Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Add a little ice

It's been a super hot Australia Day! According to the weather guys one of the hottest in decades. The mercury is well over the 35 degrees mark and we've been attempting to find a way to cool down.

For our little dog Max, we added a little ice to his afternoon and he had a ball. Thought I'd share some pics.

And hope everyone had a lovely Australia Day! Always proud to be an Aussie, but extra proud today.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Reflections of a year gone by and hope for a new one

I know I’m a few weeks late on reflecting on 2010 and looking ahead to 2011, but life got in the way. So in recognition of my New Year’s resolution to go with the flow, live life and not let the little things bother me I’ve decided it’s my blog and this is what I would like to do. It was a big year for me and I’d like to record it in some form.

This is my personal reflection on 2010.

I watched some family members and close friends experience a tough year and eagerly await the end of 2010 and look forward to brighter days in the year ahead. For me there were quite a few important moments I would like to share.

Firstly, completing seven years of part-time university study combined with full time work to graduate with a bachelor of arts majoring in politics and Australian studies was a major achievement. Having my parents and hubby there to share it with me made it even more special after many years of encouragement and love.

Celebrating my hubby’s graduation from uni after seven years of part-time study made it a busy couple of months. While we studied different courses at different unis we still shared the many highs and lows of study.

Creating my blog was a huge moment for me. Being able to write about what I wanted to write about in my own forum was a dream come true. Almost 50 blog posts since May! Many thanks to Tenille@HelpMum for her support and encouragement.

The retirement of my former boss and very dear friend Kay Hull after 12 years as the Member for Riverina marked the end of an era. Kay is a truly remarkable woman who achieved so much for her community and someone I am honoured to call a friend. Attending one of her many farewell dinners (and catching up with former colleagues and dear friends) was a huge privilege.

Following Kay’s retirement, attention turned to the election of another former boss, mentor and friend as the new Member for Riverina. Being able to help in some small way on election day was a huge buzz and the result was fantastic. The best result for the people of the Riverina.

There were moments of tears and sadness as I said goodbye to one very special family friend. Bruce, my father's best mate had been a presence in my life for as long as I can remember. He is one in a million. While we knew the diagnosis was terminal, we hoped against all odds it could be beaten. However, the insidious disease that is cancer robbed my family of a very dear friend. We miss you and your remarkable attitude to life each and every day Bruce.

The death of another former workmate and friend followed a few months later. Rossco was one of those characters you come across in life and they just remain a part of your life. He had a deep affection for fellow journalists and he will be sorely missed. I miss the phone calls I used to receive from Rossco and his signature farewell – hanging up before you had a chance to say goodbye. My theory was that he didn’t much like goodbyes. I don’t either Rossco. So it’s not goodbye, it’s see you later.

So on reflection, 2010 was an important year when I learnt a lot about myself and those dear to me. I hope that 2011 can be more of the same with a little less sadness.

Hubby and I will celebrate our third wedding anniversary and 10 years together with a holiday to the US stopping in San Francisco, Washington DC and New York. I value all of our moments together, no matter how small and am really looking forward to some much needed time away together.

I also have some important career decisions to make. But most importantly I want to fill my life with the people I value and love the most and those who feel the same way in return. I want to be surrounded by people who want to be with me, who value my company and are willing to invest in our friendship.

Finally, if there is one thing the first few weeks of 2011 have taught me is life is short. So hold your loved ones a little closer, tell them you love them, appreciate and make time for them and most of all treasure each and every moment.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My turn to share a few stylish blogs

On Christmas Eve I managed to sneak a few minutes to look at my blog as my family was heading out the door for our road trip and coastal Christmas. I was blown away to see a comment from a fellow blogger, Rachel at Select All + Delete awarding me a stylish blogger of the year award. To say I was blown away was an understatement.

It was so heartening to get some feedback from another talented blogger. So in that moment as I looked at my blog, my heart swelled with pride and then I had to log off and head out the door. Ahh!

So Rachel, it has been a few weeks, yikes! And I’m sorry it has taken me this long to accept the award and link onto others. I was determined to have some time off from everything over Christmas and New Year. And just as I was about to start blogging again, we heard about Lori’s devastating news and reached out to her all while the Queensland floods were occupying my attention and the nation’s.

So here I am back blogging and hopefully getting back into the swing of things.

Ok, seven things about me

1. I still have lots to learn about blogging but am super keen to learn

2. I am a redhead

3. I am a Pisces and therefore a bit of a dreamer

4. I have almost zero willpower when it comes to chocolate

5. I share my home with two males – my gorgeous hubby and our Maltalier Max

6. I have a younger sister and people often think we are twins

7. And finally, I love photos in albums and am on a mission to transfer all my digital images into albums.

Now, 15 recently discovered blogs. I'm not going to get to 15, but here's my list.

1. Diminishing Lucy. This blog is so well written and shows this woman has plenty of will power (any spare?) and it’s really lovely to spend time looking around her blog.

2. Daydream Lily. Love the colours, shades and images of this blog. Very calming and chilled out.

3. Yummy Mummies and Mini Me. Love this stylish blog. Again the colours and layout is fantastic. Plus the option to shop is always appealing to me.

4. The Daze of my life. So well written and always a pleasure to read.

5. Design it Chic. I love the ideas and creativity on this blog. I intend to spend more time on this blog this year. So much to learn and share.

Sorry I didn't get 15 on the list here, but check these great blogs out.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tragedy beyond belief

It's been one of those days when you wonder what has happened to the world? What happened to the New Year and all the promise it brought of happier times ahead.  

An update on my last post about Lori. Tragically, Lori's husband lost his battle and passed away yesterday. I can in no way imagine what Lori and her little ones are going through, but my heart aches for their loss. To lose a loved one, a husband, a father, a best friend and a soul mate is devastating. To lose that person at such a young age is beyond words. The outpouring of support and kind words for Lori on her blog and many others will hopefully be some source of comfort in the hours, days, months and years ahead.

The other tragedy of recent days is the devastation we are witnessing in Queensland. The people of Queensland are experiencing floods that many of us just cannot imagine. While I have watched the floods inundate communities in regional Queensland, today it became a bit more personal. 

I watched the flurry of updates on Twitter this morning and started to get a little worried. My sister works in the Brisbane CBD and after the Brisbane River broke its banks this morning, I spent a few anxious hours waiting for her to leave work, get on public transport and arrive safely home. Just minutes after finding out she was home, I found out my mum had also made it safely home from her suburban workplace. The one thing my family keeps telling me is that the rain just keeps falling. 

Fortunately my family are in an area of Brisbane that at this stage is not under threat. I am hoping and praying their suburbs remain safe in the days and weeks ahead.  

Watching the torrent of water hit the town of Toowoomba and neighbouring communities is just beyond anything I have witnessed. My heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones. Stay safe and keep your loved ones close. To those who have lost their homes and possessions, again my heart goes out to you. Please know that you are in the thoughts and prayers of Australians right across this country. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

For Lori

I've been a bit quiet on the posts over the Christmas and New Year. Maybe it's that time of year, people are away, spending precious time with family and friends and blogging gets pushed to the bottom of the to do list. For me, I don't get to see my family regularly due to the fact we don't live close to each other, so I relish the time spent with them. Blogging took a back seat for a week or two.

I've also been contemplating what I want out of my blog this year and what I want to achieve. What direction do I want to take? What do I want to write about? How do I build up more networks and support other bloggers?

But after logging onto to my blog today after the Christmas break, it kind of becomes irrelevant and nowhere near as important. The outrageously funny and inspiring Lori of Random Ramblings of a Stay At Home Mum is in the middle of a family crisis and has reached out to the blogging community. And the support from her fellow bloggers has been incredible and evidence of how much she is admired and adored.

I cannot begin to imagine what Lori and her family are going through. But hopefully in some very small way the thoughts and prayers of many will help Lori and her family find the strength to support their husband and father through this awful time. Hopefully her husband may also in some small way find strength from all the love and best wishes pouring in from around the world.


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