Wednesday, March 30, 2011

sacred places...sacred spaces


Do you have places or times in your life that are sacred to you???

I am talking about those moments that you treasure, hold dear and make your heart sing. 

Places or spaces where you want to drop everything, that make you want to rush to them, knowing that you will find happiness, peace and comfort there. It does not have to be associated with religious acts or buildings, it can be associated with everyday places or spaces that you regard with great respect and reverence.

Before joining a church the word sacred held no meaning to me. I certainly did not know how to treat something as sacred or how to show respect towards experiences or places.

Generally the word sacred means:

Connected with God (or the gods) or dedicated to a religious purpose and so deserving veneration

If you are not religious finding sacred moments in life can still apply. As I have pondered over what is sacred to me I have been surprised by how many sacred moments and places I do have in my life. I have become aware that I now love to seek out sacred experiences, to help create them and to believe in them.

Some sacred places or spaces to me are:
Dinner time at our dinner table
Late night pillow talk with my husband
Family prayers in our lounge room
Family group hugs
Where I kneel to pray each day
At my computer desk where I feel inspired to write
My blog where I share feelings of my heart
My home where precious moments happen
My car {bus} where we talk about things that matter most
In the bathroom where I chat to my kids whilst washing their hair
My lap where my cherubs snuggle and cuddle with me
In the arms of my husband where I feel comforted and secure
In my mind where I let my thoughts run free

The older I get the more I desire sacred places and spaces. I seek for moments to treasure and to make my heart sing. My days feel like they are getting shorter, my kids are getting older and I want to hold sacred all the years we have together.


p.s ~ if you love Disney, enter my Bambi DVD Value Pack giveaway here.

Monday, March 28, 2011

me as I am


I caught a look at myself in the mirror the other day, it stopped me in my tracks.
I recognised the person I saw but I also was surprised at who I was looking at.

I have changed in many ways over the years since I have had children.
I still look the same, but I also look very different.

I have grown in more ways than one:

my ability to juggle more than one task
my ability to cook for greater numbers
my ability to clean faster and more efficiently
my ability to carry on more than one conversation at once
my ability to drive a car whilst listening to fighting and screaming
my ability to manage a household
my ability to remain patient under difficult circumstances
my ability to discipline more than one child at once

have all been great skills to learn.

They also have come at a cost:

I look plainer
I feel tireder
I am more overweight
I am out of touch with fashion
I am ordinary to look at
I spend my time at home
I am homely
I have bags under my eyes
I often speak with a slur from tiredness
I spend less time on myself

As I looked in the mirror I realised that I would not trade any of these things because I now:

love who I am
have more love in my heart
am living my dream
find joy in my children
cherish my husband
know where I am going with my life
know what I want from life
am feeling happiness
feel beautiful
feel free
and want to be me.

I looked at myself and decided to just take me as I am.
This is who I am.

It is who I want to be.

This is number 16 in my happiness list.

p.s: congratulations to Em from Inspired coincidences you are the winner of the 5 Spiritual Solutions Book Giveaway - enjoy and watch out for your email from me. x

Saturday, March 26, 2011

mummy bloggers are talented women

I am a mummy blogger and proud of it. I love to write about motherhood.
I am passionate about it and love connecting with other women and mother's through blogs.

I had been eagerly awaiting the day I could jump on a plane to Sydney to attend the Aussie Bloggers Conference. It was exciting as this is Australia's first Blogging Conference, but for me it was about so much more than that.

It is a really amazing feeling being in a room full of talented women.
Women who you admire, respect and have been looking forward to meeting.


For me it was about:

1. Attending a special event, having some time out and giving me something to look forward to in my calendar. About being involved, connecting and helping. I was able to help hand out all of the swag bags for the conference which the awesome Tina and her family put together and in this way was able to meet nearly every single blogger that walked through the doors. I think a few escaped my eyes but I made sure I said hello to everyone that arrived and even managed to fit several hugs in too!

2. Sealing relationships and friendships. Finally being able to meet Michelle and to share a room with her. I have to say she is just adorable! We got to have the chance to laugh over our not so wonderful attempt at losing our Blogger Butts and to sigh a lot in our rooms because even though we were having a break we were still so tired!

3. and 4. Being able to meet bloggers in person, it is a special treat. It is kind of weird in a way because you know them but you don't really know them - if that makes sense? Meeting Liz who is super cool and looks great in her shades and Janelle who was so lovely and patient finding me in the Sydney airport. Lesson learned: twitter is not a good way to find people in the Sydney airport - actual phone numbers are!

5. Talking blogging and having people understand what you are saying in wonderful. Meeting Katrina the super organised housewife was a highlight, who is so sweet and kind. Michelle and I seriously wanted her to come and organise our room for us but we let her off as we all had a tight schedule to stick to! It was lovely to talk with women who have different blog plans and ideas and to share ideas, tips and hear success stories.

6. Being encouraged to blog for you and to say thank you to those who have supported you. I loved being encouraged to follow my own vision and be bold and brave. Catching up with Tina who has helped me out so much with my blogging journey and always been supportive and kind in her comments to me was a treat. She is just lovely and has the most gorgeous smile. I also loved being able to meet women who have been with us on our Blogger Butt journey.
Michelle and I were really blessed to have a great view from our room. In the short time we spent there we were able to just relax, in peace and quiet and to enjoy the view. We were also able to nibble on some swag bag treats and thank YOU Lindt for adding some treats to our bags.

Now these are really bad pictures but I was so busy and having too much fun that I did not even bring my camera and just used my phone to take some snaps.


One of my favourite parts of the conference was the spontaneous photo sessions that happened all of the time. It was great to see groups crowd together to smile and have fun.

1. I loved being able to squash into pictures with people such as Dorothy and Kelly. I was so happy to meet Dorothy who has been a great supporter of my blog and Kelly who is of course the fun mum you want to meet!
2. I was delighted to meet Annie who is like my twitter hero and was so happy to discover that she is more wonderful in person than I already imagined.
3. Loved meeting Christie and having some brief chats about children and headbands.
4. Loved laughing with Tina and really enjoyed her company.
5. Finally being able to meet, Jodie and her telephone dance on the dance floor will always be in my memory!
6. Finally, finally being able to meet SuperCate who I have to say is so super fit, super fun, super slim, super gorgeous and more super wonderful in real life than I could have imagined!
7. Oh! my - what a treat for me to meet Kirrilly - I almost burst into tears when I met her....she is just awesome and I wanted to bring her home so that she could live next door to me, finding out who Where's My Glow is....and Lucy...what a woman! friendly, charming, fun and looks sensational.

I loved how it is one of the few times in my life that it is acceptable to have a conversation whilst being on your laptop, your phone, twitter and facebook all at the same time and no one is offended!

I enjoyed the reminder to blog for you, to not worry about what anyone else thinks. That you can set goals for your blog and achieve them if you want. That it is important to understand your readers, to care about your community and to be confident in what you have to offer.

There were so many talented women that I really enjoyed meeting. Women who craft, women who are photographers, some women who are not mothers and are excellent speakers and writers, women who were there for the desire to learn and to share their hearts and thoughts.

Of course with all of the wonderful fun and learning I had, coming home to my family was great. I walked in the door to have 8. Liahona ready to serve me dinner and 9. a lovely candle lit dinner that the whole family had worked hard to put together. I live a blessed life.

My favourite picture from the whole conference is here:
It is a picture of Zoey from Good goog (who is about to have a baby!) and I taken by the awesome Tiff from My three ring circus. Just love it - thanks Tiff!

The only thing that I did not enjoy about the Bloggers Conference was the swearing. I do not swear and really do not like hearing it. For me it is one thing to skip over it on blogs that I read but it is another thing to hear the F word repeated, loudly over and over in a blog reading. I understand it is their choice to say and write whatever they want and I totally respect their decision to share it. I just don't like to hear it and think it is necessary.

p.s - I am off to my own Women's conference today and have not had the time to add all the links to the names. I will catch up with that tomorrow - so sorry everyone - they will be added!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

gently

Today for Mother heart I am taking back my blog. I have had a lot of company sponsors on my blog recently and have been missing the opportunity to write about motherhood the way that I want and like to do. I still have a few more in the works I am finishing off and am trying not to take on too many more. So today I have a blog post that comes from my heart. It is how I am feeling right now and I thought that maybe, just maybe someone else might be feeling the same way. I will go back to doing the Mother heart guest posts next week.
As a mother I like to help my family move forward, to progress and to develop.
Often I am so focused on helping them that I forget about myself.

When this happens I personally get stuck in a rut. I stop moving forward and I get depressed.

This is because of the way I think. My internal thoughts and beliefs.
I let them stop ME from progressing and from being happy.

It can be as simple as:

you are not good enough
you are not patient enough
you lost your temper again
you can't get the kids to listen to you
you can't meet all the kids needs
you can't hold yourself together
you are not kind
you are not loving
you are being selfish
you are a not strong enough
you are not important
you not worth making time for

These are UNREALISTIC thoughts.
They lead to DEPRESSING feelings of NO SELF WORTH!

We are not expected to be perfect in our mothering.
Just doing the best we can.

For me, when my cherubs were young, I would set ONE goal to achieve each day.
If I could achieve that ONE goal, I knew I would feel great for the whole day.

It was something I could cling to, refer to, and give me a boost during the day.
It helped to improve my SELF talk and in turn the way I talked to my children.

MY SECRET: For my goal I would make it something I KNEW I could achieve.

EXAMPLE: to get dressed, to have breakfast, to have a shower or to clean my teeth.

Crazy, I know! but...you should TRY it - it really works. I would jump up in the air, punch the sky and yell out with great excitement - Woo Hoo! I achieved my goal for the day! I cleaned my teeth!!!

Back then, it was BIG for me. It was what I NEEDED.
Now, I can set bigger goals, harder goals and challenge myself more.

As my children have grown my thoughts have improved and my expectation has lessened.
I can now set a goal to shower, get dressed, brush my teeth, eat breakfast and even do the dishes!

I believe as women and as Mother's we forget to be kind and gentle to ourselves.
We generally save this type of special behaviour for others, feeling that we do not deserve it.
We do deserve it, we are worth it and we NEED to show it to ourselves.

Being gentle is to be considerate, tender and kindly towards ourselves.
As we take life a little more gently, a little more slowly, we will be able to see improvements and be surprised to notice that we are moving forward, we are progressing and we are finding happiness.

Today I hope you can think of something you could do just for YOU and then find the time DO IT!
If you cannot think of anything: gently, lovingly wrap your arms around yourself and remind yourself you are doing an awesome job....because YOU are!


Remember * Kindness Begins With Me
This is also number 14 in my happiness list.




Tuesday, March 15, 2011

a stay at home mum


I am a stay at home mum. I have been for 12 years now. I have days where I love it and days where it drives me insane. It was an easy decision for me to make to stay at home. It was something I always wanted to do. It was not easy learning to rely on one small income or finding ways to fill up my time.

I have gone through stages where I have spent months in my home, rarely leaving or visiting with others. I have also had stages where I have been involved in many different activities and groups and felt like I have rarely been at home. No matter what stage I have been in, I have always loved spending time with my cherubs and loved that I could be there for them when they needed me.

I know not everyone has this opportunity or even wants to be at home but I am interested. For those of you who are mothers:

What stage are you at in your life?
Are you a stay at home mum that actually stays at home most days? OR
Are you out most days busy and involved and connecting with others?

Monday, March 7, 2011

motherhood: opening new doors

As a young mother I had some high ideals.

My kids were not going to be snotty nosed, disney character loving, eat off the floor kids. They were going to have excellent manners, use tissues at all times, look respecatable at all times and turn their noses up at any food items that hit the deck.

Oh! how times have changed in my house.

Having spent the past nine years with three or four children at home I have gone through stages where I wore snotty snail tracks on my clothes for years in a row and even resorted to using clothing to wipe kids noses. Mine or theirs. I was really shocked to find myself yelling at the kids one day for not wiping their nose with the t-shirt they were wearing. What type of mother had I become?

I was very different to what I expected I was going to be like and did not know that during this time survival of each day was going to be so much more important than what I or my children looked like during the day.

During this time I also found myself almost begging them to love a disney character so I could buy them a quick fix to keep them quiet some days. I wanted them to have a favourite character so that I had at least one fall back plan to bring me some peace of mind in those stressful moments that come with many cherubs at home.

To lower the standards even more I even found myself encouraging my kids to quickly grab food off the floor, to save me more time and even justified my actions to my kids. So many times a plate has dropped on the floor and I have been so run off my feet helping kids with dinner that I have scrapped it back into the bowl, served it up to the poor cherub whose meal it was and carried on.

I have had many doors open in my motherhood journey and many doors close. I have changed my mind about what works for me and what works for my children. I have briefly opened some doors I never thought I would to help me survive motherhood and closed them as quickly as I could when I felt strong enough to continue being the kind of mother I wanted to be.

We each face challenges and trials that sometimes divert us from the motherhood path that we wish and want to take and opening a new door to help us survive this time is alright and even necessary as we try to be the best mothers we can.

What about you ~ what have you changed your mind about in your journey?
What new doors have you had to open?


p.s - you can download this door image for free here.
p.p.s - my kids now use tissues, they mostly look respectable and we no longer eat off the floor!
p.p.s.s - we love Disney!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

kids and music lyrics

Yesterday, I wrote about being brave and jumping.
So today I am going to take a new jump and share with you a concern I have.

I have a bee in my bonnet about music lyrics today.
I feel they are getting bolder and ruder.

Let's not talk about music video's but stick to lyrics for now.
As I can sure go on about music video's too.

I have a daughter who wants me to buy a certain song.
Grenade by Bruno Mars.

You may have heard of it and even love it.
I like the beat but I have a real problem with the lyrics.

Example here:
I’d catch a grenade for ya
Throw my hand on a blade for ya
I’d jump in front of a train for ya 
You know I'd do anything for ya 


I would go through all this pain,
Take a bullet straight through my brain,
Yes, I would die for ya baby;
But you won't do the same



Black, black, black and blue beat me till I'm numb
Tell the devil I said “hey” when you get back to where you're from
Mad woman, bad woman,
That's just what you are, yeah.



I have a real problem with the messages that this song sends.
To me it sends a message in a subtle way that if a relationship does not work out that it is alright to cut yourself with a blade, jump in front of a train, take a bullet to your brain and kill yourself.

That if you don't feel the same way towards someone that you are bad and mad.
That if someone does not like you, you should beat yourself up about it. Literally.

What happened to dating and spending time meeting new people.
What happened to being confident in knowing what you want.
What happened to learning the type of person you are looking for and moving on if you know the relationship is not right.

Where is the encouragement towards youth today be happy and to emotionally free yourself from the pressure that is already surrounding them to be what everyone else wants them to be.

I know these type of songs I am talking about don't sell as well in the music game, but as a mother I feel it is my role to protect my children from such messages. I constantly check the lyrics of songs before we purchase them and often discuss the messages that can come across in lyrics. I also know a child's mind does not think the same as an adult's mind and they just don't look as deeply into issues as we do.

For me, I worry about them constantly singing those words, those lyrics that are depressing and those messages that are demoralising. Surely, it has to affect them in some way and will influence them in the choices they will make in the future.

So what do you think? Are you worried about music lyrics or do you feel a different way?