Saturday, October 29, 2011

Ties that Bind

What is it about family that stirs such fierce loyalty in us? We can have a lifetimes worth of bickering behind us, yet the moment one of our own calls on us- we come running.

We don't choose our family. It's a bit of a "take what you're given scenario", but those with even an inkling of wisdom realize it's in their best interest to make the best of what they are given because these are the your people; the people who are in your court and have your back.

I am fortunate to have five siblings and we are all relatively close in age. Even though I loved my brothers and sisters, sometimes I wasn't the best sister. I ripped hair clips out my younger sisters hair because she 'stole' my seat in front if the TV when I went to get a drink. I put soap on everybody in my family's toothbrush (minus my own) while they were all watching A Country Practice. I tricked my sister into eating mayonnaise by telling her it was yoghurt. I convinced my brother to let me dress him up as a girl, complete with hot pink lipstick that doubled as eyeshadow and blush, only to find it wouldn't come off so he had to wear it to school the next morning.

Despite all these things, my siblings continued to want to spend time with me. Had it been a friend, these may have been deal-breakers, but family have ties that bind us together. Our matching DNA plays a small role in this, along with the commonality in our upbringing, but it's what we experience and share that forms those unshakable bonds between family.

We see each other at our best and our worst. We spend holidays and create traditions together and share the memories for years after. We see each other when we are sick or first thing in the morning and don't run a mile. We play and laugh together and we sometimes even hurt one another and need to make things right again. It's almost impossible to be happy when one of your own is suffering, so we put aside our own concerns and desires and step up to fix things in anyway possible. When we are hurt by family, we are often quick to forgive, because they have proven themselves as loyal friends. We don't always get along, like each others choices, or even like each other at times.....but if anyone talks bad about me, I know who is going to jump to my defence.

I sometimes watch my boys and wonder why they bicker so often. They just grate each others nerves, but then they are best buddies seconds later. That ability to set aside annoyance and anger without a seconds thought and get back to being buddies shows me they already have that kind of relationship, those connections, those bonds.

We have ties that bind us - like it or not.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Even though..

It's my darling husbands birthday tomorrow. We have celebrated eight of his birthdays together now. I love him more than I did eight years ago. Not because he was any less wonderful now than he was back then, but because I have seen many more sides and aspects of his personality since then. I love him as my husband and the father of my children, but I really genuinely LIKE him as as a person. I know love generally is ranked higher than like, but in terms of marriage, I think if you asked most couples if they love their spouse they would say:

"Of course".

But do they really LIKE the person they are married to still? Do they still love just being in one anothers company as they did in the early stages of their relationship? Do they still find those little 'quirks' cute or are they a source of annoyance now?

Well, I am happy and grateful to be able to say that of course I love my husband, but I also really really LIKE the person he is.

I love him even though despite the fact he sleeps like a log, he snores like a foghorn.

I love him even though he STILL hangs his clothes over the rails after being 'reminded' everyday for the past seven years.

I love him even though yells at the tv when watching sport (even those early morning games) and claps loud and fast when his team is about to score.

I love him even though he takes longer to get ready than I do.

I love him even though I continue to find bundled up pairs of socks randomly throughout our house.

I love him even though he takes FOREVER to dictate a text msg he wants me to send on his behalf when he is driving.

I love him even though every now and then he calls me 'mate'.

I love him even though he thinks changing a light globe makes him deserving of the title "handyman".

I love him for the person he is. This list brings a huge smile to my face and I know that they are all still quirks to me still and they haven't driven me nuts yet.

Happy Birthday to my best friend, the person who see's the best in me and loves me warts and all xoxo

Friday, October 21, 2011

Best Friends

Carter has been rather affectionate lately. He just randomly comes up to us and kisses our legs, arms, feet, back, face, or head. He will just plant one on us and continue on about his business like it never happened. When I went to pick him up from pre-school Tuesday afternoon, one of his teachers told me that he has been kissing her and the other teacher all day! It's a far cry from the little fellow who wouldn't pause long enough to give us a hug.

Carter's speech is also developing nicely. He still doesn't speak very clearly, but he loves to tell us stories and enjoys a good old chat. One of his current favourite phrases is;

"You're/He's my best friend." ("He" is used for both males AND females in Carter's case)

Today I was his best friend.
Yesterday Harry Potter was his best friend. Tony made it to best friend status for about 3 minutes in the afternoon but was then accused of 'not sharing' and lost the title.
Wednesday Postman Pat was his best friend.
Tuesday Trooper (our friend's dog) was his best friend.
Monday I was NOT his best friend. Apparently I was a "naughty boy" that day.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

You Had Better Believe It!

When I was in year 10, I had a really great English teacher. I can't for the life of me remember her name but she had an accent, was probably in her late 50's, always wore her grey hair in a bun, and she was probably a little strict for some of my friends liking.

I had a great deal of respect for this teacher, and I think part of this came from the high expectations she had of her students. She really pushed her students to do better than they thought they were capable of. She wasn't particularly full of praise, but her praise was always sincere when it was given. I respected her opinion and didn't want to disappoint her.

One day in class we were studying a particular text that rasied the subject of polygamy. Some of my fellow students weren't familiar with the term and a few questions were raised. One student asked why this practice was stopped. The teacher responded by telling them that some people actually still practice polygamy today, they are called "Mormons".

I felt my whole body stiffen. I rarely participated in class discussions because I didn't like the direct attention. I didn't raise my hands to answer questions I knew the answer to. I was confident amongst family and friends, but avoided attention and confrontation in formal settings.

Before I knew it, my hand was half-raised in the air. I think I was partly hoping it wouldn't be seen, but I could say that I had at least tried.

My teacher called on me.

I mumbled;

"No they don't."

As soon as I said it I knew I had made a mistake. I didn't even look up because I didn't want to make eye contact with anyone. The only response I got from my teacher was;


I took the opportunity to right the wrong and replied a little louder;

"No WE don't. I am a member of that church, and we don't practice polygamy anymore. Those who do have broken away from our church and are often called Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints. They are not us."

It was terrifying but at that moment I was so grateful for my seminary teacher who covered this during one of our 6am lessons.

Our church is currently receiving some critisicm and we are accused of not being Christians. I find this a little odd considering the title of our church is "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints". Doesn't the name pretty much give us away?

We read the Bible (along side The Book of Mormon). We follow the ten commandments. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ. We celebrate Easter and Christmas with Christ as our focus. We believe the atonement is necessary for our salvaltion, that we are measured by our works, not simply a belief in Christ. We believe Jesus was the Saviour of the world, not merely a prophet. We believe in doing good to ALL men.

What part of this makes us un-Christianly?

I hope that those in doubt about our standing in terms of whether or not we are a Christian faith, will look to our members instead of our critics. If we are Christians, as we say we are, our actions and works will speak for themselves.

I still don't like confrontation, and I still avoid raising my hand even when I know the answer. But I am happy to say that I am a Christian, in every sense of the word.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Yesterday we were supposed to have our yearly rental inspection. Even though we have had nothing but positive experiences with our landlord and the agency we rent with, I still don't like these inspections. It's like my cleaning skills are being put to the test (even though I know this isn't really the point of the inspection).

We had Carter in hospital a few days earlier this week so I lost cleaning time. Come the day of the inspection, I was washing some handprints off of the inside window when I saw the lower part of the window was quite dirty on the outside. I filled a bucket with soapy water to remedy this.

Knowing I was under the clock, I sloshed water everywhere as I gave the windows a far from thorough cleaning.

Amid my haste, something caught my eye. In the middle of one of the puddles I made, was a little black spider 'swimming' as best as a spider can swim. I was in a rush and kept on cleaning but my attention was drawn back to the spider and I couldn't help but put down my cloth and inspect him closer.

I watched as this tiny insignificant creature struggled. He was working so hard just to keep himself alive. I knew that this little fellow didn't have a chance in the giant puddle I had made, and I also knew how simple it would be to help him.

I grabbed a leaf and put it under the little spider and he climbed aboard. As I put him down onto dry land, he didn't crawl off immediaty, he sat for a while, probably catching his breath I imagine.

It made me think about how if I take a little time amidst the whirlwind of life, and stop and look a little closer at those around me, I just might find someone struggling. Sometimes we just may be struggling ourselves, but it may only take some simple words/acts of kindness that could give that person a chance to catch their breath.

I am pleased to announce our inspection was postponed that day due to the property manager being short of time.
I guess every good deed is rewarded!

Monday, October 10, 2011

I'm no poet but.....

Ok I admit I'm no poet, but I've put pen to paper for a few minutes so here you go.

The Anti-Fingerprints Poem

I know we’ve all heard that little poem
About when our children are small,
And how they always leave their fingerprints
On furniture and walls.

We’re told how we will miss these days
Once the kids have grown,
And how we too would savour these times
If only we had known.

But even though I’ve pondered this
And weighed up all I’ve been told,
I’ve got to tell you that despite all this
I don’t really think I’m sold.

Yes fingerprints mean extra work
And my once clean furniture is now a shade of brown,
But it’s stepping in the little “puddles” I sometimes find
That turns my smile upside down.

The never-ending piles of laundry
And the dinners tipped on the floor,
You would have to be a lunatic
If you ever wished for more.

It’s the supermarket tantrums
In which I fail to see the fun,
Or perhaps it’s simply that I despise
Being woken before the sun.

I’m not longing for my single days
Or back to the years of my first kiss,
But you have got to be at last a little crazy
Thinking this kind of stuff I’ll miss.

I know you think I’ve missed the point
But instead I believe you may find,
That those older and wiser with children grown
Have simply lost their mind.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Office Politics

Now, I don't know if you are aware but I have my own business. For anyone unfamiliar with our company, it is called Bush Household Enterprises and it is a small, four-staffed, unproductive company. We don't really make, produce, sell, or own anything. We have no speciality and no skills to boast.
To help you familiarise yourself with our company, I would like to tell you a little about the everyday goings-on of life in our office.

*To protect staff privacy, all names have been changed*

This is my business parner Antonio and I. We began our business together in January 2005. He has been a wonderful business partner, although he has been known to take extra long lunch breaks and show up to work unshowered, unshaved, and sometimes undressed. I feel we are generally in synch with one another and my weaknesses are balanced by his strengths. He has a wonderful sense for knowing when my workload is getting the better of me and he picks up the slack for me. Of course,  there are those rare days where I feel I am doing more than my share of the work and I suspect he is sitting in his office with his shoes off playing Solitaire, but a quick conference (rant and rave) and all is well again.

These are our two employees Toby and Calvin. Toby was our first employee and we hired him in November of 2005. Calvin joined us two years later in February 2008, after we felt we were ready to tackle a bigger work load.

I feel like I am so undertrained for my position. I never really know what I am doing and just as I am starting to catch up and find my feet, protocol changes and I am back at square one. There is a lot of training to be done for our two junior members of staff. They need a great deal of supervision and unfortunatly don't take a whole lot of initiative. I'm sure a lot of other household CEO's will agree that whilst their staff bring a special contribution to their office, sometimes it feels as though the amount of time and effort you put into them far outweighs their productivity. Toby and Calvin often seem like such cooperative colleagues one moment and then they will be bickering moments later.
Their written and verbal appraisals of us as their bosses suggest they may both suffer with some form of bi-polar disorder as they will range from;
"I love you so much and you are the most beautiful in the world"
to something along the lines on;
"You are so so so so mean and smell like a bum burp head".

They have both been fired on several occasions but yet somehow they continue to be employed by us. Neither have their own mode of transportation so they have been sleeping at the office since day one. They never bring their own lunches and expect that it will be provided for them. Calvin in particular can be somewhat difficult to work with and has been known to take off his pants and throw them at you before running to his office and slamming the door.

I don't want to sound like the worlds worst boss, but as much as I love my job, somedays I just don't want to get out of bed. Someday I just wish I didn't have to show up, but as the boss, who else will run the company? Somedays the job is so mundane, the hours so long, and the pay and holidays non-existant. Somedays I just stare at the clock waiting for my breaks.

The truth though, is that I really do love my job. I love being greeted by my happy staff and my darling partner. We laugh often and much in our office and although we are unproductive, we have many wonderful moments. Our differences are sometimes frustrating but overall they are our strenths and they make us work. I have written many resignation letters, but they are never sent out to staff, as I know that come Monday morning, there is nowhere else I would rather be.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A rainbow of friends

I have been blessed in my life to have had some wonderful friends. My friends are all so different and looking back I have always had friends who are very different from each other. I think this has been a huge blessing, because I turn to different friends during the different parts of life I experience.
I have friends who I grew up with and have perhaps grown apart from, but they will always be friends to me and whenever we see each other we reminisce. These friends are the ones who have the most dirt on me :)
I have friends who I just love their company and time flies when we are together. We never really get into heavy conversation, but there is some depth, perhaps it's because we just spend the time laughing.
I have friends who I just know they understand most of what I think and feel because we are so similar. Weirdly I usually meet these friends through other friends and we just hit it off instantly.
I have friends who I am only friends with because we are in some sort of common scenario together. These have been work mates, people I caught the same bus to work/ uni with etc. We never see each other outside of our commonality, but we still enjoy each others company.
I have friends that I rarely see and don't often speak to, but I know I could call them for anything and when we do see each other it's as though nothing has changed. This friend never makes me feel bad for not calling more often because there is that unspoken mutual agreement that life is busy and we are confident in our friendship and where we stand with each other.
I have friends who I go to for advice, guidance, to whinge to, and for deep-and-meaningfuls. These friends I am drawn to because they have such wisdom and I respect their opinions.
I have close friends who I can spend all day with and never get tired of them. We never run out of things to say but the majority of the conversation is nonsense anyway. These friends have seen me laugh til I cried, have had me burst into tears on them, stayed up all night talking to me, and we have weathered storms together. We have given advice and opinions the other doesn't like or want, but we know a good friendship can take it. This friendship has stood the test of time and circumstance and only grown stronger.

I am so grateful for all my friends. I am even lucky enough to have all my family members cross over into the category of friends. I guess they are stuck with me anyway ;o)