Milestones & Millstones

I guess this is Part II of the last post. So much happened in 2013 (as with all of us).

The kids.

My true Blessings.

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nearly a teenager

Mr 12 had a great sporting year. Cricket, football, cricket. Every Aussie boy’s dream year. His football team made the finals but lost. They weren’t given much hope at the start of the season, so that was a tremendous effort. He took his first wicket in the final innings of the final day of cricket…FINALLY!! Luckily we were all there to see it. He had a fab year at school too. Last year of Primary school (Yr7) was full of major achievements – most involved his witty comebacks, leaving his teachers in stitches most of the day. We look forward to the next 5 years of high school….slaptick comedy and all!

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today was sunshine and lollipops all the way

Mr 10 met all his educational, social and community goals for 2013. If you get a chance, have a read of a Special School kid’s report card. It may force you to petition for an increase in pay for Spekky teachers. He really came alive and his humorous personality is shining through. He loves swimming and riding his bike. He’s nearly off the training wheels but not quite aware of road rules. I changed how we give him medication and it has paid off. Trust a Mother’s Intuition! So after having the same gorgeous teacher the last 3 years, he moves onto a different teacher but with some old classmates so hopefully the transition won’t be too difficult.

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glistening after a good jog

The one millstone was my own health that I mentioned in the last post. I needed to lose 5kgs by the end of the year. Came close but…..
Next week I chat to a personal trainer who I’ve admired for many years. She’s a mum and she’ll understand what I need and what I’m willing to do considering the work I put in with the family. I’m seriously over ambitious PTs who don’t take an individual’s needs into account. I used to be able to get into shape easily, but since about the age of 42, I’ve noticed a significant change in how my body reacts to stress. It now does the opposite – thanks for nothing! Look forward to updates on exercise during the year as well….or not, because you know, things may change haha!!

Another millstone was memory keeping (nothing to do with my memory….just recording it…sheesh!) I used to scrapbook… a LOT! I did work for a magazine here in Australia for a stint but one day realised I didn’t enjoy it or the “industry” surrounding it. I stopped taking photos of anything! I found it a chore to take the camera out.

When Mr 12 had to do an Autobiography Album (birth to now) in Term 4, I thought it would be easy.

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Mr 12 making his own background papers

And it was, until we got to the last couple of years. Very few memories recorded or photographed. We both agreed it was a horrible thing. We both agreed to do something about it and so one a month from now on, we’ll be sitting down to record the best bits from the previous month. He even wants to do an album just for Mr 10 so one day he can show people what his boyhood was like, in case he still can’t speak. Makes you want to cry, right?

And that’s why I threw caution to the wind and bought the camera for my birthday.

nikon D3200 yeah baby

nikon D3200 yeah baby

Do you have a way of making peace with the year before launching into new year resolutions or goals? In the past most of my methods involved girlfriends and copious amounts of alcohol….in the past!

Next post I’ll share a great little creative project by Jennifer Lee that helped me recognise all the good stuff that happened so I can clear the decks for more good stuff in 2014.

And I’ll reveal my One Little Word…..and maybe some other projects I’ve embarked on to keep me on track and motivated (and away from the liquor cabinet).

Stay bright and fresh!
xx Giovanna

Feathery Wreath Merry Christmas

How about one more Christmas idea? If you have smallish kids, then this is another great, quick, slightly disposable decoration. Aside from the hot glue gun (which you or the most responsible adult in the house should operate), this is a beauty.

First head to your Spotlight store and grab a pack of coloured turkey feathers and one of peacock feathers. We found them in the MYO ugly hat section {{wink wink}}. Cut a quick cardboard ring and start layering and gluing in any kind of whismical, carefree way.
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And you are done! Seriously, you are done. I added some cheap, glittery star decorations to the bottom to simply spell it out to people who aren’t used to a Christmas wreath that has anything other than holly, pine cones or snow on it (despite the fact it is 39degC today! and 1million% humidity)
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Our front door needs a serious make-over next year. The mission brown really does nothing for me, but hey…….how about that wreath!!!????!! All our visitor think it looks fabulous, so far.
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It’s survived a couple of storms which surprised me considering the cardboard base and the questionable colourfastness of the feathers. And of course, it has survived Rainer LOL. I’m grateful he hasn’t pulled the stars off it.
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I don’t want to sound cliche, but I do wish you, my patient visitor and reader, a very safe and happy Christmas. Be kind to yourself and others.
This year will be the first in a looooong time that I’ve been able to relax, prepare and enjoy Christmas Day. And as my birthday is coming up on the 27th, I’m hoping for some good times at the Boxing Day sales!!

ONE MORE SLEEEEEEP!!
xx Giovanna
xmas greeting blog

Any House is a Home

Happy Saturday!

Priorities have shifted recently and it prompted a lot of soul-searching and reflection. Here is one about our new house, family and Art-making.

18 months ago, we moved from our house of 15 years. It was a quaint little weatherboard, built in 1959 and definitely a testament to its time. Large bedrooms, small bathroom, tiny living/dining area and the toilet was at the back door. Not a great spot when I was pregnant. Ginormous yard with a Hills Hoist (dreamy).
And the neighbours were awesome.

Now we have the house of our dreams. Two levels, loads of living area, my own studio, the most magnificent man-shed, pool, rumpus, double garage (bonus) and the toilet is near the bedrooms…..ahhhhh. Better late than never. Still working on getting to know the neighbours. The benefits out-weigh the negatives.

And something else has changed.

The time we spend as a family.

In fact, I’d say we spend MORE time together, especially around the pool. The weather is warming up but still a little cool for a swim. Rainer isn’t bothered though. He’ll jump in at least once and demand cuddles afterwards wrapped in a sun-heated towel.

And strangely I get to spend more time in my studio. There’s more space to play and store and the boys can join me without being on top of me. I have room for the video equipment and room to edit.

I’m embracing the house and the space — and there is sooo much more space. I had trouble moving from the “stacking and cramming” mentality to the “everything has a place” mentality. I love The Organised Housewife’s website. Katrina is a living domestic resource. I’m currently working through her “Clean Your House in 20 Days Challenge”. It’s fabulous but I’m only getting through 2 days of the challenge per week, which suits me fine. I’ve sorted out the Kitchen, Master Bedroom and Laundry so far.

Sounds ridiculously domestic, but in hindsight, the concentrated effort I spend with my children and on “keeping house” really does free up more time for making Art.

Why didn’t someone tell me this before?
It’s called “Discipline” right?

Haha!!!!
xx Giovanna