12 advisable things to not utter to a pregnant woman & 3 absolute Do’s to utter instead.

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If I was to compile all my months of being pregnant into years it would be 3 years and 3 months.  So yep, the last 6 years – I’ve been pregnant for more than half of them.  And I really love it!  I love the experience, and I love the joy of being pregnant…it could get addictive.  It’s pretty special.

And wowee, have I heard some comments and well meaning people say many things to me about my pregnancies.  Some of them pretty common, some of them leave me pondering how to even answer them.  So just for fun, here’s a list of some of the things I have been asked when they see my pregnant bod walk by.   For anyone wishing to comment on the next pregnant woman’s belly that you see…here’s a tip – flashback to this.

12. Was it planned?

Are you implying something about my planning skills here?  You know, if it wasn’t planned by us, then it was planned by God anyway, so yea, this baby was planned.  Planned surprise. Planned not surprise.  Either way, what makes you ask such a thing?

11.  You haven’t figured out how this keeps happening?

Well actually…

We have!  Which is WHY this keeps happening.  Mastered it actually!

10.  You must be just about ready to pop!

I’m four and half months pregnant, so no…not quite ready to pop.  I have to admit, this has been said to me sooo often this pregnancy, and I’ve secretly liked watching them squirm a little and regret their words.  It’s ok guys, maybe I just have a lot of bloating this time round…bahaha.

9.  WOW you have your hands full.

What?  Oh! You mean these hands? The ones I can’t see for the toddlers they’re holding? Yes, yes I do.  Thanks for pointing that out.  (says me carrying a toddler on top of my belly, holding another child’s hand while they try to pull away to run after a butterfly, while calling out to my other one to keep their shoes on and keep walking).  I love my tribe…I love that they keep my hands full.  Funnily enough, I have noticed that my hands are very full!

8.   You guys breed like rabbits!

I’m not entirely sure why having four children is cause for being compared to rabbits…but if you really wanna go there…

7.  You sure it’s not twins?

Yes, I’m sure.  You do realize that a baby takes up room don’t you?  When you think about the size of a baby and then compare it to the size of my belly – it might make sense as to why my belly looks this big.  There is, after all, a mini human inside me, a whole new organ, and a bunch of fluid…it’s got to fit somewhere, that’s what you’re looking at yea?

6.  Are you big enough to have a baby?

Uh…???? Which part of me?  My uterus?  It stretches…that’s what it was MADE to do. My body itself?  My actual birth canal?  Please explain…

Bodies stretch, they’re tough, they’re elastic, they’re amazing.  Yes, I’m big enough.

5.  You shouldn’t be doing that.  

Here’s the thing.  I appreciate the concern, but pregnancy is not a disability…nor does it stop you from doing normal things unless you are otherwise medically advised.  It does not warrant having to go on a strict, ‘I can’t do anything’ diet either.  I really love this little cub growing inside me and I’m not going to do anything silly to hinder it’s growth or well being.  Despite pregnancy hormones ripping through my body and my brain, I am still capable of making my own decisions of what I can and shouldn’t do without it bringing harm to my baby or me.  Perhaps if you are genuinely concerned, could you try,  “Would you like some help with that?” Cheers, and thank you.

4.   How old are you?  

Oh take a guess!  You know, sometimes I look in the mirror and think I’m not old enough for this either, but you’d be surprised.  I feel like if I keep doing this, I’ll start to look my age and some.

3.  You wouldn’t want to get any bigger!

Really??  I most likely will get bigger and that’s a good thing.  It means our baby is growing, and that is what we want it to do.  Thanks for the feedback though!

2.  Geez, you must love it.

Um…

??????

The beginning part? the end part?  the part proceeding the end part where you have a new child? the actual pregnancy part?  I do love it.  I love it all.  The beginning right through to the end of pregnancy and beyond.  I mean, it all has its ups and downs really.  Please let me know if you would like more information about how much I love each step.

1.  Have you done something to your belly button?

I’m sorry, it sounded like you just said, “Have you done something to your belly button,” Could you please repeat?  What could I possibly do to my belly button when it’s stretched like a condom over a freaking wine barrel.  If there is something you can actually do with your belly button other than pierce it, make weird old man’s mouths and talk with it, or just marvel at how much it looks like E.T please let me know because it sounds really interesting.  My previous children who I made inside me have done something with my belly button and this one is adding it’s own to it.

And when I say ‘done something with it’  I mean, turned it inside out.  Looks great doesn’t it!

Now please…

May I inform you of three essential things to say to a pregnant woman in the case of you finding you would like to say something about her pregnancy.

1.  You are absolutely GLOWING!!

2.  Refer to number one.

3.  Refer to number two.

Xx

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Loving your unique YOU

I’m going to tell some ugly truths right here…and I’ve put it off, because, I really just didn’t know if I could say all that I want to in the way I really want to.

So, here goes… (deep breath)

I have spent a pretty good amount of my life absolutely hating my body.  Why?  Because I’m basically a midget.  And it’s sad you know, because no one grows up naturally hating the way they are.  Many, many outside factors have their say and how you take that, well, it can dangerously mold exactly the way you see yourself…your very identity.  And that is not right.

For me it started when I was a young teenager.  I used to do gymnastics, never really went anywhere with it, I was never bothered with doing it for a figure, I just absolutely loved the fitness challenge it presented.  I trained 14 hours a week after school and on weekends and about half of that was devoted to developing strength.  Diet to me was absolutely not even a thing.  I ate what I wanted, when I wanted, and I had no idea what a calorie even really was.  My nickname was ‘the tank’ and that was fine with me…I never had an issue with my body and apart from all the ‘short’ jokes I copped, I was more concerned about my wog nose than anything.

Until I noticed more and more, people commenting on how small I was, how I must eat like a bird, and how I ‘worked out’ too much.  Then I began to hear the one liners going around like, ‘real women have curves’ or ‘only dogs eat bones honey, real men go for meat’.  Gradully, more and more, I began to really hate my body, for everything it was and everything it wasn’t.  Cruelly, society has forged a lie that will swallow anyone up who will fall for it – that we are not enough.  And I fell for the lie that I wasn’t even a real woman with the body I was in.

I found it worse when I developed some food intolerances.  I’d go out to parties, or dinners and nibble on some salad because it was literally the only food there I could eat.  I was often smirked at and teased about eating ‘rabbit’ food and told to go and eat a burger by people I didn’t even know.  And the amount of times I was told that I needed chicken fillets to fill out my chest….ridiculous.  We are always told that we should be more than what we are, less than what we are, bigger, skinnier, taller, that somehow whatever you’re lacking in the body department is going to hold you back.  Hold you back from what?  What makes a woman with an E cup chest, more than an A a B or a C cup?  Seriously, have we really stooped that low people?  I actually really like my boobs…I don’t need chicken fillets to fill out my chest thanks.  It’s fine as is!  I’ve been told to my face that I have anorexia by people who have looked at me and assumed.  Never once have I had an eating disorder….unless standing in front of the mirror wishing you were fat is one.  I was even once told through a microphone at a public event in front of hundreds of people that I needed to eat a big steak because I was such a skinny bird…I was humiliated, standing there while hundreds of strangers roared with laughter.

C’mon, no wonder people struggle with their identity…no matter what or who you are, I have found, that there is no perfect body type that anyone will ever attain to.

And there bloody well shouldn’t be.

I’m just sad it took me till my mid 20’s to figure that out and to embrace my body the way it is.

That and a whole lot of encouragement from Wonderhubby who would tell me every day how much he loved me and my body the way it was.  Even that took me years to believe him.

See, I’m always going to be small, it’s actually in my DNA, and I like that about me.  Yes, it’s true, small and skinny people get body shamed too….just gonna say that right now.   I think anyone – no matter what – gets body shamed at some point in their life.  But you know what?  I am enough.  You are enough.  All the things that I have been teased about and shamed about with my body, I have come to love.  Do I still get comments?  Yes!  But they don’t send me into a body hate spiral anymore.

I’ve been told many times since I was a teenager, that I’m too small to amount to much.  That I’m too little for this, I’m too weak for that.  But it all made me all the more determined to push for what I wanted to achieve – and do you know what? I did what I was told many times I ‘couldn’t’ do.

My point of this, is that, I wish for people to stop hating their bodies, their lives. Comparison is an absolute killer to your identity and self image.  Just because someone or even many, may tell you that you are not enough, doesn’t mean that it’s the truth.

Go love yourself.  Go rip off all your clothes, stand in front of the mirror and look at all the things you like.  Look at all the things you don’t like so much and start to love you for you and accept the way you are.  Your body isn’t made to please everyone and we should never attain to that.  Actually, that’s a pretty dangerous place to be.

It’s a bit cliche, I know, but if you’re identity is going to be based on how your body looks, you will probably never have a great identity.  Truth is, we all have things that we probably need to change about ourselves.  Health wise, attitude wise – there will always be something in us to work on.  But don’t take it as a negative in your life.  Take it as a challenge to better yourself, push yourself beyond what you think you’re capable of, and live your life, ever exceeding and excelling in all that you do.

Please do yourself a favour and love your body, but most of all, love you for you.  Your insides, and your outsides, your quircks and your weird capabilities.  Identity is a very, very small part your body and an incredibly huge part who YOU really are – your personality, your humour, your ability to see things differently to others, your absolute uniqueness.  Go look in the mirror again, and look past the skin, and see you for who you really are…more than outward appearance…more than who many may briefly see as they walk past you.  Look beyond it all at yourself and start to love you from the inside out.

Because, Y O U   A R E   E N O U G H

You’ll change your perspective – and you’ll change your life.

Xx

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Why We Should Activate The ‘S’ Word More

In less than two months, Wonderhubby and I will be celebrating our business turning 3! Can you believe?  Celebrating the time we chose to cluelessly jump into business and give it a red hot go.  And to be honest there have been many, many moments of wanting to quit.  Many many moments of digging our feet in, and powering on, and many, many moments of L E A R N I N G.

It’s been great.  It’s been horrible.  It’s been quite the experience, and I can stand here today and say that I am really glad we’re still all hands in.

And we quickly discovered that business has many highs and many, many lows…really quite the challenge, but we love a good challenge right!?

My man has carried the dream when I’ve thrown it away, and vice versa.  Mostly we take the lows in turns…it’s worked out quite well in that sense.  When one is down you just tell them to shut up, get up and keep going…kinda…bit more nicer than that usually…sometimes not.

Until this year…I decided I was over the whole thing and it was all too hard.  And when Nic was down, I stopped doing my usual, ‘keep on going’ power talk and exchanged it for a pity party feast with him, with a side of some not very nice things to say.  I had made up my mind it was the end, time to quit and I had aspiring fantasies of moving anywhere north and hiding.  Nic, however, found a stubborn switch somewhere on his body, and as low as he was, his determination began to kick some mighty fine ass.

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I, however, was determined to ruin his mojo, (because I was right of course) and I buried super duper supportive wifey mode far, far away into the depths of my woes.

So mature, I know.

And for weeks, I was soooo mad at him. For weeks, I grumbled and complained at him about everything business, and everything he was doing to try and conquer.  I was mad when he walked through the door well after dark every night.  I was mad when ever he muttered a word about business (unless it was about quitting) and my attitude was so horrible, even I couldn’t stand it. I took every opportunity to verbally tear down our business to him.  And for weeks I ignored that nice little nudging inside me quietly telling me to just darn well SUPPORT him and back him.

Until one night we were strongly discussing business again, when he turned to me and softly said, “I just need you to support me in this.”  And I realized what a right out turd I had been.  Since when should it ever have to come to my husband asking me to support him.  I should just automatically have his back.

So I did.  I changed my woeful ways overnight.   And at first I had to be really intentional about it, but I was determined that even if I didn’t agree with him, I was going to get beside him and support him, and believe in him and his vision, and let him know that through everything, I have his back, because that’s what you do.   And the real clincher – I was going to do it with a joyful heart – otherwise there was going to be no point in doing it at all.

So I began going to work every day instead of just my usual one day a week when we had a babysitter.  It meant dragging three kids with me and working around them.  Every. Single. Day.  It was biting my tongue when I wanted to complain about how freaking hard that really was.  It was serving him whenever he needed it, to help him keep on top of everything.  It was dropping things I was doing when I wasn’t at work to go and help when he needed me to.  It was getting into his world instead of judging him for what I thought should be happening, and seeing the reality of what really was from where he stood.  It was encouraging him and telling him he was doing a great job.  It was noticing when he had an exceptional day and telling him I was proud of him.  It was telling him I was proud of him when he had a bad day.

It was backing him 100% because one simple thing…I love him, and I will never stop believing in him and what is inside of him.

And suddenly everything began to change.

I watched my man begin to really flourish.  He began to exceed my expectations of him.  I watched anger fall away from him, and although tired, his spark that I hadn’t seen for ages in him, began to return.  I watched him change from feeling defeated and hopeless to blaring out vision and excitement for the future.  I watched joy beam from him again, and his fun side peak out from behind the stress.

And then…

I watched our business explode before our eyes.

And once again, many lessons were learnt and I realized how great the effect of believing in someone and supporting them can be.  Really.

I know he’ll read this…because he always reads my blogs…because he supports me in what I love to do.  And he’ll most likely secretly love that I was wrong (for once) and that he was right in sticking to his guns and continuing along a path he walked alone, while he patiently waited for me to get my head out of my stinkin’ toot hole.

Because two things that I would want anyone who would ever read this to know, are these…

Firstly,  please don’t forget, or underestimate – but value the price of fully supporting your other half.  Or anyone for that matter.  Even if you don’t want to.  Support them, back them, encourage them relentlessly, speak life, do what you need for them to know that you are there 100% all the way.  Through the rivers flowing with tuna eyeballs and grogans, AND the rivers flowing with the glorious milk and honey.

Lastly, Do not give up.  One of my most favourite sayings is this:  The moment you’re ready to quit, is usually the moment right before a miracle happens.  Don’t give up.  The tipping point…it’s usually also the turning point.  And I really do get it.  Sometimes it’s just that hard you may long to be comatosed…but I never want to live my life wondering what could have been if I hadn’t quit.  Things do get better, and they will for you.  The bitter moments, are really just the scary and necessary stepping stones to new territory and fresh waters.

Hey Husby, I’ve got your back.

Xx

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The day I was an Aldi tragic

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We all love a good Aldi buy right?  And their bargains…guys…if you don’t know about their bargains, you should get yourself an Aldi catalogue and have a look for yourself.

They are A M A Z I N G.

Alas, I have never been much of a shopper, so I generally flip through their catalogues whenever I happen to have one of those hot little guys in my hands and think about how that would be nice but I’m not buying that.

Until last week….I heard word about a rocking chair.  Not only did I hear about it, I saw a picture, and I instantly knew, that chair and my behind were a match made in Heaven.  I immediately began to dream about the late nights and early mornings that we would spend together while I fed our soon to arrive baby.  I dreamed of the times I would probably fall asleep with my boob out, baby on my lap and drool pouring out my mouth, and I fantasized about all the other things I could do on it, like read books, daydream and rock till my hearts content.

We were going to have a glorious thing going on.  Not only that, but I have longed and silently hoped for a nice rocking chair I could sit in and feed in after being pregnant or breastfeeding for almost six years.  Those late night and early morning feeds have been a complete jerk to my back and neck slouching up in bed, and finally my window of opportunity had come.

Not only that but it was $199.  I researched everywhere being the bum stinge that I am how much this chair was elsewhere.  The next cheapest was three times the price at Ikea and then upwards from there. I was completely sold.

So I planned, I budgeted, and I recruited my Mum to help me when the sale day arrived.  The conditions were perfect, the stars must have aligned or something crazy, and the morning my soon to be chair friend went on sale finally arrived.

Aldi opens at 8:30 so we braved the white and crunchy frost outside and headed out the door at 7:20 to make sure we were in for a good chance.  We drove the 30ish kms to our closest Aldi store and to my deepest pleasure we were second in line – absolutely in for a good chance, I was hopeful.

Soon we were pushed third in line when the first person in line’s friend arrived but we made friends.  It was very civil.  We all talked about how much we would like to have that chair.  By 8:25 the sun was starting to warm our shivering bodies after sacrificing our body heat for this blissful chair, and there was a line up of people well and truly spreading across the road in the parking lot.

Then finally…

The doors opened.  My heart beat a little faster…I have never done this before.  Infact this whole thing is far from who I am. What were these people like anyway?  Were they savage like the ones you see on TV at the Boxing Day sales?  Was my Mum and I going to be stampeded and left squished and flat on the ground?  We started walking…faster and faster towards the middle aisle.  I saw on my left a tiny, white haired grandma overtake me.  She walked way faster than I have ever seen someone of her stature walk.  So I upped my pregnant waddle and waddled as fast as I could to where my backside’s soulmate was nestled.

And then I saw it…the first lady in line was hauling the first chair into her trolley.  The box was enormous and heavy…it didn’t even fit in the trolley.  I waited right next to her while the tiny grandma stood on her other side, and the line of a dozen more people behind her desperately watching the scene play out.

She pounced on the second and last chair (yes, they only had two on the floor!) and said, “This is for my friend! She was here first!”  I stood back, while her friend came forward, grabbed it, and said, “I’m giving this to the pregnant lady!”  I looked up at the line of silent people watching and waiting…one lady was fighting back tears…I couldn’t watch.  The first ladies’ friend dragged the giant box over to me and handed it over.  I thanked her from the bottom of my heart  while my Mum tried every move her body had within, to try and get it into the trolley…it didn’t work.  So she decided to push the giant box down the aisle and to the car.  It was a pretty funny sight.  I continued to shop for my Aldi necessaries feeling awful and slightly traumatised about the whole scenario.

Outside, a lovely man offered to help Mum haul the chair to our car and attempt to get it inside the boot.

It didn’t fit.

I was trying to think of some genius ideas to make it work…should we strap it to the roof? Do I sit there all day on the box and wait for my husband to pick me up after work that evening?  Heck, I’ll push it 30kms down the highway, but I’m not leaving that blasted chair behind.

Then, geniuseness hit.  Let’s take it out of the box.  We did.  It fit.  But now we were left with a giant empty box that didn’t even fit in the bin.  No worries, another man walked past while we were debating this and told us to go put it in his ute…he wanted to use it.  Brilliant.  Chair in car – check.  Box gone – check.  Dignity in tact – not really sure.  Glad it’s over – check.  Slightly traumatised – check, check, check.

Never doing that again – check.

So here’s to the generosity of strangers…you made my dreams of having a rocking, feeding chair come true after six years and I’m forever grateful.

Of course honour moment to my Mum, who was not in her element at all, but totally lay down her everything and showed that Mums will surely do anything for their babies.

And thanks Aldi, for your great specials and for hosting me as an Aldi tragic for the morning…Cheers.

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When Romance Comes To Stay

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There have been many times I have pitifully sulked about how unromantic and unemotional my Husby is.  Sometimes we joke with each other about how he would cry over that…if he had tear ducts.  Or, about how he doesn’t do romance too romantically, if you know what I mean.  He is far from self centered, but somewhat lost in the doting department.

There was this one time we were out and I was having a great time with morning sickness.  We’d been out for a few hours when I went up to him feeling really sick and faint, and asked if we could go home.  I don’t know that it really sunk in because he instantly responded, “Sure, you take the kids, and I’ll get a lift with someone.” I think he started to understand when I gave him the, ‘Are you actually serious?’ stare, and quickly changed his response to, “Can I go get a coffee first?”  Sure lover, I’ll just go faint in the corner…enjoy your coffee, drink it fast, so maybe I can heave in the empty cup on the way home.

It’s ok, he was sorry, we laughed a lot about it after.  Some men’s skeletons are made with roses and soppy poems engraved into every one of their bones…some I think, only have that in one bone.

And it’s ok!

Because romance Is only sometimes your bedroom floor flickering with candlelight and rose petals.  It’s only sometimes strawberries and champagne in a love heart shaped hot air ballon floating over the meadows at sunrise.  It’s only sometimes surprise dinner on the 1000th floor of the tallest building in the history of ever, while you watch fireworks burst out the window below.  Romance is only sometimes in the things, sometimes in the explosions of Wow, and always in the heart of your one and only – whatever that expression looks like for them.

We had the most unromantic, romantic week the other week.  So much so, it opened my eyes (only after 8 years, haha!) to the fact, that sometimes romance dances under the surface of the most unromantic situations, and the way your dashing husband or wife bestows that upon you, may just not be how you envision romance.  So take a step back, and look deeper, because chances are, your lover has probably been romancing you a lot, maybe you just haven’t noticed.

I never thought in the face of pain and the unkown, that sweet romance could surface, but it did! And it turned a horrible few days into some very romantic ones.  How is this possible you may ask??!  Oh, the sweet mystery of love.

I was curled up on a chair in hospital late one afternoon a couple of weeks ago with an ache in my belly, waiting to be summoned in for an emergency ultrasound my doctor had organised.  He suspected, some kind of concealed placental abruption.  I was totally oblivious to what that actually  means…apart from the mild google search I had done early that sent me into a slight panic, so I had shut it down and told myself that google stories are bad, and surely this can’t be that bad.

By the time I got called in, it was past 5 in the afternoon and since my husby was at work, I figured he’d go straight home when he finished and I would meet him back there when I was done.  The ultrasound lady didn’t say a lot, but she was taking a lot of photos of my sore spot.  It had been a while, when suddenly my man came into the little dark room, sat down next to me and softly grabbed my hand.  He then helped my sore and sorry self off the bed when it was all over, and sweetly helped me hobble back to the waiting room.  I had plans!  I was going to go to the shops on the way home to buy him all his favourite things to cook for him the next day for his birthday.  I was going home to see our wilds and kiss them all over their little faces because I hadn’t seen them all day.  I was going home to light a candle for my Dad who had died 7 years ago that day, and I never missed lighting his candle dammit!  I was going to sit by our warm fire, having dinner with my love watching the stupid state of origin.

And then the midwife came in, sat down next to us and said what I wasn’t even expecting…”You’re placenta has started to lift and there is a bleed…we’re admitting you, are you ok with this?” To which I replied, “No I’m not,” haha, I was only telling Nic a few minutes earlier how much I was looking forward to going home…it had been long ass day.

So Wonderhubby pulls out a piece of paper and starts writing a list of food to buy for me because he didn’t want me to be hungry, and after much procrastinating because he didn’t want to leave, left to go buy stuff.  Only, not long after, my doctor came in to talk to me.  He explained everything again – a little more in depth – and concluded, “You need to decide if you want to keep your baby, because there are chances you could deliver, or may need to if this doesn’t heal.” I was only three days away from being 24 weeks – what they consider a baby as ‘viable’ for delivery, but with very high chances of severe disability.  From 23 weeks, they will offer your baby everything medically possible to help survival but do not recommend it.  Infact, they don’t recommend it until 27 weeks gestation which for me, felt like forever away.  My doctor went to leave, but as I would have to go to Sydney if we were going to try and keep our baby alive, he needed an answer within 10 minutes so he could organise a plane and a bed.

I called Nic, who had an armful of food at the shops, which he abandoned and raced back up to the hospital and we looked at each other, making what felt like the worst decision ever.  Keep your beautifully healthy baby, who you feel kicking around inside you every single day, who, if born now, may never be able to walk or talk or speak or eat ever.  That, or let them go….

Impossible.

Like if the worst happened that they were preparing for, the decision we made in the next 10 minutes determined everything.

But everything within the both of us said Sydney and the choice was made.

So I was jabbed with my Anti D needle, bloods taken and set up with a huge cannula in my arm, while they arranged a bed in a Sydney hospital.  It wasn’t long before the doctors decided it was safest to keep me put overnight as there was no bed in Sydney and they didn’t want me stuck between two hospitals in case I bled out.  Glamorous huh.

So they prepped however many litres of blood they needed for me incase the worst happened overnight, and let me get comfortable for the night.  And Wonderhubby was right there, getting me extra blankets, passing me everything I couldn’t reach, sleeping in a chair the whole night by my side incase something happened.

He waited with me till we had some more answers the next day, and went to smash out some work while I waited for a plane to come and pick me up.  It was coming at 7:30 that night, and Nic was still at work finishing up with some customers when I let him know about an hour before.  I told him don’t worry about coming to say bye, just go home and have some rest.  I was in the ambulance at the airport waiting for the plane to land, trying to cure myself of clostraphobia within the next 5 minutes instead of freaking out, when the side door opened and Nic appeared inside, walking straight to be by my side.  He’d hurried up to the hospital when he finished work, ran up the corridors to see me before I left, got told I’d just gone, and raced out to the airport to catch me before I flew away.  Naaaawww.

He romanced my heart so much in all those little moments over the last two days.  And it was the most unromantic setting, the most unromantic scenes playing out, but the most romantic and sweet actions from my husband.

And I saw his romance in the rush, I saw it in the kisses on my forehead while I was strapped to a bed in the back of an ambulance, it was in the tears that came when he prayed his baby and his wife would be ok, it was in the sparkle in his eyes when he kissed me while I was wrapped in a hospital blanket with a giant cannula hanging out of my arm, I saw it in him standing at the door of the plane, blowing me kisses and mouthing, ‘I love you’, until the door shut.  It was in him opening the door for me every time I got in and out of the car after he picked me up from hospital in Sydney, and it was in his apologising for every bump he drove over because he didn’t want to hurt me.  It was in every little thing that I often overlook and everything I used to just expect of him but never saw the romance in.

It was no fancy dinner under the stars with violin players and fire dancers.  But every one of his actions made me feel so loved, so wrapped up in his fire, so treasured to him, so glamorous in the most unglamorous of places…(c’mon, the ward I was in, they called the leakers and bleeders…there ain’t nothing turn me on about that).  But he was there to laugh with me about it and hold me close…because that’s what you do.  (Insert bleeding love jokes here)

Now I think of it, he actually is romantic.  The way he kisses my forehead every night before he goes to sleep, even when we’re mad at each other.  The way he says I love you and does a kiss at the end of every phone call, even if the call is just to say, don’t forget the toilet paper.  The way he calls me lover 99% of the time, greets me with a big smile, hug, and probably some sort of grab whenever he sees me, or how he takes every opportunity we stay somewhere with a bathtub to fill it up for me and insist I relax for a while.  It’s the lots of little every day things that I often take for granted.

You might sit there thinking, well, anyone would be by there wife while she’s in hospital.  You’re right, and I’m glad he was there with me.  But I’m also glad my eyes were opened to see the beautiful glimpses of how soft his heart is, when so often I miss it.  I’ve found that looking beyond my own idea of what romance is, and see the unique way my husband expresses that to me, that I really appreciate his love for me.  It’s not how I want it to be all the time, and let’s be honest, that is important too (and a whole other story), but it’s just simply seeing your one and only how they are, and how they do things, and loving that.  You have to work on the excitement and mystery in love…always…but there is no place too unromantic that it can’t be done.

Get creative lovers!

Xx

Oh, and if you were wondering!  My placenta healed up super quick, our little baby is doing great, and every week is getting us closer to D Day!

The Bootifful You

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“You’re so sweet.”  I said to my three year old girl after she had ditched her dinner to run into my room where I was resting and planted about 27 kisses, one after the other, on my cheek.  She started twirling around on the spot and very matter of factly replied, “No Mum, I’m bootifful!” and continued twirling confidently with her cheeky smile, repeating, “I’m bootifful, I’m bootifful!”

I looked at her twirling next to me – in her pyjamas, hair half fallen out of it’s messy bun and smears of dinner on her face – and my heart melted.  I was so smitten by her, looking with love pouring out of my heart at how precious she is, and so captivated…she knew the truth…she IS beautiful.  But suddenly, part of my insides felt shattered…what if that truth gets stolen from her one day and she believes the lie that invades so many girls’ lives?

To be honest she has always challenged me…from the moment she was born, her slimy little body placed on my chest, and I heard the midwives say, “it’s a girl.”  I was petrified in that moment.  What if I didn’t know how to raise a girl?  I grew up being a tom boy.  I’d rather be trying to get my head around the mechanics of a car or chasing stinky cows around a paddock with their sloppy turds splashing up on me (ok, just kidding about the turds).  I used to show up the boys when we were ringing sheep nuts and trying to shear sheep, and was the usual instigator of mud wars.  I’d never had nails in my life until I started hair dressing and I snorted every time I laughed.  And while I loved being a girl, and despite guy after guy confessing their undying ‘love’ for me throughout my teenage years, I had fallen for that lie…I wasn’t beautiful.

After holding my sweet baby girl’s little body against mine that morning she was born, I pep talked myself in the hospital.  I can raise a confident girl…heck I can even raise a girly girl.

Lettie

I love her soul – she is sweetness to the core.  She sings her way through the day, and will dance to every ad break on tv, every time I sing around the house, every song that plays…she will dance and dance.  I caught her one day dancing to an ad on tv, when her brother changed the channel halfway through, she turned around and pointed her finger at him, narrowed her piercing, blue eyes down and said, “You let me dance!” Haha…she gets so mad at him when he does that.  She’s so abandoned, so unashamed, so confident and bright.

And I think that one of our roles as parents to our little ones is to daily build them up.  And Dad’s with girls…you take the lead with this!  To speak into them the truth of who they really are, before the world tells them otherwise.  To not just verbally encourage them and build them, but show them their worth through our actions, and our time we give them.

But on top of this…model it to them in your own life.  Walk your own life in confidence.  Challenge yourself to know and believe your true beauty and uniqueness – just like you want your children to.  Model to them not just how to treat others, which is so important, but how also to treat YOURSELF.  There are so many aspects to this.  Model it in your marriage…how you and your spouse treat each other – this is so important!  Model it to them in your relationship with your friends and your family.

Model it in your relationship with yourself.

Place value on others, but don’t forget to place value on yourself.  Physically, mentally, emotionally….

They watch us, their eyes are ever present soaking in how we do things – the big and the little.  And from my little girl who is only three years old…I am so challenged to better myself, and believe in myself, and be a role model that she needs and will continue to need as she grows up.

Because we all want our girls to know, that despite what the world may tell them…the TRUTH is that they are beautiful, they are valuable, they are unique,

and they are E N O U G H…

Xx

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Loving Your Life When It’s a Mess

The last year and a half for us has presented truly challenging and unpleasant circumstances – which guys, happens to us all, am I right?  Like when I step back and take an overview of what our lives look like right now, I see smashed up Humpty Dumpty egg pieces fallen on the ground.

Relate?  Looks impossible doesn’t it.

And it’s really easy in those times to hate it (which actually, it’s OK to hate it) but I have never been one to be down about something and stay down about it, and I never want to be.  Because, what would you do if I said you can love it.  You can love the balls off your messy life and you can soar through your mess like a boss even when it hurts.

It’s possible…

How?

… BE THANKFUL …

And I have to say this is my favourite lesson I have learnt of all.

In the midst of a lot of hard, and let’s just say crappy stuff last year – when it actually felt like we had nothing,  I began to slowly look around me and at our lives and really, really realize what we have.  How blessed we are.  What amazing things we behold.  I could start listing them off and I can honestly say, it would be an enormously long list.  Yes, even when I wanted nothing more than to be removed from our goings on and set into a much nicer, lighter place, realizing what we have, and walking around every day, thanking God for all that we have, changed my perspective massively.  Like even when your girl’s third birthday cake was a pile of mashed banana with a candle in it…I learnt to celebrate HER LIFE without the extras (that do make it nice by the way) but I realized that there is something quite special about being stripped of everything and being left bare and raw, and simply left with what really matters… BE THANKFUL …

… BE VULNERABLE …

When your life is a bit of a mess, it’s really hard to speak up and authentically share with others.  But you were not meant to stand alone in anything, and having the strength and support of other’s loving arms around you, not just helps you get through, but helps you to keep a steady mind and a positive outlook.  And let’s not forget the all important shoulder to weep on and saturate with nose boogers…we all need that person.

… MAKE PLANS …

Everyone’s life messes look different and vary in time periods…of course!  But please don’t ever stop dreaming.  As long as there is breath in your lungs, you have a hope for your future.  I believe everyone has dreams, and while some may be crushed or completely destroyed by circumstances, it’s not the end.  Sometimes the end of one dream, is the beginning of another.  Yes, even if it wasn’t in your plan.  Life has a way of surprising us sometimes, and I am a massive believer in good things coming out of rotten situations.  Nothing is ever impossible.  So dream and make plans…because you cannot go anywhere if you’re not moving.

… LAUGH …

Ok, let’s not belittle the fact that when you’re a bit smashed, you may just need a big cry or yell or punch up session.  But it doesn’t help any to continually stay in that place.  It’s so important to laugh and not lose your humour amongst the mess.  Many do and it makes me sad.  It’s easy to not feel like laughing but when you do, it’s releasing and uplifting, and don’t get me started on the brilliant hormones it releases into your body and soul!

… PRAISE …

So this may not apply to us all, but I believe in God who is Love and bigger than any mess I face.  I was so challenged starting last year about praising God when I didn’t feel like it one bit.  Because sometimes it felt like He had forgotten all about us – and although I know He hadn’t, it felt like it, our situation felt like it, and sometimes feelings have a way of taking over and taking us on a trip to rock bottom.  I mean, we were there, but honestly, the one thing that helped us in a major way was praise.  Because God is good.  and He always is.  So every time I was disheartened, or frustrated, or completely distraught, I forced myself to praise God and it did amazing things.  Because suddenly my eyes were fixed on God – the one who holds my life and my future and who is bigger than anything I’m going through – and they were off my circumstances and crappy life mess.

Even though right now, things are still pretty messy, and we have some big decisions to make…I’m super glad that I default to these things now.  Ok, life, you look like a giant corn turd right now, but I’m ok with that, because I will learn, I will grow, I will move from strength to strength and I will rest in God who holds my future, even my tomorrow.  And that sits pretty well with me, because at the end of this…we’re not going to just be OK, we’re going to be victorious.

So can I please assure you that your life is not like Humpty Dumpty – who, poor egg – couldn’t be put back together when he fell.  Your life may feel broken and messy and fallen apart, but the truth of the matter, is that it absolutely is possible for your life to be healed and whole, even if right now, you’re smashed into pieces, scattered on the ground.  Your life and circumstances will be mended – because it’s not left up to the King’s horses and King’s men…it’s left up to the King Himself.

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