Saturday, December 29, 2007

Latest creation

Here is the latest creation, started this morning and finished tonight.... You've seen the photo from our little outing the other week, I mirrored it because it suited the background paper better this way. Entitled "Many Faces" because there are so many facits to this man that are revealed piece by piece, but this time in reference to his love of photography.

Spent a pleasant day today with Lakeisha in the morning and a few hours this afternoon with Shane working out his sets for the New Years Eve performance. Something to look forward to except for the heat which won't be pleasant. 41 degrees. Talking with another friend tonight who recently went through a marriage breakup and realising just how similar her situation was, and me feeling the anguish for two people who are at a loss as to what the past XX number of years actually meant. Especially when it seems the other partners don't seem to show any sense of loss or pain. All I can say is there are at least two people out there who had no idea of what they had, otherwise they would have done something about it a VERY long time ago. Your loss as they say!

The question was raised at Scrap Pile tonight - What was the best thing about 2007..... and here was my reply.....

I have so much to be grateful for in 2007. I am grateful to have a beautiful daughter who makes me proud every single day and who has been such a delight to watch grow this past year. My job at the radio station which has brought me so much satisfaction and personal growth of my own this year and I have so much enjoyed being a radio presenter even though I said I would NEVER go on air...... It also brought me closer to people I had been friends with in years past (Frank & Julie), and introduced some new people into my life who have become so very special to me. Enter (for one) Shane who has been such an incredible impact on our lives and will continue to be in the future. I am grateful that my parents are still here and still supporting me in everything I do. And I won't ever forget the wonderful Scrap Pile Community that has become so much a part of my life over the past 2 years.

A year ago my life was devastating. Around this time last year I really did wonder if I would ever be able to survive what life had thrown in my path. A year later and I am ever grateful that I am out of a very destructive relationship and have such a positive future to look forward to.

I am facing 2008 with such anticipation and excitement and I know it will be an incredible year for new beginnings and a better life.

Friday, December 28, 2007


Are they important or not?

I guess it depends on how significant the celebration might be.

On January 15th 2007 - someone walked through my door and said "You must be Maree".

And they say History Never Repeats..........

I wonder....................

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The BIG question

If I had a dollar for every time I've been asked the same question these past few weeks I'm sure all my Christmas gifts would have been paid for. Before anyone asks me again - When he's ready....

There are 2 things I do know.

1 is that he is committed.

2 is that WE are loved.

As far as I'm concerned that is all I need to know at this point.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Busy Boxing Day

Lakeisha and I hit the Boxing Day sales in Geelong today. Aside from buying some really nice stuff - it was a really good opportunity to spend some quality Mother/Daughter time that has been a bit lacking by regular standards over recent months. But we did buy some really nice stuff. I picked up a super bargain in some sheepskin seat covers for the car $90 a pair down to $30 a pair! Then it was on to buy Manchester - some new sheets to match my doona cover PLUS a bit of a stash of scrapbooking suppies from Spotlight. 20% off everything in the store! After that it was a new set of speakers for the computer since I'm always playing music on this thing and the sound is - well there's no other word for it - CRAP - so although I haven't hooked them up yet I'm looking forward to seeing how different the music sounds now. I also invested in some make-up and a new belt. Lakeisha also bought a few bits and pieces. It was just a fun day though. Thoroughly enjoyed it - long though - left home at 8:30 and didn't get home until 5:30. Now that's some serious shopping.

I've decided to take 2 weeks off instead of just one. Given half a week is gone already - there isn't much point in only having one week off. I haven't even started to unwind yet. I have quite a few plans of things I'd like to do over the next week and a half so fingers crossed I can get at least some of it done before I go back to work.

Looking forward to New Years Eve - and roll on 2008. There are HIGH hopes for that one!

So here is the latest layout I've done - I started it on Christmas day and finished it tonight when we got home. Entitled "Our New Ride" - it's our new car that the three of us are thrilled to have and all enjoy driving.

Oh and here are a couple of photos of Shane's clock.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

I had all good intentions of posting yesterday because I wanted to add a link to The Claus Chronicles blog - check it out!!!! but had too many bits and pieces to finish off in time for this morning..... Well it's here. Another Christmas. And after sitting watching carols with Lakeisha last night and missing Shane terribly I realised just how lucky I am to be where I am right now with two people who love me so much and a wonderful future to look forward to.

An early morning call from Shane brightened my spirits a great deal. I wasn't expecting that but was very grateful for the sound of his voice. God I love that voice. Lakeisha, after saying she would be up early, was still sound asleep when I went in and jumped on her bed at 9:00 a.m. but now she has opened some presents... Well those left by Santa anyway.... Yeah well it was a sudden urge on her part to relive childhood and so out came the old sack that used to hold all the gifts when she was a child and what she had forgotten until I reminded her yesterday was that it was also the sack I left out for Santa when I was a child. It's a pillow case with a large Santa printed on the front. I had to laugh at her comment that she remembered it being much larger than it is now LOL. I did tell her Santa had brought some of the best gifts.... Top of the list being a David Strassman Ted E Bear (which hasn't actually arrived yet but the order confirmation was in a box so at least she knows it's coming) and a pair of Elmo slippers which were a big winner... Santa is just a legend when it comes to gift selection - lets face it!

Nothing too exciting planned for us today. The four of us, Mum, Dad, Lakeisha and I will have lunch, exchange gifts and then likely she and I will come home and watch a DVD or something together. We'll have dinner with Mum & Dad and I'll probably attempt some scrapbooking since I borrowed a printer to print off some new photos to play with. That's something I should have put on the list for Christmas - a new printer, since mine is not being at all co-operative. But then hopefully in the not too distant future another printer will be here so perhaps not.

I am looking forward to my week off and being able to spend some time scrapping but also a bit of time spent on a tidy up in the office where I do scrap. I'd like to set up a better storage system for everything and maybe even re-arrange things a little so there is more room. We'll see how that goes.

In the meantime if you are reading this I hope you've had a great Christmas with those you love. Never take for granted how important it is to be able to be with the people you care about at this time of year (or any other time for that matter). I don't know what it is about Christmas, but it just makes me more aware of the love of family and friends than any other time of the year.


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Weekend Scrapping

Here is my latest LO created today. From a photo I snapped of Lakeisha & Shane last weekend when we were out and about as they were walking back to the car.

Entitled My Perfect Pair - and they are... It's wonderful to see them bonding and I know the enormous respect Lakeisha has for him. I also know he will be a wonderful influence in her life at a point where we both need that.

And here are some additional tree pictures I played with this afternoon.....

The little elf clinging to the globe is probably my favourite decoration on the tree, he's pretty cute. I take great care putting him on and taking him off each year. I think I bought him a couple of years ago at Target. I really love the white ball with the silver snowflake as well as the sled that is beside it. These are just a few of my favourites - I thought I would share.

Oh and I almost forgot - I received a gorgeous box of flowers from Noel & Judy in thanks for my work at the radio station. They are such lovely people. Poor Judy was not expecting me to be there when she arrived in the hope the flowers would be delivered and would be a surprise. Thank you so much - they are gorgeous.

In the Festive spirit

The ghost of Christmas past seems to have left. I am actually looking forward to the day despite it promising to be a pretty quiet mundane affair.

As I was heading down the stairs to make a cup of tea this morning, I stopped in my tracks to admire our beautiful tree. I say beautiful not in a bragging sense, but I realised this morning that it is mostly beautiful because it has been "crafted" with love over many Christmases with the careful selection of decorations that have appealed to me on my various Christmas shopping expeditions in the past 7 years, it has been decorated by Lakeisha and I ever since we moved in to this wonderful home in 2000, and it has withstood some of the best and worst memories of our lives here. So I turned around and grabbed the camera in an effort to snap a photo that would keep that memory alive, given I've been somewhat disappointed in the photos I've managed to take of it this year... perhaps it was the sentiment or maybe the light was right this time, but something was working in my favour..... Still not quite the perfect shot I was looking for but a vast improvement on previous efforts.

Although I was tempted to brave the crowds for a look in the stores today I'm not sure I can be bothered with the rush. Perhaps Boxing Day. Although I may avoid the JB Hi Fi store. They may still have me on file after last year. LOL

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Hypocrits and other life choices...

If there is something I've come to understand over recent years, it's the hypocrit in all it's glory. The person who suffers low self esteem and in order to feel better about themselves, pull those around them down to their level, or below, in order to feel superior. In all too many cases that I've seen, they constantly tell you how much better they are than you, how much bigger, brighter, and more enriched their lives have been, and somehow they manage to find the things you dislike most about yourself (sometimes I think they actually create those things in the first place - planted like a seed in your mind and then fertilized and nourished until it becomes a fully fledged flowering phobia of yourself or at least parts of yourself) and they use that thing to drag you around and knock you down.

I don't think I will ever understand that kind of behaviour. Especially not in a partner. I've experienced it and I never want to go back to it. I feel sad for these people that they never get the idea of encouragement and love and the uplifting experience of making people feel good about themselves instead of insecure and unhappy. I haven't met a person yet who didn't respond in a much more positive way to acceptance and encouragement. And I will never understand until the day I die the hypocracy that lies behind the former scenario.

How can you love someone, truly love someone, and not encourage them to be the best they can be? How can you not recognise and just accept your own faults and inabilities without making them a burden for someone else to carry through your life on your behalf? We are all responsible for where we are in our own lives right now. We got to this point via the decisions we have made and the choices we have selected. It's no good bitching about it and it's no one else's fault. Accept it. If you like where you are, fine. If you don't, change. It really is that simple. I just don't see how blaming someone else or picking on someone else fixes your problems. But then there are those who would rather put the things they guard on a tight leash, than trust them and treat them with love and know it's enough. Thank god I know these days - it is enough.

Yes there are times when I ask myself too can some of the things in my life at this time be too good to be true. Shane, you were right today when you said that if it was too good, it would mean we weren't worthy of having whatever it was. I think I am. For once in my life I think I deserve what I have. But then for once in my life, maybe I finally understand what it is to be deserving of good things, and the difference is having the confidence to take on the world and actually live life. The confidence that comes with that trust and love that gives you the freedom to be and own who you are.

Facing the journey of 2008 comes with the most incredible sense of anticipation anyone could imagine, and an urgency to quit wasting time and be all we can be. I think the proof of the right steps forward will be obvious to all who observe them.


Talk about all four seasons at once. If it were not for the Christmas tree lights still flashing at me from the bottom of the stairs, I would almost swear it was winter from the view outside the window. That and the incredible hail storm we had the other night, you could be forgiven for thinking you had somehow teleported to the other hemisphere for the summer. While I welcome being cooled down from hot and sticky weather, all this rain creates it's own problems. It also reminds me why I prefer Summer.....

Thankfully now have most of the Christmas supplies in hand. Although still don't have much of anything for parents who insist they don't want anything in the first place. Talk about make life difficult. Lakeisha at least is easy to buy for and hopefully will be happy with the things I found along the way. I'm thinking one particular gift, even though it's not a major one, will be a hit. I'll fill you in on Tuesday with photos. That actually is the one thing I want to remember on Tuesday - the camera. Some photos would be nice.

hmmm and for Shane - well I know if I share here that will be the end of any surprise - so you'll just have to wait until Monday morning. Half the fun will be the unwrapping, partner.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Personal Growth

It's interesting, I think, that we tend to go through such changes in our lives but never really see it the way someone else sees it. Standing on the outside gives you far more perspective than when you are experiencing it yourself. Think of all your friends for a moment. Those you've known for a number of years. Think of the changes you've seen them go through. Their growth, their highs, their lows. Often we look at others and notice how much they've changed, or how much happier or unhappier they are now, their changes of lifestyle, their attitudes. And yet when you look at yourself as best you can from the inside, I'll almost guarantee you don't see as much in the way of significant change in yourself as you've identified with those around you.

And yet is it not reasonable to expect that you are changing and experiencing just as much as they are? Perhaps we don't notice significant change in those we live with because the changes are made subtle because of our daily contact with them. Our impression of them is made up of a congregate of day to day observations from which we draw a general picture. To simplify it, if they are mostly happy, that is how we regard them regardless of the odd grumpy moment. Mostly grumpy, then that too becomes our overall picture despite infrequent moments of happiness. We notice even less change within ourselves because we live with it 24/7. And who really observes themselves, their own behaviour. I think this is why some people are left totally blindsided by relationship breakdowns that seemingly come out of nowhere. A day to day deterioration seems insignificant until one day someone wakes up and remembers where it used to be, but just can't put their finger on what went wrong. Often we have a completely different concept of how we are viewed by comparison to the people with whom we come into contact. I often wonder what the contestants on reality tv shows think after viewing their day to day behaviour after the event.

It is however a special thing to watch the personal growth of any individual. As much as I've been through an enormous year of growth myself - one so significant not even I could ignore the changes it has made to my life, my thinking, my confidence and my general state of mind - I now find it an incredibly overwhelming watching three people whom I love dearly, facing possibly the most challenging and life changing periods of their lives so far. Knowing, as I do, all three so intimately makes the experience somewhat raw for me as well. If there is one lesson this year and it's experiences have taught me, it's that sometimes you simply can't fix some things and it's enough to just be there, and let it be known you are there and that they are loved. Sometimes that is just your role and it's enough. One of the other big lessons that came through loud and clear is "what is meant to be - will be".

If I thought 2007 was going to be a year of personal growth and challenges, I clearly did not read ahead in the book of life. I do know that when I turned the corner into 2007 it was on a path that had no return and much of what I experienced was sink or swim. I chose to swim. Looking toward yet another new year, I see that the lessons I have learned in this enormous year of personal growth, the challenges I have faced, the opportunities that have crossed my path, have all been for a purpose and I feel very calm that I can face 2008 with more purpose and confidence than perhaps any other year preceeding it.

Following and staying true to your own heart, being honest with yourself and those you love and having confidence in yourself - knowing that you are enough - is surely the simplicity of truly living. Follow your hearts my friends, know that you are enough, will always be, as I will always be there for you.

I love this piece of music - from the Chill music CD "Hogan The Hero". By the way, if you like the music that appears on the blog and would like a CD, let me know. I love the world hearing this talented man's creations and knowing it gives pleasure to others is truly a gift in itself.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Yes it's finally up.....

Some photos but unfortunately I can't remember how to use the night setting on the camera. Will have to look up the manual.

Spent a really pleasant day today mostly with Lakeisha, but we also took a drive out to visit with Shane and aide in some photography he had to do... while he was doing his thing I took advantage of a few opportunities to snap some photos myself... Finally some new things to scrap! Hmmmm spoken like a true scrapper....

Unfortunately it's almost midnight and I know I am going to pay dearly tomorrow when the alarm goes off at 4:15 a.m... oh ugly.......... self inflicted - but ugly...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas Tags

Here are the Christmas Tags I made for the swap on Scrap Pile.

The other girls have sent theirs in so everything is packaged up and waiting to be mailed. Just waiting for Kristie's tags to arrive hopefully Monday. Great job ladies, they look fantastic!

Last night was a shocker of a night. So hot and uncomfortable. I spent the night with the fan running but not getting much sleep or relief. As I sit at the computer tonight, it's so still outside it's almost eerie. I'm listening to 2 Kookaburra's out on the back yard. One obviously a youngster and still learning to "laugh". They sound so funny when they are practising. Every now and then the adult breaks in with a real call as if to show junior how it's done.

I did try to pluck up the enthusiasm to pull everything out of the cupboard under the stairs and put up the christmas decorations... ahhh yes they are still not up. Sad really. Just can't seem to engage the enthusiasm enough... maybe tomorrow. We'll see. Spent most of the day trying to get some little bits and pieces finished and out of the way. Too many unfinished projects which is really unlike me. So a number of things are packaged and ready to be sent. It will be a relief to not be thinking of all those unfinished things. I still have all the swap layouts to get through though. They are next on the list. One step at a time......

Friday, December 14, 2007

Radio memories

I happened to come across these photos that I had forgotten were on my phone memory card. I took them during the 100th Cereal Offenders radio show back a few weeks ago. These are the beautiful people I work with, Shane, Frank & Julie. They make my week something to cherish and look forward to. They make me laugh, both with them and at myself. They keep me sane, grounded, and loved. They also drive me crazy. Everyone should be blessed to have people such as these three in their lives.

In case you were wondering... Shane & Frank are wearing their headphones over their eyes - I think the Star Trek look works for them actually! And Julie is partaking in our staple Wednesday morning Breakfast - Jo's Chocadamia Cookies!!!! Jo is Frank's wife and she makes THE most awesome cookies.....

I guess these photos are particularly dear to my heart at the moment because I am in the position of having to apply for jobs now. I am absolutely hating the thought of having to leave the station, but in some ways a little over minimal income and always being tired. Whatever the future holds my life will forever be enriched with some incredible memories and a real sense of achievement and growth thanks to this part of my life. As much as it sounds like I'm saying goodbye, I'm not. I think a part of me will always remain with the radio station. I'm fascinated, hooked and forever grateful. Work should always be this much fun.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

David Strassman

Ahhhh well we are home and LOVED it. I think BC & I want to adopt Teddy. I have some great photos and haven't laughed so much in a very long time. If you haven't seen this show you really do need to get tickets.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Christmas Gifts

Today has been a day for Christmas Gifts and also I am so pleased I finally got Tracey's Diary finished for the Diary Swap. With any luck she will actually get it before Christmas. Now there's a surprise!

Anyway this is the clock I've made for Frank for Christmas as a thank you for being on the radio program this year. It has been such a fun time working with him.

And here is Tracey's diary. I am so pleased how this came up. I hope she likes it.

I finally settled yesterday on another Christmas gift. I think it's probably appropriate and should "suit" the recipient.

Shane & I spent a really pleasant afternoon together today. It never ceases to amaze me how calm I feel about the whole situation and also when I'm in his company. As much as I've gone through moments feeling as though I haven't really achieved much in the past 12 months, I know that I have made some enormous steps personally within myself. We talked about this as we were coming home from a visit to the local winery this afternoon (and no there were no unfortunate underwear incidents this time....LOL) I asked how much he had noticed a change in me over the past year and he said "I feel like you can breathe now...." And that should come as no surprise to me that he could put into words so eloquently exactly how I am feeling. I do feel as though I can breathe. Probably more accurately I feel as though I can be me - and it's OK.

I keep having reinforced that idea I am now a partner and more than anything else in the world right now it's the one thing I really WANT to own. As much as it sits easily, it also weighs heavily. As much as there are possessions in the spare room that increase in number week by week, I find I am unable to open the door now. It remains closed. It is likely to remain closed. My greatest hopes together with my worst fears are in that room now. But I will endeavour to focus on all those positive things I have to look forward to, the incredible future and the endless possibilities. Certainly our discussions about the future and such ordinary plans as what we will do on weekends makes it sound so "normal" that I can do nothing else but focus on what will be.

C&LWM. Yes... soon.... I know..... soon.....

Thursday, December 06, 2007

New Layout

Another new Design Team Layout for Scrap Pile. This was really lovely paper to work with. I knew the subject as soon as I saw the Journaling Blocks. Entitled "Things To Remember".

Monday, December 03, 2007


Friendship is such an "interesting" relationship. How does one define Friendship? I would have to say having some mutual interest or passion and a degree of respect, and well actually liking that person. But how often as life takes it's various twists and turns do you find yourself no longer able to relate to someone you once considered a friend.

Tonight I had a "discussion" with someone who for some time - over a year in fact - I have felt has failed to meet the basic criteria of what makes a friend. Certainly honesty and support are important things in any relationship. But to have someone constantly take the other side to about every thing you endeavour to experience, always trying to enforce their thoughts and ideas upon you, and behaving in a negative manner all the time, to me, fails to qualify as a friend.

This person, the last time I ever attended a dog show, actually undermined my Best In Show award by saying out aloud that "it was rigged". This person constantly defended Murray in the weeks before and after his departure despite the evidence that was clear his intentions were never honourable. This person has constantly undermined my relationship with Shane, questioned his and my integrity, and has now labelled me as selfish..... not to mention several other personal attacks including the statement that I am quote "acting like a typical selfish only child".....

Here is an insecure person who constantly undermines her husband, accuses him of having affairs (if he were I can tell you I wouldn't blaim him for ONE SECOND......), never acknowledges the incredible contributions he makes in their day to day life and has obviously no idea how lucky she is to have what she has......

I'm selfish? OK well if finally after 46 years trying to find some happiness, peace and joy for yourself after living life for everyone else is selfish then I guess I'm guilty. If anything I would probably be more likely to call myself patient and tolerant. Mainly because I've bitten my tongue all these months and not told this woman what a thought of her a long time ago.

Sometimes I think two things....
1). Some dog people truly are assholes
2). Thank GOD I am not a DOG person......

My apologies.... it is rare that I am this angry with anyone....... tonight is an exception.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Mark this down....

Life can change in a fleeting moment. But I would have to say that life for us has significantly changed today. Today was the day that Shane actually started to move some of his possessions into our home. Now while this doesn't mean he himself has actually moved - I can appreciate the enormous gesture of bringing some of his possessions and leaving them here.

In case you haven't clicked as yet as to how much this man means in our lives - and I say OUR because I know that he means almost as much to Lakeisha as he does to me (almost) - let me make it quite clear right now. As I told the gorgeous Gabriel earlier in the week - should this man make the move to live with us - I will be without doubt the most happy woman on the face of the planet.... and of course I shall keep you posted....