So it's time to link up with Lizzi for the very last Ten Things of Thankful session of 2013. Let's do it!
1. I do hate to rub it in, seeing us almost all the regular participants in TToT that I know of other than myself and Michelle over in Singapore live in the northern hemisphere, but top of my list this weekend is the sunshine. After a long, wet and windy winter, I am so grateful for the weather we have been having here, even if there is an enormous heat wave on the way. Ben and I had our first dips in the ocean this week. We counted down from five together then raced into the water.
Afterwards Ben practised his long jump on the sand ...
I felt so refreshed and revived afterwards. It takes a lot to beat that feeling.
2. We also found a starfish down by the beach. When I look at it, it makes me think of someone spreading out their arms in joy. I find that when I concentrate on having a peaceful frame of mind, I find beauty in nature wherever I turn.
3. Giuseppe went off to do some grocery shopping this week, as he often does. We'd run out of both dish washing detergent and washing powder a couple of days before and I reminded him about half a dozen times before he left that those were the two most important items to remember. He remembered to buy them alright, but he forgot to actually put the shopping bag with them inside into the shopping trolley afterwards. He didn't realise until he'd got home and unpacked everything. This is not the first time this year he's done this (sometimes I think he likes to invite drama into our lives!) But I am thankful that when I called the supermarket they said "We were waiting for you to call - we've got the bag here waiting for you to pick up when you're ready". When he went back to get it he bought me some chocolate too, so I can't even complain that it was a waste of petrol :)
4. G also had a half day off work this week and we went on a bit of a spontaneous "date" (with the baby), four wheel driving off the beaten track about half an hour from where we live. It was so wonderful to be so close to nature. I'm going to post the photos I took on Wednesday, but here is a little sneak peak ...
5. Speaking of four wheel driving, I'm also thankful for the "shake up" I had during the process (no wonder they say it can induce labour!). For a good hour or so, it jiggled my wobbly bits up and down and although it made me realise I had more wobbly bits than I'd realised, it kind of felt like exercising without having to do the exercise. Perhaps I should do this more often?
6. I was rummaging around in the shed looking for something when I found an old suitcase. I unzipped it and found it was full of summer clothes I'd forgotten about that I stored away more than a year ago when I was pregnant. I haven't worn any of them for two years and revisiting them was like all my Christmases coming at once.
7. This week, a post I wrote, When the Man You Married Marries Someone Else,was featured over at mamapedia. I had no idea or really any expectations about how it would be received, but was so happy and humbled to see that it really struck a chord with quite a few women who wrote that it gave them hope for their own situations. It feels really good to know that I could offer hope to other women through sharing my experience.
8. I'm thankful that Ben passed his level 8 swimming test. When I think that last year he had to do level 4 three times before passing onto the next level, I realise just how far he's come.
9. I'm thankful that my friend Justine just so happened to be in the right place at the right time when I needed her. Ben missed the bus home from school on the one afternoon a week that I work. The lady in the school office tried to call home, but we'd taken the home phone off the hook and Giuseppe had put his mobile on silent so that he and the baby could have an uninterrupted nap. The office lady then rang me at work, but the students were just coming in for their lesson and I'm pretty sure my boss would have been slightly more than furious if I'd had to abandon ship to go and pick Ben up from school. The other alternative would have been for him to wait at the school for another two hours until I'd finished work, but the office staff go home almost immediately after school and that would mean he would be by himself, so that was obviously out of the question. For about ten seconds, I was absolutely at a loss with what to do, then the office lady said "Hang on, someone called Justine has just come in and said she knows you and she can drop Ben home. Do you give her permission?" Serendipitously, my friend Justine had to pop into the school office after school (the first time she'd been in in months, she told me later), so my problem was instantly fixed.
10. I'm thankful for all the sights and sounds of summer that arrive alongside the warm weather. They say that when the last of the flowers on the peppermint trees disappear that summer is really here and here to stay and this week I noticed that had happened.
The cicadas have also started their singing each day and yesterday I found a goanna in my backyard. Nothing says it's summer in Australia like finding a goanna in your backyard.
Friendly goanna ...
No-so-friendly goanna ...
(this one's a bit blurry cos I jumped out of my skin when he stuck out his tongue!)
And because in a week from now all the magnificent hibiscus flowers that I keep finding all over the place in yellows, pinks, reds and oranges may have dried up in the heatwave, I made sure I took a moment to be especially grateful for the spectacular pink ones that are still in all their spendor in our front garden.
"Just living is not enough ... one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower".
Hans Christian Andersen