Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Challenge Accepted!

I like to stand outside early in the morning whenever I can, to look at the sky, breathe in the fresh air and have a few quiet moments enjoying the beauty of the clouds and colours as the sun is rising.  It really is beautiful... like God has painted a picture just for us to enjoy.

Marley and I went outside this morning and I stood there shivering cold (weird huh?!) and took another picture to capture the moment. (Photo on the left).

Val made a lovely comment on Instagram about putting that picture alongside the one I took on the weekend (photo on the right) for a wall hanging.

And then...Val's comment gave me a great idea! (Thank you V!) To take a photo every single morning for 1 month (ha! ANOTHER PROJECT! I cannot be stopped!) early in the morning of the sky, just like the photos above. Then who knows.. I could really go nuts and create a photo collage, oh oh and even put some nice music behind it.. right.... Challenge accepted!

Tomorrow, it begins!


Another week, another family trip out for dinner.

I'm pretty sure Jacob enjoyed his Pasta.


Can you believe it... our house is still spotless! This, my friends.. pure miracle. :)

Hey guess what.. here is some random information for you. It looks like Sam and Jacob are left handed. (Confirmed by Sam's teacher and we have a sneaking suspicion after watching Jacob for some time that he is following the trend!)
Which is weird considering there is no one left handed that we know of in either of our families. They are special :)

This afternoon Lewy and I had a meeting with Sam's teacher, to get the update of how he is settling in and the curriculum for the year. Impressed. He is learning so much. Apparently, Sam is quiet (ummm? Sam?) and he is very well behaved, listens and does what he is told and gets on well with everyone. Well well. It would seem Sam saves his naughty behaviour for home then! ha! No no, it's all good news and we were just so happy and impressed with the school, the teacher and how Sam is going. What a little soldier he is.


Tonight's activities. Glass of red, in my pj's, watching the Academy Awards that I taped yesterday... I've been looking forward to this all day. :P


And finally. Bear with me while I delve into some revelations I've had lately.

So, the other day I posted about just loving and caring for those around us.

Well, after that. I was at the shops (during my alone time), on a Saturday.. at Morley. So yeah, it was busy. As I was pushing my trolley through the aisles, I was thinking about my goal to love and care for those around me.. and subconsciously, I was stopping to let people pass me at the shops and letting them have right of way.  Some people said thank you, and we shared a smile and quick joke about how busy it was, and some just went past without a second glance back.

I realised then.. that I am pretty good at loving those I care about. I will go out of my way and try to be the best friend/daughter/sister/mother/wife etc etc I can be. And it's actually pretty easy to love, care and consider my loved ones.

But what about those times when I come in contact with someone who rubs me up the wrong way? Who is rude and inconsiderate? Do I still love and care for them.. or do I stand up for myself and snap back? I hate to admit.. I'm pretty good at getting my back up if I feel someone is doing wrong by me or someone I love. Especially in the workplace, and to strangers. I'm not proud to say that plenty of times I have become just as angry as those who have shown anger to me. In the past I have thought this was standing up for myself and not putting up with being treated badly.

Now? I don't think this is what I have done. In actual fact, I have reacted out of defence, out of emotion and out of anger. That is not loving and it is not having compassion for others. The TRUE meaning of love, is to love those NO MATTER what.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
(Ask me if you want to know where I got that quote from :P)

Oh boy. I can only hope to love like that. And honestly, I can't love that like without a little help. Which is why, I'll daily pray for help and for guidance. 

It's a daily journey and one that will continue always. And let's face it - what a goal to work on achieving.. to love EVERYONE, no matter what.

As a side note.. I just wanted to say thank you to Claire and Val for sending through those lovely notes after my blog the other day. Your kind words mean the world to me and make me smile so much :)


16 weeks until America. 16 WEEKS! I have recently gotten in touch with another beautiful friend from my YWAM days (Iz it's Jessica!), and we are working on being able to catch up shortly once I arrive in LA. This trip.. is going to be surreal.

Okay, wake up everyone.. I promise I'm finished!  LOVE to you all :)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Stuff that is happening

I think I'm in love with this weekend.

Good morning!
Jacob - "I'm gonna eat the heck out of this pancake!"
Pancake Brekky
 Spiderman and Jacob watching Lazy Town. Marley wasn't fussed, he prefers the more 'manly' kids shows.

In no particular order here is stuff that happened today:

1. Me and the boys had pancakes for breakfast. It was fun! I earned serious brownie points by letting Lewy sleep in till almost 11am. :P

2. Lewy has discovered the joys of ebay. I'm unsure at this stage, whether it's a good thing or not. On the positive, I now own an iPhone car charger and ridiculously long cord for home.. not sure why. Lewy just thought it would be a good idea. Either that or the fact that it was $2 with free delivery. He has decked out his iPad with new screen and cover. And as I type this he is searching for other bargains that we 'cannot live without'. Maybe I should send him a link to a new camera body? :P

3. I miss having a camera :( So bad. I've got three months to either buy a new base or pay to get my camera fixed. Going to America without my camera would be outrageous! I would cry. I really would.

4. The house is so clean.

5. Number 4, makes me very happy :P

6. I need some advice about LA. Who can help me?! I need to find a hotel. Something cheap as I don't plan on doing anything else in it but sleep, but it would be really nice to be close-ish to the airport but in an area that I could walk out and see.. something....something cool. Help!

7. I just suggested to Lewy that he buy me a camera body on ebay. For some reason, he didn't look thrilled. :-/

8. Sam and I made a 'monster truck' out of lego. It was impressive.

9. I cleaned out the car. How does it get so messy?! I blame the kids...

10. Today Sam wanted to discuss how he was born. Fun times, fun times. :P

11. http://irinawerning.com/bttf2/back-to-the-future-2-2011/ This is cool.

12. The house is still clean. It's a miracle.

13. It's 6.04pm and I'm so tired, like eyelids droopy tired.. I think it's going to be a very early night for me.

14. I really need to find a new church.. I miss it. I miss the connection. A church that suits me as well as the boys... the search begins. :)

Bathtime Fun
Goodnight my friends,

Saturday, February 25, 2012


I found myself in a very very rare position today... rare but blissful! Lewy was at work, and while Jacob was napping this morning, Sharon took Sam out to get his hair cut (it looks pretty darn cute by the way!). Precious alone time!

So after I did some cleaning (naturally) I made a cuppa and sat outside in the beautiful warm breeze and read.

I've been making an extra special effort lately to catch a few moments to myself.. and I'm all the better for it. Even it means waking up at 5am, just so I can have my breakfast and coffee in peace :)  It's worth it.

THEN..... the day got better. Crystal and Toby came over to pick up my boys to take them to the beach (lucky things right!), and I was ALL ALONE. Alone. By myself. Nice! After a trip to the shops to buy stuff, I came back and sat in the silence, read a book and soaked up the bliss.

Chatting with the neighbours

The dreaded day has arrived :( Crystal is leaving the daycare. :( She and Toby are moving away up North. All good things must come to an end... it's just so sad that it's coming to an end so soon! Sam doesn't know yet, and he is going to be devastated saying goodbye to his favourite girl. One positive is that they will be on a rotation and coming back to Perth every 3rd week so at least they will have a reunion every few weeks :)

I think the blog needs a bit of an overhaul. A change. A new direction. Hmmmm. Will add that to the To Do List :P

Friday, February 24, 2012


I wasn't going to update the blog tonight... purely because I haven't done anything that is worth posting about. :P But then the TV (or more accurately, the Play Station in which I was streaming TV through) started to do stuff that I didn't know what it was doing. If you didn't understand that last sentence, it's because you have to be pretty technologically savvy to grasp the high tech description. It's true.

Why didn't I ask Lewy to fix the stuff? Well... he is alllll the way in the lounge room, and I'm  alllll  the way in the bedroom. It's just too hard :P

So, here I am.

I do have a bit of news. I have officially sent through my commitment to sponsor a child for 12 months through The Smith Family Foundation. I really can't wait to get the information pack about my child (yep, they are now a part of our family :) without having to endure pregnancy and childbirth... phew!).

I had the privilege today of listening to one of my work colleagues open up about her life ... while the hustle and bustle of the office was going on around us, she took a few moments to quietly share some things she was dealing with. We didn't talk for long, but long enough to form a connection about life and hardship.

You know how I have always said my dream is to be a missionary? Well, today.. while we were whispering for those few moments... I had the realisation that my heart for missions can be fulfilled right in my back yard. And I'm not talking about preaching and trying to convert ... oh no, that's definitely not my style. I'm talking about the simple act of listening to others and offering an empathetic shoulder, support and gentle encouragement. Simple. And really, isn't that what life is all about? Loving each other, caring and supporting when we can?  Not with an ulterior motive.. just simply to love. 

I used to think .. in my oh so naive and enthusiastic young age... that I had to do something BIG. I had to go overseas to make an impact. More and more, I realise .. my purpose is to love those around me. My children, husband, family, friends, colleagues and strangers I come into contact with. Like my Dad always said, you have to take care of your own backyard, before you can take care of the rest.  And that is sitting really well with me.

I'm trying. (Very trying some might say ha!).. seriously though. Sometimes I might become self absorbed and fail to reach out and love those around me.. but I am human, it will happen. The main thing is I keep trying and love others in the best way I know how.


The final paper lantern came down just yesterday.

I liked seeing them still hanging there days after the party... and I'm still feeling the warmth and fun from Sam's special day. He still talks about it. Tonight he was asking about Pass-The-Parcel, and we relived the moment again.

Someone really did enjoy that popcorn! Um. Excuse me. There are two dots on the wall. Why is that? Even though I'm in the bedroom right now, my OCD is going to reach boiling point and I'll have to go and sort that issue out!

This year.. 2012.... such a positive, growing year. I'm in love with it already :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I was at work today in body, but my mind was in America :P After numerous emails between Izzie and I, we have booked our flights to go gallivanting around the US....how.much.fun!

I'll be staying in LA for 2 days (1 night) and spending some time with a lovely friend, Betsi, who I met at YWAM also. She has graciously offered to show me around a bit of LA and San Diego and also mentioned the magic word 'Disneyland'! This trip is gearing up to be darn special!

After LA I fly to meet Izzie in Denver. Be still my heart! On the way back to where Izzie lives, we might be staying at a hot springs Resort where I think I can safely say we will be talking non-stop... NON-STOP.. drinking some lovely wine and enjoying the scenery and hot springs!

Izzie has some fantastic things planned for us in Colorado which I cannot wait for, and then we head back to Denver to hopefully see our other friend Tara, then onto New York! For 3 fun filled, tour filled, magic filled days. And the rest... well that's where we have to say goodbye so I will skip over that part.

I'm walking on air right now... :P


I hired a cleaner to spend 5 hours at our house today. 5 HOURS.

I work full time, have 2 kids and work in the evenings.... something's gotta give! How does a house get so messy when we are at work all day, you ask?! Well, let me tell you. After spending a day at work, coming home, spending time with the kids, dinner, baths and bed for the kids, then doing my 2nd job... cleaning is pretty much the last thing I want to do. So, a cleaner I hired.

The Tracey of 2011 would have had a melt down about NOT being superwoman and not being able to do it all.

The Tracey of 2012, is pretty darn happy that I can now get someone else to clean the house while I focus on the good stuff :P Our gorgeous cleaner even did all our clothes washing, cleaned out the fridge and tidied up our patio... oh, I think I might lover her!


Meet Spiderman. Love the costume... but do you think I can get Sam out of it?! Nooooo. Last night he fell asleep in his costume and I had to wait until he was asleep to go back into his room and get him out of it so he didn't overheat!

I have to share this... 'cause it did make me laugh :P

Good night my friends,

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Party

Oh boy - what a great party! I think (I hope!) the hours spent buying decorations online, planning and prepping were all worth it! Of course... with all kids parties, it's a buzz of activity and rushing around but seeing the kids enjoying themselves was the icing on the cake!

Welcome to the Carnival! All decorations, down to the popcorn bags were ordered online. Such convenience! So pleased with how it all came together.

Sam was given a Spiderman outfit by Kirsty and Emily. It took all of 1 second for Sam to strip down to put his costume. Way too cute! Jacob stood and stared at him, not quite sure what to make of it.

The cupcakes were made so kindly by one of my work colleagues.. and these were no ordinary cupcakes. They had chocolate eggs in the centre, which had melted slightly but created a chewy, melty goodness after each bite. Again the cupcake sticks and wrappers... all online!

I hired a lovely lady, Nicola, to come and do face painting for the kids (and some adults!). She was fantastic. So great with kids, not to mention a wonderful artist. So quick but created gorgeous designs and I think the kids were pretty stoked with their new looks.

The spread.

I think it is safe to say, Jacob partied hard. Cake. He was covered in it :P Love this kid!

The famous Crystal, who takes care of my boys at daycare, with her boyfriend Toby. Sam was basically walking on air having his favourite girl at his party. :P His first crush.. not hard to see why, she's a beauty!

Jacob only stopped once during the party, and that was to get his face painted. What a champ!

Pass-The-Parcel. Always a hit with the kids.

Aunty Sindy and Jacob. My sister Sindy.. such a laugh, jumped straight in to enjoy the festivities!


Oh and last but not least.. the cake! Another birthday, another tradition of decorating the cake with my mother in law. Always fun, always a pleasure :)

Sam got some gorgeous presents, had a great time playing with his friends and barely stopped to eat and drink as he was having so much fun.

4 years old, I can't believe my little one is 4 already! Sam and I are now going to watch cartoons and chill out after a big special morning. Today was everything I hoped it would be .. now to relax!

Happy Birthday my lovely Sam, I love you so much :X.

Friday, February 17, 2012


I know I promised a little while ago to dedicate a post to my adventures in YWAM, which would explain how I met Izzie. Well, here it is!

I apologise for the bad quality photos.. I really need to re-photograph them at some stage.

As my US trip is in full swing and Iz and I are in the process of booking flights for our adventure to New York, my memories of my time with Izzie and with YWAM have been at the forefront of my mind.

The Family... me, Kristen, Iz & Tara.

The four of us ended up sharing the same room. Kristen and I on the bottom bunks, Iz and Tara 'upstairs' on the top bunks. Kristen is Canadian, Iz and Tara American and me the Perthian :P It didn't take us long to form a bond so strong that years will never change our special memories and life we shared for those 6 months.

YWAM.. short for Youth With A Mission. To sum up, young Christians who wanted the opportunity to learn, grow and experience a life as a missionary. I have 32 years of life up my sleeve so far .. and to this day I still feel like those 6 months spent at YWAM was one of the best times of my life.

So back to the story.. We met in Melbourne. A group of us from all over the world. We spent 3 months at the base in Melbourne, and the next 3 months assigned to our chosen 'outreach group'.

I realised as I started this post, I had wanted to describe my experience. But I just don't think there are words that will ever do it justice.

Try to imagine this if you can... you are away from home, young, hungry to learn and build a strong relationship with God, surround yourself with people who have the same heart... you go to Melbourne and meet your room mates and the rest of your group for the next 6 months.

The bond you build, the spiritual development and friendships you build with each other is priceless. A bond so strong that after over 10 years, you can email your friend and blurt out your deepest darkest secrets and are met with nothing but love and support. That's the kind of friendship Izzie and I built through our time at YWAM.

And that's not it. The FUN we had! Oh the fun! Trips to Melbourne city, outings all over the country side, nights of staying up for hours and doing nothing but acting silly and laughing the night away and writing notes through our classes.

One night, I remember a food fight that me, Izzie, Kristen and Tara started that ended up progressing throughout the whole place. How much fun was that Iz?! Days spent in the swimming pool, eating the mocha buns and yummy bread that was given to the base, hanging out at the park bench, catching the train into the city, Tuesday night meetings, late night chats, early morning chats, sharing the bathroom trying to blow dry our hair ready for class, sitting on the washing machines waiting for our clothes to be clean, work duties, visiting the Units where the cool people hung out, Tim Tam slams, our 'goodnight' saying.. I could go on forever..... it was fun. So.much.fun.

Izzie - do you remember this photo? It was your birthday and best we could, we tried to spoilt you :)

And then. We all had to decide where we felt led to go on outreach for 3 months. We could choose between Fiji and Country Victoria OR KL, Malaysia etc.

I remember so clearly, like it was yesterday, the realisation that my girls were all going to KL and I had chosen to go to Fiji. So we went out separate ways for 3 months. My experience in Fiji for 6 weeks ... and not the resort kind - the poverty, the rawness, the islands with no electricity kind, where I spent Christmas Day 1999 riding bareback on a horse through the forest, meeting Fijians who had never seen white people before, bathing in a river due to no running water, and having a traditional Fijian Christmas Feast on straw mats outside.. unforgettable memories, once in a lifetime memories... Then 6 weeks travelling through country Victoria. I'll dedicate a whole post just to those 3 months of travelling one day.

The sun in Fiji turned my already blonde hair white... natural colouring, great! :P P.S See that young man kneeling down on the bottom left hand side of the photo? He is now the lead singer of The Temper Trap.. he was also a part of a our special group at YWAM :)

Just in case you aren't sure who Temper Trap are...

So .. then after another 6 weeks travelling through out country Victoria, we arrived back at YWAM Melbourne. I remember Izzie running and jumping into a hug when we finally were reunited... it was the kind of reunion you see in the movies :) That's my Iz. Me, Iz, Kristen and Tara then sat in our lecture room, desks all squished up together, talking endlessly about our last 3 months. And.. well... that conversation is our secret. A special, surprising, funny conversation rejoining us together.

I don't think this post has done justice to my time with YWAM. Maybe words will just never be able to describe it. However, it's a memory I will hold dear to my heart forever. The friendships I formed, will last forever.

I am dearly hoping to also see Tara while I'm in the US, as well as another gorgeous friend Betsi who was in our YWAM group. It will be a dream come true to reunite with these beautiful people who I shared this time with.

Think of this as Part 1 of my YWAM experience. One day I'll share Part 2 of my time in Fiji and Country Victoria. :)

Happy Days.