Thursday, 16 October 2014


Lately, I've written a lot of negative posts, which I haven't bothered to publish because.. who really needs more of that? So today I'm bucking the trend and going positive. This is a quick skip across the stepping stones of my life, leading up to how the Lord answered a prayer my Mum has prayed for a long a time - that I would find friendships like the ones she cherishes in her own life :)

I'm standing outside the classroom on the first day of school, nervously eyeing everybody off, trying to figure out the quickest way to make them like me. The idea of doing this school thing without a friend is terrifying. Fortunately, I'm a kid with boatloads of confidence and soon find that making friends comes somewhat naturally to me.

Fast forward a few years to highschool. We're all on MSN. I spend most of my time at home chatting to the people I've just spent the day with at school. Everyone has taglines next to their name filled with weird font symbols and motivational sayings - the kind that in the future will be plastered all over Facebook. One of them says something about living life to max out your funeral. It strikes a cord with my very impressionable self and I decide that my main purpose in life is to make as many friends as possible, and be everybody's BEST friend.

Through years of being part of different churches and groups I've been blessed with many opportunities to meet new people. I've never struggled to strike up conversation and get to know them, so I'm picturing a pretty crowded funeral. *smug* Unfortunately, I soon discover that the kind of popularity I'm seeking requires being a different person around each different group. Often my worlds collide and I face the dilemma of how to behave. The inevitable conclusion is a messy emotional breakdown which leads me to quit school. I withdraw from all my damaged friendships and focus (as you do) on my boyfriend at the time.

A few years pass and I've married the boyfriend. I'm building healthier friendships with new people, and living a comfortable life. And then it happens.

I make a terrible mistake, simultaneously disappointing everyone I've ever known, and unforgivably hurting those closest to me. Before I know it I'm a divorcee, a single mum, and feeling like my funeral is going to be a very lonely occasion after all. I feel unworthy of friendship. Who would want to be my friend now anyway?

Here's where the story comes full circle. I'm standing outside the classroom on the first day of school, nervously eyeing everybody off, trying to figure out the quickest way to make them like me. The idea of doing this school thing without a friend is terrifying. My daughter seems much calmer. I remind myself that the day is actually about her. She is bright and bubbly, brimming with confidence and I have no doubt she'll make friends easily. She reminds me of my younger self and as I look around at the other mothers present, I wish I could recapture the charisma I oozed at age 6.

The year progresses and after many smiles and polite chit-chats during morning drop-offs, I can happily jot some names down on my list of "acquaintances". I'm painfully aware that I'm THE MOST socially awkward person alive. After all, I've spent the last 5 years at home conversing with a baby. Small talk is usually family-focused and as I'm now remarried with a new bub, I'm anxious every time that someone will ask the wrong question or notice my eldest daughters different surname. But with every coffee date I attend, the warmth of community calls out to me, and I long to wrap myself up in it and get cozy.

One of the mums invites me to her birthday lunch. I'm a bit hesitant, but I go. It is just for the ladies in her life. There are SO MANY. Some of them have travelled hours just to be here. One after the other they stand and share, through tears and laughter, about the impact this one woman has had on their lives. She graciously thanks them and explains how her goal is just to love people. To nurture, encourage, and honour. I am in awe. THIS. This is what I want! What I need.

A new journey begins. At that very lunch I decide to start opening up to the ladies seated around me. I talk about real things; my past and present, my triumphs and inadequacies as a parent. They listen. They eagerly respond with their own similar stories. It feels a bit like stumbling across another survivor during a zombie apocalypse. Oh sweet relief, I'm not alone! I realise that these aren't perfect women, ready to pass judgement and cast me aside. These are kindred spirits. They too, are searching for more. Searching for friendship.

So here I am. It is now 2 years since that amazing lunch, and many things have changed. Mainly my ideas about friendship. I've come to understand that people will come in and out of my life, and the boundaries of my relationships will shift with the circumstances surrounding them. I've learned that losing contact is ok, and doesn't necessarily equal a loss of love; that trying to be everything to everyone just isn't sustainable, and that in the end I can be a much better friend if I only give what I can afford. I love within my limits, without limiting my love.

Letting go of the guilt and fear that go hand in hand with my past and future, was the first step to fully enjoying my present. I am so grateful for the women I do life with right now. They are WISDOM and GRACE on display. We're made up of different ages, cultures and opinions, but they get me. And even though my go-to topics are boobs and poop, they continue to talk to me! Some I see every week, some I regularly forget to call (but it never matters cos they know I suck at remembering stuff). To the ladies in my life - the new ones, and the one who has always been there, who lift me up, love me, and challenge me.. this one's for you. Thanks for your patience as I learn to be a friend, maybe not your best friend, but the best friend I can be.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Last In, Worst Dressed.

Aside from my obvious lack of organisational skills, I'm still struggling with another phenomenon that's been getting in the way of my blogging.  Finding something that I feel comfortable talking about is one thing, but finding it and writing about it before I see it written somewhere else is almost impossible.

Life occasionally throws me a set of circumstances that make me think "Hey! I should totally blog about that!".  And approximately 12 seconds later I'm clicking a link someone has shared on facebook to somebody else's blog post about that very issue.  On top of that, they're even more funny and eloquent than I could've hoped to be, and I find myself stifling laughs and mentally scoffing at their views, just out of spite for having been beaten to the punch.

It's not that I expect to write anything original, but I don't want to look like I've just copy/pasted other people's thoughts on whatever topic is making the rounds.  I see so many posts about parenting that it does my head in. I'm pretty sure there's a blog to match every style and tell you you're doing a great job, no matter how you do it.. what could I possibly add to that sea of conflicting opinions?

Some other topic maybe. What about that awesome recipe I always use? Already pinned. That funny little anecdote about that thing my toddler did? Some kid on youtube did it 2 years ago.

What's worse is when I feel there's been a mistake, and my version would've been better. I read instructions or recipes and think,
'You used tape? No, no, no.. you need glue!'
'2 teaspoons of sugar? Are you kidding? It should be tablespoons!!'

*Pulls hair out*

It feels a bit like at school when the teacher asks a question, and you know the answer, but they ask someone else first and you want to scream "No, pick ME!! I know the answer!!"

That never happened by the way, I always yelled out the answer because I was a big, fat know-it-all.  And that's precisely why this age of information is driving me nuts.  Everyone is a know-it-all and they're all yelling out the answers before me.

I'm never gonna be first in, best dressed. So, either I pack up and go home, or I settle for being last in, worst dressed.
*Looks at self in PJ's*
..Or maybe just last in and forget about getting dressed at all.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Cakes Of 2012, Or Thereabouts.

As mentioned in my welcome post, I like to bake.  Cake decorating gives me lots of opportunities to try new things, and challenge myself.  And I mean, challenge.  My cake-making always involves tears and foot-stamping and telling myself I will NEVER do it again.  I might otherwise be a 'throw my hands up in defeat' kinda gal, but when baking for someone else I have no choice but to dig deep and use those problem-solving skills I never developed at school.  Who knew food could be so character building?

So here are some of the cakes of 2012, or thereabouts (some were just before, some just after).  Hopefully, I'll find some time to make a list of the cakes of 2013, or thereabouts, before next year.

Ladies Birthday

Little Ladies Birthday

Wedding & Anniversary

Tiny Cakes