Wednesday 29 August 2012

12WBT Finale.....

So I have finished my Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation. 

Is my body now transformed? I am now some amazing size 8 goddess transformed and ready to rule the world, long blonde hair blowing in the breeze? Did it give me a virtual face lift? Instantly change my body from flab to fab???

No, sadly it did not........

But.....I did lose 9kg in the 12 weeks, 45cms off my body, dropped almost 2 whole dress sizes.....

I lost 9kg? Well no, I didn't lose it, that suggests I may one day want to find it again! That it is just misplaced waiting to be found....I permanently erased 9kg from myself that I NEVER want to see again!!!!

For me, its what I learnt, about healthy living, about portion control, about exercise, about me, that is the most valuable. The mind set lessons have been incredibly amazing! Learning about how I sabotage myself (see previous post Dear Self Saboteur), about how I make one mistake and throw it all away, fall off the wagon and watch it rolling away & think, nah, too hard to catch back up now, so I just let it roll away! About the importance of dealing with the WHY as well as the practicals of how.

I have discovered a love of exercise that even I was surprised about. I have done the gym thing before, but did because I had to, not because I enjoyed it...but walking, I love. Basketball, I love and now miss....I am actually looking forward to starting bootcamp at ungodly 7am on a Saturday of all days...I am starting the Couch to 5k's learn to run program.

My Iphone has suddenly become my best friend. It is no longer "just a phone". It tracks my calories (My Fitness pal), it tells me how far I have walked and how fast (Map My Walk), It gives me a plan to learn to run and walks me through it (C25K). It gives me music to keep me entertained & even a camera to take inspirational pictures when I walk!!!

So it wasn't an instant fix, but it WAS the beginning of a life long journey. One I no longer dread, but instead look forward to. It will be full of challenges, hard times, as well as successes, but it will be healthy and it will be FUN!!!!

Monday 27 August 2012

our journey so far.....

So we are getting married in just under 10 weeks...not long now....66 days.....

So I thought I would reminiscence on how I met Shane, how our relationship grew and how we got where we are today.....

When I moved to Coffs Harbour in 2007, to me it was the chance for a new start in life. I had lost my Mum, my rock, my best friend and it had left me shaken and unsure. I had had my share of relationships, mostly dodgy, so I saw Coffs as a new beginning. 

For the first nearly 2 years I was busy...I worked full time and was raising Maddi. It turned out that making friends, meeting people, getting out there, especially in Coffs, was HARD! It was harder than on the Central Coast, where I grew up, because I already knew people there to socialise with.

So I decided to give a dating website a go, namely RSVP. I had done this before, and met a nice guy who I dated for about 6 months. I also knew that it involved weeding out the "less than desirables" to find someone special. 

I met up with a few guys, but there was nothing serious, nothing where there was that SPARK. I had decided to cancel my membership to the website. I decided I wasn't meant to find a decent guy, to find my soul mate. I was okay with it. I had made my peace with being single, and I was happy. Happy to raise Maddi by myself, to throw myself into raising her, looking after my Dad and working for a company I loved.

Then, before cancelling, I decided to check the profiles one last time. His profile jumped out at me straight away. He certainly wasn't the type of guy I normally looked at. Sorry honey, but your profile picture was, um, well, more than a little dorky! I sent him a "kiss" which was a way to say, "i'd like to get to know you" He replied with an email, and we started to chat.

I was hesitant. I was happy being on my own, and I could tell he was someone special, and I was scared all of a sudden. Commitment has secretly always scared me for some reason. So, for 2 months we just emailed each other, chatting almost daily. Then it moved to texts. We worked out we worked with a 2 min walking distance from each other, but still I made excuses not to meet face to face. Then, all of a sudden, I caved. We arranged to meet for a coffee at the Coffee Club on August 5 2009.

As soon as we said hello, I knew. I knew he was someone I could easily love forever. Thankfully he felt the same way. I was still very resistant for almost a year I tried to keep it to being just friends. It started getting serious, I broke up with him.

Shane is the most amazing, patient, gentle, caring and loving person. He backed off, but insisted we still be friends, still chat. He came to my birthday party in Jan 2010 and suddenly, plied with a large amount of alcohol I couldn't understand what my problem was....Why was I resisting this amazing guy who clearly WANTED to be with me, was happy to wait while i sorted myself out. Suddenly it was VERY clear I wanted to be with him.

We went away for his birthday that July, then he started spending the weekends at my place, then in August he moved in. The day after he moved in, we found out we were expecting our first baby together. 

I was in heaven, and have been there ever since!! Yes, we go through hard times. I have depression and anxiety, it makes for a sometimes stressful household. But having Shane by my side, a patient, loving man, I feel safe, I feel happy, I feel secure.

We welcomed Molly into our world in April 2011 and in September 2011 we went away for our first family holiday. The first week was spent enjoying time with amazing friends, the second week it was just our little family. Sitting there, our last night, the girls tucked up into bed, at the end of an amazing holiday, just relaxing in each others company.....Shane looked at me and asked me, unexpectedly, "Will you marry me?" Yes, of course....and I cried. I was so so happy!

Since then, the journey has been quick! We have been planning our wedding, raising our girls, getting on with life and its busy, its stressful, its exhausting, its joyous, its happy, its family, its life.

I love it, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Saturday 25 August 2012

I'm CRAZY!!! here is the proof!!

Ever had a phobia? Like a full on uncontrollable fear? I do!

If you look up phobia in the dictionary it will tell you it means:

"A persistent, abnormal and irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid it despite the awareness and reassurance that it is not dangerous"

The word that stands out in all that is IRRATIONAL. My phobia is irrational and completely extreme. In fact, its hard for me to so much as type the word that it is!

I am afraid of.........Spiders......

*Does icky girly spider dance for 10 mins*

A lot of people are afraid of spiders I hear you say, so why is my phobia so special? Well, its not the phobia, but the extremity of it.

For example, I cannot and will not kill a spider, because that would mean going somewhere near it! 

If I see a fake spider, even knowing it is fake, I cannot go near it or touch.
Not extreme enough?????

If I am reading a magazine and there is a picture of a spider in it, I will put the magazine down (throw it away wildly) and not read anymore.

Still not enough????

The other day a friend posted a picture of a spider on facebook and I almost dropped my phone. Only a survival instinct stopped that reaction ( I CANNOT live without my phone!) But, for the next hour or so, every time I picked up the phone I had the creepy spider feel in me & had to check that there were no spiders in the various plug in holes on my phone....

*Does icky girly spider dance again*

See, certifiably C.R.A.Z.Y!!!

Friday 24 August 2012

We're going to the chapel.....

Well....we are 10 weeks out from the BIG day! 

  • The wedding party is organised (minus 1 groomsman....& I am not letting that stress me!!)

  • The invitations have gone out....(and if everyone comes we won't have enough room to feed them all.....& I am not letting that stress me)

  • The outfits have been purchased (unless you are a groomsmen....& I am not letting that stress me!!!)

  • Venues, flowers, photographer, videographer, cake, hair and makeup, transport.....all organised (as far as I am aware.....& I am not letting the uncertainty stress me!!)

My sources of information have been a little different to what I expected. I bought a couple of magazines, flipped through them, entered some competitions, then threw them out...they had neither the information nor the inspiration I was looking for.

  • Facebook has been a great source of information. 

  • Pinterest....ah, Pinterest....where a girls dream becomes an image on the screen, a virtual pinboard.....which I then print and take to various suppliers and expect exactly the same results! Its great to have a visual aid when planning a wedding, that way there is no misunderstanding (thanks to my somewhat vague English at times, this is a good precaution!)

  • Websites, endless how to organise your wedding on a budget websites, with images, information, tips.....

  • Blogs, also a surprisingly good source of information. Blogs have given me ideas, tips I never thought of, such as making sure there are people actually organised to do all the little "no body thought of it & now its not done" type jobs...

Really it makes sense that I would plan and organise my wedding online. I am a girl of the now, all modern and up to date like..... (bah ha ha!!)

  • I met my lovely fiance on RSVP.

  • My bridal shower is being held online, through Facebook so I can include my friends both in real life and online, because they are all special to me.

  • I plan all my details via email and Facebook messaging.

  • I booked our honeymoon and all the fun stuff that goes with that online.

All that's missing really is Shane and I getting married via Skype. Not being actually together at the same place, but simply saying "I do" via video chat. Me walking down the aisle using a virtual person robot. But, really, some things are still much much better in person! How would we do the "you may now kiss the bride"?? Would Shane be kissing the monitor?!!!

So now, all thats left is the finer details. The ceremony, readings, who will read what, music, gifts, who will organise what on the day.....

Vows. Mine are written, (fiance's are not, as far as I am aware....& I am not letting that stress me!!)

I am booking in for facials, massages, manicures and pedicures, organising hens nights (minus my bridesmaids scattered over various parts of the country....& I am not letting that stress me!!) I figure if I plan the nice stuff for the 2 days leading up to the BIG day, I will relax and enjoy it. Who I am kidding?!! I am the biggest stress head known to man...but you cant blame a girl for trying!!  (hence the "I am not letting that stress me" mantra!!)

We still have a couple of surprises in store for our guests...but shhhh, not giving away of secrets now!!!

So the countdown is on......if you could do one thing for us....pray, send positive vibes, good karma, whatever it is you do, that our day will go smoothly and that we & our friends & family, have an enjoyable day (and if they don't.....I will not let that stress me!!!)

Tuesday 14 August 2012


When I was a single parent with Maddi, people used to always say to me "Oh, it must be so hard being a single parent. Having to do everything yourself".

My standard response was always "Oh, its no different than having a partner who works long hours or has to travel long distances"

I have now done parenting from scratch both a partnership and on my own. Truth be told, and the is just MY opinion.....

Being a single parent is easier.

Sounds bizarre, doesn't it. For me though, single parenting meant no other parent involved, at all - No interest, no visitations, no child support. It was literally just me and Maddi.

So, like a good essay writer, let me give you some examples, why this is so, IN MY OPINION/EXPERIENCE.

Firstly, the most obvious one for me. It was my way, my decisions. I didn't have to consult, discuss or compromise on the way I wanted to raise my child. What I wanted was what happened. Well, when Maddi let me have it my way anyhow! Often what I thought was right, what would work, was in fact the wrong thing. Then, that leads into the next mistakes were mine alone to deal with. No guilt over, "crap, now Ive done it"....Its going to take a week to break this habit, change this behaviour.....When there is 2 parents, if I make a mistake, it affects both of us.

Then there is the little, not necessarily good parenting, but reality none the less, things....

If I yelled at Maddi, there was no one around to make me feel bad for doing the wrong thing. If I was frustrated with her, I could put her in her cot and let her cry it out for 5 or 10 mins. I knew it wasn't going to hurt her, and in fact, in a lot of ways, I think it helped her as well as me. 

If she was having a bad night, she could sleep with me. In fact, she did sleep with me, virtually every night until she was well into school. It made her feel safe and secure, and if she was having a bad night, had a nightmare, was sick or just needed me, I was right there. No having to get up and down all night. 9 times out of 10, a cuddle with Mum was all she needed. If she cried all night, it was only me that she would bother, stress out and keep awake. The next day, I would just doze on the couch while she played in the lounge room.

I could still live my life and work at raising my child around my own needs/wants. Sounds selfish, doesn't it? It is. Sometimes I need time out, a break, to just pack up and go away for a few days. I used to do this all the time when it was just me and Maddi. I did work casually, and it fitted in well with my life. If my house was a mess for weeks on end, it didn't matter. It was just me & maddi. I would eventually send her to mums for the day and tackle it all in one go. Being only 2 of us, it was easy to keep on top of.

There are so many ways in which parenting, for me, was easier on my own....

Now there is not only Maddi & i to think about. There is Shane, and Molly and my Dad. What worked when it was just Maddi & I no longer does. My Dad cannot handle tough parenting, as in letting Molly cry, or me leaving her in her cot crying when I am stressed & need a time out. Shane usually can't leave her either. And when there are others in the house, neither can I. I wonder what they are thinking of me as a mother, I hate the idea that they would think I am a failure. I hate the feeling of being judged, whether I am or not, thats how I feel.

Parenting is tough. Sharing the responsibility makes it easier and harder. There are times when, if I didn't have Shane, I doubt I would have made it as Molly's Mum. She is one tough cookie. 

Mind you, having said all of the above.....

Having someone to hold me, comfort me, tell me & remind me I am a good mum helps, a lot. Being able to go "she's your daughter, you deal with it" is great too!! Having someone to discuss the things & issues you aren't sure of helps. 

Having someone to share the tough times with is great. Being able to share the load, the stress, the emotions. Having someone else feeling the same frustrations, upset, distress that you are, helps. 

Having someone to share the joys with is amazing! First words, milestones, first steps....all those things are amazing when shared with someone you love. Family outings to the park, church, the beach, out to lunch, the footy, are better as a family. The joy, the enjoyment, the memorable moments increases dramatically! Having someone share in the girls successes, including Maddi's, feeling that same pride, that same pure joy, is something that I wouldn't trade for the world!

Having someone to share the housework load is necessary when your family suddenly grows from 2 to 4 in the space of a few months!

What I am saying, I guess, is that for me, being a single parent was easy, sharing the responsibility is hard....but you know what? 

I wouldn't have it any other way!!!!

Thursday 9 August 2012

A new addition.....

So, because my life wasn't crazy hectic enough already, our family has a new member....

A beautiful 8 week old Australian Kelpie pup named Jasper.

He is so cute, and funny, and frustrating.

Adding this new pup to our house has, in many ways, been like adding a new baby, like the girls suddenly have a new sibling rather than a new pet. Suddenly I'm spending a LOT of time saying phrases such as: 

                                          "Jasper, no! Don't eat that toy"
"Molly, put that down! That is Jaspers toy!"
"Jasper! Don't bite Molly!"
"Molly! Don't pick Jasper up by the head!"
"Maddi, don't tease Jasper!"

or the classic

"don't make me come over there!"

The fun really starts though, when, after a LONG day the phrases start mixing, the tone starts blending and suddenly its:

"Molly! Come!"
"Maddi! Drop it!"
"Molly! Sit!"
  "Jasper....come here sweetie"

And suddenly you aren't even sure anymore if its the dog or the child you are even talking to!

Even more fun, was yesterdays outing to pick up Maddi from school. She desperately wanted us to bring Jasper in so she could show him off. Now, for those of you that don't know, Molly has her "duckie". It's a backpack in the shape of a duck, that has a lead (for lack of a better term!) attached. It means that she can wander around with us without the risk of running in front of a car, or disappearing at the shops. Molly loves her "duckie" because, to her it means freedom! 

So, there we are. Molly walking with duckie with Daddy...Jasper running around on his lead with me....I can only imagine what people were thinking!!

And suddenly night time is harder. The first night was good! Both Molly and Jasper slept well. This is a rarity for Molly, so it was extra special! Last night, not so great...Molly ended up in bed with me, and by early morning, Jasper was in the spare room bed with Shane....neither of us really got any sleep, but the babies slept well!

Next week our littlest family member will also be going to "school". So we have Maddi at Primary school, Molly at preschool & Jasper at Puppy school! Funny thing is, Jasper will graduate first!!!

So come spring we will be house training a puppy and toilet training a toddler...I'm wondering, if in a sleep deprived daze, how many times we will try to sit Jasper on the potty and take Maddi outside to "do her business"

But, having Jasper in our house has very much filled a void. We said goodbye to a precious family member a month ago, Kallie. She was 12 years old, and the best friend of every member of this family. She was family. It was a heartbreaking decision to say goodbye, but she was sick, losing control of her bodily functions and had arthritis in both her back legs. Suddenly there is a bit more life. Suddenly my Dad's face is a little brighter. I feel better knowing we aren't leaving Dad home "alone" when we all go out. Sounds weird, but it is a comfort that Jasper is here. Watching him play with Maddi and with Molly is heartwarming entertainment this family can only grow from. It brings us closer, makes us spend more time outside, together. 

What I do know for sure is, there will be lots of hard times, and LOADS of fun times and LOADS of laughs along the way, and I am happy to go through them all with my full, happy, healthy, family :)

Thursday 2 August 2012

The 3 fold struggle.....

At church last Sunday we talked about people as 3 fold. There is the Body, Soul & Spirit. As a Christian we also believe in a 3 fold God, the Father, Son & Holy Spirit. 

On thinking about this, I realised this can be applied to so many aspects of my life its amazing.

At the moment I have a 3 fold struggle.....Mother, Partner and Worker.

Now, I am not saying this is unusual. In fact I would think a LOT of women have to deal with this struggle on a daily basis. 

I LOVE being a Mum. It is by far the best, hardest, and most rewarding job in the world. I love my 2 girls, they light up my life, drive me insane and make my heart burst with pride! Each little achievement they make is like a building block in my heart, warmth to my soul. Each little disappointment is like a knife in my heart as it breaks for them. Being a Mum to these 2 beautiful girls is much a part of who I am that when I am apart from them, when it is not technically my responsibility to be looking after them, I feel a little lost, like I'm missing an essential part of my makeup. When Maddi is at school, or off with friends, or away with Scouts, even though technically she is not under my care, I am still wondering if she is ok, worrying about her, thinking about her. When Molly is at daycare or home with daddy while I am working, or off with Gran and Pa for the weekend, I am still ALWAYS thinking about her, worrying about her, wondering if she is ok. 

The mothering bond is so strong that I can tell when something is not right with my girls, even when they aren't with me. When Maddi was 2, she ran out into the middle of a busy main road while in the care of a friend. I was at work and KNEW something wasn't right. She was fine of course, but I still knew in my heart she was in danger. That is how much being a Mum is a part of my make up of who I am.

The next role I have is Partner. I love Shane with all my heart, so completely it is hard to believe we have only known each other 3 years. I just don't understand how that is possible! How can it be that having Shane in my life makes me feel whole? When I was single, before I met him, I didn't know what it was like to love someone like this, so I thought my life was complete. Now I KNOW it is. I LOVE being his partner. Making him smile, loving him, being proud of him, lifting him up to feel good about himself. When someone crosses him, upsets him, I want to protect him, make it better for him. 

These 2 roles, these 2 parts of my 3 fold struggle are what makes life worth living. I love to provide for them, care for them and most importantly love them. I see, as part of my responsibilities in these 2 roles looking after the house, keeping it clean, cooking for them, being here when they need me the most. Which is what makes my third role so hard.

I enjoy my job. Most of the time. It is rewarding. It makes me feel good about myself when I do a good job, when I go above and beyond for a customer AND they appreciate it. I feel like I am contributing to the company I work for. I like that working helps me provide for my family financially. It helps me to feel productive. 

So why is this a struggle??? 

It sounds like you like all the aspects that make up your life!

It is a struggle because I feel that first and foremost, the most important role in my life is MOTHER & PARTNER. These are my focus. These are the parts of my life I LOVE completely.These are what I was born to do. Work gets in the way. Leaving my work problems at work is hard. Finding time to do all the things that make me a Mother and Partner is hard because I'm spending valuable time at Work. The struggle comes from the juggling act that is being a working Mum.


And that's just the logistics of it the struggle, the physical part, the time management part.

The real in depth struggle comes from within. The internal struggle that makes it SO hard everyday to go to work when every fibre of my being wants to stay home and look after and provide for the well being of my family. It is a constant struggle. I find myself feeling guilty for going to work. I find myself feeling guilty for wanting to stay home when our family needs the extra finances. When I am at work all I want to do, all I can think about, is being at home, what I have to do when I get home, what I need to be doing to provide for my family. When I am at home, I am often tired, stressed or frustrated from work, which means I am not the best mother and partner I can be, so then again, I feel guilty for not being the best I can be.

In trying to be the best at everything, I find myself barely being what I consider the bare minimum for everything. 

But I try to do the best I can, enjoy the times I have with my family, enjoy being at work as much as I can.

And so the struggle continues.......

what is your daily struggle???