Friday, January 28, 2011

Gratitude - day seven (but a very late post)

Well finally I am getting around to finishing my gratitude journal. And you guessed it - I am grateful for my three beautiful boys. Somehow after years of infertility I am lucky enough to be the mum of three beautiful boys - Mitchell Steven, Harrison Adam and Jackson Kevin. All totally different and all a blessing in their own way.

Mitchell is the smoocher. He loves nothing more than to cuddle and kiss. On a rough day (and who doesn't have those) he is the first one to come over and climb on my lap and tell me that he loves me. BUT don't get me wrong he is an equal opportunity cuddler and will happily give cuddles to the mums at school and even to strangers at times. He loves jarmie days and playing with his trains. He loves going out for coffee and spending time alone with either Kev or me. We call him Grandpa Simpson beecause he loves to tell stories which never seem to end or have much point to them. Mitchell is a blessing in our lives. He shows us daily that even when things are tough to do a positive attitude goes a very long way.

Harrison (or Harry as everyone calls him) is a thinker. He wants to understand the world and sometimes seems to pick the most inopportune time to ask questions - usually whilst I taking something out of the oven or changing Jack! He is also less outgoing than Mitch, but once you win his heart he is yours forever. He loves bike riding especially with his Grandad and loves to play games with his Dad. He loves the computer and his DS. He is a wonderful big brother to Jack and loves making him laugh. He is happy to play with Jack for hours and then pack up the mess. He is my little shadow and some would say my clone (grin). Harry amazes us every day with how far he has come in such a short time. We are so proud of all of his hardwork at school and the friends he has made.

Jackson (or Jack) is our little clown. He will happily blow raspberries or jump up and down if it gets a laugh. Being the baby of the family he expects and demands attention. He loves cuddles. He also loves puppies - his favourite words are "puppy", "Mum", "Dad" and "happy". He is our happy boy. Jack shows us how the biggest surprises can be the most delightful!

So that's it for my gratitude journal. In a small way it has helped me clarify what is wonderful about my life and in turn what I need to appreciate more. Hope your life is full of good things too,

Lisa xx

Monday, January 24, 2011

Gratitude - day six...

Observant readers may notice that I hadn't posted a message for well over 24 hours... and there is a reason. The past few days I have been staying in Victor Harbor with my Dad (and Mitch & Jack). Victor is a beautiful seaside town about an hour's drive from Adelaide. It has lovely beaches, great restaurants and lots of things to see and do. Now that Dad has moved here we have a good excuse for visiting often.

And how does that relate to my gratitude journal? Well I am grateful for time to just relax and be. This doesn't happen all that often, but when it does I relish it. I remember reading once that "taking time to do nothing is never wasted time". BUT it is hard to remember it when life seems to be a series of deadlines, jobs to be completed and places to be. And being the kind of person I am, it is often difficult to prioritise relaxation, before the household chores or whatever "job" I think needs to be done.

So I am grateful for the opportunity to relax, to sip a glass of wine, read a good book or doze in a comfortable armchair. It is times like these that I am reminded of just how good life can be.

Hope you manage to find a little piece of heaven too,
Lisa xx

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Gratitude - day five

I am grateful for my home. That might seem a bit funny, especially since we are looking for a new home. But recently I listened to a radio program in which they discussed homelessness in South Australia and particularly Adelaide. They estimated that there were more than 230 homeless families with children currently residing in Adelaide. These families were often reluctant to seek help, as they were fearful of having their children taken away. The radio article commented on how homelessness impacted on everything in a child's life - and would impact on their adult life too. How is it that we live in such an affluent society, but we have children living in cars or in parks? Having cared for homeless people as a nurse, I understand that some individuals remain homeless due to addictions or mental illness and that even with the best intentions in the world they are unable to be housed. BUT children? What choice do they have?

That got me thinking about my boys and our living situation. Sure our home is a bit cramped, but it is comfortable and clean. We live in a nice neighbourhood and are fortunate to have good neighbours. It will be great when we find a new home, which gives us a little more room to move. However our family doesn't have to wonder where they will sleep each night or whether they will be safe. Our little home is a haven away from the worries of the world. So I am grateful for our home.

Hope you have your own little haven too,
Lisa xx

Friday, January 21, 2011

Gratitude - day four...

I am grateful for my parents. My Mum and Dad raised us in a loving home and we had no doubt how special they thought we were to them. Although it has been more than four years since my beautiful mum died, I feel her touch in a lot that I do. Sometimes I miss her so much that there is a physical pain. Every day I wish she was here. And sometimes the need to talk with her is almost unbearable. My Mum taught me what it is to be a Mum and I would love her to be able to experience the joy our three little men bring. She was so thrilled to be a Gran and was so excited awaiting the pending birth of my nephew Liam. I am so grateful to have had a loving and close relationship with her. And my Dad despite his obvious grief at the death of my Mum continues to be an important part of my life. No matter what time of day he is always ready for a chat and some words of advice. The boys adore him and so do Kev and I.

I am grateful for my brother, sister-in-law and my beautiful nephew. Adam, Kelly and Liam are a loving family and I grateful to have them in my life and the lives of our boys. Although I know Adam gets sick of the childhood "Adam stories" - he puts up with my reminiscences and good-nature jibes. I can't remember a time when Adam and I haven't been friends. We even lived together for a while as adults! And if he could tolerate my cleaning obsession then he must be made of strong stuff. And soon there will be a precious little addition to their family - can't wait :-)

And I am grateful for my extended family. Although we may not see each other very often I always enjoy spending time with them. Having a relatively large extended family has been a bit of a steep learning curve for Kev, as most of his family lives overseas (his Mum & Dad are in Queensland). I especially love when the cousins get together. Now we have grown up and have families of our own it is a double blessing to see our children playing together. And I enjoy seeing my Aunties and Uncles too. They have been an especially important part of my life since Mum died and I am grateful for their wise counsel and understanding.

And I am so grateful for Kev's Mum and Dad. Norm and Iris have accepted me into their home and their family. They live too far away and we don't get to see them often enough, but when we do its like no time has passed at all. They are wonderful grandparents and so loving towards me.

So you see I have a LOT to be grateful for and as I head off to bed I am reminded just how lucky I am,

Lisa xx

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Gratitude - day three...

I am grateful for my friends. I heard it once said that you have a friend for a reason, a season or for life. And I can certainly relate to that. I have had friends who have seen me through my darkest hours and highest of highs, I have had friends for certain periods of my life. And then friends who are stuck with me for life. And for each of those friends I am indeed grateful.

Its funny how no matter how special our friends are, we often fail to tell them. We are often more comfortable sharing our feelings with people who are merely acquaintances. I suppose that part of the reason is that we get so busy with our lives and the time just slips away before we realise it. But aren't those close to us the most deserving of our love and honesty? So if I have one New Year's resolution it is to make sure I tell my friends how much they mean to me.

With much love,
Lisa xx

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Gratitude - day two...

I am grateful that my family and I live in Australia! And probably more to the point that we live in South Australia. SA is a hidden gem - beautiful beaches, Mediterranean climate, fantastic wineries and restaurants, and a city which is easy to get around (on most days).

I am reminded daily of just how beautiful this place is when I drive a short distance from home and stretched out before me are the magnificent vineyards of the Barossa. A community settled in part by people who were fleeing religious persecution in their homeland of Germany (formerly Prussia). They came to our country seeking a new life and as a consequence brought their knowledge of viticulture which is now an integral aspect of our lives here in SA. Now a trip to SA wouldn't be the same without sampling our local wines.

Our beaches are wonderful. And there is something so soothing about walking for miles along a deserted beach. Withing a short drive from the centre of Adelaide (or a slightly longer tram ride) you can be at the beach - enjoying a swim, sunbathing or taking a walk.

Our scenery is breathtaking. Whether you explore the Great Australian Bight, The Flinders Ranges or The Murray River there are wonderful photo opportunities everywhere. Sometimes it is easy to drive past in a flurry and fail to take it all in, but it IS there waiting to be discovered.

Yes, living in South Australia is something I am very grateful for (although not as often as I should be). So my plan this weekend? Enjoy some of the fruits of the vine, take a walk along a beach and take the time to explore my little corner of the world.

Thanks for reading,
Lisa xx

Monday, January 17, 2011

Gratitude journal - day one...

I wanted to concentrate on all the good things I have in my life - the wonderful friends and family, the great places I have been and also the simple pleasures of my life. And I couldn't go past mentioning my beautiful husband Kevin. Most of you probably know that Kev and I met after he responded to an ad I placed in the Connections section of the local Sunday paper. That was 17 years ago this April. He was one of over 200 respondents and he was my 17th date (I am nothing if not persistent!). I first met him when he came to my place for a coffee - not the wisest thing to do, but my brother Adam was lurking in the background. He knocked on the door and Adam welcomed him and handed him a beer. Kev said later that he was desperately hoping he was at the right house (grin). We chatted for a few hours and I headed off to a nursing night shift. After that it was just one of those things. We kept ringing each other and catching up and six months later we were living together. He was nothing like the man I imagine I would spend my life with, but at the same time he was everything I needed. He was (and is) calm, kind and genuine. There is no pretence. He says what he means and doesn't tend to sugarcoat things. Most of all he loved me for all my faults and foibles - he never (and has never) asked me to change and he wanted the same things from life that I did (and still does).

17 years later I consider myself very lucky to have such a good man in my life. He loves our boys and is an active part of their lives. He loves my family and although he would happily spend most of his time at home, is happy to come to family get togethers with me. He is a good provider. And most of all he is my safe place in the world.

I am forever grateful for having Kevin in my life...

Thanks for reading,
Lisa xx

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Today I was thinking about how life can be altered irrevocably in a heartbeat. The Queensland floods have had a devastating effect on so many families - homes have been washed away, businesses destroyed and worst of all lives have been lost. And as the death toll slowly rises, it is the individual stories which have moved us and made this awful event all the more real.

The other morning I read of the desperate struggle of pregnant mother Stacey Keep to save her three young children from the flash flood that swept through their home. She was swept onto a railway track whilst clinging onto her 23 month old baby girl Jessica, but the little girl was torn from her arms by the current and is presumed drowned. Her husband Matthew tried to keep two of their children above the flood waters, but they were all swept out of the house. He somehow managed to find some roofing to cling to and was rescued down stream. Maddison (5) and Jacob (4) were saved by their grandmother Pauline, but she then drowned. And the children's other grandmother is also presumed drowned. The toll on this one family alone is just dreadful.

As I read their story the tears fell. I could not imagine what they were going through and it made me pause for a moment and think of all I have to be grateful for in my life. A friend posted on Facebook the other day about how the act of cleaning out her fridge made her realise how lucky she was to have a fridge and electricity. And so this got me thinking about gratitude (and my lack of it). Seems I am all too ready to complain about things, but expressing thankfulness falls way behind. So my challenge this week is to blog about those things (big and small) which I am grateful for in my life.

Maybe you might like to share your blessing too,
With much love,
Lisa xx