Day 365…

Wow, New Year ’s Eve is here, and I know I say it every year, and in fact every month, but time seems to be going faster and faster.  What say you? Do you feel the same way?

Like any year, 2013 has had ups and downs, but I have high hopes for 2014!

In a quick review, the big thing for us was finding out that Max has Dyslexia and Dyscalculia.  This has changed our whole approach to Max’s education, and has made a huge difference to Max.  We appreciate his strengths and gifts so much more now and are constantly thinking about and trying to be creative with helping him with the whole reading, writing and ‘rithmatic side of things.

For the first few months of the year I really struggled with full time work and home and family and felt that I wasn’t doing anything well and all people and areas of my life were missing out.  I kept wishing and praying for big change that would take the need for action out of my hands!  As they say, be careful, you might get what you wish for! Change came, but I don’t think it was what I was after! My work went through a merger, whilst not disastrous, it was a really difficult time with lots of uncertainty and questioning if this is what I want to choose to do (and I do get a bit narky when choice is taken away from me!).  Change is a bit like parenting – you can offer all the advice you want and think you know what people are going through, but until you go through it yourself you really don’t know what you are talking about!! After a long 6 months, we are coming through the other end of it, but I am still questioning what it is that I want to do with my life!  I am sure that answer will come one day…

Just before we went through the merger at work I had dropped work to 4 days a week and that has been fantastic.  It has made such a difference to me and our little household.  It has given me time to breathe, time to research, time to clean and wash clothes, and time to focus on our family.

I have plenty to be thankful for in 2013.  I am so thankful for our discoveries with Max (or should I say…dys-coveries…boom tish!). I talk about this a lot with other parents at school and in our general community and there are so many parents desperate for help with their children that are experiencing learning difficulties.  I could go on for hours, but whilst our school is good and we are happy with it, you really need to put in so much help as and initiate so much action as parents. So that is my band wagon for the moment.

I am also grateful that we have put all parts in place to finally renovate our house in the coming year (albeit on a shoe string budget).

I am grateful for a wonderful friends and family that have shared our 2013 and been part of our lives.


I am looking forward to so much in 2014.

  • I am looking forward to finally making our house much more liveable and really improving our lifestyle.
  • I am looking forward to a good year at school for Max which will involve LOTS of maths tutoring.
  • I am looking forward to an exciting start to high school for Ed and hope he has a great year (because year 6 was quite average for him).
  • I am looking forward to a great year 4 for Arch where he will actually try and stretch himself at school (hmmm).
  • I am looking forward to a new baby joining our broader family.
  • I am looking forward to an art class I have booked into for Feb and other creative plans that I have for the year.
  • I am looking forward to living more in the moment and being mindful and appreciating what I have.

So that is my quick year in review and hopes and dreams for 2014.

What about you?


Give a little…

I’m sure we all give a bit of money to charity here and there.  It could be giving money to the tin rattlers at traffic light, selling raffle tickets for charity, or sponsoring someone raising money for cancer research.

But it isn’t often that you get to see the actual results of your donation.

Well, this week I did, and it made me cry (as per usual).

I have been going through a spate of donating lately (I will list the causes at the end of this blog in case you want to give a little too!), so have sponsored a few friends, clients and family members in their various pursuits to raise money for medical research in lots of different areas. $10 here and $20 there.  And I hope that in my lifetime I see some sort of result for everyone’s time and effort.

A few weeks ago, maybe even a couple of months ago, I noticed something on Facebook about a New Zealand Dad, Robbie Ritchie, who had a life threatening condition in his brain with an 80% chance of having a brain haemorrhage. He needed an operation that could only be done at the International Neuroscience Institute in Germany.  The more I read about this family and their need to raise $200,000 to be able to go to Germany, pay for the operations and remain there for several weeks, I just felt that I had to do something.

So I donated my $20 and kept an eye on their story. I learned of all their fundraising efforts in New Zealand, their angst at leaving their little boys back home whilst they went to Germany and their nervousness on the eve of the operation.  I felt nervous for them too.

Well yesterday Robbie had his surgery, and he came through it all ok.  I breathed a sigh of relief for this family that I don’t know and never will know.

It was so rewarding to be able to see the result of the money I donated, even though it was a drop in the ocean of the $156,000 that they raised.

I will still continue to donate money to people who are committing their time and effort to raise money for a cause they have been touched by, but I will also keep an eye out for those causes that will have an immediate effect. There is nothing better!

Robbie Ritchie’s Story


Other causes I have donated to lately…support them where you can…

Sponsor my sister Jane Whitlock and niece Ellie Taylor in Relay for Life…

Sponsor my colleague Natalie as she is riding to raise money for MS research…

Sponsor my client Michele as she raises money to end Women’s cancers…


I am also part of a group of girls who get together every 6 weeks or so.  We each take $20 for the kitty (and a bottle of wine for the fun)…and when we get enough money together we donate money or vouchers anonymously to local causes.  If you are located on the Mornington Peninsula and want in on this one, let me know!

A few pics from our Sunday jaunt last weekend…


3H…Health, House and Home…

After a year of rocky health for many people, family & friends, and yet another handful of cancer diagnoses of friends, or friends of friends, I have made this the year of good health. Now I am not talking running marathons here (no way!), but healthy eating, general fitness, feeling good, and acting on concerns. I think that if we can just implement some good habits, it will all be good. So I went for a bike ride this morning on the Sunshine Yellow treadly, am trying to eat healthily, and am off to the doctor next week to get spits and spots checked.

Onto House and Home…are they 2 separate entities? To me they are. We have been in our house for 11 years. ELEVEN YEARS! And the renovations are so slow or non-existent that it is turning to dust before my very eyes. But what I notice is that when I complain about our house and get disheartened, or talk about wanting to move, that boys get upset. They tell me they love this house, they never want to move, and that I am not to say bad things about it!!

So while I see taps hanging out of the living room wall (I kid you not!) where the kitchen used to be, or the partly yellow ceiling that Richard started painting about 9 years ago (changing FROM yellow, not TO yellow), or the half done bathroom that we have to do again because the shower leaks like a sieve (much like our guttering), and a half done kitchen (notice a pattern here??), the boys see a place where they feel comfortable and safe, a kitchen where they tell me I am the best cook in the world (again, I kid you not!), a lounge where they can curl up and watch their favourite movies and a house where we have shared great times with friends who don’t care about the crappiness of their surrounds. Though if anyone does turn those taps on in the living area, they are in deep shit!

So sometimes I need to think about the things that I love about our house so I too can see the same things the boys do. I love the natural light and big windows in our house. I love the living area being upstairs and living amongst the tree tops in a beautiful bushy area. I love the location of where we live – on top of a hill, backing onto a great reserve (if we pretend not to see the neighbour’s tennis court), a huge space for chooks, vegie patch, orchard and tons of boys  and their bikes. We are walking distance to so many great friends, and a 4 minute drive to the beach. Sounds like a slice of heaven right? And it is, but I guess sometimes I do just need to remind myself…

So while we have a home that the boys love, I plan on working on the house and garden to make it the house I love.

So while this is what I want….


Photo courtesy of McKimm

This is what I have got….(not the best pic, and I just want to point out that I have ripped out the front garden beds, replaced them with Canna Lillies, fixed up the screen hiding crap in the garage etc etc, excuses, excuses….)


And I just need to make the best of it!! I will keep you updated on the progress…