Podcasts- the good, the better and the life changing!

c343e527a59d717c36566367ca4198bdOkay, I am not a podcast obsessor like my husband but since having more time in the car, I’ve committed to listening to podcasts which are helping to shape my behaviours, routines and ambitions. For me podcasts were something that my husband really enjoyed- they were kind of monotonous- listening to someone go and on and on- nothing to watch or look at.. It reminded me of high school.

Fast forward a few years – the Podcast space has really become flooded with great content! I listen through Apple’s Podcast app so I’m assuming you’d be able to find the same apps on an Android App Store.

Though I’m not a small business owner I would have to say that my favourite types of podcasts are generally geared towards business owners- I always get so inspired by people going after their dreams. While I don’t think I will ever run my own business I am the biggest advocate and supporter of people who do! I have so many friends who have started their own companies the last few years- seeing them post on social media about jobs they get is seriously so exciting to me. I literally have done happy dances in my living room because I am such a supporter of them and their dreams!

If you have a spare 20-30 minutes in the car and you need to hear someone motivate the mess out of you.. these are for you:

  • Building a Storybrand with Donald Miller
  • How I built this with Guy Raz
  • Rise Podcast by Rachel Hollis

If you’re just wanting to know “stuff” for that one time you may get onto “Who wants to be a millionaire”.. I gotcha right here:

  • 99% invisible
  • Myths and Legends
  • Stuff you should know
  • TED Talks Daily
  • This American Life

If you love hearing people’s stories about life, babies, immigration, family…these have it all..

  • The Moth
  • Australia Birth Stories

If you know you are already a rockstar spouse but you may or may not need a little more work, here you go:

  • Marriage after God with Aaron & Jennifer Smith
  • Rise Together with Rachel and Dave Hollis
  • Fierce Marriage with Ryan and Selena Frederick

Quick Tidbits to be a better parent (side note- I find these episodes way too short..):

  • Parenting Great Kids by Dr Meg Meeker

..and lastly..if you need a laugh:

  • They HeyDad Podcast

Happy  listening friends!

It’s okay to celebrate!

You guys.. I don’t know why I didn’t post this.. so much self judgement as to what’s oversharing or what you guys even want to read…anyways.. This is back dated from early Jan..

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I know, the title is a little weird…

To say the last two weeks has been difficult would be the understatement of this new century. I’m not just talking sickness- though there was a lot of that, including trips to our emergency department, so much kids medicine and adult medicine (including two rounds of antibiotics plus a refill), but other things which I’ll spare you the grossness of.. let’s just say if I had to encapsulate it all it would be Tuesday afternoon … I finally felt like I had enough strength to get out of bed and take a shower. I decided to wash my hair because I knew my grandma was here to help so I thought I should have be okay.. oh was I wrong.. after about 5 minutes (shampoo still throughout my hair) my 80 year old grandma came bursting through the bathroom door (well I don’t know if bursting is the right word for an 80 year old trying to carry an 8 month old Turtle style but anyways you get the idea).. anyways she came around the corner and a few thoughts quickly ran through my mind:

  1. My grandma is seeing me in the shower (LORD HELP ME)
  2. How did she get up the stairs with my 8 month old (she has a problem lifting her because of her fragility and my 8 month old’s size)
  3. Why was she carrying her like a turtle?
  4. CAN I NOT JUST TAKE A SHOWER ALONE WHEN I’M SICK?!?!?!

and then it all made sense…

I saw poo.. so much poo.. so so much poo.. on my grandma’s shirt, up Raegan’s back, her top, her singlet, her arms..

I proceeded to take her from my grandma and bring her into the shower where poo gloriously caked me also, up the arms, on the floor.. everywhere.. in thick mask like fashion.. that my friends encapsulates the last 2 weeks.. but nevertheless I am so so grateful.

Being in the emergency room reminded of how blessed we truly are that we don’t have children that are chronically ill. My heart breaks for mums and dads and grandparents that have to see their little ones attached to machines on a regular basis, or have their talkative little children wear breathing tubes or feeding tubes. The first trip to the ER with Ava was okay- I held myself composed- I was informative and very much checked in to finding out what was wrong with her.. the second trip on New Years Eve (yep, I heard the fire works from the waiting room of Emergency) I was much more emotional and just overwhelmed by it all. Our little girl had been unwell for over a week by then- she was barely talking or eating, putting herself to sleep numerous times a day- even now it completely makes me break down thinking about it. We’re not out of the throws of sickness yet but we’re heading in the right direction.. I can’t thank the Lord enough for my mum. She has been an incredible help to my family during this time- rushing to emergency at any hour of the day, feeding us, helping me clean the house.. just above and beyond..

Anyways, I said all that to say, today during my Bible reading I was listening to Genesis where the Lord created the world (yep, I’m a little behind in my reading.. LOL.. I’m doing two a day to catch up..) anyways, we call know the Bible Story- the Lord created and then He rested.. and when He finished creating the world on Day Six He said that “it was very good.” I don’t know why it stuck out to me today but I felt like the Lord was giving me license to do things and celebrate when I did them “well.” In a world where it’s so easy to cut corners or to take the cheats-way-out there is merit and value in “doing well” and taking pride in what you have accomplished. Or vice versa- oftentimes when you celebrate your wins people call you full of pride or self-seeking.

I challenge you this year to put the work in- whether it be financially or physically, spiritually or mentally- whatever area- even the Lord was proud of what He made and we are made in His image which means we mirror or are a reflection of Him and His attributes.

Go ahead and plan to reach that goal and then celebrate when you get there or when you take steps to reach it- you have permission to say that it’s “very good!”

Preschooler Gift Ideas

We absolutely hit it out of the park with gifts for our daughter Ava this year- she loved almost everything we found for her!

I’ve linked some of her favourite things if you need gift ideas for your preschooler!ONE.png

One- Disney Puzzles, Big W | Two- Kids Umbrella, Sunnylife | Three- Fire Station Lego, Lego | Four- Doctor’s Bag, Big W | Five- Fire Truck, Kmart | Six- Walkie Talkies, Amazon | Seven- Construction Lego, Lego | Eight- Dr Baby Barbie, Amazon

Be careful little eyes..

IMG_8289.JPGOver the past few weeks we have been noticing that Ava (my 3 year old) has become excessively clingy. For example, whenever Greg or I leave for work she gets weepy and ask’s if we’re coming home, she won’t travel in the car with my mum by herself anymore, she doesn’t want to sleep over her house without us.. It was quite unusual for her considering just a month or so ago she was completely fine with us leaving, going out etc

We thought it was just a phase she was going through at 3 years old but a few days ago my Mum had the thought that perhaps it was something she watched on Frozen- we had never let her watch the movie until a few weeks ago. If you haven’t seen the movie, there is a scene near the beginning in which the two main characters (sisters Ana and Elsa) parents’ go on a trip on a boat, they get caught in a storm at sea and never return. Ava asked me what happened to the parents and I told her that they had died (she has understood the concept of dying for a number of months when we attended a funeral earlier this year).

Suddenly it seemed like this clinginess was actually due to something she had seen and thought would happen to her.

I called her over a few days ago and asked her to tell me about the movie Frozen (just to see whether my mums theory was correct.) The first (and only) thing she told me about straight off the bat was that Ana and Elsa’s mummy and daddy left on a trip and died. We were all shocked. It actually broke my heart that she was thinking that mummy and daddy were going away all these weeks and we would potentially not come home..

I quickly reassured her that Mummy and Daddy were not going to die and that we would always come home and anything she saw on tv was just a show and pretend. We went through it a few times and then told her that we were going to go to the gym. She slowly said “okay, okay..”

We’ve had to re-assure her a few times the last few days that we will always come back but it absolutely made me realise that we need to monitor things she is watching more. Her other shows are “younger”- Micky Mouse, Noddy (the inspector), Wiggles…

I guess it’s a wake up call that if you have kids and you notice a change in their behaviour perhaps consider what they are reading or watching- you may never know what their little hearts and minds are remembering and imposing on real life.

A big girls room

Have you ever been stuck in a rut when it comes to a bedroom- you don’t know how to change it you just know you want it changed, it needs a freshen up?

That’s exactly how I felt about Ava and Raegan’s room. Here’s the link for what her room used to look like prior to Raegan being born. When Raegan turned around two months old we moved her in Ava’s room. They both sleep quite heavy so we had no real problems with one waking the other up.

We obviously had to change the layout of the room to fit a cot, single bed and large chest of drawers. I was also getting a little tired of the watercolour dots on the wall. Thankfully they’re removable so we re-located them all to the playroom!

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DSC_0129DSC_0131DSC_0133DSC_0141DSC_0144DSC_0147DSC_0136DSC_0140I DIY added the tassels to a basket I already had been using for Ava’s stuffed animals.

The “you are capable of great things” print relocated from her playroom to her bedroom a well as the fluro coloured tassel garland.

I didn’t have to buy anything additional- by simply switching out pieces we already had I was able to change the room into a little more grown up for our 3 year old while keeping the left side still simple and complimentary for Raegan.

More than just the crumbs.

Most have their ‘me time’ at night, when you have no energy left. You’re giving yourself crumbs which is why you spend it scrolling or watching. My ‘me time’ should be when i’m at my best...png

Do you know who Rachel Hollis is? DO YOU KNOW WHO RACHEL HOLLIS IS? Yes, I was emphatically asking you that question.

I don’t know which instagrammmer it was but someone along the way in the last 6 months snapped a picture of them reading the book “Girl wash your face” by Rachel Hollis. Linked here at Amazon and here at Amazon Australia.. go buy it now..don’t wait just buy it. There are great parts to the book and not so great parts (like with every book) but I can absolutely tell you that it has changed my life!

If you know me in person you’ll know that since the birth of baby number duos I have lost a lot of weight.. I’m talking like 45 pounds/20kgs+.. I totally credit my weightloss to two really really hard but rewarding things:

  • The Sweat App- The program BBG by Kayla Itsines gave me that spark I needed to actually start exercising in the comfort of my own home because like legit, who has the time to go to the gym more than twice a week.. especially with 2 kids under 5.. it’s not going to happen.. Did I mention that my husband was training for a marathon while and after I gave birth? Hello 2+ hour runs..

and

  • Reading Girl wash your face by Rachel Hollis- I don’t remember much of the book to be honest (I’ve started re-reading it) but one thing that I do remember is her saying something to the effect of- “if you plan to workout (at any certain time) and then you decide not to or get too busy you are breaking a promise to yourself.” We can’t handle it when other people let us down or break promises to us why is it okay for us to break promises to ourselves? This simple statement got me through those times where I thought 9pm was too late to workout or putting on gym clothes at 6am when I was so exhausted. Just a year before I probably broke promises to myself multiple times a week- now, it’s rare if I go a day without a run or 28 minute workout.

While I know these two things may not work for everyone they worked for me.

One morning last week I jumped into the car and on a whim decided to check if Rachel Hollis had a podcast. I figured- she’s cool and hip and speaks really well- she’s bound to have a podcast.. and lo and behold she did!

Hello most recent episode called “How to supercharge your morning routine.” I think someone came to my house and looked in our room every morning. I drrraaaggggg myself out of bed about 45minutes before I need to leave the house. I am exhausted you guys.. Reagan is a good sleeper unless she’s sick or teething which has pretty much been our lives the past month. Thank the Lord for my amazing husband who has bared the brunt of this- he has fed her and changed her at unGodly hours of the morning (or night.. it’s all a blur to me). Without him I would have lost my mind.. legitimately lost my mind.

Anyway I digress- “how to supercharge your morning.” You guys.. she drops truth bombs for about 45 minutes straight. The biggest thing that stuck out for me was when she talked about “me time.” At first I scoffed.. “me time”.. she obviously doesn’t have little children because there is no “me time” only “slave time”. But guys she’s onto something.. she talked about how we’re only giving ourselves crumb me time.. as in, our “me time” generally happens at the end of the day after we’ve worked all day, taken care of the kids, showered and fed everyone etc which is why our ”me time” usually involves Netflix or scrolling through Instagram for an hour.. we’re running on fumes by the time we get our time. She suggests moving ‘me time’ to first thing in the morning. Right off the bat.. wake up 1-2 hours before you actually need to wake up and do something that sets your soul on fire!

Guys, I’m going to do it. If words had ever slapped me in the face this was the day.

I can only imagine how hard it’s going to be tomorrow morning but you know if Rach can do it so can I! Haha..

Preschooler Dresses

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I often get asked where I get my 3 year old Ava’s formal/church dresses from. I shop at places in Australia and Overseas such as Cotton On, Janie and Jack, Ebay, Zulily.. really all different places.

I wanted to share some links with you for dresses Ava has as well as other’s I’ve found that are formal so you can bookmark these companies for next time!

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One- Lola Short Sleeve dress, Cotton On | Two- Laura Short Sleeve Dress, Cotton on  | Three- Inga Tulle Dress, Cotton On  | Four- Romantic Embroidered Dress, Zara  | Five- The Maya Dress, Janie and Jack  |  Six- Plaid Ruffle Dress, Janie and Jack  |  Seven- Katanna Lace Dress, Bardot Junior  |  Eight- Cheetah Faux Fur Dress, Janie and Jack | Nine- Animal Print Dress, Zara | Ten- Loose fitting button up dress, Zara | Eleven- Jackered Window Pain Dress, Janie and Jack | Twelve- Embroidered Dress, Zara

Reagan Jean

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My bright big blue eyed girl.

Reagan ‘Little Ruler’ | Jean ‘God is gracious.’

 

 

Heart Whispers

Ramblings from when we first brought Reagan home… (and I never posted for fear of judgement)

A bird lands on the pram next to me as I watch my eldest play in the sand. A quick flick of my hand and the bird flies away. I grab the cap for my youngest’s pacifier- would birds think it’s food? Not sure, but I don’t want to take the chance. I make a mental note to sanitise my hands after touching the handle of the pram.

Her voice cuts through the millisecond of silence- “faster mumma, I want to go faster.. The slide, I want to go on the slide”.. I’m brought back to reality and slow the spinning contraption in front of me down so she can get off. I wrangle her arms around the baby strapped to my chest and lift her off. I watch her navigate through the sand towards the big slide, a little boy nearby catches her eye but he’s quite a bit younger than her, she looks away disinterested. “I want to go on the swing mumma.. the swing.. the swing..” She won’t stop till I acknowledge what she’s said. I push the pram over to the edge of the swing set and gingerly step through the sand to push her. “Higher mumma.. higher..” “Patience” I exclaim .. it sounds meaner then I wanted it to.

You wanted this.. I hear my heart whisper..

The baby on my chest stirs.. I start the mumma bounce- one hand pats her little bottom while I make the white noise “shhhhh” sound for a solid minute hoping that she lulls back to sleep. “I want to get off mumma.. I want to go on the small slide..” “Really? You just got on the swing..” I exclaim.

If you can just make it to nap time.. I hear my heart whisper.

I think in terms of hours now. 3 hours till the next bottle, 4 hours till nap time.. if I stretch bottle number 2 I can get them both to nap at the same time. Dinner is in 2 hours if I do bottle four at 6pm. If I go to sleep right this minute I’ll get 5 hours of sleep or I stay up for bottle number 6 and then get 4 hours of sleep..

You don’t have me time.. I hear my heart whisper..

I lay on the carpet, willing and coaxing my newborn to lift her head.. if she can just look to the left. I can feel the anxiety building in my chest. I’ve googled neck issues consecutive nights this week. I’ve rotated her bed, I’ve called her name- nothing seems to be working. I’ve been on a seesaw of celebration and worry. Was it something during pregnancy, maybe something I ate, maybe she was too squished in my womb.

It’s your fault.. I hear my heart whisper..

I see crumbs littering the floor beside the kitchen.. The vacuum cleaner sits beside the staircase. How are there crumbs already- I only vacuumed an hour ago. Dishes peak out from the top of the sink. I see her bright pink and orange bowl. It was used to house a chocolate biscuit but really only held for decoration. Chocolate crumbs scatter the couch- I say a quick prayer that she didn’t smoosh the chocolate into the fabric.

You can’t keep this house clean.. I hear my heart whisper..

We have dinner guests tonight..as our guests file through the door my eldest runs over to her sister and with a “ta-da” pose exclaims- “Here’s my bubba! She’s such a cute bubba!” I feel tears prick my eyes.. “This is her dummy and her bouncer..This is Baby Raegan..”

These are your girls..I hear my heart whisper..

I stir from sleep, reaching for my phone- it’s 6:05am. I feel a weight near my legs and look up to see my eldest with her Eeyore teddy leaning into the bassinet. A moment of panic sets in until the silence is broken by her little voice “Eeyore.. this is Baby Raegan..” Hello.. hello.. hello baby.. mmwwaa..” I’m lulled back to sleep by her voice introducing Fluffy Bunny..

She has such a kind heart.. I hear my heart whisper..

Family Photos

So I know it has been a number of weeks since I last wrote.. I went back through the site and yikes.. it’s been forever..

Life has gotten a little busier with two kids but to be honest I haven’t really felt the inspiration to pull out the laptop and blog. I’ve spoken to a few people who think that blogging is dying or has died but if it’s dying (or is dead) where else am I going to be able to post something longer than a caption? I refuse to be one of those people who put a “continued in the comments” statement at the end of their essay caption on instagram.. ha!

In the last few months since I’ve blogged we’ve gotten into more of a routine with Raegan, Ava’s started preschool one day a week, I’ve gone back to work 4 days a week and we’ve gotten family photos! Today I’m sharing some of the highlights from our family photos that we absolutely loved. If you’re in Sydney and you need a photographer you should look up Hayley Rafton! We had photos taken with her 2 years ago when Ava was just over 1 so we knew we had to use her again to document our growing family!

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