30 July 2012

Pain, pain go away....

I really don't like writing posts like this. But I wouldn't be being honest with you if I didn't.

I'm not in a great space right now. The random stabbing side pain I had back in May that went away without being diagnosed but turned into nasty reflux returned with a vengeance mid last week. Out of the blue. One minute I was fine, working away at my desk. Just a normal Wednesday afternoon. The next minute, I was doubled over with what felt like the worst stitch (like you'd get from running) pain you can imagine.

And here I am, nearly a week later, just battling on. I can't laugh, cough or sneeze without it sending me through the roof in pain. I can't take a deep breath in or fully let my breath out as it hurts too darn much. I can only sleep lying on my back. It hurts to walk, to climb stairs and bend over.

Thankful for a hubby who cares about my well-being and shows it in tangible ways....

After seeing the doctor the day after the pain started, he mentioned the words 'possible peptic ulcer'. He didn't want me to take any anti-inflammatories though (since they think that's what caused the reflex last time). Nor did he want to give me any antibiotics since if it is an ulcer, antibiotics might heal it up and he wanted to see a specialist to get a better idea of what's going on in this silly body of mine.

So now I have to wait another week for a specialist appointment next Wednesday for a gastroscopy (where they put a camera down your throat into the stomach to check for ulcers and other potential gastrointestinal issues) and until then I just have to suck it up and wait. Taking Panadol and Ranitidine. Trying to grin and bear it.

I can't take any time off work (way too busy, right in the financial audit, yada yada yada, you know the drill) so I'll just have to carry on as best I can in the meantime.

So...the pity party inside of me wants to tell you...it kinda sucks to be me right now.

And yet, I still know I have NOTHING to complain about. Not really. I haven't lived with this all my life. Just a week. It's not like I've been managing a life-long debilitating illness like some people have to deal with every.single.day.

But if you're the praying type, I could sure use some prayer right about now. Prayer that if it is an ulcer, that its really obvious from the procedure, so I can get a diagnosis, get treated and get better. And if it's not an ulcer...well I'd also love some prayer that it's obvious to the specialist what IS going on in there....and that it's nothing too serious.

I'm standing on the words of 2 Corinthians 1 v 3-5 (The Message) 

3-5All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.

And if you're feeling fit and well and healthy right now, do me a favour. Stop for just a minute and listen to your body. Listen to it humming along. Just quietly doing it's thing. Without you having to give it a second thought.

Take a long, deep breath. In and out. Marvel at the air your body is taking in and out, effortlessly. I'm so much more conscious of this at the moment since I can't take any more than little, shallow breaths without being in pain.

And think about how much we take for granted this body that houses us during our short time here on Earth.  How we only ever really notice our bodies, when our health is less than optimal. I know I'm guilty of this. When really, our bodies are a gift. Be thankful for yours.

And in spite of how I feel right now, I'm still thankful for mine.

And also thankful to God for giving me friends like Tracey. Who had no idea I was in this state, but who out of the blue sent me a wonderful voucher for a massage on the weekend. Her gift = His perfect timing.

I still choose to believe He knows best, and that my life is in the palm of His hand.

27 July 2012

Things I'm Loving 27.7.12

I wholeheartedly believe that no matter what is happening in your life, there is always something you can be thankful for..no matter how simple it is.

The 2-second rule
I saw this on Facebook a couple of weeks ago, and I will admit I've caught myself in a number of these decision tree moments from time to time. Tell me are you a 2-second, 3-second, 10-second or 'no way Hosea' when it comes to food being dropped on the floor?!

Brothers doing it
For a while Noah's enjoyed the freedom of us dropping him at the end of our very short dead-end street and walking back the 50 or so metres to our house. Mylo has also caught on, and last week I snapped this cute pic of the brothers doing it together, hand in hand. Aw!

Vintage goodness
I walk past this shop every day on my way to work, and it sure does remind me of a certain Faery Sarah that I know. I've never walked past when it's been open, but it sure looks cool from the outside.

The best laid plans
Loving making the best of a bad situation. The other weekend we were meant to be catching up with some friends who we hadn't seen in ages. They have a kiddy Mylo's age and another littlie who is about 5 months old. We'd arranged to go out to Upper Hutt (a half hour drive) to meet up for morning tea at their place. Or so we thought.

When we got to their place, we knocked on the door. No answer. We called and found to our dismay that they were nearly at OUR place. Doh! I may or may not have told Mark he was a total egg for not confirming properly around the location, but in the end we managed to meet up half way at Mitre 10 Mega in Petone for coffees and scones while the kids ran around in the indoor playground. So all was not lost!

My Pasifika buddy
Loving this lil dude. What is NOT to love about a kid who embraces his Island look?!

Remembering what's important
A few weeks ago, we had a very vivid, visual reminder of how quickly life can change in the blink of an eye. Mark had just arrived home from indoor football and came running in the house telling me there was a 2-storey house fully engulfed in flames across the valley from us (about 150 metres away). We went out into the cul-de-sac (me in my pyjamas and all) to watch in fascinated horror for about 20 minutes as 8 fire engines battled to bring the blaze under control. Luckily the lady and baby had already made it out safely and no one was harmed in the blaze.

As it turns out Wellington is a small place, and my bosses friend lived right next door to the house that was destroyed, and his friend's house was also a write off from the incredible heat of the flames - pretty much everything in his house had been melted. And all because a teatowel had been put over a lamp to dim the light for the 7-month old baby to go to sleep.

Needless to say, we checked our smoke alarms were still working over the next few nights and revisited again our own fire escape plan. It sure was a reminder to think about our family's safety and made us incredibly thankful for God's care and protection over our home and lives.

Not wanting to end this week's loving on a completely somber note, here is the cutest, funniest video I think have EVER seen of pandas. Don't you just want to give them a big cuddle?

Here's how you can join in:

Link up below with your blog post telling us what you're loving, and grab the Things I'm Loving button below for your post too. Don't forget to share the love by visiting all the other lovelies who have joined in - the linky is open till same time next week!

25 July 2012


Amazing what a splash of colour will do to lift spirits dulled by colds and mid-winter blues.

Hubby had a day at home with Noah in the school holidays when he was thick with cold and a day in and out of the pool with the holiday programme wasn't going to be a great idea.

We'd been talking for a month or so about doing a bit more painting around the place, but it hadn't quite gotten past the talking stage until now.

So it was with surprise that I came home that day to find the bathroom sugar soaped, sanded and nearly undercoated already.

The only thing I'm a bit gutted about is that we didn't take a proper 'before' photo so you just have to make do with one I took when I was trying out the new wide angle lens a few months back. You can see how dark the paint was, almost 'terracotta' like we called it.

We are so happy with the results, everytime I walk past the room, I have to have a little sneak peek inside and it just makes my heart smile.

And I'm so thrilled to have found a spot for this beautiful piece of art I won in a giveaway from the lovely Simone over at GreatFun4kids.

Doesn't it just look beautiful?! Thanks Simone.

I also FINALLY (nearly a year later) got the last 2 prints from our photography session with Jo Frances framed, I can't believe it has taken me this long!

 You'll have to excuse the mirror image of me in stripy sleeves trying to take a pic here!

Seeing these cutie pies on my lounge wall never fails to make me smile when I walk in the door after a long day's work...

And I'm taking every little smile that I can get right now!

24 July 2012

MNM's Bake: Bread for Busy People

I simply must share this recipe, since I've had about five people ask me for it already after making it the past two weekends in a row. It tastes JUST like Vogels Original recipe bread. So good, so healthy and so easy.

I first saw it over at Miriam's blog, and I think she originally got it from Lifestyle Food (it's an Annabelle Langbein recipe).

Busy People’s Bread
Source:  Lifestyle Food


2 cups boiling water
4 tsp honey
2 cups cold water
7 tsp dry yeast
2 3/4 cups high-grade white flour
2 3/4 cups wholemeal flour
3 tsp salt
2 cups sunflower seeds
4 tbsp pumpkin seeds

1. Preheat oven to just 80 degrees Celsius. Grease and line two 25x10cm loaf tins with baking paper.
2. In a large bowl, mix the boiling water with the honey until it dissolves. Add the cold water and the yeast and set aside for 10 minutes.
3. Whisk the yeast mixture and then add both white and wholemeal flour, salt and sunflower seeds. Mix with a large spoon until evenly combined (should be a loose, wet batter).
4. Divide evenly between the 2 prepared loaf tins, and sprinkle 2 tbsp of pumpkin seeds on each loaf. With a sharp knife, run a line through the mixtures in 2-3 places to ensure the bread rises evenly without splitting.
5. Bake for 20 minutes at 80 degrees, then turn up to 210 degrees and bake for a further 30-40 minutes. When cooked the loaves will sound hollow when tapped. Turn out of the tins while still hot and leave to cool.

The bread stays fresh for a few days - especially if put in the fridge, we baked our loaves on Sunday and ate the last piece on Friday and it still tasted really fresh.

As you can imagine, it is divine as toast!

Okay so my loaves are definitely a little more rustic looking but they still taste as good!

23 July 2012

Weekend Snippets {Back to nature in Zealandia}

We live really close to Zealandia (formerly known as the Karori Bird Sanctuary). As you can see from the picture below it's a mere stone's throw away. It's no wonder we have an abundance of tui and kaka gracing us with their presence regularly.

We'd grabbed a deal on Treat Me recently and Saturday was pretty much the perfect winter's day for our outing. Mild, sunny and calm, like this whole week has been. I've almost pinched myself every day to believe how good it has been given it's meant to be mid-winter! After dealing with a major plumbing emergency (and thank you to the Drain Doctor for the prompt call out which set us back $300), we were quite relieved to be able to head off to Zealandia for the afternoon.

Neither Mark or I had been in the new exhibition centre and it has been so wonderfully made. It makes you feel quite sad though at the extent to which the Maori and European settlers destroyed this beautiful land and the unique creatures that lived here. It's hard to know exactly how many species are now extinct due to the burning of the bush and the introduction of so many pests like rats and possums, and it is a sobering thought. All the more important that we have places like Zealandia to rekindle the hope of keeping our endangered species alive for future generations to come.

After the exhibition we embarked on the valley walk.

Walking along the lower reservoir (which is also part of Wellington's water supply), we could see the sun embracing the tips of the trees, just tantalisingly out of reach.

We enjoyed the beautiful reflections in the stillest water.

After stopping at the kaka feeding station and encountering a very knowledgeable volunteer who told us lots of very interesting facts about the birds we hear flying around our neighbourhood most days, we continued on up to the top dam and reservoir.

The views are lovely, even more so if you can find a handy daddy to hold you up to get a close-up view.

The sky was also pretty picture worthy on it's own!

We encountered this beautiful fern frond, poised and ready to unfurl.

And were surprised by our very own prehistoric insect, the weta, hiding inside a tree box. I'll never get over how nasty looking they are, and we are quite used to seeing them at our place, but they never fail to give me a fright!

The suspension bridge proved a good opportunity for some running and bouncing.

And falling too.

In this shot, you can just make out the line of the predator fence winding up the hill which is on the edge of the sanctuary. The fence has been so successful since it was completed in 1999 that Zealandia have managed to reintroduce a large number of species back into this beautiful wilderness.

Back at the lower lake, we spotted some pied shags.

It is amazing looking in one direction up the valley into the almost untouched hand of nature, when in the other direction, the city still beckons.

It's been three years since we were last here as a family, which is rather shameful given we live about five minutes walk away. But having enjoyed the afternoon so much, we may even contemplate an annual pass this year (instead of the zoo for a change), and we've already decided we must bring Mark's mum and dad here when they come in the summer. 

I may not always love the weather this city dishes out, but right now I really feel blessed that we live in such a beautiful part of the world.


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