Friday, 27 April 2012

It's Friday! Time To Get Your Grateful On.

It's Friday. Again. How is that possible? How can it be almost the end of April? How can there only be 12 weeks of school left? I do wish time would stop flying by so.

Anyhoo. It is Friday. Which means its time to get your grateful on. I'm trying hard to make time for this every week. There's been so much doom and gloom around here of late I needs the happy.

This week I am grateful for my lovely husband. Sappy as it sounds he really is my soulmate (cue cheesy romantic music here) and I don't know what I'd do without him. Particularly this week I'm grateful for what he does in terms of providing for us as a family. He works really long hours (leaving the house 6 days a week before 6am and not getting in until past 6 in the evening) which would be okay except that he really doesn't love his job. It's a really difficult industry to work in at the moment (construction related) and there's always health and safety madness to contend with, as well as the usual management numptiness.

Working such long hours wouldn't be so bad if he could then have fun spending all his hard earned cash but like everyone in the current economic climate we have to try to be pretty frugal with where our funds go so he doesn't even get to enjoy the fruit of his labours.

This month I decided I would treat him with some of his hard earned dosh and splashed out on something new for him. And what does a woman buy her hardworking soulmate to show he's appreciated? Why, weapons of course. Namely in the form of a basket hilt sparring sword and a metal buckler:

He's one very happy little swashbuckler with his new toys. It was great to see him so pleasantly surprised and happy, and to let him know we appreciate everything he does for us.

I'm grateful for my wonderfully hubby (as long as he doesn't hit me with that sword!).

What are you grateful for this week?


Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Of Scrap Spaces and Album Places

It being the Great British springtime we had planned last night to venture out on a family bike ride. The kids both got new bikes for Easter and Grace has finally started to get the hang of it (Ewan not so much. He's a work in progress. At least he peddles forwards now. It's a start). Alas late work commitments for Kendo meant we never got there.

Instead I decided I would be brave and venture into the loft to do battle with the 12x12 stacks. I have so much patterned paper and cardstock I've accumulated for scrapbooking over the last 7 year (yikes!). Some of it I've had since I started scrapping. I know I will never use it, so it's been relegated to a pile for the kids to have crafty fun with. Sadly, my scrapping space at the moment leaves a lot to be desired, it has to be said.

You might recall that it used to be in the conservatory and went through several incarnations:

Messy Craft room (before refit!) 1


Alas it didn't always look like the last photo and as usual became a dumping ground for all the stuff that didn't have a place elsewhere.

Being that I then didn't use it for months on end, and in the interests of fairness for DH my conservatory craft room was dismantled and became what is affectionately know as "the conserva-shed". Now it's an eclectic mix of tool room, potting shed and general all-round crap storage.

So, where has that left the scrap stash? Well, it was banished to the loft (once it had been boarded out and lagged). Everything is set up in there in something of a craftroom style and its not that bad a space really. It's just lacking in light (there is no roof light or anything) and its a pain in the rear end to get up to (fold out loft ladder which give me the heebie-jeebies!).

As well as paper sortage I've also recently had a big sort out of all our digital photos and collected them into once place (from the various external hard drives/old laptops etc they were lurking on). From looking through them something began glaringly clear. Poor Ewan is definitely the victim of "Second child syndrome". There aren't anywhere near as many photos of Ewan as there are Grace. Also as a consquence of that (and of time commitments) there aren't anywhere near as many scrapbook pages for Ewan's album as there are for Grace's. There's also a huge number of annual holiday pictures that have never yet graced a scrapbook layout (despite the best intentions), not to mention other events like Christmasses, and friends weddings.

With the state of my scrapbook albums in mind it was quite fortuitous that Shimelle is shortly to begin a new scrapbooking class on just that subject.
How to work on getting albums done from beginning to end, how to organise them, how to deal with getting a coherence to them.

I'm all signed up and just waiting for the start date to I can (hopefully) start to make:

a) some sense of the layouts I currently have (WAY more than I thought I had when I looked through them yesterday)

b) some way to get them more accessible. They are all in the loft and never looked at at the moment. Such a shame for all that work to not be seen.

c) some incentive to get some more pages of Ewan's book done, and some of our holiday photos scrapped.

d) some incentive to take more photos. I used to take hundreds of picture, every time we went out I took pictures. Unfortunately I got out of the habit so many adventures have sadly been missed so will go unrecorded. Such a shame.

As I mentioned in the last post I've made some changes to other commitments I had which should hopefully free up a little time for this project.


Friday, 20 April 2012

Finding the Gratitude

A little while ago I linked to the website of Aussie based Mum I know from the Baby Whisperer Forums (the lovely Deb from Home Life Simplified).

One of the things Deb is advocating is trying to nurture an "Attitude of Gratitude". With recent events around here it would be easy to just say that I can find little to be grateful for but to be honest I think there's been enough negative stuff going on around here of late. A little positive thinking might just go a long way to improving the mood.

So, with that in mind, today I am grateful for:

1) My Dad and the fact that he is really trying hard with getting on with his life. He's essentially lost his soulmate (my parents were together for over 50 years) but he is still getting up every day, dealing with looking after my brother, collecting my kids from school. He's doing an amazing job (when I think some days he'd rather just curl up in bed and waste away).

2) My Father in Law and the fact that he loves a good DIY project and so is happily undertaking some at our house. The kitchen rejunvenation project I mentioned in my previous gratitude post is now underway. All very exciting.

3) My weight, in a weird sort of way. At the moment I have joined weightwatchers (again) as I have put back on just over a stone of the all the weight I had lost last year. I'm strangely grateful that I live in a place where worrying about being overweight is even a possibility because it means that I've had more than enough food to keep me sustained. Plenty of people in the world aren't so lucky.

You can help a little with that should you wish by going here:

To The Hunger Site. Clicking on the yellow button and donating some food to feed hungry people in Africa and the US. It's free and only take a minute of your time.

4) Reconnecting with old friends. I mentioned the Babywhisperer forum before. I haven't actually been an active member there for sometime (for several reasons). I have really missed some of the people I knew from that forum. Even though we only knew each other online we followed the day to day of each others lives for a long time. This week I received a Facebook message from one of those ladies to say that had started a new forum and inviting me to join. It's been lovely to reconnect with a lot of my old Babywhisperer buddies. Many of us are friends on facebook but sometimes it hard to keep up with people on there.

5) My Sister in laws. They're bonkers, the both of them. They're also turning 40 and 30 respectively this month. It's a strange thing to be thankful for but they're having a big get together, which pretty much means I get to see all my favouritest people in once place for a change. I can't wait for a catch up.

6) Making more time for doing things I love.  I have cut down on some commitments that I had in place. That leaves more time to do other stuff that I enjoy. I'm hoping to get back to a little scrapbooking. To spend so more time doing stuff outdoors with the kids (if the stupid British weather permits it!). To get some running in. To do some gardening. Basically just to do the things that make me smile.

See, all is not lost (even though there are times at the moment it feels that way). Positive thinking, it's the way to go.