LIVING CHRISTMAS AND JANUARY FABULOUSLY

Living life fabulously - looking back at Christmas with the family, and all the little joys of January.

MY FABULOUS CHRISTMAS AND JANUARY

At the beginning of January I chose my new Word of the Year - which was FABULOUS - and in honour of all things fabulous, I've decided to return to my old habit of looking back over the month that's finished and sharing a few snippets that shone out during those weeks. My moments of "Fabulosity" is how I'm thinking of them.

So let's get the ball rolling as I look back on Christmas and January (a little more bang for my buck seeing that I didn't do a December stocktake). In Australia it's summertime - so lots of hot weather, sunshine and blue skies.

HOLIDAYING

Before I leap into Christmas, I thought I'd share a few photos from our little getaway earlier in December. We normally head over to Rottnest Island in early December, but this year (due to all the travel restrictions) it was booked out and we needed to choose somewhere new. We decided to head down south to Albany - a lovely town where we spent our first year as a married couple. The weather was perfect, the scenery was gorgeous, and we had a really relaxing few days away before leaping into Christmas preparations.

Albany and Denmark Western Australia

CHRISTMAS-ING

Christmas for me is all about family. I've learnt not to push for a particular day to celebrate, but instead, I fit in around what works best for our adult kids - that way they're happy....and we all know that if our kids are happy then we're happy too. Having all my family around me was just the best Christmas gift ever. I think the grandgirls were in complete agreement - there were lots of gifts for them and they loved being with the extended family.

Family Christmas 2021

This year we got together for our Christmas lunch on December 27th. It had been a really hot Christmas and Boxing Day, and the 27th was pretty warm too (all in the high 30° Celcius range). Lunch and present opening were inside in the air conditioning where it was lovely and cool, and then there was a bit of fun in the blow up pool outside in the shade in the afternoon. Water squirters and unicorns bring out the child in us all!

Family Christmas 2021

BLOGGING

I chose FABULOUS as my Word Of The Year for 2022, and I'm hoping it's going to inspire me to find all the fun and fabulosity I can throughout the year. This is the first year in my 60's, so I want to enjoy it and appreciate how blessed I am to be at this stage of life. In other years I've chosen "deeper" words, but this year I'm just going to look for the fabulous little moments and enjoy each and every one of them.

I had a look back over the last year, and (in case you're interested) my Top 5 Posts during 2021 were:

CREATING

I finally decided to download and have a browse through "The Artist's Way" over January. I couldn't really get a grip on writing Morning Pages every day - before long I felt like I was writing pretty much the same stuff over and over (Ground Hog Day anyone?) I did appreciate some of the insights I got from the book itself though - about creativity and the Creator, and not being so self-critical or concerned about what others might think. It's giving me added incentive to just play around with art more without having to justify it - so I'm gaining a few takeaways from reading it. 

On that note, I've been trying my hand at some Neurographic Art and wrote a post about it last week. It's been a really relaxing pastime. I also started a new altered book of collages in December. I'd finished my first attempt and had been given a spiral book on calligraphy techniques that I decided to "liberate to a higher purpose". It's bigger than my first attempt and I've been going with a sort of fairy/ medieval/ fantasy type theme to it - based around images from an old book of fairy tales and a gorgeous book of flowers that I found in second hand book stores. It's been a fun project and I'm still really enjoying it for now. I shared a slideshow of the first ten I created on my Facebook page and thought I'd share the next ten here - so feel free to click through and have a look.


LOVING

In honour of my six "F" words for my 60's, this is what I've been loving lately....

Family - spending time with my husband, my Mum, and my kids over Christmas and having extra time with the grandgirls - it's always fun when they come to stay with us for a few days during the school holidays.
Friends - I'm so grateful for my friends - those who live near me, and those who I've met online - their support and encouragement has made turning 60 so much easier.
Faith - Sometimes I struggle with the 'sameness' of church services, so I've been offsetting my Sundays with some great podcasts - I especially enjoy Tim Keller and Tim Mackie.
Freedom & Flexibility - Every Monday morning I wake up and feel a little smile bloom because I didn't need to set my alarm, I'm not driving into work, and I have a week stretching out in front of me that's completely mine. That never ceases to bring me joy.
Fabulosity - While we were on holidays recently I spotted this statue/plant holder. And I fell in love with her fabulosity - she became my Christmas present and has pride of place on our sideboard.

statue bought in Albany

A FABULOUS QUOTE TO FINISH WITH



Living life fabulously - looking back at Christmas with the family, and all the little joys of January.

JUST A FINAL NOTE:

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Cresting the Hill - a blog for Midlife (Middle Aged / 50+) women who want to thrive

37 comments

  1. A great catchup post Leanne and you certainly are living fabulously. Christmas is such a lovely family time isn't it and the grandchildren make it so special. Your holiday looks fun despite not being able to get to your Rottnest Island as you usually do. Thanks for joining us for the 2022 Word of the Year Link Party and I look forward to reading how Fabulous you are in February x

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    1. Hi Sue - I was glad I squeaked into the party in time. And yes Christmas with grandchildren is such a bright spot in our lives - it brings all the magic back again doesn't it? And our Albany holiday made a refreshing change - it was just so nice to be able to get away somewhere that wasn't locked down or cancelled!

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  2. Fabulous post Leanne! (excuse the pun HAHA) It's so lovely to see you enjoying and flourishing with your art. I'm not quite sure what Neurographic Art is so will have to go back and read your post from last week. Your granddaughters are little cuties and sounds like you've had a wonderful start to the year. I'm a bit out of touch as I haven't had much time for my blog or the blogging world as I've been living with Mum one week a fortnight and my sister is there the other week as she needs looking after these days. Hoping to get things in place eventually so we can reduce the time we need to be away from home. It's not easy but has to be done. Hope you have a great week! xo

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    1. It's that next stage of life isn't it Min - where your kids don't need you so much, but suddenly your parents do. I've done the parent care thingwith my mum's two knee replacements, but your time has certainly stretched out for longer. I hope things return to normal for you all soon - and then you should try your hand at a little bit of neurographic art :)

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    2. I hope all goes well with your mother, Min. My MIL is 94 and in a memory care center. Recently, she stopped eating. She still drinks liquids, but is quickly losing strength. My husband takes such good care of her, and I know this is hard on him. His father and both of my parents have passed, so this is the last of our sweet parents.

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  3. I love your closing quote, Leanne. That is so true!
    I'm delighted to read that Christmas provided a wonderful ending to 2021 for you, and that your January has been off to a great start. Your photos from Albany are beautiful...as are the ones of your grandchildren. Thank you for this very uplifting catchup.

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    1. Hi Donna - it was a lovely couple of months where things were almost normal and life was moving at a very pleasant pace. Omicron is starting to sneak in here despite all the travel bubbles and isolation - it had to happen, the masks are on and we wait to see what the months ahead hold for us. I think most of us are pretty over it all - so that's why it's good to focus on the little positives in life that are within our control.

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  4. Lots to love here Leanne, you are certainly enjoying being fabulous and life sounds good for you! Your creativity is fun to see :)

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    1. Thanks Deb - it's been a pretty Fabulous few weeks and nice to be in Summer and enjoying life - although we're now all masked when we're indoors (other than home) and that doesn't thrill me (to say the least!)

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  5. I'm with you on the morning pages Leanne. I mean, I kinda get why she recommends them but I'm the same - I ruminate about the same things again and again.

    I'm glad you've been getting in touch with your creativity though. And the F words seem to offer you a lovely balance!

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    1. Hi Deb - my daughter has been doing the MPs and finds them quite helpful because she's been trying to process several life upheavals lately. She's also an English teacher and her brain works by writing through things and then finding her thoughts through that process. When life is pretty much the same every day, it just felt really repetitive to me.

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  6. Hi Leanne! I love this post, and your new statue. With the flowers, it's you, blossoming in your 60's! xxx Christina Daggett

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    1. Thanks Christina - that statue makes me smile every time I look at her - she's just so serene and pretty - and nothing beats a little serenity atm!

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  7. Fabulosity is a wonderful word I hadn't heard before but I like it! Glad to see you've had a good Christmas and January and lived up to the concept of fabulosity. That holiday spot definitely looks fabulous!

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    1. Hi Susanne - I think I partially created the word Fabulosity (although it appears in Google when you search for it!) I'm just loving that it inspires me to look for the fun things in life - we need as many of those as we can get!

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  8. A "fabulous" post and loved seeing the charming and mystical artwork. i see a future book of writings accompanied by your art pieces perhaps? Always I find your happiness an inspiration.

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    1. Hi Judith - thank you for your kind words - I'm just really enjoying having the time and headspace to play around a little bit with creativity. I'm not sure I have a book hidden away in my anywhere, but who knows what the future holds?

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  9. So much fabulosity in one post (see what I did there?). Love your F words and in my book any day that includes both water squirters and unicorns is a good one.

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    1. Nothing beats a unicorn when your 5 years old or 105 years old Jo - they just bring so much pinkness and joy into life - and that's pretty fabulous in itself!

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  10. Christmas and January have definitely been fabulous for you Leanne. The first thing I notice in your outdoor photos is that they are so green. The landscape here is very brown and very dry just now. Wonderful tgSt you were able to spend time with your family at Christmas

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    1. It's pretty dry here too Jennifer and the irrigation system in the area we live in has "catastrophically failed" so everywhere has become a lot more yellow over the last few months and a replacement system won't be around for many months to come. Our lawn is looking a bit sad too atm - we could do with a good dose of rain here too.

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  11. Your collage work is simply breath-taking. Never, ever again can you say you are not creative!

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    1. Oh Pat what a lovely thing to say - thank you. I still feel like everyone is humouring me when they say my arty stuff looks nice - but my creatively starved sould will take any positive encouragement that gets tossed in its direction :)

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  12. What a nice post. You have been busy.

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    1. Thanks Patrick - it's that time of the year when there's more opportunity for family and for having some time away. We're back into our "normal" quiet life now, so my Feb update will be a little less full I'm sure!

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  13. So many F for fabulous moments there Leanne. I love too, how one part of creativity sets us off on another path. love watching your creative life FLOURISH fabulously.

    Many thanks to you for linking up for Life This Week with a blog post. I look forward, I hope, to seeing you back on Mondays whenever that works for you! Denyse.

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    1. Hi Denyse - if anyone told me a few years ago that I'd be cutting, glueing, painting, drawing etc almost every day I'd have fallen over in a pink fit. It just shows what we can do when we have the time and inclination to stretch ourselves a little.

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  14. I enjoyed your catch-up, as always, Leanne. Albany looks beautiful. I so want to visit Australia after I retire. Now I just need to decide what part for my first visit. What a great idea to get in a few days of rest and relaxation before the holiday craziness sets in. I'm also impressed with the way you've accepted that Christmas can be whatever day works best for your family. That way, as you noted, everyone enjoys it to the fullest and the experience isn't tinged with "obligation." Your December and January certainly had much fabulosity. Here's to a fabulous February!

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    1. Hi Christie - if you ever visit Australia you'll probably end up on the East coast, but here in the West we have some beautiful scenery and some wonderful holiday destinations. Just being able to get away for a few days and be somewhere different is something I don't take for granted any more - it's just fabulous!

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  15. What a lovely cheery post. I agree the day isn't important, it's the getting everyone together that matters. And how crazy is the pandemic travel? Everything local is booked out months in advance. It's bananas.

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    1. Travel is never going to be something we take for granted ever again Lydia - locally everyone is doing the "wander out yonder" thing and interstate or overseas is just a dream now....

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  16. Hi Leanne, I'm so glad you had a wonderful Christmas and January. Your vacation spot in Albany looks beautiful. What a great choice! Thank you for linking up with #weekendcoffeeshare. Have a fabulous February!

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    1. Hi Natalie - I was so grateful that we found somewhere to visit that wasn't locked down or cancelled. Right up until we arrived I expected things to change, so it was lovely when it all went ahead and we got to have a very pleasant break from routine.

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  17. Hi Leanne,
    So many fabulous things to comment on in your post. I've been to Rottnest Island a couple of times, and I had hoped for our family to drive across the Nullarbor to Perth, but there's that familiar word cropping up again - Covid. My daughter loves Quokkas. Me too. She's hoping to study at WAPAA so perhaps we'll get there one day. Our son is about to turn 18 and she's almost 16.I've also been to Denmark and Albany. Have you been to Esperence? I only had a fleeting stopover driving to Perth thanks to the driver who was move into driving direct from A to B and not going off the beaten track and round a few bends. I went on an incredible bushwalk in Spring in Denmark and the place was flooded with flowering wattle and the scent of honey in the air. That was about 30 years ago and I haven't forgotten.
    There is certainly a lot of fabulous in WA.
    Hope you have a great week.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

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    1. Hi Rowena - your daughter must be super talented to be considering WAPAA - I know a few musicians who've gone through there and it's definitely set them on course for life - and I'm sure it would be the same with dancers. Rottnest is an amazing place and we just love it. I've been to Esperance a couple of times - it's a long boring drive to get there, but it's a beautiful town once you arrive.

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  18. Once again I'm late commenting on everyones coffee shares...I look forward to the day when I don't NEED to set an alarm, though somehow I think I still might..lol. Or maybe not. We are the same way with holidays and family's. we'll get together when it works...especially once kids get married, it gets harder and I never want my girls to stress about it.

    As always, I'm so encouraged by your posts. I look forward to the day I can retire, even though I love where I work, I have such a desire to be home and enjoy homemaking full time again.

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    1. Hi Kirstin - I would still be working part-time if there had been any way possible to work around the situation. I think if you have a job you love and you work with good people, then it's a blessing indeed - nearly as good as being retired!

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