Sunday, January 29, 2012

Favourite Things

There is something about taking a quiet moment and reflecting on the week just past akin to reading someone's memoirs in awe inspired wonder. It makes all the spills, messes, washing, food, cuddles and planning worth it somehow. In fact it makes it seem simply fantastic. It's like those light-bulb moments when you realize just why you do these things day-in-and-day-out. There is a lot to remember and be grateful for within the 'everyday'. 

Favourite things is my way noticing those little moments in between the hussle and bussle of life. Those beautiful, little moments which I want to hold in my memory.

Moments Like:

Hot chocolate, Brambly Hedge, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, cushions and snuggles on a rainy, summer day.

Lazy, rainy weekend mornings snuggled in bed with a cup of tea and lots of laughs.

Australia Day picnics by the water. Sand, swimming, picnics and a walk in the fresh air - my idea of a great holiday day. Even the littlest bub enjoyed the afternoon - pinching a peach from the picnic basket.

Before mentioned Bub decided that one peach was not enough.
(Oh and he devoured one of these entirely himself.)

The delight in experiencing new textures, tastes and sensations when you are 9 months old.

Sitting in one spot feeling the sand seemed rather mundane after a short while. He decided to go and explore the water with the big kids. But the tide is out and it's an awfully long crawl to reach the swimmers - way out there somewhere.

Saturday afternoon left just me and Holly at home. What else would a girl want to do on a beautiful afternoon with Mummy if not make some lip-balm. That's my girly-girl for sure. 

I just love the look of concentration on Alexander's face as he chops up some herbs. He is my mini-chef and always helping out when I'm cooking.

All together it's been a fantastic week. Filled to the brim with my delightful family.

This week I'm linking up with:
friday favorite things | finding joy

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Breathe Deep

The melancholy strains of the Irish flute whispered from the radio, mirroring the quietness of the moment. I sat and watched, listened and felt. No purpose, no to-do list, no need to rush - just a chance to stop.

My hair gently swirled by the soft breeze, a welcome coolness on this hot, muggy day. The salt air bringing refreshment as I breathed it in. Dark clouds still surround but the wet has paused, allowing these few moments of fresheness.

One by one the lights flicker on, reminding me the evening is fast approaching, but still I sit. I breathe ever deeper, the air like water on parched lips.

In these few moments, unexpectedly given to me by my gracious husband, I drink deep. With great effort I still my mind, bringing it back as it continues it's journeys to the jobs and people left at home. I look and see a grey beauty, a stillness on the water, a freshness in the air and a refreshing for the soul.

Dusk creeps ever closer, faster now and I know my time has been well spent. I have nothing ticked off the ever-expanding list. I have no new revelations or even any words on the paper. What I return home with is far greater - I have taken a few moments and breathed deep.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mum's Retreat

The weekend loomed large. Two entire days dedicated to being 'ladies'. Ahhhhh........ Breathe now ....... Yes, two whole days of Mum's and little bub's only.

One by one we trundled down the highway en-route to the oft talked about 'beach house'. By lunch time Saturday the number had swelled to 12 Mum's and 2 bub's.

The agenda included a lot of ....... ummm ....... well that page had been left blank.

So the days became an ebb and flow of conversations, swims, sunshine, rain, tea, champagne, delicious food, chatting, hugs, bubs, and really, whatever tickled our fancy at the time.

A group of friends, sharing this road of homeschooling together. All of us qualified to lend an ear and give some encouragement. A couple of extra special guests shared much as their road is well-trodden with experience. My Mum and beautiful friend blessed us all with their words and love.

It was simply a delightful way to ease into the year ahead. A time to regroup, refresh and remember, before the school year starts again.  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Gifts of Love

It was a short, scrawled note which popped out of the parcel that day. The small gift which accompanied it wafted a scent of love, kindness, and caring about me, drying my tears.

The news had been my 'worst-case-scenario'. With the gift of hindsight, it wasn't all that big in the whole scheme of life. But to me, that day, it seemed my entire life had came crashing down around me. It ushered in feelings which surprised me in their ability to engulf and overwhelm me. My certainty had become uncertainty, effort, sacrifice and discomfort. 

With tears flowing freely the parcel was opened.

How did she know?

This day, of all days, I needed some love. A hug. A friend. A scrawled note and small gift. It meant so much more than she could have imagined when she popped it in the post a couple days earlier. 

The phone call was answered with the last ounce of energy to be mustered together. The months had been long. Seemingly so lonely. Harder than was prepared for. Stuck in the middle of a such a short season, which seemed forever.

A smile, returned by the caring words. A heart much lighter by the kindness of another.

How did she know?

She, older than I, but never forgetting the need for encouragement, love and kindness. An angel in disguise, I thought that day. She phoned because she cared, because I had popped into her mind that morning, because she had a home which was once full with little feet but now almost empty. She remembered. And she phoned. And she arrived the next day with some food for my family. Delicious meals, all the trimmings and even a whole stack of scrumptious muffins. Then, to my delight, she arranged another dear lady to arrive with more food later that same week. 

Oh, how much that simple gift meant to me.  

Seemingly insignificant events in the course of a busy, family-filled year. But two gifts which will forever be remembered as significant, as I reflect on 2011. Two people reached out and loved. They gave when it was unexpected. The timing was God inspired. Two people who thought, cared and gave me love, encouragement, and hope when I needed it the most.

'I don't have to do more, just do that which is brought to my heart. That which is God inspired, it means more that way.' This said by one of these dears ladies who so touched my life last year.

Such words thought about often since. Words which have given me great encouragement. I know even I, in the extreme busyness of family life, can give encouragement, inspiration, love and life to those who need it most. I don't have to do lots and lots and lots, just that which is God inspired. I simply need to act on that little thought, that little nudge I feel to send a note and make a phone call. Simple. Oh so simple. But oh so life changing. 

 Today, I was once again overwhelmed by a gift given out of a heart full of love. My big boy knew my morning had been hard. He knew I was struggling. He felt the heart nudge and he acted on it. Gathering his brother, they concocted the most delightful treat. Decorated with thoughts of me. Prepared with love and given with a smile.

Oh, in an instant I knew I was the most special, most loved Mum in the whole-wide world.

It didn't take a lot, just acting on a heart nudge. But it made the difference in my day today.

Although I'm supposed to be the 'wise-old-owl' around here, it was my boy who taught me a lesson today. A lesson I will hold close as the year unfolds. A lesson I will never forget.

Simple. Oh yes.
Meaningful, Oh yes.
I don't have to fill my days ever fuller to make a difference in someone's life - I just need to:

Act on heart nudges.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Handmade Presents

It's always a busy time, the lead up to Christmas. Those months and weeks beforehand when gift ideas are brewing and fingers are busy creating. It's full of excitement and anticipation and lots of secrets. For this reason, these photos haven't been shown until now, when the new year reminds us that secrets are no longer and special people have become the recipients of our creative endeavors.

This past year my arms have been extra full with my newest little man and stitching time has seemed to come only in very fleeting moments scattered across days or even weeks (and many of those moments in the quiet, dark hours). It almost took me by surprise as I watched the presents being unwrapped at Christmas and I noticed just how many of them I had actually made. It is such a pleasure to create something with love for the special people in our lives.

Have a sneak peak at what was in some of the parcels under our tree this year.

Pencil cases for the cousins.

This one embroidered and sewn by Holly herself.
This one seemed to continue to find it's way into my sewing area after it was made. It had a multitude of uses just waiting for it, I was sure. But, with some reluctance, it was wrapped and given to it's intended recipient, whom I know will love it as much as me!

Pretty and bright for a beautiful, special girl.

Last year I made many of these personalized bags. This year they were created for the newest additions to our families (and one 'big' person who wished she was still little when they were unwrapped last year!).
Just a few of the many, many personalized bibs I made for the new additions.