Monday, December 31, 2018

End of 2018

Spent most of the afternoon at Tyler's house.

Then came home and played in our own backyard.

What follows is a bunch of trampoline photos because I'm just excited that he figured out how the tramp works.

He was pretty happy with himself.
He's here for the night to see the new year in with us.
No doubt we'll all be in bed asleep before the clock strikes 2019.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

The social media future.

I'm parting ways with a few social media platforms. Snapchat was easy to get rid of, I very rarely used it. Twitter was for news worthy items, but that turned into celebrity drama, which made it easier to remove that app.

I'm limiting myself with a few others.

Facebook is a necessity because of groups I'm a part of. I also like to read all the news in one place. I unfollowed every one of my friends on facebook. I love most of you, but if it's important there's always messenger.

I sat on Instagram for a few weeks talking myself out of giving it up. I really love Instagram, it's a favorite. Finally a few days ago I came to the conclusion that I needed to be a minimalist on The Gram. I went through nearly 3000 posts individually to purely reminisce and realized that I had given too much of my personal life out publicly on the app. One story alone got close to 1000 views and I only followed 87 people and had 200+ follow me at the time.

The purge began on Christmas eve. 2847 photos over 4 years. It was complete tonight. It wasn't an easy choice and I'm so glad Instagram have the data download feature where I was able to download all my photos before deleting them all. The purge also included peoples. I'll restart the gram in the new year as a private account.
A must really.

The blog is staying for the few who appreciate the melodrama of my life. I have some changes in mind, but you'll be in the loop Internets.

Merry Christmas .....

Christmas was seriously uneventful.
It might've been the bad weather, but something was off.
Not sure what it was, but it was dull this year.
There isn't even much more to say about it.

Merry Christmas anyway Internets!
Hope your's was better than mine!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Those Craig kids.

From 2 came 5.
5 turned into 10.
From 10 came 20.
Thus far, from 20 came 2.
Of 22, 5 are missing from the shot.

My other older brothers kids are home from Australia at the moment with their Mum. I do not know these nieces and nephews like I know the rest, only because they have been in Australia for all their lives.

We'll redo this shot in a few weeks when Sisters kids are here for the holidays .. minus Ayla the screamer.

We had our Christmas Eve dessert night tonight.
Mine and Tyler's contribution to the cause.

Me and Hubs will greet Christmas with scorched almonds and bubbly while we watch Christmas movies on Netflix.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Our boy.

How can the cutest boy ever be the naughtiest boy ever?
At his grand-uncles wedding today.

Friday, December 21, 2018

4 days til Christmas.

Work was done on the 9th. A staff party was had, but we only stayed long enough to exchange gifts and clean up a little before everyone else slumbered off to get lit. I was to be a sober driver, but that last week dragged on and I just wanted to go home and start my holidays. Our boss, and acting Hostel Manager, for most of the year left us with great parting gifts. She's moving on to brighter things next year and I'll miss her the most.

I shouldn't show this with the other hampers in the background ... it shows who her favorite employee was ;)

We went to Auckland last week for a pre-christmas Christmas dinner with sister and her family. We took our boy with us for his first roadie outside of Hawkes Bay. PJ Masks on repeat on an iPad that fit perfectly between the two front seats was a life saver.

His Mum came with us. She was worse than him on the way there and back.

When I go to Auckland I don't care much for shopping. I've even given up on my relationship with Auckland dumplings since my sister moved out of the markets zone we were familiar with. I'd rather sit at her house all day and listen to her yell at her kids than venture out to shop .. but Tyler came with us and she made some pact with her Aunty, sister, that had me driving Miss Daisy from Papakura to Onehunga.

Never again.

We had dinner on Saturday and got back on the road Monday.

Dinner with the squad was had on Tuesday the 18th. Captain Henry found a Thai restaurant in the heart of Napier CBD that had Bao bread to die for.

True story, but don't get #29 the Basil Pork Belly from Coko.
It ruined my night .. it was even worse than the lipstick I got from Captain Henry's wife for secret Santa. The 2019 planner that came with it was spot on though. I added it to my 2019 Books of Harmony. The Books of Harmony are to keep my life consistently in order, but that's a whole 'nother post.

What I did with the lipstick.
Flawless AviVi.

My child got germs from sisters kid. She's been out of action for the last three days. I had to have a 'boy cried wolf' talk with her before she went to bed tonight because she seemed to be 80% more sick when people came over. I hope she gets better soon because it's driving me bongos.

.. and finally, our boy is growing .. unfortunately, not height-wise.

I hope he still wants to cuddle like this when he's 30.

May your days be merry and bright.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Tis the season.

I caved.
After days of Hub's begging for the big tree, I pulled it out.
She promised to help.
She didn't.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

3 reasons why I don't like my ward.

I overcame something this year that was a big deal for me. I accepted the position in church as the ward pianist. I've been playing the piano since I was an 8 year old, but I have some pretty amazing stories of skipping recitals, needing to reschedule exams and one important improv piano competition that I refused to attend when I was 14. I'm quite terrified, every week, when I have to sit up there and play the piano for the ward. I try not to turn around to see who is all there, but it won't matter .. if there was one person there or one thousand, the trembling is the same. I don't know what it is, but it's been a part of me since my first recital playing "From a Wigwam".

A few weeks ago at church I played a song that was more for the oldies. "O my Father", hymn number 292. It's one of the only hymns in the church that makes mention to having a Heavenly Mother. Once sacrament was finished I got a lot of bad feedback on the choice of song, but no one tried to sing it. My nieces confirmed that they didn't pay attention to the lyrics to see heavenly mother even mentioned. I don't know that anyone did in my ward.

So this is one of the reasons I don't like my ward. Many are quick to bite about something, but few are eager to try.

A song is a wonderful kind of thing,
So lift up your voice and sing!
Just start a glad song, let it float, let it ring,
And lift up your voice and sing!
We shall make music to brighten the day;
Music will help us to lighten the way.
Lift up your voice! Lift up your voice!
Lift up your voice and sing!

So sing you mother fathers.

No one, absolutely no one is pro-active in the ward, as a whole. We are a complacent bunch. This has me leaving church after sacrament every week. In 4 weeks we'll drop down to the new time slot given in the last general conference. 2 hours. I'm pretty ecstatic about that because of reason number 3.

I've entered the lobby a-plenty-o-times at church on Sundays to, if not my own name, a family members name leaving the mouths of the women who sit on the couches and "discuss important issues". I have family members who don't come to church because of that talk. The judgement. The assumptions based on social media.

The best one?
Those Reid's think they're better than everyone else and are snobby.

We're a peculiar bunch because our parents taught us to stick together and trust each other and they learned that from my Grandfather who had people in the community feel and talk the exact same way about him. I have always been taught to stick with family. At any church event that my extended family go to, like a magnet we seem to find each other and stick to a corner. It's not snobbery, it's just something that has been neurologically placed with a biological assurance.

I sound jaded.
Not my intention.
So how do I fix this.

Understanding that we are all human and we have emotions that bring out both the best and beast in us all. At some point in everyone's church life, you have not been happy being around certain ward members. There's two solutions to this. Keep going to church or stop going to church.

Having charity towards those who offend you. It's not easy to do, but it's doable, just like singing every Sunday is doable. If Charity is the pure love of Christ as we're taught, then we have to follow the commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves. It's not easy or comfortable to do, but it is possible, via charity, to look past the insults.

Figure out who you are going to church for.
You or them.

Monday, December 3, 2018

It's December.

A few months ago I blogged about the head chef at work who is a widow and how I asked her if she wanted me to do her husbands, and other family members, temple work. She said yes before I could explain what that was exactly and mentioned how one of her grand-daughters had just joined the church and felt she'd finally found her place in life.

I didn't wait to load names and dates into and requested the ordinances in the app with her permission. The app tells you when the temple has printed the names for the work and lets you know when the work has been completed. I looked every day for about a month before I stopped, but decided to have a look yesterday to see that two of the four parts of her husbands temple work had been completed on the 21st of November. I wrote a reminder on my hand this morning to tell her that his work has been started and at the very least, he's been baptized and confirmed. The reminder washed off over the busy morning.

It's typical for the staff to sit down after lunch and have a brief pow-wow about our weekend, what's going on at home etc. She started the conversation today by relaying an experience she had already told a few of the other staff that happened a few weeks ago. Before she began the story she reiterated that she knows this wasn't a dream. It was very real.

Laying in bed one night, partially asleep, she felt someone nudge her a few times then her husbands voice finally say, 'Move over Lee'. She said she pulled the bed spread back, as she always did when they were going to bed, and moved over. She doesn't remember anything else after that, but she woke up in the morning in the middle of her bed with the bed spread pulled back.

She said in the 8 years that he has been gone, she has never felt an impression that he was there and never had an experience that he was around her, until that night - the 21st of November.

The theology of heaven and the afterlife in the LDS church brings reassurance when you understand it. It's in the bible and we receive it through modern day revelation. Larry prepared me for his death in more ways than I thought. Our belief is that the afterlife is a place of rest, so when he died after years of fighting, his death bought much comfort because I knew that now he could rest. He had no more fight left in him the night before he died and comfort would not have come the next day if I didn't have something to believe in.

And should we die before our journey’s through, Happy day! All is well.

We believe the spirit world to be here on earth and, though a veil separates us, in reality our loves ones who have departed are among us. Joseph Smith taught, "They are not far from us, and know and understand our thoughts, feelings, and motions, and are often pained therewith". Again, this is comforting because what we think is lost in death, is actually enhanced across the veil.

Because of experiences I've had since Larry's death, I know that wasn't a dream my co-worker had. When everyone else looked at her funny across our kitchen staff table, I knew that she experienced something amazing that will touch her enough to want to know more, but even before that .. she was a faithful wife despite not having any knowledge of the gospel.

The atonement is for everyone.

Happy December Internets.

Summer part 2

Nessa envisioned this shoot with my nephew Ellis. They pulled it all together very well. Hubs was supposed to be in it, but got stage fright...