Unspoken Conversations are the topics that are often swept under the carpet, whispered amongst the closest of friends and bitched about by many. I want to create awareness about difficult things that people face in life; grief, mental health, money, illnesses, family troubles, relationship difficulties and putting yourself first. I want to tell the truth about things that really matter.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Put YOU in YOUR diary!

I can guarntee you that if you do something for yourself you'll have a cheesy smile like this and you'll be putting two thumbs up!



When was the last time that you did something for yourself???

For you. Not your netball club, not your football club, not for friends, not for work, not for family...for YOURSELF.

By that I mean, when did you last schedule time in to your diary to: go and buy some paints and a canvas and to take the time to create a masterpiece, or search through cookbooks for a recipe that you've always wanted to cook and spent the day baking, or gone for that big bike ride down to the beach or written some poetry or read a book without disruptions?

It might be going to a concert that you have always wanted to go to. With friends OR by yourself!

We too often spend our time trying to please others. How about pleasing ourselves?

It's important to create some time for yourself. It might be once a week, or once a month. Put a time in your diary. Tell others that you've got such and such date blocked out to spend time doing something that you've always wanted to do.

Don't cancel on yourself. You know how much it sucks when someone bails on you. Don't bail on yourself.

I promise that you'll feel the biggest sense of satisfaction.

OR...you might go on a shopping trip and pop via the bottle O on the way home and pick up a treat!

For years I have wanted to write. I have wanted to create awareness about things that matter to me. It's taken me 3 years since I finished my English degree to make time to do it. I never thought I'd have "the time". But now I make time. I use my lunch break to create a blog. I might spend an hour on a Sunday whipping something up.

It's so rewarding.

Or it could be buying something that you totally don't NEED (like a TACO PURSE haha) just because you WANT it! haha

We all have 24 hours in a day. Schedule just 1 hour a week for yourself.

What have you always wanted to do but you haven't had the "time" to start?

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxx

Sunday, 24 June 2012

What it's like to have a panic attack.



Panic attacks. You'll never forget the first one that you experience, kind of like losing your virginity.

Except losing your virginity is "fun". Panic attacks are far from fun.


I very vividly remember my first. I thought I was going to die. No shit. I thought I was having a heart attack or an asthma attack. My chest was so tight. I felt like someone had placed my lungs in to a vice. I could not breath.

My palms were sweaty. I felt like the room had all of a sudden turned into a wood oven. I was so hot. I could feel a bead of sweat run down my back.

My vision went blurry. I couldn't focus.

I was wondering what on earth was happening to me.

I was scared.

I started hyperventilating. Oh my god, what is happening to me. Am I dying? 

I almost passed out.

I had to remove myself from my tutorial and lay down.

Once it had passed I was exhausted. I remember calling a good friend of mine to ask if she could pick me up from uni. I slept for 3 hours at her house after.

Whatever it was, I never wanted to experience it again.

I later realised that I wasn't dying. It wasn't a heart attack nor an asthma attack. It was a panic attack.


CHECKLIST FOR PANIC ATTACKS from the Beyond Blue website.


Anxiety national poster
Taken from the Beyond Blue website.
Panic Disorder
Within a 10 MINUTE PERIOD have you felt FOUR OR MORE of the following:
sweaty
shaky
increased heart rate
short of breath
choked
nauseous or pain in the stomach
dizzy, lightheaded or faint
numb or tingly
derealisation (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (feeling detached from yourself or your surroundings)
hot or cold flushes
scared of going crazy
scared of dying?

If you answered 'YES' to ALL of these questions, have you also:
felt scared, for ONE MONTH OR MORE, of experiencing these feelings again?


If you answered 'YES' it is important to see a doctor.

 My experiences with panic attacks 

 

My first one happened when I was about to give a tutorial presentation. I have never been great at public speaking. I was so nervous that I didn't sleep the night before. I had even contemplated popping down to the uni bar for a pint to calm my nerves. I had to give a presentation on a topic that I didn't know myself. The room was small and there was no air flow. I was so nervous that I started to panic. My brain starting going in overdrive. OMG I'm not prepared for this, what happens if they ask a question, I don't know what I'm talking about. Negative self talk was remunerating in my brain. 

My second panic attack happened only a couple of months ago at work. It was so embarrassing. I was helping to launch this wam bam thank you Mame new database that we'd been working on. The meeting was in a small room up on level 11. There was no air flow. I wasn't nervous. Nor anxious. I just think that it was the lack of air flow in a confined space that did it to me. When I first walked in to the room I started to feel flushed. As the meeting progressed my vision started going blurry. I ended up having to leave the meeting and lay down outside on a bench. My colleagues made sure that I was okay. This time around it wasn't as scary because I knew what was happening to me. I knew it was another panic attack.

I just had to take deep breaths, have a drink of water, and remind myself that it will pass. It's okay. It's another panic attack. YOU'RE NOT DYING!


I can not recommend this book enough if you suffer from panic attacks. It helped me to understand what was going on and how to deal with it.
People suffer panic attacks for all different reasons. They might be stressed, they might hate spiders, they, like me, might hate confined spaces with no air flow. They might have a heart attack and start panicking because they don't know what's happening to them.

It's more common then you think. It's scarier then you think when it happens, especially the first time.

beyondblue: the national depression initiative

 To learn about other people's stories about anxiety and panic attacks, click here.

 I find Beyond Blue the best website for information about Mental Health. Even if you haven't suffered a panic attack yourself, someone close to you may have. To learn more about panic attacks, to know who is at risk, what to do if you suffer from them and how to help others I recommend checking it out.

Have you suffered from a panic attack? Do you know someone who has? What did it feel like for you? What did you do to calm yourself down?

I'd love to hear your experiences. Every one deals with things differently. Everyone experiences different side affects. Help me to create awareness about panic attacks.

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxxx

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Why I can’t wait to move back to the country.

The rugged coastline along the Eyre Peninsula.


Adelaide has been my home for the last 7 years. I have loved every bit of my time here. But to me, it has never been home. The small country town that I grew up in has always been referred to as "home home".

I’m a born and bred country girl and proud of it.

I grew up in a small town of 1,000 people. I grew up drinking rain water, eating fresh eggs hot out of the chickens bums. I would always have scabs on my knees from climbing trees, stacking it on my bike and building cubby houses.

Beautiful.

Mum wouldn’t see my sister and I except for meal times. We’d jump on our treadles and roam the country side. In winter we’d always bring home tadpoles that we’d collected from the water run off just outside of town, we’d always be making bike tracks and jumps, we’d go mushrooming and sell them to our neighbours for our pocket money.

I played every sport under the sun. Basketball, netball, swimming, little athletics and gymnastics. Between my sister and I we have had 6 broken arms…5 of which were caused by sport!

I would catch the bus home from school to stay at my friends houses who lived on farms. We would ride the four wheelers around like hooligans, feed the chickens, cows and pigs.

My crazy family!

We’d go mushrooming as a family. We’d also take the boat out fishing at Coffins Bay and devour our catch that night fresh out of the ocean. We’d go stump picking to light our nice warm fire.

I loved my upbringing. We were free. Kids were kids. We were sheltered from life's worries. We were naive, like kids should be.

What I’m looking forward to:


The fresh air. Nothing beats fresh country air that isn’t tainted with petrol fumes.

Blue, blue skys, long dirt roads.

The fresh rain water. Everyone has rainwater tanks in the country. Nothing beats the taste of rainwater fresh from the gutters after a heavy rain.

The sense of community. A trip to the shops for milk takes half an hour because you run into people that you know and stand around chatting. Football and Netball season involves the majority of people pulling up their cars around the oval and cheering each other on.

No traffic jams. Just open roads.

FREE PARKING!

Fresh meat produce. Cows, pigs and sheep run freely out in the paddocks. The local butcher sources his livestock from local farmers. The meat is delicious.

The beaches. You can go to the beach and be the only person there. Long white strips of sand ready to sink your toes into, waves ready to be surfed, sand hills ready to be sand boarded down, snorkeling to be done and fish to be caught!
My favourite beach, Point Drummound.

CAMPING! Oh how I have missed camping in Adelaide. Escaping the house and all of the jobs that go with it, packing everything up and finding a nice quiet place to call home for the weekend. Watching the flames, cooking food on the fire, heating up the billy for a cuppa. Mmm bliss!

I could sit and stare at a fire for ages!


The stars. I really miss seeing the stars in Adelaide. They are so vibrant and bright and beautiful at home.

FRESH SEAFOOD. Nothing beats a days fishing and then driving home to cook up your catch. Between Coffin Bay Oysters, catching squid off of the Port Neill jetty, fishing for whiting along the coast, razor fish, tuna, scallops and abalone..mmm my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Camping

The slow pace of life. Everyone is on the go in Adelaide. Time is poor. It’s always rush rush rush. In the country, time seems plentiful. It's much more relaxing.

The people. Everyone is relaxed and friendly. People wave as they drive to their destination.

My sister with her freshly caught fish!

Seeing our friends kids grow up. Many of our friends at home have started having babies. They grow up so quickly. They’re now running and talking and creating their own personality. We can’t wait to be apart of their lives!

Mick's godchild Xander.

My friends. Many of my friends have moved away from home since school. Home will be different to when I used to live there 7 years ago. We still have some good friends living back there. I can’t wait to see them more. I also look forward to making friends with people who I don’t know so well.


My family. Without a doubt the biggest draw card is returning home to my family. Both my family and my partners live back in the country. My sister has also recently moved home, Mick’s brothers live back there, our grandparents, uncles, aunties and cousins. For me, my friends have been my family for the past 7 years while living in Adelaide. I’ve even adopted some “family” along the way. But nothing beats your real blood family. I love mine so incredibly much and I can’t wait to be able to pop around to Mum and Dad’s for tea, to go fishing with them, camping with them and to just see them more than once every 3 months.

My family.

I think you take these things for granted when you grow up in a place. I remember when I finished school I just wanted to escape my small town in search for a career and education and experiences. I will never take for granted the beautiful sunsets, the smell of fresh air, the taste of rainwater and the fun that is to be had with camping, playing sport and hanging out with our friends and family. 7 years on, I long to return. It's crazy how you change over time.

If all goes to plan, we could be moving home in 5 months! Woo hoo!

Did you grow up in a small country town? What did you enjoy about it? Have you ever considered moving to the country?

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxxx

Friday, 22 June 2012

Renovating: why we love it and tips for saving money!

Our house!


DIY. Do it yourself.

That’s our answer to keeping the cost down when renovating.

Renovating is costly. We’ve found that if we think something is going to cost $200, then it’ll be $600. There’s anyways hidden costs.

Take for example our ensuite for the granny flat that we’re building. We had to hire a plumber to cut into the existing pipeline so that our ensuite had water (a handy thing for a bathroom!). The plumber also had to install a gas line for the hot water and the sewage. Then the plumber had to connect the taps and pipes and fittings. In total, the plumber cost $2500. We also needed a hot water system. That was $750. Then we needed to hire a builder (thankfully one of our good friends is one) to create the framework for the bathroom. We also had to pour a concrete floor. Then we needed to have the hot water system connected. Then there’s the cladding, and then insulation. That’s all before we get to the fun stuff of buying the toilet, hand basin, shower, tap fittings, lights, exhaust fan, towel railings, tiling and more!

I was shocked at just how much it all costs.


What we started with...might look nicer then it actually was. The wood was rotting and water would lay around the house after it rained.

The trick is to do it bit by bit. Start your weekend with a to do list. Make it achievable. This weekend we want to rip up all of the bricks. This weekend we want to paint the shed. This weekend we want to plant a herb garden. There’s no point making a list as long as your arm because things take a lot longer then you think.



It’s always rewarding putting a huge fat black line through something on your to do list. It’s also highly rewarding kicking back and celebrating with a cider, wine or beer once you have completed the weekends list.




Ripping up the bricks.

Things do take longer then you think.

We have been renovating since October 2011.

Just getting everything ready to renovate took a long time. Ripping up bricks, levelling the ground, pulling down existing structures, cutting freaking vine that sticks like glue to everything and ripping up cement. That alone took us a good 2-3 months.


Levelling out the oustide area.

We started 2012 with a list of three big things that we wanted to achieve.
  1. Build a great big outside entertaining area
  2. Turn the shed into a granny flat with an ensuite
  3. Paint the inside of the house

So far we have: built the structure for the outside area, installed fans and lights, levelled out the ground for paving, had the plumber visit, pour the concrete in the bathroom, studded the bathroom walls, bought a toilet and hot water system and window, planted a herb garden, painted everything that was green cream, moved the clothes line to the back corner and had a HUGE housewarming to celebrate haha!


Levelling out the gravel for paving!

All in all I think we have spent close to $20,000.

This would be a WHOLE lot more if it wasn’t for our super friendly, handy friends who have helped us along the way. We fortunately have friends who are builders, tillers and electricians.


Mick with one of his best mates sharing a beer!

We always make sure that their bellies are full and that they are well hydrated for helping. We try to make it as much fun as we can by cranking the music and having a laugh.


My first ever attempt at gardening...fresh herbs!

I can honestly say that renovating is the most rewarding thing I have ever done. To be able to have a vision and see it come to life through your hard work is awesome. To be able to see where your hard earned money is going makes work worthwhile. To be able to spend quality time with my partner, painting, sanding, pouring concrete floors, sifting through salvage yards, looking through catalogues for ideas and bargains, budgeting and everything else that make renovations happen, is satisfying.


The structure for the outside area going up!

We have worked bloody hard to get where we are but we wouldn’t change it for the world.

It’s amazing being about to entertain friends under our outside area and to host a house warming and show everyone why we’ve had to say no to doing things for so many weekends and to look out my kitchen window with the hugest grin on myself feeling so proud of our achievements.


We love entertaining under our new outside area.

Renovating. It’s a love hate relationship at times. It’s exhausting, frustrating, rewarding, draining, physical and fun, but mostly it gives you the greatest sense of achievement.

Stay tuned for more money saving tips for renovating.


Our outside area taking shape :)

Have you been renovating? Do you have any money saving tips to share? What do you find rewarding and frustrating about renovating?

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxxx

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Date night...why I highly recommend them to couples.

Mick and I at the Australia Day cricket this year.


Date night. My favourite night of the week.

I must admit that I get butterflies just thinking about it. I think it's the word "date" that does it to me. Or maybe it's the knowledge that I get to spend the night with my partner. Just me and him. No phones. No planning hens weekends and overseas trips and renovations. No talking about money. No talking about work or bills or any of those day to day momentous things. 


Just Mick and me. Spending quality time together.


Date nights have been modified over the years.


Being the special people that we are.


Back when we first started dating and Mick was only an apprentice, date night consisted of a schnitzel pack from the corner deli that we shared together at the Lions Park.


When Mick went full time we started "lashing out" and going to the local pub for tea.


When I started working full time and Mick would come to Adelaide to visit (as we did four years long distance), we would go to an AFL game and cheer on the Mighty Adelaide Crows together on dates. 


When Mick moved to Adelaide and we lived together for the first time we would go on date nights 3 or 4 times a week (probably really just an excuse to avoid cooking and the dishes that go with it!) We'd go to tight ass Tuesday every Tuesday night at the local cinemas. At one stage we had seen every movie out. We'd use the Adelaide Entertainment Book and frequent different cuisines in Adelaide: Indian, Chinese, Thai, Italian....you name it, we ate it! We LOVED life that year. Money wasn't a worry.


Once we bought a house date nights changed. We went from eating out to opting to cook a delicious meal in our own home. Well, Mick would whip up something, I'd just set the table with fresh flowers from our garden, candles, napkins, the lot. We'd go all out!


Going to the cinemas has changed to hiring a movie and snuggling on the couch under a rug with a glass of red.


Valentines Day 2012!


Valentines Day this year was probably my favourite so far out of the 8 that we've spent together. No expensive restaurants. No lash outs on flowers or gifts. Instead, we set up our kitchen table with candles and a flower picked from our garden and sat and chatted about everything we have achieved so far. 


I guess what I'm trying to say is that date nights don't have to be fancy and elaborate. You don't need to let the moths fly out of your wallet. You don't need to pay $200 to go to a nice restaurant. 

Date nights are about scheduling time into your diary to spend quality time with your partner.

They don't have to be every week, but I do recommend that you plan ahead and make them at least once a month. 

 I promise you will get little butterflies, you will feel like you're "dating" again, you will have the chance to speak about what you want and what you are working towards together, and about things that really matter to you outside of the day to day things.


Date night. It's what you make it. Spending special time with your best friend.


Look after yourself and those around you,


Kirsty xxxx

You might want to check out Date Night the movie...it's hilarious!


Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Why my jean wearing days are over!

Get in my belly!


Zips. 

I hate them.

Zips and I do not get along well. Well, unless you consider lying down on my bed, squeezing in my belly, pleading with the zip to do up pleeeaaassseeee and it failing to do so. Then me huffing and puffing and yelling at the zip. You piece of shit. Must be faulty (clearly NOT because of my recent weight gain haha).

Yup, I've recently gained weight.

It's a mix of my medication, eating crappy foods over our stressful busy time at work and not exercising enough because I'm not a morning person and I can't be bothered going after work.

I was warned by a work colleague not to buy the next size up in anything otherwise it would be the end of me. I would never lose the weight. I appreciate her honesty and quickly changed my tune about my new wardrobe (which was really just an excuse to buy new things!)

In Belgium in 2008 blowing out my belly after way too much chocolate and beer!

Instead, I kissed goodbye to my jeans and work skirts and all things zips, and traded for stockings and leggings under skirts and dresses...BEST INVENTION EVER!

I no longer have to sit uncomfortable all day feeling as though my eyes are going to pop out of my head and my muffin tops are creeping over the edge of my clothes. I no longer have to undo the zip on my jeans when I overindulge at mealtimes. I no longer have to fight with my zip in the morning.

LEGGINGS ARE THE BOMB (note...not to be worn alone...they are an UNDERGARMENT people!) Not only do you feel super comfy while wearing them, you can also layer up in winter and wear your summer dresses with boots! Amazing.

I also realised just how crappy it is to gain weight. You're left feeling sluggish and uncomfortable in your own skin. You avoid looking in the mirror for fear of catching a glimpse of your triple chins!

After my Dad had his Heart Attack I realised that there was no time like now to start eating healthy and living a more active lifestyle. I too realised that I had to make some lifestyle changes. If not, I'd be the biggest hypocrite every time I texted my Dad to ask if he had been on his daily walk. 

I'm not talking about major changes straight away like eeekkk...totally cutting out chocolate. I have just started with small lifestyle changes like swapping my 3pm chocolate splurge for yogurt, packing my sneakers for a brief walk on my lunch break, and wearing leggings instead of clothes with zips (which has saved my skin from getting indents in my hips after a long day of sitting in super tight clothes).

I feel so much better about myself.

I am starting to feel comfortable in my own skin again.

If all else fails with my weight loss, I know that I can always count on leggings. Every girl should own them.

Have you gained weight lately? What are your tips for losing weight?

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxxx

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

What it's like to suffer from Depression.

Me with my favourite cocktail, a Pina Colarda, up in Far North Queensland!



I have suffered from Depression.

I never thought that it would happen to me. I thought I was invincible. I was so naive. I thought it only happened to people who were sad, to people with financial difficulties, or people who were going through a divorce, or who were abused, or were struggling with grief and other major troubles and difficulties in their life, OR to people who were pessimists or people who didn't like themselves. Not people like me.


I never took a step back to look at my lifestyle, my personality and my family history to realise that I was a train wreck ready to happen. 


Beyond Blue: what puts a person at risk?


NO DOWN TIME

My calender was booked for months in advance. Not just weekends but every night of the week. Sport, catch ups, meetings. You name it. I had it on my plate. I also work full time. I never gave my body the chance to just relax. To do nothing.


FAMILY HISTORY

I have a long family history of mental health. Grandparents, parents, uncles, aunties. But I didn't think that it would affect me. I still felt as though I was "stronger". I felt as though I could prevent Depression from happening through my diet, exercise and attitude. I was so wrong.


PERSONALITY

My personality pre-Depression ticked all of the boxes for "at risk". The below dot points are taken from the Beyond Blue website. Peole "at risk" include:
  • A lifelong worrier
  • A perfectionist
  • Sensitive to personal criticism
  • Unassertive
  • Self-critical and negative
  • Shy, socially anxious and having low self-esteem.


 EVENTS

 At the time we were buying a house and I was changing roles after winning a secondment. I didn't realise just how stressed I was, nor how tired and rundown my body was. I just thought that I was stressed because work was busy and that it was normal to feel anxious about starting a new job.

I knew things weren't quite right when I couldn't sleep. Then I couldn't eat (when normally I am an eating machine). I started losing weight. Then I started losing interest in things. I didn't want to be around people (and that's a HUGE thing for me because I'm such a people person). I started doubting my ability at work. I would second guess everything I said. I started thinking negatively about everything. I couldn't concentrate.

I went and saw my doctor. He diagnosed me with Generalised Anxiety. I told my Manager. My work mates were so supportive.

Things didn't improve though. I felt like I was carrying a huge weight on my shoulders. I withdrew from everything. I lost interest in everything. I felt numb.

I had to have two months away from work.

I was hospitalised.

I could not get out of bed. I was a different person. I didn't even recognise myself, nor did I want to. 

It was scary. Not only for me, but for the people around me. 

The fun loving, outgoing, full of energy, life loving girl that they knew disappeared. One of my friends told me that they thought they had lost me.

It still brings tears to my eyes. 

I was talking to my mum about what it felt like the other day. I could only describe it as though someone else had taken over my body. I didn't have any control. I felt weak. I felt like there was a great weight on my shoulders. I didn't even have the energy to put one foot in front of the other. It felt like something had control over my brain. Like someone had flicked the positive switch to negative and it couldn't be reversed no matter how hard I tried.

It was like a living hell.

It saddens me to think that so many people suffer from Depression yet it's still such a taboo topic. That we can talk openly, and feel sympathetic towards Cancer patients and Heart Disease yet Mental Health is kept quiet and people often question, poke fun at, tell people to "snap out of it" and just don't seem to accept that it is a serious illness just like any other.


Is depression common?


"Very common. Around one million Australian adults and 100,000 young people live with Depression each year. On average, one in six people will experience Depression in their lifetime - one in five females and one in eight males."


This is by far the hardest post that I have written. I wipe tears away from my eyes as I think back a year ago, only a year ago, to what it was like and where I was at with Depression. So many people wouldn't even know how sick I was. They would've just assumed that I was busy or had other things on my plate, and that is why I wasn't "around" for a couple of months.

I am writing this post to create awareness about Mental Health. To show that Mental Health can happen to anyone, at anytime. You don't have to be unhappy. Depression does not discriminate against race, age, class or anything.

It angers me that it has taken me this long to talk openly about it because I almost felt ashamed of suffering from it. I didn't think people would understand. I thought people would think that I was weak, and insane. But I now know that I should give people the benefit of the doubt.

If I can help just one person to accept that they have suffered or are suffering from a Mental Health illness, if I can help just one person go and get the help that they need, if I can save just one life, then admitting openly to everyone that I have suffered from Depression is worth it to me.

Help me to create awareness about Mental Health. Create a status on Facebook about Mental Health to help spread the word.

You just never know who it might affect next.

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxxx

Who to contact for help?


Your local GP.


A Psychologist.





 


Monday, 18 June 2012

Premature babies...strength, courage and determination beyond their years.

Xander. This photo melts my heart.


Xander weighed 950gm when he was born. He came into this world 13 and a half weeks early. Typical impatient male (haha).


Maya Kate. What a precious bundle of joy.

Maya weighed 2.22kgs and was born at 35 weeks. I think she just wanted to come in to this world early to meet her amazing parents!

These photos melt my heart, bring a tear to my eye but mostly, they bring a huge smile to my face. These tiny, precious babies have been through so much in their short lives already. 

Whenever I need strength, determination and courage, I think of the two almost two year olds, who have fought the odds and are now giggling, busy body, walking, talking, absolutely deliciously cute little toddlers.

Maya at her first birthday.
 I think back to September 2010 when we first received the phone calls that their mums had gone in to labour. We were shocked. We hadn't even had the baby shower and she didn't even had a bump last time we saw her, and now, the baby is ready to come into the bright big world. I felt sick. We were so worried. We were praying that the mums would be okay and that the little babies would have developed enough to be able to survive what was ahead of them.

The birth was scary, but the road ahead seemed scarier. Maya and Xander were in the Women's and Children's Hospital for at least one month each, moving up through the Scbu Wards as they became stronger and stronger.

The little darlings were hooked up to all sorts of tubes and wires. It just didn't seem fair. They were so small. 

Yet they were so strong.

This little guy owns our hearts. Xander chilling at the beach.

It still makes me teary thinking about what both of their parents went through during those difficult months. Not being able to cuddle your baby whenever you wanted to, not being able to breastfeed and to take your baby home to her newly painted nusery. Instead, both parents had to live across the road in the Greenway Apartments during the whole ordeal, away from their babies. 

Your vision of having a baby totally warped.


I take my hat off to the staff at the Women's and Children's Hospital. They were amazing. Changing nappies, feeding tubes, caring after the two little bundles of joy 24/7.


I guess for me, it taught me just how lucky we are to live in the twenty first century where we have technology that gives babies the best possible chance of survival when they are born so early.


Whenever I'm having a crap day, or I feel defeated, or flat, or that I'm weak, I think of Xander and Maya. I draw strength and courage and determination from two children that aren't even two yet.


They own my heart.


Premature births happen more frequently then you think. They bring a family together. They strengthen your relationships. You all pitch in together to help as much as you can. 

It takes it's toll. There's moments where you just want to cry. Small steps forward deserve great celebration.


I'm yet to be a parent myself, but I hope that I can be as good as a mum and Mick as good as a father as Xander and Maya's. 

And I hope that our children have as much strength, courage, determination and incredible cuteness as these two!


Take care of yourself and those around you,


Kirsty xxx

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Putting things in to perspective...creating a time line of your life.




Do you ever find yourself questioning what on earth you do with your time? As in, you feel like you're always busy and that your calender is always chock a block but you still haven't caught up with your best friend for 2 months, you haven't seen your Aunty who lives just down the road from you for three weeks and the months keep flying past but you're left scratching your head as to where the time is going?

I do.

I think, my goodness, it's June already, where has the past 6 months gone? If all things go to plan with our renovations, we might be leaving Adelaide in 5 months time. What have I ticked off of my "to do" list for this year? Wow, I've got so many things left that I want to do. And, I can't believe that it's been 7 whole years since I left my home town to move to Adelaide to study.


7 years.

7 years of living in the madness of Adelaide. The chaotic-ness, the always on the go, the 24/7 shops, the bumper to bumper drive in to the city, the acting-like-a-scavenger for a park every time I want to go shopping, the craziness of working for a tertiary education provider where I service more people then the town that I grew up in.

As my time in Adelaide comes to an end, I have found myself thinking about all that I have achieved since I was that seventeen year old girl who left my family and partner in the rear view mirror for Adelaide...the unknown. The BIG SMOKE. 

I found myself the other day creating a time line of events since 2006 when I left home.

My timeline that I whipped up in 5 minutes. It doesn't have to be anything fancy.

I was amazed at just what I have achieved.

I NEVER in a million years would've ever predicted that I would have finished a university degree and be working for the University of Adelaide, that I would own two homes by the time I was 24, that I'd be engaged, that I would've traveled to Europe, South East Asia and soon Fiji. That I would become so attached to a netball and football club in Adelaide, that I would've stopped teaching to pursue a career with no set profession at the end and that I would meet lifelong friends whom I  couldn't imagine my life without.


Creating the time line helped me to put things in to perspective.

I have achieved so much for someone who is only 24. And while what I set out to do when I left Cummins isn't where I'm at now (I began studying a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Teaching and thought I'd only live in Adelaide for the duration of my degree), I am so happy with where my life has taken me.

I can not recommend enough to take the time to sit down and complete a year by year time line of your life. I started mine from 2005 when I finished school. You might start yours from when you were born, or when you were married, or whenever you wish.

You create a sense of achievement. You can see where your life has taken you, how it might have led you down paths that you would've never imagined and you can look towards the future knowing that everything you have done in your past has shaped the person you are today.

You can use everything you've learnt up to this point to move forward.

It made me feel at ease with the unknown of the future.

I wouldn't change anything about my life. Stopping teaching, moving away from my birth place, going through depression, living with house mates, four years of long distance with my partner, applying for a job at the University of Adelaide and now creating a blog.

I love my life. Learn to love yours. Learn to respect your decisions, appreciate what you have achieved, love yourself and remain positive for your future.

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxxx