Monday, April 30, 2012

Finish this sentence...

I have perfected the art of...



I have perfect the art of nothing, so far.

I have always loved doing EVERYTHING!!  I guess I'm decent at some things, okay at some things, really not so great at others, but I really like participating in all things :)

My fabulous husband focused on sports.  Within sports, he focused on basketball.  I loved playing basketball in high school.  My teacher said I had a lot of 'heart' - she wanted everyone to have 'heart' like me when they played.  She probably wished I had more 'skill'!! :)  I rocked up to training, and rocked up to the games, and gave it all I had, and had a blast, but the minute I was off the court I was probably thinking about the next thing I was going to do or play.  But James had skill and heart, and focus.  He really studied basketball.  He still does.  He knows and understands all the technique, different plays, and a bunch of other different parts to the sport it would never have occurred to me to think of.  It makes me laugh, because I always thought things in basketball just 'happened' - are you understanding how awesome I am at it?? :)  Lately I watch James planning 'plays' and trainings for the teams he coaches (seriously, training isn't just a bunch of fun drills randomly selected??  I feel a little bit sorry for the girls I coached when I was teaching!!) and it occurs to me that I don't know anything that well!  I guess viola'd be the closest to it, but I never really worked at it that much! - I was blessed with fabulous supportive parents, and an amazingly wonderful, passionate violin/viola teacher, and I played a lot with different strings groups and orchestras and practised on the odd occasion between dance company and choir.  I did music as a subject in school, and had played the piano a little when I was younger too - so I get musical theory - but not every part of it, because I only did what I had to to get by, really!  I guess I never really tried hard enough to be perfect at anything.  Oh maybe dancing - I loved dancing, and I would work really hard at getting that right I guess, but it was really fun!  I used to do gymnastics when I was younger, but then they wanted me to train like, morning and night and during school days sometimes too to see if I was good enough to go anywhere with it - eek! I abruptly stopped going.

On the upside, in my vast, totally unfocused experience...

  • I play the viola quite decently
  • I can play the piano a little
  • I can even play the violin and cello a little! - I know music pretty well.
  • I can play most sports okay - as in I know the rules, but I've mostly played basketball, volleyball, and netball the most - not brilliant at anything.  In fact, the only thing I ever made reps for was cross country, and I never took up training because it was quite apparent that I couldn't quite fit it in.  And running for miles on end seemed a little bland..
  • I dabble in painting and other craft :)
  • I can tap dance a little, know a little ballet and jazz, definite focus on musical theatre dance and hip hop
  • I can sing in a choir, okay - read music and all that jazz.  I do alto or soprano! - see?  No focus! :p
  • I can debate! :) - but it's been a while :)
  • I love literature, and have half written bits of story and poem all over the place.  Nothing finished :)
  • I usually make a great dinner, OR a great dessert :)
And so it goes... :)

Lately I wonder what it would be like to be an expert at something.  Like, really, really good at it.  Know everything about it, study it, love it.  Except that when I spend too much time on any one thing I tend to get over it and want to go cold turkey!  :S  My mum's managed to be an expert at a lot of things - she can be incredibly focused (and really good at multitasking - interesting combination..).

Is there like, a cure for me??  Is anyone else out there like me??!!  Or are you all fabulously focused and expert at something.  What are you expert at??!!!!  Was it fun to get there?!  Is it fun now??!! 

James loves really getting stuck into something and learning every single thing about it, but I want to yawn just talking about it!  Is it a boy thing??  Or do I need to just grow up and choose something?!!  I would love to hear what you're fabulous at!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

They Mustn't Know

Somebody hit my sister with a car tonight, and then they drove away.

She's okay.

She was getting out of her car outside her home, and they went past and hit her, and she was thrown in front of her car.  Her shoes were thrown even further.

They left behind their side mirror, and they drove away.

Tammy is sore, and a little shaken, but she's okay.

How can somebody hit somebody with their car, and then just drive away??  You would never do that to anybody.  What if it were somebody you knew??

Then you definitely wouldn't.

Because if they had known Tammy, they wouldn't have driven away.  They would have screeched to a halt, and made sure she was okay.

If they had known how kind Tammy is, how she always looks for the good in everybody, they would have stopped, and made sure she was okay.

If they knew how hard Tammy works - and how many people she helps, they couldn't have driven away.

If they had known what a wonderful friend Tammy is, to so many people.  If they knew, how Tammy always puts others first, and will stay up all night talking to someone even if she's due to fly out to a job at 5am the next day if they need it.  If they knew how Tammy always makes others feel good about themselves, and always finds something to love in everyone.  If they knew how Tammy always looks around to see if there's anyone who needs a smile or a chat.  If they knew how many hours Tammy has spent serving those around her that she know and doesn't know.

If they knew, how wonderfully Talented Tammy is, maybe they would have come back for their side mirror. If they knew how with a beautiful song, Tammy can bring the spirit in, and help people feel peace.  If they knew how many hours Tammy has spent practising the piano, and how she can play almost anything, beautifully on the piano, and how willing she is to go out of her way to help and accompany others.

If they knew, how loved Tammy is, maybe they would have slowed down.  If they knew, how her nieces race to the door in delight to throw themselves into her arms when she arrives.  If they knew the way Tammy lights up rooms when she enters, and helps everybody to have a good time.  If they knew the way people look forward to seeing Tammy.  If they knew how proud her parents are of her, how her brothers and sisters look up to her.  If they knew how she is talked about, how many people rely on her, how many people love to speak to her, and spend time with her.  If they knew how many people looked up to her, how many people love knowing her.

If that driver knew how generous Tammy is, maybe he would have gotten out to help.  If he knew how she shares everything that she has - and would give someone the (totally cute) coat of her back if they need it.  If they knew, that even though she doesn't know who they are, that Tammy would help them in any way they need it.  If they knew.

If they knew the wonderful things in store for Tammy, I hope they would have stopped.  If they knew the people she's going to meet, the friends she's going to make, the places she's going to travel, the lives she's going to touch.  If they knew the smiles she's going to give, the songs she's going to sing.

Tammy is incredible.  She is just beautiful.  She is a pillar of strength.  She loves and looks for the good in everybody.  She makes people happy.  She's cheerful and funny.  She looks out for those who might need a hand, or a smile, or a song.  She sings and plays the piano beautifully.  She shares her testimony, and lives the gospel of Jesus Christ.  She helps people feel good about themselves.  I bet there are hundreds of people who look up to her, who she's not even aware of.  I am constantly in awe of Tammy.  She's absolutely incredible.

They mustn't know.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Shoes...

I love shoes. I always have. I go into a lot of clothing shops and everything is too tight, too sleeveless, too short, too low cut, too something! It's sometimes discouraging trying to find something modest to wear. But not with shoes. You go into a shoe store and you can wear any pair you want!! They can be strappy or covered, high or flat, low cut or high! I love the freedom to experiment with shoes.

 Everywhere I go in them, people comment on the shoes I was wearing with the dress I posted about the other day. A couple of people commented on them there, so I thought I'd tell you about them :) Mum thinks they're tacky, but I think they're quite fabulous, despite being a little bit tacky :) They're just a fun pair of stilettos. One of the best things about them is that James bought them for me!!! For Christmas last year!!! - I had actually seen them on ebay one day and saved them in my watch list, in case I ever had the chance to be extravagant and buy a fun pair of shoes I didn't really need. That said, I have gotten a LOT of use out of them! Anyway James found them on our watch list, and bought them! In the perfect size!! And since learning to walk in them I've had heaps of fun wearing them :) And they seem to go with everything! :) ebay 'multicoloured pumps' - they should be the top shoes. Here they are:

Here's another fun pair that came up:

I think in addition to mostly lovely classic shoes, everyone should have a fun pair.

 Maybe these are more your style:

Or these:

Or these:

And learning to walk in them without looking ridiculous is half the fun! :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Loving our time...

I thought after we had Ana, we'd have another baby really quick. I thought that another little sister or brother was up there, and would be here at least as quickly after Ana as Ana was after Maggie. I thought at least our first three would come really quickly. I thought that by now, I'd be almost ready to 'pop' again. Now Ana's almost 1 year old, and there's no other baby in sight!!!

I have gone through a range of emotions about this in the past few months. I have had some throwbacks to when it took us over two years to have Maggie in our family. I have been down about it, then I worried that I'd forget how to have a baby if it took too long, and like 'move on' in my head and have a hard time going back. I've felt upset, wondering 'what if we never have any other babies?!' and I've been worried that we will have all the children we want, but spaced over years and years and years, so that by the time we finish having babies I'll be 50 and it'll be too late to go on a mission or do anything - I'll just give birth forever and then die, etc., etc. And I don't really like being pregnant or labour, so I don't want to drag that part out! I look forward to the day when I know I will not have anyone else sharing my body with me or have to go through labour again in this lifetime!

ANYWAY, the last few weeks I have been in a very healthy phase of this journey - enjoying the time I have with our girls and not pregnant, without half planning my life around possibly being pregnant in so many months, or wasting time worrying about number 3. It is soooooooooooo fun just having two little girls. I really want that son sometime, (and more daughters!), but we just have so much fun together, especially when I embrace it, without wondering about when said son is or isn't going to join us! So I'm embracing the pink, the Barbies, the ribbons and bows, the polka dots and dresses, the sisterliness and the motherliness of these little girls. I'm embracing the fact that Maggie loves brushing my hair, and Ana loves having her hair brushed too! I'm embracing their dress ups, and dancing everytime music is on, and checking themselves out in the bathroom mirror. The tea parties, the purses, tiaras, the wands, the wings, the princesses, the cuddles, the books, the toys, the baking, the helping, the babies, the dolls, the ruffles, the twirling and giggles. Aren't little girls fun?? :) I have always embraced these things, but now I'm doing it and leaving future boys out of it. Because maybe I am only going to have these two gorgeous little girls. Maybe the next one is 5 years away. Maybe we'll have 6 more girls (!) But whatever's the case, I'm sure it'll all be perfect when it happens, and in the mean time I've ditched the worry and put my trust back in the Lord. And we are really having fun!!! :)

PS: Maggie and Ana are playing next to me, and Maggie just said 'Good boy, Ana!' - I guess she's coping with her lack of brothers differently... :)

Friday, April 20, 2012


I am coming close to the end of my regular complete works of Jane Austen read, and I just have to share my favourite at the moment, which is 'Persuasion' :)

My first favourite, was 'Pride & Prejudice'. I loved it :) LOVED it :) For a long time, actually. But the box office version of it which hit a few years ago kind of ruined it for me. At least for now. My plan is to not watch it for years, and try and forget it. I hate the ending - oh wait I think it's the alternative ending on the disc that I really hate - the one where he keeps kissing her. Weird. And sooo not Jane! If you want to watch a movie of it, watch BBC. I didn't hate the box office one at first. I kind of like Mr Darcy in it actually, but not Elizabeth. Actually I kind of like most of the characters in it. Lydia is appropriately silly and annoying, Jane is very pretty - much prettier than the BBC version, the mother works, love Donald Sutherland as the father actually. And the dreadful cousin whatshisname is actually kinda great :) But he's great in the BBC version too - he's just a great character, Jane wrote him well!

Anyway, then I loved Emma. I still love Emma. It's funny, I really liked the Gwenyth Paltrow Emma a lot, but now I think the movie's kind of ruined the book there too. Hm. I think maybe it's because the movies stick in your head so much you don't get a chance to forget the exciting little bits and pieces and side stories before your next read of the books, and it's like it's been overdone or something... hm... Meanwhile, I do NOT like .. whatshername... imdb...aaahhh Toni Collette! - Bless IMDB :) I don't like her in her role very much - not that I don't like her in general, I just thought the casting was all wrong! Anyway, I do love Emma though! I have a good friend... is it Stacey? Someone who was telling me she doesn't like Emma - the character... I really like her though! A lot :) (Bahahaha side note: In IMDB, the synopsis for Emma is: "In rural 1800s England things go bad for a young matchmaker after she finds a man for another woman.". Obviously not written by Jane.)

I also really like Lady Susan, and always have - I like the story through letters, it's interesting and fun, and I always enjoy reading it!! Did you know, that back in the day, Sense and Sensibility was also written in letters, but then Jane re-wrote it in 3rd person? Interesting - I would love to be able to read it the original way!! Her books also had a bunch of different titles, which don't sound at all appealing, and I am glad they were changed!

Anyway, I like Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey a lot too, but I can't put Persuasion down. You just know that Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth HAVE to end up together, and I'm never fully satisfied until they do! And I hope I NEVER see a TV or movie version of it so that it's overdone. I just love it :)

I love the last 20 pages of any Jane Austen - I love that every end is tied up neatly :) It's perfectly satisfying :)

While we're on the subject of Jane, I'd be semi-interested in getting a hold of this before it goes out of print again - the closest thing to a biography of Jane Austen, with excerpts from unpublished works. I don't know that I'd love reading about her life too much though, because it so closely does NOT resemble the happy endings present in her books!! But I want her unpublished works!!

Anyway, I really like Jane, what to read next??

(random side note - I randomly came upon a printout of the short story The Curious Tale of Benjamin Button the other day, and read it quickly. I haven't seen the movie, but what a strange, sad little book!! Curious... :))

Monday, April 16, 2012

It's The Hard Knock Life!

Last Wednesday night, Tammy and I went to see 'Annie' in town :) First of all, seeing as I'm all about embracing stuff these days, I stopped to get a picture in the poster, and I have to say, red afro? Kind of hot!

Lol okay, kind of awful :) And what was everybody thinking with the whole red hair red dress thing? Yeck! Tammy refused to get back there, even though I begged her to!! I bet she's regretting it now that I have a cool photo with Anthony Warlow!! And I only had to wait for like, three 7-year-olds to get theirs done first!! :) lol

Anyway, the show was wonderful!! The orphans were definitely a highlight!!! The littlest orphan has a big role - a lot of imitating Mrs Hannigan and singing parts, and she was great! She couldn't have been more than 5 or 6 though! And the dancing was fabulous - it's like these girls have been singing and dancing since birth. I've seen great shows with great children, but these children were in a whole other class. Often the children are very much their own presence up on stage, but these children were just... the orphans - they were fabulous. My favourite orphan part was when they sang 'It's the Hard Knock Life!' the second time, without Annie. Not that she wasn't great! - I just liked the orphan chorus better! Annie wasn't perfect, and throughout the show she got kind of worse as she got more tired or something, but she was pretty great!! I heard they had 3 different casts of Annie + children, and I can imagine one of the other Annies might be better (she was pretty good though!), but can't imagine a better orphan chorus!

Nancye Hayes who played 'Miss Hannigan' was wonderful - we started off not thrilled with her, but she just got better and better!! And Anthony Warlow, 'Daddy Warbucks' was brilliant - it would not have been anywhere near as wonderful without having someone so professional and brilliant playing that role!! He's wonderful to watch, and his voice is beautiful. Tammy was a bit devestated that his lovely assistant was blonde, instead of dark like she is in the movie, but she's got a thing about brunettes being depicted as blondes, especially in the New Era... lol ;) We both really liked the assistant though, she was lovely!! And although I didn't like the President too much, and Tammy did, we both loved 'HARMONY!!!!' :)

It was a fabulous night, and although I resisted the urge to purchase, I did go home and look up tickets for James and Maggie. Only his assurances that there would be other shows, and that Maggie would probably like and remember them more in a few years, made me stop. Oh, and it's a little pricey.. But it was funny, and fabulous, and so fun going out with Tammy, as usual (without whom I would apparently have nothing to blog about!! lol :))

Back when I was doing my fitness challenge, I bought a dress to wear at my Aunty's wedding in Adelaide, to celebrate reaching my goals, and never ended up posting the pic of me in it, so I asked James to take one of me before Annie. It's actually the first time I've seen myself and thought 'Huh. I kind of wish I was taller - I look squashed!' lol :) But here's the dress...OH, and look how short my hair is!!! It wasn't curling anymore after I had Ana, and so I made James hack it all off, in hopes that it would regain it's bounce. The cut ended up as karma for what happened back here (I knew that would come back and bite me!! SUCH a bad mullet!! - James really likes it, he says, but... I don't...), and the hair remains terribly un-curly. Not straight, just kind of limp, sigh. A few other curly-haired friends of mine have lost their curl after having babies too, and apparently it's just something that can happen, sob!! Don't know what you've got till it's gone!! But anyway, it's the shortest my hair has been and I've realised I kind of hate it and can't wait for it to re-grow!!

How awkward is it standing there to have a photo taken of yourself, by yourself?!! I didn't know how to stand, and felt SUPER awkward!! Maggie thought it was hot though - she came and joined me :)

Now that's style! :)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Love Affair.

Tammy introduced us, 14 days ago now, and it was love at first sight.

I didn't even try to resist - I was inspired, besotted. I resisted instigating actual contact, but have internet stalked to my hearts content, only to fall more deeply in love.

Because I'm not actually writing for Days of Our Lives, I'd better introduce you to the object of my affections...


I have always loved stationary. I love pretty notebooks and vibrant colours. I love pencils and crayons and pens and paints. I love quotes and diaries and organisers.


I think not!!!

(James thinks yes.)

Lately I've been wanting to put together a pinboard, just for me. I want to put up my favourite photos that just I want to look at, without worrying what anybody else entering my house will think. I want to put up quotes I love and that inspire me to work harder and be better. I want to put up pretty pictures, and notes to self, and dream places to visit one day, and other dreams. I want to hang it up somewhere where I'll see it all the time. I want to have my art desk under it, and organise and create in my own little corner. It's just that that spot doesn't exist yet, so my whole pinboard project is on hold.

(Yes, I know about Pinterest. But I just deleted my Facebook account and have ruled that Blogging is my only internet time investment for now, so I'm not going to open something so tantalisingly fun and addictive looking! :))

When I went to Tammy's house before we went and met up with Faith & Tim the other week, Tammy had changed her room around, and on her wall, was my vision!! - a fabulous pinboard, full of cute pictures and quotes and 'things'. I should've taken a picture of it for this blog post. It was awesome. I loved a lot of the cute quotes and pictures Tammy had, and she told me they were from kikki-K. She'd gone there and found the board, then found so many cute things to go with it, and there'd been a MASSIVE sale on, and she'd ended up with a totally cute 'inspiration board' (as they call them at kikki-K). She also showed me a 'Gratitude' book she'd gotten from there to be used as a special diary, complete with cues, ideas, quotes, and a bunch of 'thankyou' cards at the back. AND she GAVE me an inspirational quote book exactly the same as the one she'd bought herself and cute quotes out of for her inspiration board! (the sale had been a 'if you spend this much you get it all half price, so she went wild :)). She also gave me the Gratitude Diary cause I liked it so much, and James said he'd love one too sometime because it was so awesome, but then I felt too guilty (!) stealing it so I gave it back (I know Bethany, I'm growing a conscience, shocking, but don't get your hopes up it's not developing rapidly or anything...). Anyway, I loved everything, and have been kikki-K online browsing ever since!!

Meanwhile, Tammy went on a trip around Australia for work (she should TOTALLY WRITE A BLOG POST about it - especially the 4 days in Tassie which Dad joined her for and they went sightseeing and had lots of fun), and in the Sydney airport she found a Gratitude Book and bought it for James, since she never bought him a birthday present!! (a fact nobody had remembered but herself lol :)). THEN, she bought me one too, and may have accidentally bought me a couple more things...

So here's my wealth of amazingly cool kikki-K things:

Don't you love it how they put 3 bookmarks in every book???!! I do :)

James and I both started writing in our gratitude diaries last night, and Tammy'll probably have an adorable kikki-K gratitude journal 'thankyou' note or two soon! :) The inspirational books and twine will to-tally be used on my inspiration board when I have it one day (in the not-too-distant-future, hopefully!!), and I've been commissioned to make Tammy some cards with the inspiration stickers :)

And check out some other random cool kikki-K bits and pieces (there are a few pics of their inspiration boards..:)):

Isn't stationary fun??!!! Isn't organisation fun??!!! Isn't inspiration and gratitude fun??!!!! :) Isn't Tammy the most generous and creative big sister??