Sunday, 31 December 2017

My 2017:)

It's been a tough year, I'm not going to lie. There have been moments that have tested me to my absolute limit in the last 12 months and have made me want to crawl under the table and sleep for an eternity.

BUT

I am determined to see the good in everything that I experience and do. Whatever this year has thrown at me, and however bad it has been, there has also been the polar opposite - awesomeness. There has been fun, and celebration, and moments of pure awesome, and in keeping with the upbeat nature of my little ol' blog, I am going to write about the positive moments of 2017, accompanied by the best of my photos. Ready? Here we go!

Here I am with my family. It goes without saying this year that they are the most amazing folk ever. We have a lot to be thankful for this year, but mostly that we are all together and we are as happy and healthy as we can be. This photo was us on Christmas day having explored a number of different poses. It turns out we all know how to pull this particular face.

This photo represents Mr E.P. I've been able to spend a lot of time with this favourite person of mine this year and it was lovely. He helps me feel like everything's going to be okay, and that's been so very important this year. This is the pumpkin he carved while we were in the US together. Isn't it cute?

This is the lovely Morgan. Without her this year, I wouldn't have been able to do half the things I have done. She is not only my work wife and friend, she is my right-hand woman and a literary genius. Here she is in Canada in one of 2 of the best photos I have taken of her. I have given her exclusive rights to the other one so you'll have to see it for yourself here.

This is Andy, and I think this is one of the most wonderful photos I took of him this year, making friends with a butterfly in Toronto. He and I have been through a lot this year, including a day trip to Belgium, and an epic trip to Canada. 

This is Hannah and Nina. They have been a source of peace for me this year, and have drawn me back into play several times when I have over-worked myself. This includes the shortest ever Christmas party that I had a couple of weeks ago, and also includes this fabulous puddle jumping moment, one of the best pics I have taken this year.

Here is the best snow dinosaur I have made so far, done with the help of Mr E.P in the US. This made me really really happy. 

This photo represents the Playwork Campference, and is probably the best photo I was able to take all year. I spent 6 months of my life organising 4 days of amazing play days for 90 people in California. I had realised that might be one of the biggest achievements of my entire life even before the apocalyptic rainstorm. I can't quite believe that we were able to pull this off, and that we are in the process or organising the next. I love this photo - the movement of that smoke and the captivated expression on this young lady's face reminds me of why I do what I do.

This photo is the most beautiful one I took while in Canada. This represents that moment when I thought my heart would explode: when my cup was at its fullest after being completely emptied. I had an amazing time during my 2 month trip there, and met some amazing people. 

This photo sums up an amazing year with my lovely PMs, specifically Lee, Shazia, Ric and Dave. Thank you for sticking with me this year and physically helping me through some rough patches. And many congratulations again to Shazia on her marriage - thank you for letting me be part of it! :) This trophy needs blogging about another day, but yes it is a pile a golden animals on a plinth. And yes, Shazia won. :)

My lovely nephew gets his own mention in this blog. He is awesome, shows me how to slow down and be still every time I see him, and reminds me of what it means to adore and love the folks around me.

And here is my amazing niece. She teaches me that there's newness in every day to be amazed at and to be inspired by. She asks the most questiony questions I have ever heard, and tells the best crazy stories.

My 2017 has been mad, but thanks to the above people (plus many other amazing un-photographed folks) and a few heart warming moments, my year had enough balance. I wish that there could be less sadness and more joy, but I thank God nonetheless that I was able to survive and I am grateful for every uplifting moment I was able to part of, to see me through.

See you later, 2017. Let's see what 2018 has to bring.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Nibling Stories

*****

You saw that your cousin was upset. He was sad and all the big people were either trying to find out what was upsetting him, or where pretending that nothing was happening. You were playing quietly in the other room, and suddenly you realised that someone was opening a pomelo. This is a fruit that you love and makes you very happy, so you wander over and grab a piece. You decided that you weren't going to eat this first piece, instead, you silently stepped around the dining table and quietly deposited it into your crying cousin's hands, with the words "It's okay". This is as much comfort as a 2.5 year old can offer, and your Auntie Zan was very proud of you right there in the moment, and glad that you didn't throw your comfort at him like you did last time.

*****

You were given a paper plane and it was exquisite. Pointy in all the right places, with wings! Your cousin had one too and she was doing something complicated with her fingers and throwing it. That seemed all too much for this simple object. All you wanted to do was make it fly, so you did! You raced around the room with the paper plane in your hand, making all the right noises and pointing your whole self into the shape of an aeroplane, zooming along and having a great time. Who cares if the plane was sometimes facing the wrong way, or if it didn't fly independently. As far as you were concerned, you were gifted with a plane and now you were the plane whooshing back and forth across the house. Look at you go!

*****

I managed to slip into the room as you closed the door. In the dark, 4 little feet stomped on the floor, laughing hysterically: you were having the best time. One idea followed another as the play evolved, from stomping with the lights off to stomping with the lights on, to jumping, to sliding, to laying and then you both pretended to sleep. And then one of you found an imaginary spider and then one of the daddies came in and a new play frame was created. Both little people would cuddle me at the top of the stairs while we summoned Daddy Spider. We would wait until the moment he rounded the corner and lurched up the stairs. Instantly everyone would scream - a sound that was a mixture of excited fear and joyous alarm - and then run into the room and shut the door. This lasted a good half an hour and Daddy Spider dutifully lurched up the stairs every time the tiny little voices asked for him. I was so pleased that Daddy Spider played along for so very long and was genuinely impressed at how long these two little people sustained this play frame. Everything stopped quite suddenly when one little person became overwhelmed with emotions, but both niblings talked about Daddy Spider for a while after they had parted company. No, they probably weren't going to remember Daddy Spider when they were bigger, but yes, this was a big thing for them right there in that moment. I'm so glad that we were part of it.

*****