31 December 2016

Good Riddance 2016 (but Thanks for not Killing Me)

Goodbye and Good Riddance 2016

Today is the last day of this bloody awful year. It has been without a doubt the hardest year of my life - yet strangely it hasn't actually been the worst year. 
Why? Because I'm finishing the year a stronger person than I began it.

My faith in God has been tested, and strengthened, because He has not failed me yet.
I've lost friends along the way, but discovered others whose worth is pure gold. 
I've had to learn to fill the roles of both mum and dad - and have since realised how incredible single mums are.

There are so many of us out there, doing the hard yards, unseen and alone, but rocking parenting in spite of the endless challenges - in spite of incredibly tight budgets, the (unfair and untrue) judgments of others and the sheer relentlessness of doing life on our own. 
I am in awe of the strength of women, and single mums in particular.

12 December 2016

Surviving (and enjoying) Christmas

Decorating the Christmas Tree - at least it SMELLS like Christmas

How are things in the Christmas trenches where you are? How's that to-do list? Got an Elf infestation? An Advent Calendar mental block? Feeling like a Grinch?

I'm just writing in solidarity to say, I feel ya. Hang in thereThis too shall pass.

December 26th will dawn and we will have made it through another Christmas - hopefully without too many additional grey hairs.

This is me and the kids' first Christmas on our own, and I have been fairly dreading it. We put up the Christmas tree on December 1st as usual, because the kids wanted to - they were excited that it was nearly Christmas. Me? not so much.
I strung up lights and garlands, hung decorations and Christmas wreaths with a rock lodged in my chest - going through the motions for them. The morning we were due to have our gingerbread house decorating "party" I sat on my windowseat with a few tears leaking - this Christmas season was not feeling OK at all. The first Christmas is the hardest, they reckon.

07 December 2016

How to Construct a GingerBread House (& have fun doing it)

How to construct a gingerbread house (and have fun while you;re at it)

Right now you might be finding yourself in the thick of Christmas madness and this may at first appear to be another story to add to the pressure of all the things you could be/should be doing to make the season magical.
Don't worry, it's not.
This is a post written by a mum from deep in the trenches, who is facing her first Christmas as a sole parent and who turned to an old favourite tradition - and some dear friends - to help connect with JOY.

You won't find any professional-looking Pinterest-inspired gingerbread houses in this post to make you feel overawed or intimidated (though our houses are VERY well constructed and could withstand any earthquake - we'll tell you how). All decorating in this post was done by lolly-guzzling children and mums with sticky fingers and hands shaking with tiredness (or was that shoulders shaking with laughter?)

Here is a record of a village construction party that brought warm fuzzies into what was feeling like a very bleak time. It was an afternoon filled with laughter and teamwork, lollies and helping hands.

Let's get on with it: