Today is special day for a little girl I know. It is her birthday. Lily is spending today in hospital having chemotherapy for leukaemia.
I was asked if I could make up "lolly bags" to be given to Lily and her cousins for a small party they will have in her hospital room today. As I shopped for the things I needed to make up these treats I felt a mixture of happiness that I could do something to help and sadness that Lily is in this situation. I felt gratitude that my children are healthy and guilt that I know Lily's mum wishes the same thing. As the cashier scanned the bags of sweets he casually asked if I was having a nice day. He may not have intended a real answer but he got it! I told him what the sweets were for and found myself getting that wobble in my voice as I grabbed my change and ran.
I spent the next few hours making up the cups full of lollies and sealing them in cellophane bags. I printed the logo of a favourite game on stickers to attach to the cups. I tied curling ribbon and tried to make them look as special as I would for my own child's party.
Today as Gareth did his rugby training I decided not to sit chatting with the other mums on the sideline but instead to go for a brisk walk for 40 minutes. The sun was dipping low in the sky and the colours over the lake were mesmerising. It felt good despite my legs screaming out for mercy and my tummy begging for dinner. If there had been a kiosk I would have gobbled a chocolate bar to take the wobbly feeling out of my limbs but thankfully there wasn't and I drank deep from the bottle of cold water I had with me. Surprisingly the hunger pangs abated. I think I have grown used to filling up on sugary snacks when water may be what my body is asking for.
It's my Birthday. The last one in my 30's. Yes, I've reached the ripe old age of 39. I'm really not overly concerned with numbers I don't (think) I have an issue with turning 40 next year. I embrace the experience of life and feel that I like the Gina I am now way more than the shy girl trying to find herself in her 20's or the new mum with a big learning curve ahead of her in my early 30's. I really am happy in my own skin right now. So why is it that when someone wished me an early Happy Birthday in work this week did I almost rugby tackle her to the ground and wrap duct tape around her mouth??? Could it be that she asked if this was a big one?.... The big...50?
WHAT? Do I really look 11 years older than my body is? All the sensible words I just wrote went out the window and I found myself blushing and furiously defending my number. *deep breaths* Leaving numbers aside this is how I spent my day celebrating BEING IN MY 30's...
The day started with kids piled on the bed and cards and gifts being opened to oohs and aghs. Then off to be Manager to Gareth's rugby team as they played in freezing but gloriously crisp conditions.
It was in August 2005 that Byron said to me "I've made you something you are going to LOVE, It's called a blog!"
7 years ago this month we were embarking upon an adventure. We were living in Northampton, England with a "For Sale" board outside our house and we were biting our nails in anticipation of whether or not we would be granted a Visa to start a new life on the other side of the world...
And so began this blog. It started as a diary to be shared with a handful of family members so they could share our journey with us. It has evolved into something I never dreamt of. I have written 1695 posts that have been viewed by over 15,000 people in 140 countries around the world!
The 92 followers make my heart swell with pride and the joy of knowing that I am a part of a community. A community of writers, mothers, photographers, crafters and friends. Some of you I have met in real life, some I know only through your writing, your photos, your emails, some of you I feel sure I will meet some day if I either travel to your part of the world or you travel to mine. The comments that you wonderful women leave brighten my days.
Thank you each and every one of you for being a part of this journey.
To celebrate with me can I ask you one small favour?! Whether you are a regular commenter or have never commented before will you help make my day by leaving a comment on this post to celebrate with me and say hello!
Now that I have passed the halfway point in the calendar year I thought I might show you how the box is filling. Have any of you heard about this charity idea? It really is never too late to start. If you threw something extra into this weeks shop and carried on you would have about 20 items by Christmas week. Just think how much that might mean to a family doing it hard in your local area.
But it's hard to find the time to get exercising when almost every moment of the day is accounted for. Byron had an inspired idea. He often finds the time to watch a rugby match or two on the tv over the weekend. Why not be sitting on an exercise bike instead of the sofa? We bought ourselves a simple exercise bike this weekend that didn't break the bank but will hopefully lose us some of those flabby bits!
If I wanted to scrape frost off my windscreen in the mornings I'd still be living in Ireland!!!
It's been a day of wild weather.
After a day at work nothing gets between me and my cup of tea.
Not storms and not power outages!
Today we went down as a family to cheer them on. We even brought some cookies in the team colours to share around. It must have worked because THEY WON!