Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010

I'd have to say that this year really isn't one I'm too sentimental about saying goodbye to. It's been a rough one. Losing Dad was without doubt the most painful part of the year and in fact probably the most painful experience of my life. Nothing prepares you for the loss of a parent that you love. There is a kind of weird emptiness and immense sadness. And at times when I least expect it he pops into my mind and then leaves again without so much as a word.

But the year has been an interesting journey.

January was dominated by the news that the house we were living in had been put back on the market. As I look back on it now it was a blessing in disguise, but at the time it was a huge disappointment as we loved the house at Forrest and it had represented such an important part of Shane's growth. But there were a couple of weekends with friends and family that brought us joy.

February brought good news after another hospital stint that Shane's biopsy did not contain any cancer - a huge relief to both of us after preparing for the worst. My work went from full time to part time and although at the time it seemed like that was a daunting situation to be in, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise as well.

March's highlight was an incredible trip to Sydney to celebrate Shane's birthday, that in many ways changed both our lives for the better, giving us focus and heightened hopes for the future. Shane and I also did the public broadcast for the local Kana Festival parade - a lot of fun.

April saw the strengthening of our relationship, for me cementing what I already knew. A realization of just how much this man means to me and how lucky I am to be supported in so many ways. I started scrapbooking again with renewed vigour and inspiration and truly felt as though life was on track. Lakeisha turned 19 and we celebrated with an overnight stay in Melbourne.

May included a celebration of my mum's birthday at the Hogs Breath Cafe with Helen & John joining us for a fun night out.

June, Shane and I moved back into the Barongarook house and started yet another chapter in our lives. We also came to the conclusion that we never want to move house again. Man what a job it is.

July included a special surprise birthday gathering for me, once again at Hogs Breath Cafe, with Rhonda & David joining us for a really fun night. We also ended up with 2 free tickets to the football in Melbourne and booked a holiday to Cairns for 2011.

August found us finally settled in the new house although a bit waterlogged from all the rain we had.

September and off to the Royal Melbourne Show again, winning Best in Show in the Scrapbooking for the 2nd year. I finished up my stint working in the Planning Department - a move that was definitely good for my soul, and had a bit of a break with 10 days off to spend at home. We also managed to purchase tickets to see Billy Conolly - something I have wanted to do for many many years.

October was when I discovered a new hairdresser and a new look. But the month brought more changes to our lives when Shane was retrenched from his job and I started a new one.

November was the month we lost my darling Dad. We had a visit from Lisa-Marie who's presence was a welcome distraction from the sadness of the time and enjoyed a roadtrip to the coast for some photo taking.

December and my long time favourite time of the year - Christmas. Two lots of Christmas parties, a pre-Christmas afternoon with the girls at work and a very quiet Christmas day which could have been quite depressing but was as usual made very special by Shane. We got engaged! The perfect way to finish off a year of highs and lows.

So bring on 2011 - and we are going to give it our best shot at being the best year yet.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What a Christmas.

It's amazing how life throws you curve balls when you least expect it. I think this year I was expecting a pretty subdued Christmas. I hoped in a way to just get through it. To say that 2010 has been a year of mixed emotions would be such an understatement. In the past few weeks I've just been going through the motions and not really "with it". However a certain man had other ideas and managed to turn the day into something incredibly special for everyone.

And so I am very proud to say that I am now engaged to the wonderful Shane Powell and I couldn't be happier. I am never ceased to be amazed at the incredible things he does for our family and my life is just so enriched by his presence.

Here are a few photos from our Christmas Day.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

All done

We had a huge day today shopping in Geelong for the last few gifts we needed but thankfully now the shopping is done and we can settle down and look forward to the big day.

At the moment though there are so many mixed emotions. While wrapping all the gifts tonight I opened the box that contained all the ribbon I use each year to make them all look pretty only to come across some of the hand made tags I had kept from last year, one in particular which was written out to Dad for one of his gifts. It hit me harder than I had anticipated and that took me a little by surprise. It's not that I don't still think of him every single day anyway, but the thought of him not being there for something as important as Christmas is really still not quite making a lot of sense. I know I'm not the only one going through this, but it's a first for me and I can't say it's a whole lot of fun right now.

As much as it is painful, life goes on and we will make the most of the day. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone open their gifts and hope they get as much pleasure from them as I have had in selecting & wrapping them. But no matter what the day holds, there will be one thing missing that we can never replace.... Wishing you were with us Dad.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Project #2

Project Number 2 for Five Free Things - and I have to say I'm absolutely thrilled with how this mini album came up and I was pretty sure the recipient was going to really like it - and she did! The lovely Jodes and her beautiful wedding photos made this project pretty easy actually.

Here are some photos

Sunday, December 05, 2010


How cool is Ebay.... really. I don't think there is anything you can't find on that site. Today Shane and I headed down to Melbourne to do a big sweep and pick up a few items I had won recently. There are items for the BBQ area, items to add to the Halloween collection and one particular young lady who will no doubt be the cause of much frustration and challenge, but who I hope will be my next creative love......... Meet Scrapjolina....

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Five Free Things

Nothing like leaving things until the last minute, but going back several months ago I signed up to give away five free things to whoever agreed to pay the gift forward. I had until the end of 2010 to complete my gifts and well what can I say - it's December so I thought I should get cracking on that.

I won't post the final versions of my gifts until the recipients actually receive them, but here is a sneak preview of Gift number 1. I made the flowers myself using the lovely Gabrielle Pollacco's Water Distressed Bloom Tutorial. Try it out for yourself - they make gorgeous flowers that look as good as any store-bought cardstock flower.