Wednesday, 26 October 2011

I'm tired of 31 - so lets get charitable!

For no other reason than the fact I'm sick of looking at the number  on my sidebar, and I KNOW (love the stats section of blogger ;)) that many more people are reading my posts, I have made a decision.

On November 10th, 2011 I will be writing down on little bits of paper the names of all the people who "follow" my blog.  I shall screw them up, pop them in a hat (note to self - get a hat) and pick one out.

  The person whose name is selected will get to choose which not for profit organisation or charity I give some money to.  How much money you ask?  One dollar for ever follower I have at 1pm on the 10th of November 2011.

Probably not much, but hey - did I mention I just lost a job ;) and for the types of charities I have had the pleasure to get to know through this book - each dollar counts. 

So share my blog - make people follow it (I'm not endorsing bribes or violence here... but obviously you do whatever you feel you need to...) and keep an eye out on November 10th to see if your name is pulled out.

(I'd love you to comment below saying who you'd like the moeny to go to if you're picked xx)

Much love!

PS (I'm *finger crossed* hoping to get my post honouring a certain someone finished today or by the latest tomorrow - even the person I speak of has no clue it's happening.. been in talks with a someone special to them.. yes, I'm sneaky :) Mwahahahaa...)

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

It's all about perspective

Last night I received a text from my boss.
It was to apologise for the sporadic work that I've been offered lately and to tell me that due to the quietness of the business right now, I am no longer required... in a text...

So, financially that obviously bites (slight PANIC!) and I am so SO terrible at putting myself out there on the job hunting trails (read : severly lacking self confidence - can I just hide under the desk until someone just finds me?)... but there are bright sides I suppose.  One being that until I find something else I shall have more time for this book.  So progress might become a little less snails pace :) 

(think bright side bright side bright side....)

So today I'm thinking what I have to be thankful for, you know - in the spirit of glass half full (No, not spirit as in vodka... spirit as in.. oh nevermind, vodka sounds good ;)

SO...the listing begins..

1. I am alive, despite several iffy moments through my life when quite easily things could have swung the other way.

2. Joe. Quite simply.  That he stuck, that he grew, that he was born with all fingers and toes and everything in between, that he's such a sweetheart, that he's MINE!
he oozes awesome right?

And is unquestionably the best present I've ever received.

3. Paul.  Again, quite simply.  Because he loves me despite myself at times.  That he didn't freak out when the text came through.  That we have survived so much together and even though there have been times where I wasn't sure how the toast would fall, we are still here - together.  And I love him as much as when we met a million years ago.  He's not perfect, our life is no fairytale - but neither am I and together we plan to fumble our way into very very old age.

4. My family. Specifically my sisters, they are always there if I need them. They are the first people I turn to when I need a lift, or when I want to share something that has happened -both good or bad.  Each one is as beautiful as the other.  My parents didn't produce siblings for me, they made my best friends.

sometimes we're normal...

mostly we're not.

5. My parents. They're amazing in too many ways to list.  Nuff said.

(my brothers wedding, I think it's obvious which ones are our parents - that chick in the white? Megsy.. please see "Things I'm thankful for number 6 for the refrence to her)

6. The family that don't contain the same blood as I do.  When I was younger I had lots of "friends", these have been weeded as I've aged - concentrated if you wish, down to a very important few.  I don't have loads of friends but the ones I have I would do anything for.  These people are the ones that have stuck with me through the ups and downs of my life and theirs, they are an amazingly strong little group of wonderful people I choose to surround myself with and I love them more than even they probably know. (no pics for this one.. I know I have my families permission to put up their pics, my mates I haven't asked but... you know who you are xxx)

7. My dog :)  She is the sweetest thing and the best listener I've ever met... and has just produced a beautiful daughter with the same qualities (though a little more puppy crazy mixed in!)

8. The roof over our heads.  It's not flash, but it keeps the rain off.

9. My ability to super budget.  Just call me The Budget Nazi (you can, my darling husband does at times ;)

10. Oh come on are you still reading this? Really? Well... they're the basics, the bones of it all.. I could go on for ages..for example, the sunshine that has poked through the clouds this morning helping me to stay positive and chocolate (it's okay for breakfast on a day such as this right?)

There are two ways you can deal with bad news.  You can run around like a headless chicken (yes, I'm also pretty good at this method of dealing with things) or you can square your shoulders, put it all in perspective and march on.

Losing my job? Nothing when you compare it to other things I've triumphed over in my past.  No one is hurt, no one has died, no one loves me less.  Financially it's a bit of a hit, but I'll kick into super budget mode and we, as we always have been, will be just fine.  Today is just another day sent to challenge me and help me put things into order.

The important things are already in order, I just have to work out the little glitches that occur along the way!

And I have a great deal to be thankful for.

You are all part of my journey, and I am thankful to have met you - my exposure to the darker side has certainly helped me put little issues like this into the right light.

I hope your day is full of sunshine.  If not... start a list.. start with the simple things and go nuts... be thankful for your warm flanny sheets or whatever.. it helps.. really xxx

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Precious Hearts - Traci O'Sullivan

As I've said before, I'm meeting all kinds of amazing people along the road with this book - Traci is one of the first people I came into contact with.  A tower of strength for her family and for many, many others.

Often you see something being shared on facebook or in the media, you see the logo or a photo and you don't think of the people behind it or the reason for the group/charity having been started.  I wanted to give you some insight into some of these Mums and Dads I'm meeting and show you that behind the logo you see, there are usually only a handful of people working their little butts off to keep doing the good they do.  Running something like Precious Hearts is a full time job, with no financial payoff and more often than not you'll find the people behind these charities are fighting the battle that they spend so much time trying to make easier for others.

I asked Traci to write something for me to share, and here it is :)

"There was a night last year when I was laying on a bed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Westmead Children’s Hospital. My tiny little boy was only 10 days old, fighting for his life after emergency heart surgery. I couldn’t sleep, so I began thinking about what good karma I could put out into the world, so that my son would live.

Precious Hearts was founded a few months later when life returned to our new ‘normal’. I wanted to do something different. Something for the kids. I wanted it to be personal. I wanted it to be from my heart to theirs. What could possibly cheer up a child who has just endured heart surgery and is now stuck in a hospital bed for days on end bored out of their tree?
I decided that I would make care packages for these beautiful little people. Our care packages are full of age appropriate goodies such as toys, colouring in books, art and crafts, games and anything that can be enjoyed by children recovering from heart surgery. Many hospitals have fantastic facilities that cannot be accessed by these children because their heart monitors are not portable. The feedback that we have had from the children, their families and the hospital staff is truly overwhelming. Our care packages are loved!

Equally as important as giving the children a reason to smile, is raising awareness about congenital heart disease. It is the biggest killer of children under 5 in this country – who knew? 1 in 100 Australian babies are born with a heart defect. I am very passionate about telling everyone I know about it. If the doctor performing your baby’s newborn check hears a heart murmur – don’t leave that hospital without having an echocardiogram. Trust me, it could save their life. My son was sent home as a newborn with a fatal heart condition that almost claimed his life.
Precious Hearts is a registered Australian charity, which means if you donate to us, it’s tax deductable. We are one of the few charities that is run completely by a handful of volunteers. We don’t operate out of a factory or office space.... instead our cars are now parked outside and the garage is overrun with boxes of toys and goodies ... we’ve erected another garden shed, and taken over the spare room. Our phone calls and stationary costs come out of our own pockets. We want to make sure that any money that is donated goes directly to our cause. We can’t afford advertising on TV or radio, so we head out into our local community and raise awareness by holding BBQ’s and market stalls.

When you run a charity on such a personal level, you take everything personally. It’s hard work, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. We’ve been bullied by the big guys, we’ve wondered how we’ll raise enough money to keep things going, and we have cried ourselves to sleep when some of these precious little children have lost their battles. Our care packages aren’t generic or mass produced, they are lovingly packed by myself and one other volunteer. Every single item that is placed in those bags was hand picked, and we make sure that a little piece of love is packed inside each and every care package. In 7 months we have packed close to 800 care packages.
We have recently launched The Zane Walker Memorial Fund. This will be used to give financial assistance to those families affected by congenital heart disease who are doing it tough financially. People don’t realise how tough it can get when your child is hospitalised for weeks, sometimes months on end, and naturally you can’t be at work and the bills are piling up. Then there are all the added extra’s like ongoing medications and specialist visits. We guarantee that every single cent donated into this fund will go directly to a family in need. That is our promise.
We rely on the generosity of people like you. We accept any donation that is offered. If it’s cash, we’ll put it to good use. If it’s toys or books, they will go into our care packages. If it’s something second hand after you’ve had a spring clean, we will sell it at the markets and buy something that’s needed for our local cardiac wards. We work hard to fundraise. We are holding a Trivia Night in November which will be our major fundraiser for the year, and a tribute to all our little warriors.

From the outside, Precious Hearts is a registered charity that raises awareness about congenital heart defects, delivers care packages to children who are recovering from heart surgery and gives financial assistance to families in need.
From the inside, Precious Hearts is an acknowledgement of the admiration I have for my son, and for every other child who is battling congenital heart disease, and for those little angels whose bodies were just too tired to keep fighting. Precious Hearts is the debt I am repaying to the greater good for my son’s life being spared.
To keep up to date with all Precious Hearts happenings, you can follow us at or you can email us

Traci O'Sullivan
Founder and President
Precious Hearts

Sunday, 16 October 2011

You inspire me and give me hope for humanity!

I knew this book writing business was hardly going to be a walk in the park, I mean.. seriously... could I have picked a more heart wrenching subject to cover?  I knew there would be many tears, on my part and others as we walk back down that road they once travelled - or are still travelling.  I knew I would reach road-blocks, writers-block, red-tape, legalities and massive obstacles.  This I was certain of, and threw myself into it with the "deal with it as it comes" attitude (I have a really nice bucket of sand beside my computer desk to bury my head in when it gets toooooo hard ;) )

What I hadn't expected, and wasn't quite prepared for, is meeting so many inspirational people with so many heartfelt causes, charities and support systems.  Many of these have evolved from their own personal battles.  Some are ongoing stories - parents of children that for the entire life of their child will be riding the roller coaster and most likely their cars could find their way to the hospital without direction from the human occupants.  Some have long said goodbye to their angels and their work is in honour of their child.

All of these people amaze me.  I am in awe of the charity they show towards their fellow humans.  The selflessness, dedication and love that they show on a daily basis. 

These days - if you believe what people say - you get nothing for nothing.  Well, what I've discovered is that this is not actually true.  If you look around (and not even too hard) there are people out there doing beautiful things for others left right and centre and asking for nothing in return but the warm fuzzy feeling that they may have eased someones pain for just a second.  That perhaps, for a moment they have lightened the load of a fellow human going through a kind of heartache they can relate to.

I'm planning on introducing you to some of these people I speak of over the coming months.  They deserve some recognition.....even though they do their utmost to keep the focus on their work and claim that they are nothing special.

Indeed, they ARE something special.
And appreciated.
And I hope you will join me in saying thank you for reminding us that there are still good people out there.

First of my featured people will be revealed in a few days ;)

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Devastatingly beautiful..

Don't watch this in the office.
A box of tissues would be a grand idea.
The song in this video was written by a Dad of an angel from what I understand.. and the images of all these little people... a lifetime of memories built in but a moment together.. precious

To watch the video click here -- TLC Our Empty Arms -- if you're at work, leave it till later!

Footnote of no consequence:

It's funny, I'm on the computer at the table working on my book/blog/page/emails, Joe is watching a movie and he just came up to me to ask how a baby comes out - RANDOM!!! 
Knew this question was coming, and he's a smart kid so I explained how the process goes, from the growing in my tummy to the way my body helped him out and into my arms (we skipped conception!) 
I told him how much I loved having him in my tummy, how much I already loved him, and that he already loved me.  That the best most wonderful thing I had ever created was him, he is the most beautiful thing to have ever happened.

He easily accepted the facts of birth, and then with a hug and a pat of my tummy he said "Mum, did you love being pregnant and giving birth to the other babies? or just me?"

Aw rats, pass the tissues...

Diva & Dude for a Day!! (Newcastle & Hunter region only)

Excuse the boldness of this post - apparently my computer and or blogger think it's worthy of being done in bold font and it WILL NOT let me take it off.  Being not very tech savvy I have thumped the computer, said a bad word at it, had a "cooling off coffee" and sat back staring at the screen asking it why...WHY? And then I gave up and accepted that yes, perhaps it is right.  This post is worthy of boldness :)
It's a shame that this is only open to residents of the Newcastle and Hunter region, it would be a great thing for other regions to take up - the only way to get the word out there, and get other people thinking of such great fundraising ideas is to do exactly what I am right now - spread the word, even if not everyone who reads my blog is in the area. 
Gayle Davies posted this link on my facebook wall yesterday and I just love the idea - if you know someone who lingers around this area please share this with them regardless of if they themselves have lost a baby/child we all know someone who has (unfortunately, this is true)
So, here tis lovelies, check it out!  Gayle and the crew from Kourdizo Photography - you're awesome!  I hope this raises a bunch of much needed funds for Sids & Kids, please let me know how it goes xxx
Nominate someone you know who has lost a baby / someone that you think of them, even though you don't know what to say.

Everyone knows someone who has lost a child. Take a good look at your list of friends / might just come up with someone!

Give them a shot at winning loads of gifts in December.

Nominations for Diva / Dude for a day are welcome from Monday, 10th Oct. Look here for forms -

Friday, 14 October 2011

Sometimes you need to get legal!

In the next few weeks I'll be visiting a nice man who will write me up a legal document for all contributors to sign granting me permission to use the stories you submit (or have already submitted) just so nothing comes back to bite me on the buttocks when it's all done and dusted. 

I'm one of those - all people are essentially good until they prove otherwise to me - people usually, but this is much bigger than my faith in you all so when it's done and dusted I shall email it out to all that have indicated they are writing something.  And unless I get it back all filled in and signed I will not be able to use your contribution.

This project will swallow plenty of my money and time and I just need to make sure we are all covered.


Thursday, 13 October 2011

Muddled up Mumma - ahh.. the truth of it..

I'm sharing this blog for two reasons:

1. It's a great blog..

2. This is the kind of honesty I need for this project - curtains drawn back, saying those things that we otherwise would her hushed over..because, if you don't be completely honest, this book is a waste of my time and yours and it will not be "true".

I happened upon Muddled Up Mumma in my wandering around the internet seeking story tellers and this particular post on her blog really stuck me - so I'm sharing :)

It's called "I don't love being a Mum" and it's well worth a read.  I love the honesty - because seriously (and look at the comments) this being a Mum gig.... it's not always as wonderful as we gush it is right? 

Sometimes, for weeks on end it just feels like hard work - no, not because we don't love our children (Joe is the light of my life, the reason I keep going..I think we've established that though) but there are times when it is hard to keep juggling all the balls that motherhood throws at us - and stay sane. 

And yet, when asked "Oh yes, being a Mum is the best job in the world"

Recently, I think I shocked a young pair of church lads that knocked on my door.  One of the first things they asked was about Joe and being a Mum.  I answered them by saying that being a Mum was both the most amazingly rewarding job, and the hardest bloody thing I have ever done....and not to ask me that question at 3am when I'm trying to get him to go back to sleep because I'm so darned tired and I don't CARE if he's not!

Of course, I wouldn't swap him for the world, or give him back (he was far too hard to come by for that) I think he's the most amazing little human who has an incredibly beautiful heart...I'm very, very proud to know him, let alone be able to say "Yeah, that kid over there.. the sweet cheeky looking one.. he's my son"


It's not all sunshine and lollipops. When it is though.... *sigh* isn't it lovely..

Don't crucify me - you all know these things are true - we're just not usually allowed to say them :)

Shoot on over, check her out and get a sense of how you should write your story.  Like no one is going to judge you for it.. fill it with the truth, no matter how dark.. because for the next person to tread your path........ the truth of it is what they are seeking so they too can know they are not alone.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Please sign this petition..

Please drop by and digitally sign this petition to support this group who are trying to make October 15th  Pregnancy and infant loss awareness day a nationally recognised day for all of those that have experienced the loss of a child at any stage.

Takes two minutes - I swear!

Three small words

He wakes up, stumbles around the house to find me in his semi awake state.

He falls into me, in a kind of body hug that if I were not fast enough for he would simply slump on the floor.

He is five, where has the time gone?  Every morning I look at how big he is and I wonder this..

He rubs his eyes as his head lays against my chest, one arm slung around a once white teddy who has been loved to the point of threadbare.  A teddy bear that has no name, and is rarely snuck into the laundry for a little run around the tub.  Due to the distress of said five year old who says, with tears running down his cheeks "We have different smells Mum.  You don't like how Teddy smells, but I love his smell - he smells like love" - who can argue with that? I admit, Teddy isn't washed often enough...

I am often in a rather uncomfortable crouching "catch" position during this morning hug, but I would have it no other way.

And then, after the eye rub a sigh and a little snuggle my day is started in the perfect fashion.

"I love you Mum"

My friend Michelle

Evening y'all!

I've been a bit quiet on the blogging front - there are several entries at draft level, and I have a few wonderful people  lined up as guest bloggers who will appear in a wee while sharing part of their stories and the turns their lives have taken since their little miracles appeared.  Which brings me to this - you are all most welcome to guest blog here at any point if you feel you have something appropriate to share...please feel free to contact me, I am more than happy to get your stories/causes out there. 

In fact, I'm part way through listing support groups and services that I've discovered due to this project and if anyone has anything that has helped them that they wish to share please either comment here or email me and I'll add it to the list.  Because lets be honest, when you really need support - is when you have the least energy and care to be able to find it - so lets make this easy for everyone!

Tonight though, I just wanted to share with you part of an email I received from a friend of mine after she'd been off touring Europe with her two teenagers (yes, I too hated her for a while)

Michelle has been a great support to me, with this project, and generally.  I haven't known her a great deal of time, but we have much in common - life.... has been busy throwing us both curveball after curveball... she has amazing inner strength that to be honest, I have no idea where she pulls it from at times... sometimes, on her behalf I would like to hide under a rock for a while.

I knew that Michelle was going to be writing a piece for my book, I had told her (as you all) that there was no hurry - no time limit, and it could wait until she had a quiet moment.  Well, I certainly didn't think she would pick a "quiet moment" on her holiday but here is a portion of an email I got upon her arrival back on our island.

Shared with permission from Michelle of course.....

"I wanted to let you know , I have written a piece I want to polish up for you for your book. I wrote it on one of the many train trips across Europe ( a surreal moment for me to be re-living the moment in my life that I found out my son may die when he was born)...but it made me feel like I had come full circle, a type of cathartic moment really. So, I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to write about this event in my life ( in which I have had many challenges, like yourself). I love your blog, it is going so well---just as I thought it would. I know you were nervous and a little doubtful when you started, but it's blossoming into a lovely place to read and share.....good on you for having the courage to begin it. I hope to have the article written up for you soon--just need a little sleep and peace right now lol....

To Michelle, THANKYOU!

Sometimes, I assess my life and how incredibly busy I am and I feel like a fool for adding to that craziness by taking on such a huge, emotional and time consuming project.  Then I get an email like this, or I talk to someone who tells me they think what I'm doing IS worthwhile and again, I'm feeling like I did when I first voiced my dream.

Sleep well everyone. 
Hold your loved ones close.
Trine xxx

My little family, on a spring picnic - such a perfect day :)

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

If only love were enough..


~if love alone could have saved never would have died~

And so true..

If only, it were strong enough to make miracles happen.