Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Well the last of the presents has been wrapped.  The ham glaze is done. The salads are done. The pavlova comes out of the oven in 10 minutes.  The rocky road and rumballs and white Christmas is cut and packed and ready.  I am (finally) sitting with a cup of tea and listening to the carols, waiting patiently for Santa.

It will be an awesome Christmas.  My kids get to spend Christmas day with both sets of grandparents - something that has NEVER happened.  It made my heart melt to hear them talking about it.  They said it is like having an extra-special present! Bless them.  I love that they understand that people are more important than things.

Speaking of things, there are a LOT of presents under the tree.  I think next year I will be sensible and go back to the old "Something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read" - and next year I want to keep things in perspective and not rush around like a headless chook.

So anyway, wherever you are, whoever you are, however you celebrate, Merry Christmas, Peace and Blessings!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Taking it for Granted

Today I was in an op shop when this ridiculous couple began bickering over who saw a piece of vintage enamelware first and who (out of the two of them) was going to buy it.  They went on and on.  "I saw it first".."Why do you have to do this to me".."Lower your voice darling, you are EMBARASSING me" and on and on and so on.

It was a $4 piece of cheap enamelware.
I wanted to slap them.
I really did.

Today, 2 years ago, a brave, courageous woman who's mantra was "NEVER GIVE UP DESPITE THE ODDS" lost her battle with cancer and left behind a small son and a man who adored her, a sister and nephew who will miss her every day, and a whole community who are still grieving for this remarkable woman.

The funny thing is, I never personally knew Claudia.  She was a teacher at my children's school. We had friends in common.  I knew of her in passing.  I remember a huge shock of frizzy wild hair and lots of laughter.  She was the sort of person that wore laughter like a shadow.  She inspired people.  Everyone loved her.  I hadn't realised how many people we had in common until through a cruel quirk Facebook suggested Claudia as a friend request two days after her death.

It is funny, I didn't know her in life, but her death has made me hold my own children tighter.  It has made me think more about the non-negotiables.  It has made me think more about the things I want to do with my life, and the person I want to be.  Most of all, Claudia reminds me not to take life for granted.  To appreciate each day for what it is.

RIP Claude.  You are being remembered by so many people in so many ways today.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Happy.. Sad.. Happy..

This year has been such a rollercoaster of emotions.  So many of our friends and family have been touched by tragedy or ill health this year.  I did not expect the turmoil of losing my business, or the unexpected hand of hope from Close to My Heart.  Despite his age, I wasn't ready to lose my grandfather.  It has certainly been a year of mixed emotions and December looks set to be no different.  On the night that my little Maddie Moo turned four, a very good, dear, old friend said goodbye to her sixteen year old son.  I cannot even imagine that heart break.  Keelan's funeral was on Friday so the kids and I took red balloons to Bushland Park and released them in his honour.  It seemed right.

We went to the bakery to celebrate with icecream, which is kind of wierd, but kind of made sense to my kids.
Because I have been working full time this week (and next) the house looks even grottier than it usually does, and I feel pretty blah about life in general so I find that I am enjoying the few spaces in our house that do look nice!  The kids decorated the tree (and while it might not be department store pretty there is a lot of love on that tree, and lots of memories too!)
 My friend owns a lolly shop and she kindly saved up enough boxes for me to finally get my fabric scraps sorted just like in Amanda Jean's book "Sunday Morning Quilts" - this small thing has made me ridiculously happy.  I love my crafty room so much. It really is my happy place!

 This is still my favourite spot to retreat from children and read a crafty book or magazine!
 And this is what my kitchen dresser looks like in its Christmas finery.  I have several "Christmas" collections which Preschool kids have added to over the years.  There is a collection of reindeers, santas, angels, and Christmas teddies, and also a small collection of snowglobes!
 I bought two gorgeous little red lanterns at Ikea and also these white tin pots.  Our climbing "Sympathie" rose has been covered in blooms since Keelan's death - everytime I brush past it I am reminded.  Don't they look stunning in this pot with the aqua wall? Red and aqua (what is not to love?)

 I did a weeny bit of dusting and putting away and this is what the top of my bookcase looks like now.  I LOVE the apocathery jars of floss and fibre, and can you see my beautiful wooden spindle? And the collage of Italy that my photographer friend made for me when we travelled there as teenagers? And my grandad's old box brownie?  Oh, collections of favourite things just make my heart happy.  So there you go - happy..sad..happy.  It is bittersweet this funny old life of ours hey?