Sunday, December 15, 2013

Summer shape up 8wk challenge results

today was the final weigh in and measure for the 8wk challenge I have been doing. it has been a great experience and kick in the pants for me. the biggest change for me has been in my nutrition. Exercise has also been the easy part for me. I don't find it hard to get motivation to get out and exercise. giving up the sugar however has always been much harder for me. essentially this has been about cleaning up my eating. removing the rubbish carbs, eating good clean carbs and increasing (dramatically) the protein in my diet... I am using and enjoying protein powder. it certainly hasn't been a perfect road, and I am pretty realistic about this being a whole of life change not just a fly by the night 8wk thing.
look! I grew definition and biceps in 8wks!
the classes that Brooke runs are simply amazing. they are hard and they always challenge me. they are always different and push me to my limit. im good with that. and I can see the results starting to appear and pay off. as of todays weigh in, I am 1.5kg off my pre-children weight and 6.5kg off 16-21yr old Vania who was playing basketball for Auckland...

so, heres my results

cms lost over 8wks on my:

(r) arm:        2.5cms lost
(r) thigh:      4cms lost
chest:           6.5cm lost
waist:           14cm lost
hips:             7cm lost


19/10/13 89.9kg
15/12/13 84.5kg
Total loss over 8wks: 5.4kg

week 8 summer shape up challenge 14/12/2013

week 1 19/10/2013 (left), week 8 14/12/2013 (right)
week 1 19/10/2013 (left), week 8 14/12/2013 (right)
Again, putting the word out for Brooke and her business FITmumz (although there are plenty of women there who aren't mums) all the info is in the link. classes currently in alfriston, the gardens and Clevedon, west Auckland in the new yr and I hear there are plans for east Auckland and the shore too :)

Friday, November 15, 2013

almost halfway

I have been doing this summer shape up challenge now for a day shy of 4weeks. At tomorrow mornings class, Brooke will be weighing and measuring each of us. this has been my progress so far on the scales...

Start: 89.9kg
end of wk 1: 88.95
end of wk 2: 88.5
end of wk 3: 86.85

so in the first 3wks I had lost 3.05kg. pretty good going I think.

im super curious as to how tomorrows weigh in and measure will go. I have been continuing to eat pretty clean and haven't had any major upsets this week in the food department. my training has been going pretty well. I have been at FITmumz sessions 3 times a week, and in between have been getting up a local track (lots of stairs and good incline) at least twice a week, AND have added in a game of netball on Mondays as well.

the thing is that although I have been keeping to the plan, my scales don't seem to register the same numbers as Brookes - so I don't know what hers will say in the morning. I can see physical change in my shape so I know things are moving on, but I honestly wonder if there will be a loss this week? I do wonder if I built more muscle than I lost in fat over the past 7 days.

tomorrow all will be revealed I guess.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Day 17

just checking in.

a week ago now (last Wednesday) the muscle which runs down the front of my shin (tibialis anterior) started cramping up after the one of the classes. by the end of the day it was super painful and I was limping. I rested Thursday, then trained Friday, Saturday and Sunday. not really giving it a rest right? yesterday I played two games of netball which was lots of fun, but halfway through the second game I could feel the pain settling in. and of course - I kept on playing... last night it was super sore and achy even in bed. today it felt improved, just achy still.

I think I need some new trainers. the impact is particularly unhelpful and I don't think my shoes are cushioning it sufficiently anymore. I am going to go to training tomorrow morning I have decided, but I will need to be disciplined to avoid the impact stuff - like the squat jumps (just squat instead) and the burpees (will step it instead), and running to warm up... hoping to be able to continue the discipline of training and not go under due to injury...

nutrition plan is going well so far this week. just need to stick with it.

and that's it for now :)

Sunday, November 03, 2013

the numbers

ok, so numbers usually freak women out. sharing them that is. the numbers that relate to weight are the numbers I am referring to to be exact. I have thought about whether I should share my numbers here. its scary. if I share the numbers I KNOW that someone out there will be comparing their numbers, to my numbers and then making a judgment about me, or a judgment about themselves. comparisons only cause us to feel smugly better about ourselves at the expense of someone else OR they make us feel negative about ourselves. as if knowing someone elses numbers sheds light on our situation...

I have decided to share my numbers. not so you can compare your numbers to my numbers OR so you can make any form of judgment on me. I will do it to create a record. so the story becomes more complete. my numbers don't change who I am. they don't define me, but they do help to shape the story.

My first number is 187. I am 187cm tall. that equates to approx. 6ft 2.
in my late teens/early 20s when I was playing a lot of competitive sport at rep level my weight was 78kg. fast forward to my mid 20s and early marriage. weight went up to 90kgs (put that down to contentment) and then back to a comfortable 83kgs.

over four pregnancies my weight went up and down. my heaviest was when pregnant with Isaiah - hit 110kgs, and in between pregnancies the lowest it returned to was 85kgs.

and now at the beginning of this SSUC, my weight: 89.9kg that puts my BMI at 25.7. that's just outside the healthy range of 20-25.

so that's the numbers. im not sure which is scarier. numbers or those ugly truth initial pics I posted last night. but im not interested in pretending to be someone im not. I just want to tell the story and hopefully take some pride in setting a goal, making a plan and staying the course.

My FITmumz summer shape up 8wk Challenge

I wish I posted two weeks ago so I could have kept a record of the whole of this journey. ah well, it is not to be.

I am now 2wks in to a summer shape up challenge (SSUC). it is being run through FITmumz a relatively new local business in our area. Brooke who owns FITmumz and takes all the sessions has huge experience in the fitness industry and is such a great chick. the SSUC is an 8wk thing, including training, nutrition, weigh ins and measurements. my goal (chosen by me) is weight loss. I specified a goal of 4kgs over the 8wks. partially because I don't want to disappoint myself and partially because I know from my own background that healthy weight loss shouldn't be greater than between 0.5 and 1kg a week - so I rolled with the lower end of the weight loss scale. like I said, im being cautious.

the nutrition plan can be summed up in the following.
  • eat regularly - like every 2.5-3 hrs
  • eat 6 small meals/snacks a day
  • include protein in every meal/snack
  • no simple/refined sugar
  • lots of fresh veges and fruit
  • reduce carbs esp at night
the training program includes unlimited FITmumz classes which are a structured mix of circuit/resistance/cardio using simple equipment like free weight, kettle bells, mats and weighted bags. every session is different and challenging for everyone regardless of fitness level. I am going to 3 classes. wed @6am, fri @6am and sat @8am..

so. week one.
the first four days. exhausted. where is my bed??? I am unaware of why until the fatigue lifts on day 5. then it clicks. I have had a significant shift in my diet. I haven't consumed sugar in the refined form for the last four days. my body clearly freaked out at the change.. I notice other changes. including my. ahem. bowel habits. everything is moving much more - freely shall we say?

the first exercise session is hard and I can't actually even do some of the exercises. burpees.(I hate!) and I can barely get my legs out straight behind me, never mind jump them back in. my back feels like it will cave in because my abs are so weak. 4 kids will do that to a woman! the first class leaves me in pain for the next four days. it is a struggle to lower myself down to sitting. all I can do is laugh and enjoy this feeling. haha...

I weigh in on Saturday at the end of the first week and I have lost a whole 950g. that's almost a whole kg. time to celebrate! I get my bestie reuben to take the before pic which is now 1kg less than it should have been...

week two rolls on
starting to feel like I am in the groove. my discipline feels unbreakable. my resolve is strong. post Wednesday mornings training session I develop pain in my left lower leg. ive strained a muscle and it cramps up through the day getting more and more sore. I push through it for the rest of the week making sure I get myself to the other 2 FITmumz sessions - though getting out of bed is a mission and I am grumpy as heck.

food wise my resolve weakens. my failing begins on Halloween when sweets make their appearance in our home and the chocolate somehow makes its way to my mouth. how did that happen? reuben laughs at me when my reaction to chocolate passing my lips is one of pure ecstasy.. and then it happens again over the next two days with birthday cake and more chocolate. once again conveniently asking to be eaten.

I am sure this weeks weigh in will show a gain as I hesitantly get on the scales. lucky me its a loss. I am more than happy! and a reasonable loss of 450g. I feel that in some way I have been redeemed... a stern encouragement from the lovely Brooke to stay strong in the eating dept and I am again motivated to see this challenge through.

to date, 1.4kg lost. beginning to feel a little stronger. stay tuned. now that I have started to document this journey and I am sure to continue. and it helps I just discovered a great photo app too :)


Thursday, July 11, 2013

the gift of "suck it up"

I caught the bug last Friday night. we had guests and I knew I was feeling tired, but by the time bedtime arrived my sides had started to ache and I was starting to visit the bathroom a little too frequently. all that night I slept restlessly. stomach cramping.  my electric blanket cranked as high as it goes and yet still wanting it hotter. and as the fever sat over me I prayed. "oh God. there is so much on tomorrow, please make me better by morning..." morning came and if I was sensible I would have stayed beneath my sheets and slept the bug off. but my girls netball team needed a coach. and my netball team was short players for its two games that day. so I forced a piece of dry toast, sipped water and downed panadol. it was awful. mercifully, I didn't need to run off the court to the bathroom during my own games, but I had nothing. no energy, zilch. and the sulphuric sick burps that continuously kept coming up were, well, just disgusting to be honest. I pity the opposition that that encountered me that day. I felt like a train wreck. I lay on the side of the court when my coach pulled me off in the last quarter.

however. although I felt awful, I had my game face on. which means I smile and do my best to carryon with what needs to be done. for goodness sake. I turned up to play. that just seems ridiculous in hindsight.

I was also planning on going out that night and I told reuben that there was no way we were cancelling. after game number 2 however, I knew there was no way I could go anywhere else but my bed and there I stayed. and slept. Saturday night I slept approx. 14hrs. sunday morning arrived and the bug was gone. I was left tired and weak. in that 24hr period I lost around 2kg.

and here is the point of my post.

because I seem to have a rather large ability to "suck it up", I can be internally scathing when other people have little ability to do the same. I know this has been breed in me from childhood. our family motto was "johnstones never give up". I know I still carry the legacy of that. its a good legacy, but there is a negative side to it as you can see! there is probably some pride in there that needs to be dealt to. AND a bigger issue is probably that I just need to learn how to listen to my body and rest when I need to rest, and say no, when I need to say no.

I think I am going to start working on NOT sucking it up when a healthier response would be to rest, say no, or something else. I think that might help me have a little more authentic empathy for others when I currently think they should just "harden up" a bit? or maybe sometimes people can just be a bit soft?

hmmmm... *scratches head...

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

to eLearn or not to eLearn

beware. this is to be a little bit of a rant, or a "clear my head" kinda post. but that's ok. and let me say from the top. i value your thoughts on this. there seems to be a big variation of opinion..

so. our little county school is moving ahead and adopting eLearning in a big way. this is the first yr the school has offered it and this yr only in yr5/6. in 2014, the school is extending eLearning into yrs 5-8.

what it means practically is that each child has their own ipad (our school has chosen apple) and they choose when or not to use their ipad in class to learn. they still have the option to be old fashioned and write in an exercise book should they choose. the classroom itself has extra laptops and desktop computers for the kids to access (I understand this is for access to programs like "flash" and other extras not on an ipad), apple tv and other techy gadgets to go along with the whole eLearning thing.

let me say I have been pretty cynical from the outset. and here are my issues:

in order to put your kid in the class it requires the parent to purchase the child an ipad, cover, and ensure it is properly insured. the parent is also responsible to pay a $600 "donation" (the word "donation" is laughable, but if they don't put on the front that it is a donation they are in fact breaking the law). last yr they also put a condition that paying the school "donation" would also be mandatory. this condition hasn't been talked about for yr2 of eLearning though, so I wonder if they figured the whole "illegal" thing out... there are some pretty rich families in our local community - but i think financially it is a big ask. (lets remember this is a public school). if they were to have eLearning at every level of the school which i believe is the plan, we as a family would be particularly under pressure. in 2015, and 2016 we will have 4 children at the school. that's 4 ipads, 4covers + insurance, $2400 (each yr) for the eLearning "donation" and then school donation on top of that (for 4 kids that would be somewhere around the $500 mark).

i know of parents who have this notion that if their child isn't taking up the opportunity they are going to be left behind or suffer academically. as if using an ipad at 8, 9 or 10yrs old is going to set them up for life. perhaps at high school. i am quite open to that as a concept. but i just can't buy into the notion that all day screen time at primary school and more when they get home is actually going to be the best, most healthy option for my child.
*disclaimer - although it may not be the best option for my child, i certainly think that for some kids it could be a fantastic option, dependent on the childs needs. im thinking especially of boys who may be easily distracted or lack interest in learning*

i don't think i am coming at it from a naïve perspective either. i think i have a bit of a clue about the online world - its positives and its negatives. i am in it and as long as i have children who are learning about it i will need to stay in it. and so far they haven't needed an eLearning class to figure out how to use cyberspace. Isabella (9) is doing her projects online using google docs and has her own blog and wikispace. our kids are also lucky enough to have a daddy who is a software developer (funnily enough though he got into the profession without eLearning in primary school...) and as far as losing the skill of handwriting... handwriting is a dying art according to info given at a recent school meeting...

this yr there are three yr 5/6 classes. two of those are eLearning. Isabella is in a great class with an amazing teacher. she is one of only 4 yr5 girls in her class. next yr as one girl is moving away and another is taking up the eLearning option that only leaves two. the other wee girl is also a great kid. but i have BIG concerns, (and this is actually the CRUX of my issue at the moment) over the way the children are being segregated eLearning vs non eLearning. Isabella is feeling it, there have been a couple of incidents where my sensitive child has felt really excluded and it makes me pretty angry.

so tomorrow reuben and I are going to the school and have a meeting set up to discuss it. it makes me feel slightly ill that we would be put in this place of pressure. that my kid wants to be in the eLearning class cause everyone else is, but that she is actually doing exceptionally well without eLearning (crazy notion i know). that the money we might invest into eLearning could be much better used spent on other activites to enrich our kids learning (like music lessons, or sports or activities - or God forbid, clothing and other necessities. that my public school would be putting me in this position of standing strong and making the decision we feel is best (but we might have it totally wrong!) or going the other way and allowing my daughter not to feel like an outcast. segregated from her peers because of her parents stand...
what would you do?


Monday, July 01, 2013

focus, stacking and worship

last night I took my girls to church. reuben stayed home with the two youngest as our house has been on lock down with our baby the sickest she has ever been. another post. another story.

the girls were excited as the kids along with their leaders were responsible for leading worship etc last night. and they did a fabulous job. they focused on teaching us what "worship" really is.

[wur-ship] Show IPA noun, verb, wor·shiped, wor·ship·ing or ( especially British ) wor·shipped, wor·ship·ping.
1. reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.
2. formal or ceremonious rendering of such honor and homage: They attended worship this morning. 
3. adoring reverence or regard: excessive worship of business success. 
4. the object of adoring reverence or regard.
5. ( initial capital letter ) British . a title of honor used in addressing or mentioning certain magistrates and others of high rank or station (usually preceded by Your, His, or Her).

verb (used with object) 

6. to render religious reverence and homage to.
7. to feel an adoring reverence or regard for (any person or thing).
or to be utterly simple. worship is to give God his worth.
worship is not singing a particular kind of song. or performing a particular ritual or activity. worship is when we focus on God and not on ourselves and our own circumstances. worship is when I give worth to the one who created me. worship is when I recognise that he is in control. that he is faithful, sovereign, healer, good, patient, kind, merciful, just, gentle, loving, eternal, beautiful, superhero... and all those things that God, well, simply is.
I worship as I look around me and recognise the creativity of God in the root structures and leaves and trees and birdsong.  His generosity in my friends laughter and cuddles with my sick child. I worship as I remember how it is actually God who sustains me and loves me. I worship as I remember God is with me. always. that he has promised he will never let me go. in the noise and chaos of my home. he's there. God wants the whole of our lives to be one of worship to Him.
the second idea I took home with me was that of "stacking". that we are so used to packing in as much as we can. that we are so used to multi-tasking, and so adept at doing so that we are losing the ability to stop. to focus. [this message a familiar one to me perhaps?...]. to set aside time to focus wholly on him. it was ironic really as I sat in church with my crochet hook working away... stacking. and not that we should leave whatever is plaguing our thoughts at the door when we come to spend focused time in worship. contrary, God wants us to bring everything. and give it to Him. he is big enough and strong enough to carry our burdens. and as we hand it over to the one who holds us in the palm of his hand, we are saying "we trust you. because you are..."
thanks kids.
and although I know that music is NOT worship. this song currently is one that is helping me focus on God and who he is. and in turn I worship. enjoy Xx

Thursday, June 20, 2013

status update...

well, life has been ticking along and I have been ticking along with it - minus social media. I have realised sharing updates and photos has been such a part of the tick that any significant, funny, cute, thoughtful moment has been framed in my head as a "status update" how curious.. anyway, I did want to just pause and reflect on a few things, just to keep in touch..

I had my first game back at netball this past Saturday. playing in prem1 grade for Ardmore club. I have been trying to figure out the last season I played - I think I remember having a season or two with a baby /toddler on the sideline - so maybe it was around 2006 given this post... anyway. it was exhilarating to be back on court. and not to be struggling, but to be back in the zone so to speak. my smile was ear to ear. and the best part was when the other team started getting agro in the 4th quarter it made me just angry enough to play harder :)

today my friend Fran taught me to crochet! or at least she taught me the beginnings of how to crochet. I have managed to learn two stitches so far and im making a sassy little headband for myself. there will be more if I get faster and it remains easy peasy :) I have found my patience for handcrafts in the past has been limited, so I will run with this for as long as my excitement carries me! 
asha has this amazing ability to fall asleep - she lay her body over the couch next to me this afternoon as I mastered my stiches and although for a couple of minutes had a cheeky smile like she was pretending to sleep - she is clearly a pretty bad fake..
then last Friday I got to learn how to make sushi with the amazing Ginny at the Clevedon Family Center. these are some of the nom noms I created (and consumed) on the day. I am so inspired to get all the sushi ingredients and go for it now - it really was so simple. and that would be good given the sushi kit I was given by my sister a few yrs back. *cough cough* - time to use it for what it was actually made for!

and while im on food, my girls made lunch for us on the weekend. it was a feast of cake and fruit and little sandwiches. they set the table with a cloth, made place tags, had the glasses with little umbrellas. they really did a beautiful job. we feasted, and enjoyed, and I thought they were a great little hospitality team.

and we are settling in to our new place. loving the heat pump, and especially tonight as I think it might be the coldest night of our very mild to date Auckland winter - currently sitting at 7 deg, (feels like 5 deg). which reminds me of how much we are looking forward to visiting Inglewood in the school holidays to connect with friends, maybe see some snow and just have a get away as a family. and now that we no longer have to move house at Christmas, holidays away may become more of a tradition once more I hope!...
ok, loving you all,
Vania Xx

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

visiting Auckland Hospital

yesterday I drove into Auckland Hospital to visit a friend. I parked in carpark B, followed the dotted blue line to the lifts and took it to the 9th floor - maternity and women's health. as I think back, I wish I had taken photos. its not that I have been there a huge number of times, because I haven't. but as I walked I found I was being hit with some very distinct memories. the visual reminders, the smells, the busy hustle and bustle...

of my frantic mother calling to tell me Grandma was gravely ill, of kicking and breaking my toe on my bathroom door in my panic to get to the hospital, and the painful limp through the corridors to make what would be my last visit while she was alive. and then returning that night to sit with her, my mother and my uncle after she had gone...

of being with my friend Kristen for each of her births. waiting for news on hospital seats that all was well after the emergency C-section with her first (I was in my first trimester with Hannah), waddling through corridors at 34wks pregnant with Isaiah to be with her when she was in labour with her number two, and again for number three (although I wasn't pregnant myself that time). the excitement and anticipation and nerves that come with each impending delivery...

and finally when I was in my friends room yesterday and took in the view over Park Road towards the med school, found myself thinking about one of my closest friends while at Akld Uni. He flatted for a bit in one of those old, decrepit, only for student, kind of flats. It reminded me of things that could have been and weren't, it reminded me of old friendships and experiences, of betrayal and love. I remembered how hurts heal in time and how forgiveness can be complete. it also made me long for re-connection once again...

quite a lot of emotion for Tuesday afternoon...

Saturday, June 08, 2013

saturday night musings. post FB & move number 15

it's approximately 24hrs now since I signed out of FB. in the end, I didn't deactivate my account. I went to do so, and as I started the process, FB wanted me to pass on admin responsibilities for a couple of groups I am involved in and also for the page I have for 'pure mama'. Reuben my beloved had been telling me that de-activating was a little extreme and asking why I couldn't just stay off it..
I tried to explain
I didn't feel like I had the self-control yet. in the end, the compromise was to have him change my password and me to not know it.

this was proving very effective until this morning when I went to play music through my spotify account and realised that spotify DOES NOT WORK without logging in through your FB account. guts. I really love spotify and use it all the time in the car and when I go for a run. SO. its looking like staying off FB is very much to become a result of self-control. a decision of will. can I do it?... hmmmm. so far so good though. a brief moment tonight I wondered what the world was doing without me knowing about it, it was short lived however - phew!

and much more important news is that we have moved. again.
#15. following is a list of where Reuben and I have lived since we married in 1999.
  1. august place, greenlane (5mths)
  2. queens road, panmure (18mths)
  3. mays rd, onehunga (3yrs)
  4. mountain rd, mt wellington (9mths) Isabella born here
  5. penruddocke pl, pakuranga (6mths)
  6. portadown ave, pakuranga (1yr) Hannah born here
  7. alma cres, papakura (4yrs) Isaiah born here
  8. thorps quarry rd, clevedon (5mths) Asha born here
  9. ardmore quarry rd, Ardmore (3mths)
  10. thorps quarry rd (9mths)
  11. north rd, clevedon (3mths)
  12. thorps quarry rd (9mths)
  13. north rd (3mths)
  14. thorps quarry rd (2mths)
  15. hyde rd, clevedon (...
the last month has been an incredibly stressful period for our whole family. the process of even deciding that YES, we were going to move again, has taken a huge emotional toll. on all of us. my 1st born is very sensitive, and of the kids has found it hardest. I think with the moves we have made over the last 3yrs she has always known that thorps quarry was our base, and that although we had to spend periods of time away, we would always return to it.

we own the home in papakura, but outgrew it. so just before asha arrived we found a beautiful rental in clevedon to move to and rented our home out. there was a catch however. the English owners are elderly and return to NZ each summer to visit family for 3mths. suitable long term houses to rent are hard to come by in clevedon where we have decided to be based, so we accepted our situation and made the most of it. in the back of our minds we waited and hoped that the home we had become attached to at thorps quarry would become long term. alas three summers passed and we had no assurance that it was not to become 4. as this long term possibility of a home at hyde rd presented itself to us just over a month ago, it seemed like we just couldn't ignore it as an option. there were complications though, and making sure this new home would work logistically surely hasn't been a simple process.

the week leading up to moving day (Friday 31st may) may well have been the most intense in - well - a long time?  on the Monday, out of about 50 possibles I was randomly selected for jury duty. charges for the case were kidnapping and robbery. the case lasted the full week - till 4.30pm Friday afternoon, when we delivered guilty verdicts on both charges. that was emotional on its own. reuben had to take the week off in order to be home with asha our 2yr old. BUT due to circumstances at work, ended up having to pull a (close to) all nighter, take her in to work with him for a morning, and work from home for much of the week. not so conducive to packing boxes right?! moving day arrived, and instead of the truck and movers arriving at 12pm as planned, they knocked on the door at 7.30am. yup. you can just imagine right?. I need not say more. off to court I went after madly packing the last of the boxes, getting the kids to school and settling asha with a friend for the day. meanwhile, the movers were doing their thing and reuben was on the computer logged into work. all of the events of that week were wrapped in a huge sense of sadness and disappointment that we had to leave this home. a place where we had invested ourselves and created memories in. not an ideal situation.

that week came close to undoing me, it came close to undoing reuben, their are some moments in that week that are best left unsaid, and put down to reactions due to huge stress.

this week just finished has felt like breathing fresh air in comparison. I feel the lightness in my heart and spirit. I notice how I don't get wound up at the slightest thing. there are cuddles and happy hearts and laughter and games emerging again. this house is very different to the last one. but this house I can unpack and give away the boxes (or even burn them!). this house is beginning to feel like a home. my home. I think there will be happy memories created within these walls. I am excited about nesting and creating and deciding how I want this space to look and feel and nurture those who come here.

and I am so grateful to God who is with me, who has been with me through every move, who has carried us through every move. the God who knows the future, who holds the past and walks with me in the present. I know I can trust him. I know he is faithful. I know he loves me. and I surrender to his plan for me and my family. as the song says. "you make all things work together for my good".

and I cant finish this post without saying thankyou. thankyou to the friends and family who have supported us, practically, emotionally, spiritually whether through packing boxes, cleaning, moving, buying me coffee, making me laugh, loving on and looking after our children so we could do what we needed to and praying for us. you are what fills my heart and I love each of you. and reuben. (just think Jerry McGuire - ok?) Xxx

Thursday, June 06, 2013

my addiction

I confess. I have an addiction. and its an unhealthy one. this is a strange thing for me, because comparatively I don't think I am particularly obsessive or "addicted" to any particular substance. not smoking, alcohol, drugs, coffee, unless sugar counts? my confession? my addiction of choice happens to be social media - "facebook" to be exact.

there i said it. I don't actually want to make it out to be bigger than what it is, but the question has been raised - why? why am I going to de-activate my FB account for period of time?

the why is tied up in where I want my time, energy and focus to be. and I want it to be on my family. focused and present around my children. I want to look at them when they speak to me and hear the words they speak, feel the emotion and connect to them - rather than be connected to the electronic device in my hand. to not feel the need to be ever present in a virtual world, making sure I am not missing out on what my friend in wellington ate for lunch today. or awaiting the responses from friends to the latest photo posted. I don't want my 2yr old to pick up my phone and run to me with it saying "mama, your phone booped". or "mama, can I play on your phone" - because that's what she sees me doing so often, and thinks that's a normal play time activity for a pre-schooler. this blog post from "hands free mama" really hit home for me.

I have tried to limit myself and set boundaries for myself on when I can access FB, but I am too weak, and access is far too easy. its my own version of "crack"

I can also do without seeing the updates from friends who have had such a "fabulous time being together the other day/night" but only makes me wonder why I wasn't included in the get together. truly, FB can bring out all manner of female insecurities - and is sometimes a little bit too much like high school all over again...

there are some great things with FB however, one being the ability to connect with dear friends who aren't quite so local - and that is one of the reasons I am not making this a decision for all time. I think I will probably come back to it. and hopefully, with a few more boundaries around the way I use it - rather than allowing it to control me.

I wonder if the emotions I am experiencing now are anything like what a true addict experiences in the face of "coming down". a little bit edgy and anxious. a little unsure about what I will do without it. a little unsure how I will connect without it. a little like I need to get the biggest hit I can before I am not allowed anymore. I wonder how long the come down will take. until I don't grab my phone to check update notifications, or what this person, or that person has been doing...

in the meantime I will blog. and I might enjoy being more present with my family. imagine that...

Saturday, May 11, 2013


as I drove home today from work, I got a little bit reflective. 2013 has seen me and our family making some new friendships and connections with individuals and families.

two beautiful families who have recently connected with our church and we are now hanging out with them each Friday, getting to know each other and sharing our lives. and another family we meet at easter who live in New Plymouth who have really leapt into our lives and hearts in a big way. we even had them stay for two nights over the school hols just gone. and another beautiful lady I actually met at work and she inspired me to chase the idea of taking our family to totara springs at easter.

for all of these new friends, I am exceptionally grateful. my heart is full and I feel so blessed to have welcomed them into my life...

Friday, April 26, 2013

when your head just wants to explode

rough afternoon at our house today. I have had two important things to achieve today for sunday. the biggest one being assisting in preparing a tag team presentation for our church community meeting, and the other being selecting songs as I am worship leading sunday night. these things had to be achieved TODAY, as I am working tomorrow, and then sunday has two separate events planned within the day before we even get to church.

now, its not like these two things were dumped on me today. oh no. I've had - lets say  - at least three weeks for both and two of those weeks would NOT have been in the school holidays if I had got myself organised earlier. but if you know me, my best work seems to be achieved under massive time pressure - which in turn makes my head seem like its exploding. [in fact it was the multitude of time pressured deadlines on me which probably was a huge cause of my near burnout last yr, but I digress...]

just to say really that its not fair on my kids for me to try and work for a number of hours under time pressure. they deserve better from me, and certainly didn't deserve me verbally venting my frustration on them when they just needed my attention. I have a long way to go with balancing all I try to do... just glad that I managed a little outing this morning for them on their bikes to our local café, and then off to the playground.

maybe it helps to redeem today a little for my kids?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

decreasing the clutter

we have moved. a lot. in our 14yrs of being married we have made 14 separate moves. in fact seven of those moves have happened in 2.5yrs. so I make claim to being somewhat of a moving expert these days. I think I should almost think about hiring myself out as a moving planner! now there's an idea...

as you can imagine, moving isn't exactly what someone chooses to do for fun. and this most recent run of moves has just turned out the way it has. for most of the year we leave in an amazing house which now feels very much like home to us, and for the other 12wks we find a summer house.

our most recent move happened 3wks ago. we moved from this years summer house back to the 'most of the year house'. today I sorted the last of the boxes and my bedroom is now looking great. (why is it my room is always the last?). I look around the house and I am aware we are living with less. much less. over the past 2.5yrs I have de-cluttered. and then de-cluttered. and sorted and thrown away and given away and the feeling is thrilling. don't get me wrong, I know there is still more "stuff" I could remove from the contents of my home. but all this clearing of possessions and stuff in order to make moving easier has such a freeing consequence to it.

I no longer feel bound to hold on to things because "I might need it one day". if I haven't used it and I don't LOVE it, then I have decided that if, by chance, I find I do need it one day, I will simply set about getting it. there is such a beauty in living more open handed, more simply and without all the stuff. not only does the stuff crowd my space, but it also ends up crowding my mind. funny how that works...

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Checking in

i'm back again. its been a while. a new friend of mine has just launched her blog beautiful things and it just got me back to thinking about this blog.

I mentioned in my last post I got journaling again (around 2yrs ago now). it has been helpful and cathartic. to the point where I don't do it so often anymore. a lot has been going on and I have been learning a lot in recent months. about me. about my limits. about what burnout might look like. I am really on the road to recovery at this point. it is only retrospectively that I can see my experience from the last six months of 2012 as being as close to what I have experienced of true burnout. I have learnt about stepping back and reassessing - or at least I am learning. for a girl that has always moved at a fairly fast pace and always taken on a lot of responsibility it has been somewhat of a wake up call.

2013 has seen me take on a theme word for the year.


that's it. healthy.

healthy body :: healthy emotions :: healthy mind :: healthy spirit :: healthy boundaries :: healthy relationships

I am currently reading a book ''Rushing Woman's Syndrome' by Dr Libby Weaver, quite eye opening to the biochemical responses our body takes on with stress. especially over a sustained period of time. I may download bits of it over time. its certainly a goodie and right on theme for this year.

I am still churning pure mama in my head. its been so long and I have had periods of thinking I will just ditch it - but the pull is still there. I am in a current period of energy for it. so. again will see where that leads me.

for now, this is enough