Monday, February 23, 2009

Bits and Bobs

Friday, when I got home from work, there was a really cutely wrapped present waiting on my pillow! My mum had ordered "Together Again For the First Time", a movie I worked on in my last year at BYU. It's out on a DVD now, and I hadn't seen it yet. It was really thoughtful of her, and I had fun watching it :) It was like a fun little trip down memory lane. It's a little record of several really great weeks in the middle of a several really bad months, and reminded me just how kind Heavenly Father is too us all.

Emily, I know that Parker will come 'when he's ready', but seriously! When is his actual due date? I keep checking your blog over and over because I'm all nervous and excited about his arrival :) I don't know how I'm going to go through all of this again in September with Brecken and baby Cook! *long, melodramatic sigh*

My brother's engagement party is on this coming Saturday. It's a tropical theme (luau), and our family (aka Mum with our help) are in charge of decorations! It should be a very good night. We'll be up decorating most of the day. mum's got flowers and banana leaves, and laes, and lights and palm trees!... The list goes on - I'll have to send you photos.

And guess who'll BE at this engagement party? Jenny! Ahhhh! So exciting - she's coming for a 1 week visit :) She flies into Perth for a month on Thursday of this week, and then is turning around to fly to Brisbane on Friday. She'll be here for a whole week, and we're going to 'do Brisbane'... I'm taking a week off work, and I'm almost as excited about THAT as I am about Jenny's visit.... lol

Tomorrow, I'm buying a car! Ahhh! It's a very cute car, and it's way more expensive than I had ever planned to spend.... I've been worrying and worrying for 2 and a half weeks over this purchase, and I'm finally biting the bullet. I'm hoping I'll be more excited when I actually drive the thing, because right now, I'm just stressing about how much money it all costs :( Stay tuned.

I followed a link on the church website yesterday, and stumbled on a new youtube channel that the church is sponsoring. It's called Mormon Messages and if you haven't seen them already, it's worth a look. I think the church has done a really nice job of producing little bite size videos on various ideas and themes, and I really liked them.

Okay, that's all for now - must run!

xo Tammy

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pay It Forward....

The first 3 people to leave a comment on this post will receive a hand made gift from me during this year. When and what will be a surprise. There's a small catch...You have to have a blog in order to play!

Post this on your blog then come back and leave a comment, telling me you're in. Fun, huh?

Remember, only the first 3 comments receive the gift. Let's see who looks at my blog! OK! Now don't fight!! But be one of the first 3 people and I will make you an AWESOME homemade gift. This is a lot of fun! Ready? Set? Go!

This was on my friend Sara's blog, and I decided to join in (the promise of a present, plus the thought of an 'already written blog entry' were just too much to resist!).

However, I make no guarantees. What you receive may be may not :)

However, I am my mother's child, so there must be some sort of crafty gene somewhere within me.

xo Tammy

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie...

My country's been having a difficult time of it over the last few weeks. I know many of you have been hearing about the unbelievable bush fires down in Victoria that have taken so many lives in an awesome and terrifying rage. In South Australia they've been struggling with soaring heat waves that have devastated the elderly and the very young. In NSW they've had fires too - though not as bad as Victoria's (and they've been sending many of their own firefighters over to Victoria to help). And then my state, Queensland, has had such severe rain and flooding that by the end of last week, more than 60% of my state was under water! 60%. And QLD is a really big state.

Nothing has affected me directly - we've been fine in Brisbane - but my heart as really really ached for all of those who have been facing such devastating natural disasters. It's difficult to see the images and hear the stories and not be able to rush to their side. Prayers help I hope. I've been really proud of my country though, and the way we've all pulled together, and been so generous. I was humbled the other day to hear about the people up in Northern QLD (some of whom are completely cut off from the rest of the world by flood waters), who have received monetary government assistance to help with the floods, and who have then turned around and donated it directly to the bush fire appeals. We've only got a small population in Australia, and yet we've raised over $100,000,000 in that appeal. And people are sending everything from clothes to beds to fridges to those who have lost everything.

My Mum's just started a blog now too: Sandy Speak, and she's posted 2 really fabulous articles about the things that have been going on. One is just photos, and the other is written. She's managed to say what I feel but haven't been able to put into words. Please go have a read if you have a moment (and leave her a comment - she loves comments too!).

xo Tammy

PS. I know, I know. I haven't written in ages and I was supposed to write every day! My Internet at home has been down, and then I've been really and honestly flat out with everything I have to do each day.... :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

A hop, skip & a jump

Today, to get to work by 7am, I will be:

1) Walking a few blocks to the bus stop
2) Catching the 5:58am bus at Lyndale Street approaching Marana St
3) Arriving at Edward St approaching Mary Street at 6:42am
4) Walking 235 metres (according to Translink - my online trip planner) to the Eagle St ferry terminal
5) Catching the Eagle street ferry at 6:57am
6) Arrive at the Holman Street Ferry Terminal (across the river) at 7:02am
7) and walking 180 metres to the front door of my office

a) This is a succinct public transport option, really. And I'm glad it's not any worse!
b) I can read on a bus/ferry (unlike a car) so that's fun.
c) I love the river, so the 3 minute ferry ride is always pleasant - especially first up in the morning, or late in the afternoon (love that light on the water!)
d) Unfortunately, it's not fun enough to make me want to do the public transport thing permanently
d) I would really, really, like to find a car that works now.

xo Tammy

PS. My watch stopped working yesterday.... Ahhh! What will I do without my watch?! Does nothing work anymore?!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

My new job :)

I received a new calling just before Christmas: I'm the Stake Young Women's specialist, and my role is essentially to act as a sort of 3rd councillor in our very busy stake young women's presidency. My special responsibility is to look after Personal Progress and Camp Craft within the stake, but it extends to doing anything else that needs to be done too.

And I'm absolutely loving this calling :) It is much more time consuming than I had expected, but I was really ready for it (Heavenly Father knew that long before I did of course!). It's good for me to be spending a good portion of my time doing service and working actively in a spiritual cause, and I've already noticed huge differences in my life.

This coming week, for example, I've got some practices with a 'choir' of priests in our stake (who are the musical item for a Stake Youth Fireside we have on Sunday night), I'm also meeting with a member of the Stake Relief Society Presidency to go through music for a musical item at the upcoming Young Woman's/Relief Society fireside in a month or so (I'll be helping a group of young women put together that musical item). And then on Wednesday night, I've got a Stake YW Presidency meeting, followed by the YW/AP Stake Council meetings. On Sunday we've got that Stake Youth Fireside (we're using the A Brand New Year program that was launched on New Years Eve in Salt Lake for the youth World Wide). I've got to bring 4 x 7-layer dips and chips to that for the supper after the fireside. Sometime during the week I've got to contact each of the ward Young Women presidents in the stake to go through some personal progress stats that we need to collect, and I've got to talk to a few different sisters in the stake about possibly helping us with some other upcoming activities. Thursday night I've also got to attend a training session (and present a spot on Personal Progress) with the YW's presidency in one of the wards.

And that's just all between tonight and next Sunday night! And let me tell you - each week looks about as busy! There are stake dances, young women in excellence evenings, new beginnings evening, beehive nights, ward conferences, regular ward visits, stake dances, stake youth activities, firesides, ward and stake trainings, camps, meetings, meetings, and meetings!

This last week, I was getting very stressed about things. Between working, trying to figure out what to do with my evil car, trying to keep up with the new goals I've been trying to meet, doing several calling things and sleeping, I was starting to feel like this lifestyle is crazier than life at the climax of a few infamous exam weeks during uni! I've got a bit of a Martha tendency I'm afraid, and I've been feeling 'careful and troubled about many things'. BUT, today, in Stake Conference, I started to feel like I could just stop running around frantically in circles and just 'be still'. I get frustrated - I want to do things really well, and I want everything to work, and when you've got so many things tugging at your time, it's hard to feel like it's possible to do anything right! That's when we really need to turn to the Lord, and let Him help us. I tend to try and handle things all on my own :)

So, it's obviously going to teach me more humility :) And honestly, the women I work with, are powerhouses of energy! Ana (the stake YW president) has a bunch of kids, a part time job, AND is the busiest YW president I have EVER seen. Between them and my mum, I'm totally set for 'women-who-can-do-it' examples ;)

So there you have it :) I thought I'd mention it, because I think you'll probably hear quite a bit about this new calling throughout future blog entries. I think I'll be learning a lot, and having a bunch of fun doing it!

xo Tammy

Saturday, February 7, 2009

New blogs I'm following

So two of my sisters started blogs recently. It was very exciting :)



They're worth a read if you get a chance....

(And if you do and you have a moment, leave a comment - even if they don't know you - so they know that someone besides me and mum are reading it!)

I'm hoping mum will start one too sometime.... will let you know :)

xo Tammy

Friday, February 6, 2009

First, I want you all to close your eyes....

.... now, pretend it's still yesterday.....


See? I told you I'd write every day in February :)

Okay, I so on my way home today (by which, of course, I mean yesterday), and I was thinking how much I love late afternoon light.

I mean, I really love late afternoon light. That moment, on the way home where you glance at the city over the river, or birds flying toward the trees, or people jogging after work, or hundreds of cars stuck in traffic... and suddenly, the picture takes on a timeless weightlessness. The late afternoon rays turn the scene before you to magic, and the worries and cares of the day, or of the coming night, cease to exist. Just for that moment. You find yourself marvelling that a scene that beautiful exists.

I love the freshness and promise of light in the early morning as well. The gleam of the boats on the river as I head to work. But really, it's that afternoon light that gets me. It holds me for that brief moment, and then releases me happier and more content than I was the moment before. It makes me smile, and start singing along to a song on the radio. Or I find myself starting to reflect on things more important than whatever had been occupying my thoughts in the moments before.

Afternoon light is right up there with blustery rainy days, mountain streams, and silent moonlight over a pristine snowscape.

xo Tammy

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The death of an ex-friend...

Fritz-Errol-Wilson has turned out to be a real lemon.


It's terribly tragic, and the 86 year old car mechanic genius from up the road who looked at it today, began his subsequent conversation with me "I don't usually slap girls, but with you I think I'll make an exception", because the thing is running so badly, no one should be driving it! I mean, I sensed it had some issues, but apparently the car was out of oil because it had exploded all over the engine (or something like that - obviously, I had no idea what he was talking about, although I do remember the part where he said "your car's engine has been on fire, at least twice, the burn marks are there under the bonnet!"). The air conditioning unit is broken and is leaking a river of some sort of liquid that has pooled in the carpet on the passenger's side of the car - water is actually seeping up through the carpet and sloshing around. The transmission is shot. The speakers have blown , the sun visor above the drivers side fell off the other day, and last week, the door handle on the drivers side broke, so I can't get in very well and have had to resort to climbing in through the passengers side a few times. (Obviously, that doesn't bode well for the fire that may start again in the engine at any time - I'll probably die because I can't get out the door and away from the flames!). I'm also in need of new tires... apparently!

Anyway, I'm disheartened. And I've started hating Fritz-Errol-Wilson. He's a money sucker! and He's ruining my life! Apparently, I need to buy a new car, and no one will want this one because it's got serious problems.

I tell you what, next time, I'm getting a girl car! With a name like Fritz Errol Wilson, is it any wonder he's insisting on going down in such a "general's last great battle" kind of a way?!

xo Tammy

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Road Kill

I accidently hit a possum with my car the other night. It was terrible! The poor thing jumped out in front of my car and I didn't have time to stop. As I glanced back, I noticed that the poor thing was still moving (tail spasmatically flicking, head feebly stretching), so I turned the car around and went back to help it (I think I had some vague notion about taking it to an animal vet place at 11:30pm at night), but by the time I got back to it, 3 other cars had hit it, and the poor thing was dead. It was horrible. A big pool of blood and fur everywhere. I felt terrible! .... Only, I didn't quite feel as terrible as I knew I was supposed to, because an itsy bitsy tiny part of me was glad that I didn't have to find an animal vet place at 11:30pm at night!

Could I be any less horrible?!


xo Tammy

PS. It just occurs to me that possums are marsupials, and therefore don't exist outside of Australasia... so for those who would like an opportunity to learn and grow, please take advantage of the weblink (that I've just figured out how to use) in the earlier part of this sentence :)

PPS. I just ran the spell check, and it didn't pick anything up.... that's never happened to me before.... I can only assume that the spell check is broken.....

Monday, February 2, 2009

Led by the hand

The last couple of weeks have been really hard and really wonderful all at once. Thinking back yesterday, I could see what I've been suspecting - that Heavenly Father's been perfectly and lovingly putting things in my path that have helped me take some needed changes in direction. A couple of those have been really hard, and pretty painful, but as I've tried to turn to Him, I have felt more loved, and closer to my Heavenly Father than I have in a long time. I love Him for not forgetting about me and for never giving up on me. I love Him for reminding me of important truths that I've been forgetting of late, like the fact that he answers our prayers and will give us personal revelation in many ways, that He will meet us half way (or much more than half way) as we take even a shaky, single step towards Him. I love Him for the trials and challenges He sends my way, and for His gentle reminders that it is wisdom in Him to have dealt with me after this manner. I love Him for weakening me in some ways so that He can help me be strong in others. I love Him for new and old callings that give me the opportunity to be useful and to serve. That stretch me, and force me to look (uncharacteristically) outside of myself. I love Him for the wonderful family that He blesses me with, and for parents who have both, over the last few weeks, said things that I have really needed to hear. Things that have come as answers to pleading prayers (though I probably haven't acknowledged it as such to them). I love Him for friends and siblings who have done the same. I love Him for the gift of hope, and for the wonderful healing and 'sun-rising' nature of that precious gift. I love Him for the words of unspeakable comfort and strength that I've been guided to in the scriptures and in the words of the modern day prophets. I love Him for my testimony, and for the gift He's blessed me with of believing easily (the 'following' I'm still working on, but the believing is never a problem, and I am always grateful for the enormous blessing that that is). I love Him for making me feel, over the past few weeks, like I can do hard things. Most of all, I love Him for His many, many tender mercies. For those times when I've asked Him to hold me hand and He has, and for those many times, when I should have asked and didn't, but that He held it anyway.

xo Tammy

Sunday, February 1, 2009

My fabulously interesting life x 28

I've gotten into the bad habit of replying "absolutely nothing" whenever someone who hasn't seen me in a while (usually because I tend to hide from 'people'), asks "So, what's new?" or "So what have you been up to lately?" They're friendly questions, and I realize that they're just trying to start a conversation, but the questions always makes me cringe, because in my very Eeyore way, I usually feel like I literally have nothing to tell them about my life!

I've been thinking lately, that this is a really negative way to look at things. Especially since the truth is that there are lots of positive and great things going on in my life. They might be small, and maybe work is the biggest thing in my life (which, admittedly, is a pretty boring way for life to be), but I suspect that there are more exciting and interesting things going on, and that I'm just out of the habit of paying attention to them, or being grateful for them. My crazy and ever growing family, for example, could fill volumes of a best-selling memoir (or at least supply endless fodder for Justin's screen-writing classes). So my life obviously can't be as drudgery-ish as my internal moaning monologues make it seem.

So, in an attempt to teach myself a little more gratitude for the incredibly charmed and blessed life that I do indeed lead, in an attempt to dwell more on the positives and the opportunities and possibilities that life holds, and in an attempt to have my friends stop begging for more consistent blog entries, I thought I'd try something new in February: I'm going to post something every day. I warn you that on some days it will probably be short (Brecken suggests that if I can teach myself to write short entries on occasion, than I'll realize that it's actually not as hard to 'blog' as I always think it is); I warn you that what I end up deeming 'of interest' may not actually be interesting; and I warn you that I'll probably get mopey if I don't get comments back on each of these posts (how needy am I?!). But I'm hoping it will be fun :)

So tonight, the experiment begins! Drum roll please.......

Okay, now go post a comment :)

Till tomorrow.....
xo Tammy