Celebrating 25 Years Anniversary of Love and Trust

Today marks the day… 25 years of wedded bliss… and successful challenges overcome!  It seems like a lifetime ago, that I walked down that aisle proudly taking my husband’s name.  Young, sweet and innocent… yet full of hopes and dreams.  Similarly, it seems like only yesterday.

Reflecting on the last 25 years, I surely would not change a thing.  I met the man of my dreams, far from perfect, but perfect for me.  We fit like hand-in-glove.  I am so grateful to have my husband as my best friend.  He has been my support, my rock and encouraged me throughout our married life.  We raised 2 wonderful sons now pursuing their own successes in life.

Remember that feeling of a new love… the excitement in a relationship, the unpredictability and exploring new emotions in unchartered territory.  Those feelings developed and togetherness just felt right.  25 years on… through the raising of a family and business ventures… those feelings still reside.

That love becomes comfortable and secure.  Sometimes we do not appreciate what we have and who we have in our life every day.  We must stop… think and feel.  That love that surrounds us and is enduring, but still needs nurturing and protecting.  The small things really matter.

Life throws us challenges and obstacles in our path.  It is how we handle these situations, that will make or break us.  We can only control what we do, think and say.  We cannot control those thoughts and feelings of our partner, nor should we want to.  Tolerance, patience and understanding is a big part of the balancing act.

Thankfully, our marriage has survived 25 years, mainly due to mutual support, passion, friendship, respect, communication and encouragement of each other.  Life has not always been a bed of roses, however, it is with inner strength, faith in our marriage and commitment that we can celebrate today.

I am so grateful for my husband… for the support he has given me in the good times and the encouragement through the bad times.  I love him for all that he is and all that he brings to my life.  I believe that he has helped shape me into the strong, determined and motivated woman that I am today.

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband Peter and thank you for 25 beautiful years and making life so interesting.

Now all I want to do in my life… is to help others… feel contentment, speak freely and love who they are and what their purpose is in life.

Take care, Karen.

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“A wedding anniversary is the celebration of love,

trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity.

The order varies for any given year.”

~ Paul Sweeney.

Rural Reflections #21

Tired, exhausted and distracted with life… that I have neglected to write for you and for me.  That underlying passion that sparks my soul when I use my thoughts and words to connect with my life… it has been simmering beneath the breeze.

But I am back, still tired, still distracted, but ready to reflect once again.  I have been busy with farming, business life, new business ventures, voluntary activities and now my health has taken priority.  Why is it so hard for women to put themselves first and value their own health status?  Usually, it is when our health fails us, that we decide to make it more of a priority.

Another sinus surgery to follow-up from last year, has left me feeling tired, as my office work started to pile up.  Starting to get back on top of it, yet distracted by means of too many roles to participate in.  I have been reflecting on the important things in life.  My health, my family and my passion.

I look back over the years… proud of success, learning from failures and connecting with many people, making a difference in this world.  Success comes in so many forms.  But so many people focus on success being an overall goal.  This is so untrue and can leave people feeling unnecessary disappointment.

Success is all the little things that you do throughout every day of your life.  Success is teaching your child good manners.  Success is ensuring your partner feels loved.  Success is bringing happiness into someone else’s life.  The small things that good people just do without a conscious thought… that is real success.

So rather than focusing on the happy marriage, the new car, the dream home or the ideal job that you will get one day… focus on those little successful events throughout your day.  And remember that disappointment or failure is just a lesson to teach us there is another way or something better around the corner.

So today I share with you a photo taken in 2010 from another farming property of mine.  A farm that holds many memories of my sons teenage years.  A farm called “Kokoda” between Inverell and Glen Innes NSW.

A farm that brings me joy when I reflect… but also sadness for a time when my husband had broken a vertebrae in his back as a result of a Quadbike farm injury, only 4 years ago.  A serious injury that my dear husband has now thankfully overcome.

Life happens, injuries happen… but it is how we get through it and how we move forward that is important.  It is during this very stressful time that I realised how lucky I really was.  Lucky to have a loving husband and lucky to have 2 sons to support us through this tough time.

Life will always have ups and downs… for each and every one of us.  This photo that I share is a reflection upon times gone by and a reminder to just appreciate the beauty and tranquil surrounds.

Rural Reflection #21…

21 Times Gone By at Kokoda

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I love this photo for the good memories it arouses in me.  The beautiful natural green pastures with a sprinkling of white clover.  The memories of our Hereford cattle beneath those trees chewing their cuds.  Memories of family mustering and enjoying each others company.  Good memories stay with us, wherever we are.

So as life moves on, our memories are retained within, and we pursue new chapters within our lives.  When you reflect on your life… you really can see how successful you are every single day.  Cherish those experiences and enjoy what life brings your way.  You never know what is around the corner.

Take care,

Karen.

“Success is not in what you have,

but who you are”.

~Bo Bennett, Author

 

Rural Reflections #11

Farmers are true believers in their industry, thus leaving them emotionally and psychologically exposed.  As the challenges consume us in this current drought… it is more important than ever… to reframe our way of thinking and believe we will get through this again.  We must first accept we are in a drought and find a way to move forward by focusing on the important things in our lives such as our family and our health.

On Friday, my husband and I attended a Community Forum on Drought and Mental Health held in Tamworth.  “The Big Community Muster” presentation covered 11 locations in 6 days and was a very informative and enjoyable event on rural health and resilience.  A dedicated team entirely decked in brightly-coloured Trade Mutts work shirts attire and designed to be a conversation starter… was the visual highlight.

Guest Speakers included:

  • Gerard O’Brien – RSM Australia Director.  He had a comprehensive understanding of the rural issues faced by farmers in this unprecedented drought event.  Gerard shared information regarding the Rural Assistance Authority drought loans and applications as well as the DroughtHub resource.
  • Alister Bennett – NSW State Agribusiness Manager for ANZ.  He works with farmers across the state regarding farm business financial management.  Alister provided information regarding agribusiness managers and encouraged farmers to have a good open relationship with their agribusiness manager in both good times and bad.
  • Dennis Hoiberg – founder of Lessons Learnt Consulting.  He is an organisational consultant and a key public speaker on emotional well-being and resilience.  Dennis spoke in a practical and humorous way to engage farmers interest, yet still managed to get the important message across very effectively.

The key message of RESILIENCE is not about being tough… it is about being whole.  It is not about bouncing back, it is about bouncing forward.  Resilience is not just about thinking happy thoughts, it is about action.

Dennis reminded us that it will NOT be the drought that breaks us, it will be minor issues in our lives.  These issues will affect our relationships and health.  Resilience is about being able to accept the drought situation and finding a way to move forward.  Dennis Hoiberg’s book The White Knuckled Ride provides thoughts, experiences and strategies to help people become resilient.

This day was effectively presented and farmers walked away with some positive information in moving forward, despite the stress and hardships they are suffering.  With a determined hope, farmers were reassured that they will get through this.

This has reminded me to appreciate all that is around us.  The drought is only the situation… a situation we must move through… and we will.  What is important is our relationships, our children, our families and our friends… those that we share our life journey with.

So today I will reflect on the current drought situation and share a photo from our farming property.  I usually prefer to show you an old photo of green grass and happier times.  But this is the situation and we are in DROUGHT… but today I CHOOSE to show you the BEAUTY within this frame.

Rural Reflection #11…

11 Look for the Real Beauty

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This photo is taken only a month ago and things are no better with the weather situation now.  But I choose to look beyond this.  I accept we are in a drought.  I know finances are in a terrible state.  I know feeding stock has become the norm.  I know physically we are wearing out.  I know mentally we need to protect what we have.  So I look beyond the dry parched land.

  • I see the rich black fertile soil awaiting a better season and I feel grateful that we have this soil beneath us.
  • I see a clear blue sky and appreciate that I can breathe this clean air every day.
  • I see a pretty pink haze, remnants of the bushfires from a distance and feel relief that farmers have protected their environment without casualties.
  • I see a mob of Hereford cattle that we have managed to keep productive and I appreciate their quiet natures for breeding stock.
  • I see a few Kurrajong Trees on the left and understand their environmental and feeding value on the farm.
  • I see the vastness on our property and am thankful that we are lucky to live in a beautiful agricultural environment.
  • But more importantly, I see my youngest son riding his motorbike to check livestock and I recognise his real passion for agriculture, his passion for cattle breeding and his passion to make our lives better.

With the stress of dealing with the drought, we sometimes overlook the most important things in our lives.  We start to focus so much on the negativity and the struggles we are faced with every single day.  We worry how on earth we will get through this.

But it is our husband, our wife, our children, our parents, our siblings and our friends… that we need to re-focus on.  They are the ones that really matter in our lives.

I am so lucky to have a caring husband that I admire for his true passion in this industry and I value his love and support.  I am lucky to have 2 wonderful sons that we have raised to honourable young men, leading their own unique lives and paving their own way.  I am lucky to have a beautiful mother that has been my inspiration to make this a better world and see the beauty in everything.  I am lucky to have a sister that tries her hardest in all that she does and is raising 3 beautiful children in the process.  I am lucky to have a few friends that I hold close to my heart and I value their friendship and support.

We all have to look at what really matters to us and where the real value is in our lives.  The love we have for our family and friends is what will get us through this drought.  Let’s make a plan to survive this tough time, accept what we cannot change and move forward wherever that may be.

Rather than see the depressing effect of drought on the land and our finances… choose to focus on the real beauty surrounding us.  Look beyond the surface… find the beauty… and enjoy the little things in life.

Take care, Karen.

“I cannot always control what is going on around me,

but I can always control what I think about what is going on around me.”

~ Lucy MacDonald

 

Revel in Country Music at Australia’s #1 Festival

Get ready for Australia’s largest music festival starting in only 3 days.  Tamworth NSW is famous for hosting the annual Toyota Country Music Festival in January each year.  A festival where many renowned country music artists and thousands of fans flock from all over the nation and from abroad to our regional city for 10 whole days of fun, live music and entertainment.

Not only is this the largest music festival in Australia, but the second largest music festival in the world.  WOW that is huge… 700 artists, at more than 2800 events across the city, over 10 days and nights.  Starting Friday 18th January until Sunday 27th January 2019… there is something for everyone.  And it is not too late!

The Tamworth Country Music Festival is a unique festival experience and attendance is free to all.  There are free shows every night in Toyota Park (Bicentennial Park) for you to enjoy.  Main streets are closed off for buskers, stalls, children’s activities and street performers.  You can choose from over 2800 free and ticketed shows over the 10 days in the park, pubs, clubs and hotels around Tamworth.  The Tamworth region is dynamic and in full festival swing.

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The Country Music Festival is a family-friendly event, with free concerts in Toyota Park (Bicentennial Park) in Kable Avenue, the Toyota Country Music Fanzone stage in Fitzroy Street, busking and live entertainment for all ages.  Bring the whole family and check out the Family Zone for rides, entertainment and more in Kable Avenue during the festival.

There are tickets available for gigs by performing artists in the lead-up and during the Country Music Festival.  From live performances, entertainment, country music attractions and other festival activities… this annual event is not to be missed.

To name a few of the renowned performers for the 2019 Country Music Festival…. Kasey Chambers, Troy Cassar-Daley, Adam Harvey, Beccy Cole, Travis Collins, Catherine Britt, Adam Brand and The Bushwackers.

If the red carpet tickles your fancy… the Golden Guitar Awards night is an opportunity to rub shoulders with the biggest names in country music and see them perform in one huge concert at the TRECC.  This is the finale to the 10 day Toyota Country Music Festival Tamworth 2019.  The Golden Guitar Awards are the nation’s longest running music awards concert.

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In search of the next Toyota Star Maker 2019… 10 of Australia’s top emerging country music artists will compete to become the 40th Toyota Star Maker winner at the Grand Final, the main event on the first Sunday of the festival.  The 2018 Toyota Star Maker Winner last year was Brad Cox.

My husband and I did attend a few concerts and shows last year with some good friends.  I remember enjoying Australian singer/songwriter Shane Nicholson at “The Pub” last year.  We also laughed with friends at the “Longyard Hotel” when listening to the crazy antics of a fast-paced show with the Australian band The Bushwackers.  After attending the free Opening Concert in the park and enjoying a variety of artists, I then purchased tickets to attend the “Moonshiners Honky Tonk Bar” for Travis Collins show later in the week.  I also love to walk around the Tamworth street stalls and listen to the variety of buskers… always finding a favourite.

If you are wanting something a little different, you can enjoy the excitement of the ABCRA National Finals Rodeo and Campdraft.  A week of elite Rodeo and Campdraft action at Tamworth’s Australian Equine Livestock & Events Centre (AELEC)   The thrill of cowboys competing for the buckle… highly experienced bucking stock, who thrive on dumping cowboy’s in the dust… and cowgirls upon their horses in a showdown after years of training.  The dynamic energy will have you on the edge of your seat.

Another new 2-day event to provide an exciting, unique and new element to the Tamworth Country Music Festival for both tourists and locals… is the Great Australian Round Up.  It is to be held at AELEC to celebrate our farming heritage and support our agricultural future.  This is a charity event raising money for the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners and other vital rural services.  Showcasing Australian country exhibitions and memorabilia from the legendary Longreach Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame.  The main event will include internationally renowned Guy McLean and his incredible stock horses, as seen on Australia’s Got Talent (see YouTube link for his audition).  An elite Rodeo extravaganza will follow.  Not only the excitement of rodeo action, The Great Australian Round Up rodeo will tell a story of the heritage of rodeo in Australia, highlighting its importance in today’s rural communities.

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Tamworth country music attractions available all year round include the Big Golden Guitar, Australian Country Music Hall of Fame, Wax Museum, Galaxy of Stars, Roll of Renown and Hands of Fame.

Keep in mind, the Tamworth agricultural industry has been suffering the effects of drought on the land, so the businesses in town have felt this too.  This annual festival is a chance for you to come and spend your money in Tamworth to support the local businesses who have suffered as a domino effect of this horrid drought.  We have seen drought support across the nation, but now is your chance to help first hand and put money back into our rural community by attending this entertaining festival.  We are all in this together and I hope that we can all enjoy some time-out, great music and entertainment galore.

So it doesn’t matter if you are seeking live country music entertainment, exciting country activities or sensational country events… it will all be here ready and waiting for you in Tamworth NSW.  Come and see what the Tamworth region has to offer.  Book your accommodation now and bring your family and friends, a hat, sunscreen, fold-up chair or picnic rug for outdoor concerts, photo ID for the pubs/clubs… and you will be ready for an experience you will never forget.

For more information see Toyota Country Music Festival Tamworth 2019.

Take care, Karen.

“A good country song 

takes a page out of somebody’s life

and puts it to music.”

~ Conway Twitty, American Country Music Singer

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Rural Reflections #3

Where does your road lead you to?  We all have a long and winding road within our lives.  Our journey along this road… is what we make of it.

We need to appreciate the journey and not look for a final destination in our lives.  Appreciate our loved ones that we share this road with.  Appreciate the natural beauty all around us.  And appreciate the heart and soul within us all.

After a busy weekend on the farm, family commitments and a bought of heat exhaustion… my reflection is a little late this time.  The never-ending tasks on the farm and the workload 7 days a week, more so as a result of drought as time becomes a limiting factor… is tiring me.  It has left me thinking about what is really important in our lives.  Our family, our loved ones, those that our lives revolve around… these people are the ones we need to cherish and hold dearly.

I spent my Sunday mustering stock, early weaning calves, weighing stud cattle and organising some cows to sell to pay a few bills.  The dry and dusty conditions and the heat makes it a very tiring day.  The usual early start to beat the heat and finally a late dinner by 8:30pm.  Then comes the paperwork and updating computer records to meet record-keeping requirements on-farm.  I finished at 1:00am in the morning.

So then only 4 and a half hours sleep before Monday morning weighing lambs and sending the lambs off to market.  The lack of sleep coupled with the heat, left me with heat exhaustion.  By 4:30pm yesterday and the shock of vomiting, as weakness and vagueness set in, I gave in to the exhaustion and lay on down.  I awoke in a daze over 2 hours later, confused somewhat but ready for dinner.  No office work that evening at all.  I made a dinner from leftovers in the fridge, showered and watched a nice movie on television.  An enjoyable evening and one that has become a rarity.  Relaxation has been lost this last year… and is greatly missed.

Today as my office work is piling up and I procrastinate as to where to start, I decide to write this blog first.  My chance to unwind mentally and share a part of my life with you all.  I reflected on the relevance of the photo I have chosen for today.

Rural Reflection #3…

03 Road Well-travelled Leading on Home

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This photo shows the driveway to my property and my home near Tamworth NSW.  It was taken in April 2017 in the Autumn, when the green aspect was the norm.  I really like the dark green tree on the right for its facade and shape but I have no idea what sort of tree it actually is.  Does anybody recognise what tree this may be?

I like this photo as it depicts a road well-travelled and a road that leads on home.  It also reflects a better season than what is upon us right now and reminds me that one day the drought will be over and we will see this green scenery once again.

Sometimes life just gets too busy that we do not stop to appreciate the simple things in our life.  I can look at this photo and know that whatever challenges I have to face… I still have a road that leads to home and a haven where I can also find my own inner peace and where my happiness now resides.

As my sons have grown up now and living their own lives independently, I also hope they see a road that leads them back home to us to appreciate their history and the roots of our family.  I also hope that they find their own future happiness and be able to continue to return along this road… to where a loving family awaits their cherished visits.

One thing we must all understand… it is not the home and materialistic objects in our lives, that are of value.  It is the people, our loved ones in our lives… that make our home a home.  The road that we follow in our life, is one that we carve out.  A road that leads us to our own true happiness.

Take care, Karen.

“Chase your dreams

but always know the road

that’ll lead you home again.”

~ Tim McGraw

 

How to Find Peace In Our Life By Self Domination

Life is way too short to leave the key to our own happiness in someone else’s pocket.  We are responsible for our own thoughts and actions.  We cannot control other’s, nor should we even want to.  Everyone has their own opinions, but we choose how we react to them.

The moment we realise that our happiness and contentment is upon our own shoulders… life can truly begin.  Sadly we find fault in others, which seems human nature, when we should be looking within.  We all need to look within ourselves to find the answers and not rely on someone else to make us happy.

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I have found that I am starting to look at life very differently, almost philosophical, and have assumed alternate views.  I used to react to situations that were outside of my control.  I used to worry excessively and aim for happiness as if I am on a journey to find “it”.   A journey without a final destination.

When we are younger, we think that our happiness is a direct result of finding the “perfect” partner, building an exquisite home, having a child, finding the ideal job, buying our favourite car, following the latest fashion fair or finding real friendships in our lives.

The truth is we do not need someone else to find happiness in our life and we do not need materialistic objects to “complete” us.  These people and items may bring us enjoyment and a feeling of closeness or inclusiveness.  But real happiness lies within us and we have the key to our own happiness.  We need to shift our mindset and look at the bigger picture.  Then almost magically, you will see the right people drawn to you and happiness will blossom.Heart, Butterfly, Flight Path, Spring

I now choose to look within myself and change my own thoughts, feelings or actions in order to create my own contentment.  The beauty of this concept is that we can control all of this within… and we will see personal growth along the way.  We do not need to rely on other peoples conduct or behaviour, which is out of our scope.  Our own behaviour then becomes less reactive and more actionable.

We spend our lives trying to figure out who we are and what we want.  We worry about what might have been or who is “on my side” in life.  We tend to overthink situations and possible scenarios.  We can also create an issue based on our own perspective.

Perception is a powerful reality in life.  One person’s perception can be entirely in contrast to another person’s interpretation.  Right and wrong is not the issue.  Personal perceptions are just that… PERSONAL… to each individual.  We imagine things through our own perspective only.  The same situation or incident will be interpreted differently by those involved.  We are all unique and have our own emotional response and reactions.

Love, Relationship, Ice, Fire, Feelings

How many of you have had someone you trusted disappoint you?  How many of you have broken relationships or severed family ties?  How many of you feel overwhelmed with the impact these fractured relationships have had upon you?

We all have our own issues and baggage within our lives.  We are all human and a hurricane of emotions are inevitable.  If somebody says or does something which annoys or upsets you… you have the power to not react negatively and allow contempt to consume you.  Consider that you may be understanding from your own perspective only… and the other person from theirs.  Both parties can be unaware of the real situation and missing the intent of the discussion.

Forgiveness is often an understated action, if this reflects any situation in our lives.  To forgive, is to stop feeling angry or resentful towards someone for an offence, flaw or mistake.  The necessary process of forgiveness… is not to “let someone off the hook” or excuse their behaviour, ignorance or impoliteness.  Forgiveness is a process to allow our own growth and happiness.

A lot of us fail to realise that forgiveness is not about the offender, it is about us.  When we hold on to the hurt, pain, resentment or anger… it harms us far more than it harms the offender.  Forgiveness allows us to move forward without anger, contempt or seeking revenge.  This is essential to release yourself from any situation and to move forward in your own life.  Forgiveness “frees” you by taking control… and peace will remain.

Peace, Love, Harmony, Hope, Happy, Faith

We waste too much time worrying and forget to just breathe.  We need to learn how to appreciate and just “exist” in the moment.  The time has come for me… to stop the overthinking and worrying.  When I decided that I was “done” with anything that does not bring me peace, my life changed.  I feel content… I feel calmness… I feel happiness embalming me.

Then the magic begins… when you see your loved ones with a sense of adoration in you and inspiration in their own life.  Not only do they see the real you, they are inspired to become the better version of themselves as well.  It then becomes contagious.  Be yourself, love your family, appreciate your friendships, practice forgiveness, just live in the moment and peace will be the cherished outcome.

Take care, Karen.

“If you want to be happy, 

do not dwell in the past, 

do not worry about the future, 

focus on living fully in the present.”

~ Roy T. Bennett 

Love, Heart, Key, Castle

Believe In The Magic Of The Christmas Season

It is not what is under the Christmas tree that matters… but those who are gathered around it.  And those who are not present with you but are thought about fondly in those magical moments.  There is not only one meaning for Christmas, but many.

Family is the most important part of Christmas for most people, including me.  It doesn’t matter if your family is sharing Christmas with you… or thinking of you from afar… or even watching over you from above.  There is one common factor… the LOVE in our heart.  Family is the greatest blessing in our life.

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This year my eldest son and his girlfriend are hosting Christmas for both families.  A milestone for him… as it is the first Christmas he will host in his own home.  My husband and I will be spending Christmas with my eldest son and share the celebration he has planned.  Although this year it will be different for me, not as the host, making me somewhat anxious.  But I am very excited for him and glad to support this new adventure with him.

Sadly it will also be my first Christmas without the presence of my youngest son, as he is having Christmas with his girlfriend’s family this year.  The anxiety of change affects us all, yet inevitable in keeping family time fair and enjoyable for all.  I will miss him but glad he is able to be a supportive partner this season.

When our children are little and dependent upon us, Christmastime is joyful and filled with laughter in a childlike way.  We watch as gifts are unwrapped, presents enjoyed and we are delighted to make our children happy.  I remember those early years when the boxes and wrapping paper were just as much entertainment as the present itself.  I am sure those with young children will relate to this.

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As our children grow up and flee the nest, we have to learn to share them and experience the new ways of celebrating Christmas.  We must learn to accept change and appreciate our children and their new families.

Christmas brings so much love and joy, wherever you are.  Whether it is the delicious food shared, the atmosphere surrounding us, the giving of special gifts or the smiles, hugs and laughter we embrace.

I feel lucky this year to have my own Mum spending Christmas with us too.  I booked her a flight when she agreed to leave her usual Christmas post at her own home.  It really is very exciting to have her spending time with us this Christmas.

My sister’s family are also close-by, so I will fit in a visit to see them all too.  I am very happy for my nieces and nephew that they are able to spend Christmas Day at their own home this year, the first time in nearly 5 years.

Another Christmas we all spend without my Dad or father-in-law, but I know they are here in spirit, with heartfelt hand upon our shoulder.  It is hard emotionally when we lose a loved one and the memory of Christmas changes dramatically.  I choose to focus on how lucky I was to have that person influence me and my life.  I also reflect on those enjoyable and entertaining times we did spend together.  Just knowing of their guidance that I feel all around me… is reassuring and the love remains.

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So this Christmas, enjoy time with your family members and good friends.  Cherish all those around you and all those in your heart.  This is a time for sharing, giving and believing.

Christmas is our opportunity to pause for a moment and reflect upon the most important things surrounding us.  Through warmth and joy… Christmas is magical when our loved ones are surrounding us or tucked safely in our heart.  I hope the magic of Christmas is alive and well within your home and peace shines upon you all.  Family is a gift that lasts forever.

Take care, Karen.

“The best gift around the Christmas tree

is the presence of family

wrapped in love.

~ Author Unknown

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The Eternal Love We Have For Our Children

How much do our children mean to us?  As a mother, I think our children are at the top of our priority list.  They cannot be replaced, they make us proud, you love them unconditionally, you simply want them to be happy.  Nobody else will ever know the strength of love that we have for our children.  They are the only ones to know what our heart sounds like from the inside, imprinting on us immensely right from the start.

I have 2 wonderful sons, now in their early twenties, living their own unique lives independently.  They will probably not understand, until they have children of their own, how loved and meaningful they truly are to me.

In those early years, I think a lot of us do not comprehend the significance that we make in our parents lives.  It wasn’t until I become a mother, that I truly did appreciate and re-evaluate the extent of the relationship with my parents.  I think it is then, that I finely appreciated and formed a lasting friendship with my own mother.  To watch a grandmother display her love and affection to her new grandchildren, is the most beautiful and selfless act one could see.

My sons were fortunate to have been raised on a farm too, giving them the freedom and space to evolve.  Boys and mud, went hand in hand, nearly every day.  I remember when they were newborns, all I wanted to do was stare at their beautiful faces and tiny helpless hands.  The love was overflowing, but also burdened with new responsibilities.

When my boys were toddlers and dragged along to cattle sales or farm outings, they would take their bag of matchbox cars and plastic farm animals.  I was always amazed how they created their own fun and their personalities were coming through.  They would make car tracks in the dirt and have pretend cattle sales in the background.

As they got older, there was always the inconvenience that they lived too far from town and never got to do the things that their peers were doing.  But weekly sport involvement, weekend entertainment and other extra-curricular activities, ensured they were able to keep up with things the best way possible.

Then they mature and find their own paths in life.  It gives me a sense of contentment and pride.  My work is done.  But they still need reminding in life, how much they are loved by us and that we will support them always.  No matter how big they get, they will always be our babies in our hearts and our love will be eternal.

Our children need to understand that when we say “I love you”… this is not by habit… it is to remind them that they are the best thing that ever happened to us and they bring us so much joy.  Mothers think about their children every single day at all hours, even if they are not with her.

There is no right or wrong way to raise children whilst ever we love them and want them to grow into loving respectful people.  Doesn’t matter if we breast-feed or bottle-feed… a single parent or a couple… work full-time with childcare or a stay-at-home Mum… or even live in the city or country.  One way is not better than the other.  There is no competition needed.

Each family is unique and each child is unique and that is what makes our lives so interesting.  No family is perfect… we all have our own problems and find our own way to work through them.  As a parent, just do the best job you can with the knowledge and expertise that you have.  And enjoy the process of raising your beautiful children to adulthood.

Take care, Karen.

“A mother holds her children’s hands for a while,

but their hearts forever.”

~ Author Unknown

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