motherhoodfaithfitness

sharing the joys, triumphs and struggles of faith, family and fitness!

Relaxation, reading, running, reflecting!

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How I love holidays, the lie ins, the chance to watch movies, the sun baking….oh hang on, that doesn’t happen here, does it?
Holidays have very high expectations, the snaps we post on Facebook are often the highlights of a very stressful day. A day where baby wakes up at 5.30am, the children are bored by 8am and the wine is calling you from the fridge at 11am!
I have tried to let go of expectations this holiday, to slow down, enjoy the board games (that often end in tears from the ‘loser’), to try to find 5 minutes of quiet time and not resent the interruptions after 45 seconds.
My holiday highlights reel looks quite impressive so far, a 5km run along the bike track, a walk to some gorgeous waterfalls with the whole family, ice cream with the bub, coffee at a cafe with hubby, a few chapters of my book read, and some bargain buys at a local op shop. We have been to the park, played dominoes and Lego creationary, spotted kangaroos, deer, cockatiels, kookaburras, and parrots. It truly is a lovely place, which is why we make the long journey here every year. But amidst the joy, lovely family moments and fun, there are children who whine and whinge, fighting siblings, a pile of unending dishes to wash, a hubby very cross with his beloved cricket team doing so badly, and a baby who has decided he doesn’t want an afternoon sleep!
Family life! It is my joy and pain, my true love and source of great frustration.
The book I am reading has a very relevant passage for me
“Each moment is an opportunity-to be generous, to show compassion, to say a kind or encouraging word. Do not miss the moments; they pass us by so quickly.
The ordinary moments-family dinners, time spent with your children in the park, quiet times with God- may seem insignificant, but over a lifetime, those moments amount to something extraordinary.”

“For this I was born” Brian Houston

Reflecting on these words today has encouraged and blessed me, I may not get it all right all the time, but I can try moment by moment to listen, love, play, and be present in the family and world I have been placed within!
Happy holidays xxx

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A time to dance!

Hooray! It’s holiday time, my family and I are off on our annual trip to a most beautiful part of Australia, The Grampians in Victoria. I’m planning on resting, relaxing, swimming, playing dominoes and Lego with the children, going on a couple of trail runs and spotting kangaroos, I’m sure I might find a few lamp posts or play equipment on my travels to do a bit of practice on too!
Find your happy place, find your own rhythm and just dance!

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Update on December goals

As promised here’s the update on my running and splits goals…
The 4 days I had remaining included my birthday and New Years Eve, so cake and champagne could have dulled my determination but I managed to get my 5km run to 31mins and almost vomited in the process (perhaps too much Christmas pudding?)

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I also succeeded to flatten my front splits a little, but I now see I have a bit of work to get my back leg straight!
So there was progress, and I’m not finished yet.

I will continue to push this marvelous creation that I have been entrusted with, and enjoy all the benefits that come with health, energy, feel good hormones and self confidence.

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The Elves make an Exit!

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It’s January 1st, and our little visitors Elwyn and Elsie are on their way home to the Christmas box in the sky- (ie roof)
On their departure they thanked the children for their hospitality and kindness and promised to be back next year!
They encouraged my children to continue their acts of kindness and gave some examples, like giving a little pocket money to children’s charities such as Compassion, visiting Grandparents or simply smiling at someone who needs a little cheer!
As a mum I have loved this part of Christmas 2013, and am looking forward to bringing these little friends back in December. But more than that I have loved seeing my children’s natural gift of kindness and help bloom and be brought to fruition, and I know The Father heart of God is pleased too, Love is patient, Love is kind!

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December goals…not quite there yet!

So I set myself a couple of goals this month, let’s see how I got on with them?

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Here’s my progress…
Front splits…so close but yet so far, not flat by any stretch of the imagination (or hamstrings)

Faster 5kms…well I’m maybe a minute or so faster…but not sub 30 yet, I’ve run at that pace in races but not on a normal everyday kind of run!

Drink 2lt water…probably getting this one right, it’s been so hot!

Limit junk food and sugar to weekends…um no, to be honest I didn’t really try 😦

Organise and prioritise…I’ve achieved some success here, my workouts have been consistent and I have had all the ingredients to make good clean meals, have I always chose these this month, not always, but most of the time! It’s been my sugar snacking that’s unravelled my menu plan!

So what’s the plan?
I have 4 days left of this month, I could say “meh, let’s put them onto January’s new year resolution list” or I could take the bull by the horns, get some serious stretching in every day, put those chocolates away until the weekend and run my little heart out. I’m choosing the latter! I’ll let you know on January 1st how I got on!

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More advent-ures of Elwyn and Elsie

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This week we have helped the children in our house donate outgrown clothes to Goodwill, written and posted their overseas Christmas cards, decorated a beautiful real Christmas tree, baked brownies for the new neighbours, bought a couple of gifts for the Kmart wishing tree appeal and made a cup of tea for mum and dad! We’ve been busy little elves, and we have a few more adventures planned before we hibernate for 11 months. We hope the values we have brought to the household will remain with the little ones (and the bigger ones too) Love is Kind!
From Elwyn and Elsie Elf

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Embracing the homemade treasures

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I think I alluded to my Christmas tree habit in my last post,

My plan: Let the children put all their pasta decorations, paper creations, broken popstick animals and salt dough stars on….then once they were in bed… tidy the tree up, hiding the ugly broken ‘treasures’ around the back of the tree, out of sight. Then make everything symmetrical, colour co ordinated and beautiful.

This year was different. I don’t know why, but I had a change of perspective and a change of heart.
As I watched them pull their creations from the Christmas box I saw on their faces pride, joy, memories of school classes, the friends, and teachers they had made them with. These were not just bits of clay, crepe paper and cardboard to them!

My 10 year old daughter presented to me a paper angel with her face on it, her little chubby 5 year old face, in her new school uniform. How could I hide these treasures from our view?

So instead of hiding them, I wrote their names and year of creation onto them and took time to talk to each child about their decoration. When and where did they make them? Where should we hang them?

I realised that anyone can have a pretty tree, with any given theme of their choosing, traditional red and green, vintage gold and silver, bright and funky black and fuchsia pink; but no one can have a tree like my family’s, with crafts spanning almost 20 years, each telling its own story.
The nativity set they had made in Sunday School, the baby Jesus with the manger legs chewed off, the popstick reindeer my eldest son made in primary school. Those baubles and pegs might not be worth anything to a stranger, but to me and to the children, they are priceless, and deserve pride of place on the tree. So once the children had decorated the tree, I looked on and declared “It is good”, flicked on the fairy lights and enjoyed looking at our family story tree.

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A time to work and a time to play

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Finally, term 4 is over and as a school chaplain I get the summer holidays off. I finished maternity leave in January this year when my little baby was 6 months old so it’s been a year of struggling to manage the work/home life balance. Now with (paid) work over for the year it’s time to play!
I must admit I find it difficult to switch off work mode (this includes boring menial housework too) and actually ‘play’, but I’ve made a list of the activities I’d like to focus on this summer. I’m going to try to do at least one a day, and not just the regular ones I find easy (like eating) but the ones like, playing games, going to the beach, reading stories with the children, exploring, and turning my phone off to read a book, a real book, one of many I have sitting on the bedside table for months and months.
My children are still small and I want them to remember their mum as someone who wasn’t too busy to play with them. I’ve got a long way to go, I’m an impatient, grumpy, selfish mummy at times, and when I hear myself scolding them for wanting my attention, I feel sad and disappointed in my mothering. But today I took them to the beach, wrapped presents and read a bedtime story, now I just have to work on doing it all with grace and patience!
My prayer tonight is ‘love is patient, love is kind, Lord please fill me with this love, and help me to be a patient, kind, playful mum, wife and friend’
Tomorrow we’re going out together to the Christmas tree farm, then the “wonderful” task of decorating the tree begins, (yes I’ll be completed stressed out and will have to ‘fix it up’ when the littleys go to bed). Love is patient, love is kind, help me to play!

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Neonatal reflections

Tonight I was blessed to be part of a wonderful group of mums who packed 60 bags of goodies for the mums of babies in 3 of Adelaide’s neonatal units.
These bags will be given to the mums on Christmas Eve, and contain practical and thoughtful gifts, like baby wipes, Tim tams, a journal, and the sweetest little knitted Christmas beanie and first outfit (one that allows for wires and probes and easy nappy changes)
“Women Who Have been There”
is the brainchild of Jenny Joy, an Adelaide mum who after having two premmy babies saw the need for a support group that really knew what other mums went through, when their babies had to be left in hospital while they went home, often to look after other children, sometimes unable to drive into hospital to visit due to a c/section, and the emotional roller coaster moments in the unit.
As well as Christmas goody bags, “WWHBT” provide monthly morning teas for parents in the unit, pamper packs for Mothers’ day, special gift packs for country mums who may have been flown into the hospital in an emergency, with just the clothes they are wearing, as well as several playgroups and online support. It’s an amazing group, and Jenny is a beautiful kind soul who just loves helping, listening and caring for the mums she comes into contact with in the hospitals.

I have also had two premmy babies, and with my 15 month old son, this group was a link to the hope beyond NICU. My baby would gain weight, successfully feed and be able to go home. And he did….and he is truly a blessing to our family.
So helping pack these bags tonight was a reminder of those weeks of being driven to and from hospital, sitting next to his humidicrib for hours, watching his little chest rise and fall, missing his baby shower because he came so early, and the joy of every weight gain, moving into an open crib, and establishing feeds.
It’s a crazy time, and you feel like you’re in a bubble, where your world revolves around machines that beep, finding ways of getting down to the hospital, and expressing milk when there is no baby at home to nurse. I am so thankful for the support of family, friends and this group who made the Neonates journey a little easier, with meals, visits, prayer, financial support, and lots and lots of love!

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20131212-231230.jpgwww.womenwhohavebeenthere.com.au

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School holiday legs workout

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Today is legs day.
My obstacles:
-I have my 5 kids home from school/uni/childcare.
-I have limited weights at home.
-I have no gym membership
Solution:
Use the children as weights! For squats, lunges, and sit ups.
Outcome:
Wobbly legs – a sure sign it was a great workout
3 happy children who spent an hour with mum, counting, getting piggy back rides and tummy time cuddles (bub lying on my chest for sit ups)
Funniest moment when 15 month old who is barely walking was trying to do squats with me!
Love my family, love my exercise, what a happy blend this morning!

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