50 Things that make me happy

I enjoy writing gratitude lists; thinking about those things in my life that I really appreciate … those things that make my days … make me smile … fill my heart with such delights. I have unfortunately not written a gratitude list for many weeks and I really can’t wait to start again.

So Baby Isabella, I am so delighted you tagged me with the 50 happy things challenge; it’s a fantastic opportunity for me to reflect and identify 50 things that make me happy. Perhaps it might even help me with my attempt to restart my weekly gratitude list. ūüôā

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Without further ado, I give you 50 things that make me happy.

Faith

1. God (so life-giving)

2. Going to church (such a blessing)

3. Hanging out with our church family (such loveliness)

4. Reading and studying the Bible (such wisdom; a fab life guide)

5. Listening to and singing God glorifying songs (so much fades into insignificance)

Family

6. My husband (the only man for me)

7. Some of our extended families (such laughter)

8. Breastfeeding Precious Sparkle (so empowering)

9. Most of my childhood memories (makes me smile)

10. Doing things that make my family smile (awwwww)

11. Precious Sparkle and everything about him (so innocent, intriguing, satisfying, and fab)

Friends

12. Spending time with my mummy friends (such fun)

13. Catching up with all my friends over the phone or in person (so lovely)

Food

14.  Eating out (what a treat)

15. Warm Chocolate brownie with ice cream (yum)

16. Apple Crumble with clotted cream ice cream (yum yum)

17. My mum’s cooking (The best food … I can’t wait … it’s been too many years)

18. My dear friend’s – B –¬† homemade cheese cake / M&S frozen strawberry cheese cake (yummy)

50 things that make me happyActivities

19. Walking (so refreshing)

20. Finding bargains (so exciting)

21. Discussing (clarifies so much)

22. Learning (so much to discover)

23. Long hot shower (feels really good)

24. Watching documentaries (insightful)

25. Long and restful sleep (a real privilege)

26. Reading (takes me places I might never go otherwise)

27.¬†Watching period dramas (takes me back to a time I’ll never know)

28.¬†Blogging and my blogs (gets my creative juices going … so much future potential)

29. Writing poetry and my reflections (gives wings to my inner author and philosopher)

30. Taking pictures, especially close-ups; and improving my photography skills (so delightful)

31. Listening to thought provoking sermons and talks e.g. TED talks etc. (much food for thought)

32. Counting my blessings, giving thanks for them, and showing my gratitude in some way (so uplifting)

33. Winning competitions (I unfortunately barely have time for comping anymore … so exciting though)

34. Discovering new features on modern conveniences like computers, software, tablets, smartphones, WordPress etc. (nice one)

Work

35. Not doing school work at home (feels good)

36. Actually teaching students who want to learn (so energizing)

Other Things

37. Fresh air (so fantastic)

38. Being a mum (so enriching)

39. Chilling (we all need a break)

40. Waking up (what a privilege)

41. Nature in general (so arresting)

42. Seeing others happy (so reinvigorating)

43. Beautiful stationery (attractive, isn’t it?)

44. Fast technology (helps my sanity and saves time)

45. Hugs (a good connecting point with some fab folks)

46. Clean and tidy house (I really appreciate this though I find it elusive)

47. Living in a democratic country with regard for the rule of law (so precious)

48. Sunshine, sunrise, and sunset (bright and colourful eye-feast and body warmth)

49. Fresh snow at dawn and dusk (nothing like the white shine and glint on the ground)

50. Making a difference; encouraging, inspiring, motivating, and supporting others (so worthwhile)

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What a lovely challenge, thinking of such wonderful people and things. I could really have continued the list; I feel so fortunate and blessed to have more than 50 things that make me happy.

I nominate the following bloggers to share 50 things that make them happy, if they are happy to play.

LauraSarahDoll

When the Dust Settles

Mum turned Mom

Verily Victoria Vocalises

Mummy Endeavours

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What are the top things that make you happy?

5 ‘Compassion’ Encounters of a Breastfeeding Mum #1000Speak

Following on from my previous post about the compassion shown by 5 groups of people, to me as a first-time mum, I’d particularly like to acknowledge the following for their significant contribution to my breastfeeding journey, and that of countless women.

Their compassion to families, particularly mothers, is astounding.

They’ve deeply felt the heart of mothers, so much so that they reach out and help to make their journeys that much easier. Continue reading

5 ‘Compassion’ Encounters of a 1st-Time Mum #1000Speak

‘It takes a village to raise a child’, it’s often said; I’d like to add, ‘and a village to make a mother’.

I became a mother over a year ago and I’ve learnt that motherhood does not exist in isolation; it is relational and developmental. A mother requires the community in its diverse range and the compassion of others to thrive.

Inspired by the 1000 Voices Speaks for Compassion project, below are people or groups I’d like to acknowledge, celebrate and thank for showing me and others compassion on our motherhood journey.

I couldn’t be where I am in my mothering without all these people, and the compassion they’ve all shown to my family and I.A First-Time Mum's recognition of and gratitude for the compassion shown by 5 key groups of people on her motherhood journey. It takes a village to make a mother.

1. Church Family

My church community has supported me since I moved to the UK and their support in the last year has been mind-blowing.

I am so thankful to God for them in my life, and their kindness has been such an example to me. So many kind words, thoughtful acts, prayers and tips, at just the right time!

Thanks for the visits at the hospital, the food you kept making for my family and I in those first few crucial weeks, the home visits when we were ready for it, the multitude of presents, the chaffering to this place and that, the many enquiries about how we were getting on, and so much more.

Thanks for all your practical, emotional and spiritual support; my family and I couldn’t have made it this far without it. ūüôā

2. Mummy Friends

Mummy friends are such an essential part of motherhood; the level of connection mothers can feel towards each other quite quickly is amazing.

Mine have comforted me in my tears and rejoiced with me in my triumphs. They can relate with me on a level that others can’t; where babies are concerned, they know what I’m talking about in a personal way.

They willingly talk about the same topics over and over again; sleep, poo, weight, feeding, breast milk, breastfeeding, formula, bathing, baby products etc. They share their experiences, pass down leftover and pre-loved items, and give tons of tips.

They don’t take offense if you don’t do things the way they suggest.

Many have visited me at home and chatted with me over the phone, one even organised a cooking rota for my family and I after I gave birth.

I’ve met them at work, church, children centres, La Leche League meetings, Boots, the Baby Show, Fun fares, online through blogging etc. They really are an incredible group.

I am so thankful for all my mummy friends in person and online, and the many adventures we’ve had together. ūüôā

1000 Voices Speak for Compasion. #1000Speak Project. 1000 bloggers writing about compassion on Feb 20 15.3. Children Centres

Children Centres in the community are so vital; and I’m so glad that Surrey County Council in England are keeping theirs opened even though some other councils have shut them down, and many countries don’t even have them.

Our local centres have supported my family and I in such practical ways during this challenging life change. Their compassion is beyond the call of duty and I’ll always be grateful for them.

The compassion of a particular outreach worker especially stands out for me.

Dear H, you didn’t forget our meeting at one of your mobile bus tours before I had my baby. You kept making contact, by post and in person. I appreciate your home visit, your continuing offer of help, interest and overall support. Thanks for making it so easy to talk to you.

4. Health Visiting Team

I am so thankful for my local health visiting team, especially my allocated health visitor. I’ve heard some mums talk about how unhelpful they found theirs and I’ve wished for them to have a health visitor like mine.

I will always remember all the extra home visits I got, they helped me in ways I can’t fully convey.

Dear H, thanks for all your support through my little one’s weight concerns. Thanks for not expecting me to come to the health centre until I was ready, and for your persistence in encouraging me to get out of the house and meet other mums.

I really appreciate your arrangement for C to look out for me when you were away and to visit me at home for a one-on-one baby massage session. Thank you so much!

Thinking about the compassion they showed me at some of my most vulnerable moments brings tears to my eyes.

5. Folks out and about

I have been amazed again and again by people’s generosity and kindness towards mums with children on public transport, in restaurants and other outdoor places.

The helping hands to lift buggies from trains to platforms,
the smiles and interaction to amuse my Precious Sparkle on the bus,
the offer to carry trays of food from the till to the table in eateries,
the assurance that the food mess created by a weaning child is okay,
people respectfully looking away when you are trying to discreetly breastfeed a grumpy and whimpering child,
the kind comments on walks with baby in the buggy,
and so much more.

I also love London underground’s information page for pregnant women and buggy users, and their free ‘baby on board’ badge. It’s so¬†lovely to live in a country with this much practical consideration for the needs of mothers. ūüôā

I am acknowledging 5 groups of people whose compassionate response to mothers and their families especially help breastfeeding mothers like me.

This list is of course not exhaustive, what would you add?

Sharing with: #1000Speak: Facebook page, group and linky
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My 2015 Gratitude List: Wk 3

This week has been a juggling act! Childcare issues, ‘more-work-than-time-available-at-home-and-work’ issues, ‘no-time-to-write-down-my-many-thoughts’ issues; all together a lot of issues. Even then, I’m glad to have some pause time to calm down and consider my blessings through it all (even though it took me more days than expected to do this).
Continue reading

My 2015 #Gratitude List Wk 2

It has¬†not been an easy week for me at home and at work and I am struggling to remember specific things that I’m thankful for. Nonetheless, I am¬†choosing to think back to how the week has been and¬†take this¬†opportunity to count my blessings, reflect on positive things from the¬†week (though I feel quite drained), and give thanks to God for His goodness and provision.¬† Continue reading

My 2015 #Gratitude List Wk 1

It is very easy to count our sorrows and notice when things go wrong in our lives. Indeed, it is part of our human nature to take things for granted and pay less attention than we should to the positive things. For example, I rarely think about good health until I am unwell. Continue reading