Posts Tagged ‘Home’

We have, what one of my best friends calls, a ‘postage stamp’ of a house. It’s tiny. It’s 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom cum laundry, with open plan and cathedral ceiling for the lounge / dining / kitchen, so it feels a lot more spacious than it is. But with Hubby, me, and three growing kids, it’s getting smaller and smaller by the month. So we’re planning to extend.

We started with our grand designs. Our pipe-dream of what it was we wanted. Add a parent retreat, double storey of course, so we could take advantage of the views across to the Glasshouse Mountains. Garage. Study. Deck. Ensuite & walk-in wardrobe.

Then we met with a builder, and were rather disappointed when it came to discussing costs. Whittled our plans down. And down again. And again. And again.

Now, we’re happy with our plans. We’re still going to be adding a fourth bedroom (we *really* need to separate Miss 5 and Mr 3) and an ensuite to the Main bedroom, and a little study will adjoin the lounge room, but our overall vision is much, much reduced from our pipedream.

So all we need now is to wait for it to happen! (Oh, and pay for it all, of course!)

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So today I played catch up. I’ve been majorly neglecting sleeping, eating properly, and just the usual run-of-the-mill stuff that I always neglect, those of you who know me IRL. So today was catch up day. I washed clothes. I washed dishes. I shopped for food (and caught up on some sleep in the car while Hubby drove!) I cooked food. I cleaned various parts of the house. I even noticed a headache that didn’t want to shift. (It had probably been there for days, but I’ve been too busy to notice!) I started filing the never-ended mountain of paperwork that seems to be getting even bigger now I’ve scored the marketing consultancy at St James in Hervey Bay. (Absolutely BRILLIANT school, by the way!!! Really going places; it’s got an excellent team at the top – visionaries who also know how to successfully implement that vision. Which is pretty rare. And I’ve been in and around a LOT of schools! FYI, did you know that EVERY kid from Year 7 up has an iPod Touch which they use – in every curriculum area?! How cool is THAT?!!!)

And catching up on stuff today allowed me quite a bit of time for introspection. Which is cool. I’m starting to not mind the whole ‘figure out who I am’. And today’s thinking was in the context of my work life. Brought about courtesy of Craig Hewlett, President of 101.5 FM, who invited me to do a DJ-ing course at his station, yesterday. He seems to think that I’ve got a good voice for radio. (Poor guy had to listen to me for 6 hours straight at the St Paul’s Spring Fair Teen Space yesterday, and that probably addled his brains!) Anyway, he was pretty serious about the offer – it’s a paid course, and he offered to sponsor me to do it! How cool is that! Unfortunately, I had to say no (for the time being). Even though I’m always up for a challenge, even I think that adding something like that to my life would just be stupid. After all, I have 3 kids, and my eldest is 6; I run a website, a tutoring business and I’m the QLD distributor for another business; and then I’m working pretty much full-time as the Marketing consultant to two schools. Oh, and somewhere in there I’m also managing to find the time to study for my Masters in IT. (So stoked about finishing that 40%er last Thursday!!! And a HUGE thank you to Tony Wilson, QUT’s Marketing and Communication Director, for permission to use that awesome quote of his!!!) Which leads me to believe that, although working as a radio DJ would be such a cool thing to do, maybe now might not be the time to consider it. (Oh, and did I also mention I’ve been invited to join the Golden Key International Honour Society?! Pretty chuffed!)

So anyway, today I got stuff done. Not that I haven’t been getting stuff done recently, but today’s was different stuff. And that’s cool. By the way, I particularly dislike filing.

I blogged last week about how I felt when I had graduated but not yet started working. Restless; a bundle of nervous energy. That story had a good ending though. I applied for, and was given, the perfect job.

I find myself in the same situation now. In December last year, I thanked my two emplyers (Coolum Beach Christian College and Glasshouse Country Christian College) profusely, and resigned. My intention was to have just the one employer in 2011, working either part-time (my preferred option, seeing as I wanted to complete as much of the M.IT that I could this year) or full-time. Teaching, or Library work… it did’t really worry me.

But here I am. School’s been back for two days, and I’m at home. ‘Unemployed’. Hmmm…! And it’s not as if I’ve been sitting on my behind doing nothing; I’ve been applying left, right and centre! Was interviewed yesterday by ‘SmartTeachers‘, a company that sources teachers for Private Schools. Even they said that there are no jobs available. So where does that leave me? Restless! And full of nervous energy! I need a job! And because I’ve been without a paycheck since early December and the bills are starting to pile up in a very threatening manner, I need a full-time job… now!

It’s 9.47am. I’ve cleaned and vaccuumed my entire house, baked a cake and transferred the rest of my delectable home-made vanilla slice into containers, done a couple of loads of washing, picked up what feels like several truckloads of toys. All of which is great, but I need to do something which pays…

I guess it’s really up to me, isn’t it – where I should draw the ‘line in the sand’, as it were, between sharing my life and revealing too much. What, really, am I comfortable with virtual strangers knowing about me, and various thoughts along a similar vein. I hadn’t found it particularly tough until today. And, being a master-procrastinator about certain things, I managed to maintain a healthy state of denial that the day was passing and I hadn’t yet blogged my third ‘momentous event’ in my  previously mentioned ‘list of six’. But it’s edging closer to 11pm, so I’d better get typing, I guess. Deadlines have always been great motivators for me.

This one’s hard. It’s ‘personal’. Not that the last two weren’t, but more that… well… hmmm… how to explain? Where to start? And yes, I realise that all of this prevaricating is just using up words while I try to build up the courage to type what I had said I was going to.

Ok. Here goes. I’m going to start now.

This event, third most ‘momentous in my life’, was the day of my release. Well, the second big release in my life, actually. The first, I’ll blog about tomorrow. But this one had a longer-lasting impact.

It would have been, most likely, sometime in 2002. (I’ll have to tell you about my EXTREMELY dodgy memory, sometime!) My husband and I had been attending Glasshouse Country Baptist Church for some time, and on this particular weekend, I had decided to attend the ‘retreat’ that had been planned for the Saturday. The topic was ‘Setting the Church free’, and all the attendees were focussing on different areas in our lives where we felt that we had been hampered by emotional (or spiritual) ‘baggage’. My analytical brain (as I mentioned yesterday – ever the dispassionate observer!) was having a very interesting day, having never experienced a retreat of that nature before.

Anyway, the focus shifted from topic to topic, looking at various aspects of our lives. Witchcraft, pornography, drugs, alcohol and nicotine addictions were all discussed… and then came the ‘miscarriage / abortion’ topic.

I was immediately floored, having absolutely ZERO idea that ‘miscarriage / abortion’ could even BE an area in which you could carry ‘baggage’. Looking back now, it is obvious that it would have been included, but at that time, I felt as though I had not only been hit by a train, but that the train involved was the Brisbane – Cairns express, and I was still plastered to the front of the engine.

Seven years earlier, I had miscarried my first child. I had been 12 weeks pregnant, and just starting to celebrate getting over the ‘danger period’. Whoops. And in 2002, losing that child had been my only experience of pregnancy (to that date). And, being seven years earlier, I had thought that I had ‘dealt with it’. “Heck!” I thought to myself, sitting in that hall, “I’d had my teacher interview with Ed.Queensland two days after leaving the hospital, hadn’t I?! So of course I’m over it! I don’t need to discuss it… or think about it… I’m not carrying any ‘baggage’!” But I knew that, for all my denial, there was a massive amount of pain sitting just below the surface. That my experience of miscarriage, as traumatic as it had been, needed a lot more ‘closure’ than all the trite words of friends and family at the time, and the passage of the following seven years.

So I gave in. I’d say that it was pretty obvious, from the tears gushing down my face (as they’re starting to do again now, sitting here at my computer) and the church elders, leading the session, were able to draw me aside, and talk through it. It’s funny… until that moment, I hadn’t thought to seek counselling over my miscarriage. I had just assumed that it had been a problem with me. That my body wasn’t up to the task of carrying a child. That I wasn’t worthy. And the overwhelmingly crushing guilt that accompanied those thoughts was just something I had to get used to, and live with.

Thankfully, I had attended that retreat that day. I heard someone speak to me of another who had had a similar experience. His child had died. Not as mine had, in utero, but as a child. And this person’s thoughts, and reactions, were recorded in a source I trusted implicitly – my Bible. The person was King David, and his son had died. And his response? He tells his servants, “Can I bring him (my son) back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” This is in the book of 2 Samuel, Chapter 12, verse 23.

Wow. God’s Word was telling me that I would see my child in heaven. “I will go to my child, but my child will not return to me.” WOW. This is GOD’S WORD telling me this. GOD! Even now, I am taken aback by the wash of emotions this creates in me. That even though I never got to see my child – my little, 12 week old baby – I never got to know whether it was a girl, as I had suspected – I never got to hold her, kiss her, or gaze into her face – that I can confidently expect to meet her (or was it a him?) in heaven when I get there. Wow. Just WOW. To have that hope again. Just… wow!

Something in me was fixed that day. Not wholly, but a pretty big part that I didn’t even realise was just so darned broken. A part of my life that I had never wanted to look at, touch or probe too deeply for fear of what was there, hiding, that I knew I couldn’t deal with. Even now… as I’ve just written… the emotions are so close to the surface it surprises me. And that’s after 15 years, and three successful pregnancies. Wow.

Anyway, I look back now and am SO glad for that release. I’m also glad because, since that day, I’ve been able to share my story – and that verse – with friends who have also miscarried. And perhaps given them some reassurance that it doesn’t really have to be ‘the end’, even though it feels just so darn final.

Phew. Okay. I’m going to stop typing now. I think that’s enough emotion for one night. Thank you, dear readers, for allowing me to share this small part of my life’s story with you.

Yours,

Ceridwyn

It was late in September of 2004. The sun-warmed pebbles of my driveway bruised the soles of my feet as I leaned over my growing bump to hug my friend and offer to help with her bags. She declined, unceremoniously dumping them on the ground, touching my tummy, and letting out a squeal of delight at a corresponding, well-aimed kick at her hand. I was recently 30, and six months pregnant with my eldest. Working as Head of English at Caloundra Christian College left little time to think about pregnancy, let alone the needs of a nursery and a newborn, so Katrina, a girl I knew from our dance ministry team in Nambour, had volunteered to throw me a baby shower at my place. She had arrived early to set up, organise the games, prizes and refreshments.

Baby showers were all new to me. Ever since I could remember, I’d NEVER been one to understand young children. Especially babies. They freaked me out a little. Both my parents had left their entire families in their home countries, so I had zero experience with younger cousins (well, ANY cousins, really!) or friends with younger siblings, and had majored and taught in only secondary schools. “Give me a child after they’re toilet trained and can hold a conversation!” I would always say…

So, there I was. Six months pregnant, and at a baby shower for the very first time. And it was mine! I was interested to see how the day would unfold, and observe the reactions of the others, so I could gauge how I was expected to act. I had NEVER felt ‘clucky’ in my entire life – nor felt anything even remotely resembling maternal instinct. I had been focussed on my career, my relationship with my husband of almost 9 years, and paying off vehicles, paying rent, and then achieving the exalted rank of being a mortgage owner for the past few months.

I turned my thoughts back to Katrina as I had vaguely been aware of her handing something towards me. I expected it to be a bag of Baby Shower items, but noticed with a degree of surprise that it was a present. “I wanted to give this to you before everything started. I saw it yesterday and just loved it… I hope you do too!” Smiling, I thanked her and started to turn around and head up to the house when she stopped me. “No! Do you think that maybe you could open it now?”

“Oh! Okay… sure,” I replied, thinking how nice it was to be given ‘baby things’, as (my pragmatic mind chimed in) it would mean less for me to purchase prior to the mid-January due date.

I carefully opened the wrapping paper, remarking on how I’d made another payment on the cot I’d laybyed at BabyCo, and pulled out the baby outfit. It was a size 000 short-sleeved bodysuit. The top half showed a white background, above horizontal stripes in red, yellow and blue all the way down to its press-studded crotch. But it was the picture on the white background however, that grabbed my attention. It was of a baby tiger, and the accompanying words read “cute little tiger… roar roar roar”.

My reaction was instantaneous. I could SEE a baby wearing this bodysuit. MY baby, wearing this bodysuit. Maybe even pretending to BE a cute baby tiger, and roaring for attention. The emotions that flooded my body were absolutely indescribable. All of a sudden, I had finally ‘GOT’ it! It had taken until I was gone 30, but I finally understood exactly what people were talking about when they said that they ‘were clucky’! I had a sudden, desperate urge to HOLD my unborn baby in my  arms. To know what it felt like to be a Mum. My eyes teared up, and I have no idea how long I stood there, or what I did next. And I didn’t care. All I knew was that I – me! Ceridwyn Bloxham! – was going to be a Mum. For REAL!

Looking back now, I realise that it had certainly taken a long time, but perhaps that maternal feeling was all the more sweet for being so timely. It certainly was a momentous event – number two in my list of six – and remembering that gush of emotions helps me through the more mundane parts of being mother to that same girl that kicked Katrina’s hand that day, ever so long ago now. The covering of what feels like a mountain of schoolbooks this morning, in preparation for next week’s entry into Grade One, when that same little girl will dress for the first time (of many, I’m sure!) in her ‘big girl’s formal uniform’, ironed by me that morning in preparation for the day… yes, remembering that Baby Shower morning certainly gives me that extra spur I need at times!

Anyway… enough waffling. I’d love to hear when YOU first felt that intense emotional whirlpool. Or are you like I was, unacquainted with ‘being clucky’?

Still an’ all… until tomorrow, dear readers, when number three sees me again in a church setting…