A very bookish Christmas

Molly’s first ever advent calendar

Originally uploaded by beccaplusmolly

I seem to have lost a little of my Grinch now & am feeling a bit more in the spirit of Christmas. Helped in part I think by having some time alone to shop for presents.

A few weeks back I had taken myself to our local op shop to buy stocking fillers. My children’s stockings are huge, handmade by a family friend for each child at their first Christmas. On a limited budget second hand was the sensible option, plus it fulfilled my new shopping ethos: local, handmade or recycled.

Today I had something else in mind so I headed to Next Page Please, our local independent children’s bookshop. I didn’t have any specific titles I wanted but Maria, who owns the shop, is full of bookish information & happy to share suggestions for different age groups & interests. This makes it an enjoyable experience rather than a chore.

For Molly I selected: A Colin Thiele boxed set which includes two classics – Storm Boy and Magpie Island. I also chose Utterly me, Clarice Bean by Lauren Childs. Whacky kids & animals are high in Molly’s areas of interest.

Jacob, who is almost four, is keen on the tools of early literacy and fantasy play so I chose I spy with my little eye by Edward Gibbs, & Taming the sun: four Mãori myths by Gavin Bishop. I love Bishop’s illustrations, his renditions of our indigenous mythology & I’m sure Jacob will too.

Pete is a transporter, everywhere he goes he likes to have a trolley, a pushchair, a wheelbarrow or a car. He’s two years old so the illustrations are as important as the textual story. I think that Bruiser by Gavin Bishop & My 1st car was red by Peter Schössow will be just perfect.

There are also some second hand books for the stockings. These were found at our op shop & the local Sunday markets. I heard it in the playground by Allan Arlberg, These Islands: NZ verse collected by Gwenyth Jones & The Wednesday Wizard by Sherryl Jordan for Molly. Real life nightmares edited by Pat Edwards for Jacob (who also enjoy scary tales). For Pete who sometimes struggles with sleep I found a lovely copy of Mem Fox’s book Time for Bed.

James, my husband, will also be getting a book. I won his present from @FlyAirNZ on Twitter! It’s a hardback, colour book of the Artwork from the Tintin movie, signed by the creative team including our own Richard Taylor from WETA Workshop. I know he will love pouring over this alone & with Jacob who is a new Tintin fan.

I did sneak in a couple of gifts for myself today from a secondhand stall at the markets. James is insisting that I wrap them. So two summer dresses and two pairs of shoes will be waiting for me on Christmas Day. I’m sure that someone else in the family will buy me a book or two. *hint, hint*

If the heavy rain that’s been drenching Auckland this last week doesn’t stop  we’ll spend the days following the 25th recovering from over-eating & enjoying our new books.

I hope you have a happy, bookish Christmas too.

homeward



homeward

Originally uploaded by beccaplusmolly

we’ve returned from a family holiday. i’m tempted to re-name these events as circuses. seems more appropriate nomclemature.

although overall i would say that the kids & i had fun we also had: 3 cases of the ‘flu, teething, a wasp sting, a granny her broke her foot stepping in a rabbit hole & a mama who doesn’t drive. challenging to say the least when you’re almost an hour’s drive from supplies.

i love my children & i love the family place we holiday at so i wouldn’t miss it for the world.

we also had shared meals, toilet training, learning to read & chatting up a storm.

and then the days go by…

four beautiful ones



three

Originally uploaded by beccaplusmolly

we’ve reached the end of the decade. looking bad it’s easy to dwell on the low points – there’s been a few and they’ve been mighty tough – but i’d like to concentrate on what was good & what continues to bring me hope & joy.

some highlights: april 27, 2004 – birth of my daughter molly, 27 january 2008 – j & i were married at cheltenham beach in devonport, 8 february 2008 – our twin boys jacob & findlay were born and 24 september 2009 our youngest son pete was born.

findlay’s funeral on february 15, 2008 & a year later the memorial comemoration for our beautiful wee boy helped to remind us how loved he was and we all are. without our family & friends we would not be the family that we are and that we continue to strive to be.

if the decade ahead holds as much joy as this one has i will be a lucky woman.

seven wonderful things about today

flat out

Originally uploaded by beccaplusmolly

my mother orchestrated a deliciously long sleep-in for me

my daughter was angelic almost all day

the sun shone & the sky was blue

i could enjoy my family

our dog is recovering well from major knee surgery

i discovered (& enjoyed) a new band on the radio – the school of seven bells

my husband was loving, sexy & kind

christmas was bliss

nothing like a little minimalism to make the day really enjoyable. Presents for the children were kept down in number,  adults shopped sparingly for each other and heaven, oh heaven,  we only attended one event.

lunch at my brother’s place on the other side of town was the bomb.  he cooked a whole salmon, bought from the local fishmarkets. our mum made lentils (to accompany the fish). other food included: a chickpea salad with roasted red onion, courgette, red capsicum, garlic and carrot, grilled asparagus with pesto and crumbled feta and homemade foccacia bread. dessert was a divine fruit salad with blueberries, strawberries and pawpaw accompanied by whipped cream and a small serve of christmas pudding (thanks aunt betty).

we sat around in the back garden, eating, drinking (a little french bubbles and some non alcoholic juice later on),  chatting about the year that’s been and what lies ahead.

it has been a tough year in so many ways but surrounded by the people  i love and who love me i know that i am still one of the lucky ones.