Some people spend their holidays drinking cocktails. I am envious. I would love to sit by a pool in the sun drinking Pina Coladas. It reminds me of our time in Fiji, a jug of Pina Colada, sun loungers, a two-year-old playing at our feet.
But this holidays it was not to be. This week I’ve spent my precious annual leave sanding, cleaning, stripping wallpaper, pulling staples out of the floor, and learning to wallpaper. This girls have been bored out of their minds, and have been fighting like crazy. The novelty of stripping wallpaper wore off after the first weekend.
But we are building a future for our children and ourselves. There are a lot of sacrifices we have to make, but it will all be worthwhile in a few months when the house is complete.
And at least I can say I have learned something new!
Because life will only change when you become more committed to your dreams than your comfort zone [Billy Cox].
This was my first ever attempt at wallpapering (“after” photos to come):
I am the first to dread Mondays in our house. I suffer horribly from the “Monday Blues”. But I’m done with it. It’s not helping me or anybody else, so I’m turning over a new leaf. Welcome to POSITIVE MONDAYS!
This week it’s back to work as normal. I’m slowly recovering from the flu, and my brain is almost functional again. I just got a pay rise (not sure if that is a good thing, or if it just adds to the handcuffs, but an interesting topic to explore later…). And, if all goes to plan, we may even buy a house this week!
I wish you all a fantastic week, with whatever it is you are doing. Remember:
“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love – then make that day count!“ Steve Maraboli
It’s Friday and it’s time to celebrate the weekend!! Unfortunately, I’m still doing Dry July so I won’t be seeing in the weekend with the traditional Friday night glass of wine (OK, the reality is it’s probably more like a bottle!)
I’ve been back at work this week after our beautiful holiday in Taupo. Here’s a little snapshot (proper blog to follow shortly):
Miss M and I exploring Taupo whilst Hubby and Miss T are off skiing without us…
I’ve also been a bit quiet on the blogging side. But truth be told, there is a reason for that!
It’s school holidays! Well, to be fair the girls have been on holiday for a week already, but have been at school holiday programme. NOW I am also on holiday for a week!
Bring on a week of sleep ins, lazy mornings sipping coffee in the sun, reading blogs. Movies with the kids. A trip to the skating rink. And a few days in Taupo. A touch of prawn fishing (I will have to explain that one more when we do it!). And Hubby may even take the girls skiing.
I have also set myself a few blog goals:
I’m writing a guest blog on ‘teaching your children the value of money’, I have timed this to get it done on my week off.
I want to get my ‘subscribe’ button working.
I’ll keep you all up to date with our holiday adventures 🙂
And of course there are a few boring jobs to do around the house. I’ve already cleaned the linen cupboard.
There were thirteen candles in our house this week. Officially a teenager in the house. A milestone duly celebrated with even more teenagers for a teenage sleepover!!
All whilst I’ve pledged not to touch a drop of alcohol for Dry July! Luckily for me, a compassionate mother has sponsored me a “Golden Pass” so I can commiserate the upcoming teenage years with a well-deserved glass of red wine.
So what are we in store for?
The metaphor of conquering Everest in the wrong shoes springs to mind [Rachel Halliwell on the terrible teens]
To me, the most surprising thing is how much my 13-year-old resembles her two-year-old self.
Like her two-year-old self, she is prone to tantrums because she cannot find the “right” shoes or the pants she wants to wear are in the wash (absolutely my fault, washing should be a same-day-service, oh, and I should be a mind reader and ensure that whatever has been dumped on the bathroom floor appears clean on the day she wants it!).
Canada is an absolutely stunning country. It has wide open spaces and turquoise blue lakes, surrounded by the snowy caps of the Rocky Mountains. There are hot springs and local breweries, poutine and bear jams. It is an ideal place to explore and grow as a family.
This itinerary covers the sights, history and culture of Vancouver, and gets you out into the Alps, exploring the lakes and away from the crowds.
I’ve signed up for Dry July! I have pledged not to touch a drop of alcohol for the month of July, and I’ve signed up for the Dry July fundraiser to raise funds for people affected by cancer.
Not only am I looking forward to the health benefits of not drinking for a month, but I’ve also lost too many people I love to the hideous illness.
I was 18 when my father rolled his truck on his way home from work. The first few cars drove past him, thinking he was a drunk driver. But the truth was, he had suffered a stroke. He was flown in the rescue helicopter to Auckland where emergency surgery kept him alive. We arrived in the early hours of the morning, baby brothers in tow, to find out the cause of the stroke was a brain tumour the size of a golf ball. Dad was given two months to live. Three days later my youngest brother turned five.
A brave little girl who fought a battle beyond her years. Who had her 9th birthday party early, who never made it to 9.
As I tuck you into bed, as I kiss your forehead, I think of your friend who has just lost her little sister. Your friend, who at 12 years old, now has to face life without her best friend, her snuggle bunny.
Your friend who has to bury her little sister in the next few days.
I think about when the funeral is over, and everyone has gone home. I think about your friend, and that she will have to get up in the morning. That she will sit down for breakfast, at the family table, with an empty chair. That she is going to have to go to school. And come home. Alone. And that for everybody else, life will go on. But for her, life as she knows it has just stopped. Life will never be the same again.
Miss T, I ask you to be there for your friend. Your friend that you may find sitting on the floor of the library, head in hands, crying. I ask you not to expect her to move on. Just sit. Listen. Be there.
Miss T, I ask you to never wish your sister wasn’t born. I ask that you never hate her or wish her away. I ask you to love her and cherish her.
And Miss T, my daughter. I love you. I am so proud of you for being who you are. For being a leader, and a competitor. For being so stubborn and argumentative – for being so strong. The world needs you to stay strong.
This exercise in gratefulness helps me to concentrate on what is good in our lives. Giving thanks can make you happier and more resilient, it can strengthen relationships and reduce stress. This Gratefulness Family Challenge does that simply:
Every night at bedtime we each say three things we are grateful for that day.
I love the idea of incorporating gratefulness into our everyday routine – of practising gratefulness every day with our children.
Focusing on what we are grateful for also helps us on our path to minimalism, to get rid of the clutter and to concentrate on what is important to us.
Jasper National Park is your destination if you are looking to do a bit of bear spotting. It was by far the best spot to see bears – and we are comparing it with Banff National Park, Yellowstone, Yosemite and many more.
The scenery in Jasper is stunning, its surrounded by the peaks of the Rocky Mountains and at almost every turn there are vistas of blue lakes or rushing rivers, and not to mention the meandering wildlife. Of all the places we visited on this trip, Jasper National Park was my favourite. It is a pity so many visitors go north as far as Banff, or Lake Louise, and miss out on Jasper, and the Icefields Parkway.
Jasper and the Icefield Parkway absolutely blew me away. If you want to talk about a place where your soul feels at ease, where you feel at home, and at peace, Jasper is your destination. The Icefields Parkway is your journey.
I’ve included our favourites from Jasper in this blog, and will follow it with a blog about the Icefields Parkway.