Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day 157

Val, so thoughtfully made me a travel pack to take on my break. What a treat to have all these goodies for my road trip, yummy healthy snacks, drink, and even a CD of songs to keep me entertained. Thank you Val, you really look after me! I appreciate it so much :)

I took this little video of Sam yesterday, please ignore my laughing, he had been cracking me up all afternoon.. so I couldn't hold it in when he was giving his cover of a Sunday School song!

My friend Izzie gave me a recipe for a Veggie Risotto... wow it was delicious! Enjoyed every mouthful.. will be making this one again for sure. Thanks Iz! (Please excuse the grainy iPhone pic)

Just a quick post tonight.. I have lots of work to do, so I've got my cup of tea ready and my brain switched on to get through the workload! 

Night all! x

Monday, May 30, 2011

Day 156

It's no secret that I over-analyse everything. Something I have been thinking a lot about over the last few months (years), and especially the last few weeks... is parenting and how I feel I cope with it.

There are days where I think "I'm not cut out for this!".. where I feel like I am literally hanging in there, rather than 'enjoying every moment of it'. I am a structured person, tidy, organised, I don't like clutter, I like order and I like to be planned and controlled. That's not to say I don't love also doing spur of the moment things, or leaving the house messy for the day etc or don't accept that life in general isn't predictable and controlled.. but for the most part being organised is my nature. This is all fine... except when you throw a couple of kids into that mix! Life with children can be unpredictable, messy, out of control and definitely not orderly!

I have over the time.. lowered my expectations somewhat, which is great. I do definitely enjoy the balance of order as well as spontaneity and 'organised!' chaos...but often the quieter, controlled side of me sometimes really struggles with the adjustment that having children brings. It took me awhile to realise this, to realise where the struggle comes from.. but then I slowly realised life with children battles against my usual nature.

Of course, this doesn't mean I don't love being a mother.. I love my boys more than life itself, they bring me so much joy, they make me happy, I wouldn't have it any other way. But in my analysing processes.. it has helped me a lot to realise WHY at times I struggle. And when I understand what is happening, I can then change things to make life easier for us all. For example.. if the house is messy, and the kids are getting irritable because I'm trying to clean and they are bored.. in the past, I may have just gotten extremely frustrated and we would all end up miserable. NOW, when I realise what is happening, I leave the housework and go and do something fun with my boys. That way, they are happy, then when we have had some quality time together, they can have a quiet time watching cartoons and I can continue on with the house work. The house gets cleaned, the kids and I get quality time together.. it's a win/win and everyone is happy.

So sometimes my over analysing does help! I am much more at peace when I understand myself better, when I understand my family better, when I understand what the underlying issues are in life situations, therefore I can make the necessary changes to improve the situation.

With all that said though.... no matter what your personality or nature, sometimes raising children is just plain hard work for no other reason but KIDS CAN BE HARD WORK! Whether you are organised or flexible, tidy or thrive in the chaos... doesn't matter! Kids can be tiring, life gets tiring, our patience wears thin, we crave peace and quiet, we crave time out.

And it's those times where you can throw your hands in the air and say 'Help Me! I need a break!'. 

The more I travel this path of being a mother.. I have come to truly understand and be at peace with (instead of trying to fight it) the fact that there will be times when I feel on top of the world and enjoy every single minute of being a mother or parent, feel completely content and at peace.. and there will also be times when it's hard work, I struggle, I feel like crying, I desperately need a break and I find myself not enjoying being a mother so much. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! We can't enjoy the good times, without having the hard times. It's the hard times that make us want to grab hold of those good times and enjoy them even more to build our strength to handle the next patch of rough road we will come across on the journey.

And I must be getting better at the whole balance thing... it's 8.30am, the house still needs cleaning but instead while Jacob naps, Sam and I have been chasing each other around the family room and now I'm sitting with a coffee writing my blog :) (I told you my mind works better in the morning... I could never get this piece of writing done if I left it to tonight!).

Oh and by the way... I'm in the 'feeling great' part of my journey, although I'm pretty sure it has something to do with the fact that I know soon I'll be heading off on my break!! Whatever the reason - I'll run with it and enjoy it while it lasts!


It's the end of the day now...nearly my bedtime and I almost feel bad talking about the hard times, because today was absolutely delightful! Children like to keep you on your toes right?! Just when I thought I couldn't handle my toddler any more, he has slowly swapped his naughty self for a beautiful angel this past week... oh what a joy he has been! (Oh don't worry - I know it won't last!!!) which is why I am going to enjoy, enjoy, enjoy him while this beautiful stage lasts! I have cherished today... we went on a play date with a friend, then we spent so much time at home having fun together, being silly, playing games, talking and laughing.. it's been gorgeous. And boy, did I need that! It's been a full on few months in so many ways, so because of those hard times... the good times today were oh so precious to me and I soaked it all up. Life is a never ending roller coaster... let's ride!


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day 155

Okay... I admit it. I didn't take these photos today, I took them awhile ago.. so I just did some cropping etc to give them a 'refresh'! My large lens just isn't working the same since the unfortunate fall or "pull" off the table the other week from Jacob... such a shame. And to make matters worse.. Sam broke my tripod. YES, the tripod Lewy bought me that I loved so so much.

I think my children are trying to sabotage my photography hobby!!!! See?! This is why you can't have nice things with kids! ha! Since having kids, I have learnt not to become too attached to material things... so I guess.. this is the silver lining? - learning a life lesson! There is a positive in everything if you look hard enough.

Anyway.. these things happen.. I just have to improvise and use what I have left!

This verse has been strong on my heart this week....

"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

I'm counting down the days to my break away... I need some serious re-fuelling! The only thing I'm worried about is ...I might not want to come back! Just joking.. (kinda :) In all seriousness, I will miss my boys and Lewy...but the peace and quiet and the complete break is going to be pure bliss and it is way overdue!

(I try to avoid this kind of editing...but couldn't help it this time.. the ladybug was just asking to be coloured :)

Happy, relaxing Sunday xx

Day 154 (Saturday) Black and White

A lovely treat last night to have my family over for dinner. It was a good night, yummy food, cups of coffee, lots of laughs and talking. 

Chef Sam assisting Nanna in the kitchen. (Yes I admit, Mum provided the dinner last night! Thanks Mum!)

Beautiful angel, slept peacefully throughout the catch up...

My sister Sindy and her boyfriend Noah.

Oh so serious Sam! Sam and my nephew Caleb having a man to man conversation........

I love this photo, Caleb was on the latop while Sam sat behind him the entire time keeping an eye on things :)

Aunty Pam and Sam enjoying some quality time :)

The men, talking about the renovations...


Photography update. Got a good result from my Week 4 assignments... one of the tasks was to spend some time looking at your favourite photos and getting an eye for what it is that draws you to them. (Colours, objects etc) Basically, to figure our your 'visual keys' in photography. It was no surprise that my visual key was the SKY!  On the Flickr site, if you come across someone else's photo that you like, you can add it as your favourite... so you have a section in your profile of all those photos that you like... I used my collection to figure out my visual keys... take a look: http://www.flickr.com/photos/traceyrankin/favorites/ clearly, the sky makes a recurring theme in all of my favourite photos :) 

It turns out, my teacher secretly doubles as a therapist as well as a photographer... as she got us all to think about why we are attracted to what we are. She told me the story of a Doctor friend of hers that was also attracted to the sky, and it turned out that she felt closed in within her surgery walls, which didn't have much of a view outside, she felt 'hemmed in and under intense pressure', so for her looking at sky provided relief. 
Sound familiar?! I realised, as a stay at home mum, in the same four walls, with a backyard where the patio blocks my view of the sky, I often feel 'closed in' both physically and mentally. Therefore, when I finally get a view of the sky, I feel relief, I feel like my world opens up... plus the fact that for me it brings my attention and focus back to God... for those reasons I am drawn to the sky :) 

My teacher offered the advice of filling your house with your favourite photos... so wherever you look you can see beauty. Great advice, and I plan on doing more of this!


Happy, lovely Saturday xx

Friday, May 27, 2011

Day 153

Oh boy, I'm tired today! Had a lovely meal out with a friend last night, and of course, got chatting and the time got away from us. Great night, but was out past my bedtime.. so I'm paying the price today and have been yawning all day!

A nice quiet day at home for us, it's been a busy week so was a nice change to have some 'home' time. 
Sam making the most of the quiet day...

Week 4 done and dusted for my Photography Course, 2 weeks to go... I'm still totally the class nerd, who is always asking the teacher questions and going overboard on assignments! hehe 

Overall, a nice day and I'm looking forward to an early night! 

Happy Friday xx

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Day 152

A very 'red' post! 

Sam has been so excited for today to arrive.. the dress up day at Kindy! Spiderman was ready and waiting to go at 6.30am this morning!

The kids were all so cute.. boys in their superhero outfits and the girls in their fairy/princess costumes. Sam said he was going to "save all the girls"... aaahhh my hero :) Let's just say, Sam is not shy... he walked in and announced "Spiderman is here!".. that boy knows how to make an entrance. 

Can you see Jacob in the pram up the back? He was mesmerised by all the colour and kept trying to reach out and grab the girls glittery fairy skirts...

While Sam was partying hard...Jacob and I enjoyed some quiet time at home, playing out the back. 

Look at the cheeky smile.... he has mischief written all over his face!

The sun trying to peek through all those clouds...

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Day 151

More photos taken today with the iPhone... must get out of this habit and start taking some decent pictures again!  

This morning we went to my friend's house and had a wonderful catch up. Sam thought it was great boxing outside. 

Found this great recipe for Roast Vegetable Lasagne. I highly recommend it, it was DELICIOUS! I got plenty of praise from both Lewy and Sam... this dish is a keeper. http://www.exclusivelyfood.com.au/2006/06/roast-vegetable-lasagne-recipe.html

Short and sweet post tonight... it's been a wonderful day and I'm feeling great! x

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day 150

 Today has been quiet! Sam was very happy when we arrived at Daycare for his very first day. He kissed me goodbye and ran off to play with the kids. Apparently, the staff told me later, Sam fit right in, had a ball and played hard. This is good!

But oh boy... was the house quiet.. and I enjoyed every second of it! Lewy was able to to take some time off today, which was great especially after he has been so busy with work lately... so we celebrated by going to the Rose and Crown for lunch... unfortunately I only had my iPhone to take pics.

Our tasting plate.. it was gooooooood.

Jacob thought so too..

Apparently this rose bush is like 100 years old... I said to Lewy that our rose bushes will probably last that long, seen as they have lasted around 7 years at our place (and were around 10 years old when we got them from a friend!) and are still growing and producing flowers.. even though we take the most minimal care of them!

My Gnocchi, with spinach and a creamy parmesan sauce.. it was delicious. 

Jacob taking a walk after lunch..

Later at home.. Sam told me that Crystal (one of the staff who looked after him today) was very pretty and very nice.. this is what I want to hear! He hasn't stopped talking about all the fun he had, and all his new friends :) A bonus, was running into a lady I met at my old Mothers Group (Jo.. if you read this - it was Miranda!) and she had only good things to say about the Daycare centre, which gave me extra confidence that we had a chosen the right place for Sam.


In other news.. remember I was saying I was in desperate need of a break? Well I have been able to organise a trip away all by myself! Wow! It is during the working week, so my parents have kindly offered to look after my boys, while Lewy is working.. and I'll be driving out of town to my favourite place New Norcia... for 2 whole nights! Did I mention it is all by myself?! 

Now comes the part that makes it even more special for me. I'll be staying at the Monastery Guest house, which means I will be able to have plenty of people around me, enjoying meals with the monks and the visiting nuns and other guests who are staying there.. and I'll also be joining in with the prayer sessions that are held during the day and night. Absolutely NOT everyone's cup of tea for a break away! But it's exactly what I'm looking for. Getting out to the country, being able to take long walks.. just me and my camera, time with the monks to talk with them and get back to simple living.. and I'm especially looking forward to the prayer sessions. I need some re-fuelling.... physically, mentally and spiritually.. and New Norcia is the place for me. 

So hopefully, when I return from that trip in a few weeks time, I'll have some lovely photos to share :) 


Okay, I know I asked this before.. but I'm asking again! If anyone has some yummy vegetarian recipes I would love to see them! Looking for some 'easy to make but very yummy' meals to incorporate into the weekly menu that the whole family will enjoy :) (Izzie, I'm thinking of you and that Vege Lasagne!)... thanks all! 


Peaceful, happy Tuesday :)