s Richard or myself, to spend the day as Harris6. We also have a student staying with us from Vietnam so today we were Harris7.

Abbie with an NH-90
I never get sick of visiting these!!!

After church (where I ended up stuffing flour into balloons in kids church, not just a little bit scary for a celiac!) we headed out for lunch. We tried Vietnamese with the guidance of our lovely new friend. And it was super good. Then we headed out to the Airforce base for a swim (despite it being 13 degrees outside!) and a look at the helicopters. I NEVER get sick of seeing them, they are so cool. Back home for dinner and to watch the Smurfs2 movie as a family.

I love days like this. Yep, I love birthdays.

My Richard (not really a Sir!)
My Richard (not really a Sir!)

Our Sundays often roll like this, without the meal out though ($!). I am so blessed to be married to this amazing man. We are so on the same page when it comes to prioritising family time. We both had 20 other things we easily could have done today – but family first. Just one of his many amazing traits.

Happy birthday baby x

Why I can’t blog when all I want to do is blog

Do you ever want to do something so much, that it’s almost impossible to start?

Winter reading
This is bliss right? Or maybe not! Sometimes I just can’t settle into the thing I really want to do. *Sigh*

That new book on your bedside table that you can’t start reading until you’re in JUST the right headspace…

The tidy up of your top drawer because you don’t feel strong enough to make the big ‘keep/sell or giveaway/bin’ decisions you know will be required…

Or writing blog posts because you never seem to have QUITE enough head space and there’s SO much you want to get out…

All three have been true for me over the last few months. Although I did finally finish a book that had been taunting me since I bought it a year ago! The writing, or lack of, has bugged me most. My brain is working overtime, desperately trying to process all the thoughts locked in without release.

I miss writing. OOOOhhhhh I miss writing. I haven’t even been journalling. Time is an issue. Busy busy busy, ah-ha status normal. That doesn’t help me be creative at all. But mostly, I think it’s my need for things to be perfect – if I can’t pull out the perfect post, I don’t seem to be able to get going on any writing at all. Hmmmmm, yes I really need to work on that, I do know that perfection is not a healthy standard!!!

So I’m back. Yep, here I am. With thoughts, ideas and plans a plenty. Watch this space…

Touch the sky

I’m just loving this song at the moment. Actually, the whole new Hillsong United album, Empires, is working pretty well for me.

These lyrics, such a truth!

Touch the sky Hillsong United