22 October 2007

Bloody Cancer!!!

That dreaded disease Cancer has claimed another victim. Today one of my oldest and dearest friends Deonne lost her mother to lung cancer. Like my dad, she was in her late 50's and is certainly too young to be taken away from her family.
She is survived by her husband Robert, and two daughters Deonne and Sharon. So if you can, please keep them in your thoughts and prayers today.
These are the times when it really sucks to be so far away from my family and friends. I would love nothing more than to be there with them right now, to offer my support and love and yet I am on the other side of the country - and may as well be another world away!
I was looking forward to spending some time with her when we go over to Sydney in December but now it is too late.
If anything, this is a reminder to appreciate the people in our lives, and never miss the opportunity to let them know how important they are to you and how much you love them. Life is just too short.

With much love to you and yours today
xxxx

20 October 2007

My baby girls...

What happened to them? I have to admit I am really 'missing' the girls' younger/baby years because they are just growing up too fast! Where is the 3 year old Maddie that squeeled with delight and actually shed a tear when Santa brought her the Dorothy the Dinosaur doll she really really wanted!
Or the baby Claudie who used to stand like a statue screaming 'cheeeeeeeeese' every time I pulled out the camera (yes she was well trained in the paparazzi!). How I miss them. But I have all the fun new stuff too which I love ... like tonight we went out to watch a local play and out for dinner together, just the three of us girls and we talked and had a great time.
I guess each stage of their lives bring new joys, but I can't help but miss the little babies they were too in some ways. I worry about what will happen to them as they grow up and what struggles they will face with the choices they have to make. All I can do is try to teach them well and love them with every ounce of my being but as mothers I know we will always worry, it's part of the job description. But that doesn't make it any easier.

Recent ramblings

Wow, I didn't realise it had been so long since I updated! Things are pretty busy at the moment and I guess they will only get busier as we approach the silly season. The girls went back to school on Monday and now that one week is already over there are only 8 weeks of term left - OMGosh!! another year just flying by.
Last weekend was my dad's birthday (he would have been 61) and it was also his and mum's 40th wedding anniversary, so needless to say he has been on my mind a lot lately, even more so than usual. And the amazing thing is, after dad passed away I planted a peace rose in our new garden bed dedicated to him, and it flowered on his birthday last week! how cool is that!
WW's is going well, and although I didn't lose anything last week (okay so I gained!) it was that 'hormonal' time so it was to be expected. I am hoping for a better result this week. The two weeks before that though I had some good losses totalling just over another 1.2kgs so that made for a nice change! lol Amazing what can happen when you eat properly huh.
When I was downloading some recent pics of the girls and I this week I noticed a big difference in my face and thought I would show you what a difference 13kgs can make :) Looking at these pics makes me realise how far I have come and I am motivated more than ever to get rid of these last pesky few kilos as soon as possible!
LEFT: Approx 86kgs RIGHT: Approx 73kgs
I should note that I have also had my teeth fixed (2 porcelain veneers on the front) and whitened - and that has made such a difference, especially to my self confidence. Some of the other notable differences to my life since I have been on my WW's journery are:
* Being able to try on clothes and know they will look half decent! My size has gone from a tight 16 to a nice comfy 12 :)
* I can smile with confidence when I get my photo taken
* I no longer have aching hips after sitting at my desk for a while - I used to get up and literally hobble or limp around due to the stiffness in my joints!
* I am much fitter than I was.

* I can wear pants shorter than 3/4 length in public without being embarrassed!

* Making the healthy choices with food comes more naturally to me now.

* Now that I am happier within myself I have noticed it has had such a huge effect on so many areas in my life - especially my marriage! Some areas even more so than others ;) Let's just say my dh finds me a lot more attactive these days and has started chasing me around the house again. LOL
And just because I know my fellow WW's members that visit my site like to see before and after pics here are a couple more.... First another 'before' photo (or fat photo as I call them)
And some current pics ...




08 October 2007

My friend Karisma :)

Maybe it was this photo that reminded me of you in the Bookfairy's picture. Maybe it was the hair? I think this was taken in the late 70's - early 80's. Bummer the photo wasn't dated. You were obviously a lot younger than she is now, but I think she has your smile and I even see a similarity in the eyes. Although she definitely has surfer boys colouring. Like you said - quite a good mix of the gene pool!

Why the sour face?

Kathleen bought the kids these sour liquid lollly things on the weekend and I got these hilarious photos of them as they ate (or drank!) them. Check it out... I didn't get one of Claudie because she hadn't opened hers yet.





Camping is sooooo NOT my thing!

Well we went out bush for the weekend ... and had a great time - that is until it was time to go to bed! Maybe this picture of our lodgings will explain a little why:Needless to say, this old homestead was full of lizards and other creepy crawlies ... and I mean CREEPY!! To top it off, it was very hot and I had my sleeping bag pulled up to my neck so it was like a sweat tent. Nobody else managed to have any trouble though. The kids were so exhausted they collapsed into bed, and as for Gerard I think the alcohol had something to do with that ;P All in all I got about 1.5-2 hours of sleep.

I should also note this house has no hot water, electricity or furniture other than some old wooden slat beds which we put our mattresses on. Give me a trailer park anyday! lol

Other than that though, it was nice to get out of town. We arrived at lunchtime and had some yummy hamburgers that our friend Phil made on the quaint and rustic bbq. Then for dinner we had another bbq with some yummy salads, a few drinks (of course) all topped off with some chocolate :)

Can you guess what we had for breakfast on Sunday? Yep - another bbq! with some bacon, eggs, hash browns and mushrooms - yummo! Did I mention we ate like horses all weekend? Needless to say I am dreading Wednesday night's weigh in.

Here are some more random pics of our weekend

Gerard and ClaudiaKathleen & I (above)

Maddie (grubby faced and loving it!)

Claudia - another grubby and happy kidlet!
Phil cooking the bbq - told you it was rustic! The kids very own mini campfire for roasting marshmallows (and cheeseballs!)





Let's try again...

Hopefully this time I can load my second layout! Here goes ...


05 October 2007

Finally ... I scrapped!

Okay, only two pages, and 8.5x11 pages at that! But finally after a LOT of months the scrap drought has broken. lol

Just when I thought I couldn't get my layouts any more simple! lol Stampin'Up! paper and cardstock, some ribbon, DaisyD's see through lettering stamps and some embellishments. Sorry about the shadows at the top, my scanner doesn't like lumpy stuff.

03 October 2007

Happy Hump Day

Another update so soon??? What is going on you may ask ... well I don't know! Just got home from the WW's meeting and finished my Noodle Wok takeaway for dinner and thought I would quickly pop on and update.

Tonight was the last meeting that I actually had to run on my own as the regular leader is back next week. I must say it has got easier each week, and tonight I hardly had that red blushing neck look at all! lol I also weighed in another half a kilo lighter - yippee!! Slow and steady wins the race. This morning I was just under a full kilo but of course, the night weigh-ins are a killer - you have to be so careful what you eat all day and stop drinking your water much earlier than usual.

The girls are on school holidays and enjoying some one on one time with their Dad. He has taken the whole two weeks off, but unfortunately I have to work most of them. I do have tomorrow and Friday off so that is something at least. And Saturday we are off camping and the girls are really looking forward to that. Tomorrow is supposed to be quite warm so we might head off to the park late in the afternoon for an early bbq dinner.

Happy Hump Day! Enjoy the rest of your week.

02 October 2007

WW's Update

Just a quick update. I am off to play Jungle Buzz on the playstation with the girls. Those little monkeys are just too cute!

Anyway, I am finally back on track and the scales are heading down! 600g lost last week and 250g the week before - I know not a lot but I feel like I am really back on the right path after being on a 'plateau' for the last few months!

I also passed my Leader training and am a fully fledged WW's leader! I am running the meeting while the other leader is on holiday on the Gold Coast. Talk about facing your fear of public speaking! lol. But it is definitely getting easier each week. Only one more meeting though (tomorrow night) and I can get back to weighing and recording and leave the leader talks to her for a while.

Will try and check in to update after tomorrow night's weigh in. I really want to be at goal when we go home to Sydney for Christmas.

Have a great week!

Family portraits

The school that my friend Kathleen's boys go to had a family portrait fundraiser so we went to have them done. Considering we had NEVER had a family portrait we thought we should do it. I was reasonably happy with them. Loved the one of Gerard and I, and the girls but the family one leaves a bit to be desired. The layout firstly (we look like a tower of heads!) and the fact that our smiles were frozen for too long so we have that real 'cheeeeeese' look! lol It has made us determined though to get some 'real' ones done in the not too distant future.

For now though, I thought I would share these ones.



DON'T YOU QUIT!

When you've eaten too much and you can't write it down,
and you feel like the biggest failure in town.
When you want to give up just because you gave in,
and forget all about being healthy & thin.
So what! You went over your points a bit,
It's your next move that counts...
So DON'T YOU QUIT!
It's a moment of truth, it’s an attitude change.
It's learning the skills to get back in your range.
It's telling yourself "You've done great up til now,
You can take on this challenge and beat it somehow.
"It's part of your journey toward reaching your goal,
you're still gonna make it, just stay in control.
To stumble and fall is not a disgrace,
if you summon the will to get back in the race.
But, often the strugglers, when losing their grip,
just throw in the towel and continue to slip
and learn too late when the damage is done,
that the race wasn't over...they still could have won!
Lifestyle change can be awkward and slow,
but facing each challenge will help you to grow.
Success is failure turned inside out,
the silver tint in a cloud of doubt.
When you're pushing to the brink,
just refuse to submit,If you bite it, you write it...
But
DON'T YOU QUIT!!!

- Author unknown -

17 September 2007

These are crazy times!

No time to blog lately, in fact not much time for anything that is fun! Work is crazy and I am doing the distance learning package for my WW's leader training and am being assessed on Wednesday night so am trying to finish all the study off. Must be a week of assessments, as I have my annual performance review for my day job tomorrow too so that is a bit nerve-wracking.

Just thought I would post a few candid shots that Gerard took quickly in the backyard on Sunday when we were giving the dog some much needed attention. I am sure she thinks it never rains, it pours! She is left alone all day and suddenly we were all out playing with her at once, go figure. lol

Gerard was home for all of 2 days (from Friday to Sunday) before leaving again Sunday night. Seems like we have hardly seen him at all lately! At least this trip is only a short one and he will be home again Thursday night.

Anyway, will catch up at the end of the week when all the madness is over.

Have a great week!

02 September 2007

Happy Fathers Day

My second fathers day without Dad. I would like to say it has become easier with time, but it hasn't really. I miss him more and more each day.

Happy Fathers Day Dad. I love you. xxxx

Since today is also our wedding anniversary here is a pic of dad and I taken exactly 13 years ago at our wedding.

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Today is 13 years since Gerard and I were married. And as promised here is a photo of my anniversary ring. I did get a watch too, but haven't been able to get a good pic of it yet but will keep trying :) This is not the best pic either but it is all I could do this late without using the flash.
I decided to go with white gold as my watch and all other jewellery is silver so it matches really well. It comes as a set with the main ring and matching band (seen at the bottom). I will try and get a nice picture of it on my finger to put it in perspective.





Animals from Perth Zoo

Everytime we saw a new animal at Perth Zoo, you could hear Claudia yell out 'quick Mum bring your camera over here' or 'did you get a photo of that one yet mum?' or 'quick take another one from this angle, it's better!' It was so funny. Needless to say we got LOTS of animal photos and Claudia plans to make her own mini scrapbook.
So here are a few of our favourites from the Perth Zoo.
'Leo' the Lion

The mighty and beautiful Rhino

The Zebra's were just stunning!

Wakey Wakey, Mister Tiger!

The cuddley Koala - hard to get a clear photo as he was so high up!

I think that's enough for one night. I will post more when I get a chance.

Our Perth Trip

Wow, what a crazy 5 days we have had! So busy and action packed – exhausting but fun! I will try and put things in order and will also add some photos later when I have had time to upload and resize them.

WEDNESDAY: drove the 7 hours from Kal to Perth. Checked in at our cabin and relaxed a bit before heading out to dinner at a Chinese restaurant with our friend Max. The place we stayed at had a great lake with swans and ducks, as well as huge playground, fantastic heated pool and playground including a huge jumping pillow which the girls just loved!


THURSDAY: spent the day in the city and did some shopping. I got Gerard a new Fender Guitar for our anniversary and he returned the favour with a beautiful ring for me AND a new Guess watch (photos to come, I promise).
In the evening we went to see Cirque du Soleil’s Varekei – in one ward FAN-BLOODY-TASTIC!!!! I cannot say enough about this show and if you get the chance to see it I would highly recommend it. Just wonderful. Visually spectacular and so entertaining. With not an animal in sight – just the way I like my circuses thank you very much!

FRIDAY: we spent about 5 hours at Perth Zoo and had a great time. This was Claudia’s favourite part of the trip and I am sure we will have to go back there on our next visit to Perth. We then headed back to our base camp for some much needed rest and managed to get a few hours sleep in. On Friday night we went to Max’s son Danny’s 21st which was fun. Gerard got up and played with the band and we finally left feeling pretty exhausted at about 11pm.

SATURDAY: Our last day in Perth so we headed off to Fremantle markets, then had lunch at Dome before taking the girls to Scitech. What a great place for kids! So many hands on experiments and activities for them (and us) to do. They even have this huge domed incubator with chickens eggs in them and we actually got to witness one hatching which was just fantastic as none of us had ever watch a baby chick being born before. Saturday night we just rested and had a quiet night in for the trip home.

SUNDAY: After dropping in for a quick goodbye to Max and his family we headed back to Kalgoorlie. Exhausted but very happy to have had such a great break away. Now to just unpack and catch up on all the washing before going back to work tomorrow.

28 August 2007

Playing catch up

I didn't realise it had been so long since I last posted. I think of it every time I get online (which isn't really that often lately) but just never have the time. Anyway I thought I would post a few pics from the last month before I disappear again.

Life here has been pretty crazy. Gerard was in Africa, then back for a few weeks and then away again. He returned Monday night and tomorrow we are off to Perth (about 7hours drive away) until Sunday night. We are all so excited as it's the first time we have all been away for quite a while. We managed to get tickets to Cirque du Soleil and I can't wait for that, it is something I have always wanted to see. The girls don't know that we are going there yet so they will get quite a surprise. We also have a 21st birthday to attend while we are there and lots of other social stuff as well as the all important shopping :)

Since I last blogged both of the girls have had birthdays. Maddie turned 11 on 2nd August and Claudia turned 9 last Tuesday the 21st August. And Sunday Gerard and I will celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary. I don't think you get that long for murder these days do you? ;)

Anyway here are a few pics and I will post some of our trip away when we get back. Have a great week!
Madison Turns 11!
My 'baby' turns 9!

Me and Claudia






15 July 2007

Over already???

I can't believe that mum's visit has come and gone already :( She left this morning at 8am and we are all missing her already (even Lucy, who was her shadow while she was here).

We didn't do anything too exciting but we did hang out a lot together, went out for dinner, played lots of games (Yahtzee, Scrabble and the new Buzz playstation game) as well as sitting around doing lots of crosswords and Sudoku. Mum is a crossword junkie! lol But I have got her hooked onto the Sudoku now too.

Now I have to get my house organised and get ready to go back to work tomorrow. I am not looking forward to the pile of stuff to be done when I get back!

So I will finish off now with a few photos from Mum's visit.
Ciao :)






30 June 2007

1 sleep closer...

..until my mum comes!! Can you tell I am excited? It's just like Christmas, only better :) I just miss her so much and hate that we live so far apart. Especially since we are at that stage in our lives to enjoy real adult conversations together, kwim??? and I miss that.

Today was a normal crazy Saturday for us. Netball for Claudia at 8.45am, a game for Madison at 10.45am, then grocery shopping, home for a quick lunch and get Claudia ready for a birthday party. Dropped her off and Maddie and I ended up staying too so didn't get home until 6.30pm and then did some more washing and housework. Finally got the electric blanket and linen on mum's bed all ready for her arrival. Plus it rained on and off all day, and I hate running around in the rain. Love it when I get to stay home in the rain though.

Tomorrow I am hoping to get the lawns done if the rain has stopped, and vacuum out my filthy car. Then we are going over to some friends house for a barbecue dinner. Some adult conversation and company ... yay! lol I am really missing that at night while Gerard is away.

As far as WW's goes - had a crappy day! lol Had a good breakfast but then it was all downhill from there. I had better dust off the treadmill tomorrow morning me thinks. Can't say I'm expecting a great week like the last one. Oh well, slow and steady wins the race right. In my case it is VERY slow and steady.

Well better go and get the little ratbags, oh I mean darlings, off to bed. And then maybe I will play with some new inkpads and card I got from Stampin' Up! this week :)



29 June 2007

Yep, back again already.

Okay, first let me say I am sooo pi$$ed off!!! I just posted a HUGE blog entry and lost it ... even the 'automatically saved' bit ... how does that happen? All I did was highlight it so I could change the font size and it disappeared.... grrrrrr It was such a great post too :(

So now I am not even going to try and remember it all and will come back on the weekend to do another entry.

Have a great weekend!

23 June 2007

Long time no see!

Wow, where is the time going? We are halfway through the year already. It seems like forever since I blogged, but I just never seem to get enough time on the computer these days.
Things here have been very hectic. Gerard returned from 3 weeks in Africa just over a month ago, and left again last Wednesday for another month over there. He won't be back until 23rd July so I am playing the single mother role again, and I can't say that I really like it much.

Have a terrible cold at the moment and just had a couple of days off work, but hope to be back on Monday as the work is piling up. If I am feeling a little better tomorrow I might pop in for a couple of hours (yes, on a Sunday .. I must be sick!) lol

Some exciting news ... my mum is coming over on 5th July! The girls will be on school holidays so I will have the time off while she's here. Unfortunately it is only 10 days but better than nothing. It has been a year since I last saw her so I am really looking forward to it.

I haven't done any scrapping for SO LONG, but have managed some cards here and there and hope to get some stuff done now that Gerard is away and I have a few lonely weekends ahead of me.

WW'S UPDATE

Well I am working at the meetings now which is good. I love interacting with all the members, and I finally seem to be getting back on track on my way to goal after struggling the last few months to stay motivated. I haven't piled a lot of weight back on thank goodness, but I haven't lost much either! I would love to lose another 5kgs before Gerard returns in July, but I would be happy with at least 3kgs.

I guess that's about it for my update. I will leave you with a couple of recent pics of the girls and I. The one of me with Maddie was taken by Claudia and Madison took the one of Claudia and I. One of these days I will get some good ones done!

Take care, until next time :)

26 April 2007

I've been tagged!

Pam has tagged me on her blog so here's how it works: Each player starts with 7 random facts/habits about themselves.
People who are tagged need to blog about their seven things and post the rules as well.
At the end of your post, choose 7 people to tag and list their names.
Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them that they have been tagged and to read your blog! OK, here goes...

1) I was a bit of a goody-two-shoes growing up. I never skipped off school, lied to my parents or snuck out at night. Boring huh! But don't worry, I made up for it later ;) lol

2) I planned my wedding in 6 weeks and dh and I moved across the country 2 days after we got married. We were going to stay for 2 years but are still here ... almsot 13 years later!

3) I can't drive a manual car. I did learn once when I was 17 but haven't done it since. We have a manual 4WD here but Gerard is the only one that uses it. It is on my 'to do' list for 2007 though!

4) I hate coffee! Have never drank it in my life, even though my mum and dad were both coffee addicts. In fact none of my siblings drink it either.

5) I have quite a jealous streak. Not pretty I know, but luckily it doesn't come out very often ;)

6) I am a real chocoholic. The most I have gone without chocolate in the last 15 years is about 2-3 days. I can't last longer than that.

7) I really dislike most vegetables, but make myself eat them. But would much rather I didn't have to!

So that's me. I am having trouble finding 7 people that haven't already done this, but for starters I am tagging Christine and Lee and had better go and see who else I can find! lol

The Girls Weekend

As I have mentioned before in a couple of previous posts, I recently went down to the Margaret River wine region for a weekend away at Wildwood Valley. The weekend included a Thai Cooking class with a fantastic chef and I have to say that the food she served up, as well as the recipes we cooked were some of the best meals I have ever eaten .. and that is no exaggeration! So if you are ever looking for a fantastic weekend away, I would totally recommend it!

(Karine, me and Kathleen)

Here is the basic rundown of our trip ... including some pics :)

THURSDAY: 8.30am - Kathleen and I headed off on the 7 hour drive to Perth. We had organised to break the trip up by spending the night at Kathleen's parents before completing the additional 3 hour trip down to Yallingup/Margaret River. And we managed to do a little shopping in Perth as well.

FRIDAY: 8.00am - We picked up one of Kathleen's work collegues (Karine) and drove down south. First stop was Bussleton where we had lunch on the water at this restaurant called 'The Goose'. It was nice to be near the coast, since we don't often get to the beach!

The Goose Restaurant where we had lunch

Some of the buildings on the jetty

After we had stopped for lunch we hit the road again and visited a few Vineyards to stock up for the weekend, before finally arriving at Wildwood Valley. The 3 course welcoming dinner was actually more like a 5 course Thai spectacular ... and as I mentioned the food was some of the BEST I have ever eaten!! Everything was so delicious and I ate so much I actually found it hard to move afterwards. lol

The menu included; seared salmon salad with a roasted eschallot and chilli dressing; braised beef shin with a hot and sour salad, a wonderful chicken dish which I have forgotten the name of at the moment, a curry dish and to finish a Torta di Limone (or lemon/lime tart) with fresh cream .. did I mention it was DELICIOUS?!?!?!

Then we retired to our beautiful 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom cabin (below), unable to move a lot but feeling VERY contented.

SATURDAY: we started with a walk at 7.00am before heading off to the main house for breakfast. I had some fruit, cereal and poached eggs on toast - yummo! Then at 10.30am it was time to put on our aprons and get cooking! well trying to learn at least.

(me, second from the left - ready to cook!)

After we had finished cooking (four and and a half hours later), we sat down to enjoy our feast. Needless to say, there was no dinner for us on Saturday night and we finished off with some cheese and wine in our cabin at about 8pm.

Did I mention what we learnt to cook? It was; Grilled scallops with peanut nahm jim; grilled beef with green papaya salad and red nahm jim; crisp braised duck with plum sauce; yellow curry of chicken and pumpkin with a cucumber relish and to finish; a black sticky rice with poached banana in coconut cream. Did I mention how delicious it all was???

Kathleen, ready to enjoy the grilled beef!

SUNDAY: After another beautiful breakfast we packed up the car and headed off. We drove down to Margaret River stopping at some Olive Oil places, as well as another vineyard and my favourite The Margaret River Chocolate Company (below). Where we of course stocked up on some yummy chocolate to bring home.

We arrived back in Perth on Sunday night and stayed at Kathleen's mum and dads again before finally driving back to Kalgoorlie on Monday. Quite a whirlwind trip, but SO MUCH FUN!! And we can't wait to do it again. Next time though we are going to do the Italian cooking class.