Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Embracing the Sparkle this Christmas

In the last week of November Annie was keen as mustard to get our tree up.
So we dragged out the tree and the decorations and set up the tree.
To be honest we ran out of steam after the tree was up
so we put the decorations in a basket and every time we walk past
we hang a couple of decorations up.

While she was doing that I googled saying about Christmas to put something
on our letter board and came across this saying:
Christmas is too sparkly, said no one ever.

I liked it. I thought it was an attitude that I could embrace.
Because Christmas can be hard work,
you are busy finishing work, making gifts,
attending end of school things etc etc.

But I thought, what if I just embrace it and enjoy the sparkle.

And so on the whole we have. We put out all the Christmas quilts
and I hung as much Christmas bunting as my house could stand.
We have decorated a bit and we have Christmas lilies making the house smell amazing.

We have said yes to things that we could do, 
and enjoyed those.
(We said no to some things too and that was ok)

It's a busy time of the year and we can't change that.
But we can take time to visit a friend for a drink and to admire their lights.
We can wear our prettiest dress and go and sing carols at school.
We can admire the decorations all around
and we can enjoy the excitement of the approaching holidays.

The advent calendar is still empty, but no one seems to mind,
it doesn't all have to be perfect.

The important thing is to enjoy the sparkly bits
and not stress about making it perfect.

After all a bit of glitter hides a lot of imperfections.

So have a sparkly Christmas folks,
and a restful holiday wherever you are.

Here's to 2018.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

We went camping and it was ok.

Remember how I wrote about reclaiming summer? Well a few months ago in the dead of winter, I was working one Saturday and decided there had to be more to life than work. I rang up and booked a camping site by the sea; and this weekend we went to stay. 

Every step felt like an achievement...
Convinced the Resident Teen to come with us {check}
Packed the car {check}
Drove to Kaikoura {check}
Set up the campsite {check}
Enjoyed each other’s company {check}
Took a nap {check}
Are camping food (nachos, macaroni cheese, pancakes, sausages) {check}
Did some stitching {check}
Lit a fire {check}
Watched the sunrise {check}
Fitted everything back in the car {check}
Made it hope safely {check} 

We did it all. We may have accidentally taken the tent without poles or fly and had to sleep in the gazebo. We may not have rated a single vegetable unless you count an onion. 

But we went away, we loved watching the sea do it’s thing and we enjoyed being with each other. 

There may have been some preliminary yelling by me, 
but on the whole even the Resident Teen seemed to enjoy himself. 

Funniest moment: feeding the seagulls the leftover two minute noodles
and Chrissy says (in a seagull voice) "ooh what's this? spicy worms!".
Still chuckling over that one.

So if we can save enough $$$ we plan to try again at Christmas. 
Next time we will take the dog lead, 
breadboard, sharp knife and the sunscreen, 
oh and a proper tent and a water container.
Oh and a tent. Ahem. 

We’re calling it #winningatlife

Monday, November 13, 2017

A bunch of excuses {about why I'm a terrible friend}

Recently I became aware that a couple of people who I thought were good friends
had decided not to be my friend anymore. (Thanks Facebook)
I was mortified and messaged one of them (before I realised there was two
and then I stopped looking hahaha)
and apologised for being a terrible friend.

But apparently my blog is depressing and I'm never around
and so they decided I wasn't worth the hassle.
My blog might be depressing, (I do try really hard not to make it depressing)
but life is hard and I'm not going to sugar coat it.
I mean, I'm all about the real and I've never apologised for that.

But I am a pretty terrible friend. I don't have a lot of spare time 
and then when I do I tend to need to sit in a quiet space and sew
otherwise I'll go stark raving mad and nobody wants that.

Also I'm not particularly interesting, 
well unless you like quilting and knitting and growing houseplants.
So I don't have a lot of topics of conversation.

Working full time and living in Rolleston really eats all of my time
and more energy than I really have.
I realise these sound like pretty lame excuses.
But it is what it is.

On Saturday I was helping at the school fair and I'd done my bit,
so I wandered around hoping to find someone to hang with.
And who did I run into but the lovely, amazing,
the incredible Miriam. She brought me a piece of cake
and we sat and ate cake and chatted.

It felt so good. So on Sunday I messaged an other friend
for a Coffee and Kmart date and she said yes.

So here's to me, trying hard to be a better friend,
more available, more present and more there for people.

Baby steps people, baby steps.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Grey days and hopeful hearts.

 Last weekend I pulled out my paper pieced hearts. Last time I did this (a few months ago) I realised that the colours didn't go together and I couldn't come up with a solution so I put them away to marinate in the cupboard for a while. This time though I laid them out and tried again to make them work together. In the end I picked out all the discordant hearts and decided to do something with them.

I remembered that I had some grey background in my stash, so I pulled that out and there was the beginnings of a project. This week, I've been coming home from work and after dinner I've been stitching those hearts together and gradually a project has emerged that I really really like.

How cool that the ugly pieces, the ones that didn't match, the pieces that got put aside; those are the pieces that have come together to make a quilt that I think is simple but harmonious.

It is not a mistake that I notice this right now. This week that has been so hard for so many reasons. A week when I learned some hard lessons, I struggled and acknowledged my shortfalls.
This week I took out the disused and ugly pieces of my life and
had to find a way to make it all work together.

Life isn't all sunshine and roses, sometimes it is grey grey days 
and struggles. Sometimes it is tears and heart ache.
Sometimes it is fears and worries.

But this week ask I've stitched my grey hearts together,
I'm remembering that the hard things are the things that help us
to work out what is really important,
to hold onto the good things and to make peace with the things
that seem hard. 

This week I'm grateful for two amazing jobs that challenge me out of my comfort zone.
I'm grateful for friends with kind forgiving hearts.
I'm grateful for oven fries for dinner and for fresh eggs from the chickens.
I'm grateful for a home where we can laugh with each other,
most of all I'm grateful for a hopeful future.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

New Beginnings

This week I cut the hours in half that I work at Big Boy Websites,
Big Boy Websites moved offices;
and I started a new job as a Business Development Manager
with Catalyst Creative NZ.

To celebrate all of this change I got a streaming cold.
Fun times.

I'm really excited about this new opportunity.
I hesitate to call it a career because I feel too old and unskilled
but it turns out that maybe I am developing a career as a communicator.

Anyway I get to talk to anyone who will listen about Tv adverts,
video content and 3D Visualisation.
And the rest of the time I get to write scripts 
which mainly consists of me muttering to myself
while my phone times me.

I do feel a bit overwhelmed with all of these changes in one week,
which is probably why I got sick.
So I'm doing a bit of self care. Eating as many veges as I can
drinking lots of water and trying to get enough sleep.

Yesterday I came home and my brain was FRIED,
so I made this cushion last night which I've been wanting to do for ages.
I just need something I could sit down and start and finish
all in one go. Kind of some mindless work but a bit creative as well.

I think we expect changes to be all good,
but even if they are, we still need to adjust.

Once I get this first week under my belt, I'll kind of know what I'm doing.

In the meantime, talk to me if you or someone you know 
needs a video for something.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Feeling unloveable

I wrote a few weeks ago about how Mr W and I parted ways a few months ago.
Since I left David I've met a few guys (mostly on that infamous dating app)
but obviously it hasn't turned out that well.
This is not news to anyone, but dating is super hard.
Super super hard.

The big problem is not all about the guys of course, 
it's me. There is probably not anything wrong with me.

If I'm being honest, it is about how I see myself.
Basically it comes down to the fact that I feel unloveable.

In theory, I know that I'm probably ok as a person.
But deep down inside, I still feel fundamentally unlovely.
I'm pretty sure I'm not alone, lots of us struggle with this.

If I'm being really honest, when I think about myself,
I see someone who is just not good enough,
someone who is inherently unloveable,
not attractive, not funny, not much fun.

Some of this is from those voices in our head,
things people have
[intentionally or unintentionally] said to us or about us.

Some of it is our natural insecurity.
Some of it is how we were brought up.
Part of it is how we see ourselves when we compare ourselves with others.

When I left David, 
somebody said I would never find anybody else to love me. 

I know in my head that isn't true, there has to be at least one person
who will put up with me, just as I am.
There must be someone who thinks I'm attractive (poor man)
someone who wants to spend time with me
and take the risk of sharing their life with me.

But there's still that little voice in my head....

I'm working out how to make it shut up.

Monday, October 16, 2017


If you have been on social media at all, 
you will have seen a lot of women with a status that reads simply....

These statuses and the stories that people are sharing is hurting my heart. I feel like there is not a single woman who has not experienced some kind of sexually harassment or assault.

My story is not about the appliance man who commented on my boobs (although he did)
or the photographer who did the same. My story is not even just about growing up in an environment where women were completely under valued, and were meant to be seen and not heard.
It's not even about having a marriage arranged by a man 
who thought he could make decisions on my behalf.
All of that did happen.
 But I can recognise and deal with those things.

My #metoo story is about being a child. A child going about my day,
and having an adult man decide that I needed to be punished
because I wasn't wearing a petticoat and he could see my legs through my skirt.
I was punished with a leather strap which was an acceptable punishment at the time.

I did learn a lesson that day.
I learned that my body is something to be hidden.
I learned that men are offended by it.
I learned that it was my fault if a man had thoughts about my body.
I was 11.

I know that in the scheme of things, 
my #metoo story is not all that much.
I've read stories the last few days that make my heart bleed.

But it's my story and I'm going to own it and recognise it for what it is.
Not acceptable, no ok and most of all...