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Turning 30 and a Trip

To celebrate my thirtieth birthday, my husband, son and I went away to Hamilton (New Zealand) for a few days. It was something I have been looking forward to for months.

Hamilton is an inland city surrounded by many farming areas with warm days and cold nights. I was born there and my family lived there for about two and a half years. It feels a bit like an anchor point for me. My Maori mihi grounds me in my land (Hamilton), my mountain (Taupiri) and my river (the mighty Waikato river).

Me at the Hamilton Gardens
Me at the Hamilton Gardens

On the way down we visited my Dad’s oldest brother and family. Once we arrived we explored the stunning Hamilton Gardens. My husband loves taking photos, so we posed for a fair few.

On our second day we were at the Hamilton Zoo bright and early, my son and I adore animals so we had a blast. With the animals fresh from a night away from the humans, we were lucky to see most of them wandering about. Nu especially loves birds.

Just Nu, me and some birdsTwo lovely ladies that I worked with a few years ago live in Hamilton now, so we visited them after Nu’s nap. I felt so special, they had prepared afternoon tea, dinner, dessert and a cake!

On the last morning, I did something very special, I made myself ride a horse. I have been scared of these giant, mostly gentle, creatures since an incident at a petting zoo in preschool! I met the most fantastic horse and his team at the Pirongia Clydesdales and we took a few turns in the garden. Me and my new friend

While we were away, we kept to usual (early) bedtimes due to Nu and I performed a body scan meditation each day. On the way home I was not feeling particularly well, so I performed a body scan meditation and sat quietly with my eyes closed for most of the trip.

The fatigue flared up and I had to leave work early on the first day back. Each day since, I have progressively become a bit less fatigued. It is different for the fatigue to be the most dominant symptom, though my neck joined in on the third day. I have mindfully taken it gently.

I am feeling spectacularly blessed, it was an ideal way to sail into my thirties. I look forward to many more experiments, more fun, more challenges and more love. x

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The Big Three O

I’m turning 30 this week.

I have no trepidation about it, because I feel like I’ve achieved a lot. I’ve come a long way. A lot of it was in the last two years.

I have accomplished some of my key life goals: I have a degree (and I’m pretty proud of that), I have amassed some great work experience, I have a home, a (hunky) husband, a delicious baby, a four-legged love and I have developed and followed my passions.

I’m still working on my health and wellbeing. But even that has come so far in the last three years alone.

I’ve been slowly embracing some big lessons this year, they are:

1. Being me is mandatory. We are not meant to fill an identical mould, differing experiences, skills and attitudes make a well rounded team. It’s perfectly OK that I am a voracious reader, prefer to meet people in smaller groups, need time alone, prefer walking and yoga to sports, prioritise my energy levels, protect myself from extra pain, love to know why and am obsessed with Nashville!

2. Let others be themselves. While you’re being you, respect others for who they are. And sometimes that means accepting that they’ll never accept you for who you are.

3. Passions are the foundation for a life well lived. As I look back on my journey so far and think of what keeps me going, it’s passion. I look forward to a lot. I have phases as well as some long loved passions such as reading and writing. Knowing the things that make me happy in ascending order of energy required has helped me get through many a flare up.PhotoGrid_1445107463651

So as I turn the big Three O I will be spending the day with my son and mum. I’ll have dinner with my parents, brothers, husband and son. My husband, son and I will be going away for the weekend for a tiny getaway. It’s a perfect way for me to celebrate, the only shadow will be that I won’t see my sister.

And I’m not the least bit sorry for not throwing a party (see learning one!).

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This Week 22.02.2015

So much happens all the time, so I thought I’d provide a little roundup of the week.

I have been working on my experiments, following the windy threads that people throw out to ideas of things that could potentially help. This week I found this website which was founded by Dr. Bill Rawls and promotes his treatment plan. In addition to this, it provides some useful information and has suggested some new herbs/supplements to try in my next tiny mission. COQ10 has been reinforced from a few different sources, including in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: What You Need to Know About CFS/ME by Dr. Megan A. Arroll.

I’ve been reading, more like devouring books, I’m in a non fiction mood and have rea

Superpowers for parentsd the above book, and begun:

Superpowers for Parents: The Psychology of Great Parenting and Happy Children  by Dr. Stephen Briars

The Way of Serenity: Finding Peace and Happiness in the Serenity Prayer  by Father Jonathan Morris

I’ve been racing around after my boy as he grows increasingly mobile and unable to tolerate sitting nicely in one spot. That’s been tiring!

In addition to work my few hours that I am contracted for, I have had a job interview for a more stable position of 24 hours per week. I am fretting because I know that it will mean an increase in neck pain (my neck responds extremely negatively to sitting at the computer, well, I am yet to find what it responds positively to!). I am hoping that this amount of hours will be a nice fit for our situation.

We set up our Nintendo Wii and played Grand Slam Tennis for the first time. Here are the key stats: 30 minutes of playing, burning approximately three calories per three minutes, one very sore finger from a meeting of the hands when both my husband and I went for the swing (mine not his) and 30 minutes to entice myself to get up again after I lay down on the couch at the conclusion of this! The next day, I felt muscles that I haven’t used for a while, so it wasn’t all bad!

We have begun the Lenten season, which means a significant increase in the amount of events I must attend for my Catholic conversion programme. That’s an evening a week and a Sunday morning mass commitment (me and my baby ready for 9.30am mass? Hard!) for the period.

My fatigue flared up for two bad days and clung up near 7/10 for most of the week, making the evenings with the baby almost impossible. But we have made it, seven days done!

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Family Rituals

Being a relatively new family, I have all sorts of ideas for some rituals and traditions and I have spent this first year of marriage deliberately putting the framework in place for our own little family traditions. Some we have started and some we have to wait for our boy to be a little older for, but here they are:Picture
  • Family date day – recently we took advantage of a midweek day off (my husband works rotating shifts which include weekends) and wandered to the local beach where our nine month old was placed on varying items, including trees for us to photograph and for his delight. He adored the swing and turning wheel. On the way home we stopped for coffee. Divine. While baba and my husband napped in the afternoon, I got to read! Perfection.
  • Christmas Eve tradition – I recently read an article about Christmas Eve Boxes in which you can put new pairs of pajamas, popcorn, hot chocolate, a new game and a Christmas movie. I’d like to do this when my boy gets older. We just have to fit it in with my husband’s family’s tradition of midnight mass and present swapping (after midnight mass, I know, late!)
  • Birthday Sleepover Tradition – I like the idea of the three of us getting into pajamas and sleeping bags and snuggling up to watch a movie together (it could be like the Christmas Eve one!).
  • Anniversary traditions – because my husband’s family typically celebrates anniversaries with parties and in mine it is celebrated by the couple (think date night, alone) I have decided we are double celebrating! We are going to do a family lunch party and a fancy date night together.
  • Date nights – being in our first year of marriage and parents of a baby, I like to make the most of our time together. So we claim “mini date nights” regularly. We will either cook something nice for each other or order in. We typically snuggle up together and watch a movie we have been meaning to see. This is something I have deliberately put in place, even when I’m exhausted and sore, because if we start the way we mean to go on, then we will be having date nights and celebrating our relationship for years to come!
  • Time out – one of our resolutions this year is to have one night a month off. We started it off in January with a night away for a friend’s wedding, while my mother stayed at our house with the baby. It was lovely. We hope to alternate weekends alone with weekends with friends.
Are there any other family rituals that you follow?
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Last Adventures

We embarked upon our last adventure before baby this weekend. We joined 10 friends in a beautiful beach front location, about two hours drive from our place, for one of their four night holiday. 

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From: www.dreamstime.com

It was the last time we would be able to join them for that sort of holiday as those holidays are not the type for a baby. As a pregnant woman I struggled! But it was fun. 

We also ventured over to visit some of my family, about 50 minutes further away from where we were. This will be the last time I see most of them until after baby. It was so lovely to have a family BBQ and spend time with my nana. My husband enjoyed the more in-depth meeting than the usual wedding catch ups that have previously passed. 

Baby is due in about nine weeks! It’s crazy how fast this time is going. We have prepared nowhere near as much as I’d like! I am counting down the last four weeks of work before my leave kicks in, as I am exhausted and have so much to do! 

After such a full on weekend, I am struggling today. But it was worth it! I do think that I am on the wind down now, though, no more late nights and long drives for me!