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

 

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

 

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…

Where I write

I always imagine other bloggers/writers/people working from home sitting in very glamorous home offices with all their modern conveniences around them. True?

Although not glamorous, or even an office, I thought I’d share my space anyway. It’s just a corner of a room – a corner of the upstairs lounge I share with a TV, xbox, cheerleading practice mat and a mountain of lego. None-the-less it’s a corner I’m very happy with!

Up until very recently I’ve been blogging from the couch but I decided to claim a part of the house for myself. The upstairs desk had become a bit of a dead zone – a dumping ground (yes, guilty) for all the ‘we’re not sure what to do with it’ items.

Now it’s mine. I did a massive de-clutter and very cheaply made it as girlie as I could … to dissuade my husband and three sons from using it – maybe that’s my way of marking my territory!

It’s a sunny spot, with a lovely view over the neighbourhood rooftops and now that I’m the only one who uses it, it’s always tidy. My very busy diary (command central for our home) has it’s own spot, I have special mementos around me, my chargers are permanently plugged in (so not being ‘borrowed’ constantly) and things are always where I expect them to be. What more can a girl ask for? Blessed I am.

I’m still mostly inspired when I’m out walking or doing something completely away from the computer (my trusty notebook is never far away) but it’s so nice to come back to this gorgeous space and get it all down on screen.

Where do you write from?

My office space

Abbie x

Sharing

I stumbled on this quote during my Pinterest wanderings this week and it kind of freaked me out as it, almost word-for-word, says exactly what I’m working on in a draft post at the moment! I guess somebody out there is thinking the same way that I am.

So here’s a sneak into a post that will be coming up next week(ish)…

Share your story

Abbie x

Reading your own blog

Do you ever go back and read over your old blog posts – wander through the past and take a look at where you’ve come from in the last few weeks/months/years?

In my head, I had that as a reason to start blogging, a way to chronicle these days of my life. I’m so glad I wrote so much down last year! A LOT happened and wow, as a person, I have changed so much.

Psalm 27:7I just spent some time flicking through my archives and looking at my journey since last May. I’m proud of what I’ve come through, and how I’ve come through it. I’m so grateful to my God for never leaving me and for always strengthening me, even if He did have to drag me through some of those stormy days kicking and screaming.

And I’m so excited.

I am now full of peace, joy and calm. I’m excited about the future (not forgetting the NOW of course). But looking back and seeing that much growth in such a short time, and knowing that now, I am actively and intentionally seeking to be on this journey with Him, I just have to be excited about where my Creator is going to take me next. I can see doors that I know will start to open. At last. Bring it!

Abbie Signature

INSTAblogging

As 2015 has well and truly set itself in motion, I realise how different this year is to the last one. Without getting all deep and personal about the big stuff (for a change), I just realistically, don’t have as much time on my hands to blog as I used to. Ironically, giving up work out of the home, has taken that away – my job last year had a lot of down time, I used that for writing.

Now however, I am better employed. I’m running my home properly, I’m really focused on my time with God every day, I’m (going to, yes definitely) exercising at least three times a week, I’m having time to catch up with friends, I’m full on mum duties from 2.30pm-8.00pm and I’m not doing all the domestic stuff in a hurry last thing at night (yay!). So while I do have a few windows to spend in my blog community, time is more precious.

So what’s my point?

I’m not giving up!!! But I think I need to change how I look at this.

INSTAbloggingWhen I do something, I want to do it well.That’s just me. So I don’t want to publish a pile of half-hearted blog posts just to keep my stats up or something. That’s not why I’m here anyway. So I will write and post when I can. And the times when I can’t, I have fallen in love with Instagram. It’s perfect for when I’ve got a few minutes to share snapshots of our live, or create an image or put a quick thought out there. INSTAblogging. Which I didn’t actually know was a real term until I Googled it!

So please do head over to Instagram (abbiesbabble) and join me. And please don’t give up on me here, I”ll find my groove and get some posts rolling and checking yours out too … when I can.

Abbie Signature

It’s been so long it’s a new year!

Hello hello hello my lovely blog world. Happy New Year!!!

Me and my rock x
Me and my rock x

I have been so super busy since school finished for the summer on 12 December but I have constantly missed the world of blog. I’ve been away from home (still am) and traveling without a laptop which has forced some serious down time. What can I say, much as I miss blogging, having the persistent online distraction taken away from me has been great. Loads of time spent with the family, I’ve already read a few books and taken a lot (seriously, a LOT) of naps! Still doing lots of writing, my journal has taken a hammering 🙂

In the last four weeks, including the last week before school finished, a lot has happened. I only have a short time on a borrowed computer so here’s some highlights as a reminder of posts I want to write/things I want to reflect on in the new year…

  • We’d been struggling with bullying at Nat’s school, I removed her from school 10 days before the end of the year. After a meeting with the school Principal, who completely denied a problem (don’t get me started!), Nat has been enrolled in a new school for 2015. I’ll reflect more on this later as I think it’s something a lot of parents, unfortunately, go through.
  • RoadtrippingWe’ve already traveled over 1,000km this holidays. We have plans for around another 1,700km yet. Much of it with our caravan. That’s a lot of travel in a pretty small country. Good thing our family loves road trips huh?!
  • We had a lovely weekend mid-December to celebrate my mother-in-law’s 70th birthday and an early Christmas for that side of our family. These people are so special and I’m so honored to be adopted into their family. Being Aunty Abbie to 10 nieces and nephews is just fabulous! Technically they’re not my in-laws, they are my husband’s in-laws (his late wife’s family) but they have wholeheartedly opened their arms, hearts and lives to me, and I love them all to pieces. AMAZING people.
  • I’ve had a REALLY bumpy lead up to the holiday period, this being the first Christmas and New Year since my Mum died. And still raw as we come to the first anniversary of her passing in a couple of weeks. A lot of reflection and I know that a lot of people will be experiencing similar things. I didn’t expect the grief bug to bite me again so hard, but that was probably just naive (or really hopeful!). Still standing, and still moving forward though 🙂
  • I wrote about feeling strong late in November. I feel like I’ve been pulled through a storm backwards since then, but as a new year dawned this morning, those feelings remained. 2014 has been pretty brutal and a year I’ll never forget. Now I’m looking into 2015 knowing it will be different. There is hope. There is always hope, and I’m going to fight hard to stop smothering mine. My focus is on my faith for my strength. A lot to look back on from 2014 and move forward with in 2015, watch this space.

I hope you’ve all had a lovely, blessed holiday period. I look forward to catching up on blogs in February. I haven’t given up on blogging, despite the long absence, I’m just living the summer in the real world with my family. I will be back!

InstagramIn the meantime, I’m a very regular Instagrammer so head on over to my page @abbiesbabble if you want to see what we’re up to.

 

AbbiesBabble

Just playing in the background

It’s not really a writing day today so I’ve just been playing in the background of my blog.

I can not for the life of me get the Goodreads widget to work (I’m trying to show my currently reading  list). The WordPress help forums are super helpful though and no doubt they’ll have an answer for me soon – at which point I’ll probably slap myself and wonder how I could have missed something so simple! haha.

On a brighter note, I did tutü* with my social media icons – I found these gorgeous icons and felt the need to use them.

PinterestTwitterGoodreads

EmailBloglovinInstagram

 

Thanks to Design Bolts, found on Soft Icons for the freebie. Love them!

 

I’m constantly making little tweaks here and there on Abbie’s Babble. What have you changed on your blog lately?

AbbiesBabble

 

 * Given that the majority of my readers are not Kiwi’s there’s a good chance you’ll be wondering what the heck this word tutü is (which should really have a macron above the second ‘u’ but I can’t find one in special characters). No this is not tutu as in the ballet costume. This is a Mäori (macron above ‘a’) word, which means to fiddle. I guess for pronunciation think Spanish ‘toro’ for bull but end with ‘u’ not ‘o’.

Just put the screen down

Social MediaI’m really starting to annoy myself.

Do you constantly find yourself checking for new activity on your blogs, tweetbooks, facetags, instapins and hashmails? 😉

I do.

I can hardly wander past my phone without checking the notifications some days. If I’m sitting “watching” the kids at sport, you’ll probably find me on my screen a lot.

Over at Pendulum World, Marla posted recently about being present with our kids, not letting our own things get in the way of really connecting with the little people in our lives. Because I’ve already been feeling frustrated with my behaviour, this really struck a chord with me.

Like Marla, I love the world of blogging. I do love to write and have found such freedom in expressing myself this way. I’ve also found joy in the community of bloggers (hey you guys!) and love to communicate on my blog and others. I link some social media with my blog (Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest) but I also love to interact with my real world friends on Facebook.

That said, God has given me the amazing blessing and huge responsibility of raising four children within a wonderful marriage. To put all that ‘social media’ stuff before them is just plain wrong. For me. I do think God is really speaking into my heart at the moment and saying, put the screen down, look at your family, they need your attention. And I know He’s right. So I’m called to act.

I have to admit, I’ve tried to be more focused at sport this week. At volleyball I enjoyed actually following the game and encouraging the team. A few times Tom looked over and I was able to give him a thumbs up or word of praise and his big grin was well worth it. Same with Nat at swimming – as she swims past me and takes that one breath where I’m in her line of sight, I see her smile when I wave stupidly at her.

I will defend myself a little here. I do think I’m a good mum. I love my kids completely and my life is pretty well devoted to making sure everyone in my family has what they need, when they need it. Physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. Lately though, I feel like I’ve dropped the ball a bit and maybe that is because my priorities are slipping just a little too far in the direction of what I want, instead of what I should be doing. This balance will be addressed with the changes we’re making in the new year – I’ll post about this in the next few weeks.

So here’s the deal: I’m really focusing on the time between school pickup and dinner. This is to connect with my children and my husband. When I’m out with the kids, my phone is not out (excluding photos, my phone is my camera). When we’re at hockey or swimming or volleyball or whatever, I’m watching them, not my screen. On the rare afternoon that we’re actually at home, I’m going to make a real effort to stay off screens completely in this time. Eeeek, I know I’m up for a challenge in this.

Anyone with me???

Raising Children

AbbiesBabble

 

Virtual Blog Tour Award

To drink tea and to journalSo here’s an award that’s a little different. But first things first, let me use my manners and say a big thank you to Marla over at A Pendulum World for nominating me for the Virtual Blog Tour Award. Again I say, I’m so pleased (and surprised) when someone thinks of Abbie’s Babble when developing a list of award nominees.

This award is a little different to the usual ‘getting to know you’ facts and questions – which I love to answer and then read everyone else’s responses to by the way, it’s a great way to get an insight into who my fellow bloggers are. Anyway, this one is about getting know the inner blogger as opposed to the inner creative as far as I can see (if you know what I mean?!).

Here are the rules

  1. Pass the tour on to up to four other bloggers. Give them the rules and a specific Monday to post.
  2. Answer four questions about your creative process which lets other bloggers and visitors know what inspires you to do what you do:
    • What am I working on at the moment?
    • How does my work differ to others in my genre?
    • Why do I write/create what I do?
    • How does my writing/creative process work?
  3. Compose a one-time post which is posted on a specific Monday (date given from your nominator).

The four bloggers I nominate

Here are the four bloggers I nominate. I’ll look forward to seeing your responses on Monday 1 December.

  • Amanda Grace – I love this lady’s work and keen to find out more about her process 🙂
  • Wanderlust – Hagen’s blog is visually stunning, holds beautiful photography and she crafts the words beautifully.
  • Send Sunshine – Jessica’s blog is just pure positivity and inspiration. I love every post, every day.
  • The All Encompassing Compass – Heather has a great perspective and writes so well. A great blog.

My answers

What am I working on at the moment?

Right now I’m working on a post about Halloween – but by the time this appears you will have already read that. My blog isn’t something I work too far in advance with (at this stage). I tend to write about what’s happening in my world, at the moment.

How does my work differ to others in my genre?

I don’t think I actually have a genre. I’m not a mum blog, or a faith blog, or a health blog or a [insert any genre here] blog. Maybe that makes me different? I blog about life, my life. And given that I’m the only one living my life, I guess my blog couldn’t possibly be like any other!

Why do I write/create what I do?

I write because I can, because I love it, because it helps me work out the mess of thoughts that tend to fly around in my head. When I write, things just make sense. I started to blog as part of a journey of self-discovery. And I am discovering, and totally enjoying the process. I wrote a post a couple of months after I started blogging called I Blog Because, which I think still stands true.

I blog because when I do ... things just make sense.How does my writing/creative process work?

This totally depends on the day! Quite often my blog posts are formed while I’m in the shower, preparing dinner, or driving my car. Also in the wee small hours of the morning in my journal when I’m battling insomnia. Those rare times I’m actually alone with my thoughts. Because I spend so much time forming the posts in my head, often by the time I sit down to write, it’s just a matter of letting my fingers race across the keyboard and letting it all out. I quite often publish my first draft, mostly I only need to do a quite proof read on-screen to be happy. I’ve always written things best after letting them spend a long time in my mind – when planning university work I always PLAN to write essays just a few days before they are due, knowing that by the time I get to actual writing, most of the words are already there, well thought through and ready to go anyway.

Thanks again Marla for this nomination 🙂

AbbiesBabble

A new page of Babble: Quotes

This morning I added a new page to abbie’sbabble. Quotes – see it up there ↑ in the menu bar? Well if not, you can get to it here.

This new page is a collection of the images I have created with words, lyrics, quotes, sayings that I find inspiring. I think words are incredibly powerful so I try to keep mine positive. As well as keep a steady flow of positivity in what I read and listen to.

These images/words have all appeared in abbie’sbabble before. It’s nice to have them all in one place to browse through though. I sure do go for those nature backgrounds don’t I?!

One of my many wonderful discoveries in this blogging journey has been that I do love playing with ‘design’ programs. I say ‘design’ like that as I use the most basic, free, online versions, and I am by no stretch of the imagination a designer. But I am a very visual person and creating the imagery for my blog is something I really enjoy. It’s not something I’d done before and it sure is nice learning a new skill, albeit at a basic level.

Hopefully there’s something there that speaks to you. If you’d like the link to a post for a specific image, drop me a line: abbiesbabble [at] gmail [dot] com

Enjoy.

AbbiesBabble

 

Humbled by the Lovely and the Liebster

Once again, some one, actually in this case, some oneS, has noticed my little blog and nominated me for a couple of awards. I’ll make my acceptance and thank-yous in a slightly unconventional way if that’s okay.

Liebster AwardThank you Marla from A Pendulum World for the Liebster. I’m not sure how you stumbled across my blog, but I sure am glad you did. Your comments and support of my blog are just gorgeous and I’m really enjoying the insight you bring into your posts too.

You’ve asked for five random facts about me and I’ll answer your questions below.

Random Facts

  1. I love hokey pokey ice-cream.
  2. I always thought I would end up with a big family … of girls. Instead I have one girl and three boys!
  3. I love to nap – I can even nap in the school car park for 10mins before picking kids up at the end of the day!
  4. I LOVE music, especially live music, but I don’t play an instrument myself.
  5. I didn’t learn to drive until I was 29 years old and four months pregnant at the time!

Marla’s questions and my answers

  1. Why do you blog?
    I started blogging because I love to write. I have journalled for years – blogging (putting it in a public forum) challenges me to write a little more clearly. All that is true but I continue to blog because I’ve found a community which is just gorgeous. I think I put it best here or there are a few posts about why I blog (I think about this a lot, it has become a big part of my life) under my blog tag here 🙂
  2. Who is the person you look up to the most and why?
    My mum. She was my best friend, my role model, my mum. She taught me amazing life lessons. She modeled them too. I am who I am because of her. And I miss her like crazy every day.
  3. What brings you the most peace in life?
    My faith in God.
  4. Where is your favorite place to vacation?
    Anywhere I am warm and can relax with a good book (so clichéd right?!).
  5. What is your favorite book?
    Just one?! The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay has been on my top five list since I first read it as a teenager.

one-lovely-blog-awardThank you Trish from Digital Trish for One Lovely Blog nomination. Trish has loads of very cool photography – she calls herself amateur but honestly, to someone who likes things that look amazing, well, it all looks pretty pro to me!

You’ve asked me to share seven random facts about myself so here are seven more…

Random Facts

  1. I love crunchy peanut butter with slices of fresh tomato, salt and pepper on toast.
  2. I have never seen my national rugby team, The All Blacks, play live. If I had a bucket list, that would so definitely be on it.
  3. I have always been a bookworm. My parents used to encourage us to play outside in the fresh air and sunshine, so I would take my book outside and read 😉
  4. I have really big feet (US size 10, Euro 41-42). This can mean I often get great deals in end of season sales which leads me to….
  5. … I LOVE a bargain. My mum used to (semi) jokingly say ‘it’s not what you spend, it’s what you save’. My theory is it is better to buy something quality on special, than something cheap, just because it’s cheap. That said, when I bought my boys three pairs of sports shorts for a total of $12 at K-MART the other day, I was pretty happy with that too!!!
  6. I secretly love watching Dr Phil.
  7. Some day my husband and I want to build a house in the country, nothing flash, but some where family want to gather and grandchildren (I want lots of grandchildren, God willing) can play in.

Blogs you should check out…

Because I’ve done this a few times now, I’m going to refer back to my original award list of blogs, with a few additions. Not saying they have to respond, most of them have anyway. These are just my fav places in blog-land to read, all for different reasons…

 Scattered Smothered Covered

Amanda Grace

Journey of Kylie

Life Love and Whatever

Life Being Girly

The Blended Life

My Eclectic Existence

Jess May

Stuff I Tell My Sister

Truth Shall Set You Free So Don’t Be A Cry Baby

Organised Babble

Introvert Spring

Anastasia Amour

Hands Free Mama

Thanks again Marla and Trish.

I hope you all enjoy checking out these blogs, there’s something there for everyone I’m sure…

Sign off

 

 

 

 

Oh how I missed my Blogdom

I don’t even know if ‘Blogdom’ is a word. I’m not going to check the dictionary. I don’t care, I like it, so it stays!

I haven’t been in the land of blog for nearly three weeks now and I have so missed reading, writing and interacting – I think I actually went through withdrawal!

It was a mega-mayhem two weeks of school holidays which I packed full to the brim. There’s been adventure, fun, happiness, sadness, family and friends, and I see today a few more blog awards. I have a veritable smorgasbord of posts to write.

Check out my Instagram page for a few snapshots and in the meantime here’s the highlights:

  • Our friends Ben and Charlie stayed for a week
  • I went on my first hunt
  • My Gran passed away (ok, so that’s a low, not a highlight)
  • Nat had her first Brownie camp
  • Richard and I had a blissful 43 hours child-free
  • I quit my job in my quest to live a truly happy life
  • We booked our summer camping holidays

And I’m sure there’s more but that’s enough for now! I hope to be back up to speed with my Thankful Thursday, Scripted Sunday and other regular posts I mentioned earlier as well. Oh it’s good to be back 🙂

Sign off

What else is new here?

Planning
photo credit: stargardener cc

I’ve tackled some blog planning. Just a couple of months to see if planning works for me in this forum. I had a look at what I actually want to achieve with Abbie’s Babble which will come as no surprise to those who read my recent posts on where my blog is at and the new look.

So for those who follow, here’s some things you can expect to see (can you tell that I just love alliteration?!):

Random Rants – I’ve written a couple of these and really enjoyed writing them so will aim for a one of these every few weeks.

Scripted Sunday – An idea I had to share my love of words. Each Sunday it’s ALL about the words – quotes/saying/lyrics/pins/books that have inspired me, really made me think or are just plain beautiful.

Foodie Friday – I love food. I love digging up new recipes and trying new things. I never cook the same meal twice in a month (well, hardly ever!). I’m also embarking on a sugar reduction in our home. So while I have no official authority on the matter, and none of the recipes etc will be original, look out every other Friday for some gorgeous pics, recipes, tips and links that are all things food and follow my motto: All things in moderation.

Thankful Thursday – I’ve been sharing thoughts and words from the gratitude pages of my journal for a while now. I often go back and read the old posts if I get to feeling sad or sorry for myself and need a kick in the butt to get a smile back in my heart.

I haven’t planned out every day of every week but I thought a bit of structure couldn’t hurt. There’s still plenty of scope for me to blog about whatever is on my mind or happening in the world at any given time. Which of course is exactly what this blog is about – a place I come to, to be inspired and to get my thoughts and memories down where I can revisit them.

I did enjoy planning things out and thinking about how I’m going to keep this going though … and of course the trip to the stationery shop to buy a new folder, pens and washi tape to make it all look gorgeous was an added bonus. Yep, I’m old school, love the paper copy for some things!

Is there anything you would like to see/read from me? Any of my posts that you really like or dislike? At the end of the day, I’m here for me, but I love that there are gorgeous people who visit regularly so I’m keen to hear what you think.

Sign off

 

Sisterhood of the travelling something…(award)

sisterhood-of-the-world-blogger-award2Okay I’m just kidding with you. I have been nominated for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers award. But like Wax, who nominated me, my first thoughts were to the book Sisterhood of the travelling pants which I really enjoyed (pretty sure the movie was ok too). Anyway, I digress, back to the award. Once again, that someone took the time to read my posts and then for my name to pop up when they’re thinking of blogs they love … wow, awesome. I’m not going to lie, it makes me feel happy and proud. A big thanks to Wax for this nomination – a lovely lady with a cool perspective on life.

So, the rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site. TICK
  2. Put the award logo on your blog. TICK
  3. Answer the ten questions they have set you – I love doing and reading these!
  4. Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer – ditto number 3.
  5. Nominate ten people – see below.

Wax’s questions and my answers…

Who do you miss right now?

My mum. No question. It’s eight months since she died and I know I will miss her every single day of my life. I also know the missing get’s more bearable (most days) as time passes.

I also miss my bestie and so wish we lived closer (she’s two hours away).

What’s the story behind your name? (Or do you have any idea why your parents gave you that name?)

I have no idea. I do know however, that after I was born, there were a few more babies called Abbie and Abbie-Jayne (my real first name) in our small town.

What is the one thing you are most proud of?

My time as a single mum. I got thrown a real curve ball when my first husband left, our baby was only weeks old. With the support of my family and friends I pulled through and spent five years raising a great kid. I also studied by distance and earned a Bachelor Degree, graduating on the Deans List (quite chuffed about that too, just quietly).

If you could choose your age forever, what age would you choose and why?

A few years ago I would have said 22. Now I think that there is joy and wisdom that comes with growing older so I’m pretty happy to continue on this journey and make it to a really healthy old age (85 at least so my husband and I can make our 50th wedding anniversary).

What is your greatest addiction?

Books!!!

What is the most common compliment people give you?

I’m very tall (I THINK that’s a compliment) or I have lovely hair (it’s long and naturally blonde, I think it’s pretty ordinary but anyway…)

What is your favorite part of the day?

NOT the mornings! Picking the kids up from school I think – everyone is usually so enthusiastic.

Who would you like to play your life story in a movie? Why?

Reese Witherspoon just because I think she’s gorgeous (not saying anything about myself here by the way).

Do you prefer sweet or salty snacks?

Salty all the way!

If you had a magic lamp and the genie granted you 3 wishes, what would the 3 wishes be?

I wrote a post about this a while ago I think. Yep, here it is…

And drum-roll please, here are my nominees:

Actually, and I hope this isn’t cheating, but I’ve had a couple of Liebster Awards and so the people I nominated for those, would be the same that I would place here. Check out The Liebster  and The Liebseter (again?).

Seen as they’ve already answered my questions, I won’t give them another list!

Thanks again Wax! x

Sign off

Dear dream reader

Dear dream reader

Dream readerThank you for visiting my blog. I wonder how you found my space?

While you are here, I want you to know that you’re really just like me. Except that you’re not. Because none of us is exactly the same as another. But we do have things in common.

We’re alive and striving to live the best possible version of our lives every single day. Our lives are busy – we so seek a place that is peaceful and where we can be true to ourselves. Even if just for 10 minutes in a 24 hour period.

We blog because in this online world, we’ve found a place where we matter, where we can make a difference, where we can inspire and be inspired. There is freedom in words. Here, we are allowed to be ourselves without the barriers that society so often places in our way.

Things that are real matter to us. We want the world to be a better place. In reading other people’s real stories, we are encouraged on our own journey which has already travelled quite a crooked path. But we are lucky – because we know that the crooked path has taught us lessons, strengthened us, made us who we are today. And we love to share our stories as a way to encourage others.

But really, we’re just here because we enjoy it here. This is a place we have come to love. The statistics and the likes don’t matter. They are lovely, an affirmation: someone understands us. But they don’t matter. Reading, writing, interacting. That is why we keep coming back.

You are awesome.

Sign off

 

A new look

Following on from my last post, I’m moving forward with a new look and a modified About page. I wanted something that more reflected me – a bit brighter and more cheerful to set the scene for my blog. I hope you like it.

I’m also sitting down to do some actual blog planning. So far it’s been a case of ‘be inspired, write, post’. As life gets busier over summer (hallelujah, spring is here, summer is coming!), I think I need to be more proactive to keep up with this blog that I love.

Have a beautiful blessed day where ever you are…

Sign off

Where abbiesbabble is at

Today Wordpress told me I have now published 100 posts. I have 154 people following me. That’s not bad in four months – little numbers for most of you I know but for me, I’m happy. I didn’t do this to get followers but I have to admit, I love it when I know someone new has read something of mine and liked my writing/my perspective enough to want to read more. It’s an honour. I’ve only been blogging such a short time but it’s like I’ve found a new way of life that enhances all the good I already have going on!

The 100 post milestone prompted me to look through the archives. I can’t believe how far I have come so quickly. I started blogging because I was in a hole, getting stuck trying to grieve the loss of my mum/best friend, working out where I fit in my life without her, and in my family (a relatively new 4+2 blend). These were big enormous things – the most life changing defining aspects of my life to date aside from meeting Christ properly and becoming a mother myself.

Map
I’m finding my way again

So yes, my head has been in all sorts of states. Looking through my archive, I hope I haven’t come across as too much of a whiny girl. I’m usually very strong, positive and determined. Actually that should be D-E-T-E-R-M-I-N-E-D. In establishing this place, that is my own, and getting back to journalling, I have worked through a load of stuff and my perspective is much healthier now.

I stand (sit) here now stronger and more focused than when I started blogging back in May. Aside from the healing I discovered in writing, I’ve read so many blogs I can’t tell you. I’ve formed online friendships, I’ve been inspired, I’ve been given (and have taken) advice and reality checks. Thank you blog world for helping me get my sh*t together. Not ignoring my awesome husband who has been especially wonderful and supportive in the process of sh*it togethering 🙂

So what does this mean for abbiesbabble?

To drink tea and to journalWell, I sure as heck am not going away. I’ve changed the look of my pages slightly to reflect a stronger me – the previous headers were just all too soft for the real Abbie. No guarantee I won’t play with this further (hmmm, yes, a distinct probability!). I will continue to journal and to blog openly and honestly about my life and the random things I come across. And I will continue to read and be inspired by other blogs. I do intend to keep an eye on the tone of my blog though – positive and real are what I’m aiming for.

I can see posts with themes of family, faith, food and fun.

FAMILY – well any family has dynamics, mine is no different, especially as a blended family. I include my grief journey with my mum in this category.

FAITH – I walk deeper into my relationship with my Saviour every single day. I can’t and won’t ignore this.

FOOD – I’m embarking on a major sugar reduction in our home. We’re not really too bad but could be a lot better. I don’t doubt we will have some success and some disaster – all blog-worthy! Watch this space anyway.

FUN – well come on, we’re all after a bit of fun. This summer we as a family intend to get into tramping (hiking) which I’m so looking forward to. I’ll share photos and compare blisters if nothing else!

@abbiesbabbleOh, and in case you missed the post, I have a Twitter handle now: @abbiesbabble. The Twittersphere is all new and moves very fast but I’m working it out … I think. Join me!

Loving you blog world – please keep writing!

 

Today is September 11 in New Zealand. Every year this anniversary makes me reflect on what happened in the US and how much the world seems to have changed in that time. I don’t have a lot to say, I just want to acknowledge it x

TWEET TWEET

@abbiesbabbleSo yesterday I decided to go to ‘the dark side’ and explore the world that is Twitter. Up until now I’ve been a real Facebook kind of a girl. At the moment the Twitter-sphere look interesting and slightly (a lot!) confusing but I’m sure that in a short time I will have a new addiction.

When I started blogging, I thought it was just going to be me, writing and playing with my site  – I love that stuff. Turns out bloggers are a pretty cool bunch of people and connecting with great people online is something I’m really enjoying. Heck I’m an introvert, the inter-web is my ideal playground!

And that’s why I now have a twitter handle – why don’t you head on over and join me

THE LIEBSTER (AGAIN?!)

LiebsterOh my oh my oh my. So I’ve been nominated for the Liebster again. This blows me away. Honestly, I write/blog for me – I pretty much spew words straight from my heart to the keyboard. I’m amazed every time a complete stranger likes or comments on something I’ve written. Let alone follows me … and keeps reading. It’s an honour, truly.

So a big thank you to Joel over at Chesapeake Films who just happens to belong to a Facebook blog group I joined recently. We’ve had a couple of conversations on his love of New Zealand – so I know he’s all around good! It’s always nice to read Joel’s comments on my posts too, which are heartfelt and inspiring.

The rules of the award:

  • You have to link back to the person that nominated you. (That was Joel, linked up there, here it is again in case you missed it!)
  • You must answer all 11 questions given to you by the person who nominated you.
  • After completing these questions you must nominate 11 bloggers under 200 followers and give them 11 questions of your choice.
  • You must not nominate the person who nominated you.
  • You must let your nominees know that they have been nominated and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it.

Joel’s questions for me:

1. Why Blogging?

I love to write and thought about blogging for years before I actually got here. In the end, a time in my life where I really needed to take a look at where things are at, prompted me to put pen to paper (fingers to keys, whatever!), Over the last four months I have completely fallen in love with blogging!

2. Twitter or FB?

FB! I manage three accounts (my own plus two for work). I don’t even know how to use Twitter but tempted to explore it.

3. Has there ever been a book that made you cry?

So so so many books make me cry. When I read, it’s like watching a movie – the pictures are so vivid and I fall in love with the characters. I feel it all. I cried reading Charlotte’s Web and A Little Princess as a girl. Not much has changed!

4. What was the last meal you prepared from scratch?

Umm, all of them! I always try to cook using fresh, unprocessed ingredients as much as possible. Last night we had a Thai Beef Curry.

5. If you could go back in time, would you change anything?

Great question! Honestly, and this is something I’ve thought about a lot, I can say no. I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve had some pretty hellish periods in my life but they make me who I am now. Maybe sounds cliche … but true. And life just keeps getting better (working on it anyway) so I know I needed to travel the lows to really be able to experience the highs.

6. Do you believe in “the road less travelled?

Ummmm, not really. But I do appreciate Peck’s thoughts on delaying gratification, acceptance of responsibility and dedication to truth (please let honesty rule!). It would be fair to say I think of all of these in my parenting philosophy.

7. Robin Williams…go!

So sad – sad for his family. Sad to think of how desperate he must have been at the end of his life. Sad that the world has lost a fine and funny comedic voice. And SO SO SO sad that it has taken the loss of someone with such a high profile to get people REALLY talking about mental health. I could go on … and on!

8. What was your worst experience while traveling?

Nothing really comes to mind! I’ve been lucky. I did have a horrific job while backpacking in Australia – delivering new wheelie rubbish bins and then worst of all, picking up the old ones!

9. What are the top three things on your bucket list?

I don’t have a bucket list. But I REALLY want to travel to Italy and France.

10. Is it the journey or the destination?

Journey – and learning the lessons along the way.

11. What do you do to unwind/to get rid of the toxins from the day, to vent out your frustrations/to clear your head?

Books, writing, music.

My nominees:

I have done this fairly recently so I’m going to suggest you head over to my other post and check out the blogs I nominated last time – I’m not really one for giving names for the sake of giving names. These really are great and still sit at the top of my list.

Four new sites I will nominate, who I would love you to check out are:

Organised Babble

Sunny Imperfections

Flippy Zip Flop

Accidentally Reflective

Questions for my nominees:

  1.  Read on screen or old school book?
  2. You have a night in, what’s the best way to spend it?
  3. Favourite book (sorry, two book questions already, can’t help myself!)?
  4. Favourite place in the world – that you’ve been to?
  5. The place you would most like to go?
  6. Bungee jump or skydive (I haven’t done either but would probably skydive)?
  7. What’s the best part of blogging for you?
  8. Most played song over the last month?
  9. Favourite smell (for me, fresh cut grass, home baking, the beach)?
  10. Best holiday memory?
  11. Best tip for other new bloggers?

So there you have it. Thanks again Joel. Now you all go and check out those blogs!

THIS INNIE IMPLODED

On Friday night I hit a brick wall. I posted about it as writing for me is therapeutic. It helps sort out all the cr*p racing around in my brain.

In that post, I had a plan to pull myself together and it was going to be okay. But it wasn’t. The plan didn’t work and on Saturday evening I seriously imploded. After a full day of cooking, washing, chores and being taxi driver to the kids without so much as 30 minutes to myself, that brick wall fell down on me.

And then I got up and I ran.

I literally, got in my car and just drove. I had to get away. Not having anywhere, or anyone, to go to, I sat in a dark car-park and I cried and I prayed while summoning the courage to go home. I just didn’t want to see anyone, deal with anyone. I was overwhelmed, so completely wrung out, frantic in a way, and p*ssed off.

When I did go home I spent the evening upstairs with my daughter – she reads me like a book, even at seven years old and she above all people, knew what I needed. I hate that she sees me so strung out, I hate that my personality is like this, I wish I was built differently in many ways.

But I realised something this morning:

I am an introvert

So the journey continues…

 

photo credit (image background): rumpleteaser cc

 

IT’S A MATTER OF FAITH

This week I went to the funeral of a little girl who was just 20 months old.

When I initially heard the new that Iola (spelt with an ‘I’ said like a ‘Y’) had died I was of course sad but also angry. I think perhaps angry at God. My question was ‘Why’. Why would He take a gorgeous treasured little girl for no clear reason. It just didn’t make sense to me.

I posted about how I was feeling and I’m glad I did. This is why I blog. To process my thoughts. This time, the answer I needed came not from my own thought processing but in the comments to that post.

It’s a matter of faith.Faith

The reasons why, they’re in God’s hands. He DOES have a plan and it’s not always for us to understand.

This is where faith comes in. This is what faith is. Accepting without knowing.

Which funnily enough, is a conversation I’ve had a few times in the last few weeks. Even before Iola passed. At that point though, under the emotion of grief again rising in my life, I wasn’t able to connect those recent conversations with the questions I was crying over.

So faith. What is it really? I’ve thought a lot on this. Not because I’m questioning my faith but perhaps to have a deeper awareness.

Also, blogging challenges me to articulate my thoughts and beliefs in the written form. Which I love. It has driven me to study and really understand, to be able to clearly explain myself on some really important topics – here and in comments and discussions with other bloggers (love that!).

Anyway, I digress. Back to faith. Perhaps it’s a different definition for everyone. We can look to the dictionary, the Bible, the internet and to our own hearts. For me, faith isn’t something I’ve really thought about. I know what/who I’m faithful to and where that sits in my life. But I never questioned exactly what faith is.

Let’s look at some meanings/quotes on faith:

“Confidence or trust in a person or thing” Dictionary.com

“Complete trust or confidence in someone or something” Oxford Dictionaries

“Isn’t faith believing, all power can’t be seen” Josh Groban – Lyrics – To where you are

“Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe” Voltaire

“Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light” Helen Keller

“Faith is not a thing to grasp, it is a state to grow into” Mahatma Gandhi

“Now faith  is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

“The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see” Hebrews 11:1 (MSG)

Obviously for me, given that I’m really talking about faith in a Christian sense here, the biblical references are important. But I do love the quote from Gandhi as well. Faith is not a ‘thing’, I believe it is a condition of our spirit which can evolve and grow as we walk our journey with Christ.

I am going to define faith as:

“An inner attitude, a knowing, that comes from believing in things unseen”

I think there is genuine faith and empty faith. I think that faith and works are closely tied together. I also think that faith is greatly pleasing to God and is the essential ingredient that underpins our relationship with Him.  I am going to explore these thoughts, and how they relate to me further, so keep an eye out for future post/s on this subject.

I’d love to hear your thoughts so far…

THE LIEBSTER

Liebster AwardSo after getting over the shock that someone noticed my blog enough to actually put my name on the list for a Liebster Blogger Award, I admit I was pretty pleased. A big thank you to Dyanne over at Her Other Lovely Sides for the nomination. I enjoy her blog because, like me, she sets out to be true to who she really is in whatever form that takes – to be real.

So now there are some rules I have to follow:

1.Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their page.
2. Proudly display the award banner on your page.
3. List eleven facts about yourself.
4. Answer the questions the award-giver asked you and make 11 more for your nominees.
5. List your nominees.

1-2 done above, for 3-5 read on…

I have to admit, it seemed like a bit of work to get this post done, but working through it and reading the other nominees posts etc, it’s actually been a really enjoyable thing to do! Continue reading “THE LIEBSTER”

ROLLER COASTER!

Daily prompt: 190 Days Later

If I could have looked forward to this day on January 21 and predicted how life would be, would I have been right? I’m going to go with ‘no‘. I’m guessing that now my life is going better than I would have thought possible back in January.

Let’s recap.

Eight days before January 21 I lost my mum and best friend. I’m not going to delve into that today, there are already a few posts if you want some of the back story. But a week into my grief I was in a completely dreamlike state. Nothing seemed real and I couldn’t think ahead to preparing the next meal, let alone how to handle the next six months!

Life is a roller coasterIt has been a roller coaster of emotions for me, experiencing some of my lowest lows ever. Ok, I probably did predict that. But there’s also been some lovely unexpected highs and a lot of growth personally. I re-entered the workforce which has been positive. I started this blog which has had some stunning outcomes for me. And our family continues to grow up and grow together. I was terrified in my grief I would revert to old habits of putting up emotional walls, pushing everyone away. Thankfully I’m learning, and have been able to (mostly) avoid that technique.

So all in all, if I had predicted, my guess is I would have said it’s going to be a roller coaster with more lows than highs. My reality is it has been a roller coaster but with more highs than lows. Yay.

This post is in response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt: Back on January 21st, we asked you to predict what day #211 would be like. Well, July 30th is that day — how have your predictions held up so far? If you didn’t reply to the prompt at the time, is this year turning out to be as you’d expected?