Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Wordless Wednesday! 1st January 2014 (odd writing that)

Collection of photos from last nights New Years Eve party we had at home. Just a small gathering to bring in the New Year with a BBQ Dinner. My Mum & Brother joined us but piked out at 11pm as Mum kept dozing off over her glass of wine {We don't drink often!}   Hayley, Nicholas & Indigo managed to see the new year in playing Scrabble Twists & Turns & enjoyed the party poppers at midnight. 

This morning they are all up early,  which might make for an interesting {cranky} day. But in true Jan 1st tradition, were off to the beach! Enjoy the first day of the year, however you spend it xx 

New Years Resolutions ~ 2014 Here We Come!!!

I'm not usually one to write down lengthy resolutions, I used to as a teen, but found I'd rarely stick to them and I guess it was a lot easier to keep my room clean & stop flirting with boys at 14 than it is to now lose 20kg & give up chocolate. But I guess I get a kick of scribbling a few down each year, they give me an outline of the goals I want to achieve in the new year; so here goes; 

1. Lose 20kg by Christmas 2014. Plenty of time! I intend on doing this by walking & getting back into roller-blading. I felt great losing 10kg in 2013, so I have to keep going (and lose the 5kg Iv gained over Christmas! ~ that May or may not be an exaggeration as I haven't actually checked, but all of those Ferraro Roche's had to have gone somewhere!) 

2. Ditch Coke completely & drink more water! I was doing fabulously at this until the school holidays, so it shouldn't be too hard to kick this sugary habit. 

3. Take 2 holidays.. I did it last year & I plan on doing it again. I love holidays, they are so relaxing even with 5 fighting children in tow. They open up the world for me & escaping to the beach is my ultimate de-stressor. 

4. Spend more time with the kids doing kid things.. Sometimes I feel guilty of getting to the end of the day & life has been so busy busy that I haven't got to engage meaningfully with the kids. In 2014, I need to set aside quality time ~ time to just be Mum. 

5. Spend more time with the Husby, doing Wifey things.. Not that!  (although I'm sure he wouldn't complain if I resolute to do more of that) but just hang together more, chat, watch telly, help him more & maybe catch a movie or dinner (we haven't had a night out or outing together since Mr 2 1/2 was born) 

6. Me time... I'd like a few minutes every day to gather my thoughts so I can be a better Wife & Mother. Sometimes my head is just so busy, I'd love to just chill & just be.. Me. 

7. Save money.. I'm a terrible spender.. This year in 2014 I'd like to save.. 

8. Cut down the electricity, gas, water & grocery bills.. Last year an exorbitant amount of money got poured into these areas of the household budget, it is my aim to lower these bills. 

9. Call family often.. Particularly my Grandparents. 

10. Blog! Now that Hubby surprised me with a new blog address of my very own at Christmas I'd like to spend the time on the blog that Iv always wanted to. So that means more regular posts from me! The new blog will be up & running soon, it's just facing some teething difficulties. But in the meantime I'll keep posting here! 

So there you have it.. 10 posts to guide me on my 2014 journey. Wishing you & your families, a Wonderful, Safe & Happy New Year xoxo 

Monday, December 30, 2013

A Year in Review.. Farewell 2013

This time last year I knew 2013 was going to be a great year because 13 is my lucky number, it always has been, so why would 2013 disappoint me?  And 365 days later (or however many there are in a year..) I guess whilst 2013 wasn't a FANTASTIC year (in that I didn't win the Lotto or gain a cleaning fairy etc.) it was a GOOD year and I won't/can't complain. 

I must be getting old in that I wanted to reflect upon the year that was, and instead I am quite blank as to what I got up to this year.. Lucky I have good ol' Facebook and Instagram to help me out when it comes to reminiscing. 

2013 was the year I stayed at home (not literally) for the entire year I have been a SAHM, looking after the kidlet's and focussing on my awesome domestic goddess skills (that need a lot of fine tuning in 2014) I didn't renew my Teacher Registration at the end of last year, instead choosing to take a little break from relief Teaching until I am able to return to work more regularly.  I have really enjoyed staying at home & plan on doing so in 2014 as well and whilst I can't wait to get back into Teaching, I know at home with the kids is where I belong for now. 

This year was also the first time that I have travelled outside of my home state (unless popping just over the border counts) we took an awesome road trip down to Sydney with the two boys.  I really enjoyed seeing places that I haven't seen before and it was great to see things in person such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge (that you often see on the TV but could never relate to before)  I look forward to travelling more in the new year as it's something we really enjoyed as a family.

Last year I promised myself I would be more social and whilst this really hasn't happened or changed much, I feel going into 2014 that I am more at ease with my social standing.  I was a little unsure of some of the friendships I had earlier in the year and I didn't know if they were worth continuing, but at the tail end of the year, I am glad that I have kept in touch and persevered, despite how busy life gets as we're all really in the same boat.. the busy boat.. and it's nice to have friends to keep us afloat at the end of the day.  

Hubby & I celebrated 7 years together & 4 years married. We haven't had much spare time this year as Mr 2 is a terrible sleeper (parties all night long) & we have a fair few projects on the go such as Hubby's career advancement & studies but we're still able to relate to one another & be there for each other. 

The house hasn't really advanced much in the past 12 months past a good de-clutter & a change of decor in a few of the rooms. We did get a new Vanity & toilet installed, plus replaced a lot of our larger appliances as they all decided 2013 was a good year to kick the bucket (all very close to one another, as they do!) In 2014 I have a lot of ideas for our dear home, finding the time & $$ is another story!  

The kids all had a good year, proud of their achievements and can't believe how fast they are all growing up. It was Miss 12's last year of Primary School this year so next year we will have 2 in Primary & 2 in High-School which seems very surreal.. It's been quite an adjustment having teens & Tweens in the home this year.. Pimples, hormones, periods, sex talk & even swearing have been on the agenda in the past year & it's been interesting to say the least. But I guess it's a learning curve for us all & we'll continue to acclimatise to the teen years as they grow. 

As far as parenting arrangements went  (being a blended family with shared care of my Stepkids) We  tested out a few new tactics this year with my Stepkids, including Mr 13 staying an additional night each fortnight, this has worked out well and has given us more time to spend with him. We also divvied up the holidays so that we get 1 complete term holiday each (this year we got the entire September/October break) this was also nice, although we stayed home for much of it, but next year it might give us the opportunity to take a nice holiday. For those that read my post about Christmas, we also got the entire Christmas period this year but next year, we won't see the kids until early January while they are in N.Z celebrating Christmas with their Mum. Mr 8 continues to see his Dad every other weekend, which he is happy with & it works ~ he also seems more settled with less interruption to his everyday life. Being a big blended family as we are with His, Mine & Ours (although we consider them all to be 'ours' at the end of the day) isn't always easy & I think that the paragraph above, speaking of raging hormones & crazy tween behaviour has made this year a little more challenging than previous years, when the kids were younger.. It wasn't until this year that I became a 'wicked stepmother' or got told 'you can't tell me what to do' but I'm sure that is tame compared to what may lay ahead! 

Where other Family has been concerned, 2013 has been a little odd, perhaps a little more detached than usual. Relatives who I normally kept in close contact with have seemed a little distant, once again busy with their own crazy lives.. It's ashame because every time we get together, people always say 'it's been too long!' 'We need to do this more!' But it never happens & life whizzes by in a blur and before you know it, family are only meeting up at Christmas, Funerals & Weddings.. Once again I will thank Facebook for keeping me in the loop of much of my estranged family :)  

But there have been many happy moments, memorable moments, sad moments & glad they're in the past moments! 2013 has been a great year & I look forward to today being the last of the old & then bring in the new! Time for new challenges, new chapters, continued family bonds & beautiful friendships.. I look forward to 2014 & I fondly farewell 2013.. Xoxo 

So This Was Christmas 2013..

I can hardly believe that Christmas was nearly 1 whole week ago and tomorrow it will be New Years Eve!  Time flies and I find it rather depressing because Christmastime is one time of the year that I wish could go forever!  I love everything about Christmas, even the crazy crowds at the shopping centres and the extra 2kg (give or take) piled on by eating all those wonderful Christmassy foods! (thankfully most of which have now been eaten from our fridge, with the exception of Hubby's Birthday pav from yesterday which I plan on eating a final piece for dessert this evening!) 
Christmas was a little different this year because all the kids got to stay home for the entire day.  Usually my three step kid's only spend 1/2 the day here or there til 1pm or from 1pm (depending on whose turn it is) but next year they will be spending the entire Christmas with their Mother in New Zealand so we got to have them home for the entire day this year.  It was nice, because we didn't have to rush from place to place, the kids got to see the whole family and still had plenty of time to actually play with the gifts they were given.  Next year will be odd without them, but I'm sure we'll cross that bridge when we get to it!
Aside from that little difference everything else was tradition as usual.. We kicked off Christmas with a lovely dinner on Christmas Eve with all the trimmings such as roast pork and beef, Christmas ham and prawns.  We took the kids out to look at the Christmas lights (which we looked at quite a few times this year, due to Mr 2's addiction to Christmas Light looking!)  Sprinkled reindeer food on the front lawn, hung our stockings, placed our Santa sacks and left out milk & cookies for Santa (the cookies tasted like lemon washing up liquid, they were not nice and I'm surprised that Santa ate every last crumb!) 

Christmas Eve Dinner

One of our many light looking adventures

Christmas morning the kids were up at a reasonable hour, Mr 8 creeping in at 5:45 to wake me.  The kids wait until everyone is awake to open their gifts, but know they can tuck into their stockings before that.. So there was a lot of chocolate rustling and woopie cushioning before Mr 2 woke up at 7:30 (I don't think the kids could have waited much longer!) And then they got into their pressies, as per usual far too many but a lot of happy little faces and squeals of delight make the morning all worthwhile (despite the empty bank account!)
Christmas Morning is never dull in our home!
The rest of the day was spent with my family which was lovely, we don't get to spend enough time together, so Christmas is always a time I look forward to because my family always get together and enjoy the day, like we haven't really been apart.  Christmas is great for that. 
So it brings us now to December 30 & our decorations are all still up and our house is still well lit outside (because Mr 2 doesn't want us to take any lights or deco's down as yet) and I guess I really should start taking them down little by little, but I'll make a start on that after New Years. 
So I know it's late and I'm closer to New Years than Christmas, but I'd like to wish all of my Blog readers a very Merry Christmas, I hope however, you spent the day it was lovely and special xoxo