Friday, January 31, 2014

2014 Gratitude Journal - Day 31

Day 31 - Today I am grateful for school holidays. We have had a lovely home day today, mooching around and watching a movie together. I love the slower pace of the holidays and the chance to spend more time with the children and see them relax and have fun. We all love the slower start to the morning, ESPECIALLY me! But all good things come to an end and today was the last official week day of the summer holidays. Exciting times ahead next week :)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

2014 Gratitude Journal - Day 30

Day 30 - Today I am grateful for a visit from the Puppy Whisperer! A retired police dog handler who now helps to train other dogs spent two hours at our home to help teach Bagel not to run on the road. Plenty of training to do but Bagel certainly did not appreciate the bucket of water thrown at him as he left the gate! 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

2014 Gratitude Journal - Day 29

Day 29 - Today I am grateful to have had such an amazing Father. Today would have been Dad's 87th birthday. He and I had a very special bond. He loved words, and humour and numbers. He passed away on September 10th 2000. I would have loved Glenn, and my two youngest children to have known him. Not long after he died my son Matthew wrote a speech about his own life and in it he said that the saddest thing that had ever happened to him was his best friend dying (my Dad - his Gran Brian). Sums it all up really!
Dad and Livvy

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

2014 Gratitude Journal - Day 28

Day 28 - Today I am grateful to be celebrating my daughter Kirsten's 20th birthday. Isn't it a great feeling when you nurture and protect your children and they grow up safe and happy, and pursuing their dreams. So proud of the woman you have grown up to be Kirsten and love you to the moon and back xx

Monday, January 27, 2014

2014 Gratitude Journal - Day 27

Day 27 - Today I am grateful that we have SO much talent in this small country of ours. Congratulations Lorde! Two Grammys - at 17 - that's amazing :)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

2014 Gratitude Journal -Day 26

Day 26 - Today I am grateful for a saving of 35c off petrol just for doing my weekly groceries :)

2014 Gratitude Journal -Day 25

Day 25 - Today (yesterday) I am very grateful for a full and busy life. So much so that by the time we got home from a family 40th birthday last night I was too tired to update my journal. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

2014 Gratitude Journal - Day 24

Day 24 - Today I am grateful to have had the chance to organise everything for the two younger children going to their new school.
We went and bought the new school uniforms and ordered the stationery. I think all we need to do now is cover the books when they arrive and everything will be ready. Another new chapter in our lives about to begin :)


The above photo shows Briana and Joshua checking out their new school in December.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

2014 Gratitude Journal - Day 23

Day 23 - Today I am grateful for the time to have a major sort out of paperwork! After a few hours of looking for a particular piece of paper, I managed to sort quite a few things out, only to find I had filed the piece already! In the meantime the rest of the paper is all sorted! Yay! 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

2014 Gratitude Journal - Day 22

Day 22 - Today I am grateful to get back to work at my Wednesday job! Grateful that I have such a great job where I get to combine two of my passions - words and the internet!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

2014 Gratitude Journal - Day 21

Day 21 - Today I am extremely grateful for the drivers who managed to stop on the road outside our home, when our puppy got out through the garage. I was so busy trying to herd him back off the road that I didn't stop to acknowledge and thank the drivers straight away before they drove on. Sending virtual thanks out to everyone who stopped today and stopped us having a squished Bagel :(

Monday, January 20, 2014

2014 Gratitude Journal - Day 20

Day 20 - Today I was grateful to spend time in the garden, with our lovely new tenants at our old house. They seemed to be so thrilled to be living there and as we worked in the back garden they seem to be very excited about planting some new plants and enjoying the outdoor living there. It's very heartwarming to think that they seem happy about living there, just as we were happy living there :)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

2014 Gratitude Journal - Day 19

Day 19 - Today I am grateful to be home after a lovely holiday. It was so wonderful to be away and having a fantastic break, going swimming and catching up with friends. But I always love coming home, and I am very grateful to have a home that I love :)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

2014 Gratitude Journal - Day 18

Day 18 - Today I am grateful that we were in Nelson for Joanne's son Nathan's 21st birthday party. It was great to be able to be there to celebrate with family and friends. We were able to sneak in a swim at Rabbit Island earlier in the day too. Fab day all round :)

Friday, January 17, 2014

2014 Gratitude Journal - Day 17

Day 17 - Today I have been grateful that I am in Nelson on my friend Joanne's birthday. This morning I had morning tea with Jo and our friend Jillian (we all worked together here in Nelson at Telecom). 
And tonight we got to go out for dinner with Jo and her husband Dale to a fabulous restaurant called Hopgoods. Awesome day :)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

2014 Gratitude Journal - Day 16

Day 16 - Today I was grateful to be able to spend some quality time with my 3 youngest children. So often during the busy year it is hard to find time to just sit and talk without the need to rush, and I loved having the time to do that today :)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

2014 Gratitude Journal - Day 14

Today I am grateful for being able to put my feet up with a glass of wine and my book, while my daughter Olivia cooked dinner for us after an afternoon exploring old haunts in the centre of Nelson city. It was fascinating to see the changes in places I worked and lived in about 25 years ago, while I resided here. It's a very special place to be visiting :)

Monday, January 13, 2014

2014 Gratitude Journal - Day 13

Day 13 - Today I am grateful for a day to do virtually nothing! It has been so awesome to be able to read and relax without any time pressures. I've finished my first holiday book and am on to the second now!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

2014 Gratitude Journal - Day 12

Day 12 - Today I am grateful for the chance to catch up and have quality time with my friend Lyn. I've missed her very much since she moved to Nelson. When you are in the room with Lyn you just want to smile and laugh. She has the most infectious laugh of anyone I know and it is always great to see her :)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

2014 Gratitude Journal - Day 11

Day 11 - Today I am grateful for the hot Summer day and the chance to spend time at Tahuna Beach in Nelson. Sitting on the beach brought back many memories of holidays with Mum and Dad. The sun was shining and the water was lovely and warm. Just glorious :)

Friday, January 10, 2014

2014 - Gratitude Journal Day 10

Day 10 - Today I am grateful for old friends and the chance to catch up with friends I have known for over 25 years. It is amazing to have friends that you haven't seen for however long, and you just kick off where you left off.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

2014 Gratitude Journal - Day 9

Day 9 - Today I am grateful to be away on holiday in Nelson. After such a big year last year it is so wonderful to be having a real break away from all the busyness of life. I am also grateful to our house sitters who are not only looking after our home but our cats and puppy too :)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

2014 - Gratitude Journal Day 8

Day 8 - Today I am very grateful to have been invited out to dinner tonight with some exceptional women. I feel uplifted and inspired to be put my best foot forward this year and embrace each opportunity that comes my way :)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2014 Gratitude Journal - Day 7

Day 7 - Today I am very grateful to have supportive siblings. Simon and I cleaned our Mum's house from top to bottom, inside and out, ready for her house to go on the market for sale.
It was an exhausting day, physically and mentally, but made easier by sharing the load and having some great conversation (and a hot pie and coffee) along the way.

Monday, January 6, 2014

2014 Gratitude Journal - Day 6

Day 6 - Today I am grateful for extended family and to be able to head away from the city for a BBQ and a chance to just sit and talk without time pressures. I love this time of year for being able to make time for people who are important to you without the feeling you should be somewhere else.

2014 Gratitude Journal - Day 5

Day 5 - Today I am grateful for great friends. I spoke to a couple of good friends on the phone today. We had a BBQ tonight out at a friends place and met some fabulous new people. And I had some lovely texts and Facebook messages today from friends near and far. I am very blessed to have such amazing friends :)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

2014 Gratitude Journal - Day 4

Day 4 - Today I am extremely grateful to find out that all 5 occupants of a car crash on New Years Day near Murchison (including my friend Carol's teenage son), are alive and pretty much unscathed. If you saw the photos in The Press you would shake your head and wonder how anyone, let alone all five of them, could get out of the car without significant injuries. It's nothing short of a miracle :)

Friday, January 3, 2014

2014 Gratitude Journal - Day 3

Day 3 - Today I am grateful for a quiet day. A day to stay at home and slow down a little. A time to reflect on the past year and start to plan for the year ahead. It feels as if these sort of days don't happen that often and are so welcome when they do :)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014 Gratitude Journal - Day 2

Day 2 - I am grateful to have such amazing and responsible older children who stayed home and looked after the two younger children while Glenn and I had a night away for our Anniversary #gratitudejournal

2014 Gratitude Journal - Day 1 (a day late)

Day 1 - I am grateful for a wonderful husband who spoiled me utterly and completely on our Anniversary yesterday. I know he loves me and has always got my back. We're a great team xxx #gratitudejournal

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 in one post!

The Lows and Highs of 2013

Please excuse the fact that I didn’t blog AT ALL in 2013. It is pretty symptomatic of the year really.
It’s been a little overwhelming to say the least with some huge lows and some amazing highs. This blog post is a little long, there is a lot to say.

The year starting with us moving house again. Moving is hard work but we are back living in a home we own again so no more posts like this.

In March came the devastating news that Glenn’s cousin Debbie had a relapse of Breast Cancer and this time it was terminal. By the end of March Debbie was gone. What a rip off L 45 years old and so much to live for. So shocking for her family, two young children without their Mother. Quite simply it is a real tragedy. It all happened so quickly that Debbie didn’t have time to do the last few things she wanted to do. SO not fair! Debbie was so welcoming to me when I joined the Livingstone family. I enjoyed her company and her sense of fun. She was a very generous, warm-hearted and loyal person. I see the pain in her parents eyes every Wednesday when I go to work. She is so missed.

In May, my friend Lynda lost her sister Christine. Christine had ongoing health issues but no-one expected her to pass away in her early 50's. Such a shock and I see in Lynda the ongoing effects on their family as they struggle to accept the loss in their lives. So much living still to do.

Glenn and I went to the funeral of Rhonda Tucker in August. Another Mother going from this Earth too soon because of that horrible disease Breast Cancer. I didn’t really know Rhonda that well in person. I met her husband Gaven when Glenn was helping to try to keep Aorangi School open, where Gaven was a teacher. But I very quickly got to know Rhonda through her online presence on Facebook. We watched and learned about strength and making every moment precious when faced with adversity. Rhonda showed huge tenacity and courage as she faced her journey. And it was inspirational to see Gaven and Rhonda create memories for their children to last the rest of their lives. Rhonda showed us all how to live for now and make the most of every moment. And even though I didn't know her so well, I learnt some very valuable lessons from her.

Early in the year it was apparent that Mum’s health was failing badly so I downsized my life to be able to spend more time with her. We had some awesome times together and made the most of her good days. Towards September it seemed that the bad days were outnumbering the good days but Mum was doing her best to make the most of the good days. We attended the food show in September and had a great time. Mid-September the Doctor trialed her on some new medication. It made such a difference that Mum was feeling better than she had for a year or more. So much so, she drove herself out to the country on October 3rd to go to Mahjong. On the way home, a car plowed into the side of her car as she left a giveway sign. She knew she had made a mistake, she just didn’t see him. We thought she was going to make it, she was conscious when we got to the hospital. At first glance after a CT scan the injuries were recoverable. But overnight everything went pear shaped and Mum died around lunchtime on Friday 4th October. Saddest of sad days for our family.

On the 30th of December I went with my Isleworth colleagues to the funeral of a Teacher Aide, Karen, who also died from Breast Cancer. She battled the disease for 17 years but it finally won. She was determined not to die on Christmas day and let go at 1am on Boxing Day. Karen and I were definitely not close but she was so kind to me on the day that Debbie died. I’ll never forget her kindness.

On the 14th January we moved into our new (OLD) home. I don’t think I have ever been so happy in a home! 
This farmhouse was built in 1861 by the Brown family who owned a dairy farm in Shirley.
A 2014 goal for me is to find out a bit about the history of this home and those who have lived here. It seemed, with so much going on, that we didn’t have a chance to really enjoy living here in 2013 so looking forward to really putting our stamp on this home, this year.

Matthew graduated in April. He had thought he might wait until he had finished his honours year but with his Grans health failing, the decision was made to graduate with his Bachelor of Science. Thank goodness!



A very proud Mumma and Gran attended the ceremony, along with Glenn,Olivia and my older childrens' Nana. We went out for lunch with Gran after and Kirsten joined us – was fabulous! Matt then turned 21 in May – another cause for a family celebration.

Kirsten missed out on gong to Camp America but instead was chosen to attend an American University in Indiana in the second Semester of 2014. So exciting and the realisation of a dream for her! Shows that if you set a goal and dream a dream, it might just happen for you!

Olivia started work fulltime at McDonalds in Moorhouse Avenue and was quickly promoted up the career path to Shift Manager. She loves working there and has incredibly supportive Management and great friends. Maybe some study through McDonalds this year so life is rosy and full of opportunities. We took Gran out for lunch again on Olivia's 18th birthday.

My stepdaughter Simone attended and graduated from Sir George Seymour Tourism College in 2013, helping her towards her dream job. A very proud evening for Glenn to attend her graduation.

Briana and Joshua seemed very settled in their new home and said farewell to Wairakei School at the end of the year. Briana has some ongoing stuff since the earthquakes and it is hoped that a move to Marshland School in 2014, for both of them, will help her put that in the past.

We got a puppy!!
For a few weeks I thought it was the worst decision I have ever made, but we love Bagel and he seems to love us. A great distraction from all the not so good stuff last year!

I managed to finish my Postgraduate Diploma in Education with Merit amongst all the challenges of the year and resigned from Isleworth School to await the opportunities that 2014 will bring.

In September we celebrated Glenn's 50th birthday. It was a fabulous family occasion. We had a sense that it might be Mum's last family celebration as she was quite unwell that day and sadly we were right. But she had a fabulous time as was determined to see the night right to the end. Glenn was re-elected in October and is taking on the challenge of providing housing for the most vulnerable in Christchurch. He showed us how incredible he is as he officiated at both Debbie and Mum’s funeral. Not an easy task but made it so much more special for all of us to know that someone who truly loved these people, helped send them off in the most amazing way. I know he had to dig deep, it’s part of the reason I love him. I knew he could do it, both times.

I was reflecting last night as midnight approached about a New Years’ Eve 16 years ago, at a difficult time in my life. I saw that New Year in all on my own as 3 young children slept and I wrote in my journal, that although life wasn’t as rosy as it could be, a little baby was born that day. It reminded me that even if life can be a bit sucky at times, that there are always miracles in the world. Little babies are such a blessing and show us that there is always hope and joy to be found.

The biggest joy of 2013 was this little one


Even though we didn’t have Mum at Christmas, we had this little girl, and her sister and brother, with us. My great niece Pipi.
Mum didn’t get to meet her but she saw her numerous times through my niece Jenny's blog.
We were encircled by family at Christmas and that made it all a bit easier to start a new chapter in our family’s history.


Happy New Year to all – a new year brings new hope, new opportunities. I hope you get all your heart desires… and more. Welcome 2014… bring it on xx