Wednesday, July 30, 2014

This moment

My heart has been pouring over these last few days with thankfulness and love. There is nothing in particular that has happened, just life and the little joys and gifts that we are given daily.

Yesterday we had a brunch with the my friends here and their babies. At one point I looked around and was so thankful for these beautiful women who accept me and love me and include me, and their kids who will grow up as siblings with my children.

Sofie is almost 7 months and I've been absolutely loving these last few months. They are probably my favourite in baby's development. She has become cheeky and sweet and her little leggies and arms are oh so chunky and soft. Absolutely perfect.

Daniel is all about cuddles lately. This kiddie who was not big on cuddles as a baby comes up to me and asks for  cuddle sometime. Something melts inside of me when he does it (I think he's figuring that out as he's done it when he's in time out for being naughty...). He's such a sweet boy.

I was watching a show on tv the other day and one of the characters was giving a little Thanksgiving Day speech and in it he said "I am thankful for this moment in time". I am realising more and more how important it is to enjoy this moment. Tomorrow there might be new knowledge of things, good or bad, new challenges, new growing to do. Today, with all its perfections and imperfections is good and I am thankful for it. 

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Flying through gold and white light

I had an amazing dream last night. I was standing at a window and as I looked outside, there was a wall of fire and dust coming towards me. I don't know what it was, it looked like a nuclear explosion or something similar. I tried to run for the door but returned because it was happening so fast that there was no point running from it.

I was scared because I knew I was going to die but the fear was more for the physical part of dying. At the same time I got excited and said to someone "I am going to meet Jesus". When the fire reached us,  I didn't even notice the transition. All I knew was that I was flying upwards - towards Jesus. The flight itself felt warm - through golden and white light. I didn't see anything except for the gold and white light but I felt peace and happiness in that journey.

And then I woke up - happy.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Our little girl has arrived

Sofie was born on Jan 3 and consequently I have not had time to write anything here. Suffice to say that my heart is overflowing with gentleness, love, thankfulness and most of the time with warm fuzzes in my tummy. She is so sweet and dreamy! A great baby who sleeps well, eats well, and smiles a lot as of the last 2 weeks.

Neil's mom and dad just left two days ago and have been an immense help during these first few months. Now that they've left, I am figuring out life with two babies. So far they are both alive. Good start. Today I am not even going to make an effort to get dressed. Who said that one can't spend the whole day in Pjs?

Daniel is chatting away and comes up with the funniest things. The other day he said "mommy spends her money on coffees". Out of the mouth of babes... Now that nana and papa is gone, I have decided to do some serious toilet training as I believe he's fully ready for it. We're doing ok for the beginning. He's also learning to fall asleep on his own. FINALLY! After 2 years and 2 months he's actually falling asleep in his cot by himself (still calls me or Neil about 20 times before he zonks out) but it's a start. When I look back at all the stressing I did about him not sleeping I want to tell myself then "don't worry, it will all work out". Wish I could travel in time.

I know that things are settling down because I am starting to browse pinterest for home decore ideas. That completely stopped and I pretty much didn't open computer lid from December until now - March. There is a time for everything.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

My biggest fault is not taking the 'before' photos

I don't know if it's nesting or just part of growing up but this last year or two has taken me on a new journey - home decorating. I LOVE IT.

I am a little embarrassed to say it because like with graphic design, it seems like everyone nowadays is a graphic designer. But I think that my love for photography, design and interior styling are probably stemming from the same thing - my love for visual design.

Pinterest doesn't help. And I am grateful for it :)

After we had to sell our first home in a week and a friend (aunt) came over (who is REALLY good at this stuff) and sat in our living for 5 minutes, while I made coffee, and made a suggestion that absolutely changed the whole look (on a budget of ... $100!!!!!), I have been even more engrossed in it.

The tricky thing with me is that working part time, having a toddler and baby on the way with the next 12 months off, the budget is really tight. I still love to look at Fab, Temple and Webster and other uber cool sites but when it comes to it,  the brands I work with is Gumtree, Ebay, imagination and elbow grease. Forgot to mention my latest bin find (do I even dare to admit this on the internet?) - wicker chairs that are sitting on the deck, waiting for me not to be pregnant anymore so I can paint them and turn them into something awesome.

Of course that there have been projects that have turned into pinterest-gone-wrong but there are plenty more that make me really happy. And I have turned into a Gumtree and Ebay wiz - buying (and admittedly selling a percentage of stuff I've bought and realised won't work) and finding good pieces.

So here is to my new adventure and crush that has turned into love. And here is to my husband who patiently shakes his head when I bring home another large furniture object that looks ... dated but has the potential. And here is to the future because I would love to be able to work from home and combine my marketing skills, design love and maybe earn enough so I feel like I am able to spend time with my babies.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

“If you are in Christ, then so are all your circumstances.”

- Graham Cooke
Read more

End of October

Hello from a warm, pleasant Brisbane. We are experiencing the nicest season of this place - it is warm but not the sauna hot, unbearable heat. Nights get cool so that an open window provides a really pleasant sleep in a cool but not cold night. Perfect! 
During my days off we play in water, visit nana and papa Rushbrooks and go for a swim or play with cousin Jack, or just play in the garden. Well, cartoons have become an exciting part of life but mommy better not post about that...

Baby girl is growing and kicking and I am at 30 weeks!!!! That means I am in the home stretch. Not long to go now. I am totally not prepared for this mentally. With Daniel I was ready and prepared and knew what part of his body was developing at what time. This time around I am barely keeping track of how far along I am. Excited, very much so, but my mental space is occupied with a baby boy, work, home and keeping up with what is happening around. 

Yesterday I went to a church women's conference. While I am generally a bit hesitant about these sort of things but I have to say that I was most impressed. It was so well organised and interesting and I got to hear Christa Black, who was simply amazing. 

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

It's a girl!!!!

I have not stopped smiling.

I was smiling when she first said that it looks like a girl, I smiled for the rest of the appointment, I smiled for the rest of the day and I am fairly certain I smiled when I was sleeping.

We had the scan yesterday where they look at the baby's internal organs to see how things are going and where they tell the sex. This also means that I am one week shy of being half way through!

Oh my!

This time around it's different than it was with Daniel. I know what to expect. I know how things work (famous last words) and it's a celebration I am very happy to keep inside rather than wanting to shout to the world.

Daniel is full of mischief, cuteness, boyhood and new words. Two words in English and one in Latvian. At times Neil looks at me with a wrinkle in his forehead and asks what Daniel is saying. He's 20 months now and LOVES Playschool. In fact I probably let him watch it a bit too much but I am not stressing about it at the moment. He's learned the concept of "accident" so even if he does something and we look at him with a stern look he goes "acki" - accident... How can mommy and daddy be angry when it was an accident?! There are words he says very clearly "more", "NO!", "yes", "Njamma" (when he is hungry), "water", "birdie", "tante". He's even started putting words together. "Bye bye mommy's broom broom". 

The next few months will be busy. We are all looking forward to them!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Moving in the forward direction

What a month (two? three? I have no idea) how long it's been! Being a mummy is busy enough but selling/buying home, moving, working part-time, being a host - it's time consuming and exciting and wonderful at the same time. I forgot the stressful part (not for being a host) :)

Also, can I tell you a secret? There is baby #2 on the way. Next week we find out if it's a brother or a little sister. I (we) have wanted a baby for a while now. I think the second time around I will be more relaxed and appreciative, rather than stressed. I look at mums with babies and long to hold a little chubby cheek in my arms again.

Daniel is growing so fast! He's so clever and cute at the same time! I used to worry about sleeping on his own and many other things and now, when he's actually pretty good at it, I hold him in my arms when he's not well and falling asleep and wanting his mummy and enjoy the love flowing from him to me and me to him and his little eyelids getting heavy. How much I love that little boy who is a rascal and knows how to push mummy's buttons but all is forgiven minutes afterwards when he comes up and gives me a kiss (which is usually accompanied by a snots) and a big hug.

We have moved in the new house and I can't thank God enough for this blessing. It all worked out and it is such a miracle that it did! There were so many hiccups and problems and issues and they all worked out for our benefit in the end. I have no idea how I conceived in the middle of that enormous stress but I did - which is another major miracle!

The house is everything I could ever dream of. Including a kitchen that is from the 80s, bathrooms that need a total redo and other little things. But it doesn't matter. It doesn't even bother me because I look at the cheap plastic bathroom handles and counters and I see the potential in the space. I see what it will become with time.

This analogy makes me think of how God sees us. While I beat myself up over things that I don't do right or that I've failed at, I think that God looks at me with overflowing love and sees the potential of who I will become. After all - he's the potter and he doesn't give up. That's a comforting thought! 

Friday, June 28, 2013


Today I am feeling incredibly blessed. Living in God's favour. I have a truly amazing husband, who is an outstanding daddy to our little boy. I have a beautiful baby boy, whom I love with my whole heart. We have friends who love us and who are like family.

There are often "but" to these times but for today there isn't one. I am thoroughly enjoying it! 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Seasons in life. Trust.

At Jules & Clayton's wedding
It's almost a month after I wrote the last post. We have sold the house (almost). We have bought another house (almost). And a lot has happened in between.

I won't go into all the technical details of what we've been up to in the past month. Let it suffice to say that it has been very, very stressful and this selling/buying journey has taken many unexpected and mostly unpleasant turns. I still know deep down that God's hand is in all of this but if I would have known how drawn out and stressful this process will be, I am not sure that I would have signed up for it.

One of the lovely things that has come out of it is that I really feel that Neil and I have grown closer while going through this. He's a rock in this family when I fall apart and holding on to him is very reassuring.

I've also felt God speak to me many time. Peace. Calm. Reassurance. Love. A resounding "trust in me". "Just trust in me".

I heard someone say that often times God is not so concerned about what it is we are going through (He knew it was coming and has made provisions already), He is interested in our response and growth through these situations.

I've been through seasons in life. When Neil and I met, I was going through the "Hope" season. This is the "Trust" season. I am learning to trust. It's a beautiful journey because I know that there is a safetynet under me - God's provisions.

A lovely family day on ANZAC day

Daniel "helping" mommy pack up the house :)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Stress is a thief

Tips for selling your house

I am not an expert but here are a few things I learned:

Tips for selling and buying from our experience:
  • NEVER EVER sign a contract for selling or buying before your solicitor has read it and approved it. The agent selling our house is outstanding, the agent of the house we want to buy is ... less than outstanding. After we signed the contract, our solicitor said there were a few things hidden, which were crucial. Learn from our real estate mistakes. 
  • Invest in styling. Guaranteed price hike if buyers can imagine themselves living in your house and they will if what you present looks really good. I have a friend who has an eye for this thing. I invited her over and told her to give it to me straight. She did. It has paid off - 8 offers on the first weekend.
  • De-clutter! I've looked at a lot of photos of homes presented for selling and been to a few open homes. The one thing that really devalues the visual presentation of a home is clutter. For the purpose of increasing the perceived value of your home, if it does not fit, hide it. Same for photos. Same for decorations on the shelves, same for a lot of little things that take attention away from the bigger, more important things.
  • Make sure your house is clean when people come to look at it. I've been crawling around, mopping every weekend since we put the house on the market. And I say it is worth it. I've been to homes for sale that have not been cleaned and instead of being interested in it, I want to leave as soon as I can.
  • Find a good agent. Totally worth the time spent in research. Our agent is AMAZING. This house is on the (very) cheap side on the scale of real estate and yet she had 4 people working here during the open house. Even a guy holding an umbrella over people's heads while they were coming in on a rainy day - I was speechless!!!!
  • Pray over it all. I am a Christian and I believe that God has totally been in it when we bought this house and in the process of selling. It's important to say thank you and it has give me peace in some very, very stressful situations.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Our first home

When I was about 6 or 7 months pregnant we were told that the apartment that we were renting in the city will be sold and we should look for another place. We were ready to do this because with the birth of first grandson we knew that we'll have lots of lovely guests over.

So we started looking. It was quite the story as Australian realestate is VERY expensive. We looked and looked and were getting pretty discouraged because for what we could afford there was not much. Until I came across this house about 12 kms from the city (further than we wanted) but it was freshly renovated and quite the steal for the price.

We looked at it and decided to go for it.

This is where all our esteemed guests sleep. Actually it looked very different all along but the realestate agent came along and said we need to create space. So the double bed went and this lovely pull out couch was purchased. I love this room! 

This is the home where my first baby was born. I know that down the road when I look at these photos I will think of all the love I experienced here for my firstborn. This is where he came home from the hospital, this is where he learned to take his first steps. This is where he first said "mummy". Those moments have been absolutely priceless and they have happened here. 

This is my baby's room. Actually, it is not used as much as one would think because he sleeps with us most of the time. Still, this is his room. 
This is where I have set off too many smoke alarms and once or twice cooked up something that my husband said "wow, can you do this again?". No. Wait, I don't think he has ever said that. Oh well, my gifts are in other areas...

As much of a total blessing that this house has been, there are a few things that just don't work for us anymore. There is no flat space for Daniel to play and he LOVES being outside and playing. Also, the house is on a road and I always worry he can run out on the street. Finally, this is a little something that I have never understood about Australia and especially Queensland. This is one of the hottest and most humid states in the world and air conditioning is a rare thing. In fact, most homes don't have proper insulation which means that in the winter is gets COLD and in the summer it gets HOT.

Our living room. After Daniel goes to sleep Neil and I get out chocolate (wine, pistachios, tim tams... etc) and enjoy our evening. Lately I have been enjoying "My Kitchen Rules". This still doesn't mean I can cook...

As someone who has grown up in a country where preserving heat and cool is of essence this sort of building is a nonsense. I still don't understand why the houses are built this way but anyway, I will leave it here. My point is that winter in this house was COLD. I was not ready for it and I never want to experience it again. From now on I will only buy brick and tile house, instead of wood and without insulation in the walls or ceiling.

There is a lot I could say about this place, the LARGE land we have in the back of the house that also has been breeding grounds for pythons the size of anacondas, turkeys, dinosaur-looking lizards, cockatoos, and possoms. Don't get me wrong, there is two million other creatures but I don't venture down there. I am still a European, not a Crocodile Dundee...

This is where Daniel enjoys his baths every night. 

This is where I get cuddles from my baby in the mornings. I love those times. 

Our lovely deck. It doesn't need comment.
Due to the blunders with the house we want to buy, there have been some very stressful moments. I think we are out of the woods now but at one point, if everything was going to turn against us, we would have ended up on the street and the house we want to buy would have been sold to someone else. I was stressing. Seriously stressing. Feeling sick stressing. The lessons I learned about that are in the post below.

Back yard

Front of the house

Sometimes I look at others who ... are way richer than us and I get swept up in that feeling of "we need more". It's something I need to consciously remind myself not to fall into. 

I am thankful. Thankful to the bottom of my heart for the blessing that only six years after moving to this country we have been able to buy a house. I know that we are so very, very blessed, there are millions and billions who can't afford food, let alone a house. We are blessed, so very blessed. I don't ever want to forget that. I don't ever want to take that for granted and forget. I want to bless other with the blessings that we get. 

So through this whole experience, stress and worries I am learning to trust and to thank. It's a beautiful thing.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

"Trust in me"

These last few days/weeks have been 'learning to trust' kind of times. There is so much uncertainty, so much unknown, so much instability – something I was not prepared for and not expecting. It just sort of hit me in the face like a brick wall. After every set-back I am thinking, ok, this should be it, things will turn around after this. But they don’t.

I have been feeling the adrenalin in my belly mixed with complete exhaustion. I have been hating this whole process and wishing for it to end already.

Through it all, I have turned to God many times asking for advice and every single time I get one answer “trust me”, “I am in control”, “Leave it in my hands”, “Give it to me”. You would think that a person who has any amount of faith would just do it after this message being reinforced time and time again and while I am able to gain peace, the anxiety rises and I am back in square one.

I know deep in my spirit that it will be all ok. I know it without shadow of doubt. Not only because I’ve felt God say that to me but also because I trust that He will take care of us. Through this process I have had a few thoughts.

In times of uncertainty our spirit is fertile ground for faith to grow. In these really hard, difficult times that no one wants to go through, that we try to avoid at all costs, we actually probably grow spiritually the most.

During these times we are able to turn to God truly, and be vulnerable and open like it is hard to do when things are going well and there is no real need to depend on Him.

I have also thought a lot of Abraham being asked to sacrifice Isaac. I wonder what he was thinking when he was climbing the mountain with his son, who God had asked to sacrifice. Sorrow? Grief? Anxiety? When his servants asked him what he will sacrifice and he answered “God will provide”, was he sure of it or was it just an answer that he gave in faith?

For Abraham the sacrifice was complete trust in the face of uncertainty. He didn’t even sin in his answer to his servants. I can’t say that I have been able to do that.

I have re-read that story many times and at the very beginning it says that God wanted to test Abraham. God allows these testing times in our lives. God makes them happen.

Finally, because Abraham didn’t veer in his faith, he was rewarded richly. There is always a reward after testing and after sacrifice made to God. God rewards richly.

I feel like this is a time for testing for me and for us as a family. I feel inside that the end will be good and there will be blessings in the end but going through it is still hard and it is still hard work to constantly keep turning my thoughts to God and to keep consciously reminding to myself all the times that He has provided and blessed. I force myself to remember what have been the times that I have built altars because God has come through and blessed richly in the end. He is trustworthy.

Yesterday I was doing a bit of reading and meditation on it and these are the thoughts that came after reading a few different things;

"It is so comforting to know that no matter what we go through, He knows, He knew and He already has made provisions. No matter what the situation, He is already there, already providing."

Monday, February 25, 2013

Home decorating

They say that pregnant women nest. I can't say that I went through that phase. Between being told that we have to move out of our rented apartment in the city because it was going to be sold, find a house and navigate all the new homebuyers tasks, pack and move, and wrap up full time work, kept me so busy that I had no time for things that I've heard pregnant women do - such as clean carpets with toothbrush and mop floors three times a day.

But it has caught up with me. Don't get me wrong, I am still waiting for that desire to clean carpets with a toothbrush but I certainly am absolutely itching to decorate this house and make it as homey as possible. If someone was making a cartoon of this, I would look like a car with its wheels spinning.

I want to add colours by painting feature walls. I want to add rugs and runners to make this home warm. I want to make the garden nice and inviting. I want to buy a chainsaw and clean up the yard. I want to stain the bench outside. I want to pave paths in the garden. 

There are so many things I want to do and I have done... one. I bought a plant on ebay and planted it in the little patch that is meant to be garden. It's a really sad excuse for a garden. And in the process I totally pricked my arms with the sharp thorns. Daniel was knocked over by a little puppy belonging to the people whose plant I was digging out and screamed out the neighbourhood. And I was sweating buckets in Queensland's subtropical climate while digging a prickly plant without gloves and under my breath wondering what got into me for thinking I can do this.

Anyway. My friend Christina and I blame Pinterest for this. It inspires but it doesn't give you an idea of how difficult it actually is to make whatever you've seen and it certainly doesn't show the 90% of projects made by you that could end up on craftfail.

Regardless. Feature wall in the front room. It needs a face lift. It needs a new life and color would provide that. Being married to one of the most opinionated men on this planet makes things more difficult. So far he's rejected the turquoise that a very talanted lady suggested (and I think would look smashing), my mustard yellow was poo pooed the same way and orange was suggested. I am not prepared for orange so the wall is still bland and I am frustrated.

But my pinterest wall is flourishing and I am dreaming... :)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

And we're back!

My baby is feeling better!

How much I love seeing his cheeky smile.

And get cuddles from him.

I love this little boy so very much!

P.S. We've had waffles a few times now... :) 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Baby not well

As big of a blessing as the daycare is, since Daniel has started there, I don't think there have been 3 days in a row that he'd been 100% healthy. The latest in the row of ailments is a tummy bug. I have to be honest, I've never seen anything like it before. 

On the first day he was vomiting 3-4 times an hour. We couldn't get home from nana Judi's, which is half hour drive, without him vomiting. I've been vomited on about 15 times. Washmachine has been going twice a day to keep up with all the towels and clothes. My little honey was a poor little heap of misery.

Today is day 3 and while he has improved a little bit, to me, things have not yet turned around. Tonight he got fever. However, today was the first day he had a bit of watermelon. First food in 3 days. This is where I am so thankful for breastfeeding. Even though he vomited most of it, I am sure that something stayed in and at least I know there is something of value in his system. He refuses the hydrolite drinks and from time to time will take some water but that's about it.

It is hard to watch your baby feel so sick. As much as I love the cuddles from him, I just want to go to the park and the beach and see him run around and happy and excited. I can't wait to make him waffles for brekky and watch him eat it all and point his finger wanting more. 

Sour cream waffles. Recipe here! These look yummy!

This is how we sleep. Usually Daniel starts in a vertical position but often we find him like this - horizontally. Most of the time his feet are either in my face or Neil's. Or, he kicks us in the ribs... Good thing we have a king size bed...

Friday, February 08, 2013

Making the most of working part time

As a kid, I used to LOVE going to the beach with my grandma. My parents used to work but I remember the excitement when grandma and I would get on the train and go to the beach. I remember clearly waiting for the train at the station on a warm, sunny, clear day.

The other weekend Neil, Daniel, my friend and I went to the beach and to our pleasant surprise Daniel LOVED it there. Neil took him for a walk and they saw dogs (he is absolutely fascinated by dogs), they played in sand and looked at the waves. Wow - what a hit that trip was! Our little Ozzie was at home on the beach!
 So the following week (when I have Tuesdays and Wednesdays free) we hopped in the car early in the morning before the sun heats up and headed to Bribie island for a little excursion. Once again, he loved the sand, the ocean, he loved exploring and picking up sticks and seashells, he was lost while playing with his toys in the sand. He just thoroughly enjoyed himself.
 How much enjoyment I get as a parent, seeing my baby boy enjoy himself! I get to explore the world through his eyes and the little things become absolutely fascinating!
We are definitely hitting the "replay" button on this one. We both had so much fun! 
 It was such a lovely bonding trip for the both of us! Can't wait for this week when we do it again!

Friday, January 25, 2013

My favourite things

There are times, when after a long day, I am looking forward to when Neil will come home and play with Daniel so that I can finish making dinner and get a couple of things done around the house. But most of the time, like today, I look at the clock and I count down minutes until I see him again, put his little head on my shoulder, smell his fine hair and give him a kiss. 

I remember while I was pregnant, I wondered if I will be a good mom. I don't know what makes a 'good' mom but I know that I love him so deeply and unconditionally. Even when he is at his worst, when he looks at me and pinches me and then smiles (where does he learn this stuff?!), I still love him the same. Nothing in the world could change that love that I have for him. 

He LOVES his daddy. Absolutely loves his daddy. He squeals when he sees Neil pull in the driveway, he forgets who mommy is when Neil is around. At the same time, I've noticed that if he gets hurt, he looks to me for comfort. Because of that bond I am hesitant to reduce breastfeeding (we've cut it down anyways to the bare minimum). There is something so special about being able to give my baby that feeling of safety, love, content. I am the one who gets to do it. It's really the only card I have in comparison with daddy who is the fun one.

I love watching him sleep. There is something so innocent and vulnerable and cute. 

When we go shopping, he usually sits in the baby seat. I love it because he's higher up, he loves it because he feels like he's part of it all and that means that I can look around the shops in peace. To entertain himself, he sometimes grabs things that we pass... I don't mind it, I just take photos :)

We are so blessed to have him. I treasure him, I treasure this time we have together and I don't want him to grow up. I've certainly told him that he's not allowed to move to another country when he grows up...