Three weeks of happy…

This is the joyful part of been behind, I now get to go back over three weeks of my #100happyday posts and catch up on here.  There were days that I was not good about sharing on social media what I did, because it was hectic and I was distracted, but I did try and take a photo at least, or in some cases, think about it and decide what to shoot the next day because I had left it too late and the light was rubbish by the time I got to it!!

Day 22:

Collecting pinecones with this view in front of me. #100happydays

This was taken at my Aunt’s farm where we were collecting pinecones while others were busy with drenching calves and sheep. I used to hate the very idea of country living, gumboots and manure was not something I desired. But more and more I find peace in this existence, surrounded by the space it provides. It is idyllic, though I will be honest, that I do wonder if I love it so much because I also know that I go back home again. :)

My favourite photo could as easily have been this photo:
Collecting pinecones...

Or this one:
He is better at mass collection.  :) Though the competition to beat his sister has motivated him greatly.

I love that they get to experience this. Also I want to note that Sebastian and I bet my Aunt and Victoria in pinecone collecting.

Day 23:

Watching this ritual between them become a tradition is happy-making for me. #100happydays #hairstylesarenotmystrength

I love this. My aunt doing Victoria’s hair. It is becoming a ritual for them. When we went camping at Christmas, she did Victoria’s hair every day, when we go visit, she does Victoria’s hair. When we have family get togethers, Victoria goes with her hair brush to get her hair done. I love it. It also relieves me of hair style pressure, because she is over the messy bun which is my specialty. :)

Though this photo of them with my Grandad I am also partial to as well (cheating galore with picking my top photos clearly).

I love this photo. The children with their great grandfather.

It was nice catching up with him on our way home even if it did involve a bigger detour than I had thought it did in my head. Little wonder my Beloved looked at me sideways when I asked if we could pop in our way home.

Day 24:

Victoria getting ribbons for 3 firsts, 2 seconds and a third out of 6 events with a medal for first overall agrregate.  Sebastian getting ribbons for 4 firsts and a third out of 6 events with a medal for first overall aggregate. #100happydays #proudmama #

The children got their ribbons and medals from their St John’s competitions a couple of months or so ago. At the time there was a mistake with the addition so Sebastian thought he had missed out on the medal for first over all aggregate like his sister got for her section. But he found out that night about the mistake, and he had such pride in his accomplishments for himself. It was quite emotional for his mother!

Day 25:

2014-05-10 15.05.48_Grunge

This girl of mind reading my old books (and some of my favourites I could no longer find so bought secondhand). I am finding delight that she she finds joy in the same words I did. It is one of the highlights of right now for me. I kept my favouritest books like Charlotte’s Web, Pippi, and Anne of Green Gables and the Folk of the Faraway Tree etc, and after my failed urgings for Sebastian to try and read them, I was wondering if I should have kept them all these years. That she is loving them is a complete thrill for me.

Day 26:

2014-05-11 17.10.13_Grunge

My Kindle at the moment is a happy moment bringer. I was dubious about much I would like this, because there is nothing to me like the feel of a real book. Though I will always prefer real books there is something about having so many books immediately available to me, and also I just finished Divergent bypassing the Library’s ridiculous waiting list for this book.

Day 27:

2014-05-11 17.12.55_Anne_Grunge

My Beloved bought passionfruit home and I parked myself up and made a proper afternoon tea of them. It was a treat. :)

Day 28:

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The week started with a lot of grey and that cold which reminds one that Winter is coming. When it cleared one was left a little more grateful for the sun than they had been when it was a sure bet.

Day 29:

And Saturday winter sports begin! Her first game of netball ever and they lost by one. His game they won 50-0.  #100happydays

Winter sports begin. Though I am honestly in two minds about giving up my Saturday mornings if I am honest. Particularly when it is rainy and muddy and cold, but the first games of the season are exciting. It was Victoria’s first ever game of netball and it was hilarious to watch. They were all happy to just be playing.

Day 30:

I needed this to blow out some cobwebs. #100happydays

It was Mother’s Day and it was a lovely peaceful day where I was much loved, even if I was so tired and on edge I had not a whole lot left for these children I birthed. They all seemed to know I was in need of some spoiling and so my Beloved made me Eggs Benedict for breakfast and a gorgeous dinner. Victoria chose to get me a lavender plant (quickly agreed to by her brother because he had no ideas according to her :)), because it is my favourite plant. What I love most about it was the level of caring and throughtfulness of the gift, that she had really thought about it because I had not mentioned wanting one recently. I love a thoughtful gift more than any other kind.

This could also have been my happy day photo. This snippet of Victoria’s card. I have never been so horrified or laughed so much upon reading a card. Truly morbidly hilarious. And I have kept this on me and opened it up so many times since in the last week. It has been my portable happy.
A snippet of my mother's day card. My girl has a flair for the dramatic and an original take on Mother's Day sentiments. #thankgoodnessIamnotdying

Day 31:

Witnessing the sunset. #100happydays

This was a day. In so many ways. I didn’t stop really, until I noticed it was time to get dinner. I glanced outside and noticed the sun starting to go down and stepped outside to take a moment.

Looking back like this, this photo takes me right back to feeling as overwhelmed and unsure of myself as I felt that day. It was in this moment I stopped rushing and crossing things of my to-do list. I didn’t think of anyone else’s needs or everything I had to do for just a moment. And I told myself I was okay. This photo even now makes me well up with tears. Maybe because I am still in the thick of overwhelm but I am not feeling as unsure about myself anymore.

Day 32:

It is a day where my favourite soy wax melts have been much needed.  #100happydays #selfcare

It was grey outside and I was feeling grey and so I lit one of these babies. They are my treasure and I don’t have a lot left so I am stingy with them, but their scent is what I imagine heaven will smell like. It smells of paradise for me, and this morning I lit one, for no reason, for no company was coming but just because I decided I wanted the treat of luxury.

Day 33:

Finding treasure at the second hand book store. #100happydays

In between running errands and appointments and meetings I had a spare half hour and as I was on my way to treat myself to a coffee, I decided to go check out the second hand books in here instead. I found a couple of treasure books for me, and one for Sebastian, and my half hour whizzed by.

Day 34:

My Beloved brought this family treasure home. It used to belong to his grandmother and even has scribbles inside that his father did when he was a tiny tot. #100happydays

Holy Mother of Goodness. My Beloved returned home from visiting his father (and work!! :)) with this gorgeously solid kauri sideboard. It is all kinds of perfect. It is handcrafted, and used to belong to his grandmother. On the inside cupboard there are even scribblings from his father when he was a tiny tot. It truly is a treasure. The children struggle to imagine their grandfather as someone who is capable of been that little and that naughty to scribble in a cupboard. I love it. As I write this I wonder if there is a family link to wanton scribblers because Victoria went through a stage where no cupboards, carpets, walls, dressers, beds, linen, drawers, shelves were safe from her scribbles.

Day 35:

Breathing in this day that has passed in a blur and taking just a moment. #100happydays

Taking a moment at the end of another day that rushed by in a blur, though this one was not taken up with activity as much as it was rest and rest and more rest.  And then the beginnings of some reflection on the last couple of weeks.

 

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This week’s happy

Day 15:

My beloved splitting wood to keep us toasty warm during winter is right up there in happy making for me. #hiskindofromance #100happydays

I have a strong aversion to been cold and there is something about this man of mine splitting a ginormous pile of wood to keep us warm over winter that cheers my heart. I feel like it is a gift to only me. There is security in having a giant wood pile, I feel like we are well ready for the cold. (Though it now needs to be stacked and we will all be required for that).

Day 16:

Thanks to brilliant godparents there are no children in sight and I have spent the afternoon hanging out with my Beloved. #100happydays

My son’s godparent took the children out for the day and while they were having a fantastic day of laser strike and hanging out with people they adore I got to hang out with this man I adore. We visited a couple of quirky shops, people watching and I got lost in a couple of second hand book shops. He suggested we go to an art supply sore I had mentioned earlier in the day but that had JUST closed just before we went there but he said we could come back another time and I will hold him to that. :) We had a coffee on our way home and it was very good. It was so lovely to just have a chance to talk about nothing and hang out together.

Day 17:
Here is to fantastic free holiday programmes in the local community.  #100happydays

Our local community had a free holiday programme for a couple of hours a fay in the last week and Victoria loved it. Some arting and craft activities, visits to the local pool, face-painting, bouncy castles, dance classes, and games, they did a great job and I got to read Divergence in the downtimes and do some planning and organising.

Day 18:
First fire of the year.

We had our first fire of the year and oh my gosh the excitement. Truthfully it was possibly not cold enough for a fire, and after a little bit we were all a bit too hot but there were no complaints here. It thrilled me just looking at the fire, and what is the point of having so much wood if you don’t use it I say!

Day 19:
Making feijoa and apricot jam and feijoa and fennel relish was happiness yesterday. #100happydays

One of my most favouritest things is seeing a pantry filled with homemade preserves and so making feijoa andd apricot jam and feijoa and fennel relish was right up there for me. Especially the relish because I made some last year and I didn’t like it, so I made this recipe up completely and it works and tastes just how I wanted to make it. Which actually makes me think I should note down what I put in it so I have the gist of it for next year.

Day 20:

Not that you can see it very clearly but he was carrying her through the water on his shoulder. After a morning of squabbling and bickering hearing their laughing together was a much needed tonic. #100happydays

The last week of the holidays and there had been a fear amount of squabbling between these two. In fact there were even threats brought out that they would not be going to the pool unless there was an end to the fighting, yelling and tears. So it was heart-warming to see them actually choose to play with each other and be giggling together when faced with the other children at the holiday programme as well. They went their separate ways shortly after this photo was taken but fir five minutes they loved each other. :)

Day 21:
Going away for the weekend and no longer feeling carsick. #100happydays

We went to my Aunt’s farm for the weekend and it was fantastic! But it was not an easy journey for me. I also tempted fate with this caption on the photo because just after I wrote that I began feeling ill again. But the scenery and all the space was just beautiful as we spent a few hours in the car looking forward to the arriving.

I hope you all had just as fantastic a week and a joy-filled week coming up!  :)

My second week of happy

Day 8:

Easter detritus,  good food, good cake, bubbles, good people and a private concert to boot.  #100happydays

We had Easter lunch at the house of one of my closest and dearest friends and this photo caused much mirth for how staged it is, but it is what it is. :) I am a photo stager! I confess.

The bubbles we had bought and had given to us a while ago, but when is ever the right time to justify cracking open those kinds of bubbles, (maybe when my Beloved proposes, but I would probably faint instead and knock myself out!), so I decided to take them with us and that was the perfect choice. My friend had made a Maggie Beer Orchard Cake and it was all kinds of wonderful (she made a perfect lunch full stop but slow roasted beef did not look quite so appealing as the image I was going for!)

I am a wee bit going to chet and include one other photo. This could have been a photo representation of my happy as well.

What perfection looks like.

My friend is what I call a magic maker. She creates magical events that she so generously shares with others. On this night she had arranged for a “private concert” for us. She had organised one for her own Beloved very recently for his birthday, and I had wondered if that would be a bit weird. She had approached this amazing busker musician and he had said yes, and she said it was very not awkward at all.

As a surprise for us she had arranged for him to come back and he brought his backing singer from the band he is in as well and it is very not awkward. It was just magical, and they sung Beatles songs and all other songs of that kind of ilk including one of my favourites:

I also love how this photo shows how awkward my son and her son were, not able to make eye contact before escaping to lego. It was not a normal kind of night in my life (I know…spoiling all my staging), the whole day was memory making and filled with belly laughs and love. A perfect day. Also the Easter Bunny came (not to the dinner I hasten to add…bunnies in costumes was not where she was going and I know she sometimes reads this blog and would be mortified by the suggestion…though I am laughing just at the idea of not clarifying)! :D I am that kind of friend! :)

Day 9:

She just gave me her Easter card she made for us. How I love her!!

Victoria remembered she had made us an Easter card and oh my gosh the cuteness. She was very proud of her sounding out. I was surprised she had sounded out at all but I was a very happy and proud pernet in any event. One of the most loved up pernets for sure. I nearly died at the cuteness.

Day 10:

Creating with Victoria using @gypsy999's creative bingo prompt cards. #100happydays #autumnholidays

We played with Tammy’s Bingo cards as you can see in this separate post. There was a lot of laughter as this turned into quite a competition. I am also pleased to have discovered a perfect activity with Winter coming up.

Day 11:
Children on playdates and enjoying a quiet afternoon of planning, reading and rose & vanilla tea. #100happydays

The Autumn holidays are upon us and I had a joyous afternoon to myself with both of the children on spur of the moment playdates where I read and made notes in my planner and drank tea. The morning had been taken up with children wanting to kill each other and a tired grumpy mother making an appearance, it was nice to enjoy the silence and have a moment to myself. It felt like a self-care luxury (especially because I made no efforts to do the housework that was waiting for just such an opening).

Day 12:

A happy mail day indeed. Perfect timing for restoring my sanity. #100happydays

This little beauty arrived which is a magical publication you can find out about here, I have plans to talk about it this week (in my blog schedule!!!! She says like a grown up.) where I will discuss it’s magical qualities, but I received the latest installment this week and it is just as magical as my other additions. It was a treat to sit down and begin to dive in.

Day 13:
Somewhat ready for the ANZAC day parade.

It was ANZAC day today and the children were in one of the many parades as we remember all those mother’s son’s and daughters who gave their lives for our freedoms. It has felt a lot more poignant since I became a mother and you think how young many of those soliders were. A mother’s heartbreak. I can’t even imagine. It makes me feel all quite teary and not happy. But I am ever grateful.

In the afternoon this happened:
My beloved splitting wood to keep us toasty warm during winter is right up there in happy making for me. #hiskindofromance #100happydays

And I am ever so happy about having so much wood split and ready for Winter. I have a fond dislike of been cold, though I am half hoping for a coldsnap soon so we can have our first fire of the year. I am sure as soon as that arrives I will regret wishing for it!  But this woodpile is all kinds of happy to me as well.  (Cheating again I know with multiple photos)

Day 14:
Receiving a spur of the moment pedicure. #100happydays #gladwedidthisoutside

She offered to give me a pedicure and who am I to turn down such an offer although I did request to go outside in case of spillage. I have the loveliest blue toes (including my nails). :)

I hope you all have a week of happy to celebrate as well.

A week of happy

I had seen on quite a few friend’s Facebook posts the 100 days of happy that people were doing and I figured that I had enough on and I did not need something else to commit to and not complete! Who needs to add more fails to their score card?! Then I was catching up on my ever behind blog reader and I saw this post on Joanna’s blog where she said how sad it was that people didn’t have time to be happy.

I know (because I am not that egocentric!!) that she was not talking to me directly but I suddenly had this realisation like “Seriously?  You can’t find the time to take one photo each day of something that has made you happy??” I finished reading the post and went straight to sign up and so far these are the things each day that have made me happy (or the one I decided to tag at any rate!)

Day #1

We had a mother-daughter double date which involved bubbles for three of us but lemonade for Victoria in a champagne flute and the most delicious company that involves mad belly laughing and people looking over to your corner like the men in white coats may come at any moment.  If I had remembered I was doing this challenge earlier I would have maybe snapped a champagne flute in some arty shot I’m sure. :)

Instead you get this blurry photo of my whirling dervish, who after the date was over was so giddy she could not stop spinning, as I was trying to check the date on my phone I accidentally snapped this, and I loved it.  Half an hour later I remembered the challenge and I thought it summed up the afternoon perfectly.

#100happydays

Day #2

Filling the tins with baking always makes me feel most productive, and a in varying degrees both a good mother and a domestic goddess. As I fill the bellies of those I love with sugar and try equally to resist the temptation, but the sight of the actual filed tins…joy (on a par with looking at my preserves). Hence my photo.

#100happydays

Day #3

Autumn is upon us but today was so sunny and warm, we all enjoyed the sun and soaked it up. It felt quite heavenly though I resisted the urge to roll on the wet grass. It did look very filled with happy though. :)

Nothing like rolling about in the grass appreciating the autumn sun. #100happydays

 

Day #4

Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. We had Royals in the country and despite my inner leanings towards us becoming a republic eventually I was COMPLETELY caught up in the Royal tour, helped along by Victoria who was captivated by Catherine and George. I decided to keep the children home on the day they would be doing a walkabout in Wellington because I remember the Queen and Duke visiting when I was about sevenish and standing on the side of the road waving as she went past and she waved straight at me!! I wanted the children to have a memory like that and so we went in.

It was pouring with rain and thundering at one stage and we went in super early to get in the front, so we were sodden, but the sun came out just before they got there. The children were interviewed for TV (which if you are super keen you can see here…they are right at the end!) and we were close. Though I would describe the event as a walk by rather than a walkabout! :) No less happy making and I was perfectly thrilled by it all.

We saw them!! #RoyalvisitNZ #100happydays

Day #5

I love Tupperware. Love it. Madly. I am also quite obsessive compulsive about it, I don’t like mixy matchy lids and really wish Tupperware would stop bringing out new lid colours. But I will step away from that soapbox before I step on! Anyway…I went to a Tupperware party last week and the demonstrator put my name forward to her manager as a potential demonstrator recruit?! I was not so sure but she wanted to meet for coffee anyway, and so I did, and I am still not sure, but at the end she gave me this. Oh my gosh. The joy! It is so cute and dinky and something I would never buy. Particularly because I am not really into cupcakes but I could be with this!! Although Victoria saw it and claimed it straight away so I will have to keep an eye on it. :)

A Tupperware cupcake keeper I was given today! This is bringing me an insane amount of joy in all the cuteness!! #100happydays

Day #6

My dad lives in Australia which feels very far away sometimes to this Daddy’s girl, and it is so heart warming to me when I watch him and the children interacting on Skype. As much as you can maintain a relationship when you live in another country, they manage it and he is very patient. Him and Victoria are particularly close and it fills me. It was Good Friday today and as they were skyping I brought out the eggs Dad had bought them. so he could the joy on their faces almost in person. It was a joy to see them all laughing and chatting together.

100 days of happy

Day #7

The problem with this challenge I think is what moment do you choose?? Today’s photo is the photo of the children’s Easter Baskets that I have just dug out ready for the Easter Bunny’s visit tonight.  I love that feeling of magic when the anticipation builds of magical visitors coming in the night. I can hardly sleep for the magic of it all let alone the children! Just seeing these baskets waiting for the children to put out tonight is a whole lot of happy.

100happydays

However, what is also a whole lot of happy is making hot cross buns, and so that could have been the moment I chose as well (if I had not left them to the last minute and now I fear running out of light in which to take a photo!). I am also experimenting with feijoa and ginger flavour…I am very excited about that experiment and hope it works! I couldn’t find a recipe so it is really an experiment that will go wonderfully or dreadfully/

And this is week one down. :)  Hope everyone is having a fabulous Easter.

Rocking moments from the last couple of weeks and a camera question

Gosh it has been that long, it feels like I am barely coming up for air at the moment, which I am not complaining about at all…the extra money will provide some much appreciated breathing room, but trying to manage everything and keep everything updated is proving more difficult than I imagined. Though my laundry is up to date as from today, if not yet folded and actually put away…small things!  :)

My camera question is right at the end, so I am begging you if you know about DSLR’s to read to the end, and I am linking up to Virginia’s rocking moment recorders, who are a steadily growing group, though new rocking moment recorders are always welcome! :)

RYWSo one of the most rocking things has to be the contract work I am doing, drafting Action Plans for collaborative youth services across an entire community, and working on funding proposals for new initiatives you found in your research is very satisfying work…even if it makes me feel a little brain dead in other areas.  I feel like I am making a real difference and doing something worthwhile, which is exciting.  I also hasten to add that I think motherhood is definitely making a difference and worthwhile, but the financial pay is terrible I have found…and so is arranging holidays!!  :)  I think there is only another couple of weeks left of the work so I want to make the most of it. Especially coming into Christmas.

Which brings me on to another rocking moment, because as of last week I have bought four Christmas presents for this Christmas…I feel very organised…even if they are part presents…surely it is super organised and on top of life if you are Christmas shopping in September!? :D  If you have finished your Christmas shopping back in June I am okay if you don’t mention that!! haha

After the last big earthquake I was talking to my aunt and we decided we would go up for a weekend, she lives on a farm a few hours away and has baby calves and lambs that the children were able to feed.  It took a while to come up with a date that worked…in amongst the end of winter sports (YAY!) and St John’s Competitions and their stuff, but we finally came up with last weekend that worked for everyone, and as it turned out it was perfect timing.  It was so good to spend time with my aunt and uncle and my kindle.  Just doing nothing the whole weekend.  I felt ready for last week!  I snapped the first photo on the way up on Friday night just as the sun was setting about half way into the trip.

On the road as the sun sets. Heading to my aunt's farm. #gumbootspacked #girlchildexcitedforbabyanimals

phone 570

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phone 576Also in relation to the St John’s competitions Victoria managed a first, two seconds and two thirds in six events, and second overall in the 6-8 year age group…not much to complain about, though I have to admit I saw all her events and was a little surprised when my beloved told me the final results.  Clearly I would marked harder (which I do feel mean Mum about) and wonder if they gave bonus points to her and her partner for been so little and cute…though I did not see the other children who were competing.  In any event go her.  The competitions coincided with the last rugby game of the year for Sebastian, so that was a bit of a mission in military organisation.  Particularly in organising the plate for the rugby prize-giving that afternoon.

A few weeks ago I dropped my phone and it still worked but it was glitchy (though I was hesitant to say anything to anyone without having to confess what I had done to it).  The keyboard often didn’t come up when you touched the screen and it was a bit difficult to turn it on, but it still mostly worked for the basics.  So I left it (and besides it was less of a priority to sort out and devote time to than my laundry which is now nearly up to date in case I haven’t mentioned it!!  :)) Though it was a pain because I tended to read my blog reader on my phone, and the keyboard did not like blog comment boxes, but moving on…

I got a phone call on Friday and my phone was now off contract and they wanted to offer me a deal to sign up for another 24 months…which involved me getting a BRAND NEW SAMSUNG GALAXY S4 for FREE.  So I thought about it for all of 30 seconds before I agreed it was a good idea. Though I then proceeded to change my mind a few times about the extravagance, before I actually got it yesterday.

Oh my gosh…who knew I had been missing out on so much with my old phone when it was fully working.  It is a wonder, and this week I will be able to concentrate fully on getting my blog reader up to date, with a working key board and all.  And the phone camera…so much better than the crappy one I have been using.  It is all quite exciting.

And it was free so it felt like Christmas.  Very exciting.  I also realise that until last night I had no idea about how little my “smart phone” was lacking in some of the features other people have had.  I was geeking out about it, and my Beloved couldn’t understand the fuss…until I gave him some examples from my phone.  Still will take me a little while to suss out the navigation completely, especially with this working gig and laundry!

One of the other exciting things about the upgrade is that now I can have an updated Facebook app, which means I can now share my instagram photos to facebook…which I have been unable to do since June this year!!  I discovered on my google research that it was because my facebook app was not up to date, but my phone did not have the memory for that so I had to let it be.

This photo was my test (and it successfully posted to facebook)…as we slowly teach Miss 6 to ride without trainer wheels…how I wish we had never put those things on her bike!!

Learning to ride with no trainer wheels...slowly... My other rocking moments have been my beloved and children not mentioning the growing dirty laundry pile and for doing a lot more around the house than they normally do (mostly without the motivation of a snarky mother making martyr comments). I am very grateful though I need to stifle the urge to get up and do it when I hear them doing something. It is not that I don’t trust them to do it to a certain standard…I am not that strict of a housekeeper to be honest (if you had not yet guessed! ;) ), but I feel guilty not doing it…what is that and where did it come from??

I have to remind myself I am doing other stuff and the fact my beloved is doing some sort of cleaning around the house is not some personal judgement about my lack. I struggle a bit with making that not about my stuff though…one of the drawbacks abut working from home I think. If I wasn’t here I wouldn’t know it was happening, and would come home just pleased it was done!!

Now…for my big camera question. With this money I am getting I am diverting some of it to getting me my first DSLR camera. All very exciting. (VERY EXCITING…this may even mean more to me than an engagement ring I will get one day from my Beloved…well maybe it is about even, lest he thinks he has an escape from that bit of jewellery :)) A lot of the money from this contracting work is been diverted into much more boring areas, like bills and house bits, but knowing I am going to be getting a new camera makes everything okay (and the breathing room it is creating is such a massive stress relief)! I am very, very excited. I have been wanting this for a very LONG time.

I think I have narrowed down the camera I am getting to a Canon EOS 700D, or in American Language (:)) a Canon Rebel T5i. Although if you have other advice or suggestions I will gladly take it!, my money has not yet come in so I have not yet committed! :) BUT what I want to know is that I am split between two different packs. There is the twin lens pack with two lenses, an EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II and an EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS, and the Super Lens pack is one lens the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM.

I am clueless about which one to get, and which one is better. Both the sets are around the same price, so I have no idea about what to start with. So if you know about such wondrous stuff, could you please help me out. I have gone backwards and forwards and all around about and am still dithering in the middle with no clear steps in either direction, I read one thing and take a step in one direction, and then read something else and take a step in the other direction…no clear direction has won out though. It is a lot of money for me to spend/invest on me (and my family of course!! :) haha), and I really want to make the best choice. So I thought maybe if you knew something about DSLR cameras you could help me maybe, if you wouldn’t mind! :) I would be ever so grateful.

Bedding in the practice

RYWLinking up with Virginia’s rocking ladies over here.

To be honest I was going to take this week off, I was pretty sure I had not a lot to contribute, but the practice of finding those rocking sparkly moments is even more necessary in those times that you are not sure they exist, so I am here.  The funny thing is that when I got here to rustle up some words, I realised I did in fact have rocking moments to share.  It is curious that events that occur later can shadow and cloud what has gone on before.  A lesson to be learned.

So.  I am grateful for my beloved.  Truly grateful that he is who he is, and he is alive here with me.  I love that man so incredibly much and I am grateful he feels the same sort of way!!   Well he better!  :D

The children are right near the top of that list as well, bit of them make me so proud even when they are driving me insane and I am so pleased they are forging their own independence ways, even if I don’t always see eye to eye with them.  I would rather have these learning experiences with them, than have one of those mythical children who barely say boo and never get into trouble. (Though to be honest I sometimes need to remind myself of that!!) :)

I am grateful for magnolia’s again.  Also that while taking photos (while I was meant to be exercising), I receive text messages to tell me my instagram will look gorgeous but where is the sweat?!  I love that sense of connection in my little community.  It is one thing to have all of you people around me and to feel that connection but it is wonderful to have a sense of that a bit closer to me as well.  I am grateful.

Winter is nearly over... #magnoliamagic

Distracted by #magnoliamagic on my walk/jog/photo-taking this morning!

Also I ordered a zine from this lovely soul over here and it arrived this week with perfect timing and I love it. It is all kinds of wonderful wordy goodness. So irreverent and glorious and it made me laugh.

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I had a Skype call with this inspirational wonder who sparks possibilities and casts such a warm glow that she lights you up with your own potential even if you don’t fully see it. A truly magical moment of this week in so many ways. I hope we are able to do it again.

I am also grateful for my local library and the ability to borrow books and read them, it is such a genius service, I am also grateful to the person who invented libraries.

Also, I know I have banged on about our Winter, but it was on the news the other night that it has been the warmest one in over 100 years…it was not just me is what I am pointing out…that it really has been a lot milder. I normally am not a HUGE fan of Winter, I detest feeling cold (especially cold toes), I am such a snake preferring to soak up the heat of Summer, though I admit maybe the amount of words I have devoted to our mild Winter is a bit of an overkill. These will be the last ones I mention this year (also easy to promise because Spring is nearly here!!)

Finally I received a call about some contract work last week and am very grateful to be able to do that work this week in amongst my other creative pursuits. It certainly eases the budget a little as well. Universe I am open to more in case you are listening!!

I am also grateful for your kind comments, they have cheered me up so much this week. Thank you for the kind and lovely comments you make. I appreciate all of them.

I hope everyone is having a fabulous week.

Rocking this week

RYWLinking up with Virginia and the girls over here.  Come join in the gratitude sharing, it really makes a difference when you see your blessings written out.  :)

I mentioned before, but I was elected on to the Board of Trustee’s at my children’s school and then I became chair person and this week I had to run my first meeting and I was very, very nervous.  There are some amazing people on the board and I was very intimidated in case I stuffed up completely but they were all very kind and we finished on time.  I was so relieved to have the first meeting out of the way.  I have some training coming up on running effective meetings and figure things can only improve from now, so very grateful to have that first meeting over and no massive problems.  :)

{deep breath}

I got some contract work this week which I am very grateful for, but it was unexpected so I am now very busy as I have swiftly changed my plans mid-course.  It has reminded me how much I actually enjoy report writing, it is a nice complement to the creative side of me.

I am very grateful for my beloved who stepped up to the plate like a brave trouper when I had a small meltdown of overwhelm, before I got stuck in and made a list of what I had to do and began to focus.

I am also grateful for friends who tell me to open the wine when I phone them with children frustrations and they can hear the cacophony in the background.  Also that they stayed on the phone with me while I drank my glass of wine so I was not drinking alone.  :D

I was talking to my daughter’s teacher and she told me about this new thing they had just done in her house, based on something that her daughter’s teacher used in the class room. It had made her mornings easier with her children, so I went home immediately and painted it and so far more peace has been had, though it has had a few unexpected teething problems as well. Touch wood this will bring a lot more peace however, today it has gone a lot better than yesterday. Also…ka pai is Maori for good, and ka kino is Maori for not so good…in case you were wondering. :) Like a public service announcement!! haha

New reward chart for the kidlets is ready to go live! #crossingmyfingersforpeace

There was a just another giant earthquake (6.9) but thankfully I missed it and didn’t feel it on my way to get the children, so I am very grateful for that right now, as I feel much less anxious than I did last time, even with all the aftershocks.

Victoria had a playdate with a friend of hers at school, who happens to be a boy. She has been the subject of much of her brothers teasing with rhymes involving trees and kissing. She had a fantastic time though, and wrote a beautiful note that she showed me when she was finished. I love that she clarified she loved him as a friend, not anything else untoward happening there!! :)

Miss 6 had a play date yesterday and wrote a note last night. I love she clarified she only loved him as a friend after her brother's teasing all week.

My class with Pixie Campbell is going great and I have been playing with this off and on in between my contract work which is the perfect combination.

Visual Quest WIPIt is big, over half a metre and it pleases me. There is a part of me that wants to stop now before I ruin it. But I will always have the photo! :)

{Also just had another big aftershock and maybe I am not as calm as I thought I was!!}

I won this giveaway some time ago over at Sunshineshelle, and it arrived today. I have thought about it on and off but it felt rude to enquire if she hadn’t sent it, but when it arrived today I had completely forgotten so it was complete glee that I discovered what it was. I LOVE IT. Completely excited me in an insane way, she is such an amazing painter!! It is so much more amazing in person than even the photo I just noticed, stunning I tell you!

And that is me this week. I have just received some other not so rocking news, so I will say to hold your babies tight and tell them you love them.

Hope you all have a most wonderful weekend.

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