Thursday, December 27, 2012

13/13 Reading Challenge

Little White Dove
Little White Dove has thrown down a reading challenge for the New Year - to read 13 books in 2013. A relatively simple challenge & you know how I LOVE challenges! 
2012 I managed to finish 31 books (finished to date) but I found my reading felt stagnant and I didn't extend much further than Vampire Lit or Chic Lit. Nice. Easy. Reading. Knowing that I can easily read 13 in 2013 I signed up for this challenge on ye old Crafty blog. Over there will be my every day reads (likely more vampire lit & chic lit) however Kylie asked to be challenged further and I've chosen to take up her extra challenge here on this blog. Because I really want to try and stretch my wings and read more variety this year as I think it will help with my writing course (as well there are books I should be reading for the course) 
A small selection of books that I 'might' read as part of the selected Genres. 
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So without further adieu, here is the 13/13 challenge of genres that I am aiming to read. I will blog about my progress throughout the year.    
1) Mystery (1st to Die - James Patterson) 
2) Romance (The Road Home - Fiona Palmer) 
3) Thriller (Above Suspicion - Linda La Plante) 
4) Drama (To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee) 
5) Historical (The Secret River - Kate Grenville?) 
6) Fantasy (Dark Prince - Christine Feehan) 
7) sci-fi (Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams) 
8) non Fiction (Down to Earth - Rhonda Hetzel) 
9) Graphic (Smallville S11, Ep1 Graphic Comic) 
10) autobiography (Lessons in Letting Go - Corinne Grant) 
11) motivational (feel the Fear and do it anyway - Susan Jeffers) 
12) religion / world view / spiritual (The art of Happiness - The Dalai Lama) 
13) poetry (The complete works of Banjo Patterson) 
I have placed in brackets a list of books I have selected that I think suits each genre, most are books I already own awaiting an opportunity to read or were suggested by friends. If you think any are not suitable for each genre - leave me a comment and offer me other suggestions!
I am looking forward to sinking my teeth in to these come January 1st!   

Sunday, December 23, 2012

#reverb12… day23

Name three excuses -- stories you tell yourself that are holding you back -- that you are going to let go of in 2013. 

Time… I do have the time to complete my 2 x courses in the allocated time frame. Sitting staring at the computer will NOT get them finished. Get in there and just do it.

Balance… you do have balance in your life. It's perhaps not how you envisaged it, but you do have a lot of interests. Balance across them is generally pretty even. Just enjoy them!

Home… sitting idly staring around you will not clean, nor organise, nor declutter your house. Get stuck in, a little each day will go a long way. You CAN have this house sorted next year.

And that's telling me!  

Saturday, December 22, 2012

#reverb12… day 22

What was the greatest gift you received in 2012? What was the greatest gift you gave?

What do you intend to give yourself in 2013?

What girl wouldn't want (& consider) their greatest gift of 2012 a giant metal chicken. Okay so he's only a small cock - I mean CHICKEN!  

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And the greatest Gift I gave… I ended up keeping for myself. Because the girl was horrified I had stuffed HER teddy into this small jar. And because he made me giggle. So I kept him. 

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In 2013… I plan on giving myself more fun. One thing I learnt from my Nan was that life IS slightly crazy and the best way to live it, is to roll with said crazy. So my gift is to roll with it!

*** note *** we are nearing the end of the daily reverb and ticking that ever closer to Christmas. As you can see from the slightly CRAZY posting tonight, that I have started to lose all ability to think straight. So I do not apologise for any future postings of weird, unusual or just plain crazy. Life is far too short not to embrace it a little… or a lot!  

Friday, December 21, 2012

#reverb12... Day21

What items did you tick off your dream list in 2012? What other, unexpected, dreams came to fruition?

What are the top three items on your dream list for 2013?

While I had MANY goals this past year, I didnt have a dream so to speak! My dream was to do it all and that didnt quite happen - but I sure did give it a good crack!

An unexpected dream that did come to fruition was a part manuscript of my book idea! While it is far from publishing and needs lots more tidying, it finally felt after 30,000 words to paper, like it could happen rather than remaining a mere pipe dream!

2013 I will have many goals, but my 3 dreams are...

1) Finish my first novel and start the second!

2) Take a holiday with my family

3) Live creatively every day.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, December 20, 2012

#reverb12… day20

What was lost in 2012? What do you intend to find in 2013?

I lost TIME in 2012. Minutes blurred to hours. Hours rolled into days. Days meshed into weeks. And weeks melted from sight faster than I could count them.

TIME was against me pretty much all of the year as I battled to keep up with everything that needed doing and letting other areas plummet as I plain ran out of time. I calculated a FREE 27 hours a week with my daughter in school. Sadly those 27 hours were soon gobbled up and all it took was a coffee that took a moment too long to brew. A computer that ran Facebook daily (yeah… I know where most of my time went) groceries and errands that kept me on my toes. Work that kept piling up. Appointments, lunch dates. It was a little crazy.

In 2013, I've already vowed to find more accountability. I have worked up a loose daily schedule where I've squeezed in all that I wanted to be doing in 2012 but ran out of time to do. I'm hoping that a new schedule and a new year will give me a clean slate to make it happen!       

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

#reverb12... Day 19

How did you nourish your beautiful body in 2012?

What self-care practices will you take with you into 2013?

When I first read "nourish" my body; I immediately thought health and beauty. With this thought process, I didnt really nourish my body in any way, shapeor form! I started an exercise regime of walking way back in May... Armed with new joggers, a good mindset and a walking app on my phone, I pounded the pavement and lasted two days before life got in the way!

Beauty treatments were nil. Not even an accupuncture appt to balance my soul.

So I nourished myself in the only way I know how - I started writing. Writing for me nourishes my mind, it opens up my heart and soul and I feel freedom through the words that appear upon my page.

In 2013 I am intending to write daily in my journal as well amping up the blog writing and writing for my course. It will be a busy year indeed!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

#reverb12… day 18

What colour best represents the year you had in 2012? And why?

What colour would you like to invite into your life in 2013? 

Be as literal or metaphorical, clever or crazy, or just plain off-the-wall with this as you choose! Can't wait to read your responses to this one!

A glorious rainbow of colours splattered across my year throughout 2012. Everything in life was suddenly bright and colourful and I appreciated all that had been missing from previous years.

In 2013 I'd like to invite more colours of the spectrum into my life. I want to move away from the dreary colours and embrace bold and bright. I want the year to shine gloriously in every corner of the rainbow and then some.


Monday, December 17, 2012

#reverb12… day 17

Think of one person whose life you made a difference to in 2012.

What did you gain from this?

How will you continue to make a difference in 2013?

This is a difficult question to ponder upon tonight. It's hard to think of any one person I may have made a difference too. So I shall go with the most obvious subjects. My baby girl and my husband. 

I like to think that I have made a difference on my little girls life, but supporting her through her first year of schooling. By providing stability in her home life just by being here for her of a morning and again in the afternoon. Simply by being here. Living in the moment with her has made a huge difference upon ME (I used to work an hour away and did relatively long hours and was not here those afternoons… had I not given it up, I daresay I would still be doing that and losing precious mummy / daughter time) I am almost positive it has made an impact upon her life in 2012 as she has overall been so much fun to hang out with and the tantrums of the toddler days seem to be but a mere memory.

I have gained confidence in my parenting with this one simple difference. 

I can only hope that 2013 we are able to provide more of the same for her and that she continues on this path to adulthood happily.

My husband on the other hand, I know I've made a difference in his life by being more accountable in my "housewifery" duties. While I don't always meet him at the front door, dressed to the 9's and wearing heels and an apron, bearing food and beer (usually it's me requesting the beer!) I have managed to get a hold on what is expected of me and while I still HATE housework and currently have Mt Foldmore threatening to avalanche - it's all slowly coming together and making him happy. 

I have gained a feeling of contentment that had never quite seemed attainable in the past and I have also gained a happier husband. 

2013 I am planning on being even MORE organised (I can dream huh?) with designated days to get everything done - no ifs and buts about it. Here's to many more happy days, beer in hand, sitting by the pool, watching the new cleaner wash my windows… again with the dreaming! 


Sunday, December 16, 2012

#reverb12… day16

Who inspired you in 2012? And why?

What gifts did they give you? And how will you carry these forward in to 2013?

Inspiration in 2012, came to me in many forms. Almost too many to name individually but most of them will probably know who they are. My 2 very best besties, my Quilting girls, my mums group  and CathB - all of you girls have inspired me in some form or another. By supporting, listening, studying, writing, sewing along, laughing, enabling and just being. I thank you from the very bottom of my heart for all that you have done this year. I appreciate it far more than words will ever be able to convey.  

A special mention for my biggest inspiration by far was when I trekked the long way to Camp NaNoWriMo. Joined by my fellow camper Rachy & in spirit by Esther. I churned out some un-godly amount of words (somewhere in the vicinity of 20K) & then proceeded to burn out. From every writing sprint you both joined me on, to your kind comments on my writing exercises shared. Encouragement to move forward in my quest. Words aren't enough to describe how much that meant to me and if you both continue this support into 2013… we can definitely talk about a mention on the Acknowledgements page 'kay ;) 

You two girls, along with ALL the rest of you beautiful girls in my life have given me the gift of confidence which was so sadly lacking in 2011. The confidence to realise that I can do this writing gig (just unsure if I can do it well yet…) I plan on carrying that confidence into 2013 and I hope you all join me for the ride because next year I am planning on finishing the first draft.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

#reverb12... Day 15

What was the most extraordinary dish you sampled in 2012? What made it so magical?

It needn't be the most extravagant dish, just the one that knocked your socks off with its flavour, texture, aroma, freshness, colour, significance, timing… whatever. Relive the magic and help us savour it with you here.

The ice cream snickers bars... still as delicious now as they were when they were removed from the shelves back in the 90's! OMG absolute delightful to revisit a teenage Fav!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, December 14, 2012

#reverb12… day14

My question is: what was the most important thing you learned in 2012?

I would like to add: how does this learning shape the path going forward?

In 2012, I learnt about inner peace. I learnt that I can't do everything, but I can do a lot of things. I learnt to be calm and to be able to hear others pain. I learnt to balance my own pains. And embrace those pains.

Going forward, I hope to do more work on my own inner peace and happiness. I feel peaceful about the new year approaching and while I know it will bring challenges, I find I'm better equipped to deal with said challenges.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

#reverb12… day 13

Please post your favourite picture of yourself from 2012, self-portrait or otherwise!

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Today I am tired… this is the best photo you will get as a self portrait (as well I am too tired to trawl the archives)
We took a wander down to the beach, stopping to breath in the cool salty air, letting the worries of the day wash over me and away as I braced myself for one more day of CRAZY. Just one.

Did you see those long stick legs - my new dress is a wee bit short; leaving not much fabric when I bend down to pick up something… let me assure you xxx

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And my shocking green thongs (I changed into them especially for the beach walk!)   

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

#reverb12… day 12

What made you dance in 2012? What made you weep?

In developing her prompt, Jani said, "I love to focus on the things that make people feel deeply - both kinds of emotions, sad & happy, but intense!"

These words sat mocking me upon my computer screen for the past six hours and I find myself no closer to finding an easy answer. I keep coming back to the fact that my year has been calm. It has been balanced. There has been no high highs, but then nor has there been low lows. It's been even keel. Smooth sailing. It has been exactly what the Doctor ordered. So to put it as succinctly as possible (which for me is extremely difficult) 

This girl made me dance

And this post makes me weep.

These two posts epitomise my journey and beyond. I feel so blessed to be able to look back upon them both now and see how much I have evolved and grown even more in the 6 short months since writing them.



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

#reverb12… day11

What was music to your ears in 2012, literally or metaphorically?

I like to think that this year 2012 was the year I revisited that thing called "Chart Music" For the past 5.5 years I've heard small snippets of songs on the radio, but I've not followed who tops the charts, nor who sings what. Listening to radio music in the car was quickly becoming a thing of the past and after years of listening to the Wiggles and The Fairies in the car (thankfully we've now moved on to Victorious, Taylor Swift and Ke$ha - though just the one song please mum) I was a little chuffed to be back in the car and listening to some of the recent chart music. 

That and attending school discos where they play all the recent stuff. 

Music to my ears. 

I no longer feel old and over the hill and I no longer have to mumble and pretend I know the words when really, between you & me - I know nuffing! 



Monday, December 10, 2012

#reverb12… day 10

What was the greatest risk you took in 2012? What was the outcome?

My greatest risk in 2012 actually started in 2011, but carried forward into 2012.

My greatest risk - I quit my long standing job. Even though my income barely covered daycare / commute to work fees; it did help boost us up when the chips were starting to crumble.

With a huge daycare bill looming (their billing system had broken down & I'd not picked up that I hadn't paid fees for 4 weeks :O ) a whopping hospital / surgeon fee (think over $5G) as well previous surgeon fees / credit card debts that had racked up and so on. Add to that monthly psychologists bills which weren't cheap and we were sitting on some pretty huge debt. 

Yet I found the confidence to I walk away from it all. I kept thinking another 6 months I could have paid everything out but for us and our family at the time it was a risk far less to take than the risk of me continuing to work and likely burning out completely.

It was a risk that paid off. 18 months down the track, we are sitting stable financially having finally paid out all the fees (& then some) I no longer need consistent psychologist appointments which I put paid to a calmer lifestyle and calmer mind.  And our whole family is so much happier.   

Sunday, December 9, 2012

#reverb12... Day 9

What was the best book you read in 2012, and why? (And by "Why?" I mean: Why did you read it? And why was it your favourite? Although these answers could be one and the same...!)

Is it bad that I don't have a "best" book for 2012? I have read less than I normally read in a year and what I have read has been mind numbing, easy reads. Now Im not saying they are bad books, most were quite good - if you like vampire lit, romance in the country and a bad ass bounty hunter who is unco!

Then there were the really bad books, I could give you 50 reasons why they were so bad but Ive put them out of my mind, never to be considered again ;)

I also finally read The Book Thief which I enjoyed but took forever to read - Im guessing that my own brain power and concentration levels have been lacking!

To narrow it down to best book, Im going to run with the book I just finished - it is a country romance (think harlequin as the publisher and you will get where Im coming from) I started it one night and finished it the next! For me that is a record effort! It has been sometime a book has me that hooked on the characters that I stay up late reading and start reading as the day dawns!

The book - Jilted by Rachael Johns!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

#reverb12... Day 8

Considering the idea that nothing lasts forever: what was the most important relationship that you fostered in 2012?

How will you continue to nurture it in 2013?

2012 was the year I found ME.

The previous years I was on a crazy bender crash course. I rode the tide as it floated out into the blue yonder and as the waves crashed the shore, I came hurtling back to life hitting the ground head first. This relentless ebb and flow of life had me, my emotional wellbeing, my physical being and my mental awareness trapped in a rip, tearing me apart and forcing me upon an unknown path. Rather than swim, I started to sink.

In 2012 I changed things about, I discovered things about myself I'd never previousy known and I started to embrace life.

Going into 2013, I am taking with me the mistakes of the past combining those with the knowledge gained that I can be everything I want to be and am continuing on the path I commenced in 2012.

#reverb12... Day 7

What's the one thing you want to take with you into 2013?

The Crazy.

Because it makes me laugh
Because it makes me feel young
Because life is about living
Because life is crazy, so Im more attune to it
Because without it life becomes boring

Thursday, December 6, 2012

#reverb12… day 6

Compare the “you” from the beginning of 2012 to the “you” that you are now. What new skills or talents have you learned or discovered this year?

At the beginning of 2012, I was a frazzled burnt out mum who resorted to yelling before 8am most mornings, just to get out the door. I know it sounds horrible, but in my defence I had just barely survived a 3 year battle with infertility and related health issues. My sanity was hanging by a thread and needed months of therapy to find my way back.  My health with some added help from evil hormones was at an all time low along with my energy levels. And I had recently finished up (okay half way through the year… but still) my long time job that I once absolutely loved. A career that came to a spectacular end after nearly 10 years with same company. 

And then I became a School mum. Suddenly my little girl, my baby was a big school girl and with that came 6 hours of FREE MUMMY TIME. Every Weekday. I missed my baby girl, but I suddenly felt this freedom lift and found that I no longer yelled in the mornings to get moving. Our mornings were (& still are) pretty cruisey. We spend the 20 minute drive to school chatting, singing, playing word games, discussing life. 

After 5 years of battling to be the perfect mum, I learnt that I am a good mum - I just needed the space to realise this within myself. 


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

#reverb12… day 5

What was your dream destination in 2012 and why? 

It can be a town, city, country or region -- real or imaginary -- and doesn't matter if you actually got there or not!

This year I knew getting away as a family would be difficult; so it was no wonder I dreamed for months about my two planned crafty retreats.

The first was Camp K where I boarded a (very late) plane that flew into Sydney in the worst weather possible. I froze my butt off; I rippled the weekend away as we laughed talked and enjoyed each others companies. Some of us meeting for the very first time.

We backed that weekend up several months later with a second weekend of AWESOME. This time at Quilt Camp (say that one fast) another weekend of crafty fun, laughter (too much laughter) and good friends.

I really can't ask for more than that; I got to spread my wings, step away from life's dramas and be a little more than just mummy & housewife for a few blissful nights. And not to forget spending precious time with some of the loveliest peeps around.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

#reverb12… day 4

How are you going to celebrate your self this festive season? 

This festive season - I plan on letting things just happen.

If I don't find the time to make things - So be it.

If I don't get time to bake everything on the list - So be it.

If I don't get around to wrapping the gifts until Christmas Eve - So be it.

Letting go and trusting that it will just happen how it's supposed to will allow me to relax and enjoy the moment rather than being anxious and worried about things that are out of my control.

And if any of that doesn't go to plan, I have celebrated my 'self' by purchasing my first dress (well 4 dresses :O ) in over 10 years (well apart from the obligatory LBD) I think dressing nicely will add to the celebrations nicely.      

Monday, December 3, 2012

#reverb12… day 3

Imagine a scenario where you only had one year left to live. What is one thing that you really wish to do that you just haven't had the chance to accomplish yet?

I would like to add: what steps could you take (however small) to ensure that you accomplish this thing in 2013?

Today's prompt required deep thinking and soul searching. 

If you have followed this blog since the beginning you will be thinking - this is EASY. I have desired, wished and wanted but ONE thing for so long that I could easily word this response in 2 words (does A even count as 1 word?) 


Yet as I thought about it this morning, I came to the realisation that my lone wish once so strong in my mind; is  no longer. For years I have blown out the candles on my cake and I have wished fervently for a baby, hoping that that extra candle each year would have the magic I so dreamed of. From the age of 21 my birthday candle wishes were to have a baby and that lone wish took 9 years to finally come to fruition. Once. Every birthday since, I have wished to have just one more baby.

Next year on my 36th birthday; when those candles come out flickering with promises to behold, I won't be wishing for another baby. I have long since resigned myself to the end of my baby making days. Next year I will wish for Freedom.

Our lives have somehow become caught in a holding pattern. We have been waiting… waiting to be more financially stable, waiting for that longed for new baby, waiting… waiting… waiting. I want Freedom from all the waiting. I want Freedom from the ties that have bound us in this holding pattern.  

Next year I wish to drive off into the sunset. I want to take my little family and travel. I want to see parts of this great big country we live in. I want to document our travels, through words and photos. I want to live in the moment and pretend that we have no responsibilities. I want to run away. 

To do this though, proves almost too hard. It would mean taking the business on the road with us, leaving family behind and being selfish for once in our lives. It won't be easy to execute and that big dream holiday will wait until the dust settles back home. It won't be our dust. Hopefully with small steps forward, like a long weekend here and a week there we will work our way to making this dream a reality. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

#reverb12… day 2

What was your most significant expenditure in 2012?

It doesn't have to be necessarily the biggest expenditure, just the one with the most impact.

What difference has it made to your life?

A tricky question to ponder and answer tonight… but isn't that usual when it comes to money?
Our biggest expenditure in 2012 was kicking a major financial goal 6 months earlier than expected. It has made a huge impact upon our day to day lives and re-affirmed that we can still budget and we can meet our goals albeit a harder slog than we were once used to.
It has reiterated that perseverance, hard work and strict budgets can and do pay off.
This goal has allowed ourselves to dream big once more.
When all feels lost and you become stagnant within life, dreams are a beautiful thing to behold.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

#reverb12… day 1

Kat who blogs over at I saw you dancing has been hosting the reverb meme these past couple of years and I've always earmarked them to return to after the Crazy that is Christmas and subsequently never got around to doing any of them, let alone finding the time to re-read them.

This year I decided to take the bull by the literal horn and really sit and think about the answers (like because I REALLY need to add MORE in my already overstuffed life *sarcasm*) but also because it gives me an excuse to write here more regularly ;) I've really missed this little space… so without further adieu.   

How are you starting this last month of 2012?

Take a moment, close your eyes, take a deep breath and ask yourself the question: how do you feel...

... in your body? in your mind? in your day job? in your creative life? in your heart?

December 2012 snuck up behind the proverbial and has me held firmly within its grip. I am struggling to take a step back and re-live but one more day of November so I can feel better prepared as I jump face first into this final and somewhat CRAZY month that is December AND Christmas.

I feel anxious.

Which is strange in itself because I LOVE Christmas. It's not to say I love Christmas any less, I just feel that as each year goes by the anxiety over this month becomes even more compressed and condensed and I feel both swept up in the magic and joy, but cast aside by my own admissions.

I suppose this is an age thing. As each new Christmas approaches, I am one year older. Time no longer drags to get here. Time speeds by until you blink and you miss it. Suddenly you find yourself staring down the barrel of Christmas Eve and realising that you've forgotten the Cranberry Sauce (even though you bought the Turkey WAY BACK in October) and you end up paying an arm and leg for a small jar from the corner store.

Each new Santa photo reveals more wrinkles than the one before, a wiser face stares back and you think of all you know now that you didn't know LAST Christmas.

As we age, so to our parents. Each year they creep ever so slower into that age bracket that to us as young-uns was 'old' but it's not really. You see more grey hair. More wrinkles. And each year there seems to be one less to celebrate with. To give. To love. To be with.

And our children. Age before our eyes. In a blink of an eye they have gone from crying babies to little girls who are no longer afraid to talk to Santa and could easily pose for a photo by themselves (except that her Crazy Christmas mumma insists on jumping in on each photo!)

So my mind is anxious. My body is tired. Everything feels topsy-turvy and though I know I will manage to pull it all together like I do every year. I needed this moment tonight to reflect on all that's been and all that will come.

For now I shall leave and take several deep breaths as I bring in this new final month of 2012, I will watch as my daughter sleeps soundly. Pat my old dog while he snores and farts on the couch. Smile at my dearest as we share a block of chocolate and watch some inane movie on the box. And I shall sleep a mothers sleep and leave the Crazy till tomorrow.