48 and 49/52

i can see the light at the end of this year long project. looking at the photos now, i see a strong, inquisitive boy.. not long until the big 3!

a portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2015.
isaiah: exploring our surrounds and getting festive when talking with meema on the phone. 
shot on a canon 450d with tamron 18-200mm lens and my iPad
:: holding on to the good :: 

47/52

it’s a busy time of year and we make sure we share the downtime together. isaiah has had a haircut this weekend and he looks like a boy who is nearly three. yes, i remind myself this is happening in less than one month…

a portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2015.
isaiah: offering dadda some of his apple; you are learning to share and love to do this my boy. 
shot on my iPad and a canon 450d with tamron 18-200mm lens

:: holding on to the good :: 

by any other name

so i had a particularly awful start to this week. things just seemed to go from bad to worse. i want to share what happened at the end and what it has taught me…

i felt like i was set up to fail,  having high expectations to just be let down. and when i went to get into the car at the end of the day and i had left the lights on all day, that was just the last straw. my first reaction to times like this is to withdraw, shutdown, internalise.  i just want to escape.

however, this time was different.

after taking half an hour to calm down i decided to press the reset button. i picked up isaiah, put on my walking shoes and took him and our dog for a big walk, chatting and laughing and looking for ducks. we went on a ‘bear hunt’ and found our own ‘cave’.

as we neared our fence line i noticed pink among the green of our overgrown garden, roses had started to bloom and i hadn’t even noticed them before. that really spoke to me, my middle name is rose and it was a quite reminder that there is always something to be thankful for…

cutting some stems off and putting them on the table, i kept them in view as i cooked a healthy dinner and even set the table. a simple, special reminder of goodness among the thorns.

after all the stress and feelings of failure, my response was very different to a year ago… and for that i am even more grateful.

:: holding on to the good ::

45 and 46/52

taking on new challenges and always having fun along the way. our boy is loving adventures and taking every opportunity to explore, these are fun times…

joining in with jodi.

a portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2015.
isaiah: riding bikes and hide and go seek are two of your favourite activities right now. 
shot on my iPad and a canon 450d with tamron 18-200mm lens

:: holding on to the good :: 

5 reasons why i take a FB break every year

for the past three years i have a pre-planned break from facebook around oct/nov. here i share why i do this and what it does for me…

it’s that time of year. when i step back and get things back into perspective. it really clarifies things for me and i wanted to share why i take a break from facebook every year. 
5 reasons why i take a fb break every year:

  1. facebook is not real life. having a break is an important reminder of that. facebook can be pre-organised and squeed towards what is believed to be your interests and motivations. what is on your news feed outside of your friend’s posts is getting more and more manipulated and needs to be put in it’s place. 
  2. the increased un-inclusive and judgemental content. having a break makes me more aware of what i am letting in, what i am reading and involved in. without realising we can absorb online feuds, reading into what others post and like.
  3. the amount of time that is wasted. facebook can eat away personal time without even realising it. when you take a break, you suddenly realise this which is an valuable reminder that it is not as important as the priorities or responsibilities you hold. 
  4. when comparison creeps in. the saying that ‘comparison is the thief of joy’ cannot be more emphasised through social media. when i entertain those thoughts of comparison, it can develop negative impacts on my everyday life without even realising it. taking a break helps to establish a discerning lens to protect myself from that. 
  5. timing for just before the ‘silly’ season. december is super crazy-busy for our family, 4 birthdays/our wedding anniversary/christmas/boxing day bbq/new years all within 3 weeks! having a break from fb at this time helps me prepare to enjoy rather endure this special time of year for us.
don’t get me wrong, i am definitely not against facebook. i use it to connect with my friends and family all around the world, to share content from this blog and post what’s happening in life. taking a break reminds me to put it in it’s place and not let it take more emphasis than it should. 
so, do you take social media breaks? how do you keep the balance with social media? i would to hear your thoughts… 
:: holding on to the good ::

first things first

our toddler loves his toys, and in particular his ‘little people’ from fisher price. he has a great collection from a trademe purchase hubby found. we often have ‘breaks’ from these lying around the living room by housing them in a large plastic storage box. the other week, isaiah and i were packing these away and i stumbled upon an epiphany that has helped me reflect on my busy, working-mama life…

we attempted to put everything into the box by putting all the little pieces into the box first, then laying the larger farmhouse and building pieces on top. we quickly realised that the lid would not fit on as we pushed down on it, trying to get it to clip shut. it struck me that everything had fitted before, so we tipped it out and tried again. this time, putting all the larger buildings and pieces in first. then placing the bits and pieces around these. they quickly slotted into the gaps and we ended up having space on the top to fold up a mat that he uses too! it wasn’t that we had less to put away but in actually fact we could put more in because of how we had placed them.

this got me thinking about what i had in my own life, my priorities and responsibilities. what i do first, above the more important larger aspects, which can make me feel like not everything can ‘fit’ anymore!
so here are some thoughts that came from this simple exercise: the first things that need to be in our life, are our main priorities. our priorities are our family, our beliefs, our most special friends, our health and wellbeing. 

what comes next are those things that are important and support our main priorities. our career and choices, our aims and aspirations and anchors in our lives. the relationships we have that feed our positive motivations and passions.
and lastly what is poured through and fills the gaps should be the day to day jobs, chores that keep our bigger motivations and dreams going. i confess that these ‘things’ can sometimes take my priority; without me even meaning too.  charles e. hummel shares in his book, tyranny of the urgent, “your greatest danger is letting the urgent things crowd out the important.”  

that’s so true, charlie, so true.

thanks for letting me share this with you! i wonder,  how do you handle the urgent things and the important things? feel free to share your pearls here.

:: holding on to the good :: 

44/52

a sleepy, smiley boy post afternoon naptime… a happy time together today. Enjoying time with meema and family.

portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2015.
isaiah: a contented smile after eating a mandarin, one of your favourite fruit.
shot on a canon 450d with tamron 18-200mm lens
:: holding on to the good :: 

42 and 43/52

i love how both these next photographs include water. isaiah loves exploring, throwing rocks in and seeing the splash. it’s been a memorable long weekend here…

joining in with jodi.

portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2015.
isaiah: a gloomy day didn’t stop you front enjoying throwing rocks into the water at opito bay.
shot on a canon 450d with tamron 18-200mm lens
portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2015.
isaiah: even though you are sick with a cold, you always love new adventures, here at rainbow falls.
shot on a canon 450d with tamron 18-200mm lens
:: holding on to the good ::

40 and 41/52

i’m still doing this.

i am still making this project, even by catch up! the sun has been shining and we have been making the most of the warmth and sunshine. it’s a great time of year…

portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2015.
isaiah: so much joy, playing with his pal tarla and enjoying the spring sunshine. 
shot on my iPad 3
portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2015.
isaiah: feeding the ducks at kerikeri landing; our first family bike ride of the season. 
shot on a canon 450d with tamron 18-200mm lens
:: holding on to the good ::

withdrawal

i am freaking to send this out but it’s time. this is a post dedicated to all my loved ones, the ones who check in with me and don’t hold a grudge when i haven’t responded back straight away.

for those that are going through challenges and the ones who keep on keepin’ on…

__________________________________________

withdrawal

withdrawn, withdrew, withfear

withexpectations, withconfusion, withshielding

withgone, withshame, withpretense

withbeing, wither, without

withdrawal
__________________________________________   :: words by clare hubbard ::

an unravelling of how i have been so diffident. pulling away from so many important relationships and people.

it’s an easy trap to fall into but as i navigate through the days, it has dawned on me that it’s not somewhere i really want to stay. it’s easy to feel safer on your own facing the days and keeping it all to yourself. but it’s just not true.

we need people, we need community or we can wither; suffering with our thoughts and battles when all you need is one person to empathise and walk by your side. i realised a while ago i have held a false sense of responsibility over many relationships and it wasn’t healthy. i believed that i had to be a certain way, say a certain thing and have everything altogether. how exhausting!

after a year, i am finally learning to accept things as they are and start to believe for more. my hubby shared something that resonated with me recently {if there is no hope in the future, there is no power in the present}, i was shocked and woken up to the fact i have not held hope for the future for a long time. the future is a little daunting when things are not resolved or haven’t worked out the way you thought it should. i am starting to hold hope in small ways and water it with positive thinking, letting the flood of anxiety wash away {not settle} when things do go sideways or maybe even when i let people down.

i don’t want to wither away to a shadow of myself, to continue to look back at my past adventures/challenges/risks and believe the lie that those were my biggest and best days. i am standing on the truth that withdrawal and the want to hide has been a chance to recharge and build new understandings and empathy for those that are also challenged by this feeling.

it’s mental health awareness week in nz from 5-11 august and the theme for this week is g – i – v – e . this website has loads of links, literature and merchandise, check this out for more thoughts and discussions.

what are your thoughts on this? i would love to chat with you on withdrawal or the ideas of giving our time, words or presence.

much love x

:: holding on to the good ::