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..

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..

The waiting game..

IMG_0881.JPG

Still pregnant.. 40 weeks + 2 days.. overdue and feeling it…


I read a post by a friend the other day about having gratitude in circumstances that we may deem as hard or terrible to help with perspective- so..things I am grateful for in this season of waiting..

  • my health and the health of our unborn baby
  • being able to carry a pregnancy to full term plus a few days extra
  • a hospital, only a few minutes away from our home, that has all the facilities and technology to birth a baby without complications
  • a roof over our heads so when this baby does come we have somewhere to bring her home to
  • the financial peace (that has come from the Lord) that has enabled me to take months off of work to help nurture and be present with our children
  • friends and family who have continually checked on us and offered to help with Ava when we do bring another little one home

Just naming a few of course, but we truly are so grateful, even in the waiting..

Ava- 15 months!

636493797919720929_Afterlight_Edit.jpg

636493799894729841_Afterlight_Edit636493801495821819_Afterlight_Edit636493804982397823_Afterlight_Edit636493806402466151_Afterlight_Edit636493807876591835_Afterlight_Edit636493808696718373_Afterlight_Edit636493809613473243_Afterlight_EditIMG_2559IMG_2553IMG_2552636493810330886836_Afterlight_Edit

Balance

Inspired by the sermon we heard at church last Sunday night, I wanted to share for a few minutes on how I try to find balance in my life. If you wear more than one hat (I would say 99% of our population does) then I’m sure you are also walking (or trying to walk) in a life of balance. The Bible says to walk wisely (Eph 5:5)- I think being balanced with your time is part of walking in wisdom. Depending on the day I either do really well at being balanced with my time or I fail miserably!

My picture of balance has changed drastically since Ava joined our family! If you have children then you know what I’m talking about! It’s hard to tell a one year old that mumma needs to have a shower..and no, you cannot sit on the floor of the shower.. Or how about when you’re trying to hang a load of washing outside.. try telling your 14 month old that you cannot pick her up and hang washing at the same time.. I know! I’ve tried.. Thank heavens no one was filming me.. I would be a youtube sensation!

When you have children (whether you’re a mum or dad) you get lost in the whirlwind of raising those children! The bottles, nappies, wipes, schedules, potty training, puke and spit up.. fevers, food allergies, a new skill, walking, crawling, first words, bubble blowing (Check my Insta from last night!).. It’s an amazing whirlwind that sweeps you and your family unit up! We have loved every moment of it.. truly.. it has brought Greg and I closer as a couple and it has taught us how to love in such a deep way. You truly understand the love your parents have you when you have your own children, as cliche as that sounds..

Balance, when you become a parent, is about becoming flexible. It sounds contradictory right? I know.. but the more I thought about it, the more I noticed it was flexibility that was so closely tied with balance. Mum’s and Dad’s- when you put your little ones to bed, utilize that time. When Ava was younger I would collapse onto the bed and fall asleep (pure newborn exhaustion), but now that she is a lot older and her routine is very much established I have tried to seize that time until we go to bed. We’ll either hang out on the couch (just the two of us.. no little human taking our attention) or I’ll head out to Kmart to be able to just browse in silence.. or Greg may even do a late night dessert run which we can eat without the little human wanting some! haha… I have recently started working out one or two mornings a week- Greg runs a few days a week so we take turns being with Ava in the morning until the other person gets home.

Being balanced is about setting time aside for your partner, for your children and for yourself. We often hear the joke of ‘happy wife, happy life’ and while a lot of people use that in marriage speeches, it can definitely be applied to general life. If I am happy as a woman/mother/wife then my life will be happy. Balance isn’t about deadlines or rigid boxes that everything in life must fit in to it’s about being flexible and enjoying every moment (even those stressful hair pulling moments)!

A few practical tips for being balanced that I try and follow:

  • I do not turn my work laptop on at home and
  • I do not check my work emails at home

When I leave the office I am off the clock. It’s a boundary that I have tried to stick to. When I am home my family deserve my undivided attention.

  • I try not to be away from home during weeknights.

During the work week our nights are valuable. We cherish the time we can unwind with each other.

  • We guard and protect our Saturdays (or weekends)

It is so so easy for us to be occupied every Saturday. We have events on for church many Saturdays during the year, we also have birthdays and functions and baby showers- all of which are fun and necessary.. but know when to say no. I have a quote on the wall in our house which says “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

If you’re struggling to find balance make a list of all the tasks you have to do week to week or even day to day then try and put them in order of priority. What are some of the things you have to get done- i.e. Monday’s I have to grocery shop, Tuesdays-Thursdays I have to go to work.. With the remaining hours of the day where are periods of time that you can spend time with the kids, or maybe take an uninterrupted shower or go for a run? Don’t be afraid to ask that girlfriend to watch your kids for an hour or two. It won’t always happen and more often than not you may wonder where the time went but it’s about trying to walk wisely. To walk you have to put one foot in front of the other. Don’t stay in that feeling of being frazzled or worn out- sit down and work out ways you can change things.. even though your steps may be little at least you’re moving towards better!

So.. what now?

You’ve finished University, you’ve gotten married, you’ve bought that home..you’ve had a baby.. that baby is now growing up and has officially moved into the toddler stage.. you don’t know where the time has gone, but you do know it has pushed her along to achieve each milestone. It didn’t wait for her to decide to grow up, it simply kept ticking and with it it bringing a new sense of family and love and discovery..

So what now…?

Last week, in the same day, I cried with a friend who had recently experienced a miscarriage and then hugged and cried with friends at the news that they were pregnant.. Only a few days after this encounter did it occur to me how interesting life can be. It’s amazing how broken you can feel in a moment, when even words escape you and then experience such unadulterated joy. Joy for the sense of what your community of friends and family are gaining through this new addition, a joy because you know the amazing happiness that comes with the addition of a little feet and laughs, a joy for the couple who whether planned or a complete surprise are adding to their lives.

So what now..?

Through personality tests it’s been determined that I am very gold in nature. I thrive on lists and goals, I expect order and continually do everything in my power to try and maintain consistency and reliability.. so without a project or something to “do” I flounder around like a fish out of water.. good analogy huh?

We recently re-did the playroom which was a great project to occupy my time and thoughts but now here I am.. floundering.

Has anyone ever experienced this feeling?  Maybe you’re experiencing it now?

The Bible says that “after you have done all”…“to stand.”  Stand! That sounds like a nightmare but obviously it doesn’t mean to literally stand still..I think it means to be content. To look at your life, assess the blessings that flow abundantly and be grateful. Contentment.. do we even know what that means in this generation? Do we ever stop to enjoy what we have or who we have or do we long for more or bigger and better?

I saw a quote on Pinterest a while back it said “if you only have today what you were grateful for yesterday how much would you have?” What a confronting thought!

I challenge everyone to take a few minutes today to consider how blessed we really are. Consider the freedoms we take for granted, the meals we pay for frivolously. Consider the family you’re able to hug and love, think of the friends who have become family, or the children who light up your day. For those of us who work outside of the home- cherish the opportunity that you have to earn money. I’m thankful I live in a country where I have the religious freedom to go to church and actively pursue a relationship with Jesus.. something we take for granted that many in oppressed nations would dream of.

So, what now you may ask? Just stand..

Love lives here..

There was a time where a messy house would put me out of sorts. By out of sorts I mean, I would go commando cleaning everything up, I would probably get annoyed at my husband and say something I didn’t really mean because why..why can’t me take his shoes upstairs..For me, in my younger years, things out-of-place meant my life was out of place.
My family home never had little figurines or heaps of photo frames out..my mother only got a fridge that had a magnetized door in her late 40s- so there were never little pictures or letter magnets.. My sisters and I joke that we don’t know what happened to our mum because whenever my niece draws a picture it somehow lands on the fridge door for a few weeks.. Like who is she and what have you done with our mother?

It’s funny to think how pedantic I was about having a clean home.. I knew a change was coming- everyone warned me that once I had children it would change. They laughed at my white walls and my light grey couches, they looked at me incredulously when I bought a cream rug that piles so much it’s actually driving me nuts.. Oh, I knew change was coming I was just trying to delay the inevitable I guess…

But..fast forward almost 10 months..I can say, without reservation, that having a clean home is the furthest thing from what I desire.. well maybe it’s dropped a few spots down the list..

I have a friend (if you are friends with me and this mum you will probably know who I am talking about)- her house is kid friendly. By kid friendly I mean, there are kids things everywhere! Downstairs, in the living room, outside.. everywhere. They converted their garage into a massive kids play area (including a huge blackboard wall.. something straight out of  my dreams I’m telling you).. Before having a child of my own, her home drove me insane.. I would itch walking the door, wanting to help organise things, put toys in clear plastic containers, labelled perfectly with a label maker. To organise books onto the book shelf in alphabetical order.. I envisioned room after room of perfectly ordered things… it was like putting someone in a room with pink walls, knowing that they hate the color pink, and leaving a paint brush with a can of blue paint, their favorite color and not giving them the opportunity to paint those walls.. At first you resist, then you tolerate and then you accept.. but..and you knew it was coming..since having Ava everything has changed..

Now, when I walk into her house I see a house full of love- love for children, that shows itself by all the little knick knacks lying around on the ground. The kids’ area seeps into every corner of their home and I secretly love it. It is a home filled with life and love and fun toys and gadgets. It’s a pirate mask and a superman cape, it’s a dragon fighting figure that we haggled the seller down by $2 for. It’s book after book and every kids animation you could dream of.. Love lives in her home..

Remember my beautiful white walls? In our home, where the kitchen meets the dining room there is a sharp corner. In order to make the corner in her walker, Ava has to sidle up against the skirting board and quite literally run the top of the bottom half of the walker along the top of the skirting..the top of the skirting is black, but I can’t bring myself to remove the scuff mucks because for me it means Ava was there at sometime that day..it means love lives in my house.

We had three bath toys for Ava- 3 toys I carefully packed up after every bath time into the soap holder. While they did overflow they still fit, out of the bath, in a corner to keep the bath “clean”.. well that was until yesterday. A quick trip to Kmart reminded me that I needed to grab a few extra bath toys- now we have every letter and number slowly sliding down the side of the bath tub as they dry out overnight. Our attempts at practising the number and letters failed last night- she was more interested in biting them and seeing how many she could fit in her mouth- but honestly, it doesn’t matter.. When I walked into the bathroom this morning and I saw the letters strewn all over the bath, completely clashing with our bathroom design I smiled..because it means that loves lives in my house..

Most mornings if Ava is up early she plays with a Lego set in our bed while either Greg or I get another 20 minutes of sleep. Sometimes, if we’re in a rush, we don’t clean her lego up- we leave it between our sheets and hastily make the bed.. only to find it at night, pulling back the covers. And you know, it doesn’t bother me, I actually love it.. I love finding remnants of my baby, even after she’s gone to bed.. because to have her things strewn over the bed, or in the lounge room means that she has loved and she has played, and she has enjoyed the time she was awake that day…

It’s so easy to see the messy home, or the toys out-of-place. It’s easy to see the dust accumulating or the finger prints on your mirror, but I want to challenge you today to look at the things that you see as out of place or dirty, and instead see them as a reminder of the children you are helping raise. I would rather a home filled with love and a toy or two out of place, than a perfectly kept lounge room any day of the week.

Very early one morning..Lego, our sleep saver..

Ava- 9 months old

I decided to dust off the old camera to take some shots of Ava! We can’t believe she is 9 months old!

Motherhood has and continues to be an amazing experience..

636320851083083879_Afterlight_Edit636320851838456087_Afterlight_Edit636320852256738981_Afterlight_Edit636320852751408311_Afterlight_Edit636320853453078158_Afterlight_Edit636320854056030843_Afterlight_Edit636320854951691796_Afterlight_Edit636320855847594727_Afterlight_Edit636320856369757236_Afterlight_Edit636320857292875245_Afterlight_Edit636320867164414425_Afterlight_Edit636320868161632530_Afterlight_Edit

636320869084837332_Afterlight_Edit636320869951934242_Afterlight_Edit636320871014343268_Afterlight_Edit636320871672498555_Afterlight_Edit636320872179212214_Afterlight_Edit

 

Time flies…

IMG_3256IMG_3908IMG_3450IMG_4080IMG_3838IMG_4366IMG_4377IMG_4279IMG_3866IMG_4226IMG_4343IMG_4313IMG_3882IMG_4149IMG_3856IMG_3698IMG_3613IMG_4371

The first tastes of real food!

2 days after Ava turned 4 months we tried rice cereal! Friends.. it went so well that she started refusing the bottle.. yep.. How do we know that it wasn’t just a fluke.. well, she would drink half a bottle and refuse the rest. I would then go and get the bowl with the rice cereal and she would start laughing and eat the whole bowl.. What a smart baby she is!

A week after she tried rice cereal we went away for the entire week so back to the bottle only we went. Ava eventually realised that she wasn’t going to get solids so she began drinking the bottle again..

Last week I restarted her on rice cereal- she is loving it! We tried banana with rice cereal which went over terrible..She was not a fan of the banana. We will try it again but maybe I’ll mix it with another fruit or vegetable.

Sweet Potato has been a massive hit!

The best infographic I found for what to introduce when was from The Mommy Promotion below:

mommy_promotion_baby-food-timeline_first-3-22

Things no one tells you about feeding your baby solids:

  • Their poo will not becoming solid after a week of solids
  • Food will cover you and your child! It is so so messy!
  • If your child is teething they will LOVE the spoon! I recommend giving your baby an extra spoon to bite while you feed them.
  • You will see some of the best facials in your short babies life on the day you introduce a food that they hate! Example below.. banana..


In has been an amazing experience to feed Ava new things!