blessings · challenges · Christmas · family · gratitude · happiness · In My World · new beginnings · photography · summer · unbreakable bonds

New Beginnings

Christmas Day 2018

As the year 2019 begins, my family is happy, which is all that I have wished for.

This time last year though, I had a different story to tell, although it wasn’t a situation I wished to talk about at the time. On the day of my grandson’s first birthday in July, my daughter-in-law ceremoniously decided she was leaving, moving one-thousand kilometres away, to live with her parents. My son had two choices – stay here and lose his son, or follow his wife, which was really no choice at all. Obviously, he left too.

To be married in March 2019.

For the next six months, I didn’t see my grandson. My son, however, couldn’t cope with being away from his family. He was torn between his birth family, and the one he had created. So in desperation, he tried living and working here during the week, and flying home to his other family for the weekend.

It was a massive strain on him. He was miserable. And I knew there were problems in his marriage.

Fun for the family, Christmas 2018.

As Christmas approached, I felt absolutely no enthusiasm. I felt my youngest son’s pain, and at times I felt as if my heart was bleeding for him. Consequentially, I didn’t buy any Christmas gifts, I gave my family money and asked them to spend it as they pleased.

The Christmas tree looked so bare without the usual array of gifts, but when my family arrived that situation changed as brightly packaged gifts began to mount beneath the tree.

Meeting the right person at the right time! ❤ Christmas 2018.

During the afternoon, we all went outside for a photo session. My heart wasn’t in it though, my son would be missing from the photos. It would be a permanent reminder of the unfortunate split in our family.

At one point, my eldest daughter and her husband handed each family member an envelope, instructing us to open our envelopes together. I imagined I would read my card later, once I had gone inside and had put my reading glasses on. But that all changed when I took out the card, which read –

Jingle bells, jingle bells,

jingle all the way …

Oh what fun

It is to say,

A baby is on the way!

Due to arrive

August 2018.

I was going to be a Nana again! 

Many reasons to smile again …

Fast forward to Christmas 2018 – My youngest son is home again. His ex had chosen another significant day to ceremoniously (again!!) announce the end of their marriage on their third wedding anniversary. But this year, he’s smiling again.

My auntie dunked me!

My boy is back.

My family are all friendly with one another again, just like they used to be (before the x joined the family).

Aunt Em loves me!

And most importantly, my grandson was here to help his four-month-old baby cousin, Aurora Ebony, celebrate her first Christmas. 🙂

Aurora’s Mummy and Daddy getting into the spirit of Christmas.

I think the photos speak louder than any words I could choose.

And in 2019, we have two weddings to look forward to! My eldest son is to be married in March, followed by my youngest daughter who will be married in April. ❤

Christmas 2018 photo session. 🙂

A year ago, I couldn’t write about my life, or my family. This year, we have everything to celebrate!

I’ll be Flower Girl at my Aunt Em’s wedding in April!

I wanted to share this brief version of the story of my 2018 to let anyone who is suffering know that nothing stays the same. Change is inevitable. And there is always hope for a better future.

Uncle Ben and Braxton.

For 2019, I wish everyone a year of happiness, a year of joy, good health and prosperity. A year where even if your life isn’t going completely to plan, know that there is always hope for a brighter future. xx

Watching the New Year’s Eve fireworks on TV with Nana and Poppy. NYE 2018.
Baby Aurora, New Year’s Day 2019.

 

 

 

A Sense of Spirit · farewell · sisters · travels

The twenty-eighth to the twenty-eighth

sunsetDuring the last month I have spent more days away from home than I have there, an unusual occurrence for me being the home-body that I am.

On the twenty-eighth of October I began a ten-day trip south with my youngest daughter and when I have the time to sort through and edit almost five-hundred photos I took, I will share a few photos here.

Less than two weeks after returning home I headed north, this time to attend the wedding of my eldest daughter who married her long-time boyfriend in a gorgeous beach ceremony.

After returning home from the wedding, and with just enough time to complete and submit a university assignment and catch up on some work, I received news that I had been dreading – my brother-in-law, who had been ill for some years, had taken a turn for the worse. I had to be with my sister.

My big sister means the world to me and I have often cursed the geographic distance between us. Knowing that my brother-in-law, a man I have known all of my life, had just days, maybe even hours to live, had me packing my bags and heading south again.

On Friday night, after a six-hour drive, I arrive just in time to join my family at the hospital. We cried, hugged one another, laughed as we remembered the good times, and shed tears over the loss of a beloved family member.

The funeral is Friday and I will stay with my sister until after we say our final goodbyes to her husband. She has never lived alone before and the days and months ahead will be a time when she will have to make adjustments to the new life which has been forced upon her. Thankfully, she will not have to face the future completely alone – a beautiful girl with unruly curls and floppy ears will keep her company.

“The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?” – Edgar Allan Poe

Change is inevitable, but for the last month of the year I am hoping for a calm, peaceful time at home. The twenty-eighth October to the twenty-eighth of November this year has been a memorable month, for many reasons.

lucy

 

 

birthdays · blessings · daughter-in-law · grand-baby two · In My World · son

Silent Sunday?

A & B

After the excitement of yesterday, or house is rather quiet today, which leads me to the question…will this be our last Silent Sunday for a while?

If it isn’t, I’m not complaining, no, not one little bit!

Yesterday, around lunchtime, my lovely daughter-in-law gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby boy, so, dear blogging friends, let me introduce you to my grandson –

Braxton Samuel Keevers

Here you see him getting to know his totally besotted father, my son, Adam. When Adam phoned to tell me that his son had arrived, he told me that Braxton’s birth was an incredible experience, he’d never felt that way before, he couldn’t explain it, to which I replied, “You don’t have to, remember, I gave birth to you!”

This precious little baby boy is loved so much! He is a precious little bundle of happiness and love, dreams fulfilled and promise for the future.

Adam, Mary and Braxton (who live at home with us) are heading home soon, to begin their lives together as a new family. They have memories to make and even more dreams to fulfill, hugs and kisses and love to give to their new little baby by the bucket-load!

I look forward to the clatter of noise, the chatter of voices and before too long, the patter of Braxton’s tiny feet as he runs around the house with the two dogs…

Yes, we have two dogs here now as well, Adam and Mary’s two year old girl, Forrest and my ten week old puppy, Bronte!

I’ll tell you all about Bronte next time I write. 🙂

birds · In My World · memories · new beginnings · nostalgia · remembering

Is It Wednesday?

kooky

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory.” ~ Dr. Seuss.

I think it might be Wednesday today, Wordless Wednesday. And today, I don’t feel like being completely wordless, but I won’t say too much.

Being Wednesday means that tomorrow must be Thursday…the last day of 2015. It would be rather remiss of me to declare that a lot has happened in my world during this year. Words seem insignificant, and could never describe the soaring highs and the heart breaking lows my family have seen during this year. It’s a year that will be remembered, forever. And as the year nears its end, I am battling daily with feelings of melancholy….

The feelings will pass, I know, once the new year begins. I have plans for next year, but will share more of those later. For now, I’m thinking only of now, valuing these last moments of a memorable year, a year in which so many memories have been made.

~~~~~~~~

 

Australia · blessings · Christmas · In My World

And so this is Christmas.

Sam's ornament
For Baby Samuel.

“So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun

And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear.” ~ John Lennon.

Cake 2015

As Christmas Day, 2015, draws to a close in Australia, a day filled with festivities is just beginning elsewhere in the world.

Gingerbread House

Most of the preparations for today began in my house yesterday. Emma continued what has become an annual tradition now, making and decorating a Gingerbread House….

GH trees & door

Every year, the family admires Emma’s work, and every year the Gingerbread House turns out to be an improved version of the house made the year before. Her patience is amazing, her hand steady….

GH trees

….and there is no limit to the amount of love she puts into her contribution to the family Christmas preparations each year.

bird house 15

Many of the ornaments adorning the Christmas tree have done so for many years, including those made for my children when they were babies. Other not-so-special ornaments have seen better days, so this year I have a few new ornaments on display. This cute little wooden bird house reflects my love for the birds that I feed in my garden every day.

2015 babies

This morning, I awoke to the sweet sounds of my pair of baby magpies, born in the highest branches of the Norfolk Pine tree in my front garden just a couple of months ago. Mama and Daddy magpie introduced their twins to me a few weeks ago and although the babies are still wary, they now know where to find food each day, when the pickings in the grassy areas are slim.

snow storm

The only snow we will ever enjoy here on Christmas Day is that in the snow storm ornament, but for the first time in many years, this year our Christmas day has been pleasantly cooler.

new 15

Regardless of the usual heat, we always enjoy our traditional Christmas dinner, complete with roasted meats and potatoes, followed by Christmas pudding and custard. The plans and preparations for Christmas continue for days in our house, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

new ornament 15

In a world filled with change, it’s comforting to know that the traditions of family, carried from one generation to the next, continue on. Christmas ornaments may be renewed, the menu for Christmas dinner may vary slightly from year to year, children grow and begin new families of their own, but at the nucleus of Christmas is love….the love shared by families, the tradition of celebration, the comfort and security of home.

2015
Hayley, Ben, Emma and Adam, Christmas Eve, 2015. My Children ~ My World. xxx

Merry Christmas to all of my family and friends, both near and far. May the blessing in your world continue as you celebrate Christmas this year.

Another year over ~ Remembering memories made ~ Looking forward to new memories.

~~~~~~~~