Sunday, 29 January 2012

Mission Statement

Linking up with Deb from Home life Simplified this week. Her challenge was to write a family mission statement. 

I wrote it out at length, but decided to shorten it to:

Wordle: CH1

I wanted something that encompasses our core values, but was succinct enough to put on our fridge to remind us of where we are heading. I am not very clever with the whole design thing, so for the time being will leave it like that, but will look for a way to make it a bit more "awesome" for when I print it out. These concepts will be the basis of how we parent our children and how we will strive to live our life.

Live -  living life to the fullest, making the most of any opportunities that are passed our way, trying to make sure we never have any regrets

Love - with our whole hearts, particularly our family and knowing that no matter what comes our way, love will be what keeps us together. I think it is important for our kids to grow up knowing that no matter what they do in life, no matter what path they take, no matter what mistakes they make, we will always love them unconditionally.

Laugh - seeking enjoyment, happiness, fun. Knowing that sometimes laughing can put our troubles into perspective and lighten our load. Laughing together creates bonds and can strengthen relationships.

Learn - one of my core values was learning and growth and I think this is one of the  most important things for a family to do together, to continue to develop and grow from new experiences, communication and good old fashioned reading.

Respect - respect for our family, respect for others around us, respect for rules and laws, respect for other's property and others beliefs, way of life and values. But also knowing that we deserve to be respected at all times by those in our life and if we aren't being treated with respect, then we need to look at ways to change this. 

Be Grateful - I have so much gratitude for the life we have and know that we need to be grateful for what we are given. This is something that I want to encourage in our kids from an early age. 

So, there it is. I think I am slightly off task with exactly what Deb wanted, but this is a way that I could get my head around it.

Head on over to Deb's page to see what others have done.

Chantel x

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

How Embarrassment!

This is a post that does talk about poo and wee - sorry. If you are easily grossed out, don't read on, but hey, I am an OT and a mother, nothing relating to poo and wee phases me anymore!

I thought I would share one of my most embarrassing moments. There have been so many, I am the ultimate klutz, foot in mouth kinda girl, and I work in an environment where I come into contact with all forms of bodily fluids - but this one is one of those that brings a smile to my face - hindsight is a wonderful thing, I was devastated at the time.

In 2005, we were living in Leeds, in the UK and embarked a trip of a life time. We went to Nepal and then Tibet and spent 3 weeks trekking up to Everest Base Camp. It was the most amazing experience and TBone proposed when we got there, so it was a pretty amazing trip all round.

There were about 16 of us on the trip - at that time, pre-Beijing Olympics, westerners could not go into Tibet unless on a guided tour. TBone and I were the youngest by a decade or so, but still managed to have a great time with our fellow travelers. Travelling in that environment, you have to get over yourself and your modesty pretty quickly, with gastro going through the group at a rapid pace, altitude sickness causing all sorts of vomiting, chest problems and hallucinations and if you are lucky enough to find a toilet - they are best described as a hole in the ground. 

Toilet at the Potala Palace - least this one didn't have crusty edges

Most of the time, we were in the middle of nowhere, and there wasn't much in the way of foliage, so if you needed to go to the toilet, you snuck off away from the group and tried to have as much privacy as possible. You are also encouraged to use as little non-biodegradable product when burying 'your business' to help the environment. We got very adept at 'shaking' dry - gross I know, but 'When in Rome'... A whole different post would go into other toileting issues in a country like that - Moon Cup anyone??!! 

On our final day in Tibet, we were in the bus from Base Camp to the Tibetan/ Nepalese border. We pulled over on the side of the road for a toilet break and dispersed from the bus like ants in different directions to try to find a little bit of privacy. I thought that after 3 weeks of extreme toileting that I had it all sussed. I went down a path that was quite steep, very secluded and out of view from the bus. I figured that if I faced uphill, the wee will go downhill - makes sense right??!!

So, I went about my business, singing to myself, cleaning the dust from under my finger nails as my quad muscles were given another hammering trying to maintain a squat on a slope. Suddenly, from the bushes to the side of me, I heard this booming "MooOOOoooo". I jumped so high, and promptly fell backwards onto my bum and back, right into the puddle I had so cleverly created. I looked to my right and was met with the stares of an older man, young boy and a cow. I was probably one of only a few westerners they would see that year and they saw a lot of me as my legs and bottom waggled in the air while I tried to get myself upright and pull up my trousers. I don't know who was more startled, and I was very quick to sort my self out and slink off back to the bus. 

Fortunately I was one of the last on the bus and we were sitting up the front, so I was able to move myself such that no-one else saw the very embarrassing wet patch all up my back and down the back of my trousers. TBone just rolled his eyes and shook his head when I told him - I think he was probably wondering what he had just committed the rest of his life to!

Ahh Tibet, how I love thee!  Namsto Lake 2005

What is your most embarrassing moment? Please tell me I am not the only one????

I am linking up to day with the ultimate Glam Queen Jess, at Diary of a Stay at Home Mum for I Blog on Tuesdays. Head on over to check out other fab reads.

Chantel x

Sunday, 22 January 2012

My Core Values

Last week, at Home Life Simplified, Deb asked us to link up a post about our core values. In true form, I have left it to the last minute - there are still 2 hours left in my Sunday, but the linky has just finished on Deb's page, - I thought I would write this anyway.

Like so many others, I have had a very tough time trying to narrow down my values to 5 most important. I have also had a week when the idea of 'values' both personal and organisational has popped up so many times during everyday conversation - I am not one who believes in coincidences - spooky!!! One of the main discussions I had was with one of my best friends and she was talking about how she felt she had been drifting apart from another friend, one who had been a friend from childhood. When we talked it through, it came down to those two people having very different core values now. The differing paths that their lives had taken them meant that the values most important to them now differed.

I had always believed that values were something that were inherent and did not change, but after my discussion with my good friend, it got me thinking that they do change and evolve as we grow. I think I have narrowed my core values down to 5, so here goes:

First and foremost, this will always be on top of any list. I have a large extended family, and togetherness, support and love within the family has always been important. Our sense of belonging and unity has been instilled in us since we were children and we are very close. Since getting married and having Master Z, the idea of family and the strength and love I gain from it has intensified and my little family is the most important thing in my life. I need them to exist and they need me.

Learning / Growth
I am a person who always asks 'why?'. I don't know how I existed before Google and Wikipedia, before the answer to every question was at my finger tips. I believe that learning is a life long process and I am not happy if my nose isn't buried in a book, seeking out new information. I also, however, know that growth and learning doesn't just come from books, that they come from experience and I try to say 'Yes' as often as possible to allow myself to have as many new experiences as possible. I am a full time Mum, I work part time as an Occupational Therapist and I am studying part time for a Masters degree in a totally unrelated field. When I finish my Masters (2 more units!!!!!!) it is quite likely I will do another 6 units so that I complete a double Masters - all in a quest for more letters behind my name! Not really, I am having a ball and I get so much out of the extra studying I do - it gives me a buzz!

This is very important to me, and probably not one that I would have said would have been in my top 5 a few years ago. I want to know that my family is safe. Safe from harm, safe from illness, safe from unnecessary heartache. I suffered from panic attacks for the 7 years we lived in the UK and since our return to Perth, I have had none. Here, I feel secure, I am surrounded by people who love me and I fell protected. 

Being grateful for all that I have in my life is so important to me. My first thought each morning before I get out of bed is to be grateful for the day ahead and my last thought at night is being grateful for all the day has brought me. I live such a blessed life, I know I do and I am so grateful for my family, my friends and the amazing life that we live. 
Reading that back, it sounds conceited, and I am not saying that everything is rosy, but I do know that I am blessed in so many ways and I am grateful for these things and know that the challenges I face in my life will be great learning opportunities and are 'character building '(I used to hate that phrase when my mum dished it out whenever I was faced with a challenge - but now realise it is so true!).

Working for so many years in hospitals, I know how important health is. Without our health, we can't fulfill our dreams and goals. This is something I am trying to place more emphasis on in my life with more exercise and healthy eating. I  am so grateful that my family is healthy and we live in a country where we are able to access clean water, an abundance of fresh produce and nutritious food. I need to look after myself more and give myself the best chance to be healthy. 

I am happy with that list and this exercise has given me time to think about where my focus needs to be - I had an idea, but this has clarified that I am heading in the right direction.

If you want to see what others have identified as their core values, head on over to Deb's page at Home Life Simplified.

Chantel x

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Pondering the Awesomeness that is 2012!

The last week or so, I have stepped back from the blog - only 2 grateful posts in 2 weeks! The reason is, I am taking stock of what it is that I want this space to represent. I am trying to get a feel for what I want it to look like, to feel like and what content I want to write. I have been trawling the blogosphere, checking out everyone's  pages and have come across many, many blogs I had not read before. There are so many talented, creative writers out there, it is very humbling and a really exciting time.

You are probably are wondering "why is this chick with only a handful of readers - (I am so grateful to every single person who stops by) even contemplating a change when she has only had a blog for a few months?"
Well, its because I have been extremely lucky and won an AMAZING opportunity from the equally AMAZING Glowless in her 30th Birthday Glowing Giveaway. If you don't know of Glow's work, check her out, she is awesome and a Perthie like me!  (Although, she is what we call a 'perthonality' over this way :o)) What a fantastic start to my 2012 hey!

I won the best prize of the lot, (well, I think so anyway), an opportunity to utilise the PR knowledge of the amazing SawHole who, among other pretty cool things, blogs at Madam Bipolar and occasionally writes at Woogsworld when Mrs Woog is busy watching Housewives of Buttfucksville County.  I am so excited about the prospect, and really don't want to waste the opportunity, so wanted to make sure I am going to her with a solid idea of the path I want to take and a product that will keep my attention for longer than 2 minutes.

I think I have a fair idea of what I want the feel of my little corner of the world to be like, it will involve a name change, a bit of a content change and hopefully the inspiration for more than one post a week! I just have to finalise what I want it to look like and seek out the help of someone creative to bring it to life.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for a makeover!

Chantel x

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Grateful for.......Family

TBone got asked this week if he would consider going for a long term stint to Port Hedland or Roxby Downs. My initial reaction was "hell yes, book the removal van" as I think it would be such a great opportunity for him work wise, it would mean I could fulfill my dream of being a Stay at Home Mum, and if we are going to do this, we have to do it now, as I would want to be back in Perth and settled by the time Master Z turns 7.

Then I thought more about what it would mean for us - I wont have problems with the remoteness or the heat, as we have lived in Kalgoorlie before, we wont have problems with the crime or social problems around us, as we lived in Leeds for 7 years, but the one thing that would be difficult would be removing Master Z from the relationship that he has with his grandparents, my Mum and Dad.

Master Z goes there 2 days a week while I work and loves every minute. They have built the Taj Mahal of sand pits in their back yard, there is a park directly across the road and with Mum being an ex-kindy teacher, she has so many cool activities for him to do. They take him shopping, on excursions to the zoo, on picnics and adventures to visit 'Nan-Nan' (my grandmother). He loves them to pieces and his eyes light up when he knows we are heading to Nanna and Granga's place. 

I rely on them so much as well and we are really fortunate they live only a 5 minute drive away. I would see them 5 days out of 7 and they are such a large part of our lives. If we do get the opportunity to go away, it won't just be the easy move like when we moved to the UK or Kalgoorlie. We are going to have to deal with Master Z's feelings and that of my parents.

Fortunately, even though my Mum has joked that she is horrified at the prospect, she also knows how awesome the opportunity would be, knows it is only a very short term thing and that now is the right time to do it. Explaining to Master Z is going to be a more difficult prospect though and it breaks my heart even thinking about having to tell him we wont see them for months on end. Luckily, we live in a world of Skype now, so if it happened we would be able to keep in regular contact so he can get his fix.

So today, I am so grateful for my parents, their support and their relationship with Master Z.

Chantel x
Linking up with Maxabella @ Kidspot for 52 weeks of Grateful

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Grateful for..... A clean slate

Many people see the rolling of the clocks from one year to the next as just another day. Nothing important, just time to start a new diary.

I, however,  love the beginning of the new year. I love the idea of a clean slate and find the potential a new year brings with it exciting. For me, New Years Eve, New Years Day and January are a time to reflect on the year gone past, what went right, what went wrong and what lessons can be learned. It is a time to review goals and life dreams and see if you are on track to achieve these. 

It is a time to plan the year ahead, the big events, the small milestones and the mundane but necessary tasks. I love to see a fresh new diary with blank pages just waiting to be written in. 

An even more exciting idea is that every day is a new beginning, a new chance, a 'do-over' and brings with it new hope.
And for that, I am grateful.

Linking up today with Maxabella loves' Grateful for... link for one last time before it moves to its exciting new home at Kidspot

Chantel x

Friday, 6 January 2012

Imma gunna be all Kim Kardashian and get 'simple'

"i wanna be more simple in 2012" @KimKardashian on Twitter.
(This was after she had celebrated NYE at a fancy pantz party in Vegas that she was reportedly paid $600,000 USD to attend.......)

I have only just finished catching up on all the blog posts in my reader from prior to Christmas - I haven't had a chance to comment on many sorry, but I am now up to date. Many of the posts have been about people's resolutions for 2012 or why they aren't making resolutions.

I am crap at resolutions, I have a difficult time sticking to anything (stay tuned for an upcoming post relating to the 12 wbt and my healthy living journey). My attention span is very short and this is probably one of my worst personality traits. It is the one I really try hard to counter, but then I lose interest and turn my attention elsewhere.

I know I need focus in my life, I know I need to be smarter with my goals and aims. I am on an endless quest to decide what I want to be when I grow up. My mind flits from one uni course to another trying to decide what to study, which direction to head - you would think by 35 that I would have some sense of direction. May be it is a first world problem that I have so many options available to me - that is also another post for another time.

The things I want to focus on this year, are my happiness and my family's happiness. This will mean looking at what we are doing on a day to day basis, how we are spending our money and how we are working towards our long term family goals. As part of this:

  • I really want to try to improve my health. This will mean continuing the exercise regime I started as part of the 12 WBT and try to rein in my emotional eating once and for all. 
  • I also want to focus on developing new and nourishing existing female friendships. I really miss having a 'best' friend close by - my best friend is unfortunately miles away and although technology brings us closer, it is not the same as having someone you can pop in for a chat and a tea or wine with and who you feel comfortable telling your deepest darkest secrets to.
  • And finally, I want to work out where I want to be professionally. We know what our family goals are, what my 'mummy' goals are, I just need to determine which path I want my career to take and head on down that path.

While pondering what I wanted from 2012 and reading everyone's post from the last week, I have come across many of you being involved in Debra from Home Life Simplified's 52 Weeks to Simplify You Life Challenge and I have decided to join in. I am hopeless when it comes to meeting deadlines, so this will give me something to work on.

The first challenge Deb has set is to create a list of what went 'right' in 2011.
I know many people had a terrible 2011, filled with tragedy, grief, sickness and heartbreak. I certainly didn't have a bad 2011, but I would say it rated as a 'meh' on the awesomeness scale. There were some highs, some lows and many lessons learnt.

In 2011 the things that went 'right' were:

  • We celebrated Master Z's 1st birthday with a totally over the top, not needed party, but we had fun with our friends, so it was worth it.
  • Master Z started walking and talking and hasn't stopped for breath since
  • Master Z started day care one day a week, and although he has had a 'bug a week', at least his immunity will be well developed by school time
  • TBone had an amazing year at work, completed a major project in a leading role and I am so proud of what he achieved
  • I came to the realisation that whilst I am working part time, there is no way I am going to have any progression in my role, so I may as well be doing something that I really enjoy
  • I realised that I have 10 years of part time work ahead of me, so I may as well use that time to skill up and study further so that when I return to work full time I will have lots of little letters behind my name, and a huge HECS debt, but maybe not much more.....
  • I completed 3 more Masters units in my MBA, so only have 2 left before I finish - then commence another one (I think -as part of my quest for many letters behind my name, see above)
  • We saw the way Master Z's relationship with his grandparents has flourished and developed a further appreciation of all that they do for him and us
  • We got a new car - red - as red goes faster
  • We spent several weekends 'down south' enjoying family and quiet times
  • We spent a week in Pemberton - and although Master Z was terribly sick most of the time, we slowed down and spent quality time together
  • I started this little blog and although I don't really know what I want it to be, I am loving having a place to write, develop some skills, meet new people and recording our lives for our kids to read later
  • I spent many fun filled nights with my mother's group girls and realised how lucky I am to have them drop into my life
  • We had many wonderful nights with our close group of friends as we try to make time to catch up in our busy lives
  • We welcomed a new nephew in June, who is growing into a beautiful little boy
  • We watched with awe at every new thing Master Z mastered as he explored his environment and we wondered if we could ever love another child this much - or if there is a cuter little boy in the whole world?
I mean really??? Not in my eyes :o) I perhaps need to work on the whole watermark thing though.....

16 points, not too bad a year, hey? I am grateful for the lessons that 2011 brought with it, but have a feeling in my waters that 2012 is going to be filled with awesomeness, candy, rainbows and dream fulfillment.


Linking up with 52 weeks to simplify your life. Head on over to see what the buzz is about.

Chantel x

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Welcome 2012!

Things have been very quiet around here, as we have been 'down south' for a few days, taking some time to enjoy family, holidays and beautiful weather.

I have had such a relaxing time.

I have smiled over and over at this:

I have eaten a lot of these:

I have drunk a few of these:

I have learnt to do this:

I have fallen in love with my Christmas present to myself. I ordered this after seeing it here and here and couldn't be happier with it. You can find some more beautiful items here:

I have swum here everyday:

I have read these:

I love lazy holiday time. I enjoyed 2011 and am so grateful for all that it brought with it, both the good times and the life lessons. 

I am loving 2012 so far and know it is going to be an amazing year and can't wait to experience all it has to offer.

Happy New Year, best wishes for an amazing 2012! Linking up today with Jess for IBOT

Chantel x