Happy Birthday

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On this day, 33 years ago my life changed forever with the arrival of my first-born child.

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There was no internet, Skype, Instagram or Facebook.  We did not even think to take a photo while in hospital.  This is the first photo of our newborn daughter at 7days, once we were home from hospital.

It seems like yesterday but so much has happened in those intervening years.

There have been highs, lows and plenty of challenges but I am so proud of what she has achieved and the woman she has become.

2015-09-03 02Happy Birthday, darling and best wishes for an amazing future.

Live Life

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This blog is not about my life laid bare for all the world to see.  However, I have alluded to the fact that I have been very busy recently so tonight I wanted to share a little of that with you.

About 10 days ago I was part of a gathering of my extended family.  Like many families, sometimes it seems as though the only times we connect with cousins and others beyond our immediate family is at funerals.  Some months ago I came up with the idea of gathering on the centenary of our grandfather’s arrival at Gallipoli.  He was not in the first contingent of Australian forces who landed on 25th April but was in some of the reinforcements who arrived in mid-July.  A series of events led to him meeting his future wife (our grandmother) in England, and so, our branch of the family grew and flourished.

After much anticipation, family members gathered from near and far for a day of celebration and reminiscing.  The weather was kind, memories were shared and connections rekindled.  We had an amazing day.

2015-07-22 01I think this photograph captured the essence of the day perfectly.

Celebration Central

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April is quite a month for celebrations in our family as it was our wedding anniversary earlier in the week and will be followed up by my birthday later in the month.

It is my brother’s birthday today and we will be going out for a family lunch on Saturday to celebrate.

This year is a milestone birthday and here are some past photos of the birthday boy.

Owen Owen2 Owen1Wishing you a wonderful birthday and best wishes for the future.

Done and Dusted

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Christmas is over, or in the words of Uncle D, “Well, that’s Christmas buggered for another year!”

I must confess that I was anything but organised this year but I am safe in the knowledge that I will have an opportunity to improve in 2015.  I did not even send cards/emails this year but I am planning to do make that a job for the coming week as I am at home and there will be time to make it meaningful correspondence.

We spent time at Caloundra with the family and had a most enjoyable short break.

2014-12-27 01Decorating the tree which we took with us.

2014-12-27 02Gifts under the tree and ready to go.

2014-12-27 03Trying on new hat and sunglasses.

2014-12-27 04Dressed and ready to go out for lunch.

2014-12-27 05Everyone is now back at their respective homes in 2 different states.  The Duke and I have unpacked and things will gradually return to normal.  As always, I am keen make the New Year a great one but more on that another day.

Best wishes to you and yours for Christmas and the New Year.

End of an Era

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Last Friday marked a major milestone in the life of our younger grand-daughter.  Izz turned 5 in August and next year she will join her older sister at school.

She first attended daycare at the tender age of 4 months and has now completed 5 years (at 2 different facilities).  Last week we were privileged to witness the graduation ceremony for those children are moving on to the formal part of their education.

2014-12-20 01Yesterday was her last day at daycare and I imagine that there were some emotional farewells.  It certainly is the end of an era.

Christmas is Coming

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I know that the year is rolling by and before we know it Christmas will be upon us.  In fact I read this comment on a discussion forum a couple of days ago,

“Everyone is so busy and it will get even busier as it gets closer to Xmas… which I haven’t planned anything….”

This got me thinking as to why everything has to be busy in the lead-up to Christmas.  I love Christmas for the joy of being able to share the day with my family, especially the grandchildren.  I do not enjoy the commercialism of it nor the endless round of parties, celebrations and gift-giving.  The associated stress and pressure is simply not worth it.

Christmas Shopping

I try to switch off to most advertising at any time but I find it particularly insidious at this time of the year.  Every conceivable type of business is exhorting us to buy their goods so that they can be delivered by Christmas.  Worse still, are the offers of no repayments until the New Year etc, etc.  Just remember that everything has to be paid for at sometime and do you really want to be paying for Christmas at this time next year?

Like many other aspects of our life, we have managed to eliminate a lot of unnecessary Christmas festivities and focus on what is important to us.

This year we will be keeping it simple.

Neither The Duke nor I attend any work functions.
The Duke and I will go to a local festive gathering.  It is an opportunity to socialise with our neighbours and is hosted by a different family each year.  Everybody brings their own drinks and a plate of food to share.
We will take our grand-daughters to see the Christmas lights in our area. I want to take them to a carol service at the local church.
We will spend 5 days at the beach with family.
Christmas lunch will be at my sister’s place with extended family.
Gift giving for the family will focus on experiences and/or consumable gifts.

Over the next 6 weeks I will share some of the things you can do and make in the lead-up to Christmas which are memorable but relatively easy on the budget.  Please share any special ideas from your family.

In the meantime, here is a photo I took yesterday when I went to Caloundra to meet some friends for lunch.  I am hoping for some similarly spectacular weather when we spend some time there at Christmas.

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Celebration Central

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In the midst of our busy lives it is good to take time out to celebate.

Today is Mothers’ Day and I was lucky enough to be able to spend time with my mother, sister, one of my daughters and 2 granddaughters as well as my husband, brother and brother-in-law.  We gathered at a cafe and shared some morning tea before adjourning to a local park where we could sit in the sun and chat while the children played on the playground.  It was really special and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

A special thought for those whose mothers or children are not in their lives either through death, distance or estrangement.

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Meanwhile, I have been working on creating the invitations for The Duke’s milestone birthday celebration in a few months time.  Here is a photo from the ‘archives’ that I am using.

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Finally, there will be celebrating this month when two much awaited babies arrive to loving families that I know.

What is happening in your life and the lives of those around you that is worth celebrating?  Take time out and share the occasion.